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Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? Should I tell my mom about my risky plans? What is the tipping point for apocalypse chaos? And more!

NerdCon: Nerdfighteria:

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 (00:00) to (02:00)

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, Hank, and my brother, John, we answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon and I'm BACK!  

J: Welcome back, Hank.  How's fatherhood?

H: Oh, it's good.  Uh, it's got its ups and its downs though, I'll tell you that.  I--I--have been told that there are difficult parts of being a parent.  I had not been able to internalize them.  Now I have.

J: Yeah, it's funny, I mean, it is truly something that no one can prepare you for, but also you have to remember that lots of people who are worse at this than you have done it.

H: Yeah.  Yeah!  No, that's definitely true.  I don't necessarily wanna base my success on the worst of all parents, but I think we are doing a great job and I like him and he's--I mean, it's a good thing he's so cute.

J: Yeah.

H: 'Cause.

J: That's fine.  I feel like you're in some kind of like, heightened ecstatic state though.  Like, you're talking extremely fast, you're not really finishing your sentences, you're just sort of drifting off into the ether.  It's interesting.

H: I'm excited to be back.  I'm very excited to be back.  It's been such a very strange time.  I left the podcast and I left to focus on being a dad before the election and that--it has been a weird set of moments since then and I--I--

J: Yeah.

H: I'm glad to have been away during that time.

J: Yeah.

H: Because it has taken me a long time to process and get to a comfortable place where I'm ready to take on the world again.  

J: Well, I'm very glad that you're back and ready to take on the world, because I for one am absolutely exhausted with having to be both of us. 


 (02:00) to (04:00)

H: Well, speaking of having to be both of us, or not, I wanted to start this podcast off before your short poem by telling people that they can come see us, both of us, doing a live Dear Hank and John, at NerdCon:Nerdfighteria in Boston in February and the dates of that event are February 25 and 26th, he said, as if he knew that before he opened up the tab in his browser to look. 

J: Yeah, and that's actually gonna be the first time we've recorded a live episode of Dear Hank and John together and for all I know, it might be the last time.

H: It--it--I can't imagine that it will be the last time, but I want to tell you about some other people who are gonna be at this event, John.  George Watsky is gonna be there.

J: Okay.

H: Hannah Hart is gonna be there.

J: Yep.  Big fan.

H: Jon Cozart is gonna be there.

J: Great.

H: Laci Green.

J: It's gonna be great.

H: My whole band.  WheezyWaiter is gonna be there.  Meghan Tonjes, Michael Aranda, Michael Buckley, Nathan Zed.

J: Nathan Zed's coming to Nerdcon: Nerdfighteria?

H: He is!

J: Well, now I wanna go.  Yeah, so you can get tickets to that at, right, Hank?

H: Uh, if you go to, that'll be a slightly faster way to get them, but yes,

J: Or just Google it.  The other thing that I would say though is that if you don't live in or near Boston and/or can't make it to Nerdcon:Nerdfighteria in February, you can also hang out with Hank and me and probably a live episode of Dear Hank and John at VidCon 2017.  Tickets for the VidCon in Anaheim, California this summer are on sale.  This summer--hah, this coming summer, are on sale now, as are tickets for VidCon Europe and VidCon Australia.  

H: And I will have to be both of us at VidCon Europe and VidCon Australia, 'cause John won't be there, so I will know what it's like, and I'm just gonna do a Dear Hank and John and I'm gonna pretend to be both of us.  Maybe we can Skype you in, maybe not, I dunno.

J: Yeah, we'll figure somethin' out.  Last thing in the world of self-promo, and I apologize for all this self-promo, but you know, we would like to see as many of you as possible.  Project for Awesome is still going on if you are listening to this shortly after it was uploaded and you can go to right now and get some great perks, including a recording of Hank reading the first two chapters of the book that he's working on, a recording of me reading some new writing of my own, the first time that I've had new writing to share in many years, and also an exclusive episode of Dear Hank and John just for people who donated to the Project for Awesome.  

 (04:00) to (06:00)

So please check that out at  I hope it's been a good p4a.  I've certainly stressed out about it.

H: And those people who are donating through to get the Dear Hank and John episode, you also, we will be answering questions from only the people who got that perk, so your chances of getting your question answered increases dramatically, they do not increase to 100%, we apologize for not being able to answer all of the wonderful questions that we get.

J: Oh, we get so many good questions that we don't answer, I feel terrible about it.

H: Very difficult questions and funny questions and all kinds of questions that we're not able to get to and we've got a huge list of good ones right now, but first, John, we're gonna get to your poem.  What do you have for me?

J: I've got a poem from Mary Oliver, because Hannah Hart, in our last episode and I were talking about Mary Oliver.

H: Of course, of course.

J: And it reminded me of this poem, Song of the Builders.  It's not that short, I apologize, but I do like it.  "On a summer morning, I sat down on a hillside to think about God, a worthy pastime.  Near me, I saw a single cricket.  It was moving the grains of the hillside, this way and that way.  How great was its energy, how humble its effort.  Let us hope it will always be like this, each of us going on in our inexplicable ways, building the universe."  Song of the Builders, by Mary Oliver.  

H: You know, John, I got an email from someone who had tried to email you and Hannah to let you know that while this person really liked Dear Hank and John, she really really wanted to hear that Mary Oliver podcast that you said you might do with Hannah.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

But she could only find my email address so she just was telling me all about how she wanted a podcast that wasn't mine.  So that's what I get for having a public email address, just people telling me that they'd rather not listen to my podcast and please, if possible, make a different one that's not gonna have you in it, because God knows would I not be interesting on a Mary Oliver podcast.  You got a question for me, John?

J: I've got a bunch of questions for you, Hank, but let's start out with this one from Seamus, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, When I was born, I had red hair."  I mean, is there a first sentence to a question from a person named Seamus that is more likely?  "The red hair naturally turned brown when I was about two years old."  Well, I'm glad to hear that you didn't dye it at two.  "Now my brown hair is naturally darkening to almost black.  At what point do I start to say my hair color is the new color?  More importantly, at what point do I have to change the hair color listed on my identification?  Would it be a crime if I listed my hair color as brown for my whole life?"  

H: You're goin' to jail, Seamus.  Now we know.  We've turned you in.  We have your full name and email address and the police are aware.

J: Yeah.  Yeah, Seamus, I think you might be catastrophizing just a little bit, like, I think it's very unlikely, depending on where you live, of course, but I think it's extremely unlikely that you'll go to jail for recording that your hair is brown when it is in fact, "almost black".  

H: So this is a weird thing I have noticed about my life.  So we've got--we're this duo.  We got Hank and John Green.  We're a thing, and you have darker hair than me. 

J: John and Hank Green.

H: You have darker hair than me, but I have brown hair.  You have darker brown hair, but because we are a duo, one of us is the blond one, and one of us is the brown haired one.

J: Right.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

H: And when you, like, when you see us represented in graphical formats, I am drawn as blond.

J: Right.

H: But if you look at my hair color, it is brown.  It is just not as brown as yours.  So, there's this very str--like, particularly in the spectrum of brown-ness, there is just a huge amount of brown and it is almost unnecessary to even talk about it.  There's basically two hair colors.  There's various shades of brown and there is red.

J: But even red is kind of a shade of brown, and also Hank, you know, I'm looking at pictures of you, and I--at least in the summertime, you're pretty blond.  

H: Yeah, it depends on how much I go outside.

J: Yeah.  My hair is--

H: I don't think of myself as blond.  That is--that is an unusual thought.

J: I'm undergoing a change that is similar to the change that Seamus is experiencing, only my hair is becoming grey and I am wondering, at what point do I either say that my hair is grey on my identification or ask my hair stylist to color my hair, which he has said he will not do.  He has said that that is a bad idea, but I don't know.  I don't feel like you can have grey hair and be on YouTube.  I feel like it's--I'm having a little bit of an identity crisis about becoming middle aged and being old and still being on the internet and the internet getting older than me.  I mean, and the internet being young and hip in a way that I will never be again, but maybe we should just move on to the next question.

H: That's probably a good idea.  This one's from (?~9:39) who asks, "Dear Hank and John, In the case of a world zombie apocalypse, what percent of the world would need to be infected before everything is fair game and you're allowed to steal weapons and food, etc.  Obviously, if one or two people were infected, regular laws would still apply, but what is the tipping point?"

J: So, Hank, before we get to this very interesting question, do you have a zombie apocalypse strategy?

 (10:00) to (12:00)

Like, is this something that you think about?  Because, of course, it is something that I think about.

H: Well, I have--I have a short-term apocalypse strategy.  It's not a zombie apocalypse strategy, but anything from you know, just a worldwide power grid failure to a volcano, anything that's going to keep me in my house and stuck without services for like, a week or two, I have preparations for that, which is just a bunch of cans of beans and a bunch of water, and I got that in my basement.  I don't actually have it in my basement.  Most of the cans of beans are actually in my cupboard because I eat them sometimes, but I like to have a fair stock of beans just in case to survive, unpleasantly, for a couple of weeks until things return to normal.  Beyond a couple of weeks, I'm just--I'm a goner and I'm fine with that.  Like, 'cause I think that there's sort of a law of diminishing returns in terms of apocalypse strategies.  I think if you can get through two weeks, you're gonna be good for like, 98% of apocalypses, and those 2%, it's a long tale often to infinity of like, when services are gonna be restored.  If services are never gonna be restored, like, it's just not gonna happen for me.

J: Yeah.  

H: I don't have those--I don't have the kinds of skills necessary.

J: I also don't really wanna live in that world.  Like, I'm not--I'm not looking to survive in a dystopia.  I can barely handle our current level of dystopia, so like, if things went hard dystopian in the next few years and there was a question about whether you have enough cans of beans to survive or you know, people were paying tens of thousands of dollars for canisters of water or trading in gold teeth or whatever, like, I'm out.  I'm done.  I'm not--it's just--that's not gonna be me.  Like, I'll fight as long as I can, I guess, for the safety of my kids, but I also know that I am not gonna be in that 1%, you know?  

 (12:00) to (14:00)

Like, I'm gonna be in the 99%, which is why my zombie apocalypse strategy has always been the moment you reach that tipping point and you realize that this is gonna be a zombie apocalypse situation with gun stealing and no rules and all government's gonna fall apart and we're gonna be, you know, living in small tribes that are at war with each other and can't trust each other, a Walking Dead type situation, I'm done.  I'm out.  I like, run headfirst into the zombies.

H: Right.  Well, of course, zombies aren't the actual concern, but this is a thing that people, that scientists study, you know, sort of in relation to riots or in war when it's like, when does it become acceptable to start stealing, to start looting, to start killing other people, 'cause that's a thing that does happen in the world and it is an important, like, thing to study, and a terrible thing that happens and has happened, you know, in places where there are Nerdfighters and it sucks, and what it often comes down to is the moment when people think that it has become normal, when they see some other people doing it, that it becomes, like, if other people are doing it, then I guess it's the right thing to do, and we're very lucky to live in a very stable society and a very, a very committed to keeping it that way. 

J: Yeah, I mean, yeah.  I think we should try really hard--I mean, I just wanna summarize what you said back to you so that you can hear yourself.  You basically just said I think we should try to avoid a zombie apocalypse.

H: Well.  I think that we should try to avoid societal instability.

J: Have I talked to you, Hank, about how I believe that stability is the most underappreciated virtue?

H: I think--you have.  You have, and--

J: Like, if I were gonna get a tattoo, like, over my bellybutton, it would just 'stability'.

H: Yeah.  

 (14:00) to (16:00)

Well, I mean, it's easy to say--

J: I love it when my life is stable and I am absolutely terrified when my life is unstable.

H: Yeah, and we've got a question coming up that we might ask about that very thing.  Maybe I should just ask it.  It's from Emma who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I'm 17 and have been with my girlfriend for about 11 months.  I think I'm happy with my girlfriend but I can't help but find myself crushing on others.  A couple in particular who I can't help being attracted to and I've found myself thinking about them a lot.  Is this normal?  Should I try and stop crushing on others?  Should I tell my girlfriend?  I can't help but feel that I'm wasting my time for experimenting and having fun by choosing the less exciting but maybe safer option.  Having said that, if I was to leave my girlfriend for the mere possibility for an exciting single life, I think I would become lonely pretty quickly.  Spaghetti and cats, Emma."  

J: Yeah, this is a tough one, I don't feel like I can really advise Emma on this issue.  I think stability is great, but I'm also a 39 year old arguably grey haired individual.  

H: Yeah, you're not 17.  Yeah, I mean, I think what it comes down to is how you actually feel, how you feel connected to, you know, the other person in this equation.  Of course, cr--like, you're always gonna crush on people.  You're gonna feel attracted to other people forever, that's a normal thing, but there is something that I think is maybe a little bit different about crushing where it's like, I am fantasizing about being in a relationship with this person, not just about like, boy, I like the way that their mouth looks, and uh, and the responsibility becomes to the relationship and if you want the relationship to be a thing and aren't just--not just because you're like, afraid of being lonely, but because you like this person and respect them and want to treat them well, then you do sort of have a responsibility to curtail your fantasizing about being in relationships with other people.

 (16:00) to (18:00)

And I think that that's--but like, of course, like, you know, like, having those feelings is totally appropriate.  You probably should not be like, hey, girlfriend, I just wanted you to know that I've been fantasizing about being in relationships with other people, that's not a necessary thing that you have to do.  It's a thing that happens, but deciding whether or not you're gonna break it off so that you can have a more exciting time for experimentation, that's up to you and it's up to how you feel like you want to respect your significant other and how you want to respect the relationship that you're in.

J: I think that was good advice, and I also--I just have no idea how to be 17.  The more--like, it's just an astonishingly difficult thing to be young, because you're living with the size of the options are so limitless, like, the possible futures in front of you are incalculably vast and that's exciting in a lot of ways, I think that's what's so thrilling about adolescence, but it's also absolutely terrifying, or at least it was for me.  It's kind of paralyzing to think like, well, I could do this and then I'm gonna be stuck on that path for the rest of my life or I could do this and then I'll be stuck on that path for the rest of my life, and that feeling of like, oh, you know, like, these two roads diverging in a yellow wood in the famous Robert Frost poem, but the thing is, in actual like, in my actual experience of being a teenager, the two roads diverge in a yellow wood, you walk for five feet, and then the road diverges again and then you walk for five feet and then the road diverges again and so on, seemingly forever, and so when you reach a period of stability where you're happy with the road that you're on and it also isn't splitting constantly, threatening you with whatever might befall you, I find that to be a very pleasant part of life.  

 (18:00) to (20:00)

I think adulthood in general is like, massively underrated.  

H: Yeah, it's, I think, less interesting to write about in stories, these moments of like--

J: Yeah.

H: --of just pleasurable sitting by the fire drinking your cognac or whatever it is that you like to do, I don't know, I don't do either of those things, but uh, but it is really wonderful and I think that our anxiety about getting to that place is really misplaced, because people think, like, I don't want it all to end, I'm just gonna be like, going through the motions that everyone else goes through, but there's a reason why people do that.  There's a reason why people sort of settle in and like, and have a family and like, you know, get really involved with their work, it's because there's so much reward in it.

J: Right.  

H: And it's--it can be hard to convey the, you know, the pleasures of that simple stability.

J: Yes, it makes for bad movies, but good living, in my experience.

 (20:00) to (22:00)

Our next question comes from Michelle, Hank, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, I recently went to make an appointment with the doctor I've been seeing my entire life in order to get my ear cleared out.  It's been blocked with wax and impeding my hearing for two weeks now.  In going to make an appointment, I found out that my doctor has retired.  How does one go about finding a new doctor?  I've never had to do this before and I have no idea where to start.  Any dubious advice is appreciated as I would like to get my cleaned out in the future.  Pumpkins and penguins, Michelle."

H: I haven't had a doctor--I mean, maybe since high school, is the--

J: What?!

H: I don't know if it's normal--do most adults have like, a doctor that is just their doctor doctor?  I have that doctor for my butt problems, but I don't have it for like, my whole body, like--

J: You don't have like, a general practitioner you see on a fairly regular basis when you have health problems?

H: No, when I have health problems, I either go see my butt doctor, 'cause most of the problems are related to my colon, or I go to the, like, the walk-in clinic and pay my $60.

 (22:00) to (24:00)

J: Wow.  I mean.  I can really empathize with Michelle in this situation because I have retired three, three physicians in just the last ten years.

H: Like, they've opted out.  They've been like, okay, I've had enough, some of my patients, I'm not gonna say who, but some of my patients have pushed me out of the medical profession.

J: Yeah, so the first one was a great doctor.  He was my doctor for our first five years in Indianapolis.  I felt very close to him.  We had a wonderful working relationship, and uh, and then he retired, but he was 65.   That's reasonable.  The second doctor that I retired, retired just two years after I started seeing him at the age of 48.  Perfectly healthy guy, just decided that he had to get out of the doctoring business right around the time that I was recovering from my viral meningitis.  Then, I had a great doc--a really wonderful doctor.  He wasn't conveniently located to my home, but I just--I really was a big fan of my doctor, and he just retired six months ago and I--it was devastating.  Like, I was like, the first time I saw him, I actually said to him, "Listen, so you know, I have retired two doctors in five years.  Are you planning to retire anytime soon?" And he was like, no, I love my work, I'm young, I'll be doing it forever.  Four years later, retired.  

H: Well.  Then you should probably go my route and see whoever happens to be at the walk-in clinic that day, and I would suggest that to Michelle in the meantime while you're trying to find a new GP.

J: No.  

H: No, no, no, not permanently, not permanently, but like, she's trying to find a GP but she's got impacted earwax and she can't hear and it's causing her anxiety so she should go to the walk-in clinic and get her ear irrigated, which is the most common procedure they do at walk-in clinics and I know this, because I did it once.

J: If you can afford to get your ear irrigated at the walk-in clinic, you should absolutely do that, Michelle, but the larger question is are there health benefits to having consistent care from one primary care physician and the answer is overwhelmingly yes.  That person doesn't actually always have to be an MD, it can be a nurse practitioner or but there is--there are definitely benefits to having a consistent relationship with one primary care physician or MP or whatever.  Also, Hank and I do not--never trust our advice, our advice is always dubious, but like maybe especially don't trust Hank's medical advice since like, I am familiar with Hank's medical education and it includes one semester of organic chemistry.  That was the last time Hank was exposed in any way to human medicine.  I, at least, have spent my entire adulthood Googling symptoms, so I am fairly familiar with a lot of health problems, but even my medical advice should never be trusted.  Consult your physician.  As for how find a physician, talk to your friends and family members about physicians they trust.  If they have great general practitioners or family medicine doctors or nurse practitioners they love working with, and then also, you gotta look on your insurance list to make sure that they're covered by your insurance and then you can find out where they went to college, which doesn't matter, of course, doesn't matter that much, although it matters a little bit to me, because I am a doctor snob, okay, I will admit that I am a doctor snob.  I am very happy with my current primary care physician who's a big fan of the pod, so it's great to--I hope that you're enjoying this episode, Dr--I'm not gonna say your name, just 'cause  I don't want a bunch of people going to you all of a sudden and you not having as much time for me, but big fan, and you're doing a great job and I appreciate it and I'm sorry that I dispensed medical advice on this podcast.  Never dispense medical advice on a podcast.  

H: And don't retire, Dr. Whatever!  Don't--John needs you!

J: He's not gonna retire.  We had a long talk before I officially hired him as my general practitioner that I was in this for decades and I needed him to be in it for decades, too.  

H: I also--I just wanna finish this question by saying that once upon a time, I got my ear wax cleaned out and I made a vlogbrothers video about it and I did it at the walk-in clinic and you can watch that at

 (24:00) to (26:00)

If you Google around enough, I'm sure you can find that big lump of earwax coming out of my ear.  It was an amazing experience.  

J: I mean, that's just terrible self-promotion. 

H: I think it's great.  I think I'm so good at the self-promo, John.

J: Nobody, nobody, nobody, nobody wants to like, stop listening to the podcast, pull over on the side of the road, pull out their phones--

H: Do it.

J: Google Vlogbrothers earwax and watch that video.

H: Do it.  Do it right now.

J: If you're gonna do that many steps, could you guys do me a favor and register for Nerdcon: Nerdfighteria instead of going and watching Hank's earwax video?

H: I'll put it on the Patreon.  This question is from Scott, and it's for me, so I'm just gonna read it.  It says, "Dear Hank and John, (but really just Hank), While discussing the Martian terrain with some friends, I referred to the ground as Earth.  One very astronomically knowledgeable friend said that I was wrong and suggested that Earth is a term for soil on Earth, and on Mars we should call the soil Mars.  Was I wrong to say Earth?  Still developing my catchphrase, Scott."

J: That's good.  You know, I like that Scott knows that he is in a period of growth right now where he doesn't have a catchphrase yet, but he also knows that that catchphrase is coming.

H: Right, right.  Do you wanna think of some catchphrases for Scott or do you just want to answer the question?

J: Sure.  

H: About Mars?

J: No, yeah, you answer the question while I think of some catchphrases for Scott, then I'll just kinda, I'll blurt them out as I think of them.

H: Okay.  Well, this is an interesting question.  In fact, the word Earth--

J: You've just been beamed up by Scott.

H: The word for 'Earth' started out as meaning 'dirt and soil and stuff' and then it got expanded when we realized we were on a planet to refer to the whole planet, which is especially interesting because it means that--I just keep thinking you're gonna interrupt me, but you haven't.  It's making me real nervous.

J: Great comma Scott.

 (26:00) to (28:00)

It means that the Earth, we chose to call it Earth, but we could have very easily called it dirt or soil or just, you know, rubble or something.  Some other thing.  Clay.  But we chose to call it Earth, which is good 'cause I'm glad that I'm not like, a Dirter.  I'm glad I don't live on Dirt.  But on Mars, the soil--you could still call the ground there Earth, but you should not call it soil because it's not soil because soil has a bunch of other stuff in it including microorganisms, and you probably couldn't even call it dirt.  You might have to call it (?~26:34) because it's dead lifeless organic--er, non-organic material.  

J: Every land I live in is Scotland.

H: Okay, good.  Well done, John, I'm real proud of you.  

J: This question comes from Joshua, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, Why is it often difficult to breathe and fart at the same time?  I often find this to be an issue when trying to surprise others with my farting."  Joshua, come on, man.  You gotta--you gotta reassess your life choices.  You're--either you're seven or you need to uh, I think, sophisticate up your sense of humor a little bit.

H: NO, NO, NO!  Definitely continue to try surprise people with the farts, yes!

J: Although Hank is gonna completely disagree with you because Hank still does that.

H: Never, never let it die.

J: "They see me holding my breath and they know that I'm about to squeeze out a fart."  I'm sorry, I had to read the rest of the question.  That's the rest of it.  We're done.  It's over.  Hank, why do you hold your breath while you're farting?

H: First, I wanna say that oftentimes at Dear Hank and John, we have to edit peoples' questions down substantially so that it's sort of easier to get through them and we read poorly and--

J: That's the whole thing.

H: We did not have to edit Joshua's question.  It is just those two sentences.  They didn't even say 'thank you' or, you know, 'Josh' at the end.  That was it, and boy.

 (28:00) to (30:00)

J: I've got a good question for Joshua.  

H: Oh yeah?

J: Pffffft, Joshua.

H: Good.  Well, I--

J: Pffffft.  Pfffft, Joshua.

H: So, Josh, Joshua, you're just playing it safe, because there's a possibility that you're a mouth fart-er, and this is a condition that some people have where if they fart with their mouths open while breathing and don't close off their trachea, they'll fart out both ends at once, and you don't want to fart out your mouth, nobody wants that.

J: You're making this up, right?

H: Yes, of course I'm making it up.

J: Oh, thank God.  Oh, thank God.

H: I love that you had to ask.

J: I don't know enough about--I never know enough about science to know for sure when you're making something up, but that is a huge relief.  I was actually in the middle of Googling the phrase 'mouth fart-er', which, by the way, whoa.  Uh, regret.  Uh, hit the back button and never go back.  Do not, do not, do not, guys, do not, do not make the mistake that I just made.  Do not.  Never.  If I can give you one piece of advice, it's never do that.  Hank, we have to leave this question behind and move on to another question quickly.  We have to go.  This is over.  The question is over.  The new question comes from Annie.  She writes, "Dear John and Hank, This summer I'm going to be moving across the country to Jasper, Alberta for a job."  Pause.  Annie, please, please, can--please, please, please, please let me into Canada.  Please just let me into Canada.  I have some immigration issues because I was denied entrance to Canada in 1994 due to insufficient funds and now every time I try to get into Canada, I'm put in the line for the naughty people where we have to get special interviewing and I just, I need to be let into Canada, but not for a little while, Annie, but forever.  Also, could you make it like, 30 degrees warmer on average in Jasper, Alberta?  Okay.  "I'm moving across the country to Jasper, Alberta for a job guiding trails on horseback.

 (30:00) to (32:00)

This will be my second summer doing this.  It just so happens that Jasper is in the mountains and I fell in love with one of the local mountains, Pyramid Mountain."  I don't know if Annie means that she fell in love the way that you fall in love with a person or if she means that she fell in love the way that you generally fall in love with a mountain, but we're not here to judge her.  "I'm planning on hiking to the summit.  This is where my dilemma is.  I'm very excited and I wanna tell my mom, but I know she would be worried about me going on a potentially overnight hike on my own.  I am in the need of some serious dubious advice.  Should I tell my mother about my plan to climb this mountain and risk the fact that she will try to talk me out of it and potentially give her undue stress and have her be mad at me while I'm across the country, or should I wait until after I've done it and tell her how great it was retrospectively?"  

H: I need to know how old Annie is!  Maybe I don't.

J: She's going across the country to work all summer guiding trails on horseback, so she's not nine.

H: That's true.

J: I mean, I don't know, maybe child labor laws are different in Canada, but I'd be surprised if she's nine.  

H: Uh, I don't know.  I don't know.  You gotta judge your relationship with your mom and you gotta judge your mom's mommy-ness, but it's not that big of a deal.

J: I think you gotta tell your mom that you're gonna climb this mountain.  I mean, Annie explains later in this email that it's a 12 hour hike, so theoretically, it might not even be an overnight hike, as long as you're well prepared, I think you just need to be very well prepared, Annie, and to know what you're doing.  If you are not an experienced, obviously don't trust Hank and I's advice over actual experienced campers, but if you're not an experienced camper, that's not something I would take on by myself, but--

H: Yeah.

J: But yeah, I think you've gotta make the right decision for you and make sure that you bring plenty of water and food and a compass and a fully charged phone, maybe a satellite phone, just in case you get super lost, and like, a GPS beacon that you can like, rip off and then they'll find you no matter what.  

 (32:00) to (34:00)

H: Um, Annie, so--

J: Flares?  You should bring flares.

H: I am a more experienced camper than John.

J: That's not true.

H: Well, you were talking a bunch of nonsense, so there's that, but I will say that it's, first, definitely have someone know that you're going, even if it's, you know, it doesn't have to be your mom, but somebody needs to know you're going.  That is the biggest mistake that leads to death in back-country hiking, is you go off and people don't know where you are, 'cause if something goes wrong, they don't know where to look for you, but the way to make it much safer is to go with someone else, and I know that there is a lot of wonderfulness that can come out of going by yourself, but if you wanna, like, alleviate some of your mom's stress, you can maybe find somebody to do it with and that--

J: Maybe your mom.  Maybe go with your mom.

H: Maybe not, maybe not.  You know, at a 2700 meter elevation mountain, I don't know if Annie's mom is up to that, but that, if I was your mom, it would make me a lot less nervous if you went with somebody else and maybe that would make it easier for you to tell your mom you were doing this.

J: You would not bring a flare on this trip?

H: Uh, no, I would not bring a flare on that trip.  I would definitely bring bear spray though, 'cause that's Alberta and they got the bears there.

J: Oh God.  Oh my God.  My days of sleeping on the ground with bear spray on my person at all times are over.  That's--I'm not comin' back to that place.

H: Okay, John.

J: But anyway, Hank,  Annie's question reminded me that our podcast today is of course, brought to you by Mt. Pyramid.  Mt. Pyramid: a pyramid that is also a mountain that a woman named Annie is in love with.  

H: And that's okay, Nicola Tesla was in love with pigeons.  This podcast was also brought to you by two weeks worth of beans.  Two weeks worth of beans: available at Costco and will get you through 99.1% of all Apocalypses.

J: For the record, Nicola Tesla was only in love with one pigeon.  It was a particular pigeon.  And today's podcast is also brought to you by grey hair.  Grey hair: coming soon to YouTube.  

 (34:00) to (36:00)

H: There's other YouTubers with grey hair, John.  You're just classin' up the joint.  It's fine, it's fine.  Today's podcast is also finally brought to you, of course, by Mouth Farters Anonymous: the place that you can go for all of your, you know, discussions you wanna have about your condition of being a mouth fart-er, which is totally alright and nothing to be ashamed of.

J: Hank, let's answer one more question before we get to the astonishing--

H: Ugh.

J: --historic, amazing, unprecedented news from AFC Wimbledon and the presumably incredibly exciting news from Mars as well.

H: Okay, well, I'm looking forward to doing that and maybe giving you a tiny bit of advice after having heard a couple of episodes of Dear Hank and John without me about your presentation style when it comes to AFC Wimbledon, but first, I wanted to ask you this question from Justine, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, My roommates and I have each picked out our favorite holiday movies to watch together in the weeks leading up to Christmas, but to my dismay, one of my roommates picked Die Hard, which I am convinced is not a Christmas movie.  It takes place during Christmas, but it hardly has the joyous holiday theme that I would normally expect from a Christmas movie.  I think the plot could easily take place at any time during the year.  My roommates all disagree with me, so I will leave it to you.  Is Die Hard really a Christmas movie?

J: Well, this happens to be, as you know, Hank, one of my areas of expertise, because I have spent more time watching and thinking about the Die Hard franchise than probably anyone on Earth not named Bruce Willis.  

H: I feel like Bruce Willis probably doesn't spend that much time thinking about Die Hard, actually.

J: You might be right, actually, now that I think about it.  

 (36:00) to (38:00)

Die Hard is a Christmas movie for precisely the reasons that Justine cites for it not being a Christmas movie, which is that it is all about the holiday spirit.  It is all about learning to be grateful for family and learning that, you know, even in extremely complicated situations, love conquers all. 

H: And also never take off your shoes.  

J: Yes, never take off your shoes if there is an imminent threat of a terrorist attack on the skyscraper where you are the only chance of stopping that attack.  I also have to say, while we're talking about Christmas movies and the greatest Christmas movie of all time, Die Hard 2: Die Harder is also a Christmas movie.

H: Really?!  It happens on Christmas as well?

J: Because it takes place on Christmas Eve in Washington D.C., a year after the events of Die Hard 1, and the best part about Die Hard 2 is that they try to make sense of this coincidence by having Bruce Willis over and over again say "I can't believe this stuff keeps happening to me on Christmas."

H: Well, I mean, I think it's quite--actually, it's pretty great, like, there's a lot of interesting great things about Die Hard, but I think it's pretty great that they have that Christmas theme stretches through the whole movie.  Like, it's, you know, it's a holiday party at the beginning and when he kills that guy and steals his machine gun, he like, writes on his shirt in blood, "Now I have a machine gun, ho ho ho" 'cause he had a lot of blood to write with.

J: Right, exactly!  It is a Christmas movie.

H: And  I think there's something interesting about Die Hard as a Christmas movie, which is a thing that's happened, where people are like, it's kind of a rebellion against the idea of the Christmas movie, which is something I don't love, because there, like, I really like Christmas and like, coming together and experiencing a thing culturally, even if we don't all agree on, you know, other things, but you know, like, there's something about the holiday time, everybody has their celebration.

 (38:00) to (40:00)

It doesn't, of course, have to be Christmas, but there, like, the togetherness and the family and the like, whether it's like, You Can't Take it With You or it's Elf, there's good feeling Christmas movies and there's a cynicism that comes along with being like, well, I don't like any of those!  Where's the Christmas movie about dying and killing people and blood and cocaine?  

J: Right, no, it's definitely--it's definitely sort of a cynical response to Christmas movies, along the lines of a Bad Santa 2 or to a lesser extent, Bad Santa.  

H: I haven't seen either of those.

J: And, I mean, I definitely get that.  I also wanna say for the record, Hank, that not everybody celebrates holidays in the winter, that, you know, like--

H: Everybody's got something.

J: It isn't the holiday season for everyone, but um, but yeah, I like Die Hard as a movie a lot.  I like it less as a Christmas movie but I still like it as a Christmas movie and I support its inclusion.  If people wanna be cynical about Christmas, it's a better way of being cynical about Christmas than Bad Santa 2. Hank, okay, okay, Hank, now, tell me what I'm doing wrong with my AFC Wimbledon coverage please.

H: Thank you for giving me the opportunity.  We all know the story of AFC Wimbledon.  There are gonna be some people who don't, but they're gonna pick up on it.  You don't have to go through the whole thing every time.  We are with you, we are excited about AFC Wimbledon, but the moment that you have, that you start this, like, long story of how AFC Wimbledon happened, every time that happened while I was listening to the pod, I had to skip it.  I'll be honest with you.  If you could find a really fast abbreviated way of doing it, that would be fine, but just tell me what happened.

J: In the second round of the FA Cup--

H: What's that?  What is the FA Cup and what is the second round?

J: Oh, I apologize, I thought I wasn't supposed to give any background.

H: No, different background, new background, new context is great.  We're aware of how AFC Wimbledon happened though.

 (40:00) to (42:00)

J: The FA Cup is a competition in England, it's basically like a knockout competition in which all the teams in England can play each other and then, like, the big teams like Manchester United and Chelsea come in in the third round, so everybody's gunning for that third round ticket because then you can play potentially a big team.  That's how AFC Wimbledon played Liverpool a few years ago.  So this was a second round FA Cup tie against Curzon Ashton.  It was a huge game for them because they're way down in the sixth tier of English soccer and they got off to a roaring start with a former Liverpool youth prospect scoring three goals, Hank, scored two goals in the first half and then completed his hat trick in the 60th minute and things were looking very, very bad for AFC Wimbledon.  In the 80th minute, down 3-0, away from home, to Curzon Ashton.  Everybody, including me, like, I was still watching it, 'cause it was--the game was televised which was incredibly exciting, so I was still enjoying just the prospect of watching this team I love on television, but at no point did I think that they had a chance to win, even though they were dominating possession, but they were 3-0 down, and then, in the 80th minute, the 80th minute with 10 minutes to go in the game, off of a corner kick, a goal, a goal.  Who scored it?  You can't even really tell because it was such a scrum.  

H: That's pretty amazing.

J: And then it was 3-1 in the 80th minute, and I was like, well, that's nice that there was a nice little comeback there and there's something to build on for the future, got this big game coming up on December 10th against the franchise currently playing in Milton Keynes, and then Dom Polion scored a goal a minute later, and then a minute after that, Tyrone Barnett scored a goal and then it was 3-3 in the 94th minute when, with the last touch of the ball, Tom Elliott headed the ball into the back of the net.  AFC Wimbledon win 4-3 having come back from a 3-0 deficit in the final 10 minutes of the game.  It was insanity.  

 (42:00) to (44:00)

H: Yeah, and indeed, I watched the highlights.  One of the nice things about FA Cup games is that they actually get some coverage and they put together a highlight reel, and we're gonna put that on the Patreon.  You can watch it and it really is exciting just to watch in the like, sort of five minute digested version and that final goal was improbable.  Like, that is not an easy head.

J: Yeah.  I gotta say, by the way, that I feel terrible for Curzon Ashton.  I mean, that would have been the biggest win in their history and it's devastating to lose that way and my thoughts are certainly with their fans, but it does mean that AFC Wimbledon made it to the third round draw when they could have drawn games against Manchester United or Chelsea or Liverpool, but in fact, they drew arguably an even more interesting match-up against Sutton United.  Hank, do you know why it's interesting to be playing Sutton United in the FA Cup?

H: I bet you're gonna believe I don't!

J: It's because AFC Wimbledon's first game, back when they were in the 9th tier, was a preseason friendly against Sutton United.  The folks at Sutton United opened up their stadium to Wimbledon supporters, 4,500 people came, they expected about 250, and that was AFC Wimbledon's first game.  They lost 4-0 but there was still a pitch invasion at the end of the game, and so, now AFC Wimbledon supporters get to go back to that same field where AFC Wimbledon took--where AFC Wimbledon played their very first ever game as AFC Wimbledon, so it's a really exciting match-up, and you know, theoretically winnable, since Sutton United now play in the fifth tier and AFC Wimbledon are up in League one, and then who knows?  

 (44:00) to (46:00)

H: And then who knows?  Alright.

J: That's kind of the story of life.

H: Uh, well, uh, the game with the franchise currently playing in Milton Keynes is--will have happened by the time this podcast gets uploaded, right?

J: Correct.

H: And so you will have to check the scores for that, because we don't know how it went, but we'll talk about it on the next podcast.

J: We hope it went okay.

H: We hope it went well, because AFC Wimbledon is playing really well and Milton Keynes is all the way down at the bottom of the table right now.  We--I got a little bit of Mars news for you.  I gotta be honest, I haven't been paying a huge amount of attention, but um, but I did get a Tweet from the National Geographic channel yesterday.  It says "@hankgreen The year is 2033." Which is way too late.  "Humans are developing a colony on #Mars.  What CrashCourse would you recommend for those who wish to join them?"  

J: Sure.

H: What CrashCourse do you think a Mars--so this is the National Geographic channel, which they have a new show, I don't know what it's called, possibly called Mars, and I'm excited to watch it, but I haven't seen it yet because I don't have cable.  In fact, in fact, I asked the National Geographic channel how a lowly cord cutter like me could watch the series, to which they did not respond.  

J: 'Cause it's an awkward question.

H: It is a bit.

J: Yeah, I would say it's between Chemistry and Astronomy, but it's gotta be Chemistry ultimately.  That's gotta be more helpful when you're actually on Mars.

H: Yeah, that is true.  You know, you do learn about sort of like, you can--in an Astronomy course, you might end up learning like, some of the exobiology, exogeology, that kind of stuff, but mostly you're not.  Mostly you're not learning that kind of stuff.  So yeah, I think Chemistry is--that's what I said.  That's what I told them, and they said, "Send us the syllabus, we're in #Mars" so I complimented them on their good social media strategy, though I--yeah.

 (46:00) to (48:00)

You know, that got 896 likes, so some people saw that, and I'm excited about this series.  I have heard that it's good and it is told in a very interesting way, where they have, like, real life people, like Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson talking about the mission in a fictitious--a fictitious mission as if it was real, so I'm excited to see it.  It looks like it's got really great visual effects and I love Mars and I wish I had the National Geographic channel and there probably is a way for me to get it on iTunes or Amazon or something, but I'll be looking into that but right now I'm a little busy to be watching the TVs, though there are lots of moments when I could be watching TV.  He sleeps a lot.

J: Oh man, I watched TV so much when Henry was a little baby, because he didn't care.

H: Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.  Actually, it seems like Orin would much rather have me interacting with--like, if he's sitting on my lap and I'm watching TV, he's like, dude!  Dude!  I'm right here!  What are we doing?  And I'm like, what's up?  And he's like, oh, now we're doing something?  And I'm like, oh great, you like to play.  You wanna do stuff.  Okay.

J: Aww.  Oh, that's very cute.  It was such a pleasure to meet Orin over Thanksgiving.  I felt so lucky and so happy to see you with such a beautiful baby.  It brought me great joy.  Hank, we have to end our podcast now.  

H: Okay.

J: What did we learn today?

H: Oh, gosh, what did we learn today?  We learned that I should probably have a general practitioner of some sort and don't.

J: Yeah.  I'll say.  We learned that, you know, whatever color your hair is, according to Hank, it's still brown.  

H: It's all brown.  Everybody's got brown hair, John.

J: We learned that Die Hard is a Christmas movie, but probably not the best Christmas movie.

H: We learned that we live on a planet called Earth but only through a freak accident of linguistics is it not called Dirt.

 (48:00) to (49:18)

J: And of course, we learned that, broadly speaking, if you live in Alberta, you should never leave the house without bear spray.  I have to say that even living in Indianapolis where brown bears are relatively uncommon, for instance, there's never been a sighting of one outside of a zoo, I still feel like maybe I should have bear spray on me at all times.  

H: Alright, John.  Well, thank you for podding with me.  I missed it so much.

J: Oh, it's very nice to have you back.  Thanks for coming back and not choosing to spend the rest of your life just hanging out with your kid, which I wouldn't blame you for doing but I'm glad that you're back.  Our podcast is edited by Nicholas Jenkins.  Rosianna Halse Rojas helps out with questions.  Victoria Bongiorno does all of the social media stuff and many other things as well.  Our theme music is by Gunnarolla.  You can email us at, that's where you should email us to get your question answered, I apologize in advance for all the questions we don't answer.  Hank, did I miss anything?

H: No, I don't think you did.  We completely forgot to tell you that your stuff in the oven is burning and as they say in our hometown--

J: Oh my God, it's burning!  Check on the stuff in the oven.  Thank you for listening, and as we say in our hometown...

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