Dear Hank & John - 389: Dear Honk and Jane

Episode Date: May 15, 2024

What's the best way to hold an umbrella? What do I do with a life-sized Shaq? Are humans a super-organism? Why does espresso goop smell like burnt hair? Is 26 too late to start wearing sunscreen? What... is a pet to do when their person sneezes? Hank and John Green have answers! If you're in need of dubious advice, email us at us for monthly livestreams at us on Twitter!

Discussion (0)
Starting point is 00:00:00 ["Tired Town Theme Song"] Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John. Yours I prefer to think of it, Dear Hank and the World's Tiredest Boy in Tired Town. It's a podcast where one person who's doing okay and one person who's doing not as okay answer your questions, give you devious advice, and bring you all the week's news
Starting point is 00:00:19 from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. John, did you know that some turtles pee out of their mouth and other turtles breathe through their butts? I didn't know that. That is just a fact. We're not doing a dad joke today. It's just facts. Well, I appreciate learning that. That's a wonderful thing to know to go forth into the world with that knowledge is a beautiful gift. I am very tired and emotionally and psychologically not in the best spot. It's always destabilizing to talk about your mental health in the context of fiction, which is kind of what I've been doing nonstop for the last two months. And then there's just the inevitable sort of release of the movie coming out, which has been great to be clear. I couldn't have asked for a better reception to
Starting point is 00:01:13 the movie. It's 90% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with critics and 96% fresh with audiences. So obviously, we did something right. And the responses to the film have been overwhelming and just a source of absolute, just an absolute gift to me. But full disclosure, yeah, I'm clinging to a branch, you know? And you're like, and it feels like it's a long way down, but it's not. I'm fine. I'm only going to fall if I fall, but it feels catastrophic. My brain doesn't work great at times like this.
Starting point is 00:01:47 I think I've had to learn for my own self when big things happen in my life that the week after it ends, I'm gonna crash. I'm gonna emotionally be not in a great way. No, no, I mean, even if it goes well, like in some ways it's almost scarier to be honest, if it goes well, because now like, which is good, this was of course what we wanted. Like when you have a very, very small marketing budget,
Starting point is 00:02:17 your dream is that the movie will catch on with enough people that they'll share it with enough people that they'll share it with enough people that it'll have a good life. And that's happening, which is great, but it also means it's kind of not over. I want to emphasize that I'm complaining about the world's best problem. It just happens to be my problem at the moment. So yeah, I have this horrible ache in my stomach all the time and I can't eat and I can't sleep
Starting point is 00:02:46 and I'm not doing great, but I'm excited to make a podcast with you and forget all about that. And we have to begin the podcast by talking, are we going to do this zine? Because I think we should. I feel like we have to at this point. We've gotten so many space turtles. So we made this thing about how if a space turtle cuddled up to the moon, it might change Earth's climate in interesting ways. And we asked people to send in space turtles and people send in so many high quality space turtles, you can't even believe it.
Starting point is 00:03:14 We'll put some of them on the Patreon for free at slash dear Hank and John, but like there's no way we can put all of them on the Patreon for free or else there would never be other content on our Patreon forever. Yeah. So we cannot, if we magazine, we are not gonna include all of the space turtles. In addition, we also have people send in captions for what the space turtles might be thinking,
Starting point is 00:03:32 and we're gonna match captions to picture. But weirdly, I feel like we got more pictures than captions. Which is surprising because captions, you would think, are easier. I would think would be easier, yes. So we're not gonna make it available for- Oh, this one's so good. What is it? It's just, it's like a color pencil drawing. It's a great, it's really good. Yeah. I mean, some of them are, some of them are brilliant. Charles. Thank you, Charles. Thank you, Charles. Thanks everybody. But I don't think we can make it available for pre-order just yet,
Starting point is 00:04:03 can we? No, definitely not. We must play it safe. You're going to have to wait for your space turtle zines. In the meantime, we're going to answer some questions from our listeners. I know that people are hotly awaiting their space turtle zines. Yeah. Okay. Let's answer some questions from our listeners. Beginning with this one from Quinn, dear Honk and Jane, dear Honk and Jane, it's raining on my walk to work. How do you effectively hold an umbrella? I'm holding it sort of in front of my head to accommodate for forward momentum, but now my back is wet. Help, the mighty Quinn. I think your umbrella's too small. This is
Starting point is 00:04:35 the thing that you learn when you go to New York City is that people have umbrellas that are the size of, I don't know, what's the size they are? They're the size of a space turtle. What's that size? They're space turtle sized. There's not much else that's that size. No. No, I mean- And the size of a New Yorker's umbrella.
Starting point is 00:04:54 You can either get a larger umbrella or you can get exceptionally good at reading winds and tides and whatnot such that you- And then you hunch. You got to stand up very straight, but at the same time get very small. Yeah. And then- And the umbrella is close to you.
Starting point is 00:05:11 It gets you, like make it as close to you as possible, right? Yes. You have it basically, it's part of your head. Ideally you want to get one of those umbrellas that actually fits on your head. Oh, yes. Those are cool. Just that umbrella. And, but here's the thing, John has already started to walk down the path of the
Starting point is 00:05:27 ultimate expression of this, which is first you get good at sort of like not taking up as much space and then you read the winds and you read the... And then eventually you sort of get aligned enough with the storm that you don't even need an umbrella and you just walk through the drops. That's right. Like a master of weather. Like Keanu Reeves in the matrix, instead of dodging bullets, you're dodging drops and your body can shape and shift form as needed to avoid all the drops.
Starting point is 00:05:53 And that's the real- I feel like it's totally possible. Like there's gotta be like a time when it was raining outside and somebody was like walking from their car to their house and just like every drop missed them. You know what is so, in my experience, thrilling is when you're experiencing what Quinn just went through and you're getting your back wet and then you're getting your shoes wet
Starting point is 00:06:12 and then you're getting your knees wet and then you're getting your left side wet and then eventually you close the umbrella and you realize that you are alive in a world that is raining. And that's where you're supposed to be and it's where you're supposed to be, and it's who you're supposed to be, and you're supposed to be getting wet right now. And that's just what is happening. And you just accept it like we accept that we are floating down a river of fate that we have very little say in. Yeah. Yeah. We go out of the world the way that we come into it, at the mercy of some BS that we cannot control. We become the uncarved block of wood that the Dao De Jing celebrates us as being.
Starting point is 00:06:54 Yes, next question. John, this next question comes from Molly who asks, hey y'all, love the show. Here's my query. I'm an older listener, perhaps. I'm 34. I'm an older listener, perhaps. I'm 34. So old. How do you get around all day, Molly? You must know how to use an umbrella so well. I'm fortunate enough to be a first time homeowner. I've had a lifelong love for Shaquille O'Neal.
Starting point is 00:07:21 Didn't see it coming. When you said I have a lifelong love and then you paused, so many things came into my mind of what one could have a lifelong love for that would make you laugh like that, and none of them were Shaquille O'Neal. Yeah, I grew up in Orlando and he played for the Orlando Magic, same. Same. And I named my first pet a female rat, Shaquille, in his honor. At the same time, my mom somehow got a life-size cardboard cut out of Shaq that I brought to my first grade classroom and we loved it.
Starting point is 00:07:50 Okay, so you are younger than us. But when we started being Magic fans, Shaq wasn't on the team, but it eventually happened for us. Yeah, we were actually pre-Shack. Yeah. A few years back, my mom gave me the awesome Christmas present of finding the same- He's taking over for me.
Starting point is 00:08:03 Finding the same young Shaq in his Magic 32 jersey cardboard statue as a present. And I love it. But what exactly am I supposed to do with it as a 34-year-old? How unadulterated or inappropriate is it to want to display a seven-foot, three-inch cardboard cutout of Shaquille O'Neal in my living room now that I have my own home? It seems like the most logical choice. I certainly don't want to get all moldy in the garage, but is it also juvenile? Never been a baller, just a mauler, Molly.
Starting point is 00:08:28 Dice. I got so many thoughts. First, I'm glad that you specify that it was indeed life sized because sometimes those cardboard cutouts, you know, there it is cardboard. They shrink you down a little bit. They shrink you down a little bit so that you're easier to ship. Yeah. But with Shaq, that's part of the deal. Can't shrink him. Is that he's big boy.
Starting point is 00:08:47 Yeah. So you want it to be Shaq sized. That's a lot though. It's a lot to ask. And now it does finally at the end make sense that you mentioned that you're a first time homeowner before telling us you are a big fan of Shaq. It reminds me of when you try to put a Christmas tree in your house and it's only like three inches shorter than the ceiling. Oh, it's like like three inches shorter than the ceiling. And it starts to feel real crowded in that room.
Starting point is 00:09:10 But also on the other hand, isn't that Shaq's experience of being in such a room? And aren't you here to celebrate your love of Shaq and the fact that Shaquille O'Neal, who by the way, for new listeners who may not be familiar with Shaquille O'Neal, who by the way, for new listeners, who may not be familiar with Shaquille O'Neal's work, is a basketball player and pundit and spokesperson for Capital One credit cards. Isn't it kind of beautiful to acknowledge what the room would be like to Shaq? And movie star, we should add. I think also, here's my feeling, John. I think that Shaq- Classic multi-hyphenate. Yes. Yes. He's a Renaissance man. I think Shaq should be displayed, but secretly. So there should be a way to see Shaq, but you should not see Shaq immediately. For example,
Starting point is 00:10:00 if you can find the highest ceiling in the house and just tape him to the ceiling. I was thinking more, and this is an expensive solution, but I was thinking more you build a built-in bookshelf, but it has a secret three-foot room behind it and you can open the bookshelf instead of- With seven foot four by three feet. Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. It's seven feet, four inches tall, but only three inches wide and deep.
Starting point is 00:10:27 I mean, three feet wide and deep. And then you open the bookshelf and instead of there being like a proper secret room, there's just shack. It's just a secret shack. That would be great. You could also build a shack shack in the backyard. Shack shack.
Starting point is 00:10:39 It's a specific, very small, somewhat tall shack shack in the backyard. A tiny home, but it's not a tiny home because shack looks there. And, but my, here's my thought. You might end up getting a fold out couch that turns into a bed. Shack should go get full, shack should be folded
Starting point is 00:11:00 into the bed. So when you have visitors, you're like, it's a fold out couch. And you're like, okay, you can set up the bed, I'm going to sleep. And then they are setting up the bed and they get delighted and surprised. It's gonna have to be a very long fold-out couch
Starting point is 00:11:15 for that bit to work. It's gonna have to be an extra long, full couch. It's the witch. But I think you're right about the width being a problem too. I think everything's a potential issue. God, Shaq, why'd you have to be so big? Well, I mean, that's also why he's such a genius. This is the conundrum we all find ourselves in, Hank.
Starting point is 00:11:33 The thing that makes us strong is the thing that makes us weak. The thing that will save us is the thing that will kill us. The end of man is knowledge, but there's one thing he can't know, he can't know whether that knowledge will save him or kill him. Yeah. I'm going to take every single question to this energy level.
Starting point is 00:11:49 You cannot stop me. This is the energy level where I'm living and I'm going to force you to live in it with me. Okay. There's no point, Molly. We strive and we struggle and we row against the current and still there is an emptiness. Alternate solution, you grind up shack into little bitty pieces and then you make a tiny shack shack
Starting point is 00:12:09 and put shack in the tiny shack shack. That's like an urn, but for shack. I mean, that's, I'm just gonna say it. It's really up. It's really up to cremate. Burnt shack. Shack is still with us. Shack is still with us. Shack is still with us.
Starting point is 00:12:26 So that's... Imagine people being like, what's this? And you're like, oh, that's the Shack Shack. What's the Shack Shack? The Shack Shack is where I keep Shack. I cut Shack up into little tiny pieces because I love him so much and I put him inside this urn, which is a totally normal thing to have in your home.
Starting point is 00:12:42 Ah, yes! It's really like, the whole idea of having Totally normal thing to have in your home. Ah, yes. The whole idea of having Shaq in your house is making sure that it's the most funny way possible. And I think grinding up on a little pieces might be it. I think you should consult with Shaq, Molly. I think you're asking the wrong people. It's true. You gotta get my new podcast, Dear Hank and Shaq.
Starting point is 00:13:03 It's gonna be amazing. This next question comes from Nola who says, Dear John and Hank, no time for chit chat. Are humans a super organism? I was watching the Texas bee lady on TikTok, you know, the one who scoops up bees with her bare hands. Anyway, she says that a hive of bees are a super organism, meaning a collective of individuals working in synergy for the good of the whole. Don't humans do this too?
Starting point is 00:13:22 Not all the time, Nola. Not all the time. Not all the whole. Don't humans do this too? Not all the time, Nola. Not all the time. Not all the time. Homo homini lupus, Nola. Man is a wolf to man. Sorry, what was your question? Man is also a man to man. Homo homini homo. That's true. And to be fair, we're way worse than wolves a lot of the time. I mean, sure, we don't exclusively communicate through pheromones or other physical biological means, but how else would you define humanity other than a collective of individuals working together for the good of the species? I can think of a few other definitions, Nola, actually.
Starting point is 00:13:54 Are we or are we not a superorganisms out of many one Nola? Hank, what do you think? Are we a superorganism? I think we on some level are because I think the coolest thing about humans by a very wide margin is our capacity for collaboration Yeah, yeah, I I think that we are I think that we would be seen that way by an outside observer very yeah Like very obviously I have a hard time seeing it from the inside being one of the pieces of the super organism I don't feel like a super organism, right?
Starting point is 00:14:22 I feel like a person who has my own thoughts and feelings and has figured all of this stuff out myself, but that's like definitely not true. Like it's just definitely not true. And so like, I actually talk about this in my comedy special, which hopefully people will get the chance to watch eventually. It's a lot about cancer and ants and humans. And
Starting point is 00:14:47 that is very much the conclusion that I come to, that instead of signaling each other with pheromones, we signal each other with something else. And that thing, that else thing is basically culture and society, but also love, also just human to human connections within a family within small groups. And it just all sort of stretches out and it's made of stories and it's made of words and it's made of feelings. Yeah, I also think there are other things that just connect us practically that aren't just made of stories, but we have practical needs for each other where my expertise and your expertise have to complement one another because if we all only become experts in one thing then we're doing the human story a great disservice.
Starting point is 00:15:42 Yeah. And there's also the part where there's like a built environment around it, like just like bees have hives, we have cities and towns and we have roads, we have things that we build to connect ourselves to ourselves and it's very super organismy. Well, I think you're right that like, if I have this long standing thing that I'm sure I've told you about where I'm fascinated by what the history of humans and the history of the earth would look like to an organism
Starting point is 00:16:07 that is 30,000 feet above sea level and cannot move. Right, right. And that person would definitely think that we are a superorganism, but would also think that like, man, this superorganism gets mad at itself a lot and causes itself a lot of unnecessary suffering through that bad behavior. Especially like, I feel like in the 18th century, the observer might have been like, I'm not sure this is a super organism actually. I think these guys might hate each other. Yeah. I mean, the thing about bees is they definitely work a lot. They're better at it
Starting point is 00:16:46 than us. That's what it is. It's also taken a longer time for them to get to where they are. That's true. We've only had 250,000 years. Yeah. And we're better at it than we used to be. We're better at superorganism-ing than we used to be because it used to be that we couldn't pass along knowledge nearly as effectively as we can now. Yep. Do you think Shaq is part of this superorganism? Definitely. Yeah. I think he's the head of it. I think he's the queen bee, man.
Starting point is 00:17:16 I think almost definitionally Beyonce is the queen bee, but we'll- No, no, no. No, nothing against Beyonce, but Shaq, Shaq is the glue that holds it all together, I'm pretty sure, because imagine a world without Shaq. Imagine our lives without Shaq. I can't do it, it's not there. You can't do it. Everything disappears. I can imagine the world without anything else
Starting point is 00:17:38 except for Shaq. Wow, there is, wow, weird. There's no Space Jam? Wow, everything is different. I think it's not that I can't picture space jam without Shaq, it's that my mind turns into blankness. Yeah. It's a powerful man.
Starting point is 00:17:55 This next question comes from Brent who asks, hi Hank and John. I've got one of those weird questions for Hank to hopefully answer. We have an espresso barista machine at home and it has a tray that collects both coffee grounds and overpressure water from the steam wand and the espresso pump, which builds up.
Starting point is 00:18:12 However, when I empty the tray, there's a bunch of slimy algae, bacteria, fungus stuff at the bottom. And when that is exposed to air to empty the tray, it smells like burnt hair. Why? What chemical are they releasing? And why is it only when you expose it to oxygen, I presume, that it smells like that? Wow. Before you answer this question,
Starting point is 00:18:32 and I am fascinated to learn the answer, can I just tell you something that I was just thinking? Yeah. I was thinking, I hope I get to write a policy genius ad for this episode. Oh, good for you. Because I can really take it. I love your advertising. I can take it dark today. You're good for you. Because I can really love your advertising. I can take it dark today. You're ready for it. Yeah. Sorry, what was the question? Do you know why it smells like burnt hair? Is there a reason? Well, I mean, it's going to smell like burnt stuff because that coffee is roasted. So I think that there is an amount of it that is that. Do you know the smell of burnt hair, John? You've smelled burnt hair. You went to the same summer camp as me. Oh yeah, the first time I ever French kissed someone.
Starting point is 00:19:07 I don't think I've heard that story. Yeah, well, it was the last day of camp and it was a candlelight ceremony. As you well remember, you went to the same camp. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I figured it was the camp thing. That's how I know the smell of burnt hair because the freaking candlelight ceremony where they didn't, they never say beforehand,
Starting point is 00:19:29 don't give each other hugs until you blow out your candles or else we'll have more burned hair like we do every single session. Nor indeed do they say, hey, if you're getting ready for your first French, just prepare that you might get your hair burnt. So that's exactly what happened, Hank. I'd heard through the grapevine that this young woman wanted to French me, which is what it
Starting point is 00:19:50 was called at the time. This is what they said back then. This is what they said back then. We're not making that up. And I said, well, I would also like to French her. I'm looking to lose my Frenching virginity. And so we met at the end of, we'd been dating for almost the entire camp. We were close and I don't know what grade I was in, fifth, sixth, young, young. But anyway, point being we wrapped our arms around each other and we began kissing. W Riz. We kissed. It happened. I got my first kiss and then I smelled the smell of burnt hair because I'd wrapped my around each other and we began kissing. W Riz. We kissed, it happened.
Starting point is 00:20:25 I got my first kiss and then I smelled the smell of burnt hair because I'd wrapped my candle all the way around my, up back to my head and I'd lit my own hair on fire. And that was my first kiss. That's, I love that. Yeah. I have a similar story that I'm not going to tell
Starting point is 00:20:41 because it's not my first kiss. Well, what's your first kiss? Let's, we're not getting, You're not getting away without that. Well, my first kiss is boring normal kiss stuff. Did you get word in advance that somebody was looking to French? Or did you just go for it? Tell me more. God, I actually, I have to remember who it was. Oh, okay. I got it. I got it. No, it was like, hey, come over to my house,
Starting point is 00:21:06 like me and we'll watch a movie with my friend. You and your sister can come over. And then we just, you know, we did not watch the movie. You just Frenched instead. We Frenched instead. I find that word, by the way, so disgusting. That's why I keep saying it is because it horrifies me so thoroughly.
Starting point is 00:21:27 It's so weird. But at the time there were two kinds of kisses. There were like pecs and then there were Frenchs, as they were called. And I think it's a wonderful, people are always like, oh, like we miss this, we're impoverishing our language by going into emojis and saying L-O-M-L or whatever. Language is so much better than it was in the 1980s. In the 1980s, we described a certain kind of kissing as Frenching rather than just calling it what it is, which is kissing. So for all those negative Nancies out there, and I realized that I'm bringing a lot of
Starting point is 00:22:03 negative Nancy energy to the pod today and I'm sorry about that. But for all those negative Nancy's out there, just know that in fact, language is richer and more interesting than it's ever been in all of human history. There are so many things to say and we have so many ways to say them. True. But it is a little awkward because this podcast is actually brought to you by the word Frenching. Oh, no. Yeah. Well, we said what we said,
Starting point is 00:22:25 we can't take it back. We'll accept money from anybody. So, Frenching, it's not French. I mean, maybe it is. It's no more French than it is anything else. I'm pretty sure Frenching existed before France. That's a great argument, that's a great point. Today's podcast, of course,
Starting point is 00:22:44 is also brought to you by Shaquille O'Neal. Shaquille O'Neal, the glue holding it all together. This podcast is also brought to you by the Texas Bee Lady. The Texas Bee Lady, convincing humans that we are all just a bunch of bees. And of course, today's podcast is brought to you by the new hit movie Turtles All the Way Down, streaming now on Macs. It's the last time I'll advertise it, I promise. Maybe not. It's also streaming on things that aren't Macs, but are Macs affiliated.
Starting point is 00:23:15 That's right. Globally, it's streaming on whatever they decided to abandon the perfectly good brand of HBO 4. That's where it's streaming. Oh my God. I can say that now. What are they gonna do? Take down the movie? We got a project for Awesome Message. This one is from Tim to Colleen.
Starting point is 00:23:34 We took a detour last year so we could add to the ball of paint. By the time this gets to you, I can't know the exact shape of our life, our hopes or our fears, or what our little family looks like, just as I can't fathom the layers of paint above ours. But I know that we are here for each other hand in hand. Our layer is number 28,170. It's blue and it is still there. Every bit of it is real,
Starting point is 00:23:59 even the lumps, and we made it together. That's just lovely. Jesus, Tim. That's gorgeous. We also have a project for Awesome Message from Laura to Nick who says, "'These last few years have been so hard in so many ways. Thank you for the abundance of love, patience, and understanding you've given me, for being there for me when I couldn't be there for myself and for always looking out for me.
Starting point is 00:24:19 You are truly my better half and my favorite person. Here's to many more years of finding the small joys in life together. I love you. God, both just make me wanna cry. Beautiful. Thank you, Laura. Thank you, Tim.
Starting point is 00:24:32 Thank you to everybody who donated to the project for awesome this year. So we gotta get back to this burnt hair smelling coffee stuff. Oh, is there another reason? Well, no, I mean, I just like, so basically of the things that are gonna be in that tray, coffee has some stuff still that microbes can metabolize. So like we were basically
Starting point is 00:24:52 looking at what's feeding the thing, but also there's probably gonna be some like milk from the milk wand. And that's like, milk is like the stuff for microbes. And so what you might have is like a mix of a milk curdling smell, which is kind of a sour sweet smell, which is kind of similar to, I'm just guessing here, similar to a burnt hair. And then you've got the burned smell of the coffee, which is going to add the burning smell on top of the sour sweet of the milk. But I don't know what compounds hair makes when it burns, but definitely does not smell like normal smoke. Hmm. Okay. Interesting. This next question comes from Alexis who says, hi, I've never been very good at wearing sunscreen every day as I have pretty sensitive skin. I've finally found some that I'm able to wear each day, but now I'm in the ripe old age of 26. Is
Starting point is 00:25:38 it too late for me? Is my skin already too damaged? Is there any point to start wearing it now? Alexis, I had to answer this question because I have to say three things to you. Is my skin already too damaged? Is there any point to start wearing it now? Oh. Alexis, I had to answer this question because I have to say three things to you. The first is that yes, there is a reason to start wearing sunscreen now. That would also be true if you were 60. The second is that I can't tell if you genuinely think that 26 is old. Is it too late for me? I'm 26. Because you're just getting started in this broken world, Alexis, and everything is going to be okay. Your skin is not too damaged, okay? You're going to be okay. You're going to be okay,
Starting point is 00:26:20 and there's always a point to starting now instead of saying it's too late, there's no point. Yeah, it's true. You got to take that the whole way. Yes. The second best day to plant a tree is now. I mean, I know people who are kind of on the way out and they are a hundred percent still wearing sunscreen. No reason to rush yourself out the door, you know? Yeah, exactly. And also starting new things.
Starting point is 00:26:54 And I think that's really beautiful and it's not something I had really confronted much. There's this feeling that like, well, if I'm not going to be around, then why do the thing? That's a real cause of a lot of hard things to deal with when you're sick. And the experience I've had seeing people who know that the disease they have now is the thing that's going to kill them. It's seeing those people start new things. It's like, oh, right. I also have a thing that's going to kill me. It's called being alive. And I'm starting new things. And why? A person who's going to die is alive. And that's true of every person who's alive.
Starting point is 00:27:47 So it's really, it's strange how I see the sort of act of doing new things from something that's about some future thing to it being about some now thing, you know? Right. Yeah, it's really important to remember that there is no forever that we're striving for in art or in anything else because there is no forever that we're striving for in art or in anything else because there is no forever for us, not as an individual, not as a species. And so we're not making stuff for posterity. We're making stuff for each other.
Starting point is 00:28:16 And maybe if we're extraordinarily lucky, some of those each others we're making that stuff for don't exist yet and will be part of the future. But you're not making it to last forever. Even Shakespeare wasn't writing to us. Shakespeare was writing to his time and it just happens to still speak to us. And that for me is a great reminder of what we should be up to, which is not like trying to establish a legacy that lasts forever when there is no forever, but instead trying to do cool stuff with cool people while we're here. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:28:56 Yeah. Like I thought about that a lot when you had cancer, man, because you were starting new stuff left and right. You were writing this standup special and you were designing socks and you were starting new stuff left and right, you were writing this standup special and you were designing socks and you were inhabiting all kinds of identities that you'd never inhabited before. And that didn't feel like foolishness or naivete to me, it felt like the most human, reasonable thing
Starting point is 00:29:18 that you could possibly do. There was a moment when it was like, there's various moments, but like at one point, I messaged a friend of mine who had also been through cancer treatment and I was like, I just don't like I'm just not done yet. And he was like, hey, nobody's done yet. But it did sort of make me feel like, well, I got to get a couple of these things done. Like the things that are in progress, I really want them to be done. And I love getting done. Done is great. And I'm bad at it. I'm bad at getting done because oftentimes I make things that are perpetual.
Starting point is 00:29:56 Right. Right. I also love being finished. I love things that get done. Yeah. Maybe I should think about it that way. Maybe I should think like the reason I don't feel so great is because I finished a big thing that was hard. You did, you finished a big hard thing. Like that's so cool, it's done. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:30:14 And now like that's out there in the world forever. Yeah. And you have other things that you can apply your energy to. Yeah. When you want to. All right, let's answer one more question before we get to the all important news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon.
Starting point is 00:30:28 This question comes from Astra and Moss who write, dear potato, Chester and gummy bear, those are our pets, just so everyone knows, what do you recommend doing when your people sneeze? It isn't normal. And my person sneezes like at this time of year a lot. And I run away every single time, even though I've been with my person for seven years now,
Starting point is 00:30:44 do I keep running away? Do I try and get over it? Sneezing and scramming, Astra the cat and Moss the person. This is the kind of question that I've been just dying to answer because it begins with a premise that is correct, which is that sneezing is not normal and it is not normal to sneeze. And cats and dogs know this about us. They are horrified by our sneezing. Astra, I think it is so rational for you to bolt out of the room when this happens, because you are a cat. And it is very, it is, I think that like we can all agree
Starting point is 00:31:20 that it is weird that you live in this person's house anyway, right? Right. Like you're a cat. Yeah. You're not a dog. You're not like some like little pet animal. You're a wild animal that happens to have- Even if you were a dog, it'd be very weird. Yeah, but not like it is for a cat.
Starting point is 00:31:36 I don't know, when I sneeze, my dog runs out of the room. My dog is like, what the hell just happened? Something happened inside that person's soul just now. When Red Green, if you farted, Red would run away. Yeah. He hated farts. Like he knew, he like didn't like the smell. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:31:53 He would fart and he'd be like up and out. Yep. But yeah, I think, look, Astra, you have to do what your cat soul tells you to do. You are not a pet. You are a person who lives with other people. You are just a different kind of person. A superior kind. I'm speaking as Gummy Bear.
Starting point is 00:32:15 This is Gummy Bear now speaking. You are a superior kind of person. That's true. Those are those weird people over there and they do weird stuff. And when they do weird stuff, you should leave and go find a more comfortable place.
Starting point is 00:32:27 Yeah, that's true from Gummy Bear's perspective, it's like these servants do a pretty good job of serving me, but then sometimes they act weird. Yeah. And I don't know how to explain to them that they are not fully fulfilling their role in my life, which is to meet my needs. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:32:46 So yeah, you should run away when someone isn't meeting your needs by sneezing. Yeah. Yeah, you're a wild animal. Not dubious at all. Great advice, Hank. Let's get to the all important news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon.
Starting point is 00:33:01 AFC Wimbledon season wrapped up on the men's side, and we ended up finishing like ninth, whatever. We kind of collapsed at the end of the season. We missed out on the playoffs, but we also had a number of games where we weren't afraid of relegation, which for me anyway is an absolute delight. But the women's team, Hank, did secure promotion and then played their final game of the season on May 5th at Plough Lane in front of over 2,500 fans, the largest crowd AFP Wimbledon's ever had for a women's team and one of the largest crowds in the fourth tier history. And most excitingly,
Starting point is 00:33:42 that was also our last game in the fourth tier because Wimbledon women's team won their league. There's only one promotion spot. We got it. We're headed up to the third tier of English football. Very exciting. So while the men's team missed out on promotion, the women's team secured it. And I think have a very bright future sponsored by Rosianna and me. They were partners in health on the back of their jerseys. They're an extraordinary group of young people. One of them actually went from having a really severe stroke during a brain surgery and experiencing basically total paralysis on one side of their body and fought their way all the way back to being a footballer again and getting to participate in this season's incredible promotion
Starting point is 00:34:32 campaign. So they got to lift the trophy in front of 2,500 people at Plough Lane, including over a dozen nerd fighters and Rosianna who went to the game. It always just means the world to me when nerd fighters go to celebrate AFC Wimbledon. So thank you and congrats to the women's team on their amazing season. This week at Mars News, John, there's another weird rock. Oh boy. Is it like the last weird rock?
Starting point is 00:34:57 Is it identical to the last one? No, it's a different, it's a number of different rocks. But they all have something in common. So obviously curiosity studies rocks. Oh, it's a different, it's a number of different rocks, but they all have something in common. So obviously curiosity studies rocks. Been doing that for a long time in the middle of Gale Crater using the ChemCam, which vaporizes the rocks and then it uses a laser to figure out what is inside the rocks.
Starting point is 00:35:19 And inside these rocks, they found a lot of manganese oxide, which is interesting because manganese oxide. What does that mean? Which is interesting because manganese oxide on earth only forms in the presence of there being a lot of oxygen in the atmosphere. Oh. Which is not how Mars is like today. So this might suggest that Mars had oxygen levels similar to earth in the past.
Starting point is 00:35:39 No way. Yeah. Like a full atmosphere and proper oxygen and all that? And like, yes. And also oxygen is weird and unstable. And so this would be like, if we could confirm that there was like a thick atmosphere of oxygen, there are situations where that could form without biology, but it did not form without biology on earth. We didn't get a thick oxygen atmosphere until biology happened.
Starting point is 00:36:07 But we do not know if that's how these happened. There are some, there's debate, of course there's debate. There's a 2022 study that found that maybe other things could convert manganese into manganese oxide in various ways just in water, and we know that Mars had water. So for now, it is still a mystery, but it is a clue. We need to do more chemistry to figure out whether, to the extent to which it would be possible for it to happen without oxygen. And we also need to find other things that would confirm that Mars had an atmosphere of oxygen before we agreed for sure that that is the thing that happened.
Starting point is 00:36:54 Wow. Yeah. That's fascinating. I mean, that raises the possibility that there was relatively complex life on Mars. Not necessarily complex, but a lot of it. Right, right. I guess more like it would be about the quantity, not the quality.
Starting point is 00:37:12 Fair enough. Yeah, and like, who knows? Like if life evolved in a different way, versus having been seeded from one to the other, then it like- I think this is one of my big questions, Hank. Yeah. As far as we know, life only evolved once on earth.
Starting point is 00:37:34 Oh yeah. And so it must be kind of hard for it to happen. Well, I mean, it could have happened more than once at separate places and then one probably would have taken over the other. So all of the life that we have right now descended from one kind of life. There's not like two systems of life on Earth. That is surprising to me if it's so likely that on other planets, life seems to have emerged, in other places, even very close to us, life seems to have likely emerged at some point. We have sort of tentative
Starting point is 00:38:16 evidence of it, both on Venus and on Mars, the two planets closest to us. That's pretty wild. I know it's tentative, but we have tent tentative, evidence is a strong word. We have like tentative possible indications of it. Yeah, I mean, so where I'm kind of getting to is it's probably, probably not that weird for life to happen. But it's probably weird. But then why didn't life happen more than once here? Well, it may very well have.
Starting point is 00:38:44 It's just that one system was better than another and out-competed it. And I think that would be kind of inevitable. So if you have two systems that are isolated from each other and then one is able to... In these early scenarios of life on earth, mostly what you're thinking about is hydrothermal vents, though people will argue that there's other opportunities.
Starting point is 00:39:06 But it looks increasingly like it was hydrothermal vent based. And so they would be in these pockets that would be separate from each other. And they would also be very reliant on that environment around the hydrothermal vent. So leaving that environment would be very hard and also would require like a huge step in evolution
Starting point is 00:39:21 of sort of creating the membrane around yourself to carry the environment that you evolved in with you. And so the first thing that was able to do that was probably able to go and like see those things and be like, wow, you know what that is? Food. It's food. Right. Okay. Okay. I guess that makes sense to me. I mean, it's just kind of baffling to me if it's that easy,. Yeah. How come we haven't observed it? And I guess maybe we've only had 200 years to look for it, but like-
Starting point is 00:39:51 We haven't had a ton of time. The other thing is that we underestimate how long 3 billion years is. That's true. Which is how long life has existed on earth for longer than that. And the fact that you can have like one single unbroken chain of life work that long probably is pretty unusual because we're used to hearing that number, but we're not used to hearing it as like a third of the life of the universe.
Starting point is 00:40:22 It's a long time. So we might actually be early. Yeah. Yeah, we might be early in the history of life in the universe. And also, it might be unusual for a planet to stay stable enough for the life to last a long time. Sure. Yeah. Just a nice indication that we could be at the tail end of that stability. You know, we could be, we probably aren't. Thanks. I needed that.
Starting point is 00:40:51 Thanks for podding with me. It's been a pleasure. Yeah. I really appreciate it. And it's good to chat with you. Thanks for taking the time. Yeah. Thank you.
Starting point is 00:41:00 And you can send us questions at hankandjohn at Thank you very much to everybody who sent in questions. This podcast is edited by Joseph Tunamedish. It's produced by Rosianna Halsrohas, our communications coordinator is Brooke Shotwell. Our editorial assistant is Deboki Trakravarti. The music you're hearing now and at the beginning of the podcast is by The Great Gunnarolla. And as they say in our hometown, don't forget to be awesome.

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