King Tut’s Tomb Is Reopening to Visitors After 9 Years of Dazzling Restoration Work — Take a Look Inside

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 11:06
<p>After nine years of restoration, Tutankhamun (AKA King Tut)’s tomb is making its grand re-debut.</p><p>Since its discovery in 1922, the tomb has become one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world. By the ‘80s, the tomb was receiving <a href="" target="_blank">thousands of visitors every day</a>. The impact of that many people on the thousands-year-old tomb was already beginning to have an effect. Carbon monoxide from visitors’ breath, exposure to moisture, and small bumps and scratches were wearing away the tomb.</p><img alt="Tomb of Tutankhamen - Conservation "src=""><p>In 2009, the Getty Conservation Institute partnered with Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities to complete the most rigorous exploration of the tomb since it was first discovered almost 100 years ago.</p><img alt="Tomb of Tutankhamen - Conservation "src=""><p>“The crux of our project was to figure out how to manage the level of visitation and then also to continue to maintain the tomb in good condition for the future,” Laurie Wong, a wall paintings expert from the Getty Conservation Institute, <a href="" target="_blank">told Artnet News</a>.</p><p>The tomb still houses some of the original objects found in the 1922 discovery, including Tutankhamun’s mummy itself, now displayed in an oxygen-free case. Visitors can also see King Tut’s quartzite sarcophagus, the wooden outermost coffin and the wall paintings that depict the pharaoh's life and death.</p><img alt="Tomb of Tutankhamen - Conservation "src=""><img alt="Tomb of Tutankhamen - Conservation "src=""><p>Additions to the tomb include a new viewing platform, an updated air filtration system, and improved walkways, signs, and lights.</p><p>In addition to works of preservation, the team was also working on conservation and exploration. Conservators concluded that King Tut’s death was probably unexpected (he died at age 19) and that the tomb was not originally intended for him.</p><img alt="Tomb of Tutankhamen - Conservation "src=""><p>The project was so expensive that the Getty Conservation Institute declined to give a figure on how much it cost. It was originally supposed to be completed in 2014 but was delayed several times due to the start of the Arab Spring in 2011 and political unrest in 2013.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Packable Robot Will Scan Your Hotel Bed and Rid It of Germs

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 11:02
<p>You can do all the preliminary research you want, but it won’t prevent the inevitable: One day you will likely check into a hotel room or vacation rental that is below your standards. Whether it’s a rogue hair on a “clean” sheet, a pillow case that reeks of cigarettes, or a duvet cover that has seen fresher days, the bed of your nightmare is out there — but there is a way to prevent your trip from starting off on a germ-filled foot.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">CleanseBot</a>, a patent-pending robot, has been developed for just this type of occasion. The pocket-sized technology can sanitize and disinfect surfaces — including the hotel bed — and is equipped with a UV-C light that is said to prevent the spread of airborne viruses. Launched on <a href="" target="_blank">IndieGogo</a>, a crowdfunding platform, on Jan. 6, the robot has already raised more than $1.3 million. According to its page on the site, in a study conducted by an independent third party, the CleanseBot was found to kill 99.99 percent of E.coli.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Why You Should Think Twice Before Using a Hotel Hair Dryer</a></p><p>The CleanseBot has three modes. The first is an automated setting that cleans underneath the bed’s blankets and can be set for 30 or 60 minutes. The second, the handheld mode, cleans smaller objects, like the alarm clock, phone, and T.V. remote — likely the germiest item in your entire hotel room, a <a href="" target="_blank">surprising study found</a>. The third mode, the powerbank mode, is for charging the device. The CleanseBot can run for four hours before needing a charge.</p><p>Early backers of this product, which is still in its prototype phase, can buy it at a discounted price. A single travel robot costs $99 right now (a 61% discount of the original price of $259) and is expected to ship in April 2019. Other packages on the IndieGoGo site allow eager customers to buy multiple robots for less.</p>
Categories: Travel

A Historic Portion of Beijing’s Forbidden City Will Open to the Public For the First Time in Its Centuries-old History

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 10:46
<p>A historic portion of <a href="" target="_blank">Beijing’s</a> famed Forbidden City will soon open to the public for the first time.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">World Monuments Fund</a> (WMF) has announced that the sprawling Qianlong Garden, said to hold “some of the most significant, exquisitely designed interiors to survive relatively unchanged from imperial <a href="" target="_blank">China</a>,” will soon open for visitors for the very first time since its centuries-old origins.</p><img alt="A photo of one of the interiors, the Juanqinzhai theater room, after conservation. "src=""><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Qianlong Garden</a> was created for the anticipated retirement of the Qianlong Emperor, China’s longest-reigning sovereign<b>, </b>between 1771 and 1776 and was meant to serve as a grand complex for his retirement in the Forbidden City. According to WMF officials, it was meant to be a mini-Forbidden City housed within the Forbidden City.</p><p>The complex, which takes up close to two acres of the northeast quadrant of the Forbidden City, has four courtyards, 27 different pavilions and structures, and eye-catching rock gardens. Inside, visitors will find decorations and furnishings dating back to a “time widely considered to be one of the boldest and most extravagant periods of interior design in China’s history,” according to <a href="" target="_blank">WMF representatives</a>.</p><img alt="The Juanqinzhai theater room has already been restored. "src=""><p>Though the complex, which is the only private imperial garden to have been built for an emperor's retirement, was created with the most pristine craftsmanship and luxury goods, it remained mostly unused after 1924, signaling the need for repairs to maintain its prestige. </p><p>For this reason, the WMF teamed up with China's <a href="" target="_blank">Palace Museum</a>, studying the sight and creating a restoration plan to bring its magnificent interiors to an audience. </p><img alt="A photo of one of the interiors, the Juanqinzhai theater room, before conservation. "src=""><img alt="A photo of one of the interiors, the Juanqinzhai theater room, after conservation. "src=""><p>Conservation of locations like the <a href="" target="_blank">Juanqinzhai</a> theater room have already been completed. Juanqinzhai, also known as the Studio of Exhaustion from Diligent Service, is known for its silk paintings across its ceiling and walls of the private theater, its bamboo threaded reception room, and its jade inlays and textiles. </p><p>Take a look at the video below to get a sense of <a href="" target="_blank">Juanqinzhai's</a> fascinating design. </p><p>Now, the WMF has chosen architect Annabelle Selldorf of the NYC-based firm <a href="" target="_blank">Selldorf Architects</a> to design an interpretation center at the Qianlong Garden, giving the public access to the sight.</p><p>The interpretation center, which will be housed in a restored structure within the second courtyard of the Qianlong Garden, will be dispersed between three halls surrounding an open pavilion to give visitors a look into the past and current state of the sight.</p><p>There will be one hall with exhibition space to showcase the complex’s eighteenth-century design and history, another hall showcasing the conservation of the complex, and an open space where visitors will have clear views of the rock gardens.</p><img alt="A photo of one of the structures, Fuwangge, before conservation. "src=""><img alt="A photo of one of the structures, Fuwangge, after conservation. "src=""><p>Each hall in the new center will be aligned with elements that include artifacts and videos to provide visitors with a memorable experience, with construction on the interior of the interpretation center set to start later this year for completion in 2020. </p>
Categories: Travel

This Company Will Pay Chocolate Lovers to Travel Across the U.S. This Spring

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 10:34
<p>Calling all <a href="" target="_blank">chocolate</a> lovers: Dutch confectionary company <a href="" target="_blank">Tony’s Chocolonely</a>, which focuses on producing and selling chocolates that promote fair trade practices and are created 100 percent slave free, is on the search for its next “Chocotruck" captain.</p><p>The company is looking for three folks to become the new staff of its Chocotruck and take the vehicle on a multi-city drive throughout the U.S. to share their love of chocolate with people across the country.</p><img alt="Drive the Chocotruck this spring. "src=""><p>Chocoholics are invited to apply for both the <a href="" target="_blank">captain</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">co-pilot</a> spots now through Feb. 12 for the chance to take the truck on a tour across ten different U.S. cities this spring, starting at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.</p><p>Additional stops will include Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, Eugene, Portland, Seattle, and Chicago.</p><p>As part of the job, those chosen will help to educate people about the inequalities that can exist in the cocoa industry, including illegal child labor on cocoa farms.</p><p>The driver will be responsible for not only steering the truck filled with chocolate goodies, but also managing a team of two other co-pilots and handling the logistics, activations, photography, and daily recap of the tour.</p><p>Meanwhile, co-pilots will report to the captain and assist with setting up events, helping fans taste and buy chocolates, answer questions to visitors, and more.</p><p>The roles, which last four months for the captain and three months for co-pilots, include competitive salary and perks (including those in chocolate form). The captain position also includes the possibility to extend the role to a permanent position. </p><p><strong>Related: <a href="" target="_blank">Where to Find the World’s Best Hot Chocolate</a></strong></p><p>“We’re very crazy about chocolate and we want to share the fun with choco fans across the country; but don’t be mistaken,” U.S. marketing manager of the company Dena White <a href="" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. “Everything we do is to achieve a single goal: to make all chocolate worldwide 100% slave free; the Chocotruck is our way of taking our mission on the road and sharing our story with as many new friends as we can,” White added.</p><p>For both positions, candidates will need to be at least 21 years of age, authorized to work in the U.S., be able to pass a DMV and background check, have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record, have the ability to drive large vehicles and lift 40 pounds on a regular basis, and have strong verbal and written communication skills.</p><p>They’ll also be required to hold a bachelor’s degree and have a minimum of three years of road touring or event production experience.</p>
Categories: Travel

Lake Michigan Is Frozen Over and Shrouded in 'Sea Smoke' and the Photos Are so Dramatic (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 10:31
<p>The recent <a href="" target="_blank">polar vortex</a> has brought extremely cold temperatures to parts of the U.S., causing snow and intense winds in cities across the Midwest.</p><p>While the dangerously cold temperatures have brought with them transportation and travel disruptions, with people encouraged to stay indoors for safety, they've also created a majestic sight along Lake Michigan.</p><img alt="A view of Lake Michigan from Kenosha, Wisconsin. "src=""><p>The frigid temperatures are some of the coldest the Midwest has experienced in more than 20 years, according to <a href="" target="_blank">The Weather Channel</a>, and they’ve caused Lake Michigan to start freezing over.</p><p>Those in cities with views of the frozen lake have been posting images of the sight, and the parts of it that have begun turning into ice.</p><p>Photos can be seen from locations like Kenosha and Chicago, where temperatures felt as low as -51 degrees Fahrenheit Wednesday and -18 degrees Fahrenheit Thursday thanks to the wind chill, according to the <a href="" target="_blank">National Weather Service</a>.</p><p> </p><p>Videos also show smoke billowing over the lake, creating a fascinating and dramatic view.</p><p>The smoking effect, known as “sea smoke,” happens when cold air comes into contact with the layer of relatively warmer air that sits immediately above a body of water.</p><img alt="Temperatures dropped to -20 degrees Fahrenheit in Chicago. "src=""><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Watch Manhattan Disappear in Footage From Wednesday’s Wild Snow Squall</a></p><p>The clouds that rise like smoke from the water’s surface occur because the cold air can only hold so much moisture as the evaporating water beings to rise, eventually forcing the liquid to condense into fog, <a href="" target="_blank">Catherine Schmitt</a>, communications coordinator for the Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine explained several years back.</p><img alt="Ice-covered break walls line Lake Michigan. "src=""><p>As low temperatures continue, it remains essential to practice safety, as <a href="" target="_blank">several deaths</a> have already been linked to the freezing weather.</p><p>Those who happen to be traveling during this time will want to check with their airline, as hundreds of flights have been delayed or canceled.</p>
Categories: Travel

Uber’s Newest Feature Will Help You Determine If You Should Call a Car or Take Public Transportation (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 10:06
<p>Need a better way to get around the Mile High City? Uber can help with that.</p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">USA Today</a></em>, Uber users in Denver can now use the app to plan their trips via public transit as well as by car. This includes carpools, electric bikes, buses and the light rail, meaning that getting around <a href="" target="_blank">Denver</a> just got way easier.</p><p>Starting Thursday, Jan. 31, the app will have a new “Transit” option for users to see what is the best (and most budget-friendly) way to get to their destination using all kinds of options including Denver’s public transportation systems. Not only will users get a price quote, but also an estimated time of arrival to help weigh which option is best at the time.</p><img alt="Uber "src=""><p>“We are bringing transit as a way to get around, which we know in many cases is the best, fastest, most convenient way for someone to get from A to B within a city," Andrew Salzberg, Uber's head of transportation policy and research told <em>USA Today</em>.</p><p>Public transit is a necessity for many people in urban areas, including Denver. And with high gas prices, expensive parking, and rising cost of car ownership, Uber has increasingly become a viable option for commuters. In fact, in some places, it’s <a href="" target="_blank">cheaper to Uber to work</a> than to drive yourself.</p><p>David Reich, Uber’s head of transit, told <em>USA Today</em> that users will be able to see how much walking is involved (great for freezing Denver winters), how many transfers they have to make, as well as directions to bus and light rail stops and ETA’s on when the next pickup is coming.</p><p>The company has teamed up with the city’s transport agency, Regional Transportation District (RTD), in order to bring this service to Denverites. According to <em>USA Today</em>, users will also be able to use the app for ticketing in the future through the city’s partnership with Masabi, a mobile ticketing platform.</p><p>“Strategically we're trying to be the all-in-one app for mobility,” Reich told <em>USA Today</em>.</p><p>Denver has been criticized in the past for struggling to <a href="" target="_blank">keep up with its growing population</a>; often investing more money into highway projects rather than in public transit, and creating more car traffic in the city, <a href="" target="_blank"><i>The Verge</i> reported</a>. The new partnership with Uber may be a good push to encourage Denverites to take public transportation more often.</p><p>But Denver won’t be the only city reaping the benefits of this new feature. The company has a plan to launch in other U.S. cities over the course of the year and eventually around the world.</p>
Categories: Travel

This $11 Train Ride Takes You Through Japan's Most Scenic Winter Landscapes While You Sip Sake (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 10:00
<p>There’s something about a scenic train ride through the snow that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.</p><p>There are lots of gorgeously picturesque train rides <a href="" target="_blank">all over the U.S</a>. and <a href="" target="_blank">across the globe</a>, and they’re not even just for the <a href="" target="_blank">holiday season</a>.</p><p>But there’s one scenic train ride that’s sure to warm you up in the wintertime more than any other: a ride on a classic stove train through the wintry farmlands of <a href="" target="_blank">Japan</a> — all while sipping sake.</p><img alt="Train conductor officer riding on vintage potbelly stove train opperated on Tsugaru railway in winter snow at Goshogawara station, Aomori, Tohoku, Japan. "src=""><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">CNN</a>, this historic “stove train,” operated by the Tsugaru Railway Line, takes three journeys daily beginning at 9:30 a.m. from the Tsugaru Goshogawara station in Goshogawara, Aomori Prefecture, Japan. The 45-minute ride takes you through a practically magical, wintry landscape, past villages and farmlands that seem to be frozen with snow.</p><img alt=" A Tsugaru Railways train runs through a snow field on February 2, 2017 in Aomori, Japan "src=""><p>In fact, according to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Insider</a></em>, nearby Aomori City is the snowiest city in the world. Luckily, the 1950’s era train is equipped with potbelly stoves to provide some much needed warmth to the cars.</p><p>But there’s more to enjoy besides the view. On the train, riders can sample local food, including grilled squid and, of course, delicious, local sake. At the end of the journey, riders can get off at Tsugaru Nakazato station for a short respite before boarding again and heading back to their original destination.</p><img alt="A Tsugaru Railways train crew adds coal to a stove as the train runs through a snow field on February 2, 2017 in Aomori, Japan. "src=""><p>According to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Japan Times</a></em>, the journey from Goshogawara to Nakazato is only about 20 kilometers (about 12 miles), making it a short but sweet trip. The snowy journey runs between December and March, and tickets only cost $11 (1,250 Yen).</p><img alt="Passengers sit near a stove in a Tsugaru Railways train on February 2, 2017 in Aomori, Japan. "src=""><p>For more information on taking a train ride can be found on the <a href="" target="_blank">Tsugaru tourism website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Massive Elephant Seals Took Over a California Beach During the Government Shutdown and Nobody Can Get Them to Move

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 09:55
<p>The <a href="" target="_blank">government shutdown</a> may be over (for now), but the work to restore some of America’s sacred outdoor spaces has just begun. For places such as <a href="" target="_blank">Joshua Tree</a>, facing that process is daunting due to litter and other damage caused by humans, but one beach in California is experiencing a different kind of side effect.</p><p>During the shutdown, government workers were put on furlough and were no longer required to attend to Drake Beach, a stretch of sand in Northern California that is part of the National Park System's <a href="" target="_blank">Point Reyes National Seashore</a>. Because it was left abandoned, nobody was there to monitor the local wildlife, which includes a few gigantic elephant seals. So, the seals decided to reclaim their land and snuggle up on the shore. And now, nobody can get them to leave.</p><p>"I've not seen anything like this here with these numbers," John Dell'Osso of the National Park Service told <a href="" target="_blank">KPIX</a>, a local <em>CNN </em>affiliate. "An occasional rogue elephant seal yes, but nothing like this."</p><p>According to Dell’Osso, the seals not only came ashore during the shutdown, but they actually had enough time to birth a few babies. And those babies will need to stay put for quite some time.</p><p>"Now we have some 35 to 40 pups that have been born on the beach and will be nursing from their mothers for the next couple of months," he said. "I just want to caution the public to be patient with us, as we're trying to work our way through this."</p><p>Had the shutdown not occurred, Dell’Osso explained to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Motherboard</a></em> that his team would have likely attempted to move the seals away from the parking area.</p><p>“This would be done by a standard practice of using tarps and waving them at the seals to the point where they turn around and go further down the beach,” Dell’Osso said.</p><p>Because of the influx of animals, the National Park Service closed the visitor’s center parking area, along with the road leading to it. This, Dell’Osso said, was out of an abundance of caution to ensure no problems between humans and wildlife would ensue.</p><p>For now, parks officials have called in experts to learn more about dealing with the large population influx, KPIX reported. More details about reopening the area are expected this weekend.</p>
Categories: Travel

A Tourist in Australia Unknowingly Held One of the Most Poisonous Creatures in the Ocean

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 08:59
<p>There’s one rule in nature that is best left obeyed: don’t touch something if you don’t know what it is.</p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Points Guy</a>, </em>while walking along the beaches of <a href="" target="_blank">Australia</a>, a tourist came across a tiny octopus. They took the animal in their hand, let it crawl around a bit and took a video before releasing it back into the water. They then posted the video to TikTok, which was then <a href="" target="_blank">reposted on Reddit</a>. Australians began to congregate in the comments section, quickly noting that the animal was a blue-ringed octopus, famous for its venom 11 times more powerful than cyanide. <a href="" target="_blank">According to Ocean Conservancy</a>, one tiny blue-ringed octopus “carries enough venom to kill twenty-six adult humans within minutes.”</p><p>And there is no antidote.</p><p>If that bit of information isn’t terrifying enough, consider that the blue-ringed octopus has a bite so painless that victims don’t even know they’ve been bitten. It’s only until hours later when symptoms set in — muscle numbness, nausea, vision loss, blindness, loss of motor skills and, in extreme cases, respiratory arrest — that they realize.</p><p>If a blue-ringed octopus is spotted, it’s best to quickly leave the vicinity. In the event of a suspected blue-ringed octopus bite, Australian authorities <a href="" target="_blank">suggest calling emergency services immediately</a>. Although there is no antidote, people can be saved if medical assistance is started immediately, according to Ocean Conservancy. No human deaths have reported from a blue-ringed octopus since the 1960s.</p><p>However, there is no need for hysteria regarding the animal. The blue-ringed octopus is not known to be aggressive and will only bite in self-defense. But an unsuspecting tourist scooping it out of the water could be considered a threat.</p><p>It’s a general rule of thumb that <a href="" target="_blank">animals with wild, technicolor spots or patterns tend to be poisonous</a>. As always, it’s best to avoid direct skin contact with unknown animals, especially if you’re on your own in an unfamiliar location. If you’re someone who explores a new locale through its wildlife, consider joining a tour with an environmental leader, who can advise on which animals and plants are safe to interact with and which are not.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Get Paid to Travel the World Creating Matching Outfits for This Woman and Her Dogs

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 08:10
<p>As the saying goes,<i> </i>"If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life." So, if you love to sew, travel, and play with tiny dogs, this is the job for you.</p><p>Last week, a CEO only identified as “Jan” sent an email to <a href="" target="_blank">Sewport</a>, a garment production platform, asking for their help in filling a very specific role. Jan says she’s looking to hire a personal designer to <a href="" target="_blank">travel the world</a> with her. Along the way, the designer will create custom clothing items for her to wear. Oh, and the designer must create matching outfits for her dogs, too.</p><p>“I am a fashion-conscious CEO with a unique sense of style, that I love expressing,” Jan wrote in her email. “To cut to the chase I’m in need of a personal fashion designer, but I spend almost all my time traveling, whether it’s for work or pleasure. Luckily I can afford the privilege of wearing a bespoke wardrobe, and I love knowing that no one else has clothes like mine, but because I'm away a lot I need someone to travel with me.”</p><p>For the job, Jan explained the person will likely travel to <a href="" target="_blank">Dubai</a> and create custom outfits for her to attend horse races. The designer will also head to <a href="" target="_blank">London</a> to create looks for Wimbledon, and put together more casual outfits for Jan’s family dinners.</p><p>In exchange for this work, the designer will be paid a salary of $52,000, have all their travel paid for, and all expenses covered including food, accommodations, and all design materials.</p><p>But, don’t get it twisted, Jan is expecting this person to <i>work</i>.</p><p>“As is the nature of my schedule, some weeks my designer may need to work 50-hour weeks, which I know is extensive, but others they will only need to work around 10, whilst still enjoying all the benefits of traveling the world.”</p><p>Sound like something you’re into? All you need to do is <a href="" target="_blank">fill out this application here</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Watch Manhattan Disappear in Footage From Wednesday’s Wild Snow Squall

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 08:03
<p>Now that we’ve all gotten used to using the term “polar vortex,” here’s a new one for you: snow squall.</p><p>If you were in the New York City area on Jan. 30, you have to admit: That 20-minute snowstorm was pretty wild.</p><p>Up until then, the city has experienced barely a touch of snow this winter, beside a few flakes that immediately melted on the sidewalk. But this was totally <em>not</em> what most New Yorkers expected.</p><p>It wasn’t exactly on par with the storm currently hounding the Midwest and <a href="" target="_blank">freezing out Chicago</a>, but it was special to us.</p><p>Around 3:25 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">New York Post</a></em>, the “micro-blizzard” swallowed up Manhattan (and the outer boroughs) for a short period of time.</p><p>The storm, which began suddenly and quickly gained momentum, died down around 3:55 p.m, reported the <em>New York Post</em>. What a time to be alive.</p><p>But just in case you missed it, Twitter user Jordan Thompson-DeSon captured the whole show, and even squished it into a 30-second time-lapse video.</p><p>Twitter user Matt McDermott also captured the snow in a time-lapse video, from another point of view.</p><p>Meanwhile, other users posted their own videos and photos of the truly momentous occasion.</p><p>New Yorkers woke up to an even colder morning on Thursday, but luckily, no snow squalls are in the works. </p>
Categories: Travel

Melting Ice in the Canadian Arctic Reveals Ancient Landscapes That Had Been Hidden for More Than 40,000 Years

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 07:48
<p>Melting glaciers in the Canadian Arctic have led to the discovery of landscapes that had been hidden in the area for more than 40,000 years, <a href="" target="_blank">researchers</a> from University of Colorado Boulder have found.</p><p>As part of the <a href="" target="_blank">study</a>, published in the Nature Communications journal, researchers from the university’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research collected and studied 48 plant samples retrieved from the edges of 30 different ice caps of varying elevations and exposures on <a href="" target="_blank">Canada’s</a> <a href="" target="_blank">Baffin Island</a>.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Scientists Discover 91 Volcanoes in Antarctica</a></p><p>By using radiocarbon dating, researchers discovered that the plants they found had been hidden under the ice for at least 40,000 years. They also collected quartz samples from each site to confirm their findings about the landscape’s age and ice cover history over the centuries.</p><p>“We travel to the retreating ice margins, sample newly exposed plants preserved on these ancient landscapes and carbon date the plants to get a sense of when the ice last advanced over that location,” lead author Simon Pendleton <a href="" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. “Because dead plants are efficiently removed from the landscape, the radiocarbon age of rooted plants define the last time summers were as warm, on average, as those of the past century.”</p><p>The plants are preserved beneath the ice margins, appearing only when the glaciers start to melt out. Signals on the unaltered ice itself — including a large amount of bubbles and bits of dirt hidden within it — suggest that the ice covering these plants is ice that still remains from the last ice age and hasn’t experienced melting in modern times, until recently, researcher and professor Gifford Miller explained in a video filmed a few years ago while collecting samples on Baffin. </p><p>These plants had been buried under glacial ice for more than 40,000 years, and “almost certainly continuously buried” since the start of the last glaciation some 120,000 years ago, he explained. </p><p>The plants’ age combined with temperature data reconstructed from Baffin and Greenland ice cores has led researchers to suggest that the current temperatures in Baffin show the warmest century the region has experienced in the last 115,000 years. And that could be an alarming finding when it comes to the rate of ice melting in the area. </p><p>“You’d normally expect to see different plant ages in different topographical conditions,” Pendleton said in the statement. “A high elevation location might not hold onto its ice longer, for example; but the magnitude of warming is so high that everything is melting everywhere now.”</p><p>The evidence suggests that Baffin could be completely free of ice in the next few centuries.</p><p>“We haven’t seen anything as pronounced as this before,” Pendleton said.</p>
Categories: Travel

Fire Torches 17 Cars in Newark Liberty Airport Parking Garage

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 07:30
<p>At least 17 cars went up in a blaze at <a href="" target="_blank">Newark Liberty International Airport</a>. The fire occurred at a parking garage near Terminal C around 7 a.m. on Thursday in the midst of the freezing winter weather, <a href="" target="_blank">NBC 4 reported</a>.</p><p>Firefighters worked diligently to put out out the fire quickly, even with wind chills close to -15 degrees Fahrenheit. Luckily, there are no injuries reported, but of the 17 cars involved in the fire, all but two of them have been totaled, according to NBC 4.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a> reported that level one of the Terminal C parking garage and the Terminal C roadway were shut down around 7 a.m. in order to attend to the fire, and visitors were asked to use levels two and three to pick up passengers.</p><p>Around 10:30 a.m., the Terminal C roadway was reopened to passengers, according to a tweet by the official Newark Liberty Twitter account.</p><p>However, the parking garage still remains closed at the time this article was written. Passengers impacted by both the fire and icy conditions outside are being assisted at the level one taxi stand.</p><p>Airport operations were not impacted by the fire, though there are a number of flight delays and cancellations due to the <a href="" target="_blank">polar vortex and winter storms</a> in the Midwest.</p><p>People who were able to see the fire shared footage on social media.</p><p>Chicago is also having its fair share of fire and ice. On Wednesday, train tracks in the city were <a href="" target="_blank">literally set on fire</a> when workers decided to douse ropes in kerosene in order to get switching mechanisms to work in the freezing air. </p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">The Temperature Is so Low in Chicago the City Is Experiencing ‘Frost Quakes'</a></p><p>The cause of the Newark fire is still unknown, but is under investigation, according to <a href="" target="_blank">NBC News.</a></p>
Categories: Travel

It’s so Cold in Chicago They’re Setting the Train Tracks on Fire

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 17:57
<p>If you live anywhere close to <a href="" target="_blank">Chicago</a> you already know that stepping outside today may be a dangerous endeavor. After all, temperatures are well below freezing and a windchill factor making it feel like <a href="" target="_blank">51 below zero</a>. So, if you don’t have to go outside today, don’t. But, if you do, you’ll likely be met with a dystopian vision that includes empty streets and railroad tracks that are currently on fire.</p><p>"One of the coldest arctic air mass intrusions in recent memory is surging south into the Upper Midwest before spreading across much of the eastern two-thirds of the country," the National Weather Service said in a statement, according to <em><a href="" target="_blank">USA Today</a></em>. It further warned of "life-threatening wind chills, likely leading to widespread record lows and low maximum temperatures."</p><p>Because of this, the United States Postal Service made the extremely rare decision to suspend mail service to parts of Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania on Wednesday, <em>USA Today</em> explained.</p><p>The USPS wasn’t the only organization to take notice of the <a href="" target="_blank">dangerous temperatures</a>. Amtrak also suspended service in Chicago, announcing that the "extreme weather conditions and an abundance of caution" led the service to cancel all trains.</p><p>However, local railways are still running in the city, but only because crews literally set them on fire. According to <a href="" target="_blank">ABC News</a>, crews found that several switching mechanisms weren’t working along the tracks thanks to the freezing temperatures contracting the metal rails. To combat this problem, crews went medieval and soaked some rope in kerosene. They then placed the burning rope next to the rails, which helped keep it just warm enough to function properly. Clearly, people loved the sight of it on social media.</p><p>Again, though this makes excellent social media fodder it cannot be stressed enough the importance of staying inside and somewhere warm. According to <em>USA Today</em>, at least four deaths are already being blamed on the cold, including one man who was struck and killed by a snow plow in the Chicago area and a Milwaukee man who was found frozen to death in a garage.</p><p>“Everyone of us has a role to check on somebody who is maybe a neighbor on the block who is elderly, infirm or needs extra help,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.</p><p>Hopefully, things won’t stay miserable for too long. According to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, temperatures are supposed to rise above the negatives by the end of the week, potentially making it into the 40s over the weekend.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can See Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and a Gorgeous Crescent Moon in a 'Celestial Parade' Tomorrow Morning

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 15:57
<p>Sometimes in nature, everything comes together. Tomorrow morning the brilliantly bright planet Venus and giant planet Jupiter will appear close together, separated only by a gorgeous crescent moon. If you're lucky, you may also see Saturn lower down and closer to the horizon.</p><h2>When to see Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and the moon</h2><p>The celestial parade will be best seen from around 5:00 a.m. through 6:00 a.m. before sunrise on Thursday, Jan. 31. In <a href="" target="_blank">New York</a>, sunrise is at 7:06 a.m. EST while in <a href="" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a> it's at 6:49 a.m. PST, though the sky will have brightened significantly in the preceding hour of twilight. So get up early!</p><p>Since they are the three brightest objects in the sky aside from the Sun itself, Venus, Jupiter and the moon will be easy to see, but Saturn will be more difficult. Not only is it dimmer, but it won’t rise until 5:35 a.m. EST and 5:14 a.m. PST, so will be most easily seen after 6:00 a.m. in a brightening sky.</p><p>The moon is now in its waning gibbous phase, and on Jan. 31 will be 19% illuminated. It moves across the night sky gradually each night, easy visual evidence of its 29-day orbit. So even if you miss the sight of Venus and Jupiter being split by the crescent moon, if you get up at the same time on Friday, Feb. 1 you will see that the crescent moon has moved away to the lower left, with Venus and Jupiter to its upper right. That will still be a pretty sight to see.</p><h2>How to see Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and the moon</h2><p>This celestial line up will take place in the southeastern sky as seen from North America and Europe. You don't need anything specific to see this event, just clear skies and wide eyes, though a clear view of the southeastern sky will be helpful. Saturn will be close to the horizon, so easier to see from an elevated position.</p><p>Since the crescent moon will be very close to Venus (just 2°), you will be able to get both in the field of view of a pair of binoculars or a small telescope. A powerful telescope will reveal that <a href="" target="_blank">Venus is half-lit</a>, though point any pair of binoculars at Jupiter and you'll see at least a few of its four bright moons: Ganymede, Io, Callisto and Europa. If you've not seen them before, they are an incredible sight.</p><h2>How close are Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and the moon?</h2><p>The planets may look close, but it's purely a line of sight coincidence. If you look at <a href="" target="_blank">The Planets Today live map of the solar system</a> you can see that Venus is 128 million km from Earth while Jupiter is 879 million km and Saturn is 1.636 million km. It's all a beautiful illusion.</p><h2>Why is Venus called the Morning Star?</h2><p>Since Venus is an "inner planet" as seen from Earth, it appears to ping back and forward, mostly being lost in the Sun's glare. However, when it appears to be far from the Sun in either direction, it's visible for months at a time as either a super-bright "Morning Star" in the east before sunrise or an "Evening Star" in the west after sunset. Since it appears relatively low in the sky, it's easy to see, and therefore <a href="" target="_blank">responsible for most so-called UFO sightings</a>.</p><h2>When will the Solar System line up again?</h2><p>A crescent moon will next pass close to Venus on March 3, 2019, though by then Venus and Jupiter will be much further apart. Venus will become a bright "Evening Star" in summer, and on Nov. 24, 2019 will appear exceptionally close to Jupiter in the evening sky.</p><p>However, "the big one" is not until Sept. 8 in 2040, when Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mars and the moon will all be visible in a line in what astronomers call a "super conjunction."</p>
Categories: Travel

Why Lunar New Year Is One of the Best Times to Visit Disneyland

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 14:23
<p>California locals know the end of winter is the <a href="" target="_blank">best time to visit theme parks</a>. January and February bring smaller crowds, shorter waits, and <a href="" target="_blank">cheaper tickets</a> — but also an exciting celebration vacationers don’t often take notice of.</p><p>Only at Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood does Lunar New Year become its own holiday, filling the parks with stunning decor, themed experiences, and traditional entertainment — all with a friendly and familiar twist.</p><img alt="Lunar New Year Festival Disneyland "src=""><p>From a Kung Fu Panda noodle shop you won’t believe is real to a full-fledged festival of culinary delights, it’s an under-the-radar experience most park-goers don’t know about that just happens to come at the perfect time to visit.</p><p>Take part in these one-of-a-kind Lunar New Year festivities from Feb. 2–18 at <a href="" target="_blank">Universal Studios Hollywood</a> and Jan. 25–Feb. 17 at <a href="" target="_blank">Disney California Adventure</a> at Disneyland Resort.</p><h2>Experience character interactions not offered any other time of year.</h2><img alt="Lunar New Year Festival Disneyland "src=""><p>Character meet-and-greets abound for special one-of-a-kind mementos during Lunar New Year celebrations: Disneyland Resort hosts photo ops with Mulan and Mushu, as well as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Pluto sporting red Lunar New Year attire. Universal Studios Hollywood’s Master Po and Tigress from "Kung Fu Panda" will pose for photos with guests, as will Minions wearing traditional Chinese New Year outfits and Hello Kitty in a new custom-designed look.</p><h2>Dine on Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean delicacies.</h2><p>Hungry revelers can enjoy traditional and modern Asian cuisine at both parks, with Universal Studios Hollywood offering specialty sweets, dumplings, bao buns, and Banh mi sandwiches, and Year of the Pig-themed doughnuts at the famed Voodoo Doughnut within Universal CityWalk.</p><p>Disney California Adventure launches its own mini food festival for Lunar New Year, with themed kiosks and tasting-sized portions to enjoy. Come for the three-cup chicken and shumai dumplings but don’t miss the showstopper: a whole fried fish for two, served with soup and rice, at the park’s Paradise Garden Grill. (There are even special Mickey-shaped eats exclusive to the celebration, including a Chinese-style hot dog bun, ube macaron, and green tea tart.)</p><img alt="Lunar New Year Festival Disneyland "src=""><p>Universal Studios Hollywood also brings an experience straight from the big screen to the parks, with Mr. Ping of "Kung Fu Panda" helming his own noodle shop on-site. Chat with the humorous goose and snap a photo together before ordering the “secret ingredient” stir fry noodles and Po’s dumplings — just like in the films.</p><h2>See a live show that puts Lunar New Year traditions on display with fanfare.</h2><p>Universal’s Dragon Warriors Training Show allows kids to learn how to become a warrior like Master Po alongside characters from "Kung Fu Panda," while Megatron — yes, the "Transformers" character — will speak Mandarin outside Transformers: The Ride 3D.</p><p>At Disney California Adventure, Mulan leads a procession of characters and performers multiple times each day, culminating in a colorful choreographed show with drummers, ribbon dancing, martial artists, and a firecracker finale. Prepare your cameras for special appearances by the Three Little Pigs in honor of Year of the Pig, as well as Goofy and Chip ‘n’ Dale.</p><img alt="Lunar New Year Festival Disneyland "src=""><h2>Enjoy celebratory entertainment and decor, included with admission.</h2><p>With red lanterns strung above, plum blossom wishing trees, and zodiac touches, the parks embrace the excitement of the holiday in beautiful displays. At Disney California Adventure, guests can also make their own paper lanterns, add a message to the Lucky Wishing Wall and, on Mondays and Tuesdays, receive custom Chinese calligraphy from on-site artisans.</p><p>Disneyland Resort will host the Melody of China ensemble for performances throughout the week, while Universal Studios Hollywood welcomes groups specializing in martial arts and traditional lion dances on select dates.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why the Northern and Southern Lights Look Different

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 11:08
<p>For the past 10 years, something has been befuddling scientists and world explorers: why auroras look different on the South Pole than the North Pole.</p><p>The auroras are caused by solar wind. Basically, Earth has a magnetosphere around it. You can think of this as a protective shield. When solar winds (which carry charged particles and plasma) move through space and come in contact with Earth’s magnetosphere, they are funneled into “field lines” that run between the north and south poles. According to <i><a href="" target="_blank">Motherboard</a>, </i>“The precipitation and ionization of these particles prompts atmospheric molecules to emit the colorful lights often seen in polar night skies.” Those lights are what we call the auroras.</p><p>Scientists have long believed that the light displays on the North and South Poles were mirrors of each other. It made sense if the world was perfectly round and the magnetosphere around it was, as well.</p><p>But in 2009, scientists discovered this was not so. The light displays appear in different shapes, depending on which pole you’re at.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong><b> </b><a href="" target="_blank">Spot the Northern Lights in Your Pajamas From This Floating Lodge Above the Arctic Circle (Video)</a></p><p>Earlier this week, scientists suggested a reason that could be behind the asymmetry between poles. The team behind the study discovered that when solar winds hit the daytime Earth in an east-west rotation, the twist of the auroras becomes asymmetric. Scientists believe this asymmetry could be behind the different patterns seen at the two poles.</p><p>Here’s a video explainer if you’re more of a visual learner:</p><p>But this study has a much more far-reaching impact than simply understanding a bit more about the auroras. Understanding the asymmetries will help scientists “accurately predict the location and timing of geospace phenomena,” Nikolai Østgaard, lead author of the study, <a href="">said in a statement.</a></p><p>“This result is kind of a big deal,” said Mike Liemohn, the editor-in-chief of <i>The Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physic</i>s, where study was published.</p><p>Now that we know a little more about the phenomenon, it’s time to get out there and <a href="">see the lights for yourself</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Icy Dawn Landing in Greenland Is One of the Most Beautiful Videos Ever Recorded From a Cockpit

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 11:00
<p>This world looks otherworldly sometimes.</p><p>Video has resurfaced of a stunning airplane landing at Maniitsoq Airport in Greenland that feels out of this world. And although the footage was most definitely filmed on Earth, anyone would be forgiven for thinking it’s lost footage from a “Star Wars” film.</p><p>At dawn, an Air Greenland Dash 8 aircraft approached the exceptionally-short runway at Maniitsoq Airport. From above, the ice masses of Greenland more closely resemble the <a href="" target="_blank">ice planet Hoth</a> than anything down here on our planet (as evidenced by several commenters’ responses on YouTube).</p><p>In the video, the blue coastal water surrounding Greenland looks smoother than glass and the sky is the vibrant cotton candy pink of a surrealist painting. The runway at the airport appears as a small strip of landing surface, flirting with the edge of nothingness. The plane makes a safe landing amongst the mountains of ice, possibly one of the most breathtaking ever captured on film.</p><p>The man taking the video was Malik Niemann, a helicopter pilot for <a href="" target="_blank">Air Greenland</a>. The flight was supposed to land at Nuuk, Greenland’s capital airport. But because of bad weather, it rerouted to Maniitsoq, where it refueled, <a href="" target="_blank">he told <em>The Daily Mail</em></a>. But Niemann recognized the beauty of the moment and captured video from the plane as it was landing.</p><p>Although this Greenland landing is impressive, there’s a whole treasure trove of aviation videos that seem like death-defying stunts to the layman. There’s video from pilots nailing a landing at <a href="" target="_blank">the world’s shortest runway</a> in the Caribbean or another pilot gracefully taking a plane through <a href="" target="_blank">rolling 70-mile-per-hour winds at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.</a></p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Now Get Free Live TV on United Flights

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 10:35
<p>On your next <a href=";oq=united+airlines+travel+and+leisure&amp;aqs=chrome..69i57j0l2j69i60l3.3094j0j9&amp;sourceid=chrome&amp;ie=UTF-8" target="_blank">United flight</a>, you’ll be able to stay entertained for free.</p><p>On Wednesday, the airline announced that it would lift charges for in-flight access to <a href=";oq=united+airlines+travel+and+leisure&amp;aqs=chrome..69i57j0l2j69i60l3.3094j0j9&amp;sourceid=chrome&amp;ie=UTF-8" target="_blank">DIRECTV stations</a>. On flights shorter than two hours, access to live TV used to cost $5.99. On flights longer than two hours, it was $7.99.</p><p>The free live TV streaming service is effective immediately on more than 200 Boeing 737 planes equipped with seatback entertainment.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong><b> </b><a href="" target="_blank">There's a Reason Airlines Are Dressing Their Employees in Purple (Video)</a></p><p>In addition to the free TV, United passengers will also be able to access an expanded selection of entertainment available on personal devices. According to the airline, there are now more than 280 free movies and TV shows available to stream to phones, tablets and laptops.</p><p>"This year, we will be introducing a series of innovations and improvements designed to help build a great experience for all our customers," United's Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist, <a href="" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. "Offering free entertainment, whether it's on seat back TV or on personal devices, is one example of how we are placing our customers at the heart of what we do and helping them to relax and enjoy their flights."</p><p>Although United is announcing the decision as grand news, it is not the first airline to offer free seatback entertainment. JetBlue already offers the same service — free DIRECTV streaming — for free throughout its fleet.</p><p>In October 2018, <a href="" target="_blank">United CEO Oscar Munoz spoke about</a> how the airline was trying to “de-stress” the travel experience. Part of Munoz’s plan was to roll out a new customer service initiative every week.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Best Hanging Travel Organizer For Storing All Your Toiletries

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 10:31
<p>There comes a time in everyone’s life, whether it’s at age 25 or 55, when organization becomes of the utmost importance. This rings especially true when travel is involved, as living out of a suitcase can be problematic for chronic over-packers and under-packers alike.</p><p>Not being able to find your contact solution in your jumbled <a href="" target="_blank">carry-on luggage</a> can feel just as frustrating as missing the last direct flight to <a href="" target="_blank">JFK</a> out of Charles de Gaulle Airport. We’ve all been there, and it’s certainly not the most enjoyable part of a vacation.</p><p>Enter: a hanging travel organizer, also known as your new best friend. Specifically, the eBags Pack-it-Flat Toiletry Kit (<a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, from $34).</p><p>While “fashionable” may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think “hanging travel organizer” or “toiletry bag,” its functionality will win you over in about five seconds flat.</p><p>Let’s start with the basics. It comes in at under $40, so it won’t break the bank and won’t break on your first excursion with it — or your fiftieth for that matter. It's lightweight. Without all of your personal effects, this hanging travel organizer weighs about 10 ounces, less than a can of green beans. The self-healing coil zippers ensure you won't have to worry about broken zipper tracks. And like most travel organizers, it’s accessorized with a hanging hook — plus, a removable pocket mirror!</p><img alt="Best Hanging Travel Organizer "src=""><p>We also love that it has an average five-star rating and over 6,000 reviews — we're not the only ones who love this hanging toiletry bag. eBags shoppers praise it for its many organizational compartments (including a section lined with clear material meant for holding items that might leak). Others love it for its flat design, with one reviewer writing, "All of the other reviews were correct. This bag really does lay flat after you pack it full. I am not a light packer, and I was able to get everything I needed (shampoo, conditioner, cosmetics, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.) in this bag."</p><p>Checking your bag? The <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">large-sized Pack-it-Flat Toiletry Kit</a> has plenty of room for full-size products. So, before you start stalking <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Airfarewatchdog</a> for your next <a href="" target="_blank">trip deal</a>, invest in a hanging travel organizer. You won’t regret it.</p>
Categories: Travel