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.


Storm Buries Kansas, Missouri As It Heads East

Feb 22, 2013
Originally published on February 22, 2013 11:39 am

The biggest winter storm this season is causing delays and cancellations, and has brought traffic to a near-standstill in the Plains and Midwest, but it's providing much-needed relief for drought-stricken farmers.

According to Weather Underground Chief Meteorologist Jeff Masters, Wichita has its fifth biggest snowfall on record.

Winter Storm Q has dumped up to 17 inches of windswept snow in parts of Kansas and Missouri and is expected to extend its reach well into the Midwest on Friday.

Sharon Watson, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, says major highways have been reopened, but police are still checking for any drivers who might be in trouble.

Teams from the Kansas National Guard are also patrolling state highways.

Frank Morris of member station KCUR reports from Kansas City, Mo., that the storm has "triggered dozens and dozens of accidents in Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri, and shut down a 200-mile stretch of I-70."

In parts of Kansas City, stuck cars, trucks and buses rendered the streets impassible even to snowplows, Morris says.

Seth Jones, driving an orange dump truck with a huge blade out from, had to step down to push cars by hand because he couldn't get through.

"The bus is in the way and cars [are] in the way," he told Morris.

Jimmy Jackson had been trying for two hours to get into work, only to find it closed once he finally made it.

"So, I'm on my way back to the house now," he said.

The Associated Press reports:

Northern Oklahoma saw more than 13 inches, while Missouri's biggest snow total was 10 inches, shared by the Kansas City metropolitan area. But in Kansas, 17 inches of snow fell in Hays and nearly the same amounts in a handful of other cities. Farther east in Topeka, 3 inches of snow fell in only 30 minutes ...

But the Weather Underground's Masters says the storm will "put a noticeable dent in the Great Drought of 2012-2013 over the Midwest."

According to Masters:

A second storm due to move through the region on Monday will provide a bit of additional help. The twin storms promise to drop more than an inch of rain (or liquid equivalent rain, for regions like Kansas and Nebraska getting heavy snow). Many areas of the drought region should enjoy their wettest day in months on Thursday.

"I think the value of the precipitation [the storm] is dumping is probably in the billions of dollars," Masters tells NPR.

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