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Christmas Cheer Toys

Santa Meets NORAD, Tux Gets Lit Up For Xmas 142

runlvl0 writes "Once again, NORAD is tracking Santa Claus on his annual trip around the world via the NORAD Tracks Santa website. Oddly, as of 1900 GMT, Santa is taking a spin over the Persian Gulf. I guess that he's glad not to have to worry about "no-fly zones" this year." NORAD has been keeping an eye on our favorite present deliverer for a few years now. Elsewhere, pixelbeat writes "Michael Still created a lovely Tux in Xmas tree lights. The complete process from gimp to the final 707 lights was documented."
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Santa Meets NORAD, Tux Gets Lit Up For Xmas

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  • Bah Humbug (Score:5, Funny)

    by WankersRevenge ( 452399 ) on Thursday December 25, 2003 @04:13AM (#7807164)
    Not mine ... a coworker sent it to me ... merry x-mas

    History of Santa Claus

    1689--Spanish-German explorer Santa Claus discovers the North Pole, and establishes a small base camp.

    1691--Because of harsh and meager living conditions, Claus' crew abandons him.

    1692--Claus is rescued by the Viking ship Hvorfor. He returns to Europe, bringing some items along with him from the North Pole. He finds he is able to sell them quite easily, making a small profit.

    1703--Claus saves up enough money to buy a small ship and crew, and returns to the North Pole. Upon arriving, he finds his base camp, half-buried but still intact.

    1704--Claus returns to Europe with a shipload of North Pole artifacts, and is successful in selling them. He makes enough profit to increase his crew, and buys building materials to expand his polar base.

    1705--Claus returns again to the North Pole, and builds quarters for him and his crew, and sets up the Polar Exports Company.

    1716--After six shiploads of exports, the European market is flooded with polar artifacts, as well as the phony ones making charlatans rich. Seeing this decline, Claus decides to invest his money by starting a toy company in his native Germany.

    1720--Claus Toys becomes the largest toy company in Germany, but only because of Claus' underhanded business dealings. (It was also rumored that Claus was dealing with enemy countries as well). Competitors urged government officials to begin an investigation.

    1721--Enough evidence is found, and charges are drawn up against the Claus Toys Company. Claus himself refuses to release his records.

    1722--The German Supreme Court finds Claus guilty of tax evasion and of treason. When news of this breaks, Claus' employees all turn against him and his company.

    1723--Claus is exiled to Sicily, and shortly before leaving, he absconds with all of the company's funds.

    1724--A search party is sent to the Mediterranean to recover the funds, however, Claus hears of this ahead of time, and he and his Sicilian wife flee for their lives. (Some say he went into Northern Africa, but it is generally assumed that this was only a ruse to lure the searchers off course. He is believed to have returned to his North Pole base).

    1725--Claus II is born en route to the North Pole.

    1725-1734--The Claus' lay low at the North Pole. Claus teaches his son the arts of toy making and business dealings.

    1735--Rumor has it that Claus has hired Scandinavian builders to construct a castle for him at the North Pole, making use of almost half of the company funds.

    1739--The castle is finished, and is one of the largest in the world. Claus II reaches his fifteenth birthday, and in the same year, Claus' wife dies, accidentally falling from a balcony in one of the castle's great halls.

    1740--Claus, mourning his wife, becomes increasingly ill.

    1745--Santa Claus II becomes of age, and begins taking care of the castle and of his sick father.

    1747--Using the remaining company funds, Claus II builds a small city around the castle to attract workers and craftsmen.

    1748--Word of the North Pole settlement reaches Europe. The Elves of Eastern Europe, quickly becoming political outcasts and striving for a better life, begin immigrating in waves to the North Pole.

    1753--All the elves have left Eastern Europe and have become firmly established at the North Pole. Claus II begins his father's toy company once again, with an estimated 30,000 elves employed. Claus I dies, at age 89.

    1755--The North Pole officially becomes a nation, and Claus II and his wife take the throne. The toy business continues to flourish, and the elves enjoy prosperity. Claus III is born.

    1757--The great stables are built, and scientists are secretly hired by Claus II to begin an ambitious project--that of breeding and training reindeer to fly.
    • by Cyclopedian ( 163375 ) on Thursday December 25, 2003 @04:51AM (#7807246) Journal
      Your friend forgot to include the remainder of the story:

      1998--A scandal erupts when Claus VII is reported to have oral sex with a 24-year old elf intern. Both of them deny sexual relations, while the North Pole media blows it all out of proportion. Due to the nature of Communism, Claus VII is not impeached.[added by me]

      2002--Communism fails utterly at the North Pole due to the nature of the elves. Claus VII, flying clockwise around the earth making the Christmas rounds, collides with Anti-Claus, who was flying counterclockwise. A huge explosion and blinding flash of light occurs, leading scientists to believe that they annihilated each other.

      2007--The North Pole becomes a democracy, run wholly by the elves. Christmas is no longer commercialized or exploited. Happiness is finally achieved throughout the kingdom.

      2011--It is discovered that Claus VII did not die in the explosion, but merely made it appear so. From there he went to live in the Bahamas. He is later found, dead of a heart attack, in a jacuzzi with two and a half dozen nymphets.

      Merry Christmas!

  • by LordK3nn3th ( 715352 ) on Thursday December 25, 2003 @04:15AM (#7807171)
    Sitting by my fireplace, shotgun in hand... I'm ready for the fat bastard this year, I tell ya...

    This tool is great. Once Santa's near my region I'll be ready... I won't miss this year (damn reindeer startled me..!)
  • by Chatmag ( 646500 ) <editor@chatmag.com> on Thursday December 25, 2003 @04:18AM (#7807181) Homepage Journal
    I found an interesting article with mention of the origin of NORAD tracking Santa. [radiovillage.com].

    Apparently, it was quite by accident.
  • Merry Xmas. (Score:5, Funny)

    by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Thursday December 25, 2003 @04:19AM (#7807183) Journal
    And then /. lit up Michael Still's computer in a blaze of HTTP.
  • Ton of pictures on a personal webpage?

    This guy better be glad this was posted at 3am on Christmas morning or he would have been Slashdotted 40 times over by now.....
    Perhaps he has a chance at surviving?
  • PRF (Score:2, Funny)

    by dcviper ( 251826 )
    wow, I'd love to know the Pulse Repetition Frequency on the radar NORAD is using for it's 'track santa' gif....
  • Merry Christmas (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The birth of Christ should be looked upon as the first day our true eternal salvation was given to us. It's not about the money, it's about love and forgiveness.
  • by TechnoPops ( 590791 ) on Thursday December 25, 2003 @04:28AM (#7807212) Journal
    Tux Gets Lit Up For Xmas

    Oh, poor Tux. I mean, I know Linux hasn't won over the desktop front yet, but alcohol is NOT the answer, dear penguin!

    <starts planning intervention>
  • Well... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Loki_1929 ( 550940 ) *
    We can't find Osama, but at least we can locate Santa.

    Glad to see our priorities are in order.

    • Re:Well... (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well, if Osama would be obliging enough to fly through our airspace with a reindeer capable of lighting up our infra-red satellite detectors, we'd certainly welcome the opportunity to send some fighter jets after him too!
    • I suppose it'd be easier to find the former, were he to make an insanely large trip as this... in lieu of that, what's a NORAD to do?
    • "We can't find Osama, but at least we can locate Santa."

      It's not the gov'ts fault. Osama's not flying around to every house in the world in a Norad trackable sleigh with a big glowing red hood ornament.
  • by SexyKellyOsbourne ( 606860 ) on Thursday December 25, 2003 @04:49AM (#7807243) Journal
    There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist (except maybe in Japan) religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the population reference bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming there is at least one good child in each.

    Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stocking, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get onto the next house.

    Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks.

    This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second--3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

    The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized LEGO set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousands tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the "flying" reindeer can pull 10 times the normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them---Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

    600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance-this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would adsorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.

    Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 m.p.s. in .001 seconds, would be subjected to acceleration forces of 17,000 g's. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo. Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.

    Have a Merry Christmas!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25, 2003 @05:30AM (#7807315)
      Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 m.p.s. in .001 seconds, would be subjected to acceleration forces of 17,000 g's

      Obviously it hasn't occurred to you grinches out there that Santa has maintained a technological advantage in transport technology all these years (where do you think all those cool electronic gadgets come from, anyway?). For example, the Elftech QRD-14 inertial dampener system eliminates all the acceleration problems.

      As for the previously mentioned air resistance issues, project R.U.D.O.L.F. (Regenerative Universal Defense - Organic Life Form) solved that problem back in the last century, when a special genetically engineered breed of reindeer whose biology was capable of generating electromagnetic shielding to protect against air friction (bleeding off the absorbed energy in the infrared and low-visible light frequencies) was developed.
      • I don't know what is more baffling, that you guys actually took the time to figure this out, or that you and the parent both got moderated insightful instead of funny.

        Based on your posts, and since I am too lazy to google it, would you possibly be able to post on here the one about hell freezing over?

    • Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now

      This is ridiculous. As everyone knows these days, Santa utilizes a quantum function, and is thus able to visit all childrens at once. It is also the reason why you may not see Santa. Otherwise the quantum function would collapse and Santa would be trapped in your home.

      Happy Christmas !
    • 600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance-this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere.

      Global warming is caused by Santa!

      (This message is brought to you by the CO2 Distributors of America, who urge you to vote Republican this November.)
    • ...or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

      For some reason this line always makes me smile!

      Merry Christmas Everyone! :)
    • According to the movie Miracle on 34th Street, Santa is able to slow down time though. He turns milleniums into milliseconds until he is done. So, that just instantly flushes your philosophy down the drain.
    • I believe that this article was originally posted in SPY Magazine in, I think, 1990. It was titled, "No, Virginia, There Really Isn't a Santa Claus."
  • [...] Tux Gets Lit Up For Xmas.

    I'm pretty well lit up myshelf, I thank you.
  • In the time honored tradition of /. mirroring, I've created a mirror of the christmas-tree-lights tux:
    http://bleeat.com/~quentins/www.stillhq.com/cgi-bi n/christmas-twinkletux.html [bleeat.com]
    The original site uses PNGs for all of the photos, only adding to the server's pain! I've converted them to JPGs, in an attempt to save bandwidth.
  • Another miracle of the chistmas season! As of 1:11 AM PST, that site [stillhq.com] is not slashdotted! Woot, Halleluiah, Amen, and what not.
  • NORAD uses .rm format.

    That's funny.

    Making you load spyware to see their content.
    • I suppose you didn't notice all the links to MPEG files right next to the RealMedia files, did you?
      You can't fault them for trying to be helpful to all those normal people (yes, broadband still isn't typical) who want to watch some kids programming on their modems.
      • I didn't get there in time to see the live feed, so I just saw a "view" button next to the stored files, and it served RM, which I couldn't see because I'm not dumb enough to install RM twice.
  • Shit!!! I was reading Slashdot when midnight rolled around.
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Thursday December 25, 2003 @05:16AM (#7807293) Homepage Journal
    Sadly, due to the current national threat level, Santa has been asked not to fly over France.

    • I don't think France would allow Santa overflight anyway. Since they're seriously considering a ban on head scarves, yarmulkes, and large crucifixes, I doubt they would take kindly to the celebration of religious holidays.
    • I thought it was because the United States administration were worried that
      if he did fly over France, the french would surrender to him.
  • by whitefox ( 16740 )
    Maybe another solution may be to try a negative approach. Given the idea is to display at night, light up the background and Tux's stomach with white lights, fill in the feet with yellow ones, and then outline the arms, eyes, and other features with white. As long as the area it's displayed in is not too lit up and the other lights aren't overwhelming, the darkness should fill in naturally for the black areas. Or maybe not...
  • by TyrranzzX ( 617713 ) on Thursday December 25, 2003 @06:07AM (#7807367) Journal
    Why the hell would norad need to track santa? Are we going to intercept him with one of those shiney icbm's or starwars project lasers?

    "Hey joe, lookie here, there's one heck of a fast moving dot on the screen"

    "It isn't confimed by anyone, shoot er' down"

    *somewhere over the pacific*

    Ho ho ho, ZAP, BANG! *several seconds later, a 9 cooked reigndeer, 1 cooked fat guy and a slegh fall through some poor youngsters roof*

    Besides that, with all the bad FUD creating news lately, does anyone really trust a crazy man in a sleigh dressed in red passing out packages who can somehow travel faster than the speed of light? Seriously, he COULD be a terrorist, and all those shiney packages COULD be filled with anthrax, or nukes, or something else far more poisinous to the planet, like PS2's or televisions.

    And then, everyone sits down to a nice dinner of diseased feedlotted, poisioned food(aspartame, Monosodium glutamate, carnageenan, http://www.ideatown.com/ntxa/index.html for the list) and talk amongst themselves. This is why we have outbreaks every year, undercooked meat gets on the table, people eat it and catch whatever the poor animal had at the feedlot in china. This is also why they are getting worse year by year, antibiotics injected into your animals daily when they are sick will make an infection that's resistant to those antibiotics. So celebrating good ol' jolly saint nick has some pretty bad effects, far worse a toll than some terrorists crashing planes into buildings imo.

    Then of course, kids rip open playstations or televisions or gamecubes or other toys, never things that they really need like books, electronics kits, free hug cards from their parents or in some cases, computers w/ internet connections. Instead of going out and experiencing life they sit at home and play games or watch TV and poison themselves on junk food. The sugary candy of entertainment.

    But that's just my bitching, don't mind the madman. Even though I'm right and you all know it I'll be neatly ignored because you're all, unlike me, sluts to convenience. I'm happy this year because I'v got family who sent me cards and remembered I existed, and everyone in my family is in one piece. Some kids don't care, or don't even know their parents because they work 14 hours a day all week and the kids never get to see them. Others take them for granted, and they don't give enough hugs.
    • Ho ho ho, ZAP, BANG! *several seconds later, a 9 cooked reigndeer, 1 cooked fat guy and a slegh fall through some poor youngsters roof*

      You missed the South Park repeat last night of Red Sleigh Down. It is a very funny Christmas episode about the Iraqis shooting down that fat bastard and then torturing him with electro-shock to his testicles. It brought back wonderful memories of Blackhawk Down and Three Kings.

    • My guess is you never got that Nintendo you wanted growing up.

  • If you never heard this music, try to get it. It's very beautiful.

    The Night Santa Went Crazy
    by Al Yankovic

    Down in the workshop all the elves were makin' toys
    For the good Gentile girls and the good Gentile boys
    When the boss busted in, nearly scared 'em half to death
    Had a rifle in his hands and cheap whiskey on his breath
    From his beard to his boots he was covered with ammo
    Like a big fat drunk disgruntled Yuletide Rambo
    And he smiled as he said with a twinkle in his eye,
    "Merry Christmas to all - now you're al
  • if he suddenly disappears off the radar in southern california, you'll know why.

    *installs a harpoon gun on his roof*

    yeaah biiiiitch.
  • Well....almost. The "Santa being tracked by NORAD" thing was mentioned last night on a weather forecast broadcast by Tacoma,WA PBS station KBTC at 7pm PST (though these are provided for them by completely rubbish local Fox affiliate Q13, Seattle). As they were talking about Santa flying over an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, the really rather wonky computer animation of this alleged event locked up, and popped up a giant gray box stating, "Real Player has lost connection to the server", etc. Then eve
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...thanks to an overzealous, trigger-happy soldier manning one of the SAM batteries in place in Washington DC due to the "Code Orange."

    Sorry, kids, but it seems that a sleigh and eight reindeer have a very similar radar signature to a 767 piloted by extremist Muslims.
  • This (Score:2, Funny)

    by sujan ( 464326 )
    is a clear violation of separation between church and state.

    I hope ACLU sues them.
  • "Santa" is actually an aircraft being flown by Al Qaeda pilots planning to crash into the REAL Santa - assuming he isn't shot down first by the anti-aircraft missiles being deployed around Washington and elsewhere to protect Bush's cowardly ass.

The absent ones are always at fault.