Snow Day Science

The Mighty Snowflake

The Mighty Snowflake

How did the snowflake become the go-to metaphor for individuality and uniqueness? This "Science of Snowflakes" video from "It's Okay to Be Smart" starts with a skeptical look at the enduring mythology of snowflake specialness only to conclude that its singular randomness, imperfect perfection, and stone cold awesomeness go even deeper (and stick around for the Bob Ross h/t at the end).

So, yes, we are all beautiful and unique snowflakes. And as George Takei reminds us, that's a powerful thing: "The thing about 'snowflakes' is this: They are beautiful and unique, but in large numbers become an unstoppable avalanche that will bury you." 


How to make snow

 

Not that any of us digging out from the Bomb Cyclone that hit the Northeastern U.S. this week is looking to make more snow. We just love this SciShow video (from another nice fella in glasses) breaking down the recipe for turning water molecules into frosty flakes, whether naturally or artificially.


Bobsled Physics

Snow days offer a perfect opportunity to experience Newtonian physics by sledding our way through potential and kinetic energy. There's no shortage of DIY "sledding physics" videos out there, but here's a cool one from a series produced by NBC Sports and the National Science Foundation for the 2010 Winter Olympics. (Barring any changes in the Earth's gravitational pull in the coming weeks, we expect the same physics will apply to next month's Winter Games in South Korea.)


Please try this at home.

It's #frozenbubbles time again! And a photographer in Ohio is already winning 2018 with his real-time videos of freezing soap spheres. Check out his bubble recipe and freeze 'em up!