RE: Santa and RP

From: Brock Hinzmann (
Date: Sat Dec 20 1997 - 00:05:04 EET

The original SLA was once referred to in a magazine article as the Santa
Claus machine. It seemed like magic to some people. It captured their
imagination. We look forward to better technology to make those dreams real.

Santa Claus may seem like magic, magic sleigh, magic reindeer,
but he really just has better technology. We have yet to figure out all
the secrets of the universe.

Seasons Greetings to everyone, whatever magic you believe in.

Brock Hinzmann

Ben Smither wrote:
>Not rp related, but topical!
>Is There a Santa Claus?
>As a result of an overwhelming lack of requests, and with research help
>from that renowned scientific journal, SPY magazine (January, 1990) I am
>pleased to present a scientific inquiry into the existence of Santa
> 1. No known species of reindeer can fly. But there are 300,000 species
>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
>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,
> 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. One presumes there's at least one good child
> 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
> Santa has 1/1000th 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 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
> but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are
> 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 every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.
> 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 on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves
> at a poky 27.4 miles per second. 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
>the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is
>described as overweight.
> On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds.
> Even granting that "flying reindeer" could pull ten times the
> 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.
> 5. 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air
>resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as a
>spacecraft reentering 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 flame
> almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and
> create deafening sonic booms in their wake.
> The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths
> (0.00426s) of a second.
> Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces
> times greater than gravity.
> A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned
> the backof his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.
> In conclusion - If Santa ever did deliver presents on Christmas Eve,
>dead now.
>Departement of Mechanical Engineering

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