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The Physics of Christmas: From the Aerodynamics of Reindeer to the… (1998)

by Roger Highfield

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470741,528 (3.54)4
A lighted-hearted scientific look at the rituals and icons of Christmas. How does snow form? Why are we always depressed after Christmas? How does Santa manage to deliver all those presents in one night? (He has, in fact, little over two ten-thousandths of a second to get between each of the 842 million households he must visit.) This new edition has been extensively updated and contains a new chapter on the latest seasonal science - how religion can help your mental life… (more)
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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Some sections were stronger than others. I wish it weren't titled 'The Physics of' because there's a lot of biology and pschology etc. in there, too. A lot of speculation, too. Interesting, though, mostly. No narrative to keep it flowing - read it in the bits it's structured into for best effect. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Everything you could ever want to know (and more) about possible identities for the Star of Bethlehem, mechanisms for virgin birth, the psychology of giving, the properties of snow and many other Christmas related subjects.

I guess I wasn't really in the mood for a science book, so I skimmed through it, stopping to read a few of the more interesting looking chapters such as those on the theoretical possibility of a virgin birth, the psychology of gift giving and the properties of snow. I can't say that I found the theories about the best way to cook a turkey and speculation on why Santa is so fat, terribly interesting.
  isabelx | Feb 5, 2011 |
THE ONLY CHRISTMAS BOOK TO OWN. AND MY WIFE WANTED TO DISCARD IT ( )
  josephquinton | Aug 17, 2009 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1283415.html

Collection of light-hearted scientific essays on Christmassy themes, mostly adapted from the author's columns for the Daily Telegraph. Would be a suitable Christmas present for a scientifically minded teenager. ( )
  nwhyte | Aug 7, 2009 |
From the aerodynamics of Reindieer to the Thermodynamics of Turkey
A spoof but also some real science
  AnneliM | Jun 25, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
There seems a magic in the very name of Christmas.
Charles Dickens, Sketches by Boz
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In memory of my father
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Christmas is a time for the crunch of snow, spiced wine, and tinseled trees.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A lighted-hearted scientific look at the rituals and icons of Christmas. How does snow form? Why are we always depressed after Christmas? How does Santa manage to deliver all those presents in one night? (He has, in fact, little over two ten-thousandths of a second to get between each of the 842 million households he must visit.) This new edition has been extensively updated and contains a new chapter on the latest seasonal science - how religion can help your mental life

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