[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.
Engineering with fabric. - Jean Muir
Science is organized knowledge. - Herbert Spencer
Mistakes are proof that you are trying. - Unknown
Science is the record of dead religions. - Oscar Wilde
Logic is neither science nor an art, but a dodge. - Benjamin Jowett
Death and taxes are unsolved engineering problems. - Romana Machado
Halloween starts earlier and earlier, just like Christmas. - Robert Englund
I'm walking backwards for Christmas Across the Irish Sea. - Spike Milligan
Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year. - Victor Borge
Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don't know. - Bertrand Russell
We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming. - Wernher von Braun
I am a great fan of science, but I cannot do a quadratic equation. - Terry Pratchett
I have the proof, but there isn't room to write it in the margin. - Unknown
The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking. - Albert Einstein
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 turkey is living proof that an animal can survive with no intelligence at all. - Harvey D. Comstock
The very best proof that something can be done is that someone has already done it. - Bertrand Russell
Science is the ascertainment of facts and the refusal to regard facts as permanent. - Unknown
I built my church on Easter services, Christmas Eve services, and Norman Vincent Peale. - Robert H. Schuller
Genetic Engineering: A recent attempt to formalize what farmers have been doing all along. - Unknown
Mathematics is the cheapest science. All one needs for mathematics is a pencil and a paper. - George Polya
I admit that mathematical science is a good thing. But excessive devotion to it is a bad thing. - Aldous Huxley
The Bermuda Triangle got tired of warm weather. It moved to Alaska. Now Santa Claus is missing. - Steven Wright
Science is angling in the mud - angling for immortality and for anything else that may turn up. - Aldous Huxley
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a family all wrapped up in each other. - Bill Vaughan
Mathematics is the only science where one never knows what one is talking about nor whether what is said is true. - Bertrand Russell
All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike - and yet it is the most precious thing we have. - Albert Einstein
I remember the time I was kidnapped and they sent back a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof. - Rodney Dangerfield
I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again. - Oscar Wilde
The Swedish engineer who invented the zip fastener made a greater intellectual leap than many scientists do in a lifetime. - Martin Rees
Did you read about Starbucks? No more "Merry Christmas" at Starbucks. No more. Maybe we should boycott Starbucks. - Donald Trump
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 stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph. - Shirley Temple
Science will never be able to reduce the value of a sunset to arithmetic. Nor can it reduce friendship or statesmanship to a formula. - Louis Orr
There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. - Mark Twain
Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines. - Bertrand Russell
When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer. - Corrie Ten Boom
They submitted bills, and we paid them. Then we checked the engineering reports and found out that we had paid them far more than we owed them. - Donald Trump
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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