Top Picks: 'Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls' podcast, the Redshift app, and more top picks

Annette Bening portrays 1950s actress Gloria Grahame in the movie 'Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,' CNN delves into a pivotal year in a new program, '1968,' and more top picks.

TCSM/File
Richard Nixon (r.)

Pivotal year

Events that occurred in the United States during 1968, from the Tet offensive to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. to the election of President Richard Nixon, had reverberations that are still felt today. CNN delves into the pivotal year in a new program, 1968, that airs over two nights. It premières May 27 at 9 p.m.

Learning astronomy

The Redshift app has information for the astronomy pro as well as a newbie looking to learn more. It tells you what planets, constellations, and more can be seen from where you are at that moment; has a database where you can learn more about asteroids, comets, and moons, among other celestial bodies; and includes virtual tours that share more information about astronomy. It’s $9.99 for iOS and Android.

AP/File
Yusra Mardini

Learn about rebels

Following the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls books, a podcast has been released, and it details the lives of such varied figures as tennis star Billie Jean King, Refugee Olympic Team member Yusra Mardini, and business owner and activist Madam C.J. Walker. The podcast can be found at www.rebelgirls.co.

Bening’s latest

Annette Bening portrays 1950s actress Gloria Grahame in the movie Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, which costars Jamie Bell as an actor who meets Grahame and becomes romantically involved with her in the 1970s. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer writes of the movie, “Annette Bening is one of those rare actresses who makes a movie, however otherwise deficient, worth seeing.” “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Courtesy of Stephanie Berger

Read together

The Great American Read kicks off on PBS on May 22 at 8 p.m. and is hosted by journalist Meredith Vieira. Prior to the debut, a survey discovered America’s 100 favorite works of fiction, and the show will now include writers, stars, and reading fans sharing what books mean to them. There will be reading clubs and events linked to “The Great American Read” happening this summer. This fall, the public will vote to select which fiction book readers in the United States love the most.

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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.”

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