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NORAD's Amazing 60-Year Santa Tracking History (networkworld.com) 90

coondoggie writes: The National Archive blog takes a look at the background of the nation's premier defense unit's 60 years of tracking of Santa as he travels around the globe delivering his Christmas goodies. Colonel Harry Shoup began the tradition in 1955, after receiving a phone call from a child expecting to reach Santa Claus. The misdirected call was the result of the child reversing two numbers of a Santa Line phone number printed in a Sears advertisement, according to the National Archives.
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NORAD's Amazing 60-Year Santa Tracking History

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is what is really is for. And the let Canadians in there. What's next? Mexicans?

  • I don't observe christmas, you insensitive clod.

    Neither divali nor ramadan nor hanukkah.

    • ...in an scarlet clad elf who sacrifices himself to provide pleasure to little children when I was young. Around the age of seven or so I realized that it was all hokey, but by then I was able to comprehend the spirit behind the season.

      Some of humanities rules are very simple:

      1) Number one is the Golden Rule, treat others as you have would others treat you!
      2) It is better to give than receive.
      3) Question everything.

      • You believe in someone who engages in elf slave labor? All the reports I've seen say that they have to toil endlessly in Santa's toy shop when the old man could just go out and buy a few 3D printers.

        When will this injustice end?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          elf slave

          Arctican-American, please.

          • by dryeo ( 100693 )

            elf slave

            Arctican-American, please.

            They're Arctican-Canadian, look at the postal code, H0H 0H0

      • I don't think I'm worse for believing in an scarlet clad elf who sacrifices himself to provide pleasure to little children when I was young. Around the age of seven or so I realized that it was all hokey, but by then I was able to comprehend the spirit behind the season.

        Some of humanities rules are very simple:

        1) Number one is the Golden Rule, treat others as you have would others treat you!

        2) It is better to give than receive.

        3) Question everything.

        And another rule is: Correlation does not equate causation. The fact that someone does not "observe" something (as stated) does not imply that he "believes/does not believe" something. You might want to refer back to the subject line "What happened to political correctness??".

        • ...concerned about political correctness. The vast majority that composes the rest of the human race don't give a damn about who you worship, or your skin color, or your gender orientation. You treat as as equals, we treat you as equals.

          • You treat as as equals, we treat you as equals.

            Bullshit. You gender me female, then find some piece of evidence that indicates otherwise and the you freak the fuck out and call the police. I expect this to begin escalating directly to violence in the near future, so be warned: I may just have a gun on me.

            You see on my paperwork I'm male, then you find out one of my meds is for women only, so you freak the fuck out and give me a "religious objection!" and revoke my healthcare access while I still am forced by the government to pay for your obese ass.

            Or

        • I wonder if Christmas would change if nobody observed it?

          Makes you wonder how Heisenberg celebrated it. Or whether he did.

      • 4) I want to believe.
        5) Trust no one.
        6) Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity.

    • by BigZee ( 769371 )
      Christmas (I prefer Xmas), is not necessarily a religious festival in my opinion. I'm an atheist but that doesn't stop me from wanting to bring good wishes and cheer to my friends and family. There are more people in Britain who perceive Xmas as Doctor Who, Strictly, The Queen and eating too much turkey than are likely to go to church.
      • Many people of all manner of beliefs already celebrated something around the 25th of December (near the winter solstice). Christmas trees are a pagan tradition. Santa Claus is a weird mix of Northern European Christian traditions and pagan myths. (Interestingly, st. Nicholas or Sinterklaas as he's called over here, from whom both the name and the idea of Santa Claus appears to have originated, is celebrated as a separate holiday on December 5th here in the Netherlands and Belgium. 30 years ago, Sinterkl
        • Many people of all manner of beliefs already celebrated something around the 25th of December (near the winter solstice).

          More specifically, it's four days after the solstice. In a pre-technological society, you didn't have any accurate way of noting the time of sunrise -- but in four days, you could note the progression of where it rose. Hey, the sun was rising over that rock, now it's rising over that tree -- it's coming back!

          You knew there was still a lot of winter ahead, but the outcome was assured, and you could afford to break into the stored food and have a party.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt AT nerdflat DOT com> on Thursday December 24, 2015 @10:34AM (#51178085) Journal
        The term Xmas is over a thousand years old, and is derived from what was at one time a fairly common usage of a capital letter X to denote Christ (possibly derived from the fact that the word Christ itself begins with a letter that resembles an 'X' in Greek). The term itself originated with Christians (and among those who could write, they may have denoted themselves as X-tians). While there are Christians today that object to "Xmas" under the notion that it allegedly "takes Christ out of Christmas", this objection is driven by ignorance of the actual origin of the term. "Xmas" does not take Christ out of Christmas, and if anything, highlights the association even more strongly by using an archaic form to emphasize it.

        If you object to "Christmas" because you don't believe in the story behind it, you may want to reconsider what you call it.

      • by Rolgar ( 556636 )

        The X in Xmas still refers to Jesus since the first letter in Christ in Greek (the language the gospels were written in) is X. I suppose the uneducated may think that using Xmas reduces the Christianity in Christmas, but people who know will understand that it doesn't.

    • I don't observe christmas, you insensitive clod.

      Frank Costanza, is that you?

    • This is Slashdot, where there are all kinds of boxes under the tree; but none of them is a hug box. Merry Christmas, and if that offends you then FOAD.

    • So the fuck what?

      I hope you're joking and all, but unfortunately such idiots exist who go out of their way to feel "offended" by someone wishing them well the wrong way. Fuck them. The whole lot of them. From the atheists who get their panties in a knot over "Merry Christmas" to the Christian who berate you that it HAS TO BE "Merry Christmas" and don't you dare to wish anything else to the various other delusions (aka religions) who chew you out for not knowing that they have their own flavor of funny hats

      • unfortunately such idiots exist who go out of their way to feel "offended" by someone wishing them well the wrong way

        Here is the wrong way to do it: notice somebody you're pretty certain doesn't go to church or else is probably homosexual. Get in their face and scream "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" Is the intention to give the listener a heart attack or tinnitus or something??

        I believe I have every right to be offended at that one.

        Here is another wrong way to do it (this didn't happen to me): notice somebody who is obviously trans and has ear buds in. Get in their way and mumble "merry christmas." (It's mumbling; no capitalizatio

        • Yep, that about sums up my experience with the past few weeks. Sadly the jihadists seem to exist on both sides of the fence, for a friend (or probably now "former friend") chewed my ear off for wishing him Merry Christmas because (to sum up his half hour tirade) "An Atheist doesn't say that!"

          Fuck that, ok?

          I don't give a shit about the whole baby Jesus cult. The whole depiction alone, who celebrates someone's birthday by pretending he's still some baby? Not to mention that if Jesus actually had been a real p

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Well then, Merry Moosemas.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In this world of smart phones, supercookies, browser fingerprinting, unwarranted wiretap, NSL, mass surveillance, and encryption backdoors, I can only say this:

    In post-soviet World, Santa tracks YOU!

    Obey, good citizen!

    • People ask me why I can't get into the Christmas spirit. Then I usually say if I wanted someone to track my every move and judge whether I'm naughty or nice, I needn't celebrate Christmas, I can have that all year 'round already.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    arent they a bit old for beliving in mythalogical figures?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    they will put a cruise missile down you chimney.

  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Thursday December 24, 2015 @09:17AM (#51177859)

    He is going in and out of the country without any papers. They are able to track him.
    To me it is clear that they are just a waste of money. If they can not stop a single person on a sledge, how do they think they can stop bombs coming in from the Soviet Union.

    And to people telling he is no danger: he is clearly devastating for the US toy industry as the majority he brings in is made by underpaid elves in (as indicate don the toys) in China.
    The reason nothing is done is because he favors the rich more than the poor and those are the people in charge.

    Wake up sheeple!

  • by eltwo ( 4283339 ) on Thursday December 24, 2015 @09:49AM (#51177939)
    60 Years and NORAD still hasn't been able to direct a missile to shoot down this object!!
  • You know what, Slashdot? This is the first year I have absolutely no interest in the Santa Tracker. I will not be watching any of the Rankin & Bass stop-motion folklore. Christmas is dead to me.

    You know why? You Christian assholes have apparently determined that I'm somehow out to stop you from saying "merry Christmas." I mean, what the actual fuck. You assholes think that saying "merry Christmas" to me will somehow cause me agony because god hates fags. You've done this to my friends as well. I

    • You Christian assholes have apparently determined that I'm somehow out to stop you from saying "merry Christmas."

      You might not be, but a lot of your Atheist brethren are. Therefore, Christians are fighting back......

      • Well, keep in mind then. Come this time next year, I may very well have a gun on me.

        If they want to keep escalating this until one becomes physically violent with me, well, what can I say? Gays with guns. Religiously object to my gun in your face after you take a swing at me!

    • Worst. Troll. Ever.

      MERRY CHRISTMAS

  • It's all fun and games until someone has a few too many at the NORAD Christmas party, loads the Santa data into the wrong terminal, and the WOPR identifies Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen as an incoming salvo of ICBMs from Murmansk.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Thursday December 24, 2015 @12:16PM (#51178549) Journal
    This whole winter solstice festival was observed by pagans before they were civilized by Gospel and the Christians. To placate them the early Christian church allowed them to Christianize their pagan winter solstice festival by weaving a story of Christ being born on Dec. It is blasphemous to continue to observe that pagan festival in the Year of Our Lord 2015.

    Worse the liberals with the help of merchandise peddling corporations have infiltrated the government to the top levels. They even use the military to perpetuate the myth and indoctrinate the young kids into the myth of Christmas.

    It is time we return to the original Christian roots of observing and celebrating the birth of our Savior. No gifts, no pagan trees. No drinking or making merry. We have to take the Merry out of the Merry Christmas and put Holy in it, not holly. Strict abstemious, pious prayers and mass is ALL that should be allowed on Christmas. They commercialized the sabbath, commercialized Christmas. They will commercialize the entire church canon if you let them.

    Christians of the world, unite against the Merry in the Merry Christmas.

    Of course, we, non Christians would be allowed to celebrate a winter Season festival, with all the drinking, making merry and exchanging gifts. Pious Christians, you keep the Christ, the rest of us keep the Merry and we call it a fair division.

    Holy Christmas Greetings to Christians. Merry Season's Greetings to us.

  • I don't mean to be negative, but in their highest wisdom, America's founding fathers wanted a clear separation between church and state.

    I am sorry, but I feel it's wrong for tax dollars to spent to pander to any religion.

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Santa is not part of any religion. He is a folk tradition that shares a span of time with several religious and secular observations.

  • Basically, a small screwup by a civilian created a annual military tradition...

Interchangeable parts won't.

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