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November 08, 2007


A search for memorable hacks of MIT's Great Dome lead to the following supplement to my vocabulary: smoots.

Marking off the length of the Harvard Bridge in 5-foot, 7-inch segments known as Smoots, celebrating the stature of Lambda Chi Alpha pledge Oliver Smoot Jr. The Smoot markers, first painted in 1958, have been renewed regularly for 41 years as the paint fades. The bridge measures 364 Smoots and one ear.

Oliver Reed Smoot, Jr., it transpires, was in the fullness of time to become Chairman of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) from 2001 to 2002 and President of the International Organization for Standardization ( ISO) from 2003 to 2004. The wheels of karma grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at November 8, 2007 06:53 AM


Next time anyone asks how tall I am, I'll have to remember to say "A smidge over one Smoot."

Posted by: cm [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 8, 2007 08:43 AM

I am exactly one smoot tall. My wife is one smoot and three olives tall.

Posted by: Gorthos [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 8, 2007 09:15 PM