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What is my actual favorite color? At what point in the day do I switch to "have a good night" as my go-to courtesy? What do I do when The Big One hits? 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 about death.  We don't talk about death as much anymore, John.  

J: I can fix that.

H: Okay.  Good.  But we, in addition to talking about death, we answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon.  Hey John, how ya doing?

J: I'm doing alright, considering that the sweet embrace of death is coming for me.

H: Yeah, no, forever, forever and ever.  I--so when you raise your children, is a question that has become very pressing to me, when do you start to tell them that they're going to die?

J: Uh, I guess when they start asking, which is pretty early.  I remember Henry's best friend Luna, her cat died, and there was a whole ceremony, they buried the cat in the backyard. Luna and Henry were probably three, and afterwards, someone came over to the house and said, "Luna, I heard your cat went to heaven," and Luna looked at the person and said, "What are you talking about?  There's no heaven for cats."  

H: Cat went in the yard!  

J: Yeah, exactly, the cat is under the tree, and I was just thinking, like, man, they already have these sophisticated ideas around death that they just don't express to you, because they're sort of probably 'cause they're afraid of it.  Like, I remember Maurice Sendak once saying about childhood that he knew--the only thing he knew was that he was aware of deep and terrible secrets that adults didn't seem to know, and I do think that children are very aware from a very early age of the subjects that adults are trying to tiptoe around.  

H: Mhmm, mhmm, yep.  Alright, well, then I know the answer, John, I'll just--I'll start 'em off early.  Do you have a short poem for us today?

J: Yeah, I'm glad that we've started on such a high note. How are you doing?

H: I guess we can talk about me.  I'm fine.  I feel really good.  I spent a lot of time this weekend trying to make all of the things that I have to do go away.  Which I love, and I've been saying 'no' to many people, and I have this wonderful reason to say no, and they can be like, ohh, that's a great reason for you to say no, and then I don't have to worry about hurting their feelings.  So, it's wonderful.

J: Yeah, no, and that, by the way, that doesn't go away.  Like, you continue to be able to use parenthood as an excuse, so that's one of the big benefits, I would argue, of parenthood, in addition to the pure joy of having children.  Sarah and I just got back from a one week vacation-slash-writing retreat, mostly a writing retreat in Maine, which was really lovely, and I was delighted to have Flula play the role of me last week, I thought he did a great job, but I'm very happy to be bad.

H: I'm glad to have you back.  I'm glad to have you back and I have to ask, on behalf of all of the people in the world, did you finish your book?

J: Mmmm, no.  No, I did not.  I am working hard.  

H: Okay.

J: It is difficult and slow but--aghhh, let's answer some questions from our listeners.  Wait, no, first I have to have a short poem.

H: Wait, short poem!  Short poem!

J: Hank, I really liked a couple weeks ago when you turned our corrections into a short poem, so I decided to take a corrective note from a listener named Jerome and turn it into a short poem by adding line breaks. It is as follows: "The US Mint does not make any hundred dollar bills. Or any bills at all for that matter. They only make coins."

H: I mean, this is an innovation, John. I don't know--can I do one?

J: Yes, yes, feel free.  

H: Alright. "Everyone on Twitter would like you to know that it was Rick Springfield and not Rick Ocasek who wrote Jesse's Girl, but still I stand by the fact that Jesse's Girl was named Jesse." I'm really sorry to Rick Springfield, by the way.  I carried that bit on with Flula for a long time about Rick Ocasek wanting Jesse's girl, Jesse, but it was Rick Springfield.  Different Rick.  Too many Ricks, too many Jesses, John.

J: Yeah, it's hard out there for a Springfield.

 Question One (4:31)

Let's move on to questions from our listeners.  This one comes from Emily, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, Is there a way for me to moisturize my nostrils? Between a new job that requires me to breathe in a lot of flour and other powders and the air conditioning, as it is summer where I live, my nostrils have been quite dry recently. Is there a safe and effective way for me to moisturize them? Sidenote, I have asthma, and thus cannot use humidifiers." Okay, so Hank, I wanna just begin by acknowledging the elephant in the room--

H: Yes.

J: --which is that Emily has essentially said, without saying it, that she works in a cocaine factory.

H: Yeah, I mean, you can't just say "other powders".  That's not a--

J: Yeah, I think we all know, when you're talking about flour and other powders, you're talking about mostly cocaine, and then secondarily the flour used to cut the cocaine in potency.  

H: I--yes.  First, I wanna say, Emily, you should probably, I don't mean to judge, but get another job, because working in a cocaine factory is both dangerous and illegal.  Secondly, though, yes, I have the same problem, and there are a number of products on the market that are specifically designed for putting up your nose when it's dry.  You can also, according to a website I went to, use coconut oil, which smells good.

J: Yeah, the only thing that I would say here, Hank, is to make absolutely sure that if you use water, to use distilled water, because it's possible that if you use tap water to moisturize your nostrils, you could get brain amoebas, which are almost always fatal, and I do not want Emily to get brain amoebas, particularly given that she is already taking so many risks in her professional life.

H: Yeah.  Yeah, there's the whole Neti Pot thing, but there's the stuff I use, it's called air, but it's spelled A-Y-R, and there's a number of similar products that it's just like--it's like a saline gel.

J: Yeah, saline solution, yeah.  Yeah.  Absolutely.  That's the solution, Emily.  I mean, the first solution is to stop working at the cocaine factory, but if it's necessary to remain there, then yeah, I think you go with the saline solution.

H: The solution is a saline solution.

J: But again, we wanna emphasize, it's not a good idea to work in a cocaine factory.  It's just not a good long-term solution.

 Question Two (6:49)

H: Nope, never.  Alright, John, I've got another question from David who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I think I'm having a crisis in my life.  For years, I have always known what my favorite colors are, and I have always been proud of that and never expected it to change.  All of a sudden, I find myself admiring the color red, and I'm afraid it's replacing brown as my favorite color.  Do I just abandon brown and embrace red, and if I do, isn't that abandoning a part of who I am?  Please tell me what my favorite color actually is so I can move on with my life!  Love, David."  He didn't say Love, David, but I put that in there.

J: Hank, I've got great news for David and I think that you're gonna agree with me on this, which is that David does not need to change his favorite color due to the fact that red is technically, in my opinion, a shade of brown.  

H: Or is brown a shade of red?

J: No, no, no, no, no.  Red is a shade of brown, for sure.  So, your favorite color is brown and your favorite shade of brown at the moment is red, but that can evolve, like, the core essential thing is that your favorite color is brown, but there are a bunch of shades of brown.  You've got your dark browns, your light browns, your tans, your reds, et cetera.

H: But what if brown is a shade of red and David's favorite color was always red and now he's just realizing it?

J: Yeah, no, that would make sense if brown were a shade of red.  Unfortunately for you, it's not.  Red is a shade of brown.

H: Well.  I'm--so--what other colors are shades of brown?  Yellow?  Is yellow a shade of brown?

J: Yellow is essentially a very light brown, that's correct.

H: Uh, so, how about orange?

J: Orange, also a shade of brown.  It's sort of--some would say, in the same way that red is a shade of brown, yes, orange is definitely a shade of brown.

H: I'm gonna--so, I'm gonna continue around the color wheel and ask if like, blue is a shade of brown?  

J: Good question.  Obviously not.  I mean, look at blue, it is clearly not a shade of brown.  This is not a difficult subject, Hank.  Like, red, orange, and yellow, all shades of brown.  Blue and green, not shades of brown.  Black, not a shade of brown, white not a shade of brown.  Teal, not a shade of brown, etc.  It's very obvious.  Everyone knows that red and yellow and orange is--are shades of brown.

H: Purple?

J: Purple is not a shade of brown.  It's between blue and green!

H: No, it's not!  It's between red and blue!

J: No, it's not, it's between blue and green.  Maybe not on the color wheel, but everybody knows in real life, like, in real, you know, the way we experience colors, it's between blue and green. 

H: Okay, um, do you have any more serious answers for David?

J: Uhh, I don't think it's that serious of a question.  

H: I--well, you can say, I would say that you are gonna change in your life and you are going to abandon the thing that you once were and you will no longer be that thing and that is a sign not of some personal disaster but of growth and hearkens back to our desire to write in your high school yearbook instead of 'don't ever change', 'change'.  

J: I mean, I--that's all lovely advice, Hank, and it's a beautiful sentiment. It's just that as it happens, his favorite color has not changed.

H: Okay, alright.  Alright, you got another question for us?

J: I have another question, but I almost don't wanna move on until you acknowledge that red is a shade of brown.

H: I'm gonna type it into Google.  "Is red a shade of brown?"  The first--the auto--

J: Surely I'm not alone in thinking this.

H: The auto-complete was pink.  "Is red a shade of pink?"  The color--

J: Pink, interestingly, is not a shade of brown, but yeah.

H: Oh, I mean, there's a Wikipedia page called 'Shades of Brown' and it is just, it's amber, beaver, beige, buff, burnt sienna, burnt umber, chestnut, chocolate, coco-brown, desert sand, khaki--

J: I mean, you're still in the c's, Hank, just scroll down to 'red'.  

H: Peru, raw umber, rosy brown, russet, sandy brown, smoky topaz, tan, taupe, and wood brown.

J: Oh yeah, no, that's the one, it's russet, sandy brown, that's--they call that--that's what some people call 'red'.

 Question Three (11:03)

Let's move on to another question before I get proven wrong. This question is from Tricia [Hank laughs at him] who asks, "Dear John and Hank, You two have established a few rules throughout the podcast, namely, when one is allowed to use the phrase 'turn of the century' and who gets which armrest, and I have run into another scenario that could use your expertise.  At which point in the day do I switch from saying "Have a good day" to "Have a good night"?  Any dubious advice would be greatly appreciated."  This is one of the great questions I think of being alive.  The first thing that I would say is, I don't know if you're familiar with Wheaton's Law, it has a curse word in it so I don't want to say it, because my kid listens to this podcast and presumably other kids.

H: Sure.

J: But Wheaton's Law is essentially 'Don't be a jerk'.

H: Right.

J: The other day, I was on a jog and I passed someone and, you know, when you pass someone when you're jogging, you don't have a lot of time to interact, but you wanna be polite, so I said 'Morning'.  I didn't say 'Good Morning', I just said 'Morning', as an acknowledgment of--a way of saying hello.

H: Right.  Also an acknowledgment of the time of day it was.  Morning!  And the other person is like, agreed!  It is that.

J: Exactly, so that--the way the conversation should go is you say 'Morning', the other person says, 'Morning', or 'Hello' or whatever it is that they want to say in this passing jogging moment, but what the person said instead was 'It's 12:02'.  

H: Are you a YouTube commenter?!

J: And I was like, we don't have time for me to pursue this conversation further down the line, because we are passing each other while jogging.  You're going 7 mph, I'm going 5.2 mph, like, th--conversation's about to end, why did you need to do that?  What did--who--who is the victor?

H: Oh wow, oh wow, I love it.  I love it.  I love that so much.  John, you know, I find it very difficult to say the right thing in these situ--like, not in that situation, but when I'm saying, like, when it's Friday, and I'm saying goodbye to someone, a traditional thing to say is 'Have a nice weekend'.  Knowing that it is Friday and that the weekend is coming up is way beyond my cognitive ability.  Like, I am so focused on just trying to have a positive interaction with another human that knowing what day of the week it is is way outside of my abilities.  So I--like--

J: It's funny you should mention that, because I'm actually strongly opposed to 'Have a good weekend'.

H: Oh yeah?

J: Uh, yeah, because, so when Sarah and I first started dating, she managed an art gallery and her working hours were Tuesday to Saturday, and in fact, a lot of peoples' working hours are not in traditional weekends, and when people would say on Friday afternoon to Sarah, 'Have a good weekend', it was like a crushing attack.  It was like a reminder that she had to go to work at 7:30 in the morning on Saturday.

H: Right, but oftentimes, I'm saying this to people who I employ and who I am letting go for their time that they get to have on their own, so I do know what their schedules are.  I think that--hopefully none of them work the weekends for other companies, that would be--that would be a lot of work, but I--yeah, and in the same way, when you're at a movie theater and they say 'Enjoy the movie' and you're like 'You, too' because like, I don't know, I don't know what I'm saying, I can't control m--and like, the idea that I'm gonna know whether it's 'Have a good day' or 'Have a good night', I don't know what time it is! I can't--of the things that I am trying to deal with right now, whether it's 4:00 or 6:00 is, especially during  the summer in Montana when the sun goes down at like, 9:30, you just--no one knows.  No one knows what time it is!  No one knows if it's day or night!  But, I do have an opinion on this. 

J: Of course you do.  The fact that you are yourself totally unable to process any such information doesn't keep you from having a strong opinion.

H: Absolutely.  Well, it's not a strong opinion.  I think the great thing about having a good day and having a good night is that they overlap significantly.

J: I agree.

H: And you can say 'Have a good day' up to like, 7:00, and you can say 'Have a good night' anywhere after 5.

J: I think you can say 'Have a good day' as long as it is still light, and I think you can say 'Have a good night', I agree, starting at 5pm, so sometimes there's no crossover, like, in winter in Indianapolis, you know, when the sun sets at 4:45, that's one thing, but in summertime, I agree, you've got 'Have a good day' as long as the sun is out, and 'Have a good night' starting at the end of the traditional workday, 5pm.  Agreed?

H: Mhmm.  Yeah.  Yeah, well, or, I think that if somebody is leaving work early, you can still say 'Have a good night'. 'Cause it's not like--it's not like it has to be night for them to have a good one.  I'm wishing you a good night whenever that occurs.

J: Yeah, so, I think we're settled.  There's a lot of overlap and also we need in general to be understanding of each other when it comes to conversational slip-ups.  

H: I mean, how's that person jogging even know what time it is?  Did they--do they have like a thing that says in their brain, like, every time an hour, like a minute changes, it's like, "It's 12:01, Jeremy.  It's 12:02, Jeremy."

J: It's fu--you know how you have those little conversations with strangers that stick with you for a long, long time because something, some part of it didn't go well?  I have a bunch of those, and you know, you circle back to them at night when you can't fall asleep, can I tell you another one?  It's really--it's super embarrassing.  

H: Okay.

J: So, I have a friend, and he's a journalist, and he's recording on the New York Knicks and he came to Indianapolis to watch a Knicks game where they were playing the Indianapolis Pacers, my hometown NBA team, and he was like, do you wanna go to the game?  And I was like, sure, and after the game, he was like, do you wanna go to the locker room?  And I was like, yeah!  And so, I got to go to the locker room and it was really cool and it was a good experience, and when you get to the locker room, you know, there's all these NBA players, very large strong people and lots of coaches and stuff, and I noticed that there was also a lot of food, specifically, there was like, some pulled pork and rice and some food from a local restaurant, and it looked really good, so I just grabbed a plate and I started piling food on to my plate, because I was like, you know, whatever, free food, and turns out that food is for the players, so a guy comes up to me and he says, "Excuse me, who are you?" and I was like, "Oh, I'm John Green."  And like, I guess, like, that line doesn't quite as far in the world of the NBA as it might go, you know, other places, and he--his responding to me saying "I'm John Green" was "Who is that?" and I was like, "Uh, I'm with my friend," and I named my friend and he was like, he was like, "And?" and I was like, "And he said I could come in here," and he was like, "Oh, you can come in here, it's just that that food is for the players," and I was like, "Ohhhhhhh."

H: "Who is that?"  Who is that, though?

J: Ohhh.  And I essentially--

H: That's awful.

J: Every day in the years since that happened to me, I have spent at least 30 or 40 seconds feeling regret about that whole interaction.  

H: Well, I'm glad to know that about you.  I'm sorry that that happened to you, but we all have those moments, don't we? Except for me, I don't have any.

J: I hope that we all have those moments, I'm not alone in this shame and horror.  Anyway, Hank, let's move on to another question from our listeners.

 Question Four (18:49)

H: Alright, this one's from Kate, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I'm currently watching the Olympic Swim Trials and wondering, when you swim that vigorously, do you sweat like normal, and not notice it because the pool is washing it off, or does the pool cool you down enough that you don't need to sweat?  I'm hoping it's the latter, because it makes it less gross when they put the water in their mouths." 

J: Oh, I bet you sweat.

H: You do sweat.

J: Ahh, God, I'm so good at science, tell me more.

H: Uh, well, yeah, I mean, it's very interesting to like--you can't notice that you're sweating, because there's no actual physical sensation of like, sweat came out and now I feel that.  You feel the sweat on you.  But if you're covered in water then you don't feel the sweat, so yeah, but you do sweat, and it's funny because you're, like, technically, your body doesn't need to sweat, because it's obviously not gonna help you at all, but your body doesn't have any way of knowing that you're submerged in water, so it still is like, "You are hotter than you should be, I will try to cool you off and this is the technique I have for trying to cool you off even though it fails immediately."  So, um, yeah, you sweat and swimming pools have sweat in them and when you put swimming pool water in your mouth, some of it's sweat, and it's okay, except that probably not for John.

J: I mean, it's not ideal for me, but I understand that I'm not coming at it from a place of reason.

 Question Five (20:09)

Let's move on to another question, this one's from Terese, with the subject line "Hope Exists as a Velociraptor."

"Dear John and Hank, The school year has ended, and still I am wondering about a strange rule my English teacher had. According to her, the words 'is', 'are', 'was', and 'were' provide no meaning and therefore should be eliminated from language. However, I think the phrase "Hope exists as the thing with feathers," does not have the same ring to it as, "Hope is the thing with feathers." Please help convince my teacher that the words 'is', 'are', 'was', and 'were' are, whoops, not the incarnation of evil itself." So, Hank--

H: Oh, God, John, John, John, wait, wait, wait, wait.  You went for the science question first, so I wanna have my go at the grammar question.

J: Okay.  

H: Your teacher is dumb.  

J: I think you mean, "Your teacher exists as an incorrect thing in the world."  

H: Sorry, yes.  Quite.  This seems ludicrous to me, like, deeply, deeply ludicrous.  Especially for an English teacher to say!

J: Yeah, I think I know what's going on, but I strongly agree with you that it is ludicrous.  Now, there are languages that do not have those to-be verbs in them.  It's just that English is not one of them and we aren't going to change that because so much of the way we communicate involves to-be verbs and that's okay and it's not the incarnation of evil itself.  I think what may be going on is that your teacher was trying to discourage you or your fellow students from using the passive voice in your writing. But that is not actually a matter of removing all to-be verbs from your vocabulary, it's just a matter of not using the passive voice.  "Hope is the thing with feathers," not an example of the passive voice, so yeah, your teacher is definitely 100% wrong that all to-be verbs should be removed from English, at least in my opinion, and also I think in the opinion of Emily Dickinson and really, I'm pretty sure, every English language lover I've ever read, but I also think, by the way, that there are times when the passive voice is perfectly justifiable or even a good idea, so yeah, don't--God, yeah, that's a--usually, I fall on the side of English teachers, especially when it comes to students complaining that reading a book critically is quote, killing it or destroying it for me or whatever, but in this case, I have to side with the student in favor of to-be or not to be, but having some kind of to-be verb in your vocabulary.

H: Alright, the ability to be. I am also in favor of the ability to be, John, because sometimes you stop being and that's awful, 'cause it's the end then.

J: You're just trying to work death back into the podcast so that this can still be a comedy podcast about death.  But don't worry, I promise to work it in more organically into the next question.

 Question Six (22:33)

H: Alright, John, I look forward to you working death into this question. "Dear Hank and John, My friend and I recently got into a debate about the correct way to wear a wristwatch."  That was difficult to say.  "I argued that the face of the watch should be on the top of the wrist, she says that it's easier to glance at the face if it's on the bottom of your wrist," Which is correct, is there a reason for wearing it one way or the other, and does it really not matter at all?"  John, work death into that.

J: Well, I mean, it doesn't matter at all, in the sense that, you know, nothing that we do matters, because, you know, death is going to swallow all of us in the end and everything that we do will be forgotten by the sands of time, so I wouldn't spend too much time thinking about your wristwatch being this way or that when, you know, ultimately, to say that it isn't going to matter is a dramatic understatement, because none of it's gonna matter.

H: Right, well, I also agree that it doesn't matter.  It's strange to me, because I'd never thought about it, but yeah, it does seem a little more natural to look at the inside of your wrist, like, in terms of arm position, it requires a little less to work, but I would also say that most of the time, the wristwatch is on the top so that you know, I think maybe so that when you lay your arm down, it lays flat against a table, 'cause you don't tend to lay your arm down with the top down, and also if you have a fancy watch, you want people to see it, because you spent a lot of money on it.

J: Oh, I thought the question was, should I put my watch upside down because then--I don't have good spatial intelligence.  I don't really understand this question.

H: Upside down so that the person looking at you can read it?  Like, the person standing in front of you can read it right side up?  'Cause that's definitely--that's--

J: Exactly.  That's definitely what I was thinking the question was about.

H: That's definitely the wrong way to use a watch.

J: I think it's like eating a Reese's, I don't actually think there is necessarily a wrong way to wear a watch, although in saying that, I realize immediately that there are a bunch of wrong ways to wear a watch, like, for instance, if you wear it around your ankle.  

H: Right, don't wear it around your ankle, don't wear it on the inside of your digestive tract, that would be bad.

J: [John laughs heartily] Oh man.  That would be not ideal.

 Question Seven (25:40)

Alright, Hank, it's been a lot of fun and games here, but let's tackle a serious question, okay, this one comes from Marwa who asks, "Dear John and Hank, What do you do when you feel like you are not yourself, like you're watching your life play out in hindsight or like you're watching a movie and only finding out about the decisions that quote, unquote you took from the movie.  I know that sounds like insanity, but how do you stop yourself thinking something when the thing you want to stop and the thing you want to stop it with are the same?"  

H: Ohh.  

J: This is actually, I think, a big fascinating difficult question and something that I struggle with all the time and that, not to spoil anything, I'm writing about every day.  How do you even understand yourself to be you or yours when you are not in control of your thoughts or your feelings or the actions of your body, like, when you talk about you, what do you even mean when the thoughts that are quote unquote yours don't feel like they belong to you or the body that is quote unquote yours doesn't feel like it belongs to you, like, how do you make sense of that, and I think the only answer that I have is that it is extremely complicated but that I don't think that it's uncommon to feel like you are not in control of the thoughts that you have been told are yours, you know?

H: Yeah, I--we--the--I have also been thinking a lot about this, interestingly.  I recently gave a humorous talk but one of the--I also like to, like, when I'm just making jokes, I like to mix in like, a little bit of like, oh, I haven't thought about that before, but there's that phrase, I think it's Victor Hugo, "Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come," and I was talking about that phrase and the wonderful thing about it is that it takes the agency out of the people and it gives it to the idea itself, it gives it to this conception that yes, requires a human brain in order to express itself, but has power external to any individual human, and you cannot stop it in the phrase, like, it says on its own, like, the person itself, like, the person having the idea is not the powerful thing, and indeed, it is powerless next to the power of the ide, and I think that we have this myth in our culture that we are all individuals and that we make all of these decisions and that we have this--like, and yes, we do make decisions and we do construct ourselves, but to some extent, like, we are very much a product of the things that we, you know, have been told to consume and the people in our lives and we all construct that for each other and I think it's--I find it helpful to recognize that that is a thing, and that I am not just me. I am a creation that has--I am a creation that I--that like, my consciousness has been involved in creating, but that has also been created by all of the things that I have consumed and all of the people that I have known and by, you know, my parents and the people that I love.

J: Yeah, it's--they're very much a both/and proposition to me, consciousness in general, that consciousness is both something that is within and something that is without, and it's almost like, for me at least, like in accepting that, there's a measure of freedom.  There's also--I mean, I'm--I wanna emphasize that, you know, both Hank and I come at this from a very, like, thinking about consciousness, from a very particular and in like, lots and lots of different ways, very privileged position, but for me, being able to say, "I'm not in control of these thoughts and I don't want to be having them," is very--it--just being able to acknowledge that is a kind of empowering for me.  That way I don't have to be held responsible for every thought that comes across my bow, you know?  And in the times in my life when I felt like I did have to be responsible for every thought that came across my bow, it was very difficult, because a lot of times I don't like the thoughts that I'm having or I don't feel like I'm in control of them, and you know, it--I think for me at least, like, acknowledging, like, yes, I am an individual, but I am also like, within a big complicated endless nexus of cultures and consciousnesses that are all interacting both inside of me and outside of me. There was--there's some freedom in that, and it also makes me feel a little bit less like I'm, you know, crazy, for lack of a better term, but yeah, I also, I mean, look, if you feel--if you start to feel like you're really not in control of your consciousness or your thoughts or your feelings, the other thing that I would say is that it's important to talk about that with somebody who's a professional and who knows a lot more about that than Hank or John, so I think that's the other thing that's been helpful in my own life when I've felt like that, as I often do.

 Question Eight (30:58)

H: Excellent.  I have another question that I really wanna get to because I think that it's important and I am an expert on this.  It's from River, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I live on the Southwest coast of Oregon, and since I was young, I have been told to be prepared for The Big One, which is a large earthquake that we are overdue for.  This would also cause a devastating tsunami.  My question is, if I happen to be walking along the beach when this earthquake strikes, should I swim out far into the ocean before the tsunami strikes? Assuming that I have no chance of reaching higher ground, should I accept my watery demise or attempt to avoid the tsunami much like boats do by sailing out into the ocean?"  River, do not swim out into the ocean.  

J: This is just--I have a one sentence piece of advice. When the tsunami is coming, do not attempt to swim two miles out into the ocean and then swim back.  

H: Yeah, there--so, if you feel the earthquake, and I do want to give this advice to everyone on the coast, the Pacific Northwest or anywhere where they may be a tsunami: you have anywhere from five to thirty minutes to get to a safe place.  You do not know how long it's gonna take, so it is perfectly possible that you could walk at a leisurely pace up a hill and survive.  You do not know how big the tsunami's gonna be, you do not know how long it's gonna take to get there, you don't know if there's gonna be a tsunami at all, but if you see--if you feel an earthquake and you're walking along a beach, you go and climb up that hill and you do it now.

J: So Hank, when River says that the Big One is overdue and is coming any day, is that true?

H: Well, it depends by what you mean by 'any day', but yes, there will be someday another very large earthquake that hits the Pacific Northwest and there hasn't been one in a very very long time, and in the geological record--

J: So when you say 'very large'--

H: Yeah.

J: --you mean like, terrifyingly large?

H: No, really bad.  Yeah, like, like, worse than Hurricane Katrina bad.

J: Oh, Jesus.

H: And it will be very, very bad, and you know, the people in the Pacific Northwest are working on system to make it less bad, but like, there are a lot of people who live in the tsunami zone and it will be very bad.  So, know your evacuation routes and know where the nearest highest ground is and head there and if you're--if you get stuck in traffic, get out and walk.

 Commercial Break (33:18)

J: Okay.  So, today's podcast is brought to you, no joke, by Hank's disaster preparedness plan.  Hank's disaster preparedness plan: do not swim out into the ocean, seek high ground immediately, Hank is not kidding, he is very serious about this, this is not a joke.

H: Uh, yeah, okay, I agree.  I was recently in Oregon and I was walking along the beach and I was like, boy, if I--the other thing to know is if you see the water getting sucked out, like, suddenly water's--you're like, why is suddenly the water all gone?  That's a very bad sign and you should climb a tree 'cause you do not have a lot of time, so I just spent some time in Oregon recently, and I always think about tsunamis when I'm on that coast.

J: Oh, man, who's the one who's preoccupied with apocalyptic worry?  Used to be me, but the shoe is suddenly on the other foot.  Hank, who else has brought us the podcast today?

H: The podcast was also brought to you by the sweat in the swimming pool. Good ol' fashioned swimming pool sweat: it's in there. 

J: Mm, delicious.  Not even to mention the pee, which is also in there.  And of course, today's podcast is brought to you by shades of brown.  Shades of brown: now including red and yellow.

H: And orange!

J: Mhmm, delicious orange.

H: And finally, this podcast is brought to you by other kinds of powders. Other kinds of powders: definitely not a euphemism for working in a cocaine factory.

J: Good old other powders.  What's the other powder? What is--I mean, I'm trying to imagine a non-cocaine factory explanation for Emily's life, right?

H: Well, I imagine that Emily works in a bakery and that there's cornstarch and that there's powdered sugar and that there's--

J: Cornstarch is not a powder, and powdered sugar is not really a powder.

H: I mean, it's in the name, John!

J: I don't know. I'm very concerned about this whole situation.

H: It's powdered sugar, it is obvio--it is definitely a powder!  I mean, if there is anything--I cannot imagine--I am not gonna let you get away with that.  There is nothing more powder-like than powdered sugar.  I don't know why I got so angry.

 Responses (35:25)

J: Okay, Hank, before we get to the all-important news from Mars and the news from AFC Wimbledon, which I would just as soon skip to be honest with you, let's get to a few responses from previous episodes.  The first, most important thing I wanna re--one thing we've gotten a number of responses from is current employees of Amazon, several of them, have written in to talk about how Jeff Bezos is indeed not referred to as a 'colleague' or as a 'coworker', but as 'Jeff.'  For instance, this letter came in from Mark, "In your latest episode, you talked about how everyone at Amazon would probably call Jeff, Jeff. Well, I've worked at Amazon for more than three years and can confirm that this is exactly the case.  So much so that I've been on a team where people call Jeff Bezos, 'Jeff', and refer to the Jeff who works ten feet away by using his first and last name."  

H: Oh God.

J: Oh man.  It's hard out there for the other Jeffs.

H: Another response from Jamal who says, "I'm active duty Navy and currently stationed in Japan.  There is an abundance of Zimas here!  Since Hank is such a vehement fan, I'm currently working out the legalities of international shipments of alcohol to Montana.  What address can I send them to?"  

J: Jamal, that's a great question, and an extremely important one, mostly  because I wanna see how Hank actually feels about Zima, especially if you can manage to send 378 of them from Japan.  By the way, I will be more than happy to reimburse you for those 378 Zimas.  Unfortunately, our only address is a PO Box, because otherwise, you'd have to send it to our house. However, I'm gonna let you know what our PO Box is. It is PO Box 30152, Indianapolis, IN 46230 and you can either address that to John Green or to Hank Green or just to Zima Lovers Everywhere.  I'm surprised to know you can't send 378 Zimas from a Navy base in Japan to Indianapolis.  That just doesn't seem right.

H: Yeah, the logistics, John. Logistics. So we have an actual PO Box, is what you're saying to me right now?

J: We do. We have an actual PO Box where you can send us 378 of anything. Please no less and also no more.  PO Box 30152 in Indianapolis, Indiana 46230.  

H: Speaking of which, we heard from a listener named Rachel who used to live outside of the Big League Chew factory or something like that?  Or her friend does?  And they have--and they like, give out--if you like, knock on the door of the Big League Chew factory, they give out Big League Chew rejects and so, John, you said you wanted 378 packets of Big League Chew. Apparently, Rachel has the inside track on that, so Rachel, hey.

J: Rachel, if you can hook me up, I would be very, very grateful.  I can't tell you how much I enjoy Big League Chew or at least how much I enjoyed it when I last tried in 1984.

H: Uh, yeah, I think that we can say to Rachel, absolutely, if you also wanna send us a bill for the shipping, we'll handle it for you.  

J: Yes, correct, although, I don't want to go down the road, Hank, of offering to pay for 378 anythings, because that seems like a dangerous, dangerous game.  Alright, one last response, this one came in from Annie, who wrote, "I have an idea for the listener who wondered what to do with her middle school writings.  When I was a senior in college, my roommate and I joked about how terribly we'd written when we were younger, and we pulled up essays we'd turned in as freshmen and laughed uproariously at the quality of our work, which gave us the idea for the greatest party ever.  We held a middle school poetry slam and asked our friends to bring their favorite and/or worst writings from when they were younger." That is indeed a wonderful idea, Annie.

H: That is a good idea.

J: I think that's one to hold on to.

H: That's a great idea. I love that. I think we should do that on the Vlogbrothers channel.

 News from AFC Wimbledon (39:13)

J: Mmm, I'm gonna argue against that. Let's move on to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon, Hank. I should probably go first.  We'll get this over as fast as possible. AFC Wimbledon are three games into their league one season. They have won no game, but also, they have tied no games. 

H: That's not good.

J: It's not good. It's not going great.  We just lost to Scunthorpe, also lost to Bolton, and before that, lost to Walsall, also lost to Peterborough in the football league cup, which is a separate competition, so we're out of that competition.  Four games so far this season, zero points, sitting last in the league one table.  Now, one could argue that the three teams that have beaten us are all in the top seven of the league one table. Alternately, one could argue that one of the reasons they're in the top seven is because they've all played AFC Wimbledon.  Very, very nervous start to the season here. One piece of comfort, if we'd just won one of those three games, we would be sitting 14th, but we didn't, so we're sitting in last.  

H: I'm sorry.  That does not sound great.  

 News From Mars (40:24)

J: Well, life is long and so is a season, he said, vaguely hopeful. What's the news from Mars?

H: And also a little worried you're gonna have to go through a whole season of this?

J: What's the news from Mars?

H: Alright, the news from Mars is that getting to Mars is hard.  The trip--we've done one long term, fairly long term trip to another place, and that was to the moon, and you can do that in a little box because it's just a few days to get there.  So they, the people who went to the moon, they just sat in the--basically the little thing that they shot them up on the rocket with, but you cannot do that to Mars, because it takes at minimum, 6 months to get there, and then another 6 months to get back, so you need space.  You need space for astronauts to move around, to do their research, to exercise, and also to store all of the stuff that they need.  So, NASA has just launched the next step two program, which asks six different companies to design and prototype deep space habitats and they have budgeted, I think, 65 million dollars to divide amongst these companies to design those habitats.  Each company has a different set of skills, so each habitat will have different capabilities and usefulnesses.  Bigelow Aerospace, for example, specializes in lightweight inflatable habitats, so they can, like, launch up this thing and then just fill it with air and it becomes a, you know, a place where people can spend some time, and one of those was recently tested on the International Space Station, so it's a thing that works.  So, if we ever wanna get to Mars, we need a place to live in while we're going there and NASA is taking a big step in that direction to get us there before 2028. That was a terrible bet.  

J: Yeah, I mean, you sound about as confident in getting there before 2028 as I sound about AFC Wimbledon's season at the moment.  Uhh, it's hard times for lovers of Mars and/or the world's greatest third tier soccer team, but uh, you know, hope is the thing with feathers.  Or, hope exists as the thing with feathers.

H: It does. It exists that way.

 Outro (42:29)

J: Hank, what did we learn today?

H: John, we learned that, well, I learned that you shouldn't use a humidifier if you have asthma, which is a thing I didn't know.

J: Yeah, that's helpful!  I also learned that the US Mint does not make any $100 bills or for that matter, any bills.  They only make coins, which is why they are called a mint.  Maybe I could have put that together myself, you would think, but no, no, I needed help.

H: We also learned that apparently there are many, many, many shades of brown, and no shades of red.  They're all just shades of brown.

J: No, there are many shades of red, they just fall within the larger category of brown.  And we learned that Zima still exists in Japan, which fills me with hope that one day, Hank will be forced to drink 378 Zimas to try to prove that he actually likes Zima only to find out that, in fact, he doesn't.

H: And of course, we learned that despite the fact that neither of us care, or are able to implement this advice, as long as the sun is up, you could say 'Have a good day,' and anytime after five, you can say 'Have a good night'.  

J: I'd almost say anytime after 4.

H: I know, I know, I think it's very fluid and there's a lot of overlap and I just think that no one should cause any ruckus either way because it's very hard to keep all this stuff straight, John.  It's too much.

J: It's just so hard to be a human, let's try whenever possible to be careful of each other and kind to each other.

H: Unless it's 12:02 in which case, you gotta say, "It's 12:02, other stranger running."

J: It still bugs me, but I'm glad it now bugs you as well. Thanks to everyone who listened to our podcast.  By the way, you can go to our Patreon,, if you wanna support this podcast directly, and thanks as always to my actual corporate sponsor, Snickers.  

H: I mean, you can say that.  You can say--I guess you can say that.  I guess you should.

J: Still eatin' their---still eatin' those free Snickers, hopin' that there's more on the way.  But, yeah, thanks for listening.  Nicholas Jenkins edits this podcast, Claudia Morales is our intern, Rosianna Halse Rojas helps us out with the questions, our theme music is by the great Gunnarolla, check out his YouTube channel or any of his songs, and Hank, did I miss anything?

H: No, I think you got everything.  Oh, our e-mail address.  Our e-mail address is  You can e-mail us your questions.  You can also send them to us on Twitter, where John is @johngreen and I am @hankgreen.  I'm also on Snapchat, it's hankgre.  And as they say in our hometown...

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