A barrier function method for minimax problems by E Polak

By E Polak

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Indd 56 11/08/2014 10:46 All Lines to Everywhere 57 this, since when it has been the only line to connect with all the others. The original colour of the line on Tube maps (battleship grey) was supposed to suggest the nautical meaning of the word fleet, this being adjusted to a more appropriate silvery hue once the name was altered. In fact the name Fleet, first mentioned in an article in The Times more than a decade earlier, refers to the ‘lost’ Fleet river rather than the ships of the Royal Navy (or indeed the speed of the service offered).

Most of the early backers were foreigners – noticeably few monied Englishmen could see a profit in running workers underground – among them Sir Ernest Cassel, the much-decorated German financier whose granddaughter married Lord Louis Mountbatten. There were a few Englishmen among the much smaller shareholders, however, including a Hertfordshire pig-breeder, several vicars and a pianotuner living in Regents Park. When the line first opened in June 1900, taking a group of VIPs in ‘palatial luxuriously upholstered passengers cars’ to Shepherds Bush for an inaugural banquet, those on board included the Prince of Wales and the American Samuel Clemens, better known as the author Mark Twain, who was living in London at the time.

When construction began in June 1898 it was being financed by the dodgy company promoter James Whitaker Wright (see p. 35) who in 1904 killed himself at the courts after being convicted of a whopping £5 million fraud. T. Yerkes stepped in again to take over. He was no more palatable than Wright, but at least he tended to get the job done. Somewhat bizarrely several of the workers employed by Yerkes suffered from the ‘bends’, a dangerous condition usually affecting submariners and deep-sea divers who surface too rapidly.

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