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If you put in work to be lazy, is it still laziness? Does Lin Manuel Miranda listen to Hamilton for funzies? At what point are you supposed to put water on a toothbrush? And more!

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 (00:00) to (02:00)

(Intro music)

H: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John.

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

H: It's a podcast where two brothers will answers your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon.  How you doing, John?

J: I'm alright, Hank.  You know that line from Rushmore, "I ain't even here, sergeant, I'm in Cheyenne, Wyoming"?  

H: Oh God.

J: Hank, you don't even have to have seen the movie!

H: I--yeah, I think I do.  

J: To get the reference, because I previously referred to it on the podcast.  The point is--

H: Is this how we're gonna--is this--is this now a continuation of the intro, where I just say 'How ya doing, John?" and then you quote Rushmore?  Like, is that our new--is that a new bit?

J: The point is that I've been in Cheyenne, Wyoming for far too long and I've kind of lost my sense of self but I can't leave Cheyenne, Wyoming right now and uh, yeah.  How are you?

H: I'm good.  I wanna tell you a little story about how I was eating a Clif bar one day.

J: Great.

H: By which I mean yesterday, and walking down the stairs on to--in to my backyard so I could go out into my office, so I'm walking down these stairs, there's like four or five stairs, I couldn't tell you how many stairs there are exactly, and I'm eating a Clif bar and because I was preoccupied thinking about all of the interesting things in my life and also how great this Clif bar was, I didn't know how many steps there were, and I thought I was done with the steps, but I wasn't.

J: Right.

H: And so, I uh, you know, about oh, let's say a second and a half later, was on my butt having--not entirely sure about the situations regarding my ankles and hands, but feeling okay and then I look down at my hands and I'm like, where's my Clif bar?  So I fell down these stairs and like, I think I'm okay, I've got a little bit of pain in my leg and wrist from catching myself, but my Clif bar?  What--where did it go?  Do you know where it went, John?

J: I don't and it better be good because the rest of this story has not been great so far.

H: It was in my mouth.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

J: Ohhh!  The whole thing just shot right into the mouth.  

H: I just, I like, quick, put it in my mouth while I was falling, bit down on it, and held it real hard, and then I was like, where did it go?  I can't find my Clif bar!  And it was--

J: That happens to me with my glasses all the time.

H: Oh, God.

J: I have a very similar problem with my glasses.

H: I'm sure at some point during this podcast, I'll be like, where's my phone?  And it'll be like, oh, right, I'm on the phone with my brother John podcasting.

J: Yeah, I've been s--when I'm under a lot of stress, I do that more often.  Like, weirdly, when I'm stressed out, I become more obsessive about checking things, but I also become far more likely to lose them, so I'll become very obsessive about checking that I have my wallet, for instance, but I've become infinitely more likely to lose my wallet.  I find that there are very few upsides.  You know how like, people often think that like, portray mental illness as having secret advantages?

H: Yep.

J: You know, like, you can--oh, it makes you--

H: Well, that's what, yeah, that's what we want.   We want that to be a thing, where it's like, ahh, but we get something out of it at least.

J: Right, like that genius is close to madness or whatever.  I--that has just not been my experience.  My experience has been that it's just--it's just an unfortunate thing.  I don't--let's move on to questions from our  listeners.  This question comes from Meredith.

H: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.  You didn't bring us a poem?

J: I didn't bring you--I don't have a poem for today, Hank.  To be totally honest with you, I have been in Cheyenne, Wyoming for so long that I do not uh, I am not prepared for this podcast.  I'm just gonna level with you, Hank, like, I--this is not going--you're not about to experience my best work and my best work at podcasting isn't even very good.  

H: I've got a short poem for you here.  

Opaque, metallic, permanent ink
No shaking required to start
Quick-drying, fade and water resistant ink

J: Is that from the side of a Sharpie?

 (04:00) to (06:00)

H: It's from the back of a package of metallic Sharpies, yes, John.  

J: I spend a lot of time thinking about Sharpies these days.  This question comes from Meredith, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, I've recently begun the process of digitizing my wardrobe, meaning that I've been taking pictures of every item of clothing I own, editing it, then uploading it to a special digital closet app.  The only reason I'm doing this is because it is my ultimate dream to not have to get out of bed in the morning in order to pick out an outfit.  However, the whole process is proving to be incredibly time consuming.  The irony of the situation has dawned on me.  I'm putting in a bunch of work just so I can be lazy.  My question is, is it really laziness if you have to put in work to be lazy?  Laziness has always been a part of my identity and I feel as though I'm starting to lose my edge or maybe I'm moving a level up on the laziness matter?  I can't decide.  What are your thoughts?  Yours in questionable, ironic laziness, Meredith."

H: Yeah, I think you're becoming next-level lazy, which is fantastic.  I think, you know, really good laziness.  Like, if you're gonna be the good kind of lazy, you should invest in future laziness knowing that you will want to stay in bed is a gr--and like, investing in that--and well, particularly that staying in bed thing, which is so lovely to be able to do that and to like, shave a little bit of time off of this like, transition into being upright and cold, which is two unpleasant things, to give yourself those five extra minutes and also, like, I think there's a little bit of like, you like spending time with your closet and doing this and being a little bit like you're in the movie Clueless and what a--yeah.  Like, you're spending time doing a thing that you enjoy doing and also you're allowing yourself to relax a little bit more. That's great! 

J: Yeah, I have an analogous experience with cataloging my home library, Hank.  As you know, I've been cataloging my home library since 2007.  I've never finished, but every time I have a spare couple of hours, I get on my library app and I catalog a few more books and I am ostensibly doing this so that I stop losing books.  

 (06:00) to (08:00)

I find that I consistently lose the books that I most need at any given moment.  I can find any given book except for the one that I need and so the idea is that I'm doing this so that like, future me will never lose a book, but the reality is that I'm doing it because I like cataloging my home library.

H: There's like--working so that you can live your best life rather than working so that you can work so that you can work so that you can work, and I understa--like, I definitely have a thing in me where like, I want to--I like, drive myself to work hard because I feel like I have an obligation to do like, to do the things that I have the ability to do, to, you know, employ people and to create things that people are gonna enjoy and you know, Project for Awesome, like, make the world a better place, but like, there's--there's also like, I also have to counter that with some amount of like, I am working so that I can like, do the things that I want to do and that I like to do, like spending time with my family and traveling and eating delicious pizza and laying in bed for five minutes longer than I otherwise could.

J: I don't know why I'm working.

H: That's--I mean, you are about three years ahead of me in like, your midlife crisis, and I am already pretty deep in it, so I can't imagine where you're at.  

J: I have no idea, honestly, Hank, like, I have no idea why I work.  Especially why the last few months I have been working so hard.  Um, I'm sorry.  

H: Yeah.

J: I-Hank, I'm gonna level with you--

H: Is there some amount--

J: I wanna underscore the fact that I'm not really here, Hank.  

H: I--I am defin--I definitely have those moments when Katherine will ask me a question and then it will be like a solid 30 seconds before I'm able to answer, 'cause I'm like--

 (08:00) to (10:00)

J: Yeah, I've been like that with my family for like, two and a half months--

H: Oh man.

J: --pretty consecutively.  I know, it's been very bad.  It's been very bad.  I--but, on the other hand, like, this has been a very creatively productive time for me and in a way, like, that's the only way I can do it.  Like, it's not--I find that, like, I can't really work part-time on most things.  Like, when I'm working on something, I tend to be pretty deeply involved in it, and it's really hard for me to be able to like, put stuff down, but then, you know, hopefully that also applies to when I'm not working, like, I'm, you know, present instead of being like, half there or whatever.  I don't know.  

H: I feel like we're in fertile ground so I--that is maybe, pretty deeply unrelated to Meredith's question but I do want to continue and say that I have be--the--like, there's this thing about like, about writing a book in particular and like, that--

J: Who says that I'm writing a book?

H: Well, this is what I'm saying about me, not about you.

J: Oh, okay.

H: That like, I, like I have to have my head live in the world.

J: Yeah.

H: A lot, or else I don't get good stuff out of it, and I've start--I've just in the last couple of weeks started to like, really apply myself to the sequel to the book that I haven't finished because the book itself is sort of in an in-betweeny space where I can't--I shouldn't be working on it because it's--people are looking at it who aren't me, and so like, I want to work a little bit on the sequel before I finish the book so that I like, can set up the sequel well and um, and I will just be sitting there at dinner and like, living in the world of the book and having no idea that my mind is in a space that like, an inside of a physical reality and I, like, and I don't feel like I can get good creativity from this other world without having my like, without having my mind all the way inside of it.  

 (10:00) to (12:00)

J: Right, that's--I call that space Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Yeah, yeah, I agree, I mean, I think it's really difficult to uh, to get yourself out of that when you're in it, and also you kind of don't want to because it's productive--it's a productive space and for me, like, it's a really like, exciting space in some ways because it's, you know, it's a way out of one's self.  It's a moment where you don't feel like you're kind of like, stuck inside of this self-shaped prison and that's very appealing but on the other hand, like, it does, after a while, I mean, this has been, this has been a while for me, you start to want to be able to like, engage with the world and I--I guess for me, like, it's like, if I'm there, I'm never really all the way, like, in this world.  Like, and I know we all have that experience of like, you're in a conversation and you--one of the things you start to notice is like, it's totally possible to trick people.  Like it's totally possible to make people believe that you're really there and you're like, oh my God, like, 99% of my social interactions are so incredibly superficial that people don't know that I'm not here and I would have no way of knowing if they weren't here or if they're not here, but yeah, I think--so, for several of the last months, or much of the last few months, my--that has been the case for me and it's nice in some ways and in other ways, I'm looking forward to it ending, which hopefully it will soon.  I mean, the other thing is that I never quite know when it's over, right?  Like, whenever you're working on something, you never know when you're able to let it go.

 (12:00) to (14:00)

Like, I'm always fascinated by people, like visual artists who make lots of artwork, and you know, they make more than like, one painting every three or four years, which is my rate of production, like, how on Earth do they know that they're finished, you know?  I mean, how on Earth when you're making an abstract painting do you look at it and you're like, done.  I just don't--I admire that ability to talk about the moment you're finished.  Are we still talking about digitizing your wardrobe?

H: I don't think so, but I think that we got to the root of Meredith's question and I wanna ask a question that's gonna bring you all the way to this world with something that you are very passionate about.

J: Great.

H: So you're gonna--you're gonna be here for this one.  It's from Sarah, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I live in Germany, but I will be traveling to the US in a few weeks.  Is there anything that I have to eat or drink while I am there?  I've already put Diet Dr. Pepper on my list since that's something I have never seen in a German store.  Any other suggestions?  (?~12:58), Sarah."  I looked that one up, it says "Remember to--" Or uh, "Learn to live but remember death."  

J: Hmm.  Thanks, Sarah.  I needed that.  Um, first off, I've just found out, Hank, that I can't move to Germany.  I wanted to, because it seems like a great country.  Hank and I are fascinated by the German way of doing business.  What's it called, Hank?

H: The (?~13:28)

J: The (?~13:30)!

H: Or (?~13:31) or something.

J: All Hank and I want to do when we grow up is run a (?~13:32) but um, I can't move there because there's no, there's no regular access to Diet Dr. Pepper.  It might as well be the frickin' moon.  Um, yeah, I don't know, what do you eat in America that you can't eat elsewhere?  I feel like we've done a really good job of exporting our terrible diets.

H: Yeah, well, I mean, so first of all, America has like, every flavor of chip.  

 (14:00) to (16:00)

We don't--there's definitely flavors of chips that you can't get in America.  There's not--doesn't tend to be ketchup chips here, which are in other places.  Paprika Pringles are my very favorite kind of Pringle and you can't get them in America, but we have so many flavors of chips.  We are really into chips, guys.  Like, we have the like, the weird like, like, indie brands like Tim's with like the, and you've got like, the sweet Maui Onion from the Hawai'ian chip people, and you've got the, got like weird uh, they also make like a spicy barbecue one and you've gotta eat barbecue chips.  So basically you gotta go to a grocery store and just buy the chip flavors you don't recognize.  Also, you're gonna want to have a corndog.  Also you're gonna wanna have biscuits and gravy.  Also you're gonna wanna have corn fried steak--corn fried steak? That's weird--corn--

J: Chicken fried steak.

H: Chicken fried steak with gravy.  

J: Right, I mean, chicken fried steak is also a weird idea if you're not American.

H: Just in general--yeah.  But in--I don't know, do they have sausage gravy in other countries?  'Cause I don't think I've ever seen it and I feel like you'd know.

J: I don't know.  The one thing that they definitely don't do as well in other countries as they do in the United States is barbecue.

H: Mhmm, yeah.

J: You're gonna wanna have, if you eat meat, I think you're gonna want to have some nice pulled pork barbecue and then the other thing--so I actually have spent a fair amount of time in Berlin and I don't know if Sarah's from Berlin, but I thought they had all of the major foods, except apparently Diet Dr. Pepper and barbecue, so that's--also, I wanted to say that when Hank says chips, he is referring to the item that in the rest of the world, I believe is called crisps.  

H: Yes, that is correct.  I am talking about American chips, the way chips should have always been, 'cause they're shaped like--

J: But then, it's not just of course if you're visiting the United States, you're not just there to eat and drink, you're also there to have experiences and I guess the main experience that I would recommend, Sarah, is if you can, get an injury or an illness, nothing serious, nothing life-threatening, because what--when you come to America, what you really want to experience is our healthcare system and I think it would be very interesting for you to just maybe like, sprained ankle, something like that, and just get a feel for it.  

 (16:00) to (18:00)

Get a feel for the expense, get a feel for the efficiency with which everything is done, and then go back to Germany, just crazy jealous of how well we do healthcare.  

H: Just--just be deeply amaze--um, don't hurt yourself.  I disagree with John.  I've just looked up the etymology of the word 'chip', John, because I feel very defensive of Am--

J: Actually, yeah, Sarah, do whatever you can not to have to  go to the doctor.

H: Do not go to the doctor.

J: Just the act of going to the doctor is like, $120.

H: So 'chip' comes, of course, from chipping something off of something else, like, chipping like stone off of a stone. 

J: Yeah.  A chip off the old block, as they say.

H: It--I feel like if you're gonna take a potato and you're gonna chip something off of it, it's gonna be more like a potato chip in America than it's gonna be like a chip in the UK where it's this like, like, clearly a sliced, diced thing where it's the, like the long square rectangle thing.  I think--

J: Yeah, I mean, I--I'm not gonna want to fight and die on this particular hill.

H: Well, I will.  So anybody, just come at me, Europe.  

J: I wanna yes, and... you but I literally can't figure out how to.  

H: Um, yes, okay, and also when I look at a computer chip, I gotta say that looks more like a potato chip in America than a chip in Europe.

J: God, all this talk about delicious food is making me hungry.  Do we have any like, fruits and vegetables we can recommend?  I feel like we must have some fruits.

H: Are there like, special American vegetables?

J: Do--do--ma--are there mangoes in Germany?  It's been a while since I've been there.  If you don't have fresh fruit in Germany, and again, I'm not totally sure about this, but if you don't have fresh fruit, we do have fresh fruit in America.

 (18:00) to (20:00)

We have a bunch of different kinds.  We have blueberries, raspberries, mangoes, sometimes we get papayas, not that often in Indiana, but sometimes, so try out some fresh fruit.  Maybe it's only freeze-dried in Germany.

H: You can also, you can have some green asparagus, 'cause I hear in other countries, asparagus is white, and that's weird so have it our way and be like, oh, that has different flavor.

J: You know, we're growing purple asparagus in our home garden.

H: Well, why didn't you start out telling me that story instead of being like, I'm in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Rushmore is great and you're terrible?

J: I didn't say you were terrible, it's--I do think it's weird that you haven't rewatched Rushmore when it's clearly one of the best movies ever made.  Let's move on to this question from Natalie, who writes, "Is it toothbrush, water, and then toothpaste, or is it toothbrush, toothpaste, and then water?"  I've been having this debate actually with my seven year old child.

H: Tooth--tooth--toothbrush--toothbrush water toothpaste--tooth--I do toothbrush, toothpaste, water.

J: Unfortunately, that's incorrect.  

H: But then the toothpaste doesn't get any water on it.

J: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, yeah, oh, that would also be an issue, because the correct order is toothbrush, water, toothpaste, water--

H: Oh, gah.

J: --and you have to remember to turn off the water between each of those things, which is the debate that I'm currently having with Henry.  Henry's a big believer that you turn the water on and then you leave it on until the end of time.  

H: Yeah, well, we could--does Uncle Hank need to give a lesson in environmental sustainability?  

J: Well, I mean, well, I was kind of having this debate with Henry about, you know, like, what amounts to a couple of cups of water and then he reminded me that I recently taught him that the water that comes out of our sprinklers is the same as the water that he drinks, and he just thought that was ludicrous.  

 (20:00) to (22:00)

He was like, "But why would you pour that water on grass?" and I was like, yeah, no, you're not wrong but you still--I don't know.  Waste is waste.  I--I don't know.  Henry is getting to that age now, Hank, where he can kind of successfully debate me, you know?  Like, where occasionally, he wins.  

H: Yeah, you're like, you know you're right, we're just dumping that onto the literal ground so maybe, maybe you can just leave the water running.  Fine, child.  

J: Yeah.  Yeah.

H: Oh man, that's something.  Right now, my son can debate me in exclusively one way: by punching me in the face and ripping my glasses off, which he does regularly.

J: I feel like he doesn't punch you in the face when he's angry.  Like, he doesn't know about punching to be angry.  He thinks it's cute or something.  I don't know.  What do--what do seven months old actually think about?  

H: Definitely he's thinking about something.  Like, if we take him to a new place, you can't get him to interact with any person, 'cause he's like, what is all this?  What is this room?  What are these shapes?  What are--

J: Right.

H: What is this movement?  What is that color?

J: Right.  

H: And, which is great to just like, watch his like, little brow furrow up and be like, hrmmm.  I'm--this is all very new, I'm not so sure about it.  This is a room I haven't been in before.  That's--was that a good baby voice?

J: Yeah, that was a good baby voice.  That sounded just like, um, Alec Baldwin in Boss Baby.  

H: Is Boss Baby a movie?

J: You didn't see the movie Boss Baby?

H: Turns out, no.  Is it as good as Rushmore?

J: No.  It is not.  It is not as good as Rushmore.  However, I am friends with the author of the book Boss Baby and the book is amazing.  Have you read the book at least?

H: No.  No, John.

 (22:00) to (24:00)

J: Alright, so the book--well, I mean, you would read it with your tiny little baby.  

H: Ohh, okay.

J: I don't know if you and Orin are reading books yet.  

H: I gotcha, I gotcha.

J: But I'll send you the board book version.

H: I was thinking of like, a 600 word novel, Boss Baby and that I would have to get it on Audible.

J: Oh, no, no, no, it's like, it's a lovely picture book and it is hilarious.  It's like, it basically imagines that, you know, like a baby in their role as like, the boss of the family, it's very, very freakin' cute.  Yeah, so anyway, I--we still read Boss Baby in our family sometimes.  It's one of the very few books that you will find on Amazon that is an average rating of five full stars.  

H: Hmm.  Wow, that is not easy to accomplish.

J: Yeah, so.  The author's name is Marla Frazee and she is also really, really just a great, great person and a great author of children's books.  She wrote another one of my favorite picture books about James and Eamon.  What is that book called?   Two--A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever or something like that.  I'm gonna look it up.

H: At what point do I remind John that he's literally been talking about Boss Baby for like, two minutes only because I made a voice that sounded like a voice to him?

J: It is called A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever.  We can move on.  

H: What was the question?

J: Sorry, I suddenly got engaged with the world.  I was very excited.  I don't even remember why.

H: Toothbrush, toothpaste, water or toothbrush, water, then toothpaste.  

J: Yeah, we don't know.  

H: I think that you're gonna be okay either way.  Sometimes, you know, John, honestly, I'll do tooth--tooth--toothbrush, no, wait.  Toothbrush, toothpaste, and then mouth.  

J: Yeah, and that's not, that's not that bad of an outcome actually.

H: There's like that first like, first like, four seconds where it's like, there's not enough water in my mouth, but then your mouth has a magical ability to produce water and then you have it in your mouth.

 (24:00) to (26:00)

This question comes from Rachael, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, Do you think Lin Manuel Miranda ever listens to Hamilton just for funsies?  Does Michael Jordan watch Space Jam every now and again, and Hank, do you ever listen to your own music?  John, do you ever reread your own books just because you like them?  I must know.  Your obedient servant, Rachael."

J: I like this question mostly because it imagines that just as Hamilton is the most important work Lin Manuel Miranda has ever done, Space Jam is the most important work Michael Jordan has ever done.  Like, oh, Michael Jordan, what do you--when you look back at your career, what do you look at?  Well, mostly Space Jam.  Not so much being arguably the best NBA player of all time, I never watched that game where, with 104 degree fever, I scored like 60 points in the NBA playoff finals, that's--mostly I just rewatch Space Jam.  Um, no, I do not reread my own books.  That--I mean, I read and reread them plenty before they come out.  I don't need to reread them after they come out, especially because I think I'll just see things that I want to change.

H: Right, no, that makes a lot of sense.  I sing my own songs all the time.  

J: I sing young songs all the time, too, actually. 

H: But that was not the question.  It's do I listen to my own music, and yes, I also do that.  There's this great thing about listening to your own music, which is that like, when I'm listening to like, a Billy Joel song, I try to sound like Billy Joel and when I'm listening to like a Queen song, I try to sound like Freddy Mercury, but when I'm listening to a Hank Green song, I sound exactly like that guy!  I don't even have to try.  

J: I--yeah.  I have to say, I sing your songs more than I like, listen to them on Spotify.

H: Right.

J: Because they're all inside of my head from all those times touring together. 

H: What tends to happen to me is that it will like, like, my phone will automatically connect to the Bluetooth in my car and for whatever reason, it's like, you know, instead of playing for you the audiobook you were listening to five minutes ago, here is a random selection from the things on your phone and it'll be like MMBop, by Hanson or like, Demolition Derby, one of the songs that I never think about that I wrote and I'll be like, oh!  

 (26:00) to (28:00)

I would have done this a little bit different, but it's pretty good, and then I'll sing along.  Demolition,, that's not even me, that's a different guy singing that part.  I don't know why I picked that.  

J: Um, do you ever rewatch old vlogbrothers videos and think like, God, I used to be great at this?

H: Oh yea!  (laughs) Yes!  Yes!  Yes.  Yes, and like, like, and I'm sure that I will do that two years from now.  I will watch stuff that I made this year and be like, wow.  I really--I was really like, above and beyond back then.  

J: Yeah, sometimes when I meet people at like a grocery store or whatever and they're like, I used to watch your YouTube videos, I think to myself, like, and I can't really blame them, my YouTube videos used to be great.  

H: I definitely like, I l--I'm really proud of some of the stuff we've done in the last 12 months but like, going back and seeing something I did six years ago that I worked really hard on, there's something very different about that, 'cause I like, forget--I forget about how hard I work on videos and then I'll watch this thing and I'll be like, wow, that was like a significant amount of like, thought and time that went into that.  I mean, some--occasionally, I'll like, I'll watch a video and be like, I did visual effects for that.  Like, like, there's three videos that I've ever done that have had some component of like, superimposing something onto a screen or, you know, like doing kinetic typography or something, and it's just like, whoa, I opened After Effects.  That never happens.

J: Yeah, I've never done that, so that sounds like you'd feel good about yourself but I don't know what that feels like and I never will.  I don't have the talent for it.  I have to say, I also go back and watch old vlogbrothers videos and often think like, well, that wasn't very good.

 (28:00) to (30:00)

H: Right, of course, yes, that is the thing that I will often go back and watch the ones I'm most proud of, and then I'll be like, I used to be so good at this, but I'm not watching the ones from like, 2008, where I was like, I don't know what I'm doing!  Why are we still doing this?!  

J: There are a lot of them that were not very good.  Even the ones--there's a lot from any year that are not very good.  Like, that's--one of the things I really appreciate about our--

H: Our audience.

J: --Our community and the fact that we've been able to have an audience for a long time is that they're very forgiving.  Like, you know, people tend not to walk away after one bad video, which is good, 'cause if they did, everyone would have walked away a long time ago.  

H: I don't have very many that I'm not like, that I'm like, not proud of.  There are some, but there's definitely like, a large body of middle/mediocre.  

J: I feel like you've made some clunkers.

H: Oh, yeah, no, I agree.  I just think that the tail is like, it shrinks there at the end, where there's like, there's like five videos I wish I hadn't uploaded at all, you know?  

J: Mm, yeah, for me that is much closer to a hundred.

H: Oh man.  This video of a bunch of YouTubers laughing without smiling, that's good stuff.  

J: Uh, yeah.

H: I went to Los Angeles and I--

J: Are you--wait, are you going through your old catalog right now?

H: I am.  I am, I'm doing it right now.

J: Oh man, I mean, I might be in Cheyenne, Wyoming but at least I'm not like, Googling my own name while podding.  

H: This one's really good, where Nathan Zed took over.  

J: Yes, Nathan Zed is still the best Vlogbrother.

H: I'm really proud of that one.  

J: Like, the--I would argue that like, the five best vlogbrothers are all people other than us who've taken over during paternity leave.  If anything, maybe we should just hand over the channel at some point, and just say like, well, we did our best, but it turns out that, like, this isn't really where our talents lie, uh, so, we're just gonna let Nathan Zed and Sabrina Cruz take it from here.  

H: Like, look, it's not about us.  It's about a way of looking at the world.  Other people have that.  

 (30:00) to (32:00)

See ya later, I'm gonna go hang out with my child.  

J: Alright, Hank, we've got another question.  

H: We're just gonna, we're just gonna pod.  We're gonna pod from now on.  Oh, God.  I like hanging out with you on podcasts, John, and I, like, this--sometimes I'm like, man, I wish I could do that every single morning, and then I'm like, but that's an--that's five hours a week I do not have.

J: Not only that, I don't think anyone could tolerate listening to us that much.

H: I'm sure that--there are gonna be a bunch of people who are like, I would totally do that, and it's like, no, you don't know.

J: No.  You don't know what you're getting into really.

H: You don't know what it would actually be like.

J: You don't know.  That's too much.  It's too much.  But the question--the answer to the question does Lin Manuel Miranda ever listen to Hamilton has to be yes.  I mean, he's human like the rest of us, right?  I mean, if any of the rest of us had created Hamilton, like--

H: How can he hold back?

J: Like, we would--it would be the Infinite Jest for me.  I would spend the rest of my life listening to it.  As it is, I spend much of my life listening to it already.  Alright, Hank, we have another question.  This one comes from Tamby, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, For almost a year, I've been planning a trip to California for VidCon for my senior trip.  I found out that I had the opportunity to meet you guys on Thursday for the meet and greet and I'm going to low-key die."  Oh God.   

H: That's gonna be really--

J: That's one of my greatest fears actually, is someone will die while meeting me and just the stress of that--obviously I don't wanna make that about me, that's gonna be a bigger deal for you, Tamby, and the people who love you, and I don't wanna make myself the center of that narrative, but it's hard for me not to just because like, it's--ugh.  

H: You live inside your own body.

J: I mean, I fi--

H: Don't die!

J: I find these signings stressful enough without people low-key dying.  Okay.  Don't low-key die, Tamby, it's gonna be okay, and also now we have something to talk about.  You can be like, I'm the person who asked that question on the pod.  "First of all, I don't know what to have you guys sign."  Uh, anything other than skin works is an answer to that question.

 (32:00) to (34:00)

"But also, ever since I've told people I get to meet you two, they ask me if I can get something signed for them, but I know I'm only supposed to have one thing signed and I kind of want it to be something of mine.  How do I nicely say no?  Excitedly conflicted, Tamby"  

H: Is there something not nice about saying just, "No"?

J: Yeah, I feel like you just have to say no, like, I think actually, you can probably get two things signed if you're quick about it and cool about it, but yeah, I mean, I think you just say, like, "Listen, I'm the one traveling to VidCon and too bad.  Life is full of disappointments."

H: Yeah, it's--yeah, that's the one.  Uh, hey, life isn't fair.  

J: No, The other thing that I would say is...
H: (at the same time) Cuz that what you want to say to your friends all the time.

J: Tamby, I have worked extremely hard to try to kill the market for my signature. There are more signed copies of The Fault in our Stars available than there are unsigned copies. If somebody wants my signature, they can go to eBay and pay literally $2 for a signed copy of The Fault in our Stars. 

H: (laughs) Good call. Yeah, yup. Agreed.

J: I'm really trying to kill the market for my signature, Hank.

H: It is, it is, it is dead, John. It is dead until you're dead. Like, like, maybe, maybe like 50 years after you're dead there will be some kind of weird secondary market.

J: Nope.

H: One of the things, like, I know a sorta surprising amount about things signed by you, and I do kinda have this, this brain thing that says, like, someday, like, a signature by John that is, like, has, like, a double scribble instead of, like, a single scribble, cuz you messed up is gonna be, like, people are gonna think that that's like rare and pay extra for it.

J: I, you know why I don't think that's true is because I don't think that there's some, like, future where my signature suddenly becomes a big thing to have. Ya, know?

H: Right, I know, I, like, that's the thing. You are going to become, like, you're not gonna become more famous after death.

J: No.

H: You're not gonna be, I. No offense...

J: No, none taken.

H: But that's (laughs)

J: No, you know whose signature I still have

 (34:00) to (36:00)

And like was such a big deal to me when I got it was the lead singer of the rap group Onyx, his name's Sticky Fingas.  He was on a plane with us once--

H: Yup.

J: --and I got an autograph from him, and I remember thinking it was really cool, and it still is really cool to me, by the way, like, it's still like, a valuable thing to me, but like, there is no way that in 50 or 100 years that's going to be like a sought-after signature, and I think--I hope people who acquire signatures really from either Green brother understand that it's, you know, like, we're not gonna be upset if you part ways with that signed book down the road or that signed ukulele or whatever it is, like, we get it.  We get it.

H: It has value in that you give it value.

J: Yeah, exactly.

H: This question is not a question, it comes from Kyra.  John, you weren't here for what this is in reference to.  

J: Okay.

H: But other listeners probably were.  "Dear Hank and John, When I heard the question from the anonymous homeschooler who had been poorly homeschooled, I initially wondered if maybe it had been written by me six years ago and I had somehow not remembered, but then I remembered that the pod was not around six years ago.  I was also very poorly homeschooled.  My mother stopped attempting to teach me when I was around 13.  I also never took a real history or science class because I was religiously homeschooled.  I am now 23 and pursuing my master's degree.  I want to offer a little bit of hope to this homeschooler and to others in similar situations.  I was lucky enough to go to a community college when I was 17 and there, I found many professors who understood when I explained that I had had a poor education and were willing to help me learn.  Additionally, CrashCourse has been a great resource for me to help fill some of the gaps.  There is hope.   We can be taught!  Kyra."  That's just a really nice message that I liked and Kyra also asked if maybe I could--she could be put in touch with the anonymous homeschooler, which I think we might try and do.  I also had another update on the story of the girl who was born on the plane, John.  

 (36:00) to (38:00)

J: Yes.

H: So we had had, we had a long conversation about this--about like, how this mother went into labor on the plane and they couldn't get the plane to the ground fast enough that the baby was born on the plane.

J: Correct.   It was a Piper Seneca C or something.

H: Yes, correct.  And that it didn't make any sense because it doesn't have a very long range, like, like, there's--

J: Right.

H: You're gonna be within an hour of your airport every time.

J: Right.

H: So if you go into labor, turn around, you can't have a baby in an hour.  Like, it's--I mean, maybe it's happened, but it is unlikely.  So, he--I was talking to a person who is an expert in childbirth.  She is a midwife, has been for a long time, and she was like, I was listening to the pod and you know what happened, right?  And I was like, no, I don't know what happened, it seems very strange to me!  Was it like, the air pressure pushed the baby out?  And she laughed at me and said, "Uh, no, it was a medical transport."  

J: Ohhh, of course it was.  

H: Yeah.  

J: That makes sense.  So she's--she's in like, rural Alaska or something.

H: Yeah.

J: And they're like, we need to get you on a plane to get you to the hospital 'cause you're about to have this baby--

H: You are currently in labor, yeah.

J: I see!  

H: Yeaaah.

J: It wasn't like they were--my--I was kinda picturing that they were like, you know, on their way to a vacation or something, like, the, just the pre-baby vacation that one takes, where you fly--

H: In a small airplane.

J: In a small airplane to a, you know, Lake Tahoe, I don't know.  And that--but that makes much more sense.  That's--okay.  So now we know half the story.  I would argue that we still don't know the half of the story--and then, I guess, no, we actually, we do know the other half of the story, because the other half of the story is that the tail number is not necessarily associated with the same aircraft that crashed, okay.

H: With the same plane, yeah.

J: Alright, I just want to say one other thing in response to previous pods, which is that Abby wrote in to say, "Dear John and Hank, I just wanted to share that the saddest Big Bird is in the Sesame Street movie entitled Follow That Bird, in which Big Bird is sent to live with a family of other birds, runs away, and is captured by two other guys who put him in the circus.

 (38:00) to (40:00)

It made me cry as a child, but will always hold a special place in my heart.  Just thought you guys should know.  Childhood and sadness, Abby."  Which I wanted to read because I watched Follow that Bird with Henry when he was like, three or four, and Henry was like, what the hell are you doing to me?  And I was also like, I'm sorry, I did not know what we were getting into.  I thought that this was gonna be like, the other Big Bird movie that we'd seen, which was called Big Bird Comes Home, and Henry, the whole time during Big Bird Comes Home, was like, this is horrible, and I was like, Henry, don't worry, the movie's called Big Bird Comes Home, he's gonna get home.  But then we were watching Follow That Bird, I was like, you know what?  Maybe this time Big Bird isn't coming home.  Maybe he's going to be at the circus forever, like, this is pretty dark actually.  

H: I mean, Big Bird spends a fair amount of time being sad, but I also have to say, I don't want to say this because it's going to be hard for me to say it without crying and I'm gonna make other people cry--

J: Okay.

H: But saddest Big Bird is 100% Big Bird's processional at Jim Henson's funeral.  

J: Oh God.

H: Which is a thing that happened.

J: I know.

H: And it is emotionally wrecking.

J: True.

H: Like, ughhh, this podcast is brought to you by Saddest Big Bird. 

J: Very sad.

H: The Saddest Big Bird: The saddest thing.  

J: So sad.  Really, really sad.  This podcast is also brought to you by next level laziness.  Next level laziness: the future.

H: Is the future!  And this podcast is additionally brought to you by infinite water.  Just leave your taps on!

J: And finally, this podcast is brought to you by Hank's music.  Hank's music: listened to by Hank.  

H: And available at

J: Or available on Spotify.  I mean, why would you purchase something--

 (40:00) to (42:00)

H: It's not.  It's not 100% available on Spotify and you wanna know why, John?

J: Why?  

H: 'Cause I'm lazy!  It takes extra work.

J: I'm sure it does.  Um, Hank, you know how everybody always talks about like, which member of the Winnie the Pooh crew you are?  Like, everbody's personality is similar to one or the other of Winnie the Pooh characters?  I'm always called an Eeyore, I think unfairly, for the record.  Like, I--I think that it's a bit of an oversimplification to call me sort of merely Eeyore-ish, and I get very defensive about it, because, because I feel like Eeyore gets a bad rap in the Winnie the Pooh stories.  Like, you never see the kind of upsides of being an Eeyore, of which I would argue there are many.  Anyway, I was just gonna say that in the world of Sesame Street, if we're gonna like, give everybody a Sesame Street character, I would say that you are very much an Elmo.

H: Thanks!  I'll take it.

J: You're welcome.  You're welcome.  I'm a Grover, myself.

H: Yeah.  I think Elmo and Grover get--like, are a good team, too.

J: I agree.

H: So I think that that's good, yeah.

J: Yeah, let's get rid of this Winnie the Pooh stuff and just talk about what Sesame Street character you are.  That's way more interesting.

H: Well, I don't--I have a really hard time figuring out what Winnie the Pooh crew member I would be.  Like, I don't--I don't really have it.  Like, maybe, maybe the owl guy because I'm pretty pretentious and uh, obsessed with my own intelligence.

J: Yeah, I was gonna say, only Owls think that they're Owls.  With that noted, let's move on to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon.  Hank, what is the news from Mars this week?

H: It's been news, John.

J: It's always bad news lately.

H: Bad Mars news.

J: Is Donald Trump not gonna get to Mars by 2024?

 (42:00) to (44:00)

H: Oh, he does say things.  So the bad news is, John, when you shoot a cell with an alpha particle, it has a chance of mutating and becoming cancerous and that is the model through which we estimated how likely it would be for astronauts to get cancer on their way to and while inhabiting Mars, being hit by cosmic rays from the Sun or cosmic rays from the cosmos, and the--so that's, like, a sort of accepted model, but it turns out, and we've known this for some time, that in fact, if an alpha particle hits one cell, the chance of cancer not just in that cell, but in the cells surrounding that cell, goes up, and we have some ideas about the mechanism of how this might be, it sort of like, it creates chemicals that leave that cell and there's sort of a bystander cell effect, so there is a higher than one would expect chance of getting cancer every time you are hit by an alpha particle or any high energy particle has this sort of same effect, and so NASA recently took this into account, or a study took this into account and said that NASA's radiation guesses are based on an inaccurate model and they say that if you take the more accurate model that includes bystander cells that might become cancerous even though they weren't hit by a high-energy particle, that the chance of getting cancer on your trip to Mars, while you're on Mars, and your trip back doubles.  

J: Doubles from if you just stayed on Earth?

H: No, doubles from if you didn't--if you--

J: Oh, if you didn't take into account that effect.

H: Yeah, yeah, doubles from our previous estimates.

J: But it was already higher than if you just stayed on Earth.

H: Oh yeah.  Yeah.

J: But now it's higher than that.

H: It's higher than we thought.  It's higher than higher.

 (44:00) to (46:00)

J: Is there a sense of how high it is?

H: Uh, yes, I don't know exactly what that is though.  

J: Okay.

H: In general, like, your chance of death from a mission to Mars is much higher from accident than from cancer, and also the cancer will come later, so that's something.  Astronauts are already risking their lives in tremendous ways, but um, but especially if you consider a long-term kind of like, like, program of going to Mars regularly or people inhabiting Mars, there have to be--there has to be solutions for the cosmic ray problem, and we've got some ideas, but uh, they are at the moment just ideas, and like--

J: is there any way we could just k--I would advocate for curing cancer.  

H: Sure, that's one.  Just cure every type of cancer.

J: Yeah.

H: And I also am pro-that.  Interestingly, that is not easy to do.  

J: Of course, yeah, I know, I--yeah.  I'm aware of that.  I'm aware of that issue.  It seems like there's a lot of parts of going to Mars that are hard and I, for one, am glad to be right here on Earth with our sweet, sweet atmosphere.  Speaking of Earth, it is home to the greatest third tier English soccer team the world has ever known, AFC Wimbledon.  Well, Hank, the news from AFC Wimbledon is--as you know, we lost our goalkeeper James Shea.  He was released at the end of the season.  There's a 16 year old goalkeeper on Wimbledon's squad at the moment, Joe Bursic, but he, as well, looks to be moving on.  It looks like he might join Crystal Palace, so premier league side.  I don't think he'll be playing for their first team to start, but very exciting for me, I mean, you always want to go to the premier league.

H: Yeah, how many--how many 16 year olds are there in the premier league or just in soccer in general?  Like, that--that seems very--

J: There are a lot.  Like, it's any 16 year old who plays soccer could be on a premier league youth squad, but yeah, it's--

H: Okay.

J: He's very--he's a very promising prospect and AFC Wimbledon have done a great job developing goalkeepers in general.  

 (46:00) to (48:00)

Also, Tom Eliot is moving on, it would appear, probably to second tier Millwall.  So, that's great for him.  Unfortunately, we don't get a--we don't get any kind of transfer fee for that, because he will be out of contract at the end of the month, so there's no like, financial benefit to AFC Wimbledon.

H: Right, right.

J: That means that we don't have a goalkeeper and we have one fewer striker, which is not--it's not like an ideal situation, but uh, Neal Ardley has shown an ability to bring in great players, and I just--I'm gonna--we just gotta keep our fingers crossed that we've got some people coming in.

H: Woof.  I mean, are you guys in a better financial situation 'cause you're in the better tier or have you gotten some money for all these players that you're sending off?

J: Uh, yeah, if Joe Bursic leaves, I think there will be a significant transfer fee, and then yeah, that's part of--yes.  The short answer is yes, and the club is in a better financial position from what I understand, but it's always gonna be one of the--I mean, it's definitely still one of the smallest clubs in League One and so that comes with a lot of challenges but uh, never bet against AFC Wimbledon.  If I've learned anything these last few years, it's that.  So hopefully, hopefully it will all work out.  I'll tell you what, Hank, we could get into the Premier League for a tenth of what it would cost to get to Mars.  

H: I mean, hopefully less than that.

J: Yeah, actually, probably.  Probably less than that.  I think that would be an interesting proposition for NASA though.  Just be like, listen, guys.  This Mars stuff, it's very complicated.  It's gonna be extremely challenging.  Why don't you just take 10% of your Mars budget and toss it right into AFC Wimbledon and see if some magic happens?  

H: I mean, that is a certain kind of magic, John.  

J: Alright, Hank, what did we learn today?  

H: We learned that barbecue is the great American flavor.

 (48:00) to (49:08)

J: It's true.  It's true.  We learned that John wasn't really here most of the pod.

H: We learned that Boss Baby is a really great movie, almost better than Rushmore.

J: No, I di--the book.  The book is good.  Everybody buy the book.  And lastly, we learned that Michael Jordan's most important work is Space Jam.

H: Of course, of course it is.  Congratulations to Michael Jodan on his great work on Space Jam, by the way.

J: Super proud of him.

H: And also to Alec Baldwin for his great work on Boss Baby, which I'm sure he looks back on as his most important work as well.  This podcast--

J: Yeah.

H: --is produced by Rosianna Halse Rojas and Sheridan Gibson.  It's edited by Nicholas Jenkins.  Our social media manager is Victoria Bongiorno.

J: Oh, our music is by the great Gunnarolla.  

H: Yeah, you take over, John.

J: You can follow us on Patreon at, or on Twitter at @hankgreen or @johngreen.  Thanks to everybody for listening.  Hank, thanks for podding with me, and as we say in our home town...

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