Ron Simmont Sr., of Glen Burnie, noticed that marine forecasts give wind speeds in "knots." He asks, "What the heck is a knot?" It's a unit of speed used at sea, where distance traveled per time was hard to measure. Sailors once counted the actual rope knots - tied 47 feet 3 inches apart - that slipped through their fingers in 30 seconds as a tethered plank fell astern. Now, one knot equals one nautical mile per hour. For landlubbers, that's about 1.15 statute mph.