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.


Senate Hearing On Gun Control Turns Emotional

Feb 27, 2013

Things on Capitol Hill today turned emotional, when Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son was killed in Sandy Hook, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Throughout, Heslin held a picture of him holding his son Jesse Lewis, who was 6 at the time of rampage, during his first Christmas. Two other oversized pictures of a smiling Jesse were place on easels beside him.

Heslin's voice cracked almost from the beginning, when he said Jesse was killed about 20 minutes after he dropped him off at school.

"Jesse was the love of my life," Heslin said. "He was the only family I had left."

He added: "I'm not here for the sympathy, a pat on the back, as many people stated in the town of Newtown. I'm here to speak up for my son."

Heslin went on to say that he was a believer of the Second Amendment, but that weapons in this country needed to be better regulated. He said no one needed an assault weapon and "no person should have to go through" what he is going through.

As The Hill reports, the hearing was called to review Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-Calif.) proposed ban on assault weapons. The paper reports that things also turned heated, especially in an exchange between Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn.

The Hill reports:

"'If we're going to expand background checks, we ought to start enforcing the laws that are on the books,' Graham said.

"Flynn said he didn't know if he had referred any cases for prosecution, but took issue with Graham's line of questioning as the two men shouted over one another.

"'We make 2,000 gun cases a year, we're not paper chasers,' Flynn said. 'We don't chase paper, we chase hard criminals!'"

NBC News reports that a group from Newtown, Conn. were at the hearing today. Beforehand, they met with members of Congress, asking them to pass a assault weapons ban.

NBC adds:

"'We appreciate what you do, more and more, seeing those meetings,' Newtown resident Shelley Northrop told Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who with fellow Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal stopped to talk quietly with the group from Newtown before the hearing began. Northrop was explaining to Murphy just how difficult it all seemed to get anything done.

"'It's all tactical. Here, it's all tactical,' Murphy told her.

H"e was being more diplomatic than Republican Sen. John McCain was last week, when he told the mother of a victim of the shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater: 'I can tell you right now you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States,' McCain said."

It's still not clear whether Feinstein's bill will be voted on.

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