New video: A Smidge of a Crisis
In which John wonders what to do with his life.
New vlogbrothers video: Looking Away.
(Reminder that if we raise $100,000 to get clean water to people in Ethiopia, BILL GATES WILL MATCH IT WITH ANOTHER $100,000: http://water.org/johngreen)
Question Tuesday: In which I discuss the purpose of metaphors, cheesy jokes, slaying, the hypothesized butt brains of dinosaurs, the etymology of the word orange, my deleted cameo in The Fault in Our Stars, and my favorite Harry Potter book.
This is the perfect present, and I’m so grateful to Hank and to everyone who has donated. (You can still donate at llamajohn.com if you’re interested!)
Thanks for all your birthday wishes!
Let us now discuss Ebola, meningitis, public health, and western-centrism.
I am recovering from meningitis but still a long way from feeling back to my regular self. I hope to be fully recovered in the next couple weeks, but between now and then I’ll be a bit less active than usual online.
Neat. Larry the Leucocyte and I made it onto a Vlogbrother’s video.
Menengitis sucks. Feel better, John! Hope the pictures, the monkey and your brother speed you on your healing process.
What a sweet video. Thanks to everyone who put stuff on their heads. Sorry about this whole viral meningitis thing. I am really trying to get better, but the meninges takes a while to de-itis, so your patience is appreciated.
Q:John! John! I just saw your video from a NICU in Addis Ababa. THANK YOU. I loved that you spoke about KMC. I am a doctor and a newborn receiving KMC is the single most beautiful thing I have ever seen. May I suggest you read Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone? It is about growing up in Ethiopia and medicine and life and beauty and I think you will love it and I would love to hear you talk about it! Love your work!
I have read Cutting for Stone!
I was very impressed with what I read about Kangaroo Mother Care after talking to Dr. Gessesse. One of the things Bill Gates said to me was that a lot of the effective strategies for improving health care in the developing world (like KMC) aren’t that expensive, and many don’t require highly trained specialists.
Obviously, we need more Dr. Gessesses in the world, but a lot of the improvement in Ethiopian child mortality and vaccination rates is due to health extension workers and the amazing volunteer Women’s Health Army. These people provide prenatal care, talk to their neighbors about issues like family planning and when to introduce solid food to keep infants growing, and how to get folic acid and iron supplements inexpensively. Health extension workers, meanwhile, have only a tenth grade education and a year of training, but they can diagnose and treat illnesses from malaria to rotavirus to TB. (You’ll meet some of these people in future videos.)
All that noted, I don’t want to make it sound like a solved problem: Even with this progress, over 6% of Ethiopian children die before the age of 5. Most of those deaths are preventable, and if you believe that all human lives have equal value, you have to acknowledge the ongoing injustice and needless suffering in poor countries like Ethiopia. But the progress is real, and I think Ethiopia is blazing an important trail for the developing world.
In which John continues the Nerdfighter Book Club’s discussion of Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Are there unambiguous victories? How should we approach our understanding of and relationship with charities domestic and international? I look forward to reading all of your thoughts in comments when I get back.
WHY is Hank Punished? The Answers!!
Ok, so in this video John mentioned that both he and Hank had outstanding punishments and he proposed a challenge - if nerdfighteria could loan a million dollars before vlogbrothers got to its 1000th video, they’d to the punishments, if not, no punishments.
We did, of course (never underestimate nerdfighters). And someone pointed out that John’s deal wasn’t totally fair, so he had agreed to go double-or-nothing
So then a couple weeks later Hank and John started Brotherhood 2.0 week and made videos back and forth every day for a week, thus completing one punishment each.
They now owed us both one more punishment. John put out this very intriguing request but nothing ever came of it.
In the meantime, John made this six-minute long video, which nerdfighters decided was not exempt because it was not “educational”. So in this video, he accepted his punishment. And in this video, Hank gave him the chosen punishment: eat a gross meal Henry came up with. So he did that here.
So, they still each owe a punishment!
As we have researched and looked into everything last night, this seems to be the general conclusion. One punishment owed each!
In which John discusses his forthcoming trip with Bill Gates (yes, that Bill Gates), his health anxiety, the worldwide threat of mosquito-borne illnesses, health anxiety, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, the tyranny of Hollywood in re haircut frequency, and the arrival of pre-roll advertising on the vlogbrothers channel.