Dispatches From The North Pole: The Science of Santa’s List
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of occasional dispatches from Dr. Larry Silverberg, a researcher at NC State who is leading a visiting scholars program at Santa’s Workshop-North Pole Labs (NPL). Dr. Silverberg is an expert in unified field theory and is accompanied by four other mechanical and aerospace engineers: Drs. Mohammad Zikry (novel materials), Greg Buckner (medical robotics), Fred DeJarnette (space travel), and Herb Eckerlin (energy conservation).
Greetings from the North Pole! It is extremely cold at NPL this morning (and every morning), but it’s the busy season here and the hustle and bustle of the researchers in the workshop is invigorating. We’ve spent an exciting few weeks here so far, and have learned a lot about Santa’s pioneering use of science and technology. The man is a genius, and we’re beginning to learn some of the techniques he uses – which should put a damper on many of the Santa skeptics out there.
It is no overstatement to say that Santa knows when children have been bad or good. He knows much else besides. The information stems from a personal pipeline Santa has to children’s thoughts via a listening antenna that combines technologies currently used in cell phones and EKGs. A sophisticated signal processing system filters the data, giving Santa clues on who wants what, where children live, and even who has been bad or good. Effectively, it gives him advanced neuroimaging capabilities that tell him that Mary in Miami hopes for a surfboard, Michael from Minneapolis wants a snowboard, etc. Later, all this information is processed in an onboard sleigh guidance system, which provides Santa with the most efficient delivery route.
The system serves as a fail-safe backstop to the letters Santa receives via snail mail from around the globe.
One thing I’ve definitely learned so far is that children shouldn’t put too much credence in the opinions of those who say it’s not possible to deliver presents all over the world in one night. It is possible, and it’s based on plausible science. More on that soon.
I’ve got to run – we’re attending a sleigh symposium later this morning.