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Why have I become nocturnal? How do I write in a book? Where does the phrase "the high seas" come from? Which fruits are breakfast fruits? How do I help my mom appreciate art? How do I deal with negativity on social media? How big would googly eyes need to be to see them on the moon? John Green and Hank Green have answers!

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 (00:00) to (02:00)

[Dear Hank and John intro music]

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 podcast where two brothers answer your questions, give you advice and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. John...

John: Yeah?

Hank: What if I was like, fishing, but for a bunch of dolphins? Would it be a podcast? I don't know...

John: [laughs] That's not that bad.

Hank: [laughs] Except that I don't feel really bad about fishing for dolphins. Seems like you definitely shouldn't do that.

John: Yeah. I was just thinking while you were telling that joke, because I always zone out during your dad joke period...

Hank: Uh-huh. Oh.

John: I was thinkin' about how it's always been ludicrous that this podcast shares all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon, but it's never been more ludicrous than it is right now.

Hank: [laughs]

John: Because it imagines that there is news, right?

Hank: Yeah.

John: Like, that there is news that is not about the only story.

Hank: Right. Well-- indeed. And indeed I think that's probably what we will end up discussing. The thing about sports news is that I always was very skeptical about the entire idea of AFC Wimbledon news, because, like, they don't play year round. And yet, during the times when they aren't playing, there's always something happening? Which just seems not possible to me. But then--then--it turns out to be interesting. So I assume that you can make this work, John.

John: There is some news from AFC Wimbledon this week.

Hank: I just threw a bottle of Coke, an empty bottle of Coke, over my shoulder toward my trash can, and I got it in. And I just wanted to share that with you.

John: Ohh, it's a great feeling.

Hank: It just-- it hit right on. Also, if you hear a noise, like a thunking noise, it's because my backdoor neighbor has set up a CrossFit gym in his garage.

John: [laughs]

Hank: And he opens his garage, and he and his wife--who are lovely people, and very strong people--they do very frequently throw heavy things around, about 10 feet away from where I'm sitting. So just be aware of that.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

John: These days I get most of my exercise in the form of the bicycling video game Zwift, where you pedal on a virtual bicycle and then your little bicycle guy moves inside of the game.

Hank: That sounds-- that sounds great. I get most of my exercise by doing what's called bench press, which is where I take 40-year-old child and I bench press him. So it's not, like, super exerting.

John: I don't think he's 40...

Hank: 40...Did I say 40 year old?

John: You did.

Hank: [laughs] I'm totally-- I'm very-- I'm 100%, all the way here. 40 pound child.

John: I'm also all the way here, 100%. 

Hank: I can't bench a lot, but I can do 40 pounds.

John: Earlier today I was doing Zwift--

Hank: Uh-huh.

John: So you're racing other people, and they're real people, you know?

Hank: Oh, real people.

John: And you want to be able to stay in their draft, because it's a little easier, you can go a little faster if you can stay in their draft.

Hank: Wowww.

John: But there-- everybody's faster than I am. I'm the slowest person on Zwift. There's 35000 regular users, and I'm last.

Hank: [laughs]

John: Like, every time I go up one of the climbs--

Hank: Comin' in 35000, it's John Green!

John: Every time I go up one of the climbs, there'll be, like, "991 people climbed this climb today, and you finished in 979th." That is a true story from today.

Hank: [laughs]

John: And I'm not that out of shape. Like, I'm not a terrible cyclist. It's just the quality of...

Hank: Yeah.

John: I feel competitive against them. And even though I'm like the slowest--I work so hard that--earlier today when I was Zwifting, one of my kids came downstairs, and they were like, "Mom wants to know if you're okay", and I was like "Yeah, I'm fine, what's the problem?" And they were like, "You know, 'cause you're screaming."

Hank: [laughs]

John: And I was like, "I mean, I wouldn't really call it screaming." I was trying to psych myself up, so I was-- was I shouting "come on Green, get it, you can do this, you...blankety-blank"? Yeah.

 (04:00) to (06:00)

Hank: Yeah.

John: I was shouting that. 

Hank: Well--

John: Was I shouting it with headphones in so it was maybe especially loud and terrifying? Yes.

Hank: [laughs] Oh, god. I only...I am such a not a yeller. Like, I get in no fights. I have yelled at...I don't know. One person in my life? In adulthood? And it was you?

John: I was gonna say, I know of one person you've yelled at.

Hank: [laughs] But like, I am a good yeller.

John: Mmm--

Hank: I don't do it, but I -- when I get mad at my computer, the quality of the abuse is very high. I can really pull out all the stops. And I'm glad that I reserve it only for machines because of how excellent I am at belittling something with loud noises.

John: I like that your ego is healthy enough to think of yourself as not being a yeller, and yet somehow still also healthy enough to think of yourself as being a great yeller.

Hank: [laughs] I'm good at it! Nobody's around to see it! Nobody's ever witnessed it!

John: [laughs] Just take my word for it.

Hank: Katherine has occasionally been like, "I heard that something went wrong." And I'm like, "Yeah. You heard that from the yard, huh."

John: That was actually a pretty good summary of just who we are in general, that you told a story about how you're a great yeller who never yells and I told a story about how I'm literally the worst Zwifter on earth.

Hank: [laughs] But you try really, really hard.

John: Yeah. I put in my everything, and it's just not enough. Which reminds me that we're here to answer questions from our listeners.

Hank: You're doing great, John. You're doing great.


John: Including this one, which came from Anna, who wrote: "Dear John and Hank, it's currently 3:19 in the morning and I'm writing you because my sleep schedule has been just a liiittle bit upset about all of the, you know, this?"

Hank: Yup.

John: "Without having to go to school every day, I feel like I have no routine and nothing to look forward to, and every day is the same." You don't say, Anna. You don't say.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

Hank: Mm.

John: Sorry, that wasn't your question. "Why is it that now I and many others have become nocturnal? Is my circadian rhythm broken? Any dubious advice is appreciated. Anna."

Hank: Um, I first will say that it hadn't really occurred to me to be thankful for this part of my life, which is that I have to go to bed at a certain time because I am going to wake up at the same time every morning no matter what.

John: Right.

Hank: Because there will be a child who will come into my room, and he will yell, "MY GREEN LIGHT IS ON! Daddy, come see! Come see! Do you want to come see? My green light is on!"

John: What's the green light?

Hank: Because he has a green light that turns on at 7:20.

John: Oh, to tell him that it's okay to get up now?

Hank: Yeah, he's not allowed to leave his room until the green light is on.

John: [laughs] He's like Gatsby.

Hank: [laughs]

John: Lookin' -- starin' out at that green light.

Hank: Yeah.

John: Thinkin', someday maybe I'll be allowed to leave this room.

Hank: Yeah, and I'm like, yep, your green li -- and like, if I don't get up when his green light turns on, then he will go into his room and look at his green light, and he will yell into his baby monitor, "Daddyyyy! Daddyyyy!" So--

John: [laughs]

Hank: So my sleep schedule has -- like, I'm getting less sleep, but the rhythm of it has not changed. So usually I am very, sort of like, all of my friends who are like, "I don't know, what do you do with all your extra time?" I'm like, "That must be nice."

John: Mm, I don't think it's nice, actually. I think it sucks.

Hank: No, I'm sure that it sucks. But like, from my perspective, and like, you know, it's vice versa. It's like the grass is greener. But in this one way, it's definitely good to have a kid, because, like, I would totally be doing this. I would have no connection to reali -- and I have, I think, what they call delayed sleep phase disorder, which is a thing. I haven't been diagnosed with it or anything, but it is just like, people who prefer to sleep at a time of the day that is not sort of like the socially appreciated and normal ones. And so I, for my entire life up until the time when I had a child, I went to bed at 2 to 3 in the morning, and I woke up at 10 or 11 in the morning. And that's, like, totally natural for me. And so I'm sort of always a little bit uncomfortable -- well, ever since having a child. But like, it's worth it and everything. But, I would totally let myself completely lose all track of connection with reality if I didn't have any structure to keep me in it.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

John: Yeah, I mean, I also think that -- I mean, what is reality right now, when for most of us most of the time, reality is inside of a screen...

Hank: [laughs] Yeah.

John: ...and social connection is not really real, and everything else -- I mean, it's really hard to keep a normal sleep schedule regardless.

Hank: Yeah.

John: In times of increased anxiety, it's much harder.

Hank: Mm-hm.

John: I wake up almost every morning at 4:00 in the morning, I'm up for an hour, and then I go back to sleep. I don't go to sleep until much later than I'm accustomed to going to sleep or than I like to go to sleep, but that's because my kids are also going to sleep later, because it's also hard for them.

Hank: Yeah.

John: My feeling about this in general is that if it's not a problem for you, it's not a problem?

Hank: Absolutely.

John: If it is a problem for you, then that's when you need to look at the things that we do to sleep better.

Hank: Mm-hm.

John: The big one for me is no screens in the bedroom.

Hank: Yup.

John: I cannot expect to go to sleep 30 seconds after looking at my computer or looking at my phone. It just -- it doesn't work for me.

Hank: Yeah.

John: I have to read for at least 30 minutes before I can go to sleep.

Hank: We have to understand, like, the ways in which our monster of our subconscious is able to be controlled, and the ways in which we are able to establish habits for it. And one thing that I know is that if there are Oreo cookies in a grocery store, I can totally not eat them, and I can totally not buy them. But if they are in my house, they're gone in two days. And I know the same thing about my phone and my computer is if they are not in the room, I will not look at them. And I can keep them out of the room! But if they are in the room, I cannot not look at them. You know -- and this may be different for you. Like, where my self-control is able to take control is the place where I need to let it take control, because there are places where it cannot take control, and I need to be -- I need to understand the fact that, like, the things that I want to be in control of in my own body, I am not always in control of.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

John: No. I mean, now more than ever. [laughs]

Hank: [laughs] Yeah, it's like a sort of uncomfortable thought, but it's, like, super liberating for me to know that there are pieces of me that I cannot control every action that I take, and I need to figure out the times when I can be in control.

John: And also understand that there are times when you can't be in control and that there's nothing you can do about that and that it's not your fault.

Hank: Sure.

John: There's a lot that we don't choose in this life.

Hank: Yes.

John: And part of the madness of contemporary social orders is the belief that every person has complete choice in how their life turns out.

Hank: [laughs]

John: And that's just not true.

Hank: It is a madness. It is a madness, John.


Hank: This next question comes from Marissa, who asks: "Dear Green Brothers, growing up I was always taught to treat a book as sacred, and to never write or make any marks in it, even my Bible." Uh, the Bible is one of the more sacred books. "But this past Christmas, I got Lin-Manuel Miranda's book, Gmorning, Gnight, and the illustrations are just begging to be colored in! How do I convince myself it's okay to draw in my copy of the book? Marissa." You just gotta be subversive. You gotta feel how dangerous this is.

John: [laughs]

Hank: You gotta break a rule, Marissa! It's quarantine!

John: Is that what we're calling it? Have we decided that?

Hank: [laughs] Apparently!

John: Because it's not really quarantine, like -- it's not the textbook definition of quarantine, but of course words evolve as times change, and I --

 (12:00) to (14:00)

Hank: Yes. So I think we're stuck, yeah.

John: I think we need a word for it, and I think "quarantine" is a really good word for it? And so I think we just need to expand the definition of quarantine. We're announcing it here. That's what we're calling it, at least among Hank and John, for the foreseeable future.

Hank: Yes. Give us alternatives if you'd like. Also, apparently "quarantine" is supposed to be 40 days, 'cause that's what it means -- "quar".

John: [sigh]

Hank: So --

John: It's already been 40 days.

Hank: It's gonna be more than that.

John: It's already been 40 days. What was your question, Marissa? Here's the thing. Marissa, the thing I find funny about your question is that, when I was growing up, the Bible was the only book I was told I couldn't write in.

Hank: [laughs]

John: Like, I thought you were allowed to do whatever you wanted to a book because it was your book.

Hank: Mm-hm.

John: It wasn't --

Hank: But the Bible isn't your book. The Bible is God's book.

John: No, I always felt like the Bible was more sort of mine in trust, you know?

Hank: [laughs] Right.

John: But then, I remember years and years ago I visited our cousin Bernise, rhymes with furnace, Hank, in Tennessee.

Hank: Yeah. It's important because it's not "Bernice". [pronounced Ber-nees]

John: And Bernise showed me her family Bible that had, like, an actual family tree. Like, it was an illustration of a tree that showed where my grandmother was --

Hank: Mmm!

John: -- and where Bernise was, and where their grandparents were, and it went back way, way back. And I was like, "Thank God someone wrote in this Bible."

Hank: Yeah.

John: And that's the thing, Marissa. When your future self looks at the way you drew in those illustrations, your future self is gonna be delighted. Like, I love re-reading my books from college or high school and seeing, like --

Hank: Yeah.

John: -- the dumb crap I underlined back then, and thinkin', like, no, current me, current me knows what to underline.

 (14:00) to (16:00)

Hank: [laughs] Now is the time at which I am not a dope!

John: [laughs] Yeah, yeah, right.

Hank: It is this moment!

John: It's weird how it's always now. Like, it's always now that I've just realized what I needed to realize in order to become fully enlightened.

Hank: Yeah, is there ever a moment at which I will not look back at me five years ago and be like, "ugh..."

John: I hope not.


John: I hope not.

Hank: That's right! That's how it should be. Gotta keep growin'.

John: That reminds me of something Muhammad Ali said once, that the man who views the world at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.

Hank: Ooooh. Wow. Yeah.

John: It's good stuff.

Hank: That's great stuff. Gotta break that out on the debate stage when somebody accuses somebody of flip-floppin'.

John: [laughs]

Hank: [laughs]

John: It's okay to draw on your books, Marissa.

Hank: Marissa, don't let John give you permission. I want you to feel like you're doing this illicitly. I want it to feel dangerous!

John: Aren't current levels of danger being experienced adequate for most people?

Hank: [laughs]

John: I have to say, I feel like my current level of danger is, like, adequate. I don't know that now's really the time that we need to be like, oh, let's try BASE jumping.

Hank: Yeah.

 New Question (15:18)

John: Alright, this next question comes from Amanda, who writes: "Dear John and Hank, where does the phrase 'the high seas' comes from? How can a sea be high? It doesn't make any sense. Thanks, Amanda."

Hank: They are all at the same level. There is literally a term for this.

John: Yeah. It's called sea level.

Hank: Indicating that the sea is all at one level.

John: Yeah. So I don't know the answer to this question.

Hank: Well, John, we are recording this on 4/20. it just that the pirates had a lot of weed.

John: ...No. [laughs] We know it's not that.

Hank: [laughs] I've always thought that it was that the waves were high, it was an area of the sea where the waves are high. And of course if you average it out, and this is always the case, if you average it out then it would just be flat, because the troughs are as high as the waves. But, altogether that wave seems very high, and we're moving from low to high very rapidly. Out on the high seas. Arrr.

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