sensible shoes

30 results back to index

pages: 387 words: 111,096

Enigma by Robert Harris


Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, British Empire, Columbine, index card, invention of the printing press, sensible shoes, Turing machine

The stove had burned down very low and was lukewarm to the touch, but he resisted the temptation to shovel in some coal. It was quarter to one. Where was she? He wandered back into the sitting room, hesitated at the foot of the stairs, and began to climb. The plaster on the walls was damp and flaking beneath his fingers. He decided to try Hester's room first. It was exactly as it had been six weeks earlier. A pair of sensible shoes beside the bed. A cupboard full of dark clothes. The same German primer. 'An seinen Ufern sind Berge, Felsen und malerische Schlosser aus den dltesten Zeiten.' On its shores are mountains, rocks and picturesque castles from the oldest times. He closed it and went back out on the landing. And so, at last, to Claire's room. He was quite clear now about what he was going to do, even though conscience told him it was wrong and logic told him it was stupid.

'I wasn't in church. I'm sorry. I wanted to talk to you.' 'Kindly remove your hand from my machine, Mr Jericho.' A couple of elderly parishioners turned to stare at them. 'At once, if you please.' She twisted the handlebars back and forth but Jericho held on. 'I am so sorry. It really won't take a moment.' She glared at him. For an instant he thought she might be about to reach down for one of her stout and sensible shoes and hammer his fingers loose. But there was curiosity as well as anger in her eyes, and curiosity won. She sighed and dismounted. 'Thank you. There's a bus shelter over there.' He nodded to the opposite side of Church Green Road. 'Just spare me five minutes. Please.' 'Absurd. Quite absurd.' The wheels of her bicycle clicked like knitting needles as they crossed the road to the shelter. She refused to sit.

pages: 443 words: 123,526

Glasshouse by Stross, Charles


cognitive dissonance, experimental subject, gravity well, loose coupling, peer-to-peer, phenotype, prisoner's dilemma, sensible shoes, theory of mind, white picket fence

He'll have been in acute physical agony as his head came out of the bag, then he'll have blacked out because of blood loss. Unconsciousness within ten seconds: It's more than he deserved. But now I've got a huge problem, namely a hundred and ten kilos of dead meat lying in about ten liters of gore in the middle of a grass carpet that's already dying. Is this incriminating or what? Oh, and my sweater and skirt and sensible shoes are covered in blood. This does not look good. I laugh, and it comes out as a hysterical giggle with more than a little madness in it. This is bad, I think. But there's got to be something— For a moment I flash back to the time with the malfunctioning A-gate, the pools of fluid and lumps of deanimated meat. That helps stabilize me, in a way: It makes it clear what I have to do. I pick up Fiore's arm and give it an experimental tug.

I say, nurse!" In a quieter voice, to me: "I'll have them send for your husband. I'm sure you'll have a lot to talk about." Then he turns on his heel and bumbles away down the ward toward the other occupied beds. I realize my teeth are chattering: I'm not sure whether from fever or black helpless rage. I killed you! And you didn't even notice! Then the nurse comes stomping along in her sensible shoes, clutching some kind of primitive diagnostic instrument, and I realize that I'm feeling extremely unwell. NURSE Zombie gives me a test that involves sliding a cold glass rod into my ear and staring into my eyes from close range, then she pulls out a jar and gives me what I assume at first is a piece of candy, except that it tastes vile. The hospital is set up to resemble a real dark ages installation, but luckily they seem to draw the line at leeches or heart transplants and similar barbarism.

pages: 553 words: 151,139

The Teeth of the Tiger by Tom Clancy


airport security, book scanning, centralized clearinghouse, complexity theory, forensic accounting, illegal immigration, Occam's razor, sensible shoes

., had once cut loose in front of reporters on that issue, and paid the price of being laughed at by the chattering classes. "He talked to me about how Henry VIII would have given the reporters some special haircuts for that." "Yeah, with an ax at the Tower of London. Sally used to laugh about it some. She needled Mom about her hair, too. I guess that's one nice thing about being a man, eh?" "That and shoes. My wife didn't like Manolo Blahniks. She liked sensible shoes, the sort that didn't make her feet hurt," Hendley said, remembering, and then running into a concrete wall. It still hurt to talk about her. It probably always would, but at least the pain did affirm his love for her, and that was something. Much as he loved her memory, he could not smile in public about her. Had he remained in politics, he'd have had to do that, pretend that he'd gotten over it, that his love was undying but also unhurtful.

Then he settled down to sipping his coffee and looking off the subject-never directly at her, but about 20 degrees to the side. "What's she up to?" Aldo asked. "Picking a blouse, looks like." The subject was thirty or so, with shoulder-length brown hair, fairly attractive, wearing a wedding band but no diamond, and a cheap gold-colored necklace probably purchased at Wal-Mart on the other side of the road. Peach-colored blouse/shirt. Pants rather than a skirt, black in color, black flat "sensible" shoes. Fairly large purse. Did not appear overly alert to her surroundings, which was good. She appeared to be alone. She finally settled on a blouse, white silk by the look of it, paid for it with a credit card, and walked out of Ann Taylor. "Subject is moving, Aldo." Seventy yards away, Brian's head perked up and turned directly toward his brother. "Talk to me, Enzo." Dominic raised his coffee cup as though to take a drink.

pages: 184 words: 54,833

Why Orwell Matters by Christopher Hitchens


anti-communist, British Empire, colonial rule, deindustrialization, Etonian, hiring and firing, land reform, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes

When Nineteen Eighty-Four had come out in 1950, Henry Luce’s Life magazine had hailed it for exposing the essential totalitarianism of FDR’s National Recovery Act and Tennessee Valley Authority, and used it to excoriate ‘those fervent New Dealers in the United States [who] often seemed to have the secret hope that the depression mentality of the 1930s, source of their power and excuse for their experiments, would never end’. This image — of Eleanor Roosevelt’s sensible shoes crashing down on a human face, forever — was hardly more absurd than Mr Podhoretz’s view that George Orwell would, if alive, be standing shoulder to shoulder with none other than himself (William Buckley at the other shoulder and Henry Kissinger lurking potently behind). I was fascinated by this essay, for two reasons. First, it admired Orwell mainly for his shortcomings (citing with approval his ill-natured remarks on homosexuals, for instance, though not his occasional lapses about Jews).

pages: 187 words: 58,628

An Abbreviated Life: A Memoir by Ariel Leve


Norman Mailer, rolodex, sensible shoes

He would place my foot on the device, my heel snug in the curved metal cup at the bottom, to get the most accurate fit—the length, the width, the arch—it was a meticulous process. He would scribble the measurements down on his notepad before instructing me to switch feet. He would then announce my new size, which I had been eagerly waiting to hear. It was a joyous moment when I discovered my feet had grown. Josie believed I should wear only sensible shoes. There was no need for a moccasin. No need for a wedge. The Bass penny loafers were the standard purchase, and I would slip on the brand-new pair, and the leather was so stiff and uncreased, I’d slide on the carpet as I strode around testing them out, to the point where I nearly did the splits. Before we left the store, she would reach in her purse and produce two shiny copper pennies for me to place in the empty slots.

Kill Your Friends by John Niven


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Etonian, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, nuclear winter, sensible shoes, Stephen Hawking

It’s already hot and bright outside, the sun filtering through the slatted blinds, smoky beams and bars falling across the sofas and tables, trying to land on the vampires and the damned. In a room full of people who’ve been up all night, it’s like the air itself is sweating, grimy and tired. I run a quick mental, feasibility study on just fucking off out of there: concierge gets me a cab, back to London in about an hour, hit the sack for a bit, shower, food, then over to Netting Hill for Ross’s Carnival party. Doable. Very doable. Sensible shoes option. “Oi, Stelfox,” says Leamington, clapping a hand on my shoulder, “do you want a fucking nose-up or what?” “Yeah,” I say. And then I’m following him to the toilet, my hands on his shoulders as I bounce up and down, both of us singing, “I love the cocaine, I love the cocaine,” and the girls on reception can hear us and everything but we don’t give a fuck. As we barge into the toilets Brett Anderson from Suede and Justine Frischmann from Elastica come staggering out looking fucked out of their skulls.

pages: 218 words: 83,794

Frommer's Portable California Wine Country by Erika Lenkert


Louis Pasteur, Maui Hawaii, place-making, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, white picket fence

Although winter promises the best budget rates and few crowds, it often comes with chilly days and the threat of rain; the valleys, although still lovely, become less quintessentially picturesque as miles of bare vines lay dormant over the cold months. Want to visit in summer? Say hello to hot weather and lots of traffic. 33 M O N E Y M AT T E R S Tips Packing Tips If you’re visiting the Wine Country between December and March, be sure to pack an umbrella and a pair of durable walking shoes. The rainy season isn’t usually fierce, but it is wet. Wine Country fashion is part city, part country, with an emphasis on comfort. Sensible shoes are key—especially when you’re wine tasting because you’re likely to tromp through vineyards, gravel, and on occasion, mud. At restaurants, attire ranges from jeans and T-shirts at the more-casual eateries to jacket and tie at the few fancy stops such as The French Laundry. In general, somewhere in between is best when you’re stepping out. THE CLIMATE Although the valleys claim a year-round average temperature of 70°F (21°C), if you come with a suitcase packed with T-shirts and shorts during the winter holiday season, you’re likely to shiver your way to the nearest department store to stock up on warm clothes.

pages: 255 words: 90,456

Frommer's Irreverent Guide to San Francisco by Matthew Richard Poole


Bay Area Rapid Transit, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Loma Prieta earthquake, Maui Hawaii, old-boy network, pez dispenser, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, Torches of Freedom, upwardly mobile

Nordstrom proba- bly has the largest selection of women’s and men’s shoes in the city, in prices ranging from reasonable to check-yourcredit-limit. If expensive isn’t a scary concept to you, head to Kenneth Cole (in the San Francisco Centre, the same mall that houses Nordstrom) for trendy, high-fashion numbers. Gimme Shoes on Hayes Street sells funky new designs from Belgium and France. And don’t forget those sensible shoes: Get ’em at Ria’s, Birkenstock Natural Footwear, and First Step. If it’s July, you’re going to need a sweater... Tse Cashmere features rich colors and luxurious 10-ply handknits; House of Cashmere is just what its name implies; and Irish Castle Shop has fisherman-knit sweaters and the claim to fame of having served Sinéad O’Connor in the past. For men who want to look like Car y Grant... It’s tough to go wrong at Wilkes-Bashford, whose small line of impeccably tailored clothing has served as a mark of 153 distinction in San Francisco for more than 30 years.

pages: 355 words: 106,952

Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places by Andrew Blackwell


carbon footprint, clean water, Google Earth, gravity well, liberation theology, nuclear paranoia, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, place-making, ride hailing / ride sharing, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the scientific method, young professional

The Motiva queen showed her teeth to the ceiling. Beads exploded from her hands, filling the air with plastic shrapnel. Through the haze, I saw the silhouette of a young man in a perfect cowboy hat, his profile seething in the flare of a spotlight. Scott and I found Laura on one of the side stages, utterly transformed from the day before. Then, she had been a short, unprepossessing woman in jeans and sensible shoes. Now she was dressed as Wheel of Fortune, a Pat Sajak fever dream of sequins and feathers, with an enormous model of the wheel rising from her shoulders. She was ten feet tall, an Aztec high priestess of TV game shows, with a floppy BANKRUPT wedge running down her leg. One of the first out of the gate, she had been standing in presentation for upward of an hour, next to a nebula of plumage that was a woman dressed as Monopoly.

pages: 364 words: 103,162

The English by Jeremy Paxman


back-to-the-land, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, Etonian, game design, George Santayana, global village, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, Khartoum Gordon, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, Own Your Own Home, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Right to Buy, sensible shoes, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

Old Country, New Clothes Acknowledgements Notes Bibliography Index For Jessica, Jack and Victoria PREFACE Being English used to be so easy. They were one of the most easily identified peoples on earth, recognized by their language, their manners, their clothes and the fact that they drank tea by the bucketload. It is all so much more complicated now. When, occasionally, we come across someone whose stiff upper lip, sensible shoes or tweedy manner identifies them as English, we react in amusement: the conventions that defined the English are dead and the country’s ambassadors are more likely to be singers or writers than diplomats or politicians. The imperial English may have carried British passports – as did the Scots, Welsh, and some of the Irish – but they really didn’t need to think too hard about whether being ‘English’ was the same as being ‘British’: the terms were virtually interchangeable.

pages: 366 words: 107,145

Fuller Memorandum by Stross, Charles


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Beeching cuts, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, congestion charging, dumpster diving, finite state, Firefox, HyperCard, invisible hand, land reform, linear programming, peak oil, security theater, sensible shoes, side project, Sloane Ranger, telemarketer, Turing machine

And a moment later I'm off, rattling feetfirst into the darkness under London, on a false-flag mission . . . AT ABOUT THE SAME TIME I'M FALLING FEETFIRST INTO A PIECE of railway history, another part of the plot is unfolding. Let me try to reconstruct it for you: A red-haired woman holding a violin case is making her way along a busy high street in London. Wearing understated trousers and a slightly dated Issey Miyake top, sensible shoes, and a leather bag that's showing its age, she could be a college lecturer or a musician on her way to practice: without the interview suit, nobody's going to mistake her for an auction house employee or a civil servant. Which shows how deceptive appearances can be. Kids and shoppers and office workers in suits and shop staff in uniforms move around her; she threads her way between them, not looking in shop windows or diverting her attention from the destination in hand.

pages: 326 words: 94,046

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician's First Year by Matt McCarthy


cognitive dissonance, index card, sensible shoes, upwardly mobile

“Let’s reconvene in twenty minutes.” A few minutes later, the second-year resident I’d been assigned to work with in this portion of my rotation, Ashley—my new Baio—returned from the arrest. She had impossibly high cheekbones and spoke in clipped, overcaffeinated sentences with one thought emerging in the midst of another. In retrospect, she gave the impression of Jennifer Lawrence on speed, perhaps with more sensible shoes. Ashley had greeted me that morning by saying, “Don’t do anything without running it by me first. Are we clear?” Before I could respond, she’d launched into the array of tasks that needed to be completed before rounds—rattling off assignments like wheeling a patient to dialysis and transporting a vial of blood to the chemistry laboratory—faster than I could write, and then withdrew the work delegated to me just as quickly, explaining that it was quicker if she just did everything herself.

pages: 338 words: 112,127

Leaving Orbit: Notes From the Last Days of American Spaceflight by Margaret Lazarus Dean


affirmative action, Elon Musk, helicopter parent, index card, Mars Rover, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, operation paperclip, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, sensible shoes, V2 rocket

They care enough for all of us, and they are heartbroken by our leaders’ shortsightedness. The car nearest mine has license plates from Ohio. A friendly couple in their early fifties, just starting to gray, who drove two days to see their first launch before it was too late. The husband wears wraparound sunglasses and a T-shirt that says LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF THOSE WHO THREATEN IT on the back. The wife is carefully made up and coiffed, but she wears baggy capris and sensible shoes, a popular look for women at shuttle launches. After locating the launchpad through his binoculars with my help, the husband tells me that we are all going to be forced to live under sharia law before too long, a conclusion based on “the way things are going in England.” (When pressed, he reveals that his main piece of evidence for England’s inevitable transition to Islamic theocracy is the fact that Mohammed is the most popular name for newborn boys in London.)

pages: 378 words: 110,408

Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool


Albert Einstein, deliberate practice, iterative process, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, sensible shoes

And the erratic numbering system doesn’t always tell you exactly where to find a particular address even when you’ve found the right street. Thus the best advice for visitors is to forget about renting a car with a navigational system and instead rely on the city’s cabbies. They’re ubiquitous—some twenty-five thousand of them driving around in their big, black, boxy cars that are the automotive equivalent of sensible shoes—and they are astonishingly good at getting you from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible, taking into account not only the lengths of the various possible paths, but the time of day, the expected traffic, temporary roadwork and road closings, and any other details that might be relevant to the trip. Nor do points A and B have to be traditional street addresses. Suppose you’d like to revisit that funky little hat shop in Charing Cross whose name you don’t quite recall—Lord’s or Lear or something like that—but you do remember that there is a little shop next door that sells cupcakes.

pages: 339 words: 95,988

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner


airport security, Broken windows theory, crack epidemic, desegregation, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, mental accounting, moral hazard, More Guns, Less Crime, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil,, profit maximization, Richard Thaler, school choice, sensible shoes, Steven Pinker, Ted Kaczynski, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, Thorstein Veblen, War on Poverty

(It was Venkatesh who procured the data, from a former gang member.) Such a thing had never been tried. “This lack of focus,” Levitt deadpanned in one version of the paper, “is perhaps partly attributable to the fact that few economists have been involved in the study of gangs.” Levitt speaks with a boyish lisp. His appearance is High Nerd: a plaid button-down shirt, nondescript khakis and a braided belt, sensible shoes. His pocket calendar is branded with the National Bureau of Economic Research logo. “I wish he would get more than three haircuts a year,” his wife, Jeannette, says, “and that he wasn’t still wearing the same glasses he got fifteen years ago, which weren’t even in fashion then.” He was a good golfer in high school but has so physically atrophied that he calls himself “the weakest human being alive” and asks Jeannette to open jars around the house.

pages: 442 words: 115,860

Effendi by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

clean water, sensible shoes

Raf went back to watching the tourists who fed from Place Saad Zaghloul, and headed south down Rue Missala, searching for bars and theatres or just in a hurry to get back to their hotels. After a hundred and eleven days in the city, Raf could now identify tourist groups as clearly as if they wore labels: waddling Austrians, dark-haired Frenchmen, the odd bunch of shore-leave Soviets in mufti and, rarer still, an occasional pink-skinned Englishwoman with silk scarf and sensible shoes. But mostly Iskandryia got nice couples, as befitted a famously romantic city. The fuck-me singles, with their piercings, tattoos and trailer chic, came out only after dark, and then only in closely defined areas. Places like PeshVille, where Scandinavian kids hosed lines of coke off toilet rims, while girls shuffled, in darkened corners, on the unzipped laps of boys too blasted to know they weren’t safely hiding out in student halls back home.

pages: 407 words: 107,343

Felaheen by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

haute cuisine, polynesian navigation, sensible shoes

Eduardo glanced up from his omelette, realized he might have been rude and amended his question. "Did Your Excellency say something?" CHAPTER 13 _____________ Flashback Four nuns sat by one window, two pairs facing each other across the carriage like sour-faced crows. They had black habits and whatever those white hats were that went straight down, giving them cheekbones they didn't deserve. They all wore sensible shoes for the journey, flat soles and laces. And they carried sandwiches wrapped in grease-proof paper and a salami in its own cotton case, like a fat cloth condom. Sally was pretty sure she'd seen sisters in New York wearing pale blue jumpsuits, God Loves Baseball caps and trainers; but maybe convents were tougher in North Africa or perhaps this kind were just a different genus--or should that be species?

pages: 549 words: 116,200

With a Little Help by Cory Doctorow


autonomous vehicles, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, death of newspapers, don't be evil, game design, Google Earth, high net worth, lifelogging, margin call, Mark Shuttleworth, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Ponzi scheme, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sensible shoes, skunkworks, Skype, traffic fines, traveling salesman, Turing test, urban planning, Y2K

Trying not to make too many mistakes and to learn from the ones I do make." 1056 "Do you want some free advice, Rainer?" 1057 He sat down in one of the chairs, which bulged and sloshed as it conformed itself to his back and butt. He patted the upholstered jelly beside him. "You may always assume that I would be immensely grateful for your advice, Trish," he said. 1058 She sat down and crossed her legs, letting her sensible shoe hang loose. "Right. DC is a busy place. In academic circles, in tech circles, you might get together to feel out your opponent, or to make someone's acquaintance, or to see an old friend. You might get together to enjoy the company of another human being. 1059 "We do that in DC, after working hours. Strictly evenings and weekends. When you schedule a meeting during office hours, it has to have a purpose.

pages: 419 words: 119,368

Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith


cuban missile crisis, language of flowers, Malacca Straits, sensible shoes, South China Sea, upwardly mobile

“Somebody I’d like you to meet.” “Who?” asked Bruce. “A friend,” George replied opaquely. “A girlfriend, actually.” Bruce chuckled. “George! Got yourself fixed up at last? A real stunner, no doubt!” Which is exactly what he thought she would not be. He could just imagine the sort of girl George would end up with. She would be the absolute bottom of the heap; bargain-basement material. Sensible shoes. Markedly overweight. Dull as ditchwater. And probably from Crieff into the bargain! That girl he used to see – what was her name? – Sharon somebody or other, who lived with her parents in one of those little bungalows off the Comrie Road; that sort of girl. Poor George! Bruce was uncharitable about his home town. There was nothing wrong with Crieff, of course, but that was not the way he saw it.

pages: 493 words: 132,290

Vultures' Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores by Greg Palast


anti-communist, back-to-the-land, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, centre right, Chelsea Manning, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Donald Trump, energy security, Exxon Valdez, invisible hand, means of production, Myron Scholes, offshore financial centre, random walk, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, transfer pricing, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Yogi Berra

ALONG HEYDAR ALIYEV BOULEVARD The intelligence report read:“. . . Lady Mehriban Aliyeva appears . . . unable to show a full range of facial expression.” The U.S. Intelligence officer assumes this is the result of “substantial cosmetic surgery.” Maybe. What expressions does she lack? Empathy? Self-awareness? The report does not say. Kadija, on the other hand, has a full range of facial expressions. Just from her sensible shoes, flat black slip-ons, you could say Kadija is Azerbaijan’s last lady. And proud of it. We hired Kadija to shepherd us around Baku, which she did waving and grinning at our police shadows and translating when we were stopped by a “volunteer” in a black sedan. (He freely said, when she asked, that he would be paid for keeping an eye on us. On everyone.) Kadija moved about with an air of almost comic impunity, as if laughing at the farce of a government would keep her free of its claws.

pages: 391 words: 117,984

The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz


access to a mobile phone, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, business process, business process outsourcing, clean water, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Hernando de Soto, Kibera, Lao Tzu, market design, microcredit, out of africa, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, transaction costs, zero-sum game

Since this didn’t seem like a good conversation starter, I opted to skip it and simply asked her name, this time in French. She looked at me again, always waiting before answering. “Veronique,” she said slowly, enunciating each syllable, perhaps now thinking I was hard of hearing or a little daft. Though she was probably not much more than 34 or 35, maybe a decade older than me at the time, somehow she reminded me of my grandmother, with her thick hands, broad shoulders, and feet settled in sensible shoes. She wore a brown and green cotton, African-print dress with billowing sleeves. Oversize, boxy plastic glasses accentuated her square face. Her hair stood on end, flopping this way and that in cadence with her exuberant speech. I liked her immediately. My grandmother Stella once wore a housedress to the wedding of one of her sons because she’d forgotten her fancy dress back home in Pennsylvania.

pages: 382 words: 127,510

Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire by Simon Winchester


borderless world, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, Edmond Halley, European colonialism, illegal immigration, Khyber Pass, laissez-faire capitalism, offshore financial centre, sensible shoes, South China Sea, special economic zone, the market place

In other words I could travel the three inches with pleasure, but only after having made brief obeisance in a third, neutral country, in Africa. It all suddenly seemed rather ludicrous, and I was cross that I was going to be late for tea. (Afternoon tea is not the only British custom still rigorously maintained in the colony. The author Nicholas Luard once met a formidable British nanny near Algeciras. In spite of the heat she was dressed in a severe grey coat and skirt, and wore a grey felt hat, and very sensible shoes, in which she was clumping towards La Linea. Luard offered her a lift, and asked where she was going. ‘Gibraltar,’ she replied, in tones impeccably Home Counties, ‘to buy a reliable kipper.’) In the event, the excursion was pleasant enough, even though the bullet-like craft only narrowly escaped being run over by a tanker in the thick fog—the cotton-wool-like taro—that hangs almost perpetually over the Straits.

Wireless by Stross, Charles


anthropic principle, back-to-the-land, Benoit Mandelbrot, Buckminster Fuller, Cepheid variable, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, cosmic microwave background, epigenetics, finite state, Georg Cantor, gravity well, hive mind, jitney, Khyber Pass, lifelogging, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, peak oil, phenotype, Pluto: dwarf planet, security theater, sensible shoes, Turing machine

Something in another universe just sucked a microscopic lump of neural tissue right out of your intrapa rietal sulcus, and it won’t grow back.” Urk. Not so much “use it or lose it” as “use it and lose it,” then. Could be worse, could be a NAND gate in there . . . “Do we know why some people suffer from it and others don’t?” “No idea.” She drops what’s left of her cigarette and grinds it under the heel of a sensible shoe. She catches my eye. “Don’t worry about it, the Sisters keep everything orderly,” she says. “Do you know what you want to do next?” “Yes,” I say, damning myself for a fool before I take the next logical step: “I want to talk to the long-term inmates.” I’m half-hoping Renfield will put her foot down and refuse point-blank to let me do it, but she only puts up a token fight: she makes me sign a personal-injury-claims waiver and scribble out a written order instructing her to show me the gallery.

pages: 414 words: 121,243

What's Left?: How Liberals Lost Their Way by Nick Cohen

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, British Empire, centre right, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Farzad Bazoft, feminist movement, haute couture, kremlinology, liberal world order, light touch regulation, mass immigration, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, profit motive, Ralph Nader, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, sensible shoes, the scientific method, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Yom Kippur War

For that matter, the Auden generation’s understanding of the Spanish Civil War was naïve, to put it kindly. Equally, a world where there is no revolution worth striving for can feel a disenchanted and dreary place. There is admittedly something a little boring and wholesome about striving for reform and democracy. Suicide bombers and wife burners, whatever else they are, are not boring and wholesome: not sensible shoes, wholemeal bread and composite resolutions. But it is one thing to bewail conformism in the lecture halls of Berkeley and the London School of Economics, quite another to ignore Spanish Republicans, black South Africans, Indian feminists or Iraqi democrats who ask for your support. At that moment, you must choose, and the choice of neutrality is the choice to keep the funeral pyres burning.

pages: 1,631 words: 468,342

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson


biofilm, Broken windows theory, clean water, deskilling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Indoor air pollution, indoor plumbing, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Own Your Own Home, sensible shoes, spice trade, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer

A common cause of stairway falls is that one step is shorter or longer than the others. Guests are especially likely to take a tumble because of this, even though you may be used to it. Sensible Shoes High heels, slippery soles, floppy footwear of any sort that is prone to flying off your foot—all these can cause injuries. (High heels also cause dents in your wood floors.) They are not especially comfortable either. The safest shoes in the home are low-heeled and rubber-soled with good nonskid treads that offer your foot plenty of coverage and support. Elderly people especially should always use such shoes in the home, and, really, so should everybody else. Sensible shoes are available now in a variety of attractive styles, and are not so grandmotherly and hygieniclooking as they used to be. Dizziness; Poor Balance If you get dizzy in high places or if you are suffering dizzy spells or poor balance from any medical condition, you must be sure to alter your habits accordingly.

Never stand on a metal ladder anywhere in the vicinity of electrical cords or power lines. And never lean ladders of any sort—metal, wood, or any other material—against any power or electrical lines. At the end of the holiday season, when you put your lights and decorations away, put your instructions away with them, on top, so that you will be sure to review and follow them next year. Slips and Falls The older you are, the harder you fall … Stairs and steps … Sensible shoes … Dizziness, poor balance … Ladders, step stools … Rugs and carpets … Floor wax … Obstacles, clutter … Electrical cords … Spills … Bathrooms, wet floors … Windows … Level floors … Furniture … The importance of good lighting everywhere It is hard to convince people to take precautions against falling at home, but let me try. Among all accidentally caused deaths in any given year (if we take 1992, there were 86,777), the number of those caused by falls (12,646) is exceeded only by the number of deaths caused by car crashes (40,982).

pages: 821 words: 227,742

I Want My MTV by Craig Marks


Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, haute couture, Live Aid, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, upwardly mobile

Now the girl in “You Think You’re Tough,” that one I got ahold of. But I couldn’t tell you her name to save my life. DON BARNES: Julianne Phillips was in “If I’d Been the One.” She was Bruce Springsteen’s future wife; supposedly, he first saw her in our video. Mercy. It was hard to keep your eyes off her, or even think about anything else in the shoot. CAMILLE GRAMMER, Club MTV dancer: I did a few videos, including David Lee Roth’s “Sensible Shoes.” I was one of the two blonde—what did they call them?—oh yeah, “video vixens.” I remember some tabloid calling me that when I started dating Kelsey Grammer. I was in Colin Quinn’s “Going Back to Brooklyn,” which was a parody of LL Cool J’s “Going Back to Cali.” Ben Stiller directed that. I did a Kool Moe Dee video, a Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom video, plus a few others I can’t even remember. I played a prom queen, a bride, a nun.

pages: 611 words: 186,716

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson


British Empire, clean water, dark matter, defense in depth, digital map, edge city, Just-in-time delivery, Mason jar, pattern recognition, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, the scientific method, Turing machine, wage slave

No matter compiler in the world was large enough to compile a ship, so the shipyards in Hong Kong had compiled the pieces one by one, bonded them together, and slid them down the ways into the sea, much as their pre-Diamond Age predecessors had done. Judge Fang had been expecting that the ship would be some kind of bulk carrier, consisting almost entirely of huge compartments, but the first thing he saw was a long corridor running parallel to the keel, seemingly the length of the entire ship. Young women in white, pink, or occasionally blue dresses and sensible shoes bustled back and forth along this corridor entering into and emerging from its innumerable doors. There was no formal welcome, no captain or other officers. As soon as the boat girls had assisted them on board, they bowed and took their leave. Dr. X began to amble down the corridor, and Judge Fang followed him. The young women in the white dresses bowed as they approached, then continued on their way, having no time to waste on advanced formalities.

Caliban's War by James S. A. Corey


clean water, gravity well, phenotype, sensible shoes, statistical model

The doors to the dock were closed, and a small group of port security officers were trying to hold the mob back. When Holden arrived, the crowd was still cowed by the security officers’ Tasers and shock prods, but from the rising tension and anger in the air, he could tell that wouldn’t last long. Just behind the front line of rent-a-cops, with their nonlethal deterrents, stood a small clump of men in dark suits and sensible shoes. They carried shotguns with the air of men who were just waiting for someone to give them permission. That would be the corporate security, then. Looking over the room, Holden felt the scene snap into place. Beyond that closed loading bay door was one of the few remaining corporate freighters loaded down with the last food being stripped from Ganymede. And this crowd was hungry. Holden remembered trying to escape a casino on Eros when it went into security lockdown.

Lonely Planet France by Lonely Planet Publications


banking crisis, bike sharing scheme, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Columbine, double helix, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Louis Blériot, Louis Pasteur, low cost carrier, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Murano, Venice glass, ride hailing / ride sharing, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, supervolcano, trade route, urban renewal, urban sprawl, V2 rocket

The further south you go, the more relaxed fashion becomes, although it’s still sassy, especially on the French Riviera. Avoid shorts and flip-flops unless you’re at the beach, and dress up rather than down at restaurants, clubs and bars – no jeans and trainers, unless you’re at the local village bar. Bring a sweater (jumper) and rain jacket, and something to protect your skin from peckish mosquitoes. Take sensible shoes whatever the season – cobbled streets simply don’t marry with high heels or thin soles. What to Pack » Passport » Credit cards » This guidebook » Phrasebook » Driver’s licence » Travel plug (adaptor) » Mobile phone (cell phone) and charger » Earplugs » Sunscreen, sunhat and sunglasses » Umbrella (northern France) » Rainproof jacket » Torch (flashlight) » Pocketknife with corkscrew » Camera » Medical kit » Comfortable walking shoes » Light scarf or sarong » Book or e-reader » iPod (with French music playlist) Checklist » Check passport validity » Check if you need a visa ( Click here ) » Arrange travel insurance ( Click here ) » Check airline baggage restrictions » Book ahead for accommodation and big-name restaurants » Buy tickets online for the Louvre, Eiffel Tower etc » Organise international roaming on your phone if needed ( Click here ) » Download France-related travel apps and music playlist Etiquette » Greetings Shake hands and say ‘Bonjour’ (Hello) or ‘Bonsoir’ (Good evening) to strangers, and exchange two cheek-skimming kisses – right cheek first – with casual acquaintances and friends.

pages: 1,737 words: 491,616

Rationality: From AI to Zombies by Eliezer Yudkowsky

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, anti-pattern, anti-work, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, cellular automata, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, effective altruism, experimental subject, Extropian, friendly AI, fundamental attribution error, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John von Neumann, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, Nash equilibrium, Necker cube, NP-complete, P = NP, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, planetary scale, prediction markets, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, scientific mainstream, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Solar eclipse in 1919, speech recognition, statistical model, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, Turing complete, Turing machine, ultimatum game, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

“Rationality” just seems like one more hobby or hobbyhorse, that people talk about at parties; an adopted mode of conversational attire with few or no real consequences; and it doesn’t seem like there’s anything wrong about that, either. * 314 Epistemic Viciousness Someone deserves a large hat tip for this, but I’m having trouble remembering who; my records don’t seem to show any email or Overcoming Bias comment which told me of this 12-page essay, “Epistemic Viciousness in the Martial Arts” by Gillian Russell.1 Maybe Anna Salamon? We all lined up in our ties and sensible shoes (this was England) and copied him—left, right, left, right—and afterwards he told us that if we practised in the air with sufficient devotion for three years, then we would be able to use our punches to kill a bull with one blow. I worshipped Mr Howard (though I would sooner have died than told him that) and so, as a skinny, eleven-year-old girl, I came to believe that if I practised, I would be able to kill a bull with one blow by the time I was fourteen.