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Am I Lisa Turtle or Screech? What would happen to lava on the sun? After blowing ones nose, why does one look into the Kleenex? Coconuts are hairy an make milk, are they mammals? When does the early 2000s become "The Turn of the Century"? AND OTHER QUESTIONS ANSWERED!

 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 me and my brother John give you dubious advice, answer your questions, and bring you all the weeks news to both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. I, I mixed it up just a little bit in the middle there, did you catch it?

John: Yeah, I'm sure that that's just incredibly exciting for our listeners. How are you, Hank?

Hank: I'm good. I would like a sandwich. Do you have one?

John: Uh, I don't and also I can't transmit sandwiches over the, uh, the internet too, so I apologize for that but that's one of the things the internet doesn't do well yet, it doesn't uh.. We can 3D print things across space and time, which is nice. We cannot yet 3D print sandwiches, at lest not edible ones.

Hank: No, No, and even if you could, John, would you download a sandwich?

John: Uh, yeah, No, I would. I'd never found there to be a compelling marketing campaign. There was an error where the movie studios, uh, were like; "You wouldn't download a pizza. Don't download movies or music" and I was like, "Of course I would download a pizza!"

Hank: Yeah. Could I do that? I would download a pizza way before I would download a movie.

John: Right, yeah, like in the case of a movie or music I understand that there are creators involved who need to be compensated. In the case of the pizza, uh, as far as I can tell, pizzas just come from space. I don't think there are, uh, I think that-

Hank: (laughs) They grow on Pizza Trees!

John: I believe they do. They grow on pizza trees and then they get picked by pizza farmers, so I guess the pizza farmer needs to make some sort of thing.

Hank: Yeah, absolutely

John: But, uh, I don't know. The point is, you can't download a pizza or a sandwich for that matter. Uh, I feel that we should move on to the, uh, the short poem for the day.

Hank: If you want to.

John: Alright. This is a poem by Claude McKay. Hank, I don't know if you're familiar with his work- one of the major poets of the Harlem Renaissance, but for some reason much less famous than, uh, Langston Hughes, and some of the other, uh, Harlem Renaissance writers, but I... I don't know, I really like Claude McKay. But I- I don't know. I really like Claude McKay. This poem's called "If We Must Die" and it is a great American poem about the African American struggle for civil rights. 

"If we must die -- let it not be like hogs

Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot

While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,

Making their mock at our accursed lot.

If we must die -- oh, let us nobly die,

So that our precious blood may not be shed

In vain; then even the monsters we defy

Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!

Oh, Kinsmen! We must meet the common foe;

Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave,

And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!

What though before us lies the open grave?

Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,

Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!"

"If We Must Die" by Claude McKay. 

H: Wonderful. Thanks, John. 

J: I mean, I feel like that's- That was a poem about death that wasn't that depressing. Or, it is depressing but it's- it's- there's something defiant about it that I like. I like poems that are defiant toward death and toward systemic injustice. I think that defiance is probably the right- the right response. 

So yeah, I love that poem.

H: Well, thank you for sharing it with us.

 Question One (3:25)

Okay, we've got a question from Nikki, who asks:

"Dear Hank and John, last night, a few of my old friends from college and I got together for a low-key dinner party. Somehow we started to compare ourselves to characters from "Saved by the Bell". I thought for sure they were gonna agree that I was Screech, the nerdy awkward one, but they saw me as more of a Lisa, the fashionable, cool one. Though both Screech and Lisa are fun characters, they are just about as opposite as could be on that show. You've talked before about self-identification but what about outside perspectives? Are we more who we think we are or are we more who others think of us? Also, do you think we ever stop questioning who we are?" I have some questions for Nikki to start off. 

John: Yeah.

Hank: Uh, do you, like, when your friend group forms an impromptu unexpected, uh, rock band, do you play the bass guitar? Because that would be a Lisa Turtle thing.

John: Yeah, that is very Lisa. In fact, that's so Lisa-- Yeah--

Hank: When all of your friends, uh, spend a summer working at a resort, do you instead just be a guest at that resort, because of how your father is extraordinarily wealthy? Because that would be a Lisa thing.

John: That's so Lisa.

Hank: So Lisa. Uh, so, so maybe those-- maybe, maybe you're just not as familiar with "Saved by the Bell" as you think you might be. You did, in fact, say in your question "Save by the Bell characters" which is just not what the show is called. So I am questioning your authority on the entire understanding, uh, of, of, uh of "Saved by the Bell" and the mythology here.

John: Uh, but, uh, to the, to the larger question, Hank, which I think is at the center of things, not, um, I don't think that, uh, as I understand it anyway, our podcast isn't a, uh, rehash of, uh, all seventeen seasons of "Saved by the Bell." Uh, but is instead, uh, a place where our listeners come for, extraordinary dubious advice. Let me submit that you cannot actually separate who you are from how, uh, people see you, because identity is something that is hashed out in social spaces. So, uh, you are both who you believe yourself to be and, uh, what others believe you to be. Um, and I don't think, in the end, you can really separate those things, because I think that identity and person-hood are things that we kind of confer upon each other.

Hank: I- I agree. I also think that there is a possibility that your friends do see you as a Screech, more of Screech, but they just don't want to let you know that. Because Screech is Screech, you know. Maybe, maybe they're, maybe they trying to be be like "yeah you're more, yeah you're like Lisa, you know, fashionable and cool."

John: I don't know, I don't think there's anything wrong with being a Screech, uh.

Hank: No, I absolutely agree. Obviously, Nikki doesn't either. But, maybe her friends see it differently.

John: Maybe, maybe they see it as a kind of insult to be Screech. I-I-I wouldn't want, I have to say, want to associate myself too closely with the actor who played Screech. Uh, but as for--

Hank: Or, honestly, the actress who played Lisa Turtle

John: I'm not very familiar with her work outside of Saved by the Bell. But, uh, but as for the characters themselves, I think like, one of the things that made Saved by the Bell so special as a TV show is that, uh, you know, in it's sort of broad stroked, uh, way of approaching the American high school, it gave us, uh, those of use who weren't yet in high school, like a frameworks through which to think of our own, uh, high school experience once we were there. And I think that's, in the end, like what's so valuable for all of those shows. Um, and it's why there is such a responsibility, uh, to kind of create those archetypes, uh, in ways that will resonate with people. It's not so much that you need to create the archetype for the student who is already in high school. You need to create the archetypes, uh, thoughtfully and carefully for the students who will later use them in analyzing their own high school experience.

Hank: Indeed. That's- I think that was insightful, John.

John: Oh, well thanks, I appreciate that.

 Question Two (7:20)

Let's move on to another question, Hank. This one is from Freida, who writes "Dear John and Hank, can birds fly in space?"

Hank: Well Freida, can anything not fly in space?

John: I would argue, Hank, that birds cannot fly in space, on account of how, once they are in space, they are dead.

Hank: So let's just assume that there's a bird that has a little spacesuit on its face, and it's flying around. It's-it's g--

John: Sure.

Hank: Some way of, uh, it making sure, making it able to breath and stuff. Uh, a bird could, uh, would, uh, would flap around as if it were flying in space. It would not be able to control itself in space, because there's no air molecules to push against. Uh, there's a relative vacuum out there. So, so, birds fly by pushing against all the molecules and the fluid of the air. They would not be able to fly in space. Though recently I was watching, uh, The Expanse, which is a very good show that is on SyFy Network, and, uh, and they, uh. One of the, a lot of the, uh, show takes place on Ceres, which has a very low gravity, and they have birds there. And they do fly, they just fly very differently, and they flap their wings far less than they would have to here on Earth.

John: Uh, that sounds like a great show

Hank: It's pretty cool

John: Uh, not exactly my kind of television program, and I only have time to watch about one TV show every four months. So, unless you highly, highly recommend it, I don't think I'm going to get into it.

Hank: Well, if you're gonna pick one, I think I would pick The Magicians, uh, as a new one. Which was written by a friend of yours, I believe, or the book was written by a friend of yours.

John: I do like the author of that book, Lev Grossman, very much.

Hank: Yes

John: Um, I- Right now I'm watching Jessica Jones, which is giving me terrible dreams

Hank: Yup

John: And, I'm going to finish watching that. And then I might give up on TV until The Americans returns. Ah, just, to take a break from television in advance of my excitement about the returning Americans.

Hank: Well, I'm also all caught up on Americans, so I-I'm also looking forward to that.

 Question Three (9:15)

John: Alright, Hank, we've got another question. This one comes from Dylan, who asks "Dear John and Frank, I am Dylan. I'm 6 years old in February. I like listening to the show with my mom and dad. I have a question about lava combined with the Sun. If you could get lava to the Sun, what would happen to it? Best wishes, Dylan." First off Dylan, let me just say that as a parent of a 6 year old, I'm very impressed with your podcast listening habits. My own son refuses to listen to this podcast, so thank you.

Hank: *laughing* ah, additionally, hello Dylan, my name is Hank. Uh, Frank's fine though. You can- that's fine. 

John: I prefer, I prefer if you call him Frank, Dylan.

Hank: Alright, uh,  if you, if you could get lava to the sun, uh, it would, it would probably, uh, get even hotter than it already is. So, lava's hot, but the sun is hotter, especially on the inside. Uh, so that lava would, uh, would get so hot that it would go from what it is now, which has-is-is a rock that got so hot that it turned to a liquid. Then, ah, when a liquid gets even hotter, like when you boil water, that liquid turns into a gas. So that, uh, that rock would go from, from liquid as lava, and then it would turn from, from, if you can believe this, from lava into rock gas. So that is what, uh, that is, that is part of what, at least, would happen if you brought lava to the sun.

John: Wow. Rock gas would be a pretty good name for a rock band.

Hank: Yeah, no, uh, actually, uh, have you ever heard of Le Pétomane?

John: No.

Hank: Le Pétomane was a performer, um, who would play music with his butt. Uh, he was able to, uh, do a thing, uh, that-that allowed him to take air into his body--

John: Bottom. Yup.

Hank: And then, uh, then expel it, and he was able to play music with, with farts, and that, that my friend, is another form of rock gas.

John: *laughing* I'm sure Dylan's parents are delighted, just delighted, that we have shared that with the world.

 Question Four (11:33)

Hank: *laughing* Alright, I have another question, John. Do you want to hear it?

John: Yes.

Hank: This one's from Camilla, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, after blowing one's nose," as we all do, "why does one look into the Kleenex to see what's there? Am I expecting to see something unusual there? Just wondering."

John: Well, I c-I-I can answer that question for myself. Um, I am expecting to see something unusual there. I'm checking to see what kind of snot did I produce? Uh, you know, is there blood in there? Is it clear? Is it colored? Is it green? Is it yellow? Is it brownish?

Hank: Did you get any real good hunks of something?

John: Are there reasons for concern? Is there evidence of my forthcoming death inside that tissue? Uh, there's a famous line in John Keats's, uh, diary-- 

Hank: Oh my god, are you seriously quoting Keats, uh, in response to a question about snot right now?

John: It's a beautiful line of iambic pentameter, he, uh, he coughs and as I, as I recall you can actually see the drop of blood in the, uh, on the page. Like, he coughed, blood came out, um, and this was his first evidence that he had tuberculosis, and he wrote "this drop of blood spells my death." Or "this drop of blood, it spells my death," because he was trying to write iambically. Um, yeah, so, uh, I think we're all just-- I think we're all just John Keats just trying to make sure that we don't have tuberculosis.

Hank: I think that John's not wrong, uh. I-I, there, if, there's definitely diagnosis that you could do with snot colors, uh.

John: Actually, there isn't. There is a growing body of evidence that the, um, that the tradition that, uh, colored snot is bad news and clear snot is good news is just wrong.

Hank: Oh!

John: Um, I'm not a doctor, but I am a person who Googles symptoms a lot. Uh, and, uh, yeah. So, um, I don't think that it is a good way to tell yourself whether you're sick. Obviously, if you're coughing up blood or you have a tremendous amount of blood coming from, uh, really anywhere in your body, that you should see a doctor.

Hank: Yes.

John: Uh, honestly, if you have any questions that's about your health, probably don't come to comedy podcasts. Probably go to your doctor.

Hank: Yup. Yup. Yup, yup, yup, yup, yup. Though, John, apparently, has a great deal of knowledge about, uh, about just illness in general and also what the color of your snot means. Which, is apparently not much, so don't worry about it.

John: I'm really working hard on not, uh, not being so obsessive around, uh, my physical health, but, uh, I-just not--it's not easy for me. It is a great source of, uh, rumination and, uh, obsessive thinking spirals. So why don't we just move on, Hank?

Hank: Well, I just though, I want to say one more thing to Camilla's question. I want to say one more thing, John. Maybe two more things. The first thing is I think that I look at my snot, because I want to be impressed. I want to look down and be like "Look what I d--Oh my goodness. Woah! Really?! Yeah! Look at me! Katherine, check this out!" No, I don't do that last part.

John: Oh, oh god.

Hank: But I think that there's a part of me that actually like it wants to know. It wants to just like see like how, what a massive thing just exited my body. And second, to Camilla's question, I want to say, oh my god, it's burning!

John: *laughing*

Hank: Because I feel like we haven't done that enough lately.

John: It's true.

Hank: So, if you've got something in the, in the oven...

John: Yeah.

Hank: Or, if you've might have forgotten to do something, anything. If you're waiting at the airport and you haven't gotten on your plane yet, and you're just listening to this podcast, and you're hearing about this snot stuff, and you just--

John: Yup.

Hank: You still got to remember that you're still in the real world.

John: It's time to board your plane.

Hank: Time continues to pass.

John: Get on the plane. The world is out there waiting for you...

 Question Five (15:15)

but we are moving on to another question, because I am tired of talking about snot. Ah, this question is from Nathan, and it's the kind of like deep, penetrating, and complicated question that we love to sink our teeth into, Hank. "Dear John and Hank, coconuts have hair and produce milk. Are they mammals?"

Hank: Huh. Well, you know, yeah. Should vegans stop eating them?

John: No. No they are not mammals. Vegans are welcomed to eat all the coconuts they want, because, uh, coconuts do not produce live young.

Hank: But don't they, John?

John: Nope. They don't.

Hank: Ah, I guess they don't give birth to live young. 

John: That's right. That's right. Coconuts do not give birth to live young. So, uh, vegans rejoice. Coconut milk is back on the menu.

Hank: Uh, ah-additionally, John, there is a, uh, there is another important, uh, important, uh, characteristic from mammals, which is the three inner ear bones.

John: What?

Hank: Uh, and coconuts also don't have--

John: Ears.

Hank: --those three inner ear bones.

John: Is that true that all mammals have three inner ear bones?

Hank: Yeah, it's, ah, weirdly enough. It is on of th-the-the defining characteristics of mammals is, uh, are-are-are the ways that our inner ear works. I do not know why.

John: Weird.

Hank: I'm pretty sure--

John: Yeah.

Hank: --pretty sure that I'm not making this up.

John: Yeah. Well, I mean do people come here for like solid, factual science or do they come here to find out about, uh, you know the fact that there was once a musician that used, uh, their farts to make music?

Hank: Uh, I looked it up, John. It says mammals, this website here which seems like a legitimate place, says "mammals posses many unique skeletal structures, including a single lower jaw bone that joins to the skull at the squamous bone and three bones in the inner ear." So, I didn't make that up! I'm so proud of myself.

John: Alright, so, long story short, in a stunning turn of events, coconuts are not mammals.

Hank: Yeah, and also, uh, we're the only ones who get those three inner ear bones. So, the whole rest of the animal kingdom can just go eat a coconut.

John: Uh, yeah, sometimes I think, Hank, about the fact that if there is life on Mars, uh, not to indulge your silly fascination with Mars, but sometimes I think about the fact that if there is life on Mars, uh, and it-and it-it did evolve separately-- Um, you know, then we could really-we could really learn pretty deep stuff about, for instance, you know, is DNA something, or RNA, uh, something that can happen, uh, independently, uh, on more than one planet or is there a whole different building block of life that we don't even have the capacity to imagine?

Hank: Yeah, no, that's uh, that's a thing. That's a thing that takes a lot of thinking to think about.

John: Uh, yeah. I don't know, it kind of blows my mind. Any time I try to think about, uh, alien life, or even just, uh, habitable planets outside of Earth, it starts to blow your mind pretty quickly, because you look around the galaxy and you have to start to contemplate just how big the galaxy really is. Uh, I think we've talked about on the podcast before about the fact there are probably more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth.

Hank: Yeah, I think that the statistic is grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth. I think would be the safest one.

John: Okay, well that's a little. Yeah, th-th-th-that's still is, uh, troubling--

Hank: Yes.

John:--to my ability to imagine the universe. Like, uh, you know, like, our-our sun seems like a pretty big deal to be one grain of sand on all the beaches on all of Earth.

Hank: Yes, yes, and, and, uh, as far as chemistry goes we've actually talked here on Dear Hank and John before about why water is such a great, uh, great, you know, solvent for the creation of complex chemicals, and, and uh, and life.

John: Right.

Hank: Uh, And, but that does not mean that life could not happen some other way, which is very difficult to think about. Like, at different pressures, at different temperatures, if you have liquid methane oceans like they do in some places in our solar system, and like what does that mean, and like how could--

John: Right.

Hank: --like what could dissolve in that? What kind of chemistry could happen inside of liquid methane and very low temperatures? It's, ah, yeah, welcome to, welcome to, ah, the peculiarity of the universe, and, and the way, the ways, and, and even the fact that life works on America--on America? All of Earth is America. *laughing* --on our Earth is really remarkable, and, uh, and it's-it's a good- the more I know about it the more sort of, ah, wonderful it is, the more wonder I experience observing it.

John: I have to, uh, I have to just jump on that Freudian slip you just made, Hank, because I think it's a very interesting one. Uh, the fact that you called, you referred to the Earth as America. Um, I just think that's interesting, because we're constantly, you and I both and also most Americans, are constantly referring to the United States as America, when in fact America is two continents which the United States is a small part.

Hank: Yes, a small part of one. Yes. Yes, ah, well, as, as you may have heard, America, dang it, and do we have a lot of the people, not really.

John: No.

Hank: But, we're America so who cares.

John: Yeah. We don't have a lot of the people. We do have a unique gift for, ah, narcissism and for viewing our, um, particular slice of America as being, ah, in some ways, ah, you know, unique and exceptional.

Hank: Yes. Well, you know, um, th-the United States of America does not have the most people, but I bet you, John, that is does have the most corn dogs.

John: *laughing* OK.

Hank: And also I bet the most podcasts.

 Question Six (21:30)

John: OK, Hank, let's move on to another question, since that's, ah, what this podcast is extensively about. This one is from Kelsey, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, my mom and I are going to visit her childhood best friend this summer. It all sounded great until my mom told me that her friend is a minister, and that she's going to baptize me while we're there. For one reason or another, my parents never found time to baptize me when I was a baby, and now that I'm 20 I'm not sure that I even want to be baptized. I know that John would say that I should use my words and tell her about my uncertainty, but when I tried to explain I might not even believe in God she essentially told me that I didn't know what I was talking about and that getting baptized isn't really a choice. Long story short, is there any way to avoid hurting my mom while also staying true to what I believe or don't believe? Any advice, even if it's dubious, would be greatly appreciated." Hank and I are going to disagree in our answer Kelsey.

Hank: Well, I don't know that I'm able-even going to be able to come up with one. So, you go ahead and go first.

John: Alright, here is my answer: um, just get baptized. It's not going to hurt you. It's not going to hurt anything. You'll be fine. It doesn't matter. That's my solution, and I don't think Hank is going to agree with that at all.

Hank: Well I-that was, that was as close as I was going to get to an answer. I mean like--

John: Oh, you agree with me?!

Hank: --there's-just get baptized. Yeah, there's-just get baptized, but then there's a larger thing. Is it, like is it just get baptized, and also just don't tell your mom about the things you believe ever?

John: No, I don't think that's, uh, here's-- I mean, my argument in favor of, uh, of just getting baptized is that it will bring, uh, great joy and comfort to, uh, your family while hurting you very, very little because it's just water. Um, I mean, I would make sure that it's clean water. I would ask for it to be maybe bottled water depending on where you're traveling to, but, uh, but yeah. I mean, for me, it's like, ah, th-the ritual only matters if you imbue it with mattering. Uh, so, I'm a big believer in, ah, in taking the easy road. Or-I think I might have told you this story before, but, um, when I got married, I had to say, um, have I told you this story before, Hank? That I had to say that I was going to raise my kids in the Catholic church because Sarah and I got married in a Catholic church.

Hank: Yes.

John: This is, I told this on the podcast?

Hank: I don't think you've told it on the podcast, but you've told me this.

John: Yeah, alright. Well, so, I called my dad, because I was really upset about it, and my dad, uh, you know because I'm a Episcopalian, which is very similar to Catholicism, but whatever. It's different enough that I felt weird about saying I was going to raise my kids Catholic, and, um, I apologize in advice to our hard working editor, Nick, for the fact that he's going to have to bleep my father's response when I, uh, expressed concern about this. Because Dad said, um, "well, just say it, you think God gives a sh**."

Hank: *laughing* That sounds like Dad.

John: And I was like, I was like, "what do you mean just say it?" And, he was like, "just say it. Just say you'll raise you kids Catholic, and don't mean it. It's fine."

Hank: *laughing*

John: Uh, in short, Kelsey, I think there is a kind of, uh, there is a kind of glory and bravery to refusing to indulge, uh, other people's, uh, rituals that matter to other people, um, but I'm not sure that, for me at least, it's the hill I want to fight and die on when it comes to my relationships, ah, the relationships that are most important to me in my family. Um, and you know what--

Hank: Yeah.

John: --I ended up baptizing both of my kids Catholic. So there you go.

Hank: Really? Did you?

John: Wait. Uh, no, I think I baptized them Episcopalian, but like I said, it's almost the same--

Hank: They're very similar

John: --there's, there's a lot of kneeling involved in both.

Hank: Yeah, a-all, John just remembers the kneeling. I think that, uh, rituals are valuable whether or not you have all of the bits that people tend to go into them with. Uh, you know, like, like, there is a tradition to baptism that is I think greater, and I-I might catch slack for this, but I think greater than the religious component on its own. So, there may be reasons to get baptized that don't even have anything to do with church, um, and-and that I think might even extend beyond just, you know, h-having a-a more stable relationship with-with your mom. I, uh, I-I like a lot of religious traditions. I'm not a religious person. Um, I was also baptized and confirmed, even, uh, and-and I was confirmed after I, you know, sort of like came to the place where I'm at with regards to how I feel about religion. Uh, that was just, you know, just part of the tradition of my, my culture, and I'm fine with having that tradition, those traditions be a part of my culture even if I don't have-don't share the same beliefs as the people who, who, ah, and like, and like experience it in the same way as a religious person would.

John: Yeah, I do think our-our advice on this one is a little bit dubious. Um, because I think, I--

Hank: Sure, especially mine, yeah.

John: --I think there's a definite case to be made that you've got to stand for your principles, uh, especially when they're important to you. I just think, in the case of-- I think you're right, Hank, that in the case of baptism, um, and a lot, and, and a lot of other religious traditions, like it's possible to find value in them outside of the, uh, religious component. That said, li-like we both think of baptism very, very differently from the way that, um, that some, uh, especially, uh, Protestant traditions think of baptism, um, and so, you know, I think different people are going to approach it in different ways. And, you know, certainly if, uh, you know, if you only believe in adult baptism, and-or what is called adult baptism a lot of times it happens when you're like 7 or 8, um, in some churches, but if you only believe in like ostensibly adult baptism and that like baptism is the central moment in your life from which there is no turning back, uh, then I think you have to have a long conversation with your mom. Uh, that's probably going to be an unpleasant one, but, uh, but yeah. I mean, I don't know, I, again like that's not, that's just not how, like, you know, my kids were both baptized when they were three months old, and had absolutely no idea what was happening to them. And, and they're going to make their own religious, uh, decisions, you know, when that time comes, and, uh, I hope that, you know, I hope that Sarah and I are able to be part of that but I don't expect that we're going to be, uh, the center of whatever--

Hank: Yup.

John:--decisions they make.

Hank: I think that sometimes it-it's important to remember that cultural change happens too, too rapidly for some people, and there's, and, and, like, protecting them from that is not necessarily, uh, a-the kind of lie you need to be ashamed of.

John: Yeah, I don't know. I'm a big fan of--I'm a big fan of certain kinds of lies, as you know Hank. Uh, I think, I think lying is tremendously underappreciated by the social order. Uh, I think there are lots of times when, uh, yeah. Like, I don't know, what our mom growing up called little white lies, I love them. I'm a big believer in them.

 Update (28:55)

Hank: Yeah, I mean, you got to simplify sometimes. Ah, we got, we got an update here from Kai, uh, who says "Dear Hank and John." Uh, Kai did the math and determined that, uh, indeed, um, I did talk more than John did in episode 32. It happened. I talked for 23 minutes and 26 seconds while John, including the short poem, spoke for 23 minutes and 14 seconds. So I beat you, John, by 13 seconds. Oh no, yeah, no by 3 seconds, by 3 seconds. I'm bad at math. I beat you by 3 seconds, John. Nope! I did it wrong again. I beat you by 12 seconds, John! *laughing* I kept look at the wrong number. I did it by 12 seconds. I beat you. Won't ever happen again.

John: I'm wondering how long it's going to take you for you--I wondering how long it's going to take for you to figure out I'm not talking in the hopes that all of the, uh, dead air time is counted as your time.

Hank: I don't think that's how that works.

 Question Seven (30:02)

John: Alright, in an attempt to not hog too much of the air time, I'm going to read the next question very, very quickly, Hank.

Hank: Alright.

John: This question's from Stephanie, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, would it be weird if I started using the phrase "at the turn of the century" to refer to the early 2000s?"

Hank: Uh, no. I think it's-I think it's about time.

John: No, it's not time yet! It's too soon.

Hank: *laughing* It's got to happen eventually.

John: No, you know, we just got out of the period where you--for the long time, people said two thousand one, two thousand two, two thousand twelve and we're just now where people are saying twenty fifteen, because people aren't going to say two thousand eighty six. They are going to say twenty eighty six.

Hank: Yeah.

John: So, we've just crossed that line. I think we need a solid 5 more years. 2021, I think is the year I think you can start saying the turn of the century referring to the turn of the 21st century.

Hank: You know, I would really like to see when "at the turn of the century" first started happening for the 1900s. I bet you're right. I bet it's-I bet it's further in. I bet it's in like the 20s or 30s, but maybe even later than that. Maybe like 50s, 60s, 70s. I don't know. I-I think that we've got to-we've got to ask Google. Google knows this stuff.

John: Yes. Yes, no, Google is, uh-- oh my god. Do you want to know something amazing?

Hank: What, John?

John: It was 1921.

Hank: Are you serious?

John: That's according to Google.

Hank: No way.

John: I'm a genius!

Hank: I-I just... I just can't. I just can't.

John: I'm a genius!

Hank: Have you-- ah, t-- Read me this thing you have found.

John: "Turn of the century from 1921 as an adjectival phrase." That is from Etymology Online. I mean there's no reason that that would be wrong.

Hank: No.

John: Wait, let me go to the Wikipedia page for turn of the century. I mean, I don't like to criticize Wikipedia, but this is a terrible, terrible Wikipedia page. The "turn of the century" Wikipedia page leaves much to be desired if you're looking, uh, to expand Wikipedia, by the way. Um, Do-do-yup.

Hank: Oh, wow. Well I've got---I've got the Google Books Ngram Viewer, which actually, it uh, it takes all books published, and it, uh, and it m-marks them by year and when people say the phrase. Um, and, and, uh, I can say that indeed it began to appear with some regularity in the 20s. Uh, and, and then, and then it--

John: Oh my god. 1921. 2021 is obviously-- that's it. That's the obvious answer. If it was first used in 1921, that means that 2021 is when you can begin to use "turn of the century" to refer to the most recent turn of the century. I am a genius. Uh, Google has confirmed it. I would like to retire from podcasting victorious.

Hank: *laughing*

John: I'm walking away at the top of my game, Hank.

Hank: Interestingly, uh, "turn of the century" continued to grow until 1980, when it flattened off--

John: Great.

Hank: --and then began to decrease in 1994. People stopped using turn of the century. So we're going to have to see, we're going to have to wait and see if, uh, if we see another dip and then a bump again. My concern is what do we now call the turn of the last century? The turn of the eighteen to the nineteen.

John: Well Hank, it doesn't matter, because I've just retired as a podcast-er victorious like Michael Jordan walking out at the top of the game. Like Peyton Manning walking away a Super Bowl winner. I'm going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight, Hank.

Hank: Well, I would not expect anything else, question mark? Budweiser, really? Is that the thing that they drink?

John: Did you not, uh, did you not see the Super Bowl?

Hank: I can't say that I did. Is that OK?

John: Are you kidding me? Did you, I mean, how do you not participate in one of the fundamentally American social events of the year?

Hank: Uh, like that. Like the way that I--

John: I can't believe that you didn't watch the Super Bowl. OK, so in the Super Bowl, which was won by the, uh, Denver Broncos--

Hank: I did know that. I did, I did check to see who was the winner.

John: --a,a, a horse, a horse related franchise out of Colorado. Uh, the captain and star player of the Denver Broncos is 72 year old Peyton Manning, uh, who has had like, uh, neck fusion surgery fourteen times and can not even, like, bend over to tie his own shoes, but is still somehow the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos. After the game, uh, when asked whether he was going to retire, he answered by saying, "I'm going to talk to my family. I don't think now is the time for rash decisions. I'm just looking forward to drinking a lot of beer tonight with my teammates." And then he paused and then he looked directly at the camera and said, "I'm going to drink a lot of Budweiser."

Hank: Wow.

John: Which was a critical moment in the history of advertising, Hank, because what's most interesting about Peyton Manning's statement "I'm going to drink a lot of Budweiser" is that, by all accounts, he was not paid to say that.

Hank: So, he just, he, but he has previously been paid by Budweiser.

John: Uh, I don't know if he has, actually, but he does own a portion of a few Anheuser-Busch, uh, distributors.

Hank: Oh! Well that's not, that's, that's different. That's different, right? But that's still, that's still marketing. 

John: What I thought was most interesting about it is that, like, it's, in a way, isn't he, even if he's not being paid to say it, doesn't he know that he will be paid to say it if he says it. You know what I mean? Like, uh, if I had just won the Super Bowl, and I said, uh, "I just want to say how much I appreciate the help that Diet Dr. Pepper brought to me on this day. Delicious Diet Dr. Pepper, my favorite beverage for my entire adult life." Like even if I'm, even if Diet Dr. Pepper wasn't paying me to say that, I know that I could, like, call Diet Dr. Pepper afterwards and be like "hey, did you see the thing that I did?"

Hank: I, that first one's free!

John: Right, exactly! Exactly. I bet you enjoyed that, and given how much you enjoyed it, why don't you pay me five million dollars to do it again?

Hank: Uh, yeah, I-I mean, additionally you could also go up there and say like, uh, uh, you know, I just won the Superbowl, you know what I'm going to go do? Watch Crash Course on YouTube! You'll want to know Crash, educational videos. And people would go watch Crash Course, and that would be, then--

John: Right.

Hank: --that's a thing that you own and you would be making it like directly. Like the way Peyton Manning apparently owns some Anheuser-Busch distributors. Ah, what a weird world.

John: Right, exactly. So, I just think like we've come to this weird place in advertising where we can't even take people seriously when they say things that they aren't being paid to say, because on one level or another everything that you say when you have a large platform you're being paid to say or you're at risk at like getting paid in retrospect for saying. So, it's almost like we've destabilized these once trustworthy voices so much that we can't trust them no matter what they're saying, no matter what the motivation is. We can always cast doubt upon that motivation, and it just seems like a really weird time to have a platform.

Hank: I'm going to go drink a lot-- it's funny how he said Budweiser, too. Who says Budweiser? No one says that. I'm gonna go have some Buds. I'm going to drink a lot of Buds. 

John: I don't know, but you know clearly it works, because I-I found myself immediately saying you know it's Sunday night and you can't buy alcohol in Indiana on Sundays because we live in the turn of the previous century and, uh, but gosh I wish I could so I could enjoy some delicious Budweiser.

Hank: I do not ever feel that way, and, uh, maybe that's one reason why I didn't want to watch the Superbowl, because I didn't want people to make me feel like I needed that. Because I didn't.

John: Well, but then, Hank, I-I-at this point you can't listen to anybody with a platform saying anything online or off, which means that, you know, w-from Weird Al Yankovic to They Might Be Giants to whatever other stuff you like, everybody's voice has become compromised. So, I don't know. I don't think that you can get out of it just by not, um, watching the Super Bowl, but maybe we should move on to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon.

 Another Update (38:08)

Hank: Uh, before we do that, I have another update, John. This one is from everyone on Twitter who has found a four-sided banana. Everybody's got four-sided bananas, John. It's really not unusual, and they tend to be trapezoidal. So, that's a piece of information we have now. So, we think that, uh, that a four-sided banana is somewhere on the scale between finding a penny on the sidewalk lucky and four leaf clover lucky. Uh, it's-it's not that common, but it's not that rare. But, if you do find a four-sided banana we're going to go ahead and say that's a lucky banana, and you should eat it with pride.

John: Congratulations on your lucky trapezoidal bananas, America and other places.

Hank: And other places we're not sure exist or not. You out there other places? Who knows.

 News from Mars (39:00)

John: Oh man. Alright Hank, what's the news from Mars this week?

Hank: Uh, well, at the turn of the century, nope that was not-- At the turn of the year-- Last year, let's just say that. Uh, last year, uh, NASA did a, uh, did a challenge asking people to, uh, to figure out whether or not it was possible to 3D print places to live on the surface of Mars. Because, obviously it is a bad idea to try to bring your house with you when you go to Mars, because things are very heavy and it's hard to get them through space when you gotta-when you gotta speed up-speed them up and slow them down. Um, so there are a number companies that entered this-this challenge, uh, one of them was RedWorks, and I just, uh, I just was sent a link to a video of, uh, the sort of concept art for these 3D printed Martian habitats and I was very excited about it. So, I just wanted to, uh, just wanted to share that if you wanted to check it out. Um, you can check you 3D printed Martian habitats. Pretty cool, uh, thing that-that NASA did, and it recently announced the, uh, winners for that challenge. So, pretty cool, and, uh, that, yeah. 

John: So, is the idea that you would bring a printer to Mars, and use, like, Martian soil to print a habitat?

Hank: Yeah, yeah. So you'd use, like, Martian soil combined with, like, stuff you might draw out of the air or water or, you know, what have you to-- Basically, you might be creating bricks, you might be, uh, you might actually be laying down what would sort of be like concrete, but like in a like sort of lay down the concrete in a line and then, you know, come back again when it's dried. So, it'd be slow process, but, um, but you'd be able to build airtight, uh, durable dome-things that you could then go live inside of. And, probably they wouldn't have windows, so that's a bit of a bummer, but maybe you could figure out how to make some windows from some Martian silica and, uh, and have those as well. Though, thinking about that, I'd probably would rather, given the lack of magnetic field, uh, or atmosphere, I would rather have a pretty thick slab of something between me and that giant, radioactive death star up in the sky.

 Commercial Break (41:20)

John: Today's podcast is brought to you by that giant, radioactive death star up in the sky. That giant, radioactive death star up in the sky, turns out there's as many of them as there are grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth.

Hank: This podcast is brought to you by, uh, that giant amount of snot that just exited your body. Wow, that is a lot! Wow! Just look at that! Woah, neat! Why, I really did that! Hey! Hey, somebody look. Somebody look!

John: And, of course, this podcast is brought to you by the year 1921. The year 1921, confirming my genius since 1921. 

Hank: *laughing* Podcast is finally brought to you by, uh rock gas. Uh, the new genre of music and also what happens to lava when it gets even hotter.

John: Oh, man. Dylan's parents are just going to be absolutely delighted with us for introducing rock gas into Dylan's life.

Hank: Oh, yeah,

 News from AFC Wimbledon (42:18)

John: Well, Hank, uh, I have exciting news from AFC Wimbledon. Uh, I have sad news. I have happy news. Like life itself, AFC Wimbledon is complicated. It contains multitudes. Uh, first off, uh, the under-18 team's, uh, incredible run through the FA Youth Cup has come to an end. Uh, they played Chelsea, um, as I, as we're recording this they played Chelsea yesterday. Uh, they lost. It was 1-1 at halftime. Uh, the dream was alive thanks to a goal from south London's ginger Messi, Alfie Egan. Uh, 17 year old Alfie Egan, a hero and a scholar and a brilliant, brilliant footballer, but sadly, in the end, AFC Wimbledon's youth team lost to Chelsea. Uh, I mean Chelsea has one of the strongest youth squads in the world, so not a huge surprise, but it was a great, uh, great performance none the less. An amazing run through the FA Youth Cup for, uh, the young Dons, and then the senior team, Hank, was scheduled to take on, as I'm sure you'll recall, Bristol Rovers in a critical, critical match up. But, then that game in the end was won not by AFC Wimbledon or Bristol Rovers, but by surprise the league two leaders, waterlogged pitch.

Hank: Ah, waterlogged pitch.

John: Waterlogged pitch is having an incredible year, uh, across league two. He-it-he's just been dominant. Um, every time you think that one team or another is going to win a game, it's won by waterlogged pitch, instead. So, that game was, uh, was put off due to waterlogged pitch, and, uh, will be played in the glorious future, when all things are still possible.

 More updates (43:58)

Hank: Alright. I have a couple of, uh, updates. I know I've had several updates already, but I just can't help myself. I said last episode that, uh, that bacteria, I-I just was metaphorically, sort of whimsically using the phrase cell wall to-to indicate some kind of defense bacter--um, some kind of defense mechanism for bacteria. Bacteria do in fact have cell walls, and I was saying like if only they had cell walls. But they do have cell walls and whatever, but I just wanted to make sure that everybody was on the same page here. I was using that as floral language. In fact, it is a technical thing and they do have them. Uh, secondarily, uh, I just wanna say, John, I found a podcast, uh, a couple weeks ago that is, wait for it, it's a few brothers, three brothers, not two, three, uh, and they, uh, answer peoples questions and give them dubious advice. Um, and their podcast has been going on for about five years, and it's really good. And, I feel a little like I stole their idea. I promise I didn't. It's called My Brother, My Brother, and Me. It's very funny. It is basically, I mean it is so much funnier, it's funny. It's actually funny, which is how you know it's funnier than Dear Hank and John

John: [laughing] We do set a low bar to jump over.

Hank: Yeah, they talk almost none about death, which is a little dissa-disappointing, uh, but they, uh, they answer questions both from their viewers and from Yahoo Answers. It's very funny. Uh, I've been listening to it at the gym, and I often almost hurt myself because, uh, you need to be careful that you never know when they're going to make you laugh way too hard. Uh, so My Brother, My Brother, and Me is a great podcast on iTunes. We didn't steal their idea, but if you want a comedy podcast with more brothers, yet more brothers, these are the McElroy brothers other than the Green brothers giving, uh, dubious advice and answering questions. There's another one every single week, and, uh, it y-y-you will enjoy it differently. Uh, and I'm not going to say whether you will enjoy it more. That's for you to decide, listener.

John: Uh, we also want to thank everybody who supports the podcast, uh, on Patreon. Uh, we really, really appreciate it. We got to do a, uh, one of our monthly hangouts with our Patrons last week. It was super fun. So, uh, if you want to be part of that or support, uh, Dear Hank and John directly, you can do that over at, ah, just Google "Patreon Dear Hank and John" and it will take you right there.

 Outro (46:15)

Hank, what did we learn today?

Hank: Oh John, you know, we learned that there's a six year old out there who thinks I'm named Frank.

John: [chuckles for a long time] It's hard to know if he thinks you're named Frank or-or if his parents do. Or, indeed if it was perhaps just a typo, but, um, I'm going to call you Frank for the rest of your life now.

Hank: Nope. Don't do that.

John: Uh, we-- [laughing] We learned that coconuts are not mammals.

Hank: Uh, we learned that Nikki is-is more of a Screech than Lisa, no matter what her friends say.

John: And, of course, we learned that 1921 was the year--

Hank: Oh god.

John: --that turn of the century was first used as an adjectival phrase, and that therefore, just as I predicted, 2021 is the correct year to begin referring to the turn of the new century.

Hank: Alright, well I'm glad that we have established this reality for the world. Uh, whenever someone talks about that, I'm tasking all of our listeners to-to not allow anyone to use the phrase "turn of the century" in regards to the nineteen to twenty switch until 2021. Police that with great vigor everywhere you go.

John: Thanks for listening. Ah, you can send us questions at or via Twitter using the hashtag #DearHankandJohn. I'm @hankgreen on Twitter. Hank is @johngreen on Twitter. *Hank laughing* Thanks to Nicholas Jenkins for editing this podcast. Our theme music is by Gunnarolla, and as we say in our home town

Together: Don't forget to be awesome.