Whatever I don't know, I learnt at school.
We make a living by what we get; we make a life
by what we give.
Sir Winston Churchill --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churchill
To love our enemies (as the Gospel asks) is not
a job for men, but for angels.
Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jorge_Luis_Borges
One puzzle these days is why Americans are so
confident at the shopping mall and so glum in opinion polls. By many
measures, the country's prosperity is broad-based. Families are buying and
renovating homes at a ferocious pace. Since mid-2003, the number of payroll
jobs has increased by 4.2 million. The unemployment rate of 5 percent is low
by historic standards. But in polls, Americans are downbeat.... We have a
real economy and a rhetorical economy: what's actually happening and what we
say is happening. The first is often more stable than the second.
Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson.
The hope of becoming rich is one of the most
widespread causes of poverty.
Tacitus (ca. 56 ca. 117) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus
The beauty of war is that each leader of a band
of assassins has his flag blessed and invokes God before setting off to
exterminate his neighbors.
Voltaire, François-Marie Arouet (1694 - 1778) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltaire
Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are
Mark Twain as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-11-15-05.htm
The McCain Straight Talk Express: Teddy
Roosevelt in the engine cabin, Robin Hood in the caboose.
Stephen Moore, The Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2005; Page A10 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113296246560606908.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
There are honest journalists like there are honest politicians. When
bought they stay bought.
William Moyers (1934) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Moyers
Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective
wisdom of individual ignorance.
H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mencken
Fake IRS E-Mail Scam Goes Phishing ---
With the loss of competition in space (U.S.
versus Russia), the public lost it's will for manned space flight.
Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Armstrong
I paraphrased this from Neil's November 6, 2005 interview on Sixty Minutes (CBS)
It reveals how competition is a powerful motivator for creativity and exploration. Sometimes competitive races (such as quests to reach the South Pole or to discover DNA structure) drive men and women to win for the sake of beating out the competition as much as the prize itself.
But new space competition is igniting
"China eyes 2017 moon landing," CNN, November 4, 2005 --- http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/space/11/04/china.moon.reut/index.html
A fire in the belly doesn't light itself. Does the spark of ambition
lie in genes, family, culture--or even in your own hands? Science has
Of all the impulses in humanity's behavioral portfolio, ambition--that need to grab an ever bigger piece of the resource pie before someone else gets it--ought to be one of the most democratically distributed. Nature is a zero-sum game, after all. Every buffalo you kill for your family is one less for somebody else's; every acre of land you occupy elbows out somebody else. Given that, the need to get ahead ought to be hard-wired into all of us equally. And yet it's not. For every person consumed with the need to achieve, there's someone content to accept whatever life brings. For everyone who chooses the 80-hour workweek, there's someone punching out at 5. Men and women--so it's said--express ambition differently; so do Americans and Europeans, baby boomers and Gen Xers, the middle class and the well-to-do. Even among the manifestly motivated, there are degrees of ambition. Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple Computer and then left the company in 1985 as a 34-year-old multimillionaire. His partner, Steve Jobs, is still innovating at Apple and moonlighting at his second blockbuster company, Pixar Animation Studios.
Jeffry Kluger, "Ambition: Why Some People Are Most Likely To Succeed," Time Magazine Cover Story, November 6, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/TimeNov6
Great news from Rita Kosnik (Professor of Management at Trinity University)
Dear Professor Kosnik:
Congratulations are in order for students in your class who earned a Global Top 20 ranking for their company's BSG-Online performance during Week 10 of the 2005 Season II polling period.
The co-managers of Aladdin (Company A) earned a Global Top 20 ranking on the following performance criteria:
Overall Game-To-Date Score - Their Overall Score of 109.0 was the 14th best Overall Score performance of the week, worldwide! Earnings Per Share - Their EPS of $23.23 was the 6th best EPS performance of the week, worldwide! Stock Price - Their Stock Price of $511.86 was the 5th best Stock Price performance of the week, worldwide! You should be quite proud of your students for such an excellent performance — a performance that reflects quite well on you and the caliber of instruction that students are receiving in your course. View the Global Top 20 lists for Week 10 of the 2005 Season II polling period ---
Each Monday we compile lists of the prior week's 20 best-performing companies worldwide based on each of four measures: Overall Score (current year), Earnings Per Share, Return On Average Equity, and Stock Price.
All companies that appear on a Global Top 20 list during a polling week are automatically eligible to compete in the 2005 Season II Best-Strategy Invitational. Participation is completely free of charge. The 2005 Season II BSI begins 5-Dec-05 and runs for two weeks through 18-Dec-05, with one decision due daily Monday through Friday for two weeks to determine a BSI Grand Champion in as many industries as needed to accommodate all the entrants. Find out more about the 2005 Season II Best-Strategy Invitational ---
All company co-managers who enter the Best Strategy Invitational will receive a Distinguished Participant Certificate (which will provide the necessary documentation for students being able to list their participation on their resumé), and the BSI Grand Champions will be given a place of honor in the BSG-Online Hall of Fame --- http://www.bsg-online.com/stats/hall-of-fame.html
We hope you will encourage your qualifying teams to compete in the 2005 Season II Best-Strategy Invitational.
Congratulations once again to you and your students and thank you for using BSG-Online in your class. As always, please call or e-mail if you have any questions or any suggestions for improving the simulation.
Best regards from the BSG-Online author team,
|What is computer living
Read (well record anyway) a book with the swipe of your hand with the embedded RFID chip?
Video advertisements for a hotel chain on a wedding gown or diet pill video commercials on a bikini?
Could a quarterback wear bifocal goggles that give him a better view behind taller defenders in his face?
Could professors supplement incomes by advertising bookstore sales while lecturing? Why waste time during breaks?
"More Strangeness From The Tech Front," by Johanna Ambrosio, InformationWeek Newsletter, November 29, 2005
For even wilder thoughts about adding smells, touch, and taste to visual and hearing senses in computing, go to my older document entitled "Networking of the Five Senses (Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch, and Taste)" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/senses.htm
Bob Jensen's threads on nanotechnology and ubiquitous computing
Burn TV on DVD
Does your aging VCR, with its clunky analog tapes and limited capabilities, feel antiquated? Maybe it's time to switch to a slim DVD recorder. Today's models offer better quality and larger recording capacity than ye olde VCR--plus on-screen programming guides, and built-in hard drives that hold hundreds of hours of video. The newest DVD recorders far outshine last year's relatively primitive models--making this a great time to jump in. They're cheaper, too: A year ago, such recorders were priced for the television elite--up to $1000 for one with a 160GB hard drive--but today various models are within reach of ordinary TV watchers. A basic recorder (like CyberHome's DVR1600) sells for less than $100; a model with an 80GB hard drive (for example, the Lite-On LVW-5045) costs less than $300; and a deluxe 250GB model (such as the Toshiba RD-XS54) runs about $700.
Richard Baguley, "Burn TV on DVD: The latest DVD recorders have hard drives, program guides, and lower prices. If you love TV, one of these ten models may be right for you," The Washington Post, November 30, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/29/AR2005112901188.html?referrer=email
Fruits and Vegetables May Be Making You Sick You Sick
More Americans are eating their vegetables. But the healthy trend comes with a risk: Illnesses traced to fresh produce are on the rise. Fruits and vegetables are now responsible for more large-scale outbreaks of food-borne illnesses than meat, poultry or eggs. Overall, produce accounts for 12% of food-borne illnesses and 6% of the outbreaks, up from 1% of the illnesses and 0.7% of outbreaks in the 1970s, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, meat-related E. coli infections have been on the decline.
Jane Zhang, "When Eating Your Vegetables Makes You Sick: Illnesses Tied to Produce Become Far More Common As Consumption Rises," The Wall Street Journal, November 30, 2005; Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113332082056009884.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal
Why true love only lasts one year
When a person falls in love, levels of a protein called Nerve Growth Factor skyrocket, researchers from the University of Pavia found. "We have demonstrated for the first time that circulating levels of NGF are elevated among subjects in love, suggesting an important role for this molecule in the social chemistry of human beings," said Dr. Enzo Emanuele, who led the study. But, after studying a volunteer group of people between the ages of 18 and 31, researchers found the levels of NGF had fallen to original levels after one year, the Daily Mail reported. Not to discourage romantics, the team wrote that they believe the same chemical also stimulates companionship, which is essential in any long-term relationship. The report appears in the current Psychoneuroendocrinology Journal.
"Brain's 'true love' lasts only a year," PhysOrg, November 29, 2005 --- http://www.physorg.com/news8568.html
For women, dressing for success depends upon status in the
Psychologist Peter Glick and colleagues found provocative dress, such as the use of tight skirts and low-cut blouses, harmed businesswomen. But the negative effect was limited to women in high status positions, with such dress viewed as inappropriate for both managers and receptionists. However, only managers dressing in a sexy manner evoked hostile emotions and were deemed less intelligent. "A female manager whose appearance emphasized her sexiness elicited less positive emotions, more negative emotions, and perceptions of less competence on a subjective rating scale and less intelligence on an objective scale," the authors reported. The study appears in the December issue of Psychology of Women Quarterly.
"Study: Women execs must avoid sexy dress," PhysOrg, November 29, 2005 --- http://www.physorg.com/news8560.html
"EBay Hears and Sees No Evil, It Just Sells It," by Paul McDougall, InformationWeek Newsletter, November 30, 2005
Is eBay Adam Smith's perfect market, where prices are set by the honest interaction of buyers and sellers and everyone goes home happy, or is it simply the perfect vehicle for price gouging--and much, much worse?
The short supply of Microsoft's Xbox 360 means the game system is fetching up to $1,000 on eBay. Fair enough. If gamesters really can't wait a few more weeks to play the 360 version of "Call of Duty 2" or "NBA Live 06," then it's their money, right? Sure, but eBay's willingness to turn a blind eye to scalping, copyright infringement, and the sale of questionable goods has a darker side that proved very convenient for a creep named Peter Braunstein.
Braunstein, of New York City, is a former fashion writer and playwright who's gone off the deep end in the worst way. On Halloween, he allegedly impersonated a firefighter to gain entry to a former co-worker's apartment. Inside, he's alleged to have used chloroform to render the woman unconscious. What followed was a series of sexual attacks that lasted more than 12 hours.
Braunstein, now a fugitive, got everything he needed to act out this sicko scenario on eBay because, after all, "Whatever it is, you can get it here." Or so the online auctioneer boasts. For Braunstein, "whatever it is" included the firefighting gear, law-enforcement badge, potassium nitrate, and chloroform that he allegedly used during the crime.
Continued in article
"Understanding T Cells: A nano tool is making it possible to better control the immune system," by Emily Singer, MIT's Technology Review, November 28, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/NanoTech/wtr_15927,303,p1.html?trk=nl
Scientists have long known that T cells play a major role in orchestrating the body's immune response. But researchers have been unsure exactly how these cells send and receive signals to attack invaders.
One fundamental question has been whether it is the number or the pattern of receptors on the surface of the T cell that controls the response. Understanding this cellular language could, for example, help researchers design better treatments for auto-immune diseases, such as allergies or rheumatoid arthritis, where the immune system has sent a misguided message to attack itself.
In a new experiment, published last week in Science, Jay Groves and colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley designed an artificial membrane that allows them to begin to answer these questions. The membrane has proteins that are constricted in a specific region. When receptors on the T cell bind to the proteins on the artificial membrane, the receptors are constrained to these specific geometric patterns, allowing a closer examination of the effects of the patterns.
Under normal physiological conditions, when a T cell binds to an infected cell, receptors on the surface of the T cell migrate toward the junction between the two cells. Previously, scientists thought that the growing number of receptors triggered a strong T cell activation. But when Grove and his team blocked the migration of T cell receptors by binding them to locked-in proteins on the artificial membrane, which acts like an infected cell, they discovered it was the position of the receptor that actually controlled the response.
"Spatial configuration matters rather than number," says Groves. "It's like realizing when reading a sentence you need to pay attention to the order of the letters to know what the words mean, you can't just count the number of each kind of letter."
To develop the artificial membrane, the Berkeley researchers used electron beam lithography to create nanoscale chrome patterns on a silica substrate, which was then coated with membrane lipids and proteins. Although the proteins normally float freely through the lipid membrane, on the synthetic membrane, they're kept in place by the chrome patterns, which act as barriers.
Other experts say these findings demonstrate the power of nanotechnology for studying cellular processes. "This paper represents a wonderful, rare, and early example of how bringing together micropatterning technology and cell biology can help shed light on interesting questions in biology," says Arup K. Chakraborty, a theoretical immunologist at MIT.
Bob Jensen's threads on ubiquitous computing and nanotechnology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm
Business Technology: Security Threats Galore, But No Worries Here
Taken together, you begin to get the full, unsettling picture of information security today. Automated bot attacks, Windows bulletins by the dozen, a new breed of business worms, risk of heap overflow in Cisco's IOS, the underground's new fascination with unpatched holes in 20 types of applications and devices. And that doesn't even include problems caused by spyware or phishing, or customer-data breaches, or the complications of wireless networks and devices, or CDs with hidden rootkits, or the Sober worm variants spreading again. With all of this going on, how do you explain the fact that so few security and IT professionals feel things have gotten worse? It's possible they have systems in place to ward off ill-intended probes, keep software patched, and protect customer records. Maybe the bullets are bouncing off. That, or maybe security at their companies isn't as good as it seems.
John Foley, "Business-Technology: Security Threats Galore, But No Worries Here," InformationWeek Newsletter, November 29, 2005
Bob Jensen's threads on computing and networking security have been updated (somewhat) at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm#SpecialSection
Security threats and hoaxes --- http://www.trinity.edu/its/virus/
From Jim Mahar's blog on November 24, 2005 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
Writely - The Web Word Processor --- http://www.writely.com/
Eric Briys did it again! The person who turned me onto blogging and the person behind Cyberlibris and the cyberlibris blog sent me a note today mentioning Writely.com.
I checked it out and wow! It is so cool. It is an online word processor that multiple people can use at the same time. It will be perfect for co-authoring papers etc. Indeed, you can pretty much make it a "wiki" world.
I have several uses (in and outside of finance) already ready to go.
Check it out. I bet you will be as excited as I am about it!!!
Jensen Comment: Among other things this is a way to to send email without having an email system. But it is also a way of publishing on the Web without having a Web server. Note that all you need is a Web browser like Internet Explorer.
"Exercising the Brain Innovative training software could turn back the clock on aging brains," by Emily Singer, MIT's Technology Review, November 21, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com//wtr_15914,1,p1.html?trk=nl
A new cognitive training program designed to rejuvenate the brain's natural plasticity could slow down mental decline by as much as ten years. The program and others like it may be an accessible way for older people to take advantage of recent advances in the neuroscience of aging.
The connections in the brain are plastic, meaning that when we learn something, the properties of our synapses and other neural circuits change, improving their processing speed and the fidelity of the information being encoded.
As we age, though, this natural learning process starts to deteriorate. "Sensory information gets encoded less accurately, and the brain has to look and listen longer before it can make a decision about what it's seeing or hearing," says Michael Merzenich, a neuroscientist at the University of California at San Francisco, who's been studying the neural basis of learning for 30 years.
Continued in article
"'Freakonomics' Abortion Research Is Faulted by a Pair of Economists, by Jon E. Hilsenrath, The Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2005; Page A2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113314261192407815.html?mod=todays_us_page_one
Prepare to be second-guessed.
That would have been useful advice for Steven Levitt, the University of Chicago economist and author of the smash-hit book "Freakonomics," which uses statistics to explore the hidden truths of everything from corruption in sumo wrestling to the dangers of owning a swimming pool.
The book's neon-orange cover title advises readers to "prepare to be dazzled," and its sales have lived up to the hype. A million copies of the book are in print. The book, which was written with New York Times writer Stephen Dubner, has been on the New York Times best-seller list for 31 weeks and is atop The Wall Street Journal's list of bestsellers in the business category.
But now economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston are taking aim at the statistics behind one of Mr. Levitt's most controversial chapters. Mr. Levitt asserts there is a link between the legalization of abortion in the early 1970s and the drop in crime rates in the 1990s. Christopher Foote, a senior economist at the Boston Fed, and Christopher Goetz, a research assistant, say the research behind that conclusion is faulty.
Long before he became a best-selling author, Mr. Levitt, 38 years old, had established a reputation among economists as a careful researcher who produced first-rate statistical studies on surprising subjects. In 2003, the American Economic Association named him the nation's best economist under 40, one of the most prestigious distinctions in the field. His abortion research was published in 2001 in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, an academic journal. (He was the subject of a page-one Wall Street Journal story in the same year.)
The "Freakonomics" chapter on abortion grew out of statistical studies Mr. Levitt and a co-author, Yale Law School Prof. John Donohue, conducted on the subject. The theory: Unwanted children are more likely to become troubled adolescents, prone to crime and drug use, than are wanted children. When abortion was legalized in the 1970s, a whole generation of unwanted births were averted, leading to a drop in crime nearly two decades later when this phantom generation would have come of age.
The Boston Fed's Mr. Foote says he spotted a missing formula in the programming of Mr. Levitt's original research. He argues the programming oversight made it difficult to pick up other factors that might have influenced crime rates during the 1980s and 1990s, like the crack wave that waxed and waned during that period. He also argues that in producing the research, Mr. Levitt should have counted arrests on a per-capita basis. Instead, he counted overall arrests. After he adjusted for both factors, Mr. Foote says, the abortion effect disappeared.
. . .
Still, as economic debates go, this one is relatively civil. Mr. Foote praises Mr. Levitt for making all of his data and his programming easily accessible and hastens to add that "in many ways it is a very careful paper." Mr. Levitt responds, "I think this is exactly the way science should work," with controversial theories being poked and prodded for their robustness.
Edward Glaeser, a Harvard professor who helped referee Mr. Levitt's original abortion submission to the Quarterly Journal of Economics, said the Foote critique isn't damning, though it does suggest the impact of abortion on crime has not been as strong as Mr. Levitt has argued. "These guys have put the [data] through the wringer," Mr. Glaeser says of Mr. Foote and his research assistant. "There is no question that the results get smaller and weaker, but there still seems to be something there."
Jensen Comment: Abortion is only one of various topics, albeit the most controversial topic, covered in Levitt's book entitled Freakonomics and his various articles on these topics --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freakonomics
One striking example of the authors' creative use of economic theory involves mathematically proving the existence of cheating among Sumo wrestlers. In a Sumo tournament, all wrestlers compete in fifteen matches. Those who win a majority of the matches receive preferential treatment; those who don't must perform humiliating duties, such as washing hard-to-reach places on the bodies of their betters. The authors studied the odds involved in the fifteenth match and noticed an odd discrepancy. Statistically, the wrestlers who won eight of the previous fourteen matches and lost only six should have out-performed the wrestlers who won seven and lost seven, as they'd already proven themselves slightly better. This was not the case; the 7-7 underdogs beat their 8-6 opponents far too often for it to be a mathematical coincidence. The authors came to the inescapable conclusion that the 8-6 wrestlers, who could afford to throw a single match without fear of jeopardizing their standings, were deliberately losing, presumably for a later favor.
combat high home energy prices
Surging Energy Costs on Campus
Around the country, colleges are facing sharply higher energy costs, as prices for oil and natural gas have been driven up by increasing demand and, especially, by the impact of Hurricane Katrina on production and delivery. Campus officials say that cost increases are averaging in the 20 percent range but spiking in some places by 40 percent, which can mean $1 million on a small campus or as much as 10 times that on larger ones.
Doug Lederman, "Surging Energy Costs," Inside Higher Ed, November 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/11/28/energy
Surging Grades of Athletes
The National Collegiate Athletic Association plans to investigate correspondence high schools, The New York Times reported Sunday, in an article examining the way a growing number of college athletes are using those high schools to bring their grades up to meet minimum standards to play intercollegiate athletics.
Inside Higher Ed, November 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/11/28/qt
John Silber's Interview Transcript
Boston Magazine has published a transcript of an interview with John Silber, the outspoken former president of Boston University. In the interview, Silber his discusses his tenure at Boston University, the role he played when his successors were in office, his political views, and more. Fans and critics of Silber are unlikely to change their positions as a result of the interview, but it makes for interesting reading for members of either camp.
Inside Higher Ed, November 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/11/28/qt
Cultural Diversity Pressures Schools to Teach Religious Values
Leaders from the Hindu and Muslim faiths said last night that they backed the teaching of Christian values, because of what they saw as the need to promote all religions. Salah Beltagui, a prominent Scottish Muslim in who works in the Scottish Inter Faith Council, added: "We want people to know about all kinds of faiths because they have lots in common. It all adds to the aim of teaching more morals and values about life." Mohan Sharma, a spokesman for the Hindu community added: "Everyone should try and teach their own religion but also respect all other religions." The Inter Faith Week will be celebrated by leaders of all the major faiths this week, including Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Imam Mustaqeem Shah from the UK Islamic Mission, and Rabbi David Rose. An initiative will be launched to promote calls for faith groups to work together more in order to prevent prejudices developing between communities.
Eddie Barnes, "Non-Christian clerics urge the Kirk to push religious teaching in schools," Scotsman, November 27, 2005 --- http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=2310662005
"The Mall Had Its Day; Now It's the Web's Turn Back at Work, People Go Online and Shop," by Margaret Webb, The Washington Post, November 28, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/WashingtonPostNov28
The online retail industry has taken to calling today Cyber Monday or Black Monday, named after Black Friday, when many retailers traditionally have started to make a profit -- or go into the black -- for the year. In a recent survey by Shop.org and BizRate Research, 77 percent of retailers reported that their sales last year increased substantially on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
. . .
The growing phenomenon is an intensification of the year-round surge of online shopping during the workweek, changing the workplace as much as shopping patterns. At QVC.com, for example, Mondays are almost always the biggest shopping day of the week, said spokeswoman Bonnie Clark. For Visa, which processes 47 percent of all online purchases, weekdays bring much higher volume than weekends -- the exact opposite of typical traffic patterns in regular retail stores. The workweek after Thanksgiving is Visa's highest-volume week of the year.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on ecommerce are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm
New Gadgets: Two Cell Phones With Keyboards
I looked at two of the latest handsets in this category: the LG VX9800 from Verizon Wireless and Samsung D307 from Cingular Wireless. For the LG phone, Verizon offers a choice between $400 with a one-year contract and $300 with a two-year contract. Cingular sells the Samsung for $250 with a two-year service contract.
"Lavish Spending, Little Reward D.C. Agencies Gave Contractor Millions for Projects but Scant Oversight," by David S. Fallis and Dan Keating, The Washington Post, November 28, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/LavishSpending
With the District's approval, he gave himself an $82,000 salary and paid his brother $8,000 as a consultant. He spent $25,000 for signature artwork and a matching stainless steel table. He bought $6,000 chairs, a new blue sport-utility vehicle and a silver van, personalized with vanity tags. He spent $143 to settle debts at a florist and rush a "Happy Birthday" bouquet to the D.C. Council member who approved his grants. He billed taxpayers for it all.
Over seven years, District officials sank nearly $5.4 million into his projects. Three city agencies gave him multiple contracts, and four others had a role in making sure he was paid.
But when Prioleau's foundation collapsed last year, the city's investment evaporated. Most of the furnishings had been sold at public auction after languishing in a warehouse for almost two years. About $195,000 worth of equipment was sold for slightly less than $9,000, just to pay a storage bill. Prioleau closed his training center.
Prioleau defended his work in interviews over the course of a year and reported to the D.C. government that his center had trained thousands of disadvantaged people. But city officials say there are no records to verify that number.
The story of Archie Prioleau and his dealings with the District is one of broader failings -- the propensity across city agencies to violate their policies as they dispense public funds with little attention to how the money is spent.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's updates on fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
Executive Compensation and Company Violation Database That is Searchable by Zip Code
"Labor Web Site Keeps Tabs on Business Workers Can Check Executive
Salaries, Company Violations," by Amy Joyce, The Washington Post,
November 18, 2005, Page D03 ---
An AFL-CIO affiliate yesterday launched an online database of more than 60,000 companies, listing information about their executive compensation, overseas job outsourcing, and violations of labor, safety and health standards.
The Web site is operated by Working America, a group that advocates on behalf of nonunion workers. The site started last year in a much smaller form focused on companies that had outsourced jobs overseas. The expanded version is designed to provide workers and the public with a more complete picture about companies, the group says.
"It gives information to workers they don't have otherwise and gives information so people can take action," said Karen Nussbaum, director of Working America, which was founded two years ago and has more than 1 million members.
The group's site is one of several recent efforts by labor organizations to challenge companies publicly on how they treat their employees. The efforts are designed to encourage workers to fight what the organizations view as bad labor practices, or to embarrass companies into changing their ways.
The best-known actions in recent months come from Wal-Mart Watch and Wake Up Wal-Mart. Both groups monitor the retailer's moves and conduct campaigns to raise awareness of -- and ultimately change -- the company's labor, environmental and other practices.
The information listed on the site comes from government records obtained by Working America through the Freedom of Information Act, as well as from media reports and research conducted by nonprofit advocacy groups.
The new site is "an excellent example of giving ordinary people information about what corporations are doing," said Harley Shaiken, a labor professor at the University of California at Berkeley. "With this, they are putting a new dimension of the economy into the hands of the public."
The public database, http://www.workingamerica.org/jobtracker , is searchable by Zip code, company name and industry. Visitors can also enter a Zip code or state to find out which companies in that area are exporting jobs or violating labor laws.
Pat Cleary, senior vice president at the National Association of Manufacturers, called the Web site a "desperate tactic."
"They should track companies that are importing jobs as well and should tell the story of the tens of millions of companies who spend billions of dollars to ensure their employees' safety," he said.
Jensen Comment: The database apparently does not cover colleges, but it does have a Public Administration category.
What desktop search is best for you?
November 18, 2005 message from Scott Bonacker [AECM@BONACKER.US]
Microsoft released a new desktop search tool this week. You can learn more about it and download the 9MB installation file from:
Several add-ins are available, and are a necessity to be able to search the files most of us work with.
I've tried it on a workstation, and unlike the Google product it will index and search large files - I was able to find a phrase in page 388 of a 37.6 MB PDF file with it. There is even some control over which folders are included in the search indexes.
The only recommendation may be that it is free, however. As you might expect it steers you towards using more Microsoft products, although you can turn some of those features off.
The X1 search tool has it beat in being useful, though. The default view when searching lets you specify several characteristics simultaneously including filename, type, date/time, path and size. At the same time you can search for words or other information within the files that are indexed. You can set limits on what folders are indexed, and the size of the files that are indexed as well.
If your files are organized into folders, no matter what criteria you use, you can narrow the search to folders at any level in the directory tree. When searching for common words that helps immensely in preventing an overwhelming list of results.
Even for the money, I still prefer X1. http://www.x1.com/
Scott Bonacker, CPA
Bob Jensen's search helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm
November 21, 2005 message from Donald Ramsey [dramsey@UDC.EDU]
For an awesome list of 43 professional certifications in accounting and finance, compiled by Prof. Greg Burbage of Sacramento City College, check http://www.scc.losrios.edu/~burbagg/CPALinks.html
Bob Jensen's threads on careers in accountancy are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#careers
OxyContin Pain Medication Questions and Answers ---
More Bad News on Audit Inspection Reports Under SOX
"The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board found audit deficiencies at three major accounting firms," SmartPros, November 18, 2005 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x50712.xml
Reports on the PCAOB's inspection of Ernst & Young LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and BDO Seidman LLP, issued Thursday, said the inspection team identified matters it considered to be audit deficiencies.
In the reports, the PCOAB said those deficiencies included failures by the firm "to identify and appropriately address errors in the issuer's application of GAAP (or generally accepted accounting principles)," and that one or more of those errors was "likely to be material to the firms' financial statement."
In all three reports, the PCAOB said "the deficiencies also included failures by the firm to perform, or to perform sufficiently, certain necessary audit process."
The three reports, which can be viewed on the PCAOB's Web site, www.pcaobus.org , provide details of specific cases, without mentioning the audited entities by name.
For earlier reports on negative inspection outcomes of Deloitte and KPMG, go to "Incompetent and Corrupt Audits are Routine" --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#IncompetentAudits
Pathways to Philosophy (United Kingdom)
November 26, 2005 message from Geoffrey Klempner [G.Klempner@sheffield.ac.uk]
This is the launch page for the Pathways to Philosophy distance learning programs run by the International Society for Philosophers in partnership with the Philosophical Society of England
The new URL for the Pathways to Philosophy Portal is:
The new URL for Ask a Philosopher is:
Please adjust your links or bookmarks to these URLs.
SHARPEN YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE (2005) YEAR'S FINANCIAL REPORTING STANDARDS AND DEVELOPMENTS --- http://accountingeducation.com/index.cfm?page=newsdetails&id=141776
Bob Jensen's threads on U.S. accounting standards are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm
"Dead Men Do Tell Tales: Virtual autopsies reveal clues that forensic pathologists might miss," by John Gartner, MIT's Technology Review, November 23, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com//wtr_15922,1,p1.html?trk=nl
In a trend that's sure to show up soon on CSI, some medical examiners are performing computer scans on cadavers, both to accelerate the autopsy process and to provide better views of fatal injuries. These "virtual" autopsies can help solve crimes -- as well develop strategies for extending lives.
During the past 18 months, radiologists in Sweden have performed more than 100 virtual autopsies on murder victims, according to Anders Ynnerman, a professor in the Department of Science and Technology at Linköpings University, who also works at the Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV) in Linköping. Ynnerman says evidence from virtual autopsies has been used to clarify the cause of death in several criminal trials in Sweden.
A virtual autopsy begins with either a computer tomography (CT) or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan -- the same systems used in hospitals. Then a graphics workstation compiles the "slices" of data collected in the scans into a single three-dimensional visualization -- a rendition that's beyond the capabilities of standard software used for visualizing CT and MRI results, according to Ynnerman.
Full-body scans take approximately 20 seconds, while the graphics workstations can compile the data into a navigable 3-D image within one minute, says Dr. Anders Persson, manager of the CMIV. And the scans cost about $350 each.
The process is more effective than standard autopsies in certain respects, Persson says, because the visualizations make it is easier to see bleeding patterns and to correctly classify infections. Also, while the imaging technologies can't detect poisons, they help pathologists identify areas that may yield evidence, and perform targeted biopsies, rather than opening up the entire body, he says.
Continued in article
From the Scout Report on November 23, 2005
Governance Divide: A Report on a Four-State Study on Improving College Readiness and Success --- http://www.highereducation.org/reports/governance_divide/governance_divide.pdf
Many policy analysts and commentators have been bemoaning the fact that the United States’ substantial lead in the worlds of technology and scientific discovery seems to be fading rather quickly. A number of policy think-tanks have preoccupied themselves with exploring this question, and The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education has been exploring the very complex link between K-12 and postsecondary education policymaking as of late. One of their latest reports, released in September 2005, examines the efforts made by four states in order to improve the transition from high school to college. The report was jointly written by the Center, the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research, and the Institute for Educational Leadership. Among its findings were that states should ensure that students in high school understand what the expectations in college will be and that states also provide better information about education for policymakers and the public.
The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement --- http://www.csrclearinghouse.org/
Policy Review http://www.policyreview.org/
The Hoover Institution at Stanford University publishes a number of important and widely read publications, and perhaps one of its best known periodicals is Policy Review. Under the guidance of editor Tod Lindberg, Policy Review continues to publish a wide range of pieces on topics ranging from affirmative action to eminent domain. On their site, visitors can learn about the mission of the publication and they can browse their extensive archive, which dates back to 1995. A section titled “Special” features interviews with Dick Cheney from 1993 and Joseph Lieberman from 1990. The most recent issue of Policy Review available on the site features pieces on the current state of Russia and how America might effectively restore its image around the world. Many pieces in Policy Review will be both thought- provoking and potentially controversial, and for those reasons, they are definitely worth a look.
Teen Content Creator and Consumers --- http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Teens_Content_Creation.pdf
With more and more young people using the internet for a wide variety of purposes, there has been an increased effort to study what exactly they arte doing online. This latest research report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project looks at how teenagers create content for the internet (such as weblogs) and how they choose to download content off the internet. Authored by Amanda Lenhart and Mary Madden and released in November 2005, this 29- page report reveals that over half of all the teens surveyed for this report create content for the internet and that thirty-eight percent of all teens surveyed read blogs. The report also contains a number of helpful charts and tables that will be of interest to those with an interest in the changing nature of internet usage patterns.
Happy 100th Birthday E=mc²
Einstein equation marks 100 years
Einstein's E=mc² inspires ballet
Rampart Dance Company: Constant Speed
American Museum of Natural History: Einstein http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/einstein/
Albert Einstein Biography
Einstein’s Big Idea
The Center for the History of Physics: Albert Einstein Image and Impact http://www.aip.org/history/einstein/
Kea Coloring Book 3.4 (software for kids) --- http://www.keasoftware.com/coloring/index.php
Bob Jensen provides some helpers for finding professional help at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fees.htm
VoIP Providers Heeding the Call?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that transmits phone calls much the same way e-mail travels over the Internet or corporate data networks . It's a great way to cut communications costs and add a raft of features to calling plans, so early adopters -- many of them tech-savvy -- put up with the glitches that plagued VoIP calling from the start. These days, quality is improving and VoIP calling is gaining wider adoption, but many kinks have yet to be worked out (For a product review of one service, see BW Online, 11/28/05, "Skype Has People Talking"). And pressure on providers such as Vonage to resolve the issues is higher than ever.
"VoIP Providers Heeding the Call?," Business Week, November 28, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/BWnov28
Boys & Girls Clubs of America --- http://www.bgca.org
National Adoption Information Clearinghouse --- http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/
On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets:
Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We investigate the efficacy of three aluminum helmet designs on a sample group of four individuals. Using a $250,000 network analyser, we find that although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government's invasive abilities. We theorize that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason.
"On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study," by Ali Rahimi1, Ben Recht , Jason Taylor, Noah Vawter, Allegedly bored geeks at MIT, February 17m 2005 --- http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/
"Should You Be in (Adult Webcam) Pictures?," by Regina Lynnk, Wired News, November 11, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,69545,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_3
Have you ever participated in an adult chat room? If so, you probably agreed to something like the terms above -- possibly without reading them. And if that's the case, you might want to get a copy of the new book webAffairs (NSFW), published by Eighteen Publications, as soon as possible to see whether you're in it.
. . .
The book is a large hardback, printed on heavy paper, each page a meticulously designed collage of webcam windows, chat excerpts, the author's narrative and snippets of conversation between the author and her husband. It raises questions of privacy in public spaces, of fidelity, of emotional and sexual involvement with lovers onscreen and off.
And it truly captures what it means to belong to an adult online community. In fact, it's the best window to cyber relationships -- and their effect on offline relationships -- I've seen.
"One of the interesting aspects of this project is the idea that virtual space is undefined," Show-n-tell says. "It blurs the line between public and private space as we understand it."
Continued in article
"BlackBerry Blackout," The Wall Street Journal, November 30, 2005; Page A18 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113331772773709819.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
There's a chance, albeit a small one, that sometime this week BlackBerries around the country could go quiet. Depending on where you stand on these pervasive email handheld devices, that may or may not seem like a good thing. But it's a sign of how quickly our economy adapts to new technologies that a BlackBerry service break would prove highly inconvenient to many businesses and positively disruptive to some. Whatever happens, however, the U.S. government wants to make sure its "crackberry" addicts still get their fix.
The threat of a service interruption comes at the end of a four-year-long legal battle between Research in Motion, the Canadian company that makes BlackBerries and manages the email service, and NTP, a patent-holder that has sued RIM, claiming its technology violates patents held by NTP.
RIM lost the original case years ago, but it has since been tied up in appeals, U.S. Patent Office rulings and settlement negotiations. A federal judge is expected to rule soon on whether to enforce a March settlement that later fell apart over an undisclosed dispute, while the Patent Office is still reviewing the validity of NTP's patents themselves.
If the settlement is not enforced, an injunction could be placed barring RIM from providing service in the U.S. until RIM licenses NTP's patents. That's a chance the feds don't want to take, so earlier this month the Justice Department filed a statement of interest in the case, requesting that any injunction exclude the government's 300,000 or so users. NTP says the technology exists to do so fairly easily.
Continued in article
RIM is trying to reverse its loss of a
patent-infringement suit filed by NTP, which claimed RIM infringed on
several patents, including NTP's radio-communications technology. Given the
popularity of the Blackberry among businesspeople, stopping the service
would leave lots of companies scrambling. Experts say a settlement could
cost RIM as much as $1 billion. The company, however, says it has no
intention to pay. Instead, if it loses in court, RIM promises to release a
"software workaround" that would allow it to maintain its U.S. operations.
For RIM customers, particularly large companies, it would be a good idea to
start working with RIM now on its "workaround" plans. This case appears to
be more of a question of when NTP gets the injunction, not if, so Blackberry
users better be prepared.
Antone Gonsalves, InternetWeek Newsletter, December 1, 2005
"Palm stock rises as judge rules against BlackBerry maker," Mercury News, November 30, 2005 --- http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/columnists/13294782.htm
Eat, Sleep, Work, Consume, Die
Just because technology makes it possible for us to work 10 times faster than we used to doesn't mean we should do it. The body may be able to withstand the strain -- for a while -- but the spirit isn't meant to flail away uselessly on the commercial gerbil wheel. The boys in corporate don't want you to hear this because the more they can suck out of you, the lower their costs and the higher their profit margin. And profit is god, after all. (Genuflect here, if you must.).
Tony Long, "Eat, Sleep, Work, Consume, Die," Wired News, November 10, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,68742,00.html
FDA approves brain stem cell transplant trial
For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a clinical trial to test whether a purified population of human neural, or brain, stem cells can be safely used in humans. The (Stanford) medical center is one site being considered for the trial, which is designed to investigate the effect of transplanted stem cells in children with Batten disease—a fatal genetic disorder. The FDA-approved protocol, which was designed in part by Stanford physicians and researchers Stephen Huhn, MD, and Greg Enns, MD, will now be submitted to the medical center's Institutional Review Board for the consideration afforded all trials involving human subjects. Huhn and Enns are slated to co-direct the trial if the IRB approves the protocol. Researchers speculate that the cells, which are isolated from fetal brain tissue, may provide enzymes that are missing or defective in patients with the condition. However, the planned phase-I trial is primarily designed to test the safety of the treatment.
Krista Conger, "FDA approves brain stem cell transplant trial," Stanford Today, October 26, 2005 ---
Hormone finding offers new hope for obesity drug
When the appetite-enhancing hormone ghrelin was discovered a few years ago, researchers thought they had found the last of the major genes that regulate weight. They were wrong. Introducing obestatin, a newly discovered hormone that suppresses appetite. The finding, published in the Nov. 11 issue of Science, offers a key to researchers developing treatments for obesity. In a nation that desperately needs to slim down—the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 65 percent of Americans over the age of 20 are either overweight or obese—obestatin is likely to generate interest from scientists and drug-makers alike.
Rosanne Spector, "Hormone finding offers new hope for obesity drug," Stanford Today, October 26, 2005 ---
Senior Citizen Bloggers Defy Stereotypes
Forget shuffleboard, needlepoint and bingo. Web logs, more often the domain of alienated adolescents and home to screeds by middle-aged pundits, are gaining a foothold as a new leisure-time option for senior citizens. There's Dad's Tomato Garden Journal, Dogwalk Musings, and, of course, the Oldest Living Blogger.
Carla K. Johnson, "Senior Citizen Bloggers Defy Stereotypes," The Washington Post, November 10, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/10/AR2005111001881.html?referrer=email
They're still fools at Sony: The Trojan horse fix creates
Consumers who used computers to listen to Sony BMG music CDs containing flawed software were still exposed to potentially crippling security breaches yesterday, experts said, as the company continued to try to fix the problem. Sony BMG Music Entertainment released a software patch earlier in the week, but experts warned that the fix created as many security problems as the original program, and as of yesterday the company had not come up with a new approach.
Brian Krebs, "Sony's Fix for CDs Has Security Problems of Its Own," The Washington Post, November 17, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/16/AR2005111602242.html?referrer=email
Jensen Comment: Actually Microsoft has a better fix to Windows problems created by Sony. However, the fixes from Microsoft and Sony eliminate the ability to play BMG music on your computer. What a stupid mess!
Merger Creates New Rival for Big Four Firms
The merger of Global Alliance and Moore Stephens North America, Incorporated has created one of the largest Certified Public Accounting (CPA) organizations in the world based on revenues. Known as Moore Stephens International (MSI), the association will be headquartered in New York City, New York and be represented by more than 500 offices around the world having gross revenues exceeding $1.25 billion.
"Merger Creates New Rival for Big Four Firms," AccountingWeb, November 16, 2005 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=101490
Palmetto Rebellion South Carolina Republicans will cut taxes--or else.
Even when tax rates remain unchanged, a dramatic uptick in home values can push tax bills through the roof. The result is today many seniors on fixed incomes can't hold onto homes they've lived in for decades. Steep tax bills also force the poor to forgo homeownership and with it the hope of making it into the middle class. Meanwhile, middle-class homeowners struggle to pay the taxman.
Brendan Minter, "Palmetto Rebellion South Carolina Republicans will cut taxes--or else. ," The Wall Street Journal, November 29, 2005 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/bminiter/?id=110007609
Texas School Lesson: The Supreme Court Strikes Down Robin Hood
The Texas Supreme Court did the expected last week and struck down the statewide property tax for funding public schools. But what was surprising and welcome was the Court's unanimous ruling that the Texas school system, which spends nearly $10,000 per student, satisfies the funding "adequacy" requirements of the state constitution. Most remarkable of all was the court's declaration that "more money does not guarantee better schools or more educated students."
"Texas School Lesson," The Wall Street Journal, November 29, 2005; Page A18 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113323153685208752.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
November 28, 2005 message from Silvia Childs [email@example.com]
Thank you so much for deciding to include a link to our site on your personal web page.
This is the linking info:
Suggested Title: Algebra Tutor Suggested Description: Search out instant solutions to nerve-breaking math problems with a downloadable resource designed to help people learn algebra in an easier step-by-step way. URL: http://www.algebra1help.com
Search out instant solutions to nerve-breaking math problems with a downloadable resource designed to help people learn algebra in an easier step-by-step way.
November 11, 2005 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]
From the Wall Street Journal:
As the Detroit Pistons were introduced before the Kings' home opener, the people who run the video screens at Arco Arena chose to show scenes of burned-out cars, buildings in disrepair and other shots that didn't exactly make one want to contact a Motor City realtor.
"We're sick about it and we're sorry," said Kings co-owner Joe Maloof. "It was an unfortunate, stupid idea. We are apologizing to the city, Pistons fans, the mayor, the organization. The whole thing was a big mess."
This sort of degradation of a city should be left to Michael Moore who launched his film career and fortune by doing the same thing to Flint, Michigan in 1989 --- http://www.michaelmoore.com/dogeatdogfilms/rogerme.html
For a synopsis see http://lists.cat.org.au/pipermail/canberra/2004-January/000290.html
The script is available at http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/r/roger-and-me-script-transcript.html
The Net is wriggling into the nooks and crannies of
businesses across the world. Here, a glimpse at the future
The Web is wriggling into the nooks and crannies of businesses across the globe, from an Italian electricity giant to an onion farm in Oregon. Some companies are culling data they had never encountered before and sharing the information with customers via blogs or wireless hookups. Others are turning customers into their eyes and ears in the marketplace. Sure, the technology is zippy. But this year's WebSmart 50 shows that the bigger story, in many cases, is how it redefines age-old relationships. Suppliers are becoming partners, developers are suddenly knee-deep in customer relations, and employees who used to be the last to find out news are publishing it themselves. Such changes are having a far greater impact on companies than anything Google or Apple has cooked up. Plenty of these projects are about nuts-and-bolts management. But they aren't limited to companies. Schools, public bus systems, even New York City's government are using the Web to reshape operations. Kaiser Permanente's digitization of patient records helped it uncover problems with Vioxx a year before the drug's recall. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals revamped its site on a dime after Hurricane Katrina so it could recruit volunteers for the first time in its 130-year history.
"The Web Smart 50," Business Week, November 21, 2005 --- http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_47/b3960401.htm
"Borderline Stupidity," by Felice Prager, The Irascible Professor, November 15, 2005 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-11-15-05.htm
Morgan Quitno Press - "Reliable Rankings for 16 Years."
As explanation, Morgan Quitno Press of Lawrence, Kansas (not far, I am told, from where Dorothy and Toto lifted off to find the ruby slippers and flying monkeys) produces annual announcements that designate our country's:
Safest City - Newton, Massachusetts
Most Dangerous City - Camden, New Jersey
Smartest State - Massachusetts in 2004 (before Vermont got the honors this year)
Most Improved State - New Hampshire
Most Livable State - New Hampshire
Healthiest State - Vermont
Safest State - North Dakota
Most Dangerous State – Nevada
Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention
(American History) ---
Helpers for teaching MIS
November 15, 2005 message from David Kroenke
Recently, I attended two seminars with Dr. Marilla Svinicki from the University of Texas. Dr. Svinicki presented several research-based teaching ideas that I think can be profitably used in the introductory MIS class. Several of these ideas along with results of using them in my MIS class are out on www.TeachingMIS.com this week.
I also recently learned of the work on Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) that is supported by the University of Michigan. This week's blog has several links to this important work as well.
Please take a look! www.TeachingMIS.com
University of Washington
World Agricultural Information Centre Portal --- http://www.fao.org/waicent/
Bob Jensen's bookmarks for economic statistics are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics
Helpers for Personal Finance from the Texas Society of CPAs
November 11, 2005 message for The AccountingWeb
Welcome to Money Management U!
AccountingWEB.com - Nov-11-2005 - How much time do employees at your firm spend dealing with, or just worrying about, their personal finances? According to a recent Texas Poll, nearly 30 percent of Texas employees spend six or more work hours a week on personal finance. With the holidays coming, personal finance is likely to assume an even more prominent role in everyone’s minds as we contemplate buying gifts, preparing holiday meals, traveling to visit family and other holiday activities.
In order to help staff members keep their minds on their jobs, not their checkbooks, the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) is launching Money Management U., a statewide employee enrichment program offering free personal finance resources for the workplace.
Money Management U. materials cover a variety of personal finance topics including identity theft, home buying, credit card debt, and educating children about money. Among the resources available are:
articles for employee newsletters and/or company intranets
- table tents
- paycheck inserts
In addition, companies can request CPA speakers for employee seminars on personal finance topics. Money Management U. resources can be downloaded for free from the TSCPA’s consumer web site at www.ValueYourMoney.org
New Financial Literacy
Resources for the Workplace
Having a job may give you a paycheck, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you know what to do with the money you earn. Thanks to Money Management U., an employee enrichment program, the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants is offering free financial literacy resources for the workplace.
Financial Recordkeeping Checklist
Drowning in receipts, paycheck stubs, old tax returns, and bank records? Are your expandable file folders expanded past their limit? Is your attic home to dusty boxes filled with old financial records? How long do you have to retain them, anyway?
Shredding: From Nicety to Necessity
If you employ even one person like a nanny, a housekeeper or a gardener, take note. Destroy personal information or face possible fines with a Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act provision going into effect this summer.
Guarding Against Identity Theft
Minimize your risk for becoming a victim of identity theft with these helpful steps. This article covers how thieves obtain your information, preventive steps and what to do if you're victimized.
Bankruptcy Law Changes Go Into Effect
It’s a new chapter for bankruptcy law in the United States and the page is turning in October – creating a rush of last-minute filers..
A Survival Plan for Important Papers
In the wake of the Hurricane Katrina and Rita disasters, many Americans are re-examining their own readiness to react, and quickly, should catastrophe strike their home, whether hurricane, flood, fire, tornado or other calamity.
Disaster Recovery Guide for Hurricane
The Texas Society of CPAs offers its condolences to those who've lost loved ones and their livelihoods to Hurricane Rita and Katrina. For those displaced by both Gulf Coast disasters, a free disaster recovery financial planning guide is available to help navigate insurance, tax deductions, replacing important documents, and much more.
Charitable Giving Checklist(.pdf)
Your guide to smart tax-deductible contributions.
Free Credit Reports Now Available to Texans
In the battle to fight identity theft, Texans can now order free credit reports every 12 months from each of the three national credit bureaus. Credit scores aren't included in the free offer though. You'll have to pay up to get your digits.
Free Financial Planning Disaster
Preparedness Guide Available
Be ready before disaster strikes. Get the information you need to know to protect your loved ones and property with insurance, estate planning and more.
Tax tips and small business helpers are also provided at www.ValueYourMoney.org
"KPMG Honored for Programs in Support of Disabled," SmartPros, November 22, 2005 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x50745.xml
Accounting firm KPMG has been selected by the YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities (NIPD) Network as its "2005 Corporation of the Year" recipient.
The annual award was accepted by KPMG LLP chairman and CEO Timothy P. Flynn at the agency's "Share the Joy" gala in Manhattan this month. The YAI/NIPD Network is a network of not-for-profit health and human services agencies for people with developmental and learning disabilities.
"This award recognizes KPMG for their long and continued commitment to helping create jobs for people with disabilities, and also their support of YAI's fundraising activities," said Dr. Joel M. Levy, CEO of the YAI/NIPD Network. "We are thankful for their continued support, and we are pleased to recognize KPMG as a firm that is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of these individuals."
KPMG's Flynn commented, "KPMG has supported the YAI/NIPD Network and its programs through volunteerism, board participation and individual and corporate fundraising initiatives for more than a decade. We are honored to be chosen for this distinguished award and pleased to be among an impressive list of past and present honorees."
Past honorees of the award have included Pfizer, Avon Products, RJR Nabisco and Time.
Bob Jensen's threads on the two faces of KPMG are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#KPMG
Electronic Books, Poems, and Journals
Forwarded by Betty Carper
Audrey Hepburn's Secret to Great Beauty
Actually titled “Time Tested Beauty Tips,” this poem by Sam Levenson is commonly mis-credited to Audrey Hepburn. A favorite of hers, she read it to her children on the very last Christmas Eve she spent with us here on Earth.
TIME TESTED BEAUTY TIPS
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.
If you share this with another woman, something good will happen . . ..you will boost another woman's self esteem, and she will know that you care about her.
Hope video (forwarded by Dick Wolff) --- http://i.euniverse.com/funpages/cms_content/2529/4candles.swf
Forwarded by a good friend.
Subject: Meeting with President @ White House
On Fri, 25 Nov 2005 13:02:09 -0500, "Congressman Dan Lungren" <Ca03reply@mail.house.gov> wrote:
November 23, 2005
I thought you might be interested in hearing about an unexpected experience I had two weeks ago. On Wednesday, November 9, my office received a call in the morning asking if I would come to the White House to meet with the President on the war in Iraq and other issues. I had my staff rearrange my schedule so I could attend and along with less than two dozen other members boarded a bus to go to the White House at 3:30 in the afternoon.
When we arrived at the White House, we were surprised to be led up to the second floor - the private quarters of the President and his family - for our meeting. While I have been in and around Washington, DC off and on for 35 years and have had the opportunity to be invited to the White House on a number of occasions, this is the first chance I had to visit the private quarters.
After a short period of social mixing, we sat down on several couches and chairs to engage in a dialogue with President Bush. Contrary to some of the press reports I have seen recently concerning his personal demeanor, the President was very friendly, outgoing, vigorous in his presentation, well versed on the issues, and manifested a command of details. It was obvious that he sees the defense of the nation against the danger of radical Islamic fascism as his major duty. He is passionate in his description of the threat to our nation. In particular, he read us a letter written by Al-Qaida's number two leader, Ayman Zawahiri to his deputy in Iraq - the terrorist Zarqawi. In the letter, Zawahiri writes that Al-Quaida views Iraq as "the place of the greatest battle." In this and other parts of the letter, it is obvious the terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in a war against us and others who are part of the "western world".
The President made it clear that we should take these terrorists at their word and understand clearly the importance they have attached to the outcome of the war in Iraq. In fact in his letter, Zawahiri makes specific reference to the outcome of the Vietnam War and declares that "the aftermath of the collapse of the American power in Vietnam - how they ran and left their agents - is noteworthy." Further in the letter Al-Qaida's number two leader stresses the specific goals of their Jihad: "The First Stage - expel the Americans in Iraq. The Second Stage - reestablish an Islamic Authority or Amirati, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a Caliphate. The Third Stage - extend Jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq. The Fourth Stage - the clash with Israel."
Zawahari makes it clear that the war does not end with the Americans' departure from the region and that they must defeat us before the appeal of democracy to the Iraqis is successful in establishing a stable government. Interestingly enough, he notes that the greatest part of the struggle is taking place "in the battlefield of the media".
The President recognized the necessity for us to "succeed in the battlefield of the media". In other words, he stated that he would be discussing the war on terrorism repeatedly and in greater detail than he had before, that the sacrifice sustained by our men and women in uniform require us to be more vigorous in our defense of our actions. In short order, let me quickly mention several points the President stressed about the current state of affairs in Iraq.
1. We are taking cities and territories back from terrorist control.
2. Iraqi troops are securing more areas. (For example: in August 2004, fiveIraqi Regular Army battalions were in combat. Today, ninety-one Iraqi Regular Army battalions are in combat.)
3. Iraqis are making great strides in making a democracy with greater freedom. (It seems that we do not recognize the importance of several historic actions taken by the Iraqi people so far this year. The January elections were historic, dramatic, and successful. On the 15th of October, nearly 10 million Iraqis turned out to vote on a new constitution. And in less than a month, Iraqis will go to the polls to elect a permanent government.)
We had an opportunity to question the President on his strategies, the opinions of our military leaders, the rate of progress leading to the withdrawal of American troops in Iraq, the need to be more direct with the American people on the challenges that lie ahead as well as issues concerning the cost of the war and the long term prospects in the Middle East.
I had an opportunity to raise some of these questions as well as deliver to the President other concerns expressed by the constituents who have attended my 3rd District Town Hall meetings. These included the serious problems of illegal immigration and continued federal deficit spending. In the arena of the budget deficit, we have different perspectives. I politely, but strongly articulated my concerns that have been echoed by 3rd District constituents in 17 town halls and or telephone town hall phone conversations throughout 2005 and suggested that the President exercise the use of his veto pen on spending bills.
In total, we met with the President for about one hour and fifteen minutes. The consensus of those in attendance was that the President was open to us, took into consideration the points that we raised, and was very much in command of facts, tactics, and strategy concerning our greatest challenge - terrorism in the name of Islamic fascism. I hope this gives you some idea of the dynamics of a meeting with the President of the United States as well as the current state of his thinking. I would welcome any comments you might have on the issues that were raised.
Congressman Dan Lungren
Forwarded by Dick Haar
The True Origin of the Internet
In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot.
And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she had been called 'Amazon Dot Com.'
And she said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why dost thou travel far from town to town with thy goods when thou can trade without ever leaving thy tent?" And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, "How, dear?" And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale and they will reply telling you which hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."
Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever moving from his tent.
But this success did arouse envy. A man named Maccabia did secrete himself inside Abraham's drum and was accused of insider trading. And the young man did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Siderites, or NERDS for short.
And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to the drum maker, one Brother William of Gates, who bought up every drum company in the land. And indeed did insist on making drums that would work only with Brother Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.
And Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others."
And as Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or as it came to be known "eBay" he said, "We need a name that reflects what we are."
And Dot replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators."
"YAHOO," said Abraham.
And that is how it all began. It wasn't Al Gore after all.
Forwarded by Paula
Here's one to see how fast you are. DON'T LET THE EGGS HIT THE GROUND. HAVE FUN. Click here: Chicken and Eggs --- http://www.downloadlab.com/chickenandeggs.html
How to get back at smokers --- http://www.metacafe.com/watch/36722/dont_smoke_in_public/
Eddie took his blond girlfriend to her first football game. They had great seats right behind their team's bench. After the game, he asked her how she like the experience.
"It was great, especially the tight pants and all the big muscles," she said. "But I just can't understand why they were killing each other over 25 cents."
"What do you mean?" Eddie asked dumbfounded.
"Well, I saw them flip a coin, and one team got it," she explained. "And then for the rest of the game, all they kept screaming was: 'Get the quarterback! 'Get the quarterback!' Hel-lllo! It's only 25 cents."