Everyone knows that all snowflakes are different, no two are identical. Obviously, this can’t be taken literally. All snowflakes haven’t fallen yet so that person who has been saving them as they fall, hasn’t managed to collect them all yet. We don’t have any way of knowing if the one that turns up tomorrow will be exactly the same as that one that came out of the core sample, recently removed from the glacier in the very centre of Antarctica.
What we could do with I suppose, is a pre-paid envelope with each snowflake, with the address of a regional collecting office. Each snowflake could then be popped into its own packet and the packet put in the postbox.
At the regional centre, to avoid the project becoming overly labour intensive, the envelopes would only need to have the date and region code stamped on them. The bar code printed on the back of the envelope would be scanned to register the serial number and then the computer would print out a list of the missing serial numbers from this batch.
This is where we build in community involvement, These lists are then emailed out to a local controller whose job it is to put together teams of pensioners and school children to scour the neighbourhood, collecting up all the remaining snowflakes, taking them to have their serial numbers checked against the master list.
This, I’m sure you can see, is a crucial scientific study. I think I’ll apply for an EU grant.