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.

Pages

English Whisky Aims To Give Scotch A Run For Its Money

Feb 19, 2013
Originally published on February 21, 2013 2:03 pm

Move over, Scotland. It's time to make room on the shelf for English whisky. London's first distillery in over a century is about to begin production of single malt whisky in a former Victorian dairy.

Darren Rook and his partner decided to open The London Distillery after reading about Australian distilleries. "We wondered why there were none in London," he tells The Salt.

Actually, London did have a distillery, once upon a time: Lea Valley Distillery, located at the site of the recent Olympics, was one of four English whisky producers in the 18th and 19th centuries. But it put out its last cask of whisky in 1897.

So why did English whisky production shut down for more than a hundred years? Whisky historian and author Kevin Kosar says it all came down to supply and demand.

"The whisky market crashed in 1900," he tells The Salt. "Leading up to that time, the Scots and Irish were overproducing whisky, causing prices to drop and distilleries to go bust."

Kosar says because of the long lead time involved in the production of whisky, many distilleries overleveraged themselves.

"Distilling, whisky especially, is very costly. You put all this money out there for the equipment and staff, then you put it in casks and wait three years. There are a lot of upfront costs with delayed revenues."

In order to generate income more quickly, many distilleries, including Darren Rook's, also distill gin, which only takes about three weeks to produce.

Andrew Nelstrop has been at the forefront of the English whisky revival, with his St. George's distillery in Norfolk, producing whisky since 2006. He believes English whisky also suffered because of the suppliers servicing the heart of the market.

"England became the capital of gin, and Scotland became the capital of whisky," he says. "Whisky needs to go into oak casks. Most of the oak casks arrived at the docks in Liverpool. By the time the English were producing whisky, which was much later, most of those casks were heading north, not south. If you haven't got enough casks to pour your whisky, you're out of luck."

But casks are no longer a problem. And Rook says only the Scots and Americans are bound by law to use oak.

"We're going to use some oak casks, but we're also going to experiment with other woods to see how it affects the flavor."

Rook's whisky won't be bottled for another three years, but Nelstrop's St. George's whisky will begin exporting to the U.S. in April. Nelstrop concedes Scotch has an advantage, being a brand in itself; only Scottish whisky can be called Scotch. Instead, he's hoping to trade in on England's identity and heritage.

"When people think of England, they think of quality products," Nelstrop tells The Salt. "Think of Rolls Royce, Bentley and others. We need to provide a high-quality whisky to match the expectation."

Rook compares Scottish whisky to French wine.

"Scotch will always be the standard-bearer for quality," he says. "We're not here to compete with the Scots. We're trying to create something complementary. We're trying to create something we're passionate and proud of, that people can see as a separate offering to excite and engage whisky drinkers in a different way."

Rook says there are many English microbreweries now trying to enter the whisky market. He predicts a surge in craft distilleries, but cautions the novelty of English whisky is just that, and only those pouring quality from their casks will survive against their Scottish rivals.


P.S. If you're thinking there's a typo in the spelling of "whisky," it's because Scottish and English whisky producers spell the word with no "e." The letter was used by the Irish years ago to differentiate their product, and Americans followed suit.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.