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Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids

Ken Jennings holds the record for the longest winning streak on Jeopardy! so it should come as no surprise that he is a quintessential trivia junkie with a knack and passion for disseminating nerdy truths. In Because I Said So!, he sets about debunking or proving 125 of the white lies parents innocently pass onto their offspring, applying scientific research to evaluate each one.

Among the rules of thumb Jennings reveals as false are the myth of the poisoned Halloween candy (absolutely no reported instances, ever), the vaunted five-second rule (it's dirt when it hits the ground) and the saying that the first answer is always the right one ("students are more likely to remember the times that an answer worked out badly because they feel cheated by the last minute switch that cost them the question"). While flushing toilets do release an untold amount of flying filth, bathroom sinks are an even worse culprit. One particular insight that should invoke the "I told you" card by parents lies in the adage, "These are the best years of your lives... enjoy them." The thought generates a cheeky response: "Studies always demonstrate that having kids around, no matter how old, is a great way to lower your net happiness."

Fast-talking, witty and filled with puns that will amuse as much as they educate, Because I Said So will make most readers think twice before passing on these falsehoods--until the desire for revenge sets in and the gleeful rites of hereditary karma continue. --Nancy Powell