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.


Summer Olympics To Drop Wrestling After 2016 Games

Feb 12, 2013
Originally published on February 25, 2013 1:19 pm



Finally this hour, an unexpected announcement from the world of Olympic sport. The International Olympic Committee Executive Board has decided to drop wrestling from the games beginning in 2020. It is a major blow to the sport, which is among the world's oldest. Today, wrestling is represented on every continent. NPR's Mike Pesca reports on fallout from the decision.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: The slogan of USA Wrestling is where the Olympic journey begins. The mission statement starts: USA Wrestling, guided by the Olympic spirit, well, neither the spirit nor the dream seem to be reciprocated by the Olympics themselves. Today's announcement spelled match over not just for hopeful American Olympians but for every athlete affiliated with the 180 wrestling federations throughout the world. Mike Moyer, the executive director of National Wrestling Coaches Association, says no one in the sport saw this coming.

MIKE MOYER: Never was there any discussion that free style could be on the chopping block.

PESCA: Moyer explains that within the wrestling community, there was some but not much speculation that Greco-Roman wrestling, which only allows holds above the waist, might be dropped from the Olympics. There was never an inkling that all styles of men's and women's wrestling could be dropped too. But at a closed-door meeting in Switzerland, the members of the IOC's executive board decided to eliminate the sport, which has been held at every summer games except Paris in 1900.

The 15 members of that board, none of whom are Americans, represent countries that won three bronze and one silver medals among the 72 awarded at the London Olympics. Wrestling will now be considered along with seven other sports for inclusion in the 2020 games, but that possibility is seen as remote. Robert Koll is the coach of the Cornell wrestling team. He's a former member of U.S. national teams and is the son of a member of the 1948 U.S. Olympic wrestling team.

ROBERT KOLL: It's just a crime. It's a sin that happened, and it's a sin how it happened.

PESCA: The IOC cites 39 criteria for a sport to be included in the games. It did not specify how wrestling ranked by those criteria. An IOC spokesperson explained that as compared to the other sports in the Olympics, wrestling does not sufficiently, quote, "appeal" to the interests of people of all ages around the world. It has to cater for all tastes. Koll disagrees.

KOLL: You don't walk around down the street and meet fencers or rhythmic dancers, rhythmic gymnasts or people who are on the trampoline. I mean, my God, the modern-day pentathlon, I've never met a pentathlete. Have you?

PESCA: But the modern pentathlon, thought to be the sport most likely to be cut in order to make way for new competition, has a powerful ally in Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. Samaranch, in addition to being the son of the former IOC president, is a vice president of the modern pentathlon's federation and a member of the Olympic board that voted to ax wrestling. For wrestlers like Kyle Dake, the decision is crushing. Dake, a senior at Cornell, has a chance to become only the third wrestler to win four NCAA titles. He had planned to wrestle in Rio, which can still happen, and after that in 2020 when he'll be at the peak age for a wrestler.

KYLE DAKE: To let it go would just be an abomination, really, and terrible for all the future athletes who want to become Olympic champions. It would just be terrible to lose that type of history.

PESCA: The history that Dake refers to goes as far back as Greek myth, when Palestra, daughter of Hermes and goddess of wrestling, was said to have invented the sport. The sports that could replace wrestling at the modern Olympics, include karate, sport climbing, inline roller skating, squash, wakeboard and the combat sport of wushu. Mike Pesca, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.