Monthly Archives: January 2013

Are Any Two Snowflakes Alike?

Have you ever heard or asked this question yourself? I remember hearing this as a kid. I remember hearing that no two snowflakes are the same. Sometimes when it is bitter cold and the conditions are just right, you can see the beauty and characteristics of each flake.

A week or two ago it was negative teens or twenties (degrees) Celsius and snowing. Beautiful snowflakes were gracefully floating down to earth and because it was so cold they did not melt. You were able to observe the detail of every snowflake as it landed on your jacket. They were absolutely beautiful. I felt like that little girl again wondering if any two snowflakes were just alike?

I decided to see if this was true. Were my parents and teachers accurate with what they told me as a little girl? As I researched it became a complex answer – like that depends on what a snowflake is? Also it led into physics – which was never my strong suit, sorry Mr. Lacsny (High school physics teacher). I started to think how would we really ever know this answer even if you were the smartest scientist in the world? You would have to look at the statistical probability that any two flakes are exactly alike by examining all of the different possible number of water atoms in a snowflake, describing all the different possible angles and configurations of the atoms to every possible quantum state, and then you could calculate the probability that two would be exactly alike. If you were able to calculate that, you would have a number of possible flakes that would be more than all the atoms in the entire universe. In other words, there is a probability that two flakes could be exactly the same to the quantum level, but the probability is vanishingly small such that you’d have to wait for trillions of years on trillions of earths waiting for it to happen, and it still might never happen. But if you define “alike” more loosely, you can go out today and find two snowflakes that look pretty similar to each other–you’d find a good match in a day with a computer to help you with the image processing and data mining. But if you started to look deeper you would ultimately discover that some of the atoms were arranged differently.

So my research concluded, that my parents and teachers were correct and no two snowflakes are exactly alike.

For more scientific info on snowflakes here is a link.





Categories: Finland Life, Nature | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Jet Lag Recovery

Why is it when traveling eastward it is so difficult to recover from “jet lag”?

We manage fine whenever flying back to the States, but the return to Finland is a struggle for us! They say, “It takes 1 day for every hour of time difference.” This trip we flew from Texas and that is an eight hour time difference which means eight days to recover. The first day we slept until 15:00 (3:00pm) in the afternoon. We improved with bedtime and awakenings. We did oversleep our alarms. One morning we were forty five minutes late with getting Natalie to school. It really did take the eight days to get back to normal.
Poor Christian departed back to the States on the final recovery day. He will be there for a week and will have to recover again. Might be a little easier with the rest of us on schedule to force him back.

We tried the protein breakfast and lunch and carb dinner with cherry juice one hour before bed. Not sure that really helped. As I posted our sleep issues on Facebook friends in the States were suggesting Benadryl. I have to admit half way in the week I gave in and they did sleep beautifully, but that ended up a huge tease because I decided to try again and we were up at 2am ready to start the day again!

Final verdict was we just had to deal with it and the hours time difference to the days to recover seemed accurate for us.

Traveling in the summer is much easier. At least we don’t have to worry about school and it is daylight until 23:00 (11pm) so we can play and be up late.

Must not be that bad since I’ve already booked our next trip to the USA.

Categories: Expat Tips, Travel | Leave a comment

Brilliant KLM Flight Attendants

We started our flight from Helsinki to Amsterdam and we spent the evening visiting what I guess what would be comparable to Urgent Care in US for some horrible stomach pains which ended up being a post symptom to the stomach virus we all had last week, damaged intestines. Plus a cold on top of that! Very nervous for this flight. Seems to be a de ja vous!!
Not sure if you all in the US know this , but the KLM Fight Attendants got an award for #1 in Europe. The girls even have KLM Barbies. They are so friendly and have proven so with each KLM flight we have taken.
Where they get their “brilliant” identity from me is a little ear pain remedy. I’ve done the hot towel thing before, but KLM intruduced us to the hot towel in the styrofoam cup. Place the cup to the ear with warm cloth on your ear and magic happens!! It truly does work. I even tested it, so it is mommy approved and child approved!

Thanks KLM for making our flight a pleasant one!


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