Gimme a break (for tuition)

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Today, we’ll cover two birds with one stone.  A little bit about taxes ad a little bit about education- actually, the intersection of the two.  We’ll discuss tax breaks and considerations for your education and the education of your children (should you have any).

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Do you want to be loved- or be creative?

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Out of the box.  That’s what we think of when someone asks us what creativity is. Actually, it’s often just a different way of thinking.  We are trained to think in linear fashion- so we never consider the nonlinear approaches whatsoever. That’s what schooling teaches- to answer the questions in a linear, step-by-step fashion.

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Jerusalem…

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Most of you know that I am Jewish.  One of the greatest moments in my life was when I got to see the Western Wall (which was called the Wailing Wall, back then).  It was right after the 1967 War.  At that time, the Wall was less exposed that it is now.  And, you had to travel through narrow alleys to reach it.  When I made that last turn and saw the wall, I was dumbstruck, mesmerized.  It was awe-inspiring.  It was the symbol that clearly spoke to me.  Yrushalayim- Jeruslaem- the City of Peace.  Clearly proof that someone (the Supreme Being?) has a delicious sense of humor- since this clearly was a city that had not known peace. Salvador Dali:  The Wailing Wall Most important cities exist for strategic reasons.  New York, San Francisco, Athens, … their waterways serve as gateways.  London, New Orleans, Berlin, Vienna exist because of important, navigable rivers.   Beijing and Madrid have strategic views from on high.  Jerusalem- none of the above.

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Who makes this world better?

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I’ve written before how much computers are critical in our lives and work.  And, how much they’ve changed since I started my career. From my shoeboxes carrying Hollerith Cards fed to a computer almost as large as my living room (designing a pyrolysis unit) to my PDP computer (enzymatic production of a new form of penicillin) to my Osborne (water reuse systems, QC for medical products) to my AT&T (clinical trials) to my current systems (WebOS tablet, Intel7 laptop, and 8 processor Itanium server).

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Autism…where do we stand?

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Autism was first described by Dr. Leo Kanner (Johns Hopkins) in 1943, with an analysis of 11 children with communication disorders.   By 1952, autism was diagnosed by ‘early onset schizophrenia’, only to be renamed ‘infantile autism’ in 1980 and ‘autism disorder’ in 1987.  Now, we use ASD (autism spectrum disorder) to cover autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, and other related diseases.  As these classifications changed, the number of children diagnosed with the disorder has grown to reach the currently accepted value of 1 in 110 children.

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Even Divorce has a Third Rail!

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I’m a financial guy.  (OK, I’m a chemical engineer, a business executive, and a consultant, too.)  But, given my education, my training, and my experience, one would expect me to make great choices in my own personal life.  Well, I admit it-  I haven’t.  Mostly because of emotional ties- which tend to cloud all of our better judgments.

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