In the digital age, there is no reason for Santa to be riding around in a dinosaur –era sleigh that overtaxes those hard-working reindeer. With the intention of giving Rudolph, Donnor, Blixen and others a lighter load, scientists at GE have designed a cutting-edge sleigh for Santa. The new sleigh, with a lighter carbon fiber frame, features nano-coatings that prevent ice buildup. And we all know how reindeer hate those heavy, ice-coated sleighs. More scientific thought resulted in sodium batteries for harvesting energy from the reindeer as they pull the sleigh. This is somewhat like astronauts recycling urine into drinking water – in a distant way. But that’s only the beginning of the science. The GE folks have included numerous technologies including a trip-optimizer and asset intelligence tracking technology to monitor Santa’s gift inventory.
Beyond the sleigh itself, Santa has GE’s 500 GB holographic disc that can store the equivalent of 200 regular DVDs. The folks at GE are also hoping that Santa considers putting the holographic discs in stockings in the not so distant future. As it turns out, GE engineers are not the only ones ruminating on the science of the sleigh. Other options are under consideration. The elves would install an iPod dock in the sleigh’s dash for Santa’s red and green iPod. Mrs. Claus would connect via Skype. There would be miniaturized presents and what not. Still others would like to see Santa move nearer to a large distribution center from whence those presents could be shipped. But not all technology is likely to be embraced. The GE scientists envision sleigh blades that won’t clatter. This is not a good idea as “The Night before Christmas” would no longer involve any arising of such clatter. And really, we sort of hope that Santa doesn’t change.
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