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
Trojan Horse: A phony pony - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

I should like to be a horse. - Queen Elizabeth II

Nag: A woman with no horse sense - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

Reindeer: A horse with a hat rack - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

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

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

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

Stabilized: A horse that's been locked in - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

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

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

Centaur: A man with a horse where his pants ought to be - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

Absent-Mindedness: Searching for the horse you are riding - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

Horse Manure: 50p per pre-packed bag. 20p - do it your self. - Unknown

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

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

Don't worry about the horse being blind, just load the wagon. - John Madden

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

Riding: The art of keeping a horse between yourself and the ground - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

All music is folk music. I ain't never heard no horse sing a song. - Louis Armstrong

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

Dude Ranch: Where a guy who is rich enough to drive a Cadillac rides a horse - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse. - Adlai Stevenson

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

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

The one thing I do not want to be called is First Lady. It sounds like a saddle horse. - Jacqueline Kennedy

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

Thank you, horseradish, for being neither a radish nor a horse. What you are is a liar food. - Jimmy Fallon

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

Horse: 1. An oatsmobile; 2. An animal that cannot say yes, only neigh; 3. An animal that goes to bed with its shoes on. - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

Tension: 1. The price you pay for being a race horse instead of a plow horse; 2. What the sergeant shouts to his soldiers. - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

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

We will never have to tell our horse that we are sad, happy, confident, angry or relaxed. He already knows - long before we do. - Marjike de Jong


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

 

MAGA King

Baby Formula

When Gas Costs Too Much

Shoemobile

Salmon Street

Pandemic Treaty

People Of The River

SUV Sinkhole

Hope

Blonde's 710 Cover

Dragon Playground

Redneck Boat Ramp

Jack-A-Lope vs Jack-E-Lope

Urleen

Carry On or Carrion?

Selfie Pilot

Monarch Butterflies - Starting a Monarchy

Air Couch

Europe Road Trip

Thongthing Special
Full list of creditsFacebookTwitterDiggStumbleUponDelicious

20-May-2022