The URL is the following:
Mike Cole wrote:
> everyone-- to appreciate ana's message, you need to scroll down and
> click on
> the url near the bottom.
> really worth the trouble!!
> On 7/15/06, Ana Marjanovic-Shane <email@example.com> wrote:
>> This is very amusing, but after you have read and enjoyed this, try this
>> Begin forwarded message:
>> > *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.
>> > *
>> > *Okay! ??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 United States 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 army*
>> > *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, or SRBs.
>> > The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory at 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'
>> > *
>> > *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!*
-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Ana Marjanovic'-Shane,Ph.D.
151 W. Tulpehocken St.
Philadelphia, PA 19144
Home office: (215) 843-2909
Mobile: (267) 334-2905
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