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.


Major League Soccer Finally On Solid Footing, But Hasn't Reached Big Time

Mar 1, 2013
Originally published on March 1, 2013 8:01 pm



The Major League Soccer season starts tomorrow. Superstar David Beckham is gone and there aren't any new teams to get excited about this year. But the MLS is on solid footing, and as NPR's Mike Pesca reports, the league has big ambitions.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Having just turned 18 years old, Major League Soccer is now in its own demographic. Young people are drawn to the league. It's very popular among Hispanics and lots of women watch, too. The fan experience in the league's 19 stadiums, 14 of which are soccer-specific, is a fun mix of sounds, scarves and songs. League commissioner Don Garber has reason to brag about what is now the most successful professional soccer league in U.S. history.

DON GARBER: Great start. Last season we attracted over 6 million fans, averaging close to 19,000 fans a game. To put that in perspective, Major League Soccer's now the seventh-highest-attended professional soccer league in the entire world.

PESCA: Garber talked up his game during a Google hangout, the coolest part of which was that it was a Google hangout. The MLS does well financially, but it isn't the freight train of profitability of, say, the NFL or baseball. The MLS has expanded, but it still has a third fewer teams than the other major North American sports leagues.

The MLS is stable, fan-friendly and earning international respect. Commissioner Garber wants more.

GARBER: By 2022, we want to be one of the top soccer leagues in the world.

PESCA: To get there, the MLS will have to address some of its underlying issues, like relatively poor TV ratings and relatively low salaries. Take Eddie Johnson, who has a joyous attitude about playing for the Seattle Sounders.

EDDIE JOHNSON: I think we average about 44, 45,000 fans a game. It is a blessing to be there and be in such a city where soccer is really big. You know, when we go out, we get recognized like guys on the Seahawks.

PESCA: But Johnson is paid only $100,000 a year. Though his career has been turbulent, last season in Seattle he made the MLS all-star team. If his play continues on this upswing, there's a question as to whether Seattle can pay him fair-market value. The salary cap keeps an MLS team's entire payroll under $3 million but for one superstar exception. There are well over 100 soccer teams in the world with higher payrolls than the average MLS team.

Higher salaries will necessarily attract better players, but the low salaries do have their benefits. Take the second Los Angeles team, Chivas. On game day, goalkeeper Dan Kennedy can be heard barking commands to his teammates.

DAN KENNEDY: (Speaking foreign language).

PESCA: You don't have to be an expert on accents to get that Kennedy is a Californian of Irish ancestry who speaks enough Spanish to get by. But he is one of the handful of goats - Chivas is Spanish for goats - who are not foreign-born or Latino. Chivas USA is meant to appeal primarily to the Spanish market, a niche play that you don't see in other sports leagues. Such a strategy is a sign of the evolution of the MLS. Dan Kennedy points to the next goal for a league which seems to have gotten the in-game experience right.

KENNEDY: To take that next step, we need to have the viewers have that same special feeling when they're at home on their couch watching these games.

PESCA: Last year's finals drew fewer viewers than the year before. The sport knows full well that it could call itself Major League Soccer, but until it's pulling in heaps of TV viewers, it won't be big-time. Mike Pesca, NPR News.



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