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.


Mexico's Larger-Than-Life Teachers Union Chief Will Remain Behind Bars

Feb 27, 2013
Originally published on February 27, 2013 6:42 pm

Elba Esther Gordillo will remain behind bars, a Mexican judge decided today.

Gordillo's arrest, yesterday, shocked the country. She is the president of Mexico's national teacher's union and considered the most powerful woman in the country, having the ability to sway both small, local elections and even presidential ones.

According the Mexican blog Animal Politico, Gordillo did not speak during her first public appearance behind bars, but a judge decided against granting her bail because her alleged crimes are "grave."

The AP has a bit more background:

"Gordillo was charged with embezzling 2 billion pesos (about $160 million) from union funds and was arrested Tuesday afternoon as she returned from San Diego for a meeting of leaders of the 1.5 million-member National Union of Education Workers she has led for nearly a quarter-century. She was heading the union's fight with President Enrique Pena Nieto's administration over the country's most sweeping educational reform in more than 70 years.

"Her arrest came a day after the president signed the reform into law.

"'This is a case that has absolutely no political motivation,' Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam told the Televisa television network."

But the AP says many Mexicans see that as unlikely. They view her arrest as a "a shot across the bow of potential foes," warning them against opposing President Enrique Peña Nieto's reforms.

Remember Peña Nieto and his party — el PRI — retook power last year. The Institutional Revolutionary Party ran Mexico for some 70 years before that modern break in power.

The BBC reports that Gordillo had just weeks earlier vowed to remain "president for life."

"My epithet will read 'Here lies a warrior, and as a warrior she died,'" Gordillo said.

Back in 2012, McClatchy ran a profile of Gordillo. They report:

"She flaunts wealth and power, and she can walk through the gates of Los Pinos, the Mexican White House, at any time. Sitting presidents fear and court her.

"Routinely ranked as the least popular of the nation's most prominent figures, friends and enemies alike know her simply as 'Elba Esther' or 'The Teacher.'

"Her opaque and strong-arm style and the personal fortune she's amassed underscore how the old Mexico of corrupt power and privilege, which reigned in the 20th century, still endures in pockets even as the nation inches toward modernity."

Animal Politico has sifted through the charges made by Mexican authorities. Among the highlights:

-- Gordillo's associates are accused of transferring $3 million to Neiman Marcus to settle a credit card under the name of "Elba Esther Gordillo Morales."

-- Another million was used to buy a property in San Diego.

-- $650,000 were paid to an art gallery.

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