Monitor Picks

Five things we think you'll really like.

Eyes on the tigers

The NFL playoffs might have you craving pigskin all weekend. But if you only have time for one tilt, consider Pittsburgh (11-5) at Cincinnati (11-5), Sunday at 4:30 EST on CBS. Long one of the AFC's most hapless teams, the beefed-up Bengals behind QB Carson Palmer are in the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. They enter having lost their last two games, though; Pittsburgh has won its last four. The Steelers' last loss? A 38-31 defeat in Cincinnati. Can you say grudge match?

Plan your (financial) endgame

It's a calculation nearly everyone faces but few discuss: What do you need in a nest egg to ensure that you can coast, at least a little, late in life? In his breezily written book The Number, Lee Eisenberg, a former Esquire editor and Land's End executive, tells how even late starters can plan and live a creative life that doesn't resemble a treadmill - or break the bank, either.

Magazine's new medium

Readers of Real Simple, the cleanly designed, tidbit-strewn lifestyle magazine, should enjoy the similarly presented new half-hour "life-strategy show" it has spawned (PBS, Saturdays). Friday's première includes a quick lasagna recipe (we tried it; it works), a somewhat elementary guide to foreign phrases, and a touching segment about a woman whose late father wrote her letters she waited until adulthood to read.

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A TV series appreciates in value

The Antiques Roadshow, PBS's hit series in which appraisal experts turn one man's junk into another's treasure, turns 10 this month. Mark L. Walberg hosts the show as it embarks on a series of "house calls" to search for priceless antiques in musty attics across America.

Squirrel nutcase

The spirit of Looney Tunes infuses the hilarious preview for Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. Here, as in the first movie, a prehistoric snaggletoothed squirrel continues a futile quest to hoard acorns in a glacial landscape. See it at www.apple.com/trailers.

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