Santa Claus: An Engineers Perspective

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by reddragon, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. reddragon

    reddragon Member

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    Santa Claus: An Engineers Perspective


    |. 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 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 1/1,
    000th of a second to park the sleigh, distribute the remaining presents under
    the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney,
    jump into his 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 purpose
    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 that 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
    Ulyssses space probe, moves at a pokey 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 reindeercan 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).

    |V. 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 quintliion 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 per second in .001 seconds, would be subjected to
    centrigugal 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.

    Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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  3. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Wow, someone has a lot of time on their hands.
     
  5. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    our physics teacher will like that one...........
     
  6. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Haha thats great :lol: I bet ol' Gidzewicz will read that to his kids Xmas eve ;)
     
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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  8. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Man, that whole spiel has been around for years and years and years.... Still funny, but the last time I read it, I fell off my pet dinosaur...
     
  9. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I have not seen it till now.
     
  10. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    I haven't either.
     
  11. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    I recall reading once before...still funny though.
     
  12. mosquitoman

    mosquitoman Active Member

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    That's a good one
     
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