Top Picks: Kamasi Washington's 'Harmony of Difference,' the movie 'Afterimage,' and more

If you’re a hiker who likes to figure out every detail of your adventure before you leave the house, check out the Footpath app, check out recently departed musician Tom Petty and his band performing one of their most well-known hits, and more top picks.


Jazz expansion

Saxophonist/composer Kamasi Washington first got our attention with his indelible playing and his work on Kendrick Lamar’s groundbreaking “To Pimp a Butterfly” album. Now back with his latest solo effort, Harmony of Difference, Washington continues his inspiring exploration and expansion of what jazz can be. His large ensemble melds multigenerational musicians from hip-hop, pop, and jazz, and the resulting six compositions exude youthful zeal and healing positivity. The album’s bookends, “Desire” and “Truth,” are accessible, uplifting, and infused with emotion. Hear why Washington is bringing a whole new audience back to America’s great art form.

Magisterial performance

Polish painter Wladyslaw Strzeminski is the subject of director Andrzej Wajda’s film Afterimage, which is available on DVD and Blu-ray Oct. 24. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer notes that the unrated movie, about Strzeminski’s targeting by Communist authorities in 1940s Poland, is “intensely harrowing” but that star Boguslaw Linda gives a “magisterial performance.”


Dino exploration

If you have a dinosaur fan around the house or are just looking to remind yourself about the difference between a triceratops and a duckbill, the National Geographic Kids Ultimate Dinopedia app is worth checking out. It offers impressive illustrations, an A-to-Z guide to dinosaurs, and information about how dinosaurs hatch and where they traveled. It’s $4.99 for iOS.

Planning hikes

If you’re a hiker who likes to figure out every detail of your adventure before you leave the house, check out the Footpath app. Use the app to sketch out where you’re going, and it will automatically use trails and roads to map the route and show you elevation so you can see how tough your hike will be. (No GPS is needed.) Footpath is $0.99 for iOS.


Departed legend

Rock legend Tom Petty, who died Oct. 2, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Check out the musician and his band performing one of their most well-known hits, “American Girl,” for the ceremony via the Hall of Fame’s video at

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to