Santa Claus or Santa Clause?

Mathematical proof of Non-Existence

[Looks like this engineer had nothing better to do with his time, so he came up with a mathematical proof for the non-existence of 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 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 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 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 1/1000th 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 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 every 31 hours, plus feeding 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 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.

5) 353,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts 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 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 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 Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he’s dead now.

Santa's Guh-nomes - Archie Bunker

Engineering with fabric. - Jean Muir

Politics is an inexact science. - Otto von Bismarck

Science is forever rewriting itself. - Unknown

The engineering is secondary to the vision. - Cynthia Ozick

A turkey never voted for an early Christmas. - Unknown

Maintenance is as much art as it is science. - Unknown

Gravity isn't easy, but it's the law. - Unknown

Marketing isn't magic. There is a science to it. - Dan Zarrella

When I die, I'm leaving my body to science fiction. - Steven Wright

A science which hesitates to forget its founders is lost. - Alfred North Whitehead

All exact science is dominated by the idea of approximation. - Bertrand Russell

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year. - Victor Borge

Mathematics is the science which uses easy words for hard ideas. - James Roy Newman

Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don't know. - Bertrand Russell

What counts in science is to be not so much the first as the last. - Erwin Chargaff

Tenderness is greater proof of love than the most passionate of vows. - Marlene Dietrich

I have the proof, but there isn't room to write it in the margin. - Unknown

It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover. - Jules Henri Poincare

The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking. - Albert Einstein

Science becomes dangerous only when it imagines that it has reached its goal. - George Bernard Shaw

I know that this defies the law of gravity, but, you see, I never studied law. - Bugs Bunny

Mail your packages early, so the Post Office can lose them in time for Christmas. - Johnny Carson

The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live. - George Carlin

Scientists discover the world that exists; engineers create the world that never was. - Theodore von Karman

There's a big overlap with the people you meet at the fantasy and science fiction cons. - Fred Saberhagen

Science is angling in the mud - angling for immortality and for anything else that may turn up. - Aldous Huxley

Truth in science can be defined as the working hypothesis best suited to open the way to the next better one. - Konrad Lorenz

In the sick room, ten cents' worth of human understanding equals ten dollars' worth of medical science. - Martin H. Fischer

Art is made to disturb. Science reassures. There is only one valuable thin in art: the thing you cannot explain. - Georges Braque

Statistics: the only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions. - Evan Esar

Mathematics is the only science where one never knows what one is talking about nor whether what is said is true. - Bertrand Russell

A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together. - Garrison Keillor

All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike - and yet it is the most precious thing we have. - Albert Einstein

So long as the mother, ignorance, lives, it is not safe for science, the offspring, to divulge the hidden cause of things. - Johannes Kepler

Science may have found a cure for most evils, but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. - Helen Keller

I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and I think, "Well, that's not going to happen." - Unknown

Science is built of facts the way a house is built of bricks; but an accumulation of facts is no more science than a pile of bricks is a house. - Henri Poincare

To the optimist, the glass is half-full. To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be. - Unknown

Whenever you are embarrassed, just remember that in 1999 NASA destroyed a $655 Million project because the engineers mistook kilograms and pounds. - Unknown

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