Monitor Picks

Five things we think you'll like this week, including Julie Andrews's self-guided tour of 'Home,' autobiography, travel host Michael Palin's new adventures with vampires, and justified hoopla.

carrie vonderhaar/ocean futures society

Amazing Amazon

Jean-Michel Cousteau (son of Jacques) retraces a trip he took with his father 25 years ago in PBS's two-part Return to the Amazon (April 2 and 9). With gorgeous photography and scientific precision, Cousteau sounds the alarm about the destruction of the planet's most important forest.

The full ex-Monty

Michael Palin is England's answer to Rick Steves. Except that the Monty Python comedian is more interested in cultural insights than seeing the sights – though the scenery is unfailingly gorgeous – as he explores former Soviet satellite countries in the New Europe. On the DVD, Palin chats with land-mine excavators in Bosnia, survives vampiric tourist traps in Transylvania, and drives a tank in the former East Germany.

Hulu hoopla

Missed last week's "Saturday Night Live," or do you wish you could revisit episodes of "The Simpsons" from, say, a decade ago? Now you can burrow into the archives of Fox and NBC for TV shows and movies at Just like rabbit-ear TV, it's free (with ads).

Around the digital diamond

The crack of the bat. The roar of the crowd. The constant bickering of the tried-and-true hardball fanatic. If you love all three sounds, visit the baseball section of the Most Valuable Network ( This slice of home-run heaven aggregates blog content from all corners of the country and from every team and sprinkles in articles from

The sound of music-making

Julie Andrews's memoir may be titled Home, but it's a reference to the stage rather than her childhood household, a troubled abode that could have used a visit from Mary Poppins or Maria. With typical elegance and grace, the first lady of musical theater describes her apprenticeship under the likes of Rex Harrison and Richard Burton during the years that she became a star.

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