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The Viewer • Hand-picked video recommendations to surprise and delight you

What Can This Unusual 1631 Portrait Reveal?

The Canvas | YouTube | 5th December 2021

At first it seems like a joke—a bearded man breastfeeding a child? In fact it's not a man, but a 52-year-old Italian woman named Magdalena Ventura. "I love this painting, not only because we can see in it today an old gender-bending portrait, but because I'm really given the impression that Jusepe de Ribera could sympathize with Magdalena" (7m 23s)

Hilarious Cryptid Hoaxes

Curious Archive | YouTube | 9th December 2021

P.T. Barnum attaches a monkey torso to a fish tail and calls it a mermaid. An amateur scientist joins a human cranium to an orangutan jawbone and tricks the scientific community into believing his "skull" proves the earliest humans came from Britain. A disgraced actor glues a toy dinosaur head to a toy submarine and photographs the "Loch Ness monster" (10m 57s)

Worker Democracy

Unlearning Economics | YouTube | 4th December 2021

Do worker co-ops, well, work? Studies recommend them, but this evidence may be misleading because it only studies those who have already opted to join co-ops (so there's a selection effect). What would happen if everyone had to join? In Mondragon, a Spanish co-op federation, "fewer workers said that they felt they were part of the firm than those at a comparable private company" (58m 23s)

The Little Soul

Barbara Rupik | Vimeo | 5th December 2021

Warning: disturbing imagery. Nothing but disturbing imagery, in fact—the stop-motion chronicle of a flesh-creature emerging from a corpse and taking a trip through a Boschian hellscape of mud, limbs and bones to find a new home. Yet somehow, like a Bosch painting, it's also beautiful, and even though the images are carefully composed, the textures are so tangible that it feels utterly real  (9m 11s)

Funny Video Of The Week

Dating in the Middle Ages—"God says you're supposed to be my wife!"

Watch The Viewer's recommendations each week as a handy YouTube Playlist.

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