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Old 05-09-2009, 07:18 PM
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Duck Dodgers Duck Dodgers is offline
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Default A little history/engineering lesson for ya'll

INTERESTING HISTORY LESSON
Railroad track specifications and transportation. Definitely work related.
Be sure to read the final paragraph; your understanding Of it will depend on the earlier part of the content.
_________________________________________

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 built 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 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
inEngland, 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 (and England ) for their
legions. The 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 it?', you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman
army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the
rear ends of two war horses. (Two horse's 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, orSRB's.

The SRB's are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah .The eng who designed the SRB's would have preferred to make
them a bit fatter, but the SRB's 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 SRB's

had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the
railroad track, and the railroad track, asyou 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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Old 05-21-2009, 02:40 PM
FunNmuD FunNmuD is offline
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:41 AM
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