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In which John discusses consumption, the human obsession with breath, and other matters in a The Format video.
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So it's just like a parts video, but with some Project for Awesome stuff in it. I can do that, but I'm gonna use The Format. Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday. 

So I recently came across the book from 1833 called The Infirmities of Genius, where it talks about authors having this specific personality that makes them unusually susceptible to tuberculosis. And the book's, like, "Y'know authors, with their eccentricities of thought and action, their waywardness, peevishness, irascibility, misanthropy, murky passion, and thousand indescribable idiosyncrasies." And I took that kinda personally. Y'know, like, how am I gonna respond to somebody's accusations of peevishness and irascibility, e-except with my trademark peevishness and irascibility.

Ok, I think it's time to check on the weather. Yeah, I don't know, it's okay. I mean, it's a little windy. The weird thing about TB in the 19th century is that, like, some mental health conditions today, i-it was both heavily stigmatized and heavily romanticized? Like those concepts just aren't opposites of each other, you were told that you were, like, separate from the social order and less than a full human being, but at the same time, you were also told that, like, you might a genius. Like your greatest affliction will also be your superpower. Like ya have to have OCD, but you can be a brilliant detective like Sherlock Holmes. There's just one problem of course which is that OCD doesn't make you a brilliant detective, an-and indeed, tuberculosis doesn't make you a great writer. Like authors weren't extremely susceptible to tuberculosis because of their murky passions and irascibility. They were extremely susceptible to tuberculosis because at the time, TB was causing about a third of all deaths in England. It's quite cold. I-it's weird that you can see my body, but you can't, like, feel what's happening inside of it. Like you can't feel the cold that I feel. Reminds me of something Barbara Dudek wrote, that, "Pain is inside the body, so it leaves no trace for the historian." Anyway, let's just, uh, let's go inside. 

Oh hi, so the Project for Awesome starts next Friday, which is so soon, and you should make a Project for Awesome video making the case that a charity you care about should get part of the money that we raise. During the first half of the Project for Awesome, we're raising money for Partners in Health and Save the Children, and then in the second half, we'll be raising money for charities chosen by you, and your Project for Awesome video could be the reason a charity you care about gets tens of thousands of dollars. But speaking of money, a group of Nerdfighters have come together to raise over $300,000 for a matching fund, so that everybody who donates to the P4A during the P4A can get their donations matched. If you wanna join the matching fund by donation $500 or more, there is a link in the dooblydoo. 

So I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I've been reading a lot about tuberculosis recently, and one of the things I learned is that the Inuit, Chinese, Arabic, and English words for "soul" or "spirit" all derive, on some level, from the word for "breath." Like the word "inspiration" literally means "to breathe in." To be inspired is to take in air and to be expired is to be unable to take in air. I just find our relationship with air to be exceptionally strange, especially when you consider that for the longest time, we didn't even know that air was made out of stuff.

It's just so weird that everything is made out of stuff, but we don't know why there is stuff in the universe. Like we know the exact speed of light, we know what the universe was up to two minutes after the Big Bang started, but we don't why there is matter. W-what a metaphorically resonant situation to be in.  

Sometimes I'll notice there's a high-pitched omnipresent humming sound somewhere in the house and then I'll track the sound to a particular light fixture and turn that light off and just feel this huge wave of relief. You don't even know how loud the noise is until the noise goes away....which is another metaphorically resonant situation to be in.

Hank, happy Project for Awesome, I'll see you on Friday.