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Guru

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Santa Clause from an Engineering Perspective

12/05/2007 11:55 AM

I'm sure many of you have seen this before, but in the spirit of the season, enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

There are approximately two billion children in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the population reference bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, this comes to 108 million homes, presuming 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 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 stocking, 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 or 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 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 can pull 10 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). A mass of nearly 600,000 tons traveling 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 adsorb 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 vaporized 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 miles/second in .001 seconds, would be subjected to acceleration forces of 17,000 g's. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim considering all the high-calorie snacks he must have consumed over the years) 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. Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.

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#1

Re: Santa Clause from an Engineering Perspective

12/05/2007 12:19 PM

And if each house with a good child leaves Santa a glass of port or other alcoholic beverage, after the first few towns, Santa would not give a rats ass if he finished or not! He would probably be stuck in a chimney shouting 'where's dose blury angels when you need them! BBBBUUURRRPPPPPPPP'

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#2

Re: Santa Clause from an Engineering Perspective

12/05/2007 12:28 PM
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#3

Re: Santa Clause from an Engineering Perspective

12/05/2007 1:06 PM

<<Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.

Good news, Santa is well and fit, in spite of his detractors.

Some things have to be clarified, and that can be done only by me, one of the few who can put apart little and ring fingers from the others.

Santa is exactly 292 Lb with his gear on. When problems started and an increase in speed was necessary, we adopted what the earth people call alien technology, and namelly, based on the conservation of energy law that governs the individual (a concept that will start to be understood in the Earth year 2051). An individual that can increase his speed, will have his mass reduced, accordingly. Thus, both problems of speed and effects of acceleration have been solved a long time ago. Still don't get it? Look at those UFO's how nicely change direction, instanteniously, 180 degrees.

Now, for the large number of children (and not only them) to be served in a short time. Acording to the ubicuity principle (known to some physicist after AD 2066) Santa can be present, at a time, in many places. Something has not YET been explain. The number of places is a integer power of 2 but larger than 1024. Unless the number of people to be served is a power of 2, the efficiency is slightly decressed for that „odd" number group.

It seems that it was a human at the begining of the xxi century, Bill Gates, who claimed that he invented multithreded and multitasked calculating machines' souls. The courts have not decided, yet, on the subject.

HAPPY CHRISTMASS!

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Santa Clause from an Engineering Perspective

12/05/2007 1:25 PM
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#5

Re: Santa Clause from an Engineering Perspective

12/05/2007 2:12 PM

CHICO: Hey, wait, wait. What does this say here, this thing here?

GROUCHO: Oh, that? Oh, that's the usual clause, that's in every contract. That just says, uh, it says, uh, if any of the parties participating in this contract are shown not to be in their right mind, the entire agreement is automatically nullified.

CHICO: Well, I don't know...

GROUCHO: It's all right. That's, that's in every contract. That's, that's what they call a sanity clause.

CHICO: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! You can't fool me. There ain't no Sanity Clause!

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Santa Clause from an Engineering Perspective

12/05/2007 2:16 PM

LOL

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#7

Re: Santa Clause from an Engineering Perspective

12/06/2007 3:01 AM

Hi to all of you...

I have another theory... Maybe Santa has found the way to make "jumps" backwards and forwards in the time continuity... So, after Christmas, he could "jump" into Christmas eve again and again, doing his job again and again... ...From our (human's) perspective we see numerous Santa's clones doing their job (but, obviously, all these Santas are the Santa himself)... In this way Santa is not in a hurry... He is doing his job, enjoy his cookies and says "ho, ho, ho" in a relaxed way... ... And no paradoxes at all... ...

Merry Christmas...

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#8

Re: Santa Clause from an Engineering Perspective

12/06/2007 8:35 AM

What the? . . Why would you even? . . . Is there something wrong with you? Are you a Communist? Are you actually trying to snuff out wonder and imagination in little kids? First, you tell little kids that magic works, and then you let them spend the rest of their lives trying to work it out. Some of these kids grow up to be engineers!

I can't believe this guy tried to kill Santa.

-A-

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#9

Re: Santa Clause from an Engineering Perspective

12/06/2007 9:22 AM

Dear CSM

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#10

Re: Santa Clause from an Engineering Perspective

12/06/2007 10:40 AM

Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.

Gheez!! Thats bad news. I was always under the impression that the he had a large cadre of helpers.. I hope they stay on the job.


Merry Christmas and Blessings to all the CR4 blogger households.

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#11

Re: Santa Clause from an Engineering Perspective

12/07/2007 1:49 PM

Now you know why they call it the miracle of christmas.

Also,

It is one of the very few things about which almost all adults will spontaneously lie to almost all young children about even when they don't know the child.

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#12

Re: Santa Clause from an Engineering Perspective

12/10/2007 9:13 AM

The four stages of Man:

  1. You believe in Santa Claus
  2. You don't believe in Santa Claus
  3. You behave like Santa Claus
  4. You look like Santa Claus..........
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