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.

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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.


Monopoly Fans Dump Iron Token For New Cat Piece

Feb 6, 2013
Originally published on February 6, 2013 6:12 pm



On a lighter, much lighter economic note, fans of Monopoly have spoken. After a month of online voting, one of the iconic game's playing pieces is being replaced. Goodbye Iron, hello Cat, which won after polls closed at 11:59 P.M. Tuesday.

As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, the new feline will arrive on Monopoly boards by fall.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: For some, the news has been absolutely traumatizing. Walk the streets of New York City and you'll hear cries of distress over the death of the Iron.

Evan Forster hates cats.

EVAN FORSTER: OK, the truth is I'm a really OCD guy. And let me tell you what cats bring. They bring cat litters with them. And I don't mean little litters of cats. I mean pee and poop and smell and grossness. What do irons bring? Irons bring control. Irons pull it together for you. They give you creases. They give you angles.

CHANG: And they used to give you that one Monopoly piece that was always available if you picked it. Right? Kenyon Lang says when he was growing up, no one wanted the Iron because it was just so lame.

KENYON LANG: If you were racing to the end of a Monopoly board, who wins that race, the Guy on the Horse or the Iron? The Guy on the Horse wins. Everybody knows that.


CHANG: Of course, the guy on the horse has also been retired. Ah, such is the fickle, cutthroat world of the Monopoly game piece. A hundred twenty countries voted in the Save Your Token campaign on Facebook. Scottie the Dog had a huge cushion, almost one-third of the vote. At one point, the Wheelbarrow, Shoe and Iron were in a dead heat for the biggest loser ever.

As a replacement, the Cat was facing stiff competition, too - ready to swoop in as the newest game piece was the Helicopter, Guitar and Robot.

Jonathan Berkowitz is the head of gaming at Hasbro, the maker of Monopoly. And he said big organizations even got in on the voting action; 9 Lives Cat Food was gunning for the Cat. The U.S. Quilters Association fought for the Thimble.

JONATHAN BERKOWITZ: Purina started a campaign for the Scottie Dog, Zappos for the Shoe, Chevy for the Race Car.

CHANG: But no heavy hitter hopped on board for the Iron. And now it says farewell, after sitting so often idle in the Monopoly box since 1935.

Ailsa Chang, NPR News, New York.



This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.