Cover image of Most Useful Podcast Ever
(132)

Rank #117 in Technology category

Technology

Most Useful Podcast Ever

Updated 5 days ago

Rank #117 in Technology category

Technology
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.

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

132 Ratings
Average Ratings
81
21
19
4
7

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!

iTunes Ratings

132 Ratings
Average Ratings
81
21
19
4
7

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!
Cover image of Most Useful Podcast Ever

Most Useful Podcast Ever

Latest release on Apr 25, 2019

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.

Rank #1: Beer!

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Rank #2: Spring Cleaning

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Rank #3: New Year, New You

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Rank #4: Fighting the Freeze

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #5: How to Get Rich on Bitcoin (maybe?)

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #6: 2018 Tech Preview (Plus the Wood Whisperer!)

Podcast cover
Read more

Who knew there were so many hinge-impaired people in the Popular Mechanics office? Jacqui and Kevin have both hung cabinet doors poorly over the years, which is why today, Marc Spagnuolo of The WoodWhisperer.com calls in to tell us everything we did wrong, and how to fix it. Also on this episode: Tech editor Alex George tells us all the cool stuff he saw at CES, we test weird new slippers, and Jacqui makes homemade amaro. 

Jan 22 2018

38mins

Play

Rank #7: Road Trip!

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #8: The Least Useful Podcast Ever, part 2

Podcast cover
Read more

Do you want to be the most informed person on your block? We sure do. That's why we put together today's episode, full of incredibly useful tips for living the smartest life possible. 

April Fools! 

Apr 02 2018

35mins

Play

Rank #9: 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

Rank #10: The Great Car Noise Challenge

Podcast cover
Read more

Chris of Chrisfix.com and Popular Mechanics car editor Ezra Dyer join the cast of the Most Useful Podcast Ever to diagnose car sounds we found on the internet. We also talk about what to do if you find a lost baby bird, how to protect your home from falling trees, and the best way to move (Hint: Not on September first). 

Aug 04 2017

39mins

Play

Rank #11: How to Invent Everything

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #12: Ticks!

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #13: Cooking with your Shop Vac

Podcast cover
Read more

The managing culinary director of Serious Eats, J. Kenji  López-Alt, has some crazy ideas about tools you can use for cooking. Like, he uses actual tools that you might find in the garage. Also on this episode, tech editor Alex George does not get eaten by a shark, Peter Martin learns to sew on a button, and Roy Berendsohn rates instruction manuals.

Sep 29 2017

38mins

Play

Rank #14: Homemade Donuts with Wylie Dufresne

Podcast cover
Read more

Founder of molecular gastronomy Wylie Dufresne is making donuts these days, so we asked him to come by the studio and make us some. They turned out super tasty—topped with crazy flavored sugars combined with chemistry ingredients. Also on this episode, Roy talks road salt, our Vermont correspondent calls in to explain boot care, and we test last minute Superbowl snacks. 

Feb 05 2018

36mins

Play

Rank #15: Biohacking so you don't have to

Podcast cover
Read more

On this episode of the Most Useful Podcast Ever, Jacqueline Detwiler tries biohacking to (hopefully!) become smarter, healthier, happier, more creative and more productive. Experimenting with specialized diets, float tanks, and microbiome testing, we try to find out what works and what doesn’t. Dr. Molly Maloof calls in to explain the science behind biohacking as a legitimate way to improve our bodies, and tech editor Alex George explains how to train your mind to go back to school. Lastly, we try CBD oil, a chemical in marijuana, to see if we can actually feel it working. 

Jul 11 2018

49mins

Play

Rank #16: Make Your Own Luck!

Podcast cover
Read more

There's a lot of superstition about Friday the 13th, but here at the Most Useful Podcast Ever, we believe that it's preparedness that creates luck. First up, we carve pumpkins with Hugh Mcmahon, who creates faces, animals and even ads in gourds. Mcmahon brings his tools and teaches us the secrets to carving (and preserving) a beautiful pumpkin. Later, Roy Berendsohn tells home renovation ghost stories, we fix back-breaking cracks in the sidewalk, and we try out a super difficult hand-drawn videogame that is taking the country by storm.

Oct 13 2017

40mins

Play

Rank #17: Smart Camping and Backyard Renovation

Podcast cover
Read more

Summer is heating up and the Most Useful Podcast Ever has advice for you for all of it. First, we talk to the authors of Popular Mechanics' investigation into camping in 2018, with advice on site booking, packing food, truck camping and something called packrafting. We talk to Peter Martin about how they made this summer's blockbusters, including a crazy series of stunts Tom Cruise pulled off, and Roy Berendsohn leads a conversation about what we learned working on our boss's backyard, including how to work a mini-rototiller and the best way to burn brush. 

Jun 22 2018

38mins

Play

Rank #18: Well, that was random

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #19: *Bzzz* *SLAP!*

Podcast cover
Read more

Mosquitos suck, particularly in August, when people are still eating outside and the camping is just starting to get good. On this episode, we talk to Joe Conlon, technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association, about DEET, citronella, and how to avoid getting bit. Thus provisioned, we spend most of the episode out in Central Park, testing pedal-assist E-bikes on a huge hill, and getting Frisbee lessons from an editor who went to college in Vermont. 

Aug 18 2017

37mins

Play

Rank #20: Snakes, Bears and the Infinite Scroll

Podcast cover
Read more

Our guest on the podcast this week is a very smart, very adventurous dude named Brendan Leonard, a climber, ultrarunner and general outdoorsman who recently wrote a book called The Great Outdoors: A Users Guide. He gives us tips on how to survive everything that can go wrong while you're out on an adventure, from darkness to cold to rattlesnakes. We also test golf shoelaces, and the Curious Idiot gets into a fight with a scrolling webpage. 

May 01 2017

33mins

Play

Time to Say Goodbye

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

The Least Useful Podcast Ever, Part III

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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!

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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!

Podcast cover
Read more

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?

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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!

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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
Read more

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

iTunes Ratings

132 Ratings
Average Ratings
81
21
19
4
7

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!