Tidbits on August 17, 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: 

Songs of Texas (Yeah!) http://www.lsjunction.com/midi/songs.htm

Great list of free midi tunes --- http://www.blackskies.com/midilist.htm

Train of Life (Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline) ---  
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/singingman7/TOL.htm

Garrison Keillor: An American Classic:  Keillor charms fairgoers with perfect mix of bawdiness, reverence --- http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050816/NEWS08/508160362/1039/LIFE




A Good Mom:  Cindy's Journal --- http://journals.aol.com/cb96db/Summeradventures/  

Lawyer - one who protects us from robbers by taking away the temptation
H.L. Mencken

Never before has there been such a wide difference between those who work and those who make money without working.
Vandana Shiva

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper.
Robert Frost (as quoted in a recent email message from Charlie Betts)


NASA has a great Website filled with multimedia and interactive features --- http://www.nasa.gov

Dick Haar forwarded the NASA pps file at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/nasa01.pps


Fraud at Cornell University
After digging deeper, Dr. Sarafoglou, a 43-year-old native of Greece, concluded that Cornell was defrauding American taxpayers. Cornell, she believed, was taking grant money for studies and using it to support standard care for patients at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, a Cornell affiliate on Manhattan's Upper East Side. "When you see all this research money being wasted, what do you do?" asks Dr. Sarafoglou.
Bernard Wysocki, Jr., "As Universities Get Billions in Grants, Some See Abuses:  Cornell Doctor Blows Whistle Over Use of Federal Funds, Alleging Phantom Studies, The Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2005; Page A1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112415991812114128,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one


The Cool Spot is a good site to bookmark for young people and other persons troubled with alcohol abuse
Alcoholism is a disease on the rise, especially among teens.  A good site for information and help is the The Cool Spot from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism --- http://www.thecoolspot.gov/


Canada's 'Free' Health Care Has a High Price Tag
But Canada's public care doesn't save money. As the satirist P.J. O'Rourke once noted, "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free." When adjusted for the age of its population, Canada vies with Iceland and Switzerland as the highest spender on health care among the 28 most developed nations with universal systems. Dr. David Gratzer, a Toronto physician affiliated with the Manhattan Institute, calculates that a Canadian earning $35,000 a year pays a stunning $7,350 in health-care taxes. Canada's Supreme Court was scathing in its indictment of the system. "Access to a waiting list is not access to health care," the court ruled. "Delays in the public health care system are widespread . . . in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists." The court struck down a Quebec law banning private medical insurance, which should lead to successful challenges to similar laws in other provinces. While last week the court stayed the impact of its ruling in Quebec for a year, a nationwide debate on why Canada is the only country other than Cuba and North Korea to ban private insurance and private care has finally broken out.
John H. Fund, "Canada's 'Free' Health Care Has a High Price Tag," The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2005; Page A9 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112381432071311723,00.html?mod=todays_us_opinion


Silicosis Scandal
Congratulations to House Republicans Joe Barton and Ed Whitfield, who last week opened a probe into the nation's asbestos and silicosis claims. Their decision to investigate the people responsible for recruiting and falsely diagnosing tens of thousands of plaintiffs is a major step toward exposing this fraud.
"Silicosis Scandal," The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2005; Page A8 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112381120616111638,00.html?mod=todays_us_opinion

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm


Islamic Mortgages
Kim Norris of the Detroit Free Press presents an interesting look at Islamic Mortgages. Islamic mortgages are different than traditional mortgages since many Muslims believe interest is wrong ---
From Jim Mahar's blog on August 10, 2005 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

A few interesting tidbits are quoted from http://www.freep.com/money/business/islamic6e_20050806.htm

"The biggest barrier to developing so-called Islamic financing in the United States is the absence of a secondary market for these products. Typically when banks loan money for houses, they sell those loans to investors who profit by collecting the principle and interest.

Ranzini said University Bank must hang onto the Islamic mortgages it writes as well as title to the homes. That limits the volume of loans a bank can make."

Home insurance can also a be problem for the "borrowers" since they technically do not own the home. In the article Norris writes of a Muslim couple who experienced this problem:

"some problems when they tried to buy homeowners insurance -- something necessary to obtain a mortgage. Insurers would not recognize the Islamic mortgage as a standard mortgage. Instead, they insisted that since the trust owned the house, Solaiman and Metzger were only eligible for renters' insurance." This may be changing however since in Michigan at least, the "Office of Financial and Insurance Services...OFIS issued a clarification saying that Islamic mortgages qualified for homeowners insurance just as a traditional mortgage does."

From Newschool.edu (I highly recommend reading it!!!) --- http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/schools/ancients.htm#islamic

"Although clerics had been prohibited from lending at interest at least since the 4th Century, the ban was not extended to laymen until much later. In 1139, the Second Lateran Council denied all sacraments to unrepentant usurers and, in an 1142 decree, condemned any payment greater than the capital that was lent." Interestingly (no pun intended) Christians decided that interest was fine so long as it was not punitive (hence the term usury). It will be interesting to see (and unfortunately it will probably be after any of our lifetimes) whether Muslims decide likewise.

I have tried to understand why any religion would not allow any interest and I can not. I realize there are scripture readings (in many religions--see Wikipedia) against it, but I confess I do not understand the logic behind them. The ability to borrow (i.e. access to capital) can be amazingly beneficial and while equity might be better in some regards, limiting supply seems an interesting way of making helping the poor. Indeed, it could be said that religions would want to increase this access to money to help lift the poor from poverty.

The only explanation that makes sense to me is that debt can become a burden (too much of a good thing) and can lead to short-term thinking. But that is more an indictment of excessive debt. So maybe we should be against predatory lending and not all lending.  


Open2 portal to learning
I think Open University in the U.K. is the largest university in the world. It has extensive onsite and online courses.  BBC News and Open University combined forces to create the Open2 portal to learning and news --- http://www.open2.net/
There are also various forums.

Bob Jensen's threads on cross border online programs are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen's bookmarks on education are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm


Online Journal of Distance Education --- http://tojde.anadolu.edu.tr/

Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration --- http://www.westga.edu/~distance/jmain11.html

July 31, 2005 message received from tjdl@genesis.coe.uh.edu
The Texas Journal of Distance Learning ( http://www.tjdl.org ), an independent, peer-reviewed online journal, encourages, collects, and shares scholarly knowledge about all aspects of distance learning emanating from higher education in the state of Texas. An editorial board of recognized academics and practitioners guides and produces the journal. The University of Houston hosts and supports the TJDL.

"Students Perceptions of Distance Learning, Online Learning and the Traditional Classroom," by John O'Malley, Department of Management and Business Systems Harrison McCraw, Department of Accounting and Finance Richards College of Business State University of West Georgia Carrollton, Georgia 30118-3030 --- http://www.westga.edu/~distance/omalley24.html

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education references are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm#Readings


Each baby buys an extra year at Princeton
Princeton University . . . is now giving all new parents an extra year before tenure review — automatically. Many colleges promise to award the year to anyone eligible who asks. But at Princeton, you don’t ask — it now just happens. And it can happen multiple times for people who have more than one child (and those who have twins can get two extra years at that time).
Scott Jaschik, "Stopping the Clock — Without Asking," Inside Higher Ed, August 16, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/08/16/clock

Jensen Comment:  Presumably this only applies to faculty deemed to be making adequate progress toward tenure with or without the extra years for babies.  It would be absurd to be otherwise locked into a really lousy/negligent teacher for extra years just because a new babies are born year after year.  That would unduly penalize students.  Colleges who adopt this faculty benefit must be very careful how it is worded if lawsuits are to be avoided.


"Classroom Heat," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, August 16, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/08/16/teaching

Some scenarios:

Hot button issues may not come up regularly in classroom discussion in every discipline. But in sociology, they come up all the time. Abortion. Gay marriage. Poverty. Religion. Even issues that may not capture headlines all the time — like spanking — are regularly covered (and fought over) by sociology students.

At a session of the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, which is going on this week in Philadelphia, professors tried to talk through strategies for how to discuss these issues — without losing control of their classrooms, hurting students’ feelings, or ending up being lampooned on David Horowitz’s Web site. The above scenarios (which audience members said were close to things they had experienced) were analyzed and debated.

Continued in article

 


Yawn!  Another week and another multimillion dollar fine paid by Merrill Lynch.  So what's new?
Merrill Lynch & Co. will pay a $10 million fine for failing to deliver prospectuses to customers in mutual-fund transactions, as well as other supervisory and operational lapses, New York Stock Exchange regulators said. The Big Board officials said the brokerage firm failed to deliver prospectuses from October 2002 to March 2004 with respect to 64,000 transactions related to sales of registered, open-ended mutual-fund securities. The firm also failed to deliver prospectuses between January 2004 and July 2004 in 900 transactions in 275 accounts related to auction-rate preferred stocks, they said.
Chad Bray, "Merrill Fined $10 Million by NYSE," The Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2005; Page C13 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112414156768313701,00.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

Jensen Comment:  Sometimes it seems that there are almost no securities frauds in which Merrill Lynch is not somehow involved.  Just search for "Merrill" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm


The Blackboard:  A tribute to a long-standing but fading teaching and learning tool
From the Museum of History and Science at Oxford University
Bye Bye Blackboard: From Einstein and others
--- http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/blackboard/

August 14, 2005 reply from Bob Blystone

Seeing Bob Jensen's post about the disappearance of blackboards from classrooms in this digital age, provoked a thought: when were blackboards first used in classrooms. The Military Academy at West Point is often cited as the first place in the United States; however, it is not clear exactly when or who introduced the blackboard on the banks of the Hudson River. George Baron or Claude Crozet in either 1801 or 1817 are cited.

The web site listed by Bob describes the salvaging of a blackboard upon which an Einstein lecture was written and never erased... that led me to a cluster of thoughts. When Trinity moved from Waxahachie to Woodlawn, were any of the blackboards moved from there to here? When Trinity moved from Woodlawn to Stadium Drive in 1952, were any blackboards brought along? And finally, just where on today's campus is the oldest surviving blackboard? With the total rebuilding of Northrup and the major renovations of Marrs McLean, are there any pre-1952 blackboards on campus? Perhaps Pete or Norm might know.

All this pre-academic year musing leads me to one additional utterance: Who gave the first PowerPoint lecture at Trinity University? When was that first lecture given?

There is a lack of romance when one says "I have a freshly formatted hard drive" in contrast to "I have a clean slate."

August 14, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Bob,

The demise of chalk boards commenced years before computers with the widespread use of overhead transparencies that could both be prepared before class and developed during a lecture. The same applies to flip charts for which Don VanEynde is famous.

Preceding PowerPoint, there were campus applications of Harvard Graphics and possibly Persuasion.    

I commenced using a DOS hypertext and graphics program called HyperGraphics in 1990 (see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm ).  But preceding those applications on campus were classroom presentations from HyperCard and possibly some of the early paintbrush programs --- http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/215ach04.pdf

Some of the first faculty demonstrations of HyperCard, HyperGraphics, and Harvard Graphics came in our infamous May 1992 Faculty Summer Seminar. IMS videos of these presentations are available in the basement of the Trinity Library. Participating Trinity faculty had to develop presentation projects. Invited speakers such as Robert Winter (Music, UCLA) and Bill Graves (Mathematics, UNC) had great ToolBook presentations that inspired me to shift from HyperGraphics to ToolBook.

I don't recall any PowerPoint demonstrations that early in time. Wes Regian (USAF) had a great Harvard Graphics presentation of learning theory and technology.  

As you recall, the Internet was only used by a few faculty (Kroeger and some Computer Science faculty) in 1992.  Internet cable was literally strung between windows of a few buildings in those days.  I suspect that you were also one of the early "window wire" users.

Bob Jensen

August 14, 2005 reply from Bob Blystone

Bob:

"PowerPoint was originally developed by Bob Gaskins, a former Berkeley Ph.D. student who envisioned an easy-to-use presentation program that would manipulate a string of slides. In 1984, Gaskins joined a failing Silicon Valley software firm called Forethought and hired a software developer, Dennis Austin. Their prototype program was called "Presenter", but was changed to PowerPoint to avoid a trademark problem. PowerPoint 1.0 was released in 1987 for the Apple Macintosh. It ran in black and white, generating text-and-graphics pages that a photocopier could turn into overhead transparencies. Later in 1987, Forethought and PowerPoint were purchased by Microsoft Corporation for $14 million. In 1988 the first Windows and DOS versions were produced. Since 1990, PowerPoint has been a standard part of the Microsoft Office suite of applications."

I own Power Point 1.

Bob Blystone

August 14, 2005 reply from John Howland [jhowland@ariel.cs.trinity.edu]

The first (Trinity University) computer based interactive lecture presentations (not PowerPoint) began in the CS department in 1972 when we designed a machine (built by student Fred Rodgers in a Physics lab) to be used in conjunction with a 2741 style printing terminal manufactured by GTE and a 3M overhead projector (borrowed from IMS). The machine fed thin roll mylar (on which the printer typed) to the flat bed of the overhead projector so that an entire class could immediately see the computer output. The last time I looked, we still have the machine which was used for several years.

I think we were rather innovative in those days.

I also designed and implemented the University's first e-mail system (intra university) long before the internet was designed and implemented and the University's first word processing system (an example use was the 1976 Self-study). President Calgaard later banned the use of that software as an inappropriate use for our mainframe computer!

Bob Jensen's threads on technology in education are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on the tools of education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm


Business Week's listing of the top 10 new technologies
Podcasts, RFID tags, and mesh networks are among the 10 new technologies that should be on the radar of every chief exec
"The CEO's Tech Toolbox," Business Week, July 26, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/BWtop10

Also see a listing of the best product designs --- http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/toc/05_27/B39410527design.htm


Beyond Excel
ActiveData for Office is a major step forward for our users and for InfromationActive,” Michael Pluscauskas, President of InformationActive Inc. said in a press release announcing the general availability. “This product provides our customers with a flexible and dynamic platform that not only breaks the Microsoft Excel™ row barrier, but also is adaptable and expandable for future planned functionality. Users have been asking for a powerful data analysis tool that works with Microsoft Office and we have given them that and much more. I’m also proud of the fact that we’ve provided an exceptionally robust product at a very competitive price.” ActiveData for Office stretches the boundaries of traditional data analysis tools by providing exceptional integration with Microsoft Office. Users can append documents and web pages to their analysis and archive the entire file in addition to analyzing millions of rows of data quickly thus providing new levels of information control while still allowing the flexibility to view results within ActiveDatae for Office or Microsoft Excel. ActiveData for Office also includes macro capability for recording commonly performed tasks and full audit trail capabilities.
"The Next Level of Computer Aided Audit Tools," AccountingWeb, August 15, 2005 ---
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=101205

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


Beyond historical transactions cost
Two Interpretations of Statements on Auditing Standards have been issued by the AICPA. These interpretations concern the auditing of fair values or more specifically Auditing Interests in Trusts Held by a Third-Party Trustee and Reported at Fair Value; and Auditing Investments in Securities Where a Readily Determinable Fair Value Does Not Exist. The interpretations illuminate situations where simply receiving a confirmation of fair value from a third party is not enough audit evidence for a complete valuation. The interpretations reiterate the responsibility for management to institute accounting and financial reporting processes for determination of fair value measurements.
"AICPA Issues Fair Value Interpretations," AccountingWeb, August 15, 2005 ---
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=101184

Bob Jensen's thread on fair value controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm#FairValue


One of the all-time largest gifts to a university
A doctor who helped invent a successful anti-inflammatory drug has donated an estimated $105 million to the New York University School of Medicine -- one of the largest gifts ever made to a U.S. university.
Elizabeth Bernstein, "Doctor Writes Rx For $105 Million," The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2005; Page W1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112380935845311581,00.html?mod=todays_us_weekend_journal

Also see http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/08/12/qt


Starting and ending life as a blank page
I contend that Clairidge’s hard-won nullity is temperamentally different from nihilism, which is to say that believing nothing is not the same as Belief in Nothing. Moreover, if Clairidge’s art takes the blankness of life as its premise, its slow-building conclusions represent a sort of après vie. Though reconstructing a writer’s faith from his art is a dicey business (and Ethel burned her brother’s blank notebooks after his death), one of the few remaining social effects sold at a charity auction in 1876 is a hay-strewn, slightly warped Ouija board. In short, this project involves the unacknowledged fourth estate of the race, gender, and class trinity: creed. Any committee members in sympathy with the current political administration, please take note. Nothing is familiar to me. As a blocked but tenured faculty member for the past 14 years, I can attest to the power of the blank page. The study I propose would be as infinitely suggestive as Clairidge’s own work. Having already compiled over 150 blank pages of my own, I estimate that I am about halfway through a first draft.
David Galef , "NEH Grant Proposal #1095702H," Inside Higher Ed
, August 12, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/08/12/galef


Erotic images can be blinding
Researchers have finally found evidence for what good Catholic boys have known all along – erotic images make you go blind. The effect is temporary and lasts just a moment, but the research has added to road-safety campaigners’ calls to ban sexy billboard-advertising near busy roads, in the hope of preventing accidents. The new study by US psychologists found that people shown erotic or gory images frequently fail to process images they see immediately afterwards. And the researchers say some personality types appear to be affected more than others by the phenomenon, known as “emotion-induced blindness”.
Gaia Vince, "Erotic images can turn you blind," New Scientist, August 12, 2005 ---
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7845


It became a "cardinal" rule at Stanford University
The National Collegiate Athletic Association last week banned the use of Native American team names and mascots in postseason play, upsetting the 18 colleges that use the symbols, and leaving fans at many of those institutions saying that it would be terrible to change.  In fact, many colleges (see list at bottom of article) have changed their mascots and symbols away from Native American imagery, and officials at these colleges report that while a few alumni never get over it, most people are happy with the change, and alumni pride has not suffered.  Stanford University, home to one of the most successful athletic programs in the country, changed from Indians to Cardinal  (the color, not the bird) in 1972. The move came after a small group of Native American students and staff members appealed to the administration. “Stanford took pride in making a change without being forced,” said Bill Stone, emeritus president of the Stanford Alumni Association, and an assistant to the president during the change.
David Epstein, "Burying the Mascot Hatchet," Inside Higher Ed, August 12, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/08/12/mascot


New Option for Student Shoppers: E-Books
As students at eight colleges shop for notebooks and car decals this fall, they’ll have another product to consider at the campus bookstore: electronic textbooks. But not everyone expects the e-books fly off the shelves. The eight colleges have partnered with the wholesale company MBS Textbook Exchange to offer about 30 textbooks at 33 percent below the normal cover price. “It’s about giving students a cheaper option,” said Jeff Cohen, advertising and promotions manager at MBS.
David Epstein, "New Option for Student Shoppers: E-Books," Inside Higher Ed, August 12, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/08/12/ebooks

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm


Google's Book Scanning Hits Snag
Stung by a publishing industry backlash, Google has halted its efforts to scan copyright books from some of the nation's largest university libraries so the material can be indexed in its leading internet search engine. The company announced the suspension, effective until November, in a notice posted on its website just before midnight Thursday by Adam Smith, the manager of its ambitious program to convert millions of books into a digital format.
"Google's Book Scanning Hits Snag," Wired News, August 12, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68513,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_5

Turning the tables on Google
That previous story, which News.com linked to, was headlined "Google Balances Privacy, Reach," and showed just how much information Google has placed at our fingertips. To illustrate, staff writer Elinor Mills spent 30 minutes googling Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive officer, then published Schmidt's net worth ($1.5 billion), his net gain from selling Google stock this year ($140 million), the town he calls home (Atherton, California), the fact that he is an amateur pilot and "roamed the desert at the Burning Man art festival in Nevada." "That such detailed personal information is so readily available on public websites makes most people uncomfortable," Mills wrote. "But it's nothing compared with the information Google collects and doesn't make public." She worried that "hackers, zealous government investigators or even a Google insider who falls short of the company's ethics standards could abuse that information." The question is how could a company like Google, which has become the toast of Wall Street, have such tone-deaf public relations?
Adam L. Penenberg, "Google's Boycott Misses the Mark," Wired News, August 11, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68486,00.html

Why should he be allowed to keep five percent?
Bernard J. Ebbers, the swaggering, self-made businessman who vowed to revolutionize the telephone industry, yesterday agreed to give up virtually everything he has built or bought to raise an estimated $45 million to settle the claims of investors hurt when WorldCom Inc. collapsed into bankruptcy three years ago. Ebbers, 63, will be allowed to keep enough money to cover legal fees and to support his wife in what prosecutors call a "modest" fashion. But the once-brash executive must move out of his Clinton, Miss., mansion within three months so that it can be sold. He also must forfeit interests in 300,000 acres of timberland, a marina and a golf course, and an anticipated federal tax refund of millions of dollars, lawyers said.
Carrie Johnson and Yuki Noguchi, "Ebbers Agrees to Settle Shareholder Suit Former WorldCom:  Chief Executive to Give Up About 95 Percent of Assets," The Washington Post, July 1, 2005 ---
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/30/AR2005063000693.html?referrer=email


Ebbers Found Guilty
Former WorldCom Chief Executive Bernard J. Ebbers was convicted of participating in the largest accounting fraud in U.S. history, handing the government a landmark victory in its prosecution of an unprecedented spate of corporate scandals.  After eight days of deliberation, the jury found Mr. Ebbers guilty of all nine counts against him, including conspiracy and securities fraud, related to an $11 billion accounting fraud at the onetime highflying telecommunications giant.  Mr. Ebbers, 63 years old, now faces the prospect of spending many years in jail. He is expected to appeal.
"Ebbers Is Convicted In Massive Fraud:  WorldCom Jurors Say CEO Had to Have Known; Unconvinced by Sullivan," The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2005; Page A1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111090709921580016,00.html?mod=home_whats_news_us


Justice Lite:  Scott Sullivan gets five years with the possibility of earlier parole
WorldCom Inc.'s former chief financial officer, Scott Sullivan, who engineered the $11 billion fraud at the onetime telecom titan, was sentenced to five years in prison -- a reduced term that sent a signal to white-collar criminals that it can pay to cooperate with the government. Mr. Sullivan's reduced sentence came after prosecutors credited his testimony as crucial to the conviction of his former boss and mentor, Bernard J. Ebbers, who founded the company, which is now known as MCI Inc. Last month, Mr. Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Shawn Youg, Dionne Searcey, and Nathan Kopp, "Cooperation Pays: Sullivan Gets Five Years," The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2005, Page C1 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112376796515410853,00.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

A WSJ video is available at http://snipurl.com/SullivanVideo

Bob Jensen's threads on the Worldcom accounting scandal are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm#WorldCom


Justice Lite:  Rite Aid Ex-CEO's Sentence Pared
A federal judge on Thursday trimmed a year from the eight-year sentence of former Rite Aid Corp. Chief Executive Martin L. Grass for conspiring to obstruct justice and to defraud the nation's third-largest drugstore chain and its shareholders. U.S. District Judge Sylvia H. Rambo said she acted to reduce a disparity between Mr. Grass and other defendants sentenced for similar crimes. Mr. Grass, 51 years old, smiled and blew a kiss to family members as federal marshals led him from the courtroom.
"Rite Aid Ex-CEO's Sentence Pared," The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2005; Page C3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112379123643311147,00.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

Bob Jensen's threads on white crime collar crime leniency (and why these crimes pay) are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#CrimePays


The Trial Lawyers' Enron
The Justice Department is finally starting to take a hard look at some dubious legal practices, and it isn't a pretty sight. If a recent federal indictment that refers to Milberg Weiss is anything to go by, the trial bar has its Enron. That indictment, delivered up in late June, charges two California attorneys with conspiracy, fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice -- among other felonies. Class-action lawsuit giant Milberg Weiss isn't formally charged, though the firm has admitted it is the "New York Law Firm" cited in the indictment as having made numerous illegal payments to plaintiffs. Justice has also made clear that criminal charges against Milberg Weiss partners, or even the entire firm, are possible.
"The Trial Lawyers' Enron," The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2005; Page A12 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112069222061878965,00.html?mod=todays_us_opinion

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm


From the Scout Report on August 11, 2005

Two on College Writing
Dartmouth Writing Program http://www.dartmouth.edu/~writing/materials/about.shtml  University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/ 

As students begin to return to college campuses across the country, they may be curious to know that there are a number of fine online resources that will help them develop their college-level writing skills. The first site offered here comes from the Dartmouth College Writing Program, and contains a number of helpful materials, such as some well-written essays that answer the question "What is an academic paper?" and also provide information on researching topics for papers. The site also includes information on such topics as writing about film, writing for sociology courses, and helpful suggestions on writing from fellow students. The second site is offered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Writing Center and contains material on how best to cite references and avoiding common grammar and punctuation mistakes. Taken together, these sites provide a host of materials that will allow students to become better writers in their various courses during their time in the world of higher education and beyond.


Global Voices Online --- http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/globalvoices/ 

Many public interest media organizations are concerned about listening to the voices and opinions of those around the world, particularly in the developing world. One such group is the nonprofit global citizens' media project, Global Voices Online, which is sponsored by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School. Its ultimate goal is "to foster better international communication and understanding between ordinary citizens of different countries, using internet, wireless and radio technologies." On the project's well-designed homepage, visitors can access compelling blogs from dozens of countries around the world and view profiles of persons working in a variety of important fields related to these emerging technologies. Another very important aspect of the site is the area dedicated to Podcasts from around the globe, including those offered by Ahmad Humeid in Jordan and several interviews with Chinese bloggers.


California Academy of Sciences --- http://www.calacademy.org/ 

Founded in 1853 as the first scientific institution in the American West, the California Academy of Sciences is based in San Francisco and is the home to a number of public exhibits and eight scientific research departments. The Academy's online presence is quite prodigious, and contains copious information about its various outreach activities, its lecture series, and of course, its natural history museum. The homepage allows entry to many of these features, including the AntWeb, which warrants at least one detailed visit. The AntWeb serves as a clearinghouse of information on the ant faunas of both California and Madagascar, and visitors can learn about these different creatures here. Another nice feature is the "Science Now" area of the site. Here visitors can learn about the various research projects underway at the Academy, such as those projects on the dart frogs of Suriname.


Mercora http://search.mercora.com/ 

The continued growth of online radio stations that offer streaming audio was interrupted by a number of lawsuits filed by a number of corporations in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Fortunately, some legal options are now available, including Mercora, which is an Internet software system that includes a universal Internet radio tuner linked to many different channels and users. After downloading the Mercora client application, users will be able to search for music that interests them online. This version of Mercora is only compatible with Windows 2000 and later.


Siberia feels the heat
It's a frozen peat bog the size of France and Germany combined, contains billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas and, for the first time since the ice age, it is melting
Ian Sample, "Warming hits 'tipping point'," Guardian Unlimited, August 11, 2005 --- http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1546797,00.html


Kansas Teen Awarded $250K In Bullying Lawsuit
A Kansas jury Thursday ruled in favor of a Tonganoxie teenager who said the school district failed to stop the bullying that led him to drop out of school. The family of Dylan Theno, 18, filed the lawsuit in May 2004 against the Tonganoxie School District. The suit claimed Theno had suffered years of brutal bullying, and that school officials didn't attempt to stop the harassment. "That's five years of my life that I had to live -- just depressed, angry, scared. I can never get that back," Theno told KMBC-TV. "I was just miserable, you know. You wake up every morning, begging my parents not to make me go to school. It was just, I didn't want to be there; I didn't want to walk down those halls anymore."
"Kansas Teen Awarded $250K In Bullying Lawsuit," Click On Detroit, August 12, 2005 --- http://www.clickondetroit.com/education/4843720/detail.html


Socially Responsible Investing
"Mutual Fund Attributes and Investor Behavior," by Nicolas P.B. Bollen and Mark A. Cohen, April 2005 --- http://www.fma.org/Chicago/Papers/Bollen_SRI.pdf

Abstract Do non-financial investment attributes affect investor behavior? To answer this question, we study the dynamics of investor cash flows in socially responsible mutual funds. Consistent with anecdotal evidence, we find that the monthly volatility of investor cash flows is lower in socially responsible funds than conventional funds. In addition, annual flows in socially responsible funds are less sensitive to lagged negative returns than flows in conventional funds, but more sensitive to lagged positive returns. We argue that that these results can be explained by a non-financial component of the utility functions of socially responsible investors.


Decline in jury trials amidst rise in litigation
"Gloria Padilla: As cases change, new justice system emerges," Gloria Padilla, San Antonio Express-News, August 14, 2005 --- http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/columnists/gpadilla/stories/MYSA081405.1H.juries.1be40264.html

Civil jury trials are following the path of the dinosaurs: They are becoming extinct.

And as they vanish, some lawyers worry that the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the guarantee of a trial by jury, may also disappear.

"It's all a matter of economics," Dale Hicks, president of the San Antonio chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, says.

Last fiscal year, the 13 elected civil court judges in Bexar County oversaw only 48 jury verdicts — less than one per week. In comparison, records for fiscal year 1994-95 indicate almost 200 civil trials were taken to jury verdict among the 11 trial benches that existed then.

This does not necessarily mean people are becoming less litigious or the need for lawyers has diminished.

About 76,000 lawyers are licensed to practice law in the state, and 34,703 lawsuits were filed in Bexar County last year. Both those numbers are expected to grow a bit each year.

The downward trend

Civil court statistics for the past 10 years show some striking trends in the law business in this community.

The disappearing civil law trial phenomenon is not exclusive to state district courts or Texas. The same thing is happening in district and federal courts across the country — a trend that has become a hot topic in legal workshops and seminars throughout the nation.

Factors in the declining requests for jury trials include tort reform; arbitration clauses in contracts; changes in the law regarding workers' compensation; the growing use of mediation; and the rising cost of trials.

The drop in jury trials has produced a cottage industry of mediators and arbitrators while forcing a decline in the litigation sections of most large law firms.

Continued in article


A "Hot Hire" at the University of Texas at San Antonio
The University of Texas at San Antonio has several goals for its College of Business: increasing its prominence, especially in the world of research; boosting its focus on international economics; and serving as a showcase for the role a minority-serving institution can play in a diverse business world. It’s not surprising, then, that officials are excited about the arrival of Hamid Beladi, who is the editor or associate editor of four journals focused on international economic issues and an expert on international trade. Lynda de la Viña, dean of the business school, notes that San Antonio will now be the headquarters for the International Review of Economics and Finance, one of the journals Beladi edits. San Antonio’s business school already had strong ties to China and to Latin America — and wants Beladi to lead the international economics track of a planned Ph.D. in economics. Beladi, who has taught at the University of Dayton and North Dakota State University, says that he was attracted to San Antonio by the opportunity to help create a new Ph.D. program.
Scott Jaschik, "Hot Hires," Inside Higher Ed, August 11, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/careers/2005/08/11/hot




Advertising above urinals can be effective
It started with small posters positioned at eye level. The copy ran just long enough to be read in the time it took to relieve a bladder. It was cunning, it was effective, but it just wasn't enough. Take a tinkle at some Sydney pubs and you will now be treated to a full multimedia experience. Advertising flashes up on the latest LCD screens. A sexy voice-over urges you to buy a different brand of deodorant - one that the ladies just can't resist. It's all extremely impressive but unfortunately after experiencing this new age advertising my confidence is shattered. While the alcohol has almost delivered me the courage to talk to the girl in the red dress, would she even consider a bloke wearing some vastly inferior deodorant? Maybe there's a 24-hour supermarket nearby. I walk back out to the bar dejected. I order another beer. I choose the brand recommended by the screen in the bathroom. After all, the guy in the ad seemed really popular. My friend is attempting to chat up a girl by the bar. He's failing miserably. Obviously he's not wearing the right brand of deodorant either. Perhaps he should cut his losses, visit the gents and get an update on the latest metrosexual must haves. I'm sure when he has the right hair gel and a cool mobile phone he'll do a whole lot better.
"Creatives could do better," Sydney Morning Herald, August 17, 2005 --- http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/08/16/1123958062594.html


Excerpts from Dog and Cat Diaries (forwarded by Paula)

"Excerpts From The Dog's Daily Diary"

8:00 am - Oh Boy! Dog food! My favorite!

9:30 am - Oh Boy! A car ride! My favorite!

9:40 am - Oh Boy! A walk! My favorite!

10:30 am - Oh Boy! A car ride! My favorite!

11:30 am - Oh Boy! Dog food! My favorite!

12:00 noon - Oh Boy! The kids! My favorite!

1:00 pm - Oh Boy! The yard! My favorite!

4:00 pm - Oh Boy! The kids! My favorite!

5:00 pm - Oh Boy! Dog food! My favorite!

5:30 pm - Oh Boy! Mom! My favorite!

6:00 pm - Oh Boy! Playing ball! My favorite!

6:30 pm - Oh Boy! Sleeping in master's bed! My favorite!

"Excerpts From The Cat's Daily Diary"

Day 283 Of My Captivity:

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another house plant.

Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded; must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair; must try this on their bed.

Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was. Hmmm, not working according to plan.

There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird on the other hand has got to be an informant, and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time. . . .




Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
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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