Cool Tools

By Cool Tools

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In each episode of the Cool Tools Show, Kevin Kelly and Mark Frauenfelder talk to a guest about some of his or her favorite uncommon and uncommonly good tools they think others should know about.

Episode Date
209: Tywen Kelly
Our guest this week is Tywen Kelly. Tywen is a recent college graduate living in Seattle. He is a photographer, media theorist, and official Evangelist for Pixvana, a VR video software company turned 2D video management software company. Outside of work, he’s a student of filmmaking, computational photography, and cybernetics. He’s also the son of Kevin. For show notes visit:
Jan 17, 2020
208: Theodore Gray
Our guest this week is Theodore Gray. Theodore is the cofounder of Wolfram Research, architect of the Mathematica Notebook System, founder of Touch Press, the BAFTA award-winning director of Disney Animated, which was the iPad app of the year in 2013, author of the million selling trilogy, The Elements, Molecules, and Reactions, and creator of a unique line of transparent mechanical models he calls Mechanical GIFs. For show notes visit:
Jan 10, 2020
207: Janet Varney
Our guest this week is Janet Varney. Janet is an emmy-nominated actor, comedian, writer and producer. You may know her from Stan Against Evil, You’re the Worst, Fortune Rookie or as the voice of Korra on the Legend of Korra. Now you can find her on the hit sci-fi comedy podcast Voyage to the Stars. You can find her on Twitter @janetvarney. For show notes visit:
Jan 03, 2020
206: Mark Crilley
Our guest this week is Mark Crilley. Mark has written and illustrated more than 35 books and graphic novels, and is a 14-time Eisner nominee. His instructional YouTube videos have been viewed more than 380 million times. He lives in Michigan with his wife Miki and their children, Matthew and Mio. You can find him on Twitter @markcrilley. For show notes visit:
Dec 27, 2019
205: Jane Friedman
Our guest this week is Jane Friedman. Jane is a full-time freelancer who reports on the publishing industry for outlets like Publishers Weekly, as well as her own newsletter, The Hot Sheet. She’s especially known for helping authors understand the rather opaque business of making money at writing. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram ad YouTube @janefriedman. For show notes visit:
Dec 20, 2019
204: Mark Krawczuk
Our guest this week is Mark Krawczuk. Mark works as a freelance producer/project manager, who leads teams of developers and creatives to make digital stuff for big companies. In his free time, Mark likes to incite street events and other creative collaborations, as well as help others with their creative projects. You can sign up for his newsletter at: For show notes visit:
Dec 13, 2019
203: Melissa Kirsch
Our guest this week is Melissa Kirsch. Melissa is the editor-in-chief of Lifehacker, as well as the author of The Girl's Guide and the co-host of Lifehacker's podcast, The Upgrade. For show notes visit:
Dec 06, 2019
202: Dan Slaski
Our guest this week is Dan Slaski. Dan is a product designer, Ironman triathlete and blogger of all things digital manufacturing. By day, he tackles crazy engineering problems and puts machines in some of the world’s harshest environments. By night, he plots to share STEM awesomes through nefarious activities like 3D printing ninja stars and 3D scanning PEZ dispensers. For show notes visit:
Nov 29, 2019
201: Alice Bradley
Our guest this week is Alice Bradley. Alice is the deputy editor of Lifehacker and co-host of Lifehacker’s podcast, The Upgrade. Alice is also co-author of the book Let’s Panic About Babies and her stories and essays have been featured in numerous magazines and anthologies. You can find her on Twitter @finslippy. For show notes visit:
Nov 22, 2019
200: John Hodgman
Our guest this week is John Hodgman. John is a writer, performer, former PC, once the resident expert on the Daily Show, and now the author of two books of non-fake facts and true stories from his life, Vacationland and Medallion Status. You can find him at Twitter @hodgman and on Instagram @johnhodgman. For show notes visit: john-hodgman-author-of-medallion-status
Nov 15, 2019
199: Jesse Genet
Our guest this week is Jesse Genet. Jesse is the co-founder and CEO of Lumi, which helps e-commerce brands manage their custom packaging. Before that, she was the creator of a DIY product called Inkodye, which launched on Kickstarter. She's been an entrepreneur for 10 years and lives in Los Angeles. For show notes visit:
Nov 08, 2019
198: Gareth Branwyn
Our guest this week is Gareth Branwyn. Gareth has been writing about DIY technology, media, and culture for over three decades. He's a former senior editor of Boing Boing, a founding contributing editor to Wired, and the former editorial director of Make: Magazine. He's the author of 10 books, including his most recent, Tips and Tales from the Workshop. He currently regularly writes for HackSpace, Boing Boing, and Better Humans. He's currently writing a book about his life-long obsession with William Blake. He also has a weekly newsletter called: Gareth’s Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales. You can find him on Instagram @garethbranwyn. For show notes visit:
Nov 01, 2019
197: Emily Nussbaum
Our guest this week is Emily Nussbaum. Emily is the television critic at The New Yorker, the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and the author of “I Like To Watch: Arguing My Way Through The TV Revolution.” You can find her on Twitter @emilynussbaum. For show notes visit:
Oct 25, 2019
196: Seth Godin
Our guest this week is Seth Godin. Seth is a 19-time bestselling author, a blogger, an internet pioneer and a teacher. You can find out more at For show notes visit:
Oct 18, 2019
195: Mark & Kevin of Cool Tools
Our guests this week are ourselves. We share some of the tools we’ve been using and liking lately. For show notes visit:
Oct 11, 2019
194: David Moldawer
Our guest this week is David Moldawer. David is a Brooklyn-based writer and book collaborator who spent more than a decade as an acquiring editor in New York City publishing. He also writes a weekly newsletter for nonfiction authors and experts who aspire to be authors called the Maven Game. For show notes visit:
Oct 04, 2019
193: Carla Sinclair
Our guest this week is Carla Sinclair. Carla is an author, freelance writer and editor, and co-founder of She’s written 5 books, including Girl Genius, which will be released in November. For show notes visit:
Sep 28, 2019
192: Rob Walker
Our guest this week is Rob Walker. Rob is the Human Resource Columnist for, and a longtime contributor to the New York Times and many other publications. He's on the faculty of Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts, and his new book from Knopf is The Art of Noticing, 131 Ways to Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration and Discover Joy in the Everyday. You can find him on Twitter and Medium at @notrobwalker. For show notes visit:
Sep 13, 2019
191: Susie Bright
Our guest this week is bestselling author Susie Bright. Susie is a pioneering preeminent feminist sex writer and legendary audio producer. She’s also reached peak satisfaction as a guest editor of Boing Boing, and early member of The Well. Susie is one of the world’s most respected voices on sexual politics, as well as an award-winning author and editor who’s produced and published thousands of the finest writers and journalists working in American literature and progressive activism today. You can find her on Twitter @susiebright. For show notes visit:
Sep 06, 2019
190: Nik Schulz
Our guest this week is Nik Schulz. Nik wears many hats. He's contributed illustrations to magazines including Wired, Fortune, and Popular Science. He was actually the first illustrator for Make magazine. He's also a furniture maker, automotive illustrator, and an overlander. He lives and works on Orcas Island in Washington State. You can find him on Instagram at @nikschulzillustration. For show notes visit:
Aug 30, 2019
189: Jordan Bunker
Our guest this week is Jordan Bunker. Jordan is a freelance engineer, designer, artist, and prop-maker based out of Oakland, California. He’s also a former Make: magazine technical editor and BattleBots robot builder. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @TensorFlux. For show notes visit:
Aug 23, 2019
188: Lillian Karabaic
Our guest this week is Lillian Karabaic. Lillian is the host of Oh My Dollar!, a weekly syndicated financial advice radio show and podcast for covering the kinds of modern money issues that aren't represented in the mainstream media. Her book, A Cat’s Guide to Money, just went into its second printing. She eats 3 tacos for breakfast every morning. For show notes visit:
Aug 16, 2019
187: Jeremy Kirshbaum
Our guest this week is Jeremy Kirshbaum. Jeremy is a researcher, strategist, and entrepreneur. He splits his time between West Africa, China, and California, where he is from, partnering with people to build new things, innovate, and explore. He does this through action research, design, and a variety of creative media. He is a proud research affiliate at Institute for the Future, a research affiliate of the Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab, and a research fellow at the Johns Hopkins Immersive Storytelling and Immersive Media Lab and works with large organizations of all kinds to innovate more effectively and imaginatively. For show notes visit:
Aug 09, 2019
186: Michelle Hlubinka
Our guest this week is Michelle Hlubinka. Michelle has made a career of promoting playful learning through people-centered uses of technology in schools, museums, and neighborhoods. She spent most of the past 12 years at the forefront of Maker Media’s efforts in education, establishing key kid-focused programs—Young Makers, School Makerspaces and School Maker Faires—and running Maker Camp. In short, she is a maker of makers, and also a maker herself. For show notes visit:
Aug 02, 2019
185: Dan Shapiro
Our guest this week is Dan Shapiro. Dan is the founder of Glowforge, the 3D laser printer. He's also the creator of Robot Turtles, the board game that teaches programming to preschoolers. He wrote Hot Seat: The CEO Guidebook, and his latest hobby is throwing his wife and twin 10-year-olds in dungeons with dragons. You can find him on Twitter @danshapiro. For show notes visit:
Jul 26, 2019
184: Rob Beschizza
Our guest this week is Rob Beschizza. Rob is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing and the Founder of, and effectively invisible publishing platform and low-key internet cult. For show notes visit:
Jul 19, 2019
183: Oliver Hulland
Our guest this week is Oliver Hulland. Oliver is a former editor of Cool Tools, after which he ended up pursuing a career in medicine. He's currently a third-year resident in emergency medicine at Yale University. When not working in the emergency department, he enjoys spending his time foraging for mushrooms and wild plants. For show notes visit:
Jul 12, 2019
182: Richard Kadrey
Our guests this week is Richard Kadrey. Richard is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sandman Slim supernatural noir series. Sandman Slim was included in Amazon’s “100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime.” Some of Richard’s other books include The Everything Box, Hollywood Dead, and Butcher Bird. He’s also written comics and is a photographer. For show notes visit:
Jul 05, 2019
181: Kirsten Dirksen and Nicolás Boullosa
Our guests this week are Kirsten Dirksen and Nicolás Boullosa. Since 200, Kristen and Nicolas have been producing *faircompanies, a web series that’s evolved to become one of the most comprehensive archives of compact homes and simple living (including lean urbanism, self-sufficiency, smart gardens, craftsmanship, and philosophies of life. For show notes visit:
Jun 28, 2019
180: Stephen Wolfram
Our guest this week is Stephen Wolfram. Stephen is the creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha and the Wolfram Language; he’s the author of A New Kind of Science; and the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research. Over the course of nearly four decades, Stephen has been a pioneer in the development and application of computational thinking—and has been responsible for many discoveries, inventions and innovations in science, technology and business. For show notes visit:
Jun 21, 2019
179: Dave Rome
Our guest this week is Dave Rome. Dave is a gear editor and content strategist at, a premium online cycling publication with the mission to share the beauty of cycling. Dave was a previous editor at the UK publication, and has been involved in the bicycle industry for over the past decade. As a bike mechanic, Dave is a self-confessed tool nerd, and often writes in-depth reviews and features about hand tools for DIY cyclists and mechanics. For show notes visit:
Jun 14, 2019
178: Cameo Wood
Our guest this week is Cameo Wood. Cameo is an EMMY nominated filmmaker. She is also a former tech founder, founded an urban beekeeping store, was the first to perform Turing’s Original Imitation Game experiment, and has completed grad programs in Egyptology and Medical Neuroscience. For show notes visit:
Jun 07, 2019
177: Adam Savage
Our guest this week is Adam Savage. Adam has spent his life gathering skills that allow him to take what's in his brain and make it real. He's built everything from ancient Buddhas and futuristic weapons to fine-art sculptures and dancing vegetables. Today, Adam hosts and executive produces MythBusters Jr. as well as a brand-new series, Savage Builds, which premieres on Science Channel in June 2019. He also stars in and produces content for, including behind-the-scenes dives into multiple blockbuster films (including Alien Covenant, Mortal Combat and Blade Runner). He's also got a new book out called Every Tool's a Hammer. For show notes visit:
May 31, 2019
176: Ziya Tong
Our guest this week is Ziya Tong. Ziya is an award-winning science broadcaster, best known for her work with Discovery's flagship show, Daily Planet, as well as NOVA ScienceNow and Wired Science on PBS. She is the author of the forthcoming book The Reality Bubble, the Vice Chair of the World Wildlife Fund Canada, and a supporter of the Extinction Rebellion. For show notes visit:
May 24, 2019
175: Sean Michael Ragan
Our guest this week is Sean Michael Ragan. Sean is the author of three books including The Total Inventor's Manual, which is on sale now at Costco, Sam's, and all major book retailers. He’s also a former editor of and longtime contributor to MAKE Magazine and MAKE online. You can find him on Amazon, Medium and Instagram. For show notes visit:
May 17, 2019
174: Joshuah Bearman
Our guest this week is Joshuah Bearman. Josh is Epic’s cofounder and CCO and has written for Wired, GQ, the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, and is a regular contributor to This American Life. Josh has written about meteorite hunters, deranged private investigators, jewel thieves, surfing smugglers, and the metaphysical implications of being the world's greatest Pac Man player. He was a finalist for the 2014 National Magazine Awards, and his work has been anthologized in various Best American series. The movie Argo was adapted from Bearman's 2007 Wired article, "The Great Escape." For show notes visit:
May 10, 2019
173: Guy Kawasaki
Our guest this week is Guy Kawasaki. Guy is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. He is also a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz and an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business. He was the chief evangelist of Apple and a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation. For show notes visit:
May 03, 2019
172: Tina Roth Eisenberg
Our guest this week is Tina Roth Eisenberg. Tina is a Swiss born, raised, and trained graphic designer. In 1999, she came to New York City for a three-month design internship and never left. Over the past 13 years, Tina started numerous side projects that have organically turned into businesses. A creative co-working community called FRIENDS, a global monthly lecture series called CreativeMornings, a simple to-do app called TeuxDeux, and Tattly, a high-end temporary tattoo shop. She lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, with her two kids, Ella and Tilo, who are teaching her the art of making slime and building forts. Tina is often referred to as Swissmiss, after her popular blog. She likes that. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter @swissmiss. For show notes visit:
Apr 26, 2019
171: Donald Bell
Our guest this week is Donald Bell. Donald creates tool review videos for Cool Tools. He also hosts a weekly YouTube show called Maker Update, which collects interesting projects, news, tips, and tools for the Maker community. For show notes visit:
Apr 19, 2019
170: Terri Schweitzer
Our guest this week is Terrie Schweitzer. Terrie is the editor of Better Humans for, and on the weekend she’s a professional bubble entertainer with Big Top Bubbles. She loves unconventional adventures and spent two years working with cashew farmers in Ghana, has been a goat milker, and counts hawks with Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. For show notes visit:
Apr 12, 2019
169: Robert Stephens
Our guest this week is Robert Stephens. Robert is the founder of The Geek Squad and former CTO of Best Buy. The Geek Squad turns 25 this year, employing over 24,000 people. A native of Chicago, he now lives in the Bay Area. He has read the Cool Tools book back-to-back at least 5 times. For show notes visit:
Apr 05, 2019
168: Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro
Our guest this week is Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro. Liz and Craig have been married for 26 years, writing together for 20. Most recently, they were the executive producers and showrunners of the CBS sci-fi thriller Salvation. Together they’ve written and/or produced, dozens of projects including the sci-fi thriller Extant starring Halle Berry, Necessary Roughness on USA network, and Girlfriends Guide to Divorce on Bravo. For show notes visit:
Mar 29, 2019
167: Om Malik
Our guest this week is Om Malik. Om is a partner at early stage venture firm, True Ventures. Prior to becoming an investor, he started GigaOm, a technology blog and covered technology and its impact for over two decades. Om loves technology, its possibilities and writes about its impact on his blog, For show notes visit:
Mar 22, 2019
166: Mark Stramaglia
Our guest this week is Mark Stramaglia. Mark is an experimental musician and digital artist. He creates games and audio software under the name Bludgeonsoft, and produces and performs music and art as Wizard Master and Operation Re-Information. His current project is Vilmonic, an artificial life, evolution, and genetics sandbox game and virtual world. Vilmonic is available now, on Steam and For show notes visit:
Mar 15, 2019
165: Bonnie Burton
Our guest this week is Bonnie Burton. Bonnie is a Los Angeles-based author, who writes books and comics about sea monsters, Wookiees, mean girls, crafts, magical things, robots and aliens. Her books include Live or Die?: Survival Hacks; J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World Movie Magic: Amazing Artifacts; Crafting With Feminism; Star Wars Craft Book; Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Girls Against Girls; Pros and (Comic) Cons; Womanthology and more. She's on Twitter at @bonniegrrl. For show notes visit:
Mar 08, 2019
164: George Dyson
Our guest this week is George Dyson. George divides his time between building boats and writing books, and some fo the books he has written include Project Orion: The True Story of the Atomic Spaceship, Darwin among the Machines: The Evolution of Global Intelligence, Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe. For show notes visit:
Mar 01, 2019
163: Elon Schoenholz
Our guest this week is Elon Schoenholz. Elon is a former guest editor of Cool Tools and has been working as a commercial photographer documenting art and architecture in L.A. for the past 20 years. He’s a husband and father, gardner and an avid cyclist, and a founding member of the LA County Bicycle Coalition. He raced cyclocross for three seasons, without ever breaking the top 10. For show notes visit:
Feb 22, 2019
162: Tommy Honton
Our guest this week is Tommy Honton. Tommy is a Los Angeles-based experience designer who specializes in weaving interactivity and game mechanics into narrative storytelling. Across the United States, he’s produced interactive and immersive work for audience sizes ranging from 1 to 80,000. He’s also the co-creator and designer of the critically-acclaimed escape room Stash House and co-founder of the interactive exhibition Museum of Selfies. For show notes visit:
Feb 15, 2019
161: Madeline Ashby
Our guest this week is Madeline Ashby. Madeline is a futurist and science fiction writer living in Toronto. Her most recent novel, Company Town, is available from Tor Books. For show notes visit:
Feb 08, 2019
160: Steven Leckart
Our guest this week is Steven Leckart. Steven is a writer, director, and investigative journalist. He has written a handful of documentaries, including SILICON COWBOYS, and has contributed to various magazines including Wired, Esquire, Men’s Health, Maxim, and Popular Science. Steven is also the co-author of Cabin Porn, a New York Times bestseller about hand-built architecture. For show notes visit:
Feb 01, 2019
159: John Park
Our guest this week is John Park. John is a professional maker. He builds creative technology projects, tutorials, and videos for Adafruit Industries. John hosted the Emmy-nominated Make: Television show on American Public Television. Prior to joining Adafruit, John worked in computer graphics, including twelve years in animation at Disney. John is an amature circus aerialist, and a synthesizer enthusiast. For show notes visit:
Jan 25, 2019
158: Dan Pink
Our guest this week is Daniel Pink. Daniel is the author of four New York Times bestsellers on work, business, and psychology. His books have won multiple awards and have been translated into 39 languages. Dan was also host and co-executive producer of “Crowd Control,” a National Geographic TV series about human behavior. His latest book is When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. For show notes visit:
Jan 18, 2019
157: Jen Schachter
Our guest this week is Jen Schachter. Jen is a multimedia maker and a mastermind of interactive art projects, including a giant light-up sign for the Obama White House, a wooden parking validation robot, and a monumental 3D-printed sculpture of Rosie the Riveter. You can find her product reviews in Make Magazine, her epic collaborations with Adam Savage on, and her tool manuals in fabrication shops in Baltimore. For show notes visit:
Jan 11, 2019
156: Michael Kupperman
Our guest this week is Michael Kupperman. Michael is an artist and writer in Brooklyn whose work has appeared in or on The New Yorker, Fortune, The New York Times, Nickelodeon Magazine, Forbes, Playboy, Heavy Metal, McSweeney’s, DC, Marvel, Vice, Saturday Night Live, Adult Swim, and Comedy Central, and six of his own books. All the Answers is his first serious book. For show notes visit:
Jan 04, 2019
155: Aaron Lammer
Our guest this week is Aaron Lammer. Aaron is the co-host of the Longform Podcast, which has interviewed non-fiction writers weekly for over half a decade. He has been writing songs with the music project Francis and the Lights since college and lives in Brooklyn. For show notes visit:
Dec 28, 2018
154: M.G. Siegler
Our guest this week is M.G. Siegler. For the past 5-plus years, M.G. Siegler has been a general partner at GV — Google’s venture capital arm. Before that, he helped start a seed fund called CrunchFund. And before that, he was a tech reporter for a number of years at publications such as TechCrunch and VentureBeat. Way back when, he was a front-end web developer. For show notes visit:
Dec 21, 2018
153: Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Our guest this week is Maggie Tokuda-Hall. Maggie is the author of the Parent's Choice Gold Medal winning picture book, Also an Octopus. Her debut young adult novel, The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea is due out in Fall 2019. She is the host of the Drunk Safari podcast. For show notes visit:
Dec 15, 2018
152: Gever Tulley
Our guest this week is Gever Tulley. Gever is founder of Tinkering School, an internationally famous summer camp where kids build amazing things from rollercoasters to wind-powered trains. He is also the founder of SF Brightworks, a K-12 school where the student is the co-author of their education, with an emphasis on learning by doing. He also co-author of 50 Dangerous Things (you should let your children do), a book to help children and families learn to assess and mitigate risk by doing dangerous things together (and is now available in seven languages). He speaks and hosts workshops internationally on education and the empowerment of children, and he is constantly fooling around in the shop, building things with kids For show notes visit:
Dec 07, 2018
151: Anne Briggs
Our guest this week is Anne Briggs. Anne grew up on Montana and spent a lot of her young life abroad because her parents are missionaries. She majored in Chinese and Business hoping to become an international business mogul, but quickly realized that working in the tech industry wasn't a life she wanted to live. So she started a garden and built a workshop in her spare time. One thing led to another and now she's a farmer, woodworker, blacksmith, musician, and full-time content creator. For show notes visit:
Nov 30, 2018
150: Michael Lorsung
Our guest this week is Michael Lorsung. Michael is a transmedia artist based in Snowmass Village, Colorado. He is a practicing artist, tinkerer, and experimenter who also works full time managing the sculpture program at Anderson Ranch Arts Center. His work investigates human questions through the lens of industrial production and technology. For show notes visit:
Nov 23, 2018
149: Trey Ratcliff
Our guest this week is Trey Ratcliff. Trey is a photographer, artist, writer and adventurer. Each day, Trey posts a new photo to his website,, the #1 Travel Photography blog. His images and stories capture the beauty of exotic travel destinations as well as the humor of bizarre situations he often finds himself in. There is always something new, unexpected and beautiful to see. For show notes visit:
Nov 20, 2018
148: Jeri Ellsworth
Our guest this week is Jeri Ellsworth. Jeri is an inventor, entrepreneur and amateur scientist. Her career started when she dropped out of high school and formed a business building, selling and racing quarter-mile dirt-track cars. In the mid-90’s she founded a small retail computer store chain, and in the 2000’s she launched her engineering career where she designed a wide variety of electronic components and consumer products. She's passionate about educational outreach and maintains a youtube channel devoted to demonstrating engineering and science techniques. For show notes visit:
Nov 09, 2018
147: Elan Lee
Our guest this week is Elan Lee. Elan is a professional game designer. He is a co-creator of Exploding Kittens, the most backed crowdfunded project in history. And before that, he was Chief Design Officer for Microsoft's Xbox. For show notes visit:
Nov 02, 2018
146: April Wilkerson
Our guest this week is April Wilkerson. April is a maker who started building stuff out of necessity, but then it turned into a passion, and now it's her full-time job. Anything she needs, she figures out how to build, so nothing is off-limits. Woodworking, metalworking, construction, renovation. She does it all. For show notes visit:
Oct 26, 2018
145: Saul Griffith
Our guest this week is Saul Griffith. Saul is a compulsive user of tools, he works across disciplines with a focus of making tools and technologies that help us solve climate change. Consequently, he ends up doing thermodynamics, precision machine design, and robotics on a daily basis. For show notes visit:
Oct 19, 2018
144: Laura Cochrane
Our guest this week is Laura Cochrane. Laura Cochrane is a content strategist living in Berkeley, California. She currently works at NEO.LIFE, a biotech publication. Before that, she was an editor at two different DIY project publications: MAKE magazine, where she worked alongside Mark, and Instructables. Her hobbies include rock climbing, drawing, dancing, and yoga. For show notes visit:
Oct 12, 2018
143: Carl Bass
Our guest this week is Carl Bass. Carl has been designing and making buildings, boats, sculpture, and machinery for the last 40 years. He is the former CEO of Autodesk and now spends his time researching the boundaries of digital fabrication in his shops in Berkeley and with a number of companies he’s working with. For show notes visit:
Oct 08, 2018
142: Anita Sarkeesian
Our guest this week is Anita Sarkeesian. Anita is a media critic and the host of Feminist Frequency Radio. She has a new book Called History vs Women, which she wrote with Ebony Adams. For show notes visit:
Sep 28, 2018
141: Steven Levy
Our guest this week is Steven Levy. Steven writes about technology. He’s editor at large at Wired and his books include Hackers, Crypto, Artificial Life and In the Plex. For show notes visit:
Sep 21, 2018
140: Bran Ferren
Our guest this week is Bran Ferren. Bran is the former President of Research and Development of Walt Disney Imagineering and is now the Chief Creative Officer of Applied Minds, which he co-founded in 2000 with Danny Hillis. For show notes visit:
Sep 14, 2018
139: Adam Fisher
Our guest this week is Adam Fisher. Adam grew up in Silicon Valley, playing Atari, programming computers and reading science fiction. He still lives in the Bay area, but now spends his time thinking about the future, tracing its origins and writing about it for Wired, MIT Technology Review, The Economist, and The New York Times Sunday Magazine. For show notes visit:
Sep 07, 2018
138: Steve Lodefink
Our guest this week is Steve Lodefink. Steve is a software User Experience designer by day, and a tinker and maker of things by night. As a contributing author Make and Craft magazines, and blogger, Steve has written and shared numerous how-to and articles. He enjoys exploring new tools and methods as well as learning the old ones. For show notes visit:
Aug 31, 2018
137: Michael Dubno
Our guest this week is Michael Dubno. Michael is a former Wall Street CIO/CTO and a software developer. He's an inventor, artist, welder, machinist, polar explorer, photographer, roboticist, tech entrepreneur, mentor, co-founder of Gadgetoff, co-chair of FIRST in New York City, and exaggerator of accomplishments, and a collector and user of tools. For show notes visit:
Aug 24, 2018
136: Larry A
Our guest this week is Larry A. Larry is a longtime subscriber to Cool Tools and an occasional contributor. He's an engineer who loves technology, and who sees things differently and in more depth than the average consumer. Kevin and I picked Larry as a guest for the Cool Tools Show because he's active in the comment boards. He has great things to say: questions, assumptions, interesting opinions. For show notes visit:
Aug 17, 2018
135: Dan Dubno
Our guest this week is Dan Dubno. Dan is an Emmy Award winning journalist, technologist, curator, and founder of nonprofit organizations. At CBS News, he developed many new technologies that have changed the face of broadcast television. Presently, Dan is working for DARPA and is also Contributing Editor for Popular Mechanics. For show notes visit:
Aug 10, 2018
134: Rose Eveleth
Our guest this week is Rose Eveleth. Rose is a Rose Eveleth. Rose is a writer and producer based in Berkeley who explores how humans tangle with science and technology. She's the creator and host of Flash Forward, a podcast about possible and not so possible futures, and it's covered everything from fake tumbleweed farms to million dollar baccarat heists. For show notes visit:
Aug 03, 2018
133: Theodore Gray
Our guest this week is Theodore Gray. Theodore is the co-founder of Wolfram Research, makers of Mathematica and Wolfram|Alpha. He's also the founder of App publisher Touch Press and the author of many books that Kevin and I own and love, including The Elements, Molecules, Reactions, and Mad Science. He's also the proprietor of For show notes visit:
Jul 27, 2018
132: Danielle Baskin
Our guest this week is Danielle Baskin. Danielle is an entrepreneur, painter, and performance artist based in San Francisco. She's created internet jokes, like Custom Avocados and Drone Sweaters. She's also the founder of Inkwell Helmets, a custom bike helmet company, the co-founder of Your Boss, a voice-chat based productivity app, and has started many other companies. For show notes visit:
Jul 20, 2018
131: Alex Glow
Our guest this week is Alex Glow. Alex creates electronics videos and tutorials at in San Francisco; she loves building wearable tech, EEG, music, bikes, holograms, and more. Alex grew into hardware as a FIRST Robotics team member, then as a director of the AHA and Noisebridge hackerspaces and Artist in Residence at Autodesk's Pier 9. For show notes visit:
Jul 13, 2018
130: Tom Fassbender
Our guest this week is Tom Fassbender. Tom is a writer and former publisher of books and comics and a traveler who, along with his wife and two daughters, ventured on a yearlong trip around the world where they experienced 36 countries in 333 days. And he also posted about his adventures on Boing Boing, which was really fun to read. For show notes visit:
Jul 06, 2018
129: Jake Von Slatt
Our guest this week is Jake von Slatt. Jake von Slatt is someone that delights making things. Hours spent in the workshop are a meditation, an end unto themselves. This results in adventures that Jake has coined “toolchain journeys,” the most recent of which started with a desire to learn blacksmithing and lead to 3D printing a model to cast in aluminum to make a pulley to drive an alternator converted to a welder with a 1946 car engine to weld a pile of scrap steel into a serviceable anvil. The process is the thing. For show notes visit:
Jun 29, 2018
128: Dan Ruderman
Our guest this week is Dan Ruderman. Dan is a physicist and technologist. He is faculty at the Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC, where he applies machine learning to individualized cancer treatment. Dan enjoys overseas travel, and picking up enough foreign language to never again order a plate of organ meat. For show notes visit:
Jun 22, 2018
127: Becky Stern
Becky is a Content Creator at Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. For show notes visit:
Jun 15, 2018
126: Charles Platt
Our guest this week is Charles Platt. Charles has written science-fiction novels, computer books, and books about electronics, including Make: Electronics, which is a best-seller in its field. He was a senior writer at Wired magazine, and has designed and built prototype equipment for a California laboratory. For show notes visit:
Jun 08, 2018
125: Tod Kurt
Our guest this week is Tod E. Kurt. Tod runs ThingM, an IoT device studio in Pasadena. He is creator of the blink(1) USB notification light and BlinkM Smart LED. He co-founded CRASH Space, a Los Angeles hackerspace. He is the author of “Hacking Roomba” and long ago worked on cameras for Mars probes. For show notes visit:
May 31, 2018
124: Kishore Hari
Our guest this week is Kishore Hari. Kishore is a scientist/science educator who's been building science events for the last decade, but he really sees himself as a community organizer for science. He’s currently the science correspondent at Adam Savage’s and the host of the weekly science podcast Inquiring Minds. For show notes visit:
May 25, 2018
123: Scotty Allen
Our guest this week is Scotty Allen. Scotty is a nomadic engineer, entrepreneur, adventurer and storyteller who orbits around San Francisco and Shenzhen, China. He runs a YouTube channel Strange Parts, a travel adventure show for geeks where he goes on adventures ranging from building his own iPhone in China to trying to make a manhole cover in India. For show notes visit:
May 18, 2018
122: Kari Byron
Our guest this week is Kari Byron. Kari is best known for her role as a host on Discovery’s flagship show Mythbusters. Since then she has gone on to host and produce shows spanning several networks from White Rabbit Project on Netflix to Thrill Factor on Travel Channel to Positive Energy on Nat Geo. She just released her new book Crash Test Girl: An Unlikely Experiment in Using the Scientific Method to Answer Life’s Toughest Questions. For show notes visit:
May 11, 2018
121: Talin
Our guest this week is Talin. Talin is a “recovering game programmer” whose career spans 25 years, stretching from the early years of personal computing to more recent games like Sim City 4 and The Sims 2. He’s also a writer, artist, cosplayer, musician and web developer. For show notes visit:
May 04, 2018
120: Grant Thompson
Our guest this week is Grant Thompson. Grant was an airline pilot when he started posting videos of his crazy science experiments and DIY projects. His channel became wildly popular for making science fun, and he's become home to nearly 10 million subscribers. He's been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America, Discovery Channel, and Jimmy Fallon. As "The King of Random," Grant's mission has been to share the joy of experimenting and hands-on learning. Through constant experimenting and undying persistence, he's become one of the most-subscribed YouTubers in the world. For show notes visit:
Apr 27, 2018
119: Bob Clagett
Our guest this week is Bob Clagett. Bob loves making stuff. He loves showing other people how he works to hopefully inspire them and empower them to make whatever is that they're passionate about. For show notes visit:
Apr 19, 2018
118: Michael Borys
Our guest this week is Michael Borys. He is a designer who creates experiences for the entertainment industry. He is currently the Vice President of Interaction and Game Design at 42 Entertainment, a Magician Member of The Magic Castle and his immersive magic show is called The 49 Boxes — which is not to be missed. For show notes visit:
Apr 13, 2018
117: Matt Blum
Our guest this week is Matt Blum. Matt is a dad, a geek, and a software engineer, who’s been writing for and editing the GeekDad blog for almost 11 years. He foresees the day soon when he’ll need to buy a new house just for his books, games, LEGO sets, and Funko Pop! Vinyls. For show notes visit:
Apr 05, 2018
116: Koichi
Our guest this week is Koichi. Koichi started Tofugu, a blog to help people get to Japan and have a good time once they get there, and WaniKani, a kanji learning program that uses mnemonics, SRS, and some morally ambiguous addiction strategies to teach you around 2,000 kanji and 6,000 Japanese vocabulary words up to 10x faster. For show notes visit:
Mar 27, 2018
115: Zach Supalla
Our guest this week is Zach Supalla. Zach is the CEO and one of the founders of Particle, the most widely-used IoT platform. Particle is used by more than 140,000 developers and 8,500 companies to build IoT products ranging from the smart home to industrial equipment. For show notes visit:
Mar 16, 2018
114: Scott Smith
Our guest this week is Scott Smith. Scott is a critical futurist and founder of Changeist, where he leads strategy and research. His work taps over 20 years’ experience tracking social, tech and economic trends. He works with brands and organizations to find new futures. He’s also a writer and frequent speaker, and on Twitter @changeist. For show notes visit:
Mar 08, 2018
113: Madeline Ashby
Our guest this week is Madeline Ashby. Madeline is a science fiction writer and futurist living in Toronto. Her most recent novel, Company Town, was a finalist for the 2017 CBC Books Canada Reads prize. She has also developed science fiction prototypes for the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Data & Society, Nesta, the Atlantic Council, NASA, and others. For show notes visit:
Feb 28, 2018
112: JD Roth
Our guest this week is J.D. Roth started blogging in 1997, before "blog" was even a word. In 2006, he founded, a site devoted to common-sense personal finance. He sold Get Rich Slowly in 2009 then bought it back in 2017. His mission in life is to help everyday people master their money and achieve their financial goals. For show notes visit:
Feb 23, 2018
111: Nelson Dellis
Our guest this week is Nelson Dellis. Nelson is one of the leading memory experts in the world, traveling around the world as a Memory Consultant and Keynote Speaker. A four-time USA Memory Champion, mountaineer, and Alzheimer's disease activist, he preaches a lifestyle that combines fitness, both mental and physical, with proper diet and social involvement. For show notes visit:
Feb 15, 2018
110: Kevin Rose
Our guest this week is Kevin Rose. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur and product builder, having founded the social news site Digg in 2004. Later Kevin pursued a career in venture investing, investing in companies like Medium, Ripple, and Blue Bottle Coffee while at Google Ventures and is now investing at True Ventures. For show notes visit:
Feb 09, 2018
109: Dean Putney
Our guest this week is Dean Putney. Dean is the founding software engineer at laser cutter startup Glowforge in Seattle. Previously he wrote software for organizations like Reddit, IDEO, Boing Boing and Cool Tools. For show notes visit:
Feb 02, 2018
108: Claudia Dawson
Our guest this week is Claudia Dawson. Claudia works with Kevin in his studio in Pacifica, California. She manages the Cool Tools website and produces and co-writes Recomendo, our weekly newsletter that gives you six brief personal recommendations of cool stuff. For show notes visit:
Jan 25, 2018
107: Ruben Bolling
Our guest this week is Ruben Bolling. Ruben is the author of the award-winning comic strip, Tom the Dancing Bug, which premieres each week on Boing Boing. For show notes visit:
Jan 19, 2018
106: Jane Frauenfelder
Our guest this week is Jane Frauenfelder. Jane was born and raised in Southern California, she co-hosted a podcast called Apps For Kids for two and a half years, and now attends a robotics academy at her high school. In her off time, she designs video games and she aspires to be a video game designer when she's older. For show notes visit:
Jan 11, 2018
105: Gareth Branwyn
Our guest this week is Gareth Branwyn. Gareth has been writing about DIY technology, media and culture for over three decades. He's the former senior editor of "Boing Boing," a founding contributing editor to "Wired," and the former editorial director of "Make." He's the author of eight books, including his most recent, "Borg Like Me," a memoir and best-of collection. He's currently writing two books, a shop tip books for Make, and a book on magic and role-playing games, which he's co-authoring with author Peter Bebergal. For show notes visit:
Jan 05, 2018
104: Barbara Dace
Our guest this week is Dr. Barbara Dace. Barbara has been a compounding pharmacist for 32 years, creating custom medications, educating pharmacy students as well as the public, and improving health and quality of life for hundreds of patients. She loves to sing and play the autoharp, and has become an award-winning songwriter.
Dec 22, 2017
103: Andreas Antonopoulos
Our guest this week is Andreas Antonopoulos. Andreas is an acclaimed author, speaker, educator, and one of the world's foremost Bitcoin and open blockchain experts. Andreas makes complex subjects accessible and easy to understand. Andreas is also the author of one of my favorite books about bitcoin and blockchain technology called The Internet of Money. For show notes visit:
Dec 22, 2017
102: Carol Tilley
Our guest this week is Carol Tilley. Disguised as a mild-mannered Midwestern library and information science professor, Carol Tilley is actually the Comics Crusader, whose 2013 research debunked evidence used by 1950s anti-comics advocate Fredric Wertham. A 2016 Eisner Award judge, Carol is also president-elect of the Comics Studies Society and an in-demand speaker on comics history. For show notes visit
Dec 15, 2017
101 Norm Chan
Our guest this week is Norm Chan. Norm is the co-founder and editor of, a website and YouTube channel celebrating the interesting intersections of technology, science, art and the maker community. Norm's been a technology journalist for 10 years and produces shows on Tested including Adam Savage's costume builds and his weekly podcast Still Untitled. For show notes visit:
Dec 08, 2017
100: Jen Pahlka
Our guest this week is Jennifer Pahlka. Jennifer is the Founder of Code for America, a nonprofit dedicated to proving that government can work for all people in the digital age. She served as the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer under President Obama, and founded the United States Digital Service dedicated to the same idea. For show notes visit:
Dec 01, 2017
99: A.J. Jacobs
Our guest this week is A.J. Jacobs. A.J. is the author of four New York Times best sellers including The Year Of Living Biblically, and The Know-It-All. CBS will be airing a sitcom based on The Year Of Living Biblically this winter. He is a contributor to Esquire and NPR.
Nov 22, 2017
98: Matt Velderman
Our guest this week is Matt Velderman. He's a DYIer, an engineer, inventor, and he leads Stanley Black & Decker's Breakthrough Innovation Group.
Nov 16, 2017
97: Jim Beloff
Our guest this week is Jim Beloff. Jim is the author of The Ukulele : A Visual History, and with his wife Liz publishes the popular Jumpin' Jim's series of ukulele songbooks, including The Daily Ukulele, one of the best selling ukulele songbooks ever published.
Nov 10, 2017
96: David Lang
Our guest this week is David Lang. David Lang is an entrepreneur, writer, and National Geographic Fellow. In 2012, along with Eric Stackpole, he co-founded OpenROV to create a low-cost robot to explore an underwater cave. Since then, OpenROV has raised over $900,000 on Kickstarter and become one of the largest underwater drone manufacturers. The team also created OpenExplorer as a digital field journal to empower and connect citizen scientists and explorers. Lang is the author of Zero to Maker — part memoir and part guidebook for participating in the growing maker movement.
Nov 03, 2017
95: Andrea James
Our guest this week is Andrea James. Andrea is a writer, director, producer, and activist. Her last film, Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy, aired on SHOWTIME. She's developing a talk show called Conversations with Coco and will direct the film Becoming a Man in 127 EASY Steps in 2018.
Oct 27, 2017
94: Simon Quellen Field
Our guest this week is Simon Quellen Field. Simon is a chemist and former Google software engineer and is the author of over a dozen books, including Gonzo Gizmos, Return of Gonzo Gizmos, Culinary Reactions, Why is Milk White, Elements Vault, Why There’s Antifreeze In Your Toothpaste, Electronics for Artists and, most recently, Boom!: The Chemistry and History of Explosives. He’s the author of the science toy website and several novels.
Oct 20, 2017
93: Nicole Harkin
Our guest this week is Nicole Harkin. Nicole lives in Washington, DC with her family. She recently published her first book, Tilting: A Memoir, and she’s currently working on a mystery set in Berlin. She also runs a small photography business focused on family portraiture. She is from Montana and before becoming a writer worked in government oversight.
Oct 13, 2017
92: Rebecca Romney
Our guest this week is Rebecca Romney. Rebecca is a rare book dealer at Honey & Wax Booksellers in Brooklyn. She got her start with Bauman Rare Books, managing their Las Vegas gallery. She is known for her appearances on the HISTORY Channel’s show Pawn Stars, where she evaluates books as the show’s only female expert.
Oct 06, 2017
91: Craig Mod
Our guest this week is Craig Mod. Craig is a writer and designer. He's worked extensively with Silicon Valley and Japanese start ups. He spends about two months each year walking the old pilgrimage paths and ancient highways in the mountains of Japan.
Sep 27, 2017
90: Wendy Frauenfelder
Our guest this week is Wendy Frauenfelder. Wendy likes to cook, fix things, pretend to be a bartender, and do therapy dog work. She also is fascinated with wild yeast and slow food.
Sep 21, 2017
89: Greg Gage
Our guest this week is Greg Gage. Greg is the co-founder and CEO of Backyard Brains, a company started with Tim Marzullo as neuroscience graduate students at the University of Michigan. Greg is a published neuroscientist and engineer, and has helped develop tools, curriculum and experiments that allowed the general public to participate in neural discovery. Greg is a senior fellow at TED and the recipient of the White House Champion of Change from Barack Obama award for his commitment to citizen science.
Sep 13, 2017
88: Ben Baker
Our guest this week is Ben “Gitty” Baker. Ben fell in love with the idea that anyone, anywhere can build their own musical instrument and make music on it. His company was founded to spread that message all around the world.
Sep 06, 2017
87: Xeni Jardin
Our guest this week is Xeni Jardin. Xeni is my partner at Boing Boing. We've been friends for a really long time, and Xeni has been with me from the very beginning at Boing Boing. She is always coming up with really cool ideas for tools that she uses for cooking, for communicating, she does a lot of traveling. I'm really looking forward to what she has to present to us today.
Aug 29, 2017
86: Louis Rossetto
Our guest this week is Louis Rossetto. Louis co-founded Wired with his life partner Jane Metcalfe. During his five years directing Wired, it won the National Magazine Awards for General Excellence twice and was Adweek's Hottest Magazine of the Year. Wired also pioneered commercial web media, launching HotWired the first website with original advertising and Fortune 500 advertising. Since Wired, he's pursued different obsessions from real estate to helping start and run the high end chocolate company TCHO, to writing his new novel Change is Good.
Aug 23, 2017
85: Rob Reid
Our guest this week is Rob Reid. Rob is the New York Times bestselling author of novels including Year Zero and the freshly-released After On. A longtime entrepreneur, he founded, which created the Rhapsody music service. Years ago he was a Fulbright scholar in Cairo, and he still speaks better Arabic than you'd think.
Aug 16, 2017
84: Adam Rubin
Our guest this week is Adam Rubin. Adam is the New York Times best-selling author of Dragons Love Tacos, Robo-Sauce, and half a dozen other critically-acclaimed picture books. He is also a world-renowned inventor of illusions and was recently named Director of Puzzles and Games for
Aug 09, 2017
83: Rich Roat
Our guest this week is Rich Roat. After picking up a degree in communication from the University of Delaware, Rich held a number of odd jobs such as communications associate for United Way of Delaware and service bureau/prepress house manager. He met Andy Cruz in 1991 and allowed his new friend to talk him into a series of ill-advised but fortunate career moves that led to the formation of Brand Design Co., Inc., and, subsequently House Industries. Rich initially tried to tame the chaos of Andy’s constantly shifting aesthetic sensibilities and obsessive attention to detail; thankfully, he has been largely unsuccessful. Rich is a co-author of House Industries: The Process is the Inspiration (Watson Guptill/Penguin Random House, 2017) with Andy Cruz and Ken Barber.
Aug 02, 2017
82: Noah Thorp
Our guest this week is Noah Thorp. Noah is founder of a tech innovation network called CoMakery. Previously, he co-founded a holacratic blockchain prototyping studio. He was the VP of Engineering at Nasdaq Private Market, and he ran a record label where he wrote algorithmic music and pressed obscure records on thick Czechoslovakian vinyl.
Jul 26, 2017
81: Brad Templeton
Brad Templeton is founding faculty for Computing & Networks at Singularity University, and Chairman Emeritus and futurist of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the leading cyberspace civil rights foundation. He is on the board of the Foresight Institute. He also advised Google's team developing self-driving cars, and writes about such cars at He also advises Starship on delivery robots and Quanergy in the LIDAR space. He founded ClariNet Communications Corp (the world's first "dot-com" company.) He also created rec.humor.funny, the world's longest running blog.
Jul 19, 2017
80: Will Smith
Our guest this week is Will Smith. Will is a journalist turned entrepreneur. He was the editor-in-chief of Maximum PC magazine, founder of, and is currently working on VR software. He has stood atop a running nuclear reactor, eaten unreconstituted freeze-dried shrimp, and once played astronaut in the Space Shuttle simulator at Johnson Space Center. (Photo credit: Eric Cheng)
Jul 12, 2017
79: Collin Cunningham
Our guest this week is Collin Cunningham. Collin's an experimentalist at heart. His love for discovery has led him to explore the worlds of video, sound, art, and technology. He's created multiple web video series and apps, and is a creative engineer at Adafruit Industries.
Jul 05, 2017
78: Donald Bell
Our guest this week is Donald Bell. Donald runs a great website called Maker Project Lab, and he also hosts a weekly YouTube show called Maker Update, which collects interesting projects, news, tips, tools, and other stuff for the Maker community. He was a Projects Editor at Make Magazine, and he spent eight years as a Senior Editor at CNET.
Jun 28, 2017
77: Tim Ferriss
Our guest this week is Tim Ferriss. Tim Ferriss has been listed as one of Fast Company's "Most Innovative Business People" and one of Fortune's "40 under 40." He is an early-stage technology investor and advisor (Uber, Facebook, Alibaba, and 50+ others) and the author of four #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, including The 4-Hour Workweek and Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers. He is the host of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, which has exceeded 150 million downloads and has been selected for "Best of iTunes" three years running. His website is
Jun 20, 2017
76: Nick Bilton
Nick Bilton is a Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair and author of 3 books, including Hatching Twitter and his latest, American Kingpin, which chronicles the rise and fall of the Silk Road and the Dread Pirate Roberts.
Jun 12, 2017
75: Eri Gentry
Our guest this week is Eri Gentry. Eri is the founding president of BioCurious. It's the first hackerspace for biology, and she's also a research manager at the Institute for the Future. Some interesting facts: she shares a birthday with President Donald Trump and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
May 04, 2017
74: Simone Giertz
Our guest this week is Simone Giertz. Simone is a Swedish native who now resides in San Francisco. Millions of people come to watch her build shitty robots on YouTube and she recently launched her own astronaut training program to get herself into space. Simone's videos have been featured on The Ellen Show, The Late Show, Mashable, Business Insider, Wired, Conan O'Brien, and more. Whilst most recently joining master builder Adam Savage's tested team.
Apr 17, 2017
73: Danielle Applestone
Our guest this week is Danielle Applestone. Danielle is a material scientist, co-founder and CEO of Other Machine Co., the leading manufacturer of high-precision desktop CNC milling machines. Formerly, Danielle ran a DARPA project to develop digital design software and manufacturing tools for the classroom. Danielle's team took that technology and launched Other Machine Co. in 2013.
Mar 20, 2017
72: Dale Dougherty
Our guest this week is Dale Dougherty. Dale is the founder and CEO of MAKE, which produces MAKE Magazine and Maker Faire, in addition to books and kits for makers young and old. He lives in Sebastopol, California.
Mar 02, 2017
71: Robyn Miller
Our guest this week is Robyn Miller. Robyn co-founded Cyan Worlds in the late 1980s, where he designed and directed the landmark video games Myst and its sequel Riven. In 2010, he co-founded Zoo Break Gun Club LLC, with producer/filmmaker Mischa Jakupcak. ZBGC has produced several films and has projects in development for film, television and virtual reality.
Feb 07, 2017
70: Eric Moore
Our guest this week is is Eric Moore. Eric is the IT manager at Institute for the Future in Palo Alto. He previously worked for Apple in its Information Systems and Technology Department. Having grown up on a farm in Georgia, he's a tinkerer by nature who loved to break things and put them back to together to learn how they worked.
Jan 19, 2017
69: Danny Haeg
Our guest this week is Danny Haeg. Danny is currently the Director of Creative Collisions at the Tech Museum in San Jose, California. He moved here from Minnesota to jump into the simmering maker-melting-pot that is Silicon Valley.
Dec 29, 2016
68: Alan Henry
Our guest this week is Alan Henry. Alan is the editor in chief of LifeHacker, a site that offers tips, tricks, and downloads to help people live their best, most productive, and most fulfilling lives. He's also a recovering physicist, music lover, and self-proclaimed lover of dorky and niche hobbies.
Dec 13, 2016
67: Arion Paylo
Our guest this week is Arion Paylo, the son of an artist and carpenter, Arion was initially drawn to the keyboard instead of the table saw. After 11 years at Apple he's gone from thinking about how Genius Bars work to how coffee bars work. At Blue Bottle Coffee, he strives to create cafes that foster memorable moments with delicious coffee.
Nov 22, 2016
66: David Pescovitz
Our guest this week is David Pescovitz. David is co-editor and managing partner of Boing Boing and a research director at Institute for the Future.
Nov 09, 2016
65: Paolo Salvagione
Our guest this week is Paolo Salvagione, an artist who works at the intersection of engineering, participation, and levity. He has sent his studio visitors out a one second-story window and back into another on a 900-pound steel wheel, and created scent-based sculptures that use smell as a touchstone for memory. He worked, for over a decade, as lead engineer on the 10,000 Year Clock of the Long Now Foundation.
Oct 27, 2016
64: Ron Hale-Evans
Our guest this week is Ron Hale-Evans, the open source software blog, Planeta Diego: Linux Y Software Libre, once described Ron as "writer by profession, game designer by vocation and psychologist by training." He’s the primary author of the 2006 book Mind Performance Hacks and co-author of its 2011 spiritual successor Mindhacker.
Oct 13, 2016
63: Luke Khanlian, Long Now Clock Engineer
Our guest this week is Luke Khanlian. Luke is a Design Engineer working on a mechanical clock intended to tick for 10,000 years. Starting as a mechanic’s apprentice at age 15, he began to accumulate tools and skills that would lead him to a career in Special Effects for film and television. In the early 2000's Luke saw an opportunity steer towards Robotics and Rapid Prototyping. While competing in robot combat events, working on film effects and trying to get a small 3d Scanning and Printing business off the ground, Luke landed a job at Applied Minds (a research and development company with close ties to the entertainment industry). For someone interested in all aspects of designing and building things, this was a dream job. After working on many amazing projects, he started to focus primarily on Danny Hillis's ambitious 10,000 Year Clock Project. It was big step from creating temporary things in the shortest possible time, to monumental objects that will potentially outlast this civilization. In addition to trying to be a good engineer, Luke is also trying to teach his kids that with a few skills and a bit of imagination they can modify, improve and ultimately create their own environment; they can tailor the objects in their lives to suit themselves.
Sep 20, 2016
62: Tim O'Reilly
Our guest this week is Tim O'Reilly. He's the founder of O'Reilly Media, a company the spreads the knowledge of innovators through technology books, online services, magazines, research, and tech conferences.
Sep 10, 2016
61: Jerry Michalski
Our guest this week is Jerry Michalski, who spent a dozen years as a tech-industry analyst during the dot-com era, then founded a think tank called REX in 2010 after figuring out that consumer capitalism is giving way to something more trustworthy and connected. Something he calls the “Relationship Economy.”
Aug 30, 2016
60: Star Simpson
Our guest this week is Star Simpson. She is an electronics designer whose greatest joy is designing objects and tools that are useful to others, which inspire and delight. Her previous work includes research on robotics and work in drones, PLIBMTTBHGATY, an event where people convene to try new programming languages, and an electronics reference card PCB designed for Octopart, now carried in the wallets of electrical engineers everywhere.
Aug 03, 2016
59: Hugh Howey
Our guest this week is Hugh Howey. Hugh is the New York Times bestselling author of WOOL, SAND, BEACON 23, and over a dozen other novels. He lives on a catamaran he custom built in South Africa and is now sailing around the world.
Jul 28, 2016
58: Tim Ferriss
Our guest this week is Tim Ferriss. He's an entrepreneur, angel investor, and public speaker, and the author of several best-selling books, including "The 4-Hour Workweek," "The 4-Hour Body," and "The 4-Hour Chef."
Jul 06, 2016
57: Adam Savage
Our guest this week is Adam Savage. Adam was the co-host of Mythbusters and editor-in-chief of Tested.
Jun 24, 2016
56: Brian Brushwood
Our guest this week is Brian Brushwood. Brian is is the creator and host of over 400 episodes of Discovery’s “Scam School,” with over one million subscribers on YouTube. In 2015, his first full season of “Hacking the System” debuted on the National Geographic Channel (now available on Netflix). Brian has performed thousands of live stage shows (appearing in every state in the continental US), headlined 3 years at Universal Orlando, and recorded two Billboard #1 comedy albums with his “Night Attack” co-host, Justin Robert Young.
Jun 08, 2016
55: Dan Benjamin
Dan Benjamin is a podcaster, writer, software developer, and ex-corporate stooge. He is the founder of 5by5, a podcast network where he hosts a handful of shows. He is the author of and, and has written for A List Apart and O’Reilly. Dan lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and their children.
May 23, 2016
54: Jane Metcalfe
Jane Metcalfe started Wired Magazine with her life partner Louis Rossetto, and Kevin and I had the honor of working with her during those glory days. More recently Jane was the President of TCHO Chocolate. She’s currently at work on a new startup about how advances in science and technology are conspiring to improve our health.
May 17, 2016
53: Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson is the CEO of 3D Robotics and founder of DIY Drones. From 2001 through 2012 he was Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine. Before Wired he was with The Economist for seven years in London, Hong Kong and New York. He’s the author of the New York Times bestselling books The Long Tail, and Free, as well as Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. His background is in science. He starting with studying physics and doing research at Los Alamos, culminating in six years at the two leading scientific journals, Nature and Science. Chris is also the founder of the site Geekdad. He lives in Berkeley, California with his wife and five children.
May 10, 2016
52: Joshua Schachter
Joshua Schachter is the creator of the social bookmarking site, Delicious, the creator of GeoURL, and the co-creator of Memepool.
Apr 29, 2016
51: Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth is a journalist who covers how humans tangle with science and technology. She's the host and producer of Flash Forward, a podcast about the future, and has covered everything from fake tumbleweed farms to sexist prosthetics.
Apr 26, 2016
50: Rick Lax
Rick Lax created the TV show “Wizard Wars” and has written several books on deception. He’s a non-practicing lawyer, a former MENSA member, and now spends his time creating tricks for other magicians and for Penguin Magic, the biggest magic retailer in the world
Apr 15, 2016
49: Meara O'Reilly
Meara O'Reilly is a sound artist and educator, most recently in residence at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. She is co-creator of the Rhythm Necklace app, a musical sequencer that uses two-dimensional geometry to create rhythms. Her collaboration with Snibbe Interactive on sound-based cymatic concert visuals for Björk's Biophilia album was included in the world tour.
Apr 01, 2016
48: Andy Baio
Andy Baio loves making things online. He’s written for the last 13 years, helped build Kick Starter, and organizes XOXO — an independent art tech festival in Portland. His upcoming projects include the XOXO Outpost, which is an experimental workspace opening this January, and the reboot of the collaborative event calendar,
Mar 25, 2016
47: Matthew Schutte
Matthew Schutte is a San Francisco-based big wave surfer, privacy advocate, political philosopher and innovation consultant. He’s the co-founder of Collaborative Advantage where he helps companies and communities unleash collaborative capacity through transformations in culture, process and information technology.
Mar 18, 2016
46: Sean Michael Ragan
Sean Michael Ragan is a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and His work has also appeared in ReadyMade, Popular Science, and The Wall Street Journal. He is the co-founder of, a company that helps hardware entrepreneurs design, build, and sell products by connecting them to the tools and services they need to mass-produce goods and grow companies.
Feb 24, 2016
45: Matt Haughey
Matt Haughey is the creator of MetaFilter, and the co-creator of Fuelly, among many other sites. He spends his free time shooting photos and also rides and races bikes. These days, he works on the editorial team at Slack.
Jan 21, 2016
44: Gareth Brawnwyn, former Editorial Director of MAKE
Our guest this week is Gareth Branwyn, Gareth is the former Editorial Director of MAKE. He was also the senior editor at bOING bOING print, a section editor at Mondo 2000, and a Wired contributing editor for 12 years. Gareth has also written and edited over a dozen books. His most recent book, a combo best-of collection and “lazy man’s memoirs” is called Borg Like Me (& Other Tales of Art, Eros, and Embedded Systems).
Jan 05, 2016
43: Mythbusters' Tory Belleci
Our guest this week is Tory Belleci. Tory is best known as the daredevil of MythBusters, and can build just about anything. He has worked with Industrial Light and Magic on films such as: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. The Federation battleships and podracers are some of Belleci's pieces.
Nov 30, 2015
42: Evil Mad Scientist Lenore Edman
Our guest this week is Lenore Edman. Lenore is the co-founder of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, an open source hardware, hobby electronics, and robotics company. She likes projects at the intersections of cooking, electronics, papercraft and sewing.
Nov 07, 2015
41: Tara Tiger Brown
Tara Tiger Brown is the founder of the nonprofit organization LA Makerspace, the premier STEAM service provider for the Los Angeles Public Library. She’s also the co-founder of Kithub, creative electronics kits for kids, and co-founder of Connected Camps, which has online camps for kids including a Minecraft coding club.
Oct 15, 2015
40: Andrew Leonard, Writer
Our guest this week is Andrew Leonard (twitter @koxinga21). Andrew is a journalist who writes features for San Francisco magazine, Men’s Journal, Rolling Stone and other outlets. He previously wrote for between 1995 and 2014 where he covered technology, business, Internet culture, science fiction, and economics, among other topics.
Oct 03, 2015
39: Glenn Fleishman, Writer
Glenn Fleishman is a Seattle-based technology journalist, and two-time winner on Jeopardy! He’s a senior contributor at Macworld, regularly writes for The Economist, and pens stories about parking and cryptography for Fast Company.
Sep 27, 2015
38: Limor Fried, founder of Adafruit Industries
Limor Fried is an MIT engineer and founder of Adafruit, a company she founded in 2005 with the goal to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. Adafruit offers tools, equipment, and electronics that Limor personally selects, tests, and approves.
Sep 21, 2015
37: Jesse Genet
Jesse Genet is the CEO and Founder of Lumi, a company that makes it easy to order custom manufactured goods online, like rubber stamps, silkscreen kits and decals. Jesse's picks this week follow the same spirit of prioritizing high quality, simple solutions and resources to enrich and support a creative lifestyle.
Sep 11, 2015
36: Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is a well respected marketing guru, media strategist and author. He spearheaded viral marketing campaigns as Director of Marketing for American Apparel and has produced several world renowned books on his marketing strategies and philosophy. The list of tools Ryan brings to the table this week emphasizes quality and simplicity above all else, priorities we can all get on board with.
Sep 07, 2015
35: Jimmy DiResta
Jimmy DiResta is a maker, toy designer, and TV show host. He’s been the host of a number of DIY shows including Dirty Money, Trash to Cash, Against the Grain, and Hammered with John and Jimmy DiResta. He co-hosts the Making It Podcast, and has a fantastic YouTube channel called DiResta.
Aug 17, 2015
34: Ziya Tong
Ziya Tong is host and producer of the television program Daily Planet, Canada's daily science show, which airs on Discovery Canada. Before that, Ziya was host and field producer for Wired Science, produced in conjunction with Wired Magazine and NOVA ScienceNOW on PBS. She is on the board of WWF Canada and the founder of Black Sheep.
Aug 10, 2015
33: Windell Oskay
Windell Oskay is the co-founder of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, a Silicon Valley company that has designed and produced specialized electronics and robotics kits since 2007. Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories also runs a popular DIY project blog, and many of its projects have been featured at science and art museums and in Make, Wired, and Popular Science magazines. He's the oo-author of the recently published book, “The Annotated Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory.”
Aug 02, 2015
32: Zander Rose
Alexander "Zander" Rose is the executive director of The Long Now Foundation, which was founded in 1996 to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution that fosters very-long-term planning. He was hired to build their clock that lasts 10,000 years. He’s also the founder of the Robot Fighting League, and a contestant on the ABC series Battlebots (airing Sunday nights)
Jul 26, 2015
31: Jared Zichek
Jared Zichek is owner of, which produces limited edition hand painted resin figurines of selected superhero, science fiction, and horror characters from the Golden Age of Comics.
Jun 30, 2015
30: Andrew Mayne: Magician, Author, Inventor
Our guest this week is Andrew Mayne. He is a magician, maker, and the author of five bestselling mystery and thriller novels. He’s the star of A&E's magic reality show Don't Trust Andrew Mayne, and he’s worked for David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, and David Blaine. His latest book is a thriller titled Name of the Devil
Jun 29, 2015
29: Ben Krasnow, Maker and YouTube Star
Ben works at Google[x], Google’s semi-secret technology development facility, where he creates advanced prototypes. Ben previously developed virtual reality hardware at Valve. After work, he spends time on various projects that usually involve circuit design, machining, and chemistry. You can follow Ben’s projects on his youtube channel, Applied Science.
Jun 29, 2015
28: John Edgar Park, Producer at Disney Research
John is a maker, technical/artistic problem solver, teacher, builder of quirky electro-mechanical contraptions, husband, and father of two. He hosted the Make: Television series on PBS, has worked in CG animation for 20 years, is now a producer at Disney Research, and writes for MAKE, Boing Boing, Adafruit Learning, and other places online and in print. You can find him at and @johnedgarpark on twitter
Apr 14, 2015
27: Douglas Coupland, author, artist, inventor
Our guest this week is Douglas Coupland. Since 1991, Douglas has written thirteen novels published in most languages. He has written and performed for England's Royal Shakespeare Company and is a regular columnist with the Financial Times. He began a visual art practice in 2000, and his first museum retrospective opened in summer 2014 at the Vancouver Art Gallery and travels to Munich this summer.
Apr 09, 2015
26: Bob Parks, freelance writer
Bob Parks is a freelance magazine writer who lives in Vermont. He writes for Popular Science, Runner’s World, and Bloomberg Businessweek. In his spare time he does projects with his two children and renovates his family’s 1870s farmhouse. He can be found on the Web at and on Twitter at @bobparks.
Apr 02, 2015
25: Mark Krawczuk, creative instigator
Mark Krawczuk calls himself a creative instigator: he is either coming up with interesting things for people to experience, or he is helping creative people do interesting things. Mark throws all sorts of prankstery and adventurous events which you can find out about at Mark has worked extensively to make the Lost Horizon Night Market happen - it's a guerrilla art event, where people create experiences in the back of a box trucks, then all meet up on the same secluded spot, and create a temporary town square of art. The event started in New York, and has spread across the country. Through the month of August, Mark is leading an event called Everyhere Logistics, where 6 truck creator teams from New York, and 6 from San Francisco will travel across the country to meet up with other cities who are throwing Lost Horizon Night Markets, a different city each Saturday. You can find out more at During the day Mark works as a freelance producer / project manager - getting all sorts of creative people to design and build technology, by getting them to use process that works. Mark has lately been providing palm reading and business consulting, to help people see their past, present and make plans for their future.
Mar 18, 2015
24: Simone Davalos, roboticist
Simone Davalos has a long and storied history of aspiring to being a technological reprobate. For many years she settled for moving people to terrified delight with competitions and events involving as many different kinds of robot as possible, a move which has landed her in the Guinness Book Of World Records - twice. Her careers have included, but are not limited to: dive bar gal Friday, assistant marching band pyrotechnician, circus dork, online used car part sales, Survival Research Labs groupie and unindicted co-conspirator. She is now Projects and Tech Support Engineer at Other Machine Co., and when she’s not answering your questions she enjoys placating people with cake.
Mar 12, 2015
23: Mike Evans, Secret Dad Society
Children at heart rejoice! Mike Evans has a list for you (and your kids) that will have you playing and learning with a selection of entertaining guides and tools. Mike's picks reduce the initial learning curve of trying to get into a new activity so you and your kids can jump right in and start having fun! To see more of Mike's toys, tools and projects, be sure to head over to his blog, Secret Dad Society.
Mar 05, 2015
22: Laura Welcher, Director of Operations of the Long Now Foundation
This week Laura Welcher joins us. Laura is a Linguist, Director of Operations for the Long Now Foundation and volunteer at the Global Lives Project.
Feb 18, 2015
21: Erik Knutzen, urban homesteader
This week Erik Knuzten, co-author of Urban Homestead:Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City and Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World joins us with a list of must have tools for self-sufficient, DIY home living. Check out Erik’s identically named website and podcast, Root Simple for more on how to build yourself a sustainable DIY lifestyle.
Feb 11, 2015
20: Matt Cutts, Head of Web Spam Team at Google
Our guest this week, Matt Cutts, is a well-known blogger and the head of the Web Spam team at Google.
Feb 04, 2015
19: Peter Rojas, founder of Gizmodo
Peter Rojas is the founder Engadget, gdgt and Gizmodo. He is currently co-hosts MVP, a podcast about new tech products, alongside Ryan Block, a former guest on our show. Peter focused his picks for this episode on personal impact, his philosophy being that truly worthy tools not only change your life, but they also change the way you think about the world. With help from some of the following carefully chosen tools, you may find yourself acting and thinking a little differently.
Jan 19, 2015
18: Tom Merritt, tech journalist and podcaster
Tom Merritt's tool selections emphasize streamlining complex or time consuming tasks for maximum efficiency. If you are interested in tools that will shave precious minutes off your schedule, Tom's suggestions are worth the time it takes to listen to this episode of the Cool Tools Show.
Dec 19, 2014
17: Ryan Block, co-founder of Engadget
Our guest this week is Ryan Block. He’s the co-founder of gdgt, and the co-founder and former editor of Engadget. These days he is VP of Product at Aol, and is co-host of MVP, a show about technology products. Quality and staying power are the primary criteria in Ryan’s list of essential day-to-day tools. His impeccable taste for the tried-and-true tools is revealed in the invaluable picks and advice offers in this episode.
Dec 11, 2014
16: Brett Doar, Multidisciplinary Artist
Brett Doar, an artist/maker renowned for his Rube Goldberg machines, shows us some little tools that can make a big impact. He cites both a penny and the humble paperclip as his two most valuable tools. He also recommends an inexpensive 3D printer for making custom components.
Dec 04, 2014
015: Co-founder of Quantified Self, Gary Wolf
In this week's episode of the Cool Tools Show, Gary Wolf, Co-founder of Quantified Self, shows us how his favorite Quantified Self inspired apps help him stay consistent, motivated and aware about his most important daily routines. If you're struggling to keep your healthy habits in check, this week's episode may help you diagnose where those dips in motivation are coming from.
Nov 24, 2014
014: Sword and Laser Host, Veronica Belmont
This week Veronica Belmont stops by to share some of the tools that make her life as a professional podcaster for the show Sword & Laser a little easier: Patreon and Levelator. She also recommends Rootcup and Ello. Veronica’s creative, beautifully made picks are highly recommended for anyone looking to break into the audio/visual or social media arenas.
Nov 11, 2014
013: Bestselling Author and Entrepreneur, Seth Godin
Seth Godin enlightens us this week with an unexpected assortment of tools that will have you exploring the deepest recesses of your subconscious while, at the same time, enriching your hobbies and lifestyle.
Nov 01, 2014
012: Lifehacker founder Gina Trapani
Lifehacker founder and ThinkUp co-founder, Gina Trapani introduces us to a few web based apps that offer elegant design and features well worth their minuscule price-points. Fans of an uncluttered web experience will rejoice to hear what Gina offers up in this installment of the Cool Tools Show.
Oct 20, 2014