Behind The Stories

The NPR Podcast Guide: How To Do Everything

Download This: How To Do Everything i i
Claire Mueller/NPR
Download This: How To Do Everything
Claire Mueller/NPR

In this edition of the new go-to guide for NPR Podcasts, we're on a mission to help you learn something. Well, not just something, but everything by listening to the appropriately titled podcast, How To Do Everything*, hosted by Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! producers Mike Danforth and Ian Chillag.

In exchange for your newly-discovered knowledge, tell us about other NPR Podcasts you'd like to see featured here. Leave your response in the comments below.

*Okay, you probably won't learn how to do everything, but you will learn something. We promise.

Podcast Desintation: How To Do Everything

  • What You Can Except

    A sinkhole

    A sinkhole FEMA Photo Library, commons hide caption

    itoggle caption FEMA Photo Library, commons

    Don't be stumped by seemingly small but stress-inducing problems like How do I spread cold butter on a piece of toast? (answer: use a cheese grater). And learn exactly what to do when confronted with dangerous situations like, How do I stop a sinkhole? (answer: "dynamic compaction" - drop a huge crane above a potential sinkhole to compress the soil).

    Tip from Mike and Ian: "Most of what you'll hear is listeners asking how-to questions, and experts answering them. Like, one guy called us and wanted to know how to look cool when he was waiting for a friend outside a coffee shop. We brought on Henry Winkler, 'The Fonz,' to give him some advice. (Lean against the wall with one foot up, and be holding a cool book)."

  • Why You Will Enjoy Listening

    Darth Vader

    Darth Vader Ron Riccio via Flickr hide caption

    itoggle caption Ron Riccio via Flickr

    Always hilarious and insightful hosts Mike and Ian solicit advice from experts about how to do useful things, and sometimes how to do less useful things that are interesting to know anyway.

    Past uniquely-informed guests include a Darth Vader-costume maker, an ampersand enthusiast, a Catholic priest who performs exorcisms and a bed-ridden astronaut.

    And, they pick a "Toilet of the Week." (Seriously. Keep reading.)

    Tip from Mike and Ian: "It's easy to participate —either by asking a question, or submitting a nomination for our ongoing 'Toilet of the Week' competition, or whichever dumb contest we have going at the moment."

  • Recent Episodes You Must Hear

    Ice cream

    Ice cream npr.org/howto hide caption

    itoggle caption npr.org/howto

    While knowledge for knowledge's sake is good, it's also good when put to use. Some moderately-useful things you will learn from recent How To Do Everything episodes include: How to create a new flavor of ice cream [Episode 111: Face-Offs, Ice Cream and You Got Served]; How to sequester your stinky workout clothes [Episode 110: Burritos, Mobsters, and Texts]; & How to obtain cheese in the most dangerous way possible [Episode 109: Butter, Demons and Cheese].

    Tip from Mike and Ian: "[The show's] fun. And you always learn something. It's usually useless information and occasionally practical tips — e.g. If a rhinoceros is charging you, poke its "man region" with a stick. Also, it's short, because we try to cut out all the boring stuff."

  • How to Listen & Discover More How To Do Everything

    How To Do Everything.
    Illustration by Justin Witte

    Subscribe or download episodes

    Updates: Fridays
    Duration: approx 20 minutes
    Price: Free (always)

    If you have a question that needs an answer, share it with the show. Also, like How To Do Everything on Facebook for more survival tips, meet-up invites and send Mike and Ian a toilet photo.

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