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Why do American weeks start on Sunday? How long should Christmas decorations stay up? How do I add novelty to my life? What's a failure that felt like success? Is it okay to use a gift in its thank you card? 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

 (00:00) to (02:00) Hank: Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John!


John: 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 weeks news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. John, how do you make an octopus giggle?

J: (sigh) I don't know

H: You give them ten tickles!

J: Mmhm

H: John, octopuses have tenticles and I bring this up...

J: Oh! Mm. Hank. Hank.

H: Correct me science man!

J: Well its just that I don't know if youve seen the nobel prize I keep in the background of the vlogbrothers videos, its the nobel prize for being extreamly pedantic and I won it the old fashioned way which was by pointing out that octopi don't have tenticles, octopodes have feet.

H: (Laughs) Oh my god! So there are three ways to pluralize octopus, they are all fine. Octopi is probably the least correct of all of them if we're going to be pedantic. But you are correct, octopodes or octopedies, god octopedies(?~1:19), but octopuses is by far the best. In any case, this is all in reference to this conversation that has been happening around hibernation and how America has failed its students by teaching people that bears just sleep for three months (frustrated noise).

J: Dont get, you really shouldn't get Hank and I started on the topic of hibernation.

H: I really, I just, I need everyone to know how mad I am about the hibernation discourse. Because it's, I can't be this mad on twitter because it doesn't make any sense! Because you, normal people of twitter...

J: Well, first off Hank anybody's allowed to be mad on twitter. It's the defining characteristic of the platform.

H: It's true. It's true. But it wouldn't make sense because I'm the only one whose getting thirty hibernation hot takes in my tiktok and twitter replies a day and I'm just really over it.

 J: Yeah so this is a weird thing that happens on the internet, where somebody points out (02:00) to (04:00) J: that some piece of percieved wisdom is slightly wrong or over simplified because indeed much of percieved wisdom is over simplified...


H: Yeah, it has to be!

J: ...on account of how were just trying to describe extreamely complex experiences of being human in limited language. Right? So like, language itself is an essentializer. And then you have the additional level of essentialization which is that not everybody needs to know everything. Right?

H: (laughs)

J: Like, experts in bear hibernation need to know more about bear hibernation than I do.

H: Yeah! Bear experts need to know. I need to know that they basically sleep for four months.

J: The thing that drives me crazy about it though is that what happens on the internet is somebody says 'hey, this piece of percieved wisdom that you've been told is true your whole life turns out to be slightly oversimplified'. And then everyone concludes from this bears don't hibernate

H: And now its even more wrooong!

J: Right! and so if you think of like right being a two on a scale of one to one hundered, you've gone from zero, which isn't right but is close to right...

H: it's close to two!

J: ... to a hundred which is very far away from two!

H: It's so much wronger! (laughs)

 J: And so now there are millions of people walking around telling everyone else 'hey did you know bears don't really hibernate'. And you say that you're the only one affected by this Hank but in fact I was recently reading an essay, one of the new essays thats going to be in the Anthropocene Reviewed book and it involves a groundhog. I have a groundhog who is my great nemesis, having a nemesis was one of the things in my life I was missing until I became friends with this groundhog and now I have a nemesis and everything is back to being good and right in the world. And in the essay, which I was reading to a small group of people just to get some feedback, I noted that this groundhog hibernates. And soo many people were like 'no, no, you're going to have to change that because it turns out that groundhogs don't hibernate you're going to have to change that'. And two things, one groundhogs are what's known as true hibernators (04:00) to (06:00) J: because they actually do hibernate in the way we think about hibernation. And two, even if they didn't, he would still be underground for four months doing barely anything which is our functional definition of hibernation! We need to live in a world where just because zero is not the exact same as two doesn't make one hundred the correct answer!


H: Yeah, I mean the thing about hibernation is, and this isn't just a thing about hibernation this is the case for a lot of terms, it means different things to different scientists!

J: Yes.

H: If you are in one scientific community you are using a word differently than people in another. This is the case for tentacles. Octopuses have tentacles but if you are a specific kind of cephalopod scientist you need to differentiate between different kinds of tentacles, and so you call some kinds feet and you call some kinds tentacles. And that way you can talk about them without getting confused. That is not an important distinction for me! I don't need to worry about that! And like this is a problem scientists have too when they're communicating and they're like 'well we can't say that because' and I don't care how you talk! The word tentacle doesn't exist to have your meaning it exists to convey an idea! And if we're going to like require a vocab lesson before we teach people about an octopus, people aren't going to learn anything!

J: Finding a shared vocabulary for sort of talking about stuff is actually pretty difficult. But it is not making anything easier or better by all these people racing in and like celebrating ding dong the witch is dead hibernation never existed.

 H: (Laughs) And they can come in and say 'look! You've been lied to, it's actually wrong'. The thing about the hibernation example that makes me angry is that they say 'I used to think hibernation was sleeping for six months' and then that's it. They don't talk about what we actually got wrong. Why they don't is because what we actually got wrong isn't that interesting! Because bears do just sleep for six months! (06:00) to (08:00)


H: They might stand up a couple of times but I sleep for seven hours and I stand up a couple of times because I can't go without peeing for that long anymore! Did I not sleep? Because I stood up to pee?

J: No one would say of Hank, oh he's not a true sleeper so much as he's taking three to four naps in the evening that are interrupted by pee breaks.

H: (laughing) Anyway.

J: No I want to keep going Hank. I want to go one level deeper to make just one more point if we may. Which is that we constantly forget that language exists to try to describe experiences and in that process it will always come up short. Experiences don't exist so that language can exist. Langauge exists so that we can understand and share experiences and understandings and imaginings.

H: And the way that it functions, and you thought that we were done but I'm not because I've got a really important point to drive home here, that it is a really compelling thing to grab onto that you've been lied to. But it almost never is actually that you've been lied to, its just that the world is complicated and we have inexact ways for expressing reality.

J: I also desperately want ot be done with this but I need to make one more point.

H: I think that once you're done with your point I will make my final point and then we can move on.

J: Great and then I will have one post script but it will be very brief.

H: (Laughing) Okay go, go, go!

J: (Laughing more) Hold on I lost it. (Both laughing) It was so important it was critical, it was critical to our species being able to move on but I lost it. Oh I remember it! I remember it! Part of the reason that these you've been lied to takes are so compelling to us is that they feel like a short cut to true expertise.

 H:  And a superiority thing. (08:00) to (10:00) J: Right, that's what it's about deep down. It's about like wanting to feel like 'oh I know the real truth of hibernation'. But the thing is, in trying to like, in trying to short cut your way there, you actually know less about hibernation than when you started! This is not about hibernation this is a metaphor for like all of our information feeds on the internet!


H: Okay, I feel like we actually did have a post script and a post post script so I think we've fulfilled our obligations.

J: Okay. Great, one more thing about hibernation though.

H: No! One more thing about the project for awesome. The project for awesome is coming up John.

J: Yes, the project for awesome as you are listening to this podcast, if you are listening to it the day it comes out, starts on Friday. It starts on February 12th at noon eastern time, and ends on February 14th at noon eastern time. So please join us at youtube.com/vlogbrothers you can go to projectforawesome.com to learn how you can donate to support organizations like Partners in Health and Save the Children. There are going to be lots of great perks available including, including a P4A only episode of dear Hank and John where we answer questions that are submitted...

H: But only about octopuses!

J: (laughs) there will also be lots of other great perks available including my work out playlist which is so much, I've been talking about this workout playlist but you know one of the great secrets of my life is that the quality of music that I listen to is so much higher than people would think about me. My workout playlist, it's going to shock and delight you both with its beauty and it's profanity. And all of that and much more is available at projectforawesome.com/donate

H: I have done something that John has never done, in all of his years of writing. I have written a short story that takes place in the universe of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing...

J: OH!

H: ...and adds a little bit to the story, gives you a little bit more Robin content. It takes place at VidCon.

J: (laughs)

 H: It's a story (10:00) to (12:00) H: It's kind of a heist story, of um, of a kidnapped famous pig. And April gets to use her pet detective skills. And does she meet one of the founders of VidCon? Yes she does.


J: (laughs)

H: And it's real weird!

J: Wait, are you telling me you cut me out of your Absolutely Remarkable Thing VidCon story?

H: You're not, no I didn't cut you out you were never in it!

J: That's an example of how you get cut out of something! How can you have them meet one of the VidCon co founders and not the other one? I insist on a revision!

H: (laughs) Sorry

J: I want it noted, maybe the reason that you cut me out is because when I read your first book for the first time, I gave you almost no notes. And the one note that I did give you was 'I'm not sold on this pet detective backstory it feels like one quirk too many' and you were like 'full steam ahead'.

H: I was like 'I appreciate the advice I'm keeping it in' (both laugh). Because I want to write this VidCon pet detective story where a famous pig gets kidnapped.

J: Yeah, and somehow like John Green is just like not there I guess. I guess he's like, he's having a sick day.

H: You're doing something! We're never together at VidCon, its not like you're around!

J: I feel like we are constantly together at VidCon.

H: Oh, I don't feel that way at all. I mean maybe because I go to a lot of VidCons you don't go to. But you know who did make it in, is Colin Hickey (?~11:26). So Colin's in the story.

 J: Great, okay, well lets hear more about all the people who you didn't cut out of your VidCon story. Go to projectforawesome.com/donate and get Hank's story that I'm not in. This first question comes from Felix who writes [reading] Dear John and Hank, I've just bought a beautiful fairy tale themed calendar for my kitchen wall and I love it so very much but I'm Swedish and my calendar is American and there is a clear difference between Swedish calendars and American calendars. Swedish calendars start every week with Monday, because that's when the week begins. American calendars start with Sunday at the beginning of the week. What? Why? (12:00) to (14:00) J: [reading] I find this highly illogical and totally confusing. Please explain, Felix.


H: Gosh Felix, it does seem like you do it better than we do.

J: I mean the reason for this in some ways may predate...

H: There are reasons?

J: Like with everything on the internet there are a lot of like hypothesised reasons that are not super well sourced.

H: (incredulous) Uh huh.

J: But the reasons may predate Christianity and go back to the Egyptian calendar, where the sun-day was the day of the sun god and where, and that was treated as the beginning of the week. My understanding of it has always been that its the beginning of the week because in America the week begins on Sunday. It only begins on Monday because of the forty hour work week which is a relatively recent invention, right? I would argue that Felix's calendar is more up to date with the world we live in now, but ours is more like historically accurate...

H: Well, accurate? But more historically inspired. Heres the thing,

J: Okay

H: Like there are lots of reason things are the way they are, but mostly they are the way they are because they are the way they are.

J: Very true.

H: So like, you're telling me that like we wanted to start the day on Sunday because Sunday was the day of the sun god and you start, but that's not why the day is Sunday now. The day is Sunday now because we start the week on Sunday because we start the week on Sunday.

J: Heres the analogue I would point to. We have these weird keyboards, I actually made an Anthropocene Reviewed episode about this, where the top row of letter keys starts QWERTY. And for a long time everybody would make fun of this because it was so obviously and wildly inefficient and there were all of these other keyboard layouts that were far better and more efficient and you could type faster and with more accuracy and increased efficiency and grow the size of the economy and blah blah blah

H: (laughs)

 J: and the most famous of these keyboards was the DVORAK keyboard, and there's just one problem with the DVORAK keyboard which is that the most rigorous studies (14:00) to (16:00) J: show that it is not meaningfully faster than QWERTY and that in fact like, mostly by accident, QWERTY is a fairly efficient keyboard layout. Like it's closer to peak efficiency than it is to peak inefficiency. And so the reason it lasts is because it's good enough and changing would be a huge inconvenience.


H: It would be way harder, yeah. Which is why we're you know stuck with feet in America.

J: Yes, and you don't mean the appendages at the bottom beneath an ankle...

H: (laughs) No, sorry.

J: or indeed, an octopuses eight of them (both laugh) you're referring

H: to feet and miles and just yeah the imperial units I guess is what they're called.

J: We don't always have the best systems here in the united states but you know what we do have?

H: Aaaahhhhh. Okay, please tell me.

J: (silence, slow exhale)

H: Barbeque?

J: We have the Korea Town Oddity, one of the artist on my work out playlist. projectforawesome.com/donate ! How much do you know about the Korea Town Oddity Hank?

H: I don't know what that is.

J: That's wonderful. Well you should get my workout playlist.

H: (laughs) Okay John, well this next question is from John who asks Dear and John, I feel like we don't get a lot of questions from Johns!

J: It's true.

H: I was thrown off a little bit by that.

J: I actually sent this one in.

H: Okay. [reading] My house is the only one on the block that still has the lights on the bushes and has the Christmas tree up. My mom says it's staying up until my sister sees it, but she lives out of state and hasn't left her apartment in like six months. How long do you leave up Christmas decorations? Best wishes, John.

I'm glad that we're getting to a practical one here because I also need advice on this as a person whose Christmas lights remain up.

 J: Ooh, yeah well I can tell you our policy in this family, but I also don't want to proscribe other peoples Christmas lights. Like there's nothing I find more annoying than when one of my neighbors will come up to me and say in a conspiratorial tone like 'have you noticed that this family hasn't taken down their Christmas lights?' And I want to be like (16:00) to (18:00) J: 'well maybe they've got some stuff going on, you know? Like it's been kind of a rough year and like maybe they just want to have some lit up bushes in the evenings and I don't care. And please, God, lets just let them be. It's hard enough to be alive in this world without having the condemnation of your neighbors'. But our family's personal thing is we keep the tree up for the twelve days of Christmas so for twelve days after Christmas day. And then we, um, dispose of the tree. Which is always a uh, it's always a wonderful experience, Hank. Because every year I'm like 'ah this year I really am going to take the tree to Broad Ripple Park(?~16:39) where they have the big tree pick up and everything I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it'. And then like three weeks later I'm like, it's going where all the other Christmas trees are.


H: Which is what, down the ravine?

J: It's going to its home in the bottom of the forest.

H: (laughs) When you've got a yard that has space for it, I don't see, why not do that?

J: The reason you don't do it is because then, everyday when you take your same walk in the woods you walk past like nine years of Christmas trees. (Both laugh) Every single day.

H: And then you remember, how great each one of them was.

J: And you're like 'man, how high does the river have to flood to take care of this issue?' (Both laugh)

H: You could just throw them in the river John.

 J: Oh, that feels, for some reason that feels wrong where as if the river rises up and takes them, what can I do? The other thing here, and it's just hinted at in your email but i think it might be a big thing, is that your mom misses your sister and this has been a huge disruption in her life in and their relationship, and this is a way that she has of marking that and maybe just let that be okay. (18:00) to (20:00) H: Yeah, the broader advice, from my perspective, is that they are not Christmas lights, they are winter lights.


J: Yes, that's a great point Hank, I love that. I love that idea. And you know what, John, if they need to be spring lights or they need to be summer lights that's okay too. Let's just get through this. Speaking of which we have another question from Liz who writes [reading] Dear John and Hank, how does one deal with the groundhog day like quality of pandemic life? I've never heard it described that way but it's so true. Right down to waking up at the same time every morning and having the same song play every morning because Sarah really really likes waking up to the Beatles where as I'm like, is there an emergency?

H: [singing] Help! I need somebody, Help!

J: (laughing) Just waking up to a wall of sound. It's from zero to sixty. [reading] How does one deal with the groundhog day like quality of pandemic life. I know that the end is in sight with the vaccines. I hope you're right Liz. And that I have it a lot better than many people but I'm having a really hard time staying motivated and not bummed out all the time when I'm stuck inside of a 500 square foot apartment that doesn't allow pets. I'm trying to exercise and eat healthy and talk to friends which all helps, but what are some other safe ways for me to add variety and novelty right now? I appreciate you guys so much, DFTBA, Liz.

H: Novelty! Gosh, boy, novelty is in short supply right now. That's a great great point.

 J: It is. I have found a few things to do, novel things, that I find really helpful. Some of them are weird, but I'm just going to lay them out. Number one, Sarah and I have begun attending virtual artist talks on Zoom. So, just look up 'fancy commercial art galleries in New York City question mark' on google and look at a bunch of those galleries and they all have hugely successful contemporary artists doing Zoom talks while they walk through these exhibitions (20:00) to (22:00)


J: that, you know, no one can see or are only available by appointment or whatever. And it's just so interesting to learn from artists how they're responding to this time, and what kind of stuff they're making in this time. And you can just kinda doodle in the background, like the great thing is that you don't have to really listen because you're not in a meeting that you have to participating in, you're in a talk that you're listening to. And so, I have found that actually to me the thing that feels the most transportative to me, where I feel like 'oh I'm not stuck inside of the same house, I'm actually doing something new'.

H: There are a lot of activities out there that work for a little while, puzzles work for a little while. I think that mom actually got us, I think, got us this subscription box that's a water color subscription,

J: She got you a prescription box.

H: When I say us, I mean me and Katherine.

J: Yeah, no I got cut out of that, just like I got cut out of your story.

H: (laughs) and it has all the tools you need and like, you are surprised at the end of it that you have made a thing that looks quite good. Though, always, Katherine's looks quite a bit gooder than mine.

J: (laughs)

H: But like, that costs money. There are also ways to do that without a subscription box. There are tutorials online, there are products and there has been more and more research about how the different kinds of content consumption behaviors that we have these days affect our overall level of well being. And listening to music, maybe unsurprisingly, remains one of the best ones.

J: Can I make one more recommendation?

H: Yes

J: The New York Times has a daily puzzle, I think it's free. It's at least free to start. It's called spelling bee, where, it's like a honeycomb and they give you seven letters and you have to make as many words out of those seven letters as you can. And I'm not sure how I would be doing on this earth if it weren't for the spelling bee.

 H: (Laughing) (22:00) to (24:00) H: And my final suggestion is to walk around as much as you can. And yeah, you can walk places that you've never been before and there's always something new to see.


J: In fact I just got the, everyday on the spelling bee there's at least one word called the pangram that uses all seven letters, and I just scorched the pangram while you were talking, Hank.

H: Oh wow! That was, good job.

J: Telepathy.

H: I feel a little bit slighted but okay.

J: No, oh you feel slighted? You feel slighted? Call me the next time I write a VidCon story that doesn't have you in it.

H: (laughs) Whatever, you have so many main characters and none of them have siblings!

J: (At the same time) I feel slighted, I feel slighted. Mom sent you a water color kit! (Just John) The story I have been writing lately actually does have a brother in it and he's a younger brother and everything.

H: You've been writing a story lately?

J: Yeah!

H: That's news to me.

J: Well. You know, here and there. It will come out in 2030. Right after this podcast is renamed Dear John and Hank.

H: I don't know John! There's a lot of good starship launches happening lately.

J: Oh, which reminds me actually that this podcast is brought to you by that starship launch that resulted in a fiery flame ball of doom. The starship launch that resulted in a fiery flame ball of doom, I'm sure that we're on the cusp of Mars.

H: It's exactly, it went exactly as planned. They got all the data they needed out of it.

J: Great.

H: This podcast is also brought to you by the pedantic tentacle. The pedantic tentacle, a new publication from your friends at awful industries.

J: And of course today's podcast is brought to you by hibernation. Hibernation, just because it's not zero doesn't mean it's one hundred.

H: And this podcast is also brought to you by the pile of nine Christmas trees at the bottom of John's house. The pile of nine Christmas trees at the bottom of John's house, the White River refuses to accept.

 J: I don't live close enough to the river I've got to work on that. Alright, this next question comes from Kira who writes, we've gotten a version of this question a lot over the years but I liked this version. (24:00) to (26:00) J: [reading] What is a failure that you consider a success because of what it meant to you? Pumpkins and penguins, Kira. For me the one that stands out is when i was in college and I applied to the advanced fiction writing class and there were twelve available slots and fourteen applicants and I was one of the two people who did not make it into the class. Because, at the time it felt very final. It felt like 'well if I'm not one of the twelve best fiction writers in this particular class at this particular college I'm probably not going to have a life in the arts'. But I learned so much more from not getting into that class. For one thing I learned why I didn't get into the class, like I learned the stories I was writing weren't very good. And it wasn't, they weren't bad because I was inherently a bad writer. That's kind of the wrong way to think about writing I think. They were bad because I was imitating other writers I admired, instead of trying to understand how I really wanted to tell stories, and how I liked to tell stories, you know? And that was probably the failure that I learned the most from. It still stings a little bit, it stung immensely at the time. It's one of the only times I went to bed sobbing over something related to, you know to,


H: Not a, you know

J: Not a personal problem

H: Not a personal problem. Not a person.

 J: Yeah, but, yeah it was brutal. It was really painful at the time but also, I did learn a lot from it. I am highly suspicious of bright siding. I don't think that most clouds have silver linings. I think that most of the lessons we learn from suffering can be learned more cheaply and that in some ways it can seek to make suffering worse to tell people (26:00) to (28:00) J: 'oh at least you're learning important lessons from all this pain you're going through'. But, I did become a better writer because of that experience and probably more than I would have from taking any single college class.


H:  I've done a bunch of different things that have failed in sort of the traditional business sense. All of my first projects, that nobody knows about, were business failures. The one that people do know about is NerdCon Stories. Which was like 'lets have a conference for people who love story telling' which is very broad.

And also, not riding a super present wave of interest the way that VidCon was when we started that. What we did have was two years of like the best, coolest, weirdest experience that I could imagine. And did it fail in that we couldn't keep doing it because it was losing money and it went a little bit bankrupt?

It almost went bankrupt, it didn't go bankrupt.

J: It failed in the sense that we lost money on it. Right? Anytime you start a business you aim to either break even or make a profit and it did neither and in that sense it failed. But, I think that you would agree with me that you've spent worse money.

H: Exactly, yes!

J: The value of NerdCon stories, for me, was immense. And i think for the people who were there it was immense. And Hank I think you and your team put together a really amazing program and it felt really special and it felt very unlike anything else I'd been a part of and I think it was a success. Just a success that lost a bunch of money.

 H: Yeah, it's so easy to measure everything by the sort of default units of measurement. And the easiest ones to count. And we should definitely not only measure things that way. This question comes from Kaitlyn who asks [reading] Dear Hank and John, if given stationary as a gift is it expected that you use the stationary to write the thank you gift to the giver? (28:00) to (30:00) H: Does that show how much you love it? Or does this willingness to use some of it so quickly look like a dismissal, or you're inherently gifting it back to the gifter? Fountain pens and prairie heads, Kaitlyn. (laughs)


J: This is a tough one, this is a tough one because I can see both sides. If you're an anxious person, and I am, I can see how you could walk all the way around this problem and never see yourself to anything other than more worry.

H: Yeah

J: This could go wrong no matter how I act.

H: Yeah, eventually this person just gets a text, 'thanks for the pen!'

J: (laughs) Look obviously I'm not an etiquette expert, but I think it's nice to use the stationary!

H: I think it is too.

J: I think its like 'hey I like this stationary so much I've decided to write my first thank you card on it, to you! To say thanks for the stationary. Here's some other people I plan on writing thank you cards to after I'm done' I don't know.

H: 'Look, you didn't buy this so I would keep it on a shelf for twenty years, which is what Hank does with his stationary.'

 J: (laughs) Most of us, or many of us anyway, are sitting on some gifted stationary that is desperately wishing that it could fulfill its purpose but we (laughs) we just haven't found our way to it yet. So yeah, I think you should do it! Alright Hank, it's time for the all important news from mars and AFC Wimbledon I'll go first because there is a lot of news from AFC Wimbledon. Beginning with the fact that  after losing at the new Plough Lane to the franchise currently plying(?~29:35) its trade in Milton Keynes, our eleventh league game without a win, it was finally decided that AFC Wimbledon had to part ways with manager Glyn Hodges and appoint as their interim manager Mark Robinson who's been with the club, I think from the very very beginning, or at least from the early early years, and whose been the under 18s and under 23s coach, really likeable guy. Deep deep relationship with the history of the club. (30:00) to (32:00) J: no experience managing at the senior grown up pro level, so you know I don't know how it's going to go for him, but I really wish him the best. I would love to see him succeed and be able to get the job permanently because he's just such a nice guy and so, so talented and he's done such great work with so many Wimbledon youth, not just on the football field but also just in life. So he's a great guy, I really hope it works out for him, but man, it's now 11 games without a win. [Chuckle] Fivethirtyeight.com just published a list of the 637 best professional football teams in the world and AFC Wimbledon was like 623. 


H: [Laughs]

J: Which isn't great. We were behind like-

H: It's- your on the list!

J: -we were behind, like the Philadelphia Union's B team. [chuckle] So that was a little discouraging, but it's it's obviously- from here it's going to be a difficult road. I think we have good enough players, but every year it feels like we're just desperately trying to scrap another season in the third tier of English football. The problem is, and I've heard a lot of people say, like, Oh well, it's not the end of the world if you get relegated 'cause you'll be a good fourth tier team. But that's not actually clear to me. It's not clear to me that we would have one of the biggest budgets in the fourth tier, I don't think we would. And so if we can stay in League One, we really, really need to, at least until we can get fans back at Plough Lane. But- this is just such a hard time and I really feel for all the Wimbledon fans out there. There's- between the lock downs and you know having to watch on your phone as your team gets crushed every week. 

 It's a, it's a little dispiriting so it's a new day new management team. It may be temporary. There may be a permanent manager within the next few weeks, but who knows if Mark Robinson can put together some results, anything is possible.  (32:00) to (34:00) H: Well John in Mars news, which we've already referred to, there was a launch of the SpaceX Starship prototype. It was the SN9, the SN10 is also sitting out there ready to take its test flight, this is the heavy lift vehicle that SpaceX is hoping to use to get crewed missions to Mars. So like they're learning a bunch of stuff about this, they want this to be a reusable heavy lift vehicle goes up, lands down. They've become very good at this with some of their other rockets and it is not going as well with this, so the goal of this is to sort of like- what you have to do is you launch up and then this thing has like fins on it. So basically flies its way down, dropping through the air back toward where the launchpad was, which is really nice so you don't have to like go somewhere and then grab it far away, it actually comes right back to where it launched from. And then at the very last moment 'cause it's going to fall much more slowly when it's sort of horizontal to the earth, then when it's vertical, at the very last moment, has to kind of make itself vertical again, come down and land. That part has turned out to be very difficult. It has to do that because that's where the engines are, so that's the only place that's going to slow it down. The last two times, it looks to me I'm no expert, that it is sort of overshot the vertical and has started to go horizontal in the other direction and then you're just not getting the thrust, you need to slow down enough-


J: (overlapping) And then you got a big fireball. 

 H: Yeah, this Starship slows down a good bit and then it explodes when it hits the ground. Orin is not happy about this. We watched the launch together and he was like why did it explode and I was like, well it was- it didn't go as planned and he just kept asking why it exploded, and I kept emphasizing that it is a test flight and is meant to work out problems, but he was really unhappy about the the last part- and he was like can they fix it? And I was like, yeah they'll do another one and he's like, but that one can they fix that one?  (34:00) to (36:00) H: And I'm like [laugh] no they can’t fix that one. 


J: Yeah. 

H: That one is- it doesn't exist anymore. He's really into things not getting broken. He doesn’t like it when things are broken and can't be fixed. 

J: It's a real bummer when, like something stops existing when you're a kid because you've- 

H: Yeah

J: -you imagine a lot of life into that thing. 

H: Yeah, and have you haven't experienced a lot of things stop existing, so even if- it's even like you haven't experienced that many things that you would notice them even go away like maybe they do stop existing, but they- like he sometimes get attached to trash. He's like no, I can't throw this away. But anyway, so the idea of the Starship program in the S and 10 is on the launchpad to try again soon, is to get humans to Mars. Elon Musk says that he is still highly confident that the first crewed flights to Mars will happen in 2026, John.

J: Highly confident. 

H: Highly confident. So the first flight will be in 2024, first crewed, crewed flight to Mars in 2026. I like, I like, you know, just just saying stuff, even if it has no connection to reality. 

J: Yeah, that does seem to be one of the primary discourse strategies in the- here, in the first quarter of the 21st century. 

H: Yeah, 

J: sort of like “manifest it by tweeting it often enough worldview” so- 

H: [Laugh] What do you wanna manifest? Let's tweet that. Not like- how about just cheaper college education? 

J: Yeah or like renewable energy now.

H: Ugh yeah

J: I have a little manifest section of my 2021 vision board that I put up at the end of each vlogbrothers video. It's in the bottom left corner and my most recent manifestation is to manifest a live action “Penguins of Madagascar” film which is not happened yet, but you never know. 

I'm going to keep my fingers crossed. 

 H: All right  (36:00) to (37:00) [Music starts] 


J: Well thank you for podding with me and thanks to everybody for listening. We're off to record our Patreon only podcast this week in stuff over at patreon.com/dearhankandjohn. You can sign up there if you want. Don't feel obligated to, though. We won't get mad, the content there isn't great. 

H: The project for Awesome is coming up on Friday, so get ready if you want to be a part of it. You can get a projectforawesome.com if you've made a video, submissions are open now, but they close fairly soon. We're doing it different this year. You have to submit beforehand, not during the project. So get going, do it, join us and see you all on Friday. Can't wait, I'm very excited. It's going to be a lot of fun. 

J: It will be. 

H: This podcast is edited by Joseph Tuna Medisch. It's produced by Rosianna Halse Rojas ans Sheridan Gibson. Our communications coordinator is Julia Bloom. Our editorial assistant is Deboki Chakravarti. The music you're hearing now at the beginning of the podcast is by the Great Gunnarola, and, as they say, in our hometown. 

Both: Don't forget to be awesome.