Feeds

An academic take on Santa

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

HPC news and developments slack off a lot during the holidays. The lull often lasts well into January as we put the holiday season behind us, take down the tree, and exchange our geeky gifts for even geekier and more powerful gifts… but that won’t stop us from writing something HPC-related.

In our never-ending quest to find interesting stuff to write about, we stumbled upon “The Physics of Santa Claus”. This is a reasonably comprehensive examination of just what it would take for Santa to make his appointed rounds.

The author does a great job of laying out the task and outlining the necessary assumptions: Santa goes only to households likely to celebrate Christmas; he has 31 hours to accomplish his mission, given the rotation of the earth and crossing of time zones; no rest stops; etc. etc. The payload on the sleigh is also discussed and quantified thoroughly, and it comes in at a beefy 321,300 tons – quite a load for even the most athletic reindeer.

The author concludes that Santa’s sleigh would have to travel 650 miles per second in order to complete his rounds. This is a pretty quick pace – about 3,000 times the speed of sound – but much slower than the speed of light (186,282 miles per second). This means that his trip is theoretically possible, I guess. But, unfortunately, given the speed and gross tonnage of the sleigh, Santa and his helpers would create enough air resistance to incinerate themselves in flight. Not the sort of vignette they write carols about.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.