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 ---
Top Five Books on Constitutional Law
"We the People: Top books on the Constitution," by
Robert H. Bork, The Wall Street Journal, January 14,
1. "The Federalist" by
Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay
2. "Commentaries on the
Constitution of the United States" by Joseph Story
(Hillard, Gray & Co., 1833).
3. "The Least Dangerous
Branch" by Alexander M. Bickel (Bobbs-Merrill, 1962).
4. "The Rise of Modern
Judicial Review" by Christopher Wolfe (Basic Books,
5. "Separation of Church
and State" by Philip Hamburger (Harvard University,
From WebMD ---
Latest Headlines January 13, 2006
January 15, 2006
Iraq's History Page ---
Stop saying it's almost impossible for history
professors to find jobs
Data that will be published this
month in Perspectives, the magazine of the American
Historical Association, show that 966 history positions were
advertised there in the 2004-5 academic year, a 13 percent
increase in one year. During the same year, the number of
new Ph.D.’s reported by departments fell by 14 percent, to
Scott Jaschik, "Improving Job Market in History," Inside
Higher Ed, January 12, 2006 ---
But the changed market system may not solve the
elitist bias in many disciplines, including history.
Inbred Historians: Diversity Problem in History
Only applicants from elite universities need apply
Recent decades have
opened up history faculties so that they include
more female and minority scholars. But a new report
released by the American Historical Association says
that in key respects history departments are
becoming “less diverse.” Top doctoral programs are
admitting Ph.D. students from a narrow group of
mostly private institutions and top departments are
in turn hiring from a narrow range of institutions,
the report says. The preference of elite
institutions to admit graduate students from other
elite institutions is, of course, nothing new. But
the history report says the discipline — having
become more egalitarian — is now shifting back with
regard to its mix of public and private graduates.
In 1966, 57 percent of history Ph.D.’s had received
their undergraduate degrees from private
institutions, 37 from public institutions, and the
remainder from international institutions. In the
1980s, public and private graduates had achieved
parity. But in the 90s, the gap returned, growing to
a 47-42 percent edge for private institutions, even
though far more undergraduates attend public
Scott Jaschik, "Inbred Historians," Inside Higher
, September 26, 2005 ---
Jensen Comment on the X-Chromosome Problem.
Elite colleges of business also have an inbreeding
problem. Often it's the same lack of diversity of
hiring found among Ivy-type history programs hiring
their own as described above. If it isn't that,
there is the X-Chromosome Problem that leaves
selected doctoral programs with an overage of X
chromosomes. Professor XR1 at top University R has
a doctoral student XC2 who gets tenure at University
C. XC2 then has a doctoral student XR3 who is hired
back at old University R. XR3 then has a doctoral
student XC4 who is hired at University C. XC4 then
has doctoral student XR5 who is hired . . .
This is February 22, 2005 Tidbit
Soaring demand for
The growing quest for economic
talent is largely a response to market forces. Economics is
the leading major at many top schools, including Harvard,
where 15% of undergraduates major in the subject.
Universities figure top-name professors will help recruit
the brightest students.
Timothy Aeppel, "Economists Gain Star Power: Hot Demand
Lifts Salaries, As Elite Universities Seek Big Names,"
The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2005; Page A2 ---
The end is in sight for film cameras
"Nikon Says It's Leaving Film-Camera Business," by Mike
Musgrove, The Washington Post
, January 12, 2006 ---
From The Washington Post on January 13, 2006
According to industry analysts, when did sales of
digital cameras surpass sales of film cameras?
Six months ago
One year ago
Two years ago
Three years ago
January 10, 2006 message from Diane J. Graves
To all faculty members:
The best defense--against the
fraudulent use of sources, or the unintentional misuse
of research materials--is a good offense! The library
offers two resources to help your students cite their
sources correctly and to understand why citation is
The Cite Sources page
includes guidelines for citing
materials in APA, MLA, Chicago (Documentation 1 and 2),
and Turabian. These instructions assist students as they
construct bibliographies or in-text citations. Further,
the main page includes information about why citation is
necessary for academic studies and valuable in student
research and writing. Also take note that we offer a
page on creating annotated bibliographies,
including a couple of different styles of annotations
and example PDF files.
increases in popularity with every semester. As students
conduct research across databases and as their lists of
citations grow, lack of organization or the time lapse
often necessitated by students' busy schedules can lead
to inaccurate recording of resources.
NEW THIS SEMESTER, we've added
a series of tutorials that students and faculty may
watch to learn how to save items in their database or
library catalog search and send it into their RefWorks
account. These tutorials are short-- to
facilitate repeated viewings.
In the fall 2005 semester, a
number of professors included either the Cite Sources
link or information about RefWorks in their syllabi.
Both of these links are available at the library
homepage. We believe that by offering these resources,
students and faculty have a consistent resource to use
when completing tasks related to giving attribution to
If you have questions about
these resources please contact your liaison librarian.
If your students encounter challenges as they use the
Cite Sources pages or RefWorks, please encourage them to
visit the library's help desk in the Information
Have a great spring term!
Diane & the rest of the library
Diane J. Graves,
Professor & University Librarian
Elizabeth M. Coates Library,
One Trinity Place, San Antonio, TX 78212
Americans are spending like there's no tomorrow
When the Commerce Department
recently tallied up consumer finances for November, it found
that Americans shelled out more money than they took in. It
was the seventh such month of red ink during 2005. Kevin
Lansing, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank in San
Francisco, tracks the personal savings rate -- the Commerce
Department's measure of how much consumers have left after
spending is subtracted from income. In November the savings
rate was a negative 0.2 percent.
Tom Abate, "Americans saving less than nothing Spending
could outstrip income in 2005, which hasn't happened since
the Depression," San Francisco Chronicle, January 8,
Bob Jensen's threads on the dirty secrets of credit card
companies are at
In Wrongful Death: A Memoir
In 1991, Elliot L. Gilbert, chair
of English at the University of California at Davis, went to
the hospital for what ought to have been some fairly routine
surgery. Mistakes were made. He died on the operating table.
His wdow, Sandra M. Gilbert (also a professor of English at
Davis), brought suit – a case finally settled out of court,
but not before she piled up a mound of documents that gave
her some sense of just what had happened. In Wrongful
Death: A Memoir (Norton, 1995), she wrote:
“Responsibility in the often miraculous but always highly
technologized realm of modern medicine is so dispersed, so
fragmented, that finally it accrues to no one.” Years
earlier — long before her work with Susan Gubar on the
landmark work of American feminist literary criticism The
Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth
Century Literary Imagination (Yale University Press, 1979) —
Gilbert had worked on a monograph she planned to call
“‘Different, and Luckier’: Romantic and Post-Romantic
Metaphors of Death.” The phrase in the title came from “Song
of Myself,” in which Whitman declaimed that “to die is
different from what anyone supposed, and luckier.”
Scott McLemee, "Beyond Consolation," Inside Higher Ed,
January 11, 2006 ---
Timeline of Art History (from the Metropolitan Museum
of Art) ---
TURBOCASH OPEN SOURCE ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE ---
What may become the longest page on the Web?
"Student Aims High With Web Wall," by K.C. Jones,
Information Week, January 10, 2006 ---
They know about your diabetes: Is this a privacy
New York City is starting to
monitor the blood sugar levels of its diabetic residents,
marking the first time any government in the United States
has begun tracking people with a chronic disease. Under the
program, the city is requiring laboratories to report the
results of blood sugar tests directly to the health
department, which will use the data to study the disease and
to prod doctors and patients when levels run too high.
"New York City Starts To Monitor Diabetics," by Rob Stein,
The Washington Post, January 11, 2006; Page A03 ---
January 6, 2006 message from Carolyn Kotlas
No Significant Difference
The website is a companion
piece to Thomas L. Russell's book THE NO SIGNIFICANT
DIFFERENCE PHENOMENON, a bibliography of 355 research
reports, summaries, and papers that document no
significant differences in student outcomes between
alternate modes of education delivery.
DISTANCE LEARNING AND
Despite the growing number of
distance learning programs, faculty are often reluctant
to move their courses into the online medium. In
"Addressing Faculty Concerns About Distance Learning"
(ONLINE JOURNAL OF DISTANCE LEARNING ADMINISTRATION,
vol. VIII, no. IV, Winter 2005) Jennifer McLean
discusses several areas that influence faculty
resistance, including: the perception that technical
support and training is lacking, the fear of being
replaced by technology, and the absence of a
clearly-understood institutional vision for distance
learning. The paper is available online at
The Online Journal of Distance
Learning Administration is a free, peer-reviewed
quarterly published by the Distance and Distributed
Education Center, The State University of West Georgia,
1600 Maple Street, Carrollton, GA 30118 USA; Web:
Bob Jensen's threads on faculty concerns are at
Also see Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side at
QUESTIONING THE VALUE
OF LEARNING TECHNOLOGY
"The notion that the future of
education lies firmly in learning technology, seen as a
tool of undoubted magnitude and a powerful remedy for
many educational ills, has penetrated deeply into the
psyche not only of those involved in delivery but also
of observers, including those in power within national
governments." In a paper published in 1992, Gabriel
Jacobs expressed his belief that hyperlink technology
would be a "teaching resource that would transform
passive learners into active thinkers." In "Hypermedia
and Discovery Based Learning: What Value?" (AUSTRALASIAN
JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, vol. 21, no. 3, 2005,
pp. 355-66), he reconsiders his opinions, "the result
being that the guarded optimism of 1992 has turned to a
deep pessimism." Jacob's paper is available online at
The Australasian Journal of
Educational Technology (AJET) [ISSN 1449-3098 (print),
ISSN 1449-5554 (online)], published three times a year,
is a refereed journal publishing research and review
articles in educational technology, instructional
design, educational applications of computer
technologies, educational telecommunications, and
related areas. Back issues are available on the Web at
no cost. For more information and back issues go to
See Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side at
COMPARISON OF SCHOLARLY
PRINT AND E-JOURNAL EDITORS
Using examples from the library
publishing field, Julie Banks and Carl Pracht examined
the roles of editors of traditional print journals and
newer electronic journals. The authors findings,
reported in "Movers and Shakers in the Library
Publishing World Highlight Their Roles: Interviews with
Print and Electronic Journal Editors - A Comparison" (E-JASL,
vol. 6 no. 3, Winter 2005), show that the two formats
were "more similar than different from each other in
terms of the editors' and editorial boards' roles,
relationships, work loads, and utilization of peer
review." The paper is available online at
E-JASL: The Electronic Journal
of Academic and Special Librarianship [ISSN 1704-8532]
is an independent, professional, refereed electronic
journal dedicated to advancing knowledge and research in
the areas of academic and special librarianship. E-JASL
is published by the Consortium for the Advancement of
Academic Publication (ICAAP), Athabasca, Canada. For
more information, contact: Paul Haschak, Executive
Editor, Board President, and Founder, Linus A. Sims
Memorial Library, Southeastern Louisiana University,
Hammond, LA USA;
firstname.lastname@example.org ; Web:
For another publishing
"The Shift Away From Print" By
Eileen Gifford Fenton and Roger C. Schonfeld INSIDE
HIGHER ED, December 8, 2005
Bob Jensen’s links to electronic literature are at
NEW JOURNAL COVERING
PLAGIARISM IN THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY
The recently-launched, refereed
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR EDUCATIONAL INTEGRITY [ISSN
1833-2595] intends to provide a forum to address
educational integrity topics: "plagiarism, cheating,
academic integrity, honour codes, teaching and learning,
university governance, and student motivation." The
journal, to be published two times a year, is sponsored
by the University of South Australia. For more
information and to read the current issue, go to
Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism and cheating are
GOOGLE LAUNCHES NEWSLETTER
In December Google launched a
free, online publication, the GOOGLE LIBRARIAN
NEWSLETTER. The newsletter was conceived at the 2005
American Libraries Association conference in Chicago as
a way to answer questions raised by librarians and
others who use Google for reference and research. The
first issue discusses a frequently-asked question: "How
does Google index the web, and, more important, how does
it rank the results?"
To read Google Librarian
Newsletter or to subscribe to the email version, go to
$30 Million Gift to the Stanford Graduate School of Business
Anne T. and Robert M. Bass to Give Stanford Graduate School of Business $30
No More Canadian GAAP
Sometime around 2010, Canada will cease to have a unique set of accounting
principles which have generally been very close to U.S. GAAP. Canada
will move to international IASB standards now used in Europe and many other
parts of the world. The U.S. is working closely with the IASB toward
the same goal, but in countries like the U.S. and China, the progress will
be much slower until the IASB standards tighten up on various types of
January 12, 2006 message from David Fordham, James Madison University
There is a joke going around in Europe:
Pity the poor Canadians. They COULD have had
the very best of everything: British culture, French cuisine, American
Instead, they've got American culture, British
cuisine, and French technology!
Back when I was working for the American
division of a Canadian company, the Canadian executives always said that
Canada being so close to the U.S. was like sleeping with an elephant...
no matter how gentle or benevolent the creature was towards you, you
still can't help being jostled and buffeted and knocked around by every
little wiggle and squirm that the beast makes.
January 12, 2006 message from David Raggay
You may already know that the US SEC and the
IASB are working on what is known as a convergence project -which aims
to eliminate major differences between US GAAP and IFRS. At a recent
seminar in Argentina, Sir David Tweedie, Chairman of the IASB, indicated
that they were working towards abolishing the SEC-required
reconciliation for companies wishing to list on US exchanges but which
produce IFRS accounts, by 2007.
It therefore does not seem unrealistic that
there will be little or no difference between IFRS and US GAAP by the
end of this decade.
With Kind Regards,
Partner - Quality Assurance
Pierre, Raggay & Co. / IFRS Consultants
48 Mucurapo Road, St. James,
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, W.I.
January 12, 2006 reply from Gerald Trites
EU financial Institutions have adopted IFRS.
They also need to conform to the requirements of Basel II, which has led
them to change their reporting requirements. As a result, they have
adopted XBRL and among the 25 countries have agreed that they would work
to making use of XBRL to meet the filing requirements on an electronic
basis using this standard. They are using the IFRS XBRL taxonomy, with
extensions, and also have adopted a COREP taxonomy to enable the
requirements of both filing requirements (IFRS with stock exchanges and
Basel II with regulators) to be met with the one standard - XBRL.
Very progressive of them.
In case you've been really sweating out the latest inverted yield
"Don't Sweat the Inverted Yield Curve: No One Really Knows What It
Means," Knowledge@Wharton, University of Pennsylvania, January
Consider the inverted yield curve as the
equivalent of an economic bogeyman. It's when the natural order up-ends
and short-term interest rates are higher than long-term ones.
The Treasury bond yield curve inverted December
27 for the first time in five years. That gave shudders to those who see
the phenomenon as a harbinger of recession. And yet, the U.S. economy is
strong, and surveys show most forecasters think it will stay that way.
So what does the inverted yield curve really mean?
"I think it sometimes portends a recession,
sometimes not," says Marshall E. Blume, finance and management professor
at Wharton. This time, it probably does not, he adds. "All the forecasts
are quite favorable. There aren't any real excesses in the economy at
the current time, and you usually think of recession as a tonic to the
economy, to undo excess."
Business inventories are not excessively high,
Blume notes. Recent government data has shown inflation picking up,
which can lead to recession. But most of that is due to the oil-price
jump last year, and oil has leveled off and doesn't appear likely to
rise further. Also, the economy is less dependent on oil than it was
during the recession-bound '70s, so oil-price increases are less likely
to infect the broader economy, Blume says.
In fact, it's a bit of a stretch to describe
today's yield curve as inverted, suggests Wharton finance professor
Robert F. Stambaugh. "I certainly wouldn't describe it as a sharply
inverted yield curve. It's 'flatish' and downward-sloping in some
Continued in article
Now let's see what can be done about the hemorrhaging Amtrak
The U.S. Postal Service reported today it concluded
fiscal 2005 with a net income of $1.4 billion on record revenues of $70
billion and record volume of 212 billion pieces of mail. "Financially, we
are in the best position we've been since the 1970s," said Postmaster
General John E. Potter at the December meeting of the Board of Governors.
"Despite the strong financial and productivity records of recent years, we
are facing a modest increase in postage rates in January."
USPS ENDS YEAR IN BLACK AND DEBT FREE; ESCROW FUND LOOMS ---
Here's a unique argument for polygamy
Chechnya has lost so many men to war that survivors
should be legally allowed to take several wives, acting Prime Minister
Ramzan Kadyrov has said.
"Polygamy proposal for Chechen men," BBC News, January 13, 2006 ---
Government Subsidies to Publisher of Textbooks
Why did the federal government give $25,511,064 to
a non-government organization last year to prepare the textbooks for
teaching civics to schoolchildren? Since 1997, the Center for Civic
Education has received at least $110,418,717 from the government and has
succeeded in essentially taking over the supply of materials for teaching
civics in American schools. President Bush eliminated this funding in his
2006 budget, but 38 senators, led by Arlen Specter, R-Penn., and Tom Harkin,
D-Iowa, joined 98 representatives, led by Ralph Regula, R-Ohio, and David
Obey, D-Wis., to have this funding restored.
Henry Lamb, "End federally funded textbooks," WorldNetDaily, January
14, 2006 ---
Elephants on Vodka
Indian elephants preparing to perform in the
Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator are drinking daily doses of vodka to help
them survive temperatures as low as minus 28 degrees Celsius, a media report
said. The elephants are working for the Moscow State Circus, which on Sunday
plans to hold its first show in Mongolia in 25 years, the UB Post newspaper
said in a report posted on its website.
"Hic! Jumbo drinks to beat winter," Hindustan Times, January 14, 2006
Is there moral hazard in linking performance pay of teachers to their
students' test scores?
Over the objections of the teachers' union, the
Board of Education here on Thursday unanimously approved the nation's
largest merit pay program, which calls for rewarding teachers based on how
well their students perform on standardized tests. The $14.5 million
program, which immediately replaces a model with lower incentives, would
distribute up to $3,000 annually per teacher and up to $25,000 for senior
Ralph Blumenthal, "Houston Ties Teachers Pay to Test Scores," The New
York Times, January 13, 2006 ---
"Another Chinese Export Is All the Rage: China's Language," by
Howard W. French, The New York Times, January 11, 2006 ---
At Trinity University, double majors in Chinese and Business Administration
is increasingly popular, especially among top students.
"What Is Environmental Accounting?" AccountingWeb, January
6, 2006 ---
Environmental Management Accounting (EMA) is a
cover title used to describe different aspects of this burgeoning field
of accounting. The focus of EMA is as a management accounting tool used
to make internal business decisions, especially for proactive
environmental management activities. EMA was developed to recognize some
limitations of conventional management accounting approaches to
environmental costs, consequences, and impacts. For example, overhead
accounts were the destination of many environmental costs in the past.
Cost allocations were inaccurate and could not be traced back to
processes, products, or process lines. Wasted raw materials were also
inaccurately accounted for during production.
Each aspect of EMA has a general accounting
type that serves as its foundation, according to the EMA international
website. The following examples indicate the general accounting type
followed by the environmental accounting parallel:
Management Accounting (MA) entails
the identification, collection, estimation, analysis, and use of
cost, or other information used for organizational decision-making.
Environmental Management Accounting (EMA) is Management Accounting
with a focus on materials and energy flow information, with
environmental cost information.
Financial Accounting (FA) comprises
the development and organizational reporting of financial
information to external parties, such as stockholders and bankers.
Environmental Financial Accounting (EFA) builds on Financial
Accounting, focusing on the reporting of environmental liability
costs with other significant environmental costs.
National Accounting (NA) is the
development of economic and other information used to describe
national income and economic health. Environmental National
Accounting (ENA) is National Accounting focusing on the stocks of
natural resources, their physical flows, environmental costs, and
EMA is a broad set of approaches and principles
that provide views into the physical flows and costs critical to the
successful completion of environmental management activities and
increasingly, routine management activities, such as product and process
design, capital budgeting, cost control and allocation, and product
pricing, according to the EMA international website.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on triple bottom accounting are at
Financial Statements Are Still Valuable Tools for Predicting
Despite growing public skepticism over how useful
financial statements are in providing information to investors, researchers
at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business have found that the value of
financial ratios for predicting bankruptcy has not declined significantly
over time. Professors Maureen McNichols and William Beaver and graduate
student Jung-Wu Rhie have reexamined the usefulness for predicting
bankruptcy of financial ratios such as return on assets (net income divided
by total assets), cash flow to total liabilities (earnings before interest,
depreciation, and taxes divided by both short- and long-term debt), and
leverage (total liabilities to total assets). The study explored how three
forces have influenced this predictive value over the past 40 years.
"Financial Statements Are Still Valuable Tools for Predicting Bankruptcy,"
Stanford Graduate School of Business Newsletter, November 2005 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on the economic theory of accounting are at
From The Scout Report on January 13, 2006
Pluralism Project ---
Like many academic projects, the Pluralism
Project began as a small gathering of academicians interested in
exploring a rapidly changing phenomenon of social life, in this case,
the world of religion. Since its inception in 1991, the Pluralism
Project (located at Harvard University) has engaged in a broad research
agenda that includes providing educational resources to college
educators and disseminating reports on the nature of religion in
American cities. On their site, visitors can learn about their
activities, and perhaps most interestingly, examine some of the online
resources they have created. These resources include calendars of
religious events, online slide shows (such as the one that profiles a
Hare Krishna community in West Virginia) and bibliographies of key works
dealing with various faiths, including Buddhism, Jainism, and Islam.
Finally, visitors can also sign up to receive their monthly email
U.S. Congress Votes Database
While many people may eventually become aware
of how their elected officials in the U.S. Congress voted on a
particular bill or resolution, this database created by the Washington
Post will allow them to find out rather quickly. Utilizing a variety of
authoritative data sources (such as the web site of the Senate and the
Library of Congress’s THOMAS site), the database contains the results of
every vote cast in the Congress since 1991. Visitors can look at vote
results in a variety of different ways, such as particular Congress or a
particular individual. Recently, they also added a selection of “Votes
by Type”, such as those cast on impeachments, treaties, and vice-
presidential tiebreakers. Additionally, the site contains a RSS feed of
recent votes by each member of Congress.
Katrina Index: Tracking Variables of
The Brookings Institution has released a number
of reports on the efforts to rebuild the areas affected by Hurricane
Katrina over the past few months, and a number of them have garnered
significant attention by policymakers and other interested parties. This
47-page report authored by Bruce Katz, Matt Fellowes, and Mia Mabanta,
gives a detailed data-oriented summary of the recent progress that has
occurred. Some of their findings are not particularly encouraging,
including the revelation that unemployment rates continue to rise
throughout the affected region and that buying food is still rather
difficult to do throughout the metropolitan area. The report does offer
some positive news, such as the fact that the number of open bus routes
in Orleans Parish has increased. Overall, this is a very well-
researched paper that should prove valuable to anyone with an interest
in the future reconstruction and sustainability of this area.
AOL OKs $25million settlement over suits
America Online Inc. agreed to pay customers as much
as $25 million to settle claims that it wrongly billed them for some online
services and products.
Thom Weidlich, "AOL OKs $25million settlement over suits: Service wrongly
billed its clients, plaintiffs claim," Bloomberg News, January 7 2006
Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at
What is the 70 Percent Solution to managing innovation?
"The 70 Percent Solution: Google CEO Eric Schmidt gives us his golden
rules for managing innovation," CNN Money, December 1, 2005 ---
How has "Don't be evil" helped Google? When I
showed up, I said, "You've got to be kidding." Then one day, very early
on, I was in a meeting where an engineer said, "That would be evil." It
was as if he'd said there was a murderer in the room. The whole
conversation stopped, but then people challenged his assumptions. This
had to do with how we would link our advertising system into search. We
ultimately decided not to do what was proposed, because it was evil.
That kind of story is repeated every hour now with thousands of people.
Think of "Don't be evil" as an organizing principle about values. You
and I may disagree on the definition of what is evil, but at least it
gives us a way to have a very healthy debate.
But as you've grown, outsiders apply their own
view of what is evil and use it to point out your company's flaws.
There's nothing wrong with that. We believe in that sort of criticism.
But the way "Don't be evil" works is no different from pulling the rip
cord on the Japanese assembly line. Any person on the assembly line can
pull the rip cord to stop the line. Think of it as employee empowerment
Does Google have some kind of grand strategic
plan for the new products it creates? Virtually everything new seems to
come from the 20 percent of their time engineers here are expected to
spend on side projects. They certainly don't come out of the management
But you decide which arrows you put the wood
behind, so to speak. Right? Yes, but we do that once there's sufficient
critical mass, which is if there's a small set of engineers and a
product manager who are excited about something.
What do you do with your 20 percent time? Well,
20 percent time applies to the technical staff. It does not apply to
sales or management. Here's how it works for management: We spend 70
percent of our time on core search and ads. We spend 20 percent on
adjacent businesses, ones related to the core businesses in some
interesting way. Examples of that would be Google News, Google Earth,
and Google Local. And then 10 percent of our time should be on things
that are truly new. An example there would be the Wi-Fi
initiative--which I haven't kept up with myself. God knows what they've
done in the last week. I've been too busy on core search and ads.
How do you enforce that 70/20/10 rule? For a
while we put the projects in different rooms. That way, if we were in
one room too long, we knew we were not spending our time correctly. It
was sort of a stupid device, but it worked quite well. Now we have
people who actually manage this, so I know how I spend my time, and I do
spend it 70/20/10.
Continued in article
Partnership for a Nation of Learners ---
We're glad you're here! If you're a museum,
library or public broadcaster, we want to help you work together to
address local needs, increase civic engagement and improve the quality
of life in your community.
On this site you will find resources that will
help you to partner effectively with each other and with other
organizations in your area – case studies, exercises, tools – as well as
information about training events and sources of project funding.
Coping with students seeking special favors near the
end of each semester
Tis the season when the chasm
between delightful and detestable students is at its
greatest. There are many mature, polite, grateful,
eager-to-learn students — or most of us would leave the
field — but as the nights grow colder, the immature, rude
and entitled students emerge from their dorm rooms and head
towards our offices. As the holidays approach, the whining
minority who clamor for special attention unfortunately
eclipse those eager souls who love learning, show talent,
work hard, express enthusiasm and evince creativity. Cursed
be all undergrads requesting special treatment!
Mary McKinney, "Coping With ‘Oy Vey’ Students," Inside
Higher Ed, December 19, 2005 ---
Options Markets for Sporting Even Tickets
A Chicago company,
Sports Reserve, has opened up
an options market for tickets to major sporting events. For
a fee, you can buy an option (they call them "Fan Forwards")
to purchase a ticket to a sporting event (like the Super
Bowl) for a particular team. So, if you've got the good
sense to be a UConn Huskies fan, you can currently buy
two Fan Forwards to the
2006 Final Four at a current price of $245 each. This
gives you the right to buy two upper deck seats to the Final
Four at their face value of $140 each if UConn makes it. If
not, the Fan Forwards expire, and would be worthless.
"Options Markets For Tickets," Financial Rounds,
January 10, 2006 ---
These options do not fall under FAS 133 accounting rules
since FAS 133 excludes underlyings based upon weather or
Bob Jensen's tutorials on derivatives accounting are at
Pathetic literacy levels of college graduates
Christopher Phelps reflects on his students’ finals and a
new report on the pathetic literacy levels of college
Inside Higher Ed, December 20, 2005 ---
Heart-burn cure may be worse than cause
Holiday revelers beware: Seasonal
indulgences such as eggnog and fruitcake might give you
heartburn, but the acid-fighting medicine you take for
relief might lead to something worse, researchers say.
People on popular prescription drugs for treating acid
reflux — Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium — seem more prone to
getting a potentially dangerous diarrhea caused by the
bacterium Clostridium difficile, new research shows. C-diff,
as it's known, can cause severe diarrhea and crampy
intestinal inflammation called colitis.
Lindsey Tanner, "Heart-burn cure may be worse than cause,"
The Seattle Times, December 20, 2005 ---
On the heels of damaging audit inspection outcomes by
the PCAOB in the U.S., the Canadian CPAB finds serious
deficiencies in Canadian audits
The CPAB report also called for
firms to improve audit quality after it found five of 87
engagements chosen for review suffered "serious
deficiencies," and were not conducted in accordance with
Generally Accepted Auditing Standards. "In each of the
cases, we felt the firm had not done enough audit work to
support its opinion given the financial statements," he
"Many accounting firm managers break policy: audit:
CPAB review finds over half did not report all their
investments, securities of clients." Shirley Won, The
Globe and Mail, December 20, 2005 ---
One of the areas needing
improvement for the firms was compliance with firm policies
and procedures ensuring auditor independence. Of the 87
audits inspected, five were found to be deficient and not
performed in accordance with General Accepted Accounting
Standards (GAAS). Specifically, insufficient audit evidence
was provided to support the audit opinion. Thiessen
continued, “Over the past two years, CPAB has instigated a
number of changes to improve the quality of audits in this
country. These improvements are now being implemented and
should enhance the credibility of financial statements of
public companies and confidence in Canada’s capital
AccountingWeb, December 21, 2005 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on fraudulent and incompetent
audits are at
"Glass shape 'affects drink size'," BBC News,
December 23, 2005 ---
The US researchers from Cornell
University asked 198 students and 86 bartenders to pour
a shot of alcohol.
They found students poured 30%
more into the short glasses, while bar workers faired
only slightly better at 20%, the British Medical Journal
The groups poured more than a
standard shot measure into both types of glasses.
Students also said they thought
the tall glasses held more, suggesting they were trying
to compensate for size when pouring into the short, wide
The people participating in the
study were asked to pour four different types of drinks
- vodka tonic, rum and cola, whisky and gin and tonic.
Practice led students to pour
less into tall glasses, but did not affect the amount
put in the short ones, while bar staff poured less in
Lead researcher Brian Wansink
said the findings suggested people should think more
carefully about the measures they pour and it might be
useful to mark on glasses to signify what equates to a
And he added: "If short
tumblers lead even bartenders to pour more alcohol than
tall highball glasses the way to better control alcohol
consumption is to use tall glasses or to use glasses
with the alcohol level marked on them - and to realise
that, when alcoholic drinks are served in a short wide
glass, two drinks are actually equal to two and a half."
Continued in article
I think this study confounds short/tall with wide/narrow.
If an accurate single shot is poured into a wide glass, the
amount of booze in a wide glass is spread so wide that it
looks like almost nothing is in the glass. Bartenders
seeking happy customers may want a bit more booze showing up
in the glass. In a very narrow glass, a shot rises
further up on the sides and is more visible in the glass.
This is probably why many bars have short and very narrow
glasses or upward-tapered (stem ware) glasses for patrons
drinking booze straight.. The study would be more
interesting if tapered glasses were compared when they taper
in opposite direction (e.g., tapered up as in a martini
glass versus tapered down as in a chemistry beaker.
With tapered glasses of the same height, my guess is that
the bartenders would pour more booze into the beakers.
Support for the U.S. is surging in some parts of the
Released today, the poll
commissioned by the nonprofit organization Terror Free
Tomorrow and conducted by Pakistan's foremost pollsters
ACNielsen Pakistan shows that the number of Pakistanis with
a favorable opinion of the U.S. doubled to more than 46% at
the end of November from 23% in May 2005. Those with very
unfavorable views declined to 28% from 48% over the same
period. Nor is this swing in public opinion confined to
Pakistan. A similar picture is evident in Indonesia, the
world's most populous Muslim nation. Again that's largely
because of American generosity in the wake of a natural
disaster. A February 2005 poll by Terror Free Tomorrow
showed that 65% of Indonesians had a more favorable opinion
of the U.S. as a result of American relief to the victims of
last December's tsunami. If these changes in Pakistan and
Indonesia influence thinking in other countries, then we
could be looking at a broader shift in public sentiment
across the Muslim world.
Husain Haqqani and Kenneth Ballen, "Our Friends the
Pakistanis: Support for the U.S. is surging in some
parts of the Muslim world," The Wall Street Journal,
December 19, 2005 ---
Al-Qaeda Networks Uncovered in Morocco
Investigations into Jama'at al-Tawhid
wal-Jihad bil-Maghrib (the Monotheism and Jihad group in
Morocco) cells broken up by Moroccan security have revealed
the inroads al-Qaeda has made into the region (see Terrorism
Focus, Volume II, Issue 22). From the testimony of the
arrested Belgian national Mohamed R'ha, al-Qaeda has
emphasized the restructuring of its organization in Saudi
Arabia and set up affiliate organizations in North Africa.
As part of the broader restructuring plan, the Algerian
Groupe Salafiste pour la PrÃ©dication et le Combat (GSPC) is
to rejoin bin Laden's organization and provide support bases
for its expansion, in order to more...
Stephen Ulph, "Al-Qaeda Networks Uncovered in Morocco,"
Jamestown Foundation, December 13, 2005 ---
‘The Access Principle’
The book reviews
the various models to bring the
dissemination of knowledge online and to
make it free, and along the way, the book
criticizes plenty of publishing practices,
copyright interpretations and scholarly
professor of language and literacy
education at the University of British
Columbia, has devoted much of his
scholarship to the ideas behind the book.
Among other things, he directs the
Public Knowledge Project,
which is financed by
the Canadian government to promote the free
exchange of information. Willinsky responded
to questions about the themes of his book.
Scott Jaschik, "‘The Access Principle’,"
Inside Higher Ed
, December 20, 2005 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on the disastrous DMCA are at
Digital-Rights Management Will Get Worse
Before It Gets Better
Fresh off the multiple scandals
surrounding Sony's use of rootkit-implanting
digital-rights management technology,
Google is now facing the wrath of some
bloggers who are complaining about its
foray into this arena. As part of
Google's announcement last week of its
online video store,
where it will sell
content from CBS, the National
Basketball Association, and others, the
company said it has developed its own
DRM software to prevent people from
distributing downloads in violation of
its partners' copyrights. But
this isn't going over well
in some camps.
Among other things, people are saying we
don't really need another DRM system
that doesn't play nicely with anyone
else's. And sure, they're right about
that--but the need to protect online
content isn't going away anytime soon,
and that need will grow and morph as
different forms of content are delivered
by various types of middlemen like
Google. Apple, Yahoo, and others will no
doubt soon join the DRM party as they
gear up to deliver video content.
Johanna Ambrosio, "Digital-Rights
Management Will Get Worse Before It Gets
Better," InformationWeek Newsletter,
January 11, 2006
Accounting History (across hundreds of years)
A Change Fifty-Years in the Making, by
Jennie Mitchell, Project Accounting WED
Jensen's threads on accounting history are at
Specialized Search Engines
Beyond Google with
Specialized Search Engines
of trawling through billions of
Web pages to find results, the
way the big engines do, vertical
engines limit their searches to
industry-specific sites. And
they usually serve up lists of
actual things -- such as houses
for sale or open jobs -- instead
of links to pages where you
might find them. So you spend
less time skimming through
irrelevant links to find what
you want. On top of that, the
sites let you filter the results
by factors such as salary, price
or location. "Often, a
specialized database can take
you directly" to the most useful
information and save you time,
says Gary Price, news editor of
the Search Engine Watch site.
"Every useful result can't be in
the first few results from a
major Web engine, and that's
where most people look."
Kevin J. Delaney, "Beyond
Google: Yes, there are
other search engines. And some
may even work better for you,"
The Wall Street Journal,
December 19, 2005; Page R1 ---
Here's a look at
some common search
tasks -- and a
engines that will
get you what you're
If you go to
a big search
on a certain
a series of
get what you
cuts out the
it into a
on a recent
Bob Jensen's search helpers
December 20, 2005 reply from
Richard J. Campbell
Think of this site as a
collection of links for
those few subjects that Bob
Jensen can’t cover.
Richard J. Campbell
State Law Itself is "Cracked"
though Lutcher's police chief
pleaded guilty to three federal
felony counts of selling crack
cocaine, the 23rd Judicial
District Attorney's Office will
have to file a lawsuit against
him to ensure he is permanently
removed from his job. Mike Heltz,
Lutcher's town attorney, said
Thursday state law dictates that
the lawsuit has to be filed in
the case if the public official
convicted of a felony does not
resign. And Corey Pittman, 29,
has not resigned as Lutcher's
Steven Ward, "Lutcher attorney:
Suit necessary in chief's case,"
The Advocate, December
25, 2005 ---
Touch User Interface Links
Podcasts To Printed Text
Digital LLC said Friday it has
developed technology that lets
publishers integrate podcasts
into their paper and ink
content. The tool is offered
through the BookDesigner
software suite. The software
tool allows publishers tie a
to a paper-based text,
supplement or magazine, the
company said. The reader touches
the page in a printed book and a
podcast is directed to the
reader’s computer or download to
an MP3 player through Bluetooth
technology. The podcast can
serve as a supplement to the
paper-based product bringing new
revenue opportunities to
publishers and authors, the
Laurie Sullivazn, "Touch User
Interface Links Podcasts To
Printed Text," Information
Week, December 16, 2005 ---
A little like the
Marshall Jevons (Breit and Alzinga) Academic Murder Mysteries
Thomas B. Jones, who has 35 years of experience
in higher education as a professor of history, academic administrator and
educational consultant, answers that question with
The Missing Professor
(Stylus), which he readily admits is a “rank amateur” writing effort.. . .
The 146-page book focuses on a protagonist named Nicole Adams, who, against
the advice of her father and a faculty mentor chooses to teach at the
struggling university, in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa. The antagonists
are just about everyone else, including backward hat wearing students,
evil-minded administrators, and a cat, Munchkin, who just can’t leave
Nicole’s love life alone.
Rob Capriccioso, "Professor Nancy Drew to the Rescue," Inside Higher Ed,
January 12, 2006 ---
Bob Jensen's selections of some murder mysteries written by professors
are in the latter portions of the document at
New Yahoo Service Looks To Improve ROI Of Online Ads
Yahoo Inc. and Marketing Management
Analytics Inc. on Friday launched a service that helps
advertisers determine the effectiveness of online ads on
sales. The move comes as marketers are under increasing
pressure by companies to justify the high cost of
advertising, both on and offline. The new service delivers
returns on investment by assessing ads on Yahoo and
measuring their effectiveness against ads on other media,
whether it's on another web site or on television or print.
Besides the comparison of marketing campaigns, the service
provides recommendations to marketers on how to maximize the
effectiveness of their overall spending on advertising. The
service would be available at an additional cost. Greg
Stuart, president and chief executive of the Interactive
Advertising Bureau, said marketers are increasingly under
pressure to show chief executives and financial officers
that advertising dollars are having a positive affect on
Antone Gonsalves, "New Yahoo Service Looks To Improve ROI Of
Online Ads," InformationWeek, December 16, 2005 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on the controversies of ROI analysis
A major university struggling with finances returns a $11 million
They should've given it to Seminole's football team
Florida State University announced Wednesday that
it would return $11 million in gifts to a chemistry professor and his
foundation. Robert A. Holton, the donor, gave the money for a new chemistry
building and for other purposes, but Holton and the university have been
fighting over how the funds would be used.
Inside Higher Ed, January 12, 2006 ---
High Versus Low Caste System Among College Faculty
The abuses placed upon adjunct faculty members by
college administrations are legion, long-standing, and not likely to lead to
change anytime soon — despite intermittent committees, activist
organizations, and other groups of well-meaning but naïve educated people.
Still, hope blooms eternal and the forces of justice press onward. I am not
about to add to that fray, but rather, will reflect upon a higher caste of
faculty. How much higher, though, is up to debate.
Izzy Academic, "Doing Hard Time, Full Time, Inside Higher Ed, January
12, 2006 ---
From the Scout Report on December 16, 2005
The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in
the American Civil War
Telling the story of the American Civil War can
be a rather fractious and divisive process, but this website brings
together a number of unique perspectives for general consideration. The
Valley of the Shadow site details life in and around Augusta County,
Virginia, and Frankly County, Pennsylvania from the time of John Brown’s
Raid through the era of Reconstruction. Visitors will find within the
site hundreds of relevant and compelling documents, including church
records, maps, personal diaries, soldiers’ records, and census
materials. Some of the documents (such as census records) can be viewed
side-by-side for comparative purposes. The “Memory of the War” area is
particularly moving as it contains first-hand recollections of the
period after the war concluded in 1865. Within this area, the primary
documents offered here are divided into sections that include reunions,
politics, and obituaries. Overall, the site makes a fine educational
resource for both young and old.
Ripples of Genocide: Journey Through Eastern Congo [Macromedia Flash
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has
done a fine job of providing online materials and exhibitions about
various genocides throughout history, and this latest offering provides
a sobering and honest look at such a situation in the eastern Congo.
This highly interactive site draws on the impressions and contributions
of four people who visited the region in 2003 and 2004. These people
include a number of journalists and activists, including Angelina Jolie
and John Prendergast. Visitors can proceed through an outstanding
virtual journal, which contains numerous photographs from the region,
audio narration, and a number of collages. Along with this visually and
aurally arresting material, the site also contains a link to a new
report on the current situation in the Congo from the International
FDA Consumer Magazine
Some readers may find the thought of reading
the average government publication less than riveting, but fortunately
the Food and Drug Administration’s in-house publication, FDA Consumer,
is both well-written and informative. Intended for both a general
audience and those concerned with the ongoing work of the FDA, the
magazine offers broad coverage on both how to stay healthy and the
regulatory work that is part of their mission. Every issue features a
consumer quiz, commentary on recent regulatory activities, and a column
from the magazine’s editor. On their site, visitors can read the
complete contents of recent issues and also take a look at special
issues on drug development and food labeling. The online archive is
quite impressive, as it stretches back to 1989, although the contents of
the entire magazine are not available for earlier years.
Newsplorer 1.0 ---
There is a tremendous amount of news floating
around the web, but some users may find it difficult to locate exactly
what they may be looking for. This handy news reader application may be
of great use to some users who find themselves vexed by this situation.
Newsplorer 1.0 groups news sources by category, provides a popup windows
displaying the latest news headlines, and also contains an offline
browsing feature. This version is compatible with all computers running
Windows 95 and newer.
What if a screensaver could be more than just a
screensaver? While this may seem like an odd question to pose, a number
of screensavers these days function as data analyzers for large-scale
scientific endeavors. One of the best known of these screensavers is the
SETI@home (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project. When users
install this screensaver, their computer will assist in the process of
analyzing data about radio or lights signals emanating from close to
30,000 sun like stars that might possess intelligent life. This version
of the screensaver is compatible with all computers running Windows 95
or newer and Mac OS X 10.3 or newer.
Rough going at the New York Times, both for the paper and for its
publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.
Ken Auletta, "THE INHERITANCE: Can Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., save the
Times—and himself?" The New Yorker, December 19, 2005 ---
Flashback from The Wall Street Journal on December
now are wrestling with the perennial
problem: Christmas gifts. "We subscribe
to this foolishness only because some
people who give us presents might be
offended if we didn't reciprocate,"
gruffly comments the president of a
Midwestern steel company
"Toe Meets Leatherbound: My favorite football
books," by BOOMER ESIASON, The Wall Street Journal, December
17, 2005 ---
1. "When Pride Still Mattered" by David Maraniss
(Simon & Schuster, 1999).
2. "Inside the Helmet" by Peter King (Simon &
3. "Remember This Titan" by Bill R. Yoast, with Steve
Sullivan (Taylor, 2005).
4. "Semi-Tough" by Dan Jenkins (Atheneum, 1972).
5. "North Dallas Forty" by Peter Gent (Morrow, 1973).
The Education of a Coach
endless flow of product from the
sports-book industry on the order of "Heartbreak
& Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story"
and "Leo Mazzone's Tales from the
Braves Mound," it's hard to (1)
believe that there's nearly enough
demand for the supply and (2) find
something that's actually worth reading.
That brings us to "The Education of a
Coach," David Halberstam's
cooperative profile of New England
Patriots maestro Bill Belichick. This is
the seventh book on sports by the
Pulitzer Prize winner but the first in a
while with real relevance. In fact, you
might want to consult this one before
the Patriots start their annual run to
the Super Bowl, just to better
understand the best football mind of
this generation . . . Readers might find
themselves longing for advice on how to
stay on top of Mr. Halberstam's prose.
The first few chapters are dizzying in
the way they jump around from present to
recent past to present to distant past.
And you might want to skip the
acknowledgments section in the back to
avoid a sentence in which Mr. Halberstam
informs us that Mr. Belichick read his
book about the Vietnam War, "The Best
and the Brightest," because "our mutual
friend Bobby Knight" recommended it to
him. But if you want to learn about
schooling and allegiance and leadership
and, most of all, football, by all means
-- slip inside this sweatshirt.
Steve Wulf, "Writer's Block,"
Wall Street Journal
, December 24,
2005; Page P13 ---
Politicians Acting Naturally
appointed New Jersey assemblywoman has
been charged with trying to shoplift
from a discount store. Evelyn Williams,
a longtime jail guard, allegedly was
caught by a security camera switching
price tags from $14.99 items to a set of
linens costing $59.99 and a $49.99
comforter. To add to her troubles,
Williams was fired from her job this
week after Essex County officials
discovered she had been collecting both
a paycheck and a retirement check for
several months. She was ordered to repay
either the salary or the pension
"N.J. lawmaker charged with
shoplifting," Monsters and Critics,
December 24, 2005 ---
Microsoft's new Office Communicator Web Access
Office Communicator Web Access
and introduced at
this week's Interop show, is all about
group facilitation. That's a large
potential market for Microsoft, with its
bid to become an even bigger player in
the world of enterprise applications.
(For more about the company's plans in
this arena, check out this
the head of Microsoft's collaboration
software group.) Just like there are
limits to collaboration, I feel there's
no such thing as totally foolproof
security unless one lives in a locked
vault. And even then, it can be harmful
to set up an expectation of such. Along
these lines, there's an interesting
story about something going on in Japan,
where technology often debuts long
before it's available here. Some
children in Yokohama City are
wearing RFID chips
on their clothing and parents can track
the kids as they walk to school. If
there's a problem, the kids can press a
call button on the tag to alert parents.
Johanna Ambrosio, "Productivity And
Security To The Max," InformationWeek
Newsletter, December 15, 2005
Bob Jensen's threads on ubiquitous
computing are at
Should CPAs be able to eliminate
punitive damages with audit contract
protection from financial damages, the
Big Four are now including punitive
damage waivers in their audit client
contracts. These waivers are drawing
controversy from government regulators,
investors, and clients. These contracts
may require disputes to go to
arbitration and waive rights to punitive
damages and jury-trial rights. Bloomberg
reports that the Federal Financial
Institutions Examination Council is
preparing to bar large banks from
agreeing to these contracts as they
believe these waivers may lead to less
thorough audits. The Federal Financial
Institutions Examination Council is made
up of the Federal Reserve Board, The
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,
the National Credit Union
Administration, The Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency, and the
Office of Thrift Supervision. The firms
Deloitte & Touche LLP,
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and KPMG
have varying liability provisions in
their contracts. Arthur Bowman of the
newsletter, Bowman FirstAlerts, said in
Bloomberg, “Since they couldn’t win the
litigation reform they wanted, they’ve
been putting these in engagement
AccountingWeb, December 15, 2005 ---
Jensen Comment: I don't think this
will go far. Half the legislators
in Washington DC and and an even larger
proportion in our state legislators are
lawyers. I suspect Hell will
freeze over before they give up their
bread and butter revenues.
David A. Vise, author of
The Google Story , is also
reporting on the
emergence of a group of former Google
employees , who call
themselves Xooglers. They give a candid
look at what really goes on at corporate
headquarters, also known as the
Post, December 15, 2005 ---
I wonder why Madonna didn't think of this?
Andrew Fischer, who's already earned more than
$50,000 for wearing ads on his forehead, said he's ready to wear another . .
A technology entrepreneur in northeastern
Washington asked a doctor to implant an RFID chip into his hand in order to
experiment with the technology. Amal Graafstra, who runs a technology
company in Bellingham, WA, asked a doctor to place the chip under the skin
of his left hand, and posted pictures of the procedure to the photo-sharing
site, Flickr. Graafstra plans to use the chip for keyless entry to his car,
home, or as a login for computer systems ---
Forwarded by Paula
While interviewing an anonymous US Marine on his sniper skills, a Reuters
News agent asked the Marine what he felt when shooting members of Al Qaeda
The Marine shrugged and replied, "Recoil."
Forwarded by Dick Haar
Good, the Bad, the Ugly
Good: Your wife is pregnant.
Bad: It's triplets.
Ugly: You had a vasectomy five years ago.
Good: Your wife's not talking to you.
Bad: She wants a divorce.
Ugly: She's a lawyer.
Good: Your son is finally maturing.
Bad: He's involved with the Woman next door.
Ugly: So are you.
Good: Your son studies a lot in his room..
Bad: You find several porn movies hidden there.
Ugly: You're in them.
Good: Your hubby and you agree, no more kids.
Bad: You can't find your birth control pills.
Ugly: Your 13 year old daughter borrowed them.
Good: Your husband understands fashion.
Bad: He's a cross-dresser.
Ugly: He looks better than you.
Good: You give the "birds and bees" talk to your daughter.
Bad: She keeps interrupting.
Ugly: With corrections.
Good: The postman's early.
Bad: He's wearing fatigues and carrying a shotgun.
Ugly: You gave him nothing for Christmas.
Good: Your son is dating someone new.
Bad: It's another man.
Ugly: He's your best friend.
Good: Your daughter got a new job.
Bad: As a hooker.
Way ugly: She makes more money than you do.