Wednesday, January 18, 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.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Where did the deubré come from: 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.

Hi-Tec Navigator. The latest in walking technology.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Très chic shoes laces

You have the right kicks this Christmas, but you also need to stand out from other sneakerheads, so what do you do? One of the easiest ways to take your sneakers to the next level is with a pair of custom laces. Seems the marketplace for shoelaces is just as varied as sneakers and the options are endless.

From prehistoric times animal and vegetable materials were used to tie up simple shoes and can be dated to circa 3500 BC. Two hundred years later more complex footwear worn by Ötzi the Iceman, (circa 3300 BC), were bound with "shoelaces" made of lime bark string. The shoes were waterproof and wide, seemingly designed for walking across the snow; they were constructed using bearskin for the soles, deer hide for the top panels, and a netting made of tree bark. Soft grass went around the foot and in the shoe and functioned like modern insole.

By the Middle Ages, it was common for lacing to pass through a series of hooks or eyelets down the front or side of the shoe.

It was however, only after the introduction of the low laced shoe with the quarters overlayed by the vamps (the Oxford Shoe) did shoe laces become an essential accessory in the 17th century. Oxford students were the first to make the shoe style popular and these were worn with stockings and shoelace charms.

Modern shoe laces were made from leather, cotton, jute, hemp, or other materials used in the manufacture of rope. Today shoelaces incorporate various synthetic fibres which enhance their properties and make them more comfortable. Flat shoelaces can be tied more securely than those with a round cross-section due to the increased surface area for friction. Generally, a flat tubular lace will stay tied more easily than a round lace with a core because the flat lace can be more crimped within the knot. “Fat Laces” describe very wide flat laces are often called "fat laces".

All can be worn with decorative lacelocks, shoe lace tags or Deubré

New colourways allow laces to be matched to the colours of schools, clubs and/or groups.

More embellishments include, the tips of the laces (or aglets) finished in copper, plastic, brass or monogramed goldplate. Aglets help prevent the twine from unravelling and also makes it easier to hold the lace and feed it through the eyelets.

Shoelaces are typically tied off at the top of the shoe using a simple bow knot. Besides securing the shoe, this also takes up the length of shoelace exposed after tightening. When required, the knot can be readily loosened by pulling one or both of the loose ends.

There are many ways to lace a shoe with six pairs of eyelets. The most common is termed criss-cross lacing. Many methods have been developed with specific functional benefits, such as being faster or easier to tighten or loosen, binding more tightly, being more comfortable, using up more lace or less lace, adjusting fit, preventing slippage, and suiting specific types of shoes.

Other lacing methods have been developed purely for appearance, often at the expense of functionality. One of the most popular decorative methods, checkerboard lacing, is very difficult to tighten or loosen without destroying the pattern. Shoes with checkerboard lacing are generally treated as "slip-ons".

Lacing patterns are so unique they have been used to convey secret messages, according to Melton and Wallace in 2007. The intelligence historian and retired CIA officer wrote "The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception," based on two manuals written by professional stage magician John Mulholland.

During the Cold War, the CIA hired Mullholland to teach their covert operatives sleight-of-hand tricks and secret signals they could use in the field.

Service agents for the CIA could convey important information by tying their shoe laces in a certain way.

In today’s urban culture, criminal gang members use their clothes in a variety of ways to communicate with each other and to symbolize their gang affiliation. Gang clothing or colours are either openly displayed or clandestinely hidden in for example, the colour of their shoes and laces. Lacing patterns and colours declare either gang affiliation or insult.

More about shoelaces
Feet Unique
Ian’s Shoelace Site
Shoelaces Express

Melton H. K., and Wallace R. (2009) The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception New York : William Morrow.