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In which Hank and John answer questions about global development, chronic pain, and being depressed in hotel rooms. It's a humor podcast!!

 Introduction (0:00

Hank: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank & John.

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

Hank: The podcast where we answer your questions, provide dubious advice, and give you all the week's news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon. But first, John, give us a short poem because that's what you like to do.

John: That's how we like to start the podcast. Today's poem comes from Ogden Nash. It's called Everybody Tells Me Everything.

"I find it very difficult to enthuse
Over the current news.
Just when you think that at least the outlook is so black that it can grow no blacker, it worsens,
And this is why I do not like the news, because there has never been an era when so many things were going so right for so many of the wrong persons."

A poem, Hank, that reminds us that the news exhausted and outraged us even before the men and women of cable began yelling at us and at each other.

  Question 1 (0:56

John: And which also brings us to our first question of the day from Diana: "Where should I get my news? Isn't everyone biased?"

Hank: So "Dear John and Hank, does objectivity exist?" basically. I like how we get to the root of the big questions that are basically ongoing philosophical questions that no-one has been able to answer for the last two thousand years.

John: Yeah Hank. That actually reminds me that we got to the heart of the podcast so quickly I forgot to mention our sponsor. You know, we're gonna have sponsors moving on, Hank. Are you aware of that?

Hank: No, this has actually taken me completely by surprise.

John: OK, yeah. No, we are going to have a sponsor. Our sponsor for this podcast and every podcast is us. Today's podcast is brought to you by John and Hank Green, co-owners of DFTBA Records,, your friendly neighborhood e-tailer. Check it out.

Hank: Dear Hank & John is also brought to you by the Orlando Solar Bears, a defunct International Hockey League from the 1990s.

John: Dear Hank & John, which wouldn't be possible without the delicious, crisp, and clear taste of Crystal Pepsi.

Hank: Dear Hank & John, brought to you by Rock'em Sock'em Robots.

John: Who's gonna win, the blue robot or the red robot? You won't know till you buy Rock'em Sock'em Robots, available now at Use the offer code hankandjohn to get 15% off and ensure that we make $6 every time you buy Rock'em Sock'em Robots.

Hank: I want to see if Rock'em Sock'em Robots actually still exist right now. They do, they do. I feel like that, we shouldn't use that because, like, they're a real thing and we just advertised for an actual product. So don't... DFTBA... So Dear Hank & John is not brought to you by Rock'em Sock'em Robots. It's brought to you by the game Crossfire. You'll get caught up in the crossfire if you play Crossfire from Mattel.

John: Dear John & Hank, brought to you by Chuck E. Cheese. Chuck E. Cheese, the number one place to go when your child is five and does not yet have an enterovirus.

Hank: (Laughs)

John: I'm just kidding. I actually love Chuck E. Cheese. It's true that I get...

Hank: Chuck E. Cheese still exists?

John: Does Chuck E. Cheese still exist? Hank, Chuck E. Cheese is, not only does Chuck E. Cheese still exist, I spend almost every Saturday there.

Hank: Oh. Meh.

John: I love Chuck E. Cheese. I might like Chuck E. Cheese more than Henry does. Um, can we get to, uh, the question...

Hank: The question asking and answering part of the podcast? Yeah. Maybe we should do that.

John: Yeah. It was a question, uh...

Hank: Objectivity. Does it exist? Where do you get your news because there is no such thing as a non-biased source of anything that is human.

John: I mean here's my answer to the question. I try to get my news from multiple different sources. So I read The Economist, I read The New York Times, I read The Wall Street Journal. I also read the The Indianapolis Star, my local paper, and I read my Tumblr and Twitter and Facebook feeds which I try very hard to curate intelligently so that I'm hearing from Human Rights Watch and I'm hearing from the Gates Foundation and I'm hearing from organizations that are focused on what's called, like, effective altruism like trying to maximize the effectiveness of your charity dollar. So I want to hear from lots of different organizations, both news organizations and other kinds of organizations that are doing work around the world to find out what's going on. I also get a lot of information from Wikipedia which I feel like is a pretty, uh, pretty good collection of human knowledge. Not the best but good.

Hank: It's pretty amazing that Wikipedia has managed to not be biased, uh, like it's manged to be fairly unbiased and that, I really don't understand how that happened and how it's possible but it does seem that way.

John: Well, it depends on the article. Some of the articles, some of the articles are not great. But yeah. No, some how or another Wikipedia has become an astonishingly good encyclopedia. There's no such thing as a perfect encyclopedia, even, you know, even expert curated ones are not perfect, but it's a very, very good one.

Hank: I think that if you're looking at things that seem like unbiased news, that you're getting a pretty good sort of cross-section of unbiased news, the trick is to not go to any one source. And the other trick is to read the news rather than just read whatever comes across your Facebook page because that's where the most bias happens, when you're only sort of being exposed to the news that your friends want to share or that people in your, you know, in your world are sharing. If you're only seeing and having conversations inside of a bubble that is created by, you know, your internet preferences then the internet is creating a world for you that does nor reflect the actual world.

John: Right. You end up in an echo chamber surrounded only by voices that you already agree with instead of, yeah, being exposed to stories that you might otherwise not. I mean that's very difficult to do. That's one of the things I like about The Economist is they report news from all over the world. Now obviously they still have an American and European bias but there's quite a lot of reporting from around the world.

  Question 2 (5:57

John: Hank, I have another question for you. It's from Silvia. "Dear John and Hank. What's the most unusual place you have ever peed?"

Hank: Oh, I feel like that question is kind of, because you pee everywhere you go, it's got, that question is kind of what's the most unusual place you've ever been? So for me the answer is to that question is the White House where I also pooped.

John: Oh, that's wonderful, Hank. Congratulations. Um, the most unusual place I've ever peed is Mike DiTullio's bed.

Hank: Poor Mike DiTullio. Are you just gonna let that hang there? You're not gonna explain that at all?

John: I don't know how to explain it. I made a poor decision.

Hank: (Laughs) I...

John: And Mike DiTullio's life was negatively impacted as a result.

Hank: I woke up in the middle of the night one time and, uh, puked in the sink of my bathroom, and this was, like, our childhood home. And then I peed in the tub. And I mean you pee in the tub plenty as a person, like, that's sort of a thing that people do, but I just stood outside the tub and peed into the tub. And then I went back to sleep and then I woke up in the morning and I was like "I don't feel very well but I guess I'm going to go to school. I feel very tired." And I got into the bathroom and there was puke in the sink and pee in the bathtub and I was like "I should probably go back to bed."

John: (Laughs) So there you go. Hank has peed into a bathtub, I've peed into the bed of a relative stranger when I was an intoxicated college student. I do wish to clarify though that, just for the record, that the young man in question was not in the bed when I peed on the bed and I did switch mattresses with him and do all of his laundry. So in some ways I didn't pee on Mike DiTullio's bed, I peed on a bed that was about to become mine.

  Question 3 (7:41

Hank: Joe asks "Dear Hank and John. Do you see yourselves making YouTube videos in ten or twenty years?"

John: Yes.

Hank: Yeah. Kinda. I mean like, I don't know if there will be, if it will be YouTube videos. It will be web format video which is the phrase that I had used to me in a conference call last night.

John: Oh, God, that makes me sick to my stomach, I'm so glad I don't have to get on conference calls like that. Um, yeah, it will be video--I--I still think that we will make video, and I still think that it will be transmitted via the little tubes that make up the internet.

Hank: Yeah. People will watch them on their computer and iPad screens. Or personal device.

John: I think that your personal device screen will, by then, be installed into your iris, so I don't think that you will be holding a screen, I think that it will just kind of run across you know, your cold, dead eyes. 

Hank: It's funny the things we disagree on. I think we will maybe eventually colonize the galaxy, and you think that in 10 years, we will have screens in our irises.

John: There's no way that we're ever going to colonize the galaxy. That is so ludicrous I refuse to engage with you further in the conversation.

  Question 4 (8:52)

John: Next question from Kayla, "Dear John and Hank, my two year old son, Liam, told me that if he ever had a brother, we should name him Hankjohn. Do you approve of this name and if not, what would you suggest?" First off, Kayla, I am flattered, please tell your two year old son Liam that we are delighted that he thinks so highly of us that he would name his brother Hankjohn. However, Liam, if I may speak to you directly for a moment, in what universe does it make sense to name your brother Hankjohn when the name Johnhank is right there waiting for you, Liam. Johnhank. Me, hey, it's me, Liam, and my little brother, Johnhank. I can see it already. You're at the--you know, like, you're in 5th grade, and he's in 3rd grade, and everyone's like, "oh, is that your little brother?" and he's like, "Yeah, that's my awesome little brother, he's so cool, Johnhank!" 

Hank: I don't like you imposing your values on poor Liam.

John: No, I'm not imposing my values on Liam, I'm just saying what's objectively a better name. Johnhank is definitely better than Hankjohn. 

Hank: It's funny because the podcast is called Dear Hank and John, so Hankjohn actually, I feel like it flows better.

John: Well you named the podcast. Clearly.

Hank: No! The podcast just, it was, you know, that, it named itself, you know. It's just what...

John: (Laughs)

Hank: It's what makes the most sense. Hank and John.

John: I would argue that it makes the least sense and that the older brother, John, would come before the younger brother, Hank. Then it would be called Dear John...

Hank: Yeah, but then... Then you're saying "John and Hank" and you've got those two "N"s next to each other. "John-an". "JohnandHank". It's no, it doesn't flow. Hank and John. You've got that "K" at then end of the Hank to push you into the "and". Hank and John instead of JohnandHank. It's awful.

John: OK. Liam, I think that we've decided that you should either name your younger brother, your hypothetical younger brother, Hankjohn or just name him Johnanhank.

Hank: (Laughs) Yeah, that's good.

John: It's up to you, Liam. We're gonna leave it to you. We trust you, you seem like a really good namer already for a two year-old.

Hank: Yeah, yeah.

John: I mean, I gotta say, I have a two year-old and, um, she has no idea that it is possible for her ever to have another sibling because it isn't.

  Question 5 (11:17

Hank: An Icelandic Nerdfighter named Kolka asks: "Dear Hank and John. Have you ever considered visiting Iceland? Best regards."

John: Considered visiting Iceland? Hank, can I tell my visiting Iceland story?

Hank: You've been to Iceland?

John: Have I been to Iceland? Of course I've been to Iceland.

Hank: You've been everywhere.

John: I was in Iceland in the summer of 2008. So here's my Iceland story. Iceland is a beautiful, fascinating nation of 300,000 people. It's about the size of Columbus, Ohio, but it's an independent country, OK?

Hank: OK.

John: So I land in Reykjavik, Iceland, with thee of my friends, well one spouse and two friends but my spouse is also my friend, so three friends. And we go to the hot baths immediately. And the hot baths are almost empty but very nice. Very pleasant hot bath out in the, uh, out in public and this part of Iceland itself looks a little bit like the surface of Mars which is to say that it's, like, boring and uninhabited, but there was still something lovely about it. And then we take the bus into Reykjavik proper and it's a large city with no people in it, right? Like everyth... It is completely abandoned. It looks like a ghost town like if everyone left Columbus, Ohio, all at once. And I'm totally freaked out, like, walking down the road with my baggage behind me, complete silence. It was the most odd and dislocated I can ever remember feeling. And then suddenly there is this eruption of sound, hundreds of thousands of people making noise all at once, and they emerge from whatever hiding place they've been hiding from onto the streets screaming, cheering, throwing beer at each other, covered, their faces covered in the Icelandic flag, many of them weeping. And it turns out that when we landed in Iceland was the very moment that Iceland's Olympic men's handball team was securing Iceland's first Olympic medal in, like, 60 years.

Hank: (Laughs) That's amazing!

John: And so I found myself in the midst of the most wonderful party. And people would grab me or grab Sarah and they would grab us and look at us and scream joyfully in Icelandic. And we would be like "That's wonderful!" and they would be like "Oh! You're American! You've won so many medals! You must always feel this way!"

Hank: (Laughs)

John: So I love Iceland, I love, it's the favorite place I've ever been, Kolka. Thank you.

Hank: I like how there was, there was just not a single person in the entire country who was not at that moment watching that handball match.

John: Because again, it's a nation of 300,000 people. It's like if Columbus won an Olympic medal. It was, oh, what a time to be alive. And then when we, uh, during our trip in Iceland, which lasted 2 days, at no point did anyone discuss anything other than the Men's Olympic Handball Victory. 

Hank: (Laughs) Uh, apparently you want to go back to Iceland. Did you know, John, that according to a recent poll, the majority of Icelanders believe in elves? 

John: Elves like, uh, Santa's elves? 

Hank: Uh... I think more like Santa's elves than like Tolkien's elves. I think like, uh, kinda the way we would believe in like ghosts. Where they're like little people who like get up to mischief... and live in the mountains. 

John: Well you have to understand, having spent two days in Iceland I'm a bit of an expert in the country, and you have to understand that it looks like a place where elves would live. So, I think if I lived in Iceland all of the time I would also probably believe in elves. 

Hank: I kinda wish I believed in elves. 

  Question 6 (15:17)

John: Okay, another question Hank. This one from Dylan: "I would like to know if you two think punk is dead or not and your reasons for feeling that way." 

Hank: As a person who, uh, literally fronts a punk band I hope that it is not dead. Uh...

John: Yeah, Hank, you're pretty punk rock. 

Hank: (Laughs) Uh, usually when people say things like punk, punk is dead or that anything is dead it's because it's changed. Uh, and looks different than it used to look or acts different than it used to look. And that is true of punk. Uh... but old punk remains alive, even if you don't like new punk, uh, you can still listen to your Operation Ivy or Seven Seconds or whatever you think real punk is and those-

John: That's not old punk. 

Hank: Songs still sound just as good as they- I... but I know but I think this is where this person is coming from. More from that era. 

John: That's, the thing is like in 1993 when I was a sophomore in high school I thought that punk was dead because, you know, nobody was listening to the Dead Kennedys anymore. 

Hank: Right, so it's, it's, maybe it's that punk is different in a way that makes older punks feel uncomfortable because All Time Low is too pop punk. Or whatever. But! But! But there is a lot of interesting and amazing, uh, punk happening all over the world and some of it is very underground and independent, which is what punk should be. So I think, a lot of times there's really interesting punk happening, it's just, uh, the people aren't taking the time to find it.

John: Alright Hank, quick question, um, and we're gonna answer together on three. What is a pop punk band or a punk band that most people aren't familiar with that we would heartily recommend. One, two, three.

Together: The Mr. T Experience.

Hank: Yeah.

John: I knew it. I knew it. We both love The Mr. T Experience.

  Question 7 (17:13

John: Um, another question. This one is from James. "Dear John and Hank. I will soon be starting a job that will have me traveling a lot. Do you have any traveling tips?" Do I? Do I James?

Hank: Oh God, don't get John started on traveling tips. Oh God.

John: Oh, it's almost all I have at this point is traveling tips.

Hank: Here's my, here's my trav... I wanna start with one. When the plane goes (Turbulence noises) that's normal.

John: Yeah. Well, when it comes to worrying about whether what's happening on your plane is normal you just look at the flight attendants. And what you'll discover is that pretty much everything that you're worried about is normal. And then on occasion, you're moments away from a fiery death.

Hank: (Laughs)

John: Um, here is... Yeah, My biggest travel tip, James, is this: You're going to be spending a lot of time in mediocre hotel rooms; you will, as I have, memorize the layout of the Courtyard Marriott hotel room so that no matter what city you're in, you'll feel like you're in the exact same place because every Courtyard Marriott is laid out the same. You must leave that hotel room or you will, if you are me anyway, descend into a deep spiral of darkness. So you must call an Uber or a taxi or something, and go somewhere in the place that you're visiting that makes you feel like you're actually there instead of just like you're in another Courtyard Marriott. By the way, today's podcast brought to you by Courtyard by Marriott! Fantastic hotel chain! Um, couldn't make the podcast without them, so, so appreciative of they're financial support. 

Hank: I want to tell a story about a Courtyard Marriott, it's very short. I was staying in a Courtyard Marriott on our most recent tour with Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers, and it was a converted other hotel.

John: Oh, boy.

Hank: A much, like, a hotel that was a- much bigger rooms, but they had just put the Courtyard Marriott hotel furniture in that room?

John: Oh, yeah.

Hank: And was very strange to walk into the room and be like- Well, it was like this weird uncanny valley where it was like this is all the Courtyard Marriott furniture, and the Courtyard Marriott art on the walls, but there was just a huge amount of empty space. It was very strange. 

John: Hank and I once spent thirty-four consecutive nights in different Courtyard Marriotts. 

Hank: It's true. 

John: And- You do... 

Hank: Yeah.

John: Like, close your eyes and think of that red love seat, Hank. You know what I mean?

Hank: Yep.

John: Ah, that red love seat! It was my ground while we were traveling! You know, I'd spend all day in that mini-van with you, and nothing against mini vans or you, but I just kept thinking, "Man, I just need to get to that red love seat at that Courtyard Marriott in Duluth, Minnesota" or wherever we were that day.

Hank: I, any... I don't know, like, how long are you going to go on with travel tips because you've done a lot of traveling.

John: I do feel like Vlogbrothers has been a tremendous gift in my traveling because it forces me to leave the hotel and do something or at least to think about something other than how much I hate spending time in hotels. And I know this will be very foreign to people who don't do a lot of business travel, probably a lot of you are like "What's so wrong with having, like, being, spending time in hotels and having, you know, people clean your towels for you and having access to room service and a mini-bar or whatever?" And there are a lot of blessings to it but, at least for me, it is the place of darkness and horror to be honest, it is. And so having to make a Vlogbrothers video is like "OK, well you have to do something other than, like, stare at the television which you don't, like, can't find the energy to turn on and contemplate the dead, blank face that's looking back at you through that off screen, you have to make a Vlogbrothers video." And it kind of, like, gets me going. So I guess that would be my other travel tip. I don't want to make traveling for work seem that bad 'cause lots of people enjoy it, but that would be my other big traveling tip - make videos or do something, do some kind of creative projects with or for people you love just to kind of, like, feel connected to your wider world so you don't feel like you're just, like, disconnected in this travel space. And then lastly definitely pick an airline and work hard to get medallion status, not that it really means anything, it doesn't really improve your life in any way, but it's like winning a video game, it's like levelling up. So it allows me to feel like I'm accomplishing something by traveling because I'm getting closer to diamond status.

Hank: Yeah, that's what they want. That is their goal.

John: Well it works. Um, and when I get diamond status this year, Hank, and Delta Air Lines is forced to every time I enter the airport shoot off champagne poppers and sing "We love you John Green, we do. We love you John Green, we do" then I'm gonna be so excited, I'm gonna be so happy.

Hank: That sounds very exciting for you.

  Question 8 (22:29

Hank: We have another question, it's from Emily. "Dear Hank and John. I am hoping you can help me solve a mystery. For six years now at the Indianapolis Airport there has been a Spanish language announcement stating that quote 'Effective of June 30th 2009 it is prohibited to smoke in the Indianapolis International Airport. It is not permitted to smoke outside on the streets or in the parking garage'. There is not currently an English language version of this message and this is the only Spanish language announcement in the airport. It sounds to me like no one in charge speaks enough Spanish to realize that this sounds quite silly at this point. Any thoughts on the matter? "

John: Emily, you've asked the single most important question facing humans today. Why, six years on, does the Indianapolis International Airport continue every twelve minutes to play that Spanish language announcement that it is no longer possible to smoke inside the airport. Is it because they believe that Spanish speakers smoke at rates higher than English speakers? Is it because - Also why don't they ever have in Spanish that you need to keep your bags with you at all times and that if a stranger approaches you and asks to put something in your bag you should say no, which they also air every twelve minutes lest one forget that that if somebody random walks up to you and says "Can I put this dynamite in your luggage" you're supposed to say no. Um, uh, Emily, it's a great question. It's a question actually that I have asked the Indianapolis International Airport over Twitter. They did not respond. I feel that it's time to retire the announcement. You can't smoke in any public place anymore including but not limited to the Indianapolis Airport. And yes, I am equally frustrated by this. And when I'm filming a vlog I cannot tell you how often in the middle of a really great take they will come on the air and remind me in Spanish that I cannot smoke.

Hank: Your life is so hard John Green.

John: I know. Thanks for empathizing buddy.

  Question 9 (24:30

John: This question, speaking of hard lives and personally specific questions, comes from Kieran. "Dear John and Hank. Greetings, I'm a nerdfighter who was recently diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and I'm heading off to college in August. I was wondering if Hank, given his own experience, had any advice about dealing with this disease while in school?" Hank, you have ulcerative colitis. Um, what do you think?

Hank: Uh, it depends on your severity. There, but like... It's mostly about getting use to and being comfortable with uncomfortable things so letting your professors know and your friends know that you might have to not be where you're supposed to be at all the times when you're supposed to be there and you might have to run off in the middle of class and just don't ask 'cause you know where I'm going. Yeah, and it's about, like, being comfortable enough with your disease and your situation to not feel embarrassed about that or to, you know, be able to get over the embarrassment of it. And that's really hard and it takes time and practise and that's the only thing that it takes. You just have to do it and the more you do it the more you'll know that people are really gonna be fine with it.

John: Yeah. I feel like we have so much shame around our bodies that disease like ulcerative colitis are kind of doubly traumatic, like they're obviously physically traumatic but there's also this huge social stigma that goes with it because we aren't allowed to talk about pooping and we aren't allowed to talk about, like, intestinal diseases in the same way that we're allowed to talk about, say a broken arm or diabetes. And I just want to encourage you to be as open as you can and to understand that your body is not shameful and that making this, you know, it's unfortunate that you have a disease that's made worse by social stigma but, you know, the vast, vast majority of people are compassionate and open and will not be judgmental and will not snicker at you and will understand that you are living with a chronic illness that is already difficult enough without having to be surrounded by people who would shame you for it.

Hank: Yeah, and it's a thing that's going to, but it's not not going to be embarrassing. It's going to be embarrassing for you and it might also be embarrassing for them but it's just, you know, like, the only way we can move past this is if we pretend like it isn't embarrassing and then everybody will be like "I'm embarrassed but should I be?" And then they'll be like "No" and then it's OK. And hopefully through a generation of that we can have children that will not feel like they can't, you know, have a disease that involves pooping and not experience constant shame.

John: Yeah, I guess that's what I really want because I do think that, like, once people are exposed to it and if you can be honest about it, like Hank when you're honest and open about it, like my own embarrassment, it's actually done wonders for my own embarrassment and shame around bodily functions, you know. And I think that it's unfortunate that you get placed in a position where you sort of have to be a spokesman for it but it does do a lot of good and people's attitudes do change by exposure and they become more comfortable and they stop seeing it as, through the embarrassing lens that they've always seen it through. But it does take time and work and it's not fun.

  Question 10 (28:08

Hank: "Dear Hank and John. I recently finished my first year of university and right after that I went on a service trip to Nicaragua. I have been thinking a lot this past year about ways in which we can help those less fortunate than ourselves, especially when it involves other nations than our own. Is it right to interfere in the lives of others and come to help them as if we know best? Kim."

John: Well that's a really interesting question and I think for a long long time one of the biggest problems in global development and global aid was this idea that instead of listening to people living in low income countries about their needs and their proposed solutions to the problems they face, you know, the US and Europe and the Soviet Union would come in and say, like, "Oh, we have the way and now we shall implement it." And that was very effective in terms of getting countries to, you know, side either with capitalism or communism but it was completely ineffective when it came to development and that's one of the big or one of many reasons why low income countries didn't benefit a lot from development aid in the second half of the 20th century. I think the key here and the key in so many places is to listen and to listen empathetically and to understand that people living in poverty understand much more about poverty than we do. And they also know solutions that we can't possibly think of. So instead of, like, going to a poor country and trying to implement a solution, I think that it makes a lot more sense to go to poor countries and listen. And then see if there are way that money or other resources can help to implement solutions and I think that kind of development is a lot of what we've seen in the last 20 years and has a lot to do with why we've seen these dramatic reductions in infant mortality, in maternal mortality, dramatic reductions in malaria deaths and diarrheal deaths. It's because we finally have started to listen but we still need to do a much better job at that.

Hank: It's really difficult to come into a place and have this goal of wanting to make the place better and then to not immediately impose all of your values and perspectives and world views on that situation. Like I am used to a world where you solve problems by hiring people and you solve problems by thinking really hard about complicated, you know, like the... And I'm solving the problems inside of the social structures that I know and understand and those are not the social structures of other places, they're the social structures of Missoula, Montana and online video which are not universal in any way. So I, like, it's important to realize that when we are engaging other places and other people who are different from us, we are the ignorant ones, we have no idea what's going on. We have no idea how that society functions and wanting to impose, and like sort of implicitly imposing our world view and then also wanting to impose our values are destructive feelings because there's the thing where you feel like "Well, I'm helping and, but like this thing, this way that your culture behaves upsets me and so, like, let's fix that first" is not, that's not why we're doing this. We're doing this so that fewer babies will die and so that people will live longer and have happier healthier lives. That's the first step. And like this thing that happened for a long time where the first step was to impose your values along with whatever aid you were giving was destructive.

John: Yeah, and we still don't do a great job of not doing that. I mean, the healthcare system in the developing world that I know best is the Ethiopian healthcare system and one of the biggest successes that they've experienced in the last 15 years is with volunteers, it's with female volunteers in rural communities who go out and talk to their neighbors about prenatal care, about how, when it's time to have a baby, how to get to the healthcare center or if necessary to get to a hospital and those are people who aren't paid. Like that's very counter to my understanding of how you solve healthcare problems because I live in a country where we spend 20% of our GDP on healthcare. And so I remember talking to a woman and saying, like "I don't want to sound like a, you know, like a filthy capitalist but like why do you do this? Like, you know, like you have a lot of other work and you have a lot of other responsibilities, why do you do this?" And she pointed out to me that that is not a question that I would ask if I had seen a lot of babies die.

  Podcast Categorization (33:33

Hank: This brings to mind the fact that I have put this podcast in the comedy section which...

John: Ha ha.

Hank: I really feel like it belongs there. I'm glad I did that.

John: It's non-stop comedy. Our only negative review so far on iTunes has the subject line "Comedy??" and then the text was something like "This podcast was so depressing. Why do I have to think about the fact that we're never going to explore the galaxy?" And the answer to that is that we are never going to explore the galaxy, it's not my fault! And it's hilarious. Oh man.

Hank: That's amazing. That's amazing. Like is that the, that's the most depressing thing you took away from that episode, not that the lifespan of the human is inconsequential.

John: Ah, anyway, it's just, just, just good old fashioned comedy.

Hank: Do you want to know why I put it in the comedy section, John?

John: Yes.

Hank: I was going through the sections and they kept asking me to subcategorize. Like if I picked, it'd be like "So which of these subcategories?" And I was like "That's too much work." And when I clicked comedy there were no subcategories.

John: Laziness, the key to podcasting success.

  News from Mars (34:37

John: Hank, I think it's time to talk about the news from AFC Wimbledon, the most important football club in the world. Owned by its fans, built by its supporters. And of course Mars which is a cold, dead, lifeless rock orbiting around the Sun. Uh, what's the news from Mars this week?

Hank: Um, in Mars news, the trailer for the upcoming film The Martian was released and I'm very excited about it. I don't know if I'll actually be able to go see the movie because I'm, like, that excited about it, I feel like I might need to see it in private because it's very...

John: What is this movie?

Hank: It's an adaptation of Andy Weir's book The Martian and it's about an astronaut, played by Matt Damon who is one of my favorite people, and Matt Damon is lost in a dust storm as they are evacuating Mars because of this dust storm and presumed dead. But then he ends up to not be dead and he has to stay alive for years on 30 days of supplies. It's basically, it's like, it's just weird engineering, it's just him, like, sciencing on things for, you know, 300 pages. It's amazing. It is the most, like, it is the most intense and wonderful experience reading I have had with a science fiction book in a long time and I absolutely suggest anyone check it out. And it's, and like the fact that they're turning it into a movie is weird because it's going to be, it's like... The whole book, like it mostly has one character because it's a guy who's alone by himself on Mars.

John: Right, they did that with, they did that with I am Legend.

Hank: Yeah, which didn't turn out well.

John: Oh, I thought I am Legend was totally watchable.

Hank: I didn't watch it. I've only heard that it didn't turn out well.

John: You know, people are always so hard on Will Smith movies but just like Tom Cruise movies I find them to be solidly viewable. I feel, they distract me from the void which is the number one thing that I ask of films.

Hank: Yeah. Well maybe I'll check it out. Does it have zombies?

John: Uh, it doesn't have zombies exactly but it has sort of... It has zombies of a kind, yes. It's a, it's a zombie-like film.

Hank: I don't... Those scare me a lot. I get very scared.

John: Uh, well I will tell you it is a, it is a fairly scary movie. It's one of those movies where, like, everything's pretty chill, you get the feeling that, like, Will Smith leads an overall, a pretty high-stress life due to being the only known human on Earth. But, so you always feel this, like, medium level of anxiety but then like, aah! Out of nowhere there will be a zombie-like vampire-like creature and that, those parts are a little bit upsetting. But what I do is I just cover my eyes during 60 to 70% of those movies and I just wait for the inevitable cure to the zombie disease that will inevitably result in, like, Will Smith being reunited with his family and et cetera. Hank, that, by the way, is again not news from Mars, it's news from Earth.

Hank: Let me ask you a question, John. If they were making a movie out of the AFC Wimbledon story, would that not be your AFC Wimbledon news this week?

  News from AFC Wimbledon (38:02

John: Actually it would not just because the actual news from AFC Wimbledon is so great.

Hank: Okay, yeah, I better believe that for a moment.

John: Hank, Hank, Hank? Are you sitting down?

Hank: Uh, that would be weird if I was recording a podcast standing up.

John: Adebayo Akinfenwa, the most important soccer player for AFC Wimbledon, the strongest man in professional soccer according the video game FIFA, the cult hero of AFC Wimbledon; he's big, he's tough, and he's just signed a two year contract. He's staying at the club despite offers from several American clubs in Major League Soccer. Adebayo Akinfenwa, also known as the Beast, is staying with AFC Wimbledon. It's huge news. Uh, he loves the club, he loves it, its owned by it's fans, and he turned down offers to come to America for it. He's had a fascinating career, Akinfenwa. He started out his professional career in Lithuania. He's always been told that he was too big to be a professional football player, Hank. I don't know if you're Googling an image of him right now, but you should. And he, uh, he started out in Lithuania, he once played for five clubs in a single season in England but finally he has found his home where he is acknowledged and loved for the incredible player and person that he is, and that home is AFC Wimbledon. We are so delighted that he is staying with the club. I yelped for joy. Hank, as you know I've had a pretty good couple of years in terms of professional and my personal life. I had a child, I had a movie come out, it was very successful. Um, nothing has made me feel as good as Adebayo Akinfenwa resigning with AFC Wimbledon. It is just pure joy.

Hank: I have to say that this is not what soccer players look like.

John: He's a big man. He is a big man.

Hank: I actually remember watch... I watched whatever the recent important sport thing was and I remember seeing him on the pitch and being like "That is a, that is... yeah. Different".

John: He is strong.

Hank: Yeah. He...

John: He has, he actually has a line of clothing called "Beast Mode On" because he calls himself "The Beast" and when he gets out on the pitch he turns the Beast mode on. Because in real life he's a very quiet, incredibly charismatic person, one of the most, like, likable, intelligent, funny athletes I've ever heard interviewed. But then when he gets on the pitch he's gotta turn Beast mode on and he is just brilliant. He scored against Liverpool last season, Hank. He is the real deal and I truly believe that with Bayo, as we call him, we have a very good chance, AFC Wimbledon, of going up to League One, the third tier of English Football, and then no-one could make the case that Mars is more important than AFC Wimbledon.

  Podcast News and Conclusion (41:10

Hank: Uh, we have news in the podcast as well, we have an editor for the podcast, Nicholas Jenkins, whose name you might know from being the producer and director of Crash Course here in Missoula. So Nick is gonna be...

John: Thank you Nick. You are awesome.

Hank: In other podcast news, we held the second top spot on iTunes as our podcast in America but we were pushed out of number one because Stephen Colbert and his new night-time show pushed us out of the top spot. I don't know why he had to launch his podcast the same time we launched ours. But we did usurp him in Canada and the United Kingdom which are, of course, countries that are way more important than the US because our podcast is popular in places where people get free healthcare.

John: It's not free, they have to pay taxes for it. It just seems free because we pay more taxes for healthcare and don't get universal healthcare so that's why, that's why you were confused.

Hank: Right, yes. Also I tweeted to let people know that Stephen was keeping us out of the top spot and they should go subscribe if they want us to make it there which we of course did not. But Stephen tweeted back at me and he said "@hankgreen Sorry, my angler fish-based music is just better than yours! #yoursisgoodthough #canthatethenight #songwednesday #Irunthispodtown"

John: #songwednesday implies that Stephen Colbert watched Vlogbrothers in 2007 which I think is very unlikely because I feel like I was almost personally acquainted with everyone who watched Vlogbrothers in 2007 and I don't recall any of them having a cable show.

Hank: Right, no. Yeah, I feel like we would have, like, recognized that screen name.

John: Yeah. But I don't know. I bet he has some minions who tweet for him too. Who knows if it was the actual Stephen Colbert but regardless thank you Stephen.

Hank: Don't ruin my dreams! It was the actual Stephen Colbert! Just because you've been on the Stephen Colbert show and you've, like, touched him doesn't mean that, like, I don't need validation, John!

John: Yes Hank. You are suffering so mightily from a lack of outside validation. I don't know how you get through the days. Um, so thanks to Stephen Colbert for ruining our dreams of having a number one podcast. Thanks to all of you for listening. Please send us your questions at and as we say in my hometown:

Together: Don't forget to be awesome.