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The Truth About Santa: Wormholes, Robots, and What Really Happens on Christmas Eve Hardcover – October 27, 2009
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'This hilarious and informative book teaches us the real science behind Santa Claus. But be careful reading this: Santa is going to be furious that we know about his robot spies' Daniel H Wilson, author of How to Survive a Robot Uprising 'A silly, tongue-in-cheek book. But it's also quite funny and interesting, making it a perfect stocking filler' **** BBC Focus --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Gregory Mone is a contributing editor at Popular Science magazine. His feature articles have appeared in Wired, Discover, Women's Health, National Geographic Adventure, and The Best American Science Writing 2007. He is also the author of the novel The Wages of Genius. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children.
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He wrote in the Introduction to this 2009 book, "There are many arguments that attempt to refute the existence of Santa Claus. But they are all wrong... The problem with kids today... is that they lack the basic knowledge of the universe required for a true understanding of Santa. As anyone with a decent grasp of physics, biology, and materials science understands, Santa's advertised abilities are perfectly plausible. Yes, Santa is real, and this book will reveal, for the first time, how he completes his seemingly impossible annual mission. The simple answer? Technology. Santa has at his disposal some of the most advanced equipment, devices, materials, and means of transportation in this or any other universe." (Pg. 2)
He states, for example, that "Santa's technology is of alien origin." (Pg. 14) He responds to the common objection, "It's hard to estimate exactly how many presents Santa delivers on a given Christmas Eve... but a conservative guess would be three hundred million... Now let's say that [Santa] gives himself thirty seconds inside each house. This means it would take him one hundred million minutes to deliver each and every gift. That works out to roughly 190 years without factoring in travel or the time it takes to get from one living room to the next... the notion of a single Santa Claus just doesn't compute. An operation of this scale needs employees, stand-ins, mindless wage slaves. And Santa has them. Between two and three hundred, in fact." (Pg. 22-23)
How does Santa pay for all his operations? "Mrs. Claus has given Santa a financial and management stake in a surprising number of technology-oriented Fortune 500 companies... she essentially created the Christmas ornament business..." (Pg. 48) How does Santa monitor all the activities of children to see if they're being good? "he deploys millions of mosquito- and dragonfly-sized micro aerial vehicles, or MAVs. These tiny mechanical flying insects peer down alleyways and into elevators and apartments, darkened bars, and exclusive restaurants." (Pg. 73)
He explains, "the kind of negative reinforcement that Santa practiced by filling the stockings of naughty children with coal was useless. It wasn't just mean. It was ineffective. Positive reinforcement was proving to be far more powerful when it came to altering a child's behavior." (Pg. 81) Santa uses wormholes, which "enables his lieutenants to recover the time they lose dropping off gifts in a given house." (Pg. 91) Santa also wears a pressurized space suit (which may "appear to resemble the fluffy, blanketlike versions depicted in so many illustrations and movies") during his travels (Pg. 118).
Again, this is probably too technical for young people prior to teenage, but older folks will probably be highly amused by Mone's highly imaginative and creative ideas.
Santa is a bio-engineered immortal equipped by aliens with technology from the future.
At least that's the hypothesis of Gregory Mone, a contributing editor to Popular Science and author of The Truth about Santa: Wormholes, Robots, and What Really Happens on Christmas Eve. Mone uses his considerable scientific knowledge to explain how Santa, using technology that is still decades away for us mere mortals, can accomplish his herculean feats.
- Delivering presents across the globe in a single night? The work of an army of lieutenants utilizing wormholes built into our chimneys and windows.
- Flying reindeer? A myth; Santa uses a warp-powered sleigh for his personal transportation. (Because of the hazards of involved Santa shuns wormhole travel. His lieutenants are well compensated for the risk.)
- Elves making toys? Actually their main job is maintaining the huge IT infrastructure needed to support Santa's operations.
Mone has crafted a book that combines a wicked (and slightly NSFW) sense of humor with a survey of near-future tech, all wrapped in the peppermint shell of Santa's annual rounds. Adults will get a chuckle out of the science fiction-inspired explanations, but I expect children will suspect the truth: that Mone is just a patsy for Santa, throwing us off the trail.
As every child knows: it's all magic.
This is a cute and amusing sci-fi take on Santa Claus. The author establishes how Santa knows what every child wants and delivers all the gifts in one night, and how he funds his operation. Mone, a science writer, explains the technology necessary for Santa to do what he does -- which is provided by aliens, of course. We humans have nowhere near the capabilities yet. But he also lets us know what humans are capable of doing, and the theories behind things like wormholes and hyperdrive sleigh engines that Santa uses to get his toys delivered on time. And how the reindeer appear to fly when, clearly, they cannot actually do so. And why it's a REALLY bad idea to sneak out of bed and try to catch Santa under your tree on Christmas Eve.
This isn't really a book for children; the science is too complicated and there are some references to sex (Santa's "ho ho ho" initially referred to his promiscuous wife). I would recommend it as a Christmas gag gift for a teen or adult science nut. The short chapters make it especially good for toilet reading.