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Railroad tracks.

The   US  standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used ?

Because that’s the way they built them in Scotland , and Scottish expatriates designed the   US  railroads.

Why did the Scottish build them like that ?

Because the first rail lines were built by the

Same people who built the pre-rail road

Tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.

Why did ‘they’ use that gauge then ?

Because the people who built the tramways

Used the same jigs and tools that they had

Used for building wagons, which used that

Wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing ?

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in   Scotland ,

Because that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads ?

Imperial   Rome built the first long distance

Roads in Europe (including   Scotland ) for their legions. Those roads have been used

Ever since.

And the ruts in the roads ?

Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts,

Which everyone else had to match for fear

Of destroying their wagon wheels..

Since the chariots were made for Imperial   Rome , they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman

War chariot. Bureaucracies live forever….

So the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and wonder ‘What horse’s ass came up with this ?’ , you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses’ asses.)

Now, the twist to the story:

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank.

These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs.

The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their

Factory in   Utah .

The engineers who designed the SRBs

Would have preferred to make them a bit

Fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped

By train from the factory to the launch site.

The railroad line from the factory happens

To run through a tunnel in the mountains, and

The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track,

And the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature

Of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of two horses’ asses. And you thought being a horse’s ass wasn’t important ? Ancient horses’ asses control almost everything.. And current Horses’ Asses in government are controlling everything else.

(contributed by: mohan rao on 06.07.2011)

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