Space Shuttle and the Horses Ass

Did you know…. The gauge for the U.S. railways is 4 feet eight and a half inches. That’s a weird number. It also, as we shall see, has relevance to the now retired U.S. Space Shuttle program and the horses ass. This post was copied from a Facebook page.

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Why was that railway gauge used for train tracks in America? Well, because that‘s the way they built them in England, and English engineers designed the first US railroads.

Why did the English build them like that?
Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the wagon tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.

So, why did ‘they’ use that gauge then?
Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that same wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?
Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break more often on some of the old, long distance roads in England . You see, 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 (including England ) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.

And what about the ruts in the roads?
Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match or run the risk 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 this?’, 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 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 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, and 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? Ancient horse’s asses control almost everything and….

CURRENT Horses Asses are controlling everything else.

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number.

Relics of the Past Destroyed? Is it Islamic Extremists Again?

Back when the Taliban Government under Sudam Hussein was destroying relics and statues of Buddha in Afghanistan that were thousands of years old, historians were horrified. Could you imagine, for example, blowing up the pyramids of Egypt? The Taliban’s actions were reminiscent of the Nazi’s burning books, or of the Spanish burning all of the Mayan civilization books and with it their history.

Although the war between the North and the South was largely about slavery – owning people – it is still part of our history. It may not be the brightest point of our history, much, I suppose, like the Taliban saw their country’s roots in Buddhism and Hinduism (Afghanistan is a word coming from India’s Sanskrit language). They destroyed statues, figures, relics, historical monuments and every remnant of the past that they could get their hands on. Should we do the same, or should we see the bigger historical perspective?

Is it okay to have statues of important figures in the Confederate States of America? They went to war against the United States much like the thirteen colonies declared independence against the King of Britain and wrote the Declaration of Independence. The outcome of the two wars was different, but both were states fighting for independence.

Had the colonies lost their war and America stayed part of the British Empire, would we now be destroying the Declaration of Independence and all evidence of the revolutionary war? Probably not. It would be history nonetheless. Similarly, should we now destroy all evidence there was a war – our deadliest war – now that there is no more a Confederate States of America?

These symbols – the Confederate heroes statues and flag – are seen not just as reminders of our unfortunate past of slavery but in today’s climate as a line drawn by white racists against the rest of us.

Admittedly, the issues are boiling over.

Once again racism rears its ugly head. We see the revival of the KKK and an alt-right president who comes just after the first African American president. The country could not be more divided – except perhaps in civil war.

Historically, we’re in a time of extreme pendulum swinging from left (Clinton) to right (George W.)  to left (Obama) to alt-right (Trump). The swinging is getting wider and wider and different views seem irreconcilable.

Despite the troubled times of the present, would the destruction or removal of these statues be met with blessings from historians four hundred years in the future, or will they see it in the same light as destruction of the Mayans, blowing up of Buddha statues or burning of books?

People will do what people do and this article will not change history in any significant way, however it’s one liberal’s opinion.

Can it be reasonably expected that Earth will survive, regressing to its original state, surviving the human race?

For the first half of Earth’s existence there was hardly any breathable oxygen. There was no life. In the end, Earth will return to a state where there is no life.

So, yes, Earth will out-survive humans, and yes, it may and will return to a state where no living thing can survive on it.

Sooner or later, maybe a billion years from now, the sun will become a red giant. All life on Earth will have ended by then.

Did Amelia Earhart Survive? No.

According to an article in NPR, the recent flurry in the news that Amelia Earhart survived a 1937 plain crash does not match historical records and is an incorrect assumption.

An undated photo in the U.S. National Archives ignited speculation that Amelia Earhart survived a 1937 crash, but the same photo appears in a book published two years before Earhart disappeared.

“A Japanese military history buff has found library records showing a photo supposedly depicting Amelia Earhart survived a crash landing in 1937 was actually published two years before the famous aviator vanished,” so says the NPR article. The photo was the basis of a History Channel show suggesting that Earhart had survived the crash.

Amelia Earhart set out to be the first woman to fly around the world in 1937. Her flight went down somewhere in Asia and she was never heard from again. The mystery of what happened to her remains to this day. It had previously been assumed she crashed and died, but a show on the History Channel challenges that conclusion based on a photograph. In the photo, a woman with her back to the camera is said to be Amelia Earhart.

However, a Japanese blogger has found the same photo featured in the History Channel series was actually taken in 1935, two years earlier, a fact not mentioned in the TV show.

It appears we still don’t know exactly what happened to Amelia, but she wasn’t captured by the Japanese.