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.

Pages

That Was A Great Blackout Last Night

Feb 4, 2013
Originally published on February 4, 2013 11:38 am

Great blackout last night, right?

It's been clear for some time that substantially more people watch the Super Bowl than have the slightest interest in watching the actual football game. That's why there's such hubbub over the halftime show and the commercials — it gives non-football types something to pay attention to instead of football.

But this year, Beyonce put on a perfectly polished but in no way surprising show at the half. The commercials and their familiar themes — animals behaving badly, ostensibly cute older people, and more schlubs bumping into gorgeous women than you'd find in Judd Apatow's Cecil B. DeMille Award retrospective — failed to pop. What's more, the game was lopsided, with the Baltimore Ravens leaping ahead of the San Francisco 49ers 28-6.

What were we all supposed to do now?

Fortunately, somebody plugged in one too many hair dryers (I'm assuming; that's what it means at my house), and the lights largely went out. And at that moment, social media ran into a phone booth, ripped off its Clark Kent three-piece suit, and emerged as Superman, here to save us all with the power of competitive worldwide banter. For one thing, the announcers vanished when the lights did, but the cameras kept running, meaning we were all looking at the darkened stadium, but weren't hearing anything about it. Except, of course, for everyone on Twitter who was saying, "Uh, did the power just go out? The power went out, right?"

The very first thing that happened once the situation became clear was the race to make the joke that this was clearly Bane (from The Dark Knight Rises) acting out his anti-football agenda. If you'd been following occurrences of the word "Bane" on Twitter, you'd have seen ... well, you wouldn't have seen anything, because your eyeballs would have been immediately overloaded. There was a slower, somewhat more tentative exploration of whether there was a Katrina-Superdome line of very dark humor to be tapped (as with Dave Weigel's "Fortunately, the bar for 'worst power outage at the Superdome is set really high"). Plenty of people imagined 49ers fans were to blame, or that PBS wanted you to switch to Downton Abbey.

It was a great example of social media as, essentially, boredom insurance. Without it, we'd have been sitting around listening to a bunch of football announcers who just exhausted everything they had to say about the first half during halftime and now had to come up with even more nothingness without really having any new material.

It brought to mind "The Cut Man Cometh," a fine episode of the fine Aaron Sorkin comedy Sports Night, in which anchors Dan and Casey have to fill an hour and a half after a big boxing match for which their network has allotted an evening of special coverage lasts seven seconds. They're stuck with a fill-in reporter on the scene who insists on being called "Cut Man" (he claims he was "a corner man for Rocky Marciano") and who, when he tries to fill, proves that he doesn't know how many states there are (he claims there are 52, counting Alaska and Rhode Island). The Cut Man is a disturbingly accurate imitator of much actual sports coverage ("one of these fighters is going to win this bout tonight, and the other will almost surely not"), and as they prepare to return to the air after the knockout, Dan despairs at Casey's call for analysis: "The fight lasted seven seconds, Casey, we're going to have to go back to counting states." Asked for his take on the fight, Cut Man offers, "First-round knockout, Dan." It's going to be a long hour and a half, clearly.

Much of the CBS scramble was very much like the Cut Man incident, as detailed by numerous writers this morning.

And really, it was a blessing. Think about it — if you went to a party and every last detail went off without a hitch, how many people would you tell? And if you went to a party and the sprinklers went off and all the food was ruined and everyone had to huddle in the bathroom, how many people would you tell? Everyone loves a fiasco, and the power outage was kind of a fiasco, not just because the power went out, but because it interrupted the choreography of commerce and left helpless many of the people who pour literally hilarious quantities of money into covering what is — let's remember — a game involving a bunch of dudes and a ball.

It was unplanned, it was different, and it revved up the social media commentary machine so people were doing more than just eye-rolling at all the woman-objectifying and trying to find something to say about Beyonce's outfit. Most Super Bowls are quickly forgotten unless they involve Janet Jackson's breast or your team is playing. This one will at least be memorable — "What was the one with the power outage?" is a question you can reasonably ask for years to come.

I can only hope it happens at the Oscars.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.