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15 Amazing Places You Can Tour Virtually

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If you can’t check out these places in person, you can at least visit them virtually—no flights or road trips required.

1. The National Museum of Natural History

Learn where we’ve been by taking a look around the stunning exhibits at this Smithsonian museum in the nation’s capital.

2. Taj Mahal

This look at the the famous Indian mausoleum is one of several Airpano flying 360 tours on this list.

3. U.S. Capitol

The U.S. Capitol was completed in 1800, but it still seems to be in a constant state of construction. This virtual tour is a great way to see the landmark, and it's always scaffolding-free.

4. Eiffel Tower

Getting to the top of the iconic Parisian landmark has never been so simple. Click on the different vantage points at the bottom of the page to get a killer view—then click on numbered buildings in the distance to learn more.

5. Louvre

From this page you can choose several different areas of the world-famous museum to explore.

6. Vatican

This page on the Vatican’s website allows you to click on any of several different locations and quickly go inside for a look around. Make sure your computer is muted if you don’t want to hear music.

7. Sistine Chapel

One place the tour of the Vatican doesn't include is the Sistine Chapel. Click here and look skyward to see Michelangelo’s handiwork.

8. Route 66

Get your kicks on Google Street View of Route 66.

9. The Colosseum

Are you not entertained? You will be as you click around this virtual tour of this ancient arena.

10. The White House

This one isn’t a full 360-degree experience, but it still allows you to click on different levels and rooms of the Executive Mansion to learn more and watch videos about them.

11. The Ancient City of Petra

This aerial tour of Petra, Jordan starts at Al Khazneh, the stunning temple carved into a sandstone cliff. Fans of Indiana Jones will instantly recognize it as the location where Indy chose wisely. Drag the mouse around to get a full view of your surroundings.

12. Stonehenge

Click on one of the four Street View options to take a look around this ancient stone, uh, calendar? Jungle gym? Graveyard? Whatever it is, it’s interesting.

13. 9/11 Memorial

If you can’t make it to New York City, you can pay your respects in the meantime by taking the virtual tour here.

14. Yosemite National Park

If you’re sitting in an office, do yourself a favor and take a minute to roam around Yosemite National Park. You can almost smell the grass. As 30 Rock's Liz Lemon would say, “I want to go to there.”

15. The Pyramids

Survey the awe-inspiring achievement of the Great Pyramids at Giza from above.

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5 Times Kids Corrected Museums
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Museums are bastions of knowledge, but they're occasionally no match for an eagle-eyed youngster. Here are five times that kids and teenagers have spotted—and corrected—mistakes in exhibitions, or noticed something amiss.

1. THE KID WHO SPOTTED THE LONDON NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM'S DINO MIX-UP.

While partaking in the London Natural History Museum’s “Dino Snores for Kids”—an overnight sleepover for young museum buffs—in July 2017, 10-year-old Charlie Edwards noticed that one of the signs in the museum’s “Dinosaur Trail” fossil-spotting activity wasn’t quite right. It was supposed to show an Oviraptor—a beaked, carnivorous dinosaur—but Edwards knew that the image on the sign actually depicted a Protoceratops, a sheep-sized herbivore.

Edwards told his parents, who were skeptical, but contacted the museum anyway on their son's behalf. Several weeks later, the family received a letter from the Natural History Museum confirming the boy’s hunch. (According to a statement issued by the Natural History Museum, the exhibition had been "refurbished several times" and "an error [had] been made.") Thanks to Edwards, officials are now planning to correct the sign.

“I am really, really proud of him,” Charlie’s mother, Jade, said. “Charlie has Asperger syndrome and tends to find a subject he loves and tries to learn so much about it, so it’s really nice that he’s been able to show what he’s learned and that knowledge base.”

2. THE KID WHO HELPED FIX A MISTAKE IN THE SMITHSONIAN'S "TOWER OF TIME" EXHIBIT.

In 2008, 11-year-old Kenton Stufflebeam and his family traveled from Michigan to Washington, D.C. to visit the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. There, Stufflebeam noticed that a notation in the museum’s "Tower of Time" display incorrectly listed the Precambrian—the first super eon of Earth's history—as an era. His fifth grade teacher had once made the same mistake before correcting himself, and "I knew Mr. Chapman wouldn't tell all these students” incorrect facts, Stufflebeam later told the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Stufflebeam reported the error by filling out a comment form at the museum’s information desk. A few months later, the Smithsonian contacted Stufflebeam to tell him that he was “spot on": "The Precambrian is a dimensionless unit of time, which embraces all the time between the origin of Earth and the beginning of the Cambrian Period of geologic time," their missive acknowledged. As for the error itself, museum officials planned to rectify the mistake—which had been spotted years earlier by annoyed staff experts—by simply painting over the word “era.”

In early 2017, Stufflebeam—now 19 years old—made headlines again, this time when he found himself in the middle of a bidding war for his graphic design services. ESPN wrote about Kenton's grammar school brush with fame via the Smithsonian, noting how it portended "his eye for detail."

3. THE TEEN WHO NOTICED AN HISTORICAL INACCURACY IN A RECREATION OF AL CAPONE'S PRISON CELL.

While touring Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary in 2016, 13-year-old Joey Warchal observed that a large cabinet radio inside the museum’s recreation of Al Capone’s jail cell—which the famous gangster inhabited from 1929 to 1930—wasn’t historically accurate. Warchal, who collects antique radio and record players, correctly identified the music player as a Philco A-361, which was manufactured in 1942.

The helpful teen emailed the institution's vice president, Sean Kelley, and volunteered to track down a period-appropriate radio. Kelley took the precocious antiques buff up on his offer, and gave him a $400 budget to find a replacement. Officials at Eastern State Penitentiary also threw a party for Warchal to thank him for his hard work.

4. THE TEEN WHO NOTICED THE MET'S FLAWED MAP OF THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE.

Thirteen-year-old history buff Benjamin Lerman Coady was touring the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City during his summer break in 2011 when he noticed that a permanent exhibit about the Byzantine Empire—a subject Coady had recently studied in school—contained a flawed map. The 6th century map was supposed to show the empire at its peak, but Coady noticed that Spain and parts of Africa weren’t present.

A museum docent instructed him fill out a form, and in September, Coady received a letter from the Met’s senior vice president for external affairs, informing him that his observation would be reviewed by the museum's medieval art department. Sure enough, the teen was correct: In January 2012, Byzantine art curator Helen Evans reached out to Coady, acknowledged the mistake, and invited him back to the Met for a private tour. She also asked him to draw his own version of what he thought the museum’s Byzantine Empire map should look like, and said that museum officials were taking steps to fix their portrayal.

5. THE TEEN WHO DETECTED SOMETHING AMISS AT BOSTON'S MUSEUM OF SCIENCE.

In 2015, 15-year-old Virginian Joseph Rosenfeld was visiting Boston’s Museum of Science when he noticed what appeared to be a mistake in its “Mathematica: A World of Numbers … and Beyond" exhibit: In an equation for the Golden Ratio, Rosenfeld noticed that there were minus signs in place of what should have been plus signs.

Rosenfeld left a message at the museum’s front desk, and family members provided the institution with his contact information. Initially, Alana Parkes, the Museum of Science’s exhibit content developer, believed the exhibition had made a mistake. She sent Joseph a letter that read, “You are right that the formula for the Golden Ratio is incorrect. We will be changing the – sign to a + sign on the three places it appears if we can manage to do it without damaging the original.”

But at the end of the day, the Museum of Science's "Mathematica" display ended up being technically correct, as the exhibit had displayed the equation for the golden ratio's reciprocal, also called the golden ratio conjugate.

“I’d call it uncommon, not the way most people think of the golden ratio nowadays,” Eve Torrence, a math professor at Randolph-Macon College, told The Washington Post. "It’s not what most people think of, but it’s not incorrect."

Even though the problem wasn't technically wrong, Rosenfeld was still "to be commended for questioning authority," Torrence concluded.

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The Annette Gero Collection, Photo by Tim Connolly, Shoot Studios
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A New Museum Exhibition Showcases Quilts Made by Men During War
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The Annette Gero Collection, Photo by Tim Connolly, Shoot Studios

During the 18th and 19th centuries, wounds weren’t the only things being stitched after battle. Some military men crafted quilts—and starting this fall, 29 of these wartime relics will go on display in New York as part of a new exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum.

“War and Pieced: The Annette Gero Collection of Quilts From Military Fabrics” opens on September 6, 2017, and runs through January 7, 2018. Organized in conjunction with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s International Quilt Study Center & Museum, it’s billed as the first exhibition in the U.S. to highlight quilts made by men during times of war.

“Men, who are not usually raised learning the sewing arts, show both design acumen and manual dexterity as they sewed pieces of military uniforms, blankets, and other bits of fabric into quilts of great beauty,” said Anne-Imelda Radice, the American Folk Art Museum’s executive director, in a press release. “These quilts offer an insight into military life and the need for creative expression even during times of war.”

Many of the quilts in “War and Pieced” are on loan from noted Australian quilt scholar Annette Gero, who co-curated the exhibit with Stacy C. Hollander, the museum’s chief curator. Others have been borrowed from private and public collections in the U.S.

According to Gero, "there are fewer than 100 of these quilts in the world, and no two are alike.” The ones that will go on display in September range from pictorial quilts made during the Austro-Turkish, Prussian, and Napoleonic wars to mosaic-like quilts stitched by the British soldiers, sailors, and regimental tailors who engaged in far-flung conflicts in South Africa and India.

Some quilts on display depict war themes, while others are decorated with scenes from folk tales, national symbols, or architectural monuments. Meanwhile, blankets with particularly elaborate designs may have been made for loved ones back home or upon a soldier’s return. Together, they reveal the seldom-told stories of men who used crafts to cope as they convalesced from injuries, were interned in prisoner-of-war camps, or struggled with boredom, loneliness, and a shifting geopolitical landscape.

You can view three such unique examples below, or visit the American Folk Art Museum in September to see the full display in person.

Holy Roman Empire Intarsia Quilt, Artist unidentified, Prussia or Austria, 1846–1851
© SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT 7 Wool, with embroidery thread; intarsia; hand-appliquéd and hand-embroidered, 120 x 120" Collection International Quilt Study Center & Museum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2011.068.0001)

Soldier’s Hexagon Quilt, Artist unidentified, Crimea or United Kingdom, Late 19th century, Wool from military uniforms, 85 inches by 64 inches
The Annette Gero Collection, Photo by Tim Connolly, Shoot Studios

Anglo-Zulu War Army Quilt, Artist unidentified, South Africa or United Kingdom, Late 19th century, Wool from military uniforms, with embroidery thread; hand-embroidered, with pointed and pinked edges, 86 5/8 inches by 74 7/8 inches
The Annette Gero Collection, Photo by Tim Connolly, Shoot Studios

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