Taxpayer-Funded App Makes You Look Like a Neanderthal

By Eric Scheiner | August 19, 2011 | 3:27 PM EDT

( - The government has plenty of mobile apps available at and you may as well download them, since you’ve already paid for them with your tax dollars.

“You might be surprised when you see your face transformed into the face of an early human with the Smithsonian Institution’s first-ever mobile app,” claims the description of MEanderthal. The application allows people to take photographs of their face and morph them into that of Neanderthals.

The MEanderthal app at work. ( Photo)

Want to find that perfect name for your baby? Use the Baby Name Playroom app from the Social Security Administration. “Search the most popular baby names of the past 130 years using official Social Security data,” according to the app page.

The Tactical Breather app description says, “Tactical Breathing Trainer can be used to gain control over physiological and psychological responses to stress.” It’s brought to you by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology. It gives you breathing instructions right over your phone.

Over 850 pertinent HIV/AIDS glossary terms in both English and Spanish are available through the AIDSinfo HIV/AIDS Glossary. The National Library of Medicine has made this app available complete with a “’Random’ button that signals the app to randomly choose a term and definition to display,” according to it’s app site.

How often do you find yourself needing to report the live release of a shortfin Mako shark but dread the paperwork? Now there’s no need, “With the Release Mako Android app you can now report your live releases of shortfin mako sharks from Android mobile devices while still on the water,” according to it’s app page.

The Department of Labor this week released a “OSHA Heat Safety Tool”. According to it’s app page, “The App allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers. Then, with a simple tap, you can get reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness—reminders about drinking enough fluids, scheduling rest breaks, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency, adjusting work operations, gradually building up the workload for new workers, training on heat illness signs and symptoms, and monitoring each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.”

From tree leaf recognition to virtual human embryos there are over 70 apps available on the government site.

Eric Scheiner
Eric Scheiner
Eric is the Senior Video Producer for