Ken Jennings on Because I Said So! | Tantorious

Tantorious is a semi-monthly podcast series featuring interviews with well-known authors, hosted by Allan Hoving and presented by Tantor Audio.

Best known as the winner of 74 games on the television show Jeopardy!, Ken Jennings is also the bestselling author of Maphead, Brainiac, and Ken Jennings’s Trivia Almanac. His new book, Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids, tells us that mother and father didn’t always know best. Jennings narrates the Tantor audiobook edition.

Excerpts from the audio interview:

Q: Don’t sit too close to the TV (you’ll go blind), don’t swallow your gum, don’t crack your knuckles… What made you decide to do this book?

A: It was prompted by having kids of my own. I’m now regurgitating these warnings and clichés. And my son asked me, “Is that really true?” I turned to my mom and said, “Help me out here, grandma.”  She said, “I don’t know, I just heard it from my mom.” Nobody ever bothered to check them out!

Q: What did you find when you looked into them?

A: Does the five second rule exist? Does double-dipping spread germs? Don’t cross your eyes! It turns out all the myths are dead wrong! I hope that’s very freeing for kids, and for parents who don’t have to worry about so many things.

Q: Was it freeing for your kids?

A: Yes, but my wife is not a fan. She’ll tell them, “Eat the crust; it’s the healthiest part of the bread.” And I’ll say, “Actually…” I totally undermine her parenting [laughs].

Listen to a sample of the Tantor audiobook edition of Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kidsnarrated by Ken Jennings.

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