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Should I give up on my dreams of changing the world? Is mayonnaise an instrument? Why are DVD cases not squares? Can you burn a cucumber? Does the moon have Earth eclipses? Do you have anonymous social profiles?

 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.

Hank: It's a comedy podcast about death in which me and my brother John answer your questions, give you dubious advice and bring you the weeks news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. Hey, John, how ya doin'?

John: I'm doing well. It's been a good week so far. I've just been playing FIFA as AFC Wimbledon, uh, I've been writing a lot. What else is going on this week? Uh, not much. It's cold here in Indianapolis. We've had our first, uh, real good solid snowfall and it's, uh, it's real icy and intimidating. I've been running a lot. I don't know. Things are good. Things are really good. How are you? 

Hank: Well, uh, the day that we are recording this podcast, uh, i-it-it is a week ago, as you people listening to it, or maybe more than that, but, is the day we found out that David Bowie died. And, I'm very sad, and having, uh, I'm dealing with that.

John: Indeed, we must, we must pause to give thanks for the life of David Bowie, who was, uh, such a, uh, astonishing revelation in so many worlds, uh, not just music, but, uh, in the way that he presented himself, in the way the way that he shifted between identities. Truly, um, a man ahead of his time. 

Hank: Yes. Yes, very helpful for me, um, to have David Bowie as a sort of ro-role model, uh, not in all things, of course, but in many. And, uh, I am sad. So, the local radio station is, is playing only David Bowie on vinyl this day. And I was just sitting in my car, uh, very very hard to leave that. But, here I am for Dear Hank and John! A comedy podcast about death. So appropriate today.

John: It couldn't-couldn't be a better day to do a comedy podcast about death (Hank laughs in the background). Uh, would you like a short poem for the day. I should've done something David Bowie-centric, but I didn't. Hank I wasn't properly prepared.

Hank: That's fine. I accept your apology.

J: Instead I've got a Sonia Sanchez poem for you today. Do you know Sonia Sanchez? She was born in Birmingham, Alabama (my hometown, not yours, even though we're brothers) and great-- just a brilliant poet and one of the best love poets we have in the world today, I think, although she also writes blisteringly and beautifully about race and sex and feminism and lots of other things. But this is a very short poem called "Black Magic" by Sonia Sanchez.

"magic my man is you turning my body into a thousand smiles. black magic is your touch making me breathe."

"Black Magic" by Sonia Sanchez.

H: Short poem!

J: Very short poem for the day, Hank. I thought, uh, I feel like I've been lengthening the definition of short poems lately--

H: Yes.

J: --on Dear John and Hank and I feel like I might be losing some listeners in the process, so go check out Sonia Sanchez if you're not familiar with her work. It is full of richness and she's just a wonderful wonderful poet. Yeah, I don't know. Next week, Hank, I'll have a poem for you about grief. How's that? We'll remember David Bowie a week after his death, which as listeners are listening will be like 6 months after his death.

 Question 1 (3:37)

H: (laughs) Alright, and I think with that, it is already time to start answering questions. It's only taken us like three minutes. It's unheard of, John.

J: Well I don't know what to do. I would like to extend the intro to the podcast but I have no other short poems for the day.

H: No and I, as sad as I am, don't want to harp on it, especially because everyone else is further along in their process of grief than I am. So we've got a question from Henry who asks "Dear Hank and John, why are DVD covers not square?"

J: Mm, that's a great question. I think I know the answer.  

H: You know, I think I can sum up the answer in two words, actually, two words that you might disagree with, but uh--and that the world might disagree with.

J: Okay.

H: But my two words are Blockbuster Video.

J: Okay, I think that you're wrong, respectfully, but I think you're on the right track.  I think Blockbuster Video is part of why DVDs are not square, but I think the actual deep down answer is VHR.  I think that because video cassettes--

H: What?  I think you've used the wrong--John, you've used the wrong three letters there.  I apologize for interrupting--

J: Really?

H: --but did you say VHR?

J: VCR.  

H: Oh, I thought you said VHR.

J: I don't think so.  Did I?  Did I say VCR?  

H: I think you may have conflated VHS and VH--

J: I said VHR, man.  Alright, let's just, let's just back it all up, back it all up.

H: No, no!  Do not back it up!  You are not allowed to back it up just because you said something wrong.  Everybody's gonna enjoy that.  

J: There's no way we're gonna get outta--there's--there's no--I'm gonna force Nick to edit this bit out.

H: Nope.  Nope.  It's staying' in.  It's staying' in.

J: Alright.

H: So tell me about VHRs.  

J: VCR.  Video Cassette Recorders.  My theory about why DVDs are shaped the way they are is so they can look more like VHS tapes, that's where I got the H from, because of VHS tapes.  They can look more like VHS tapes, be similarly shaped, so that when DVDs first came out, and I remember this vividly, I remember thinking, but why would you wanna watch something on a CD?  It had the advantage of being rectangularly shaped, so that I could say to myself, well, I don't like this business of giving up video cassettes, but I suppose at least the shape is the same.

H: Right, and I mean if you look at-- if they had made them the sort of same form factor as CDs, everybody would have felt like I was watching a movie on a CD, whereas they made it more the sort of size of yeah... more the height of a VHS tape. And also there's just something pleasing about that aspect ratio, it's the same aspect ratio as a book and the reason that books are that shape is, you know, it's kind of a good shape for reading but also it's just very pleasing to us, that golden ratio shape. So I uh, yeah, I think it has to do entirely with product marketing, and I would love to know the number of gallons of oil that were necessary to make DVD cases that shape rather than the shape they could've been, which is much smaller than they were. But, someone do that calculation for me and then we can all go "UGH," and then move on.

J: Well but it's over Hank, I mean the nice thing is that every time we don't buy a DVD today, we save all of that oil that would've gone into that plastic. Instead we just download it from iTunes.

H: It's true, it's true. I mean the number one question I have for Henry is, "What are DVDs?"

J: (laughs) Right. A lot of people listening to this are like, "Uh, this is a fascinating discussion about two ancient pieces of technology I have no relationship with."

H: (laughs) Yeah, yeah I mean John couldn't even remember what a VHS tape was called, so that's gonna be DVDs in 10 years, a mere 10 years.

 Question 2 (7:30)

J: (laughs) Alright, we've got another question, Hank. This one is from Avery who writes, "Dear John and Hank, can you set a cucumber on fire, or is its water content too high and therefore not flammable?"

H: (laughs)

J: That's a great question, and it's an important question because I can't tell you how often I've looked at a cucumber and thought, "I'm gonna Charizard this mofo," but then thought, "You know what? I'm not sure if that's scientifically possible."

H: Well John, you can definitely set a cucumber on fire, but you're gonna have to bake the water out of it first. Yeah, I mean, a lot of, like, that--even when you're burning wood sometimes, the wood is wet and so you throw it on there and then it steams for a little while before it catches, but yeah--

J: Right.

H: There is combustible material inside of a cucumber, but you would--if you dehydrated a cucumber, you could totally light it on fire, and I don't know how well it would burn, I've never tried, but I bet you a dehydrated cucumber would burn very much like a piece of wood.

J: Now, Hank, let me ask you a related question.  Have you ever had a kool-aid pickle that is a cucumber that has been pickled in kool-aid?

H: Um.  No, I--

J: Well, I have great news, your life is about to get better, because there is nothing on God's green earth as delicious as a kool-aid pickle.

H: Well, I have--well, how is my life about to get better, though?  'Cause who is gonna give me this kool-aid pickle?

J: Well, now that you've asked for one, lots of people, I bet.  Every time we go on tour for the next ten years, you'll get a kool-aid pickle.  

H: I wanna say to all those people who are considering giving me a kool-aid pickle whenever I might show up in your town, please do not.  Please bring me a cookie.  I want cookies.  I do not want kool-aid pick--I don't like pickles.  I'm not a pickle guy.  I can have some sweet relish on a hot dog, but really that's the extent of my pickle interest.  I just--vinegar is very strong, it's a very strong flavor, and I am not into it, John.  So I--of course, I assume that there's no vinegar in a kool-aid pickle, which makes me think that it's probably going to spoil pretty quickly.

J: Eh, I don't know, I think there is vinegar in it, actually, but I'm not a scientific expert in how kool-aid pickles come to be, all I know is that they taste better than regular pickles.  Um, but yeah, I've been thinking a lot about that, about recently just because today--or yesterday, actually, as we're recording this, was the four year anniversary of the publication of my book The Fault in Our Stars, Hank, and I was thinking back to that tour in 2012, which was so fun but also so stressful that for years, all I could remember when I thought about it was the anxiety that it provoked, because we would sign for several hours after the events and that was pretty overwhelming for me, but one of my central memories from that is that very, kind, lovely, generous people at every city that we went to, they would bring us Peeps, because one time in 2007, for those of you who don't know, Peeps are these marshmallow-like preservative filled Easter candies shaped like yellow--usually like yellow chicks, but people would bring us Peeps because we made some Peeps jokes back in 2007, and we could never think of a polite way to say the truth, which is that we both hate Peeps.

H: That's the whole point!  That's why we had to do the Peep things, because it was a punishment.  It wasn't a punishment, but it was like, it was like a challenge, like, hahaha, look at this person doing a thing he doesn't wanna do.  

J: Exactly.

H: And then people were like, yeah, they must love Peeps so much but, you know, people were--people were, you know, latching on to being a part of the inside of this thing and I appreciate that, but yeah, we had a lot of Peeps that we would, we would take them to the next place and then we would throw them in the audience, and be like PEEP TIME!

J: Yeah, which turned out well, because some people like Peeps, and those people got to enjoy them.  Anyway, the short version of this very, very long answer is that yes, you can light a cucumber on fire, and yes, please bring Hank kool-aid pickles when he's on tour.

H: Cookies.  By which he means cookies.  But I do feel like next time we go on tour, we should bring a bunch of Peeps and we can throw them out into the audience every single time.

J: That would be fun.

H: It's-- I feel like that's sort of like a cheap, safe thing to throw into an audience.  You're not gonna get hurt getting hit in the head with Peeps.  

J: No. 

 Question 3 (12:00)

H: I've got another question.  This one is from Sydney, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, If you're standing on the moon, does the Earth ever eclipse the sun?  How often does this happen, and does it look as remarkable as a lunar eclipse does from Earth? More importantly--most importantly, what does John think happens?"

J: Thank you for the question, Sydney.  So if you're standing on the moon, does the Earth every eclipse the sun?  The answer is of course yes, and in fact, the Earth eclipses the sun more often than the Moon eclipses the sun for those of us standing on Earth.

H: You know, John, I actually don't know the answer to this question.  I would have to look it up.  

J: Well, my answer was so confident that even if it is incorrect, people will believe me.  

H: Well, I think you're right, like, based on just--based--like, I don't 100% know, but based on the fact that the Earth is bigger than the Moon, it probably would eclipse the sun more than the Moon does, but I don't know, so--I don't know why I asked this question without having looked it up, I apologize.

 Question 4 (13:00)

J: Alright, let's move on to another question then, Hank, so that you don't have to continue to be embarrassed.  This one is from Katrisse, who asks, "Dear John and Hank, I know that both of you have your own social feeds, but have you ever considered creating anonymous social profiles to be able to experience a social network without the burden of relative fame?  In other words, are you hiding as faceless social network users among us?"  This is a very interesting question and I know a lot of people who do, you know, I know a--like, I have a lot of sort of, you know, famous-ish friends or acquaintances who have, you know, lives on social networks that are, you know, private, because of the way that--the way that they structure them and because they've never sort of been outed as being affiliated with that channel.  I have one Reddit account that I use just to enjoy soccer anonymously without having people, you know, jump in and talk about other stuff that I do.  That's the only sort of non-public facing social identity that I have, I guess.  

H: I mean, my Reddit account is--people know who I am, but most people don't, and so the--I just feel like Reddit is a sort of demographically different place from most of the places that I spend time on and my username is not my name, so usually I think that people, like, I feel like just a normal person when I'm using my Reddit account, unless I'm doing an AMA or something. So, I like spend time on like, the personal finance subreddit and the ulcerative colitis subreddit and those people--I'm just another person, and so I sort of get that experience that way.  But yeah, I mean, honestly, I spend so much time doing social media as part of like, sort of, you know, it's part of my job, but it's a part that I enjoy, but like, beyond that, I don't wanna do a bunch of it, because I do it all the time all day anyway, so um, I sort of get all of my social fix with the normal--with my like, public social media-ing, and I don't want anymore of it after that.

J: Yeah, I just wouldn't know how to do it very well, I don't think. I don't, you know, I never had a Twitter without an audience. I've had a website without an audience, like, I feel like I know how to write for a website as a person who doesn't have much of a public life, but I don't know how to do it, and I don't  really wanna learn, like, I admire people who do it, like, there are some Twitter accounts that I follow that I just followed because they're extremely thoughtful and funny and engaging but not because of whoever the person is who runs it, and in a way, like, that to me is sort of the purest and most interesting form of social media, but it's not the way that I've ever used it, so I don't think I'd even know where to begin.  

 Question 5 (16:15)

H: Aiden, I've got another question, John, it's from Aiden, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, Is it always wrong to break the law?"

J: Oh boy.

H: "Are certain laws meant to be broken?"

J: Oh boy.

H: "Can you still be a good person who breaks the law?"  

J: Oh boy.

H: I don't have any--this is not a hard question for me at all, I'm surprised that you are struggling with it.  

J: Well, I think the rule of law is actually really important to the maintenance of a social order, but I do--

H: Right, but--let me, let me, let me give you an example of times when it is okay to break the law.

J: Okay.

H: When the law breaks like, fundamental human justice things. Like, for a very long time, it was illegal to be gay.

J: Right.

H: And like, and so in that case, it is okay to break that law.  Now, that law was not made to be broken, but I think it was important that people broke that law.  I think it's important that people break the like, the prohibition of marijuana laws, because I don't think that we'd be having a conversation about the legalization of marijuana and about the huge problem we have with mass incarceration and people going to jail for doing this thing that is not dangerous to themselves or other people and so I, like, I think that we need to have that conversation, and we wouldn't be having it if people weren't breaking that law.

J: Right, I agree with that, and certainly, I mean, obviously, you're gonna--first off, we have to just draw a line between civil disobedience and other kinds of law breaking.  Like, obviously, you know, civil disobedience is often right and often the only correct or moral path of action in the face of injustice, like, obviously, you know, sit-ins during the Civil Rights movement for instance, were important, but that's a different kind of breaking the law, because that's a kind of breaking the law where you understand that you are breaking a law, you are choosing to break the law, and then you are, you know, suffering the legal consequences so you're basically sort of using the rule of law to bring attention to the injustice of a law.  That's different from smoking pot, which is against the law but usually, you know, you smoke pot in the privacy of your own home or whatever, hoping not to get caught, and I--but that said, I agree with you that it is not wrong to break the law and that you are still a good person if you break the law.  However, we have to understand that we're coming at that conversation from a tremendous place of privilege. You're 11--if you smoke pot, you're 11 times more likely to be imprisoned if you're African-American than if you're white, so it's relatively easy for me to say, you know, that it's okay or even, y--that there's nothing, y'know, wrong, with breaking the law, when I am very unlikely to receive the kind of harsh punishments that have been this like, great disgrace of mass incarceration in the United States.  I think it's a lot more complicated to tell someone who's in a position where they could go to jail for 25 years that they should smoke pot if they want to, like, I think that--

H: Yeah.  But that's not--

J: You don't wanna lose in the conversation the real risks that people run when they break laws and they aren't in privileged positions.  

H: Right, and that is entirely the reason why I was anti--like, when I was growing up, I was anti-drugs almost exclusively because I knew that it could mess up my future, which--but that is not a reason to not break the law, I mean, it is, but that is not the question that Aiden is asking.  Aiden is asking, "Is it always wrong to break the law?" and the answer is no.  It is not always wrong to break the law, and it is probably not a good idea, but that does not change the fact that it is not wrong.

J: Right, I just want people--I--yeah, but I just want to be conscious of the fact that there are, you know, potentially catastrophic consequences to some people, and that those consequences are unfairly distributed among the population.

H: Yes.  I agree with you.

J: The only other thing I would say about that is that I actually don't think it's always wrong to break just laws.  It's just that they have to be exceptionally minor ones and the circumstances have to dictate it.  For instance, I think that speed limit laws are good, that we should have more of them, in fact, but occasionally, it's okay to speed, like, you know, if you're--one time I got food stuck in my esophagus and so I couldn't swallow any water, couldn't swallow any liquid, and I decided to drive myself to the hospital and I would throw up every like, five or ten seconds, 'cause you just, you're producing so much saliva trying to get this piece of food down my esophagus, but then my esophagus, you know, couldn't handle it, so it would just come back up, and I thought it was okay to speed in that situation, just because, like, I really did kind of need to get to the hospital, and it worked out for me, so Aiden, if the question is, John and Hank, there is food in my esophagus, I cannot get it down or up, is it okay to speed? I'm gonna say a cautious yes.

H: Yeah, and I do think that this is a problem with laws, like, we want to have a sys--and we need to have a system where there are, like, there are rules, and sometimes the rules get broken in ways where everybody's like, well, I understand why that happened, but we have to enforce the law, and that can cause big, big problems, you know, especially when like, the letter of the law is different from the intent of the law, and that does happen sometimes where, you know, you have a law that was built for one situation being applied to a new situation that it clearly does apply to, but it was not intended to address, and that's why--that's one of the many reasons why legal systems are complicated and why you have to go to school for a real long time to be a lawyer.

J: Yeah, I mean, it's also just another example of how to me, the whole legal system, at least in the US, is just a great example of how power sort of conserves and preserves itself--

H: Yeah.

J: --very efficiently and effectively, because once you're inside of the legal system, like, if you're on parole for instance, like, everything just becomes much more complicated and challenging, it's just so much easier to go back to jail, but if you're never inside of the system, then it seems that the system is quite effective, because you can point to, you know, lower crime rates over the last 30 years and lots of other stuff, but then once you're inside of the system, it's just--it's tremendously dehumanizing and also, you know, it's one of the places where class and race and sex are just the most obviously, you know, the data is just overwhelming that they play huge roles in what happens to people who commit offenses that are deemed to be illegal.

 Question 6 (23:44)

J: Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now and answer another question. "Dear John--" Oh, this question is from Sophie, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, I'm a high school senior in the midst of the college application turmoil.  My parents think I have a delusion of grandeur about being able to make a lasting impact in the world. Should I be realistic?  And why does being realistic mean that I have to give up on my dreams of doing something amazing?"  

H: Mmmm. Mm. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... don't do it!  Just believe in yourself!  Everybody can--everybody makes big changes on the people around them at the very least, and also maybe on the whole world and I think that having dreams is fantastic and I think that--but I also think that refining those dreams as you go on is absolutely okay too, so having something that drives you forward is not something that you should not engage with, like, have that thing drive you forward and if suddenly, if it like, it becomes clear that that thing isn't necessarily gonna happen, that's okay!  Don't move--go in a different direction, have a new thing that drives you forward, but I, you know, I think, you know, being able to make a lasting impact on the world, that's not--that's not delusional, right, John?

J: No, quite the opposite.  I'm reading this book about Ancient Rome, actually, and the writer keeps saying, like, you know, something'll happen in Ancient Rome and then the writer will say, "And the world would never be the same."  And I just keep thinking, but like, after everything that happens, the world is never the same, you know what I mean?  Like, that--you know, after I finish playing a game of Wimbly-Womblys on FIFA 16, the world will never be the same.  The world will never be the same after you have kids.  The world will never be the same after you get married.  The world will never be the same after every event in human history, so I guess for me, the--it's a false choice between being realistic and being able to make a difference, because there are so many ways to make a difference.  I do believe in being realistic about your dreams, but I also believe in having those dreams.  I believe in, like, finding ways to make them realistic rather than just agreeing when you're told that, you know, that things like that don't happen to people like you.  They do, whatever it is, whatever the dream is, things like that do happen to people like you, unless the dream is becoming a banana and floating in space all the way to Mars, because we've already learned that it takes way too much energy to get out of the Earth's atmosphere in the first place.  

H: Oh, God, why do you always bring up the atmosphere?  

J: Because it just infuriates you.

H: It does.  It does.  Yeah, I mean--

J: We've got a very thick atmosphere, Hank, it's hard to swim through.  

H: Doing big things--it--I think that the number one thing is to not tie your self-worth up in this--in a quest to make some magnificent impact, and yeah, like, that's--maybe that's what your parents are trying to protect you from, the potential that like, you'll get so, like, you will believe that you are not a worthwhile person unless you have this kind of impact, and I think a lot of are--kind of are taught that, the people that we hear about in the media, the people that are idealized, whether that's a businessperson or a celebrity, are people that seem to have outsized impact on the world, like, greater than average impacts, and so we sort of, like, we tie that to like, what makes a person worthwhile, so it is possible that like, you know, don't think that that is the only way to be a worthwhile person.  That is absolutely not the case, but yes, do want to have impacts on the world.  Do want to make the world a better place, and do make decisions based on that, you know, based on the change that you want to make in the world. Have that be a guiding force in the decisions that you make, whether that's what school you go to or what you do on a Friday night, and yeah, that's absolutely okay to do.

J: It's always been--seemed so weird to me that people put so much emphasis on celebrity, and I know that like, I'm, you know, coming at this from a particular perspective and everything, but that said, like, I just don't believe that celebrities have some massive impact on, you know, the social order that quote on quote regular people don't have, like, if you wanna have a lasting, big impact on the social order, be a teacher, because when you're 75 years old and you're still teaching 15 year olds, those 15 year olds are gonna remember you for another 60 years.  You know, those 15 year olds are gonna remember you when you would've been 135 or whatever.  No one is going to remember the vast majority of like, so-called celebrities when they would be 175 years old.  Hank, who was the guy who was on that show Charles in Charge?

H: Mmmm, Scott Baio?

J: Scott Baio.  When we were kids, Scott Baio was phenomenally famous.  I wanted to be Scott Baio worse than I've ever wanted to be anything in my life, and I just, even though it's only been 20 years, nearly forgot his name.

H: Yup.  Yeah, I sing this song about Helen Hunt, who was the biggest, biggest star on TV when I was a young person, and I will sing this song about Helen Hunt and the majority of the people in the room will not know who Helen Hunt is, which is just a tragedy.  She's wonderful.  

J:  It is a tragedy, but I have to say, because both Helen Hunt and Scott Baio are just phenomenally important people in human history, but I have to say--and they're also old friends of the podcast, so hi, Helen, hi, Scott. Thanks for listening.  We appreciate your support.  Keep sending in your questions, we'll answer one someday.  I have to say that like, I think that in some ways, you make a choice between having a sort of a deep impact on peoples' lives and having a broad impact, and celebrities are always celebrated in part for having such a broad impact, but a lot of times, I feel like it isn't a deep impact, and we've talked before, Hank, about how the only following worth having is a cult following, and I deeply, deeply believe that, because, you know, the sort of cult-like institutions that I've followed over the years, whether it's They Might be Giants or The Mountain Goats or The Mr. T Experience or Ze Frank when he was making the show, you know, those are the things that have had the biggest impact on the way that I think about life and the things that I've found most helpful in the darkest times to kind of get me through, and nothing against Scott Baio or Helen Hunt, but like, I haven't turned to their--to them in my darkest hour the way I've turned, for instance, to John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

 Question 7 (31:12)

H: Agreed, agreed.  I have another question, John, it's from Alex, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I'm Alex from Maryland.  My friend Chase recently told me how great the podcast is.  So far, I'm loving it."  Welcome to the podcast, Alex.  "My question is: is mayonnaise an instrument?"  I think that this might have something to do with SpongeBob.  I Googled it, and but uhhhh... SpongeBob seems to think that mayonnaise is not an instrument. Now, I don't know any of the context of this argument, but I will say that I think anything can be an instrument, and if you want proof of that, you can go to watch Songs to Wear Pants To, the YouTube channel, where Andrew Huang does play music with just about anything. He recently played a symphony, I think something by one of the classical composers, with thongs.  You know, the underpants, and I think that if you can play a classical piece of music with thongs, then you can play something with mayonnaise.

J: My answer to this question would be that mayonnaise is certainly an instrument.  It's an instrument of horror and destruction and sadness.  

H: Ah, I see.  I see what you mean.  I love mayonnaise, and I don't know what's wrong with you.

J: What do you mean, you love mayonnaise?  

H: I mean that I think mayonnaise is a condiment that I enjoy putting on various salty type foods.

J: Are you kidding?  You like--you put mayonnaise on a sandwich?  

H: Sure.

J: Oh God.  Really?

H: That's what mayonnaise--that's what mayonnaise was created for.  That's what humans do with mayonnaise.  That is literally the thing that is done with may--and I mean, like, potato salad, egg salad, all these mayonn--salad dressings are often made with mayonnaise--how is this a surprise to you?

J: I can't believe you like mayonnaise.  

H: It's mayonnaise.

J: It's like if you told me, if you just suddenly announced that, you know, you believed deep down that the greatest football club in the world was Manchester United, like, I just cannot believe that someone I've counted on for so many years and been so close to all this time has been liking mayonnaise.

H: I mean, were you not around for my childhood?  That's what I ate!  I ate ham and mayonnaise sandwiches.  I would not eat anything else.  

J: Oh, God, ham and mayonnaise sandwiches.  First off, I wasn't around for your childhood, I went to boarding school when you were 10, but uh, that just sounds awful.  Why would you eat ham and mayonnaise sandwiches when you could put mustard on that sandwich and get the same--?  What?  What!  

H: Mustard?!

J: What?

H: Oh my God, I don't know how people do mustard, it's just like, it's just like just dirt mixed up in vinegar.

J: I mean, mustard is one of the great tastes on Earth and mayonnaise is one of the worst.  Mayonnaise is something like, I--sometimes I open my refrigerator and I'll see that we have a jar of mayonnaise in there, and I'll be like, "Why do we own this? This is reprehensible." It probably went out of date in like, 2011. We just haven't gotten it out of the fridge.

H: Well, mayonnaise lasts a real long time.  It's one of the remarkable things about mayonnaise.

J: Yeah, I wonder why.  Maybe it's because it's made of preservatives.

H: But it just--it lasts forever.  I would actually like to know why mayonnaise lasts so long.  Someone should ask that to the podcast and we can answer it sometime after I do some research.

J: Alright, well, in the meantime, Hank, we have to move on from this horrifying discussion to the news of Mars and AFC Wimbledon.  

H: I wanna say the only time mustard is good is when it's mixed with mayonnaise.

J: Ughhh, God, it's just, that's the fastest way to ruin mustard.

H: It's--I think that that's most salad dressing is just mayonnaise and mustard mixed together.

J: Right, that's why I don't eat creamy salad dressings, nor does anyone who has any kind of sophisticated palette.  

H: Do you think that it's already time for the news from Mars, because I don't think it is.

 Commercial Break (34:51)

H: I think it's time to talk about sponsors, John, 'cause this episode of Dear Hank and John is brought to you by mayonnaise! Mayonnaise: creamy delicious goodness made with whooooole eggs!

J: Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  This podcast is not brought to you by mayonnaise, it's brought to you byyyy--

H: Mayonnaise!

J: yyyyyyyy... Mustard.  Mustard.  Delicious, nutritious, and--

H: No!  No!  Mustard has no food in it!

J: --no weird raw eggs in it.  

H: Zero, zero calories in mustard.  It is the opposite, literal opposite of nutritious.  This podcast is also brought to you by breakin' the law!  Breakin' the law: it does not make you a bad person.

J: Someti--I mean, first off, nothing makes you a bad person.

H: Not necessarily.  It does not necessarily make you a bad person.

J: And of course, this podcast is brought to you by DVDs.  DVDs: [Hank chuckles] a technology that most of you are not familiar with.

H: That's not true. Everybody knows what a DVD is still. The other day, I asked my--I asked Siri a question, because I was curious--

J: Yeah.

H:--if my Wii would play DVDs, so I asked DV--I asked Siri, "would my Wii play Netflix?" And then I said, "Oh, I mean, no, DVDs."  And Siri understood all of those words.  

J: Wow.

H: But I was at the point where I accidentally called DVDs "Netflix."

J: Yeah, well, I don't blame you.  That is--wow.  Okay.

H: And remarkably, Siri gave me the correct answer to that question.  

J: Siri is something else.

H: Which is a no, my Wii cannot play DVDs.

J: That doesn't surprise me.  

H: Yeah.  Why would it be able to play DVDs?  

J: Nick, if you could just cut all of this boring crap out of the podcast, that would be great.

H: What are you talking about?  I think that's--you--what you just did, John, is I made a story that I thought was funny, and then you said, Nick, can you cut that boring crap out of the podcast and it hurt my feelings.

J: Alright, well, to be fair, I think I've talked for about 85% of this episode of Dear Hank and John, so you should probably be allowed to ramble on a bit. [Hank chuckles]

 News from AFC Wimbledon (37:05)

H: Alright, John, I guess it is now time for the news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon.  I got a little bit of Mars news, do you got a little bit of AFC Wimbledon news?  

J: I do, but only a little bit.  It's bit a quiet week for AFC Wimbledon as the senior team has not played this week.  In fact, they haven't played since January 2nd, they had a game against Carlyle that was postponed because of the FA Cup.  However, Hank, the AFC Wimbledon Under 18 team played premier league side Newcastle last week.  Newcastle are like, they're one of the biggest teams in England, and AFC Wimbledon won 2-1, thanks to two goals from a ginger, a 17 year old ginger, Hank, whose name is Alfie, Alfie Eagan, 17 year old Alfie Eagan scored two goals against Newcastle's Under 18 team, to send the Under 18 AFC Wimbledon team all the way through to the 6th round of the FA Youth Cup, where they will face either Chelsea or Manchester United.

Is that not unbelievable? 

H: I cannot believe it.  

J: I can't believe that we have a ginger on our books named Alfie Eagan, the future could not be brighter.

 News From Mars (38:20)

H: I'm so pleased.  I don't know what it means, but I have news for you, John.

J: Alright.

H: About Mars, kind of.  The Martian won a Golden Globe for Best Comedy.  I don't know how it ended up being a comedy.

J: It was hilarious.

H: There are funny parts, uhhhHHH? But it did win a Golden Globe, so that's good.  So that's the news from Mars is that this movie about Mars won a Golden Globe.  Yay! 

J: In his acceptance speech, Ridley Scott talked at length about the importance of Mars exploration and how there was no future for humans where we did not continue to reach for further life afield and how we needed to go to Mars and there was widespread agreement among all the Hollywood people. 

H: Alright, well, that to me sounds like a comedy movie to me.  

J: I made all of that up.  Ridley Scott didn't talk about any of that.

H: Oh, I don't watch TV, so I wouldn't know, but if we can call this a comedy podcast, though, The Martian can win a Golden Globe for best comedy.  

J: I will say I didn't think The Martian was the best comedy of the year, but I did think it was one of the best movies I've seen this year.  In fact, I have to say, I thought it was much better than The Revenant, which won a lot of awards last night.

H: Yeah.

J: Which is a very, like, just an unfathomably violent movie about a bear.  Which usually, you would think that I would like, because I love violence and I love bears, but I just, I didn't find the combination that appealing in this particular instance.

H: Interesting, interesting, I though that The Revenant was about Leonardo DiCaprio.  Does Leo play the bear?  

J: Leo does not play the bear.  He plays a man who gets mauled by a bear.  The issue with The Revenant really is that it's not about anything except for survival and a pure desire for revenge, which is, like, I don't find these revenge fantasy movies to be compelling in and of themselves.  It's beautiful cinema and everything, and the cinematography's amazing, Leonardo DiCaprio's brilliant in it, of course, he's a very good actor, but I just felt that there was no there there, if you get my drift.  

H: Mm.  Mm-hmm.  Yeah.  I went to see Star Wars again this weekend, and the people that I saw Star Wars with, a number of them stayed to then watch The Revenant immediately afterward, and I found that to be a questionable decision.

J: Also it's uh, of questionable legality, unless they paid for both movies.

H: They did, they did have to move to a different theater, yes.  

J: Oh, good, good, good, good.  

H: That is one of those cases where probably you shouldn't break the law, if you're just stealing and don't do that.  And as they say in the previews every single time with that guy in the hoodie who's filming the movie on his iPhone, that is illegal, douche, so don't do that! 

 Credits (41:30)

J: Hank, what did we learn today?

H: We learned that, John, if you try hard enough, you can set anything on fire.  It's not actually true.  You can set a lot of things on fire.

J: Not anything though.  

H: You cannot set helium on fire.  Or any of the noble gases.

J: That's why I live in a world full of helium.  

H: You must have a real deep voice if this is your helium voice.

J: We also learned that DVDs are shaped like VHRs or VCSs, we can't remember.

H: Neither can we remember Scott Baio very much anymore, but I'm sure that both he and Helen Hunt are having a lovely go of it.

J: And of course, I don't even know what to say after that.  What does that even mean, 'having a lovely go of it', having a lovely go of what?

H: They're just--life!  You know, Helen's working on movies and stuff, she's always doing movies.

J: Oh, goodness.  Helen Hunt was nominated for an Oscar a few years ago.  She's great.  She has a great career.  And of course, we learned that if you're on the moon, the Earth may eclipse the Sun, but don't trust John, he got a C- in both Physics and Chemistry and Biology and that question is probably one of those.

H: Not really.

J: It must be, because it seems like a science question, and those were the only science classes.

H: Those are all the--those are the sciences.  Okay.  I see how you see the world.  Thank you for podcasting with me, John, I hope that people enjoy this as much as I did.

J: Yep, thanks for listening, everybody.  You can e-mail us your questions at, or you can use the hashtag on Twitter, #dearhankandjohn.  I'm @johngreen on Twitter, Hank is @hankgreen, you can also follow us on other social media, most notably for Hank is Snapchat, hankgre, and most notably for me, my Reddit, I'm not giving you the username, I'm sorry.

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

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