The iPhone Shortcut That Can Direct You to the Nearest ER in an Emergency


When you’re in the middle of a medical emergency, you don’t want to have to add “figure out where the ER is” to your list of urgent tasks. To save you precious minutes, your iPhone can do that for you now, as Lifehacker alerts us.

Find Closest ER is a function created for Shortcuts, an app Apple introduced as part of iOS 12 that allows you to add customized tasks to your iPhone’s repertoire. In the event that you need to find an emergency room, you can open up the Find Closest ER shortcut and it will calculate your location and bring up a list of nearby hospitals. Choose one from the list, and the shortcut will ask if you’re walking, driving, taking public transit, or if you need an ambulance or an Uber. It will then either take you to Apple Maps, the Uber app, or it will call 911 so you can request an ambulance.

A list of New York City-area hospitals generated by Find Closest ER in ManhattanScreenshot, Find Closest ER

The shortcut requires a bit of setup, so don’t wait until you’re in the throes of panic to open it up for the first time. You’ll need to enable location services and set your search radius. You may also need to download another shortcut to make it work, DeviceType2, which will allow the shortcut to tell whether you’re using an iPhone or an iPad.

Now, bear in mind that this isn’t a substitute for calling 911. This is for the “It's 1 a.m. and I think maybe I broke my arm when I fell off the couch reaching for that bowl of popcorn” level emergency, not the “I am going into anaphylactic shock” sort. (Not sure when you should call 911? Here’s a guide.) Nor, unfortunately, can this shortcut tell you whether or not the nearest ER is in your health insurance’s network. In a time when you may not be thinking clearly, though, having a step-by-step guide to get you to a doctor could be vital.

Screenshot, Find Closest ER

Grab your phone and click this link to download Find Closest ER to your Shortcuts app. Once you add it to your Shortcuts, you can add it to your Home Screen in order to make it extra-accessible in a pinch. You can also program Siri to recognize it as a voice command so that you can use it hands-free.

[h/t Lifehacker]

The Mental Floss Store Is Back!

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America's Top 25 Colleges and Universities for 2021

Harvard University's Memorial Hall.
Harvard University's Memorial Hall.

Deciding what makes a certain college more desirable than another is highly subjective. Some prospective students might think a championship-winning football team and a massive student body are major selling points, while others prize a small, tightly knit community above all else.

To try to come as close as possible to identifying objectively great colleges and universities around the country, WalletHub analyzed a whopping 30 factors in seven categories, from student selectivity and cost to campus experience and career outcomes. These encompass basic metrics—admissions rate and average class size, for example—as well as more specific considerations, like study abroad programs, on-campus employment opportunities, and the median salaries of recent graduates.

Of all 1008 schools included in the study, the Ivy League ones continue to reign supreme. Harvard University ranked first, with a score of 78.6 across all 30 metrics, edging out Yale by just .03 points. Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Brown also made the top 25. With low acceptance rates and high graduation rates—not to mention huge endowments—these stately old institutions are rather difficult to compete with, but they’re definitely not the only esteemed places to get a four-year education.

As a testament to the continuing success of the tech industry, three technology institutes made WalletHub’s list: Massachusetts in third place, California in fifth, and Georgia in 11th. Those three schools ranked in the top five for return on educational investment, meaning that graduates make high starting salaries compared to how much their education actually cost.

Geographically, New England (and the East coast in general) is home to a majority of the top schools, though five from California alone did chart, too: Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; Pomona College; and Claremont McKenna College, in addition to the aforementioned California Institute of Technology.

Check out the top 25 below, and see where your alma mater ranks on WalletHub’s full list here.

  1. Harvard University // 78.6
  1. Yale University // 78.57
  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology // 78.44
  1. Princeton University // 78.41
  1. California Institute of Technology // 77.65
  1. Stanford University // 77.12
  1. Rice University // 76.96
  1. Northwestern University // 75.4
  1. Duke University // 75.18
  1. University of Pennsylvania // 74.95
  1. Georgia Institute of Technology // 74.92
  1. Vanderbilt University // 74.66
  1. University of California, Berkeley // 74.54
  1. Columbia University // 74.51
  1. Johns Hopkins University // 74.37
  1. University of Chicago // 73.59
  1. Dartmouth College // 73.43
  1. Williams College // 73.19
  1. Brown University // 73.17
  1. Carnegie Mellon University // 73.11
  1. Washington and Lee University // 73.08
  1. Swarthmore College // 73.08
  1. Pomona College // 72.92
  1. Claremont McKenna College // 72.84
  1. Amherst College // 72.83