Graph-a-Day til Christmas Part 1

autosave

The snow is falling at some point in the near future, and I can hear sleigh bells on horizon. The pleasant odor of cookies wafts in on the wings of horse poop form increased carriage activity and suddenly it all feels a lot like Christmas.

Which means time to party if you're a sentient cookie apparently

Which means time to party if you’re a sentient cookie apparently

Of course, some people might have a few questions about how Santa gets around. We all know the concerns about getting through chimneys and in his most famous PSA, Tim Allen explained those concerns away. But here’s another thing to worry about: weight.

Atlanta is only partly to blame though.

Atlanta is only partly to blame though.

See, here’s a big issue that arises when you think about Santa’s trip around the world. Santa starts his trip with a bag of presents for every Christmas celebrant in the entire world. That’s potentially millions of pounds, especially if those Lexus commercials really work out and everyone asks for one.

We're going to need a bigger bag...

We’re going to need a bigger bag…

So let’s imagine that Santa takes off. He’s got 8-9 reindeer based on the levels of ground level cloud cover to tow all that weight. Their energy is depicted by the red line on the graph, showing the total weight that the reindeer can carry given their fatigue.

And a tired reindeer is a USELESS reindeer

And a tired reindeer is a USELESS reindeer

The green and orange lines show the variable weights for Santa’s sleigh. The green line, with its negative slope shows the weight leaving the sleigh as Santa drops off gifts. Thankfully for us in the US, the termination line for Time Zones is somewhere in the middle of the Pacific, meaning we our greed actually helps Santa out.

Pictured: Santa's number one dude

Pictured: Santa’s number one dude

That’s right! See, Santa’s reindeer are getting pretty pooped dragging all that weight, but when Santa drops all those Lexus (Lexi? Lexes? Lexuseseses?), the reindeer get a nice little boost of strength. This is important because if the y-values for the green and orange lines are greater than the y-value for the red line, Santa’s sleigh can’t get off the ground.

This offers a interesting alternative prospect though. You can see that pretty early on, we get dangerously close to that breaking point. That’s right around the Aleutian Islands which means that if the Aleutians buy into that giving spirit a little bit too much, we could have them feeding Santa cheesecakes instead of cookies, putting the rest of the world’s Christmas cheer in terrible danger.

Thankfully Alaska has punishments in place for the overly generous

Thankfully Alaska has punishments in place for the overly generous

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