Ask Mr. Know It All

Q. Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, had a son with Julius Caesar and a son with Mark Antony. Did she have any other children? What happened to her children?

M.Z., Glove, Ariz.

A. Cleopatra had four children. Her son with Caesar was named Caesarion. Her firstborn with Antony was a son named Ptolemy Philadelphus. She and Antony also had twins, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene.

Because Caesarion was believed to pose a threat to the new ruler of Rome, Octavian, he was murdered. Antony and Cleopatra’s three children were sent to Rome and put under the care of Octavian’s sister, Octavia, Antony’s wife. Cleopatra Selene married King Juba II of Mauretania. No one knows what happened to Alexander Helios or Ptolemy Philadelphus.

Q. When did Barnes & Noble open its first store? Where? Who are Barnes and Noble?

R.T., Manchester, N.H.

A. In 1886, Gilbert Clifford Noble started clerking at New York City bookstore Arthur Hinds & Co. He was made a partner in 1894, and the bookstore’s name was changed to Hinds & Noble. In 1917, Noble bought out Hinds and entered into partnership with William Barnes, at which point the name changed again, to Barnes & Noble.

Q. When reading something technical, I often look up an explanation of a word in the glossary. Why “glossary”?

T.D.S., Upper Sandusky, Ohio

A. A glossary is a collection of glosses. A “gloss,” according to the dictionary, is “a brief explanatory note or translation of a difficult or technical expression.”

Q. In my opinion, one of the greatest athletes in professional sports was Bo Jackson. Was Bo his given name?

T.S., Midland, Mich.

A. Born on Nov. 30, 1962, he was given the name Vincent Edward Jackson; his nickname would come later. Jackson was named after Vince Edwards, his mother’s favorite actor. As for his nickname, his family called him a “wild boar hog” because he was in trouble so often. Eventually, the name was shortened to “Bo.”

Jackson excelled in both baseball and football. As a matter of fact, he is the only athlete to be named on All-Star in two professional sports.

A hip injury in 1991 ended his football career and hampered his baseball career.

During 1989 and 1990, his name became a household name as Nike promoted the “Bo Knows” advertising campaign.


Actor E.G. Marshall refused to divulge the meaning of his initials. In one interview, he stated it meant “Everybody’s Guess.” His birth name was Everett Eugene Grunz.

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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