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How Gullible Are We?
Thoughts From Seinfield
The Truth About Santa
Scientific Philosophies

_How Gullible Are We?

A freshman at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair, April 26. He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project, he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide."

And for plenty of good reasons, since:

1. It can cause excessive sweating and vomiting
2. It is a major component in acid rain
3. It can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
4. Accidental inhalation can kill you
5. It contributes to erosion
6. It decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
7. It has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients

He asked 50 people if they supported a ban of the chemical. Forty-three said yes, six were undecided, and only one knew that the chemical was water. The title of his prize winning project was, "How Gullible Are We?" He feels the conclusion is obvious.

_Thoughts From Seinfield

What's with the people who put carpeting on the lid of their toilet seat? What are they thinking -- "Gosh, if we have a party there may not be enough standing room; I'd better carpet the toilet too."

What's with this weird hotel custom of leaving a piece of chocolate on the pillow? I awoke thinking my brain had hemorrhaged some sort of fecal matter.

Have you ever noticed that the waiter who takes your order is not the one who brings your food anymore? What is THAT about? And which waiter are you tipping, anyway? I think that next time I go to a restaurant I'll just say, "Oh, sorry, I only eat the food. The guy who pays the bill will be along shortly."

Would somebody please explain to me those signs that say, "No animals allowed except for Seeing Eye Dogs?" Who is that sign for? Is it for the dog, or the blind person?

Why do people give each other flowers? To celebrate various important occasions, they're killing living creatures? Why restrict it to plants? "Sweetheart, let's make up. Have this deceased squirrel."

Can't we just get rid of wine lists? Do we really have to be reminded every time we go out to a nice restaurant that we have no idea what we are doing? Why don't they just give us a trigonometry quiz with the menu?

If airline seat cushions are such great flotation devices, why don't you ever see anyone take one to the beach?

Why do they call it a "building"? It looks like they're finished. Why isn't it a "built"?

Why is it when you turn on the TV you see ads for telephone companies, and when you turn on the radio you hear ads for TV shows, and when you get put on hold on the phone you hear a radio station?

Why is it illegal to park in a handicapped parking space but okay to go the bathroom in a handicapped stall?

How come you have to pay someone to rotate your tires? Isn't that the basic idea behind the wheel? Don't they rotate on their own?

All the king's HORSES and all the king's men? Are you kidding me? No wonder they couldn't put Humpty together again. Just what did those idiots expect the horses to do, anyway?

Did you ever notice, when you are sitting at a red light, that when the person in front of you pulls up a couple of inches, you are compelled to move up too? Do we really think we are making progress toward our destination? "Whew, I thought we would be late, but now that I am nine inches closer, I can stop for coffee and a danish!"

Isn't it weird that we drink milk, stuff designed to nourish baby cows? How did THAT happen? Did some cattleman once say, "Oh, man, I can't wait till them calves are done so I can get ME a hit of that stuff."

Now they show you how detergents take out bloodstains, a pretty violent image there. I think if you've got a T-shirt with a bloodstain all over it, maybe laundry isn't your biggest problem. Maybe you should get rid of the body before you do the wash.

Have you ever noticed how they keep improving your laundry detergent, but they still can't get those blue flakes out? Why do we trust them to get our clothes clean? These guys can't even get the DETERGENT white!

Did you see these new minivan ads? All they talk about are cup holders, kiddie seats and doors. What kind of advertising is that? When you see an ad for a suit, do they say, "And look at the zipper! Carefully hidden, but easily accessible when you need it!" I think not!

_The Truth About Santa

After much research, we present the annual aeronautical engineers report on the theory of Santa:

No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer, which only Santa has ever seen.

There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish & Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total -378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes that there's at least one good child in each.

Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with. This is due to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits/second. That is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has .001 second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles/household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles; not counting stops to do what most of us do at lease once every 31 hours, plus eating etc. So Santa's sleigh must be moving at 650 miles/second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a pokey 27.4 miles/second. A conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles/hour.

The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (2 lb.), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300lb. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see #1) can pull 10 TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with 8, or even 9, reindeer. We need 214,200. This increases the payload - not counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. This is four times the weight of the ocean-liner Queen Elizabeth.

353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles/second creates enormous air resistance. This will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as a spacecraft reentering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within .00426 of a second. Meanwhile, Santa, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250 lb. Santa, being very conservative in terms of guessing Santa's weight, would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 lb. of force. If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.

A Merry Christmas to one and all!!

_Scientific Philosophies

When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet, and when toast is dropped, it always lands with the buttered side facing down. I propose to strap buttered toast to the back of a cat; the two will hover, spinning inches above the ground. With a giant buttered cat array, a high-speed monorail could easily link New York with Chicago.

Why Yawning Is Contagious: You yawn to equalize the pressure on your eardrums. This pressure change outside your eardrums unbalances other people's ear pressures, so they must yawn to even it out.

The earth may spin faster on its axis due to deforestation. Just as a figure skater's rate of spin increases when the arms are brought in close to the body, the cutting of tall trees may cause our planet to spin dangerously fast.

The reason hot-rod owners raise the backs of their cars is that it's easier to go faster when you're always going downhill.

The quantity of consonants in the English language is constant. If omitted in one place, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian "pahks" his "cah," the lost r's migrate southwest, causing a Texan to "warsh" his car and invest in "erl wells."