Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics July 2020

Discover the latest in technology, engineering, and tools with Popular Mechanics. Plus, get essential advice on your home and car, useful DIY ideas, in-depth explanations on how things work, and more!

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1 minutos
go it alone

Solo adventure in nature shows you a quieter space to dwell. Mindless entertainment is gone; it’s just you. The initial shock of stepping into this private world can send people right back to their cars because they only have themselves for company. These trips don’t have to be epic. In fact, the less epic they are, the more likely you’ll enjoy them. Start close to home. As you build your skill set and comfort level, you can branch out. Carry the essentials, and share detailed plans with someone, including your itinerary, trailhead location, campsites, and phone numbers of the appropriate land management agencies in case you don’t arrive on schedule. COURTESY HEATHER ANDERSON; COURTESY PURIST; COURTESY DEUTER…

1 minutos
what to do if you see a grizzly

“Most likely they’re going to go the other way,” says Wayne Kasworm, grizzly bear biologist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. “They don’t want anything more to do with us than what we want to do with them.” But you should have a plan for when an encounter is unavoidable. MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN Talk (don’t yell) to alert the bear to your presence as you slowly back out of the area. If a bear is too close or doesn’t leave, do not run—that signals that you’re prey. CARRY BEAR SPRAY AND KNOW HOW TO USE IT “Most charges come from 50 feet or less. That [takes a bear] 1.6 seconds,” says Neal Wedum, retired Glacier National Park ranger. Be prepared to deploy bear spray by practicing pulling it from the holster and flipping…

3 minutos
why our bodies have gotten colder with each passing decade

SINCE THE GERMAN PHYSICIAN CARL Reinhold August Wunderlich published his research on human body temperature in 1868, 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit has been the gold standard. Now scientists say that number may be inaccurate. Thanks to improved health outcomes—meaning people are generally healthier and getting better overall medical treatment—the average human body temperature has fallen gradually over time. “Much as we have changed the Earth ecosystem, we are changing our own ecosystems,” says Julie Parsonnet, MD, a professor of epidemiology at Stanford University. “We have changed who we are over the modern era.” She and her team analyzed more than 670,000 reported temperatures spanning 157 years of measurement and 197 birth years and found that our temperature has dropped 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since the mid 1800s. The study was sparked…

4 minutos
we spent all day arguing about this triangle brain teaser. can you solve it?

NOTHING HALTS PRODUCTIVITY AMONG coworkers quite like a maddening brain teaser. The latest to ensnare the Popular Mechanics editors and readers: How many triangles are in this drawing? When I posed the problem to our team, responses ranged from 4 triangles all the way to 22. Most people saw 18. One wiseguy counted the triangles in the A’s in the question itself, while another seemed to have an existential crisis: “None of these lines are truly straight, just curves—thus you cannot define any of them as a triangle,” he said. “There are no triangles in this photo. Life has no meaning.” I could’ve listened to my colleagues’ questionable processes all day, but instead, I reached out to geometry experts to see if we could arrive at a consensus. All of the mathematicians…

7 minutos
grizzly bears

THE FIRST GRIZZLY WAS FOUND LYING IN THE 15TH TEE BOX eating a maggot-infested carp like it was corn on the cob. The neighboring Marias River had flooded, Scott Lennemann, golf course superintendent at Marias Valley Golf & Country Club, told me. The retreating water then left behind a lunch buffet of dead carp, which the lucky bear feasted on. I heard about Lennemann’s golf course guest through the small-town grapevine that connects the scattered communities across the Montana prairie I call home. I knew—or thought I did—that the only big animals roaming the wide grassy valleys were steers fattening up to make next summer’s BBQ. Sure, Montana had massive bears (up to 700 pounds), but in the Rockies. Marias Valley was in Shelby, Montana, 90 miles east of Glacier National…

1 minutos
going the distance

How has the B-52 stood the test of time while other military aircraft haven’t? Because it was engineered to keep aerodynamic and payload forces in balance during missions, minimizing stresses that weaken other planes over time. Active B-52s aren’t patchwork quilts of structural components pilfered from retired airframes—they’re almost entirely the real thing, down to the flight controls, control surfaces, and cable linkages. The Air Force has also (mostly) held off on modifying the B-52’s core hardware. While it seemingly makes sense to upgrade the eight low-bypass engines with four modern, high-bypass engines, that requires a costly redesign of the entire wing, since the new engines’ weight and placement would have been dramatically different from the original Pratt & Whitney J57 turbojets, which hung in pods of two each. Now…