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.


Got A Health Care Puzzle? There Should Be An App!

Mar 4, 2013
Originally published on March 4, 2013 5:41 pm

Kansas City, Mo., is looking to boost its health-tech cred.

So the city that's home to Cerner Corp. and other health information firms seemed a natural to host something called the Hackovate Health Innovation Competition.

A mashup of innovation and old-school hacking (though none of the participants was bent on doing harm, we're assured), the goal of the competition was to improve the nation's health system and help people navigate the complexities of the Affordable Care Act.

Oh, there was a catch. They had to pull off these health care feats with an app.

The top prize: $15,000.

Ten finalists made their case before a panel of five judges last week. The apps were varied. Some focused on improving personal health; others served as navigators of the federal health law; and a few made health care costs easier to find.

Liam Ryan, a 23-year-old from Dublin, Ireland, earned a runner-up prize with a program he describes as "Foursquare for health." A user comes up with a team, perhaps of friends and family, and then competes against them on healthful behaviors. Messages pop up on the team members' phones when someone has earned points.

"The idea is my friend went for a walk at home, got some points without me. All of a sudden I want to beat him back," Ryan told judges, adding that he sees employers, with their growing concerns over health care costs, taking interest in a program like his.

There were lots of apps that aimed to help navigate the Byzantine world of health care prices. What if you knew the price of that cavity before getting it filled?

That's where finalist Toure McCluskey, from Seattle, comes in. "Today online, you can book and plan your dream vacation, you can research your home, you can buy a car. You can even get a Ph.D. But you can't find out the price of your next dental exam," McCluskey said.

McCluskey's app locates medical services that often aren't covered by someone's insurance, such as dental or eye exams. The service allows users to compare options in an area based on price and a doctor's credentials. In Chicago, one city where the app is live, McCluskey found prices ranging from $60 to $460 for an optometrist visit.

Scott Speranza was second runner-up with an app that audits medical bills. People scan bills into their phones, then the app searches for errors and savings.

The grand prize went to eLuminate Health. The company's program focuses on outpatient surgeries and tests, such as mammograms or MRIs, where prices can vary by thousands of dollars.

Someone with traditional insurance coverage may not know — or care — whether a procedure costs $500 or $5,000. But the rise of high-deductible health plans means people may pay anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000, or more, before insurance starts footing the bill. "You're thrust out into this system where you have no idea — you can't do any type of shopping," said eLuminate's Peter Yates.

One day, Yates would like to see providers set and publicize their prices. "Just like a mechanic sets the price on an oil change," he says. People who need a mammogram could then compare their options based on price and quality much as they now shop for plane tickets on a site like Expedia.

Yates says the idea, which will be piloted in Kansas City this summer, has sparked the interest of medical groups that typically have less pricing leverage than large hospital systems. And while taking part may not appear to be in the interests of large providers that do well now, Yates thinks that could change.

"We really want to flip that around to more of a normal commercial model of 'this is the thing I'm selling, here's how much it costs,' " Yates tells Shots. "We want to make health care like almost any other consumer good that people buy today."

The competition was co-sponsored by Think Big Partners, a business incubator, and tax giant H&R Block, both based in Kansas City.

Longtime Kansas City business leader Ned Holland, now an assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was one of the featured guests. "This was all impressive work," he said.

This story was produced as part of a partnership between NPR, KCUR and Kaiser Health News.

Copyright 2014 KCUR-FM. To see more, visit