Here's a bit of a reality check. I know how much you were all looking forward to getting lots of presents from Santa Claus this year, but I'm afraid I have some bad news for you. from Santa I have always been a little skeptical about this Santa guy, so I thought I would do a little research into the matter. I started off by assuming that Santa Claus and his flying reindeer were real. Now, legend says that Santa delivers presents to children throughout the world, of which there are approximately 2 billion. However, since mostly only Christian children believe in Santa, that brings the total down to 378 million (according to figures provided by the Population Reference Bureau). After assuming that 15% of these children have been bad, thus eliminating them from Santa's list, and after a generous assumption that there are 3.5 children per household, that leaves Santa with 91.8 million homes to visit on Christmas Eve. Since we are assuming that Santa is real, we might as well assume that he is a smart fellow as well, and if he travels from east to west on his journey, that would give him a total of 31 hours of Christmas Eve darkness. Unfortunately, this still would require him to visit 822.6 households per second. Assuming that all the houses are spread out evenly across the Earth's surface, his total trip would be 72,522,000 miles, which means he would have to travel at an average speed of 650 miles per second. If we take a closer look at Santa's sleigh, we can see that it is a tremendous weight for reindeer to haul. Assuming Santa gives each child at least 2 pounds of toys (that's about one set of Legos), his sleigh would still weigh 321,300 tons - plus Santa, who according to legend is no light load by himself. Let's pretend that flying reindeer can pull ten times the amount that a land reindeer can (which is about 300 pounds). That means it would take 214,200 beasts to haul Santa and the toys. Adding the weight of the reindeer would bring the total load to 353,430 tons. All this weight and surface area would create a tremendous amount of wind resistance - especially at 650 miles per second - which will affect the reindeer much like a spacecraft re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. According to calculations, the lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second. This means they will burst into flames almost instantaneously thus exposing the reindeer behind them. As Santa continues on his journey, charred reindeer will constantly be sloughed off, with all the reindeer dead within .00426 of a second. Even if Santa could continue going, he would be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than the Earth's gravity. Santa would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,375,015 pounds of pressure, killing him instantly, crushing his bones, pulverizing his flesh, and turning him to red goo. So there you have it. If anyone would ever claim to be Santa and try to deliver presents to every qualified boy and girl on Christmas Eve, he would not only be dead - he would be liquified. Well, after shattering all your childhood dreams, I guess there's only one thing left to say: MERRY CHRISTMAS! From: Dave