Watch Out For Jackson State Football. Who Knew About A Horse’s Ass? Privacy Is In Order. Don’t Go Politics With Ukraine. You Have Nothing Without Trust.
It is a bit difficult to have followed the University of Georgia football program for a very long time and be a big fan of a former Florida State University player. The reality is that this super athlete went on to play for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League and the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball. He had defining moments as both a college and professional athlete, with speed and skills limited to only a few. Though his athletic prowess is well-documented, what Deion Sanders is doing right now with the Jackson State University football program is amazing. He was on 60 Minutes last Sunday night and his dedication, passion, and commitment is far-reaching from what he did on the football field and baseball diamond. Take thirteen minutes out of your day and listen to Deion Sanders.
- I read this short piece last week and found it interesting. Why is the distance between railroad tracks associated with the Roman Empire? Thank you to the person who posted this on LinkedIn.
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?
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.
- Why are Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady’s marital issues top of mind with the media and pundits? These are two people who have children – why does this matter to anyone outside of their family and close friends? With every newsworthy story being generated by the economy, Ukraine, China, Iran, Russia, and the midterms, can we just give these two people a break and leave them to sort out their go-forward – with privacy? Please?
- My friends and associates often ask me, even after numerous explanations, why I abstain from politics. There are a few reasons, led by my feelings that discussing (usually arguing about) politics is energy-draining. I feel stronger about my conviction every day, especially after reading this statement from the House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy. To be very clear, I do not care what side of the political fence McCarthy stands on. For all that matters, he could be from Mars, but this statement reinforces my disdain for anything that revolves around politics: “I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine. They just won’t do it…Ukraine is important, but at the same time it can’t be the only thing they do and it can’t be a blank check.” McCarthy brings the political divide in the U.S. to the forefront with this asinine statement. An ally and sovereign nation is invaded by Russia and McCarthy takes the low road to politics? Disgusting.
- Eat of the Week: Freshly baked corn muffins with honey. Yes, my grandmother taught me how to bake when she would come over for the weekend. It was more than her famous chocolate chip cookies. It was different types of bread and cakes. Baking from scratch is cathartic.
- I have had the privilege of contracting with and listening to many motivational speakers. Motivational speaking is no different than any other type of speaking to a live audience…you have no more than fifteen seconds to initially engage the audience with your demeanor, opening sentence, and appearance. If this fifteen second ‘wake up’ does not happen, my experience tells me the speaker loses the audience. He is a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel and F-16 combat veteran, having flown sixty-five combat missions. He has taken his Air Force experience and persona to find The Wingman Foundation and speak across the world. All of us can use a bit of Lt. Colonel Waldman’s advice and inspiration. This video is three minutes about his experience with trust, and it is presented very well. For more of Lt. Colonel Waldman’s videos, and to contact him: http://www.yourwingman.com