Monday, December 24, 2007

A little giving...and Where's Santa?

In the spirit of giving, we'd like to point you all to a spin on matching contributions being made to the Art Street project at Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless. All you have to do is watch this short video that Mudhouse Advertising put together for the project, and for each watch between now and Christmas Mario Burgos and his business partner will donate $1...up to $10,000. Nice job, Mario.

Thanks to the Journal for pointing out the Los Alamos Lab's Santa Tracking Website. Here is how they are able to keep tabs on Santa:

"The satellite tracking group from the International, Space & Response (ISR) Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory again will be tracking Santa Claus' whereabouts on Christmas Eve. To monitor Santa's progress as he races around the world delivering presents and goodies to good children everywhere, we will be using the satellite tracking dishes in the high mountains of Los Alamos, New Mexico, as well as sensors on the FORTE satellite and the most recently launched Cibola Flight Experiment (CFE) satellite. In addition, the U.S. Air Force, with nine tracking stations around the world, will also help us monitor Santa's travels.

"How are we able to track Santa with our satellite? The FORTE satellite is in a highly inclined, 70-degree (measure of the angle between the orbit plane and the plane of the Earth's equator) orbit. The satellite's altitude above the Earth's surface is 500 miles. From this orbit, the satellite travels between the latitudes of +/- 70 degrees and can monitor the whole world for signs of Santa and his reindeer crew whenever they are in view. The CFE satellite will augment the FORTE tracking. While CFE is inclined only 35-degree and is only 315 miles above the Earth, it can see parts of the Earth that are not available to FORTE to provide more persistent Santa monitoring.

"We believe that Rudoph's glowing, bright red nose puts out optical and infrared light that makes him easy to detect, allowing an optical camera on FORTE to give us a glimpse of Santa and his team. Also, the Federal Aviation Administration requires Santa to fly with a radio transponder on his sleigh, similar to what airplanes use, to ensure flight safety around the world. This transponder can be detected with the radio receiver that flies on board both the FORTE and CFE satellites."

Classic and Fabulous!

Another good website is this one: The webcams and the scrolling live messages to Santa are great. My niece was particularly interested in which reindeer would win the contest to guide the sleigh (you could vote). Rudolph pulled it out, but Blitzen gave him a run for his money.

Merry Christmas!