Top Picks: Smithsonian Channel's program 'Mass Extinction,' the website, and more

The website helps raise awareness of the stories behind the food we eat, the HBO series and Foo Fighters album 'Sonic Highways' taps into America's musical heritage through the cultural fabric of eight cities, and more top picks.

National Geographic

Music town, USA

Sonic HighwaysFoo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl’s eight-part series on HBO and the name of the band’s new album – taps into America’s musical heritage through the cultural fabric of eight cities notable for their legendary studios. For the album, the band crafted and recorded a new song in each locale inspired by the environs and musicians who live there. Airing on Fridays at 11 p.m. (it concludes Nov. 28), the series is also available on demand and online.

Saving the planet

Earth has faced mass extinctions five times in its past; evidence of the destruction is recorded in its surface. Today’s rapid climate change is so extreme scientists say it rivals the chain of events that threatened past habitats. Smithsonian Channel explores the possible perils and solutions in Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink. It premières Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. 


Can science be used to make people stop jaywalking or throw away their trash properly? In the new National Geographic Channel series Crowd Control, host and behavioral expert Daniel Pink experiments with ways to improve everyday experiences, such as waiting at baggage claim. The series debuts with “Lawbreakers” on Nov. 24 at 9 p.m., in which Pink tries to curb speeding by giving cash rewards to those who are driving below the speed limit. 

Break bread with strangers

For world travelers yearning for an authentic meal with a local host, check out to see if there’s a spot at a nearby table for you. Much like other sharing economy services, the site connects users and hosts so they can break bread together. For the upcoming holiday, the site is promoting ThanksSharing Day meals for those still looking for an invitation to dinner or wanting to expand their guest list.

A hungry world

Every meal on your plate has likely navigated a host of unseen issues. National Geographic has curated its recent magazine series exploring the challenges and progress associated with feeding a growing population on its new site, The site features videos, photography, and interactive maps and graphics to help raise awareness of the stories behind the food we eat. A related free app, The Future of Food, is available through iTunes.

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