Experts have confirmed two wooden toes as the world’s oldest prosthetics. Discovered in the necropolis of Thebe near present-day Luxor, the so-called Greville Chester toe is from before 600 B.C. It is in the shape of the right big toe and a portion of the right foot. The other, dated between 950 and 710 B.C., was found attached to the right toe of a mummy identified as Tabaketenmut. She was a priest’s daughter who might have lost her toe following gangrene triggered by diabetes.
Both fake toes show significant signs of wear. Moreover, they feature holes for lacings to either attach the toes onto the foot or fasten it onto a sock or sandal.
Researchers created reproductions of the Greville toe and the Tabaketenmut digit, along with replicas of leather ancient Egyptian-style sandals. Two volunteers, both of whom are missing their right big toe, participated in a gait analysis and other tests that were reported in the Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics. For more detail, follow this link:
“Stood there, applauded that: Does the standing ovation really mean anything any more?” asks J. Kelly Nestruck of the Globe and Mail.
It’s time to face the facts: The standing ovation is dead in North America. Yes, the standing O is finito.
Theatregoers get up on their feet and clap at the end of plays more than ever, it’s true – but that’s exactly it: The gesture is no longer exceptional. You’ll find people standing and applauding after great performances and less-great ones and sometimes even after lousy ones.
Audience behaviour is constantly evolving and I personally prefer to stand at the end of a long show, if only to stretch my legs. I almost always rise as soon as the person in front of me does, if he or she blocks my view of the curtain call, anyway. The alternative – sitting grumpily and staring at a stranger’s backside – seems unnecessarily willful. The only time I stay seated, ironically enough, is when a show has so completely bowled me over that I feel unable to move.
There are those artists who do recognize that standing, clapping spectators are now merely standing, clapping spectators – sometimes they are wildly enthusiastic, sometimes they just want to beat the traffic – but who can’t stand the shift in semiotics. They would prefer audiences stay seated unless they’ve really had their socks knocked off.
Pro basketball players score points under the net or from the line with passion. They score sneakers on the street just as avidly. Wearing head-turning sneakers is part of ‘who has game’. “Players want to be seen, and they don’t want to look alike,” said Jay Gaspar, the Phoenix Suns’ equipment manager. “Shoes become their identity.”
The N.B.A restricts players’ professional apparel to matching uniforms; they even supply the socks. But sneakers are different – the players are free to express themselves. And they do, with mucho gusto and mucho dinero. (Pleasure and pay checks.)
Go to the link below to see which player has:
- four locations across different states to warehouse his sneaker collection?
- a Nike sponsorship but gives himself a ‘sneaker allowance’ of $2,000 a month to buy more?
- a sneaker vault in his home?
- a 2,000-pair collection?
- shoes accented in gold as a tribute to the Grammy Awards?
- 200 pairs piled in boxes next to his bed?
- splurged on 57 pairs in a single afternoon?
- said he would love to wear a new style every game?
- played in a pair of Air Yeezy 2s — an exceedingly rare sneaker, the product of a collaboration between Nike and the rapper Kanye West?
- claimed to have “the best shoe game in the league”?
The gleaming wood floor of St. Mark’s Church in the East Village, NYC is a perfect surface for tap dancing. But, metal-tipped tap shoes are forbidden; they would scuff and nick the floor. So… Michelle Dorrance’s dancers slide around in their socks.
For the premiere performance of “SOUNDspace” at St. Mark’s all feet wore socks, or nothing, or shoes with leather soles, some affixed with taps of wood. No rules were broken; much music was made. The footwear choices gave the dancers freedom to roam. They explored the space through sound. At the beginning, and several times throughout the performance, the church was dark. The audience tracked the dancers with their ears. A train of feet outlined the nave. Foot thunder shook the balconies and tumbled down the stairs.
For more on ‘artistry and articulate feet’, check out: “The softest shoe: tap in socks, even bare feet”. By Brian Seibert, New York Times,January 23, 2013
Lita’s Story: Tracings in the Attic
“When I was cleaning out my grandmother’s attic after her death, I found a dusty box stuffed with aged yellowed envelopes. I was intrigued when I lifted out the first envelope; it had a German stamp postmarked 1947 and inside were two paper foot tracings. The next envelope also contained foot tracings and the next and the next. Some were cut out in the shape of feet, others were drawn on paper, tracing the outline of an entire family’s feet…
I carried the box downstairs to show my mom. She reached for the envelope I held out to her. “You found the tracings,” she said. “I thought Mother had burned them.”
Mom held the tracings like treasured belongings. “We searched everywhere to find shoes for them all,” she said. She remembered piles of shoes when she was a little girl, and boxes filled with clothes and food to send to people starving in Europe after World War II. She remembered they sent soap and candles too, even toys and sweets for the children. And they knitted socks to fill the shoes they sent.”
As many Americans gave shoes, post-war Europeans stepped into them. Each tracing identified a person and a size. Cut by desperate hands and sent in envelopes to the US, the tracings put feet to international reconciliation. One pair at a time.
On this radio interview program, Toronto’s vulnerable give clear voice to the wear and tear under old socks. So too, thanks to charitable interventions, they don’t measure their delight in new socks.