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.


Facebook Unveils Graph Search, Adding A New 'Pillar' To Services

Jan 15, 2013
Originally published on January 16, 2013 6:48 am

Users of Facebook will soon have a new search tool at their disposal, the leaders of the company announced Tuesday during a live event. The new Graph Search feature will let those on Facebook sift through photos, people, places, and business pages.

The new search ability will join Facebook users' newsfeed and timeline as "pillars" of their experience, said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who predicted Graph Search would become an "amazing resource."

As for what that resource might help users accomplish, Facebook offered several examples Tuesday, ranging from finding people who like cycling in Seattle, Wash., to looking for a restaurant your friends liked in a certain area — the idea being that Graph Search refines results by combining different attributes.

The service is being introduced in English-language markets first, with a limited number of users using a beta version of the feature. Writing for USA Today, Jon Swartz reports that "Zuckerberg says hundreds, maybe thousands, will initially get Graph Search."

The new feature's name comes from the social network's Graph API, which handles data transfers between Facebook and third-party software such as apps and widgets. And the company is predicting new growth in what kind of data its users share.

As NPR's Laura Sydell tweeted during the announcement, "Facebook says people will put more of their interests on Facebook" if they know their friends are looking for information about what they like, from music and movies to food and services. After the unveiling, shares of user-review site Yelp fell by 8 percent.

Facebook's announcement that it would make it easier to mine for data and photos is sure to raise some privacy concerns among its users. The company sought to address those worries Tuesday, saying that Graph Search will respect the same privacy settings that already limit the visibility of its members' pages.

"Everyone on Facebook who isn't blocked by you can search for you, but what they can see in search results about you depends on what's shared with them," according to a special page created to explain "How Privacy Works with Graph Search."

The page includes a link that allows users to review their Activity Log, which compiles the likes, status updates, photo uploads and other items that define a person's presence on Facebook.

"Most people today don't think about Facebook as a place to discover places where they could go eat, or things that they could go do," Zuckerberg said in a video introducing the new feature. "But with this product, it's so natural to be able to do that."

It may now also be natural, many observers noted Tuesday, to help Facebook strengthen its hold in the search advertising market, which Google has long dominated. The new feature is seen as a way for the social media network to build on the "Sponsored" advertising slots it began selling in 2012, which placed ads with search results.

The Graph Search tool was created internally at Facebook, leading some to speculate that Bing, which has played a Web-search role on the social media service, might be cut out of the picture. But the plan announced Tuesday calls for Bing to present results from the Web when a user's Facebook search comes up empty.

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