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Christmas Cheer

The Physics of Santa 172

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the tachyons-and-jeffries-tubes-oh-my dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "If you don't believe that Santa Claus can deliver presents to millions of homes in a single night, Larry Silverberg, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU), explains that Santa's society of elves has an understanding of physics and engineering that exceeds our own. In fact, Santa Claus and his crew really can deliver presents in one night because of their advanced knowledge of electromagnetic waves, the space/time continuum, nanotechnology, genetic engineering and computer science. For example, he doesn't carry presents. He uses a nano-toymaker to fabricate toys grown atom by atom inside the children's homes. Very entertaining reading... Here is a link to additional details and pictures of Santa and his elves flying over New Zealand."
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The Physics of Santa

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  • by xmas2003 (739875) * on Sunday December 24, 2006 @01:43PM (#17354426) Homepage
    The local paper wrote a similar story last year - my response from my Santa Tracker page [komar.org] is attached below ... and as noted, the christmas webcams [komar.org] are live again this year looking for the Big Red Guy.


    Todd Neff from the Boulder Camera wrote a Christmas Eve article about the physics of Santa. [dailycamera.com] He included a "Parental disretion advised" notice, but the headline writer argueably got a little carried away. Needless to say, since I live in the Republic of Boulder, [blogspot.com] outraged residents wrote several letters to the editor [dailycamera.com] that were published on December 28th. So I wrote the following which ran on December 31st. [dailycamera.com] Great headline by the Camera and they printed my letter in its entirety (including some subtle attempts at humor) with minor grammatical edits.

    HO, HO, HO - Yes, Virginia, as my Web cam shows

    As a technologist, I enjoyed Todd Neff's piece on Christmas Eve about the physics of Santa; kudos to the Daily Camera for not just reprinting the AP article, but doing some local embelishment that added a nice touch to the story (and ditto in the Dec. 28 piece about the coming leap-second).

    As reported by the Camera's Kate Larsen a week earlier (Dec. 17), I have three Web cams (three more than last year) at my house watching my 26,000 Christmas lights. Needless to say, my 7-year-old and 4-year-old sons were excited to see if Santa would show up on these Web cams. And, not surprisingly, the Big Red Guy (and especially Rudolph) are quite visible stopping by our Lafayette house on Christmas Eve. [komar.org]

    So while it would be (way!) out of place for me to weigh in on journalistic reporting as other letter writers have, I thought I would write to say that while Todd accurately reported that the physics of Santa are a challenge, the conclusion is wrong. Yes, sometimes, the paper doesn't get the story right ... and yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

    Santa does deliver presents on Christmas Eve to children around the world.

    The magic/miracle is still alive, and I would suggest that Camera readers (and their kids) review the video at www.komar.org to judge for themselves.

    And you'd better believe I'll be watching next year as Santa returns at Christmas.

  • Re:Roland (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dirtside (91468) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @02:20PM (#17354662) Journal
    The "Santa post" you quote is originally from the January 1990 issue of Spy Magazine.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 24, 2006 @02:24PM (#17354712)
    Actually, Sinter Klass was a real person who was born in 280.
    While the legends just grew from evolving story telling, the person did exist.
    As for "Messiah" that you speak of, the same is true.

    Most people grow out of believing in the magic legend of "Santa".

    Sadly, a majority of people, believe that "Messiah" did things more magic than flying with a bright nosed caribou.
  • by tepples (727027) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [selppet]> on Sunday December 24, 2006 @03:31PM (#17355072) Homepage Journal

    There is no Santa Claus.

    But there was [wikipedia.org].

    No easter bunny. No unicorns

    Is this close enough [wikipedia.org]? Even the giant unicorn [wikipedia.org] is only as dead as the dodo.

    mermaids

    There are mermaids [bbc.co.uk], but society doesn't know how to accommodate them, so the tail is split into two legs.

    dragons

    Commode? Oh. [wikipedia.org]

    fairies

    O RLY? [wikipedia.org]

    space aliens we know of, etc...

    Has there ever been an astronaut from one country lift off in another country's spacecraft? If so, that's a space alien [wikipedia.org].

    As Newcleus [wikipedia.org] put it, "Wiki wiki wiki wiki, shut up."

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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