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Did we discover the periodic table, or did we invent it? How do you start running a business with friends? How would one go about crashing the moon into the Earth? Is an emoji a word? And finally, most importantly, when is it ok to start listening to Holiday music?

 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. How're you doing, John?

J: I'm doing OK. You may recall from past podcasts that I've been a little anxious about getting norovirus, a disease that makes you vomit copiously.

H: Uhhuh.

J: I got it, I got it.

H: Oh!

J: I had a, I had a puking, a puking disease last night. I woke up at 1:30 in the morning and I thought "Something is terribly wrong" and then I vomited several times over the next three hours and now I feel fine.

H: Oh good. Well I'm glad you feel fine. It's funny, last year round Thanksgiving we had norovirus together.

J: I was just remembering that. It's an amazing thing how sometimes these things just come back seasonally. But it was, it was a particularly mild attack of gastroenteritis and I feel, honestly, kind of better than I did even a couple days ago. So I'm doing well, how are you?

H: (Laughs) I'm good. I'm sitting in a very nice hotel room in Seattle, Washington, looking out at the Seattle cityscape of some sort. I'm right next to The Seattle Times offices. I'm here to interview Randall Munroe, the creator of xkcd, on stage about his new book Thing Explainer which I'm excited about doing at Town Hall here in Seattle.

J: Highly recommended, by the way. I really, really like xkcd and Randall Monroe's work in general.

H: He is a very, he's a very smart guy and he's the kind of smart that I like a lot where there's a lot of, like, technical science stuff but then every once in a while he throws in some really good analysis of how humans behave, because I think often times we forget how important human behavior is and how unlike science it is.

J: Yeah. He's also just great at explaining things to people who aren't very bright like myself. So overall you're in a good mood?

H: I would say I'm in a good mood, yes.

J: Great, because I have a short poem about death for you today.

H: Awesome.

J: This was recommended by Kimmie, it's called Virtue by George Herbert.  Herbert.  Herbert.  We'll say Herbert.  "Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright.  The bridal of the Earth and sky, the dew shall weep thy fall tonight for thou must die.  Sweet rose whose hue angry and brave bids the rash gazer wipe his eye, thy root is ever in its grave and now must die.  Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses, a box where sweets compacted lie, my music shows ye have your closes and all must die.  Only a sweet and virtuous soul, like seasoned timber never gives, but though the whole world turned to coal, then chiefly lives."  Virtue, by George Herbert.  Herbert.  Herbert.  I'm so good at last names.  That was a poem from the uhhhhh 17th century, Hank, I feel like we don't have enough 17th century poems about death on this podcast.

Hank: Uh, that poem was also about life, and it was also not short.  

John: I thought it was pretty short, but anyway, I'm trying to keep my consecutive streak of number of podcasts that I've talked more than you alive.  

Hank: Ah, I see, I see, you gotta--yeah, I do--I am looking forward to hearing the analysis of last week's podcast, I have not yet heard who talked more after my attempt to be more verbose.  Do you wanna do some questions from the people, John?

 Question 1 (3:42)

John: I feel like we should answer questions from our listeners, most of which were submitted at  If you wanna send us a question, that's the place to do it.  Hank, how about we begin with this question from Victor. "Dear John and Hank, I recently became a dad there are a lot of thing I'm looking forward to, but the thing I'm looking forward to the most are dad jokes.  Do you have any good ones?  P.S. I am Hungarian, and I would appreciate some that are not puns and can be translated."  

Hank: I feel like dad jokes are almost exclusively puns.  

John: Yeah, that's what I was gonna say as well.  I think that you've gotta talk to your Hungarian friends about dad jokes, because I can't offer you any, because all of mine are extremely English dependent.  

Hank: Yeah.  Yeah, uh-huh.  Yeah, or it's more a state of mind, though.  A dad joke.  

John: Yeah.

Hank: You don't just tell dad jokes, it has to be something that you realize, you know, you know, I have a theory about dad jokes, John.  My theory about dad jokes is that when a kid is like, three to five, dad jokes are actually the funniest thing in the world, the problem is that the kid gets older, and the dad doesn't evolve along with them, and continues to tell jokes for three to five year olds for the dad's entire rest of the dad's life.

John: That's very possible, it would also explain why I am to my children the funniest person on Earth.

Hank: Right, you just, like, you always wanna go back to that, that like, reach back to that moment where you were, like, chief funny person on Earth, and so you live that glory day by just telling dad jokes for the rest of your life, even though no one enjoys them anymore, but you do, because you remember those wonderful moments when your children were children.

John: Yeah, and when they loved you completely and without any ambiguity.  I think you're absolutely right, Hank, although I don't recall our dad being a particularly--

Hank: No.

John: Dad-joke kind of guy.  

Hank: No, not really.  He never was.  

John: But I am.  Oh, God, I love a good dad joke.  By the way, Alice made her first joke, Hank.  

Hank: Oh, yeah?  Tell me.  

John: Last night, we were coming home from McDonald's, and do you ever--it was--in our defense, it was very late, they had refused to eat at the place where we went out to with friends, so we had to get them something, I apologize to all the foodies out there, but anyway, we were leaving McDonald's, and have you ever had like, one single onion ring in your Burger King fries?

Hank: Yeah.  Mm-hmm.

John: And you know how exciting that is?

Hank: Mm-hmm.

John: So, Alice was eating her french fries from her Happy Meal, and she said, "I got chicken nugget in my fwies!"  And she was just so excited and happy about it that everybody laughed, and she liked it when everybody laughed, so then she paused for a long time and she said, "I got a fwench fwy in my diaper!"

Hank: That's a good joke!

John: And I was like, that's great, Alice, that's a great joke.  And Henry, I mean, Henry was just like, oh man, she has figured it out.  She has figured out the number one joke construction, something involving poop and then that's it really, that's the only thing. 

 Question 2 (7:02)

Hank: Yep.  Yep.  Okay.  We have another question, John, this is from Jessie, who asks, "I have a big family and I'm a college student with no income and barely $100 to my name.  We all agreed earlier this year that we would get everybody something for Christmas, but trying to find gifts that won't completely destroy my bank account is seriously stressing me out.  What would you recommend I get for my siblings and parents for Christmas?"  Jessie, I suggest you get for them your future financial security and get them nothing.

John: Yeah, or get them something that you make by hand.  

Hank: Yes.

John: You know, the thi--

Hank: Out of free supplies that do not cost anything.

John: Right, like the--

Hank: So poop and your diaper.

John: Put a french fry in your diaper.  Everyone's gonna love it.  Um, the gift that I gave my mom that meant the most to her was a shoebox full of reasons I loved her that I just like, cut up, you know, into like, from a piece of paper, I just wrote 'em out then cut 'em up and she could just sort of pick one out whenever I was infuriating her, and be reminded of the fact that I was by far the best son.  

Hank: Yes, that is--

John: And that cost nothing.

Hank: That is a very good gift, probably better than anything I ever gave our mom.  I--yeah.  So, things you make, if you are, I don't know, like, it's a little bit, you know, different people are motivated by different things, and some people really like to receive a gift that had some kind of thought into it, it was also purchased.  Now, like, the value on--putting value on something that was acquired is troubling and like, hopefully your family doesn't do that too much, but I would also say that one of my favorite cheap gifts if you are definitely going to spend some money is to go to a used bookstore and buy some used books.  Yeah, 'cause they are inexpensive and wonderful.

John: Yeah, I mean, obviously all used books are inexpensive and wonderful, but let me particularly recommend my used books. Maybe--

Hank: You mean used John Green books?

John: Yeah, maybe a dogeared old copy of The Fault in Our Stars from that first signed edition or Let it Snow, the holiday romance book I wrote with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. But other books are good too. The great thing about a used book store is that you can go in with 20 bucks and if you're pretty smart you can walk out with all seven gifts for all of the people in your family and then not only have you had a relatively inexpensive Christmas, you've had a relatively quick one.

Hank: Yeah, it's true, it's true. It is definitely time-consuming, especially for a student who is full time learning stuff, doesn't want to be spending too much time on the gift acquisition. There's actually a used book store in Missoula, and I don't know if other places have something like this, where you can take your books and you they will give you credit and then you can get other books for free basically.

John: Yeah. And I have like $150 in credit at that store right now, so I basi--I can go in and as long as I'm buying a used paperback, it's free.  

 Question 3 (10:13)

John: Hank, this question comes from Taylor, and it's Taylor-made for me, Hank.  "Dear John and Hank, I was recently in Chemistry class and started to wonder, did we actually discover the periodic table or did we invent it?  Are all discoveries in nature inventions to allow people to better understand the universe or are the distinctions and methods of organization already in existence when we find them?"  That is a great question for me, Taylor, it is right in my wheelhouse, and here is how I shall answer it:  Hank?  

Hank: Uh, I'm gonna answer this question.  It's going to be maybe a little bit esoteric, 'cause I was once an actual chemist, so the periodic table is an invention in that it is a way of expressing something that we discovered, so it is an invented way of expressing a discovery, and that discovery is that there are repeating characteristics of elements, so this was long before we understood that atoms even were and what atoms were made of and anything about protons and neutrons and electrons.

We, meaning Dmitri Mendeleev, noticed that certain elements behaved similarly in that they were separated from each other by repeating numbers of non-similar elements, so like, there would be like, in terms of like, the increasing mass of those elements, and that was a discovery.  It was a discovery about the nature of the universe, something that actually has always been, that we did not know and then we knew, and then we had to explain that discovery, and part of the explanation of that discovery was like, creating the entire idea of what an atom is, how they behave, what electrons are, and that discovery allowed us insight into those things, which was wonderful.

So we were finding something out about the nature of the universe.  It was a discovery, but the way that it is displayed in classrooms, that is just a tool that we invented to help us understand that discovery and to display that discovery, and there are many alternate ways of displaying the periodic table of elements or the periodicity of elements that are not the periodic table, and you can find those by like, go Google "alternate periodic tables" and you can see a bunch of really cool ways that other people have come up with for displaying that periodicity.

Do you wanna know more than that, John?

John: No.  Although, I do feel that I have learned something from today's podcast, which is kind of rare, so thanks.  

Hank: Give me a Chemistry question, I'm happy to oblige.  Alright.

John: I'm always amazed by the fact that you actually know a lot of chemistry, because you're so talented at pretending to know something when you sort of like, 1/3 know it, you know?  So, like, when I come across a subject that you're actually pretty familiar with, I'm always impressed.  By the way, I mean, the only person I know who's better at acting like they know a lot about something when they only are 33% well educated about it is me, so uh, I'm not trying to insult you at all, it is a Green family trait.  This is however--

Hank: I learned from the best.  

 Question 4 (13:15)

John: This new question, however, is one that I think might be very tense for us, because we are both experts in this field.  It comes from Maya, and she writes, "Dear John and Hank, I have had a pressing question on my mind for a few years now.  What time is it okay to start listening to holiday music?"

Hank: The day after Thanksgiving.

John: Oh!  We aren't gonna disagree, because I could not agree with you more!  In fact, I think that if you start listening to holiday music the day before Thanksgiving, you are essentially a sociopathic monster, and if you start listening to Thank--and if you start listening to holiday music even a week after Thanksgiving, you are equally terrible.  The day to start listening to holiday music is the day after Thanksgiving, because that's when you're supposed to get in the consumeristic mood that tells yourself, "I should go to and get a Pizza John shirt."

Hank: Yeah, I mean, it is important that we continue to sustain the American economy, and the only way in which we do that is fourth quarter sales based on this peculiar consumerist gift-giving tradition that we have.  I--now back to the original question, I think that it is okay to listen to Christmas music anytime after Thanksgiving up to Christmas.  I don't think that there is a time--I think that it's not okay to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving, because I think it subtracts from Thanksgiving, which is actually my favorite holiday, and I don't want people to mess with Thanksgiving by like, having Christmas overtake it.  So, whenever I hear a Christmas song on the radio before Thanksgiving, I scream in anger and I do not listen to that radio station ever again, because I feel that they are taking away Thanksgiving, which is the best American holiday, and I will not stand for it.

John: Is Thanksgiving really your favorite holiday?

Hank: Yes!  I love Thanksgiving!  It is so good!  

John: You're supposed to ask me what my favorite holiday is.

Hank: What is your favorite holiday, John?

John: Labor Day.  Going away.  I love Labor Day.

 Question 5 (15:25)


Hank: Uh, I gotta--I got another question, John.  This question is from Alex, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, Last year, my friends and I made a video game, which we released in July.  We have had some very unexpected commercial success, to the point where we are now able to be self-employed.  Do you have any dubious advice for running a business and creating a place where people want to work?  I'm finding it especially hard as my colleagues are my friends.  How do you make difficult grown-up business decisions when you're old friends?"  Interesting.

John: Well, first off, Alex, let me just say that you need to work on your marketing, because you had an amazing opportunity--

Hank: It's true.

John: --in your question to tell us the name of your video game that I would have immediately bought, but you didn't.  So now I'm just sitting here wondering.  Is it Fallout 4 or is it something else?  I mean, I think this is really difficult.  I think it's a really hard thing to go from, you know, people making stuff for fun together to a business, and I would encourage you that--insofar as possible not to make that transition, unless you really, really want to.  You know, Hank and I have both very consciously chosen not to grow as fast as some of our companies might have grown because we don't want to like, you know, be running gigantic businesses and because we wanna work with people who are really good to work with.  As far as like, motivating employees who are also your friends, good luck.  That sounds hard.  I mean, I think it's really--I think there are obvious benefits to working with your friends, but you know, it can--anytime money gets introduced into those conversations, it can become very awkward and difficult and I just try to be as transparent as possible, and as open and honest as possible, and hope that, like, we can all keep working together on something not for money, ultimately, but because we love it and kinda keep that feeling that we had when we were at the beginning of it, you know, there's that White Stripes song, when you're in your little room and you're working on something good, but if it's really good, you might need a bigger room, and then you're gonna have to think about how it felt being in that little room, so like, as things--I just absolutely butchered a White Stripes song.  I butchered it so bad that I don't think Jack White can sue us for copyright infringement.  

Hank: Yeah, that's what's--that's the goal.

John: The idea is that at some point in your life, you will be in a bigger room than you expected to be in, and you will not know how to feel, but the way to feel is the way that you felt back when you were in your garage or in your basement, or wherever you were when you were making the thing.

Hank: Indeed, that is a good song that is full of surprising business advice.  Yeah, I--

John: It's also only 40 seconds long, so.

Hank: I would also look at other people and ask other people who have had similar things happen to them.  My--and so like, Cards Against Humanity is a really interesting example, 'cause they have become just, like, there's just been a massive amount of success at Cards Against Humanity and they have kept it really interesting and really, and like, they continue to not really have a leader among their friend group, so it's just some friends who came up with this idea, and then they did it, and there's sort of like a leadership structure, but nobody's in charge there.  They just do--and no--they're, like, they just share everything equally and they, you know, so there's two ways you can do it.  You can just sort of say, like, we're just going to be friends, and we're gonna do a weird thing and try not to care too much, or you've gotta set up some kind of management structure where one person is in charge.  It is very difficult to run a business where there is not just one person in charge unless you all agree that this is just about having a good time, because if it becomes about how do you make money, that becomes a very wibbly question;, and it's never quite clear how the best way to make money is, especially when there can be lots of other variables in that equation that have to do with like, how you also like, enjoy the thing you're doing and be a good person at the same time.  

John: Yeah, I mean, it's an incredible privilege to be in a situation where you can love what you do, but you cannot lose sight of the importance of your values, and you know, what matters to you.  I mean, you've gotta kind of pick your priorities, you know, are the priorities gonna be friendships and relationships or are the priorities gonna be trying to get as big as you can and trying to take over the world. For me, it's destroying all of my relationships if I can just take over the world.  

Hank: And I resist!  I will not let you destroy this relationship, no matter how much evil you do to me, brother.  

John: That's so ludicrous.  I don't know which of us is--which of us is the bigger pull against growing, but I think it's me.  

Hank: Yeah, no, I think it's you, too.  I think it's you.

 Question 6 (20:29)

John: Um, okay.  This is a question from Wade, and it is very important.  He writes, "Dear John and Hank, I need your dubious advice.  I want to crash the moon into Earth.  I know from my Physics classes that the waves in the ocean are the result of moon's gravitational forces, so is it possible to put turbines in the ocean which would disrupt these waves in such a way that they would provide a gravitational force on the moon, slowing it down and eventually de-orbiting it and resulting in the moon crashing into the Earth?"  Wade, I'll tell you what I like about your question.  I love a person of ambition, and you are seriously ambitious.  I mean, you just lay it out there, right there, in the second sentence of your question, I want to crash the moon into the Earth.

Hank: But why would we give you advice?

John: Yeah.

Hank: Why would we say, Wade, you know what?  I wanna help you destroy me.  

John: Yeah, first off, Wade, I'm--we're gonna give you terrible advice, because we have competing interests, so the answer to your question is that if you want to crash the moon into the Earth, the number one way to do that is to go right now to and become a supporter of this very podcast.

Hank: It works every time.  Every time someone supports Dear Hank and John on Patreon, the moon gets 1 centimeter closer to Earth.  

John: That's science.

Hank: So all you have to do is get people to sign up, and I am having a really hard time actually not answering this question, because I kinda find it a little bit fascinating, but I'm not gonna do it.

John: Good, I'm glad, because I'm seriously concerned that Wade might crash the moon into the Earth.

Hank: I don't wanna help you, Wade!

John: Which, from what I understand, would be tremendously destructive to both the moon and the Earth.

Hank: Oh, yeah, it would kill--it would kill everything.

 Commercial breaks (22:12)

John: [laughs] Oh, you're so casual about it, Hank.  We've worked so hard for so many billions of years to reach the point where life can extinguish itself, and we've finally done it.  Congratulations. Oh god. Today's podcast is brought to you by life.  The most interesting thing the universe has ever done, but make no mistake about it, temporary.  

Hank: [Hank cackles] Oh, God.  Today's podcast is brought to you by your needy family.  There's seven of them and they ALL want gifts!

John: Today's podcast is also brought to you by Victor, who recently became a dad.  Victor: He's gonna find out that Dad jokes just come out of you naturally.

Hank: Today's podcast is also, finally, brought to you by All I Want for Christmas is You, by Mariah Carey.

John: Aw, must it be?

Hank: All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey: only available on American radio stations after Thanksgiving.  

John: Oh, if you really wanna support our podcast, you can do so at our Patreon as earlier mentioned, we have a Patreon where you can support Dear Hank and John directly and help out Nick, the producer, in his producings of these podcasts, thank you, thanks to all of our patrons.  

Hank: Thank you.  Yes, we just want to say, if you like Dear Hank and John and you think that it is a thing that you would pay for, then do it!  And if you don't, then don't!  It's really, it's fine if you can't. 

 Question 7 (24:00)

John: Okay, Hank, we got a question from Didiae, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, I have the choice between a job that I hate in a city that I love, or a job that I love in a city that I hate. What should I do?"

Hank: I don't even know.  I have no idea.  I don't have enough data.  John, you go.

John: I mean, I also don't have enough data.  I need to know more about the job and why Didiae hates the city that the lovely job is in, but my incl--so I have gone back and forth on this question over the years.  I remember believing when I was 23, believing very strongly, in fact, I wrote it above my computer where I wrote at night, that what you do does not matter as much as who you do it with, and I still mostly believe that, I think, and who you do it with is also a function of where you do it, this whole thing sounds dirtier than it is.

Right, because like, for instance, you know, my--one of my oldest and closest friends, Shannon James, lives in Chicago, and for many, many years, we lived together and those years were incredibly important to me creatively and personally and they couldn't have happened outside of Chicago. In fact, a lot of the work I did when I lived in Chicago couldn't have happened outside of Chicago, and now, I live in a place where you know, it isn't, like, I feel like Indianapolis doesn't have as specific a place identity as Chicago or New York did, the places we lived before, but at the same time, I love it here and I wouldn't wanna live anywhere else, so I moved here, we moved here because Sarah had a job she loved, and we fully thought that we were going to a place that we were going to hate, but that it was like, necessary for Sarah's career to move forward, and now, it turns out that we really love Indianapolis, so I just--I would be a little suspicious of deciding that you hate a place in advance, unless you know it very well and you still hate it, in which case, I don't know.  I'm not answering the question.  

Hank: Yeah, I would also say that I would be suspicious of knowing you're going to hate or love a job before you do it, unless you have done it before or worked for that company before. I think that we are as humans are bad at knowing what we will enjoy.

John: That's so true.  It's so--it's so hard to know in advance what's going to be good.  Like, that's the thing that astonishes me about marriage.

Hank: Yeah.

John: That so many marriages succeed in the sense that one person dies before the marriage is dissolved via divorce, I guess it's not really a success, but that's what passes for success when it comes to marriage, but it astonishes me that so many marriages don't end in divorce, because I don't know if you feel this way, Hank, but like, I'm very happily married, but when I made all of those promises that I made on my wedding day, I had no idea what I was getting into.

 Question 8 (27:02)

Hank: Indeed.  In fact, let's have this be a question from Caitlyn, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I've heard a lot, both on this podcast and elsewhere, that marriage is a lot of work.  Can you explain more about what that means?  How does the amount of work already involved in keeping a serious long-term cohabitating relationship healthy change once there are rings in the picture?  How do I know if my partner and I are ready to take this step?  Thanks, and I love the podcast.  I look forward to it every week."  Aw, thanks, Caitlyn.  

John: Yeah, I mean, I don't know that it changes because of the rings, exactly, I think that a long term cohabitating relationship over decades probably also takes work.  

Hank: Yes.  Yeah, I think that I don't think that the rings changes it, I think that the commitment changes it, and the knowing that you are going to be different people in different places and doing different things over the decades that will come, and yet you will have this thing be the thing that continues to be a steady thing in your life, even though you have both changed and are now not the same people that you once were, that is inevitable and fine and something to expect and but keeping that commitment strong and keeping that--the love between you strong and you know, there is--it is one of the great projects of a person's life is maintaining these relationships and having them remain fulfilling and rewarding.

John: Yeah, I think a lot of what people mean when they talk about marriage or other long-term lifelong relationships being work is that they require attention and it's easy not to give them attention--

Hank: Yes.

John: --you know, like, it's easy to sort of feel like, okay, we're the co-CEOs of this family, and as such, soccer practice has to start now and this check has to be written now and you will do this and I will do that and you lose track of the fact that you have this relationship that you have to nurture and pay sustained attention to, and so I think that's a lot of what people mean when they say that it's work, just that it requires effort and it requires attention.  

Hank: I agree with you, John.  

John: The only thing I would say to you, Caitlyn, just in an attempt to make sure that I talk more than Hank in this podcast is that, like, your circumstances are life are definitely going to change, right, like, you're--your life is going to be different in ways that you, by definition, cannot possibly imagine, so the commitment is more to saying you are the person that I think, so far as I can tell, I want to be on that journey with, even though all kinds of things could happen that would dramatically change both of us, I'm, you know, I wanna try to do this with you, and I think that's the decision, really, the decision is, you know, that two lives do, in a sense, become one. Is that fair, Hank?  

Hank: That's fair.  I think that was very well said, and full of words, which is the important thing for your records.

 Question 9 (30:16)

We've got another question, this question is from Brandon who asks, "Dear Hank and John, Oxford Dictionary's Word of the Year for 2015 is actually a pictograph."  It's an emoji for those who don't know what a pictograph is, "and this has created some mixed feelings inside of me.  On the one hand, it's silly on the face of it, because it's not really a word in the sense of the word 'word', as it is not pronounceable, and arguably isn't writable, but on the other hand, it does appear to be a meaningful way that people communicate in 2015 for better and for worse, and I don't wanna be a prescriptivist grandpa yelling at kids to get their newfangled linguistics off my proverbial lawn.  Are these both valid reactions, and if so, how can I reconcile them into a nuanced and fair point of view on the "word" of the year?"  I think you just did it, Brandon.  I think you just, I think you just had, you just showed me your nuanced and fair point of view.  You just did.  It happened.  You're done.  What do you think, John?

John: Yeah, I mean, I--I recently read an emoji version of my novel The Fault in Our Stars and I found it to be astonishingly encyclopedic.  I read the emoji version of The Fault in Our Stars and I thought to myself, that pretty much covers it.  

Hank: Yeah, I--I--

John: So it's true that emojis aren't words in the traditional sense of words, but Brandon, as you point out, it's an important part, for better and for worse, of how people talk to each other these days, so I thought it was a cool choice for word of the year, and I think that you are at a fair and nuanced point of view, so congratulations.

Hank: Yeah, I mean, I think that it's important to--I think it's cool that Oxford did this, that Oxford Dictionaries did this, because like, what a, you know, like, they have words like--they are, you know, it's nice for them to say like, words are bigger than words, and symbols and, you know, like, the ways that people connect with each other are, you know, are bigger than just the noises that come out of our mouths and especially in a world in which a lot of text communication happens and we have found new and more efficient ways to communicate things that aren't, you know, strings of letters, and what an interesting thing to be happening and what a smart thing for Oxford Dictionaries to do, to recognize that.

John: Hank, before we get to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon, I just have to say one thing, which is that the Project for Awesome, our annual charity event, is occurring this year on December 11th and 12th, please be part of it with us, please check out, there are amazing perks that you can get for donating to organizations like Save the Children and the UN's High Commission on Refugees.  I can't reveal any of those perks now, because I don't wanna spoil it, but they are great, so please check out on the 11th and 12th of December, and also join us for the livestream which is always a good time.  Hank and I livestream, along with other people in the Nerdfighter community, for 48 hours straight and it's gonna be a blast.

Hank: Indeed!  And if you are interested in making a Project for Awesome video, you can do that, and the way to do that is to make any video that is promoting a charity of your choice, letting people know about the cool work that is being done by people who work hard to make the world suck less.  World.  I just had to say the word 'world' again 'cause apparently I have a problem.  

John: Yeah, I was gonna say, do you just have to say 'world' at the end of every sentence? World? AND--

Hank: No it's worlt.

John: [laughs] And if people vote for your charity at that charity can receive lots and lots of money, like tens of thousands of dollars. So it's definitely worth making a Project For Awesome video, sharing it with your friends, and generally spreading the word about the project for awesome. World.

Hank: Alright, John.  

John: What is the news from Mars?

 News from Mars (34:15)

Hank: Well, NASA is working on new Mars-ready spacesuits, because they gotta get ready for being on Mars in the 2030s, which is the current plan, and that means developing new space suits that will work better on Mars than the ones we have that mostly function for space, just floating around outside of space stations.  So, more mobile and but still pressurized and but allowing the astronauts of the future to walk around on the surface of Mars and do the important work of Mars-ing and learning on Mars and discovering on Mars.  It's called the Z-2, it is a very cool fancy spacesuit.  It's--we've been used to seeing sort of like, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man kinda looking thing, with the white, they're all white.  This is sort of a grey and black and it's got cool logos on it and it looks freakin' awesome, I'm super excited about it.  They are going to be using 3D scans of astronauts' bodies to make sure that they fit perfectly, but they can also be used interchangeably in case something goes wrong, and I like it a lot.  So it's the Z-2 and you can check it out by Googling that, and you see--you can see what future astronauts will be wearing on the surface of Mars, fingers crossed.  

John: So, there's like logos on the spacesuits themselves.  Are they like, AFC Wimbledon logos that are the uniforms, like, is it corporate stuff or is just, does it say, like, NASA?  

Hank: Just the NASA stuff.  Just the NASA--there's something--there's something weird on the chest which I don't know if it's a logo or if it's just sort of a design, it does not look familiar.  It looks like a logo, but it doesn't look familiar to me as far as what the logo is.

John: Is there any way, do you think, that Dear Hank and John could potentially sponsor the Mars suits the way that we sponsor AFC Wimbledon?

Hank: I don't know, if anybody works at NASA and wants to, you know, talk to us about a sponsorship, we've got, uh, you know, thousands of dollars potentially, maybe hundreds, that we could--

John: Probably hundreds.

Hank: We could get involved in this project.  I know that's what you need, everything, all the help you can get to get people on to Mars.

John: I can't imagine that sponsoring Mars spacesuits would be more expensive than sponsoring AFC Wimbledon shorts, because AFC Wimbledon is so much more important and also there are so many more of them.  There's only gonna be like, nine astronauts at Mars.  There's 23 members of AFC Wimbledon.  

Hank: I--I... Yep.

 News from AFC Wimbledon (36:43)

John: Alright, so, you know that it's been a period of darkness?

Hank: I've heard.  

John: Uhh, well, I mean, AFC Wimbledon continue to be a very strange team this year.  We lost to Dag & Red down there in 22nd place, basically, a likely relegation team, a team that could end up out of the football league entirely in the semiprofessional football conference, this is the 5th tier of English soccer.  But then, this weekend, we went ahead and we had a very, very good draw with Leyton Orient.  It was a 1-1 tie.  The goal was scored by The Beast, Adebayo Akinfenwa, my favorite AFC Wimbledon player.  

Hank: Seems to do most of the scoring.

John: He does a lot of the scoring, but you remember that Lyle Taylor, the Montserratian international, has also done a fair bit of scoring this season.

Hank: Yes, also Lyle Taylor.  

John: Yes, Lyle Taylor and Adebayo Akinfenwa, along with Ade Azeez have done almost all of the scoring. But anyway, it was a-- the commentators at least said that it was very possible that we could have won the game and they-- Leyton Orient are above us on the table and a very likely team to leagu one next year. So, you know, it just goes to show you, there's a lot of parody in League II, a lot of  weird stuff can happen, but after 20 games, 46 game season, Hank, after 20 games, that reduces to 10/13ths, we're--nope, nope, nope, no it doesn't.  10/16ths?  Wha--how many--Hank, what is 20/46ths?  It's 10/23rds.  We are 10/23rds of the way through the League II season, and so 10/23rds of the way into the season, AFC Wimbledon are 11th out of the 24 teams in League II, sitting on 28 points.  We are only three points, out of eighth, but to get into the playoff spots, which is 3, 4, 5, and 6, we're currently five points away from the playoffs, so we're doing better than we were this time last season, but still not quite as good as I would like.  

Hank: I'm sorry, but also hopeful for the future of this sports team.  

John: This week, I didn't manage to get you to care about either 4th tier soccer or poetry.  I'll have to give it a go next time.

Hank: But I got you to care about Chemistry, kind of!  

John: You did, you did, but then I got completely bored during the stuff about the Mars space suit, like, we already have a space suit, so we're gonna have a slightly better one?  I don't know, it's hard to get really excited about that.

 Credits (39:25)

Hank: Alright, John, what did we learn today?

John: Well, we learned that dad jokes aren't something you tell, so much as they're something that you are.  

Hank: We learned also that there's a man named Wade, and we should be very careful about giving Wade information about how to crash the moon into the Earth, because he seems to be very ambitious.  

John: We also learned some Chemistry, which was refreshing.

Hank: No, I'm very glad to have learned some Chemistry with you.  We learned that having nuanced and fair point of view on the use of emojis as words of the year is not as hard as some people think it is.

John: And, of course, we learned that the day after Thanksgiving and not one minute before, is the time to start listening to holiday music.

Hank: All I want for Christmas--

John: No, no, no, no, no.

Hank: --is youuuu!

John: That's copyright infringement, it's copyright infringement!  Panic!  Panic!

Hank: Alright, John, thanks for doing a podcast with me.  Thank you to everyone for listening as well.

John: If you want to write us questions you can do so at, or use the hashtag #dearhankandjohn on Twitter on the Twitters, I am @johngreen, Hank is @hankgreen.  On Snapchat, Hank's preferred method of communication, he is @hankgre, and I am @johngreensnaps.  

Hank: John Green's naps on Snapchat!  This podcast is edited by Nicholas Jenkins, the theme music is from Gunnarolla, and as they say in our hometown...

John & Hank: Don't forget to be awesome.