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Author Topic: The importance of being a horse's arse  (Read 23422 times)

Offline JimBob

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« on: 21/03/2007 05:30:09 »
I had this mailed to me by a friend who is an engineer. I found it gratifying that I can justify my irascibility.

We've Always Done It That Way!

Does the statement, "We've always done it that way" ring any bells? The
US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5
inches.

That is 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'-8.5" is derived from the
original specifications for an Imperial Rome war chariot. And
Bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's
arse 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, or SRBs.

The SRBs are made by Thikol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who
designed SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter to carry a
bigger fuel payload, 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's
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 arse.

And you thought being a horse's arse wasn't important!


 

Offline neilep

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #1 on: 21/03/2007 12:40:19 »
Well there you go !!

Now there's no reason why when I compare the face of my wifey to a horses arse that she should be upset !!..Naaaay !!..she should feel complimented !!
 

Offline Karen W.

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #2 on: 21/03/2007 15:09:04 »
That is a very interesting story.. Nice bit of history!! LOL
 

Offline JimBob

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #3 on: 21/03/2007 22:59:03 »
Well there you go !!

Now there's no reason why when I compare the face of my wifey to a horses arse that she should be upset !!..Naaaay !!..she should feel complimented !!

Naaaay?

Me think that as you speak you sound like the horse and appendage referenced!
 

Offline neilep

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #4 on: 22/03/2007 00:27:17 »
Well there you go !!

Now there's no reason why when I compare the face of my wifey to a horses arse that she should be upset !!..Naaaay !!..she should feel complimented !!

Naaaay?

Me think that as you speak you sound like the horse and appendage referenced!

I would respond , but I have a sore throat and am feeling a little hoarse !!
 

paul.fr

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #5 on: 22/03/2007 00:40:02 »
Well there you go !!

Now there's no reason why when I compare the face of my wifey to a horses arse that she should be upset !!..Naaaay !!..she should feel complimented !!

Naaaay?

Me think that as you speak you sound like the horse and appendage referenced!

I would respond , but I have a sore throat and am feeling a little hoarse !!

would a lozenge spur you on?
 

Offline neilep

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #6 on: 22/03/2007 01:44:03 »
Well there you go !!

Now there's no reason why when I compare the face of my wifey to a horses arse that she should be upset !!..Naaaay !!..she should feel complimented !!

Naaaay?

Me think that as you speak you sound like the horse and appendage referenced!

I would respond , but I have a sore throat and am feeling a little hoarse !!

would a lozenge spur you on?

I suppose I'd have to suck it rather than bolt it down !
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #7 on: 22/03/2007 08:59:11 »
Donkey Oatie tilted at windmills  :D
 

Offline JimBob

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #8 on: 22/03/2007 14:37:38 »
And Sans Pants ah helped tote the gear on the back side of his mount.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #9 on: 22/03/2007 21:18:39 »
" would respond , but I have a sore throat and am feeling a little hoarse !! "
Have you tried sucking a fishermans friend?
http://www.fishermansfriend.com/
 

Offline WylieE

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #10 on: 22/03/2007 23:49:10 »
Donkey Oatie tilted at windmills  :D
And Sans Pants ah helped tote the gear on the back side of his mount.
And they did it all for the love of Dull Sin, eh? Ah! :-\
 

Offline JimBob

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #11 on: 23/03/2007 04:13:54 »
Donkey Oatie tilted at windmills  :D
And Sans Pants ah helped tote the gear on the back side of his mount.
And they did it all for the love of Dull Sin, eh? Ah! :-\



What a lance in the side that would be if the wind were up, Mr. C.B. De Mill. It would really be an impossible dream. [:X]
« Last Edit: 23/03/2007 04:15:30 by JimBob »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #12 on: 24/03/2007 16:13:16 »
Why would you want to put the wind up Cecil B DeMille?
 

Offline neilep

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #13 on: 24/03/2007 22:22:01 »
This is one of the nicest horses arses I have ever seen !

 

Offline Karen W.

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #14 on: 25/03/2007 00:25:28 »
Yes, it is rather voluptuous and beautiful her tail end!! LOL Pink ribbons and All! Very cute!
 

Offline BillJx

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #15 on: 28/03/2007 04:45:46 »
The Roman Chariot story is a good one, and I like the take on it, but it's probably not historically true.  It should be though.
http://www.snopes.com/history/american/gauge.htm

Sorry.  Historical accuracy didn't matter to Shakespeare, so who am I to spoil a good story?
 

Offline JimBob

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #16 on: 28/03/2007 04:51:15 »
I am not convinced that it isn't true. Measured Roman ruts were the same as a railroad gague in YOUR article. How does this refute the story?
 

Offline ukmicky

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #17 on: 15/05/2007 23:45:27 »
Didnt Brunel and Stephenson  battle it out as to who's gauge was the best but even though brunels broad gauge was superior they for some reason went with stephensons narrow gauge.

Or something like that.
« Last Edit: 16/05/2007 00:00:20 by ukmicky »
 

paul.fr

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #18 on: 16/05/2007 00:21:24 »
Didnt Brunel and Stephenson  battle it out as to who's gauge was the best but even though brunels broad gauge was superior they for some reason went with stephensons narrow gauge.

Or something like that.
wasn't it because one oe the designs was too big for the existing track and nobody wanted the hassle or cost of changing the track.
 

another_someone

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #19 on: 16/05/2007 00:31:36 »
I am not convinced that it isn't true. Measured Roman ruts were the same as a railroad gague in YOUR article. How does this refute the story?


Ofcourse, the interesting question is whether the wider gauges used in Russian railways are the same width as a troika :)
 

Offline ukmicky

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #20 on: 16/05/2007 00:32:49 »
Not sure, i know brunnel built the first track from wales to london so even tnough he lost the battle the track still had to be changed. I think stephenson was also building one somewhere up north at the same time . In any case i think brunnels would have been the best option to go with over the long term due to the width of the carrages and i believe the ride was supposed to be superior to stephensons as well.
 

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The importance of being a horse's arse
« Reply #20 on: 16/05/2007 00:32:49 »

 

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