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Why do rich people like golf so much? What color is the sky on Mars? How much do I need to fact-check news before I share it? Where are bird ears??? And more!

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 Intro (00:00)

[Intro music]

Hank: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John.

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

H: It's a comedy podcast where me and my brother John, we answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. How are you, John?

J: I'm terrible. Uh, my family is covered in flu. We got our flu vaccines, we were responsible citizens, and we got the flu vaccine, but it has failed. It has failed and my child - one of my children threw up on me last night, and I had a very long night, uh, also, it's  partly the fault of the throwing up on me and, like, I thought, honestly, at this point I thought maybe we were past the era of my children vomiting on me, uh, and so that's a bit of a bummer, cause I feel like it's just regression, and also I stayed up way way too late last night; in addition to the sick child thing, I was listening to the new podcast S-Town, are you familiar with this?

H: Mhm

J: Oh my god, it's incredible.

H: I've heard of it, I, I know that it is the podcast from the makers of Serial, I feel like I should know - but there's so many podcasts, John, and there's so many good ones. Why does anyone listen to ours?

J: I don't know, but this podcast S-town is more of a Faulkner novel than it is like Dear Hank and John, it is, uh, closer to Nobel Prize territory, whereas we are closer to, uh, you know, Darwin Prize territory. So, yeah, how are you?

H: I'm good, I'm good. I, uh, I know that S-Town is a big deal. You know how I know? It's because I've started to see hot takes about it.

J: Ohh

H: People who are like, 'S-town is a great podcast that should never have been made', and I'm like 'Oh yeah, there we are, there we are in the straight-up cultural relevancy of today. That's what happens when you get famous enough. Everybody starts to tell you how great you are while also telling you you shouldn't exist.'

J: [Laughs] It is, I mean, it, it is kind of true that if you make it even a for little bit to the white-hot center of American popular culture, it's sort of a terrible experience, because...

H: Oh yeah.

J: People...

H: Oh yeah.

J: They just hate you.

H: [Laughs]

J: Like, they go from, they go from liking the stuff you made to just thinking it's terrible. I thought S-Town was great, and I don't care that it's popular. Uh, I, I, I have stopped being one of these people who says like, I only liked Nirvana's early work. Like, I, I just wanna, I just wanna like stuff. It's so, it's so hard

H: Yeah.

J: to find anything in this world that you can just, you can just love. And I, I loved S-Town. I thought it was fantastic and weird, and great, and I'm, yeah, I'm also very tired because of this flu issue. Would you like a short poem?

H: Yeah, okay.

J: Alright, this is from Dorothy Parker: 

"Once, when I was young and true,
Someone left me sad-
Broke my brittle heart in two;
And that is very bad.

Love is for unlucky folk,
Love is but a curse.
Once there was a heart I broke;
And that, I think, is worse."

H: Mmmm!

J: Ah, Dorothy Parker.

H: Yeah, see!

J: She knew how to twist the knife in that last line.

H: That's what short poems should be John. I'm all for that. I understand what Dorothy Parker is talking about.

J: [Laughs]

H: I so rarely understand what a poet is talking about, or I'm not quite sure. Which is maybe the point? But I just wanna know. Just tell me what you mean! I'm sorry. It's been a while since I've complained about short poems. Or poetry in general on the Pod because, you know, that gets old. But, uh, but I just wanted to thank Dorothy Parker for doing it the way that, uh, works for me individually. 

 Question 1 (03:40)

J: "Dear John and Hank, my biggest claim to fame is now and probably forever will be that when you Google image search a certain chicken breed (Quail Antwerp Belgian Bantam, for reference) I am the first non-chicken to show up. I'm obviously pretty proud of this, but my question is how do I casually work this into conversations? Pumpkins and Quail Antwerp Belgian Bantams, Lauren."

H: Well if I, I, I think I've hit my self onto a picture of Lauren here, unless Lauren was lying. And, uh, and I assume that she's this person holding the chickens, and not the chickens themselves, cause she said the was a non-chicken, right?

J: Well, she actually says in the question Hank, just to be clear, that she's the first non-chicken result, and I have also found the picture of Lauren. Um, this is fantastic. Look at all the all the prizes that her chickens won!

H: Yeah, they're very successful chickens.

J: It's amazing!

H: I mean...

J: I don't blame her for wanting to, uh, to share this news. Yeah, so, I guess the way that I would do it is whenever somebody asks, so what do you do? Uh, just judging from your picture, Lauren, I think that you're probably a student so I would, I would, but I wouldn't say I'm a student. I would say: 'I raise Quail Antwerp Belgian Bantam chickens, and I'm actually the leading human in the field.' 

H: [Laughing] Yeah, like, like, 'According to Google, I am the leading, I'm the lead...'

J: Yeah.

H: 'I'm the lead human.' John, right now I'm scrolling through the results for Hank Green, to find out who the first non-Hank Green person is, who comes up. Uh, and you think, I was assuming, I, like, it wasn't gonna be interesting, so I wasn't even gonna mention it, that it would be you, right?

J: I would've thought it would be me too.

H: It's not.

J: Who is it?

H: It is uh, it is Ashley Clemens in the first episode of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

J: Well, I think that's great. She's much cooler and interesting than I am. Can we go back to this Quail Antwerp Belgian Bantam chicken thing? Because, actually, what, what I find most amazing is that if you scroll through all the Google image search results, literally thousands of them, you don't come across any other humans.

H: [Laughs]

J: Lauren is the only human in the Quail Antwerp Belgian Bantam chicken world.

H: Well, I...

J: You don't even see a human hand!

H: There's, yeah...

J: This is amazing!

H: It's all birds!

J: This is the longest I have scrolled seeing nothing but chickens in my entire life.

H: There's some eggs. There's some eggs, there's some chicks, and there's also a number of non, uh, non-chickens. There's some Quails, which is not what we were looking for.

J: Yeah.

H: But, still, uh, not, not humans.

J: Uh, I see a horse and a cow.

H: I saw some, I saw some people's feet.

J: This is a great bit. No wonder that we're being compared to S-Town. Some people say that this is the S-Town of advice podcasts. Lauren, you just need to get a T-Shirt and say, uh, I would just print the picture on the T-Shirt, actually, because then people will ask you about...

H: Right.

J: ...your T-Shirt. And you can just say listen:

H: Right.

J: 'Yeah, as it happens, I'm the leading Quail Antwerp Belgian Bantam...'

H: You know...

J: '...uh, human being.'

H: Human!

J: 'uh, on Google.'

H: Well, uh, some, sometimes I think, like, it's best to have those things in your back pocket for not leading with. Like, uh, like, if I was, if I had been in a like a, like, for, for example, I, I've done some cool stuff. And I don't, I don't, don't tend to like, start off with like my, my supreme achievement. I start, I, I start off with like, uh, and then let, let it work in, and people are like, oh that's a neat thing. But you're not totally, like, you haven't let that seep into so much that it's like all, all about who you are. You have this cool thing about yourself that, that comes later in the conversation, and then people think it's cooler.

J: So, like, what you hold back is that in 1998, Winter Park High School voted you Best Dancer?

H: Right, uh, uh like, you can't lead with that. But, but...

J: Right.

H: ...when, when it comes up, then it's like, oh, he's, he knows this about himself, but he's not, he's not like, put, putting it on his T-Shirt. Though I do kinda wanna put it on a T-Shirt, now that I said that... I think what you need is a lot of chicken trivia. You need, you need more than just this. Uh, you could just sort of like, you know, this is, clearly it's become a big part of your persona, so you just have to run with it. Lean in and say: 'Hey! Like, did you know that there are more chickens in America than humans?' And, and etc.

J: Is that true?

H: Yes. But that's like the only chicken trivia I have Lauren, so you're gonna have to work on the rest of it yourself. John, got another question.

J: Alright, give it to me.

 Question 2 (08:03

H: "Dear Hank and John, Not that I want to bore you with even more questions about rich people, but something that's been gnawing at my mind lately: why do rich people like golf so much? What is it about golf that appeals to them over all other sports? Fore! Isaac Laughton."

J: Hank, do you know that a chicken's body temperature normally runs between 100 to a 103 degrees Fahrenheit, so a chicken essentially always has a human fever?

H: Mmmmm! So if you surround yourself with chickens you'd be... you'd be, like, toasty! Like, too hot!

J: Yeah! It's almost like, be'd like going in a hot tub.

H: Yeah, it's like, it's like bath temperature, so could you heat a bath with a chicken? Or enough chickens?

J: That's something I never want to find out. Go back to the question.

H: [Laughs] Isaac just simply ends his question: "FORE! Isaac." Uh, so, do rich people, uh, do you yell fore? Is that a thing? Or is that like a, just a trope, that like "Beam me up, Scotty."?

J: Uh, Hank, I have no idea. Like I know people that play golf, my best friend plays a ton of golf, but I don't know anything about it. My theory, uh, is... well I don't know, that's the short answer.

H: [Laughs] Yeah. Okay, yeah. Good- good start.

J: Because I used to bowl a lot, Hank, as you know I used to bowl every day for several hours a day, it was like a, for about a year it was a really intense fascination of mine. And what I loved about bowling is that you're essentially trying to do the exact same thing over and over and over again. Uh, but it's impossible to do over and over and over again, like you can't, you can't quite do the right thing every time and that's just fascinating.

H: It's pretty amazing, yeah. Yep.

J: Golf has a little bit of that element, but then you always have to do other things because you have to change clubs and sometimes you're putting. It just seems to me like a nice walk, uh, well I think there's a John Feinstein book called A Good Walk Spoiled and it's always seemed that way to me, like, why don't you just walk nine miles with your friends?

H: [Laughing] I, just... [Laughs] Yeah, I mean, it, it, it's a thing that you can while you're having a meeting, and like you can, like, like, it's a way of, uh, like... I also never golf, to be clear, this is a guess, it's a way of having a social experience with people who are colleagues, and like, mediate it through this activity, that then, but like there's lots of time for talking about, for getting to know each other, but then you like, you have this great opportunity where 90% of the time can be getting to know each other and then 10% of the time can be actually like: 'So, so, how much is the minimum order quantity for your, uh, your, your manufactured product? Colleague, business person?'

J: Right but...

H: Or whatever.

J: But, I feel like bowling is the same way? Like, that to me you could do...

H: Could be, yeah.

J: That you could do that with any, sort of like, any chill sport. Basically, uh, we don't know. It's one of the great mysteries of the human species: Why all rich people are drawn to golf like moths to the flame. It's also a...

H: Well, yeah, it is...

J: ...very expensive sport?

H: Yeah, it's an expensive sport.

J: So maybe its a way of establish, like establishing, um, establishing a sort of class system? I don't know.

H: I don't know either. It's become, I think it's become a little bit of a less of an expensive sport but it's designed to take up a bunch of space, like you can't play golf without a lotta space, and the more space you have, the better your golf is. So, uh, I think there's a certain amount of, um, this is something that is not accessible to other folk, and so it is appealing in that way. Well, uh, I don't think that, I don't think that's conscious, but there may be some kind of subconscious thing there.

J: Uh, I, I, I don't want to move on from the question too soon Hank, but I would argue that we're actually moving on from it too late.

H: [Laughs]

J: Did you know that chicken sperm can survive in a, in a hen for up to thirty-two days?

H: Whuuut?!

J: That is...

H: I did not know that.

J: ...distressing to me. There's something that, like that upsets the germaphobe part of me.

 Question 3 (12:10)

J: Hank, I have another question, it comes from Cornelia who asks: "Dear John and Hank, Since people are for some reason planning going to mars it got me thinking; what color is the sky on Mars? The picture I have in my head is that it looks just like the night sky with the exception of one giant star instead of, uh, very many small ones. Is that true? Uh, surely it's not the same color blue we have here on Earth because of the differences in our atmosphere, or something?". I love that, "or something". It's just perfect.

H: [Laughing] That's good!

J: I couldn't agree with you more Cornelia. Um, Hank; "or something?".

H: Ah, yeah, it's different color, uh, uh, weird, it's weird. So you'd think that we would know the answer to this question - you'd think we'd know the answer to this one, John!

J: We, you would.

H: And we kinda do. We kinda do, but we kinda don't. Cause look at your sky, what color is the sky on earth? It's a bunch of different colors! Sometimes it's black, sometimes it's blue, sometimes it's a dark blue or a light blue, or like a purple or an orange? The sky is a bunch of different colors, and it is the same way on Mars, but even weirder and more confusing making than that. You've seen, like, the dress, right? And everybody's like 'It's yellow and gold!' or 'white and gold' or 'blue and black'.

J: Mhm.

H: Our brains, when we see, like, they, they, like we have sort of like an auto white balance system in our brains so when we look at like, y'know like a color it doesn't look like a different color depending on like, where the light is hitting it. And so we know, like 'that's red' and like 'that entire tablecloth is red' despite the fact that, like, one side of it isn't, doesn't have as much light on it, and the other side has more light on it, and there's lots of wrinkles, and so like, you know though that the whole thing is red. And so there is some speculation and when, and when we take pictures of Mars we kind of have to guess what our eyes would see, and sometimes we balance it more to what, like what it would look like if it were on Earth with Earth's atmosphere, and sometimes we balance it more to like, what we think we would see. But at the same time, there's this, there's this, like, unknown quantity to what the sky on Mars looks like, that we will not really know until we have a human there to look at it.

J: So, I'm not a scientist, but just, quick question, could it, y'know you've got that minivan on Mars right now?

H: Mhm

J: What if you just turn that little mofo up?

H: [Sniggers]

J: Have have it look up at the sky, and took a picture?

H: [Laughing] I mean, we've done this, but the thing is...

J: Oh really, Hank, they already thought of that?

H: [Laughs] The thing is, the thing is you have to, you have to white balance it, you have to like decide, like, what white is, on that surface.

J: I mean did we not get a good camera up there?

H: No, but like we, you have...

J: I'm sorry...

H: choose what white is. Just like, when, when I take a picture with my camera I get to choose white is. They have to choose what white is, and it's not entirely clear what white would be for a person who is standing on the surface of Mars, with very a different, uh, with very different sunlight and with very different, uh, atmospheric composition. Now we, we have a pretty good idea, d-ahh I've said all of this now, I can say that like, if you were on the surface of Mars you would look up and on the majority of days, uh, at, like, at like not sunset or sunrise you would see something like a sort of browny... uh... like a, like a browny-orange, uh, even, like a, uh... like even sometimes maybe even like a sort of yellowish color? But, uh, but there are also times...

J: Mhm

H: ... depending on how much water...

J: Like my son's vomit.

H: [Laughs] ...much water is... oh God... how much water, like ice is in the sky that you would see more of like a blue-gray. And they think that like, despite the fact that like the color is more orange, like a sort of dark orangy-brown you, you, your mind might perceive that a more of a gray, because your mind is like, getting ready to see a different, like it's expecting colors to be a certain color. It's just, it's weird, like, colors are weird, which we have discovered with the internet getting really obsessed with a, a dress and how, what colors it is.

J: Ah, you know what else is weird?

H: Ch-chickens? Is it chickens?

J: There are 25 billion chickens.

H: [Laughs]

J: That means that chickens, uh, are the most successful bird species on Earth.

H: Ever, for sure.

J: There are more chickens than there are any other bird.

H: And, uh, ever have been. That is, that is an impossible number of birds. That is, that is nuts. Are there more of anything than of chickens?

J: Uh yeah, there's more, uh, krill?

H: Ah, that makes sense. That makes sense, I'd totally buy into that.

J: Plankton. All that stuff.

H: How did, did you know that off the top of your head, or is that in the article that you're skeeving from right now?

J: Oh no, no I know all these chicken facts. What do you - I'm not at an article. This is just, this is just stuff I know.

H: [Laughs]

J: I've got - by the way, I'm just getting started. If you thought 'Oh, this was a little bit of a good bit and it's over' - NO. You were wrong. It's just beginning. Hank...

H: Ah.

J: you know what nation has the most chickens on Earth?

H: Is it the United States of America?

J: No, no. The United States is second with 1.7 billion chickens.

H: Is it China?

J: It's China with 3.6 billion chickens.

H: Whaaaat!? They got like double our chickens!

J: They have and, uh, you know what, this is something that we never talk about. like everybody says we need to be worried about our trade imbalance with China - what about our chicken imbalance with China!? I mean this is, uh, this is an issue of national security!

H: [Laughs]

J: We are almost 2 billion chickens behind!

 Question 4 (17:39)

H: [Laughing] Ok, John, this question comes from Anonymoush. What!? Did I just say?! Who asks, this is kind of a chicken related question John. "Why can't we see bird ears? Where are they!?" [Laughs]

J: Great question. I mean...

H: You can see them!

J: By the way, thanks Anonymous for not signing that one.

H: Yeah you don't want... [Laughing] You don't want... [Laughs] I mean, I mean seriously, what is the concern?

J: I totally understand your desire to remain an unnamed source in this story.

H: (Laughs) Uh, birds have ears, they're under their feathers, they're little holes in the sides of their heads. Uh, it's interesting to think about ears as, um, as like, like a functional thing rather than a physical thing. So I think of an ear, and I picture like the thing that Vincent van Gogh cut off his head - if he actually did that, I don't know...

J: He did.

H: And, like, it's the, it's the cartilage that is hangin' off the side of your head.

J: Mhm

H: But, functionally an ear is just like the thing you use to hear with, so for other animals, there is, like the thing they use to hear with doesn't actually have external physiology, birds just have like a hole in the side of their head. And uh, like uh, reptiles have those too. And I dunno what they're called, if there's like a different name for, for ears that don't have ears, but...

J: [Laughing] You're saying... um...

H: What?

J: Do you know, uh, do you know how many pounds of chicken the average American eats in a year? [Pause] It's distressing.

H: Uh, well I, I probably eat, I don't know, maybe, maybe two to, two to five pounds of chicken a week?

J: What!?

H: So I'm gonna say...

J: No way.

H: What?

J: You eat five pounds of chicken a week?

H: No?! I don't know, John, maybe. [Laughs]

J: That's Crazy.

H: On a big week...

J: You're telling me that you have on average, like, ten to twelve chicken meals per week?

H: I...

J: That's not possible Hank.

H: [Laughs]

J: Respectfully, you don't, I don't agree that you eat five pounds of chicken a week, that's ludicrous.

H: Uh, uh, I bet I can do it. I really like chicken. [Laughs]

J: I'm sure you could in an emergency, I'm saying in an average week you don't choose to.

H: There's three meals a day John!

J: I would say I eat... There are three meals a day, one of them... uh, I guess eggs are kind... are eggs...

H: No, eggs don't count as chickens, eggs are diff-...

J: Eggs are one of the great questions, but, um, I'm just talking about...

H: Is a hot dog a sandwich? Is an egg a chicken?

J: No. Actually, y'know actually it's 84.9 pounds a year, and I'm moving on to another question. Even I'm tired of this bit.

H: [Laughs]

 Question 4 (20:13)

J: This question comes from Shane who writes: "Dear John and Hank, A Friend of Mine recently got a tattoo of a world map on his forearm. I don't really like tattoos in general, but that's not the issue here. The main problem is that the map is a Mercator projection."

H: [Laughing] God...

J: "Should I tell him about all the inaccuracies and problematic socio-cultural viewpoints associated with the Mercator projection, or would it be unfair to ruin his forearm for him forever? Yours, etc, Shane."

H: Uh, well, first of all, it's on his forearm, so he could just turn it upside down, and see it the way, like, the way if the world was the other way round. And so you could see like...

J: Right.

H: A bit like, look doesn't have to be, North doesn't have to be the top of the map it can be oy-ya-ehr-er. So you got that going for ya.

J: Yeah, South could be up. I don't think that's really the issue though...

H: Right, there's other problems.

J: I think the larger issue is that the, the projection just makes countries look the wrong size, y'know?

H: Yes.

J: Uh, all maps have their problems, but as that is the most famous map it's problems are the most famous problems. I, uh, yeah obviously Shane the time to have this conversation...

H: Right.

J: ... was the hour to thirty years before the tattoo? And I think now is probably not the time to have the conversation?

H: But, John.

J: If it comes up at some point, I think you can share your opinions.

H: Yeah.

J: But I feel like, you probably don't want to start that convo.

H: So, but, so you said, all maps have their problems?

J: Yep.

H: But the globe, a globe is a kind of map, and it does not have that problem. In that, like, all the things on a globe are the right shape because the earth is round, you don't have to flatten it out, so, like you get a beach ball and you'll put a glo-, you'll put a map on it and you're good. What body part...

J: Well...

H: What body part could you...

J: You don't have a spherical body part to tattoo a globe on to.

H: You do! You got...

J: No you don't.

H: Well, it's close! Your whole head.

J: No, that's a terrible idea on several levels.

H: You get, you're gonna have to cut Antartica cause you have a neck, but everything else, you can pre-, get, it is much better than any flat map projection. So, you're gonna like talk...

J: Yeah, I mean, I agree it would be better than any flat map projection, but it comes with its own set of problems.

H: You'd have, like, you'd have to...

J: Largely I think the biggest issue is that you'd have to...

H: Right.

J: ...shave your head all the time.

H: Well lots of people do that.

J: Otherwise, you're gonna be, like, really biased against one hemisphere...

H: [Laughs]

J: ...or the other, and so that's gonna look like... I mean you wanna talk about Euro-centrism; if you choose to put Europe on your forehead...

H: Mmm, yep

J: Y'know.

H: That is...

J: That is Euro-centrism.

H: Well what you've gotta do is...

J: On the other hand... y'know...

H: Like, you've got to put the Pacific on your, your face so you have too much face tattoo happening. 'Cause the Pacific is huge.

J: Yeah just like Hawaii...

H: Well then there is Hawaii.

J: Then maybe Japan over on one cheek.

H: Yeah, mhm.

J: Ha, I mean I guess that's a good, I guess that's a good call, Hank? It's an interesting theory. I guess my, my biggest concern with it is that you're probably going to have Australia on your jawbone no matter what you do...

H: [Laughs] Yeah.

J: Uh, even if you put the Pacific on your face, and then on the other side, really your whole right cheek, is gonna be the Americas. Erm, and I think, I feel like that's gonna look, that's gonna look America-centric, that's gonna look like you're privileging the Americas over, uh, ah, Afro-Eurasia, and in the end, like, nothing against the Americas, but Afro-Eurasia historically has been where most of the action's been. Ah, I don't know about that.

H: [Laughs]

J: The point is that, unless you can spin a map, uh, in a globe form, it's very - and even then you're putting North up instead of North down, so it's just, I, I think it's very hard not to have some level of bias, and I would argue that I, I... Look, I'm all for face tattoos, I, y'know, but I think, I don't know if that's the face tattoo to get.

H: [Laughing] Oh, I'm looking at pictures of map tattoos on people's forearms right now, and they're cool! Want one!

J: Yup.

H: This one's pretty good; Greenland isn't too huge, Africa looks substantial. I'm in it - I'm into it.

J: Hank, Hank.

H: Yeah?

J: Are you finding yourself, uh, thinking more about getting a tattoo? Because I am.

H: I, y'know, I am. I don't know when that started.

J: Me too.

H: But I totally am.

J: Me, me neither. I know, it's happening. And, uh, I dunno if it's, uh, I don't know if it's a midlife crisis thing? I think, um, a bunch of things are happening to me are midlife crisis things, so it's totally possible, uh, but or if it's just that tattoos have been so normalized, that I think now 'Uh, maybe I will get a tattoo!' But, I, I've made it, probably, about half my life without one, and I feel like, um, it's also the time when a tattoo would look best on me is probably past.

H: Right, a little bit of that, yeah. Uh, yes, I agree with you.

J: So I dunno.

H: But there's so many, there's just so many cool, cool tattoos, and I think that the techniques are getting better?

J: Yeah

H: Like tattoos seem to look cooler now then they used to? Uh...

J: Yeah they don't all look like Ryan Gosling's uh...

H: Yeah, like 'cactus hand'.

J: 'Cactus hand'. Yeah.

H: This guy has a bunch of country flags tattooed on his head and face, so...

J: That's great.

H: That's something.

J: That's good.

H: But I don't see, I haven't found anybody who's tattooed the, uh, the globe on, onto their head and face, unfortunately. So you could be the first!

J: [Chuckling] Yeah... it's just... Oh my god, I mean really it's hard to tell the difference between this and S-Town.

H: Let's, let's, let's cut there! Yep. Yep.

J: This question...

H: [Laughs]

J: I mean, no wonder Blue Apron won't sponsor us! We're crap!

 Question 5 (25:55)

H: [Laughing] This question, it comes from Natalie! Who asks: "Dear Hank and John, I recently had a few teeth removed; an operation which required I be put to sleep with whatever drug they use for that sort of thing. Anyway, whatever I was high on made me cry uncontrollably. I didn't feel sad, I just felt the need to cry. My mom claims that my reaction to this drugs lets her know how I'll act when I've had alcohol. I say those are two different types of intoxication! As John is very familiar with dental operations, I was wondering if you would agree? Hank, I'm not ignoring you, I just don't know if you've ever been anesthetized. High on life and painkillers, Natalie."

J: Yeah, I mean this is one of my areas of expertise because I've had a lot of oral surgeries, um...

H: Mhm

J: ... in which I've been anesthetized in many different ways. Uh... and I've also had a reasonable amount of alcohol in my life, and I would say that your mother is dead wrong about this.

H: Yes. Good.

J: I do not think that when you have had two glasses of wine you will find yourself uncontrollably weeping.

H: No.

J: Maybe I'm wrong, but that's my suspicion.

H: You know they have, there's this thing about like, 'Oh this person's a happy drunk, this person's a sad drunk'. I don't... I don't know about that man, I've definitely had both. Definitely been on both sides of that coin.

J: I've definitely, I've definitely experienced both sides of that coin. It's really about what you bring into the experience. [Chuckles]

H: Mhm

J: Um, but I think that actually, uncontrollable crying is a pretty common side effect of some of the...

H: It is. Yeah.

J: Yeah. Uh, conscious sedation stuff that they do, uh, for, for oral surgeries these days, I, uh, I prefer just to go with Novocaine, and maybe if I'm uncomfortable or scared a little bit of the laughing gas. I don't really, I don't need to go all the way into a twilight state, uh... I like to know what's going on, y'know? I like to know, I actually like to watch the little screen where I can see them going inside my tooth...

H: Oh yeah?

J: ...looking for the secret...

H: Oh my. Oooh.

J: ...root canal that failed, or whatever. God, if I, I hate, I hate dentistry so much.

H: Uraaagh.

J: I don't wanna, I mean, I just...

H: I know. I'm sorry about your face.

J: Uh, I just hate it. I just...

H: I was talking, so, I've been anesthetized, most recent for my colonoscopy where they give you sort of like waking sedation and the nurse was telling me that, uh, that like a fair number of people get really sad, a fair number of people get really happy and giddy, and then there's a not insignificant people who become who become entire, like super belligerent, like mean and nasty. They like, they like, yell and try to get away and they fight people, um, and they like, have to tie them down basically. Uh, and I got super happy the last time, to the point where I was like I could definitely see myself using this drug. Don't let me have this! Don't even tell me what it's called, 'cause this is a fun thing, and I'd had a real good time, uh, and I didn't remember any of it afterward. But Katherine assures me that I was having a good, good old, good old high on whatever it was.

J: Yeah, so they've stopped using that drug in the last year, Hank. I'm also an expert in the field of colonoscopies.

H: [Gasps] Oh no!

J: And increasingly they use a different drug that you don't, uh, you don't have the memory loss from but you also don't have that sweet, sweet, uh, feeling of Demerol coursing through your veins, uh, so, that's just an update for you. 

H: [Laughs] Well now I, uh, I use to like, uh, after that experience I was like well, I'm kinda looking forward to my next colonoscopy, but I guess now, not so much. J: Oh god, please, please steer clear of Demerol, it is the bad path, the difficult, a difficult path, uh, to fall down.

 Question 6 (29:35)

J: Okay Hank, we've got a question from Tess, who asks: "Dear Green Brothers, My name is Tess and I'm a senior in High School" Are you trying to be the new Ryan, Tess? "I'm the class president and I'll be expected to give a speech at my graduation ceremony. Whenever I sit down to write I just get angry at myself for not being as eloquent and profound as I want to be. At other times I listen to podcasts and I'm awed as you give some of the most profound statements as easily as one would read a street sign." Tess, I believe that you may have written to the wrong podcast.

H: [Laughs]

J: I think that you are trying to talk to S-Town, and they do, they are doing a great job. "Do you have advice on how to be more profound? Also, what would you say to a class of fifty-one graduates..." Hold up! I was so impressed with Tess for being the president of her class! 

H: [Laughs] Fifty-one is a lot of people!

J: Turns out that she had like a, like a 2% chance of being the president of her class! There's only fifty-one people. 

H: That's, that's still not great odds.

J: Although I suppose that I graduated from a class of fifty-two and I sure as hell wasn't the president of my class, so...

H: [Laughs]

J: "Also, what would you say to a class of fifty-one graduates as they enter a world that at times seems more malevolent than benign?" Well, that's a lovely sentiment right there.

H: Mmm, yeah, just start with that!

J: "Any advice dubious, or otherwise, is appreciated. Don't let the bastards get you down, Tess."

H: You, what you gotta say, you gotta start out with like, 'Hey! I know that it sometimes seems like the world out there is more malevolent than benign... [pause] But, I'm Tess! My name is Tess.'

J: [Laughs]

H: 'And I'm here to tell you what John and Hank Green told me to tell you, which is that they have students give the graduation speeches because the adults have heard it all before, so they won't say it because it sounds trite to them, but it doesn't sound trite to us because we're new, we're young, we're ready, we're fresh, fresh and so clean.' And, just say exactly these words.

J: This is terrible. This is one of the worst graduation speeches I've ever heard. 

H: 'You might think that the sky on Mars is red, you might think that the cameras on Mars can tell you what that sky color is, but S-Town is the best podcast John has ever heard, his children's puke is a yellow-ey color and he hates oral surgery, and I'M OUT!'


J: [Laughing] That was, I mean, did you have a colonoscopy between this question and the previous question? 

H: [Laughing] So, yeah, I mean basically that.

J: So I think, Tess, I think Hank started out on the right track, with "I know at times the world seems more malevolent than benign" but I think that, um, after you say that, you should just say 'And y'know, it probably is slightly more malevolent than benign.' and then I think you should just sit down.

H: [Laughs]

J: I'm tired of these hopeful optimistic graduation speeches that everything's going to be okay. No, it is not! 

H: [Laughs] It's like...

J: No, I mean, y'know, the best years of your life are ahead of you Tess, and, uh, I, I always think a good graduation speech is one that, uh, acknowledges that Highschool was not, like, merely awesome, y'know, like I always disliked the graduation speech where they would be like 'And won't we have wonderful memories of prom.' Uh, like, maybe!? Some of us will have good memories of prom, others of us will have terrible memories of prom, and furthermore, I feel like if you're doing it right Highschool isn't the best, y'know, like hopefully, the rollercoaster at some point will reach, like, a higher peak than it did at prom. That's what I think about life in American Highschools. I think it's very easy to romanticize it and we have a strong culture of romanticizing it, that many would tell you I have participated in, despite my best attempts not to, and, uh, it's gonna be, uh, y'know, it gets harder but it also gets more interesting from there. Don't you think?

H: Uh, well I definitely do John, uh, I had a mix of Highschool experiences but the first two years were real bad, so, uh, yes.

J: Yeah. Yeah, I also, I also had kind of like two high school experiences, of which the first was the worst and the second was, uh, better and also, I would say pretty good, but I don't look back on that times as like the happiest time of my life or anything. I look back on it as like a really complicated time y'know?

H: Oh yeah.

J: Like pretty much every other time. I've had a few years in my life that were pretty great, uh, like that I can look back to and I think 'Well, that was a pretty great year.' But most of the years in my life have been complicated. 

H: Um, well speaking, speaking of which, John, I have to tell you, uh, we gotta hit our sponsors for the day, uh, this podcast brought to you by Terrible Memories from Prom. Terrible Memories from Prom: yeeeah, probably.

J: I don't, I, by the way I went to like, uh, three different proms and I had three different, but all really interesting, cool experiences. Today's podcast is also brought to you by S-Town. S-Town: it's so much better than this podcast. 

H: This podcast is also brought to you by The Quail Antwerp Belgium Bantam: a chicken, I think? 

J: Oh it is a chicken. Yeah, no, it's a chicken, uh, but it's most important and famous human representative is Lauren. And lastly, today's podcast is brought to you by, uh, That Minivan on MarsThat Minivan on Mars: Not great at setting the white balance, apparently. 

H: [Laughing] It's complicated, okay!? It's complicated how our eyes work.

J: I believe you. I just think it's a little stupid that we don't know what color the, uh, I don't know. I, I believe you. You're a much smarter person than I am. I'm sure that you're right. Uh, let's answer one more question, Hank, from our listeners. Uh, by the way, sorry for all the questions we didn't get to, I feel bad, uh... 

 Question 7 (35:47)

J: Alright Hank, we got a question here from Bastian, who writes: "Dear John and Hank, Recent events have made me extremely paranoid about the news I'm consuming. There seems to be so much misinformation going around." Really, ya think!?

H: [Laughs] Ah, yeah.

J: "I feel the need to scientifically fact check everything I read before sharing it with my friends and family, but I simply don't have the time for that. How much fact checking and cross-referencing do you do before you share what's happening in the world, and when do you feel confident to share and engage in any discussion? Some dubious advice would be appreciated, Greetings from Germany." Oh, Bastian.

H: Ah, yeah...

J: Is there any way you can send Angela Merkel over here? Not, I don't mean for a visit, I mean for good. 

H: John, I mean, we've got...

J: We need someone with a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry to lead our country. 

H: We've got Justin Trudeau right there, he's right there. He could just come...

J: I don't believe that Justin Trudeau even went to graduate school. 

H: It's true. Merkel has a lot going for her. Bastian, here's what I gotta say, like if you're looking at a tweet, if you're looking at some, like, thing that got, like, sent to you through social media, you gotta fact check that stuff. It jus- you ha- but if you looking at an article, that's published by a reputable news organization that's actually about the news rather than hot takes about the news, or about whether or not what someone said was true or not, uh, then you're safe, and so what we generally are talking about fact-checking everything before you send along is whether, like, is like, the discussion of controversies and scandals, which to me, is seeming less and less like news, and more and more like entertainment, and, uh, and so like, yes. It's almost as if it doesn't really matter whether that fact is true, before you, that's not really so much what you should think about before you send it on - though do do that. But whether or not that fact is actually helping people understand the world better? Or is just making them feel a way that they enjoy, which tends to be a way that, in which they, uh, are belittling the people that they dislike. 

J: I think it's also a question, of like, is this closer to information that is being, y'know, like, carefully reported and vetted, which I will say I think right now large media companies do a better job of than, uh, internet, uh, lone wolves, including, by the way, Hank and John Green.

H: [Laughs] Uh-huh.

J: Or as I prefer to think of them; John and Hank Green. Uh, I also, uh, I also think that you have to consider: is this closer in content to information about, uh, the ongoing famine in Somalia, or is this closer in content to information about, uh, Kim Kardashian's marriage to Kanye West? Because I actually think both of those are important, and I understand why people want to be informed about them both, but um, I think the level of fact-checking you have to do for one is different from the level of fact-checking you have to do for the other, because I just think that, uh, yeah, it's like you said Hank, we are sharing, a lot of what we are sharing is not really about the news, it's really about, uh, yeah, trying to find out who we identify with and trying to establish who we are. Which is important, it's just not, uh, it's just not news. 

H: There's a cer-, there's a certain amount, like, what I think the news has become, and this is not a, like a, immediately new thing, but a lot of it is about, like, like, okay, we need to try and convince a, like a larger group of people to be on the right, I'm using air quotes, side of this conversation, and, um, and so the things that we choose to share are the things that influence, like, what your, like, that have a higher change of influencing someone's opinion, rather than just what is the most newsworthy event of the day. 'Cause - and I totally get that! Because when I'm sharing stuff on the internet I mostly want to share stuff that's like: 'Look! We need to make better decisions!' and 'We need to have more people who agree that these are the things that are important and that those things that we don't think are important aren't important.' And so it's almost like we, like, there's a much bigger part of what news has become now that's about, that's purely about politics, rather than about being informed about something? And, when the world is as complicated as it is, being informed is very difficult, and it's much easier to sort of have a worldview and then just accept whatever content fits within that worldview and share that content. But I think that it is really started to serve us very poorly.

J: By the way, this is something that Hank and I both struggle with. Like we are not the, uh, we...

H: Oh! Yeah! I do this all the time! WAY more than John.

J: Yeah, yeah. We are not the old wise men trying to tell you about the world. We are, we are with you in this.

H: We are the problem. Yeah.

J: We are the problem. It's something that we struggle with a lot. Um, in the interests of fact checking, though, uh, Hank, I just want to note that Justin Trudeau started a Masters Degree in environmental geography, uh, but then gave it up, and uh, sought public office, and now is, of course, the Prime Minister of Canada. One of his, um, principal advisors is named Gerald Butts. 

H: [Laughing] John, you, I feel like you...

J: That's not super relevant, but it's just another thing that I know.

H: You just, you have to stay informed on the funny names that, uh, that Prime Minister's advisors have. Uh, you really, I feel like you let me down, you let me down on the chicken facts. Did you, did you just like run out of chicken facts John?

J: No, I wanted to move, I wanted to move on to the Gerald Butts issue. I feel like it's one of those things we're ignoring because we're only paying attention to news about, like, the current political scandal in the United States, rather than paying attention to the news of who is the fourteenth most powerful Canadian according to a Maclean's Magazine piece in 2014. Gerald Butts is the fourteenth most powerful Canadian. 

H: [Laughs]


 The News from AFC Wimbledon (42:04)

J: Alright Hank, it's time for the news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. I'm gonna start off with the news from AFC Wimbledon 'cause, eh-huh-blug-ug-ughh... We lost 2-0 to Port Vale, uh, in, in League One. The League One season is wrapping up, and I wouldn't say that AFC Wimbledon is firing on all cylinders at the moment. Ah, however we won, arguably, our most important game of the second half of the season, against the franchise currently plying its trade in Milton Keynes, and, uh, forty-one games into the season with five games to go we are sitting on 54 points, which in the world of League One is known as: 'Enough'. That is enough points to stay up, so, yeah.

H: [Laughs] Oh good.

J: So don't know that we really have that much to play for at the moment, except for pride, of course, pride is very important, but, uh, not important enough to beat Port Vale.

H: Well, um, congrats on the 'Enough' John. What else can we ask for, in life? Than enough?

J: That's right. No, listen, if AFC Wimbledon finish twelfth in League One after, uh, getting promoted last season, I am delighted. That's great news. What's the news from Mars? 

 The News from Mars (43:07)

H: Well there's a bit of, of a, of a spat, John. Uh, you don't, you don't know necessarily that there's drama in the Mars world, because, well, I mean we can have long debates about what color the sky is, but indeed, um, so, you know Elon Musk? And you know Neil deGrasse Tyson? Um, and...

J: I actually, I actually literally know both of them. I have met both of them.

H: What!? When did you meet Elon Musk!?

J: Yeah, I have. I have, not to brag, but, uh, like I've texted with Elon Musk.

H: You are totally, first of all, bragging, second of all, lying, right!?

J: No, I'm not lying. 

H: What? You have his phone number!?

J: He came up to me at a party and he said that he really liked my, uh, Who said it: Charlie Sheen or Muammar Gadaffi? video. 

H: Oh my goodness gracious! Why don't I know this?!

J: I don't know. I can't believe I've never told you that before.

H: No.

J: Anyway, I have met both Neil deGrasse Tyson and Elon Musk. Are they, uh, are they in a war?

H: No they are in, they are in a minimum a spat. Um... Maximum! Maximum a spat. 

J: Is there any way I could be brought in to mediate? 'Cause I'm ready.

H: Yeah, well yes I definitely could, uh, sit on that stage at the, uh, SpaceCon. Is SpaceCon a thing? SpaceCon should be a thing. Anyway, uh, Neil deGrasse Tyson...

J: Oh my god, just what we need: Hank with another business idea.

H: [Laughs] Uh, Neil deGrasse Tyson was doing a Reddit A.M.A. and was asked if he would, uh, take, uh, Elon Musk's SpaceX trip to Mars, and he said he had a condition. What he said, quote: "I really like Earth, so any space trip I take, I'm double checking that there's sufficient funds for me to return. Also, I'm not taking that trip until Elon Musk sends his mother, and brings her back alive. Then I'm good for it." Neil!

J: I mean, I think that's, I think that's perfectly charming.

H: I think that it, I think that it's charming, but I think it's a little unfair. Maybe not mom? Maybe somebody who's a little bit, like, more fit that Elon Musk's probably quite aged mother?

J: I mean, yuh, Elon Musk has a brother, uh, so maybe, yeah?

H: Yeah.

J: But I'm just saying, in general, I get the, I dunno. I get his point, I am also a huge fan of Earth so maybe I'm, um, uh, a little bit, uh, a little bit biased here. By the way, Elon Musk's mother is not that old. 

H: No. She's also gorgeous! 

J: She is rather gorgeous. She's a South African Canadian model and dietitian, according, uh, according to Wikipedia. 

H: Oh my goodness.

J: And she was born in 1948, so, uh, she could still go to Mars. 

H: Oh yeah, she could totally go to Mars. She looks like she may have been there already. This picture is amazing. 

J: Yeah, no, she definitely photographs amazingly, um, yeah. Yeah. Well, we can't all be Elon Musk and we can't all be Elon Musk's mother.  

 Conclusion (46:05)

J: What else did we learn today?

H: Oh, we learned that John knows Elon Musk!

J: It's true.

H: And he didn't tell me!

J: It's true, it's true.

H: Had a whole thing.

J: We learned that chicken sperm can survive for more than a month inside of a chicken.

H: And we learned that chickens in China outnumber chickens in America, one of the greatest nation con-ceri-con-frickidee-chickadee-chickadee-chack! What happened to me!?

J: I don't know, it was like, uh, it was like you were a robot that broke down. I've long suspected that you might be an artificial intelligence.

H: (Laughing) Yeah, ever since you were a child and thought that everybody was fake except you.

J: I did, I did think that when I was a child. And, by the way, I have never heard a particularly compelling argument, uh, about why I was wrong. Like, I, I now believe that I was wrong and that every other human is also a human, but just to be clear I believe that because I think it makes me a better person, not because I think that it is provably true. Uh, and lastly we learned that the podcast S-Town is truly fantastic, you should listen to it right away.

H: Okay, okay. Well, I'm worried because I heard on the hot take that it shouldn't exist, so now I'm worried that you're wrong.

J: I mean, y'know what, maybe that's right and, and, and like I've missed something terrible [Outro Music Plays] and I'm, I'm promoting some horrific podcast that I'm gonna get a lot of, a lot of, uh, flashback, but, uh, I, I enjoyed it very much and as someone who has, uh, lived at times in small town Alabama not too far from where this podcast is set, I found it, uh, fascinating and quite compelling. Uh, Hank, thank you for Podcasting with me, it is now our job to go and do This Week in Ryans which is, uh, available...


J: It's available to, uh, anybody out there who, uh, wants to go to our Patreon at You can get a little mini-podcast every week, um, and uh, yeah, I think it's gonna be, I think it's gonna be a good thing. But you don't have to go, it's not that good. Uh, but thanks for podding with me. Thanks everybody for listening. You can email us at Hank, you wanna do the credits?

H: Dear Hank and John is produced by Rosianna Halse-Rojas and Sheridan Gibson, our editor is Nicholas Jenkins, Victoria Bongiorno is our Head of Community and Communications, our music is by the great Gunnarolla. As they say in our hometown:

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