December 25-31

This last week of 2011 will be full of bouts of deja vu and all the emotions, oddness, and wonder that these entail.  Look around yourself and be aware of your environment.  There are subtle shift and changes going on there, as well as in your personal life and with friends and family.  These are all part of a larger wave of change that is beginning as the energies crescendo into the coming year.  Be aware of the expectations of those around you and do not take them as your own unless you are truly feeling the same way.  At this time, many of the old illusions are shattering.  This can lead to feelings of anger , fear, and discontent among many.  Do not fall into it. This week, stay grounded and centered.  Have for yourself a mantra or talisman or other centering device that can get you away from the craziness around you.  Trust your intuition.  It can lead you out of sticky situations.

On the larger scene, change, change, change.  Emotions will run high which can lead to volatile political, social, and economic situations.  The anticipation that something was going to develop by year’s end is going to bring about disappointment, blame, and name calling.  Earth movements and weather events will continue, but on a smaller scale.  This is not because they have stopped or are quieting, rather it is because things are moving towards a crescendo which will unleash as the New Year begins.  There can again be strange signs in the skies, some of which will easily be explained away, while others will be commented upon and dismissed as a real explanation cannot be found.  There will be an individual in the news who will be making weird and out of character comments.  They can be laughed away, but the truth of those words will eventually come out.  Also, many people, friends, and animals will be choosing this week to leave.  There is a finality in the energy of this week that many are recognizing.  They do not chose to deal with the new energies coming in and have decided they need to move on.

Sunday, December 25:    Surprise Blue

Merry Christmas to All!!!  this is a great day for surprises and surprising, so be open to it all.  You will find yourself both nostalgic and excited at future prospects at the same time.  Look for some unexpected behaviors and giftings from people you know.  There is wonder in the air today a things fall into place, only to shift again into something else.  You can find this fun and wonderful or scary, it s all a matter of perception.   the energies are merging and melding, it is time to be observer and participant.  With what is happening now, you can take a directing hand in what is coming your way.  WIsh for and only accept what you truly desire.

Crystal Vibration:    Green Vesuvianite—-Ah, the potent energy of Isis is alive in this stone. It links you to the stars, bringing calm and realization, and a feeling of being home.  Resonates with the Heart and Upper Chakras.

Monday, December 26:    Matte White

This is a good day for kicking back and just relaxing.  It is time to do something that you want to do because you wish to do it and not because of anyone or anything else.  There is a kind of hinting in the day’s energies os be alert to subtle signals and voices on the wind.  There is much you can learn from these things.  Plans can change today and it is best to go along with the changes.  As the year come to an end, there are lessons that you still need to learn and the blips along your way for the next few days are telling you of what to expect in the coming year.

Crystal Vibration:    Aurichalcite—-The energy of this mineral is conductive and can bring energies into the body, while at the same time regulating other seemingly unrelated energies.  Resonates with the Crown and Eleventh Chakras.

Tuesday, December 27:     Yellow Rose

There is a sense today that everything is returning to normal, but that is merely an illusion.  Things that come and go today, though seemingly familiar, will leave you questioning.  Look for a message that indicates a new direction.  It is something you have known about but have been waiting for because you were not trusting your intuition.  It is time to stop questioning when those messages come your way and accept the advice they are giving.   This is a day for hearing the meaning behind the words, seeing the movement behind the obvious, and feeling the truth behind the seeming.  Stay in your power, and go to your heart’s knowing.

Crystal Vibration:    Pyrophylite—-The energy of this mineral creates a vibration between the Root and Crown Chakras.  It assists in balance.

Wednesday, December 28:    Light Pink

Watch out for excess today.  There will be times when you are going to want to say too much, do too much, eat too much, drink too much….  You get the idea.  But you can find that these things will come back to haunt you. The energies today favor observation, consideration, and patience.  Step back from things going on around you. Do not give your opinion unless you are sure it is what you truly mean.  If possible, stay away from people who push your buttons.  There are those out there who are just looking for a reason to blame someone else for their stuff.  As the day winds down, there will be a quiet calm developing in the evening hours.  You can encounter some amazing things in that energy if you are alert.

Crystal Vibration:    Sphalerite—-The energy of this mineral assists in the removal of toxins, through vibrationally focusing on and targeting blockages.  It can aid when one needs to sort the message out from the chatter.  Resonates with the Root, Throat, and Ninth Chakras.

Thursday, December 29:    Periwinkle Blue

Celebration is in the air today.  You will feel it as you awake.  The feeling is more gentle than  uproarious, and you might feel that it is something you would like to keep to yourself and treasure.  Honor that sense, for as the day moves on, you will find just the right people to share it with.  Or perhaps you will choose to infuse that feeling into a creative endeavor.  Who can tell.  there is something special there, and it is good to take it in and know it. It will bring solace to your heart, and then share it if that seems right.  Take time today to center and ground.  Meditation is good right now, it can bring some clarity.

Crystal Vibration:    Pyroxmangite—-This mineral resonates with the heart, bringing strength and healing.  It also hums in tune with the aura and the Grandmother frequency.  Resonates with the Crown and Upper Chakras, while tuning into the Root.

Friday, December 30:    Light Grey Blue

You can be heaving a sigh of relief today as things that you were dreading have not materialized the way you expected.  Take this as a lesson in intention and expectation.  By putting too much angst into things that are on your calendar, you can actually blow them out of proportion in terms of what they ultimately mean. You do have more control of matters in your life than you thought.  Take a look around yourself today appreciate the things that you have created.  Honor yourself.  Do not be humble, and do not give credit to others.  Oftentimes people cross our paths to give us direction, learning, and help, but you are the one with the choice to heed or not. There is  pattern there, a warp and weft, that intermesh to expose the greater pattern that is your life.

Crystal Vibration:    Pyroxmangite—-This vibration continues into the energy of today, working with the heart, bringing strength and healing.  It tonifies the aura, bringing new light into the physicality.   It hearkens to the wisdom of the Grandmother.  Resonates with the Heart, Crown and Upper Chakras, while tuning into the Root.

Saturday, December 31:   Dark Cerulean

You are looking at today with either a sigh of relief or a feeling of anticipation.  Both approaches are correct.  The energies of the day are somewhat cyclonic.  Things are whirling around and around, and you have the opportunity to choose what it is that you are wanting to pull out of the whirlwind.  If you are wanting to create something, be brave enough to make the request then let it go.  It will come back according to your desire.  Again, watch what you wish for.  The vagaries of fate at times take over, but you have the power to shape and mold things to what you truly in your heart are desiring.  That which is in harmony with the vibration of Universal consciousness and in your bet and highest interests is what will manifest in this energy if you allow.

Crystal Vibration:    Ajoite—-The energies of this stone call forth the hidden elements in one’s nature, bringing them forth from times in which they were beaten down and hidden.  Resonates with the Higher Chakras.

Girl Finds Family 7 Years After Tsunami Took Her

Indonesia Tsunami Survivor Returns To Home After 7 Years

By FAKHRURRADZIE GADE   12/23/11 10:55 AM ET   AP

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia — A girl who was swept away in the Indian Ocean tsunami seven years ago said Friday she broke down in tears this week after tracking down her parents, who had long lost hope of finding her alive.

The 15-year-old showed up in Aceh province’s hard-hit town of Meulaboh earlier this week, saying that not long after the wave hit she was “adopted” by a woman who called her Wati and forced her to beg, sometimes beating her and keeping her in the streets until 1 a.m.

When the teen stopped bringing in money, she was told, “Go ahead, leave … go find your parents then, they’re in Meulaboh.”

With only patchy memories about her past – she was only 8 when the tsunami hit, an age where most children don’t know their relatives’ full names – Wati began her search, telling people she thought her grandfather was “Ibrahim.”

She met a pedicab driver in Meulaboh, who brought her to a man by that name. Though she didn’t look familiar, he, in turn, quickly summoned her parents.

“When I saw my mother, I knew it was her,” said the wide-eyed girl, her hair cropped close to her head. “I just knew.”

The family, who say the girl’s original name is Meri Yuranda, is also now convinced.

The Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen nations hit Aceh – closest to the epicenter of the magnitude-9.1 quake that spawned the towering waves – the hardest.

With tens of thousands of bodies washed to sea in that province alone, many families continue to cling to hope of finding lost loved ones. Reunions, however, are rare. And all announced in the last five years have turned out to be untrue. Even so, some mothers continue to believe a child is theirs even after DNA tests prove otherwise.

Either way, without any challenges to the claims, Wati now has a family.

Yusniar binti Ibrahim Nur, the mother, told The Associated Press she had all the evidence she needed.

“She has her father’s face,” the 35-year-old woman said by telephone. “And when I saw the scar over her eye and mole on her hip, I was even more sure.”

It doesn’t worry her, she said, that the girl and her husband have different accounts of what happened on the day the tsunami hit their tiny village of Ujong Baroh just outside of Meulaboh.

Wati remembers her father putting her into a boat with her younger sister, long presumed dead as well, and then getting separated. She says she remembers being surrounded by water and crying.

Her father says he put both of his daughters on the roof of their house hoping they’d be safe.

“Maybe she fell into the boat, maybe someone helped her. I just don’t know,” said Yusniar.

“I just thank God my prayers have been answered,” she said. “For years, I searched everywhere. I’d really given up.”


Update on Comet Lovejoy

COMET LOVEJOY FROM ORBIT: Veteran astronaut Dan Burbank has seen many amazing things. Once, he even flew through the aurora borealis. So when Burbank says “[Comet Lovejoy] is the most amazing thing I have ever seen in space,” it really means something. Currently serving onboard the International Space Station, Burbank photographed the sungrazing comet on Dec. 21st, an experience he describes in this NASA video:

Burbank describes the tail of Comet Lovejoy as a “green glowing arc at least 10 degrees long.” He saw it just before orbital sunrise emerging from Earth’s limb, which was “lit up as a bright sliver of blue and purple.”

After plunging through the sun’s atmosphere only 120,000 km above the stellar surface on Dec. 16th, and improbably surviving, Comet Lovejoy has become the finest comet since Comet McNaught in 2007. Its orbit is carrying it through the skies of the southern hemisphere where sunrise sky watchers are seeing the comet almost as clearly as Burbank did. One wonders if Burbank was looking out the window on Dec. 24th when Carlos Caccia took this picture of the ISS transiting Lovejoy’s tail over Intendente Alvear, Argentina:

“The ISS passed through the Southern Cross, continued parallel to the Milky Way, and finally arrived at the tail of Lovejoy with its typical golden color,” says Caccia. “What a lucky shot!”

The visibility of Comet Lovejoy should continue to improve in he mornings ahead as the comet moves away from the sun into the darker skies before dawn. Sky watchers should set their alarm for an early-Christmas treat


Sun’s Geomagnetic Storm

CHRISTMAS EVE ERUPTION: A filament of magnetism connected to sunspot AR1386 erupted during the early hours of Dec. 24th. Extreme UV-wavelength cameras onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the picturesque blast:

The C5-class eruption hurled a billion-ton coronal mass ejection (CME) into space, but not toward Earth. With the cloud sailing wide-left of our planet, Christmas geomagnetic storms are unlikely. Nevertheless, this active region merits watching as it turns toward Earth in the days ahead, possibly positioning itself for the first storms of 2012.


Curious Reindeer Facts

Hey Rudolph!

Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen have no doubt been keeping an eye on the thermometer this winter. Reindeer numbers have dropped nearly 60 percent in the last three decades due to climate change and habitat disturbance caused by humans, a study earlier this year found.

The decline of reindeer is a hot topic to more than just Santa and millions of children around the world.

“The caribou is central to the normal function of northern ecosystems,” Justina Ray, executive director of Wildlife Conservation Society-Canada, said in 2008. “With their huge range requirements and need for intact landscapes, these animals are serving as the litmus test for whether we will succeed in taking care of their needs in an area that is under intensifying pressure.”

Here are some reindeer facts that might surprise you.

for more, go to:

Two Moons? Could It Be?

Earth has Two ‘Moons’ Right Now, Theorists Say

by Natalie Wolchover
Date: 22 December 2011 Time: 04:55 PM ET
Computer-generated image depicting a view of Earth as seen from the surface of the asteroid Toutatis. Credit: NASA/JPL
Computer-generated image depicting a view of Earth as seen from the surface of the asteroid Toutatis.

Earth has two moons, a group of scientists argues. One is that waxing and waning nightlight we all know and love. The other is a tiny asteroid, no bigger than a Smart Car, making huge doughnuts around Earth for a while before it zips off into the distance.

That’s the scenario posited by the scientists in a paper published Dec. 20 in the planetary science journal ICARUS. The researchers say there is a space rock at least 1 meter (3.3 feet) wide orbiting Earth at any given time. They’re not always the same rock, but rather an ever-changing cast of “temporary moons.”

In the scientists’ theoretical model, our planet’s gravity captures these asteroids as they pass near us on their way around the sun. When one is drawn in, it typically makes three irregularly shaped swings around Earth — sticking with us for about nine months — before hurtling on its way.

According to the researchers, surprisingly little attention has been paid to Earth’s natural satellites other than the moon, despite the fact that they’re sure to exist. “There are lots of asteroids in the solar system, so chances for the Earth to capture one at any time is, in a sense, not surprising,” said co-author Jeremie Vauballion, an astronomer at the Paris Observatory in France.

The group claims that its paper is the first effort to theoretically model the orbits and sizes of Earth’s temporary second moons. The researchers’ results are consistent with observations of one such “temporarily-captured asteroid” that is believed to have orbited Earth for about a year starting in June 2006. The object, labeled 2006 RH120, was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona; estimated to be between 10 and 20 feet (3 and 6 meters) wide, it appeared to be orbiting Earth from two moon-distances away.

Mikael Gravnik, a physicist at the University of Helsinki and lead author of the new paper, says 2006 RH120 was probably discovered because it was slightly larger than most of the other “temporary moons” that come traipsing through our planetary system. Most of the hobo moons are only about 1 meter wide.

“Objects of this size are too faint to be detected when being at a distance of, say, a few lunar distances from the Earth,” Gravnik told Life’s Little Mysteries.”When coming closer in during their orbit, they are moving too fast to be detected, because the limited amount of photons is spread over too many pixels.”

These limitations mean we don’t currently have a way of finding our second moons. But an observatory called the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), planned to open in Chile in 2015, could change that.

“We hope that LSST will do something about this, but dedicated programs will without doubt be even better,” Vauballion said. “Statistic study is still needed to see where and how to look for them.”

NASA’s Spaceguard Survey tracks the paths of all near-Earth objects (NEOs) in Earth’s neighborhood that are larger than 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) in diameter, but the scientists are less concerned with bodies that are too small to pose a threat to Earth — as is the case when they’re just 1 meter wide.

But if our distant, noncommittal moons don’t threaten Earth, and are much too dim to act as nightlights, does it matter that they’re there at all?

According to astronomers, it does. Some researchers say it might be possible to go and get one of these temporary moons and bring it back to Earth for analysis.

“When found, such an asteroid will immediately raise the question whether or not we should go, and I’m ready to bet that many astronomers will argue that we definitely have to go!” Vaubaillon said in an email. “The reason is simple: What astronomers would not want to have a full and intact (unaltered by any physical process) piece of space rock? Meteorites are all altered because they go through our atmosphere. The only piece of asteroid we have comes from the Japanese Hayabusa mission (a few grams at the very most). The comet grains the Stardust mission got back from comet Wild 2 were all altered.”

Clark Chapman, senior scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., said a lot could be learned from the retrieval of a temporary satellite. “No doubt it is true that temporarily captured NEOs would be comparatively easy to get to and get back from ― it wouldn’t take an especially powerful rocket, and round-trip times would be short,” said Chapman, who is an expert on asteroid impact hazards.

Gravnik said, “We certainly hope that a space mission to a natural Earth satellite would someday materialize, and have actually already started a collaboration with experts in spacecraft orbital mechanics to find out how a mission from the Earth to a temporary satellite could be accomplished.”


Update on El Hierro Activity

El Hierro Volcano : Yellow-Red alert – the eruption continues at a moderate rate

Last update: December 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm by By 

Update 24/12 – 15:13 UTC
– NO NASA Modis satellite image today as it was too cloudy when the satellite was padding by.
– NO new earthquakes
– continuous harmonic tremor slightly decreasing since 06:00
– The video below is the morning time lapse video from the Telefonica / Cabildo La Restinga village webcam as captured by Julio del Castillo Vivero. The emitting vent and corresponding stain can well be seen from the middle of the morning until the end

Joke Volta early morning pictures

Click on the picture to see all images in full size

Update 24/12 – 09:14 UTC
– NO new earthquakes
– continuous harmonic tremor with a lot of action from 03:30 until 04:00
– a very small stain can be seen on the El Pinar / Ustream and La Restinga village webcams
– Joke reports that the she saw a very vast stain from her starting point at El Pinar this morning. Now she is in La Restinga and says that she sees the source of the stain at the main vent. The emitted material is carried by the current to the west (hard to see on the webcam)
– IEO (Oceonographic Institute of Spain) has reported that they are currently analyzing the bathymetry data(depth measuring of the sea floor) from their latest mission. They have a lot of work to do before a final report can be issued as many irregular measurements have to be eliminated. The emission gases, floating and suspended sediments and water conditions are resulting in false data.

Christmas tree in CAP science center in La Restinga. The tree hangers are images of the main events of the eruption

Update 23/12 – 18:43 UTC
Joke has created a small video from the pictures that she made while traveling with the bus from La Restinga to El Pinar.  Additionally, click here to see the pictures Joke made today.

Update 23/12 – 14:00 UTC / updated 15:43 UTC
Today’s NASA Modis satellite image (from max. a couple of hours ago) shows a very strange picture from the stain and the emission vent. The left white patch is the main vent emission point and small stain. The right white patch at the smallest point of the stain maybe a small remaining cloud patch from the bigger cloud range below it or a new vent (highly unlikely on this location). Click here to see the location of the satellite image.

NASA Modis satellite image of today December 23 – zoomed version (cloud has been blackened)

NASA Modis image without blackened clouds

Update 23/12 – 11:30 UTC
– an active fresh stain visible from La Restinga.
– periods with increased harmonic tremor

image courtesy IGN

La Restinga eruption stain on December 23 – image courtesy Cabildo de El Hierro and Telefonica

Update 23/12 – 08:07 UTC
– 2 new earthquakes since midnight UTC . Both had a magnitude of 1.6 at a depth of respectively 16 and 15 km. The first one happened at 02:16 (epicenter location) and the second at 04:09 (epicenter location)
– variable harmonic tremor
– 25 cruise ships have planned to visit El Hierro next year. The port of La Estaca will be the embarkation port. The average number of passengers will be 300 per ship.
– the company running the Christmas lottery, one of the first lotteries in the world, has decided to pay 60,000 euro as a gift to the people of El Hierro.
– the Terencio supermarket chain did send a food load of 4200 kg to help the Herreños

This information comes from:  For more information and updates, go to:

Christchurch, New Zealand Aftershocks

3 large dangerous aftershocks hit Christchurch, New Zealand – shaking video

Last update: December 24, 2011 at 12:51 pm by By 

Earthquake overview : Multiple aftershocks hit the city of Christchurch and his suburbs during the early afternoon of December 23. 2 major aftershocks measuring 5.8 and 5.9 magnitude were the largest since many months.

Video of the shaking of the M 6.0  earthquake

Michelle Collins from Christchurch captured the shaking by accident as her camcorder was still running while positioned on a Christmas tree. She talks to the NZ Herald about the experience. This is what a M 6.0 feels like if you live near the epicenter. The heavy shaking lasted “only”  10 seconds, longer would certainly have generated much more damage. Miss Collins runs immediately outside while the shaking is still going on. Not wise at all, but in her case forgivable as she was only a few meters away from the patio/garden.

Liquefaction also occurred today. Funny to look at but something which may become very dangerous with higher magnitudes

Update 18:55 UTC
CERA (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) has advised the authorities that a Christchurch wide survey of houses would be desirable. The main reason of such a check is to find out whether the houses can withstand a new strong earthquake.

Update 17:40 UTC
M 5.1      2011/12/23 17:36    Depth 9.0 km     CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND
local time 06:37
One of the stronger aftershocks right below the Akaroa peninsula on a location that we had almost no aftershocks so far
10 km east of Akaroa and 50 km south-east of Christchurch
Satellite map of the greater epicenter area

Update 16:26 UTC
In Sydenham, the 100-year-old former Post Office building was demolished last night after sustaining further damage during yesterday’s aftershock.

Update 16:10 UTC
29 + M 3.0 aftershocks since the mainshock!

Update 15:06 UTC – An example to all earthquake sensitive countries in the world
Telecommunications were not hit that hard as a result of the quake. The disruption noticed was due to the problems with the main power supply, which implicated that some equipment was operating on battery and generator backup.
Telecom was asking people to use texts, rather than calling, in order to ease the load on its mobile networks. Emergency calling remained operational ( is in favor of this policy – other countries should follow this example asap (we have encountered continuous problems elsewhere in the world due to too high peaks and due to non-battery backup masts).

Update 10:52 UTC
It looks like the current epicenter can be called “little out of range” of the other powerful earthquakes. The epicenter of the initial quake who triggered the other ones was was located a little out of the coast. Hopefully this will not start off a new episode of aftershocks

for more information and updates, go to:

Winter Solstice

Why the Winter Solstice Arrives Thursday

Wynne Parry, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 21 December 2011 Time: 08:07 AM ET
The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year, when the sun is at its lowest point in the sky.
CREDIT: Stockxpert.

Winter officially arrives late Wednesday or in the wee hours of Thursday, depending on the time zone you are in.

The official time corresponds to 12:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (5:30 a.m. Universal Time) Thursday (Dec. 22). This is the point when the northern half of our planet will face directly away from the sun.

This means that days, which have up until now been growing shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, will begin to lengthen.

This happens because the Earth rotates on an axis that is tilted by 23.5 degrees, so the planet leans one way or another as it travels around the sun. This doesn’t make much difference for folks living around the Earth’s equator, but for those of us farther north, or south, this tiltcreates seasons.

The winter solstice marks the end of fall and the beginning of winter. During the solstice, the northern half of the Earth is facing away from the sun, hence it will experience its shortest day of the year as the planet rotates.

The effect of this tilt, and of the solstice, depends on your latitude. Everything above the Arctic Circle will remain shrouded in darkness, with no sun that day, and to the north, the North Polegoes without sunlight for months. Farther south in the Northern Hemisphere, the solstice day becomes longer.

The opposite occurs in the Southern Hemisphere. There, the December solstice marks the arrival of summer.

For those of us in the north, the days may begin to grow longer, but the coldest days are still to come. This is because ocean temperatures drive much of the weather on the continents, and they continue to cool in the relative lack of sunlight this time of year.


Santa — Moving???

A new home for Santa Claus?

December 16, 2011

A new home for Santa Claus?U of T researchers say Guelph, Ontario tops the list of North American cities that suit Santa’s lifestyle. Credit: Martin Prosperity Institute graphic

( — After the many years of commuting on Christmas Eve, jolly old St. Nicholas is reconsidering his home at the North Pole. Given his job description, extreme isolation has lost its appeal. In true Christmas spirit, the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Insititute is offering Santa a top 10 list of places that would best suit him and his needs.

U of T researchers looked at five variables important to his lifestyle: (1) the number of cookie factories per capita; (2) the number of milk producers per capita; (3) the number of doll, toy and game manufacturing establishments per capita; (4) the number of postal service workers/couriers per capita (to receive and reply to wish lists); and (5) department stores per capita.

Hard work creates quite an appetite, and common knowledge supposes that Santa’s snack of choice is cookies. We looked at the number of cookie (and cracker) manufacturing establishments per 100,000 people in an area. Terre Haute, IN was a landslide winner in this respect, with 2.4 per 100,000 people. Next on the list were Fond du Lac, WI (2), Lewiston, ID (1.7) and Guelph, ON (1.6). There were over 200 metropolitan  with no cookie manufacturing establishments at all. If Santa were looking at the sheer number of cookie manufacturers, he should consider the New York area with 40 in total.

To wash down all of those cookies, Santa is going to need some milk. Researchers next looked next at the number of milk manufacturing establishments per 100,000 people. Saskatoon, SK is the leader in this category with 6.1 milk establishments per 100,000 people and 14 establishments in total. Up there with Saskatoon was Regina, SK with 4.7 per 100,000, St. Catharines/Niagara, ON with 2.9 and Abbotsford, BC with 2.6. Once again, there are some metro areas for Santa to avoid in terms of milk production as more than 150 of them have no reported milk manufacturers, including Charlotte, NC and San Jose, CA. In contrast, Toronto, ON has the most milk manufacturers with 25, followed by Vancouver, BC (19), Edmonton, AB (19) and Los Angeles, CA (17).

With the move also comes the need for a new toy factory and with 3.5 factories per 100,000 people, no other metro area beats Peterborough, ON. Victoria, BC sits in second place with 3.1 toy manufacturing establishments per 100,000 people. Next in the top 5 are Saint John, NB, Corvallis, OR and Ithaca, NY. In terms of the overall number of toy manufacturing establishments in the area, Toronto again ranks first with 77 toy manufacturers. Montreal, QC is next with 60, followed by Los Angeles with 54 and New York with 47.


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A new home for Santa Claus?
While checking his list to see who has been naughty and who has been nice, Santa also needs a reliable postal/courier service to receive and reply to children’s wish lists. The metro area with the most postal service workers/couriers per 100,000 is Des Moines, IA with 495. The area with the second most postal workers is the Greater Sudbury area in Ontario with 460.4 per 100,000 followed by Trenton, NJ with 434.3, Saint John, NB with 430.2 and Lynchburg, VA with 424.7.

Large metros such as New York and Los Angeles had the most postal service workers/couriers in terms of overall number of personnel, but they had lower numbers per capita due to their large populations. Interestingly, despite a declining population, Detroit, MI had more overall postal workers/couriers than the larger areas of Houston, TX and Atlanta, GA. The metro with the least amount of  workers/couriers per 100,000 people was Farmington, NM with only 49. The next three lowest were Hanford, CA; Prescott, AZ; and Fairbanks, AK.

Department stores are a crucial meeting place to see children before. Therefore, it was important to examine the number of department stores per capita in a given area so that Santa could maximize his appearances. Children of Elmira, NY have the greatest chance of sitting on Santa’s knee, with an abundant 9.1 department stores per 100,000 people — the highest number relative to the population. The top 5 also includes Lima, OH with 8.6 per 100,000 people, Missoula, MT with 8.5, Lewiston, ID with 8.4 and Sandusky, OH with 7.8.

Of course, if Santa were looking for the area with the highest total number of department stores he could visit the fashion and shopping capitals of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. In terms of congestion though, the largest cities tend to have a low number of department stores per 100,000 people, which could lead to crowding. There are a number of cities with a low number of department stores that Santa might want to steer clear of, especially Hinesville, GA, which has no reported department stores in the area at all.

By combining the five variables to give each area an overall score, U of T researchers were able to create a top 10 list of ideal places for Santa to live. According to this analysis, Guelph, ON is the best suited destination for Santa. Overall, Guelph is a metro which offers Santa a good balance of the elements that define his lifestyle. Guelph received the highest overall score, largely thanks to its high  of cookie manufacturing establishments per 100,000 people, coupled with a good postal and courier service.

Williamsport, PA came in second with only a slightly lower overall score than Guelph. Like Guelph, Williamsport received balanced scores in all 5 categories. Williamsport is followed by Sherbrooke, QC; London, ON; St. Johns, NL; Peoria, IL; Hamilton, ON; Winnipeg, MB; Kitchener, ON; and Trois-Rivieres, QC — all great choices for Santa.

Santa might want to avoid Hinesville, GA, with no reported cookie manufacturers, milk manufacturers, toy manufacturers or department stores — an overall score of zero. Pascagoula, MS and Houma, LA also neared the bottom of the list and neither would suit Santa’s unique lifestyle very well.

Don’t worry, Santa won’t consider a move until after he makes his rounds this year. Regardless of where he chooses, have a safe and happy holiday season and all the best for 2012.