Top Picks: Marian Hill's 'Act One,' the Topo Maps app, and more

The Smithsonian Channel's 'Pocahantas: Beyond the Myth' cuts through the legend, moviegoers return to the world of 'Harry Potter' with 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,' and more top picks.

Smithsonian Channel

Beyond legend

How much do you really know about the famous Native American woman Pocahontas? The new Smithsonian Channel program Pocahontas: Beyond the Myth cuts through the legend to examine what her life was really like and why the world continues to remember her. The program airs March 27 at 8 p.m.

Minimalist masterpiece

The Philly synthpop duo known as Marian Hill was enjoying modest sales and generating a faint buzz when Apple swooped in to license its infectious song “Down” for an AirPods/iPhone commercial featuring a gravity-defying Lil Buck taking a stroll. Suddenly the creative pair, singer Samantha Gongol and producer/composer Jeremy Lloyd, is red-hot and topping the charts. Marian Hill’s first full-length album, Act One, is a sexy, minimalist, rhythmic masterpiece, led by Gongol’s jazzy and spellbinding vocals.


Learn about planets

Looking to learn more about space and how it all fits together? You can use the app Cosmic Watch to figure out where a planet is now and where it will be located in the future, among other things. The Cosmic Watch app will give you a fuller understanding of what you may have simply read on the page. The app is $4.99 for iOS and $4.25 for Android.   

Map guidance

Looking to get serious with your next outdoor adventure? The Topo Maps app lets you use topographical maps to chart your journey, with downloaded maps and GPS ensuring that you won’t need cell service while hiking the trail. With the app, you can also record the details from your trip so you can see how fast you walked and how far you went. The app is free for iOS.


Fantastic tale

Eddie Redmayne stars as magical creatures expert Newt Scamander in the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a new adventure set in the world of “Harry Potter”; the screenplay was written by “Potter” scribe J.K. Rowling herself. The movie takes the action back to the 1920s, decades before Harry and his friends were on the scene. The movie is available on DVD and Blu-ray March 28.

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