Date:         Wed, 22 Dec 1999 22:38:49 -0600
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
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Comments:     Originally-From: Patrick Douglas Crispen 
From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
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    The NEW Norad Tracks Santa Site / The Tudor Menu
Man, is tonight's moon bright or WHAT?!  It's like a giant headlight
in the sky!  :P
Howdy, y'all, and greetings from the lovely, holiday-ready city of
Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of
our sponsors.  I thank the folks at "Woody's Office Watch,"
"BuyBidWin," and "Affordable Computer Supply Marketplace" for making
today's post possible.  As always, please visit our wonderful sponsors
and thank them for keeping the bus rolling!
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On with the show ...
NORAD Tracks Santa
Today's stop is at my favorite holiday Web site: "The Annual NORAD
Tracks Santa" site at .
Folks, if you loved Elf Bowling you will absolutely ADORE this!  For
the 45th year in a row, the North American Aerospace Defense Command
(NORAD) will be tracking Santa Claus as he makes his annual Christmas
Eve journey around the world.
We talked about this site last year, but folks at NORAD (with the help
of IBM and Analytical Graphics, Inc.) completely redesigned the site
for the 1999 holiday season.  The new NORAD Tracks Santa site relies
heavily on Macromedia Flash to provide interactive menus and screens.
This means that you'll have to have Macromedia's free Flash Player
(a.k.a. Shockwave Player) to be able to view this site.  Don't panic
though.  Shockwave Player is probably already installed on your
computer and you don't even know it -- it ships with Windows 95, 98,
MacOS, Internet Explorer CD, America Online, and Netscape Navigator.
How can you tell if you have the Shockwave Player installed on your
computer?  Easy!  Go to the NORAD Tracks Santa site
[ ] and click on the "Enter" button (the
one with the giant wreath on it).  If you already have the player, an
introductory movie will pop up.  If you don't have the player, though,
you will be instructed on how to download and install the player for
free.  (And, yes, you need Shockwave Player.  More and more Web sites
are starting to use it.)
Anyway, back to the site.  Using the latest satellite data and
digitized imagery (and a heck of a lot of Macromedia Flash and
streaming Real Video), the Norad Tracks Santa site will show you
Santa's Christmas Eve (December 24th) flight around the world.  Prior
to the 24th, this site will give you information about NORAD, show you
how NORAD tracks Santa, and even give you few extra surprises.
Because Santa's journey will take him to many different countries, the
NORAD Tracks Santa site is available in English, Francais, Italiano,
Japanese, and Espanol.  The first Flash-generated page of the NORAD
Tracks Santa site is a clickable map of the world.  Click on the flag
that corresponds to the language that you speak.  [If you click on the
Canadian, American, British, Australian, or New Zealand flag, you are
taken to a page written in English; if you click on the French Flag,
you are taken to a page written in Francais; and so on.]
This launches an absolutely charming introductory movie that your kids
-- and, for that matter, kids of all ages -- will enjoy.  The "fly-by"
is particularly amusing.
Once the movie has completed, you are taken to a page with an
annoying, green, bug-eyed snowman flying across the screen.  Ignore
him and move your mouse over the red "menu" button in the upper right-
hand corner of the screen.  If you know how to use the Start menu on a
PC or the Apple menu on a Mac, you'll have no problems navigating
around the NORAD Tracks Santa site.  :)
As you scroll through the menu you'll learn a little bit about NORAD,
find information about Santa's sleigh, and even see Santa's take on
this whole Y2K thing (which is also quite amusing).
It is obvious that the folks at NORAD had a lot of fun putting this
site together, and if you are looking for a good chuckle this holiday
season -- and especially if you have kids who are convinced that Santa
will be bringing them more than coal and twigs for Christmas -- you
really should visit the NORAD Tracks Santa site over the next couple
of days.  :)
The Tudor Homepage
Talking about coal and twigs ...
Recently, I asked you and your fellow bus riders to tell me about YOUR
favorite Web sites, the ones you'd like me to write about in the
future.  I received a pile of responses that I am slowly sorting
through -- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your suggestions -- but
one site immediately leaped to the top of the pile.  According to
fellow TOURBUS rider "Kat," this particular site is "a classic done
with great taste" and is both "historically accurate and aesthetically
This site is also the creation of someone who (hopefully) will be
showering me with non-carbon and non-tree-limb-based Christmas
presents this weekend: my mom!  [I haven't been particularly good this
year, so I thought it couldn't hurt if I sucked up to my mom at the
last minute.]  :)
Seriously, though, my mom is a devout anglophile, and she recently
created a Web site that tells you everything you could possibly want
to know about Tudor England: the "Tudor Menu" at .
My mom's Tudor Menu is as in-depth as any educational site I have
ever seen.  In fact, the Tudor Menu has eleven major sections:
      - The Tudor Family Tree
      - The Howard Family Tree
      - The Six Wives of Henry VIII
      - Tudor Chronology
      - The Arts in Tudor England
      - The Music of Henry VIII
      - Tudor Heraldry
      - The Tudors and the Tower of London
      - Life of Women in Tudor England
      - The Duke of Norfolk Worship Page
      - Cause of Death of Henry VIII
Every one of these sections is spectacular, but if you want to see how
comprehensive my mom's research is, take a look at her Tudor
Chronology page at .
As I said earlier, my mom's Tudor Menu tells you everything you could
possibly want to know about Tudor England.  I disagree with my mom on
the cause of death of Henry VIII, though.  I think he died from a
combination of Ebola and rabid squirrels.  My mom thinks ... well,
I'll let you visit my mom's "Cause of Death of Henry VIII" page to
discover what my mom thinks.  :)
That's it for this week.  Have a safe and happy weekend, and we'll
talk again next week (and I'll tell you if nepotism paid any
dividends).  Happy holidays!  :)
    The NEW Norad Tracks Santa Site / The Tudor Menu
WANGS (noun).  What a bird, bat, or Insect uses to fly.
Usage: "I'm gonna to Bob Baumhower's and get me some wangs!"
[Special thanks to William Austermann for today's wurd]
You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at 
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
=====================[ Tourbus Rider Information ]===================

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  (\__/)  .'     )  ))       Patrick Douglas Crispen
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