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Railroad tracks

This is fascinating. Be sure to read the final paragraph;
your understanding of it will depend on the earlier part of the

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 England , and English expatriates designed the
US 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. 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 a horse's ass. And you
thought being a horse's ass wasn't important? Ancient horse's
asses control almost everything and.........
CURRENT Horses Asses are controlling everything else​
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