::scurries across the apartment to take a look::
One on my wife's hearing aid dryer, one LCD clock (and another with what I believe to be an incandescent bulb backlighting the dial), one to help me find my flashlight in the dark, and whatever shines through our windows overlooking the Chicago Loop.
...is a Passport Card -- basically a secure national ID issued by the Department of State ($45 new, $35 renew for non-passport holders, $20 for passport holders, lasts 10 years). Over a million Americans, including myself, carry one -- that's more than the population of the Omaha metro area. It's for car, train, bus, and boat travel within North America, but can also be used as a single identification for getting a job (along with, if I recall, the standard ICAO-compliant passport and the green card), and is recognized by the TSA (for domestic air travel), liquor store, and just about anyone else who needs ID. The RFID chip just has a database pointer, which differs from the card number if memory serves, but it comes with a tin foil hat just in case.
What this idea amounts to is transferring or cloning the passport card program into Social Security or Homeland Security.
I know someone who started college at 16, first at the community college and then on to a 4-year institution. She now holds a Ph. D. and is dean for graduate studies at a public university in a major Midwestern city.
And two people who started at 14. One is the director of the allergy clinic at a research hospital, and a damn good doctor to boot, and the other is me. I'm 21 now and had a perfectly normal college experience -- graduated summa cum laude in 5 years, and am now just about done with my master's degree. None of the above seem any worse for the wear.
Uncertain fortune is thoroughly mastered by the equity of the calculation. - Blaise Pascal