App Appeal: Stay warm (or alive) during the Polar Vortex

The app Winter Survival Kit helps you out if you're stranded in the snow in your car. Credit: Provided
The app Winter Survival Kit helps you out if you’re stranded in the snow in your car.
Credit: Provided

Winter Survival Kit
Free
iPhone

In “The Day After Tomorrow,” filmmaker and oracle Roland Emmerich depicted a possible (but not that possible) future where Global Warming had turned the earth’s weather bananas. New York City was among the hardest hit: It became a frozen ice palace, buried in snow and conquered by hungry, rampaging wolves. (Emmerich would later make the apocalyptic “2012” — remember that craze? — as well as “Anonymous,” which tried to legitimize the “Oxfordian” theory that William Shakespeare did not write the plays of William Shakespeare. He’s not always with the right cause.)

This winter hasn’t been as bad as that, but it’s been closer than most of us would like. With still more snowfall en route, it’s worth at least jokily entertaining the notion that living in a urban wasteland won’t save us from the bitter, wretched cold. If you want to get all alarmist and Grizzly Adams about the cold and the snow, the Winter Survival Kit is your app.

A generously detailed (and generously) free service, it’s there for you if you suddenly find yourself outside city limits and stuck in the snow (probably in a dreaded car). Hit the handy button labeled “I’m Stranded” and it will walk you through the steps you take to increase your chances of not dying a horrible death. It will help you measure your gas, while reminding you that running your engine can result in carbon monoxide buildup. It will also send out periodic alerts to your emergency contact, should you find cell phone service lacking.

In fact, it’s worth going through Winter Survival Kit before you take off in dangerous weather. Having read all of its worst-case-scenario scenarios can save your life — although traveling at all during this block of Polar Vortex might be worth curtailing in the first place.

Fireplace 3-D recreates a burning fire on your phone. Credit: Provided
Fireplace 3-D recreates a burning fire on your phone.
Credit: Provided

Fireplace 3-D
99 cents
iPhone

Never underestimate the power of some well-chosen delusion. If you indeed live in a city, you likely don’t have easy access to a fireplace. (Indeed, you may even live with a rickety steam heater, probably left over from the 19th century, that alternates between loud hissing and terrifying banging sounds.) But if you want to bask in the glow of some fireplace, even a digital one that doesn’t even emit warmth, try the app Fireplace. For a buck you can bring up a live, crackling wood fire, minus the heat but also minus the smoke and the irritating lengths it takes to put it out when you’re done. It’s like the competing Yulelog TV emissions around the holidays, only minus the cheesy/inexplicable song choices and tiny enough to fit in your hand. Hey, it’s something.

Teller, the magician and famous debunker, directed the documentary "Tim's Vermeer." Credit: Sony Pictures Classics
Teller, the magician and famous debunker, directed the documentary “Tim’s Vermeer.”
Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

What’s On Your Phone?

Name: Teller
Occupation: Magician, filmmaker, skeptic
Out now: “Tim’s Vermeer,” a documentary about inventor Tim Jenison trying recreate a Johannes Vermeer painting, which Teller directed, with Penn Jillette as producer.

“I use Sleep machine. Sleep machine produces various kinds of white noise. You can create whatever exact sound you want, and use it bedside in hotels to mask the hotel noise. To amplify it, I always put it in the ice bucket or the trash can. That’s a great amplifier.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.