[Dixielandjazz] Bah humbug

Russ Guarino russg at redshift.com
Fri Dec 16 12:01:56 PST 2005

After reading John's scientific study,  I conclude there must be more than
one Santa.

Russ Guarino

John Farrell wrote:

> While you are all tooting away at your Yuletide gigs consider this :
> I. 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 religions, this reduces the workload for
> Christmas Night to 15% of the total, or 378 million - according to the
> Population Bureau.
> At an average (census) rate of 3.5
> children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, assuming that
> there is at least one good child in each.
> II. 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 world (which, of course, I know to be false, but will accept
> for the purpose of my 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.
> III. 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 500,000 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. This increases the payload,
> not counting the weight of the sleigh, by another 54,000 tons, or
> roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the
> monarch).
> IV. 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 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 vaporized within 0.00426 seconds, 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 MPS in 0.001 seconds, would be subjected to an
> inertial force 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 puddle of pink goo.
> V. Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.
> Season's Greetings,
> John Farrell
> http://homepages.tesco.net/~stridepiano/midifiles.htm
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