Santa's Big Night: A Christ-Math Miracle
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Lifestyle

# Santa's Big Night: A Christ-Math Miracle

## The math behind how it would be possible to do Saint Nick's one-night feat.

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He's making a list, he's checking it twice, he's gonna find out who's naughty or nice. You know who I'm talking about...and he's coming to town pretty soon. The world is a big place, but thanks to a little bit of magic, he can make it through all in one night. Just so you appreciate what he does, here's the math behind Santa's big night.

Jolly Old Saint Nick would have to pull off quite a miracle to make it to deliver all of the presents in one night. There are about 7.4 billion people living on the Earth right now, and about 2 billion of those people celebrate Christmas each year. Assuming that these people are in families of about 3.52 individuals (based on the average household size from the five largest countries by population), and that he respects the wishes of those who do not take part in Christmas, he would have to visit 568 million houses.

The Earth is a sphere with a diameter of 6.371 million meters, meaning that it has a surface area of 510 million square kilometers. Considering that about 71 percent of that surface is covered by water, and over 14 million square kilometers can be attributed to uninhabitable areas such as Antarctica, Santa would have to cover about 148 million square kilometers, assuming the houses are evenly distributed over the habitable area.

If the big guy started his night in the Eastern Hemisphere, where the sun sets around 6:45 PM on Christmas Eve, and ended his night in the Western Hemisphere where the sun rises at 7:00 AM on Christmas morning, he would have 12 hours and 15 minutes, plus the 16 hour difference in time zones, meaning he would have a total of 28 hours and 15 minutes of darkness to deliver presents.

The standard legend on Santa Claus states that he lands his sled on the roof, climbs down the chimney, and sets presents (or coal) under the tree while eating milk and cookies provided by the family. The current world record for fastest time to eat a cookie is 8.80 seconds, so if a family puts out four cookies, Saint Nick would be there for at least 35.2 seconds. Assuming he could also match the speed of the record for a 20-foot rope climb, it would take 2.8 seconds to get back onto the roof. This means he would spend a total of 38 seconds at each house.

38 seconds at each house would require 5.99 million hours. To travel between houses, the fastest man-made form of flight would be able to move Father Christmas at 980 meters per second. This means that he could cover the entire inhabitable surface in 42,806 hours. The total trip would require 6.03 million hours. Since Santa must finish the job in 28 hours and 15 minutes, he must move more than 213,550 times faster than the limits of human achievement.

It is not difficult to see why so many people have an issue believing in a being who could do it all in one night. But let's be real, parents wouldn't have much of a better chance at doing that all in one night, either!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Relationships

## An Open Letter To My Grandpa In Heaven

### If Heaven wasn't so far away, I'd be there every day.

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Nikki Wright

Dear Grandpa,

The first thing I want to say is that I miss you with all my heart, forever and always. I never stop thinking about you or the memories we had made.

They say that the loss of a loved one often changes someone's life. I'd like to agree.

I hate that I had to lose you at such a young age. I am old enough to remember your smell, and remember how contagious your laugh was; that always made us think you were up to something suspicious. But I was too young for you to get to know the real me. I'm still trying to figure that out who that is.

I wish you could have been at my college graduation. I know that you would be cheering louder than anyone when they called my name to walk across the stage and receive my diploma. But I know you'll be watching from up above with all of my other past relatives cheering me on, as I continue on this journey.

I wish that you would be there when I say "I Do" at my wedding ceremony some day. I wish that you could meet my future husband and approve of him (it would mean a lot coming from you because you were so protective of me) and then maybe scare him a little. I wish you could be sitting in the church as I give my vows and promise to love my future husband as deeply as you loved me and our entire family.

I wish that you were around to hear that we still talk about you. We all still laugh about stories from vacations and how you would get mad if someone took your seat at the dinner table on Christmas.I wish you could hear us all trying to impersonate the way you laugh or how sarcastic you liked to be. I wish I could hug you one last time because you gave the warmest hugs every time I every need a pick-me-up or just because hugs are better than words.

I wish I took more pictures with you. I wish smartphones were a thing when you were still here, so I could have had videos of your voice with me always. I barely have any pictures with you and now it's too late and i regret it. But i will always cherish the one that we have together.

I want you to know that I miss you so much and I wish you could be around to see the woman I became. Not a day goes by that I don't think about you. I wish heaven had visiting hours. I miss you so much, but I know you would be proud of me.

If Heaven wasn't so far away I'd be there everyday.

I love you so much, Grandpa.

Love,

Featured

## That Feeling of Opening Day

### What it means and What Happened

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Baseball's Opening Day has inspired countless writers, fans, and players throughout the years. Some notable quotes we remember about this special day are:

1. "There's nothing like Opening Day. There's nothing like the start of a new season. I started playing baseball when I was seven years old, and quit playing when I was forty, so we're talking about thirty-three years of my life that I geared up for Opening Day." - George Brett, Hall of Fame third baseman
2. "There is no sports event like Opening Day of baseball, the sense of beating back the forces of darkness and the National Football League." - George Vecsey, New York Times sports columnist
3. From "The Boys of Summer" by Roger Kahn: "Every spring, for me, is the ironical apex of the year. The best day is the first day of spring training when you walk down the stairs, open the door, and the bright sun and blue sky blast your eyes. That's the big day. That's when I am the most excited."
4. "You always get a special kick on Opening Day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you're a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen." - Joe DiMaggio, Hall of Fame center fielder
5. From "Wait Till Next Year" by Doris Kearns Goodwin: "Before us stretches the new season, the hundred and fifty-four battles to be won or lost, with thousands of unknown delights and torments in store. I would hold on to this moment, the wonderful smell of grass and the sun's warm promise, the banners overhead and the happy crowd."

And it did not disappoint. Aaron Judge hit a home run in first at bat

Baseball is back, let's go !

Featured

## To The 'Best Friend' I Decided I Couldn't Be Friends With Anymore

### Most of all, thank you for being the person who finally pushed me to choose myself.

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Dear Old Friend,

I decided we arenâ€™t friends anymore and you may not fully understand why.

I recently read To The Bestfriend Who Decided We Aren't Friends Anymore and it struck a chord with me. I realized that I was that friend who walked away, who gave up. I hurt you and that hurts me. But, the reality is, I decided we arenâ€™t friends anymore becauseâ€¦ we just werenâ€™t.

I think about all of the memories we shared, too. I havenâ€™t forgotten all of the years we were never without each other. And if we were apart, we were texting or counting down the minutes until we would be together again. I think about the times when it wasnâ€™t even a question if you were going to celebrate my birthday with me, binge-watch Netflix and eat junk food, or hug me until I stopped crying and forgot his name. Because all that mattered was us. We were like Blair and Serena. Everything would be OK as long as we were together, right?

But we arenâ€™t together.

My heart is broken when I see you post pictures with other friends tagged #bestfriend #rideordie #girlfriend, when I hear one of our songs and youâ€™re not there to sing horribly with me when I am alone or scared and you arenâ€™t there like youâ€™re supposed to be.

Youâ€™re just not there anymore and you havenâ€™t been for over a year.

I moved away. I will take responsibility for leaving, for transferring colleges, for making new friends, for growing up. I know I left you, but that didnâ€™t change our friendship for me. I never stopped being your best friend. I know I had to go days at a time without texting you back.

I know I had to go months without visiting. I go to a new college, I have new friends and I donâ€™t live 15 minutes away anymore, but when did that stop me from being there for you? When another jerk broke your heart, I was on the phone with you until you stopped crying. When you experienced loss, I got my shift covered and drove down to you as soon as I could. I never called anyone else my best friend, it was always you; my new friends even knew that. But it was never enough for you.

Maybe I am the one who officially decided we arenâ€™t friends anymore, but you decided too.

You decided we werenâ€™t friends anymore when you stopped being my best friend, but expected me to be yours. You decided we werenâ€™t friends anymore when you intentionally tried to hurt me because you felt justified in doing so.

You decided we werenâ€™t friends anymore when you chose a boy over our friendship â€” over and over and over again. You decided we werenâ€™t friends anymore when you chose to be jealous instead of happy for me. You decided we werenâ€™t friends anymore when you made our friendship a one-way street.

Friendship, like any relationship I have learned, canâ€™t be a one-way street. It isnâ€™t petty, it isnâ€™t cruel. True friendship is supportive, accepting, understanding and is never less important than a boy. Best friends never, ever intentionally hurt their best friends , no matter what the reason may be. Once you do that, you just arenâ€™t best friends anymore.

Now, I know that when you love someone, you fight. I know that there are going to be rough patches, but I stuck around for longer than I should have. You know this. I know you know this. I forgave you over and over and over again. I forgave you for things that I never in a million years could imagine myself doing to you, or anyone for that matter; because I love you. Even when you did the unspeakable, I still loved you. You were my best friend. That meant the commitment to me. That meant loyalty and unconditional love. Until it didnâ€™t to you.

I kept choosing you when I should have been choosing me. Well, now, I choose me.

I stand by my decision in deciding we arenâ€™t friends anymore, but it will hurt me every day. I just know that it will hurt less than it did desperately try to save our friendship, trying to save you. You have made it clear that to you, our friendship isnâ€™t worth saving. You have made it clear that you donâ€™t want to be saved. So, I have no choice but to let go. I have nothing to hold on to anymore.

Despite how it has ended, I still thank you. Thank you for our years of friendship. Thank you for all of the amazing memories â€” memories that I, to this day, canâ€™t imagine being topped. Thank you for showing me what true friendship is and what it isnâ€™t. Thank you for teaching me how to be selfless, how to be forgiving and how to be a loyal friend. Most of all, thank you for being the person who finally pushed me to choose myself.

Love,

The Best Friend You Pushed Away

Lifestyle

## 7 Tips For Traveling

### Don't miss any of these ideas to make your trip complete!

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Whether it's a day trip, an out-of-state journey, or an experience leaving the country, here are some tried and true traveling tips.

Before any trip, we all think about what to pack and what to bring. We may have a strict itinerary, or we may have looser guidelines for what to do when. But we should also consider the following - make them goals:

## 1. Go somewhere you've never been

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Even if you're going to a place you've been before, go somewhere you haven't been. That might be a tourist hot spot, a restaurant, a park ... it doesn't matter. Just somewhere new.

## 2. Meet a stranger

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It might just be small talk, but meet someone new each day you're away.

## 3. Keep a travel log

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Take note of where you've been and what you're doing each day. You never know when you'll want to look back on this - it could be years down the road!

## 4. Find a souvenir

It may sound clichÃ©, but securing some sort of a momento & bringing it home with you is a great way to remember a trip. And part of why we travel in the first place is for the memories.

## 5. Leave something behind

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It doesn't even have to be something physical. It might be a good impression with those you encounter, a bit of advice for someone, or anything else in the "leave it better off than you found it" realm.

## 6. Post to social media

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You're not even doing it to brag. Think about it as letting people know about a destination you found appealing; making a recommendation; promoting some local tourism. And logging that memory for yourself.

## 7. Find time to reflect

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Make time for yourself while traveling. It's easy to forget this but moments of stillness and reflection are key.

Featured

## Writer of the Month: Hunter Johnstone

### As an aspiring author, Hunter knew writing for Odyssey would be a great fit for her.

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Response writers are what make the world go round at Odyssey! Using our response button feature, they carry on our mission of sparking positive, productive conversations in a polarized world.

We're excited to highlight one of our top writers on our homepage each month. Our March writer of the month is Hunter Johnstone of Eastern Michigan University. Read on to hear her story of becoming a response writer!

Want to become a response writer? Email us! Youâ€™ll get to choose your own topics and write one article a week. Your work will be featured on our homepage and in our weekly Overheard on Odyssey newsletter. Plus, for your first 10 articles, youâ€™ll be compensated by HQ at \$10/response.

Hi, my name is Hunter Johnstone and I am a response article writer for The Odyssey. I have been writing articles for the platform since November 2022. I attend Eastern Michigan University majoring in Media Studies and Journalism with a minor in Creative Writing. Last November, my News Writing and Reporting professor sent out an email that had details about working for The Odyssey. I was immediately intrigued as I love to write and I want to be an author one day, so I immediately reached out to Glorie. Not long after, I was offered the position of response writer.

Being a response writer is really interesting because you get to read other people's takes or views and then respond with something that you make your own. That, and your responses can vary in the subject matter. For example, sometimes I post listicles about books or movies while other times I talk about personal experiences. I feel like I can really talk about things that I am opinionated and passionate about without judgment.

Now when it comes to my work being published, I really enjoy that. It is helping me build a writing portfolio and I get such a proud feeling when I see an article written by me and that it is being read by an audience. The feeling of having my voice heard by others is such a gratifying feeling. I also get paid for my articles which is really cool since it's like a reward for writing quality content.

Overall, working for The Odyssey has been an eye-opening experience and an amazing opportunity for myself and my work. I canâ€™t wait to make more content and to further find my voice in my writing.