Sometimes people think that, because I write this column for peanuts, I am somehow also available for free science consulting services.
Obviously this is not the case but I don't mind the occasional question, especially if it concerns real puzzles like how a car in China doesn't cause global warming but a car in America does.
Lately I have been pestered with questions about this whole Christmas thing. It's a troublesome issue, I agree, but I am not in the free science business so most of the questions I just ignore - however, one of the
many,many,many (not that many - Lady Scientist ) groupies that flitter about me on the internet caught my attention recently with their query about Yule physics because they had the creativity to put it in rhyming form;
"Cash, you are my final chance
Of finding the Christmas happenstance
For I have read of Old St. Nick
So I have to know, what makes him tick.
"Does he travel the world and make kids glad?
'cause the science is shaky, the physics is bad
And tell me, oh guru, before you are through
How a sleigh can fly and those eight reindeer too?"
I agree about the baffling nature of from a physics perspective. If you're a Newtonian guy it not only lacks common sense, it is the kind of logical leap-of-faith slag heap only evolutionary psychologists make. But a puzzle is a puzzle and I wouldn't be the internet's pre-eminent anonymous scientist if I didn't tackle the tough problems once in a while. So I have decided to give it a try. What I discovered surprised even me.
Of course I am not just an outrageously sexy scientist,
I also have a creative side. Thus, I decided to honor
by answering the question in similar rhyming holiday verse: