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.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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.

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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.


Swiss Scientists Discover Dung Beetles Use The Milky Way For GPS

Jan 29, 2013
Originally published on February 4, 2013 2:29 pm



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.


And I'm Audie Cornish. And we have a story now about celestial navigation - that is, looking to the sky for guidance.

BLOCK: But before we get too lofty, this story also happens to be about dung beetles. And so we start with this lowly central unpleasant fact about dung beetles.

ERIC WARRANT: Dung beetles and their grubs eat dung and everything about dung beetles has to do with dung in some form.

BLOCK: That's professor Eric Warrant. He's an Australian professor of zoology teaching at the University of Lund in Sweden.

CORNISH: Five years ago, he and a group of other scientists began studying the remarkable navigational skills of dung beetles. These insects harvest material from a fresh pile of feces in the desert. They shape their bounty into a sphere and roll it away.

WARRANT: They have to get away from the pile of dung as fast as they can and as efficiently as they can because the dung pile is a very, very competitive place with lots and lots of beetles all competing for the same dung. And there's very many lazy beetles that are just waiting around to steal the balls of other industrious beetles and often there are big fights in the dung piles.

BLOCK: That's right - lazy dung beetles. Now, the dung beetles need to plot a direct course or they might accidentally circle back and thus lose a precious dung ball to another beetle.

WARRANT: It's a little bit like kicking the ball back into your own goal posts.

BLOCK: Which means no food to feed the next generation. As you can see, there's a lot riding on the beetles making a beeline to the place they hope to roll their ball.

CORNISH: Beeline it, wrong bug, I think.

BLOCK: Yeah, maybe a beetle line. Anyway, professor Eric Warrant and his colleague have just published conclusion about how the dung beetles keep to a straight path.

WARRANT: What we discovered was that dung beetles can roll their balls of dung in straight lines by using the Milky Way as a compass queue.

BLOCK: The Milky Way, billions of stars that form a white streak across the sky, serve as a guide for these little harvesters of waste. It was understood earlier that both the sun and the moon serve as guides, but no one knew how dung beetles could follow a straight path when the moon isn't out. So at the edge of the Kalahari, professor Warrant and the team built a small arena.

WARRANT: We tested them with and without a little cardboard hat, which we put on top of their head with a piece of tape. And this little cardboard hat effectively blocked out the view of the starry sky. And when we did this, they rolled around and around and around in circles. They couldn't keep a straight path.

BLOCK: The Swedish scientists also tested dung beetles at a planetarium. They altered the star pattern on the ceiling and watched what the beetles did. Without the Milky Way, the beetles could not walk the straight and narrow.

CORNISH: Professor Warrant suspects other creatures also navigate using the Milky Way, but currently only dung beetles are known to do so. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.