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.

Pages

Second Term Another Chance For Obama, Congress To Work Together

Feb 10, 2013
Originally published on February 10, 2013 6:36 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The success of President Obama's second term agenda will rest in part on his ability to work with Congress. For more on that, Ross Baker joins us. He's a professor of political science at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He joins us from the studios there.

Thanks for being with us.

ROSS BAKER: Thanks, Rachel. Nice to be with you.

MARTIN: So, we heard Ari outline some of the themes that the president is likely to hit in his State of the Union Address. Big issues here: proposals on stricter gun control, immigration reform, a budget deal. How might the president and Congress find a way forward on these issues? I mean, some of this is obviously very controversial.

BAKER: It's very controversial and the president and Members of Congress come to it from somewhat different perspectives. The president, of course, has won his second term. He's not eligible for a third, so he can be fairly bold in what he proposes. For Members of Congress, particular Members of the House - who are up 2014 and those senators who are up in 2014 - it's a different proposition entirely. And they've got to approach it in a much more cautious way, trying to look for the traps and the snares they might encounter, embracing any of the president's very bold agenda.

MARTIN: So if the president goes bold and House Republicans in particular politically need to act more cautiously, where's the common ground? Any room for compromise on any of these issues?

BAKER: I think there is. Certainly, just getting those issues out and discussed, I think what's emerged from the discussions over the last several weeks I think has been a sense that's - let's look at, gun control. There seems to be a consensus developing around the idea of universal background checks.

On immigration, there are just a lot of different varieties, of approaches. President, of course, wants a very clear path to citizenship for the 11 million people who are here illegally. Others, particularly on the Republican side, might be inclined to go along with legalization but probably not a path to citizenship, except by imposing very, very stringent conditions on people who've been here illegally.

So, the way that these things shake out I think is going to be determined by both the president and the Members of Congress kind of looking at it and seeing what they can sell to their various constituencies.

MARTIN: President Obama is sometimes criticized for really giving only broad outlines for his policies, while leaving actual drafting of legislation to Congress. What do you make of that? As a strategy has it been effective?

BAKER: Well, I think the president is expressing a kind of confidence in the institutional vitality of Congress, by putting this responsibility on them. One of the things that impresses me so much is the fact that on the Senate side, immigration is being dealt with through the Judiciary Committee in what's known on Capitol Hill as Regular Order. That is, they're going to hold hearings. They've had witnesses already. On the subject of, let's say gun control, just try to process legislation in a more orderly fashion, rather than having it cobbled together late at night by congressional staff people.

And I think that the president really does want Congress to shoulder the burden, which they, I think, really do want to do themselves.

MARTIN: And finally, it's probably fair to say that at best, perhaps, the relationship between President Obama and some of the congressional leadership, particularly on the House side with the Speaker of the House John Boehner, that that relationship has been troubled, chilly. Do you sense a change in that in the coming year?

BAKER: Rachel, I see a very interesting change actually concerning the House Democrats, who really were out of the picture prior to this last election. Because the Democrats gained some seats and because the Republicans caucus has become so fractious, the Democrats have miraculously become relevant in the House of Representatives. And the president is increasingly interested in cultivating House Democrats. And John Boehner has needed House Democrats to get things passed that he wanted.

So I think there is certainly a big change in the relationship between the president and people of his own party in the House of Representatives.

MARTIN: Ross Baker, he's a professor of political science at Rutgers University. Thanks so much for being with us.

BAKER: Thank you, Rachel.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: And you're listening to NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.