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Sorry to be the one to break the news... - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Sorry to be the one to break the news... [Dec. 7th, 2005|03:35 pm]
Folks, I've recently decided it's time that I should bring up some sad news, news that might be troubling to some of you. Please, if you have children reading over your shoulder, send them away. In fact, I think I should put this after a cut tag

It's about the famous NORAD tracking Santa Claus. See... they don't.

Yes, I know, it's troubling isn't it? But the truth of the matter is, they're tracking a form of intelligent chaff.

I know, it's shocking to think that a key portion of US intelligence gathering could be so wrong, that so many prominent and important politicians could have misunderstood the meaning of the images and electronic signatures, but it's true. I believe they may have even made blunders about intelligence about more important things, as shocking as that is.

The problem is that Santa Claus has to hurry on Christmas Eve, and it's very hard to make a sleigh and eight tiny (tiny? hah! say that again *after* you've had to muck out their stables!) reindeer radar invisible. Oh, sure, the single-wing design used for the Stealth fighter and bomber was attempted, but we ended up needing twenty-four reindeer, and, blast it all, Rudolph's nose transmits broadly in the EM spectrum. (On the plus side, he can warm up your mulled cider. He can do the same for hot cocoa, but it leaves that milk-skin on his nose, and he hates that.)

Well, it's pretty amazing what you can pull off with a lab full of elves and a great deal of magic in the air, but one day, both US and Soviet radar installations got a lock on him. No one talks much about it, because who wants to admit that four fighter jets, pilots and all, vanished into thin air? (Mrs. Claus fed them hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps and rum-laced fruitcake... enough peppermint schnapps and rum, and they were willling to believe it was a fruitcake-induced hallucination. The military of both nations was quite satisfied to let them believe that story, since who would their people to know that they made acts of aggression against Santa?)

That led to the decision to employ an unmanned ariel vehicle that threw off a false radar signature. The nifty part of this is, the radar beams actually help power the device that emits the false signature back. NORAD claims to be tracking Santa, and are quite happy to do so. Whenever they catch a glimpse of the real one, they dismiss it as a trick echo, off of the "real" one.

There are still occasional brief radar locks, but after that disastrous night, the elves in charge of radar invisibility wore black armbands to signify their disgrace, swore off cinnamon toast with their breakfast until the problem was fixed, and before you know it, Santa was radar invisible once again. Or, as close as we - er, I mean "they" - could manage. Their new system not only attempts radar invisibility, it also scrambles the signals, confusing the radar operators.

Rumors that most radar operators receive a bribe on Christmas Day are entirely false; if you see one with a secretive grin and a suspiciously big candy cane walking around, trust me, it's just that they've made an educated guess and are glad to be part of a happy conspiracy.

[User Picture]From: tharain
2005-12-07 11:54 pm (UTC)
I'm completely giggling in my office.

But you're right. Keep this one under wraps.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2005-12-08 09:40 pm (UTC)
I'll do my best. (And gads, do I hope this spreads just far enough that somewhere, someone who operates a radar feels like carrying a suspiciously large candy cane :-).
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From: iamjw
2005-12-08 12:07 am (UTC)

I enjoyed that tremendously. Thank you.
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From: kightp
2005-12-08 12:56 am (UTC)
I'm shocked, I say, shocked! Get this to O'Reilly at once!!!
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[User Picture]From: ms_interpret
2005-12-08 03:39 am (UTC)


This is off-topic (though the topic was rather amusing *grin*), but since people aren't getting their notifications regularly these days, I thought I'd try again here. You mentioned you have inattentive ADD and that it sounds like what I've described of Josie. I was wondering if you could tell me more about it. Now especially I'd like to know since that is *exactly* what her new doctor said today. I'm doing a bit of reading, but it's better to hear it from someone who is intimately acquainted with it. If you could email me, that'd be great. My first name at headingwest.ca

Thanks, John
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[User Picture]From: grey_lady
2005-12-08 09:34 am (UTC)
This is wonderful, John. Can I link to it (assuming I can figure out how to link to an individual post) in my own LJ to let my friends-list get a grin?
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2005-12-08 09:40 pm (UTC)
Of course; feel free to link to nearly anything I write.
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