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Should I follow my dreams of having strange animal friends? What would happen if I pee in this humidifier? Is it disrespectful to look at someone while they yawn? And more!

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Hank: Hello, and welcome to Dear -

John: Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.

Hank: Three -

John: Two -

Hank: Three - 

John: Two - 

[pause, then both laugh] 

John: I'm ready now. I'm still ready. 

Hank: Three -

Hank and John together: - two, one, start. 

[both laugh]

John: Nick, maybe you should just include that! It was gold.

[intro music plays]

Hank: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John

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

Hank: It's a comedy podcast in which two brothers answer your questions! And give you dubious advice! And bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. John, how are you doing today? 

John: I am doing well, Hank. The Sun is shining here in Indianapolis. It's still kind of cold and I'm a little over it, but I'm doing well. I am happy to be alive, I am grateful to be a Midwesterner -

Hank: Yeah.

John: It's a good day to live in the middle of the world's fourteenth best country as measured by life expentancy. 

Hank: [laughing] I recently found out that my employees have been making fun of me because I put a nose in my smiley faces?

John: Oh, like a little dot?

Hank: My emoticon smiley faces. 

John: Yeah.

Hank: First of all, I do not emoji very much -

John: No, me neither. 

Hank: Because I was raised in a world where we created our own emojis using whatever tools we had at our disposal and we called those "emoticons." And that's not the same as an emoji, and when people call them emojis I get offended, but apparently it's ok to just do a colon parenthesis for a smiley face, but colon dash parenthesis they find to be a sign that I am not with the times. 

John: In general, yeah, I believe that emoticons can express the full range of human emotion thereby rendering emojis unnecessary. I completely agree with you about that. However, you are wrong that emoticons need noses. Also, I have an update, Hank, and it's not a good one. 

Hank: Okay, what's your update? 

John: The United States ranks 31st in life expentancy. 

Hank: [laughs] Well, let's see where Missoula is on the list, because I feel like we do better than the US as a whole. You should move here. 

John: We're behind Chile and Costa Rica and Slovenia. Those are our immediate - the people we immediately want to beat. And then we're just ahead of the Czech Republic and the Maldives. Oh boy. Okay, well -

Hank: Well I don't know very much about those places or the world. But -

John: Said the American.

Hank: I know about my emoticon noses, so let's get back to areas where I'm an expert! Which is that this is how it's done, and that's - don't - you can't - I'm doing it my way. And I think it looks better and all your weird noseless faces look disturbing and I just think of happy Voldemort. 

John: I remember the first time I saw an emoticon like that back on Compuserve in the early 90s and I remember people would explain to me "it's a sideways smiley face" and I would look, and all I could see for the life of me was a colon and a closed parenthesis. And it took me the longest time to be like - and I literally, as I recall, at least, 14 year old me had to turn his head 90 degrees to be like, "ohhh, yeah, I guess I kind of see it." 

Hank: Oh man. Yeah! Well, that makes a certain amount of sense. It is very representational. 

John: Speaking of children, Hank, would you like a short poem for today? 

Hank: Okay?

John: This short poem is by - I believe his name is Niall, age 6. It's been making the rounds on Twitter.

Hank: Okay.

John: It's very, very good, and it's called The Tiger. It's written by a 6 year old boy, and it's called The Tiger, and it's about death, but it's also about life and hope, and also despair. "The tiger. He destroyed his cage. Yes. Yes! The tiger is out." The Tiger, by Niall, age 6. 

Hank: [laughs] Yes! Yes!

John: [laughing] It's just perfect! The tiger is out!

Hank: I think I understand that poem, John. 

John: I don't think that either of us can understand it in its full complexity. 

Hank: 'Cause, is the tiger [pauses] Niall? 

John: I don't know if the tiger is Niall or if the cage is Niall. 

Hank: [gasps] Oh man. What - or, if the tiger is just a tiger? 

John: [laughs] There is always the possibility that the tiger is just a tiger. Oh man. 

Hank: Do you want to answer some questions from our listeners, John?

John: Yeah Hank, lets answer some questions from our listeners.

 Question 1 (4:57)

John: This first one comes from Blair, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, I have recently come into possession of the American Cheese Society 2010 second place ribbon. I now have the ability to unilaterally declare someone or something the second best cheese in the year of 2010. How do I wield this power responsibly?"

Hank: Hmmmm.

John: "I don't know anything about cheese. My friend makes cheese but it's terrible so it seems dishonest to give it to him."

Hank: [laughs] Wait, wait, wait, wait. 

John: That wasn't very nice at all, Blair.

Hank: So you actually have - you actually have someone in your life who's a cheesemaker.

John: Wow.

Hank: But you're denying that person [laughing] the cheese - it's so bad! That you feel dishonest! 

John: Yeah! Well, there you go. Blair's a very honest person. 

Hank: Oh man!

John: "How do I make sure I don't go crazy with this power. Brie afraid, Blair."

[both laugh]

John: First off, Blair, I just want to correct you about one thing, which is that you say in your question, "I now have the ability to unilaterally declare someone or something the second best cheese for the year 2010," in fact, you only have the unilateral ability to declare someone or something the second best American cheese for the year 2010.

Hank: Mmhmm, which is very, very different, because as everyone knows, America is 31st in cheese? Is that right John?

John: I believe that is correct, yes. Just behind Costa Rica. 

Hank: [laughs] Um. John? Is it a thing that we are now going to have to do where you and I compete to be the best cheese of 2010 or is that nothing? 

John: No, we can't compete with each other. That's not part of our brand. Our brand is collaboration and mutual admiration. 

Hank: Yeah. Our brand is I really appreciate your AFC Wimbledon news, you really appreciate my Mars news, even if, deep down, we're probably checking Twitter. 

John: Right! It's funny because we started out trying to make fun of each other's news but the listeners hated that, because they like the collaboration and mutual appreciation. So if anything we need to lobby Blair to have both of us named co-second best cheese of America in 2010. 

Hank: [laughing] It's good, can you take -

John: But then unfortunately Blair needs a second ribbon! 

Hank: Well, or - can you take your ribbon to like, a place that does laser cutting? 

John: Mmhmm.

Hank: And just slice it perfectly down the middle so John and I can share it? 

John: Or, perhaps - I'm just going to throw this out there - a ribbon making factory, and just make a second ribbon. 

Hank: Mmmm, you can't just make a best cheese ribbon, John. This is the second best American cheese of 2010. If you just went and made a second best American cheese of 2010 ribbon, that would not allow Blair the ability to bestow upon everyone in America.

John: I've got a few ideas for this, Hank. My first idea is, Blair, you could give it to your significant other if you have one, and then when it comes time to break up with them, instead of saying, like, "I think we need to break up," you can just say, "um, I'm going to need that ribbon back." 

Hank: [laughs] You are now not the second best cheese. What if you just went to the grocery store and like, put it on a cheese. 

John: [laughs] Just like a Kraft singles. 

[both laugh] 

John: Well but then you lose the ribbon. I mean, the nice thing about bestowing it upon your significant other until and unless they disappoint you -

Hank: Right, it's revocable. 

John: Is that you get to, you know, you get to keep it in the family, more or less. That's the only thing I'd say, Blair. This is such a powerful, wonderful thing that's come into your life. Don't let it go easy. You know, like make sure that when you bestow it upon someone or something, they understand that this is temporary and that at any moment, something or someone new might become the second best American cheese of 2010. 

Hank: Blair, is it possible that you're the best cheese of 2010?

John: Second best.

Hank: Sorry. Blair, is it possible that you're the second best cheese of 2010? 

John: Oh wow.

Hank: Like, this is why you got it? Like the universe delivered it to you -

John: Oh my god.

Hank: - because of your quality cheesiness. 

John: You're so right, Hank. Blair, you've already won. It's just that you haven't yet accepted the victory! Blair!

Hank: Yeah. No, you don't know yet that you were once the second best cheese in America. 

John: That's right. What you really need to do, Blair, is you need to look in the mirror and realize that you've been looking and looking and looking for the second best American cheese of 2010 but all the while it's been within you! 

Hank: Mmhmm.

John: And you need to pin that ribbon on your sweater, because it's you, Blair. You did it! 

Hank: Just daily affirmations. Walking around, I am a powerful human. I love myself. I have had a positive impact upon the world. I am the second best American cheese of 2010. 

John: You know how like -

Hank: Next question! 

John: - when you finish - can I just say one more thing? 

Hank: [laughs] Okay, I suppose. 

John: You know how when you finish a marathon, or in my case a half marathon, they give you a medal and you wear that medal all day? But you can't really wear it into the next day because it becomes a little weird -

Hank: Mmhmm. Yeah.

John: - like at some point, if 35 days later you're still wearing your medal -

Hank: Right.

John: People are like, "oh, so you finished a half marathon a month ago." The second best cheese of 2010 is nothing like that, Blair. You can wear that ribbon every day for the rest of your life. 

 Question 2 (10:39)

Hank: This next question comes from Ashley, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, I will be getting married soon and therefore have been on the receiving end of many gifts that I picked out myself. I am very thankful for all of the gifts but I'm at a loss when writing thank you notes. How do you thank someone for a gift that you picked out yourself? Normally I would comment on how much I like the gift, but in this case, that feels like I'm complimenting myself. How do I show genuine appreciation without giving fake compliments? Also, the wedding is March 10th and we'll be in a much more interesting part of Arkansas than the clothing store in the middle of a field if either of you would like to come. Toasters and Tuxedos, Ashley." 

John: Hank, I actually think I have some good advice here, because I've written a fair few thank you notes for wedding presents that Sarah and I picked out.

Hank: Mmhmm.

John: And here - this was initially something that I felt uncomfortable with, and Sarah explained it to me thusly, and I think she was correct. She said what you say in the thank you note is what your are going to use the gift for in your new shared life.

Hank: Mmhmm. Right. 

John: And that's what people like.

Hank: Yeah, you tell a story about how that person is going to impact and has affected your life. And that is, like a lot of times the best thanks, is like letting people - not just saying thank you, but saying thank you and then, this is how you have made my life better. What Katherine and I did is we laser etched the name of the person who gave us each of the gifts on the gift so that we have to think about them every time we use it. 

John: Really?

Hank: And so like our mixer is named Ashley and every one of our fork set just has the name of my parents, Sydney and Mike on it. 

John: Is that true?

Hank: No. No. [laughs]

John: I was going to say. That's a really lovely idea - But yeah. You thank the person for what this gift is going to do for your life and then you transition to thanking the person for whatever they have done for you in your life, which I actually think should be the focus of the thank you note is finding a way to say thank you Uncle Bax for all of the great times in Vermont and the wisdom that you've shared with me and the kindness that you've showed me and how welcome you've made me feel in your family. 

Hank: Yeah. Good point John. I like it a lot.

 Question 3 (12:57)

John: This next question comes from Tanya, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, my university is overwhelmed with giant crows throughout the year, and I want to befriend them so I can have a beautiful, intelligent and slightly terrifying animal companion. I've heard they remember human faces well." Tanya, you are freaking me out right now. I'm just going to tell you the truth, man. 

Hank: Why?

John: I'm getting freaked out. 

Hank: What are you freaked out by? 

John: Okay, Hank, let me just start the question over, because maybe you weren't listening. "My university is overwhelmed with giant crows throughout the year and I want to befriend them so I can have a beautiful, intelligent and slightly terrifying animal companion. I've heard they remember human faces well."

Hank: I mean, have you read Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle?

John: Yes!

Hank: Is that what it's called?

John: Yes!

Hank: Yeah! 

John: That also freaks me out! 

Hank: [laughs] I think that it's great! I'm curious if these are crows or if they are ravens actually, because do you know the difference between a raven and a crow, John? 

John: I bet I'm about to find out. 

Hank: So, if you see a crow, you'll think to yourself, "I wonder if that's a crow or a raven." If you see a raven, you'll think to yourself, "I have been deeply seen and am afraid of that gigantic animal." 

John: [laughs] That is so true. That is so true. That's a great point. Anyway, Tanya goes on to ask, "should I follow the rules and not feed the birds, or should I be a rebel and follow my dreams of having strange animal friends. If I feed them, what else can I do to make them my friends? I thought my question might be relevant to your podcast because crows are symbols of death." [laughing] Oh god! Thank you Tanya. Yeah, I mean, here's the thing, Tanya. Don't feed the ravens. 

Hank: Don't feed the corvids in general. Don't feed any of the wildlife on your school campus. 

John: Even - there are other, better ways to make them your friends. The number one way that I would recommend is bewitching. 

Hank: Well, how to befriend - I mean, I typed in "how to befriend" and the number one thing is a crow. And I don't know. Does Google - does it hear me right now? Does it know what I'm talking about? So like, is there -

John: Oh my god! Oh my god, you're not kidding! 

Hank: Yeah! No! 

John: What?

Hank: Apparently this is a thing -

John: How did this happen? Oh my god I'm so freaked out. Is Google - Hank. What the fffflip just happened? We both googled "how to befriend" and the first Google suggestion was "a crow"!

Hank: Well maybe that's just the the thing people most want to befriend!

John: Not like, "how to befriend a human." The frick? 

Hank: So like, we have now determined that humans would rather be friends with crows than people, dogs, elephants, any other animal, themselves, cats. Just, crows. I don't know! Maybe befriend is a specific word that like - you don't say "I would like to befriend- how do you befriend a young lass?" No.

John: Well, I mean, but you - I mean, why, why a crow? Why not lit- I am so freaked out I can't even talk! Why not literally any other animal species?

Hank: [laughing] I don't know! The questions is, can you make friends with a corvid without food. And probably not, but they do like other stuff! So maybe. And the good news is that apparently enough people have searched for this that I'm sure people who are looking to optimize their blogs for search engines have written - there's in fact a Reddit thread right here. There's also on "owlcation" how to make friends with crows and on, so "coyotes" with a dot in it, also "making friends with crows" on the corvid blog on the coyotes blog network. This Reddit thread has a number of suggestions. So I don't know - I didn't look this up because I didn't actually expect that there would be a great deal of information on it, but it turns out you're not the only one. 

John: You're in fact in the majority of people who wish to become friends with a blank. 

Hank: [laughs] Ah. Yeah, I mean I love this - didn't we have a question - or maybe I just read this somewhere - from a person who, like, the crows think that he's their neighbor?

John: I don't - Hank, I -

Hank: And it's like bringing this guy presents because his neighbor is feeding the crows? 

John: I'm not even in my body right now because I'm so freaked out. I can't remember the past or the future or the present. I just googled "how to befriend a" and the first suggestion was "crow." 

Hank: I mean, are you using a Google Pixel right now? 

John: No, I'm using my computer! It's a normal - I thought it was -

Hank: No, on your phone! On the phone!

John: - a normal computer but I guess it's a computer that listens to everything that I say.

Hank: Are you talking to me on a Google Pixel? The phone.

John: I don't - I don't even know! What is -

Hank: What's the name of your phone? 

John: It's an iPhone 5s.

Hank: Oh, okay. I was - it's just that you don't know what phones are called. That's fine. I'm on a Google Pixel, so now I'm like, are they listening? But you're all the way over there on your iPhone 5s, so I don't know how Google would have this information about you, unless my phone is like, "he's talking to John Green. John Green is googling in Indianapolis. They're talking about crows. Quick, give them crow results." I don't think that that's what happened, but I'm not putting it past the next level of dystopia that we're headed into. 

 Question 4 (18:32)

John: This next question comes from Deb, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, I recently purchased a humidifier to keep my skin happy in the winter, and a thought occurred to me as I began to use it. What would happen if I put pee in this humidifier?"

Hank: Oh- [surprised laughter] This questions has a really good plot twist, John! 

John: Deb, it turns out this is only the second or third weirdest thing I've heard today. "While I'm awaiting your responses - " I guess I should emphasize, Hank, that like, there might be no animal on earth I want to be friends with less than a crow. Like - okay. "While I am awaiting your responses I promise I will not test it out in the mean time. Vote for Pedro, Deb." 

Hank: Hmm!

John: Well, Hank, suddenly we have a tremendous amount of responsibility, because it is up to us whether Deb puts pee in the dehumidifier. Or - wait, is it a humidifier or dehumidifier? 

Hank: I believe it's a humidifier. Uh- - yes.

John: Ah, yes, that does make more sense. Um, Hank, what happens if you put pee in a humidifier? I'm not a scientist, you are.

Hank: It's - [laughs] I mean, don't put pee in a humidifier. What's going to happen is most, but not all, of what's going to come out of your humidifier is going to be water, but there probably will also be some ammonia that comes out, and that's not going to smell good,  because ammonia is one of the more volatile - meaning it evaporates more easily. So basically, your humidifier is trying to create evaporation to evaporate water, and in that process it will evaporate other things that have lower boiling points than water, like ammonia, and so your room will probably smell somewhat like ammonia. As that ammonia off-gasses the urea is in equilibrium with ammonia so more ammonia will be created and that will continue to create more and more ammonia until all of the urea has been converted into ammonia or until all of the water is gone, at which point the urea will fall out of solution and become a solid, along with a lot of other solids that are dissolved in urine, and that will clog up your humidifier and your humidifier's filter and you'll have to replace the filter much more quickly, so basically, don't do that. But at least you know why! 

John: Hey Hank, do you know what the first thing that Google autofills if you google "what happens if I pee in a" is? 

Hank: What?

John: Humidifier. 

Hank: [laughs] 

John: No, it's gas tank. It's gas tank.

Hank: Oh, thank goodness. Oh, good lord.

John: Yeah. 

Hank: [typing noises] "Can I pee in a - "

John: Gas tank.

Hank: " - cup and test it later for pregnancy?" Uh -

John: [laughing] Oh. Oh man.

Hank: "Can I pee in a bidet?" 

John: Yes.

Hank: "Can I pee in a policeman's hat?" 

John: Well it's certainly not recommended. I mean, I guess it depends on if you want to go to jail. 

Hank: [laughing] I mean if you like, order one online, like get a policeman's hat on Amazon from a costume, yeah if you want to do that - wait.

John: That's got to be a line from something.

Hank: Wait, "I read recently that a pregnant woman has the legal right to urinate in a policeman's helmet." That's [laughs] that's what it says! It's a question to The Guardian newspaper! "However at this year's Notting Hill carnival all officers refused my girlfriend this honor. On what grounds can they refuse [laughing] such a request?"

John: Wow. My favorite response to this by a country mile is somebody who - this was published in a British newspaper, and my favorite response by a country mile is from Barry who wrote, "surely you must be taking the piss." 

Hank: This is high quality, Barry Packington. 

John: Yeah! Good stuff, Barry. Alright, let's move on to the next question. 

Hank: If anybody knows a Barry Packington in Nassau, in the Bahamas, just give him a pat on the back for us. We appreciated that. 

John: Can we just go hard not weird for the rest of the pod, please?

Hank: [laughs] A real tight turn -

John: Can we take a big -

Hank: - into like, deep normal. [laughs]

John: Yeah! Just a 180 degree turn back toward normal. I mean, it was all fun and games when it was just about Blair and her cheeses.

 Question 5 (22:59)

Hank: [laughs] Okay. This next question comes from Jake, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, so I was sitting in my math class today and I was talking to my friend next to me when she began to yawn. I felt it almost instinctual to look away as she covered her mouth, and then this raised the question, is it disrespectful to look at someone while they're yawning? I became quite aware of this dilemma throughout the rest of class and now I'm worried that I'll somehow make someone feel self conscious if I do look. Dubious advice is of course much appreciated. Jake." 

John: I mean, I think it's rather bad form to look at someone for more than, say, half a second, ever. 

Hank: [laughing] Oh my god. I -

John: You know what I mean?

Hank: No! I mean, not if you're - well, yeah, if you're talking then no. That is a good, interesting point, John. How long can you look at someone if you're not currently in communication with them without it being weird? Which isn't that long! It's not that long.

John: It's less than a second for sure. 

Hank: Yeah, and I have in fact found myself being like, "I did that for too long, and I feel now an urge to apologize, which I will not indulge in, because that would make it even weirder." 

John: When someone - honestly, when someone looks at me for longer than one second, I immediately say, "I'm the one who does history, my brother is the one who is in your chemistry class." I just say it. I don't even wait. 

Hank: I did that one time -

John: Because that's the only reason someone would look at me for longer than a second. 

Hank: I did that one time and I have not done it since this occurred, because the guy then said, "uh, no, I need to get to my car." 

John: Mm. Well, that's brutal. That is brutal.

Hank: [laughs] It was about the worst. 

John: That's happened to me on a few occasions.

Hank: He was very confused. 

John: Right.

Hank: And I also, that guy, I've seen him around. He works at a restaurant in town -

John: Yeah.

Hank: And like, now I can't go there anymore.

John: Well, maybe you can, but you'll be forever known as the guy who wasn't as famous as he fancied himself. 

Hank: [laughs] It's been two years and I haven't been back to that restaurant, so we'll see.

John: I don't think the reason you can't look at someone when they're yawning is because they're yawning. I think it's because when they're yawning you're like, not in conversation with them, and so they're having a private moment, and so you avert your eyes - this is what I do anyway. Admittedly, I don't make much eye contact when I am talking to someone because I find it weird and overwhelming. But like, yeah, you avert your eyes because they're having this private moment and then when the conversation re-resumes, you go back - it just occurred to me that re-sumes.

Hank: Mmhmm.

John: Is there a word sumes? 

Hank: [laughing] Can- [typing noises] Can I sume?

John: Don't google again, Hank! If I've learned anything today it's don't google! Just go to and type in something - does Bing autofill? 

Hank: [laughing] Yeah I don't want to see your autofill! 

John: How do I befriend - okay, you go to Bing, it says, "how do I befriend somebody on Facebook," "how do I befriend somebody on Snapchat" that's normal, Bing. You're a normal search engine. You don't freak me out at all. What was the question?

Hank: If you can resume, can you sume? 

John: Yeah, probably. But the point is that once you resume conversation, you can resume eye contact. That's my personal approach -

Hank: Yeah!

John: - but I'm not sure that I'm an expert in this field since I don't make a lot of eye contact.

Hank: Well it's also that like, I try not to yawn while I'm talking to someone, though I understand that you can't always control that, and it is sort of like - it does, it's like, there's a pause in the discussion now and you're sort of like, okay, this is a thing that's happening and it will end. A bodily function is occurring and now it has ended and we can resume conversation. 

John: Apparently it means "take" in Latin. According to Rosianna. 

Hank: Oh, thank you very much. I very nearly tweeted that question, John, but thank you to Rosianna for saving me the trouble. 

 Question 6 (27:05)

John: This next question comes from Jamie, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, who is responsible for cleaning out the dryer lint trap? Is it the person who is taking their newly dried clothes out of the dryer or the person putting their newly washed clothes into the dryer? I'm living with roommates and I don't want this to be a hangers facing outward or toilet paper on backward situation. It won't matter in the end, Jamie." You're right Jamie, it won't matter in the end, because of course we'll all be dead, but this is something that matters in the middle. 

Hank: [laughing] Yeah, I check. After I take my clothes out I clean the screen, and when I'm about to dry clothes I check the screen. It is not a intensive chore, the checking of the lint screen and the cleaning of the lint screen. In fact I kind of like cleaning the lint screen. 

John: I kind of like it too.

Hank: I like how it comes off as like, sort of like this semi - solid, like holding itself together weird piece of fabric that you can pull apart and ball up - like, I don't, I like it! So I check every time, personally. And I don't find it to be an onerous task. And occasionally there will be a little bit of lint there and I'll be like, sweet, I get to clean the lint tray! 

John: Yeah, I also find it enjoyable. I think that my rule of thumb is it's the person - when you're loading the dryer you load the dryer and then you check the lint tray and then you get started, so I don't do it when I'm emptying the dryer, I do it when I'm loading the dryer. I will say however that I once met someone who'd collected years and years worth of their dryer lint -

Hank: Mm! 

John: - and it was a visually impressive thing. You really do build up some dryer lint. I've always - like, I like after we dry the towels I always like the dryer lint because it's almost like a tiny towel.

Hank: [laughs] Yeah. It has like - it's the same color and, you know, the same fibers. I - why was this person collecting all their dryer lint?

John: Oh it was, uh - I didn't get a great sense for why, but they didn't - to speak frankly they seemed like the kind of person who would collect years' worth of dryer lint. 

Hank: [laughs] Okay, okay sort of more of a character trait than a project, then. 

John: They were an artist. Still are an artist. But yeah. Yeah. 

Hank: [laughs] You're staying as non-specific as you can be. Which I appreciate.

 Sponsors (29:25)

John: That reminds me that today's podcast is in fact brought to you by artistic eccentricity. Artistic eccentricity! Is it inherent or is it kind of a construct? I'm not sure. 

Hank: This podcast is also brought to you by the tiger. Is the tiger Niall? Is Niall the cage? Is the tiger the cage? 

John: [laughs]

Hank: The tiger.

John: The tiger is out, but it's also in, because the tiger is also the cage. And of course today's podcast is brought to you by the second best cheese in America from 2010. America's second best 2010 cheese! Now named Blair. 

Hank: [laughs] And this podcast is also brought to you by deep normal. Deep normal! It's where we need to be headed! Strong - just strong turn into deep normal, John. Dryer lint was probably a really good deep normal thing to discuss, though then you ended up on artistic eccentricity and several garbage bags full of dryer lint. So.

John: I mean, still faring well better than making friends with crows. Which, by the way, it's not that that's weird, it's the Google autofill thing that freaked me out. We also have a regular sponsor for today's podcast, and we're very grateful to our friends at Squarespace. Squarespace of course is your all in one shop for great websites including, by the way, , Hank Green's brand new website where you can preorder his book An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, I just inserted promo in our promo, Squarespace also helped make The Art Assignment website, Squarespace made the website I use for my books,, it's just an amazing, amazing tool and hosting service. One stop shop for all of your web needs. 

Hank: And it turns out Ryan actually wrote us a question, "Why do people want to have websites?" Well, Ryan, thanks for asking! I made that up, but -

John: I could tell. 

Hank: There are a lot of people - there are a lot of reasons that you might want to have a website. You know, having your own domain name, like a place that is yours and not something that exists on someone else's platform, you know, it's your Twitter account, it's your YouTube account - having some place where all those things are connected and you control them directly is - to me it's a freedom that's nice to have when you can have it, and also it's a way of showcasing all of your things in one place, and that might just be sort of like a professional portfolio that's almost like an always resumé that's sitting there telling people a little bit about you and who you are and lending some professionalism to you, and that might even be necessary and a good thing to have even if you have a job right now, but also especially if you're trying to work and build your life as an independent creator of some kind, whether that's like an architect or a graphic designer or you might, I don't know you make furniture you might be a teacher or an instructor and want to be having, you know, more information about you out there that way so that people can find out who you are and what you do. And I have always had a personal website- it used to be that that was sort of the only way you could be out there and it's something that I've always been, you know, been sort of personally tied to. 

John: I've often thought that if I hadn't had Hank as my brother, aside from all of the wonderful work that I wouldn't have been able to do, the stuff that we collaborate on, I don't know that I would have had a career as a writer, because Hank did such a good job of designing my early websites, which helped me get some of my early work, make some of the early connections that I made with Mental Floss magazine and with the local NPR station where I was living in Chicago and stuff like that, and with Squarespace, it's like you have a Hank, because they make it very very easy to design and make your website look extremely professional. You can go to right now and get a free trial when you use the promo code dearjohn or dearhank. In fact, I don't even use Hank anymore. I use Squarespace. You can use dearhank or dearjohn as your offer code and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or a domain. Thank you again to Squarespace for sponsoring our podcast today, and in general for being so great at sponsoring lots of podcasts and also making a cool thing. 

 Question 7 (33:58)

Hank: This next question John, it comes from Joshua, who asks, "Dear Hank and John, why is it that computers always run slower  when they're first turned on? I always hear that they need to get warmed up, but is that a thing? If it is, why aren't we just putting fuzzy socks and knit hats on our computers and giving them mugs of warm tea to help speed them up when we turn them on? Joshua." Joshua, this is definitely like, it's a car thing, it's a machine thing that they can operate better when they're warm because the oil gets more viscous, you know, your catalytic converter doesn't work as well unless it's heated up. Stuff like that is where this phrase comes from, but that is not why your computer takes extra time to get going at optimal speed before - or after it starts up. That's because there's a lot of things that happen when your computer starts up and all those things are happening. Like, all those programs are running. They're opening simultaneously. Lots of different things are occurring. And then once your computer is booted up, those things are done happening and you don't have to - your programs that you're running aren't competing for resources with those things. And that's why.

John: I often find when I'm using my computer that it gets really slow and then I'll go into my task list and I'll notice that I have, you know, 75 different programs running at the same time, and I'm always reminded of this great Onion Point-Counterpoint - they used to do this series called "Point - Counterpoint" where one person with one perspective would write an editorial and then right below that someone who disagrees would write an editorial and then you would have to decide who you agree with, and the "Point" in this particular one was written by an office manager and the headline was "My Computer Hates Me" and the counterpoint was written by the computer and it was called "I Hate That Idiot." 

Hank: [laughs] Yeah.

John: And I always think about that. I always think like, "god, why does my computer hate me?" And then I go into my task list and then I'm like, "oh, right, it hates me because I'm being so mean to it."

Hank: Yeah, I was once called to a friend's dorm room in college to fix her computer and I opened up her - you know, sort of like the hard drive inspector and she had like, 200 kilobytes of space left on her computer, and I was like, "Where? What? Why? What have you downloaded?" And it wasn't - she had like, you know, like 100 mp3s, but she had managed to download part of like 4000 songs, and she had no idea that she'd done it. 

John: [laughs] Right.

Hank: And it was just like a - the Napster, because this was in the Napster era, the Napster partial song incomplete download folder was her entire hard drive. 

John: Wow. Man. Napster. It's been a while. 

Hank: Yeah. It's been a while.

John: My computer currently has seven gigs free out of 500, because I'm always fighting a war against wanting to preserve every movie clip I have ever generated while making Vlogbrothers videos and also wanting my computer to work. It's an ongoing fight that I've been having for 11 years now. 

Hank: Well I'll tell you what, John, I gave up that fight a long time ago and now just delete everything. 

 News from Mars and AFC Wimbledon (37:14)

John: Alright Hank, it is time for the all important new from Mars and AFC Wimbledon.

Hank: Alright, John, and the Mars news is pretty obvious this week. Elon Musk put three of his Falcon 9 boosters together - 

John: Yep. 

Hank: - into the Falcon Heavy, which has 27 boosters, because I just multiplied nine by three and that is 27 engines! That's a lot of thrust, John. And was able to prove that this thing works. Two of the boosters landed on land. They came back, they landed almost simultaneously. It was beautiful and perfect and I can't believe it. The third, the central stage booster crashed into the ocean, not even very close to the drone ship it was supposed to land on. But! Two out of three ain't bad. And the falcon heavy test flight contained - because, why not - a Tesla roadster with a man - like a crash test dummy in a spacesuit on it and it resulted in some very good pictures, and then that capsule did its secondary burn which takes it out of the orbit of Earth and into orbit around the Sun. And that - the idea was to get it roughly into Mars's orbit though it wasn't going to orbit Mars, so it was going to be roughly at the same distance from the Sun as Mars, going around the Sun, not going around Mars which would've required a lot more careful telemetry and a lot more communications equipment, and so, but instead it turned out the rocket had enough to get it past Mars's orbit, and it's headed for the asteroid belt, John. 

John: Wow!

Hank: It's out there now on its way to the asteroid belt. But we have proved that the Falcon Heavy can deliver things to Mars, it just has to be more careful, and also that this is the first private spaceflight ever that has taken anything out of Earth's orbit. So that's pretty remarkable! 

John: So this means that with current technology, Elon Musk and his company can get stuff to Mars.

Hank: That is correct. Yes. 

John: That's amazing! 

Hank: I know! It's good news, John! 

John: Can they get people to Mars or just stuff? 

Hank: Right now they can only get people - they can only get stuff to Mars, just because the crew capsules have not been built yet. The space launch system which is NASA's heavy rocket will have a crew capsule that will be ready before the Falcon is ready to launch people, but the way we're going to get to Mars is not all at once so it's not going to be one - like, with Apollo you could get everything on one rocket and you could get the landing and return, all of it on one rocket. That is not how we're going to get to Mars. We're going to have to send things ahead of time to land on Mars so that those things are up and running and probably creating fuel from the Martian atmosphere on the surface of Mars. And also the water on Mars, theoretically, hopefully. And then the astronauts will go after that stuff happens. So it is important to have a heavy rocket that can send stuff other than people. 

John: It seems like it's going to be hard to do all of that by 2027. 

Hank: Well, you know John, the world is a great place full of wonder and mystery and unexpected successes. So we'll just hold on and see what happens. 

John: Also unexpected failures. I really liked something Elon Musk said in the wake of this, because he did put his old Tesla roadster into orbit, which is pretty cool - quick question, when it goes out into the asteroid belt, is it going to get pummeled by asteroids? 

Hank: Ah, probably not.

John: Oh.

Hank: It's pretty empty out there.

John: Ok.

Hank: But several of the people I follow on Twitter were like, "hey, Elon, could you share the orbit data with us so we can see -" cause it isn't just like the question of is it going to hit something, which, almost certainly it won't, there's just not a lot of stuff in space. But also how stable is its orbit going to be? 

John: Mmm. 

Hank: So it could end up being influenced by the gravity of Jupiter or doing a gravity assist on a smaller asteroid or something, and its orbit might change, it might get sent out of the asteroid belt, it might be sent closer to the inner solar system. In any case, it's not like a dangerous thing. In general he - mostly it was like, "don't actually hit Mars with this thing." Because there's very specific protocols for things that can land on other planets. 

John: Right.

Hank: In terms of cleanliness and stuff. So -

John: Right.

Hank: They didn't want him to actually hit Mars was the main concern. But it's pretty hard to actually get into a planet because you almost always end up in orbit rather than intersecting, because it actually - usually you have to slow down a lot for your orbit to deteriorate enough that you will enter a planet's atmosphere. 

John: Oh, interesting.

Hank: It's pretty hard to actually get a planet. 

John: Oh. Well I really liked the quote that he said, after this about putting the Tesla into orbit. "It's kind of silly and fun, but I think that silly and fun things are important."

Hank: Yeah. 

John: And I just think that's so true. 

Hank: I agree. I agree. 

John: Speaking of silly and fun things - 

Hank: Mmhmm?

John: I wish I had some to share. 

Hank: Oh, no. 

John: AFC Wimbledon, unbeaten in January, didn't give up a single goal. It was our, uh, monthus mirabilis. We just played phenomenally. And then in Ferbruary its been a monthus horribilis! Just horrible! Lost two - nil to - I know I say this wrong - [pronouncing Rotherham multiple ways] Rother-ham? Rotheram? Rotor-hum? Roth - whatever. That team. And then we went to, yesterday as we're recording this, we went to Bury, like, you know, bury the bodies, B-U-R-Y. And it was a makeup game. They're the bottom team in League One.

Hank: Oh no!

John: They're at the very bottom. 

Hank: Aw.

John: They're in last place. 

Hank: Oh, no. 

John: We lost two - one! 

Hank: Ugh.

John: It's very disappointing! And so now -

Hank: Is your new - your new foot hitting the ball, John? 

John: No, Joe Pigott played the whole game, he didn't score a single goal! 

Hank: Oh no.

John: It's very disappointing. So it's - I don't know! Hopefully things are going to take a turn for the better in February. We had such a wonderful January, and then February so far has been terrible. Fortunately the Dons are still above the relegation zone, while the franchise plying its trade in Milton Keynes is still down there, but it is getting quite tight. It's quite tight at the bottom. The Dons are in 19th and only two points clear of Oldham who are currently the first team in the relegation zone. So I don't know. Sixteen games left in the League One season. Here's the basic situation, Hank. There's sixteen games left and Wimbledon need from those sixteen games around eighteen points. So if we could just win the next six games, we can do whatever we want in the last ten. But we do need to win six more games. 

Hank: Alright. Um, how many games are there? 

John: I just said, there were sixteen. There are sixteen left. But it's okay. You're not the only one not listening. 

Hank: I - [laughs] - the thing is, John, that I was looking at this information that was supplied to us by this remarkable person who has created the bath bombartment compartment. 

 Responses (45:05)

John: Yes, we're going to get to that right now. We need to read a couple responses to things, but before we get to the extraordinary bath bombardment compartment created by Leanna [pronounced Lee-anna] or possibly Leanna [pronounced Lee-ahna] I need to ready this response from Stacey, who wrote, "Dear John and Hank, in a recent episode of the pod Sarah shared her method of tying laces where you wrap the string around twice" - you wrap the loop around twice. You know - I'll put a link to a video of it on the Patreon. You can go to, you don't have to give money to see the video or anything, and you can see this magical way of tying your shoes that really is a game changer. "I recently got new winter boots that kept coming untied which is very annoying in a snowy Canadian winter, but I started using the Sarah method and my life is changed forever! This is the ultimate shoe tying method, no question. Bring on winter!" And it really is the ultimate shoe tying method. 

Hank: Hm!

John: Although I should say for the record it is not the Sarah method. Sarah would like it to be clear that as far as she is concerned, the credit for this method should go to her cousin Mark. So, thank you Mark. 

Hank: [laughs] I've seen people do that and I didn't realize there was a reason for it -

John: Oh, it's amazing. 

Hank: And I used to have shoes that just came untied all the time, and now I have shoes that don't tie. I got shoes that have like a drawstring basically, and I feel like I'm living in 3018, John. It's the future over here. 

John: Alright, let's get to this letter from Leanna. 

Hank: Alright. Leanna is a senior majoring in bioengineering, long time listener of the pod, and has created "a blog titled re: Hank and John in which I attempt to implement some of your dubious advice into my own life. I have had an amazing time getting out of my comfort zone and trying your incredibly dubious advice." So there is a blog, its at and the inaugural post to re: Hank and John, none other than creating the bath bombartment, and went swimmingly well! Although it's a little rustic, it is indeed - it is made of a clothes hanger, some rubber bands, a tupperware that has a lot of holes poked in it, some more rubber bands, and yeah! You see what happens. The shower goes into the thing and then it dissolves it and then you can take a bath bomb with a shower! It's there, John!

John: This is so much better than I ever thought possible. I mean, this is - even though it looks fairly jerry-rigged together, this is so much better than I ever thought a bath bombardment compartment could ever be. It's truly, truly magnificent. Since then, Leanna has gone on to attempt cereal dust granola, another -

Hank: [laughing] Oh no! 

John: [laughing] - another extraordinarily dubious suggestion. But it looks like she's had a great time! This is a wonderful, wonderful blog. If you're into the pod, you'll be into this. 

Hank: Yeah, I mean the cereal dust granola looks great, John! I think - "spoiler alert - loved it!" Leanna loves the freaking cereal dust granola! Like, I think that, John, we might actually have a lot of very good ideas on this podcast. 

John: Oh, god, no. Don't encourage him, Leanna, but do keep up the good work. Hank, what did we learn today?

 Outro and credits (48:31)

Hank: We learned that Blair is truly the second best cheese of 2010 in America. 

John: We also learned that it's okay to befriend crows as long as you don't feed them to make them your friends. 

Hank: And also we learned that apparently according to Google, lots of people want to befriend crows. Lots - but not people who use Bing! People who use Bing want to befriend normal people. 

John: Which is particularly surprising because people use Bing? And lastly we learned, don't pee in your humidifier. 

Hank: Oh yes. [laughing] I mean, - 

John: Don't. 

Hank: So glad that we learned that, John. So glad we learned it.

John: Otherwise, how would we ever have known? 

Hank: John, you know what one of my favorite parts of the week is every week? 

John: Is it the part where we record This Week in Ryans, our terrible podcast for patrons at 

[outro music plays]

Hank: I was just going to say that it's the part where we record a podcast, but yeah, I mean, that's part of it. 

John: Oh yeah, it's also one of my favorite parts of the week. Thanks you for doing this with me. Thanks to everybody for listening and making it possible. Thanks to everybody who supports us on Patreon who allows us to help make the shows we make at Complexly, and thanks again to our sponsor for today's episode, Squarespace. Again, it's dearhank or dearjohn, you can pick your favorite or just pick randomly and get 10% off your first order. Thanks again to Squarespace. Hank, thank you for podding with me. And I'm going to let you read the credits. 

Hank: This podcast is edited by Nicholas Jenkins. It's produced by Rosianna Halse Rojas and Sheridan Gibson. Victoria Bongiorno is our head of community and communications. The theme music you are listening to is from the great Gunnarolla. He also does the music for This Week in Ryans which is available at where you can find out more about the bath bombartment compartment and also about cereal dust granola and also about how to tie your shoes like Mark and Sarah. Thank you all for listening. It's an absolute pleasure. And as they say in our hometown -

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

[outro music ends]