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What is art? Should we lower the drinking age? What kind of liquor is the best? Who should I play with on Mario Kart? How do decrease my impact on the environment without money? What do you do when "The One" leaves you? And OTHER QUESTIONS ANSWERED!!

  Intro (0:00

J: Hello and welcome to Dear John and Hank.

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

J: This is a podcast where I, John Green, along with my brother, Hank Green, offer some dubious advice, answer your questions, and give you all the week's news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon. Hank, how are you?

H: I'm doing good! John, you and I just had a conference call. Wasn't that enjoyable? 

J: I love a good conference call. I always thought that the whole point of being a working novelist was that you didn't have to have meetings, but it turns out that I still do have to have meetings. In fact, I have to have an astonishing number of them. Also Hank, to be completely upfront with you, I have a hangover. 

H: Mmm.

J: I threw up from drinking-

H: Oh wow!

J: -last night for the first time since my thirtieth birthday.

H: Yeah what are you, a teen? 

J: Well, you know, I hadn't had a drink in about 45 days, and then I had a few of them, and I think my tolerance had been significantly affected, and it was a difficult, it was a difficult and painful evening. And indeed it has been a difficult and painful day. I don't want to, I don't want to undersell it. There is absolutely nothing to recommend how I feel right now, but we'll talk more about alcohol during the, during the advice portion of the podcast. But everything else is good with you?

H: Yeah. Last night I had a glass of wine and a chocolate cake. Not a whole chocolate cake, just a piece of chocolate cake. It was wonderful. 

J: Well you, aren't you a study in moderation. Would you like a poem?

H: Give me a poem, John. 

J: Alright so this is, you've been complaining a lot about the poem's lately, especially that they sound-

H: It's not complaint!

J: -poemy.

H: It's just, I'm just commentary. 

J: So I'm going to try, what I'm going to try to do today is I'm going to read a very famous, very short William Carlos Williams poem. I'm going to try to read it in a way that isn't so poemy. And then next week I'm going to read an even less poemy poem. But Hank please, please take careful note of this poem. I want you to listen to it closely, not just for this week but also for next week. Okay?

H: Okay.

J: This poem is called This is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams.

"I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold"

(Hank laughs) That's the poem This is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams. I didn't do that too poemy did I?

H: I like it. I'm down. It still sounds like a poem. I don't know, there's something about it. Like when you're just reading a book it sounds like you're reading a book and when you're reading a poem it sounds like you're reading a poem. I'm not sure what the thing is. 

J: I mean I can read that one much more poemy. "I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox and which you were probably saving for breakfast." Anyway I love that poem, despite the fact that I don't really know for sure what an icebox is. Is that a refrigerator? I suppose that's where I would put my plums. But I think we've all been in that situation, both literally and metaphorically in our lives with those we love where we must seek their forgiveness because, despite the fact that they were saving something and we should've, we should've honored that, we are overcome by our own need, by our own personal hunger, and that's human, but it's also very sad. 

H: My wife has this awful habit, it's not an awful habit. My wife has this habit that is bad for her because of my habit. And that habit is that she saves the french fries that she wants the most for last. Now this seems like a terrible, like, idea to me because you want to eat the best french fries while they're still hot and before someone else has a chance to eat them but she saves - and she does this with all foods not just french fries - she saves the ones she wants the most for last. And so I finish my food and then whatever is left over there is Katherine's food and I, and I grab, but then I've taken... If I take one of her things, then it's like it's definitely going to be one of the things that she's most excited about. And I'm like "Get that into your mouth as soon as possible 'cause otherwise you don't know what's gonna happen to it. The asteroid could hit it, you know, the whole place could burn down, there could be a fire situation. You gotta get those good things into your mouth soon."

J: You know, Hank, people often say that the advice here on Dear Hank and John isn't particularly good, but let me submit that the advice that you just gave, "Get that in your mouth as soon as possible" is brilliant advice. "Get that in your mouth as soon as possible" that's, that's what we believe here in our family. Was it "Get that in your mouth as soon as possible" or "Put that in your mouth as soon as possible"? Either way, great advice.

H: I couldn't tell ya. But do you want to give some more advice or possibly just pontificate after someone asks us a question?

J: Yeah, absolutely. This is gonna be one very humorous humor podcast today.

  Question 1 (5:10

J: You wanna ask the first question?

H: Yeah sure, I'll ask the question from Rhett who asks, "Dear Hank and John. What is your definition of the word art?" Oh gosh.

J: Well, I kind of make a point not to define the word "art" too much. But I like to think that art is something that someone, or someones, has or have put into the world to make my life more interesting.

H: I like it!

J: Like I think that art, I think that art has to be created for an audience, and I think it has to be created as a gift for that audience. And other than that, I don't try to judge it too much.

H: Yeah I have no answer to this question at all. That seems like way to difficult a thing to try and put a box around. Yeah, so I say my definition of the word art is the very practice of not trying to define the word "art," Rhett. Yeah. Is that good?

J: Well, you know, my wife who is a museum curator and the host of the Art Assignment would completely agree with you, that the question of what art is is one of the least interesting questions that you can ask around art. I kind of feel that way as a religious person about the question of, like, does God exist which I find to be a completely uninteresting question and yet, like, people act like it's the only interesting question about religion, but not to me.

  Question 2 (6:33

J: Anyway, can we move on to another question, Hank?

H: We can, I think.

J: This question is from Gerard and it involves the theme of today's podcast. "Dear John and Hank. I am a distiller and I was wondering what your thoughts were on the US legal drinking age, from a scientific perspective, alcohol's effect on the developing mind, etc, and a sociological one, effects on young people's perceptions of alcohol. Also I have to ask what do you enjoy drinking?" Well Gerard, I can tell you what I regret drinking from last night: rosé. Wine that's half red and half white. I don't think I'll be drinking rosé again for a little while. Yeah, I mean I am concerned... I think there are big and legitimate concerns about the effect that alcohol consumption can have on developing brains. There are also big and legitimate concerns about the effect that alcohol consumption can have on grownup brains and grownup livers and, yeah. I am not a big advocate for alcohol which I think is a fairly dangerous drug that is treated pretty casually in American culture. But I do enjoy drinking in moderation but gosh, I do not enjoy drinking in immoderation which is what I did last night.

H: (Laughs) Yeah, I... It's a tricky question because you can look at some countries where the legal drinking age is lower and say that, you know, binge drinking is less of a problem in those places. But I don't know that that would necessarily be the case immediately if we lowered the drinking age in America because of course then, you know, the culture around alcohol and its sort of, you know, its place in taboo and teenage rebellion would not change, at least for a while. And then you have people who are really excited to buy and be able to acquire alcohol easily. At the same time it doesn't seem that making it illegal for young people prevents them from consuming lots of it. Maybe... But I would say it almost certainly decreases the number of people who consume lots of it.

J: I don't know, I feel like maybe we aren't experts in this field, Hank. What do you enjoy drinking? That was Gerard's main question.

H: Well I do, I am an expert in the field of the things that I personally enjoy drinking. I don't get to drink a ton anymore because I take a medicine that it is not suggested to be taken with alcohol, and I take it every day. But I enjoy beer. I'm a fan of beer, of many different types of beer. I like... Basically at this point, having not been able to enjoy beer much, I just want any beer. Any beer at all. But I also really enjoy gin drinks. Any...

J: Ugh.

H: I really like gin.

J: Ugh.

H: And I like some, you know, various brown liquors, such as bourbon and whiskey...

J: Ugh no. I gotta ask you to stop, you're, I... No. You're nauseating me. I can't go on. When you said brown liquors, that was it for me. I'm sorry but we have to move on. I'm physically ill.

H: (Laughs) Okay.

  Question 3 (9:56

H: This question, the next one, is from Sophia, who says "Dear Hank and John. I'm Sophia, I'm 12, and I'm having a mid-life crisis. Who should I playoff for on Mario Kart?"

J: Oh, I'll tell you Hank, as someone who had a lot of mid-life crises when he was 12, I sympathize, Sophia. Ugh it was terrible. It was so challenging being 12. Not just because of the Mario Kart issue, you haven't made your Mario Kart commitment, but there's so many other commitments that you haven't made in life. So many paths that you might take. And in a way that's liberating but in another way it's so constraining because the choices feel infinite and it's only once you start to narrow your choices... In some ways that's sad when you narrow your choices in life, but in other ways it's so freeing because you don't have to feel this, the infinite array of possibilities that you might... Now I assume, Sophia, that you're playing Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo, right? As I was when I was 12. So your choices are Donkey Kong, Princess Peach, Luigi, Mario, Toad, and Yoshi. Wasn't that it, Hank? Was there anything else?

H: That sounds about right. Probably missing a couple.

J: There was none of this, like, Wario business, you know.

H: But I think Bowser was in there. Was Bowser in there?

J: Bowser! Of course, but you don't want to play with Bowser because if you're looking for top speed then you need to look to Donkey Kong, not Bowser. And if you're looking for literally anything else, oh and Toad of course but you don't want Toad either, Toad is worthless.

H: You said Toad.

J: Your real core choices here, Sophia, are Princess Peach, and again, I'm assuming that you're playing this game 20 years ago, 25 years ago. Your real core choices are Princess Peach and Luigi. Mario is just a poor man's Luigi, and Toad is just a poor man's Princess Peach. And you can make an argument for Donkey Kong if you're on a track that really, really benefits high top speed over acceleration. But almost all of the Mario Kart tracks require good acceleration, at least coming out of a jump turn. So I'm gonna say, I'm gonna say Luigi. I'm gonna say that on a day-to-day basis, if you need a character who's kinda gonna be at the center of your Mario Kart playing life for the next, you know, 10 to 15 years, you're gonna want Luigi. There are other people who are better in moments, but you want consistency at this point in your life, Sophia, you want someone you can count on. And that someone is Luigi.

H: Well as someone who is slightly younger that John Green and thus played mostly Mario Kart on the Nintendo 64, I have to say that Donkey Kong is the way to go, especially if you're, like me, the kind of Mario Kart player who just isn't very good and is going to be flying all over the place and needs a guy who can really stick when he crashes into other players and into objects on the crash.

J: I'm sorry what is the possible, what is the possible benefit of Donkey Kong in any version of Mario Kart?

H: He's heavy. He's heavy so he doesn't get pushed around so much.

J: Yeah.

H: So when you're like me and you can't control characters with your fine motor skills, which I can't, 'cause 1) I don't play enough video games, and 2) my hands don't work very well. It's good to have a Donkey Kong so that you can plow through any situation, and you don't slow down as much when you go over the grass. Donkey Kong's got it going on. Also he's a big, big monkey, which is great.

J: You know Hank, I don't dislike your argument. I think that for an entry-level Mario Kart player, Donkey Kong is an excellent choice. High top speed, strength, weight, as you said, doesn't get hurt as much going through the grass, although because the acceleration is so slow, coming out of the grass you don't get back to top speed, it takes forever to get back to top speed. And if you're on a beach course, in my opinion, Donkey Kong is just not, not the best. My argument for Luigi, and I know that you can tell I feel strongly about this, like my argument for Luigi, and I don't want to, you know, be mean to you about your point, but I just feel like Luigi is an everyday, every course choice for Mario Kart. And I feel like Donkey Kong, you know, is sometimes a good choice but sometimes a disastrous one. So if we want Sophia to be finishing like solid 2nds and 3rds when she plays with her friends, I think Luigi is the better choice.

H: I agree, I agree. There's also of course something to be said for choosing a character that you feel personally connected to because, really, is it all about winning? Or is it about feeling good about game-playing?

J: No it's about winning. We're not talking about life, we're talking about Mario Kart, the most important thing that humans have ever done together.

H: Well I appreciate Sofia's question and I appreciate, John, you having a lot of deep and significant thoughts about this.

  Question 4 (15:23

J: Okay Hank here's another question this one's from Jeff, he writes "Dear John and Hank. What can an average person with few financial resources do to slow climate change? People always say that I should get an electric car or solar panels but those types of things cost a lot of money."

H: Correct.

J: That's a great question Hank and please tell us, tell us what to do. 

H: Well the thing in your life that consumes the most energy is in fact not your car, it is your house. So the thing you can do is set your thermostat at a more reasonable place and especially in the winter, which is when we consume most of our resources unless you live in a very, a nice tropical place, put on a sweater, and do the Jimmy Carter and, you know, have your house be in the high 60s instead of the low 70s. Stuff like that is where you save most of your energy. The heating and cooling of your home, though we do not ever talk about it, is the number one thing that, the number one source of carbon emissions in our lives unless you, like I do, spend a tremendous amount of time on airplanes. 

J: I also spend a lot of time on airplanes and I feel horribly guilty about it and I'm trying to fly less but instead I keep flying more. I just got my, like, diamond platinum medallion from the airline that I fly regularly, Delta, and I just, it feels like failure. It feels like every time I get one of those new medallions I just feel that I've done something terribly wrong because I know that carbon emissions are epic and also it just means that I'm spending lots of time away from my family but I can't stop, Hank. I can't stop getting in airplanes. 

H: (Laughs) Yeah, it's hard. It's hard to be John Green and it is hard to say no when people want you to do cool things. I understand that. 

J: No it's not hard to be me. 

H: Well, it's hard to be everyone John. But I am fascinated by the idea that, of course, what we think about when we think about solving or having a smaller impact on the Earth is, like, what we can acquire to help us do that, but really of course any acquisition is more resources being spent and, like, there are certainly arguments to say that solar panels or an electric car would be resources spent well and possibly resources that overall will have, you know, less intense impact on the environment than not purchasing those things. But really a lot of what we can do is just to do less consumption at all and that's a difficult thing because it's not exciting and nobody's gonna have a really fun marketing campaign for it and you can't, you know, drive it around and look cool in it but that's really... But it is, in fact, something that all people regardless of level of income can do. And that's just to consume less and in general consume less electricity, which means biking places, or not less electricity you consume less fuel of all kinds, which means biking places and living in smaller homes and doing things that we don't necessarily want to do. But they're free!

J: So you're saying that really there is no acquisition that's carbon neutral.

H: Well, yes, there would be. I mean solar panels would absolutely be an acquisition that would be, you know, net negative on the amount of carbon released into the environment. 

J: Mmm, okay. So I should get solar panels.

H: Yes, if you can, if you can afford them absolutely, please. We need first adopters to drive down the price of solar panels as it continues to and hopefully will continue to do for a long time until it is available for everyone, which will be really, really great because not only then will we have less impact on the environment but we will have a distributed power system which is much less likely to completely and catastrophically fail in the event of a large scale solar flare that could, in the current state of the American electricity infrastructure, create basically a complete, you know, destruction of our society. 

J: Really?

H: Yes. I'm terrified of giant solar flares. It is a legit...

J: Would a giant solar flare, like, cut the, like, make the electrical grid fail for, like, more that an hour? 

H: It would make, it could potentially make it fail for more than a year. 

J: Not, wait, really? 

H: Yes. It's terrifying. It is a thing that we don't worry about at all. 

J: This is a terrible comedy podcast! 

H: But it is, like, the number one thing that we should actually be worrying about in terms of natural disasters but since it hasn't ever happened, we don't worry about it at all. But it's the kind of thing that if it did happen and we had, you know, the Sun sent out a solar flare that would have done this to us just a few years ago it just happened to be pointed not at us, it could be a bad thing. It would take a tremendous amount of work to get our grid back online in America. 

J: Okay, just one quick follow-up question Hank. I'm sorry to get distracted here but I didn't know about this solar flare thing and you know I like to have a good worry over things that could kill me and/or destroy my life and I'm kind of astonished that there's a big one out there that I wasn't even aware of.

H: I'm sorry.

J: In this scenario, where I have no electric power for a year, by the way I would definitely die, but how would I charge my phone?

H: It might be a good idea to invest in a bicycle-powered generator, John.

J: I am gonna do that. I am gonna invest in solar panels and a bicycle-powered generator, and I'm gonna be the only guy on my block with electric power.

H: And I'll tell you what, nobody's gonna notice and come get you. 

J: Oh God, now I'm truly, truly terrified.

  Question 5 (21:37

J: Let's go ahead and just move on to another question since I've been taken to an extremely dark place. This question comes from Emily and she writes "Dear John and Hank. What do you do when the person you thought was the one leaves you? How do you move past them? How do you start imagining yourself with someone else? How do you get them out of your head? Any thoughts are appreciated, including dubious advice." Good news Emily, dubious advice is all we have.

H: The other good news is that John, John is an expert in this and I will just have to step back from the microphone and have absolutely no advice for you, I'm sorry. 

J: Yeah Hank's never been dumped, really. Right? 

H: That's not true, I've been dumped, but not by girl's who I thought were the one.

J: Now, have you ever been, have you ever wept from being dumped?

H: Yes?

J: You don't remember?

H: It was a long time ago, John. I'm old. 

J: Let me ask you this. Have you ever been on your knees and raised your arms up and said "Why hast thou forsaken me?" with tears streaming down your cheeks and snot going into your mouth from your nose as you heave sobs over having been dumped. 

H: Not over having been dumped. 

J: Well then you haven't been dumped. Okay, so here's the thing, Emily. It hurts, I've said this a lot over the years, it's something my chaplaincy supervisor said to me when I got dumped when I was working as a hospital chaplain but I found it very helpful. It hurts because it mattered. It hurts because it was important. The grief is intense because it is real and because it is, because the relationship that you were in was an important one to you, and it needs to be grieved and if you don't grieve it then, you know, you're never going to get through that experience of loss. I know that it sucks, and obviously if, you know, obviously if you're having what you feel to be like mental or physical health problems that are related to your grief or if you feel like your grief has become complicated or unhealthy then you should talk to someone other than your favorite podcasters about that. But there's nothing wrong with being sad and I think the answer to how you get through it is, is time. I think everything gets easier with time and you will eventually imagine your self with someone else and in fact, you will be with someone else, maybe many more people, and, and you will eventually realize, I think, or at least this is the conclusion that I have come to, that there is no "one" as such. There is no, like, single flickering soul out there waiting for you to, like, sift through all the other souls and find "the one". Instead relationships, whether they're romantic relationships or friendships, are things that people build together over time and that, you know, hopefully, like, I am always in the process of becoming a good spouse to my spouse and becoming a good partner and a good friend to the people I am partners and friends with. So I think that you have to look at it as a process, not an event, and, you know, there isn't some, like, needle in a haystack that you're searching for. You know, you're living your life and right now grief is part of that but it won't always be such a big part of it.

H: Good work, John!

J: Did you, like, leave, Hank, and go, like, have a Diet Dr. Pepper or something?

H: Uh, ew! First of all. Second of all, no I was reading about Mars.

J: If you ever, ever say anything bad about Diet Dr. Pepper ever again our friendship is over. Today's podcast is brought to you by delicious Diet Dr. Pepper! Diet Dr. Pepper tastes more like regular Dr. Pepper which tastes just like heaven!

H: This podcast is brought to you by Donkey Kong! Donkey Kong: the choice of Mario Kart drivers everywhere who actually care about being stylin' and awesome!

J: Today's video is brought to you by crushing solar flares. Solar flares, waking you up out of your hangover since 2015 to remind you that everything in life, including electricity itself, is precious and fleeting.

H: This podcast is brought to you by brown liquors. Brown liquors including bourbon and whiskey.

J: Ohoho!

H: (Laughs) Drinks that include ethanol, water, and things that make them the color brown, which is making my brother want to vomit in his own mouth.

J: Ugh, God! Brown. I don't even mind brown liquors except when you call them that. It's so upsetting.

  Question 6 (26:37

J: Alright, let's move on to another question. Ugh, brown liquors.

H: This question is from Jenna. "Dear Hank and John. I am a freshman in college (just joined a Nerdfighters club) and I was wondering what a good food to snack on while you study is?" What, what, what are... That wasn't my fault. "How do you stay focused while you study? Thanks! Love you guys." I used to love chocolate chips. I just was like one chocolate chip every... And I'd try to do like every minute or so. So just like spread 'em out real thin. But it's sort of enough to keep me going and give me something to look forward to. Is that weird?

J: It's incredibly weird. I also think that there is no nutritional science to back up the idea that that's a good study food. But I don't know, maybe it, like, keeps you working while you try to understand organic chemistry. Like every time you understand a new kind of bonding or whatever you get a chocolate chip. Was that the idea?

H: No. That would be very few chocolate chips per hour. It was just sort of like a, you know, have this thing in my mouth. You know, chocolate, like dark chocolate chips they have, they keep you awake. They got that the old bromide in them and they're also sort of a little bit bitter, so they're like a sharp taste to, like, make your brain continue braining. Yeah, that going on. I don't know. It's what I used to do. I'd buy like a big bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, and they're cheap.

J: All I can think about is "Get it in your mouth as soon as possible".

H: (Laughs) But never, like the trick was to only eat them one at a time and they're really small, and so if you put, like, five in your mouth or like a handful then you've just, like, then you're eating, you're not studying, and so just like one little chocolate chip at a time. One little chocolate chip. It's very slow. 

J: I'm sure that works. I used to eat a lot of cinnamon toast crunch as a snack food but looking back here's what I wish I had done. I wish that I had gone to the cafeteria and taken some nice fresh fruit and put it in my little mini-fridge and then cut up little bowls of fresh fruit to study with because I think that's the right... You know, you get a little bit of sugar, and you get a little bit of a kick from it but you get it in a fairly healthy wholefood kind of way, and so that would be my recommendation but I will say as a side note that cinnamon toast crunch is delicious. 

H: But John, John, what about Hot Pockets though?

J: Oh my God, I did enjoy a Hot Pocket or two during college.

H: Yeah.

J: You know it's a wonder that I had so many digestive problems when I was a college student, Hank, what with my diet of cinnamon toast crunch two meals a day and Hot Pockets two meals a day because I believed at the time in the 4-meal-a-day plan. (Hank laughs) I would go at times weeks without consuming any food that was not either one kind of Hot Pocket or another or cinnamon toast crunch. So I don't think that I'm the right person to answer this question.

H: Okay! I, yes. I also would suggest ramen noodles and Pop-Tarts because let's be honest: it's college.

  Question 7 (29:51

J: Alright Hank, we've got a question here from Elliot who writes "Dear John and Hank. My question is aimed at John". Those are my favorite kind of questions Elliot. "As an AFC Wimbledon supporter I was thrilled when I found out that you were a fan of the club. You've probably been asked this before but how did you discover the club and why did you decide to become a supporter. Best wishes, Elliot." Well I mean the story of AFC Wimbledon is amazing because they were originally this club when Wimbledon F.C., and then owners basically stole the club away and moved it to Milton Keynes where there is now a club called MK Dons that plays many miles away from Wimbledon in Milton Keynes. And so the people of Wimbledon started their own football club way down in the amateur ranks and then worked their way up through the English league system and became a full-time league club again and today, you know, sell out their stadium every weekend. I first became aware of that story when, I think, right before Wimbledon got back into the Football League in, like, 2009 and 2010 when they were just one promotion away from being a full-time professional club again and I sort of followed them in that league and then when they won this amazing game on penalties with Seb Brown, their 19-year-old goalkeeper, saving 2 penalties in the shootout, that's when I really became addicted to AFC Wimbledon. And I just feel really lucky because they're such a great club, they reflect the values that I like in soccer, like, you know, one of the only things that I think is of real value in soccer is the community building aspect of it and AFC Wimbledon is owned equally by every one of its fans. You know, my five year-old son owns just as much of AFC Wimbledon as I do and just as much of AFC Wimbledon as the chairman of the club does, and I think it's pretty magical that, you know, these thousands of people working together and collaborating have been able to rebuild something that was special to them and turn it into something that in a lot of ways is even cooler than it used to be. So AFC Wimbledon is pretty great. Nothing against Mars. Because Mars is also nice. Hank by the way I read The Martian!

H: Oh yeah?

J: Yeah!

H: How'd you like it?

J: It was great! Holy snood, it's a good book. It's intense!

H: Yeah. Yeah, a lot of life or death math right? 

J: Yeah, yeah! It was really exciting and I felt like I learned a lot about Mars along the way, I don't know how good the science is but it was convincing to me. 

H: Yeah it's pretty good science.

  News from Mars (32:26

J: Speaking of which, Hank, I suppose that we should maybe perhaps move on to the news from Mars, if there is any.

H: Well, in this week's news from Mars, I wanna play you a clip John. I'd like to play you a clip that is from this guy whose name is John Green, and this is from a video he made in 2009. Are you ready for the clip? 

J: (In clip) We share a fricking planet! I like the planet. In terms of places I might live, this planet is like my second favorite after Mars, and I would totally go live on Mars and stop worrying about America and Iran but unfortunately I'm no good at terraforming! 

H: Did you hear that John? Did you hear about what your first favorite planet is? 

J: I mean the first, my first response is that do you remember in 2009, Hank, when we made videos and this was our delivery: I MEAN I LIKE THE PLANET MARS!

H: (Hank laughs) Let's just scream at the camera!

J: I mean, did I like my viewers or was I trying to attack them with my voice? Well, I mean, I don't know what to say. 

H: I have to give credit where credit is due. This was sent to me by Michael Benzer who was going through old Vlogbrothers videos and found this and sent it to me for play on the podcast. Thank you very much Michael.

J: Well it's a difficult day for me because I have to acknowledge that in 2009 apparently for a white-hot moment I briefly, in a joke, said that Mars was my favorite planet. In fact, Mars is tied for second among my favorite planets. But it's tied with literally all the planets that aren't Earth. So it's tied for second it's also tied for eighth.

  News from AFC Wimbledon (34:11)

J: Hank, the news from AFC Wimbledon, it's good and bad, just like the news, it really is at any time in human history, you know, you can always find the good and you can always find the bad. AFC Wimbledon's senior men's team drew this week against Mansfield, they tied. A tie is not a bad result, you know, but I think that, you know, obviously we wish that we were on top of the League 2 table right now and instead of being on top, we're 13th, which is just under the halfway point but, you know, whatever, top 13, I'll take it. But in incredibly exciting news, the AFC Wimbledon Ladies won a recent game in the Women's F.A. Cup nine to nothing. Nine! They scored nine goals, they won nine to nothing. And I have to give a lot of credit to AFC Wimbledon's women's football program, they're really good and there are lots of professional teams, including, like, huge teams like Manchester United that field no women's team at all and that don't support women's football at all? And AFC Wimbledon is tremendously supportive of their women's football team and also their youth girl's teams as well as the youth boy's teams and I think it's one of, you know, many, many super cool things about the club so, congratulations to the AFC Wimbledon Ladies on their nine-nil first round F.A. Cup victory, that is pretty impressive. I have not scored nine goals in my entire football career. 

H: How many goals have you scored in your football career John?

J: Well I scored one goal in middle school. And then you know I scored a few goals in club soccer in elementary school and middle school but for my middle school, you know, like, school team, I just, I only scored one goal. It was in a six-nil victory, as I recall, and it was the 6th goal. It was the nail in the coffin, the final nail in the coffin, and I scored it from about 8 inches out from the goal. (Hank laughs) More than scoring a goal, there was one guy from England on our middle school soccer team who was really good, his name was James, and he could kick the ball so hard, he could just kick the ball so much harder than any of the rest of us, and my recollection is that we had a corner kick and James kicked the ball so incredibly hard and it just sort of hit my knee and dribbled into the goal. 

H: (Laughs) Well done. 

J: Thank you.

H: I'm proud of you. 

J: I appreciate it. 

H: I believe I scored one goal in my soccer career as well.

J: Didn't you mostly play goalie?

H: I did mostly play goalie, yes, but I did occasionally not play goalie and I believe I scored one goal during the times when I wasn't playing as goalie. I did not score a goalie goal as awesome as that would have been.

J: Oh, those are the best. 

H: Though I did get an assist or two as a goalie, yeah. That's a thing. I kind of feel like as a goalie, you can't really, shouldn't really be counted as an assist but you know, whatever.

  News from Mars 2 (37:28

Hank: In this week's Mars news, you may have heard that there is some...

J: Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah! I thought we just had the news from Mars.

H: Wait what was that. That you liked Mars once in 2009?

J: Yeah, I mean that's breaking news! Like I am a long-time opponent of Mars and you've just dredged up a clip via a listener that proves that I'm a flip-flopper! That's news! There's more news from Mars?

H: There's always news from Mars John. There's always too much news, I can never, never quite give you all the news from Mars because there's just so much, 'cause it's a whole planet. But this week's news from Mars, you may have heard that Apple just had a bunch of new slightly different versions of its own previous products last week that they're very excited about and they would like us to acquire, but if you like better, newer, cooler versions of existing content then boy are you going to love the Mars 2020 Rover planned for launch in 2020, which is a lot like Curiosity but is different and has a bunch of new exciting proposed scientific instruments, including the Mars Helicopter Scout, which is a solar-powered helicopter drone that can pinpoint interesting targets for study and plan the best driving route for the drone, like go ahead and, like, take pictures so that we would know where the, where the rover would go. So that's cool. It would fly out and then it would fly back and charge, so it would be like sort of a, like a, just sort of extend the range of the rover's visual sensors, which is just, I love that idea. It's so cool. That's all.

J: How big is this Martian helicopter that we're building?

H: It'll weigh about a kilogram, John.

J: Let me ask a follow-up question. How much work do we need to do on Mars in the next, say, 6-9 months to ensure that it is fully habitable in the event that a solar flare makes it impossible for me to charge my iPhone?

H: You might want to buy some solar panels, John.

J: Oh I'm buying solar panels. That's... And a bicycle generator. By all means. I'm also gonna hire someone to pedal that bicycle.

H: (Laughs) What are you talking about? You have a child. Just make your child do it.

J: I've made a bunch of capital outlays just in the last 15 minutes, Hank, to deal with this new crisis that I didn't know about.

H: Ah, that's what children are for, John, to pedal your bicycle-powered generator.

J: (Laughs) Oh man, truly spoken like someone who doesn't have children. I can't even get them to like eat dinner, let alone power my generator.

H: (Laughing) Oh God.

  Conclusion (40:30

J: Alright Hank, what did we learn today? We learned, of course, that a solar flare is going to destroy all life on earth and that I'm going to die, and not only am I going to die, I'm not even gonna be able to take a selfie of myself dying because my phone won't charge.

H: We learned that John has a lot of experience with heartbreak, and having his snot run into his mouth while saying "Why hast thou forsaken me?" for reasons of being dumped. Whereas the reasons why I have said, "Why hast thou forsaken me?" with snot dripping into my mouth has less to do with being dumped.

J: But thanks to everybody for listening to today's show, even to our cruel and unusual listeners who dug up evidence that I once briefly expressed an affinity toward Mars. But yeah, thank you guys so much for listening and for your responses on Twitter, on SoundCloud, in the iTunes comments. It's so awesome to read them, we really appreciate it.

H: If you have questions for us that you would like to hear our answers to or get some dubious advice, you can email us at The podcast is edited by Nicholas Jenkins, the theme music that you're hearing right now is from Gunnarolla. And as they say in our hometown:

Both: Don't forget to be awesome.