A Horse’s Ass IS Important

Why is the U.S. Standard Railroad Gauge 4 feet, 8.5 inches?


Does the statement, “We’ve always done it that way” ring any bells? The U.S. standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an odd number, don’t you think? Why was that gauge used?

- Because that’s the way they built railroads in England, and English expatriates built 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 used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing. Then 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 (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. The U.S. standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot And bureaucracies live forever…

So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse’s ass came up with it, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses...

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 (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. 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...


QuotaBills
Act like a horse. Be dumb. Just run. - Unknown

Use a little of your horse's sense. - Archie Bunker

A Horse! A Horse! My kingdom for a horse! - William Shakespeare

Life looks better from the back of a horse. - Unknown

Lend a horse, and you may have back his skin. - English Proverb

Few girls are as well shaped as a good horse. - Christopher Morley

A unicorn is just a horse with a point of view. - Ron Sexsmith

The speed of a runaway horse counts for nothing. - Jean Cocteau

The old horse in the stable still yearns to run. - Mongolian Proverb

Marry me and I'll never look at another horse! - Groucho Marx

Paying alimony is like feeding hay to a dead horse. - Groucho Marx

This is really a lovely horse. I once rode her mother. - Ted Walsh

You don't have to have been a horse to be a jockey. - Arigo Saachi

An orator without judgment is a horse without a bridle. - Theophrastus

A rabbit's foot is a poor substitute for horse sense. - Unknown

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight, and bull-strong. - Unknown

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. - English Proverb

The only thing worse than beating a dead horse is betting on one. - Relient K

You can not lead a battle if you think you look silly on a horse. - Napoleon Bonaparte

Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people. - WC Fields

A horse doesn't care how much you know until it knows how much you care. - Tom Smith

You can lead a horse to water but I'd rather ride it to the liquor store. - Wayne Nowazek

In fifty years, he never worked a day. To him, nine to five was odds on a horse. - Archie Bunker

Perspective is to painting what the bridle is to the horse, the rudder to a ship. - Leonardo da Vinci

Take care to sell your horse before he dies. The art of life is passing losses on. - Robert Frost

To God I speak Spanish, to women Italian, to men French, and to my horse - German. - Emperor Charles V

You've got to concentrate on one idea. You can't ride a horse with two asses. - Joe Segal

Half of the failures in life come from pulling one’s horse when he is leaping. - Thomas Hood

And God took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it and created the horse. - Bedouin Legend

One of the worst things that can happen in life is to win a bet on a horse at an early age. - Danny McGoorty

I'd call him a sadistic, hippophilic necrophile, but that would be beating a dead horse. - Woody Allen

It is not best that we should all think alike; it is differences of opinion that make horse races. - Mark Twain

A definite purpose, like blinders on a horse, inevitably narrows its possessor's point of view. - Robert Frost

When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars people said, 'Nah, what's wrong with a horse?' - Elon Musk

Democracy is very different in U.S. and A. from Kazakhstan. In America, woman can vote, but horse cannot! - Borat Sagdiyev

Like the old adverb, "you can lead a gift horse to the water but ya can't look in his mouth." - Archie Bunker

Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success. - Dale Carnegie

A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but, one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still. - Samuel Johnson

Do you ever get halfway through eating a horse and go, 'You know, I'm not as hungry as I thought I was'? - Tim Vinel

When you're young and you fall off a horse, you may break something. When you're my age and you fall off, you splatter. - Roy Rogers


see also   Horse,  Language  &  Travel   Sections
A New “Brand” of Pain - OUCH!!!
Double Horse
Frog To Horse Illusion
Head Path
Horse Hair
Horse Hat
Horse Laughter
Horse Model
Neigh Be Barn With It
Quarter Horse or Quarterhorse?
Tonto’s Horse Coolant
World’s First Horse Power Vehicle

 

Tree Sorrow

OCD Electrician

2021 Hooters Owl and Birds of Prey Calendars

Redneck Shower Head

Wise Moves

Fox Hunting Madness

Emperor Penguins

The Side Effects of Veganism

Stair Railing Electrician

Cold Faucet

Make Womb For Baby

Hardtail Bike

Birth Control Kit

Come-Back Line Of The Year

Duck Gears

Chewing Gum Hazard

Keyboard Seating

Bent Over

Whatchamacallit Car

Gone To Market
Full list of creditsFacebookTwitterDiggStumbleUponDelicious

28-Jan-2021