### Snow Related Puzzles:

It’s January, and some of us are a little tired of the snow while others are longing to hit the ski slopes. I’m writing today to suggest a few ways to deal with snow when it seems like more of an obstacle than an opportunity.

Puzzles are fun, but they can’t help you get the car out of the garage after a snowstorm.

If you wake up to find just under a foot of snow (or even much more) on your driveway (or your roof), a good snow shovel can still be the answer. I recommend a shovel with a crooked handle. It makes lifting snow so much easier. This excellent article has everything you need to know to shovel snow.

I have not used cooking oil on my snow shovels, but I have sprayed it with non-stick cooking spray, and that did help when the snow was sticky. (Snow isn’t always sticky.)

Two places I have lived face winter storms on occasion. Those places were Oklahoma County, Oklahoma and Salt Lake County, Utah.

It didn’t snow very often when we lived near Oklahoma City, but when it did, a crooked-handled shovel allowed me to clear my driveway faster than any of my neighbors who had only a straight-handled shovel. Freezing rain, thunderstorms, and tornadoes were a much bigger concern in Oklahoma than snow.

Compared to Oklahoma, we get much more snow near Salt Lake City where we have lived for the last 20 years. Now my family has two of these crooked handled shovels. For seventeen years we relied solely on those shovels. We found that shoveling was good exercise, but it also took too much time, and time seems to be getting in shorter supply.

Three years ago we bought a good quality snow blower, and it is definitely a time saver. If you buy a snow blower, make sure it is a model that allows the operator to change the direction where the snow is blown. Also if the snowblower gets clogged with snow, always turn it off before attempting to unclog it. We have a friend who lost a finger because he didn’t turn it off first.

We also know people who own tractor snowplows. They easily clear their driveways and sometimes the sidewalks for their entire block. There is a snowplow on the Sears website. The blade on it is currently for sale for just under $250.00. Ouch.

We dream of someday getting an automatic snowmelt system that will turn itself on and melt any snow that falls on our driveway. One such system is described here.

Yes, there are many places that regularly get pounded with much more snow than Salt Lake City does. I’m not sure how helpful any of the above information will be for people who live in such places, so for anyone suffering in those locations I offer a few diversions:

### A Few Diversions from Dealing with the Snow:

My daughter-in-law endured the polar vortex that hit the Eastern half of the United States last week. She wrote, “Public service announcement: 37+ weeks pregnant with a head cold and two small sick kids is no fun. I do not recommend it. Today I am grateful for PBS kid shows, giant boxes of tissues, soft blankets, and easy slow cooker meals.” She also survived by finding humor in the situation. She shared a hilarious Sunny Street cartoon panel featuring a very cold pregnant woman whose water broke and turned immediately into ice cubes.

If you like making greeting cards, you could make a snowflake card using an early iteration of Koch’s snowflake. If you completed a few more iterations, you would discover that this snowflake is a lovely six-sided shape that happens to have a finite area, but an infinite perimeter. Here are the directions: http://renegadegeek.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/koch-snowflake-card/

If none of these tips or diversions help you solve or forget your snow problem, I have one more thing for you to try as a last resort:

I am absolutely amazed at how much more snow the Northern Hemisphere gets compared to the Southern Hemisphere during their respective winters. So as a last resort, maybe it is time to move.

I like this animation showing where it snows on earth each month of the year.

If you stay where you are, you may take comfort in knowing there are places that have much more snow. Check out the Top 12 Biggest Snowfall Events in Recorded History!

Twitter informs us that Alaska can deal with a lot of snow with some unusual snowplows:

### Factors of 24:

- 24 is a composite number.
- Prime factorization: 24 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 3, which can be written 24 = 2³ x 3
- The exponents in the prime factorization are 3 and 1. Adding one to each and multiplying we get (3 + 1)(1 + 1) = 4 x 2 = 8. Therefore 24 has exactly 8 factors.
- Factors of 24: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24
- Factor pairs: 24 =
**1** x 24, **2** x 12, **3** x 8, or **4** x 6
- Taking the factor pair with the largest square number factor, we get √24 = (√4)(√6) = 2√6 ≈ 4.898979.

### Sum-Difference Puzzle:

6 has two factor pairs. One of those factor pairs adds up to 5, and the another one subtracts to 5. Those factor pairs are what you need to solve the first puzzle.

24 has four factor pairs. One of those factor pairs adds up to 10, and another one subtracts to 10. If you know what those factor pairs are, then you can solve the second puzzle.

The second puzzle is really just the first puzzle in disguise. Why would I say that?

### More About the Number 24:

There are 4 counting numbers less than √24. Did you notice that all 4 of those numbers less than √24 are in 24’s factor pairs? OEIS.org informs us that 24 is the LARGEST number that can make that claim.

Another fact: 4! = 1 × 2 × 3 × 4 = 24.

But that’s not all! 24 is a repdigit palindrome in 4 bases!

- 44 BASE 5 because 4(5) + 4(1) = 24.
- 33 BASE 7 because 3(7) + 3(1) = 24.
- 22 BASE 11 because 2(11) + 2(1) = 24.
- 11 BASE 23 because 1(23) + 1(1) = 24.

24 is also the sum of consecutive prime numbers: 11 + 13 = 24.

When 24 is a clue in the FIND THE FACTORS 1-10 Puzzles, the factors will be either 3 × 8 or 4 × 6. When 24 is a clue in the FIND THE FACTORS 1 -12 puzzles, the factors could be 2 × 12, 3 × 8, or 4 × 6. In each case, only one set of factors will be used for each clue in any particular puzzle.