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How Google Earth Killed Santa… 22 December, 2006

Posted by paralleldivergence in Brad & Phil, children, Christmas, Google Earth, Humor, ICT in Education, My Thoughts, Political Correctness, Santa.
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December 12, 2006: GOOGLE releases an add-on to Google Earth in an attempt to reverse the damage it has done to millions of children around the world. But instead of reigniting children’s belief in Santa, it has effectively provided a fatal blow that will resonate in the ears and minds of our now scarred youth.

Santa dead

Children know that if they are good, Santa will come to their house on Christmas Eve and bring them presents. But only if they have been good all year. Santa lives at the North Pole and on Christmas Eve he takes off in his sleigh pulled by magical reindeer, to visit the home of every good child on Earth.

For over a year now, many schools have been using incredible educational tools like Google Earth with their students to give them a wider view of this amazing planet and the reality we live in. One of the first things just about everybody does with Google Earth is to find their own home in their own town. They zoom in and they see their rooftop and their backyard. They see the park down the street. They see their school. They see an ocean of rooftops. They see their whole town. Then they start to think.

In the playground at lunchtime little Virginia is discussing with little Charlie: “Did you see all those houses in our town? Did you notice how few houses actually had chimneys?”. Charlie says, “Yeah, so what?“.  So what, indeed. Well Virginia, did you know that less than 0.002% of dwellings in the world have chimneys and that many are little more than stovepipes that even a skinny Santa would find impossible to climb into?

After lunch, Virginia jumps back onto Google Earth. She heads off to the North Pole. She saw Elf last Christmas. If you can spot a topless sunbather on a rooftop in Holland in Google Earth, you must be able to spot Santa’s place!  But guess what? There’s no land at the North Pole! All Google Earth shows is water. The Arctic Ocean. She’s confused. She discusses her findings with other students. Then one of her friends reminds her of NORAD. Yes! NORAD!

They’ve got this fabulous website that is dedicated to tracking Santa’s movements across the globe on Christmas Eve. NORAD’s been tracking Santa every year since 1955! They use satellites, radar and trailing jet fighters with SantaCams. Isn’t NORAD run by the government? They must have video, audio and photographs that prove Santa’s miracle. Surely the government would never deceive children. So Virginia takes a closer look at NORAD’s site. She finds an official email address for Santa himself. She knows it must be official – NorthPole@officialsantamail.com – but still, she’s not sure. So she runs a WHOIS lookup. Strangely, she discovers officialsantamail.com is registered to a company in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Virginia’s concerns start to grow. Coincidentally, there are “Virginias” in every school, in every town, in every country on Earth. The news gets back to Google that a revolt by children across the globe is imminent. Parents are furious. Meetings are hastily arranged and Google Earth 4.0 is released and with it an add-on to allow children to “see” and track Santa from his “base” at the North Pole.

The school Principal negotiates a meeting with Virginia and her followers to show that the “bug” in the previous version of Google Earth had been fixed and that Santa uses “scrambling” technology to avoid detection and keep the location of his workshop a secret. Google Earth 4.0 includes a new codec that circumvents Santa’s scramblers. Virginia sits at the computer and heads straight to the North Pole.

Santa's home Santa and ElfSanta and Elf from Above
[click thumbnails for a larger view]

OK, that looks plausible. Official NASA watermark on the image. There’s his workshop, a runway and his reindeer and sleigh waiting. But what’s that on the path? Viriginia zooms in. There he is! It’s Santa!  But he looks somewhat cartoonish. Something’s wrong. Virginia plays with Google Earth’s slant tool andthe game is up.

The story of Santa Claus has been passed down unchanged from generation to generation. Not as a story to delight children, but as a way for parents to control their children. But it’s harmless! – or is it? Perhaps it’s OK to teach children there’s nothing wrong with being deceitful – I mean, it goes all the way to the top of government anyway… Or instead, maybe we could all be better parents and show our children the difference between right and wrong by what we do and what we say. Our children aren’t stupid. Why do we treat them like they are?

Wishing all my readers a happy and safe Christmas. :)

BRad & Phil #12

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Comments»

1. paralleldivergence - 22 December, 2006

Of course, “Virginia” in my story relates to the young girl in the 1890’s who pondered the same thing. Does Santa Claus exist? When she sent in her question to the local newspaper. This was the reply she received:

[Transcript of Virginia's Question and the Response]

Virginia asked a serious question expecting an honest answer and she was lied to by a person in authority. Maybe that’s just the way we are.

2. mark - 22 December, 2006

Santa is as real as the invisible pink unicorn or the flying spagetti monster Stu. By celebrating the arrival of Santa, we are celebrating the existence of imagination and magic. Traits with have been part of humanity since the day we
a: were created
b: were modified from apes by aliens
c: grew into humans from apes
d: crashed here and were stranded
e: any other plausible explanation you wish.

Merry Christmas

3. Blitzen - 22 December, 2006

Santa’s waaay ahead of you. He’s been leaving clues for those who know where to look.

I have to go now, we’re checking the list a second time today!

Kerenza - 27 October, 2011

So Santa exists? I just want to know the truth. Us kids deserve to know!!!

blah - 25 December, 2011

Yes, Kerenza, there is a Santa Claus!

4. Paulus Agung - 22 December, 2006

A very funny story, I can’t stop laughing

5. mama kelly - 22 December, 2006

It is sad how, it seems, that each year the “age of innocence” that is part of childhood’s magic grows shorter and shorter.

Only my youngest still believes in Santa, and I will be sorry to see that part of the holiday vanish (at least until there are grandchildren in a couple of decades)

Happy Holidays

Mama Kelly

6. puddlejumper - 22 December, 2006

I just popped over to wish you a very happy yule,.!

Hope you have great time over the holidays.

I’m looking forward to reading more from you in the New Year.
x

7. Awesome Article! « Chattery - 22 December, 2006

[...] I was reading this article that caught my attention, on a fellow WordPress site, Parrallel Divergence, and found it absolutely hilarious that Google, who released the program Google Earth this year, didn’t bring to mind Santa’s house at the North Pole (which really exists, trust me!) But I recall using Google Earth to find out about Skull Island, which, on the contrary, doesn’t exist! [...]

Kerenza - 27 October, 2011

Skull Island doesnt exist. I have never heard such a stupid story! However, Santa exists.
My Mum doesnt believe Santa exists , but my Dad does. My Brother doesnt but I am not sure. I want to know man >.<

8. pardyj - 22 December, 2006

Wow… what a story. Wasn’t expecting anything like that from looking at WordPress.com’s homepage, lol. I would of never thought kids would actually want to look up Santa on Google Earth either. :p

9. How Google Earth Killed Santa… « PardyJ’s Blog - 22 December, 2006

[...] I just had to post this, but since it is from another blog I will just link you to that person’s blog. If you want to read this somewhat amusing story, go to this blog. [...]

10. drunkenspaniel - 22 December, 2006

Ahh – but what if the poor representation of Santa on Google Earth teaches the child that GoogleEarth isn’t really a satelite picture of the Earth, but instead a giant computer programme made to look like Earth…………..
I think Douglas Adams was right after all…..

11. pardyj - 22 December, 2006

… Hmm, when I posted a link on my blog to this article on this blog it posted it in the comments on this blog. =/

12. okipatrick - 23 December, 2006

Santa Claus IS real. He’s just been dead for several hundred years.

13. Does Santa Claus exist? Of course! « Patrick’s Blawg — More than just jibba jabba - 23 December, 2006

[...] WordPress’ own Parallel Divergence is running an article on how Google Earth killed Santa. In reply, I must say that Santa not only lived, but he is already dead. It’s the spirit of the Greek Orthodox saint we know as Santa Claus which lives on today. [...]

14. overthinking - 23 December, 2006

[...] How Google Earth Killed Santa. [...]

15. axewielderx - 23 December, 2006

There should never have been a santa to kill in the 1st place.

16. melissa - 23 December, 2006

good points in your article

17. Google Earth Killed Santa « James Fee GIS Blog - 23 December, 2006

[...] We GIS Pros are making little girls cry with our efforts to get GIS tools to the common man. Virginia sits at the computer and heads straight to the North Pole. OK, that looks plausible. Official NASA watermark on the image. There’s his workshop, a runway and his reindeer and sleigh waiting. But what’s that on the path? Viriginia zooms in. There he is! It’s Santa! But he looks somewhat cartoonish. Something’s wrong. Virginia plays with Google Earth’s slant tool and… the game is up. [...]

18. tobeme - 23 December, 2006

I enjoyed your story! Very well written. Have a great holiday.

Good question on weather we should feed children fantasies such as the Easter Bunyy and Santa Claus.

Then again, we adults believe through faith in some pretty incredible things.

19. Eric Stewart - 23 December, 2006

Great story! Let the kids believe. It makes Christmas fun for kids and parents alike! Plus, those who discover the truth by irregular means are just ahead of the curb, real gumshoes.

20. ed c - 23 December, 2006

It’s amazing how technology gives children an edge over their parents in certain respects.
Good Work!

21. Muschi Gonzalez - 23 December, 2006

At least we here in Germany are save from this stupid nonsense. Because every German kid knows that Santa’s living at a small village near Mt. Korvatunturi in Finland. There you are, that’s why there’s no workshop at the North Pole…

22. Kristian - 23 December, 2006

Ach, Muschi, how wrong you Germans are. Every child knows that Santa is Danish and lives in Greenland (as a colonial oppressor, I guess).

More seriously, stories like this makes me glad nobody over the age of 4 believes in Santa here.

23. tobeme - 23 December, 2006

Congratulations! I see on the “Dashboard” that you are the #1 Growing Blog today!! Woo hoo! You are making an impact!

24. 2 days till Chirstmas « Journeyman Phil - 23 December, 2006
25. Noscere - 23 December, 2006

In answer to the Chimely question we are now all pondering, Do you realy think that Santa can deliver gifts to every good child on the planet in one night? He has magical Raindear, a sled that flies and elves and gnomes as helpwrs, a house with no chimely will pose no problem to Santa, I have seen movies where Santa magicaly makes a chimely to get down and leave presents.

Seasons Greetings one and all
Noscere
Aged 39 3/4

26. kemikal - 23 December, 2006

game over, lol

27. emily - 23 December, 2006

I just got off of google earth and you are right. Santa used to be here an this earth until the job off santa got passed down to a sick poor son and he died without passing it down so that family tree will never grow but if we keep him in our heart im sure he will live again if everyone in the whole wide world believed all at the same time…… he will appear and be reborned, all you have to do is believe and if that doesnt get have you ever thought he lived under the sea?

28. emily - 23 December, 2006

i just have to add something about the whole chimeny thing. he appears in he house there is noooo proof he goes down the chimeny that just makes the story more logical.

29. Kristen - 23 December, 2006

This is hilarious. Great post!

30. jase - 23 December, 2006

As a parent I don’t teach my children to believe in Santa or Christmas, they’re both pagan and satanic. If you want to give your children something to believe in, give them the truth. Tell them we work hard to buy their gifts. They’ll have more respect for their hard working parents then.

31. There is no Santa « Odd Ln. - 23 December, 2006

[...] This seems to be the blog of the moment, and I can see why.  If you had any doubts about raising your children with the lie that there is a Santa Claus, check it out. [...]

32. wladimir - 23 December, 2006

I can’t understand nothing. How Google Earth “kill” Santa???

33. Dead Santa? « Adventures Of The LibraryDude - 23 December, 2006

[...] How Google Earth Killed Santa Claus [...]

34. brunnette236 - 23 December, 2006

attention ppl santa is fake

35. justafa - 23 December, 2006

love that story. continue this one till you reach “script” level and go on screen lad ;]

36. Cj - 23 December, 2006

I would say ” Why bother telling our kids about santa”

Its too big of a depression when they find out from a friend or on television.

If I ever raise my kid, I’m going to tell him, so he doesnt keep growning to know and wait for him. The bigger it gets, the more of a mark it will leave.

37. Santa in the 21st Century « As Cool as the Other Side of the Pillow - 23 December, 2006

[...] I have a feeling that the belief in Santa Clause in into its final generation.  Especially with stories like this. [...]

38. aznjess96 - 23 December, 2006

santa is real.
onetime our family was going the whole family. no1 was in the house and went to mass(church)
when we got back we saw gifts. we looked every waer to see if they had our note and they said if they said “no we did not take the note” that mean he is real but they did and lie they would die because that promise on there grave that mean that if they lie they die. that mean santa is real. and we never hav the same wraping paper as him though. we check every waer to se if they were lieing but they did not.Santa is real because do you know santa is. santa is Saint nick so you are calling a saint a fake. no he is not a fake he is real. it is called research

39. Based on a lie? « Ocean Blue Fire - 23 December, 2006

[...] D is catching on to Santa, ‘cos somebody left his list out with a scratchouts and a price next to the scratchouts. Maybe it was good that it was left out. D was in tears, but he is no dummy! He doesn’t understand why parents tell little kids a lie about a man in a red outfit coming into homes giving out toys. I started thinking about it, that he is right. We’ve been lying to our children. What a great way to be a role model. Flat out lying from the first year. I tried to explain to D about Saint Nicholas and the spirit of Christmas. He definitely believes in the magical part of life, but the big ole jolly man and the reindeer doesn’t seem to fly with him. It is an insult to his intelligence it seems. Then I saw an article about how Google Earth is killing Santa, then it furthered my questions.  I believe and have experienced magic, but some things such as lying is not so magical.  I actually felt kindof guilty.  For years I’ve been using the Santa thing over him to get him to behave.  Santa is real ~ Dad ~ but D’s Dad isn’t plump and gray-haired and wears a red suit with reindeer as pets.  Trying to figure out how to handle it with Soma. Posted by 0ceanlady Filed in Special Do*Dads [...]

40. Irving - 23 December, 2006

Santa’s Little Secret is also of some note :)

http://darvish.wordpress.com/2006/12/22/santas-secret/

41. Joni Ruhs - 23 December, 2006

Ugh. Parents are more concerned about kids believing in Santa than the kids are! Trying to recapture their own naive youth, they put it all on their own children–no different than forcing your kid to excel in the same sport or career you failed in. Yes, I’m being a little harsh but come on. I don’t want my kids to think a) I lie to them b) that I love to make a fool of them c) I want them to hurt when I confess that we made it all up so they would have fun. That just sucks. I hated finding out about Santa. My family went through elaborate schemes and made me watch satellite weather reports on Christmas Eve to get me to go to bed. I preferred not believing in Santa. Then I at least knew that if I didn’t get something I asked for it was because we couldn’t afford it or it was the hot toy that year that my parents couldn’t find-which is better than thinking Santa doesn’t like you or you did something wrong. My parents would still sign the packages “from Santa” and every now and then they’d try to pull one over on us-no matter the age-just for the fun or fairy tale of it, or to give us something a little over the top and not feel like they spoiled us.

To my kids, Santa is a character in a story just like Barney or Bob the Builder. We celebrate Jesus’ birthday. We have some sort of cake or dessert with candles and we say the reason we give presents is because God gave us Jesus. I try to let them know that we GIVE to others. And they don’t get a ton of gifts either. Just a few that I know they will use and enjoy(or hope they do). We spend time with family, worship together and just have a special time. We drive around and look at house decorations and stuff like that. That’s the magic for us. Taking time out to slow down, give and enjoy. Now they’re 5, 4, & 2 so the simpler the better. We’ll see what happens as they get older.

42. nhorning - 23 December, 2006

I love how at the end of that cynical rant about santa you make it all about God and Jesus. They equally verifiable.

43. Baby Jebus - 23 December, 2006

LOL

44. Joe Bloggs - 23 December, 2006

LOVE IT!!!

45. paralleldivergence - 23 December, 2006

Thanks everyone! I posted this yesterday and haven’t had a chance to get back. Glad you enjoyed it. Some of the comments are excellent. For Wladimir, no Google Earth didn’t literally “KILL” Santa (he was already dead). What it’s killing is the idea and perception of Santa for children. Everything’s supposedly “real” in Google Earth”, so why is Santa a flat cartoon image? ;)

46. mark - 23 December, 2006

My daughter (9yr old) spotted the fake immediately. Google didnt kill Santa, they just faked him, (and an obvious fake at that). Grownups fake Santa all the time. Just look at the fake Santas under the fake plastic trees in shopping malls.

It’ll take more than Google to kill Santa. He lives on.

47. Does Santa Claus exist? Of course! « Patrick’s Blawg — More than just jibba jabba - 23 December, 2006

[...] WordPress’ own Parallel Divergence is running an article on how Google Earth killed Santa. In reply, I must say that Santa not only lived, but he is already dead. It’s the spirit of the Greek Orthodox saint we know as Santa Claus which lives on today. It’s just unfortunate that Americans bastardize it in such a grandiose fashion. [...]

48. paralleldivergence - 23 December, 2006

But mark, Google Earth is all about “reality”. Why would they “fake” Santa?

49. Holiblogging « Whatever Works - 23 December, 2006

[...] I ran across this post earlier today. It’s a good example of something I could have found hilarious, if the lack of a good editor to tighten the prose (a mixed blessing of the blogging world, in my opinion) and the author’s cynicism about the Santa legend (he seems to be of the “Santa Claus = lying to your kids” camp) didn’t mar it for me. Still, the lines it gets me thinking along (How Google Earth killed Santa? Brilliant!) are enough to tickle my oft-perverse sense of humor. [...]

50. jamesrules90 - 23 December, 2006

That blog is good santa doesnt eggsist he was made up in the victorian times so google earth was right not put santa in!

51. katyclo55 - 23 December, 2006

If the Santa story were so bad for kids people would not have been telling it in exactly the same way for so long….I was thrilled when I learned that my Dad (he always took all the credit for everything) was Santa; I don’t quite remember why, but I think it had something to do with the unselfishness of it all…After all, he gave me all those great presents for all those years and never took any of the credit! How cool. And what a great lesson to teach your kids…how to give without asking for anything-not even recognition-in return.
Kids are very, very smart-but they need little magic in their lives. On some level most kids over the age of 4 probably know he’s not real, but they don’t care.They are doing what kids are supposed to do-having fun!
Meanwhile, what in Heaven’s name was Google doing with that awful cartoon? I could have drawn it for heaven’s sake. I have a feeling they were maybe thumbing their very rich noses at everyone who had nothing better to do than complain to them that that there was no North Pole or Santa’s house on Google Earth.
Finally, you don’t need to destroy Santa to teach your kids the difference between right and wrong. Teach them some recent US history-like the story of the invasion of Iraq. They’ll get the picture PDQ

52. malika47 - 23 December, 2006

You write well. I agree- technology- important though it is- does kill innocense. Also amazing is the fact that you have so many readers! Wow.

53. Jeff - 23 December, 2006

Damn you, google earth.

54. misslionheart - 23 December, 2006

Santa lives. Full stop!

55. Hoe Google Killed Santa Claus « Scrapbook by SP - 23 December, 2006

[...] Este post, retirado de Parallel Divergence, fala-nos do desaparecimento da magia nas crianças que envolve o Pai Natal, visto que o Google Earth não o consegue detectar em qualquer parte do planeta. Real sad, actually. [...]

56. yuE - 23 December, 2006

hmm… santa decided to live underground =)
simple

57. josh - 23 December, 2006

While the loss of innocence is tragic, I must admit how children would lose it through Google Earth instead of finding out it was their dad slipping presents under the Christmas tree is just hilarious.

I’m sure when they grow up and look back, they will laugh.

58. Where does Santa live? Damn you Google Earth! « Bobbo’s Blog - 23 December, 2006

[...] While logging into WordPress, I spotted a story titled “How Google Earth killed Santa…” [...]

59. 无聊小站 » Blog Archive » 小孩还会相信圣诞老人吗? - 23 December, 2006

[...] —— Parralel Divergence: How Google Earth Killed Santa… [...]

60. A project! « *acxis - 23 December, 2006

[...] Google Earth Killed Santa  [...]

61. How Google Earth Killed Santa « Leedeth’s Blog - 23 December, 2006
62. oranganeh - 23 December, 2006

Oh my, I LOL’d when read the part about Google Earth with Santa cartoon. :D I think it’s too much to make children in this era believe there is a bearded old man who dropping presents into every chimney on Christmas day.

’bout the Christmas itself, I live in tropical country, and there won’t be any snow. Santa’s reindeer won’t come here I think. (their skin will be tanned :D ) Children here are not too fond with Santa story. ^^

63. Disputability » Blog Archiv » How Google Earth Killed Santa… - 23 December, 2006
64. ð - google earth kills santa !!!! « Shade Anyone ? - 24 December, 2006

[...] jeg faldt lige over en blog der beskriver hvordan google earth har modbevist julemandens eksistens …. klik her [...]

65. L. Monique - 24 December, 2006

This was so much fun to read, but scary enough, it demonstrates exactly why I do not have children.

My favorite question as a child (and as an adult, i think) was “why”. Why, mommy, why? Why would Santa go around giving away free presents? Why does he ride around with reindeer instead of horses or on the plane? Why do you make those funny noises at night in your bedroom when you think I’m sleeping?

Kids always have been and always will be smarter than us adults. If we give them the option of fantasy, perhaps the legend of Santa Claus, they can appreciate it for what it is – a story -, like so many other “truths” in this world.

66. tada « Nick? - 24 December, 2006
67. Aphra Behn - 24 December, 2006

If most American children – hell, why be prejudiced – if most children anywhere were as sceptical and questioning as “Virginia” and had the research skills to find evidence and evaluate it then that would be the biggest gift that Santa or anyone else could give us this year.

Instead the war in Iraq was started because most people in the US accepted the pretty flimsy lies that Iraq was behind 9/11 and had weapons of mass destruction, (whatever they are). More people in the US believe in creationism than understand evolution. There are still people out there who think that Diana was murdered.

We are a gullible and accepting species but we need our scepticism and critical faculties more now than we ever did.

But I no more believe in “Virginia” than I believe in Santa Claus.

Aphra

68. Phil W - 24 December, 2006

Um, if they’re old enough to be looking up stuff on Google earth, they are old enough to stop believing in Santa.

69. How Google Earth Killed Santa… « Parallel Divergence « On the ROAD - 24 December, 2006

[...] How Google Earth Killed Santa… « Parallel Divergence   [...]

70. Santa Found Dead!!! « BikiniZero - 24 December, 2006

[...] Don’t Cry Johnny, Santa’s not dead…he’s umm… just not real. [...]

71. turning to stone again « sCa1LyWaG - 24 December, 2006

[...] How Google Earth killed Santa – a good humorous read [...]

72. mark - 24 December, 2006

Stu

Google is only “all about reality” in the minds of adults. When it comes to children the lines between reality and fantasy are always blurred. So its no biggie that google would put a fake Santa on GE

Your title ought to read *How santa killed google earth* We can never trust GE to reflect reality again.

73. Andrew - 24 December, 2006

Maybe it is just me, but would a girl (no offense for girls/women here, I know there are a lot of you who are technologically inclined) as young as that know what a WHOIS lookup actually is? I don’t think 98% of my old highschool would have a clue (this is a highschool that is very technologically advanced and where I earned my A+, NET+ and CCNA) and it certinly seems that she is a bit younger than that.

74. Kevin Dingham - 24 December, 2006

Let children now have their dreams, to be happy every christmas with presents
just like we adults were before

75. tuffy - 24 December, 2006

The original ‘scrambling magic’ explanation was quite good, I thought. Santa doubtless knows all about the new microwave invisibility technology ( http://english.people.com.cn/200612/22/eng20061222_334914.html )

76. Christian Curious? - 24 December, 2006

My explanation for Santa Clause is that he represents the spirit of generosity in this world. I don’t see why kids need to be fooled, confused or traumatized by the ridiculousness of adults bending over backwards to prove the Santa Clause is “real”.

Since I know you are an athiest Stu, you might also feel a similar negative sentiment about an entire holiday dedicated to the Babe in Bethlehem. But mankind’s Redeemer & Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ is what “true” Christmas is all about. The greatest gift of all is Christ’s sacrifice and love demonstrated to each of us on the cross.

77. jacob - 24 December, 2006

wow… lol true true, i always look for my house right away

78. SG - 24 December, 2006

This article just promotes Google Earth. Santa is just a character here. As well as “Virginia” and others.

79. Aphra Behn - 24 December, 2006

>>As a parent I don’t teach my children to believe in Santa or Christmas, they’re both pagan and satanic.

Jase, comment 30

Your children are pagan and satanic? I’m impressed. I assume you mean your children. I cannot see how Christmas can be satanic, though I agree a large number of the traditions associated with it, and indeed with St Nicholas, are pre-Christian.

Actually, “Pagan” would be a nice name for a girl and “Satanic” would suit a lot of small boys.

Aphra

80. Cy Quick - 24 December, 2006

You would think that once kids have grown through the Saint Nicholas / Father Christmas / Santa Claus lie they would see through the lie about guy-in-the-sky witrh the thorns and thistles fixation, but no. Most people still refuse to take responsibility for fixing human problems. Step one in the solution: no more silly sky guy lies. Cy Quick at mydigest.wordpress.com

81. paralleldivergence - 24 December, 2006

Christmas Eve 2010:

Mother: Billy, it’s bedtime. You can get up early and play with your toys in the morning.
Billy: OK Mommy. Will you read me a Christmas story?
Mother: Sure Billy, which one would you like to hear?
Billy: “How Google Earth Killed Santa” – that’s a good one.
;)

82. Jacqui - 24 December, 2006

The cynicism found here in these comments bothers me more than I would like to admit. “Santa” is the epitome of childhood naivety, where we believe that anything is possible and magic can happen. When I found out Santa wasn’t real, I felt very sad, but it wasn’t because I felt lied to, or duped. It’s because a part of a child dies when the truth about Santa is revealed. Just the possibility that there is a fat man who has elves and reindeer and flies around the world to deliver the presents he knows we want is enough to excite any child. Parents shouldn’t strip them of that innocence and excitement.

There is nothing in letting your kids believe in the magic of Christmas. The only people who could be as heartless as to not let their kids believe in Santa would be those whose parents did the same thing to them when they were tots. There is nothing wrong with letting our kids live in innocence and naivety for a few more years. The real word, with its real problems, can wait. These kids are perfectly entitled to not have to worry about money problems, and poverty, and racism. It doesn’t make them sheltered, it doesn’t make them unworldly. It makes them KIDS.

Our society is so hell-bent on being politically correct and “real” we forget the open-mindness and naivety that comes with childhood. And that period of time should be treasured, because it sure as hell doesn’t last for long. It shouldn’t be taken away from them as quickly as possible.

Also, idea that Santa is satanic is just pathetic.

jachaline.wordpress.com

83. Amanda - 24 December, 2006

North Pole, Alaska – yes, there is a North Pole in Alaska, and that is where you can send letters to Santa too every year – I think if someone had gone there they would see a “Santa’s Workshop” – not go to the physical ‘North Pole’ top of the earth place. . . . Google Earth is an incredibly powerful tool and obviously can have adverse effects… esp when it comes to an influential person such as Santa on all these young children.

84. paralleldivergence - 24 December, 2006

So Jacqui, what you are saying is it is not possible to be a kid unless you get lied to and you believe in that lie. Should we be telling our kids that Cinderella and the Three Little Pigs are true stories too? I’ve read many times that the most rapid development of your child’s brain takes place between their birth and the age of two. Your child continues to learn and develop rapidly during the important early years of their life. (For example – http://tinyurl.com/v8rs6 )

What benefit are parents providing for their children when they fill their children’s sponge-like brains with folly? And ultimately what benefit for mankind? The world is changing and we need to change with it or else we may end up with the fairies and the elves and the pixies.

85. fruitfly - 24 December, 2006

I loved this piece.

thanks!

86. Something to think about just before Christmas… « 201 Days to Order of the Phoenix - 24 December, 2006

[...] WARNING: CHILDREN BELOW THE AGE OF 10 ARE ADVISED NOT TO READ THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE (unless you want your childhood ruined). This is NO joking matter. I repeat, read it at your own risk if you are underage. Now that you’ve been warned: How Google Earth killed Santa Claus [...]

87. Why the Internet is messing up Christmas « Scavella’s Blogsphere - 25 December, 2006

[...] Well, because of all sorts of things, not least of which has been described in this post, which had me laughing out loud. [...]

88. Oh noes! « Books & Coffee - 25 December, 2006

[...] Google Earth Kilt Santa! [...]

89. How Google Earth Killed Santa… « Parallel Divergence « Jess’ Pointless Bitching and Raw Ends - 25 December, 2006

[...] Click for Actual Blog—I can’t take the credit… How Google Earth Killed Santa… « Parallel Divergence [...]

90. abhijith - 25 December, 2006

hi stu,
I got my wordpress account today and Yours was the first blog that i read. Read just three of your articles; the present one, the hubble thingy and the manfluence thingy. Just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading all the three of the above.

In reference to ‘Google Earth killed Santa’
* Maybe Google Earth will *really* kill God too (Not everyone has a hubble at home!)
‘You cant fool all the people all the time’ ;)

Looking forward to reading the rest of your posts. Keep them coming! :)

91. Christmas Day « Una Voce - 25 December, 2006

[...] Nice christmas coming up after years…. fairy lights, a tree, family, eggnog, sausages and punch-a-plenty and oh! Plum cake too! Take a look at this brilliant post on Santa and Google Earth before ypu head to admire Google’s holiday art with the kangaroos…. [...]

92. Jacqui - 25 December, 2006

paralleldivergence, I enjoyed reading your article but I really disagree. When you can prove that believing in Santa is an early sign of mental illness, maybe your prediction of our future “end[ing] up with the fairies and the elves and the pixies” could be accurate. But at the moment, your argument is just a cynical stretch. The concept of “Santa” is a harmless tale that lets a kid’s imagination grow even more, and there’s more that dictates a child’s intelligence than believing in it.

Your right about a child’s brain being most productive up to two. I don’t find that statistic relevant, though. Are you suggesting we just eliminate the “childhood” stage of every human being, because of this? “Hey, they’ve got a brain, so we’d better not insult their intelligence and just treat them like they’re adults in smaller bodies!” It’s that part of Scientology that I find the most fucked up, actually. Kids are kids. Let them enjoy it. One of the most defining characteristics of children is their active imaginations. You are not helping your children in any way, shape or form by taking away Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc, no matter what lie you may tell yourself to make you feel better.

jachaline.wordpress.com

93. javacboy - 25 December, 2006

Its a tradition isn’t it. Now you can say what ever you like “oh no, we are lying to our kids, they will grow up to be cold-hearted murderers” or “a kid has a brain from birth, they should be treated as such”.

Its all crap :) It won’t hurt either way, yes let your kids believe in Santa or don’t let them. As a parent, you just need to ensure you give them the support and respect they need, and they’ll make up their own minds :)

94. How Google Earth Killed Santa « My blog - 25 December, 2006
95. paralleldivergence - 25 December, 2006

Welcome abhijith! (#90) – WordPress.com is a fantastic community and there’s a lot better stuff than mine here :) We look forward to reading your contributions.

Jacqui, anyone’s allowed to disagree. If people didn’t we’d never know opposing views. As parents, we all want to do what we believe is best for our kids. I agree with you that since the dawn of home computers and the internet and “celebrities” particularly, that kids are being forced to grow up too quickly. Fashions that put pressure on little girls to dress and act like adults are showing the pendulum has swung too far. We all need to speak out against what we feel is wrong. Thanks for your comments.

96. theprincestrust - 25 December, 2006

Ohhh but you are all so naive… For Santa does exist and will do while there is the spirit of youth and imagination. Santa lives in the hearts and souls of the family unit … now a global community. Yes times have changed and technology has moved on …. and it is increasingly more difficult to maintain hope and faith. But once a year to those that have hope and want to recieve love and joy Santa will appear. There are no boundaries that will stop this phenomenan, no river too wide, no mountain too high. Whilst there is life there is hope. To many communication and joy travel in wires along the www super-highway.

Perhaps, Santa is more vibrant than you all think… Perhaps, he has moved forward… Perhaps, he is Vista enabled and has, in some way, avoiding our eyes. Who knows…

If you do not believe in Santa then when you look at the smile on the childrens faces this Christmas remember that their is one alternative.

The alternative is to give up the illusion, destroy hope and the spirit cof Christmas… Now wouldn’t that be a bad thing.

I personally will continue to look a little harder to find him… For, (for sure), any person that unites the planet one day per year is a hero of mine.

http://del.icio.us/santanet/ may be the place to start looking. For sure we need all the heros we can find.

This is a huge undertaking so why not help me out. Simply network into SantaNet and let us see if we can track him down before 2007.

97. links for 2006-12-25 « linkchaos - 26 December, 2006

[...] How Google Earth Killed Santa… « Parallel Divergence How Google Earth Killed Santa… so first kids get pissed by him and now he doesnt even exist? (tags: funny christmas) [...]

98. Jim - 26 December, 2006

One thing google needs to do is add the island in Lost when its revealed where it is.

99. UncleCharles - 26 December, 2006

Very interesting article. Thanks for the post! *thumbs up!!

100. Liew - 26 December, 2006

Nice write up!

101. Zigzo Zlinks » Blog Archive » Links for the Day - 26 December, 2006

[...] How Google Earth Killed Santa! (Creative!) [...]

102. mastmalang - 26 December, 2006

I have come to the conclusion that Santa does exist. But its not the Santa we’ve come to know him as. Read my blog. I outline what I think this Santa Claus really is.

Props on your article mate.

103. mysinus - 27 December, 2006

Germans, and we in the north of Scandinavia know the truth. Santa lives in the north of Finland, in Korvatunturi. No doubt about that: on Christmas eve Santa in person visits the children in Sweden and Finland and bring the gifts (that’s why we don’t need any chimneys), and I’ve visited him several times in his office.

-Pia

104. Ordinary Citizen - 27 December, 2006

Nice story! Maybe there should be some coverup stuff about Santa living underwater on the North Pole – after all, the same government agencies that track Santa can cover up his tracks as well :)

105. Bucket O’ Bulletz » Blog Archive » Google killed Santa … - 4 January, 2007

[...] kept forgetting to tell you about it during the holiday but just take a look at How Google Earth Killed Santa. Friggin retarded. What do they think, kids are dumb and won’t figure it out? Such a shame. [...]

106. Merry Christmas « Bloggreen - 11 January, 2007

[...] A wee christmas one for you.  Read this article about how Google Earth Killed Santa! [...]

107. Lesley - 27 January, 2007

Hey, I am approaching my three score years and ten, but I still believe in Santa. Don’t knock him!
If you really want to know where he in on Google earth, Go to boakes.org
where you can find where he is trying to hide from all the un-believers! …. It’s all a part of the magic of childhood As well as Santa on google ar boakes.org there is, I think an old post called something like ‘Why I don’t know anything’… for another slant on believing

(Oh and by the way, the secret of letting them down lightly is to let them in on the secret so as not to spoil the fun for younger ones)

108. Zimbaba - 24 April, 2007

santa….is…..alive!

109. The Private Lives of Google Street View « Parallel Divergence - 3 June, 2007

[...] I can forgive past indescretions like “How Google Earth Killed Santa…“, because I for one was already pretty sure that Santa didn’t exist. But I’m [...]

110. abarclay12 - 18 June, 2007

This is hilarious.

111. paralleldivergence - 18 June, 2007

Thanks abarclay12. I was chuckling as I put this article together… ;)

112. ghj - 24 June, 2007

you are idiots. Santa is real

113. Christmas and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) : GIS Lounge - Geographic Information Systems - 22 August, 2007

[...] How Google Earth Killed Santa Posting from the “Parallel Divergence” blog on the harm that being able to see the reality of the world’s geography does to children’s beliefs in santa Claus. [...]

114. Does Santa Claus exist? Of course! « Patrick’s Blawg パのブログ - 15 December, 2007

[...] own Parallel Divergence is running an article on how Google Earth killed Santa. I thoroughly enjoy their take on how kids are smarter than parents think these days. In reply, I [...]

115. kiss my ass - 19 December, 2007

santa is real if you dont believe me kiss my ass.

116. Kevin - 23 December, 2007

Well, of course he’s real. he just uses his magic to cast a spell over his North Pole island so no-one can see it. without that, the IRS would be bugging him. they have to have some questions about all of those toys he’s been buying….

117. paralleldivergence - 24 December, 2007

Santa’s Elves *make* the toys Kevin – you know that. They make Mattel and Fisher Price knock-offs! :)

118. Yes, Virginia, Santa Claus still exists « Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub - 26 December, 2008

[...] Update: Parallel Divergence is at it again (remember the “how Hubble killed God?”) Here it is: “How Google Earth Killed Santa Claus.” [...]

119. How Google Earth Killed Santa ! - 24 March, 2009

[...] Click here to read the sad but true story of how our world has changed such that our little ones are… [...]

120. Spuicci - 13 November, 2010

NORTH POLE?!?!?! WTF GUYS? Santa lives in FINLAND… no wonder you didn’t find him on the north pole

121. Christmas and GIS | GIS Lounge - 18 December, 2011

[...] How Google Earth Killed Santa Posting from the “Parallel Divergence” blog from December 22, 2006 on the harm that being able to see the reality of the world’s geography does to children’s beliefs in santa Claus. [...]

122. helly - 21 March, 2012

santa does not live he is stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

123. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale - The Autodidact in the Attic - 19 December, 2013

[…] there you are. Google Earth didn’t need to go through the trouble of inventing Santa’s workshop at the North Pole, because it’s actually in […]


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