101 Fun Questions to ask your Kids
Having a few friends over?
Throwing a party?
In need of a little something to ignite a conversation?
444 Questions for the Universe is the ultimate ice-breaker. Put it on your coffee table, invite a few friends over, and watch the night’s discussions catch fire.
Once you ask one question, you’ll want to answer them ALL…
Brand new cover art for Coffee Table Philosophy book 101 Questions for Women?
It’s exactly what it sounds like.
101 questions for the ladies…
This book is for you if…
…you’re a sleep-deprived single mom who can name at least 50 Pokémon but can’t keep your kids’ names straight or remember where you parked your car at the grocery store.
…you’re a single father who sits in a morning work meeting, waiting to give a monthly report presentation, when suddenly you realize you forgot to remove the polish your daughter had applied to your finger nails (and half your hand) the night before.
…you ‘re the grandparent who can’t retire because you’re raising your young grandson alone. After an eight-hour work day, your nights are filled with homework, constructing cities out of Legos, and answer 2AM calls to chase monsters out from under the bed.
…you are, know, love, or want to get to know a single parent. Here are 101 ways to dig deep into the challenges and the joys of single parenting. The following questions are sometimes fun, sometimes thought-provoking, and always enlightening.
For Single Parents
…or really any Parent
* * *
Timing is Everything
You’re a single parent, right?
(Even if you’re not, you can still answer this one.)
When dating a new person, how long should a single parent wait before allowing their new lover to meet the kid(s)?
Using one or two-word answers only, describe what you’d do in each of the following scenarios:
- Your child walks in after visiting your ex and claims they now believe the exact opposite of whatever your religious beliefs are
- Your ex withholds two months of child support, claiming a financial hardship
- Your two children (ages 10 and 15) announce they want to live exclusively with your ex-spouse
- Your one child (age 7) announces they want to live exclusively with you and never, ever see their other parent
The Answer is 84
At what age should a child have the legal right to choose to live solely with one parent?
Mecha-Ninja Tech-Savvy Godzilla Mom
From the following, choose one or more descriptions that would best fit your style of single-parenting:
Tiger (High discipline, emphasis on structure and academics)
Free-Spirited (Lower emphasis on structure. Let the kid do almost anything they want…within reason)
Soccer Mom/Dad (Athletics, exercise, and physical activity)
Techie (Video games & devices allowed. Emphasis on computer skills)
Skill Builder (Teach the kids to follow in your footsteps. i.e.; fixing cars, hunting, fishing, cooking, sewing, et cetera)
Culture Warrior (Teach the kids to become highly involved in society.)
You’re a single parent of two boys, ages 8 and 10.
You’ve had it with their constant bickering and sibling rivalry.
Your ex-spouse isn’t helping.
How do you handle their disputes?
- Every time a fight goes down, I break it up and dish out the appropriate punishment.
- I get involved in the serious conflicts, but let them handle the small stuff.
- Ignore them. What kids?
- I hand them each a sword and tell them to fight to the death!
All Fridays become National Holidays for Grocery Shopping and Mario Kart
Here’s your chance.
Create a new nationwide law that will apply only to single parents.
Your new law can be beneficial or punitive; it’s up to you.
If your law goes against single parents in any way, describe the penalty for breaking it.
Do single parents have the right to be extra-proud?
You like answering these kinds of questions? Go here.
Or maybe you’re tired of talking about your kids. In that case, go here.
Everyone is a Philosopher
(They just don’t know it.)
It’s 8:30 PM, and I’m at a party in suburban hell.
I’m not sure what I was thinking when I said, “Yeah, I’m in.” I mean, I’m at least ten years older than everyone else here, probably more than that.
I’m also single. I’m dressed like a douche. I’m tired. And I’m the only one in the room not glued to his phone.
Yeah. That’s the truth. I’m in a house with twenty people, most of them strangers, and everyone except three little kids is nose-deep in their phone. I count four Xbox controllers lying dormant in front of a paused game on TV. I see plates of half-eaten food and abandoned drinks. Even the music, probably something-something by Justin Bieber, thumps a little quieter in the background.
It’s as if the Biebs himself is ashamed to be heard at a party at which no one is talking, flirting, or looking up from their phones.
I figure I have three choices:
Leave. It’s not as if anyone will notice.
Drink a ton. And then hope a beautiful woman walks in the room in time for me to make a horrible first impression.
Or option three: wake the zombies from their phone-induced slumber.
The way I see it, one and two are boring.
Option three is where it’s at.
In a room full of twenty-somethings, I clear my throat and crack the overwhelming silence. People I’ve never met look up as if to say, “Who the hell are you to distract me from Facebook?” It’s ok. I’m not shy. I’m running on four Krispy Kreme donuts and three Solo cups of liquid courage. There’s nothing in the universe capable of embarrassing me now.
“Anyone here ever heard of the train question?” I blurt out.
Five, maybe six people nod their heads. Everyone else looks confused.
“You know, the train question,” I continue. “If you pull the lever, a mother and her son get smacked by a runaway train – if you don’t pull the lever, five random strangers get run over by the same train. Anyone know what I’m talking about? Anyone?”
At first, only a few people in the room start mumbling. Sure, they’ve heard of the train question. It’s just that no one has asked them anything philosophical since…ever. In this case, it’s the party’s host and his wife who chime in. Yes, they’ve got answers. She says pull the lever because only two people will die. He says, “Nope. Not pulling it. If I divert the train, I’ve directly killed five people.”
The room doesn’t know it yet, but they’re hooked.
Everyone is a philosopher.
* * *
That was three years ago. The night turned out better than expected. People’s shells were broken. Phones were put away. Conversations – real conversations – happened.
And that’s what it’s all about, right?
Anymore, we spend so much of our time talking about weather, about news stories, politics and television shows, we don’t talk about life anymore. We pay attention to what other people are saying, and we miss out on our own stories.
Just under the surface, we’ve all got a story.
And it’s probably more interesting than we assume.
* * *
Dusk approaches. I’m feeling a little fat after devouring a dinner of pasta and bread with my little one, the G Man. In truth, all the food inside me is a good thing. Like pretty much everyone else, I operate better with a full belly. In this case, a little extra full.
Fatter philosophers are better philosophers.
I’m sitting in my house. It’s a small suburban bachelor pad, all mediocre art and empty wine bottles. Tonight, my drink of choice is a Hook & Ladder pinot noir. It doesn’t have the most nuanced flavor, but I’m a fan nonetheless. Not all that long ago, my favorite bartender Sam suggested I try it, and I was sold from sip number one. Sam’s the type of human I really like. She serves a mean drink, carries conversations better than anyone, and served me cake at her kid’s birthday party.
We should all have a good bartender in our lives.
We should all have a Sam.
Sam’s bar, which we’ll call the M, is more or less my haunt. I’m not sure if people have haunts anymore, and I’m doubly unsure whether most people know what a haunt is. What I am sure of is that I spend a lot of time at the M.
I’m quite literally the guy whose name everyone knows.
The guy who helps other patrons with drink selections.
And the guy who’d prefer to dine at the bar with strangers than at a table with friends.
It’s amongst strangers I thrive. And while plenty of people would disagree, it’s amongst strangers at bars the best conversations can be had. One never knows what kind of person might co-haunt one’s favorite bar. And when alcohol hits everyone’s bloodstream, one never knows what might happen.
In my experience, plenty.
If we exclude the obnoxious types and people who are deadly serious about not being spoken to, we’re still left with a huge population of interesting bar-hopping strangers.
There’s the hopeful loner, awaiting someone, anyone, with whom to strike up a conversation.
There’s talkers, the types who will happily invade your conversation and let you invade theirs.
And we’ll find friendly couples, storytellers, broken-hearted romantics, and slightly-too-tipsy people. Most are willing to offer way too much information about their personal lives.
They’re out there.
You just have to know how to spot them.
* * *
Books to give as gifts.
The world’s funniest breakups.
This spring from April 23rd – April 26th, get all my best non-fiction books for $0.99 or less. Read ’em. Love ’em. Review the heck out of ’em!
Designed to provoke, question, and challenge, 101 Questions for Humanity is the supreme coffee table book for armchair philosophers. Crack it open during huge parties, tiny gatherings, or lonely nights on the couch. Entertain yourself…or twenty friends and frienemies.
To get a feel for 101 Questions’ content, check out my popular blog, 10 Questions for Humanity.
Hey there, my favorite people in the world.
I’m talking about book readers. Obviously. 🙂
Several times over the last two years, I’ve taken a few risks. I’ve offered free paperback copies of my best books in exchange for honest reviews via Amazon. I pay for the paperback and I ship it on my dime. While it’s true most people take the book(s) and run away, a few have turned out with great reviews.
Meaning this program is totally worth it.
So…as of today I’m issuing a standing offer. I just ordered two big boxloads of my most popular titles, and it’s my intention to give them ALL away in exchange for honest Amazon reviews. If I run out of a particular title, I’ll buy another boxload. That’s how serious I am.
What do you have to do?
- Pick a book from the list below you’d like to read and review
- Either email me here, Facebook me here, or Tweet me here
- Leave an honest review via Amazon within 30 days
- Earn my eternal love and respect. 🙂
It’s free and easy for you. The books are all new high-quality paperbacks. I ship at no charge. If you’d prefer to read on your computer or tablet, I can also send full-formatted PDF’s. I’m flexible that way.
Choose from these titles:
* * *
Need a few pointers on writing a review in 60 seconds or less? Click here.
Thinkers, questioners, and science buffs, behold!
It contains more than two-hundred unique conversation starters and thought igniters. It’s the book for every coffee table. It’s meant to be read in the company of others…or all alone beneath a starlit sky.
We all want to know the origin of the universe, the reasons why life exists, and the driving forces behind humanity.
Use this book to light the fire…
The Little Book of BIG Questions contains 202 questions. It’s a compilation of Coffee Table Philosophy tomes 101 Questions for the End of the World and 101 Deeper, Darker Questions for Humanity.
A part of me is ever optimistic.
Another part of me…not so much.
I’ve always hoped for more out of the universe. And what I mean by more is that I want a greater meaning. A deeper understanding. The ability to one day, even if after my own death, to pull back the curtain and see what’s really going on.
I want to know.
I want to know everything.
So do you.
And that’s the problem, isn’t it? For though we may spend our entire lives learning, relearning, and discovering, we’ll never know it all. Even our greatest scientists and philosophers won’t ever be able to sit back with a comfortably complete understanding of reality. Not even close. And odds are, no matter how much some of us pine for a divine afterlife, it’s neither probable nor scientifically likely we’ll get one. I admit; I could be wrong about that. I hope I’m wrong. I’d love to sit on a cloud eating chocolate and strumming a harp.
But to be pragmatic, hope is a mistake.
Which means most of us will have about eighty years to learn as much as we possibly can. About life. About the world. About the entire universe. If we’re wise, we’ll cram those eighty years like it’s the night before a big exam. Because we’re going to encounter a ton more questions than answers. And we’re going to dream far more than we’re able to do.
And then, at the end, our knowledge and wisdom will leave us.
And that’s ok.
If this is it, if our lives are to remain full of questions and theories and small discoveries followed by more questions, so be it. Maybe it really is all about the journey, and not all about how things begin or end.
Someday, a hundred-thousand generations from now, the accumulation of human knowledge and wisdom might reach a critical mass. We might grasp the nature of everything, and we might render conversations like this obsolete. Wondering might no longer be a thing. Questions might go extinct.
But it’s not happening soon.
And certainly not during my lifetime.
In reading books from my Coffee Table Philosophy series, one might be tempted to assume a certain arrogance on my part. It might appear as though I think I’ve got the right answers, and that I’m asking questions from an attempted position of know-it-all.
My view is and always has been that I don’t know anything. I dead serious. Beliefs and opinions and theories are swell things to have, I guess. It’s human nature to possess them, to use them in conversations, and sometimes even to employ them as weapons.
But not for me.
I guess what I’m saying is: even though hope is a mistake J, I hope the fact that you’re here means you subscribe to a similar philosophy.
The philosophy of:
It’s ok not to know.
It’s ok to admit ignorance.
It’s perfectly acceptable to ask questions for which there are no knowable answers.
In fact, it’s almost criminal not to.
* * *
So anyway, I guess what I’m getting at is…
…in a few days I’m releasing the final book in the Coffee Table Philosophy series.
I mean…it has questions, but instead of ice-breaking, take to a party full of tipsy people, improve your love life-type questions, it’s full of deadly serious inquiries. Think Socrates meets Stephen Hawking, Plato meets Carl Sagan, and that’s kinda sorta what End of the World is like. It’s for science buffs, outer space lovers, old world philosophy fans, and serious truth seekers. In this book, I ask readers about all of life’s greatest mysteries, and I await your answers.
Look…instead of trying to explain it all, I’ll just give you three sample questions.
* * *
From the following, choose which one(s) you associate with your personal philosophy of life:
Cynicism – The purpose of life is to live with virtue and in harmony with nature (not what you thought it meant, is it?)
Agnosticism – Humanity knows nothing beyond that which it can touch
Pragmatism – The most valuable things are tangible and practical
Hedonism – Life’s purpose is to pursue pleasure
Capitalism – Life’s purpose is accumulate wealth for the benefit of yourself and your family
Theocentrism – God is a central fact of our existence
Nihilism – Life is without objective meaning, purpose, or value
Existentialism – The universe is unknowable, yet humans still have individual purpose and responsibility
The Butterfly Effect is defined as:
The phenomenon whereby a small change within a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.
In other words, a butterfly making the smallest alteration in the wind might set off a chain reaction that causes a hurricane two weeks later on the opposite side of the world.
Or something like that.
Think of an important event that has taken place during your life or the life of someone you know.
Now think about how that event came to be.
What was the butterfly?
“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” ~ Rene Descartes
It’s a pretty powerful statement.
Do you agree with it?
Why or why not?
* * *
So there you have it. I hope you’ll dive deep into this new book. I hope it educates and entertains you. And I hope, when you’re done, you review the hell out of it on Amazon.
Get ready to science the shit out of yourself.
Oh, and I also wrote a ton of fiction books.
Today at Tessera Guild, authors J Edward Neill and Jaylene Jacobus go head-to-head in their first ever e-interview.
Unlike most of our super friendly interviews, this one got a little colorful. 🙂
The blow-by-blow is right…here:
* * *
J EDWARD NEILL: Today’s creative interview is with Seattle author Jaylene Jacobus. Hello Jaylene, and welcome to Tessera!
JAYLENE JACOBUS: Hi J! It’s great to join you here.
J: You just published your debut novel, The Midnight Circle. Tell us about it.
JAYLENE: Hold up, J. I thought we were being interviewed. As in, you and me. Together. Cowriters. Partners in crime. East Coast Hustler and West Coast Enchantress. Internet besties.
J: Nope. None of that. I’m interviewing you.
JAYLENE: Why do you get to ask all the questions?
J: Because I’m good at it. It’s my thing.
JAYLENE: True statement! I love all your Coffee Table Philosophy books. You’ve written hundreds of thought-provoking questions, which makes you inquisitive, analytical, and investigative. But when you ask all the questions all the time, you become…
JAYLENE: An askhole. 🙁
J: An askhole? 🙂
JAYLENE: Fear not. I’m good at asking questions, too. And I’ve softened your image. You know, with that book we wrote together.
J: 101 Questions for Single People! That was a lot of fun. Let me just say that writing a book for singles kept my image fully intact. I’m all about dating…as many women as possible. At once.
JAYLENE: Good times, indeed! But I wasn’t referring to that book. I was referring to our other book. 101 Questions for Couples! I’m all about romance and true love. Together forever.
J: In all honesty, I enjoyed writing about couples. Almost as much as writing about singles.
JAYLENE: And I enjoyed writing about singles. Almost as much as writing about couples.
J: One thing’s for sure. They were both a blast to write.
JAYLENE: The funny thing about both books is that our readers can’t always figure out which questions I wrote versus which questions you wrote. I can see why. We’re practically the same person. Except I’m the girl version of you.
J: Wait. Wouldn’t that make us opposites?
JAYLENE: Potato, Potahto. Tomato, tomahto. Let’s prove how similar we really are.
J: Or dissimilar. How?
JAYLENE: By answering questions about…
A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE THINGS
1) INDOOR HOBBY
JAYLENE: Reading. But I read this. So we’re one for one.
JAYLENE: Captain America. He’s the quintessential hero.
J: Yawn. Don’t like ’em.
J: Steak and potatoes
JAYLENE: Tofu and kale
J: Cold rain on a warm evening. Such that the steam rises from the still-warm grass.
JAYLENE: Cold rain on a humid day. Such that perfumed steam rises from still-warm magnolias.
7) NEO-NOIR PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER
JAYLENE: We’re Se7en for Se7en!
8) BROADWAY MUSICAL
J: None of them
JAYLENE: All of them
9) TV SHOW
11) ADVENTURE NOVEL
JAYLENE: The Count of Monte Cristo
J: The Count of Monte Cristo
14) OUTDOOR HOBBY
J: Running, alone, in the wilderness
JAYLENE: Walking, in good company, through the forest
JAYLENE: Edgar Allan Poe
16) SPORTS TEAM
J: Chicago Cubs
JAYLENE: Whoever the Seattle team is
18) ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE
J: Balvenie 17 Doublewood with a single oversized ice cube
JAYLENE: Probably what J said. But I don’t drink, so I don’t know.
19) ROMANTIC COMEDY
JAYLENE: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
20) FINAL QUESTION. THE GLASS: HALF-EMPTY OR HALF-FULL?
J: There is no glass; therefore it’s neither half-empty nor half-full.
JAYLENE: There is no half; therefore my glass is always brimming full.
JAYLENE: Well, J, I think we just proved how similar we are.
J: Actually, Jaylene, I think we just proved how dissimilar we are. Half of our answers didn’t match.
JAYLENE: Which means half of our answers did match. But weren’t you listening to me? There is no half, and if you don’t have a glass, take mine. It’s brimming full with Balvenie 17 Doublewood.
J: I’ll drink to that…
JAYLENE: Ok, J. The party’s over. Let’s get back to work. We have more books to write. Together and singularly. Rumor has it, you’re plotting to end the world…
J: And rumor has it, you’re plotting to save it.
JAYLENE: In other words, we make a great team.
J: I’ll drink to that as well…
* * *
The rumors are true…
In the Coffee Table Philosophy series, you’ll find something for everyone.
Girls. Guys. Party-throwers. Lonely philosophers. Optimists. Pessimists. Conversation-starters. And deep, dark thinkers.
It’s all here. A book for every coffee table in the world.
10 different types of questions.
Let’s have a look:
101 Questions for Humanity is the original book in the Coffee Table Philosophy series. The questions are short, direct, and easy to grasp. It’s ideal for starting conversations during parties (and it served the author well in breaking the ice with people at the local tavern.) Here’s a sample.
Next up is 101 Deeper, Darker Questions for Humanity, which took the concepts of the original book and added a layer of complexity. Generally speaking, the questions in this book are longer and more in-depth. Here’s a deep, dark sample. 🙂
After the original coffee table book came two specially-tailored editions, 101 Questions for Women and 101 Questions for Men. It’s true; readers of both sexes will find enjoyment in either book. For most of the questions, you can substitute ‘man’ for ‘woman’ and vise versa. The Women’s book focuses on love, relationships, and children, but also flips the script and discusses a few darker topics. Men get a focus on war, politics, and sex. Sample questions for the Women’s book are here.
When originally written, 101 Questions for Midnight was planned as the final book in the series. It’s chock full of questions about sex, life and death, good versus evil, and other topics. The questions are generally dark and adult-themed. A sample arrived in the popular blog 10 Things to ask yourself Tonight.
After the author thought he maybe, might have, possibly concluded the Coffee Table series, he released this compendium, 444 Questions for the Universe. It includes the entire first four books in the series (Humanity, Midnight, Men, and Women) and adds in 40 bonus Questions from Beyond. It’s a mega-bargain, having four and a half books worth of questions for the price of only one and a half of the original tomes. It looks super sharp on any table, containing more than enough questions to keep parties going for hours.
After the original series ended, 101 Sex Questions arrived on the scene. The title says it all. Geared for adults (and especially couples) this book is full of games, quizzes, and challenges to ramp things up above and in-between the sheets. While not super-graphic, it pulls no punches. Definitely for the 18+ crowd. Just read the samples to find out for yourself.
After 101 Sex Questions, the direction of the series became obvious. Inspired by too many nights out at the club (and too many lost phone numbers) 101 Questions for Single People teamed up J Edward Neill and Jaylene Jacobus for a look at single life from both sides of the modern battlefield. A tiny sample of what you’ll find in this book is right here.
And of course it’s only fair that if you’re going to do a book about Singles, you have to do one for Couples. This book is definitely the most bubby, cheerful, and light-hearted in the entire series. It’s meant for couples to take on vacations, road-trips, or pretty much anywhere lovers might have a few moments alone. Get to know your partner better with 101 Questions for Couples! (Sample questions here and here.)
Possibly the final Coffee Table Philosophy volume, J Edward’s 101 Questions for the End of the World has finally arrived. It’s far different than the previous entries in the series, with questions focused on science, astrophysics, theory, religion, and old-world philosophy. Think Stephen Hawking mixed with Aristotle. The questions are 2 – 3 times longer than ever before, and they’re deadly serious. So put your thinking cap on and get ready to science the shit out of yourself.