ASK MR. KNOW-IT-ALL: A Ringo Starr is born
October 20, 2013 2:00 AM

Question: Of the four Beatles, Ringo Starr was the only one to take a stage name. How did he come up with it? — V.G.H., Lake Jackson, Texas

Answer: Ringo’s birth name is Richard Starkey; he was born in Liverpool, England, on July 7, 1940. At age 17 he joined the Eddie Clayton Skiffle Band. Starr became a Beatle on Aug. 18, 1962.

Starr was given the nickname “Ringo” because of the rings he wore. “Starr” was a shortened version of Starkey.

Question: Cat Stevens was one of my favorite singers of the 1970s. What was his given name? I know he became a Muslim and took on a new name. What is it? — R.W., Hamilton, Ala.

Answer: Steven Demetre Georgiou was born July 21, 1948, to a Swedish mother and a Greek father in London. When he signed a record contract, he signed under the name “Cat Stevens,” since his girlfriend at the time told him he had eyes like a cat. In December 1977, he converted to Islam. He adopted the name Yusuf Islam two years later.

Question: What was the name of the island in the movie Jurassic Park? — A.S., Jonesboro, La.

Answer: The fictional island on which Jurassic Park is located is Isla Nublar. According to Michael Crichton’s novel, the island spans 22 square miles. It is located 120 miles off the coast of Costa Rica.

Question: I was in an international grocery store and saw a package of Bombay duck. What is it? — Y.C., Prince Frederick, Md.

Answer: Despite its name, it’s not duck but a fish, which is usually dried and salted. It is usually eaten in India. Often, cooks use it for flavoring, though it’s also a snack food. No one knows how it got its name.

DID YOU KNOW? “Q” is the only letter of the alphabet that does not appear in the name of a U.S. state.

Question: In the early days of golf, the player would build a small mound of dirt or sand to elevate the golf ball. Who invented the golf tee? When? — K.L., Brookfield, Conn.

Answer: In 1899, dentist Dr. George Franklin Grant received a patent for the tee.

Question: In the TV series “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” what did the “G” of Maynard G. Krebbs stand for?

Answer: In one episode, he was asked this question; Maynard stated that the “G” stood for Walter. His explanation was that his mother “didn’t spell too good.” Another source claims that he was named for his Aunt Walter, and that the “G” is silent. Maynard G. Krebbs was played by Bob Denver (1935-2005).

Question: I’ve heard of soap made of mother’s breast milk and that it is commercially available. Who makes it? Do you have a recipe?

Answer: I think you are referring to Dawnella Sutton, of Freedom, Maine, the creator and operator of Mothers Moon handcrafted all-natural soaps. In Dawnella’s own words:

“The first batch of soap I ever made was in honor of my son’s first birthday, as I wanted to give my friends who came to his celebration something special they could take home with them. The soap was made from my own breast milk. ... Everyone liked it so much, I started making other soaps for other occasions, adding herbs and oils and making different blends.”

You can find a recipe by searching on

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