I recently took a class about egg cookery at a local cooking school. The instructor gave us this tip about beating eggs until "stiff" :
After beating your egg whites to what you think is the proper consistency, place a whole, uncooked egg into the bowl with the beaten whites. If the egg sinks to the bottom, the whites are not stiff enough. If it sinks just a little bit -- say, no more than a third of the egg is submerged -- then the whites are perfect. If the egg rests entirely on the top, you've overbeaten.
I have to admit I haven't had a chance to try this myself, except in class, where it seemed to work pretty well.
"We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."
--President Barack Obama, 1/20/09