Santa’s Secret

Santa’s SecretCelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, heres a program from our archives.Music: Santa Claus is Coming to Town What if Santa Claus caught the flu this season and a scientist had to be recruited to cover for him, using modern technology? I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.We put this question to Larry Silverberg, director of the Mars Mission Research Center at North Carolina State University. And he lost no time in confronting one of Santa’s main challenges.”How does Santa know what the children want for Christmas? Whether they’ve been good or bad and all of this.” So what if there was a way to read children’s minds to determine what kinds of presents they should receive. Well, the next step would be to build a ten mile wide antennae, spread out over the north pole.”The way the antenna works is as follow: A child in his brain has all sorts of electromagnetic signals running around and those electromagnetic signals give off waves and those waves are picked up by the antenna up at the North Pole. Now those signals that go into the antenna, once they’re in the antenna they go into a computer. The computer filters the signal so it knows which signals come from which children. Once this is done you can look at the signals themselves and see what the kids are thinking. Whether they’ve been good or bad, what kinds of presents they want and this kind of thing.”And although no one’s yet found a way to build this mind-reading antennae, according to Dr. Silverberg, there are similar technologies in use today.”We have rudiments of that technology in EKG’s, in our large antennas that look into deep space and in the transmission systems and receptions systems in cellular telephones.” In future programs, we’ll hear more about the kinds of science and technology which could stand in for Santa, in a pinch.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. If you want hear more, check out our podcast.

Santa's Secret

What if Santa Claus got the flu and an ordinary mortal had to cover for him?
Air Date:12/17/2020
Scientist:
Transcript:

Santa's SecretCelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, heres a program from our archives.Music: Santa Claus is Coming to Town What if Santa Claus caught the flu this season and a scientist had to be recruited to cover for him, using modern technology? I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.We put this question to Larry Silverberg, director of the Mars Mission Research Center at North Carolina State University. And he lost no time in confronting one of Santa's main challenges."How does Santa know what the children want for Christmas? Whether they've been good or bad and all of this." So what if there was a way to read children's minds to determine what kinds of presents they should receive. Well, the next step would be to build a ten mile wide antennae, spread out over the north pole."The way the antenna works is as follow: A child in his brain has all sorts of electromagnetic signals running around and those electromagnetic signals give off waves and those waves are picked up by the antenna up at the North Pole. Now those signals that go into the antenna, once they're in the antenna they go into a computer. The computer filters the signal so it knows which signals come from which children. Once this is done you can look at the signals themselves and see what the kids are thinking. Whether they've been good or bad, what kinds of presents they want and this kind of thing."And although no one's yet found a way to build this mind-reading antennae, according to Dr. Silverberg, there are similar technologies in use today."We have rudiments of that technology in EKG's, in our large antennas that look into deep space and in the transmission systems and receptions systems in cellular telephones." In future programs, we'll hear more about the kinds of science and technology which could stand in for Santa, in a pinch.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. If you want hear more, check out our podcast.