I came across this in a newsgroup and I have to say that it has spoilt my Christmas

.....

There are approximately two thousand million 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 that 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 he travels

east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per

second.

Therefore, 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 stockings, 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 0.78

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, moves

at a mere 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 could pull ten

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 re-entering 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 team of reindeer would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths

of a second, or at about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his

trip. Not that it would matter 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 17,500 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 ever did exist, he's dead now .

(Unashamedly copied from a post in uk.radio amateur)

Happy Christmas to all,

Steve

Merry Christmas

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