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Hank and Travis answer exactly two questions and, let's be honest, we did this entirely to let you know that the PodCon IndieGoGo campaign is very very close to ending. Please come hit us up at to see what it's all about and whether you'd be interested in attending...either digitally or IRL.

If you can't no worries, I hope that this episode was also an entertaining addition to your regularly scheduled podcast listening.

 (00:00) to (02:00)

H: Hello, and welcome to Dear Hank and John.

T: Or, as I like to think of it, Dear Travis and Hank.

H: Oh, Travis, what are you doing here for this very weird and short and special episode of Dear Hank and John?

T: Well, I'm glad you asked.  Basically what's happening is the McElroy brothers have decided that we are going to, like a virus, spread throughout everyone else's podcasts and take them over.  That would be a lot easier than just starting more of our own.  So actually, by next week, you'll be replaced with Griffin and then Justin will join us the week after and then it'll just be more of My Brother, My Brother, And Me.

H: I feel like Dear Hank and John grew at a fairly steady rate until we started telling everybody that MBMBAM existed and then everyone was like, oh, why am I listening to this dumb advice podcast from two brothers when I could be listening to this amazing, much funnier podcast from three brothers?

T: Mhmm.  Well, and to be fair, I think that happened to everyone.

H: So, I don't know--

T: Like, I think, like Serial saw a drop off when people realized MBMBAM existed.  This American Life.

H: Yeah.

T: A lot of people have seen that drop.  Don't feel bad.  It's like the opposite, it's like the McElroy bump but not a bump.  The McElroy--

H: Suck.

T: --reclamation, I call it.

H: The rump.  

T: Mhmm, exactly.

H: You are, in fact, here 'cause we're doing a thing.  You and me and the guys from Welcome to Nightvale and also my brother John.

T: Yes.

H: And there is very little time left to support the Indiegogo campaign, and so we are doing a special mini episode of Dear Hank and John with Travis McElroy and no John, in which we will answer a few questions, but first we will talk about PodCon.  Tell me about PodCon, Travis.  Why did you say yes when I pitched this idea to you?

T: Well, first and foremost, one of the reasons I was very excited about it is that even though I think, to many people, podcasts seem like they've been around forever, it's still such a new media and we're still figuring it out, but the whole, the sphere has really blossomed in the last couple years and I'm not gonna say we're the first people to ever do a podcast convention, but any opportunity to bring everybody together and really kind of cement it as an art form is so interesting to me, especially with the focus on production and like, the shows themselves and not just the listening, but the creating of them, is so important and building the community of podcasts and podcast consumers is so important.  

 (02:00) to (04:00)

I love bringing those people together so we can talk about the creation, what people like, what we think, you know, is developing in the art, in the space, all of that stuff, and so when you said, hey, I wanna bring people together under the banner of podcasts, I was on board from like the word 'go'.  I was so excited.

H: And like, the thing to remember also is that everybody who makes podcasts is also a huge fan of podcasts so we also just want to get together and celebrate and watch our friends do their thing that they do so well.

T: So like, when you came to me and were like, hey, I've been talking to the guys at Welcome to Nightvale, like, I was star-struck.  I'm a huge fan of Welcome to Nightvale.  I'm a huge fan of yours and of John's and like, the people that we have coming to the show like, I'm just as excited to go and interact with the people who consume my show as I am to go and meet the people who create the shows that I love, so it's--there's such a wonderful blending and getting to go as both a creator and a fan is so exciting.  I'm so happy about it.  I'm really looking forward to it.  I hope people are too, 'cause there's going to be some really amazing guests and, you know, even more every day it feels like we get somebody else onboard and it's growing to be this really awesome event that I really hope people come to.  

H: Well, I know that people will come to it because a bunch of people have already gotten their tickets on the Indiegogo.  Tickets will be available after the crowdfunding campaign ends.  We're doing the crowdfunding campaign so that we can sort of have a better idea of how many people we can offer support to when we're inviting them to the conference so like, it's one thing to say like, hey, we want to--we want you to be on stage.  We want you to do this fun thing, but it's another thing to say, and also we can pay for your flight out and your hotel room so you don't have to worry about that.  The price will go up after the end of the campaign, which is on Monday.  The next Monday after this is uploaded, so like two or three days from right now, when you're listening to this probably, and some of the ticket levels won't be available at all, so like our, some of our higher end levels will not be available so um, check it out.  

 (04:00) to (06:00)

Save some money and come on out to PodCon.  

T: And we should also say, in that Indiegogo campaign, it's not just--your rewards don't stop at admittance.  There's like meet and greets that you can pay for, you know, become a sponsor at that level or like, a thumb drive full of episodes or swag bags or a lot of different levels and a lot of cool stuff that you can get, and also support an awesome endeavor that you can then participate in.  You win twice if you support PodCon.

H: And the other thing is that during the campaign and also afterward, we have a perk that's for remote attendence.  If you can't come to Seattle, for a lower price, you can get all the stuff that we are doing at the event delivered to your favorite podcast feed app so you can listen to it because that's what you do.  Anyways, and I'm like, pretty sure that this is gonna be pretty fun stuff to listen to.  Anyway, it's gonna be good and we're gonna have a good time, but I also wanted to answer some questions from our listeners, if you're down for that.  Have you listened to Dear Hank and John?

T: Yeah!

H: 'Cause it's a lot like MBMBAM.  

T:  Well, sometimes I'm listening to one and I can't tell if I'm listening to the other, but that's okay, 'cause they're both great.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

H: Uh, do you want a Yahoo?

T: What?!  Wait, where am I?  

H: This could very well be a Yahoo.  What would happen if the flood went to Jupiter?  It's from a preschool teacher in Seattle.  I took this question because I assume this preschool teacher is going to come to PodCon 'cause this preschool teacher is in Seattle so come on out!  "The kids that I teach were asking about droughts and floods and why they happen.  Things were going well until one child asked me in her most serious voice--what would happen if the flood went to Jupiter?--and I had no good answer for her.  She wants to know what a cataclysmic flood would do to the solar system?  I don't have a good answer, and I've asked NASA and Neil deGrasse Tyson and Randall Munroe and have gotten no answer, so now it is down to Hank and Travis."

T: This is amazing and I'll tell you why.  When you first pose the 'what would happen if the flood", I saw like, capital T, capital F, The Flood and my first thought was, this is--

H: Like the They Might be Giants album?

T: Yeah, it's either a band or it's like, some kind of weird disease or like an all-consuming demon.

H: I think that if The Flood were a band and they went to Jupiter, it would be an opportunity for great scientific progress.   I don't know why we would have sent them and not astronauts, also probably they would die.  

T: Well, yes.

H: It's just awful hard to get to Jupiter, so I think let's not send anyone.

T: You know, here's the problem with this.  I've taught kids, I've worked with kids on different various projects and I've directed like, plays with kids and there's a certain age of child that like, you can't just look them in the eye and say, "that's not a thing."  Like, that won't--like, that's not it--but also, there is no actual answer to the question that's asked, so like it suddenly really puts you on the spot of like, huh.  Okay.  I can't just tell you that that's nothing, and not to worry about it, but--

H: But it's nothing.  Don't worry about it.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

Well, I mean, my mind went to like, what is Jupiter's version of a flood?  So like, a lot of water goes to Jupiter and in my head, a lot of water going to Jupiter is like, a massive like, dark interplanetary or interstellar comet storm that somehow got thrown off the ort cloud of a passing solar system billions of years ago and then suddenly, like, this giant like, wave of like, Keiper belt-like objects, these big ice balls, suddenly slams into Jupiter and if that happens, like, it's not gonna be precise enough that it's just gonna slam into Jupiter, like, it's gonna be a solar system-wide comet flood and we're all gonna die.  

T: Do you ever have questions that like, you know you could probably look up but you don't want the answer to because then it would ruin like, your hypothetical thought experiment?  I've had that thought where I thought, what if we built, like, a shuttle, a rocket, a spaceship, what have you, and put on, and we're able to put on it like--

H: Sure.

T: --ten thousand gallons of water and we just like, flew that to Mars and just like, dropped it off?

H: Travis, what's your--what's the goal of your water plan here?  I might have a number of bad newses for you.

T: Well, here's the thing.  Like, I know, I realize that like, Mars doesn't have an atmosphere the same as Earth.

H: Yeah.

T: But like, what impact would it have to suddenly introduce like, a huge possibly impossible, like, as long as we're doing a hypothetical, it's like, a million gallons of water, onto a planet that doesn't have, you know, active--it doesn't have water on it.  Like, how would that impact the planet?  Would it just float away and be nothing?

H: So, well, the situation with Mars is that there's already a lot of water there.  It's like, it's like--

T: What?!

H:  It's like, as much water as there is on Earth.  It's just all frozen--

T: What?!  Wait, what?!  Hank, what?!  Go on.

H: --and, yes.  There's a lot of water on Mars.  

 (10:00) to (12:00)

It has water ice everywhere we look.  It's just below the surface.  There's ice caps, yeah, everywhere we look, there's lots of water on Mars.  What happens to the water on the very surface is that it sublimes away, which is what happens when a solid turns directly into a gas, and then it ends up in the atmosphere on Mars, which is very thin.  The atmosphere doesn't have enough pressure to have liquid water on the surface, so if you had liquid water on the surface, it would immediately turn into a gas, it would just boil, even at the very low temperatures on Mars, and then very--over, like, geological time, the solar wind blows away Mars' atmosphere.  Like, the high energy particles from the Sun hit Mars' atmosphere and knocks those molecules into space and they don't come back, and so that's where a lot of Mars' water has gone and so--

T: I see.

H: --only the stuff that's under the surface or the stuff that like, never gets hit by a lot of sunlight, which is what causes it to sublime, I think, for the most part in the first place, sticks around.  So all the--so when we look at it from far away, all we see is this dirt, but when we poke it just a little bit, you find a little bit of ice, everywhere.  Everywhere we've looked.

T: So let me see if I get this straight.  You're trying to tell me that all planets have water on them.  Got it.

H: Did not say that.

T: What?  

H: Did not say that.

T: You said--but I'm pretty sure--okay, what if I hadn't said Mars?  What if I had said any other planet?  

H: Well, like, the thing is--there are--it's not the presence of water that is like, a super great thing.  It's the presence of liquid water, and no body in our solar system has conditions on the surface that would allow for surface liquid water.  There are, however, several places that probably have sub-surface liquid water and that, for all we know, have giant whales hanging out, eating each other under the surface, like, making baskets and singing songs in their much more advanced languages than ours.

 (12:00) to (14:00)

So, we just gotta go knockin'.

T: I see, alright, well, I think that answers the question of what would happen if the flood went to Jupiter. 

H: I think that I wanna have a science podcast with you now.

T: Well, here's the thing, Hank.  What I've got is a very curious but lazy mind so I think of these things, but then I have no urge to do any independent research.  I'd rather just think through it myself.

H: I used to have that feeling about uh, philosophy.  I didn't want to taint myself with the ideas of others.

T: Yes.

H: Because that's, you know, when you're a 16 year old, that's like, the most pretentious thing that you can possibly think and so of course that's what I thought was like, I don't want to read other peoples' ideas, I wanna have my own perfect ideas all on my--I don't want to think, like, like, I don't--yeah.  I want to come up with the best idea all by myself.  

T: I do that a lot with like, engineering and inventions like, I spend--I remember very clearly, I spent a day like, contemplating fountains and how ancient Romans would have made fountains work without electricity and like, without, you know, being able to have like, pumps and stuff, and so like, rather than look it up, I just like, spent the day thinking through how I would do it and I was pretty close, like, I then after a day, like, went and like, did the research and I was like, yeah, that's about what I came up with, and like, it's just kind of like a--kind of a self mind puzzle to be like, could I have been an inventor in Rome?  Yeah!  Totally!  Would have done great!

H: You're basically Archimedes.  

T: Yeah, right?!  It was easy to invent stuff back then, 'cause nothing existed.  

H: Travis, do you wanna ask the last question here?

T: I do.  Uh, "My family and I are on vacation for a week in Martha's Vineyard.  Up until this point, everything has gone well.  However, a situation just took a turn for the worse.  I have discovered something horrifying about the other members of my family: They all eat their popsicles by biting them with their teeth.  This is incredibly disturbing to me as someone who, like a normal person, does not bite their popsicles."

H: Travis put emphasis on all of the caps.  There were lots of all caps (?~14:19)  

T: Well, that's what it's there for.  

H: So, first of all, uh, have you just never eaten popsicles around your family before?  Like, is this the fir--like, only at Martha's Vineyard have you ever encountered a popsicle?

 (14:00) to (16:00)

T: Or it's possible that it was--it might have been like a usual suspects moment, where like, they saw their family bite the popsicles and suddenly every occurrence of seeing their family eat popsicles like, flashed through their brain and they're like, oh my God.  

H: It's been this way the whole time!

T: My God, no, no, not like this!

H: Okay, okay.  I was thinking possibly it was also like, other, like, like, other family members, like they're hanging out with like their cousins and so all like, the brothers and sisters and parents eat popsicles like normal people but then all the extended family are just chomping down with their titanium teeth.

T: Ugh.  How do you eat--Wait, how do you eat popsicles?  

H: I don't really eat popsicles, but when I do--

T: A likely story...

H: When I do, I'm a sucker.  Lick and suck, lick and suck.  I might, like, close to the end, like, get my teeth involved a little bit just 'cause like, things are gettin' precarious, you know, and like, at the end of the po--like, it's only on one side of the stick and it's startin' to slide down and you just gotta like, take care of it.

T: You know, I'm--not to be a rebel, but if we're talking about those like, freezy pops, you know, the ones in like the plastic tubes, I'll just patiently wait for them to just kind of slush up and then just drink them.

H: You mean like Otter Pops.  Yeah.

T: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

H: Or just don't put them in the freezer at all and just like, cut it open and have a drink.

T: I like it to be chilled.  I like a refreshing icy beverage.  

 (16:00) to (18:00)

H: Nah, just put it in your tea.  Just like, microwave one.  It's the--you don't know if you're gonna like it.

T: So to the question asker, I will say that the--as a person with sensitive teeth, the idea of just like, biting into frozen popsi--like, ice cold--yes, that's horrifying to me, but I can also understand like, it's a weird test of patience to eat--

H: It is.

T: --a popsicle without biting it.

H: Yeah, well, this is, like, this--my problem goes beyond sensitive teeth problems into this, which is like, like, like, ho--it's hot out, you're on va--you're on summer vacation, you--you're not having a popsicle to like, get the maximum amount of sugar in your body at the maximum speed, you are cooling your body and having a refreshing treat.  Like, what kind of glutton do you have to be to be like, (munching sounds) and then popsicle's all gone?

T: Wait, Hank, I'm sorry to disagree, but you're not sitting on your porch after a hard day's work enjoying an ice cold lemonade, you've grabbed a popsicle for speedy cooling down so you can move back out into the world.  What if her family, or their family, I don't know who this person is, what if their family is like, comprised mostly of 9 year olds?

H: Well, yeah, they're just really busy?  They--they--

T: Well, no, but they just don't have the patience to be like, and now, to popsicle for an hour and a half.

H: Hour and a half?  What kind of popsicles are you eating?

T: Yeah, they're really gonna savor it in your dream!

H: Well, that's what--this is an interesting thing about like, having a popsicle in Montana in the winter, which is, I don't know why you would do that, but if you're outside having a popsicle, it would be much harder to eat the popsicle 'cause it would st--like, your mouth would be the only thing warming it up, whereas on a hot day, like, the popsicle, like, you get a higher amount of popsicle delivered per lick because it's melting under the power of our giant space laser.  It's the whole dynamic of like, the hot day melting the popsicle and like, licking the stuff coming off the melted popsicle.

 (18:00) to (20:00)

I feel like--I feel like you're ruining that by taking this, like, like a balanced dynamic and then being like, like, introducing, like, manual slicing and crushing to it, which is not supposed to be, like, I think if you talk to Mr. Pop and Mrs. Sicle, they would tell you that that's not what they invented the popsicle for.

T: You know, not to spin off into a weird tangent, but I'm going to do just that, it's one of my--I really like the concept of, like, conditional enjoyment of food based on, like, the weather.  'Cause that's a thing, right?  Like, I love hot chocolate.

H: Yeah!

T: But if it 95 degrees in August, I'm not gonna drink hot chocolate, that's gross.  That sounds terrible.

H: Mhmm, mhmm.  

T: You know, and like, I love tea.  I love like, a nice hot tea.  Once again, it's not what I'm reaching for at like 5:00 in the afternoon on a July afternoon and vice versa.  If it's like, you know, February and it's 20 degrees out, I'm not like, mm, you know what I could go for?  A popsicle!

H: Yeah, well, there's also--like, so, f--I have two additions to this.  One, I have a baby, and I will often wear him on my front so that like, so that it's easy to walk around and he's just like in my front pack and it's super cute.  Wintertime, my baby had just been born, I'm at the coffee shop and I'm ordering an iced coffee at like, -20, and they're like, what are you thinking?  And I'm like, they say you can't have a hot coffee around your baby, like, I'm gonna spill it right on his poor newborn head that has never had anything bad happen to it and so I have to drink the iced--and it was weird to order an iced coffee when it was like, negative below zero out.

T: Yeah.

H: So, one, that's one thing.  Second, we live in this world where like, all produce is available all the time now and I think that's great, but it's also kind of sad that like, there isn't anything that just happens sometimes and you're like waiting excitedly for cherry season to arrive because in Montana we have cherry season, because we have cherry trees here and suddenly, for like a very short period of time, they're extremely expensive and plentiful delicious cherries.  

 (20:00) to (22:00)

Inexpensive.  Did I say expensive?  They are inexpensive because they are trying to get rid of them during this window before all the cherries go bad and I love it so much when cherry season arrives and you can go and like, to the fruit stand, and be like, yes, here's $5 for 13 lbs of cherries.  

T: I will also say--as long as we're talking about foods and different temperatures and families, it's also one of my favorite things about like, when i got married or, (?~20:41) when my then-girlfriend and now-wife started living together, it's you encounter all these different foods that like, you and their family and your family just do differently and like, one of them is my wife, whenever she buys like, Cool Whip, it lives in the freezer for her.

H: Oh, weird.

T: Yeah!  And like, listen, I'm not against it, it's not like it ruins it or anything, but like, the first couple times I found it, I kind of just like shook my head like, well, she accidentally put it in the freezer and like moved it to the fridge and then she was apparently doing the reverse of that, and there's like things like that throughout where it's like, no, this goes in the fridge.  Like, I keep apples in the refrigerator and she doesn't.  The apples live in the fridge, and she's like, why?  I'm like, is where they go.

H: But I can't imagine, as a person with sensitive teeth, eating like, biting into an apple that's been in the fridge.

T: Well, see, but I think in my mind, it's a matter of like, the cold will slow down the spoiling process.

H: Right.  No, I understand, but I would never do that.  Travis?

T: Yes, Hank?

H: I feel like I have to quote you and turn to our question asker here and say, "I apologize to your family for yucking in their yum."  

 (22:00) to (24:00)

Don't yuck in their yum.  They can eat popsicles however they want.

T: I will say this, though.  You don't have to watch them eat popsicles and i recommend that you do not, much like I don't like watching people chew on hard things, 'cause it makes my teeth--like, it sets my teeth on edge to use--to turn a phrase, and so like, you should not watch people bite into cold things, 'cause it will--it might destroy your sanity.

H: And that is where we are going to end this episode of Dear Hank and John with Travis McElroy.  Travis, you are at a bunch of podcasts and if you Google--

T: Yeah.  You can find them all on if you want to.

H: There it is, and I appreciate you hanging out with me for this extra special and short edition of Dear Hank and John.

T: Well, thank you so much for having me.  

H: This episode of Dear Hank and John was edited by me and it was produced by me and everything was done by me because I didn't wanna mess with anybody and give them extra work to do.  Thank you, me, for doing all that.  Travis, you're great.

T: Hey, you're great.

H: And, as they say in our hometown...

T&H: ...don't forget to be awesome.

H: Again, the PodCon IndieGoGo will only be up for just a couple more days.  After that, there will be tickets for sale at but they will be more expensive and some of the stuff we have on the IndieGoGo will only be available during the campaign.  PodCon is an event for people who make podcasts and for people who love them and we will be joined by a bunch of amazing podcasters, including McElroy brothers of My Brother, My Brother, and Me, the creators of Welcome to Nightvale, Roman Mars of 99% Invisible, Aaron Mankey of Lore, Francesca Ramsey and Patrick Kondas of Last Name Basis, Phoebe Judge and Lauren Sporer of Criminal, Gaby Dunn of Bad With Money, Cecil Baldwin, Dylan Marron, Jessica Cole, we're adding new people all the time as we continue to plan the event.  I'm super excited for it, really looking forward to it and I hope that I will see you there.  

 (24:00) to (24:01)