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Subject: Re: [OT] Santa Is Dead

Re: [OT] Santa Is Dead

From: Paul \ <>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2003 00:54:02 +0000

Quantum mechanics saved santa.

SteamShip wrote:
> Completely Off Topic:
> The Truth About Santa
> There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the
> world.
> However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or
> Buddhist (except maybe in Japan) religions, this reduces the workload for
> Christmas night to about 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the
> Population Reference Bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children
> per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at
> least one good child in each.
> Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different
> time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west
> (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second.
> This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa
> has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the
> chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the
> tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney,
> jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house.
> Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around
> the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the
> purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per
> household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops
> or breaks.
> This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second--3,000 times
> the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made
> vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second,
> and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.
> The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that
> each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the
> sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On
> land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even
> granting that the "flying" reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount,
> the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them--Santa would need
> 360,000 of them.
> This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another
> 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the
> ship, not the monarch). 600,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second
> creates enormous air resistance--this would heat up the reindeer in the
> same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead
> pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second
> each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously,
> exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in
> their wake. The entire reindeer team would be vaporised within 4.26
> thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth
> house on his trip.
> Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from
> a dead stop to 650 m.p.s. in 0.001 seconds, would be subjected to
> acceleration forces of 17,500 g's. A 250 pound Santa (which seems
> ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015
> pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him
> to a quivering blob of pink goo and a few white hairs....
> Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.
> Merry Christmas.

Paul Robins
GnuPG key available through - 0x6BF33DAF
Received on 2003-12-21

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