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Will my laptop sterilize me? Do you like (or write) fanfiction? Where is the rest of the lizard whose tail I found in my room? And more!

 Intro (00:00)


H: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John.

J: Or as I prefer to think of it, Dear John and Hank.

H: It's a comedy podcast where me and my brother John, that's that other person talking, will answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. Hey John, how are you doing?

J: Not great, it's been a terrible week, Hank. As you know, here in the United States, it's just been a really hard difficult painful week, I think, for everyone.

H: Yes. And I'm sure that we will talk about that in the midst of our podcast questions, several of which have to do with that. But first, do you have a short poem for us?

J: I do, among the terrible things that happened since the last time we recorded the podcast is that the great Muhammad Ali died. The greatest boxer of all time, who wrote this poem: "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can't hit, what the eyes can't see." I'm a huge Muhammad Ali fan, Hank. He was a great writer, a great off-the-cuff poet, like the first great freestyler. Just a massive Muhammad Ali fan. The world is poorer without him.

H: And that's not making it up. I remember you being a huge Muhammad Ali fan when I was a kid, and not really understanding it.

J: Well I think I've always been attracted to his poetry, but also there's a certain poetry about the way that he boxed. He was a complicated person, but then again, most of us are. And I was a huge fan of his, and very very sorry his loss.

 Question One (1:42)


H: Alright John, let's do some questions. Start off with one from Katie who asks, "Dear Hank and John, my friends and I started an all-girl rock band. I'm the drummer. But we're really new to this rock band thing. Do you have any wisdom to share about being in a band?" You answer this, John. You spend a lot of time in bands.

J: I've never been in a band. Hank's been in a band his whole life, and I've always been jealous. I've always wanted to be a rock and roll star. I've always wanted to feel the energy of an audience, like singing back the lyrics to me. I've always wanted that. Tragically I am unable to play any musical instrument even remotely competently. Like I can't even play bass well enough to get into Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers, and I can't sing on key. So I've had to spend my whole life on the outside looking in, at the rock band world, desperately jealous of my brother, so Hank, tell Katie how to be in a rock band, travel the country, have people love you. Ugh, god. Crowd surf. I'm so jealous.

H: You've crowd-surfaced. Okay, I have three corrections now. First, you have crowd surfaced. Second, I have not been in a band my whole life, although I did spend a lot of time in high school in the band, meaning the marching band. And third, I think Paul DeGeorge is going to be very upset to hear you say that you don't have enough talent to even be the bass player, because bass players have very important jobs and very difficult jobs, and are artists like any other artist. People dissin' on bass players all the time. Anyway.

J: Hank I can't even tell you if that's true or not. That's how little I know about bass playing. I don't even know if what I said was offensive.

H: The thing about being in a band, that I have discovered, is -- and I got into this old, much older than the average person in a band -- it's all about being friends, and if there isn't that, then none of it is worth it. It is about having a good time. And if you are in a band that is even remotely successful, you will be spending a huge amount of time with these people, in uncomfortable situations, stuffed into a small space, very close by them. And if you cannot figure out really great ways to have really great personal relationships with the people, then it's all for naught. So that's really what it's about, that is a tremendous life skill, figuring out how to have a group of people who can do something together, who can accomplish things together, and not get on each other's nerves, or when you do get on each other's nerves, do your best to take care of it immediately. And that is something that I've learned from my band-mates who have been in more bands than me and for longer, is that when you're on the road especially, if things start getting all tense, you immediately have to recognize it and deal with it. And that I think is actually a really great life skill, that has nothing to do really with music and everything to do with just any collaborative project. And I'm thankful to them for helping me learn those skills and that lesson.

J: That's great, Hank. It made me even more jealous. Now I desperately want to be in your band. I can't even play the tambourine, I'm hopeless.

 Question Two (5:21)


But we do have another question, Hank. It comes from Kandler who asks "Dear John and Hank, I am a cat."

H: Wait, what?

J: Nope, nope. "I have a cat."

H: (laughing) Alright, keep going.

J: Sorry about that. Kandler is not a cat, but rather has a cat. "I have a cat, and this afternoon I found a lizard tail on my bedroom floor, sans lizard. Given that this cat does not go outside, this can only mean one thing, the lizard was already inside and still remains in one of the deep dark corners of the room where I plan to sleep. I do you suggest I cope with my fear that this tailless reptilian will end up on my face during the night?" Well first off, good news Kandler, you're not a cat. That's a huge development.

H: Second uh... potentially...

J: Secondly, the lizard is already dead.

H: Yes. Well, not necessarily.

J: No the cat ate the lizard, Hank.

H: The lizard is probably inside of the cat.

J: Yeah, no, at this point the lizard is inside of the litter box, having been pooped out by the cat.

H: It is a potential that there is a tailless who has succeeded in using its floppy removable tail to escape from the cat, and in that case...

J: No, no.

H: There is a lizard in your house who has no interest in you at all. And will never ever do anything unpleasant to you, so don't worry about it either way.

J: That's true. But there is an underlying fear that I can relate to, as I can relate to most underlying fears, which is that when things from outside appear inside it is very stressful for some people including me. Like I have no problem with mice when they are outside. I have no problem with bats when they are outside. Almost no animal properly scares me when it is in its appropriate place, which is outdoors. But almost every non pet animal terrifies me indoors. Like if I see a mouse outside, I'm like oh it's a mouse. If I see a mouse inside, it is a Level 1 Emergency.

H: I relate to this, and I think there is something psychological about it, about like sort of how we have decided our enclosed should be, and when that is violated it feels like a personal violation. But I definitely think that there are animals that I would be terrified to be nearby in or outside, a number of them. Certainly not most animals, but...

J: No. Like what?

H: I don't know, a mountain lion? An alligator? A hippopotamus? A bison? A moose?

J: Let me just tell you Hank, here in Indianapolis the number of outdoor hippopotamus attacks is very low.

H: I hope the number of indoor hippopotamus attacks is also very low.

J: Very low. It's very near zero. Hank did I ever tell you about the rhino that escaped from the zoo in Central Europe?

H: No.

J: Before I tell the story, I just want to acknowledge that this is what Bill Clinton once called a "high class problem," and I understand that. But as I may have mentioned on the podcast before, Hank, there is nothing that I have ever done in my life that I found as horrible as a press junket, which are these days when you sit for 12 or 14 hours in a place, and every 6 minutes a reporter comes in and they ask you the exact same questions, and then they leave, and then one minute later a different reporter comes in and asks you questions for 6 minutes only it's the same questions all day long. And I found it intensely stressful and terrifying and unpleasant, and Nat Wolff and I were in these press junkets together on both The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns movies, and during the Paper Towns press junkets, people started testing like whether or not we were properly friends with each other, by like quizzing us about each other. And a lot of times people would say "what's your favorite animal" or "what's your spirit animal" or whatever, and we would have to write down our answers separate from each other, and then show them. And at the time a hippopotamus or possibly a rhinoceros had just escaped from a zoo in Prague I think, and so whenever we were asked that question we would both answer "a rhinoceros recently escaped from a zoo in Prague." And people would be very impressed at how well we knew each other.

H: I was wondering about how that was going to get back around to the question, which was that there's a lizard in this person's house. But we got to animals, at least.

J: You know as I was telling that story, Hank, I realized that it's one of those stories that is mostly funny to Nat Wolff and myself.

H: Well hopefully he's a listener of the pod, but at the very least it was fun for you.

J: I think listeners of the podcast are like "why didn't editor Nick cut that out of the pod?"

H: Yeah, well, he doesn't do anything we-- we require him to sometimes do things that are not the best for the podcast because it's the best for us, and who matters in the end but John?

J: That's so true. That's true. By the way, Nick, feel free to cut all of this.

H: So what was the point?

J: The point was that I am not afraid of hippopotami or rhinoceri because there are none of them outside in Indianapolis. Outside animals are fine. Inside animals are terrifying, and I think that speaks to our kind of collective obsession with the sterilization of the world and especially like indoors, and feeling that nature, rather than being something we are part of, is kind of a contaminant.

H: Alright, well yes, okay. That's a surprisingly deep place where you ended up there, John.

 Question Three (11:23)


I've got another question, it's from Ray who asks "Dear Hank and John, my aged professor--" Thanks for putting that in there, Ray. "--Is always telling off her students, namely me, for putting our laptops on our laps instead of on a table. She's adamant in her belief that doing so is 'killing our genitals.' I know that she is wrong because my genitals have not yet succumbed to the sweet embrace of inescapable death. However, could she be correct in thinking that continuously having my laptop on my lap is going to make me less fertile in some way? Is the heat damaging my reproductive organs? Are my gametes dying? Why is it called a laptop if you're not meant to put it on your lap?

J: Well Ray, I can only speak from personal experience. I have two children, and I have had my laptop on my lap since 1991.

H: I'm going to read to you from a snopes.com article right now, John. "A 2004 study from the State University of New York at Stonybrook involving 29 men ranging in age from 21 to 35 years old, found that fellows who used laptop computers rested on their laps for an hour raised their scrotal temperatures by as much as five degrees Fahrenheit. Since other studies have demonstrated links between temperature increases and significant reductions in sperm production, the SUNY study concluded long term use of laptops by teenage boys and men could be reproductively damaging." Could be. The Snopes article calls it undetermined. So you know, maybe if you're trying at the moment to make a baby, then don't do that. But I think that it's probably not a huge deal. Also do not use this for birth control.

J: Now I'm worried, but I'm not worried at all because I have no desire to have any more children, so if anything I need to keep my laptop on my lap at all times.

H: But as I screamed earlier, do not use this for birth control. When I was in high school, there was a myth going around that Yellow #5, the dye that they used in Mountain Dew, would reduce people's sperm counts, and I don't know if that's true or not, but I do know that some people said "good enough for me, I'm not trying to make a girl pregnant anyway" and that translated into "drink lots of Mountain Dew and you can't get a girl pregnant." Which is not a true thing. Not an effective method of birth control. Don't do that.

J: That is not an effective method of birth control.

H: Just a pro tip.

J: As a follow-up, as an occasional Mountain Dew drinker, I can confirm.

 Question Four (13:53)


Alright Hank, this question comes from Gabe who writes "Dear John and Hank, every few weeks there's a high profile news story of some horrible injustice being committed. I'm a college student and I feel like there's very little I can do other than tweet my outrage, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't help much. Is there anything I can do that makes a real difference?" That is a big and difficult and very complicated question, and one that I'm sure our advice on will be exceptionally dubious.

H: Yeah.

J: The first thing that I want to say, though, Hank, is that it feels at least to me right now in American life like life is getting much much worse. But in fact that is not the case, at least not in any kind of straightforward way. I want to underscore that because I don't want people to feel hopeless. Ten years ago, it was impossible if you wanted to marry someone of your sex to get married. The murder rate in the United States is much lower than it was fifteen years ago, or thirty years ago, or forty years ago. More people have health insurance. Help me out, Hank. What are other things that are getting better? People live longer healthier lives. Around the world infant mortality has declined more in the last twenty years than in any twenty year period in human history.

H: Even something as simple as divorce rates going down, indicates an increase in stability that seems kind of like "that's not how it is, of course divorce rates are going up." But in fact they aren't, and fewer people are getting divorced now than they used to, because there's more stability in families and that's great.

H: So yes, that is a good place to start, that it's not hopeless and people are working hard to make the world better, and that is a thing that has been going on for 200,000 years and continues right now. And that's really hard to identify, and yes some weeks are much worse than others, and will leave scars on our nation forever, and we will never feel the same way that we did before this weekend.

H: That's how I feel. Like I feel like this is going to be one of those moments that changes me. Not just what happened, not just the assault at Pulse in Orlando but also the death of Christina Grimmie who was murdered at a post-show signing which is a thing that I just did for two weeks in a row, over and over again every night, and loved doing and had a wonderful time doing, and that has an out-sized impact on me personally because I knew her and because that's what we do.

H: That's like our thing, and feels very real and very... Yeah, anyway. Hannah Hart made a video this week that I think answers this question fairly well which is of course we can do things, we are lucky enough to live in a country where the way that the country is run is directly informed by the people of the country.

H: And it can feel I think especially to young people who see the way that the country's been going, and the way that things currently function, that there isn't a lot of ways to get yourself into that process and affect it, but I think the faster and more dedicated you can be to doing that... And not just being angry at the current state of things but actually trying to get into how the current state of things works and to affect it from the inside, the better. So the younger you can do that, the better, because not only will it be tools that you are building for the future but also that kind of... a perspective that only young people can have, which is that this is unacceptable and we cannot let the world continue this way, which is just much more common when you are sort of first understanding the problems that the world faces.

Rather than someone maybe my age who has seen good things happen and is like "oh this is pretty good compared to how it was when I was a kid." That drive I think is more likely to come from the younger generation, and I very much want that passion and energy to get, to have the tools that people who have an established connection in the world, to utilize those same tools. And those tools really are organizing and connecting with your representatives in ways that they understand, which is not angry tweets, necessarily.

Though in the future it will be more angry tweets than it is now, will have an affect. But that way is organizing groups of people together, talking to the staffers of the people who represent you, voting in ways that make those people know that you are an important voting bloc, that your opinions do matter and that they understand that this group of people, this connected group of people, can affect the outcome of an election.

And those are the things that change this country, and it can seem dirty and gross sometimes to even be interacting with a system that you see has supported injustice for decades, injustice and bad policy, but that's how change happens, and that is how it has happened for the entire history of America. And we have made this country better and we have made this world better. We have made bad decisions, but we have made, I think, more good decisions than bad.

J: Yeah I certainly think the United States is a freer and fairer place than it was when it was formed. I want to underscore something that Hank said. I think it's incredibly important to reach out to your representatives, both your congresspeople, your senators, but also your local representatives.

Let them know the issues that matter to you. I know it is hard, it is hard to call strangers, especially hard to call strangers who seem to be powerful people who are separate from you and distant from you. But it's so important.

They don't listen to Twitter the same way they listen to phone calls. That's why so much political organization revolves around calling representatives. I also think it's incredibly important to vote, not just in presidential elections, not just to focus on who's the president of the United States, but to focus on who's your state senator, who's your state rep, who are your city and county council-people, because those people have an out-sized say in what actually happens in the US, from choosing the districts, the shape of the districts that you vote in.

J: So in essence choosing the party of the representative you're going to have for US Congress, but also in many many other ways. I think it's incredibly important and I think sometimes with our focus on national politics we lose that focus on local politics that makes a big difference in the everyday lives of people. Right down to something like protecting LGBT people from discrimination.

J: In the state that I live in, Indiana, there is no statewide protection for LGBT people. There is no law that says that you can't fire someone for being gay. That's ludicrous, right? And that's not something that we're going to be able to fix nationally. It's something we have to fix in Indiana. And we fix that by making the case to our local representatives that this is unacceptable, that this is part of a larger pattern of discrimination and violence that goes back to the very beginning of the history of the United States and its relationship with LGBT people. So I think that stuff is incredibly important.

H: Yeah, and it can be overwhelming at first, but to me it's kind of like an assignment in being a citizen of your country, wherever you are. If you live in a democratic place... it's not a requirement, but if you don't like the way things are, violent overthrow of the government is not going to happen. And even if it could, it would be a bad idea.

And so if you want things to change, you have to learn how to make them change, and that is a process and it involves doing things that are uncomfortable. I remember the first time I called a representative on the phone, I left a message, and I was like sweating. And it's an intense and kind of difficult thing, which is why I think that is part of why it is weighed more heavily by the people at those offices, and by the politicians themselves, because they know that a tweet is easy, but a phone call is hard.

And so when people care enough to call, that's when they know that an issue is becoming more important. Because it is hard, is the reason why it matters more in some ways. It's also because of course these people are often older, and also bureaucracies tend to change more slowly than the rest of the world. So there are absolutely things you can do, and by virtue of living in the developed world you are a powerful person. And you are far more powerful than the average person on Earth, and that is kind of scary sometimes, but it is a real thing and it can seem not real, but it only seems not real because we're sort of caught up in the middle of it feel sort of like we're being washed over by this giant wave of crap. So yes, thank you for the great question, and sorry that John and I talked for a real long time about it.

J: I do want to say one more thing actually.

H: (laughing) Okay.

J: I want to underscore that we have big and real problems in the United States on a lot of different topics and that real people's lives are deeply negatively affected by those real problems. Some of them are policy problems, some of them are social problems we have, some of them are a complicated mix. I do think that one other thing we can do is we can try to model better discourse. We can try to do a better job on an individual level of listening to people, of listening to people we disagree with, of not shouting them down, of not trying to prove them wrong, but of trying to find ways to work together, to understand each other, to feel that we are in this together because we deeply are. And to listen better. Because I don't think right now in online discourse and maybe you'll disagree with me Hank but I do not think that we are doing a good job of listening to each other, and I think that is much to the harm of the overall quality of American life, both political life and social life

H: I do not disagree with you, let me tell ya. But I also have to say I also do that, and I know that you do too. We all do it.

J: I do, I just did it a couple days ago. I lost my temper and screamed at someone. And you know what, it did not change that person's belief system. One bit.

H: I just did it recently as well, in my last Vlogbrothers video. I left a nasty comment to somebody who left a nasty comment, and that didn't help anything.

J: It didn't work, but it made me feel good for a moment. It gave me a tiny brief jolt of excitement, and then just decrease the quality of my overall life a tiny bit in the long run.

H: And possibly the whole world, so yeah, it's not worth it.

 Question Five (26:42)


J: Let's move onto another question, I'm tired of this and I'm getting distressed.

H: Okay this one is from Rachel who asks, "Dear Hank and John, over the last year I have consumed a lot of fanfiction and I get made fun of by my friends for it a lot. A few of my friends have called fanfiction a bad thing, but I'm not sure I agree. While sometimes it can be weird, I feel like it allows people to get their voice out, about what they're writing about and thinking about. What are your thoughts on fanfiction, reading and/or writing?"

J: I am strongly pro fanfiction.

H: Yes, I have written a little bit of fanfiction myself, and I very much enjoyed doing it, and I've read fanfiction, and I very much enjoy reading it. I think that it's a great tool for expressing passion and community and coalescing fandoms, and I also think it's a really great tool to help people learn how to write better and be better readers. And it also enhances these great worlds that we want to spend more time in but sometimes can't because there are no more Harry Potter books coming out.

J: Yeah I also really like fanfiction, and I have also written some of it, pseudonymously, as little breaks from my proper writing career, and I've found it very enjoyable. I don't want to tell you what my pseudonym is, Hank, but it's Ryan.

H: It's Ryan Ryanson.

J: Ryan Ryanson, son of Ryan, father of Ryan, uncle and cousin to Ryan. I've enjoyed my experiments with writing fanfiction and I love reading it. I have to say I am do deeply flattered when people write fanfiction about my books, and I remember at one point, my publisher came to me and said, do you want to shut this down? Do you want to stop people from publishing this stuff? And I was like "no, I want to send them thank you gifts and money," I think this is amazing, this is good good news. Any time anybody cares enough about my book to try to extend the world of it or to extend the characters, it's such a gift to me, and I'm very grateful for it.

 Question Six (28:55)


And having said that, Hank, I would like to move on to a new question. This one is from Holly who writes "Dear John and Hank, one phrase has bothered me for years, but John using it in the last episode made me hope he could explain it to me. Why when someone is saying something do they begin it with quote unquote. Shouldn't it be quote, whatever they are saying, unquote? Why do people say unquote and others say end quote? Are both correct? Help me understand."

J: Well Holly, end quote is incorrect, and I know it's incorrect because I don't use it. And the ultimate style guide is the style guide I was taught by my parents when I was born. We all know the real English style guide was formed in Orlando, Florida by Mike and Sydney Green in about 1982-1985.

H: So saying quote unquote and then you say the thing is just a way of saving time, right? Quote unquote and then you can kind of tell when the quote ends, so you don't have to say quote, say the thing, and then say unquote at the end of it. That would be sort of weirder.

J: I use quote unquote a lot except I can't currently thinking of an example.

H: Why don't you just say quote? Like I get it, there's also going to be an end of the quote someday, and it will be implied by the tone of your speech. So you can just say "And Charles Darwin said quote" and then say what Charles Darwin said.

J: Well in that situation I would say "Charles Darwin said quote" and etc. but when I say quote unquote it's usually about one or two words that I feel are being misused or I want to separate somehow--

H: Oh I see, yes, you do do that.

J: --from my voice, I want to insert it into someone else's voice. The way that I would use air quotes, right. So when I say quote unquote, I'm basically saying air quotes.

H: Right right right.

J: As for why I say it, again I say it because that's how my parents taught me to talk when I was a child.

H: And then as far as saying unquote versus end quote, is that an eggcorn?

J: I don't know, all I know is that quote unquote is correct because I have decided that it is correct.

H: I feel like end quote is a thing that happened because people thought that people were saying end quote when they were saying unquote. But in either case it totally works, which is fine. And so that entering into accepted usage would be fine, but I love that this could be called an eggcorn because it is a word that people misheard but the mishearing makes sense, and that eggcorn being what people thought someone was saying when someone was saying acorn but they thought it was an egg corn, because it looked kind of like a kernel of corn but was hard an ovular like an egg.

J: I think we should start calling acorns eggcorns now that I've thought about it. Why do we call acorns acorns? What a weird word.

H: I don't know but I have a more important thing to say which is that the word oval either comes from the word ovum, or the word ovum comes from the word oval. And I had never realized that until now, and now I want to know.

 Commercial Break (32:11)


J: Today's podcast is brought to you by the word ovum, or possibly the word oval, we're not sure yet.

H: It indeed comes from the word egg! So it started with egg and then you went from egg to oval shapes. Interesting.

J: So it turns out that today's podcast is brought to you by ovums, or ova, or ovi. I'm nto very good with my Latin.

H: Yeah. Good John. This podcast is also brought to you by Katie's rock band! Katie's rock band: they didn't tell me what the name of the band was, but hopefully they won't have a big fight about it when they are trying to establish it.

J: Yeah, Hank, it occurs to me that maybe the number one piece of advice that we could have given Katie about her rock band is that she needs to start doing a better job of marketing her rock band, by for instance including its name in her email to us.

H: Yes, That would have helped. If anyone wants to help name Katie's rock band you can leave that on twitter, #dearhankandjohn.

J: That's a good idea Hank, we should name Katie's rock band.

H: Yeah we could. Yeah we should. Totally should do that 

J: I already have a name for it.

H: OK

J: Ocupado.

H: (giggles) What else is this podcast brought to you by John?

J: Today's podcast is also brought to you by Mountain Dew. Mountain Dew: not effective birth control, as it turns out.

H: And finally, this podcast is brought to you by the wiggling tail of the lizard that is now inside of Candler's litter box. Candler, a cat who is not a cat, whose cat ate a lizard and made its owner afraid of the lizard that got ate.

J: That is the worst brought to you by that we've ever done.

H: You know, I think in the end though, that sometimes we have to show our rough edges.

J: Oh yeah, god knows this podcast doesn't have enough rough edges! Great point. What we're really lacking around here is rough edges!

H: I don't want it to get too polished, John.

J: Oh yeah, god forbid.

 Question Seven (34:13)


H: Alright, I got another question. This one's from last week's set and I wanted to answer it. So I apologize John that this isn't in your document. It's from Jackie who asks, "Dear Hank and John, growing up most of my friends were forced to learn an instrument by their parents or school. Our lives were much more regimented as children, if your mom said you had to practice, you just had to practice. I never had that pressure to gain that skill and I'm worried I'm at a disadvantage. My question is: Do you have any dubious advice for those of us picking up a hobby who aren't between the ages of 7 and 15? What do I do when I want to give up and my parents aren't there to force me to practice?"

I actually started to play guitar when I was 24 years old, and I had never done it before, and here's the thing that it's all about: You have to get through a period of time when it is not fun, and in order to do that you can either have a great deal of motivation and self-control, or you can pay a person to make you do it and to be disappointed in you if you don't, which is what I did. His name was James and he was my guitar teacher and I took about six months of guitar lessons and it got me through the hard part until I could play some of my favorite songs and sing them and it was fun. If you can't afford that then you gotta get one of Karen Kavett's daily calendars where you mark off that you did something every day and you never let yourself not do it, and find other motivational techniques like that. But once you get through that initial process-- I'm still not like a virtuosic guitar player or anything, I can't even do any finger picking I just play chords, but I have a really good time doing it and that's what music is about.

J: Isn't it also about being good though?

H: Uh... It's about progressing, I think. I think that's part of the fun part of learning any skill: getting better, and that is a source of great joy. And I think that all people-- like having something in your life that you're on the path to mastery - which of course is a thing that never happens - does increase satisfaction and I would recommend it to anybody whether it's guitar or poetry or... management.

J: Yeah. No, I absolutely agree that like feeling like you're progressing in something that you care about is a huge part of having a high quality of life. At least for me like it's kind of the central thing, and when I feel like I'm not progressing at the things that I care about I get very frustrated.

H: Yes.

 Response (37:02)


J: So Hank, before we get to the News from Mars and AFC Wimbledon, I just want to read one response email that we got because it's actually fantastic. In a recent podcast, you told the story of how your bike got stolen. Do you remember?

H: Yes, I do. It did not, in fact, get stolen.

J: It did not, in fact, get stolen. What in fact had happened to it?

H: I had locked it up downtown ad walked home and then forgotten. For several months.

J: For several months. Yes, this is Emma's story. "Hank! While listening to your podcast I got excited for about 30 seconds because of our almost identical stolen bike stories, until you got to the part where you realized you had left it somewhere. A month after my bike was stolen in real life, I found it chained to a pole next door to my house for sale. I just kind of let it happen because I figured they needed money more than I needed the bike. I see it as kind of a win: They got some money, someone else got a nice bike, and I got a story to tell."

Emma, Hank, is a better person than any of us.

 Question Eight (38:02)


H: [chuckling] Yeah, I mean really!? Oh man, I, you, you didn't even buy your own bike back? I could have been like hey yeah, I'd like to buy this bike but can I get a bit of a discount because of how its mine?

J: (laughing) I mean...

H: Yeah give me 20% off.

J: I don't like to nominate people for sainthood Hank, its not in my nature, but I think that we should have a talk with Pope Benedict, personal friend, about possibly making Emma a saint. I dunno, how well do you know Pope Benedict Hank?

H: Not at all, though I do know some people that have talked with him, cause several YouTubers got to go and meet the Pope.

J: Well I have a cousin who is a, eh, Catholic priest, so the Pope and I are acquainted.

H: Right, yes, that is how that works.

J: I believe that is correct, Hank is there any news from Mars this week?

 News from Mars (38:57


H: Oh, you know what John? There is. You may be surprised to find out, eh, so Elon Musk has provided some new details on his mission to Mars, his plan for how to get humans to Mars. So the way that Mars works is it goes around the sun, and so does earth. Which means that occasionally they are very far apart, cause Mars will be on the other side of the sun, and occasionally they are pretty close together and that happens once every two years. Uh, that Mars and earth get close enough to like, close together, so that makes it a much cheaper and quicker trip. So ah, the next time that will happen is in 2018, 2020, 2022, 2024, Elon Musk wants to send his first unmanned spacecraft to Mars in 2018.
 
J: Wow

H: It is as soon as that, my is guess that it will be 2020 because that is a very near target, but he wants to have it launched on a rocket that has never launched before, called the Falcon Heavy and it would be used in the Dragon Spacecship, which would be the, spacecraft I should say-- the heaviest thing to ever land on Mars by a factor of ten, and the plan then thereafter would be that first mission would go in 2018 and in 2022 they would be sending more supply mission that would be like, these are things that people are going to use once they get there so they're not even-- there will be some science experiments going along with those things, some robotic experiments, but there will also be things that will aid human explorers as they get to the surface of Mars.

And that would happen again in 2020 and 2022, with more missions that would have more payloads. And I think that his plan is that as soon as 2022 there would be humans, colonists, in what he refers to as the "Mars colonial transporter" designed to bring people to Mars. Now, that seems outlandishly optimistic, but that is Elon Musk for you.

It is difficult to say how this effort would be funded. Of course his plan is to significantly decrease the cost, that does not make it cheap, but I think that like on the inside estimate, SpaceX's plan, Elon Musk's plan is to get like I would think that if they have everything go very well they could be actually sending human people to Mars by 2024 and he continues to outline his plan saying, the goal is not to have those people go and then come back, and have gone to Mars as we did with the moon, but having people go and come back but also be sending new people as well, and establish a permanent station that would always be staffed on the surface of Mars. And he says, It is dangerous, and people will probably die and they will know that. And they will pave the way and ultimately it will be very safe to go to Mars and it will be very comfortable, but that will be many years in the future.

J: Wow. I mean, Is there a way that you and I can make a bet right now as to whether or not humans will be on Mars by 2024?

H: Well the launch will happen in 2024, so they would be landing in 2025.

J: You know what, I'll give you an extra year, I'll give you til 2026, I'll give you ten years from today, do you think there will be humans on Mars?

H: Well that's not how the Mars missions work, as we discussed previously, so it will either be 2025 or 2027 or 2029, it will definitely not be 2026.

J: But you just said that the idea is that there will be permanent staffing.

H: Well yes.

J: So there would be some kind of human on Mars.

H: There would be people still there, but it would not increase my chances if you gave me 2026 is what I'm saying, it wouldn't make it more likely.

J: Alright, I'll give you 2027, I'll give you 11 years.

H: Alright, can you give me better than even odds?

J: I will not give you better than even odds, I'm asking you to throw in your lot with Elon Musk and believe that in 11 years there will be a human-- I will even say it's OK if the human is dead-- a human, alive or dead, on Mars.

H: *chuckling* Oh god.

J: I think we should let our listeners suggest the stakes.

H: Yes the stakes do not have to be monetary. Please suggest the stakes on Twitter, #dearhankandjohn or on our Patreon, patreon.com/dearhankandjohn.

J: Speaking of our Patreon Hank there's this ridiculous picture of you with the announcement of-- you've just created a new nonprofit, congratulations, the Internet Creators' Guild, and it's gonna be an organization that advocates for online creators and increases transparency in their business dealings and stuff, it's very exciting-- but there's this picture off you circulating that I'm gonna put on the Patreon and you look ridiculous.

H: Oh. Which one is it?


J: It's the one where somehow-- you're at a conference and you've managed to--

H: *Hank grunts over John* OH GOD yeah that one.

J: --your lanyard so that it's like... you're wearing it as if it's a tiny Miss America sash. It's the most ludicrous picture of you I've ever seen.

H: *chuckling* I KNOW!

J: If you want to go to the Patreon page-- you don't have to subscribe or anything, I'm just putting this up for the sheer joy of sharing Hank's ridiculousness with you-- it's at Patreon.com/dearhankandjohn.

H: (?~44:21)

J: I'm very excited Hank to find out whether there's going to be a human on Mars by 2017, and indeed to have our listeners to suggest stakes in this bet. It finally gives me something that I can get excited about: Preventing human beings from going to Mars by 2027.

H: *laughing* Oh god.

J: I've finally got a mission in life: I've got to sabotage Elon Musk's mission.

H: No, no... yeah.

J: I'm gonna become the anti-Elon Musk. I'm gonna start like advocating for decreasing the amount of money we spend on space. Who wants to go to space when we've got a great planet right here?

H: Can we call you like Leon Mush? *John cackles* The anti Elon Musk: Leon Mush.

J: *still chuckling* Oh man, I'm starting a twitter right now twitter.com/leonmuss where I'm gonna do nothing but destroy Elon Musk's whole life so I can prevent him from sending people to Mars and win some stupid bet with you.

 News from AFC Wimbledon (45:29)


J: OK, there is some news from AFC Wimbledon this week, it's sad news. These days all the news seems to be sad. We're going up, Hank it's the most improbable thing, we've had to submit a new description of the podcast to iTunes because we're now a third tier soccer team, not a fourth tier soccer team. But today it was announced that Ade Azeez who is a striker, perhaps best known not for his goals but for the song that Wimbledon fans sand about him "Your defense is terrified the 'Zeez is on fire" Ade Azeez, it has been announced, is leaving Wimbledon to join a Scottish team called Partick Thistle that I once mistakenly called Patrick Thistle and lots of people have given me crap about it over the years, but it's Partick Thistle. So Ade Azeez, still a really young player, I think he's just 22, was a really important striker for AFC Wimbledon but usually played off the bench and I think is heading to Partick Thistle because he wants to be a starter, so I wish him luck, we all wish him luck. He was a huge part of the Wimbledon season that lead to promotion, but this is another loss, another player leaving, and we haven't yet heard of many players coming in, or any players coming in actually. So it's a little bit scary. But I trust Neal Ardley, our beloved manager, and I'm sure that it will be fine. But that is the news from AFC Wimbledon, we are bidding adieu to Ade Azeez. In fact, now Hank we've lost both of our strikers named Adebayo, Adebayo Akinfenwa and now Adebayo Azeez. So everything is changing, that is the nature of life. By 2027, Wimbledon will be in the premiere league.

H: How much money do we need to give them for them to get a bunch of people to replace the people?

J: Uhhhh... hundreds of thousands of dollars?

H: I don't have that. Do you want to do a bet that AFC Wimbledon won't be in the premiere league in 2027?

J: I think we will be in the premiere league in 2027, absolutely, 100%, no doubt.

H: OK so is there another bet here?

J: I mean, do you really want to bet against a team owned by its fans, that had to reform in 2002 and had open tryouts on Wimbledon Common, you want to bet against that happening? You're a dark person, Hank Green.

H: You just bet against humanity going to another planet!

J: I'm just trying to bet against... what I see as dangerous, ill-advised missions to Mars. I don't even actually believe that but now I really want to win the bet so I'm just gonna become like a hardcore-- you know what Hank, I've heard actually that going to Mars can be bad for your sperm count, just like putting a laptop on your lap.

H: That is definitely true. It could very easily be bad for your sperm count, and also all of your other counts.

 Outtro (48:33)


J: *giggles* Oh boy Hank, what did we learn today.

H: We learned that if you're trying to have a baby then putting a laptop on your lap is not necessarily the best idea, but if you're not trying to have a baby, putting a laptop on your lap will not actually help you achieve that goal.

J: We learned that the science is still out on putting a laptop on your lap. We also learned that Candler is not a cat. 

H: Nope, not a cat.

J: Just a person with a cat.

H: And we learned that John Green has a secret identity under which he writes fanfiction and that secret identity is Ryan Ryanson, son of Ryan.

J: And of course we learned that Elon Musk WILL NOT be going to Mars by 2027, not if Leon Muss has anything to say about it.

H: *chuckles* Thanks to the efforts of Leon Muss.

J: I've got to log out of my twitter so I can get twitter.com/leonmuss.

H: Alright, thank you John for podcasting with me, thank you everyone for listening. Our podcast is edited by Nicholas Jenkins, Rosianna Halse Rojas helps with the questions, our intern is Claudia Morales, the theme music is be Gunnarolla, and as they say in our hometown...

Both: Don't forget to be awesome.


*theme music ends*

H: I forgot to tell people where they could email us.

J: Awww, Hank, you're better than that!

H: You can email us at dearhankandjohn.com did that count? No, that doesn't work either. It's not even that.

J: It would if that was our email address but it isn't so you still haven't succeeded.

H: You can email us at hankandjohn@gmail.com, and as they say in our hometown,

Both: Don't forget to be awesome.