Six Picks: Recommendations from the Monitor staff
Touring Karnak's temple, a Swedish sleuth, the National Zoo on DVD, and more.
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Ancient Egypt is a land of monuments built on a scale unmatched since pharaonic times. Now a team of researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles has digitally restored the temple complex at Karnak. Take a 3D tour of the 69-acre site, including all its obelisks, sphinxes, and gateways at Digital Karnak and see the site's evolution from 1951 BC to 31 BC.
Take equal parts Ingmar Bergman, "Prime Suspect," and a dash of bracing Scottish gloom and you have an idea of the latest drama in the PBS Masterpiece "Mystery!" series, the BBC's Wallander. In his first regular television role, Kenneth Branagh stars as the dour detective, fighting bureaucratic indifference and corruption. Based on the books by Swedish playwright Henning Mankell, the three-part series (May 10, 9 p.m.) may not be for everyone'. But for those with a special spot in their sleuthing spirit for the depressed but fundamentally noble police heroes of this genre, this will be a treat.
An emotional bond
Kelly Reichardt's road picture Wendy and Lucy about a vagabond and her dog making their way to Alaska may not sound like much in the telling. But it was one of the most quietly resonant movies of 2008, with a performance by Michelle Williams that is, like the film itself, a model of grace and economy. Newly out on DVD May 5.
Is your home ready for reinvention? Apartmenttherapy.com should be your first stop. Although not expansive on how-tos, the site's photos and comments from real people in real apartments make it an inviting well of ideas – no celebrity lifestyle required. And check out the new hardcover: Apartment Therapy Presents: Real Homes, Real People, Hundreds of Design Solutions (Chronicle Books, $27.50).
Polar exploration is brutal by nature, but imagine doing it 150 years ago without the high-tech gear. The Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge recently launched a spectacular online gallery of photos from expeditions past and present, including the Scott and Shackleton ventures. No need to fog up your goggles to join these unflappable travelers – www.freezeframe.ac.uk/home/home.
Just blocks from the White House, wild animals on the loose? Indeed, the National Zoo is host to one of the world's most successful breeding programs for the Golden Lion Tamarin monkeys, and part of the plan is to let them range free during the summer months. See these and other charming beasties in Loose at the Zoo, a DVD available May 12. A combo of three separate episodes, this collection stars some of the zoo's most charming performers, including the monkeys, tiger cubs, meerkats, Kori Bustard babies, sloth bear newborns, and more.