Top Picks: Music group Tank & the Bangas, the Smartify app, and more

In addition to labeling stars and planets, the Night Sky app also offers a tour of the sky, director Bill Morrison’s documentary 'Dawson City: Frozen Time' uses silent movies and newsreels discovered in the Canadian city in 1978 to depict the history of the area, and more top picks.


Tour the sky

In addition to labeling stars and planets, the Night Sky app also offers a tour of the sky and lets you “favorite” a constellation, planet, or other object so you can be alerted when it will be appearing near you. The app is free for iOS and Android.

The sound of joy

The unanimous winner of NPR’s 2017 Tiny Desk concert contest (out of more than 6,000 entries), Tank & the Bangas charm and inspire, exuding complete joy in the process. The New Orleans darlings play a deep but feather-light groove, and frontwoman/poet Tarriona Ball is a supernatural wonder. See what all the buzz is about at

Richard Ross/J. Paul Getty Trust/Reuters

Smartify yourself

Looking for more information on a work of art? Using the Smartify app, hold your phone in front of the piece of art to identify the work and learn how it was created. The app is currently usable for works of art in galleries including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles’s J. Paul Getty Museum, and London’s National Portrait Gallery. It’s free for iOS and Android.

Floor plan guidance

If you’re rearranging furniture in your living room and want to have a floor plan handy, try the RoomScan Pro app. Just tap your phone to the wall to create a floor plan. The newest version uses augmented reality scanning to generate a plan as well. It also works for a yard or other outdoor area. It’s $0.99 for iOS.

Kathy Jones Gates/Courtesy of Kino Lorber
One of the many reels of The Dawson City Collection recovered in 1978.

Fascinating footage

Director Bill Morrison’s documentary Dawson City: Frozen Time uses silent movies and newsreels discovered in the Canadian city in 1978 to depict the history of the area, including the period when gold mining dominated daily life. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer calls the footage “fascinating” and writes, “The rise and fall of Dawson City, intimately tied to the vagaries of climate and man’s greed, is heartbreakingly rendered.” “Dawson City: Frozen Time” is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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