Pinsteps. Massachusetts Avenue or Oliver Smoot Bridge, Boston
Places to visit in Кеймбридж. Languages: ru, he, en

Who hasn't heard about the student fraternity? Who hasn't been inspired by the spirit of the academy? Who had not had fun at the night party and hardly absorbed educational material in the morning? If you know someone like this tell him, he did not study and did not live. This student spirit reigns in all educational institutions, and in prestigious and high-quality ones, it is felt even more strongly. Cambridge is a well-known student centre. The prestigious Harvard University and the world's most respected technological university is the MIT Massachusetts Institute of technology. Each of them has student societies called fraternities. It isn't easy to name a student who has made a successful career without mentioning his membership in the Fraternity. Presidents Bush Sr. and Jr., Ronald Reagan, Harry Truman and Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Dwight Eisenhower were members of Fraternity. According to Forbes, 80% of all CEOs of America's largest corporations were members of fraternities. We are starting at a small pier on the Charles River. On some breaks between lessons, students can rent a boat and sail short along the river. On the other bank of the Charles River, we can view the Boston skyline with its Prudential skyscraper, a complicated story. On the right is the Charles River Bridge, an extension of Massachusetts Avenue but better known in Cambridge as the Oliver Smoot Bridge.

There was a case in 1958 when Oliver Smoot was on probation before being admitted to the MIT fraternity. So this week is called Hell Week. His curator Tom O'Connor lived in Boston and crossed the bridge to college. He came up with the idea to measure the length of the bridge with the shortest student, while other newcomers had to help with this. The smallest was Oliver Smoot. His height was 170 centimetres. The length of the bridge was 364.4 of smoots. The margin of error was noted as the length of the ear of Smoot.

The student fun had unexpected consequences. First, by a curious coincidence, Oliver Smoot became the director of the US standards department and later of the global ISO standards system. Secondly, "smoots" become a measure of measurement, and if you open Google Earth, you can choose "smooth" as a measure of length. Thirdly, there were marks on the bridge marked with white for each Smoot and red for ten smoots. In addition, when the bridge was reconstructed in 1987, concrete slabs 1.7 meters long were specially made for it. So that the police reports noticing the exact location of the incident on the bridge do not lose their relevance, and the police can continue to use the usual smoots as milestones of the bridge. With this funny story, let's start our acquaintance with Harvard.

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Evgeny Praisman
Harvard, Cambridge and Watertown.

This short walk through Harvard and Cambridge will introduce us to some of the most iconic sites of a renowned world university. First, we learn how the student fraternity introduced a unit of measurement equal to the height of the director of the Institute of Standards. Next, we will visit the most famous bookstore. Next, we will learn how the fate of the ancient tomes and the death of the Titanic are connected. Finally, let's touch on the history of creating a sewing machine and a telephone and end the trip in the town of Watertown - one of the first colonies of New England, notorious for the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
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