Question: What's up with Jason? He's into murdering people for sure. Does he have a last name? Obviously I have never seen a movie with him, but his name and masked image is popular. - V.G.L., Woburn, Massachusetts
Answer: Jason Voorhees is a fictional character from the "Friday the 13th" movie series. He first appeared in "Friday the 13th" (1980). Jason was born deformed. His mother, Pamela Voorhees, lived and worked as a cook at Camp Crystal Lake. As a child, Jason was constantly bullied. In 1957, he attempted to swim in the lake, but drowned instead. Two years later, two camp counselors were murdered and the camp was plagued with problems such as poisoned water and unexplained fires. So far there have been 12 films in the "Friday the 13th" movie franchise.
The town of Voorhees, New Jersey, inspired Jason's last name. Originally, Jason's name was to be Josh. After deciding that it sounded too nice, it was changed to Jason.
SUPER TRIVIA: Filming of the movie is at a Boy Scout camp near Blairstown, New Jersey. The camp still serves as an active Boy Scout camp.
Q: I was watching a detective show on TV with an older, wiser detective and his assistant, who is much younger and impatient. They are investigating a murder. The young man has many theories that he shares; the older man calms his thoughts and tells his partner to be aware of someone's razor. What kind of razor do you suppose he meant? - M.J., Palm Springs, Florida
A: I'm sure he was talking about Occam's razor. The principle states that one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed. Occam's razor helps us to "shave off" those extra concepts; by doing so, you created a model that is much easier to deal with, thus, taking less of a chance of introducing inconsistencies, ambiguities and redundancies.
The concept is named after William of Ockham, who was born in the village of Ockham in Surrey, England, about 1287. He was the most influential philosopher of the 14th century and a controversial theologian.
LET'S LEARN ENGLISH: In the U.K., they say "candy floss"; in America, we say "cotton candy." In the U.K., they say "Alsatian"; in America, we say "German shepherd."
DID YOU KNOW? William Hurt turned down the role of Dr. Alan Grant in "Jurassic Park" (1993); the part went to Sam Neill.
Q: I was watching "Antiques Roadshow," and one of the items brought in was a chain that was worn around the waist with other chains and objects hanging on it. I don't recall what it was called, but now I'm curious. - B.L.K., Waco, Texas
A: It's called a "chatelaine." A chatelaine is a decorative belt with a series of chains suspended from it. Each chain is mounted with a household item such as scissors, thimble, watch or key, among many possibilities.
There is also a chatelaine bag, which is a bag suspended from a waistband by cord or chain. The bag was popular during the 19th century.
The dictionary also defines chatelaine as "the mistress of a household or of a large establishment."
DID YOU KNOW? Cate Blanchett was considered for the role of Clarice Starling in "Hannibal" (2001). The part eventually went to Julianne Moore.
Q: What is an Apgar score? - F.T., Burlington, Vermont
A: An Apgar score is the very first test given to a newborn - it is a measure of the physical condition of an infant. The score is determined by adding points for heart rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone, response stimulation and skin coloration. A score of 10 represents the best possible condition. The Apgar score was developed in 1952 by an anesthesiologist named Virginia Apgar, and is also referred to as an acronym for Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity and Respiration.
Q: I was watching NASCAR Nationwide Series racing and was surprised to see a driver named J. Earnhardt. Is this any relationship to Dale and Dale Jr.? Also, J.J. Yeley was racing in this event; he's also a regular with NASCAR Spring Cup series. What do the initials stand for? - B.E.S., Ames, Iowa
A: Jeffrey Earnhardt (born June 22, 1989) is the grandson of Dale Earnhardt, the son of former NASCAR driver Kerry Earnhardt and the nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Christopher Beltram Hernandez Yeley is nicknamed J.J. - the letters stand for Jimmy and Jack, after his father and a close family friend.
Q: I know there is a name for standing with your feet slightly apart and your hands on your hips. What is it? - E.N., Hartford, Connecticut
A: The word is "akimbo" from late Middle English "kenebowe." "He stood impatiently in the doorway with arms akimbo."
Q: What is a flannel cake? I read it in a novel, but there was no explanation. - V.C., Walker, Louisiana
A: My dictionary says it's the same as a pancake. However, I asked several people who insist a flannel cake is much thinner than a pancake and less tough.
I have also come across red flannel cakes as well as blue flannel cakes, made with food coloring.
I'm going to turn this over to the cooking experts and ask for your input.
Q: Is the 1962 movie "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" based on a real person or real incident?
A: The Western, directed by John Ford, is purely fictional. The movie was adapted from a short story written by Dorothy M. Johnson. The supporting cast features Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Edmond O'Brien, Andy Devine, John Carradine, Woody Strode, Strother Martin and Lee Van Cleef.
Q: I came across a word written on a piece of scrap paper - "bimby." I looked it up in my pocket dictionary with no luck. Are you familiar with the word? - C.K., Sacramento, California
A: Well, C.K., I'll get to your question bimby, after I answer some notes from other readers. "Bimby" means "by-and-by, soon or in a short time."
It appears in a poem called "Sermon Time," from 1902's "Cape Cod Ballads, and Other Verse" by Joseph C. Lincoln:
"And bimeby I'll come home, bringin' loads of gold and di'mon' rings;
"My, won't all the boys be jealous when they see those kind of things!"
Q: What is the origin of the word "goodbye"?
A: A form of "goodbye" has been used since the 16th century. One of the original forms of the current-day goodbye was "godbwye," a contraction of "God be with ye." In time, "godbwye" became goodbye.
In Spanish, a common term when departing is "adios," which is a contraction of "to" and "God."
Q: Many years ago, I saw a movie called "The Mudlark." Is it available on DVD? Who starred in it? - Roanoke, Virginia
A: In 1875 London, a young man known only as Wheeler finds a cameo of Queen Victoria. He develops a burning desire to see the Queen, who has been in seclusion for the last 13 years in mourning for her husband. He slips past the guards and enters the palace. At the same time, Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is attempting to convince the queen to end her escape from the public.
The movie is available on DVD and stars Irene Dunne as Queen Victoria and Alec Guinness as Benjamin Disraeli.
By the way, mudlarks are street children who eke out a living along the banks of the River Thames.
- Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at AskMrKIA@gmail.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.