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Should you always imagine people complexly? Would constellations be different on Mars? How many trees would you have to plant to offset your carbon footprint? And more!

 (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 and my brother John, that's that other guy, 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 you doing?

J: I'm doing well, Hank. How are you?

H: I'm good. I'm good. I have coffee, which is probably a little bit dangerous, but I wanted to bring my A-game, so I decided to do this on stimulants.

J: I do feel like you're a person who, by and large, does not need a ton of caffeine to get going.

H: No. Well, I mean, I'll be honest with you and this is a difficult thing now that my life has changed, the trick that I used for years to be really like, sort of like, up and get 'em and go and like, really energetic kind of person, was I would sleep a lot. I would sleep nine hours a night minimum.

J: Yes. It's smart.

H: And then I would get up and I would be like, ready to take on the world, like, everybody's like, Hank's never tired and I'm like that's cause I'm asleep most of the time!

J: Yeah. Yep. That is one of the benefits of not having a child.

H: Yes, it is not--it is no longer my life, though I do find I have a very wonderful ability to--this is one of the great privileges of my life, that I can set my own schedule and so I try--I've tried to, since paternity leave has ended, not schedule anything end before 11 and that allows me to still sleep a fair amount. It's just not all in one go.

J: Yeah, I haven't--I don't think I've slept, like, eight hours in a row more than like, 10 or 20 nights a year since my kids were born.

H: Yeah, that seems like it's gonna be the case and it's almost--I remember I was talking to Dave, who helps run DFTBA, and he was going up to VidCon and he has two young children and it was like, it's gonna be really intense, you're gonna be on all day, and he was like, am I gonna get to sleep eight uninterrupted hours, because if so, this is gonna be a vacation like I have never had before and I was like, you will.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

You will get to do that, so have a really great time having the most intense weekend of my life that will, to you, seem like a great day off.

J: Hank, would you like a short poem for today?

H: Do it for me brother.

J: Alright, Hank, this poem comes from Ogden Nash. It's very, very short indeed, it's just a couplet. It's called The Fly.

The Lord, in his wisdom, made the fly
and then forgot to tell us why.

I love that. I love a good Ogden Nash poem. Nothing like light verse, it's the most underappreciated kind of verse. We've got plenty of heavy verse these days, but uh, I like a good light verse.

H: Maybe you should get into that business, John. Where's all your light verse?

J: Unfortunately, I'm not good at--I don't have an ear for poetry, like, I can't hear the rhythm of it in my head very well, but I am trying to write a book of another kind.

H: Yeah, me too.

J: So hopefully I'll get that done at some point.

H: Oh, God, it's hard.

J: It is hard, but among the things that could be difficult in our lives, it is a nice one to have, how hard writing is, so...

H: Yeah, you know what's--the dumbest thing about writing, I've found, is that like, literally anything can happen. You're just making stuff up, and you gotta make up the best one.

J: Yeah.

H: Of all of the infinite number of things that could happen, so.

J: Yeah, I don't really buy into the argument that um, you know, like, people who suffer from mental illnesses have like, secret talents or whatever. You know how that's like, a commonly romanticized thing about mental illness is that like, oh--

H: Sure, yeah.

J: Well, if Carrie Mathison just goes off her meds, she'll catch the terrorist in Homeland or whatever, I don't really buy that argument, but I will say that one of the benefits to my obsessive thought spiraling, one of the very few benefits, is that it allows me to cycle very quickly through all the things that might happen in a fictional situation and to choose from among them the most devastating, so I have found that helpful in my writing career, although, again, it's only really useful when I am well enough to be able to write in the first place.

 (04:00) to (06:00)

H: Indeed. Well, now, now, let's use that as a jumping off point for our first question, does that sound good to you?

J: Sure.

H: Alright, this question's from Katie, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, It's gonna be a quick one. My long-time partner and I are getting married in October and clearly the first thing I had to do was put together the music for the reception. I have two questions. How do I convince him to let me put "Pen Pineapple Apple Pen" on our wedding playlist and two, any other song recommendations?" Well, Katie, first, I don't have an answer for number two, but for number one, don't do that!

J: What is Pen Pineapple Apple Pen?

H: Really?!

J: Really.

H: Oh, you're're so, as they say, out of the loop. Looketh over here and--

J: Okay, we're gonna pause the podcast, we're just gonna hit the pause button on the podcast, I'm gonna listen to this song on YouTube, and then we're gonna get started on the podcast again and then I will come back to you momentarily with my review of the song, hold on, hold on.

H: Okay.

(Hold music)

J: I have now watched this 51 second video, "Pen Pineapple Apple Pen" which inexplicably has 182 million views on YouTube and I'm just going to tell you, Katie, right now, as memes go, that one is not going to last. You know what it's gonna be like? It's gonna be like if you brought Ikea Monkey to your wedding. It's just not gonna hold up as a meme.

H: Yeah, yeah. You just have to--you have to consider--I mean, do you want your--I mean, I guess maybe you want your wedding to be a snapshot of that moment in time, but to me, it's--it should be more than that. It should go deeper than that. It should be a, try having it be a more of a timeless experience and--but I mean, looking back, I don't know what we played at our wedding.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

I know that the songs that we sort of like, started off with were both classic songs that had been around and had displayed their longevity. Don't have it be, like, the song that you dance with your dad to. Never mind. Definitely do that.

J: What was the first song you had with Katherine? Do you remember what your first song was, what your first dance was?

H: Oh God, oh God, I wanna say it's "Nothing Matters When We're Dancing" but I think that's wrong and I think that it was some--it was like, "Walking After Midnight" or some Patsy Cline song and I feel real bad that I can't remember right now.

J: Is "Nothing Matters When We're Dancing", is that a Magnetic Fields song? I love that song.

H: Yes.

J: Oh, God, that's such a beautiful song. That whole album, this is a little personal, but whatever, we're getting into personal stuff, that album, 69 Love Songs, Vol. 1 was playing the first time Sarah and I made out, so I have extremely fond memories of all the songs on that album.

H: Interesting.

J: Ours, we danced to this Ryan Adams song, I don't remember the name of it, but I know some of the lyrics, so I'm going to Google it now. "I miss my family and I miss Kentucky" being some of the lyrics. The song is called "Oh my Sweet Carolina" by Ryan Adams. We almost danced to a beautiful song by Old Crow Medicine Show but then we realized that it was about a brother and a sister and so it didn't seem right.

H: Ah, yes. There's a similar thing to that, the music that we used to start off Brotherhood 2.0, every episode of Brotherhood 2.0 ever, it is called Brothers on a Hotel Bed, which I was like--

J: Yeah.

H: I just like, looked literally on, like, LimeWire, the Napster substitute and I just typed in 'brothers' and I like, looked at all the songs that had the word 'brothers' in them and I was just--and like, now I've listened to the words of that song and I'm like, wow, that's not super appropriate to our joint project.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

J: We should pause to be grateful to--

H: We should.

J: --Bright Eyes, is that the name of the band?

H: No, it's The Postal Service.

J: We should pause to be grateful to The Postal Service for, well, both for the heroic job they've done delivering the mail here, there, and everywhere for the last 192 years, but also for never suing us and forcing us to take down every single Brotherhood 2.0 video entirely because of that like, eight note jingle.

H: Mhmm, yep. That would have been really bad for us and quite mean.

J: Thank you, Postal Service, we appreciate that, and also everybody who works at the postal service for delivering many packages, mostly my books, but also other things, to people all around the United States. Hank, I have another thing to ask you, which was do you remember what your first dance was with Mom, because I had a great one.

H: Yeah, no, I don't. I don't. I feel bad. But I know what yours was.

J: Oh, man, Mom is going to listen to this, she's going to be devastated. My first dance with Mom was to the song 'Momma Tried' by Merle Haggard which the chorus of which is, "I turned 21 in prison serving life without parole, no one could turn me right, but Momma tried, Momma tried."

H: Alright, well, I feel like we haven't answered Katie's question, but I also don't know that I--not that I don't care about Katie, it's just that I think that Katie can make her own call here, so do you wanna move on to the next question?

J: Sure, Hank, this question comes from Erin who asks, "Dear John and Hank, I have just been endorsed for the skill 'science' on LinkedIn by a person who I am sure I do not know. Should I endorse them for a skill? Thanks. Erin."

H: Oh, yeah, definitely. You should definitely do--I like that you can be endorsed in science! Science is--it's a big--

J: Yeah. What a weird skill.

H: Yeah.

J: I'm pretty good with Microsoft Word. Of course, I'm science, you know, I'm great at that.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

H: Of course. I've been endorsed by a stranger in science on LinkedIn, so hire me now. Uh, yeah, I mean, what can you do anything? Can you just say whatever or is there like a specific, like a drop-down list, because it feels like if you can endorse somebody in science, you can endorse them in anything.

J: See, I feel like the right thing to do in this situation is to endorse this stranger in the skill of endorsing, because it's the one thing that you know they're great at.

H: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, the--you should--I agree with that. What about like, something really esoteric like penguin dissection? Like, just a really good--

J: That's good.

H: --really good at like, autopsies on penguins. Like, that's what--boy, I've seen this person do a lot of autopsies on penguins and he always gets to the bottom of the cause of death for that penguin.

J: By the way, it may be obvious to people who have used LinkedIn ever once that Hank and I haven't ever once used LinkedIn. We're not totally sure what LinkedIn is. Like, we've seen it on Google search results of course, when like, looking up old friends from high school or whatever, but we've never like, been to it as a website.

H: I actually, I have and I go to LinkedIn and I have a LinkedIn profile and people send me messages and I think that sometimes they even pay LinkedIn to send me a message and I look at them about once every year and I always feel really bad because it's--sometimes it's people that are like, perfectly, like, good questions or they are interested in working with one of my various enterprises and but eight months will have passed and I'll be like, it's probably not worth writing back to them now?

J: You know, Hank, what I like most about your LinkedIn profile and I'm on it right now, is that your job title is "Younger Brother". 

 (12:00) to (14:00)

H: Yeah! That's my job title at Vlogbrothers.

J: You say that for the last ten years and one month, you have been the younger brother of--on Vlogbrothers, and you also call yourself a 'creator' which is an interesting job title and 'host. Now, see, I would not--if I was giving you a job title, it would not be 'creator' and 'host' of anything. I would give you the job title 'CEO and Chief Innovation Officer', I feel like that's a very LinkedIn job title.

H: Oh! Sure, yeah.

J: Yeah, I'd make you the Chief Innovation Officer of SciShow and the CEO of Complexly Productions.

H: Yeah, well, I guess I probably haven't changed it since Complexly started existing, have I? Yeah, I haven't.

J: Well, you should have me write your LinkedIn profile. It's my gift. It's the thing that I'm best at in the world. Just kidding, they won't even let me view your whole profile because I don't have a profile of my own and they say I can set one up for free but I'm not--I just--I take, like, I have enjoyed so much not having a LinkedIn, having there be one social network where I do not network. Alright, Hank, let's move on to another question.

H: Alright, thank you for ending the part where we make fun of my LinkedIn profile.

J: It is a little bit of a terrible LinkedIn profile, but you're a good person.

H: Okay, thank you very much, I'm glad to hear. John, I have a question from Tyler that is important to my life and so I have to ask it. Hopefully you will have advice for both of us. "Dear Hank and John, I recently got a haircut and I found myself in a dilemma. When the hairdresser asked 'How would you like your hair cut?', I have no idea what to say, so I usually just respond, uh, short? Obviously, this does not help. Fortunately, this doesn't usually prevent me from getting a good haircut, because I've been seeing the same person for many years. However, I'm going off to college soon and I will have to face this question in an unfamiliar barbershop. Any dubious advice on what to say in this situation is greatly appreciated. DFTBA, Tyler." Help, John. Help me, because I have this same problem. They're like, what do you want it to look like? and I'm like, hair!

 (14:00) to (16:00)

J: The key, Tyler, is not moving. Like, the mistake that you've made, everything you've done is flawless up to this point where you chose to leave home for college. I guess like, what I would do in that situation, I would probably try to offer my hometown barber incredible incentives to relocate with me to college or alternately, I would just try to make sure I have four or five trips home per year so that I can continue to get my hair cut at the same place and just say 'do exactly what you usually do but maybe slightly shorter so that I can buy an extra week of this haircut.' I feel like I'm a terrible person to answer this question since I have had the same hairdresser for years and he is wonderful and a genius and when I didn't have him, the only thing that I could say was that my hair is thicker than you suspect it will be.

H: Yeah, they always say that to me as well. We have good Green hair genes. They're always like, wow, look at all this hair, and I'm like, I don't know how to feel about that.

J: Yeah, they say that to me less these days, but yeah.

H: The, so, Katherine does the thing where she will actually--she's going for a particular look and she's seeing somebody new or she's doing a new haircut, she'll like, get a bunch of pictures and she'll put them on her phone or she'll print 'em out even and bring them with her. I just can't--I can't bring myself to do that, to like, print out a picture of like, David Beckham and be like, make me look like David Beckham. It just feels wrong. It feels like, in violation of some contract I've signed with society for some reason.

J: Uh, yeah, I mean, it's not wrong, but I also like to empower the hair stylist that I work with. Like, they know hair much better than I do, so I want to acknowledge that like, while it is my head of hair, they are also the expert in the subject and I'm kinda like trusting them in this deal and so I want them to mostly feel like they can do whatever they want, but then, to be fair, if I don't like what they do, I will never go back to them.

 (16:00) to (18:00)

H: Right, well, I have this problem where I wait too long to make my hair appointments and so when I call the barbershop, they're like, uh, who would you like to see, and I'm like, uh, Thursday. Whoever is available Thursday. So I've seen pretty much everyone at the barbershop that I go to and there's like 13 of them, so I really need to center in on somebody but I--and I have several that I like quite a lot but none of them are available when I want them to be, which is--

J: Oh, I only work with David.

H: Yes. I really should get there.

J: I think the answer here is clearly to import your hairstylist to your college town through whatever means is necessary. Let's move on to another question, Hank, this one comes from Amina, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, I am a 14 foot tall octopus with three heads." Hank, it is the question we have been waiting for all this time.

H: Oh, thank goodness, the space alien.

J: Just tell us what to do. We've made a hash of this, Amina. We've done a terrible, terrible job with our planet. We've done--we've made very marginal progress and at great cost to biodiversity. Please just come and take us over and make us better.

H: Yes, we need a couple of things from you. We need flying cars and we need you to just tell us what to do.

J: Just a cheap, sustainable energy source, a better political system, like, explain to us like, what we should--how--what should we do about the electoral college?

H: Yeah, no, we just, we need your unique authority and superiority. Okay, go on with the question.

J: I am ready to give my world over to a sentient 14 foot tall octopus with three heads, which I think says a lot about the situation in which we find ourselves, Hank, but unfortunately, the question goes on, "No, I'm not." Dang it! "But sometimes it feels that way because of the way people treat or look at me. You see, I'm a young Muslim woman of color who wears the hijab and I'm currently studying in a very male and white dominated subject at a university. As a result, I have to deal with racism and presumptuous comments about my faith and ethnic identity.

 (18:00) to (20:00)

I know that you guys say that we should imagine other people complexly, but when I try to get a deeper understanding of the people who misjudge and stereotype me, I find myself excusing their actions, thinking things like "Well, he might be saying offensive stuff now, but he's a good person deep down. Maybe he volunteers for charity some on weekends and helps old ladies across the street" and this leads me to wondering if maybe the stuff being said to me is my own fault, which I know rationally is not. My question is essentially this: is it always a good idea to imagine other people complexly, especially when they refuse to do the same to you and when doing so may harm your own perception of yourself?" I thought this was a really interesting question, Hank. Now, I have to say, personally--

H: Yeah.

J: I don't think that imagining other people complexly means forgiving their failures to see you as a full and complete human. It only means trying to see them as a full and complete human. So it doesn't mean saying, oh, the're a good person deep down or that other things that they've done might excuse their failure to imagine you complexly, so I think like, that's where the logic break has to be, you know, where you have to say like, this is not okay, but at the same time, that doesn't mean that this person is merely evil.

H: Mhmm, yeah, and the thing that happens is when you do this, you start to be less angry at them and that can feel like maybe like you still have to create an explanation for why this thing is happening and if the explanation that you then create because you're less angry at them then turns inward upon you, then that is not--it's a really difficult thing to try and figure out the difference between like, understanding someone and like, forgiving them or excusing them.

 (20:00) to (22:00)

I guess forgiving is different from excusing. So the difference between understanding and excusing I think is really important and they can seem like the same thing and if you are in a way excusing them, then you--if you're trying to find another place to put the blame and you put it on yourself, then that's obviously like, the wrong way to go.

J: It is really exhausting in practice to have people make assumptions about you, to have people see you as less than fully human and really, it's really difficult to figure out a way through that when it's part of your daily life, and I don't wanna minimize that and I also know that Hank and I come at this from a very specific and you know, very deeply advantaged point of view, but I do think that ultimately if--yeah, I think it's really important, like Hank said, to--is there, well, I guess more, I would just leave this as an open question. Is there a way to understand without excusing? Not a rhetorical question. Genuine question that I don't know the answer to.

H: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, because understanding is so vital to the progress of our species and but also, so is holding people accountable for them taking actions that hurt other people.

J: Right.

H: So, we need both of those things.

J: Right. Yeah.

H: And like, and the fact that it falls upon the people who are being hurt to figure that out is unfair but it does. It should not solely fall upon them, but--and I do my best to not allow it to solely fall upon them and to think about that as a person who doesn't experience that, but it's always going to largely fall on those shoulders.

 (22:00) to (24:00)

J: Hank, Hank, there's another question I wanna ask. It's from Val.

H: Val's house caught fire this week, "leavin' that mofo Charizarded', is what Val says, so.

J: That's a direct quote, just to be clear, like, we're not making fun of this situation. The beginning of Val's email is "My house caught fire this week, leaving that mofo Charizarded."

H: Okay. "But in all seriousness, everyone including my two kids and husband and our three cats are safe, aside from a few burns on my husband's arm." That's terrifying. "However, we lost three rooms of our house. Also, my husband and I are musicians in a bad together and we lost our recording and PA equipment along with some very sentimental items and our daughter's Skylanders and Pokemon cards. The list could, of course, go on. Needless to say, the most important thing is that everyone is safe, we have very good insurance that is taking care of our needs, replacing everything and even putting us in temporary housing until the repairs are finished. However, friends and family and acquaintances keep offering to donate money. I suppose that we could use it for deductibles and other expenses but since our insurance is taking such good care of us, I feel guilty taking it. I've been telling people to donate to The Red Cross instead, but still, it ends up in my PayPal. Though I'm extremely grateful for such great people in our lives and really just for being alive another day, how can I move past the guilt I feel for taking money from people? I realize that they want to help and it's the only way that they know how, but I just feel like there are so many people suffering worse than we are. Oh my God, it's burning, Val."

Thanks for reminding us, Val, that it is indeed burning.

J: Yeah, yeah. Make sure, this is a good time, Hank, and I like to do this on a regular basis, make sure, right now, today, that the smoke detectors in your house work, because that could actually save your life.

 (24:00) to (26:00)

Just do it. Just make sure that your smoke detectors work because that can save your life.

H: Indeed.

J: Okay, that aside--

H: That aside.

J: I think Val has to accept the money in this situation, don't you?

H: I do, and Val could do whatever Val wants to do with it. Val can give that money to charity, Val can take that money and buy better PA equipment than they had before and invest in their business.

J: Right. Yeah, this is something I struggle with a little bit in my own life as well, but when people want to give you a gift, accept the gift. It's good to accept the gift, because I think if a gift is really freely given, people want you to accept it and they'll be grateful to you for accepting it and if you end up donating that money to charity, if you end up, you know, spending that money on Skylanders and Pokemon cards, whatever you end up doing with it, that's your call, but to me, the accepting of a gift, while sometimes very difficult and awkward and uncomfortable, is a way of acknowledging and honoring a gift freely given and is worth doing.

H: Yeah, and there's a certain amount of watching this happen to someone else makes us want to help, almost so that we know that we will be helped ourselves when and if it does happen to us.

J: Right.

H: And, you know, that is part of how society functions and it's not a part that like, gets, I think, recognized by the, you know, a lot of the structures of our society, but it, you know, in the best cases, it's how society can function, because communities are strong and you know, when communities are strong and when there is, you know, enough to go around, which is the best case scenario, and so I think that it's almost a part of a community being itself, is having those moments where things go wrong for people in the community and everybody reaches out to help and that's how you know you're part of the community.

 (26:00) to (28:00)

J: Yeah, so just pay it forward, Val. When your neighbor's house burns down, you might, you know, put some money in their PayPal. Seriously, though, I hope your neighbor's house doesn't burn down. This is a one-time thing.

H: Yeah, yeah. Everybody, don't have--check on, make sure that you didn't leave the cookies in the oven, because they could catch on fire. I have another question, John. You ready for that?

J: Um, you know what I was just thinking about, Hank?

H: Okay, yep.

J: I was just thinking about how, you know, when Snickers sent me those 378 Snickers bars, they probably just did it as a gift that they wanted me to freely receive but I felt so bad about getting the gift that I've, you know, turned it into a tremendous amount of marketing for them that probably generated way more than 378 Snickers bars worth of sales and in a way, like, I haven't been following my own advice, so I just wanna say to every candy company in the world that next time you send me 378 of something, I will not be mentioning it on this podcast. I will enjoy that candy and/or money and/or anything else you want to send me, as long as it's 378 of something, I'm gonna enjoy that in private gratefully, a gift freely given and freely received.

H: Well, John, I have to tell you, I've done a little bit of work in corporate marketing and they know when they give you a gift that they are--have a chance of receiving it back and it's the only reason they do it.

J: Well, Hank, with that noted--

H: It's all a subtle manipulation and I watch it happen and watch people be suddenly manipulated into being like, well, I won't be affected by this and then I watch them be affected by it and that's how it all works.

J: Oh, I wanna be very clear that I've been deeply affected by the generosity by my friends at the Mars Company.

 (28:00) to (30:00)

Yeah, there's no getting around it. It's made a huge difference in my life. Which reminds me that today's podcast is brought to you by Snickers.

H: Oh, God.

J: Snickers: Delicious, nutritious, it's just as good as an energy bar, anything else that you could eat except that it's slightly less expensive than a Clif bar. Snickers.

H: This podcast is also brought to you by the social network site LinkedIn. LinkedIn: We link you in! I think is their tagline.

J: I mean, if it isn't, they've--wait, I'm Googling "we link you in" to under--Hank, that is not any website's tagline and you--like.

H: Oh wow.

J: You've just stumbled upon a million dollar idea which is selling the catchphrase "We Link you In" to LinkedIn.

H: Yep. Well, I've already registered, so it's done.

J: Contact the CEO of LinkedIn Reed...?

H: Sure.

J: Did I get it?

H: I have no idea.

J: I did get it, I did get it. God, I'm so good at knowing Silicon Valley CEO names. Today's podcast is also brought to you by the postal service. The Postal Service: A wonderful band and an excellent federal government service.

H: And finally this podcast is brought to you by space aliens. Space aliens: hello. We're down here. Please help!

J: Seriously, we need it.

H: Seriously, space aliens. Seriously.

J: Alright, Hank, I wanna ask you a serious question.

H: Okay.

J: If I may, because you highlighted it and I assume that means you want to answer it.

H: Okay.

J: This question comes from Ben, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, While listening to your show, I began to wonder about the stars and navigation on Mars. Would Mars have the same constellations and star layout as Earth or would its angle in space be different enough that we could have new constellations? I'm personally a fan of the 'razor' being a new one." I don't know if that's a reference to the Motorola Razr, like, the cell phone, but anyway. "If they would be the same, how far would you have to go before they are different? Are we talking Jupiter or Neptune or even further?"

So Hank, if I'm standing on Mars, would I see the same constellations that I see now?

 (30:00) to (32:00)

H: You would, but the navigation would be different. So Mars--so the angle that Mars is at has an effect on where--how the constellations spin around the planet. But it doesn't have enough, like, it's not far enough away for the constellations to be different and indeed you would have to go very far away for them to start to be noticeably different. Like, lightyears. But there--but yes, the thing that would change is the constellations would all be the same but the, like, the north star and the south star would be different stars. In fact, I don't think there are stars there, so there would just be like, sort of arbitrary spaces in space, and then um, the planets would also move differently, obviously, for obvious reasons, because Mars and Earth, when you see Earth, Earth would be a thing, Mars would not be a thing in the sky, obviously, you couldn't see Mars on Mars and so all of the like, when Saturn was in Virgo stuff would be different, but the constellations would all be the same.

J: Well, that's kind of cool.

H: Yeah.

J: So there's really no reason to go to Mars before 2028 is what you're saying?

H: Um, well, I--I--what?!

J: You know, just that there's really no reason to go to Mars.

H: Well, the nice thing is that you wouldn't really have to worry so much about navigation because probably by the time we got there, we would have pretty good like, GPS systems set up and but if you had to, you could definitely navigate by the stars on Mars. You would just have to do it slightly differently than you would on Earth and I'm just ignoring whatever John's saying because I don't think that it's very helpful or nice.

J: Well, Hank, I'm not trying to be nice, I'm trying to get our podcast renamed Dear John and Hank, okay? I have another question for you.

H: Well, the good news is I made that bet for 2028, so you're just gonna have to hold on to this podcast for a long time, even though I'm almost certainly going to lose that bet, it's still gonna be called Dear Hank and John for a long time, so I have made the smart call here and I will never--

 (32:00) to (34:00)

J: The interesting question is whether AFC Wimbledon is gonna get to the Premier League before--

H: Ohh! Do I smell a new bet?

J: --human beings get to Mars, and that is a really, that is an interesting bet, because it is probably a tight (?~32:30)

H: It would be, yeah. Well, actually, I would definitely take--

J: But we'll have to think about like, what would be good stakes in that bet, because it's not gonna be something as minor as just the name of the podcast. Hank, I have another question for you, it's from Anna and she writes, "Dear John and Hank, My husband and I are moving to Texas soon and we plan to buy a house. We both would like to have enough land that we can plant trees and since land is inexpensive compared with California where we currently live, it looks like we will be able to. My question is, how many trees would one person need to plant to offset their carbon footprint?"

H: Oh.

J: Oh, Anna. I have terrible news.

H: Oh...I...yeah. I have even worse news than John has.

J: What is your news?

H: My news is that probably just the amount of water that you would have to pump to your house would outweigh the amount of carbon you're gonna sequester in that tree.

J: Unless you are in a very sort of humid--

H: Wet.

J: Wet part of Texas, which is not the Texas of my memory. I can remember like, four different Texases. There's the Houston, there's the Dallas-Fort Worth area, there's the panhandle, and then there's the Southern part of Texas and what I don't remember is like a huge rainforest.

H: Yeah. I remember that there is a river that doesn't have any water in it, so that's not good.

J: Yeah, so if you live near a great water source or in a very wet area, then that's good news for your carbon footprint because then planting trees can matter a lot, but in a lot of places, there just aren't naturally that many trees.

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J: So if you are in a place though, Hank, where there are a lot of trees, how many trees would it take, and the answer is a lot.

H: A whole lot, yeah.

J: I looked it up and here's a little bit of context. In the best possible rainy situation, if you drive a small car that gets 40 mpg, about 25 miles per day, you're looking at needing to plant 17 trees per year.

H: mmm, and that doesn't even count like...

J: Assuming that all of your heating, all of your electricity, all come from, uh, renewable energy resources and you do nothing but drive that car. Like, for instance, you don't create any food waste or eat any meat or anything like that.

H: I do have some good news for Anna in regard to trees though, there are other benefits to them besides sequestering carbon. You can have them shade your house, which can decrease energy bills, so if you're in a hot place, as Texas is, that is very sunny you can use them for shade and that can actually decrease the amount of energy you consume, and they also help to moderate the climate, they are habitat for wildlife, and they are lovely and beautiful things and they are in themselves beautiful things. So don't not plant trees, definitely plant trees, it's a good thing, and you could even plant fruit trees and then you would be getting food from them as well. So it's not gonna eliminate your carbon footprint, but there are lots of good reasons to plant trees besides the fact that they look nice and will be a pleasant thing to have in your life.

 (36:00) to (38:00)

J: There are, in fact, four regions of Texas--

H: Were you right about which ones they were?

J: Oh, God, no, no, I was completely wrong. There's the coastal plains, the north central plains, the great plains, and the mountains and basins. The mountains and basins including like El Paso and (?~36:23), the north central plains including your Abilines, your Witchita Fallses and then Houston is in the coastal plains so anyway, regardless, I hope you have a wonderful time in Texas. I think it is maybe the most underrated state. You know who's big on Texas is my lovely wife. She really enjoyed her recent Art Assignment trip to Houston, there's a video coming out about that soon over at The Art Assignment. Hank, it is time to move on to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon. Is there news from Mars this week?

H: There sure is, John. Do you know about Spirit and Opportunity rovers?

J: Yes, there is a minivan on Mars and then there is a much smaller thing on Mars as well.

H: Yes, so those two little smaller things, Spirit and Opportunity, have now been on Mars for thirteen years and Spirit is dead.

J: Wow.

H: Spirit--Spirit is dead and isn't talking anymore. I think that Opportunity is still alive, though I don't know that it can move. I should have done some research on that beforehand, but uh, but Spirit--I'm just gonna go back in time a little bit and tell you a little bit of Spirit news that's from quite a while ago, but I feel like it's underappreciated. So one day, this little rover, which is great and I just made a Metal Earth statue sculpture of it which I love and it turned out really well, it got its foot stuck. Its little wheel started spinning in the dirt and it got stuck in the dirt, and they were like, oh gosh, now we're in trouble, but they got it out and then they looked back and where its foot had got stuck, in its foot, in its wheel, as it had gotten stuck, had actually dug a little hole and they saw, at the bottom of that hole, a mineral deposit that we think could only have been created through the action of a hot spring, and so this is very weird.

 (38:00) to (40:00)

So we have not just water at that place, we have water that is being geothermically heated by the interior of Mars and would then be bubbling up containing a bunch of minerals and then depositing those minerals. That's weird that that happened right where that little rover's wheel got stuck. Maybe it's not so weird, maybe there was this geothermal activity all over Mars, but it's amazing that we happened to find it right there and I think it's such a cool story and this was a long time ago, but I wanted to bring it back and let everybody know about that amazing discovery that Spirit made before getting well and truly stuck and not being able to power itself anymore back in 2010, and like, wow. Hot springs on Mars was a thing that actually existed. If only the, you know, humans on Earth had coincided with hot springs on Mars, like, what a different history we would be living in right now, where we could go to a warm, wet Mars, which existed a long time ago, but did exist and apparently for a pretty long time. Pretty cool. John, you got any AFC Wimbledon news for me?

J: Hello, John from the Future here. So, my recording cut off while I was telling the news from AFC Wimbledon, which means that I get to now close out the podcast entirely by myself with no Hank at all. The news from AFC Wimbledon is this: It appears that AFC Wimbledon has well and truly and finally jumped over the last remaining like, regulatory hurdle standing between Wimbledon and a return to their spiritual home in Wimbledon itself at Plow Lane or very near Plow Lane so that is really, really exciting.

 (40:00) to (41:41)

For many Wimbledon fans, the thought of having a home back where they belong is as important or maybe even more important than being a full-time professional team in the football league and so there is still, of course, the problem of you know, paying for the stadium, getting it built, getting it up and running and everything, but it's--the plans are beautiful. You can look at them online, it's gonna have 11,000 seats to start and can go up to 20,000, which is probably big enough to support a Premier League team maybe someday? So really now it's just a question of whether Wimbledon are gonna get to the Premier League before humans are gonna get to Mars, and with that, I shall now close out the podcast on my own.

Thank you so much for listening, you can email us at, our podcast is only as good as your questions, actually, on average, it's not nearly as good as your questions, which I'm sorry about. Thank you for all your wonderful questions and I'm sorry about our sub-optimal podding. Dear Hank and John is produced by Rosianna Halse Rojas and Sheridan Gibson. Our editor is Nicholas Jenkins. Victoria Bongiorno is our Head of Community & Communications, and our music is by the great Gunnarolla. You can follow Hank on Twitter @hankgreen, I'm @johngreen, thank you so much for listening and as we say in my hometown, don't forget to be awesome.