App Bar: Why Do Seagulls Hate Lawyers?
New apps also help you find alternative fuel and doctors on demand, and may save your marriage.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory Alternative Fueling Station Locator
Gas stations are so last century. These days, more and more motorists zoom around in green or flexible-fueled machines powered by electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, E85, propane and hydrogen. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center, our hard-driving nation’s ribbon of roads and highways are home to more than 15,000 alternative fueling stations. As you cruise around in your nontraditionally powered rig, don’t get caught “running on electron fumes looking for a quick charge.” Pull over and pop open this energetic locator app to find your fuel of choice. Use your current location or enter a different one to find stations. Happy alternative motoring. From the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Free, iOS.
The Grass Is Greener
It’s not a cliché generator, or even a lawn care app. This law firm offering is actually a “marriage assessment tool” from the Green Law Office, a two-woman family law practice based in Golden Valley, Minn. The firm is on a mission to do a little marketing as it helps potential clients avoid unnecessary breakups. If your marriage feels like it’s on the skids take a quiz to figure out if you really need to file for divorce. The assessment covers the usual relationship argument fodder like money (too little/too much?), sex (too little/too much?). You get the idea. With pointers to helpful resources and articles. Hang in there. Free, iOS Android
Doctor on Demand
Cough, STD, backache, skin irritation? Now your smartphone is a waiting room and for $40 bucks a licensed U.S. doctor will video chat with you for 15 minutes. I’m feeling O.K. and didn’t test the service, but Doctor on Demand, now rolled out in 15 states, seems less painful to use than the early Obamacare website. Free signup, no subscription fee. Not for broken bones, poisoning, chest pain or other emergencies—check the usage info. If medical malpractice issues arise, at least the service’s cofounder, Jay McGraw—yes that’s TV’s Dr. Phil’s son—holds a law degree. iOS Android
Manual labor has its ups and downs. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fight big health threats and epidemics, it also worries about little things—like your safety as you step onto an extension ladder. This new interactive app advances the cause of safe ladder use with checklists, guidelines and a ladder angle measurement tool. If you’re tackling a job that takes you heights unknown, or at least the top rungs of an extension ladder, watch your step. Not for lowly stepladders. From the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Free, iOS Android
Seagulls v. Lawyers
Surprisingly, this game failed to fly onto the App Store’s Best of 2013 list. Right. With the app skies ruled by angry avions, these vindictive seagulls have the lawyers all to themselves. But what did lawyers do to piss off fine-feathered beachcombers? The gulls, dropped into the wintery App Store in December, are ready to deposit their doo-doo onto your business suit. Don’t let ‘em get away with it! Free, iOS.
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New York–based Jesse Londin is a lawyer and freelance writer.