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.
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.
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 game to test drive a Maclaren you can't even buy; and the testing table tries out gravity blankets.
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 out.
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.