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.

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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.

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Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

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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.

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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.

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For Would-Be Sundancers, Kickstarter Can Fuel Films

Jan 25, 2013
Originally published on January 25, 2013 9:14 am

If you want to make a movie, you generally need a lot of money. And filmmakers have to be creative about raising it.

Just ask the filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival, taking place this week in Park City, Utah. Some 10 percent of the films selected for this year's iteration of the prestigious festival raised money through the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.

In the three years since the website launched, Kickstarter-funded films have been nominated for Oscars, picked up by Showtime and HBO, and honored with awards at Sundance, South By Southwest and Cannes.

Kickstarter is used by artists in every discipline, but film is its biggest category. And, as one Kickstarter employee put it, "filmmakers are natural hustlers."

Just check out the videos they make to get you to give them money. There's the you-get-stuff pitch. There's the humorous, feel-sorry-for-us pitch. There's even a pitch from people who you'd think already have the money, like Whoopi Goldberg.

And those campaigns are successful. Goldberg raised over $73,000 for a documentary about the comedian Moms Mabley. Another Kickstarter-funded documentary, Detropia, was recently short-listed for an Oscar.

According to Kickstarter, more than $100 million has been pledged to films on the site.

"We quickly began to realize that this was something really capturing people's attention and excitement, and allowing people to connect with creative endeavors — [something] that was sort of transformational," says Keri Putnam, executive director of the Sundance Institute.

When Sundance supports a film, it's highlighted on a special page on Kickstarter. "They can make more money through Kickstarter than they can through a Sundance grant," Putnam says.

Sometimes filmmakers can nab a lot more, especially if they're already artists with a track record. Charlie Kaufman wrote the movies Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. He and the animation company Starburns Industries ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a film based on his play, Anomalisa.

In their recorded campaign pitch on the site, they said they hoped to make the film "without the interference of the typical big studio process."

They raised more than $400,000. Yancey Strickler, co-founder of Kickstarter, says Kaufman and the animators are the kind of artists who use the site because Hollywood isn't working for them.

"They're always butting up against a system that has different ideas about how art should work," Strickler says. "But yet, they have huge fan bases. Here, they're able to go directly to those audiences and make something the way they wanted to."

Cultivating that fan base is turning out to be another major benefit for filmmakers who run successful Kickstarter campaigns. In raising cash for a project, they also raise awareness, which could result in a bigger audience for their film once it's released.

The people who pledge are called backers. Filmmaker Audrey Ewell is premiering a documentary, 99% — The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film, at this year's Sundance Festival. She says Kickstarter calls the effort a "campaign" for a reason. She raised more than $23,000 from hundreds of backers.

"These are the people who are becoming the community that's going to support you, so it's important to involve them," Ewell says. "Encourage everybody to reach out for you on your behalf."

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