Tour These Washington DC Museums Online

Washington, DC is home to 81 museums, 17 of which are Smithsonian museums under what is called the Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian museums are museums named after their founding donor, British Scientist, James Smithson. These museums are exciting and take around a day to visit each one. However, if you do not have that much time to spare or are unable to physically visit these museums, here are some museums that you can tour online.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of these museums are simply closed or operating at a limited capacity, so, if you can’t catch the exhibits in person, you can certainly catch some of them virtually. Here is a list of some of the museums offering virtual tours.

  1. The Phillips Collection – The Riffs and Relations exhibit in The Phillips collection is available online on their YouTube channel. This exhibit has been published on YouTube to let people engage and view the exhibits. If you’re interested in taking a look at The Phillips Collection and their array of artworks, you can check it out here.
  1. National Geographic Museum – If you like their TV programs, then you’ll certainly enjoy this exhibit. National Geographic Museum offers the Becoming Jane exhibit that tells the story of Dr. Jane Goodall, a primatologist. This exhibit is available with 360-degree videos to completely immerse yourself in the experience. You can find this exhibit here.
  1. National Archives – While the national archives do not offer classic virtual tours, a lot of their information has been saved and stored online for whoever wants to visit. If you are interested in any of their files or documents, you can access them here at no cost to you.
  1. Museum of the Bible – If you’re interested in learning about the history behind the Bible, seeing copies of the first printed Bible as well as old scrolls, Museum of the Bible offers virtual tours as well as a video series and a podcast for viewers to watch, interact and engage with. You can find the virtual tour here, their video-series here, and their podcast here. With the virtual tour, you’re able to get closer than ever to these priceless artifacts.
  1. Smithsonian Museum of Natural History – If you’re interested in taking a virtual tour of the museum larger than 18 football fields, then keep reading. The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History contains specimens of plants, fossils, animals, rocks, minerals, meteorites, human remains, and cultural artifacts. This museum contains the largest natural history collection on the planet. If you’re interested in touring the history of the world then click here.
  1. National Museum of African American History and Culture – This museum contains vital information on African American history and culture. If you’re interested in browsing through their carefully selected and planned exhibits, click here.
  1. National Portrait Gallery – The Natural Portrait Gallery tells the history of the nation through portraits of the people who defined the course of history. If you’re interested in seeing this, click here.

Other museums offering virtual exhibits include the National Museum of Women in Arts and Ford’s Theatre for those interested in the legacy of Abraham Lincoln.

How Fake News Impacts Political Elections

“Fake news” is a term used to describe inaccurate news stories, outright lies, or misinterpretations. Fake news harms people in their day-to-day lives; however, when it comes to an election, fake news can be especially dangerous. You may be wondering how?

The term “fake news” became popular during the 2016 U.S elections. The term along with another term “post-truth” became prevalent during/after the election. In this context, “post-truth is used to explain a concept where objective facts have less influence over public opinions in comparison to personal and emotional belief.” In simpler terms, post-truth refers to a situation where emotions have more influence on public opinion than concrete facts.

Fake news is said to have severely impacted the 2016 US elections and now scholars are studying the effect of fake news on political elections. Politics is a field that needs objectivity more than ever. Most of the time, fake news isn’t spread in a hateful manner, sometimes it’s simply misinterpretations. The problem is how fast the news spreads. Let’s discuss two ways fake news could affect political elections.

1. Through the internet

Unfortunately, a lot of people get their political beliefs and stance from social media networks. While it is good to expand your beliefs and understand all sides of the spectrum, your political beliefs should not be influenced by the personal opinions of others.

Your political beliefs should come from your morals and your stance on political issues. It’s easy to go on Twitter and jump on a political bandwagon, but it’s dangerous, especially if you’re a registered voter. The system needs educated voters making informed decisions. Base your decisions on political debates by the actual politicians not someone else’s interpretation of their debate.

2. Through fixating on extremist views

Studies such as this one have shown that fake news tends to fixate on extremist or hyper-partisan politics. They pick extreme topics and tie the name of a politician to it. Before the politician is even aware of what is going on, the news has spread like wildfire across the nation. This is especially dangerous for democracies and multi-partisan states. More often than, not members of the other party will run with the incriminating news regardless of whether it’s fake or true. This shows that the spread of fake news is not necessarily always about the person but about curbing their party and political ambition.

While some studies show that fake news has an impact on elections, others like this one conducted to research the 2018 Italian elections argue that fake news has no significant impact on elections but are only tools parties use to attack each other. This study suggests that the rise of fake news has only reduced trust in political figures and traditional news sources.

The Long-Term Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. Economy

The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating in many ways. The economy suffered, the social nature of humans has suffered, and most importantly numerous lives have been lost. The pandemic is making people ask scary questions. Will the coronavirus change everything we know? Well, the answer is yes and no. It’s already changed how we work with a lot of companies working remotely. It’s also affected how we act in social places and the livelihoods of those whose jobs rely on humans being in social spaces.

Tourism, the restaurant industry, and many other industries have suffered, but stocks seem to be doing well as well huge corporations like Apple and Amazon. It would be unfair to undermine the enormity of its impact; however, unemployment rates have dropped to 8.4% as against April’s 14.9% unemployment rate. Of course, the economy is not where it was in February pre-pandemic, but things seem to be looking up, or are they? Let’s discuss the long term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.

1. E-commerce will grow

While e-commerce is already mega-popular (i.e Amazon), it is set to grow even more. People are turning to online shopping experiences because it means they don’t have to go outside, and a lot of people have become accustomed to it after the nationwide lockdowns. E-commerce is a rapidly growing industry that is set to transform the economy.

2. Low-wage workers face a crisis

Low wage workers were already under a huge amount of pressure before the pandemic, and now it only seems to be getting worse. With a lot of small businesses closing or downsizing, the low-wage workers are facing a housing crisis and an all-round survival crisis. Minimum wage is simply not going to cut it no matter how far they stretch it. Hours have been reduced, and inflation has begun to creep in. These workers may feel the impact of the pandemic the most.

3. Another wave

Vaccine trials are moving very fast, but they might not be fast enough. The reopening of the economy means more people are venturing outside their homes. This could mean another wave of the virus hitting even stronger than the last. The economy will have to shut down once more, and this time small businesses may not recover.

4. Small businesses may struggle

The lockdown established a monopoly of major industry. People started ordering food and other items online that they would normally buy in local markets. This has led to the closure of small businesses and street vendors. Unless they branch into e-commerce which most of them cannot afford, their businesses may go through some tough struggles.

5. Tourism

The tourism and aviation industries have been dealt one of the biggest blows of this pandemic. As countries close and open their borders to protect their citizens from the virus, these industries will have to bear the fluctuations of customers till a vaccine is ready.

The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us a lot about what we need to survive. Protecting low wage workers is important across all industries because they are most vulnerable to the effects of the virus on the economy. It is also important that we remember how essential they are.

Current Unemployment Statistics in the U.S.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the U.S economy with unemployment rates rising to 14.9 percent in April. Almost 16 million people were unemployed. This is almost four times the amount of people who were unemployed in March. Fortunately, the numbers have been dropping as businesses are reopening and lockdown restrictions are being eased.

In August 2020, the unemployment rate fell below 10% for the first time since March. The rate is currently 8.4% and the amount of unemployed people is estimated to be around 13.6 million. This is a major improvement from July’s 16.8 million. The number of unemployed people per job has dropped to 2.5 from 3.0 in June. While this is very far from the percentage rates in March, it is still a large improvement. These reductions have shown the reopening of the economy and hope for the future.

Unemployment rates have dropped in 41 states. Nebraska leads the states with a 4.0% unemployment rate and Nevada coming in at the back with a 13.2% unemployment rate. Now let’s take a look at each of the states.

We’ll be presenting August’s percentage rates in comparison to July’s percentage rates.

*These stats are according to the Bureau of Labour

  1. Alabama unemployment rate dropped from 7.9% to 5.6%
  2. Alaska’s unemployment rate dropped from 11.6% to 7.4%
  3. Arizona’s rate of unemployment dropped from 10.7% to 5.9%
  4. Arkansas’ unemployment rate increased from 7.1% to 7.4%
  5. California’s unemployment rate dropped from 13.5% to 11.4%
  6. Colorado’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.4% to 6.7%
  7. Connecticut’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.2% to 8.1%
  8. Delaware’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.5% to 8.9%
  9. District of Columbia’s unemployment rate remained at 8.5%
  10. Florida’s unemployment rate dropped from 11.4% to 7.4%
  11. Georgia’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.6% to 5.6%
  12. Hawaii’s unemployment rate dropped from 13.5% to 12.5%
  13. Idaho’s unemployment rate dropped from 5.1% to 4.2%
  14. Illinois’ unemployment rate dropped from 11.5% to 11.0%
  15. Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.9% to 6.4%
  16. Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.8% to 6.0%
  17. Kansas’ unemployment rate dropped from 7.2% to 6.9%
  18. Kentucky’s unemployment rate increased from 4.5% to 7.6%
  19. Louisiana’s unemployment rate dropped from 9.4% to 7.6%
  20. Maine’s unemployment rate dropped from 9.9% to 6.9%
  21. Maryland’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.8% to 6.9%
  22. Massachusetts’ unemployment rate dropped from 16.2% to 11.3%
  23. Michigan’s unemployment rate remained at 8.7%
  24. Minnesota’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.6% to 7.4%
  25. Mississippi’s unemployment rate dropped from 9.4% to 7.9%
  26. Missouri’s unemployment rate increased 6.9% to 7.0%
  27. Montana’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.5% to 5.6%
  28. Nebraska’s unemployment rate dropped from 4.9% to 4.0%
  29. Nevada’s unemployment rate dropped from 14.2% to 13.2%
  30. New Hampshire’s unemployment rate dropped from 8.0% to 6.5%
  31. New Jersey’s unemployment rate dropped from 14.2% to 10.9%
  32. New Mexico’s rate dropped from 12.7% to 11.3%
  33. New York’s unemployment rate dropped from 15.9% to 12.5%
  34. North Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped from 8.5% to 6.5%
  35. North Dakota’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.6% to 5.0%
  36. Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped from 9.0% to 8.9%
  37. Oklahoma’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.1% to 5.7%
  38. Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.4% to 7.7%
  39. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped from 12.5% to 10.3%
  40. Rhode Island’s unemployment rate increased from 11.3% to 12.8%
  41. South Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped from 8.7% to 6.3%
  42. South Dakota’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.4% to 4.8%
  43. Tennessee’s unemployment rate dropped from 9.7% to 8.5%
  44. Texas’ unemployment rate dropped from 8.0% to 6.8%
  45. Utah’s unemployment rate dropped from 4.5% to 4.1%
  46. Vermont’s unemployment rate dropped from 8.3% to 4.8%
  47. Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.9% to 6.1%
  48. Washington’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.2% to 8.5%
  49. West Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.0% to 8.9%
  50. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.1% to 6.2%
  51. Wyoming’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.1% to 6.6%