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.


McConnell Ad Spoofs 'Obama's Kentucky Candidate'

Feb 19, 2013
Originally published on February 19, 2013 5:01 pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is out with his first ad of the 2014 election cycle. It's a three-minute, Web-only spoof that pokes fun at President Obama and an array of Democrats who might challenge McConnell, the five-term Kentucky senator.

"Obama's Kentucky Candidate" stitches together video from the president at rallies and speeches, where he calls on members of the audience, with out-of-context statements from Democrats who have been floated as potential McConnell rivals — and others who have said they will pass on challenging the top Republican in the Senate. McConnell himself does not make an appearance.

For those living outside the borders of Kentucky (and quite possibly for many of those living in the Bluegrass State) the Democrats in the video aren't what you would call household names. Ed Marksberry, who was soundly defeated in a bid to win the state's 2nd Congressional District seat in 2010, and who formally announced his challenge to McConnell in December; former Ambassador to Sweden Matthew Barzun; Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes; and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson.

The ad also features actress Ashley Judd, who has said she is mulling a run for the seat. It continues the theme of an American Crossroads superPAC ad questioning the entertainer's allegiance to Kentucky.

Both ads lean heavily on humor, but the reason for the early jump against largely undeclared candidates might be found in a recent Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll, in which twice as many Kentucky residents said they plan to vote against McConnell as to vote for him next year.

McConnell is seeking re-election to a sixth term, and will have spent three decades in the Senate when his fifth term ends in January 2015. In addition to whatever Democratic candidate eventually emerges in the race, The Hill newspaper reported Monday that McConnell could face a Tea Party-backed challenge in the Republican primary next year.

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