"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Saturday, December 24, 2016

On the Lighter Side

Now that the Hairpiece has decided to ramp up his nuclear war rhetoric, it's time for a break -- and, given the season, what better than NORAD's Santa Tracker?

There are few Christmas traditions in the U.S. that are prized and anticipated quite as much as the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s (NORAD) efforts to track Santa Claus.

For the remaining 363 days of the year, the joint U.S. and Canadian agency monitors the North American territory for aerospace or maritime threats. However, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the agency is tasked with keeping tabs on the whereabouts of the jolly man in the red suit, and relaying the information to millions of children (and even some adults) from around the world who call and email, requesting an estimate on when to expect a gift delivery. The practice has been in place for 61 years.

It initially began completely by accident in 1955, when Sears department store misprinted a phone number in an advertisement it placed in a Colorado Springs newspaper, urging kids to dial Santa directly. Instead the phone calls went to Colorado Springs' Continental Air Defense Command Center (CONRAD). Not wanting to crush the spirits of children, then-colonel Harry Shoup told his colleagues to play along and provide callers with Santa’s exact location. NORAD replaced CONRAD in 1958, and the tradition has continued.

And if you want to follow Santa's progress yourself:

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