Bwog helps you quantify that narrow window of time between snow falling in New York and it turning into filth so that you can accomplish all of your aesthetic and photographic goals.

As an international student from the tropics, I’ll be the first to admit that academic life wasn’t the main reason I chose Columbia. I chose Columbia to see snow and live in New York: in that order. So imagine my shock when it was warm all through November. (I’ll admit that I should’ve seen this coming because of global warming, but I’m not the most forward-thinking person.) And when it finally started to get cold, there wasn’t a hint of snow. Instead, I was constantly assaulted by an onslaught of frigid air while the fakest sun pretended to shine on me.

Finally, it really snowed in January, only for the vilest thing to happen. Almost immediately, the snow turned into a black, gooey blob reminiscent of some type of human waste. I could write countless pages speculating about what substances degrade New York snow so inhumanely, but I think that it’s more important (for me and others like me) to determine how much time we have to play in, build snow-people from, and take pictures of the snow before it self-destructs.


  • The average annual precipitation for New York is 1258 mm, but we’ll convert that to 49.5 in because the inch is a relevant college unit.
  • Since the snow next to the road gets dirtiest the quickest let’s consider vehicles in New York.
  • There are 4.89 million vehicles in New York. However, due to memory overflow on Bwog’s supercomputers, that number can only be stored as 4890.
  • The NYC speed limit is 25 mph. Because we’re college students in need of contributions to our tuition, let’s boost that to 33 mph.
  • Therefore the total speed of NY = 33*4890 =161000 mph.
  • Note that falling snow does not accelerate and this implies that snow is incapable of any acceleration, i.e. a == 0.
  • Using kinematic equations, we solve for t = 49.5/161000 = 0.307 ms.
  • Most scientists make the mistake of stopping here since it feels like the right answer, but it is not.
  • 0.3 is zero point three, or is it tree? A Christmas Tree!
  • A 2021 Christmas Tree Cost = $119 + $20*x, where the height, h = x + 4 ft.
  • Alma is 8.5 ft, so x = 4.5 and our critical cost = $209. It may not be clear, but money is a unit of temperature. In Lit Hum while reading the Bible didn’t you notice the correlation between money, sin, and going to hell (a hot place)?
  • To determine what is the appropriate temperature unit we must go back to snow.
  • Snow is made from water, and water freezes at 0°C. Since zero is a mathematically useless number let’s convert that to 273.15K. That’s quite close to 209 so it must be Kelvin. (Also I’m an international student so I won’t even consider Fahrenheit.)
  • Recall that in physics there’s that phony relationship between pressure, volume, and temperature.
  • Bwog recently made a tremendous discovery called the Law of Conservation of Stress. The law states that the pressure on any Columbia student at any time is between 95 (P1) and 235(P2) megatonnes.
  • V1 = (area of a NY block)*(# of blocks on the Morningside Campus)*(height of the precipitation) = (264 ft*900 ft)(6?)(49.5/12)= 5.88 million ft3 .
  • Using the Ideal Gas Equation (yes snow is a gas) we get V2 = 1.82 million ft3.
  • ΔV = 1.82 – 5.88 = -4.06 million ft3.
  • This volume of snow is equivalent to a mass of -22.7 Mkg.
  • This negative mass is tricky because it implies that the snow is being repelled from the earth which makes sense except for our assumption that snow cannot accelerate.
  • To fix this, we MUST recognize that there exists the dirt force, FD = m*b*d, where b is the Bwogle constant and d is a unitless measure of how dirty an area is. (Scientists missed this force for years but it’s the final fundamental force.)
  • d = (rat population)(0.9×10-4) = (2 million)(0.9×10-4) = 180
  • For equilibrium FD = -m×g, and we can solve for b in New York getting that b = -(-9.8)/180 = 0.054 m/s2
  • If you aren’t already confused by the negative signs, we have to add another one because we want the dirt force on the dirt (not the snow) since that’s actually moving.
  • Solving this for all the dirt that’s at rest within the Morningside Campus, gives t = -186 s (after some funny mathematics, but don’t worry about that).

And that’s how much time you have folks: -186 s

Now you may be wondering why the final answer is negative. It’s because the snow is already dirty before it reaches the ground. Think about it. Not only do the snowflakes parachute through New York air, swarmed with toxins, but they’re also made from old New York water, which means they were already brimming with new diseases. For all we know, there’s another rat settlement in the sky polluting all precipitation, and they’re larger and scarier. So save yourself the heartache of trying to see pretty snow. Acclimatize yourself to the beautiful, filthy snow here. Jump in it, make snow angels in it, post pics with it, and if anyone tries to judge you for it, hit them with, “Are you from New York even?”

Header & Illustrations via Bwog Staff