Mysterious Connections that Link Us Together
Iranian-born writer Azar Nafisi was fired from the University of Tehran for refusing to wear a veil. Her book, Reading Lolita in Tehran, is based on the years she secretly taught literature to female students in her home. Nafisi now works at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies.
Azar Nafisi, "Mysterious Connections that Link Us Together," NPR, July 18, 2005 --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4753976
"When Your CD Is Skipping," by Ian Mount, The Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2005; Page D1
The Problem: Your favorite CD keeps skipping.
The Solution: The cause is almost always a smudge or scratch on the CD itself, rather than a faulty CD player. That's especially common with CDs that are left out of their cases in cars -- or regularly handled by kids who don't pick them up by the edges. In the case of dust or smudges caused by the oil in fingerprints, the CD can be cleaned with a dry cloth or with a solution of vinegar and water. If the CD is scratched, however, you either have to fill the scratch or buff it out, says Marshall Brain, founder of HowStuffWorks.com, a site that explains how things function.
Companies like Memorex and CD 2000 offer special repair kits for under $15, but household products also work. Furniture waxes like Pledge can help fill scratches, while mild abrasives like white (not gel) toothpaste can be used to buff out a scratch. When cleaning or fixing a CD's surface, always wipe outwards from the center of the disc, never in a circle.
Jensen Comment: But if it skips on multiple CDs, it's probably a faulty player like I have in my office.
Is there any doubt why these are the fastest growing
Enrollment surges at women’s colleges that recently decided to admit men.
Scott Jaschik, "Male Impact," Inside Higher Ed, July 19, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/07/19/men
This is the best medical news I've heard in years
"Dark Chocolate May Cut High Blood Pressure: Researchers Say Flavonoids in Dark Chocolate May Be the Reason for Blood Pressure Improvement," by Miranda Hitti, WebMD, July 18, 2005 --- http://my.webmd.com/content/Article/108/109061.htm?z=1727_00000_5024_hv_03
When the Bills Come Due, Then What?
"When all these [adjustable-rate] mortgages reset soon, some of these people are going to see their monthly payments rise by a few hundred dollars a month," Mr. Abate says. "That's a real significant bump for all those people complaining now that gas prices have risen over $2 a gallon." And recent data suggest the debt burden on households is growing heavier, despite low interest rates. The "debt service ratio," the Federal Reserve's estimate of the ratio of debt payments to after-tax income, hit 13.4% in the first quarter of this year, an all-time high since the Fed began tracking it in 1980. The financial obligations ratio, which adds automobile lease and rent payments, homeowners insurance and property-tax payments to the debt service ratio, was 18.45% last quarter, near the record high of 18.84% in late 2002.
Kelly Spors, "When the Bills Come Due, Then What?" The Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2005; Page D2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112154542153387582,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal
Radon is the Second Leading Cause of Lung Cancer
"Health Mailbox," Columnist Tara Parker-Pope answers readers' questions, The Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2005; Page D6 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112172164394788686,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal
Q: My wife, a nonsmoker, was diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer. One doctor said it could be radon-related. I tested my house and got a reading of 7.3. Should I be concerned? --D.K.
A: The link between lung cancer and radon exposure in homes has long been controversial, but recent research shows homeowners should be concerned. Radon is a radioactive, invisible, odorless gas that comes from the decay of naturally occurring uranium in the earth's soil. Radon can accumulate in enclosed areas, such as homes and underground mines. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., after smoking, with an estimated 21,000 lung-cancer deaths each year related to radon exposure, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
. . .
Home-inspection companies can perform radon test or do-it-yourself test kits are available at hardware stores. The EPA recommends that houses with radon levels of 4.0 picocuries per liter or higher of radon should be fixed to prevent accumulation of radon gas indoors, although the recent studies suggest homeowners should take action if the reading is above 3.0. To learn more go to the www.epa.gov/radon or call 800-SOS-RADON.
Q: I stopped taking Premarin (estrogen-replacement therapy) over four years ago, the summer before I was 70. I did not discuss this decision with a doctor. Does taking Premarin for many years as I did make the symptoms of menopause continue longer? I am so tired of hot flashes.
A: Women who suddenly stop taking hormone therapy typically will experience menopause symptoms as a result. Taking hormones for many years won't make your symptoms worse or last longer. However, the symptoms occur because the body is suddenly dealing with a depletion of estrogen, just as it would have if you'd never been taking estrogen therapy in the first place. In most women, menopause symptoms such as hot flashes continue from one to five years, however in a small group of women, symptoms, particularly hot flashes and night sweats, can last indefinitely.
. . .
There are other reasons you should discuss hot flashes with a doctor. Last fall, an Annals of Family Medicine study found that 10% to 30% of elderly patients had hot flashes and night sweats. The researchers said night sweats should prompt doctors to evaluate patients for health issues, including diabetes, depression, and restless leg syndrome, as well as conditions like tuberculosis, autoimmune disease and cancer.
Rumsfeld's War of the Words
Every conflict in history has seen its share of rumor, propaganda and misinformation. The "yellow journalism" that helped launch the Spanish-American War and the infamous radio broadcasts of "Tokyo Rose" during World War II come to mind. But the information technology of the 21st century has made waging an ideological global struggle against extremism particularly complex. Decision makers, the media and the public at large will need to come to terms with the effect of these new realities. The old adage that "A lie can be half-way around the world before truth has its boots on" becomes doubly true with today's technology. But, it must be noted, the availability of new communications media can inform and illuminate as well as lead to new challenges. I think of how much has changed just in my lifetime. In earlier wars, Americans, for the most part, were limited to a few definitive news sources -- Edward R. Murrow during World War II, for example, or Walter Cronkite during Vietnam -- to get information that had been packaged and approved for presentation to the public.
Donald H. Rumsfeld, "War of the Words," The Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2005; Page A12 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112164930948087989,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
Recommended Reading: Getting Smart About
Bruce Schneier, founder and chief technical officer of Counterpane Internet Security Inc., has spent much of his career educating people about digital security. His book, Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World, serves as a non-technical introduction to the full, messy complexity of digital security.
"Recommended Reading: Getting Smart About Information Security," The Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2005; Page R2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112060620712177906,00.html?mod=todays_us_the_journal_report
Bob Jensen's threads on computing and networking security are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm#SpecialSection
Cell phones may be user friendly, but cell phone
companies are not user friendly
"Digital Disconnect," by Michael Bugeja, Inside Higher Ed, July 18, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/07/18/bugeja
That pain patch may get you an earth patch
The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it was investigating 120 reports of deaths possibly linked to overdoses from fentanyl narcotic pain patches. "The agency has been examining the circumstances of product use to determine if the reported adverse events may be related to inappropriate use of the patch or factors related to the quality of the product," the FDA said in a statement. The patches are attached to patients' skin to deliver the medication fentanyl, a powerful narcotic designed to treat chronic pain. They are sold under the brand name Duragesic by a unit of Johnson & Johnson and have been available as a generic since earlier this year. Fentanyl is in a class of drugs known as opioids, which are used to treat pain.
Jennifer Corbett Dooren, "FDA Investigates 120 Deaths Possibly Tied to Use of Pain Patch," The Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2005; Page B4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112145246879987040,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace
We can excuse your belly, but there are no excuses for
There's growing evidence that chronic stress can make you thick around the middle. Studies in rats and monkeys clearly show that a high-stress environment increases risk for accumulating abdominal fat, the type of fat linked with heart disease. And in human studies, stress appears to put normal-weight women at higher risk for excess belly fat.
"Gaining Belly Fat May Be Body's Way of Coping," The Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2005; Page D1--- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112172706650488801,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal
New Treatment for Hardcore Depression
The Food and Drug Administration approved an implantable medical device to treat depression in people who haven't responded to other therapies, a decision likely to reignite debate over its use. The vagus-nerve stimulator, made by Cyberonics Inc. of Houston, was approved for depressed patients who have failed to show a response to at least four other treatments. The device, which works by delivering electric pulses to a nerve in the neck, was already on the market for patients with epilepsy.
Anna Wilde Mathews, "Cyberonics' Device to Treat Depression Gets FDA OK," The Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2005; Page B4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112164564929387918,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace
In the meantime, older treatments come under fire
"Battle Brews Over Antidepressant Use: 2 Researchers Say They Are Ineffective and Overused," by Salynn Boyles, WebMD, July 15, 2005 --- http://my.webmd.com/content/Article/108/109044.htm?z=1727_00000_5024_hv_03
Anti-Jew and Anti-White Theories at City College of New York
Leonard Jeffries is a longtime faculty member at the City College of New York (CCNY) and a onetime head of its Black Studies Department. He is also one of the leading proponents of Afrocentrism—a school of dubious intellectual merit that judges Western civilization to be irredeemably racist and demands a corrective curriculum glorifying African peoples and culture. But Jeffries subscribes to more than just cultural chauvinism. He is also a black supremacist, claiming whites to be genetically inferior to blacks, and an inveterate anti-Semite, apportioning to "rich Jews" the blame for everything from the allegedly anti-black content of Hollywood movies to the transatlantic slave trade. Jeffries' black supremacist views first came to public notice in the spring of 1988, when a white student, writing in the CCNY campus newspaper, catalogued the host of anti-white theories that Jeffries routinely advanced in one of his classes, Black Studies 101. Jeffries had been teaching at CCNY since 1972, when he was tapped to head the Black Studies department and was almost instantly granted tenure, thanks in no small part to a CCNY administration determined to appease a surging militancy among blacks on campus. Still, this was the first time that his bigotry had been aired in public.
DiscoverTheNetworks.Org --- http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1964
Bob Jensen's threads on The Evil Empire are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/hypocrisyEvilEmpire.htm
Princeton University is losing an assistant professor of Near Eastern studies — and a likely tenure battle. Michael Doran is taking a position at the U.S. National Security Council. Although he had yet to come up for tenure, his supporters and critics had already been skirmishing. Doran, who declined to comment on his move, is considered more sympthatic to Israel and to U.S. foreign policy than are most scholars of the Middle East.
Inside Higher Ed, July 18, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/07/18/qt
NPR's Most Requested (Purchased) Transcripts: July 11 - July 17, 2005 --- http://www.npr.org/transcripts/mostrequested/index.html
What is the most requested transcript?
"Analysis: Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder," From Talk of the Nation for July 12, 2005
THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF UNIVERSITY BUSINESS EDUCATION
The Australian Business Deans Council, which represents the heads of Australian business schools, commissioned an independent research study in 2004 to examine the economic value of a university business education. Access Economics, the country’s leading economic consultancy, conducted the research and the firm’s report, Economic Value of University Business Education, shows some interesting – but not unexpected – results. It confirms what we have always suspected in Australia – that university business education results in a considerable net economic benefit to the Australian economy and society in the form of higher taxation revenue, personal income, and greater productivity.
THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF UNIVERSITY BUSINESS EDUCATION, by Professor Peter Wolnizer, Dean, Faculty of Economics and Business at The University of Sydney and President, Australian Business Deans Council --- http://www.aacsb.edu/publications/enewsline/Vol-4/Issue-7/dc-PeterWolnizer.asp
It's a better career than
many of us sometimes express our gratitude in public
Missouri-Columbia Researcher Finds Faculty Members Have More Positive Outlook --- http://www.aacsb.edu/publications/enewsline/Vol-4/Issue-7/surveynews.asp
A recent survey published in Research in Higher Education reveals that university faculty members feel more supported in their work lives and have a more favorable attitude toward technical support in the workplace. The study, conducted by Vicki Rosser, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy analysis at the University of Missouri-Columbia, examined three dimensions of work life ― professional development, administrative support, and technical support―to measure faculty members’ levels of satisfaction.
For a copy of the study and/or contact information for the researcher, contact:
Jeff Neu Sr. Information Specialist University of Missouri-Columbia News Bureau 573-882-3346 NeuJ@missouri.edu
Student Assessment Controversy
July 18, 2005 message from MacEwan Wright, Victoria University [Mac.Wright@VU.EDU.AU]
. . . when considering apparent changes to assessment procedures, take care you are not caught by the "Snugg's Cove" joke or something similar. http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s1411685.htm
Nepotism in Georgia technical colleges
Georgia’s Department of Technical and Adult education has issued draft anti-nepotism rules in the wake of revelations that a number of presidents of technical colleges have had close relatives on their institutions’ payrolls, according to an article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (free registration required). The newspaper reported that the draft policy would ban the hiring of people who have superiors at the colleges they are related to, effectively barring the hiring of presidents’ relatives.
Inside Higher Ed, July 18, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/07/18/qt
In old age ignorance/stupidity is bliss
Intelligence may lead to a better paid job and quality of life but, in old age, cleverness has no effect on happiness, new research suggests. A happy old age is what many people spend their lives preparing for, aiming for financial security and good health in their dotage. But one thing people need not worry about, it seems, is how clever they are. A study of more than 400 pensioners reveals that cognitive ability is unrelated to happiness in old age. The Scottish research looked at a group of 416 people born in 1921, who underwent intelligence tests at the ages of 11 and 79. At the age of 80, the group was also sent a “satisfaction with life” questionnaire, which had them assess their current level of happiness.
"Intelligence is irrelevant to a happy old age," New Scientist, July 15, 2005 ---
Marrying Maps to Data for a New Web Service
Since the Google and Yahoo tools were released, their uses have been demonstrated in dozens of ways by hobbyists and companies, including an annotated map guide to the California wineries and restaurants that appeared in the movie "Sideways" and instant maps showing the locations of the recent bombing attacks in London. Later this summer, Microsoft plans to introduce a competing service, Virtual Earth, with software that programmers will be able to use in similarly creative ways.
Jeff Markoff, "Marrying Maps to Data for a New Web Service," The New York Times, July 18, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/18/technology/18maps.html?
A Texas judge has ordered a former seminary student at Baylor University to pay the institution $77,000 over lewd e-mail messages he sent to officials there, the Associated Press reported. The messages, many of them meant to appear as if they were coming from other Baylor officials, were sent after the student lost a scholarship because he is gay.
Inside Higher Ed, July 19, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/07/19/qt
Huge Medicaid fraud in NY: Why doesn't this come
as a great surprise?
It was created 40 years ago to provide health care for the poorest New Yorkers, offering a lifeline to those who could not afford to have a baby or a heart attack. But in the decades since, New York State's Medicaid program has also become a $44.5 billion target for the unscrupulous and the opportunistic.
Clifford J. Levy and Michael Luo, "New York Medicaid Fraud May Reach Into Billions," The New York Times, July 18, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/NYTJuly18
Bob Jensen's updates on fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
Sharing Professor of the Week --- Jim Mahar
St. Bonaventure University: SBU prof's site named one of top 10 finance blogs in the country --- http://snipurl.com/CongratulationsJim
How Does Investor Short-termism Affect Mutual Fund
Excessive fund manager focus on short horizon investments will likely affect asset prices, by inflating the price of the most liquid assets, which can be quickly resold without large price impact. On the other hand, long term investments could be the “neglected asset class” and thus might be less efficiently priced.
Li Jin as quoted on July 14, 2005 by Jim Mahar at http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
Reference for Jin's research Paper:
"How Does Investor Short-termism Affect Mutual Fund Manager Short-termism?," by Li Jin --- http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=675262
Do investment markets get a boot out of soccer?
This paper investigates the stock market reaction to the outcome of international football competitions, such as the FIFA World Cup, a variable shown in psychological literature to have a dramatic effect on mood. We document an economically and statistically significant market decline after football losses. Daily stock returns are 39 basis points lower than average following a loss in a World Cup elimination match.
Li Jin as quoted on July 14, 2005 by Jim Mahar at http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
"Football and Stock Returns," by Alex Edmans, Diego Garcia, Oyvind Norli ---
In Latin America, Rich-Poor Chasm Stifles Growth
The lack of economic and social mobility continues to hinder development in Latin America, where the gap between rich and poor is among the steepest in the world . . . While researchers have in recent years described limits to class mobility in the U.S. and decried the growing wage gap among Americans, things are much worse just south of the border. The son of a blue-collar worker in Mexico has only a 10% chance of making the jump to a white-collar job, compared with a 30% chance in the U.S., according to a 2001 study by the Inter-American Development Bank. Because of an abundance of natural resources and a large indigenous population, Latin American nations grew up relying on raw materials, cheap manual labor to exploit them and low government taxation. The system concentrated land ownership and wealth in a few hands, deprived governments of money to spend on education and offered little incentive for the elite to invest in human capital or technology. Latin America has also historically relied on monopolies and franchises, leaving few opportunities for entrepreneurs to advance through hard work and innovation. The American dream never became the Latin American dream.
David Luhnow and John Lyons, "In Latin America, Rich-Poor Chasm Stifles Growth: Many Struggle to Move Up Amid Educational Divide; Tehuacán's Powerful Clan Ambitious Baker Looks to U.S." The Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2005; Page A1--- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112164363441787882,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one
New Appeal by KPMG
A California superior-court judge sanctioned KPMG LLP last week for withholding documents in an accounting-malpractice lawsuit brought by a small private computer-case maker, the third time the big accounting firm has been criticized by a judge for its legal tactics in recent months. In an order issued Wednesday, Orange County Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Glass instructed KPMG to pay $30,000 for "its abuse of the discovery process" and directed the jury to consider such behavior as it weighs the case brought by Targus Group International Inc. Judge Glass wrote that KPMG "deliberately or recklessly withheld or delayed in producing many responsive documents," adding that "the Court warned KPMG-US at least twice about gamesmanship in discovery." "We're disappointed by the Court's ruling," a KPMG spokesman said in a statement. "We fully complied with all discovery orders in the Targus case. We plan to seek appellate review of this order."
Diya Gullapalli, "Judge Fines KPMG Over Tactics In Accounting-Malpractice Suit," The Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2005; Page C4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112164712739487960,00.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing
Bob Jensen's threads on the legal woes of KPMG are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#KPMG
Tuition Increases Start to Slow: Endowment
Returns, Parent Outrage Help Curb Cost of State Colleges
There is a dose of good news for parents about to write college tuition checks: Though costs continue to climb at a pace well above inflation, the rate of increase at many schools is slowing. In Virginia, for instance, in-state undergraduates this year will pay 8% more in tuition and fees on average at the state's public colleges and universities, which include the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary. Last year, Virginia students faced a 9% increase, while the two years before that they paid 15% more each year on average.
Anne Marie Chaker, "Tuition Increases Start to Slow: Endowment Returns, Parent Outrage Help Curb Cost of State Colleges; A 4.5% Rise at Harvard," The Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2005; Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112172973201988846,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal
The Wall Street Journal, July 18, 1949
The nation's workers are sticking to their jobs and working a lot harder these days. The extra push is due, in part, to industry's drive to cut costs. Bosses say the recent rash of layoffs has workers worried -- they're more anxious to hang onto their jobs now.
Trivia from The Washington Post on July 19, 2005
The University of Maryland
in College Park was recently ranked the top academic center
in an area of technology research. What was that area?
B. High-speed computing
Robots replace jockeys
Remote-controlled robot jockeys made their debut as camel riders in the United Arab Emirates Monday, competing in a trial race after the Gulf Arab state tightened a ban on child jockeys. Robots weighing up to 15 kg (33 lb) were dressed in the clothes of human jockeys during the race held in the capital Abu Dhabi, which officials described as "successful," the WAM news agency reported.
"Robots replace child jockeys in UAE camel race," The Washington Post, July 19, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/18/AR2005071800836.html?referrer=email
Oh goodie: An algorithm for "great" phone sex
But it's not just talent. Goldman, 23, says there's a formula for good dirty talk, an algorithm of desire that she's documented in her electronic guide, Phonesexatron. For now, she's using it to boost the revenue of the company she co-owns. But she imagines selling Web access to the rest of the billion-dollar industry. "Most people could be phone sex operators," she says during a long phone conversation (no charge!) from her office in Cleveland. "You just have to tap into what's human about you."
"Best. Phone. Sex. Ever," Wired News, July 2005 ---
So you wanna meet the top ten richest people in the world? --- http://www.soyouwanna.com/site/toptens/richmen/richmenFULL.html
Looking over our list of the top ten richest people in the world, a few similarities jump out. Perhaps by looking at these similarities, we can create some kind of formula for how to get rich in the modern world. The main criterion seems to be that one has to be male - sadly, there is not a woman in the bunch. The other two secret ingredients for wealth are, in no particular order, working for Microsoft and/or being an oil baron. Oh, so that's all! Go out, become a high-ranking executive at Microsoft, buy a bunch of oil wells, and you'll be in the money. Please keep in mind that these numbers, while insanely high, can rise and fall with incredible ease, so these figures are accurate as of February 9, 2000.
10. Michael Dell
Age: 34 Nationality: American Marital Status: Married Children: 4 Education: U. Texas Worth: $16.5 Billion
Just barely squeaking in at number ten is the youngest of all of our billionaires, the young pup who founded Dell Computers. Mike dropped out of U. Texas at 19, put up his BMW to get a business loan, and started selling people PCs by mail order. The day his former classmates were graduating, his sales had already hit $70 million a year. Today, of course, he sells $2 million a day, and the company revenues are about $7.8 billion a year. He has passed IBM in annual sales, and is closing in on industry leader Compaq. The bastard.
9. Phillip F. Anschutz
Age: 59 Nationality: American Marital Status: Married Children: 3 Education: Kansas Worth: $16.5 Billion
Phil is the kind of guy whose father was a rich oil billionaire, but decided he didn't like the family business. Phil preferred real estate and railroads, and he still made a bundle. Rather than just being born lucky (although we're sure that didn't hurt), Anschutz is a savvy businessman. He has interests in fiber optics companies such as Qwest Communications International, LA sporting interests, huge cattle ranches in Wyoming, and lots of downtown Denver real estate interests. But let's face it: the biggest chunk was inherited.
8. Amir Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Alsabah
Age: 77 Nationality: Kuwaiti Worth: $17 Billion
The man's money is in oil, investments, property, and the sweat of his people. And this is just what's left over since we kicked Saddam Hussein out of the neighborhood. Imagine the filthy stinkin' riches that he had prior to the burning of thousands of his oil wells. This is why we recommend Microsoft or oil baron as the best way to becoming a billionaire. You're born, you inherit oil fields, you live the easy life in the Middle East… you just can't beat it.
7. Steven Anthony Ballmer
Age: 43 Nationality: American Marital Status: Married Children: 2 Education: Stanford and Harvard Worth: $19.5 Billion
The first of the Microsoft Billionaires on our list, Steve actually lived down the hall from Bill Gates at Harvard, and is now the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mr. Bill's little venture. Many revere/blame him for the supposed monopoly Microsoft Corp. now holds, because of his tenacity and amazing business know-how.
He joined the company in 1980 and has held a number of positions, starting as Bill's personal towel boy, and leading up to VP of Sales and Support before becoming the Prez in '98. Ballmer was appointed CEO of Microsoft on January 13, 2000. Not a bad little gig.
6. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan
Age: 66 Nationality: Abu Dhabian Worth: $20 Billion
Sheikh Zayed's home country of Abu Dhabi has grown over the last half century into one of the richest in the United Arab Emirates. Educated by local clerics and later by wandering Bedouin tribesmen in the desert, the Sheikh's defining achievement has been the management of supply and distribution of water. This is an important thing in the desert, so you can imagine he is quite popular there.
All of his money is in oil, investments, vast property, and the sweat of his people. And water. For the love of God, don't forget the water.
5. King Fahd Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud
Age: 77 Nationality: Saudi Arabian Marital Status: Married Children: 1 Worth: $28 Billion Born in Riyadh in 1923, the King has spent his life on one diplomatic mission after another. He has also held such posts as Minister of Education, Minister of the Interior, and, of course, the King. He was present at the signing of the United Nations Charter in 1945, the coronation of Queen Liz the second in 1953, and a meeting with Richard Nixon in the U.S. in 1974 (taped recordings of this meeting still exist to this day, but no one knows where).
He came to power in 1982, and all of his money is in oil, investments, property, and the sweat of his people (sound familiar?). All because of the great defining factor of birth. Yes, birth and dumb luck. Ya gotta love it.
4. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
Age: 53 Nationality: Bruneian Marital Status: Married Children: 10 Education: Sandhurst Royal Military Academy Worth: $30 Billion
The 29th Sultan of Brunei was educated in his early years by tutors and private institutions before winging his way north to Britain. There, he entered Sandhurst Royal Military Academy as an officer cadet. The training seems to have paid off, as he is now Sultan and Ruler of Brunei, as well as Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Finance Minister, Religious Figurehead, and Grand High Poobah. All elected offices. Kidding! This guy can go to the bathroom and still have a cabinet meeting.
All of his money is in, say it with me now, oil, gas, investments, and yes, the ever-popular sweat of his people. Especially that oil thing, which has made so many billionaires in the Middle East. The illustrious Sultan also has two wives and ten kids. So lets see… 6 jobs, 2 wives, 10 kids, 2 turtledoves, 1 dictatorship, and he's an avid polo player. So much accomplished, and a mere 53 years old.
3. Paul Gardner Allen
Age: 46 Nationality: American Marital Status: Single Children: 0 Education: WSU dropout Worth: $30 Billion
Another Microsoft billionaire, Paul Allen is the buddy who dropped out with Bill Gates to build the software company that now holds a monopolistic stranglehold on the world. Paul dropped out of Microsoft some time ago to spend his time privately investing his money and sipping piña coladas, but he still holds a stake in the company. His current baby is Vulcan Ventures, with which he pursues his dream of a "wired world" by buying up cable operators and other technology-related companies.
It's not all boring tech stuff, though. Paul was also smart enough to invest in sports teams like the Portland Trailblazers and Seattle Seahawks. Single guy, 30 billion, owns a couple sports teams, knows Bill Gates personally… poor baby.
2. Warren Edward Buffet
Age: 68 Nationality: American Marital Status: Married Children: 3 Education: Columbia Worth: $36 Billion
A distant second, Warren Buffet also has a quarter century on Mr. Gates, so he's had lots of time to build up his not-too-shabby cache of $36 billion. Frankly, we don't know what he's been doing with his time… apart from heading up investment conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, that is. Warren took over 30 years ago, and the company has averaged a 25% annual rate of return since.
Strangely enough, Buffet's investment style is conservative, leaning more to the long-term buy. Warren owns about 40 percent of the company, and at over $47,000 a share, it will be a while before anyone buys him out. Much better to try to get in at Microsoft, or strike oil, where you don't need money up front.
1. William H. Gates III
Age: 43 Nationality: American Martial Status: Married Children: 2 Education: Harvard dropout Worth: $90 Billion
We should all just face the fact that Bill Gates will one day rule the world. By the time Windows 2015 comes out, all will fear Bill's wrath. But you gotta admit that it doesn't look like it went to his head; the richest human on Earth, and he has the dorkiest haircut money could buy.
The son of a lawyer father and teacher mother, Gates dropped out of preschool to devote all of his time to inventing Microsoft with chum Paul Allen, then just 3 years old. After drooling all over the HVAC tubes, Bill decided to go back to school for a few more years, eventually dropping out of Harvard University to work on Microsoft.
The rest, as they all too frequently say, is history. Microsoft became this huge international corporate behemoth, and is currently fighting off anti-trust investigations and accusations that it holds a monopoly. When Bill rules the world, he's going to come down and fire those federal court judges with extreme prejudice. They'll never work on his planet again!
Gates relinquished his role as President of Microsoft in 1998, and as CEO on January 13, 2000; both posts are now held by Steve Ballmer. However, Bill remains Chairman and "chief software architect" of the company, as well as its largest shareholder. So they still let him come to board meetings.
Mr. Bill once gave $17 Billion to charity, which makes Ted Turner's paltry offering of $1 billion to the UN look like chump change. He's also written a couple of books and is heavily invested in biotechnology and cellular and satellite technology. Investors, call your brokers.
So to get onto our list of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Billionaires, you must: join Microsoft (preferably early on), be an oil baron, drop out of college, get married, have 3.1 kids, inherit lots of money, and bleed your people dry. Tell your friends!
Wit and Wisdom of Andy Rooney
Correctly attributed to Andy Rooney according to http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/rooney.asp
ANDY ROONEY ON THE FRENCH
If you missed Andy Rooney on Sunday night, read on. Most that heard him couldn't believe their ears. They kept expecting CBS TV network to cut him off. Here's what he had to say:
You can't beat the French when it comes to food, fashion, wine or perfume, but they lost their license to have an opinion on world affairs years ago. They may even be selling stuff to Iraq and don't want to hurt business.
The French are simply not reliable partners in a world where the good people in it ought to be working together. Americans may come off as international jerks sometimes but we're usually trying to do the right thing.
The French lost WWII to the Germans in about 20 minutes. Along with the British, we got into the war and had about 150,000 guys killed getting their country back for them. We fought all across France, and the Germans finally surrendered in a French schoolhouse.
You'd think that school building in Reims would be a great tourist attraction but it isn't. The French seem embarrassed by it. They don't want to call attention to the fact that we freed them from German occupation.
I heard Steven Spielberg say the French wouldn't even let him film the D-Day scenes in "Saving Private Ryan" on the Normandy beaches. They want people to forget the price we paid getting their country back for them.
Americans have a right to protest going to war with Iraq. The French do not. They owe us the independence they flaunt in our face at the U.N.
I went into Paris with American troops the day we liberated it, Aug. 25, 1944. It was one of the great days in the history of the world.
French women showered American soldiers with kisses, at the very least. The next day, the pompous Charles de Gaulle marched down the mile long Champs Elysee to the Place de la Concorde as if he had liberated France himself. I was there, squeezed in among a hundred tanks we'd given the Free French Army that we brought in with us.
Suddenly there were sniper shots from the top of a building. Thousands of Frenchmen who had come to see de Gaulle scrambled to get under something. I got under an Army truck myself. The tank gunners opened fire on the building where the shots had come from, firing mindlessly at nothing. It was a wild scene that lasted, maybe, 10 minutes.
When we go to Paris every couple of years now, I rent a car. I drive around the Place de la Concorde and when some French driver blows his horn for me to get out of his way, I just smile and say to myself, "Go ahead, Pierre. Be my guest. I know something about this very place you'll never know."
The French have not earned their right to oppose President Bush's plans to attack Iraq.
On the other hand, I have.
Incorrectly attributed to Andy Rooney according to http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/rooney4.asp
I don't think being a minority makes you a victim of anything except numbers. The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment Television, and Miss Black America. Try to have things like the United Caucasian College Fund, Cloud Magazine, White Entertainment Television, or Miss White America; and see what happens... Jesse Jackson will be knocking down your door.
Guns do not make you a killer. I think killing makes you a killer. You can kill someone with a baseball bat or a car, but no one is trying to ban you from driving to the ball game.
I believe they are called the Boy Scouts for a reason, that is why there are no girls allowed. Girls belong in the Girl Scouts! ARE YOU LISTENING MARTHA BURKE?
I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong, it is not a phobia, it is an opinion.
I have the right "NOT" to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird, or tick me off.
When 70% of the people who get arrested are black, in cities where 70% of the population is black, that is not racial profiling, it is the Law of Probability.
I believe that if you are selling me a milkshake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you should have to speak English!
My father and grandfather didn't die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours. I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word "freeze" or "stop" in English, see the above lines.
I don't think just because you were not born in this country, you are qualified for any special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans or tax breaks, etc., so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or any other business.
We did not go to the aid of certain foreign countries and risk our lives in wars to defend their freedoms, so that decades later they could come over here and tell us our constitution is a living document; and open to their interpretations.
I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor. I know pro wrestling is fake, but so are movies and television. That doesn't stop you from watching them.
I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more. If it ticks you off, go and invent the next operating system that's better, and put your name on the building.
It doesn't take a whole village to raise a child right, but it does take a parent to stand up to the kid; and smack their little behinds when necessary, and say "NO!"
I think tattoos and piercing are fine if you want them, but please don't pretend they are a political statement. And, please, stay home until that new lip ring heals. I don't want to look at your ugly infected mouth as you serve me French fries!
I am sick of "Political Correctness." I know a lot of black people, and not a single one of them was born in Africa; so how can they be "African Americans"? Besides, Africa is a continent. I don't go around saying I am a European American because my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather was from Europe. I am proud to be from America and nowhere else. And if you don't like my point of view, tough...