>Something I got today
>> There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the
>> world.
>> However, since Santa does not usually visit children of Muslim, Hindu,
>> Jewish or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas
>> night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the population
>> reference bureau).
>>
>> At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes to
>> 108 million homes presuming there is at least one good child in each.
>> Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the
>> different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming east to
>> west (which seems logical).
>>
>> This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that for each
>> Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a
>> second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the
>> stocking, distribute the remaining remaining presents under the tree,
>> eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney,
>> jump into the sleigh and get onto the next
>> house.
>>
>> Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed
>> around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept
>> for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78
>> miles per household -a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting
>> bathroom stops or breaks.
>>
>> This means 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, and moves at a poky 27.4 miles per
>> second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.
>>
>> The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming
>> that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized LEGO set (two
>> pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting
>> Santa himself.
>>
>> On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even
>> granting that the "flying" reindeer can pull 10 times the normal amount,
>> the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them---Santa would need
>> 360,000 of them.
>>
>> This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh,
>> another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen
>> Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).
>>
>> 600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air
>> resistance- this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a
>> spacecraft reentering the earth's atmosphere.
>>
>> The lead pair of reindeer would adsorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy
>> per second each.
>>
>> In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing
>> the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their
>> wake.
>>
>> The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a
>> second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his
>> trip.
>>
>> Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating
>> from a dead stop to 650 m.p.s. in .001 seconds, would be subjected to
>> acceleration forces of 17,000 g's.
>>
>> A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the
>> back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his
>> bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.
>>
>> Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.
>>
>> Merry Christmas!!
>>
>>
>> Stephen Pearson
>>
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