“General, we have multiple inbound bogies over the North Pole…”

By Deane Barker on December 24, 2004

Welcome to the 2004 NORAD Tracks Santa Website: For the 50th consecutive year, NORAD will be tracking Santa as he delivers presents tomorrow night. Let’s hope a Patriot missile doesn’t try to shoot him down by accident. It probably doesn’t matter, because according to a seriously geeky analysis, he’ll self-destruct anyway.

353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance – this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each.

In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second.

Ah, the magic of Christmas.