Ask Mr. Know It All

Q. I’m trying to recall a movie I saw 30 years ago. It’s about a businessman traveling through the desert, where he passes a slow-moving tanker truck. The truck driver is offended and attempts to kill the car driver. It was an incredibly suspenseful movie. What was its name? Is it available on DVD?

O.B., Lynn, Mass.

A. The made-for-TV movie is “Duel” (1971), starring Dennis Weaver. Weaver plays David Mann, an electronics salesman traveling through the desert of California when he encounters the psychotic truck driver.

Steven Spielberg directed “Duel.” It’s available on DVD.


Mensa member Geena Davis is a gifted archer who was invited to try out for the 2000 U.S. Olympic team.

Q. I saw a movie, “No Highway in the Sky,” starring James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich. Another actress, Elizabeth Allan, was in the film. What can you tell me about her?

J.Z., Roanoke, Va.

A. Elizabeth Allan was born April 9, 1910, and died on July 27, 1990. She was an English actress who worked in Britain and Hollywood. Allan made about 50 films; her first film was in 1931. Later in her career, she appeared as a frequent panelist on TV game shows, including the British version of “What’s My Line?” She was named Great Britain’s Top Female TV Personality of 1952.

Q. This happens to me once or twice each week: A song or portion of a song comes into my head and there is no way I can get rid of it. What is the name for this?

B.I.M., Glens Falls, N.Y.

A. Experts call it an “earworm.” An earworm is a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person’s mind after it is no longer playing.


Swedish actor, director and martial artist Dolph Lundgren received a degree in chemistry from Washington State University in 1976. He also earned a degree in chemical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney in 1982.

Q. My housekeeper in Puerto Rico often spoke of a creature that lived in the mountains and snuck into villages and killed farm animals. It had a rhythmic name. Can you help?

S.B., Red Oak, Iowa

A. It must be the legend of “el chupacabra.” As far as legends go, this one is relativly new, beginning in the 1990s. It started when chickens and goats were found drained of their blood. “Chupacabra” means “goat sucker” in Spanish.

It didn’t take long for reports of chupacabra to spread from Puerto Rico to Mexico, Chile, Brazil and the U.S. Soon the chupacabra became a worldwide urban legend as news spread far and fast on a wave of Internet enthusiasm. The chupacabra has been described as the “Bigfoot of Latino culture.”

Send questions to Mr. Know-It-All at or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

2013 Gary Clothier

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