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Why do we fall for clickbait? Why do smells become normal? Why do we call aluminum foil "tin foil?" Why do people always ask where I'm from? My name is boring! Are four-sided bananas safe to eat?! THESE AND OTHER QUESTIONS, ANSWERED FOR YOU TODAY!

 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 where my brother and I, that's John and Hank Green, answer your questions, give you dubious advice and bring you all of the week's news from both Mars, a planet, and AFC Wimbledon, a football team in the UK. *pause* Hello John?

John: I'm here. You didn't ask me how I'm doing. Usually, you ask me how I'm doing and then I answer.

Hank: How're you doing?

John: Terrible. 

Hank: Oh no! Oh you were ready.

John: Unfortunately, as you can probably hear I've just gotten home from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. And while I was there, I caught just a terrible, terrible case of affluenza.

Hank: Ah, yes! I imagine that place is rife with this disease 

John: I've never seen so much affulenza in one place Hank. It turns out no matter how rich and powerful you are, you can still get the common cold. Um, so unfortunately I am horribly sick and also somewhat jet-lagged, but I did have a lot of interesting conversations at the World Economic Forum and very grateful to have been there. I just wish I had not come home with this horrific, horrific illness. 

Hank: I have a question for you, John, an important question that I am looking forward to the answer to. While you were there...

John: Yeah?

Hank: Why did you choose to touch other people? 

John: That's a great question. So at the World Economic Forum, instead of like a currency of money, the currency seems to be business cards. And people just throw them at you and they throw them at you right after they themselves have touched them *Hank laughs*. So no matter how much I avoided handshakes or bathed myself in Purell, I was stuck with these, just, toxic business cards covered in viruses and bacteria. As you well know since we are half virus. Oh Hank, I have great news! 

Hank: What? What?

John: Research has just come out indicating that the number of human cells in a human body is not 1/10th of the number of microbial cells, but in fact approximately equal to the number of microbial cells. *Hank laughs* So I am half human. This was so encouraging to me.

Hank: Half human, it's a lot better than you thought John. I have to say the most fascinating thing about this story, that I read was the line, I believe it was, "It's close enough that a single defecation event can move the scale in the other direction." So you can be a mostly bacteria before you poop...

John: Yeah! 

Hank: And then mostly human after you poop. To which a friend of mine on Facebook said, "That explains why I always feel more human after I poop." 

John: *laughs* I am so distressed by this research, I was, frankly I was better off when I thought that it was an approximation then when we knew these details. 

Hank: Alright John, I have another question for you, "How many business cards does it take at the Davos World Economic Forum to purchase a teriyaki seitan sandwich.

John: *laughs* Well, as far as I can tell there was no food for sale, you just had to show up at the right times and then you ate it quickly before everyone else got to it. But it was a really, no it was a really, interesting conference. I did not print my own business cards, because, you know, I have never had business cards. It's something of a point of pride for me. And so I essentially had no way of exchanging myself or whatever approximation of myself a business card represents with anyone, which was a weird kind of powerlessness but also a weird kind of power. People would be like, "He doesn't have cards, wow!" 

Hank: *laughs* "He must be real important!" "Just Google me, I am John Green."

John: "He's either real high up the chain or so far down the chain he doesn't even know about business cards." It turns out it's the latter, but what can you do. 

Hank: I know we have been talking for a long time and haven't gotten to any of the normal parts of the podcast, but I want to tell you the story of the one time I met a billionaire.

John: Great!

Hank: Because I am sure you met several this week, but I have met one. I was in the Bloomberg Building, where Bloomberg, the publication is created, with Emerson Electric. They were taking me around to talk to press about our think we do together. And the people we were talking to was like "Oh, Micheal Bloomberg is here. Do you want to say, "hi"?" And we were like, "Yes, that sounds awesome." And so we stood in a little circle with the people from this engineering company and me. And we went around the circle, they all introduced themselves. And so it sort of started and they shook hands and then they talked about their business. what their market cap was, how many employees they had, where their offices were, and they they got to me. I just just, like, stuck my hand out and I said, "Hi, I'm Hank. Nice to meet you." And Michael Bloomberg said to me, "I think you may be the first man, who has ever introduced himself to me with only his first name. *John laughs* Women do that all the time, but never men." 

John: Well.

Hank: So that was my interaction with Michael Bloomberg. 

John: It's very possible that you didn't just meet your first billionaire, Hank, but also the next president of the United States. At least if recent news reports are to be believed.

Hank: Are you serious?

John: This was a topic of hot conversation at the World Economic Forum. Lots of people of course wanting Michael Bloomberg to run for the president so that we can have a proper billionaire in office. 

Hank: Yeah, they're like, "You know who really knows how to fix things, people like me?" 

John: *laughs* Hey, so speaking of billionaires, just one more story before we get to the proper podcast. While I was in Davos, I met someone who is currently a billionaire, but who is fastidiously working to no longer be one, Melinda Gates. She and her husband, Bill Gates, co-founded the Gates Foundation, the largest non-profit, I think, in the world right now. I met her and we were talking and she's a genuine fan of our work, Hank. That was really cool. And then Sarah came into the room, my wife, because she had to grab me and we had to go some place else. And Melinda Gates turned to my wife and said "You must be Sarah." She is a genuine fan of our work Hank, that was really cool, and then Sarah came into the room (my wife) because she had to grab me and we had to go to someplace else. And Melinda Gates turned to my wife and said, "You must be Sarah." And that was so impressive to me.

Hank: (laughs)

John: I was just--I was like, slack-jawed. I was like jeez, I barely recognized you! Or your husband! I have the ability to remember about 8 faces at any given time. Uhm.. So yeah. That was very impressive to me. She was in general, just crazy smart and interesting, uh- t-to talk to, and so like, committed and passionate and one of the highlights of the week for me. There was a lot of, uh, frankly there was a lot of like, seeing the sausage being made, and finding it a little unsettling, but both meeting her, meeting the CEO of Save the Children, was amazing, and then meeting the Under-Secretary of the UN Refugee Agency was really amazing. All three of those women were tremendously inspiring to me, and uh, really, uh, really exciting. And almost as if- yeah. So it was really- I don't know. That was the highlight for me. It was a weird week, obviously - I got this illness, but um- those meetings were really interesting. Should we move on to some- oh Hank I have one more thing I have to say!

Hank: Oh, ugh jeez, wow, we're bad at this! You also have to do the poem, don't forget about the poem!

John: I'm so sorry, in our last episode I said that the United States dollar is only currency in the United States, that was a terrible horrible lie, I apologize, there's Ecuador, there's the uh- United States Minor Outlying Islands, there's the British Virgin Island-- I'm sorry. It was obviously a disgraceful mistake.

Hank: John was just too caught up in being angry at pennies to believe that anyone else would choose to use them.

John: That's right.

Hank: Alright, I-I, uh, I did, I did kind of want to call you on that as you said it, but you seem so sure that I was, like, I must be wrong.

John: I have a great gift for, uh, sounding like I am right, especially when I am wrong.

Hank: Mmm. I, I also, I have learned that from you. 

John: Yeah, it's a terrible- It's like a terrible, terrible gift. Um [Hank laughs] I also forgot that generally, here in the beginning of the podcast, uh, I read you a short poem.

Hank: Do that! 

John [clears throat] I feel so crappy. Uh, I was thinking recently, Hank, you know, we had, uh, two unexpected weeks of grieving David Bowie, uh, and then in the interim, lots of other people died. I don't want to say that 2016 is the year of celebrity death, but, um, I don't know. It seems like an unusual number of people are dying, but then again, January is the number one month for death in the world. Um, anyway--

Hank: Huh!

John: Alan Rickman died, uh, and of course, uh, just earlier, uh, yesterday as we're recording this we heard about the death of the great character actor Abe Vigoda, um, who was ninety-four years old. Lived a great, uh, long and complicated, uh, interesting life. It reminded me of this poem by Robert Burnes, the eighteenth century Scottish! Very important, to, uh identify him as Scottish, uh, poet, who was not English. OK, this uh, poem is called Epitaph On A Friend, by Robert Burnes. "An honest man here lies at rest, the friend of man, the friend of truth, the friend of age, and guide of youth. Few hearts like his with virtue warmed, few heads with knowledge so informed. If there is another world, he lives in bliss. If there is none, he's made the best of this." Epitaph On A Friend, by Robert Burnes.

Hank: Lovely! Uh, John, do you know that interestingly, January is the number one month for--for death? Apparently, I didn't know that, but you did. But February is-is the last month for death. It is also last place in the amount of beer drinking per month and last place in the amount of money spent per month because... it has fewer days

John: I was gonna say, that's the least interesting statistic possible. The shortest month is also the least deadly month.

Hank: [laughs]

John: But yes no, January, partly because it has thirty one days, but partly because there just seems to be something about winter that kills us. January indeed is the deadliest month. also there's some thought that people really like to get through the holidays... at the end of their lives. Anyway, let's move on to- away from the darkness toward the questions from our beautiful listeners.

Hank: There's also I think a-uh there may be a tax advantage to having people die die in January rather than in December and so occasionally doctors who see their patients die on the thirty-first, on the last day of December will just say that they died on January first because it's just like, it's a good thing for the taxes of the family of the person so that is an interesting thing as well.

 Question One (11:03)

John: Well God bless our tax policy. Can we move onto the questions from the listeners?

Hank: [chuckling] yes we can. I think we've had enough weird talk about death and months

John: [laughs]

Hank: But it wouldn't be Dear Hank & John without a little bit of talk about death and months. We have a question, this one is from Louisa who asks "Dear Hank and John, a common question when meeting new people, both on the internet and in the meat space is 'where are you from?' I find this a deceptively difficult question. What are they asking me? Where I was born? Where did I grow up? Where do I live? Where did I just move from? For me and a lot of people, I think, these are all different places. I also don't know how specific I'm supposed to be. Do they want my address or the planet I'm from? What are these people asking? And why must they give me such an emotional crisis when I'm only just meeting them? P.S. I love your podcast, it's actually kinda funny"

John: Thanks Louisa, That's very generous. I apologize for my affluenza joke.

Hank: [laughs]

John: Um, so I think what people are trying to do is put you in a category that makes sense to them, but they're also looking for a topic of conversation. I might have said this before on the podcast, but my Italian friend Enrico is enraged by nothing in the world more than when people ask him if he is from Italy, because he has a very thick Italian accent. And as he says in his thick Italian accent (I won't attempt to recreate it): "Of course I'm from Italy! Why do you think I sound like this?"

Hank: [laughs]

John: And then, and then when you ask him where he's from in Italy, he says, "I'm from Rome. I bet you went there in college."

Hank: [laughs]

John: So I think it's a mix of people trying to, uh, find a topic of conversation, and also, uh, trying to put you in a certain category that will be helpful to them the rest of the conversation. But of course it's infuriating to you, because this is not the first time you've been asked if you're from Italy, or indeed if you're from Rome, or listen to someone's stories about being in college in Rome.

Hank: Yeah...[laughs] Yeah I think that's accurate. And it's a kind of way of asking about a person, and asking about their background, and a little bit, people ask me, and I live in Montana, and I say that I'm from Florida -- for me, I lived in Florida until I was, you know, through my entire "youngness." And I think that's true with the majority of people. So, I think a lot of people are looking for that thing, like, you know, and they think that because they lived in one place, because the majority of people have, that everyone else is gonna be like that. But of course then you have to say something like, "Oh, I moved around a lot." Um, and then it becomes a much longer conversation. I kind of want to tell you, and I kind of don't want to tell you my, uh, my surrogate question for this question. And the reason I don't want to tell you is cuz I like it and I don't want people to steal it from me. 

John: Well tell me anyway. What is it?

Hank: I guess it's too late now. I ask people what their favorite bridge is.

John: [laughing] That's a terrible, terrible intro question.

Hank: Well it's not like the first question I ask. It's not like you walk to somebody and are like "where are you from?" But once like the conversation-

John: [laughs] Hi my name's- Hi Mayor Bloomberg, my name's Hank. What's your favorite bridge?

Hank: [laughs]

John: [laughing] And Michael Bloomberg's like "you know this is weird hank, but nobody's ever introduced themselves to me that way-"

Hank: Only women! Only women ever say that!

John: [laughs] Oh man. I like that Michael Bloomberg feels so confident about putting people into just the two buckets 

Hank: [laughs]

John: And I like that you at least complicated that a little bit for him

Hank: Well what I said to him after he said that to me was "well I'm not expecting you to remember who I am"

John: Yeah, no joke. He's not Melinda Gates or anything

Hank: Like "I'm sure this happens to you eight times a day and has for the last twenty years. Like why would you--" anyway, yeah so I-- but once into the conversation if I want to know a little bit more about a person I ask them what their favorite bridge is and I think that that tells me more about them than where they're from. And often times the bridge is in the place where they are from because- you know sometimes you don't live in a place with lots of bridges, but I think a lot of people do and so they tell me about a place that means something to them.

John: Hank, what is your favorite bridge?

Hank: You know, now that I've asked the question enough it's become kind of a complicated answer for me but I think it's the California street bridge in Missoula which is a pedestrian bridge. It's really not- it's like very far away from any main roads. It's kind of a- It can be a little bit of a skeezy part of town, and I had a friend there [chuckles] almost got mugged by like children, they like tried to mug him and he just kicked them and biked away but it's got lots of like stupid highschooler graffiti and it's really pretty, and you can just stand there and look at the river, and it's nice.

John: Alright, it's an acceptable answer.

 Question Two (16:03)

Let's move on to another question having established Hank's favorite bridge, cuz that's really what you come to Dear Hank and John for. This question's from Alison, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, On drinking cereal milk, I think it's very important not to be wasteful. I don't like cereal without milk, but I also hate the taste of the milk after my cereal has been in it. I was just wondering, how do I reconcile these two things?"

Hank: Well, I 1) LOVE the taste of my milk after it's had cereal in it. It's far better than the taste of just milk, so I've never had this problem. I'm just like, I want as much of that at the bottom of the bowl as possible. But, for you, I've no suggestions.

John: My suggestion would be to actually go ahead and send your cereal milk to Hank, cuz he's extremely enthusiastic about it Alison. He lives in Missoula, and in my experience, if you just write a letter, or I guess it wouldn't be a letter it would be a sealed package --

Hank: [laughs]

John: -- if you just put it in a Ziploc bag, then put it in a box, and just write "HANK", um, uh --

Hank: Missoula

John: -- and maybe in parentheses "favorite bridge is the one in Missoula, the pedestrian one"--

Hank: [laughs]

John: -- and then beneath that "Missoula, Montana" and a zip code in Missoula, it'll get to Hank.

Hank: Yeah. No, no I think you just write "Hank, Missoula" and it'll find its way to me. Uh, but I would suggest actually that you just put it in the Ziploc, and then write on the Ziploc "Hank, Missoula," and then just put in your mailbox, and it'll get to me.

John: No, you're gonna have to put some stamps on there. Listen, the United States Postal Service doesn't work for free, okay?

Hank: No, no, it's all about saving milk, John, they understand when it's about efficiency they can go the extra mile.

John: No, I feel like the carbon footprint of that milk would be much higher than just throwing away the milk, actually.

Hank: [laughs]

John: Alison, the right thing to do in this situation is to just throw away the milk.

Hank: I think probably John is correct. Uh, or find a friend who really enjoys cereal milk.

John: [laughs] Have that friend come over to your house and drink your cereal milk. Which is SO much more intimate, than anything you can do, the most horrifyingly intimate thing.

Hank: [laughing]

John: I wouldn't even drink the cereal milk of my children. Hank, can I make a terrible confession to you that you already know about?

Hank: Sure, yes.

John: So, I do not like milk in my cereal. And one day, um, I would say maybe three or four years into our marriage I had a bowl of Raisin Bran and I did what I always do, which is I went over to our refrigerator and I stuck the bowl of Raisin Bran up against the water thing, um, so that water would come out --

Hank: Uhgh

John: -- and it would water my Raisin Bran. So that's how I like to eat my Raisin Bran.

Hank: What?!?!

John: And my, uh --

Hank: I did not know this about you! That is disgusting!

John: And my wife -- and I mean, you know, we were married. We didn't have children yet so I still could have gotten out of it -- My wife, I mean, she's never looked at me before like that, with just pure disgust.

Hank: [laughing]

John: And I have to say, I think that eating your cereal with water is the best way to eat it. You don't add calories, you don't unnecessarily use animal product --

Hank: Oh my God.

John: AND you get all the sogginess and crunchiness of a good wet cereal.

Hank: Oh my, oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my, oh my God, John.

John: [laughing] 

Hank: [laughing] Oh my God.

John: It's delicious, you should try it.

Hank: [laughing] Oh my God.

John: You don't know! You've never tried it! It's great!

Hank: I haven't! It just seems, it seems inhuman! It seems, uh, it seems not of this world!

John: [laughs]

Hank: If you told me a space alien put water on their cereal I would be like, "okay, I guess." 

John: [laughs]

Hank: But a human being on the planet Earth...

John: Oh my God --

Hank: I'll try it, I'll try it tonight when I have my eleven o'clock bowl of, uh, frosted mini wheats, I'll put some water on there and waste some frosted mini wheats for you. Just make them awful and destroy them.

John: Let me know how it tastes on the next episode of Dear Hank and John, and in the mean time I think we have adequately plumbed the depths of Alison's questions, and it is time to, uh, answer a new one.

 Question Three (20:00)

Hank: Alright, this question is from Logan who asks " Dear Hank and John, So I was gonna eat a banana for breakfast, but I noticed that it is neither hexagonical or hexagonal, there are only four sides to this "banana". Should I trust it? Should I eat it?"

John: No. No.

Hank: Yeah, I mean--

John: No. You cannot eat a banana with less than five sides. Five-sided bananas are okay, six-sided bananas are okay, a four, I would even argue that a three-sided banana is okay, because there's probably three tiny little sides that you're not noticing. A four-sided banana is cause for concern.

Hank: No, yeah, I mean, a square banana? Did they make it?

John: It could also be rectangular, but it's still upsetting.

Hank: Or trapezoidal or, you know, a number of different shapes, but I wanna know like, do you like, live in a place where they like, make square watermelons because it's more pleasing? Like, they do that in some places.

John: Yeah.

Hank: Where they like, bind the--maybe you live in a place where they bind bananas to be square, because there's a cultural interest in squareness or hexa--or, like a trapezoidalness.

John: I think a parallelogram banana would be pretty interesting looking. Is it a parallelogram banana, because I actually might eat that, that sounds kind of delicious to me. So uh, Hank and I are in agreement on this one, you cannot eat a square or rectangular banana. If it's a parallelogram, I think more research is needed into the question.

Hank: Uh, yeah, I would like to see a picture of this banana, because I'm curious if it's rounded four sides. I'm sure it is somewhat rounded, and so maybe there are sides hiding in there, but I wanna see a picture. If you, Logan, still have that banana, Tweet us, @hankgreen and @johngreen on Twitter, and we wanna take a look at this thing, because I kind of don't even believe it exists. It seems--

John: Yeah, I think you might be missing a side, although at this point, it's very possible that the banana will no longer be ripe enough to establish its sidedness, but if you ever see a four-sided banana, just send it our way for sure.

Hank: Right, yes, yes, I mean the question for Logan is how familiar are you with counting? Are you new to counting? Cuz that's, that should have been our first question. But, uh, if you've, if your, if you are an experienced counter than I want to see a picture of this banana.

John: Yeah, that's a great point, Hank. Alright, we have another question. This one comes from Matt, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, I recently got into competitive Pokemon-" Congratulations, Matt, that is so exciting, I couldn't be, oh wait, I forgot he said, "no, I didn't, but I did recently get married." That is also exciting, that is not as cool as getting into competitive Pokemon, though. Let me submit that these things are not mutually exclusive, Matt. It's not too late to get into competitive Pokemon. Anyway, "I had the pleasure of marrying my husband in my home state of Oklahoma, something I thought might never happen in my lifetime, because I am gay. I was wondering, what is something that has happened in your lifetime that you never imagined could or would happen?"

Hank: I mean, I just the legalization of gay marriage in America. I don't know if I ever thought if that could or would happen, but it happened so fast that I remember thinking at one moment like "Wow, it's really ridiculous that hasn't happened." Ah, but, that was only a year after thinking, um, that, that like "this is a intractable problem that we're not going to solve very quickly." But, then we solved it very quickly.

John: Well, I mean, we didn't solve it that quickly, to be fair. Um, and there decades and decades-

Hank: Right, no, but like, from the moment when I thought that we, from the moment, like there was a moment where I thought were we could not do it. And then, and then, the moment when we did do it was very close to that moment.

John: Yeah, yeah it was, you know, it's interesting, because there were all of those um, you know over decades, really, ah, votes, um, usually in, in non-presidential election years to bring out a, ah, conservative base. There were all those votes, assert to the state party, to assert to the state constitutions that, uhm, you know, marriage was only between one man and one woman, and all of that stuff. And then it did fall apart quickly, um, and, and of course all of those state constitutions, many of which also contain, uh, lots of other discriminatory language, um, were rendered irrelevant, um, by the U.S. Supreme Court. I-- I mean certainly, if you told me in high school, uh, that-- I mean, I, I, I was really in the first-- in my high school, you know, there were two kids in our class, we had a 53 kids, who came out as gay during high school, and they were the first kids, I think, in the history of the school to come out. Um, and it's, it seemed extremely both brave and scary to me that they were doing that. Like, it seemed like something that I could never do. Um, and, I do think the landscape of that has changed tremendously, and like way more than I ever would have thought possible, um, you know, in like 1994/1995. That said, when I look at like what, I mean we grew up in-- When, when Hank and I were kids in like the 1980s, uh, there, there were all of these, uh, famines, uh, especially in east Africa, and millions and millions of people died, and there was Live Aid concerts and, uh, all of these attempts to raise money to address the famine, and it wasn't done very effectively or efficiently. And to see, like, rates-- I, I don't think I could have predicted then that rates of malnutrition, that rates of infant mortality, that the number of people who die because of, like, lack of access to nutrition, would be so dramatically lower in just 25 years. I think like, maybe I didn't internalized it, because I didn't understand the scope of the problem, but the problem seemed natural. It seemed, to me as a child, natural that some people were hungry and others were fed. Um, and it no longer, I-it-uh, I think one thing that's changed, at least for me, it no longer seems natural. And that seems like a big, big change in my lifetime. But I also will definitely say LGBT rights is, like, just a tremendous change that I didn't see coming.

Hank: There's also a number of, like, cultural ones that I've just, I'm just astounded by the, the things, that, that catch on, and, uh, you know, that, uh, one of the top songs of the last 10 years is Gangnam Style, like that's, that's, that's not a thing that, that, like, for-, the former existence of the world would have allowed, and, uh--

John: Right

Hank: And that fact that, like, uh, Kim and Kanye got married, I would never have expected that. That is just--

John: Uh, that didn't come as a huge surprise to me. I think Kim and Kanye are both geniuses, actually.

Hank: Well, I--

John: Underappreciated geniuses of a very new kind, and of course they were going to come together. It's like, uh, it's like, uh, you know, uh, stars and space that form double supernovae. I don't know anything about astronomy.

Hank: *laughing*

John: Um, yeah the other, the other one that I would site is, uh, I, I don't think that, uh, 20 years ago I would've had any way of knowing or internalizing the extent to which the internet would be part of my life. The internet was thing when I was a teenager and when Hank was a kid. The internet was a thing that a very small number of people made a very active choice to be on. Um, and now, there is no such thing as an internet person really, anymore. Um, there are just, you know, people who have access to the internet and the, and the, people who don't. Uh, and I could never had anticipated like, or I would have bought six shares of Yahoo stock in 1996, you know. 

Hank: *laughing* Yeah, yeah, or, or like, the domain name

John: Oh, we could have killed it with, Hank, back when, uh, back when our website was called, like,

Hank: Yeah

John: .HTML

Hank: *laughing* Okay

 Question Four (28:19)

John: Alright, Hank, here's another question, it's from Delaney, who asks "Dear John and Hank, why do smells become normal? For example, my boyfriend's mother smokes in their house, and when I would go over to their house I would smell smoke, like anyone would. But recently, I don't smell the smoke. She still smokes in the house. Why don't I notice it?"

Hank: Uh, because, uh, your body is really good at ignoring things. Uh, it, it, you can't have too many things, like to many senses happening all at once, and so your body has to figure out which one of those things are important, and if you have constant stimulus then you, uh, will basically lose to feel that thing. Like I cannot feel my glasses on my face. I-I- also, like, basically, unless I try, like pay attention, I do not see them. I-I can always, I can always see them, they are always there, but I-I do not have any idea that they are there unless I look for them. This is also true, like if you chew, this is a gross example, uh, if you chew mint gum, you will chew mint gum and then it will stop tasting like mint to you. But if you give that mint gum to someone else, it will still taste like mint to them. We think that all the flavor is going away, but, in fact, the flavor is still there. We're just adapting to it. This is called sensory adaptation or neural adaptation, and uh, there's a lot of different, uh, versions of it. Lots of different experiences of it, and smell is neurally adaptive. Which is why mint is the same thing. You don't taste mint, you smell it. So, um, yeah. There's, there's lots of research on how this works, and how your nervous system adapts to things. So if it's like, I don't want to, I don't need that sensation anymore, uh, and- Like if I put my wallet in my left pocket, I'm like "there's a giant thing in my pocket!" But if it's my right pocket, where it always is, I have no idea it's there.

John: That's weird. My, my wallet is always in my left pocket.

Hank: Really?

John: Yup.

Hank: That's weird. Huh.

John: That's super weird. That's almost as weird as, uh, you drinking Alison's cereal milk, or asking people what your, what there favorite bridge is. Today has been, ah, today has been an episode of Dear Hank and John where we both reveal our deep eccentricities.

 Question Six (30:23)

Hank: Alright, John, this one is from Nicole, who asks "Dear Hank and John, I just had a horrifying realization. Everyone, everywhere has been lied to. Is that foil you wrap food and other things with made of tin or aluminum? It's called both tin foil and aluminum foil as far as I know, but tin and aluminum are very different and it can't be both. I am extremely befuddled. Please help."

John: I can help. Uh, I can help, because I, I, I googled it. Um, tin foil use to be a thing; however, now, since World War 2, it is almost always been aluminum foil, because aluminum, or aluminum if we are British or probably Scottish--

Hank: *laughs* Not Sure

John: Um, I'm so scared now. Ever since Robert, ever since Robert Burns. I was so scared of accidentally calling him English. Um, anyway, ah, aluminum foil or aluminum foil, ah, because it's both cheaper and more durable, ah, sort of rose in popularity in World War II, but the, uh, word, tin foil, uh, just kind of like hung around. Because, you know, they look about the same. So that is your answer. It's the rare question that I actually have a definitive answer too.

Hank: Look at you!

John: Ah, and now I'm going to ask one that I don't have a definitive answer to.

Hank: Alright.

 Question Seven (31:43)

John: Alright, Hank, this question came in from Naomi, with the subject line "This question will leave you speechless." "Dear John and Hank, what's the deal with clickbait? Why do we fall for it, and should we be protecting ourselves from this contagious social media epidemic?" 

Hank: Oh my goodness! Ah, well, the question is do we fall for it or is it designed to make us fall for it? Because, of course, that's, like, we fall for it, because it's d-, it's designed to trick our brains. It's not- Yeah, I mean, the number one thing is, w-would you, i-i-in the internet world, you, the currency is the click, the share. Um, you have to get people to look at your stuff, in a world of infinite content that's very difficult. And so, you have to create really good, uh, sticky, attractive headlines, and, uh, and that has become more and more important in the world of online media to the point where, ah, I think, like, we, we are having a rebellion to it. And eventually, I'm really interested in seeing, like sort of long term, what happens with the idea of the headline, and also with the idea of content, with there being so much created so fast that, of course, it is impossible to consume all of the content that exists. Uh, and, in fact, it's almost as if there's more content than there is people to consume it. Um, so, but, like, as far as why we fall for it, it's because you know we want to know. We want to know why that adorable thing is the most adorable thing. Like, you read the headline, and you're like "yes, that is what I want to know." And, in fact, I often now find myself seeing like that, that headline will be a question, and I will want to know the answer to that question. And I legitimately do want to know the answer to that question, and then there will be an article. And in that article there is one sentence that is the answer to the question, and I have to find that sentence. And it's very frustrating, and then I find the sentence. And I'm like "okay, now I know the answer" and I move on. 

John: Yeah, it creates an itch that needs to be scratched. I actually wrote a blog post with no, uh, headline for the world economic forum, and they gave it a headline. And it was such a good headline in terms of its, its, uh, stickiness that I myself clicked on the headline to find my own answer to the question asked, uh, in the headline, which was, "Why the word millennial makes me cringe." And I was like, "why does the word millennial make me cringe?" Um, and then I remembered while reading the article. So, yeah, I mean, I think it's, I think it's this very powerful thing. I also that, uh, ultimately I'm not sure it leads to, uh, deeper comprehension. But, Hank, I just want to jump on one thing that you said that I think was really interesting, which is that we live in a world of infinite content and it feels like there isn't enough, uh, that there aren't enough people to consume all the content that is being made. Uh, I was in a, uh, one of the most interesting meetings that I was in, uh, at the world economic forum was about the future of the internet, and people, uh, who live outside of the rich world where the lingua franca is English, um, you know, or Spanish, or Portuguese, or German, like one of the sort of big, um, rich world languages, were actually saying in this meeting that there isn't nearly enough good content. Uh, and that there isn't, you know, that, that nothing is being translated, and when it is translated, it is translated so poorly that, you know, you know, you much rather, uh, read a book, or read a print magazine, uh, and because of business models, uh, you know, in the, it's this true in the, ah, U.S. as well, the business models haven't, of content creation, haven't quite caught up with where they were in the print world. Um, but that's, that's the much bigger problem in places that don't have, uh, the kind of like capital, and, and investment that we have in the, the States or in Europe. And I thought that was really interesting, because I feel the same way. I feel like "gosh, there's plenty," you know, "there's more than enough," but then you think about the 4.5 billion people who don't have regular access to the internet, and when they do get access to the internet, there isn't the kind of, the content that will be most useful to them, or the most helpful to them isn't into their language, isn't easy to access, and it's, it's similar to the problem that we had on the internet, you know, back in the '90s, when everything was indexed so poorly that is was incredibly difficult to find anything, it was incredibly difficult to find sources. Um, you know, then, then, companies started solving that problem. I think Wikipedia helps solved that problem, Google helped solve that problem, and it was a really interesting, uh, idea that like this problem has only been solved for slightly less than half the world.

Hank: Mhm, yeah, yeah, that, that is a really great point, and, and it's also very true of when I see YouTube things happening. Like, I pay a lot of attention to YouTube, uh, more than I do to the rest of the internet, and watching YouTube, uh, content happening in native languages in India, in Russia, in Brazil, in Venezuela, and like you see these-- like it's so interesting to see, like, uh, the smaller, like, independent YouTubers making it there, because there isn't what we have in America, which is so much content that it's basically impossible to get noticed. Um, and so you see a very similar trajectory to the early days of YouTube, back in like 2006 and 2007, when there was just not a lot of people doing it, and so people were craving this kind of content. Now no one craves more content on YouTube. Ah, there is just so much of it that there is always something good to watch in English.

 Question Eight (37:23)

John: Alright, Hank, we have another question. Uh, this one is from Sean, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, are you satisfied with your names? I always thought I was satisfied with mine, but that was before I knew I could have been named Adebayo Akinfenwa. And Adebayo Akinfenwa is surely the best name that has ever been given. Now I feel dissatisfied. How do I cope with this?"

Hank: Oh, Sean.

John: Well, I mean, you know, Hank, Hank has a pretty good name. Hank Green, like he can get, for instance. I mean, my name is John Green, and that's been owned by a realtor in southern Mississippi for, like you know, 150 years. Before there was even an internet, John Green in southern Mississippi had So, I think, uh, I always felt like Hank was easier. It was easier for him to Google himself, which I guess is kind of a poisoned chalice. But, um, but, yeah, I don't know. I was always a little bit jealous of Hank growing up, because he had proper, proper good name. You know, there are lots of good Hanks in American history. You got Hank Williams, uh--

Hank: Historical Hanks. Hank Aaron,

John: Hank Aaron. Hank Aaron.

Hank: Hank Hill

John: Uh, *laughing* Hank Hill. Yeah, I mean, where as there, there, there, you know there's surprisingly few good Johns in American History.

Hank: *laughing* What are you talking about?

John: Um, and John, itself, is used both a, ah, both a word for people who go to prostitutes and a word for toilets. So, I don't know, it could have been made easier for me, but I would argue that-- actually, it's not easier to go through the world named Adebayo Akinfenwa.

Hank: Yeah

John: Um, obviously, that's a great name to have once you're successful, but, uh, I think that probably, you know, you get, you get teased a lot. Which might be why Adebayo Akinfenwa, um, you know, is 250 pound, uh, you know, just the strongest man alive.

Hank: That's certainly the largest, uh, professional football player in League Two.

John: Oh, or, or any other league. Yeah.

Hank: *laughing* Really?

John: Yeah, and soon he is going to be the largest professional football player in League One. But yes, no, he is the, he is the strongest player in all of FIFA 16, Hank. So, he is, at least according to FIFA, the strongest professional footballer on Earth.

 Commercial Break (39:28)

Hank: Alright, uh, well, John, this podcast is brought to you by Adebayo Akinfenwa: The strongest professional football player on Earth. So strong that he brings, physically brings, Dear Hank and John to your ears every week.

John: *laughs* And, of course, this podcast is brought to you four-sided bananas. Four-sided bananas, a cause for concern.

Hank: This podcast is also brought to you by Mayor Michael Bloomberg: the choice of billionaires everywhere.

John: *laughing* Oh man, Hank, all of our billionaire listeners are going to take this so personally.

Hank: Sure they are.

John: It's hard out there for a billionaire. I can't tell you how many of them complained to me about their various woes last week. And of course, this podcast is brought to you by Hank's favorite bridge. Hank's favorite bridge, in Hank's opinion a way of understanding something deep and important about you. 

Hank: Basically, yeah. That's what I'm trying to get at.

 Question Nine (40:26)

Alright John, uh, do you want to do one last question?

John: Yeah, let's do one last question, Hank. That's a great idea. Uh, you want a question about chemistry?

Hank: Oh, I guess. I hope, I hope I know the answer.

John: This question comes from Terry, who writes "Dear John and Hank, I know this question is more science that advice, but I've always wondered this and expect you might know. I know that cooking, especially baking, involves lots of chemistry, but I've never completely understood why, if something says that is should be baked at 250 degrees for an hour, you can't just bake it at 500 degrees for half an hour? My burnt cake and I need your help."

Hank: Uh, so heat is a, is a, is a transferal of energy. So what you're doing is, uh, but, but, uh, energy does not transfer uniformly. So, if you cook something at 250 degrees for an hour versus 500 degrees for half an hour, you may in fact be adding the same amount of energy into your cake, but you are not adding it evenly. Um, also, there are certain things like, uh, like, ah, chemical bonds that will not break at 250 degrees but will break at 500. So, ah, there are a number of different reasons for this. One, uh, it's not going to cook evenly. Two, there are lots of different physical and chemical properties of all the atoms and molecules in your cake that, uh, are going to behave very differently at 500 degrees versus 250 degrees. So, just because you are putting the same num-, same amount of energy into something does not mean, uh, that you are, that they are going to have the same effect. So, like, I could, uh, I could put my hand, uh, on, ah, like, in front of a fireplace, and, like, warm it up. And that would be nice and I could do that for like an hour, and I would receive the same amount of energy as if I stuck my hand in the fireplace for 5 minutes, uh, or 5 seconds. And that, uh, that would not have the same affect. It will be the same amount of heat entering my body, but it would not be, uh, it would not feel the same to me. 

John: Well, I think whats most encouraging about this answer, Hank, is that now, at last, we know how to bake your hand into a cake.

Hank: Don't do that.

John: Very slowly.

Hank: Very slowly.

John: Very slowly. Don't bake, don't bake Hank's hand. Come on, guys.

Hank: No, if you want to bake anything into a cake it should be a hot dog, and that cake should be made out of cornmeal, and it should be a corn dog.

John: *laughs* Oh, Hank, what's the news from Mars this week?

Hank: Actually, if anybody wants, if, if any, no I want to say, if anybody wants to try-- I don't know if this is a thing, but if anybody wants to try to make a corn dog cake, I want to see a picture of that. I'll pay you 5 dollars to, to the first person who posts a corn dog cake on Twitter. 

John: What is a corn dog cake? It's like a cake with lots of hot dogs in it?

Hank: I don't know! I don't know! All I'm saying is corn dog cake, and then, and then go with that.

John: I think that's a terrible, terrible idea.

 News From Mars (43:25)

Can we move on to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon, please? I'm very excited to share with you the news from AFC Wimbledon.

Hank: Do you want to go first or do you want me to go first, so that people can skip just the last bit and not also the first part where I talk about Mars?

John: Uh, you go first.

Hank: Alright, the- John, exceptionally weirdly, NASA's Opportunity Rover, which was suppose to last for 3 months, has just had it's twelfth anniversary on the surface of Mars. 

John: Wow. Wow.

Hank: It has been there for twelve years, ah, and their still operating and it's still moving around, and it's still doing science. It's, uh, powered by solar panels, uh, which can be, uh, you know, not the best source of power, ah, in a place where it's, uh, it can be windy, and covered in dust, and it can be dark for a lot of the time, especially in the Martian winter.

John: Yeah

Hank: But, uh, they have developed, um, cleaning protocols that allow Opportunity to clean off its solar panels, which is not something they expected, um, would be possible. Uh, but the, uh, basically the solar panels on Opportunity are covered in dust, and that was what they thought was going to be the limiting factor in the mission of this rover. But, uh, they have figured out how to continue cleaning it off and it, uh, it is has even stayed active this whole winter, because, uh, the solar panels have been cleaner this winter than the last few winters because, uh, uh, the wind has actually blown the dust off. So it's, uh, it's fantastic that this thing that we thought, you know we spent a lot of money getting it there that we were going to get three months of science out of. We are now twelve years into the Opportunity's mission, and it continues to operate, which is just wonderful, and, uh, fills me with joy.

John: Well I couldn't be, uh, I certainly couldn't be any happier, uh, with this whole situation that we still have a rover on Mars in addition to, i believe, another rover--

Hank: Yeah.

John: That is also on Mars.

Hank: It's true. It's true. And Spirit, which landed at a very similar time to Opportunity, and it was the same, basically the same rover, twin rover, stopped, uh, stopped talking to Earth back in 2010. And, uh, and for whatever reason, Opportunity is just much more long-lived. It's, uh, it's, it's gone for more than, about twice the amount of time that Spirit did. Crazy.

 News from AFC Wimbledon (45:48)

John: Well, you know what else is crazy, Hank?

Hank: What?

John: If you Google League Two table right now.

Hank: OK, I'm going to do it.

John: So, when last we left the exploits of the AFC Wimbledon, uh, grownup team, not the under-18s that beat Newcastle, but when last we left the, uh, grownup AFC Wimbledon, they had just beaten Cambridge United 4-1. Uh, they, that was there second win in a row. Then, they went on to beat Mansfield 3-1, coming from 1-0 down. You know what they sing, "One nil down to three one up. That's the way that we're gonna win the league." Um, ah, and in that game--

Hank: *laughing* Is there no cup? Is there no cup at the end of this league?

John: Aha, there is, sadly there is no cup at the end of this league.

Hank: What does the trophy look like? Is it a good trophy?

John: I guess. It is rather cup-sized now that I think about it, um, and cup shaped. So, I guess we can sing "One nil down to three one up. That's the way we're going to win the cup." So, ah, Mansfield went 1-0 up, and then Montserratian international, our hero, Lyle Taylor, scored a goal to tie it. Then there was a goal from Callum Kennedy, who you might know from my FIFA playing, and then a third goal from, uh, Adebayo Azeez, the other Adebayo. 

Hank: Oh.

John: Ah, then, then, a week later, we played Notts County, and we won 2-0, with goals from Tom Elliot, underappreciated Tom Elliot, and Andy Barcham. Which means the last two games, Hank, AFC Wimbledon has scored 5 goals from 5 different players.

Hank: Wow!

John: Uh, and I think if you go back, ah, go back further that streak continues. It's just an incredibly productive time in the history of AFC Wimbledon. It's an amazing, amazing moment, and if you look at the League Two table right now, Hank, you will see that AFC Wimbledon are eighth on 42 points. The top three teams in League Two automatically go up to League One. Teams four through seven then play in a playoff.

Hank: Ah, OK.

John: So--

Hank: Alright.

John: AFC Wimbledon is only one point away--

Hank: In fact, you are tied in points with Stanley. So, you both have 42 points, but I imagine Stanley has a higher goal differential? Right, right. It's only, Accrington Stanley, Yeah, it's only goal difference that is standing between us and Accrington Stanley, and we actual have a better goal difference than the team currently in sixth, Leyton Orient. So, Hank--

Hank: Yeah.

John: Suddenly, I am starting to properly dream. I will tell you--

Hank: How far from, from the, the, that time when the, when the, uh, finals begin are you?

John: Well, Hank, there are 46 games--I'm glad you asked. There are 46 games in the season. Different teams have played a different number of games currently. Uh, some teams have a game in hand or two games in hand. We've played 27, which means we have 19 games to go. 

Hank: OK.

John: This is how close I am to properly dreaming, Hank. I went ahead and looked up the day of the playoff final, uh.

Hank: Oh, wow.

John: And then I went ahead and looked up plane tickets to figure out, can I drive directly from the Indy 500 to the airport to get on an airplane, um, and then arrive in London in time for the game. Uh, as you know, Hank, I'm not, ah, I'm not a regular drinker, uh, but I do enjoy the Indy 500. Uh, so potentially, uh, potentially that would mean, you know, 30 to 35 straight hours of good times.

Hank: Alright. That's uh, that's--

John: We're going to go straight from the Indy 500 to the playoff final. It's going to be amazing. I'm starting to dream, Hank. Starting to dream. We've won four straight games. We've just go to keep this up.

Hank: I appreciate the dream. You know, if I could fly to Mars in 35 hours, I'd do it.

John: Yeah.

Hank: So.

John: Well, imagine if instead of arriving at Mars and immediately dying, you instead arrived in south London and got to see the most exciting football match imaginable. 

Hank: Uh, then I will, the I will imagine that. I will imagine it right now, and have a lovely imagining. And I will imagine mostly what it will be like for you, which is the important thing.

John: Well, good news and bad news, if they make it to the play off final, you're coming.

Hank: *laughs* we could do a live episode Dear Hank and John from AFC Wimbledon stands, from the John Green stand

John: Oh my god, it'll be great. I'll cry through the, I'll cry through the whole thing.

Hank: Yeah, well maybe we can do it remotely.

 Outro (50:20)

Ah, well what did we learn today John?

John: Well we learned never to trust a banana with less than five sides.

Hank: Ah, we learned that John is astounded by the state of the internet and cannot believe how relevant it has become to his daily life.

John: And, of course, we learned that water is an underrated cereal topping.

Hank: hmm, *mumbling* I don't know if we learned that.

John: *laughing*

Hank: Uh, I'm pretty sure we didn't learn that

John: *laughing* Report back, report back next week on what you think of water as a cereal topping. I think it's fantastic. I think people are just, you know, people are so set in their ways. 

Hank: *laughs* yeah, I guess so. I guess so. Alright John, thank you for joining me, and thank you to all of the other people for joining us on this episode of Dear Hank and John.

John: This podcast is edited by Nicholas Jenkins. Our theme music is by Gunnarolla. Thank you all for listening. You can send your questions via email to or you can use the hashtag #dearhankandjohn on Twitter. I'm @johngreen on twitter, Hank is @hankgreen. On Hank's preferred method of communication, Snapchat, he is Hankgre, and, on Instagram, I'm Johngreenwritesbooks. Thanks again for listening, and as we say in my hometown

Together: Don't forget to be awesome.