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unique

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You are unique!

Ever thought about the fact that you are completely unique. Never been anyone like you, never will be. Some people believe that every snowflake is unique - of course there's no real way to prove this but it's sort of true because if you study snowflakes with a microscope you'll likely always find something slightly different! (Even if every snowflake isn't different, it's a true fact that every fingerprint is unique!)

Snowflakes Quiz

Which of the following 12 pictures (in the Powerpoint) are real pictures of snowflakes and which ones are done by digital art?

Click to download the Snowflakes Quiz (Powerpoint saved as a zip file)

(PS the credit for this quiz goes to SJ from the City of Exeter YMCA).

Ten snow and snowflake facts

Download the Ten Snow(flake) Facts (Powerpoint saved as a zip file)

(Taken from http://unofficialnetworks.com/11-impressive-snowflake-facts-1758/ and http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/weather/snow.html and http://weather-facts.com/snowflakes-facts.php and http://www.snowplownews.com/forum/topics/q-what-is-the-largest-snowflake-ever-recorded and http://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/US/snowiest.php - all accessed 14/12/13)

1. Snowflakes are of six different sizes and shapes, often with six sides. The nearer to 0 degrees celsius, the larger and more complex the pattern of the snowflake.

2. Snowflakes aren't always white. Years ago, when coal was used in factories and homes, snow was often gray because the coal dust entered the air and was absorbed by the clouds.

3. In Prince Edward Island, Canada, where the soil is red clay, snowflakes often look pink because red dust from the soil is blown into the air and absorbed by the clouds.

4. The largest snowflakes ever recorded fell in the state of Fort Keogh, Montana, USA. The snowflakes were 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick, observed in 1887.

5. Rainer Paradise Ranger Station located near alpine at 5427 feet (1654 m) on the south flank of Mount Rainier tops the list for the greatest snowfall with 671 inches (1704 cm).

6. The average snowflake falls at a speed of 3.1 miles per hour. (5 kilometres per hour).

7. The highest snowfall ever recorded in a one year period was 31.1 meters (1224 inches) in Mount Rainier, Washington State, United States, between February 19, 1971 and February 18, 1972.

8. The world's largest ever snowflake to date found was 38 centimetres wide and 20 centimetres thick. This snowflake occurred at Fort Keogh, Montana, USA on 28 January 1887.

9. The world's tallest ever snowman made measured a massive 34.63 metres and was made by the people of Bethel, Maine, USA. It took 2 weeks to build, finally being completed on 17 February 1999. The snowman, nicknamed Angus was so big that he had vehicle tyres for his mouth and trees for arms.

10. The most snow to fall in any 24 hour period is 75.8 inches (193 centimeters), well over six feet, that landed at Silver Lake, Colorado.

Video

Direct Youtube Link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIEIvi2MuEk

The Point

At Christmas people give each other gifts. Many people like getting gifts, but some people really appreciate it if you really think long and hard about what they get and then give them a special, individual present. Someone once said to me that they didn't even want expensive gifts but only wanted presents that someone had spent time finding and were very unique. But most people like a gift that is just right for them, especially like in the video where someone asks them and then gets it for them for free as a surprise!!

At Christmas, one of the things celebrated is the birth of Jesus as God's gift to the world. Why this gift? Well because God saw that things in the world were broken and needed fixing. No human can fix the world although we can all help make a difference. But Christians believe Jesus came into the world to pay the price for the evil. Just like you have to pay for a present, so Jesus came to 'pay' the cost for all the wrong in the world. Jesus was a gift to the world and then he offers everyone another free gift - to simply say yes to him and to be changed on the inside to help straighten things out in this world, to bring hope, life and truth, to set people free.

Even if you don't believe in Jesus, there's another amazing thing in all this. As a Christian, I believe that what God did with you was not just to give you a gift, but he actually made you become a gift - he gave you to the world as a unique gift. Just like every fingerprint is unique, so are you. You are a one-off and you are priceless. You have the opportunity to make a real difference for good in this world so today make a decision that even if you're not sure about this God stuff, you still want to use your life for good, to make things better, to bring hope into the world.

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