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How Your World Works

Popular Mechanics / Panoply

+1 FAN
This is a podcast about how the world works, featuring the news, stories, and people that make it happen.

34:28 | Jan 30th, 2017

On today's show, Kevin Dupzyk and James Lynch talk to Fox NFL Director Rich Russo and Producer Richie Zyontz. The pair have been producing sporting events together for years, and on February 5 they'll be the men behind the curtain for Super Bowl LI. ...Show More

26:13 | Jan 14th, 2017

On today's show, we talk to our good friend Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Working on a specialized floor a few levels up from Popular Mechanics, she and a team of engineers test stoves, clothes, food, cars--pr...Show More
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31:58 | Dec 30th, 2016

On today's show, Steve Abraham, a long time air traffic controller at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, tells us about his job--everything from how he get into it (and how that's changed), to the time he had two airplanes flying...Show More

30:44 | Dec 17th, 2016

BioLite is an interesting company. Their signature product is a camp stove that burns wood and uses some of the heat to charge a battery, which can, in turn, charge small electronic devices. It's great for camping. But it's also great for people who ...Show More

30:15 | Dec 3rd, 2016

On today's episode, guest host and Popular Mechanics Contributing Editor Dan Dubno takes us inside the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to learn about new technology that can allow a man to climb anywhere. Until he falls, which may or may no...Show More

32:22 | Nov 19th, 2016

The preparators of the American Museum of Natural History's Exhibitions Department are artists and craftsmen by trade who become scientists by practice as they build the museum's famed traveling exhibitions. In what may be the coolest workshop in the...Show More

27:28 | Nov 4th, 2016

For today's episode, Popular Mechanics' political correspondent Mark Warren joins to interview Dana DeBeauvoir, County Clerk of Travis County, Texas (It's where Austin is). She discusses the preparations Travis County is undertaking for a record-brea...Show More

31:51 | Oct 24th, 2016

With Halloween fast approaching, we talk to Leonard Pickel of Hauntrepreneurs - a company that designs haunted attractions from the ground up. An architect by training, Pickel explains how he distorts the stuff he did in the studio to create spaces t...Show More

26:31 | Oct 7th, 2016

Tonight, Friday, October 7th, is the LA Lakers' first home game of the NBA preseason. After their game is over, the crew at LA's Staples Center will have to get the arena ready to host a concert on Saturday. By Monday they'll have to get it into shap...Show More

28:19 | Sep 23rd, 2016

If you read the October 2016 issue of Popular Mechanics, you may have noticed a section of the Breakthrough Awards devoted to competitors from Major League Hacking, the competition circuit for college and high school-aged hackathons. And you may also...Show More

33:07 | Sep 14th, 2016

On today's show, IDEO's Dav Rauch and Peter Hyer talk about their work designing the interfaces in everything from ATMs to Tony Stark's Iron Man suit. It turns out that thinking about how people use stuff is a pretty fun job, full of insights into th...Show More

27:19 | Aug 26th, 2016

On today's episode, fantasy football addict (and Popular Mechanics Executive Editor) Peter Martin joins the show as a guest interviewer when we talk to Matthew Berry, ESPN's senior fantasy sports analyst. Everyone envies the job, but Berry put in ser...Show More

31:11 | Aug 12th, 2016

On today's episode, we talk to Glenn Hiemstra, the founder of To start with, he explains what it even means to be a futurist. Then he tells us a little more about what it takes to peer into the unformed times that await, breaks down the...Show More

26:02 | Jul 29th, 2016

On today's episode, Jeremy Bennett from Filson and Matt Bressler from Wickett & Craig - one of the nation's few tanneries that specialize in high-quality vegetable tanning - stop by the studio to discuss working with leather. By the time this episode...Show More

21:42 | Jul 15th, 2016

Among the many ideas that have been floated for slowing down climate change, carbon capture and sequestration is one of the easiest to understand: When carbon dioxide is produced - say, by a factory - you find a way to trap it, then bury it someplace...Show More

33:32 | Jul 1st, 2016

In honor of the 100th Anniversary edition of the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, competitive eating lifer Crazy Legs Conti comes on the show to talk about the sport. Aside from explaining how he got started in professional engorging (hint: it...Show More

30:47 | Jun 17th, 2016

On today's show, we talk to Pecos Davis and Chance Parsons, firefighters with the Malaga Volunteer Fire Department in Eddy County, New Mexico. Working with few resources in the southwest corner of the state, they've ridden one-to-a-truck to fires spa...Show More

31:59 | Jun 3rd, 2016

If you’ve ever seen a Cirque du Soleil show, or perhaps Marvel Universe Live, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the work of Brett Copes. He’s a rigger—one of the guys who sets up the complicated stage apparatus that lets performers fly through the ai...Show More

28:39 | May 25th, 2016

On today’s show, Travis Law and Trevor Lacasse of Team Penske – mechanics for Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya, who’ve won a combined five Indianapolis 500 races – talk about what they’ll be doing this weekend, when the race celebrates its ce...Show More

32:16 | May 7th, 2016

On today’s episode, Chelsea Miller and Michael Zieba – both master knife makers, albeit with very different origin stories – come to the studio to explain what it takes to make a knife. It’s hard work: there’s a forge involved, belt sanders, and the ...Show More

32:39 | Apr 23rd, 2016

On today’s show, we try to find out what actually happens inside a craft brewery. It’s not just brewing beer, and even when it is, that doesn’t always go smoothly—have you ever heard of a beer bomb? Three members of the New York brewing community – M...Show More

27:19 | Apr 9th, 2016

On today’s show, we go from exciting to concerning: First, we discuss whether the future of cars is a Lincoln Navigator with the doors of a DeLorean and the stylings of a Range Rover, or Tesla’s Model 3, which aims to be the sleek electric car of the...Show More

24:06 | Mar 25th, 2016

There are 121, 362 people currently on the organ transplant list and not all of them will get the organs they need in time. On this episode of How Your Word Works, we learn about a new medical procedure that can reduce organ rejection and potentially...Show More

22:41 | Mar 12th, 2016

It was 40 degrees out at the start of this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The dogs prefer –10. We find out how warmer temperatures are causing mushers to try different strategies to make sure they meet the requirement of having at least six of ...Show More

21:20 | Feb 27th, 2016

On today's show, we talk to the guys who turn science and technology into movie magic. Then we hear from astronaut Mike Hopkins about life on the International Space Station--the little things, like chewing, swallowing, and sneezing. Finally, we tell...Show More

26:24 | Feb 12th, 2016

With the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire primary in the books, election season is in full swing. In this week’s episode we asked professional pollster Nick Gourevitch the question on everyone’s mind in the run up to the election: Are polls all they...Show More

31:01 | Jan 27th, 2016

On January 28, 1986, when the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its mission, America changed in a profound way. The schoolchildren of America had been watching the launch with keen excitement, a schoolteacher among the crew. NASA was ...Show More

22:03 | Dec 31st, 2015

In the waning days of 2015, kick your Christmas Tree to the curb and get started thinking about the new year. On today’s episode, we tell you what happens to your tree after you part with it, and suggest an unconventional choice of drink for toasting...Show More

23:45 | Dec 20th, 2015

On today’s show, we take a look at the craftsmanship that was required to shoot Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight in Ultra Panavision 70mm and project Star Wars: The Force Awakens in IMAX 70mm on quaint, old film. Then we decide if today’s luxury...Show More

25:05 | Dec 4th, 2015

This week on How Your World Works, New York Times bestselling author A.J. Jacobs drops by the studio to to discuss, germs, healthy living, and why he once let his son lick ice cream off the sidewalk. Plus: Dr. Christopher Mason of Weil Cornell Medica...Show More

24:37 | Nov 20th, 2015

Editor Sean Manning talks with writer Elliott Woods about a cadre of Iraqi fighter pilots training in Tucson, Arizona with the 162nd Wing of the Arizona Air National Guard. The pilots are learning to fly F-16 jets, which the Iraqi government purchase...Show More

25:21 | Nov 6th, 2015

In this round table episode we talk to contributing writer Kira Peikoff about her story on a new form of cancer treatment that finds promise in patients with abnormally positive responses to otherwise unsuccessful trial drugs. Then we float theories ...Show More

27:21 | Oct 24th, 2015

We investigate the spector of young girl at the Brooklyn Public library, talk to an expert in the field of ghost hunting, Dr. Karen Stollznow, the author of Haunting America; and we speak with the Visual Effects Supervisor of Ghostbusters, Richard Ed...Show More

32:12 | Oct 9th, 2015

In the tense and thrilling new documentary Meru (in theaters now) mountaineers Jimmy Chin, Conrad Anker, and Renan Ozturk attempt to become the first group to successfully summit the Himalayas’ Meru Peak via the Shark’s Fin, one of the hardest climbs...Show More

34:26 | Sep 25th, 2015

When Andy Weir wrote The Martian, his science puzzler about an astronaut marooned on Mars with only his wits (read: scientific knowledge) to save him, he timed it to come out before the Curiosity Rover launched in 2011. So there’s no way he could hav...Show More

34:02 | Sep 11th, 2015

The NFL season kicks off this weekend, and while a lot of the focus may be on Tom Brady's revenge and Arian Foster's groin, we wanted to look at the game from a technology standpoint. As the efforts to protect players have become more and more high t...Show More

27:04 | Aug 28th, 2015

In a special round table edition of the show, our editors discuss how architectural design can build better jails, and better outcomes for inmates and society. We'll consider whether a computer that costs $9 and is the size of a credit card might cha...Show More

31:24 | Aug 15th, 2015

Today on the show, in honor of the recent launch of the most advanced submarine ever built, the USS John Warner, we take a deep dive on submarines. We’ll learn a little about their history, how they work, as well as what’s new and what’s different on...Show More

23:35 | Aug 1st, 2015

Do you remember the late 90’s? During that time there were a few things that you just couldn’t escape: Celen Dion’s My Heart Will Go on was mandatorily played every 12 minutes across all stations.  There was the TMI of the Lewinski scandal. And there...Show More

26:16 | Jul 19th, 2015

Whether you believe Pluto to be a planet or not, the pictures that NASA has been releasing since Wednesday are a stunning reminder that even a dwarf planet can be beautiful and awe-inspiring.  Also awe-inspiring: the work it took to get the New Horiz...Show More

31:10 | Jul 3rd, 2015

Gary Souza is the Show Designer for the Macy’s Annual 4th of July Fireworks Display in New York. The 25 minute fireworks show is choreographed to music, involves 5 barges at different positions in the East River, and is watched by millions on shores ...Show More

24:42 | Jun 19th, 2015

For our first podcast ever we needed some help, so we asked an expert for tips. Podcasting legend Marc Maron, the host of “WTF with Marc Maron”, joined us to talk about what you can do with a garage, a good microphone, and some ugly linoleum tiles. P...Show More