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.

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.


Though A Republican Invention, Obama Could Get Blamed For Sequester

Feb 11, 2013
Originally published on February 20, 2013 4:41 pm



On March 1st, a big across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester, are set to hit almost every corner of federal spending. Many are warning the consequences would be dire.

PETER MCPHERSON: Sequestration is a reckless and a blunt tool that would force deep spending reductions across critical investments in R&D and education.

BLOCK: That was Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, speaking today here in Washington. His is just the latest voice in a growing chorus now calling on Congress to head off the sequester. If lawmakers don't act, there will also be political consequences.

NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: It started back in August in a post on House Speaker John Boehner's website. Instead of calling it the sequester, the post called it the president's sequester. Then last week, the speaker got up on the House floor and gave a three-minute speech, where he called it the president's sequester four times.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: Now twice, the House has passed legislation to replace the president's sequester - to replace the president's sequester...

KEITH: What started out as a sort of subtle language shift, by the end of the week became a full on rebranding campaign, complete with its own hashtag: Obamaquester.

Here's Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier today on the Senate floor.

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: The House passed legislation to avert the Obama's sequester months ago. But Senate Democrats have yet to pass an alternative bill that could actually go to conference.

KEITH: The message: the Republican leadership, at least, doesn't like these automatic spending cuts. And in case you're wondering, the sequester wasn't their idea. To back this up, Boehner and his colleagues cite page 326 of the book "The Price of Politics," by one of America's most well-known journalists.

BOB WOODWARD: I'm Bob Woodward, an associate editor at The Washington Post.

KEITH: Woodward's book examines the fight over the debt ceiling back in the summer of 2011. Republicans said they wouldn't raise the debt limit unless government spending was cut by the amount of the increase. And if a bipartisan effort to find $1.2 trillion in cuts failed, Woodward says high-level White House aides had an idea. It would be so Draconian neither side would let it happen.

On page 326, Woodward describes Jack Lew, then the president's budget director, pitching the idea to the Senate's Democratic leader.

WOODWARD: Jack Lew said we have an idea for a trigger. And Harry Reid, the Democratic leader asked skeptically, what's the idea. And Lew said, sequestration. Reid bent down and put his head between his knees almost as if he was going to throw up or was having a heart attack.

KEITH: The bill ultimately passed the House and the Senate with overwhelming Republican support. John Boehner and the majority of Republicans in Congress voted for it. So yes, says Woodward...

WOODWARD: Well, of course, it's the president's sequester.

KEITH: But...

WOODWARD: Of course, they all went along but we're now in the hole that they all dug for themselves.

KEITH: Beyond the actual origins of the sequester idea, there's a reason Boehner and others in the Republican leadership are pushing hard on this. Many rank-and-file Republicans are perfectly willing to let the sequester go ahead, or at least lock in cuts of the same size. Because of this, if the sequester does happen, Republicans risk getting the blame.

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who's backing a bill to replace the cuts this year, says his party deserves the blame.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: We have our fingerprints as Republicans on this proposal, on this sequestration idea. It was the president's idea, according to Bob Woodward's book. But we as the Republican Party agreed to it.

KEITH: He must not have gotten the memo about the hashtag Obamaquester. It's safe to say, though, that if actually happens on March 1st, and if the dire predictions become a reality, there will be plenty of blame to go around.

Tamara Keith, NPR News, the Capitol. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.