This week, Kurt Andersen calls a listener named Ken in New Hampshire who turns out to be Ken Burns, the filmmaker. Burns has a few good words for our latest listener challenge, like "a reel of documentary filmmakers" and "a scratch of DJs." We ask what a rebranding of marijuana for the age of legalization might look like, and compare the effects of pot and alcohol on the creative process. Plus a performance from MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer, a jazz musician who always colors outside the lines.
If Scarlett Johansson pulled up in a van, would you get in? Jonathan Glazer’s sci-fi film Under The Skin casts the starlet as an alien prowling the streets of Edinburgh for human flesh. A paper engineer takes pop-up books into new territory with a Game of Thrones book (but it’s actually safe for kids). And the evidence is piling up that Stradivarius violins are overhyped, as well as overpriced; in a blind test, top violinists preferred new instruments.