THE RANGE" Vol. 62 No.1
WEDNESDAY 1ST JULY 2020
THIS WEEK'S MEETING
A Zoom meeting has been arranged starting at 5pm. Log in details have been circulated separately.
Apologies please to Bernice as soon as possible.
SCRIBE FOR THIS MEETING
SAUSAGE SIZZLE ROSTER
None scheduled at present.
MINUTES OF MEETING OF 17TH JUNE
Our fifth Zoom meeting commenced at 1700h and, after overcoming some technical problems, President Sherryl welcomed 23 members and guest Judith Ross-Smith, Immediate Past President of the Zonta Club of Blackall Range. Unfortunately one member was unable to resolve her problems. The meeting commenced with President Sherryl reporting the death of Past RI President Sir Clem Renouf who was a long time mentor to PDG Michael, wrote the forward to our Club history, and attended our 50th Birthday celebrations to launch the book. As a tribute to Clem we then viewed the Polio Eradication video from the 7.30 Report some years ago.
President Sherryl then introduced IPP Judith of the Zonta Club who updated us on the progress with the combined services club’s Domestic Violence initiative. She thanked us for successfully getting a District Grant and contributing Club funds towards the project and, in answer to a question on Council approval for the erection of signs, mentioned that they had no problem with Brisbane Council who installed all the Zonta signs for them. However, locally they have not as yet been able to get the signs into public toilets so would be contacting our Councillor to seek his assistance. The incoming President of Lions is keen to join Rotary, Zonta, and Quota in this combined community project.
Paulette updated us on the proposed Winter Blues Concert scheduled for 18 July at the Showgrounds. A submission has been made to Council. It is proposed that there will be up to 200 cars in the oval with big screen and radio/phone audio links and room for 100/140 in the hall. Food will be pre-ordered, supplied by the Hotel, and delivered to cars and tables. There will be a bar. Four well known bands including the High School Youth Band are booked to perform but the sound system is still a work in progress. Many helpers will be needed on the day to set up, park cars in designated spaces, man the bar, meet and greet, and clean up afterwards.
PEGreg and PP Alan have been walking the streets canvassing businesses about our Pride of Workmanship Awards scheduled for 29 August at Tranquil Park. Advertisements have also been placed in all local papers. Greg outlined plans for our Changeover which will be a relaxed affair at the Sport and Rec Clubhouse 1200 for 1230 on Sunday 28 June. It will be BYO food and drink but gourmet sausages will be available and there will be music. Maximum attendance will be limited to 40 – 20 inside and 20 outside.
Roly then treated us to his memorable moments – mud bathing in the Dead Sea and Opera in Cathedral Gorge deep in the Bungle Bungles NT – a highlight of the Kimberly trip he recently went on. It does have amazing acoustics and many tourists are moved to sing there.
In general business Lionel informed us that all advertising slots for the 2021 calendar have been filled with many advertisers electing to continue to pay full price. Rick reported that the enclosure at the back of the Food Stall at the Showgrounds has been completed thanks to Malcolm and his four helpers. Bernice reminded us that the annual meeting at the USC would now be by Zoom on 24 June. PE Greg advised that he had attended the District Zoom meeting the previous Friday, the Budget had been approved, and meetings would in future be monthly. Paulette brought up the subject of the Interact Aprons but this needs to be discussed further.
President Sherryl then thanked all attendees, especially the presenters, hoped those members with computer glitches would get them sorted out, and closed the meeting.
8th July Board Meeting
15th July Zoom Club Meeting at 5pm.
29th July Possible vocational activity
28th June Changeover 12:00 for 12:30pm at Sport and Rec Clubhouse.
18th July Winter Blues Concert at Showgrounds - duty rosters circulated.
29th August Pride of Workmanship Awards Dinner
BIRTHDAYS FOR JULY
8th Peter McGuirk 11th Roly Neiper and Jacinta Townsend 20th Beth Wann
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT
Interesting facts about Railroad Tracks & space shuttles
The U.S. 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 designed the U.S. 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 tram ways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that 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 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 (including England) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.
And the ruts in the roads?
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.
In other words, bureaucracies live forever.
So the next time you are handed a specification, procedure, or 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.
Now, the twist to the story:
When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, you will notice that 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 larger, 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!