Welcome to The Check-In, our weekend feature focusing on all things travel.
Climate change is affecting turbulence
Keep those seatbelts fastened — climate change is making flights bumpier.
In the last few months, several flights have made headlines after experiencing severe turbulence, renewing discussions about a link to global warming. A 2019 study published in Nature found that climate change is accelerating the jet stream, making wind speeds faster. The atmosphere is then "more susceptible to the particular instability that causes clear-air turbulence to break out," study co-author Paul Williams, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Reading, told NPR. Clear-air turbulence is "completely invisible to the naked eye, to the radar, to satellites," Williams said, and is more dangerous because it can happen with no warning, meaning passengers might be standing up or not wearing their seatbelts when it hits.
Williams' research found that by 2050, pilots will likely encounter at least twice as much clear-air turbulence. While turbulence can cause injuries and damage to planes, it is "almost unheard of" for it to cause a crash, NPR says. To stay safe, experts say keep your seatbelt on throughout the flight, safely stow away your carry-on bags, and follow all instructions from the flight crew.
From Barbie to Thomas, all your favorite toys are coming to Mattel Adventure Park
If you've ever dreamed of being a Barbie girl in a Barbie world, you'll get your chance at Mattel Adventure Park, the first-ever Mattel theme park set to open later this year in Glendale, Arizona. The rides and attractions are designed with all ages in mind, and will include a Hot Wheels double-looping roller coaster, an electric-battery powered Thomas the Tank Engine train, and a Barbie Beach House serving drinks on the rooftop. The park is being designed to incorporate outdoor and indoor spaces with lots of A/C, to help on those hot desert days.
Museums dedicated to punk rock, Chicano art, and Broadway enter the cultural landscape
From the West Coast to the East, several new museums are telling the stories of important cultural touchstones, using artifacts and technology to put a modern spin on history. Here's a look at a few of these spaces, where the aim is to get visitors to walk away feeling enlightened — and looking forward to coming back.
T-shirts worn by Debbie Harry, guitars played by NOFX...it's all on display at The Punk Rock Museum, set to open on April 1 in Las Vegas. The museum says it has the world's most "expansive, inclusive, and intimate" display of punk artifacts, including flyers, instruments, and handwritten lyrics, plus a room filled with donated guitars and basses that visitors are encouraged to play. Tickets will also be available for guided tours led by the people who lived through it, including musicians from L7, Anti-Flag, and TSOL. If after all this you feel like having a drink, getting some ink, and tying the knot, the museum also has an associated bar, tattoo parlor, and wedding chapel — this is Vegas after all.
Get your jazz hands ready — this is something for Broadway fans to get excited about. The 26,000-square-foot Museum of Broadway in New York City is the first permanent museum entirely dedicated to the Great White Way. Open since November, it's an interactive and experiential museum, with props, costumes, and artifacts all on display — why yes, that is Patti LuPone's wig she wore during the original 1979 production of Evita. Visitors go through the space on a timeline, so they can witness Broadway as it rises up beginning in the 18th century, and in one special exhibit, they can take a behind-the-scenes look at how a show is developed. Maybe a trip to the museum will inspire the next big Broadway musical.
Since 2021, the 56,000-square-foot National Museum of African American Music in Nashville has been delivering on its promise to celebrate and preserve the history of Black music in the United States. Through its six interactive exhibits, the museum dives into more than 50 musical genres and styles pioneered by African Americans — One Nation Under a Groove documents the history of Rhythm and Blues, while A Love Supreme focuses on the emergence of jazz from New Orleans. In The Message gallery, visitors learn about the origins of hip hop and rap and the technology behind the beats, and can even make their own music.
Artists have long been drawn to Chicano Park in San Diego, home to more than 80 murals and several sculptures that pull from the rich culture of Logan Heights, the city's oldest Mexican-American neighborhood. The Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center was born out of a desire to preserve San Diego's Chicano history and educate people about Chicano, Latino, and Indigenous culture. It opened its doors in October with its first exhibition, "Pillars: Stories of Resilience and Self-Determination," offering a collective historical narrative on Logan Heights.
Plan accordingly: Upcoming events to add to your calendar
The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C., home to a collection of more than 5,500 works, is reopening on Oct. 21 following a full renovation and restoration of its 1908 building. The improvements include making the gallery space bigger and creating an area for researchers and education programs. The NMWA opened in 1987, after founders Wilhelmina Cole Holladay and Wallace F. Holladay committed themselves to advocating for women artists and building a space to showcase their work.