How Does He Do It? Researcher Explains How Santa Delivers Presents in One Night

Newswise — Don’t believe in Santa Claus? Magic, you say? In fact, science and technology explain how Santa is able to deliver toys to good girls and boys around the world in one night, according to a North Carolina State University researcher.

NC State’s Dr. Larry Silverberg, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, can explain the science and engineering principles that allow Santa, also known as Kris Kringle or Saint Nicholas, to pull off the magical feat year after year.

Silverberg was team leader on a first-of-its-kind visiting scholars program at Santa’s Workshop-North Pole Labs (NPL) last year. “Children shouldn’t put too much credence in the opinions of those who say it’s not possible to deliver presents all over the world in one night,” Silverberg says.

With his cherubic smile and twinkling eyes, Santa may appear to be merely a right jolly old elf, but he and his NPL staff have a lot going on under the funny-looking hats, Silverberg says. Their advanced knowledge of electromagnetic waves, the space/time continuum, nanotechnology, genetic engineering and computer science easily trumps the know-how of contemporary scientists.

Silverberg says that Santa has a personal pipeline to children’s thoughts – via a listening antenna that combines technologies currently used in cell phones and EKGs – which informs him that Mary in Miami hopes for a surfboard, while Michael from Minneapolis wants a snowboard. A sophisticated signal processing system filters the data, giving Santa clues on who wants what, where children live, and even who’s been bad or good. Later, all this information will be processed in an onboard sleigh guidance system, which will provide Santa with the most efficient delivery route.

However, Silverberg adds that letters to Santa via snail mail still get the job done. “While he takes advantage of emerging technologies,” Silverberg says, “Santa is, in many ways, a traditionalist.”

Silverberg is not so naïve as to think that Santa and his reindeer can travel approximately 200 million square miles – making stops in some 80 million homes – in one night. Instead, he posits that Santa uses his knowledge of the space/time continuum to form what Silverberg calls “relativity clouds.”

“Based on his advanced knowledge of the theory of relativity, Santa recognizes that time can be stretched like a rubber band, space can be squeezed like an orange and light can be bent,” Silverberg says. “Relativity clouds are controllable domains – rips in time – that allow him months to deliver presents while only a few minutes pass on Earth. The presents are truly delivered in a wink of an eye.”

With a detailed route prepared and his list checked twice through the onboard computer on the technologically advanced sleigh, Santa is ready to deliver presents. His reindeer – genetically bred to fly, balance on rooftops and see well in the dark – don’t actually pull a sleigh loaded down with toys. Instead, each house becomes Santa’s workshop as he utilizes his “magic bag of toys” – a nano-toymaker that is able to fabricate toys inside the children’s homes. The presents are grown on the spot, as the nano-toymaker creates – atom by atom – toys out of snow and soot, much like DNA can command the growth of organic material like tissues and body parts.

And there’s really no need for Santa to enter the house via chimney, although Silverberg says he enjoys doing that every so often. Rather, the same relativity cloud that allows Santa to deliver presents in what seems like a wink of an eye is also used to “morph” Santa into people’s homes.

Finally, many people wonder how Santa and the reindeer can eat all the food left out for them. Silverberg says they take just a nibble at each house. The remainder is either left in the house or placed in the sleigh’s built-in food dehydrator, where it is preserved for future consumption. It takes a long time to deliver all those presents, after all.

“This is merely an overview, based on what we learned at the NPL, of Santa’s delivery methods,” Silverberg says. “Without these tools, it would be impossible for him to accomplish his annual mission, given the human, physical and engineering constraints we face today.”

Released: 12/6/2011

Source: North Carolina State University

Related Link:

http://newswise.com/articles/researcher-explains-how-santa-delivers-presents-in-one-night

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Researchers Develop Runway Anti-Icing System

Conductive overlays would reduce airport maintenance expense

The researchers test site shows photovoltaic panels (foreground) providing power to a battery-storage system and concrete panels (background).

Newswise — FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas are developing an anti-icing system that could make airport runways safer and less expensive to maintain during winter months. The approach uses a conventional photovoltaic system to supply energy to a conductive concrete slab that would function as a surface overlay on runways. Energy conducted throughout the slabs allows them to continually maintain temperatures above freezing and thus prevent accumulation of snow and ice.

“Major U.S. airports do a good job of keeping runways safe and clear of ice and snow,” said Ernie Heymsfield, associate professor of civil engineering. “But this is a labor-intensive and expensive process, especially for northern airports. The St. Paul, Minnesota, airport, for example, budgets approximately $4 million annually for snow removal. For various reasons, including the fact that it is grid-energy independent, our system could put a huge dent in this budget.”

After initial design, Heymsfield now leads a team of researchers who are testing the slab at the university’s Engineering Research Center in south Fayetteville. The slab consists of two layers above existing soil and a gravel base.

The bottom layer – the first layer above the gravel base – is a 20-foot by 24-foot base slab that does not contain any conductive properties. Above the base slab is a surface layer that consists of twelve overlay panels, each 4 feet by 10 feet. Ten of these panels are made with a special concrete mix that conducts heat much like a cast-iron skillet exposed to a stove burner. Two control panels made of conventional concrete mix provide a basis for comparison to the conductive panels.

The photovoltaic system supplies DC power to electrodes embedded within the conductive concrete panels. The components of the photovoltaic system include an array of cells that convert sunlight into energy, a battery storage bank and a regulator to control energy between the array and the batteries. Energy is transferred from the batteries to the electrodes. The intrinsic thermal-mass properties of the concrete mix also enable the slab to absorb large amounts of heat from ambient temperature conditions, which minimizes the cost of the photovoltaic system.

Preliminary tests showed that although heat flow was non-uniform and concentrated on an area near the energy source, the conductive panels responded much faster to extreme surface temperature reductions after the researchers applied a thin layer of ice. Heymsfield said the non-uniformity and concentration of heat flow will be corrected by modifying the electrode configuration. The researchers will continue testing the system through the 2011-12 winter season.

If successful, the modified pavement could be an alternative to current snow and ice-removal methods, which include plowing, blowing and applying chemicals. There are various pavement de-icing methods, including chemical, thermal, electric and microwave, but these methods are expensive because they rely on grid power or require a high number of airport personnel.

Since 1978, slush, ice or snow has contributed to approximately 100 accidents and incidents on U.S. runways involving jet or turboprop aircraft weighing more than 5,600 pounds.

Initial results of the study will be presented at the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in January 2012.

Released: 11/15/2011

Source: University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/researchers-develop-runway-anti-icing-system

Obra sa Calle Photo Show Featuring 8PAK.COM Photographer Gil Van Policarpio Slated for September 18, 2011 in Angeles City

Photo by Gil Van Policarpio, Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

We are very pleased to announce that our Chief Contributing Photographer, Gil Van Policarpio, will be holding his first ever photo show this month. It will feature many of his works, which include landscapes, nature, and people. We hope that many of you who live in, or are visiting the Philippines will find the time to attend.

The show is scheduled for Sunday September 18, 2011, and will take place from 6PM  to 10:30PM . The venue for the show will be the historic Camalig Restaurant Sto. Rosario http://www.camalig.com/  in Angeles City, Philippines. Selected works by Gil will be offered for sale.

The exact location of the show, for your information is:

Camalig Restaurant

Sto. Rosario Street Beside the Nepo Mall
Angeles City, Philippines

Major sponsors for the show are:

www.8pak.com 8PAK.COM “Asia’s Male Lifestyle Magazine”
Bright International By: Bright Manalili

Golden K Spa

https://www.facebook.com/packyourbags.tvl Packyourbags TVL

and Photoline Sm Clark Pampanga.

We look forward to seeing you there!

8PAK.COM Exclusive! Midweek Photo Gallery, Landscapes and Nature by Gil Van Policarpio

Photo by Gil Van Policarpio, Copyright 2011, All rights reserved

Our Chief Contributing  Photographer, Gil Van Policarpio is certainly a multi-talented artist! We bring you, this mid-week, a small sampling of his outstanding landscape and nature photos. These images were all shot in the beautiful Philippines.

Photo by Gil Van Policarpio, Copyright 2011, All rights reserved

The Editors really love this shot because it brings back fond memories of the wonderful vacation in Boracay, which we enjoyed a couple of years ago, in this island paradise!

You can see more of Gil’s outstanding photos such as those above and below, in his Nature and Landscape Gallery by CLICKING HERE! 

Photo by Gil Van Policarpio, Copyright 2011, All rights reserved

Iconic Empire State Building Enriches Visitor Experience With New Documentary-Style Exhibit on 80th Floor

Permanent Installation Chronicles the Engineering and Construction of the World’s Most Famous Office Building

Empire State Building Unveils New Permanent Documentary-Style Exhibit on 80th Floor Chronicling the Engineering and Construction of the World's Most Famous Office Building. (PRNewsFoto/Empire State Building)

NEW YORK, July 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — In its 80th anniversary year, the Empire State Building today unveiled a new, permanent exhibit that captures the global icon’s astonishing history, engineering and construction. Curated by Carol Willis of New York City’s Skyscraper Museum, the installation is located on the 80th floor of the World’s Most Famous Office Building and further enriches and enhances each visitor’s Observatory experience.

Anthony E. Malkin, Empire State Building Company, stated, “As part of our more than $550 million Empire State ReBuilding program, we have completely upgraded our Observatory experience. From our brilliantly restored art deco masterpiece lobby, to this celebration of the unprecedented and unmatched feats of engineering and construction of the Empire State Building, we have created a totally new offering to our millions of annual visitors.” He added, “The new 80th floor exhibit’s homage to the pioneering work of the architects, builders, and laborers of the day adds to our $2 million, multi-media exhibit about the groundbreaking work on energy efficiency performed at the building and offers educational value for every visitor.”

With content from The Skyscraper Museum’s archives, the exhibit illustrates three main themes:
Speed: Construction took only 11 months from the setting of the tower’s first steel columns on April 7, 1930, to the completed building by March 31, 1931–a full month before the official opening ceremonies on May 1, 1931.
Scale: Gigantic in every dimension, the record-breaking tower required immense amounts of materials and equipment to build what is still one of the tallest and largest man made structures in the world
Steel: The building’s steel frame was intricately designed with remarkable proportions, and all aspects of its construction remain extraordinary, even today

The exhibit shares numerous remarkable facts as well as reproductions of nostalgic photos and mementos of the more than 3,400 workers who helped create history. Documents include stunning period photographs, architectural sketches and renderings, construction notes, and daily bookkeeping documents presented on a series of photomurals, banners, two panels and seven stands. In a unique twist, the exhibit uses the windows of the building to show views from 1931, creating a period look unimaginable unless seen.

Empire State Building visitors view the exhibit along route to the world-famous 86th and 102nd floor Observatories. The building is open daily, 365 days a year, from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. For more information on the Empire State Building, please visit www.esbnyc.com.

About the Empire State Building

Soaring 1,454 feet (from base to antenna) above Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is the “World’s Most Famous Office Building.” With new investments in infrastructure, public areas and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world. The skyscraper’s robust broadcasting technology supports all major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market. The Empire State Building was named America’s favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects. The Empire State Building Observatory is one of the world’s most beloved attractions and is the region’s #1 tourist destination.

SOURCE Empire State Building
RELATED LINKS
http://www.esbnyc.com

Automotive and Travel News: Major Los Angeles Freeway Closure Set for Weekend of July 16-17, 2011

405 Freeway

Extended 53-Hour Closure of I-405 Freeway Between U.S. 101 and I-10 Planned in Mid-July for
Mulholland Bridge Demolition Work

Los Angeles, Calif. – Plan Ahead, Avoid The Area, Or Stay Home. That’s the message public safety officials are sending to the public in anticipation of a planned 10-mile, 53-hour closure of the I-405 freeway between the U.S. 101 and I-10 on the weekend of July 16-17, 2011 for planned demolition work on the Mulholland Bridge, part of a major I-405 improvement project.
The Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Metro and Caltrans are informing the public in advance that if they do not have a critical need to be in or near the vicinity of the closure, they are being asked to avoid the area.
The specific freeway closure boundaries are as follows:
 Northbound I-405: 10-mile closure between I-10 and U.S. 101
 Southbound I-405: 4-mile closure between U.S. 101 and Getty Center Drive Ramps
Motorists who must travel through the Los Angeles metropolitan area are advised to use alternate freeways within the region, including the 5, 15, 23, 55, 57, 101, 118, 126, 210, 605 and 710 freeways to bypass the impacted area. In addition, public transportation options are available such as the Metro Rail service within L.A. County and Metrolink servicing the five county Southern California region.

Additional alternate route information will be made available on the project web site at www.metro.net/405.
On Friday, July 15, ramps along the 10 mile closure will begin to be shut down as early as 7 p.m., and closure of freeway lanes will begin at 10 p.m. to ensure full freeway closure by midnight. The closure will continue until 5 a.m. Monday morning, July 18. Ramps and connectors will be reopened by 6 a.m. During this closure, the Mulholland Bridge, I-405 freeway and access ramps will be closed.
Sepulveda Boulevard is intended as an alternate route for local resident access only. Sepulveda Boulevardwill not have the capacity to accommodate both local and diverted freeway traffic. Those using Sepulveda Boulevard should expect extreme congestion and lengthy delays. Motorists should instead use alternate regional freeway routes to completely bypass the Sepulveda Pass.
Traffic conditions on local streets and freeways within the region of Los Angeles County and beyond are expected to be severe, with significant, multi-hour delays. Motorists who must travel during this weekend are advised to plan ahead, monitor real-time traffic conditions prior to beginning their trips, and follow alternate routes that are provided.

Motorists will be informed of the closure in advance by Caltrans-operated freeway message signs with coverage extending into neighboring counties and other metropolitan regions in the state.

Summertime is Vacation Time, Here is a Healthy Vacation Checklist to Make Sure It’s a Great One!

NEW YORK (July 2011) — There are millions of vacation destinations to visit this summer and thousands of sights to see, but there is one surefire way to ruin your trip — getting sick. Although you may not be thinking about viruses and bacterial infections when you plan your trip, there are a few nasty bugs you should be aware of as you pack your bags.

“The world is big and beautiful and we can enjoy it at our own pace without taking unnecessary risks and by protecting ourselves whenever we can,” says Dr. Mirella Salvatore, acting director of the Travel Medicine Service of the Division of Infectious Diseases at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Dr. Salvatore offers the following checklist to help you stay healthy and active in whatever corner of the world you may find yourself this summer.

* Update your vaccinations. If you are planning a trip you should consult your doctor or a travel medicine specialist four to eight weeks before you leave to make sure that you are up to date with the routine vaccinations, including tetanus, MMR and pneumococcus for the elderly. High-risk destinations may require additional vaccines. Elderly travelers and people with health issues should check with a physician even before booking a trip to a high-risk destination.

* Pack a healthy travel kit. Prepare a separate bag that will get you through any unforeseen illness and help you manage any chronic conditions while away from home.

* Bring all your medications with you. Do not assume you will be able to find your medications in a foreign country. This includes any prescription or over-the-counter drug that you take regularly or occasionally. Keep all drugs in their original containers to avoid any problems with customs officials.

* Pack Imodium for mild diarrhea. While on vacation, only eat meat that is thoroughly cooked. You should also steer clear of raw vegetables, dairy products sold by small independent vendors, and any dairy products that seem to have been left out in the sun. You should also talk to your doctor about bringing an antibiotic for the treatment of traveler’s diarrhea.

* Pack acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain or fever. However, you should consult a physician immediately if you have any of the following symptoms while on vacation: bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, high fever or dehydration.

* Don’t forget the insect repellent. Bring insect repellent containing 30 percent to 35 percent DEET. Insect repellents reduce the chances of infection with insect-transmitted diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Use a bed net at night if you are in a malaria region.

* Also remember to include important first-aid supplies. Your travel bag would not be complete without sunscreen, antibacterial wipes or gels, and first-aid supplies such as Band-Aids, disinfectant and antibiotic ointment.

* Keep your emergency contact information handy. Have copies of emergency contact numbers, copies of all evacuation insurance, and contact information and addresses for local embassies.

* Suggestions for long flights. If you are on a long flight you should also try to stand up and walk and/or stretch for several minutes every hour or so, to avoid blood clots that can form in your legs. To avoid jet lag, eat a light meal during your flight, and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

* Drink water. Travelers frequently become dehydrated during long flights. Drink fruit juices or bottled water to prevent dehydration during your flight.

Released: 7/1/2011
Source: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center

Via Newswise

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/summer-health-advice-from-newyork-presbyterian-hospital

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