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.


Here's To The Pleasures Of 'Drinking With Men'

Jan 23, 2013

"More than anywhere else," writes Rosie Schaap, "bars are where I've figured out how to relate to others and how to be myself." It's the same for a lot of us, though many won't admit it. Americans tend to have a weirdly puritanical view of drinking, and a lot of people see bars as nothing more than havens for lowlifes and alcoholics. But as Schaap points out in her new memoir, they're missing out. "You can drink at home. But a good bar? ... It's more like a community center, for people — men and women — who happen to drink."

The search for the perfect bar can be daunting; for every friendly neighborhood pub, there's a dozen sketchy nightclubs and meat markets. But it usually pays off in the long run. In Drinking with Men, Schaap, who writes The New York Times Magazine's Drink column, chronicles the taverns she has called her own and the friends she has met along the way. It's a wonderfully funny and openhearted book from a generous, charismatic writer.

Schaap estimates she has spent "thirteen-thousand hours" in drinking establishments, starting with the train bar car she regularly sneaked into as a teenager, reading patrons' Tarot cards in exchange for the occasional beer. Later, as an exchange student in Ireland, she found a friendly pub with a clientele made up almost exclusively of writers. Along the way, she discovered the rules of tavern etiquette: always be polite to the bartender, don't expect "buybacks" (free drinks) and tip well (never less than a dollar). And above all, add something. "If you contribute to the culture of the bar in some way, the bar will want to keep you around," Schaap writes.

It's easy to imagine what Schaap contributes to her favorite bars: She's a born storyteller. The best parts of Drinking with Men are remarkable in their easy charm. Schaap is also a refreshingly honest writer and often extremely funny, even when she chronicles her darkest moments. At one point, she describes the effects of an ill-advised combination of cold medicine and Jameson whiskey: "I heard a voice speaking softly. 'Don't. Lie. Down,' it said calmly but gravely. ... I turned to see who was speaking to me, and there, by my bedside, was a small fuzzy lamb with the face of William Blake. Naturally, I relaxed."

The best thing about Drinking with Men, though, is how accurately it replicates the feeling of spending time at your neighborhood bar, listening to a friend tell you stories, joking around, trading opinions about music and sports and everything else. Some might think the days and nights spent in friendly watering holes are a waste of time, but those of us who have learned, laughed and made friends there would disagree. There's no substitute for the kind of community you can find in a good tavern. And no American writer can explain it better than Rosie Schaap.

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