Previous: 085 - Stay Gold, Potaterson
Next: 087 - The Future Is Gonna Rule



View count:147,233
Last sync:2020-08-22 13:00
Do taller people have bigger organs? Are more expensive clothes actually better? Is there a secular way to say you're "praying" for someone? And more!

Email us:

 (00:00) to (02:00)

Hank: Hey John, we have a special announcement.

John: That's right, it's called a "cold open" to announce that over at our Patreon,, where you can go to directly support this podcast, and also the other things that Complexly does-

Hank: Yeaaah

John: -online video education projects, if you donate at five dollars a month or more, you'll get access to a new, secret, very brief podcast, called-

Hank: This Week in Ryans.

John: That's right, every week a brief five-to-ten minute podcast about a different Ryan, every week forever. 

Hank: [Laughs] Every week forever. There's a lot Ryans, John, there's people with the first name Ryan, there's people with the last name Ryan, there's places called Ryan, there's things called Ryan, and we're gonna talk about all of them over the course of the next thirty years of our lives. And it's gonna be available as a five dollar Patreon perk at And you might be asking yourself, dear fan of the pod, do you really need money to do Dear Hank and John? Well, let me tell you something: No, we don't.

John: [Laughs]

Hank: [Laughs] In fact, that money is going to be going into our production company, which is where all of the Patreon money so far has been going, where we use it to do things like SciShow and CrashCourse and Healthcare Triage and Sexplanations and the Financial Diet and a bunch of other things that we do at our production company, so, this is just kinda a way to help us pay the bills, uh, just- it's all part of the same family of content, and it all goes into the same pot that we try and make money to pay-

John: That's right, we try and make educational videos, and we also wanna make this week in Ryans, and so it lines up nicely with our interests-

Hank: [Laughs]

John: Uh, so if you're interested please head over to Thanks to everybody who supported our podcast over the year, and thanks also to everybody who's about to start listening to this week in Ryans, we're very excited about it. We're gonna make this week's this week in Ryan available for free at the end of this podcast--

 (02:00) to (04:00)

John: --so you can get a sweet, sweet taste of the silliness that is to come.

[Intro music]

Hank: Hello and Welcome to Dear Hank and John,

John: Or as I prefer to think of it, Dear John and Hank.

Hank: It's a comedy podcast where me and that guy, he's my brother John, we answer questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. Hey John, how you doin'?

John: I'm doin' alright, Hank. Things are good, as you know there's a little bit of work stress in our lives right now, but other than that I'm great. 

Hank: Yeah. Yeah, I- I was trying to come up with like, a thing to have happened to me this week, but it's all boring, and it's all meetings.

John: Yup.

Hank: We're doing, we're doing the yearly evaluations of all the people at the company, where like, it's not evaulations, it's sort of like, a check-in and so all the people who are the people who report to me, I'm like, "Let's have our check-in," and then we talk about how their jobs are and how they like it and how things are goin', and it's great, but, there- it's a lot of people, and I'm, like, I'm happy that I do it, but then also it's like, "Oh, that's a new thing to add to the list of things", uh, but yeah.

John: I'm not very good, Hank, as you know, at meetings, or check-ins. I kind of designed my life around the idea that I was never gonna have to go to a meeting? 

Hank: [Laughs]

John: Because I find meetings to be a form of oppression [Hank laughs] and also, uh, when I am in a meeting, my friends and coworkers can attest to this, I, uh, like shake somewhat violently, and roll my eyes and mutter to myself, and uh, [Hank laughs] frequently will whisper quietly, "has this meeting reached it's conclusion?"

Hank: [Laughs] Yeah.

John: I just find them to be extraordinarily inefficient. That said, I understand that everyone in the world but me sees value in meetings, so I am almost definitely wrong, except I still kind of think that I'm right. 

Hank: I mean, you are definitely kind of right. Um, there's definitely inefficiencies to meetings, but--

 (04:00) to (06:00)

Hank: --uh, also, there's no other way for humans to talk to each other about the things that they have to do than to schedule it sometimes. So my life has lots of meetings, John, that's who I have become, and I, I take most of the bullets for you, in terms of meetings. So just appreciate me.

John: I know, and I do I deeply appreciate that. I just want to pause and say Hank, thank you for attending so many meetings on my behalf. 

Hank: [Laughs] Okay. Do you have a short poem for us this week?

John: I don't. No, I've been in too many meetings, I haven't even read any poetry this week. It's a darkness.

Hank: [Laughs] Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Okay, well, um. "Goodbye, yellow brick road, where the dogs of society howl. You can't plant me in your penthouse, I'm going back to my plow." That's by Elton John.

John: That's a good one, that's a good one. We should have you do this every week; should we answer some questions for our listeners? 

Hank: Yeah, okay, this one's from Allison.This was a really good open John, we did a really good job. This one's from Allison-

John: We killed it.

Hank: It's like man, that meeting conversation was hi-larious. This- uh, Allison who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I'm always confused on how to respond when someone compliments the outfit I'm wearing. If they say 'That looks nice on you,' I always say thank you, but what if they just say 'I like your shirt!' I didn't make this shirt, I just bought it. Are they complimenting me on purchasing a cute shirt? Should I respond with 'I think so too!' though it seems self- congratulatory? I've been pondering this for years, can you help? Allison." I can, can you John? 

John: Uh, no. So I guess I'm gonna count on you for this one.

Hank: Uh, the only thing- it's so nice to have been alive for 36 years, so that I can have answers when people do what I consider to be, a bit loony, uh, things like this. You say, "I got it at the Gap." You- that's what you say. 

 (06:00) to (08:00)

Like, it's a little bit like if somebody is like, oh, that like, uh, how's your pasta?

J: Oh, no.  No.  I strongly disagree.  I strongly--like, if somebody says to me, "Oh, I like your suit," the correct answer is not, "I got it at Burbery."  That is not--that is the wrong answer.

H: No, I think that's what they're asking!  They're--it's a way of asking like, where did you get your clothes?

J: No, they're not--they're saying--they're trying to make polite conversation and you are inserting a brand into a conversation that needs no brands.

H: I disag--I think, like, that is the only thing I have figured out what to say when somebody says, "I like your shirt."  I say, or I say like, "My wife  got it for me," I like, tell the story of the shirt because there's nothing else to say.  What else is there to say?

J: You can say, "Thank you."  I think you can just say, "Thank you," because they are ultimately complimenting you on doing a nice job of picking out a shirt for today.

H: I do--yes.  I guess that's correct and even like, the bold fashion choices you have made.  Like, look at that!  Look at that contrasty plaid you have chosen for your cute shirt.

J: You know what I actually find, Hank?  I find that in general, when I tell people that I like their shirt or that I like their dress or that I like their suit, what I actually mean is, unlike the vast majority of times, I notice your shirt.

H: Yeah, like, I was aware that it existed whereas usually--

J: I don't actually like it.  Like, in all probability, I think that it's a little over the top, but I did notice it.

H: And so I kinda have to say something because it's what I'm thinking about right now.

J: Right, exactly.  

H: So is it a bad sign if somebody says that they like your shirt?  Should you retire that shirt?

J: I think you might have to say, "I'm sorry."  

H: I'm sorry that I distracted you.

J: I'm sorry that I forced you to notice my shirt.  That was not nice of me.

H: I think you're right.  I think we came to a really good conclusion on this one.  Allison, stop wearing that shirt.  

J: Oh, God, I'm so glad we were able to wrap that one up quickly.  So basically, anytime somebody gives you a compliment, just respond by saying, "I'm sorry."

 (08:00) to (10:00)

Okay, our next question comes from Tyler.  Tyler writes, "Dear John and Hank, I'm an atheist and recently, I've become a bit frustrated at something concerning English.  I'm finding that there's no good secular alternative to saying, "I'm praying for you" in English.  This came up when a friend of mine was having a lot of anxiety issues.  I didn't want to tell them that I'd be praying for them since I'd be lying, yet for some reason, I'm always unsatisfied with saying "I hope things get better" as that just doesn't seem to have the same weight."

H: No.

J: "Is there a better alternative that I'm not thinking of or am I just overthinking this whole thing?  Memento Mori, Tyler."  Um, so Hank, you and I will have very different answers for this question but I do not think that you have to believe in God to pray for someone or to pray so that's my answer.

H: Well, yes.  So do you have to think that the prayer does anything for it to be a prayer?  

J: Oh, I think...yeah.  Probably.  Probably, but uh, I--yeah, I guess so.  

H: 'Cause that's like, that's the thing, that, like, it's not like a linguistic problem, it's a practical problem where it's like, I am jealous of the phrase "I'm praying for you" and I am incapable of using it honestly because I like, because it--like, "I'm praying for you" indicates like, I am not just thinking about you, I'm trying to do something for you.  I'm trying to like, have an effect on this situation with like, through my understanding of the universe and how it works and like, so I can say, "You're in my thoughts" or like, "I've been thinking about you a lot" or you know, like, "You've been on my mind", like that kind of thing is sort of the secular equivalent, like, you'll like--these people are in our thoughts and you just leave out the prayers part of "in our thoughts and prayers".  So yeah, I--it's not a linguistic problem, it's a practical problem that you don't think that you can have a thought that will affect the ultimate outcome but in--just in saying that you are trying to have an effect, you kind of are and so it's kind of a shame that we don't have a thing that we can say that feels honest.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

J: Well, I think, "Thinking of you," does feel honest and maybe does help.  I think maybe it does help, but yeah, I--I hear you on this being a challenge and one that frankly I'm very glad not to have.  How about we answer this question from Ryan, Hank?  I want to answer this question from Ryan mostly because he literally sent in an image of his driver's license to prove that he is a Ryan.  

H: I mean, is it worth it?  I think it's a good question.  Oh!  Yeah, it is, it's a great question.  I'm really interested in this question.  It's a hard one.  

J: Great.

H: Oh, it's from--it is--he says "Dear Green Brothers," In fact, he says, "Dear Brothers Green,  I'm a 26 year old military vet who lives in Charlotte County, Florida, which happens to be one of the most conservative and the oldest by median age places in the country.  Despite my surroundings, I consider myself deeply liberal.  I've tried to make friends with neighbors and people in my community but it is becoming unbelievably hard.  Most are five decades my senior or prone to saying things that are homophobic, racist, or Islamophobic.  I'm fully aware that most conservatives don't hold these views, but I unfortunately live in an area where it is a little too common.  Because of all these factors, I do most of my socializing on the internet, but I feel that I am missing out on an aspect of life not having any real life friends.  Any dubious advice would improve my situation--that would improve my situation would be greatly appreciated."  I have to say, Ryan, I have spent time in Charlotte County, Florida quite a lot and I agree with you.  It is an old conservative place.  It is where my in-laws live and oh my, oh my.  

J: It is not full of a lot of young military veterans who sign off their emails, "honor, courage, commitment."  

 (12:00) to (14:00)

You forgot the great sign-off.

H: It's a good one.  It's good.  You're right.  

J: I think it's difficult anytime you feel like there's nobody like you in your real life community and that's a feeling that, you know, I knew very well when I was young and that I feel kind of lucky to not feel now but I would say that just because there are a lot of old people in Charlotte County, Florida, it does not mean that there are no young people.  

H: In fact, there're lots of young people.  I--and I like, when I go, I'm amazed that I see like, high schools.  I'm like, who is having children in this town?  There's--there are people who are young people who have elementary school aged children and I have no idea where they came from because when I walk around the town, I do not see those people, but they are there.  

J: So the question is, how do you meet them?

H: Yeah, well, they mostly work in--at the hospital, in one way or another, you know?  They work in the care of the people who are the sort of weirdly enough, the industry of the town and so you just have to go--

J: So Ryan--

H: You gotta go--

J: Become a nurse.

H:  Yeah.  Go become a nurse.

J: I think we found it.

H: Or just like, hurt yourself a little bit?

J: Remember to always say I'm sorry when people compliment your clothes and become a nurse.

H: Yeah, just like stub your toe real bad and like, go into urgent care and like look around and be like, anybody want to be my friend?

J: That is a much better idea, why become a nurse when you could just become a patient?

H: It's so much easier!  

J: Alright, Ryan, stub your toe, go to urgent care, nobody'll think that's weird.  Be like, ow, my toe, does anyone wanna be my friend?  They're so used to like, drug seeking patients but you'll be that rare patient who's just friend seeking.  

H: I do find it weird when I like, see my doctor in real life and I'm like, hey!

J: Oh!  I just saw my psychiatrist in real life, Hank.

H: Oh yeah, yeah?

 (14:00) to (16:00)

J: It was incredibly uncomfortable.  Thank God he didn't actually see me because I dove under the table.  I was having a drink with my beautiful wife on date night and who do I see striding up at a pretty good clip, and by the way, if my psychiatrist is listening to the pod, I don't know how involved he is in my private life, but you know, please just like, pause for 30 seconds, but uh, yeah.  I mean, who do I see striding up, and I was like, Sarah.  Sarah.  That's Dr. Patel.  And she was like, who?  And I was like, Dr. Patel!  And she was like, go say hi and I was like, say hi?  No!  No!  This is--we are having a crisis!  This is an emergency!  

H: Yeah.  Did you become okay?

J: Yeah.  Well, he ended up having a drink in the same restaurant so I just like, turned my chair so that he couldn't see me.  Yeah, I was fine.  Everything chilled out after that.  Long story short, Ryan, get a psychiatrist and um, go out to bars and try to run across your--I don't think that we're doing a good job answering this question.

H: No.

J: It is really hard to make friends in adulthood.

H: Yes.

J: Like, I still don't really know how to do it, Ryan, and I think part of what's difficult about the time of your life is not just where you live or the kind of people you live near, but also it's just kind of a hard time in life.  

H: Yeah, it is.  I mean, I--like, finding--it's weird, because it's like, well, let's just find the places where people like you are going but it's like, well, if people like me were going to places, I would be the people who go to those places.  Those places don't exist.  Like, in the town where my in-laws live, there isn't a movie theater.  Like, there isn't places to go and do things.   There are like the weird beach bars that I don't think are necessarily Ryan's scene.  So I--yeah, I definitely--I commiserate with that and like, again, it's like, why isn't there Tinder for friends and it's because it's just too, like, it's too much.

 (16:00) to (18:00)

It's too weird.  You know, it has to be natural and it's very hard to find natural ways to find folks outside of--

J: I think, for the record, there are some--there are Tinders for friends and people do use them, but Hank and I are so far outside that world that we are not going to be able to advise you on them.  

H: I have no idea how you call someone through Tinder.  I assume that there's a--some kind of like, Tinder call functionality but I'm not hip and with it in that world.

J: Alright, Hank, we have another question.  This one comes from Joseph who writes, "Dear John and Hank, I was looking at clothes on the internet and my mother told me, "Expensive doesn't mean better," and I was wondering if you agree because I haven't heard fashion advice on the pod yet and you're both fashion icons."  Thank you for noticing, Joseph.  "Is a $3.97 t-shirt from Walmart as good as a $145 grey t-shirt from Ralph Lauren Purple label?"  I didn't even know that Ralph Lauren had a purple label.  This is incredibly exciting news for me.  "I don't understand the extra expense.  Should I spend more money?  Buttons and threads, Joseph."  Now, Hank and I are going to have very different answers here--

H: Yup.

J: Because Hank continues to shop for his clothing primarily secondhand.

H: That's not true.  I do both.  

J: That's why I said primarily.  Joseph, there are some people in the world who are not able to enjoy the finer things in life, like my brother, you know?  And you put him in one t-shirt and it's as good as any other t-shirt because to him, it's just the pleasure of not being naked and warm.  That's all he cares about.  But people like us, Joseph, we understand--

H: Oh my God.

J: --that when you pay $145 for a grey t-shirt, it is a really good t-shirt.  No, I'm just kidding.  Never pay more than $22 plus shipping for your t-shirts at  

H: There it is, oh, there it is.

J: Available right now,  There's no other place to get t-shirts on the internet that's even worth pursuing.

 (18:00) to (20:00)

H: To Joseph, I say, first of all, you haven't heard fashion advice on the pod.  We just gave some so apparently this is fashion day.  Second, there is a difference between a $4 t-shirt and $150 t-shirts and the thing is, there's definitely more value, it's just that there's not $140 more value, like, that's the weird thing about like, luxury products is like, you keep making it better until like, you're--for every like, like, increment of better you are getting, the price is going way way out of proportion to the increment of betterness and it's almost like, and I've noticed this about people who have the opportunity to do this, that people start to become experts on excellence and so they can tell the difference between $100 t-shirt and $150 t-shirt in a way that to me or indeed, anyone else except for like, you know, the 5000 people who buy t-shirts like this, would--is just completely obtuse and makes no sense but there is a difference and there's lots of differences when it comes to like, I mean, I run a merch company so there's like softness and but there's also things like was the cotton sustainably raised?  Like, are the factories factories where people are treated well?  Was it made in America or was it made in like a place where there isn't a lot of oversight?  And so like, there are differences and but--

J: But that's not the difference between a $25 t-shirt and $150 t-shirt.

H: Nope.

J: You can get a $25 t-shirt that was made in the US with sustainably produced cotton.

H: Yes.  Yes.  

J: When you're paying $150 for a t-shirt, you're paying $150 for a luxury experience that, and I totally agree with you, Hank.  There's this--Sarah and I always talk about this great line that Ira Glass, the host of This American Life, had after he moved to New York.  

 (20:00) to (22:00)

He said, "It's three times as expensive but only twice as fun."  

H: Which is--yeah, that's definitely the--that's definitely the t-shirt experience.  That t-shirt is ten times as expensive and only like, 1.3 times better.  

J: Right, it's the same thing with red wine or stereo equipment or any number of things that you can get really, really into if you want to devote a lot of your resources to it.  

H: Yeah.

J: But I agree with Hank that when you stop noticing the difference in quality and when it stops being material to your quality of life, you should stop trying to differentiate.

H: Yeah.  Don't try to figure out why something is better.  Don't like, dedicate your time to figuring out why you should be spending more money on something.  Definitely live in that ignorance for as long as you can.

J: Yeah, I agree, Hank.  Why don't I let you ask a question?

H: Yeah, that's nice, thank you.  This one is from Nathalie, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I have a problem.  This morning I bought a bag of popcorn for exactly $2.99.  I paid in cash, so I was expecting to receive a penny.  However, of course, I find pennies useless so I was planning in advance to place that penny in the donations box next to the register.  The problem is, the cashier did not give me my penny.  She didn't even ask if I wanted the change.  She simply said 'Have a nice day,' and closed the register.  I didn't know what to say so I just walked away, penniless."  I mean, that's not the--I feel like that's the literal definition of penniless but not really what we mean when we say that--"I don't know how to feel about this.  I didn't particularly want the penny, but I also feel like I was owed the penny?  Did this shop just steal from me and by extension, from charity?  Should I be upset that I was not given the money, or should I just go on with life since pennies are so useless anyway?  Ave atke vale, Nathalie."  It's 'hail and farewell' in Latin.  That's good.

J: That's good.  That's from an elegiac poem by the Roman poet Catalus.

 (22:00) to (24:00)

H: Oh good, good. Dya ah-

J: It's addressed to Catalus' dead brother, or strictly speaking, to the ashes of Catalus' dead brother. 

H: Ohh yes yes, I guess that makes sense. Um, this happens to me frequently, John. Has this happened to you?

J: It has, um, and I do not believe that stores are under any obligation to carry any pennies. So it may be that they are refusing to engage with the penny as currency-

H: Yeah, I mean, I think that this cashier might have thought they they were doing you a favour because who wants a freaking penny? I, like, technically the cashier should give you the penny and the cashier's probably trained to give you the penny. Uhh in fact, they there sometimes there's like inventory that goes on and they count the change in the cash register and if it's not right then they can get in trouble. Ah and but probably that not at that place if it they this person is so blaze about pennies, but uh yeah it I I almost consider it a personal favor to not have to even think about the fact that the penny ever existed. 

J: Yeah. Yeah I mean I would see this as a gift to you rather than taking a penny away from charity because P.S. that charity doesn't need a penny. It needs a dime or more. 

H: Yeah, yeah, yep yep. (Ago re?~23:28)

J: Alright Hank, let's uh answer another question. This one comes from Ian, who writes, "Hello Green Brothers, Especially since the most recent election I found it harder to find an independent news source. I often read through various subreddits that seem to be unbiased but also try to balance that by reading subreddits populated by the left or the right and I also watch Philip DeFranco daily because I feel like he filters out a lot of stuff purely through research and cross-checking. How should I get my news without spending hours doing research and cross-checking? I wanna make sure I consider all sides without fail fall falling for fake news or unsubstantiated stories. No interesting sign-off, Ian."

H: Hmm.

 (24:00) to (26:00)

John: Yeah, so I've been doing an experiment the last few weeks, umm, where I read my local hometown newspaper, The Indianapollis Star, and The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, and the Economist, as well as the New Yorker, and it gives me a wide variety of news stories. I think a lot of what people cite as biased comes from the opinion pages of those newspapers, which are a really small portion of what they do. Like, I think, sometimes their reporting is wrong or it's incomplete but I don't think that it's consistently biased. I think if you read the New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal, or the Economist's coverage of Brazil or South Korea you won't find it to be consistently biased and I think the same is true of most of their U.S. coverage.

I think, so I am a big believer in newspapers and news organizations when it comes to the actual gathering of news and the reporting of news. I think newspapers and news organizations that are well established do a better job of that than anyone else, at the moment. I think when it comes to news analysis, which is a different thing, and most of what Phil does is, I think, ultimately news analysis: telling you kind of why the news matters or what's important about it ... I think traditional news companies don't do as good of a job, although I think that there are very good opinion columns, at times, in all of those newspapers and magazines, and in many others, but I think, that's what the internet is good at, is news analysis.

Hank: [mmhmm]

John: But I don't think...ahh..  I think the old line media companies are still pretty good at news gathering and news reporting.

Hank: Yeah. I think there is a very important distinction there. A lot of what we see  on the internet is sort of like: what's the scandal of the day? What should my take be? What are some good takes on this scandal of the day. And that, and the scandal-

 (26:00) to (28:00)

are always things that have really sharply defined sides, but maybe aren't the most-like- they often haven't been all the way worked out, they're like stories in progress and since the people are having opinions about things that haven't been all the way understood yet, ummm- and so, like, these big stories that a re in the progress of coming out... everyone's going to have lots of opinions about them and it can- it's much easier to have your opinion be influencend by sort of like what you would like the world to be like. And... a lot of what we see on the internet and also, like, with things like the daily show is we're talking about how the news is covering the news, and not about the news itself.

John: Right.

Hank: The news becomes the news. The media, like, you're covering the media rather than covering what the media is covering. The actual journalism stuff is hard, and people like me and you and Phil DeFranco don't do that. The Daily Show also for the most part doesn't do that.

And if we just like spend all our time ragging on them the times they get it wrong and talking about how like these people are completely useless and don't do any good stuff because I can find these two examples of how they screwed up stories in the last year, it's like but- you're not trying to do that. No one else is trying to do that. You're just going after them when they get it wrong very occasionally, when the vast majority of the reporting that gets done is good journalism.

Even like across the board when you're talking about a more conservative paper like the wall street journal, or a more liberal paper like the new york times. Like the wall street journal isn't talking about Global Warming all the time, but you will find that the journalism that gets done there for the most part overlaps. Like, the people- like, the stories that are getting done, they agree with each other. 

 (28:00) to (30:00)

Hank: And those don't get sucked into the outrage cycle because there's agreement.

John: Right, and that's what I would highlight, because there's a lot that goes into being an informed person that the outrage cycle leaves out, because it's either a very complicated story or it's a story on which a lot of people agree.

So if you look at the news right now for instance, we're not seeing a ton of reporting about Somalia, even though there is a famine there. We're not seeing a ton of reporting--on the internet anyway--about these huge corruption scandals that are ongoing in Brazil and now reaching outside of Brazil. And we're not seeing a ton of like coverage on the internet about many other international stories but also national stories.

I highlighted this in a video I made recently but you know we're not talking that much about the federal reserve's monetary policy even though it has huge implications, uh, for all of us. Because it's not a story that's easy to get outraged about. It's not a story that's easy to take sides on. And so I think on those stories, which I would argue are actually like the bulk of stories when it comes to being an informed person, I think the news media does a relatively good job.

And I also think that like local--for me, my local newspaper does a really good job keeping me informed about issues that are really relevant-- in some ways more relevant to my life-- because they are local issues. When it comes to laws and regulations and leaders that affect my city and my state, that stuff is really important to my day to day life in a way that some of the larger conversations aren't.

So I agree with you and I think we have to call the media out when they do a bad job of reporting, but we also need to celebrate when they do a good job.

Hank: Yeah, and when you sit down with a newspaper and you read the stories you're like, "Oh this was actually interesting and useful and I had no idea that it existed, which is--

 (30:00) to (32:00)

John: It also becomes in a way less scary. Like I find the news to be really overwhelming and scary a lot of times. And I feel like what the heck is happening-- and a lot of it is true.

We are not living in normal times in the United States, politically or socially and it's important to acknowledge that and be honest about that. But at the same time when I read carefully reported stories and newspapers I realize that uh, you know, we've always been living in strange times, or at least we've often been living in strange times.

Hank: I agree, I agree. I would like to ask a question that I would like to answer John, but you can also try to answer it if you want. It's from Stella who asks,

"Dear Hank and John, I'm sorry if my English is horrible but I'll try my best. So I was wondering if there was any difference in organ or other things inside our body's size and shape between the tallest person in the world and the shortest person in the world. I mean like, do tall people's hearts and lungs, are they like longer, or the difference is just in the arrangement of the organs? Are tall people's insides more spacious and short people's insides denser? Organs and body parts, Stella."

John: I mean, uh, I don't know.

Hank: Bodies are amazing. Like the fact that you can have a seven foot tall person and like a four foot tall person. Or you know like, the differences in sizes of human bodies and even like crazier with dogs and stuff. Like, these are the same species, but like there's chihuahuas and there's great danes. Like, the body figures out how to make itself proportional no matter what size you are. And we're not entirely sure how that works, there's a lot of different stuff that comes into it, but yes, bigger people have bigger organs and smaller people have smaller organs, otherwise it would not fit inside and that would be a tremendous problem. 

 (32:00) to (34:00)

Hank: And also yeah, there are no like empty spaces inside of tall people, which is, that's good. I'm glad about that, it would be real weird. But it's pretty cool!

John: I kind of want there to be an empty space inside of me. Sometimes I feel like, you know, everybody has that feeling sometimes like there's an empty space inside of them that nothing can fill.

Hank: Yep

John: And it would be nice if that were literally true. If I could be like "oh yeah it's that uh, it's that part between my lungs and my diaphragm. That's where the emptiness is."

Hank: Yeah. Nope, you're pretty packed solid in there John, um, we are all pretty packed solid. It's kind of remarkable. You don't really want to look, uh, unless you're like, you know, doctoring, but uh, it's pretty cool. Pretty cool if a little gross.

John: I mean one of my central ambitions is uh never to see the inside of my abdominal cavity.

Hank: It's good, it's a good one to have.

John: Hank, we need to get on to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon, so that we can get to all important 'Ryan' part of the podcast.

Hank: Agreed, agreed.

John: We've got to get to 'This week in Ryan', um, which again you can get at you can sign up a new level and you can get a weekly 'Ryan' podcast, but let's get to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon, and let's just start with the news from AFC Wimbledon Hank, because it's awesome.

Hank: Oh good!

John: It's awesome.

Hank: That's wonderful

John: Uh Hank, on March fourteenth, you don't come to Dear Hank and John for necessarily up to date AFC Wimbledon news, on March fourteenth, uh, AFC Wimbledon welcomed to King's Meadow, the franchise currently plying it's trade in Milton Keynes. It was a, difficult and complex, uh and emotionally exhausting thing to do, uh, to have to welcome the team that used to be, or, at least fancies themselves, the team that used to be you, and uh throughout the game, AFC Wimbledon fans uh, sung one of my all time favourite songs,

 (34:00) to (36:00)

John: "Where were you, where were you, where were you, when you were us?" Um, uh, and uh, for the first time, in League One, AFC Wimbledon defeated the Milton Keynes team, two-nil, uh, beautiful game, really, I listened to the whole thing on radio WDON because it was not on TV, and uh, oh man, oh, gosh it felt good. I would like to say that I didn't care about the result because, Wimbledon had already won by getting back to League One, but actually I did, I did care about the result, and it was, oh it felt good, oh God it felt good.

Hank: Oh good John, I'm excited for you. Um, 

John: So even more importantly-

Hank: I'm glad that that's finally happened, is that, that's the first time that's happened right?

John: It's the first time that it's happened in a league competition, they lost um, they lost earlier. So, it was Lyle Taylor, the Messi from Montserrat who scored the second goal, and helpfully, I just wanna give a quick shout-out to Lyle Taylor, because he was kind enough to celebrate right in front of our advertising hoarding, that says "The nerdfighter community is helping AFC Wimbledon get it Wimble-done", um, and so, that picture is in all of the, was in all of the newspapers in London, um, so thank you Lyle Taylor for uh, celebrating in front of our advertising. I know that you did that on purpose and I appreciate it.

Hank: Uh, that is, that is uh, the dope-est, John.

John: Also, I should add, one more thing, uh since then AFC Wimbledon has uh drawn a game nil-nil, and critically that means that with thirty-eight games played, eight games left in the League One season, AFC Wimbledon are on fifty-one points, meaning that they are only one point from absolute definite safety. So, if Wimbledon just win or tie one of their last eight games, they will almost definitely not get relegated, so that's great.

Hank: Woohoo! 

John: What's the news from Mars?

Hank: Well I guess the news from Mars is that uh, President Trump

 (36:00) to (38:00)

Hank: Signed a bill funding NASA, uh it's uh, it's kind of strange, like it's not part of the budget it's just sort of like uh, it's like a bipartisan support thing that's like "here, NASA, you're gonna get funded". And it didn't have any of the cuts to the Earth science departments, that uh was in Trump's larger budget, which is good news, 'cause like, it's good for NASA to study the Earth because of how, you, as Leon Musk will tell you it's a pretty good planet and we need to try and keep it that way

John: Yep

Hank: Uh, but, part of that was uh, was uh helping to, get uh, get NASA's big hunk of cash to uh help us get to Mars. Elon Musk on the other hand, the actual Elon Musk uh, is not a fan of the bill, he says this bill changes almost nothing about what NASA is doing, existing programs stay in place and there is, to be clear, no added funding for Mars. Uh, and it was sort of like pitched as like a "this is gonna be a Mars thing", uh, but Elon later tweeted uh, "Perhaps there will be some future bill that makes a difference for Mars, but this is not it"

John: Well, I'm glad that NASA has funding though because I do think that of the things that our government does, NASA is probably the most beautiful.

Hank: It is pretty awesome. It's pretty awesome.

John: Followed closely by the coorporation for public broadcasting which partly funds The Art Assignment and Crash Course.

Hank: Also very awesome. Also very awesome. Thanks.

John: Um, well Hank, thank you for podding with me, but before we go, it's time, for our brand new podcast:

Hank: This Week in Ryans!

John: This Week in Ryans! We're fighting over who gets to say it

Hank: I think it's got, it's gotta be me right? You, you're not that, you're like sort of like the peripheral character of Dear Hank and John so it should probably be me right?

John: This Week in Ryans!

Hank: Alright John, who's the Ryan this week?

John: Well Hank, we're starting out with the most famous

 (38:00) to (40:00)

J: The most famous Ryan in the world according to

H: Oh!

J: -which lists uh

H: Does Ranker, wait Ranker ranks people by first name?

J: Uh, Hank, Rankers slogan is "Vote on everything" including apparently uh your favourite Ryans um

H: [Laughs]

J: So, the most famous Ryan in the world, according to, is Ryan Gosling

H: That does not surprise me, that does, that is what I would have said. I, uh, now I'm very curious, I'm curious who the most famous Hank is, John. I have a weird name, I have a weird name, I'm probably, I’m probably, I'm probably in the top five.

J: The most famous Hank by far is Hank Williams

H: Yes I think Hank Azaria may also be

J: Ooh it could be Hank it could be Hank Aaron

H: Could be Hank Aaron, also Hank Hill who is not real but still

J: Let me real quick go to and tell you the most famous Hanks in the world. Number one, Hank Azaria. I don't know that this is a very good website

H: [Laughs] Hank Azaria's pretty famous, he was married to Helen Hunt!

J: Hank, I've got some bad news. According to, you are actually the 21st-

H: Ooooh!-

J: -most famous Hank

H: -Well at least I'm I'M ON THE LIST. I'M ON THE LIST!!

J: You're behind Hank Brown, who is a former US Senator from Colorado. You're not even the most famous Hank with a colour last name. That would be Hank Brown, or possibly if you consider snow to be a colour, Hank Snow who was a celebrated Canadian country music artist.

H: Aah, well John, before, before we go down this rabbit hole any further, what do we know about Ryan Gosling?

J: Yeah, Ryan Gosling. Of course, famous for his recent role in La La Land. But most famous for having a face that I love to look at.

H: Mmm. Can I just Google. Mm, let me just Google, mmhmm. If I just Google 'Ryan abs', I'm not even gonna put his last name in I'm gonna see, mm mm ah yeah

J: Ooh that’s a great idea

H: Who's the first Ryan's abs that I see? Oh it’s Ryan Loch-ee!

 (40:00) to (42:00)

H: It's Ryan Loch-tee. It’s not even Ryan Gosling.

J: Ah he's gonna be the star of a future episode of uh This Week In Ryans. I am looking at Ryan Gosling's abs now though and I'm, I am not disappointed. Uh-

H: [Laughs]

J: But moving on because of course, Ryan Gosling is not only a beautiful face and an astonishingly fit pair of abs.. pair of abs? 

H: [Laughs] Just the two???? [Laughs]

J: [Laughs] There's just two of 'em. He only, one of the little known facts about Ryan Gosling is that he only has two abdominal muscles.

H: Man

J: Hank, do you know where Ryan Gosling is from?

H: Uh is he from Canada? Because he's a goose? A small goose?

J: He is from Canada, he is a Canadian actor and musician, and do you know how he got his start? He got his start on the Mickey Mouse Club. 

H: Oh oh, I thought that was an American thing

J: He was also on Goosebumps


J: His last name is, is tiny goose and he was on goosebumps.

H: [Laughing] He was on goosebumps. Oh my goodness. And he's from Canada where the geese come from.

J: It is amazing. His uh, his, his dad Thomas Ray Gosling, was a traveling salesman for a paper mill, and his mom was a secretary and, and uh, is now a high school teacher uh and, one thing that you might not know about Ryan's great great grandfather George Edward Gosling, is that he was English. That's not interesting. Um

H: [Laughs]

J: Hold on let me find something interesting.

H: [Laughs] Well, IMDB uh, will tell you the movies that they are most known for which I also always find interesting. I would have thought that La La Land would be number one but they have Drive, then La La Land, then The Big Short, then Crazy Stupid Love. I also wanna know the movies he's least known for, but probably its goosebumps and the Mickey Mouse Club

J: Yeah, I don't know, I mean, I, I feel like I saw him in the Mickey Mouse Club a few times but then I do have small children and at this point, we are very far down the Mickey Mouse rabbit hole. Um,

H: [laughs]

 (42:00) to (44:00)

H: [Laughs] His first ever role as in 1995 in the TV series "Are you afraid of the dark?" which I was probably watching in 1995, uh as Jamie Leary. Uh, Jamie Leary, and you can click on that because apparently, it's a clickable thing. Uh, it does not, I've got a quote from Jamie Leary, he says "That's my brother! He's not dead!"

J: What?

H: I don't know, that's, that's the quote that they pulled out of the episode, Jamie Leary said that. I don't know why. We're gonna have to watch it, John, its an episode of "Are you afraid of the dark?" from 1995 called "The tale of station 109.1", it's a haunted radio station [Laughs]

J: Hank, do you know what Ryan Gosling's uh childhood nickname was?

H: Uh, well his current nickname is 'Ryan 'Minigoose' Gosling'

J: That's right, but we're just, we are only coining that now,  so obviously that wasn't his childhood nickname

H: Yeah that's noticable

J: when people look back on history, and at, at some point, Ryan Gosling will probably stop like being "Ryan" in in the movies and it'll just say, you know, "starring Eva Mendes and 'Minigoose' Gosling."

H: [laughs] yeah, obviously

J: his childhood nickname was Trouble. 

H: ooh!

J: Ryan 'Trouble' Gosling. when I look into his eyes I can see that he might be a person whose childhood nickname was Trouble. 

H: well, uh in first grade, having been heavily influenced by the action film first blood, he took steak knives to school and threw them at other children during recess, which led to his suspension.

J: that is a bad idea.

H: yeah right.. yeah bad. bad. bad. 

J: don't do that

H: don't put that on your autobiography

J: hank, are you at all familiar with the singer-songwriter Ryan 

H: John I feel like he's off limits...

J: Uh, he's not off limits, because, wait for it, Ryan Cabrera, noted singer-songwriter has a tattoo on his calf of Ryan Gosling!

H: ahh... wow! riyanception!

J: I'm looking at it right now. it's ryanception!

H: [laughs]

 (44:00) to (46:00)

J: uh, Ryan Gosling also has uh tattoos. Of one of them, he said, "one of my tattoos is supposed to be a monster's hand dropping a bloody heart, but I did it myself with a tattoo kit, so it looks like a cactus! [laughs]

H: [laughs] oh man!

J: and I'm, I'm looking at the tattoo right now and I mean...  [laughs]

H: it's not good?

J: how can Ryan Gosling be so hot and so bad at getting tattoos? I mean, this is the worst tattoo I've ever seen. [laughs] i mean, [laughs]

H: worst?

J: we'll put it up on the patreon. but oh my god! this is the worst tattoo I've ever seen in my entire life! it looks like Beavis from Beavis and Butthead, um had a baby with a cactus that then spit out a heart

H: Uh... I'm looking forward to seeing the picture of this, John. I googled "Ryan Gosling tattoo" and I just got a lot of tattoos of Ryan Gosling, not Ryan Gosling's tattoos.

J: [laughs]

H: there are a number of them, including this one which is a tattoo of Ryan Gosling's face superimposed on a spider and it says, "Ryan Gosling". it's really good. I like it a lot actually. I'm gonna save that one for the patreon as well. 
well this,  John, this has been "This Week in Ryans!" we've started out with the most, most... we've started with the most famous Ryan of all the Ryans, Ryan Gosling, at least for now and uh, he's a 

J: did you know that Justin Timberlake's mom was Ryan Gosling's legal guardian for 6 months?

H: what? what?!

J: did you know that Ryan Gosling called AJ McClain in the early 1990s to ask if he could join the Backstreet Boys?

H: wow! I mean did you know that there's a person who has a tattoo of Ryan Gosling except instead of Ryan Gosling's beard it's a pepperoni pizza?

J: [laughs]

H: saving that one for the, saving that one for the patreon

J: did you know that Ryan Gosling is in a band called Dead Men's Bones [that only sings...]

 (46:00) to (48:00)

J: [ called Dead Men's Bones] that only sings songs about paranormal phenomena? 

H: what no! that's wonderful. i like ryan gosling much more now than i did at the beginning of this, uh this, This Week in Ryans

J: i think at the end of each episode of This Week in Ryan, Hank, we should just pause and real quickly and give a grade rating...  

H: right right we should, we should rate the ryan

J: to the ryan we have spent the last 5 to 10 minutes meeting. and i give ryan gosling based on my quick read of his Wikipedia page and some trivia, an A-

H: no john, we can not just give them grades. we have to give them a thing out of a thing. like a no like i give 

J: ooh

H: i grade ryan gosling 62 minigooses

J: shouldn't it be a consistent rating system though? so, so the ryans in the world can know whether or not they stack up against other ryans?

H: no! definitely not. no no. we are not here to make the ryans feel bad

J: i know we're here to make ryans feel good, mostly i would think. unless it's a, i'm sure there's a terrible ryans out there. at some point, we're going to get to ...

H: get some bad ryans

J:  just get some rex ryan. 

H: i don't know that's 

J: i think that's lovely. uh, point being, we've gotta, we've gotta think of a rating system but we haven't thought of one so we'll do that by next time because i have to go pick up my kid now. 

H: okay. well, this has been, once again,  J and

H: this week in Ryans. 

J: hank and i are really competing to be the voice of This Week in Ryan.

H: i like it. i like it. i really think that should be a thing. um, john, what did we learn today? real quick

J: Well, we learned that um, ryan gosling is the most famous ryan in the world and Hank Green is the 21st most famous hank.

H: we also learned that if someone compliments you on your shirt, you really just, you need to apologize for your shirt. 

J: you've made a horrible mistake

H: horrible mistake

J: and of course we learned that this week's podcast for some reason didn't have the usual fake sponsors that we have.

H: no. no fake sponsors because [it's brought to you by, 1. Ryans...]

 (48:00) to (48:56)

H: ...because it' brought to you by 1. Ryans and 2. you, our patreon patrons.
and also, just the people who listen who aren't patreon patrons which also to be clear fine

J: yes. we're grateful to all of you

H: and lastly we learned that you can pay 10 times more for a shirt but it will only be about 1.1 times better than the cheap one.

J: i'd say it depends on on on the exact context. but I broadly agree with you. thank you for podding with me hank. 

H: [laughs]

J: thanks to everybody for listening. Dear Hank & John is produced by Rosianna Halse Rojas and Sheridan Gibson. our editor's Nicolas Jenkins. Victoria Buongiorno is our head of community and communications. our music is by the great Gunnarolla. you can email us at
you can find Hank on twitter @hankgreen
it's hard to find me on twitter these days except @sportswithjohn and (?~48:45)
thanks again for listening, and as we say in our hometown, 

H and J: don't forget to be awesome