Top Picks: The Fiat Lex podcast, Culture Pass, and more

Though late to the music streaming party, YouTube Music has its charms, civic engagement just became easier with the Countable app, and more top picks.


Music source

Though late to the music streaming party, YouTube Music – launched in its current incarnation less than three months ago – has its charms. It’s a paid service ($9.99 per month), which gets you ad-free access to their deep well of content. The sheer number of music videos it offers differentiates it from streaming giants Spotify and Apple Music. It’s a colorful and well-designed site, and since powerhouse Google is behind it, we can expect great innovation as it grows.

Dictionary insight

Word lovers will find the Fiat Lex podcast, in which hosts and lexicographers Kory Stamper and Steve Kleinedler discuss dictionaries, an intriguing listen. Recent topics include words that are difficult to define and using a dictionary to learn how to pronounce a word. You can find the entertaining podcast at

Ashley Twiggs/Special to The Christian Science Monitor/File

Free culture

Are you a New York City resident who’s looking to add some culture to your summer? The Brooklyn, Queens, and New York Public Libraries are teaming up to help you visit various New York institutions, including museums and historical sites, free of charge with Culture Pass. If you have a library card with one of those libraries, you can go online and reserve a pass to visit sites such as the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the Louis Armstrong House, and the Queens Museum at

Your engagement counts

Civic engagement just became easier with the Countable app, which is free for iOS and Android. The app has descriptions of current legislation and, using the app, you can contact your representatives about how you think they should vote. You can check in later to see what they did, too.

Courtesy of A24 Lean on Pete

Horse tale

The movie Lean on Pete, which stars Charlie Plummer as a teen on summer break who rescues a beloved horse, is available on DVD and Blu-ray. In the film, Charlie finds himself without shelter, and he and the horse Lean on Pete head out on the road. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer writes that writer-director Andrew Haigh “can strike more emotional notes from silence than most directors can with a full chorus of sound.”

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