Piecing back shredded documents as a play

Something to be shredded - Celine's drawing

Paper shredders have been used to get rid of sensitive documents for quite some time, but simple ones are barely better than ripping papers by hand. This was clearly proven a couple of months ago when the Korean cable TV channel JTBC's news team was able to recover crucial evidence relating to the ongoing Park Geun-hye - Choi Soon-sil Scandal that's rocking the nation from bags of shredded documents (news in Korean).

Celine shreds her work by herself with the shredder

Since I have a hand-operated paper shredder at home, I decided to have a bit of fun by re-enacting this process with my daughter Celine. We call it the "JTBC play". After Celine created a "document" to shred, she put it into the paper shredder. I think she likes the feel of the paper being cut up by turning the handle.

The piece of paper has turned into noodles

It only took a few seconds to have the entire paper turn into long, noodle-like strings. From this, the "fun" of the recovery process begins. It's like putting together a stringy puzzle.

Time to piece them back together

Instead of trying to recall what the paper initially looked like, we chose to find adjacent strips from a certain random strip that acts as a seed.

I think we're going somewhere

To speed up the process, a couple of more seeds were chosen and we put things together in parallel. Clear tapes were used to hold the pieces in place.

We've fully recovered the original

After about an hour, all the parts were back in one piece and the drawing could be seen in its entirety once again. I think it says a lot about the security of simple shredders if a kid could put the pieces back given enough time.
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