Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Apple #564: Seattle Facts

I know I promised you the answer to the latest teaser, but I didn't leave myself enough time to do the full Apple. I'm leaving tomorrow at the crack of ouch for Seattle for several days. So I'll give you a few quick facts about Seattle before I go. Answer to the teaser when I get back.

Seattle skyline with Mount Rainier in the background
(Photo from Business Insider)

  • White settlers came to what is now Seattle from Portland. So Portland came first.
  • They originally called their new town "New York." Later they added a Chinook word which means "by-and-by," so that the name became "New York-Alki."
  • Eventually the village was named after a Duwamish (or Suquamish) native leader who befriended the settlers. He was called Sealth.
  • Seattle grew on the industries of first lumber (1850s), then coal (1870s), then gold (1890s).
  • In World War I, its primary industry became shipbuilding. That industry was revived again in World War II.
  • I love that Elvis Costello song, Shipbuilding. Beautiful. Not happy, but beautiful.
  • Boeing set up shop way back in 1916, but it wasn't until the 1950s that it really began to take off (hey, that's a pun). Aerospace is still considered Seattle's primary industry.
  • A 42-story building, the L.C. Smith building, was completed in 1914 and remained the tallest building in the US West until well into the 1950s.

Space Needle at Night
(Photo from iPad Wallpaper Gallery)

  • When the Space Needle was built in 1962, that became the tallest building West of the Mississippi.
  • The very tippy top of the Space Needle rises to 605 feet.
  • The Needle was built to withstand all sorts of weather and wind and temperature stresses. On a hot day, the structure expands as much as one inch.
  • In 1965, a 6.5 earthquake shook Seattle. The Space Needle was shaken enough that the water sloshed out of the toilets.
  • The Space Needle's center of gravity is 5 feet above ground.
  • The Needle's revolving restaurant is the second of its kind of the world. The first was in a shopping mall in Hawaii. That one is closed now, but there are all sorts of revolving restaurants around the world.

    Starbucks cups a-plenty
    (Photo from Woman's Day)

    • In 2010, Starbucks had a total of 137,000 employees. This is twice the population of Greenland.
    • This rate has decreased since the recession, but as of 2007, Starbucks added an average of two new stores per day since 1987.
    • The original Starbucks sold coffee in 8 ounce cups. One size only. That size is no longer on the menu, but you can still order it. It's known as the "kid's size."
    • The 30 ounce Trenta holds 916 milliliters. That's 16 milliliters larger than the capacity of most people's stomachs.
    • The owners almost called their business Pequod, the ship in Moby-Dick (once you start reading that book, you see it everywhere).
    • Mount Rainier is the tallest mountain in Seattle, and it's the highest mountain in the entire Cascade Range.
    • It's actually a huge inactive volcano. The last time it erupted was some time in the early 1800s. Geologists do expect it to erupt again at some point.
    • The mountain was originally called Tacoma, which is a Puyallup word meaning "mother of the waters."
    • There are five glaciers at the top and several on the mountainsides. The largest glacier, Emmons Glacier, extends 6 miles down from the summit.
    • While tens of thousands of people try to climb Mount Rainier each year, few succeed because the glaciers make climbing very difficult.
    • During the warm months, the mountainsides are blanketed with wildflowers. It was these flowers that moved John Muir to recommend that the area be designated as a national park. In 1899, President McKinley did just that.

    Mount Rainier wildflowers
    (Photo from Rainier Visitor Guide)

    Sources, Brief History of Seattle
    Visit Seattle, Seattle Facts
    Space Needle Mysteries revealed
    Glass Steel and Stone, The Space Needle 
    Meredith Lepore, 15 Facts About Starbucks That Will Blow Your Mind, Business Insider, March 25, 2011
    Brynn Mannino, 9 Things You Didn't Know About Starbucks, Woman's Day
    Earth in Pictures, Mount Rainier


    1. You can order the 8 oz by asking for a "short" coffee too, so you don't have to order it as a "kid's size." I do it all the time.

      1. fork stealer1/30/2012 1:11 AM

        I came to post the same thing! Ask for a short coffee. It's usually what I get, although I've occasionally found that some locations don't have it, I seem to recall they were usually in airports.


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