Geno Smith has been good over the first month of the season but if the Seahawks are in position to take a franchise QB they'll deliver it serious consideration. Levis is coming off a tough loss vs. Ole Miss, but NFL teams are much higher on how Levis' skills translate to the next level than the media.
Quarterback could be in play here, too, but Davis Mills has a chance to be a good NFL starter. If Texans stay with Mills, Anderson is a layup. He's the best defensive player to come out of Alabama in the Nick Saban era, and possibly No. 2 all time behind only Derrick Thomas.
Richardson is raw -- he attempted just 68 passes in 2021 -- and through four games this season we've seen the highs (Utah, Arkansas) and the lows (Kentucky, South Florida). But what's important to remember is that he's going to get better -- likely a lot better, and he's already doing things with the football that very few people on this planet would even consider.
The Jets have one of the NFL's worst defenses, and while this could be a prove-it year for Zach Wilson, it's more likely the team addresses needs elsewhere with a high pick. Enter Carter, who has been hobbled by an ankle injury early in the Bulldogs season, but he was arguably the best player on the '21 Georgia defense, a group that had eight players drafted.
The Georgia-to-first-round pipeline continues. A year after five Bulldogs went in Round 1, expect a handful this time around, too. Ringo is a long, physical corner who has matched up against some of the best players in the country. The Bears beefed up the secondary with early picks last spring, and perhaps offensive line or wide receiver would be better targets, just not this high.
If you told us Sam Darnold was wearing a Baker Mayfield mask to start the season we would believe you because the results have been the same. And maybe that's more a knock on the offense, in general, and not the QB. Either way, it's hard to imagine owner David Tepper doesn't finally address the position this offseason, and if C.J. Stroud is available, it's easy to imagine him being the pick.
This offensive line class isn't deep but Skoronski has gotten off to a strong start to the '22 season. He was dominant vs. Nebraska in the opener and has continued to dominate throughout September. Washington's O-line has struggled at times and if the team is happy with Carson Wentz, protecting him should be a priority.
Murphy won't be 21 until next spring and while we'd like to see him play with more consistency ... he won't be 21 until next spring. On top of that, when he's on, he's hard to stop, which makes him such an interesting prospect. The Steelers defense has been stuck in neutral since T.J. Watt went down, and adding more depth to the position seems prudent here, especially if there isn't an O-line target they like on the board.
Jeffrey Okudah is healthy for the first time in his NFL career and looks every bit like a top-5 selection. There's still room to add a another top-flight corner as the Lions go about reshaping their defense around young players Aidan Hutchinson, Malcolm Rodriguez and Jeff Okudah at all three levels.
Whichever wide receiver you like best, put him here. The Patriots did draft Tyquan Thornton in Round 2 but he's missed the start of the season with an injury. Maybe he returns and transforms an offense that lacks downfield playmakers. But even if that does happen, Mac Jones would no doubt still welcome the chance for more dynamism in the passing offense.
We get Boogie Basham vibes watching Wilson, who is long and thick. He's a high-motor player who consistently finds his way into the backfield, and in Las Vegas he'll beef up a defense that has been exposed during the first four weeks of the '22 campaign.
Young would be in the running for the No. 1 overall pick if he was, say, two inches taller and 20 pounds heavier. There's a lot to love about his game but some NFL teams are concerned about his size and durability. But as the old saying goes, it only takes one, and Young is undoubtedly a first-round talent who could easily find his way into the top 10.
The Eagles have few holes but perhaps they could use some depth at the safety position. Johnson flies around the field like he's shot out of a cannon, looks to run through the ball carrier at the line of scrimmage, and is a wrap-up tackler in space. He can line up in deep center field or near the line of scrimmage and that versatility makes him one of the best defensive backs in this class.
The Titans miss A.J. Brown. Rookie Treylon Burks (who was injured on Sunday) has been good, but he could use a running mate. Boutte put up impressive numbers in '20 and '21, despite the lack of consistent QB play in LSU, but make no mistake: he's one of the best wideouts in this class.
Is a running back worth a top-half-of-the-first-round selection? Yeah, we think so, especially when that player is Robinson and he's going to an offense like Arizona's, where he could take some of the pressure off Kyler Murray, who spends most Sundays running for his life. Robinson is part Adrian Peterson, Derek Henry and Shaun Alexander, but he's also a threat as a receiver.
Hey, look at that, the Jags are really good! And paying Christian Kirk and Zay Jones those big-money deals appear to be the right call. Adding Mayer gives Lawrence another downfield weapon, especially with Evan Engram currently playing on a one-year deal.
The Texans bolstered the defense by taking Anderson with the No. 2 pick above, and here they deliver Mills some much-needed help at wide receiver. Addison is off to a strong start for the Trojans, and it's easy to see him having early success in the NFL, too.
Gonzalez, a Colorado transfer, is a big-time athlete who is still growing into the position. He has the size, strength and speed to line up against NFL wide receivers, who needs to Improve in run support.
Branch isn't the first name you hear about when the conversation turns to Alabama's defense, but maybe he should be. He left Saturday's win over Arkansas before halftime because of an injury, but when he's healthy, he's on the field for just about every snap. He's a sure tackler, can blitz off the edge, and is solid in coverage, and if Saban trusts him, that's all you need to know about his NFL prospects.
Ojulari, whose brother played at Georgia and plays for the Giants, is off to a strong start for the Tigers. He has 3.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss in his last two games against Mississippi State and Auburn, and he has many of the same explosive qualities that made his brother so hard to block for the Bulldogs. Ojulari could end up being better than his brother, and that's saying something.
Seattle found its franchise QB at the top of the draft and here it adds edge rusher Smith. Smith is listed at just 235 pounds so he'll need to add weight, but he's also scratching the surface on what he'll be able to do at the next level.
Torrence transferred from Louisiana and didn't miss a beat. He's been dominant for Florida and in Cincinnati, the Bengals should make fixing the O-line an offseason priority until they get it right.
Johnson is a consistently good run blocker, but his pass protection needs refinement. That said, his athleticism jumps off the screen and it's not every day you find a 6-foot-6 offensive lineman who can move the way he does.
Simpson's athleticism is what immediately gets your attention, and in today's NFL, where sideline-to-sideline speed coupled with the ability to blow up the ball carrier is at a premium, Simpson is easy to like.
After addressing the secondary earlier in this mock draft, the Lions beef up the defensive line here with Ika, who is a one-man pocket collapser. Related: We're now living in a world where the Lions have legit playmakers at the skill position, a really good offensive line, and a QB they trust. If they can shore up a few of the holes on defense, this feels like a playoff team in the near future.
Jones is a former five-star who is off to a strong start this season for the Bulldogs. The Ravens have had injuries along their O-line but either way, Jones has the talent to be a longtime starter in the league.
Fashanu is short on experience but it's hard not to love the potential based on what we've seen so far. The Packers could be a team in transition if Aaron Rodgers retires in the offseason but whoever ends up under center in '23 will benefit from the addition of Fashanu.
Two running backs went in the first round in 2021 (Najee Harris and Travis Etienne) so it has happened recently, but that '21 class feels more like an anomaly than a trend. Whatever happens, you can't ignore what Gibbs, a Georgia Tech transfer, has done for Alabama. Look no further than Saturday's game against Arkansas, where Gibbs took over after Bryce Young left with a shoulder injury. When it was over, Gibbs rushed for more than 206 yards (with two runs of more than 70 yards) and two scores.
The Eagles double-down on defense in this mock draft, first adding a big-hitting safety in Johnson and here getting an edge rusher in Foskey. He can line up all over the field, from a seven technique to weakside linebacker to middle linebacker in subpackages. Foskey is a high-end athlete and chess piece who is still learning the position.
Johnston has gotten off to a slow start in '22 but he's an above-the-rim playmaker whose athleticism and contested-catch abilities reminds us of Chase Claypool.
Sanders is a former five-star who transferred from Alabama after the 2021 season and all he's done is dominate for the Razorbacks. He was an edge rusher for the Crimson Tide but he lines up all over the defense for Arkansas and he's been a one-man wrecking crew when he's on the field.
A couple of weeks ago, I was in a meeting with a politician in a conference room at the newspaper. We had a vigorous exchange over several issues, none of which involved race, and when the meeting was over, we shook hands.
Stepping into the newsroom, he said, “I’d still like to have coffee with you to talk about race.”
Evan brought the '70s glamour at Tom Ford, rocking a purple jacket, slim white pants, boots, and a grey turtleneck.
For Diesel, Evan posed in a light-wash denim jacket and patterned baggy cargo pants, plus a pair of sunglasses.
Evan traveled to Milan for the shows and hit the streets in a sleek black leather jacket over a white shirt and white pants, plus a few silver rings.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Alabama • Jr • 6'4" / 243 lbs
The Falcons get the premier defensive prospect in this class in Anderson. No-brainer here.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Ohio State • Jr • 6'3" / 218 lbs
The Seahawks like what they've gotten out of Geno Smith for two games, but he doesn't represent the future. Stroud does.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 194 lbs
Young's savvy play, athletic ability, and accuracy will lead to him being picked early in April. The Texans probably need to upgrade at quarterback.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Clemson • Jr • 6'5" / 275 lbs
This is not Carolina's greatest need, but Murphy has a top-10 pick profile and plays a premium position.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Kansas State • Jr • 6'4" / 255 lbs
The Bears have gotten amazing return on their investment in Robert Quinn. He's just well into his 30s. Anudike-Uzomah would be an ideal understudy.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Clemson • Jr • 6'3" / 240 lbs
C.J. Mosley will be 31 next season, and his cap hit swells to $21 million. Simpson can be an eventual new-age replacement at the linebacker spot.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Georgia • Soph • 6'2" / 210 lbs
The Commanders add some youth to their cornerback room with the large and ultra-talented Ringo.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Georgia • Jr • 6'3" / 300 lbs
The Jaguars have to fortify the interior of their defensive front. Carter is the ideal prospect for Jacksonville.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Florida • Soph • 6'4" / 232 lbs
This may seem crazy after back-to-back disappointing games from Richardson, outings in which his rawness was obvious. But he's the perfect type to learn behind Jared Goff for a season before assuming the starting role in 2024.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Ohio State • Jr • 6'6" / 310 lbs
The Titans have to bolster the offensive front, and Johnson can do that at left tackle.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Georgia • Soph • 6'4" / 310 lbs
The Steelers prudently go offensive line to construct better protection for Kenny Pickett.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Kentucky • Sr • 6'3" / 232 lbs
The Giants front office will love the arm talent, size, and moxie from Levis.
Round 1 - Pick 13
USC • Jr • 6'0" / 175 lbs
The top of the receiver class has gotten off to a slow start, except Addison, who feels like a receiver the Patriots organization will really like.
Round 1 - Pick 14
South Carolina • Jr • 6'0" / 188 lbs
The Raiders absolutely need to get more talent in the secondary, and Smith is a big, physical, athletic, and feisty cornerback from the SEC.
Round 1 - Pick 15
LSU • Jr • 6'0" / 205 lbs
The Colts desperately -- and I mean desperately -- need more talent at receiver. Boutte has that in spades.
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
An early-season won't stop Smith-Njigba from going in the top half of the first round to a Texans team in need of more offensive weaponry.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Texas A&M • Jr • 6'3" / 195 lbs
The Cardinals have to get better in the secondary. Johnson is built like a strong safety but moves like a nickel corner.
Army West Point • Sr • 6'7" / 260 lbs
The Eagles adore building the defensive front, and Carter can be the new-age edge rusher next to Josh Sweat.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'4" / 265 lbs
The Cowboys love Dalton Schultz, but are they going to pay him big money on a long-term deal after 2022? If not, Mayer would be a perfect replacement.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Northwestern • Jr • 6'4" / 315 lbs
More blocking help for Joe Burrow. Jonah Williams has gotten off to a brutal start this season. Didn't see that coming.
Round 1 - Pick 21
TCU • Jr • 6'4" / 215 lbs
The Vikings could use some youth at receiver behind Justin Jefferson, and Johnson is a tall wideout who flies downfield.
Clemson • Soph • 6'5" / 305 lbs
The Seahawks are more than happy to stop Bresee's fall and add a menacing pass rusher to their defensive front.
Ohio State • Sr • 6'8" / 359 lbs
More blocking for Tua Tagovailoa won't get much criticism from Dolphins fans, and Jones has played well to start the 2022 campaign.
Round 1 - Pick 25
North Carolina • Jr • 5'10" / 175 lbs
How about some more weaponry at receiver for Lamar Jackson?
Round 1 - Pick 26
Alabama • Jr • 6'2" / 190 lbs
I like the Chargers to add more outside cornerback talent early in next year's draft. Ricks would be ideal.
Penn State • Soph • 5'10" / 215 lbs
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jameson Williams, and Washington would be a fun, complementary group at receiver in Detroit.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Penn State • Soph • 6'6" / 321 lbs
Fashanu is super young but has been dominant early in 2022 and would be an exquisite long-term project at tackle in Green Bay.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Illinois • Jr • 6'0" / 180 lbs
Witherspoon has been a ball magnet to start 2022 and looks the part athletically. More playmaking talent for Philadelphia's defense.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Washington • Jr • 6'3" / 213 lbs
Penix is an athletic, strong-arm lefty with an aggressive style. The Buccaneers have to plan for the future at quarterback.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Florida • Soph • 6'6" / 312 lbs
A colossal space eater with incredible strength next to Chris Jones in Kansas City. Nasty combination.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Florida • Jr • 6'5" / 347 lbs
The Bills add youth to the interior of their offensive line with the mashing guard from Florida.
You know the cliché, “all politics are local.” Along with that we hear that people mostly vote “kitchen table issues.”
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his ally Vladimir Putin know these little sayings are considered key to American politics. The American public votes based on what it cost to eat, maintain housing and commute to work. Lofty concepts like the quickly growing international and domestic trend toward totalitarianism is way beyond our caring, let alone comprehension. Price per gallon of gas and milk is where we live. Anything beyond that is the province of those intellectuals who, we are told, not to trust for they harbor very ominous impulses against the common man.
President Putin of Russia wants to go down in history as the guy who rebuilt the Russian Soviet empire. As a very conservative religious person, Putin is being pushed by the Patriarch of Moscow to bring the breakaway churches in Ukraine and other former Soviet countries back into Moscow’s papal fold.
In support of the Ukrainian War, Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill, said in March 2022: “we will never make peace with those who violate the law of God.” Of course, Kirill will define who violates the law of God and Putin will kill them. What’s new in Christianity? The priest points them out, the totalitarian takes ‘em out.
Since we have sanctions against buying Russian oil, where are the Russians getting the money to carry out their holy war? China and India buy Russian oil. Also, Mohammad bin Salman (“MBS” for short) has been buying increasing amounts of Russian oil.
Wait, you might cry, MBS is our buddy. Didn’t President Trump deliver him his very first overseas visit of Trump’s presidency? Didn’t Trump extend sophisticated weapon sales and order American troops to Saudi Arabia to help defend them against those rascals in Iran? Didn’t Trump veto three bills aiming to curtail support for Saudi Arabia? Yup, to all.
But maybe those favors were paid for with the $2 billion dollar investment in Jared Kushner’s and $1 billion investment in Steve Mnuchin’s funds created immediately after they left the White House. Oh, and the LIV golf tournaments at Trump golf courses.
Putin quite enjoyed Trumps efforts in dismantling NATO. Putin truly appreciated the Trump-led totalitarian tide successfully flowing through the Republican Party. Putin and MBS, they want the Republicans back.
So, here’s where we come back to the beginning. Putin leads the oil production in OPEC+ nations and MBS, who leads OPEC proper, got the oil producers to curtail oil production by 2 million barrels per day. This should increase the cost per barrel of oil. It means higher gas prices. All the local Republicans need do is make the political discussion about higher prices around the kitchen table and blame Biden. I’m sure Hoeven, Cramer and Armstrong can help with that. Not only will Russia get more money per gallon for its holy war against the Ukraine, but they will help win the American election for the party of totalitarianism.
Smooth move. If only we could see it coming. If only we could see beyond the kitchen table.
Joe Richardson lives in Fargo.
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.
WASHINGTON - Before the pandemic, the National Air and Space Museum was one of the most popular museums in the world. It drew 6.2 million visitors in 2018 - behind only the Metropolitan Museum of Art in North America - and remained the fifth most popular on the continent in 2019, despite closing some exhibits for the beginning of an extensive multiyear renovation and rehabilitation.
"Millions of visitors can take a toll on a museum space," says Jeremy Kinney, the museum's associate director for research and curatorial affairs.
This weekend, visitors will finally see the results of that transformation in eight revamped galleries, including two with themes new to the museum. Some of the jewels of the collection, including the Wright Flyer, Neil Armstrong's spacesuit and the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, are in new, inspiring settings. Swept away were the carpeted hallways and the dusty and boring galleries. And of the 1,240 artifacts on display, the Smithsonian boasts that 55 percent of them have never been on display in this museum before, from the supersonic Northrop T-38 Talon in which trailblazing pilot Jacqueline "Jackie" Cochran set eight world records to an X-wing starfighter featured in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" and prosthetic ear tips worn by Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock on "Star Trek."
If you're lucky enough to have a timed ticket - more on those below - or are planning a visit soon, here's what you need to know.
The exhibits center objects in new and different ways.
While a large number of artifacts are new to the Mall, that's not the case with some of the most famous. Take the Wright Military Flyer: Built in 1909 and flown that year at Fort Myer in a demonstration for the U.S. Army, it still has its original fabric covering. Bigger and beefier than the famous 1903 Wright Flyer, it was previously displayed hanging from the ceiling. But now, in the Early Flight gallery, it's down at eye level, just like the better-known Wright brothers plane, which has its own place of pride in a gallery down the hall.
Columbia, the command module for the Apollo 11 mission, was previously in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall, "behind Plexiglas," Kinney says, almost in disbelief. In the Destination Moon gallery, it's in a central location in a custom-built case that allows visitors to walk around it, examining the damage caused by the heat of reentry, and trying to imagine three people living inside for any period of time. (Make sure to see the video screen behind Columbia, which shows features of the cramped quarters, from the lockers to the seats, and even offers a view of Michael Collins's famous post-splashdown inscription on one of the instrument panels.)
"Visitors interact with exhibits in different ways," Kinney says. "Some read all the labels, some want the interactive. We have visitors who have a checklist - they're coming to see the first airplane. Others are genuinely curious. The space is designed for this - you want to have the artifact, but you also have the story behind it," so people can put the object in context. The museum is also approaching different groups of visitors, using models or hands-on components for visitors who might have vision or mobility issues, for example.
For Destination Moon, which has some of the Smithsonian's most prized artifacts, it was a matter of shaping the exhibit for a different, younger audience. "We had an Apollo to the Moon gallery in the old museum, but it needed to be re-contextualized," Kinney says. "When the museum opened [in 1976], moon landings were a latest memory." Now, it has been 50 years since a human walked on the moon, and fewer visitors recall where they were when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Sea of Tranquility. There's more information about the space race and its role in the culture of the time.
There's also a desire to tell a wider group of stories: Near the main entrance is the WR-3, a racing plane built by Neal Loving, the first Black pilot and double amputee certified to race airplanes. A display in the Thomas W. Haas We All Fly gallery highlights Jerrie Mock, who took up flying as a hobby and became the first woman to fly solo around the world in 1964. Both planes were previously on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly but now have a more prominent position in the nation's front yard. In Destination Moon, one display addresses "Why only White male astronauts?" by telling visitors about the Mercury 13 - a group of women who passed the same physical tests as NASA astronauts but were never accepted into NASA programs.
Get ready to get interactive.
Artifacts are essential to telling the museum's stories, whether it's the spacesuit that Armstrong wore while hopping around the lunar surface or the stopwatch the Wright brothers used to time their test flights at Kitty Hawk. But looking at objects isn't going to touch every visitor, especially the younger ones. Air and Space has always had flight simulators and interactive games and stations, but the revamped galleries go far beyond anything seen before.
The most immersive experience is "Walking on Other Worlds" in the Kenneth C. Griffin Exploring the Planets Gallery. Visitors walk into the middle of a circular space, more than 25 feet in diameter, surrounded by video screens. Over the course of seven minutes, they're taken to seven locations throughout the galaxy, including Jupiter's moon Titan, Mars and the surface of a comet. With almost 360 degrees of visuals, you can swivel around to see details - the remains of the Huygens Probe, which crashed into Titan in 2005, the rocky red outcrops so familiar from the Perseverance Rover's Instagram feed - while facts appear on the screen, pop-up-video style, talking about the temperature, gravity or surface features. (Methane lakes on Titan? Awesome.) Think of it as virtual reality without the helmet.
Over near the models of Mars rovers, a touch-screen game asks visitors to pilot a rover on missions across the Red Planet's surface, weighing risks of getting stuck versus the chance of scientific discovery, and investigating whether sites may show evidence of water before the solar clock runs down. Throughout the museum, there are chances to build your own solar system, choose the most important elements of a flying car, or track flights and animal migrations projected onto a 10-foot globe.
There are more "traditional" elements to touch and play with, too, such as pulling levers in the Wright brothers gallery to demonstrate the concept of wing warping or moving joysticks in America By Air to show how flight controls, such as rudders and wing flaps, have changed over the years. One of the most basic - and most compelling - is the Evel Knievel pinball machine in Nation of Speed. Visitors are challenged to "jump" a pinball across a chasm, similar to one of the daredevil's stunts, but have to play around with the speed of the ball and angle of ramps to successfully land on the other side.
The museum is not just about air or space.
If we're being honest, some of the galleries feel similar to the old displays. America By Air, for instance, tells the story of passenger air travel, with its display containing Emilio Pucci's swinging '60s stewardess fashions and a walk-through Douglas DC-7, which is absolutely dwarfed by the nose of a Boeing 747. But that's not always the case.
Nation of Speed, one of the new exhibit themes, explores America's obsession with things that move really fast while making a lot of noise. This was a collaboration between Air and Space and the National Museum of American History, which lent items including racecars driven by Richard Petty and Mario Andretti. Sure, Kinney concedes, each museum could have crafted its own exhibition about the need for speed, but it made more sense to join forces, even if, he says with a smile, "we have the fastest artifacts."
The gallery prominently centers the story of Air Force Col. John Stapp, whose 632 mph ride in the rocket sled Sonic Wind 1 exposed him to a G-force of 46.2 - the most faced by a human - and made him "the fastest man alive" while researching rapid acceleration and deceleration. Stapp's experiments help set safety standards for both aircraft and cars.
Kinney says the guiding principle here was, "How can we do an exhibit that's out of the box?" And it certainly is, compared with the focused tales in the other galleries. Here, the displays wander between racing aircraft, rocket engines, record-setting motorcycles and a case of toys, from a Barbie-sized Corvette to Matchbox planes to a three-foot-high model of a German V-2 rocket, which shows how our desire for machines that go faster, faster, faster is imbued at a young age.
There are some curious inclusions, from a 1980s crash test dummies commercial and bricks from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the taxidermied remains of Gilmore the Flying Lion, the pet of charismatic plane racer Roscoe Turner. (Turner, who broke transcontinental speed records in the 1930s, was sponsored by Gilmore Oil Company, owner of the Red Lion gasoline brand. "It was all about advertising," Kinney says.) The lion had its own parachute when it flew with Turner - which it did for only nine months, the display says, "until Gilmore grew too big" to fit in the cockpit.
"It's a temporary exhibit," Kinney says, but don't rush: In Air and Space terms, that means it's going to be around for a decade.
Not all of the museum's iconic artifacts are on display.
Whether you grew up visiting the Air and Space Museum frequently or you had your life changed by a seventh-grade field trip, you probably had a favorite thing you've seen again and again: the moon rock, Chuck Yeager's sleek Bell X-1 jet, the walk-through Skylab orbital workshop, the puppet theater telling the story of the first balloon flight over the English Channel.
But with only eight of the 23 exhibition and display areas reopened, there's just not space to show everything. Some artifacts, like Yeager's sound-barrier-shattering Glamorous Glennis, have been relocated to Udvar-Hazy during renovations, along with John Glenn's Friendship 7 capsule and Gemini IV. Many artifacts remain in storage, including the moon rock and Skylab.
Some decisions are more complicated. Charles Lindbergh's famous Spirit of St. Louis, used on the first transatlantic flight, is awaiting installation in a new gallery, but in the meantime, museum director Chris Browne didn't want to keep the aircraft off public view, according to spokesperson Alison Mitchell. So if you go up to the second floor and walk past the One World Connected exhibit, you can peer around a corner and, behind velvet ropes, see the shining silver plane.
Getting in might be tougher than you think.
There's a lot of interest in the renovated museum, and the Smithsonian has turned to free timed entry passes to handle the expected crowds. About 8,000 will be available per day at first, though that could change. This weekend, Friday through Sunday are already full, as is Oct. 22. A limited number of same-day passes will become available online each day at 8:30 a.m.
The museum will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except for Christmas, and passes are required for everyone. Tickets for a new group of dates are released every six weeks; on Sept. 14, the museum opened all dates between Oct. 14 and Nov. 30 for reservations. On Oct. 28, visitors will be able to reserve dates between Dec. 1 and Jan. 14, and then on Dec. 16, reservations become available for dates between Jan. 15 and Feb. 28.
Passes allow admission at the top of the hour between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (for example, you can't reserve passes for 10:30 a.m.). Visitors should arrive no more than 15 minutes before their admission time, and at busy periods, the museum advises that it may take up to 30 minutes to actually enter. Passes allow entry for up to an hour after the time on the ticket; after that, admission depends on the museum's capacity.
“The View” co-hosts had a field day with former President Donald Trump’s interview on Fox News’ “Hannity,” in which he claimed presidents can declassify documents simply by “thinking about it.” Whoopi Goldberg led the reactions, as she closed her eyes and pinched her fingers — pretending to be deep in thought — saying, “I’m thinking him into jail.”
The comment drew uproarious applause from the audience, leading fellow co-host Sunny Hostin to chime in sarcastically, “Because you could just think about stuff, and the stuff just happens.”
Trump made the remark following New York Attorney General Letitia James’ announcement of the state’s lawsuit against him, his family members and company over widespread fraud claims, seeking a quarter of a billion dollars in damages. Hostin continued, “You know [James] has receipts. It’s a 220-page lawsuit, and it lays out his annual financial statements for years and years and years.”
There is a separate ongoing criminal investigation, which Trump denounced as a “witch hunt,” that involves the highly sensitive documents that were seized by federal agents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home and resort in Florida. The ex-president’s own legal team has resisted efforts to affirm whether the documents in question were declassified.
Joy Behar chimed in, reacting to the news that Trump has been accused of inflating his earnings and assets for decades: “He exaggerates everything,” she said, adding that he will probably joke that he has the “biggest, most beautiful” cell once he goes to jail. “Fourteen-thousand square foot cell I’m in!”
KYLIE Jenner has been mocked by fans who noticed two embarrassing items in the background of her latest sexy photos.
The Kardashians star, 25, showed off her curves in a skintight white Acne gown in her hotel room in Paris on Sunday night.
Kylie pouted and pulled a slew of seductive poses to the camera.
However, her fans couldn't help but notice two distinctly unsexy objects in the background - the hydration drink Pedialyte and the salad dressing Hidden Valley Ranch.
The orange bottle of Pedialyte, which is often seen as a hangover cure, was spotted on the top of the bar table.
The Hidden Valley Ranch, meanwhile, was placed on its lower shelf.
One amused fan wrote on Reddit: "Loving the Pedialyte and Hidden Valley Ranch lol."
Another added: "Do I spy Pedialyte in the last two photos? So she does have good taste."
A third posted, "The Pedialyte on the bar table. Embarrassing," with a slew of laughing face emojis
Kylie jetted to Paris last week to attend the runway shows during the French capital's fashion week.
She has made headlines with her fashion-forward looks, opting for a pink fuzzy gown one night and a semi-sheer lace number the next.
On Sunday, she partied with her sister Khloe Kardashian at the Balenciaga after-party.
The pair did shots of tequila in the car before striking a series of provocative poses at the fashion event.
Kylie doesn't seem to have been joined by her two children - daughter Stormi, four, or her 10-month-old baby son, whose name she hasn't revealed.
The Hulu star shares both kids with rapper Travis Scott.
She gave birth to her son in February and revealed a month later that they have changed their second child's name from Wolf to something else.
"FYI our son's name isn't Wolf anymore," Kylie explained on her Instagram Stories.
"We just really didn't feel like it was him. Just wanted to share because I keep seeing Wolf everywhere."
Kylie has previously been accused of stealing the name from her former friend Tammy Hembrow.
The fitness model's son – born four years prior to the TV star's – is also called Wolf.
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This is the latest in our twice-a-month series on underrated destinations, It's Still a Big World.
It soars 154 feet above you, its ascent so steep that when you climb it you almost feel as if you’ll fall backward—but the Jaguar Temple at Tikal, so often the sole destination for travelers to this corner of Guatemala, merely hints at the wonders here. In reality, Tikal is now one of the most unexciting of the attractions one can find in Petén, the region known as "the heart of the Mayan world."
Don’t misunderstand us, Tikal is still a fantastic destination to visit, but there are certain details that make it feel more like an amusement park than the ancient and mystical center that is promoted so much.
However, it does offer a golden opportunity. At the top of Temple IV, our mind is allowed to wander, along with the sounds emitted by the jungle, to imagine the secrets that are hidden under the leafy trees and wonder if it is possible to discover them in a more “natural” way.
And yes, lucky us, it can be done. But these options require special mental and physical preparation, because you must enter the dense tropical wilderness of Petén, and you must want to sleep in archaeological camps, and show a spirit strong enough to face an endless horde of mosquitoes ready to eat you alive.
For those keen on a Maya version of a bush safari, you can hike and walk through different trails on a three-day trip with a final destination of Tikal. Start at El Zotz which is the Mayan word for “bat.” This archeological site is located about 30 km west of Tikal and has approximately 39 different species of bats.
The trek was created and is run by members of local communities that live inside the forest as it’s one of the few ways for them to get their hands on the financial opportunities in tourism. And since most of this tropical paradise is protected, this is your sole way in. Along this 19-mile-long journey, you’ll have the opportunity to get in contact with creatures like gray foxes, poisonous snakes, birds, tapirs, and other microfauna.
Usually, during your whole time inside the jungle, you will hear the sounds of thousands of cicadas that mix with the songs of the toucans and other exotic birds that move through the dense foliage. The guides have lived in the tropical rainforest all their lives, so they know the signs the wildlife leave everywhere and if you stick close to them you’ll avoid the bite of a Barba Amarilla (Yellow-beard snake), one of the deadliest in all of Latin America.
This trek has a second main attraction: a rock formation called “peñon de los murciélagos,” a cave that is home for thousands of these bat species which deliver a natural spectacle, usually around sunset, when they gush out to start their day. You'll see a huge cloud of them flying, and soon you’ll realize that you are not the only attendee to this show. If you pay close attention, you’ll be able to see different birds of prey, eager to have their last snack of the day. Wild takeout, if you like.
There is something magical that you feel when submerging yourself in that green ocean, where the incessant buzzing of the cicadas creates an intimate and primordial place, where we stop asking ourselves questions, we simply flow. And that is the main attraction of this walk, because it is the same natural environment that teaches us to appreciate what we have in front of us. As we said, mental preparation is essential to be able to appreciate these little details that a trip like this gives us.
And as expected, the rest camps are very basic, but what they lack in comfort they make up for with the kindness and warmth of the local guides.
When you return to Tikal and listen to the voices of other tourists who walk its paths, climb its pyramids, you will feel a mixture of sensations: on the one hand, relief for being able to make use of the benefits of modernity, such as the bathrooms, and on the other, the satisfaction of having reached Tikal in a non-traditional way, charged with an energy that is difficult to describe.
A three-day, two-night trek inside Central America's largest tropical forest can definitely be considered a crash course in "how to survive the jungle." But survival and fun do not necessarily require such extreme and intense decisions.
Two and a half hours northwest of Isla de Flores, the hotel zone of Petén, there is a resort-type place, with comfortable rooms, spectacular views, and excellent food where you can experience exciting activities with exotic animals in their natural environment, called Estación Biológica Las Guacamayas.
Unlike the previous experience, the essential idea here is to combine the comfort of a nice hotel—with air conditioning, freshly made beds, and hot water—with a variety of activities that involve getting in contact with nature.
For example, there’s the “Adventure within nature” package, where, for three days you will be able to walk in the wilderness and see owls, different types of reptiles, birds and insects and the endemic petenero crocodile, a fast-running freshwater croc that can grow up to 10 feet in length. There’s the chance to take a unique kayak tour in a river called Sakaluk, surrounded by Maya sites and natural reserves. During your journey, you’ll be able to visit the Waka Peru archeological site. This ancient Maya city is the largest known prehistoric place in Laguna del Tigre National Park.
Why is a historic site in Guatemala named after Peru, you might ask? Well, this name was given by locals a century ago, but its original name, carved in the stone hieroglyphics, is Waka, which means centipede watery place.
Yaxhá and Puerto Arturo
If you have come this far, you can imagine that almost everything you can do in Petén is related to ancient archaeological sites, wildlife, and impressive natural settings. Yaxhá and Puerto Arturo are no different and both can be accessed through different tours operated from Isla de Flores.
Yaxhá is located in the northeast of Petén, and like Tikal, first impresses you with its massive and well preserved structures. Its name was discovered on a rock full of hieroglyphs, and it means "green water." The hieroglyph depicts the head of a parrot, and the researchers believe that this could be due to the presence of green and blue parrots in the area, or due to the presence of two lagoons, Yaxhá and Sacnab, whose waters are turquoise.
The site has more than 500 structures, including forty stelae, thirteen altars, nine pyramids, two ball courts, and a network of causeways connecting the Central, East Acropolis and North Acropolis with the squares and periphery.
Puerto Arturo, like Yaxhá, is a wetland, and its state of conservation is so pristine, that the only thing that occurred to the community is to promote scientific tourism, because it is an ideal area for research on all the wildlife that inhabits this area of the Mesoamerican tropics near the Mexican border.
Puerto Arturo, Yaxhá, and all the destinations mentioned so far, are located within the biggest protected area of all of Central America: The Reserva de la Biosfera Maya, or RBM. Here, a series of studies are carried out to determine the health of the ecosystems, as well as the abundance of the different species of animals that live there.
Being part of these studies, the locals came up with the idea to lure scientists and researchers to come here and conduct their own studies, while taking some time off from modern life. But if you are not a scientist, the interesting thing is that you’ll be able to see where these studies are carried out, see how they set and monitor the trap cameras, and, if you are lucky enough, catch a glimpse of the jaguar, the most sacred and revered animal for the ancient Mayans.
“We take them and show them the place where the jaguar could have passed. We open the cameras, show the tourists its prints in the mud and we take them to water holes where they usually hang out,” said Mynor Hernández Zapata, one of the guides and protectors of the forest in Puerto Arturo.
Even though Tikal will always take the crown for being a magnificent treasure, other jewels in the dense and green jungle need to be explored. Petén is a place to experience unforgettable adventures; its beautiful views, surrounded by ruins and temples, make it a unique place to visit in Guatemala. There is no other site in Central America to see local wildlife from a closer perspective and learn about one of the most influential civilizations in history by visiting different Mayan sites.
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Now that we’re fully entrenched in fall, comfort is key—especially when it comes to footwear. It’s time to toss those flip-flops and strappy heels to the back of your closet and invest in footwear that’ll help you survive the cooler months in maximum footwear contentment: We’re talking about the Birkenstock clog.
This iconic shoe is a fall staple thanks to its business in the front, party in the back design that allows your toes to stay warm while your heels get some air. A cushy footbed and the fact that it takes about 0.1 seconds to slip these on make Birkenstock clogs hard to resist. And, while these were once known as a hippie staple, Birkenstocks have become a mainstream favorite thanks to their extreme comfort and durability.
Whether you’re new to the Birkenstock clog game (welcome!) or are looking to upgrade your old pair, these options are not to be missed. Just a word of warning: These clogs sell out fast. So, if you’re interested in a pair in time for the colder weather, it’s time to take action.
Boston Oiled Leather Clog
Birkenstock’s Boston is a classic, and the company calls this their “most sought-after” clog. Crafted from oiled nubuck leather, this shoe is made to look better with time. Enjoy the standard Birkenstock cork-latex footbed and a lightweight EVA sole. An adjustable strap allows you to get that perfect fit, so you don’t have to stress about your shoes flying off as you cruise around town.
Boston Shearling Leather Clog
Want a little more warmth with the Boston clogs but aren’t quite ready to add socks into the mix? The Boston Shearling has a fluffy shearling footbed to make you feel like you’re walking around in slippers. Enjoy a suede upper—in mink, mocha, or black—along with an adjustable strap for the perfect mix of fashion and function.
Buckley Suede Leather Clog
Get the look and feel of loafers with an open-back twist. These clogs are crafted from buttery soft suede and feature the classic Birkenstock cork footbed. Pick between five neutral shades that look great with jeans, dresses, leggings, and more.
Zermatt Premium Suede Leather Clog
Want Birkenstock clogs with a slightly different look than the Bostons? The Zermatt's have a sleek style with a suede leather upper you’ll want to run your hands over. The rubber outsole is extra grippy to help keep you from sliding over leaves and slick conditions. Five color options help you find your perfect match.
Tokio Shearling Oiled Leather Clogs
The classic open-back clog style makes some people nervous, and fair. If you want the Birkenstock vibe but want to ensure that your shoes won’t go anywhere, consider the Tokio Shearling. These clogs have a soft, fuzzy interior for maximum comfort, along with a strap across the back to keep your footwear firmly in place.
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