Can your grandfather's diet shorten your life?


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Josh Clark: Hey, and welcome to the podcast. I'm Josh Clark. There's Charles W. "Chuck" Bryant.

Chuck Bryant: And I'm Charles W. "Chuck" Bryant.

Josh Clark: And I'm Josh Clark. And that makes this Stuff You Should Know, right?

Chuck Bryant: I hope so.

Josh Clark: This is our podcast. We've been doing it for a while.

Chuck Bryant: Are you welcoming new listeners?

Josh Clark: Yeah, here's another one. And actually I'm pretty excited about this one. I've been wanting to do this one for a while.

Chuck Bryant: You've been bugging, "Epigenetics, Chuck."

Josh Clark: It's the -

Chuck Bryant: Let's do it. Let's do it.

Josh Clark: - cutting edge of research, of our understanding of life. Not just human, of all life.

Chuck Bryant: My mind was blown.

Josh Clark: It's a pretty big deal.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. A real big deal.

Josh Clark: So, Chuck, you've heard of the genetic revolution. Charles Darwin, he had a long beard. He loved sea turtles, that kind of thing.

Chuck Bryant: Sure.

Josh Clark: He used to vacation in the Galapagos, right?

Chuck Bryant: Uh-huh.

Josh Clark: We wrote on the origin of the species and it was a pretty groundbreaking book.

Chuck Bryant: I would say so.

Josh Clark: Basically, what he came up with was we are driven by our genes. We have a genetic code and DNA and that makes us redheaded. It makes us timid. It makes us courageous.

Chuck Bryant: Prone to cancer.

Josh Clark: Right. Exactly. It makes us thick-tongued, right?

Chuck Bryant: Sometimes.

Josh Clark: Yeah. And we are slaves to these genes, right? There's nothing we can do to alter them. We get them from our parents. But if we find out that over time being thick-tongued is advantageous to human survival, we're all going to talk like me. But millions of years from now, at least hundreds of thousands.

Chuck Bryant: Makes for good podcasting.

Josh Clark: It definitely does. And I just look for it in the future, when we're all running around with robot bodies. There's another guy - and actually, Darwin, just to show off once came across a type of orchid, right - the moon orchid, I believe it's called. And it had a very very deep pistil - pistil or stamen. I can never keep those things apart. And the nectar was down in there. And he looked at that flower and said, "There is an organism out there, probably a flying organism that has a proboscis that fits perfectly into that flower."

Chuck Bryant: Was it the hummingbird?

Josh Clark: It was a hawk moth. And sure enough, a few years later, at some point and time later, they discovered the hawk moth. And it was pretty much literally made to fit. So there was another guy named Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who I know you've heard of as well, right?

Chuck Bryant: And all his Lamarckian stuff?

Josh Clark: Right. He was working about 60 or so years before Darwin. He had his own ideas based on giraffes, right?

Chuck Bryant: Yes, he said that giraffes necks grew to reach the food, but it was just over the course of a few generations, right?

Josh Clark: Right. And that kind of flies in the face of Darwin who said it takes hundreds of thousands of years. With this stuff called epigenetics that we're about to talk about today, suddenly people are starting to go back and look at Lamarck, who was dismissed as a quack, and say, "You know what? Lamarck may have been right in this one."

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. Prepare for your minds to be melted, is all I have to say.

Josh Clark: Let's talk about epigenetics, Chuck.

Chuck Bryant: Okay.

Josh Clark: And go.

Chuck Bryant: Josh, let's first talk about the genome. I heard a computer reference analogy that I thought was pretty spot on. If you think of the genome as computer hardware, then epigenome would be the software that tells the computer what to do and when to do it. But in this case, the epigenome tells your cells what to do, what kind of cells to be, when to activate or deactivate.

Josh Clark: Um-hum. So I guess every cell - or yeah. The DNA in every cell in the human body has the exact same DNA. You have half of your mother's and half of your father's, and it comes together and gives you your DNA, right?

Chuck Bryant: Right.

Josh Clark: And if you look at the DNA in every cell, from the kind of cell that makes up your fingernail - what would that be? A keratinocytes?

Chuck Bryant: Sure.

Josh Clark: Okay. To a sperm cell, right! Very very specialized type of cell. They all have the same DNA. They have the same genes in there. But what makes them different and what makes a keratinocytes and a sperm cell those things are the tags on those genes. So some are turned off, some are turned on. And in a specific combination you have either a keratinocyte or a sperm cell or a neuron or a cell that makes up your eyeball - all of that stuff.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. So essentially it's a chemical tag that literally changes the physical structure of your genome. So it'll bind tightly, let's say to an inactive gene and make it unreadable. Or it'll stretch out an active gene and make it really accessible, physically changing it.

Josh Clark: And epigenetics means above the genome, because these tags - they're called methel tags, which is what? One, hydrogen and two, carbon?

Chuck Bryant: Carbon and hydrogen bundles, yeah.

Josh Clark: Okay. So it's a really -

Chuck Bryant: It's a methel group, yeah.

Josh Clark: It's a really simple compound. But they attach to the gene at a place where other proteins or enzymes normally would attach to activate it. So basically what they do is block a gene from being activated. And they silence them.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, it's like a light switch, literally. You can turn off some genes and turn off others.

Josh Clark: Right. And the honeybee, actually, is a pretty good demonstration of this. Did you read about honeybees?

Chuck Bryant: No.

Josh Clark: Okay, so you've got a worker bee, right? Which is a sterile mindless dumb bee that just does what it's supposed to do?

Chuck Bryant: No offense to any worker bees out there.

Josh Clark: Agreed. I'm all down with May Day, all right? And with a queen bee, first of all, she can reproduce. She goes and kills other rival queens. She does all sorts of other stuff that a worker bee isn't capable of doing. And what they found was queen bee larvae are raised in this royal jelly, which workers bees secrete from their heads. It's a nutrient rich jelly. So the larvae grows in it.

Chuck Bryant: Mmm.

Josh Clark: And what they found - yeah, I know. Sounds kind of good, doesn't it?

Chuck Bryant: It does.

Josh Clark: Just because of the jelly part.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, of course.

Josh Clark: What they found was that the royal jelly adds a methel tag to the queen bee larvae's DNMT3 gene. And this gene is like literally the on/off switch. If this gene is on, it goes to the default worker bee. If it's off, then all the genes that make a queen bee a queen bee are able to be turned on.

Chuck Bryant: Crazy.

Josh Clark: Isn't it? So epigenetics happens in bees as well! And mice.

Chuck Bryant: Yes, they've done a lot of studies with mice, obviously, and the agouti gene in these mice. And they experiment with these mice, affecting turning on and off the epigenetic switch. So an unmethelated gene would affect the mouse's size, weight, and coat color.

Josh Clark: Right. It makes them real fat and yellow. They look horrid.

C huck Bryant: Yeah, instead of just skinny and brown.

Josh Clark: Have you seen one of these things?

Chuck Bryant: Yeah.

Josh Clark: They're huge. They should all be named Wilbur.

Chuck Bryant: The cool thing is, though, they show the difference between the skinny brown one and the fat yellow one. But then they also did experiments where they did half-and-half, turned on half of them and turned off half of them. And they literally showed them in a sequence. I don't know if you saw this picture, but they went from fat yellow to skinny brown. And in between, they got thinner and with spotted coats along the way.

Josh Clark: Crazy. Like yellow and brown spotted coats?

Chuck Bryant: Yeah.

Josh Clark: Weird.

Chuck Bryant: It's that specific.

Josh Clark: Yeah, and one of the ways that they have found that they can manipulate these agouti gene in these mine - I guess they're breed specifically for this gene to be easily observed, or something?

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, manipulated, too.

Josh Clark: Is through diet.

Chuck Bryant: Right.

Josh Clark: So they've actually taken agouti gene mice mothers who are pregnant, fed them a bunch of B vitamins in their diet.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, and soy, right.

Josh Clark: Yeah. Soy's a really easy grab for B vitamins, right? They fed these pregnant big fat ugly yellow mice B vitamins and their kids came out that healthy skinny brown. They had identical moms with the same agouti gene, same upbringing, same everything and they just fed the normal mouse diet without Vitamin B and they had the big fat yellow kids. So diet is a really big factor in epigenetic changes. Let's think about this for a second, okay? What Chuck and I are talking about right now is that science has found evidence that you can change the genetics of your children by eating B vitamins or by being abused when you're pregnant.

Chuck Bryant: Well, see that's what gets me. Some of the diet makes a little sense. But the fact that an environmental stimulus placed on your mom, or even your grandparents, can affect your children or grandchildren. Something you didn't even experience at all.

Josh Clark: Right. It's unfair. And actually, I have to tell you, the more I study this, the more worried I am for my own child or children.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah.

Josh Clark: Like, really. What they're finding is the decisions that you make, especially at a youngish age, are going to affect several generations. Because what you're doing is adding methel tags. What we're talking about is pretty much the definitive answer to the nature and nurture debate. And what we're finding is both. You have nature, which is your genes. And they're very much active. But you have nurture, which is the environment - whether it's diet, whether it's stress, whether it's lack of exercises. Your body responds to these changes by saying, "Okay. All right. If you're going to lay around and be fat, then we have to deactivate this gene."

Chuck Bryant: We'll punish your grandkids.

Josh Clark: And your grandkids, who are trying to be normal, are going to be fat little kids that live shortened lives. And this is where it came from, right, Chuck? There was a study in Sweden that broke this ground.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, didn't they find that - it was a very isolated group of people in Sweden. And at the time, they were very isolated at least, where they couldn't get help from the outside world very readily. And I think they studied that the famine, isn't that right?

Josh Clark: Well, they -

Chuck Bryant: How the famine affected the generations afterward.

Josh Clark: Well, they had feast or famine. It was an agricultural town. And they looked at these agricultural records that this town kept for some reason - like really detailed records - throughout the 19th century. And some years there was nothing and people starved to death. The next year, there was everything. And they found that the grandparents - the grandfathers - who feasted and starved within a year of one another, their grandkids lived an average of 32 years less than the grandkids of the same people who didn't have that kind of feast or famine experience. In the same time, with the same socioeconomic conditions - so yeah. That's three generations right there, right?

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. Did you hear about the Angelman syndrome and the Pradavili syndrome?

Josh Clark: No, lay it on me.

Chuck Bryant: Actually, it was a PBS documentary. It's called The Ghost in Your Genes. Did you watch that?

Josh Clark: Huh-uh.

Chuck Bryant: Oh, dude. It's on YouTube. It's in, I think, five or six sections of ten minutes each. It's a full show - mind-blowing. They found that there's these two different syndromes. And I won't get too deep into what they are, but Angelman syndrome and Pradavili syndrome is what it's called.

Josh Clark: It sounds Italian.

Chuck Bryant: Pradavili - sorry. I dropped the ball there. Basically, what causes each of these is a missing piece of DNA. And it can cause two different diseases that are completely unrelated, depending on which parent it came from, which missing part of the gene it came from. So basically, it's as if the gene knew where it was coming from, like gene imprinting. The gene had a memory that, "Oh, it came from the father, so you're going to have Angelman syndrome or it came from the mother, so you're going to have Pradavili.

Josh Clark: Right. And this is a relatively recent discovery. We were talking about them looking at agricultural records of the 19th century in Sweden. That was a doctor named Dr. Lars Olov Bygren. But he was working in the mid-'80s And he didn't really start to lay the foundation of epigenetic research until the mid- to late-'90s. So is this a very new field. But what they're finding, and what Chuck was just saying, is that your parents can pass on these epigenetic changes that happen within themselves, right?

Chuck Bryant: Right.

Josh Clark: And your grandparents can, too. But this isn't supposed to happen. What happens when an egg and a sperm meet, it's like, "Hey, here's my DNA." "Here's my DNA." And they get together. There is actually a process where these specialized cells go through and basically clean the DNA of methel tags. But they found that not all methel tags get cleaned off. So diet can affect certain genes. These methel tags can be passed down. And with abuse, as well. Have you heard about PTSD -

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, well -

Josh Clark: - being passed down?

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, they covered that in that special as well. They did a test with pregnant women who were in New York at the time of 9/11. Did you hear about this one?

Josh Clark: Yeah. This is a really recent study, right?

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. And they basically found that pregnant women that were pregnant at the time the towers came down and experienced post traumatic stress disorder, they found that their babies had lower levels of cortisol, just like their moms did, which helps you deal with stress. It helps in how you deal with stress. So these little babies basically inherited posttraumatic stress disorder from their mothers in the womb, in utero.

Josh Clark: And cortisol is a hormone and it would be produced by a gene or expressed by a gene. And how much or how little is expressed depends on whether that gene is silenced, whether it's altered. And that alteration comes from methel tags, which can be passed down. So PTSD can be passed down.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. And they're speculating now that - and this obviously speculation because these kids are still young. But they're speculating that it's going to happen to their kids as well. And that's going to be the real gold nugget.

Josh Clark: Right. They do away, eventually, they think.

Chuck Bryant: Oh, really?

Josh Clark: Methel tags. Well, they have in fruit flies. With fruit flies, it's 400 generations. But fruit flies have a generation every five minutes. And I think with mice it's 40 generations or something like that. And with humans, they expect it to be somewhere around three, maybe a few more.

Chuck Bryant: Oh, really?

Josh Clark: Yeah. Because what's happening is our bodies are responding to environmental cues to change and then after those environmental cues go away, the body's like, "Oh, okay. Well we can go back to normal now and get rid of this methel tag."

Chuck Bryant: So we've got nutrition - you are what you eat, you are what your parents ate, you are what your grandparents ate.

Josh Clark: And then there's things like stress.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. Parenting!

Josh Clark: Right. I think they found with mice, mothers didn't nurture their kids or nurse their kids, produced kids that were kind of jumpy and had the mice version of PTSD. And they theorized that the body had undergone an epigenetic change to prepare these mice for -

Chuck Bryant: A stressful life.

Josh Clark: - a very stressful life where they need to be on guard.

Chuck Bryant: Right. Exactly!

Josh Clark: Which, if you think about it, Chuck, I wrote a blog post about this. It's possible what we call PTSD is an epigenetic change that says, "You live in an environment where you can't relax. So we're going to make you jumpy. You're going to be edgy and you're going to have flashbacks so that you're always on point." And it's the result of an epigenetic change from a stressful event.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. And the same - I think you mentioned abuse earlier. They found that one out of every five suicide victims was a victim of child abuse, as well. So they're still theorizing now, but they think there's a positive correlation there between, like you said, stressful upbringing and epigenetic change.

Josh Clark: Right. So what else?

Chuck Bryant: Well, are we going to talk about what could be good about this potentially?

Josh Clark: Yes.

Chuck Bryant: Because it could be really good. It's still early going, but we're talking about potentially curing things like Alzheimer's, cancer, mental disorders, multiple sclerosis - you name it.

Josh Clark: Thick-tonguedness.

Chuck Bryant: Thick-tonguedness. Potentially being able to cure this because they found that it's really hard to fix a cancer cell! So what the doctors are thinking now is, it's really hard to fix a cancer cell, but it's a whole lot easier to turn these epigenetic switches on and off, which may in turn help defeat cancer.

Josh Clark: Right. You want to get a tumor suppressing gene going, but you want to get a cellular growth gene turned down a little bit.

Chuck Bryant: Right.

Josh Clark: Do that and then you just cured cancer.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, this one doctor put it like this. He said that it's almost like diplomacy instead of a war. You'll go tell the cell, "Hey, you're a good human cell. You don't need to behave this way. You should not be behaving this way."

Josh Clark: Yes. It's called azacitidine?

Chuck Bryant: Looks good to me.

Josh Clark: Azacitidine was originally marketed for something else entirely, probably Alzheimer's - everything was. And then they figure out that it's actually turning down these growth genes. And they say, "Hey, how about we use this for leukemia?" Batta boom, batta bing - there you go.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. People are all of a sudden in remission where they hadn't been before. So it's pretty startling.

Josh Clark: Yeah. It's still in the early stages, though.

Chuck Bryant: Right. The other thing, too, is it's easier to fix the epigenome. That's the good news as we move forward. It's also a lot easier to mess up your own epigenome by diet and smoking and things like that.

Josh Clark: Yeah, the guy who was studying Sweden hooked up with a guy who proposed the entire field of epigenetics in 1996. And then they got together with another researcher who was running - do you remember the Framinghampton?

Chuck Bryant: Farmington - Farmingham.

Josh Clark: Is it Farmingham?

Chuck Bryant: Framingham.

Josh Clark: Framingham. The Massachusetts heart study?

Chuck Bryant: Yeah that's 40 years long or something.

Josh Clark: Right. Remember Great Britain's version of it, the Avon Longitudinal Study?

Chuck Bryant: Yeah.

Josh Clark: Okay. So this guy had a friend who had access to these files. And what they found was that 166 fathers in the study started smoking around age 11. So they started looking at these guys and found that their kids were shorter and fatter and just generally unhealthier than other kids, even controlling for other factors as well.

Chuck Bryant: Wow.

Josh Clark: So smoking's a problem. Drugs are a problem. Cocaine addicted mice pass memory problems on to three generations of their offspring.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, it said that cocaine especially triggers epigenetic changes that affect hundreds of genes at the same time.

Josh Clark: Yeah. Because memory's just such a complex process!

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. So don't do cocaine.

Josh Clark: No. And don't smoke. It's just a bad idea, especially at a young age. And, Chuck, there's a project underway - remember the Human Genome Project completed in March of 2000.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, which now they're kind of like, "Pff."

Josh Clark: Exactly. Did you read this Time article?

Chuck Bryant: Nuh-uh.

Josh Clark: At the end of it, the author is talking about The Epigenome Project.

Chuck Bryant: That's the big daddy.

Josh Clark: Right. And he was saying that the Human Epigenome Project is going to make the Human Genome Project look like the homework that 16th century school kids did on their abacuses. Just think about this. What they found in the Human Genome Project is - 27,000 genes that were mapped, right?

Chuck Bryant: Right.

Josh Clark: Just fiddling with these combinations increases the map that needs to be created exponentially. Like Dominos Pizza has 27 ingredients.

Chuck Bryant: Does it really?

Josh Clark: They do. I went and counted. It produces 88 million different combinations from 27.

Chuck Bryant: Wow!

Josh Clark: Imagine 27,000 ingredients. How many different combinations does that produce? This is the scope of the Human Epigenome Project that's underway now.

Chuck Bryant: Wow! What about Pizza Hut with all their stuffed crust and eat it backwards and the ingredients are underneath your pizza?

Josh Clark: Probably even more. Yeah, but I think Dominos has more pizza. Because they've got the Philly Cheesesteak one and they have the Bacon Cheeseburger.

Chuck Bryant: They just put a sandwich -

Josh Clark: Which is really good.

Chuck Bryant: They do like the Reuben Sandwich pizza.

Josh Clark: That would be very good, too.

Chuck Bryant: That would be good.

Josh Clark: Yeah. So epigenics is changing everything. I think at its core, it's going to point out that all of our understanding of medicine is just an odd way of describing an epigenetic change. Lik e psychology, psychiatry - I predict that our future and complete understanding of humanity is going to be a combination of sociology and epigenetics.

Chuck Bryant: So we thought we were onto something with mirror neurons, but forget what we said. Just kidding, actually.

Josh Clark: I think that you could probably explain that epigenetically, and with sociology as well.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. Have you heard of this guy, Dr. Bruce Lipton?

Josh Clark: No.

Chuck Bryant: He's got a documentary out called The Living Matrix, and at first I was reading it and I was like, "Wow, this guy's really onto something." But then I started reading other people saying, "This guy's a quack."

Josh Clark: Oh, yeah?

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. He's a big epigenetics guy. But he thinks that your brain can essentially change your genetic expression by manipulating the epigenome.

Josh Clark: Like just concentrating?

Chuck Bryant: He thinks the placebo effect could potentially be explained by this. And spontaneous remission in cancer -

Josh Clark: Spontaneous combustion.

Chuck Bryant: Spontaneous remission, obviously, is when you go into remission with no known cause, not from any treatment. And he says this is explained because you have a profound change in your perception of your life and what life is all about. And that could potentially alter the epigenome.

Josh Clark: Well, you could also make a case that what this guy's talking about is decreasing stress. Which stress just wrecks havoc on us.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, good point.

Josh Clark: And could create methel tags and altered gene expression. So maybe he's just using a quacky way of describing lowering your own stress levels by increasing self confidence.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah, it's interesting when you see these people, though, and you watch a YouTube video. And you think, "Oh, my gosh. That's the secret to the future." And then you see all these other people that go, "That guy is such a quack."

Josh Clark: Yeah, but at the same time you could say, "Well, maybe those other people are unimaginative."

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. Good point.

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Josh Clark: So if you want to learn more about epigenetics, I strongly recommend the University of Utah's website. Have you been on it, Chuck?

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. Why didn't you recommend that to me?

Josh Clark: Did you see it?

Chuck Bryant: I don't think so.

Josh Clark: I did. I did.

Chuck Bryant: Oh, this was like a month ago when we -

Josh Clark: Yes. You can turn up gene expression, turn it down. There's a lot of foods that you should eat if you want to alter yourself epigenetically, especially if you're pregnant.

Chuck Bryant: Or go to YouTube and watch The Ghost in Your Genes from PBS. It is literally mind blowing. Well, not literally. People always say literally. It's figuratively mind blowing.

Josh Clark: You're mind just explodes. Talk about changing your genetic expression. And if you want to read some very beautiful prose on epigenetics chock full of flight simulator references, read How Epigenetics Works by typing epigenetics in the handy search bar at howstuffworks.com. Which means it's time for listener mail.

Chuck Bryant: Yes, indeed, Josh. Josh, you remember Sarah, the amazing 11-year-old fan?

Josh Clark: She's not 11 anymore.

Chuck Bryant: Who captured our hearts when she first emailed early on in the days of podcasting?

Josh Clark: Yes, I do. She was one of the first fans actually.

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. Sarah the amazing 11-year-old fan is now Sarah the amazing 13-year-old fan.

Josh Clark: Gosh.

Chuck Bryant: I know.

Josh Clark: I feel so old now.

Chuck Bryant: We should -

Josh Clark: We've been doing this awhile.

Chuck Bryant: Well, yeah. And once a year we should update people on Sarah's age. And then when she graduates - if we're still doing this in five years - college, we should go - or high school! We should go to her graduation or something.

Josh Clark: We should give the commencement speech.

Chuck Bryant: We should.

Josh Clark: I call valedictorian.

Chuck Bryant: Well, yeah. And the principal would be like, "Who are you guys? Can we get security in here?"

Josh Clark: We'll say, "I'm the valedictorian and he's the salutatorian, what do you mean?"

Chuck Bryant: So this comes from Sarah. She checks in with us from time to time. And she's still just as cute at 13. She's not all bratty now that she's a teenager. "Hello to some of my favorite people. Today, I earned some strange looks from people about my knowledge of LEGOS, or LEGO bricks. I also tried making a sphere of LEGO, but I couldn't figure it out. Also, today's my birthday. I'm really excited that I'm finally a teen - yahoo. You remember what I asked for?" And what she asked for, she's got a blog now and she asked if one of us could comment on her blog. And I went to her blog and commented. And her blog is basically her and her little friend talking back and forth to each other about stuff.

Josh Clark: Oh, how cute. Do they dot their I's with hearts?

Chuck Bryant: No. I don't think you can do that. But it is really really cute. And I'm actually going to encourage people to go to her blog. I hope she gets mad traffic. And her blog, Josh, is sarahlovesaustrailiancommercials.webs.com. And here is the clincher. It's S-A-R-A-H.

Josh Clark: There's no www, right?

Chuck Bryant: No. And she misspells Australian.

Josh Clark: All over the place.

Chuck Bryant: All over her blog.

Josh Clark: Which makes it even cuter?

Chuck Bryant: She spells it Austrailian.

Josh Clark: So it's like aus trail ian.

Chuck Bryant: I-A-N.

Josh Clark: Right. So spell the whole URL.

Chuck Bryant: http://sarahlovesaustrailiancommercials.webs.

comJosh Clark: Whew.

Chuck Bryant: And I hope people go by there and check it out.

Josh Clark: I hope so, too.

Chuck Bryant: So she turned 13. She says, "By the way, can you please not tell Kristen, Molly, or Katie that I think you guys are better than them." I think that would be kind of like bragging.

Josh Clark: It would be kind of like bragging, which is why we would never do it.

Chuck Bryant: We would never tell them, and I'm sure they don't listen to our show, so they'll never know. And then she closes - and Emily just thought this was the cutest thing ever, "Well, so long farewell auf wiedersehen, goodbye. Adieu, adieu, to you and you and you." And then in parenthesis, she says, "In case you didn't know, that was from The Sound of Music."

Josh Clark: Yeah, "So long, farewell" -

Chuck Bryant: Yeah. And that's one of Emily's favorite - you should sing the rest of it, too.

Josh Clark: "Adieu, adieu, to you, and you, and you."

Chuck Bryant: So Sarah, happy birthday. You're awesome. You're a dedicated fan.

Josh Clark: Clearly she is.

Chuck Bryant: And we just think you're super cool.

Josh Clark: And good luck with the blog. If you do learn how to dot I's with a heart, we want to know, Sarah. Happy birthday to you! If you want to become a fan who's captured our hearts, send us something interesting. We want another super fan.

Chuck Bryant: And be a cute little kid. Otherwise, you're not going to capture our hearts.

Josh Clark: That helps as well. Broken English doesn't hurt, too.

Chuck Bryant: True.

Josh Clark: You can send and email to stuffpodcast@howstuffworks.com.

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