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William HoweDied 19 Sep 1852 at age 49 (born 12 May 1803).American inventor who pioneered in the design of truss bridges for the developing railroads. His first bridge (1838-39) was a light, cheap and substantial structure across the Quaboag River at Warren, Mass., for the Boston and Albany Railroad. His truss patent (3 Aug 1840), was for a frame of top and bottom horizontal timber members, with diagonal wooden braces under compression, tied by vertical wrought-iron rods under tension. By 1842, he had spanned the Connecticut River with a truss bridge. In 1846, he patented a stronger truss. Although offered the job of superintendent of the structural work on a railroad in Russia between St. Petersburg and Moscow, he sent a substitute. His invention brought him fame and fortune, but he died at age 49. He was the uncle of Elias Howe who invented a sewing machine.«
An old farmer got pulled over by a young state trooper for speeding. The trooper, fresh on the job, decided to throw his weight around and started lecturing the farmer about his speed. He did his best to make the farmer feel uncomfortable but eventually got around to writing the ticket. As he wrote, he had to swat at several flies that were buzzing around his head.
"Having some problems with circle flies there, are ya?" asked the farmer.
The trooper stopped writing the ticket and looked up. "Well yeah, if that's what they are," he said. "I never heard of circle flies, though."
"Oh, they're pretty common on farms," said the farmer. "We call 'em circle flies because they're always circling around the back end of a horse."
"I see," said the trooper as he continued writing the ticket. All of a sudden, he stopped and looked up at the farmer. "Hey...wait a minute, are you trying to call me a horse's ass?"
"Oh no, officer," replied the farmer. "I have far too much respect for law enforcement and police officers to even think about calling you a horse's ass."
"Well, that's a good thing," said the trooper as he resumed writing the ticket.
After a long pause, the farmer continued. "Hard to fool them flies, though."