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

Love is metaphysical gravity. - R Buckminster Fuller

Science is forever rewriting itself. - Unknown

The engineering is secondary to the vision. - Cynthia Ozick

There would be no Christmas if there was no Easter. - Gordon B. Hinckley

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

To err is human; to try to prevent recurrence of error is science. - Unknown

Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result. - Oscar Wilde

Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. - Adam Smith

The turkey is living proof that an animal can survive with no intelligence at all. - Harvey D. Comstock

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

The very best proof that something can be done is that someone has already done it. - Bertrand Russell

If my Valentine you won't be,
I'll hang myself on your Christmas tree. - Ernest Hemingway

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

Men are probably nearer the central truth in their superstitions than in their science. - Henry David Thoreau

I built my church on Easter services, Christmas Eve services, and Norman Vincent Peale. - Robert H. Schuller

It is the final proof of God's omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us. - Peter De Vries

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

I admit that mathematical science is a good thing. But excessive devotion to it is a bad thing. - Aldous Huxley

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

The Christmas season has come to mean the period when the public plays Santa Claus to the merchants. - John Andrew Holmes

One has to look out for engineers - they begin with sewing machines and end up with the atomic bomb. - Marcel Pagnol

Might make a real good Christmas present for the uninformed. The book is called 'Taking America Back.' - Paul Harvey

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

I gave my young nephew a book for Christmas. He's spent six months looking for where to put the batteries. - Milton Berle

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

It is mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the center of gravity of the universe. - Thomas Carlyle

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

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

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

The fundamental concept in social science is Power, in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics. - Bertrand Russell

Amazingly when you add life and consciousness to the equation you can actually explain some of the biggest puzzles of science. - Robert Lanza

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

It's a good thing we have gravity or else when birds died they'd just stay right up there. Hunters would be all confused. - Steven Wright

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

There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. - Mark Twain

Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is not more a science than a heap of stones is a house. - Jules Poincare

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

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