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Top Picks: Solaris Sky Calendar, Corinne Bailey Rae's 'The Heart Speaks in Whispers,' and more

Director Su Rynard's documentary 'The Messenger' has dazzling images of various kinds of birds, the podcast 'The Allusionist' is an intriguing look at language, and more top picks.

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Birds of a feather

Director Su Rynard’s documentary The Messenger presents the idea that birds and their behavior can communicate important messages about global warming and also includes dazzling images of goldfinches, sparrows, warblers, and more. The documentary is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Roman history from a different point of view

Viewers are likely familiar with the history of the Roman Empire, but the new History series Barbarians Rising takes an unusual tack: It tells the story of the various “barbarians” who fought the empire, from Hannibal and his trip across the Alps to Boudica and her many battles. The TV series premières June 6 at 9 p.m.

Listen to a language discussion

Looking for even more ruminations on the history of language after reading the work of our columnist Ruth Walker? Check out the podcast The Allusionist, in which Helen Zaltzman discusses everything from what makes a book part of the classic literature canon to the difference between British and American uses of the same phrase. Find Zaltzman’s work at http://www.theallusionist.org.  

Don’t miss a sky happening

Afraid of missing that upcoming meteor shower? The Solaris Sky Calendar app reminds you when an important event in the sky will be going on and uses your location to give you an exact time of when to check it out. It also gives you information about the science behind each event so you can learn even more. Solaris Sky Calendar is available for iOS for $1.99. 

The return of Corinne Bailey Rae

Corinne Bailey Rae captivated the world with her irresistible 2006 single “Put Your Records On,” and her delightful debut album sold more than 4 million copies. After working through some difficult personal issues in the intervening years, she’s emerged stronger and more creative than ever with a joyous, ambitious record that more than delivers on her early promise. The Heart Speaks in Whispers is a stirring sonic delight, pairing the British songstress with cutting-edge soul sisters Esperanza Spalding and the group KING. The combination is eclectic and electric.

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