Santa's Dilemma...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by cslewis, Dec 15, 2005.

1. cslewis macrumors 6502a

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#1
There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist (except maybe in Japan) 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 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 or 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a pokey 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).

A mass of nearly 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 re-entering 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 miles per second in .001 seconds, would be subjected to acceleration forces of 17,000 g's. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim considering all the high calorie snacks he must have consumed over the years) 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, ho, ho, ho....

[Forwarded by relatives]

Joined:
Apr 3, 2004
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#2
I read somewhere that Santa doesn't abide by the laws of physics though. I think it was one of Einstein's theories... Maybe it was Newton...

3. Apple macrumors 6502

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Mar 3, 2005
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Charlotte, NC
#3
Well I can see that your relative's are pretty good with the whole math thing. Oh and your title made me think that you were starting some big saitanic movement in MacRumors.

4. Lacero macrumors 604

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Jan 20, 2005
#4
Seriously, this is very depressing news....

Here's to the Crazy Ones

Staff Member

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Los Angeles
#5
It's lucky (and obvious) that Santa didn't major in physics.

6. w_parietti22 macrumors 68020

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Apr 16, 2005
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Seattle, WA

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Apr 21, 2003
Location:
washington dc
#7
hogwash... ever seen "mircalce on 34th street"? santa's real

8. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

Joined:
Jul 28, 2003
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Citizens Bank Park
#8
Accroding to Forbes, Santa has an infinite amount of money. If I had infinity billion dollars, I'm sure I could afford to develop the technology to complete the task as hand. I could also develop something that would make me immortal. Thus, Santa is real.

9. IndyGopher macrumors 6502a

Joined:
Nov 3, 2001
Location:
Indianapolis, IN
#9
I see this every year, and every year I wonder if someone is going to point out that the count of Christian children is screwed up because there is no adjustment in these numbers for the Christian sects that do not do the whole Santa thing. Just seems to me that whoever had all this free time to compose this could have spent the extra 10 minutes getting the numbers closer to right.

Staff Member

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Sep 19, 2002
Location:
Los Angeles
#10
One of our favorite Saturday Night Live episodes was from a show in 1994 with Alec Baldwin as host (and Beastie Boys as musical guest, if you must know).

It's a skit about a family where the parents, as well as the kids, were good all year because they believe Santa will come if they are good enough but, sadly, Santa has not come again this year.

I hope to see it on a rerun (or Best of Baldwin episode) someday.

11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

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Dec 27, 2002
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Location Location Location
#11
Santa gets one of his bitchez to do some of his dirty work.

12. Seasought macrumors 65816

Joined:
Nov 3, 2005
#12
I think you should pee in their egg nog.

How dare they deny the Santa Claus!

13. Jesus macrumors 6502

#13
You left out that if Santa travels with the evening, he has up to 17 hours and as he travels at the 3000 times speed of light, for him, time stands still for hm, removing time between homes altogether, and if forbes is right, and Santa is infinitley rich, he would develop a space warp powered sleigh, this works in such a way that space time expands behind you, pushing you forwards, and shrinks infront of you, pulling you forwards. There is nothing in the laws of Physics that precludes it. So even if the sleigh is traveling relatively slowly, the point of departure is pushed away, and the destination pulled towards you.
Also, the passage of time does not necessarily flow forwards for all life. It would be possible for time to travel backwards at a quantum level quite easily, and with enough energy, in the regular universe. So even if santa can't be bothered to research the technology to do this, he could stream presents into peoples homes through the black holes that lead to white holes, a kind of one way 'wormhole'. All of this is possible in the laws of physics, and the only problem with us doing this was that we didn't have the money, but as Santa has the money, it's fine.

Jesus

14. Applespider macrumors G4

Joined:
Jan 20, 2004
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looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
#14
Santa borrows Jobs' RDF on Christmas Eve and defies science and logic...

We had great fun last year with some 8 year olds helping them to track santa on the NORAD website; when they saw the video of him going around the Colliseum, it was time for them to go to bed before he arrived in the UK

15. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

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Sep 13, 2003
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Its not so much where you are as when you are.
#15
Everyone knows that Santa has been a franchise since the early 11th century. The "Real" santa is retired to Costa Rica and has been enjoying tropical climates and net access.

16. cslewis thread starter macrumors 6502a

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40º27.8''N, 75º42.8''W
#16
That's really neat! What were you really tracking, though?

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#17

So does he have a Mac? Does he post at MacRumors? Is he Lacero?

18. Applespider macrumors G4

Joined:
Jan 20, 2004
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looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
#18
We really were tracking Santa.

Norad have a site, www.noradsanta.org, which tracks where the sleigh is in the world, just in case those nasty automatic radar defenses shoot him down.

19. mouchoir macrumors 6502a

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Apr 29, 2004
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London, UK
#19
Just aswell that Santa is omnipotent then eh! Or is that omnipresent...?

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Jul 23, 2004
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Dallas
21. jdechko macrumors 68040

Joined:
Jul 1, 2004
#21
But we all know that the Event Horizon travelled through space by pulling space together and effectively making two points in space the same point. Now those of us who saw the movie know that it went through hell (literally) to accomplish the task. But as Santa is inherently good, he effectively cancels out the evil while passing through. Or something like that.

22. AmigoMac macrumors 68020

Joined:
Aug 5, 2003
Location:
l'Allemagne
#22
Changes...

Take the chinese kids out of the total amount, the government doesn't let them believe in Santa, (Why should he bother?), minus south-hemisphere countries, Santa knows how hot the weather is by that time of the year and with his clothes doesn't pay off to go under the American border, mexican kids believe in christ (no santa), rest of south-america is in the same position and santa believers are only at the high social levels but again, because of the weather, no Santa's trip to the region, muslim countries are of course out of the route, it means that there are still some countries to count on, but different religions, this reduce the initial amount ad makes Santa's *world* trip a lot easier... Santa rocks!