On his busiest night of the year you can follow Santa as he makes his way around the globe by going to the NORAD tracks Santa site.
The site is run by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which is a joint American/Canadian military organisation. Although NORAD spend the rest of the year in charge of aerospace warnings for North America they wait until this time of year for their most important job. Now they are busy tracking Santa as he makes his way from the North Pole and then all round the globe delivering presents to children from every country.
NORAD’s Lt Alain Blondin said: “We use satellites and radar to track Santa.We let people know where he is through email, Facebook, by making phone calls, Google+ and YouTube. Rudolph’s nose gives off an infrared signature so it’s quite easy to track with our satellite assets”.
We also intercept Santa with our fighter aircraft,’ said Lt Blondin. ‘They catch up with him, take a photo and he is only too happy to oblige with a smile and a wave.’
CF-18 jets from the Royal Canadian Air Force will guide Santa through its airspace before US pilots in F-15s, F-16s and F-22s escort him over the US.
Although we think of this type of technology as being quite recent the NORAD Track Santa program has been running since as far back as 1955 when children were kept in touch with Santa’s journey by telephone. The aerospace unit only became involved by accident as a Colorado department store placed an advert in a newspaper inviting children to ring Santa and the newspaper printed the wrong phone number. Suddenly the Colorado Continental Defense Command found itself receiving hundreds of phone calls and a new tradition was born.
As well as the usual Google map tracking on the NORAD site there are also icons you can click to show “Santa Cam” video footage from several places on his route. As well as using your computer you can also track Santa using your iPhone or Android smartphone this year.
You can see Santa flying over London on his journey last year. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Ho Ho Ho!
The Duchess of Cambridge is expected to have an even bigger year for media exposure than she did this year with her marriage. There have already been strong rumours that she may be pregnant and if this is confirmed some time in 2012 then she is likely to have even more massive media coverage than now, Even without news of a pregnancy she will be all over the news as she is acting as an ambassador to the London 2012 Olympics.
The Texas-based Global Language Monitor have said that “Kate” will be the most used word in the media during 2012. The Global Language Monitor compiles its lists of top words and phrases using a computer algorithm that tracks thousands of media outlets around the globe, as well as blogs and social media websites.
There is no doubt that much of the coverage of the Duchess concerns her style and fashion-sense. There is a lot of behind the scenes work going on though to make sure that she does not suffer the same media fate as her famous mother-in-law the late Princess Diana.
As well as Kate being a top trender in 2012 the Global Language Monitor believe that we will be seeing a lot of the terms “Olympiad”, linking in with the London 2012 Olympics, “the election”, as the US moves towards an election in November next year and also the term “Bak’tun”, a term relating to the Mayan civilisation’s time period of around 394 years (the current bak’tun will end on 21 December 2012).