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Rank #112 in Technology category

Technology

Most Useful Podcast Ever

Updated about 8 hours ago

Rank #112 in Technology category

Technology
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A podcast for getting things done. Popular Mechanics Editor Jacqueline Detwiler hosts a rotating cast of characters who answer tough questions and provide tips for being smart about life.

Read more

A podcast for getting things done. Popular Mechanics Editor Jacqueline Detwiler hosts a rotating cast of characters who answer tough questions and provide tips for being smart about life.

iTunes Ratings

130 Ratings
Average Ratings
79
21
18
4
8

Where are you?

By james in las vegas - Aug 09 2019
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R u guys coming back? I miss you. Surely you can find people who can do this in PA?

very informative

By Plops Mcgoo - Nov 04 2018
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I always learn something new with this one. I wish they uploaded more often!

iTunes Ratings

130 Ratings
Average Ratings
79
21
18
4
8

Where are you?

By james in las vegas - Aug 09 2019
Read more
R u guys coming back? I miss you. Surely you can find people who can do this in PA?

very informative

By Plops Mcgoo - Nov 04 2018
Read more
I always learn something new with this one. I wish they uploaded more often!

Listen to:

Cover image of Most Useful Podcast Ever

Most Useful Podcast Ever

Updated about 8 hours ago

Read more

A podcast for getting things done. Popular Mechanics Editor Jacqueline Detwiler hosts a rotating cast of characters who answer tough questions and provide tips for being smart about life.

Beer!

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The Most Useful Podcast Ever meets its first beer cicerone, James Watt, who is also the cofounder of Brewdog. He tastes a few random beers we got together and the results are very impressive. On this episode, Popular Mechanics technology editor Alex George and TV fan and executive editor Peter Martin also help host Jacqui Detwiler buy a TV on the air, and senior home editor Roy Berendsohn brews coffee using a machine from a company that usually makes power tools. 

Oct 03 2016

38mins

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Spring Cleaning

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It's been a LONG winter, which means your place, car, and stuff could probably use a deep clean and some fresh air. On this episode, we talk to the Good Housekeeping Institute about dry cleaning, and visit the Corona Maintenance Facility in Queens to find out how the NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority cleans subway cars.  

Apr 13 2018

42mins

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The Booze Library and the Ultimate DIY Mindmeld

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With snow and cold descending across the Midwest and Northeast, we talk to the owner of StilL 630 spirits in St. Louis, about an experimental booze library that sounds like an excellent place to while away the winter. We also test winter jackets and bring in two popular mechanics greats—senior home editor Roy Berendsohn and contributing editor Joseph Truini—to explain how the heck popcorn ceilings happened. 

Feb 04 2019

44mins

Play

Wanna be a Secret Agent?

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Excited to go see Red Sparrow tonight? Find out how Jason Matthews, the movie's author, used his own experience as a CIA agent to make the story realistic. Also on this episode, we visit a brand new Spy museum in midtown Manhattan, and attempt an escape method that appears in former CIA officer Jason Hanson's new book, Survive Like a Spy. 

Mar 01 2018

43mins

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Woodworking for Mere Mortals

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Handy guy Steve Ramsey has almost 800,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel Woodworking for Mere Mortals, and yet he still found time to talk to the Most Useful Podcast Ever about the most necessary tools for a beginner's workshop. He even gives listeners a sneak peak at what's coming up next for his channel. Also on this episode, tech editor Alex George tells us the sneaky apps that are stealing your data when you're not looking; we test a crime-finding app called Citizen; and the hosts have a filter-off, to find out whose air conditioning system is the most disgusting. 

Jul 21 2017

38mins

Play

The Spice Man

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Burlap & Barrel founder Ethan Frisch is a cool dude. He travels around the world finding smallholder spice farmers and connecting them with customers so that they're not exploited by huge, impersonal supply chains. He's also a former chef who knows a heck of a lot about how to use the incredible products he brings back to the States. Also on this episode, we learn to stir cocktails properly, technology editor Alex George explains how to block annoying exes and shady robo-calls, and Roy talks stubby screwdrivers. 

Apr 27 2018

43mins

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Fighting the Freeze

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Ever wondered about the scientific reasons behind drafty rooms and overactive boilers? Wonder no more! On this episode, Henry Gifford, author of Buildings Don't Lie, explains how humidity affects a cold room, why your thermostat has a tough time accounting for wind, and how restaurant cooling systems account for hot bowls of soup. Also on this episode: Cleaning up the holiday decorations, anti-virus software for phones, and smart tips for surviving a nuclear apocalypse. 

Jan 05 2018

37mins

Play

Big Ideas

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This episode, we decided to delve into some of the more serious, thoughtful, and future-thinking topics Popular Mechanics covers. In keeping with the theme, we interview iceman Wim Hof about how he changes his own autonomic nervous system so he can hang out in freezing temperatures for hours. (If you want to learn even more than what Wim explains in the segment, check out www.wimhofmethod.com.) Not in keeping with the theme, we also test out a soda called kvass, which is sort of like Russian kombucha. 

Aug 17 2018

48mins

Play

New Year, New You

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Are you ready to turn some of our awesome life tips into full-time habits? Then check out this episode, which includes tricks for changing your life from Stanford researcher BJ Fogg, who studies the ways technology influences health habits and started the website tinyhabits.com. After that, we dig in deep with some Shop Notes for the New Year. And beer lover Matt Allyn tests a fitness tracker called THE BEAST. 

Jan 06 2017

28mins

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The Olympics

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Not all summer Olympic sports are as well known as swimming and gymnastics. How much do you know about steeplechase, the triple jump and racewalking? Not much? That's ok. This week's episode delves into the rules and history of unusual Olympic events, as well as who to watch for if they turn up on your TV. We also talk to a leather expert from Wickett & Craig tannery about keeping leather nice in wet weather, and we send our fact checker out on a run in a pair of Cole Haan dress shoes. 

Aug 05 2016

31mins

Play

A Technology Showdown!

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We puzzled over what to call this week's guest segment—the Dork Debate seemed too mean, so we went with Future of Technology Free-for-all. In fairness though, Popular Mechanics technology editor Alex George and CNET senior editor Dan Ackerman are neither dorks nor particularly pugnacious. They got along surprisingly well, often agreeing on the best ways to buy laptops, select phone plans, and play in virtual reality. Also on this episode, Peter Martin gets a too-late lesson from Roy in applying mortar to his bluestone patio (whoops), automotive editor Ezra Dyer tries out a jet ski that can go 70 mph, and we unearth a RIDICULOUSLY cool fact about parrotfish poop.  

Nov 10 2017

41mins

Play

Holiday cocktails and cleaning the house

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With so many people coming over for the holidays, it's probably wise to make sure your grout is clean and your chimney in working order. You'll also want to stock up on some booze. Perhaps something unexpected, like cachaça? On this episode, we talk to Avuá Cachaça founder, Pete Nevenglosky, about the Brazilian tradition of aging the spirit in all sorts of different woods, giving you tips for what to buy. We also try out beers created by, or for, celebrities, and wax philosophical on both Christmas movies and moustaches. 

Dec 26 2018

48mins

Play

Road Trip!

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On today's show, MUPE tackles the most all-American of vacations: The summer road trip. We call up Kevin's mom, who is somewhere in Idaho in the midst of a weeks-long trip around the northern US. We ask Alex George about the best gadgets to take in the car. Sunny Kim tells us about her favorite road trips around the US. And then everyone convenes to eat way... way... way too much junk food in pursuit of an answer to an important question: Best snacks for the road?

Jul 20 2018

50mins

Play

Ask Roy!

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Popular Mechanics Senior Home Editor Roy Berendsohn is a font of mechanical knowledge. In this episode, we asked him to give us his top tips for winter, and ended up learning about physics, fans and tumblesnow. On the testing table, we try out an $8,000 camera.

Jan 23 2017

31mins

Play

How to Get Rich on Bitcoin (maybe?)

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Do you know what the heck people are talking about when they say they got rich on Bitcoin? We didn't either. Thankfully, technology editor Alex George has been doing a deep dive on cryptocurrencies, from Bitcoin to Ethereum. Also on this episode: The dark side of LED lights, and a guide to the new Apple Homepod. 

Feb 16 2018

41mins

Play

All-Testing Tables!

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Portable table saws, a wash-free gym shirt, a USB-based coffee cup, we'll test anything! Whether you're buying new stuff for yourself or gifts for your friends, you'll leave this episode with a ton of smart new ideas—and no buyers remorse.

Jan 18 2019

45mins

Play

Ticks!

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Ok, ok, we scared you guys with the threat of Lyme disease, and while we do have a neurologist on this episode to tell us how to catch the disease early, it's not the only topic we cover this week. Solutions to summer scourges abound on this episode: We tell you how to combat sunburn, mildew, and even international roaming charges.

If you want to know even more about Lyme disease, visit Project Lyme or Dr. Elena Frid's website.

Jul 07 2017

33mins

Play

Eggs, 3D printing and keyboard hacks

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On this episode of the Most Useful Podcast Ever,  Austin Robey, founder of Brooklyn 3D-printing studio MakeMode, stops by to tell us who stands to benefit most from the 3D printing revolution. Then, associate editor Matt Goulet tries out four methods of peeling hardboiled eggs, senior home editor Roy Berendsohn tells us about the old song that made everyone confuse concrete and cement, and some of the staff members break their keyboards and try to find a better way to wake up. 

Mar 21 2016

24mins

Play

Office Survivor

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With Apple’s battle over phone security in the news, the Most Useful Podcast Ever finds out how to keep your iPhone safe from criminals. Then, in honor of Popular Mechanics’ annual Survival issue, Shane Hobel of Mountain Scout Survival School stops by to teach us that there’s more than one way to start a fire, and we play a game of intra-office Survivor, in which executive editor Sean Manning does not fare well. 

Feb 19 2016

24mins

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Coffee and Taxes

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Taxes are boring, but comedian and certified public accountant Greg Kyteisn’t. On today’s Most Useful Podcast Ever, he gives us tax tips thatwon’t make you fall asleep on your desk. After that, Alex George tells ushow to pimp your WiFi, Roy Berendsohn explains the particleboard family, and the Testing Table goes camping.

Apr 15 2016

32mins

Play

Time to Say Goodbye

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Hi y'all from Jacqui, Peter, Kevin, Eleanor and Roy! We've had an amazing, enlightening time creating this podcast for you for the last four years, but it's time for something new. Listen for our goodbyes and all the fun stuff we learned putting Most Useful together, and keep your eyes peeled for new episodes from a new cast. 

Apr 25 2019

45mins

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The Least Useful Podcast Ever, Part III

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Every year, the week of April Fool's Day, we take a break from providing our listeners with useful information, and instead do stuff like taste the new orange-vanilla Coke and try to explain movies we've never seen. Do you want to know a whole bunch of unproven home medical treatments invented by our gym manager's Italian dad? We sure hope so. They're hilarious. 

Apr 04 2019

45mins

Play

Collecting Dust

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One day, when they were having lunch at their local bar, Rick Kiley and Jeff Boedges had an interesting idea: What if they came back one day and finished this weird old bottle of booze that had been sitting there for years? Well, they did it, and then turned it into a web series called "Collecting Dust." On this week's episode, they talk about weird liquors, including Galliano, which Jacqui has been wondering about for decades. Also on this episode, cognac facts, lawnmower buying tips, and a second trip to Alex's weird desk. 

Mar 15 2019

45mins

Play

The Drug Lord

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We'll be the first to admit that the Most Useful Podcast Ever doesn't pursue a lot of hard-hitting journalism, but that's ok, because this week's guest, Elaine Shannon, certainly does. She came upon the story of criminal mastermind Paul Leroux while tracking the drug trade in Afghanistan, and eventually wrote a book—Hunting LeRoux: The Inside Story of the DEA Takedown of a Criminal Genius and His Empire—with the help of the DEA agents who took him down (two of whom also joined us for this week's podcast). Also on this episode: Sinks and toilets, sawdust, and the Houston rodeo. 

Mar 01 2019

48mins

Play

The Dog Days of Winter

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Deep in the middle of winter, it would be easy to hole up on the couch with a bag of Doritos and watch TV. But wouldn't it be more fun to get outside? On this episode, field editor James Lynch gives us a rundown of all the cool new gear he saw at the Outdoor Retailer show in Denver, Colorado. First-time podcast guest and Popular Mechanics senior articles editor Ross McCammon talks about camping in the winter (yes, outside), and our new intern, who is an Eagle Scout, tells us about some badges you might want to earn. 

Feb 15 2019

45mins

Play

The Booze Library and the Ultimate DIY Mindmeld

Podcast cover
Read more

With snow and cold descending across the Midwest and Northeast, we talk to the owner of StilL 630 spirits in St. Louis, about an experimental booze library that sounds like an excellent place to while away the winter. We also test winter jackets and bring in two popular mechanics greats—senior home editor Roy Berendsohn and contributing editor Joseph Truini—to explain how the heck popcorn ceilings happened. 

Feb 04 2019

44mins

Play

All-Testing Tables!

Podcast cover
Read more

Portable table saws, a wash-free gym shirt, a USB-based coffee cup, we'll test anything! Whether you're buying new stuff for yourself or gifts for your friends, you'll leave this episode with a ton of smart new ideas—and no buyers remorse.

Jan 18 2019

45mins

Play

Myth: The Week Between Christmas and NYE is Boring. Verdict: Busted!

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With the office nearly empty between Christmas and New Year's, Jacqui and Tech Editor Alex George introduce the only other person in the office: PM's new Video Producer/Editor/Videographer, Todd Bogin. Todd shares some tips on what makes compelling video. Then he helps Jacqui plumb the depths of Alex's junk drawer, where Alex keeps all the stuff he's tested... and super spicy ramen. Next, the kids who will be helping Adam Savage bust myths on the new show Mythbusters Jr. stop by to talk about how much cooler their new job is than being in class. Unfortunately, they don't get to stick around for the final segment, which involves a creme brulee torch. Then again, they blow up cars. Everyone wins.

Jan 04 2019

33mins

Play

Holiday cocktails and cleaning the house

Podcast cover
Read more

With so many people coming over for the holidays, it's probably wise to make sure your grout is clean and your chimney in working order. You'll also want to stock up on some booze. Perhaps something unexpected, like cachaça? On this episode, we talk to Avuá Cachaça founder, Pete Nevenglosky, about the Brazilian tradition of aging the spirit in all sorts of different woods, giving you tips for what to buy. We also try out beers created by, or for, celebrities, and wax philosophical on both Christmas movies and moustaches. 

Dec 26 2018

48mins

Play

The Annual Holiday Shopping Guide

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Do you know what you're getting all your friends and family for the holidays? If so, good for you, overachiever. For the rest of us, the staff of Popular Mechanics gives a rundown on the hottest shopping tickets for this year, including a Lego Bugatti and a screwdriver that only costs $3. Also on this episode, Roy talks bedbug eradication, Google Fi comes to the iPhone, and the testing table tastes Japanese candy. 

Dec 07 2018

48mins

Play

Popular Mechanics Thanksgiving!

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In an episode chock-full of things we're thankful for, we start out by speaking with Steven Caple, Jr., the director of the new movie Creed II. We highly recommend checking it out this Thanksgiving--preferably early in the day, before you fall into a tryptophan coma. Another guest, funny car champ Ron Capps, shares how grateful he is to the crew that builds, maintains, and starts the cars he drives, which get to 100 mph in 60 feet and are prone to explosions. Peter Martin and Eleanor Hildebrandt make appearances, mainly to discuss the phenomenon of Black Friday. And finally, Roy Berendsohn weights in on dinner table power tool use. Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 21 2018

47mins

Play

Would You Go to Mars?

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The Martian author Andy Weir is really into Mars. So much so that National Geographic tapped him to be an expert on their series Mars, about what human colonization of the red planet might be like. In advance of the season two premiere, Andy stops by the office to talk about the biggest challenges to living on Mars, methods we might use to get there, and whether he'd go himself. (Spoiler alert: Heck no) Also on this episode, technology editor Alex George explains the hierarchy of Apple products, and the Testing Table makes Ramen Krispie Treats in the microwave. 

Nov 09 2018

46mins

Play

THE MARATHON

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Endurance races have gotten substantially more popular over the last several years, which means a lot of people with not a lot of experience are tackling serious miles on foot or by bike. One of those people is your humble host Jacqueline Detwiler, who is running her first marathon in New York City on November 4th. To get ready, she and the rest of the team talked to running experts at New York Road Runners (who also gave some tips on watching a marathon), and went on a trip to Staten Island to check out the New York Sports Science Lab, which has rooms and rooms full of gadgets that can train boxers, runners, football players, even professional bowlers. We also drank some beer specially made for exercise recovery, and learned some pretty wild track facts. 

Nov 01 2018

50mins

Play

How to Invent Everything

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Ryan North's new book, How to Invent Everything, addresses that question that's probably been sitting in the back of your brain since you were a kid: If you got stuck in a previous time period, could you survive on your wits alone? Ryan says yes, so long as you bring a little advice. Also on this episode, field editor James Lynch talks about riding a Boosted Board between New York City and Philadelphia; Roy talks about chopping and seasoning firewood; tech editor Alex George uses a video game to test drive a Maclaren you can't even buy; and the testing table tries out gravity blankets.  

Oct 12 2018

47mins

Play

This is Real Life

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The editors of Popular Mechanics have been crazy busy dealing with real life tasks lately, but what they learned doing their weekend work is great fodder for a podcast that's supposed to make your life easier. First, Roy spruces up a rental apartment in-between tenants. Kevin tries (unsuccessfully) to remove a bunch of stuck bolts from his Jeep. And automotive editor Ezra Dyer waits out hurricane Florence down in North Carolina and then takes a Silverado to harder hit areas to try to help out.  

Sep 28 2018

43mins

Play

The Roy and Alex Spectacular!

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Do you know how many eyes Popular Mechanics home editor Roy Berendsohn has? Two. And that's thanks to his diligent wearing of safety goggles. On this episode, we'll learn what items Roy deems essential to wear when doing work, plus how to make sure your house isn't leaking heat or air conditioning. Meanwhile, technology editor Alex George has some ideas about products you can bring back to school, and we test out a recipe from PM's How to Make Anything issue: Shaking butter in a ball jar. 

Sep 17 2018

47mins

Play

Friday Movie Night

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In honor of tonight's premiere of the new action flick Kin, starring Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, James Franco and Zoë Kravitz, we talk to the directors about crazy stunts and shots, as well as how they came up with their high-tech mystery weapon. Also on this episode, Alex George talks gaming computers, Roy Berendsohn helps Peter find the source of a water stain on his ceiling, and we try out some weird glasses that blink when you move your head. 

Aug 31 2018

39mins

Play

Big Ideas

Podcast cover
Read more

This episode, we decided to delve into some of the more serious, thoughtful, and future-thinking topics Popular Mechanics covers. In keeping with the theme, we interview iceman Wim Hof about how he changes his own autonomic nervous system so he can hang out in freezing temperatures for hours. (If you want to learn even more than what Wim explains in the segment, check out www.wimhofmethod.com.) Not in keeping with the theme, we also test out a soda called kvass, which is sort of like Russian kombucha. 

Aug 17 2018

48mins

Play

Well, that was random

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Sometimes at the Popular Mechanics office, we have a lot of interesting things to talk about, but none of them have anything to do with each other. We figure that's fine—the smartest people always know enough to be conversant about a lot of different topics. For example: By the end of this episode, you'll know how to take care of a brand new baby, exercise in a rubber band suit,  keep plants alive,  route a cable around a door, and make brown butter bourbon. Just probably not all at the same time. 

Aug 08 2018

50mins

Play

Road Trip!

Podcast cover
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On today's show, MUPE tackles the most all-American of vacations: The summer road trip. We call up Kevin's mom, who is somewhere in Idaho in the midst of a weeks-long trip around the northern US. We ask Alex George about the best gadgets to take in the car. Sunny Kim tells us about her favorite road trips around the US. And then everyone convenes to eat way... way... way too much junk food in pursuit of an answer to an important question: Best snacks for the road?

Jul 20 2018

50mins

Play