Mental Floss

3 Noteworthy Typing Feats

David K. Israel

1. The Speedy Texter

I guess the, er, key, to texting quickly is not using the fingers at all. With a single thumb, Arttu Harkki of Finland made his way into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2005 by typing the following on his Treo 650 in 2 minutes 22.9 seconds:

"The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell (UK), who filed his patent for the telephone on 14 February 1876 at the New York Patent Office, USA. The first intelligible call occurred in March 1876 in Boston, Massachusetts, when Bell phoned his assistant in a nearby room and said "˜Come here Watson, I want you.'"

2. The Copious Note Taker

Imagine typing 37.5 million words over the course of 25 years. That's what Robert Shields did as he chronicled every five minutes of his life between 1972 and 1997, when a stroke prevented him from going further (Shields died last year). The entire diary, which sits in more than 90 cartons, has been donated to Washington State University.

Judging from the excerpts I've read, Shields wrote about absolutely everything: from the banal ("At 3:04pm I passed a stool"¦") to detailed descriptions of his dreams. Below are some photos of a few of the pages. You'll see on one how even describes exactly what he bought at the supermarket, and tacks in his bacon receipt!

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