[MOVED] Most Useful Podcast Ever

A podcast for getting things done. Popular Mechanics Editors Roy Berendsohn and Jacqueline Detwiler answer listener questions and track down answers.
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[MOVED] Most Useful Podcast Ever



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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 24, 2015

On today's episode, in advance of your New Year’s Eve party, we take science into our own hands and test a variety of hangover prevention products—on ourselves.  Our post-office party Testing Table is a little bit groggy but hopefully still informative. Just in case it’s not, we also talk to Dr. Jason Burke, the founder of Hangover Heaven in Las Vegas, a clinic that treats hangovers. He tells us why they are so debilitating, and which hangover remedies we should take next time.

Dec 12, 2015

Our editors suggest gifts for all those you may have in your life, from that teenager you don't know so well, to your girlfriend's Dad. Plus, we'll explain how to talk about technology to the older generation, and we test out which vacuum flask will keep your coco the warmest. 

Nov 24, 2015

In this episode, chef Wylie Dufresne demonstrates the best way to carve whatever fowl you might be having this Thanksgiving, whether it’s a traditional turkey, or, as it was in our podcast studio, an overcooked rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods supermarket. Then, at the testing roundtable, we crash test Motorola’s new shatterproof phone, the Droid Turbo 2, and see if a copper-infused t-shirt can help us jump father, stretch better, or even look good. 

Nov 13, 2015

Amateur astronomer Ed Ting explains why the contributions of hobbyists like himself are still vital in the field of astronomy and helps others launch their own star obsessions with tips about telescopes, telescope targets, and light pollution. On Testing Table, we review Apple's new extra large iPad Pro, a vibrating physiotherapy ball that could shake your house down, and technology that threatens to disrupt your package. (Hint: It’s men’s underwear). 

Oct 30, 2015

We talk to a professional haunted house designer Larry Kirschner about how you can creep out your crib for the holiday with items you have around the house. Then, in this week's Testing Table, we have the Great Pumpkin Carve Off—we test out three pumpkin carving tools and then taste test some candy. 

Oct 16, 2015

We chat with Todd Strauss-Schulson, director of the new movie The Final Girls, about how he created the unique and creative shots in his film, and how we can make our own movies more interesting. 

Plus we'll go for a ride on a carbon fiber skate board, blow bubbles in our bourbon, and sniff out trouble.


Oct 2, 2015

We talk to Sam Polcer, director of comunications for Bike New York, about the best way to move in the city and how cars and bikes can all just get along. Then Senior Home Editor Roy Berendsohn gives us the dirt on how to put your lawn to bed for the winter. And our Testing Table takes a field trip to Central Park, to shoot some hoops with a new app that tracks your shots, and to test glide the new Monorover.

Sep 28, 2015

In our last episode, “Sleep,” senior editor Andrew Del Colle reviewed an Audi diesel car.  Shortly after posting that episode, news broke of Volkswagen’s cheating during diesel fuel emissions tests.  In this special episode Andrew returns to discuss the VW scandal and its implications.

Sep 18, 2015

If you have trouble sleeping, cross “astronaut” off your list of future careers. Residents of the International Space Station watch the sun set and then rise again every 90 minutes, meaning in one 24-hour period they experience about 16 cycles of the sun. Talk about confusing your circadian rhythm.

But even earth-dwellers experience their fair share of problems with sleep—about 1 in 5 Americans struggle with getting to bed at night or staying alert during the day. To get some insight on how you can get some shut eye, we spoke to Dr. Charles Czeisler, the chief of the division of sleep and circadian disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, as well as our insomniac editorial assistant Cameron Johnson to get some tips.

Sep 4, 2015

You know how, when you show up to a barbecue, the first thing everyone looks at is what’s in your hand? It’s usually a sixer of some summer-friendly brew—Bell’s Oberon or Abita Strawberry—a package of brats, a bag of kettle-cooked potato chips. If you’re really creative, maybe a tray of handmade burgers with a dash of Worcestershire and chopped onions mixed in.But let’s say you want to impress your fellow Labor Day barbecue guests, and you didn’t have time to you suck at doing the cannonball, and you’re not the guy in charge of the play list. There is still hope: Show up with a bag of crabs.

In this episode we talk to Spike Gjerde, a Baltimore based James Beard award winning Chef, to get the hard sell, on soft-shell crabs. He'll explain how to choose, clean and cook your crabs, and how to eat them. 

Plus we introduce a new segment we're calling, The Curious Idiot. Wherein editor Kevin Dupzyk finally learns how to Bluetooth his phone with Tech editor Alex George. 

And final, we'll head to the testing round table and suit up for a talk about cameras, breathing, and the golden age of overalls. 


Aug 14, 2015

“Sitting is the new smoking” might be the most tired health cliché of the decade. Yeah, we get it. Spending the whole day in a chair isn’t healthy. Thing is: it’s not wrong. Sitting at work contributes to such diseases as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, even cancer. And even after-work exercise might not be able to compensate for the ill effects.

Back pain we get, but how does just sitting cause cancer? For one thing, when you spend a lot of time seated, cells in your muscles can become resistant to insulin, the agent that drives sugar from your bloodstream into your cells to be used, says James Levine, a doctor of endocrinology and a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic. That causes a huge spike in blood sugar and triglycerides, the fat cells in your blood, right after you eat. If you continue sitting after eating, your blood sugar levels can remain high for two or three hours. Meanwhile, your body will continue producing extra insulin to try to push the sugar levels down.

Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer are all associated with high blood sugar and high insulin. But if you take a walk after you eat, even for just 15 minutes, your triglycerides, cholesterol and blood sugar will be halved. Here’s where the standing desk comes in: Even without thinking about it, on average, people with standing desks end up walking an extra 1 to 2 hours per day, making them more physically active and reducing insulin resistance, which can improve health in innumerable ways.

In short, standing itself isn’t going to solve your health problems, but it will position you, literally, to do more walking, which could prolong your life.

Aug 7, 2015

One of the scariest things about living in New York city in the summer is that you're constantly being dripped on. You can never be sure if it's rain, or somebody else's sweat, or air conditioner condensation, or worse, humidity that collects on the ceiling of the subway station and then drips on your face. 

Basically the only way to get away from that is to stay inside, or join the mass exodus from the city to get to real water at the beach. So on today's episode we looked into tips that could improve either situation. We asked a sculptor in north Florida how to make a stand-up paddle board you can ride on waves or flat water.

Then we learned about hacking an air conditioning window unit to fit an outdated electrical system.And last, because we're going a little stir crazy, we made up a game show slash drinking game, and used it to test a new iPhone mounted breathalyzer.




Jul 24, 2015


When buying a freezer, most of us consider the size and energy usage of a new model, but not other factors that can influence freezer burn and flavor. In this edition of PM’s Most Useful Podcast Ever, we play with a flash-freezing machine made by a scientific supply company and talk to Penn State University food scientist Luke LaBorde to find out how frozen food works and what you can do to keep stored meats and vegetables tasty.


We also talk to Popular Mechanics’ Senior Home Editor Roy Berendsohn about hard and soft water, and consider whether we’d use Phiaton’s BT 220NC headphones, Flugz Hearing Protection Earplugs, and a very strange food substitute called Soylent.

This episode is sponsored by Braintree.  To learn more, and for your first $50,000 in transactions fee-free, go to

Jul 23, 2015

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