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Uploaded:2017-05-23
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In which John is not really here, because he is off working, but still manages to answer your questions about the boxes, butterflies, uncertainty, VidCon, shapes, and regular aunts, among many other things.

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Good morning, Hank, it's Tuesday, but this video was filmed in the past. I mean, I guess that's always true, but it's more true than usual this time. I'm taking a week or two away from the internet to work, so this video was actually filmed nine days ago. Has anything interesting happened in the last nine days? Has a shocking scandal gripped the nation? Probably. It seems like shocking scandals grip the nation every week and horrify and/or thrill us so much that we think "Now this is a properly shocking scandal". And it is, until the next week when there is a new shocking scandal. As Dorothy Parker said a long, long time ago, "What fresh hell is this?"

But let us not talk of hells and freshness, let's answer real questions from real Nerdfighters, because it's Question Tuesday.

What's in the boxes?
Okay, absolutely true story, I recently opened one of the boxes, and I was stunned to find what's inside, in fact, I'll just show you. So, we have here a box, I'm just gonna open it. And as you'll see, what's inside of this box is another box.

Do caterpillars know they'll turn into butterflies or while they're building the cocoon are they just like, "What the heck am I doing?"
Well, we know that butterflies seem to be able to remember smells from when they were caterpillars, although admittedly, that's not quite the same thing as self-awareness, but then again, do humans know what they're doing as they mature or are they just like, "What the heck am I doing?"

How do you cope with uncertainty?
Quite poorly. I desperately want to be able to close the loop on my thoughts, like, I really wanna be able to convince myself that something, really anything, is absolutely certain. On the other hand, I would argue that uncertainty is maybe a little underappreciated in contemporary discourse. Like, it sometimes feels as if you're supposed to begin every conversation not only with a position, but with absolute certainty that your position is correct, and I personally find it difficult to even be certain about the proposition that I'm like an actual human being, let alone what the top marginal income tax rate should be in the United States.

What's your favorite word right now?
Non-sensorial.

What are you looking forward to most about VidCon?
I really love the annual Nerdfighter meetup, because we get to talk about future plans for Crash Course and other stuff.

How's life post-100 Days?
Good, I just finished my first half-marathon in a time of two hours and seven minutes, meaning that if I can just reduce my time by like an hour, I'll be a world-class runner.

I wanna listen to The Mountain Goats, but where should I start?
Their new album just came out, it's called Goths and it's one of my favorites. It really took me back into my past with an intensity I haven't felt in a long time. That said, I always recommend that you start with the album All Hail West Texas.

My brother's expecting a baby soon. How can I prepare to be a great aunt?
Well, you're not actually gonna be a great-aunt, you're just gonna be a regular aunt, until like, your brother's kid has a baby of its own, then you'll be a great... No, wait. You meant like how can I prepare to be an excellent aunt? Don't worry about it, you're gonna be great. Well, you'll be regular, but you know what I mean.

What's your favorite pasta shape?
The bow-tie one.

Favorite regular shape?
Spiral.

Favorite painting?
Probably this one by Raymond Pettibon.

Favorite superhero?
Batman. No, I'm just kidding. Batman isn't a superhero, he's a rich person. My favorite comic book superhero at the moment is probably Ms. Marvel.

Favorite dog breed?
Mutts, although I'm also partial to what Alice calls "Willie-dogs".

How is Willie?
Um, unfortunately, not great. Willie has cancer. It's a very slow growing kind of cancer, but it is cancer. He's a great dog and he's much loved and we're hopeful he can have a good dog life for quite a while longer, so I wanted to let you know that's going on, but we're hopeful, because he does have a relatively good prognosis. Let's move on to happier news.

What's going on with Russia and Trump?
I said happier news!

How did AFC Wimbledon manage not to score a single goal in their final six games?
HAPPIER NEWS!

Ashley Ford asks, "I got engaged last night, and I'm wondering what's your best advice for a long and happy marriage?"
There we go, some proper happy news, congratulations! The world goes on! People fall in love, hope that thing with feathers, refuses to be shushed! As to your question, I posed it to Sarah and she reminded me of this Philip Larkin poem that ends "We should be careful of each other, we should be kind while there is still time."

Hank, let us be careful of each other and kind. I'll see you on Friday.