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.


Jimmie Johnson Wins Daytona 500 For 2nd Time

Feb 25, 2013
Originally published on February 25, 2013 2:10 pm



Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 yesterday, only his second career victory. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: It was his second win at Daytona.] And he made it past Danica Patrick, the first woman to ever win the pole position with the fastest qualifying time. She finished eighth. NPR's Mike Pesca was at the race.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Though the Daytona 500 is called the Super Bowl of racing, there are a few differences. For instance, the Daytona 500 marks the start of the NASCAR, season not the end. And during the football Super Bowl, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco told teamates he'd come off the sidelines and tackle an opponent who broke a big run on the last play.

But no member of Jimmie Johnson's crew was contemplating tackling a Chevy going 200 miles per hour on Daytona's final lap. No. Here's what the Johnson's crew was saying as their man led in the 497th mile.

EARL BARBAN: One back to the 16, one back to the 10. The 88 is about half a groove higer than them two. Just keep using them mirrors.

PESCA: Johnson drove impressively when it counted, and competently at the end. It was enough, in a race that saw Danica Patrick cede the lead before a lap was out, but for a time take it back, to her gratification.

DANICA PATRICK: Honestly, when I say I wanted to lead at some point, it was just because I was disappointed that I didn't do it off bat like I though I should have.

PESCA: Thirty-one laps in, Kyle Busch nudged Kasey Kahne, who swerved and triggered a nine-car crash.


PESCA: As the crew of Jamie MccMurray, who you're hearing here, worked franticly to replace the fenders and side panels of the number one car, the rest of the racers rode on. Riding rim, as they say, which means a single file line hugging the top of the speedway. Time was, cars would flock to the lowest line in the track here, but the drivers now feel that these cars operate better on the highest portions of this track.

One by one, at top speed, sounds like this...


PESCA: So who would make a move? It had to happen. A line of cars drafting off each other necessarily means no lead changes. Though there was drama. For instance, with 24 laps to go, Jeff Burton made the acquaintance of the wall on the front stretch.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If you want to bring it straight, the guys will meet you right there.

JEFF BURTON: Yeah. I'm going to have to. Man, it did hit really hard. It hit really hard.

PESCA: The race was seven-eighths over and still no one was veering off the upper rim. The announcers on the Motor Racing Network were getting antsy.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: They've been cautious. They have been patient for the most part. But patience has got to start wearing thin here shortly.

PESCA: Finally, one driver broke from the pack.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The bottom of the lane is open. Here comes Jimmie Johnson. He's got the lead out of turn two.

RUSTY WALLACE: The freight train is rollin' on the bottom side of the racetrack and up front the engine is Jimmie Johnson.

PESCA: Two by two racing, Jimmie Johnson gunning at Brad Keselowski, claiming the lead, holding it through a wreck on lap 199. Johnson was now a two-time Daytona winner. After the race he reflected.

JIMMIE JOHNSON: I was an interesting race, learned a lot through the course of the race.

PESCA: Johnson's lesson, he said, was a practical one about his 48 car on this track and an intangible one about his crew's perseverance. Unspoken was the revelation about Danica Patrick, who lived up to the hype as the first woman ever with a top 10 Daytona finish, thus establishing herself as a very real threat for the future. Mike Pesca, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.