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.


A Tennis Tale: Once Famous, 'Gorgeous Gussie' Dies In Obscurity

Jan 23, 2013
Originally published on January 24, 2013 10:10 am

The news today of tennis star Serena Williams' upset lost to American teenager Sloane Stephens at the Australian Open, and word that at one point Williams took out her frustration on one of her rackets, reminded us we should note the stories this week about the death of Gertrude "Gorgeous Gussie" Moran.

The contrast between what shocked the tennis world more than 60 years ago — the "white silk jersey panties trimmed with two inches of open lace" that Moran wore while playing at Wimbledon — and what doesn't shock many today is remarkable. After all, Williams is just one among many who have been guilty of "racket abuse" and other such behavior in recent years.

You also might wonder at how risqué Moran's tennis togs were to many back in 1949 considering what Stephens, a rising star, Williams and other women wear today. Times, as they say, have certainly changed.

But the stories about Moran are fascinating on their own. They paint a picture of a woman who in the 1940s and '50s was a household name, as ESPN says, but by the time of her death on Jan. 16 was living in a "tiny run-down apartment in Hollywood." She was 89 when she died.

Moran was ranked as high as No. 4 among women in the world during her tennis career. Her fame — and famous figure — helped her land some acting roles, including in 1952's Pat and Mike starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

The thrice-married Moran, who never had children, ran into financial troubles in the mid-'80s.

As The Washington Post reports, "Moran taught tennis and contributed to tennis magazines [after her competitive career ended], but in 1986 she was evicted from her family's oceanfront home in Santa Monica after she was unable to pay taxes. She worked in the gift shop of the Los Angeles Zoo, moved to a small apartment, and ultimately lived on Social Security benefits and anonymous donations."

ESPNChicago columnist Melissa Isaacson writes today of when she interviewed Moran in 1988:

"Covering tennis at the time, it took me nearly a year to find her and talk her into an interview. Once one of the most photographed women in the world, Moran did not really want to talk and, now highly self-conscious about her looks, refused to have her picture taken.

"But she told me her life story that afternoon. And a more harrowing one I had seldom heard."

Moran's stories included an account of a rape in 1975, eviction from her family home in 1986 and the frugal life she then led.

"I guess you could say I'm treading water," Moran told Isaacson.

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