Shoelaces As Seen In The News

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Shoelaces occasionally make an appearance in the news, where they have been involved in good and bad, happy and sad events. Here's some excerpts from various news stories involving shoelaces.

News Story Excerpts – 2022

Shoes come untied? Professor Shoelace shows what knot to do

– CBS Sacramento (USA), 09-Dec-2022

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“When I'm rushing to class and my shoelaces come undone, it's kind of annoying. For me and everyone behind me,” Amaya Segundo said with a chuckle.

What these students didn't realize is that the people who teach children how to tie their shoes are probably teaching them wrong.

A 2017 study by U.C. Berkeley demonstrated with a treadmill how a traditional shoelace knot gradually comes undone through inertia from the simple process of walking or running.

“Where Berkeley was focusing on the ends of the shoelaces coming undone, they hadn't focused on the mechanics of the actual knot itself – the underlying power of the knot slipping and loosening,” explained Ian Fieggen, an Australian computer specialist whose interest in shoelace knots began 40 years ago when tried to figure out why his cotton laces frequently broke.

Full story plus video on CBS News website

Ian's Comment: I was interviewed by CBS Sacramento in Nov-2022 for a TV news segment about shoelace knots. The segment aired on 09-Dec-2022 (USA time) and is now available on the CBS News website.

Louis Rees-Zammit's try was even more special than people thought as issues emerge

– Wales Online (UK), 12-Sep-2022

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Rees-Zammit's effort, though, was the highlight and has been made even more impressive now that it has been revealed that one of his boots was broken and he was struggling with a back issue. Pictures show the laces on his left boot had snapped as Rees-Zammit surged away from deep inside his own half.

Full story on Wales Online website

Police seize “death trap” Derbyshire homemade scooter with fuel tank held in place with shoe laces

– Derbyshire Times (UK), 23-Aug-2022

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Officers were called after receiving numerous complaints about a male rider causing a nuisance in the village of Creswell on Friday.

And they were left stunned after pulling over the driver and finding the shoddy DIY scooter had its fuel tank secured with shoe laces and tie wraps.

Full story on Derbyshire Times website

Laces Of Lynn” Sculpture Ties The History Of The City Together

– WBZ News Radio (USA), 05-Aug-2022

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Artist, Kevin Orlosky created a five-foot web of steel shoelaces, to show what he calls “a visual manifestation of community participation and pride.” The steel laces are meant to literally tie the history of Lynn as a shoe mecca to the values of the diverse and growing city it is today.
...

There are also words transcribed on the laces of the sculpture.

Full story on WBZ News Radio website

Police officer gives his own shoelace to motorcylist

– User “cbr600rr_nc23k” on Twitter (Japan), 04-Aug-2022

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(Translated from Japanese):

“I lost my shoelaces in an accident, so do you have any laces with you?” When I asked the policeman, he took the shoelaces from his shoes.

Original tweet (in Japanese) on Twitter website

Girl, 11, describes getting her arm stuck in an escalator in Santa Ana

– KTLA 5 News (USA), 03-Aug-2022

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“We were going down, and I looked down and my shoe was untied,” Cox said.

Then she realized her shoelace was caught in the moving steps.

“So I tried pulling my shoe string out, and I finally got it out, but then I fell backwards,” she said.

Nearing ground level, she attempted to pull herself up using the moving handrail, but she lost her balance, and her hand was pulled under.

Full story on KTLA 5 News website

Winona Ryder ... Do You Know Her?

– Harper's BAZAAR (USA), 28-Jun-2022

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I was born in a farmhouse in Winona, Minnesota. That's true. And I was what they called a “shoelace baby”. I was a little early, and back in '71, what you did is you boiled a shoelace to tie off the umbilical cord.

Full interview on YouTube

72-year-old man flipped 25-year-old attacker to fend off unprovoked assault

– CBC Radio (Canada), 28-Jun-2022

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The 72-year-old man was watching the construction of a new bridge from the overpass when a 25-year-old attacked and tried to strangle him with a shoelace, according to a police news release on Tuesday.

The senior fought off the attack by flipping the 25-year-old over his shoulder and restraining him with the help of a passerby until police arrived. The 72-year-old did not require medical attention.

Full story on CBC Radio website

The Phillies' Latest Meltdown Involved Jeurys Familia Repeatedly Failing To Tie His Shoes

– Defector (USA), 01-Jun-2022

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After throwing a wild pitch that allowed Pederson to advance to second, Familia – who it should be noted takes an excruciatingly long time between pitches – stopped to tie his right shoelace. Then he stopped to tied (sic) the same shoelace several more times before the inning was over!
...

Now, you might be thinking that, for once, this is a Phillies bullpen meltdown that beleaguered manager Joe Girardi didn't have a direct hand in authoring. After all, what role could a manager play in his pitcher forgetting both how to cover first and how to tie his shoes?
...

Well, check this out: Familia pitched on May 29, and then again on May 30, which would make his Tuesday appearance against the Giants his ... third consecutive appearance. Obviously he was too fatigued to properly tie his shoes before taking the mound, which then affected his ability to effectively cover first base. So, once again, we can hang this Phillies loss on Girardi.

Full story on Defector website

The Accountancy Partnership raise £5,895 for Stick'n'Step

– Wirral Globe (UK), 24-May-2022

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The children and staff at Stick 'n' Step issued the team at The Accountancy Partnership (TAP) based in Birkenhead, with a series of dares which they have now completed.
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These included a hike up a Welsh mountain carrying plates of jelly, a relay race in chicken suits, a cycling spin dressed as superheroes and finally a Supersonic Shoelace Race!

Learning the fine motor skills needed to fasten shoelaces can be an intricate challenge for children with cerebral palsy.

Children at Stick 'n' Step challenged the TAP team to take it in turns tying each other's shoelaces as fast as they could with the fastest person to tie laces being the winner.

Full story on Wirral Globe website

Mum of Washington student accused of planning terror acts says he “struggles to tie own shoe laces

– ITV (UK), 11-May-2022

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The mother of a student accused of preparing acts of terrorism has told a jury he struggles with basic tasks and has difficulty tying his shoe laces to this day.

Deborah Skelton told the jury at Teesside Crown Court on Wednesday 11 May how her 18-year-old son Luke had been diagnosed with autism as a young child.

Full story on ITV website

Woman yells at boy and twists his ear in public for not knowing how to tie shoelaces

– Straits Times (Singapore), 21-Mar-2022

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Wenqing recounted: “The woman was scolding the boy for not knowing how to tie his shoelace and not following her instructions.”

“What prompted me to take a video was that she actually kicked the boy twice when he was kneeling down to tie his shoelaces, while he was trying his best to do it in accordance to the way the woman wanted. I was so shocked.”

In one clip, the woman can be seen shouting at the boy and then showing him how to tie his shoelaces. She is then seen pinching and twisting his left ear while yelling at him.

Full story on Straits Times website

“Her shoelaces were still on fire”: Incredible act of courage and compassion

– The Age (Australia), 11-Mar-2022

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Lawyer Bernie “The Attorney” Balmer received official recognition for the heroism and compassion he displayed 36 years ago in the hell that was the Russell Street bombing.
...

He was the first at the scene and the first to try to help the fatally injured Constable Angela Taylor.

“The blast had ripped her clothes away, and she had shocking burns. Her shoelaces were still on fire and I bent down to put them out,” he said.

Mr Balmer comforted her, well aware secondary explosions were possible.

Full story on The Age website

Trappers need to mark their traps – Letters To Editor

– Daily News-Miner (USA), 06-Mar-2022

My sweet little dog should be dead. A week ago a friend was skiing with her from a popular trailhead off the Denali Highway when she was caught in a Conibear trap. There were no signs or any indication that traps were in the area.

Had not my friend been tenacious and creative – she used her boot laces to tie one side of the trap open while she used both hands to open the other side – my dog would not have survived. It's a miracle she did.

Full story on Daily News-Miner website

Supporting Fine Motor Skills One Loop at a Time; First Grade Shoelace Challenge Proves a Hit

– Fairfax County Public Schools (USA), 23-Feb-2022

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It's a life skill we all need to master sooner or later but for our younger students, tying shoelaces became something of a lost art during the pandemic.

Staying at home meant there was less need to focus on bunny ears and that has meant fewer than expected children were able to take care of this task as they returned to in-person schooling. Instead, the job of re-tying multiple sets of laces a day has fallen to school staff.

Now, first grade teachers at Stratford Landing Elementary School in Alexandria are getting students back on track with a weekly shoelace challenge.

The goal is that by the end of this school year, all first graders will have acquired this fine motor skill.

Full story on Fairfax County Public Schools website

Everton manager Frank Lampard fined player for stopping to tie his laces on his first day of training

– The Sun (UK), 04-Feb-2022

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One player arrived to a post-lunch meeting seconds late after tending to his trainers.

He was told to have the cash on the boss's desk the next morning.
...

The late-running player turned up with a wad of notes on Wednesday morning – and was relieved when Lamps refused to take it.

The boss shook his hand in front of teammates – and said it was a warning. But anyone breaking the rules will cough up from Monday. Fines will go to charities and for a team night out.

The insider added: “It could have been the most expensive lace-tying in history but the squad now knows they must stick to the rules.”

Full story on The Sun website

VOIVOD's AWAY Explains 'Synchro Anarchy' Album Title

– Blabbermouth (USA), 31-Jan-2022

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“... I was untying my shoes and I had this flash of skipping a beat every bar. So I stood up and I said, 'Hey, I have an idea,' and I was walking towards the drum and I stepped on one of my shoelaces and I tripped and almost fell on the drum kit. It was pretty funny because the flash I had was to skip a beat and I skipped a step and all that. Anyhow, I played the beat and Chewy [guitarist Daniel Mongrain] recorded the beat and named it 'Away's Shoelace Incident'. And it gave Snake [singer Denis Bélanger] the idea of writing lyrics about these strange timings in life when you stop to tie your shoe and a car will whizz by and a second later it will be over and these things. And he had shortened the title to 'Shoelace', but I saw in his lyrics the words 'Synchro Anarchy' and I said, 'Man, it would be a great title for the song.' And he agreed.”

Full story on Blabbermouth website

Staff Accused of Using Shoelace to Mask Disabled Student Found of No Criminal Wrongdoing

– Newsweek (USA), 24-Jan-2022

A Florida school district and members of its staff will not have charges brought against them after a shoelace was used to tie a face mask onto a disabled student, according to a Florida state attorney.
...

Archer [state attorney] concurred with the officers' findings, saying in a statement that “after a careful review of the investigative reports, interviews, and evidence provided to our office, we agree with the conclusion reached by the Indian Harbor Beach Police that no criminal acts were committed.”

He went on to state that the case is “a textbook example of what rushing to judgment prior to the conclusion of an investigation can produce in today's hypersensitive, politically charged climate.”

Full story on Newsweek website

Ian's Comment: See also original story of the family suing in 2021.

M&Ms' beloved characters are getting a new look

– CNN Business (USA), 20-Jan-2022

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The candy's anthropomorphized chocolate characters are being made over, and the logo is also getting a tweak.

But the most noticeable change is to the six M&M characters: new shoes. Green has swapped her go-go boots for sneakers. Brown is sporting lower, more sensible heels. Red and Yellow's shoes now have laces. Orange's shoes laces are no longer untied.

Full story on CNN Business website

Taylor Swift on Being in LA and NYC; ‘I Cannot Have One Shoelace Untied'

– Showbiz Cheat Sheet (USA), 11-Jan-2022

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“I know if I'm in Nashville, I can wear whatever I want. And if I want to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row, no one's going to notice because there aren't paparazzi waiting outside my place. And that is a whole different level of comfort than I experience in the rest of the world.”
...

“But if I'm going to New York or LA, I know I should pack a few different outfits and I should not repeat outfits because that will be very loudly pointed out to me,” Swift added. “I should not look wrinkled. I cannot have one shoelace untied. I cannot have any mysterious bruises or scrapes on my legs. It will be questioned. Very interesting dynamic changes from city to city, and yet I'm used to all of them strangely.”

Full story on Showbiz Cheat Sheet website

Ian's Comment: I've long included Taylor in my list of possible Granny Knotting Celebrities, so I'm guilty of being one of her critics. My intentions, however, are purely in everyone's best interests – including Taylor's!

Video shows man attacking woman at Miami airport bus stop

– Miami Herald (USA), 07-Jan-2022

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An attack captured on surveillance video shows a man strangling a woman with a shoelace at a Miami International Airport bus stop as she fights for her life and another man comes to the rescue.
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The video starts with Quiñones messing with his shoe on a bench while a woman sits nearby with her back toward him. Quiñones looks around before putting down and grabbing the shoelace, the video shows.

He goes behind the woman and puts the shoelace around her neck, pulling her toward him. She tries to free herself, but Quiñones overpowers her and moves off the bench.

Full story on Miami Herald website

Ian's Comment: See also original story of the attack below.

Man accused of trying to strangle woman with shoelace at Florida bus stop, police say

– WFLA News (USA), 03-Jan-2022

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According to investigators, the incident happened around 11 a.m. Sunday as the 26-year-old woman was waiting for a bus, not far from Miami International Airport when 27-year-old Aaron K. Quinones, approached the woman from behind and started to strangle her with a shoelace.

Full story on WFLA News website

Ian's Comment: See also follow-up story with video of the attack above.

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This page last updated: 08-Jun-2024. Copyright © 2006-2024 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

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