One thing to consider is whether or not your employer has a program for matching employees' charitable contributions. If they do, check with them for what types of organizations they will or will not match contributions to. It's a great way to make your giving go further.
Quite some time ago I worked at a small company, and we had a PC in a remote location that we would occasionally connect to by directly dialing it up by modem. (this is in the pre-ubiquitous-Internet days). Well, of course, every now and then the computer would crash leaving us unable to perform its intended task, and also unable to answer our calls. After having to drive out there a few times just to hit the Reset button, I installed a circuit inside that "eavesdropped" on the phone line. If the phone rang more than X number of times within some period of time (meaning the computer had crash and was not answering), it reset the computer by way of a relay connect in parallel with the case button.
These sound like real-world Tracker Jackers!
Found the document here... http://cryptome.org/2013/06/NSA-WasntAllMagic_2002.pdf
I have a theory.... Corporations are becoming more and more averse to risk. They expect every product they develop to be successful to justify the expense. So instead of developing products and talent internally, they're letting newbies take on all the risk of starting up new companies and new technologies, and then they swoop in and cherry-pick the ones that are successful.
Watching the clip next to the story immediately reminded me of this opening scene from Real Genius... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTx_qTwQqjU
Although IBM spun off their PC business to Lenovo a few years ago, IBM still almost exclusively buys Lenovo PCs for internal use. What are the 2 operating system images that IBM employees can choose to have installed on their PCs? MS Windows and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Visit your local (or school) library and ask the librarian what other kids your son's age are reading....
The OP said "I wouldn't really need a GUI, but something that filled out PDF forms would be nice." If you go to irs.gov, download the forms you need as PDFs, and open them with Adobe Reader, the boxes in the forms can be filled out within the software. Iit won't do any of the calculations for you, though, but at least it's a tad better than printing them and filling them out by hand.
This (and Prezi) totally make me motion-sick. I hope this fad passes quickly.
I drove occasionally in Cambridge, MA, for a couple of years in the early 90's. The Alewife Brook Parkway has a pair of inter-connected traffic circles (here they are in Google Maps - http://www.google.com/maps?q=cambridge,+mass&hl=en&ll=42.387688,-71.142134&spn=0.003633,0.004769&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=62.61328,78.134766&t=h&z=18) which have been there for a very long time. This particular highway is trafficked by daily commuters, so they know the routine. The deft entering/exiting/maneuvering was actually a thing of beauty to behold.
These animated images are very reminiscent of the moving photos in the Harry Potter movies. If they could only figure out how to do that in a print medium....
This made me nostalgic for my Ensoniq Soundscape playing the amazing MIDI soundtrack to LucasArts' Tie Fighter on my first PC, a 75MHz Pentium w/ ~16MB DRAM.
I think this has a lot in common with the saying "The USA spent millions developing a pen that could write in zero G for space missions; the Russions just used a pencil."