What do you think? Give us your opinion. Anonymous comments allowed.
#36

graknab (12/16/2013) []
In regards to number 3
There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total  378 million according to 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.
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, distribute 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 false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 751/2 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 on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second  a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.
he payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a mediumsized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight.
There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total  378 million according to 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.
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, distribute 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 false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 751/2 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 on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second  a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.
he payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a mediumsized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight.
#37 to #36

graknab (12/16/2013) []
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.
53,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance  this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft reentering 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 flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their 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 250pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force. If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.
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.
53,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance  this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft reentering 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 flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their 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 250pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force. If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.
#82 to #37

thismustbeseen (12/17/2013) []
"Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept)"
WRONG WRONG WRONG. You can't just accept that houses are evenly distributed. People live in cities, and much closer together. I doubt the total travel distance would be anywhere near 75 million miles..
WRONG WRONG WRONG. You can't just accept that houses are evenly distributed. People live in cities, and much closer together. I doubt the total travel distance would be anywhere near 75 million miles..
#128 to #108

thismustbeseen (12/17/2013) []
The Santa story is just too absurd to explain with physics (reminds me of Noah's ark actually)... you just raise a ton more questions at every step... just taking a random examples..
How would Santa land 353,430 Tons of sleigh and reindeer next to each house? There is no surface that could hold up such a mass  the road, the house, the soil around the house would all fail structurally.
Why would Santa become a 'chunky salsa'? Subject to 17,500g's it might be more like a plasma.
... you could not build the sleigh out of any material known to exist...
Anyway, I read this whole thing years ago and I enjoyed it then... I guess a few years of engineering school made me bitter and took the fun out.
How would Santa land 353,430 Tons of sleigh and reindeer next to each house? There is no surface that could hold up such a mass  the road, the house, the soil around the house would all fail structurally.
Why would Santa become a 'chunky salsa'? Subject to 17,500g's it might be more like a plasma.
... you could not build the sleigh out of any material known to exist...
Anyway, I read this whole thing years ago and I enjoyed it then... I guess a few years of engineering school made me bitter and took the fun out.
#131 to #129

thismustbeseen (12/17/2013) []
oh and, just so you know, if you have no clue at all how houses are distributed on earth, and you assume that they are all an equal space from each other, then Santa's total travel distance would actually be the maximum of any kind of distribution... pretty far from any kind of average.
#130 to #129

thismustbeseen (12/17/2013) []
I guess I'm not the bitter one then.
.. but you aren't using average stats. Most of the input values are completely made up.
On the plus side though, if Santa manages to pull of each house in 1 millisecond, he'd go completely unnoticed, that is, if he doesn't kill everyone in the process.
.. but you aren't using average stats. Most of the input values are completely made up.
On the plus side though, if Santa manages to pull of each house in 1 millisecond, he'd go completely unnoticed, that is, if he doesn't kill everyone in the process.