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As a result of an overwhelming lack of requests, and with research help from
that renown scientific journal SPY magazine (January, 1990) - I am pleased to
present the annual scientific inquiry into 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 Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, and
    Buddhist children that reduces the workload to 15% of the total -
    378 million according to the 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,
    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
    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 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, 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. 353,430 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 flames almost
    exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in
    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 ...


Have a Happy Christmas!

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