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.


Inaugural Balls Celebrate Obama's 2nd Term

Jan 22, 2013
Originally published on January 22, 2013 10:06 am



Alright, an inauguration is never complete without a night of inaugural balls. Both official events were held at the Washington Convention Center.

NPR's Allison Aubrey went to check out the scene and meet the guests who were there. Turns out, when you get a ticket to a ball with the president of the United States, you just get to Washington. Who needs a hotel?

ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: When Danielle Cantor and her friends snagged tickets to the inaugural ball, a few weeks back, they immediately started planning. One would fly in from Chicago, another from Idaho, and they'd all crash on a mattress at her place here in D.C. After months of working long hours as campaign staffers, they were excited to slip on gowns, pop open some bubbly and celebrate.


AUBREY: By 6 P.M. last night, they found themselves in a long line that wrapped around Washington's Convention Center, just waiting and waiting to get in.

DANIELLE CANTOR: Yeah, I'm obviously cold. I'm freezing.

AUBREY: Once inside, the crowd warmed up quickly when performer Alicia Keys started to sing a version of "Girl on Fire." It became Obama is on fire.


ALICIA KEYS: (Singing) Obama is on fire...

AUBREY: By this point the house was packed, it was shoulder-to-shoulder, and the crowd at the bar paid nine bucks for a glass of bubbly. A beer was $6.

On stage, country music star Brad Paisley talked to the crowd in between songs.

BRAD PAISLEY: Our democracy is the envy of the world and tonight we celebrate my getting drunk in a huge convention center.


AUBREY: By 9 P.M., the Obamas had not yet arrived. But it was, of course, the moment everyone was waiting for. So what did it feel like? Well, there were no waiters in gloves passing canapés. There were just some munchies scattered about. And this certainly was not 1789, when President George Washington was said to have danced the minuet at two cotillions.

In fact, it was hard to spot any dancing at all. In the crowd though, we did spot celebrity performer, who'd been taking it all in.

WILL.I.AM: Yeah, it's a different age. This age, we live in a hyper social experience...

AUBREY: Lots of the ball-goers were busy snapping photos of themselves and their friends to post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

WILL.I.AM: Capturing moments so we can share that moment. You know, so this after all is over here.

AUBREY: The band Fun did its part to amp up the celebratory spirit.


FUN: (Singing) We are young. Going to set the world on fire...

AUBREY: When the president and first lady did arrive, their first stop was at the Commander-In-Chiefs Ball, held for men and women in uniform. Even troops in Afghanistan were connected to the ball via video link. And the president addressed all of them.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thank you for volunteering. Thank you for stepping up. Thank you for keeping us strong. Thank you for always making us proud.

AUBREY: The Obamas then made their way across the convention center to the other official inaugural ball. When they hit the dance floor - the president in his tux and the first lady in a bold, ruby red gown - they danced as Jennifer Hudson performed.


JENNIFER HUDSON: (Singing) I'm, I'm so in love with you...

AUBREY: And Danielle Cantor was thrilled.

CANTOR: Because I've been working really hard for a long time, it's just amazing to be here in person and see it, and just like feel the moment. And...

AUBREY: But the moment never lasts long, the Obamas departed and their motorcade arrived back at the South Lawn of the White House just a little after 10 P.M.

Allison Aubrey, NPR News.


HUDSON: (Singing) I want to spend my life with you. Now let me say now, since, baby, since we've been together, oh, loving you...

GREENE: This is NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.