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Holistic Haven - Discussion Board
An active forum of a good sized number of people discussing new age, spiritual and psychic things. Very welcoming to newcomers.

Innis-Dubh/Black Isle
At the Black Isle, we are ordinary folk, coming together to share and learn... Studying various spiritual paths from a realistic and honest standpoint. Some of us act as healers channeling healing energy. If this is the sort of website of spiritual pursuit that you are looking for, then welcome!

Rainbow Crystal Mountain Chat
Spiritual Chat Room - Be considerate of the various beliefs and you'll have fun.

Seeing Beyond Radio
Metaphysical Radio with Bonnie Coleen in the San Francisco Bay Area on KEST 1450 AM

Spirit and Soul, the UK based psychic and tarot community
We're an internet gathering of like-minded individuals who are interested in a wide variety of topics: mediumship, tarot, other forms of divination, spirituality, meditation and the paranormal. We offer a range of facilities where you can share thoughts and find out more that include chat rooms, message boards, information articles, links to other resources on the net and access to free readings. Membership is open to everyone over the age of 18, and it's all free.

Spirit Board - Spiritual Forum
SpiritBoard is an extensive spiritual forum with a wide variety of categories and boards. Non-denominational spiritual discussion (not affiliated with any church - any belief welcome). A spiritual community with over four years history and many active users. Offering spiritual guidance ("Guide Angels"), channeled spiritual readings, spiritual bookstore, spiritual directory, spiritual healing.

The Ascension Network
A spiritual and new age web community. We have dedicated over 8 years to providing free resources for enlightenment and growth.

The Spiritual Network - The Spiritual Community Center
The Spiritual Network is an open community for discussion and research concerning religion and spirituality.

The Well
Welcome to a gathering place that's like no other remarkably uninhibited, intelligent, and iconoclastic. For twenty years, The WELL has been a literate watering hole for thinkers from all walks of life. The remarkable people who frequent this place include all kinds of artists, programmers, journalists, educators, activists and others who make a point of returning frequently to engage in discussion, swap information, express their convictions and greet their friends in the famous online forums known as Conferences.

Worldwide Mediums and Psychics - Psychic Chat
Free chat rooms and message forums where you can discuss and share all your development needs and experiences. Our chat and reading rooms are free to all registered members. You will find that the site is a very friendly and support oriented place.

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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.

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?

The first long distance roads in Europe (and England) were built by Imperial Rome for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts?

Roman war chariots first made the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels and wagons. Since the chariots were made for, or by Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

Thus, we have the answer to the original question. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman war chariot.

Specifications and bureaucracies live forever. So, the next time you are handed a specification and wonder which horse's rear came up with it, you may be exactly right. Because the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war-horses.

There's an interesting extension to the story about railroad gauges and horses' behinds.

When we 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. Thiokol makes the RBs at their factory at Utah.

The engineers who designed the SRBs might 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 had 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 is about as wide as two horses' posteriors.

So, the major design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined by the width of a Horse's um, er...!!


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