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 War Correspondent Takes On Her Toughest Assignment

Jan 17, 2013
Originally published on January 18, 2013 11:55 am

When I discovered I was pregnant, I realized it was time for a change of pace. I'd been covering conflicts around the world for 12 years. The plan was to retreat to balmy Miami where my family is, have my baby and just slow down for a bit.

My husband was taking time off; I would have plenty of extra help if I needed it. While pregnant, I fantasized about the tender, quiet moments I would share with my daughter, her suckling contentedly while I cooed.

"How hard could motherhood be?" I blithely thought.

It actually sounded relaxing. Nothing like covering Mexico's drug wars, Iraq's insurgency or the uprisings of the Arab Spring. I'd been shot at, threatened with kidnapping and death, spent countless years in places most people would do anything to avoid.

Then my daughter, Cassenia, arrived, beautiful and healthy. But those tender, quiet moments didn't follow.

Feeling Helpless

Within her first few hours, I felt I was failing at my very first responsibility as a mother. I couldn't feed my child. Initially, breast-feeding was a soul-destroying struggle that left me desperate and my daughter hungry.

As I looked down at my newborn daughter, I'd never known such fear. The tiny being that I created relied solely on me for her survival. And I had no idea what I was doing.

And it slowly dawned on me: This is the hardest thing I'd ever done.

Yes, it fills spaces in your heart you didn't know existed. Yes, you will love your child more than anything in this world. But dealing with a newborn is brutal.

I was used to pulling all-nighters reporting on breaking news in insalubrious surroundings. I've even been woken up by rockets hitting my hotel in Baghdad. It never fazed me.

And yet, in the middle of those long nights with my daughter, I prayed for a reprieve.

After years of covering detention facilities, it took having my child to begin to understand why some consider sleep deprivation a method of torture.

An Apology

So now seems like the appropriate time to apologize to all my friends who have children. I realize that while childless I was thoughtless, rude, arrogant and judgmental.

In particular, I'd like to apologize to a former neighbor in Jerusalem. Several years ago, she complained rather aggressively that I was playing my music too loudly at 10 p.m., and it was disturbing her children. I wasn't very polite back. I now realize she was clearly exhausted, and now that I am also exhausted, I'm ashamed. Karma is cruel.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well for me, it's taking a medium-sized town. And if I'd had my way, that town would be completely populated at every corner by pediatricians and caregivers.

For guidance, I've delved into the massive industry of books that give advice on child-rearing.

I've looked online for a nurturing community of fellow mothers to provide support.

It's been a revelation.

I've lived in places without running water, so it came as a shock to discover that in America you can find people who will come to sleep-train your child; they will shop for your baby items; or they will even get your dog accustomed to the new baby — they are called doggy doulas, and yes, it's a real profession. Everyone will tell you they have the magic formula to solve whatever problem you are having with your child.

Drawing On The Past

What is helping to keep me afloat in the tsunami of new parenthood is a simple mantra born out of my experiences in some of the most violent places on Earth.

I remind myself every day how lucky I am. I have seen the worst humanity has to dish up. Every time a Syrian story appears, I think of some nameless mother trying to comfort her screaming child. But unlike my daughter, her child is in mortal danger and is probably startled by the bombs and the bullets — and not the beeping of the microwave.

I chose to cover conflicts because I felt it was important to bear witness. And I paid the cost at times. I've suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after seeing one too many suicide bombings, and lost friends in war zones. There are plenty of dark places in this world.

But today, as I look at my daughter, she seems luminous, holding all the world's light in her little form. All the fear and the worry is dispelled by her glow.

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