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.


FCC Proposes Public WiFi Network

Feb 5, 2013
Originally published on February 5, 2013 1:47 pm



The federal government has proposed an ambitious plan to build public WiFi networks throughout the country. The idea is to boost innovation and make the Internet cheaper and more accessible.


The Federal Communications Commission wants to do this by acquiring wireless spectrum from television broadcasters, including certain airwaves and set them aside for public use.

MONTAGNE: To find out more about this plan - who likes it and who doesn't - we called Cecilia Kang at the Washington Post. She's been writing about this public WiFi plan and tells us it would actually build on existing networks; networks that now allow us to use everyday gadgets, like garage door openers and baby monitors.

CECILIA KANG: These are all technologies that were brought forth the first time the FCC allowed what's known as unlicensed use. But what the FCC's doing differently and what's so interesting about its proposal is it wants to use a swath of airwaves that's particularly powerful that could really kind of make WiFi that we know today sort of at a new level, a sort of super WiFi.

MONTAGNE: Could you get just a little technical and talk to us about what that swath is?

KANG: The swath of airwaves under consideration is currently being used by television stations to broadcast their shows. And if these TV stations agree to sell these airwaves to the FCC, the FCC can use a portion of those airwaves for unlicensed public use. And these airwaves are really strong, in that they travel through concrete walls, over hills, around trees. It's the really strong airwaves that actually the wireless carriers right now are also using to build out what's known as their high-speed Internet network, 4G LTE. So these are very valuable, very desirable airwaves.

MONTAGNE: And how much of a threat is this really to the wireless industry - that is companies like Verizon and AT&T?

KANG: They fear that A, there could be more competition but B, they're afraid that if you have too many people in the city that are using these public WiFi networks, that could crowd out, say, the TV station or the wireless carrier that's operating their own technologies on what's known as a adjacent bands, or close by. So, they're afraid of crowding and interference as well.

MONTAGNE: Although, I understand that the Internet giants like Google and Microsoft are supporters of this plan.

KANG: They would benefit immensely, in that for Google, for Microsoft, interestingly, they pretty much our enemies on every issue except this one. But they very much support anyone using the Internet more and anyone using devices that carry their software more. So they have a lot to gain. They also have a lot of plans for the future. They want for appliances to connect with servers, to connect with security systems within the home, so you have all these machines and devices that are connected on the Internet. And in order to do that you need these wireless connections in this unlicensed way.

MONTAGNE: An aside from these big corporate interests, who else is weighing in?

KANG: The public interest groups are weighing in. They hope a lot of public institutions and cities and consumer groups really hope that these more powerful airwaves will ring forth much more connectivity that for particularly people who are on the poor end of the economic spectrum can have access to the Internet without having to pay monthly bills. It should be noted that there is quite a political battle, though, involved in this, in that Republicans in the House, they've actually criticized the FCC proposal and that they think that there should be more airwaves dedicated to auctions so that commercial carriers, companies like the AT&Ts and the Verizons and the Sprints and T-Mobiles of the world can bid and buy up more spectrum and then put those billions of dollars back into the government, back into the Treasury. So that's another debate that's being fought here in Washington on the Hill.

MONTAGNE: Cecilia Kang writes about national technology policy for The Washington Post. Thanks very much.

KANG: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.