A.J. Jacobs

A. J. Jacobs is an American journalist, author, and lecturer best known for writing about his lifestyle experiments. He is the editor at large for Esquire and has worked for the Antioch Daily Ledger and Entertainment Weekly.

Guest Appearances

June 1, 2016

Have you ever reminisced about a trip you took to Disney World with your family, only to find out it never happened? While this may read like science fiction, it actually happened to our guest co-host A.J. Jacobs! On today’s episode, our hosts recount stories of false memories that have happened to them and others, including Stephen misrepresenting the lifetime score of his years-long backgammon match against James, and they try to decipher why our brains are playing tricks on us.

This episode is sponsored by Allstate.

May 31, 2016

Why do people feel obligated to do favors for family members that they wouldn’t do for friends? Today, our guest co-host A.J. Jacobs, who has been researching families for his newest book, helps James and Stephen answer that and other questions about families. Some of the topics include the fallacy of surnames being changed at Ellis Island, matriarchy and patriarchy in different cultures, and cheating at poker with your cousin in Las Vegas using Google Glass.

This episode is sponsored by Squarespace.

May 26, 2016

How long does language hold its value? Our guest co-host A.J. Jacobs wants to hear Stephen and James’ answer to that question, especially pertaining to humor. Today’s conversation spans a few millennia, starting with a Sumerian “fart joke” regarded as the oldest surviving joke, moving to whether Shakespeare’s version of English is intelligible to modern Americans, then debating if the top stand-up comics of the last thirty years would be funny to people 100 years ago.

This episode is sponsored by Yotpo.

May 25, 2016

Are you bored with your nine-to-five life, but don’t know how to break away from your routine? Today’s guest, experimenter and author A.J. Jacobs, can help you find some solutions. Stephen, James, and A.J. continue their thread from yesterday’s episode discussing some major experiments A.J’s conducted on himself. Then our hosts get prescriptive with ideas for small experiments ‘regular people’ can come up with in additional to their daily lives, in order to help foster new ways of approaching a task, get their minds away from their daily monotony, and become more inquisitive people. Also, A.J. talks about renting a sheep and competing for fans in Times Square against The Naked Cowboy.

This episode is sponsored by Fracture.

May 24, 2016

Self-experimenter and author A.J. Jacobs joins Question of the Day for the first of five episodes alongside Stephen and James. Instead of focusing on one question, today James and Stephen talk to A.J. about some of the largest experiments he’s performed on himself, including finding out how much he loves his wife via an FMRI, and stoning an adulterer in Central Park while “living biblically” for a year. The three also touch upon the history of mattresses, whether a “square beard” gene exists, and what the official food of “Conception Day” should be.