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 used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?  Well, if they had tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would have broken on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that was 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.  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 ass 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 horses’ asses.)

Now, the twist to the story:

When you saw a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there were two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank.  These were solid rocket boosters, or SRB’s.

The SRB’s were made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah.  The engineers who designed the SRB’s would have preferred to have made 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 was 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?  Ancient horse’s asses control almost everything… and CURRENT Horses Asses are controlling everything else.


Why, Why, Why …

… do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting weak?

Why do banks charge a fee due to insufficient funds when they already know you’re broke?

Why is it that when someone tells you that there are one billion stars in the universe, you believe them but, if they tell you there is wet paint, you have to touch it to check?

Why do they use sterilized needles for lethal injections?

Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Whose cruel idea was it to put an “s” in the word “lisp”?

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

Why is it that, no matter what color bubble bath you use, the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people run over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the first end you try?

How do those dead bugs get into enclosed light fixtures?

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that’s falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

Why, in winter, do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

Do you ever wonder why you gave me your e-mail address in the first place?


The statistics on sanity say that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends.

If they’re OK, then it’s you.

Now send this on to your friends and make them smile too!

**A day without a smile is like a day without sunshine!

And a day without sunshine is, like, night.**


More than just a picture