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.


South Park Duo Creates Production Studio

Jan 15, 2013
Originally published on January 15, 2013 6:44 am



And in other news, the creators of "South Park" and "The Book of Mormon" have announced they are forming their own production studio. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Having success in TV, movies and Broadway, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are now branching out with their own, $300 million production company. They've named it Important Studios, and it's poised to approve TV movie and theater projects. It will give the moguls creative and financial control over what they do.

In a news release, the partners quipped that having worked with several different studios, quote, "we came to realize our favorite people in the world are ourselves."


PRIMUS: (Singing) I'm goin' down to South, I'm gonna have myself a time...

DEL BARCO: The duo created the racy, satirical, animated TV show and movie "South Park," which is now in its 16th season on Comedy Central. Stone and Parker have already cut a sweetheart deal with the cable network, that gave them half of all revenue not related to television; giving digital rights to "South Park" movies, soundtracks and merchandise, even video games.


TREY PARKER: (as Stan) Oh, my God, they killed Kenny!

DEL BARCO: "South Park" was one of the first TV shows to be streamed online, and its huge revenues from millions of fans will reportedly help finance Important Studios. So will backers from the Hollywood investment bank The Raine Group; also, profits from the hit Broadway musical Parker and Stone created in 2011, about wide-eyed Mormon missionaries sent to a remote village in Uganda.


ANDREW RANNELLS: (as Elder Price) (Singing) I believe that God has a plan for all of us. I believe that plan involves me getting my own planet, and I believe...

DEL BARCO: "The Book of Mormon" has grossed more than $200 million. It won nine Tony awards in 2011, and productions are still on tour. The movie version is expected to be one of the first projects for Important Studios.


CAST MEMBERS: (Singing in union) Hello.


DEL BARCO: Mandalit del Barco, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.