Tidbits on January 10, 2006
Bob Jensen
at Trinity University 

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

Bob Jensen's various threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
       (Also scroll down to the table at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ )

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/

Popular Free Phone Numbers --- http://www.hardtofind800numbers.com/ 


Online Video
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

The Duo introduce that wonderful time-shifting gadget, the digital video recorder --- http://www.pcworld.com/digitalduo/video/0,segid,200,00.asp
Also see "Meet the DVR," The Washington Post, December 31, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/DuoDVR

Science Cinematheque --- http://www.movingimage.us/science/

J. O. Scott from The New York Times chooses the "best films" in 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/25/movies/25scot.html

Stephen Holden from The New York Times chooses the "best films" in 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/25/movies/25hold.html

Manohla Dargis  from The New York Times chooses the "best films" in 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/25/movies/25darg.html

"BATMAN BEGINS," "The Beat That My Heart Skipped," "Capote," "Darwin's Nightmare," "Duma," "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," "Funny Ha Ha," "George A. Romero's Land of the Dead," "Good Night, and Good Luck," "Grizzly Man," "Head-On," "The Holy Girl," "Howl's Moving Castle," "In Her Shoes," "Keane," "Match Point," "Millions," "Mondovino," "Mysterious Skin," "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan," "Police Beat," "Pulse," "Red Eye," "Rize," "The Squid and the Whale," "The Sun," "Syriana," "The Talent Given Us," "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada," "Three Times," "Tony Takitani," "Tropical Malady," "Waiting for the Clouds," "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit," "Who's Camus Anyway?" and "The World."


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

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

From NPR
Jean Ritchie Performs 'West Virginia Mine Disaster' --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5131761
(Scroll down for the samples.)

From NPR
Musicians Regroup to Benefit 'Our New Orleans' --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5077132
(Scroll down for the samples.)

'Yes We Can' by Allen Toussaint
'When the Saints Go Marching In' by Eddie Bo
'Prayer for New Orleans' by Charlie Miller

From NPR
Amy Rigby's Messy, Modern Love Songs --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5055224
(Scroll down for the samples.)

From NPR
Indie Harmonies from Winterpills --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5059402
(Scroll down for the samples.)

From NPR (Punk Rock)
Texas troubadour Jimmie Dale Gilmore's Come On Back --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5047799
(Scroll down for the great samples.  I like "I Feel Like I've Got to Travel On.That's Me!)

From NPR (Punk Rock)
John Fogerty Travels 'The Long Road Home' --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5055071
(Scroll down for the great samples.  These are somewhat unpleasant to the ear.)

Definitely Not Free
Sprint's new service lets you download high-quality tunes directly to your phone. The instant gratification is great, but will cost you more than PC-based music services --- http://internetweek.cmp.com/showArticle.jhtml?sssdmh=dm4.161474&articleID=175004731

Definitely Not Free
Verizon Wireless Prepares Launch Of Music Service --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113650884155139195.html?mod=todays_us_opinion

Definitely Not Free
Microsoft and MTV Networks have unveiled a joint music service that will take on Apple Computer's market-leading iTunes music store --- http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?sssdmh=dm4.162581&articleID=175801650 


Photographs and Graphs

Russian Air Show --- http://www.richard-seaman.com/Aircraft/AirShows/Maks2005/Highlights/

Revealing Chicago: An Aerial Portrait ---  http://www.revealingchicago.org/

Graph of the Yearly U.S. Budget Deficit --- http://www.uuforum.org/deficit.htm
National Debt Graph --- http://zfacts.com/p/318.html 

Phirebrush --- http://www.phirebrush.com/issues/fullview.php?iid=1&sid=92

sara Heinriches --- http://www.saraheinrichsphotography.com/

Ted Pruess --- http://www.preussphotography.com /
 


Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

JSTR - The Scholarly Journal Archive --- http://www.jstor.org/

Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection --- http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikibooks:Business_bookshelf
Other free online textbooks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks  

Download Free eBooks --- http://download-free-ebooks.blogspot.com/

American Life in Poetry --- http://www.americanlifeinpoetry.org/

From NPR
The Dentist and the Crocodile (audio reading of children's poem),  by Roald Dahl ---
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5058489

From NPR
Russell Roberts' recommended gift books (not free) --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5041216

Can Sony make the iPod of electronic books?
See "Curling Up With a Good eBook," Business Week, December 29, 2005 --- http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/dec2005/tc20051229_155542.htm?link_position=link1
The history of electronic books is summarized at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm

Fraudulent (Supposed) Publishers and Phony Contests (especially targeting poets) --- http://www.foetry.com/ 




We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw (as quoted in a recent email message from Kate Mooney)

Pack of Angry Chihuahuas Attack Officer (it actually happened in a pack of five dogs in Freemont, CA)
Breitbart, December 30, 2005 --- http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/12/30/D8EQMMDO0.html
It was the second bizarre incident in as many hours for the Fremont Police Department. Two hours earlier, a homeowner in Niles reported that an intruder broke into her home and added pornography to her computer. The woman said she woke up and was startled to see a stranger typing away on her computer. The intruder fled, but left behind an altered screen saver that featured images of "erotic Indian art," Veteran said.
Opinion Journal, January 3, 2006

Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status.
Laurence J. Peter as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-12-19-05.htm
But two heroic scientists changed the dismal outlook. The first hero was Scott Halstead, a doctor working for the Rockefeller Foundation who discovered that, in addition to the expensive mouse-brain vaccine, there was in fact another option. In the 1980s China had developed a much cheaper vaccine and had since used it to immunize 200 million people. But the world had not bothered to get this lifesaving technology out of China to others in need. Dr. Halstead waged a lonely fight against this scandal, but the WHO doubted that useful medical innovation could come from China and refused to bless the vaccine's broader deployment. In 1999 Dr. Halstead flew 200,000 doses to Nepal just before an outbreak and demonstrated conclusively that children could be protected by a single shot. In response, the WHO shrugged lazily and stuck its fingers in its ears.
Sebastian Mallaby, "The Heartbreak Of a Cure Within Reach:  The World Health Organization," The Washington Post December 21, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113511653981027754.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

... the IP (Irascible Professor) was a little taken aback to learn that the California State University campus presidents received pay increases that averaged 13%. How does that old saying go "them's as has gets".  
 Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-12-19-05.htm
The University of California Board of Regents on Monday announced the creation of a new committee and the use of outside auditors to monitor compensation for senior officials. Recent newspaper articles in the state have focused on the six-figure salaries paid to top professors and the homes provided to campus presidents, and while university officials have defended these arrangements, the announcement said that additional oversight would assure politicians and the public that compensation policies were receiving serious consideration.
Inside Higher Ed, December 29, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/12/20/qt

Ernot Wagner, a 2002 graduate of Harvard University, knows just what to do when he gets a letter asking him to donate to his alma mater. "I rip it up," the 25-year-old graduate student says. It's not that Mr. Wagner dislikes Harvard. He just figures his $100 wouldn't matter to its endowment -- almost $26 billion, more than the gross domestic product of Bulgaria. If you give one dollar to sub-Saharan Africa, it could save a life," he says. "One dollar to Harvard is 10 more staples." The wealthiest colleges and universities are so flush with cash that, increasingly, alumni and philanthropy experts are starting to wonder whether these schools really need more money -- and why they spend so little of it.
"When $26 Billion Isn't Enough," by John Hechinger, The Wall Street Journal, December 17, 2005; Page P1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113477717881125159.html?mod=todays_us_pursuits

I don't think farming in the same place for six generations is a dead weight that keeps you shackled, doing the identical thing year in and year out. Instead, it is a rare link to others before me, who pruned the same vines and painted the same barn that I have. If those in this house survived the Panic of 1893 or the Great Depression, or bathed with cold water and used an outhouse, then surely I know I can weather high gas prices. I believe that all of us need some grounding in our modern world of constant moving, buying, selling, meeting and leaving. Some find constancy in religion. Others lean on friends or community for permanence. But we need some daily signposts that we are not novel, not better, not worse from those who came before us.
Victor Hanson, "Natural Links in a Long Chain of Being," (With Audio), NPR, December 19, 2005 --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5048763  

"UN Conference Features a Call for the End of the Jewish State," Eye on the U.N., December 24, 2005 --- http://www.eyeontheun.org/view.asp?l=22&p=167
Only two weeks after the UN hosted a conference at its New York Headquarters prominently displaying a map without the state of Israel, a UN conference in Caracas, Venezuela has featured a direct call for the end of the Jewish state. The call, made by an NGO invited to be the first speaker at the first plenary session, was specifically highlighted in the opening sentence of the UN Press Release issued from the conference. The UN Department of Public Information leads their December 14, 2005 press release, with: "a two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was no longer viable."

A Debate:  Should the United States Support Islamists? --- http://www.michaelcalderonscall.com/Page14.html




Figure this while GM (and possibly Ford) prepare to crash and burn in Michigan

"Toyota Considers Michigan As Site for New Engine Plant," by Norihiko Shirouzu, The Wall Street Journal,  January 7, 2006; Page A2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113660037058840541.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

"Is There a Future in Ford's Future?," by Micheline Maynard, The New York Times, January 8, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/08/business/yourmoney/08ford.html 

The difficulty of his task was underscored just last week, when Standard & Poor's cut Ford's credit rating an additional two notches deeper into junk status, moving the company even further away from regaining the top investment grade rating it had used as a competitive tool throughout much of the 1980's and 1990's.

Book Review
"The decline of the US economy:  Three Billion New Capitalists,"
by Clyde Prestowitz, Asia Times, December 17, 2005 --- http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/GL17Dj01.html

This is a first-class book with a sober and penetrating analysis of global arrangements and the US role in them. The author is well informed, with quite critical views of the future of the US.

The source of the problems is not that the US has lost its democratic innocence and plunged recklessly into the Iraq war, as bemoaned in recent books and articles by Zbigniew Brzezinski, former president Jimmy Carter's national security

adviser. Neither is it that the US retained its capitalist predatory nature and engaged in war and exploitation of the rest of the globe, including polluting the environment - the point of the American left

The reason is the US is in the process of losing its position as the major economic power. Author Prestowitz has actually destroyed one of the essential myths of American civilization, the myth of American efficiency.

This myth has always been related to the image of capitalism - and America has been the very embodiment of capitalism. This capitalism is brutal in a social-Darwinistic way and can also be militarily weak. Indeed, for generations, Americans have agreed that they are not militaristic and can be beaten by others, but never economically.

During the Cold War, the Soviets were accepted as military but not as economic peers. And it is only now that fundamental changes are occurring - America is increasingly losing its economic standing in regard to the rest of the world. In fact, the US is starting to be pressed hard on not just one but several economic fronts, including those of whose very existence most Americans have not been aware.

This is, for example, the case with Europe. With fresh views on American/European economic rivalry, the author follows a line that one cannot easily find in the US mass media. The media usually present Europe as a stagnating, declining economy that cannot carry the heavy task of a protective safety net for Europe's citizens. This stagnant semi-socialist group of countries is juxtaposed to the dynamic, vibrant, albeit tough, America.

The author has discarded this notion. With a close look at statistical data, he has concluded that Europe is economically not far behind the US. Moreover, in some key areas, Europe is actually ahead. For example, in the author's view, the US is in a process of erosion of its industrial skeleton, while the European picture is much brighter.

Moreover, European industrial goods have retained their reputation of high quality and thus make it possible for Europeans to sell their goods to China, for example, despite what seems to be prohibitive prices because of the euro exchange rate.

With all the importance of the European economy, it is not Europe that constitutes the major threat for the American economy. The battering ram that could destroy it is coming from Asia, mostly China. The American economy is increasingly unable to compete with Asian goods, and the situation will be worse in the future.

Why is this happening? In the view of the author, it is mostly due to globalization. At the beginning of the post-Cold War era, globalization was hailed in the US as a blessing that would bring absolute economic and implicitly geopolitical domination. But the reality is quite different. And the author suggests that globalization has led to disaster for the American economy. According to his views, Asia has the ability to acquire the technology and skills to compete with the US in nearly all areas. Cheap labor makes Asian goods even more competitive.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen provides reasons for the decline in U.S. and European efficiency at  --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/entitlements.htm
The main problems are entitlements that have been greatly increased under the current leadership in the U.S. and Europe. 


Question
Will Wikipedia evolve into a successful open sharing Wikiversity?

Answer
See http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikiversity

See the proposal at the proposed projects page which was rushed into existence because of calls to delete the wikiversity pages from Wikibooks. The current location of Wikiversity is Wikibooks:Wikiversity.

This page is a formal project proposal for the Wikiversity project. Please add ideas and thoughts to Talk:Wikiversity. For thoughts/proposals on how to develop Wikiversity, see Moving Wikiversity forward.

Bob Jensen's threads on distance learning alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm


The Best Retirement Tools
"The Best Retirement Tools:  Investment Options Proliferate As Traditional Pensions Fade; How to Maximize Your Returns," by Jeff D. Opdyke, The Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2006; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113660155056440563.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

Understanding how the various accounts work is paramount, because while saving in a 401(k) remains one of the smartest choices in preparing for retirement, "it's generally not enough," says David Darst, chief investment strategist at Morgan Stanley's retail brokerage division. In fact, Fidelity Investments' annual survey last year of 8.6 million retirement-savings-plan participants found that the average contribution rate is 7%, an amount that most planners agree won't get most people through their retirement. Financial planners generally recommend individuals save at least 10% of their salary toward retirement.

For a savvy investor, the most important first step is always the 401(k) plan itself. If your employer offers to match a portion of your contributions to a retirement plan, "take every nickel and put it there, and save up to the company match; this is free money," says Lee Baker, president of Apex Financial Services, a Tucker, Ga., financial-planning shop.

After meeting the company match, financial planners almost universally agree, workers should consider shoveling the maximum amount they can into a Roth IRA, if they are eligible.

A Roth IRA is an account that lets individuals save for retirement by putting money aside and letting it grow. Although contributions to a Roth IRA are taxed now, the withdrawals are tax-free. By contrast, in a traditional IRA, investors can deduct their annual contributions, up to a certain limit, meaning they get a break on their federal, state or local taxes. However, the government takes its cut -- at ordinary income rates -- as retirees withdraw the money.

Continued in article


Don't rush out to buy a VoIP Wi-Fi Phone
At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, at least three companies are introducing cordless phones that use a Wi-Fi connection to make calls over eBay’s Skype Internet phone service (a technology sometimes known as “VoIP,” for voice-over-Internet protocol).
"Phone a Friend over Wi-Fi:  A new Wi-Fi phone from Vonage is fun -- but it doesn’t make sense as a replacement for the cell phone," MIT's Technology Review, January 6, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/InfoTech/wtr_16122,258,p1.html
 


New "buckypaper" material 10 times lighter than steel—but 250 times stronger
Working with a material 10 times lighter than steel—but 250 times stronger—would be a dream come true for any engineer. If this material also had amazing properties that made it highly conductive of heat and electricity, it would start to sound like something out of a science fiction novel. Yet one Florida State University research group, the Florida Advanced Center for Composite Technologies (FAC2T), is working to develop real-world applications for just such a material.
Florida State University News, "FSU researcher's "buckypaper" is stronger than steel at a fraction of the weight," January 2006 --- http://www.fsu.edu/news/2005/10/20/steel.paper/


"German TV Documentary:  LBJ Knew Cubans Killed JFK," Newsmax, January 5, 2006 --- http://newsmax.com/scripts/printer_friendly.pl?page=http://newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/1/5/02010.shtml

Cuba was behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy claims an ex-agent of Cuba's secret intelligence service.

Featured in a German TV documentary, "Rendezvous with Death," Oscar Marino - a defector from the Castro regime - said the Cubans were desperate to eliminate Kennedy, an opponent of the revolution, who wanted to kill Castro.

"You ask why we took Oswald?" he said to the German film maker Wilfried Huismann. "Oswald was a dissident: he hated his country. He possessed certain characteristics. There wasn't anyone else. You take what you can get ... Oswald volunteered to kill Kennedy."

Oswald, a Castro supporter who had once defected to the Soviet Union and was active in the communist-backed Fair Play for Cuba Committee after returning to the U.S., once traveled to Mexico City not long before Kennedy was shot. Although it was widely reported that he remained there after visits to the Soviet embassy, one high placed intelligence official once confided that there was evidence that Oswald also made a clandestine visit to Havana before returning to the U.S.

According to Britain's Telegraph newspaper, Huismann spent three years trying to convince various people to break their silence about Oswald's alleged Cuba connections. The Telegraph reported that the resultant documentary is based on testimony by former U.S., Cuban and Russian agents, KGB files and Mexican archives.

Among them was a retired FBI agent, Lawrence Keenan, now in his eighties. The Telegraph says he was sent after the assassination to trace Oswald's footsteps in Mexico.

Keenan said he found evidence linking the Cubans with the murder - prompting FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to withdraw Keenan from the assignment after three days there on the orders of President Lyndon Johnson.

"This was perhaps the worst investigation the FBI was ever involved in," said Keenan.

"I realized that I was used. I felt ashamed. We missed a moment in history."

Continued in article

"Cuba paid Oswald to kill Kennedy, new film says," by Mark Trevelyan, Yahoo News, January 4, 2006 --- http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060104/en_nm/usa_kennedy_film_dc


Lie back and think of England
Another U.K. Sex Scandal:  Only the Pretty Women Need Apply for a Visa

A SEX for passports racket at Britain’s busiest immigration centre is exposed today by The Sun. Corrupt officials bed attractive girls desperate to avoid being kicked out of the country in return for granting them visas. Meanwhile “ugly” migrants risk having their applications rejected — and their pictures pinned on a wall for staff to laugh at. The scandal at Lunar House in Croydon, South London — which also processes applications by asylum seekers — was last night exposed by a whistleblower who quit in disgust.
"Lie back and think of England," by Anthony France and Paul Thompson, The Sun, January 5, 2006 --- http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006000188,00.html


Fake Foreign Copycat Sites
Google Inc. on Wednesday said it is investigating a foreign Web site that is copying the search engine's trademark insignia and homepage, with the exception of including what appears to be text advertising. The site appears to be from Eastern Europe. It includes a link to the real search engine for people looking for an English version, and another link to the company's "About Google" page. The fake site's homepage copies the Google insignia, and even includes the trademark marking. However, the copycat also includes text advertising on its homepage, which is something that Google does not have on its start page. The fake site provides search functions, delivering results that appear to be from the original search engine and include a mixture of English and a foreign language. "This site is not owned, operated or controlled by Google," the Mountain View, Calif., company said in a statement. "We are aware of this site and our legal counsel is investigating the matter."
Antone Gonsalves , "Google Investigates Copycat Site," InternetWeek, January 5, 2006 --- http://www.internetweek.cmp.com/showArticle.jhtml?sssdmh=dm4.162472&articleId=175801292


The real reason the West is in danger of extinction
Most people reading this have strong stomachs, so let me lay it out as baldly as I can: Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most Western European countries. There'll probably still be a geographical area on the map marked as Italy or the Netherlands--probably--just as in Istanbul there's still a building called St. Sophia's Cathedral. But it's not a cathedral; it's merely a designation for a piece of real estate. Likewise, Italy and the Netherlands will merely be designations for real estate. The challenge for those who reckon Western civilization is on balance better than the alternatives is to figure out a way to save at least some parts of the West.
Mark Steyn, "It's the Demography, Stupid:  The real reason the West is in danger of extinction," The Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2006 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007760
Mr. Steyn is a syndicated columnist and theater critic for The New Criterion, in whose January issue this article appears.
You can read more about the author at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Steyn


The real reason Japan is in danger is (supposedly) a shrinking population
Japanese urged to "breed like dogs"
In a sign of rising despair over the country's dwindling birth rate, Japan's Prime Minister has suggested that his people should take their cue from the canine world and breed larger litters of offspring in the Year of the Dog. Junichiro Koizumi's unexpected "do as dogs do" advice arose during his New Year press conference - his first public appearance since it was revealed that Japan's population contracted by 19,000 last year and is shrinking for the first time in more than a century. Since this was the Japanese Year of the Dog, he explained, people had an ideal role.
Leo Lewis, "Japanese urged to 'breed like dogs'," The Australian, January 6, 2006 --- http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17741942^2703,00.html


Congress is our only native criminal class.
Mark Twain --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain

The Culture of Corruption Runs Deep and Wide in Both U.S. Political Parties: 
Few if any are legislators are uncorrupted

Committee members have shown no appetite for taking up all those cases and are considering an amnesty for reporting violations, although not for serious matters such as accepting a trip from a lobbyist, which House rules forbid. The data firm PoliticalMoneyLine calculates that members of Congress have received more than $18 million in travel from private organizations in the past five years, with Democrats taking 3,458 trips and Republicans taking 2,666. . . But of course, there are those who deem the American People dumb as stones and will approach this bi-partisan scandal accordingly. Enter Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi, complete with talking points for her minion, that are sure to come back and bite her .... “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) filed delinquent reports Friday for three trips she accepted from outside sponsors that were worth $8,580 and occurred as long as seven years ago, according to copies of the documents.
Bob Parks, "Will Nancy Pelosi's Words Come Back to Bite Her?" The National Ledger, January 6, 2006 --- http://www.nationalledger.com/artman/publish/article_27262498.shtml 

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


The Real Reason the West is Embracing Genetically Modified (GM) Farming

"Against the Grain," by Christian Verschueren, The Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2006 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113632569172436840.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep 

The year 2005 saw the planting of the one billionth acre of genetically modified crops in the world, and marked the 10th anniversary of the first commercial planting.

In the decade that GM crops have been grown commercially, they have experienced an unprecedented rate of growth across the world. Last year alone, more than 81 million hectares of the world's arable land were sown with genetically modified seed by over eight million farmers in 17 countries -- a 20% increase on the previous year.

It is little wonder then that while the bureaucrats in Brussels argue over the appropriateness of the technology, farmers in Europe are increasingly voting on the issue with their hoes.

In Spain -- the pariah state of the EU when it comes to the cultivation of biotech crops -- farmers planted 58,000 hectares of insect-resistant maize in 2004, an increase of 80% on the previous year's level.

This maize is resistant to the corn borer, a pest known to decimate entire harvests, and has brought great benefits for the Spanish farming community. Not only has it ensured an unusual level of crop and income security for Spanish farmers -- increasing their crop yields and contributing to a 12% jump in their gross margins -- but it has simultaneously allowed them to use pesticides in a more targeted fashion.

In the notoriously unpredictable business of farming, these results are making big differences -- and causing waves among farmers in other European countries who are beginning to look enviously toward the south.

In France, recent news reports revealed that farmers in the southwest of the country have been defying official government opposition to the biotech crop cultivation by bringing the insect-resistant maize seed across the border from Spain. It is estimated that more than 1,000 hectares of biotech maize are being "unofficially" grown in France. The exact area is unknown, since farmers are under no legal obligation to notify authorities that they are cultivating this crop.

French farmers are only following the example of their colleagues in Brazil, where, long before the government approved the planting of biotech seeds, thousands of farmers were planting biotech soy seed imported from Argentina. The practice was so widespread that by 2003 -- the year that Brazilian authorities first gave their formal permission for the seed to be grown -- biotech soy already represented between 20% and 40% of the total soy crop.

In the United States in November, a significant victory was won by farmers and biotech proponents in Sonoma County, California, where, despite a huge scare campaign by anti-GMO activists, voters rejected a ban on genetically modified crops. The reason? First, there was no scientific evidence upon which to condemn these crops, and second, they had proven a boon to the local economy.

In Europe, fortunately, the regulatory environment finally is moving toward greater acceptance of biotechnology. Recently, the European courts, following advice from the European Food Safety Authority, overturned a draft law banning all planting of biotech seeds in Upper Austria.

Continued in article


Mind-Control Over Pain
A new brain imaging technique teaches patients to control their brain activity, bringing relief from chronic pain.

Most people pop a pill when they’ve got a headache. But what if you could think that pain away? Researchers at Stanford University have developed a brain imaging technique that allows patients to take charge of their pain. The technology isn’t yet ready for the clinic, but researchers say it could one day be applicable to many brain disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and dyslexia. “This is the first study to show that patients can learn to take control of a specific region of their brain and better control their pain,” says Sean Mackey, associate director of the Pain Management Division at Stanford University in Stanford, CA, and head scientist on the project research.
Emily Singer, "Mind-Control Over Pain," MIT's Technology Review, December 19, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/BioTech/wtr_16062,306,p1.html?trk=nl
 


Scientists discover that brains are much more adaptable than was thought previously
Scientists once thought that the adult brain was set in its ways. Now they're discovering that adult neurons have a remarkable ability to grow and change -- researchers at MIT have shown that some neurons can sprout new branches and retract old ones.
"Old Brains Learn New Tricks," MIT's Technology Review, January 4, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/BioTech/wtr_16111,259,p1.html


From NPR
Tory Dent's Poetry on Life with AIDS --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5081654


Aftermath of the Fiery Rampage in France: Gang terrorizes train in France
PARIS -- A gang of more than 20 youths -- thought to be North African immigrants -- terrorized hundreds of train passengers in a rampage of violence, robbery and sexual assault on New Year's Day, French officials said yesterday. The five-hour-long criminal frenzy was "totally unacceptable," French President Jacques Chirac told reporters. "Those guilty will be found and punished, as they deserve." The gang of between 20 and 30 youths boarded the train, heading from Nice on the French Riviera to Lyon, in eastern France, early on Jan. 1, as it carried 600 passengers home from New Year's Eve partying overnight.
"Gang terrorizes train in France," by Marc Burleigh, Washington Times, January 5, 2006 --- http://www.washtimes.com/world/20060104-115755-9546r.htm

Jensen Comment
The times are ripe for more serious terrorism in France.  Even though over half the criminals in French prisons are Middle Eastern and North African immigrants, the French are still afraid of severe legal reprisals and serious deterrents to terror.


"Symptoms & Burn-Out Prevention," AccountingWeb, January 3, 2006 ---
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=101624

Good quality employees should be appreciated for their contributions to your business. Ultimately, they are motivated, accept challenges easily most of the time, are pleasant in stressful situations, and their work ethics encourage others to reach their level of contribution and participation. The downside is that the opportunity for burn out exists in every organization, no matter the industry, or size of the business, according to Entrepreneur.com. A single burnt-out employee can affect the productivity of your business. The signs are usually easy to identify, according to Entrepreneur.com. The motivation and non-performance can be turned around, but the adage, “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” is also true with people. All the motivation aimed at changing a behavior may not make a difference if the one who is not motivated does not want to be motivated.

Diminished productivity, compared to previous performances, is a first indicator that an employee may be unmotivated or burning out, according to Entrepreneur.com. You may also see an increased number of days missed, barring days that they may be sick at home. Lack of motivation may be the culprit if one rarely misses work. Changes in attitude and productivity, decreasing positive interaction with others in the office, and jittery or short-tempered reactions, may be other indicators.

After noting any of these indicators, you may want to speak with previous managers or supervisors, or seek information in past performance reviews, to determine if this is a trend or a bump in their performance. Entrepreneur.com suggests speaking with the employee directly. You can ask for their own perception of their performance and then share your perspective of the changes that you see.

You can ask the person what motivating factors may be missing or are no longer present in the workplace. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, according to Entrepreneur.com. Ask about areas of work where the individual gains a sense of accomplishment. Recognize jobs well done, or works in progress, with positive feedback or rewarding behavior. Above all, employees should also know what is expected of them to ensure positive performance.

Outside of speaking with individual employees, opportunities for personal or professional growth go a long way to employees seeing your commitment to them. Communication should be frequent. If a job or task is too challenging for an employee, you can exchange or rotate tasks or responsibilities between several employees. Cross-training can provide a different perspective and new challenges to ultimately energize employees. Optimal job satisfaction and productivity, and increased motivation are the goal.

Job satisfaction and retention can be improved by offering flexible work arrangements which allow employees to balance and manage the demands of work and family. The Social Science Research Network reports this work arrangement has proven to allow the worker to control and reduce their levels of stress. One benefit of increasing retention in your business is that your training costs are better spent.

Individuals can do several things themselves when they realize their own burn-out or near burn-out indicators. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recommends that you notice the stress and the ways it manifests itself in you, without denial or excuses. You can change your surroundings, be it your job, your relationship, or situation. Learn to say no and refuse or reschedule demands on your time. You can learn to delegate and pace yourself in order to better balance the facets of your life. Most of all, keep your sense of humor.


Question
What drives certain co-workers to talk incessantly?

Answer
"How to Shush the Office Magpie ," by Matt Villano, The New York Times, December 25, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/25/business/yourmoney/25advi.html


The (worldwide) Epidemic of Ethnic Rape
A number of teenaged Australian girls were subjected to hours of sexual degradation during a spate of gang rapes in Sydney that occurred between 1998 and 2002. And the perpetrators of these assaults framed the rationale for their actions in explicitly ethnic terms. The young victims were informed that they were “sluts” and “Aussie pigs” while they were being hunted down and abused. In the NSW Supreme Court in December 2005, a visiting Pakistani rapist testified that his victims had no right to say no because they were not wearing a headscarf.
"The Epidemic of Ethnic Rape," FrontPageMagazine, December 27, 2005  --- http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=20646


Question
When is racial profiling acceptable?

Answer
Apparently when it comes to efforts to alter teen sexual behavior.

The Romney administration plans to introduce a new abstinence education program in Massachusetts schools beginning next month, the state's most aggressive effort yet to use a controversial method of teaching Bay State teenagers about sex ... The campaign, scheduled to last through June 2007, will only target certain schools and will be aimed especially at teens in black and Hispanic communities, who tend to have higher rates of sexual activity. The proposal by the state Department of Health, quietly posted on its website earlier this month, would add an abstinence education program for 12-to-14-year-olds in an unspecified number of schools. The campaign would be funded by a $50 million federal abstinence-only grant program, which provides money to states for initiatives that teach abstinence but deliberately do not address condoms and other methods of contraception.
Scot Helman, "State to push abstinence in schools," The Boston Globe, December 21, 2005 --- http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/12/21/state_to_push_abstinence_in_schools/


Is there organized crime in New Jersey's colleges?
Leaders of New Jersey’s public colleges are increasingly under the microscope, from both federal and state officials. On January 1, an order by Gov. Richard Codey took effect, preventing leaders at the state’s 31 public institutions from doing business, directly or indirectly, with the institutions they govern or by which they are employed. Just a week earlier, the federal government enlisted a former U.S. attorney, Herbert Stern, as a monitor to oversee the finances of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Rob Capriccioso, "Clamping Down on Corruption" Inside Higher Ed, January 5, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/01/05/nj


Fingerprint requirement to reduce fraud in taking the GMAT examination
The Graduate Management Admission Test, used by business schools for admission to MBA programs, will now use fingerprinting to assure test security. People taking a test will have to provide a fingerprint when they check in and every time they enter a testing room. Digital photographs will also be required. The revamped procedures are part of a new partnership between the Graduate Management Admission Council, Pearson VUE, and ACT.
Inside Higher Ed, January 5, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/01/05/qt


As Chechen Illness Spreads, Authorities Remain Baffled By Mystery 'Poisoning'
More than 70 people -- most of them schoolchildren, and all but a handful of them girls -- have now been affected by a mysterious ailment in an eastern district of Russia's war-torn republic of Chechnya. During the past week, residents have been struck by sudden bouts of tremors, nausea, and shortness of breath. Some doctors have reported incidents of psychotic episodes, with patients experiencing panic attacks or mania. Some regional authorities have said the illness is suggestive of nerve-gas poisoning. But toxicologists have reportedly found no evidence to substantiate the claim. RFE/RL reports on what may be behind Chechnya's apparent mystery poisoning.
"Russia: As Chechen Illness Spreads, Authorities Remain Baffled By Mystery 'Poisoning'," Radio Free Europe, December 22, 2005 --- http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/12/2C14BD4F-EA94-4203-92A9-A637B00309AE.html


The Diamond Rating Scandals:  Did you pay to much for a diamond?
I'll just bet you also bought those phony premium Lean Macleans pawned off at McDonalds Restaurants.
The still-unfolding scandal over diamond ratings is fueling anxiety among both jewelers and jewelry customers. Laboratory workers at the leading rater of diamonds in the world, the Gemological Institute of America, are being accused of taking bribes to give higher-than-deserved ratings to stones. The GIA, which in October fired four lab workers after a four-month internal investigation, says only a handful of rogue dealers and a relatively small number of stones were involved. But the institute isn't saying how many stones may have bogus ratings. The incident has diamond buyers around the world wondering if they overpaid for their purchase.
Ann Zimmerman and Raymud Flandez, "Getting a Second Opinion On Your Diamond:  Bogus Ratings on Some Gems Fuel Anxiety Among Buyers; GIA Offers Free Reappraisals," The Wall Street Journal,  December 21, 2005; Page D1

. . .

Diamonds are graded by the GIA after being inspected under a microscope for internal flaws, and the color is measured against a set of master stones reflecting the spectrum of color ratings. Three graders look at the diamond independently and then the stone is given a grading report, or certificate, that lists its color and clarity rating, in addition to its weight and cut.

Of course, getting an accurate rating is only part of the challenge. Consumers need to make sure they aren't paying too much for a stone that has been properly rated. They can turn to resources such as Diamondhelpers.com, a consumer-focused Web site that doesn't sell diamonds. It has a price finder where consumers can enter information from the diamond's certificate -- such as color, cut, carat weight and clarity grade -- and get an idea of its value.

The diamond-grading scandal erupted after a prominent diamond dealer filed a lawsuit earlier this year charging that workers at the GIA lab in New York had improperly graded stones sold in 2001 for $15 million to members of the Saudi royal family. The Saudis later had an independent evaluation done and got their money back. The GIA is on the brink of settling the lawsuit, say people familiar with the situation.

Joseph Tacopina, the attorney representing the diamond dealer in the lawsuit, says that he has gotten calls from dozens of consumers worried about the accuracy of the grading certificates on their diamonds. He understands their concern. "A difference in just two levels of a grade can mean a lot of money and the average consumer, of course, can't tell the difference," says Mr. Tacopina.

Jonathan Grella, a Washington PR executive, says he has definitely taken note of the scandal. He became engaged just two weeks ago, after months of learning the ropes about buying a diamond.

"I learned that a certificate is a must," he says, adding that he isn't sure whether he will get the ring reevaluated by another lab.

"This could send shock waves, not just through the jewelry and insurance industries," he says. "Can you imagine, going back to your bride-to-be and saying, 'I don't mean to alarm you, but the ring may not be what the certificate says it is.' That could make for some interesting holiday conversation."


What Steven Spielberg's "Munich" Leaves Out
For a closer reconstruction of reality, one needs to turn to books about the Munich attack and its aftermath, of which a few have been published, not to mention articles and even dissertations. The hunt for the Black September killers -- part of Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization -- has been closely studied wherever counterterrorism is taught these days, both for its achievements and its failures. With "Striking Back," Aaron Klein, a Jerusalem correspondent for Time magazine, has written the fullest and most reliable account so far, although even he acknowledges that "more remains unknown than known."
Walter Laqueur, "Munich Without the Movie," The Wall Street Journal, December 21, 2005; Page D10 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113512478987827961.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal

Listen to NPR's review Spielberg's movie at at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5067266

The New Jewish Studies
Scholars from growing, changing field gather to consider what’s hot, how to study Israel, and how they fit into multiculturalism.
Scott Jaschik, "The New Jewish Studies," Inside Higher Ed, December 21, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/12/21/jewish


Fraudulent (Supposed) Publishers and Phony Contests (especially targeting poets) --- http://www.foetry.com/ 


Must-Have Holiday Hardware Upgrades
A few caveats: I've tested many--but not all--of the products listed here myself. And while I obviously want a blazing-fast system, my purpose isn't to build the ultimate bleeding-edge PC, so I didn't just throw together a list of the newest, most-expensive components available (where's the fun in that?). Finally, all of the prices I list here are from reputable dealers I found on PC World's ProductFinder , and they're accurate as of December 8.
Tom Mainelli, "Must-Have Holiday Hardware Upgrades:  The Geek's annual list of what he wants for his next PC," PC World by way of The Washington Post, December 17, 2--5 --- http://snipurl.com/MustHave2005 

Overrated, Underrated (includes technologies of 2005)
See http://www.internetweek.cmp.com/showArticle.jhtml?sssdmh=dm4.161474&articleId=175006769

New High-Tech Gadgets
Want to make sure your gift list includes the latest and greatest? We've come up with the hottest, highest-tech gadgets to give (and get) this year.
Scot Finnie and George Jones, InformationWeek, December 8, 2005 ---
http://internetweek.cmp.com/174910899?sssdmh=dm4.161133

Also see "The Ultimate Geek Gift Guide" --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/giftguide2005/0,2926,69647,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_11

"Gamers' Gift Guide of 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/games/0,2101,69840,00.html

"Invention: The inkjet-printer pen," by Barry Fox, New Scientist, December 20, 2005 --- http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8488

The pen of the future will use inkjet technology to deliver a multitude of colours from its tip, according to recent filings from prolific patenter Silverbrook Research in Balmain, Australia.

Inkjet printer heads are now cheaply mass-produced and small enough to fit into the stem of a pen in place of a nib or ballpoint. Silverbrook’s pen body is about as thick as a fountain pen, with a battery-powered microelectromechanical print head near the tip that pumps out fine jets of ink from a replaceable cartridge.

A smooth roller point at the tip of the pen holds the jet at a fixed distance from the paper and pressing the point onto the paper switches the jet on and off. Varying the pressure varies the thickness of the line by controlling the number of jets that pump ink – a hard push makes a thick line and vice versa.

Continued in article


"A (German) Disgrace," The Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2005; Page A14 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113530880559630290.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

Public opinion in Germany has recently been agitated by reports of secret CIA prisons in Europe, which follows indignation about Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. "Torture State America" is how Michael Naumann of the influential weekly newspaper Die Zeit sums up life in the U.S. these days. So it's all the more strange that, when it comes to a torturer in their own midst, Germans have adopted a forgiving attitude.

The torturer in question is Mohammad Ali Hamadi, who last Friday was released from a German prison after serving not quite 19 years of a life sentence. In 1985, Hamadi was among the Hezbollah hijackers who seized TWA Flight 847, held its passengers hostage for 16 days, and murdered 23-year-old U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem.

But the word "murder" doesn't adequately describe what Hamadi and his crew did to Stethem. "They singled him out because he was American and a soldier," said one eyewitness. "They dragged him out of his seat, tied his hands and then beat him up. . . . They kicked him in the face and knee caps and kept kicking him until they had broken all his ribs. Then they tried to knock him out with the butt of a pistol -- they kept hitting him over the head but he was very strong and they couldn't knock him out. . . . Later, they dragged him away and I believe shot him."

In 1987, Hamadi was detained at Frankfurt airport when customs officials found liquid explosives in his luggage. A U.S. extradition request was denied on grounds that he was liable for the death penalty. Instead, Germany meted out its toughest sentence: Life in prison. But as one German official acknowledged to us, there is no such thing as life imprisonment in Germany. The country's Constitutional Court requires prison officers to review life cases after 15 years and seek reasons for early release, including good behavior and expressions of remorse. Whether Hamadi has expressed remorse the official could not say.

Continued in article


How people with disabilities and certain medical conditions can have student loans cancelled
Sallie Mae on Friday unveiled a new Web site with information on how people with disabilities and certain medical conditions can have student loans cancelled --- http://www.salliemae.com/


Some time-changing facts about islands of the coast of Maine

"Maine Islands Weigh Secession from Mainland," NPR, June 9, 2005 --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4695553

By the Numbers: The Chebeague Island Story
 
  • Number of Maine islands with year-round populations in 1900: 300
  • Number of Maine islands with year-round populations in 2005: 15
  • Number of Maine islands with year-round schools in 2005: 14
  • Year-round population of Chebeague Island, Maine: 356
  • Estimated summer population of Chebeague Island, Maine: 1,700
  • Number of passengers traveling to Chebeague Island on Chebeague Transportation Company ferries in 2004: 151,773
  • Number of schoolhouses on Chebeague Island in the late 1800s: 4
  • Number of schoolchildren (K-5th grades) in Chebeague Island’s only remaining school in 2005: 23
  • Number of schoolchildren (6th-12th grades) from Chebeague Island commuting daily to mainland schools: 22
  • Total amount in property taxes Chebeague Islanders will pay in fiscal year 2006 to the mainland school district that educates island children: $1,551,000
  • Amount Chebeague Islanders will pay per island student to the mainland school district that educates island children (in fiscal year 2006): $34,466.67
  • Approximate annual amount neighboring Long Island pays to educate Long Island schoolchildren: $395,000
  • Approximate annual amount Long Island pays per pupil to educate its 31 schoolchildren: $12,700
  • Annual per pupil cost for salaries, supplies, equipment and textbooks for students at the Chebeague Island School: $10,652
  • Annual per pupil cost for salaries, supplies, equipment and textbooks for mainland elementary school students in the same school district as the Chebeague Island School: $6,066
  • Approximate annual savings due to proposed elimination of the 4th and 5th grades at the Chebeague Island School: $50,000
  • Proposed 2005-2006 budget for the mainland school district that includes the Chebeague Island School: $23,853,245
  • Number of Chebeague Islanders voting to explore secession from the town of Cumberland in May 2005 straw poll: 82
  • Number of Chebeague Islanders voting in the May 2005 straw poll: 89

Also see a December 23, 2005 update at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5064424


The Short Evolution of Intelligent Design "Theory"
In a case watched by scientists nationwide, a federal judge ruled that intelligent design is indelibly tied to its religious underpinnings, and that teaching it in a public school class violates the Constitutional separation of church and state.
David Epstein, "Survival of the Fittest Theory," Inside Higher Ed, December 21, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/12/21/evolution

Also see "US court hands down landmark evolution ruling," PhysOrg, December 20, 2005 --- http://www.physorg.com/news9209.html


Why aren't people using RSS feeds?
I was surprised and pleased by the interest sparked by my recent note about RSS and syndication ("Why Don't More People Use RSS Feeds?"). Surprised, because the point of that note was that hardly anybody uses RSS, and that's pretty much the same as saying nobody gives a darn about it. Turns out people do care about RSS--they're just not using it. Or are they? Officials at KnowNow, a vendor of technology that uses RSS, say that many people use RSS and are unaware that they're doing so. They took issue with a statistic I quoted from Forrester, which found in a September study that only 6% of Internet users are using RSS. KnowNow countered with a white paper from Yahoo that says 31% of Internet users are using RSS--they just don't know it. They're using personalized start pages, such as My Yahoo and My MSN , , , Still, more than two-thirds of Internet users aren't using RSS, and I was gratified to get lots of comments from them explaining why and discussing what needs to happen before they do. I'll include highlights of those comments throughout the rest of this note. Read the rest for those comments, and also to find out how you can get started using RSS. And, as always, we want to hear from you about RSS or any other subjects; leave your comments by following the preceding link. 
Mitch Wagner, "RSS: The Best Technology You're Using After All," InformationWeek Newsletter, December 23, 2005

Bob Jensen's threads on RSS are at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#ResourceDescriptionFramework


The Fast Evolution of Computer Chess:  Computers are Now the Best
But if you're very good and if you don't make a single mistake, you still have a slight chance of winning. You have an even better chance of battling to a draw, says one chess champion. "I find it fun playing computers. The only problem is that the psychological duel does not exist. You cannot bluff. You cannot count on unforced errors," Veselin Topalov, told Reuters. "You have to find a special strategy completely different from what you would do against humans."
"Computers Still Dominate Chess," Wired News, December 20, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,69882,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_7


Senator Clinton's Best on MP3
Sen. Clinton is hitting the world of MP3 players with a 14-track best-of-her-speeches album for 2005. But wait, there's more. It will also have her Sen ate statements and press conferences. There's Hillary on health care, on Katrina and on violent video games. Camp Clinton is posting these podcasts on iTunes and other MP3 Internet portals, — all downloadable to iPods and computers for free.
Ian Bishop, "HILLARY JOINS THE IPOD REVOLUTION," The New York Post, December 26, 2005 --- http://www.nypost.com/news/nationalnews/59512.htm 

Video Poetry --- http://www.favoritepoem.org/thevideos/index.html
Includes Hillary Clinton reading The Makers --- http://www.favoritepoem.org/thevideos/hclinton.html 
Click down hard on the picture to commence the video reading!


Ken Lay's Not Keeping His Mouth Shut:  He even has a personal Website

December 20, 2005 message from December 20, 2005

Bob,

You may have seen this already, but Ken Lay of Enron fame gave a speech last week in Houston. The title is Guilty Until Proven Innocent and in it he makes the case for why CFO Andy Fastow should be blamed for the Enron fraud and not Ken Lay. Lay , Jeff Skilling and Richard Causey of Enron are scheduled to go on trial next month. A copy of Lay's speech is available on his personal website - http://www.kenlayinfo.com/public/CYOFQ534244233.aspx 

Denny

Ken Lay's speech does not quite jive with Ken Lay's secret recipes for legally looting $184,494.426 from the corporation you manage --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm#SecretRecipes

"Lay Seeks Help From Former Enron Workers," SmartPros, December 15, 2005 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x50980.xml

Bob Jensen's threads on the Enron/Andersen scandals are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm

Bob Jensen's Enron Quiz is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnronQuiz.htm


Beyond Blogs and Podcasts:  Now we have (video) vLogs
From the Internet counter-culture which spawned blogs and podcasts comes the newest thing in new media: vlogging. In short video diaries and homemade reality shows, vloggers are using the power of cheap online technology to invite strangers into their lives.
"Lights, camera, vlog: new video craze hits Internet," PhysOrg, December 19, 2005 --- http://www.physorg.com/news9156.html 


Harvard Business School Eliminates Ban on a Graduate's Discretionary Disclosure of Grades
The era of the second-year slump at Harvard Business School is over. Or maybe the days of student cooperation are over. Despite strong student opposition, the business school announced Wednesday that it was ending its ban on sharing grades with potential employers. Starting with new students who enroll in the fall, M.B.A. candidates can decide for themselves whether to share their transcripts. The ban on grade-sharing has been enormously popular with students since it was adopted in 1998. Supporters say that it discouraged (or at least kept to a reasonable level) the kind of cut-throat competition for which business schools are known. With the ban, students said they were more comfortable helping one another or taking difficult courses. But a memo sent to students by Jay O. Light, the acting dean, said that the policy was wrong. “Fundamentally, I believe it is inappropriate for HBS to dictate to students what they can and cannot say about their grades during the recruiting process. I believe you and your classmates earn your grades and should be accountable for them, as you will be accountable for your performance in the organizations you will lead in the future,” he wrote.
Scott Jaschik, "Survival of the Fittest MBA," Inside Higher Ed, December 16, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/12/16/grades

Also see "Grade Conflation," by Philip Delves Broughton, The Wall Street Journal, December 21, 2005; Page A18 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113513478743628190.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

Attending university in Britain, student politics meant snarling Marxists battling for all-vegan cafeterias and the right to collect unemployment benefits while studying. There would be a couple of wild-haired professors who tried to curry favor with the discontents, but on the whole rulings drifted down from on high carrying the strong odors of port, cigars and institutional disinterest.

At Harvard Business School, things are supposed to be different. People here talk of consultation, collaboration and best practice. Students are encouraged to express their views, to help improve the HBS process. Focus groups, feedback sessions and opinion polls drive any change. But recent events have shown that the rule of philosopher kings is as entrenched on the banks of the Charles as it was in Plato's vision of the ideal city-state. In this cradle of liberal, capitalist thought, democracy is not even at the green-shoots phase. Wise men rule and the mob must accede to their selfless judgment.

At issue has been grade disclosure, whether or not MBA students should be permitted to share their grades with outsiders. Until 1998, students could discuss their grades and potential employers could ask for them. Students were graded, as they are now, on a forced curve with the top 15% to 20% getting a "1," the middle 70% a "2," the bottom 10% a "3." In 1998, however, each MBA class was divided in two and the grading system was felt to confer advantage on one over the other depending where you stood (or something like that).

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on earlier articles and communications on this issue are contained in "Too Good to Grade" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#NoGrades

Bob Jensen's threads on teaching evaluation controversies and grade inflation --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#GradeInflation

Bob Jensen's threads on Controversies in Higher Education are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


At Stake:  The Internet as We Know It
The Internet has always been a model of freedom. Today the Web is flourishing because anyone can click to any site or download any service they want on an open network. But now the phone and cable companies that operate broadband networks have a different vision. If they get their way, today's Information Highway could be laden with tollgates, express lanes, and traffic tie-ups -- all designed to make money for the network companies.
Catherine Yang, "At Stake:  The Internet as We Know It, Business Week, December 15, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/BW121505
 


Brush up your geography ---

GeoQuiz 1.1--- http://www.handmap.net/


"Hybrid Hard Disks and Beyond," eWeek, December 15, 2005 ---  http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1902320,00.asp
 


Amtrak:  Traveling Soviet-style aboard America's $30,000,000,000.00 nostalgia toy
Peter Bagge, Amtrak Sucks, Reason Magazine, http://www.reason.com/0512/bagge.shtml

Bob Jensen's threads on Amtrak's real disaster are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book05q4.htm#Amtrak


Computer Security Threats On The Rise
A study released by Sophos this week reports that malicious Trojan horse programs made up the majority of the computer security threats that have occurred this year. Red Herring reports that this is the third report in four months to highlight the risk faced by business and home computer users from these cyber threats. Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley told Red Herring, “Unlike viruses and worms, Trojans cannot replicate on their own, meaning that they must be deliberately emailed or planted on web sites in order to spread. Hackers [are using Trojans to gain] access to an infected PC, enabling them to create a zombie, steal information, and dish out their malware from under the nose of unsuspecting users.”
"Computer Security Threats On The Rise," AccounitngWeb, December 9, 2005 ---
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=101562

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


Commission on Graduate Education Report
The framework has been laid. Now it`s time for the real work to begin. That was the message of the Commission on Graduate Education report presented Thursday to the Faculty Senate. After more than a decade of pioneering work to transform the ways in which an undergraduate education is delivered, university officials are turning their attention to graduate education. Although the university offers a top-notch education for graduate students, it can do better to enhance multidisciplinary opportunities, expand leadership training and break down institutional barriers to encourage collaboration among departments, according to the report. ``Part of what [the commission] tried to do here was bring best practices together and hope that they come together to make a better university,`` said Charles Holloway, the Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers Professor of Management, Emeritus.
Stanford News, December 7, 2005 --- http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/december7/graduate-120705.html


Whiners on the Right:  A new wave of campus PC
Alan Temes, an assistant professor of health and physical education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was getting good reviews on the job until his politics became an issue. Temes, who opposes the war in Iraq, began posting updates of the body count of US soldiers and Iraqi civilians on a bulletin board near his office. Last April, department chair Elaine Blair emailed Temes advising him to stop posting the notices. Then, Temes claims in a lawsuit, she warned him that continued antiwar protests would hurt his chances of getting tenure. Later, he was denied tenure, despite apparently meeting the qualifications for it.
Cathy Young, "Whiners On the Right:  A new wave of campus PC," Reason Magazine, December 13, 2005 --- http://www.reason.com/cy/cy121305.shtml


How we may be encouraging insurgents'
Insurgents who pay attention to our debates about the war will notice one thing: We are terrified by death. The authors of the war promised this would be a "clean" invasion in which few would die, while their anti-war opponents obsess over numbers of dead and images of the dead. Both sides have helped to turn death into the defining issue, so it is not surprising that the insurgents should focus on that same issue. From the beginning, Coalition officials advertised their fear of spilling blood, whether Iraqis' or their own. Their unrealistic desire for a bloodless battle was summed up by one journalist as follows: "We want to have a clean, crisp, sanitary war in which we suffer few casualties. We want the unfortunate deaths of civilians removed from the process completely.... And, by the way, we want the entire thing wrapped up by next Thursday." Through their trepidation, officials guaranteed that deaths, when they inevitably occurred, would be taken as evidence that the war had gone horribly wrong.
Brendan O'Neill, "Is Our Empathy Killing Us? How we may be encouraging insurgents' bloody tactics," Reason Magazine, December 9, 2005 --- http://www.reason.com/hod/bo120905.shtml 


Will woolly mammoths live again?
Hendrik Poinar, a molecular evolutionary geneticist at McMaster University in Hamilton, says ancient DNA obtained from the jawbone of a long-dead Siberian woolly mammoth could be used create a modern version of the animal . . . He and his U.S. colleagues won't be able to clone the female that was found frozen in the permafrost because the DNA they obtained was fractured into so many tiny fragments. But they could create a hybrid of the woolly mammoth and its closest living relative, the Indian elephant. Once researchers have made male and female hybrids, they could breed the animals to obtain as pure a woolly mammoth as possible. "In theory, you could do it," Dr. Poinar says.
Anne McIlroy, "Will woolly mammoths live again?" The Globe and Mail, December 20, 2005 --- http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20051220.wxmammoth1220/BNStory/specialScienceandHealth/


Google Beating Microsoft Again
Google may soon win the battle against Microsoft for a stake in America Online. The search engine is reportedly in exclusive negotiations to buy a share of the Web portal for $1 billion. If the deal goes through, it could rock the search-portal market. If Google gets its way, then it will be able to offer advertisers just about anything they need online, whether it's banner ads, video advertising or sponsored links in search results. AOL, besides getting a lot of cash, will be able to offer similar products.
Antone Gonsalves, "Google Beating Microsoft Again," InternetWeek Newsletter, December 19, 2005

Google Reportedly Offering To Take A $1 Billion Stake In AOL ---
http://www.internetweek.cmp.com/showArticle.jhtml?sssdmh=dm4.161133&articleId=175004702

The Sale is Confirmed ---
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/20/AR2005122001388.html?referrer=email

Also see http://physorg.com/news9251.html 

Jensen Comment
This is an example of where purchase of a company or a large stake in a company is more valuable for some companies than others due to intangibles.  On the open market, AOL shares are not nearly as valuable to the general public as they are in a block purchase by Google due to the advantage of Google's use of AOL for advertising revenues.  If Google eventually purchases more than a 50% stake in AOL, this would also illustrate how what accountants call "purchased goodwill" may in reality simply be added revenues arising from synergy.  Bob Jensen's threads on the intractable problem of accounting for intangibles are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm#TheoryDisputes


From The Washington Post on January 5, 2006

How many characters are most text messages via cell phones confined to?

A. 160
B. 230
C. 350
D. 520


Woody Allen claims he's a "mediocre" director of "miserable work
In his trademark pessimistic style, US cinema legend Woody Allen said he is a "mediocre" director of "miserable work". "I've disappointed myself most of the time," the New Yorker told BBC television, rejecting claims he is a film artist. In London for the world premiere of his new film "Match Point", set in the British capital, Allen said: "People think I'm an intellectual because I wear glasses and they think I'm an artist because my films lose money". Allen's movies have often been better received in Europe than in America but he said he was grateful for any US acclaim...
Breitbart News, December 18, 2005 --- http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/12/18/051218210918.oyvmkdg6.html
Jensen Comment:
So what's wrong with Woody's orgasm machine (1973 Sleeper) --- http://soundingcircle.com/newslog2.php/__show_article/_a000195-000536.htm


Applying early to college is popular again:  Experts worry about the trend
After a one-year lull, "early decision" college applications seem to have picked up again this fall around the country, worrying some experts who think the trend shows the admissions process is starting too early in students' high school years.
"Applying early to college is popular again:  Experts worry about the trend," CNN, December 19, 2005 --- http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/12/19/colleges.early.decision.ap/index.html
This link was forwarded by Debbie Bowling.


Keeping track of what proportion of TV viewers probably skip over the advertising
Nielsen plans to track viewers who use digital video recorders to watch programs starting Monday -- setting up a fight between advertisers and networks over the price of commercials.
Brooks Barnes, "New TV Ratings Will Produce Ad-Price Fight," The Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2005; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113521096416228955.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace

Also see http://snipurl.com/DVRtracking


"File the Bin Laden Phone Leak Under 'Urban Myths'," by Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post, December 22, 2005, Page A02 --- http://snipurl.com/PhoneLeakMyth

President Bush asserted this week that the news media published a U.S. government leak in 1998 about Osama bin Laden's use of a satellite phone, alerting the al Qaeda leader to government monitoring and prompting him to abandon the device.

The story of the vicious leak that destroyed a valuable intelligence operation was first reported by a best-selling book, validated by the Sept. 11 commission and then repeated by the president.

But it appears to be an urban myth.

The al Qaeda leader's communication to aides via satellite phone had already been reported in 1996 -- and the source of the information was another government, the Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan at the time.

The second time a news organization reported on the satellite phone, the source was bin Laden himself.

Causal effects are hard to prove, but other factors could have persuaded bin Laden to turn off his satellite phone in August 1998. A day earlier, the United States had fired dozens of cruise missiles at his training camps, missing him by hours.

Continued in article

Threads on urban legends and hoaxes can be found at the following links:

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/


Eli Lilly to Pay $36 Million Fine
The Indianapolis drug company said it has already taken a charge for the $36 million fine. Eli Lilly was charged with promoting its Evista product for the prevention of breast cancer and for reducing cardiovascular risk, though neither of those uses have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Eli Lilly says both uses are the subject of large, multiyear clinical trials that began in the late 1990s.
"Eli Lilly to Pay $36 Million Fine," The Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2005; Page B5 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113517500333728476.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace


"Let's Get Physical:  Books that compare Einstein with other great minds," by Wlater Isaacson, The Wall Street Journal, December 31, 2005 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/weekend/fivebest/?id=110007754 .

1. "Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps" by Peter Galison (Norton, 2003).

We've seen much hoopla in 2005 regarding the centennial of Albert Einstein's miracle year, when he published seminal papers on special relativity and the quantum nature of light. Several smart books on Einstein were also published, adding to the growing library of works on this endlessly fascinating man. One particularly interesting approach of writers over the years has been to consider Einstein in tandem with another great genius and compare how their minds worked. Among the best of these is "Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps" and the four others that follow here. Henri Poincaré, the great polymath, hit on many elements of relativity just before Einstein did, but he did not make the full leap. Mr. Galison describes how Poincaré's study of time zones and Einstein's work in the Swiss patent office examining devices to synchronize clocks may have influenced their scientific thinking. Some scholars feel Mr. Galison goes too far. But this intriguing book provokes us all to wrestle with our own approach to ideas: How do various influences, conscious or not, flow together to produce a new concept?

2. "The Invisible Century: Einstein, Freud, and the Search for Hidden Universes" by Richard Panek (Viking, 2004).

They met only once, in 1927, when Einstein was 47 and Freud was 70. The former was at best mildly bemused by the latter's advocacy of psychoanalysis. As Mr. Panek notes, soon after their meeting, Freud wrote to a friend: "He understands as much about psychology as I do about physics, so we had a very pleasant talk." But Mr. Panek also delightfully shows that these two giants of the 20th century shared an intuitive approach to new ideas. Neither settled for merely interpreting data or making inductions based on experiments; instead, they took great conceptual leaps by embracing grand postulates that reconceived old ways of thinking.

3. "Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time, and the Beauty That Causes Havoc" by Arthur I. Miller (Basic Books, 2001).

No, no, there's no suggestion here that Einstein's theory of relativity led to the time-and-space contortions of cubism and other modern art. Mr. Miller, however, shows something more subtly fascinating: how both Einstein and Picasso were wrestling with time and space when there was a realization in many fields that these and other classical absolutes could be questioned. The air was charged at the beginning of the century, allowing for creative sparks.

4. "Einstein in Love: A Scientific Romance" by Dennis Overbye (Viking, 2000).

This riveting tale of the young Einstein and his first wife, Mileva Maric, is filled with wonderful elements: passion and betrayal, a mysterious lost child, and the grueling and almost successful struggle of a brilliant female physicist to break into a male world. Some have claimed that Maric was a partner in her husband's discovery of relativity. As Mr. Overbye shows, there's no need go that far in order to be awed by this couple's struggle, together and separately.

5. "A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Gödel and Einstein" by Palle Yourgrau (Basic Books, 2005).

Along with Rebecca Goldstein's fine biography, "Incompleteness," Mr. Yourgrau's book should revive interest in the tantalizing logician Kurt Gödel. It also shows how these two men, who each enjoyed the way the other's mind worked, formed a late-life friendship that led Gödel to extend Einstein's theory of time to--and perhaps past--its logical implications.

 


From The Washington Post on December 19, 2005

What government organization recently revamped its Web site to make searching its public databases easier?

A. Department of Health and Human Services
B. Environmental Protection Agency
C. National Archives
D. Library of Congress


In Canada and the U.K. Rape is permitted as long as the rapist is asleep at the time
When she woke, she said she found him having sex with her. He was charged with sexual assault but during his trial sleep experts testified that he suffered from sexsomnia - when a person has sex while they are still asleep.
"Sleepwalking man cleared of rape:  A man accused of three counts of rape has been cleared by a jury because he was sleepwalking," BBC News, December 19, 2005 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/north_yorkshire/4543340.stm 


China's Media Sector Is Still Evolving
The Chinese government's recent crackdown on free speech, particularly on the Internet, does not provide an accurate picture of the country's media industry, according to Zhengrong Hu, a professor at Communication University of China, who spoke recently at Penn's Annenberg School of Communication. The media industry, like Chinese history itself, is evolving sporadically, he said -- "one step forward, two steps back," but forward nonetheless. Hu also spoke about cultural differences between China and foreign investors, the importance of lobbying, and strategies for outsiders to break into the industry.
"Hold the Presses: The Story on China's Media Sector Is Still Evolving, Knowledge@wharton, December 2005 --- http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/index.cfm?fa=viewArticle&id=1340


Tidbits from The Opinion Journal on December 23, 2005

The Right to Swing http://today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=worldNews&storyid=2005-12-21T151550Z_01_KNE073843_RTRUKOC_0_US-SEX.xml&rpc=22

Speaking of Canada, that country is blazing new trails in jurisprudence, Reuters reports from Ottawa:

*** QUOTE ***

Group sex between consenting adults is neither prostitution nor a threat to society, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Wednesday, dismissing arguments that the sometimes raucous activities of so-called "swingers" clubs were dangerous.

*** END QUOTE ***

Could it happen here? Who knows? In an observation widely attributed to Justice Anthony Kennedy, the U.S. Supreme Court has said, "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." Somehow the court has taken this to mean abortion and sodomy, so why not group sex? And they do say Kennedy is a "swing" justice.

Homer Nods

What Would We Do Without Hot Air Balloon Experts? http://www.kesq.com/Global/story.asp?S=4275705&nav=9qrx

"Hot Air Balloon Experts Say Safety Should Be First"--headline, KESQ-TV Web site (Palm Springs, Calif.), Dec. 21

What Would Teens Do Without Wisconsin Studies? http://www.waow.com/news/full_story.php?id=39096
"Wisconsin Study: Teens Play It Safe but Still Take Risks"--headline, WAOW-TV Web site (Wausau, Wis.), Dec. 21

Thanks for the Tip!--XXVIII http://www.healthday.com/view.cfm?id=529703

"Health Tip: Teen Years Can Be Tough"--headline, HealthDayNews, Dec. 22

Give Me the Bad News First, Doc http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051222/ap_on_he_me/heart_impotence

"Study: Impotence Can Warn of Heart Disease"--headline, Associated Press, Dec. 22

If They Don't Ail Him, What Does? http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2005/12/22/parole_board_denies_ailing_kevorkian/
"Parole Board Denies Ailing Kevorkian"--headline, Associated Press, Dec. 22

Shades of 'Soylent Green' http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/filmsshowterroristsaspeople

"Films Show Terrorists as People"--headline, USA Today, Dec. 21

That's One Talented Calf http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/news/weird_news/13452130.htm

"Moose Captured After Son Plays Saxophone"--headline, Associated Press, Dec. 20
Next They'll Count Moose With Saxophones
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/34147/story.htm

"India to Count Tigers With Computers"--headline, Reuters, Dec. 21

That Explains Our Headache http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051221/ap_on_sc/human_pleasure

"Researchers: Sweet Tooth May Be in Brain"--headline, Associated Press, Dec. 20

Why the British Are Unlucky in Love http://www.healthday.com/view.cfm?id=529715

"Fewer Teeth May Mean More Heart Woes"--headline, HealthDayNews, Dec. 22

The First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Lawyers http://www.ajc.com/news/content/metro/1205/21metdeath.html
"Lawyers: Don't Let Doctors Perform Executions"--headline, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dec. 21


Question
What ethnic group owns and operates more hotels than any other group in the U.S.?

Answer
Today's great American hotel owner is more likely to be named Patel and have roots that extend to the Indian state of Gujarat, than to be named Trump and lay claim to premier properties in the New York area. Immigrants from India, almost all with ties to Gujarat, have become a dominant force in the US hotel industry. They own about half of the US economy lodging facilities and almost 37 per cent of all hotel properties here, according to the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), based in Atlanta.
"Indians run 20,000 hotels in US," Reuters --- http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=30882




"Rob Reiner on Comedy: The director and actor talks about the movies that make him laugh," by Candace Jackson, The Wall Street Journal, December 24, 2005; Page P2 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113536762669030711.html?mod=todays_us_pursuits

Annie Hall
This 1977 release starring and directed by Woody Allen is one of Mr. Reiner's favorite films by the director (Mr. Reiner says he's seen it at least 15 times). "He was able to combine what he does best," he says of Mr. Allen's direction, "his twisted vision of men and women and the backdrop of New York."

The Producers
The 1968 Mel Brooks-directed story about the idiosyncrasies of Broadway is another of Mr. Reiner's favorites by a director he cites as hugely influential. "It's just a total original comic mind working," he says. A new film version, based on Mr. Brooks's popular Broadway-musical adaptation, opens this weekend.

Where's Poppa?
Mr. Reiner cites this 1970 release as one of the lesser-known gems directed by his father. (The younger Mr. Reiner had a small role in the film.) "It touches on some real issues of a mother's hold over a son, and how a son tries to get from under the grips of his mother," he says.

It's a Gift
"It's his performance," says Mr. Reiner of W.C. Fields, who stars in this 1934 film about a general-store owner and his status-obsessed wife. "It's so subtle ... that character that he created, this kind of curmudgeonly guy who was always put upon and always disturbed by everything," he says.

Duck Soup
"The funniest of the Marx Brothers films," says Mr. Reiner of this 1933 "wacky political comedy," in which Groucho Marx's character declares war on a neighboring country.

Bob Jensen's threads on video, television, and movies are at --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm#Video




Up here in the Northern Plains we just recovered from a historic event --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1546488/posts

WEATHER BULLETIN
Up here in the Northern Plains we just recovered from a Historic event --- may I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions" --- with a historic blizzard of up to 44" inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to 10's of thousands.

FYI:
* George Bush did not come.... * FEMA did nothing.... * No one howled for the government... * No one blamed the government * No one even uttered an expletive on TV... * Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit * Our Mayor's did not blame Bush or anyone else * Our Governor did not blame Bush or anyone else either * CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, or NBC did not visit - or report on this category 5 snow storm * Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards..... * No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House.... * No one looted.... * Nobody - I mean Nobody demanded the government do something * Nobody expected the government to do anything either * No Larry King, No Bill O'Rielly, No Oprah, No Chris Mathews and No Geraldo Rivera * No Shaun Penn, No Barbara Striesand, No Hollywood types to be found And * Nope, we just melted the snow for water * Sent out caravans of SUV's to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars * The truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and didn't ask for a penny * Local restaurants made food and the police and fire departments delivered it to the snow bound families * Families took in the stranded people - total strangers * We Fired up wood stoves * Broke out coal oil lanterns or coleman lanterns * We put on an extra layer of clothes because up here it is "Work or Die" * We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for 'sittin at home' checks. * Even though a Category "5" blizzard of this scale has never fallen this early...we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves. "In my many travels, I have noticed that once one gets north of about 48 degrees North Latitude, 90% most of the world's social problems evaporate."


Forwarded by Bob Overn

Ole and Lena went to dinner at an exclusive country club for Lena's birthday. After dinner Ole excused himself and went to the men's room.

While he was standing at the urinal two members walked in and one of them said, "Say, isn't that Drew Pierson standing over there?"

The other responded, "No. It sure looks like him, but I don't think it is."

The first one said, "I really think it is. Let's go ask him. So they walked over to him and asked, "Are you Drew Pierson?"

"No," Ole replied over his shoulder, "Aye vas shust gettin' started."
 




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

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

International Accounting News (including the U.S.)

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

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

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

 

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu