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When Moscow liberated itself from the Tartar yoke in 1480, the modern Russian state was born.

Distant from Europe, the new state was cut off from Constantinople which in 1453 had fallen to the Muslim Ottoman Turks.

The Russian Orthodox Church, isolated from the rest of Christianity, developed independently as a national church.

Russia regarded itself as the third and Last Rome, successor to Rome and Constantinople, the two capitals of the Roman Empire which had fallen to barbarians and infidels.

The countries both think BIG, are energetic and inventive.

The people appreciate casual, direct, and an often blunt way of speaking, and both show heartfelt hospitality to visitors from abroad. They became the rulers of Rus, the city-principality of Kiev and forerunner of the Russian state. The Mongols, [Tartars] conquered Moscow in 1234 and Kiev in 1240, and ruled with despotism, invaders unstoppable, making Russians their slaves.

There’s an interesting extension to the story about railroad gauges and horses’ behinds.These remains include the fossils (preserved bones) of humans, food remains, the ruins of buildings, and human artifactsitems such as tools, pottery, and jewelry.From their studies, archaeologists attempt to reconstruct past ways of life.Here is a look into the corporate mind that is very interesting, educational, historical, completely true, and hysterical all at the same time: The US standard railroad gauge (width between the two rails) is That’s an exceedingly odd number. Because that’s the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates. Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the tramways, and that’s the gauge they used. Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons which used that wheel spacing. Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Roman war chariots first formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. 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. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah.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. The first long distance roads in Europe (and England) were built by Imperial Rome for their legions. Since the chariots were made for (or by) Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. 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.

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