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Monitor Picks

Five things we think you'll really like.

March 24, 2006



Spike TV

Spike Lee, cinema's Poet Laureate of New York, releases "Inside Man" today, so the time couldn't be better to catch up on this director's provocative films about sexual, racial, and class relations. The five-DVD set includes three of his best: "Do the Right Thing," "Mo' Better Blues," and "Jungle Fever."

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Still life with bloggers

Duane Keiser and Travis Ruse share a common goal: to make art every day to post on their blogs. Virginia painter Keiser (duanekeiser.blogspot.com) creates postcard-size oil paintings from common objects: matches, butter knives, potato chips. They sell for about $100 each on eBay. Brooklyn Photographer Ruse (travisruse.com) snaps commuters on New York's subways. Both turn the mundane beautiful - every day.

Pandora's (boom) box

This Pandora's box is filled with good things. Music-lovers can create their own radio stations at Pandora.com. Type in your favorite band or tune and Pandora plays songs it thinks you will dig, tapping into its 10,000-artist database. Like the selection? Sit back and enjoy, or buy it from iTunes. Don't like it? Pandora apologizes, then tailors the choices even further.

Vee-dub in da haus

Every so often the ad world delivers a meisterwerk. Enter Unpimp My Ride, a TV campaign for Volkswagen's GTI by agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Basic idea: This hot little VW is "pre-tuned" by German engineers, outclassing the legions of teen-modified econoboxes. Swedish actor Peter Stormare romps as the arrogant, Zoolander-esque "Wolfgang," gleefully crushing automotive pretenders in inventive ways.

These guys are good

The golf season may be three months old, but The Players Championship (this weekend on NBC and ESPN) marks the real start of the season. Sawgrass is always full of surprises: Last year, short-hitting Fred Funk tamed severe winds to win. Next year The Players moves to May - that's like pushing spring back two months.

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