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Are there any liquid planets? What should I know about tuberculosis? Do we eat rocks other than salt? Why do I like crickety leg rubbing? What do I wear to an orchestral Ratatouille event? How do I hide my birthday? Is 100^99 bigger or smaller than 99^100? How do full moons work? Hank and John Green have answers!

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 (00:00) to (02:00)

[intro music by Gunnarolla]

Hank Green: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John!

John Green: Or as I prefer to think of it, Dear John and Hank.

H: It's a podcast where two brothers answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon.  John, a coworker of mine got me a calendar.

J: Mmhmm.

H: It says, "2023 Dad Jokes." But I counted and there's only 365. I think that they got ripped off.

J: [overlapping] Mmm. That was, like, two dad jokes in one. 

H: [overlapping] Yeah. [chuckles] I feel like I didn't really sell it. [laughs]

J: [overlapping] It's like, there's not 2023 of them and they got ripped off.

H: Oh, I didn't even think about that.

J: Yeah, like the calendar had a bunch of pages ripped out of it.

H: It's a rip-off calendar.

J: Yup.

H: You don't see those anymore, those 365 calendar day calendars.

J: [overlapping] You don't see enough 365-day rip-off calendars, it's true.

H: Yeah, I think that we have them in the computer now. Also I've got so many things on my desk already.

J: [overlapping] Back in the day, I remember my parents had a Far Side 365-day calendar --

H: Yeah, I remember that very specifically.

J: -- and they had, like, a motivational quotes one that I really enjoyed, y'know?

H: Mmhmm. There was like, a "Weird Words" --

J: [overlapping] Weird words.

H: -- weird words, a different weird word every day for the whole year.

J: Right, but I love a quotation. I love an inspirational, pithy quote. As you may know, from what I've done with my career. [laughs]

H: [overlapping] I entirely agree with you. Do you want me to pull up your quotes page? Is that what you're asking for? John, the reason that the joke, by the way, is that this is the 365th episode of Dear Hank and John, as far as I can tell. Which means you can listen to a Dear Hank and John every day for a year, and not listen to two.

J: Yeah, that's right. It's very, very exciting. So most of the quotes on my quote page are things that I said.

H: [mumbling an aside] He's back to himself, everybody.

J: Only most. [laughs]

H: [laughs] I have a few of those, yeah.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

J: No, your "most quoted" --

H: [overlapping] Is not me. [unintelligible] Very frustrating.

J: -- is not you. But, I have one that is always attributed to me. It's been liked over 10,000 times on Goodreads. I did not say it. And I deeply, deeply disagree with it.

H: [laughs]

J: Like, it bothers me to no end because I really...  I kind of take it personally that people think I would say this. Which I know I shouldn't.

H: What is it, John?

J: It's this: "People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used." (John Green, Looking for Alaska).

H: Wow.

J: But of course that's not in Looking for Alaska

H: Wooooow.

J: The world is not in chaos because I love Diet Dr. Pepper. Like, I should... It's fine to love things. Loving things is good.

H: [laughs] Yeah, you can love things.

J: Yeah.

H: But also love people.

J: Of course. But also I don't think people --

H: I see why you'd click on the "like" button on that one, though, y'know? It feels good.

J: [overlapping] It feels like, yes -- I just don't think people were created to be loved, either. I don't think "people were created to be___" is the correct beginning of a sentence.

H: Yeah. Well, the thing also that happens is that characters say things and then they say, "You said the thing." And I'm like, "No, I don't even like that guy! He was the bad guy! Don't put my name next to that!" [laughs]

J: [overlapping] Right. That's the villain. [laughs] I have one like that, where people are like, "What's the point if you don't at least try to live an extraordinary life?" And I'm like, "That's on page four and the entire book is about why he's wrong."

H: [laughs] Yeah, people were like, "Yes! Yes! Sign me up for that grindset! I need that hustle culture in my veins!"

J: [overlapping] [laughs] Exactly, exactly. Gotta boyboss your way all the way up to the sun. 

H: [laughs]

 (04:00) to (06:00)

J: I can see people taking some of the quotes from An Absolutely Remarkable Thing out of context and using them to be like, "You gotta grind and sacrifice whatever's necessary for the coming technological revolution."

H: Yeah. Well, hey.  Who's to say? [chuckles]

J: Yeah. I mean, I dunno.

H: What's gonna turn out to have been the right way to do it?

J: Maybe in a hundred years people will read An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and think all the good guys are the bad guys and all the bad guys are the good guys.

H: [sighs] As long they're still reading it, John. [laughs]

J: Yeah, I suppose. Alright. Let's answer some questions from our listeners. [pauses] It is a really good book.  I was just talking to Henry today about how great those books are, and how nobody else has ever helped me understand the internet the way that those books do. And the weird thing is, the older the internet gets and the more the internet gets really, really weird and a little scary the more I'm like, "Oh. Hank just saw this. He just saw it all coming." It's incredible.

H: Yeah, I mean, when you write about it... When you sit down and you think about it all day for a bunch of days in a row and you're writing it all down, that helps. But nothing has made me feel more inferior to my brother than looking at his Goodreads quote page and then going to mine. [laughs]

J: Well, we write different kinds of stuff.

H: Yours are like 200,000 likes. And I'm like 328. [laughs]

J: [laughs] Well.

H: And the one with 328, I didn't write! [laughs] It wasn't me! And then 246 is the next one down! I'm really struggling here, John!

J: [laughs] How's the line that I wrote that you put in An Absolutely Remarkable Thing doing?

H: [laughs] It's at 98. It's 98 likes. So it's less than halfway down.

J: Oh man. Oh god, that's one of the best lines I've ever written and I can't believe you stole it. [laughs]

 (06:00) to (08:00)

J: So, for those who don't know, in An Absolutely Remarkable Thing there is this great line. "I had a very happy childhood. I just wasn't a very happy child." Which is the kind of like... that's everything "people were created to be loved and things were created to be used" is trying to do, right? Like, it's got the symmetry but it's true. It's accurate.

H: [laughs] Yeah, it's very true. And it's not true of me. It was true of you. And it's very true of April, so...

J: [laughs] So you just stole it! And we were on a bus or something and Hank... it wasn't even like, "Hey can I have this?" It was like, "Hey, I, uh. I'm using this. It works really well here." It wasn't a question, you were just letting me know.

H: [overlapping] Yeah, we were on tour. I remember it. [laughs]

H: Well, look. I'm pretty sure I was on the tour bus for Turtles All the Way Down --

J: You were, yeah.

H: -- editing An Absolutely Remarkable Thing with a very tight deadline and I had to be in the bus in the back, feeling motion sick, grinding through this thing.

J: [overlapping] Yeah. Oh god, the struggle.

H: And so you owed me everything at that point. And I was like, "Anything you say can and will be used in the book." [laughs]

J: Yeah, that's fine. No, I'm all in favor of it. And I do appreciate you going on tour in support of my book for a month. That was very generous of you. And then, your book... uh, I think I went on tour with you for, like, three days. So.

H: [laughs] I got that quote, though.

J: You got that quote. Alright! Hank. I wanted to ask you some questions from our listeners.

H: Okay. That's the thing we do.

J: We're gonna begin with this one from Jack, who writes:
Dear John and Hank,
Are there any liquid planets? I get that Earth is mostly water on the surface but it does have some solid at its core. It seems unfair that solids and gases get planets but liquids get left out.
Cut liquids some slack,

H: It's funny because there's a coffee chain in my town called Liquid Planet. And I was like, "Yeah, I think there's four." [laughs] That's not what you were asking, though.

J: [overlapping] [laughs] There's four liquid planets in Missoula.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

J: Can you have liquid all the way down?

H: Well, you know, that's a good question. I don't think that you can have liquid all the way down because I think just the pressure of that much liquid would, if it was a planet, would make some things happen. Also, it'd be really weird for it to be that consistent. I dunno what sorting process would be necessary to have there be just water and not a bunch of other dusty stuff. So if the universe is doing that kind of sorting it's possible. The universe does weird sorting. But I don't see how that would happen. But! There are definitely planets out there that are, the surface is 100% water.

J: No land.

H: No land, yeah. And like, there's no reason why... I don't think there's any reason why Earth isn't like that? Except that, like, continents and an active continental plate situation are higher up. Because they're less dense rock so it's sort of, like, at the top of the rock of the planet. But, there could be more water and all those things could be under water. I don't know why there wouldn't be more water and we'd just be a water world.

J: Right.

H: That's definitely possible and because it is possible it is 100% probable in a universe this size.

J: Somebody sent me, a while back, a picture of the world map according to fish that is just, like, really focused on the oceans and sees land as a sort of, um. As ancillary [sic]. It was very beautiful to look at. And it did make me think, "I hope they don't have to think about us. I hope that most of the time they don't know about land. I hope that this is what their world looks like to them."

H: Uh, yeah. I think that they definitely have to think about us.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

J: Well, of course they have to think about us sometimes, Hank, because we're an inconvenience to them at times. But I'm saying that, like, if you are an individual turtle, I think you might have to not think about people.  I think you might be able to have a whole long turtle life without ever once having a thought about a person.

H: I love this map of the world according to fishes so much. I'm looking at it right now.

J: We'll put it on the Patreon. It is incredibly beautiful.

H: I feel like it could be done in a more science fiction-y type way? Or like the beginning map of, I dunno, Middle Earth. That would be super cool. I also think that --

J: [overlapping] But what I love about this map is that it helps me understand that there are not four oceans and seven continents. There's one ocean and an occasional interruption by areas that the ocean has not yet overtaken.

H: Yeah, for sure. And also, an interesting thing is that, from my understanding of fish, an actual map according to fish would have the continental shelves, which is where most of the fish live. And then there's these areas of the ocean that are only for specific fish and plankton and planktonic things and fish who are gonna take a big risk. Because that open ocean is a whole different vibe.

J: [laughs] Yeah, there is that occasional fish that is just, like, "Hey, I'm setting off in search of the unknown." And all the other fish are like, "But things are pretty good here." And that one fish is like, "Yeahhhh, but like. Have you ever thought about, like, maybe there's weightlessness up there."

H: That fish is looking out at the open ocean and says to its friends, "What's the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable?! I saw it on John Green's Goodreads page!"

J: "It really moved me."

H: And it was just like, chomp! Sharked immediately.

J: Exactly. Because you didn't read the rest of the novel, fish.

H: You had to read the rest of the book, fish!

 (12:00) to (14:00)

J: Okay, you can't decontextualize quotes like that and expect them to guide you through life even though that's what I did for the first 25 years of my life, fish.

H: I also had to learn that lesson, fish! But at least I didn't get eaten by a shark.

J: Not yet.

H: What question are we answering right now?

J: We answered it. This next question comes from Whitney, who writes:
Dear John and Hank, I live in Wyoming, I own cats, I enjoy audiobooks, and I haven't been to the dentist since 2019. Is there anything that I should know about tuberculosis that you suspect I might not already know?
H: [away from the mic] Oh my god.
J: [continuing the question]
Bacteria and antibiotics,

J: Whitney, thank you so much for your question.

H: There's so many people just turned off the podcast. [laughs]

J: I gotta find a way to reach them, Hank. I've gotta --

H: [overlapping] You don't wanna ruin it, John. If you're gonna make something with this tuberculosis knowledge you don't wanna completely... You're gonna have to create a break so you're whetting people's appetite now but you gotta get 'em hungry again.

J: No, disagree. Here's one thing you might not know about tuberculosis: such was the incredible romanticization of tuberculosis in the early 19th century that after four of her sisters had died of tuberculosis the great novelist Charlotte Brontë wrote in a letter, "I am aware that consumption is an attractive malady." 

H: [laughs]

J: And then when she wrote about someone dying of consumption in Jane Eyre she talked about the death being painless and being beautiful even though she had to have known that the true story of death from consumption is much more complicated than that. And much more horrifying. Which just speaks to how profoundly our stories about the world shape our understanding of the world.

 (14:00) to (16:00)

H: I feel a little bit this way about people giving me massages. There's very soft music playing and everybody seems to think that it's great but it always hurts a lot and I don't know why. And I feel worse afterward.

J: That's not just like dying of consumption? But I get your point. [chuckles]

H: [laughs] This next question comes from Kayla, who asks: 
Dear Hank and John, I was cooking the other day and adding some salt to my food and I started to think about how salt is just a rock. Why is it that we eat this one specific rock but no other rocks? Are there other rocks that we eat that I don't know about? 
This rock is sodium tasty, 
H: Oh ho, that's good.  I didn't get it until I read it. So-dee-am!

J: Yup.

H: Didja --

J: Yeah, I got it. It's almost a curse word.

H: Uhhuh. It's such an important rock. And it is -- so, another rock that we eat is ice. Which we usually eat in its lava form. So a melted rock. Which is wild. And that's the main rock that we consume, is melted ice. Melting sodium is actually, weirdly -- salt has one of the highest melting points. Or I should say, a very high melting point. So if you ate melted sodium you'd be in a whole lot of trouble. But we need a bunch of different minerals to exist. Calcium...

J: Iron.

H: kind of a rock. Iron is rocky. Potassium, very important. Can't live without potassium. That's also kind of a rock. So you have a bunch of these things but sodium chloride is exceptionally important because our neurology runs on pumping sodium ions around. Also potassium ions. So we need to consume a lot of sodium which is why we crave that mineral. And we do indeed crave that mineral and are just, y'know, bags of living chemistry that evolved on a planet that had sodium and potassium and calcium and iron available and utilized those things in making our bodies work. So wild! And great. 

J: Yeah.

H: And yummy.

 (16:00) to (18:00)

J, overlapping: It's very strange to think --

H, overlapping: And our appetites exist to get the things we need into our bodies.

J: Hmm, I mean, usually

H: [overlapping] Yeah, I know, it gets messed up.

J: [overlapping] But I also have an appetite that exists to get things into my body that I don't need.

H: I dunno if everybody knows this but when we start to do mic check John always sings the McDonald's theme.

J: [chuckling] I do.

H: And every time it makes me want McDonald's. And I'm like, "It works so well!" I'm not in control of anything.

J: The loudest noise I know how to make into this microphone is [sings wordless theme] ba da ba ba da!  And if I can pull that off without peaking then I know that I'm gonna be good for the rest of the episode. But how profoundly --

H: [overlapping] Whereas I just say, "CHECK! CHECK!" like a normal person.

J: Well, and then, let's finish the story, Hank. You say, "Check, check" like a normal person, then you say, "Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John," and you say, "Oh no, I peaked! I peaked. I was way too loud. I gotta turn it down." If you just did the [sings theme] every time we could save 30 seconds of pod.

H: Maybe we could have more pod for the people.

J: Alright, this next question comes from Nola [sp?], who writes:
Dear John and Hank, 
Why do I always want to rub my feet together under the blankets like a little cricket? I know I can't be the only one who does this and I can't help it. It just feels so good. It makes my brain wrinkles smile.
Comfy and cozy,
J: I don't know, Nola. But I do this, too.

H: Yeah. I can only suppose that it's good for you. And so your body wants you to do it. I don't know why.

J: [overlapping] It's like how you want salt.

H: [chuckles] It must be. It's like how you want salt.

J: [laughing] Hank believes that we live in the best of all possible worlds where everything that we wanna do at any moment is the right thing. And I... That is not my experience of being alive. I wouldn't be at all surprised if I rubbed my feet together as a way of, like, trying to self-destruct. 

 (18:00) to (20:00)

H: [laughs] Actually, it's like there's gonna be a report on, like, Rock 101[FM]. And they're like, [mock DJ voice], Doctors have released a new study that says people who rub their feet together under the blankey like a little cricket are actually... have stiff arteries and are going to self-destruct at any moment!
J: [laughs] That's right.

H: [continuing the DJ voice] Stop doing that! There's a paper out in the Journal of Feet Rubbies...
J: [picking up the bit in regular voice] [laughing] As the leading nighttime foot rubby expert reports, rubbing your feet together like a lil' cricket is associated with dying 30 years younger than regular people. We can't prove that it's causative and not correlative but we have noticed that everybody who rubs their feet together like a little cricket is a miserable, empty soul.

H: [regular voice] There's never a person who's done it who didn't eventually die.

J: That's true. It is associated with a 100% death rate. I do it because it feels nice.

H: [overlapping] It feels so nice!

J: It's funny that you say "like a lil' cricket," Nola, because sometimes I think, like. Did I get this from crickets?

H: [laughing] Some common ancestor.

J: If we take it back far enough is there, like, some common ancestor that was like, "Ahh, the only relief... the only thing that helps me fall asleep in this terrifying world of 120 million years ago is rubbing my little feet together like a little cricket."

H: [laughs]

J: And that's why we do it.

H: Can I say to everybody, like. Next time somebody asks you what your favorite word is... let it be in consideration: cricket. What a cute word!

J: It's a great word.

 (20:00) to (22:00)

H: It's so great, the noise they make. But it's also just totally on its own. It's just fantastic. There's gotta be so many brands named Cricket because it's just such a good, cute name.

J: Right. It's an onomatopoeia that is actually a good word. Which almost all of them aren't, right? Like, oomph is not a great word. Bzzz is not a great word. But cricket?

H: Cricket.

J: Cricket. I think it's the consonants, right? It's the /k/ and the /t/. Cricket!

H: Yeah.

J: Cricket?

H: Yeah, it's great. It's great.

J: [overlapping] Language is awesome.

H: [overlapping] High-quality work whoever did "cricket," thank you.

J: I've just added just the word "cricket" to your Goodreads quote page.

H: Thanks.

J: "Cricket" (Hank Green, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing)

H: [overlapping] I did say that. One of the things I said. [laughs]

J: It's important to attribute it to a book incorrectly because that makes it seem real.

H: Yeah, yeah. People are like, "I'm not reading that whole thing just to find this." This next question comes from Paige who asks:
Hello Brothers,
The symphony in my town is doing a performance where they play the movie Ratatouille and have an orchestra play accompanying music. I have five friends flying into town to see it because we have overcommitted to the bit. What should I wear to said event? It's an orchestra so my first thought is fancy, but it's also Pixar's Ratatouille, which makes me feel like I should maybe dress as a chef.
Dubious fashion advice appreciated, 
H: Paige! You cannot wear a big tall chef's hat with a rat under it... the whole time.

J: No.

H: You have to take it off so that people behind you can have a good view of the movie Ratatouille.

J: But...

H: But if no one has a rat at the show I will be disappointed.

J: So I think you dress fancy. Okay? Here's what I would do. 

 (22:00) to (24:00)

J: I think you dress fancy and of course part of dressing really fancy is wearing a hat, okay? 

H: Is it?

J: Oh yeah. I mean, a fancy hat. Not like a ball cap or a chef's hat. Like, y'know, like a fancy person hat with feathers and stuff.

H: Okay, gotcha.

J: And a really... maybe a wide brim. Not tall, but it's got some width. And I do think that you have a rat underneath the hat. I think that's the bit, is that there's a rat in there.

H: So I think that that rat's going to need to be in more places than just one. So you will have to bring a little cage for the little rat. But it's not that hard. You gotta know somebody who's got a rat.

J: No ... You gotta let that rat be free, Hank. That's the whole point.

H: [thoughtful hum] Don't let the rat free at the symphony orchestra is a lesson that I have learned thus far in my life.

J: [laughing] I think you have to.

H: [laughs]

J: Man, I agree with you in terms of, like, what's the wrong thing... you don't wanna yell "fire" in a crowded theater kinda thing, but like... I think that the symphony has to know what it's getting into. I mean they're --

H: Right. Well, really, honestly, it should be directed. Like the little maestro --

J: The conductor.

H: --should definitely be a small rat.

J: What's that movie that I watched all of even though it was 17 hours long?

H: I dunno what you're talking about.

J: The...

H: Does it have a little maestro?

[record scratch sound effect]

J: Hank and I have had a conversation offline, and upon further reflection, even though this is a dubious advice podcast we would like to state for the record that you should not bring a living, uncaged rat to a symphonic event of any kind, including a playing of the music from the movie Ratatouille.

H: And the movie Ratatouille. This sounds like a great thing. I would love to go to this. And I'm very happy for all of you. I hope that you have a fantastic time.

 (24:00) to (26:00)

J: Alright Hank, we have another question from Katie who writes:
Dear John and Hank,
How do I politely decline telling people my birthday? I don't want people making assumptions about me based on my astrological sign because frankly I don't buy that stuff. But when people ask I can't think of a respectful way of telling them that I don't trust them with that information.
Probably a Leo or a Gemini but I'm not telling you,
H: [laughs] First you gotta say, "So do you just want to know what my sign is?" And then they say, "Oh yeah, I was wondering what your sign was."

J: And you say, "I'm not gonna tell you my birthday."

H: [laughs] Well in that case I'm definitely not telling you. So there's a bunch of constellations that aren't in the zodiac. So pick one of those. Be like, "I'm an Orion."

J: Oh yeah. [laughs]

H: And they'll be like, "What?" And you'd be like, "Yeah!"

J: [overlapping] "I'm the Little Dipper."

H: [overlapping] "I'm a [cusper?]. I'm the Little Dipper." [laughs]

J: "Yeahhh... I'm a Little Dipper and Littl Dippers like me we tend to dip, y'know?"

H: "You don't hear a lot about us."

J: "No, we just kinda... We tend to have... I'll be honest with you, we like to ghost people, y'know? Like, one day you'll just never hear from me again. I'm a Little Dipper."

H: "I'm a Little Dipper." Yeah.

J: There is something weird about it, right? Because I would find it problematic if somebody asked me, like, "When is your birthday?" And I said what my birthday was, and they were like, "Oh! The 17th day of Pentecost." Or whatever. And then they were like, "And as somebody who was born during Lent this means that, and that means this." And I'd be like, "Well no."

H: [overlapping] Now I know things.

J: "Well ,I don't really...  That's not really my belief system. But I think --"

H: And then they're like...  I've noticed a thing that if you don't believe in astrology people feel it as an attack. And I'm not attempting to attack but people often feel it that way.

 (26:00) to (28:00)

J: Right.

H: And I don't know what to do about that. And it is an awkward situation. I tend to think that if people are asking about my birthday they wanna know when to buy me a present or come over for a party. Or, who's gonna go first in the game that we're playing. Because it's like, whose birthday's up next. It's the most common reason I'm asked when my birthday is.

J: Yeah, I would feel like you just say your birthday, although there is something weird about it, right? Like, nobody would ask you what your social security number is. But I would just... If it were me, because I'm a people-pleaser, I would say, "I'll tell you my birthday." And then if they started to be like, "Well you know what that means about you." I would say, like, "Respectfully, I don't think it means much."

H: I would never do that. I'm more of a people-pleaser than you, then, because I'd be like, "Oh! Interesting. Did you know about... frogs?" And I would change the subject carefully and quickly. I think... Here's my suggestion. I have two. One, find out about a bunch of people who were born on the same day as you. They have to be pretty different from each other --

J: Oh, that's good.

H: --and then just be like, "The same day as Jacques Cousteau." Which I think is mine. Or, second, find another calendar that's not the one we use and tell them your birthday in that calendar. Or, make up a calendar that's just your calendar that's a 13-month calendar with one extra day at the end of the year. Or beginning of the year. New Year's Day. It's not even part of a month. And you name the months yourself and you tell them, "Yeah, I'm born on the 8th of Mauritius." It's just named after countries. My favorite ones.

J: Is there a way that we could do that? 

H: Yeah. Make a new calendar?

J: I think that our greatest, like... I think we've done some good work, Hank. I think we've done some bad work.

H: Uhhuh.

 (28:00) to (30:00)

J: I think that our contributions are mixed. But I think if we ever wanted to do something truly extraordinary for humanity it would be to make a 13-month year with 28 days in each of those 13 months and one day a year that's full Purge.

H: Ohhhhh, no! It's opposite of that!

J: [overlapping] I know. I know. The full joy.

H: The one extra day a year is like, you can't turn your lights on and you've got candles and everybody has to read books.

J: [overlapping] It's the global day of interconnectedness and joy that we all agree upon. It's the only shared human holiday. I love this idea. Right? Like, everybody gets their own holidays. It doesn't take away Christmas. It doesn't take away any holidays. 

H: [overlapping] They're all still there.

J: [overlapping] It's just that we have this one holiday that's for all of us. Which is the last day of the year. The 365th day. It's so beautiful. 

H: Yeah, and then every four years you get two of 'em.

J: I really think it might address some of our biggest problems. [chuckles] I don't wanna overstate it.

H: [laughs]

J: But I think having a holiday that all humans share might fix... I don't wanna say everything... Some things.

H: Everything. I'll say it.

J: How are we gonna do it though, Hank? It's such a better system.

H: Well, so there's only one way that I know of. And also at the same time we could introduce metric time. So instead of 24 hours you have 10 hours. Instead of 60 minutes you have 100. Much easier. Much simpler.

J: By the way, they tried to do this during the French Revolution and it went real bad. I just remembered. But keep going.

H: And then also we could make sure we get rid of all the feet. 'Cause they're stupid. And the inches. And the 32nds of an inch. I don't know why we're doing that. And the only... Here's how you do it... I dunno if you know... is you have to become the only person with power --

 (30:00) to (32:00)

J: Yeah, Emperor of the Universe.

H: And it's really easy to do that. And it definitely never results in the game of thrones in which you either win or die.

J: No no no. I don't think that is the only way that change gets made.  And I don't think that you think that, either. And I understand that that is generally how calendars have been formed in the past. But I don't think that is the only way to make change in this --

H: You gotta go from the bottom up.

J: You can do bottom-up change. Absolutely. Things change from the bottom up all the time. Usually when the world gets more just it's bottom-up change, not top-down change. And what I am proposing is... and maybe this isn't the most important global movement in 2023, now that I'm saying it out loud. I'm starting to realise that maybe if we're gonna organize all of our shared energies around one thing it maybe shouldn't be the 13-month year. But, I'm imagining a global movement to say, "We need to stop carbon emissions. And December." That's my pitch.

H: [laughing] Well, we also get to rename the months so that they line up with their names. So October would be the eighth month. Instead of being the tenth month.

J: October's the only one we're keeping.

H: Okay, everybody send in suggestions for month names.

J: That's step one, of course. We've gotta name these months before we convince eight billion people that this is what we should focus our resources on.

H: So we need a bunch of new... 'cause we need 13 months. The other problem, and I will say this up front, that if your birthday --when we create the new calendar - your birthday's gonna be on the same day every year. So if you're a Wednesday birthday, that's forever. And if you're a Friday or Saturday birthday, that's forever. And you just get to live a slightly better life than everybody else 'cause you're a Saturday birthday.

 (32:00) to (34:00)

J: Right, that is true. And that is a problem. But I think it's not a big enough problem to make up for the deficiencies of our current calendar. Which reminds me that today's podcast is in fact brought to you by Hank and John's 13 Month Calendar: the one change we want to make in the world.

H: This is also brought to you by Rubbin' Your Feet Together Like a Little Cricket: it feels very nice! And does result in 100% chance of death.

J: Yeah. But then again, so does eating salt. Or not eating salt. Two strategies for maintaining a little bit of chemistry while you can.

H: And also this podcast is brought to you by The Similarities Between Getting A Massage And Dying of Consumption: probably not worth having mentioned.

J: Probably. I actually thought we were going to ask Tuna to cut that but I guess we're keeping it in now.

H: [laughs] John, this next question comes from Iris, who asks:
Dear Hank and John, 
I saw a problem on TikTok earlier today and now it's bedtime and I can't sleep because I'm trying to figure it out and I can't find the words to google it. Is 100 to the power of 99 bigger or smaller than 99 to the power of 100?
I'm a humanities major,

J: Oh boy. That's --

H: [overlapping[ I mean, I also... [laughs]

J: That's gonna take me to the very edge of my talents.

H: Yeah? Okay. Well...

J: First off: is there an answer? Because I'm not gonna go through all this mental gymnastics if there's no answer.

H: [laughs] Yeah, there's an answer.

J: Okay. 'Cause if they're the same size--

H: [overlapping]  Not only is there an answer --

J: [overlapping] --after I do all this work I'm gonna be super annoyed. 

H: So there is an answer, also I'm just letting you know, Iris, you can literally just type that into Google and it will give you an answer. So you don't have to find the words to google it, just type 99 ^ 100 and it will tell you. But also, it tends to be that when it's... the power is much more important than anything else. So 99 to the power of 100 is gonna be bigger because--

 (34:00) to (36:00)

J: It's gonna have 100 zeroes after it, and 100 to the power of 99 only gonna have 99 zeroes after it.

H: Actually I think it's gonna have 199 zeroes after it. Which is wild. But yeah.

J: Nooooo.

H: Yeah.

J: Noooooo...

H: ....yeah. 199. Yeah.

J: Alright, I'm out. Y'know, you can understand that something is beautiful and not understand it. 

H: There's also literally a YouTube video that is called "Comparing 100 to the Power of 99 and 99 to the Power of 100." I'm starting to think that you didn't try, Iris!

J: Or maybe they just typed it into ChatGPT and ChatGPT gave them a very confident, incorrect answer. 

H: It's very bad at math, that's one thing it's very bad at.

J: Hey Hank.

H: Yes.

J: How do moons work? We got this question from Duvall that I realized I don't know the answer to. Duvall writes:
Dear John and Hank,
I dunno how moons work. If it's not a full moon where I am could I take a jet to where it is a full moon?

J: No, right?

H: Right. 

J: Okay. So it's not a full moon anywhere.

H: It's a full moon for everybody at the same time.

J: Just like our new calendar.

H: Well, we can't really handle the moon.

J: Oh I know the calendar's not going to be involved in the lunar month. I know we can't get into that stuff. We are gonna have a solar month calendar, not a lunar month calendar. That's not for us.

H: That's not for us. 

J: There's nothing wrong with a lunar month. I'm 100% in favor of lunar month calendars. It's just that our 13-month calendar is gonna be a solar calendar. The world's calendar is gonna be a solar calendar. [chuckling]

H: [laughs]

 (36:00) to (38:00)

H: It's so weird to have both the moon and the sun. It's great. What a convenient thing. The moon is very confusing, I will say. Because it's... up there, going around us while going around another thing and we're spinning at the same time. It's very confusing. There's a reason why you don't understand. It's because people who do this professionally still sometimes get their brain tied up about it. But, the moon has the same phase all the time for everyone. I can tell ya that. Is there any other things you'd like to know about the moon? 

J: It is very weird that the moon is spinning around us while we're spinning around the sun while the sun is spinning around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, which is itself moving relative to other things. It's very, very weird. Right? Like, I feel I feel quite still right now. And the way motion works, the way space and time work, when you zoom way out? I do not like it. I don't like it at all.

H: It's not intuitive.

J: No. It's not just that it's not intuitive, it's a little freaky out-y. You know what I mean? Like, it's a little, like, hoooo maybe I should stay under the covers.

H: Yeah, I've kinda gotta gotten, at this point in my life, have kinda gotten comfortable with the universe and our place in it, in a weird way.

J: I haven't.

H: Which now that I've said that it makes it sound like that can't be true. But I feel like maybe I little bit have.

J: That's great, man, I'm proud of you.

H: [overlapping] All this information is relatively new. Y'know, we didn't know that galaxies existed until quite recently. And the idea that there's stars outside of our galaxy, also very new information. And then the part where they were like, "Oh. It's not just a few." That's all pretty new. So. As far as humanity goes. And it's a lot to deal with, so I'm not surprised that we haven't gotten good at handling it yet.

 (38:00) to (40:00)

J: Yeah. I mean, one human lifetime ago we didn't have electricity in the house in the house that I'm in right now.

H: Yeah, a long human lifetime, but yeah.

J: [overlapping] There was no refrigerator because there couldn't be a refrigerator.

H: Yeah. Uhhuh.

J: That's weird. That's weird, man. [pause] Some guy died in this house.

H: [laughs]

J: [laughing] I mean, that was a little glimpse into my brain, Hank. That was it's really like. If you give me four seconds that's where it goes.

H: [still laughing]

J: He was a gardener, actually. He was a landscaper. He was 100 years old. He was born in Germany--

H: [overlapping] Did he live there, or was he just visiting?

J: No, he lived here and he died here. He died upstairs.

H: Yeah, it'd be weird for him to be just visiting, 100 years old. They probably don't visit a lot of places.

J: It would be. Yeah, no, he was really into cut flowers. And now he's dead. [long pause] So thanks for coming to my party!

H: [laughs]

J: What's the news from Mars?

H: [still laughing]

J: I'll go first. Hank, as you may be aware, AFC Wimbledon is more likely to lose a game from a winning position than any other team in professional soccer.

H: Wow.

J: Our last five games we have gone 1-0 up. In all of them. And we have lost four of them. And the other one we tied. We cannot win a game. We cannot hold a lead. I do not know what is happening. It is extremely frustrating. We have this incredible new player, Ali Al-Hamadi. He came to the United Kingdom as a refugee from Iraq. 

 (40:00) to (42:00)

J: His father was a political prisoner. And he has an incredible life story. And he is an absolute star. I mean, he is incredible. I'm so excited about him. He keeps scoring goals. The only problem is that every time he scores a goal we give up two. And so we can't win any games. And it's very frustrating. So, yeah.

H: You know what I hear when I hear stuff like that, John, is that it has to be some component of luck. Because going up doesn't make it likely that you will go down. It could definitely be a problem with the team that a lot of goal get scored against you? But the order in which those goals are scored.

J: I think there's a problem inside the heads. I think there is a problem in the mind. I think that they know that over the last three seasons we are much more likely to lose a game where we score first than we are to win a game. And I think that's in their heads. I'm not positive, but that's what I think. I mean, look, it happens to me. [laughing] When I watch the games I see Ali Al-Hamadi score and I'm like, "Ohhhhh no. Anything but that." [laughs]

H: [laughs] Wait! Just wait until they get one goal and then you can score.

J: That only ends one way. So it's been a difficult run for us. Four straight losses. A draw before that. Not quite creeping toward relegation, but I don't like where we are in fifteenth place with a -4 goal differential after 36 games. So, yeah, it's been a little frustrating. I do get to go to a game this weekend in London, which I'm really excited about. I always love seeing AFC Wimbledon so that'll be a joy for me. 

 (42:00) to (44:00)

J: But, yeah. Just a little bit worrisome. I will say there is a bit of good news. Which is that the women's team, since Rosianna and I started sponsoring them on behalf of Partners in Health, the women's team is undefeated and has suddenly shot up to the top of the league. They just beat Cambridge United. And they are currently, just barely, top of the league. It's incredible. 32 points after 13 games. #United are in second place. And so we've had five straight victories. And if we keep this run going we have a real chance of promotion to be a third-tier side next season. Which would be really exciting.

H: Alright! That seems almost likely, with all of those wins.

J: Yeah, so far so good.

H: Well, this week in Mars news... The HiRISE camera which is onboard the Mars reconnaissance orbiter took some pictures of some really cool, weird, nearly-perfect circle dunes. And as I was saying, weirdly enough, earlier in this episode the universe does sort things. Like, solar winds do this, where it might blow stuff around a solar system and you get different qualities of planets at different distances from a star. And rivers will do this, where sediment will be picked up by different speeds of rivers and dropped out by it when the rivers slow down. And so you can get sudden, huge accumulations of specific grain sizes of sand. And that also happens on Mars. So if you look at the photos, which you can find pretty easily . They were released by the University of Arizona. The dunes look kinda like black bulbs coming off of Mars' surface. And they're a little bit asymmetric in a way that suggests that the wind is blowing in a specific direction. Southward. And they are part of an ongoing study to see how frost melts when winter ends on Mars.

 (44:00) to (46:00)

H: And this is one of the 60 sites that HiRISE is currently monitoring for that study. So. They're really kinda pretty and weird. Quite otherworldly-looking sand dunes. Which is convenient, because they are on another world.

J: Yeah, that is just mind-blowing. I like this new framework you're using of "this is how the universe sorts things sometimes," instead of, like--

H: It's weird!

J: Yeah. Instead of looking for an explanation when we don't yet have one totally. To be like, "Well, y'know."

H: It definitely happens.

J: The universe is weird. And we've seen this before. So you don't have to freak out about it.

H: Don't freak out. It does look a little bit like... I dunno. Reminds me of spiders' eyes.

J: Yeah, there's something crop circle-y about it.  It's cool.

[Outro music by Gunnarolla begins]

J: Alright, Hank, well, thank you for podding with me. We're off to record our Patreon-only podcast This Week in Stuff over at, which you can join -- I just went to the Patreon, Hank -- for one dollar a month! It's not that expensive. [laughs]

H: Do you get the pod? I dunno if you get the thing.

J: [laughing] Maybe we should raise the price.

H: I don't think that you get This Week in Stuff for a dollar...? Maybe.

J: Yeah, we've got a real problem, which is that it doesn't show that one.

H: Oh, until you click. Yeah.

J: It only shows the top three. I think we should fix that somehow.

H: We should probably just change that, yes. Yes.

J: We're gonna try to fix our Patreon. But anyway--

H: I haven't thought about it.

J: if you wanna listen to This Week in Stuff. It's $5 a month. And I'd like to tell you that it's worth it, but actually the thing that is worth it is the monthly check-ins with our community. Those are really fun.

H: Yeah, a lot of people show up for those. So thanks to everybody who showed up for that. Before we finish this up - John and I were talking. I'm actually recording this afterward. He's not here anymore, are you, John? [silence] See? He's not there. We were talking about whether we wanted to try and make a Map According to Fish piece of merchandise? 

 (46:00) to (46:05)

H: So we've decided to make both a decal [note: this is not available at time of transcription] and a coffee mug with the Map According to Fish that we're going to put up real quick at We can only make 100 of each of those things, so that's how many there will be. And if they sell out then they sell out. So if you would like a World According to Fish map on your mug, go to .

H: This podcast is edited by Josef "Tuna" Metesh. It's produced by Rosianna Halse Rojas. Our communications coordinator is Brooke Shotwell. Our editorial assistant is Deboki Chakravarti. The music you're hearing now and at the beginning of the podcast is by the great Gunnarolla. And as they say in our hometown,
Don't Forget To Be Awesome.