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Uploaded:2015-12-14
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Why are there no feral cows? What are you looking at? Should you say "Bless You" when someone coughs? What would happen if the magnetic poles reversed? How do I keep my nerves from getting the best of me (while playing competitive Pokemon)? What can we do to make the conversation around religion less awful? And more questions answered here at Dear Hank and John!

And YES the new Wimbledon stadium at Plough Lane has been approved!!

Edited by Nick Jenkins. Music by Gunnarolla.

 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 great. Everything is wonderful. It is a beautiful day here in Indianapolis, it's been unseasonably warm, life is good. How are you?


H: I'm good. It is snowing a lot here, so not unseasonably warm.


J: Really?


H: Yes. It's coming down but...


J: Wow!


H: But I like the part where you're doing great which is unusu... has not been the case. Are you just putting on a happy face for us?


J: Nope. I mean I'm a little bit stressed out 'cause I got, I'm doing some stuff but, work stuff, but no, life is good. Can I read you a short poem?


H: Yeah, OK.


J: It's by Emily Dickinson. I really think you're going to like this poem, Hank. I have...


H: OK, I'll try to listen.


J: I have organized it for you.


H: OK.


J: This is a Hank Green Emily Dickinson poem of which there are not many, it must be noted. It's Poem 202, that's how it's usually known.


"Faith" is a fine invention
For Gentlemen who see!
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency!"


H: I liked it.


J: I thought you might. (Hank laughs) I thought you might.


H: Yeah, it's good.


J: It's one of Emily Dickinson's shortest poems but also, in my opinion, one of my favorites.


H: Yeah, it feels, it feels like one of those one-liners from that guy who wrote one-liners.


J: Sure. It's also, you know, an interesting thing about this poem is that it's, it's sort of like translated differently.


H: Oh yeah?


J: Like sometimes it's written as: "Faith" is a fine invention For Gentlemen who see!" and then other times it's written as "Faith" is a fine invention When Gentlemen can see!"


H: Huh. Well how is it... First, I have to say I'm talking about the guy who wrote the “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker" one, it felt like one of those.


J: Yeah, that's Ogden Nash.


H: Yeah.  But second, how is Emily Dickinson's work translated when she wrote in English?


J: The answer is that I don't know.  But the probable answer is that because Emily Dickinson's poems were written in drafts and many were never published or they were only--or when they were published, they were published in highly edited form, it's probable that one of those is the highly edited, non-ideal, non-Emily Dickinson herself form.


H: Yeah, she had--she had her editor who was like, I don't really understand why people like this person, but I guess we'll keep publishing them and we'll--but we'll make it more appropriate, we'll make it better.


J: Right.  


H: It's the most insulting thing of all time.


J: Yeah, right, like, we're gonna improve on Emily Dickinson's--like, her language choices.


H: Oh man.


J: Oh man.  Editors are great, though.  My editor makes my books better, but I am not Emily Dickinson.


H: No, you are not.  Hey, John.


J: Yes?


H: Wanna answer some questions?  


J: Do I?  


H: I felt like we got to the questions really fast this time.  


J: Well, it was an exceptionally short poem.


H: Yes.  This podcast is coming out on Monday, next Monday.


J: Yeah.  Yeah.


H: Will the Project for Awesome still be going on then?


J: Uh, you can still get perks.  


H: Yeah, you'll still be able to get perks.


J: So, the 48 hour livestream will probably have just ended, but if you go to your web browser and you search Project for Awesome 2015, you can still get perks, that's why I'm stressed out, by the way, it's 'cause I'm working on my Project for Awesome video, but yeah, so you can go to your browser, search for Project for Awesome 2015, and you can go to the IndieGoGo and there are amazing, amazing perks.


H: Including an exclusive episode of Dear Hank and John that will be released no other way.


J: That's right.


H: And I understand that most people will be listening to this not on Monday, and I apologize to them, but for those of you who really keep up and listen right when it comes out, that's for you.


J: Check out that exclusive episode of Dear Hank and John. You can also get things like Hank and Katherine watching Star Wars together and then you can kind of play along by listening along, or Sarah and I watching the movie Paper Towns together, which we did a couple nights ago, Hank, and um, we had like a bottle of wine when we started the commentary and then we did not have a bottle of wine when we finished the commentary and you can really follow along as things devolve.  


H: Oh man, that sounds good.  


J: But there are lots of other perks, from socks to hats.


H: You forgot about your poetry podcast.


J: Oh yeah, and there's also a digital perk where you can get me reading you some poems.  In fact, I read you the poem that I just read you, but the other version of it.


H: Oh!


J: Also, I read lots of longer poems, but there are lots of--there are amazing perks.  You can get socks, you can get a hat, you can get Nerdfighter Art, it's just uh, it's--you can get me calling you on Christmas Day.


H: Oh wow!  I didn't know about that.  That's cool.


J: So anyway, there's lots of great perks, check it out at Project for Awesome.com and all the money goes to benefit charities chosen by the Nerdfighter or else Save the Children and the UNHC, which are great organizations, so um, yeah.

 Question One (5:25)


Now, let's answer some questions, but definitely check out the Project for Awesome, unless it's already over, in which case, I'm sorry.


H: There's a--it'll be--there'll be one next year.  This question is from Monica, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I'm curious as to why you are able to find so many examples of farm animals (horses, pigs, chickens, goats, etc.) going feral and living in the wild.  Why is that not the case for wild cows?  Are they more valuable to humans than horses and so we've kept better tabs on them, or are they just dumber?  Understand I'm talking about your garden variety bovines, not bison or longhorn, but honest to goodness cows."  Wow.  Well, John, I have news on this front.  There are feral cows.  


J: No way.


H: Uh, it happens.  Yeah!  Yeah, it happens and it has happened throughout the history of humans' relationship with cows.  They get out and then if they can--the thing that needs to happen is that the females need to meet up with a male.


J: Yeah.


H: Because otherwise, you can just get the--you can get the cows or the steers, steers being neutered males, to just--you can just like, rope 'em up or herd 'em into a herd and be like, you're my cows now, thanks.  Now I have a bunch more money.  So, but what happens if they meet up with a bull is that suddenly the herd becomes dangerous, and you have to--you can't just walk up to it and be like, you're my cows now, that they will--the bulls will protect the cows from you.  But, the reason why this isn't a real problem is because one, cows are valuable, and so people will just take the wild ones.  Two, they are destructive, and so the government will help people take the wild ones, and three, they do not do what other feral animals do, which is run away.  Cow herds just stand there, they stand their ground, and they're like, you want to mess?  Come mess, and then they shoot the bull, and then they take the cows.  So it's a pretty easy feral infestation, quote unquote, to take care of, and that is why there are not herds of feral cows running all across America, because they cause a lot of destruction, they cause economic problems, and they're pretty easy to wrangle up, unlike feral pigs, for example, which are really good at hiding and running away and finding other things to do with their, you know--and also are good at living in places where there is sort of difficult to access, like, swamps and stuff.


J: Speaking of which, I actually came across a feral pig recently here in Indiana.  


H: Oh yeah?


J: While I was hiking, and it was terrifying.  It was only distance, but I mean, it was--it could have easily killed me. I have a very low tolerance when I am out for a walk for mammal sightings.  Like, I don't particularly like seeing human mammals, but I particularly dislike seeing non-human mammals that weigh more than about 12 lbs.  


H: Yeah, mmhm.  Yeah, okay.


J: And uh, this cow--like, a coyote will put the fear of God into me, even though I know rationally that I could fight off a coyote if I needed to, but this pig, I could not have fought it off.


H: Yeah, I came across a group of feral pigs in Florida once, and they were maybe ten feet away from me when I like--when I spooked them, and they ran away, which is really good, 'cause sometimes they run toward, especially if they're boars, and they, yeah, they're dangerous animals and it's--


J: Do you know what a group of pigs is called, Hank?


H: No, I do not.


J: A drift.  


H: Oh, wow, that's nice.


J: A drift of pigs.  


H: Yeah, I like the word drift.  It's a good one.

 Question Two (9:04)


J: Alright, let's move on to the next question.  This comes from Cam, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, As cold and flu season has been on the rise, I've noticed something strange.  Generally, after people sneeze, we express empathy by saying things like "bless you" or "gesundheit", but what do we do when people cough?"  Cam then goes on to explain, which is very true, that at least in the United States, when people cough, they themselves often say "excuse me", as if they have done something wrong, or there is something they need to apologize for, whereas when people sneeze, they never say excuse me, or rarely, because everyone around them is so busy blessing them.  


H: Well, first, I'll say--I wanna ask you, John, is it an expression of empathy when we say "bless you" after someone sneezes?  I don't feel like it is an expression of empathy.


J: That's a great question.


H: I feel like it's an--it's just the thing you do.  I think it's an expression of cultural norm, but it's not like--I don't feel bad for the person who just sneezed.  I quite like sneezing, unless it's like, I'm in the middle of a fit or something, but like, one or two sneezes, I'm like, yeah, that was good.  I--yeah, so I don't think it's empathetic.  


J: Historically, it is not about empathy, it's about sympathy, because when people were sneezing, they were believed with some good reason, to be dying.  Therefore, you would say, you know, God bless you here in your final days on Earth, you sneezer.  


H: Also, get away from me.  


J: Exactly.


H: Uh, yeah, I--yeah--or something like that.  I would actually be really interested to know the deep origins of "bless you."  I feel a little bit like it's just something to say, which is why I quite like 'gesundheit', which is more like, 'To your health' or something.


J: Right, also an acknowledgment of sympathy, but I--


H: Or concern.  Yeah.


J: I mean, I'm concerned that we don't say something about the cough, because the cough is just as alarming as the sneeze.  I think we either need to like, put the cough and the sneeze in the same category--


H: Yeah.


J: --where you either say "excuse me, my bad, I am very sorry for having coughed and/or sneezed in this public situation", or, or, there's a universal bless you slash gesundheit that covers coughing, that encompasses coughing.  I'm gonna argue that we need to expand bless you to include coughing.


H: Yeah, I agree with you, and in fact, I do that, or I have heard people do that, and I also say excuse me when I sneeze, and I like--not all the time, but if it feels appropriate, if it feels like I've interrupted someone or--


J: Sure.


H: --it's a public place, or there's like a performance going on and I've sneezed, yeah, so I think it can be both, and I live in a place where they say bless you when you cough as well.


J: Fascinating.


H: We are just too, too polite.

 Question Three (11:51)


J: Okay, Hank, we have another question.  This one, it's just--this is a great question on so many levels.  It's from Katelyn, she writes, "Dear John and Hank, I recently got into the competitive Pokemon scene."   By the way, if you wanna know how to get your question on Dear Hank and John, you should begin with "I recently got into the competitive Pokemon scene."  I'm gonna love any question that comes after that.  "I find that when I practice online at home, I play fairly well, but in the live tournament setting, my nerves get the best of me and make me play badly.  Do you have any dubious advice for me?"  I do.  


H: Oh, yeah, mine is practice, just keep doin' it, and uh, and that's the trick, but John might have some better advice.


J: Well, I think in general that confidence is very weird, like the way that confidence functions inside of people fascinates me, because when you have confidence, it seems obvious that it matters and that it's worth having and it seems obvious how you get it, right, you get it by having it, but when you don't have confidence, it's incredibly difficult to figure out how to acquire it, because like, it's both having confidence and not having confidence are feedback loops that can sort of spiral into themselves, so in my experience at least, the--I agree with Hank that practice is important, but I also think like, right before you go on or go out into the competitive Pokemon hallway where you play competitive Pokemon or wherever it is, hotel basement, I'm imagining.  Tell yourself--tell yourself, like, whisper it to yourself so that you can hear yourself say it, "I am a very good competitive Pokemon player.  I am going to do well.  I am gonna Charizard this mofo."  


H: Right.  Just repeat those words over and over and over again. 


J: This also works when it's not competitive Pokemon, by the way.  Right before I go on stage for any event, I close my eyes and I just whisper to myself, "It's time to Charizard this mofo." 

 Question Four (14:14)


H: Alright, this question is from Phoebe, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, This is not a question for asking advice, I was just wondering what both of you are looking at while recording the podcast.  Do you video-chat?  What are you seeing while discussing human existence?"  What are you seeing, John?  


J: I'm seeing my computer screen.  So Rosianna, my wonderful production partner and also invaluable contributor to Dear Hank and John, Rosianna Halse Rojas, sends us an e-mail every week with lots and lots of question, and so I'm looking at that e-mail and also, I'm looking on my computer screen at the short poem that I just read.  What are you looking at?


H: Well, I think that as I make the podcast, I look at different things, but mostly my eyes just wander and I sort of--my visual sense is kind of cut off and I just listen to you and I think about what I'm going to say and I do not see a lot, but when I am seeing, I'm either looking at the audio track to make sure that it's recording correctly and I'm looking out the windows at the snow falling down in random patterns.


J: Oh, that sounds beautiful.


H: Yeah.  Or I might look at some of the art on my walls.  When I say art, I mean, you know, Star Trek posters, and yeah.   Sometimes I grab this tube of travel sized toothpaste and I squeeze it.  I don't know why, but that's a thing that I do during Dear Hank and John.


J: I think all of our lives are richer for knowing that, Hank. [Hank laughs]

 Question Five (15:40)


J: Our next question comes from Kate who asks, "Dear John and Hank, I just moved from the US to Rwanda to work in International Development.  I'm in my 20s and single and the ex-pat community here is a lot of families.  What advice do you have for someone without kids to make social connections with families?  Thanks, Kate."  


H: Oh my gosh!  


J: I said that because there's lots of explanation points at the end, that's why I sounded like that when I said Thanks. 


H: Um, I don't know, I am a--I am not single, but I don't have kids, and all my friends do, and I just--I just like them, y'know?  You just, like, scoop 'em up, and you're like, hey, kiddo!  What's up?  Tell me about your trucks!  And that's that.  And, yeah, and that's all they need.  Just, yeah.  Kids are great, they have a very interesting way of looking at the world and I enjoy it and I like it to inform the way I look at the world.  It's not all about what's gonna happen and what has happened, it's mostly about what's happening.


J: Right.  That's a great point about kids.  One of the things I really admire about Hank is the way that he talks to children in precisely the same way that he talks to adults.  So, like, when Hank is talking to my children, if they say, like--if like, if Henry is like, "Darth Sidious is the worst in Star Wars," Hank will be like, "Well, that's not fair at all," and then he'll--then Hank will be like, "Don't you think that Darth Sidious is partly a result of his circumstances, Henry?  Have you really thought this true?  Is there such a thing as good guys and bad guys, or are ultimately we all somewhere in the middle and just coming into conflict?" 


H: Yeah, and Henry is like, 'Check out this truck!'  Henry recently did something that was untoward while I was watching him and I was disappointed in him that he did that thing, and I said, I said, well, he had done something mean to Alice, and then he laughed, and I said to Henry, "What about that do you think was funny?"  


J: And what did he say?


H: He looked very kind of sad.  


J: Right.


H: He looked like he had been chastised, when I was legitimately interested in what he thought was funny about that.


J: Right, you weren't trying to teach him a lesson, you were just curious.


H: But uh, I did not get an answer.  Yeah!  I wanted to know!


J: But I think that gets to the answer, which is that being curious, like, around kids, is great, and so that would be my first piece of advice. My second piece of advice would be like, when it comes to adults who have kids, I know it feels like, particularly because you're probably significantly younger than most of them, that they are fundamentally different from you, that like, they have something figured out that you don't, or that they're in like, a fundamentally different part of life than you are, but I think over time, you'll find that that's not really totally true, that we're all sort of like, on this weird continuum, and it doesn't have like, you know, one point as the start, and another point as the finish, it's more like, like, random circles where you come backwards and go forwards and go up and down and in through multiple dimensions, and so if you think of it just as like, they're further along on the continuum that you are, then you'll never quite feel comfortable with them, but I don't think that's really--I don't think that's really how it works.


H: Yeah, it's interesting that as I've gotten older, I've realized that those moments in conversations where you don't have anything to contribute are not because you don't know as much as someone or not because you're not as old or in the same place as someone, it's just something that happens.


J: Right.


H: You know, you're gonna be at a party, and suddenly, they're gonna start talking about like, ultra marathon skiing, and you're gonna be like, well, I don't have anything to add to this particular part of the conversation, so I will just stand here and learn about ultra marathon skiing quietly until the conversation changes to a different topic.


J: Right.


H: And that's fine, it's fine to not have anything to contribute.  There isn't some rule of conversation that says every person needs to talk for equal amounts of time.  Sometimes you just listen and maybe people won't get to know you as much as you would like, but you know, it's part of life, and sometimes you don't know about a thing that other people are talking about and I am still made uncomfortable by that situation and I just try my best to be like, okay, I'm going to listen to how these people talk about this topic, and that's going to be interesting to me.


J: I agree.  


H: I like it when you agree with me, John.


J: No, I was just trying to be in that situation where I don't have anything to add.


H: Oh!  


J: It was a funny.  I was being--I was making a funny.

 Question Six (20:29)


H: Oh, I get it.  I apologize.  Hey, John, this question is from Efa, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, What would it mean for the planet if the North and South poles suddenly reversed?  In Physics class, we were learning that this is a possibility, but what would happen?  Compasses would be reversed and birds would fly the wrong way, but what other implications would it have for us?  And most importantly, in what way will it make John think about death?"


J: What, are you kidding?  I think we'd all die if there was a sudden reversing of polar--if the North Pole and the S--if like, if the Earth spun upside down, I think that would be very bad for humanity.  It would cause widespread death. 


H: It uh--you know, it could be very bad for humanity, actually, it probably would be moderately bad though.  First, I'll say that birds probably won't fly the wrong direction.  Birds use a number of different inputs in their decisions to migrate, and they may end up in the wrong spot, or they may get a little bit lost or they might die, but they won't just get up and go the wrong way.  They know landmarks as well as being able to sense magnetic fields, which is really cool and birds are really smart and they would relearn how to migrate fairly quickly, and we've seen that when these magnetic pole reversals happen, they are not accompanied by increases in the normal rate of extinction as far as we can tell from the geographic data.  


J: Whoa, whoa, whoa.


H: What?  Geologic data.


J: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.  


H: What?


J: When--when they happen?  This has happened before?


H: Oh, yeah.  Oh, sorry, John.  Yeah, it happens regularly.  It happens like, once every 200,000 years.  


J: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, so, like, the North Pole and the South Pole just suddenly reverse and the entire planet Earth flips upside down?


H: Well, the planet Earth stays where it is, but the polarity of the magnetic field reverses, and it--


J: Ohhh, it's just something that happens like, deep inside the Earth with magnetic fields.


H: It ha--yes, it is a--it is the effect of something that happens deep inside the Earth.  The problem is that it doesn't happen suddenly, it happens over a fairly long period of time.


J: Okay.


H: And during that period of time, the magnetic field is weakened.


J: Okay.


H: And that's the real problem.  So you have more cosmic radiation hitting the surface of the Earth.  We're still protected by the atmosphere, so that's cool, but we don't have that extra layer of the magnetic field protecting us, and that can create kinda weird atmospheric effects and you get like, localized ozone holes that might then increase local cancer rates, or you would have to have health advisories for people to put on more sunscreen, that kind of thing.


J: Okay.  


H: And you could also end up with solar storms doing more damage than they otherwise would to our electricity infrastructure, which is a thing that we talked about previously on Dear Hank and John, yeah.


J: Yeah, I remember.  I remember how we don't have electricity for like, 3 years or something.


H: Yeah.  So, so yeah, it could cause some problems.  It would mostly be a human problem, it would not be as much an ecological problem.  Animals are pretty good at dealing with these things, it turns out.  We think.  You know, from our data.


J: But I don't like human problems.


H: No, yeah, obviously, human problems are the ones that I worry about the most, because I'm a human.


J: Hank, where should I rank the polarization of the Earth switching on my list of apocalyptic concerns?


H: Very low.  It is a thing that happens over a long period of time, if it were going to happen this year, we would have seen lots of effects already.  Though we have noticed that the very, very slightly the magnetic field of the Earth has decreased in power since we've started measuring it, so we are probably on the way to one of these events, but it is probably hundreds of years away. 


J: Okay, so, you would not--tell me if you would or would not change my top three apocalyptic concerns.  


H: Which are?


J: One: Human extinction via--or dramatic reduction in the human population via a global nuclear conflict.


H: Okay, yeah, I like that one.


J: Two: My personal death.


H: Okay.  


J: This would not be apocalyptic for the whole Earth.


H: Right, right, right, but it would be very bad for you.


J: But it would be--it would arguably be the worst possible outcome for me.  Three: The band The Mountain Goats breaking up.  


H: Okay.


J: And then Four: some kind of plague that dramatically reduces the human population in quick, very very quickly, like an exceptionally virulent bird flu or some such.


H: Yeah.  Yeah, I mean, honestly--


J: Do I have it right?


H: No, I would put bird flu first.  


J: Oh great.


H: I would put--I would put massive solar storm second.


J: Great.


H: And I would put global nuclear war third.  Well, I would put--I would put your death first, of all of these things, the most likely of them to happen is that you will die.  Which doesn't actually--probably doesn't make you feel better.


J: It doesn't.  It doesn't make me feel better at all.  I mean, first off, I guess that's true just by basic laws of probability, since all of those things would involve me dying.  


H: Well, no, not necessarily.  You'd probably survive a number of those things.  You being a very--


J: You think I would survive a plague?  Because based on everything I know about my physical constitution, I do not.  


H: You have the advantage of being a privileged person, and oftentimes, privileged people are more likely to survive these things.


J: That's true.


H: And just by virtue of being in America, if we're talking about a significant decrease in global population, a lot of times, that has--that would not come along with a significant decrease in population in America where we have resources to help us with those sorts of things.


J: Alright, so just to organize my apocalyptic concerns, One: Solar flare, which wasn't even on the list until Dear Hank and John!  


H: Okay, we--I might put plague first.


J: Two--okay.  Apocalyptic plague, solar flare, nuclear--mass nuclear war.  Is that the top three?


H: Yeah.  Yeah.


J: Alright.  Well.  I mean, at least I know where I stand, and I don't like it.

 Question Seven (26:52)


J: We have a question from David.


H: I'm glad that you've got things to be worried about.


J: I am also glad that I have things to be worried--what would I do with my thoughts otherwise?  This question is from David, who asks, "Dear John and Hank, I'm a vicar in the church of England, and probably too old to be a real Nerdfighter.  (I'm 33)."  There are lots of really old Nerdfighters who are twice as old as you are, or more, so don't worry about that!  "But I love your videos, your podcast."


H: We are both older than you.


J: Yeah, we are older Nerdfighters.  "I love your videos, your podcast, and your determination to understand the world complexly."  Thank you, that's very kind, David.  "What can we do to make the conversation better when it comes to religion?  In a world where religious fundamentalism is becoming more and more of an issue, how can we learn to discuss and understand each other better?"  Um, I don't know what David's talking about, I think that we have a really high quality of discourse on the internet when it comes to religion.  I feel like people are respectful, they're thoughtful, and um, they never create ad hominem attacks.  Yeah, I--I mean, my number one answer to this is that the only thing that we can really do is try to model better behavior ourselves, and there's so much, at least in my self, ther'es so many shortcomings in the way that I act online and the way that I conduct myself in public discourse that like, I can--I can be busy working on that and trying to be a better model for the rest of my life, but I think the other thing is that we need to find--we all need to find communities that promote better kinds of conversation, and we need to use platforms that promote better kinds of conversation, and that's, I think, what initially attracted Hank and me to online video, was watching Ze Frank and thinking, well, this is a place where people are having really interesting, intelligent discussions, and that's why we wanted to be part of it, and I mean, I hope that we're still looking for those places, and I know that lots of other people are always looking for those places, so I think we need to find those places, encourage them, build them when we can, and that's basically the hope that I have.


Hank: I'm--it is very frustrating.  I watch it all the time.  We have made a number of different videos about how this--this attack culture has evolved and how we feel like, you know, like it has gotten worse, and then in the comments, we'll have people saying like, "Yes, you are right, those people totally do that," and I'm like, you are right now doing the thing that you're saying they are doing!  And it's--


J: Right.


H: And it's difficult to identify in yourself, but once you do it, and like, and it--and like, you know, and continue to sort of monitor, 'cause I still catch myself believing these crazy things about other people because I only get the side of the angry people, you know, I only get the side of the angry opposition, I never hear from actual humans who believe in things that I disagree with, and, you know, it's a constant battle, but eventually, it starts to just make me ill to watch people I agree with make these ludicrous and sort of like, you know, deeply flawed attacks on people that they are willfully being ignorant of and intentionally misunderstanding, and doing that, I guess, to mobilize the base, to make political gains or whatever, but I just find it--I just have started to find it disgusting, and I think that that's--I think that that--like, making that something that is part of me, I feel like is a good thing, and I'm like, really getting more disgusted by the tactics than anything else.


J: Yeah, exactly, I mean, for me, it's about uh, how we--like the way that you would talk to a relative at the Thanksgiving dinner table with whom you have profound political disagreements or a neighbor is very different from the way we talk--we're talking right now, online about all kinds of issues, and it becomes very--it becomes deeply dehumanizing, so much that I think we've become suspicious of other people's motives.  You know, I think the further someone is from us, or the further we feel that they are from us, the more likely we are to think that there's something fundamentally different about them, or something fundamentally less about them, and the best of the internet decreases the space between people, but the worst of the internet increases it and makes it easier to see other people as not human, and that's the part of it that just absolutely, yeah, I mean, it's just heartbreaking for me to see on all sides.  I mean, I don't think that it's--I think that it's almost a universal way of being on the internet right now, and it's just super depressing.  


H: Cats!  Think about--there's cute cats in the world!  


Think about them for a second!  


J: Speaking of super depressing.


H: Yeah?


J: Hank, I want you to close your eyes.


H: Okay.


J: And I want you to just whisper slowly and confidently to yourself, "I am gonna Charizard this mofo."  


H: [whispers] I am gonna Charizard this mofo. [John chuckles]

 Question Eight (32:21)


J: We have a great question, it's a great last question for today, because we have to get to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon, it's a question from Ben, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, It's been a very chaotic spring here in Sydney, Australia this year.  We've had 40 degree Celsius days," I think that's warm, "Followed by cold and damaging hailstorms.  It also seems that this summer already will be one of extreme brush fire danger, and Taylor Swift performed in Sydney last night."


H: Oh God!


J: "To say that I am concerned after the clear meteorological causation which John observed in Indiana would be an understatement.  Are we in for a horribly hot summer here in Sydney, thanks to Taylor Swift?"  


H: Yes.  I think that that--the way that I understand climate science anyway, yeah, absolutely.


J: I believe that is correct.  Now, you can't predict the weather.  Weather is different from climate, Ben, that's important, but Taylor Swift does affect the climate.  


H: I thought she affected the weather.


J: Oh.  My bad.  I can never remember.  One, it's--okay.  Hank, help me remember this.  It's either Taylor Swift or global carbon emissions that affects climate, and then the other affects, like, what the weather is like on a day-to-day basis.


H: Yeah, yeah, Taylor Swift affects weather.  Global carbon emissions affect climate.  Though, the climate does in the end, also affect weather, just not on the day-to-day basis that we tend to think about it, and I would say that the combined effects of global warming and Taylor Swift can only mean bad things for Australia.  I do not know why you allowed her to enter the country. 


J: I think that the larger concern is why Australia is not doing a better job at leading the charge against climate change, but--


H: Well, there's one thing that is just much easier to control, and that is the travel habits of a 22 year old woman.  


J: Knowing that she brings warmth and light wherever she goes, why would you allow her to come to an already warm and bright country?


H: Uh, I apologize, Taylor Swift is 25 years old, obviously, because she was born in, obviously, 1989.  


J: I didn't wanna say anything, but that was embarrassing, Hank.  You're better than that.


H: Well, I had to do real fast math, John.


J: Guess how old Adele is.


H: I think she's also 25.


J: Um, so--


H: It's great that musicians are doing this now.  


J: Yes.


H: It's so that we don't have to remember their ages, they just--they just either title their albums after their birth year or after how old they are.


J: Adele is, in fact, 27 years old.


H: What?!


J: I'm just telling you a fact.  She was born on May 5th, 1988.  


H: Oh.


J: She is 8 years, to the day, older than my brother, Hank.  


H: Yeah.  Younger, though.


J: Oh, yeah, right, sorry, damn it!  I was so pleased with my joke.  


H: Too bad I'm not 19.  That would be amazing.


J: Hank, what is the news from Mars?


H: Uh, no, John, we have a couple of steps before that.  


J: Oh, sorry.


H: We have to tell everybody that the podcast is brought to you by people who recently got into competitive Pokemon.  People who recently got into competitive Pokemon: really arousing John Green's interest.  


J: I am so into Katelyn's competitive Pokemon tournaments!  I want to f--


H: You know that from now on, we're going to get a ton of questions that are like, "I recently got into competitive Pokemon and my mom is--she's hiding my money from me."


J: Hank.


H: And it's like, that's not--


J: No, no, no.


H: Doesn't have anything to do--and everybody's gonna start their question that way.


J: Hank, if we can begin getting actual questions from the competitive Pokemon community, from more members of that community, I welcome them.  If it's people who are just lying about being in the competitive Pokemon community, well, that's terrible, why would you do such a thing?

 Commercial Break (36:26)


J: Today's podcast is also brought to you by the apocalypse.  The apocalypse: coming soon, and we don't know how.


H: Dang it, you stole mine.


J: Oh, I'm sorry.


H: Of course that's the one you're thinking about.  Today's podcast is brought to you by cooperative internet discourse.  Cooperative internet discourse: it's out there, I guess?


J: And of course, today's podcast is also brought to you by cows.  


H: Ah.


J: Cows: Mostly staying where they are.  


H: Oh, God.


J: Today's podcast is also brought to you by our Patreon Patrons, you can go to Patreon, right now, there's a websat--websat?  Website, patreon.com, where you can support Dear Hank and John directly since we don't have any ads--actual ads, and you can choose whether you want to be an AFC Wimbledon Patreon supporter, or a Mars Patreon supporter.  Hank, in terribly alarming news, right now, there are three Mars supporters for every one AFC Wimbledon supporter.  I just don't understand it.  It's a cold, dead rock in the lifeless vacuum of space.


H: Well, John, I do have to say however, that there's a third category which is "neither, if I'm being honest," which is beating both Mars and AFC Wimbledon.  


J: Yeah.  


H: However, if you combine both Mars and AFC Wimbledon, those people outweigh, thank goodness, the "neither if I'm being honest" people. So that's--that's just fantastic news, that there aren't more "neither if I'm being honest" than people who are interested in any of what we talk about for the last quarter of the podcast, but I understand their perspective.

 News from AFC Wimbledon (38:19)


J: Well, the news from AFC Wimbledon this week is that tonight, Hank, tonight the Murton Town Council or whatever the city coun--the area council, the elected representatives of Murton will vote on whether AFC Wimbledon will receive permission to begin building their new stadium in the historic home of Wimbledon, before all of this happened, before their team was taken away and stolen away to Milton Keynes, before they restarted the club on a public park in Wimbledon in 2001, before all of that happened, their home was Plow Lane, and tonight is the night they find out from the government if they are going to receive permission to build the new Plow Lane stadium.  It would be an incredible moment in Wimbledon's history.  It would be the fulfillment of all of the dreams that brought the club together in 2001.  It is a huge moment, so by the time this podcast is made and out there, we'll know, but for right now, I am nervous and excited and hopeful that the town will see fit to allow them to build a stadium.


H: John, let me know when the news is out so that I can put it in the podcast description when I upload this episode so that people will know the news from AFC Wimbledon, and not just that there will be news from AFC Wimbledon, we promise.  


J: And what is the news from Mars?

 News from Mars (39:50)


H: There is a company in the desert of California, well, operating a robot in the desert of California, Honeybee Robotics, testing a drill that could drill miles below the surface of Mars in the search for geological data for information on where all of Mars' water went and the potential for finding life on Mars.  It's about a 16 foot tall drill and they think that they might be able to pack it onto a spacecraft that they will send to Mars and send a robot there to drill deep into the surface of Mars to see what's down there, because of course, most of what we know about Mars is pictures of the surface.  Secondarily, we have, like, very shallow scrapings and drillings from our rovers, but really, we have not gotten down below a couple of inches below the surface, and that would be obviously, there is a lot going on down below the surface of Mars, potentially more going on below the surface of Mars than there is on the surface because of this intense solar radiation that Mars receives, because it doesn't have a magnetic field, which it once had and then it turned off, hopefully that's not what's happening here on Earth.  If indeed the magnetic field on Earth is not--


J: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, that can happen?


H: --flipping, but is turning off and then that would be a truly apocalyptic scenario.  However, it is not happening, so that's good news.


J: Oh, okay.  God, you had me absolutely panicked for a second.


H: And yeah.  But because of this bombardment that the surface of Mars receives, there's very little going on on the surface, aside from a little bit of climatological stuff, some winds, and some great geology, but down below the surface we have already seen that there is indeed flowing water, so that could be something else.


J: Well, uh, I'll tell you this, Hank, when they build the new Plow Lane stadium, there will also be drills involved.  


H: Probably some drills.


J: It's just a matter of driving them to South London.  


H: Yeah, you could go to South London and look at drills. Or anywhere.  You could go to my basement and look at some drills.


J: But apparently, the fact that we're gonna build one that can go to Mars is a big deal.  I'm just kidding, that is a big deal.  I'm very excited for you.  I can't wait to find out what's happening 16 feet under Mars.


H: Miles.  


J: Miles?  16 miles under--well that's even more exciting.  That's much deeper than we're gonna have to dig to build the foundation for the new Plow Lane stadium, so that, yeah, that's cool.  I don't know, maybe we will.  It'd be cool to build just a really deep foundation so nobody could ever move it again.  That or--too many bad things happen to the club, we're just gonna build a 16 mile deep foundation to ensure that really, no one can ever move this club again.


H: Not going anywhere.  The Planet of the Apes, it'll be the Statue of Liberty and this football stadium.  


J: That's right, that's right.  After our magnetic field turns off and all humans are irradiated, there it will still be, the new Plow Lane in South London.  Okay, Hank, well, what did we learn today?

 Credits (43:00)


H: We learned that saying bless you when someone coughs is a completely acceptable and normal thing to say, and should become more acceptable along with gesundheit, and if you wanna say excuse me when you cough or sneeze, that's up to you.


J: We also learned that there are feral cows, just not for very long.


H: We learned that John Green has a top three potential global apocalypse list, which I didn't know that was a thing about you, and now I'm worried that in the coming weeks it's going to expand and become a top ten list, and we're gonna have to keep track of it and make sure everybody knows what's on top.  


J: Um, I mean, I didn't know that there was an opportunity to share all of my top ten, I didn't know that we had time.  Believe me, I have a top ten.  And of course, we also learned that soon enough, we won't just be on Mars, we'll be 16 miles underneath it. 


H: I don't--I never said 16 miles, I don't know where you got that from, but we will not just be on Mars, we will be in it. 


J: Well, I'm really bad at math, so there you.


H: Not really math when you're just making up numbers.


J: It is, it is, it is math when you're making up numbers, trust me, Henry does it every day.  Alright, well, thank you all for listening, you can submit your questions to hankandjohn@gmail.com, or on Twitter by using the #dearhankandjohn.


H: This podcast is edited by Nicholas Jenkins, the theme music is from Gunnarolla, and as they say in our hometown,


Both: Don't forget to be awesome.