Tidbits on December 5, 2005
Bob Jensen
at Trinity University 

My links on Medicare drug plan options are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#Medicare
Under no circumstance should anybody sign up for a plan with a stranger over the telephone even if that person claims to be a Medicare representative or a licensed insurance agent who phoned out of the blue.

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/.

I really like the Digital Duo show that appears weekly once again on PBS.  I found that you can bring up prior shows (video) on your computer by going to http://www.pcworld.com/digitalduo/index/0,00.asp

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 

Stay up on the latest and the oldest hoaxes --- http://www.snopes.com/

Handy links to product instruction sheets --- http://www.instructionsheets.com/

Free video download
Protect your kids online and offline --- http://www.pcworld.com/digitalduo/video/0,segid,143,00.asp

PhysOrg Science Video News --- http://video.physorg.com/?channel=Science

I Am My Own Grandpa (video) --- http://www.ziplo.com/grandpa.htm

Turkey in the Straw (video) --- http://www.jacquielawson.com/viewcard.asp?code=0183913358

Hope video (forwarded by Dick Wolff) --- http://i.euniverse.com/funpages/cms_content/2529/4candles.swf


Free music downloads

In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Here's a good way to start Monday morning:
HOWDOWN --- http://mywebpages.comcast.net/singingman7777/Hoedown.htm

From the U.S. Library of Congress (American Music History)
Song of America --- http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cocoon/ihas/html/songofamerica/songofamerica.html
Especially note the link http://www.loc.gov/rr/perform/ihas/
I especially liked the explanation of the shanty
Shenandoah --- http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cocoon/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.200031132/default.html

November 30, 2005 message from Joyce Coe [bushcoe@cox.net]

Any idea where the site singingman.us has relocated to? I love his site and recently logged on only to discover it was a medical clinic site from Tuscaloosa, AL now. Any pointers would be fabulous! Thanks for your amazing link!

Joyce Coe

Bob Jensen's reply on December 1, 2005

Try http://mywebpages.comcast.net/singingman7/ 

My favorite is http://mywebpages.comcast.net/singingman7/TOL.htm

Three funny short stories accompanied by great music from SingingMan Larry D.---
(Click the hand on the bottom to go from one to another)

Walk to School --- http://mywebpages.comcast.net/singingman7777/WTS.htm


Paris: Capital of the 19th Century (History) --- http://dl.lib.brown.edu/paris/index.html
(Click on the Thumbnails button for photographs and other pictures)

Chartres: Cathedral of Notre-Dame --- http://images.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/i/image/image-idx?c=chartres&page=index

Prints With/Out Pressure: American Relief Prints from the 1940s through the 1960s http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/spe/art/print/exhibits/pressure/index.html

Neon Sight Japan --- http://www.neonsight.com/

Andreas Steiner Photography --- http://www.andreassteiner.net/photography/

Michael Busselle Photography --- http://www.michael-busselle.com/

Large format photography --- http://www.largeformatphotography.info/

Adventure photography tips from National Geographic --- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/pathtoadventure/phototips/

Antique Maps of Iceland --- http://kort.bok.hi.is/

Interesting art photography --- http://gallery.smsviawap.de/category.php?cat=3

Electronic Literature

Bob Jensen's new document with electronic literature (books, poems, short stories, journals, etc.) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

eServer Books --- http://eserver.org/books/

Literary Resources on the Net --- http://www.andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Lit/

Books in Depth (including downloads of sample chapters) --- http://www.booksindepth.com/

Mystery books and short stories --- http://www.strandmag.com/mccall.htm

God's Debris --- http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/godsdebris/

The Atlantic Online --- http://www.theatlantic.com/books/books.htm

Midwest Book Review --- http://www.midwestbookreview.com/

The Grammatical Curmudgeon --- http://www.theplinth.org/
Other helpers from R.G. Ferrell --- http://www.theplinth.org/
Goblinopolis | Grammatical Curmudgeon | Short Fiction/Essays/Poetry Chasing the Wind | Government Information Security Forum (GovSec) Restless Wind | Tangent | Percussion Collection | Spacecraft Incident Database Humor Columns | Custom Font Design | Consulting/Internet Research Services Impromptu | Ambience

The Mississippi Review --- http://www.mississippireview.com/

American Verse Project (From the University of Michigan in collaboration with the Michigan Humanities Text In-------Initiative) --- http://www.hti.umich.edu/a/amverse/

So, you want to learn Bookkeeping! by Bean Counter's Dave Marshall --- http://www.dwmbeancounter.com/tutorial/Tutorial.html

Poem Hunter --- http://www.poemhunter.com/

British Women Romantic Poets, 1789 - 1832 (from U.C. Davis) --- http://digital.lib.ucdavis.edu/projects/bwrp/

Swarm Behive Poetry Anthology --- http://beehive.temporalimage.com/content_apps04/swarm/

Funny (at times) Poetry --- http://oldpoetry.com/poetry/19811

Classic Crime Fiction --- http://www.classiccrimefiction.com/history-articles.htm

Quotes Index --- http://www.faisal.com/quotes/

Maud Newton's Blog (Occasional literary links, amusements, politics, and rants) --- http://maudnewton.com/blog/


In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.
Stephen Jay Gould as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-11-28-05.htm

A recent article by Becky Bartindale and Lisa Krieger in the San Jose Mercury News chronicles the latest assault by the religious right on the teaching of evolution in the public schools.  Bartindale and Krieger's story describes the recent lawsuit by Jeanne Caldwell and her attorney husband Larry Caldwell, against two biologists from the University of California, Berkeley Museum of Paleontology who have developed an extensive web site that provides information about evolution for teachers as part of a web site that attempts to explain evolution to the general public.

Our placement of graduates continues to be a source of pride. The Daniels Class of 2004 had an overall placement rate of 90.1 percent for all graduate business degrees; our School of Accountancy graduates had a 99 percent placement rate.
School of Accountancy Newsletter, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver, November 28, 2005

It is especially gratifying when we can report good news.
  • The Wall Street Journal honored the School of Accountancy's MBA-Accounting program by ranking it as No.6 nationally for academic excellence in Accounting.
  • The School of Accountancy's Tax Team is one of six undergraduate teams moving on to the national competition in the Deloitte Tax Challenge.
  • The Wall Street Journal again honored Daniels as one of the world's best business schools. We ranked No. 4 in the world for producing graduates with high ethical standards and No. 8 nationally among 47 North American business schools.
  • Daniels also earned national recognition for its full- and part-time programs in Forbes.
  • In U.S.News & World Report's 2006 list of "America's Best Graduate Schools," the Daniels College of Business ranked at No. 78, up two places from 2005.

Handy links to product instruction sheets --- http://www.instructionsheets.com/

Handy links to product promotions --- http://www.fixtureferrets.co.uk/

Electronic repair information and help --- http://www.alldata.com/

Numeric Conversions --- http://convertplus.com/en/

What is the largest encyclopedia in the history of the world (in 82 languages no less)?


Wikipedia at http://www.wikipedia.org/
This online encyclopedia is free and allows virtually anybody in the world to make new entries or modifications to old entries merely by typing in a browser like Internet Explorer.  This degree of open share obviously causes problems since bad people are free to abuse the privilege of such open sharing.  Wikipedia is at last taking some serious steps to help reduce misleading information in the Encyclopedia. 

"FALSE WITNESS How true are "facts" online?," by Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times, December 4, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/04/weekinreview/04seelye.html 

E-Mail This Printer-Friendly Single-Page Reprints Save Article By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE

It has, by most measures, been a spectacular success. Wikipedia is now the biggest encyclopedia in the history of the world. As of Friday, it was receiving 2.5 billion page views a month, and offering at least 1,000 articles in 82 languages. The number of articles, already close to two million, is growing by 7 percent a month. And Mr. Wales said that traffic doubles every four months.

Still, the question of Wikipedia, as of so much of what you find online, is: Can you trust it?

And beyond reliability, there is the question of accountability. Mr. Seigenthaler, after discovering that he had been defamed, found that his "biographer" was anonymous. He learned that the writer was a customer of BellSouth Internet, but that federal privacy laws shield the identity of Internet customers, even if they disseminate defamatory material. And the laws protect online corporations from libel suits.

He could have filed a lawsuit against BellSouth, he wrote, but only a subpoena would compel BellSouth to reveal the name.

In the end, Mr. Seigenthaler decided against going to court, instead alerting the public, through his article, "that Wikipedia is a flawed and irresponsible research tool."

Mr. Wales said in an interview that he was troubled by the Seigenthaler episode, and noted that Wikipedia was essentially in the same boat. "We have constant problems where we have people who are trying to repeatedly abuse our sites," he said.

Still, he said, he was trying to make Wikipedia less vulnerable to tampering. He said he was starting a review mechanism by which readers and experts could rate the value of various articles. The reviews, which he said he expected to start in January, would show the site's strengths and weaknesses and perhaps reveal patterns to help them address the problems.

In addition, he said, Wikipedia may start blocking unregistered users from creating new pages, though they would still be able to edit them.

The real problem, he said, was the volume of new material coming in; it is so overwhelming that screeners cannot keep up with it.

Continued in article

Publisher and Education Fraud
Buy up and close down the competition:  It seems like this is what robber barons used to do in the 1900s and why the U.S. passed antitrust laws that don't seem to be working very well these days.

"Are Lawyers Being Overbilled for Their Test Preparation?" by Jonathan D. Glater, The New York Times, December 4, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/04/business/yourmoney/04law.html 

MANY executives dream of dominating their industries the way BAR/BRI does the business of helping law school graduates prepare for bar examinations. Every law student knows BAR/BRI. Hundreds of thousands of them have taken its courses to pass the bar, an essential step in most states before a law school graduate can practice law. Some of the best law professors in the country teach segments of the company's courses, which are offered live in select locations and on videotape at others.

But now BAR/BRI could use a few lawyers itself. Some of the people who paid the fees, took the courses and passed the bar have turned on the company, which is owned by the Thomson Corporation of Stamford, Conn. Represented by an aggressive Los Angeles lawyer named Eliot G. Disner, they have filed a lawsuit charging that the company that helped them to become lawyers has operated an illegal monopoly and has overcharged hundreds of thousands of students by an average of $1,000 each - or, collectively, by hundreds of millions of dollars.

In complaints filed in the spring and summer, different groups of students charged that BAR/BRI has paid competitors to shut down and negotiated illegal agreements with potential competitors to divide the market. In particular, they cite a 2003 agreement with Louisiana State University, which until 2004 operated its own bar review course; under the deal, BAR/BRI promised to pay tens of thousands of dollars each year to the school, and the school promised not to run a competing bar review course.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on publisher frauds are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#ScholarlyJournals

A new blog from the University of Illinois
--- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

Is your doctor's needle long enough to do the job? (This is not humor even if you do chuckle a little!)
Two-thirds of the 50 patients in the study did not receive the full dosage of the drug, which instead lodged in the fat tissue of their buttocks, researchers from The Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Dublin said in a presentation to the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.
"Study - Longer needles needed for fatter buttocks," Yahoo News, November 28, 2005 --- http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051128/hl_nm/buttocks_dc

From WebMd on November 30, 2005 --- http://www.webmd.com/

Anxiety Disorders Association of America --- http://www.adaa.org/home.asp

Five Nobel Laureates recently got together to talk about the future of the brain at a symposium to inaugurate MIT's new Picower Institute for Learning and Memory. One of them was Eric Kandel, a neuroscientist at Columbia University in New York, who won the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for seminal experiments on sea snails that illuminated the neurobiology of learning and memory. In a conversation on December 1 with TechnologyReview.com's biotechnology editor, Emily Singer, Kandel explained how researchers are on the verge of understanding serious psychiatric diseases -- and that they may even unlock the biological key to happiness.
Emily Singer, "Don't Worry, Be Happy Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel explains how genetic research could lead to a new generation of anti-anxiety drugs," MIT's Technology Review, December 5, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com//wtr_15960,1,p1.html?trk=nl

New Gadgets to Help You Get to Sleep

"Getting in Bed With Insomnia:  Can 'Audio' Mattresses, Pillows With Aromas Bring Sleep? 'Cheaper to Go to the Doctor'," by June Fletcher, The Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2005; Page W12 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113347971139111760.html?mod=todays_us_weekend_journal

With reports of the disorder on the rise, mattress and foundation makers are introducing a range of products that claim to help consumers get more shut-eye. One new $100 pillow has a pocket to hold essential-oil beads that are supposed to lull consumers to sleep. A just-introduced mattress pad that goes for $240 promises to keep sleepers from sweating. Leading the pack: mattress makers, whose sales rose 11% in 2004, according to the International Sleep Products Association. That growth is being driven by both aging, aching boomers and the new foam "memory" mattresses, originally from Sweden, which have taken off in the last few years.

Many of these new products promise to help consumers get bed rest by relying on scent or sound -- a change in strategy from just a few years ago, when "firm" was the buzzword for sleep-friendly mattresses and pillows. Now, makers tout "softness," while "warmth" is being played down. In fact, because so many items, from fluffy comforters to giant body pillows, have been layered on upscale beds in recent years, many makers now tout the ability of their products to keep sleepers from getting too hot or wick away sweat.

The bedding industry is seizing on sleep because there seems to be a decreasing amount of it. A poll of 1,500 Americans by the National Sleep Foundation, an educational and advocacy group, found that 75% of the participants reported sleeping problems this year, up from 69% in 2001. Many sufferers are older, but even younger people are slumber-challenged: The number of adults under 44 who are using prescription sleeping aids doubled over the past five years, according to Medco Health Solutions, a drug-benefit-management firm that surveyed 2.4 million prescription-drug claims.

But how do the new products work? For now, the research seems to be mixed. No large-scale independent studies have proven that sound, scent, temperature or softness cure insomnia. However, several small studies support some of these claims. A 1997 study of 21 adults by a division of New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center in White Plains, N.Y., showed that cooler body temperatures encourage sleep. And a study of 60 people earlier this year by researchers at Case Western Reserve University and a university in Taiwan showed that lavender oils wafted through a room helped elderly people sleep more soundly. Still, Dr. Lawrence MacDonald, medical director of the Sinai-Grace Sleep Disorder Center in Detroit, Mich., says insomnia is best treated by regulating light and bedtime. "You can simply use an eye mask," he says.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment: 
Download my accounting theory videos.  The can put you to sleep better than anything mentioned above --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5341/

Yes, you can teach an old brain new tricks.

"Even Old Brains Seem Flexible Enough To Enjoy a Workout," by Sharon Begley, The Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2005; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113348337049711901.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace

Yes, you can teach an old brain new tricks.

Take the visual cortex, which turns out to be quite a job hopper. In 1996, scientists using fMRI to peer inside the brains of blind people reading Braille found that the visual cortex processes the sense of touch. This big hunk of neural space (visual regions take up 35% of the brain, and 35% of a brain is a terrible thing to waste) noticed that no signals were arriving from the eyes, and looked around for other employment possibilities. With streams of input arriving from the fingertips, the opportunity was obvious.

People who became blind later in life didn't show this "cross modal" plasticity, suggesting that old brains can't change jobs. But many of those late-blind people lost their sight slowly, to diabetes, for instance. This may be too slow for the visual cortex to notice.

When blindness comes on suddenly, the brain is remarkably nimble even in adulthood. A few years ago Alvaro Pascual-Leone of Harvard Medical School and colleagues blindfolded healthy, sighted adults for a week. Every day, the recruits studied Braille. After mere days, their visual cortex was processing touch.

This job switch happened too quickly to reflect new neuronal connections from, say, the fingers. Instead, those connections must have always been there, Dr. Pascual-Leone suspects, and become "unmasked" only when needed. That suggests that the visual cortex is misnamed. It doesn't see, necessarily, but makes spatial discriminations. "It's easier to do this with vision, but if there is no visual input it can rope in the next-best things, like feeling or hearing," he says.

Indeed, in congenitally blind people the visual cortex also localizes sounds, figuring out where a noise came from.

The visual cortex can also become a linguist. Harvard's Amir Amedi and colleagues recently found that people blind from birth seem to use their visual cortex to, of all things, generate verbs when an experimenter says a noun. "Apple" elicits "eat," and "piano" brings "play." But if researchers temporarily knock out the visual cortex with a magnetic pulse, the blind come up with semantic nonsense, such as "sit" for "apple."

The malleability of the brain well into adulthood can be a cause of both concern and optimism. The down side is that artificial vision, using tiny cameras to capture images and send them to the visual cortex, may be a pipe dream. Unless it's done soon after birth, which may not be practical, those images will be landing in a visual cortex that has moved on to other jobs, and the signals will not produce sight.

Continued in article

" 'My Lobotomy': Howard Dully's Journey," NPR, November 16, 2005 ---

On Jan. 17, 1946, a psychiatrist named Walter Freeman launched a radical new era in the treatment of mental illness in this country. On that day, he performed the first-ever transorbital or "ice-pick" lobotomy in his Washington, D.C., office. Freeman believed that mental illness was related to overactive emotions, and that by cutting the brain he cut away these feelings.

Freeman, equal parts physician and showman, became a barnstorming crusader for the procedure. Before his death in 1972, he performed transorbital lobotomies on some 2,500 patients in 23 states.

One of Freeman's youngest patients is today a 56-year-old bus driver living in California. Over the past two years, Howard Dully has embarked on a quest to discover the story behind the procedure he received as a 12-year-old boy.

In researching his story, Dully visited Freeman's son; relatives of patients who underwent the procedure; the archive where Freeman's papers are stored; and Dully's own father, to whom he had never spoken about the lobotomy.

"If you saw me you'd never know I'd had a lobotomy," Dully says. "The only thing you'd notice is that I'm very tall and weigh about 350 pounds. But I've always felt different -- wondered if something's missing from my soul. I have no memory of the operation, and never had the courage to ask my family about it. So two years ago I set out on a journey to learn everything I could about my lobotomy."

Neurologist Egas Moniz performed the first brain surgery to treat mental illness in Portugal in 1935. The procedure, which Moniz called a "leucotomy," involved drilling holes in the patient's skull to get to the brain. Freeman brought the operation to America and gave it a new name: the lobotomy. Freeman and his surgeon partner James Watts performed the first American lobotomy in 1936. Freeman and his lobotomy became famous. But soon he grew impatient.

. . .

"There were some very unpleasant results, very tragic results and some excellent results and a lot in between," says Dr. Elliot Valenstein, who wrote Great and Desperate Cures, a book about the history of lobotomies.

Continued in article and in audio

"Lawsuits Won't Stop Pandemics," by Paul A. Offit, The Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2005; Page A16 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113340332388210943.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

During the past 100 years, pharmaceutical companies have made vaccines against pertussis (whooping cough), polio, measles, rubella (German measles) and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), among others. As a consequence, the number of children in the U.S. killed by pertussis decreased from 8,000 each year to less than 20; the number paralyzed by polio from 15,000 to zero; those killed by measles from 3,000 to zero; those with severe birth defects caused by rubella from 20,000 to zero; and those with meningitis and bloodstream infections caused by Hib from 25,000 to less than 50. Vaccine makers have been the single most powerful force in determining how long we live; during the 20th century, the lifespan of Americans increased by 30 years -- mostly because of vaccines.

But the landscape of vaccines is also littered with tragedy. In the late 1800s, starting with Pasteur, scientists made rabies vaccines using cells from nervous tissue (such as animal brains and spinal cords); the vaccine prevented a uniformly fatal infection. But the rabies vaccine also caused seizures, paralysis and coma in as many as one of every 230 people that used it.

In 1942, the military injected hundreds of thousands of servicemen with a yellow fever vaccine. To stabilize the vaccine virus, scientists added human serum. Unfortunately, some of the serum came from people unknowingly infected with a hepatitis virus. As a consequence, 330,000 soldiers were infected, 50,000 developed severe hepatitis and 62 died.

In 1955, five companies stepped forward to make Jonas Salk's new formaldehyde-inactivated polio vaccine. One company -- Cutter Laboratories of Berkeley, Calif. -- made it badly. Because of Cutter's failure to completely inactivate the virus in their vaccine, 120,000 children were inadvertently injected with live, dangerous poliovirus; 40,000 developed mild polio, 200 were permanently paralyzed and 10 were killed. It was one of the worst biological disasters in American history.

Given all of these problems, what role did personal-injury lawyers play in pushing vaccine makers to make better, safer products? The answer: none. That's because the tragedies caused by vaccines weren't the result of foul play, cost-cutting, deceit or misrepresentation. Every problem was caused by the inevitable, painful, intolerable but requisite process of knowledge gained with time that is required for advances in science and medicine. Scientists eventually found a way to grow rabies virus in safer cells. The Cutter tragedy -- later found to be caused by a filtration problem shared by all five companies making polio vaccines -- was quickly identified and corrected. And when researchers later discovered hepatitis B virus -- the virus that had in retrospect contaminated the yellow fever vaccine -- they made a vaccine to prevent it.

Like it or not, we learn as we go. And no amount of suing is ever going to change that.

Continued in article

New Idea for Mystery Writers
Google searching helps commit a murder and then helps in convicting the murderer

"Ex-Computer Consultant Convicted In 'Google Murder' Trial ," Internet Week, November 30, 2005 --- http://www.internetweek.cmp.com/showArticle.jhtml?sssdmh=dm4.159504&articleId=174403108

In a murder trial featuring evidence of Google searches, jurors late Tuesday found former computer consultant Robert Petrick guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of his wife. He will serve a life sentence without possibility of parole. Prosecutors hadn't sought the death penalty. Petrick, who represented himself during the North Carolina trial, is expected to appeal and has requested a court appointed lawyer. Jurors rejected Petrick's attempts to convince them that Google searches for the words "neck," "snap," "break," and "hold," uncovered on his hard drive, were done by another user.

Petrick also failed to persuade jurors that all the evidence against him was circumstantial and that prosecutors hadn't proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he killed Janine Sutphen and dumped her body in a Raleigh-area lake.

Prosecutors had seized several computers from Petrick's home after Sutphen, a concert cellist, disappeared in January 2003. They used evidence collected from the hard drives to make their case. Internet histories showed that showing someone used Google to search the terms neck, snap break and hold and reviewed a document entitled "22 Ways to Kill a Man With Your Bare Hands." They also said that someone had researched body decomposition and the topography of the lake where Sutphen's body was found.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment: 
Here are the "22 Ways to Kill a Man With Your Bare Hands" --- http://www.totse.com/en/bad_ideas/irresponsible_activities/22kill.html

Why is Sony BMG like a bungling waiter?

Watching Sony BMG stumble from one fiasco to another over its copy-protection technology is like watching a silent-movie comedy about a bungling waiter. He starts to lose control of a heavy tray of soups and desserts, and, in trying to regain his balance, yanks tablecloths to the floor; sends silverware, dishes, and food flying; and veers around the room, knocking over furniture and patrons, and generally spreading disaster all around. Sony's efforts to extricate itself from its digital-rights-management scandal are a similarly spectacular series of pratfalls. But it's likely to have little long-term impact on Sony. Just some public embarrassment that Sony will quickly overcome, and fines that Sony can afford to pay. The effects on business are much bigger. The fiasco is another demonstration of the power of bloggers to shape public opinion. And the events also demonstrate yet again that consumer digital-rights-management technology doesn't work, and can't be made to work.
Mitch Wagner, InformationWeek Newsletter, November 28, 2005

Outpacing Moore's Law
Kevin Teixeira, a spokesperson for Intel, says data storage components, such as hard disks and flash chips, are actually outpacing Moore's Law, the credo that predicts the number of transistors on a chip will double roughly every 18 months. At the same time, the demand for the iPod nano, smart phones, digital cameras, and other devices that use flash memory will keep driving down the price of flash memory components. Unlike the spinning hard drive in today's computers, as well as iPods from months ago, flash memory has no moving parts, making a smaller, more rugged gadget that's also less prone to failure.
Kate Greene, "Storage Grows in a Flash:  The four-gigabyte Flash storage card in Apple's iPod Nano was obsolete before it hit store shelves," MIT's Technology Review, November 30, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com//wtr_15939,1,p1.html?trk=nl

Will your university contribute to your legal defense?
When Merle H. Weiner was hired as a law professor at the University of Oregon, she was told that one of her duties was to write articles and books — and she did just that, publishing extensively on her areas of expertise, one of which is domestic violence. But Weiner found out this year that even if the university expects her to publish, she was on her own when she faced a threatened suit over one of her articles, even though the university never contested the quality of the article and even though she had obtained legal opinions that she would prevail in court — if only someone had agreed to pay the bills necessary to fight.
Scott Jaschik, "Twisting in the Wind," Inside Higher Ed, November 30, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/11/30/liability

The Joys of Faculty Self-Evaluations --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/11/30/schwyzer

Distinction between lies and bullshit
The gist of Frankfurt’s argument, as you may recall, is that pitching BS is a very different form of activity from merely telling a lie. And Marshall’s comments do somewhat echo the philosopher’s point. Frankfurt would agree that “garden variety lying” is saying one thing when you know another to be true. The liar operates within a domain that acknowledges the difference between accuracy and untruth. The bullshitter, in Frankfurt’s analysis, does not. In a sense, then, the other feature of Marshall’s statement would seem to fit. Bullshit involves something like “indifference to factual information in itself.”
Scott McLemee, "Piled Higher and Deeper," Inside Higher Ed, November 29, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/11/29/mclemee

What is spoofing?

See http://www.paypalsucks.com/paypal-spoof-sites.shtml (this site has a great illustration of an eBay spoof)

Critical Update: Phishing and Spoof sites are reaching epidemic levels. You MUST learn about this right now and take action. While PayPal is most often the target of "spoofers," there has been a recent rash of spoof sites for almost every site on the net: PayPal, Ebay, US Bank, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Yahoo, Hotmail, Washington Mutual, Commerce Bank, and ANY ONLINE SITE. Whatever you do, DO NOT click on the link in the email! If you actually have an account at one of the companies mentioned, go there by opening your browser and typing in the correct URL yourself.

"Spoof sites" are web sites created by criminals to trick you into giving them your information. The sites are designed to copy the exact look and feel of the "real" site, in this case PayPal.com, but in fact, any information you enter will be going to criminals, not PayPal. These sites can be as simple as just copying the PayPal site via a "view, source" or built using advanced scripts so that for all intents and purposes, it looks and acts like the real PayPal site. After a thief builds such a site, they will usually email you (spam) saying things like "Your account is limited," or "We require additional information," or "Due to a security breach, we need to verify your information." This is known as "phishing." (Pronounced "fishing." To project yourself against "phishing" see our Spyware Solutions page.)

In the phishing email, there will be a link. It will look like https://www.PayPal.com/ ..., but in fact the email will hide the real address which will either be a string of numbers, or the PayPal.com URL followed by a bunch of cryptic looking information, or even something that resembles an email address. DO NOT CLICK on these links! It's like handing your car keys over to a chop-shop.

A fast-spreading variation on the long-running Sober worm is using extremely effective tactics to trick users.
"New Sober Worm Spoofs FBI, CIA ," by Gregg Keizer, InformationWeek, November 22, 2005 --- http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?sssdmh=dm4.159017&articleID=174401321

A new variation of the long-running Sober worm uses extremely effective tactics to trick users into infecting their PCs, security companies said Tuesday, including posing as messages from the FBI and CIA. Sober.w -- called Sober.x by Symantec, and Sober.z by Sophos and F-Secure -- is spreading rapidly, said security experts, fast enough for vendors to have amplified their threat levels Tuesday. Symantec raised its warning to a "3" in its 1 through 5 scale, the first time since the Zotob outbreak in August that the Cupertino, Calif.-based anti-virus vendor has taken a worm to that threat level.

"The rate of its spread is quite high," said Sam Curry, vice president of Computer Associates’ eTrust security group, who also called the raw number of infections "still relatively low, but growing."

U.K.-based MessageLabs disagreed with the second half of Curry's estimate, however. "The size of the attack indicates that this is a major offensive, certainly one of the largest in the last few months," spokesman Chaim Haas said. By mid-Tuesday, MessageLabs had stopped nearly 3 million copies of the worm from reaching its customers' inboxes.

Sophos, another U.K.-based anti-virus vendor, said that its tallies showed this Sober now accounting for 61 percent of all malware.

Sober.w is the most recent example of the two-year-old Sober family, and shares important characteristics with other variants, including bilingualism (messages arrive in either English or German), address hijacking, and mass-mailing.

Computer Associates' Curry believes the fast spread is due to better-than-average technical skills. "It's using slightly more effective techniques," said Curry, "including running three separate [SMTP] processes. That's becoming somewhat common, because the more simultaneous processes a worm runs, the more copies it can blitz out."

Others, however, credit the enticing bait dangled by the worm for its success. "I just don't see any technical reason why this has popped," said Alfred Huger, senior director of engineering for Symantec's security response team. Instead, he points to the worm's social engineering tricks, which include posing as a message from the CIA or FBI (English), or the Bundeskriminalamt, the German national police agency most like the FBI (German).

These messages, with spoofed return addresses such as "mail@cia.gov" and "admin@fbi.gov," claim that "We have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal Websites," and demand that the user open the attached .zip file, which supposedly contains questions to answer.

The FBI, in fact, took the unusual step Tuesday of issuing a statement saying that the messages were bogus. "These e-mails did not come from the FBI," the agency said. "Recipients of this or similar solicitations should know that the FBI does not engage in the practice of sending unsolicited e-mails to the public in this manner."

"This variant of Sober may catch out the unwary as they open their e-mail inbox," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, in a statement Tuesday. "Every law-abiding citizen wants to help the police with their inquiries, and some will panic that they might be being falsely accused of visiting illegal websites and click on the unsolicited email attachment."

Sober's creator or creators are unknown, although suspicions have long placed them in Germany. Recently, the Bavarian state police (Bayerisches Landeskriminalamt) predicted the release of a minor Sober variant the next day, leading to conjecture by security analysts that the police may be on the trail of the hackers. No arrests have been made of anyone accused of writing a Sober worm. The FBI urged users who had received the Sober.w worm to report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

What is pharming and why is it the most dangerous form of phishing and spoofing?

Pharming is a type of spoofing that utilizes Trojans programs, worms, or other virus technologies that attack the Internet browser address bar and is more dangerous than mere phishing. When users type in a valid URL they are redirected to the criminals' websites instead of the intended valid website.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharming

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

"Two More Ways to Fight Viruses, for Free," by Rob Pegoraro, The Washington Post, November 28, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/PegoraroNov28

But you don't have to. For several years, two Czech software developers have offered free versions of their anti-virus programs to home users. These no-charge downloads don't offer every feature provided by McAfee Inc. and Symantec Corp., the two security developers whose programs come pre-installed on most Windows PCs. But when put to the same tests as software from the Big Two, they did the job almost as well and with less fuss.

Both of these freebies -- Avast 4 Home Edition, from Prague's Alwil Software, and AVG Free Edition, from Brno-based Grisoft Inc. -- can be installed only on home computers that aren't put to any business or commercial use. (Income from sales to businesses and organizations covers the cost of this exercise in Internet charity.)

These two programs share a few welcome traits. Both are relatively small downloads -- almost 10 megabytes for Avast, just under 15 for AVG -- that tout compatibility with systems as old as Windows 95. And both automatically download updates every day and allow quick manual updates.

With Avast ( http://www.avast.com/eng/free_virus_protectio.html ), the major selling point is a greater sense of security. After a refreshingly fast install, Avast automatically scans your computer for trouble before allowing Windows to boot up -- a helpful precaution if the computer may already be infected.

Continued in article

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

From Jim Mahar's blog on November 29, 2005 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

Most corporate fraud found by luck: study - Yahoo! News

Most corporate fraud found by luck: study - Yahoo! News: "Despite tough regulations aimed at improving corporate governance, financial fraud is still on the rise around the world, and most is still detected by chance, a study from auditing firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) showed on Tuesday"

"For the roughly one-third which said they could quantify the cost of the fraud, the total losses exceeded $2 billion, or an average of $1.7 million per company.

"Economic crime remains difficult to detect, despite everybody's best efforts to invest in internal controls," said Steven Skalak, Global Investigations Leader at PWC.

The survey showed that the most common methods of finding out about financial fraud were still accidental, like calls to hotlines or tips from whistle-blower employees."

Why am I not surprised? Because if people want to hide their dishonesty, it is often easy to do. In class I occassionally use the Adelphia case where I hand out the footnotes that let to the Rigas' downfall.

Knowing that there was a problem, most people (myself included)could not tell for sure which footnote was the "smoking gun."

Bob Jensen's recent PowerPoint presentation on fraud is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudTrinidad.ppt

"Our accomplishments in Iraq make for long list," by Mary Laney, Chicago Sun-Times, November 28, 2005 --- http://www.suntimes.com/output/laney/cst-edt-laney28.html

In Iraq, we cornered the dictator's sadistic sons and sent them to their final judgment. We captured their father, the tyrant and mass-murdering Saddam Hussein, dragged him out of a rat-hole in the desert and are bringing him to justice before a jury of Iraqis. We've seen the populace of Iraq vote on a constitution -- even under threat of being beheaded by Islamofascists -- going to the polls some 70 percent strong. Schools are opening, stores are operating and soon the Iraqi people will vote again on a new government.

But here we get all the static, all the talking heads, and all the theories of what's happening over there. We hear politics instead of facts. We get editorials in place of reports. We have Congress tied up with some politicians making threats and insisting that we set a date to withdraw our troops or withdraw our troops immediately. We hear them making accusations that President Bush lied when he said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction -- even though former President Bill Clinton said the same thing when he was in office, as did others in his party who now seem to be suffering from an acute case of amnesia regarding the recent past.

The supreme ayatollah of Iran is urging a speedy pullout of foreign troops from Iraq. Now, if former President Jimmy Carter were still in the White House, perhaps that would happen. Carter was the president, you'll recall, who wrote a nice letter to the Ayatollah Khomeni in Iran after his country took over the American Embassy and was holding Americans hostage inside. But there's a different president in the White House today. President Bush is not backing down in the war on terror -- despite all the noise and all the chatter and talking heads who are criticizing him.

The noise is so loud about the war, yet we're not hearing what we need to hear. We're not hearing from the soldiers, the generals, the boots on the ground. Why is this?

The soldiers are putting their lives on the line daily, yet we don't hear from them or about them in the myriad reports coming out of Baghdad. The Marines are making certain schools are free of bombs and children can go inside to learn. Yet we don't hear from them. We only hear of the fatalities of the war -- not the victories of the war. We see pictures of the soldiers who have given their lives, but no pictures of the heroes who are, daily, making progress over there.

There are those who would like to set a date by which we will withdraw American troops. That's like playing poker and telling which cards you have and when you intend to play them. It doesn't work in war.

Continued in article

"The Missing Element Of Blame For Ignorance On Iraq," Captain's Quarters, November 28, 2005 --- http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/

The Washington Post carries an interesting argument from Michael O'Hanlon from the Brookings Institute on the divergence of military and civilian opinion on the war in Iraq, a separation that he calls dangerous in the long run for American political discourse. O'Hanlon acknowledges that the support for the war in Iraq among military personnel goes far beyond the normal top-level cheeriness down to at least the mid-level officer corps, and wonders why that doesn't translate to better civilian support:

In recent months a civil-military divide has emerged in the United States over the war in Iraq. Unlike much of the Iraq debate between Democrats and Republicans, it is over the present and the future rather than the past. Increasingly, civilians worry that the war is being lost, or at least not won. But the military appears as confident as ever of ultimate victory. This difference of opinion does not amount to a crisis in national resolve, and it will not radically affect our Iraq policy in the short term. But it is insidious and dangerous nonetheless. To the extent possible, the gap should be closed. ... The military's enthusiasm about the course of the war may be natural among those four-star officers in leadership positions, for it has largely become their war. Their careers have become so intertwined with the campaign in Iraq that truly independent analysis may be difficult. But it is striking that most lower-ranking officers seem to share the irrepressible optimism of their superiors. In talking with at least 50 officers this year, I have met no more than a handful expressing any real doubt about the basic course of the war.

Continued in article

"Meet the Press," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, November 17, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/11/17/mclemee

All of this (parts not quoted here) is a roundabout way of framing the virtues of Danny Schechter’s The Death of Media, as well as its limitations. It is a new title in the Melville Manifestoes series published by Melville House, an independent press mentioned here on Tuesday. Schechter, one of the first producers for CNN and a winner of two Emmys for his work on the ABC program “20/20,” has been a Neiman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University. He is also the author of a book called The More You Watch, the Less You Know (1999), which I haven’t read — though reportedly it did upset Bill O’Reilly, which seems like recommendation enough.

Schechter, then, is someone who brings tacit knowledge aplenty to the work of commenting on the state of the media. Last year, in his documentary WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception, he did more than reconstruct how the print and electronic media alike fell into line with the administration’s justifications for war. In that, he drew in part on a piece of scholarly research that certainly does deserve the closest and most shame-faced attention by the entire journalistic profession, the study Media Coverage of Weapons of Mass Destruction, by Susan D. Moeller, an associate professor of journalism at the University of Maryland at College Park.
The full text is available here --- http://www.cissm.umd.edu/documents/WMDstudy_full.pdf )

But Schechter went a step further — zeroing in on moments when reporters and editors worried aloud that changes in the mass media were eroding the difference between practicing journalism and providing coverage. That distinction is not a very subtle one, but it’s largely missing from the conceptual universe of, say, cultural studies.

“Providing coverage” is rather like what Woody Allen said about life: Most of it is just showing up. The cameras record what is happening, or the reporter takes down what was said — and presto, an event is “covered.” The quantity of tacit knowledge so mobilized is not large.

By contrast, any effort to “practice journalism” involves (among other things) asking questions, following hunches, noticing the anomalous, and persisting until someone accidentally says something meaningful. There is more to it than providing stenography to power. It involves certain cognitive skills — plus a sense of professional responsibility.

In his manifesto, Schechter runs through the familiar and depressing statistics showing a decline of public confidence in the mainstream media, increasing percentages of “infotainment” to hard news, and steady downsizing of reporting staff at news organizations.

One public-opinion poll conducted for the Pew Center found that “as 70 percent of the people asked expressed dissatisfaction with the news media.” And the same figure emerged from a survey of people working in the news media: about 70 percent, as Schechter puts it, “feel the same way as their customers.” He quotes Hunter S. Thompson’s evocative characterization of the television industry as “a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”

To all of this, Schechter offers the alternative of ... uh, Wikipedia?

Well, “citizen journalism” anyway — through which “the ideas, observations, and energy of ordinary people” will serve as “not only a way of democratizing the media but also enlivening it.” He points to “the meteoric growth of the blogosphere and the emergence of thousands of video activists,” plus the contribution of scholars to “first rate publishing projects,” including “a new online, non-commercial encyclopedia that taps the expertise of researchers and writers worldwide.”

Well, it’s probably not fair to judge the possibilities for citizen journalism by the actual state of public-access cable TV — or any given Wikipedia entry written by a follower of Lyndon LaRouche. (Besides, are either all that much worse than MSNBC?) But something is missing from Schechter’s optimistic scenario, in any case.

It is now much easier to publish and broadcast than ever before. In other words, the power to cover and event or a topic has increased. But the skills necessary to foster meaningful discussion are not programmed into the software. They have to be cultivated.

That’s where people from academe come in. The most substantial interventions in shaping mass media probably won’t come from conference papers and journal articles, but in the classroom — by giving the future citizen journalist access, not just to technology, but to cognitive tools.

Congratulations to William and Mary University
The Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary made history this month when both undergraduate and graduate teams took first place for their divisions in the Deloitte Tax Case Study Competition held in Orlando, Florida. William and Mary is the first university to place first in both divisions . . . The Deloitte Tax Case Study Competition is an annual competition testing tax problem-solving skills, requiring each team to complete a complex hypothetical case study in a five-hour time period, testing the students’ time management and teamwork skills as well as their tax topic knowledge. Taxes represent the largest expenditure on the income statements of most companies, according to a statement from the Mason School of Business.
"History Made at Deloitte Tax Case Study Competition," AccountingWeb, December 1, 2005 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=101530

"Job Losses in Cities Mounting But Accounting Firms Prosper," AccountingWeb, November 30, 2005 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=101526

Federal programs sponsored by both the Clinton and Bush administrations over a period of years have failed to stop the loss of jobs in the nation’s cities, according to a Harvard University study reported by the Associated Press. Nearly half of the country’s 82 largest municipalities lost jobs from 1995 to 2003 in comparison with surrounding metropolitan areas, only one of which lost jobs. Michael Porter, the Harvard business professor who conducted the study said “It’s sobering. . . . It suggests that there are relatively few inner cities that are thriving in the sense of job growth.” Porter’s team found that only 10 cities added more jobs than the surrounding metropolitan areas. Cities that lost jobs lost them faster than the surrounding areas, the AP reports.

In a separate analysis, the AP found that most of the inner cities that received federal tax incentives under empowerment zone and renewal community programs lost jobs. In fact, the AP analysis found that the best-performing cities were not part of these federal programs. Experts agree that tax incentives alone will not revive the cities, the AP report says. Municipalities need to improve services and schools, build affordable housing and enact reasonable business regulations, Porter told the AP.

Continued in article

From Paul Pacter's IAS Plus, December 1, 2005 --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm

The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has published a report summarising issues identified in implementing Auditing Standard No. 2 An Audit of Internal Control over Financial Reporting Performed in Conjunction with an Audit of Financial Statements (AS2). The PCAOB's monitoring revealed that some audits "were not as effective or efficient as Auditing Standard No. 2 intends and as the Board expects they can be in the future, given the benefits of experience, adequate time and resources." The report cites specific examples of inefficiency and ineffectiveness. It also explains and clarifies certain aspects of AS2 and amplifies certain guidance it has previously issued.
Click for:

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting and auditing reforms are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudProposedReforms.htm

From the Scout Report on November 18, 2005

NOAA Paleoclimatology Program [pdf] http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/paleo.html 

It is a tall order to try to study even the recent past, so visitors should find the research accomplishments of the staff members at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Paleoclimatology Program quite impressive. Their work revolves around examining different aspects of the natural world, such as ice cores and lake sediments, in order to understand climate variability over a wide range of time periods. Visitors to the homepage will find themselves presented with a clickable interface that presents information on such topical areas as paleoceans, caves, and ice core analysis. Perhaps one of the real highlights here is the “Paleo Perspectives” area, which contains three different well-written documents that offer the paleoclimatological perspective on drought in the North American historical record and abrupt climate change in the historical past.

The Megiddo Expedition http://www.tau.ac.il/humanities/archaeology/megiddo/ 

Located at a site that is of immense historical importance, the excavations at Megiddo in Israel have drawn researchers and archaeologists for over one hundred years. In the ancient world, Megiddo was a nexus of what may be termed “international” trade, as caravans of merchants came through from as far as Asia and Africa. Of course, there are a number of other reasons the site is tremendously important, including the fact that the Egyptians first began their empire-building ways when in the 15th century BCE they moved to conquer Canaan here. This site, developed by Tel Aviv University, allows visitors to explore a virtual recreation of this ancient site and to learn about the work of previous excavation on the site which have provided new insights into the Bronze Age. Interested parties may also want to read the current and back issues of their newsletter, “Revelations”, and learn about how they may join an upcoming excavation on the site.

Digital Past http://www.digitalpast.org 

The Land of Lincoln is certainly not lacking in organizations who seek to document the rich history of the area, whether it be the many innovations in farm technology that have arisen out of the creative minds of local inventors or the gritty urban landscapes of the Second City’s nooks and crannies. Fortunately for those with a penchant for these subjects, there is the Digital Past website, which began in 1998 with a partnership with the North Suburban Library System in Wheeling, Illinois. Currently, the digital archive contains over 35,000 items (such as postcards, architectural plans, and personal letters) culled from close to 30 institutions in the area. Visitors may want to take a look at some of their thematic collections of digitized objects and related materials, such as those devoted to the architecture of the North Shore community of Glencoe or a history of the city of Park Ridge. Of course, visitors should feel most welcome to search the complete archive of materials here, which they may do by looking through a list of cities, organizations, and proper names.

Weather Watcher 5.6.1 http://www.singerscreations.com/AboutWeatherWatcher.asp 

While one can’t do much to change weather conditions, there are certainly a number of fine ways to stay more than adequately informed about this all-so common topic of casual conversation. This latest offering allows users to retrieve the current conditions, hourly forecast, detailed forecast, and weather maps for over 77,000 cities across the world. The application can also be set to automatically retrieve weather data at set intervals or to have a weather map set as desktop wallpaper. This version of Weather Watcher is compatible with all computers running Windows 98 and newer.

Pompeii: Stories from an Eruption --- http://www.fieldmuseum.org/pompeii/

Study: Radical Islam Emerging In The Workplace In France
As France grapples with the rise of Islamic extremism abroad and at home, those are snapshots of what might be an emerging trend: radical Islam in the private sector. The line between legitimate religious expression and extremist subversion can be blurry. But a recent study by a local think tank paints a picture of rising fundamentalism in the workplace, ranging from proselytizing to pressure tactics to criminal activities. In companies such as supermarket chains in immigrant-heavy areas, for instance, militant recruiters cause workplace tensions by imposing fundamentalist ideas on co-workers and pressuring managers to boycott certain products, the study says. On a more sinister level, the study asserts that Islamic networks are trying to establish a presence in companies involved in sectors such as security, cargo, armored cars, courier services and transportation. Once they gain a foothold, operatives raise funds for militants via theft, embezzlement and robbery, the study says. "Parallel to these sect-like risks, the spread of criminal practices has been detected in the heart of companies [with] two goals: crime using Islam as a pretext; and in addition, local financing of terrorism," concludes the study by the Center for Intelligence Research in Paris.
"Study: Radical Islam Emerging In The Workplace In France," The Hartford-Courant, November 28, 2005 --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1529729/posts

From Paula regarding upside-down XMAS trees

In case you hadn't heard about them, see:

O Tannenbaum, You're Upside-Down http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051126/ap_on_fe_st/upside_down_christmas 

Or listen to the program from NPR: Demand Grows for Upside-Down Christmas Trees http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5006258 

Here are the two" Most Read Articles" on NY Times.com for the month of November:

1) 100 Notable Books of the Year Published online: November 23, 2005 The Book Review has selected this list from books reviewed since the Holiday Books issue of Dec. 5, 2004 --- http://snipurl.com/RankOneNov

2) Saying Goodbye California Sun, Hello Midwest By MOTOKO RICH and DAVID LEONHARDT, Published: November 7, 2005 After a decade of soaring home prices, a growing number of people are leaving California for other parts of the U.S. --- http://snipurl.com/RankTwoNov

Forwarded by a good friend who, like my Erika, believes in Angels

This was written by a Hospice of Metro Denver physician

I just had one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and wanted to share it with my family and dearest friends:

I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd., and the car started to choke and splutter and die - I barely managed to coast, crusing into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It wouldn't even turn over. Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the "quickie mart" building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a Gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay.

When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.

At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95.

I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying "I don't want my kids to see me crying," so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, "And you were praying?" That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, "He heard you, and He sent me."

I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling, walked to the next door McDonald's and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.

She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City. Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn't have money to pay rent Jan 1, and finally in desperation had finally called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in about 5 years. They lived in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there.

So she packed up everything she owned in the car She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.

I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, "So, are you like an angel or something?"

This definitely made me cry. I said, "Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people."

It was so incredible to be a part of someone else's miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I'll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won't find anything wrong.

When I was a first-year student over 40 years ago at Iowa State University, one of my Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brothers was Bob Bartley.  Bob was dedicated to journalism, free people, and free markets from get-go.

"The Wall Street Journal to Honor Robert L. Bartley with Fellowship Program and Lecture Series," Business Wire, November 29, 2005

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 29, 2005--The Wall Street Journal today announced plans for an annual lecture and fellowship program to honor the contributions and memory of former Editorial Page Editor, Robert L. Bartley. Mr. Bartley, whose career at the Journal spanned nearly 40 years--including fully three decades as editorial page editor and editor--died in December 2003.

Starting in 2006, the Journal will inaugurate the Robert L. Bartley Lecture, to be delivered annually by someone whose work and ideas comport with Mr. Bartley's philosophy of "free people, free markets."

"Throughout his 30 years as the Journal's editorial page editor and editor, Bob Bartley inspired principled and original thinking that changed and shaped the society in which we all live," Wall Street Journal Publisher Karen Elliott House said.

Also beginning in 2006, the Journal will inaugurate the Robert L. Bartley Fellowship Program under the stewardship of The Wall Street Journal editorial page. The fellowships, consisting of paid internships of up to six months, will be provided to young thinkers and writers whose views are broadly consistent with Mr. Bartley's philosophy and who aspire to careers in journalism. As many as four such fellows will be selected each year through an application process that will be judged by senior members of the Journal's editorial board. Fellows will work as writers and editors on the editorial page in the U.S., Europe or Asia, as well as at the Far Eastern Economic Review. The fellowships will help to perpetuate not only Mr. Bartley's memory, but also the principles and priorities to which he devoted his distinguished career.

"Bob devoted attention to teaching and motivating talented young people, many of whom have gone on to careers in journalism at the Journal and elsewhere. The Bartley Fellowships are consistent with that legacy," Ms. House said.

"The best way to honor Bob Bartley's legacy is to continue to promote the principles he believed in and the journalism he practiced," said Paul A. Gigot, editorial page editor, The Wall Street Journal. "We think that fellowships for aspiring journalists and an annual Bartley Lecture will help to carry Bob's belief in 'free people, free markets' to future generations."

Mr. Bartley achieved several honors during his long tenure at the Journal, including a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1980 and, shortly before his death, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In awarding that medal, President Bush cited Mr. Bartley as "one of the most influential journalists in American history."

A Clean Sweep (forwarded by Dick Haar)

Two brooms were hanging in the closet and after a while they got to know each other so well, they decided to get married.

One broom was, of course, the bride broom, the other the groom broom.

The bride broom looked very beautiful in her white dress. The groom broom was handsome and suave in his tuxedo. The wedding was lovely.

After the wedding, at the wedding dinner, the bride-broom leaned over and said to the groom-broom, "I think I am going to have a little whisk broom!!!"

"IMPOSSIBLE !!" said the groom broom.

Are you ready for this?

Brace yourself.

This is really going to hurt!


Oh for goodness sake... laugh, or at least groan. Life's too short not to enjoy........ even these silly little cute..... and clean-sweep jokes.

Jensen Comment:
Sounds to me like she's been sweeping sound since she brushed her first husband aside.


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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