Top Picks: Superorganism's album, the documentary 'Jane,' and more

The Podbean app can help podcast fans find new content to listen to, 'The Shape of Water,' this year’s Oscar winner for best picture, is available on DVD and Blu-ray, and more top picks.

Quilt of music

A thoroughly modern, tongue-in-cheek pop masterpiece nearly impossible to describe, Superorganism is a lot like other things you may have heard, but never assembled quite like this. The band is an international crazy quilt of musicians who met online and wove together beats, samples, and chirpy harmonies from laptops in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, and their new home, East London. Their eponymous first album will put a goofy grin on your face.

Podcast help

The Podbean app can help podcast fans find new content to listen to with suggestions based on what users have listened to in the past, and offers free audiobooks of classic works. The app can also seamlessly remove silent portions from an episode. Podbean is free for iOS and Android.

National Geographic Creative/Hugo Van Lawick

Story of Jane

The acclaimed documentary Jane, directed by Brett Morgen, tells the story of the life of primatologist Jane Goodall, including her career beginnings studying in Tanzania in the 1960s and new footage of her work with chimpanzees. The film is available on the National Geographic Channel’s On Demand platform and for streaming through www.natgeotv.com.

Rhapsodic ‘water’

The Shape of Water, this year’s Oscar winner for best picture, is available on DVD and Blu-ray. The movie follows Elisa Esposito (best actress Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins), who works at a government facility and forms a connection with a creature being studied there. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer writes, “The best parts of ‘The Shape of Water’ ... are marvelously rhapsodic in ways that recall films like Jean Cocteau’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ without ever seeming slavish.” 

Ann Hermes/Staff/File

Looking into the future

The Wall Street Journal is looking ahead with the podcast The Future of Everything, which examines what’s coming up for subjects from music to quantum computing to bitcoin. A recent intriguing episode looked at artificial intelligence and what would affect decisions made by that technology. You can find it at http://bit.ly/thefutureofeverything. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

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 CSMonitor.com.