As a popular astrophysicist and television personality, people turn to Neil deGrasse Tyson for facts about a wide range of topics. He fields a fair number of space-related questions, but Tyson is a great and wise man who knows many things beyond the realm of outer space. Yesterday, Christmas Eve, Tyson took to Twitter to teach his more than 900,000 followers a little about Santa Claus.
It doesn’t appear that anything in particular sparked Tyson to write the series of tweets about the man in red, except a bit of holiday spirit and the desire to inform the world. What’s an average work day at the North Pole? Is Rudolph’s nose an effective light source through clouds?
We’ve compiled his Santa tweets for you, but if you’re not following @neiltyson on Twitter then you’re doing it wrong.
No. 1 | What Time is it at the North Pole?
Is time meaningless? Turns out that at the North Pole, yes. If Santa's house and workshop are built at the North Pole then they exist where all timezones converge, and therefor keeping time with a clock would be impossible. If Santa lives outside of time... is he a Time Lord? Is his sleigh really a TARDIS? (via Twitter)
No. 2 | Elf Labor Unions
Obviously, yes, time still passes at the North Pole. It just doesn't have it's own time zone. If you run a highly organized toy-building empire then you have to keep an eye on when those little elves are punching in and out. (via Twitter)
No. 3 | Efficiency of Rudolph's Nose
As anyone with fog lights on their car can tell you, not all light interacts with airborne water vapor in the same way. Turns out the red light emitted from Rudolph's famously glowing nose is ideally suited to cut through the fog. Much more so than traditional headlights at least. (via Twitter)
No. 4 | Coal as Commodity
Some day, in a Mad Max wasteland of a future, when oil runs out, Tyson posits that maybe kids won't be so ungrateful for getting coal, since it could be a valuable resource. The real question is whether kids would misbehave to get the coal, or if the reward/punishment dynamic of presents will change and coal will be given to kids on the Nice List. (via Twitter)
No. 5 | Santa's Warm Weather Attire
There are a lot of reasons a future ravaged by global warming would be a nightmare, but Tyson points out that a fat guy in a bathing suit could be the greatest nightmare of all. If the polar ice melts, that's exactly what could happen. (via Twitter)
No. 6 | An All Inclusive Greeting
This morning, Tyson kept the holiday theme running by wishing Christians everywhere a Merry Christmas. Don't worry if you're not a Christian, Tyson wishes you an equally important "Happy Tuesday." (via Twitter)
No. 7 | If You Want to Get Techincal
Tyson also wishes a "Happy Day 359" to all the atheists and agnostics out there not comfortable with the fact that the days of the week are named after Gods. It might be splitting hairs a little bit, but he probably just didn't want to leave anyone out. "Happy Day 359" to you as well, Mr. Tyson. Thanks for the Santa facts, and your pretty tremendous Twitter feed! (via Twitter)
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