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.

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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.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

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.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

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

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

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.


Citizens Of Nitro, W.V., Watch Town's Bridge Blow Up

Mar 8, 2013

The last portion of the Dick Henderson Memorial Bridge, which once connected the West Virginia towns of Nitro and St. Albans, was demolished this morning. Hundreds of people gathered to view the controlled explosion Friday morning.

Parts of the 79-year-old truss bridge spanning the Kanawha River had previously been cut away. The remaining portions were deemed too heavy and out of the reach to handle with cranes, so explosives were used to finish the job.

"Nitro Mayor Dave Casebolt said more than 400 local schoolchildren signed up for a chance at blowing the bridge," reports Rusty Marks of The Charleston Gazette, which also posted a video of the event, as well as last week's destruction of the St. Albans portion of the bridge.

As local TV WSAZ reports, the control switch for Friday's demolition was operated by Nitro Elementary student Jessica Taylor, 9, and World War II veteran Thomas Walls, 92, whose nickname is "Frosty."

From the WSAZ story:

"'I did it, I did it,' Taylor said as the bridge came down."

"Walls says he has a lot of memories with this bridge."

"'I got a kick out of it. It's actually nothing new to me. I was in a [bomber] in the Air Force. It brings back old memories,' Walls said."

As you might guess from the name, Nitro is no stranger to explosives, either. The town was established during World War I, part of the U.S. War Department's strategy for establishing new supplies of gun powder.

An article at the city's website explains how it got the name:

"The name Nitro was selected by the Ordnance Department. It was derived from the chemical term Nitro-Cellulose, which identified the type of gunpowder that was to be produced. Another name seriously considered at the time was "Redwop" which was obtained from the reverse spelling of the word powder."

While the steel portions of the truss bridge were blown apart Friday, the concrete pilings were left untouched. They'll be the basis for a new bridge, which the West Virginia Department of Transportation hopes to have operational by November.

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