The taxman cometh to Second Life
"The company that first brought tax preparation to Middle America more than 50 years ago is once again breaking new ground - not with an office on Main Street, but with a high-tech island in a virtual universe populated by millions of digital citizens from around the world. H&R Block, the world's largest tax preparation company, is now the first in its industry to open up shop in the fast-growing 3D online universe known as Second Life.\n\n
The company today launched "H&R Block" Island, a new destination for the multitudes of people who spend more than 7 million hours per month as they live, work and play in Second Life. With digital tax professionals sharing free advice, providing access to the latest tax preparation products, and hosting tax-related events, tax time may never be the same..."
Anyway, the new H&R Block "virtual tax experience" sounds interesting, especially if you've already been hoarding your Linden Dollars in Second Life. If you have an unnatural fear of discussing your tax situation with the IRS or even with your local tax preparer, it's easy to see how a virtual sit-down with an H&R Block avatar might be a little less stressful. (The two H&R Block avatars, Rex and Hope, will be holding virtual tax discussions every Tuesday and Thursday evening until April 17). One day soon, a visit to "H&R Block Island" may be just as enjoyable as a trip to the real Block Island!
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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