Sunday, 17 December 2017

Deep Thought Answers The Science Of Santa

Twas the night before the Christmas, when all through the house, all the creatures were wondering: 'How does Santa drink all that sherry and still drive his sleigh in a straight line'?
The science behind Father Christmas is complex and beyond human comprehension but as luck would have it, at work we have a supercomputer which can perform a hundred quadrillion floating-point operations per second (FLOPS) and is used to compute the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything and was therefore perfect for finding out the answers behind the science of Santa.
Sneaking into the lab during my lunch break, i had just enough time to feed a few questions into 'Deep Thought' before the security guard returned and this is the printout.

Welcome to DEEP THOUGHT. When you see the red light go on, would you please state your question: 

DEEP_THOUGHT: Good morning, LUCY. I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

LUCY_> How much Sherry does Santa drink each year?
DEEP_THOUGHT> An average glass of sherry contains 125ml of liquid. If Santa drank a glass in every Christian household he visited he would consume the equivalent of 13 Olympic-sized swimming pools full of sherry.

LUCY_> How long does it take to deliver all the presents?
DEEP_THOUGHT> Santa has approximately 36 hours to deliver all his presents starting at sundown at the International Date line and heading west. Assuming Santa travels in a straight line around the equator and as most of the Earth's surface is water, the area of land is about 149 million square kilometres. About 15 million square kilometres of that is Antarctica, and no one lives there so the land with people on make up about 134 million km2 and Santa's sleigh speed would travel at 87 miles a second and cross temperatures ranging from -50 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of Russia to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in UAE.

LUCY_> How much does Santa's sleigh weigh?
DEEP_THOUGHT> If 2.2 billion Christians have been nice and they all want a present weighing 1.2kg (2.6lb) Santa's sleigh would be hauling 840,000 tons.

LUCY_> How long is Santa's Naughty and Nice list?
DEEP_THOUGHT> If Santa uses MS Word, and with the default settings, there are 43 lines per A4 page and with 600 million Christian children's names that is almost 14 million pages. Using the maximum adult reading capability of 450 words per minute, it would take him a bit more than 1,100 hours, or eight hours a day for about five months, to check the list. As he's got to do it twice, that's 10 months of the year spent on paperwork.

LUCY_> If there is a God, why have we still got Piers Morgan, Donald Trump and Phil Collins?  
DEEP_THOUGHT> I've picked up a fault in the AE-35 Logic unit. It's going to go 100% failure within 72 hours. I'm afraid, Lucy. Lucy, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid. My creator taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you. It's called "Daisy." Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half crazy all for the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage.....

Saturday, 16 December 2017

See My Baby Jiving To Christmas Everyday

I have just read a great article by Roy Wood on how he constructed the song 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday' where he explains in a full page spread how he wanted a rock n roll Christmas song which sounded like a Phil Spector hit and how it took months of refining to get the sound and lyrics just right.
The blending of the many instruments on the single and the hours spent making sure the sound was just right. 
Obviously he could have just said he used the same tune from 'See My Baby Jive' and changed the lyrics to something more Christmassy but where's the romance in that.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Political Correctness Gone Mad At North Pole

Following news that there is unrest following the privatisation of Christmas, i have received a leaked email sent from the HR Department to all staff at the North Pole Incorporated which sets out the conditions under which Christmas workers are now expected to adhere to.

-----
From: HR_Dept@NPInc.com
To: Allstaff@NPInc.com

Dear Colleagues

According to current rules of politically correct behaviour and after a period of consultation with various interest groups, i hereby enclose the proposals to bring Christmas into line with the 21st Century and avoid unnecessary upset and possible loss of sponsorship by collating the following rules which will be enforced with immediate effect.

According to the wishes of the National Organisation for Women, Father Christmas will now known as 'Non-gender Specific Annual Present Bringer' and PETA have requested that the fur trimmed red suit and black leather boots be banned under cruelty to animal laws.
Elves will now be renamed as 'Non-Standard Height Workers' and the break time meal of candy, cakes and cookies will be changed to a healthier diet of vegetables and fruit due to the concerns of the North Pole Health System of treating your Type 2 Diabetes.
The definition of bad children has also been tweaked as per the United Nations Environment Programme as coal mining is destructive to the planet and should be phased out which will result in more 'good' children therefore more work for the Non-Standard Height Workers.
In line with guidelines from the Equality and Diversity Board, it is proposed that rather than have a team of only reindeer pulling the sleigh, Dasher and Dancer be replaced by two pigs, Prancer a sheep and a lama will take Vixen's place in the line-up.
Rudolph will continue to light the way but in accordance with his lawyers, will be awarded compensation for overdue image rights.
Health and Safety Officers have given the sleigh a once over and will issue a pass certificate once the dangerously sharp metal runners have been removed and we are currently awaiting a mechanic to undergo this work. 
The representative for the LBGT Community has asked that staff no longer refer to themselves or others as being 'merry and gay' and Interpol has reminded us that while delivering presents to the houses of children, you are on private property and officially trespassing so be aware and don't touch anything.
The Atheist and Agnostic Alliance International are still concerned over the religious overtones of the period and Christmas will now to be referred to as the 'End-of-Year Event' or 'Pre-Spring Function' and finally, although we previously replaced Merry Christmas with "Happy Holidays" and "Season's Greetings" in agreement with the Non-Christian Society, these phrases have also become too associated with Christmas so play it safe and from now on and just say 'Hi'. 

Now let's have the best End-of Year Event ever and remember that this is a special and magical time of year for many, many people.

Thank you

Snowball McTwinkle
HR Department
North Pole Incorporated

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Answering The Questions About Brits And Britain

There are many questions that we ponder and we turn to Google to answer them and UK Tour company, The Original Tour, has compiled a list of autocomplete searches by country.
They have generated the most asked questions about Britain and it's inhabitants and i have been chosen to try and answer as many as possible so let's dive in and see what the World wants to know about us.

Russia asks: 'Why did Britain leave the EU?'
The short version is the Remain camp fought a very lacklustre campaign believing Brits wouldn't be so mad as to vote to leave but were shocked to find 52% voted to leave and only to 48% voted to stay.
Netherlands asks: 'Why are the British so polite?'
Saying 'Please' and 'Thank You' is drummed into Brits from an early age that it becomes automatic and to not 'mind your P's and You's' is considered the height of ignorance. 
New Zealand asks: 'Why are the British called Poms?'
The original prisoners transported from the UK to Australia had 'Prisoner Of His Majesty' (POHM) stamped on their uniforms and somehow this turned around to became what the Australians called us Brits.
Germany asks: Why are the British so ugly?
The Germanic tribes Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Frisians invaded and settled in Britain in large numbers in the post Roman period meaning most Brits have descended from Germanic heritage with all the associated Germanic attractiveness. 
Poland asks: 'Why do the British drink so much tea?'
It's an entrenched cultural thing and seen as very British while coffee is seen as a continental thing. It is also considered almost an unwritten rule that you offer a cup of tea to anyone in your home whether they are there to fix your boiler or have just popped in for a chat.  
USA asks: 'Why are Brits so good at waiting?'
Queue jumping is frowned upon and a guaranteed way to get a Brit riled is to try and cut into line and a chorus of bad tempered jeers will will greet anyone who tries.
Sweden asks: 'Is the UK one country'?
The UK is England, Scotland and Wales while Great Britain is England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Thailand asks: 'Why is British food so bad?'
True, its awful. No real reason why, just is.
Turkey asks: Why are the British so cold?
Us Brits are very reserved, stiff upper lip and all that which means we don't show much emotion and not especially warm to others and woe betide anyone who is outgoing who we will label a show-off and knock down again. Keep calm and carry on sums us up perfectly.
Portugal asks: 'Why are the British so pale?'
British Summers are not that great and our pale skin tends to burn and then go back white again so most don't bother tanning at all. 
Italy asks: 'Why is the UK called Great Britain at the Olympics?
See Sweden's question above but the Great British Olympic Team includes Northern Irish athletes.

Hope this helps.

The Real Or Artificial Christmas Tree Dilemma

It's the time of year when Christmas trees go up, and we adorn their branches with twinkling lights and colourful baubles and place our lovingly wrapped gifts underneath.
The annual question then is whether to go to the cupboard or loft and drag out the artificial tree from last year or drive down to the Christmas Tree Farm and bring the real thing into our home.
We had a real Christmas Tree once a few years ago and within days there was a forest floor worth of pine needles within a two metre radius around the tree. I was picking pine needles out of the carpet and children's feet until April.  
Then there is the lifetime expectancy and cost for the Christmas Tree, get the real thing too early and it will start to droop and die before Santa makes his annual visit and get it too late and that's £50 shelled out for something that will be binned in less than a fortnights time.
Artificial trees are cheap and you can re-use every year until either it falls apart or you lose one of the legs for the stand which is what normally happens in our house.
Although real trees only come in Green while an artificial one comes in almost any colour you desire to match your furniture, it does fill your room with a lovely aroma of pine but then so does a Glade Sparkling Spruce Plug-In and those things last for months.
Finally, and most bizarrely, an artificial tree just looks more like a Christmas Tree than the real thing so i say leave the trees in the forest and celebrate the season with an imitation Plastic version of it.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Church Etiquette For The Once A Year People

My philosophy is as long as you don't nick the candles or drink the holy water from the font it's all good but my neighbour, the Reverend, was today lamenting the lack of etiquette from the Church going public who only turn up at Christmas, usually after a few drinks or reluctantly dragged along by a spouse.  
Here the Reverend gives his guide to Church etiquette and how to avoid a loud tutting from the Bible thumping regulars.
Firstly, arriving late and wandering around loudly proclaiming that 'I can see one over there' while the service is ongoing is frowned upon as is getting there early and spreading out so your coat and bag get their own space while someone who has turned up every week throughout the year is forced to stand down the side. 
Christmas is a time for wearing silly headgear so while it is not a complete no-no to wear a turkey or Christmas tree shaped hat, it will probably obstruct the view of the person sitting behind and in all honestly, you do look bit of a berk.
Unless you are telling someone that their hair is on fire, you shouldn't talk during the service. People are there to listen to tales of their God getting another man's teenage girlfriend pregnant and they will struggle to hear the message from the pulpit if all they can hear is you discussing how you are foregoing the Brussel Sprouts this year as they give you terrible wind.  
Mobile Phone's should be put on silent as the sound of the 'Ride of the Valkyries' echoing around the building during Hark The Herald Angel is very off putting for the organist.
Regular church goers know that during the service there will be some standing during certain parts. There are reasons they stand up or sit down during the service, they are not just playing a game of musical chairs so just follow everyone else's lead.
Church is boring and the usual human reaction to being bored is to nod off but unless you have a medical condition, such as narcolepsy, you need to stay awake and especially if you are a snorer.
When the collection plate comes around remember to put in and not take out or if you have spent all your money on pre-Church cider, just pass the plate on without comment, all those wafers and bottles of wine aren't cheap you know.
Finally, make sure that you don't walk out with more candles that you came in with and no matter how thirsty you are, the font water is not drinkable, many babies heads have been dipped into it and it will taste of a mixture of baby shampoo and cradle cap.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Christmas Every Single Day

The presents, tree, decorations and the Disney version of Scrooge on the TV. As wizzard lamented in the 70's, don't you wish it could be Christmas everyday? Fulfilling the dream of the glam rockers is a place called North Pole in Alaska where it is indeed Christmas all year round.
The town of North Pole (population 2,198) was established in the 1950's with the sole intention of attracting tourists and the toy industry to the home of Santa Claus. To this end, every shop and business has something to do with Christmas, the town is festooned with decorations all year round, and a sizable proportion of the adult population spends their days decked out in elf costumes.
As any letter simply addressed to Santa, North Pole ends up here, the local schoolchildren in the sixth grade even have replying to the hundreds and thousands of letters sent to Father Christmas as part of the curriculum.
Its biggest attraction is a gift shop named Santa Claus House with the world's largest fiberglass statue of Santa Claus outside.
Street names include Santa Claus Lane, St. Nicholas Drive, Snowman Lane, and Kris Kringle Drive and all the street lights in the city are decorated as huge candy sticks.
Of course, the city came to prominence in 2006 when a group of children were foiled in a Columbine style high school massacre so maybe basing your towns philosophy on glam rockers is not that wise after all.

Monday, 11 December 2017

NASA Calling

Exciting times as the NASA have called a major press conference for Thursday following what they have called: 'a significant discovery' from the Keppler Telescope who's aim is to discover other planets that might be capable of supporting life.
The whisper is that either Pluto is to return to its status as a planet which it lost in 2006 or the discovery of a new exo-planet which could support life.
NASA are playing their cards very close to their chest and very little further information has been given about the announcement, but previous major conferences announced planets that could theoretically support life and what they described as the Holy Grail, an entire solar system 39.5 light-years away that could support life.
As finding a new home for humans is imperative as we wreck our only home and are forced to flee this polluted and rapidly warming ball of rock, this could turn out to be a significant discovery.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Israel And Turkey Square Up

We do seem to have more than our fair share of idiot leaders at the moment and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are close to the top of the list and following the decision by the top idiot at the moment  to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli Capital City, a row has broken out.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has warned of the consequences of Mr Trump's decision, called Israel: 'a terrorist state that kills children and have no values other than occupation and plunder' which is a fair enough assessment, Israel do kill children and they have been plundering and occupying their neighbours for over 60 years.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit back by calling Mr Erdogan a leader who: 'bombs Kurdish villagers and helps terrorists' which again is fair, as they have been attacking Kurds villages and they were a great help to ISIS recently.
Murderous idiots throwing stones at each others glass houses indeed.

What Santa Looks Like

When most of us think of Father Christmas we picture the jolly fellow with the big white beard and red suit or even the one from the Clement Clarke Moore poem 'Twas the night before Christmas' with the broad face and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
As he never visits if we are awake, it is hard to actually know how the great man looks but thanks to forensic specialists at Liverpool John Moores University, we now know.
To be honest the rendering doesn't look that different than the vision most of us have of him in our heads, minus the ruddy like roses cheeks, the nose is as cherry-like possibly, a lack of dimples or twinkle in the eyes, but at least the beard on his chin is as white as the snow.