Monday, December 16, 2013

Santa is white, but he doesn't have to be

Santa is a fictional being. As such, he is whatever we say he is. I imagine most people will say that he is white, therefore, he is white. Done.

Of course this also means that he doesn't have to be white. If we think he has some other assortment of visible genetic traits that we might classify as race, then he is that other race. Or maybe he's any race.

I imagine that I'm going to continue to think of Santa as white for a long time. Maybe the rest of my life. Anyone can think he's not white. I'll find that strange, but that doesn't mean that they are wrong, or that I'm right. In fact, I might be wrong to find that strange. I may be the strange one for thinking that he is white.

We could dig around for historical facts to back up one side or another. I could point to the European origins of Santa Clause-like beings, such as St. Nicholas. Of course the actual St. Nicholas was Greek, so he was probably not as pale as the Santa I'm picturing. This leaves me to point to American tradition, which has a pale Santa Claus. Of course tradition is not as traditional as we think, tending to change over time, sometimes even very quickly.

A white Santa, regardless of the demographics of the US, isn't wrong. But it isn't right either.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ceilings are Stupid

Gravity is a confirmed phenomenon and has been for centuries. Ceilings will inevitably be pulled downward, thereby removing their ability to be above our heads. In other words, ceilings are self-destructive, their very nature of being above us being what causes them to be pulled down.

Some have suggested using vertical supports to hold up the ceiling. Even if we could imagine such a structure maintaining itself, it only worsens the underlying problems. Regardless of the structures you design, gravity will pull them downward and adding vertical supports to maintain a floating ceiling will only increase the downward force. Any objective physicist can see the data: more mass, regardless of how well-placed, always results in more downward force.

Ceilings, for all their theoretical usefulness, are merely a pipe dream of those who would waste resources by attempting to subvert the natural laws of the universe.