[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: August, 2015
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.