Posted by: lucylastic | December 4, 2007

Will Santa visit you this Christmas?

It’s good to know that in various workplaces around the world there are lots of people engaged in pointless tasks!  Not only pointless, but most probably not even part of their job description at all.  Consider this article I saw published on Yahoo news – it’s topical theme is an analysis of how far Santa has to travel each Christmas Eve – along with the workings out – in case anyone is checking!

 “Between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Santa Claus’s route around the planet includes stops at 2.5 billion homes, assuming that children of all religions receive a present from the jolly man in the red suit, Anders Larsson of the engineering consultancy Sweco told AFP.  “We estimated that there are 48 people per square kilometer (120 per square mile) on Earth, and 20 metres (66 feet) between each home. So if Santa leaves from Kyrgyzstan and travels against the Earth’s rotation he has 48 hours to deliver all the presents,” he said.  Father Christmas has long been believed to reside at the North Pole, although a number of northern towns, including Finnish Rouvaniemi, claim to be his true home.  But Sweco’s report on Santa’s most efficient route — which takes into account factors like geographic density and the fewest detours — shows that he wouldn’t be able to make his round-the-world trip from there in time.  “He has 34 microseconds at each stop” to slide down the chimney, drop off the presents, nibble on his cookies and milk and hop back on his sleigh, Larsson said.  Santa’s reindeer must travel at a speed of 5,800 kilometers (3,604 miles) per second to make the trip on time.

Another report circulating on the Internet suggested however that Santa’s sleigh, weighed down with presents and travelling at supersonic speed, would encounter such massive air resistance that the entire contraption would burst into flames and be vaporised within 4.26 thousandths of a second!!

I do like the fact that they have arbitrarily changed Santa’s home from the North Pole to Kyrgystan – on the grounds that the calculations don’t work out if you start them from the traditional home base!  It reminds me of the joke about the lorry driver who asks for directions and gets told, ‘oh, if I was going to Newcastle, I wouldn’t start from here’.  Talking of Newcastle, I have never been – but that is about to be remedied.  This coming weekend will see me and my lovely husband heading ‘up North’ for a weekend of fun, frolics and festivity with some friends.  I am looking forward to BEING there, but I am NOT looking forward to the journey – with the very best of luck and a following wind it will take a little over 5 hours and I know I shall be bored stiff, uncomfortable and grouchy.  I had a momentary burst of delight regarding possible alternative methods of travel to Newcastle, when another friend told me that he thought they now made flights there from GLOUCESTER INTERNATIONAL…………… ‘Gloucester International’, I hear you cry!!  And where may that be?  When it’s at home?  Well, it’s the airport formerly known as ‘Staverton’, just off the M5 between Gloucester and Cheltenham – and it would be jolly handy.  Sadly, they seem to offer only flights to Belfast, Isle of Man and Jersey at present.  None of which are really suitable.  But the parking is free and the service is friendly, (so I am reliably informed) so if you have a pressing need to fly to one of those 3 locations, why not try it out and let me know how you get on.  So, it’s the car for us and the view from the edge of the motorway.  I can’t wait.

What on earth does one buy for the man who doesn’t have everything, but doesn’t really want anything?  There are only so many pairs of socks and pants a male can use!!!!  I have scoured the interweb for inspiration and wacky, individual ideas, but nothing has inspired so far…………unfortunately, I can’t afford the Aston Martin which appears to be the only thing on the wish list.  Any bright ideas, please let me know.

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