THE TOP TEN OF THE FIRST 100 APPLES
The votes have been tallied (including mine). I've conducted the exit polls (I voted just about how I thought I would, with only a few deviations), analyzed the statistics, and finalized the results.
I had expected that people would tell me they liked pretty much the same three or four entries, with a couple random apples tossed in here and there as well. But the way it worked out, people liked a fairly wide range of entries.
I'm not kidding when I say I analyzed the statistics; I made a pie chart and everything. I wanted to post the pie chart, but I'd have to turn it into an image, and that's just getting out of hand. Basically, the way it worked out is that one entry emerged as the #1 pick, 12 entries came in at second place, and 27 others were voted for at least once.
The 27 apples appreciate that you liked them, and thank you for the notice. For the sake of brevity, I won't list them all here. Anybody who wants to can review the comments posted in previous entries to discover what the 27 notables were.
The 12 entries had to get pared back, because this is, after all, a list of 10. So I had to remove 3 from contention. I eliminated The Tongue (Apple #38) from consideration because, due to some feedback I got immediately after it was posted, I deleted some of the information from the entry. And I suspect that the information I removed was what some people were grossed out/fascinated by. Since it's no longer in its original gross-out/fascinating condition, I didn't think I should include it in the top 10.
Another entry, Yawns (Apple #95) received some unofficial votes. That is, people told me in person or by e-mail that they liked the Yawns entry, but they didn't necessarily Cast a Vote for them. So in deference to those entries that garnered actual votes, I'm not including Yawns.
Three different types of birds made the top 12, so I decided to eliminate one of the birds from the final 10. I removed Mallard Ducks (Apple #77) from contention because, of the three, I remembered the fewest facts about them from my entry. Actually, I really only remember the pictures that I posted.
Okay, so here are THE OFFICIAL TOP 10:
10. Pastrami (Apple #78) How can I ignore a vote that goes like this: "pastrami pastrami pastrami"? And I'm glad to know that pastrami is really corned beef plus yum.
9. Coral Reefs (Apple #66) Because it is such an incredible fact that coral is many animals cemented together. Because I learned what it means when coral "bleaches" and why bleached coral looks so unsettling. Because coral reefs are so freakin' fantastic.
8. Sleep (Apple #86) My goal for this one was to learn facts about sleep that are different from the "you don't get enough sleep" kinds of facts we hear all the time -- and in a sense, to stick out my tongue at those purveyors of the typical admonitory sleep facts. I'm glad to know that the alternate sleep info was appealing to other people, too. My favorite fact in this entry is the last one.
7. Penguins (Apple #63) This one is sort of buried, in that Dark Time that was the Spyware Invasion of my computer. But actually the penguins entry marks my emergence from that serious derailment. I had thought I lost most of my readers, but slowly, people have returned. And the fact that someone remembered the penguins I find additionally affirmative. Plus, penguins hold their flippers away from their bodies in order to cool off.
6. Soap Operas (Apple #54) With a special nod to All My Children, this entry proved -- to me, at least -- that pop culture can be educational as well as entertaining. Every time I tune in to a soap opera, at some point, I notice the backlighting (which I learned about from doing this entry), and I think, "Ah, soap operas."
5. Robins (Apple #43) Writing this entry taught me that when you are excited about something, that excitement can come across in what you write and get your readers excited, too. I've remembered so many facts from this entry, like what is actually happening when robins tilt their heads to the ground, and all the places where they live. And this is still true: "Robins are so common, but I love to hear their good-night songs at the end of the day."
4. The Replacements (Apple #30) They break your heart, you like them, they break your heart again. Of course they make it only as far as number 4.
3. Llamas, Visited (Apple #94) There was an initial entry about llamas (Apple #92), but this one is proof that primary sources of information are always more compelling than secondary sources. That is, I actually saw and met several llamas and their owners, and I learned even more things than I had learned by reading llama websites. Plus, I really really enjoyed the llamas. They hum. They can stomp a coyote to death. What more do you want?
2. Eyeballs (Apple #6) The original gross-out apple, but by accident. I didn't know, when I asked what eyeballs are made of, that I would discover one of the most disturbing facts about our human mortality that I would learn probably in an entire year. Plus, "it yields gelatin on boiling."
1. David Lee Roth (Apple #36) That's right, Diamond Dave tops them all. My teen-aged self would probably be disgusted with me at this moment, but I have since matured. Ahem. I'm delighted that this was a hit because I got the idea for this entry from something my brother used to say. And finally, how can you deny a man who says a thing like this: "Van Halen has always come down the beach with a torch in one hand and a sword in the other. . . and I don't see how people can resist."