1,800 miles per second. 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second. 214,200 reindeer. These are the numbers from typical treatments of the science of Christmas. You know the sort of thing — make some assumptions and estimates about the number of (Christian? Western? Christmas-observant?) children in the world, where they live, how much their presents weigh, etc., plug it all into a model, solve for the unknowns, and you’ve got a sort of reductio ad absurdum argument against the existence of Santa Claus. So imagine my surprise when, while going over all this evidence, I had a bit of a conversion experience.
It turns out that I believe in Santa Claus. [Read more…] about Science in Review — December 2013