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Addendum Issue# 28 - 12th April 2002
URL: http://www.adden.tr.cx/
Author : unknown
================= Santa Claus - The Scientific Explanation =================
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 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since
Santa doesn't appear to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist
children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million
according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average census rate of
3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. For the sake of
our ensuing calculations, we will assume that 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.
This is to say that for each Christian household with good children,
Santa has 1.2 milliseconds to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down
the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents
under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the
chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house.
Assuming that 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 71.6 million miles,
not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once
every 31 hours.
This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at appx 650 miles per
second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison,
the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe,
moves at a mere 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can
run 15 miles per hour, unless being chased by a pack of wolves.
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 overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more
than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1)
could pull TEN 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
(the boat, not the person).
5. 353,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates enormous
air resistance - thus heating the chain in almost the same fashion
as spacecraft re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. As a result of
this friction, the lead pair of reindeer will absorb around 14.3
QUINTILLION joules of energy per second. Each. In short, they will
burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer
behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The
entire reindeer team will be vaporised within 4.26 milliseconds.
Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500
times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems l
udicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by
4,315,015 pounds of force.
In conclusion - If Santa ever did deliver presents on Christmas
Eve, he's dead now.
Taken from alt.humor
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Addendum Issue# 28 - 12th April 2002
(C) Unknown
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