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Preview: The Popular Mechanics Show

The Popular Mechanics Show

The podcast radio show of Popular Mechanics magazine, featuring engaging talk and interviews on automotive technology, electronics, science and news.

Published: Mon, 12 Jan 2009 18:00:00 -0500

Last Build Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2009 18:00:00 -0500

Copyright: (c) Hearst Communications, Inc. 2007

The Popular Mechanics Show Wants Your Feedback!

Mon, 12 Jan 2009 18:00:00 -0500

Popular Mechanics is interested in your feedback about our last season of PopMechShow podcasts. Your comments will help to shape the next season of the PopMechShow. This survey is 18 questions long and will only take a few minutes. Please download the PDF, fill in the interactive fields, and email it to, subject line: PopMechShow Survey.(image)

Will Wright on Obama Ads, Spore, A.I. and the Future of Gaming

Fri, 17 Oct 2008 18:00:00 -0500

Does the future of video games spell the end of the world? Or does humanity have more to learn from a virtual world inhabited by connected kids, intelligent robots ... and the Obama campaign? You've seen the video and the outtakes from his chat at the 2008 Breakthrough Conference after winning in the products category. Now download PM's entire wide-ranging chat with Will Wright, the gaming guru and geek god behind Sim City and Spore, on a Breakthrough Award season finale of The Popular Mechanics Show.(image)

Back-to-School: Adam Savage's Plan to Banish Boring Science Education and More

Tue, 02 Sep 2008 12:30:00 -0500

American teenagers want to invent the solutions that power our future, but feel unprepared by science education--and their newest test scores are backing up that sad state of affairs. All of which has MythBuster and Popular Mechanics contributing editor Adam Savage pretty fired up.(image)

Cyber War: Russia's Georgian Server Attack and Air Force Infighting

Mon, 18 Aug 2008 00:30:00 -0500

While the embers burn from Russia's high-tech assault on Georgia, network war steps to the forefront as the new battleground of the 21st century. As editor of RBNexploit, Jart Armin covered this week's Eastern European digital attacks from the inside-out, and we catch up with him on how to make Internet countermeasures work. Plus, PM contributing editor and Danger Room editor Noah Shachtman continues to crack the defense industry's ins and outs with a behind-the-scenes look at why the Pentagon suddenly--if temporarily--pulled the plug on its much ballyhooed Air Force Cyber Command, and Dave LaBarge walks us through the modern security tactics of safecracking.(image)

Media Files:

Science of Sports: Olympic Smog, Tour de France Doping and the Red Sox Scoreboard

Thu, 31 July 2008 15:00:00 -0500

With the opening ceremony just days away, can Beijing clean up its air in time for healthy Olympic competition? We sit down with George Thurston--a professor of environmental medicine at NYU, a leading expert on airborne pollutants and a former athlete himself--to find out why every athlete may be in danger from the physiological effects of smog, and why neither USOC-supplied masks nor China's emergency plans can stop them. Plus, Paul Strauss explains how independent tests could finally rid pro cycling of banned substances, and the low-tech scorekeeper for the Boston Red Sox takes us behind the Green Monster at baseball's trading deadline.(image)

iPhone 3G Breakdown: Gizmodo, MacRumors and Cult of Mac Roundtable

Fri, 11 July 2008 19:00:00 -0500

The iPhone 3G has arrived. So what? We let three of the Web's top Apple bloggers break down the big picture: Matt Buchanan, the Gizmodo associate editor who's scouted iPhone wannabes for PM... Pete Mortensen, the Jump Associates consultant and Cult of Mac geek who was our live blogger for the 3G iPhone unveiling... and Arnold Kim, the MacRumors senior editor who breaks news faster than Steve Jobs keynote. Plus, Joel Johnson takes us behind his investigation into Apple's secretive Made for iPod and authentication chip programs.(image)

B-List Goes Bust: Adam Carolla on Top Gear, Uwe Boll on Haters, Tom Green on Web Video

Mon, 30 June 2008 19:00:00 -0500

Forget Lonely Girl, Obama Girl, even Wii Fit Girl. The Internet zeitgeist isn't just making celebrities—it's bringing back the forgotten ones. Rev up for an exclusive sneak peek at NBC's adaptation of Top Gear with new host Adam Carolla, who dishes out details on the ultimate gearhead show's America premiere, new test drives and high-octane YouTube appeal. Plus, meet despised director Uwe Boll, whose poorly reviewed video game-based movies led to a massive viral campaign to end his career, and comedian Tom Green, the MTV bad boy making a mini comeback thanks to the shape-shifting expectations of video on the Web ... and the iPhone 3G.(image)

Rescue Tech: Extreme Coast Guard Mission, Hurricane Demolition, Cave Rescue 101

Mon, 09 June 2008 19:00:00 -0500

How can the right gear--and the right heroes--save lives after disaster has already struck? Kalee Thompson takes us behind the scenes of the Coast Guard's most extreme rescue--a high-tech, middle-of-the-night Mayday call in Deadliest Catch territory. Plus, Thomas Stahr, the emergency response division manager at Chicago's Robinette Demolition, tells us why the federal government has finally learned the lessons of Katrina three hurricane seasons later. And cave rescuer Anmar Mirza walk us through the careful craft that sometimes takes 100 volunteers for one trapped American.(image)

MPGenius: Hypermiling Tips, Fuel-Saving Myths, 100-MPG High

Tue, 27 May 2008 01:00:00 -0500

Forget four bucks a gallon. Crude oil rose four bucks this week! The good news for the fuel crunch: Benjamin Jones says the cult of the ecomodders can help you save gas from your garage, Mike Allen sniffs out efficiency scams, and Simon Hauger's after-school class is building a 130-mpg car. Buckle up--it's going to be a green drive this Memorial Day.(image)

The Future of Private Space: Open-Source X Prize, NASA vs XCOR, Moon Property

Mon, 12 May 2008 17:00:00 -0500

Is the private sector about to overtake NASA in space? In a PM Roundtable, new FAA commercial space chief George Nield, XCOR spokesman Doug Graham and Teal Group analyst Marco Cacheras predict the future of backyard rocket power. Plus Glenn Reynolds calls on Congress for the re-opening of a moon treaty, and software geek-cum-space engineer Fred Bourgeois breaks down his team's open-source plan to win the Google Lunar X Prize featured on the cover of PM's new issue.(image)

Geeks Go to Hollywood: Lost, Iron Man and Summer Movie Rumors

Mon, 28 Apr 2008 01:00:00 -0500

A high-tech, high-octane season of movies has arrived, but has the increasing influence of comic books diluted science fiction on the silver screen? Annalee Newitz, editor of the awesome new sci-fi blog io9, makes the case for a modern revival. Plus, in an exclusive interview, Lost gurus Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse preview the science inside the rest of Season 4--and the inventor of Iron Man's digital suit tells us where Tony Stark's new weaponry really came from.(image)

Building Smarter Bridges, Thinking Beyond Hybrids and Flying With Gadgets

Mon, 28 Apr 2008 01:00:00 -0500

The deadly collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minnesota was merely one example of America's troubled concrete-and-steel underpinnings. But as we discover in excerpts from PM's "Bridges to the Future" summit with the National Science Foundation, its replacement may also be illustrative--of high-tech solutions for the next generation of infrastructure. Plus, Mike Allen proposes a plug-in car with an onboard micro-generator, Barbara Peterson finds out why in-flight Wi-Fi might be more important than cellphones at 30,000 ft., and we meet a parachute tester who puts Point Break to shame.(image)

Next-Gen Inventions, CIA Gadget Building, Baseball Science and More

Wed, 02 Apr 2008 02:00:00 -0500

America's patent office might stand on the brink of an open-source revolution, but whatever happened to turning heady science into practical new gadgets? PM resident roboticist Daniel H. Wilson, whose new book looks way ahead on how robots could prevent an alien invasion, joins us to dream up inventions we might have in our 22nd-century households. Plus, CIA veteran Robert Wallace talks spy tech, Formula One guru Guy Negre explains the power of the Air Car as we get pumped for the Auto X Prize and ponder a microcar comeback, and Yale physicist Robert Adair takes a swing at the science of steroids.(image)

Pentagon Network Vulnerabilities, SXSW Wrap, N.Y. Auto Show Preview and More

Sat, 15 Mar 2008 16:00:00 -0500

As our investigation into hardware tampering illustrated, the Department of Defense may be defenseless in accounting for counterfeit chips inside its weapons, aircrafts and missile systems. Herb Lin, chief scientist for National Research Council's Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, joins us for a roundtable discussion on digital security. Plus, we catch up on tech trends from SXSW Interactive, scour the rumor mill for the New York Auto Show, get tips on night driving and meet a microcosm of America's recent exporting success.(image)

The Case Against Oil Independence, Live From Iraq, Next-Gen Gaming and More

Sun, 02 Mar 2008 12:00:00 -0500

Crude oil has hit a record $103 per barrel, and it's got everyone worried. The good news: Smart new exploration tech is expanding American supplies, and alt-fuel breakthroughs should extend them. But veteran energy writer Robert Bryce isn't buying the hype, telling us that the U.S. is "married to fossil fuels" and that energy independence and ethanol won't be enough to kick the oil habit. Plus, we talk to troops in Baghdad and MRAP mechanics back home about how armored vehicles are faring in Iraq, while PM experts forecast the future of hybrid tech and non-franchise video games.(image)

World War Bots, Love 2.0, Teleporting, Daytona Tech and More

Fri, 15 Feb 2008 19:00:00 -0500

Nearly 4000 American troops have died in the Iraq war, and now the Pentagon is calling robots to the rescue. Resident geek and robo whiz Erik Sofge offers the inside story of armed, unmanned vehicles coming soon to the battlefield. Plus, we talk online dating and love at first sight with top researcher Helen Fisher, teleporting and the next big moon flick with director Doug Liman, and the hustle and bustle of the Daytona 500 with Casey Mears's pit mechanic.(image)

Space Invaders, Super Bowl Tech, the New Fountain of Youth and More

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 17:00:00 -0500

Five years after the Columbia tragedy, American space exploration is still struggling to lift off: NASA veterans are questioning the new moon plan, presidential candidates are lining up new policies, and there's a satellite crashing toward Earth. Aerospace engineer and Transterrestrial Musings blogger Rand Simberg joins us with some new solutions for teaming up with the private space industry. Plus, Glenn Reynolds takes a DIY clinical trial of new anti-aging drugs, GM's favorite new startup tells us how to make cheap ethanol and the geek behind the telestrator revs up for the big game--with new touchscreen interfaces.(image)

MacWorld Fallout, Robot Watch, Chinese Invasions and More

Fri, 18 Jan 2008 00:00:00 -0500

After unveiling the MacBook Air, Apple TV 2.0 and iPhone updates, does Steve Jobs have another trick up his mock turtleneck for 2008? Senior tech editor Glenn Derene joins us live from MacWorld to forecast Apple's next brilliant design. Plus, PM's resident geek breaks down the good, bad and the ugly of recent robot news, our Angry Mechanic reports from the Detroit Auto Show on China's car industry coming to America, and we meet the Army's top jet-fighter test pilot.(image)

CES and Detroit Auto Show Previews, Primary Polling Geeks and More

Fri, 05 Jan 2008 01:00:00 -0500

On the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show, our gadget tester looks into his crystal ball to find the first Google Android phone, Intel pocket PCs and the end of the DVD format war on the very near horizon. Plus, GM's hybrid battery chief tells us why 2008 won't be the real start of plugged-in America, Zogby's expert crunches the numbers on Iowa and New Hampshire, and our Angry Mechanic gets to the bottom of lies at the repair shop.(image)

Ethanol Hype, Wiretapping Woes, eVoting and More

Fri, 21 Dec 2007 19:00:00 -0500

As President Bush signs the new energy bill into law, we crunch the numbers on corn-based fuels with PM editor-in-chief James B. Meigs--and track the future of MPG research with David E. Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research. Plus, how government spying on the Web and over the phone actually works, when we may pick a president online, why some car nav systems suck and who makes the high-tech moves behind the scenes of New Year's Eve.(image)

America's New Surveillance Society

Fri, 07 Dec 2007 23:20:00 -0500

Every day we're being watched a little bit more, by intelligent cameras, unmanned aircraft and newfound gadgetry. We'll get an exclusive report on FAA-approved drone tests by American law-enforcement agencies, suggestions from Instapundit blogger and PM contributing editor Glenn Reynolds on how to watch back, and a first look at a eye-tracking hardware that might make Google millions. Plus, Mike Allen turns the new fuel-economy standard on its nose, and we meet an NHL Zamboni guy.(image)

Airport Headaches, Clean Diesel, M.C. Hammer and More

Wed, 21 Nov 2007 21:30:00 -0500

Could the iPhone stop flight delays? We get an update on the FAA's air traffic control fix from PM's aviation correspondent, plus exclusive interviews from the L.A. Auto Show on the why hybrids have to watch their backs, a behind-the-scenes look at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, another edition of the Angry Mechanic and a much-needed catch-up session with Silicon Valley's newest stud, M.C. Hammer.(image)

The Android Effect, Robot Cars, Recycling 2.0 and More

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 20:30:00 -0500

Self-driving vehicles aren't quite ready for war, but they were tearing up the streets last week at the DARPA Urban Challenge, and we've got a report from race-side. Plus, we get the lowdown on future cellphones from a top designer, news on the sad state of American garbage from our resident genius, war stories from legendary spy photographer Jim Dunne and a new rant segment from Mike Allen.(image)

Third-World Tech, Oil-Free Business and Next-Gen Scientists

Wed, 24 Oct 2007 19:00:00 -0500

In a special Breakthrough Conference episode, we sit down with efficiency guru Amory Lovins to find how Wal-Mart can teach Detroit and the Pentagon how to go green. Plus, more of America's top innovators talk about appropriate technology for developing nations and how to save American science education.(image)

Mind Readers, Sputnik's Birthday, Free Wi-Fi and More

Fri, 05 Oct 2007 18:30:00 -0500

Controversial new brain scan technology can tell what you're thinking, how you fall in love and—as the top scientist who joins us has proved—whether you're telling the truth. Are we ready for this? Plus, forecasting the next great space race, lamenting the lack of municipal wireless networks and fighting wildfires with a jumpsuit.(image)

Mourning DIY, Debunking Halo 3 Hype and More

Fri, 21 Sep 2007 14:10:00 -0500

An entire generation of high-tech hot shots is losing touch with traditional skills, and Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds joins us with some solutions to save the handymen. Plus, we find out what's wrong with Halo 3, office surveillance and the Google Lunar X Prize.(image)

iPod Touch's Future, Steve Fossett's High-Tech Help and More

Fri, 07 Sep 2007 13:00:00 -0500

After Steve Jobs introduced a new iPod arsenal, our tech team breaks down the slow death of the iconic MP3 player and predicts what a Wi-Fi iTunes Store could mean for media. Plus, we meet the head of the air rescue team searching for a legendary adventurer, break down the physics behind the U.S. Open and get a preview of the power wheels and green tech at the Frankfurt Motor Show.(image)

Katrina Two Years Later, Live from Iraq and More

Fri, 24 Aug 2007 13:30:00 -0500

Despite more than $7 billion in Congressional funding, the Army Corps of Engineers says it's still four years and another $7 billion away from re-building the levees of New Orleans. Robert Bea, a professor of engineering at the University of California at Berkeley who authored the huge National Science Foundation report on why the Big Easy collapsed in the first place, proposes solutions to re-engineer the Gulf Coast. And Leslie Sabbagh, our Iraq blogger, joins us from a military air base for a very candid conversation about the state of the high-tech war. Plus, three easy ways to cut down on your water use this summer.(image)

Bridge Building, Moon Sleepovers, Robot Surgeons and More

Thu, 09 Aug 2007 20:00:00 -0500

In the wake of the Minneapolis bridge collapse, national security expert Stephen Flynn joins us to propose three steps America must take to rebuild its crumbling infrastructure. Plus, four-time Space Shuttle astronaut Tom Jones scouts out NASA's moon base in part two of our future of space series, we get the latest on battlefield 'bots from DARPATech, and a real-life safecracker tells us why Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were full of it.(image)

Life on Mars, Death of Bees and More

Thu, 26 July 2007 12:30:00 -0500

To commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of manned spaceflight, we're looking at the next 50 years. In the first of a two-part series, New York Times astrobiology reporter Carl Zimmer joins us to predict what we'll find when we finally step foot on the Red Planet. Plus, how to save the vanishing honeybees, survive a plane crash and build higher speeds for NASCAR.(image)

The Private Space Age Lifts Off

Fri, 13 July 2007 12:30:00 -0500

As the race to suborbital space heats up, Glenn Reynolds gives us the odds on when interstellar tourism will really take off. Plus, we smart survivors of a tornado in Kansas, debunk the myths of Friday the 13th and learn the art of crash testing.(image)

Al Gore's Plan and iPhone's Future

Fri, 29 June 2007 18:30:00 -0500

At PM headquarters to promote the Live Earth concerts, Al Gore sits down with us to talk about his green renovations at home and ethanol's future in America. And on the brink of iPhone launch, our tech team looks to where not enough people are with this super gadget: down the road. Plus, MythBuster Adam Savage watches Blade Runner on its 25th anniversary, and we meet the stunt double for Spider-Man, Jason Bourne, Johnny Knoxville and the new Indiana Jones.(image)

From the Beach to the Moon

Thu, 14 June 2007 18:30:00 -0500

At T-minus 3 hours, 45 minutes before the Space Shuttle Atlantis launch, NASA administrator Michael Griffin sat down with Popular Mechanics for a very candid conversation on the space agency's future, from partnering with private space moguls to the 2008 elections. Plus: why Detroit is lobbying against new fuel economy legislation on Capitol Hill, re-engineering America's beaches and how to build Albert Pujols's baseball bat.(image)

Microsoft Surface: Behind the Scenes

Thu, 31 May 2007 18:30:00 -0500

After all the fanfare from techies worldwide, the touchscreen coffee table that could change the world is just getting started. Senior technology editor Glenn Derene, who was the first journalist to go hands-on with Surface, analyzes the top-secret development and the limitless future of this mind-blowing device -- from your home to your electronics store and beyond. Plus: tips for making your house more energy-efficient, inside the FAA's high-tech plans for air traffic control and how to be a wind farmer.(image)

Deep Fried: From Onion Rings to Global Warming

Thu, 17 May 2007 18:00:00 -0500

Leading global warming experts Gavin Schmidt, Trevor Williams and Meredith Nettles join us for a roundtable discussion about the science behind climate modeling and learn the frightening facts we already know and the even more frightening ones we don't know yet. Plus: In a new segment called "My Job," Davin Coburn chats with food scientist Doug Berg about gourmet engineering.(image)

Where's My Jetpack?

Fri, 04 May 2007 11:00:00 -0400

Take a trip back to the future... Of our past. Popular Mechanics contributing editor and resident roboticist Daniel H. Wilson (who just happens to be the author of the new book Where's My Jetpack?), joins me figure out what ever happened to that silvery, mechanized, automatic future of yesterday.(image)

Test-Driving Plug-in Cars

Fri, 20 Apr 2007 17:30:00 -0400

From the Tesla Roadster to the all-electric Mini Cooper S, we've driven our share of electric cars. West coast editor Ben Stewart joins me to share his impressions of all-electric and plug-in hybrids, as well as to chat about his wheel time in some non-electric, thoroughbred supercars.(image)

Analog vs. Digital

Thu, 29 Mar 2007 09:00:00 -0400

It allows you to put thousands of songs in your pocket, watch brilliant, life-like TV and communicate more efficiently, and faster than ever before. But there's one thing digital technology can't yet provide: The ease and simplicity of the dial, knob and toggle switch.'s Glenn Reynolds issues a call to electronics companies to ditch complicated menu systems and to bring back analog control. PLUS: Aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia chats with me about our test flights on the largest passenger jet in the world, the Airbus A380.(image)

Arctic Icebreaking

Mon, 12 Mar 2007 17:00:00 -0400

Veteran ice breaker captain Rene Turenne talks about revolutionary new ice breaker designs and the consequences of a warmer arctic. Paradoxically, the opening of a northwest passage means a lot more work for U.S. and Canadian ice breaker crews. PLUS: Glenn Reynolds reviews Nikon's Vibration Reduction technology.(image)

Motor City Madness: The Inside Scoop on 'Big Three' Rumors

Mon, 05 Mar 2007 17:00:00 -0500

With rumors swirling that General Motors is thinking of buying the Chrysler Group from DaimlerChrysler, will it be minus one for the Big Three? If there's anyone qualified to sort out fact from auto-industry fiction, it's Detroit Editor Jim Dunne, who joins me to discuss the fate of the Motor City, and share some new-car news. Plus: Contributing editor Glenn Reynolds of reviews the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet.(image)

Super Bowl: Behind the Tech

Mon, 31 Jan 2007 23:50:00 -0500

On the eve of the Big Game, CBS Sports engineering guru Ken Aagaard takes us for a high-tech tour of Dolphin Stadium--rigged with nearly 50 cameras, hundreds of engineers and a new lighting system that'll blow your mind.(image)

Re-Inventing the Panama Canal

Mon, 22 Jan 2007 11:00:00 -0500

Popular Mechanics editor-in-chief Jim Meigs brings his father, A. James Meigs, to Panama to learn more about plans to expand the biggest engineering project in history. A. James Meigs grew up on the canal: his father, Al Meigs, helped to design - and later operate - many of the major locks on the canal.(image)

CES and Detroit Auto Show Commentary and Analysis

Fri, 12 Jan 2007 19:00:00 -0500

Convergence and conservation were the words of the week here at Popular Mechanics as teams of our editors and reporters descended upon CES in Las Vegas and the Detroit Auto Show. Now that they're back, a few of them stop by to chat about what they saw and share their opinions on what is now the state of the art in consumer electronics and automobiles.(image)

Film is Dead: Long Live the Movies

Fri, 22 Dec 2006 00:35:00 -0500

Lights! Camera! Data! The digital revolution has arrived in Hollywood. We interview one of the moviemaking magicians at Industrial Light and Magic, Effects Supervisor Colum Slevin, and find out how digital production is fundamentally changing the way films are made. Plus, a look back at a couple of the most interesting Popular Mechanics Show moments of 2006.(image)

Ten Tech Terms You Need to Know for 2007

Wed, 13 Dec 2006 21:00:00 -0500

Senior technology editor Glenn Derene joins me to talk about ten tech concepts you'll need to know in 2007. Bring your notebook -- we'll be covering everything from video on the net to RFID hacking to the ever popular plasma arc gasification. PLUS: Geologist Trevor Williams, one of over 200 scientists with the multinational Antarctic Geological Drilling (ANDRILL) team drilling into the seabed underneath Antarctica's Ross Shelf, joins us from McMurdo Station, Antarctica, to discuss the mechanics of Antarctic ice.(image)

Spy Gate: A Radioactive Reality Check

Sun, 03 Dec 2006 20:35:00 -0500

We set the record straight on the public dangers -- or lack thereof -- of polonium-210, the radioactive material blamed in the death of a former Russian spy and causing a minor panic among the citizens of London. Plus: Full coverage of the L.A. Auto Show, including a plug-in hybrid Saturn, a hydrogen-powered turbocharged Toyota Prius, and some super-secret news about a major GM announcement.(image)

Media Files:

Man Vs. Machine

Fri, 17 Nov 2006 18:03:50 -0500

Is your car smarter than you? We'll test three computer-assisted vehicles against three carbon-based drivers to see if ABS, yaw control and throttle-by-wire can out-drive our experts. Plus: It's hard out there for a nerd. We'll check in with die-hard gamers waiting (and waiting and waiting) in line to be among the first owners of Sony's new PS3.(image)

The Most Extreme Pumpkin Carve-Off Ever

Mon, 23 Oct 2006 18:33:26 -0500

Here at Popular Mechanics, the only thing we love more than making a huge mess is making a huge competition out of making a huge mess -- a good, old fashioned, place-your-bets, manly men competition, where only the strong survive. And Halloween provided the perfect stage for our kind of competition -- and our kind of huge mess, too: The first annual Popular Mechanics Pumpkin Carve-Off. But it's just any carve-off, it's the most extreme carve-off EVER (fact-check THAT!). We asked each competitor to pick out a carving (read: maiming) tool of his or her choice, then pitted them against each other in the categories of speed, technical skill, creativity, aesthetics, PM factor, gee whiz factor and fright factor, all of which (er) factor into the overall prize for Complete and Total Pumpkin Carve Domination, which is just slightly less coveted than the Nobel Prize (fact). Let the pumpkin slaughter begin!(image)

Flight Risk

Thu, 19 Oct 2006 19:02:24 -0500

Retracing Cory Lidle's doomed flight: Popular Mechanics contributing editor Jeff Wise, a private pilot, joins us to help reconstruct the final moments of the Yankee pitcher's crash last week, as well as sorting out the tangled web of aviation regulations that may have contributed to the crash. Will updated rules make the New York skies any safer? PLUS: Chatting with McGruff the Crime Fighting Dog at New York's DigitalLife Expo.(image)

Breakthrough Awards

Thu, 12 Oct 2006 11:49:39 -0400

We're Back! Welcome to Season Two of the Popular Mechanics Show. This week we'll take you behind the scenes of Popular Mechanics' 2006 Breakthrough Awards. Leadership award winner Burt Rutan will join us along with Tesla Motors CEO Martin Eberhard and Lockheed Martin Stardust probe team leader Joe Vellinga to discuss why adventure and risk are necessary ingredients in innovation. DIY peanut sheller inventor and BTA winner Jock Brandis will demonstrate his device, Dartmouth College's student inventors will give us a test drive of the GyroBike and the engineers behind the BigDog quadruped robot will talk shop - all in exclusive Popular Mechanics Show appearances. Plus: Exclusive interviews from the floor of the Breakthrough Awards celebration and the full, uncut audio of Burt Rutan's acceptance speech. 15 winning breakthroughs, 54 minutes of candid talk and a combined guest IQ that's numerically larger than the national debt...THIS is the Popular Mechanics Show.(image)

Media Files:

The Future of Entertainment

Mon, 18 Sep 2006 22:14:44 -0400

TV on the Internet, movies on your iPod a studio in your house - where is this all going? Helping us answer that question is veteran entertainment journalist and MTV anchor Kurt Loder, An Army of Davids author and Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds and Popular Mechanics senior editor Glenn Derene. Plus: Home department senior editor Roy Berendsohn shares his tips for fall lawn car, we examine the dangers of electronic voting and YouTube phenom Jason Woliner explains how to turn average videos into works of viral art.(image)

License to Kill

Tue, 12 Sep 2006 04:02:37 -0400

Welcome to the shadowy world of the hired gun. We talk with Robert Young Pelton, who's new book, License to Kill, details the three years he spent with private security contractors in the high risk, highly paid world of military outsourcing. Former Marine infantryman Bing West -- also a former assistant secretary of defense -- shares a grunt's view of the killings in Haditha, and explain why we shouldn't be so quick to judge. Plus: Popular Mechanics resident roboticist Daniel Wilson joins me to talk about robots on the operating table, right now, on the Popular Mechanics Show. Hosted by Benjamin Chertoff(image)

The Gospel of Spud Gunning

Mon, 04 Sep 2006 18:16:01 -0400

Eat my root vegetables! MSNBC anchor and tuber launcher Tucker Carlson joins me on the Popular Mechanics Show to discuss the wonders of spud gunning, and to share some of the more elaborate potato cannons (a propane-powered semi-automatic) he has in his arsenal. Plus,'s Rand Simberg, a self-confessed recovering aerospace engineer, joins me to analyze last week's announcement that Lockheed Martin will build NASA's new ride to the Moon and Mars -- will it fly? Senior editor (automotive) Mike Allen answers your car care questions (including what to do when you fill your gas tank with - D'OH! - diesel), and West Coast editor Ben Stewart drives the coolest electric car yet, the Tesla Roadster. The Popular Mechanics Show is hosted by Benjamin Chertoff. [...]

Media Files:

The Nuclear Option

Tue, 29 Aug 2006 15:20:12 -0400

Could nuclear power be the next source of green energy? With the threat of global warming looming and the need for renewable resources pressing, environmentalists are finding an unlikely bedfellow in nuclear power. We'll talk with Popular Mechanics contributing editor Alex Hutchinson about new reactor designs, we'll hear an argument for nuclear power from Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore and Union of Concerned Scientitsts physicist Ed Lyman will weigh in with some of the problems that still face civilian atomic power. Plus, technology columnist and documentary filmmaker Robert X. Cringely navigates the tangled tubes behind net neutrality, and we'll hear about some here-and-now applications for nanotechnology from Sandia National Labs fellow Jeff Brinker. And a special thanks to Paul Holcomb at the Bold Headed Broadcast for his Senator Ted Stevens remix. Hosted by Benjamin Chertoff.(image)

9/11: Debunking the Myths

Tue, 22 Aug 2006 04:08:24 -0400

It's been five years since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon -- yet a growing chorus of conspiracy theorists accuses the U.S. government of carrying out the attacks. Popular Mechanics executive editor David Dunbar, contributing editor Brad Reagan and editor-in-chief Jim Meigs joins me for a detailed discussion of reporting behind the new Popular Mechanics book Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up To Hard Facts in this special edition of The Popular Mechanics Show. Also joining us to help walk us through a detailed analysis of World Trade Center conspiracy theories is former Deputy Fire Chief of the New York City Fire Department Vincent Dunn.(image)

Is China Stealing Our Military Secrets?

Mon, 14 Aug 2006 12:50:10 -0400

Popular Mechanics contributor Simon Cooper joins me to discuss the growing problem of classified U.S. military technology being smuggled into China. Plus: senior automotive editor Mike Allen answers your car care questions, blogger and PM contributing editor Glenn Reynolds explains the problems with over-hyping nanotechnology and we'll teach you how to install the ultimate car radio.(image)

Media Files:

The Future of TV

Mon, 07 Aug 2006 12:00:00 -0400

Popular Mechanics senior technology editor Glenn Derene and How to Survive a Robot Uprising author (and Popular Mechanics robotics expert) Daniel H. Wilson join me for a lively discussion about the future of television (and what's wrong with the set you have now), robots on the battlefield and the world's smallest hydrogen fuel cell-powered car. Plus: Flying kite wings through southwestern desert canyons and the electric car strikes back.(image)

We Test Bogus 'Fuel Savers'

Mon, 31 Jul 2006 12:00:00 -0400

Gas prices are spiking, and so are the appearances of gadgets that promise drastic improvements in gas mileage. Senior automotive editor Mike Allen returns to the Popular Mechanics Show this week to chat about his in-depth, scientific tests of automotive gas mileage boosters. After that, Robert Bigelow chats about his newest venture, the first-ever inflatable spacecraft (and possible future of space hotel) and Tom Jones talks about spacewalking. Plus: Richard Aboulafia on the Eclipse 500 and very light jets (VLJs). Bonus: The iCarta, the world's first iPod enabled toilet paper dispenser. —Benjamin Chertoff [...]

Crunching the Numbers on Alternative Fuels

Tue, 25 Jul 2006 12:00:00 -0400

Popular Mechanics senior automotive editor Mike Allen joins me for a fascinating journey through world of alternative fuel sources, from ethanol to methanol to biodiesel and hydrogen -- a must listen for anyone tired of watching the meter whir at the gas pumps. Plus, the winner of the 2006 National Guard Great Race talks about his winning run, and we solve the case of the amazing exploding laptop computer. By the way, the organizers of the Great Race are now accepting entries for the Great Race World 35,000km. Starting in New York on February 12, 2008 and ending at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the competition is open to both classic cars and new and innovative 'green' technologies. The latter class, called the Innovation Technology division, will be racing for a $1 million Innovation Prize. Entries are due by December 31st, 2006 at [...]

Blackout Survival Guide

Fri, 21 Jul 2006 12:00:00 -0400

When it's as hot and humid outside as it is right now in the northeast, air conditioning feels like a miracle. Until the lights flicker, dim, and go out. With air conditioning creating massive spikes power consumption, occasionally the grid calls it quits. That's just what happened on Tuesday evening, when more than 200,000 homes in the New York region lost their power. Many people are still waiting for the power to come back. Before you're sweating it out in candlelight, listen to our blackout survival guide.(image)

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The Search for Life in the Universe

Tue, 18 Jul 2006 12:00:00 -0400

Reknowned astrobiologist and curator of astrobiology at the Denver Museum of Science and Nature, and author of the book Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life David Grinspoon joins me in the studio for a fascinating tour of science's search for life in the universe. From little green men to undersea worms to the intersection of science and philosophy in our quest to understand our own origins, Grinspoon guides us through a tour of nearby planets, moons and distant, exo-gallactic planets that just might (statistically speaking) be a home for life other than our own. Also joining us for the discussion is four-time shuttle astronaut and planetary scientist Thomas D. Jones, who shared an advisor with Grinspoon during their graduate studies, and Popular Mechanics senior science editor Jennifer Bogo. [...]

What's Next for the Shuttle Crew

Mon, 17 Jul 2006 12:00:00 -0400

Frequent Popular Mechanics contributor and four-time shuttle astronaut Thomas D. Jones joins Online Editor Benjamin Chertoff in the studio to chat about this most recent flight, the future of the Space Shuttle program, the future of the ISS and what it's like to work on a construction site that orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes. Plus, Tom provides insight into what's next on the agenda for Discovery's crew.(image)

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The Next Big Tech Revolutions

Mon, 10 Jul 2006 12:00:00 -0400

We like hearing ourselves talk, maybe you will too. Find out by listening to the inaugural PM podcast. In this first installment (a little rough, we're still in a makeshift studio), I chat with Glenn Derene about some sci-fi technology that's about to be on the market. From geo-aware gadgets to all-TV-on-demand to cars that drive themselves, the ubiquity of the internet and the small cost of basic GPS chips is poised to change the way we go about our day. Think the idea of the networked toaster is a little far-fetched? So was e-mail, a decade ago. Listen, and hear what the near future (may) hold. Look for more podcasts in the near future.(image)