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.

Pages

History Joins The 49ers In Opposing Ray Lewis

Jan 30, 2013
Originally published on January 31, 2013 9:09 am

When Secretariat won what was certified to be his last race, I went down onto the track at Woodbine, and gauging where he had crossed the finish line, snatched up the last grass that perhaps the greatest thoroughbred ever had laid hooves to in his career.

Pretty sappy, I'll admit, but then it's quite a memento if only because it really is rare in sport for someone to declare that this will be the finale — the last dance — and then indeed go out a winner. Most famously, perhaps, was Ted Williams, who hit a home run in his final at bat. But as dramatic as that was, it was a meaningless game before a sparse crowd.

Perhaps the most impressive declared last game was performed by one of the least sentimental athletes, the acerbic Dutchman Norm Van Brocklin, who quarterbacked the Philadelphia Eagles to their last NFL championship in 1960.

This is, of course, what Ray Lewis, the Ravens' superb linebacker, is seeking to do with the Super Bowl. Lewis' valedictory has received exceptional attention because, like Van Brocklin, he is a controversial — even notorious — character. At least Lewis suffers the media better. When, late in his life, Van Brocklin endured brain surgery, he revealed to the press: "I got a new brain, but I demanded a sportswriter's brain because I wanted one that had never been used before."

But sending Ray Lewis off into the sunset with violins playing requires a bit of soft-soaping. He is not, shall we say, quite the exemplary family man, having sired six children with a variety of women. He was indicted for murder in 2000, turned state's evidence and pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. And, of course, he can be a brutal player — witness the monstrous illegal hit he pummeled the Patriots' Aaron Hernandez with in the AFC championship.

But then, Lewis is demonstrably extraordinary at what he does, playing tackle football. He's also an inspirational leader, he's created a delightful so-called "squirrel dance" and, above all, he is active in charities, claiming salvation from his wayward past. However, if only most everybody loves Ray, absolutely everybody loves redemption. It's odds on that CBS will cut to him as he sings along with The Star-Spangled Banner before the game.

And oh my, should the Ravens win, CBS will make sure that no less than a phalanx of angels lift Ray Lewis up from his farewell squirrel dance. To Disneyland? No. In Super Bowl hype, only heaven awaits.

In contrast, my favorite pre-ordained departure from sport was so wonderfully subdued. After Rulon Gardner, the wrestling champion, won the bronze medal match at the 2004 Olympics, he leaned down, untied his shoes and left them there on the mat as he walked away, forever from his sport, victorious. Ave atque vale. Hail and farewell.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Of all the plots and subplots that enrich this Sunday's Super Bowl, the tale of Ray Lewis may be the sharpest. The great Baltimore linebacker is retiring and has a chance to go out as a Super Bowl champion, if his Ravens beat San Francisco.

Commentator Frank Deford says it's a wonderful story, just not the whole story.

FRANK DEFORD, BYLINE: When Secretariat won what was certified to be his last race, I went down onto the track at Woodbine, and gauging where he had crossed the finished line, I snatched up the last grass that perhaps the greatest thoroughbred had ever laid hooves to in his career.

Pretty sappy, I'll admit. But then it's quite a memento if only because it really is rare in sport, for someone to declare that this will be the finale, the last dance and then, indeed, go out a winner.

Most famously, perhaps, was that Ted Williams, who hit a home run in his final at bat. But as dramatic as that was, it was a meaningless game before a sparse crowd. Perhaps the most impressive declared last game was performed by one of the least sentimental athletes, the acerbic Dutchman, Norm Van Brocklin who quarterbacked the Philadelphia Eagles to their last NFL championship in 1960.

This is, of course, what Ray Lewis, the Ravens' superb linebacker, is seeking to do with the Super Bowl. Lewis' valedictory has received exceptional attention because, like Van Brocklin, he is a controversial, even notorious character. At least Lewis suffers the media better. When, late in his life, Van Brocklin endured brain surgery, he revealed to the press: I got a new brain but I demanded a sportswriter's brain, because I wanted one that had never been used before.

But sending Ray Lewis off into the sunset with violins playing requires a bit of soft-soaping. He is not, shall we say, quite the exemplary family man, having sired six children with a variety of women. He was indicted for murder in the year 2000, turned state's evidence and pled guilty to obstruction of justice. And, of course, he can be a brutal player.

But then, Lewis is demonstrably extraordinary at what he does, playing tackle football. He's also an inspirational leader. He's created a delightful so-called squirrel dance. And, above all, he is active in charities, claiming salvation from his wayward past. However, if only most everybody loves Ray, absolutely everybody loves redemption. It's odds-on that CBS will cut to him as he sings along with the "Star-Spangled Banner," before the game.

And, oh my, should the Ravens win, CBS will make sure that no less than a phalanx of angels lift Ray Lewis up from his farewell squirrel dance. To Disneyland? No. In Super Bowl hype, only heaven awaits.

In contrast, my favorite pre-ordained departure from sport was so wonderfully subdued. After Rulon Gardner, the wrestling champion, won the Bronze Medal match at the 2004 Olympics, he leaned down, untied his shoes and left them there on the mat as he walked away, forever, from his sport, victorious.

Ave atque vale. Hail and farewell.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Sports commentator and Latin linguist Frank Deford, who joins us each Wednesday.

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.