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.

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.


Do Boeing Engineers Have Enough Leverage To Strike?

Feb 8, 2013
Originally published on February 8, 2013 12:28 pm



Boeing engineers in the Pacific Northwest are voting on whether to authorize a strike. The labor dispute is playing out against a dramatic backdrop. Here, the engineers are needed, now more than ever, to help fix the batteries on Boeing's flagship 787 Dreamliner.

As Ashley Gross of member station KPLU reports, that's given the engineers something that is rare for unions, these days - leverage.

ASHLEY GROSS, BYLINE: At the engineering union headquarters south of Seattle, about a dozen Boeing employees are gathering to talk strategy.

ORLANDO DE LOS SANTOS: And - all right, we'll start the meeting at 4:30, but you guys go get some grub.

GROSS: Over plates of Indian curry, they talk about the ballots that went out to 21,000 engineers and technicians this week. On the table is a flier that says, "We keep Boeing flying." Except, of course, there's one plane that's not flying - the fuel-efficient Dreamliner. The FAA grounded it last month due to battery problems. Hundreds of union members are working around the clock to find a fix. Union leader Orlando de los Santos says it's a reminder to Boeing to value its technical workers.

SANTOS: You need us engineers. We are still the center of the universe, like it or not. Treat the engineers with respect.

GROSS: The Dreamliner crisis ratcheted up the stakes in a labor standoff that was already contentious. Boeing executives declined an interview, but a spokesman said the company wants to keep the workforce competitive. After the Dreamliner was grounded, Boeing agreed to almost all of the union's positions - except that it wants to move new hires to a 401(k) instead of a pension.

JAKE ROSENFELD: The union actually has two sources of leverage that aren't usually present in these types of disputes.

GROSS: Jake Rosenfeld is a professor at the University of Washington, who researches unions. He says unlike most standoffs between workers and management these days, Boeing's engineers may have the upper hand.

ROSENFELD: One, the company needs to keep production going. It's an incredibly critical time for them. And the second point of leverage is that they are highly skilled and not easily replaceable.

GROSS: The company has leverage of its own. After a strike by Seattle-area machinists in 2008, Boeing built a Dreamliner factory in South Carolina, a right-to-work state. That prompted a National Labor Relations Board lawsuit saying that move was illegal retaliation. The board later dropped its suit after the company and the union reached an agreement. But Rosenfeld says that episode showed the company's willingness to move work away from union strongholds.

ROSENFELD: It has to be, if you take the long-term view, a worrying sign for the workforce.




NEEL: How's it going?

GROSS: All right.

NEEL: Come on in.

GROSS: The strike authorization vote is weighing heavily on skilled engineers like Becki Neel. She's a former Air Force pilot who now directs flight tests. She's not sure how to vote. The idea of going on strike is stressful financially, and she says a lot of people don't want to strike during the Dreamliner crisis.

NEEL: To know that your awesome, amazing, game-changing airplane is grounded across the world right now, is not a good place to be in. That doesn't - people have pride, and they want to get the plane back in the air.

GROSS: Union leaders say they hope a strike authorization will bring the company back to the bargaining table. But many Boeing engineers say if they have to, they're prepared to walk out. One is 27-year-old Daniel Peters. He says this isn't just about engineers, or about Boeing.

DANIEL PETERS: I see the pensions as really, one of the last bastions of middle-class security.

GROSS: Peters says because Boeing engineers are well-paid and highly skilled, they're in the unique position of being able to take a stand.

For NPR News, I'm Ashley Gross in Seattle. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.