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Zodiac, China, Santa, Booze, Island

The Zodiac killer's cypher, the death of recycling, Santa denialism, the weird history of Prohibition, and a trip to South Korea.


Let's Crack Zodiac – The 340 Is Solved!

David Oranchak | YouTube | 11th December 2020

The Zodiac "340" cypher was finally cracked this week, half a century after the baffling cryptogram was mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle by the Zodiac killer. The decoders themselves explain: "This thing was a beast. Splitting it up into three parts and including multiple transpositions made the cypher difficult, but it was made even more difficult by the mistakes in the second part" (13m 02s)


How China Broke The World's Recycling

Wendover Productions | YouTube | 16th December 2020

In 2017, China effectively banned the import of almost all plastic waste, crushing an industry that was arguably doomed from the start. "Even though it looked like plastic recycling was profitable, once the externalities were priced in, it once again became clear that plastic recycling was not in fact a viable system" – in fact, it was arguably created in the first place to make plastic companies look good (19m 37s)


The Case Against Santa Denialism

Sisyphus 55 | YouTube | 17th December 2020

Satirical takedown of "Santa Denialism," an "intellectual movement that spans entire elementary schools in its forceful renunciation of blind faith." Viewed through a Lacanian lens, Santa functions as the Big Other; Critical Santa Theory focuses on gender, noting "the obscured and minimized importance of Mrs. Claus." Funny throughout (8m 50s)


Prohibition: Oversimplified

OverSimplified | YouTube | 15th December 2020

Amusing history of Prohibition. Its inception alone was a fluke – "workers were told alcohol was a capitalist ploy to keep them subjugated; factory owners were told alcohol was keeping their irresponsible workers lazy. The black community was warned alcohol was hindering its progress, while racists were warned alcohol would turn black men into brutes" (33m 42s)


Vibrant Video Of the Week

Jaunty, expressive portrait of a South Korean island


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Editor: Abe Callard
Publisher: Jacob Silkstone [jacob@theviewer.is]

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