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

How To Sneak Into A Chinese Village When Police Don't Want You There

Mar 6, 2013
Originally published on March 6, 2013 12:41 pm

On occasion my job requires me to sneak into a Chinese village as I did earlier this week to report a story on a rural uprising. This does not come naturally. I'm 6-foot-2 with gray hair and blue eyes and don't look remotely like a Chinese farmer.

The village in question is called Shangpu. It's in south China, and farmers there have barricaded their community and are demanding free elections. They say their own village chief ordered thugs to attack them after they opposed a scheme to sell off their land for a factory.

Police had set up a roadblock outside the entrance to the village with two SUVs and safety tape. They had also positioned a fire engine to block another approach.

So, how to get in and get the story?

I approached the roadblock by taxi, slumped down in the back seat and pulled my Philadelphia Eagles cap over my eyes. Just before we reached the roadblock, we turned and drove through a field until we could see the fire truck.

A farmer from a neighboring village did some reconnaissance in Shangpu and told me it was safe to enter — in other words, no thugs. He said two men in the fire truck were playing on their cellphones and might not notice if I strolled past.

I took the more conservative route — through a cabbage field.

I walked swiftly along irrigation canals, smiling as I passed curious farmers who were hoeing and pouring water on their crops by hand. When I reached an embankment, I grabbed hold of some weeds and hauled myself over.

I continued through more fields, past scarecrows made from pinstripe shirts, hugging a conveniently placed grove of banana trees that provided excellent cover.

A quick jaunt across a highway, and I was suddenly in Shangpu, which was under the residents' control. A road along the edge of the village was littered with more than two-dozen smashed and burned vehicles. Villagers proudly told me they had belonged to the thugs, whom the villagers had chased out of town with bamboo poles.

After two hours of interviews, the sun had set and it was time to go. Worried that I might bump into thugs on the way out, the farmers arranged for a motorcycle escort through a maze of back roads.

In fact, the escape route was so obscure, my escorts became hopelessly lost. After 30 minutes roaming in the dark, they finally stopped at a police station to ask for directions that would lead me to an expressway and my flight home.

(NPR's Frank Langfitt is based in Shanghai.)

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