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.


The Ways We Wait: A Train Station Tribute For Grand Central's 100th

Feb 2, 2013
Originally published on October 29, 2014 12:48 pm

Grand Central Terminal, one of world's most iconic commuter destinations (or departure points, depending on which way you're going), celebrated a big birthday this week. Friday marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the largest railroad terminal in the world.

Grand Central's main concourse is often shown in time-lapse videos — a space teeming with humans sprinting with their briefcases or rushing by with children in tow. More than 750,000 people pass through the New York City station each day, most of them hurrying through the cavernous space.

But anyone who spends a lot of time on trains also spends a lot of time waiting for them. (That's a lesson I learned from my dad, who has commuted daily between Baltimore and Washington for longer than I've been alive. As a kid, I thought he was a train conductor because we dropped him off "for work" at the train station every morning, and then picked him up there every night.) In honor of Grand Central's centennial, we looked back through the years and around the world to find images that capture the time we spend in stations, waiting for trains.

The energy in a train station is an odd combination of adrenaline and boredom; anticipation for the destination tempered by impatience at how long it's taking to get there. Turns out, the way we wait for trains looks awfully similar across the decades and around the globe. We cup our chins in the palms of our hands as we sit atop our suitcases; we rest our heads on our travel companions, trying to get comfortable; we lose ourselves in our reading, whether on 1920s newsprint or 21st-century screens; we frolic on the luggage carts.

The train station is never the destination, but at Grand Central it's easy to forget that. "It's like a cathedral that's built for the people," Grand Central tour guide David Brucker told NPR's Jeff Lunden. "We're not going through somebody else's mansion, through somebody else's monument. It's ours."

Editor's Note: This post was written aboard northbound MARC train No. 446.

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