Is There a Santa Claus?
As a result of an overwhelming lack of requests, and with research help 
from that renowned scientific journal SPY magazine (January, 1990) - I 
am pleased to present the annual scientific inquiry into Santa Claus.
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 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 seemes 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 pokey 
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 anount, 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 
5.353,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates enourmous 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.
In conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, 
he's dead now.