Thursday, January 19, 2017

Coffee and sneakers

In Brisbane, there is a new coffee shop. Nothing particularly unusual in that, except the Street Lab Specialty Coffee is not just a simple café, it’s a coffee dispensary, roaster and shoe outlet all rolled into one. Not just barista to serve but the cafe boasts of shelves of limited-edition sneakers imported from specialty suppliers. Street Lab Specialty Coffee caters to both coffee elite and sneakerheads, offering perfectly poured coffee and a stock of blue chip kicks. Street Lab Specialty Coffee, is at the Emporium, Shop 1, 1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Skinners: Revolutionary Ultraportable Footwear

Skinners Technologies is a European start-up company keen to promote vegan and barefoot friendly foot attire. Their new project, Ultraportable footwear, are heavy duty socks made with silver yarn and coated in a dual polymer waterproof plastic, with an odour-resistant Lycra infused upper designed to make them both comfortable and functional. The socks are also machine washable. Whilst the manufacturer does not suggest their socks are a replacement for shoes, they are durable enough to protect feet from broken glass. The company started mass production in autumn and are now available in more than 84 countries.

Snowflake Scale: Safer winter footwear

Every year, more than 20,000 Ontarians visit the emergency room due to injuries related to falling on ice or snow. A recent Toronto Public Health report revealed that over 40 per cent of those aged 35-59 years and 60 per cent of those aged 60-85 years said they would go out less as a way to cope with the winter weather. A team of researchers from the iDAPT labs at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network in Canada are working to keep people safer in winter by producing footwear to reduce the risk of slips and falls on ice.

The team has developed the Maximum Achievable Angle (MAA) Testing Method to validate slip resistant footwear on icy surfaces using real people in a simulated winter environment. With the help of WinterLab, an underground, state-of-the art research facility located at Toronto Rehab, researchers have tested the slip resistance of 98 winter boots, including both safety and casual footwear. Testing in WinterLab is completed on both bare ice and melting ice to simulate diverse outdoor surfaces. Combined with walking uphill and downhill, four conditions were tested for each pair of footwear. The overall score was based on the minimum performance over the four conditions.

From the published results, from the 98 differerent types of footwear tested only eight per cent met the minimum slip resistance standards set out by the MAA test. For the first time, consumers will have winter slip resistance ratings available when they purchase winter footwear. Ontario's accessibility guidelines specify a curb ramp of at most seven degrees. Footwear that achieves at least the minimum angle of seven degrees is awarded one snowflake. The 'snowflake' scale will be used to rate the slip-resistance of winter footwear.

Christina Agapakis: Toe cheese

Saturday, January 07, 2017

The big toe of Saint Cosmo

Cosmo and Damian Veery were twin brother in the 3rd century. They were born in Egea, a city in Cilicia, in Asia Minor. They were of noble birth and the family were Christians. Both Cosmas and Damian, like their brothers, became doctors and practiced their profession in the seaport of Aegeae. The physicians travelled through the cities and the villages, preaching Christ and healing the sick, but would not accept payment for their services and soon became holy unmercenaries attracting many poor, sick, Christians. they also came to be acknowledged as miracle workers for the remarkable cures they were able to effect. During the reign of Emperor Diocletian ((244–312), the brothers were arrested for refusing to renounce Christianity and sacrificing to idols, and the proconsul Lisias had Cosmas and Damian cast them into the sea. They survived, so he had them burned at the stake. Still no luck, so he had them mounted on crucifixes and ordered archers to shoot them and the people of the city to cast stones at them. But the arrows and stones reversed course and shot back at those who had aimed them. Finally Lisias had all five brothers beheaded.

Cosmo and Damian were said to have miraculously grafted the leg from a recently deceased Ethiopian to replace a patient's ulcered or cancerous leg. Keen to spread Christianity they soon fell fowl of the Romans and were all sentenced to death on September 27, 303 AD. Soon after their death they were cannonised and devotion to the two saints spread rapidly in both East and West. Their holy relics can be found across Christendom. Sts Cosmas and Damian are regarded as the patrons of physicians and surgeons. St Damian is the dexter side supporter in the coat of arms of the British Dental Association. In Brazil, the twin saints are regarded as protectors of children.

Less than five hundred years after Cosmas and Damian of Asia Minor were followed by two different sets of brothers of identical name and purpose. All six became saints. The second Cosmas and Damian of Rome were named after the original twins and brought grew up in the reign of the emperor Carinus (283-284). They emulated their predecessors in every detail and were also venerated in their own lifetime as miracle ¬working physicians and men of God. The Roman Cosmas and Damian were imprisoned and put on trial, but eventually released. The pair met an untimely death at the hands of a jealous rival and former teacher. A third pair of physician saints appeared in ancient Arabia, and were also named Cosmas and Damian. The lives of this third pair are not detailed in any extant ac¬counts of the saints, but it is known they served in the manner of the original saints and were martyred in the manner of the second pair. The original saints Cosmas and Damian are honoured on the feast day of Nov. I; the second pair of saints on July I, and the third pair on October 17.

It remains unclear, but during the feast day for Cosmas and Damian at Isernia, near Naples, it was common for barren women and young girls to present wax representations of the phallus in the hope it would invoked fertility. These phallic effergies were euphenistically referred to as ’the big toe of St Cosmo.’

Adidas – Break Free

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Keds and Cheerleaders

Cheerleading originated in the United States and started during the late 18th century. Following the American War of Independence (1775–1783), undergraduates experienced bullying by their professors and reacted by rioting, burning campus buildings, and physically assaulting faculty members. To channel their energies male students were encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities outside their professors' control. College teams adopted the English tradition of yelling supporters who would chant in unison for their team. At first this was an all-male activity but in 1923, women were admitted into cheerleading at the University of Minnesota.

Young North American ladies were not encouraged to participate in contact sports instead directed to become cheerleaders and support the young men engaged in active sport. It took until the Second World War, when collegiate men were drafted that more women took part.

Charles Goodyear’s method of vulcanising rubber to make it more durable and pliable, meant creating purpose-made rubber soles for shoes was commercially viable. Several major shoe brands were established in the first decade of the 20th century with Converse the brand leader. In 1916, U.S. Rubber introduced “Peds” (the Latin for “foot”) as a brand name for sneakers, but, finding it was already taken, opted for “Keds”, from a Native American word for moccasins. Although not intentional the ‘K’ was quickly mistakenly thought to stand for kids, which only increased their attraction.

Keds’ first production was the rubber-soled, canvas plimsoll was the Champion, a brown canvas topped oxford, with black rubber soles shoes promoted for tennis and available to boys and girls. In 1926, the company added the Keds Triumph, then later in 1938, "Kedettes", a line of washable high-heeled shoes for women.

Keds were first marketed for the athletic properties, but quickly became known for casual appeal, a trend which accelerated markedly in the 1950s. Early cheerleaders wore the classic sweater and mid-calf pleated skirt uniform.

New technologies allowed new materials to be incorporated into the shoes to allow for stretch and flexibility. Keds were sport shoes for both men and woman but gradually became associated with females (Chucks for boys and Keds for girls) Teenage cheerleaders in the 50s wore tight sweaters, short skirts, ankle or bobby socks with canvas topped shoes. During this decade, cheerleading in America increased in popularity with the formation of professional cheerleading. Today cheerleaders can be found in almost every school ranging from adolescent to grade school level across the country. All team sports now have professional cheerleaders.

Older teenage girls, wore pony tails, tight sweaters, and short dirndl styled skirts with poodle transfers (poodle skirts) to the (bobby) sock hops Keds with ankle socks were ideal for jive and rock ‘n roll.

The quicker tempo music was very much part of the emerging youth culture and the spasmodic body contact interspersed with vigorous gyrations more reminiscent of the Kama Sutra than the Ballroom Gazette necessitated freedom of movement. For added traction, circles and squares were added to the sole pattern.

During the 1960s, canvas sneakers became far more common and accepted as a part of everyday dress, leading to Keds becoming a ubiquitous brand across the US.

In the ensuing years, Keds’s classic and timeless style made it an icon, which has never gone out of fashion. Many celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Katharine Hepburn , Audrey Hepburn, and Betty White, have all been photogrphed wearing their Keds. Yoko Ono wore a pair when she married John Lennon. Jennifer Grey wore them in Dirty Dancing (1987).

The addition of some simple, core colours has furthered the brand’s appeal.

Since the year 2000, Keds have been discovered by the millennials generation thanks to a series of high profile celebrity ambassadors, including actress Mischa Barton and, most recently, singer Taylor Swift.

How To: Find the Right Walking Shoe

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Changable heels

adidas 3 D Runner: The way of the future?

adidas’ new flag ship 3D printed shoe is made up of a 3D printed mid-sole and a Primeknit upper. The 3D printed heel counter is integrated into the midsole to add elasticity, compliancy, and support. The company hopes 3 D printing will allow optimal customized shoes based on an individual’s footprint , running style, foot shape, performance needs and personal preferences. The shoes are available as a limited editions of the shoes are available at $US 333 per pair and should you want to reserve a pair, you can do so through the Adidas Confirmed app.

Sneakerhead sells shoes off his feet in public

by DjDelz

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Thingamajig and shoelaces ? : Je ne sais quois

If you are a certain age, Thingummyjig (1976–83) was a Scottish Television program showcasing the best in haggis, heather and tartan talent. The program was hosted by the acerbic, Jack McLaughlin (aka “The Laird o’ Coocaddens”). The origins of the term ‘thingamajig’ (n), in its many spellings, remain unclear but may stem from Middle English ‘thing’, derived from Old English þing, from Proto-Germanic *þingą. The word originally meant "assembly", then came to mean a specific issue discussed at such an assembly, and ultimately came to mean most broadly "an object". Thingamajig appears in the English language around 1824, but is predated by thingumbob (1751), and thingummy (1796). Synonyms include: dohickey, doohickey, doodad, doover (Australia), doomaflatchy, gizwiz, kadigan, thingamabob, thingumabob, thingummybob, thingo (Australia), thingummy, whatchamahoozie, whatnot, whatsit, and whatchamacallit. Something whose name has been forgotten or is not known.. The earliest recorded variant of ‘whatchamacallit’ is what-calle-ye-hym, attested from late 15c. A modern equivalent, origin unknown, is the Scottish term ‘doobrie,’ meaning something unspecified whose name is either forgotten or not known; a thingy or whatsit. < br>

The collective name for given to these words is placeholders which typically function grammatically as nouns and can be used for people, objects, locations, or places. Most are documented in at least 19th century literature.

In 1994, Damon Clegg, a Nike footwear designer, when presenting features of his design for a Nike ACG boot, and when he came to describe the ornamental shoelace tag, (which lacked a name). he instinctively used the term ‘doobrie.’ Clegg had heard his college roommate use the placename when he was unable to remember a specific name. His college friend was from Glasgow. The audience took the term ‘doobrie’ for a technical term, and the word caught on. Over time, the pronunciation evolved to doo-bray with various spellings. Eventually with the publication of a catalogue for the Nike Air Force 1 in 2006, Nike introduced the "deubré".

The deubré has two holes through which the shoelace is threaded, like a bead on string. When the shoe is laced, the deubré is centered between the first two eyelets (closest to the toe), with the shoelace passing through and behind the deubré. A deubré is typically made of metal, plastic, or leather, and may be decorated with a logo or text. Sometimes the deubré acts as a lace lock, eliminating the need for tying. A deubré may be used on a dress shoe or an athletic shoe.

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