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.


What You Didn't See At The Academy Awards

Feb 25, 2013
Originally published on February 25, 2013 8:06 pm

NPR's Sam Sanders and Mandalit del Barco were backstage at the Oscars on Sunday, covering the awards show. They sat in the press room, where winners go for interviews during and after the show. Here's a roundup of what they saw that you didn't see, in senior superlative form.

Most Likely To Stand By Her Man Until The End Of All Natural Time: Jennifer Garner

Most of the people actually in the theater for the big show really don't want to spend that much time in the press room. Yes, questions must be answered (and if you make it here, it means you've actually won!) but none of the VIPs were coming backstage just to sit for a while. Except for Garner.

In what might have been the night's sweetest moment, she sneaked into a chair right next to the radio table in the press room after the show — right behind us — to watch husband Ben Affleck answer questions after Argo won Best Picture. As he spoke, she smiled up at him, and snapped pictures on her iPhone. She also mingled nicely with us lowly media folk.

Most Likely To Drink With You Under The Bleachers Just Before She Wins Homecoming Queen: Jennifer Lawrence

J-Law confessed to us backstage that she'd had a shot before coming up for questions. She also said getting ready for the Oscars was chaotic: "The process today was so stressful. I felt like Steve Martin in Father of the Bride, watching my house just be torn apart, and my whole family was getting ready. I mean, my friends stopped by. It was kind of fun, but it was mostly chaotic."

She said that when she tripped going up the stairs to get her Oscar, the one thing she was thinking was "a bad word, that I can't say, that starts with F." And she was totally OK with Seth McFarlane's boob song, in case you were wondering.

Least Likely To Graduate: David Arquette

David Arquette is apparently moonlighting as a journalist. In a truly Oscar-worthy performance, he showed up in the press room as the Sirius radio representative. He had media credentials, a place card and a chair and a computer.

And he asked questions like this one to Best Supporting Actor winner Christoph Waltz: "Are you excited about the possibility of a black pope?" To Paperman director John Kahrs, he said: "What are you most excited about in your Oscar gift basket? There were condoms in there. If you don't use them, I could use them, bro?" As the night wore on, Arquette was effectively blacklisted. The keeper of the microphones refused to let him ask questions. The look in Arquette's eyes as he pleaded with Affleck and George Clooney to throw him a bone was truly something to see. And then the poor guy just disappeared.

Most Likely To Use An Awful Accent In Theater Class But Still Be The Best Drama Kid: Quentin Tarantino

The Best Original Screenplay winner trotted out his much-maligned Australian accent yet again during his Q&A. In Django Unchained, Tarantino makes a cameo appearance as an Australian indentured servant. He re-enacted a deleted scene, one in which his character discloses that after having worked three years in America, he still hadn't paid off the cost of his overseas voyage. Tarantino went into his best Django voice to give the punchline: "At least they didn't charge us for the boat ride!" (Feel free to cringe.) And in response to a question about who exactly he makes his movies for, he replied: "I make movies for Planet Earth."

Well, yes you do, Mr. Tarantino. Yes. You. Do.

Most Likely To Be Censored: Mychael Danna

The man who did the score for Life of Pi had this to say when asked how it feels to hold an Oscar: "Well, I'm still learning how to hold it properly. You gotta put your thumb on the little butt here. And then you know you have it the right way. ... So, now I know you gotta feel the little butt cheeks. So, that's really what I've learned tonight."

Maybe Seth "I saw her boobs" MacFarlane taught him that one.

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