Sunday, December 23, 2007

Santa Lives!

Despite all these facts that people have made to convince us that St. Nicholas isn't real, I don't believe them. Santa is real! Santa is anyone who does something kind hearted and selfless, we could all learn a lot from Santa. Some day we might even become him!

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 15% of the total - 378 million according to the 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, and assuming he travels east to west (which seems 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 his 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 purpose of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75.5 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, 3000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 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 punds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (refer to point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal load, 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 - 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.

5. 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entereing 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 flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create a deafening sonic boom in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousanths 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.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Harry Potter

I apologize about this blog… Usually in my blogs I try to write something entertaining dramatic and fun to read. This week my mind was totally blank, so I apologize because I am going to write about something unentertaining for a change. I’m going to write about my favorite series and try to convince you that you should read it.

Don’t let this recommendation scare you from reading the rest of this blog; but I think that the Harry Potter books are the greatest books of all time. True they may be long, but if you stop thinking about how long the book is, you might actually enjoy yourself. The first book is okay it has a rather rough start, but then Harry finds out that he’s a wizard then it becomes a fast exciting and descriptive read. He finds out how his parents died, they were murdered! But not by just any normal villain! They were killed by Lord Voldemort, a criminal so cruel that he tried to kill a little one year old baby, Harry Potter! By the end of this book Harry shows how brave he is by overcoming what normal people would fear, and then facing Voldemort himself!
The second one was one of my favorites despite the fact that there are humongous spiders and a horrifying ten foot long snake. And even though everyone hates Harry in this book and thinks that he is Slytherin’s heir, he shows you how hardworking and brave he is by solving the mystery of who’s behind all the attacks and then saving a few people in the process.
The third one is pretty scary it’s not exactly my type of book, but it is still not my least favorite book of the series. It involves a lot of mystery. What was that huge black dog that Harry saw before he got on the night bus? A grim or something worse? Who is this mysterious mass murderer Sirius Black? Why did Mr. Weasley make Harry promise not to be reckless? Why would Sirius Black a complete stranger possibly want to kill Harry?
Who are Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs? In the end all these nagging questions are answered in the most phenomenal and heart pounding way possible. The fourth book was always my favorite, until the seventh book came out of course.
The fourth book is about a competition held at Hogwarts. Harry mysteriously ends up competing in the tournament. He has tons of luck, but it wasn’t just skill that helped him survive. The competition is rigged! But not by someone that would truly want to help Harry!
The fifth one… I won’t even go there. That might have been the most boring and negative book that I’ve ever read. No offense Panda Girl! After Voldemort gained his body back the link between Harry and Voldemort is stronger than ever. Harry used to feel a little twinge of pain whenever Voldemort was close, now he can have visions from inside Voldemort’s head! But of course Voldemort isn’t a very happy villain; every angry hatred filled emotion that Voldemort feels affects Harry’s attitude and mood. He becomes moody and unreasonable; he also yells a lot and disrespects his own friends.
The sixth one is a lot better then the fifth. Voldemort realizes how dangerous the link between him and Harry is, so he backs off a little. In the sixth book Harry learns about something called a Horcrux. It is one of the most terrible things in wizarding history. So terrible that all literature about the subject was removed from Hogwarts School, that gave Hermione a rough time! A horcrux can be made with dark magic when a witch or wizard kills someone. After they kill someone they can rip part of their soul off and put it in something. Thus if someone does the killing curse on you, you can’t really die. That explains why Voldemort didn’t truly die, he made seven horcruxes! In the end of the book Harry and Dumbledore set off to find one of Voldemort’s horcruxes and destroy it.
The seventh book is the absolutely most amazing book that I have ever read in my life! If you were patient enough to read over 3,000 pages to get to Harry Potter 7, you will not be disappointed at all! No other book in the series can compare to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in my opinion anyway. In this book Harry must find all the horcruxes so that he can fulfill his prophecy, “neither can live while the other survives.” In the end Harry or Voldemort must die. Will Harry find the horcruxes in time? Will Ron and Hermione stick with him to the end? Can Harry possibly dream of killing someone so evil and cold hearted as Lord Voldemort himself? Read it and you’ll see how good the series is, you won’t regret it!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

That's the Christmas spirit!!!

In the next few blogs I will tell you about some cute Christmas stories that have happened in my family. Each involves a Santa like figure.

One day my little brother decided that he wanted to buy Christmas presents for all five people in our family. It was a very nice act, but seven year olds don't make that much money. Even so he was very determined to feel the happiness of giving. So Michael saved up money the whole year so that he could by us Christmas presents. When it finally reached December, my dad took Michael to Sam's Club to buy the gifts. In the process of finding Christmas presents the eleven dollars that my brother had saved fell out of his pocket. A few minutes later my brother reached into his pocket to feel the money that he earned, but there was a problem, it wasn't there! As you can imagine it broke my brother’s heart. All of his money that he had earned all year was gone! Tearfully he tole my dad what had happened. My dad was also heart broken to see his little boy so sad. He took Mike up to the lost and found and told the workers about the money that Mike had lost. The employees spoke on the loud speaker.
" A little boy has lost eleven dollars that he has saved to buy Christmas presents, if anyone sees it please bring it to the lost and found, thank you." I'm sure that there were lots of dishonest people that went looking for the money so that they could put it in their wallets. Most likely the money was found by someone like that, but that's not important to this story. Just as the employee finished his sentence, Santa Clause came jogging towards us. He was probably just an old man trying to earn a little money for the holidays, but he gave up some of his earnings to a little boy that he had never met.
"Here you go little guy, I found your money!" He then handed my brother eleven dollars. My dad felt a lump in his throat.
"Thank you." he whispered.

I don't know if you believe in karma, but I do. That same December we went to Universal Studios for Christmas break. As we were walking towards the entrance, my dad spotted a little bundle of dollar bills wrapped up in a little ribbon. As he looked at that money he had a flash back of when Mike lost his money. That money could belong to a poor little kid like Mike! My dad took the money, and immediately after we entered the park we went to lost and found. Dad told the stunned employee that he had found that roll of money on the street, and thought that it might belong to a little kid. The employee looked at my dad in amazement; his eyes became as round as quarters.
"Sir, I have never seen anyone as honest as you! I must reward you for something as kind hearted as this!" He reached into the shiny cashier box and handed my dad five front of the line passes, one for everyone in my family, valid for the whole day! Kindness is never unrewarded; I love the spirit that Christmas brings!

Santa Is On Vacation

I thought that this would be a funny story since it's nearly Christmas time. I lived in Hawaii for the first four year of my life, and I had some nice warm Christmases there. Lots of little kids were scared of Santa when they were little; personally I was never like that. One day my family went to the beach and low and behold there was a rather plump old guy lying on the beach, I thought that he was Santa. Suddenly I was an extremely excited toddler. I tugged on my parents swimming trunks and exclaimed, "Look, there's Santa!"
"Can I please go talk to him?" I started pleading. The real Santa Clause was the man standing right next to me trying to think of what he could say to discourage his two year old from embarrassing the poor man.
"Honey, Santa is on vacation right now. If you don't disturb him maybe you will get better presents this year!" My big blue eyes scanned the man who looked like Santa one last time and then they dimmed a little.
"Okay." I said in disappointment.

When I think of that story I always laugh. My dad had to be rather quick witted to come up with a story to persuade me not to talk to Santa. Personally I would have had no idea what to say in a situation like that!