Monitor picks

From Portfolio magazine to 'The Queen,' here are five things we think you'll really like.

It's actually pretty easy being green

This week saw the launch of two new websites for green consumers, and both are worth a visit. reads as a newsletter, with environmental updates and tips; on the other hand, (for "Stylish People Who Are Into Green"), helmed by the editor of now defunct Organic Style, is a shopping site for the fashionista in search of sustainable clothing and beauty products. Whatever you're after, these sites make life a little greener.

Hollywood royalty

Helen Mirren uses her considerable acting skills (plus a bottle of hair dye, goggle specs, and a pearl necklace) for an extreme makeover as The Queen. This riveting docudrama, now on DVD, depicts the royal family's tug of war with modernity during the aftermath of Princess Diana's death. Mirren sympathetically captures Elizabeth II's shocking realization that a stiff upper lip is as anachronistic in modern-day Britain as kippers on toast.

Smells like bad cologne

A cheap marketing ploy? Sure, but a fun one. On May 3 fans of NBC's My Name is Earl will be allowed to smell their way along with the popular sitcom. The catch: you've got to own a copy of next week's TV Guide, which will include scratch and sniff panels. Scents include new-car smell and obnoxious cologne; onscreen boxes tell you when to scratch.

On the up and up

Cheers to the thinking behind, a new San Francisco-based website that aggregates positive news stories – from a cut in college-loan interest rates to a peace pact in the Ivory Coast – and initiates discussion among visitors. It also suggests a few ways in which they might get involved.

For the aspiring CEO

In the première issue of Portfolio, novelist Tom Wolfe profiles the new corporate raiders, John Cassidy explains – wait for it – why some economists are learning to love global warming, and Alexandra Wolfe details the "bubbly" Chinese art market. Clearly, this isn't your grandfather's business glossy. It's sleeker, more literary, and twice as readable.

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