Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Smoot is a fun word to say. It reminds me of Fred Smoot, moot points, and smote (also a fun word to say). Little did I know that a Smoot is an actual unit of measurement!

A guy by the name of Oliver Smoot was a happy-go-lucky MIT student pledging to Lambda Chi Alpha in 1958. His frat brothers wanted to measure the length of the Harvard Bridge, but measuring by feet is far too mundane for MIT students. Instead, they had him lay down again and again until they had the length of the bridge mapped out - in little 5'7'' sections, give or take an ear.

By this exhaustive technique, they discovered that the bridge is 364.4 Smoots long.

I find this fascinating because MIT still celebrates Smoot Day, when the bridge was undergoing renovations the contractors scored the concrete at 1 Smoot intervals, and Oliver Smoot has even been invited back for a plaque installing ceremony. Even more exciting, though, was to learn that Google will actually calculate things by Smoots.

I'm exactly 0.955223881 Smoots long!


artillerywifecq said...

thank you oh wise and wonderful one. How many smoots is "she" up "her" ass?

shrtstormtrooper said...

I can't be sure of the exact length, but I can tell you that it's up to where the sun don't shine at all!