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.


Super Bowl Cheat Sheet: Key Phrases To Keep You In The Game

Feb 3, 2013
Originally published on February 3, 2013 8:22 am

Sure, you can go to a Super Bowl party and be That Guy. The one who gleefully lectures the crowd on the merits of running the inverted veer out of the pistol in order to freeze the weak-side backer.

Or you could be That Other Guy, who nervously stabs tuna rolls into a football made of wasabi, and hopes no one asks which Harbaugh is which. Maybe you're the one who confines his opinions to which anthropomorphized, animatronic spokes-animal most speaks to the consumerist desires of the market for economy cars that are surprisingly spacious yet affordable.

As the late sports journalist Howard Cosell often blurted, "But no!" Do not consign yourself to a wasteland of mumbled platitudes about red-zone efficiency. Absorb this "Cheaters' Guide" to the Super Bowl, and fake your way at least well into the third quarter, when everyone else at your party is well into their Bud Lights.

Pistol offense. The pistol is actually a formation — a way of positioning offensive players — not an offense. For starters, the quarterback in the pistol lines up about 4 yards behind center. A normal shotgun formation has the quarterback lining up 7 yards behind center, and has a running back next to him or slightly in front. In the pistol, the running back lines up behind the quarterback.

Now you're thinking, "So what?" Amazingly, this formation and the wide varieties of plays that can be run out of it have been revolutionizing football. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers ran the pistol while a collegiate at Nevada. Nevada head coach Chris Ault invented the formation, Kaepernick perfected it, and now the 49ers have brought it to the NFL. No team has solved it yet, but the Ravens may, which brings us to ...

Defensive strategy, simplified. Generally, the Ravens like to drop their safeties deep because Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard are fast and instinctive. But against the 49ers, watch for the safeties playing closer to the line of scrimmage.

This means that when you watch the game, you'll see more Baltimore defensive players on your TV than you usually do. This defense is known as Cover 4, or "quarters." And by all means, feel free to toss those terms around. But just know this: When you see numbers 20 (Reed) and 31 (Pollard) on your TV before the ball is snapped, the Ravens are playing out of their comfort zone in order to stop the dangerous Kaepernick.

Joe Flacco is not "elite," but he's good. In the NFL, the debate over which quarterback is "elite" is like discussions over which child is gifted. And of course, all quarterbacks are precious, each and every one. The fact is that the Ravens' Flacco is good, has a strong arm and throws more deep balls than any other quarterback in the NFL. But statistically, he's in the top 10 negative quarterback categories (yards lost in sacks, fumbles, percentage of passes intercepted) more often than he is in positive ones (he's tied for 10th in yards per pass completion).

But Flacco had led his team to four game-winning drives and has established himself as a capable playoff QB. Is Flacco elite? Let's look at seven of the NFL's 32 starting quarterbacks for comparison. Flacco is clearly not as good as Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. And you'd be hard pressed to make the case that he's a more dangerous quarterback than Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Robert Griffin III or even Matt Ryan.

I don't see how you could be "elite" if you're outside the top 20 percent, but who cares if Flacco is magna cum laude or plain old cum laude? Come Sunday night, he could be summa cum football ring.

Remembering your Harbaugh brothers. Jim coaches the 49ers and John coaches the Ravens. Easy mnemonic device: "Jim" rhymes with "Ted Ginn," and Ted Ginn Jr. is on the 49ers. But then you'd have to remember that Ted Ginn Jr. is on the 49ers. Also, Jim doesn't really rhyme with Ted Ginn.

So, let's try this: The letters in "John" contain H-O-N, and "Hon" is what a waitress in a diner would call you, and the Barry Levinson film Diner was set in Baltimore. Too hard?

How about this one: "John" rhymes with "capital of Oman." Oman's capital city is Muscat. Muscat is a variety of grape. Grapes are purple. The Ravens' uniforms are purple! Of course, Muscat grapes range in color from white to almost black, but that's OK — the Ravens' road jerseys are white, and they have an alternative jersey that's black. Just like the grapes! All right, maybe that won't work.

On second thought, you can call them John "freaks out after a bad call" Harbaugh and Jim "wears an outfit other than khakis and a black fleece" Harbaugh. That's what their mother does.

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