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Edison, born in Ohio in 1847, obtained his first patent at the age of 22. The last patent in his name was granted two years after his death, in 1933. In between, he tallied 1,093 United States patents and 1,200 patents in other countries [source: Rutgers]. Biographers have figured that Edison averaged a patent every two weeks during his working life. Even though many of his inventions were not unique and he engaged in some well publicized court battles with other inventors whose ideas he “borrowed” Edison’s skill at marketing and using his influence often got him the credit.
Most of Edison’s inventions fall into eight main categories: batteries, electric lights and power, phonographs and sound recording, cement, mining, motion pictures, telegraphs and telephones. But while the Wizard of Menlo Park is remembered for his major inventions the motion picture, the incandescent light bulb and the phonograph his tireless mind also came up with some ideas that aren’t so well known and some that weren’t welcomed by the public. Keep reading to find out why members of Congress rejected a machine designed to make them more efficient and how another Edison invention frightened little girls and angered their parents. You’ll also find out about a device that could have kept Edison’s genius with us even today.For those of us who work in the field of HIV, words like “eradication” or “elimination” are not commonly used. Yet, new evidence and tools suggest that getting to zero might just be possible if we look at HIV through a fresh lens and focus our limited resources in strategic ways. As World AIDS Day nears, an example in Vietnam shows one promising approach.
Vietnam is at a tipping point. The country is working hard to scale up methadone maintenance treatment for injecting drug users and to provide antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for those living with HIV. External resources, however, are declining and every dollar (or Vietnamese dong (VND)) makes a difference. The cascade of HIV care an approach that links prevention outreach, testing and treatment services across a continuum of care helps identify the key opportunities to improve services to stop the spread of HIV. This tool has come to wholesale jerseys Vietnam at a critical time. Vietnam’s HIV epidemic is still in a concentrated phase, with the highest seroprevalence among populations at higher risk. These include injecting drug users, female sex workers and men who have sex with men.
Using the cascade in every facility, commune, district and province helps Vietnam monitor HIV service system performance and focus its remaining human, financial and programmatic resources on the ultimate aim of the HIV response: viral suppression. The cascade approach identifies “leaks” in the system to target resources on interventions that diagnose people with HIV, initiate ARV treatment quickly and sustain those individuals with continued care. Knowing where the drop offs are most pronounced can assist decision makers and service providers in implementing system improvements and service enhancements that make the greatest impact on individuals, communities and Vietnamese society.
When officials in Nghe An province looked at their epidemic through the cascade, they found striking service and financial gaps, which they then used as leverage to press for progress. “We presented the information to the Nghe An People’s Committee, and they increased the annual budget and Government personnel,” explained Nguyen Van Dinh, Director of the Provincial AIDS Committee. “We will use the cascade every six months to monitor our HIV situation.”
The improvements that result from using the cascade approach can make a tangible difference in people’s lives. Vi Van Nam, a 24 year old HIV positive man in Nghe An, says his life changed when HIV services were extended to the remote district where he lives. “I used to get treatment 80 km away. It cost me 500,000 VND every month for travelling and one day off for reexamination and getting medicines. I was so tired from having to travel a long way. Now that the [health facility] is near my house, I can save my time and health from travelling, while I can still work normally. I can also come and meet with health workers whenever I don’t feel well. I feel healthier and now have more time for my family work. Agency for International Development, is introducing the cascade to the wholesale nfl jerseys Vietnamese government and civil society organizations across the country. (Watch this video to see one way we share the benefits of the cascade with our partners.) By supporting Vietnam in using the cascade and other tools in the fight against HIV, we believe that, together, we can achieve an AIDS free generation in Vietnam and other countries.Daniel Acker/Bloomberg You’re probably not focused on taxes now, but you should be.
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For instance, making a last minute tax move like donating to charity before the end of the year could increase your total deductions and mean the difference between taking a standard deduction or itemizing your deductions.
That improves the chances that you’ll save on your tax bill, said TurboTax tax expert Lisa Lewis.
There are some new things on your year end tax to do list, including new rules regarding flexible spending accounts and deductions for medical care expenses.
So set aside that Christmas gift list and take note:
Amp up your retirement plan . “Contribute the maximum to you 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plans,” said Vincent Cervone, the owner and principal of VRC and Associates, a Brooklyn based tax and accounting firm.
You can contribute up to $17,500 the limit is $23,000 if you are 50 or older.
Give, give, give . We’re not just talking dollars.
You can donate clothes, household goods or furniture to qualified charitable organizations.
If you donate something valued at more than $250, you’ll need a written record. If the item you donate has a value that exceeds $5,000, an appraisal is required.
Go to the doctor . Now’s a good time to get moving, especially if you expect to be earning more next year.
Starting this past January, the threshold for claiming deductions for medical expenses not covered by health insurance was raised.
Your medical expenses must now exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income to qualify for this deduction, up from 7.5%. (If you are 65 or older, the threshold remains at 7.5%.)
“If you expect your income to be lower this year than next year, it will be easier to get the deduction this year,” Lewis said.
Accelerate other deductions . Paying your January 2014 property taxes and your mortgage payment by Dec. 31 gives you an extra month’s worth of expenses to deduct on your 2013 tax return, Lewis said.
Spend down what’s in your flexible spending account but you may have more wiggle room this year . Flexible spending accounts let you set aside some of your wages tax free to pay for qualified health expenses.
This year, there’s a new twist.
Recently, the Treasury Department announced a new $500 rollover option that employers can adopt if they choose.
Assuming your company has signed on, you will be able to carry over up to $500 of your flex spending money into next year. No more “use it or lose it.”
Keep in mind, employers who choose this option, will no longer be able to offer a grace period that lets employees carry over any amount of leftover flex dollars into the first quarter of the following year.
Defer your income to 2014 . There are lots of ways to do that.
“Ask your employer to pay out any bonuses in January 2014 instead of in December 2013,” Cervone said. “Hold off on selling stocks and other investments with taxable gains until next year. Hold off on taking distributions from an IRA or other retirement accounts until January 2014.”
Offset capital gains . If you sold stocks at a gain, you can reduce the amount of capital gains tax you would have to pay by getting rid of losing stocks and offsetting your losses against your gains, Lewis said.
Get educated. You’re never too old to learn more and get a tax break along the way.
Think about enrolling in a college course before the end of the year. You might be eligible for the Lifetime Learning Credit, which is worth up to $2,000.
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