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# Engineers Take on Santa Claus

1. No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT, there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not completely rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

2. There are two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total or 918 million according to the Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household that's 378 million homes. One presumes there is at least one good child in each.

3. Santa has 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 822.6 visits per second. That is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/100th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks that have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and get to the next house. Assuming each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which of course we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about 78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once very 31 hours, plus feeding etc. This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3000 times the speed of sound. For the purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second while a conventional reindeer can run, tops 15 miles per hour.

4. The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as over-weight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that 'flying reindeer' (see point 1) could pull 10 times the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload, not even counting the weight of the sleigh to 353,430 tons. Again for comparison this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth II.

5. 353,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates an enormous air resistance, this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short they will burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and creating a deafening sonic boom in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

In conclusion, if ever Santa DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.

Despite this, I wish you a Merry Christmas & a Prosperous New Year!

[ December 29, 2002, 08:20 AM: Message edited by: Bonni ]
So what are you saying Bonni? That there is no Santa Claus?? :
Quote:
 Originally posted by Bonni:378 million according to the Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household that's 918 million homes.
I get < 378 million houses do it all again please [img]smile.gif[/img]
HA! Transposed numbers are responsible for ruination of the myth! Fixed, per disski.....
Quote:
 Originally posted by Bonni: 2. There are two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total or 918 million according to the Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household that's 378 million homes. One presumes there is at least one good child in each.
Looks like the math goes astray very early. 15% of 2 billion should produce a workload of 300 million. 3.5 children per household reduces the load to 85.7 million houses to visit. Continuing the math produces 768 visits per second. Surprisingly close to the originally posted result. Seems there must be more arithmetic errors in there...

But then I'm an engineer...
Surely it also depends on the definition of a billion as the European definition is, I believe, different to the US's billion. I believe that one is a million million and the other is a thousand million.
Bearing in mind that I can't be arsed to work out the difference in the Maths I think it is safe to say that this will make a difference and smacks of a conspiracy to keep the identity of Santa in some doubt, something which I am unwilling to believe given all the facts.
Namely that I keep getting presents every year in a stocking and no-one knows how they get there. Explain that then....
Hello stranger!
Loke, haven't seen you around here in a while.

Whose stockings were they?
What were you doing in her room?
sorry, change that last one...
What weren't you doing in her room?
Do you remember where you left your clothes/keys that night?

S
Hi there. There's a reason you haven't seen me around for a while. I have been running around the globe picking up very bizarre diseases with horrible consequences that you really don't want to hear about. Been skiing a few times and have been trying to get a job so have been trying to stop wasting time on the net (not that this site is a waste of time obviously!!)

Right apart from that.... I was at home with my parents, the stocking's were not mine I can assure you that, I didn't take them off anyone and I was basically a good boy.
The night has never been repeated and I have never been so proud to say NO - I didn't think I had that sort of self control!
I now have all the aforementioned clothing and household appliances returned to me from the lady in question.
Quote:
 Originally posted by Loke:Surely it also depends on the definition of a billion as the European definition is, I believe, different to the US's billion. I believe that one is a million million and the other is a thousand million.
Not unless the European definition has changed since I left Switzerland 5 years ago. A billion should still be 1.0X10^9.
I was under the impression that the US billion was a million million i.e 1 x 10(12) but I agree that the European billion is to the power 9, if I am wrong however I am quite willing to back down and run away looking over my shoulder with a scared hunted look. On the other hand it still reeks of a conspiracy to do children out of their childhood.

Makes me sick.
Loke,
You are the weakest link (I think)
Goodbye.

The US billion has been a thousand million (1x10^9) for a long, long time.
The UK billion USED to be a million million (1x10^12), but is now the same as the US one.
I guess it's down to nomenclature. You can add a one, a ten or a hundred to the start of a number, so why not a thousand? I mean the only thing is to avoid having the same word twice.
what I mean is:
1 = one
10 = ten
100 = ONE hundred
1,000 = ONE thousand
10,000 = TEN thousand (not ONE HUNDRED HUNDRED)
100,000 = ONE HUNDRED thousand
1,000,000 = ONE million (not ONE THOUSAND THOUSAND)
So, I think it would be better to continue this, i.e. put the word million after each of the above, until you reach its duplicate, then you get a billion (1x10^12). This also means that a trillion would be a billion billion (1x10^24), not a million billion (1x10^18), or a thousand billion (1x10^15). Whereas, currently a trillion is one thousand thousand million, i.e. 1x10^12.

Have I lost anyone yet???
Cause I'm lost!

S
Well, I think it was fair that I got voted off as the weakest link as I did have a very bad round.
The person I'd like to see get voted of next is WTFH as he is getting on my nerves and is still there through a mixture of luck and bribes.

(end of interview)
Loke:
Looks, Charm and Intelligence.
That's the secret. If you had one of these. Just one, then you'd be a third of the way to being me.

(at this point I would like to add for all those listening on the World Service that at no point did I say they had to be GOOD looks, POSITIVE charm, or anything above GWB levels of intelligence)

S
What the?

Looks and charm?!??!!? WTFH, calling WTFH come back to earth.
I will attempt to learn from you, perhaps not quite what you think you are trying to teach me but I will definitely learn!!
Remember, sir,
I have met you! I mean, look at the beauties we had at the table that night, and who did you go home with? (BTW, what was HH's friends names again?)

As I said in the parenthesis, I didn't say anything about good looks, etc. Neither did I suggest that your next girlfriend (who has a pulse) will be called Esmerelda. Now crawl back up the bell tower.

And as for charm, I've seen more charm on a Ratners bracelet. Some people ooze charm. You just ooze.

What resort are you going to suck the fun out of this season? Just tell me you're not going to Utah in 2 weeks.

S
I have no intention of giving you the names of those poor girls that you were opressing all night - they would never forgive me.

My present girlfriend is quite enough for me thanks and when I went home I went alone thank you very much which considering the girl that you went home with (and the state in which you went AND the fact that you don't even remember going home or even going home with a girl) I think I have chosen the better option there to be honest!

At least I live in a elevated and illuminated position as opposed to you that lives in the back of some cave with the ooze that comes out of my bell tower. And stop lying about having seen a Ratners bracelet, you saw one in a magazine that blew in on a breeze and that is not the same thing at all.

This season I have attacked the resorts of Belle Plagne and Val d'Isere and later on I think I may go and abuse the resort of Verbier for a couple of weeks that is if I can sell this bloody flat for some cash and not for the 3 rats and a piece of rock that you were offering last week. Of course I am not going to Utah I don't "work" as hard as you so can't afford to go there!! Now scuttle back into your ogre-surrounded, effluent-filled, rat-infested hole there's a good fool.
I'd like to take you to court following that last post. I'm sure that it's not true.

OK, having re-read it, I have found the slander in it. I must argue: it is not, as you so eloquently put it "effluent-filled". I had some of the effluent taken away recently. There is still room for another few litres of your speech.

S
Quote:
 Originally posted by Loke:There's a reason you haven't seen me around for a while. I have been running around the globe picking up very bizarre diseases with horrible consequences that you really don't want to hear about.
So you did see Fox on this tour, but didn't actually speak with him. Interesting...
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