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.


'Lore': After Hitler, An Awakening For The Reich's Children

Feb 7, 2013

It took years for our fictions to consider the Holocaust narrative. And for an even longer time, a stunned silence hovered over the fate of "Hitler's children" — ordinary Germans during and after World War II. That embargo, too, is lifting, with a significant trickle of novels, movies and television dramas that imagine what it felt like to be the inheritors of the worst that humans can do to other humans.

Lore, a new film by writer-director Cate Shortland (Somersault), is based on The Dark Room, a novel by Rachel Seiffert about the dilemmas faced by children of Nazis or Nazi collaborators. But Seiffert, who lives in England, drew sympathetically on her German grandmother's experiences in the immediate aftermath of World War II; Shortland, who's Australian, directs a less forgiving gaze on the eponymous teenage girl trying to steer her four younger siblings through a ravaged Germany in 1945.

Abruptly separated from her Nazi parents when they are imprisoned after the German surrender, Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) gathers up her sister, her twin brothers and the family's new baby. Armed with little more than a fistful of her mother's jewelry, Lore struggles to make her way through a countryside in free fall, arbitrarily carved up into three zones by the Americans, the Russians and the British.

The landscape they travel is lush and green — and littered with flyblown corpses, gutted ruins and temporary shelters overwhelmed by displaced refugees scrabbling for food, clothing and somewhere to sleep. Like Lore, they have little left to cling to but tattered illusions and their desperate efforts to explain away the damning photographs of emaciated Jewish bodies posted in plain sight by the Americans.

Trying to shore up her belief in "the final victory" promised by her adored father (Hans-Jochen Wagner) and the Fuhrer himself, Lore encounters a bewildering mix of hostility, indifference and grudging kindness from her fellow casualties. Brutal barter is the order of the day, and when Thomas (Kai Malina) — an enigmatic young stranger carrying the papers of a Jew from the Buchenwald concentration camp — attaches himself to the bedraggled family, Lore finds herself caught between the reflexive anti-Semitism in which she's been schooled and the need for a protector to help ferry her siblings to safety at their grandmother's house in Hamburg. A twisted bond grows between Lore and Thomas, at once fragile and infused with a warped sexuality that's not in the original novel, compromised from one minute to the next by the possibility of abandonment or betrayal.

Shortland's camera creates a world that's shockingly fractured, shot at weird angles and pocked with truncated body parts, heads hanging upside down and undefined realities filled with quiet dread. Never mind that we already know what Lore can't permit herself to discover: We see what she sees, and begin to comprehend as she does when no further denial is possible.

Trying to make sense of this chaotic universe, Lore is filled with despair, not least at the small atrocities that she and Thomas are forced by their circumstances to commit. She knows; she doesn't know; and it's not until she and her depleted family reach the seeming haven of her grandmother's home that Lore gives vent to pent-up rage. Only now her anger is directed at its deserving source — the fallen idols she must now acknowledge as criminals.

Unlike Seiffert's novel, Shortland's film ends in a minor orgy of destruction visited upon a sentimental symbol of Lore's shattered harmony. The climax Shortland offers us is much harder to take than Seiffert's gentler vision, yet far more evocative of the bitter price paid by the children of the Third Reich for the sins of their parents.

One longs to know what becomes of Lore and her unenviable cohort. Here's some Monday-morning quarterbacking: Project Seiffert's Lore into her country's political future, and she's the equivocal voice of German social democracy — cautious, placatory, inclined to see all sides of the question. Pay Shortland's Lore forward, and she's running the Baader-Meinhof gang. (Recommended)

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