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What is John's emergency scale? What does "profit goes to charity" mean? When do you list someone other than immediate family as an emergency contact? How do I stop thinking about my thoughts? How much money is there in the world? Can planets be other shapes? Hank Green and John Green have answers!

If you're in need of dubious advice, email us at hankandjohn@gmail.com.

Join us for monthly livestreams and an exclusive weekly podcast at patreon.com/dearhankandjohn.

Follow us on Twitter! twitter.com/dearhankandjohn

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[intro music plays]

Hank Green: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John!

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

H: It's a podcast where two brothers answer your questions, give you dubious advice, and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. John, a man just threw some milk at me.

J: Oh, did he?

H: How dare he?

J: Oh, god, no.

H: I'm offended.

J: That's a terrible way to begin 2021, it's a disastrous way to begin this beautiful new year.

H: We already began 2021, and now we are announcing to the world that it's National Milk Day.

J: Is it really?

H: Uh, yes. The 11th of January is National Milk Day, so there was some rhyme to the reason, I mean that must be why he was throwing milk at me, because he was like, "It's National Milk Day, everybody gets some milk! Everybody gets some milk! You get a milk, you get a milk!"

J: That is how we celebrate. Yeah, yeah, we celebrate by pouring milk on each others' heads like we all just won the Indy 500, yes, that is how we celebrate National Milk Day.

H: Oh god.

J: Hank, I'm excited for 2021 for a variety of reasons, but the biggest reason probably is that it means we are one year closer to the now-inevitable day when this podcast is renamed Dear John and Hank, because no human lands on Mars before December 31st, 2027.

H: [sighs]

J: Only six short years to go.

H: Yeah, which is a long time, John, and who knows what advancements in the field of space travel await.

J: And I look forward to all of those advancements on or after 2028.

H: We could have cars that take us to other galaxies in a blink, as I predicted in my essay about the year 2020.

J: I just made a video about 10-year-old Hank's projections for the year 2020, but it's only about one of your predictions, Hank, the prediction that in 2012-- 'cause like, all of them were pretty normal, but then in 2012,

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your prediction for the year 2012 that you skimmed over in the video was, in its entirety, "Superior Fish Beings." And I was so taken with this phrase that I Googled it, and I found out that in the whole history of the world wide web, at least according to Google, no one has ever used the phrase Superior Fish Beings.

H: Just one person.

J: I just, it's my favorite phrase that you've ever said.

H: I was so convinced that I was going to be a marine biologist and that I was gonna make great discoveries, not knowing how seasick I get, apparently, and I guess that the biggest discovery I could imagine was superior fish beings. Like, wouldn't that be pretty big?

J: To be fair, yeah, it would be something else if tomorrow somebody was like, "Hey, so we discovered a new species of fish, also they are far more technologically than humanity.

H: This is wild because i think about this all the time, and I had no idea that I had thought about it when I was 10, but I constantly think about whether a species that exists only underwater, like there are many planets where that is the only option, there is no land, on a planet like that, could you have technological advancement, what would be standing in the way? This is something I think about constantly, it's not like for a reason, or when I'm driving my mind is just like, "I wonder if an octopus could do chemistry." Like that's where my brain goes. And I've been doing it since I was 10?!

J: I do it a lot too, but my version of it is usually, like, when the octopuses get together and they're, like, "AHEM, you guys need to shut up, calm down, take it down a notch."

H: "That thing you figured out, you're going to have to unlearn that. Can you not do that one?"

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J: "We discovered all this stuff that we could do, but we found out that we didn't want to do, and now you're doing it, and so we have to instruct you to stop."`

H: Oh, god.

J: I just think it would be hilarious if like, an elephant one day was like, "yeah, okay, all right, that's it, first off I can talk, [Hank laughs] secondly, this has to end.

H: "We've been watching."

J: "And we've had enough."

H: "And we've been letting you go because we really like Robert Pattinson, we don't wanna mess up his career trajectory, buuuuut we're gonna have to put an end to some things.

J: Let's answer some questions from our listeners, beginning with this first question from Taylor, who writes: "Dear John and Hank, but mostly John" --that's my favorite kind of question, Hank-- "several times on this podcast, John, you have referred to things as being a Level One Emergency."

H: This is not just a podcast thing, and it's not just a joke either.

J: It's not.

H: John will call things a Level One Emergency when it's a really big deal, and it's not pleasant, it doesn't make me feel good, it doesn't make anything better to realize the height of the level of the emergency, but regardless, continue.

J: I find it helpful, and we can unpack it today. "Are there other emergency levels?" Of course there are, Taylor, of course there are. "And if so, what is the scale, and what constitutes a Level One Emergency versus another emergency? Classifying catastrophes, Taylor." So Taylor, I want you to imagine, as I do when I am encountering an emergency, that you are in a large buildling with many floors, say nine floors, and you are looking down at an emergency. If you're on the 9th floor, and you're looking down at the emergency, you can barely even see the emergency, and it will probably resolve without you even interacting with the emergency, right? That's a Level Nine Emergency. So an example of a Level Nine Emergency would be, you have a cold or flu virus that will likely resolve on its own.

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You get to like a level eight, level seven emergency, that's a situation where you might have to like, open a window and shout some advice, you know, down to the emergency?

H: Do something.

J: You might have to do something, but nothing extreme. When you get to a Level One Emergency, Taylor, you're on the same floor as the emergency, the emergency is coming for you.

H: This is helpful to know.

J: The emergency is spilling into your building, and I think it is important, Hank disagrees with me, I think it is important when you are having a Level One Emergency, to immediately acknowledge it, because it changes your behavior. You're not on a Level Eight Emergency situation where you can just call down some advice, you are in a Level One Emergency.

H: So this is extremely helpful, I'm so glad, Taylor, that you asked this question, because I've always imagined that a Level One Emergency is the biggest emergency that can happen.

J: It is!

H: No it's not! It's an emergency that you need to interface with right now, there are many levels of emergencies that one needs to interface with right now, there's like, "I am currently being consumed by a shark."

J: Are you telling me that there's a Level One-Half Emergency and I've just never encountered it?

H: [laughs] No, what you're saying is that this is a thing we need to deal with right now, and I think that's a great thing to have a word for that, especially when you're trying to communicate to someone that you love that this is how you feel about this situation, and you need them to get on board with you in that moment.

J: Right, that's exactly what a Level One Emergency is.

H: So I think that's great, that's smart.

J:We gotta deal with this right now.

H: Yes, and there are many things that we have to deal with right now, and there's like, I'm being eaten by a shark, and there's we left the kids' lovies, their little stuffed toys at the hotel, which is the first time I heard you use the phrase Level One Emergency.

J: To be fair, that was a Level One Emergency.

H: It was! Well now that I know what a Level One Emergency is, it was!

J: By the way, the only time that I've ever been bit by a shark, the first thing I said was,

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"This is a Level One Emergency," [Hank laughs] because I needed the shark to understand that, I needed me to understand it, and I needed all the people around me to understand it immediately.

H: When did you get bit by a shark?

J: I didn't, I didn't, I made that up. You think, Hank, that-- first off, how would I ever get bit by a shark?

H: I don't know, I don't know, I have a friend who got bit by a shark, and it was like at Miami Beach, she was just in the water at Miami Beach, but like, it was a little shark, so she has the coolest scar of all time.

J: Oh, I bet that's a really cool scar. Secondly, if I ever got bit by a shark, how many seconds do you think it would take me to tell the world I got bit by a shark?

H: [laughs] Would it take four years of podcasting before I heard this story of John getting bit by a shark? Yeah, that's a good point, John. You'd be on the news. No you wouldn't

J: No, I wouldn't

H: You would be making a video about it, though.

J: The truth is that I would probably spend two to three months crafting my narrative around being bitten by the shark, and making sure that I was like, retroactively applying a lot of thoughts and feelings to the experience of being bitten by a shark that in the moment I definitely didn't have.

H: You are way too self-aware, oh god. [John laughs]

J: But I would definitely, definitely have told you that I got bit by a shark [dissolves into laughter again]

H: Yeah, I agree. This next question is from Marissa, it's a logistical question, so everybody get ready. "Hello, brothers Green, I recently signed up for both the Awesome Socks Club and the Bizarre Beasts Pins Club, both of which I am enamored with. I have a logistical question: both clubs say that profit is going to charity, and I'm curious, what does profit mean? Can you share like a percentage of revenue, in sales that is donated? An admirer of articulate accounting, Marissa." So I guess there are multiple definitions of profit, but in this case, what we're talking about is the amount of money left over after we have paid for all the things, so paying for the sock, paying for the sock design,

 (10:00) to (12:00)


paying for shipment of the sock, the people that pack the socks, we have a consultant who helps us learn how to create high-quality socks and make sure that they're being made in a good way, so all of that is part of the costs of the sock club, and then normally a sock subscription, the profit would then go to the owners of the sock club, and in this case instead it is going to charity.

But first there is an amount of money that has to be paid to taxes, so basically the exact same model as Newman's Own, which is kind of our platform and maybe even a little bit of our inspiration for trying this out and then hopefully maybe even doing other things like this in the future. We're trying to make a thing that people will want to buy, like good salad dressing like Newman's Own does, but then also instead of saying like, "What should we do with this profit? I guess send it to our shareholders," we send it to charity.

J: Yeah, so the way this is often described is after tax profit. And we don't know exactly how much that is gonna be for something like the Awesome Socks Club, because it hasn't happened yet, and this has been the case with Life's Library, another similar subscription model where all the profits go to charity. We don't know until after the books have shipped, sometimes until like a month or so after, because there's returns and other stuff, how much is actually going to charity. That said, one thing that's been very helpful for Life's Library members is hearing once we know that number, what that number is, so they have a sense of what the margins are, but it's a very similar model to Newman's Own, because I guess we wanna be Newman's Own when we grow up.

H: Yeah! Yeah, I mean, I just love it so much, I think it's such a cool story that Paul Newman was just like, "I like making salad dressing, but I'm good!" Because it just shows that like, working hard doesn't have to be about getting rich or more rich or whatever,

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