Q. By mid-summer, vegetables and fruit in our 1-acre garden are ripe and ready to be canned. We can enough to last at least a year. Each year, I need to buy a few more canning jars — also called Mason jars. Why are they called Mason jars?
D.N., Woburn, Massachusetts
A. The Mason jar was invented and patented in 1858 by tinsmith John Mason of Vineland, New Jersey. The date of the patent was embossed on the jars: “Mason’s Patent Nov 30th 1858.” The jars are also commonly known as Ball jars, after the Ball Corp., an early manufacturer of the canning container.
Q. My English-born grandmama used a word from her home county to describe an upset stomach or butterflies in the stomach due to anxiety. Would you happen to know a word to describe these conditions?
M.L., Leesburg, Florida
A. I do, and it’s being added to my ever-growing list of favorite words — “collywobbles.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Bruce Dern is one of the few actors to have killed John Wayne on screen during “The Cowboys” (1972). He even received death threats over his on-screen actions.
Q. I went to see the first two Harry Potter movies with my grandson. I didn’t care much for the films, so I stopped watching them. Richard Harris played the part of the schoolmaster with an unusual name. What is it?
J.B.C., San Luis Obispo, California
A. Harris played Hogwarts headmaster Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore in the first two films of the franchise, but after he passed away, Michael Gambon stepped in.
The creator of the series, J.K. Rowling, said she chose the name Dumbledore because of the professor’s love for music.
In early modern English, “dumbledore” means “bumblebee,” and Rowling said she envisioned him walking around humming, like a bumblebee.
Q. Who is the stunning redhead in the Wendy’s restaurant commercials?
In a recent commercial, she is singing. Is it her own voice?
D.B., Flagstaff, Arizona
A. Her name is Morgan Smith Goodwin, and she was born Aug. 18, 1985, in Cullman, Alabama. In college, she studied musical theater; after graduation, as many actors do, she moved to New York City. She was involved in several Off-Broadway productions as well as in other venues.
She became famous when she was selected to be the face of Wendy’s in its most recent advertising campaign, “Now That’s Better.”
While in New York City, she met and married Dave Goodwin.
You asked if it was her voice in a Wendy’s commercial. I can’t find a definitive answer, but considering her background in college, I think it would be safe to assume it is her voice.
By the way, her bright red hair is not hers; she’s a natural dark blonde.
Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at AskMrKIA@gmail.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
2014 Gary Clothier