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How do you surprise loved ones in small apartments? What is the line between archaeology and grave robbing? What is the appropriate time to get into the Christmas season? And more!

Email us: hankandjohn@gmail.com
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 Intro



[Dear Hank and John intro music plays]

Hank: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John! 

Caitlin: Or as I like to call it, Dear Caitlin and Hank! 

Hank: It's a comedy podcast where two brothers, and occasionally a special guest because John's really sick right now answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. How are you doing, Caitlin?

Caitlin: I'm doing great. I just googled AFC Wimbledon news just before this. So -

Hank: Oh, probably -

Caitlin: - it's hot of the presses. 

Hank: Okay, there is some news? 

Caitlin: I don't know, it might not be that new. 

Hank: I don't either- it's probably new. 

Caitlin: Okay.

Hank: They're playing - the season is active.

Caitlin: Okay! 

Hank: So things are happening.

Caitlin: Good. Okay. How are you doing?

Hank: Oh, I'm good! I'm good, I've gotten a bunch of stuff done today. I'm a little bit sad that my brother is super sick. 

Caitlin: Yeah! 

Hank: He is I think feeling a little bit better -

Caitlin: Cool.

Hank: - but yeah, he was not up for podding or making a video. Yeah he was like, started working on his video this week and then he was like, "nope." 

Caitlin: Ugh. 

Hank: Yeah, so he's not good.

Caitlin: Do you get a punishment if you skip a video and you're sick?

Hank: You know, I don't know. I - we, -

Caitlin: I guess being sick is a, should be a punishment. 

Hank: Right! I mean, it's been so long since we've done the punishments. I feel really bad about them. And we procrastinate them now -

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: And it's like, why - mmm - 

Caitlin: [laughs] And then it's just hanging over you. 

Hank: And we tried to bring it up with Nerdfighteria and be like, "so can we just, like, abolish the punishments?" And people were all like, "No." So, not sure what we're going to do. I'll probably have people vote. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: And hopefully they'll be nice. Because now you can vote right on the Youtube video. 

Caitlin: Right, which is awesome. 

Hank: Which is awesome. So for people who don't know, Caitlin Hofmeister is the producer of SciShow, makes SciShow work and manages all the SciShow team. And also hosts SciShow sometimes.

Caitlin: Yep. 

Hank: And has - you have your own podcast, is that still active? 

Caitlin: I do have my own podcast. It is, I just recorded a couple more episodes. I kind of backed off of it for a while. 

Hank: Yeah. 

Caitlin: But it is still active. It's called You're Doing Just Fine. And I talk to successful people about their failures. 

Hank: Good!

Caitlin: So Hank, if you ever want to talk to me -

Hank: Boy. I was going through an old hard drive recently and I found a lot of failures. Just like, wow. There's a whole, a whole directory called "side projects" and there's like 20 things in there. All of them are not existing anymore. 

Caitlin: There's a reason they're still in that folder. 

Hank: Yeah. The side projects folder. And I still have active side projects folders. And I have a task list on my Google tasks -

Caitlin: Right, yeah. 

Hank: It's like, I never click on it. And it's big ideas. And what I do with big ideas is I let them sit there for a year and then I come back and I'm like, "oh, so glad I didn't do that. That was such a bad idea. That was such a bad big idea." 

Caitlin: What makes them big? Like, that they're going to be hard to -

Hank: Yeah, that they're not something that I can do in a week, you know -

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: They're things that I'd have to hire somebody for or they'd be like a book-length project -

Caitlin: Right. 

Hank: - would be like a big idea. So -

Caitlin: But that one you are doing. 

Hank: I am doing one of them, but there's another - I've got other big idea books -

Caitlin: Cool. 

Hank: - on the list. I still want to write my book about animal sex. 

Caitlin: Oh, totally.

Hank: It's really high on my list of -

Caitlin: Yeah, yeah.

Hank: - things that I would like to get done in my life. Just, let's talk about all biology through the lens of the weird ways we make the next generation. Which is, you know, what biology is all about. It's about continuing this stuff forever, remarkably well. 

Caitlin: Yeah!

Hank: You know, for the last few billion years, we've done real great at that. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: Life just kept working. It hasn't stopped yet. It's pretty remarkable. 

Caitlin: [laughing] Well, and I - like, life, I was thinking about this when we were recording a SciShow yesterday that life will find a way but it also doesn't give a crap about individuals.

Hank: [laughing] That's accurate. 

Caitlin: You know, it's like -

Hank: No, it really doesn't. 

Caitlin: It's like, if you are weakening the system of this species, you're out. Like -

Hank: Yeah, that's how it works, that's how it functions. But the other thing is that it feels very strange for it all to be related.

Caitlin: Mmhmm.

Hank: To each other. Which it is, unquestionably, like, we've looked and seen how similar, and you know, like understood the direct relationships between us and various organisms and how the branches of the tree work. And also that kind of the way that we die isn't the same way as - like, a single-celled organism dies, but the way that it replicates isn't the same way. Like, you can say that my child is a different organism than me. But when a single-celled organism replicates, like, which one was the original one? 

Caitlin: Right? 

Hank: Kind of the, just like -

Caitlin: And does it die if it -

Hank: So like, yeah. So if one goes on to continue living, and the other one dies and then it replicates, like, which one was it? And in that way, single-celled organisms are all the same single-celled organism. 

Caitlin: Yeah. So then are they, yeah. They don't die then. In a way.

Hank: They're just still there. Like that one, that first cell is still there. Hyugggh! I don't know. Call me on my BS, science people. 

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: For that one, because if not, we're doing a SciShow on that. Hey Caitlin, do you have a short poem for us? 

Caitlin: I do have a short poem! It's by Mary Ann Hoberman. It's called Brother. Because I'm your fake brother. And I love poems that you can read out loud that sound like children's books. So this one is that. "I had a little brother and I brought him to my mother and I said, 'I want another little brother for a change.' But she said, 'don't be a bother." So I took him to my father and I said, 'this little bother of a brother's very strange.' But he said, 'one little brother is exactly like another, and every little brother misbehaves a bit,' he said. So I took the little bother from my mother and my father and I put the little bother of a brother back to bed." 

Hank: Aww. 

Caitlin: So. Did that ever happen to you? Did John try to trade you in? 

Hank: [laughs] A different one. Uh, in one way or another. 

Caitlin: [laughs] Nice.

Hank: Just to make it rhyme with that whole poem. That was great! I also, like I love children's books. 

Caitlin: Me too.

Hank: Obviously now, because I have no choice. And it's remarkable when you hit a good one and you're like, "Oh man, this is so much fun! I want to read this, like, every night!" 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: For weeks! Which is good, because you have to. 

Caitlin: Yeah [laughs].

Hank: Because otherwise you're reading the same book for weeks and you're not enjoying it. Alright. So, we have questions from our listeners, Caitlin.

Caitlin: Yeah, I'm excited to give dubious advice! 

Hank: You have yours in pieces of paper.

Caitlin: I do. 

Hank: Which is -

Caitlin: Paper is a thing still! 

Hank: It's loud.

Caitlin: Yeah, it is.

Hank: Crinkle it for the people. 

[paper crinkle sounds]

Caitlin: Wait, let's see if I can do a -

[more paper sounds]

Hank: No, you can't! 

[paper shuffle sound] 

Caitlin: That's my paper. These are all your questions.

Hank: That was great ASMR content right there. 


 Question 1 (6:58)



Hank: This first question - oh, what the heck, is this the wrong - oh, I think I have the wrong one open. Our first question comes from Nathan, who asks, "Dear Green Boys, I am in a large vinegar soaked vegetable." By which I assume Nathan means a pickle. "I have been in - I have a group of friends, and life was going great. But now all of them have either began dating each other or other people. Sadly, such is not the case with your homeboy Nathan, much to my aunt's chagrin. My people, in what seems to be a poorly executed plan to keep me around but also to be with their significant others indefinitely have decided to invite me, a single teen-aged chap, on every single quadruple date they have gone on for three months. I once drove two of them home from a coffee shop after watching the group conduct an unruly amount of PDA at each other and then on the way home they kept doing it!" Oh man Nathan, I'm sorry. "My life has suddenly turned into a sitcom and not one I can press pause on and watch later. Would having a girlfriend make my situation less Seinfeld-esque? Please answer soon. I'm scared for my sanity." It's from Nathan.

Caitlin: Oh, Nathan! Homeboy! 

Hank: Homeboy, my homeboy Nathan! I have been the person who had a really tight knit group of friends and I was like, but also my girlfriend is now part of this. 

Caitlin: Ohhh.

Hank: And we're going to be obnoxious about it. 

Caitlin: Yeah [laughs].

Hank: I've been that person. I've been Nathan's friend.

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: I've also been Nathan.

Caitlin: I think - yeah. 

Hank: But I can also come at that from the other direction. And let me tell you, Nathan. It's pretty obnoxious. Like, at least the way I did it. And my friends were like, "oh my god, yeah, I get it. You and Sherry, you're going to be in love forever." 

Caitlin: Did it last three months or was it -

Hank: I mean, me and Sherry lasted for a week or two. 

Caitlin: Oh nice. Well - oh, so this is serious. This is three months.

Hank: But yeah, so it was easier for my friends than for Nathan. Man. 

Caitlin: Yeah. Ugh. 

Hank: Ugh. It was very exciting for those weeks. 

Caitlin: Is Nathan's aunt trying to date him? What -

Hank: No! I think Nathan's aunt would like Nathan - [laughs]

Caitlin: Is this like a Game of Thrones scenario?

Hank: No, Nathan's aunt wants Nathan to be in - every time, I was just assuming that there was a broad story here -

Caitlin: Okay.

Hank: That Nathan is alluding to very quietly, which I like. Just like, you know that there's a whole backstory with the aunt, that she really is trying to get him hooked up with somebody. But he's not going to talk too much about that but just give you a little hint. 

Caitlin: Gotcha. So somebody wants to date him. But he's not into it because he's a single teen-aged chap! 

Hank: Well, does somebody want to date him?

Caitlin: Somebody that his aunt knows. 

Hank: Maybe. Or she just like, pinches his cheeks and is just like, "Where's your girlfriend, Nathan?"

Caitlin: "You're so cute!" Yeah. Yeah.

Hank: And he's like, "Gah, I've had enough of this. It's hard enough to be Nathan in this world where all my friends are sucking face in my car." Um, yeah -

Caitlin: One piece of actionable advice.

Hank: Uh-huh.

Caitlin: When you're giving people a ride, don't let them both ride in the back seat. 

Hank: Ayyyyyy!

Caitlin: Make one of them ride up front with you.

Hank: There it is! Well yeah! Because like, what, am I your chauffeur? 

Caitlin: Right?

Hank: I'm just your Uber driver? 

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: Like, are you back in the back of my Pontiac? Yeah, no. Definitely, what- yeah! This is a great point! Who's sitting in the passenger seat? 

Caitlin: No one!

Hank: Well somebody - yes. That is not allowed. 

Caitlin: So one of them needs to sit up front.

Hank: Because then I'm just your PDA chauffeur. I'm just your, like, person who's driving around the room in which you're hooking up in. 

Caitlin: Totally. Yeah.

Hank: That's not okay.

Caitlin: And that's too close - it's like, people think it's fine because you're going somewhere. But it's not. You're in a very small room together. And there's that third person who does not want to be there. But they're driving. You'll all die if that person's not there.

Hank: Yeah. In what situation is it okay for us to be in like a 12 square foot room with the two of you and Nathan and you're hooking up. 

Caitlin: Yeah! 

Hank: I think this is a general piece of advice that I'm giving to my former self. Like, if it's me and my girlfriend and like, one or maybe even multiple other people, like we are in a friend setting and we're doing friend things. We're not doing boyfriend-girlfriend, like, this can be a boyfriend-girlfriend thing. Hanging out. Having a good time. But it's not like a time for public affection displays. 

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: Like, and I understand. You're young. Maybe, you're excited.

Caitlin: You probably don't have a place that you can be alone. 

Hank: Maybe you don't have that. But like, yeah. It's not inclusive. 

Caitlin: No.

Hank: Of Nathan to be like, "come along! And we're going to stare at each other in the eyes with our eyes open while we kiss and Nathan will just be around." 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: Nathan, you don't have to get a girlfriend to satisfy your friends.

Caitlin: No. Or your aunt.

Hank: Or your aunt. But I do think that you are in a vinegar soaked vegetable there because you can't really tell your friends, "hey, can we be friends still? Or is there really just one thing in the world that matters to you right now?" 

Caitlin: Yeah. You could ask that. Maybe don't phrase it quite like that. [laughs]

Hank: Maybe don't phrase it quite like that, Nathan. 

Caitlin: My dog puked in the back seat of my car on one of the back seats. So I don't let anybody sit there anymore. 

Hank: Ayyyy!

Caitlin: So you could if you want to just like, be subtle about it, you could do that. Be like -

Hank: Oh no you can't sit there.

Caitlin: Oh, I only have room for one of you back there. 

Hank: Yeah, you can't sit there, there's just a bunch of - or just have like a big bag that you're carrying around. 

Caitlin: Yeah, totally! A spare tire.

Hank: Just be like, oh yeah, no, I had to keep that. I had to put this bag in my car. I'm delivering it from my mom tomorrow. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: To the dry cleaners. It's just pickles. 

Caitlin: Perfect! Way to bring it full circle! [laughs]

Hank: Just a bag of pickles. I'm bringing them to the dry cleaners! Because my mom's a pickle salesperson. 


 Question 2 (12:54)



Caitlin: This one's from Morgan, and they say, "Dear Brothers Green and Caitlin, when is the appropriate time to start getting into Christmas season? Most importantly, listening to Christmas music? My mom thinks it's on Thanksgiving. Specifically as soon as you see Santa in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I am a firm believer in November 1st being the start of the Christmas season. Mostly because that is about as late as I can possibly hold off. Please end this debate. Greetings form the upside-down, Demo-Morgan." 

Hank: Demo-Morgan! Uh, Morgan. So. You're right. I also can't help myself! 

Caitlin: I know.

Hank: It'd be like, October ended. 

Caitlin: Yep. You were listening to spooky music! 

Hank: I was taking down the Halloween decorations. 

Caitlin: Mmhmm.

Hank: And I put my son to bed and I was like, [singing] "I'm dreaming, of a -"

Hank and Caitlin both singing: "white Christmas."

Hank: And I was like, that's it. It's done.

Caitlin: Yep. It's time. 

Hank: You're getting a Christmas carol every night until January. Like, and maybe into January.

Caitlin: Oh yeah. Yeah. You've got to get your Christmas tree late so you can hold off until - so that you can really stretch it out on that end. 

Hank: Yeah, you know, Christmas trees in Montana, I'm very impressed with. 

Caitlin: They do last a long time.

Hank: They're just like, chilling out. Hanging in your house. If you keep the - especially if you keep it a little cool in your house. 

Caitlin: Mmhmm. 

Hank: Which is probably the environmental way to do things anyway. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: They'll just last! 

Caitlin: Yeah. Water them.

Hank: I threw my Christmas tree away last year, it dropped like eight needles. I was like, "are you alive? Should I plant you?" I feel bad! 

Caitlin: Yeah. Oh yeah, and just reuse it next year! 

Hank: So yeah. I mean like, I used to be on the exact opposite side of this debate, where I was like, "it is not Christmastime until it is like, December 20th."

Caitlin: Oh, woah. 

Hank: Like a crazy person.

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: And now I'm like, well that's - and the thing is I live in Montana now, where it's snowing and it like -

Caitlin: It's snowing. Yeah.

Hank: - feels like Christmas. And I need to be like, celebrating the joy of it being Christmasy.

Caitlin: Right. Otherwise it's just a dark, cold time. 

Hank: Right. It has to be about friendship and giving and thoughtfulness and candy. Where do you come down?

Caitlin: I love Thanksgiving, but I have no problem -

Hank: Christmasing up Thanksgiving? 

Caitlin: Thanksgiving is like in the Christmas season.

Hank: It's part of Christmas. 

Caitlin: Yeah. And also, since you're in the upside-down, Morgan, I feel like that takes place, like very early November, and there's Christmas lights. So -

Hank: Right!

Caitlin: - to communicate with the upside-down, I feel like -

Hank: Right, so you're talking about Stranger Things -

Caitlin: Oh yeah. Totally. I'm like -

Hank: So there are - yeah.

Caitlin: I'm just trying to find, like, text-based evidence for Morgan being right. 

Hank: Right. And ultimately the current cultural touchstone for everything is Stranger Things. 

Caitlin: Yes. Yeah.

Hank: So in Stranger Things there's Christmas lights, it's October. It's spooky. But there's still Christmas lights. 

Caitlin: Yeah. So you can celebrate Christmas anytime. 

Hank: Yeah, just put up some creepy Christmas lights. Hang them from and write in black paint on the wall. 

Caitlin: You're like, "I don't know. Will Byers might need to contact me. I need to be prepped." 

Hank: Oh my god that show is so good! 

Caitlin: It's so good! 

Hank: It's so good, I haven't watched the - finished the second season yet. I'm like, I'm on episode three. Katherine, like, we watched the end of the third episode and she was like, "I don't know if I can do this anymore!" She definitely wasn't going to watch another one that night. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: But yeah, I have this, I have a general problem with my wife where she likes to consume high quality content very slowly. 

Caitlin: Oh, uh-huh.

Hank: And I'm like, "Uh-huh. That's fine. Let's just watch another episode of QI or the Great British Bake-Off and not finish Stranger Things! We can do it one episode a day I'll be fine!" 

Caitlin: [laughs] It is really satisfying to do it that way. I did that with the first season of Stranger Things -

Hank: Yeah.

Caitlin: - because I was going to my friend's house and watching it. But it's so hard. I watched the second season in two days. 

Hank: [laughs] Oh man. So did we get any good actionable advice? Just, you can celebrate Christmas - here's -

Caitlin: Headphones maybe? 

Hank: Oh yes, this is a great point. Yeah. You don't have to involve other people in your Christmas celebrations necessarily.

Caitlin: No, yeah.

Hank: You can be a hundred percent there in your own brain. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: And you can, and also like, you can display it. Wear a Christmas sweater! People aren't going to think you're infringing upon their rights. But maybe, I think, so I was in like the day after Halloween I was in a retail store and they were playing Christmas carols and I do feel like that's a little bit approaching the line.

Caitlin: Right. I don't think you should take up a whole space with it. 

Hank: Right that's like, I mean, it is retail. They want you to be in the Christmas - they want you to like, remember. Christmas is coming up. 

Caitlin: Yeah. Christmas is coming.

Hank: Don't you need to buy socks for that person? 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: Buy a lot of socks! It's not just you socks. 

Caitlin: Your feet are cold. 

Hank: Other people socks! Your feet are cold! [laughs] Um. Other people's socks. Is a weird way to say what you do when you buy someone socks. Because I currently own your socks. These are yours but I haven't given them to you yet. 

Caitlin: That's like gifts in general. 

Hank: Yeah, I have other people's stuff. Until the Christmas time happens and then other people have their stuff. Huh. Who owns Christmas presents? 

Caitlin: Santa? [laughs]

Hank: In the moment between when you buy them and wrap them -

Caitlin: Like when they're under the tree.

Hank: - and you put them under the tree. Whose are they then? Are they the person whose name is on them? Or the person who bought them? 

Caitlin: I would argue the person whose name is on them. At that point. But you could buy something -

Hank: I feel like that happens at midnight on Christmas.

Caitlin: That's why you can't open it until Christmas. That makes sense. Because it's like this grey are of property law. [laughs]

Hank: Right. I mean that would be a really good [laughs] - if somebody was just like, it was like 11:59 and somebody was like, "nope. This is mine. I changed my mind." And like, they go to court. And like, Judge Judy has to determine whether or not the mixer is Jeff or Jeremy's. I don't know. I think that Judge Judy would say that it was the gifter's until midnight.

Caitlin: I think so. 

Hank: And then it's the giftee's.


 Question 3 (19:09)



Hank: This next question comes from Siv, who asks, "Dear Hank and Caitlin, I live with my boyfriend now and it's great. However, he's turning 25 this December and I kind of want to make him a homemade gift. But the apartment is 42 meters squared. How do you surprise loved ones in small apartments? Pandas and abstracts, Siv." How may - how big is 42 meters squared? 

Caitlin: 42 meters squared - I don't know. 

Hank: I have no idea. 

Caitlin: I'm imaging my little studio apartment that I had before. 

Hank: In square feet. It's 450 square feet. 

Caitlin: Yeah. Okay.

Hank: Thank you Google.

Caitlin: It's a little studio apartment. 

Hank: Yeah. So a small, yeah. Well, homemade doesn't necessarily mean you made it at home. 

Caitlin: That's true.

Hank: So it could be coffee shop made. 

Caitlin: Could be coffee shop made. Library made. 

Hank: Mmhmm. You could go to your local - I don't know, we have places like, that, like we have The Zacc where you can go make stuff. 

Caitlin: Yeah, the art center. 

Hank: Yeah.

Caitlin: And you can store it there. 

Hank: So you just come to Missoula, go to Zootown Community Arts Center. Or whatever it's called. 

Caitlin: Yeah! That's it! 

Hank: Zootown Arts Community Center, probably since it's Zacc. 

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: Julie's going to be mad at us. 

Caitlin: Yeah. It's not Zcac. 

Hank: And yeah. So stuff like that. Probably you could take a class, like a screenprinting class or something. Maybe?

Caitlin: Mmhmm. Yeah.

Hank: And then you'd be learning a skill as well.

Caitlin: You could also make a small thing. 

Hank: Right.

Caitlin: And hide it. 

Hank: [laughing] Just, it's like under the covers? 

Caitlin: Yeah! [laughs]

Hank: What are you doing in there, Siv? Nothing. Whittle whittle whittle. 

Cailtyn: I was thinking like -

Hank: What are all the wood chips doing over there? Why are there so many wood chips in the bed, Siv? 

Caitlin: I get it. I was thinking that Siv was going to make their boyfriend a present while he was gone. And then -

Hank: No.

Caitlin: - have to hide it. But then, because Siv needs to make it -

Hank: No, 'cause like a small thing, no yeah, he needs like a working, like, they need a working space.

Caitlin: Okay. Okay. 

Hank: On which to make the thing.

Caitlin: Gotcha. Okay. Ooh, I do like -

Hank: Yeah, and what you have left off, Siv, is like, what is the thing you're making?

Caitlin: Yeah! 

Hank: Because this is hugely important. 

Caitlin: Maybe Siv's boyfriend listens to the pod and that will ruin the surprise.

Hank: Yeah doesn't want to tell - yeah. Totally, yeah, want to avoid that. 

Caitlin: But I like the idea of making a fort. Like, a sheet fort and you work in there. 

Hank: [laughing] Just like a little - Do not enter!

Caitlin: Yeah! Until Christmas!

Hank: Craft fort! Do not enter the craft fort! 

Caitlin: Yeah! And then you guys can open presents in the craft fort! 

Hank: [laughing] Craft fort. It's cute! Oh god! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, you have to build a craft fort. 

Caitlin: And send us a picture. 

Hank: We're done! Yeah. Not only you, I challenge everyone who is making something for their Christmas person this Christmas to build a craft fort. 

Caitlin: Yes. Yeah.

Hank: Whether or not they're going to find it. I just think it's great to have a craft fort! 

Caitlin: Yeah. That's probably how the North Pole was invented. Like - [laughs]

Hank: [laughing] Yeah. It was originally Mr. Claus, Santa, just wanted to make something for Mrs. Claus but their house was so small, but he built a craft fort, and then the craft fort just kept getting -

Caitlin: And then it turned into a workshop. 

Hank: - bigger and bigger and bigger. He had to get a bunch of elves. To pay, I assume well. 

Caitlin: Yeah, I think they're union. Right? 

Hank: [laughs] Santa seems like a nice guy. 

Caitlin: I think so.

Hank: Yeah, I think he'd be supportive of labor rights.

Caitlin: Yeah, maybe they - yeah. 

Hank: Ok. Well. 

Caitlin: Do you want to hear from -

Hank: Like, never have we answered a question that well on this podcast. That's the best we've ever done. 

Caitlin: Yes! 


 Question 4 (22:43)



Hank: Alright. Did I just ask that question or -

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: Okay, your turn!

Caitlin: So let me ask you a question from Catherine! "Dear Hank and Caitlin, I work for a catering company and I'm waitstaff for a large number of corporate events."

Hank: Cool.

Caitlin: "As is the nature of these events, I've seen a lot of guest speakers and speeches given. I feel very lucky to get to see these speakers as they're often important people working on projects like Mars One and space exploration or are important leaders on the global stage like Nicola Surgeon, the first minister of Scotland."

Hank: Hmm!

Caitlin: "I always feel very lucky to get to see these speakers and I always want to applaud after their speeches. However, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to. I mean, I'm just the waitress, not someone the speeches are for. So do I clap for them, or not? Please help. I'm very confused and conflicted about clapping or not. Not an abundance of, Catherine." 

Hank: Okay, first of all, the first minister of Scotland is something that got me hooked up, because I was like -"

Caitlin: Did I say his name right? 

Hank: No you said it correct - Nicola Surgeon, a woman -

Caitlin: Oh! Nicola. 

Hank: So I was just like, I don't - hold on a second. This was the first minister Scotland ever had? That person must be dead.

Caitlin: Or is it like a ranking -

Hank: It's a thing. 

Caitlin: Okay. Like first -

Hank: The First Minister is the leader of the Scottish government.

Caitlin: - clarinet. Okay.

Hank: [laughing] Like first clarinet! Yeah, except that it's the leader of the Scottish government -

Caitlin: Yeah. Okay, cool.

Hank: - instead of the leader of the clarinets. 

Caitlin: Yeah. Okay. 

Hank: So, Nicola Surgeon is - Sturgeon. They spelled it wrong. That wasn't your fault. 

Caitlin: Oh, Okay. Nicola Sturgeon. 

Hank: Not Surgeon.

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: Alright. So, we've got both of those things fixed. 

Caitlin: Okay.

Hank: Now. So obviously you do what everybody else is doing. What all your other colleagues - like this is what I - I'd be like, "Uh, what does everybody, like look over at my colleague, Leslie and see what Leslie is doing." 

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: That was not a very Scottish name. 

Caitlin: Other Kate. Like, what is a Scottish name? Merida. [laughs] 

Hank: [laughing] You can come up with one Scottish name. 

Caitlin: Nicola. [laughs] 

Hank: Yeah, apparently. Good point. Excellent point. Oh I've got a long list. Look over and see what Alistair is doing. 

Caitlin: Great.

Hank: And if Alistair is clapping, then you clap.

Caitlin: Yeah. Sounds like they need -

Hank: Or your boss -

Caitlin: - a first waiter. To lead -

Hank: Yes!

Caitlin: - the clapping. 

Hank: Excellent point.

Caitlin: Or not. 

Hank: Yeah. Whose name is probably Craig. 

Caitlin: Probably. Yeah. 

Hank: So, yeah. But I, if I was the person creating the precedent, like if it was me and everyone was going to look to me at what we should do, I would clap.

Caitlin: I would too. I also - I want to - I've got a bone to pick with Catherine. Because she says, "I'm just a waitress, not someone the speeches are for." 

Hank: Yeah.

Caitlin: I think the person giving the speech would love it if you clapped and is also definitely talking to you -

Hank: Right. Yes.

Caitlin: And I think it -

Hank: This is why I think you should clap.

Caitlin: Yeah! 

Hank: I think you should clap because, like, it's respectful, but also because it's a recognition that you are not - you are not a mechanism by which -

Caitlin: Drone. 

Hank: - things appear and disappear. You are a person.

Caitlin: Yeah. And you're listening!

Hank: Yeah. And I think it's really cool, that you have, like, this is a perk of your job.

Caitlin: Totally! Yeah.

Hank: And you should appreciate it and show people that you are appreciating it, and pause in your duties if you are not currently holding a hot cup of coffee -

Caitlin: Yeah. Don't burn yourself. 

Hank: - or, yeah. Don't just start like, clapping, slamming cups of coffee together. 

Caitlin: [clapping noise] Ding ding ding ding ding! 

Hank: [laughs] Because that could be bad. 

Caitlin: Yeah, I think I agree, and I think you're probably not - at the clapping point you're probably not, like, pouring water on someone - like for someone -

Hank: Mmhmm. Yeah, near the end -

Caitlin: You're probably just like, stepped to the side. 

Hank: Near the end of the evening, yeah. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: Right, 'cause - I don't know how it works. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: But it does seem cool! 

Caitlin: Yeah! 

Hank: Yeah I'm, that's -

Caitlin: Yeah, and maybe other people are wanting to clap too but they don't know if they should. 

Hank: Mmhmm.

Caitlin: And maybe Catherine is the Craig -

Hank: Right.

Caitlin: That they're looking too and she doesn't even know it. 

Hank: Right! You can establish the precedent. You pause and you put one arm behind your back like you're a good - nope you can't clap that way. 

Caitlin: [laughs] I was curious to see where this was going.

Hank: And then you just -

Caitlin: Just clap behind your back. 

Hank: - like, hit your hand together really hard. [laughs] Yeah. Yeah, just pause in your duties and applaud Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland. 

Caitlin: Yeah!

Hank: Yeah! I'm assuming you're Scottish, which I don't know if I should have done. Just because Nicola Sturgeon was there, and I'm sure Nicola Sturgeon goes to other places. 

Caitlin: Probably.

Hank: I did that whole thing where I assumed you were Scottish for a long time. 

Caitlin: I did too but I don't know.

Hank: There's no actual indication that that's the case. I apologize. 


 Question 5 (27:24)



Hank: This next question comes from John, who asks, "Dear Caitlin and Hank - Hank and Caitlin!" Sorry. "I just went to throw away a few bags of trash in the already full dumpster at my apartment complex." Oh, have we all been here. 

Caitlin: Mmhmm. 

Hank: As I was halfway back to my apartment I heard a bag of trash fall to the ground. Did I just litter or am I in the clear?" [laughing] No, you're not in the clear. "I didn't bother to turn around to see if it was one of my bags, but it has begun to plague my mind. Any dubious advice is appreciated. I won't mow your lawn, Jawn." 

Caitlin: Oh, 'cause -

Hank: It's Jawn 'cause it's spelled like lawn. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: But it sounds like John. Yeah you're not - you didn't turn around. You very intentionally -

Caitlin: [singing] Don't turn around - Yeah.

Hank: - appear to have not turned around. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: For a specific reason. Which is that you didn't want to know.

Caitlin: And it's plaguing your mind. 

Hank: And now it's plaguing your mind. I had a plaguing my mind situation yesterday - so I went to the coffee shop to get coffee with Katherine. 

Caitlin: Mmhmm. 

Hank: And on the way there there was, like, a minivan pulled up on the sidewalk with its hazards on, and I was like, "that's weird." And on the way back they were still there, and there was a person sitting in the driver's seat the whole time and I was like, "are they okay?" and so we walked home, and then I like, was sitting in the house taking care - and I was like, "I have to go check and see if that person's okay." 

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: And I finally like, went, and I like, walked over and they were just like, on the phone having a conversation and I was like, "you just pulled up on the sidewalk? That's super weird!" Like on the sidewalk! 

Caitlin: Weird! 

Hank: There's places to park! There's like, if you just pulled around there's neighborhood streets that have parking on them. Yeah, they were there -

Caitlin: Maybe they had like -

Hank: - an hour! 

Caitlin: Woah. No!

Hank: I don't know. Yeah! Yeah! Like, I was thinking maybe there was car trouble and they were like caught, but like, an hour! And I like, walked by, and I like, tried to make eye contact, and she would not make eye contact with me so I was like, you clearly do not want my help. Goodbye.

Caitlin: Good for you for going to check though. Maybe she called someone and it was taking them a long time to get there. 

Hank: Maybe, maybe yeah. But she was still like, yeah. It looked to me like she was just having a conversation. 

Caitlin: Weird. 

Hank: Like she didn't want to drive and talk on the phone at the same time so she pulled her car on the sidewalk -

Caitlin: Which is illegal in Missoula, but parking on the sidewalk apparently not.

Hank: Yeah, parking on the sidewalk also not strictly legal. So yes, this was plaguing your mind because you littered. 

Caitlin: Yeah, you did. 

Hank: But this is a problem that everyone who has ever lived in an apartment complex knows about. Like, they don't have enough dumpster space. 

Caitlin: No. Especially right before trash day. 

Hank: Why not?

Caitlin: I don't know!

Hank: What am I supposed to do?

Caitlin: Is it more expensive to have a bigger dumpster?

Hank: Yes! 

Caitlin: Okay.

Hank: More dumpsters cost more money. But, yes. So a bigger dumpster costs more, and more dumpsters cost more. This is a thing I know because we have a dumpster here at the office.

Caitlin: Yeah. It's very little. It's so cute.

Hank: It's tiny! 

Caitlin: I love it.

Hank: So don't throw away more stuff, because we pay less, because it's little. 

Caitlin: Yeah, I love that it's little. Like, look us, saving the Earth! As we're like, shoving stuff in there. 

Hank: Just holding stuff in the garage. 

Caitlin: Yeah. [laughs]

Hank: Waiting for it to get emptied. But yeah! This is a common problem. And at our old place, because we shared the dumpster, the tiny dumpster, with a lot of different people -

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: - somebody would fill it up with, like, bookshelves or something one week and it would be just like, "well I guess we're going to put the garbage bags by the dumpster."

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: And then you feel bad. Because that's not- because, I can tell you as a business owner that like, if you keep doing that, if the bags aren't in the dumpster, the company will get mad at you and they will call you and they will be like, "you need to get another dumpster, because -" 

Caitlin: You're cheating the system.

Hank: "We're supposed to drive the truck up and do the thing with the truck and that's it. We're not here to pick stuff up off the ground." 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: We're not trash - not litter patrol. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: Anyway. Super interesting things that I know about! That I'm so glad that I've learned. If you ever think to yourself, "boy, I want to run a business," remember that you're going to be getting calls from the dumpster company. 

Caitlin: Yeah, and dealing with parking - yeah. 

Hank: - and you'll be like, "do we, should we get another dumpster? Or should we have a conversation with the employees about throwing less stuff away?" That will be your life. Or at least part of it. And you know, it's not bad. I don't mind having those conversations. Telling you guys to be more green and recycling more. We do a good job at recycling.

Caitlin: Yeah, we do. 

Hank: Yeah we do. 

Caitlin: So John, you should recycle more. 

Hank: And also if your trash doesn't fit in, you should call the trash company and be like, "my landlord won't get another dumpster. And I know that he needs one, so let's work together." 

Caitlin: Yes! I love it. Yeah. So John, you littered. But somebody will clean it up. But your conscience, I don't know.

Hank: Will be dirty for the rest of your life.

Caitlin: Yeah. Oh yeah.

Hank: It's all over now. 


 Question 6 (32:05)



Caitlin: Do you want to hear from Fanny? 

Hank: Yeah! Hit me with Fanny's question.

Caitlin: Fanny says, "Hi! I'm watching my favorite TV show in Sweden, called 'Vem, Vet, Mest?' and this guy is wearing a Pizza John shirt! I needed you guys to know!"

Hank: He is. He is! It looks like a game show. There are five lights and two of them are off, so I don't know if that's good or bad- 

Caitlin: Ooh, maybe his lives are running down. 

Hank: I hope - yeah, maybe he's only got three lives left. I really hope that this Pizza John - I mean, what a bold choice.

Caitlin: I love it.

Hank: Wearing Pizza John on a game show. Nobody's going to not know that happened. 

Caitlin: Yeah, that's awesome. 

Hank: [laughs] It's - he looks great. 

Caitlin: He does. 

Hank: So question. Is there a question?

Caitlin: "Now, onto my unrelated question." 

Hank: I see.

Caitlin: "Well, pizza related. Is a pizza a sandwich if you fold it? There's bread on two sides! Hank, I know you've got this figured out. My name is weird in your country, Fanny." 

Hank: [laughs] Yes, that is true. Correct on that last part. So. Caitlin, do you know about my new policy about not having opinions on stuff? 

Caitlin: No!

Hank: I don't have an opinion on whether that's a pizza - a sandwich or not.

Caitlin: Oh. I do. 

Hank: Oh yeah? How are you -

Caitlin: Yeah. 'Cause, is a burrito a sandwich? No. 

Hank: I mean, are you aware -

Caitlin: Folded pizza? Not a sandwich.

Hank: - of the controversy you are wading into right now? This is like, it started with the hot dog question. 

Caitlin: Yeah. Hotdog's not a sandwich. Legally. 

Hank: Wait. There's a law? 

Caitlin: Well, it's because there some sort of, like, sandwich tax. 

Hank: There's no sandwich tax!

Caitlin: Yeah! I think so! Maybe I made that up! 

Hank: How is there a sandwich tax? 

Caitlin: I think it's something -

Hank: In America? 

Caitlin: In America. How do you think way pay for - like, is the corn dog a sandwich? Because there's bread on both sides. 

Hank: There's bread on all the sides.

Caitlin: Right? 

Hank: It's completely surrounded by bread. 

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: And it's on a stick. I think in general, sandwiches can't be on a stick. But this is the thing! They're just trying to suck you into a conversation. 

Caitlin: Oh.

Hank: And having opinions and arguments and disagreements with people about things.

Caitlin: Okay. 

Hank: And maybe we should just not care if a pizza folded in half is a sandwich. 

Caitlin: Henry Reich and I were debating if pizza was a pie earlier today. 

Hank: Well then you call it a pizza-pie.

Caitlin: Because he had a pie party and people brought pizza. And we thought that -

Hank: Did I miss the pie party?

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: Oh no.

Caitlin: I did too, 'cause Lauren had to go to work. And I had to help him get ready because he was gone for a week.

Hank: That sounds so good! Oh!

Caitlin: Yeah. He assured me there would be more though, because I was bummed. 

Hank: Okay. Yeah. Yeah, because they call it pizza pie but it's not really a pie, 'cause it's not in a pie dish.

Caitlin: So I guess it can be whatever you want it to be. 

Hank: It can be whatever you want it to be. I think that it definitely becomes a sandwich if you take two slices of pizza and put them on each other, because then it's open at both ends.

Caitlin: Mmhmm.

Hank: Otherwise it's sort of more like a cheesy, saucy taco. 

Caitlin: You know what I just realized?

Hank: Mmhmm.

Caitlin: Which, - that sounds awesome. But this person is from Sweden, where they have open-faced sandwiches. 

Hank: Yeah.

Caitlin: So pizza is totally a sandwich! 

Hank: A pizza is already a sandwich. It's just a hot, open-faced sandwich with just cheese and sauce. 

Caitlin: Yeah. Okay. 

Hank: Cheese and marinara. Boom!

Caitlin: Next question! 

Hank: You know, I like an open faced sandwich. I'm into it. Because oftentimes I'm like, there's too much bread happening. 

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: There's too much bread going on. And again, this is not an opinion that I have for all people. I'm not saying that everybody should only eat open-faced sandwiches. This is just a thing that I believe for myself. I often think to myself, "That's just - my mouth is full of bread right now. And I didn't sign up for bread. I'm here for all that stuff in the middle!" 

Caitlin: Gotcha.

Hank: All that Oreo goo. 

Caitlin: [laughs] Oreo sandwich! An Oreo would be a sandwich. Yeah.

Hank: Do they call them sandwich cookies?

Caitlin: I think so. Yeah.

Hank: I think they do. 



 Question 7 (35:46)



Hank: Alright. This question comes from Brian, who asks, "Dear Hank and Caitlin, when scientists talk about the age of the universe, i.e. about 14 billion years old, are they using the year as defined by one rotation of the Earth around the Sun? To me this seems rather confusing as the Earth has only been around for less than half of the calculated age of the universe and a year is usually different on other planets. What's up? Brian is greater than Ryan, Brian." I mean, says you, Brian. Wait. 

Caitlin: It has more letters. 

Hank: It does have that extra letter. Um. Yeah! We don't have any other ways to do it. Right?

Caitlin: Yeah, it's funny, because -

Hank: Like what would you say, like, the universe has been around for like, 18,000 rotations of the Milky Way? No. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: We don't know what that means. I have no idea if that's even close to the - probably way not enough. And also, the Milky Way wasn't around when the universe started. So like, there's nothing to go by except what we know. 

Caitlin: Yeah. And it's something like, talking about a small apartment earlier, we were like, "meters, we think in feet usually, let's look this up by feet." Like, it makes sense to talk about years, as egocentric as that is -

Hank: Right.

Caitlin: - to help us fathom it. 

Hank: Well that's one of the things, is like, most of our definitions of things are arbitrary to start with.

Caitlin: Totally. Yeah.

Hank: So like, a foot is just something we picked, a meter is something we picked, a kilogram is something we picked. But a year is at least a thing - like it's we were here, and then now we're here again. 

Caitlin: Now we're here again. Yeah. 

Hank: In terms of, you know, around the Sun. And like, we can measure that and we know that, and that amount of time is not exactly a number of days, which is what causes all the problem with leap years and extra leap years and -

Caitlin: Leap seconds. 

Hank: Leap seconds. So, yeah. It's not perfect, but it's the thing that we have. And it is sort of, compared with our other units of measurement, at least it's based on something in reality. 

Caitlin: Mmhmm. Yeah. And something that relates to individual people, because you know how old you are in years. 

Hank: Right. Yeah, and I have some experience of what a year is. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: I don't have any experience of what a year is that allows me to conceive of what 14 billion of them would be, though. 

Caitlin: No. [long pause] Uh, me neither. But what would be cool, Brian -

Hank: [laughing] Can you just have that "no" be a full, a full like -

Caitlin: Lot's of silence. 

Hank: I don't know, like, 15 seconds, and then - 

Caitlin: Like it's going to be 14 billion seconds. [laughs]

Hank: [laughing] Yeah. And then you can just jump in with what you were going to say. 

Caitlin: Okay. But what would be cool, Brian, is if you made a poster or something visual that I could hang on my wall -

Hank: Mmm! 

Caitlin: That showed me how old the universe is -

Hank: In different -

Caitlin: In years, in Earth years, in Pluto years - because Pluto, as long as we have known about Pluto, it still hasn't completed a Pluto year. 

Hank: Wow! It's pretty far out there.

Caitlin: Which I think is so cute! 

Hank: [laughing] I'm just out here, trying to finish a year! I'll make it! I'll make it! Nothing's going to stop me now! You can't stop me, I'm Pluto! You can't stop me, because you can't get here! 

Caitlin: Yep.

Hank: Too far away! Yeah, and you could also do, like, lunar orbits around the earth, -

Caitlin: Yeah!

Hank: You could also do, like, galaxy orbits, or -

Caitlin: Which is not something I even thought about before. That's awesome. 

Hank: Yeah. Yeah, like, I don't know if the galaxy orbits something inside of its super cluster? There's got to be some kind of common central point of gravity in the super cluster, but it definitely revolves. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: Or, rotates. 

Caitin: Right, of course. 

Hank: So, like, the Earth goes around the center of the galaxy once every lots and lots and lots of years. 

Caitlin: [gasps] Yeah! what is that called? 

Hank: I don't know what that's called!

Caitlin: A hectacre? [laughs]

Hank: [laughing] A hectacre?! That is a callback to a Vlogbrothers video from a long time ago! 

Caitlin: That's my fake - that's my go-to fake measurement. 

Hank: That's good. Hectacres are excellent. 



 Sponsors (39:48)



Hank: Alright, we don't have a ton of time left, so this podcast is brought to you by hectacres!

Caitlin: Yes! 

Hank: The hectacre!

Caitlin: They're big! 

Hank: They're so big! 

Caitlin: Or long, or -

Hank: Or, yeah. Or - yeah.

Caitlin: Or unfathon-a-mable. 

Hank: Unfathonamable. 

Caitlin: [laughs] This podcast is brought to you by moving rooms for three people that you should not make out in! 

Hank: Correct! Oh, moving rooms that you should not make out in. 

Caitlin: They're not bedrooms though.

Hank: Don't make out in them, because there's a bunch of pickles on the back seat anyway. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: This podcast also brought to you by the craft fort. The craft fort! It takes up two metres squared of your 40 meters squared apartment and you are in there doing something. 

Caitlin: And it's going to be awesome.

Hank: It's going to be so good! 

Caitlin: This podcast is brought to you by the holiday music that can start whenever it wants! 

Hank: It can start - you can be Mariah Carey-ing in your ears all year long if you want to. 

Caitlin: Yep. 

Hank: All I want for Christmas is for it to be Christmas all the time. And this podcast is finally brought to you by our actual sponsor. Our actual sponsor - which it helps that Caitlin is here today, -

Caitlin: Yeah! 

Hank: - a producer of many videos, is Storyblocks! Storyblocks is a company that provides stock images, stock video, -

Caitlin: Stock audio, -

Hank: -, stock audio, and just tons of it. And there's yearly subscriptions. So we have, so SciShow, what subscription do you guys have at SciShow? 

Caitlin: We mostly use Videoblocks on SciShow because we have people talking so we don't need the audio, and so we use the videos. 

Hank: Yeah, so we use Videoblocks at SciShow, so the way that Storyblocks works is that there are those three things and they are each yearly subscriptions but if you sign up now through storyblocks.com/dearhankandjohn you get all three of them for the price of just one of them for the first year.

Caitlin: Which is a really good deal. Yeah.

Hank: It is. So it's 149 dollars a year. I like this because you know how much it's going to - like, you get it and you have it for a year. You can try it out and you always have that resource, because you're not like a hundred percent sure when you're going to be using it.

Caitlin: Yeah. Yes, it kind of comes, things come up.

Hank: Yeah, like the need comes and goes. And they have hundreds of thousands of video and audio and image files and I use it for Vlogbrothers, we use it for Scishow. Caitlin, do you use it for other - because I know you do things sort of outside of work. 

Caitlin: Yeah! So a cool thing about Storyblocks is that, storyblocks/images is you can get graphics, so I will make videos - I make advertising videos for nonprofits sometimes, like the Zacc which we talked about, and so instead of me having to make a lower third from scratch to introduce people in the video -

Hank: Right. 

Caitlin: - then they have one.

Hank: 'Cause you're like, I'm doing this, like, pro bono work. 

Caitlin: Exactly.

Hank: And I don't want to spend a bunch of money on it and I also don't want to spend a bunch of time on it. 

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: And so is that like, the lower third is like a pre-prepped after effects file? 

Caitlin: Yeah!

Hank: Oh, nice.

Caitlin: That you can just, like, drop in-

Hank: So you don't have to do anything.

Caitlin: -and you can still see your video behind it. Yeah. Yeah, it's flexible.

Hank: And you can just type the stuff in there?

Caitlin: Yeah. Exactly! 

Hank: Yeah! Nice! So Storyblocks also, it has membership content. So stuff that you get for free and it's hundreds of thousands of files, but there's also the marketplace. So the marketplace is, like, people put their stuff on Storyblocks and you can buy it from those people directly and those people get paid for the things that they made that you buy through Storyblocks. 

Caitlin: That's awesome.

Hank: And I think that 100% of the sales revenue goes directly to the artist when you do that. So it's a great way - so you will run across, when you're using Storyblocks, files that aren't part of your membership. But those files have been uploaded by artists who are supporting their life with their work. And -

Caitlin: And so you have to pay extra for those because they're outside of it, but it's sometimes like four dollars. 

Hank: Yeah. And then there's like, all of these - you know, and sometimes they're like, 4k video files and sometimes there just - it makes content creation much easier, I know a ton of people who use it -

Caitlin: Yeah, it's so dynamic. 

Hank: - for their Youtube videos, and in a world where creating high quality content is getting to be more important for whether you're doing production in a small town like we do for local businesses or non-profits, or whether you're doing your own content, making your own stuff, having something that's, you know, basically a little bit more than the cost of Netflix. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: For you to make your, you know, to take your work to the next level. Which, we've been using it for a long time now. 

Caitlin: I think as long as I've been here, so at least 5 years. 

Hank: Oh, wow. Okay. 

Caitlin: Yeah. Yeah.

Hank: We like it! It's good.

Caitlin: It's awesome.

Hank: We feel very lucky that Storyblocks is helping out this podcast so you want to check them out. We also feel very lucky that Storyblocks exists at all, because it makes our jobs easier. It's storyblocks.com/dearhankandjohn if you want to look into it, sign up, try it out for a year and get the triple bundle - images, video, and audio, for the price of one of those, for 150 dollars a year, and yeah. Thank you. Thanks for checking that out!

Caitlin: Yeah. Cool! Make cool stuff!



 Question 8 (45:19)



Hank: Alright, let's do another question. This one comes from Madden, who asks, "Dear Hank and Caitlin, what is nil? John always talks about it when talking about AFC Wimbledon, and I don't understand. I'm a lizard, Madyn." What are you - you're a lizard? I guess that understands why - explains why you don't understand what nil is. 

Caitlin: Yeah. I am a lizard. Is that a -

Hank: A thing? Like I am the walrus? 

Caitlin: Probably. Or is like, Madyn a game?

Hank: Well Madden is a game, but it's not spelled like Madyn's name and it's about football. 

Caitlin: Oh. What? Oh, so you don't know about Madden the game, Madyn. Sorry, I'm like, "you should know about nil if you know about football!" 

Hank: No. Yeah [laughs]

Caitlin: Okay. [laughs] I know nothing about football or video games. 

Hank: Clearly. Yeah, so I wanted to know where nil comes from.

Caitlin: Yeah, did you look it up? 

Hank: I did. So it just means "nothing". 

Caitlin: It means - I can tell you what the AFC Wimbledon scores are -

Hank: Was there nils?

Caitlin: - and this is why you hear it so often. Charleton vs AFC Wimbledon was one - nil. But AFC Wimbledon beat Lincoln City one - nil! 

Hank: Oh! So they won and lost. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: Okay. Well you already got to the AFC Wimbledon news. So you've ruined it.

Caitlin: No, that's from a couple weeks ago. 

Hank: Okay. So the -

Caitlin: That's olds. 

Hank: - situation is that it just means nothing. But I looked it up and "nil" is like, from the Latin, which is also where, like, nihilism comes from. 

Caitlin: So literally, nothing. 

Hank: Like, I'm into nothing. 

Caitlin: Annihilate. 

Hank: Yeah! Also. To make into nothing. Yep. Nil. It means nothing. So that was just a quick one for people who are confused by nil. And I don't know why - I tried to figure out why football scores in particular talk about nil, like, nil-nil draw. But, like, nobody knows. It's just something people started doing. 

Caitlin: Maybe because it's just one syllable. Maybe it's like, you're talking about you being the loser. Maybe it's like, "one - nil."

Hank: Yeah.

Caitlin: It seems a little more hopeful than "one - nothing." 

Hank: One - zero. Yeah. Probably just to save a syllable off. It's probably - it's a British thing. They don't like syllables. They'll get rid of them at every opportunity. 

Caitlin: Yeah! Even if they're in the word! 



 Question 9 (47:32)



Caitlin: So this one's from Caroline, and she says, "Dear Hank and Caitlin, how long does a person or persons have to be dead for it to be considered archaeology instead of grave robbing? Does the civilization have to be fairly old or is there like an Indiana Jones code of conduct? Sweetly, Caroline." 

Hank: Ah, that's good!

Caitlin: Ah, super good! 

Hank: Yeah, um, so. 

Caitlin: Did you look this one up too? 

Hank: Well, it's actually something I knew. 

Caitlin: Oh, awesome! Okay.

Hank: So, it does not matter how old the grave is. 

Caitlin: Okay.

Hank: It matters your intent. 

Caitlin: 'Kay. 

Hank: Going into the grave. 

Caitlin: Oh!

Hank: And this is sort of a controversial thing. 

Caitlin: That's interesting. So even if it's like, a pharoah's grave, if you're just stealing stuff.

Hank: Right, if you're going in there to melt down the gold and sell it, or even sell the stuff on the black market. 

Caitlin: Yeah. You're grave robbing.

Hank: You're a grave robber. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: But, like, where do you draw that line, because, like, early on, this is kind of weirdly what we would do. We'd go to other countries, we'd like, explore these tombs, we'd take stuff out of the tombs, and then we'd bring them back and put them in museums in Europe. 

Caitlin: Right.

Hank: And so there is like, sort of now we're like, oh, like we wouldn't do it that way now.

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: And that was kind of grave robbing. It was kind of like a cultural extraction that we did because we were like, "well, we're Europe, so we're the ones who are interesting and we - only - no one can appreciate this stuff like we can because, you know, we really understand things."

Caitlin: Yeah. "We're very educated."

Hank: So it turns out that there is a fuzzy and dangerous - [laughs] we've got a visitor at the doorway, Kallie Moore was just making faces at us. 

Caitlin: [laughing] Ah, archaeology, and Kallie Moore appears. That's pretty cool.

Hank: Yeah! Mmhmm. Yeah, there's a fuzzy and dangerous distinction between those two things. And so really it comes down to your intent is to bring your findings to more people and to be public about it and to be approved by universities and museums and the government of the place where you are. Then it's archaeology and not grave robbing. And if you do not have those sanctions, no matter how old the grave is you are just a thief. You are a weird thief stealing from people who have been dead for a long time, but more than that you are stealing from the culture that is there now. And also just sort of from human knowledge. 

Caitlin: Right, yeah.

Hank: Which is the worst thing to steal from! 

Caitlin: Totally. Do you - so how could you make a case for it being archaeology with a very recently buried person? If it doesn't matter the age. [laughs]

Hank: [laughing] Well, I don't know that you could - yes. So you couldn't call that archaeology but you could call it science -

Caitlin: Right. 

Hank: If you wanted to dig somebody up and say, like somebody who died 100 years ago and say, "well we're curious how many people died of arsenic poisoning in this community." And you might want to do some science and be like, well there was this wave of deaths and we're not sure why, and maybe it had something to do with this thing that we're trying to figure out. Then you would be doing science and it wouldn't be grave robbing. 

Caitlin: Okay.

Hank: But you wouldn't be taking stuff out of the ground. 

Caitlin: Right.

Hank: And that's an interesting question. If you can like, in a thousand years, people might exhume graveyards in the U.S. to be like, "what did people wear?" Well, they wouldn't know, but like, "what were their wristwatches like?"

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: "What was their jewelry like?" Because you couldn't find anything besides - like, clothes wouldn't be there, bodies wouldn't be there. Not like- they're not like mummies. We don't mummify -

Caitlin: No [laughs]

Hank: - in the ground here. But yeah. Recent archaeology. There is, I think, some line somewhere where archaeology starts, and I don't know what it is. Ask Blake. Blake is our colleague who is into archaeology and paleontology.

Caitlin: And also super of course into Indiana Jones, I feel like. 

Hank: Oh I mean, he looks like Indiana Jones. 

Caitlin: This question is perfect. Yeah!

Hank: Like, literally, since I've been working with Blake, for almost seven years now, every day he looks more like Indiana Jones. 

Caitlin: Yeah!

Hank: Like, I expect him to come in with one of those hats and then like -

Caitlin: He does have a whip in his office.

Hank: He does have a whip in his office! So, I don't know. He's more and more tan. 

Caitlin: Yep. Yep.

Hank: He only gets more buff. I'm like, "what are you doing? When do you- "

Caitlin: I know.

Hank: "- you have two kids, and like, a very hard job. When do you have time to exercise?" I don't understand at all. Alright. Oh! Oh, we are so over time. 

Caitlin: Oh man!

Hank: We have to get to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon! 



 News from Mars and AFC Wimbledon (52:01)



Caitlin: Okay!

Hank: Hit me with some AFC Wimbledon news.

Caitlin: Oh god. Okay, AFC Wimbledon is playing for the Checkatrade Trophy -

Hank: Okay?

Caitlin: - right now. 

Hank: Oh. Wow! I don't know what that means. 

Caitlin: I don't either! 

Hank: Is it - it's probably, my guess is, from what I know, which is limited, that there are like these side tournaments that teams play that don't matter to the official standings like the FA Cup. 

Caitlin: Just glory.

Hank: But yeah. Just glory.

Caitlin: Oh, that's awesome. 

Hank: So they're playing in the Checkatrade?

Caitlin: Yes.

Hank: Is that like a brand? Or is that a place? 

Caitlin: I'm assuming it's a brand where you trade checks. 

Hank: [laughing] Checkatrade! "Checkatrade is where reputation matters." Oh, it's -

Caitlin: So it is glory. 

Hank: - how you get your tradesmen! 

Caitlin: What!?

Hank: So you - it's like Angie's List.

Caitlin: That's awesome! 

Hank: Where you find people to help you, I don't know, fix your air conditioner or whatever. 

Caitlin: Where reputation - so you get a check meaning you -

Hank: You check the tradesman.

Caitlin: - are recommended. 

Hank: Right.

Caitlin: Yeah. Yeah! So in future news, I'm going to come up with a cool name for a competition.

Hank: Okay.

Caitlin: And then AFC Wimbledon will get a trophy for it. For glory.

Hank: Right. And they don't even have to really win. 

Caitlin: No, it'll be like the AFC Wimbledon Caitlin's Trophy for AFC Wimbledon News Trophy. [laughs] 

Hank: [laughing] It's really good. Okay, so that's our - how, have they played a game? Are they doing okay?

Caitlin: Uh, I got distracted by Checkatrade. 

Hank: Yeah, that was really distracting. 

Caitlin: I don't know if they have won a game. The stats I have come up from October. Oh! They're playing a game on Saturday. During - they're playing a game on Saturday versus the Bristol Rovers.

Hank: Oh, Bristol Rovers, what a great name for a sports team! 

Caitlin: Yeah. Unfortunately, way better than AFC Wimbledon. 

Hank: And I think that their most recent game was against Peterborough, which they tied 2 - 2, which is good that they scored two goals.

Caitlin: Yeah! And Peterborough played Bristol Rovers this weekend and beat them four to one. 

Hank: Oh wow! 

Caitlin: So, I feel like AFC -

Hank: Alright well maybe we'll do good!

Caitlin: - Wimbledon's chances are good. 

Hank: And the goals on AFC Wimbledon for that Peterborough game were scored by Lyle Taylor, the Messi from Montserrat.

Caitlin: Woohoo!

Hank: And Cody McDonald who I've never heard from before, and that Lyle Taylor goal was scored -

Caitlin: I think I went to high school with Cody McDonald! [laughs]

Hank: [laughing] Oh yeah? Lyle scored in the first minute. So -

Caitlin: Nice.

Hank: That's good. And then we went down two - one, and then Cody came back and saved it in the 45th minute to make it a tie. So that's what I know. In Mars news -

Caitlin: Yes.

Hank: - NASA is preparing to land its 2020 rover on Mars and so they're testing out the parachute system so if you want to watch a parachute open at supersonic speeds but slowed down a lot so that you can actually watch it happen, with a high speed camera, there was a test called the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment, which is an acronym -

Caitlin: Yes!

Hank: - and it's "ASPIRE." 

Caitlin: Ah! Nobody does acronyms better.

Hank: Nobody does acronyms like NASA. This 54 foot tall - oh, so they launched this thing up - wait. So they launched a test payload up into the atmosphere and then it fell to Earth and then they opened the parachute and it didn't break, which is great because it has happened before where they'll do a test parachute launch and it'll just be like, "whhrshungg!" just shreds.

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: Because if it fails, it fails catastrophically and immediately. Because that moment when it opens is the moment when -

Caitlin: Is the critical moment. 

Hank: Yes, is by far the most stress. So, the parachute worked, and NASA is going full speed ahead -

Caitlin: Cool.

Hank: - with the Mars 2020 mission, which is very exciting, and I can't wait for there to be two amazing science labs on the surface of Mars. 



 Outro and Credits (56:31)



Hank: Caitlin. What did we learn today? 

Caitlin: We learned that even if your aunt wants you to have a girlfriend, you can make your own choices. 

Hank: [laughing] And we learned that Nathan's mom is also maybe a pickle salesperson. 

Caitlin: Oh yeah! 

Hank: Selling pickles to the dry clearners. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: I don't really know what that was about. 

Caitlin: Vinegar gets stains out? 

Hank: Yeah, vinegar gets stains out. [laughs] 

[outro music plays] 

Caitlin: We also learned that when your trash falls on the ground it is litter. No matter how close it is to the trash can. 

Hank: And we learned that if you are working at an event where someone is speaking, the speech is for you -

Caitlin: Yeah! 

Hank: - as much as it is for anybody, Catherine, enjoy. I hope you're actually Scottish and I didn't make that up. 

Caitlin: Yeah. We also learned a little bit about the Scottish government today. [laughs]

Hank: A little bit! Just a very, very small amount. And also that apparently there are people in Sweden named Fanny. 

Caitlin: Yeah.

Hank: That's a thing. That was this episode of Dear Hank and John with guest host Caitlin Hofmeister. Thank you very much for hanging out. 

Caitlin: Thank you for having me! 

Hank: This was really fun!

Caitlin: Yeah! 

Hank: I'm glad that you could do it on short notice, but also that you could do it at all, because it's great to have you. And I'm sure John is feeling better by now - 

Caitlin: I hope so.

Hank: - since it does take a little bit of time for the episodes to come out. But John, feel better -

Caitlin: Yeah. 

Hank: - and this podcast is edited by Nicholas Jenkins, it's produced by Rosianna Halse Rojas and Sheridan Gibson. Our head of community and communications is Victoria Bongiorno. The music that you're hearing is by the great Gunnarolla, and as they say in our hometown, -

Hank and Caitlin together: Don't forget to be awesome.

[outro music ends]

Hank: Oh, hey! You're still listening! What a champion you are. You must be like a big fan of podcasts, or at least this podcast. Maybe you even want to watch this podcast happen live. Along with a bunch of other podcasts, like Lore, My Brother, My Brother and Me, and Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. So many others besides those. I just don't want to take your time telling you all about them. Maybe you want to see some weird one-off podcasts that no one will ever be able to see again any other way, or have discussions about the podcasting industry and learn about how people make it work and work to inspire themselves and other people. Oh, yeah. That sounds like fun. Also, this is like, maybe your last chance to get tickets for PodCon. Which is happening December 9th and 10th in Seattle. It's a conference for people who love podcasting and podcasts. You can find out more about it at podcon.com. Thank you for supporting Dear Hank and John, and I hope to see you there.