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Old 01-12-2010, 12:11 PM   #1
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Interesting history lesson

> Railroad tracks. This is fascinating.
> 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 use d 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 Romebuilt 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 *** 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, or SRB's. The SRB's are made by Thiokol at
> their factory in Utah . The engineers 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, 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 ***. And you thought being
> a horse's *** wasn't important? Ancient horse's asses control almost
> everything.


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Old 01-12-2010, 03:43 PM   #2
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Re: Interesting history lesson

thats realyy interesting but you must have had a lot of time on your hands to find that bit of information.

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Old 01-12-2010, 05:22 PM   #3
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Re: Interesting history lesson

Snopes says... FALSE! Railroad Gauges and Roman Chariots


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Old 01-12-2010, 05:46 PM   #4
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Re: Interesting history lesson

Originally Posted by sledgehammer View Post
thats realyy interesting but you must have had a lot of time on your hands to find that bit of information.
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:29 PM   #5
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Re: Interesting history lesson

interesting read regardless!

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