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In which Hank and John discuss pain, the Istari, eschatology, and the slowness of apocalypses. Thank you to all of the many people sending in questions to

 Introduction (0:00

Hank: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John.

John: Or as I prefer to think of it, Dear John and Hank, the podcast where John and Hank Green answer your questions, provide dubious advice, and share with you all of the vital news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon.

Hank: Yeah! Welcome. We're gonna have a good time t... Are we gonna have a good time today? I just want to make sure.

John: Uh, I think we're gonna have a good time but as comedy podcasts go, Hank, it might get dark.

Hank: That's what, that's how we like it.

John: Can I start today with a short poem, a very, very short poem?

Hank: That would please me greatly.

John: Um, can I look up the short poem that I, uh... I gotta find a short poem real quick Hank.

Hank: You forgot about that part?

John: I forgot about that part. But fortunately I am a veritable fount of short poems. Is it fount or font?

Hank: Uh, you're the writer.

John: Anyway, this poem is by Mary Oliver from her wonderful book A Thousand Mornings. It's called I Go Down To The Shore.

"I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall—
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do."

Mary Oliver, her poem I Go Down To The Shore from her book A Thousand Mornings.

  Question 1 (1:29

John: And it brings us nicely to our first question, Hank, in this hilarious comedy podcast. It's from an anonymous listener who lives with chronic back pain and has been for many years and quote "I have been told I need to accept it and keep moving forwards. And I'm sure the people telling me this are right but moving past it is difficult because it's not like a linear thing. Like when my parents got divorced I could accept it and move on because there was a linear point that I could move away from. It happened, it sucked, I can deal with it and put space between it and me and not have it crush me. But back pain is different. It's part of me, it's stuck with me probably forever as there are few options for me at this point. You've both struggled with chronic pain and I was curious how you have gone this far because it really is awful." Um, it's a great question and one that is, one that I think about a lot especially when I'm in pain. The first thing that I would recommend, Hank, is reading this book that, I don't know if you've read but it's my favorite book on the topic of pain. It's called The Body In Pain by Elaine Scarry. Are you familiar with it?

Hank: I am not.

John: It's like an academic book and it can be dense at times but at the very beginning she makes this brilliant observation that completely clarified all of my thoughts about physical pain which is that to be in pain yourself is to have certainty and to observe or hear about the pain of others is to have doubt because you can never really understand what other people's pain looks like or feels like whereas when you are having pain yourself it is this, you know, absolute undeniable certainty.

Hank: I remember hearing, I think it was on a podcast, probably Radiolab, about how awful our pain scales are and how, like, they don't, they're not very useful. When someone goes into the doctor and the doctor says, you know, "Tell me your pain on a scale from one to ten", um, like what people self report is not helpful at all and many people experiencing more pain will list lower on the scale because they can think of things that are much more painful than the thing they are experiencing right now. What tends to be more helpful, and this was really interesting, was having people say "What would you give up to get rid of your pain? Would you, like, would you get a really bad haircut to get rid of your pain or would you take ten years off your life to get rid of your pain". And I actually have a friend who has been studying the, sort of, not just the human lifespan but this new sort of concept of, like, can we measure, sort of global quality of health, not just amount of life but quality of life. And pain is very high and chronic back pain in particular is the sort of thing that they in their research look at as something that takes away a significant amount of, like, livable years and is sort of similar, like, one year of living with chronic back pain in their research, the way that they measure that is kind of like saying like it's sort of like 75% of a healthy year. And so it's very difficult I think to communicate that to people who have not had that pain and I certainly have not had that pain and all of my pain has had the potential of going away some day and that hope is very powerful and when that hope is not there, whether that's a real lack of hope and there really is nothing that can be done even, you know, with fingers crossed future research or if that hope is just because it becomes very difficult to hope when you are in serious pain, that's very difficult.

John: Yeah. There's a great David Foster Wallace line that I'm probably gonna butcher in Infinite Jest, he's talking about psychic pain, but a character points out that no single moment is unbearable. It's the collection of all past moments combined with the pain of the present moment combined with hopelessness about ever being free from this pain in all future moments that's so unbearable. So what I guess I would encourage this person to think about or what I find helpful is, you know, things, like A: talking to not just traditional doctors but also psychologists and psychiatrists about pain and pain management. And B: trying to live in now, instead of catastrophizing and assuming that this pain can never get better. I know that's incredibly--I--I mean, I know from personal experience, that's incredibly difficult to do on a--on a minute by minute basis, but that's the only way I've ever found any kind of like, peace or relief inside of physical pain. The other frustrating thing about physical pain is that it defies language, like, it's very difficult to describe pain. I have a theory that one of the reasons we invented metaphors in the first place was as a way of dealing with physical pain, because you can't describe it except metaphorically, it's like an ice pick behind my eye, it's like being stabbed in my jaw, it's lik--you know, it's always like something, it always--

Hank: Yeah. I have--I have some chronic pain in my leg, and I--it's taken me a long time to be able to describe it and what I say now and what it actually does feel like is someone is rubbing my muscle with sandpaper. It's not like, the worst possible feeling, but that's what it feels like, it's like a hot friction, someone is grabbing and rubbing the bottom part of my quadricep with sandpaper, and like, to me, it's like, "Yeah, that's exactly what it feels like!" And people are like, "Oh, okay. That sounds awful".

John: There's some communicability in the power of metaphor when it comes to pain.

Hank: Yeah.

John: But still, I think that ultimately pain does defy language, and you know, hopefully, all I can hope for you is that you're surrounded by people who love you and who understand that your pain is real and--and please know that it is real. You never have to doubt that. You never have to doubt that what you're experiencing is true.

Hank: Yeah, and going to see a psychiatrist or psychologist does not mean that you're going to get your psychological pain treated, it means that you are going to find ways to deal with your real pain.

John: Yep. You gotta find psychological ways to deal with physical pain when there are no physical solutions to physical pain. Oh boy, it's another hilarious start to this comedic podcast!

  Question 2 (8:22

John: Alright, Hank, let's move on to a question from Olivia who asks, "Dear John and Hank, if there was an epic battle between Gandalf and Dumbledore, who would win and why?" 

Hank: Okay. I mean. I've got nothing against Dumbledore, he's, he's, he's--

John: This is not a difficult question.

Hank: He's cunning and he's powerful and he knows a lot of stuff and he's not afraid to manipulate small children and use them in pawns in his deadly games to protect--

John: He's a fantastic headmaster of a boarding school. 

Hank: Yes. Well. I mean, he's more than that. He's more than that. He's trying to save the world, at least Britain, as far as I can tell. It's weird how sort of the effects of whatever weirdness is happening in the Harry Potter world never reaches past the boundaries of a very small island, but Dumbledore's just a human who has some special powers, and he's been trained in the magical arts. Gandalf is not--that is not what wizards are in Middle Earth.

John: Gandalf is a god, essentially.

Hank: Well, he's more of an angel. He's an angel, he, like, sort of cre--well, he was created by God. He's like, a direct creation of--of Ilúvatar, the God of Middle Earth. He made him. 

John: So the question of who would win a epic battle between Gandalf and Dumbledore to me, there is only one answer, it's obviously Gandalf, Hank and I agree about this, but Hank, let me ask you a secondary question that I think is gonna be a little more difficult for you.

Hank: Yes. Yes.

John: If you could either be Gandalf or Dumbledore, who would you wanna be?

Hank: I don't know. I don't feel like I have a simple answer to that question.

John: Oh, I do, it's easy, this is not a difficult question. The answer is Dumbledore. It's better to be Dumbledore. Every day of the week it's better to be Dumbledore. For one thing, just life is better. Life is better for Dumbledore than it is for Gandalf. For another thing, you have better company.

Hank: Right. He does seem to have a much better time.

John: And Gandalf smokes, and I find smoking to be a despicable, reprehensible habit and something that Dumbledore would never take up.

Hank: Yeah, Dumbledore just eats candy a lot. 

John: Yeah, exactly. Would you rather be a guy who can blow very fancy smoke rings or just a guy who enjoys candy? 

Hank: But, you know, I think Gandalf has a good time, too. He seems like, when things are going okay, he seems like a jolly guy, y'know, he like, has fun fireworks shows and he hangs out with the hobbits and does cool stuff, people like him.

John: Let me submit that things are rarely going okay over there, whereas, at Hogwarts, things are often fairly good.

Hank: Well. You also have to look at where each of them is at the end of the story. And we won't talk anymore about that.

John: Well. Yeah, I guess on that front, there is a--there is a front-runner.

  Question 3 (11:12

John: Let's move on, Hank, to a great question, oh, I realize I'm asking all the questions, maybe you should ask one.

Hank: Yeah, you never let me ask questions. Alright, so Sophia says, "Dear Hank and John, what type of apocalypse would you most like to happen?" No kind. I would prefer zero kind of apocalypse. I just--like, why--why does there have to be an apocalypse?

John: No, I don't--

Hank: I want my apocalypse to be the heat death of the universe, the inevitable unavoidable moment when there is no more distribution of energy unequally throughout spacetime. Which is going to happen, but it's the longest time it could possibly take. 

John: Well, Hank, you'll be surprised to learn that I am looking forward to the apocalypse and spend a lot of time thinking about it. I actually own the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Eschatology, which is the study of people's thoughts about the end of the world, and I have a tremendous amount of what's called eschatological anxiety, worry about the end of the world. I am a big believer in at least human, the human apocalypse coming in the form of a, you know, not a bang but a whimper. I think there will be a series of sort of like, minor bangs over the period of like, maybe the next 5,000 years, and then we'll be reduced to like, maybe 10,000 mating pairs, and then we'll just kind of fight it out until there's none of us left.

Hank: Well, down at 10,000 mating pairs, you really have the opportunity to do the whole thing over again.

John: But we won't. 

Hank: Why not?

John: It's just not like us.

Hank: Um, I wanna say a couple things. First, I've never heard the word eschatological and I like it and I like that it includes the word 'scat', it makes me think of poop and it makes me think of that wonderful musical genre. Or musical technique.

John: Well, if you looked at the--if you looked at the word in the dictionary, you would see that it, in fact, does not contain the word 'scat'.

Hank: Is it--wh--how is it spelled? Is there a 'q'? Is it e-s-q-u-a-t?

John: E-s-c-h

Hank: Aw. Ess-cchh. Es-chhh-tological. 

John: You didn't make it very fa--you didn't make it very funny. Needless to say, Hank did not participate in the Scripps Howard spelling bee. Eschatology is not a hard word to spell.

Hank: Well, I've never heard it before!

John: Well, it is a Christian-specific term and you come from a broader religious background so.

Hank: The other thing I wanna say is when I was in college, I wrote a song called, "Rome Didn't Fall in a Day'.

John: Yeah.

Hank: Because everyone says Rome wasn't built in a day. And then everybody looks at America or Rome and says, like, you kno--how--like, and sort of the imagined crash comes like, immediate and like, in a matter of days or weeks or months, when really, that's not how it works. Rome took hundreds of years to fall, and so did all great empires for the most part, so.

John: I mean, in fact, you could argue that was something of a Roman empire until like, World War I. I mean, it all depends on how you define Romanness, and you could argue that there's a Roman empire now, seated at the Vatican City that extends, you know, I mean, beginnings and ends in general are extremely undramatic. I found this almost without exception, because everything that seems like it's going to be an event turns out to be a process. Everything that seems like it's going to be a revelation turns out to be, like, something that happens over years.

Hank: Yes.

  Question 4 (15:01

John: Uh, Hank, we've got a question from Cathy, this is a very important question, "Dear John and Hank, it's hot. I am too hot. What are some good ways to cool off?"

Hank: I have a song about this.

John: You do, it's called 'It's Too Hot.'

Hank: Yes, it's called 'It's Too Hot'. I have a song about everything, apparently. The end of the world, I should write more songs about the end of the world, I sure to talk about it a lot.

John: Today's podcast is sponsored by Hank's songs. Available now at Thank you, Hank's songs, for your continuing patronage of our little podcast.

Hank: Today's podcast is also brought to you by the fall of the Roman Empire. It took not--it wasn't an immediate process, it took many hundreds of years, and lots and lots of people died. Thank you, fall of the Roman Empire, for your support of the world as it is today.

John: We'd love to thank our sponsor for today's podcast, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination in 1914 sparked World War I, the event that once and for all ended any argument over whether there was still a Roman empire.

Hank: Sponsoring this podcast, Gavrilo Princip, who shot the Archduke Franz Ferdinand after walking out of a sandwich shop because he really didn't like the idea of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

John: And we'd also like to thank the Archduke Franz Ferdinand's idiot uncle, the Emperor Franz Joseph, who never even really liked his nephew but still got angry enough about the assassination to go ahead and start World War I. Thanks for sponsoring our podcast, Emperor Franz Joseph of the now non-existent Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Hank: Let's not include this.

John: I'm not sure how much of that is going to end up in the podcast but in case it got cut at some point, Hank and I just spent 20 minutes going back and forth trying to prove which of us knew more about the start of World War I.

Hank: Oh, I know a great deal about the start of World War I.

John: Yeah, so do I. That's why it took 20 minutes for us to have the debate.

(Both laugh)

Hank: Oh God.

John: OK. Hank, if I can go back to the question which was not about the start of World War I but instead about the fact that it is currently hot outside at least in much of the Northern Hemisphere, what are some good ways to cool off?

Hank: You can go and get some ice cubes and put them in your pants.

John: (Laughs) There you have it ladies and gentlemen.

Hank: You can make out with a...

John: Oh no Hank. I don't think there's a need for a second, for a second piece of advice. That should suffice. So there you have it Cathy. Another thing I that I used to do, even though I know that that's the only piece of advice we really need to share, is I used to put my hat in the freezer every night and I would wake up in the morning and put my hat on.

Hank: That's a good idea.

John: Yeah. That's when I lived in Chicago.

Hank: I find that, in general, just having something cold is extremely helpful. You wouldn't really think it but just, like, holding on to a cold thing cools down your whole body quite a lot. There's a lot of blood vessels in your hand.

  Question 5 (17:51

John: Hank, speaking of your knowledge of science, we've got a question from James who writes "Dear John and Hank. If the universe has no edge, how is it expanding?" That's a great question. I have no idea because I do not understand, even after it has been explained to me by both my brother and Neil deGrasse Tyson how the universe can possibly not have an edge if it is also expanding. What is it expanding into?

Hank: So, take your shirt and stretch it.

John: OK. I've got it.

Hank: And stretch your shirt.

John: Just so you know, Hank, I'm wearing an AFC Wimbledon shirt. I'm stretching it.

Hank: I'm wearing an Andrew Huang shirt. So you're stretching it and...

John: Oh, well who loves Mars!? Not you!

Hank: (Laughs) Stretch it and there's, the fabric doesn't... So like ignoring certain things, the fabric doesn't expand into anything, it just expands. It just gets bigger.

John: Disagree. The fabric expands into the air.

Hank: Don't think about the air. Just think about the fabric. If the fabric were all of spacetime, if the fabric were three-dimensional and four-dimensional then it would just be expanding and it wouldn't be expanding into anything, it would just be getting with more space between it.

John: Right, OK. That's a great, that's a great explanation. I really appreciate it. I still have a couple of questions. The first thing is that when I expand my shirt I can't help but notice that my shirt has an edge. I'm holding it right now at it's most expanded capacity and there does seem to be an edge of it and after the shirt there is what I would call air.

Hank: Well imagine... Right, but the fact that there is an edge to the shirt does not affect how the shirt expands. If you had an infinite piece of shirt and you stretched it what would happen?

John: I cannot imagine. I mean first off, asking me to imagine an infinite piece of shirt is a big ask. I was just having this conversation with my five year old son, actually, because he said that he was having an argument at camp over whether infinity was the biggest number or whether infinity plus one was the biggest number, and I had to explain to him that first off, not all infinities are of the same size, and secondly, infinity is not a number, like, infinity is not a very large number, it's just a countlessness. 

Hank: Yeah.

John: And so, you're asking me to imagine an infinite shirt, right?

Hank: Yes.

John: Alright, I think I have it.

Hank: And then stretch the shirt.

John: I'm stretching it.

Hank: So what happened?

John: Well, first off, I can't notice that even in my mind, the infinite shirt does have edges, but I know that that is a weakness of my mind, because the infinite shirt can't have edges, because the infinite shirt is not very, very big, it's infinite, which is different from very, very big, so I'm trying to train my mind to imagine that. Okay. Now, the infinite shirt is stretching. 

Hank: So, two points on that infinite shirt just got farther apart. 

John: Th--two points on that infinite shirt got farther apart. Quick question, what did that infinite shirt expand into?

Hank: I think that the problem is not with the expanding, I think it is with the infinite. I think that is--that's the part that we really have a hard time with, because it doesn't need to have expanded into anything, because it was infinite. It can't expand anything, it can't expand into anything, it was already as big as it can be.

John: So what you're saying is that the universe doesn't have an edge because it's infinite, and it's able to expand but there's nothing on the other side of that expanse, because it has no edge.

Hank: Kind of, yeah. 

John: Oh man. I mean.

Hank: There's not an expanse to be on the other side of.

John: Oh my God, this is such a funny comedy podcast. Umm... (Hank and John laugh)

  Question 6 (22:04

Hank: Amy asks "Dear Hank and John why do we have individual finger prints? What practical purpose could they possibly have evolved to serve?" I know actual answer to this question; John do you want to take a guess?

John: I do want to take a guess Hank, thank you for the opportunity. We evolved individually distinct fingerprints so that every person could grip slightly different objects well. (Hank laughs) That is my guess is that correct?

Hank: I mean... No but I love it. I love the idea that like, uh, that like over the broad spectrum of humanity there's a person that can hold everything perfectly. Like no one object...

John: Right, so there's like, there's one person...

Hank: Yes. There's only one person who has the perfect fingerprints for the iPhone 6.

John: And there's only one person who has the perfect fingerprint to like, uh, I don't know, hold a Trillium flower. There's only one person who has the perfect fingerprint to hold the particular club that killed the first mastodon.

Hank: Yeah, okay umm, err... I love it, umm... The answer is that fingerprints are there because they help us grip things. They increase the surface area of our fingers and they do increase the friction between our fingers and surfaces. So they're helpful.

John: So I was Right?

Hank: Yeah.

John: I was right; you're welcome Amy.

Hank: You can tell that by like rubbing your, like,, like the tops of your fingers on your desk and then rubbing the bottoms of your fingers on your desk. Your fingertips will stick more. And as for why we evolved to have individual different fingerprints, every person has different fingerprints, we didn't evolve to have different fingerprints. That is just a weird consequence of how fingerprints are made when we are in the womb and partially...

John: Or... I was right.

Hank: Or John's right. One of those two things are the truth.

John: Hank if the Universe has no edge how is it expanding exactly (Hank laughs) What is it expanding in to?

  Question 7 (24:05

Hank: This question is from Eric; Eric says "Dear Hank and John I just got my first job as a go-kart maintenance person, I don't know the actual job title, and I'm feeling the pressure. With school and friends I'm having trouble balancing it all. How did you manage to transition into the workforce from your first jobs".

John: First of Eric let me just say that as first jobs go go-kart maintenance person is amazing.

Hank: It's pretty cool.

John: I mean, you're learning about people because you've got to work with customers but you're also learning about engineering; and you're also probably learning about, like, co-workers and managers. It's like, to me it's like the perfect first job, also I am a massive go-kart enthusiast. Hank do you know about my go-kart enthusiasm, it's an extension of my love for race cars.

Hank: Yeah, yeah a little bit.

John: Yeah. I love go-karts they're amazing. Uh, I don't know. What was your first job Hank, I don't remember.

Hank: Walmart

John: Oh right Walmart. Yeah you did the carts.

Hank: Yeah I did the carts amongst other things.

John: I did find it difficult to manage my social life and my academic obligations alongside my early jobs; I worked at a warehouse and then I worked at Steak 'n Shake and a couple of other restaurants. Um, I think the key for me was understanding that my job in some ways had to come last; like I needed to be there when I needed to be there, and I needed to pay attention and do a reasonably good job but in terms of my emotional energy that needed to go toward my friends and my family and my academic work.

Hank: I actually luckily enough worked with a lot of my friends at Walmart. Umm, so there was... There was a bit of a social component to it. In fact that is why I worked at that Walmart, there was a closer Walmart to my house that I chose not to work at because I didn't know anyone who worked there. Um, and I think that a lot of people have good social experiences at work and I don't know if that is an option open to you at your go-kart place but, um, it might be worth exploring. And yeah. I mean...

John: I'll tell you what, from my Steak 'n Shake experience, sometimes it is not worth exploring. Because as you know, Hank, my main co-worker, he murdered someone and now is in prison. But that's a story for a different podcast.

Hank: Um, I have a short poem that is relevant to this.

John: (Laughs) I can't wait. You're such a great reader and student of poetry. I cannot wait to learn what poem is relevant.

Hank: It's very relevant! It's by Kenneth Koch. It's called You Want a Social Life, with Friends.

John: Oh! You only know about this poem because of me!

Hank: Probably.

John: I was introduced to this, I have to say, I was introduced to this poem by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and it's on my list for short poems to use in future podcasts, but go ahead, use it now Hank.

Hank: I know about this poem because Alan Lastufka did a kinetic typography video to it. It is called You Want a Social Life, with Friends by Kenneth Koch.

"You want a social life, with friends.
A passionate love life and as well
To work hard every day. What's true
Is that of these three you may have two
And two may pay you dividends
But never may have three."

John: Yeah, I'm afraid that might be true.

Hank: I mean, it's definitely difficult to balance all of the things and there are other things to balance too, like there's your personal health, which becomes a bigger deal as you get older, like maintaining that, and there's, you know, family obligations and making sure that you take care of the people who have taken care of you. And, like, there's lots of, lots of balance.

John: There's also Game of Thrones which is on every Sunday and if you miss it even by, like, two hours Twitter spoils it for you. So there's a lot to manage in this life and it's not easy but I would just encourage you to always try to watch the shows that you love live because otherwise people will ruin them for you. Sorry what were we talking about? 

Hank: (laughs) Time management is hard.

John: Hank do you ever pause to consider the fact that our father, uh, worked on fishing boats in Alaska and like...

Hank: It is difficult to perceive... to like see that in my minds eye, yes.

John: And he like mushed dogs in Alaska; and he hiked most of the Appalachian trial; and he, like, froze camping in the Grand Canyon; and look at us just a couple of guys sitting in comfortable chairs.

Hank: This is a very nice chair. Actually my dad bought this chair for me. (John laughs) He took me to the office store and he was like "You're getting a real chair".

John: Dude, you know what's funny about that; mom bought my chair for me. (Hank laughs) She even paid for it; it was my 27th birthday present, this La-Z-Boy that I'm sitting in right now.

Hank: It may have been my 27th birthday present. (John laughs) We didn't know that 27 was, was chair birthday.

John: (laughs) All you 27 year olds out there make sure to ask your parents for a very special birthday gift; chair.

Hank: Chairs are very important to your happiness.

  Question 8 (29:17

John: Okay Hank, one more question before we get to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon, the most important portion of the podcast. This is from 12 year old Hareem "Hypothetically how much would it cost to move AFC Wimbledon, the greatest football club in the history of the world, to Mars, a cold dead rock in the vacuum of space, for a day?". How much would it cost, Hank, to move AFC Wimbledon to Mars for a day? And I'm gonna go ahead and give you, uh... I'm gonna help you out with some numbers, okay?

Hank: Oh wow.

John: We're not going to move AFC Wimbledon's stadium, that's unreasonable, and we're not going to move anything... we're not going to move anything more than is absolutely necessary for AFC Wimbledon to play a match on Mars, right? So that is: a goal; 11 players, including Adebayo Akinfenwa; and the manager, Neal Ardley along with, you know, all the clothes and the cleats necessary to play soccer on Mars. Those are your requirements Hank. How much would it cost to move AFC Wimbledon to Mars for 1 day?

Hank: Err... How many players are there on AFC Wimbledon?

John: Well, err... we... I think we're gonna go ahead and not bring any substitutes, umm, and so just the 11 starters.

Hank: 11?

John: Yeah, a goalkeeper and 10 outfield players. Have you just never watched a soccer game in your entire life?

Hank: So how are the... How are they gonna play a game? Are... Can they play like 5 on 5 or something?

John: No, they're gonna play against a team that, err, that...

Hank: That lives on Mars?

John: Yeah, they're gonna play against a team that is currently on Mars.

Hank: Okay. Um, and they're... Can they only go for a day or can stay for a while?

John: Is it cheaper to stay?

Hank: Yes.

John: Wa... Can you... Briefly explain to me why it is cheaper to stay on Mars than it is to just, err, come and go.

Hank: Because you have to sort of launch at the time when Earth is closest and so when we launch the Earth mission it will be at a time when Earth is closest to Mars and by the time they get there Earth will be far away from Mars. So you have to wait for Earth to get close again.

John: Wow. Alright so we will amend Hareem's question. AFC Wimbledon will be taking a... How long... What kind of M...

Hank: I don't know... Like probably a year

John: A year!

Hank: No probably months. Probably months.

John: Months! Hank AFC Wimbledon has a game every single Saturday.(Hank laughs) We can't take months away. What will happen to our position in League 2 with Adebayo Akinfenwa on Mars instead of playing in... in England. I'm sorry. I'm getting upset. I sometimes stutter when I'm upset.

Hank: I bet we can get like, sort of, the cost down to like 1.5 billion per person

John: Million or billion?

Hank: (laughs) I find that question funny. It's billion with a B.

John: Billion with a B per person!

Hank: It's a long trip.

John: You think the cost of, err, moving AFC Wimbledon to Mars, err, would be $1.5 billion per person times 11, is, err... God I'm so bad at math. What is it? Like 16...

Hank: Work it, Work it John

John: $16.5 billion is your proposal for getting AFC Wimbledon to Mars. Does that include the...

Hank: I don't know that seems low. That seems low to me now that you've said it out loud.

John: Well I also... I forgot Neal... I forgot Neal Ardley, the manager so that's 18 billion

Hank: Yes.

John: Umm, okay, err. If any of our listeners have more precise information on how much it would cost for AFC Wimbledon to Mars, err, go ahead and send us emails with your calculations at; that's also where you can email us your questions. Thank you to Hareem and everybody who asked a question today.

  News from Mars (33:15

John: Umm, Hank it's time for the news from Mars. What's going on in Mars these days?

Hank: Geologists have discovered glass on Mars, which is not in itself super surprising because glass is formed here on Earth when meteorites impact the Earth so... err... It was likely that glass would be around on Mars. The news however is though that they are able to, for the first time, detect where there is a lot of glass on the surface of Mars from orbit using, err... using some spectroscopy techniques that are brand new and the cool thing about that potentially is that here on Earth when glass is formed by natural events you can actually... It actually captures some of the atmosphere in the glass and so you can look inside the glass and see what the atmosphere was like when that glass formed on Earth, which gives us a little insight into the history of our planet and that will also potentially give us insight into the history of Mars, which is great because, err, a lot of the ways that we here on Earth figure out, you know, what the world was like a long time ago, err, might not work as well on Mars but this should work just fine and could potentially tell us if one day in the distant past Mars had life on it.

John: Hank, err, quick question. You're saying that glass contains the history of the atmosphere from when it was made?

Hank: Yeah, like traps little... little bubbles of air.

John: I mean, I like to make fun of your Mars news but that is actually pretty awesome news. Dang It!

Hank: (laughs) I never know what you're gonna be excited about; I really don't.

John: That's fascinating, well I think that my favorite thing about it is that unlike most of your Mars news it actually is happening on Mars. (Hank laughs)

  News from AFC Wimbledon (35:08

John: Umm, so then the news from AFC Wimbledon this week. Hank, as you know, AFC Wimbledon is a club that was formed by a group of fans after Wimbledon FC departed for, err... the town that shall not be named in the greatest scandal in the history of English football. Umm, it's a fan owned club; a fan controlled club but it's also a very charity oriented club. They have a great foundation, the AFC Wimbledon Foundation, and they also partner frequently with an organization called War Childwhich is an organization that works with children who are refugees from war or living in places of conflict, a great organization based in the UK; and right now if you Google AFC Wimbledon earphones or AFC Wimbledon... Yeah. Just Google AFC Wimbledon earphones , you can get these amazing AFC Wimbledon earphones that I am actually using to talk to you right now, Hank. They've got a great mic on them and the sound quality is excellent and the money raised is split between War Child and the AFC Wimbledon Foundation. I mention this in no small part, Hank, because you are not currently using earphones with a mic on them and it makes podcasting unnecessarily difficult so I have bought you a pair and I've also bought a pair for everybody who asked a question that was used on today's podcast. But they're really great, genuinely great earphones and they've got the little AFC Wimbledon logo on them which is cool too. But it's a great way to support charity. So AFC Wimbledon launched that this week and I wanted to let you know about it. Um, and the history of that and everything else will apparently be trapped inside of my window so that's cool.

Hank: (Laughs) There's probably a lot less air trapped inside of your window than in naturally formed glass that has formed in pretty chaotic circumstances, not so much like the way that your window glass is formed.

John: You're really harshing on my buzz here, Hank.

Hank: Sorry about that.

John: You can... that's kind of the Hank Green story, though. I have some, like... Hank tells me a little bit about science, I make some kind of broad metaphorically resonant conclusion about it and then Hank is like "Yeah, but no. Not actually". (Hank laughs)

  Conclusion (37:55

John: Um, if you have a question for us, again please email us at, an email address clearly invented by Hank, and thanks again for listening to our podcast. What did we learn today Hank?

Hank: Oh goodness. We learned that, we learned a lot about the history of the beginning of World War I thanks to our sponsor for this podcast and the fall of the Roman Empire.

John: Not to mention the fact that we learned the importance of putting ice cubes in your pants and the fact that we'd rather be Dumbledore than Gandalf at least until book, um, five.

Hank: Nope, nope. Yeah, yeah, at least until book five.

John: Thanks for listening and as we say in our hometown of Nerdfighteria: Don't forget to be awesome.

Hank: Don't forget to be aw... It's so hard to do when you're doing it. (John laughs) Don't forget to be awesome.