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.


Senate Committee Passes First Of 4 Gun Control Bills

Mar 8, 2013
Originally published on March 8, 2013 11:50 am



Now, the Senate Judiciary Committee here in Washington has approved a new gun control bill. It strengthens penalties for those who buy weapons for people who are legally barred from purchasing firearms themselves. This is the first federal gun law to head to the Senate floor since the Newtown massacre. We should say proposed federal gun law. And as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, it's just the beginning of what looks to be a long legislative fight.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: It was as if the senators were using the committee room as rehearsal space for the larger floor debates to come. The committee started the day with four bills to look at. And when the proposal to ban assault weapons came up, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham jumped in to stick up for the AR-15 rifle. Imagine a scenario, Graham said, like a cyber attack or a hurricane, where the power goes out, and law and order break down. An AR-15 could be helpful.

REPRESENTATIVE LINDSEY GRAHAM: I have an AR-15. I'm not going to do anything illegally with it, but I believe that it is a better defense weapon in that environment than a double-barrel shotgun, because it has more than two bullets. It's an intimidating-looking weapon.

CHANG: The AR-15 is the military-style weapon police say was used in the Newtown shootings. And now, both sides of the debate are using the December tragedy as a way to get their messages across. Like Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal. He says the capacity of shooter Adam Lanza's ammunition magazine actually saved some lives that morning.

REPRESENTATIVE RICHARD BLUMENTHAL: More than 10 children are alive today because of his need to change magazines, and more would be if his magazine had been limited to 10 rounds, as our legislation would do.

CHANG: Minutes before Blumenthal made that point, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa had whipped out a letter to read - from a father whose child was killed during the Newtown shootings. A man named Mark Mattioli, who doesn't want a ban on assault weapons.

REPRESENTATIVE CHUCK GRASSLEY: He continues to say you will not increase my safety, only obstruct me from protecting myself from criminals who may possess one of the existing guns out there.

CHANG: So while the two sides ping-ponged back and forth, trying to bring in the real world to a legislative debate, some of the real world sat in the chairs watching the show, marveling at how slowly, how incrementally, things seemed to move.

LAUREN SONNENMARK: It does feel somewhat like they are - keep bringing up these amendments to postpone it. So I'm disappointed that we didn't get more accomplished today.

CHANG: Lauren Sonnenmark's life was touched by gun violence in 1982, when a mentally ill man in Miami gunned down a family friend at work. Seven other people were killed, too. Sonnenmark remembers the day her father arrived at her house to break the news to her.

SONNENMARK: You know, the thing that really struck me, my dad was a really tough guy. He joined the Navy at 15, he was a veteran of World War II, and that was the only time I'd ever seen him cry.

CHANG: People in the crowd like Sonnenmark, with stories to share, or connections to those with stories to share, trickled out after the Committee session. They were told later, it would be another week before the members would take up the next three gun bills. Ailsa Chang, NPR News, the Capitol. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.