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What are the top ten kinds of spoons? Why do boys kiss like dying fish? What would happen if we lost gravity for fifteen seconds? And more!

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H: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John!

J: Is that the Count from Sesame Street? I prefer to think of our podcast as Dear John and Hank, by the way.

H: It's a podcast full of comedy uh... talking about death in which we answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and give you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. Hey John, you're my brother, how ya doin?

J: I'm doing well. Uh, Missy Elliott has released a new single, Beyoncé is pregnant with twins, the world is full of hope. I don't know what you're talking about that things are dark. Everything is great- Beyoncé's having two kids at once; [Hank laughs] that's wonderful.

H: I didn't know that; that's really exciting. Um, I-

J: I love being able to break news to you! Just wait till we get to the news from AFC Wimbledon, Hank, unless you're a hardcore follower of AFC Wimbledon you probably haven't heard it!

H: I very likely have not heard it. In fact, I haven't even heard the news from Mars today, I'm gonna have to try and pull some out really last-minute here; I apologize for not being great at podcasting.

J: That's all right, we've come to expect it. No I'm just kidding, you're way better than I am.

H: Uh, I am, I am good. You know the other day John, I uh, a car broke down on the side of the road and I was helping them push it out of the road, and the person was like "Uh, I'll be honest with you, I just ran out of gas." and they were driving a Volvo 240, and I was like "you know, I've run out of gas in that very car."

J: I remember when you ran out of gas in that very car, uh, because I remember Mom coming home after, like, picking you up, and she was in tears because of how goth-y you looked.

H: Ahh... was- I mean, was that it? Was that why- I would love to talk to her about that now, 'cause she was so mad, and I think maybe... maybe it's because I ran out of gas and was being irresponsible?

J: That's possible. 

H: But maybe it was 'cause I had a bunch of makeup on? I don't know.

J: I don't know. Would you like a poem for today, Hank?

J: This is actually a recommendation from Julian, longtime nerdfighter, a nerdfighter for ten years now actually, who recommended this poem by Aisha Syed. Uh, it's called Broken English, and it's by the daughter of a refugee.

"When my mother struggles to spell a word in English
I want to break the entire language
into little pieces
so the edges of these letters
will stop cutting her"

H: Pretty good. That's a nice short poem.

J: Pretty good.

H: That is a short poem for the moments we are living in. Um... life is hard, and also has good things. Let's try and have a little bit peppier Dear Hank and John today than last time.

J: I mean, right now we're pretty low energy. [Hank laughs] To quote the current president of the United States: Low energy exclamation point.

H: Oh. Uh [laughs] Okay I found my Mars news; it's excellent, excellent news. Hooray. Um... let's, uh, let's-

J: Thanks for preparing.

H: [laughs] Let's do some questions, John. Uh, I've got a really pressing one that I really wanna hit, uh, it's from Jay, and I want to make sure we get to it so I'm gonna start with it. Jay asks: "Dear Hank and John, I'm very overwhelmed by the variety of spoons for sale. Would you please rank the top ten types of spoons every aspiring gentleman should own? -Jay."

J: Sure, yeah, of course, uh... actually I don't have ten types of spoons, I only have six types of spoons. How many types of spoons do you have, Hank?

H: Oh did you, did you count? Did you go count?

J: I, well, I mean Hank, unlike some people, I prepare for this podcast.

H: I mean, it depends on your definition of a type of spoon. I definitely have more than ten spoons, and like, they all are different from one another in varying ways. Some of them just have, like, different manufacturing defects and scratches from years of use, but are otherwise very similar, and some are made of entirely different things, and very much different sizes. So it's, it's hard- 

J: Hank, do you just- you don't have, like, a, you know, a system of cutlery where it's all the same shape and everything and you got all the cutlery from your wedding like normal people? I think you did, because I actually bought you some of it.

H: Yeah, yeah, I do for, like, the main ones, like my knives and forks and spoons. 

J: Right.

H: But, what is a type? Like, two spoons, even if they are from the same set, they're gonna be slightly different from each other. And so are they-

J: No they're not. There's not- you don't need to, no, no, he's asking about types of spoons, okay? Like, how many types of spoons do you need? And the answer is six. You need a regular spoon for everyday spoon use, you need the larger version of the regular spoon for when you are especially hungry, especially with ice cream. You need a soup spoon, which is more of a circular spoon, 

H: Oh!

J: Like a Harry Potter's glasses kind of spoon. Now, strictly speaking, you only need the first two types of spoons, but you can get that circular spoon, a nice soup spoon. I actually find that eating soup with a soup spoon is harder than eating soup with a regular spoon, 

H: Yes! Uh-huh!

J: But if you're going to be particular about it there is a soup spoon. Then you've got your fourth type of spoon, which is your teaspoon for when you, just, you know, for when you're teaspooning. 

H: Oh man...

J: And then you have your tablespoon for when you don't want to count up like four teaspoons or whatever is in a tablespoon, and then the sixth type of spoon you need is you need a spoon for your children. Because children for whatever reason cannot use any of the previous five spoons, they are super hardcore about needing their own spoons for their own little hands with their little mini versions of spoons, so you need six spoons– there's no need for ten spoons, that's, that's incredible to even think about that.

H: John, you've completely left out an entire category of spoons, which is spoons use for cooking! You need a ladle, which is kind of like a type of spoon, you need a regular large serving spoon- possibly more than one regular large serving spoon- 

 (06:00) to (08:00)

H: so that when you're, like, having people at the table they can put the serving spoon in so you don't have to, like, very slowly one little spoonful at a time put the food on their plate, and then you need a slotted spoon for, I don't know, something, there's a reason to have a slotted spoon. And then if you have non-stick place, you also, because, or non-stick pans, you can't use those metal spoons in that 'cause you'll scrape off the non-stick, which is bad, so you need wooden or plastic spoons in addition to that. So we're above ten now- we're above ten.

J: You're right, you do need ten spoons if you count all the cooking spoons. So, there you go, Jay, people have often said that this podcast is completely useless and a waste of their time, but now you know the ten spoons you need to acquire to have a successful adult life. Really, I would say you could get by with two spoons. One large spoon for your pots and serving and one regular spoon for literally everything else. Although it is nice to have a teaspoon and a tablespoon because there's a lot of baking-

H: Yes.

J: It's hard to make cookies if you don't have a tablespoon. Hank, I have a question it comes from Christine who asks "Dear John and Hank, why does every boy I kiss kiss like a fish? Opening and closing his mouth while kissing me so that I can't get my tongue in his mouth. Have I learned it wrong?

[Hank laughs.]

J: "I know in movies they kiss like this, but when I was a teenager I read this book about how to do stuff as a teen girl and it said you should just let your tongue play with their tongue. How do boys learn to kiss anyway if they don't have teenage girl books or magazines? Note: this didn't happen with the only girl I kissed, making that the best kiss I've ever had. Love from the land of Bitterballen, Christine."

H: IIIIIIIiiiiiiiiii feel unqualified to answer this questionnnn....

J: But I do remember when I was young that there was a lot of, like, quick opening and closing of the mouth like a struggling, afraid fish. And I do remember thinking, like, this doesn't seem right, even though it is what I've seen on TV. But it seems wrong. And I think in retrospect it probably was wrong.

H: Is it not just excitement? its just like aah aah aah ah like I know how to eat, is it like eating?

J: I...

H: Try eating on this person's face!

J: In my own experience with kissing is that it is not very much like eating.

H: No it's... Well I mean if... Like a smoothie maybe, is like eating a smoothie.

J: ah... God...

H: Just... Yeah you gotta... That's what... That's what they should say in the boy books "just pretend like you're really enjoying some blended up beef stew."

J: Hahaha

H: That's what a kiss is. Do that!

J: I mean all I can say Christine is that it's important to communicate with your partner. And maybe, like, "Hey I know that you think that the best way to do this is to be a fish out of water, but my prefered way is to just be like two little eels interacting with each other." I don't know Christine. I mean I guess... I... I don't wanna... We gotta move on.

H: We gotta move on. And I'll say: different people kiss different ways and it's not... it's not totally down to gender so you might end up finding different boys kiss different ways, even if the ones you've kissed so far are a certain way.

I've got a question from Michelle and I really wanna ask it, because this is gonna lead me to talk about some stuff that I've been wanting to talk about for a while.  "Dear Hank and John, The other day I began having a crisis about the classification of belly buttons.  Do belly buttons count as scars?  I mean, they're basically closed holes.  Isn't that what a scar is?  Do scars have to be unique to a person and/or be the product of some sort of injury?  Please help solve my dilemma, as it's keeping me up at night.  Best wishes, Michelle."  Mostly I wanna talk about this question because I wanna talk about belly buttons because I have a baby now and a belly button thing happened and I didn't really understand how belly buttons happen and wow! Wow, wow that's weird!  

 (10:00) to (12:00)

J: Yeah.

H: How did belly buttons happen?  

J: Yeah.

H: Placental mammals are so strange! Whoa! Whoa! I did not understand how belly buttons worked, John.

J: Oh, yeah, no, anyone with a child can tell you that belly buttons are definitely scars.  

H: Yeah, also, yes. Also, it's not--so I just--I pictured that like, you had the baby, and then they cut the cord and then like, at a like, relatively like, recent--relatively like, close to that point, moment, they just pull the cord off or something. But that's not what happens. They cut the cord close to the belly button and then it just sits there for like, weeks, this like weird, keratinous scab on the--your child's belly. You have to like, work around it, and like, it doesn't smell good, it like, it's--

J: No.

H: It's wei--it's got a real funky scent and the--and sometimes it gets bad and like it gets infected and it smells really bad and you have to take them to the doctor but that didn't happen, and so they're like, they're like, it smells funky, that's okay, but if it smells bad, and I'm like, I don't know what's the difference between funky and bad. It smells pretty bad, but apparently if it smells bad, you know. You know it smells bad. But anyway, that doesn't seem right, and then it slowly starts to peel off. It just like, it's like a fingernail. Like, it's like connective tissue that's been dried out. It is so frickin weird. It is weird and I love my son very much and I like, and like, it's beautiful and like, magical, but weird and yes, it is a scar and it has like, a one of a kind scab that happens, and I just wanted everybody to know that, because nobody told me before I had experienced it myself. I'm okay though, John. I might seem like I'm not okay, but I'm okay.  

 (12:00) to (14:00)

J: You seem to be processing some pretty deep stuff right now.  

H: I'm all right. But also just like, all--so here's the thing. Like, I get how milk happened. It's just like a--it's another way of sweating basically, it's like you sweat more, with more oils and proteins and stuff and like, like, like, the, like, platypi, platypuses, they like, instead of having nipples, they just have like, areas of their body that sweat milk and so I can see that, I can see how that could evolve, but like belly buttons and placentas and like, where--how--that's--that's real weird that that happened at all! And I understand why it's way better, like, it's a way better way to make a mammal than like, like, marsupials are kind of like the intermediate stage and I get why placenta was better, but man. I was--hmm--it made me--it made me think harder about placental mammals and like, what a remarkable thing we are but I wanna know more about the evolutionary development of the placenta now.

J: Well, I think um, that's a good bit of homework for you, Hank. I want you to come back next week having prepared your Mars news in advance and also with more information about placental mammals.  

H: Okay. I'm on it.  

J: We're all trying to reach harder into a brighter future and that is going to be your contribution. Hank, this question comes from Joshua, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, My last name is a problem. It was probably Loland originally, but after my ancestors came to America, it was changed to Woolyhand. Woolyhand is not a great last name, especially since my family has quite small, hairless, entirely un-woolly hands, and since we changed it from our original, actual surname, the new one has no meaning. I was wondering if you could make a more badass meaning and history for my family name than the real, it used to be Loland and then changed when we ventured to America. Best, Joshua Ryan Woolyhand." First off, at least you've got the best middle name possible.

H: And secondly, I think that it is, I think that's cool. I mean, I--like, as long as you can move past it and be like, this is weird, this is a weird thing that I got that's part of me. I think it's good to have weirdnesses.

J: No, he's not--he's not looking to change the weirdness. He's looking for an opportunity to have a better backstory and I think that that's easy. I think you say, like, my great grandparents had extremely woolly hands, like, not like, hairy hands. Their hands were literally made out of wool. My great grandparents were wool workers who had a magical encounter with wool that resulted in them having hands made of sheep's wool and then you just--people won't ask any questions after that, I promise.

H: No, maybe, maybe, his great grandparents were in an accident.  They were in the Arctic and they were digging for gold--

J: Yep.

H: --and they came across--

J: Yep.

H: A fully frozen woolly mammoth.

J: Correct.

H: And then there was--but, also, there was a bunch of weird raw plutonium that probably came from a spaceship and it mutated their hands--

J: Yep.

H: Not into woolly hands but into woolly mammoth hands and so they had like, woolly mammoth's hooves for hands and then their friends called them Woolyhands and then that stuck, but it wasn't genetic, it didn't like, stick around so like, it wasn't everybody but they--those--the two of them did, yes.

J: It's like both the worst superhero you could possibly be and the worst possible superhero origin story. Like, what's your superpower? Oh, as you can see, I have miniature woolly mammoths for hands.

H: It's pretty bad. It's a pretty bad one.

J: And is that useful? Not particularly. I'm certainly very jealous of my friend Wolverine.  

H: I do have tusks, but they're not like, adamantium tusks, and I can't like, pick things up, so.  

 (16:00) to (18:00)

H: That's a bit of a drawback. I thought they were gonna--I thought it was gonna be like a horse with human hands except it was a person with woolly mammoth hands, like, it just had hooves, but you went to like, their hands are woolly mammoths, which I like, I like that better.

J: All right, Hank, let's move on to another question.

H: All right, this one is from Megan who asks, "Dear Hank and John, Me and my friends often throw around obscure questions that will never be useful." I love you and your friends already, Megan. "Recently, my friend asked what would happen if Earth lost gravity for 15 seconds before getting it back. I had absolutely no idea. Obviously, things would start flying around, but that would--but what about things fastened to the ground like trees and concrete? Would they move at all? Would we go straight up or just sort of float around? Would the rotation of the Earth make it seem like we were traveling diagonally away from the ground?  I hope that you can provide some insight. I'm a big fan of the pod."  

That's interesting, I think that maybe if you were at the Equator, it would affect you more. You would sort of float away from the ground a little bit. 

J: Well, and if you have 15 seconds of floating away from the ground, when the gravity does return, it could be a pretty significant impact.

H: I don't think that--N--I don't think so. I don't think that you would rise that--far enough off the ground for it to be a big deal in 15 seconds, but I could be wrong.

J: What if I happened to be like, jumping to rebound a basketball in the moment that gravity was at rest?

H: That--yeah, that could be a bigger problem for you. Fifteen seconds of like, the speed you're going at the moment you jump could be enough to break a leg, especially if you were at the Equator and had the extra effect of that, but I'd have to do math, man, and as I said earlier, I did not prepare for this podcast as I previously have, by doing--

J: Wouldn't--wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wouldn't--wouldn't not having gravity be a big problem in re: the Earth's rotation? Like, wouldn't the Earth continue to ro--like, I mean, is gravity not existing in the entire universe or only--

H: Right, right.

J: --on Earth, I guess is the first question.

H: Yeah, well, I mean, if it was the entire Earth, we would float a little bit away from the Sun for a bit but then it would just like, we'd just have a slightly larger orbit. I don't think that it would break the Earth. I'm a little worried about what would happen to the atmosphere. We might lose a fair--like, a bit of the atmosphere in that moment, it would get far enough away that it would get blown away by the cosmic winds from the Sun, but I don't know how much. I mean, I think, like, it seems to me like this is a question that requires basically a short book to answer, like a good xkcd 'What If?' exploration, and I like, I think that it--I think that we might be surprised by, like, for example, if you were close to the Arctic, you would probably like, float away much less than if you were close to the Equator, and so like, it might be that people on the Equator actually get much more seriously hurt than people who are closer to the Poles and that would--that's an interesting effect, and I'm pretty sure that would--but I don't think that it would be a huge effect. It might be like, so minuscule that you would barely even notice.

J: So the short answer is that Hank doesn't know but he's willing to hazard a guess, because that's kind of--that's sort of how we both built our careers. We have a new question, this one comes from Dahlia, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, As a conservative who's followed much of your content for several years, you might even call me a nerdfighter, it concerns me that so much of your audience is not being exposed to conservative or non-liberal ideas. It's very easy to create a bubble around oneself on the internet so that you only see political ideas that align with yours. One of the reasons I watch your channel and listen to your podcast is so I can understand the beliefs of many liberals. In doing this, I've come to the conclusion that nerdfighteria is very much an echo chamber of leftism, as you're both liberal." I'm really, really not, but I mean, I guess--yeah. I guess as the Republican Party has moved, in my opinion, a lot to the right in the last 12-15 years, maybe I have--I feel like I've stayed the same. Anyway--"your comment sections are dominated by those liberal views as well and it seems like your podcast guests tend to align with your ideologies, too. Although diverse in terms of race, sexuality, and nationality, Nerdfighteria seems to lack the most important kind of diversity: diversity of ideas. Does that concern you?"

H: That's interesting that that's the most important type of diversity. I mean, I think that part of having diversity of age and diversity of gender and where you're from, like, that results in a diversity of ideas. I hope. And I also--I honestly don't know what to do about that. Like, it--I believe these things. I think that it is important that we recognize that global warming exists and deal with it, because I think that it's gonna be a huge challenge that we face in the next 50, 100 years. I like, I am certain that we need to respect the rights of people who, you know, like, are in love with people of their same sex, like, there's no reason why you shouldn't be allowed to get married because you happen to love someone who has the same sex organs as you. Like, I just--I believe these things and I'm pretty dang sure I'm right, so I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do about that.

J: Right, I mean, I work really hard to listen to voices that I disagree with in my, like, in my life and in my reading and in what I look at, but I think one of the challenges is that it's really, really hard right now to empathize across the aisle because I think a lot of people feel like, especially the, you know, putting aside the specific issues, the approach to the issues that's being seen in the Trump administration is worrying to a lot of people and it's really really hard to take the responses to that seriously. Like the executive order on immigration and refugees for instance, it's just not--it's just not a good document. Like, it's not well written, it's self-contradictory, it wasn't and in some cases still isn't clear what the law now is. It does appear that in at least two places, the executive order violated existing law, which isn't possible. Like, which isn't supposed to be possible and is only possible because the government, the parts of the government that are supposed to review that law didn't have a chance to review it before it was released, and so it's just--I am--the answer to your question, Dahlia, is that I am deeply concerned that Nerdfighteria is an echo chamber and that the entire social internet is an echo chamber and that nothing that gets said on the social internet does anything to change anyone's views, because everyone has already decided what they believe in an incontrovertible way. I am very concerned about that in my own life and I'm very concerned about it in Nerdfighteria and I'm very concerned about it on the internet in general, but I also agree with Hank that I'm sure that global warming exists and I'm sure that it's one of the biggest challenges faced by the world and I'm sure that if we pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, it's a catastrophe for the world, and I don't know what to do about the fact that I'm sure about those things, but I'm--I'm sure that I'm right and that's what makes it hard right now.

 (24:00) to (26:00)

H: I think that what I have tried to do is make it about the things that I believe and care about, but not about the people who oppose me, and so I don't want to make content that's like, here is what the idiots on the other side are saying, aren't they idiots? And I don't think we do that.

J: Right.

H: I try not to do that. I do it sometimes on Twitter, but I try not to do it on Vlogbrothers.

J: Yeah, me too. I try not to do it outside of Twitter, but--and I hate that I do it on Twitter, but I do it sometimes.

H: And so I--like, that is a way that like, it's not--I understand that it's not a diversity of ideas, but hopefully it's not exclusionary to the ideas, because it's not like I'm--like, I think that it's so easy to take the most extreme voice and say look at what the other side is saying, they're literal Nazis, and like, some of them are, but most of them aren't, and so that really tears everything apart and it makes it impossible to have useful conversations and it makes it impossible to like, it makes it worryingly difficult to have a country together.

J: Yeah.

H: Especially because like, like, once you have sort of an ideology put in place, like, if all you ever hear is the most extreme stories from the other side, then it does seem like you're fighting a battle against evil and hopefully, like, I don't want to feel like I'm fighting a battle against evil. I wanna feel like I'm having a argument about how to correctly proceed and make the world better for the most possible people, though also I think there is-- 

J: Well, but not everybody agrees that that kind of utilitarianism is even the goal. I mean, I think--what I find interesting is that I'm able to have conversations--most of my closest friends in real life are, I guess would probably be considered conservatives or most often vote for Republican candidates for state and national office, and I'm able to talk to them about politics a lot. It's been hard the last five months, six months, but it's not--it hasn't been impossible for the vast majority of that time, even though, like, you know, I think the Republican Party has changed a lot in very disturbing ways in the last 15 years. Now, like, look, there's, you know, there's always been problems with both political parties in the US, I don't wanna, you know, I don't wanna make it sound one way or the other, but point being, I'm able to have those conversations in real life, I'm able to like, seek common ground and find it and at least have--and figure out what we disagree about and understand what we disagree about and not think that the other person is evil or an idiot, and I really do struggle with that online and I really--I feel like a lot of times online, the way people talk to people, and I don't exclude myself from this, imagines that those you disagree with are idiots and I do think a lot of times, like, I really believe that in the Republican party right now, there are a lot of people who are saying that certain people do not deserve the full rights of equal protection under the law. I think that's what the voting restrictions amount to, I think that's what the refugee and immigration ban amounts to, especially when it seemed, until you know, late in the game, that it was gonna be applied to legal permanent residents of the United States. I think--and like, those are big, big problems to me, because I think equal protection under the law is the foundational idea of American democracy, so it's really hard to have a calm conversation about that because it scares the crap out of me and because I also feel like I have to stick up for the people who are being systematically disenfranchised in this conversation.

H: Yeah.

J: Anyway. We don't know. And also, I really quickly want to note one other thing which is that while answering this question, Dahlia, I changed your name to Delia and that was--my bad. I'm sorry. As if things weren't bad enough, I went and did that. But thank you for listening to this podcast and thank you also for, you know, for trying to keep the lines of communication open because I--it has never been harder that it is now and we really appreciate it and we want to try to do the same.

H: Yeah, and I apologize for the moments in which we dehumanize people who disagree with us. It's too easy these days and I want to endeavor to try to not do that as much. This question is from Fletcher, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I'm trans and I'm about to embark upon the legal process of changing my name. I've already decided on Fletcher as my first name but I'm feeling conflicted when it comes to my middle name. On one hand, my father was called James and I know it would make him happy to choose it. He put so much effort into choosing my birth name which I am now no longer responding to. What's more, I quite like the name James and so I wouldn't be forcing myself to have a middle name that I despise for all eternity. On the other hand, the name Balthazar is cool as heck and it would make my initials FBI.  I would like your inputs on whether I should choose a normal sentimental name or a cool name that would be a talking point. Best wishes, Fletcher Balthazar or Fletcher James."

J: Yeah, I mean, I think the solution here is pretty obvious, Hank. You wanna just say it on three or do you want to try to hash this one out?

H: I may deeply disagree with you on this one, John, but you go, let's do it on three.

J: Okay, one, two, three...Ryan.

H: James. I don't know what was I thinking, of course, Ryan.  

J: I mean, look, Fletcher, it's obviously Ryan. There's only one way forward here. You're in a moment of uncertainty. That's the kind of moment that only Ryan can solve. 

H: I do like this thought process and I am glad you're thinking of it and trying to be inclusive. I do a little bit think Balthazar might be a mistake.

J: Yeah, I mean, I like--I really like, I love names that honor important family members, but I love the name Ryan even more. What a terrible mistake, Hank, we both made, naming our children something other than Ryan.  

H: I know!

J: I could have two kids named Ryan.

H: What was I thinking?

J: And how could would that be? It would be like, hey, my name is Ryan, this is my sister, Ryan, or my name is Ryan, this is my brother Ryan, which Alice would never say. All she would actually say is "My name is Ryan.  Give me water. Where's my water?  Daddy, I like ICE in it."

H: Is she getting a little bit demandy?

J: She's three. But yeah, she's a little bit demandy. The other day, she said, "Daddy. Daddy. Daddy!" That's how she says Daddy.  

H: Yep.

J: "Daddy. I want ice in it." And I was like, "Alice, there's ice. There is ice. Look at the--you can literally see--"  "Daddy. I want it ALL ICE." And I was like, "No, you don't, you can't drink it if it's all ice."

H: This podcast is brought to you by ALL ICE. All Ice: The delicious refreshment of the future. Only Alice Green truly understands the nature of the wonderful beverage that is All Ice.

J: You know what I just realized? All ice is very, very similar to Alice's actual name.  

H: That's true, that's true.

J: In a way, I kinda did name her All Ice, so maybe I shouldn't complain. Today's podcast is also brought to you by people who kiss like dying fish. People who kiss like dying fish: not recommended?

H: And also this podcast is brought to you by all ten types of spoons. All ten types of spoons: necessary for the life of a true gentleman.

J: And lastly, this podcast is brought to you by gravity. Gravity: Uh, you know, I think we could live without it for 15 seconds?

H: You think?

J: Well, I mean, the thing is like, Hank and I both know an equal amount about that question, which is nothing, but Hank is able to talk as if he does know something about it, so--

H: That's true. Oh, it's true. I just typed in "15 seconds without gravity" into Google and I didn't find anything useful.

J: Well, um, that's good, actually. That's probably good news.

H: Yeah, what I do want to say is just in general, be very careful about when you jump, because you never know when gravity's gonna turn off and you're just gonna go flying away.

J: That wouldn't be a bad way to go in the scheme of things. Hank, this question comes from an anonymous short spouse. I'm not sure why this person didn't want to be identified but they didn't and we'll respect that so, "Hello Green brothers, My husband's birthday is coming up and he is also tall. We like a lot of the shirts on but they are not made for tall people. How do you get tall person shirts?  Can I buy tall person shirts from you? Best wishes, short spouse." So first off, I'm 6'1'' and those shirts fit me fantastically. In fact, I only wear shirts from, your #1 source for shirts on the internet.

H: I mean, I'm wearing one right now. I wear them all the time and I also am one inch taller than John and am also 6'1'' so I--

J: You know, you always say that. I have to stop you right there and I do not like to stop you in the middle of a commercial for, your #1 source for internet merchandise, but I have to stop you right there because I--you've gotten into my head so much about this, you being one inch taller than me and you being 6'1'' thing that like, I've started to think that maybe I'm only 6 feet tall and so I went to get, when I was doing all the stuff for 100 Days, like, I had to get a cardiac stress test and get weighed and get my height done and everything and like, all these EKGs and whatnot. They measured my height and they said I was like, 6'1'' or like, 1/4 inch less than 6'1'' so I think that either we are the same height and you are just creating some kind of like, visual thing that makes you look an inch taller than me, like, you've just like, you're like, gaslighting me about what I'm actually seeing, or alternately, you are actually--you've been 6'2'' this whole time.  

H: Oh, my God, it's crazy to think that I might be 6'2''. That sounds so tall to me. That's weird.

J: Well, anyway, the point being--

H: Sounds way taller than 6'1''.

J: --if you are 6'2'', the shirts still fit.

H: They do fit me and I'm 6'2'', but I mean, like, if he's 6'8'', I understand that that might, like, that might cause like, midriff problems.  

J: Yeah, but that's the solution. You've actually just answered the question.

H: Right, just go with the midriff.

J: Yeah, your husband needs to bare his midriff to the world. Like, he faces a stark choice. Don't wear t-shirts or rock the bare midriff and I think, you know, option B is overwhelmingly the best choice.

H: You know, John, I've been working with a lot of onesies these days, and so there's a nice thing about wearing a onesie. So like, the onesie, a baby onesie, it can be like a long-sleeve shirt and then it wraps around under the diaper and buttons and then you can put pants on over that.  So the legs are still totally out and it's just like this little thing that buttons under the crotch and the legs are out and then you put pants on, but then like, the shirt never comes untucked because it's connected. Like, it's around. Why isn't that an adult thing? What--like, can't I have like a nice button-down shirt that then like, wraps around underneath my underwear area and then like, someway fastens so that it never has any chance of ever coming, like, never getting loosened or jostled out of my tuck? Of my pants tuck?  

J: I don't know whether to treat your question seriously.

H: Why not?

J: But I will say that I think the history of fashion is fascinating but if you're being serious, it's because it takes too long to pee.  

H: I think you're right. I hadn't thought of that.

J: And when you're a tiny baby child, you have somebody who changes your diapers for you and so it doesn't matter that you're wearing a onesie.  

H: Right. Okay.

J: In fact, the exact moment at which children stop wearing onesies, in my experience, is when they stop wearing diapers at night.

H: Ahhh, interesting, okay. I'm in. I'm in.

J: I feel like I've just like--I feel like I'm just ahead of you on this one particular curve. Like, you're smarter than me in almost everything but I know just a little bit more about children than you do.

H: Well, yes, definitely that is the case. I've got another question, John, it's really important. I want to make sure we get to it before we get to the all-important news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon. It's from Jillian who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I just bought a new jigsaw puzzle. When I opened the box, some of the pieces were already put together. Am I morally obliged to break up the pieces and start from scratch? Is it cheating if I don't? Can you cheat on a jigsaw puzzle if you're the only one puzzling? Advice on this pressing issue would be greatly appreciated. Kind regards, Jillian."

J: Jillian, the only person you're cheating is yourself.  

H: You know what this makes me--

J: You're gonna be cheating yourself out of the opportunity to build that entire jigsaw puzzle from scratch.

H: Or, there is a person, this is true, at the jigsaw puzzle factory, who takes the jigsaw puzzle that has been printed out on a piece of cardboard and stamped with that jigsaw puzzle stamp breaking it into a bunch of pieces, who then takes that, breaks it all up very carefully as to make sure to not lose any pieces, and puts it in a bag and then puts that bag in a box and that person sometimes, they leave a few pieces put together and there, maybe that person is thinking to themselves, ahh, I've done a little favor for my friend, the purchaser of my jigsaw puzzle so that they will not have to put together these three pieces, these five pieces maybe, that were left together. I did that for them so that they would have a good starting point. Maybe. Maybe.

J: I like it. I love it. I love it. I agree. You should let them be because of the person and/or machine that did that for you.

H: I actually have no idea if it's a machine or a person and I would like to know.

J: I mean, I'm gonna bet at this point it's a machine. There's only about four jobs that have not been automated yet, Hank. Real quickly, we need to get to some corrections. We had some really important corrections from last week's pod. Ben wrote in, for instance, to say, "Respectfully, in a recent podcast, Hank stated you can't see Mars from Mars" but to quote Les Miserables, "Look down.""  

H: That is good, it's real good and I did have that same--I saw that correction and was like, yes. Very good. Love it.  

J: Ben also wanted, said, "P.S. Feel free to shout out my amazing girlfriend Jazz." I don't know if that's the same Jazz who--Jazz Sinclair who played Angela in the Paper Towns movie, but it's spelled the same way, so maybe--I hope so. If it is, Jazz, you're awesome. If it isn't, I'm sure you're also awesome, Jazz. Second correction, real quickly from Aneesah, she wrote in to say, "Dear John and Hank, I am a former space physics major. While I completely understand your desire to study the physics of space, that is not actually the topic which space physics refers to. Space physics has more to do with atmosphere physics and satellite stuff. The type of physics that you are probably thinking of is astronomy and astrophysics. Satellites not spaceships, Aneesah, current computational mathematics major." I mean, Aneesah, I'm gonna level with you, I did not understand any of the words in that correction, but I did my best to read them in order so that we could be technically correct.

H: It's corrected now. And I'll  be honest with you, I was watching a how it's made video on puzzles and can confirm that it is the machine who has done you the favor, not a human being. I'll put the link to this video in the Patreon description of the video. Boy, that was definitely done by a machine.  

J: Yeah, I kind of figured. Um, Hank, what's the news from Mars that you looked up 12 minutes ago?

H: Uhhh, let me try and find the tab.

J: All right, I'll just tell you the news from AFC Wimbledon. Hank, so this is a little confusing, but in soccer, in England, you can only sign new players during certain periods. There's the summer transfer window, which ends on August 31st and then there's the January transfer window which ends on January 31st and AFC Wimbledon traditionally don't do a lot of business in the January transfer window because that's kind of--it's sort of for like richer clubs. Plus, AFC Wimbledon is in the middle of the table and it's not clear, you know, what they have to fight for, you know, at this point. I mean, obviously, the job is to stay up and it looks likely that they will stay up, although actually, they're down in 13th now, so maybe, maybe there's still a little bit of work to do, only ten points clear of the drop. Point being, on the transfer deadline day, AFC Wimbledon did sign a new player, a 30 year old player named Tom Sores--Soares?Nobody knows how to pronounce his name, it's like Gillingham, but the point is, he is now playing for AFC Wimbledon and Neil Ardley, the beloved manager of AFC Wimbledon, said the following about him: "Tom is very powerful, has good aerial ability, and I think he is in his prime now," and I just wanted to say that is what I would like to be known for. I wish that someone would say that sentence about me. John is very powerful, has good aerial ability, and I think he is in his prime now. I just want someone to say that I'm in my prime now. Anyway, congratulations, Tom, on becoming a member of AFC Wimbledon and leaving your former club, Berry or possibly Burry, nobody knows how to say town names in England. Okay, Hank, what's the news from Mars?

H: Well, first I wanna say, you gotta be careful about that aerial ability, John, because you never know when gravity's gonna turn off, but additionally, let's just--let's say that Mark Kelly, you know who Mark Kelly is, right, John?

J: The astronaut.

H: Yeah, good job. The astronaut that spent a year in space, twin brother Scott Kelly, so that they can have like a twin experiment in space stuff. Mark Kelly has released a editorial talking about why he would--he says that we should get to Mars, the United States needs to get to have people on Mars by 2033 for the good of the nation. Now, I have one big problem with this, John.

J: Yeah.

H: It's five years too late.

J: No, I think it's perfect timing.

H: Definitely five years too late. He gives three main reasons for why we should get to Mars by 2033, the first being--uh, I'm gonna go in reverse order. He says that the United States cannot lose its dominance in space, I don't know what that means and I don't really feel like it's a great reason. Who needs to dominate space? It's really big. It's a big old place and I don't feel like anybody could dominate it.  

J: Really, it's almost all of the places.

H: It is the vast majority of places. But additionally, focusing on--

J: Earth is a vanishingly small portion of the universe.  

H: Very, yes. It is the least of the places. Focusing on a Mars mission additionally would jump-start our economy, which I do think would be the case and I think we would learn a lot about our capabilities as a nation and as a technical species by focusing on this, but lastly, the just increasing chance that we are going to find alien life and Mars is the easiest place to find it. It might not be the most likely place to find it, probably one of the water moons of Jupiter or Saturn would be a more likely place to find it, just because there's so much water, but the--it's easy--much easier to get to Mars, much easier to get to the watery parts, if there are watery parts, and just--what we could learn about the universe by discovering life for a second time.

J: Yeah, no, I agree, I think that would be really, really cool.

H: I mean--

J: And I mean, is a manned mission to Mars the only way to get--to discover life?

H: No, but it is so much easier. It's so much--like, humans are so much more versatile and able to do things that robots can't do. You know, Curiosity isn't even designed really to look for life, and additionally, like, microscopic life is difficult to parse out, what's alive and what isn't, like, even viruses were kind of, I don't know, does that count, and if it's very different from what life looks like on Earth, if it's not based on the same chemistry, if it's not based on like, certainly if it isn't based in the same biology. Now, it might be based on the same biology if life spread from Mars to Earth or from Earth to Mars, and that would also be a very interesting thing to discover, that that's possible and a thing that happened, but it could be based on entirely different biology, like, different methods for storing genetic information or like, no genetic information at all or who knows? Who knows? It could be much more like what life was on Earth when it first formed, which of course, we don't even know what that was, but understanding the chemistry of that is gonna be really difficult to get to the bottom of and it really makes it a lot easier to have people who are working in the field, as it were.  

J: Yeah, and I have to say, Hank, that I think that just getting all of our ducks in a row and just getting human capacity to the place where we need it to be and just--I think it makes great sense to just say, 2033, that's the goal, we're gonna focus on that date, we're not gonna consider any dates sooner than that. There might be delays, you never know, but we're gonna plan for 2033, maybe 2035, 2037. Maybe things will get done really fast and it'll be 2031. Maybe it'll be 2029, you know? I would even, if like, if the pace of innovation, you know, suddenly jump starts and we end up on Mars in 2029, I would say that wouldn't be such a bad outcome.

H: Oh God. Well, the important thing is that it's Dear Hank and John now and it's gonna be Dear Hank and John in 2027 and we're gonna hold on to that for at least ten years. I'm proud of that.

J: Well, I mean--what do you mean you're proud of that? You just--you named our podcast when we started because you were the person filling out the iTunes info. That's not--what is there to be proud of?  

H: You know what else I did, though, John? You know what else I did?

J: What?

H: I made a bet that required the outcome of the bet to not change until the bet date was reached which means I have secured the podcast name at Dear Hank and John for ten years, which is, if I do say so myself, a masterful piece of deal-making.

J: I mean, some people would say you should write a book called The Art of the Deal, just on the topic of how to make sure that a podcast has your name for first for a whole decade.  

H: I mean, I'm really something else, John. I gotta say.

J: You are. You are. There's no question about that.  Hank Green: something esle.  

H: All right, John. What did we learn today?

J: Uh, well, we learned that Hank doesn't actually know what would happen if gravity stopped on Earth for 15 seconds, but he pretended to, but eventually he had to acknowledge that he didn't.  

H: Uh, yeah, which is, you know, really most of the conversations I have these days. We also learned that--shoot. We also learned that if you have the opportunity to change your middle name, you should probably go with Ryan.

J: It's hard to beat Ryan.

H: Hard to beat Ryan.

J: We learned that bellybuttons are definitely scars and that when they start out, they smell a little bit funky, but not bad. You can tell the difference.

H: You can tell the difference, and if they smell bad, you should go see a doctor and finally, finally, we learned that the very worst superhero with the very worst origin story is Grandpa and Grandma Woolly Mammothhands.  

J: Oh, Hank, thank you for podding with me. If you wanna email us, please email us your questions at You can also #dearhankandjohn on Twitter where I'm @hankgreen and--nope. I'm not Hank Green. I'm @johngreen and Hank is @hankgreen. I'm having a crisis of self, Hank. 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 and communications. Our music is by the great Gunnarolla. Thank you again for listening, and as we say in our hometown--

Both: Don't forget to be awesome.

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