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Xiphias Gladius

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Lis was walking across the Mass Ave bridge the other day . . . [Jul. 13th, 2009|08:57 am]
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Lis spent part of Saturday at the Boston Public Library, but decided to walk to MIT to wait for me to pick her up.

As she was crossing the bridge on Mass Ave, the tune of "Seasons of Love" from Rent kept going through her head.

So I finished it up for her. Feel free to take it for filk rooms if you want it.
Three hundred sixty four point four Smoots and an ear
Three hundred sixty four point four lengths plus a smidge
Three hundred sixty four point four Smoots and an ear
How do you measure the length of a bridge?

In car-lengths? In footsteps? In minutes to bike it?
In wind-chill? In heatstroke? In weakness or strength?
Three hundred sixty four point four Smoots and an ear?
How do you measure interminable length?

How about Smoots?
How about Smoots?
How about Smoots?
Measure in Smoots.
A bridge of Smoots.

Three hundred sixty four point four Smoots and an ear
Three hundred sixty four point four lengths of a man
Three hundred sixty four point four Smoots and an ear
Who came up with this furshlugginer plan?

From Cambridge to Boston
Or Boston to Cambridge
Walking over the Charles
To the end of the bridge

Tho' the bridge is named Harvard, that name's not so great
So it's been called the "Smoot Bridge" since 1958.
Remember the Smoots! Remember the Smoots!
Measure in Smoots!
Oliver Smoot! Oliver Smoot!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: lifecollage
2009-07-13 01:06 pm (UTC)

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That is *beyond* awesome. Bravissimo!
[User Picture]From: bercilakslady
2009-07-13 01:07 pm (UTC)

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You scare me, just a little.
[User Picture]From: xiphias
2009-07-13 01:10 pm (UTC)

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Just be glad that all the MIDI files of the song I found were annoying.

'Cause, otherwise, I would have embedded one to play along with the lyrics.
[User Picture]From: bercilakslady
2009-07-13 03:21 pm (UTC)

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You inspired me to look up the distance in Smoots between my home and my father's home.

8,930,071.88 smoots, if you just go from city to city, and ignore both specific addresses and the fact that no one actually travels directly on a great circle from Somerville to Dunedin. :)
[User Picture]From: bikergeek
2009-07-13 05:12 pm (UTC)

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actually you can convert to and from smoots in Google Calculator:

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=1+mile+in+smoots&aq=f&oq=&aqi=&fp=aazfVjAAjGM
[User Picture]From: bercilakslady
2009-07-13 06:27 pm (UTC)

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That's what I used. :)
[User Picture]From: sproutntad
2009-07-13 01:13 pm (UTC)

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YAY!!! That's awesome :)
[User Picture]From: xiphias
2009-07-13 01:48 pm (UTC)

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Did Dad mention to you about when he saw RENT for the first time? I haven't seen RENT yet, so I might get some of this wrong, but he was saying that he was watching it, and there's this part where one of the characters is trying to work out a song, and he plays the theme from the overture of la Boheme.

And Dad says that it wasn't until THAT MOMENT that he realized why everything was feeling familiar. He says he felt kinda dumb for not noticing, what with the female lead being named Mimi in both and so forth.

Me, I think it's just awesome that Dad thinks in music, and that it was the MUSIC that made him think of the opera.
[User Picture]From: happyfunpaul
2009-07-13 02:13 pm (UTC)

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Oh sure, post this the day after a MassFilc meeting.
[User Picture]From: brooksmoses
2009-07-13 09:09 pm (UTC)

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There's an entertaining NPR interview with Oliver Smoot, in which he talks about measuring the bridge, here:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5043041

(I always found it amusing that the career he went on to have included being charman of the American National Standards Institute.)
[User Picture]From: ocschwar
2009-07-14 02:52 pm (UTC)

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Better yet, he went on to chair the International Standards Organization
[User Picture]From: sarianna
2009-07-13 09:49 pm (UTC)

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Ahahahaha. I LOVE it.
...I had a minor breakdown halfway across that bridge once. I used to remember which Smoot marker it was nearest. Alas, I've since forgotten.
[User Picture]From: xiphias
2009-07-13 10:21 pm (UTC)

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I had a minor breakdown halfway across that bridge once.

Emotional or automotive?

'Cause both are perfectly likely on that bridge.
[User Picture]From: sarianna
2009-07-14 12:37 am (UTC)

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True, that! Emotional, as it happened. I was going to a school I hated (GWU) and dating a fucking insane person who was emotionally abusive. Not a good time in my life. Admittedly, I'm pretty sure that either before or after said breakdown I went to the Other Side Café, so not so awful. :D
[User Picture]From: patgreene
2009-07-13 11:40 pm (UTC)

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I.Love.It.

Having walked over that bridge a lot --- from the boyfriend's living space at Senior House, MIT to Back Bay... yeah, it sure does seem interminable at times. Especially in 16 degrees F with significant wind blowing down the Charles. Especially if you stupidly wore wire earrings which are now giving your earlobes frostbite.
[User Picture]From: bercilakslady
2009-07-14 05:36 pm (UTC)

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http://www.universalhub.com/node/26373

Just thought you should know...
[User Picture]From: tiger_spot
2009-07-17 05:35 pm (UTC)

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This is so totally awesome.
[User Picture]From: seventorches
2009-07-18 11:32 pm (UTC)

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Rock on.