Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
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 & 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 that there’s at least one good child in each.
3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with. This is due 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/second. That is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has .001 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.
4) 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/household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles; not counting stops to do what most of us do at lease once every 31 hours, plus eating etc. So Santa’s sleigh must be moving at 650 miles/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/second. A conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles/hour.
5) If every one of the 91.8 million homes with good children were to put out a single chocolate chip cookie and an 8 ounce glass of 2% milk, the total calories (needless to say other vitamins and minerals) would be approximately 225 calories (100 for the cookie, give or take, and 125 for the milk, give or take). Multiplying the number of calories per house by the number of homes (225 x 91.8 x 1000000), we get the total number of calories Santa consumes that night, which is 20,655,000,000 calories. To break it down further, 1 pound is equal to 3500 calories. Dividing our total number of calories by the number of calories in a pound (20655000000 / 3500) and we get the number of pounds Santa gains, 5901428.6, which is 2950.7 tons.
6) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (2 lb.), 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 300lb. Even granting that “flying reindeer” (see #1) can pull 10 TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with 8, or even 9, reindeer. We need 214,200. This increases the payload - not counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. This is four times the weight of the ocean-liner Queen Elizabeth.
7) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles/second creates enormous air resistance. This will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as a spacecraft reentering 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 .00426 of a second. Meanwhile, Santa, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250 lb. Santa, being very conservative in terms of guessing Santa’s weight, would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 lb. of force. If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he’s dead now.
(Doing my part to keep you informed.)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
In Your honor, a little Mae West:
"A dame that knows the ropes, isn't likely to get tied up".
"Between two evils I always pick the one I never tried before".
"I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to be sure".
"I'm no model lady, a model is just an imitation of the real thing".
Happy Birthday, wishing you a wonderful day.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Growing up in Brooklyn, getting the tree was the highlight of my year. We almost never got a tree before Christmas eve. They were much cheaper if you waited until the very last minute to buy one. Of course this also meant that what was left in the tree lot was a sad version of a "Charlie Brown tree". Getting a tree was a family affair, we always walked together to the same tree lot on Linden Boulevard. We spent so much time lingering among the little lifeless skinny trees left that by the time we decided we were all shivering. Should we get that scrawny little one or this scrawny little one? The absolute cheapest tree they had, that's the one we got. It was always the ugliest, scrawniest, most pathetic tree on the lot. But to me, it was beautiful and full of magic. We would carry our tree all the way home, singing Christmas carol's all the way.
Where to put the tree once we got it home was never an issue, anywhere in the living that was close to a plug. We didn't need to make room for it as there wasn't anything in the living except a couple kitchen chairs, a black and white TV and a stereo. That stereo was our prize possession. Music has always played in my life. My parents would play typical Puerto Rican music, aguinaldos (folk type carols), plenas (also folkloric music influenced by African and Spanish music), some Ramito, Chuito de Bayamon, and mixed in was a little "white christmas", "We three Kings"and "Jingle bells".
Our decorations were handmade, mostly stuff we had made in school, a construction paper multi-colored chain and sometimes some angel hair. Angel hair made you itch if you touched it for too long but when illuminated by the twinkling lights, it was mesmerizing. The tree topper was an angel my mom had bought, it had a plastic head, with blond hair, and mesh wings, and lights in it's little plastic hands and it cost $1.00. I still have that angel, the lights don't work, it's blond hair is mostly missing, and the mesh has holes, but I still have it.
Our tree was lit every single night and all day long on weekends. We ate dinner sitting near it, in fact if I was home I could always be found near it. We kept it until January 8th. (January 6th was 3 kings day and the 7th my birthday) By January 8th, it was lopsided and had little to no needles. It was a sad day when we said goodbye to it.
As the pretend adult I now am, Christmas trees still excite me. My Christmas tree is a work of art. It is big and tall, expensive and fake. ( I live in the tropics my little huckleberries, a real tree would be dead in minutes.) Every single light and ornament placed in just the perfect spot. Almost every ornament has a reason or meaning for being part of my tree. I spend hours making it look perfect. (of course "perfect" is a relative term). The top still holds an angel, a pretty porcelain one, with delicate features. My childhood angel now retired due to it's fragile condition.
Every time I walk by a Christmas tree, every time I stop to look at one, I am reminded of my family. I can hear us singing, and laughing. I remember that "Charlie Brown tree" of my childhood and marvel at the magic it brought to my house every single Christmas. The magic tree that once it came into our home wasn't scrawny and sad but tall and full and beautiful. The magic tree that shared our love and was an honored guest. I am EsLocura and I love Christmas trees. (I wonder if there's a help group for that).
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
That's the bridge I need to cross to get into town, I had to take the "long" route to town today.
The waterfall that sprouted where once there was none.
At least I still have an internet connection.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
It all started out about me, and it's still all about me. I have shared all sorts of stuff, written about my heartache, my insomnia, stupid people, animals/pets, Puerto Rico, family, friends, fruit, and my childhood. I have done a whole bunch of memes. I have cursed a whole fucking bunch, and been proud of it. I have met my goal of not censoring myself as various friends and family became readers. (this I am even more proud of then the fucking swearing thing). I've touched upon many topics and I've written some filler stuff while my "muse" took a vacation. Blogging has been a fun adventure, a place to vent and be creative.
The best part of blogging: all of you. All the little huckleberries who take the time to read the "Asylum", who leave such encouraging, witty and smart comments. Thank you! Thanks for adding some sanity, thanks for adding more craziness, thanks for making me laugh. Thank you to my family and friends, who keep reading and coming back for more. Thank you to my fellow bloggers. Each one of you has in some way become part of the Asylum. I am very grateful. (now is a good time to lift your champagne glass) Here's to "EsLocura's Asylum", all hail the possibilities of the next twelve months!