Before Mapquest, fans depended on Kevin Standlee’s feet.
In 1993, people going to the Worldcon wanted to know how far their hotels were from the
Having made the admission, Kevin Standlee realized the only other thing he could do was personally pace off routes from the hotels to the Moscone entrance. He counted his steps and published the results under the title “ConFrancisco – Step by Step.” Fandom learned, for example, that the Parc 55 was 968 Standlees from the convention center, a Standlee being the length of a stride by a man 6’3″ tall, or about a meter. The Standlee became part of the fannish lexicon, and Leah Zeldes Smith wrote that the term deserved to be in the next Fancyclopedia.
Not very many fans have been immortalized by having their names attached to a unit of measurement. Two others I can name off the top of my head are both NESFAns.
According to the NESFA Bureau of Standards, a “Drew” is “the unit of displacement needed to move Drew Whyte from
Another time, Mark Olson told a NESFA business meeting that new bookshelf extensions had been installed and in the process people had coined a new measurement — “the Paula.” The new shelves were three Paulas high.
You would expect such ideas to appeal to NESFAns, having the example before them of MIT’s Oliver Smoot, a fraternity member who was laid end to end (wasn’t that every frat boy’s dream in 1963?) to measure the length of the