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.” Find out the most famous invention from your home state.
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 Pandora’s box, that’s 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.