Fun_People Archive
1 Jun
The Oboe, China, & MIT's Harvard Bridge

Date: Thu,  1 Jun 95 20:07:31 PDT
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: The Oboe, China, & MIT's Harvard Bridge

Forwarded-by: <>

An oboe, it is clearly understood,
is an ill wind that no one blows good
	--Danny Kaye


"China has got to be the worst place to go an a hunger strike, because
you don't eat, and then an hour later, you don't eat again!"


Los Angeles Times, June 6:

How long is the Harvard Bridge, which links MIT with Boston?  Exactly 364.4
Smoots plus one ear.  One Smoot is 5 feet 7 inches, the height of Oliver
Reed Smoot Jr., whose body was used as a unit of measure when Lambda Chi
Alpha pledges were ordered to determine the length of the bridge in 1958.

As the pledges manhandled Smoot end-to-end like a ruler, they marked each
length with chalk.  The chalk marks were later replaced with painted marks
on the sidewalk.  These were threatened by a reconstruction project until
the city decided that Smoot had "become part of the folklore" of the bridge.
 So the new sidewalk was scored at 5-foot 7-inch intervals instead of the usual
six feet.

Why was Smoot chosen to be immortalized in concrete?  Smoot himself answered
this question at the dedication of the new sidewalk. "Out of the 14 pledges,
I had the distinction of being the shortest," he said.

[=] © 1995 Peter Langston []