The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí spent much of the 1940s in the U.S., avoiding World War II and its aftermath. He was a well-known fixture on the art scene in Monterey, Calif. — and that's where the largest collection of Dalí's work on the West Coast is now open to the public.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

The middle of summer is when the surprises in publishing turn up. I'm talking about those quietly commanding books that publishers tend to put out now, because fall and winter are focused on big books by established authors. Which brings us to The Dream Life of Astronauts, by Patrick Ryan, a very funny and touching collection of nine short stories that take place in the 1960s and '70s around Cape Canaveral, Fla.

When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

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Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

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Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

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This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

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Center for Public Integrity: EPA Unaware Of Industry Ties On Cancer Review Panel

Feb 13, 2013
Originally published on February 13, 2013 5:44 pm

Our investigative reporting colleagues at the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) continue their look at the Environmental Protection Agency's regulation of toxic pollution with a new report scrutinizing the agency's delay in announcing that "even a small amount of a chemical compound commonly found in tap water may cause cancer."

CPI reporters David Heath and Ronnie Greene found that in 2011, the EPA "was poised to cite evidence of cancer risks in hexavalent chromium, a chemical compound found in tap water — likely presaging stricter drinking water standards."

Hexavalent chromium is the same chemical featured in the successful environmental battle waged against Pacific Gas and Electric by citizen activist Erin Brockovich in Hinkley, Ca., in the 1990s. The case resulted in a $333 million payment to the town's 600 residents, who claimed the company poisoned their water with the chemical for over 30 years.

CPI reports that EPA reversed a decision by the agency's chemical-assessment program chief and delayed the release of its findings for at least four more years. Instead, EPA deferred to a panel of scientists who were supposed to be providing an unbiased review. But, as CPI found, "several of the panelists had worked on behalf of PG&E to defend the company in the Brockovich lawsuits."

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson and the agency's chemical-assessment officials "declined requests for on-the-record interviews," CPI reports. "But an EPA official acknowledged privately that the agency was not fully aware of the chromium (VI) peer reviewers' ties to PG&E."

Update at 5:43 p.m. ET. Exploring Public Review:

EPA responded to NPR's post about the CPI story with a statement.

"The agency is currently working to improve the IRIS contract-managed peer review process and reduce any potential conflict of interest by increasing transparency and public input," writes assistant EPA press secretary Andra Belknap. "We are exploring the best ways to provide for public review of contract-managed peer review panels and ensure that contractors are held accountable for their assessment of any conflicts of interest."

Belknap declined to explain why EPA did not provide any agency officials for on-the-record interviews during CPI's reporting of its story.

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