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Daily Question # 360 October 13, 2009

Posted by Chandrakant in Uncategorized.
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If  the  chap  on  the  ground  repeated  whatever  he’s  doing  about  365  times , what  would  he  have  done ? What  came  out  of   this  seemingly  stupid  incident ?

360

The  snap  shows  Oliver  Smoot  { who  was  then  a  student  at  MIT  and  later  became  the Chairman  of  the  American  National  Standards  Institute ( ANSI ) from  2001  to  2002  and  President  of  the  International  Organisation  for  Standardisation ( ISO ) from 2003 to 2004 } measuring  the  length  of  the  Harvard  Bridge  in  1958  using  his  height/length  as  the  standard  unit . To  implement  his  use  as  a  measuring  unit, Oliver  Smoot  repeatedly  lay  down  on  the  bridge, let  his  companions  mark  his  new  position  in  chalk  or  paint, and  then  got  up  again  and  repeated  the  act . The  bridge’s  length  was  measured  to  be  364.4  Smoots (620.1 m) plus  or  minus  one  ear, with  the “plus or minus” intended  to  express  uncertainty  of  measurement . Smoot  thus  became  a  unit  of  length  and  is  equal  to  five  feet  and  seven  inches .

Cracked  by  Jyothi , Ohmygodtheykilledkenny , Shrey  Goyal , Abhijeet , Arun  Hiregange , Rithwik ,Kamal  Rathi , Raghuvansh ( via  Facebook ) and  CATD .

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1. jo - October 13, 2009

then he wud have measured the length of the harvard bridge. the unit (unofficial) of length SMOOT arose from this incident,named after the chap hu was then an MIT student.

2. Ohmygodtheykilledkenny - October 14, 2009

Oliver Smoot’s height was used to measure the length of the Harvard Bridge

3. shreyg - October 14, 2009

Measured the entire length of Harvard Bridge in “Smoots”, a non-standard unit of length named after the chairman of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and president of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

4. abhijeet - October 14, 2009

Measuring the length of the Harvard bridge using the height of Oliver Smoot as a unit.One smoot is equal to Oliver Smoot’s height at the time of the prank (five feet and seven inches ~1.70 m)The bridge’s length was measured to be 364.4 smoots (620.1 m) plus or minus one ear, with the “plus or minus” intended to express uncertainty of measurement.

To implement his use as a measuring unit, Oliver Smoot repeatedly lay down on the bridge, let his companions mark his new position in chalk or paint, and then got up again. Eventually, he tired from all this exercise and was carried thereafter by the fraternity brothers to each new position.

People walking across the bridge today can see painted markings indicating how many smoots there are from where the sidewalk begins on the Boston river bank. The marks are repainted each semester by the incoming associate member class (similar to pledge class) of Lambda Chi Alpha

5. Arun Hiregange - October 14, 2009

‘Smoot’ as the official unit of length of the Harvard Bridge. The bridge measured precisely 364.4 Smoots, plus one ear.

6. Rithwik - October 14, 2009

Oliver R. Smoot who, fittingly, is a former president of the ISO. The unit is used to measure the length of the Harvard Bridge. Canonically, and originally, in 1958 when Smoot was a Lambda Chi Alpha pledge at MIT (class of 1962), the bridge was measured to be 364.4 smoots, plus or minus one ear, using Mr. Smoot himself as a ruler. At the time, Smoot was 5 feet, 7 inches, or 170 cm, tall.Google Earth and Google Calculator includes the smoot as a unit of measurement.

7. cheezy - October 14, 2009

answer?:)
interesting question..

8. Kamal Rathi - October 15, 2009

Smoot?

9. CATD - October 15, 2009

The smoot is a nonstandard unit of length created as part of an MIT fraternity prank. It is named after an MIT fraternity pledge at Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, Oliver R. Smoot (class of 1962), who in October, 1958 was rolled head over heels by his fraternity brothers to measure the length of the Harvard Bridge. The smoot is equal to his height (five feet and seven inches — 1.70 m), and the bridge’s length was measured to be “364.4 smoots plus one ear”. Everyone walking across the bridge today sees painted markings indicating how many smoots they are from the Boston-side river bank. The marks are repainted each year by the incoming pledge class of Lambda Chi Alpha. Markings typically appear every 10 smoots, but additional marks appear at other numbers in between. For example, the 70-smoot mark is omitted in favor of a mark for 69. The 182.2-smoot mark is accompanied by the words “Halfway to Hell” and an arrow pointing towards MIT. The markings have become well-accepted by the public, to the point that they are sometimes used by police to indicate the location of accidents along the bridge.

This was only the beginning of Smoot’s career in standards and measurement; he later became Chairman of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and President of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Got it by sheer searching skills. So don’t think i should get a point for this 😛

10. CATD - October 15, 2009

Oops.. my answer came a little late :p 😛


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