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With John out of town on the Paper Towns press tour, Hank calls on long-time John-replacement Maureen Johnson to help co-host this extra long edition of Dear Hank and John. In it, we discuss the science of sight, whether it's OK to lie to get a job, and how to deal with that paralyzing feeling that your life isn't special and that you're just going to do all of the same boring crap everyone else has already done.

 Intro (0:00)

Hank: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John.

Maureen: Or as I like to call it, Dear Maureen and Hank.

H: Oh hello there. This is a podcast where today I, Hank Green, and Maureen Johnson answer your questions and provide dubious advice and bring you all of the latest news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon, though I don't know if Maureen has any AFC Wimbledon news. Do you?

M: I barely know what balls are. Sports balls?

H: Oh. Sports balls. You're familiar with...

M: Listen.

H: Do you have a poem for us?

M: I do.

H: Oh, that's good. So you don't have any AFC Wimbledon news but you will fulfill John's role of a short poem.

M: I certainly will. Here is a short poem for you.

"Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you'll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand"

And that was, of course, part of Tiny Dancer written by Bernie Taupin, the man who wrote lyrics to nearly all... It's an extraordinarily high percentage of Elton John's songs.

H: That was beautiful. That was a beautiful, uh, poem and a some what unexpected direction to go in which I'm excited that, yes. Because who knows a bunch of short poems and is pretentious enough to talk about them on podcasts besides John Green?

M: No-one.

H: No-one. Yeah.

M: Zero people.

H: Zero people.

M: Really.

H: So we have some Dear Hank and John updates. The first is that we have theme music now thanks to Gunnarolla, Andrew Gunadie, who you can see travel vlogging and making music and being awesome at with two Ns and one R and two Ls. And second: John Green, who is the John of Dear Hank and John, is in the pre-release madness of the Paper Towns movie release and he's gone. He's, I think he's in Brazil right now? And he will not be here, he will not be at his house for the next month and a half and his house is where he records podcasts so we are going to have a bunch of guest Johns. And the first guest John, as you probably have guessed by now, is Maureen Johnson. Can you tell us about who you are Maureen?

M: Sure. I'm Maureen Johnson. I am an author like John. Unlike John I show up and do stuff (Hank laughs). This is now... Hank, this is the third time that I've filled in for John because he was simply too lazy to show up.

H: Or... Yeah, sort of.

M: No. Well, don't make excuses Hank. He just, he did... Is he here? No. Could he be? Well. I mean, the first two times were because somewhat, not even that he was having a baby, someone else was having a baby. (Hank laughs) Alright?

H: Just someone that he was, you know, that he was closely related to through matrimony.

M: Well. Well. And I just want to say as a footnote, those two times I made videos and he actually told me that the reason he picked me to do it is because I am so bad at making videos, he wanted to make sure to pick someone that wasn't so good that they wouldn't like them better and then they would, you know, really want him to come back.

H: Oh, that's lovely. That's a lovely thought that John... Yeah, that's such a nice thing.

M: That's actually something he said to me and you know what though, he was right because I am not good at making videos.

H: Well it does sound like something John would say.

M: Oh, it is absolutely something he said. You know, I also wrote a book with John - I almost said called Paper Towns but that's not it. I don't know. I don't know what I do - called Let It Snow.

M: So, so I did, so we have done that together.

H: Yeah, and you, do you have... Tell me about your jars.

M: Oh, that's been a while. Uh, that is a reference to people who follow me on Twitter. I spend a lot of time on Twitter. And I used to say that I would put everybody who followed me inside a little tiny jar and keep them with me forever. But I've run out...

H: Just, like, on the shelf behind you? Run out of space or run out of jars. 

M: There's still metaphor, you know I still... In spirit everyone is in there, but I've moved on to other storage. Large storage containers, shipping containers, things like that.

H: So I'm, what am I in?

M: A very special spot in my heart.

H: But I'm not in a jar, or...

M: Tupper, a Tupperware.

H: Tupperware, okay, small Tupperware.

M: Um, well, yeah, a nice one though. Not one of those ones that you through away, which frankly make me angry.

H: Yeah, why is that? I feel bad. I get, you know, like lunch meat now comes in this Tupperware. And you're like "I now have this and, it's not very good, but I have it and it's clearly not just a bag or it's not a disposable container, and now I have this and I feel like I have to clean it out and keep it, but who who, you know, I have to continue buying more lunch meat" and the only solution I can see to this problem is lobbying the lunch meat companies to to have more sustainable packaging. Do you see any solution aside from that one?

M: You know, I live in New York, which is the land of take-out and every time you get a delivery you basically destroy the planet every single time. You get about ninety plastic containers, and then in the end you're just like, you know, and they're just for, you know, a handful of rice, but it's in like a huge, very kind of sturdy plastic container. You're like "Oh, I'm just gonna just get rid of that, I guess, because I've got 600 of them."

H: We should start a company, a business that just collects sturdy plastic containers from people in New York City, and them re-sells them to people who are normal in other states and cities.

M: You know what? If anybody was going to do that, I think it would be you because I believe you run 20, hundred businesses at this point.

H: Well that's the thing that you have to, you know, if you have an idea like that, you have to like let nothing...

M: You gotta move on

H: ...let nothing stand in your way. Somebody is gonna do that, especially now that we've said it in the podcast, and they're gonna take this idea and they're gonna make dozens of dollars. And then we'll have lost out on that opportunity.

M: You could be a hundredaire!

H: Or a dozenaire.

M: Be ambitious! You know, I always think of you, I don't know if you, you've probably read Catch-22 and there's a character named Major Major that starts off sort of selling eggs off the back of a truck at the beginning of the book, and by the end, he runs the war and you see that like he is slowly... Like, that's how I see you, but in a good way. 'Cause he's a little evil but not like that. You're like the good version of that.

H: You wanna know something about books that I have noticed about myself?

M: Yeah! I would like to learn something about books. (Hank laughs) I've been winging this a long time Hank, I was hoping somebody would come up to me and say that very sentence.

H: I for a long time believed that if a book was assigned in class, that it was definitionally an unpleasant thing to read.

M: Oh yeah. Sure I think a lot of people think that.

H: And because of that, I've never read Catch-22.

M: Oh it's so good, you should read it.

H: Yeah, and like I remember when I finally read The Great Gatsby after having, you know CliffNoted it, CliffsNoted it in high school, I was like "This is a very good book! I'm kind of surprised", and I was like "Why didn't anybody tell me that this was such a good book?" I feel the same way about Fahrenheit 451, which I read in high school and I was like, you know, hated every second of it, and then I read it, and I was like "What a fantastic piece of literature! Who would have thought that this thing, that everyone is forced to read, is in fact quite good. And that is why they make us read it."

M: It's true. Some of these books though can be confusing out of context, you know. I read, for example, I've just totally blanked on the title of Ernest Hemmingway's 1925 novel, uh... The Sun Also Rises I believe is the one I'm searching for, and grasping for. But I mean, one of the major... It just went away I was really talk in a way that is fancy, like your brother, and then I suddenly forgot the title of all books. I was like, "I don't know. I was reading some book and it had some...". I just forgot everything Hank, I forgot everything.

H: Do you know that it was published in 1925?

M: No. No. No, no. 26

H: It was 26. But you don't know the name of the book?

M: No, it was The Sun Also Rises.

H: Oh, okay.

M: It came to me as soon as I said the year.

H: Okay.

M: I was this kind of a kid and one of the major... Wow; I'm about to go right into the territory that we started this in. But, one of the major things you need to know about this main character is that he was injured during the war and is... Can you say impotent in this podcast?

H: Sure, yeah.

M: I just did it, well he is and that's largely... that's a huge part of the book, which was not something they were going to explain to us in my Catholic, all girls high school.

H: Oh, yeah.

M: So you spend a lot of time going "Why is this guy so angry?" (Hank laughs), and "Why won't he date this woman he likes?", and "Why are all of these things happening?", you know. If they leave out really important chunks of information you may just spend a lot of time going...

H: This is awful, this character has no motivation; I don't understand.

M: Yeah, "This very strange man just goes around... I don't know what he's doing?". And I think something like Catch-22 you my need a lot of... a good bit of context; it's not a book that instantly... It's brilliant but it may... Some of these things don't instantly arrive with all of the... which is why, you know, CliffNotes came around.

H: Right. Yes

M: But then people only read the CliffNotes.

H: Yep.

M: And the circle of life continues. Also an Elton John song not by Bernie Taupin though; I believe those were Tim Rice lyrics.

H: Wow, you know a lot about Elton John.

M: I know a lot about Elton John.

H: But not about books.

M: I don't know, I know very, very little about books. I've written some? That's a question.

H: (laughs) Alright, so, we, uh.... you mentioned earlier that you have several times replaced John Green in various other...

M: Yes.

Hank: Enterprises, which is why I wanted you to be the first Guest John here on Dear Hank and John minus John.

 Question 1 (10:33)

H: Amelia has a question that is specific for you. She says, "Dear Hank and Maureen, what is it like to be the Actual John Green?"

M: She is referring -- Hi, Amelia -- you are referring to the fact that one of the first times when John went away for the first time I made three videos for him, which almost killed me. (Hank laughs) I mean, I'm really not good at this. If I ever wanted to make videos, someone would actually have to make the videos for me, because I really don't know what I'm doing, I've never put that on. I've shown light directly into the camera, like, I tried to record an entire video sitting next to a fountain, so all you hear is the fount -- really stupid. And, I did manage, despite my ineptitude, to record a music video.

H: Yes.

M: And I called it Actual John Green, and it is a sort of riff on a Beastie Boys song called Sabotage, and I just did it with, it was me and I gave the camera to a friend and said, "Follow me," and we just, we just made this music video, and my friend Jean wrote the music, and the answer to this question is: it's like doing all the work but without any of the perks, so, I'm not hanging out with celebrities, you know, I'm not, I'm not hanging out with celebrities, I think is one of the major complaints I have. And I truly believe that even if they -- because they, there's this possibility that Let It Snow will be made into a movie and I fully expect that articles will read "Written by John Green and some randos."

H: Right.

M: And you'll just see us, you'll see, like, a hand in the corner of the photo in the back and that'll be us. So, but I'm OK with that. I'm actually fine with that. He's a lovely guy, is John. He's lovely.

H: Yeah. Yeah, but, being, being the temporary replacement for him, does it leave you feeling unsatisfied? 

M: It doesn't! You know what? It's an honor. It is an honor and a privilege. I mean, he's a nice- He's.. You know what? Your brother's a nice guy. 

H: I'm glad you think so. I agree. 

M: Do you? 

H: I do! Yeah. I mean sometimes, he's my brother, you know and I'm like "Oh God, shut up!". But, he's a nice guy.

M: Well we all think that! 

H: Yes.

M: But I mean, you know, it's to be fair. You know. But, I mean, he gets around, your brother. I mean, you know, I don't ever feel like, "Whoo, you know, if only there were just more John Green articles in my life". Like I'm like "This guy. This guy. Alright. Enough with this".

H: I have a question that is not a question, it's just my question. 

M: Yeah?

H: Who's- Who do you think is the most famous person you've ever met.

M: Probably John Green

H: Really?

M: Um... Oh, now I'm thinking. I mean, I've probably met a few... Well, you know what? he's getting famous-y...

H: Yeah, a little bit. 

M: Yeah he's getting kinda, you know, I mean, he's in the TIME 100 and stuff like that. You know what I mean? Like, like every time I read about you or your brother doing something, I'm always doing something really wretched. Like, looking for something in the garbage, or... You know?

H: (Laughs) It's like you've accidentally thrown away your contact lens. 

M: Yeah! 

Hank: And you're just like, "Well, I guess I could probably save it." 

M: It was like the day I- I have a really beautiful necklace and I accidentally vacuumed it up and I had to cut open a vacuum cleaner bag. 

H: Oh yeah. 

M: And search through the- the dust to find my necklace like some sort of weird gem hunter. 

H: And then like, John Green comes on NPR and he's like "Oh, Hello!!"

M: No, he's like, on The Today Show in the background.

H: (Laughs) Yeah. 

M: That is what it feels like, but it's in a good way. I don't think I'd be good at those things, so I'm kind of glad he's, you know-

H: Yeah! I'm super glad that I don't have to do that stuff either, and it's- it is a weird thing to have my brother showing up in those strange places. 

M: That is what it feels like, but it's in a good way. I don't think I'd be good at those things, so I'm kind of glad he's, you know.

H: Yeah, I'm super glad that I don't have to do that stuff either, and it's--it is a weird thing to have my brother showing up in those strange places.

M: I had a--I worked on a weird conference once in Vegas where I met the first George Bush and Jay Leno in the space of like three hours.

H: Oh, yeah, well, George Bush is definitely more famous than John Green.

M: Probably. I uh... Well...

H: Yeah, yeah. Yes! He was the President! 

M: Yeah. As I said to John when The Fault in Our Stars came out, that if they didn't project the image of the "Okay? Okay." onto the face of the moon, then he was a failure. And it didn't happen, so he failed. We're gonna stop talking about John. He's not here! This isn't about him, Hank. 

H: Yeah this is- Yeah, why are we talking about John? 

M: He's like a ghost. He's haunting us. 

H: Yeah, gross. He's like a gross smelly ghost.

Ma: Ugh. 

H: Do you wanna give us a question? 

 Question 2 (14:58

M: askmaureen: "How do you live in both London and America? Do you have some sort of weird dual citizenship? And allow me to ask this, how do I get this?" I don't live in London and America. I only live in America. 

H: But you were always g- and for awhile,  this isn't the case anymore, but for awhile, you were in London like every other week. 

M: Yes. Yeah, and there is a reason for that, and it seems like I might be a spy or something.

H: Yes.

M: And I am a spy. 

H: You're not allowed to say that, as a spy. Just to be clear. The first, like, spy lesson number one is never say "It seems like I might be a spy." Don't, like, just don't bring that up! Yeah. 

M: Yeah. Oh well. 

H: But anyway. Sorry, you've ruined your spy status, so you're not a spy anymore. 

M: I go to England still. My partner is English, and so for many years, we lived in two separate places, so I would go there, he would come here, but I would go there more because my job is weirder and I'm a writer, so I, you know, I don't have to go to an office. Sometimes I go to offices and they say "Please leave" and I, you know, "Can I stay?", and I stay there, and like, get in like, to the closets and stuff, and I can stay there for a while sometimes, before they find me, but in general, I'm not supposed to go to offices, so, but he has to go to one every day, because he makes video games, so they make him, they make him go to an office, and now he lives here, and he goes to an office.

H: But you didn't have any like, Green Card problems with that, they didn't try to kick you out of the country?

M: They didn't try to kick me out of the country, I, everything, you know, I legally entered, you know, each time, which is good. And they did start asking me more and more personal questions. Like, you know, "How serious are you about this relationship?".

H: Really?!

M: Yeah, yeah. 

H: The customs guy was like, "So, how serious are you about your relationship? 'Cause I'm not doing anything after work." 

M: Well yeah. Well, did I mention, he's a customs guy as well. But he- yeah, no, they would ask things like this. And they ask you especially if you're a writer, you get asked all kinds of weird- 'cause it's a dumb job to have and I've gotten lots of questions like, "You're a writer, what do you write?" "Books". One of the first questions, "Have I heard of you?". Gonna go with "no" since you're holding my passport, looking at me, looking at my name, looking at my photo, and saying, "Do I know you?" It's probably "no". And one guy, when I went back to New York and I was really jet lagged and half asleep, and it was like, in my mind, four in the morning. And he said, "So, you write good books?" and I was like "I don't know." and he was like "What do you mean you don't know?! You should be more confident, say you write great books." I was like, "What?", and he was like, "Say you write great books!". And he wouldn't stamp my passport until I said I was a great writer. (Hank laughs) So it's not just an immigration service, it's also a self esteem course.

H: Yeah, they're self confidence boosters. And also, now you have Customs Certified by the United States of America, a stamp that says you are a great writer. 

M: It's just a smiley face.

H: I think, I think that's what that means. 

M: It's a smiley face on a book

H: Yeah. 

M: I'm not 100 percent sure I was in immigration, I was really tired. But, yeah. So that's the answer to that one.

  Question 3 (18:02

H: Alright. Hannibal asks: "Dear Hank and John, I'm a high school student, and I'm being passive aggressively pressured by my parents to get a job for the summer. Personally I'd like to get a job so that I can save up to move out in a couple of years. So I ask you, oh wise people, what are some good methods or strategies for finding a job? If it helps, some of my skills include video editing, short story writing, knowledge of how computers work, also, competence. But that's sort of necessary for working."

M: No, that's not- I would really argue with that last one. I have a lot of thoughts about this. 

H: Do you? 

M: I have so many.

H: Do you? I would say that the number one most important thing on the list of things that you just listed was competence. Like, like, that's the one. Because you're not, as a high school student, you're not, probably not going to find a high skill job in the writing or video editing areas. Though, I encourage you to try. But just being generally competent and thoughtful, that's gonna be the thing that gets you the job at the entry level position.

M: Yeah, I've had a lot- I've had so many jobs. I mean, I went to school for... I went to- I went to art school basically. I was an English major, and then I went and got an MFA in New York. So I was a theater and writing student in an MFA program, which means that I was broke, and had to do anything. And I had a couple- and I'd moved to New York, which is just the most expensive place you can live, so my policy was I would do any job. And I had really dumb, weird jobs. And I walked into New York without a job and I said, "I'm going to get the weirdest job I can find." And I got it through lying, which, honestly, you shouldn't do, but, you know, you shouldn't do it if like you're a surgeon, but you can maybe do it if it's, like Burger King or something...

H: Well it's really, it's about "Do you know enough, like are you empathetic enough to know the lie to tell?"

M: Yes. 

H: And if you can tell a really good lie that's not gonna get anybody in trouble, and it's not gonna hurt anybody, then you're displaying a kind of competence, in communi- it's a communication skill. 

M: Yes. 

H: Lying. 

M: Don't- Yeah, don't lie except it turns out that the only way to get a restaurant job in New York is to lie and say you've worked there before, so you have to say "Of course!". And so I made a resume with all of these restaurants in England, 'cause I'd studied there, knowing that, 'cause at the time, there was no, like, Skype or anything. And knowing that they wouldn't call. 

H: Mmm.

M: And so, I had this- 'Cause I'd worked some of them, I just really extended the times. And then I fully made up about three of them. But I walked in with an air of total confidence. But I want to also explain that I was trying to get a waitressing job in a haunted house restaurant. So... You know, I was not trying to get a job in air traffic control, I was literally trying to- It was the most amazing job I've ever had. Because that place was loaded down- it just closed, I'm so sad- it was loaded down with microphones, and video cameras, and little things on the wall. Like, animatronic skeletons and stuff, so we- so people upstairs could spy on all the customers. 

H: Oh my God! 

M: And we knew what they were doing, so we knew if they were complaining and things. 'Cause, we could say, like, "Turn on the rhinoceros on table 42", and then the-

H: Oh my God! 

M: Yeah! No, I have a lot of stories about this. 

H: That's- That seems illegal! 

M: Oh no, you went in knowing that all of the things on the walls were-

H: Oh, okay. 

M: -because they'd talk to- the thing was, it was fun, cause you'd go there because it would suddenly spring alive! And suddenly, the skeleton would talk to you. 

H: Right, it would, like, respond to something you were saying? 

M: Yeah, and it was supposed to catch you off guard, like, "Hey, give me a fry!" and then you'd be like, "Ah! it's so scary!". But also, the skeleton was listening to see if you were gonna send back those appetizers. 

H: (Laughs) I love that! 

M: So we would kinda know, like, you know, 42 is gonna send back their appetizers, and like, it was the weirdest dumb... I encourage having lots of stupid jobs. Don't worry if you get like, a dumb job or what seems like a gross job, or... I've had so many dumb and gross jobs. They are the best jobs you can possibly have. I miss waitressing, 'cause it's so, like, you had to learn to read people really quickly. You had to learn to kind of live on a day-to-day- like the money I took home in my pocket was what I lived on. And I really had to scramble to earn my money, and like, do a good job. And the- I learned a lot of people skills. And some of the best stories I have are from my kind of dumb, you know, weird... like picking up garbage at Sesame Place was a job I had. I watched someone punch Grover once. That's something I saw. 

H: Was Grover... was there a hand in Grover? Was- or was Grover animatronic. 

M: No, like, a person was inside of a giant costume. 

H: Oh! A big giant Grover! 

M: Yeah, people regularly hit costumed characters. It is terrible. 

H: I was a mascot. I was the high school mascot in my high school, Willie the wildcat. And I would get beat by little children. They, like, you know, it was an expensive suit, and I was told to protect the suit with my life and not let anyone hurt the suit. And when they would, like, pull the tail of the suit, I, like, what're you going to do, hit a child?! Like, I can't communicate, I'm wearing a wildcat costume. And uh, so I would, I just had to, you know, like, wag my wildcat finger at them, and that was all I could do. Yeah, I- I did not like that.

M: People take out a lot of aggressions on costume characters. 

H: Yeah. 

M: I did it once, when I worked for Theatre Festival. They called me at 5 in the morning, and they said "Maureen, get down here, 'cause the guy we hired is too big. So you're small. Come over here and get in the costume. And they put me in a Cat in the Hat costume that you saw out of the neck. So it, like, had another head on top of my head, and then they just, you're supposed to have someone with you, but they just sent me out on the streets of Philadelphia in 100 degree temperatures. And I remember wandering into the road, and I couldn't see where I was going, and I walked into the side of a building. So, you know, these are the times I cherish. 

H: Yeah. 

M: So go out there, you know what, just go out there- Ask people about jobs. I think it's fine to sort of go into places you're interested in. Or just, you know, if there's a little shop in your town or whatever, like, go in and just start asking people if they're hiring, and you know, that's really how I think it's done. 

H: Yeah, I did that to get jobs as well, and I found it very terrifying to like, walk into a place and be like "Okay, accept me. Make me your person and choose- pick me!". But yeah, it's normal, they're used to it. 

M: And you may have this feeling when you walk in the door, 'cause you know, where I live, there are a lot of this store called Wawa, which is like a convenience mart. And when I went in normally I didn't think about it, but when I went in to ask for a job, it suddenly seemed like I was walking into the White House. Like it suddenly will seem like, "Oh, I have to be on my best behavior, I'm in a Wawa". You know, like, it suddenly seems all different. That's normal, don't worry about that. Just be like, "Oh, I'm getting into a different mindset", just ask them if they have an application. 

 Question 4 (24:58

H: I have another question. This one is from Nick. Nick says: "Dear Hank and Maureen, would you rather have the ability to turn everything you touch into Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, or have every song you listen to sound like Smash Mouth's All-Star?" 

M: Oh God. This is...

H: You okay? 

M: This is dark! 

H: Well the thing that I noticed about this question, it says that either you have the ability to turn everything you touch into Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, or you have to have every song you listen to sound like Smash Mouth's All-Star. And if it's the ability, if I can choose, then I would definitely choose the Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson power, because basically, that changes my life not at all. I will just choose to never exercise that ability. 

M: No, I gotta go the other way. 

H: Why, are you afraid you're gonna accidentally turn someone into Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson?

M: Well, one, for sure I am. For sure I am. Like, I'm going- You know it's always that time that you're not paying attention, and you're going to turn something into Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. It's just- It's gonna be "Ma-" and you've done it. And she's The Rock. However, so, you kind of ruin the world. 'Cause, you know what? The Rock is great, but what's so great about The Rock is that there's one of him. You know? Like if it was too many Rocks, uh...

H: Yeah.

M: But the only person suffering with the second one, and I do agree that this is suffering, is you if every song you hear just sounds like Smash Mouth's All-Star

H: Well, the thing is, I like that song. But I still wouldn't want every song I listened to to sound like it. 

M: That song, is a really, like, notoriously terrible earworm. I mean, that is...

H: Mhmm.

M: Just even, I've said it now, and that's- that's two weeks gone. 

H: Well have you ever listened to Neil Cicierega's Mouth Sounds

M: No.

H: Well, next time you're on a road trip, or on an airplane, it's really great road trip music, actually. I- that would be my suggestion. If you're ever on a road trip download Mouth Sounds by Neil Cicierega. It is a, uh, mix, what do they call it? A mashup mix? That's what it's called. And it's just wonderful! 

M: I don't think it's called a mashup mix, is it?

H: Whatever! It's- it's a mix of mashups. 

M: It sounds like you've just put a bunch of phrases together. "What do you kids call it? A mix-mash? A Monster mash? A mix monster mash? A..."

H: It's definitely a mix mash, eh...

M: It's a blendini? Is it a...

H: And it's, uh, it is- Uh, All-Star is central to it. And it is really really pleasant to listen to and hilarious. 

M: That song was featured in every movie made between like 1995 and 1998 as well. 

H: I- yeah, I think that the folks from Smash Mouth did okay. 

M: That- They actually even appe-I remember this vividly, they even appear in a movie? Playing- 

H: Yes! 

M: It's- It's in Rat Race

H: Yes! At the- It's in Rat Race at the end of Rat Race

M: Yes. They do, they go to a concert, they're all forced to go, at the end of this terrible movie, they're all forced to go to a Smash Mouth concert. 

H: (Laughs) It's not a terrible movie!

M: It's not a terrible movie, to be fair. 

H: I love- I love Rat Race

M: I do like it too but the actual events are terr...

H: Oh god.

M: Like imagine having to do all of this stuff and at the end you also have to go to a Smash Mouth concert.

H: They seem so happy though. The problem is they have to give the money away.

M: Actors! Actors, like "I'm so happy to be dancing around. All-Star, 'Hey now, you're an all star, put your pants on'."

H: Now it's in everybody's head. And also we can't put this up because you sang All-Star. So you've ruined the copyright.

M: Oh, no.

H: I'm kidding it's fine, sing all you want.

M: Well good because I have a whole songbook here. Let me get out my piano.

 Question 5 (28:33)

H: Do you want to get us another question?

Maureen: I do. As soon as I scroll down. Now I'm ready. "Dear Hank and John," This is from Catlyn. "Considering humans cannot see every color," What? (Hank laughs) Well, news to me. "I have that new Apple screen that shows all the colors. Even the ones that, oh right, you can't see. What happens to all the unseeable colors? Do we just see them as white, black, or clear? Do you think scientists will find a way to genetically modify our eyes to see those colors?"

H: It seems like it is a question for me.

M: Oh, I don't know anything about science.

H: So what Maureen was surprised to hear is that there are colors that we can't see. That's not really true because the word "color" is like, by definition a thing that we can see. But there are-- like scientifically a color is a wavelength of light that is being detected by our eyes. It is a visual representation of a certain wavelength of radiation. And there are far more wavelengths of radiation than the ones that we can see. The visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is very small and so there are a lot of wavelengths that are outside of what the receptor in our eyes is actually able to, like, detect and it will trigger an action potential. So, action potential being the neuronal signal that gets sent to your brain and interpreted as color. So, since we only have receptors - we have like the rods and the cones - we only have receptors for certain wavelengths, there are wavelengths outside of that and those do not trigger the action potential. So if you were in a room with a light bulb that shined only light in that undetectable by us frequency, you would appear to be in a dark room. You would not detect anything, unless it was really high energy and it was like actually ionizing something in your eyeballs and making you see glowing in which case you have other things to worry about, like you're probably gonna get cancer. So we see unseeable colors as black, and as for whether or not genetic modification could allow us to someday see those colors, yeah, that's a thing that could happen. But it would not be a huge benefit partially because the majority of the "light" of the radiation in and around us is in the visible spectrum and that's because most of the other radiation is either absorbed by the atmosphere or not emitted by the sun in the first place. So, the reason we can see in the visible spectrum - in this like narrow band - is because that's actually where most of the radiation around us lies. Then there's some in the ultraviolet and some in the infrared as well, but we mostly don't-- there isn't that much of that sort of radiation thought there is enough that you should where sunscreen!

M: I just want to add the other day I went to a 3D movie but I didn't know it. I just thought I was buying tickets to a regular movie. And when I got there they were like "Do you want 3D glasses for your 3D movie" and I was like "Oh, I didn't even realize I bought tickets to a 3D movie." And I just sort of want to complain that I think that sometimes they should make it more clear. 'Cause you don't always want to go see a 3D movie sometimes. Is that part of the answer? Does that kind of--

H: Are you aware that I sell a product that allows you to watch 3D movies in 2D?

M: I am aware of that. That was one of the first time I said "Hank is an actual proper genius."

H: (Laughs) Well thank you very much.

M: When I going to see my 3D movie-- where I lost my 3D glasses three times on the way, it was a weird afternoon. And there was this Paper Towns poster there that had the disappearing Margo in it. So I was like "Oh this whole movie theater is doing crazy crazy things to my eyes today." And that's something about eyes.

H: Yes, eyes. It has to do with eyes.

M: It's not the same thing that you said.

H: It's a completely different set of phenomena.

M: I was really annoyed at Apple when they were like "We have made this computer with these colors and this screen is so good that you literally will not be able to see or perceive the changes we've made because they are too good for your fragile human meat sacks."

H: (Laughs) I had not-- I did not hear that.

M: Oh, yeah, when they came out with the retina display they - maybe they didn't 'cause it was Oscar my partner who's, who is the science side of our household who was like "You know some of these changes, we will never be able to perceive"

H: You like have to upgrade human bodies before people will be able to enjoy the upgrade to their phone.

M: We are a bunch of dumb meat sacks with eyes that are basically big jelly balls and we are not good enough for these products.

 Question 6 (33:25)

H: Alright, give us another question, Maureen.

M: Sophia asks "Dear Hank and John, I am terrified that I will finish high school, go to college, get a job, get married, have some kids, wrinkle up and die. The average progression of adulthood terrifies me. I want to make a spectacular impact on the world, but it seems like those "dream jobs" where your life makes a difference to the world are hard to come by. Is it impossible to hope my life does not become normal? If not, how should I go about making that dream a reality?" That's a great question.

H: Uh. I will say that it's real easy to look at the, at like the very surface level things that we know about the people around us and the people we like see at the grocery store and the stories that we sort of imagine about all of the folks that live in the world, and just assume that their lives are boring. And that there's-- that they have this like typical progression of life and it's just like a movie you've already seen and you're like "Well I know how this ends, so why even bother?" But in fact, that's not how anybody's life is, and I think that most people, maybe even all people, have lots of weird spectacular things that happen in their lives and contribute greatly to the human endeavor, that's--my--yeah, so my take on that is that you will--my take on that is that those ways to live your life, and not just jobs, but general life things, that make a difference to the world aren't hard to come by and it is not impossible to believe that your life will have an impact and in fact, it will likely happen even if you aren't trying but it is good to be driven and try to have those impacts, because you know, it will drive you to do more interesting and weird things.

M: I had this, this was--this question was basically my fear through all of high school. I was--well, not even fear, I was just very determined that I was not going to, you know, that that wasn't going to happen to me, and what Hank just said, I agree with a million. I mean, my mother, for example, is a nurse, and she's like "Oh, my job is so run-of-the-mill, I'm just a nurse" but no, it's not, what she does is extraordinary. I mean, one of my mother's days is like so much more-- I mean, she's-- someone severs a finger, she's getting a finger out of a machine, she's like resuscitating someone. Like, she's doing all of these things that--

H: Wait, she's getting a finger out of a machine?

M: Yes.

H: They have like a vending machine of fingers?

M: They do have that.

H: Okay.

M: They have that now. They have those now. Don't you have those? We have those in New York.

H: It's like, it's like those new things that like, will fix your espresso just the way you want it. It's like, just program the finger you need? 

M: We just eat fingers here. Um. No, where my mother works, I don't wanna say too much about it, is that she works in a school setting where there are--where there's machinery, and she has had to do things like--

H: Ohhh.

M: --get severed fingers out, and she's had to do--she does a lot of kind of extreme stuff and I think what she does is so exceptional and so amazing and I'm just so--I really am in awe, like, of what she does. But I went to, you know, I went to a Catholic girls' school and they made us take a class called Marriage, and it was taught by a nun, and that, first of all, right there, I seem to be, the humor of that was not lost on me at the time, and I spent every single day sitting in Marriage class taught by a nun just staggered by where I was. For as far as I was concerned, all of high school was just someone trolling me, and defacing my Marriage book, just making fun of everybody in the pictures, and--um, I would just say, don't--you know, these things that seem ordinary are truly when they happen to you exceptional, and just, you kinda make your own luck and you make your own chances, so you have to sort of not be afraid to veer from the path a little bit, you know, you have to--that ability to kind of step out and say "I don't really care if I look stupid, I don't really care if I have to seem like I have to prove anything to anybody." That just takes a little bit of courage sometimes, and sometimes you have to do stuff that you're like, "Agh, I'll never get out of here, I'll do lots of dumb jobs forever!" And that's not true, like, you can--you sometimes have to work your way to these places that are the more unusual jobs. You don't sort of land there overnight, either, so don't worry if it doesn't happen like, overnight, 'cause I think a lot of people are like, "I am 21 and not a celebrity yet, I'm gonna--that's awful!" and like, no. It's fine. You're fine.

H: And the other thing to remember is like, that getting married and having some kids, like, those are really remarkable things. 

M: Those are some remarkable things. 

H: Yeah.

M: And when you do that, you can get someone else to make your videos for you.

H: What do you mean? Like I should have kids so that my child will make my videos for me? 

M: Well, you could do that. I meant that you--specifically your brother.

H: Oh, John--I would never let John make my videos for me, he's not even that good at it.

M: Oh, that--I'm not even gonna bother to correct you or like, go back, 'cause that is just--just boom. You just--you just Hank-stamped that, you're like, da--you know, boom, you dropped the mic, you walked away. That was--this is why--this is why you're the more popular brother.

H: It's just brotherly lo... (Laughs) Yeah the thing is, the nice thing about John being much more popular than me is that I can say mean things about him and it doesn't seem that mean, because like, he's John Green.

M: I will tell you a true story about, 'cause he's a lovely guy. One time, we--I was out with John and his editor and for some reason, we decided to see if we could get into a who could punch John harder in the arm contest, which he fully allowed, he's like, "Go ahead" and so, Julie punched him in the arm, then I punched him in the arm, and we were like, "Who did it harder?" and then he was like thinking about it, and we just kept kinda hitting him in the arm, and he was fine with it, he seemed--he was like, "Oh, well, you know, it's kind of a tie", and 'cause he's just a lovely person. 

H: (Laughs) Oh, God.

M: He's like a gentle giant. You're both very tall. 

H: To all of the people out there, if you ever see John Green, don't punch him in the arm. 

M: Don't punch him in the arm! Even if he lets you, because he looked really sad, and I think we may have like, kinda bruised his arm. Like, we were not trying to hurt him, we just sort of wanted to see which one of us could hit harder.

H: You weren't trying to hurt him, you were just hurting him.

M: I also don't hit very hard, honestly, like I--I am not--I don't possess a great deal of arm strength. Julie, however, I think does, and that must have hurt. I think on my side there was probably not a lot of, you know, I'm the person who can never get a jar open, I'm, you know, I'm not--you can easily defeat me in arm wrestling and other arm sports so. 

H: Yes, right--

M: He's a lovely guy, but I think it's important, Hank, I think it's very, very important that when this podcast comes out, no matter what happens, you have to tell him there was a huge spike in popularity when he went away and when I--

H: Right. Okay.

M: When I filled in.

H: OK. Well, I think what we have to do is we h--like, in order for that to happen, people like--that has to be true, so people should tell all of their friends to download the podcast even if they're not gonna listen to it. 

M: Oh, absolutely.

H: But also to tell them to listen to it, because aren't we just so charming?

M: You guys are very charming. 

H: Well I'm--I mean you and me. 

M: I--I'm not going to speak to that. I'm not gonna speak to it, Hank. I know that you're charming, I've seen your videos, I've seen your person, I've seen--you guys are very charming people, you're nice people, that's why people like you.

H: You don't--you're not going to accept your own charm?

M: I don't have any proof of it. I have a scientific mind.

H: You need--alright.

 Question 7 (41:29)

H: Iman asks, "Dear Hank and John. So it's Ramadan at the moment, a month in the Islamic year when people fast during daylight hours, but my mum has made the call that I need nutrition and can't fast, so I've decided to give up music instead. Music is in my blood, I am a pop chart geek, so I need time fillers that don't have music." First, I apologize for our theme music, I hope I didn't prevent you from listening to the podcast or ruin anything for you. Second, I think that this is a really cool idea to extend the spirit of Ramadan outside of the constraints of your situation and I think that not listening to music is an interesting thing. Like, in general, not doing something that is like, sort of your thing for a while, to like, see what other things there are that might be your things, I think that's a cool idea. So, Maureen, any things for Iman?

M: You know, this, it's a hard... Because I feel like I don't have the qualifications, the knowledge to answer this question, but I would say that I hope that during this time, you are not approached with this whole question about whether or not all the songs you hear sound like All-Star by Smash Mouth.

H: Well that's not, actually wouldn't be a problem at this point because there are, there are no songs that she's hearing.

M: Yeah. I'm just saying if anybody approaches you that full stop, like don't agree to it.

H: Alright. OK, yeah. In general if it's a "Would you rather?" always make sure, first that we're talking hypotheticals here and that you're not actually going to bestow me the power to turn anything I touch into Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson which, of course, being that I, like my foot is currently touching my leg, I might accidentally turn myself into Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson which would be really confusing for me and my wife and all of my viewers on YouTube.

M: It's the first thing that would happen! I mean, like you'd just, you know, go to move your hair or something or in your sleep and then suddenly you wake up and you're Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and then you're done. Like, it's just done.

H: The huge problem with me becoming Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson would be I would immediately, like I would exercise the current amount so like over the course, like I would not start to exercise Rock level exercise, I would just diminish in size until I was like the sad, skinny Rock and everybody would be like "Oh, there's Hank. He's like, he lo... Like he's genetically identical to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson but he looks so very, very soft."

M: Do they call him gravel or something or pebble. Some sort of diminutive nickname.

H: Hank "The Pebble" Johnson.

M: Hank "The Small Stone".

H: Just mud. It's just tiny, tiny rocks in water.

M: Clay, yeah. Fish gravel.

H: Well, I--in response to this question, I would say, uh, podcasts, for one. You're listening to one right now, there are lots more, and they do have theme music but I think that's not in the spirit of what you're trying to do here. There are many podcasts that I would suggest you listen to, there's actually a really interesting podcast in which they dissect songs, that probably would not be in the spirit of what you're trying to do, but there's lots of podcasts about lots of fascinating things. There's also lots of YouTube videos and movies and you could go see some stand-up comedy, maybe? Like, that's a--

M: Reading.

H: Dating?

M: Reading. Well, you can also go dating, but I mean, reading...

H: Yeah, yeah, reading is good.

M: You can just do--I don't know, just spend your time dating, just date every--it seems more than anything else, that just seems very tiring.

H: Yeah, yeah, exhausting. Call up Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and see if he'll go on a date with you.

M: That's one thing you could do.

H: What would it take, do you think, to get The Rock to go on a date with you, Maureen? Like, I don't think it would happen for me, but for you, if you wanted to like, really badly go on a date with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, what would you--what would you do?

M: Oh, that is not something I've thought about. I imagine I would have to be--he seems like a nice person. 

H: He does seem like a very nice person.

M: He seems like a ni--so, I think I'd have to do something kind of--I would have to get in the news for something like rescuing a bunch of puppies.

H: Okay.

M: You know what I mean? Like, I wanna be somebo--you need something like that, "Oh, you're the person that rescued all those dogs from the hot air balloon." Like, you know, that you--and then everyone would--you know, it's like Sully Sullenberger, the guy who landed the plane on the Hudson. Like--

H: Yeah, he could probably date The Rock if he wanted to.

M: I would love to--he is my imaginary boyfriend. I'm always like, "You landed a plane on the Hudson" like, you're the best, Sully, Sully can--you know, Sully can do anything he wants, okay? Sully's a great man. All the clubs, you know, the velvet rope comes back for Sully, so.

H: Right, I just don't think maybe that's his bag.

M: He seems like he's just above all of that. 

H: Yes.

M: I think he just spends his nights doing good deeds. I would try to lure The Rock with good deeds. 

H: Right, okay. No, I--that's a--that's a good thought. I actually have a friend who's met The Rock, so you're only two degrees. 

M: I'm practically there. I should make it like, my thing.

H: Yeah, I mean, I'd--

M: Isn't he--he's probably married. He's probably married.

H: I know nothing about The Rock's personal life. Fact.

M: Mm. Yeah, I don't know. But he seems like he'd be married, 'cause he's The Rock.

H: Oh, he is. Oh, he's not married, he divorced in 2008.

M: Well, then, I better get to work. I better look for a burning, you know, puppy orphanage or something. Like, I--that's how I would do it. I think it is always good to just do a bunch of good deeds and then people will look at you--(stumbling) say that you've good deeds for the right reasons, but also people will look at you and go, "Hey. There's a do-gooder."

H: Yeah, and The Rock will say, "You know, you and I, we like to do some of the same things. Making the world a better place."

M: Yeah.

H: "Maybe we should go get a drink."

M: I would--or, another thing I could do is like, have--get stuck under a really heavy thing, like--

H: Just make sure you're nearby The Rock--

M: Yeah.

H: --and then you get a rock, a really heavy rock that only The Rock can lift--

M: Yeah.

H:--stuck on you.

M: Yeah.

H: And then once he saved you, you'll be like, "I feel indebted to you, I need to buy you a drink."

M: It's super complicated, but it would probably work.

H: No, that is a great, great plan.

M: You just have to kind of--you have to really stay pretty close to The Rock, and you have to be willing to put up with a certain amount of--

H: --grievous bodily harm.

M: Pressure. You know how like, this is terrible, but in the Salem Witch Trials, one of the people accused was pressed to death, and apparently his last words were, "More weight." And I believe that that is possibly the situation you might end up in while trying to lure The Rock while under a rock.

H: Right. Uh-huh. You'd be like, he's not paying attention yet, he does not see me in enough plight. Yeah. 

M: Yeah. It can't be like a paperweight. It has to be like, something out of Roadrunner, like a rock. 

H: What if it was just The Rock? What if The Rock fell on top of you? That's what you need to do. You need to, you need to be standing in front of The Rock, have someone trip The Rock, and The Rock lands on you, and then he feels bad for hurting you, and then he takes you out for the drink.

M: I think another thing, you lay on the ground in front of--you lay on the ground and wait for The Rock to come by. 

H: If I come to New York City tomorrow, will I just see you laying on the sidewalk?

M: Yeah. But that's--that's what I do. I mean.

H: That's not unusual?

M: No, that's not unusual at all. That's not unusual. That's--that's just--you know. So yeah.

Hank: Thursday.

M: If you come over, that's, yeah. I'll tell you where to find me, because I could be in a number of different places.

H: Number of different places on the ground.

M: Just on the ground.

H: Okay. Okay. 

M: Sure.

 News from AFC Wimbledon (49:42)

H: Great. Well in the meantime, Maureen Johnson, do you have any news to share from us from AFC Wimbledon? 'Cause John's not here to give us that fascinating dis--obscure football trivia?

M: You know, living with an English person, I occasionally hear words about football. That's all I have to say about that.

H: Give me some football words then.

M: Uh, you say things like, "Come on, England!", he says that a lot. 

H: What does he say when he's sad about it?

M: Uh, he just sort of makes a noise like, "Aw", just pretty typical, really.

H: Yeah, yeah. 

M: He--English people, I will say this about English people. English people don't give you a straight answer about anything. So, it's hard to get, and English people, if you're listening, you know, they're like, yeah, she's got a point, because if you say something to Oscar like, "Do you want cheese on your sandwich?", he won't say, "Yes, I'd like cheese" or, "No, I don't want cheese", he'll say, "The thing about cheese is..." and then you'll get like a nine to ten minute lecture on cheese and you'll be like, "Great, do you want cheese?" and he'll be like, "Well, you know, we can't really know anything about cheese truly" and they will not sort of tell you ever just forever, you're just--you'll go insane trying to get a straight answer, but football is one of the few things where they do seem to kind of really give you their true emotions. I believe it exists in order for English people to just say "yes" or "no" in a kind of clear way, like, "Yes, I am happy you kicked that ball into that net!", "No, I am disappointed with your actions for failing to kick the ball into the net. You are a failure to me and your country."

H: Well, I feel like actually I may have learned more from your football news than from John's, just because I really do need a base level of instruction here. I feel like I'm jumping in at way too high a level when John talks about AFC Wimbledon.

M: Yeah, it--it--you know, it is beautiful, I have watched the World Cup and I was like, "This seems like it would be, you know, a good sport to know anything about." But I don't, I don't know anything about any sports to watch them, truthfully, I am that horrible person who just doesn't--who just doesn't know. I feel like I'm sort of missing a gene or something, like, I can tell it's really good and fun, but--

H: Yeah, I think it's okay. I think you got other things that you can be excited about and do with your time.

M: But I'd just like to be excited about more stuff.

  News from Mars (52:01

H: Well, do you wanna be excited about Mars?

M: I would never go to Mars, Hank.

H: No, I agree, I would also never go to Mars.

M: Okay, oh, I'm perfectly prepared to be excited about it as long as I don't have to go there.

H: Okay. In Mars news this week, NASA is developing a tiny ultralight plane that can be packed onto the next Mars Mission with the ability to fly up to 20 miles before landing on the surface of Mars after the rover portion of the mission is deployed. It would be folded up inside of the ballast that's ejected before the Rover lands, and it would be able to deploy after landing. It would weigh 2.6 lbs, so a ti--it's very small, it's like two feet long, and it would be able to fold up into a CubeSat configuration, it wouldn't add any cost to a future mission, and they are currently testing similar configurations here on Earth where there's a lot more atmosphere and a lot more gravity, so they'd have to change the thing a little bit, and also a big problem is that the Earth version navigates with GPS, but there is no GPS system on Mars yet because you need all the satellites to make a GPS system, so they have to develop a new kind of navigational system if they want to fly the first plane on Mars in the next Mars Mission that NASA will be sending, which might launch as soon as 2022. 

M: Do you think they're really gonna do the thing where they send the ten or twenty people on the one way mission to Mars? 

H: Well, that's not NASA, that's a sep--that's like a private thing.

M: Yeah. Are they--but do you think that they are actually going to--

H: No, I do not think that they're going to do it. I think that--I do not think that they're going to be able to get together the kind of money that would be necessary to do that. I don't think--yes, just--

M: Astonishingly, they have the--more people than they can--that they know what to do with.

H: Yes, lots of people want to do it, but no one--

M: I don't.

H: --no one will want to pay for it. The only reason so many people want to do it is because there are so many people. So if you start--if you have any preposterous idea, you can find eleven people who will do it, as long as you have the money to pull it off. So people, yeah, like, I wanna be the first person to die on Mars, that way people will remember me and I won't have to go through the stupid progression of life where I just graduate from high school and then college and then get married and have kids and then wrinkle up and die, I wanna be a Mars man. But, you know, some people have to get over that and be all right with the fact that they're gonna die here on Earth like everyone else so far.

M: Well that's--that's a cheerful...

H: That's how we always--we always like to bring it back around to death here on Dear Hank and John.

M: Well, can I bring it back to life? 'Cause I watched StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson the other day, and I'll tell you--for two reasons, one, 'cause it's great, and two, because my dog Zelda loves watching Neil deGrasse Tyson on television. She loves him and will come from anywhere in the house to sit there and watch Neil deGrasse Tyson and that is true. She just sits there staring adoringly at him, and sometimes will get up on the--and once knocked the television over in her attempts to get at Neil deGrasse Tyson and kiss him, so, and it's only Neil deGrasse Tyson, she knows the sound of his voice, she knows his face, and she will come from any corner of the house to get near him. But I was watching that with the dog who was thrilled, and they were talking about the Mars Missions and one of the people on StarTalk said, "We will probably know within the next twenty years whether or not there is--we'll get the soil samples and we will know whether or not there is life on Mars." Does that excite you? Are you a betting on this, are you like, "Yes, I think there is"? 

H: I don't think--so that the--getting a negative is very hard. So like, knowing for sure that there isn't life on Mars. So what really they're saying is that it's very likely that there is or was, and that we will--and that if it was, if it was widespread across the planet, which it probably was, if there was life at all, then it will be pretty easy for us to figure that out, we just have to, we have to be able to do a lot of--a lot more science than is easy to do remotely, so having a sample sent back to us, or being there to do the science is kind of necessary. And having a sample sent back to us is a lot easier than being there to do it, because it's not easy to live on Mars.

M: Okay, follow up question, are there ghosts on Mars?

H: No.

M: Alright. You seem pretty sure. 

H: 'Kay.

M: You seemed really sure about that. 

H: Yeah, I mean, I feel pretty confident that there aren't any ghosts on Mars. 

M: Well. I guess we'll find out. 

H: Will we?

M: They have to go up there with, you know, like the ghost hunting shows have to go up there with their, you know, "I felt a cold spot" and you know, "There's a breeze in the room." I want to see ghost hunters on Mars. Then I'll know for sure, Hank, then I'll know for sure. I have a scientific mind. 

H: I love it.

M: You apparently are just ready to discount this whole--whole, just whole cloth, just say I don't believe it, but not me. Show me those electromagnetic readings with the little clicky thing. Then I'll be sure.

H: Okay.

M: I don't think you're thinking like a scientist, Hank. I don't know how you do SciShow with like, sloppy, sloppy reasoning like that.

H: Just yeah. I have a very closed mind, apparently, when it comes to whether or not there are ghosts in a place where there have never been people. 

M: Well. I guess we'll find out.

H: Do you think maybe there are, there are like, little, like, Martian life-form ghosts, like if there were like, one-celled animals, there's--or, whatever--they would be--

M: Hank, there is literally a show called Space Ghost

H: Oh! I do believe that there is a Space Ghost. 

M: Ohh, so the story changes.

H: It's just--it's just he's not a ghost. He's Space Ghost.

M: Isn't he?

H: No!

M: He's Space--his name is Space Ghost.

H: But he's not a ghost! It's a--it's a metaphorical name. He's a superhero. He's a fighter. He's Space Ghost.

M: Oh, sorry, sorry. Oh. Your high-falutin' talk is not impressing me.

H: You know, it just doesn't seem like you know very much about Space Ghost. I met Space Ghost. The voice of Space Ghost, and I got him to sign my wallet, and he was very kind to me. I met him at an anime convention when I was in college. 

M: Did you meet the voice of Brak?

H: No, I didn't. 

M: Well, then, this story isn't so great, is it?

H: I really do like Brak a lot.

M: Yeah! I love Brak.

H: That was good.

M: And the angry mantis. 

H: Yeah. What was his name?

M: Mmm.

H: Mmm. 

M: Big fan, huh?

H: Mmm--mmm--mmm

M: Oh, I hear the typing in the background. Captain Google.

H: Zorak! 

M: Zorak, yeah, Zorak. 

H: I was trying to moan over the sound of the typing.

M: That--that's always a good--that's always a good thing to do on a podcast is just moan to cover up your typing noises.

H: Yeah, well, I mean, we have to--we have to deceive the audience somehow, Maureen.

M: The magic of theater.

  Conclusion (59:14

H: And with that, it feels like it is about time to wrap up. Is there--are there any final words that you would like for the audience of Dear Hank and John?

M: Obviously, I've enjoyed being here, and I hope that--I hope it's been okay. Know that John is coming back. You know, just--

H: In a while. It's gonna be a while. 

M: Well, it'll be a while.

H: I don't know how long the while will be.

M: Rate this particular episode very highly, I think, just really, just pump this one up as much as possible, because--

H: Tell all your friends.

M: It would be funny to see John get a complex about this episode, so that would be funny.

H: I mean, it was better than any previous episode of Dear Hank and John, and I cannot imagine what that is, except that John is holding me back.

M: I've been saying this for years.

H: (Laughs) Oh, it's such a clear truth. Thank you for watching this-- thank you for listening (Maureen laughs) So, thank you for-- (Maureen cackling) Shut up. Have you ever watched John make a video because this is how we do it. Over and over and over again.

M: I was there the, pretty much the day John made his first video.

H: Oh wow.

M: So imagine what that was like.

H: Bad.

Maureen: It took him like six hours and he was crying for three of those.

H: Alright. Thank you all for listening so much to this episode of Dear Hank and John, but without John and instead with Maureen Johnson.

M: And remember, like this one more.

H: Like this one more. Thank you, we have an editor of this podcast, his name is Nicholas Jenkins, we have theme music from Gunnarolla, we have our special guest Maureen Johnson, who you can find on Twitter... I think it's just @maureenjohnson, right?

M: Yes it is.

H: And I'm Hank Green, this has been Dear Hank and John, you can send us your questions at and as we say in our hometown, don't forget to be awesome.