Six Picks: Recommendations from the Monitor staff

James Morrison's newest CD of love songs, Disney's delightful 'Bolt' now on DVD, a fascinating PBS documentary on two pioneers of women's cosmetics, and more.

Courtesy of Disney Enterprises
Courtesy of the Helena Rubenstein Foundation


Sounding uncannily like his idols, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, young Brit heartthrob James Morrison follows up his smash debut "Undiscovered" with Songs for You, Truths for Me, a CD that comes close to the appeal of its predecessor, but falls a little short in the unforgettable song department. If you don't have the first one, let this be your second James Morrison purchase. He'll be around for a while.


In times of recession, small is the new big. That's the idea, anyway, behind Apple's new iPod Shuffle, which is less than two inches tall and a breathtaking 0.3 inches thick. It costs less than $80, and will play more songs than the casual listener probably owns – Apple estimates the capacity at 1,000 songs. Best of all is the VoiceOver feature that will lower the volume of the song and identify the artist anytime you want. Log on to for more information.


Interested in how information is processed and distributed in this Web age? Andrew Wih's The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia, is a good place to start. Wih, an analyst, academic, and Wikipedia administrator, has spent a lot of time in the digital trenches, and he offers a wide-angle look at how thoroughly – and swiftly – the site has changed our lives. The best part: The afterword of this book was created online, using the same open-source technology that powers Wikipedia itself.

Real Beauties

Lipstick and a compact may be the staples of a modern woman's daily regimen, but without cosmetics pioneers, Helena Rubenstein (right) and Elizabeth Arden, they might have remained the tools of theater and prostitution, as make-up was viewed before the 20th century. Tune in to The Powder and the Glory, a PBS documentary (on March 23 at 10 p.m.) to understand how these women profoundly shaped modern womanhood, not to mention the personal-grooming industry.

a legend relived

Another woman of history, whose interests lay a world away from Madison Avenue, Golda Meir is Israel's only female leader in its 60-year history. In Ingrid Bergman's last role, the actress portrayed the formidable leader during her tumultuous years in office in A Woman Called Golda, the Emmy-award winning miniseries, now out on DVD.

Pooch fiction

A TV show pup who believes he has superpowers has to navigate the real world in Bolt (on DVD March 24), Disney's most entertaining effort in years. In a kind of "Incredible Journey" meets "The Truman Show," Bolt sets off to reunite with his little girl, Penny. His traveling buddies include Mittens, a cynical cat, and Rhino the hamster, whose grip on reality is even more tenuous than Bolt's. Extras include a Rhino short, interviews with voice-over stars John Travolta and Miley Cyrus, and deleted scenes.

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