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How do I develop a cool signature? How do I tell my dad I've been hiding a snake for several months? Is it acceptable to shout advice at strangers? And more!

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 (00:00) to (02:00)

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 about death, where two brothers, we will answer your questions, give you dubious advice and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. Hey John, my brother, how are you doing?

John: Hank, I'm doing great. It's a beautiful day here in Indianapolis. Spring has sprung, what did E.E. cummings say, "Spring is like a perhaps hand?"  There's buds on the trees, hope, newness, I- I'm a little stressed out to be completely honest with you, but there's no use in talking to you about that. The only thing that we should talk about is, is Spring, and how there are flowers, and hope.

Hank: Yeah, we're gonna look at the parts of the plants that are new and not gray and they're comin' out and not think about all the troubles, of the world. Uh, there are so many troubles of the world, John, I'm not even sure what I'm gonna make my video about this week because I feel overwhelmed by the troubles of the world, but maybe I should just make my video about Spring, and about little pieces of plants that are, are not the color of death. Um, I do want to say- like, so, I'm going to Amsterdam, for VidCon.

John: Great city.

Hank: And, I've never been to Amsterdam, and I know you've spent a lot of time in Amsterdam and that you like it a lot. Um, did you know that in April, the entire city of Amsterdam becomes entirely booked, and that you should probably, probably, I don't know, life pro-tip from an adult to other adults, I don't know, book your hotel more than two weeks in advance. Because last night I was sitting in a panic as I realized that literally- it says on Expedia, it's like "98% of hotel rooms in Amsterdam are booked" - and I was like, "That's not real, right?" And then one after the other after the other these hotels literally have no rooms. So I got a hotel room in Amsterdam, John. It might not be the best one, but, uh, it was certainly expensive.

John: Yeah, no, it is kinda the time of year to go to Amsterdam.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

John: There's the uh, the "Spring Snow", as they call it, the falling out of the trees the "iepen". Beautiful like, flowers basically coating the city. 

Hank: Mmph.

John: And also the weather's nice? It's just lovely, and we should say that there will be tickets available to VidCon Amsterdam at the door if you're in Amsterdam or thereabouts and want to come to VidCon Europe, uh, please do. And, other than that Hank, the only other thing I wanted to say on that topic was that since you have never been to Amsterdam before, I really hope you go back and listen to the episode of the podcast where I gave advice to that tourist who was going to Amsterdam about what they should see because there's no way I'm going through it with you again just because you're my brother. 

Hank: [Laughs] I appreciate that. I've gotten a fair good amount of advice I think, but there's certainly a lot to see. When I go visit a new city I almost always, like the thing that I want to do is just walk around, um, and I-

John: Oh, it's a great city for walking. 

Hank: Yeah, I almost enjoy that more than like, going to, you know, the gardens or the museums. I just like to see people living the lives in the way that is, you know, like, familiar but different, than the way that I live my life in my town, and the things that are familiar and the things that are different, uh, allowing me to sort of see humanity more, it's not like I see humanity differently, it's just like, it becomes more clear that, that we are us, and I get to watch it happen. Do you have a short poem for us today, John?

John: Hank what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna read you half of a poem about Spring by E.E. Cummings, that's gonna make it short. I'm just gonna read the second half.

Hank: That's a good plan.

John: That's my strategy. 

Hank: I'm sure that he won't mind.

John: Well, he won't mind because he died in 1962. "Spring is like a perhaps hand in a window carefully to and fro moving new and old things, while people stare carefully moving a perhaps fraction of flower here, placing an inch of air there, and without breaking anything."

" [...]
spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything."

 (04:00) to (06:00)

Hank: Mmm. I like it.

John: Nice little E.E. Cummings stanza about Spring.

Hank: Yeah, stanza.

John: Oh, I'm so excited for Spring, Hank. Let's answer some questions from our beloved listeners, can I start?

Hank: Oh sure.

[Question 1, 4:14]

John: Alright, this question comes from Cormick who asks, "Dear John and Hank, I've long been unhappy with my signature with it just being my name clumsily, inconsistently written in the cursive writing I stopped using since the age of twelve. Adults seem to have lovely, consistent yet illegible signatures. [Hank laughs] I've now become paranoid as I approach adulthood that I've missed some important event whereupon I was supposed to gain a lovely signature of my own. I figured you two have had your fair share of signatures, and have lovely flowing ones," Nah, [Hank laughs] I feel like Hank has a lovely flowing one, I'm not sure that I have a lovely flowing one as such. Anyway, "so I'm seeking urgent help for my growing mini-crisis. Memento vobis assidere (?), [Hank laughs] Cormick." Possibly Cormack. 

Hank: John, have you ever in your life consciously changed your signature? Like did you have that, that-

John: Ohh yes. 

Hank: Okay. Like you thought about it and you were like, "I'm gonna have a different-

John: So I had this signature, I was- I did develop a signature when I was in high school, and the idea was the signature would be all acute angles, no curves. 

Hank: Ohhh.

John: Just very acute angles, and I drew the "O" as a kind of a diamond, and everything was extremely acute in its angling. And that was my signature, even after Looking For Alaska was published, if you find the first, like, few hundred books I signed, it looks like that, it's a very small-

Hank: Really? 

John: -very legible, weirdly acute-angled series of letters. And then slowly over time, I developed a new signature called the J scribble that is just a "J " followed by a scribble.

Hank: I want to see this old signature. Oh man.

John: Uh, it's I- yeah, I don't know, maybe I'll try to dig one up for you. 

 (06:00) to (08:00)

John: Eileen Cooper has one, my mentor, because she has the first book I ever signed, but I don't know, I don't know how you would find them exactly.

Hank: Um, I did just find an amazing picture of someone who took your signature and drew -- and this has happened a number of times, where people will take the signature that you signed in the book and then turn it into something. And this person has turned it into some kind of water bird, which is lovely. But yes, John, you do have the J-scribble, and it's almost more famous than you are at this point. But, what I want to say to Cormac is -- this tends to be something that happens accidentally, unless you're really sort of obsessed with yourself. Which is what happened to me. And I like sat there at my job where I worked in a laboratory after college, and I hated my signature because it was small and it was, as you say, it was basically how I wrote in cursive when I turned 12 and that was as far as I knew about cursive. And I think this is a problem for a lot of people right now. Because we don't write in cursive anymore because we don't have to because cursive speeds up writing but not nearly as much as typing. So, we don't really know how to write in cursive and so, we don't really adapt our cursive hand-writings beyond like what we were taught in elementary school, even if that is taught at all anymore which I don't know. So you kinda have to develop a signature now, you have to do it on your own. You have to have an idea and be like "I'm gonna do this thing". Now, you also have to go to the bank and like resubmit a signature card and be like "I have a new signature now." which is weird, if you like use checks and stuff and have to have your checks work. Uhm, because I did do this and they were like "That's not your signature." and I was like "It is now." anyway.

John: Oh my god. This is an extremely embarassing story Hank. This is way more embarassing than my acute angle signature.

Hank: Oh no, I completely agree. I completely agree that it's embarassing.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

Hank: I completely agree that it is embarassing. But, I did develop a new signature and I did it just like one letter at a time and I did like a bunch of different ones and then I did it a bunch of different times and I changed my signature. Eehm and I I am glad I did it, but I am embarassed that I did it.

John: Oh yeah, no, I'm extremely embarassed on your behalf.

Hank: One of those thing can be true though right?

John: Yeah, I mean yeah here is the thing Cormac it doesn't really matter that much. I don't think you should be too hard on yourself because in the end if your signature is legible I actually thik that's cooler than if your signature is illegible. So, I would stick with your current legible signature and just kinda own it -

Hank: Mhm

John: - own that twelve years old cursive as yours and you'll find that it becomes yours. My signature has gone through one other layer of simplification, Hank, now that I am actually googling it and looking at old signatures. Which is that I used to have a very distinctive "H" I used to have essentially a "J", no "O" a distinctive "H" and then a scribble and I have eliminated that "H" because it was a it was a wasted keystroke.

Hank: [Laughing] You need to sign a lot of books. Yeah well that's the other thing I will say about signatures is that like you don't come up with a signature because you came up with one one day usually and like my signature has changed since I quote unquote developed it when I was skiving off from work. Uhm, but like, if you do it a bunch of times it starts to take on a different shape and it starts to look like a little more flow-y and your hand decides what to do. And yeah so just sit there with a piece of paper and do it a bunch of times and maybe move your hand a little bit more than you normally would and eventually you'll be like "That looks like a signature.".

John : [Laughing] Okay, I think we have probably plummed the depths...

Hank: [Laughing] I think it was a legitimate problem that we needed to address and I'm glad that we did.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

Hank: This question is from Caleb and I've been wanting to hit this one because we've gotten this question in multiple different forms over the years. And I'm glad... over the years, [pronounces it with different accentuations] overs the years of us doing this podcast. Caleb asks: " Dear Hank & John, on a recent episode of the pod, you've mentioned how we Americans waste a tremendous amount of water flushing toilets unnecessarily..."

Hank: I mean that's not the biggest way we waste water to be clear, the biggest way we waste water is, lawns.

[continuation of Caleb's question]: "... why is that bad? I always hear that conserving water is good for the environment. But isn't all that water just going down the drain useful or not, being reintroduced to the environment eventually and resuming it's course in the hydrological cycle? Is the energy required/carbon footprint of moving the water into the house, is that what's the problem? Would peeing in the trees behind my house be a better alternative to flushing everytime I use the toilet?
Narwhals and Spatulas,

Hank: Oh gosh, yes, you...

John: Well, let me start because this is Hank's area of expertise not mine but let me just start with your last question first. Which is that yes you should always pee in the trees outside your house rather than peeing in a toilet.

Hank: [laughs] Uh, well, you know, that's settled then. Caleb, John has your answer for you, get out, get out in your backyard, don't mind the neighbours and water some trees.

John: Nope, but Caleb, just so you understand that, I did not understand this until I was 33 years old and Hank explained it to me. The water in the toilet is the same as the water that you drink. Like it has been treated in the exact same process. I did not know that Hank, I thought like that there were two kinds of water...

Hank: Mhm

John: ... I had no idea that the water we put on our lawns to water our lawns is like the exact same as the water that comes out of my tap because that seems ludicriously inefficent.

Hank: Yeaah, well it turns out that it's actually efficient because running two sets of pipes to a house would be much, would be twice as hard as running one set of pipes to a house.

 (12:00) to (14:00)

Hank: So that's the, in the wast majority of places that's the way that it gets done. There are some places that use different water for watering but usually those are large consumers like college campuses or something like that. Uhm, so the uh, sitch is that one, there are two very good reasons to conserve water one is that it's not infinite and that we use more water than is in a lot of places we use more water than is being resupplied to the area and we do that by bringing water out of underground lakes called aquaifers and those aquaifers run out of water eventually like they they are not refilling as fast as we are pumping water out of them. So that's the scary thing. The vast majority of the reason why is not residential consumption though that is a piece of the pie that big consumer is agriculture for the most part. Uhm so making food for us to eat. But residential consumption, especially in city areas is a big part of aquaifer depletion. The other thing is that, yes it is energy, it is fossil fuels that are used to pump water around the world. They have to get it so that it comes out of your tap and that's usually done by pumping water up into something that has some elevation and then let the gravity do that work. That's what water towers are. So you have to pump the water up into the water tower and then it falls out of the water tower and that pressure is what pushes it out of your tap and then, once it goes out off your tap and it gets flushed down into the pipes you have to pump it back up so that it can then flow down the sewage treatement plant unless you have a septic system. So there is a huge amount of water that goes, huge amount of energy that goes into moving water around treating that water so that it is potable, and then treating it once that it's dirty again so that it can be put into the rivers without it being too dirty to go back innto the water supply.

 (14:00) to (16:00)

So lots of energy goes into that process. And in fact, in a recent vlogbrothers video, you'll see a coal-fired powerplant that, just in sort of the background when I was talking about Glen Canyon, and that coal-fired powerplant was built almost entirely to pump water from sort of the Glen Canyon area to places where that water needs to be as part of the Central Arizona Project. And in a lot of places in California, the water has to get pumped over mountains for Los Angeles to have enough water for its residents. And that is a very, hugely energy intensive process because if you've ever lifted a five-gallon bucket of water, you know how much it weighs, and that's what has to happen with every five gallons of water that gets consumed in California. So that's the situation and yes, you should be careful about how much water you consume.
John: Specifically, you should pee in the woods.

Hank: Or just, you know, it doesn't have to be in the woods. Just wherever.

John: Or, alternately, just hold it? I don't know if there's any science behind this, Hank, but I find sometimes that if I hold it for long enough, I stop having to go.

Hank: Wow, that definitely works with poo, but has never worked for me with pee.

John: Alright, well, I'm just telling you, I think that there's something there. This next question comes from Devon, Hank, who writes "Dear John and Hank." I love my solution to the water crisis is just hold it. Anyway, "Dear John and Hank: I have a pet snake. I've had him for about six months now, and everythings going fine. However, my dad does not know that I have a pet snake. I still live at home right now until I go to college this fall but I'm not sure how my dad will react to the snake. I'm 18 but he did tell me not to get a pet snake while I was still in the house."

Hank: Devon!

John: "He'll probably learn about the secret snake when I'm packing up to go to college if not sooner."

 (16:00) to (18:00)

H: Devon, I mean...

J: "They'll probably learn about this secret snake when I'm packing up to go to college if not sooner. My question is how would you react if your child got a pet you told them not to get and then hid it from you for several months? DFTBA, Devon." Devon, how big is your house? That you're able to have a secret snake. 

H: Yeah, oh man. Um, okay, Also - also, why are you gonna tell your dad about the snake? 

J: Yeah...

H: Like you've lied for so long. Just keep lying. 

J: You know what this question reminded me of, Hank? Um, when I was in high school I had a friend who shall remain nameless who grew pot in his bathroom. Like he had grow lights, uh, in the bathtub in his bathroom and uh, it - it worked for like seven months. And then eventually, one day, his father was like I need to go to the bathroom. And was like, "Why is it so bright in here?" and he pulled back the shower curtain and like there was this like medium sized marujana growing operation. I- I actually disagree with you Hank. I think that Devon needs to tell his father about the snake post haste.

H: No, no, Devon needed to tell his father about the snake before he got the snake. But there is an end in sight. And all, like all you have to do is make it to the end. And then you will not have had to have lied. If you can make it to college with the snake then you basically, it's basically like you never did it. 

J: Right but the issue is basically when they're packing up to go to college it's gonna be like Devon and dad packing the car and then at the very end Devon's gonna be like "Well dad, um, I, mm, can you just, it's good to see you, can you go out for about an hour and then I'll leave for college." 

H: Yes, no, look!

 (18:00) to (20:00)

H: This is a perfect opportunity for Devon, who is a person who is coming into their own and learning how to problem solve in big and difficult ways, to problem solve in a big and difficult way! What are the potential ways to get that snake to school without dad seeing it? Can you like wrap it up in a carpet? Can you ship it ahead? Can you get a second car-- can you like have a friend with an illicit car? How far is college? Can you just like, wrap the snake around your belly with an ace bandage and transfer it into the aquarium when you get there?

J: Like a belt?

H: Yeah. There has to be a solution. And then-

J: No, I no -- 

H: And then if dad finds out about it then dad is at least like "Well I see you have gone to lengths to -- and I'm impressed by your ability to try to keep thsi a secret from me. Good job with the lies, son."

J: No, no, no, you're approaching this in completely the wrong way, Hank. The right thing to do in this situation, alright, stick with me for a second me here. You let the snake out. In the house, okay? Um, you let the snake out in the house at a time you know your father is going to be around. Let's say you let it out in the kitchen.

J: And then maybe 15-30min later you here a scream and it's your dad. And you come in to the kitchen and you're like "what's up, Dad?" And he's like "there is a snake! In the house!" and you're like "Oh no! That's terrible! I'll catch it, I'll get it!" And then you catch the snake and you say "You know what, dad?... What if I just kept the snake?"

H: Ha! I mean, this seems like a dangerous prospect for the snake, John. It like- what are the chances that Devon's dad doesn't scream and just like grabs a hammer.
J: Ahhh that's a good point. I hadn't thought of the snake-murder issue. Okay, alternately--

H: I guess it depends on your dad, Devon. 

 (20:00) to (22:00)

J: Alternately, what if you go to your dad-- this is a strategy I used a few times in my own adolescence -- what if you go to your dad with something really big, and then say "Just kidding I got a snake!" You know?

H: Right... Uh huh... uh huh...

J: What if you go to your dad and say 'You know how we've been planning for that big trip I'm going to make to college? This whole time I've been lying. I didn't get into college..."

H: Yeah!

J: [continuing] "...and I'm really sorry." And Devon's dad is going to be like "Oh no this is a disaster!" And Devon will be like "Just kidding I got a snake!" 

H: And I'm going to college and the snake is coming with me!

J: And I'm going to college!

H: And you didn't even have to know that happened! Everything is fine!

J: Everything worked out better than expected!

H: It has to be more than the "I didn't get into college." Instead, it has to be like "I've decided that instead of going to college, I'm going to go try my hand at becoming a professional Pokemon Go player. Or, uh, yeah, cause--"

J: Hank, I'm just going to stop you right there, if I can, and just point out that playing Pokemon Go for a living is a completely legitimate career and if that's what you want to do with your life--

Hank : [crosstalk] I agree! 

J: I support you 100%. Actually, not if you're my child. I just want to be clear. Henry, if you're listening to this podcast in the future and you think that means it's okay for you to play Pokemon Go, no! Not you! Other people's kids!

H: Ha! Yeah, alright. Well, I think we have created a bunch of different potential options and he will have to choose which brother's path to choose here. But! I'm not backing down, and I think that this lie can be maintained through college admissions. 

J: Do you remember the person who wanted to, um, learn how to play the fiddle and then spring it upon their whole family?

H: Yeah! Uh huh! Good lie.

J: I wish that they could meet up with Devon and do the background music when Devon is doing the big reveal to Devon's dad. 

H: Yeah. Or maybe that person could just show up while they're packing the car...

 (22:00) to (24:00)

H: and then start playing fiddle and then Devon's dad will be like "who is this person who is playing the fiddle in my driveway!?" And Devon is just like sneaking...

J: While they're distracted...

H:  (crosstalk) they'll move the snake into the car!

J: Yep! Perfect. 

H: Perfect.

J: Alright, Hank. Uhh.... (laughing) why don't you ask a question?

H: Okay! I have one! This question is from Olivia who asks "I am a senior in college and I have always struggled with the balance between pushing myself to become better, and being comfortable with who I am. I think it's important to strive for self improvement but there are some parts of me that I'd like to accept as just who I am."
H: For example, I am an introvert but I want to push myself to meet new people and do things that make me uncomfortable because I know that leads to rewarding experiences. On the other hand, I also hope that even though the world favors extroverts, I can still succeed while being introverted and I shouldn't need to conform to certain societal standards."
H: Thanks! Love the pod, it makes walking to class in the freezing cold weather bearable. Best wishes, Olivia."

H: Olivia, I think being comfortable with who you are and being, like, comfortable are completely different things. They're not related to each other. You can be, uh, like, comfortable with who are you are and still do things that are uncomfortable and be uncomfortable in those situations but not because you're uncomfortable with, you know, you as a person. I do lots of stuff that I dislike and makes me uncomfortable. But I feel like I'm pretty good at knowing who I am and being comfortable with who I am.
H: So if you think that something is going to lead to a rewarding experience but you don't want to do it -- because you just don't want to do it-- but you also recognize that there is a benefit to doing it, you have to decide whether the discomfort is worth the reward. Which sounds like is exactly what you're doing.
H:It sounds like you are comfortable with who you are, and you are also trying to make decisions not just based on if you're going to be happy in the moment, not just when you make those decisions or when you do the thing, but also once, uh, you're going to be considering the potential effects of the decision that you make beyond just how you would feel in the moment.

 (24:00) to (26:00)

H: And I would argue that that shows a lot of self awareness and I think you're doing a good job!

J: Yeah I agree! I think it's important to stretch yourself, but also to take care of yourself. And that balance, for me, is the great challenge of adulthood. 

H: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Doing things that you don't want to do, that you have to do, making choices that you don't want to make. You know, like getting the thing done when you don't want to get it done. That's one of the most valuable things that a person can get good at.

J: I agree. Let's answer another serious question, Hank, while we're on the serious question front. 

H: Alright!

J: Okay Hank, this question comes from Sam who writes "Hello John and Hank! My dad has a new girlfriend, and she is amazing and sweet and is the perfect fit to our family so far. The only thing is, she uses offensive words."
J: I'm actually not even going to say the words, Hank, that are in this email, because why would I? They're very hurtful words, though, about gay people and mentally disabled people.
J: Sam goes on to write "I know words only have power if you give them power,"
J: I think that's not quite true.
J: (continuing) "but when she says these things, I can't help but feel gross inside as someone who is gay and has mentally disabled friends, I know the true power of those words. I just don't know if telling her to stop gives her words more power or if leaving it alone makes them just words. Mangos and monkeys, Sam."

H: Mmm. Mmm!

J: That's a tough one. 

H: Yeah. 

J: I- I would almost go to my dad first and just say "It's really hard for me. It's really hard for me to hear this person who is becoming part of our family say these things. Not just because they're hurtful." And kind of explain why they're hurtful. 

 (26:00) to (28:00)

J: I know that can be really difficult to do. But I also think that  vast majority of the time when you explain to someone why the language theu;re using s hurtful, they stop. 

H: Yeah, yeah, and it can definitely feel like the-- the first impulse is always going to be defensive for that person who is being confronted. So it's important to recognize that and try and make allowances for that and to be like "Yeah, I know that this kinda feels like an attack but here's the sitch." 
H: And I do think that John is right that going to your dad is a good idea. And it's also nice that this is a person that you like. And that like, you know, seems like a pretty cool person? Except that maybe they just aren't aware that there are people out there who are going to be really, you know, like maybe this person just isn't aware that it's a thing. 
H: And I think that, you know, frankly, a lot of us didn't know that. And we are all constantly learning and hopefully your dad's new girlfriend is going to be open to that learning. But yeah I don't necessarily think it's something that you should just ignore. But hopefully you have good enough relationship with your dad that you can say "What do you think about this?"

J: Yeah, I think it's really hard to ignore when someone is using language that kind of dehumanizes you or takes away some of your personhood. And I don't think that you should be expected to ignore it. But at the same time I think Hank is right, you know they are going to feel defensive, but hopefully that's part of the learning process for them. And it's unfortunate, you know, you're put in a situation that you have to stand up for yourself and for your friends. But it seems that that is the reality. So I wish you luck.

 (28:00) to (30:00)

J: Hank, can I ask another question? I am very fond of this next one.

H: [laughs] Alright! It's your podcast!

J: [scoffs] It's not my podcast! You answered that question about the water cycle, it was very fascinating. This next question comes from Ryan who writes "Dear John and Hank, from where I am currently sitting in my school's engineering buidling, I can hear a rather loud and emotional phone call between someone and their ex who are trying to be friends. From what I can tell, it's not going well. I have some advice that I would like to shout down the hall but I'm not sure if that's considered okay? Please respond soon, as shouted advice is clearly needed. Someone lying about their name, Ryan." 
J: Ryan! The only reason I asked the question was because I thought your name was actually Ryan!

H: [groans] Ugh! Come on! Lying Ryans!

J: I am very frustrated. I didn't get to the sign off before I chose to read the question. Anyway, Bryan, that is a terrible idea. 

H: Yes! Uh, yes!

J: [Laughing] Do not shout advice to strangers in a school engineering building when they are going through a difficult time! That is extremely presumptuous. You must always wait to be asked for advice before you offer it. 

H: You know, the only time I have shouted advice to a stranger, the only time is while driving. And they can't hear me! And it's like "You shouldn't do that!" or "Use your turn signal!" Those are the shouts that I shout at strangers.

J: You know, it actually occured to me just now that I shout advice at strangers every week while I am watching soccer.

H: Right, yes, that's the--

J: In fact, I spend most of my time watching soccer shouting advice to Liverpool football club players, who I don't actually know personally.

H: Most sports viewing is shouting advice to sports players. So I think that that's the vast majority of what watching sports is. And sometimes here on Dear Hank and John, we shout advice to strangers. Like I could shout right now--

J: No, no, absolutely! But we are asked by people who are asking us for advice! 

 (30:00) to (32:00)

J: It's not like I overhear someone having an unpleasant phone conversation that they probably want to be having in private but, you know, they have a roommate or whatever, so like the closest they can come to privacy is their miserable study corral in the engineering building. And they're in the middle of probably the worst conversation they've had in their whole life.
J: Probably the thing they don't want to hear is like [shouting from far away] "You'll never successfully be friends with your ex!"

H: [Laughing, then shouting] "Just stop trying! It's not going to work!"

J: [Laughing] Seriously though, it's probably not going to work. 

H: I think we've ____ this one thoroughly. This next question comes from Bryan who asks, it's not even Ryan, Bryan. They ask "Dear Hank and John: In Star Trek it appears that most starships are owned by governments. Whereas in Star Wars, spaceship ownership seems to be more distributed with governments owning some ships, companies owning ships and even individuals having their own private spacecraft. Do you think in our future we will follow more of the Star Trek model and have large spaceships owned by governments, or perhaps large corporations that are probably like mass transit, or will it be more like Star Wars where individuals can have space ships if they're not John and actually want one? Can we -- we can assume, of course, that one of this would happen until 2028 or later. Life is a thing to do between periods of nonexistence, Bryan."

J: Beautiful. Yeah, this is an interesting question, Hank. You know what it reminded me of? It reminded me of my relationship with boats. Like maybe the future spacecrafts will be like boats where you know, you want to have friends who own one but you don't want to own one yourself. 

H: [Laughing] Yeah, totally! It's like the worst purchase you've ever made is your boat. And it just sits there in Space Dock. 

J: Right!

H: Because it's more like I want to have a boat than it is I want to use a boat. 

 (32:00) to (34:00)

J: You think you're going to travel the galaxy, but there's so many costs associated with the actual use of the spacecraft over and above the initial cost of the sapcecraft and that's kind of a bummer. Plus you think you're going to be free on weekends but it turns out that once your kids get to a certain age, they've got soccer practice every weekend and it's just really hard to get away from your life long enough to travel the galaxy. I could totally see that future. 

H: [Laughing] Yeah, yep! I could totally see that like if we don't change dramatically as a culture and a species, which I don't really imagine we will. 

J: Yeah!

H: I think we're more headed for a neither case, where it's like rich people have spaceboats but for the most part, they don't use them and they just sit there and they cost money.

J: Yeah the spaceboat market is like, rich people, but the people who actually ride in the spaceboats are the sailors or whatever who run the ship that the rich person owns and rarely uses. It'll be like one of those situations where you'll be talking to somebody and uhh you'll say "Where do you spend the summers" And they'll say "Well, you know, we've got a house on Mars but it just, ugh, we can never get away for longer than two weeks. And it takes two weeks just to get there."

H: [Laughing] Oh man. I don't like our imagining of the future, John. It's always -- the Star Trek model has always been very interesting to me because it's like, do these people get paid? Like is this their job? Or is this-- cause the idea of Star Trek, if you look at the economics, it's a very Post-Capitalist future where it's like they almost get some kind of universal basic income in the form of energy credits. But then if you want to have a spaceboat, you have to work for the United Federation of Planets. You can't just get a spaceboat.

 (34:00) to (36:00)

J: Yeah, I mean I feel really bad for the people of the future. Athough, Hank, can I just pause real quick to make a note of something? It used to be that pessimism was my thing. 

H: [Laughing]

J: That was my brand. That was my thing. Oblivion was coming for us, and everything was darkness, and blah blah blah. That was mine. Now I feel like everyone has taken it away from me and they've made it their thing. And suddenly it's very cool and hip to be extremely pessimistic and to think that the world is going to Hell in the handbasket and to think that everything is turning to crap. 
J: I'm a little annoyed by having had my thing taken away from me. I, uh, I was pessimistic way before it was cool. I like pessimism's early albums and it's annoying to me that now pessimism is selling out these big stadium shows. And it almost makes me want to be optimistic! It almost makes me think that maybe pessimism was wrong all along!

H: Well, John, I encourage you to switch sides! It's, but yeah, it kind of feels like that happened. Since like November or something, I don't know. It kind of feels like something dramatic changed. 

J: It feels like something very weird happened in November in America and suddenly my pessimism is on -- it's everywhere. And I even feel like my pessimism is overexposed at this point. You know what spaceships are going to look like? They're going to be awesome and they're going to be available to everyone and they're going to cost like five bucks and they're going to travel faster than light and everthing is going to be great. Everything is going to be amazing. The future is going to rule!
J: This podcast is brought to you by the awesome, awesome future. Ruling!

H: It's totally gonna rule! That awesome future. This podcast is also brought to you by secret snakes. Secret snakes! Wrapped around Devon's middle with an Ace bandage so his dad doesn't know he has been lying for six months. 

 (36:00) to (38:00)

J: [Laughing] I mean, how do you have a secret snake for six months!?

H: I know! Once it's been that long, keep it a secret!

J: No I know, I totally disagree with you. But how on Earth, like, how do you make it for six months? Like how do you get in the frozen rats? Like at some point does your dad just look in a bag and say "Hey, is that a frozen mouse? What's that all about?"

H: [Laughing] "Why are there a bunch of frozen mice in the freezer? What's going on?"

J: Oh, today's podcast is also brought to you by Blue Apron. Blue Apron, uh, just one of the very best meal delivery services availabl-

H: [Groaning]

J: I'm sorry Hank, I'm just trying to get an actual sponsor and to like model what it would look like if we had proper sponsorship on this podcast. 

H: [Laughing] Caitlin Hofmeister, the producer of SciShow, suggested that we have our fake sponsors be brought to you by a real sponsor. Such as "This podcast is brought to you by secret snakes, which is brought to you by!" 

J: [Laughing]

H: "Secret snakes! They're wrapped around Devon's middle and they're brought to you by Audible, the world's largest resource for your audio entertainment."

J: I just want some real sponsors! You have to do the last fake sponsor. 

H: Okay, our final fake sponsor of the evening is peeing wherever! But not in a toilet though, because that's not good for the hydrological cycle or whatever. 

J: Yeah, you also don't want to pee too near to a river or a lake. Because you don't want to force pollution. Anyway, Hank, I want to ask a question. This next question comes from Dallas. But I think I might have asked too many of the recent questions, so I want to ask you to read it so it seems that you're _____. 

H: Okay John, one last question, before we get to the all important news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon. This is from Dallas who asks "Dear Hank and John, Facebook has a feature that allows you to see what was posted in years past." 

 (38:00) to (40:00)

H: "...And I am always so interested in what I was doing at this time in the past. When I look at 2016 and 2015 nothing has changed in the way that I post that much, only in that I post maybe once a week rather than once a day. When I go back further than just a couple of years, we meet high school Dallas. She was a terribly embarassing human. She thought it was hilarious to post only the punchline to an inside joke with absolutely no context. She also saw fit to narrate her daily life with posts like "Just got home from school! Super hungry! HMU!" I don't know what HMU is. 

J: What does HMU stand for? 

H: I don't know! Hey...

J: Let's stop everything and figure out what HMU stands for before we answer the rest. 

H: Heat... my.... uranium... HMU...

J: Does it stand for hold something? Like unicorn!

H: It's hit me up! Hit me up! Like send me a text and we can hang out.

J: [Shouting] Of course! Hit me up!

H: Okay. Okay. [Continuing the question] "I am completely ashamed to admit that that Dallas is, in fact, me. Why did I do this in my youth? Is that  something that everyone did in high school and middle school or is this just something that I did in 2010-2014? Perplexed and perturbed, Dallas."

J: Hank I don't know how you feel about this, but I feel like that pattern has continued in my life. 

H:  Well yeah, where you're looking back at like who you were 5 years ago and you're like [groans] yeah. 

J: Pretty cringy. There's some cringe there. 

H: It's not like this particular thing, Dallas. You need to learn this. It's not the particular thing like "just got home from school, super hungry, hmu" That person is cringy not because of that particular behavior, but because, uh, you know, go hang out with a person who is 4 years younger than yourself and you'll be like ah! There's a reason why I don't do that.

 (40:00) to (42:00)

J: Yeah I feel like my past selves were all huge embarassments to me but I also feel that my present self will never be embarassing to future me because present me is so cool, calm, and collected. But I've always felt that way. 

H: [Laughing]

J: But yeah, I look back at my highschool self and I am so grateful that the things that I wrote and thought in highschool were not archived on Facebook to reappear once a year when I wrote them. And even like when I look back at Looking for Alaska or even Paper Towns, I feel a little - even The Fault in Our Stars at this point. I look back and always feel like oh God, oh no, oh yikes. 

H: Did you really? Did you really? That's interesting.

J: Ugh, did you have to? When I look back at Looking for Alaska, and I've only glanced at the actual text in the book in the last ten years but like, did you have to use the verb deadpanned 12-15 times? Did you? Did you have to? Was it that great of a verb? 

H: Yeah. There should really be a piece of software you can run your book through to be sure you don't use a word way way way more than it is used on average. And if you do then you are making that decision.

J: Oh to be clear, by publisher Julie Strauss-Gabel was like "You need to stop using the word deadpanned in this book, it appears like 14 times and that's probably like 13 times too many." And I was like, "You don't understand. Deadpanned is THE verb of right now. It is THE way to describe how people of right now talk and YOU don't get it because YOU don't have your finger on the pulse of America's youth the way I do." And now I'm just like oh my God. Oh God. 

H: Well congratulations on ruining Looking for Alaska for absolutely everyone with that analysis. 

 (42:00) to (44:00)

H: Now I will never be able to read the book again without searching for deadpans. I will say that I think we are much more critical of our past selves than we are of actual people who are that age. In my experience, when I look at like me from high school, I'm like [groans] and when I look at an actual current high school student, I'm like "Youre pretty cool." So that's interesting. 

J: They're just trying to figure stuff out. That's the thing, like when you said (now that I understand waht HMU means) high school Dallas was just trying to connect to people which is a good thing to do. And when high school Dallas is posting the punchline to an inside joke with no context, high school Dallas is really trying to connect to the few other people who will get that joke and feel like they are on the inside of something.
J: Because when you are a teenager, you really want to feel like you're part of a community that cares about you and you have a special relationship with your friends. Yeah, I don't judge that Dallas at all, by the way. But high school me was a total total cringe factory. 

H: Yeah. Yeah, and it's also interesting that like we think of ourselves as like the me that I have right now continues back into the past in a way that it doesn't actually do. I am different from what I was back then and I think that it is part of the cringe, that that is not who I imagined myself to be, but that is me and I have to come to terms with that.
H: And that is fine, and maybe you should spend a little time trying to be more forgiving to past Dallas. Because you will change in the future and you should  be okay with those changes in whatever directions they taking you.  

J: I'm still not there, by the way. That sounds like a lovely sentiment but it seems impossible to actually make happen in my life.
J: Hank, what is the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon!?

 (44:00) to (46:00)

J: At the end of every podcast, for those of you who are new, we give you the news from Mars (the planet) and AFC Wimbledon which is a third tier English soccer team. Do you want me to go first? Because I'm ready. 

H: Yeah go ahead!

J: Just yesterday, as we're recording this, not as you're listening to it,  AFC Wimbledon played Rockdale, possibly Roachdale or maybe Rotchdale. 
J: [aside] Rosianna, how do you say Rochdale?
J: [back to Hank] Pronounced "Rotchdale," Hank, but Britisher. As you'll recall, AFC Wimbledon were only a couple of points away from certain safety in League One, meaning we get another season of League One football ahead of us. And what should happen in that game? In the forty-fourth minute there was a redcard from Rochdale, Roachdale? I still - I can't remember even from five seconds ago. 

H: [Laughing]

J: Anyway, that red card lead to that player being sent off whereupon AFC Wilmbledon in quick succession scored three goals. One of which, Hank, was a penalty. And the penalty taker, who ended up being Dean Parett, was decided when Lyle Taylor and Dean Parett did a game of rock-paper-scissors to decide which of them was going to take the penalty. 

H: [Laughing] Nice!

J: Uh, Dean Parett won that game of rock-paper-scissors, scored the goal, and AFC Wimbledon win 3-1. Now, after 40 games with just 6 games remaining in their League One season, AFC Wimbledon are on 54 points. And basically, and I would say it at this point, they are assured of safety. 

H: Yahoo!

J: One more season in the third tier of English football for Wimbledon. Huzzah!

H: Congratulations! That's good, that's is very exciting!

J: It is. 

H: I'm sorry that you're not moving up but maybe if you just win everything but-but- hopefully, what it means is that AFC Wimbledon will continue to have more money to spend on its players, on its fans, on its pitch and that's good for everybody.

 (46:00) to (48:00)

H: You know what else is good for everybody, John?

J: What? 

H: Water! You know how there's water on Mars, right? Like there's  currently lots of frozen water on Mars. But also we have evidence that at one point there was also lots of liquid water standing on the surface of Mars. There were big lakes. There was even potentially a giant ocean in some of the lower lying or northern parts of Mars and we have evidence, and we have had evidence for some time, of a massive tsunami.
H: The cool thing about Mars is that because there is no water now, lot of old things stick around for much longer than they would on Earth. Becuase old stuff on Earth gets washed away by the water. We have active plate tectonics that reshapes the surface of Earth and we also have water falling on Earth, dissolving stuff and washing the mountains into the oceans, etc. 
H: But you can see evidence of stuff hanging around on Mars from much longer ago because there is currently no hydrological cycle and also plate techtonics don't seem to be a thing. 
H: So, um, we have this evidence of this tsunami that occured about 3 billion years ago. And it is a massive tsunami. Talking like a 100 meter tall wave. 

J: God.

H: Yeah. And the waves could be taller because there is less gravity. But this is also a high speed thing, travelling at about 60m/s. So this is a very fast, very big wave of water that we have evidence of slamming various parts. We can see it in all areas of Mars. So we know there was a big ocean there because it has to be a big ocean for a tsunami to happen.

 (48:00) to (50:00)

H: And we have now, as of this week, think we found the crater that uh, was caused by the meteorite responsible for creating the tsunami. So that's pretty cool. So we can see the tsunami radiating out from this one place.

J: Wow

H: And we can see the large northern ocean that is kind of the northern hemishere of Mars is kind of more compressed, we're not really sure why, but we think long-lasting ocean that was there a few billion years ago. And we can see the deposits left behind my this tsunami and we can see the crater left behind by this event. It's pretty freaking cool. 

J: That is pretty amazing. So some kind of large object hits Mars 4 billion years ago, and there is a huge tsunami and we are able to know the approximate timeline that this all happened because Science. 

H: Yeah and even cool similarily is that it blew the water out, and there was kind of a reverse tsunami as it came back in to the hole that was left. So we can see evidence of both of these tsunamis: the one that went out and the one that was a sort of rebound tsunami that was smaller but still pretty substantial. 

J: That is cool. That is really cool. 

H: Yep! That's Mars for ya.

J: Yeah, I mean that might be the coolest Mars news that we've had in this whole podcast. Thank you Hank. We are now going to record This Week in Ryans, our weekly podcast that you can get access to at Every week we record a brief podcast as a supplement to this one, in which we talk about a Ryan. Do you know what Ryan we are talking about this week, Hank?

H: I don't! I thought that was your job?

J: Ryan Adams. 

H: Oh, is it Ryan Adams? That's exciting, I know a couple of Ryan Adams facts already. So I am rearing to go. 

J: Well I appreciate you preparing in advance. 

H: Well it's--

 (50:00) to (51:14)

J: You can get that over at Hank, what did we learn today? 

H: We learned that both Hank and John have embarassing signature stores. Though Hank's is more embarassing. 

J: And of course we learned that the water that you use to water your lawn is drinking water. 

H: Uh we learned that HMU stands for Hold My Unicorn. 

J: [Laughing]And lastly we learned that when you hear a couple having a fight over the phone, do not yell advice across the hallway. 

H: No, you can only yell advice to strangers in two situations: while driving in traffic and while watching sports. 

J: That's right. Alright Hank, thank you for podding with me. Thanks to everyone for listening. You can listen email us at You can also use the hashtag #dearhankandjohn on twitter where Hank is @HankGreen and I am, with some infrequency, @johngreen.
J: Dear Hank and John is produced by Rosianna Halse-Rojas and Sheridan Gibson.

H: Our editor is Nicholas Jenkins, Victoria Bongiorno is our Head of Community and Communications, our music is by the great Gunnarolla. As they say in our hometown:

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