Sunday, December 21, 2008

SANTA CLAUS AND MAD SCIENCE: Text by Frankie Franken, A.M.S., H.D.

Transcription Of Francesca 'Frankie' Franken's 2007 Solstice Festival Address to the Mad Scientists' Guild of Morlock Heights' Annual Guild Dinner, delivered on what is known to humankind as Christmas Eve:

(Slight feedback from microphone. Sound of Frankie clearing her throat.)

Distinguished Council of The Mad Scientists' Guild and Honored Fellows, M.D., In.Ph.D, D.M.S.
, C.O.N., and G.B., I thank you for letting me speak to you this evening. In the spirit of the holidays I have recently been attempting to complete a thesis on the science behind the annual world-wide trip and subsequent delivery of gifts and other items by one Kristopher Nicholas Kringle, also known to all denizens of the human world and those in the Unknown World as Santa Claus. (Applause with some murmurs.) I believed this subject worthy of study due to its abnormally high success rate each year. Being a highly distinguished Junior Member of the Mad Scientists' Guild, I had access to much research on this subject. Our Distinguished Fellows Dr. Klang and Dr. Rhesus have been extremely busy. (Laughter, applause.)

Now, the basic idea here is that Santa Claus has to go around the world and deliver toys to every child in just one night on a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer, or nine reindeer if you count Rudolph. We shall look at the reindeer first. No known species of reindeer can fly, but the key word here is known. The
re are at least 300,000 species of organisms yet to be discovered by conventional science, let alone Mad Science, so therefore it is impossible to completely rule out flying reindeer, which Santa may be the only individual to have ever seen. I submit to the Council of The Mad Scientists' Guild the hypothesis that Santa, through conventional means of cross-breeding and genetic splicing, has managed to develop a singularly mutated strain of reindeer to which only he and his elves are privy. There is also the question of whether Santa may use a special corn-feed for reindeer that allows them to fly, and this could also be manufactured by the means mentioned above. This is also submitted to the Council as well. (Murmurs of acceptance.) By the legendary presence of Rudolph, who possesses a glowing nose that can light the way through dense fog, it is my belief that both theories may be true. (More murmurs of acceptance, sound of pages turning.)

Now let's look at the children factor. There are 2 billion children, or persons under 18, in the world. It is thought that because of Santa's Christian origins, he does not appear to handle Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish and Monsterkind children, but I personally do not believe that this is true, due to my own experience of having received at least one gift distinctly labeled "From Santa" each Solstice Festival since my Creation. Therefore, some allowances are most likely made for these children. (Murmurs.) However, for the sake of scientific argument, if Santa were to handle only Christian-faith children, then the workload is reduced to 15% of the total, or 378 million according to the Population Reference Bureau. At the average census rate of 3.5 children per household, this adds up to 91.9 million homes, assuming there is one good child per house. (Murmurs of agreement.)

Due to different time zones across the globe and the rotation of the earth, and assuming Santa is moving from east to west, there are 31 hours of Christmas Eve to work with. Therefore, Santa makes 822.6 visits per second, with 1/1000th of a second to complete the following tasks on each visit: land the sleigh, get out, go down the chimney, fill all stockings, distribute other gifts under each house's Christmas tree, eat the thoughtfully provided traditional snack of milk and cookies, return up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each stop is evenly distributed, the calculations reveal a rate of .75 miles per household, adding up to a 75-1/2-billion-mile-trip. This does not count for rest stops and periodic feeding of reindeer.

This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, which is 3000 times the speed of sound. The payload on the sleigh is another element: assuming that each child receives one gift weighing not more than 2 pounds, the sleigh is carrying a total of 321,300 tons without Santa. (Murmurs of surprise) Conventional scientific research has proven that a team of nine reindeer cannot pull this payload, due to the fact that the average reindeer cannot pull more than 300 pounds. Instead a team of 214,200 reindeer is needed, which increases our payload to 353,400 tons. (Murmurs from audience.)

A total of only 353,000 tons at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance, which would heat up the sleigh and its team in the same manner as a spaceship re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. The consequences of such conditions have been included in my written thesis, and I will not disclose them at this time as they are too gruesome for the holiday. (Disappointed noises from audience.) However, I submit the hypothesis that the entire trip, with all conditions described above, is entirely possible with an advanced knowledge of electromagnetic waves and the space/time continnum. With such knowledge, Kristopher N. Kringle, a.k.a. Santa Claus, would be able to create "relativity clouds," or rips in the fabric of time and space, which would allow him entire months to deliver presents while only a few minutes pass on Earth! (Consternation.) And I also submit that presents are not delivered under the conditions I have described here today, but that they are created, atom by atom, at each home using advanced nanotechnology, which is not dissimilar to the very Mad Science we use in the lab to grow body parts from a single strand of DNA! (More consternation.) Therefore, I submit to the Mad Scientists' Guild that under these conditions, only one inevitable conclusion can be reached--Santa Claus is one of us!!

(Silence. Then thunderous applause and uproar. The last is delivered with an obvious smile in her voice.)

Distinguished Council Members and Honored Fellows, in the manner of our human neighbors on the other side of the Barrier, I take this opportunity to wish you not only a happy Solstice Festival, but also a very Merry Christmas. Thank you and good night. (Wild cheers and applause.)

POST-MORTEM: Appellations of educational degrees are as follows:
A.M.S., H.D.--Apprenticing Mad Scientist, Highly Distinguished.
M.D.--Mad Doctorate.
In.D.Ph.D--Doctorate in Indecipherable Philosophy.
D.M.S.--Distinguished Mad Scientist.
C.O.N.--Crazed Old Nutter (Appellation of Dr. Herman Von Kranker and certain other Guild members).
G.B.--Good Boy (Appellation of Dr. Emile Jojo, Guild Librarian/Archivist, a doglike genetic anomaly of Nature who spent time in the human world working in a carnival freakshow before completing his M.D. through a mail-order course).