I don't know if the average 8 year old would find Hawking heroic, but a kid as thoughtful as this poster's might well do so. And when are we going to get a Steven Hawking action figure? (Irony intended, but not in a mean way.)
Google is your friend, IF you don't mind putting your stuff into the cloud. I keep my calendars, contacts and files and to-do lists, Having an Android phone makes all that information available on the go, too. Another tool I might recommend is the Personal Brain (www.thebrain.com), which is available as a free download. It is a mind-mapping application that allows you to relate anything you enter to anything else, in a visual format. I find it very useful for keeping track of interrelated tasks with lots of "moving parts" and pieces of information.
What risk? If we have learned anything from the last 2 years, it is that the people running the financial industry in this country are at no risk whatsoever. If/When things go pear-shaped, they don't lose their jobs and their companies are bailed out by taxpayers. It is the absence of that risk that makes the trading "immoral", as @prefec2 characterized it.
In my mind, it creates a blurry overlap image of Ballmer and Dick Cheney.
So what will NASA do with the results so far for all these plans and ideas? My hope, as a taxpayer, is that they will make it available to all and sundry (or at least American all and sundry, if they want to be parochial about it). It would be a disservice to the scientists and engineers who have labored on these projects for their work to be put away on some shelf or to have it all dribbled into the bit bucket.
Whenever I contemplate emigrating from the US, New Zealand is always at the top of my list. This is just another good reason to bolster that choice.
Granted, from a developer's perspective, having to create two versions of a site is a pain. But the reality is, if you want to attract the greatest number of viewers, you need a mobile-friendly site. And from a mobile user's perspective, things are SO much better than they were just a couple of years ago. Many more content providers have created mobile-friendly versions. And though I don't like doing so, I have to give credit to the iPhone for this change. The iPhone and its browser finally got the attention of web developers who had been ignoring the fact that there were MILLIONS of people using WinMo and other OSs to access the web on their phones.
I've thought all along that The Guild cast's main objective was to increase their visibility and get cast in more shows. I'm not in The Industry, but it does seem to me that visibility, buzz, and name recognition are immensely important intangibles to actors. If the Break A Leg folks were to get similar buzz that led to more gigs but the show itself folded, would you not still count it as a success?
I don't forget to say those three special words: "I am sorry." I'm amazed at how many people in this world have trouble saying they are sorry even when they know they are clearly wrong. (This applies in all relationships, not just marriage.)
Fortunately, there are a few politicians who are growing a pair and willing to at least discuss "decriminalization", if not out-and-out legalization: Sen. Webb of VA, Rep. Barney Frank of MA, and a couple of others I can't recall off the top of my head. Since a recent poll showed a majority of Americans favor legalization/decriminalization of marijuana, it shouldn't be too long before our "leaders" follow us.
"Most government departments are memorials to dead problems." The downside to creating any new government organization is that it will live on long after its usefulness has passed. Even with a problem as long-term as climate change, the organization will either be bypassed or so morph into something else as to be useless.
There was an interesting short story called "Shed Skin" that dealt with just such a question. The person had all legal rights transferred to his robotic-based self and his original organic-based substrate was to be kept in a really nice, 5-star prison. It ceased to have any legal rights at all. Of course, complications ensue.
"...violates a basic unwritten rule, that the government should be granted only limited powers, and for limited purposes."
Sadly, that's not an unwritten rule. It is, in fact, the 10th amendment. So that just makes it an ignored rule.