The Boeing 737 Max Is Ready to Fly Again, and Other News

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Boeing 737 Max airplanes

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Almost 20 months after deadly crashes, the Boeing 737 Max is finally ready to fly again.

The FAA has cleared Boeing’s 737 Max to fly 20 months after it was taken out of the sky in wake of two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people. Investigators cited engineering flaws—particularly a software called MCAS that pushes the plane’s nose down—as well as mismanagement and a lack of regulatory oversight as the issues to blame. After nearly two years of investigations and fixes to the software, design, and training, the FAA chief and former pilot, Stephen Dickson, gave the plane a green light after a test flight in September. “The path that led us to this point was long and grueling, but we said from the start that we would take the time necessary to get this right,” he said in a video message on Wednesday. “I am 100 percent comfortable with my family flying on it.”

Pace Gallery will expand into Blain Southern’s former space in Mayfair, London.

At a time when some galleries are abandoning London due to concerns over Brexit, Pace Gallery is doubling down on its commitment to the city. The mega-gallery has announced that it will expand its London footprint by leaving its gallery in the Royal Academy building and moving into 4 Hanover Square, the former site of Blain Southern gallery, which went bankrupt in February. Pace plans to renovate the sprawling 8,600-square-foot space with Jamie Fobert Architects, with whom the gallery collaborated for its first London location on Lexington Street. As part of the renovation, Pace plans to create an integrated basement venue to make room for large-scale projects and “experimental” programming. “London’s role as a cultural hub remains undisputed given the number of world-class institutions on its turf,” CEO Marc Glimcher says of the move. “Even staring into the face of Brexit, I’m convinced that London will remain an economic capital of Europe and a crucial center for the art market.”

Barcelona’s Eixample district

Barcelona’s Eixample district will transform a third of its streets into green spaces.

The Catalan capital has announced a plan to curb pollution by converting a third of streets in the Eixample district into car-free green spaces. The city council says it will take ten years to complete the project, which will transform 21 streets and road junctions into small parks and public squares as part of the Superillas masterplan, a wider effort to reduce traffic and increase public space. Despite the ongoing efforts, Barcelona still recorded nitrogen dioxide levels last year that exceeded both the EU and World Health Organization’s limits. Eixample had the highest pollution level of all the districts, and experts estimate that it accounted for 23 percent of deaths in the area. “The Cerdà plan … was designed to modernize Barcelona at the end of the 19th century and achieve better public health conditions,” Barcelona City Council explained. “In the current context, this large area of ​​the city is once again an excellent opportunity to recover this spirit of urban transformation and update the Cerdà plan in the 21st century.”

As the U.S. prepares for a second coronavirus lockdown, museums are closing again.

Since colder weather set in, the rate of positive COVID-19 tests has increased dramatically from coast to coast. In the past week alone, the U.S. has documented an average of 162,816 cases per day, up 77 percent from two weeks ago. In response, governors in Washington, Minnesota, Colorado, and Illinois have issued restrictions, including the closing of cultural institutions. Likewise, privately owned arts venues in Milwaukee, Marfa, and Philadelphia have closed on their own accord or because of local mandates. On Monday, Nov. 23,, the Smithsonian will shut down all of its sites in Washington, DC, including the National Portrait Gallery, the National Zoo, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It’s a harrowing reality as the U.S. girds its loins for the pandemic’s second wave, which has already created a domino effect of museums closures in Europe.

Marsh Tower by Bjarke Ingels Group

BIG unveils a helix-shaped observation tower for Denmark’s Wadden Sea National Park.

Take that, Heatherwick! Bjarke Ingels Group has unveiled plans for a landmark observation tower for Wadden National Sea Park in southwestern Denmark, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The spiraling 82-foot-tall Marsh Tower will take the form of a corkscrewing staircase that ends high above the park’s vast surrounding tidal flats at a lookout perch. Its double-helix form will provide optimal unobstructed views as visitors climb, and the experience can be completely different from the journey back down. According to VisitDenmark, the country’s official tourism arm, the tower will anchor a campsite area and feature a cafe and tourist center at its base when it officially opens in 2021.

In lieu of a physical fair, Salon Art + Design debuts a collectible print and digital magazine.

Like all in-person events this year, Salon Art + Design was forced to cancel its physical edition due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the collectible design fair debuts an interactive print and digital magazine that features an array of cutting-edge modern and historical design objects presented by the world’s foremost design galleries, as well as editorial pieces and interviews by the likes of Wendy Goodman, Beth Rudin DeWoody, and Glenn Adamson. The fair’s executive director, Jill Bokor, spent 20 years in the publishing industry before pivoting to fairs, making the collector’s magazine a feasible replacement for the in-person show. She describes the magazine as an antidote to the widespread fatigue setting in around virtual viewing rooms: “When we knew that there could be no live Salon this year, we looked for other ways to further our platform and meet our exhibitors’ needs,” she says. “It occurred to me that there might be a kind of retro-chic in producing a magazine, and we moved forward with the idea. It seemed that in this moment of evanescence, people liked the idea of a beautiful object entering their homes, being displayed and referred to over time. Hence, Salon—the intersection of art and design.”  

Jewelry by the Haas Brothers

Today’s attractive distractions:

Jose Cuervo will happily send a cardboard cutout of you to your family. 

This solar-powered puffer withstands extreme cold and glows in the dark.

Historians are recreating the long-lost smells of 16th-century Europe.

The Haas Brothers’ foray into jewelry doesn’t compromise on whimsy.

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