Why 4 FEET 8.5 Inches is Very Important (Fascinating Stuff!)

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Why 4 FEET 8.5 Inches is Very Important (Fascinating Stuff!)

Post by retired2 on Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:29 pm

Fascinating Stuff . . .

<4FEET85I71.jpg>
Railroad Tracks

The U.S. 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 England,
and English expatriates designed the U.S. Railroads.

Why did the English build them like that?
Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad 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 England, 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 England) 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.
In other words, bureaucracies live forever.
So the next time you are handed a specification, procedure, or 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.
<4FEET85I65.jpg>
Now, the twist to the story:

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad,
you will notice that 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 larger,
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 a horse's ass.

And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important!

Now you know, Horses' Asses control almost everything.
Explains a whole lot of stuff, doesn't it?
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Re: Why 4 FEET 8.5 Inches is Very Important (Fascinating Stuff!)

Post by retired2 on Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:29 pm

Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair were invited to speak to a Grade 5 class at a local elementary school.

The illustrious Party Leaders arrived as the class was in the middle of a discussion of words and their meanings.

The teacher asked Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Mulcair to lead the discussion on the word 'tragedy.'

Mr. Trudeau asked, "Class, who can give me an example of a 'tragedy'?"

A little boy stood up and said, "If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a tractor runs him over and kills him, that would be a tragedy."

"No," said Mr. Mulcair, "that would be an accident."

A little girl raised her hand and said, "If a school bus carrying 50 children drove off a cliff, killing everyone, that would be a tragedy."

"I'm afraid not," explained Mr. Trudeau. "That's what we would call a great loss.”

The room went silent. No other child volunteered.

Mr. Mulcair asked, "Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?"

Little Johnny raised his hand. The teacher held her breath.

In a quiet voice Little Johnny said, "If both of you were in a plane that was struck by a 'friendly fire' missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy."

"Fantastic!" exclaimed Mr. Trudeau. "That would be a tragedy."

Mr. Mulcair asked, "Can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?"

"Well," says Little Johnny, "It has to be a tragedy, because it sure as hell wouldn't be a great loss, and you can bet your sweet ass it wouldn't be an accident either!"

The teacher left the room.
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