Top Picks: Johnnyswim's 'Live at Rockwood Music Hall,' the Citymapper app, and more

Humans and polar bears collide in the Smithsonian Channel's 'Polar Bear Town,' the movie 'Indignation' brings the Philip Roth novel of the same name to the big screen, and more top picks.

Courtesy of Smithsonian Channel

Love song

They’re beautiful. They’re in love. And, man, can they sing. They are Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez, and they call themselves Johnnyswim. They met in Nashville, Tenn., as songwriters and clicked artistically, vocally, and romantically. Their new live album, Live at Rockwood Music Hall, may be mostly acoustic, but it is potently electric, with the adoring crowd passionately hanging on every word and soaring harmony of this buzz-worthy duo. See a sample at

City guide

If you’re traveling and don’t know the city, the Citymapper app has everything you need to get around, from information on available bicycles, to a path to your destination that keeps you out of the rain, to transportation schedules. You’ll look as though you’ve lived there for years. Citymapper is free for iOS and Android and is available for cities all over the world.

Beyond the text

Those behind the podcast Footnoting History think the most interesting narratives are outside the main text, and the podcast goes beyond what you likely heard in class. A recent episode delved into the life and work of artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Find the installments at

College tale

The movie Indignation brings the Philip Roth novel of the same name to the big screen, with actor Logan Lerman starring as Marcus, a young Jewish man attending college in 1951. Sarah Gadon costars as a fellow student with whom Marcus becomes romantically involved. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer found that “Lerman is a go-getter actor playing a go-getter character. His presence alone can make his scenes propulsive,” and he called actor Tracy Letts, who portrays the college’s dean, “marvelous.”

Polar encounters

A new Smithsonian Channel series, Polar Bear Town, tells the story of Churchill, Manitoba, in northern Canada, through which more than 1,000 polar bears go every year once the ice of Hudson Bay has disappeared. What happens when these animals and humans come in such close contact? “Polar Bear Town” premières Nov. 16 at 8 p.m.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

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

QR Code to Top Picks: Johnnyswim's 'Live at Rockwood Music Hall,' the Citymapper app, and more
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today