Popular Mechanics November 2018

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!

United States
10 Issues

in this issue

3 min
thanks, harry

MY WIFE AND I got a save-the-date in the mail for my cousin Harry’s wedding. Next spring. Harry was in our wedding 16 years ago as a little boy, walking the ring up the aisle with a shy grin, then dancing at the reception in his good shoes until way past his bedtime. Harry’s in the Middle East right now, serving in the United States Army National Guard. ROTC helped him through school, and now he’s filling his end of the bargain. From the looks of his Instagram, he’s with a great bunch of soldiers and making a decent time of it. The first thing he texted his mom (my aunt) when he got over there was “Mom! I saw camels!” But she worries about him, of course—we all do. We…

1 min
popular mechanics everywhere

ONLINE Check out our “We’ve Been Wrong Before” series on crazy historical theories about how our world worked—like the 1800s’ theory that Earth was expanding. Find it at www.popularmechanics.com/weve-been-wrong-before. INSTAGRAM Love our DIY content? Follow us on Instagram for 60-second project tutorials @PopularMechanics THE PODCAST ON THE MOST USEFUL PODCAST EVER, host Jacqueline Detwiler is gearing up for the New York City Marathon with expert advice from the New York Sports Science Lab. Download the latest episode on Apple Podcasts.…

2 min
the reader page

Our First-Ever Letter About Lipstick While looking at the September “Large Photo of the Month,” I couldn’t help but be super-impressed seeing the female mechanics of the Tesla START program. I also couldn’t help noticing one of the women’s amazing red lipstick! You go girl! Breaking stereotypes all around! —Holly Pecarek, Atlanta, Georgia A Bit of Gin History THE ARTICLE “MYSTERIES OF GIN REVEALED” (September) made me smile—and no, I hadn’t imbibed any gin. Your recipe for the gin brought back memories of my dad. He was born in 1913 in a small town in Northern California. By the time he was 13, he was aware of gin, however it wasn’t exactly called gin. He once told me that back then, juniper berries could yield some good money to help buy his school clothes. One…

7 min
veterans storm the capitol

THE FIRST THING the late Senator John McCain chose to say in his farewell address, read to his fellow Americans upon his death in August, was: “Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead.” McCain embodied the relationship that has long braided America’s armed forces with her elected officials. The last two veterans of World War II serving in Congress retired recently, taking with them the comity born of surviving that conflict. But in this most politically polarized year, a new wave of veterans—character wrought in this century’s bloody conflicts with shifting enemies defined not by nationality but by ideology—are running for office. Ninety-one are seeking national office for the first time.…

2 min
every vet running for the first time in 2018*

Charles Anthony (MD-3) Jim Baird (IN-4) Tobi Beck (IN-4) Willie Billups (TX-33) Flynn Broady Jr. (GA-11) Randy Bryce (WI-1) George Buck (FL-13) Angel Cadena (CT-3)a Sean Carrigan (SC-2) Cam Cavasso (HI-1) Gil Cisneros (CA-39) Jesse Colvin (MD-1) Dan Crenshaw (TX-2) Jason Crow (CO-6) Richmond Davis (MD-7) Dan DeBono (NY-3) Ron DiNicola (PA-16) Jeff Dove (VA-11) Chuck Enderlin (GA-3) Margaret Engebretson (WI-7) Daniel Feehan (MN-1) Steve Ferrara (AZ-9) Jared Golden (ME-2) Andrew Grant (CA-7) Mark Green (TN-7) Gerhard Gressmann (SC-6) Ken Harbaugh (OH-7) Wayne “Gunny” Harmon (IN-7) Mary Jennings Hegar (TX-31) Juan Hidalgo Jr. (CA-51) Chrissy Houlahan (PA-6) Dave Hughes (MN-7) Art J. Jones (IL-3) Ronald Paul Kabat (CA-20) Robert Kennedy Jr. (A L-1) Joseph Kopser (TX-21) Steve Kraus (OH-9) Russell Lambert (CA-46) Alan LaPolice (KS-1) Wayne Liebnitzky (FL-9) Beau Liegeois (WI-8) Elaine Luria (VA-2) Henry Martin (MO-6) Dan McCready (NC-9) Amy McGrath (KY-6) Shirley McKellar (TX-1) Dale Mensing (CA-2) Matt Morgan (MI-1) Thomas Oh (VA-8) Richard Ojeda (WV-3) Gina Ortiz Jones (TX-23) Cristina Osmeña (CA-14) Tom Palzewicz (WI-5) Greg Pence (IN-6) Rudy Peters (CA-15) Christopher Peters (IA-2) Rich Pezzullo (NJ-6) Dean Phillips (MN-3) Nick Pierson (AZ-3) Dan Postemski (CT-2) Omar…

1 min
watch sniffs out poison for pipeline workers

IF YOU WORK in the oil or gas industry and wear a hard hat for even part of the day, you’ve probably heard of hydrogen sulfide—the colorless, seriously dangerous gas produced at petroleum refineries, tanneries, natural-gas plants, and waste-treatment facilities. Exposure to high enough concentrations can knock someone unconscious. At more than 500 parts per million, inhalation can be fatal. Until recently, workers would typically wear plastic boxes containing an H2S sensor on their vests to detect the gas. Now, Swiss watch company North Eagles has set that sensor inside an otherwise normal-looking timepiece. If the watch detects dangerous amounts of H2S, it sounds a 96-decibel alarm; if it’s linked to the worker’s phone or North Eagles’ propietary network, it files an alert with location information so a response team…