Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs

Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs

Ken Jennings / Jun 17, 2019

Brainiac Adventures in the Curious Competitive Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs One day back in Ken Jennings and his college buddy Earl did what hundreds of thousands of people had done before they auditioned for Jeopardy Two years games correct answers and over

  • Title: Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs
  • Author: Ken Jennings
  • ISBN: 9781400064458
  • Page: 406
  • Format: Hardcover
  • One day back in 2003, Ken Jennings and his college buddy Earl did what hundreds of thousands of people had done before they auditioned for Jeopardy Two years, 75 games, 2,642 correct answers, and over 2.5 million in winnings later, Ken Jennings emerged as trivia s undisputed king Brainiac traces his rise from anonymous computer programmer to nerd folk icon But along tOne day back in 2003, Ken Jennings and his college buddy Earl did what hundreds of thousands of people had done before they auditioned for Jeopardy Two years, 75 games, 2,642 correct answers, and over 2.5 million in winnings later, Ken Jennings emerged as trivia s undisputed king Brainiac traces his rise from anonymous computer programmer to nerd folk icon But along the way, it also explores his newly conquered kingdom the world of trivia itself.Jennings had always been minutiae mad, poring over almanacs and TV Guide listings at an age when most kids are still watching Elmo and putting beans up their nose But trivia, he has found, is centuries older than his childhood obsession with it Whisking us from the coffeehouses of seventeenth century London to the Internet age, Jennings chronicles the ups and downs of the trivia fad the quiz book explosion of the Jazz Age the rise, fall, and rise again of TV quiz shows the nostalgic campus trivia of the 1960s and the 1980s, when Trivial Pursuit again made it fashionable to be a know it all.Jennings also investigates the shadowy demimonde of today s trivia subculture, guiding us on a tour of trivia hotspots across America He goes head to head with the blowhards and diehards of the college quiz bowl circuit, the slightly soused faithful of the Boston pub trivia scene, and the raucous participants in the annual QA marathon in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, The World s Largest Trivia Contest And, of course, he takes us behind the scenes of his improbable 75 game run on Jeopardy But above all, Brainiac is a love letter to the useless fact What marsupial has fingerprints that are indistinguishable from human ones What planet has a crater on it named after Laura Ingalls Wilder What comedian had the misfortune to be born with the name Albert Einstein Jennings also ponders questions that are a little philosophical What separates trivia from meaningless facts Is being good at trivia a mark of intelligence And is trivia just a waste of time, or does it serve some not so trivial purpose after all Uproarious, silly, engaging, and erudite, this book is an irresistible celebration of nostalgia, curiosity, and nerdy obsession in a word, trivia The koala Venus Albert BrooksFrom the Hardcover edition.

    Brainiac Brainiac is a colloquial adjective used to describe exceptionally intelligent people It may also refer to Brainiac DC Database FANDOM powered by Wikia Brainiac is a super intelligent alien being from the planet Colu who has fought Superman many times Extremely advanced mental abilities that have allowed him to work through numerous robotic and even human proxies make him a dangerously formidable opponent. Superman Brainiac Attacks Superman Brainiac Attacks is a direct to video animated film with production designs based on Superman The Animated Series from Warner Bros Animation.Released on June , , the film features Superman battling the forces of Lex Luthor and Brainiac, and his relationship with Lois Lane. Though the film s visual style is the same as Superman The Animated Series as are the majority Brainiac DC Animated Universe FANDOM powered by Wikia Brainiac was the planetary wide supercomputer of Krypton until it left shortly before the planet s destruction Afterwards, Brainiac traveled the galaxy in pursuit of knowledge and destroyed the sources of the knowledge to increase its value and sought to apply this to the entire universe to Brainiac Injustice Gods Among Us Wiki FANDOM powered Brainiac serves as the main antagonist and as a playable character in Injustice Brainiac is a megalomaniacal genius who roams the universe, collecting knowledge to increase his intellectual and scientific prowess Obsessed with establishing his superiority, Brainiac captured Krypton s Brainiac DC Animated Universe dcau.fandom Brainiac , also known as Brainy, was a th level intellect Coluan who was a member of the Legion of Super Heroes in the st century He was a descendant of the original Brainiac, who had at some point discovered a way to pass his code down biologically While Brainiac shared his ancestor s Brainiac Smallville Wiki FANDOM powered by Wikia Brainiac, short for the Brain InterActive Construct, is a Kryptonian artificial intelligence built by scientist Jor El based on designs from scientist Dax Ur to aid in the war on Krypton, but was corrupted by Zod and used to assist in the destruction of the planet Krypton After arriving on Brainiac comics Wikipdia Avant Crisis Brainiac tait un humanode chauve la peau verte, qui arriva sur Terre et rtrcit plusieurs cits, dont Metropolis, les entreposant dans des bouteilles avec l intention de les utiliser pour restaurer le monde non identifi qu il dominait.Il tait accompagn par Sky One Sky Sky One brings entertainment for the whole family, showing award winning, exclusive drama, comedy, and distinctive factual entertainment. Rumor Patrol New Superman Game from Rocksteady Leaks According to a recent leak, a new open world Superman game is currently in development from the developer behind the Batman Arkham series, Rocksteady Studios.

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    About "Ken Jennings"

      • Ken Jennings

        Kenneth Wayne Jennings III born May 23, 1974 holds the record for the longest winning streak on the U.S syndicated game show Jeopardy Jennings won 74 games before he was defeated by challenger Nancy Zerg on his 75th appearance His total earnings on Jeopardy are US 3,022,700 2,520,700 in winnings, a 2,000 consolation prize on his 75th appearance, and 500,000 in the Jeopardy Ultimate Tournament of Champions Jennings held the record for most winnings on any game show ever played until the end of the Ultimate Tournament of Champions first aired on May 25, 2005 , when he was displaced by Brad Rutter, who defeated Jennings in that tournament.After winning, he began working on a book, Brainiac Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs, which explored American trivia history and culture Ken also appeared as a member of the mob sitting in podium 13 from the new game show 1 vs 100 in 2006, and in 2007 Jennings was the champion of the first season of the US version of Grand Slam.


    1. Cross-posted from my blog The Periodic Table of ElephantsKen Jennings stamped himself onto my psyche with 'Maphead', a book about geography and geo geeks, which I read last year. I adored this book for many reasons and I connected with Ken's sentiments about learning, obsession and being a nerd. I've now gone back to a previous book of his, 'Brainiac' which deals with the history and obsession of trivia and the events that made Ken a household name in the U.S.For those of you not from the U.S. o [...]

    2. I’ve had on and off love affair of the mind with Jeopardy for ages. I always enjoy it, but don’t always watch it for practical uninteresting reasons, although this year I’ve watched every episode thus far. I play along on Jeopardy and once a year completely mess up the Jeopardy test due to inexplicable inability to perform under strict time limit. The pinnacle of this decades long passion has certainly been Ken Jennings, the player extraordinaire with his uncontested 75 appearances back in [...]

    3. I found Ken Jennings a positively delightful author (despite the fact that I was predisposed to love him with the loyalty of someone who watched nearly all of his JEOPARDY! appearances). This work is far more than the 15 minutes of fame bargain book dead weight it could have easily been. Instead, Jennings has carefully penned a masterful (yes masterful) overview of Trivia in American pop-culture and interspersed the narrative of his JEOPARDY! experiences in a clever and un-assuming way. Plus, th [...]

    4. If you're any kind of a Jeopardy geek, this is required reading, as uberwinner Ken Jennings tells the tale of how he came to be on the show and win his historic 74 games.But beyond that, Brainiac is a thoroughly entertaining history of trivia - or, of the universally-addictive pastime of asking and answering obscure general knowledge questions. Jennings did great research, and writes with a densely-packed brevity and wicked sense of humor.And best of all, there are great trivia questions sprinkl [...]

    5. Learn about Ken Jennings and the subject of trivia! Jennings' gentle, nerdy, self-deprecating humor is a soothing balm for an overexposure to Chicago snarkiness (present Chicago buds excluded, of course :o). He reads like I fear I sound, although I don't have close to the knowledge base he draws upon. Good grief, I hope I'm not as know-it-all as that. Entertaining look into the history of trivia, it's current forms and festivals, and a behind-the-scenes viewpoint of Jeopardy!. Enjoyable read and [...]

    6. Очень интересно. На фоне побед автора в Jeopardy! описан мир американских интеллектуальных игр, из которого мы знаем только верхушку айсберга. Этот мир значительно больше похож на мир ЧГК, чем кажется. Многие вещи удивительно узнаваемы. Играющим в ЧГК - must read, для остальных може [...]

    7. Yes, it’s about Jeopardy! and Ken Jennings’s experience on the show and how it affected his life, but it’s not going to teach you how to study in the way that Bob Harris’s book does. Jennings touches on his study habits (study broadly, use a makeshift buzzer, create mnemonics), and gives some tips for auditioning (know the game and its rules, present yourself as affable and funny), but what makes Brainiac stand out is that it’s really about trivia in a broader sense. Jennings traces th [...]

    8. In 2005 Ken Jennings won 75 games in a row on Jeopardy, answered 2,642 questions correctly, and won $2.5 million dollars. He is the King of Trivia.This book takes you behind the fascinating scenes of Alex Trebec and the Jeopardy subculture. 5 shows are taped all in one day. Jennings barely had time to catch his breath between showsoh and put on a new outfit to look like it is a new day (Alex is very good at saying --"Yesterday our champion Ken won $28,000" when really it was 5 minutes ago. ) Alw [...]

    9. I'm no Jeopardy fan though I did watch every minute of several shows when IBM's Watson took down former all-time champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. However, then I was more interested in the computer's prowess than in acquainting myself with the game. What's more, my trivia knowledge is mixed; in Trivial Pursuit I used to move around the board fairly comfortably only to grind to a permanent standstill on "Geography" or "Entertainment." So why did I enjoy Brainiac so much?That's because Brai [...]

    10. "Brainiac" by Ken Jennings has been at the top of my list for over a year and I was on the waiting list at the library for almost as long. Why? Because I idolize the man. Only Ken Jennings would understand my need for a daily fix of trivia. I wasn't disappointed by the book, although I did find myself skipping large portions about the history of trivia and college quiz bowl formats, etc. I was delighted to find that my Ken jennings was every bit as intelligent as I imagined, and an incredibly en [...]

    11. I must admit that I never would have bought this book. It was given to me to read. I got so sick of seeing Ken Jennings on Jeopardy that I never wanted to hear from or see him again. That is not to blame Ken Jennings, but it is like watching the New York Yankees win the world series every year. I want to say, "Just give them the trophy and let the other teams compete!" So with Ken Jennings. Jeopardy became the Ken Jennings show. I rued the day that Jeopardy decided to take the 5-game limit away. [...]

    12. I received this as a birthday gift from my mom, which says that she that she probably thinks of me as a "trivia buff" of some sort. That's flattering, particularly since she hardly ever buys me stuff because she's so uncertain of what I'll like.I liked this book a lot, because it's not just about Ken Jennings experience as a Jeopardy champ. It's really a historical and cultural study of trivia. (The books includes a "trivia timeline" and the end, even indentifying the first use of the word "triv [...]

    13. This is a memoir from Ken Jennings- the guy who won Jeopardy! a record 74 times in a row. He won over $3 million total. (10% went to the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints) "Brainiac" is the very well written and entertaining chronicle of his amazing achievement. Throughout the book he switches between recounting his Jeopardy! experiences and delving into the history and appeal of trivia. He discusses the process of writing trivia questions and the quest to separate the clever stumper fr [...]

    14. Remember Ken Jennings, the guy who won 75 consecutive games on Jopardy!and over $2.5 million dollars in the process? Well, this is his story. But it's more than just the story of how he got onto the show and won; its a history of trivia. From the quiz books of the Jazz Age to the college bowls of the 1960s to Trivial Pursuit in the 1980s, it's all here. And guess what? Ken is a funny guy! This was actually enjoyable to read. An added bonus are the trivia questions interjected into each chapter. [...]

    15. This fun book and quick read is written by a trivia expert and record setting Jeopardy! winner. The chapters are organized cleverly, using Jeopardy!-style answers – What is Ambition, What is Audition, Competition Recognition, Redefinition, etc. outline the author’s experiences in achieving his life-time goal of appearing on the popular game show. He includes massive amounts of trivia history and features lots trivia celebrities and farms. The book ends with a trivia timeline for readers who [...]

    16. Read most of this on a trip for work, and it was great airplane reading, very chill. I'm a huge fan of trivia and play pub quiz regularly, so I liked Jennings' history and investigation into trivia in America; it really is great to read it coming from a guy who loves trivia and is respectful of all the other kinds of folks who do, too. Jennings's story of playing Jeopardy! is also a fun, interesting frame. He's a quippy, fun writer, and his casual style was great to read.As a trivia hound, I app [...]

    17. Interesting, quick read by Ken Jennings describing his historic run on Jeopardy! as well as presenting a general chronology of trivia and its continued popularity. May contain a little less about the how-to a would be Jeopardy! contestant would want (see Bob Harris's Prisoner of Trebekistan: A Decade in Jeopardy!), but there's a feeling that the commonality of curiosity makes us more alike than different.The conversational tone belies the amount of information presented. The chapters are general [...]

    18. Jennings is amusing and informative about the history of trivia production and consumption (a history that grows ever less familiar under the shadow of Google). I'm particularly fascinated by the idea that the boom-and-bust cycle of trivia fads reflects economic cycles - and, having had family and friends involved in NAQT contests and Jeopardy!, I was interested to hear Ken's perspective on question varieties, what constitutes the quintessence of trivia, and what it's like to play Jeopardy! for [...]

    19. As one of those who obsessively watched Ken Jennings meteoric rise to nerd-envied fame on Jeopardy, I thought I'd give this book a shot.It was really great and entertaining. He tells the tale of his Jeopardy experience, obsession with trivia, the history of trivia and trivia and more trivia and it's a really fun ride. There are parts to skim more quickly than others certainly, but overall, I really enjoyed. 3.5 stars

    20. He talks about trivia a lot. I guess that makes sense, it wasn't really a memoir. Maybe I thought it'd be more memoir. Some of the trivia sections are good, some are way too clearly bought and paid for by Trivial Pursuit. My editor usually asks "Are they paying you?" when somebody uses a corporations name in their work. Ken Jennings was definitely getting paid. Kinda a funny dude though.

    21. While the trivia of trivia was interesting at first, I grew tired of it and found myself wanting to fast forward to the "Ken Jennings story" parts. Ok, I admit it. I actually did skip some of the trivia blah blah blah! All that said, Jennings is a surprisingly good and humorous writer.

    22. Who knew? Amongst Ken Jennings' mastery of trivia and all things Jeopardy!, the man can also write—and is as skilled at that as he is at buzzing in on answers. This month saw the release of the 74-game Jeopardy! champion's book, Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs, a look at his Jeopardy! experience and at the subculture of trivia. It's a fascinating book that clues us into just why we're so taken with trivia—whether it's in the form of game sho [...]

    23. Answer: This computer programmer from Utah holds the record for the longest winning streak in Jeopardy!.Question: Who is Ken Jennings?Since its inception, contestants on the popular television game show, Jeopardy!, were limited to only five consecutive appearances, that is, a player, win or lose, was to leave the show and return home after playing five episodes. But on September 2003, this rule was scrapped, finally allowing contestants to continue playing and increasing their pot money until de [...]

    24. don't you wanna be a brainiac too? I'm not so sure that i do, at least not if you're defining "brainiac" by the terms of the trivia-buffs encountered in Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs by Ken Jennings the greatest champion in Jeopardy! history (so far). Jennings, as you may or may not remember, spent six months in a 75-game winning streak on the game show Jeopardy!. Brainiac isn't so much a behind the scenes account of his Jeopardy! experience(s [...]

    25. Ken Jennings book is a brief foray into the history and current world of trivia and the people that compile and compete at it, as told through the narrative framing device of his yet to be broken record of 75 consecutive Jeopardy games. In it he comes across as a self-deprecating nerd with a gentle sense of humor and a somewhat rosy view of the world and it's inhabitants. Each chapter contains about 10-20 trivia questions scattered throughout the text, which makes for a rather fun game.I origina [...]

    26. Are you a trivia buff? A trivia nut? Someone who just likes to play trivia at pubs in the company of friends? Ken Jennings (the current record holder for most Jeopardy! wins of all time) has written a book that almost defies descriptionAINIAC is a memoir of sorts that covers Jennings' trip to try out on Jeoparady! and his subsequent record-setting run. But BRAINIAC is also a commentary and exploration on the world of trivia itself, from the pub-playing host of friends, to the elite college stude [...]

    27. In the acknowledgments, Ken Jennings calls his book, Brainiac, "lightweight and mediocre". Yet, I forged through, hoping that he was simply hiding behind a veneer of self-deprecation that is called for when writing a book about your experience as a record-breaking 74-game winning Jeopardy! contestant. In fact, throughout the book, Jennings comes off as quietly intelligent, charmingly nerdy and just a touch obsessive about collecting trivia. Interspersed with the tale of his experience on Jeopard [...]

    28. My Six or Seven Loyal Readers know that I love watching Jeopardy! on TV (I was a fan of the earlier incarnation of the show, the one with Art Fleming); and a few of them might also know that in the spring of 2001, I passed the Jeopardy! Contestant Audition in New Orleans, and made the short list to be on the show. (Alas, they never called me; probably just as well, as the fall of 2001 was when I had my Colon Cancer Surgery, which would have distracted my game-playing abilities.) I also have a li [...]

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