NORAD, the air defense command and control center for protecting the United States and Canada, has a great sense of humor.
Santa’s every move over the next 24 hours will be snapped and shared!
OK, so cell phone pics and radar images aren’t the same thing, but the NORAD Santa Tracker will tell you where St. Nick and his flying reindeer were last spotted, where he’s going next and their estimated time of arrival.
As I am typing this around mid-afternoon, a few hours before Christmas Eve (Eastern Standard Time), Santa has already delivered 2,550,000,000 gifts, and is currently spreading cheer in the chimneys of Turkey, with the nation of Armenia getting giddy for his pending arrival.
If your kids get a little more curious how jolly Santa is able to pull off such an impossibly complicated logistical operation, the Physics Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have explained the science behind his gift distribution (Speaking of gifts, CEO Jamie Thompson calls Pongr “the world’s largest photo analysis engine for consumer packaged goods.”)
Professor Germano Iannacchione has calculated that Santa’s sleigh with full cargo weighs more than 220 million lbs. (100 million kg) and must hit an average speed of 6.3 million mph (10.1 million km/hr) to make his Christmas deadlines.
The WPI physicist shares more of his lighthearted (but scientific) insights on Santa logistics in this fun Boston Globe interview.
Lastly, it’s important to note that although Santa’s intentions are pure, he doesn’t always invoke a joyful reaction from children. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres recently asked her talk show viewers to share pictures of their kids crying when they meet St. Nick at the shopping mall or another promotional appearance.
As parents, the meant-to-be perfect moment is temporarily miserable — especially with concerns about ruining the experience for parents blessed to have well-behaved kids. But in retrospect, these kind of photos are much more fun to share.
Check out Ellen’s full Bad Santa Photo Gallery here.
(To all our Pongr’ers who celebrate Christmas, wishing a very Merry Christmas to you and your families!)