Tidbits on July 22, 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/

Music: Paul Anka Spins Pop His Way with 'Rock Swings' --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4755657

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

Poems - Rudyard Kipling ---

Reply to Don on July 20, 2005

Hi Don,

Erika has had a hard summer and is scheduled to go to the Spine Clinic at Dartmouth;s Hitchcock Medical Center.

In spite of her pain she plans to go with me to San Francisco for the AAA Annual Meetings and for a four-day visit with two sons and eight grandchildren in Yuba City.

I will fly from SF to Iowa for a Golden Wedding Anniversary and Jensen family reunion at a farm. Afterwards, Erika returns to NH and I will fly to San Antonio. I should be there on August 18 and look forward to seeing you.

I hope you have a great trip to Alaska.

It’s sad to anticipate the end of my career at Trinity. But wrinkles grow deeper and and time moves on. I am loving my new New Holland tractor with a mower and a front end loader. I don’t know how I got through life thus far without a loader.

Coyotes killed my neighbor’s new colt. Until that happened I didn’t know we had a coyote problem. We do have five bears in our nearby woods (a huge male and four females with cubs). But the bears are relatively friendly and really aren’t a problem if you don’t put out bird feeders in the summer. Erika unwisely had me fill three feeders on our deck in May and a bear downed all three feeders. My main problem is with small deer that turned eleven of my beautiful and full young cedar trees into lollipops during the hard winter.

See you soon.

Bob Jensen

Wisdom is getting rid of the unnecessary.
Lin Yutang

Prevention of Severe Migraines --- http://my.webmd.com/content/article/104/107502.htm?z=1727_00000_5024_hv_01

Guide to Glowing Summer Skin --- http://my.webmd.com/content/pages/22/108302.htm?z=1727_00000_5024_hv_00

"R&D Spending is Up," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, July 21, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/07/21/nsf

Colleges and universities spent $40.1 billion on research and development in the 2003 fiscal year, up 10.2 percent from the previous year and 100 percent from 1993.

The data were released by the National Science Foundation, which regularly studies research spending in higher education.

A majority of the research funds came from Washington. Federal research and development spending in 2003 was $24.7 billion, up 13 percent from the previous year. Other significant sources of research support include state and local governments, businesses and institutional funds. Industry support for R&D in higher education fell by 1 percent in 2003, to $2.16 billion. Other categories all reported increases.

Nearly three-fourths of total research spending is for basic research, but applied research outpaced basic research slightly in the rate of increase, 11 percent to 10 percent.

Within the sciences and engineering, the top area of support, by far, is the medical sciences. The following table shows a breakdown, by disciplines.

Summary tables provided in the article

How to corrupt strong anecdotal evidence with faulty comparisons
In the past year or so, the latest in the perennial waves of attacks by conservatives against liberal bias in college faculties has included several research reports like one by National Association of Scholars allies Stanley Rothman, S. Robert Lichter, and Neil Nevitte, “Politics and Professional Development Among College Faculty,” decrying a preponderance of Democrats in academe. These reports have worked in tandem with the crusade led by David Horowitz for an “Academic Bill of Rights,” versions of which were introduced into several state legislatures. Aside from the disputable accuracy of conservatives’ charges, it’s time to call attention to their frequent origin in organizations funded by Republican-aligned foundations. Conservatives claim that “their” foundations and think tanks simply serve to counterbalance more highly funded liberal foundations, professional organizations like the American Association of University Professors and the Modern Language Association, and the totality of university scholarship. These are false comparisons:
Donald Lazere, "Money and Motives," Inside Higher Ed, July 20, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/07/20/lazere

Scientists question validity of woodpecker sightings
Three biologists are questioning the validity of evidence cited by scientists who said they had sighted an ivory-billed woodpecker, a species that had been thought to have vanished 60 years ago, The New York Times reports. The paper and a rebuttal by the team that announced the high-profile discovery in April will be published in the next few weeks, members of both groups of scientists confirmed to the newspaper.
Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, July 21, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/07/21/qt

If they can't agree on woodpeckers, can we trust scientists to regulate the evolution of the planet Earth?
"How Earth-Scale Engineering Can Save the Planet"   Maybe we can have our fossil fuels and burn ’em too. These scientists have come up with a plan to end global warming. One idea: A 600,000-square-mile space mirror" Michael Behar, August 2005 --- http://www.popsci.com/popsci/aviation/article/0,20967,1075786,00.html

"Making Your Own Coffee-Table Book:  We Test the Four Big Services That Create Bound Volumes Of Your Digital Pictures," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2005; Page D1 ---

Four years ago, a small New York company called MyPublisher introduced a new way to display digital photos in a tangible, professional-looking manner -- factory-bound, but relatively inexpensive, hardcover photo books. To make these handsome books, you use free software to select a layout and fill it with your pictures and comments, then upload the whole thing to MyPublisher. The book is then assembled on the company's printing presses and mailed to you.

Soon after MyPublisher's introduction, Apple Computer began offering these same books using its own software and interface. Apple built the book-design process right into its widely praised iPhoto picture-organizing software, which is included on all new Macs. Apple's book-creation interface is different from MyPublisher's, but MyPublisher produces the books under contract for Apple.

Now, two of the big online photo-printing services, Shutterfly and Eastman Kodak's EasyShare Gallery (formerly known as Ofoto) also have begun offering bound photo books, along with their usual assortment of cheesy photo gifts such as mugs and mouse pads. The two new entrants don't use MyPublisher to produce their books, and because they are Web-based they don't use software that resides on your personal computer to design the books as MyPublisher and Apple do. Everything is done on their Web sites.

. . .

Using about 40 of the same digital photographs each time, we created photo books using MyPublisher BookMaker, Apple's iPhoto, Shutterfly and Kodak EasyShare Gallery. Each book had the same photo on the cover, and we chose classic black leather for each cover, except for the Apple book, where we used black linen because leather isn't offered.

Each company's book costs about the same -- $30 for a hardcover with up to 10 double-sided pages, and $40 with a leather cover. Additional pages cost a dollar in iPhoto and Shutterfly, $1.49 for MyPublisher BookMaker and $1.99 with Kodak Gallery.

, , ,

Overall, if you are looking for the most attractive book, MyPublisher BookMaker won't disappoint, and you might even get used to its slightly more complicated software. But if iPhoto ever offers peek-through covers and leather covers like those from BookMaker, we would have to change our vote and make Apple the overall winner.

Continued in Article

Pay is not rising at these rates in academe
U.S. workers saw surprisingly large increases in pay at the end of 2004, according to a new report from the government that takes a comprehensive look at employment and wage trends across 317 of the country's largest counties. The Labor Department report said weekly salaries rose an average of 5.7% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier. The gain seemed to be bolstered by commissions and end-of-year bonuses, which are included in the counts.
Rafael Gerene-Morales, "Weekly Salaries Rise an Average Of 5.7% in U.S.," The Wall Street Journal,  July 20, 2005; Page A2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112177493386889374,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one
Jensen Comment:  The "net" increases in pay after factoring in the larger share of benefit costs (especially medical insurance and pensions) being transferred to to employees.  College employees have a more difficult time because they must pay a rising share of benefit costs at less than average pay increases.

Saving 10% of Your Salary Is No Longer Enough
Just when folks ought to be saving more, they are saving less. Trouble ahead? You'd better believe it. Yes, I have heard all the arguments about how the true savings rate is higher than the 1.3% calculated for 2004 by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis, or BEA. But don't let that distract you from the bigger issue. In a world of disappearing company pensions, skimpy bond yields, rich stock valuations and rising life expectancies, anybody interested in a comfortable retirement should be saving a truckload of money every year -- and yet most folks aren't.
"Forget the Rule of Thumb: Saving 10% of Your Salary Is No Longer Enough," The Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2005; Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112181723383790185,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal

Jensen Advice to Professors:  For many years I have been lucky enough to save the maximum Supplemental SRA tax deferral in my TIAA/CREF plan.  Now that I am retiring in May 2006, I find that these savings are making a huge difference in my monthly retirement income.  I strongly urge you to contact your Personnel Department and ask them to make the maximum Supplemental SRA deduction allowed under the current tax regulations.

Failed = Deferred Success

Forwarded on July 20 by Debbie Bowling --- http://snipurl.com/DeferredSuccess

The word "fail" should be banned from use in British classrooms and replaced with the phrase "deferred success" to avoid demoralizing pupils, a group of teachers has proposed.

Members of the Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) argue that telling pupils they have failed can put them off learning for life.

A spokesman for the group said it wanted to avoid labeling children. "We recognize that children do not necessarily achieve success first time," he said.

"But I recognize that we can't just strike a word from the dictionary," he said.

The PAT said it would debate the proposal at a conference next week.

Will the U.S. return to 49 (or even 48) states?
We exaggerate, but not by much. On Tuesday, the Senate debated Mr. Akaka's Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which would grant de facto sovereignty to the 400,000 or so people who identify themselves as native Hawaiians, aka "Kanaka Maoli." To listen to the Akaka bill's supporters, that means nothing more than extending a polite gesture to Native Hawaiians by giving them a kind of parity with other Native Americans such as the Navajo or Cherokee. Yet according to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a state agency, under the terms of the bill this new tribe could declare "complete legal and territorial independence from the United States and the re-establishment of a Hawaiian nation-state." Jefferson Davis rides again.
"Goodbye, Hawaii," The Wall Street Journal,  July 21, 2005; Page A10 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112191569507491833,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

"Sharing the Pain," by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, July 22, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/07/22/hea

The committee’s Republican majority had its way on all the key votes. The panel:
  • Adopted a plan that will allow borrowers who consolidate several loans into one to choose between a fixed and a variable rate, which advocates for students and college officials have advocated. But the committee rebuffed a Democratic proposal to lower the maximum interest rate for both fixed and variable loans to 6.8 percent, instead of the 8.25 percent set by the Republican majority’s bill.
  • Approved an amendment that would reduce funds for lenders and guarantee agencies by reducing the amount the government reimburses them when students default on their loans, but turned away a Democratic attempt to cut those funds even more.
  • Rejected a Democratic proposal that would have shifted money saved in the loan programs to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $500 over five years.
  • Voted down a proposal that would have rewarded colleges that participate in the “less expensive” of the government’s two loan program (which, though the accounting methods are fiercely debated, is generally seen as the direct loan program) by letting them use half of any savings they generate to give their students additional Pell Grants. Republican supporters of the guaranteed loan program said the plan amounted to an effort to bribe colleges into the direct lending program, which has lost hundreds of colleges in recent years.

Underpinning Thursday’s debate was the fact that in crafting its bill to renew the Higher Education Act, the law that governs federal student aid and other higher education programs in the U.S. Education Department, the House committee is under intense pressure to come up with billions in dollars in savings to help Republican leaders in Congress meet their goal of reconciling a huge budget deficit. Exactly how much money the committee is trying to wring out of the various programs is disputed, but Democrats peg it at $11 billion, and Republicans say it is too early to tell, but don’t dispute that figure vigorously.

Continued in article

Banks Sweeten Student-Loan Terms
In the latest attempt to stand out in the burgeoning market for student loans -- and as shopping season for college financing heats up for families -- banks are tweaking their student-loan lineups. They are offering a range of "improved terms" and tantalizing rebates and discounts for borrowers with good payment records. But while the latest crop of deals may sound better than past offerings, the difference in potential savings is often scant, say student-financing experts. And most banks themselves say that even with improved terms, they still expect only a fraction of borrowers to qualify for the savings. At issue are so-called borrower benefits, which have become a staple of student debt during the past decade. Typically, these benefits promise a reduction in the interest rate on the loan after a certain number of payments are made on time -- typically 48 monthly payments on a 10-year student loan. These benefits can potentially save borrowers hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the life of a loan.
Anne Marie Chaker, "Banks Sweeten Student-Loan Terms," The Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2005; Page D3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112182238744590310,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal 

Tapping IRAs to Pay for Education Can Lead to Headaches on Taxes
If you raid your individual retirement account to pay for higher-education bills, be careful. As a recent U.S. Tax Court case demonstrates, you need to master some fine print first -- or you could get hit by additional taxes. When you are under age 59˝, you generally have to pay a 10% additional tax if you tap your traditional IRA -- unless you do it for certain reasons. For example, you may not get hit by that penalty if the early distributions aren't more than your higher-education expenses. That may sound fairly simple, but the decision by the Tax Court, dated July 5, underscores an important point: The court said distributions are free from the additional tax only to the extent they don't exceed the education costs for the taxable year of the distribution. Thus, "time your IRA distributions carefully," warns Bob D. Scharin, editor of Warren, Gorham & Lamont/RIA's "Practical Tax Strategies," a monthly journal for tax professionals.
"Tapping IRAs to Pay for Education Can Lead to Headaches on Taxes," The Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2005; Page D3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112182190668990303,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal

100 Great Poems of the Twentieth Century
In Greek, an anthology meant a bouquet. The existence of such bouquets in classical literature tells us two things -- that the ancients liked cut flowers and that they found themselves without enough time to read every scroll on the shelf. Mark Strand's "100 Great Poems of the Twentieth Century" (W.W. Norton & Co., 320 pages, $24.95) has trouble figuring out what it really wants to be, and his introduction is hedged with excuses for what it is.
William Logan, The Wall Street Journal,  July 21, 2005; Page D8 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112189585438391366,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

You can be dead and work for the City of Chicago
One was a drunk. Some were laughed at as "goofballs." One was declared the best-qualified candidate for a job on the city payroll -- even though he was dead. All of them were recommended for city jobs or hired because they were politically connected and helped to get out the vote on Election Day, according to U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald. "That's the world we want to end," Fitzgerald said Monday in announcing charges against two members of Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration accused of illegally doling out patronage jobs.
"Feds claim fraud put a drunk and 'goofballs' on Chicago's city payroll," Sioux City Journal, July 20, 2005 --- http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/articles/2005/07/20/news/latest_news/d2504353f218d7ef8625704400115c5c.txt

The hits keep on coming for Career Education Corporation
The California agency that regulates for-profit institutions found last week that a campus owned by Career Education “willfully” provided misleading and falsified information and omitted other information that “persuaded prospective students to enroll” in its educational programs. The state Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education stopped short of revoking the Brooks Institute of Photography's license to operate, citing the severe impact such a move would have on current students. But the agency imposed a significant set of restrictions on Brooks’s operations, including barring it from enrolling new students until it submits a slew of information and requiring it to get written statements from employers of all of its current and future graduates.
Doug Lederman,"Calif. Reins In a For-Profit College," Inside Higher Ed, July 20, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/07/20/brooks

Chess960:  Unorthodox Chess From an Odd Mind
Two dozen programmers from around the world have signed up to compete in Germany next month in the first computer chess tournament devoted to Chess960, a game variant invented by fugitive chess genius Bobby Fischer that's slowly gaining rank among grandmasters . The rules of Chess960 are mostly the same as orthodox chess -- but the setup incorporates something once considered anathema to the game: chance. Pawns begin where they always do. However, the pieces behind them on the white side are arranged at random, with the proviso that bishops must end up on opposite colors, and the king dwell somewhere between the two rooks. The black pieces are lined up to mirror the white . . . The opening phase of a chess game as currently played has been subject to a hundred years of scholarship and play, and today players are hard pressed to find so much as a viable pawn push within the first 20 moves that hasn't been thoroughly analyzed. As a result, serious players spend considerable time memorizing published openings as played by masters and grandmasters, so they know the correct, time-tested response to every move an opponent makes. One standard text on the subject, Modern Chess Openings, is 750 pages long, and will tell you, for example, that the proper answer to white's pawn advance on the 12th move of the Soltis Variation of the Yugoslav Attack, a variant of the Sicilian Defense, is to move your king's rook pawn.
Kevin Poulsen, "Unorthodox Chess From an Odd Mind," Wired News, July 19, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68227,00.html
Jensen Comment:  This is a little like the time when casinos stopped playing Black Jack with only one deck of cards.

When robots win the pot
Walking away from the poker table with 100 large in your pocket is nothing special in Sin City. But until Thursday, the gambling capital had never seen a robot do it. Last week, six programmers converged on Binion's, the downtown casino that is the birthplace of the World Series of Poker, spurred by a winner-take-all prize of $100,000 offered by publicity sponge GoldenPalace.com. While the bot competitors were grinding through the final of the World Poker Robot Championship, the big-time human players were upstairs in Benny's Bullpen fighting for a $7.5 million first.
Marty Corinas, 'Who Says Robots Can't Bluff?" Wired News, July 18, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68223,00.html

Disaster when greens partner with agri-business:  The ethanol subsidy is worse than you can imagine
For the last generation, ethanol has been America's fuel of the future. But there has never been more hype about it than there is today. Green-energy analysts like Amory Lovins, environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, neoconservatives like James Woolsey, and farm groups like the American Coalition for Ethanol are all touting the biofuel. Making ethanol, they claim, will help America achieve the elusive goal of "energy security" while helping farmers, reducing oil imports, and stimulating the American economy. But the ethanol boosters are ignoring some unpleasant facts: Ethanol won't significantly reduce our oil imports; adding more ethanol to our gas tanks adds further complexity to our motor-fuel supply chain, which will lead to further price hikes at the pump; and, most important (and most astonishing), it may take more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than it actually contains.
Robert Bryce, "Corn Dog The ethanol subsidy is worse than you can imagine," Slate, July 19, 2005 --- http://slate.com/id/2122961/

Business School Update:  It's Getting Easier Being Green
Justin DeKoszmovszky, a rising second-year student at the S.C. Johnson School of Management at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., is spending his summer living and working with small-scale farmers in Kenya. As part of a six-person team, he's exploring new opportunities for communities, entrepreneurs, government organizations, local universities, and S.C. Johnson, the school's benefactor. The team has many goals, including finding ways to diversify crops
Francesca Di Meglio," It's Getting Easier Being Green"  Interest in integrating business with the needs of the environment is prompting a harder look at achieving a sustainable economy," Business Week, July 15, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/BusinessWeekJuly15

Even though I did not amass a fortune, I would like to follow in his footsteps
The financial freedom (as former President of J.P. Morgan) that followed allowed him to enjoy the writer's life at long last and spend his time turning out crime novels, short stories and poems from his home in Ridgefield. It is a luxury he savors now that his writing is enjoying some commercial success. "I always thought I'd like to give this a try," said Mr. Spiegelman, a wiry 47-year-old who does most of his writing in his ground-floor study. His first book, a detective novel called "Black Maps," was published in 2003 and earned a Shamus Award for best first novel from the Private Eye Writers of America. A sequel, "Death's Little Helpers," had just been released. Knopf published both books and has Mr. Spiegelman under contract for two more novels as well.
Alison Leigh, "The Case of the Writer Who Left Wall Street," The New York Times, July 20, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/20/books/20spie.html?

Podcasting: Can This New Medium Make Money?
Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh and his nemesis, Al Franken, are podcasting. As are ESPN, former MTV video jockey Adam Curry and thousands of others. Podcasting, a way to broadcast audio over the Internet, has become the latest web movement to get everyone's attention. Indeed, a recent survey found that more than six million people out of the 22 million who own iPods or MP3 players have listened to a podcast. Such activity begs the question: Is podcasting here to stay? Experts at Wharton and elsewhere answer with a resounding yes. Is there a viable business model for these broadcasts? That's not as clear, although some observers suggest that advertising and paid subscriptions are possible sources of revenue.
"Podcasting: Can This New Medium Make Money?" Knowledge@wharton,  July 2005 --- http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/index.cfm?fa=viewArticle&id=1239  

Women:  Smoking may be hazardous to your careers as well as your health
Many parents love to brag about their children. Some even note their children's existence on their resumes. Perhaps they shouldn't. According to research presented by two Cornell University sociologists at a recent Wharton conference, mothers suffer when competing for jobs against similarly qualified fathers and childless men and women. Additional research discussed at the conference -- organized by Wharton's Center for Human Resources -- offered interesting observations on another workplace group: smokers. Scholars from Columbia University and Barnard College conclude that smokers are paid less on average than other workers because they may be less willing to invest time and effort in career advancement than nonsmoking colleagues.
"Two New Studies Look at Mothers -- and Smokers -- in the Workplace," Knowledge@wharton,  July 2005 --- http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/index.cfm?fa=viewArticle&id=1242

Delta Airlines on the Brink
Delta's management is locked in a sharp debate about the airline's efforts to save itself, with several officials saying avoiding Chapter 11 may be impossible ---

For polio survivors

Post-Polio Health International --- http://www.post-polio.org/

The International Centre for Post-Polio Education and Research --- http://www.englewoodhospital.com/PostPolio/

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders --- http://www.ninds.nih.gov/
(Click on Disorders and then on Post-Polio Syndrome)

Let your fiction grow out of the land beneath your feet
Eudora Welty Revealed -- Off and On the Record ---

"From the Lab: Nanotechnology," by Corie Lok and Stu Hutson,  MIT's Technology Review, August 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/08/issue/ftl_nano.asp?trk=nl

Results: A team from the University of California, Berkeley, has devised a silver "superlens" that could increase the resolution of light microscopy by about a factor of six. The lens doesn't diffract light like conventional glass lenses. Instead, it uses evanescent waves, which are produced when light hits a lens at such an angle that it bounces off instead of passing through. Evanescent waves emerge on the other side of the lens and add optical information to normal "propagating" light waves, but they decay very quickly over short distances. By capturing and amplifying these weak waves, the researchers obtained images with 60-nanometer resolution.

Why it Matters: High-resolution imaging methods such as electron microscopy can't image living tissue. Light microscopy can. Its resolution, however, is limited by the wavelength of the light used. And 400 nanometers is the shortest wavelength that doesn't damage tissue. Evanescent waves allow researchers to get around this limitation. The technique could eventually allow researchers to watch, in real time, biological processes such as protein interactions in samples of living tissue--events that can now be studied only indirectly.

Previous research has used evanescent waves to construct images in piecemeal fashion. The Berkeley team, led by Xiang Zhang, has shown that it's possible to take a clear and complete picture in one shot.

Continued in article

July 20, 2005 message from gangolly@INFOTOC.COM

Thought some of us might be interested in the following:

WiMAX inside the house

By Daniel Briere and Patrick Hurley, Network World, 07/05/05 http://www.networkworld.com/edge/columnists/2005/0704bleed.html 



Forwarded by Paula


We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes, but the plural of ox became oxen not oxes. One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese, yet the plural of moose should never be meese. You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice, yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men, why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen? If I spoke of my foot and show you my feet, and I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet? If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth, why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those, yet hat in the plural would never be hose, and the plural of cat is! cats, not cose. We speak of a brother and also of! brethren, but though we say mother, we never say methren. Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him, but imagine the feminine, she, shis and shim.

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? We ship by truck but send cargo by ship. We have noses that run and feet that smell. And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

So if Dad is Pop, how come Mom isn't Mop?

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