Friday, December 28, 2012

Ken Jennings

Ken Jennings broke game show records in 2004 with his unprecedented seventy-four game, $2.52 million victory streak on Jeopardy!. Jennings’s book Brainiac, about his Jeopardy! adventures, was a critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller, as was his follow-up, Maphead. He is also the author of Ken Jennings’s Trivia Almanac.

Jennings’s new book is Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids.

From the author's Q & A with Matthew DeLuca at The Daily Beast:

What surprised you more, the myths you debunked or the ones that turned out to be true?

I was surprised both ways. Lots of things I would have supposed were right were wrong, just things you would absolutely take as gospel are not true. Like that sugar makes kids hyperactive. When you think about it, why would it be right? We just assume sugar makes kids nuts because we’ve always assumed it makes kids nuts, and parents want to believe it. I think because it’s flattering for them to say, ‘Yeah, my kids had too much cake at the birthday party,’ and not just, ‘Yeah, my kid was a terror at your birthday party.’ A lot of these myths exist because the behaviors they’re forbidding are annoying.

You made a YouTube trailer for Because I Said So! in which a little girl runs on a treadmill holding a pair of scissors. For a nice guy, you seem to have a wicked sense of humor. Where does that come from?

It came from me thinking it was funny. I remember my wife and I were driving back on a car trip from a family vacation, and we thought, wouldn’t it be good if there was a book trailer for this book. And yeah, I don’t know, you don’t get a lot of chances on Jeopardy! to be funny, but I just love the idea of kids with those suction cups on. That was my daughter holding the scissors. They were...[read on]
See Ken Jennings's eight top books about parents and kids.

--Marshal Zeringue