Tidbits on October 19, 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/

25 Hottest Urban Legends (hoaxes) --- http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp 

Privatization, Commercialization, Media Rankings, and Other Problems of Higher Education,
Including Selling Out Education Quality to Athletic Spectaculars
---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


Music:

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 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Folk Club Online (there are some funny streaming modules here) --- http://www.folkclub.com/welcome.html

Great Banjo Music from NPR

Hobart Smith: Stories and Songs from a Banjo Great --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4959156

BBC's Gillett Rounds Up the 'Sound of the World' (international folk music) ---
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4959556

Unearthing Unknown Monk, Coltrane Recording (Jazz History With Audio) ---
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4946796

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

Guide to radio stations --- http://windowsmedia.com/radiotuner/MyRadio.asp

 

Photographs

Moving panoramas (these are great) --- http://www.panoguide.com/gallery/

What is stereo photography?  Take a look at http://www.well.com/user/jimg/

The Summit of Annapurna --- http://www.greatoutdoors.com/published/general/expeditions/ontopoftheworld/
Also see http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68956,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_6

Mt Everest with a 360 degree turn --- http://www.everestviews.com/
Click on the Everest Views tab (requires a Quicktime plug in)

Other photos of great climbs --- http://www.edviesturs.com/latestclimb/

Grand Canyon --- http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np.grand-canyon.html

Neuschwanstein Castle: Germany 
http://www.neuschwanstein.de/english/index.htm

Death Valley --- http://www.kenrockwell.com/dv/

Photographs from different countries --- http://www.oboylephoto.com/

Time Magazine --- http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1118377,00.html
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
--- http://www.toilette-humor.com/flash/carve_pumpkin.swf


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) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Marx

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 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007424


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 --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4516989
About StoryCorps --- http://storycorps.net/about/


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 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4268904.stm 


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 --- http://www.nydailynews.com/news/gossip/story/356296p-303697c.html

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 http://www.pcworld.com/digitalduo/index/0,00.asp

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):

recent episodes
The Duo dole out search secrets and other helpful hints for battling information overload.
In Search of Desktop Data (3:46 min) video | summary
The Duo's Picks for Desktop Search (3:40 min) video | summary
Some Phones Prove Data-Friendly (5:09 min) video | summary
Oodles of Google Tips (4:11 min) video | summary
Google, Going Forward (3:32 min) video | summary
Tip Jar: More Search Secrets (3:05 min) video | summary
PR Piñata: A 411 911 (2:01 min) video | summary
 
 
 

For example, the AECM listserv recently had a confusing thread about HDTV.  The Digital Duo provides some great advice at http://www.pcworld.com/digitalduo/video/0,segid,48,00.asp

When will analog TV become history?

"Senate Bill Sets Spring 2009 Demise for Analog Television," by Arshad Mohammed, The Washington Post, October 15, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/14/AR2005101401960.html?referrer=email


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 --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9698311/site/newsweek/


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, 2005 --- http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1118381,00.html


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 --- http://my.webmd.com/content/Article/113/110842.htm?z=4209_00000_1000_sc_05


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 ---
http://my.webmd.com/content/article/72/81846.htm?z=1727_81000_1000_hv_06 


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 reports.
"New tissue 'grown within minutes'," BBC News, October 16, 2005 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4342204.stm


"Health Mailbox," by Tara Parker-Pope, The Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB112958749893171169.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal

Q:
After reading about glucosamine on a medical Web site, I get the impression it may not be good for those who may be borderline diabetic.

A:
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.

However, its 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.

There's no 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 --- http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/ironrange/

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 processing plants.

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.

Continued


"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 --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9712125/site/newsweek/

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 --- http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1118368,00.html


About Video Editing --- http://www.aboutvideoediting.com/

Software Updates and Reviews --- http://www.versiontracker.com/windows/

Software Reviews --- http://www.gotoreviews.com/

Web data and statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob4.htm#WebData


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 --- http://snipurl.com/BearJustice


Out of Balance: Marketing of Soda, Candy, Snacks and Fast Foods Drowns Out Healthful Messages ---
http://www.asu.edu/educ/epsl/CERU/Articles/CERU-0509-140-OWI.pdf


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 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB112951490246670395.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

A Who Done it?:  Grant Thornton's Case of the Unknown Debt
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 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB112908133517166268.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

Ed Ketz sums it up pessimistically at http://accounting.smartpros.com/x50181.xml

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 http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud001.htm#GrantThornton


"Blackboard vs....," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, October 17, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/17/blackboard

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 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/12/AR2005101202208.html?referrer=email

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 appropriated.

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 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/12/qt


From NPR
Uncommon Knowledge
--- http://www.uncommonknowledge.org/

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 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB112917133552367462.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep


eBird for Bird Watchers --- http://www.ebird.org/content/


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, September 29, 2005, Page A21 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/27/AR2005092701435_pf.html 

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 appropriations.

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 analyses.

Continued in article


Refining Incapacity
Politicians have done as much damage as the hurricanes.

"Refining Incapacity," The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2005; Page A16 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112787627006154249,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

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 (1976).

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 ---
http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/what-goes-up-will-keep-it-up/2005/09/27/1127804474164.html

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 guess.

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 --- http://www.crest.org/


Here's one way to save on gas and wasted time driving/riding to and from work

"Telework Seen as Important Perk, Especially for Women," AccountingWeb, September 23, 2005 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=101322

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 happen.”

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 performance.

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 directions.

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 crackdown.
InternetWeek Newsletter, October 14, 2005

Bob Jensen's threads on spam are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm#SpecialSection


United States Interagency Council on Homelessness --- http://www.ich.gov/


Interesting facts (including strange happenings) --- http://www.skygaze.com/


Europe's Big Brother lashes out:  Scant whistle blowing protections in Europe
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 --- http://snipurl.com/Mangan


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 --- http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,16518,1592055,00.html

Jensen Comment:
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 http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/133glosf.htm#H-Terms


"Bookmarks," by Mark Gauvreau Judge, The Wall Street Journal, October 14, 2005; Page W5 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB112924981490968323.html?mod=todays_us_weekend_journal

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 McCarthyism.

"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, continuous over-reaction.

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 after 15.)

Continued in article


Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution (History) --- http://www.jwa.org/feminism/


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 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4341196.stm


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 Kansas.
"**tztown, we've got a problem," Reading Eagle, October 14, 2005 --- http://readingeagle.com/re/lead/1437968.asp


Tax Tips for Small Businesses (and others) --- http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/oct2005/sb20051011_356640.htm


Global Performing Arts Consortium --- http://www.glopac.org/

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 --- http://www.foodandsociety.org/

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 policy.


OutProud (a gay networking site) ---  http://www.outproud.org/


National Budget Simulation --- http://www.nathannewman.org/nbs/whytax.shtml

Federal Budget Tradeoffs --- http://database.nationalpriorities.org/tradeoff


Consuming Signs, Consuming the Polis: Hannah Arendt and Jean Baudrillard on Consumer Society and the Eclipse of the Real
By Trevor Norris
(Philosophy of Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, Canada).
http://www.ubishops.ca/baudrillardstudies/vol2_2/norris.htm

Conclusion
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 consumer society.


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 Zionist regime.'
"Pakistan Snubs Israeli Aid Offer," Pakistan Today, October 14, 2005 --- http://www.paktoday.com/tashbih.htm
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 --- http://snipurl.com/smhOct16


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 --- http://www.suntimes.com/output/steyn/cst-edt-steyn16.html


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 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/books/review/16updike.html


Genetic Privacy Issues

"Our Employers, Ourselves," by Eric Hellweg, MIT's Technology Review, October 14, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/10/wo/wo_101405hellweg.asp?trk=nl

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 Knicks.

"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 the change.

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 [shakeel.contact@gmail.com]

Dear Sir,
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 from them.
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.

Your Sincerely,
Shakeel
 

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 Latin origin.  

You can read the following at http://www.wikiverse.org/debit

**************

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 http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

I have some helpers on learning some basic accounting as studied in the United States at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm

Bob Jensen


From PBS
NOVA: Einstein’s Big Idea --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/einstein/


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 cancer.
"Musical breast implants," ANANOVA --- http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1570835.html?menu=news.quirkies


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 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/education/16college.html

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 higher education.

"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 [Mac.Wright@VU.EDU.AU]

Dear Bob,

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,

Mac Wright

Privatization, Commercialization, Media Rankings, and Other Problems of Higher Education,
Including Selling Out Education Quality to Athletic Spectaculars
---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


Electronic Books and Journals

New Online Dictionary ---  http://www.elook.org/dictionary/ 

Oscar Wild's The Picture of Dorian Gray --- http://www.dagonbytes.com/thelibrary/dorgray/chapter02.htm

Mystery Net --- http://www.mysterynet.com/

THE COMPLETE SHERLOCK HOLMES (includes drawings) --- http://www.bakerstreet221b.de/canon/

F. Scott Fitzgerald --- http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald/

Bob Jensen's links to electronic books and journals are at  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#ElectronicBooks 

LibraryThing --- http://www.librarything.com/

Catalog your books online

  • Easy. Catalog your books online (example); no software required.
  • Powerful. Search the Library of Congress and over thirty major libraries around the world.
  • Free. Enter 200 books for free; lifetime membership $10 (beta special).
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  • Shared. Show everyone your library, or keep your library private. You can even put a widget on your blog to show people what you're reading.
  • Safe. LibraryThing's not going away, but you can export your data.
  • Limber. Import data from Delicious Library, Readerware, Amazon Wishlists—virtually anywhere.

See how it works

TheFreeDictionary.com:  2,000,000 articles and definitions from leading dictionaries and encyclopedias

August 31, 2005 message from Valerie Schaeffer [Valerie.Schaeffer@Farlex.com]

Dear Bob Jensen,

I like your website. While I was exploring it, I noticed that you had an excellent collection of online reference links located at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob3.htm . 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 website.

Sincerely,

Valerie Schaeffer

P.S.

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 http://www.thefreedictionary.com/lookup.htm 

 

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 http://www.wimp.com/professors/ 

- 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 funk".

- 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 "tsk, tsk".

- Wear a hood with one eyehole. Periodically make strange gurgling noises.

- 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 "My pacemaker!"

- 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. Smartypants?"

- Every so often, freeze in mid sentence and stare off into space for several minutes. After a long, awkward silence, resume your sentence and proceed normally.

- Wear a "virtual reality" helmet and strange gloves. When someone asks a question, turn in their direction and make throttling motions with your hands.

- Wear mirrored sunglasses and speak only in Turkish. Ignore all questions.

- Ask students to call you "Tinkerbell" or "Surfin' Bird".

- Pass out dental floss to students and devote the lecture to oral hygiene.

- 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 singing spirituals.

- 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 projects.

- 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 intervals.

- Give an opening monologue. Take two minute "commercial breaks" every ten minutes.

- 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 right room!




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

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

International Accounting News (including the U.S.)

AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/
        Upcoming international accounting conferences --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/events/index.cfm
        Thousands of journal abstracts --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/journals/index.cfm
Deloitte's International Accounting News --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
Association of International Accountants --- http://www.aia.org.uk/ 
WebCPA --- http://www.webcpa.com/
FASB --- http://www.fasb.org/
IASB --- http://www.fasb.org/
Others --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm

Gerald Trite's great set of links --- http://iago.stfx.ca/people/gtrites/Docs/bookmark.htm 

Richard Torian's Managerial Accounting Information Center --- http://www.informationforaccountants.com/ 

 

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