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The Space Shuttle is designed around a horse backside - 5th August 2007

Reading Time 1 minute 50 seconds    FOR A PODCAST OF THIS THOUGHT CLICK HERE 


This is a great story which was told to me by my esteemed colleague Graham Brent

The Space shuttle has two large solid rocket boosters (SRBs)
The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah.
The engineers would have preferred to make the SRBís a little bit fatter, but the SRBs are shipped by train

The railway track from the factory runs through a tunnel and the SRBs have to fit through this tunnel.
The tunnel was designed to allow a train though
The size of the train is based on the track gauge
The track gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches
This gauge was used because the English expatriates built the US Railroads.  
The first English railway lines were built by the same people, who built the English tramways,
The tramways used the same jigs and tools used for building wagons
Wagons used this spacing because this was the spacing of the wheel ruts on the road.
The ruts were initially made by Roman chariots wheels
The chariot size was based on the width of two horse behinds

 Recommended Audio CD's
By Peter Thompson
 Think & Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill
 Good to Great - Jim Collins
 Psychology of Achievement - Brian Tracy
 Discover Your Strengths - M Buckingham
 7 Habits of Highly Effective- Stephen Covey
 Rich Dads Secrets - Robert Kiyosaki
 Maverick Mindset - John Elliot
 Vocal Power - Roger Love
 Quantum Memory - Dominic O'Brien
 Getting Things Done - David Allen
A Short History of Nearly Everything- B Bryson


 Recommended Books

 Good to Great - Jim Collins 
  7 Habits - Stephen Covey
  Discover you Strengths - M Buckingham 
  Richard Branson's Auto biography
  Brilliant Memory - Dominic O'Brien
  Think & Grow Rich -  Napoleon Hill 
  Freakonomics - Stephen Levitt
 Getting Things Done - David Allen
 The Machine That Changed the World
 Watching the English - Kate Fox
A Short History of Nearly Everything- B Bryson



Back to the Future

The Mexican Boatman & "Harvard MBA".

The World in Perspective

Acres of Diamonds

First impressions in 30s

The Two Minute Rule

 Noughts and Crosses

 Think and Grow Rich

 3 Blind Men & An Elephant
Someone Everyone Anyone No-one
12 Questions to High Performance
The Bee Can't Fly but No-one told the bee
The Maverick Mindset of Baseball
Three Men and a Boat
Two Cannibals & a Beautiful Girl
The Meaning of Life  
What was your name again?
Two Frogs
Is Common Sense Possible
An Architects Vision
Does Edison Turn Your Light On


Other books and CDs I've mentioned can be found here

There are loads of great audio programs at Nightingale Conant's ,web site here,

Therefore the restriction to the space shuttles solid rockets is based on the width of two roman horseís behinds

That aged old statement of, "We've always done it like that" started to alarm in my head

So I pondered, all those rules, specification, ways of working etc that have been around for ever, do I know where they came from, and do I think it might be time to change a few of them.

The answer for me is yes, what about you?

Till next week,
Look forward to what you will achieve, and maybe those achievements may come a little quicker

David Gardner