No known species of reindeer can fly. But there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not completely rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.
There are two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. But since Santa doesn't appear to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, or 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 1/1000 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 up the chimney, get back into the sleigh, and move onto the next house. Assuming that 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 75.5 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once per 31 hours, plus feeding, 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.
If ever one of the 91.8 million homes with good children were to put out a single chocolate chip cookie and an 8 oz. glass of 2% milk, the total calories would be approximately 225 (100 for the cookie and 125 for the cookie, give or take). Multiplying the number of calories per house by the number of homes (225 x 91.8 x 1,000,000), we get the total number of calories Santa consumes that night, which is 20,655,000,000 calories. To break it down further, 1 pound is equal to 3500 calories. Divide our total number of calories by the number of calories in a pound (20,655,000,000/3500), and we get the number of pounds Santa gains, 5901428.6, which is 2950.7 tons.
The payload on 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 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see above) 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. 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance--this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft re-entering 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 thousanths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.
In conclusion: If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.
Awww, Sarah, you shouldn't have! Thank you for the pics, especially because I have no idea how you did it. I'm not particularly computer savvy.
As I said, I'm leaving, but only this house. We're moving to a smaller house for a year (at the most two) and selling this one in order to climb out of debt. I'd do almost anything to get out of debt; and it's so easy to get into. We'd also be able to pay off some on our cars (maybe even pay Jon's off completely!). There are a couple that we're thinking about, all owned by the church. There's one that I'd prefer over the other, but I'll do whatever it takes.
I have to confess I'm far from the best teacher. Josh (one of the guys I work w/ and the new "head" of the camp) took me aside yesterday and today and had to talk to me. Today, he had to talk to me about being short with the kids and seeming to be stressed. It's not necessarily that I'm stressed, just tired. Also, I've really gotten slack on reading my Bible every day and praying. So I just don't have what it takes to watch these kids. And I know it won't get better until I give my burdens to God. The other reason I'm stressed is because I never get to see my pooker (Jill--long story). But I shouldn't be taking it out on my kids.
I should really tell my canoeing story. We went on Saturday, but only barely. None of our teens except one who's only been there showed up. He came with mother. So we rounded up to kids (Daija, 8, and Caleb, 10), plus me and Jon. We had to have six people at least. Anyway, we went and had a blast. Caleb and Micheal tipped five times (the fifth time was mine and Daija's fault--we tipped them), and me and Miss Suzy (Micheal's mom) tipped once. Anyway, we'd canoe for a while, then slide onto a sand bank and relax, let the kids play in the water, drink a little. At one of these stops, I was going to throw Daija in and gave my glasses to Caleb. She changed her mind, so Caleb went to give back my glasses and our hands didn't connect. The glasses dissapered. That night, we had Ethan and Sadie (whom I love), and we went to P'cola to get new ones. We then had to go to Mobile because my prescription is so strong that they couldn't make it there. So we went to Mobile. But I like these a lot better than my others; the frames are a whole lot cooler. Not that I should have lost my others to get cooler frames, but hey, that's my blessing.
Hey, I finally remembered to use the space button instead of tab to indent my paragraph. I think I'm finally learning.
How is this for bummy? Yesterday, I started an entry, but never finished it and went somewhere else and lost it! So now I'm going to try to finish and save this one before I do anything else.
Because I breastfeed, I'm not always in the most convenient places when Jill is hungry. So I bought a pump. The first time I used it, I got an ounce the night before and an ounce the next morning. I felt discouraged, but at least I'd gotten that much. The next time, I was able to get a/o 2 1/2 ounces at one sitting, but it took a/o a half hour. Today, I got 2 3/4 in a/o ten or fifteen minutes, then after my shower got a/o 2 1/2 more. Today is a great day!
My grandparents got here on Thursday and I've had a ball w/ them. That day, we went to Village Inn <big grin> for lunch. I got what I usually get, a taco salad. But this one was a little special. When I was a/o halfway done, I found a couple carrot shavings. As I continued eating, I found a whole lot more. We figured someone had mixed salad mix in w/ it by mistake. My gramdpa was joking w/ the waitress a/o it. Later, he asked the waitress for the recipe for taco salad. LOL! She had offered me a new one, but it wasn't worth all that trouble, and she was really nice.
Yesterday, we had spaghetti and salad and cake and ice cream for dinner at their place. Mm-mmm good!
Today we're gonig to the outlet mall over in Fort Walton. We probably won't buy anything b/c we have no money, but hey, window shopping is always fun.
We're selling the white car. It's a '93 Crown Vic, and we think we have a buyer. Dotty (one of Jon's managers) had to drive it yesterday, and he told Jon there's a lady who's interested. So we're crossing our fingers. Jon's going to start driving the Chrysler again. I'll be (still) driving the Kia b/c it's safer for Jill than a convertible.
Number four on this CD is "Jupiter - The bringer of Jollity." We used a section from this piece for when we walked down the aisle. I discovered later (after we decided on it) that this section has been used for a song--"I Vow to Thee My Country." Jon has a Charlotte Church CD with her singing it. Also, I had a friend who knew it by that title, and my roommate from Jamacia had sung in every morning in boarding school. But I know it by it's tune, and I love it. That was one of the most special moments in my life! <dreamy sigh>
Anyway, I should probably stop gabbing and fill the dishwasher. Ugh!