An Engineer's View of Santa Claus

By now you may have already seen this, as it's been making the email rounds for years. If so, disregard and read something newer and interestinger. If not, enjoy!

Santa Claus: An Engineer's View

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 1/1000th 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 eat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering 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 vaporize 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.

Merry Christmas.


Helpful Hints for Women

Ah, the Good Old Days, when mention of the word "misogyny" would result in the question "who's she?"

It was a kinder, simpler time. If you were a man. If you were a woman, well, there were a few little rules to follow ...

Way to keep the allure there, Courtney Love. Of course, Walt here is not even trying to cover up the fact that he's totally peeking.

That's 'cause men don't want a bunch of girly make-up on their jismop.

If he can see your balls, you're sitting awkwardly.

When a man really wants to dance that badly, it's a good bet he'd rather be dancing with another man. No that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

Were these really huge problems? Did women walk around like Flopsie McJiggles often? And were stocking made of cotton? I'm confused.

Because, in those days, Men did not have jointed necks.

Wet Willies are especially forbidden.

Avoid topics like work, music, books, cinema, the '38 Phillies, his ED, and the fact that you're pregnant from your tryst with the Latino kid at the supermarket.

Why not? It's not like Dour Dan over there is providing a stimulus package.

Unless, of course, it's to say how great they'd look in a crumpled heap at the foot of his bed. Chicka-bow-wow.

Seriously? It's amazing anyone in that era ever got laid.

Exactly. Keep your drunken flirtations with a total stranger a secret. Remember, hidden cameras and YouTube are way, way off in the future.

Dear Diary, I'm totally gonna score tonight, once I can get her past Zorba.


Merry Christmas, Freckle-Boy!

This ad was pulled by Tesco because gingers got upset. Thank God it wasn't a Muslim kid.

It's a shame that we can't laugh without fear anymore.

Happy whatever the fuck you celebrate. Just please relax and don't get all shitty.

It's Christmas for those of us who celebrate life and love and caring about those around us. All of them, All of you. Put your religious anger aside and just fucking enjoy a good time. I know it hurts, but do it. Who knows, you might even like that pecan pie.

It's the one time of the year to care.

Don't fuck it up by being a jerk.

Happy Holidays.

I have no idea what this means.

But for God's sake, don't do this. Whatever it is.


Stuart's Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Every year right around this time, we're faced with the daunting task of picking out gifts for family, friends, co-workers, and other people we absolutely cannot stand. Often, we rely on pre-made lists (Billy wants World of Porncraft 3); tradition (yes, it's the 2009 commemorative Earnhart plate with oak-grain display stand); or advertising ("I think he got me the Dollop of Semen pendant!" "How do you know?" "He went to Jared." [giggles] )

Often we just give up and buy whatever the hell is on the endcap at Walgreen's. This year (2009), I offer you an alternative. This brief guide may or may not help you with truly heartfelt gifts lovingly made in Chinese sweatshops from the cheapest lead- and melamine- based materials in the world.

Happy ChristmaChannuKwanzaaKah!

The FillerBuster - A brilliant bit of software designed to work with iTunes and all other MP3 programs, FillerBuster automatically detects upcoming instrumental riffs and long, drawn-out stretches of music that serve no purpose other than to waste your valuable time and seamlessly skips past them to get you back to the good bits of the song that you actually want to hear. With FillerBuster, you can enjoy Freebird in just over 5 minutes, Iron Butterfly's Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida in under 4 minutes, and Cream's double album in just under 22 minutes! Those examples right there save approximately three days alone. Disclaimer: This product not intended for use by Phishheads.

Puking Dog Alarm Clock - For those of you who have ever owned a dog, you know that there is one sound and one sound only that will pull you from even the deepest delta stage and cause you to immediately rush for the back door with poor hunched-up Fido in tow, only to make it just to the edge of the carpet before the lava-flow of yellow slime erupts from the poor fellow. The Puking Dog Alarm Clock realistically emulates the deep, reverse-peristaltic "howoomp, howoomp!" sound that is the harbinger of having to clean up hork at 3 AM. Wake-up results guaranteed. Available in black and platinum.

Van Halen House Shoes - Walking around the house can be tricky, especially if you have hardwood floors or live in a rainy climate. With Van Halen house shoes, your walking safety is assured. Made with supple calfskin uppers and ultra-sticky treaded soles, these shoes will make sure that you'll never, ever slip. Instead, you'll jump. Go ahead and jump. I get up, and nothing gets me down. You got it tough, I seen the toughest around. And I know, baby just how you feel. You got to ro-o-oll with the punches, and get to what's real. Like these house shoes.

Toilet Tray - Another great product that saves valuable time, the Toilet Tray is a sturdy platform that attaches to the wall with a locking articulating arm, allowing one to enjoy a hearty breakfast (the most important meal of the day!) while taking a shit. Great for the still-employed Yuppie in your life.

Canned Haggis - Designed for the Scotsman on the go, this is a complete haggis sealed in a can filled with a gelatinous substance that is slightly less repulsive than the actual haggis. Best enjoyed while either stoned or Scottish, or preferably both. Not for the squeamish. Phishheads may enjoy it.

Falcon Flight Weather Balloon - I really don't need to explain this, do I? Just remember to teach your kid the importance of lying to the authorities.

Bacon-Scented Feminine Wash - Ah, two of man's favorite things combined. You want nom-nom in the hinter regions? This will do it. Also handy for lonely women with dogs. Certain uses may or may not be endorsed by this blog. For those guys who prefer dong to cooter, this product may also be used as Weenie Wash.

Cheese Beer - The best of two worlds in one mug. Kind of like that viral video, but with less poo. This is high-quality handcrafted beer made with only the best hops and grains and generously infused with real California cheese for an experience that's truly satisfying, refreshing, and binding. Choose from Cheddar Pale, Emmentaler Pilsner, Honey Wheat Bleu, Camembert Winter Ale, and for those with simpler tastes, Cheez-Wiz Lite Lager. Crackers sold separately.

Or, you could just get them some fine art:
No underwear was harmed in the making of this ... thing.


"That was a lovely service. Did you pick up the ashes or are they AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA


Color me old-fashioned, but I'd rather remember a loved one by looking at a nice vase or even a wooden box rather than a full-sized or even a 1/4-scale sized replica head with a flip-open top like Ray Liotta had in Hannibal. But then that's just me.

I'd never get past the fact that it's staring at me.

Kinda like this, only way fucking creepier and not nearly as cool.


Letter Rip

We use letters every day to create words and acronyms and all sorts of other things that are comprised of letters. Sometimes we use these letters on their own to identify a location, a grouping, or a quality grade. Even sometimeser we use these in product names, descriptions, and myriad other pop culture references. That's where this list comes in.

The following are words or designations that fit with a specific letter of the alphabet. Some match with more than one, but that other one is wrong. See if you can match 'em all. They are in no particular order, unless you count totally random as an order.

Special thanks goes to Kari, who helped me with that particular last one which eluded me to the ... well, a lot.

Oh, and by the way ... each letter is used only once. So this is kinda like Sudoku or whatever. Hence the 26 clue-thingys.

__ Crew
__-51 Mustang
Special __
Compound __
__th Degree
Mister __
Preparation __
Generation __

Have fun. You will be graded.

Handy reference guide.


The season of love, caring, generosity, and really hideous sweaters is nigh upon us like a fruitcake from the Heavens.

Yep, it's that time of year to break out the sweaters-turned-holiday dioramas and the stirrup pants. Ladies, this goes for you too. Personally, I hate sweaters. Always have. Even back in the day when I rawked the sweater-mullet and fuzzstache, I just couldn't quite warm up to the sweater. Unless, of course, it looked awesome in its horridness.

Here's a fun little place where you can design your dream sweater. I had some fun with this last year. Here are some samples:

Ho Ho Ho, yo.

Sweaters make the man.