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(NPR)   Tired of the annual "how much would the twelve days of Christmas cost" stories? How about estimating the size of Santa's organization if he were a delivery company?   ( divider line
    More: Amusing, Santa Claus, Planet Money, flight plans  
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4704 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Dec 2012 at 1:24 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-12-19 09:30:50 PM  
2 votes:
"Mike from UPS can think through all those teams and all those workers, but there's still something that's a mystery for him: the sleigh. Not only does it have to move fast enough to deliver 9,000 presents a second, but estimating conservatively that each present weighs about a pound, Mike says it would have to haul 760 million pounds of cargo. Which would take nearly three hundred 747 planes to haul. Or perhaps just nine reindeer. "
I think that everyone is mission the obvious.  Santa is obviously a collection of clone symbiotes intent upon world domination through the commercialization of the major religions.
/It's obvious if you smoke a lot of pot.
2012-12-20 04:27:30 PM  
1 vote:
That number is fairly inaccurate... let's take a look at an alternative way to see what Santa would have to do... (yes Math farkers, I know this isn't perfect, but humor me for Christmas will you?)

1. "Christmas" is celebrated by Christians That's 2,331,509,000 of the 6.9 Billion people in the world.
2. Of those Christians... How many are children? I couldn't find a good number, so let's make an assumption (not a great one). Child is defined as 12 or under. The average age of death is 78. If this was an even distribution (it isn't) that would mean that 12/78 (roughly 15%) of the Christian population would be considered a child. What's left with that figure? 358,693,692
3. Of those 358,693,692 children, how many are "good"? That's hard to define, but let's try.

a. Doing well with schoolwork would be considered a good indicator of how "good" a kid is. While there are kids who don't do well in school who are good, there are also smart kids who are bad. We'll assume they cancel each other out and say that grades mean that (on a 20% distributed bell curve), only 40% would be considered "good" by a school system. We're down to 143,477,476 kids now.
b. How many regularly attend church? Again, not a great indicator, but a "good" Christian kid should probably attend church a least once in a while. Some random internet stats say that 28% of people haven't attended church in the last 6 months... let's knock them out... 103,303,783
c. It's getting harder, but let's do this... 6.6% of the U.S. population will serve time in a prison during their lifetime (ouch)... let's assume they were bad kids too. 96,485,733
d. Santa is a charitable guy, and those kids should be too... turns out 75% of kids in a survey donated to charity, so let's knock out the other 25%. 72,364,300
e. Good kids need to make their bed. Turns out only about 71% of us do that... 51,378,653
f. Good kids should eat their fruits and vegetables...only about 32.5% of us get enough fruits and 26.3% of us enough vegetables, so let's double whammy this number (yes, bad math, I know). 4,391,590
g. Brush their teeth. Turns out 2/3 of us don't do it right... 1,463,863
h. Go to bed on time. Only about 1/3 of us get enough sleep. 487,954
i. Do their own homework. Turns out a lot of you do your kid's homework (46%)... naughty for you and naughty for them. 263,495
j. Good kids don't cheat in school either... Turns out up to 85% will have cheated by the time they graduate. 39,524
k. This article covers how many kids do chores (71.9%) and how many are whiny and think they have it harder than their parents (37.3% -using the higher number) 17,818
l. 44% of children don't believe in Santa. 9,978
m. 70% of kids watch too much TV. 2,993
n. 75% of kids don't get enough exercise...748

Even though I've gotten it down to 748, this number is still too high. There's a ton of other measurements and some of these areas probably overlap.

That being said.. this is only about 1 present every two minutes for Santa to deliver over a 24 hour period. With his magic sleigh, 8 tiny reindeer, and Rudolph... it's probably a breeze.
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