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Q & A

Q. Why do snowflakes have patterns?

A. Snowflakes have patterns because each flake is made of tiny ice crystals.Patterns are formed by many things:

- Where the ice crystal is formed. In the highest clouds, about 30,000 to 40,000 feet above the Earth, individual snowflakes form in columns. In clouds closer to the ground, snowflakes may form as six-sided plates. The more moisture there is, the larger the flakes. If the air is especially cold and dry, snowflakes will grow slowly and end up smaller and simpler.

- How the snowflake falls. A snowflake comes down sideways, like a plate. Then the ends may break away. On the way down, water droplets can cling to the ends, and more crystal patterns will form.

Scientists who have studied snow have found seven general shapes, but there is no limit to the patterns of snowflakes. No two are exactly alike.

Q. Why do we have tongues?

A. The tongue has many important functions. It's home for about 10,000 taste buds. Also the tongue is very important in breaking down food and readying it for digestion. The tongue pushes food between the upper molars so the food can be ground up. And finally, the tongue helps us talk. Along with the mouth, jaw and lips, the tongue helps control the vibrating air that produces the sounds of speech. It's especially important in forming consonants.