Monitor Picks

Five things we think you'll like this week, including a monster of a story, a 'Miss Manners' for men, and a poignant movie about a night of cross-cultural connections between Israelis and Egyptians.

Courtesy of Thomas Neslson

Mr. Manners for the 21st Century

Boys may not be the only ones with bad manners these days, but for all those who despair over the rude cellphone users or e-mail blasts, help is here: How To Be A Gentleman. This 10-year-old etiquette handbook has been revised and updated to cover the digisphere – cellphones, e-mail, text messaging, etc. Give it to the guys, but sneak a peek yourself.

Follow the online campaign trail

If 2004 was the year the Web became an important part of presidential politics (think Howard Dean), then 2008 is the year it became integral: every candidate is reliant on the "netroots.", created by the Personal Democracy Forum, is devoted to this revolutionary nexus of digital and traditional campaigns. Nonpartisan features include analyses of online ads, stats on YouTube video views, and news from the cybertrail.

Worth a cinema 'Visit'

Current cinema release The Band's Visit (PG-13) has a hilarious premise: An Egyptian police orchestra finds itself stranded in a dusty Israeli hamlet. In the role of the conductor, Sasson Gabai's sour-prune expression encompasses shyness, dignity, and, finally, heartbreak.

Auction alert

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Don't try this at home, kids

In The Water Horse, a family film set during World War II, a young lad has some serious 'splaining to do to his widowed mother (Emily Watson) when she discovers he has a pet Loch Ness monster. The DVD extras are worth a peek, too, to discover how the filmmakers made a convincing Nessie.

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