# Thread: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

1. ## Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

There are approximately two and one-half 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 on to 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 0.7 miles per household; a total trip of 75.6 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks.

This means Santa's sleigh is moving faster than 675 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 pokey 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can (at best) run at the rate of 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 (about three pounds), the sleigh is carrying approximately 570 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that a "flying" reindeer could pull 10 times the normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them -- Santa would need 378,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 38,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

Six hundred thousand 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 absorb 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 mps. in 0.001 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.

3. ## Re: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

Man, that Santa is one bad mofo

4. ## Re: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

Engineers are now on the naughty list.

5. ## Re: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

Santa is magic. Shut up.

6. ## Re: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

Originally Posted by oneupper
Engineers are now on the naughty list.

7. ## Re: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

Next week's expose: "What does the Tooth Fairy want with all of those things?"

8. ## Re: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

And I suppose you'll tell me Santa's sleigh doesn't really run on Christmas spirit and that candy corn isn't one of the four food groups.

9. ## Re: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

Well yeah, there is all that.

But just wait till when your small son/daughter asks you with great big eyes if there is a Santa Claus because Susie on the school bus said there wasn't.

You can explain all the physics and the impossibilities of it or you can say "yes, there is a Santa Claus in each and every one of us".

I very willingly lied through my teeth for many years.

10. ## Re: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

Originally Posted by registerthis
Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

Six hundred thousand 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 absorb 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.
Ahhh, but this explains why Rudolph had a red nose. Does it not?

11. ## Re: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

http://www.newseum.org/yesvirginia/

Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

"VIRGINIA O'HANLON.
"115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET."

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest man that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank GOD! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

12. ## Re: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

Ahhh, but this explains why Rudolph had a red nose. Does it not?
I laughed so hard I almost spit on my keyboard when I read that paragraph.

13. ## Re: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

All the engineering is a bunch of bunk! We all know that Santa is magic, and magic is what gets the job done!

:

14. ## Re: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

I thought it was the booze that helped Santa. And Rudolph.

15. ## Re: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

What about families that celebrate Xmas the night before because they travel on Christmas to the grandparents? And divorced families that celebrate with different parents on different days?

In reality these assumptions are way too general. Too many variables to make calculations on this. That calculation would have been torn apart by any of my engineering professors.

16. ## Re: Engineers Take the Fun Out of Christmas

Originally Posted by Caseyfan21
What about families that celebrate Xmas the night before because they travel on Christmas to the grandparents? And divorced families that celebrate with different parents on different days?
Santa only comes on Christmas Eve. If presents appear under the tree on another day, and the parents claim Santa placed them there, those parents are lying. Bastards.

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