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How do I organize someone else's books? How do I justify the money allocated to extending my life? How does tug of war work? And more!

 Intro and corrections (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 where me and my brother John will answer your questions, we'll give you dubious advice, and bring you all the weeks news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. How you doing, John?

John: I'm doing great. Uh, everything is beautiful here. I, uh, there is one issue, Hank, that's been hanging over, I think, all of our heads since last week, which is that careful listeners of the podcast may have noticed that in our last episode, uh, I said that we'd received like 478 Snickers bars at the office, and then later in the episode I said like 458, and then later in the episode I said like 437. At one point, you said a number that I had said previously, and then I corrected you, uh.

Hank [Laughing] That sounds about right.

John: I have the final number here, Hank.

Hank: The actual number? Did you go and count all of your Snickers bars?

John: I counted them one by one, because they came, uh, in, you know, a certain number of boxes but I emptied out all the boxes just so that I could put them in my bathtub so that I could have a Snickers bath. And--

Hank: Are you going to tell me the number of Snickers that are currently left, or the number you received?

John: The number I received was 384.

Hank: Oh!

John: So, I apologize to everyone for getting that number so terribly wrong, but most of all to my sponsor, my long time corporate sponsor, Snickers, um, maker of the most delicious snack on Earth. Uh, so currently I have about, mm, I'd say like 200 odd Snickers remaining.

Hank: [Laughing] I, uh, I think that it would be great if we could, if we could just sort of follow you around in your personal life and, and take every moment where you exaggerate, like an objective exaggeration where it's like an actual number, and figure out what the percentage is, like averaged out, what the percentage is that you exaggerate by. Uh, I think that would be super interesting. I'd be, it be interesting to find out if it was like a, if it was a consistent, like this is how much John exaggerates so we could sort of say objectively, or if it just flies all around. [Talking over each other] Because you just exaggerated again, uh--

John: [Talking over each other] I think that it's almost exactly-- I think that it's almost exactly 384/458th is how much I exaggerate.

Hank: [Laughing] I would be interested to know how many Snickers bars are actually left, because you did just exaggerate how many Snickers bars you've eaten, I hope.

John: I mean, I slightly exaggerated it, maybe, but I have been enjoying at least I would say a handful of Snickers bars per day. They are delicious.

Hank: Can I tell you a story, John?

John: Please.

Hank: Uh, so we recently moved to a different office, uh, and in the process of moving, uh, we know, we sort of grabbed stuff as it was and put it on a truck. Uh, and one of the things we grabbed was this trunk, uh, that opens up, I think we got it at Target, and inside there's some storage space. Um, I was going through the office to be like, oh god we have all this stuff, to like figure out where things were, and I opened it, uh, that trunk and inside there was a bag of Halloween candy, an open bag of Halloween candy with some 3 Musketeers, Snickers, and Starbursts in it. And, I was very pleased and excited to find this, and I started, and I just like took a handful and closed it up. And then, uh, and I kept doing that, uh, for weeks and it was just like a wonderful little treat that I had, but o-, but as time went one, people saw me doing it and they were like "What? Is there, are there treats? Are there treats in that trunk?" And, uh, and so this bag of Halloween candy that had been totally undiscovered since last Halloween, so almost a year now, uh I-I was, it was like my secret for about a week before, uh, before the knowledge of the location of the treats exponentially grew throughout the office. Until now, of course, there are only Starbursts left. 

John: [Laughing] That reminds me that after the coming nuclear apocalypse, uh, we may be low on food, but there will always be Starbursts.

Hank: Is that the short poem for today?

John: That's, that's our short poem. There will always be Starbursts. Uh, yeah, let's skip the short poem today and instead focus just a little bit more attention on whether or not we can get a corporate sponsor to send us 384 more Snickers bars, because I am concerned about what I'm going to do when these Snickers run out.

Hank: I just want to point out that you got Snickers bars and our office didn't, and now my office knows about that. My office [John: Yeah] being the one that actually sold the sponsorship at VidCon [John: Yeah], and they're like, "Why didn't we get a b--." And, we have a whole thing about M&Ms, which is also a Mars brand, and, uh, and it's, there's a, a great deal of contention now about the fact that we do not, we did not get our favorite candy and you did.

John: Hank, I think what concerns me about the way that you're constructing this, uh, Snickers issue is that you are imagining that my office received 384 Snickers bars. [Hank laughing] I want to be absolutely clear about something, uh, for the sake of my own health and for the sake of the health of my employees, for the vibe in this office, those 384 Snickers bars were addressed to me. They are my Snickers bars. A portion of them may reside in the office refrigerator, but they are mine. They belong to me. They will be consumed solely by myself.

Hank: I, uh, that is, that is remarkable to me. I, I, are you sure that that's the, that that's the uh best thing for, for your employees? To be like, "Hey, I got a bunch of stuff. I'm your boss. I'm gonna keep it."

John: Uh, I don't think they really think of me as their boss. I think they think of me as like this strange man who shows up some days.


Hank: Uh, uh, John, can I, can I do a, can I perform a short poem for this podcast?

John: Absolutely.

Hank: Uh, the, the poem for this podcast is from the, uh, just the notes. That is the top of our podcast notes document, and those notes are:

384 Snickers
Helium car would be slightly lighter than air car
The Fault in our Stars is not available on Netflix

[John laughing]

Hank: That's the short poem, uh, we, uh, is generally called 384 Snickers. It's by John Green, and it's from the podcast notes of our August 1st, 2016 episode.

John: Oh boy, it's not August 1st. Um--

Hank: I don't know what day it is.

John: --and it's another day when this goes, uh, when is aired, but it is true that a car would, it turns out, be slightly lighter than a car with air tires. About .25 pounds lighter. Nicholas did the math, and boy, did he do the math. Uh, we'll put the math on our Patreon page at, and now, Hank, it is time, very belatedly, to get to some questions from our listeners.

 Question One (7:04)

Hank: Alright, this one is from Trey, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, in recent weeks both Stranger Things and the new Harry Potter play came out. I want to tweet about those things, but I don't want to spoil things for others. But, one of my favorite parts of Twitter is sharing experiences with people. At what point can I post without a guilty conscious?"

John: I have no idea how to handle this, Hank. Is it never? Is the answer never?

Hank: It's never. I still do not post Harry Potter spoilers. Like I do not tweet about, like what, 'cause like there will always be someone reading Harry Potter for the first time, and like, wh-. Like if you want to have a conversation, if you want to have a, have a conversation about Harry Potter be like "Hey, can anyone come join me in this chatroom who's already read Cursed Child. Can I, can you please, like let's create a space where, where people who have enjoyed Stranger Things and want to discuss it, can we go to a place that is, uh, that is n-, that is segmented off from the rest of the internet." The idea that all, that all, you know, discussion on the internet has to happen in this like über public forum of either, uh, Twitter or YouTube or, uh, you know, like that's, like that's not how it has to be. We can create social spaces on the internet that are not, uh, not in the faces of a hundred percent of the people who follow you.

John: Uh, I'm not totally convinced of that like, uh, because I don't know exactly where the line is. Like if I tweet about the, uh, results of the most recent AFC Wimbledon game, have I spoiled the experience of AFC Wimbledon game for people who wanted like wait to watch the highlights on YouTube?

Hank: No. I might, I might be biased here, but I feel like real life things--

John: Mhmm

Hank: --are different from fictional things. So it's not like, uh--

John: OK.

Hank: --like if I don't know who won the Canadian election and people are like, uh, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is, and I'm like "Oh dang it! You spoiled it for me." 'Cause that's just the world. That's life. I'm not like "Oh, I was going to watch the election coverage later." No, that's just a thing that happened in the real world. That's a fact.

John: OK, so the rule is you can never spoil fiction on, uh, broadly available public social media, um, however you can spoil non-fictions.

Hank: Yes. 'cause, 'cause, I mean I think that--

John: Can you spoil a nonfiction book? Are you allowed to spoil a memoir?

Hank: Uh, yes? 'Cause it's, it's true facts of things that happened, and I think that we do that all the time. It's like, when some published a memoir, often times what will happen is the news story will be like, uh, this book came out and this person said these five things. Because then it's a news story. It's a news story then

John: I don't know. I actually-- It's funny you should say that, Hank, because I felt like the movie Titanic was a little bit spoiled for me just because I happened to already know in advance what happens.

[Hank laughing]

John: You know, like with the Titanic, I knew it was going to sink.

Hank: Yeah. Uh huh.

John: And, I felt like if I could have gone that experience cold, it would have been a much more powerful film for me because I would have been like "Oh my! Oh, my! Oh my goodness!"

Hank: "I thought this was going to be a cute love story."

John: Yeah, but no. It turns out that this is terrible, and for some reason Kate Winslet is not willing to share her door and now Leonardo DiCaprio is going to die. Oh, dang it! I did it. I spoiled the movie. I apologize. I'm very sorry.

Hank: That, see, see. Leonardo DiCaprio character in Titanic didn't actually exist. That portion was fictional, and so you can't spoil it. You can, however, say that the Titanic sank, because that is a thing that happened.

John: Alright, so there apparently is the line, and I have crossed it, for which I apologize.

 Question Two (10:40)

Hank, we also have a question from Sarah, and this question is as follows, "Dear John and Hank, I started playing Pokemon Go almost as soon as it was released, back when the servers were super flaky, and even though the game seems to be working fine now, I have a serious problem. You see, I live in a rural area, and there are no Pokemon or Pokestops that can be easily accessed from my home. I also can't drive yet, and because of my parents' busy schedule, the can't just drive me places simply for the sake of catching Pokemon. What do I do?"

Hank: Well, Sarah, I think that you, first of all, need to twist your parents arms and tell them to drive you places. Also, just get an apartment downtown. I'm imagining you're 13 or 14 years old. Just get the-- just do it. Get a job, drop out of school, you'll be fine. You got to focus on getting up to level 25.

John: No you won't. No you won't. That's terrible, terrible, terrible advice. Uh, listen, I like catching Pokemon as ne- as much as the next person, or possibly more given that I have just reached level 21. However, uh, I, I really feel strongly that, uh, you need to wait, Sarah, for better augmented reality games to come out out that are friendlier, uh, to people living in rural spaces, and then just take your, uh, take your moments when they come, you know. Your school will almost definitely be a Pokestop. So, when school starts back up, uh, you know, you can, you can stop paying attention in class and just, uh, you know, make sure that you update that, uh, get your Pokeballs from the Pokestop every six minutes, and-- Our advice on this topic is horrible, Hank. We're all headed in-- We're just, both headed in terrible directions.

Hank: I think, here's, here's my, here's, here's my proposal, John. We create a new game, it's called Nomekop Og, and it's, it's just like Pokemon Go, except all the places that there are Pokemon, there aren't any and then all the places where there aren't Pokemon, there are tons.

John: Yeah.

Hank: So, it'll get all the city dwellers out into the country land, and all the, and all the rural people can be like "ha ha ha, I got like a level 84 narful-blag" and, uh, everybody will be "what is that even? I've never even heard of that Nomekop." So, that's my proposal.

John: That a pretty brilliant idea. I like that idea a lot. Um, we should talk to Niantic about this exciting opportunity, um, where they don't even have to licence the Pokemon characters. They just spell them backwards and, uh, put them, make them slightly less cute, and suddenly it's not even a problem.

 Question Three (13:08)

Hank: Alright, I got, I got another question, if you would like to hear this question.

John: Yes, I would.

Hank: It's from Katie, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I'm about two months away from moving into college. I'm going to be living in a triple room, me and two roommates, in a room that was built for two people. The layout of this room is one loft bed with a desk and a wardrobe built into it, and then the other two beds as bunk beds. I want the loft bed because it's the best bed, and so does everybody else. Is there a way for me to get my preferred and everyone else's preferred bed without seeming like a total jerk?" No.

John: I mean in this situation, I take the worst bed 10 time out of 10--

Hank: Yeah?

John: --Uh, to get myself in good with my new roommates.

Hank: Ooh. I was gonna, so there are, I feel like there are a ton of different answers to this question based on, like, economic theories. If it's like the communist theory or, like, then, then you all have to just like, uh, switch beds every night. If it's like the sort of Amer- the idea of, of like helping, uh, like, you know, like incremental taxation and progressive taxation, then you would say like, OK who's the wealthy person in the room? They get the worst bed. Uh, if it's, ah, you know, if it's just like American egalitarianism than you have to just be like Rochambeau and then you pick, or, you know, you have the person pay for the best bed. You pay the other roommates. You say, "Hey, I want the best bed. Here's 50 bucks." And then the other ones are like, "well, I'll give you 52 for it. Ha ha." And then it's just, it's just, uh, capital. Uh, yeah so that, uh, but I do like John's suggestion, which is, which is more, uh, sort of communitarian, like just say "Hey, I'm going to sacrifice a thing for you, and, and we're going to be friends because of it."

John: I think that what you want at college ultimately is not a slightly, uh, better bed, but better relationships. Like, you have to get along so well with people for those triple rooms to work at all that I just feel like it's a very marginal gain for real risk. Like, as you know, Hank, I'm a very risk adverse person, but I feel like the downside is significant and the upside probably isn't as significant as you think.

Hank: Right, yeah. I think about this all the time, uh, like, like our perce- like the differences between the perceived levels of, of goodness of a product, and, but once you actually have it and are using it, you're like, well, yeah, I mean, it's just, yeah it's not-- the thing that I thought was going to make me happy, made me happy maybe in the moment, but not for, like, actually in the long term, not really. Um, and I, I, uh, I particularly think about this when I'm watching House Hunters, and the people are, always choice the larger house that's farther from work. And, I'm like--

John: Right.

Hank: --you are choosing to spend so much time in traffic in exchange--

John: Right.

Hank: --for a thing that's been objectively proven scientifically to not make you happier. Whereas, spending time in traffic has been proven--

John: Yeah, but when you're looking, the problem is when you're looking for a house, you can't help but think about the house. Like, you're making that decision inside the house. I totally agree with you though, like when--

Hank: Not inside the car on the way to work.

John: --Sarah and I were looking at houses when we were moving, uh, to Indianapolis and we were looking at houses for the first time, uh, at no point did we, any of the things that we consider actually affect our quality of life. Whereas, a bunch of things that didn't factor into our consideration at all were extremely important. Like, looking back, the number one thing that I wish I'd looked for in a house was a house that did not have much lawn, and it didn't even cross my mind. I was like, oh, mowing the lawn is fun. Turns out that is not the case.

Hank: And, are, are there any other house hunting tips, John, that you have for us?

John: Uh, I mean, I guess like the number one house hunting tip that I would make is, uh, never make a decision while you're hungry. That's just a tip in general, though, like I find

Hank: Is that, is that a--

John: you make better decisions when you're not hungry, and I have also found in my own life that one of the best ways to not be hungry is to eat Snickers bars.

Hank: Is, yeah. I thought maybe we were working towards a Snicker integration, John.

John: #sponsored.

 Question Four (17:20)

Alright, Hank, we have another question, uh, this one comes from Ella, who writes "Dear John and Hank, I've recently started volunteering at my local charity bookshop, and have been given free reign in organizing the many, many shelves." Ella, congratulations on the greatest and also most exciting responsibility that you will probably ever have in your life. "How do I organize them? Like, fiction, and crime, and thriller are obviously organized by author, but what about sections like mental health and self-help, or craft, or economics, or any of the many categories that aren't fiction or crime? Do I organize by subcategory: stress, death, sex, relationships? Or do I stick to going by author? Or do I go by the aesthetic version and go by height? What should I do?" Ella, this is a wonderful question. This is one of the great questions of being a human alive in the world today. How do I organize my books, or, if I'm very lucky, how do I organize someone else's books.

Hank: I think this is, I mean, literally there are entire, uh, like, like not just courses but entire programs that people go through in school in this particular topic, and lots of them will probably be listening to the podcast right now. And, so I really don't want to say anything as I'm afraid I will offend them. Use the Dewey Decimal system.

John: It's very difficult. I mean I would, I, I believe in going with the Library of Congress cataloging system. The Dewey Decimal system is also excellent, but I love the Library of Congress cataloging system. I just think that it's very, um, you can Google it. It's, I just find it to be, uh, pretty comprehensive, but one of the fascinating things about cataloging a library, whether it's your home library or a book shop or, or, or, uh, a public library, is that there all these books that live in the in between spaces that defy the easy categorization. Like, in my own home library I have a section, uh, for books about conjoined twins, Hank, because as you know I have a lot of books about conjoined twins, but there are some books that are about more than one thing. Right? Like, there are some books, I have, for instance, a book that is about both boxing and the holocaust. Now, does that go in boxing or does it go in holocaust studies? This, these are like, these turn out to be kind of like really interesting deep questions, and that's one of the reasons I love cataloging and re-cataloging my home library. Is that, in addition to like always reminding me of books I want to reread or that I never, haven't gotten to read, um, it also like always reminds me that, you know, the world, even though we have to organize it, is always like resisting our, our organizational impulses.

Hank: Mmhm, uh, yes, the world does not want to be catalogued. It does not, not want to be simple. It does not want to be, yeah. Yup, but, but we must, for the sake of trying to find the books.

John: We must, we must. It is our obligation to ourselves and to each other to find ways to catalogue the un-categorizable.

Hank: Yeah, so just do it by color, and, uh, and, you know--

John: No! Do not, do not do it by color!

Hank: That'll be a real good, I was actually just looking at my bookshelf when I said that, and like I have all the Scott Pilgrim's, one, two, three, four, five, six, and they're all different colors, and it'd be like oh, great. So, it's like my Scott, like my six Scott Pilgrim's are in different spots in my library.

John: Yeah.

Hank: Uh, all across my house. Depending on like, oh, which was the three? The blue one or was it the orange one? Yeah, so oh well, that's an idea.

John: So, Ella, we're going to encourage you to consult with a local librarian, because they know a lot more about that stuff than we do. And, also because librarians are the best.

 Question Five (20:53)

Hank: Alright, John, I got another question, and it's from Tom, who asks "Dear Hank and John, I just finished a couple of years of cancer treatment, and I, possibly foolishly, started running the numbers. The NHS has spent somewhere in excess of 2.5 million pounds to extend my life by probably as little as a couple of years. How could I possibly repay that debt to society in such a short space of time? How can I justify that my life is worth that much when that money could have saved millions if it had been spent more wisely?"

John: We very rarely rationally allocate resources. So, the idea that, uh, you should feel responsible for irrational allocation of resources, uh, is, is a bit of a stretch, I think. Because, the world doesn't allocate resources rationally. That's the first thing I would say. The second thing that I would say is that you have to remember that life doesn't exist for, for money, money exists for life. Uh, and the third thing that I would say is that the NHS and every human being that comes after you has also benefited from your treatment, because you have contributed to their understanding of cancer. You've contributed to their understanding of how to treat it, and that's a really important contribution to the history of the-the social order, right? Like, that's the main way that we've learned is by trying to treat people, figuring out what works and what doesn't work. So, you can't separate the money that's been spent on you from the-the good it's done, not just for you and those who love you, but also f-f-for the wider social order.

Hank: Yeah, and-and-and in that same vein, with regards to the social order, the NHS, and healthcare systems in general, exist not just so that we can take care of the people who are sick, but the people who are healthy to know that they can be taken care of and will be taken care of when and if they get sick. And, that creates a feeling of security, and it creates a feeling of value, of being valued by your society and your government, um, to know that that system is there. And, uh, and that, and that cost, that you have just applied just to you, uh, is actually kind of providing a benefit across all people in your county, uh, who can feel as if, like, they know that, you know, that, that money would have been spent on them if they had been unlucky enough to be in your situation. Um, and so that, that cost basically gets spread out over all of those people who get to have that sensation of, of safety and of support and of being valued by their society.

John: Yeah, I think survivor's guilt is so, uh, difficult and it's very, very real, and this is one expression of it among many. And, uh, I'm not gonna pretend to be able to take that feeling away or that fear away, but I think ultimately the-the value of any human life, uh, if you try to calculate it monetarily, everything falls apart.

Hank: Yes.

John: Uh, I just don't think, I just don't think that human lives, uh, are a, like the value or worth of a human life, can effectively be measured by markets.

Hank: No, no, uh, though I think that sometimes we try, and it's very upsetting.

John: Yeah, I mean to-- yeah.

 Question Six (24:17)

Hank: Alright, John, I have another question if you want to go a little bit lighter than that one. It's from Kelly, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, when there's a large scale tug-of-war happening, I've seen a lot of people using the 1-2-3-pull method instead of having all the members of their team constantly pulling. While I've seen this work and I agree that it's the most effective way to win tug-of-war, I don't understand why it works. In my head, I would think that if the other team was constantly with all their collective might, that they would win during the break, while my team is counting to 3. So, why does my team win?" Well, it might just be that your team is-is strong and burly and amazing and-and great and just excellent tug-of-war people with-with really nice calves. Uh, but, but, I have, I have some thoughts. John do you have any?

John: Uh, well, I'm not very good at math, but my general thought would be by saying 1-2-3-pull, uh, while another team is apply constant pressure, you would apply a sudden surge of pressure that they would not be like prepared for mentally, that might cause them to like stumble and fall over.

Hank: Yeah, I, I think there's a couple of things at work here. First, is that no one is ever pulling with all of their, like no one is ever pulling with all of their might together on-- like-- the constant pull is actually very hard to maintain, so you're, you're not giving a hundred percent all at once. Um, and so you're sort of like always counting on someone being pulling harder than you are, and then sometimes you're pulling harder and sometimes their pulling harder. So, everyone is, uh, no one is actually pulling constantly, everyone is pulling, uh, like at varying speeds and then it averages out over the side that's supposedly pulling with all of their collective might. Um, and then, that's also happening on the other side. People are all pulling a little bit, like a fair amount, to keep, to keep themselves from being pulled over, uh, but then they all do that sudden surge at the same time. Instead of having that averaged out over the whole rope, it happens all at once. Um, so there's that, so there's a greater force being generated then will ever be generated by the other side. And then the other thing is just keep, keep them off balance, because tug-of-war is, is a game of strength, but it's also a game of agility and balance and, and keeping your footing, uh, not sliding forward and not being, like not having your, your center of gravity go too low that you lose traction, and not having to go too high so you stumble over your feet. So, that is, that is what I would guess, uh, and I probably took that question, probably took it too seriously.

John: Yeah, I mean, as you can tell, Hank fancies himself an expert in the field of tug-of-war, even though I, I would, I would wager that the last time Hank competed in a competitive tug-of-war match was, mm, 20 years ago?

Hank: [Laughing]

John: 25, maybe?

Hank: It might-- I'd say maybe 19. I bet I did some tug-of-war at summer camp. Uh, but I do- the, the, the

John: I think you might falsely remember how long ago summer camp was.

Hank: Definitely-- wait, how old am I? I was in summer camp 19 years ago.

John: Were you?

Hank: Yeah. I'm 36.

John: So, you were in summer camp when you were 17?

Hank: Yeah, I went, I was, I was a junior counsellor, John.

John: Oh, alright. I guess I don't remember that. Um, one more comment about the 1-2-3-pull business. It occurs to me that since tug-of-war in ultimately a game about, uh, balance, you should really say 1-pull.

Hank: [Laughing]

John: Because, when you say 1-2-3-pull, all, all your opponents are getting ready for that pull, but if you just say 1-pull, like, they're not going to be ready at all.

Hank: Uh, that is--

John: I think I might have just, I think I might have just cracked the code to being successful at tug-of-war, Hank.

Hank: No, what you really need to do is you need to have a system down before you go in and you're like, OK, we're going to pull on, so the first pull we're going to pull on 2, second pull, pull on 5, third pull, pull on 3, fourth pull, pull on 1, and then everybody will be so confused but everybody on your team knows exactly what's happening. I love it, John.

John: That's, uh, I think that's actually, I think that's actually exactly how NFL teams, uh, call plays, like that's how quarterbacks do it in the huddle. Although, at this point, we're veering into something that we truly know nothing about, which is, uh, playing American football. So, perhaps we should answer one more question from our listeners before we get to the all important news from Mars--

Hank: But I have, I have a thing that I want bring up, John.

John: OK.

Hank: Is that OK? Can I bring up the thing? Can I [gibberish], is that, I am very in the moment when a sport goes from pure fun to, like, super competitive, and, for me, that moment is when some introduces a strategy that makes them much better at the sport, uh, that then, ah, everyone else has to emulate, but it requires some significant investment of either time or money. And, then everyone's like, oh, like the people who are, who are like this is, this was fun, uh, but I'm not here for that. They all drop out and suddenly ultimate frisbee becomes this thing that I can no longer play because there are rules and penalties and you can't drink a beer while you're doing it.

John: Yeah, I mean, I guess. The on-My only counter argument would be that there are lots of sports that you can drink a beer, uh, while doing that are still super competitive, and in fact are possibly made more competitive by the presence of beer. Uh, I'm think especially of the adult, uh, softball league that I was briefly a part of which involved a lot of drinking and also a lot of screaming at an umpire. Uh, and I would just be like but, but we're not playing for anything, there's no money, there's no pride here, we're all old people. Why are you yelling that you were safe at second, like let it go. I think some of the competitive energy just comes from human nature.

Hank: Yeah, I think that's definitely true, um--

 Question Seven (30:00)

John: Alright now, can we answer one more question before we get to the all important, uh, news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon?

Hank: Yes, we can.

John: Alright, Hank, this question comes from Robert, who asks "Dear John and Hank, in episode 12 of Dear Hank and John," dang it! I said Dear Hank and John. "In episode 12 of Dear John and Hank, you discuss the multiverse theory and you said that in only two of the fourteen quadrillion possibilities does Donald Trump become the Republican nominee for president." Oh, of all the dubious stuff we've ever said, that might have been the most dubious. "You said he won't actually win the presidency in either of these universes, but did say that in one of them an asteroid will hit the Earth and kill all but 17 Americans. I haven't slept since the Donald officially accepted the nomination. I just sit quietly in bed, weep and try not to wake my husband. What should I do?"

Hank: Uh, so I, I'm confused if this person is tremendously overwhelmed by the possibility that we are now in a fifty-fifty scenario with the asteroid impact or if it's just Donald Trump, uh, that's upsetting them.

John: I mean, given that there's a fifty-fifty chance that all but 17 Americans will die in the next couple of months due to an asteroid, I really feel like I need to be eating more Snickers per day.

Hank: [Laughing] Yeah, we've got, we've gone done to the only two possibilities and we're not sure which one we're in. So, uh yeah.

John: Yeah, yeah. I've gotta, I've gotta increase my SPD ratio.

Hank: Yeah, we do-, you need to start living every day like it's our last, because, uh, because for all but 17 of us, that's the case. Averaged out.

John: Well, fifty-fifty chance.

Hank: Fifty-fifty chance.

John: Uh, the world is not going to end, I mean the world is going to end, it's going to be terrible, but it's not going to happen soon. Um, I don't think. It's unlikely to happen soon. I'm really hedging my bets here, Robert. Uh, the world in unlikely to end soon. The multiverse turns out to be a far more complex and terrifying place than any of us could have, uh, anticipated back in episode 12, but, uh, I still, I still believe that, uh, that the United States is a strong country and a good place to live, uh, and a very successful nation state in many ways. And, it's important to remember that even in extremely difficult, strange, worrisome times, uh, that, you know-- I remember John McCain caught a lot of flack in 2008, uh, amid the collapse of the economy for saying the fundamentals of our economy are strong, but he was right. Uh, the fundamentals of our economy are strong in the sense that, you know, people, uh, people like the currency of the dollar, they value it, uh, you know, the, our, our crime rate remains relatively, uh, low compared to the 1990s, the 1980s. Uh, you know, there a lot of things about the United States that are good. It's very easy to focus on the things that are terrifying. Um, the only other thing that I would say is vote.

 Commercial Break (33:03)

Hank: Yes. Yes. Which brings me to the, uh, the sponsorships for this episode of Dear Hank and John, uh, which is brought to you by the fundamentals of our economy. The fundamentals of the American economy, John, according to John McCain and also reality, they are strong.

John: -ish. I mean, not that strong, but strong-ish. And, of course, today's episode of Dear Hank and John is also brought to you by Leonardo DiCaprio. Leonardo DiCaprio, still feeling like there was probably room on that door for him.

Hank: This podcast is additionally brought to you by Nomekop Og. Nomekop Og, the new, the new hit game from Niantic, uh, which allows you to play Pokemon-type game without having to license any of the Pokemon names and also while you do not happen to live in a city.

John: And finally, today's podcast is brought to you by the Library of Congress cataloguing system. The Library of Congress cataloguing system, maybe the best, maybe not. We're not sure. They're just the ones who paid us to say that we like them.

Hank: [Laughing] I love, I love the idea of getting sponsorship from the Library of Congress cataloguing system.

John: I've got, I've got two corporate relationships, Hank. I've got one with the Library of Congress cataloguing system, and I got one with Snickers.

Hank: Oh, god. Alright, this has been a fun episode of Dear Hank and John, John.

 News from Mars (34:20)

John: I know, but now we have to get to the, uh, the part where you tell me that humans beings are desperately trying to get to a cold, dead rock when they have a lovely home right here on Earth.

Hank: It is very nice here on Earth, John, I have to say. Though, though I will also say that yesterday in Montana there was a high of 35, or a high of 95 and low of 35, uh, which seemed a little bit excessive to me. Additionally, uh, the fire season has begun, and there are some really quite nearby, raging fires that has created a lot of, of air quality problems. But, uh, it is, it is nicer than--

John: That is terrible. Quick question for you, Hank. Are there fires on Mars?

Hank: There are no fires on Mars. Yeah, it is a fire free place.

John: Yeah, why is that?

Hank: So, that's good. Uh, 'cause there's no life.

John: [Laughing] Also, there's no air.

Hank: Also, yeah, no oxygen and no combustible material. So...

John: [Laughing] Sounds like hell. Actually, I guess, no hell, 'cause there's no fire, but yeah so what's the news from Mars?

Hank: Uh, well the news is from, uh, the National Geographic Channel, who is working on a what it looks to be a very interesting series that I am not a hundred percent sure I will enjoy, but I'm hoping that I will and I'm really excited to see whether or not I'm going to like it. It's called Mars, and it is a, uh, it's a global event series coming this November. Uh, that's what it says "global event series." I think what they mean is show, TV show, uh, which is a drama, but it sort of mixed together with the realities of exploring Mars. So, it's a drama, uh, six part series, uh, scripted drama in which, uh, some people go to Mars, and it looks-- Uh, I watched the trailer for it, which you can watch at, which is the website for this thing, it looks really quite, uh, exciting. And they will be mixing together the scripted drama with like actual people who are like Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Elon Musk and Peter Diamandis and people like that who will also be talking about the mission... and yeah. It's being executive produced by Ron Howard, and Brian Grazer, and it looks like a fun cool show will be celebrating the spirit of adventure, the spirit of exploration, and all of the stuff that goes along with it and all of the drama and freakiness and scary, but there won't be-- but it will be I think hard science fiction, no aliens and stuff, just a story of the first humans to explore the surface of Mars.

John: Uh, question for you: Where is it being filmed? Do you know?

Hank: Uh Mars, John, it's being filmed on Mars.

John: Well then I'm in big trouble! That means I've already lost my bet! No, it's being filmed on Earth...

Hank: So here's the question, John, could we make the argument that humans go to Mars, but in like virtual reality television shows?

John: Mmmm, no, I don't think we can make that argument.

Hank: Alright.

John: I think that my bet is looking better and better with each passing day.

 News from AFC Wimbledon (37:27)

Well Hank it is still the off-season for AFC Wimbledon but not for much longer! Their first game is next week, very exciting, up there in the third tier of English football. We're gonna get a nosebleed we're sitting up so high! We're actually gonna start the year, Hank, because AFC Wimbledon is first in the alphabet, at the top of the League One table.

Hank: Oh, alright!

John: We'll see where we go from there. The news from AFC Wimbledon this week is that after quite a long time of not signing a striker to replace Adebayo Akinfenwa, AFC Wimbledon finally have. His name is Tyrone Barnett [BAR-net], possibly Barnett [bar-NET]. He is, Hank, get this: from Stevenage.

Hank: Ooooooh! You stole my best player!

John: No no no, he grew up in Stevenage but he never played for Stevenage so no worries. He played for Shrewsbury Town and Southend United, and is now coming to Wimbledon. I have to say at Southend United he had five goals in 20 appearances and that's a pretty good ratio, so I'm feeling hopeful and excited about our new 30 year old striker, welcome to Wimbledon Tyrone Barnett [BAR-net], or possibly Barnett [bar-NET], long may you reign.

Hank: Long may you reign! Well congratulations John!

John: I'm so nervous about this season, Hank.

Hank: I know, well is there a way to print out the table as it stands at the beginning of the season and just frame it?

John: [laughs] It's all downhill from here!

Hank: Like do they have a thing that they actually release? Like a physical copy that you could get?

John: I don't know. I don't know, that's a good question. I will have to ask.

 Outro (39:16)

Hank, what did we learn today?

Hank: Oh, John, we learned that if you want to win at tug of war, all you need to do is listen to ME because I'm an expert on everything to do with tug of war apparently because I just thought about it for a little bit.

John: Yeah, that reminds me of how we're experts at everything because we just thought about it for a little bit while we were recording a podcast together. [Hank laughs] We also learned that the opportunity to catalog the shelves at a book shop is the greatest opportunity on Earth.

Hank: And we learned that you should not be sharing spoilers of any fictional things on the internet, but if you want to tell the whole world that Justin Trudeau is the Prime Minister of Canada that is acceptable.

John: And of course we learned that soon you'll be able to download a game called Nomekon Og that will allow you to play a Pokemon Go-like game, but in rural space. Very excited for Nomekop Og, I think it has a bright future Hank, one quick suggestion: maybe if you could make the name not so terrible.

Hank: It occurs to me that it should probably be Og Nomekop because that would be a reverse of the whole thing.

John: Og Nomekon is MUCH better! [Hank laughs] Unfortunately we only arrived there at the very end of the podcast. Thank you for listening. Hank, thank you for doing this podcast with me. The podcast is edited by Nickolas Jenkins, our theme music is by Gunnarolla, our intern is Claudia Morales, Rosianna Halse Rojas helps out with questions.

Hank: You can email us at, and as they say in our hometown...

both: Don't forget to be awesome.