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Are you really in the clear with liquor before beer? Should I embrace the error on my birth certificate? Does it really matter where I go to college? And more!

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 (00:00) to (02:00)


(Intro music playing)
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 answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. How you doin' John?
J: I'm doing well, thank you. Uh, I just received in the mail 378 Tumblr stickers from Tumblr
H: *gasps* Oh wow!
J: And uh-
H: Actually from Tumblr Tumblr?
J: Ya, from Tumblr itself; and I- I- I feel like this "378 things" joke has gone a little bit too far
H: Well I mean the thing is -
J: We gotta back away from it,
H: What are you gonna do with 378 stickers? Gimme something I can EAT, Tumblr -
J: Yeah, well - *chuckles*
H: some Tumblr candy bars! Some Tumblr Hot Pockets
J: ya know -
H: Some Tumblr salad dressing! Something!
John: When I think about the places where Tumblr needs to expand and change, I really - I do think about food first. Uh, they need to get in the Hot Pocket business (Hank chuckles) because I just feel like the current Hot Pocket business is not being well-served by only having one brand in it. Uhhhh...
H: Ya. I do not see enough social media representation at the grocery store. What is that about? Why-
J: That's so true
H: -are there not Twitter...ya know, uh- fshthp- What are those things called? T.V. Dinners! Twitter TV dinners! That's what I want
J: Mmhmm. They're just- it's just -they're all 140 calories each.
H: oh OOOOOHHHH! I love it. I love it!
J: I mean, one of the things I really like about having you as my brother, Hank, is that even when I have kinda very mediocre ideas, you're wonderfully excited about them and I really appreciate that.
H: Oh... well, I kinda- I ga- I got really excited. I think- I think Twitter's missing out on a huge opportunity.
J: Uh *scoffs* ya. I- I agree, the biggest problem that Twitter has is not being in the TV dinners business. Uh... Hank, would you like a short poem for today?

 (02:00) to (04:00)

H: Before we do that John, I have to say that you got your stickers from Tumblr, but I from- so now, from two different sets of fans of the pod, I've gotten candy. And one was the O'Ryan's, the weird Irish potatoes that have no potato in them, and now, I have received- just because you're always getting the good stuff and people feel bad for me, I assume- I just got 378 peanut butter cups.
J: What!?
H: Not from Reese's, just from people who want me to feel better about my lack of good candy.
J: Awwww man, that's not fair! I love Reese's cups
H: Ex-ex- I know. They're good. But do you know what, John? Do you know what? I have put them out for all of the staff at Complexly Missoula to enjoy. Unlike your policy, with your poor people in Indianapolis, who just got to just look at, and not touch, the Snickers.
J: Uh, okay, I don't- I'm n- I... *sighs/groans*
H: *chuckles*
J: Ya know, you're... Don't- don't try to paint me as a bad guy just because I wanted to enjoy all 378 of the Snickers that the Snickers Company sent to me, personally
H: Ah... well, we- we're different people; that's all- that's all I can say. Do you have a short poem for us today?
J: Ooohh, that's- that's not at all fair. I am a f- I am a fantastic person who just happens to love Snickers and also I would not ask for someone else's Snickers, ya know? I believe that- uh I uh- in this world, a human being has to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, and without any help, find their own Snickers in this world, ya know? We've all got an equal shot at Snickers, Hank.
H: There's also the fact that-
J: No, I'm just kidding
H: Yeah, I know. There's also the fact that if I had 378 Reese's peanut butter cups in my home, that next week I would have about 50 and uh- and uh- but I would have serious digestive issues. So, I do need help-
J: Ya
H: -with this problem. It is- it is a bit of a problem, to have that many Reese's peanut butter cups.

 (04:00) to (06:00)

J: I would- I would say that, ya know, some people would construct it as a problem, other people would construct it as an opportunity. Here's a short poem. It's by Bill Knott, a poet I've gotten really into since he died. I feel bad because it's so cliche to get into poets right after they die, but I didn't know about him until he died. Anyway, this poem is called "Alternative Fates" and I really love it.

 Short Poem

J:"What if right in
the middle of a battle
across the battlefield the wind
blew thousands of
lottery tickets, what then?"
H: hhhuuuhhh
J: What then, Hank?
H: Like scratch-off tickets? Like they're not done- or are they already- or are they winning lottery tickets? Or are- like- are they- that have been like- or are they just like "Okay, everybody has to get their coins out to see if they won?"
J: I think, almost by definition, they can't all be winning lottery tickets. (H: That's not really how the lottery works) Then it's not a lottery, it's just a straight cash give-away.
H: That would be more expensive than the actual war would be
J: Uh...probably not. Wars are ASTONISHINGLY expensive.
H: *Laughs* That's a good point John. Alright, what've we got in the way of questions from our listeners this fine day on Dear Hank and John? (5:14)

 Question 1

J: Well, this first question comes from Danny, who writes, "Dear Green Brothers, Anytime I cook something in the oven that requires a covering of aluminium foil, I notice that even after 40+ minutes of exposure to extreme heat, the foil is barely even warm when I remove it. This is weird. Isn't metal supposed to be a good conductor? Should not the foil be just as hot as the metal dish in which my delicious lasagne is being cooked? Is everything I learned in my chemistry courses about conductors and insulators a lie? Any dubious explanation is appreciated. Victory for the forces of democracy, Danny"
H: *laughs*
J: I feel like I just was asked to participate in propaganda by reading the sign-off. I've been tricked, Hank.
H: Ya. You guys- you guys- you're not getting 100%... uh- like read of sign-offs.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

H: We will skip them sometimes, if we find them controversial enough, but not that one.
J: *sighs*
H: Victory for the forces of democracy, John.
J: Mightn't democracy have been over-rated?
H: Do you not like the frame that the, victory for the forces of anything really? Like, maybe we shouldn't be framing things that way? Or is it, is it-
J: I wouldn't mind victory in the war, I don't- let's move on.
H: *laughs* So, Danny, to your question, if you were listening extra hard in your chemistry/physics classes, you would know one extra thing about heat, which is that it's there, but it is only there in the amount that it can be there. 
H: So if I have a piece of lead that's like 30 pounds, and it is uniformly heated to 450 degrees or whatever your oven was at, then that object has a ton of heat inside of it.  It isn't just a temperature, it also contains a lot of heat.  And then if I have a feather, well that's a bad example because it's gonna to catch fire at 450 degrees probably, but if I have something that is very light that I heat up at the same temperature, then that will be the same temperature but it will contain less heat. 
H: So, when you're talking about this tinfoil, tinfoil is very light, it's very thin, so when you touch it, you are actually touching something that's 450 degrees, but all of that heat immediately, it just isn't enough to heat your finger up very much. 
J: What?!
H: So, it's going into your finger, there's just not enough heat to change the temperature of your finger dramatically.
J:  No! There is no, I thought it was because aluminium is something special and different from other metals.
H: Nope, nope.
J:  There is no way that that is the answer.
H: That is the answer.
J: Shut the front door!
H: Yeah, I even looked it up because I wanted to make sure. 
J: I mean, you know what Hank, I support you, and as you know,

 (08:00) to (10:00)

J: I am a huge fan of science, victory for the forces of science, however, there's no way that's true.  Danny, it's cause aluminium foil is different from other metals.
H: *laughs*
J: That's why.  And nobody knows how it's different or why it's different, but it is.
H: Okay, well, just because you don't agree doesn't mean it's not true, but we'll move on.
J: Hank, if I've learned anything from recent American history, it's that if you believe something, that is legitimate, no matter what. Even if it's wrong, it is as legitimate as a right opinion, because opinions are just opinions and everyone has them, and facts are just fact, and there might be alternative facts that contradict your facts, and there's a lot of data out there, and the data isn't clear.
H: *laughs*
J: And aluminium foil is special and different, and you just don't understand it, or maybe science just doesn't understand it yet because it's so complicated and interesting that science hasn't been able to grasp it.  
H: All right.
J: So let's move on. 

 Question 2 (9:04)

H: This question's from John, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I'm a delivery man, and I started giving people reminders of their mortality along with my pizza.  Am I good? It could happen at any time, John."
H&J: No, you are not good.
J: You are not good, man.  Nope, nope. 
H: *laughs*
J: You are on the wrong side of history, friend.  Here's my issue with this, Hank. 
H: I mean, do you just have one?
J: I have one issue.  All right, I want you to imagine a pizza delivery situation in which you open the door, you hand the money for the pizza, the pizza's handed back to you, and then somebody says, "You could die at any moment!" 
J: What I'm gonna take from that is not a helpful reminder of my mortality. I am going to assume that I am about to be murdered.
H: *laughs* Yep.  I mean, I also want to know how this message is being delievered.  It's very vague.
J: Yeah, are you being super subtle?  Cause even if you're saying, if you

 (10:00) to (12:00)

J: Look at me at the end of a pizza exchange and you just, even if you say, "It could happen at any time," I'm gonna spend the next, like, six years freaked out over, like, "What is 'it'?".
H: I like to imagine that before he puts the pizza in the box, John just writes a little message. Just like, "It could happen at any time", like very small under the... And so, like, 99% of people aren't noticing it, but somebody takes the last piece of pizza, and then they're like, "What is that? What is that? What does it, what does it mean? What is the pizza box trying to tell me?"
J: John, you have to stop doing this. This is a big, big concern for me. 
H: Yeah, no. I definitely will not order a pizza again from a restaurant that delivers with a pizza delivery man who is also delivering a message of my own mortality.
J: (*Laughs*) Yeah. I mean, have you not noticed a dramatic decrease in repeat customers? 
H: Reminders of their mortality along with pizza. I mean, if there's any time. Like, I understand that we should be aware of the finite nature of our existence, but also...
J: Yeah, that's why we have sundials.
H: I'm about to have a pizza! I don't need this right now! Like, I've already made a mistake today, I'm already indulging myself, I don't...
J: Hey. Hey! Stop right there. Stop right there. Alright, Hank, you and I have both now said stupid things on this podcast that we need to stop and apologize for. First off, I expressed an opposition to democracy. I would like to take that back.  
H: (*laughs*) Okay
J: I am hard in favor of democracy. I don't know where that came from. And then now, having said that, Hank, I want to give you an opportunity to take back the horrible, disgusting, reprehensible thing you just said about pizza.
H: I take it back. I do not want to shame myself or anyone else for the enjoyment of the perfect thing that is pizza.

 (12:00) to (14:00)

J: Thank you. Thank You. Ok. Alright. I feel like we're back to even now. And having noted that lets...
H: But you did that whole thing about aluminium foil and science being wrong. But, whatever, we'll just ignore that.
J: Oh, I'm not walking away from that one. It seems like you must be wrong. I believe that you're right, but it also seems like you must to wrong. Let's move on to another question, Hank. Alright. Actually, you know what? I'd like to formally apologize for saying that science is wrong.
H: Ok, but...
J: I don't know if people can read tone anymore in these dark and strange times, so I would like to be absolutely clear that I am pro-science.

 Question 3 (12:40)

J: This question comes from Emma, who writes: "Dear John and Hank, I have a distinct problem. For the first sixteen years of my life, I thought my name was Emma. That's spelled E-M-M-A. However, upon my attempt to acquire a learner's permit I found out that there was a clerical error on my birth certificate, making my legal name Emmma. That is, Emmma spelled with three M's, E-M-M-M-A."
H: (Laughs)
J: "To be clear, this spelling was not intended by my parents, however, they seem to find my mutant beast of a name absolutely hilarious. And take every opportunity to remind me of it. Obviously, I am distraught. The problem with my name is causing an inordinate amount of anxiety for me." I mean is it better now that we're laughing at you, Emma? "And perhaps it's something philosophical about the teenage struggle for identity." No, I don't think it's that. I think it's, maybe, that your name is spelled E-M-M-M-A.
H: ("laughs*) Oh, How is it pronounced though, John? How is Emmma with three M's pronounced? Is it just Emma?
J: (*laugh*) Don't make it worse. Don't make it worse. Don't make it worse. "I'm having a hard time figuring out if my fears are legitimate, thus I have turned to the pod." Oh, great idea. "Am I being too uptight? Should I pretend this clerical error never happened? Or should I own the new spelling?" 
H: Well I'm worried that it's gonna end up on your driver's license too.

 (14:00) to (16:00)

J: *laughing* No you should not own the new spelling. Jesus Christ.
H: Well, I don't know.
J: *laughing* Hey, why's your name "Emmma" with 3 M's? Oh, 'cause like sixteen years ago, somebody misread a form.  
H: Okay, but John, I just want to point out that, Emma signs off "The quality of mercy is not strained, Emma or possibly Emmma", but Rosianna has put the person's name at the top of the question, as she does, and has spelled it with 3 M's.  
J: I mean, I believe it's pronounced Em-muh-muh.
H: Em-muh-muh?
J: Right?
H: *repeats* Em-muh-muh. I think it's, no, I think's it's just "Emmmmmmma" (*emphasizes "mmm" sound*)
J: Oh, that's what it is, you're absolutely right. You just have to settle more into the "muh," so it's like "Emmmmmmma." Yeah. It's not bad. By the way, that quote is from Shakespeare and it's a very good sign-off "Emmmmmmma."
H: *laughs*
J: It's really lovely. And, so if nothing else, you've got a great sign-off going for you, which is a wonderful start. And then, I think that probably the next step is um, yeah, you should go ahead and legally change your name to the name that is your name, uh, 'cause the government should not get to decide how many "m's" are in your name. I don't want to sound like too much of a libertarian, Emma, but I do think there are some places the government should stay out of, including the number of "m's" in "Emma."
H: Dude, I mean, dude, just stick with it. Stick with the three "m's," because who else has that? Who else has that story? Everybody from now on is going to look at your driver's license and be like, "I didn't know your name has three "m's" in it!" And you're going to be like, "Funny story. And also, I was on this podcast, and they told me to keep it, so I did. Though one of the brothers was wrong, and he told me to change it, and I disobeyed him directly. Then I wrote a letter to Hank about how right he was and how great he is."
J: Not since I said that aluminium foil can't be judged by science have I heard such dubiousity. 

 (16:00) to (18:00)

J: That's ludicrous, that's terrible advice.
H: I-
J: Emma, I mean, look, the thing is, Hank, she will have the story for the rest of her life. All she needs-
H: But it won't come up-
J: to do is like, photocopy the birth certificate and keep it in her pocket-
H: Nah, you gotta have the natural-
J: and for the rest of her life, she's gonna have a hilarious story, I mean, Hank is right, Emma, that this is a very funny story. I understand that current you is really unhappy about this situation, and I don't blame you, because it is an unpleasant situation to be in at the age of 16 when you're trying to get your driver's license, but future you is going to find this as funny as your parents do, so there is, you need to hold on to some memories of "Emmmmmmma," but I don't think you need to hold on to the name as your name if you don't want to. 
H: All right. I feel, I feel as if we have both made our cases.

 Question 4 (16:49)

H: This next question comes from "Cassandra," with three "s's", (*John laughs*) "Dear Hank and John, recently me and my boyfriend broke up due to irreconcilable differences a couple of days ago. His name was Ryan and I'm not even joking. I am generally doing okay post-breakup, however, the situation has left me with a serious quandary: who gets custody over the teddy bear we made together at Build-a-Bear. Cinnamon sticks and hockey pucks, Cassandra." Does he want it? 
J: *exhales* I mean, does anyone want it
H: (*echoes*) Does anyone want it?
J: In the long, long, long run, is this not a bear that would be best suited with an entirely new family?
H: (*laughs*) I mean, have you seen the ending of Toy Story 3? That's where we're at here.
J: Yeah, I think we're at a Toy Story 3 kind of moment here, no spoilers, and I think that maybe, uh, even in the medium run it might not be that helpful for you to have the bear, and I don't think it would be helpful for him to have the bear, but I do think it would be helpful for someone to have the bear who could really love that bear and care for it.
H: In fact, the problem is

 (18:00) to (20:00)

H: you don't want to throw the bear away, like you don't wanna say-
J: No!
H: you, bear- I'll take the bear. Do you want to send me the bear? I'll pay for it.
J: No, Hank. No, you are not a good home for the bear. I guess you could give it to Orin. On the other hand, I would submit that Orin, among the world's children is perhaps, you know-
H: *laughs* -beared up?
J: Yeah, I mean, he's probably reasonably beared up. So maybe, uh, donate the bear somewhere?
H: No, I feel like-
J: -can you donate bears?
H: Well the thing is, it's a custom bear, it's got memories of this particular situation inside of it, and there's probably a surplus of Build-a-Bears that have memories attached to them that people feel a little bit weirded out by. But anyone who's listening to this podcast I feel like, they'll be aware enough of the story that they'll wanna, you know, give the bear a good home and avoid, you know, any nasty custody battles. 
J: Okay, so if you, listener, are in a situation where you need a bear. A Build-a-Bear bear, high quality Build-a-Bear bear, available now- by the way, this person has not agreed to make her bear available, but Hank and I think it's the right thing to do. Let us know on the Patreon, at, you can access it even if you don't donate, if you need a bear and what you would need a bear for. And we, Cassandra, if you are ready to say goodbye to that bear, if this relationship is really over, and it sounds like it is, I think maybe- if you're ready to give it up, and no pressure if you're not- we can find a good home for it. 
H: The bear's name is Crawford, by the way, Crawford the bear, made at Navy Pier in Chicago. Uh, it sounds like a lovely and sad story, but I think there are happy resolutions that can occur.
J: I agree. I am inclined to agree. It's a sad situation, um, I had a similar issue 

 (20:00) to (22:00)

J: actual cat. 

H: -Oh

J: -not a stuffed cat, but a live cat named Pants when my college girlfriend and I broke up. The Pants situation still bugs me. Let's move on to another question from Rachel.

 Question 5 (20:13)

J: "Dear John and Hank, I recently went out with some friends, and the phrase came up, "Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer, and you're in the clear." I feel like this is not actually a thing, since it's just all ethanol, right? It simply depends on how much you drink. Have you experienced this phenomenon, and do you think the saying is true? Still alive, Rachel." Well, I'm glad you didn't die of alcohol poisoning, good Lord.
H: *laughs* I mean, maybe that's just generally her sign-off, not to do with the specifics of this question. 
J: I feel like as a sign-off, here's my issue with it as a sign-off, it is a little bit redundant.  
H: Right, yes, well, you are typing at the moment, so there is-
J: That's my concern
H: Yeah-
J: Hank, you and I are going to answer this question differently, because you presumably have done some scientific research on it, whereas I have something more powerful than science called anecdote. 
H: Hit me with that anecdote, buddy boy!
J: So, I've gone both ways, and my experience has been that if you drink a lot, you will feel sick and you will feel sick the next day, and once you hit about the age of 37, you will also feel sick the day after the next day.
H: Yeah.
J: So don't, just don't drink to excess and if you find yourself regularly drinking to excess and not able to not drink to excess, you have to pursue not hangover remedies, but instead treatment options. 
H: Mmhm. Well I will, so, there definitely isn't a lot of hard science here, there may be something to the fact that you might get a little more water with your drink if you're drinking beer.

 (22:00) to (24:00)

H: second, 'cause maybe you drink longer, 'cause here's the thing, it's definitely a psychological thing more than it's a hard science thing. I think that when you are drunk, you drink more, so when you're not drunk-
J: That is definitely true
H: So if you start with liquor, uh, and then you're like "I'm a little bit drunk," and then you move over to beer, it's harder to get really, really drunk on at least, you know, your average American beer. It's super possible, super-
J: Oh, it's not that hard
H: But I think it's easier to know to know what you are drinking when you're drinking beer, whereas when you're drinking liquor, you know, shots, like a shot glass of a slightly different size can have way more alcohol in it, a mixed drink can have way more alcohol in it, like you don't really know how much alcohol is in a mixed drink, so I think it's easier to drink more when you're drinking liquor. I don't think it's impossible to drink a lot when you're drinking beer, but I think that is where this saying came from, is that when you, once you are drunk, if you switch to beer, you're getting a little more water when you're drinking, and also you may not end up drinking as much as if you get a little bit drunk on beer and then you switch to liquor and start going way, way overboard and not knowing how overboard you're going because you're already drunk. So that's, I think that's where it comes from, but like absolutely, you can get super sick both ways, and so, do not drink to excess because it's not fun in my experience-
J: It's not as fun
H: It's not
J: No, a few years ago my best friend Chris gave me a piece of advice that, to quote Gatsby, I forget the quote, um- "I've been turning over in my mind ever since," I think, anyway. The piece of advice was this: We were at a party and I had a beer in my hand, and Chris looked at me and he said, "You know what nobody every regretted the next morning?" And I said, "What," and he said, "not having the last beer." 

 (24:00) to (26:00)

H: That's a great point, I want to thank Chris for that-
J: But then if you follow that line of reasoning all the way down, you never have any beers.
H: Well-
J: Uh-
H: Yeah, yeah-
J: Yeah-
H: Certainly in terms of regret, but it's good advice, especially when it comes to the last beer, I also want to thank John for really just cruising past the part where I called him buddy boy and not making a big deal out of my weird decision there. 
J: I literally didn't hear that, but it's just one more example of how extremely dubious this episode of the pod has been. This question comes from Emily, oh wait, did I read the last one? 
H: You did, this question comes from Ben, who asks, "Dear Hank and John-"
J: Noooo, poor Emily.
H: "I was considering a YouTube Red subscription, however, I don't know if it's worth the money. I recently saw Hank go on a lengthy Twitter spree about YouTube Red. I'm nervous about the side effects. How much do YouTube creators make off YouTube Red without ads? Ben."
J: Uh, well, let me summarise quickly. We get a percentage of the revenue that you give to YouTube, and a YouTube Red viewer is definitely always worth more to a creator than an advertising supported user, like at least two or three times more-
H: Yeah.
J: -although, in the current environment, with ad rates- uh, I would say in the toilet is perhaps an understatement, like whatever is below the toilet is the YouTube ad situation at the moment.
H: Down the drain
J: Yeah, it's somewhere downstream from the toilet, is the YouTube ad situation.
H: You know, I think at this point it's kind of at the sewage treatment plant and they're trying to figure it out, trying to make it a little less gross-
J: Yeah-
H: before they start-
J: Exactly correct, so I would say at this point YouTube Red viewer might be worth five, to some creators even ten times as much as an ad supported viewer. Certainly YouTube Red is good for creators.
H: Yeah, but also 

 (26:00) to (28:00)

H: You know, if you don't know if it's worth the money for you, like I think it should be worth the money for you.

J: Oh, absolutely.

H: And if you want to help creators, support on Patreon goes way further than even a YouTube Red subscription will. 

J: Like a hundred times further, yeah. I mean, I have YouTube Red because I like it and because an ad-free YouTube is worth it to me, and also because it comes free with a Google Play Music subscription, so I was able to get rid of my Spotify subscription, which I will never say again if Spotify just agrees to sponsor this podcast. However, until they do, I'm going to tell you the truth, which is that I got rid of Spotify for Google Play Music and then basically got YouTube Red for free, and I'm kinda confused why everyone doesn't do that, but maybe lots of people don't have paid subscriptions to Spotify, I'm not sure.

H: Which brings me to the fact that this podcast is brought to you, of course, by YouTube Red.

J: YouTube Red.

H: YouTube Red. Sure, why not?

J: Yeah, no, it's like Spotify plus ad-free YouTube. That actually sounded like a proper sponsorship, Hank, that's as close as we'll ever get - 

H: It did, we didn't get paid for that. We do kinda get paid. 

J: Yeah, indirectly

H: But more to the case, this podcast is brought to you by Patreon, a place where you can support really great independent creators directly and a very very small percentage goes to the upkeep and maintenance of Patreon's actual business, because they are really creator-focused and they are great. 

J: We've got to get rid of the actual sponsorships, Hank, today's podcast is brought to you by Build-a-Bear custody battles, Build-a-Bear custody battles. Coming soon to a theatre near you?

H: This podcast is also brought to you by messages of mortality, which were brought to you by your pizza delivery man. Messages of mortality, available now, inside of your pizza apparently.
J: And most importantly, today's podcast is brought to you by the forces of democracy.

 (28:00) to (30:00)

J: The forces of democracy just to be absolutely clear, I am in favour of them.

H: Whew, that was close. 

J: Right, this question comes from Emily, who writes "Dear John and Hank, Hey guys, alright so I have this problem. My problem is that for as long as I can remember my uncle has always greeted me by asking 'Emily May, what the hey?' Every time he sees me."

H: Oh my gosh.

J: "The rhyme itself is not the problem in fact, I find it to be cute."

H: Is it not? eh...

J: "My issue is that 'What the hey?' is just not a thing that people ask each other. What does it even mean? I'm not even sure if it's 'hay' you know, like, hay, or 'hey' as in 'hello'. How an i supposed to answer this nonsensical question? What the hey, Emily."

H: John, do you know that here in Montana we have a thing called "What the Hay"? Which is where - I don't know if this is everywhere - uh, where they dress up hay bales as like minions, or like snowmen or whatever.

J: uh.... uh no... I'm not familiar with this.

H: They call it "What the Hay" and everybody makes - oh man, and it's - like, Minions have totally taken over What the Hay, and so it is, like it's a bit disappointing. But there's some really great What the Hay Stuff. If you Google 'What the Hay'. Hay H A Y you could see some good Montana hay creations. 

J: But I don't think that's what Emily's uncle is referencing. I think what  Emily's uncle is doing, in all likelihood is saying something that he has been saying to Emily May since she was like zero years old. 

H: Mmhm. 

J: Like uh, like Chris always sings this song whenever he sees Henry like 'Henry Atticus M'in F'in Green

H: (laughs)

J: and, until... Until Henry was like two, he sang the actual song, if you catch my drift.

H: Yeah. 

J: Uh, and then he, he has since then censored it, but like it is so far, it is just a result of having spent a lot of time with someone as a baby, and like singing nonsense songs to them, 

 (30:00) to (32:00)

J: And saying nonsense things to them. To get them to sort of babble back at you. and so 'Emily May, what the hey' is your uncles way of trying to say "I love you in a way that you can't fully imagine, that you can't even glimpse because for much of the period that I have been loving you, you were like, semi conscious.

H: Mmhm.

J: So maybe you just have to reply with, like, "I love you Uncle Joe". Or maybe like uhhhh "Uncle Joe, what do you know?" Like maybe think of a rhyme that rhymes with his name.

H: Good advice John, I appreciate that, and uh, now I feel bad that I don't have like fun names for - name rhymes for Henry and Alice. I'll work on it.

H: This question is from, um, anonymous. "Dear Hank and John, I'm a high school senior and this week I was rejected from four colleges. I was accepted to a couple, but all the ones near the top of the list did not accept me. I'm trying to stay positive, and remind myself that I have a wonderful opportunity to choose between schools that did accept me, but it's hard because all these rejections made me feel a lot of self doubt. Any advice through this process would be really helpful, You both mean a lot to me. Crumbling under the weight of my own existence, anonymous.

J: Hank, did you get into all the colleges where you applied?

H: well, John, I only applied to two. Yes.

J: [laughs] Yeah, so I applied to like a bunch of colleges, and I - 

H: Well, here's the secret to getting into only two colleges, John: I did not apply to any good schools. 

J: Well, I mean you, the school you went to is a good school, but you didn't apply to like any Ivy Leagues or anything.

H: Yeah, I wasn't trying to get into, like, anything super special. Yeah.

J: I think that where you go to college is important, but maybe not for the reasons you think it will be important when you are a high school Junior or senior, a lot of times. Like where I went to college was very important, but I didn't get into like maybe the five best school i applied to, but I'm very grateful for that, because if I hadn't gone to the college I - where I ended up going,

 (32:00) to (34:00)

J:  I would not have moved to Chicago after graduating from college, and I would therefore not have met Sarah, and I would therefore have a vastly different life. So like, when I think about what was really important about college - like the classes were really important, I learnt a lot of things that I've been able to apply to my professional and personal life, but the single most important thing was geography, that allowed me to meet my wife. 

H: (Laughs) yeah, I mean, uh, like, I also think there are a huge number of great schools. And there are a small number of schools that will help you just through sheer value of their reputation, and uh, and I almost think like in terms of, like, that's kind of weird anyway. Like if you're being helped just by the fact that you went to a school that people like recognise the name, that doesn't necessarily say anything about what you've learnt. Um, but there, like, overall, there are a lot of great schools in America that no one's ever heard of. And you will have no idea about whether or not a school's good for you until basically you're done. Um, but, I think as long as you come into it with like, the right mindset and the right goals, like, and want to take on college with an open mind and a spirit of like "This is exciting and I'm going to", uh, "I'm going to make myself a better person these next four years", like I think you're going to get a lot out of school. Wherever you go. 

J: Yeah, I mean there are definitely some colleges where it's easier to get a good education than others, uh because they're ya know, student centred, or learning centred or whatever, easier to get a good education in different subjects. But I would argue that the vast majority of American universities are places where you CAN get a good education. So it's going to be okay. 

 (34:00) to (36:00)

J: I remember being very disappointed, about the places I didn't get into. Although i got into the college I most wanted to attend, even if it wasn't like technically the best according to the rankings. Um, but also, I wouldn't put a tonne of stock in those rankings. I think, you know,

H: Oh, yeah. 

J: Measuring the quality of an education is not something that numbers are particularly good at doing, 

H: I agree John. Do you have another question for us?

J: I don't. But I have a number of responses to things, Hank.

H: Ohh! Okay.

J: First, you might remember Sarah, of the Girl Scout cookies. She wrote in to say "Dear John and Hank, it's Sarah the Girl Scout, and I wanted to let you guys know that with your help we managed to donate 78 boxes of cookies for the food pantry, which is really great."

H: aaah! What?

J It's not 378, but it's still a lot. So thank you to everybody that donated and bought Sarah's Girl Scout cookies through the link that we read out loud, that's really made me very happy. Then a number of people wrote in on the topic of snakes, um, because we suggested I guess to a kid named Devon that, uh, that Devon sneak a snake onto the campus of Devon's new college. that turns out to have been bad advice, at least according to a number of college administrators who wrote in to let us know that, in general, snakes are not welcome in college dormitories. 

H: Really? I feel like there's go tto be some colleges that allow snakes.

J: I feel like aluminium foil must be chemically special, but apparently I'm also wrong. Susan wrote in as well to say "Dear John and Hank, I don't have a question, I just wanted to thank you," this is one of the bes emails we've ever received Hank. "I met a guy with a tattoo that says 'morituri te salutant' because I had just listed to the podcast where you explain what that means, I was able to show off my knowledge, and this Friday we are going on our second date."

 (36:00) to (38:00)

H: Ooh! (laughs)

J: "Arrows and Otters, Susan". Uh, I mean, it remains to be seen Susan, whether that proves to be good news or bad news that you're going on a second date with someone who has a tattoo that says "those who are about to die salute you", but, um, I hope that it works out. I think that it's a pretty cool Latin phrase and I think, I mean, just don't feel pressure from us to get married. 

H: Uhh, yeah, no, uh that's definitely not....

J: We're okay...

H: Just a date is good enough for us. 

J: Yeah, we're delighted about the situation. 

H: can I read to you a quote from 800 different emails we got?

J: Yes. 

H: It's just a direct quote, it was in all 800 of them.

J: Uh-huh.

H: "John, OMG, it's 'bath bomb, not bath ball". 

J: yeah, uh...

H: C'mon!

J: I know, I wanted to apologise to my friends at Lush Cosmetics for calling their bath bombs "bath balls. However, I would also like them to apologise to me Hank, and I waited until the end of the pod to tell this story, because I don't want to, in any way, damage the amazing reputation of my personal sponsor, Lush Cosmetics. However, one of the bath bombs - so I've been using these bath bombs pretty regularly, and they're fantastic, you can find a picture, in fact, of me using one of them on the Patreon at However, one of the bath bombs, uh, it was shaped kind of like a yellow and white pill, and I put it in my bath and I was like "uh, this is so lovely, I am just having the most relaxing experience", and then at the very centre of the bath bomb there was this sort of silvery stuff, and I was like "that's weird, god, what a great bath I'm having". like a nice 30 minute bath,. And then I got out of the bath, 

H: Oh man, I love this story already. 

 (38:00) to (40:00)

J: My beautiful, lovely, wife - who is not totally sold on this whole 'me using bath bombs in every bath' thing - looked at me and said "John, you are literally covered in glitter."

H: (Long laugh)

J: (Laughs) and it was - I mean, not only was I covered in glitter, but I would say that I, like, five days later, there is still a fair amount of glitter on my body. 

H: (Laughs) I'm not surprised. 

J: That stuff is sticky. 

H: Oh, that's awesome. I love that. 

J: We also got - 

H: There's like a glitter pocket inside of it? 

J: yeah!

H: Oh, there should be a special warning. The other day John, this has started to happen to me, this is very unrelated, but I was drinking what appeared to be seltzer water, and I started to feel like I'd had some caffeine, and I looked and there was caffeine in it, it wasn't branded as an energy drink, it was branded as like, a low calorie soda thing, and like, I was enjoying it. You can't just throw caffeine in stuff and not put in on like the front label and say "Caffeine in this!" And I also had a Cliff Bar, that had caffeine in it. And no, you can't just - you can't do that to a guy! I freak out! Okay?

J:  (Laughs) That's just like having your entire body covered in glitter. Umm,

H: Except it's just my soul! That's what happens to me!

J: Former-

H: that's what happens!

J: Former- form, form - former- I'm going to get in here at some point. Formerly, Pastor Tom wrote in to say "Dear friends a couple episodes ago you answered a question regarding signatures in which John's old signature was brought up", and then Tom has a copy of Looking for Alaska from March 12th, 2005 which is less than a week, or I think nine days, maybe, after the book first came out. 

 (40:00) to (42:00)

J: ... that has my old signature on it, and we're going to post that on the Patreon so that you can see what my old signature looked like. Second to last, we received several emails from friends or acquaintances of the fourteenth most powerful Canadian, Gerald Butts. An astonishing number of Dear hank and John listeners know either Gerald Butts himself, or are friends with Gerald Butts, or slow danced with Gerald Butts' friend Justin Trudeaux when they were in high school. It's absolutely astounding the amount of people that know Gerald Butts. It makes me think that Canada is indeed one of those countries where literally everyone knows literally everyone else. And lastly, and perhaps - 

H: wait, you gotta give, you gotta give the best little note at the ned of that one John.

J: What is it?

H: That Gerald Butts, if you're wondering, really loves bruscetta. Or however that's pronounced. 

J: I think it's pronounced 'brew shet uh", but I'm not totally positive, however that is a little bit of Gerald Butts trivia for you Gerald Butts fans out there. 

J: And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we received the following email from Sarah: "Dear John and Hank, Jeffrey Potaterson has become self aware." Jeffrey Potaterson, who if youäre a long time hard core listener to Dear Hank and John you will remember from a previous episode,  after months of not accepting friend requests from literally hundreds of listeners, Jeffrey Potaterson has accepted all of our friend requests and has become, like, pretty excited about his newfound platform. 

H: Yeah, yeah, he's posted a, uh, "Jeffrey Potaterson is feeling excited. haven't been on in a long time, didn't think I'd become so popular!" (laughs)

J: It's good yeah, I noticed when he added me as a friend and then immediately started getting messages from people on Twitter

 (42:00) to (44:00)

H: like "I'm friends with Jeffrey Potaterson Hank, it happened!"

J: Oh man.

H: And he's posting again.

J: I'm just so happy for Jeffrey Potaterson. Hank, what's the news from Mars?

H: Oh. Right. John,

J: I know the news from Mars this week. 

H: Do you know which news from Mars I'm going to give you? 

J: I hope it's the news where, while talking to an astronaut, president Donald trump promised to get a human being on the surface of  Mars by the end of his administration.

H: you know, that was gonna be my news, uh, because I feel that, more what he's saying than like "I'm going to get you to Mars in the next 4 years" is "I plan on being president for the next seventy five years". 

J: No, he said he's like it to be done in his first term, but it will definitely be done in his second term, which means it would happen by 2024. Which also means - and I'm going to throw this out there, and I don't, we don't like to get political on the pod, but I don't know that um, president Donald trump has a great sense of, uh, what it would take to get a human being to Mars. 

H: Of, like, what, exactly, Mars is. 

J: Uh, no, I think he knows what Mars is. I don't think. . . I think he is a. . . I think he is a person who likes to make bold promises. 

H: Yes. He does, yes. ugh. . . 

J: Hmm. . .

H: Yeah. . .

J: What's the news. . . Is that the news from Mars?

H: That. . . That doesn't seem. . .  That doesn't seem doable to me. I'll be honest with you - I'm pretty - I'm not very optimistic about hitting my own date, uhhhhhhh, but it's interesting that he would. . . Yeah, he'd just say that without like, talking to anybody at NASA. At all. About where we're at with the space launch system, which is not ready to go to Mars. Anytime. . .  But, anyway, I. . . guess I wish him luck. I was gonna talk about, uh, so, building things on Mars is important, because 

 (44:00) to (46:00)

H: you have to have places for people to live, and, uh, and taking things to Mars is very hard. And, so, we would like to take as little as possible with us, when we go to Mars. So, uh, a, we have now been able to, in the lab, create a fairly good substitute for what Mars soil is like, or, like, dirt on Mars, orn regolith, or whatever. And they have been thinking it would be great if we could build structures out of stuff that's already on Mars, that way, you know, not only do they have a place to live, but also we could protect astronauts from cosmic rays and so maybe, like, we could make bricks from the regolith on Mars. And the thought was that we'd have to bring some kind of binder with us, or we would have a microbe that would turn - because on Earth you can't do this. You can't turn - You need a binder to make clay into a brick. Or a bunch of heat and, etcetera. So, we bring a microbe that would turn human waste into this by-product we could mix with the soil and then bake it and turn it into a brick. But they found that, actually, because of the iron oxide in Martian soil, if you just press it, if you just take a bunch of Mars soil - at least the simulations that we have for it right now - if you just compress it really hard the iron oxide will sort of break down into like, flat little sheets, and then stick to itself. Because it likes to be with itself. And, so, it breaks down into like these flat things, like, tiny, microscopic structures that will create a brick-like structure. It requires, as far as we can tell, no extra ingredients. So uou just have automatic Martian bricks and all you need is to apply a fair amount of pressure, but the kind of pressure that could easily be applied by some sort of electric press. And boom, Martian bricks to build houses out of. Which, uh, is exciting. 

 (46:00) to (48:00)

J: That is very exciting. You know what is not exciting? 

H: uh oh. 

J: The month of April. Hank, every month, every football team has this thing where they - every football team in the whole world is like, every month, like let's vote on our goal of the month, like "here are the top three nominees for goal of the month, which of these amazing goals, will be, you know, our team's goal of the month?" AFC Wimbledon has not scored a goal in the month of April. 

H: (laughs) still - still got that drought going. It's probably like, a "well, we're safe so let's just. . .  so yeah. . .  it's fine."

J: They're so, they're enjoying being safe so much that they have now gone five, five, games without scoring  a goal.  During those five games they're picked up two points.  Both nin - nil draws against, one against Swindon Town and one against Peterborough. They lost three - nil to Bradford City, a score that, from the accounts I could find on Twitter, seemed to rather flatter AFC Wimbledon, and, uh, yeah. Now they're about to play their sixth game of April, and um, hopefully, on April 30th, they will score. And then there will be a goal of the month. 

H: (laughs)

J: There will not need to be a vote, because it will just be the one goal.

H [overlapping]: maybe, maybe 

J [overlapping]: it will be that one. 

H: maybe it will be two goals and you can, you can pick one. 

J: They can fight it out between the two goals of the month, yeah. I mean, so the great news - and it is, really great news, I don't want to minimise it - is AFC Wimbledon are safe, they are going to have another season in League One.  The bad news is that, um, if you can be judged on how you finish, uhhhh,

H: (Laughs)

J: Well, let¨'s just say you shouldn't be judged on how you finish. One game left in the season for AFC Wimbledon, and it is against Oldham, another team that is completely safe, and also is playing for nothing, so maybe we'll find a way to win it, or not lose it, or even lose 2 -1.  

 (48:00) to (50:00)

H: The questio-- so, John. . .  

J: Yeah?

H: Are you going to be below the M K. . .  Whatever. . ? Whatever it is?

J: Very likely going to finish below the franchise currently plying its trade at Milton Keynes.  Yes.  It's not - It's not inevitable. . . Milton Keynes sitting on fifty eight points, AFC Wimbledon sitting on fifty six, so if AFC Wimbledon, and Milton Keynes lose, then it would happen.  Otherwise. . .   Probably not.  We'll see.  We'll see.  There is still something to play for because I think that's - that would not be an insignificant accomplishment.  

H: Alright John, What did we learn today? 

J: Uh, well, we learnt that, uh, there's nothing special about aluminium foil, it's heat itself that's so wierd.  

H: We learnt that if the people at the hospital put a name on your birth certificate, that's your name.  And, and that's great.  And you can be Emma if you want to be.  

J: But, also, according to Hank, you have to be Emma regardless of whether you want to be.  

H: (laughs)

J: (laughs)

H: I didn't say "have to", I said. . .  That's a good story!

J: Oh, it's a great story.  We learnt that you should never, ever, ever, tell people that they are going to die while delivering them a pizza.  

H:  And we learnt that drinking to excess is bad, no matter what you use to do it with.  John, thanks for podding with me today.  

J: Well, we're not done podding just yet Hank, because we have to go record This Week in Ryans, our hit comedy podcast that's available only via our Patreon at Patreon .com / Dear Hank and John.  This week - you know who we're discussing this week, Hank?  

H: Oh, no, no I didn't realise you had one.  

J: Well, that's how it works.  I pick the Ryans, and then you quickly read their Wikipedia pages, while recording the Podcast.  

H: (laughs)

J: This week I've chosen to make it very hard for you, by talking about Ryan Babel, the Dutch footballer.  

H: Oh, god. . . 

J: If you want to ask us a question you can do so at

 (50:00) to (50:35)

J: Or you can use the hashtag Dear Hank and John [#DearHankandJohn] on Twitter, Hank is Hank Green and I am occasionally John Green, but mostly Leon Musk for Earth or Sports with John, uh. . .

H: This podcast is produced by Rosianna Halse Rojas, and Sheridan Gibson, it is edited by Nicholas Jenkins,

J: Victoria Bongiorno is our head of community and communications, and our music is by The Great Gunnarolla. Hank thank you again for podding with em and thanks everybody for listening, and as we say in our hometown, Don't Forget to be Awesome. 

(end theme music)