Monday, December 12, 2005

Snow to People

Comparing snowflakes to people is a common childhood lesson. Almost every winter, my mother would remind me that "Just as no two snowflakes are the same, no two people are the same." Only problem is...

However, the concept that no two snowflakes are alike is incorrect: it is entirely possible, but unlikely, that a pair of snowflakes may be visually identical if their environments were similar enough, either because they grew very near one another, or simply by chance. The American Meteorological Society has reported that matching snow crystals were discovered by Nancy Knight of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The crystals were not flakes in the usual sense but rather hollow hexagonal prisms.
"snow." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 2005. 12 Dec. 2005.

Oh, dear. Another one of my mother's lessons debunked.

To cause to be no longer believed or valued: deflate, discredit, explode, puncture. Informal shoot down. Idioms: knock the bottom out of, shoot full of holes.
"debunk." Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995. 12 Dec. 2005.

You can make virtual snowflakes here. They just won't be entirely unique, apparently.