Q: I have long enjoyed playing Jenga with my family and friends. What does the word “Jenga” mean? What is the history behind the game? — J.V., Youngstown, Ohio
A: Leslie Scott, a British citizen who spent many years in Africa, invented the game in the early 1970s using her baby brother’s building blocks. Her friends and family enjoyed the game so much, they urged her to sell it in the United Kingdom. American entrepreneur Robert Grebler discovered the game and began importing it to North America. Jenga is now available in more than 40 countries around the world.
Scott named the game Jenga because she wanted a word that had no English meaning. In Swahili, “jenga” means “build.”
Q: How long did Caligula serve as emperor of Rome? What was his full name? — M.J.G., Junction City, Kan.
A: Caligula was the youngest son of Germanicus and Agrippina, and he was born Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus. He was nicknamed Caligula by his father’s soldiers after the child-size military boots (caligae) that he wore in camp.
Caligula became emperor in A.D. 37, wreaked havoc with the finances of Rome and terrorized those around him for the next four years before being assassinated on Jan. 21, 41, by members of his own Praetorian Guard.
Q: Friends recently returned from Australia with macadamia nuts. I was surprised; I thought they came from Hawaii. Why is it you never see the nuts still in their shells? How did the macadamia nut get its name? — P.R.M., Stowe, Vt.
A: The macadamia nut tree is native to the rain forests of Queensland, Australia. In 1881, William Purvis brought the first macadamia trees to Hawaii. Much of the macadamia-hungry world turns to Hawaii for the nut, although macadamias are also an important crop in South Africa, Central America, Australia and California.