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[personal profile] salad_barbarian
Merry Xmas in july everyone!

(I say Xmas because I consider Christmas a holy day deserving of reverence.) It wasn't until a few hours after my last post that I realized that the 25th had snuck up on us with stealth like unto a ninja. So who's up for some wassailing eh? I don't actually have any wassail but I do have a can of diet Dr. pepper, the previously mentioned apple soda from mexico, a can of mango nectar, as well as a strange concoction of lemon juice and pepsi that I call Mantids' brew. So far I only have one volunteer.

I was going to post some pictures of my web all gussied up for last Christmas but I couldn't find any good ones. So in place of them here are some holiday favorites I've found over the years: (Note all spelling has been left as is.)

Santa: An Engineer's Perspective.....

I. There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.

II. Santa has about 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 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the Earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. This means 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, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

III. The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the "flying" reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them --- Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch.)

IV. 600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second crates enormous air resistance -- this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip. Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 m.p.s. in .001 seconds, would be subjected to an acceleration of 17,500 g's. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.

V. Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.

"I think the spirit of this time of year can be best expressed
in this short story.

A long time ago there was a poor, homeless orphaned boy.
The boy had no possesions except for the clothes on his back.

One Christmas eve, the richest man in town, was leaving his
business, when he spotted the young lad on a street corner
begging for money and food. Something about the young lad
reminded the wealthy man of himself as a young child. So the
rich man went up to the poor boy and asked him, "Do you
have any food?"

The boy answered, "No."

The rich man asked "Do you have any clothes?"

The boy again answered no.

The rich man asked again "Do you have any family?"

The boy sadly answered no again and began to cry.
Then with a bright smile, the rich man laughed and said
"Boy, it sucks to be you!" and then laughed some more.

And that's what the holidays are all about, laughter."

and finally because I do consider myself gothic,

The Night Before Christmas
With somber and tormented apologies to Clement C. Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through our house
was blasting the "St. Vitus Dance" by Bauhaus;
Torn fishnets were draped on my forearms with care,
And two cans of Aquanet applied to my hair;
My thoughts were of graveyards, and horror and dread,
Black visions of pain and despair in my head;
And Bianca, whose face was as pale as the moon,
Had thrown up her arm for this evening's swoon,
When out by the gravestones there came such a clatter,
I sprang from the coffin to find out the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a ghost,
Expecting to find a dark devilish host.
The moon on the breast of the uncaring snow
Threw ominous shadows on objects below,
When, before my tormented eyes did traverse,
But a gorgeous black Crane & Breed carved-panel hearse,
With a gaunt, shrouded driver, who filled me with fear,
And eight skeletal creatures that might have been deer.
More rapid than vultures his coursers they came,
And his deep Andrew Eldritch voice called them by name;

Now, Murphy! Now, Morgoth! Now, Torment and Woe!
On, Dreadful! On, Lovecraft! Mephisto and Poe!
To the top of the gravestones where fog wisps its breath!
With a weight on my soul I consign you to death!

As dead leaves that before hellish hurricanes fly,
When they flutter like giant bats' wings to the sky,
So up to the crypt-top the coursers they leapt,
While dearest Bianca, like death, still but slept.
And then, to my horror, I heard on the roof
The clicking and scratching of each bone-white hoof.
As I drew in my arm, and was whirling around,
Down the ebony chimney he came without sound.

He was clad all in black, and he looked oh-so-goth,
A billowy ensemble of crushed velvet cloth;
His boots were knee-high, quite buckled and zipped,
And the Spandex and fishnets 'round his legs were ripped.
His eyes glowed with bluish fire, deathly and cold,
A black eye-liner'd face neither youthful nor old.
A broad lipless mouth drawn with torment and hurt,
And his sorrowful face was as white as my shirt.

A smoldering cigarette tight in his grasp,
Its smoke curling eerily 'round his cloak clasp;
His gaunt frame was topped with long ebon hair,
And a sharp scent of brimstone and cloves choked the air.
His arms were outspread in the shape of a cross,
And I quailed when I saw him, feeling sorrow and loss;
He narrowed his eyes with a twist of his head,
And I felt the full weight of his angst and dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his task,
Left some Dead Can Dance CD's; before I could ask,
A single tear fell across his aquiline nose,
And then, like an angel, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his hearse, to his team he then hissed,
And away they all drifted like early dawn's mist.
But I heard him intone, ere he vanished from sight,
"Gothic Christmas to all, and to all a good fright!"

So merry Xmas, happy Xanukah, wonderful Xmadon, and keen X(insert infidel pagan holiday here).

Date: 2007-07-25 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
silly ^_^ Merry x to you too

Date: 2007-07-25 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you. But whats so silly about gathering around the air conditioner with a bowl of ice cream and singing "The Ballad of 67 Santas"?

Date: 2007-07-25 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
the answer is in the question mon petit chou ^_^

Date: 2007-07-26 07:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My small cabbage? Are you the one who stole the cabbage from the refrigerator?

Date: 2007-07-26 02:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wtf is all this xmas in July stuff people are talking about? lol
I hope it doesnt find me here! :p

Date: 2007-07-26 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
(Begins singing "Here comes Santa Claus" to the jaws theme.)

Oh I think I get it now. Your just jealous because you aren't on Santas' nice list and thus can only look forward to sand in your stocking. Well that's not our fault Ms. dark_scrooge. Maybe you should try to clean your act up before december rolls around.

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