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.


When A Good Jobs Report Is Bad For Political Spin

Mar 8, 2013
Originally published on March 8, 2013 3:26 pm

The February jobs report was just the latest proof that the economy doesn't really care how much it confounds the messaging strategies of Washington's political class.

News that the economy created 236,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, its lowest level in more than four years, caught nearly everyone by surprise after economists forecast perhaps 171,000 new jobs.

For President Obama, the seemingly nice surprise has a real downside: It could make his task of convincing Republicans that the economy is being harmed by their emphasis on deficit reduction, and specifically by the mandated sequester spending cuts, that much tougher.

That concern could be seen in a post on the White House blog by the chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, Alan Krueger, who was speaking of Labor Department figures citing surveys of households and employers:

"It is important to bear in mind that the reference period for today's surveys was the week of February 10-16 for the household survey and the pay period containing February 12th for the establishment survey, both of which were before sequestration began. The Administration continues to urge Congress to move toward a sustainable Federal budget in a responsible way that balances tax loophole closing, entitlement reform, and sensible spending cuts. ... "

In other words, it's too soon to see the effects of the $85 billion in sequester-related cuts to federal spending this fiscal year, with any accompanying furloughs of federal workers and impacts on private-sector contractors. After all, the sequester just kicked in a week ago.

Krueger is right on the economics. The jobless rate is a lagging indicator of the economy's actual state, since employers generally have to be convinced that the customer demand they're seeing is real and sustainable before they hire new workers.

Meanwhile, the Republican position has been that high deficits have weighed down the economy, stymying growth and hastening the day of a fiscal meltdown.

Given that, the strength of the February report presented something of a challenge for Washington's GOP leadership, since it seemed to contradict their fundamental premise. And a statement from House Speaker John Boehner indicated that the Republican strategy is to stay with essentially the same Obama-is-hurting-the-economy message of the past two years:

"Any job creation is positive news, but the fact is unemployment in America is still way above the levels the Obama White House projected when the trillion-dollar stimulus spending bill was enacted, and the federal government's ongoing spending binge has resulted in a debt that exceeds the size of our entire economy. As 180 economists said in a statement this week, our spending-driven deficit threatens our economy, and responsible spending cuts are needed 'to help put the country on a path to a balanced budget within ten years.' "

Of course, as good as Friday's jobless report was, it was just one month's data. But if the coming months should bring a series of similarly strong reports, Obama might be in the quite ironic position of finding good jobs numbers making his own job more difficult.

And while a stronger economy could give Republicans more confidence that they could push for spending cuts without hindering growth, it could make it harder for them to make a convincing case that Obama's policies have damaged the nation's fiscal future in ways they need to undo.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit