Rescued from the scrapheap   18 comments

“Tis the season to be jolly. Tra-la-la-la-la – la la la la”

Just like to wish all you dudes in the blogosphere a totally awesome Christmas and bodacious New Year (been watching too much TV already)

I have my own jolly news to celebrate as well. I have found myself a new job starting in January to save me from becoming just another statistic of the global recession. I’ll be moving from phone maker to phone service provider as I start work for Orange (or Everything Everywhere to give them their “re-branded” name!).

To celebrate this rather special event here’s a couple of things to make you smile. The first one is a very old Internet gag from a few years back. I suspect most of you have already seen it many times but it still makes me smile:

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 (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. This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000 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 poky 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 reentering 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, or 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 . 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 did exist, he’s dead now.

And finally what I consider to be THE funniest cartoon of all time – if this doesn’t make you chuckle then there is no hope for you:

Have a good one folks!


Posted December 23, 2011 by surfnslide in Other

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18 responses to “Rescued from the scrapheap

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  1. Now you know why Santa needs all that Christmas magic!

    Good news about the job.

    Great cartoon, it doesn’t matter how many times you see them, they always make you smile.

    Merry Christmas Andy


    • I should have added to this with the amount of food and drink he has to consume on his journey 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed the cartoon – brilliantly written piece of genius

      Have a great Xmas and New Year Geoff


  2. Ah…my head hurts with all those stats! 😯 I will pass on the news of Santa’s demise to the Bleating Sheep (now age 25 going on 2). She will be devastated – however my bank balance will be overjoyed!

    Congratulations on the new job Andy! 😀 Have a very Merry Christmas and an incredibly Happy New Year on that news!

    Didn’t realise you’d been posting recently- must be something wrong with my subscription to your blog – will go check.


    Where the Fatdog Walks
    • Thanks Ken, I’ve not been out much in the past few weeks so only a couple of posts. Got some nice photos of my trip up to the Pennines last weekend so I’ll be putting those up shortly with a few words

      Best of season to you and all the hard-working (or should I say hard-eating) staff at FBC 🙂


  3. Congratulations on your new job Great news that. Been there myself, losing my job. Fortunately it turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me, and in the end I did an MBO on the next company I worked for !! Every cloud has a silver lining.

    Happy Christmas to you and your family.


    • Thanks Mark. I work in ICT so it’s just part of life, happened to me a few times now. It’s always lead to something better and hopefully it has again this time. Nokia to their credit have been very supportive and very generous with their redundancy so I’m leaving with a very nice new year present 🙂

      Best wishes for Xmas to you and your family and hope Santa has some new gear in his Sleigh for you (if the above proves to be false!)


  4. That’s great news Andy. You can relax into Christmas now.


  5. great news about the job Andy….
    Droopy was always one of my fave cartoons as a kid. Good to see it again.
    Hope you and family have a great christmas… 😀


    • Thanks David – I’m setting up as contractor so I now have my own limited company – exciting times!

      I may post some more classic cartoons and funnies over xmas – I was always a fan of Deputy Dawg as well – big kid I am 🙂

      Happy Xmas to you and yours as well


  6. It’s a cracker that one isn’t it? Have you given up on finding that ‘Lion cartoon’?
    As you know I’m very chuffed about your job, if only because you’ll be at work instead of out on the hills on blue sky days making me jealous!
    Have a cracking Crimbo – pass on our best wishes to all the family. (Our kids are practically giddy at this point – if the excitement goes up another notch I think at least one of them might explode.)


    • Still no sign of the elusive Lion cartoon – the search goes on

      Our kids are relatively calm, L is watching a film and D is watching me prep the turkey – always fun to have your hand up a birds bottom – fnarr, fnarr 🙂

      A stonking xmas to you and the posse – if I hear a small bang between now and xmas morning I’ll know what it is


  7. Have a cracking Christmas Andy.


  8. Hope you enjoy your new job Andy and Christmas just past.A few years ago I thought about a job as a sky installer for a change but those guys seemed to travel round houses even faster than Santa does. Good cartoon choice.


    • Thanks Bob – best seasonal wishes to you too. Glad you enjoyed the cartoon – we all need a laugh!

      Considering the vast array of tech behind my TV and the hassle I have setting it up I could probably do the Sky man’s job 🙂


  9. Hi Andy just came across this post whilst still in the Dales, sitting in the van listening to the sound of the incessant rain pinging on the roof…
    Great news about the job and hope you had a great Christmas and New Year. I haven’t watched the cartoon yet, as it won’t play – the Vodafone (!) signal here in Hawes is dire!


    • Hi Chrissie, only just seen your comment, I’ve been neglecting my blog over the last few weeks what with Xmas and the new job starting. Hope you had a good time up in Yorkshire in spite of the weather. It’s not been great down here but I did manage to get out for a few walks over the holiday so a few posts to follow
      Happy New Year!


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