Thursday, April 24, 2014

We want your shoes! : Northampton Museums and Art Gallery shoe collection

The Shoe Collection at Northamptonshire Museum & Art Gallery is the largest collection of footwear heritage and design in the world. The collection is of national and international importance and consists of a rich resource covering footwear design and fashion, manufacture, social and political history. Northampton Museum and art Gallery is actively looking to develop its shoe collections through gifts and bequests in the following areas.

Shoes with stories
Shoes that you worked in, met the love of your life in, wore on a holiday, or took part in an extraordinary challenge in. The shoes might reflect exceptional or everyday stories.

Designer shoes
In particular Vivienne Westwood, Gucci, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Jimmy Choo, Roger Vivier, André Courrèges or early Salvatore Ferragamo.

Celebrity shoes
Shoes that have belonged to famous or significant people

The "We Want your Shoes!" appeal is requesting footwear donations from members of the public.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Big toe and genetics: The long and the short of it

In some feet the big toe (or hallux) is longer than the second toe, while other people have the big toe shorter than the second toe. The length of the digits is thought by many to be controlled by controlled by one gene with two alleles, with the allele for the shorter hallux dominant to the allele for larger hallux. Despite this commonly held belief there is no good evidence to support the hypothesis and the small number of studies of toe length gives contradictory results. Whether the big toe is longer or shorter than the second toe is influenced by genetics, but it may be determined by more than one gene, or by a combination of genetics and the environment. Toe length alone does not demonstrate basic genetics.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The World Cup™: adidas versus Nike ?

When the World Cup™ in Brazil begins not only will the national team compete for global supremacy so too will the two major sport shoes companies i.e. Adidas and Nike. Currently Nike owns 14.6 percent of the global sporting goods market to Adidas’ 11.4 percent. In 2012 Adidas held 13.2 percent of the western European sporting goods market in 2012 to Nike’s 12.4 percent, according to Euromonitor data. In Nike’s first fiscal quarter of 2013, ended August31, it posted an 8 percent jump in sales in Europe. Over the same period, Adidas’ European sales fell 7 percent. Adidas has forecast record 2014 football sales of over 2 billion euros and aims to boost group sales to 17 billion euros ($23 billion) in 2015. U.S. Nike, meanwhile, only entered the football market in 1994. But already it has several major partnerships with clubs, including English champions Manchester United. Experts guesstimate Nike will have group sales of up to $30 billion by 2015. Despite Adidas being a major sponsor of the competition many believe big name endorsements are responsible for Nike’s broader success. The Brazilian National Team is firm favourites to win the cup and are sponsored by Nike.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sport shoe maufacturers strike in China

A strike at the Chinese factories of the world's biggest athletic shoe maker snowballed last week to about 30,000 workers, a labour group said, making it one of the largest-ever work stoppages at a private business in China. Workers in the southern city of Dongguan want Taiwanese-owned Yu Yuen Industrial (Holdings) Ltd., which makes shoes for companies such as Nike and Adidas among others, to make social security contributions required by Chinese law and meet other demands. The work force has been striking in increasing numbers in on-and-off stoppages since April 5. The strike at a massive 10-factory complex is the latest in a wave of unrest at factories in China, where labour shortages and a rising cost of living have made the migrant workers from the countryside who keep Chinese industry running increasingly assertive. The strike reflects a growing focus on retirement benefits among Chinese migrant workers who previously were content to receive fewer benefits in return for higher paychecks. Nike and Adidas have been monitoring the situation and have indicated that the supply chain has not really been troubled so far. Yue Yuen's plants in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico and the United States make about 21.5 million pairs of shoes each month.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Goal-line technology set up ahead of FIFA World Cup™

Goal-line technology (GLT) is set to feature at the FIFA World Cup™ for the first time as a support for match officials, after FIFA confirmed last year the appointment of GoalControl GmbH as the official GLT provider for the tournament. GoalControl is the specialist for real-time image analysis in sport events. The company have developed camera-based vision systems that can detect, identify and track moving objects in complex sceneries. GoalControl is equipped with 14 high-speed cameras located around the pitch, with seven cameras focusing on each goalmouth. The ball’s position is continuously and automatically captured in 3D and the indication of whether a goal has been scored is immediately confirmed within one second to a watch worn by each of the match officials. The intention is to instal FIFA approved, GoalControl systems in each of the 12 stadiums used in the competitions. Labosport Ltd. have recently tested the GoalControl at the iconic Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.