Question

What is the fastest speed on record (words per minute) for typing text?

There are three different words per minute (wpm) records -- for the manual typewriter, the electric typewriter, and the personal computer keyboard. On a manual typewriter, the world record is 176 wpm, and on an electric typewriter it is 216. In an official test in 1991, Gregory Arakelian of Virginia set the personal computer record with 158 wpm.

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Is there a trick in making hard-boiled eggs so that the shells won't stick to the eggs when peeling?

This depends partly on the freshness of the eggs. The shells tend to stick to fresher eggs. Try this: After you have finished cooking the eggs, cover them with cold water and roll them around in the pan to crack the shells. Replace the water with fresh cold water and let them sit for about ten minutes. The shells will usually come right off. (Guest Expert Patricia Wright, Spokane Washington)

How can I clean soap scum from my glass shower doors without harming the shine of the aluminum door frame?

Find an empty spray bottle and fill it with a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 10 parts water. If you spray and wipe your doors every few days, you'll keep the scum under control and not harm your aluminum frame.

When you freeze eggs and egg yolks, why do you have to add salt or sugar first?

Egg yolks or egg whites and yolks mixed will become grainy if frozen in that state. You can add sugar, corn syrup, or salt (depending on your ultimate use for the eggs) to prevent graininess. The eggs should then be strained through a sieve or colander before freezing. This will improve their uniformity. When freezing just whites, no salt or sugar is necessary. A good way to freeze eggs is to use ice cube trays. Put three tablespoons of the egg into each compartment of the tray, then freeze. When the cubes are frozen, place them in a moisture- and vapor-resistant container.

Why is the term "salad days" used to describe the days of youth?

Shakespeare originated this expression, although he spelled it "sallad." It was a more poetic way to say "green," which even today describes someone who is innocent or inexperienced.

Is there a way to guess the height of clouds?

Sure. Here's the formula for doing so. Take the current temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, subtract the dew point, and multiply this number by 220. This calculation will give you the approximate height of the clouds in feet.

Where did the different birthstones originate, and why are certain birthstones for certain months?

The wearing of the gemstone associated with your birth month is thought to bring good luck and good health. Astrologers long ago attributed supernatural powers to certain gemstones. The ones we associate with certain months now are not necessarily the same ones as in ancient times. The list fluctuates with the availability and cost of the stones. Once, color was the most important feature of a stone. Ancients did not distinguish between a ruby and a garnet, for example. The names used in history may not relate to the stone we think of with that name today. For example, a sapphire in the Bible was probably what we know today as lapis, and the diamonds were probably a white sapphire or white topaz. The stones originally assigned to each month related to the stones appearing on the breastplate of a Jewish high priest.

What is the coldest spot in the nation?

Generally speaking, the coldest state in any given month is Alaska. It is interesting to note, however, that Nevada is the state with the all-time largest temperature spread, with the highest temperature to lowest temperature in one year. In 1984, the temperature spanned from 50 degrees below zero F in January, to 125 degrees F in June, a range of 180 degrees that year. South Dakota is next with a span of 177 degrees.

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