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.

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Gun-Control Battle Spills Over To Super Bowl Ads

Feb 3, 2013

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is airing a 30-second spot in the Washington, D.C., area calling for background checks on all gun sales.

The ad, which will air during the third-quarter break of the Super Bowl, shows video footage of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre supporting background checks in May 1999, a month after the mass shooting at Columbine High School.

"We think it's reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show," LaPierre can be seen saying. "No loopholes anywhere for anyone."

LaPierre responded to the ad on Fox News Sunday, saying he was not endorsing universal background checks but instead indicating his support for "a check at gun shows."

Last week, while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, LaPierre described universal background checks as "an unworkable universal federal nightmare bureaucracy."

President Obama has called for universal background checks as part of his plan to stop gun violence in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings last December.

LaPierre reiterated his opposition to those checks on Fox News Sunday, telling host Chris Wallace:

"It's a fraud to call it universal. It's never going to be universal. The criminals aren't going to comply with it. They could care less. We ought to quit calling it right now a universal check. The real title ought to be 'the check on law abiding people all over this country.'"

The battle over gun control comes amid several high-profile shootings, including the killings in Newtown, Conn. Gun-control advocates want a restriction on the ownership of certain firearms such as military-style assault rifles. But the NRA opposes most gun-control efforts.

Mark Kelly, whose wife, former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was seriously injured in a mass shooting two years ago, testified on Capitol Hill last week, saying he and his wife are "pro-gun ownership" but "anti-gun violence."

Kelly told Rachel Martin, host of Weekend Edition Sunday, that he believes he and LaPierre can find common ground.

"I shook [LaPierre's] hand. I got to talk to him briefly," Kelly said. " I hope to have another conversation with him in the future and I'm hopeful that we get some real gun violence legislation passed to protect Americans, including kids in their classrooms."

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