The Physics Of Being Santa...and stuff
1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.
2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.
3) Santa has 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 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.
This means that 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 on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second; a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.
4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal anoint, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.
5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.
"There is only one force in the nation that can be depended upon to keep the government pure and the governors honest, and that is the people themselves. They alone, if well informed, are capable of preventing the corruption of power, and of restoring the nation to its rightful course if it should go astray. They alone are the safest depository of the ultimate powers of government."
-- Thomas Jefferson
MSNBC Poll; 85% believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment!
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The 2008 Vote MIGHT Be Legit After All.
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The 25 Dumbest Quotes of 2005
25) "I think with a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, you can't play, you know, hide the salami, or whatever it's called." --Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, urging President Bush to make public Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers's White House records, Oct. 5, 2005 (Source) (Read more stupid Dean quotes)
24) "If I would do another 'Terminator' movie I would have Terminator travel back in time and tell Arnold not to have a special election." --California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, after all four of his ballot initiatives were roundly defeated in the special election he called, Nov. 10, 2005 (Source) (Read more stupid Schwarzenegger quotes)
23) "Get some devastation in the back." --Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, to a staff photographer as he posed for a photo op while visiting tsunami-ravaged Sri Lanka, Jan. 6, 2005 (Source)
22) "I was trying to escape. Obviously, it didn't work." --President Bush, after being thwarted by locked doors when he tried to exit a news conference in Beijing in the face of hostile questioning from reporters, Nov. 20, 2005 (Source) (Read more about Bush's door gaffe)
21) "I am not going to give you a number for it because it's not my business to do intelligent work." --Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, asked to estimate the number of Iraqi insurgents while testifying before Congress, Feb. 16, 2005 (Source) (Read more Rumsfeldisms)
20) "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency." --Vice President Dick Cheney, on the Iraq insurgency, June 20, 2005 (Source) (Read more stupid Cheney quotes
19) "You think people can work all day and then pick up their kids at child care or wherever and get home and still manage to sandwich in an eight-hour vote? Well Republicans, I guess can do that. Because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives." --Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, speaking at the Campaign for America's Future annual gathering, June 3, 2005 (Source)
18) "I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." --Bill Bennett, former Education Secretary and author of "The Book of Virtues," Sept. 28, 2005 (Source)
17) "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war." --Pat Robertson, calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Aug. 22, 2005 (Source) (Read more stupid Pat Robertson Quotes)
16) "If Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.'" –FOX News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, after San Francisco voted to ban military recruiters from city schools, Nov. 8, 2005 (Source) (Read more stupid Bill O'Reilly quotes)
15) "I question it based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office. She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli." --Sen. Bill Frist, diagnosing Terri Schiavo's condition during a speech on the Senate floor, March 17, 2005 [The autopsy later revealed she was blind.] (Source)
14) "You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals...many of these people, almost all of them that we see are so poor and they are so black, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold." --CNN's Wolf Blitzer, on New Orleans' hurricane evacuees, Sept. 1, 2005 (Source)
13) "If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god… Anything specific I need to do or tweak? Do you know of anyone who dog-sits? … Can I quit now? Can I come home? … I'm trapped now, please rescue me." --Ex-FEMA Director Michael Brown, in various emails to colleagues and friends in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (Source) (Read more about Brownie's idiotic emails)
12) "If one person criticizes [the local authorities' relief efforts] or says one more thing, including the president of the United States, he will hear from me. One more word about it after this show airs, and I…I might likely have to punch him, literally." --Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), "This Week with George Stephanopoulous," Sept. 4, 2005 (Source)
11) "I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible?" --President Bush, in a note to to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a U.N. Security Council meeting, September 14, 2005 (Source) (Read more about Bush's potty break)
10) "You are the best governor ever." --Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, writing to Texas Gov. George Bush in 1997 on his 51st birthday, adding that she found him "cool" and that he and his wife, Laura, were "the greatest" and telling him: "Keep up the great work. Texas is blessed." (Source)
9) "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." --George W. Bush, Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005 (Source (Listen to audio clip)
8) "Well, I think that's bullsh*t and I hate that. Just let it go." --Commentator Bob Novak to James Carville, before storming off the set at CNN, Aug. 4, 2005 (Source) (Read more about Novak's freakout)
7) "I'm proud of George. He's learned a lot about ranching since that first year when he tried to milk the horse. What's worse, it was a male horse." --First Lady Laura Bush, at the White House Correspondents dinner, April 30, 2005 (Source) (Read more of Laura Bush's comedy routine)
6) "You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that." --President Bush, to a divorced mother of three in Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005 (Source) (Listen to audio clip)
5) "Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans, virtually a city that has been destroyed, things are going relatively well." --FEMA Director Michael Brown, Sept. 1, 2005 (Source)
4) "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." --President Bush, to FEMA director Michael Brown, while touring hurricane-ravaged Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2005 (Source) (Listen to audio clip)
3) "What didn't go right?" --President Bush, as quoted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, after she urged him to fire FEMA Director Michael Brown "because of all that went wrong, of all that didn't go right" in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, Sept. 6, 2005 (Source)
2) "Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?" --House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-TX), to three young hurricane evacuees from New Orleans at the Astrodome in Houston, Sept. 9, 2005 (Source)
1) "What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this (chuckle) – this is working very well for them." --Former First Lady Barbara Bush, on the hurricane evacuees at the Astrodome in Houston, Sept. 5, 2005 (Source)
The 25 Funniest Quotes of 2005
25) "No Froot Loops!" --Saddam Hussein, getting upset at his guards when offered a substitute for his breakfast cereal of choice, Raisin Bran Crunch
24) "I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Newman is in charge in Washington. " --Sen. Hillary Clinton, describing President Bush's attitude toward tough issues with Newman's catchphrase "What, me worry?"
23) "Sen. Hillary Clinton called for President Bush to begin pulling troops out of Iraq next year. And let me tell you something, when it comes to telling a president when to pull out, no one has more experience than Hillary Clinton." --Jay Leno
22) "President Bush is going on his annual vacation. The White House says he goes to his Texas Ranch to unwind. I'm thinking, when does he wind?" --David Letterman
21) "I had no idea that if you wanted a show canceled, all you had to do was say it out loud." --Jon Stewart, on CNN's decision to cancel of "Crossfire," three months after his brutal exchange with host Tucker Carlson
20) "George Bush doesn't care about black people." –rapper Kanye West, going off-script during a Hurricane Katrina relief broadcast (Watch video clip)
19) "George Bush hates midgets." --Comedian Chris Rock, during a subsequent Hurricane Katrina telethon (Watch video clip)
18) "Ted is understandably bitter having lost his ratings, his network and now his mind -- we wish him well." --A Fox spokesperson, after CNN founder Ted Turner criticized the Fox network as a "propaganda voice" of the Bush administration and compared Fox News Channel's popularity to Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany before World War II
17) "I had one guy one night, he introduced me at a speech, and over and over again he said every Viagra joke he could think of. So, I got up and said I really appreciate it and I bought you a year supply -- here's one tablet." --Former Sen. Bob Dole, on being a pitchman for Viagra
16) "Usually the way it works is people prostitute themselves after they become reporters." --Gay male prostitute-turned White House correspondent Jeff Gannon
15) "You know if I had nickel for every time Bush has mentioned 9/11, I could raise enough reward money to go after Bin Laden." --Jon Stewart
14) "Taking a page from their tsunami playbook, the White House announced today that former presidents Bush and Bill Clinton will head up the fundraising efforts for the hurricane relief. And you know, Bill Clinton is no stranger to this kind of thing. He was once visiting the French Quarter during a hurricane and got blown behind a dumpster." --Bill Maher
13) "Michael Brown, the director of FEMA, was nominated by President Bush in 2003 and plans to start the job any day now. ... Prior to heading FEMA, Brown spent the 90's as a commissioner -- this is true -- of the International Arabian Horse Association. I guess he stands out because most Bush appointees are beholden to Arabian people." --Jon Stewart
12) "This past weekend, the Democratic National Committee made it official -- electing former governor and one-time shoe-in Howard Dean as their new party chairman. As a doctor they're hoping he can reattach the ass handed to the Democrats in the past election. ... You know, there's something stirring about the peaceful transfer of no power." --Jon Stewart
11) "He's like the Peanuts character Pigpen. Wherever he goes, he stirs up such a humongous mess, it can only be cleaned up by Halliburton." –Bill Maher, on President Bush
10) Jon Stewart: "Finally, the moment we've all been waiting for — the official halfway point of the Bush presidency."
President Bush: "I George Walker Bush do solemnly swear..."
Stewart: "At which point 49 percent of the country also solemnly swore
9) "We have to fix it or Rumsfeld may never retire." --President Bush, on Social Security, at the 2005 Gridiron Dinner
8) "Mrs. Bush ... has taken to calling me 'son'... this just shows you the lengths at which the Bushes would go to get another president in the family. And I wish I could get them to adopt Hillary." --Former President Bill Clinton, in an interview with David Letterman
7) "When he woke up he was surrounded by loved ones" -- his wife, his daughter and ... "my dad." --President Bush, on former President Clinton's recuperation from surgery
6) "I've always felt it's better to be sworn in that to be sworn at." --Sen. Patrick Leahy, after Vice President Dick Cheney swore him in to a new Senate term (last year Cheney told Leahy to "go f*ck yourself" during a heated exchange on the Senate floor)
5) "Go f*ck yourself, Mr. Cheney! Go f*ck yourself." --a heckler to Vice President Dick Cheney while he toured damage from Hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, Mississippi (Get the full story and watch the video clip)
4) "I'm especially looking forward to meeting Karl Rove... Smart men like him are so sexy. I know that he's against gay marriage, but I think I can convince him that a little girl-on-girl action now and then isn't so bad!" --Porn star/former California gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey, on being invited to dine with President Bush
3) "I was told that they had people ready to tackle me if I tried to get close to [President Bush] ... Republicans can party almost as much as porn stars … I was getting propositions to have threesomes with wives or mistresses, I was offered money from oil tycoons … I am a fully converted Republican now." --Porn star Mary Carey, on attending a Republican fundraiser hosted by President Bush
2) "You've performed so poor, I'm surprised you haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man. Herbert Hoover was a shitty president, but even he never conceded an entire metropolis to rising water and snakes. On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four airliners, two trade centers, a piece of the Pentagon, and the city of New Orleans. Maybe you're just not lucky. I'm not saying you don't love this country, I'm just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the other side. So yes, God does speak to you, and what he's saying is, 'Take a hint.'" –Bill Maher, on President Bush (Read Maher's complete rant or watch the video clip)
1) "George always says that he's delighted to come to these press dinners. Baloney. He's usually in bed by now. I'm not kidding. I said to him the other day, George, if you really want to end tyranny in the world, you're going to have to stay up later. I am married to the President of the United States and here is our typical evening. Nine o'clock, Mr. Excitement here is sound asleep, and I am watching Desperate Housewives. With Lynne Cheney. Ladies and gentleman, I am a desperate housewife." --First Lady Laura Bush at the 2005 White House Correspondents' Dinner.