What do Labradoodles, Mother’s Day, and emoticons have in common? Their creators rue the day they thought them up.
Ethan Zuckerman, creator of the pop-up ad
When one of his advertising clients, a major car company, freaked out after their ad appeared on a page celebrating … well, a certain kind of sex we can’t mention here, Ethan Zuckerman came up with a way to get ads in front of the eyeballs of consumers without seeming to be associated with the content on the page. Thus, he wrote in an essay for The Atlantic, “We ended up creating one of the most hated tools in the advertiser’s toolkit: the pop-up ad. I’m sorry. Our intentions were good.”
Wally Conron, creator of the Labradoodle
In the 1980’s, Wally Conron, the puppy-breeding manager for the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia, was tasked with creating a non-shedding guide dog for a blind woman whose husband was allergic to dogs. The result was a cross between a Golden Labrador Retriever and a Standard Poodle called a Labradoodle, now the most sought after hybrid dog in the world. You’d think Conron would be happy, right? Wrong.
Everyone’s now now trying to create their own hybrid breeds: Goldendoodles (Golden Retriever/Poodle), Schnoodles (Miniature Schnauzer/Poodle), Cavoodless (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/Poodle), Roodles (Rottweiller/Poodle), Yorkiepoos (Yorkshire Terrier/Poodle), Shihpoos (Shih Tzu/Poodle) … The result, according to Psychology Today: the poodle crosses suffer various ailments: problems with their eyes, hips, elbows, even epilepsy. "I opened a Pandoras box, thats what I did,” Conron told Psychology Today. “So many people are just breeding for the money. So many of these dogs have physical problems, and a lot of them are just crazy.”
Anna Jarvis, creator of Mother’s Day
To her dying day, Anna Jarvis couldn’t stand Mother’s Day. It had nothing to do with her feelings for her mother, whom she adored. After all, that’s why she came up with the idea of having a day devoted to mothers everywhere. Jarvis was even excited when the first day was celebrated on May 10, 1908. She didn’t attend the first event, held in the Grafton, West Virginia church where her mother taught Sunday School. But she did send 500 white carnations in her honor.
What turned her off was how quickly the day became commercialized. Mental Floss says she was so put off that she dubbed the florist, greeting card, and confectionery industries “charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers, and termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations.” We’re waiting to hear what she thinks of Valentine’s Day.
John Sylvan, creator of the K-Cup
It seems everyone has a Keurig coffee maker, right? “I dont have one,” John Sylvan told The Atlantic. “Theyre kind of expensive to use. Plus it’s not like drip coffee is tough to make.” You’d think that Sylvan would have all the money and time in the world. After all, he’s the guy who invented the Keurig K-Cups, those ubiquitous single-serve plastic coffee pods. But what really puts him off his creation is that the pods aren’t recyclable or biodegradable, so there are literally tons filling up landfills. “I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it,” he admits.
Mikhail Kalashnikov, creator of the AK-47
During World War II, Russian firepower could not keep up with that of Germany’s. So Mikhail Kalashnikov, who served in a tank unit during the beginning of the war and had already invented improvements for tanks, set about building a rifle to compete against the Nazis. His automatic weapon proved durable, lightweight, and extremely popular. Too popular, as far as he was concerned, as it became a favorite of terrorists and warlords the world over. He told the Guardian, “I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work—for example a lawn mower.”
Scott Fahlman, creator of the emoticon
Emoticons, emojis, “stickers” … that’s how many of us communicate with the outside world. Why use words when we can use cute pictures? Who would have a problem with that? Scott Fahlman, that’s who. The computer science professor created emoticons as joke markers to let someone know the email or text sender is kidding. But things have changed. "Sometimes I feel like Dr. Frankenstein," he complained to the Wall Street Journal. "My creature started as benign but its gone places I dont approve of." :-(
表情符号，表情贴纸......这是许多人与外界沟通的方式。可以用可爱的照片的时候谁还打字？有什么问题吗？……斯科特·法尔曼是谁。这是一位发明了emoji表情的计算机科学教授，他的表情可以让别人知道发信者是在开玩笑的。但如今事情已经不太一样了。 “有时我觉得自己像弗兰肯斯坦博士”，他向华尔街日报抱怨。 “我的表情们一开始是良性传播的，但后来它们流向了很多我不同意流向的地方。” :-(
Albert Einstein, whose theories helped create the atomic bomb
Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2 was the roadmap scientists needed to build the atomic bomb. And, assuming that the Nazis were well on their way to building their own A-Bomb, he was glad to help, even writing a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt in 1939 urging him to pursue the bomb. But the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki horrified Einstein. In 1947, he lamented to Newsweek, had I "known that the Germans would not succeed in developing an atomic bomb, I would have done nothing."
爱因斯坦的著名公式E = mc2是科学家们要造原子弹所需的基础。而且，在假设纳粹靠自己的力量已经快能成功发明原子弹的情况下，他乐意地插手了，甚至在1939年还写信给罗斯福总统敦促他赶紧制造原子弹。但是，广岛和长崎遭受的轰炸让爱因斯坦震惊了。1947年，他对新闻周刊感叹道，“如果我知道德国人不会研制成功原子弹，我绝不会插手此事。” （当初想把原子弹从纳粹疯子的手中抢走，但是又交给了另一个疯子美国的手中）