Tidbits on October 19, 2005
Bob Jensen at Trinity University
Fraud Updates ---
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory ---
Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter ---
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
Bob Jensen's home page is
Security threats and hoaxes ---
25 Hottest Urban Legends (hoaxes) ---
Privatization, Commercialization, Media Rankings,
and Other Problems of Higher Education,
Including Selling Out Education Quality to Athletic Spectaculars
In the past I've provided links to various types of music
available free on the Web.
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---
Folk Club Online (there are some
funny streaming modules here) ---
Great Banjo Music from NPR
BBC's Gillett Rounds Up the 'Sound of the World' (international
folk music) ---
Unearthing Unknown Monk, Coltrane Recording (Jazz History With
Train of Life
(Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline)
Moving panoramas (these are great) ---
What is stereo photography? Take a look at
The Summit of Annapurna ---
Mt Everest with a 360 degree turn ---
Click on the Everest Views tab (requires a Quicktime plug in)
Other photos of great climbs ---
Photographs from different countries ---
Time Magazine ---
Takin' It To The Streets: An ingenious art form
is springing up in the unlikeliest city locales; galleries are noticing
Fun for "Kids"
Carve (Draw) your own Halloween pumpkin face ---
Since their birth the great banks, decorated with
national titles, were only associations of private speculators, who placed
themselves by the side of governments
Karl Marx (1818 - 1883) ---
That some bankers have ended up in prison
is not a matter of scandal, but what is outrageous is the fact that
all the others are free.
Honoré de Balzac
Here's a switch after the 2004 election outcome:
Bush shows himself to be indifferent, if not hostile,
to conservative values.
Robert H. Bork, WSJ, October 19, 2005 ---
Join in with thousands of people describing their lives and history
Since 2003, thousands have taken part in the StoryCorps oral history project,
describing their lives and history ---
About StoryCorps ---
Who are the insurgents in Iraq?
Diverse groups have been drawn into the ranks of Iraq's
insurgency, with little in common beyond a commitment to attack US forces or
their perceived allies. The insurgency has no single spokesman, nor any shared
long-term aim. Where some groups, for instance, are fighting for a Sunni Muslim
caliphate, others foresee a Shia theocracy for Iraq. The incentives driving
individual insurgents are equally disparate - from religious zeal to economic
gain, nationalist fervour and anger at the loss of income or loved ones to the
conflict. There is little agreement on the numbers involved. Estimates vary from
30,000 to some 200,000 fighters - a figure cited by Iraqi intelligence in 2005.
Central Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland is regarded as the crucible of the
insurgency - scene of the bloodiest attacks and source of most of the fighters.
Iraq has also seen an influx of foreign "jihadi" fighters, most of whom have
joined the Sunni Muslim insurgency. Their number is small - estimated at no more
than 3,000 - but their profile is high.
"Who are the insurgents in Iraq? The BBC News website examines the main
groups and motives behind the insurgency," BBC News, October 5, 2005 ---
Dirty, albeit novel, strategy of the U.S. drug industry?
"Drug business prescribes a novel cure for its ills," New York Daily News,
October 17, 2005 ---
In a tale worthy of a zany Washington satire -
except for the lamentable fact that it's true - the rich and powerful
pharmaceutical lobby secretly commissioned a thriller novel whose aim was to
scare the living daylights out of folks who
might want to buy cheap drugs from Canada.
When the project fell through in July, I'm told the
drug lobby offered $100,000 to the co-authors and publisher in a vain effort
to sweep it under the rug.
Talk about thinking outside the box!
"This is the most outrageous example of deception
and duplicity on the part of a Washington lobby in the history of the
country," said Capitol Hill denizen Jeff Weaver, chief of staff to Rep.
Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a diehard foe of the pharmaceutical industry.
Drug-lobby mouthpiece Ken Johnson, executive vice
president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America,
acknowledged the hare-brained scheme but shifted blame.
"We did not commission a book," Johnson argued.
"The idea was brought to us by an outside consultant. We explored it,
provided some background information ... but in the final analysis, decided
it wasn't the right thing for us to do."
I'm told that Mark Barondess, a well-known divorce
lawyer in Washington, D.C., was the so-called outside consultant and
approached L.A.-based Phoenix Books with the novel idea.
Phoenix honcho Michael Viner, who happens to be
Barondess' publisher, struck a six-figure deal. I'm told PhRMA made at least
one payment to Phoenix.
Continued in article
I really like the Digital Duo show that appears weekly once again on PBS.
I found that you can bring up prior shows on your computer by going to
You may find, as I did, the current show you are watching on your local PBS
station may actually be one of the older shows. On October 17, 2005 the
following links appeared at the above site (note the link to "All Episodes):
example, the AECM listserv recently had a confusing thread about HDTV. The
Digital Duo provides some great advice at
When will analog TV become history?
"Senate Bill Sets Spring 2009 Demise for
Analog Television," by Arshad Mohammed, The Washington Post, October 15,
How to get a healthier brain
Amen’s latest book, Making a Good Brain Great,
published this month by Harmony (a division of Random House), is based partly on
research that uses brain-imaging technology, called SPECT (single photon
emission computed tomography) scans, to help pinpoint problems in the brain.
Patients at his clinics are injected with an extremely low dose of radioactive
material. Then a technician uses a special nuclear medicine camera, which
records the distribution of the radioactive material in the brain, to take a
picture that reveals brain activity and blood flow. Some of the images have been
reprinted in the book to show where and how Alzheimer's, drugs and disorders can
affect the brain. When compared to a scan of a healthy brain, the difference is
noticeable. The good news, says Amen, is that before and after scans have also
shown that brains can actually change with medication, behavioral therapy or a
better diet and exercise. NEWSWEEK’s Jennifer Barrett spoke with Amen about ways
to improve our brain function.
Jennifer Barrett, "Healthy Head A neuroscientist and psychiatrist explains how
adopting healthier habits can actually change your brain for the better,"
Newsweek, October 17, 2005 ---
Big Business hopes to decode the brain's secrets
People like Jensen who have no secrets present a huge problem!
Get ready for an Era of the Brain. New scanning
techniques are making it easier to determine how our minds work and creating
hopes in the corporate world that companies can make new connections with
customers--and duplicate the Coke effect. The breakthrough behind all that is
the development of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the latest in
neuroimaging technology, which displays not only the structure of the brain but
also how it actually functions, by measuring its blood flow. In the scans,
specific areas of the brain light up as various mental processes occur. Although
the technology is still in its infancy, the potential for looking inside the
mind is already attracting researchers from other disciplines. Hybrid fields
like neuroethics and neuroeconomics are emerging so rapidly that neuro may well
become investors' next hot prefix. (So long, nano?) What's creating the most
excitement is a project called the International Consortium for Brain Mapping, a
12-year collaborative effort to create an atlas of the human brain, based on
scans of 7,000 brains from three continents. Coordinated by John Mazziotta, who
runs the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center at UCLA, the brain atlas is due
to be released online next year. Data are being stored and analyzed on a
supercomputer at UCLA with 1 petabyte of capacity--equivalent to a book with 250
billion pages. "They are laying the groundwork for all other brain studies to
come," says Allan Jones, of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle.
Terry McCarthy, "Getting Inside Your Head As "neuro" goes mainstream, Big
Business hopes to decode the brain's secrets," Time Magazine, October 16,
Your Pillows Are Full of Fungus
Fungal spores fill our pillows, British researchers
report. Science has already alerted us to the unsavory fact that tiny dust mites
populate the pillows on which we sleep. But that's not the end of the gross-out,
thanks to Ashley Woodcock, MD, professor of respiratory medicine at the
University of Manchester, England, and colleagues. Woodcock's team analyzed five
feather pillows and five synthetic pillows in regular use for one-and-a-half to
20 years. The pillows, they report, each carried up to 16 different fungi. "We
secrete about 100 liters of sweat into a bed over a year. We do not wash our
quilts and pillows, so they are an ideal place to find fungi," Woodcock tells
WebMD. "And sure enough, we found them."
Daniel DeNoon, "Your Pillows Are Full of Fungus: Small Zoo' Buzzes Beneath
Our Sleeping Heads, Researchers Say," WebMD, October 14, 1005 ---
What to do about the snorer next to you (other than shoot him)
Here's a classic one-liner: The wife says to her
husband: "Do you know that snoring causes a lack of sleep? MINE!" Snoring is the
butt of many jokes, but it's no laughing matter to the millions of adults who
snore and the people who love them. An estimated 45% of normal adults snore at
least occasionally and 25% do so habitually, according the American Academy of
Otolaryngology. Problem snoring is more common in men and in people who are
overweight. And snoring usually gets worse with advancing age.
Denise Mann, "Five Natural Remedies to Stop Snoring: Snoring can leave you
tired and cranky in the morning. Follow these five steps for sound sleep,"
WebMD, October 2005 ---
New tissue 'grown within minutes
UK scientists say they can cut the time it takes to
grow new tissue from days to minutes. The lengthy process can be accelerated by
simply removing the water present in the starting material, the University
College London team discovered. Following such shrinkage by a factor of at least
100, tissues could be created in 35 minutes. This speed may one day allow
doctors to make tissue implants at the bedside, Advanced Functional Materials
"New tissue 'grown within minutes'," BBC News, October 16, 2005 ---
Mailbox," by Tara Parker-Pope, The Wall Street Journal,
October 18, 2005 ---
After reading about glucosamine on a medical Web site, I get the
impression it may not be good for those who may be borderline
Glucosamine is a popular supplement used to treat osteoarthritis.
The supplement is made from shellfish but it also occurs naturally
in the body, where it promotes cartilage growth. Studies suggest
glucosamine supplements not only relieve arthritis pain but also may
slow the breakdown of joint cartilage.
use in people with diabetes or at high risk for diabetes has been
questioned. In animal studies, injections of high doses of
glucosamine resulted in elevated blood sugar. In another study,
published in the Archives of Internal Medicine two years ago, 26
diabetic patients took glucosamine and chondroitin or a placebo for
three months. Short- and long-term measurements of blood sugar
showed there was no significant difference between the groups,
suggesting glucosamine doesn't affect blood sugar.
evidence in humans that glucosamine affects blood sugar in
nondiabetics, according to Harvard Women's Health Watch. The
National Institutes of Health is studying the effect of oral
glucosamine on insulin response in healthy and overweight adults.
Until more is known, some doctors urge caution.
American Radio Works: No Place for a Woman ---
Listen to the hour-long radio program or
read the transcript.
From American Public Media, this is an American
RadioWorks documentary: No Place for a Woman. I’m Debra Amos.
In 1970, nearly half the women in the United States
had paying jobs, but most women worked for low pay. Women were waitresses,
clerks, and cleaning ladies. Less than five percent of lawyers were women.
About three percent of police officers were women.
In the iron mines of northern Minnesota, zero
percent of the steelworkers were women.
But in the mid-70s, women there began taking jobs
running shovels, driving trucks, and operating enormous machines in the ore
Some of the men tried to force the women miners
out. Women were harassed, threatened, and even assaulted. But they needed
the jobs. They wanted their rights. And they wanted to change the world for
their daughters and granddaughters.
So the women miners of northern Minnesota fought
back, and made legal history.
"When Women Lead As a growing number of female executives rise to the top,
how will they change the culture of the workplace?," by Barbara Kantrowitz,
Newsweek Cover Story, October 24, 2005 ---
Without question, there has been a huge
transformation in the past few decades. Women's earning power continues to
rise along with their educational accomplishments. They are now more than
half of all college students and about half of all medical and law students.
It is no longer a big deal to see a woman at the helm of the nation's most
prestigious universities, even at a technological powerhouse like MIT. Women
are an important presence in a number of industries, like film. "The women
who wanted those jobs had no reason to believe they couldn't have them,"
says Sony Pictures executive Amy Pascal of her peers. "We didn't look
sideways or backwards." And even in the august chambers of the Supreme
Court, it is a measure of how far we have come since Sandra Day O'Connor's
groundbreaking nomination that in the continuing debate over Harriet Miers,
no one has suggested she shouldn't be confirmed because of her gender.
But there are other, more troubling developments as
well. Earlier this year the president of Harvard got in trouble for
suggesting that women didn't have the right stuff for science (he has since
apologized). Recent stories about women at elite colleges who want to ditch
it all to stay home with their kids have prompted a furious debate among
professional women. There is a fear that all those glass ceilings have been
broken for naught and younger women who grew up with working mothers
struggling to have it all have decided that the struggle just isn't worth
it. Whether younger women stick with that choice is, of course, still
unclear. Their future undoubtedly holds many surprises, at work and at home,
just as it did for the groundbreaking generation that preceded them. "There
is no real balance of work and family in America," says Marie Wilson of the
White House Project, which supports female political candidates. "You
integrate work and family and do the best you can."
Continued in article
"Get Set for Girl Power" (in athletics), by Sean Gregory and Alice Park,
Time Magazine, October 16, 2005 ---
About Video Editing ---
Software Updates and Reviews ---
Software Reviews ---
Web data and statistics ---
Six bears get their just dessert
A Chinese man who raised bears to tap them for
their bile, prized as a traditional medicine in Asia, has been killed and eaten
by his animals, Xinhua news agency said Tuesday. Six black bears attacked keeper
Han Shigen as he was cleaning their pen in the northeastern province of Jilin on
Monday, Xinhua said.
"China bear bile farmer eaten by own animals," Reuters, October 11, 2005
Out of Balance: Marketing of Soda, Candy, Snacks and Fast Foods Drowns Out
Healthful Messages ---
Nothing like admitting defeat before the charges are filed
The chief executive of Refco Inc.'s outside auditor,
Grant Thornton LLP, said the accounting firm has ample resources to withstand
the government probes and investor lawsuits it will face as a result of the
brokerage firm's meltdown last week. In his first interview since Refco's
scandal broke a week ago, Grant Thornton's Edward Nusbaum said the firm is well
capitalized and has outside liability insurance it can tap if necessary to cover
legal expenses, including potential settlements. "We anticipate the legal costs
will be expensive, as they are in every case," Mr. Nusbaum said. "But Grant
Thornton is very sound financially, and we anticipate any legal costs will be
absorbed by the firm. We have insurance, if it is needed."
Jonathan Weil, "Grant Thornton Expects to Weather Scandal of Client," The
Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2005; Page C1 ---
A Who Done it?: Grant Thornton's Case of the
Some of the IPO underwriters had
previous experience with Refco. Two of those three firms,
CSFB and Bank of America, also played lead roles, along with
Deutsche Bank AG, in arranging an $800 million term loan for
the Lee buyout, as well as a related $600 million debt sale,
according to Thomson Financial. Bank of America, Deutsche
Bank and Sandler O'Neill & Partners, a smaller firm that
specializes in financial services, all were advisers on the
Lee firm's investment in Refco . . . Those companies'
extensive experience with Refco, together with the fees they
collected, is sure to be scrutinized in court claims brought
by aggrieved investors. The role of Refco's outside auditors
Grant Thornton LLP in failing to discover the chief
executive's debt sooner will come under the microscope. For
now, the Wall Street firms aren't publicly discussing the
matter, but some people familiar with their executives'
thinking say they believe both they and the auditors were
duped. A Grant Thornton spokesman said in a statement issued
yesterday, "We are continuing our investigation related to
the matters reported by Refco." The accounting firm likely
will argue that its auditors were lied to, people familiar
with the matter said. Executives at Thomas H. Lee won't
discuss the matter publicly, but people familiar with its
thinking say the buyout shop relied on underwriters and two
auditing firms when it made the investment.
Randall Stith, Robin Sidel, and Kara Scannell, "From Wall
Street Pros To Auditors, Who Knew? Refco Disclosures Raise
'Due Diligence' Issues; Why Thomas Lee Invested," The
Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2005; Page C3 ---
Ed Ketz sums it up pessimistically at
Accounting frauds are here to stay. When the
prophet said "the heart is deceitful above all things," he included the
hearts of corporate managers. Whatever one's religious beliefs, one has to
admit that the empirical evidence in the world of corporate accounting
confirms Jeremiah's insight. Managers don't employ accounting; they bend,
twist, and distort it to display the set of numbers that helps them look
good. Who cares about truth?
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on Grant Thornton's legal woes are at
"Blackboard vs....," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, October 17,
Last week’s news that
Blackboard was buying WebCT, its top competitor
for course management systems, caught many academics by surprise. Now that
they have had a little time to think about it, campus technology
administrators and faculty members who use the systems (and alternatives)
offer a variety of views on what the merger means.
Some analyze the combination from the
perspective that some big company (or a few companies) will
dominate the course management industry. Clearly now that
company is Blackboard, which in its expanded form will be
doing business with thousands of colleges. To the company’s
fans, the combination of forces will lead to improvements
and allow for more innovation. Others fear the loss of
competition will take away the pressure that has led
Blackboard to improve its customer support in recent years
(and encourage it to jack up prices).
And many are skeptical of
Blackboard’s pledges to continue
to offer and support WebCT products. That’s not because they
necessarily distrust Blackboard, but because of a pattern in
which such promises are frequently made by technology
companies, post-merger, and abandoned a few months later.
Many chief information officials, from different types of
institutions, when asked privately about Blackboard’s
promises to keep both company’s services, said, “Yeah,
right” or “If you believe that one, I have a bridge to sell
you,” or variations on that theme. None had specific
information that questioned Blackboard’s claims, but all
felt that they had been burned in the past, and weren’t
going to believe anything just now.
Continued in article
"Panel Sounds Alarm on Science Education," by Justin Gillis, The
Washington Post, October 13, 2005 ---
The panel called for a series of measures, costing
as much as $10 billion a year, to strengthen the nation's lead.
Perhaps the most dramatic would be to double the
federal government's investment in basic scientific research. Congress has
already done that for biomedical research and has gone on record as favoring
a similar move for research in the physical sciences, but funds haven't been
The panel also called for a renewed emphasis on
science and mathematics in the nation's public schools.
"Today, we are very likely on a losing path," said
Norman R. Augustine, who headed the panel and is the retired chairman and
chief executive of Lockheed Martin Corp. in Bethesda.
With the rapid growth of the Internet and other
technologies that erase distance, "Americans are finding themselves in
competition for their jobs, not just with their neighbors, but with
individuals around the world," he said.
The panel, formally known as the Committee on
Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century, was created by the
National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering at the
behest of members of Congress from both parties. It included 20 of the
nation's most prominent business leaders, educators and scientists,
including three Nobel Prize winners.
Continued in article
Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical
Tradition of the West
The Haworth Press has
announced that it will proceed with publishing
Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition
of the West, but without one essay that had been planned. Haworth had
called off publication because of criticism of that
an essay, “Pederasty: An Integration of Cross-Cultural, Cross-Species, and
Empirical Data,” could be viewed as endorsing sex between adults and
adolescents. The Haworth announcement said that a future volume would deal with
the issues raised by that essay.
Inside Higher Ed, October 12, 2005 ---
Uncommon Knowledge ---
Uncommon Knowledge is a weekly half-hour series of
informed discussion on public policy. The series is distributed by American
Public Television stations throughout the United States and carried
internationally by NPR Worldwide. This site offers full transcripts,
streaming video, and downloadable mp3 files for the current season.
The Finest Court in the Nation
The Michigan Supreme Court has been a leader in restoring balance between the
judiciary, the legislature and the people.
By Patrick J. Wright, The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2005 ---
eBird for Bird Watchers ---
Corruption as Usual: $50,000 per resident in the entire State of
Louisiana just for starters
"Corruption as Usual," by Anne Applebaum, The Washington Post
29, 2005, Page A21 ---
Two hurricanes have now hit Louisiana, wreaking
terrible destruction. New Orleans continues to flood. Hundreds of thousands
of people are scattered across the country, many in shelters. Given the
scale of the calamity, surely it's time for Louisiana politicians to stop,
assess the damage and work out the most rational way to help their state
recover. Surely this is not the time for the government to write blank
checks, for legislators to get greedy about unnecessary canals in their
districts, or for federal agencies to launch projects that make future
flooding more likely. Surely this is the time to spend money wisely. Right?
Wrong -- and if you thought otherwise, then you,
like me, are still learning how deeply corrupt America's legislative branch
has become. Most of the time, members of Congress don't accept cash bribes
in unmarked envelopes. Most of the time, senators don't pay for their
daughters' wedding receptions out of government slush funds. Most of the
time, American politicians don't put their ill-gotten gains into numbered
Swiss bank accounts or get the Mafia to launder their money. But corruption
comes in many forms, and in this country it comes in the dull-sounding,
unglamorous, switch-off-the-television form of infrastructure
Exhibit A is the Louisiana congressional
delegation's new request for $250 billion in hurricane reconstruction funds.
As a Post editorial pointed out yesterday, this money -- more than $50,000
per Louisiana resident -- would come on top of the $62.3 billion Congress
has already appropriated, on top of the charitable donations, on top of the
insurance payouts. Among other things, the proposal demands $40 billion of
new Army Corps of Engineers spending, 16 times more than the Corps says it
needs to protect New Orleans from a Category 5 hurricane. Despite the fact
that previous Corps projects drained Louisiana's coastal wetlands, thereby
destroying what could have been a natural buffer against at least some of
the Rita and Katrina storm surges, the proposal calls for a suspension of
environmental reviews. Despite the fact that Louisiana spent hundreds of
millions of dollars on water projects that turned out to be unnecessary, or
even damaging, the proposal makes it possible to suspend cost-benefit
Continued in article
Politicians have done as much damage as the hurricanes.
"Refining Incapacity," The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2005;
Page A16 ---
Only belatedly did Mr. Bush get around to the real
energy problem that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita revealed for all Americans
to see: the degree to which government policy has limited energy production
so that a single big storm can deliver a supply shock that sends prices
through the roof. Exhibit A is the oil refining industry, which hasn't built
a new refinery in America since ... before Jimmy Carter was in office
Rita shuttered 27% of the nation's capacity to
refine crude oil into gasoline, heating oil and other products. This
followed Katrina, which shut down 10% of capacity, sending the average price
of gasoline up to $3.07 a gallon. Things are now slowly getting back to
"normal," though normal is not a synonym for good.
In 1981, there were 325 refineries in the U.S. with
a capacity of 18.6 million barrels per day. Today, there are 148, with a
capacity of about 17 million barrels -- though U.S. demand for gasoline has
increased more than 20%. From 1993 to 2002, the average return on investment
in the refining industry was 5.5%, or less than half the S&P industrials
average of 12.7%.
One explanation for this performance is the
historically low gas prices over much of the past 20 years; there has often
been little incentive to build new capacity. But just as big a problem are
onerous and costly regulatory burdens that have sucked profits from the
industry. This includes a permitting process that is subject to endless
bureaucratic delay and court challenges. The one company that is even
considering building a new refinery -- Arizona Clean Fuels Yuma -- has been
trying to obtain its necessary air permits for nearly seven years.
Continued in article
Fuel prices will keep rising as the world's two biggest sleepers awake to
a new era
"What goes up will keep it up," by Ross Gittins, Sydney Morning
Herald, September 28, 2005 ---
IF YOU'RE upset by the high petrol prices of recent
days, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Prices are set to stay high and go a lot
higher in the coming years - with regular spikes as hurricanes and other
supply disruptions come and go. Just how high prices will rise is anyone's
Petrol prices are just a symptom of something much
bigger: the arrival of the industrial revolution - the same one that began
in Europe in the early 1800s - in Asia.
We've seen poor Asian countries, such as Japan,
South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, transform themselves into rich
countries, but now they're being joined by China and India.
What makes those two countries special is that
they're the biggest in the world, with populations of 1.3 billion and 1.1
billion representing no less than 37 per cent of the world's population.
China's economy has been growing at the rate of 9
per cent a year for a quarter of a century, which means it's been doubling
in size every eight years. India's growth hasn't been quite as fast and
began only at the start of the '90s.
Continued in article
Renewable Energy Policy Project ---
Here's one way to save on gas and wasted time driving/riding to and from
"Telework Seen as Important Perk, Especially for Women," AccountingWeb,
September 23, 2005 ---
Some companies are slow to embrace telecommuting,
not trusting employees to be productive, said Cathy Martine, senior vice
president of Internet telephony at AT&T, the Washington Post reported.
However, AT&T tracked its employees' telework
patterns for 10 years and concluded that teleworkers are more productive
than those who work in an office. People who work from home are "less
subject to distraction,” Martine said. “They feel more in control in terms
of that interruption when people just pop into your office. That doesn't
Public accounting firms are offering the option as
a way to help CPAs balance their professional and personal lives, and to
keep top talent. At Deloitte & Touche, for example, full-time employees are
often given the option to work at home for as much as half of the work week.
But telecommuting is not for everyone, warns Angela
K. Blum, Director of Human Resource Consulting for Sax Macy Fromm & Co., PC,
in Clifton, N.J. In an article for the New Jersey Society of CPAs, she said
candidates for telecommuting should be those who are driven to produce, who
can work independently and who have a track record of above-average
She also said that organizations with successful
telecommuting programs clearly communicate what is expected in terms of the
quality and quantity of work, and communication keeps flowing - in both
More in article
U.S. share of the spam market is shrinking, but national boundaries mean
nothing on the Internet
The United States still holds the dubious title of spam
king, but its slice of the world's spam market is shrinking. That's according to
security firm Sophos, who says more spam is now sent from China and South Korea
together than the U.S. The U.K firm attributes the shift, in part, to CAN-SPAM,
federal legislation that went into effect in 2003 to help fight the Internet
scourge. While other experts dismiss CAN-SPAM as a failure, Sophos believes that
prominent spammer prosecutions under the act have helped move spammers out.
Since the beginning of the year, the U.S. was responsible for 26.4 percent of
the world's spam, down from 41.5 percent at the end of the same period a year
ago, Sophos says. China and South Korea together have picked up the slack, and
now account for 35.4 percent of all spam. Boundaries, however, mean nothing to
the Internet, and spam can reach our inboxes from anywhere. But at least there's
evidence that anti-spam laws have some impact. Now it's up to the U.S.
government to convince China, South Korea and others to embark on their own
InternetWeek Newsletter, October 14, 2005
Bob Jensen's threads on spam are at
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness ---
Interesting facts (including strange happenings) ---
Europe's Big Brother lashes out: Scant whistle blowing protections
Joseph Mangan thought he was doing Airbus a favour when
he warned of a small but potentially lethal fault in the new A380 super-jumbo,
the biggest and most costly passenger jet ever built . . . An American aerospace
engineer, he has discovered that Austria offers scant protection to
whistleblowers. Bankrupt, he is surviving with his wife and three children on
gifts of food from fellow Baptists in Vienna. Having failed to stump up a
€150,000 (£100,000) fine for breaching a court gag order, he now faces a year
behind bars. His troubles began in September 2004 when he contacted the European
Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), claiming that the cabin pressure system in the
A380 might not be safe, and that this had been
concealed. Mr Mangan's message was not one that
Europe wanted to hear, least of all from a garrulous American who jabbers
aviation techo-babble at machine-gun speed. The A380 is the world's most
ambitious aircraft, fruit of a joint effort by the French, Germans, British and
Spanish. A double-decker giant, it can carry up to 856 passengers at 42,000
feet. "The symbol of what Europe can achieve," said French President Jacques
Chirac as the aircraft completed its faultless maiden flight this April.
Ambrose Evans-Prichard, "Airbus whistleblower faces prison," Telegraph,
October 15, 2005 ---
World's hedge funds face crisis
A crisis in the world's hedge fund industry was in
prospect last night after one of the world's largest derivatives brokers was
forced to freeze trades potentially worth billions of pounds. The move by Refco,
which acts for many leading speculative investors both on Wall Street and in the
City, followed the discovery of accounts irregularities at the firm earlier this
week and the issue of fraud charges against its former chief executive Phillip
Bennett. Mr Bennett has been charged with defrauding investors by using a hedge
fund to hide $430m (£250m) of debts owed to the firm. A British banker who has
lived in the US since 1978, Mr Bennett has been released on bail of $50m secured
on a house in New Jersey, a Park Avenue penthouse apartment, $5m in cash and
funds raised by six co-signers of the bail bond.
Jill Treanor, "World's hedge funds face crisis as Refco suspends trading,"
Guardian, October 14, 2005 ---
The term "hedge" fund implies hedging or diversification of risk. In most
instances these funds are "speculation" funds in derivative financial
instruments. Unlike mutual funds, hedge funds face little regulation.
You can read more about them by scrolling down at
"Bookmarks," by Mark Gauvreau Judge, The Wall Street Journal, October
14, 2005; Page W5 ---
THE AGE OF ANXIETY
By Haynes Johnson
(Harcourt, 624 pages)
In "The Age of Anxiety," Haynes Johnson makes a
depressing observation: "Although McCarthy and the leading players of his
time… have long since passed from the scene, McCarthyism remains a story
without an ending."
Yes, sadly, McCarthyism is still very much with us
-- if for no other reason than that people like Haynes Johnson refuse to let
it go. For some, the very word has talismanic power. It kneecaps one's
opponents while suffusing the accuser with apparent virtue. It has become an
all-purpose incantation, referring to everything from genuine political
repression to folks not buying a singer's records because of the singer's
anti-American tirades. Calling someone a McCarthyite has become a form of
"The Age of Anxiety" is a moralistic, blow-by-blow
account of the rise and fall of Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Mr. Johnson ignores
the genuine threat that communist spies posed to the U.S.; he elides the
justified anticommunist efforts of the 1930s and 1940s with the abuses of
McCarthyism; and he compares McCarthyism with modern-day conservatism.
Mr. Johnson is so eager to slip under the warm
mantle of preening anti-McCarthy virtue that he contradicts himself. "How
many Americans flirted with Communism," he writes, "or became Communist,
during the hopelessness and anger of the Great Depression, cannot be
accurately determined. While the total number of communists and 'fellow
travelers' was highly exaggerated, Americans were in a mood to demand
changes in the social and economic order." So nobody knows how many
Americans were communists but the number was highly exaggerated. And note
the tendentiousness of "hopelessness and anger." One wonders whether Mr.
Johnson would excuse home-grown National Socialists on such grounds.
A few paragraphs later he quotes John Earl Haynes
and Harvey Klehr in their book "Venona." After examining decoded transcripts
and spy archives, Messrs. Haynes and Klehr conclude that several hundred of
the "bright young idealists" of the New Deal joined the Communist Party.
"Many willingly turned government information over to the party in hopes of
assisting communist political goals." Worse, "a few score went further,"
turning over to the Soviets "secret government information."
You would think that such observations would give
Mr. Johnson pause, goading him to make certain distinctions. But no. He
cites the 1930s Pledge of Allegiance requirements and the policies of the
Truman administration -- e.g., Executive Order 9835, which authorized
inquiries into the politics and associations of federal employees --
alongside McCarthy's charges as if they were all part of the same,
But Truman's policies, including the FBI's
infiltration of the American Communist Party, did much to counter the
communist and fellow-traveler threat that Messrs. Haynes and Klehr refer to
-- and thank goodness. As for the crimes of spies Alger Hiss, Julius and
Ethel Rosenberg, and Klaus Fuchs, Mr. Johnson portrays them mostly as tinder
for hysterical anticommunism. (Mr. Johnson also needs to buy a thesaurus. I
tried counting how many times he calls McCarthy a "demagogue" but lost count
Continued in article
Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution (History) ---
Somali pirates hijack another U.N. food aid ship
Pirates in Somalia have freed a UN-chartered ship
carrying food aid, two days after hijacking it from the southern port of Merka .
. . Maritime officials say Somali waters are some of the world's most dangerous
. . . Another UN-chartered ship carrying food aid to tsunami victims in northern
Somalia, the MV Semlow, was released last week, after being held by hijackers
for 100 days. The Kenyan government has asked its citizens to avoid sailing to
the Somali coastline because of the high incidence of piracy and kidnapping
witnessed recently . . . Kenya is also investigating whether the gunmen behind
the hijackings could be connected with the interim Somali government.
"Somali pirates free hijacked ship," BBC News, October 14, 2005 ---
Give us a “K.” Give us a “U.”
That may sound like a cheer at a Kutztown University
football game, but these days it's an order the college hopes it doesn't
receive. Kutztown has used its initials on football helmets, letterheads and
bookstore merchandise since it became a university in 1983. But somehow that
information hadn't made its way to the University of Kansas, which federally
trademarked the letters in 1938. Neither of the colleges 1,136 miles apart
seemed to suffer from the alphabetical sharing. Then the issue came to light a
few weeks ago. Someone saw that the new Kansas symbol the letters KU side by
side in a Trajan font was nearly the same as the Kutztown logo developed two
years ago. “What an amazing coincidence that out of several hundred fonts they
picked Trajan like we had,” said Dr. Philip R. Breeze, Kutztown spokesman. “It
was fairly amusing.” But a funny accident could potentially be a sticky legal
case for both sides, officials agree. “There are definitely some serious issues
here,” said Paul Carttar, executive vice chancellor for external affairs at
"**tztown, we've got a problem," Reading Eagle, October 14, 2005 ---
Tax Tips for Small Businesses (and others) ---
Global Performing Arts Consortium ---
GloPAD is a multimedia, multilingual,
Web-accessible database containing digital images, texts, video clips, sound
recordings, and complex media objects (such as 3-D images) related to the
performing arts from around the world.
Food & Society ---
Here, you will find the latest food and agriculture
news, a vast and informative publications library, details about Food and
Society grantees, and an up-to-date list of events.
Launched in 2000, Food and Society is a Food
Systems and Rural Development initiative of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Food and Society is striving to achieve a future food system that provides
all people access to a food supply that is not only safe and nutritious but
grown in a manner that protects the environment and adds economic and social
value to rural and urban communities. The purpose of the Food and Society
Initiative is to support the creation and expansion of community-based food
systems that are locally owned and controlled, environmentally sound, and
health promoting. Food and Society funds projects that are focused on three
primary areas: market-based change, institutional support, and public
OutProud (a gay networking site) ---
National Budget Simulation ---
Federal Budget Tradeoffs ---
Consuming Signs, Consuming the Polis: Hannah Arendt and Jean Baudrillard on
Consumer Society and the Eclipse of the Real
Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, Canada).
The economic achievements of contemporary society are often reified as the
natural and inevitable culmination of historical processes, thus implying
that there is no alternative to capitalism and no point to its critique. Yet
there is a paradox in this position: The market is construed as a sphere of
freedom and the rise of capitalism is seen as the historical outcome of a
natural and inevitable process following the principles of universal laws.
Consumerism thus does not only gratify needs but legitimates capitalist
societies by demonstrating their “success” at “delivering the goods” and
achieving comfort, prosperity, and growth. Yet behind this success lies
“materialism, opportunity, selfishness, hedonism, and narcissism”.81
Our pathological preoccupation with the commodity
and the release of our extractive powers and appropriative endeavors entails
the erosion of the public realm and eclipse of the real. Through consumption
we attempt to differentiate ourselves from others and assert our identity,
to mark ourselves as different and unique and insert ourselves into the
world of human relations and thereby experience ourselves as part of a
larger whole. Arendt and Baudrillard reveal how these are both illusory. We
can consider that humans will always symbolize and signify and endow objects
with attributes that are of our own making. What happens in consumer society
is that this activity is appropriated by commercial forces such that instead
of seeing the world around us we see only the signs of consumption. Arendt
and Baudrillard reveal that when our political realm is dominated by the
images and signs of consumption, our public realm and reality are eclipsed.
This is precisely why questions of agency and resistance are so problematic
after Baudrillard. These are also important questions for further work by
Baudrillard scholars and they emerge from his analysis of consumer society.
Indeed, these questions link up with many larger questions Baudrillard poses
for technological society and its consumption of virtuality,
artificialization and the posthuman. In his inimitable style Baudrillard has
recently put it this way:
...perhaps we may see this as a kind of adventure,
a heroic test: to take the artificialization of living beings as far as
possible in order to see, finally, what part of human nature survives the
greatest ordeal. If we discover that not everything can be cloned,
simulated, programmed, genetically and neurologically managed, then whatever
survives could be truly called “human”: some inalienable and indestructible
human quality could finally be identified. Of course, there is always the
risk, in this experimental adventure, that nothing will pass the test – that
the human will be permanently eradicated.82
The road that led Baudrillard to this insight, one
not so far from Arendt’s more fearful moments, began with the analysis of
Tell this to the earthquake victim who lost a leg or a life that a skilled
Israeli surgeon might've saved
ZOA President Morton A. Klein said, "We are deeply
disappointed by President Musharraf's snub of Israel's generous offer of aid. It
seems to indicate that Pakistan's hatred of Jews is greater than their desire to
save Pakistani lives. By this appalling action, Pakistan seems to refuse to
acknowledge Israel's very existence as a state simply because it's filled with
Jews. The only other country that has refused Israel's aid is Iran, which said
at the time, 'The Islamic republic of Iran accepts all kinds of humanitarian aid
from all countries and international organizations, with the exception of the
"Pakistan Snubs Israeli Aid Offer," Pakistan Today, October 14, 2005 ---
Jensen Comment: We should send selected episodes of MASH to Iran and
Pakistan in order to show them where the U.S. Army first blows apart the bodies
of the enemy and then orders its surgeons to put the pieces back together in a
MASH tent on the front line of action. War is evil, but war in which the
wounded on any side are refused medical attention is more evil. Some North
Korean, Chinese, and Viet Namese war veterans are grateful that we put
their wounded bodies back in order. War and earthquake disasters
eventually have closure but life often goes on for those victims who were aided
by anyone. I wonder if President Musharraf would refuse to be operated on
by an Zionist surgeon if that particular surgeon was the only person at a time
and place who could save Musharraf's life? If he elects to be saved, why
should he then refuse to save some of his earthquake victims?
Bali terrorists make bomb that leaves no trace
Police working with Australian, Japanese and British
experts to piece together the methods used for the October 1 bombings in Bali
believe that Malaysian terrorist Azahari bin Husin may have used ingredients
that are impossible to detect after detonation, the Indonesian investigative
magazine Tempo reports. Few details are known about the analysis being conducted
at police headquarters in Jakarta to establish what was used in the attack that
killed 23 people, including four Australians. But there is speculation hydrogen
peroxide, hydrogen chloride and triacetone triperoxide (TATP) was mixed with
citric acid, a catalyst, for the explosion. TATP has been used by suicide
bombers in Israel.
Catharine Munro, "Bali terrorists make bomb that leaves no trace," Sydney
Morning Herald, October 16, 2005 ---
Liberal media refrains from using the I-word these days
From Thursday's New York Times: ''Nalchik, Russia
-- Insurgents launched a series of raids today in this southern Russian city,
striking the area's main airport and several police and security buildings in
large-scale, daytime attacks that left at least 85 people dead.'' . . . Ah,
"Islamic militants." So that's what the rebels were insurging over. In the
geopolitical Hogwart's, Islamic "militants" are the new Voldemort, the enemy
whose name it's best never to utter. In fairness to the New York Times, they did
use the I-word in paragraph seven. And Agence France Presse got around to
mentioning Islam in paragraph 22. And NPR's "All Things Considered" had one of
those bland interviews between one of its unperturbable anchorettes and some
Russian geopolitical academic type in which they chitchatted through every
conceivable aspect of the situation and finally got around to kinda sorta
revealing the identity of the perpetrators in the very last word of the
geopolitical expert's very last sentence.
Mark Steyn, "Media utters nonsense, won't call enemy out," Chicago Sun-Times,
October 16, 2005 ---
Jed Perl's new book New Art City claims on its dust jacket to cover
only "Manhattan at midcentury."
The thesis of the book, to be blunt about it, is that
art in Manhattan passed in midcentury and beyond from the nighttime creations of
existential, heroic, romantic, art-history-minded revolutionaries hardened in
the 30's to the daytime works of empirical, eclectic, unheroic, relatively
theory-free individualists who had ripened in the shadow of the action-painting
giants. These giants are evoked here and there in the book - Mark Rothko and
Barnett Newman toward the end - and not always in worshipful terms. Pollock,
Perl tells us, "was an artist with a fine-tuned, rather small lyric gift" graced
by a big support system and a ton of publicity; by the end of the 40's "the
technique of dripping or flinging the paint, which Pollock originally borrowed
from the Surrealists . . . soon became repetitive, a maze of lines that lock up
the canvas all too efficiently." Concerning another paint-flinging giant, Franz
Kline, Perl admires his famous personal charm and the "buoyant, open-ended,
angst-less void" expressed by his whites but complains that "Kline's swaggering
black-and-white abstractions can have a perfunctory look - they suggest a too
easily existentialized romanticism." Perl's least qualified and most strenuous
praise is for such relatively undersung achievements as Joan Mitchell's
scrubbily brushed abstractions, Nell Blaine's nearly naïve still lifes, Leland
Bell's heavily simplified nudes and the obscure Earl Kerkam's worried, often
incomplete nudes and self-portraits, expressing "a quieter kind of yearning" as
opposed to de Kooning's "gonzo, exhibitionistic romanticism."
John Updike, "'New Art City': Abstract Expressionism and Its Aftermath," The
New York Times, October 16, 2005 ---
Genetic Privacy Issues
"Our Employers, Ourselves," by Eric Hellweg, MIT's Technology Review,
October 14, 2005 ---
After it was revealed that Chicago Bulls star
center Eddie Curry had a heart arrhythmia, the Bulls said he'd have to take
a DNA test before the organization would tender a new contract. They were
concerned about the effects of his condition on his health and the team.
Perhaps fearing that a DNA test would make him
unemployable with any NBA team, Curry declined to submit to a test, and
instead took his chances as a free agent. He got traded to the New York
"This is far bigger than just the sports world,"
Curry's lawyer, Alan Milstein, commented when the Bulls first demanded the
DNA test, according to a report on ESPN.com.
How right he was. On October 10, IBM Chairman Sam
Palmisano signed a revision of the company's equal opportunity policy
specifying that IBM would not "use genetic information in its employment
decisions." In doing so, Big Blue became the first major corporation to
proactively take this position. "Business activities such as hiring,
promotion and compensation of employees will be conducted without regard to
a person's genetics," wrote Palmisano in a letter to employees announcing
With advances in genome research continuing at a
rapid pace, the long-feared implications of genetic testing are finally
coming to the fore. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of the
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Act (H.R.1227), a bill that would
make policies such as IBM's federal law, is currently in committee in the
House of Representatives, after sailing through the Senate 98-0.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke before a
House committee on the issue last week. Gingrich is pushing for all
Americans to have electronic health records by 2006, but he also sees
genetic privacy as a key component of that goal.
After passing the U.S. Senate so handily, it might
seem the bill would be a lock in the House. But it's a faulty assumption:
versions of the legislation have been circulating on Capitol Hill for eight
years with no passage.
October 14, 2005 inquiry from Shakeel Ahmed
I'm a student of accounting and I have some problems to understand the terms
debit and credit which we use in JOURNAL . and why we use abbreviation Dr.
for debit. I mean that there isn't any letter R in the word debit. And how
can we define Dr. & Cr.
Sir I e-mailed to some accounting teachers but I didn't get any response
I do hope that you'll never disappoint me. Sir I like accounting very much
and want to do Phd . Could you please help me to understand some important
things in accounting.
October 15, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen
Recall that double entry bookkeeping supposedly
evolved in Italy long before it was put into algebraic form in the book
Summa by Pacioli.
As a result the English term "Debit" really has a
You can read the following at
Debit is an accounting and
bookkeeping term that comes from the Latin word debere which
means "to owe." The opposite of a debit is a credit. Debit is
abbreviated Dr while credit is abbreviated Cr.
How you proceed with an accounting education depends a great deal on your
background in college and in work experience. I suggest that you begin
by exploring accounting education alternatives in your own country.
After learning the basics, you can proceed to explore alternatives for
furthering education in other nations. I have some suggestions for
cross border alternatives at
I have some helpers on learning some basic accounting as studied in the
United States at
NOVA: Einstein’s Big Idea ---
MP3 Player and Other Breast Implant Devices (They're serious about this.)
One boob could hold an MP3 player and the other the
person's whole music collection. BT futurology, who have developed the idea, say
it could be available within 15 years. BT Laboratories' analyst Ian Pearson said
flexible plastic electronics would sit inside the breast. A signal would be
relayed to headphones, while the device would be controlled by Bluetooth using a
panel on the wrist. According to The Sun he said: "It is now very hard for me to
thing of breast implants as just decorative. If a woman has something implanted
permanently, it might as well do something useful." The sensors around the body
linked through the electrical impulses in the chips may also be able to warn
wearers about heart murmurs, blood pressure increases, diabetes and breast
"Musical breast implants," ANANOVA ---
Large public universities are thinking about the P-word even
though they avoid using it
"At Public Universities, Warnings of Privatization," by Sam
Dillon, The New York Times, October 16, 2005 ---
Taxpayer support for public
universities, measured per student, has plunged more precipitously since
2001 than at any time in two decades, and several university presidents are
calling the decline a de facto privatization of the institutions that played
a crucial role in the creation of the American middle class.
Graham Spanier, president of
Pennsylvania State University, said this year that
skyrocketing tuition was a result of what he called "public
higher education's slow slide toward privatization."
Other educators have made similar
assertions, some avoiding the term "privatization" but
nonetheless describing a crisis that they say is
transforming public universities. At an academic forum last
month, John D. Wiley, chancellor of the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, said that during the years after World
War II, America built the world's greatest system of public
"We're now in the process of
dismantling all that," Dr. Wiley said.
The share of all public
universities' revenues deriving from state and local taxes
declined to 64 percent in 2004 from 74 percent in 1991. At
many flagship universities, the percentages are far smaller.
About 25 percent of the University of Illinois's budget
comes from the state.
Michigan finances about 18 percent
of Ann Arbor's revenues. The taxpayer share of revenues at
the University of Virginia is about 8 percent.
"At those levels, we have to ask
what it means to be a public institution," said Katharine C.
Lyall, an economist and president emeritus of the University
of Wisconsin. "America is rapidly privatizing its public
colleges and universities, whose mission used to be to serve
the public good. But if private donors and corporations are
providing much of a university's budget, then they will set
the agenda, perhaps in ways the public likes and perhaps
not. Public control is slipping away."
Not everyone agrees with the
doomsday talk. Some experts who study university finance say
the declines are only part of a familiar cycle in which
legislatures cut the budgets of public universities more
radically than other state agencies during recession but
restore financing when good times return, said Paul E.
Lingenfelter, president of State Higher Education Executive
Officers, a nonprofit association.
"Let's not panic and say that the
public commitment to higher education has fundamentally
changed," Dr. Lingenfelter said. "Let's just say that these
cycles happen, and get back to work to restore the funding."
But the future of hundreds of
universities and colleges has become a subject of anxious
debate nationwide. At stake are institutions that carry out
much of the country's public-interest research and educate
nearly 80 percent of all college students, and whose
scientific and technological innovation has been crucial to
America's economic dominance.
Continued in article
October 17, 2005 reply from MacEwan Wright, Victoria University
You (the USA) are not alone. Australia is busily
following the same path, with ridiculous spending on so called "security"
and a move away from the funding of a properly educated population that
would avoid such ridiculous spending! Kind regards,
Privatization, Commercialization, Media Rankings,
and Other Problems of Higher Education,
Including Selling Out Education Quality to Athletic Spectaculars
Electronic Books and Journals
New Online Dictionary --- http://www.elook.org/dictionary/
Oscar Wild's The Picture of Dorian Gray ---
Mystery Net ---
THE COMPLETE SHERLOCK HOLMES (includes drawings) ---
F. Scott Fitzgerald ---
Bob Jensen's links to electronic books and journals are at
Catalog your books online
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TheFreeDictionary.com: 2,000,000 articles and definitions from
leading dictionaries and encyclopedias
August 31, 2005 message from Valerie Schaeffer
Dear Bob Jensen,
I like your website. While I was exploring it, I
noticed that you had an excellent collection of online reference links
Would you consider adding
www.thefreedictionary.com to the list?
TheFreeDictionary.com has about 2,000,000 articles
and definitions from leading dictionaries and encyclopedias. Please take a
look at our site and help your visitors find out about us.
Thank you in advance for taking a look at our
Also, if you are interested, we recently created a
new "dictionary search" box and “Word of the Day” feature that can be used
on your web page. The instructions can be found at
Electronic Sources of Information: A Bibliography http://library.usask.ca/~dworacze/BIBLIO.HTM
Breaking news forwarded by Auntie Bev
The White House announced today that President Bush has successfully sold the
state of Louisiana back to the French at more than double its original selling
price of $11,250,000 (unadjusted for inflation).
Forwarded by Ed Scribner
Fun things for professors on the first day of class...From
- Bring a dummy to class and announce that it will be the teaching
assistant for the semester. Assign it an office and office hours.
- Point the overhead projector at the class. Demand each student's name,
rank, and serial number.
- Tell students that you'll fail them if they cheat on exams or "fake the
- Announce that you need to deliver two lectures that day, and deliver
them in rapid-fire auctioneer style.
- Pick out random students, ask them questions, and time their responses
with a stop watch. Record their times in your grade book while muttering
- Wear a hood with one eyehole. Periodically make strange gurgling
- Sneeze on students in the front row and wipe your nose on your tie.
- After confirming everyone's names on the roll, thank the class for
attending "Advanced Astrodynamics 690" and mention that yesterday was the
last day to drop.
- After turning on the overhead projector, clutch your chest and scream
- Wear a pointed Kaiser helmet and a monocle and carry a riding crop.
- Gradually speak softer and softer and then suddenly point to a student
and scream "You! What did I just say?"
- Announce to students that their entire grades will be based on a
single-question oral final exam. Imply that this could happen at any moment.
- Deliver your lecture through a hand puppet. If a student asks you a
question directly, say in a high-pitched voice, "The Professor can't hear
you, you'll have to ask me, Winky Willy".
- Bring a small dog to class. Tell the class he's named "Boogers McGee"
and is your "mascot". Whenever someone asks a question, walk over to the dog
and ask it, "What'll be, McGee?"
- If someone asks a question, walk silently over to their seat, hand them
your piece of chalk, and ask, "Would you like to give the lecture, Mr.
- Every so often, freeze in mid sentence and stare off into space for
several minutes. After a long, awkward silence, resume your sentence and
- Wear a "virtual reality" helmet and strange gloves. When someone asks a
question, turn in their direction and make throttling motions with your
- Wear mirrored sunglasses and speak only in Turkish. Ignore all
- Ask students to call you "Tinkerbell" or "Surfin' Bird".
- Pass out dental floss to students and devote the lecture to oral
- Announce that the entire 32-volume Encyclopedia Britannica will be
required reading for your class. Assign a report on Volume 1, Aardvark
through Armenia, for next class.
- Play "Kumbaya" on the banjo.
- Have a band waiting in the corner of the room. When anyone asks a
question, have the band start playing and sing an Elvis song.
- Ask occassional questions, but mutter "as if you gibbering simps would
know" and move on before anyone can answer.
- Mention in passing that you're wearing rubber underwear.
- Show a video on medieval torture implements to your calculus class.
Giggle throughout it.
- Announce "you'll need this", and write the suicide prevention hotline
number on the board.
- Ask the class to read Jenkins through Johnson of the local phone book
by the next lecture. Vaguely imply that there will be a quiz.
- Have one of your graduate students sprinkle flower petals ahead of you
as you pace back and forth.
- Turn off the lights, play a tape of crickets chirping, and begin
- Jog into class, rip the textbook in half, and scream, "Are you pumped?
Are you pumped? I can't hear you!"
- Ask for a volunteer for a demonstration. Ask them to fill out a waiver
as you put on a lead apron and light a blowtorch.
- Ask students to list their favorite showtunes on a signup sheet.
Criticize their choices and make notes in your grade book.
- Have a grad student in a black beret pluck at a bass while you lecture.
- Sprint from the room in a panic if you hear sirens outside.
- Warn students that they should bring a sack lunch to exams.
- Refer frequently to students who died while taking your class.
- Show up to lecture in a ventilated clean suit. Advise students to keep
their distance for their own safety and mutter something about "that bug I
picked up in the field".
- Begin class by smashing the neck off a bottle of vodka, and announce
that the lecture's over when the bottle's done.
- Growl constantly and address students as "matey".
- Devote your math lecture to free verse about your favorite numbers and
ask students to "sit back and groove".
- Announce that last year's students have almost finished their class
- Inform your English class that they need to know Fortran and code all
their essays. Deliver a lecture on output format statements.
- Wear a feather boa and ask students to call you "Snuggles".
- Tell your math students that they must do all their work in a base 11
number system. Use a complicated symbol you've named after yourself in place
of the number 10 and threaten to fail students who don't use it.
- Address students as "Worm".
- Stop in mid-lecture, frown for a moment, and then ask the class whether
your butt looks fat.
- Claim to be a chicken. Squat, cluck, and produce eggs at irregular
- Give an opening monologue. Take two minute "commercial breaks" every
- Of course, the most fun thing to do on the first day of class is to
enjoy yourself, sleep in, and let the students wonder if they found the
Fraud Updates ---
For earlier editions of New Bookmark
s go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory ---
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
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International Accounting News
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AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries ---
Upcoming international accounting
Thousands of journal abstracts ---
Deloitte's International Accounting News ---
Association of International Accountants ---
FASB --- http://www.fasb.org/
IASB --- http://www.fasb.org/
Trite's great set of links --- http://iago.stfx.ca/people/gtrites/Docs/bookmark.htm
Torian's Managerial Accounting Information Center --- http://www.informationforaccountants.com/
Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax:
210-999-8134 Email: email@example.com