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Most Useful Podcast Ever


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.

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.


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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.




Time to Say Goodbye

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The Least Useful Podcast Ever, Part III

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Collecting Dust

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...


The Drug Lord

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...


The Dog Days of Winter

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...


The Booze Library and the Ultimate DIY Mindmeld

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


All-Testing Tables!

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


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

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...


Holiday cocktails and cleaning the house

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...


The Annual Holiday Shopping Guide

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Popular Mechanics Thanksgiving!

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...


Would You Go to Mars?

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...



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...


How to Invent Everything

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...


This is Real Life

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...


The Roy and Alex Spectacular!

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....


Friday Movie Night

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...


Big Ideas

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 Not in keeping with the theme, we also test out a soda called kvass, which is sort of like Russian...


Well, that was random

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...


Road Trip!

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? Learn more about your ad...