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In which John discusses what he wants to bring in 2018, in the hopes that you will help him be accountable. The Art Cooking show I discuss is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kiSGTwtpTs&list=PLdGqz6dgvIzYLfXstmvIBpxU2hiD1iiIb

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Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday.

Happy twenty eighteen! I really wanna bring it in twenty eighteen, like that's my main goal for the year, but in order to do that, I have to decide like, you know, what to bring. So I wanna talk about three things I wanna help bring into the world this year, because you know if you promise to do something and then people have heard that promise, it's more likely that you'll actually do it.

First, in twenty eighteen, I wanna collaborate with my wife to make at least four episodes of a new YouTube series called "cooking history" to be uploaded at least initially here on the Vlogbrothers channel. My wife, Sarah, produces an amazing channel with PBS Digital called "The Art Assignment"and one of her series over there is called "Art Cooking" where she will make, for instance, a huge craw-fish tower that Salvador Dali once made, while also talking about his life and work. It's such a brilliant series because you learn about food and cooking while also learning about art. Link below, by the way.

Right, so this year we're gonna try to do the same thing with history, attempting recipes from different periods of history while learning about that period and also how food shaped history. So we'll consider, for instance, what French bread tasted like in the run up to the 1789 bread riots that presaged the French Revolution. We'll also attempt to make porridge from thirty-seven hundred years ago. If you have any other ideas, please leave them in comments.

Ok, thing number 2, I wanna make at least ten episodes in 2018 of a new podcast called "The Anthropocene Reviewed", where I review different aspects of the human-centered planet. This started as a joke between Hank and me, but I have decided to actually do it. The first episode reviews Canada geese, the animal, and Diet Dr. Pepper., the soda.

Here is a little excerpt: "The man who popularized America's greatest soft drink was named Woodrow Wilson Clemens but he preferred to be called Foots, a nickname that he picked up in high school due to his oddly shaped toes. Foots took Dr. Pepper from a regional brand to a global juggernaut because he understood exactly what made Dr. Pepper significant. "I've always maintained," he said, "you cannot tell anyone what Dr. Pepper tastes like, because it's so different. It's not an apple, it's not an orange, it's not a strawberry, it's not a root beer, it's not even a cola." Cola, after all, is derived from cocoa leaves and vanilla, two real-world flavors. Sprite has that lemon-line taste, purple soda is ostensibly grape flavored. But Dr. Pepper has no real-world analogue. In fact, U.S. trademark courts have tackled this issue, categorizing Dr. Pepper and its knockoffs as pepper sodas, although they contain no pepper, and the 'pepper' in Dr. Pepper refers not to the spice, but either to someone's actual name or else to 'pep', the feeling that Dr. Pepper supposedly fills you with. It's the only category of soda named not for what it tastes like, but instead for how it makes you feel."

Get ready to know a lot about Diet Dr. Pepper! The first episode of The Anthropocene Reviewed will hopefully be up by the end of January. 

Okay, lastly, an idea that is not yet well-formulated and may not launch till later in 2018, if at all, I would like to do another podcast because, you know, the world doesn't have enough of them, about an old book that nobody reads anymore.

The book I'm thinking of at the moment, although this may change, is Tom Grogan by Francis Hopkinson Smith, which is a book about an Irish-American woman who adopts the name Tom Grogan from her maybe dead husband and then becomes a successful dock worker. It's a weird book and what's weirder is that it was the best-selling novel in the entire United States in 1896 and its author was wildly famous. But today, it's been out of print for many decades and is almost entirely forgotten. P.S.: The author of that book, Francis Hopkinson Smith, also designed and built the base of the Statue of Liberty. So maybe that book, maybe another one, but some book that nobody reads anymore from a deeply polarized time in American history that might have some relevance for us.

So that's it. I really want to spend this year trying new things while also not neglecting the things I currently do. It's nerve-wrecking to talk about goals you haven't accomplished yet, but I also think it can help increase accountability. So if you have a moment and have any feedback on any of my ideas, please let me know because there's still time to change all of them. But also if you want, maybe leave a goal of your own in comments so that, if nothing else, you can return to that comment in 12 months and be like, "Hey! I did that thing I said I was going to do."

Hank, I'm going to go back to writing about the astonishing history of Diet Dr. Pepper now. Happy new year! I will see you on Friday.