ID: 1398-09
Votes: 027ni (4.1)
Selected by: Ian Davis
Lee was: the Supplicant  ? 
Answered on: 5 Dec 2005

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Merry Oracle, who can have a holly, jolly Christmas without pricking
> himself on the pointy leaves, I've figured out your secret.
>                                     Santa      Internet
>                                     Claus       Oracle
> --------------------------------    -----      --------
>                         Immortal     Yes         Yes
>  Knows who's been naughty & nice     Yes         Yes
> Shakes like a bowl full of jelly     Yes     Undetermined
>                Long, white beard     Yes       Probably
>           Keeps exotic livestock   Reindeer    Unproven
>       Has many dedicated helpers    Elves      Priests
> So admit it.  You're really Santa, aren't you?  This Oracle business
> is just something you do to occupy yourself in the off-season, isn't
> it?
And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Before you get carried away, consider the following comparison
} chart:
}                                     Santa        Bill
}                                     Claus       Gates
} --------------------------------    -----      --------
}                         Immortal     Yes         Yes[1]
}  Knows who's been naughty & nice     Yes         Yes[2]
} Shakes like a bowl full of jelly     Yes       Cream pie
}                Long, white beard   False[3]       No
}           Keeps exotic livestock   Reindeer    Unproven
}       Has many dedicated helpers    Elves      Employees
}             Mail goes unanswered     Yes         Yes
}    Runs a worldwide organisation     Yes         Yes
} Gets user requests, but delivers
}        something else altogether     Yes         Yes
}    Distributes gifts to the poor     Yes         Yes[4]
}        Has an effective monopoly     Yes         Yes
}            Annual licensing fees   Cookies       Cash
} Notes:
} [1] Ever since that pact with.. oh, wait, I'm not allowed to
} talk about that. Sorry. Just take my word for it.
} [2] Everyone who runs Microsoft software and has an internet
} connection, anyway. "No personally identifying information",
} hah, there's a good one.
} [3] Sorry, but yes, Santa's beard is a false one. Didn't you
} know that the most common method for disguise for men is a
} beard? Did you really think that such a long beard would be
} natural? Off with the glasses, on with the contacts and the
} huge beard, and you look completely different.
} [4] Yes, really - the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is in
} fact the world's largest charitable organisation, and among
} (many) other things currently funds 90% of the world's budget
} for the eradication of polio.
} And a final clue:
}   - Many houses these days no longer have chimneys for Santa
} to come down.
}   - Therefore, he needs an alternate method of entry.
}   - The easiest entry points to most houses are the windows.
}   - Windows is well known for being insecure, allowing easy
} access by outsiders.
} How much more proof do you need?

Notes: I was just looking for something fun to do for the holidays when this popped in my head. No doubt I could have made a better (or at least longer) list of similarities between Santa and the Oracle if I'd taken more time.

I thought the incarnation gave a great answer, but I was still surprised to see it digested.