Top Picks: Wolfgang Muthspiel's 'Rising Grace,' 'The History of English Podcast,' and more

'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' brings Ransom Riggs' young adult bestseller to the big screen, National Geographic explores the history of ancient windmills, and more top picks.

Courtesy of PBS

Jazz gem

Like much of Europe’s fine art, some gems are well worth hunting for. Case in point: Austria’s renaissance man Wolfgang Muthspiel. No, he’s not a painter – he’s a multitalented composer, guitarist, and singer most often found in the jazz world, sitting in with the greats. His latest quintet album, Rising Grace, features pianist Brad Mehldau and drummer extraordinaire Brian Blade, and it’s well worth the search. See a taste of their artistry at http://bit.ly/wolfgangm.

Resilient windmills

Do you think that if you built something, it would still be working 1,000 years from now? Windmills located in Nashtifan, Iran, are believed to have been created between AD 500 and 900 and are still operational today. Check out National Geographic’s video about the history of these structures at http://bit.ly/natgeowindmills.

Return to ‘Mary’

Looking to revisit a favorite episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show following the recent death of the star? If you need a streaming option, installments of the 1970s hit TV program are available via multiple companies. Amazon customers can buy all the episodes, as can users of iTunes, while Hulu has early seasons. Just one episode may take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. 

English past

Kevin Stroud’s The History of English Podcast looks at not only how English came to be what it is today but also at the history of England and how these two subjects often intersect. Episodes of the podcast are available at http://www.historyofenglishpodcast.com.

Peculiar school

In the film adaptation of Ransom Riggs’s young adult novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, modern-day teenager Jacob (Asa Butterfield) becomes involved with the students of the titular school, who have various unusual powers but must be protected by their headmistress, Miss Peregrine, from disaster during World War II. The movie is directed by “Big Eyes” helmer Tim Burton, and Monitor film critic Peter Rainer writes that Eva Green portrays Miss Peregrine “with divaesque triumphalism.” The movie is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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