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Top Picks: Tips for going green, Coachella, and BAFTA

An online guide to green living, the Coachella music festival, British academy awards, a documentary on Eliot Spitzer, and more recommendations.

February 7, 2011

British Academy of Film and Television Arts mask.

Joel Ryan /AP

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Smartly green

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At last! That spur you needed to dust off the old bicycle and switch to recycled toilet paper among other things. PracticallyGreen.com, a free service and online community, helps members be more eco-friendly and offers a five-minute quiz to assess your green credentials. The results are then instantly wrapped into a personalized plan to track progress as you green your habits and home – saving you energy in more ways than one.

Lineup of favorites

Coachella, the annual music festival in Indio, Calif., April 15-17, has just announced its 2011 lineup. Headlining in the desert are Kanye West, Kings of Leon, Cee Lo Green, Arcade Fire, Ellie Goulding, Jimmy Eat World, and more. Known for integrating lively installation art and sculptures, the festival also has an emphasis on sustainability (including lifetime festival passes for a few fortunate carpoolers!).

Brit awards bash

If the recent Golden Globes were not your taste and the Oscar ceremonies are just a tad far off, tune in to BBC America on Feb. 13 for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) annual awards bash. Held in London's Royal Opera House, the event is one of the classier evenings of the awards season – chock-full of top entertainment stars, with a half-hour of red carpet preceding the 8 p.m. kickoff.

Hubris and then a stumble

"Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer" is a painfully detailed account of the New York governor's fall from political grace after his dalliance with an escort service. A clear-eyed, if pointed work of advocacy filmmaking, director Alex Gibney ("Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room") walks us through the narrative with several moments of frank, sexual language that make this a film for adults – if the governor's consorting with prostitutes didn't already guarantee that. It's an eminently timely look at the Wall Street bigwigs Mr. Spitzer pursued and a timeless cautionary tale about the weaknesses of the political flesh. DVD arrives Jan. 25.

Guided tour

Forget the bulky tour book and unwieldy maps. HopStop.com is a comprehensive travel guide to 26 popular cities and generates directions and maps based on the user's location and transit preferences – subway, rail, bus, or walking. Knowing the exact distance to hotels, restaurants, and other attractions makes for savvy sightseeing.

A peek behind the curtain

"Discovering Hamlet" is a one-hour documentary about the 1988 production of the classic Shakespeare play, starring Kenneth Branagh and directed by Derek Jacobi, with Patrick Stewart narrating. The filmmakers follow four weeks of rehearsal with an up-close look at how the cast members tackle their iconic roles. The DVD from Athena arrives Feb. 1 with three hours of extras for true fans of the bard, including an in-depth interview with Mr. Jacobi and background detail about the Danish prince.

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