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.


More Women Turn To Morning-After Pill

Feb 14, 2013

The number of women who have used emergency contraceptive pills has increased dramatically in the past decade, according to the latest government data.

A study by researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics found that 11 percent of "sexually experienced" women between the ages of 15 and 44 said they had used one of the four brands of emergency contraceptive pills approved by the FDA between 2006 and 2010. In 2002, only four percent said they had.

The survey, which is the first of its kind to look specifically at use of the pills, also found that most women aren't using them as a substitute for regular birth control. Of those who reported having used emergency contraception between 2006 and 2010, 59 percent said they had used it only one, and 24 percent twice. Only 17 percent said they had used it three or more times.

Use of emergency contraception, however, varies widely by age and other demographic distinctions, according to the study, which was part of the NCHS's National Survey of Family Growth.

Users of emergency contraception were most likely to be between age 20 and 24 (23 percent), never married (19 percent) and have at least some college education.

By contrast those least likely to have used emergency contraception were older. Only five percent of those ages 30-44 reported having taken the pills. Only 6 percent of current or formerly married women reported having used the products, and only 6 percent of those with less than a high school education said they had used it.

Those who did use emergency contraception, however, were about evenly divided between in their reasons, with about half reporting a need due to failure of another contraceptive method and half due to unprotected sex.

Meanwhile, in a separate study based on the same set of data, NCHS researchers found that "virtually all women of reproductive age in 2006 to 2010 who had ever had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method at some point in their lifetime."

That number — 99.1 percent of women ages 15-44 — includes methods such as natural family planning that involves periodic abstinence and withdrawal.

But the survey also found that 87.5 percent of women who had ever had heterosexual sex used what the researchers termed a "highly effective reversible method" of contraception, including the birth control pill, contraceptive patch, injectable drug such as Depo-Provera, or an intrauterine device.

And Catholic women reported using artificial birth control in smaller numbers than women of other religions, that use was still fairly widespread. According to the study, 89 percent of Catholic women reported having used a condom with a male partner, compared to 95-97 percent of Protestant women. Similarly, about 76 percent of Catholic women said they had used the birth control pill, compared to 86 percent of Protestant women.

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