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(Language) Practice Makes Perfect on the iPhone

For the last week or so, I spent some time playing around with a couple of iPhone/iPod Touch apps created by a company called MemoryLifter.* As the name suggests, the apps are of the brain food sort. While they offer an assortment of genres—anatomy, chemistry abbreviations, world flags, etc.—I was most interested in the language apps.

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Each language available—there are 10 right now: German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, French, Chinese, Japanese, and Swedish—comes with an assortment of area-specific apps, like basic vocab, verbs, education & work, family, shopping & restaurant, and more.

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Review: MyTouch Android Travel Apps

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I recently had the chance to borrow one of the newish T-Mobile MyTouch Android smart phones so I could test out a handful of travel apps. (Proof that, as cool as they are, you don't need an iPhone to have useful programs on your cell.) I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of the phone itself—the touch screen is not as sensitive as I would like it to be; plus, I'm an avid texter and prefer to have an actual keyboard at my disposal—but it does have some apps worth pointing out.

CarDar Lite: Driving in a strange city can be tricky. Finding your car in a strange city can be trickier. CarDar Lite let's you pinpoint your parking spot on a map, using either GPS or a manual marker, and when it's time to head home, it will point you in the right direction. The biggest downfall for me? Even if you have a good signal, you need to be outside for the phone to pinpoint where you are. (I had to manually lock down a parking spot.)
Cost: Free for the Lite version, with unobtrusive ads; $.99 without.

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iPhone App Helps Fight Winter Chill

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With spring on the horizon but record-breaking cold temperatures still ravaging parts of the country, everyone—especially travelers caught by a surprise storm or frigid temps—is doing what they can to stay warm.

While most people temper the bitter chill by adding multiple layers to their outerwear—that seems reasonable, no?—for some, that is apparently not enough. Enter iTunes App Store.

I know what you're thinking. How can an iPhone app possibly help keep me warm? Mashable reviewed an app that claims to be able to turn your phone into a hand-warming device. How does "Pocket Heater" work?

The app works by stressing the iPhone's processor, battery and other functions to cause the device to overheat and hence become warm to the touch. In theory, this stressing shouldn't cause any damage to the device or yourself, but this is still something we'd classify as "no warranty, use at your own peril."

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British Holiday Inns Debut Human "Bed Warmers"

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- Bed made...check!
- Guestroom cleaned prior to arrival...check!
- Mini-bar fully stocked...check!
- Wireless internet working...check!
- Hotel staff member warming bed...ch—wait, what?

One of the more notable traits of a worthwhile hotel is its attention to details. Whether it's a personalized welcome letter from the G.M., goodies for your accompanying canine companion, or just the personal touch that comes with staff greeting you by name when you walk through the lobby, it's the little things that really entice guests to keep coming back again and again.

But Holiday Inn is taking that attention to detail just a little bit further....In a new campaign, three of the hotel's some 1,300 properties—two in London and 1 in Manchester, England—are offering their guests the option to have their beds warmed up prior to arrival. Not by heated blankets. Not by hot bottles of water. But by willing staff members outfitted with fleece...onesies!

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Celebs Climb Kilimanjaro for Clean Water

With last week's devastating earthquake in Haiti, we're reminded of the value of life's most basic necessity—water. So, efforts to raise awareness about this precious resource couldn't have come at a better time.

A group of celebrities, activists, and philanthropists—actress Jessica Biel, actor Emile Hirsch, musician Santigold, and activist Alexandra Cousteau (of Jacques Cousteau lineage), to name just a few—recently banded together to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a part of Summit on the Summit (SOTS), and shine a spotlight on the importance of clean drinking water.

The crew reached the top of Kilimanjaro—which, at 19,340 feet, is Africa's tallest peak—last Tuesday, where they stopped briefly to take a photograph (below) before beginning the (much less arduous) trek back down to the bottom. (The ascent took a grueling 6 days, while the descent took just 2.)

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Where to Stay: 2010 Winter Olympics

Think it's too late to score a hotel room for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver? Think again. I spoke with the Four Seasons Whistler's general manager Tuesday and have great news for all of you winter sports fanatics who thought you lost your chance: Not only does the luxury property still have rooms available for the Games, it's also offering an Olympic package.

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Geography Blunders and the Celebrities Who Made Them

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Some of them are famous for being chart-topping musicians; some because they're notorious politicians; and some for, well, frankly I'm not sure exactly what for...they just are—famous for being famous that is.

So, it should come as no surprise when stars find themselves a bit, how shall I say...lost in other fields of expertise. In this case, that field is Geography. The Huffington Post reported a rather humorous exposé of 11 celebs demonstrating epic geographical gaffes. Apparently being a globetrotting star does not a cartographer make. (Sorry Britney. Love you, but Japan is not an African country!) Here's hoping "their people" do the trip-planning for them!

See The Huffington Post slideshow.

Joshua Pramis is an online associate editor at Travel + Leisure.

New iPhone App Helps Users Spot Celebs in LA

If you follow Carry On at all, you might know by now that two of my favorite things in life are reading up on celebrities and Los Angeles. If you share similar interests, you might be want to take a look at this new iPhone app: Celebrity Star Maps.

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Smart Power Rovers to Light Up New Year's Eve in Times Square

A couple weeks ago in Times Square, Duracell marked the opening of their Smart Power Lab by unveiling the newest design for their Power Rovers.

At this point, you might be wondering: What is a Smart Power Lab? And what are these Power Rovers? Well, as most people know, one of the biggest celebrations to happen in New York City is the dropping of the New Year’s Eve ball. No doubt a tremendous amount of electricity is used for this iconic event.

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Give Back: Four Seasons Launches Holiday Charity "Bedkit" Program

Beginning today through December 10, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will be teaming up with Sleeping Children Around the World, a charity that donates "bedkits" to children in more than 33 countries around the world. For each gift card sold during this time period, the hotel chain will donate the cost of one bedkit to the organization.

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