Paying for the Production of a Giant Squid 

Finally, it's John Moltz's time to shine!

Here in America, the government has spent trillions of dollars to help deal with the economic impact of the COVID pandemic. Other countries have had similar stimulus programs, and friend of the site Ya’ir A. alerted me to one way the money is being spent. In the Japanese fishing village of Noto, they chose to commission a sculpture of a giant squid:

A giant squid in Japan

Now you have to admit, that’s a pretty great squid. And yet:

[T]here have been questions among locals over whether this was necessary or even an effective way to do PR for Noto.

Sure, Noto only has 17,000 residents, and maybe the money (roughly $250,000) could have been better spent, but keeping the world as weird as possible has value. And hey, judging by their Wikipedia entry, I was never going to link to Noto otherwise. So I say this big old squid is delightful, and that it’s working great as a PR measure. Readers, when it’s safe to do so, I urge you to go visit Noto. First one to send me a picture of themselves with the squid wins a free post here on OFT.