Tidbits on May 11, 2005
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

Bob Jensen's home page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

Security threats and hoaxes --- http://www.trinity.edu/its/virus/

This really is the last edition of Tidbits for a spell
I will be taking a break from publishing Tidbits and New Bookmarks.  My wife is having her eighth  back surgery.  I will be busy in our mountains helping her recover, but eventually more Tidbits will be forthcoming.  It's addictive.  Near the bottom of this document you can see my take on a possible connection between Bob Jensen and Aldous Huxley.

Music for the Quiet of Summer:  Shepherd Moons (in a purple sky) --- http://www.jessiesweb.com/purplesky.htm

Train of Life (Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline) ---  

The University of Auckland's Derek Speer reminded me that when you wish upon a star, it makes no difference who your are --- http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=7&ObjectID=10123213

New edition of the Redneck Scrapbook --- http://boortz.com/more/funny/redneck_pics_portrait.html

Nothing is ever a total loss; it can always serve as a bad example.
As seen at the bottom of a message from Aaron Konstam

Three cheers for Connie and her winning team
“Accounting is like a foreign language,” Stone explained to the Hood County News. “It’s really the language of business. Everything revolves around accounting no matter what industry you’re in. I think it’s information for life. It’s a life skill.
Connie Stone, Accounting Coach in the Grady High School University Interscholastic League (UIL) accounting team swept the top three honors in their first year of 5A competition earlier this month, AccountingWeb, April 25, 2005 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=100826

A heart-warming Mothers' Day story:  She brought an abandoned baby home to her litter of puppies
A stray dog saved the life of a newborn baby after finding the abandoned infant in a forest and apparently carrying it across a busy road and through some barbed wire to her litter of puppies, witnesses said. The stray dog found the infant, clad in tattered clothing, in a poor neighborhood near the Ngong Forests in the capital of Nairobi, Stephen Thoya told the independent Daily Nation newspaper. The dog apparently found the baby Friday in the plastic bag in which the infant had been abandoned, said Aggrey Mwalimu, owner of the shed where the animal was guarding its puppies. The seven-pound, four-ounce infant was taken to the hospital for treatment on Saturday. "She is doing well, responding to treatment, she is stable. ... She is on antibiotics," Kenyatta National Hospital spokeswoman Hanna Gakuo told The Associated Press from the hospital, where health workers called the infant Angel.
Rodrique Ngowi, "Stray Dog in Kenya Saves Abandoned Baby," Yahoo News, May 9, 2005 --- http://story.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/kenya_abandoned_baby

An unbelievable UN blunder is partly to blame for the loss of 227,000 lives
The U.N. agency charged with monitoring seismic activity around the globe sent all of its 310 employees on vacation the week of the massive earthquake and tsunami in South Asia, preventing any possibility of warning to the 227,000 victims.
Joseph Farah, "The day U.N. killed 227,000 Why there was no tsunami warning from agency monitoring seismic activity," World Net Daily, May 9, 2005 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=44160

Nothing is poison and everything is poison; the difference is in the dose.

SMU adjunct professor fired because of blog that described the dark side of student life and learning
And indeed she writes about plenty of material that you won’t find in viewbooks. Student views of sex and sexual harassment. Use of Illegal drugs. Student stress (up to and including hospitalization). Crime on campus. Students who don’t know how to write well. And more. (After Liner was told this semester would be her last, she took much of her site down, but has since restored a large sampling, which you can read from the link at the top of this article.) And the Phantom Professor didn’t just report, but added plenty of wry commentary, especially about dealing with wealthy students at SMU. Phantom called the wealthy female students “Ashleys” and didn’t hold back the sarcasm about them, sometimes noting whether a student she was discussing in a posting was or was not an “Ashley.”
Scott Jaschik, "The Phantom Professor," Inside Higher Ed, May 11, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/05/11/phantom

Trivia Quiz
What board game turned 70 years old, sold over 200 million copies, and was played by over 750 million people?

Its name is something we abhor in capitalism --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=100847

eBooks have more between the covers
But, because they're created as PDFs, they have electronic advantages over their printed kin. Connolly inserts video clips into the files, making interactive e-books that can span 200 pages in length and have the feel of a TV, Web, and print combo and yet are like nothing else in the industry. "This is the future," said Connolly. "People have been so afraid to explore what can be done with PDFs, because they think users won't download big files. But what we've found in creating these media-rich projects is that there's just about no limit to the file size that people will download. They want richer, more robust content, and they'll be happy to wait through the download for it."
Elizabeth Millar, "Bigger Can Be Better with Downloadable PDFs," PDFzone, May 5, 2005 --- http://www.pdfzone.com/article2/0,1759,1813777,00.asp
Link forwarded by Richard Campbell

Philosophy "Notes" of Professor Allen Stairs: 
From Ayn Rand to abortion to homosexuality to Web page construction

Rand maintains that such an ethics leads one to take extreme situations -- e.g., people drowning or caught in fires -- as the central ones for ethics. She thinks that anyone who accepts the ethic of altruism will have no self-esteem, will see humanity as a tribe of doomed beggars, will see existence as fundamentally desperate and will actually become indifferent to ethics due to a preoccupation with extreme situations rather than what we might call "real life."

Allen Stairs, "Ayn Rand on the Virtue of Selfishness" --- http://brindedcow.umd.edu/140/rand.html

You might note the other philosophy "Notes" of Allen Stairs at http://brindedcow.umd.edu/140/index.html that contain the following proviso:  "Web surfer's caveat: These are course notes, intended to augment classroom discussion of the issues and readings. They should be read as such and are not intended for general distribution or publication."  In other words they are intended to stimulate discussion and are not intended to either be truth or revealing of Professor Stairs' personal opinions.


Note his link to "What's Dwight Yoakam got to do with philosophy" --- http://brindedcow.umd.edu/170/yoakam.html

BYU study of meanness in toddlers:  Some aren't so sweet as they pretend
Meanness in girls can start when they still are toddlers, a Brigham Young University study found. It found that girls as young as 3 or 4 will use manipulation and peer pressure to get what they want . . . Hart said other research has found that about 17 percent to 20 percent of preschool and school-age girls display such behavior. It also shows up in boys, but much less frequently. "The typical mantra is that boys are more aggressive than girls, but in the last decade we've learned that girls can be just as aggressive as boys, just in different ways," he said . . . Hart said the study may help teachers and parents key into relational aggression and the psychological and emotional trauma it can cause. Just as they do with physical aggression, adults need to monitor such behavior and help children recognize the harm it can cause. 
"Study: Mean Girls Start As Tots," CBS News, May 7, 2005 --- http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/05/07/tech/main693714.shtml

Brain Responses Vary By Sexual Orientation
The brains of homosexual men respond more like those of women when reacting to a chemical derived from the male sex hormone, new evidence of physical differences related to sexual orientation. The finding, published in today's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows differences in physiological reaction to sex hormones. Researchers led by Ivanka Savic at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, exposed heterosexual men and women and homosexual men to chemicals derived from male and female sex hormones. These chemicals are thought to be pheromones, molecules known to trigger responses such as defense and sex in many animals.
"Brain Responses Vary By Sexual Orientation, New Research Shows," The Wall Street Journal,  May 10, 2005; Page D4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111566679033228408,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal

Equity Investing:  Futures and options record month
The CBOT’s Equity futures and options complex set a new monthly volume record at 2,775,907 contracts. Within the complex, Equity futures volume rose to a new monthly high of 2,691,253 contracts.

Chicago Board of Trade newsletter called CBOT Trader on May 10, 2005
Jensen Comment:  A lot of investors are betting on movements, but there are opposing directional bets on every position in futures and options. except in the case of option writers  (sellers) who often bet on no serious movement in either direction.

Webinar Recordings Now Available

Advanced Trading Techniques: How Losses are Turned into Gains & How to Spread Futures, Jeanette  Schwarz Young

Volume Spread Analysis for CBOT Gold & Silver Futures, Gavin Holmes & Todd Krueger

Update on the dirty secrets of academe:  Are we elitist and self-aggrandizing to a fault?
I’m glad to report that the full professor soon left the university, the book came out, I got tenure, was promoted, and life has been rosy ever since. But the professor’s elitist drivel still sticks in my craw because his snobbery runs so rampant in the academy today — as what I experienced with the dopey professor from the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature.
Stephen G. Bloom, "Hello Sy Hershman, Goodbye Bob Woodward," Inside Higher Ed, May 4, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/05/04/bloom3

A not-so-collegial reply from Sasha Waters
Writing in the journalistic tradition of an O’Reilly or a Limbaugh, Stephen Bloom’s vituperative and bizarrely personal attack on “sniveling” academics, especially the snarling, spitting, sneering, “dopey” assistant professor mauled in his article “Hello Sy Hershman, Goodbye Bob Woodward,” is highly instructive — although not perhaps in the way our ersatz Woody-Allen-of-the-Plains here at the University of Iowa intends. What it reveals most is the ease with which male professors can still abuse with impunity the power and privilege of their gender and rank . . . Mr. Bloom’s imaginative assertions that anyone suggested we “lock the doors” and “pummel the propagandists” in a “bloodbath” are outright lies. How do I know? Because I am the female assistant professor Bloom vilifies in his rant. Although he does not name me, I am easily identifiable in our small academic community (there are only three female assistant professors in my department) . . . short, this daring man of letters Mr. Bloom has used his academic and journalistic freedom and the safety of tenure for the noble aim of publicly berating and ridiculing a junior colleague whom he encountered once in a meeting that took place six months ago. The real lesson about the halls of higher learning we can glean from Stephen Bloom’s piece is, quite sadly, that junior women of the academy should think twice before voicing opinions contrary to those of swaggering bullies who out-rank them.
Sasha Waters, "Goodbye Collegiality, Hello Spineless Bullying," Inside Higher Ed, May 10, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/05/10/waters

Where does the highly talented Garrison Keillor look for material?  You might be surprised!
My taste is catholic; I don't go looking for people like me (earnest liberal English majors). I am a fan of the preachers on little AM stations in early morning and late at night who sit in a tiny studio in Alabama or Tennessee and patiently explain the imminence of the Second Coming--I grew up with good preaching, and it is an art that, unlike anything I find in theaters, has the power to shake me to my toes. And gospel music is glorious beyond words. I love the mavericks and freethinkers and obsessives who inhabit the low-power FM stations--the feminist bluegrass show, the all-Sinatra show, the Yiddish vaudeville show. Once, on the Merritt Parkway heading for New York, I came upon The American Atheist Hour, the sheer tedium of which was wildly entertaining--there's nobody so humorless as a devout atheist. I love the great artists of public radio who simulate spontaneity so beautifully they almost fool me--Terry Gross, Ira Glass, the Car Talk brothers--all carefully edited and shaped, but big as life on the radio, smarter than hell, cooler than cucumbers. I love the good-neighbor small-town radio of bake sales and Rotary meetings and Krazy Daze and livestock reports and Barb calling in to report that Pookie was found and thanks to everybody who was on the lookout for her. Good-neighbor radio used to be everywhere and was especially big in big cities--WGN in Chicago, WCCO in Minneapolis-St. Paul, WOR in New York, KOA in Denver, KMOX in St. Louis, KSL in Salt Lake City--where avuncular men chatted about fishing and home repair and other everyday things and Library Week was observed and there was live coverage of a tornado or a plane crash and on summer nights you heard the ball game. Meanwhile lawn mowers were sold and skin cream and dairy goods and flights to Acapulco.
Garrison Keillor, "Confessions of a Listener," The Nation, May 5, 2005 --- http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20050523&s=keillor

NPR too Gray says Scott Sherman
Smiley directed his firepower at an organization that has accomplished a great deal in recent years. Thanks in part to NPR's comprehensive foreign coverage, its listenership has soared since 9/11: In the wake of the attacks on New York and Washington, NPR gained (and has kept) nearly 4 million new listeners, and the network's various programs now reach 23 million listeners a week on more than 780 member stations. Morning Edition is now the most listened-to morning show in the country. As the listenership grew, so did the philanthropic largesse: In November 2003 NPR received a stunning $236 million bequest from the estate of Joan Kroc, the widow of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc. But Smiley ruined the party both by calling attention to the shortcomings of an institution that emerged from Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and by underlining the gap between NPR's rhetoric--in this case, about racial inclusion--and reality. The entity that calls itself National Public Radio, he reminded us, is not serving the entire public. "You'd be amazed," he told Salon, "at the number of people of color who do not know what NPR is."
Scott Sherman, "Good, Gray NPR," The Nation,  May 5, 2005 ---

Freedom of speech versus the Internet in Singapore
The pressing issue here is not whether or not of Mr. Chen's remarks were indeed defamatory as the agency contends. The larger issue is what role the Internet will play in Singapore. Cherian George, an academic at the communications school at Nanyang Technological University, tells us that in Singapore, the Internet has been significantly freer than newspapers, because the government has decided to treat most of the Internet as private communication. Still, this freedom has its limits, as political and religious Web sites, for example, need to register. Mr. George says that while it is too soon to say what this A*Star case portends, it raises the important question of whether Singapore's Internet regulations will be adjusted in order to cover blogs as well as Web sites. "It is a landmark case," Mr. George tells us. "It does bring blogging into the public sphere, so to speak."
"Singapore and the Internet," The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111567690051528580,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

Freedom of speech versus hurt feelings at Dartmouth
Can speech that hurts feelings get you in trouble at Dartmouth College? That’s what libertarian critics of the college have been charging for some time, saying that the college has a speech code that squelches free expression. Dartmouth has said that its policies have been distorted. But this month, the college clarified its stance and at least some of its critics now say that the college no longer has policies that inhibit free speech on the campus. The clarification comes as the college is counting the votes in a trustee election in which the college’s speech policies were a major issue.
Scott Jaschik, "Freer Speech at Dartmouth?" Inside Higher Ed, May 10, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/05/10/dartmouth

Job market site from the AACSB (It includes the higher education job market) --- http://www.aacsb.edu/jobs2/

Bob Jensen's threads on careers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#careers

And a beleaguered Tweedie Bird never got a nickel from this cat's owner
A woman who sued a neighbor after his dog mauled her cat to death has been awarded more than $45,000. Retired teacher Paula Roemer's 12-year-old cat, Yofi, was attacked in her back yard in February 2004 by a chow belonging to her neighbor, Wallace Gray. The dog had repeatedly escaped in the past, according to the lawsuit.
"Washington State Woman Awarded $45,000 for Cat Killed by Neighbor's Dog," Associated Press, May 9, 2005 --- http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGB4JC3SI8E.html

Rent movies for $10 per month --- http://web.netflix.com/Default?mqso=60186732
(Link forwarded by Debbie Bowling)
Bob Jensen's threads on entertainment are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm#History

Some guys have twice as much fun, at least up to a point Down Under
This is the extraordinary tale of one man, two women, two funerals and a messy, looming legal battle.
"Al Grassby's double life," Sydney Morning Herald, May 8, 2005 --- http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/05/07/1115422847039.html
Jensen Comment:  Grassby probably copped the idea from biographies of U.S. legislators.

Advice to business students:  Learn some Chinese
China, where there has been rapid economic growth in the past few years, has the most allure. But other markets, including India and Singapore, also are drawing M.B.A. job candidates. They're attracted by the adventure of working in Asia as well as the chance to gain experience in a region that is increasingly important to U.S. companies. Knowledge of Asia, especially China, could help propel their careers, they believe. Another draw, especially for entrepreneurial types, is the chance to get in on the ground floor of new businesses and potentially earn big sums or quickly move up the ranks.
Erin White, "For M.B.A. Students, A Good Career Move Means a Job in Asia," The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2005; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111568193479528701,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace

MBA graduates prefer a job in hand and a fatter paycheck
When they envision their dream jobs, most M.B.A. students don't get all starry-eyed and idealistic. Instead, they take a very pragmatic view and set their sights on the companies that happen to be paying the most and hiring the most. That attitude is apparent in the results of a new survey that asked M.B.A.s to name their "ideal" employers. In the annual study, students awarded higher popularity scores this year to nearly all of the management-consulting and financial-services companies, many of which have flocked back to campus with more jobs and fatter paychecks. While they have traditionally been magnets for M.B.A.s, banks and consultants became scarce on campus during the bleak job market of the past few years, and some dropped in the ranking produced by Universum Communications, a research and consulting firm that surveyed more than 4,700 M.B.A.s at 50 U.S. schools.
"Students Drawn to Firms With Jobs, Fatter Paychecks," The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111568211032928708,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace

Health Updates
Antioxidant Advantage Antioxidants help defend our bodies from heart disease, cancer, and perhaps even the ravages of age --- http://my.webmd.com/content/article/105/107775?z=1727_00000_2002_hv_06

Eating low-fat dairy products may help slightly lower the risk of developing diabetes, a new study of more than 40,000 middle-aged men suggests. Each additional serving of low-fat dairy per day resulted in a 9% drop in risk. The link could be due to whey proteins or magnesium, ingredients thought to enhance the action of insulin in regulating blood sugar.
"Dairy May Cut Diabetes Risk in Men," The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2005, Page D3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111565796924528338,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal
Jensen Comment:  Watch the wording.  This does not me that 12 servings a day eliminates the risk.

A brief history of pain --- http://abcnews.go.com/Health/PainManagement/story?i

From the National Institute of Health
More than you wanted to know about health (and vitamins, food, etc.) --- http://ods.od.nih.gov/ 

Time Magazine Cover Story:  Female midlife crisis --- http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101050516/sowallis.html

New findings about diet and fat
Scientists found that in mice, old fat stuck around when the liver had no new fat to process. The results are further evidence that extreme diets often aren't the ticket to a lean body, and a balanced diet is likely important for more reasons than scientists currently understand. "Extremes of diet are sometimes unwise, because a balanced diet may be critical for providing certain dietary signals that allow you to respond appropriately to stresses, and one of those stresses is eating too much," said Dr. Clay Semenkovich, a professor of medicine, cell biology and physiology at the University of Washington and co-author of the study.
Kristen Philipkoski, "Eat Fat to Lose Fat," Wired News, May 10, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,67473,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_5
Jensen Comment:  This does not mean eat a lot of fat, and diabetics should be especially careful.  One doctor uses the following analogy for diabetics in terms of penetration of the liver:  Sugar is a golf ball, carbohydrates are softballs, and fat is a soccer ball.old

Are you being paid while reading this?  Are there too many Internet diversions while on the job?
Of the employees using the Internet at work, 51% access nonwork sites for about one to five hours a week; 5%, six to 10 hours; and 2%, 11 hours or more. An average of 3.4 hours a week was spent at such sites by each employee, a slight increase from 3.3 hours in the year-earlier poll. Although Internet use has increased, according to the survey, the percentage of employees spending time at nonwork-related sites has remained about the same, at 58% in the current survey, compared with 59% a year ago.
Richard Breeden, "More Employees Are Using the Web at Work," The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2005; Page B4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111568290069528740,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace

Worrisome Ailment in Medicine: Misleading Journal Articles
Doctors and patients who rely on articles in prestigious medical journals for information about drugs have a problem: The articles don't always tell the full story. Some omit key findings of trials about a drug's safety and efficacy or inconvenient details about how a trial's design changed partway through. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last year reviewed 122 medical-journal articles and found that 65% of findings on harmful effects weren't completely reported. It also found gaps in half the findings on how well treatments worked.
Anna Wilde Mathews, "Worrisome Ailment in Medicine: Misleading Journal Articles:  Editors Demand More Data To Ensure Full Disclosure Of Drug Risks, Trial Gaps Sarbanes-Oxley for Professors," The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2005; Page A1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111567633298328568,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

PwC hires more accounting graduates than ever before
In 2005 we have hired over 3,100 students for full-time positions across all of our lines of service. This represents a 17% increase over 2004 and 68% over 2002. This year we will also have over 2,000 interns. As accounting educators, PwC appreciates the important role you play in providing this excellent talent to us.
May 5, 2005 message from PwC News

Knowledge Trails:  Thinking in circles
For decades, computer researchers have experimented with the idea of displaying textual information in visual maps, but the concept has been slow to find practical applications. Now, one of the pioneering companies in the field is hoping that by making its software available as part of a standard Web browser it will be able to wean surfers away from the simple ranked lists of search results offered by Google and Yahoo.
John Markoff, "Your Internet Search Results, in the Round," The New York Times, May 9, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/09/technology/09yahoo.html?

This is a lot like the "Knowledge Trails" innovation invented by Fathom.  It is very sad that Fathom could not get the funding to make the Knowledge Trails a reality, because this would have been one of the most useful integrative concepts in the history of knowledge --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/portals.htm#Fathom

Terrorist Information:  Thinking visually
A new generation of software called Starlight 3.0, developed for the Department of Homeland Security by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), can unravel the complex web of relationships between people, places, and events. And other new software can even provide answers to unasked questions. Anticipating terrorist activity requires continually decoding the meaning behind countless emails, Web pages, financial transactions, and other documents, according to Jim Thomas, director of the National Visualization and Analytics Center (NVAC) in Richland, Washington. Anticipating terrorist activity requires continually decoding the meaning behind countless emails, Web pages, financial transactions, and other documents, according to Jim Thomas, director of the National Visualization and Analytics Center (NVAC) in Richland, Washington. Federal agencies participating in terrorism prevention monitor computer networks, wiretap phones, and scour public records and private financial transactions into massive data repositories.
John Gartner, "A Vision of Terror," MIT's Technology Review, May 10, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/05/wo/wo_051005gartner.asp?trk=nl

Sociology professor designs SAGrader software for grading student essays
Student essays always seem to be riddled with the same sorts of flaws. So sociology professor Ed Brent decided to hand the work off to a computer. Students in Brent's Introduction to Sociology course at the University of Missouri-Columbia now submit drafts through the SAGrader software he designed. It counts the number of points he wanted his students to include and analyzes how well concepts are explained. And within seconds, students have a score. It used to be the students who looked for shortcuts, shopping for papers online or pilfering parts of an assignment with a simple Google search. Now, teachers and professors are realizing that they, too, can tap technology for a facet of academia long reserved for a teacher alone with a red pen. Software now scores everything from routine assignments in high school English classes to an essay on the GMAT, the standardized test for business school admission. (The essay section just added to the Scholastic Aptitude Test for the college-bound is graded by humans). Though Brent and his two teaching assistants still handle final papers and grades students are encouraged to use SAGrader for a better shot at an "A."
"Computers Now Grading Students' Writing," ABC News, May 8, 2005 ---
Jensen Comment:  Aside from some of the obvious advantages such as grammar checking, students should have a more difficult time protesting that the grading is subjective and unfair in terms of the teacher's alleged favored versus less-favored students.  Actually computers have been used for some time in grading essays, including the GMAT graduate admission test --- http://www.yaledailynews.com/article.asp?AID=723

Also see The Washington Post account at

References to computer grading of essays --- http://coeweb.fiu.edu/webassessment/references.htm

You can read about PEG at http://snipurl.com/PEGgrade

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at http://www.yaledailynews.com/article.asp?AID=723

Count the Zeros:  U.S. debt increasing by $1,000,000,000 per day
"WHAT IS ALAN GREENSPAN SO UPSET ABOUT" from a May 10 email message from Mike Gasior [Mike_Gasior@mail.vresp.com]

For those of you who have not been keeping close track of Alan Greenspan's Chairmanship of the Federal Reserve, term limits will require him to retire on January 31st of 2006. Many people, including myself, consider him to be the most powerful Fed Chair there has ever been; and he has extended his power far beyond what has typically been the mandate for the central bank. When looked at simply, the Federal Reserve actually seems quite limited in power with their influence simply expressed through their administration of two benign overnight interest rates. The Discount Rate, which is the rate at which member banks can borrow directly from the Federal Reserve, and the Fed Funds Rate at which member banks lend each other money. What is impressive to consider is how Alan Greenspan has leveraged his reputation and agenda to become one of the most influential forces in government for much of the past two decades. What drives him crazy is the direction the U.S. economy is heading as he nears the end of his very long run and how badly his own party has let him down.

After 18 years, five months and 21 days in office he will gather his things from his office for the final time and walk away with whatever legacy history has in store for him. And how do things looks as his final day approaches:

--The U.S. Federal budget deficit is exploding and the government's debt is increasing at over a billion dollars every single day.

--The dollar is falling in value.

--The future burden of Social Security and Medicare is something Greenspan has referred to privately as "a crisis on wings" and only grows more serious daily.

How can you get around the expense of buying MS Office for your home computers?
OpenOffice is the fruit of a collaboration between Sun Microsystems and volunteer programmers around the world. Sun bought a German company in 1999 to get office software to bundle with its computers but figured that it wasn't going to make big bucks selling the software to a wider market because of Microsoft's grip. So it released portions of the code to the public. It probably didn't hurt that archrival Microsoft loathes the idea of free software. The first version of OpenOffice, released in 2002, attempted to imitate Office as closely as possible but fell short. It didn't open all Word documents properly, its spreadsheets could not be as big as Excel's and it completely lacked a database program to match Access. It wasn't a success. The beta of version 2 fixes many of those problems. It opens Word, WordPerfect and Excel files flawlessly. Saved files open fine on Microsoft programs. It also adds a database program that's similar to Access.
Peter Svensson, "Review: OpenOffice a Strong Competitor, The Washington Post, May 6, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/06/AR2005050600359.html

The failing Outlook
The chief drawback of OpenOffice is that it still lacks an equivalent to Microsoft's excellent Outlook e-mail and calendar program. This need not be a fatal flaw. If you're fine with a simple e-mail program, you can download the free Thunderbird program from www.mozilla.org . If you need more features, just buy Microsoft Outlook for $109. That's still a lot cheaper than buying the entire Standard Edition Office suite for $399. (Of course, the Office edition for students and teachers costs $149, and no one's checking IDs). My colleagues and I encountered some other problems with OpenOffice. Installation was difficult on some machines because OpenOffice relies on Sun's Java software, which does not come pre-installed on all Windows PCs (it's available for free from http:java.sun.com). Write crashed a few times while saving documents, but we were able to recover the files. Hopefully, this is an issue that will be solved in the final version.
Edward N. Albro, "First Look: Orb Offers Easy Media Streaming," PC World via The Washington Post, May 4, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/04/AR2005050401834.html?referrer=email

Jensen Comment:  OpenOffice details are given at http://www.collab.net/media/pdfs/openoffice_success.pdf

Phillips' wrongheaded the critique
A persistent theme of some critics of the Iraq war -- again ascendant during the past few weeks of violence -- has been the Bush administration's alleged failure to appease the Baath Party and other elements of Saddam Hussein's former regime. One of the more visible exponents of this point of view has been David L. Phillips of the Council on Foreign Relations. But his "Losing Iraq" (Westview, 292 pages, $25) reveals just how hollow and wrongheaded the critique really is.
Robert L. Pollack, "The Armchair Analyst," The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2005, Page D8  --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111567764466328593,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

The complexity and viciousness of politics
Blumenthal claims the religious right is "a highly ecumenical group, united on some issues of morality and politics but deeply divided on matters of faith. The thought that they could ever agree enough to impose a theocracy is laughable." In 2002, pointing to a series of similar missteps by writers for The Nation, we asked http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=95001757 : "Is it possible that The Nation, that venerable left-wing magazine, has been infiltrated by right-wing moles who are acting like idiots in an effort to discredit the left?" The question seems as pertinent as ever.
Opinion Journal, May 10, 2005

MasterCard is making some effort to prevent identity theft
For nearly a year, the company has been striving to close down Web sites that sell or share stolen MasterCard credit-card information, and "phishing" or "spoof" sites that use MasterCard's name or logo to trick consumers into divulging confidential information. Since last June, the company has detected 35,045 MasterCard numbers for sale or trade on the Internet, and has shuttered 766 sites trafficking in such information. It has closed down 1,378 phishing sites.
Mitchell Pacelle, "How MasterCard Fights Against Identity Thieves," The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2005; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111559589681527765,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace
Bob Jensen's threads on identity theft and phishing are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm#SpecialSection

A former Marxist is shaking up the liberal establishment in academe
David Horowitz, one of the country's most famous converts to conservatism, is waging a one-man war against the academy. Liberal college students, he says, see their views reflected in textbooks . . .  His kids, as he calls conservative students, have to subscribe to The National Review to get a balanced view of the world. So nearly every day, he is on the road, promoting his "academic bill rights"--a set of principles that he says will make universities more intellectually diverse and tolerant of conservatives. If he is lucky, maybe the next generation will read his name in its textbooks . . . Mr. Bowen fears that if those legislators do pass the bill, it will "put a monitor in classrooms," increase the role of government, and make litigation at the college and university level more frequent and more prevalent. Todd Gitlin, now a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia, also has a problem with the bill as legislation. The actual text of it is fine, say says, "If it came across my desk as a petition, I'd probably sign it." But "the attempt to rope legislatures into enforcing rules of fairness and decorum on university campuses is misguided and perverse."
Jennifer Jacobson, "What Makes David Run," The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 6, 2005, Page A9.
Jensen Comment:  To date sixteen states have proposed some form of the legislation on the Academic Bill of Rights

William & Mary Apology
The College of William & Mary has apologized for and rescinded the dismissal of one dormitory housekeeper and the placement on probation of another, reported the Hampton Roads Daily Press. The housekeepers were punished for talking to reporters about the recent suicides of two students. Their supervisor said that they were not allowed to talk to reporters, but Timothy J. Sullivan, the college’s president, said that the college did not have such a ban.
"William & Mary Apology," Inside Higher Ed, May 9, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/05/09/qt

It is going to happen. Sooner or later, you'll find yourself at loggerheads with a co-worker, or you'll be dragged into somebody else's quarrel. You'll hear gossip or, worse yet, become the target of gossip. Or you may find yourself subjected to language, a dirty joke, or offensive comments that disturb you. No matter what form it takes, a situation like this is a real test of your mettle as a mature adult. How should you respond when a co-worker makes blatantly sexist or racist remarks, calls you (or someone you know who is trustworthy) a ''liar" or a ''cheat," or treats co-workers and subordinates with snobbish and arrogant.
Peggy and Peter Post, "Questions of etiquette, and answers," Boston Globe, May 8, 2005 --- http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2005/05/08/questions_of_etiquette_and_answers/

Update on stem cell research --- http://www.boston.com/news/science/stemcell/

How can you access your multimedia files that are too big to carry around on your laptop?
If you've got a big collection of digital music and video, you know that bringing it with you when you roam can be a hassle. Large media files can quickly overload a notebook's hard drive and they certainly won't fit on most cell phones or PDAs. That's where Orb Networks comes in. The Web-based service streams music, video, and photos from your Windows XP PC to other Web-connected devices, including any notebook, many PDAs (generally including PocketPCs, but not Palms), and Microsoft Smartphone cell phones. If your home PC has a TV tuner, you can even watch live television on your portable device. I tested the service--which recently changed from charging a $10 monthly fee to offering free accounts--using both a notebook and a Nokia 6620 cell phone. I found that it worked remarkably well for such a new technology. To access your content, you first download and install the Orb application on the PC that will be hosting your files. From your mobile device, you can then sign into your account on the Orb Web site and access your files through a Spartan, but clear folder system. In addition to showing the media files on your own PC, Orb shows you content (some free, some paid) from providers such as Audible and Beatport. The company plans to make money by selling customers content. Orb uses the processing power of your host Windows PC to scale your content so the service can transport it over the network you're using and fits it on your portable device's screen.
Edward N. Albro, "First Look: Orb Offers Easy Media Streaming," PC World via The Washington Post, May 4, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/04/AR2005050401834.html?referrer=email
Jensen Comment:  Of course for your laptop you can always carry quite a lot of multimedia on CD or DVD disks.

Accountants are going to brush up on the accounting rules for bartered transactions
Three New York doctors were charged on Thursday with giving large amounts of Viagra and other anti-impotence drugs to mob members in return for construction and auto repair work done by mafia-controlled businesses. Arlen Fleisher, Stephen Klass and George Shapiro, all doctors in Westchester County, a suburban area north of New York City, were accused of trading prescription drugs and drug samples with members and associates of the Gambino crime family. The one-count complaint was filed in Manhattan federal court.
"Viagra for the mob? This can't turn out well...," Reuters, May 5, 2005 --- tp://snipurl.com/UprightMob

Wise Woman Whips Wal-Mart Whopper
When Bobbie Faler answered her phone Tuesday morning, she heard an offer that seemed too good to be true. The caller said that for Wal-Mart's 25th anniversary, he was giving away $200 worth of coupons, in $10 and $20 denominations that could be redeemed for cash. All Faler had to do was give him her checking account number. "I told him I didn't think anyone who made less than $40,000 a year should have a checking account," Faler said, adding that she doesn't have one. The caller said he would have someone call her back with information on where to send a money order. She said the caller spoke with a heavy accent, but she couldn't identify it. Faler didn't take the bait. Instead, she called Wal-Mart and was told that the call was a scam.
Jessica Lowell, "Wal-Mart coupon scam targets local resident," Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, May 7, 2005 --- http://www.wyomingnews.com/news/more.asp?StoryID=105141

Investment advice from a Wharton professor
(Be leery of equity investment advice from anybody since, unlike a casino, the stock market is a non-stationary game of chance.  It's a game of chance with constantly changing probabilities and inside players)

Siegel's investment strategy can be summed up in two steps. First, shun all the high-priced stocks that sell at a premium multiple to the Standard & Poor's 500 stock average. That adage would have been useful in 2000 when Jack Welch's General Electric (nyse: GE - news - people ) was priced at an unsustainable 50 times earnings. It would have led you to sell AIG (nyse: AIG - news - people ) when the insurance giant was 26 times earnings, far higher than the earnings multiple of most other insurance companies. Celebrated CEOs won't make you rich. And, writes Siegel, "Not a single technology or telecommunications company performed well for investors." Second, buy the stocks that Siegel calls the "El Dorados," well-known household name companies that have been around a long time and pay ever-rising cash dividends. In fact--and here is the staggering insight Siegel has--if you consistently reinvest the dividends paid by the El Dorados, over a long period of time you will get rich. "Without reinvesting dividends, the average annual after-inflation return on stocks falls from 7% to 4.5%--a drop of over a third," Siegel writes.
Robert Lezner, "Stocks For The Long-Ago Run," Forbes, May 6, 2005 --- http://www.forbes.com/2005/05/06/cz_rl_0506siegelbookreview.html
Jensen Comment:  Jeremy J. Siegel's new book is The Future for Investors, Why the Tried and the True Triumph Over the Bold and the New, (Crown Business, $27.50

The other eBay
The number of people who use Craigslist.org is expanding at more than 100 percent per year _ a growth rate any venture capitalist would covet. But the people who run the 10-year-old community Web site, which gets 8 million unique users and more than 2 billion page views per month, seem to have little interest in exploiting new sources of revenue, going public or even adding to their 18-person staff.The bare-bones site _ a trusted resource for everything from finding roommates to selling used cars in 105 cities in 23 countries, charges for very few classifieds, doesn't serve up traditional ads and plans no major changes to its business model. Instead, founder Craig Newmark told Associated Press editors and writers in a bureau visit, his newest fascination is community journalism. Newmark hopes to develop a pool of "talented amateurs" who could investigate scandals, cover politics and promote the most important and credible stories. Articles would be published on Internet sites ranging from Craigslist to individual Web logs, or blogs.
Rachel Konrad, "Craigslist.org Founder Eyes Journalism," The Washington Post, May 7, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/07/AR2005050700611.html

The Washington Post trivia question on May 10, 2005

Craigslist.org gets more than 4 million classified ads and 1 million forum postings each month. How many people work at the site?

A. 1,800
B. 800
C. 180
D. 18

Workplace far from democracy
The workplace is not a democracy. Instead, it is filled with layers of command. That's the informed opinion of Harold J. Leavitt of Pasadena, Calif., a retired professor of organizational behavior at the graduate school of business at Stanford University. "Hierarchy, that oldest and most controlling attribute of large human organizations, shouldn't just go on and on, but it does," said Leavitt, who has a doctorate in social psychology and is a lecturer, consultant and author. His newest book addresses this concern: It's titled "Top Down: Why hierarchies are here to stay and how to manage them more effectively" (Harvard Business School Press, $29.95).
Carol Kleiman, "Workplace far from democracy," Chicago Tribune, April 28, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/ChicagoTribApril28

National Geographic's Strange Days on Planet Earth  http://www.pbs.org/strangedays/index_flash.html
Teaming up with PBS, National Geographic has created an intriguing four-part documentary series titled "Strange Days on Planet Earth" that is meant to explore a number of events and processes (such as climatic change and invasive species) and their long- and short-term effects across the planet. Hosted by actor Edward Norton, the series producer's have also created this complementary website where interested parties can learn more about these processes. For example, in the "One Degree Factor" section (which explores global climatic change), users can read interviews with experts working in this field and also learn about the relevance of this process to their own lives. The site also contains a nice glossary of terms and a place where individuals can offer their own comments on the program.
Quoted from the Scout Report on May 5, 2005

A scam becomes big time in Japan
Many Japanese haven't been as fortunate. This nation, which boasts a low crime rate, is in a panic about a scam in which criminal groups act out highly orchestrated dramas over the phone. The crime has become so widespread it even has its own name: the oreore (pronounced oray-oray) sagi, or, "It's me! It's me!" swindle. Most scams include a crook pretending to be a relative, sobbing, "It's me!" hoping the intended victim lets a name slip. Since the scam first started appearing two years ago, the number of cases has skyrocketed. Last year, at least 14,874 victims handed over about $180 million, police officials say. Other incidents are believed to go uncounted because victims are too ashamed to report the crime. The single biggest reported loss was a man who paid $120,000. Similar scams have appeared in other countries. But they are particularly elaborate -- and successful -- here because of a schism between Japan's traditional ways of settling disputes and a recent push to create a more transparent, contract-based legal system. For most Japanese, Western law remains an alien notion. Many retain a deep-seated reluctance to resolve disputes in public and prefer to settle matters behind closed doors to avoid shame to the family. In Japan, a nation of 127.6 million people, there were 570,000 civil lawsuits last year, fewer than the 720,000 in the U.S. state of Georgia, which has 8.6 million people.
Martin Fackler, "An Insurance Scam Taps Japan's Fears At Great Expense:  Victims Pay After Receiving Calls About Fake Mishaps; The Dread of Humiliation 'Dummy! It's That Swindle'," The Wall Street Journal,  May 6, 2005; Page A1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111532143682626024,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

It's beyond me why anybody does business with Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley's past actions hardly inspire confidence that the firm can be relied upon to analyze the legal potential of the documents. All Wall Street firms play hardball when clients bring arbitration cases. But Morgan Stanley is famous for its scorched-earth tactics. The firm often stonewalls routine requests for documents and stalls even when arbitration panelists order that materials be produced. During an October 2003 arbitration, for example, Morgan Stanley was penalized $10,000 a day until it complied with an order that documents be produced. "Enough is enough," the arbitration panel wrote. Morgan Stanley seems similarly obstructionist in its dealings with regulators. New Hampshire's securities department last month cited it for "improper and inadequate production of documents" in a case involving allegations of improper sales. Jeffrey Spill, deputy director of the state's Bureau of Securities Regulation, said in a statement: "What we have seen is a consistent pattern of delay and obfuscation in relation to document production, in addition to inadequate recordkeeping, both here in New Hampshire and in other jurisdictions." Morgan Stanley settled the case W.A.O.D.W. - without admitting or denying wrongdoing.

Gretchen Morgenson, "All That Missing E-Mail ... It's Baaack," The New York Times, May 8, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/08/business/yourmoney/08gret.html
Bob Jensen's threads on frauds by brokers and investment bankers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#InvestmentBanking

Al-Jazeera becomes a  boon for Bush
From its headquarters, dispersed among cramped trailers, air-conditioned tents and a squat box of a building on a dusty lot crawling with stray cats, an unlikely ally has emerged in this desert capital for the Bush administration's new Middle East democracy campaign -- al-Jazeera. The Arab world's most-watched satellite channel has been reviled in Washington since it began airing Osama bin Laden tapes and footage of insurgent strikes on U.S. troops in Iraq. Yet as the Bush administration struggles to design a public diplomacy program for its democracy campaign, al-Jazeera has become a leading vehicle for the region's budding reform movements.
Robin Wright, "Al-Jazeera Puts Focus on Reform Mideast Coverage by Network Reviled in Washington Is Boon for Bush," Washington Post, May 8, 2005 ---

In Pursuit of Arab Reform ---

Another CEO Scam
Forget the standard corporate apartment, available to many out-of-town employees. Today, the smart executive traveling frequently between two locales owns or personally rents his out-of-town digs -- and gets paid for staying there. Employers are reimbursing executives for staying in their own second homes at a time when many have deemed company-owned residences too expensive to maintain. Though fairly common in the media, entertainment, banking and retail industries, the arrangement largely remained below the radar screen until recently. Facing heightened pressure from regulators and investors for greater details about executive rewards, several major corporations described this perk for the first time in their 2005 proxy statements.
Joann S. Lublin, "Some Visiting CEOs Get Paid To Stay in Residences They Own," The Wall Street Journal,  May 6, 2005; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111534085959426451,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace
Bob Jensen's updates on frauds are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

It used to be they all wanted to be Napoleon
With patriotism at a high plateau of late, the U.S. military currently receives a level of respect not seen since World War II. Unlike the Vietnam War era, today even those who oppose the war in Iraq profess to be staunch supporters of the men and women who serve there. The heightened admiration has given way to a growing number of military impostors, and in turn sparked an impassioned group of crusaders determined to expose the mock heros who festoon themselves with unearned medals. The FBI's Mr. Cottone estimates that for every actual Navy Seal today, at least 300 people falsely claim to be one. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society in Mount Pleasant, S.C., suspects that the number of people who falsely claim to have received a Medal of Honor is more than double the 124 living recipients.
Amy Chozick, "Veterans' Web Sites Expose Pseudo Heroes, Phony Honors," The Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2005; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111533986173926430,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace

More incentives for those phony diplomas:  Why not focus more on performance at hand?
Full-time community college faculty members are making only a little more money than they did last year, according to new data from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. The average full-time faculty member earned $52,134 in 2004-5, up from $50,998 the previous year. CUPA and the American Association of University Professors are the main sources of faculty salary data, and they collect data in different ways. The AAUP recently released this year’s data and found an average salary of $52,862. CUPA did not release much detail about its survey, and it does not provide institution-by-institution averages, as the AAUP does. But CUPA asked the colleges in its survey to identify “the primary basis for determining compensation” for full-time faculty members. The results indicate much more of an emphasis on degrees attained than on factors commonly emphasized at four-year institutions.
Scott Jaschik, "Modest Increases," Inside Higher Ed, May 6, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/05/06/ccsalary

Our Ph.D. Deficit:  federal funding for research in the physical sciences and engineering has been stagnant
To keep feeding America's great innovation machine, robust investments in research are a must. Unfortunately, federal funding for research in the physical sciences and engineering has been stagnant for two decades in inflation-adjusted dollars. As a percentage of GDP, federal investment in physical science research is half of what it was in 1970. The technologies listed above came from decades-old research. A flatlined research budget won't produce the same economic growth for tomorrow. Nor will it keep us ahead of the competition much longer. Through investment in research and education, our competitors have increased their numbers of science and engineering Ph.D.s. It's no wonder that foreign applications for U.S. patents are growing remarkably and that the foreign high-tech labor force is drawing jobs away from America. In China, R&D expenditures rose 350% between 1991 and 2001, and the number of science and engineering Ph.D.s soared 535%. In South Korea, R&D expenditures increased more modestly -- by 220% -- and Ph.D.s by 150%. In that same period, the number of applications for U.S. patents from each country grew by 400%. Publications in scientific journals provide another indicator of the global challenge to our scientific primacy. In 1986, the U.S. share of articles in such journals world-wide was 39%. By 2001 it had slipped to 31%, and it is still declining.
Norman R. Augustine and Burton Richter, "Our Ph.D. Deficit," The Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2005; Page A18 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111517668080624207,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

Monarch butterflies making their annual migration from the eastern United States to winter residences in Mexico's Sierra Madre mountain range find their way by following a three-dimensional map made of rays of polarized ultraviolet light, a study has found --- http://news.yahoo.com/s/latimests/20050507/ts_latimes/butterfliesnavigateusingmapofuvlightstudyfinds

When you're in a hole don't keep digging
A woman pleaded guilty to helping her husband fake his own death by digging up a corpse from a cemetery and then staging a fiery car accident in which the body was burned beyond recognition. Molly Daniels pleaded guilty Tuesday to insurance fraud and hindering apprehension. She faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. Her husband, Clayton Wayne Daniels, is in custody pending trial on arson charges. According to allegations in court records, Clayton Daniels dug up a body from a graveyard, placed it in his car and set the car on fire in June, burning the body beyond recognition.
Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2005 --- http://news.yahoo.com/s/latimests/20050505/ts_latimes/womanpleadsguiltyingraverobbingforfraud

The British Library has released a CD containing clips from talks and lectures given by Einstein. We have two samples to listen to on the site, try them out and find out some more fascinating facts about Einstein.
Einstein Year 2005 ---  http://www.einsteinyear.org/

Changing economic status and demographics for the good
The Washington Times reports: "Congressional Black Caucus members no longer vote lock step with each other and the Democratic Party, reflecting a significant change in the economic status and demographics of their constituents and their own political aspirations."

Opinion Journal, May 5, 2005

Reverse thinking
Two Canadian ecologists at the University of Windsor in Ontario have been studying the way that Internet viruses proliferate to better determine the progress of a real-world intruder -- the spiny water flea, an insect that's native to Russia that has been invading the Canadian lake system for two decades. Their approach might seem, well, a little buggy. But Professor Hugh MacIsaac and graduate student Jim Muirhead published a paper in March on their work in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology which says that by applying the rules of network theory and taking insights from how information spreads across the Internet, they've constructed a picture of the way their ecological interloper operates.
Karen Epper Hoffman, "The 'Nature' of Net Viruses," MIT's Technology Review, May 6, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/05/wo/wo_050505hoffman.asp?trk=nl

Ex-Enron Broadband Engineer Recounts Chaos
An engineer hired to fix problems in Enron Corp.'s broadband unit testified Thursday that the division suffered from overall disarray and that his corrective efforts were met with internal resistance. John Bloomer, who had previously spent 18 years with General Electric Co., told jurors in the trial of five former executives of the broadband unit that he found some "disturbing things" when he "peeked under the covers" after arriving at Enron Broadband Services in 1999.
Associated Press, "Ex-Enron Broadband Engineer Recounts Chaos," The Washington Post, May 5, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/05/AR2005050502014.html
Bob Jensen's threads on the Enron scandals are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm

Roosevelt’s 1935 original Social Security plan included private accounts
Bush's new Social Security proposal is in line with what FDR really wanted
Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s original Social Security plan included provisions that would have allowed people to make personal investments - not altogether different from the private accounts that President Bush is currently proposing.  In fact, this was one of three “necessary principles” in FDR’s
legislative package presented to Congress on January 17, 1935.
"Roosevelt’s Social Security plan included private accounts," The American Thinker, May 9. 2005 --- http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=4481

Outsourcing rules, regulations, and opportunities --- http://www.deftpro.com/
(Scott Bonacker forwarded the above link.)

May 9, 2005 reply from Richard Campbell

You should check out www.elance.com  (which is a part of ebay) and see how accounting services are outsourced. You can also see how you could become a part of the seller network for accounting services. You have to pay-to-play, though. The number of leads you get from elance is dependent on your level of contribution.

Booze Ban at Berkeley
The University of California at Berkeley on Monday imposed a ban on alcohol at all fraternity and sorority events. Karen Kenney, dean of students, said the ban was prompted by “an alarming increase in problems with alcohol abuse, hazing, fights and badly managed parties at all types of Greek organizations.”

Doug Lederman, "Booze Ban at Berkeley," Inside Higher Ed, May 10, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/05/10/qt

Yahoo's new music rental service
In an aggressive attempt to broaden the online-music business, Yahoo Inc. today plans to roll out a new low-priced service that allows listeners to rent songs rather than buy them outright. The service, dubbed Yahoo Music Unlimited, will give music fans unlimited access to more than a million songs from artists including Bruce Springsteen, Gwen Stefani and 50 Cent, for $6.99 a month. Yahoo also will offer an annual subscription for $60 -- about the cost of four or five CDs. Songs become unplayable when consumers let their subscriptions expire. The service, which lets users transfer the songs to select portable MP3-format music players, is priced far below major rivals' services: RealNetworks Inc., for example, charges $179 a year for its comparable subscription service.
Kevin J. Delaney, "Yahoo's Big Play In Online Music:  Internet Giant Aims to Shake Up Nascent Industry With Subscription Rates Well Below Rivals'," The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2005; Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111575587704729540,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal

Sometimes it's hard to be forgiving
In a case of shocking brutality, a mentally ill Brooklyn man whose decomposed body was found hacked in two on Thursday was chained almost nightly before his death last year because relatives were enraged by his bedwetting, a law enforcement source said yesterday. Then they stole from him, the source said. Diane Ahmed, 41, and her husband Ahmed Ahmed, 51, allegedly chained Diane's brother, Robert Heald, to doors and radiators and also doused him with scalding water. They abused him for one to two months after he left an adult-care facility and moved in with them, the source said.
Robert Moore, "Abused, cut in 2, dumped," New York Daily News, May 7, 2005 --- http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/307313p-262867c.html

What turns deans on?
After 20 years of deaning at three universities, private and public, I am now back in the classroom as a full-time faculty member. My experience has convinced me that deaning is a lot like baseball: long periods of routine punctuated with moments of high drama, low comedy, or just plain craziness.
C.S. James, "A Dean’s Life — Part I," Inside Higher Ed, May 9, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/careers/2005/05/09/dean1

Accounting research is absolutely tame (boring?) compared to this popular/unpopular sex acts research
The theme for the society's four-day conference is "Unstudied, Understudied And Underserved Sexual Communities." Presentations range from autoerotic asphyxiation, or "breath play," to zoophiles, or animal lovers, to more mainstream topics like sex motives of dating partners. "Let me tell you, it was not easy finding these pictures," Hunter College professor Jose E. Nanin told his audience in a seminar about "specialized" sexual behavior among gay men. Nanin's photos are more than an explicit how-to of exhibitionism and sadomasochism, he says; they are examples of safe alternatives to sexual intercourse that need to be de-stigmatized in order to fight diseases like HIV/ AIDS. Researchers say their greater goal is to help the medical community, the public and legislators figure out what behavior is merely out of the norm versus downright dangerous.
Amy Kalin, "Sex researchers shed light on unpopular sex acts," Yahoo News, May 9, 2005 --- http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20050509/hl_nm/sex_dc_1

According to the Opinion Journal on May 10, math research is becoming more exciting
The UC Berkeley math department http://math.berkeley.edu/people_employment_academic.html's Web site says the department has a "vice chair for faculty affairs."  Now that might fall under the category of dangerous sex.

What turns accountants on?
May 10, 2005 message from one of our best

The SEC announced this week that on May 12 it will begin posting comment letters sent by SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance and Division of Investment Management to companies (and the companies’ response letters) relating to disclosure filings made after 8/1/04. The comment letters and responses will be posted in the Edgar filing section of the SEC’s website www.sec.gov . The SEC states the process will commence by posting comment letters and responses for some of the oldest eligible filings, but as it continues, letters will be released no earlier than 45 days after the review of the disclosure filing is complete. The May 9 press release is available at: http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2005-72.htm  ; the original press release issued June 24, 2004 announcing this impending action is available at: http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2004-89.htm  and comment letters sent in response to SEC’s June 24, 2004 announcement are posted at: http://www.sec.gov/news/press/s72804.shtml .

This correspondence will be interesting. I'm sure there are some research opportunities there.

Denny Beresford
University of Georgia

From: Dimick, Roger [mailto:dimickr@lit.edu
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 7:42 AM
To: Jensen, Robert
Subject: Did I ever tell you...

That I do a trivia show on a local station here in Beaumont? If you're still in San Antonio in July I'll remind you because frequently the station is "hearable" over your way. It's a 5,000 watt directional station, KLVI at AM 560. The show is a real hoot and has been on for 12 years.

Your tidbits are right up my alley!

Occasionally I'll take one to class to share with my students who have all come to expect me to tell them bad stories.

[Some personal parts of the message deleted.]

Roger Dimick, CPA
Lamar Institute of Technology Beaumont, Texas

Is there a connection between Huxley and Jensen?
There is a hint of regression about it — if not all the way back to childhood, at least to preadolescent nerdishness. 

"Information, Please," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, May 10, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/05/10/mclemee

People who met Aldous Huxley would sometimes notice that, on any given day, the turns of his conversation would follow a brilliant, unpredictable, yet by no means random course. The novelist might start out by mentioning something about Plato. Then the discussion would drift to other matters — to Poe, the papacy, and the history of Persia, followed by musings on photosynthesis. And then, perhaps, back to Plato.

So Huxley’s friends would think: “Well, it’s pretty obvious which volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica he was reading this morning.”

Now, it’s a fair guess that whoever recounted that story (to the author of whichever biography I read it in) meant to tell it at Huxley’s expense. It’s not just that it makes him look like an intellectual magpie, collecting shiny facts and stray threads of history. Nor even that his erudition turns out to be pre-sorted and alphabetical. 

Rather, I suspect the image of an adult habitually meandering through the pages of an encyclopedia carries a degree of stigma. There is a hint of regression about it — if not all the way back to childhood, at least to preadolescent nerdishness. 

If anything, the taboo would be even sterner for a fully licensed and bonded academic professional.
Encyclopedia entries are among the lowest form of secondary literature. Very rare exceptions can be made for cases such as Sigmund Freud’s entry on
“Psychoanalysis” in the 13th edition of the Britannica, or Kenneth Burke’s account of his own theory of dramatism in The International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. You get a certain amount of credit for writing for reference books — and more for editing them. And heaven knows that the academic presses love to turn them out. See, for example, The Encyclopedia of Religion in the South (Mercer University Press), The Encyclopedia of New Jersey (Rutgers University Press) and The International Encyclopedia of Dance (Oxford University Press), not to mention The Encyclopedia of Postmodernism (Routledge).

It might be okay to “look something up” in an encyclopedia or some other reference volume. But read them? For pleasure? The implication that you spend much time doing so would be close to an insult — a kind of academic lese majesty. 

At one level, the disdain is justified. Many such works are sloppily written, superficial, and/or hopelessly unreliable. The editors of some of them display all the conscientiousness regarding plagiarism one would expect of a failing sophomore. (They grasp the concept, but do not think about it so much as to become an inconvenience.)

But my hunch is that social pressure plays a larger role in it. Real scholars read monographs! The nature of an encyclopedia is that it is, at least in principle, a work of popularization. Probably less so for The Encyclopedia of Algebraic Topology, assuming there is one. But still, there is an aura of anti-specialization and plebian accessibility that seems implicit in the very idea. And there is something almost Jacobin about organizing things in alphabetical order.

Well then, it’s time. Let me confess it: I love reading encyclopedias and the like, at least in certain moods. My collection is not huge, but it gets a fair bit of use. 

Aside from still-useful if not cutting- edge works such as the four-volume Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Macmillan, 1967) and Eric Partridge’s indispensible Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English Origins (Macmillan, 1958), I keep at hand any number of volumes from Routledge and Blackwell offering potted summaries of 20th century thinkers. (Probably by this time next year, we’ll have the 21st century versions.) 

Not long ago, for a ridiculously small price, I got the four paperbound volumes of the original edition of the Scribners Dictionary of the History of Ideas, first published in 1973 — the table of contents of which is at times to bizarre as to seem like a practical joke. There is no entry on aesthetics, but one called “Music as Demonic Art” and another called “Music as a Divine Art.” An entry called “Freedom of Speech in Antiquity” probably ought to be followed with something that brings things up to more recent times — but no such luck. 

The whole thing is now available online, with its goofy mixture of the monographic ("Newton’s Opticks and Eighteenth Century Imagination") and the clueless (no entries on Aristotle or Kant, empiricism or rationalism). But somehow the weirdness is more enjoyable between covers.

And then, of course, there is the mother of them all: the Encyclopedia or Rational Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts that Denis Diderot and friends published in the 1750s and ’60s. Aside from a couple of volumes of selections, I’ve grabbed every book by or about Diderot in English that I’ve ever come across.

Diderot himself, appropriately enough, wrote the entry for “Encyclopedia” for the Encyclopedia.

The aim of such a work, he explained, is “to collect all the knowledge scattered over the face of the earth, to present its general structure to the men with whom we live, and to transmit this to those who will come after us, so that the work of past centuries may be useful to the following centuries, that our children, by becoming more educated, may at the same time become more virtuous and happier, and that we may not die without having deserved well of the human race.”

Yeah! Now that’s something to shoot for. It even makes reading encyclopedias seem less like a secret vice than a profound obligation.

And if, perchance, any of you share the habit — and have favorite reference books that you keep at hand for diversion, edification, or moral uplift — please pass the titles along below....

May 10, 2005 reply from Kenny Easwaran

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ( http://plato.stanford.edu ) is a place I’ve spent a lot of time just browsing! It’s at times frustrating to see that half of the articles have yet to be written, but then I notice that the number of articles (both completed and projected) has been growing substantially over the past several years.


Please check on your bank account --- http://www.scottstratten.com/movie.html

Pictures of Erika --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2005/ErikaBits.htm

All the original Carpenters (sniff, sniff We've Only Just Begun) --- http://www.mymusicattic.org/Page19.html

Train of Life (Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline) ---  

Philosophizing with Paula

My cleaner house is a sign of a broken computer

I don't do windows because I love birds and don't want one to run into a clean window and get hurt.

I don't wax floors because . I am terrified a guest will slip and get hurt then I'll feel terrible(plus they may sue me.)

I don't mind the dust bunnies because They are very good company, I have named most of them, and they agree with everything I say.

I don't disturb cobwebs because I want every creature to have a home of their own.

I don't Spring Clean because I love all the seasons and don't want the others to get jealous.

I don't pull weeds in the garden because I don't want to get in God's way, he is an excellent designer.

I don't put things away because My husband will never be able to find them again.

I don't do gourmet meals when I entertain because I don't want my guests to stress out over what to make when they invite me over for dinner.

I don't iron because I choose to believe them when they say "Permanent Press".

I don't stress much on anything because "A-Type" personalities die young and I want to stick around and become a wrinkled up crusty ol' woman!!!!

Fox News produced a list of the Top 10 TV moms (of all time) ---

10. Bree Van de Kamp (“Desperate Houswives” actress Marcia Cross) is the epitomy of modern-day unconditional love not only covers up for her son’s mistakes and crimes, she lets him know in no uncertain terms: “I would love you even if you were a murderer.” Unconditional motherly love is great, but we still hope sonny-boy has to take responsibility for his actions sooner rather than later.

9. Elyse Keaton (“Family Ties” actress Meredith Baxter) demonstrates that not everyone has to have the same values, beliefs and political views to get along, even in the same family. She may not understand or approve of some of son Alex’s rabid-Republican views, but she always supports his right to have them. Too bad more people don’t.

8. Carol Brady (“The Brady Bunch” actress Florence Henderson) blends two very different households into one loving, functioning family and makes it look, maybe not easy, but certainly not as hard, as it really is. As she knows “the times may have changed, but people haven’t.”

7. Caroline Ingalls (“Little House on the Prairie” actress Karen Grassie) is one tough woman despite her sweet seeming demeanor. She survives floods, poverty, life threatening sickness, injury, and more and still manages to produce a safe and happy home for her family.

6. Marion Cunningham (“Happy Days” actress Marion Ross) works wonders even with bad boy and tough guy Fonzie. Fortunately, her own children are much easier to deal with, allowing her to explain “life would be so much more pleasant if we just had more closet space!” She should see all the stuff that fills kids’ rooms today!

5. Lorelai Gilmore (“Gilmore Girls” actress Lauren Graham) is a single mom and her daughter’s best friend. She knows life and love aren’t always kind and that keeping your wits about you is the best way to survive. She’s also practical enough to know that “once your heart is involved, it all comes out in Moron.”

4. Olivia Walton (“The Waltons” actress Michael Learned) is another tough lady who survives incredible adversity to raise her family. Along the way, she sacrifices her dreams, but still manages to encourage her children to pursue their dreams saying “I think you could be anything you wanted to be, doll.”

3. Clair Huxtable (“The Cosby Show” actress Phylicia Rashad) shows the world that a woman can have a career and a family, too. This no-nonsense lady balances work and home by standing up for herself and her needs as well as those of her family. “If you don’t get it together and drop these macho attitudes, you’re never going to have anyone bring you anything, anyplace, anytime, ever!”

2. June Cleaver (“Leave it to Beaver” actress Barbara Billingsley) has to be on any list of top moms. Who else could (or would) vacuum in high heels and pearls? This 1950’s mom never had a hair out of place and has set the motherhood bar so high that many real moms despair of ever reaching it. Her biggest complaint was “I wish Wally wouldn’t use words like ‘flaky’ and ‘kooky’.”

And the Top TV Mom is….

1. Marge Simpson (“The Simpsons” animated character voiced by Julie Kramer) is a venerable blue-hair who somehow manages to keep chubby hubby Homer, trouble-maker Bart, brilliant Lisa and baby Maggie happy, healthy and whole without losing her mind or dignity too much. In this animated TV world, problems exist but can easily be forgotten over a bowl of strawberry ice cream. Too bad that solution doesn’t have the same effect in the real world.

Jensen Comment:  My vote is for Edith Bunker who was wise without thinking of herself as wise!

Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmark s go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

Bob Jensen's home page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu