Question

Where has the most rain in a single year occurred?

The record for a year's worth of rainfall is held by Cherrapunki, India, where, in 1861, 905 inches of rain fell.

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If you could hang on to a lightning bolt, how wide would it be?

An average lightning bolt is only about one-half inch wide.

Can I remove a water mark from my oak end table?

Try covering the mark with mayonnaise, then sprinkle with a little salt. Using a clean cloth, rub the mixture in until the stain disappears, then buff until dry. Rewax if necessary.

When was the very first e-mail sent?

The first e-mail message was sent by Ray Tomlinson, a computer engineer, in 1971. The test e-mail was sent to himself from one computer to another computer sitting right beside it in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

What is the best way to store cheese?

Cheese should be eaten by the "use by" date on the package, and once opened, it must be stored properly to retain its flavor and moisture. To prevent hard cheeses and soft mold-ripened cheeses from drying out, wrap them in foil or waxed paper. Ideally, the wrapped cheese should be placed in a plastic box with a lid to avoid flavors being transferred to it from foods stored nearby. Soft cheeses such as cottage cheese and cream cheese are best stored in the carton in which they are purchased. These cheeses do not keep as well as hard cheeses and should be eaten within a few days of purchase. Keep all types of cheese in the refrigerator or a cool pantry (below 41 degrees Fahrenheit). For the best results, cheese to be used on a cheese board should be removed from the refrigerator and unwrapped about an hour before serving. This will allow it to come to room temperature and develop its full flavor and texture.

What exactly is textured vegetable protein, which I see listed on some food labels?

Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is a soybean product that has been mixed with additives to promote color and texture changes. It is frequently used in place of meat or to extend something that contains meat.

What is mead?

It's one of humankind's oldest drinks, probably predating wine. It's made from fermented honey.

Is walnut tree sap usable? Can you drink it, for instance?

We have not heard of drinking the sap of the black walnut tree, nor has the staff at the University of Vermont's Proctor Maple Research Center in Underhill Center. There are, of course, many uses for other parts of the walnut tree: food from the nuts; wood for furniture and gun stocks; oil from the seeds, used to make solutions for cleaning and polishing metal surfaces; and a dye for wool and artists' colors from the shells. We caution you not to grow other plants near a walnut tree. It has been observed that tomato plants growing too close to a walnut tree will wilt, because the walnut's roots exude a toxic substance. The walnut has this ability so that it can keep other plants away from its root system and provide the right environment for its own seedlings to grow. We wouldn't recommend imbibing walnut sap.

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