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John and Hank get together for the very first time to answer to answer a bunch of questions. Will we go to Ava's wedding? What college major will help the world most? Have you ever peed on your own head? Will humans eventually colonize the galaxy? What's going on with Mars? Also...AFC Wimbledon?!

  Introduction (0:00


Hank: Hello, and welcome to the very first episode of Dear Hank and John.

John: Or, as I like to think of it, Dear John and Hank. We are John and Hank Green, and this podcast is where we... What, what do we do here Hank?

H: Uh... This is the podcast where we answer your questions; we are going to provide some dubious advice, that we are not qualified to give; and also give you all the week's news from both Mars, the planet, and AFC Wimbledon, the 18th tier English soccer club. But first, John, how about a very short poem for today.

J: Fourth tier for the record. But, okay, we are going to start with a Langston Hughes poem for today:

"Folks, I'm telling you,
birthing is hard
and dying is mean-
so get yourself
a little loving
in between."

  Question 1 (0:42


J: That brings us nicely, Hank, to today's first question, which is from Lindy, she writes: "Dear John and Hank. Hey, so there's this girl I really really like, maybe even love, I don't know, this is confusing. I have felt like this for 6 years, but the problem is that I am also a girl, and she is straight. How do I stop liking them as more than a friend?"

H: John, I just want to say, thank you so much for starting us off with the hardest question ever.

J: Yep.

H: How do you stop loving a person, John?

J: Yep. Uh... Not my area of expertise. My area of expertise is continuing to love someone even when it's a bad idea. I thought this was more of a question for Hank. This seems like something that Hank would be good at.

H: Uh... Right, well, just... just, if you say so. Bury yourself in other things. Just get really obsessed with bowling, and just think, like, take all the energy that you're focusing on this lovely person, and focus it on getting... being a really good bowler. Or, uh... or you know, probably something more useful that bowling would be a good idea.

J: Hank, do you know that that's literally what I did my senior year of college? Are you aware of that or was that-- did you just come up with bowling randomly?

H: No! No, I looked over and I was like, "I have to find something," and I saw my bowling pin that I won for getting-- I got a 199 that day and, uh... and so I won this bowling pin as a trophy. And that's what I saw so that's what I-- that's what I hit.

J: I, uh, I was in a long term relationship that ended and I was still very much in love with this, uh, young woman that I was in a relationship with. And one of the things that I took up in the wake of the relationship was bowling. And I became an extremely passionate bowler. I bowled every single day by myself at the bowling alley in Mt. Vernon, Ohio and I just loved it. It was a wonderful release for me. It was repetitious in a way that soothed my brain. I'm a huge fan of bowling and when you call bowling useless, as I believe you just did, it hurts me. It hurts me deep down.

H: I just-- I mean, if you're gonna spend 500 hours getting over someone, which is at least as long as it takes, you might wanna focus on, like, maybe something like playing guitar or accordion or maybe learning, uh... theoretical physics. I don't know. Bowling comes in handy. I definitely go bowling and when I go bowling and someone's really good at bowling I'm like, "Yeah! You're really good at bowling!" and I think that about them. So, it's not like... completely useless. Uh... it's as useless as being good at any other sport. Except that it's better because bowling is something that everyone can enjoy together. Uh, even if you're not bowling I feel like you enjoy bowling just as much as people who are. If I'm going to the bowling alley and, like, my shoulder hurts, which it does sometimes, and I don't bowl. I still have a good time! Because bowling is really more about sitting around.

J: So Lindy, I think, um..., I think we've arrived upon a solution for you. Um..., it's not easy, uh... to change your feelings about someone or to wait out your feelings about someone or to sublimate them, but the key is bowling! You're welcome! God, we're so good at advice!

H: Yeah!

  Question 2 (4:00


J: Um, this one is from Lucas. "Dear John and Hank, what is your favorite thing to look at in the night sky?"

H: Well. Yeah, I, um, there's a lot to choose from, I think I'm gonna cop, like, go with a cop out answer here and say the Milky Way, 'cause if you can see it, which you can't always in a lot of the country, but here in Montana, we often can. If you can see the Milky Way, it is the most amazing, awe-inspiring, like, tear-inducing, put-you-in-your-placing thing that you can see. Um, it's a really beautiful thing, and it's a really beautiful thing that you can see, it's a really beautiful thing and it's a really beautiful experience to like, really look at the galaxy and be like, there it is, and I can only see it in that direction, which means that we're sittin' out here on the edge of it, and it's a big beautiful thing. I think that that is by far the most sort of beautiful thing you can see in the night sky with your naked eye. Of course, it's--I'm saying it's a cop out because it is not a thing, it is many billion things.

J: For me, it's the middle star in Orion's belt. What I like to think of as Orion's belt buckle. That's my favorite thing to look at. That was a very fancy answer, Hank, but I like Orion's belt buckle. It just, it reminds me of where I am in the world.

H: That star is called Alnilam, and it is a, a super g--a blue supergiant, which is a big, a big star, and it is only 1,340 light years away, John, and yes, I did just look that up on Wikipedia.

J: Quick question about blue giant stars.  Are they about to die?  Like, what is, what are the chances that I'm going to stop enjoying Orion's belt buckle because it turns into a supernova?

H: I think that you're safe for your lifetime.

J: Okay.  What about like, young people watching this podcast, or listening to it?

H: I don't know offhand about the average age of a blue supergiant, but in general, the lifetime of a human is not consequential.

J: Ah, the lifetime of a human is not consequential.  You really, one really does come here to get the good news.

  Question 3 (6:06


J: Do you have a question?

H: I do. "Dear Hank and John," this is from Claire, "I graduated from high school three days ago, and next year I'm going to a very prestigious university." Well, thanks for letting us know how prestigious your university is, Claire. "This is good," she says. "I'm very happy that the black magic of college admissions somehow spun in my favor, but this school, it is expensive and has lots of amazing resources across the board from engineering to the arts and back. I just want to milk my 32 courses for all their worth, so I'm curious, what do you guys think, what should I study to be the biggest help to the world? Please assume for the sake of argument that I'm equally good at all academic disciplines, which, while untrue, is my rhetorical stance."

J: That is a fascinating question. I think Claire is in for big things, no matter what she does, given the quality of her question asking. I'm interested to know what you think, Hank.

H: I'm super into the idea of having a really diverse base of knowledge.  So if you got 32 classes, you know, you're gonna have to focus on something because they require you to major in things in college, but do your best to have a broad, a broad experience and like, as long as everything that you're taking is in some way challenging, so it like--that's what you want, you want to be challenged, and you want to not hate your life, so that's what you should try and do with college.

J: And everything else.

H: Yeah, and your entire life.

J: I am a huge Roger Ebert fan, Hank, the great film critic who was also something of a public intellectual, like, he wasn't, he studied film and, you know, wrote film reviews for most of his career, but he also studied a lot of other things, and had a lot of other fields that he found interesting, and I thought that idea, like, I feel like that idea of the public intellectual has sort of fallen away in this era of specialization, and there are great things about specialization, but I completely agree with you, um, when you specialize in unexpected ways, when you have--when you can make unexpected connections between worlds that people think of as separate, that really makes you stand out, so I think that's the, that's the best of what higher education has to offer now, and I totally agree that Claire should embrace that.

  Question 4 (8:26


J: Hank, we have another question, this is from Ava, "Dear John and Hank, will you come to our wedding in British Columbia on July 11th?"  Ava, let me just answer before Hank does, because Hank lives very close to British Columbia, not at all inconvenient to him, he has no children, I can't see a reason why he wouldn't go, unless he's just a jerk, but I can't go, because I will be supporting the movie adaptation of my book Paper Towns, and I have previous commitments.  I'm so sorry, Ava, but I'm sure that Hank is gonna say yes.

H: I am doing colonoscopy prep doing that day, so.

J: Wow, that's actually a fantastic excuse.

H: Yeah, I gotta, gotta drink a bunch of awful snot that makes me turn into a poop volcano.

J: That is one high-quality excuse for not attending a wedding.  Congratulations.  And congratulations to you as well, Ava.  We will send a gift. 

H: Will we?  I think this is the gift.

J: No, no, no, we'll send a gift, we'll get them something.  She didn't even tell us where she was registered.  I don't feel like I got a formal invitation, y'know?  She just e-mailed hankandjohn@gmail.com, I didn't--there was nothing letter-pressed, I don't like to criticize peoples' wedding invitation strategies, because certainly I think the wedding industry is a bit bloated, but I mean, y'know, you could have sent something in the mail, Ava.

  Question 5 (9:41


H: Okay, here's another question, this one is from Sam.  Sam says, "Dear Hank and John, do you guys have faith that humans will eventually colonize the galaxy?"

J: NO.  I can answer that in one word.  No.  I do not think that we will ever colonize the galaxy.  The galaxy is very--all the other stars are so far away.

H: I--I was really interested to hear your answer to this question, John, because I didn't--I honestly didn't know which way you were gonna go.  I think we already have. 

J: What?

H: Just a very small part of the galaxy, we have colonized.

J: Do you mean Earth and Mars?

H: No, I mean Earth.  Just Earth.

J: We have done an amazing job of colonizing Earth, I mean, we--

H: We have colonized the crap out Earth.

J: --own this planet.

H: Yeah.

J: There is hardly a square inch of this planet that humans have not either lived in or peed in.

H: We definitely--humans have peed on every single part of the planet, definitely.

J: Yeah, no, there is--you can't find us everywhere on this planet, but you can find our waste everywhere.

H: Yeah.  I would actually be interested to see a map of where humans haven't peed.  I bet there's some places, I mean, there's certainly some places in Antarctica and maybe the Sahara were humans haven't peed. 

J: Oh, there's large swaths of the ocean where we haven't peed, but I would argue that our pee is filtered out into the rest of the ocean, I mean, if you pee--

H: Oh, certainly, once you pee in the ocean, once, you've peed in the entire ocean.

J: Yeah, so if you've peed in the Atlantic, you've, by the law of transitive ocean peeing, you've also peed in the Pacific, because it's all connected.  It's really just one body of water that we have named various oceans, so you've peed in the one human--the one Earth ocean.

H: That's true.  That's true.

J: Really, if you've peed in any body of water that's con--if you've peed in a river, you've peed in the ocean.  This is getting pretty meta, Hank-

H: Yeah.

J: --but when I peed in the White River, I technically peed in the, in the Indian Ocean.

H: Here's a question for you.  If you've peed in the White River, did you pee into a cloud?  Because eventually that water that was in your pee, is--some of it's gonna end up in clouds.

J: Not just in clouds, Hank, but also it's gonna end up in rain that's gonna end up falling on Antarctica. Does it rain there?  I don't know.

H: It doesn't--(laughs)  The question is, did you pee on your own head?

J: I'm more concerned with whether I have successfully peed on all seven continents, and you refuse to answer that, because you also don't know if it rains in Antarctica.  Sam, if we can zoom out of your question a little bit, if you're referring to us colonizing non-solar system things, there's no way in 10,000 years we could even get to another planetary--it just--it's not possible, unfortunately.  It would be awesome.  I love Star Trek, it's just not possible.

H: My serious answer to Sam is that in 10,000 years, no.  In 100,000 years, I don't know.  In a million years, if humans are still around, we may have found ways to inhabit other star systems, it is--it would be a very slow process, unless some kind of faster than light travel was developed in which case, more power to us, but I feel like if faster than light travel was possible, we would have seen aliens by now.

J: Let me just back up and respond to a different part of that, which is that your proposal that human beings might exist in a million years, which is ludicrous.  Of all the things, of all the ridiculous things involved in colonizing other stars in the galaxy, the part where we still have humans in a million years is the most ridiculous.

H: Are you saying million or billion?

J: Million with an M.

Hank: I completely disagree with you, it is entirely possible that there will still be humans in a million years.

J: I mean--

H: Why would you, why would you--

J: I will bet you a hundred dollars right now that there will be no humans in a million years.

H: I take the bet!

J: Alright.  I can't lose.  I'm not gonna lose.  There is--we, we are lucky if we have 5,000 years.  Our species is insane. It's insa--the greed, the consumption, the, the, the mutually assured self-destruction, oh, we are in the second half of being people, for sure.  For sure!

H: I--well, even if we are in the second half of being people...

J: I know, we might, we might have up to 100,000 years, at the very, the very best that could happen, 100,000 years.

H: There's a--there's a lot, there's a lot of potential future, but there are also many, many species that have been around for longer than a million years.  They may not be any--in any way like us--

J: Right, yeah.

H: --but--

J: I don't know, that's like saying 'this rock is really old, so I bet I'll live forever, too.'

H: Alright.  I--I think I--I think that the future is unknowable.

J: Why don't--you--why don't you ask the next question?

  Question 6 (14:51


H: "Dear Hank and John, What if a guy says I'm too smart for him?"

J: This question came from Rebecca.  Here is my advice, Rebecca.  So I want you to go to a mirror, find a mirror somewhere, and then I always find it helpful to practice my faces in the mirror, Hank, do you know what I mean?  Like, I just try to practice--

H: Yeah.

J: --so that I know what people are seeing when I make a face.  That if I'm trying to communicate an emotion with my face, I want them to--I wanna know what they're seeing, you know, like what my happy face looks like, et cetera?

H: Mhmm.

J: So, Rebecca, I want you to go to a mirror, and I want you to put on a face of horror.  Like, uh, like just horrified.  And then I want you to like, slightly transfigure that face to add in intense disgust.  And then I want you to hold on to that face, figure out what it looks like, and the next time someone tells you that, that, that you are too smart for them, I want you to make that face, and then I want you to say, "No, no, no, no, no, no, you are no longer under consideration." And then back away and move on with your life.  Take up bowling.

H: Take up bowling.  I--yeah, I think the answer to that question or the response to 'you're too smart for me' is, 'yeah, I think you're right.'

J: (Laughs) "I'm glad that we're on the same page about this. I didn't know that I was too smart for you until just now but thank you for confirming it."

H: (Laughs) "Thanks, thanks for letting me know."

 Question 7 (16:19


J: Hank, we only have, uh, we only have time in this first podcast for one more question. Um, it comes from Egide, I hope I said your name right Egide. "Dear John and Hank. I really like what you guys do on YouTube. I was just wondering, who does your parents think is the better son?"

H: Oh wow. Um...

J: That's easy.

H: Is it?

J: Let's just, let's just answer on three, OK? We'll answer together, that way your opinion won't shape mine or anything. We'll just answer on three.

H: OK.

J: 1, 2, 3. Hank.

H: Dave.

J: No! You are cheating! That's not, that's total cheating! I stayed true to the rules of the game that I invented and you cheated. Typical!

H: I just think that our parents really like Dave.

J: They do like Dave.

  News from Mars (17:11


J: Alright Hank, it's time for the news from Mars, which is a small planet on the edge of the Milky Way galaxy, and the news from AFC Wimbledon, which is the most important soccer team in the history of the world.

H: That's what we do at the end of the podcast, John. Why do we do it?

J: Uh, well, because you love Mars, I love AFC Wimbledon, and people love to learn about Mars and AFC Wimbledon.

H: This week NASA is testing the Low-Density Supersonic Deceleration System which is also called the LDSD.

J: Because God forbid NASA makes something without having an appropriate acronym.

H: Well, you gotta write, it's a lot of words. You've gotta have a fast way to write it down. So the LDSD's job is to deliver larger payloads than we can currently deliver to the surface off Mars. There's this problem that you have when you're traveling interplanetarily that you are going very fast when you arrive at your destination and you have to slow down and it is difficult to slow down. So one of the things that they do to slow down is they just hit the atmosphere and let the atmosphere slow the craft down and then eventually open parachutes and the parachutes will further slow the craft down and then, like at the last moment, you fire some rockets maybe. The problem that Mars has is that there isn't a ton of air in the atmosphere so parachutes won't open higher in the atmosphere so you can't slow down as fast as you would like especially if your craft is super heavy. The job of the LDSD is to, uh, it basically inflates to make the craft bigger. It's like a bunch of balloons, like airbags on the side of the craft that catch the atmosphere, increase its surface area so it can slow down faster before deploying the parachutes. And that increases the payloads we can deliver to Mars from, like, one and a half tons to up to three tons which is twice as much. Very exciting.

J: So I just want to confirm, Hank, that the most interesting thing that happened on Mars this week happened on Earth.

H: Well that is almost always gonna be the case. It's gonna be more the news in Mars and regarding Mars.

J: When Hank and I initially came up with the idea for this podcast we were like "Oh, and we'll do the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon" and then Hank literally said to me "But is there news from AFC Wimbledon every week?" And I'm like "Is there news from Mars every week?"

H: I, like, I just don't understand your proposition that somehow AFC Wimbledon and Mars are on the same plane of interest.

J: No, listen. To be clear, I am not proposing that AFC Wimbledon and Mars are on the same plane. I am proposing that AFC Wimbledon is in fact far more important than Mars.

H: Yeah, I have a really hard time with this. I mean, if you look at the amount of, like, attention and money spent on one of those two things, much more attention and money is spent on Mars. Like, this is a true fact.

J: Mars is a cold, dead rock. Much like any of the gajillions of cold dead rocks scattered throughout the universe. Not only that, but you can find, you can find cold dead rocks right here on earth. You don't have to go to space to get one. However, you do have to go to South London to get AFC Wimbledon. So, can we get, instead of arguing about whether Mars is more interesting than AFC Wimbledon, which is a settled question because AFC Wimbledon is more interesting, can we get to the news from AFC Wimbledon this week?

H: That is acceptable.

  News from AFC Wimbledon (20:35)


J: Okay Hank, so AFC Wimbledon, the fourth-tier English soccer team that plays in South London, has three on-the-uniform spots for sponsorship. Right. So there's the front of the shirt, there's the back of the shirt, and then there's the back of the shorts. You know what I'm talking about?

H: Yeah yeah yeah.

J: So you've got like a corporate name on each of those places. So Hank, can you guess what savvy marketing-oriented corporation will be advertising itself on the lower left buttock of next season's AFC Wimbledon uniform? Can you guess?

H: Is it, uh, DFTBA Records?

J: It's us! That's right! It is us. Their shorts will again say DFTBA Nerdfighteria right there in that wonderful liminal space between left thigh and left buttock. I am so excited to be able to announce this week that the 2015-2016 AFC Wimbledon uniform will again remind its players and opponents who are running behind its players not to forget to be awesome. I'm very excited. The season is over for AFC Wimbledon, but of course the news AFC Wimbledon-wise continues year-round so we'll have plenty to discuss in this exciting off-season, as AFC Wimbledon attempts to strengthen their squad to really push up, to maybe next year make it to the third tier of English football.

H: And as I'm going to attempt to feign interest in your weird interests, how are they doing these days, John?

J: Well Hank, as I just told you, the season has ended, so they aren't currently playing.

H: But how did they do? How did they do? Did they do okay?

J: What do you mean "how did they do?" Do you never look to see how their doing? What do you do all day? Like I don't understand what you look at on the internet if you aren't looking at least occasionally at soccer standings in fourth-tier English football. Like, what is it on the internet that you look at instead?

H: ...Mars stuff.

J: Aaalright. They finished 15th in League 2 this year, so-called because it's the fourth league of English football. It goes the Premier League, then the Championship, then League 1, then League 2, and then you aren't in the league anymore, you're not a professional team. So you want to stay at least in League 2. So they finished 15th in League 2, comfortably mid-table, but next season we'll be looking to really push toward the top half of that table and maybe even into the top few spots that get up to League 1.

H: This sounds complicated, John.

J: Not as complicated as building a thing to go on Mars the size of a minivan.

H: Yeah, and also not as cool.

(John laughs)

  Conclusion (23:15


J: So what did we learn today, Hank?

H: We learned that love is hard, and that we're not going to go to Ava's wedding.

J: Yup. We also learned that we're probably not going to go to colonize other stars in the galaxy, and we learned that while love is hard, and it's hard to move on from love, there is always what Emily Dickinson so beautifully called "hope, that thing with feathers." Which today comes in the form of bowling.

H: And the human lifespan is insignificant.

J: Thanks for listening to Dear Hank & John, or as I like to think of it, Dear John & Hank. You can email us your questions and problems and anything else that you want to email us, at hankandjohn@gmail.com. Obviously Hank registered that email address. But thanks again for listening and as we say in our hometown of Nerdfighteria...

H: Don't forget to be awesome.