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.


Obama's Record On Political Money One Of Ambivalence

Feb 12, 2013
Originally published on February 25, 2013 1:19 pm



Something that President Obama is not likely to dwell on tonight is the feeble state of campaign finance laws. It was three years ago that he used the State of the Union to challenge the Supreme Court on its Citizens United decision, which encouraged more corporate money in politics. This year, though, he has his own tax-exempt social welfare group backed with corporate contributions to help advance his agenda. NPR's Peter Overby reports.

PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: In 2010, President Obama gazed down at the justices and said that with all due deference...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.


OVERBY: The Citizens United decision set the stage for big budget ad campaigns by superPACs and 501(c)(4) social welfare groups. Obama and the Democrats attacked these outside spenders throughout the 2010 elections. But in February 2012, Obama flip-flopped on superPACs.

OBAMA: What I've said consistently is we're not going to just unilaterally disarm.

OVERBY: That's from an interview with WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina. Obama dispatched campaign aides and Cabinet members to raise money for a pro-Obama superPAC. On the campaign trail, he attacked one conservative 501(c)(4) by name: Americans for Prosperity. Now that he's launched the 501(c)(4) group Organizing for Action, AFP is mocking him in a Web ad.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: President Obama has a new tax-free nonprofit group. It's being funded by big corporate donors.

OVERBY: AFP President Tim Phillips says it's just a little payback.

TIM PHILLIPS: He questioned the motives and the way we're put together in a pretty personal way.

OVERBY: And it's not just conservatives who are casting a jaundiced eye toward Obama's record on money and politics. Josh Silver is director of Represent.Us, a group dedicated to cleaning up Washington through a nonpartisan and grassroots campaign.

JOSH SILVER: The reality with President Obama is his rhetoric has never matched his actions.

OVERBY: Take public financing, a linchpin of the post-Watergate campaign laws. Here's Senator Obama in 2006.

OBAMA: Well, I strongly support public financing, and I know Dick does too. He's going to...

OVERBY: And presidential candidate Obama in the 2008 campaign.

OBAMA: We've made the decision not to participate in the public financing system for the general election.

OVERBY: It was a triumph for pragmatism. Obama obliterated old fundraising records with three-quarters of a billion dollars for the 2008 election and more than 1.1 billion for 2012. Meanwhile, the Federal Election Commission is gridlocked and Obama has tried just once to replace any of its lame duck commissioners.

Another example, this year's Inaugural Committee raised corporate money, something it refused to do four years ago. It's also moving more slowly this time around to reveal information about the donors. And there are questions about Organizing for Action. It's blazing a new trail as a privately financed group promoting the president's agenda. Former White House political adviser David Plouffe was interviewed last month on ABC's "This Week."


DAVID PLOUFFE: There has to be an inside game, there also has to be an outside game. It's not either or.

OVERBY: Fred Wertheimer isn't buying it. He has lobbied for campaign finance reform since the Watergate era.

FRED WERTHEIMER: Nixon did an awful lot of stuff. But as far as I know, President Nixon never did something like this nor did anyone else.

OVERBY: OFA leaders say that unlike other 501(c)(4)s, they'll make full and regular disclosures of who gave and how much. They also say they won't get into partisan politics in any way. Still, ostensibly nonpartisan 501(c)(4)s routinely pound hostile lawmakers with so-called issue ads. Obama himself was hit with more than a million dollars worth in the 2012 race. Right now, it's hard to say just how OFA will handle next year's mid-term elections. Again, Fred Wertheimer.

WERTHEIMER: In the world of campaign finance and government integrity, I don't judge people by what they say they're going to do. I think they need to be judged by what they do.

OVERBY: Wertheimer says he and his lawyers are exploring the legality of Organizing for Action. Peter Overby, NPR News, Washington.



You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.