Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to one and all :)

Merry Christmas!

I believe Christmas was coming of my Saviour...not Santa. I spent many years an unbeliever and if I'm going to be honest I struggle greatly with my faith. But this year, once I focused on what Christmas truly represented, everything else seemed to fall into place. All the other consumerism and silliness that Christmas brings didn't seem to matter in more. Jesus spent the first night on this earth in something that was meant to fed animals!! Can you imagine putting your precious newborn baby to bed on a bed of straw?!. It reminds me of a quote I read as a teenager :
While Rome was making history
Jesus arrived
He pitched his fleshy tent on a manger in a stable
The world didn't even notice.

Christmas day for me represents a promise for fulfilled and a sacrifice made for love. I am only now really paying attention to the stories of Jesus's life while he was here on earth- stories that I tuned out in Sunday school. There is a beauty and magnificence there that I had never noticed. So that is why today is special for me. It's saved me for being absolutely miserable! 

Christmas Day has dawned beautiful and sunny in South Africa, my family sat out on the patio and had a breakfast of almond crescents (baked by yours truly) and mince pies- believe me that happens ONCE a year. Even though I had said that there were going to be no Christmas presents because of lack of finance, it turned out that each of us had squirrelled away enough dosh to buy each other a decent Christmas gift, a beach bag complete with flip flops from my parents, shower gel from either my Mom or my sister ( they are still trying to settle one) One of the most surprising gifts came from my sister:

My sister has often laughed at my plans to go to Japan once I graduate that's why this gift was such a surprise...and such a great gift:). And rather expensive :/ What was really funny was the card (that I had to fish out of the trash thanks to neat- freak sister)

Anyway I have the merry job of preparing Christmas dinner tonight so I need to go. Wishing everyone in the blogsphere and cyberspace a happy Christmas.

Here are some pretty amazing Santa facts, I read this out to my sister one year and having gotten a very analytical gene from our father we both found it interesting and absolutely cracked up at the end. See for yourself.

Hardcore Santa facts:
  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 religions, this reduces the work load for Christmas night to 15% of the total 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau ). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per house hold, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each
  2. Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of earth, assuming he travels from east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that for each 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.
  3. Assuming that each of these 108 million stops  is evenly distributed around the earth (which of course is false, but we will accept for purposes of our calculations) , we are now talking about 0.78 miles  per  household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not including bathroom stops or breaks. This means Santa's sleigh is moving at about 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 conventional reindeer can run ( at best )  15 miles per hour.
  4. The payload of the  sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself . Even granting that "flying" reindeer can pull 10 times the normal 300 pounds- job can't be done with 8 or 9 of them- Santa would need 360 000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the wight of the sleigh, another 54 000 tons- roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth ( the ship, not the monarch)
  5. 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 earths atmosphere. The lead reindeer pair- Rudolph- would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake.
The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.62 thousandths of a second, or right about time Santa reaches his 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 .001 seconds would be subject 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 forces, 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.     


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