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Who does my cat think I am? Is listening to music a waste of time? Should we get a new coconut? And more!

NerdCon: Nerdfighteria: www.nerdconnerdfighteria.com/
Email your questions: hankandjohn@gmail.com

 (00:00) to (02:00)


Hank: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John.


Katherine: Or as John likes to call it, Dear John and Hank.


Hank: It's an advice comedy podcast where we give you dubious advice and dubious comedy, uh, what else do we do?


Katehrine: talk about death? and the uh the chipmunks?


Hank: Yup.


Katherine: Apparently.


Katherine: And John isn't here today.


Hank: No.


Katehrine: So, I am filling in and I am, I'm Katherine.


Hank: This is Katherine, my wife.


Katherine: Katherine, Hank's wife. That's how you designate me.


[Hank laughing]


Hank: And do we also bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon though I don't know if we are going to get any AFC Wimbeldon news today.


Katherine: Eh. Are they doing anything? Interesting?


Hank: Uh, I bet, sure. Maybe?


Katherine: Erm


Hank: I just, I often google league one table and I see if AFC Wimbledon is-- ooh, well I just did that. It's less good than it was the last time I did it.


Katherine: Ok well there you go.


Hank: But we'll--


Katherine: If you're interested--


Hank: We'll get there at the end of the podcast, so we won't talk about that yet. Um, but uh, then I ask how you doing Katherine?


Katherine: Katherine is okay, I just noticed that my computer has thirteen percent battery so I'm doing better than my computer.


Hank: uhhm


Katherine: But, um I'm currently growing a human.


Hank: Yes.


Katehrine: Outside of my body now.


Hank: Uh huh.


Katehrine: After having done it inside of my body for, don't let them tell you it's nine months, it's nine and a half, sometimes ten. And it's draining let me tell ya.


Hank: Yes, literally.


Katehrine: The whole thing.


Hank: Yeah


Katherine: is just from start- top to you know, start to finish, draining. And then there's the, the person


Hank: Yeah


Katehrine: They come out, and they still,


Hank: Need you.


Katehrine: Need you. Literally. Like, you know, I mean,


Hank: They still subsist on your body.


Katehrine: Yes, it's different.


 (02:00) to (04:00)


Hank: Yeah.

Katherine: I wouldn't say I love it.

Hank: You love him!

Katherine: Yes, but the thing of, like, having to be his only...

Hank: Uh-huh.

Katherine: It's weird.

Hank: It's goin okay because he keeps getting bigger.

Katherine: Oh! He's huge.

Hank: He's Big – he's big O.

Katherine: Which is fine. I – I, I'm... Pleased and proud to be doing it.

Hank: Yeah.

Katherine: I guess enjoying it because it's this... Crazy Experience that is...

Hank: Mhm.

Katherine: ... Is like nothing else.

Hank: --Yeah.

K: But... It is not easy.

H: Yeah.

K: And, and it is not one hundred percent a joy all the time, you guys.

H: Nooooo, this – oh man, there's so many--

K: -- Don't let any one tell you--

H: -- There are so many things that you will read and, we were, ough, There were, oh man – So many things you will read that will make it seem like some -- I don't know, maybe this is the case for some people, that it is this like, org -- like, almost, like, physically joyous... Thing, at every step of the way.

K: Mmm.

H: And maybe that is the case for some people!

K: Yeah.

H: But --

K: Those are -- I, those are, those people gotta be rare.

H: Yeah I think it's the minority, and I think if --

K: Yeah.

H: Uh I think that it's hard and I think that that's fine.
K: Oh totally.

H: Like I just, I --

K: I'm, I'm not --

H: Don't like the idea that --

K: Like --

H: People try to sugar coat it.

K: Well yeah, I mean you don't do things 'cause they're easy.

H: Right. All the things that are worth doing are hard.

K: Well, I mean, whatever.

H: Except, for... Patrick's question.

K: [Katherine chuckling]

H: If we just want to jump right in.

K: Sure, let's --

H: 'Caus Patrick has a great --

K: Let's answer some questions --

H: Has a great, uh, a great sk -- Uh, take on what I just said maybe not being true. Patrick says, "Dear Hank and John, yesterday I received an email that is semi-troubling. Spotify sent me a 'Year in Review' email that revealed several facts about my consumption of music on their platform, the main fact being that I spent over 27,000 minutes listening to music in 2016.

 (04:00) to (06:00)


H: "That's 19 full days. I can't help thinking that while I enjoy the music I listen to immensely, it has been a waste of time. Again, I would like to say that I love the music that I listen to, yet I can't help but think of all the things that I could have done - how much time I could have spent with friends, or how much time I could have written. I think what I'm asking is: how can I, for the new year, try to put more thought into what I consume or find a better balance?" Well, before I answer that question, I wanna go back and say that if you find joy in a thing-

K: Yeah.

H: Wonderful. 

K: Yeah!

H: So, no! There are many things that are worth doing that are not hard.

K: Just because you enjoy them.

H: Yeah.

K: Um, also, like 19 days isn't that large a portion of the year.

H: Yeah. I mean, I spent 19 days doing boring-er things than listening to music -

K: Probably pooping.

H: I wish - yeah, probably. I wish that I spent time, that much time listening to music. I love listening to music myself, I think that it gets you in touch with, like, a human thing that is very sort of visceral and like, I miss having the time to spend lots of time listening to music and discovering new music. And also I will say that, Patrick, you probably did other things while you were listening to that music.

K: Well, that's my question. Like, when he's listening to music, is he just listening to music? Because I feel like that is not what most people's experience of listening to music is.

H: Even if you are just sitting there with your headphones on, and that's all you're doing, you still, like your eyes closed and you've got a blindfold on, headphones on, you're submerged in a tank, you can sense no other sensations - you're still doing other stuff.

K: Sure.

H: Like you're listening to that music, you're thinking about your life, you're -

K: Uh-huh. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's gotta be -

H: It's reflective, contemplative time.

K: Yes, and it's, uh, right. It's giving you time to become a more of a person.

H: Yeah.

 (06:00) to (08:00)


K: Whatever. ...I don't think you should be worried about this at all.

H: So - I mean you say that, "for the new year I wanna try to put more thought into what I consume or find a better balance". Again, Katherine said, 19 days in 365 isn't actually all that many.

K: Yeah, that's not - I don't think you're having trouble with balance.

H: No. But, but I do think you should put thought into what you consume, and I also do think that spending time creating stuff is also really important. A thing that I can get trapped in sometimes is I can consume a lot of content that's very very good, and I feel like I'll never make anything that good, and so I won't even start. 

K: Mmm.

H: And forgetting that of course everyone who created something that I really love, the first song they ever wrote wasn't a master work, you know.

K: Sure, yeah, yeah. And also -

H: With songwriting sometimes I feel like it is that way.

K: Well, it can be.

H: The first song they write, I'm like, "What?! This is your first album? Stop! Leave! Go away!"

K: Well, it probably wasn't the first song they wrote, though.

H: Right.

K: They probably wrote those songs in middle school that nobody gets to hear.

H: Oh, man, would I love to hear some juvenalia from, like, Adele.

K: Right.

H: Well, at the same time, like, Taylor Swift - what is she, fourteen? She's writing amazing stuff. She's a child.

K: She has help.

H: She probably has help.

K: Let's, let's be honest. Um, anyway. The thing about, you know, making stuff, is...the more you do it, the better you are at it, generally.

H: Yeah. Right.

K: Or at least you'll find more joy in it, or you'll find a better direction to - I think if you're having a good time listening to music -

H: Do that. 

K: Do it.

H: Definitely do that, Patrick.

K: Have a good time.

H: All right, we've got another question, it's from...nobody. I didn't write down the name. It says, "Dear Hank and John" - they'll know who they are - "As I was celebrating New Year's Eve with some friends, one of my friends said that 'they'" - in quotation marks - 


 (08:00) to (10:00)


H: "Added a leap second to the end of every year to match up with the Earth's rotation, which is slowing down over time. Who is 'they'? Is there an International Time Society that decides what time it is across the world? How would that decision have been made?"

K: Yes. Um -

H: This is a fantastic question because you don't think about the fact that somebody decides what time it is.

K: This is important because it is New Year's Day when we are recording this.

H: Yes. Well, also we should have started the podcast by saying happy New Year to the first podcast of 2017.

K: Probably should have started the podcast by saying that. Happy New Year! It's the first podcast of 2017.

H: 2017. Woo woo woo! Brrrrrr - noisemaker!

K: Pow, pow, pow, pow pow pow pow!

H: (laughs) That was good. That was good. All right, well, we've got that done with. Uh, but yeah. So there is a thing.

K: We didn't plan this very well.

H: We didn't plan very well. There is a thing. So who do you think cares most in the whole world what exact time it is?

K: Um.

H: Sorry to put you on the spot here.

K: The...stock market.

H: They care, but not as much as...

K: Some sort of international monetary fund.

H: It's not the money people. The money people are -

K: Not the money people?

H: - more abstract. No.

K: It's - oh, okay. Um, it is then, give me a hint.

H: It has to do with space.

K: Silence.

H & K: (laughs)

H: It's the satellite people. 

K: Oh, okay. I went a lot of places, yeah. I didn't get there.

H: It is the, uh - it's okay. It's the, uh, the telecommunications people, oddly enough. So the International Telecommunications Union does a bunch of different things. They define a bunch of different things, they help create standards for telecommunications in a bunch of different ways, but one of the things the International Telecommunications Union does - which is probably based in Geneva, Switzerland, I'm guessing - 

K: Sure.

 (10:00) to (12:00)


H: They decide what time it is. And that is very important for things like GPS, for cell phone, for cell phone - like when the towers are gonna be working and when the satellites are gonna be working and figuring out all that junk.

K: So it's not as much about where the satellites are in space? And, and -

H: It's about where the, you would need to know exactly where they are.

K: Oh, okay. So it is about their locations.

H: So you need to know when they are. Need to know where they are in time and space.

K: Ah.

H: So, yeah. They also divide up, like, the bands of, you know, radio frequencies. Stuff like that. So there's this organization and theyjust, they desi- yeah, they are in Geneva, Switzerland. No, they're in Birn. No, they're in Geneva. (laughs) And they have existed since 1865 and, uh, they're kind of now part of the United Nations. And that's - and it's sort of amazing to me that like, everybody agrees on that. Nobody has a different time, the way we have difference distances - 

K: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

H: We have different years, even, but we have the same time. Because it was a relatively late addition to our, like, to the metrics of the world.

K: I mean, kind of, though. But, like, in China they have the same time but it's not like actually relevant, depending on where they are.

H: They have the s- Well, it depends on who you are, I mean time might not be relevant for you. Is that what you mean?

K: I, I don't know. I, I just - it seems like - hmm. I don't know. I mean it's arbitrary, obviously, but yeah.

H: Yes. It's totally arbitrary, but it's important to be able to keep perfect time.

K: Okay. So what was the question? Who are 'they'?

H: Who are 'they'? They are the International Telecommunications Union, we all agree -

K: That's who they are.

H: - to allow those people to decide for us what time it is. Tacitly.

K: Well, yes.

H: Without having any idea that they exist. So I just wanna say thank you to the people of the International Telecommunications Union for doing all that hard work. 

 (12:00) to (14:00)


H: And it is interesting, because you always hear, like, "we're adding a second" - but like, who's we? Who's they? Who is them?

K: They are them. They have done it.

H: Indeed. Do you want to read a question, Katherine?

K: Um, yeah. I'm looking for one. Uh, here's a question from Olivia: "My family has an odd Christmas tradition of putting a coconut under the tree that originated when my grandmother was a child."

H: Oh, neat.

K: "We haven't replaced the coconut for several years, and simply store it with our other decorations. I was wondering what happens to the milk inside of the coconut."

H: Ohh.

K: "Does it dry up, as my mom guessed? Does it turn into coconut cheese?"

H: (laughs)

K: "How would said cheese taste?"

H: Oh, God, coconut cheese.

K: "Should we get a new coconut?"

H & K: (laugh)

H: I...you know, I wish I knew the answer to this question, but I certainly do not. I think it dries up.

K: No, I didn't, I did not do any investigation into this question. 

H: Well, then we're just gonna say it turns into coconut cheese.

K: I mean...coconut cheese it is.

H: Coconut cheese is definitely what it is.

K: As to whether you should get a new coconut, I don't think so. Uh, it's not bothering you. If the coconut does not seem to be turning into something you don't wanna keep around anymore -

H: Does it - yeah, does it smell? Does it smell like coconut cheese?

K: Then keep the coconut.

H: Definitely. 

K: I mean, who needs more than one coconut?

H: Yeah. No. Where do you even get one?

K: My real question is -

H: Do you, can you get coconuts from the grocery store?

K: I have no idea. My question is, why?

H: I know.

K: That's the real question here, for me.

H: Right? You can't just - 

K: What does the coconut symbolize?

H: You can't just send me an email -

K: Is it an allegory for the baby Jesus?

H: Yeah, it's - course it is.

K: Uhh, yeah.

H: It's the seed of God. I don't, like I can't - 

K: It's full of the nutrient milk of his forgiveness.

 (14:00) to (16:00)


H: How do you, how do you send an email to someone being like -

K: Of sin.

H: The nutrient milk of sin. "We have a tradition, we keep a coconut under the tree, it dates back to my grandmother, not gonna tell you anything else about it though!"

K: 'Splain.

H: Do you even know? Maybe it's just - but it's not a super old coconut. It's just a fairly--I'll, like--

K: No, it's not like her grandmother's coconut.

H: Why not?

K: It's just this coconut has been around--I don't know, maybe it got lost in the war.  Sometimes you have to leave your important things behind.  

H: That's true.  It's been a long time.  

K: I don't--well, you know, maybe--

H: Katherine, what happened to the coconut??

K: They had refugee crises and they had to leave Hawaii.  

H: Wherever else they have coconuts.  Oh, well, I bet--I'm glad that everyone has their own tradi--I think everybody should have something special that's their own Christmas tradition.

K: Sure.

H: I don't really feel like we have one of those.

K: Us?

H: Yeah.  Just shoveling the walk.  Feeling nauseated, which I have for the entire time since Christmas.

K: Still going.

H: Still going.

K: Still feeling nauseated.  I have this collection of Santa that I'm putting together.

H: Yeah.

K: But it's not--that's not like a specific to me kind of thing.  

H: I have like, the put together the metal earth laser cut thing that I've been doing for a few years.

K: Yeah.

H: It's like, ah, Christmas morning, I get to put together a metal earth thing that Katherine bought me.

K: I get to be frustrated for three days.  Gonna give myself a headache and make my fingers hurt.

H: It's so strange.  Like, I'm just sitting there and I'm like, oh, are you serious?  That now?  If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google "metal earth".

K: They're these tiny metal sculptures.

H: Yeah, there's so cool, and I just scream for a day and Katherine's like, this is really what you wanna be doing?

K: This is fun?

H: And I'm like, yes, exactly!

K: This is called fun.

H: This is the best thing.  

K: Because it's, you know, you work hard on it, it's a challenge, but then at the end you've done the thing.

 (16:00) to (18:00)


H: Yes.

K: And there's that thing you did.

H: And you never--

K: You can look right at it.

H: And it's never perfect.

K: Nah, but it is the thing you did.

H: It is the thing you did.  We've got another question, this one's from Megan who asks, "Dear Hank and John, As I was out on the town with a few friends for New Year's, we came up with a question.  Is there a specific name for the clothes someone is buried in?  We tried Googling it but to no avail.  I'm a huge fan of the podcast, and when we couldn't find an answer, we knew that you were the ones to turn to.  Please answer my question.  Megan."  Well, you came to the right place!

K: Really?

H: Yeah.  Do you know what burial clothes are called?

K: Um.  Should I?

H: Well, there's a thing called the burial shroud.

K: Yes, the shroud.

H: We don't use that anymore.

K: I knew about the shroud.

H: So there's--it's the shroud and there's also, I think, what else do they call it?  It's like, the winding cloth, so it's like a big, long sheet that they can wind around a body.

K: Sure.  Sure.

H: So we don't have those anymore.  We have regular clothes, mostly, that we bury people in.

K: Yeah.

H: And that is called the grave clothes.  That's the actual technical term for the clothes that you wear when you go into the grave or, or as a matter, you don't have to be being buried if you're cremated in them, they are also still your grave clothes.  My question is, 'cause I--we haven't talked about this.  If you die, what do you want your grave clothes to be?

K: If I die?  

H: Yeah.

K: Uhhhm.

H: Like, 'cause the thing is, I feel like if I died, you guys would--somebody would have to get me a new suit, because don't bury me in that one that I have.  It's not very nice.  It's too big.  

K: Uh, okay.  Um.

H: I think it's too big for me, but.

K: Boy, I can't seem to muster any real care.  

H: Right.   But--

K: About that specifically, so like, whatever you want to frickin' dress me up as, if you--Princess Leia?

H: So like what--oh my God.  

K: Not the bikini!

H: Okay, that's the first thought.  

 (18:00) to (20:00)


I was like, Katherine, that's a bad idea. 

K: Like, the white first outfit that she comes out in.  

H: Right, right, the white.  

K: The princess Leia outfit.

H: Sort of a shroudy thing.

K: Not the slave Leia outfit.

H: Got it.  

K: But not really.  I mean, I don't have--I don't have--I don't care.

H: Do you wanna be comfy?  Do you wanna wear like, a hoodie and pajama pants?

K: I'm dead, man.  It doesn't matter.  You're gonna burn up my body anyway, so who gives--

H: You don't burn--

K: Put me in something that, when it burns, causes the least amount of--

H: Do you want any, like--

K: Damage.

H: Like, any items?  A book or?

K: Don't do things at my funeral for me.  

H: Right, right.

K: Do things at my funeral for the people that are still around.  

H: Right.  Well, sometimes I feel like it's good to have specific instructions so people don't get into arguments and then they spend the next ten years being like, I can't believe you buried Dad in that!

K: Okay.  That is a good point.  That is the only reason that I would care about these things.

H: Yeah.  Alright, well, let's talk about it in like, 30 years.

K: Well, I mean.  Sure.  How old am I?  30 years.  Maybe 20.  Who knows how long I'll last.

H: Who knows?  

K: I'm feeling real tired these days, Hank.  

H: That's not okay.  I got another question for us, Katherine. 

K: Oh God.  Uh, this question is from Celeste who asks, "Dear Brothers, I am 13 and cat-sit in my building regularly for my neighbor.  She has forgotten to pay me for my last couple of gigs, but made it up this weekend.  I noticed that she gave me $20 more than I am due.  I would normally give it back to her, but it came in a holiday card and may be a little bonus because of the season?  Should I keep the money?  Butternut squash and flamingos, Celeste in NYC."  Okay, you can't just put two weird things together.

H: That's like pumpkins and penguins.  

 (20:00) to (22:00)


K: I get it. 

H: It's a squash and it's a bird. 

K: Sure.  

H: Squashes and birds!  So, I have a concern, which is that this is 100% present and 0% payment for previous gigs.  

K: Uh, yes, exactly.  I'm wondering if there was actually an arrangement to be paid for cat-sitting ever. 

H: Oh, really?

K: By this neighbor.  I mean, a lot of times--

H: Well, it seems like sometimes they were paid and sometimes they weren't.

K: Yeah, it does seem like.  But I think that um, I mean, it's difficult 'cause you're 13, so it's like, you're not really an employee but you're doing a favor for someone.

H: Yeah, you should get paid if it's a thing that they said they were gonna pay you for.

K: Yes.  That is #1.  You should probably, if you're doing this regularly and you're doing a good job, make sure that you get paid everytime.  

H: Mhmm, yeah.

K: But this is definitely not back payment for missed previous payments.

H: You don't think it's possible that it's back payment plus a little extra?  'Cause I feel like there's a chance that it's the one and it's a chance that it's the other.   The chance that it's back payment plus a little extra, chance that it's 100% present.  

K: I think it's present.

H: You think it's 100% present?

K: Yeah, because, I mean, but it may be present with guilt associated.

H: Right.  

K: Because they realized they forgot to pay you those other times.  

H: Maybe.  Well, yeah.  The only way to settle it is to ask, but I will say that it's definitely not accidental extra money.

K: Exactly.

H: You got a bonus.

K: Yeah, yeah, don't give it back.

H: But make sure that you--but make sure that also--

K: If somebody has an extra, like, puts an extra $20 in your--

H: That's a tip.  

K: Yeah.  They didn't do that accidentally.

H: Yeah, but I would have, before this happened, been like, Mrs.--

K: Stephanopolous.

H: Stephanoplous--I was trying to go with a name that was not definitely one particular nationality and you totally did that.

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