Episode #1515

Under the Skin & a Pop-Up Game of Thrones

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Scarlett Johansson in <em>Under The Skin</em> Scarlett Johansson in Under The Skin (Courtesy of A24)

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.  

How Crazy Is It to Spend Millions for an Old Violin?

More than 350 years ago, Antonio Stradivari created the best string instruments ever made — or at least, that’s the popular myth reinforced by stratospheric auction prices. But a study out this week found that violinists can’t really tell the difference between the million-dollar violins and new instruments ...

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Extra Credit: A Plethora Of Plurals

Last week, we asked you to create new collective nouns for modern types of people, including venture capitalists, yoga instructors, and IT guys. We’ve received a plethora of responses. Jonathan Kulik from Santa Monica, California offered this complete sentence: “A mumble of indie filmmakers is petitioning ...

Submit your collective nouns

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Jonathan Glazer Turns Science Fiction Filmmaking On Its Head

His latest feature, Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johanssonis a culmination of his efforts — a sci-fi flick that’s both cinematic and low-fi, and breaks all the genre’s rules.

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Game of Thrones: The Pop-Up Book

Each episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones starts with a map of Westeros — as the camera sweeps over each kingdom, it sprouts castles, towers, and cities with beautiful precision. Matthew Reinhart has managed to reproduce the magic of CGI in an ancient medium: paper. 

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Olivier Had it Wrong: Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation

David and Ben Crystal, a father and son team, have recreated what they say is the original pronunciation — OP, they call it: how Shakespeare’s plays would have been sounded around 1600. How did they achieve this Jurassic Park-like resurrection of a long-dead accent? David, the elder Crystal, is a linguistic scholar ...

Bonus Track: Kurt’s extended conversation with David and Ben Crystal

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