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Why are we so obsessed with zombies? What do you do if your dentist tries to talk to you when you obviously can't talk? How do beat my girlfriend's gift skills? Should I try to re-kindle a friendship with someone who I did something nasty to? AND OTHER QUESTIONS answered here, today, on Dear Hank and John.

 Intro (00:00)

Hank: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John.

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

H: It's a comedy podcast where me and my brother, John, answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon and today we're doing it...

J: Live!

H: Together!

J: That's right, we are both right now in New York City. Why are we in New York, Hank?

H: We are doing a thing with Save the Children.

J: We are going to a gala (gay-la) this evening, or possibly a gala (ga-la) or possibly a gala (gar-la), at which we are being feted or possibly feted (fee-ted) for whatever, for very dubious contributions to the field of making the world suck less.

H: Yeah. I am, I keep... People ask me why I'm going to New York and I'm like "I'm doing a thing with Save the Children" because I feel very awkward about saying what they say that I'm doing.

J: The truth is that we are receiving an award but we find the awarding of this award to be completely ludicrous and so, yes.

H: The greater truth is that we have been asked to do something by Save the Children and we were happy to say yes.

J: We do not generally say no when they ask us to do stuff. So today's podcast is going to be a little bit different in two ways: first off, Hank and I are both here together, that's nice. Secondly, it's going to be of much lower quality because we have very little time before we have to put on our extremely fancy suits.

H: It is true. There is, you may here some jackhammering in the background, that's because it's New York City, you guys. That's what it's like here.

J: Yep. Here in New York where the jackhammers never stop.

H: They are making things.

J: That is actually... Do you know, that's what they say. They say it's the city that never sleeps due to the 24/7 jackhammering. I believe that's the phrase.

H: It started this morning at around 8 which isn't so bad.

J: So Hank, let me ask you real quickly how are you doing?

H: I'm good. I'm a little bit stressed 'cause it's Pizzamas.

J: Yes.

H: And I need to make a podcast today.

J: Yes.

H: And also a video.

J: Yes.

H: And also go to a gala (gay-la), gala (ga-la), gala (gar-la).

J: Should we move directly in to the short poem of the day in that case?

H: Yeah, Sure!

J: Hank, I would like to tell you something that is deeply true: I do not have a short poem for today.

H: Hahaha, ok, well that was a really beautiful poem, John.

J: Thank You, let's move on to the next portion. I'm going to find a poem, Hank, while we are talking. Um, I really--I've already read that Margaret Atwood poem that I use in times of crisis--Ah ok, we will use this Dorothy Parker poem, "Unfortunate Coincidence".

H: You've had too many times of crisis.

J: I have a list of short poems on my phone; in case of emergency and we are in one. So we are going to use this Dorothy Parker poem, "Unfortunate Coincidence".

By the time you swear you're his,

Shivering and sighing,

And he vows his passion is

Infinite, undying -

Lady, make a note of this:

One of you is lying. 

H: Oh Dang.

J: Dorothy Parker, "Unfortunate Coincidence".

 Question one (3:12)

J: So let's move on now to questions from our readers while Hank is looking up the news from Mars.

H: Let's do some questions guys!

J: They can hear you clicking away at your keyboard.

H: It would have been fine if you had just kept quiet.

J: Ok Hank, this question is from Jeff; it's vitally important.

Dear John and Hank, I just came from the dentist and why do dental hygienists want to carry on conversations with you while they are scraping away at your teeth? It's not like I can answer with your hands in my mouth. I suggest if you must talk keep questions to yes or no ones and I will give a thumbs down or thumbs up to indicate my answer.

H: Well here again we have come to Dear Hank and John with questions John is qualified to answer. John, a man who has many people's hands inside his mouth.

J: My God, so many. I don't know that there is a person on earth who has had more strangers insert gloved hands into his mouth than myself. Um, so, here's my theory- I've had great dental hygienists and I've had terrible ones, and I've had ones in the middle. The first thing I look for in a dental hygienist is, "Are they experts at removing plaque without hurting me unnecessarily?" which is a real talent and a real skill. The second thing I look for is, "Are they able to deliver 20 to 30 minute long monologues without needing any input from me?"

H: (laughter)

J: -that will be of interest to me. So for instance, my current dental hygienist, who is just brilliant, um, is both excellent at the plaque scraping and wonderfully talented when it comes to...I sit down, she says "So I saw the Paper Towns movie..." and then proceeds to talk for 20 minutes, in a very interesting way, about all the strengths and weaknesses she feels were in the Paper Towns movie, and then, when the whole thing is over, I can respond, right? So, it's just a different kind of conversation.

H: I have a question for you. W-What is this person's job title again?

J: Dental Hygienist. Hygeeenist. Hygienist? Dental hygien- what is this person's job title?

H: It's no t. There's no t. 

J: Have I been saying "hygienist" this whole time?"

H: Do you have good dental "hygent" (hi-jent)?

J: I do, I have excellent dental "hygent" now, I didn't in my teens. That's why I'm in this mess in the first place. Dental hygienist?

H: Dental hygienist.

J: Dental hygienist. Dental hygienist. I want to say "-tists".

Both: Because of "Dentist!"

J: Because there's a T in Dentist!

H: It's not "Dennis". It's not just "Dennis", it's not just "your friend, the Dennis."

J: My friend Dennis, who is a hygienist. That's how I'll remember it. 

H: I'm glad we could, we also have a little more information for you Jeff, call them a hygienist, maybe they'll respect you more. 

J: To be fair, in his question, Jeff did call them a dental hygienist. It's all on me- not on Jeff. 

H: *laughs* Um, and I think that people just want to - like, they're bored - they don't just wanna scrape teeth all day, they also wanna interact with humans. 

J: Yeah, you have to imagine your dental hygienist complexly, and understand that, uh, you know, they want to have a social interaction, and also they want you to be as comfortable as possible, and I think that's a lot of it. Like, it's not comfortable when someone is both scraping away at your teeth and doing so silently, because that feels like a threat.

H: *laughs* It's important, I agree. 

 Question two(6:38)

H: John, we have another question, this one is from Bethany, who asks "Dear Hank and John, my question is 'Why do you think our culture is so obsessed with zombies?'"

J: Well Bethany, I don't know what Hank's answer is going to be, but this is mine: Uh, let me submit to you that I am not entirely sure who is running the show inside my brain. Uh, why do I want granite granite countertops in my kitchen? Why? Is it because I am, in fact, kind of similar to a zombie? Is it because I am also not making conscious decisions? Is it because I am also sort of making the default choice? Because I don't really, ultimately have control over my consciousness, but in fact, a cog in a much larger machine? That makes me think that maybe we writ about zombies because we fear that we are zombies.

H: I think we write about zombies and think about zombies because the, you know, in the history of humanity, the scariest things have tended to be the things that kill us, and we are usually killed by, uh, as humans, uh, humans get killed by disease-

J: Microbes! Mostly microbes.

H: Yeah, nowadays.

J: If your theory- If your theory were correct, let me argue. If your theory were correct, all of the things-

H: You haven't heard my theory yet- 

J: Ah, I know what you're gonna be

H: Which is, that the zombie is like, is like a monsterization of disease. Instead of disease being this invisible cloud that is everywhere and like, and like you accidentally walk into it, it is a disease that attacks you physically, and that disease is transmitted through violent acts.

J: Ah, unfortunately, I love that theory. I was so ready to disagree with you, but I think that's brilliant. Because I think uh, I think that- I, I think that we are all afraid of disease, but we find it hard to personify disease-

H: Right - movies about diseases are scary, but they're not like, horror scary, they're psychologically scary. 

J: Yeah, so, you might have noticed, by the way, that Katherine just turned the shower off-

H: Yeah, so there's less background noise. We're doin this in record time!

J: Yeah, uh, yeah so this is, uh yeah, if it just got quieter, that's because the shower has ended. Um..

H: We're not in the bathroom with Katherine, to be clear, it's the next room.

J: No, no, no, no, it's a separate thing, but you know, yeah OK- 

H: It shares a wall- 

J: Point being, uh, disease is something that we, uh have a very difficult time both personifying, but also like, actually comprehending, uh because like our human narrative, uh - memories and ways of processing the world want to tell us that all the threats to us are ones that we fear the most. That the biggest threats are the ones that we fear the most. So for instance, people are very afraid of dying by violence, even though that is extremely unlikely. Uh - or in at least the vast majority of places in the world, it's extremely unlikely. Um, and, uh, people are not adequately afraid of, uh, dying from texting while driving-

H: Right

J: Even though that is one of the biggest threats to your life. 

H: So what we should - what, what you're saying is that the next big thing will be the personification of texting while driving. 

J: Yes.

H: Physically attacking and ripping apart teenagers in movies?

J: Oh my God, what a great idea. Uh, not only have we discovered Jurassic Mars--

H: Right.

J: --the single greatest movie idea of all time, we've now discovered the second greatest movie of all time, a horror movie about texting while driving. Don't text while driving, and if you're listening to this in the car right now, friends, and you're texting--

H: Oh god!

J: --that's just, it's too much.

 A banana development (10:28)

J: Hank, I have forgotten that we have had an amazing, amazing development.

H: Oh.

J: Uh, which is that I know why bananas are hexagonal.

H: good job!

J: Or as I like to say, hexagonolt.

H: Yeah, so we got a Tweet from somebody like, explaining to us why bananas are hexagonal.

J: Yeah, I just gotta find it. Where is my liked Tweets? How do you find the Tweets--oh, likes. It's right there. Okay, so this is from BrilliantBotany, who seems like an expert based on their Twitter handle, let me see if I can find anything more. It's a blog about the amazing world of plants and how we study them, total expert. BrilliantBotany, @BrilliantBotany, check them out on Twitter, writes, "To answer the banana shape question, it has to do with the shape of the banana flower ovary."

H: This makes--yes, this is good.

J: "The banana ovary has three locules (chambers) with two lines of ovules in each, three times two equals six, aka a hexagon(t)."

H: That's amazing! So it isn't--it isn't anything to do with the functionality of the banana, only that the--it's just sort of an artifact of what the banana once was like, when it was--before it was a banana.

J: It's an artifact of the shape of the flower ovary.

H: Yeah, yeah. That's really cool.

J: That is pretty cool, but it makes sense, because that's what it--that's what the banana comes out of.

H: Yeah.

J: The banana is sort of forced, as I imagine it, through--you may now hear a hair dryer. The banana is forced through the flower, right?

H: I don't know exact--yeah. It's just, it comes out of the flower vagina.

J: Ask Brilliant Botany @brilliantbotany on Twitter, for all your questions about banana shapes.

H: But I will often get people who are like "What is the evolutionary reason why x?"

J: Yeah.

H: And sometimes there isn't, sometimes it's just like this is how things happen and we're stuck, like the evolutionary reason why we have two arms and two legs instead of like an extra set of arms is just because the first thing that was the common ancestors of all mammals had these two little fin things in front and and it had a little thing in the back and that's why all mammals and birds and reptiles, like all vertebrates except for fish have four limbs.

J: Have four limbs. I've always wanted to have six limbs.

H: Like Goro.

J: And have four arms like Goro in Mortal Kombat. Was that his name?

H: Just checking.

J: Yeah. If you hear Hank typing it's because--

H: Yep, we were right.

J: --he's doing live research! Live research here on Dear Hank and John. OK Hank I want to do a couple more questions--

H: The thing that bothers me about Goro is that he has two sets of arms but only one set of pectoral muscles. So I'm not exactly sure how that works.

J: Right, like how does he move the bottom arms? But to be fair though, he wasn't a particularly effective villain, at least in Mortal Kombat II which was the one I played a lot. And also when I say played a lot I should say PLAY a lot because now we have this stand up arcade machine in our office which I use a lot and I enjoy playing the Mortal Kombat, I enjoy playing NBA Jam, I'm really dating myself here Hank but remember NBA Jam?

H: Nope. Double Dribble?

J: It was after Double Dribble. You've just dated yourself tremendously, no one who listens to this podcast was even alive when Double Dribble was released.

H: That's not true! That's not true.

J: No. So NBA Jam it was two on two. Remember it was like amazing dunks, they could do like

H: OK yeah.

J: They could spin while dunking and then the announcer would always be like "Abra Kadabra!"

H: Yeah.

J: --or whatever. There's actually an account you can follow on Twitter, I think it's an NBA Jam account, and just occasionally, it Tweets one of the things that the announcer would say when someone dunked on NBA Jam. That's its entire existence as a Twitter.

 Question three (14:19)

J: Alright, let's answer another question from a reader--a viewer.

H: Uh, this one is from Grel from Kyrgyzstan.

J: That's the good question I wanna get to at the very end! I wanted it to be the very last question.

H: Oh, you wanted--I was--it was such a good question, I wanted to get to it as quickly as possible, but I guess we'll skip that one for now. We'll get back to Grel's question at the end. This one is from Shawn who asks, "Dear Hank and John, For our second anniversary, my girlfriend is taking me to Wales in the UK for the Doctor Who Experience where I will get to be on the set of David Tennant's TARDIS. I don't know how to beat her idea for our anniversary, so do you guys have any suggestions for a gift or anything? I need help. It's in two weeks. :)"

Uh, well, Shawn, first I say this isn't a competition. You guys are--you just wanna make the other person happy, not make the other person less--feel less good about your gift, because yours is better than theirs.

J: Right, exactly, then you get into an arms race, right, and this did not work for the Soviet Union, Shawn, so I don't think that it's going to work for you. You don't want to keep raising the stakes of birthday presents. Hank and I did that the first few years on Vlogbrothers, it became a disaster.

H: Ugh, yeah, it was a disaster! By the end of it, it was like, okay, so I've created 48 hours of work for myself.

J: Yep.

H: To--but it was wonder--it was nice.

J: It was great.

H: --to be able to do the thing.

J: But I'm glad that we--

H: But we had to call an end to the war.

J: It was--kind of--it had become a kind of war, where I hated Hank for having birthdays.

H: That is the problem.

J: And I couldn't even really enjoy the gifts that he would get for me, because I would just be like, well, this means that I have to do something extraordinary now. Um, secondly, Shawn, I'm a little concerned that you've waited until two weeks out to begin considering this two year anniversary present. My rule with anniversaries is that you begin considering it the number of months before the anniversary it is.

H: Well, that only works up to a certain point, because--

J: No. No, no, no. It doesn't.

H: What about your 57th?

J: It works all the way up! 57 months before!

H: What if you like--60 months before your 60th anniversary, maybe you can do that, but not before your 59th, 'cause you know you're gonna be working so hard on the 60th anyway.

J: The crazy thing is that at some point, you're working on, like, 20 or 30 different anniversaries at once.

H: It's true.

J: You know?

H: I feel like there's a math problem here.

J: I'm not a--I'm not a mathematician, but according to my strategy, at some point, I will be working on more than one anniversary at a time.

H: Fairly soon.

J: Well, yeah.

H: Right now, maybe.

J: Let's hope. The alternative is terrible. What does it take, 13 years before you're working on--

H: Yes. That's correct.

J: Okay, we've only been married for 9 years.

H: Okay.

J: My strategy still works great. Anyway, Shawn, long story short, you've waited too long, just give up.

H: Yeah, I think what you wanna do is pretend like, that this is an anniversary present your girlfriend is getting for both of you.

J: That is the most dubious, dubious advice in the history of this podcast.

H: This--yeah. Just being like, this--this isn't a gift you're giving to me. It is an experience we are having together, and then take her out to a nice Doctor Who themed dinner.

J: Yeah, maybe a Doctor Who themed dinner.

H: Unless she doesn't care about Doctor Who at all.

J: Just take her out--something that she loves to do in Wales, so let me tell you some stuff that they do in Wales, never been there myself, but um, I have--I do know them by reputation and I watch a lot of Welsh soccer, because that's where Swanzee City plays, due that being where Swanzee is. Also Cardiff City. I watch a lot of Welsh soccer, come to think of it. So, anyway, take her to a Swanzee City game.

H: Right, abs--yeah, they seem to enjoy that!

J: Well, you know what, Shawn? I can't help but--I've got a question for you. If you're going to Wales in the UK, that implies that you don't currently live in the UK, which means that you're probably flying to Wales--

H: Eh, they're probably gonna take a train. 

J: FROM? If he's not in the UK...

H: Yeah?

J: He probably is going to fly to--

H: Oh, he's not--he's not in the--I figured he was from--from--

J: No, no, no, "taking me to Wales in the UK" implies that he isn't from the UK.

H: Oh, okay, yeah.

J: So they're probably going to fly to--

H: London--

J&H: Where AFC Wimbledon plays!

J: Every Saturday!

H: Oh, yeah!

J: Oh my gosh, we've done it, Shawn, you're going to an AFC Wimbledon game!

H: It's so nice to be here with you in person so that we can that in unison, because our phones, when we're doing this--there's like this three second delay, and it makes everything impossible.

J: Oh, going to an AFC Wimbledon game, Shawn's partner, whether you like it or not. Happy anniversary! I'll even get you the tickets. They're 10 bucks.

 Question four (18:40)

J: Gosh, OK we need to do one more question before we get to the question from Grel from Pak--uh, from Kyrgyzstan, which I'm so excited about Grel's question.

H: Katie has a question that I quite like.

J: I wanted to answer Will's question.

H: Okay, well, you--let's--you can do Will.

J: Okay.

H: There's like 8,000 Katies out there who are like *gasp* uhhh! It wasn't you, it wasn't you, it was a different Katie.

J: I don't know if we have that many listeners, actually. I think you might have exaggerated the--we don't have an abundance of Katherines. Ba-dum-bump, ohhh! Okay, this question is from Will, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, I've been a supporter of AFC Wimbledon since listening to this podcast." That's a great reason to start, and a great time to start. "However, I recently learned that one of my absolute favorite podcasts ever, Freakonomics, also supports and sponsors an English league football team."


J: "The Mighty Dun Cow Football Club. I can't seem to find any information on whether AFC Wimbledon and Dun Cow will be direct competitors, because I'd hate to have to pick, and I'm not sure what I would do. Is this something I should worry about?"

It is something you should worry about, because it implies that Dear Hank and John might be your second favorite podcast, and that's a big problem.

H: That's the biggest problem. Another concern is that Freakonomics potentially stole our idea.

J: Yeah, I'm a little concerned that Freakonomics--they plagiarized us. That would be plagiarism, right?

H: I mean, frankly, what are the odds that--why would this idea happen twice, it is a dumb idea.

J: Yeah.

H: So it should not--not be something that happened two times.

J: So if I were you, I would not be terribly concerned. I'm looking up right now on where--where precisely Dun Cow FC is in the world. It does not seem that they are very likely to ever, ever, ever play AFC Wimbledon. Here's a couple of reasons. They are a Sunday football team. They play--they're like a Sunday league team, which means that they're probably below the 9th division, so they'd have to get six promotions.

H: So a long way down. Yeah.

J: So either the earliest AFC Wimbledon could play Dun Cow FC, I think, is in three years, if AFC Wimbledon were relegated in three consecutive years, and Dun Cow were promoted three consecutive years.

H: Yeah. 

J: That seems very unlikely to me. Not least because AFC Wimbledon is 9th in their league!


J: Ohh, it's such great news. I don't wanna get ahead of myself, but yes, I think you're okay. I don't think Dun Cow is ever going to play AFC Wimbledon. If they do, it will be a big moment for us, though, because we will find out if Will prefers Freakonomics or Dear Hank and John.

H: That's--I'm terrified. About that potential future.

 Question five (21:23)

J: What was the question from Katie?

H: There was a question from Katie, let me--Katie asked, "Dear Hank and John, Around the time we started college, I did something to my best friend that was very selfish and unkind. We remained friends despite this, but eventually, my guilt took over and I began to distance myself to the point where we no longer speak. It's been several years now, and based on social media, it seems like she is in a good place in her life. I would like to believe that I can finally be the friend she deserves, so I decided to reach out by sharing something that we both used to find humorous, but she has yet to respond. I would like to try again with something more sincere, but I worry that bringing the past, me, back into her life would be selfish and harmful. Am I--I am wondering, I'm wondering, is it actually unkind to interject myself and apologize in this situation, or is worth it for another shot at a once-great friendship?"

J: That's a good question, and I think that probably it differs on specifics, but in general, I would say that it is never wrong to apologize as long as you do not ask for or expect a response.

H: Yes. In fact, what I would say that it is probably a helpful thing to let your friend know that you recognize that you did a thing wrong, the reason why you retracted is not because you don't like her, but because you didn't like yourself and what you had done, and just let them know that and say that that is a thing you are letting them know, not that as an overture for a rekindled friendship.

J: Right. I think that, you know, you need to let her make that decision.

H: Yeah.

J: Did I ever tell you about the time that my college girlfriend got back in touch with me? Who's a lovely person, I don't wanna speak ill of her, but um, so but we didn't speak for seven years, and then she e-mailed me and she said, "I thought you would find this book interesting. Dear John, I thought you would find this book interesting. Signed, Her Name." And I was like, you're kidding me, right?

H: That's just--that's it?

J: Like, we didn't talk for eight years, and then you just saw a book on Amazon and you were like, oh, that reminds me of that guy. But anyway, it actually led to a very productive conversation between the two of us.

H: Do you know what that book was?

J: I do, I do remember it, yeah.

H: Could it be one of the sponsors of this day's podcast?

J: No, it's a really dark, personal thing. (They laugh) That was the other thing about it, is like, weirdly intimate.

 Commercial Break (23:48)

H: Right yeah. This episode of Dear Hank and John was brought to you by weirdly dark personal things.

J: Weirdly dark personal things, not discussed on this podcast. And of course, today's episode of Dear Hank and John is also brought to you by the letter "T", the letter "T", only appearing in the word hygienist once!

H: This episode of Dear Hank and John is brought to you by Dun Cow Football Club, six times worse than AFC Wimbledon.

J: And of course, this episode of Dear Hank and John is brought to you by the question from Kyrgyzstan by Greet that we are going to answer now.

H: Okay, we said we were going do it.

 Question six (24:34)

J: We're gonna do it. We're very excited. This is one of the best questions, I have to say, that I have ever seen, not just on this podcast, but ever. I am fascinated by this question, I feel like we should devote several episodes to it, but instead we're just going to try our best to answer it. I said this person's name wrong earlier. I think, I don't know how to pronounce it, I think it's Grel from Kyrgyzstan.

"Dear John and Hank, Yesterday my teacher asked, "Which one of you would like to own a Ferrari?" and everyone raised their hand. Then he asked, "But what if you knew that everyone else in the world also had a Ferrari?" and almost everyone put their hands down. This got me to thinking about you, and by you, I mean people from the West. You often refer to countries as developed and developing, which to me sounds as if you're hoping that one day, we'll all be "developed", but how is that even possible? Sure, you could probably make it so that everyone in the world had food to eat and didn't die from preventable diseases, but other than that, there is absolutely no way for everyone in the world to have the same quality of life as you do in the West, and some countries in East Asia, of course. I mean, who is going to be sewing the clothes and making the mobile phones? Surely the demand for those things will dramatically increase if every country is developed, but there won't be any way to get cheap labor anymore. I'm sorry if this question sounds as if I'm putting blame on anyone, I'm really not, I just don't understand."

That is a great question.

H: Yes, it is kind of the question of modern economics. So, like, panic or not?

J: The optimists' response to this question is that the overall size of the pie--

H: Right.

J: --can increase, and so while there remains, you know--

H: Equaler, smaller slices.

J: Exactly. So while there remains economic inequality, the overall size of the pie can increase, and we have seen this with hundreds of millions of people emerging from poverty in the last 30 years, mostly in China and Brazil and India, countries that have, you know, developed dramatically, but what we mean when we talk about "emerging from poverty" often means going, you know, from a place where you are in that extreme poverty that Grel's writing about, where you, you know, you don't have food security and you know, people often die of preventable diseases to going to a place where you're making $10 a day instead of $2 a day, or $1 a day, and that's not what we would think of in the West as you know, middle class or as a, you know, or even working class, we would think of that as poverty.

H: Yes. Yeah, and there are a number of big questions here. I mean, we started out with the question of whether one, like, whether wanting something necessitates inequality, because you only want the things that you can't have, and if everybody could have it, then you wouldn't want it, if it were just like, you know, if it were a Yugo, you wouldn't want a Ferrari if every person had a Ferrari, who cares? Just like, you know, now, like it used to a luxury item to have a refrigerator in America, and it no longer is.

J: Right. The refrigerator example is actually the example that I would use in terms of what I think about with development. I do think that we can live in a world where everyone has a refrigerator, and I think that would dramatically increase quality of life for billions of people, and I think that is a good goal. I think that living your life in a way that requires or necessitates an underclass is very problematic, and that almost everyone in the West lives their life that way, including you and me.

H: Yeah.

J: You and I. Including you and me. You and me. I'm sticking with my original.

H: And the--and the hope is that there is a future in which those products can be created without a necessary underclass.

J: Ri--I mean, a little bit that is the hope. I mean, I think that's a very optimistic hope. I think that, like, anytime you're pinning all of your hopes on sort of mere capitalism--

H: Right.

J: If anytime you're pinning your hopes only on the market, I think that you are maybe being too optimistic about what markets can do, but--

H: Not just what they can do, but what they cho--what they tend to do.

J: Yeah, what they tend to do is they tend to put a lot of money in a few hands.

H: Yeah.

J: And yeah, and that's true, I mean, I don't want to sound like a Marxist, but yeah.

H: But you've seen it happen.

J: But Marx was a good and interesting political economist. Um, so I--I mean, I, look, I think that we do, when you say like, sure you could probably make it so everyone in the world had food to eat and didn't die from preventable diseases, like, let's just stop there and say, yes, let's do that.

H: Yeah.

J: Like, I think that that is a good goal. I remember being in--when I was in Ethiopia with the CEO of the Gates Foundation, Sue Desmond Helman, I think is her name, I said, "You know, this is so complicated, like, I feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the problem of poverty. I feel overwhelmed by how do you address the infrastructure problems? How do you address, you know, access to things like better seed so that the corn is as high as it is in Indiana where I live and not, you know, coming up to my knee. How--like, I don't have any idea how to fix any of this, and it is completely overwhelming," and like, I think rotavirus vaccines are great, but I am totally overwhelmed, and she said to me, she said to me, you just jumped over something that I think is very important, which is that rotavirus vaccines will save 100,000 lives of kids under the age of five in the next ten years, and that's 100,000 mothers who don't have to bury their children, and I think you--I think we in the West need to do a better job of listening to people in the really--in the poor world, in Ethiopia, when they ask us what they need, what they want, you know, what their goals are for their lives and what the number one thing that I heard was clean water and I want my kids to live and get an education, and so those are my development goals is to listen better and then respond. But I also think it's really interesting to hear from, I mean, Kyrgyzstan is a middle income, what we would call, in like, in development, in like, a middle income country, it's very interesting to hear that perspective, because a lot of times we don't.

H: Right.

J: Anyway. It's a great question that I don't have a great answer for obviously, I don't know if you do, Hank. I just talked a lot.

H: I talked as much as I could. It's all I have.

 Mews from Nars (31:15)

H: Do you want to move on to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon?

J: Yeah, I'm still--I'm still--

H: Do you wanna--?

J: I'm still mulling this question. I feel like we should--I feel like we should uh, start a new podcast called Questions from Grel just this one person asks us really interesting questions. Anyway, thank you for listening, oh wait, right, we have to do the Nars--the Nars from Mews and AFC Mumbledon.

H: Sounds great. In this week's Mars news, our Mars Nars--

J: I call it Nars Mews.

H: In this week's Nars Mews--

J: Yep.

H: Scientists have done a lot of research on how Mars became not wonderful. Became a less good place for people.

J: Let's--yeah, let's take another step back and just celebrate how much better Earth is than Mars, period.

H: Yeah. Oh man.

J: Full stop.

H: Yes, definitely.

J: Is there a way that Mars is better than Earth? No.

H: No, not really.

J: Really not.

H: I mean, you could say that there are ways in which it outranks us, and like just sort of--

J: Just mass?

H: No, I mean, it doesn't, it's smaller than Earth, but--

J: It's colder.

H: Colder.

J: Yeah.

H: Yeah, there's more cold.

J: Do you love winter?

H: Do you?

J: You'll love Mars!

H: Do you hate there being too many atoms in the atmosphere?

J: Do you ever--have you ever wanted to like, jump but wished that you couldn't jump quite as high?

H: You could jump higher on Mars.

J: Dammit.

H: I just told you it was less massive.

J: And that it had less of an atmosphere.

H: Yeah, well, that's--the thickness of the atmosphere doesn't really hold you back that much. A little bit!

J: A little bit, a little bit. Stops you from going all the way out.

H: No.

J: Yeah, no, it does. If I were on Mars, correct me if I'm wrong, and I jumped, like, rea--like, if I--I mean, obviously, I don't have great quad muscles, but like, if I had better--if I was better at jumping, it would be easier for me to leave Mars', you know, orbit--

H: Yeah.

J: Th--right?

H: Yeah.

J: It would be easier for me to leave Mars than Earth.

H: Right. Well, yes, because of gravity.

J: But if I wanted to get to Pluto--

H: But even--even--that's almost all because of gravity, but I will tell you how you are right. If there was a ball the size of Mars--

J: Yup.

H: --that had Earth's atmosphere--

J: Yeah.

H: --it would be harder to jump off of that planet than it would be to jump off of Mars.

J: Right.

H: Because there's more atmosphere to push through.

J: Right. So it's overwhelmingly a better place to play basketball.

H: As long as you have a respirator, like, in a full space suit, yes.

J: Mars is the worst, why do we talk about it every week?

H: Well, one of the reasons Mars is the worst is because once upon a time, it had a nice thick atmosphere--

J: Yep.

H: But it no longer does, and the reason for that is the sun. The sun is great.

J: Yep.

H: It is a nice thing for us to have here on Earth.

J: Strongly in favor.

H: Life would mostly not exist without it, though it would, a little bit, the--in deep sea vents and such. But Mars' atmosphere was ionized and blown away by the--by energy from the Sun, and this happens on Earth, and it continues to happen on Mars, but it happens less on Earth because we have a strong magnetic field, and there is a belief that Mars probably used to have a magnetic field, and thus was able to hold onto its atmosphere, and then when its magnetic field stopped, it lost its atmosphere, and we have now been able to model quite accurately what exactly happened to Mars' atmosphere, and it's a bummer, man. It's too bad.

J: Uh, so, quick question.

H: Yeah.

J: Is our atmosphere going to blow away?

H: If the magnetic field stops, which--

J: Is that gonna happen?

H: No. No, I mean, potentially, in billions of years.

J: Oh, I'm not worried about that. We don't even have thousands of years. Let's get to the news from AFC Wimbledon.

H: Let's celebrate what really matters.

J: Yeah, so--right, because we are only going to be here for a little while, and all of the things that we learn about Mars while we are here will be rendered irrelevant by our inevitable non-existence as a species.

H: And so will all the goals we have scored in soccer matches, but that doesn't not matter, because both of those things matter to us.

J: They matter now. They matter to us. Which is the only kind of mattering.

 News from AFC Wimbledon (35:35)

And in incredibly exciting news, AFC Wimbledon, you might remember the last podcast, I talked about how they're going to be playing Portsmouth, a team that was once recently in the premier league, but then got demoted a bunch of times due to going bankrupt, and is now owned by its fans, but they still have incredible support, I don't know if you know this, Hank, Portsmouth is actually--it's a town in England.

H: It is, it has a port, and a mouth of a river.

J: No. No, incorrect.

H: Oh.

J: It is called Portsmouth because it is the place where port, the liquor, was invented, and the mouth is where you drink it.

H: Really?

J: No, no. It's because it's at the mouth of a river. It's because it's a port city. 

H: Yeah, 'cause I was like, I'm pretty sure port must have been also invented somewhere where there was a port.

J: No, no, no, it's total coincidence. Port is just--it's an anagram of Trop, which is the kind of grape you use to make port. That is correct, you don't have to look it up. I promise. Don't even bother going to Wikipedia, I'm quite sure you can just Google...

H: Port wine.

J: Yes. I'm right. We played Portsmouth, and do you know--

H: It's a Portuguese fortified wine.

J: Port-u-guese.

H: It is from Portugal.

J: It's from Port-ugal.

H: Yes. Vinho de Portugal.

J: Interesting. Alright, so, it has nothing to do with ports, then, except that Portugal has a bunch of them, due to being--due to having all of Sp--

H: Probably, I assume, Portugal, which is Portuguese for--

J: Ports.

H: Land of ports.

J: Portugal, which, according to Spain, has all of Spain's ports. Okay. Right. Hey guys. So the news from Mars. Right. So the news from AFC Wimbledon is this: we played Portsmouth, who, at that time, were 3rd in the table. And do you know what happened, Hank? Can you imagine the most dramatic outcome to a football game?

H: Yes.

J: What would it be?

H: Uh, at the 89th minute--

J: Yes.

H: The ball--

J: Yes.

H: Comes into the goal area--

J: Yes.

H: Bounces off the post--

J: Yes.

H: Bounces off someone's foot--

J: Yes.

H: Bounces off the post again--

J: Yes.

H: Bounces off the back of the goalie's head--

J: Yes.

H: And into the goal!

J: YEEEESS! That's not what happened, it was a nil-nil draw. It was a nil-nil draw for AFC Wimbledon against Portsmouth, but that's great, that's a good point away from home against a team that's higher up in the tables, so now we're ninth instead of 10th, we are currently ninth in the table. More importantly, AFC Wimbledon, Hank, you'll remember the Dons Trust owns the team, every fan of AFC Wimbledon is an equal owner of the team, and so on big decisions, we all vote together, so we all needed to vote to sell the current stadium to Chelsea so that we can afford to buy or to build the new stadium that we want to build in the historic home of Wimbledon's Football Club. So, we have completed that last vote, it has succeeded, so once we get planning permission and the money to build the new stadium, we will also get the money for selling the old stadium, the stadium where we currently play, and that was a vital part of this long-term plan to hopefully, by 2018, be playing in a state of the art, fan-owned stadium in the heart of the Wimbledon community, so that was a big, big deal. The votes passed, it's all done, except now we need planning permission from the council, the local council there, and then we are gonna need to raise just a small amount of 10 million dollars.

H: I have a question, John.

J: Yeah.

H: AFC Wimbledon is a fan-owned team.

J: Yes.

H: What would happen--

J: Yeah.

H: If AFC Wimbledon, due to the weirdness of the world--

J: Yeah.

H: In ten years or so, is throwing off a billion dollars in profit a year. Would you get some of that?

J: Nnnn--I mean, I don't think so. I don't--this is so far from ever being a concern, and I've never heard a single Wimbledon fan discuss the possibility. My understanding is that if AFC Wimbledon were making a billion dollar profit, that billion dollars would be invested back into the team or the community, so AFC Wimbledon also has a foundation where a percentage of their money goes, you know, to support local charities and other initiatives, so it might go to the foundation. I don't think that it would go to me. However, I am ready to see that day, when we are making that billion dollar profit. By the way, other Football Clubs that don't make a profit include Manchester United, Liverpool Football Club--

H: Yeah.

J: So I think it's pretty, pretty far down the road that we've gotta worry too much about making money. 

 Outro (40:33)

H: Alright. Well, John, this was a wonderful day on Dear Hank and John, what did we learn?

J: Well, uh, we learned that hygienist only has one T.

H: We learned that John Green has had more hands in his mouth than any other human on Earth, according to John Green.

J: We learned that uh...globalization and development and Ferrari-acquisitions are extremely complicated, and that anyone who claims to have absolute certainty about any of it is probably lying.

H: And we learned that your anniversary is not a competition. 

J: But you should start planning several months in advance.

H: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, you--you--love is not a competition, but you know.

J: But it is, I mean, you do keep score, and there is a winner at the end, right?

H: Whoever's around longest. That's the--that's the--

J: Oh, it always ends in death here at Dear Hank and John. Thanks for listening to our podcast. If you wanna ask us questions, you can do so at, thanks to everybody who sent in questions this week, I'm sorry that there were so many good ones and too few to get to, but that's always the case, um, and what else do we say at the end here, Hank?

H: You can find us on Hank--you can find us on Twitter, @hankgreen or @johngreen. This podcast is edited by Nicholas Jenkins--

J: I can't believe that you just missed an opportunity to promote your own Snapchat.

H: My Snapchat is @hankgre, the theme music is from Gunnarolla, and as they say in our hometown...

J&H: Don't forget to be awesome.