Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Blog 2010: Where in the World is Santa?

Google has a couple of neat things to combine geography with the countdown to Christmas.  First, if you go to the Google homepage, it has an international Christmas Doodle that looks like this:

On the actual site, as you scroll over each picture, it enlarges to show you more of an international scene.  Some are actual cities, while others refer to a specific country or region.  There are 16 international pictures (in addition to one undefined Santa by the chimney graphic);  how many can you identify?  List your ideas below, and I'll give the answers in a future blog post.

Then, the US and Canadian air security agency, NORAD, is sponsoring its annual tracking Santa project, where they report where Santa is on his journey delivering presents around the world.  This year, however, it is shown on Google Earth, so you can actually see where he has been and where he is heading.  They also have some short videos of Santa flying over some famous sites across the world, such as Johannesburg, South Africa, Mount Everest, or the Great Wall of China, along with a fact or two about that locale.

So, once again, a chance to squeeze in a little learning in the midst of the Christmas celebration.  That can be important for those of us who homeschool--now, in addition to checking off math (having my son double the cookie dough recipe, which ended up being a refresher in multiplying fractions) and chemistry (for actually baking the cookies), we get to add geography.

Merry Christmas to all my readers around the world--or just generic good wishes if you don't celebrate this holiday.  

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