The Quick 10: 10 Seeds About Apple Inc.

Happy Birthday to Apple! It's no joke -- Steves Wozniak and Jobs formed Apple Computer on April Fools' Day, 1976. To celebrate, here are 10 facts about the company you either love or loathe.

1. Everyone knows Woz and Jobs, but there's a third guy most people don't know about -- Ronald Wayne. He's sometimes referred to as the third founder of Apple -- he was there from the start, drew the first Apple logo, wrote the Apple I manual and also wrote the partnership agreement between the three of them. Wayne is probably kicking himself today, though. He sold his 10% stake in Apple not even two weeks after acquiring it in 1976. He received $800 for his share at the time. When asked if he regrets the decision today, Wayne has stated that he made "the best decision with the information available to me at the time.

2. was registered as a domain name on February 19, 1987, which makes it one of the first 100 companies to ever register a .com address.

3. Why "Apple"? The answer is a pretty business-savvy one: because the frontrunner in computer technology at the time was Atari, where Jobs had once designed video games. Because "ap" comes before "at," people looking for computers would find "Apple" before "Atari" in the Yellow Pages. But really, the story of how Apple got its name changes depending on what source you read. Other books about the company will tell you that Jobs once worked a summer job at an apple orchard and loved it; another tale is that he admired the Beatles' Apple Corps.

4. With the wild success of virtually every product Apple has launched in the past five to 10 years, it's easy to forget that they've had their share of massive flops as well. Among them are 1993's Apple Newton (AKA MessagePad), a PDA that cost $1,000 and wasn't very portable; 1983's Apple Lisa, a nearly $10,000 personal computer (that's about $22,000 today); and the Apple Pippin, a machine that was supposed to compete with the Sony Playstation and Nintendo 64. A mere 42,000 units were sold before the product was discontinued.

5. The iPod wasn't their idea. When they were sued by patent holding company in 2007, Apple pointed out that a similar handheld music device was patented way back in 1979 when Apple itself was a mere three years old. Kane Kramer, the inventor, called it the IXI. It could only hold 3.5 minutes of music, but it was definitely the precursor to the iPod. He needed to renew the patents in 120 countries in 1988 and was unable to come up with the funding to do so, so the technology became public domain. That's where Apple jumped in, but by the time the first iPod was released in 2001, technology had grown from allowing 3.5 minutes of music to putting "1,000 songs in your pocket."

6. Apple's first employee was user interface architect Bill Fernandez, who was assigned employee number four (after the Steves and Ronald Wayne). He was hired when Apple was incorporated in 1977. He stayed with the company for a number of years, working on both the Apple I and Apple II.

7. The famous "1984" Apple commercial was directed by Ridley Scott. If he had known Russell Crowe at the time, I'm sure we would have seen him running in tiny red shorts and hurling a hammer at Big Brother instead of athlete and model Anya Major. The Steves both adored the commercial; the Apple Board of Directors hated it. Wozniak offered to personally fund the Super Bowl spot himself if the Board refused to support it. I'm sure you've seen the iconic ad, but in case you want a refresher, here you go:

8. Even after Apple was named a Fortune 500 company, it was pretty common to see Steve Jobs wandering around the building barefoot.

9. The Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan is, according to a study by Cornell University, the fifth most-photographed location in New York, beating the Statue of Liberty. The four landmarks that top the Apple Store are the Empire State Building, Times Square, Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Station. Hmmm. I submit the hypothesis that since the study was done based on Flickr photos, the people who took the pictures are more tech-savvy and are more drawn to the Apple Store than the Statue of Liberty. I'm calling the study skewed!

10. Next up for Apple? In late 2010, we can look forward to a cartoon on Cartoon Network's AdultSwim featuring the Steves as superheroes. The duo will voice their own characters and Bill Gates has already agreed to a guest appearance.

Yeah. April Fool on the last one. But I'd totally watch that.

So, are you a Mac or a PC?




10 Sweet Facts About Candy Canes

The sweet and striped shepherd’s hooks can be found just about everywhere during the holiday season. It's time you learned a thing or two (or 10) about them.


While the origins of the candy cane are a bit murky, legend has it that they first appeared in hooked form around 1670. Candy sticks themselves were pretty common, but they really took shape when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany got the bright idea of twisting them to look like shepherd’s hooks. He then handed them out to kids during church services to keep them quiet.


It’s no surprise, then, that it was a German immigrant who introduced the custom to America. The first reference we can find to the tradition stateside is 1847, when August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decked his home out with the sugary fare.


Candy canes without the red don’t seem nearly as cheery, do they? But that’s how they were once made: all white. We’re not really sure who or exactly when the scarlet stripe was added, but we do know that images on cards before the 1900s show snow white canes.


Most candy canes are around five inches long, containing only about 50 calories and no fat or cholesterol.


The world’s largest candy cane was built by Geneva, Illinois chef Alain Roby in 2012.  It was 51 feet long, required about 900 pounds of sugar, and was eventually smashed up with a hammer so people could take home a piece.


Fifty-four percent of kids suck on candy canes, compared to the 24 percent who just go right for the big crunch. As you may have been able to guess, of those surveyed, boys were nearly twice as likely to be crunchers.


According to the National Confectioners Association, about 1.2 billion candy canes are made annually, and 90 percent of those are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Which honestly begs the question: Who’s buying the 10 percent in the off season?


Bobs (that’s right; no apostrophe) Candies was the first company to really hang its hat on the sweet, striped hook. Lt. Bob McCormack began making candy canes for his kids in the 1920s, and they were such a hit he decided to start mass-producing them. With the help of his brother-in-law, a Catholic priest named Gregory Harding Keller (and his invention, the Keller Machine), McCormack was eventually able to churn out millions of candy canes a day.


December 26 is National Candy Cane Day. Go figure.


Here’s how they make candy canes at Disneyland—it’s a painstaking (and beautiful) technique.

10 Actors Who Hated Their Own Films

1. Sylvester Stallone, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Sly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his film career. Despite co-starring with the delightful Estelle Getty as the titular violence-prone mother, Stallone knows just how bad the film was:

"I made some truly awful movies. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst. If you ever want someone to confess to murder, just make him or her sit through that film. They will confess to anything after 15 minutes."

2. Alec Guinness, Star Wars.

By the time he played Obi-Wan Kenobi in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, Guinness had already appeared in cinematic classics like The Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations and Lawrence of Arabia. During production, Guinness is reported to have said the following:

"Apart from the money, I regret having embarked on the film. I like them well enough, but it's not an acting job, the dialogue - which is lamentable - keeps being changed and only slightly improved, and I find myself old and out of touch with the young."

The insane amount of fame he won for the role as the wise old Jedi master took him somewhat by surprise and, ultimately, annoyed him. In his autobiography A Positively Final Appearance: A Journal, Guinness recalls a time he encountered an autograph-seeking fan who boasted to him about having watched Star Wars more than 100 times. In response, Guinness agreed to provide the boy an autograph under the condition that he promise never to watch the film again.

3. Bob Hoskins, Super Mario Brothers. He was in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. As far as I’m concerned, Bob Hoskins is forgiven for Super Mario Bros. Hoskins, though, doesn’t seem to be able to forgive himself. Last year the Guardian spoke with the veteran actor about his career and he summed up his feelings rather succinctly:

What is the worst job you've done?
Super Mario Brothers.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Super Mario Brothers.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers.

4. George Clooney, Batman & Robin. Sure, Batman & Robin made money. But by every other imaginable measure, the film was a complete failure, and a nightmare to the vast majority of the Caped Crusader’s most fervent fanatics. Star George Clooney recognized what a stinker he helped create and once plainly stated, “I think we might have killed the franchise.”

5. David Cross, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. When actors have a movie out, it's customary that they publicize the film by saying nice things about it. Earlier this year David Cross took a different approach. When it came to describing his new film Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the veteran comedian — better known for Mr. Show and Arrested Development — went on Conan and called the film a “big commercial for Carnival Cruise Lines” and told people not to go see it.

6. Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up. Judd Apatow’s unplanned pregnancy comedy was a huge hit and helped cement her status as a bankable film actress. After the film’s release, however, Heigl didn’t have all good things to say. In fact, what she specifically said about it was that the film was:

"…A little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.”

7. Charlize Theron, Reindeer Games. The 2000 action film Reindeer Games starred Ben Affleck, Gary Sinese and Charlize Theron and was directed by John Frankenheimer. But it all somehow failed to come together. In the end the film lost a lot of money and compiled a wealth of negative reviews – including one from its star actress who simply said, “Reindeer Games was not a good movie.”

8. Mark Wahlberg, The Happening. Mark Wahlberg doesn’t exactly seem like a guy who lives his life afraid of trees. But that is the odd position M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 film The Happening put him in. Wahlberg, as it turns out, doesn’t look back too fondly on the film. He went on record during a press conference for The Fighter when he described a conversation with a fellow actor:

"We had actually had the luxury of having lunch before to talk about another movie and it was a bad movie that I did. She dodged the bullet. And then I was still able to … I don’t want to tell you what movie … alright “The Happening.” F*** it. It is what it is. F***ing trees, man. The plants. F*** it. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook."

9. John Cusack, Better Off Dead. John Cusack reportedly hated his cult 80s comedy so much that he walked out of the screening and later told the film’s director Steve Holland that Better Off Dead was "the worst thing I have ever seen" and he would "never trust you as a director again."

10 Christopher Plummer, The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music is considered a classic and has delighted many generations of fans. But the film's own lead actor, Christopher Plummer, didn't always sing its praises. Mr. Von Trapp himself declined to participate in a 2005 film reunion and, according to one acquaintance, has referred to the film as The Sound of Mucus.



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