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Did You Know?

Did You Know? offers a quick look at the broad scope of activities underway within the ANSI Federation, highlighting the people and initiatives making waves in standardization.

Mikhail Gorbachev Opens ISO Forum on Standards for Vehicle of the Future
Former President of the Soviet Union and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mikhail Gorbachev was among the distinguished guests speaking at a forum of automotive industry leaders organized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) on December 2 in Geneva.

Pointing out that 95 percent of today's cars run on oil, Mr. Gorbachev encouraged the car industry to continue their efforts to make cars lighter, more aerodynamic, and environmentally friendly.

"Now, it is time to demonstrate environmental responsibility," stated Mr. Gorbachev. "We must all embrace the notion that we are only nature's guests, rather than its managers or masters. If we understand this, then we will find our way toward a new development model that will take shape in conjunction with nature."

Read ISO's press release for more information.

"Smoot" Enters the American Heritage Dictionary
A legendary fraternity stunt from 1958 is making new history.

The "Smoot" unit of measurement is among the latest new words included in fifth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary. According to the dictionary entry, a "smoot" is "a unit of measurement equal to five feet, seven inches, often cited when discussing the inherent arbitrariness of measurement units; after Oliver Smoot whose height was used as the basis of the measurement."

A former chairman of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Board of Directors and past ISO president, Oliver Smoot landed his first fame during a 1958 fraternity stunt at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Then a freshman, Mr. Smoot was selected among the aspirants to the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity to be the living measure of Harvard Bridge, lending his name—and body—to the "smoot." Using him as a ruler, the task required the others to count the number of "smoots" that made up the bridge. The answer: 364.4 smoots, plus one ear. The markers remain to this day. Mr. Smoot is also the inspiration for a book by Robert Tavernor, Smoot's Ear: The Measure of Humanity.

ICC Adopts Model Building Code Training for High School Students
A pilot program that began in Maryland to prepare high school students for careers in code enforcement and the construction trades is expanding nationally with the support of ANSI member and accredited standards developer the International Code Council. The Code Council is backing code training for high school students and encouraging technical and vocational high schools to offer similar programs.

The High School Technical Training Program teaches students the importance of building codes in constructing safe and sustainable structures. Its curriculum will cover four major construction fields contained in the ICC International Residential Code: building, electrical, plumbing and mechanical. The program increases students' proficiency in building codes while they work toward becoming an ICC Certified Code Professional.

For more information about the High School Technical Training Program, contact Sara Yerkes, ICC senior vice president for government relations, at [email protected], or read the ICC press release.

PGMA Approved as an ANSI ASD
ANSI's Executive Standards Council (ExSC) has approved the Portable Generator Manufacturers Association (PGMA), a full ANSI organizational member, as an ANSI accredited standards developer (ASD) under its proposed operating procedures for documenting consensus on proposed American National Standards, effective December 2, 2011. For additional information, please contact Joseph Harding, technical director, Portable Generator Manufacturers Association (216.241.7333 ext. 3008; [email protected]).

ASPE Applies for Accreditation as an ANSI ASD
The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), a new full organizational member, has submitted an application for accreditation as an ANSI ASD. ASPE's proposed scope of activity would cover plumbing system design related to safety, health, design, construction, maintenance, performance or operation.

To obtain a copy of ASPE's proposed operating procedures, or to offer comments, contact ASPE's Gretchen Pienta (847.296.0002; [email protected]). Comments should be submitted by January 9, 2012, with a copy to Jim Thompson, the recording secretary of ANSI's Executive Standards Council, at [email protected].

To view or download a copy of ASPE's proposed operating procedures, click here.

AOPA Applies for Accreditation as an ANSI ASD
ANSI member the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) has submitted an application for accreditation as an ANSI ASD, with the proposed scope of standards activity related to the design, fabrication, and classification of prostheses and orthoses.

To obtain a copy of AOPA's proposed operating procedures, or to offer comments, contact AOPA's Joseph McTernan (571.431.0811; [email protected]). Please submit your comments to AOPA by January 9, 2012, with a copy to [email protected].

ASPE's proposed operating procedures are available here.


Jana Zabinski

Director, Communications and Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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