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Check out the new Sales Quotes Page - very inspirational
Does the statement, "We've always done it that way" ring any
bells? ... read to the end...
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
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' 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!
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an
invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a
sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the
dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve
equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a
computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects.”
Robert A. Heinlein
Wisdom has two parts:
1) Having a lot to say;
2) Not saying it.
12 Tips From Workforce to Managers
- Never give me work in the morning. Always wait until 5:00 and then
bring it to me. The challenge of a deadline is refreshing.
- If it's really a "rush job," run in and interrupt me every
minutes to inquire how it's going. That helps.
- Always leave without telling anyone where you're going. It
gives me a chance to be creative when someone asks where you
- If my arms are full of papers, boxes, books or
supplies, don't open the door for me. I need to learn how to
function as a paraplegic and this is good training.
- If you give me more that one job to do, don't tell me which
is the priority. Let me guess.
- Do your best to keep me late. I like the office and really have
nowhere to go or anything to do. Beside, having no life will help
prepare me for making partner.
- If a job I do pleases you, keep it a secret. Leaks like that could
cost me a promotion.
- If you don't like my work, tell everyone. I like myname to be popular
- If you have special instructions for a job, don't write them down.
fact, save them until the job is almost done.
- Never introduce me to the people you're with. When you refer
to them later, my shrewd deduction powers will identify them.
- Be nice to me only when the job I'm doing for you could really
change your life.
- Tell me all your little problems. None of us have any and it's nice
to know someone is less fortunate.