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Santa’s deadline is too tight

18.12.2013

Welcome to the Santa Does Not Exist series (rerun).

DISCLAIMER: Reading this series may cause permanent alteration to your Santa Claus belief.

Leading up to Christmas, I’ll outline several reasons why Santa does not exist, backed up with statistics and scientific facts.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not anti-Christmas. I love the parts that involve drinking and eating. And I usually enjoy the family stuff too. But Santa Claus? Nup. He doesn’t exist.

How do I know?

BECAUSE HIS DEADLINE IS TOO TIGHT

Traditionally, presents are delivered on Christmas Eve night.

Since magic has already been ruled out as the glowing source for Rudolph’s glowing nose, it must also be ruled out as a present-delivery method.

Considerations:

1. The Earth has a total surface area of 510,072,000 square kilometres.

If there are 1 billion children of Santa-belief age, then the ratio of square kilometres to children is 2:1.

2. Santa has a time frame of 32 hours.

This is assuming he starts at 10pm local time in Tonga (the average time a child of Santa-belief age goes to bed on Christmas Eve) and finishes at 6am local time in Samoa (the average time a child of Santa-belief age wakes up on Christmas Day).

3. In order to cover 510,072,000 square kilometres in 32 hours, the sleigh would need to travel at a speed of 15,939,750 km/h.

(The fastest man-made machine in existence is the New Horizons satellite, which travels at 58,536 km/h.)

 

4. This means that Santa must visit 8,681 children and cover 4,468 square kilometres per second.

 

Santa’s challenge is to:

  • Land on the roof
  • Get down the chimney
  • Deliver the presents
  • Eat the cake
  • Drink the milk/alcoholic beverage
  • Get back up the chimney
  • Feed the reindeer their carrot sticks
  • Give the reindeer a drink
  • Hop into the sleigh
  • Fly to the next house

…all in the space of 0.00276 seconds

This is why Santa does not exist – his deadline is too tight.

Santa consumes too much

14.12.2013

Welcome to the Santa Does Not Exist series (rerun).

DISCLAIMER: Reading this series may cause permanent alteration to your Santa Claus belief.

Leading up to Christmas, I’ll outline several reasons why Santa does not exist, backed up with statistics and scientific facts.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not anti-Christmas. I love the parts that involve drinking and eating. And I usually enjoy the family stuff too. But Santa Claus? Nup. He doesn’t exist.

How do I know?

BECAUSE HE CONSUMES TOO MUCH

At Christmas, it’s traditional to leave a small amount of food and drink for Santa and his reindeer. Let’s say each household of 2.5 children provides Santa with an average of 100mL of liquid (milk or alcohol) and 100g of food (cake or biscuits).

Then there’s the reindeer to consider, with a dog’s-bowl worth of water (1L) and a carrot stick for each animal (1 whole carrot per household).

While Santa offloads his 500,000 tonnes of gifts, he gains weight in the following areas:

1. Santa drinks 40,000 kilolitres of liquid

(50% milk, 50% alcohol – which raises issues of alcohol poisoning, but we’ll get to that in a later post)

2. Santa eats 40,000 tonnes of cake

3. The reindeer drink 44,500 kilolitres of water each

4. The reindeer eat 44 million carrots each

So…

The total weight gain (Santa + 9 reindeer) is roughly 520,000 tonnes.

This equates to the amount of prawns Tesco exports annually from Thailand.

Santa and his reindeer burn off enough energy to level out the weight of the presents.

(The reindeer pull the sleigh at supersonic speeds, so they will need the calories – and I guess it takes a bit of effort to climb up and down chimneys at lightning speed too).

Despite ditching 500,000 tonnes of presents and remaining active enough to burn off 500,000 tonnes of food and drink between them, Santa and his reindeer still manage to acquire weight over the course of Christmas night – an extra 20,000 tonnes, to be precise.

That’s a wide span gantry crane.

Each.

(Note: those small white things in the picture are semitrailers.)

This is why Santa does not exist – he consumes too much.

Rudolph’s nose is improbable

07.12.2013

Welcome to the Santa Does Not Exist series (rerun).

DISCLAIMER: Reading this series may cause permanent alteration to your Santa Claus belief.

Leading up to Christmas, I’ll outline several reasons why Santa does not exist, backed up with statistics and scientific facts.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not anti-Christmas. I love the parts that involve drinking and eating. And I usually enjoy the family stuff too. But Santa Claus? Nup. He doesn’t exist.

How do I know?

BECAUSE RUDOLPH’S NOSE IS IMPROBABLE

The thesis:

Rudolph has an electric light bulb grafted to his nose.

I’m ruling out fairy dust and Santa magic. The glow could be the result of a naturally-occurring biological phenomenon, but the light bulb makes more sense.

The 9 reindeer (8 plus Rudolph) have to tow a combined weight of 500,000 tonnes, which works out to be 55,500 tonnes per reindeer.

Since Rudolph is expending all his energy on hefting a load 280 times his own body weight, his light bulb would require a separate power source…

Batteries may work, but the extreme conditions (i.e. North Pole blizzards and g-force) might call for something a little hardier than a couple of double-A Duracells.

…such as a generator.

And since generators aren’t reliable in sub-zero stratospheric temperatures, or North Pole blizzards, I suppose Rudolph must spend most of his time chilling out in the Bahamas.

To withstand the extreme conditions while delivering Christmas presents, Rudolph’s generator would need to be NASA-grade technology.

Because a clunky diesel engine would add several dozen kilos to the load, which might upset the other reindeer. And, let’s face it, a reindeer punch-up in mid air could be disastrous, especially at supersonic speeds.

The likelihood that NASA is producing custom-made nose-glow technology for a sole reindeer is infinitesimal.

This is why Santa Claus does not exist – Rudolph’s nose is improbable.

Presents are too heavy

01.12.2013

Welcome to the Santa Does Not Exist series (rerun).

DISCLAIMER: Reading this series may cause permanent alteration to your Santa Claus belief.

Leading up to Christmas, I’ll outline several reasons why Santa does not exist, backed up with statistics and scientific facts.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not anti-Christmas. I love the parts that involve drinking and eating. And I usually enjoy the family stuff too. But Santa Claus? Nup. He doesn’t exist.

How do I know?

BECAUSE THE PRESENTS ARE TOO HEAVY

Consider this:

There are about 1 billion children of Santa-belief age in the world.

So…

1 billion children require presents every year.

And…

If each child receives an average of one present, that’s 1 billion presents.*

*I work with averages. I do take into account that not all children receive presents from Santa due to religious belief, lifestyle, wealth etc., but some receive dozens of presents, many of which are excessively stupid, like a pony, or a round-the-world trip to every single Disneyland on the planet. These ones I would count as being the equivalent of 17 presents in one. Hence, there’s probably about 1 billion presents given, but maybe not 1 billion children who receive them.

If each present weighs an average of 500 grams…

(because that’s about a block of chocolate and seems like a sensible weight – none of this pony business)

…then that means Santa’s reindeer would have to tow 500,000 tonnes of gifts.

500,000 tonnes.

This, of course, is not possible for any animal.

(Even an assortment of brachiosauridae would struggle to shift that load.)

This is why Santa Claus does not exist – the presents are too heavy.

Make history. Add your name.

06.11.2013

The Ancient Australia Unearthed crowdfunding campaign only has 15 days left. I need your help to reach the target amount of $10,000. If I don’t get over the line, I don’t get any funding.

Pledge today, and be a part of this important milestone.

$25 will get you a gift pack with stickers, a magnet and a badge

$50 will see your name printed in the book, and you’ll receive a copy of the ebook and a cool military style hat

$100 will see your name printed in the book, and I’ll send you a signed hard copy

$250 will earn you a chat with me, your name in the book, a signed hard copy and a gift pack

$500 will get you a chat, a signed hard copy, a second copy donated to a school of your choice, and a PD session to your nominated Melbourne school

Make history. Add your name. Support Ancient Australia Unearthed.

Fridge magnet

On the crowdfunding campaign trail

22.10.2013

Campaigning of any kind takes a lot of effort, particularly if it’s done online. It’s sometimes hard for people to imagine what the end result will be for a creative project, so until a sample of work is produced, it’s all about the way you market your project. At least, that’s what it’s been like for me.

The challenge with a campaign like mine is that any funds raised will go directly towards design and print costs, so unless I meet my target, supporters won’t actually get to see the finished product. Talk about a Catch-22!

No target = no funds = very delayed book.

So far, the most successful campaigning has been through word of mouth, and thanks to everyone who’s helped spread the word, the funding tally stands at $3,362.

Now, though, the serious work begins – sticking address labels onto lots of colourful post cards and mailing them to potential supporters!

postcard lr

Day 10, and the AAU tally has passed $1000

10.10.2013

The tally for Day 10 stands at $1065.

That’s more than 10% of the total! Thanks to the 16 amazing people who have supported so far.

New to the project page is a Frequently Asked Questions section. I’ll be adding to this as the project progresses and more questions are sent in.

If you have a question regarding the Ancient Australia Unearthed book, please send it to info [at] plainspeak [dot] com [dot] au

I’m still a fair way off the target amount to bring this book to life, so please continue to spread the word and help unearth the prehistory of Ancient Australia! A small amount can make a big difference – all it takes is a $10 pledge from 900 people to get this project over the line.

Ancient Australia Unearthed – using archaeology to teach history

 

postcard-#2-CMYK

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