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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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  • Zombie tradition (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Solder Fumes (797270) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @01:49PM (#17354840)
    I'm not sure why people insist on keeping this farce alive. I think the parents are duped even more than the kids are, based on my own experience...long before anyone stopped pretending that Santa existed around me, I knew what was up. I got a bittersweet kick out of watching grown men and women tell bald-faced lies to my face. And I played them like marionettes, inventing new devious questions about Santa; just enough to make them visibly scramble for an answer, but not enough to make them think I knew the truth. Yet it was pretty disgusting to see adults try to pull one over on kids, depending on their innocence and lack of experience to bully children into nonsense for their own amusement.

    Seriously...at what point does someone think it's a good idea to lie to their children like this? Don't give me that shit about it being a good life experience for children to realize not everything is true. You can find a million other examples to show them, without perpetrating a huge falsehood on your own. It's wrong, you know it's wrong, and you will still try to justify it. Because you enjoy, in a sadistic way, the total power you exert over your children. You love playing the propaganda machine and dictator, and threatening them with retribution from a farce you concocted, and watching them squirm. Yet ten years later, you'll be so fucking ignorant as to why your children never listen to you, or trust that what you have to say might be good advice. Well...they may be right.

    Lying is wrong, and will have repercussions. Don't buy into this "magical experience" bullshit. You're setting the kids, and yourself, up for a totally unnecessary disappointment. Don't give in to your sick little urge to play god with the helpless, innocent natives.
  • Re:Zombie tradition (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dirtside (91468) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @02:18PM (#17355004) Journal
    We've taken a different tack on Santa Claus than most parents. It resembles your attitude, minus the bitter hostility and swearing. :)

    Our son is almost 2.5 years old, and he can already identify Santa Claus as being the fat guy with the beard in the red suit. We haven't told him what Santa Claus (purportedly) is or does; he's simply got a label for the "fat bearded guy in red suit" image now.

    We'll answer any questions he asks, truthfully; at most, we're likely to tell him that Santa Claus is someone who travels around each Christmas leaving presents for children, in order to celebrate the Winter Solstice. We're going to leave out the naughty/nice thing (punishments and rewards for bad/good behavior are, it turns out, not a good idea). We're definitely going to leave Jesus out of it (we're atheists), except maybe to explain that that's what certain people believe the winter holiday is about.

    My mother-in-law once said that Santa is like a "practice God" for kids to believe in, and I pretty much agree; but I'm not going to pretend he doesn't exist as an entity in our culture, and our son is going to have questions about him.
  • Re:Zombie tradition (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kfg (145172) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @02:27PM (#17355050)
    Seriously...at what point does someone think it's a good idea to lie to their children like this?

    And then wonder why their kids don't believe a word they say when they're a bit older.

    Frankly I've always found the myth of people exchanging gifts out of love and kindness for each other far more asthetically pleasing than some fat guy trying to stuff himself down the chimmney, even if just as mythological.

    KFG
  • by Tatarize (682683) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @06:54PM (#17356468) Homepage
    Well, personally I think the idea of Santa is a lot more believable than that God thing.

    I mean, each year millions of kids get presents from Santa. It would take a massive conspiracy on a global scale to pull off that kind of evidence from fraud. One or two houses... maybe... but millions?

    Now, compare that with the actual reliable evidence for God: there isn't any. You can explain the entire God thing with a bunch of bored people in a desert with nothing else to do. To explain the little bits of non-evidence religion provides is downright trivial. But, millions upon millions of presents each and ever year? Those presents actually exist and everything.

    On pretty much every count Santa wins. Where does Santa live? The north pole. Where does God live? Outside of spacetime, where he's exempt from the laws of cause-and-effect in order to be a cause for the universe while not needing a cause for himself. I mean, a simple answer vs. something clearly constructed out of bullcrap... it's your choice.

    As for the whole, watching you all the time and knowing when you're being bad or good old men... I think Santa is much more plausible.
  • by bxbaser (252102) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @07:59PM (#17356792)
    I mean isnt that the current test of if something exists, it cant be proven to not exist.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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