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.


Down at Downton Abbey

Feb 14, 2013
Originally published on February 15, 2013 9:54 am



Let's welcome our next two contestants.


EISENBERG: Andy Duong and Tom Miller. Welcome to ASK ME ANOTHER, Andy, Tom. So, Andy, you have been to a huge number of countries.


EISENBERG: How many?

DUONG: Twenty-eight.

EISENBERG: Twenty-eight. Do you have a favorite?

DUONG: The Netherlands actually.

EISENBERG: Oh yeah, yeah, [unintelligible].

DUONG: For many reasons.

EISENBERG: For many reasons? What's your second favorite reason?


DUONG: I'm going to say the pancakes.

EISENBERG: Pancakes, very good. Now do you ever watch the show "Downton Abbey"?

DUONG: I haven't. Everyone tells me I should.

EISENBERG: You should. Yes, you should. Well, that's too bad.


EISENBERG: No. That's great, but remember that.

DUONG: I will.

EISENBERG: Tom Miller, nice to see you.


EISENBERG: You are the General Manager, is that right?

MILLER: That's exactly right.

EISENBERG: A General Manager. And write and act and perform for this fantastic website that I enjoy, it's a women's interest website, but it's called I love that site.

MILLER: That's exactly right. Thank you very much.

EISENBERG: Yes. You're welcome. Do you watch "Downton Abbey".

MILLER: I have seen some "Downton Abbey".

EISENBERG: You've seen some?


EISENBERG: That doesn't mean you follow it, does it?

MILLER: It's hard to catch up with so many good shows on Netflix streaming.

EISENBERG: Oh, OK. All right, well this game is called Down At Downton Abbey.


JONATHAN COULTON: (Singing) Downton Abbey. Downton Abbey.

That is the - of course the British hit drama set in an Edwardian mansion in the early 20th century. It is basically "Gossip Girl" with fancy dresses.

EISENBERG: Oh. For shame, Lord Coulton. That's probably, you think that way because you're an American.



EISENBERG: I love that show. I've given my whole life to that show.

COULTON: No, I know. I know. You care. You care about it and for that, I beg your forgiveness, Lady Ophira Eisenberg.

EISENBERG: Oh. Thank you.


EISENBERG: That just does not flow, does it, Lady Ophira Eisenberg?

COULTON: It doesn't really flow, no.


COULTON: But it is true, our staff is a little obsessed with "Downton Abbey", so they made up this little game where the characters of "Downton" get visited by some real life people who have aristocratic or royal names. For example, Lady Ophira, try this one. Branson, the chauffeur, has to park a "little red Corvette" when Downton is visited by this diminutive singer, fittingly decked out in royal purple and looking to "party like it's 1899."

EISENBERG: That would be Prince, of course.

COULTON: That is correct.

EISENBERG: Or Sir Roger Nelson.

COULTON: Yes, as he's otherwise known.

EISENBERG: As he is otherwise known.

COULTON: So contestants, you understand you - as it turns out you don't have to know much of anything about "Downton Abbey" to play this game...


COULTON: ...which is lucky for you.


COULTON: All the answers will be individuals who have a royal title somewhere in their name. Ring in when you know the answer. Whoever gets more right will move on to our Ask Me One More final round. Are you ready? OK. Carson the butler is aghast at the uncouth behavior of this supposedly noble English comedian, who spends the entire weekend insisting he is a journalist from Kazakhstan named Borat.

MILLER: Sacha Baron Cohen.


Tom, you are correct.


EISENBERG: It's hard to find that name, but you got it. Yep.

COULTON: The Dowager Countess has strong opinions on how a female sovereign should comport herself, and it certainly does not include appearing in films like "Chicago" or "Bringing Down the House," as this rapper-turned-actress has done.


DUONG: Queen Latifah.

EISENBERG: Queen Latifah.


COULTON: It was a great honor for Downton when this television personality and monarch deigned to visit, but they were scandalized to learn that he had been married to seven different women, and what was up with those suspenders?


MILLER: Larry King?

EISENBERG: Larry King is correct.


COULTON: At the annual servants' ball, the Crawleys delight the staff by bringing in this aristocratic big band leader, who can make even Mrs O'Brien dance with his signature song "Take The A-Train."


MILLER: Duke Ellington?

EISENBERG: Duke Ellington, correct.


COULTON: All the Crawley ladies wear the latest in Edwardian fashion, but this knighted rapper prefers older Victorian-style dresses with bustles, because he likes big butts and cannot lie.



DUONG: Oh, oh my goodness.

EISENBERG: He thought he had it.

DUONG: I like big butts and I cannot lie.




DUONG: Oh, I don't remember.

EISENBERG: You don't remember, it's escaping you? All right.

COULTON: Tom, do you know?

MILLER: Yeah, Sir Mix-a-Lot.

EISENBERG: Sir Mix-a-Lot.


EISENBERG: As they would say in Downton, lady got back, lady got back. All right. Tom, you are our winner of this round. Congratulations, you'll be moving on to our Ask Me One More final round


EISENBERG: Thank you both for playing. Andy, huge hand for Andy, everybody.



COULTON: (Singing) I like big butts and I cannot lie. You other brothers can't deny a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face. You get sprung, you want to pull up tough. You notice that butt was stuffed deep in the jeans she's wearing. I'm hooked and I can't stop staring. Ooh babe, I want to get wit'cha, take your pretty picture. My homeboys tried to warn me, but that butt you got, made me so horny.

(Singing) Ooh, Rumple-smooth-skin, you say you want to get in my Benz. Well, use me, use me 'cause you ain't that average groupie. I've seen them dancing. To hell with romancing 'cause she's sweat, wet, got it going like a turbo 'Vette. I'm tired of magazines saying flat butts are the thing. Take the average black man and ask him that, she gotta pack much back. So, fellas, fellas, has your girlfriend got the butt? Tell her to shake it, shake it, shake that healthy butt. Baby got back.


(Singing) Baby got back. Baby got back.


COULTON: Thank you.

EISENBERG: Jonathan Coulton.

I can see that in the future you're going to be playing that at people's weddings for their first dance.

(LAUGHTER) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.