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Do you need to be a Patreon supporter to get your question answered? How do I make my partner comfortable at his first Christmas with my family? Why are mini-M&Ms better than the regular kind? Why do we always assume life needs water? And an important update from Sweden!

 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 in which me and my brother, John, answer your questions, we'll give you some dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon.

J: Hank, we've got a very special guest today, my daughter Alice is here in the studio with me.

Alice: Hi Uncle Hank.

H: Aw. Hi Alice.

J: And now she's off to go watch Elmo. (Hank laughs) How are you, Hank?

H: I'm good. How are you doing?

J: I'm doing well. We raised 1.5 million dollars in the 2015 Project for Awesome for organizations including Save the Children and the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees and that is very exciting to me.

H: It is very exciting. And somewhat unexpectedly, a thing that I did not know was going to happen, we have been able to keep some of the perks up thanks to Indiegogo and if you would like to get that exclusive episode of Dear Hank and John that is only available through the Project for Awesome, you can still do that at

J: Mmm. Great.

H: Mmm. Delicious bonus episode.

J: So go ahead and do that,

H: It's gonna taste like ice cream. What flavor? Justice!

J: What's gonna taste like ice cream? Donating to charity?

H: Yeah, or just the podcast, the exclusive podcast you're gonna get.

J: Oh, sure.

H: It's gonna be a flavorful podcast.

J: Is there any way we could move on to the short poem of the day?

H: That's fine with me.

J: I mean, there's a bunch of short poems today that I'm thinking about, Hank, but I think I'm gonna go with He Tells Her by Wendy Cope. Are you familiar with this poem?

H: I don't think so.

J: It's the world's best poem about mansplaining. Are you familiar with mansplaining?

H: I sure am.

J: OK. This is called He Tells Her by Wendy Cope.

"He tells her that the Earth is flat —
He knows the facts, and that is that.
In altercations fierce and long
She tries her best to prove him wrong.
But he has learned to argue well.
He calls her arguments unsound
And often asks her not to yell.
She cannot win. He stands his ground.

The planet goes on being round."

H: Boom! Drop the mic. 

J: It is indeed a boom worthy poem, Hank. I think boom is the only response to that great poem, "He Tells Her" by Wendy Cope. 

H: Aw yeah! Uh, what else do we do in the beginning of the podcast? I feel like we got through the beginning real fast. Usually, we talk about some of our drama, some of our difficulties in life, but I am not really feeling that. I am feeling so good after the Project for Awesome. I got a bunch of shirts I am going to send to people. I have been painting Hanklerfish art. I'm a little overwhelmed. I'm a little bit behind with work, but you know, so am I always. Maybe we should just go on with the questions. 

J: Yeah, you sound wound up pretty tight, but I like tightly wound Hank. 

H: Well, I also downloaded Dubsmash this morning, so I'm just very excited about Dubsmash. 

J: You know, uh, my friend, Cara Delevingne, was huge into Dubsmash when we were promoting the Paper Towns movie. And uh, she showed it to me and we did a bunch of them together. Um, and she kept asking if she could put them on Instagram. And I kept saying no. So somewhere on Cara's phone are some very, very damaging Dubsmashes of Cara and me singing to various songs. 

H: Aw man. That is a beautiful potential Project For Awesome perk, that I wish I had known about before now.

J: No, no, no, no never! Um, let's answer some questions from readers Hank. 

H: Alright let's do that.

 Question 1 (3:25)

J: Let's begin with this question from Sloan, Hank, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, my boyfriend is not able to get home to spend the holidays with his family this year. My parents decided to invite him to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family. I'm very excited about this but I'm also nervous about it being awkward for him because my family is very close and we have lots of traditions. Do you have any advice for how my family and I, can make him feel comfortable?"

H: Oh, well I think you guys should get matching sweaters. All, all of you!

J: Yes!

H: It's basically one step away from an engagement. So, it’s quite a commitment to make, but if you all got matching sweaters, I think he would feel part of the family. 

J: I would argue that getting matching sweaters is in fact far more of a commitment than an engagement. It's easy to walk away from an engagement. Walking away from matching sweaters is almost impossible.

H: Well, I mean just being part of somebody's Christmas photos too, like that might be a thing that happens. You're gonna wear matching sweaters, you're gonna be in front of the Christmas tree, you're gonna set the timer for 10 seconds and you're gonna stand there awkwardly smiling being like, "How could this possibly be 10 seconds? It's gone on forever!" and the finally it clicks and I mean basically you're married. 

J: Yeah, well, I mean I have 2 different former partners as you know, Hank,  who were invited to Christmases over the years and who ended up not becoming spouses, and-

H: Indeed. 

J: -my main conclusion from having been on both sides of this coin, both the person who welcomes in a non-married partner to a-- or like a non-committed, long-term committed partner to a Christmas and the person who like goes to someone else's Christmas. My main conclusion is that you don't really need to welcome them, because if they are going to be a good fit, they would just be a good fit. Like it'll just work because, you know, I suspect that your boyfriend will treat this as a sort of anthropological experiment, you know? He's mostly going to be bearing witness to these weird holiday traditions that you and your family have put together over the years and there's something really fun about doing that. Like there's something fun about seeing someone you love in a completely new context. 

H: Indeed. It may be awkward but I think that it depends on obviously how he approaches the situation but I think it's gonna be fun. I think it's gonna be a fun time and the fact that you're concerned about it and you're thinking about it means you're probably gonna be well prepared for it.

 Question 2 (5:40)

We've got another question, this one is from Kelly who asks: With Lin-Manuel Miranda being a 2015 MacArthur fellow and the success of Hamilton, I was curious as to what historical figure you think might make a great musical. Hip Hop has made an impact with Hamilton, is there any genre of music you would like to see brought to the stage? 

J: Yes.

H: So I'm gonna say like, what's the historical figure and the genre of music you want to see them paired with John. 

J: Sure, no for me it's definitely the Barbershop Quartet take on the life of Genghis Khan. 

H: Yes! Yeeees! Yeeeeeeeeees! 

J: So, I'm actually not even gonna try to trademark or copyright that idea. Broadway producers who also listen to Dear Hank and John, you are more than welcome to go ahead and make that. The Barbershop Quartet Genghis Khan!

H: Well John, I was gonna tell you mine, but it seems so pathetic and pale in comparison that it will just seem like I'm trying too hard, so we're gonna move on and just stick with Barbershop Quartet of Genghis Khan because that's way better than my idea.

 Question 3 (6:45)

J: [laughs] Alright, I will bask in the glory of my victory and ask you this question which comes from Matt: Dear John and Hank, in your last podcast you mentioned that Dear Hank and John is now sponsored by its listeners via Patreon. Will the questions asked on the normal podcast be from patrons only, or from non-supporting listeners as well, i.e. do I have to pay to get my question answered? Great question Matt, that you didn't pay to get answered. Indeed, no, I don't really like-- I mean I guess I can see the benefit of that but from my perspective, this podcast is supposed to be sort of equally opened to all and anything that we do on the Patreon is just kind of a bonus that isn't really related to the core product. That's also how we treat the SciShow and Crash Course Patreons, you know, the idea is more of an NPR style model where some listeners support it so that all listeners can enjoy it.

H: Indeed. Indeed. And I want to say you are not the only person who has had that question but it's possible that we will subconsciously accidentally do this and we will do our best not to. But, you know, we will be looking at the questions from the Patreon and the questions from the email just as we also look at questions from Facebook and Twitter, and I think also maybe even occasionally Tumblr. And there are some other people who have general feedback from previous episodes, for example Liam says: "In a recent podcast you talk about how your drink is on the right when you are seated formally. If you make a circle with your thumb and index finger, it forms a "d" on the right hand, and a "b" on the left hand for "drink", your drink being on the right, and your bagel! Your bagel being on the left. Or bread, or any type of bread, whatever type of bread it is. Usually when I go to a fancy dinner though, it's my drink on the left and my bagel-- er, my drink on the right and my bagel on the left."

J: How often do you go to fancy dinners with bagels?

H: All the fanciest best fancy dinners have bagels instead of just like what? Just like bread with a roll, that's just-- come on. You get a whole bagel if it's a fancy dinner!

J: I don't usually like to criticize your lack of understanding of proper luxury, Hank, because in general I think that it is a character asset rather than a character flaw. But if I may ask you a personal question, how many total Michelin stars have the restaurants that you've eaten in your life accrued?

H: Well I do know that a lot of my favorite restaurants have Michelin tires?

J: You've hurt my feelings as someone who values proper luxury. You have made me call into question my entire world view.

 Question 4 (9:41)

Let's move on to a question from Caitlyn who asks: Dear John and Hank, why are mini M&Ms so much more delicious than regular M&Ms. That's actually a math question. 

H: Well, for-- it's just wrong. It is a math question, it's also false. It is deeply false, and you are-- and like I do not understand your ridiculous perspective. However, the reason why they are worse is that they have a higher surface area to volume ratio. A sphere's volume - and I know an M&M is not a sphere but we're approximating, this is actually the case for any volume it is a cubed factor, so it's pi-- I think it's pi times four-thirds times the radius cubed, pretty sure. Whereas the surface area of a sphere is pi r squared, so as r goes up, as the radius of the sphere goes up, the volume increases much faster as it is the cube rather than the surface area which is just the square. So bigger M&Ms have less candy shell per unit of chocolate than smaller M&Ms. They actually try to make up for this by making the candy coating thinner on mini M&Ms, which to me that also makes it worse because you get less crunch, and also you get more like food coloring per unit of candy, which can't be good. I don't know if that actually affects the taste, but it seems like it would. But in a bigger M&M there's much more chocolate per unit of candy which I think is better. It obviously changes the taste substantially, apparently you Caitlyn like more candy in your M&M, which is just a ridiculous position to have. 

J: To summarize-

H: Sorry.

J: -Caitlyn, the order is mini M&Ms are the worst, regular M&Ms are the second to worst, and peanut M&Ms are the single greatest achievement in the history of human beings. 

H: You know the great thing about peanut M&Ms, John, is that in addition to being a fantastic candy, they're also a really great food. I'd eat a bowl of those for dinner! 

J: Mhmm.

H: With my bagel on the left

J: Yeah, they've got everything that you need, they've got the protein, they've got the fat, they've got the sugar. I don't think there's anything else that you-- I wonder how long you could stay alive on just peanut M&Ms.

Hank: You know, probably a long time, I bet there are some essential fatty acids you're not getting, maybe some vitamins and minerals you're not squeezing in there, probably not a lot of vitamin C in an M&M.

John: Yeah, you might get scurvy eventually.

Hank: Maybe you could fortify one, I'd like to see a bowl of fortified, with you know some iodine and some, maybe a little bit of vitamin C, vitamin D, just in my bowl of peanut M&Ms that I have at dinner, with my drink on the right and my bagel on the left.

John: Oh, you sound very enthusiastic about the world Hank, like you might be on speed.

Hank: [cackles]

 Question 5 (12:37)

This question is from Rebecca, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, while preparing dinner tonight I removed a previously opened jar of pizza sauce from the refrigerator and noticed a single spot of mold on the interior side of the jar. The sauce remaining at the bottom of the jar appeared to have no mold on it at all, can I still put the sauce on my pizza or does that spot of mold on the side of the jar render all of its contents unusable?" What a great question.

John: Uhm, let me answer your question with a question: Are you f
* kidding me? [Hank cackles] Of course it renders the entire jar of pizza sauce unusable. You can't even recycle that jar. You have to throw it away immediately, take the trash bag that you have thrown it away in, put that trash bag in your exterior trash receptacle, and then just try to forget that the whole thing ever happened.

Hank: [giggling] Well I'm glad to know that this is the occasion that required the very first bleeping on a Dear Hank and John. I will agree with John though, I will say it is probably not a good idea. So molds are fungi and they work in mysterious ways.

The mold that you can see is not 100%, or even the majority of the mold that's in there. By the time that you can see them, they are producing tons of spores which are flying all over the place and have probably started colonies that are invisible elsewhere, the mold actually has to penetrate into the food a little bit before it starts producing spore bodies which are the things that you actually see. And usually this is fine, in small quantities mold is not a big deal, but there are certain molds that can be more dangerous, they produce toxins that can make you sick. So the safe thing is the garbage. You probably only have to just close the jar though and put it in the garbage and not have to worry about-- or you could even wash it out, you don't have to worry about touching the mold, it's just the eating it. But if you're John though, I suggest doing exactly what makes you feel safe.

 John's top 10 probable causes of the apocalypse (14:50)

John: Hank this seems like a good time to bring up the fact that in answer to several peoples' requests, I have compiled my top 10 causes of eschatological anxiety. That is, anxiety about the end of the world.

Hank: OK.

John: Are you ready? And tell me if you think that this order-- I mean, this is a genuine order, tell me if you think this order makes sense to you.

Hank: OK.

John: 1. apocalyptic bird flu and/or flu caused by a different animal
2. solar flare
3. nuclear war that dramatically reduces the population of humans
4. disappearance of Earth's magnetic fields
5. weaponized hemorrhagic virus, like Ebola but weaponized
6. volcanic super-eruption
7. unexpected asteroid
8. artificial intelligence run amok, which I call the Terminator scenario
9. nanotechnology run amok, which I call the grey goo scenario
10. my personal death.

Hank: [chuckles] Well of all of those, I'll say if we're talking about the likeliness, it definitely should start with your personal death which I think is more likely than any of those other things. Which is great news for the rest of the world, but bad for news for you.

John: No, it's the worst possible news for me.

Hank: Well except that maybe you would die in all of those other scenarios, so maybe it's basically like, your personal death would occur in any of those scenarios, so of course it would be the most likely of all of them.

John: Right. OK. Alright, so I'm moving 10 to 1, is there anything else that you would change?

Hank: You know, I might move some of those things around, but they're all pretty good scenarios. In general I tend to fear human things more than I fear natural things because natural things happen on very long timescales and there's very little you can do about them, though there are some things certainly that we're starting to prepare for certain of these eventualities. But yeah, I feel like humans are really unpredictable, and I feel especially like with the advancing-- the rapid advance in science, you start to see potentials for people who don't have a ton of training being able to, as you say, weaponize something like hemorrhagic fever which would be real bad. And maybe even to the point of like, intentionally designing a flu that would be very dangerous and then intentionally releasing that flu. That's the kind of thing that we've done, we've intentionally designed extraordinarily dangerous flus, basically so that we can study how to treat them if they were to happen naturally, but the fact that now we know that we can intentionally design very dangerous flus, it seems like, how far away are we from the point where that can be done at a laboratory that is not regulated and is owned or run by a small group of crazy people.

John: Well, to be fair, I think that is inclusive of my number 1 concern - apocalyptic bird flu.

H: Yeah I mean I think that apocalyptic bird flu and intentionally weaponized artificial flu are kind of 2 separate things, just like weaponized hemorrhaging fever is different.

J: Alright, I mean I'm gonna go with 1 and 1A then, I'm not gonna mess around my whole list just for that one little observation you made.

H: Well, in general like that's something that scares me a lot and so I wanna make sure that it's also scaring you because if it's scaring me and it's not scaring you then there's definitely something wrong.

J: That's great to hear. Thank you for that feedback about me as a person.

 Question 6 (18:44)

I have another question for you Hank, it comes from Chrissy who asks: Dear John and Hank, I've just listened to one of your podcasts where you were talking about how they have discovered water on Mars, and how that means there is a possibility of life there. My question is how do we know that if there is life on Mars, it would be dependent upon water like we are? Wouldn't it be possible that they would be completely different from any other life form we know of? 

H: Um, yeah! So this is a question that I've, you know, spent a fair amount of time talking about. It's also another science question and I feel like we've had a lot of questions that can be answered with science this podcast so I appreciate that 'cause it means that I will talk more and John will talk less unless you, John, want to take this one. 

J: No, thank you though.

H: Chemistry works best, first of all, in a liquid. Liquids are-- they have a lot of different interactions between all of the particles in the liquid, so all of the molecules and atoms in the liquids will interact more frequently, and so liquid chemistry just a lot more gets done than in a gas where particles run into each other less often or in a solid where they don't move around - they all stay in the same place in the same order. So liquid chemistry is just good chemistry and we think that in order for life to happen, at the moment, like we think that in order for life to happen there has to be good chemistry happening. So if we're saying that life is based on chemistry and not on something else weird, like plasma physics or something like that, then we're focused on liquids and water is a particularly good liquid for this kind of chemistry to happen because it is polar and thus many different things can dissolve in it. So stuff's really good at dissolving in water, particularly various carbon compounds that we think that are sort of the basis of how our life works. But in general there's just lots of stuff that can dissolve in water, and certainly all of life on Earth is based on water chemistry. But we think that water chemistry is just sort of the kind of chemistry that can have the most interesting products, you can just get a lot out of water chemistry. Now there's also the possibility that much different pressures and temperatures than you have like liquid methane, which you can have maybe some kind of interesting chemistry going on there but methane is non-polar so less stuff can dissolve in it, but still some stuff can dissolve in it so maybe there would be chemistry based on liquid methane that could result in life. But liquid water is not just a personal bias, it's not just us saying like, "Well all the life we've ever seen is based on liquid water so it must be!" It's also that we know how chemistry works, we do a lot of chemistry based on a lot of different things in our world and liquid water chemistry remains the where a huge, vast variety of interesting chemistry gets done. 

J: Hank, I have to tell you that of all the sentences you've ever said that aren't dirty, "liquid chemistry is just good chemistry" is the one that sounds the dirtiest. I don't even know why exactly, but when you said it, you said it like 4 different times and each time you said it it sounded dirtier and dirtier. 

H: I apologize.

 Breaking News (22:00)

J: Hank, I have breaking news from the world of Dear Hank and John, or as I prefer to think of it Dear John and Hank, it comes from Linus in Sweden who writes: Dear John and Hank, I am currently listening to the latest episode of your podcast and in the discussion about how to equally distribute arm chairs among for example movie-goers, I felt I had to point out that here in Sweden, we have already solved this problem, at least in movie theaters. It is based on the same principle that John has - everyone, starting from the far right side of each row, is given control of the arm rest to their right. Well how to make sure that everyone follows this? On every arm rest there is a white arrow pointing to the chair on its left side. This simple use on an international and trans-linguistic symbol allows everyone in the movie theater, no matter age or spoken language, to know clearly which arm rest is theirs to use. Hank, Sweden has solved the arm rest crisis.

H: I mean, I just need to ask Linus if you walk into the movie theater, are there always people lined up on the left-hand side because they get both arm rests? So you walk in and like at the beginning, you're like everybody's like " I gotta get this so I get both arm rests!" And I also have to ask, Linus, if Sweden is as dreamy and beautiful as it sounds and also if possibly Swedish people went into the future and listened to our podcast and then brought that back as a policy, or maybe they just went into the future where that is a common thing because of our podcast? I just wanna be sure that we can definitely take credit for this and I also wanna say in regards to just generally discussing previous podcasts - I like this trend, we've done it several times this episode, and I have to say: "OH MY GOD IT'S BURNING!"

J: That's funny because I am gonna Charizard this mofo. That's why it's burning, due to my Charizarding. 

H: That is fantastic news about Sweden! 

 Commercial Break (24:00)

H: This podcast is brought to you by Swedes: time-traveling, left-hander-hating, efficiency-loving Swedes. 

J: Oh, Sweden. It is true, Hank, that if anybody has a time machine, it's almost definitely Sweden. And of course this podcast is also brought to you by liquid chemistry! Liquid chemistry - it's good chemistry. 

H: This podcast is brought to you by matching sweaters! Basically marriage. 

J: And of course this podcast is also brought to you by the new hit Broadway play - Barbershop Genghis.

 Question 7 (24:40)

H: (Laughter). Alright let's do one more question, John. Do you have one more ready?

J: I don't. Hank have noticed that I'm trying exceptionally hard to make sure that I speak less than you during this podcast? 

H: I feel like I'm just in a mood to speak more than you anyway, so I don't think you even have to try. This question--

J: Some people call it a mood, some people call it amphetamines.

H: I have another question, this one's from Josh who asks: "Dear Hank and John, I'm reading To Kill a Mockingbird in my freshman English class, and my teacher has used the character Calpurnia to explain a concept called code-switching. My teacher defines code-switching as talking differently - different dialects or personal filters - depending on your listener or environment. My question is when do you feel the need to code switch? What kind of personal filter do you use when you are talking to each other, your friends, what is the benefit of acknowledging when you are code-switching?" I have to say that this is something that I did not realize until well into my thirties and because of the ability that the internet has given me to talk to lots of people that are not like me. That I code switch all the time, and it is one of the really unthought-about privileges of being a white male, that I can code switch constantly, and then in the circumstances where I feel like I can't, I am so deeply uncomfortable. And I feel like-- and understanding that like I am uncomfortable when I can't code switch, despite the fact that like there are many people who cannot code switch nearly as much as I can, and that understanding my discomfort in those situations is like really sort of has allowed me to understand how difficult it is to not be a white male.

J: Yeah, I mean I think when people talk about not understanding what is meant by the phrase "white privilege" or not seeing it in our social order or whatever, I think reading up on code-switching is actually really helpful, because I completely agree with you that for me at least, it is a tremendous example of the privileges that our sort of built in to my identities. And being aware of that is tremendously important because when you aren't aware of it, you just sort of think that the universe is tilted in a particular way and it's your way. And that seems like the honest or real or fair way of the world, because it's the current way of the world, and yeah. So I actually think that's really interesting. The character of Calpurnia in To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most fascinating characters to me. Although Atticus Finch is often hailed as like the greatest hero in the history of American literature and I certainly think that Atticus Finch is a great and fascinating hero, you know the truth about the civil rights movement in the south is that the heroes of it were not white men. In fact they were very, very few southern white men who, looking back on the civil rights movement, can be considered to have acted heroically. Almost all of the heroes of the civil rights movement in the south were the African American people who were resisting in various ways and you know, establishing rights that had not been given them by the state which is an extremely difficult thing to do. And Calpurnia is a fascinating character in that context. 

H: Yup, yup. And in sort of deeper answer to your actual question, yeah I find myself code-switching just like moment to moment. I kind of am disturbed occasionally by how chameleon-y I can be and just sort of like if I'm like at suddenly at a fancy dinner or if one moment I'm the boss and the next moment I'm a friend and the linguistic ways that I do that and that I make that clear to other people around me when I'm trying to be-- because I'm friends with a lot of my employees and so there are certainly like physical contexts - like if we're at work - versus at a bar, but there are also linguistic contexts and it's very subconscious, and I don't really know that I'm doing it but I can identify it when I do, and it's a really nice thing to be able to do so easily and sometimes it disturbs me. 

J: I have a great southern accent when I go back to the south that my wife will look at me and be like, "what, what? What?" And Ill just be like, "Oh no, this is just-- this is normal. This is how I talk. I talk like this all the time." And she's like, "No no no no. No you don't."

 News from AFC Wimbledon (29:45)

Alright Hank, let's move on to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon. The news from AFC Wimbledon is so incredibly exciting I just can't wait, Hank, I can't wait for the news from Mars!

H: Okay, well go for it!

J: Last week, Hank, I spent more than 2 hours watching an internet live stream of a town council meeting occurring in South London. I watched as local government representatives asked questions about how the garbage would be taken out, how many parking spots there would be, how many of these parking spots would be reserved for people with disabilities, and I heard them asked questions about how the garbage would be taken out, and how many parking spots there would be, and how many housing units, and whether those housing units would have built-in air-conditioning. Hank, I watched as these members of the Merton Council asked hundreds of questions. I formed opinions about the local government representation in South London than are far firmer than the opinions I have about my local representatives here in Indianapolis, whomever they may be, I have no idea. I watched as hundreds of AFC Wimbledon fans sitting there waited to find out if the town council as going to approve their plan to build a new stadium in their historic home, bringing league football back to Wimbledon after the great injustice of 2001. And I watched and wept as the town council voted unanimously to agree that they can build a stadium. It is a huge moment in the history of AFC Wimbledon, Hank. This is the end of a vital part of the journey. This is the moment when they get to come home. Wimbledon fans sing a song - Show Me The Way To Plough Lane. They've been singing it since they were forced from their stadium more than 30 years ago, and through reforming this club, starting out in a public park, working their way up through the non-league ranks into league football, they have shown the world the way to plough lane and I am so proud to be a fan and sponsor of AFC Wimbledon right now. They're gonna get to build a stadium. It's gonna be a beautiful stadium, it's gonna be so fancy there's no way I'll ever get to sponsor it when they move into the new stadium, and I am so excited. I am so excited for the day when I cannot afford to be a sponsor of this great football club. So it was a huge moment in the club's history and the unanimous vote was really just a moving moment. I mean many, many AFC Wimbledon fans compared it to the moment they won the playoff to go back into the football league, that's how important it was to Wimbledon fans and to the future of the club and I'm just thrilled for them. There's a lot of work ahead, obviously, they've got to raise a ton of money to build this stadium but they're gonna be able to do it, I know it and I'm just so, so happy. 

H: Congratulations John--

J: Thank you.

H: --And congratulations AFC Wimbledon.

 News from Mars (33:03)

I have similarly exciting news that I am similarly bubbling and like deep in my heart have butterflies about with regards to Mars, John.

J: Yeah.

H: Would you like to hear about it?

J: Yeah, but just tell me first, did you weep when you heard it?

H: Just maybe a tiny, tiny bit. 

J: I don't even believe you.

H: Well, you will believe me when you hear the news, which is that the first book in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy--

J: Oh!

H: --is going to be made into a TV series.

J: Ohhh!

H: It is going to be written by none other than J. Michael Straczynski, whose credits include Babylon 5 and Thor. 

J: Ohhhhh! Wow!

H: So basically it is really, it is a dream coming true for me. So Red Mars is the first book in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy. It is the book that got me into Mars, and not only that it got me into chemistry, got me into science, got me into just, you know, basically my entire life path. Kim Stanley Robinson has remained a hero of mine, he has continued to write remarkable books though in recent years he has become a, you know, he's always been an environmental advocate but has become a lot less bullish on the idea of having Mars as a back-up planet because he wants to be very clear that this is the one we've got and we better do it right. But yeah, so Red Mars is going to be a TV show and it's gonna have 10 episodes and they may do the rest but it's not a hundred percent sure, but yeah! It's almost a hundred percent gonna happen unless like something very, very bad happens. So I'm extremely excited. I'm extremely excited

J: Somewhere, 14-year-old Hank is just having his biggest possible dream come true.

H: Yeah. Yeah, it's very exciting.

J: I mean, I remember you reading those books and I had never seen you read like that before. And indeed like you've since told me that you never had read like that before, but I mean I'd never see you care about something that way and it was really, really cool to watch. It really truly was transformative in your life, even from the outside and so I am genuinely really excited for you. I thought that you were gonna come at me with some boring news like now we can drill a mile into the Mars surface or whatever, but that is actually cool. What channel is it gonna be on?

H: It's gonna be on Spike TV, which I've left out because I'm just not a big fan of Spike TV.

J: Yeah, well, what the hell? Whatever, as long as they do a good job it doesn't matter. My DVR doesn't know what channel I'm recording. Well that's exciting!

H: Yup! Yup yup yup yup yup. 

 Credits (35:47)

J: Hank, before we talk about what we learned today, we need to talk about something else which is that this is the last podcast of 2015--

H: Oh right yes yes.

J: --and we're even taking the first week of 2016 off. We're going on a two-week hiatus so that we can spend some time with our families, enjoy the holidays, and also let our listeners enjoy the holidays. 

H: Yes. Yes. We don't wanna distract you from all of the holidays. And if you want and need distraction there are lots of other podcasts. Would you like to suggest an alternate podcast, John?

J: I would like to suggest an alternate podcast - Serial. 

H: Well I've actually--

J: Yeah it's like, I don't know if you guys have heard of it, it's like Dear Hank and John but better in every way. 

H: I would suggest you must remember this, which is a History of Hollywood podcast and also Limetown, which you should not listen to at night. It is a kind of horrifying fictional but pretending to be non-fiction podcast.

J: So Hank what did we learn today?

H: We learned... I don't know. 

J: It's good. It's a good end to the podcast. Strong. You delivered there. Appreciate it. 

H: We learned that uhhhhh Red Mars is gonna be a TV show! 

J: And we learned that supporting Dear Hank and John on Patreon, while it is certainly welcome, does not help you get your questions on the podcast. 

H: Indeed, indeed it does not. We learned that tiny M&Ms are not as good as big M&Ms because of math.

J: And we also learned that big M&Ms, because of math and also because of peanuts, are not as good as peanut M&Ms. 

H: Pro work, John, pro work.

J: Thanks buddy. 

H: I feel like we learned other things today, but you guys know what we learned.

J: Yeah, no Hank the most important thing we learned today is that Sweden continues to live in a glorious future.

H: Glorious, glorious future. They need to share that time travel technology with the rest of the world, that does seem a little unfair. 

J: The rest of us are stuck in this miserable present but Sweden has it all figured out, except for sunshine. They didn't figure that out yet.

H: I don't know a lot about Sweden's weather, John.

J: Well, it's pretty far up there Hank, so in the winter - awfully dark.

H: Ah, I see. Well we've got that going on here in Montana as well. John, thank you for having a podcast with me.

J: No, it's been my distinct pleasure. It's been a very enjoyable 2015 for Dear Hank and John, or as I prefer to think of it Dear John and Hank. We're looking forward to continuing more in 2016. If you have a question for us you can use Dear Hank and John the hashtag on Twitter where I'm johngreen and Hank is hankgreen. You can also email us

H: And also you can find us on our Patreon at This podcast is edited by Nicholas Jenkins, the theme music is from Gunnarolla, and as they say in our hometown

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