25 responses

  1. Mauigirl
    August 3, 2010

    This is brilliant! Fascinating info and great twist at the end!

    • MadMike
      August 3, 2010

      Glad you liked it Mauigirl :-)

  2. Krell
    August 3, 2010

    I f@#$%$ love this post! Where did you come up with this, Mike?

    • MadMike
      August 3, 2010

      I knew you would like this Krell. It is a collaboration between me and a friend of mine which reminds me I need to attribute him.

  3. Mother Hen
    August 3, 2010

    LOL! I love the visual horse ass remainder every few photos! I’m glad someone wrote about butts before the urge hit me again.

  4. The Lawyer
    August 3, 2010

    Great stuff.

  5. fourdinners
    August 3, 2010

    It’s sheeps asses in Yorkshire

  6. Barbara Russo
    August 3, 2010

    Thanks for the history lesson, Mike. Very, very interesting:)

  7. Tim Waters
    August 3, 2010

    I actually knew most of that, I hung in till the end and was surprised by the Missile boosters. Good job!

  8. Harrison Goldsmith
    October 10, 2010


  9. Robert Douglas
    March 10, 2011

    Good one Mike,
    but didn’t you or Holte post this last year?

    I’m not absolutely sure, and I wouldn’t want to appear as a complete horse’s ass.

  10. SagaciousHillbilly
    March 22, 2011
    • disappointed
      May 30, 2011

      While Snopes goes to great lengths to cite several sources to refute the claim, there is also a fair amount of speculation involved, and in their first paragraph, they even admit that it would be better labelled, “True, but for trivial and unremarkable reasons.”

      But all that aside, citing Snopes is not a suitable argument for confirming that someone is either right or wrong. More than once, Snopes has been known to change their story upon uncovering more information. They are no more infallible than anyone else in the world.

  11. newageluddite
    March 31, 2011

    Oh! I get it now, Mike. This is really a metaphor for how established religions develop their traditions by basing them on mythical but plausible(to them)stories borrowed from unattributed sources, then developing them over the years until they form a dogma that lives on in a rigid, unchanging form; much as your rendition is virtually identical to the internet story Snopes quoted, which was making its rounds at least 11 years ago. And, just as the Russian Orthodox Church differs from the Roman Catholic Church, Russian Gauge is wider, at 4’11&5/6″; while the more introspective Japanese have a smaller primary gauge of 42″.

  12. disappointed
    May 30, 2011

    Mike, Mike, Mike – and here I was expecting eight individual and little-known facts. I first heard this story (with the exception of the rocket booster segment) over 30 years ago – in school, of all places. To think they actually used to teach kids things in school… but then people don’t need to know anything anymore – in fact some of the most successful politicians are complete idiots.

    Then I saw the story circulating via faxes (with the rocket booster part) – back before everyone started e-mailing these stories to everyone they knew – back in 1993. So really, you’ve just retold an old story, and added your personal opinion of Republicans. While I won’t dispute that there are a lot of Republicans who are horse’s asses, you also can’t deny that there are just as many Democrats who are just as equine as their Republican counterparts. It’s been all of those asses in Washington – regardless of their party affiliation – who have been digging America into awful deep ruts for decades.

    Now, I’m not going to be a horse’s ass like one of the other commenters, who (repeatedly) accused you of plagiarism (even though they obviously don’t know how to spell it), since I don’t know for a fact that you have ever actually read James Burke’s book. But as a former part of law enforcement, and now especially as a teacher, you really do have an obligation to your readers to either cite a source for your information, or at the very least admit that you don’t know where it originated. I mean, I have notes in my papers that I forgot to write an author on, so even though I know they came from a credible source, I have no recollection of what that source may have been.

    • A Michael J. Scott
      June 7, 2011

      Thanks for the courtesy of your comment “disappointed.” I have added the suspected attribution to the end of this post. The rude commenter was classified as spam and removed. The original post was sent as an attachment via email and the sender said it was sent to him. No one had a clue as to the source. Under almost all circumstances I indicate this in posts, but simply forgot to do so here. Because I hadn’t revisited this particular story in months I had no idea I had a spammer and even less of an idea that someone actually knew the source. Thanks again for not being a “horse’s ass” about this. It was an oversight.

  13. Daniel Bratchell
    June 7, 2011

    Isambard Kingdom Brunel (who built the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship) also built the first major railway in Britain, the Great Western. He used a wider gauge than the other railways because they were more comfortable for passengers but it was impossible to link with other railways so they were reduced to fit. There are still a few bits of track in situ around the place.

    If his wide gauge had been accepted America would have been able to build super rockets.

  14. Uncle B
    July 25, 2011

    ‘Crappier’ toilets, taking a full 16 gallons of fresh drinking water are another example of why America suffers! Imagine, all the Humanure America produces, bio-digested into Methane fuel, as Oslo Norway does to fuel its city buses! imagine, all that top-soil building fertilizer from the sludge! Great fields of hemp, making fiber for paper, clothing, even yielding hemp oil for diesel fuel! Hemp-board for construction, and a new crop even up to three times a year in some locations!
    America is stuck, very deep in the rut created by the ‘Cheap Oil Era’ that provided the ‘Golden Age’ we are now exiting. China explodes with growth, new advances, even LFTR reactor technologies, while America wallows in its former glories, rests firmly on its laurels, and loses badly on the new economic battlefield of the world to Asians!
    Time to examine, re-engineer, re-write the texts,time to make astounding paradigm shifts, already felt by many Americans.

  15. Cage
    August 29, 2011

    This was VERY well done. Congrats. You know. It’s even funnier today with Obama and Democrats mis-leading the way… Thanks! – From an over-educated southern atheist who finds only hypocritical socialist Democrat bigots more repulsive that bombastic predjudiced Republican zealots.

  16. dave
    September 22, 2011

    I call b.s. The shuttle’s SRBs were nearly 13 feet in diameter.

    “The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ asses.”

    This is phrased badly. One track = two H.A. units. One track going one way, another going the other, so there’s four H.A. units. Then there’s space in between the tracks (about 15-20 feet?) Then the space to the sides. My guess is that tunnel is really a good 30 or 40 feet wide. So knock it off with this idiotic story.

    • jenny40
      September 22, 2011

      Hey Dave why in the world do you think the publishers of this site would care about you? Well, they do I suspect, so try to read the whole thing and not attack based on one calculation. Thanks pal.

    • Daniel Bratchell
      September 23, 2011

      It gives me great pleasure , as an Englisman using an old cricket expression, to hit your comment for six.

      First of all the SRBs are a fraction over 12 feet not nearly thirteen. Secondly, if the tunnel was constructed by English (or Irish)expatriates, the distance between the tracks would have been no more than six feet, likewise the distance between the track and the side of the tunnel. Thirdly have you considered that the tunnel has one track only? That means that 4ft 8ins + 6 + 6 = 16ft 8 ins. Also if the tunnel has any curves in it, it would have to be more than 12.17ft wide.

      I suggest you do a little more research before slagging off the publisher.

      • Michael John Scott
        September 23, 2011

        Thanks Daniel :-)

  17. James Smith
    October 13, 2012

    A cute story that has been circulating on the internet for years. Probably long before that, too. The only problem is, it isn’t true. It’s still a cute story, though. I especially like the part about horse’s asses still controlling the government projects. That must is certainly accurate.

  18. A Michael J. Scott
    June 7, 2011

    This has been widely circulated and it was sent to me via email without attribution.

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