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Re: SANTA CLAUS: An Engineer's Perspective

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Dear Mr. Jones,

Obviously you are not aware of the technical achievements that have been developed at Santa, Inc.  Since, as an engineer, and the father of a 2.7 year old, I found it necessary to  take upon my self the task to verify that Santa, Inc. had the necessary technology to overcome the obvious problems associated with  Newtonian Mechanics.   I don't want to disappoint my daughter.

John Cannon Jones wrote:

> SANTA CLAUS:  An Engineer's Perspective
> I.  There are approximately two billion children (person under 18) in the world.  However, since Santa does not 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 that there is at least one good child in each.

Your conclusion is accurate, however, you neglected to include the adults which still believe.  This brings the overall total of to just over 400 million people.  The number of houses visited is within a reasonable statistics error and is accepted without comment.

> II.  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.  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 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 around 650 miles per second - 3000 times the speed of sound.  For purposes of
> comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

You estimate would be accurate if all of the travel was done within the confines of this time continuum. Santa, Inc. has developed space-time warp equipment using mechanisms developed by the Miracle Thinktank Consortium (MTC).  As yet, due to economic reasons, the system has been be marketed to only Santa, Inc.  Production of retail models is currently scheduled on or around the year 2156.  The main problem seems to be that some adults fail to believe, which comprises the primary energy source, making routine use a impossibility.  Only during the Christmas season is there enough goodwill generated.  In real time deliveries are begun immediatly following the each Christmas.  The energy from each Christmas event year is stockpiled in the Aurora Borealis.  Currently, there is adequate resources for the next four (4) years..

> III.  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).

Santa, Inc. uses a mass inversion system which store the artifacts (toys) as energy.  This system was also designed and developed by MTC.  Efficiency is at about 98%.   MTC is currently considering patent infringment suites on the recent advance in Quantum reflection since all of this technology was patented by MTC approximately 500 year ago with the Miracle Patent Office.

> IV.  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 reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, 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 0.001 seconds, would be subjected to centrifugal 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.

Please see the responce concerning the MTC mass-inverter and the MTC dimensional transfer mechanism.

> V.  Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.

Santa is disappointed to hear this.  He would like you to known that he is alive and well.  His current hobbies, this decade, are roller blading, hockey, and deep sea fishing. he much prefers this to his hobbies last decade of disco dancing and mood rings.

I hope that this information helps in your analysis.  Those of us who have worked with MTC believe that Newtonian Mechanics can always be avoided with enough hope, good will, and a dash of technology.

MTC, however, is still struggling with the various liability issues and have reached the conclusion that if the lawyers can't serve the subpoenas then MTC doesn't need to worry.  Which is the main reason that the Patent Infringment suite will most likely not be pursured.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Arvel Williams, P.E.
Yes, Katya, there is a Santa Claus.