Quandary talks about the magic of snow days and what the deal is with road de-icer
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET A SNOW DAY IN SUMMIT?
Feeling the pressure of that first day back after a week off? Well, chances are you’re going to have to cope, but there is always a possibility for snow days. If it does happen you will know very early in the day. The superintendent of the Summit School District consults with the manager of transportation, the Colorado Department of Transportation, as well as the local road departments and the National Weather Service, to determine whether conditions are safe and how likely the snow is to continue.
If these powers determine that the snow is likely to continue all day and present a risk to student safety, then school can be canceled. If it seems the snow will soon let up, you still might get a slight reprieve as school can be delayed for a couple of hours. Less likely is the opportunity to leave school early, but it does happen as evidenced by the early exit on Friday, Feb. 20.
Though bribes are not likely to work, there are some superstitions that may help Ullr come visit, or at least will keep this old goat entertained as you make the attempt. If you can band together a group of like-minded friends, go for a snow dance. Try wearing one colored sock and one white sock while dancing, too. The steps are really up to you, but make sure your heart is in it. The snow gods can tell if you don’t really want it.
To keep improving your odds try throwing some ice cubes in the toilet, or out the window. (Make sure the window’s open so you don’t end up grounded on your awesome snow day.) As you’re pulling the ice cubes out of your freezer also try yelling “snow day” into it. Again, Ullr will appreciate your enthusiasm. Speaking of windows, how many white crayons do you have? Placing one on each of your window sills is a sure fire way to lose them for a long time, but also a good way to bring on the snow.
Now say you’ve spent your whole Sunday dancing and throwing ice cubes, but the snowflakes still aren’t falling; there are a few bedtime rituals to also increase your chances. First, put your jammies on inside out and backwards. It’s a good way to keep them clean longer if nothing else. Next toss a penny under your pillow and a spoon under your bed, and sometime in the evening drink a root beer through a straw.
The result of all these shenanigans might be a mental health day instead of a snow day, but no school is no school, right?
WILL THE STUFF CDOT PUTS ON THE ROADS FOR ICE DAMAGE MY CAR?
In short, yes. However, the Colorado Department of Transportation has recently completed a three-year study to determine exactly how much impact the various anti-icer and deicer liquids have on the environment and on your shiny new car. They learned that it is actually less dangerous than the traditional magnesium chloride compound that is used on roads, and unlike this previous road salt compound, it won’t mess up your paint job or your windshield. So even if the bottom’s falling out, your car can still be pretty. The best and really the only way to stave off the corrosion caused by these compounds is to wash your car after winter storms. Not with the hose either, to really get all the grime off of your car a high-powered, professional wash is required.
According to CDOT, since introducing these anti-icer and deicer liquids, they have been able to reduce the use of sand by 50 percent, meaning cleaner air and fewer brown clouds. The brown clouds are actually caused by PM10, a particulate matter that gets into the air. In addition, the highways have been closed for fewer days on average since the introduction of these liquid lifesavers.
All this talk about how great deicers and anti-icers are got this old goat wondering exactly what they are, so I rambled on down and started licking the highway (not a recommended testing method for anyone), and discovered that they are actually liquid salt compounds, meant to either prevent ice in the case of anti-icers, or crush its soul in the case of deicers. Please don’t decorate your margarita rims with these bad boys though, it may not be as harmful to the environment, but it’s not good for either of our bellies, as I sadly learned.
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