Kottke went on holiday before Christmas (how dare he) so his usual selection of interesting links turned to thoughts and photos of his vacation locations. Now he's back and firing on all cylinders and I was surprised to note I'd forgotten how much I missed his trawling of the internet backwaters to find interesting news and tidbits.
First up was news that Japan is currently under attack by giant jellyfish. Okay, so attack is a strong word. It seems Japan has been seeing increasing numbers of giant Nomura jellyfish which
can grow 6.5 feet (2 meters) wide and weigh up to 450 pounds (220 kilograms). And the are reports of people dying from these things, so they're not something to mess with. Possible reasons for the increase range from global warming raising the sea temperatures to floods in China's Yangtze River Delta (where they are common).
Next is an interesting blog post by Guy Kawasaki all about hindsight, it's a very interesting read with good advice for everyone.
Then there's the link to the Guardian's list of the top 100 most expensive books, first editions and such like that could make anywhere up to £100,000 (for a first edition of Ulysses by James Joyce). Most of the books are old classics from early in the 20th Century. Surprisingly, joint number 100 is Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, which was published by Scholastic in 1995 and could net you £4,000.
Lastly, there is the story of Jim Wier, ex-CEO of Snapper lawn-mowers, who told Wal-Mart that they would no longer be supplying them with mowers to sell in their stores. It's an interesting read about how one guy decided that more sales weren't necessarily a good thing and that quality and reliability was the way to go. It's not that this appeals to me because Wal-Mart is a bad company, but I think this appeals due to me being British. We're a tiny island that has punched above our weight for hundreds of years, naturally we all love David and Goliath stories, but also this is a story about someone who was willing to fly in the face of the faster, cheaper, disposable culture we seem to be developing into and shows there is a market for well-made items too.