I recently sent out an "Appeal" for accounting educators, researchers, and practitioners to actively support what I call The Accounting Review (TAR) Diversity Initiative as initiated by American Accounting Association President Judy Rayburn --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/395wpTAR/Web/TAR.htm

Outgoing President Rayburn has some parting comments in support of her TAR Diversity Initiative in the Summer 2006 edition of Accounting Education News --- http://aaahq.org/pubs/AEN/Summer06.pdf




Tidbits on July 27, 2006
Bob Jensen

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 

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

Bob Jensen's Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
 

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/resume.htm#Presentations   
 

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

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/


Links to Documents on Fraud --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm

Bob Jensen's Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob.htm

Bob Jensen's links to free electronic literature, including free online textbooks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Bob Jensen's links to free online video, music, and other audio --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Music.htm

Bob Jensen's documents on accounting theory are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory.htm 

Bob Jensen's links to free course materials from major universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's links to online education and training alternatives around the world --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen's links to electronic business, including computing and networking security, are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm

Bob Jensen's links to education technology and controversies --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's home page --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/


Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan --- FactCheck.org --- http://www.factcheck.org/


Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
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

For Accountants and Auditors (Fee-Based)
Sox (as in Sarbanes) Television (link forwarded by Ed Scribner) --- http://www.soxtelevision.com/

From NPR
Silver Belles Still Light Up the Harlem Stage --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5573117

Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures --- http://www.pbs.org/kqed/oceanadventures/

Matthew Barney: Drawing Restraint --- http://www.sfmoma.org/barney/feature.html

Australian Museum Online --- http://www.amonline.net.au/

Museum Podcast Tours --- http://www.podtrip.com/english.html

Beer Golf --- http://www.whtmtnliving.net/games/sports/beer_golf.htm

 


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

Singer India.Arie's Latest 'Testimony' Hear a Live Performance in NPR's Studio 4A ---
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5565789

From NPR
A Visit with the Soul Queen of New Orleans --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5526014

From NPR
'Grendel': An Operatic Monster's Tale --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5542123 All at Once, a Blazing Introduction

From NPR
Jazz from the Horn of Africa: 'Ethiopiques' --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5560216

Hard Rock From NPR
All at Once, a Blazing Introduction --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5579853

 


Photographs and Art

Streetscape and Townscape of Metropolitan New York City, 1860-1942 --- Click Here

Several hundred prints and photographs offering the complete content of a wide range of selected image collections and illustrated monographs: Hudson River mansions, including Washington Irving's home and vicinity in the 1860s; street views by Alice Austen from 1896; a panorama of Fifth Avenue from 1911, and more.

From NPR
The Savage, Beautiful World of Army Ants --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5579510

From NPR
Rembrandt's Unsparing Eye --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5552204

From Stanford University
American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works --- http://aic.stanford.edu/

Art of the States --- http://artofthestates.org/

'Looking History in the Eye' at Portrait Gallery --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5554510

Matthew Barney: Drawing Restraint --- http://www.sfmoma.org/barney/feature.html

See exclusive photos of Tesla Motors' new battery-powered speed demon, which goes zero to 60 in four seconds --- http://blog.wired.com/teslacar/

Gallery: Robots Get Smart --- http://blog.wired.com/aiconference/

Classic Comic Covers --- http://blog.wired.com/comiccovers/

Adobe Photoshop Plugins --- http://thepluginsite.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

Internet Public Library  --- http://www.ipl.org/div/litcrit/

From MIT
The Internet Classics Archive --- http://classics.mit.edu/

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson --- http://www.hti.umich.edu/e/emerson/

Abolishing of Christianity in England --- Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) --- Click Here

The Pit And The Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) --- Click Here

Wilhelm Von Schmitz by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) --- Click Here

A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (1812-1870) --- Click Here




Once hailed as the pioneers of citizen journalism, Internet bloggers are, according to a new survey, mostly self-indulgent diarists interested in one topic above all others: themselves.
"Blogging -- It's all about me: survey," PhysOrg, July 20, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news72617447.html

Arrogance invites ruin; humility receives benefits.
Chinese proverb. I-ching (Book of Changes) as quoted by Mark Shapiro at
http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-07-21-06.htm

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton said Sunday that scientific and medical advances in fields including embryonic stem cell research are being held back by a White House that puts ideology and theology ahead of facts and evidence. "The last 5 1/2 years have been hard on science ... and particularly hard because of the president's veto last week."
Mark Pratt --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1671107/posts

A paranoid is a man who knows a little of what's going on.
William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_S._Burroughs

He shall judge between nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Isaiah 2:4

Plowshares Collaborative Seeks Middle Ground in Conflict Resolution
The Plowshares Collaborative was formed in 2002 by Earlham College, Goshen College and Manchester College to develop the strongest, most distinctive undergraduate program in peace studies in the United States. Funded by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., this institutional collaboration is finding new, imaginative ways to address the problems of violence and related challenges that confront America and most of the world today. --- http://www.plowsharesproject.org/php/collaborative/index.php

Some 44 years ago, when Soviet missiles in neighboring Cuba threatened American cities, John F. Kennedy set one goal and ultimately prevailed in achieving it: Remove the missiles.
Bejamin Netanyahu, "No Cease-Fire," The Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2006 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008694 

We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies.
Ehud Olmert before he became Prime Minister. He referred to his countrymen as "an exhausted people, confused and without direction." --- Click Here




"Why are so many Jews liberal?" by Dennis Prager, Jewish World Review, April 25, 2006 --- http://jewishworldreview.com/0406/prager042506.php3 

The most frequently asked question I receive from non-Jews about Jews is, why are Jews so liberal?

The question is entirely legitimate since Jews (outside of Israel) are indeed overwhelmingly liberal and disproportionately left of liberal as well. For example, other than blacks, no American group votes so lopsidedly for the Democratic Party. And the question is further sharpened given that traditional Jewish values are not leftist. That is why the more religiously involved the Jew, the less likely he is to be on the Left. The old saw, "There are two types of Jews — those who believe Judaism is social justice and those who know Hebrew," contains more than a kernel of truth.

In no order of importance, here are six reasons:

1. Judaism is indeed preoccupied with social justice (as well as with holiness and personal morality), and many Jews believe that the only way to achieve a just society is through leftist policies.

2. More than any other major religion, Judaism has always been preoccupied with this world. The (secular) Encyclopedia Judaica begins its entry on "Afterlife" by noting that "Judaism has always affirmed belief in an afterlife." But the preoccupation of Judaism has been making this world a better place. That is why the Torah (the Five Books of Moses) is largely silent about the afterlife; and it is preoccupied with rejecting ancient Egyptian values. That value system was centered on the afterlife — its bible was the Book of the Dead, and its greatest monuments, the pyramids, were tombs.

3. Most Jews are frightened by anything that connotes right wing — such as the words "right-wing" and "conservative." Especially since the Holocaust, they think that threats to their security emanate from the Right only. (It is pointless to argue that Nazism stood for National Socialism and therefore was really a leftist ideology. Whether that is theoretically accurate doesn't matter; nearly everyone regards the Nazis as far Right, and, therefore, Jews fear the Right.) The fact that the Jews' best friends today are conservatives and the fact that the Left is the home of most of the Jews' enemies outside of the Muslim world have made little impact on Jews' psyches.

4. Liberal Jews fear most religion. They identify religion — especially fundamentalist religion and especially Christianity — with anti-Semitism. Jews are taught from birth about the horrors of the Holocaust, and of nearly 2,000 years of European, meaning Christian, anti-Semitism. They therefore tend to fear Christianity and believe that secularism guarantees their physical security.

5. Despite their secularism, Jews may be the most religious ethnic group in the world. The problem is that their religion is rarely Judaism; rather it is every "ism" of the Left. These include liberalism, socialism, feminism, Marxism and environmentalism. Jews involved in these movements believe in them with the same ideological fervor and same suspension of critical reason with which many religious people believe in their religion. It is therefore usually as hard to shake a liberal Jew's belief in the Left and in the Democratic Party as it is to shake an evangelical Christian's belief in Christianity. The big difference, however, is that the Christian believer acknowledges his Christianity is a belief, whereas the believer in liberalism views his belief as entirely the product of rational inquiry.

The Jews' religious fervor emanates from the origins of the Jewish people as a religious people elected by G-d to help guide humanity to a better future. Of course, the original intent was to bring humanity to ethical monotheism, G-d-based universal moral standards, not to secular liberalism or to feminism or to socialism. Leftist Jews have simply secularized their religious calling.

6. Liberal Jews fear nationalism. The birth of nationalism in Europe planted the secular seeds of the Holocaust (religious seeds had been planted by some early and medieval Church teachings and reinforced by Martin Luther). European nationalists welcomed all national identities except the Jews'. That is a major reason so many Jews identify primarily as "world citizens"; they have contempt for nationalism and believe that strong national identities, even in America, will exclude them.

Just as liberal Jews fear a resurgent Christianity despite the fact that contemporary Christians are the Jews' best friends, leftist Jews fear American nationalism despite the fact that Americans who believe in American exceptionalism are far more pro-Jewish and pro-Israel than leftist Americans. But most leftist Jews so abhor nationalism, they don't even like the Jews' nationalism (Zionism).

If you believe that leftist ideas and policies are good for America and for the world, then you are particularly pleased to know how deeply Jews — with their moral passion, intellectual energies and abilities, and financial clout — are involved with the Left. If, on the other hand, you believe that the Left is morally confused and largely a destructive force in America and the world, then the Jews' disproportionate involvement on the Left is nothing less than a tragedy — for the world and especially for the Jews.


"Rush Limbaugh needs to pick up a history book instead of a doughnut," Kerry added. "It was a Democratic president who first recognized the State of Israel. It was a Democratic president who first sold Israel defensive weapons. And it was a Democratic president who first sold Israel offensive weapons." Kerry continued: "The people of Israel and the Jewish community don’t need Rush Limbaugh to tell them who stands with them, and no one has time for right wing trying to score cheap political points while Israel fights to defend its very existence."
Senator John Kerry, "Kerry on Rush and Israel Idea that Republicans back Jewish state ruffles senator," World Net Daily, July 21, 2006 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51186

Senator Kerry Proclaims:   "We have to destroy Hezbollah!"
Hezbollah guerillas should have been targeted with other terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaida and the Taliban, which operate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Kerry said. However, Bush, has focused military strength on Iraq. "This is about American security and Bush has failed. He has made it so much worse because of his lack of reality in going into Iraq.…
We have to destroy Hezbollah," he said.

Senator John Kerry, Drudge Report, July 23, 2006 --- http://www.drudgereport.com/
Also see http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1671133/posts
Jensen Comment
If we'd stayed out of Iraq and "destroyed Hezbollah" this probably would've entailed declaring war on Iran since Hezbollah is Iran. President Kerry would have declared war on Hezbollah if it entailed war with Iran? Yeah right! This sounds to me like political doublespeak. The Websites of antiwar Democrats Barbara Streisand, George Clooney, and Michael Moore are not criticizing current Israeli efforts to destroy Hezbollah, although Moore does bemoan the Israeli attack on the U.N. observer post. I guess these movie celebrities are not as much against all war as they are against the GOP. Even The New York Times is in favor of destroying Hezbollah with war.

A Totally Out of Character Editorial in The New York Times

"Intellectual confusion on terror," The Washington Times, July 23, 2006 ---
http://www.washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20060722-112047-5538r.htm 

Two days ago, the New York Times suggested an out-of-character response to dealing with the crisis in the Middle East should the U.N. Security Council fail to enforce Resolution 1559, which requires Hezbollah to disarm. "If the Security Council isn't willing to issue such explicit demands or link them to clear punishments," the paper editorialized, "the United States, Europe and key Arab allies, who are also eager to see the fighting and Hezbollah contained, will have to bring serious pressure on their own." Of course, the editorial continued, "[t]he United States will have to take the lead."

 The NYT's argument that the United States may be forced to assemble and lead a coalition if the Security Council fails to act represents a remarkable change in perspective from just three years ago.

 This is the same editorial page, after all, that claimed in March 2003 that it was "persuaded of the vital need to disarm Iraq. But it is a process that should go through the United Nations." The Times consistently chided President Bush for not being more patient with the United Nations, even when it became clear that no action could be expected from the Security Council. It's curious that the Times predicated the necessary action to resolve one dangerous situation on U.N. approval (an editorial, also in March 2003, declared that "[t]he threat of force... should not give way to the use of force until peaceful paths to Iraqi disarmament have been exhausted and the Security Council gives its assent to war") but is now willing to wave that condition in order to deal with Hezbollah. Friday's editorial fails to explain why the Times believes two situations should be handled so differently.

Continued in article


Did Syria shrewdly engage the Israeli military to do Syria's dirty work in Lebanon?

"Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, in their last meeting before Hariri's assassination, that if he pushed for Syria's withdrawal Assad would 'break' Lebanon."

"Nasrallah's Game," by Adam Shatz, The Nation, July 20, 2006 --- http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060731/nasrallah_game

In January 2004 Sheik Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, presided over a major prisoner exchange with Israel, in which the Lebanese guerrilla movement and political party secured the release of more than 400 Arab prisoners in return for the bodies of three Israeli soldiers and an Israeli businessman and alleged spy, Elhanan Tannenbaum, whom Hezbollah had kidnapped. Moments before the exchange was sealed, Ariel Sharon withheld three Lebanese detainees, one of whom, Samir Kuntar, had killed a family of three in the Israeli town of Nahariya in 1979. Nasrallah, having failed to release Kuntar and the two other men, declared that Hezbollah would "reserve the right" to capture Israeli soldiers until the men were freed.

On July 12 Nasrallah launched the most daring assault of his tenure as Hezbollah's leader: the capture of two Israeli soldiers in a raid that left eight other Israeli soldiers dead. He called the attack "Operation Truthful Promise."

. . .

Nasrallah's objectives most likely lie elsewhere. Since the 2000 Israeli withdrawal ("the first Arab victory in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict," as Nasrallah often notes), Hezbollah has faced mounting pressure, from the West but also at home, to lay down its arms and become a purely political organization--a fate the party dreads, since it prides itself on being a vanguard of Islamic resistance to American and Israeli ambitions in the Middle East. This pressure dramatically intensified with UN Security Council resolution 1559 (2004), which called for the disbanding of all Lebanese militias, and with the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon last year. By conducting a raid that was likely to provoke a brutal Israeli reprisal, Nasrallah may have gambled that the fury of the Lebanese would soon turn from Hezbollah to the Jewish state, thereby providing a justification for "the national resistance" as Lebanon's only deterrent against Israel. So far, Israel (with the full support of the Bush Administration) has played right into his hands, inflicting more than 300 casualties, nearly all of them civilians, and pounding the civilian infrastructure, eliciting sympathy for Hezbollah even among some Lebanese Christians. By striking at Israel's Army during its most destructive campaign in Palestine since 2002's "Operation Defensive Shield," Nasrallah must have known that he would earn praise throughout the Muslim world for coming to the aid of Palestinians abandoned by the region's authoritarian governments, a number of which have pointedly chastised Nasrallah's "adventurism." And by bloodying Israel's nose, Hezbollah could once again bolster its aura in the wider Arab world as a redoubtable "resistance" force, a model it seeks to promote regionally, especially in Palestine, where Nasrallah is a folk hero, and in Iraq, where Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the radical Shiite Mahdi Army, has proclaimed himself a follower of Hezbollah and has threatened to renew attacks against US forces in solidarity with the Lebanese.

Operation Truthful Promise was also, in part, a service rendered to Hezbollah's patrons in Damascus and Tehran, whether or not Bashar al-Assad and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were consulted beforehand. The Syrian President warned former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, in their last meeting before Hariri's assassination, that if he pushed for Syria's withdrawal Assad would "break" Lebanon. With Hezbollah's raid, Assad may have found a way to get Israel to break Lebanon for him--a wish that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz were more than happy to fulfill. Damascus may be facing renewed threats, but Assad can now bask in Nasrallah's glow without directly engaging the Israeli military, which, as he knows, is divided on whether to depose him (since the only realistic alternative to the secular Baath regime is the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood); Lebanese anger has been redirected from Syria back to Israel; Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora looks on helplessly as the Israelis strafe his country; and the West has been warned that Lebanon will remain fractured, volatile and incapable of controlling its borders unless Syria's interests (particularly in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights) are taken into account. President Ahmadinejad, for his part, can thank Nasrallah for diverting attention from the controversy over Iran's nuclear program, and for burnishing the Islamic republic's reputation as a staunch defender of Palestinian rights--and, not least, of Muslim Jerusalem--in a region whose other (largely Sunni Arab) governments have compromised with the enemy. And the spectacular display of Hezbollah's Iranian-made weaponry, which have reached further into Israel than even the Israelis feared, and of the group's sophistication in deploying them, have reminded Israel and the United States of the "surprises" (Nasrallah's word) in store in the event of an attack on Iran.

Nasrallah is under no illusions that his small guerrilla movement can defeat the Israeli Army. But he can lose militarily and still score a political victory, particularly if the Israelis continue visiting suffering on Lebanon, whose government, as they well know, is powerless to control Hezbollah. Nasrallah, whom the Israelis attempted to assassinate on July 19 with a twenty-three-ton bomb attack on an alleged Hezbollah bunker, is doubtless aware that he may share the fate of his predecessor, Abbas Musawi, who was killed in an Israeli helicopter gunship attack in 1992. But Hezbollah outlived Musawi and grew exponentially, thanks in part to its followers' passion for martyrdom. To some, Nasrallah's raid may look like a death wish. But it is almost impossible to defeat someone who has no fear of death.

Continued in article


It's hard to beat them because they're not afraid of anything as long as they can hide among children
Israeli troops returning from the front described Hezbollah guerrillas hiding among civilians and in underground bunkers two or three stories deep _ evidence, they say, that Hezbollah has been planning this battle for many years. "It's hard to beat them," one soldier said. "They're not afraid of anything." The soldiers, most of whom declined to give their names under orders from superiors, described exchanges of gunfire in between houses on village streets, with Hezbollah guerrillas sometimes popping out of bushes to fire Kalashnikovs, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles.
Kathy Gannon, "Arabs Press Syria to End Hezbollah Support," Breitbart, July 23, 2006 --- http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/07/23/D8J211SG0.html


Faisal Devji, author of Landscapes of the Jihad, explains how the London bombers were driven by pity – that most 'dangerous and bitter passion'.

Millions, perhaps even billions of words have been written about al-Qaeda since 9/11, all of them struggling to explain this network’s origins, belief systems and methods. Scores of books on Osama bin Laden and his henchmen have hit the shelves (many of which, for my sins, I have read), and thousands of articles have been published (some of which I wrote). For me, one of the most interesting of the many texts on al-Qaeda is Faisal Devji’s Landscapes of the Jihad: Militancy, Morality, Modernity, published last year. Devji cuts through the two most common perceptions about al-Qaeda: that it is political or religious. In fact, he says, it cannot be understood as a political movement in any traditional sense; indeed, it has dispensed with ‘an old-fashioned politics tied to states and citizenship’ (1). It is not traditionally religious, either, he argues, in the sense that it does not follow any recognisable Islamic hierarchy and chops and changes the religious justifications for its actions.
Brendan O’Neill, "An explosion of pity," Spiked Online, July 21, 2006 ---
http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/1284/


How to get more science majors:  Don't be so tough on grades and academic standards
Huge Differences Between Grades in English versus Math Courses
Science students get worse grades than non-science students. No comprehensive data for the distribution of grades around the nation by discipline exists, but in 1998 the College Board surveyed a representative sample of 21 selective institutions to find out how students who took Advanced Placement courses in high school were performing in college. The data show that, when students who got AP credit and were taking second-level college courses (as opposed to intro classes) were compared, non-science students got much better grades. In English courses surveyed, 85 percent of those high-achieving students that were surveyed received A’s or B’s. That’s compared to 54 percent of those students in math courses.Paul Romer, an economics professor at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, who has studied the issue, wrote in an article for Stanford Business that “the grades assigned in science courses are systematically lower than grades in other disciplines, and students rely heavily on grades as signals about the fields for which they are best suited.” Thus, he concluded, students usher themselves out of the science track.
David Epstein, "So That’s Why They’re Leaving," Inside Higher Ed, July 26, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/26/scipipeline

"The Real Reasons Students Can’t Write," by Laurence Musgrove, Inside Higher Ed, April 28, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/04/28/musgrove 

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


Hacking into a professor's computer to change grades of 300 students
Two students at California State University at Northridge have been charged by state authorities with illegally hacking into a professor’s computer account to change their grades and the grades of nearly 300 students, the Los Angeles Times reported. The students told authorities that they thought the professor was unfair.
Inside Higher Ed, July 26, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/26/qt

July 28, 2006 Update
Two students each face up to a year in jail for a prank that involved hacking into a professor's computer, giving grades to other students and sending pizza, magazine subscriptions and CDs to the professor's home. Chen, 20, and Jennifer Ngan, 19, face misdemeanor charges of illegally accessing computers. The pair, both students of California State University, Northridge, are scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 21.
"Students Face 1 Year in Jail for Hacking," PhysOrg, July 28, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news73239464.html

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm


Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon's surface after Neil Armstrong, says space agency bosses covered up their UFO sighting

"MAN ON MOON: WE SAW A UFO:  Astronauts' close encounter," by Mike Swain, The Daily Record, July 24, 2006 --- Click Here

The first men to walk on the Moon reported seeing a UFO, a new TV documentary reveals.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon's surface after Neil Armstrong, says space agency bosses covered up their sighting.

And the Apollo 11 astronauts were also careful not to talk ab out it openly.

He said: "There was something out there, close enough to be observed, and what could it be?

"Now, obviously the three of us weren't going to blurt out, 'Hey, Houston, we've got something moving alongside of us and we don't know what it is, you know?

"Can you tell us what it is?'

Advertisement

"We weren't about to do that, because we knew that that those transmissions would be heard by all sorts of people and somebody might have demanded we turn back because of aliens or whatever the reason is."

The documentary, tonight on Five, also reveals that the astronauts had to repair the lunar module with a ballpoint pen after the historic landing in July 1969.

In the cramped conditions, someone's bulky spacesuit had snapped off a circuit breaker essential for starting up the engine.

To this day, Aldrin treasures the everyday object that saved their lives.

He said: "I used a pen, one of several that we had on board that didn't have metal on the end, and we used that to push the circuit breaker in."

The programme also draws on classified documents made public for the first time.


Should Academic Left Defend Churchill?
The debate might be summed up in an analogy offered by one of the faculty panels that reviewed Churchill and found that he committed, intentionally, all kinds of research misconduct. Committee members said that they were uncomfortable with the fact that Colorado ignored serious allegations against Churchill for years, and took them seriously only when his politics attracted attention. The panel compared the situation to one in which a motorist is stopped for speeding because a police officer doesn’t like the bumper sticker on her car. If she was speeding, she was speeding — regardless of the officer’s motives, the panel said.
Scott Jaschik, "Should Academic Left Defend Churchill?" Inside Higher Ed, July 25, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/24/churchill

Bob Jensen's threads on Ward Churchill are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HypocrisyChurchill.htm


Question
Should the academic freedom principles guarantee the right to teach astrology?

"Conspiracy Theories 101," by Stanley Fish, The New York Times, July 23, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/23/opinion/23fish.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

KEVIN BARRETT, a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, has now taken his place alongside Ward Churchill of the University of Colorado as a college teacher whose views on 9/11 have led politicians and ordinary citizens to demand that he be fired.

Mr. Barrett, who has a one-semester contract to teach a course titled “Islam: Religion and Culture,” acknowledged on a radio talk show that he has shared with students his strong conviction that the destruction of the World Trade Center was an inside job perpetrated by the American government. The predictable uproar ensued, and the equally predictable battle lines were drawn between those who disagree about what the doctrine of academic freedom does and does not allow.

Mr. Barrett’s critics argue that academic freedom has limits and should not be invoked to justify the dissemination of lies and fantasies. Mr. Barrett’s supporters (most of whom are not partisans of his conspiracy theory) insist that it is the very point of an academic institution to entertain all points of view, however unpopular. (This was the position taken by the university’s provost, Patrick Farrell, when he ruled on July 10 that Mr. Barrett would be retained: “We cannot allow political pressure from critics of unpopular ideas to inhibit the free exchange of ideas.”)

Both sides get it wrong. The problem is that each assumes that academic freedom is about protecting the content of a professor’s speech; one side thinks that no content should be ruled out in advance; while the other would draw the line at propositions (like the denial of the Holocaust or the flatness of the world) considered by almost everyone to be crazy or dangerous.

But in fact, academic freedom has nothing to do with content. It is not a subset of the general freedom of Americans to say anything they like (so long as it is not an incitement to violence or is treasonous or libelous). Rather, academic freedom is the freedom of academics to study anything they like; the freedom, that is, to subject any body of material, however unpromising it might seem, to academic interrogation and analysis.

Academic freedom means that if I think that there may be an intellectual payoff to be had by turning an academic lens on material others consider trivial — golf tees, gourmet coffee, lingerie ads, convenience stores, street names, whatever — I should get a chance to try. If I manage to demonstrate to my peers and students that studying this material yields insights into matters of general intellectual interest, there is a new topic under the academic sun and a new subject for classroom discussion.

In short, whether something is an appropriate object of academic study is a matter not of its content — a crackpot theory may have had a history of influence that well rewards scholarly scrutiny — but of its availability to serious analysis. This point was missed by the author of a comment posted to the blog of a University of Wisconsin law professor, Ann Althouse: “When is the University of Wisconsin hiring a professor of astrology?” The question is obviously sarcastic; its intention is to equate the 9/11-inside-job theory with believing in the predictive power of astrology, and to imply that since the university wouldn’t think of hiring someone to teach the one, it should have known better than to hire someone to teach the other.

But the truth is that it would not be at all outlandish for a university to hire someone to teach astrology — not to profess astrology and recommend it as the basis of decision-making (shades of Nancy Reagan), but to teach the history of its very long career. There is, after all, a good argument for saying that Shakespeare, Chaucer and Dante, among others, cannot be fully understood unless one understands astrology.

The distinction I am making — between studying astrology and proselytizing for it — is crucial and can be generalized; it shows us where the line between the responsible and irresponsible practice of academic freedom should always be drawn. Any idea can be brought into the classroom if the point is to inquire into its structure, history, influence and so forth. But no idea belongs in the classroom if the point of introducing it is to recruit your students for the political agenda it may be thought to imply.

And this is where we come back to Mr. Barrett, who, in addition to being a college lecturer, is a member of a group calling itself Scholars for 9/11 Truth, an organization with the decidedly political agenda of persuading Americans that the Bush administration “not only permitted 9/11 to happen but may even have orchestrated these events.”

Is the fact of this group’s growing presence on the Internet a reason for studying it in a course on 9/11? Sure. Is the instructor who discusses the group’s arguments thereby endorsing them? Not at all. It is perfectly possible to teach a viewpoint without embracing it and urging it. But the moment a professor does embrace and urge it, academic study has ceased and been replaced by partisan advocacy. And that is a moment no college administration should allow to occur.

Provost Farrell doesn’t quite see it that way, because he is too hung up on questions of content and balance. He thinks that the important thing is to assure a diversity of views in the classroom, and so he is reassured when Mr. Barrett promises to surround his “unconventional” ideas and “personal opinions” with readings “representing a variety of viewpoints.”

But the number of viewpoints Mr. Barrett presents to his students is not the measure of his responsibility. There is, in fact, no academic requirement to include more than one view of an academic issue, although it is usually pedagogically useful to do so. The true requirement is that no matter how many (or few) views are presented to the students, they should be offered as objects of analysis rather than as candidates for allegiance.

There is a world of difference, for example, between surveying the pro and con arguments about the Iraq war, a perfectly appropriate academic assignment, and pressing students to come down on your side. Of course the instructor who presides over such a survey is likely to be a partisan of one position or the other — after all, who doesn’t have an opinion on the Iraq war? — but it is part of a teacher’s job to set personal conviction aside for the hour or two when a class is in session and allow the techniques and protocols of academic research full sway.

This restraint should not be too difficult to exercise. After all, we require and expect it of judges, referees and reporters. And while its exercise may not always be total, it is both important and possible to make the effort.

Thus the question Provost Farrell should put to Mr. Barrett is not “Do you hold these views?” (he can hold any views he likes) or “Do you proclaim them in public?” (he has that right no less that the rest of us) or even “Do you surround them with the views of others?”

Rather, the question should be: “Do you separate yourself from your partisan identity when you are in the employ of the citizens of Wisconsin and teach subject matter — whatever it is — rather than urge political action?” If the answer is yes, allowing Mr. Barrett to remain in the classroom is warranted. If the answer is no, (or if a yes answer is followed by classroom behavior that contradicts it) he should be shown the door. Not because he would be teaching the “wrong” things, but because he would have abandoned teaching for indoctrination.

The advantage of this way of thinking about the issue is that it outflanks the sloganeering and posturing both sides indulge in: on the one hand, faculty members who shout “academic freedom” and mean by it an instructor’s right to say or advocate anything at all with impunity; on the other hand, state legislators who shout “not on our dime” and mean by it that they can tell academics what ideas they can and cannot bring into the classroom.

All you have to do is remember that academic freedom is just that: the freedom to do an academic job without external interference. It is not the freedom to do other jobs, jobs you are neither trained for nor paid to perform. While there should be no restrictions on what can be taught — no list of interdicted ideas or topics — there should be an absolute restriction on appropriating the scene of teaching for partisan political ideals. Teachers who use the classroom to indoctrinate make the enterprise of higher education vulnerable to its critics and shortchange students in the guise of showing them the true way.

Stanley Fish is a law professor at Florida International University.

Jensen Comment
It has always seemed to me that professors should have extreme freedom to teach what fits within the constraints of the curriculum plan adopted by the college as a whole. Every college has what is tantamount to a Curriculum Council that approves contents of the curriculum. The fact that Barrett is allowed to teach that the President of the United States deliberately targeted the deaths of over 3,000 Americans on 9/11 implies that the University of Wisconsin has approved this nonsense in the curriculum plan.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on the saga of Ward Churchill and academic hypocrisy are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/hypocrisy.htm


Center for Science in the Public Interest --- http://www.cspinet.org/


American Society of International Law (ASIL) Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law http://www.asil.org/resource/home.htm

Bob Jensen's Legal Research Portals --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Law


From Rutgers University
Literary Resources — Theory --- http://newark.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Lit/theory.html

Yotophoto is the first internet search engine for finding free-to-use photographs and images --- http://yotophoto.com/

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers and readers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries


Question
Would President Bush veto this research as well?

"China looks to space for super fruit and vegetables," PhysOrg, July 24, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news72926469.html

The Shijian-8, a recoverable satellite, will be launched aboard a Long March 2C rocket in early September, for a two-week mission that will expose 2,000 seeds to cosmic radiation and micro-gravity, the China Daily reported.

The "seed satellite" will enable scientists to try to cultivate high-yield and high-quality plants, Sun Laiyan, head of the China National Space Administration, told the paper.

"Exposed to special environment such as cosmic radiation and micro-gravity, some seeds will mutate to such an extent that they may produce much higher yields and improved quality," the paper said.

Nine categories of seeds, including grains, cash crops and forage plants will be aboard the satellite, it said.

China has been experimenting with space-bred seeds for years, with rice and wheat exposed to the universe resulting in increased yields, the paper said.

Space-bred tomato and green peppers seeds have resulted in harvests between 10 and 20 percent larger than ordinary seeds, while vegetables grown from space-bred seeds have a higher vitamin content, it added.

However the satellite to be launched in September will be the first dedicated specifically for seeds.

China's space seed experiments come as the nation seeks ways to feed its 1.3 billion people amid a rapid decline in farming land due to swift industrialization.

The nation has pursued some forms of genetically modified crops, with GMO tomatoes, soy beans and corn already in production. China is also mulling plans to approve the production of genetically modified rice.


Genetically engineered organisms can more efficiently produce ethanol
"Redesigning Life to Make Ethanol:  Genetically engineered organisms can more efficiently produce ethanol from cheap and abundant sources of biomass, such as agricultural waste. It could make ethanol cost competitive," by Jamie Shreeve, MIT's Technology Review, July 21, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17052&ch=biztech


Congratulations to Paul Williams Wolfpack
Representing North Carolina State University, the team of Hannah Sadler, of Cary, N.C., and Jason Matthews, originally from Kansas City, Mo., and currently of Raleigh, N.C., were declared the winner of the Institute of Management Accountants’ (IMA’s) annual Student Case Competition following a live finalist presentation at IMA’s Annual Conference and Exposition. “IMA’s student Case competition is an excellent opportunity for accounting students to develop their strategic planning, decision making and presentation skills – critical skills required for success in the management accounting profession,” Sandra Richtermeyer, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, IMA’s Professor-in-Residence and a professor at Xavier University, said in a prepared statement announcing the winners. “We’re pleased to recognize the efforts of outstanding accounting students through this award presented to North Carolina State University.”
"NC State Wins Annual Student Case Competition," AccountingWeb, July 24, 2006 ---
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=102377


Question
Where can you find a good retirement calculator?

"Financial Tools on the Web," by Kelly Greene, The Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2006, Page B5 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115350728686713845.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

Many readers emailed us notes like these when we announced the launch of "Ask Encore" this month and solicited questions about retirement-related financial issues.

Two of the most comprehensive calculators we have come across are at analyzenow.com, a Web site by Henry Hebeler, an author and retired Boeing Co. executive. Begin by clicking on "Free Programs." A preretirement planner there collects the information Mr. Guttman lists, and can help you put together budgets for current expenses as well as those expected in retirement to see if your savings are on track. Retirement expenses such as medical bills (including Medicare Part B premiums) could rise more quickly than inflation; this tool lets you tinker with anticipated increases in future costs. One caution: To make your predictions as accurate as possible, plan on spending at least a couple of hours going through old financial records.

The postretirement calculator cranks out the amount you can spend each year, using your age, number of years you want the investments to last, taxes, income from investments (other than your home), reserves, debt, Social Security, pensions, and any other income. If you have a pension with no cost-of-living adjustment, make sure that's taken into account. In the spot for reserves, be sure to include savings for future home repairs and car purchases, too, Mr. Hebeler says.

A calculator at troweprice.com figures out your nest egg's chances for outlasting you by examining how it would perform in 500 hypothetical future economic scenarios. (Click the applicable link below "individual investors," then go to the "investment planning & tools" tab and click "retirement planning." There, you'll see the link to the retirement-income calculator.) WSJ.com also offers retirement-planning tools at WSJ.com/BookTools.

Firecalc.com uses investment returns since 1871 to figure out how often your strategy would have paid off historically. Of course, tools like these come with a big caveat: Nobody can predict the future. But if, say, firecalc.com indicates that your nest egg might have survived the Great Depression and other financial calamities that have hit the U.S. in the past 135 years, at least you can take comfort in that.

 Ask Encore/Focus on Retirement is a weekly column answering readers' questions about retirement and personal finance -- from annuities and bonds, to trusts and inheritance issues. Send questions to encore@wsj.com.

Bob Jensen's threads on calculators are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob3.htm#080512Calculators

Bob Jensen's investment helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#Finance


College is Possible --- http://www.acenet.edu/AM/Template.cfm?Section=CIP1

College Is Possible (CIP) is the American Council on Education's K–16 youth development program that motivates middle and high school students from underserved communities to seek a college education. As the umbrella organization for higher education and a presidential association, the American Council on Education (ACE) is uniquely positioned to build a bridge between colleges and universities and their local K-12 community with commitment at the executive level. Resources

Bob Jensen's search helpers for finding a the right college are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#education

For distance education programs go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm 

A Comprehensive Guide to Universities, Colleges, and Schools Worldwide --- http://www.internationaleducationmedia.com

Bob Jensen's higher education helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm


U.S. not allowed to drill for oil off Florida, but this does not stop Cuba and Venezuela

"Cuba drills for oil off Florida," by Patrice Hill, The Washington Times, July 24, 2006 --- http://www.washingtontimes.com/business/20060724-122242-7824r.htm

Cuba is drilling for oil 60 miles off the coast of Florida with help from China, Canada and Spain even as Congress struggles to end years of deadlock over drilling for what could be a treasure trove of offshore oil and gas.

    Republicans in Congress have tried repeatedly in the past decade to open up the outer continental shelf to exploration, and Florida's waters hold some of the most promising prospects for major energy finds. Their efforts have been frustrated by opposition from Florida, California and environmental-minded legislators from both parties.

    Florida's powerful tourism and booming real estate industries fear that oil spills could cost them business. Lawmakers from the state are so adamantly opposed to drilling that they have bid to extend the national ban on drilling activity from 100 miles to as far as 250 miles offshore, encompassing the island of Cuba.

    Cuba is exploring in its half of the 90-mile-wide Straits of Florida within the internationally recognized boundary as well as in deep-water areas of the Gulf of Mexico. The impoverished communist nation is eager to receive any economic boost that would come from a major oil find.

    "They think there's a lot of oil out there. We'll see," said Fadi Kabboul, a Venezuelan energy minister. He noted that the oil fields Cuba is plumbing do not respect national borders. Any oil Cuba finds and extracts could siphon off fuel that otherwise would be available to drillers off the Florida coast and oil-thirsty Americans.

    Canadian companies Sherritt International Co. and Pebercan Inc. already are pumping more than 19,000 barrels of crude each day from the Santa Cruz, Puerto Escondido, Canasi and other offshore fields in the straits about 90 miles from Key West, and Spain's Repsol oil company has announced the discovery of "quality oil" in deep-water areas of the same region, the National Ocean Industries Association said.

Continued in article


The U.S. is not alone with its illegal aliens:  European Union plans emergency border squads and boats
A plan to create rapid reaction teams of border guards to deal with European Union immigration crises has been unveiled by the European Commission. The teams would be assembled by the EU border security agency, Frontex, from lists of experts in member states. The plan would help the EU respond to appeals for assistance, such as Spain's request in May for help dealing with African migrants in the Canary Islands . . . Some 11,000 migrants have arrived in the Canary Islands this year.
"EU plans emergency border squads," BBC News, July 19, 2006 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5193116.stm


Question
What's primarily to blame for lack of racial diversity on campus?

These plans don’t make much difference. The problem is less a lack of good will than a lack of connection to facts on the ground. Universities cannot remake the fundamental culture in which they exist, and that is a culture in which the availability of minority faculty and, to some extent, minority students, is decided years before a particular college or university can affect the situation by internal policies.
"Affirmative Inaction," by Alan L. Contreras, Inside Higher Ed, July 21, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/07/21/contreras


Question
Do many college financial aid directors make the best interests of students a priority?

“You should know the truth about financial aid offices,” an ad in last Sunday’s New York Times read. “They’re supposed to help you choose the best lenders. But in reality, they may steer you towards lenders that benefit them. Not you. Unless you check for yourself, how do YOU know you’re getting the best loan?” Well, that’s one way to grab attention. Not surprisingly, the ads have rubbed many people in the financial aid world the wrong way. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators is planning a formal response to MyRichUncle’s aggressive ad campaign, and is contemplating barring the company from its next annual meeting (MyRichUncle exhibited at NASFAA’s annual conference this month in Seattle and sponsored the opening session). MyRichUncle has even upset some financial aid officers and experts who are intrigued by the company’s philosophy and are otherwise fans.
Doug Lederman, "MyRichUncle, InYourFace," Inside Higher Ed, July 21, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/21/mru


"The Internet Is Your Next Hard Drive:  New Web-based services don't just store your data online -- they keep it synchronized across your laptop, desktop, and mobile phone," by Wade Roush, MIT's Technology Review, July 24, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17195&ch=infotech

Online storage systems that can automatically synchronize the data on all of your computing devices, including the PCs you use at home and at work and your smart phone, are finally a reality. One industry watcher, Thomas Vander Wal, calls them "personal infoclouds": technologies that scatter your data across the Internet and reassemble them on your preferred devices.

If you edit a photo or a document and save it on your work PC, for example, these new services will automatically update the online copy, then do the same for the copies on your work PC or even your cell phone. This month, Sharpcast introduced a service that synchronizes digital photographs, and companies such as Streamload are rolling out systems this summer that keep other types of files in sync, including commercially purchased downloads such as iTunes songs and videos.

With these new offerings -- and assuming that broadband Internet connections keep getting faster and more ubiquitous -- it might become unnecessary to store local copies at all, meaning your hard drive could be entirely replaced by remote Internet servers. Although that isn't likely to happen soon, the looming "data cloud" is already beginning to obscure the once-paramount PC. "The more devices we have that can access such services, and use them to share and synchronize information, the less we need computers," says Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, research director at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, CA.

Streamload's synchronization feature, added to its existing MediaMax service a few weeks ago, is typical of the genre. Users can set the MediaMax client software to keep either the entire contents or selected files from their hard drives synchronized across devices. "Once I associate MediaMax with a folder on my machine, then those files will stay in sync, automatically, behind the scenes," says Michael Corrales, Streamload's director of marketing. "And I have the option to invite others to synchronize with my folder. So every time I upload a new movie, my mother will receive a notification that it's there, and the option to download, view, or delete it -- and if she's running the client application, too, it will automatically download to her computer."

Streamload gives away the first 25 gigabytes of storage and 1 gigabyte of downloaded data; heavier users pay $4.95 per month for 100 gigabytes of storage and 10 gigabytes of downloads.

Similar services are available from Israeli software outfit BeInSync and a Microsoft-owned company, FolderShare, whose synchronization system is being folded into the parent company's Windows Live Web services platform.

Sharpcast's service is even simpler. Once the company's client software is installed on the user's PCs and mobile phones, any change made to any photograph on one device is automatically replicated on all of the other devices and on Sharpcast's own servers. If the user takes a photograph using his phone, for example, a copy is sent immediately to his Sharpcast website and home or office PCs. If the user doesn't happen to be online when taking or editing photos, the system queues updates for later delivery. "It's syncing without thinking," says Sharpcast CEO Gibu Thomas. "You don't even have to push a button. The whole process of manual uploads and downloads goes away." Later this year, Sharpcast intends to let users synchronize other data, such as calendar appointments and contacts.


Question
What are two of the shocking developments in spyware and spam?

July 14, 2006 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

This is from a newsletter from sunbelt software - developers of Counterspy, a spyware detection software.

CSN: What do you see as the latest trends in spam?

AM: I see four main trends. The first is that most spam now comes from zombie machines so even if you are able to track the spam back to the machine that sent it, there is nothing you can do about it as the person that owns the machine most likely doesn't even know that his machine is being used as a zombie and even if he did, he wouldn't know what to do about it. This zombie phenomenon also leads to individualized spam as the zombie code can access the address book and send legitimate looking email to the zombie machine owner's friends.

The second trend I see is the increase in the amount of image spam. That is spam that contains an image instead of text. The spammer's message is contained in the image as a graphic image instead of text so that there is no practical way to try and detect spam by looking at the contents of the email. It's easy for the human eye to look at the picture and read the text that it contains but it is very difficult for a computer to do the same thing. Since it is so easy to change a bit or two in the image, it is not easy to come up with a hashing algorithm (a way to create a "signature" that can be used to determine if another image is the same as the original one). There is a lot of work being done to try to come up with ways of comparing images to see how "similar" they are but nobody has come up with a workable solution so far. Currently, I'd guess the amount of image spam is around 5% - 10% of the total amount of spam. I expect to see this increase to 20% - 30% in the next year or two.

The third trend is the scariest and that is phishing. I monitor the spam reported by our users so I get to see a pretty good cross section and it scares me to see how good the phishing sites are. They are so good that you have to be pretty savvy to detect some of them. I feel sorry for all the non-computer types out there that will fall victim to these. I have seen a dramatic rise in the amount of phish email in the past 6 months and expect to see that increase continue because there is so much money to be made with very little effort or risk.

The fourth trend and is "returned email" I have noticed a marked increase but I haven't had time to investigate. I suspect that the bulk of it is spam/malware, especially those that have attachments. It is particularly nasty because an attachment on a returned email doesn't seem out of the norm. In fact, you kind of expect to see your original email attached. Some of the undelivered email that I've looked at with attachments doesn't have the original email there. Instead it contains spam or a link to a malware site. You have to be real careful and make sure that the "bounce" (rejected email) is actually something that you sent. Many times it is the result of a rootkit having taken over your machine, turning it into a zombie. If you see email bounced that you never sent, it is very likely that you machine is infected.

CSN: What about image spam, what is it, and why so dangerous or such a pain to get ride of?

AM: The primary use for image spam is to advertise penny stocks. Most of this type of spam is part of a 'pump-n-dump' scheme where the spammer buys a lot of a particular stock and then starts promoting it via spam that describes what a great buy the stock is or giving the impression that the company is on the verge of some major expansion or discovery in order to get gullible investors to buy the stock. Once the price goes up, and it can go up as much as 500%, the spammer sells his shares and makes a huge profit. Since there was no real reason for the stock to increase, it usually falls back to its original level or lower. Most of the time, the company whose stock is being hyped is not involved in the spamming so they end up being a victim of the spammer as well as there is very little that they can do to keep their stock from being manipulated.

Image spam is only useful in situations where the user doesn't have to communicate with the spammer. With normal spam, there is a phone number to call or a button to click to order pills or whatever the spammer is hawking but with image spam, there is no information that links the email to the spammer as the typical stock add mentions the company but not the spammer. This is what makes it so different from the run of the mill spam.

I'm sure that it won't be too long before some creative spammer comes up with another type of situation where one way communication can be used to somehow flow money to them.

Richard J. Campbell
mailto:campbell@rio.edu

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


Question
How can colleges best mix on-campus and online delivery of instruction?

"Going Hybrid," by Kristin L. Greene, Inside Higher Ed, July 20, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/07/20/strategist

Too many college and university leaders think, “We have an online program and we have a campus program, so we can probably just combine the two to create a hybrid program.” This usually doesn’t work well because online and on-campus programs often appeal to different people for different reasons, and the delivery challenges for each are also quite different.

We’ve seen some great successes, and a few spectacular failures, in the hybrid market model (in which 20-80 percent of content is delivered online). From these examples, we’ve learned that planning up front and being clear about objectives are preconditions for success. Institutions considering hybrid models for a program, or even several courses, must first create a “business plan” and clearly state what they want to achieve, which students they plan to serve, and how they plan to compete. When building this plan for your institution, you should keep the following in mind:

The Goal. Why are you considering a hybrid model? What is the business rationale? Are you trying to reach different, or more, students, or trying to solve space constraints? Are you doing it because you see an unmet need in your marketplace or because your competitors are going hybrid and you feel the need to keep up? Are you looking for a local, regional, or national audience? The national market is becoming quite competitive, and programs in this space are becoming more commodity like, so a program focusing on the regional or local market may position your program for success.

Philosophy. A program with 20 percent of delivery online and 80 percent on-campus is quite different from a program with 80 percent online and 20 percent on-campus, yet they both qualify as hybrid. Will you use the online component only for communication purposes or for content delivery as well? How will you use adjunct faculty members — to create the content, deliver it, or both? The philosophy you choose should provide a blueprint or roadmap for how you will achieve your goals. Too often in our work, we have seen institutions miss this step — they did not identify their philosophy before jumping into the hybrid model, and later found that it significantly impeded success. Without a philosophy, it is difficult to communicate the value proposition internally or externally, and it becomes challenging to make some of the difficult trade-offs inherent in any new venture.

Target Consumer. What type of consumer is your hybrid offering designed to attract? Adult learners tend to be more open to an online experience because it allows them to balance their professional and personal lives with their educational pursuits. Traditional students — those aged 18 to 24 – tend to want face-to-face, classroom-based learning. Corporations may prefer a little of both, to allow employees to work and study at the same time. Segmenting the market by consumer types and needs — adult, traditional, current, new, credit, non-credit — and designing programs that fit these segments and needs are important early steps.

Integration. Integrating between bricks and clicks is probably the single biggest point of failure for institutions pursuing a hybrid model. Where does campus-based learning begin and end relative to the online component? How do student services coordinate with these components? What do you need to change about your student information system? The challenges range from technology and training, to content design and delivery, to student services. Be sure to prepare by thinking through the entire system and how it will affect the students, the faculty, and the staff.

Programs. Some courses and programs have done very well online and would be logical candidates for a hybrid model (e.g., business, IT, education), but not every course or program is well-suited to a hybrid approach. It’s best to begin with an audit of existing programs, dissecting the curriculum to determine how a hybrid model might be applied. At the same time, you should do an external evaluation of market demand and supply to determine where the best opportunities are for introducing new programs. Again, if you consider local versus national distribution, you may find that, on a local level, a particular hybrid program may provide a competitive advantage in attracting students.

Core Competencies. What is your institution known for? What do you do better than most of your peer schools? Focus your efforts on maximizing the benefit of these core competencies and consider outsourcing those areas that are not strengths, such as marketing, lead management, student services, or technology.

Faculty Buy-In. Faculty members have a large stake in content delivery because most of the time they supply the curriculum. Whether you plan to offer incentives for faculty to adapt content to a hybrid model or to outsource this function, faculty should be involved in the discussions.

Hybrid courses and programs represent more of an evolution than a revolution in educational content delivery. Hybrid delivery represents a natural progression for many campus-based institutions to investigate and perhaps pursue, and often can serve as a competitive advantage in reaching a wider student population. Rigorously thinking through process design and delivery components and planning carefully for implementation will make the difference between those programs that succeed in the hybrid arena and those that invest a lot of resources with little to show for it.

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of distance education are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm


Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/

Latest Headlines on July 20, 2006 ---

Latest Headlines on July 21

Latest Headlines on July 22, 2006

 


New Pill from Melbourne Research Team Promises to Cure Alzheimer's

"Pill promises to stop Alzheimer's," Sunday Herald Sun, July 23, 2006 --- http://www.news.com.au/sundayheraldsun/story/0,21985,19885401-5005961,00.html

In a world first, a Melbourne research team has developed a once-a-day pill that could stop the debilitating disease in its tracks.

Human trials of the drug PBT2 will begin next month.

Professor George Fink, director of the Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria, which developed the drug in partnership with Prana Biotechnology, said it was a major breakthrough.

"I'm getting great excitement out of it, it's certainly another Eureka," he said on Channel 10.

"If we can replicate in a human what occurs at the lab bench then this will be of great, immense importance."

Prof Fink said the drug could prevent or delay Alzheimer's from developing.

PBT2 works by attacking a build up of the protein amyloid, which is thought to cause the brain to rust.

Clinical tests on animals have found the drug acts fast, with amyloid levels dropping by 60 per cent within 24 hours of a dose.

About 700 Australians are diagnosed with Alzheimer's each week, with that figure expected to triple within 40 years.

"It is a major breakthrough and very much a Melbourne discovery," Prof Fink told the Sunday Herald Sun.

"Though much depends on the next phase of human clinical trials ... early results indicate this drug offers hope to people with Alzheimer's disease."

Continued in article


Sleep Less and Stay Fat
If you want to lose weight, get more sleep. In a new article appearing in the current issue of Obesity Reviews, University of Michigan researcher Michael Sivak presents calculations showing that replacing one hour of inactive wakefulness—such as watching television—with sleep can result in a 6 percent reduction in caloric intake. User rating 3 out of 5 after 5 total votes Would you recommend this story? Not at all - 1 2 3 4 5 - Highly “Caloric consumption in a society with readily available food is likely to be approximately proportional to the number of hours of being awake,” said Sivak, head of the Human Factors Division at the U-M Transportation Research Institute. “By replacing one hour of being awake with sleeping, we forgo a significant consumption of food because of the resulting reduction in the opportunity to eat.”
"Want to lose weight? Try sleeping more," PhysOrg, July 24, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news72978010.html

Jensen Comment
In 1957 when I was a first-year student at Iowa State University, I joined a national fraternity and moved into the fraternity house, one of a nationwide system of this fraternity's distinctive and attractive houses bright red doors. It was an era when hazing was an out-of-control ritual. At the end of my pledge period the pledges were not allowed to sleep for six days and five nights. In addition to being observed in class and the library by day to be sure we did not doze, we were required by night to build a long stone wall.  One night we were also dumped 20 miles in the country and were forced to walk back to campus. The fraternity followed a hazing policy that declared that pledges deprived of sleep must eat more, and so we were fed great amounts of food in that six-day sleepless period. I concluded that, in spite of the great parties and social interactions of the fraternity,  much of what we were required to do was silly, immature, and a danger to our health. I left the fraternity and never looked back. Today the hazing is more restricted by college officials, but the system is still one of forming unhealthy cliques that foster the "superior-person" ego mentality and too much drinking.


"WHETHER IN MICE OR MEN, ALL CELLS AGE THE SAME, STANFORD STUDY FINDS," Stanford University School of Medicine, July 22, 2006 --- http://mednews.stanford.edu/releases/2006/july/kim.html

We can dye gray hair, lift sagging skin or boost lost hearing, but no visit to the day spa would be able to hide a newly discovered genetic marker for the toll that time takes on our cells. “We’ve found something that is at the core of aging,” said Stuart Kim, PhD, professor of developmental biology and of genetics at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

In a study published in the July 21 issue of Public Library of Science-Genetics, Kim and colleagues report finding a group of genes that are consistently less active in older animals across a variety of species. The activity of these genes proved to be a consistent indicator of how far a cell had progressed toward its eventual demise.

Until now, researchers have studied genes that underlie aging in a single animal, such as flies or mice, or in different human tissues. However, a protein associated with aging in one species may not be relevant to the aging function in a different animal. This limitation had made it difficult to study the universal processes involved in aging.

Kim’s work overturns a commonly held view that all animals, including humans, age like an abandoned home. Slowly but surely the windows break, the shingles fall off and floorboards rot, but there’s no master plan for the decay.

That theory has left open questions about why tortoises and rockfish are still partying like 20-somethingsat an age when humans are considered relics. At the other end of the spectrum, flies die off before young humans can even focus their eyes. Clearly, not all cells fall apart at the same rate.

“Aging isn’t like the speed of light; it’s not a constant,” said Kim. Why animals and even people age at different rates prompted Kim to look deeper into the processes that control aging.

His new study suggests that the cell has a molecular homeowner that keeps up repairs until a predetermined time, when the owner picks up the welcome mat and moves out. Once that process kicks off, the decay happens as a matter of course. The homeowners in tortoise cells stick around for hundreds of years delaying the decay, while those in fly cells move out within weeks.

Although Kim’s work doesn’t identify what triggers that process, it does provide a way of detecting the point a cell has reached in its life span.

In the study, Kim and his colleagues looked at which genes were actively producing protein and at what level in flies and mice in a range of ages and in tissue taken from the muscle, brain and kidney of 81 people ranging in age from 20 to 80. The group used a microarray, which can detect the activity level of all genes in a cell or tissue. Genes that are more active are thought to be making more proteins.

One group of genes consistently made less protein as cells aged in all of the animals and tissues the group examined. These genes make up the cellular machinery called the electron transport chain, which generates energy in the cell’s mitochondria.

Kim said the gene activity is a better indicator of a cell’s relative maturity than a person’s birthday. One 41-year-old participant had gene activity similar to that of people 10 to 20 years older; muscle tissue from the participant also appeared similar to that of older people. Likewise, the sample from a 64-year-old participant, whose muscles looked like those of a person 30 years younger, also showed gene activity patterns similar to a younger person.

These results confirm Kim’s assumption that the rate of aging is at least in part genetically determined. Those study participants whose tissues appeared younger than their true age had something—something dearly sought by aging researchers—that made their cells keep activating genes in a more youthful pattern.

The question is: What causes the electron transport chain genes to slow their protein production and why? And why, if tortoises can live hundreds of years, do flies self-destruct in a matter of weeks?

Kim thinks there must be some reason behind when an animal’s cells are programmed to begin falling apart. He points out that most animals begin to grow old at around the age when they would normally meet their demise in the wild. It’s no coincidence, Kim noted, that 90 percent of mice get eaten in the first year and that mice start growing old in the lab at around that age.

Kim suggests that aging wouldn’t have to happen if cells weren’t programmed to fail. With a marker for aging in hand, he thinks future research will reveal what drives the process. “People think of aging and taxes as unavoidable,” Kim said, “but in the case of aging, that’s not true.”

Other Stanford authors include graduate student Jacob Zahn; medical student Rebecca Sonu; Hannes Vogel, MD, associate professor of pathology and pediatrics; Ralph Rabkin, MD, professor of medicine, emeritus; Ronald Davis, PhD, professor of biochemistry and genetics; and Art Owen, PhD, professor of statistics. Funding for the study was provided by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institutes of Health and the Ellison Medical Foundation.

Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. For more information, please visit the Office of Communication & Public Affairs site at http://mednews.stanford.edu 

Continued in article


The National Hurricane Survival Initiative --- http://www.hurricanesafety.org/home2.shtml


United States History (Philadelphia) ---  http://www.ushistory.org/index.html

American Heritage --- http://www.americanheritage.com/

Bob Jensen's links to history learning materials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks



Question
Why are Baptist colleges increasingly cutting ties with the church?

Appearance Versus Reality in Church Dogma and Education Integrity
“The future of Baptist higher education has rarely been more fragile,’’ R. Kirby Godsey, the former president of Mercer University in Macon, Ga., said in a speech in Atlanta in June. The Georgia Baptist Convention voted last November to sever ties with Mercer. The issues vary from state to state. But many Southern Baptist colleges and their state conventions have been battling over money, control of boards of trustees, whether the Bible must be interpreted literally, how evolution is taught, the propriety of some books for college courses and of some plays for campus performances and whether cultural and religious diversity should be encouraged. At the root of the conflicts is the question of how much the colleges should reflect the views of their denomination. They are part of the continuing battle among Southern Baptists for control of their church’s institutions.
Alan Finder, "Feeling Strains, Baptist Colleges Cut Church Ties," The New York Times, July 22, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/22/education/22baptist.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


"Not Yet the Holy Grail: Nokia's Tiny Computer Is Crisp, but So Slow," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal,  July 20, 2006; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/personal_technology.html

Now, Nokia, the big phone maker, has come out with a $360 pocket computer that aims to solve that problem. It's called the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet and, true to its name, it concentrates on surfing the Web. The 770 can also send and receive email and instant messages, view images and videos, and play music and simple games. But its focus is on displaying Web sites really well.

The 770 has been popular in Europe, at least among techies, but has had little impact so far in the U.S., where it is available only via Nokia's Web site (nokiausa.com/770) and a few other online outlets, such as Amazon.com.

Since Nokia is a cellphone maker, it's odd that the 770 has no cellphone radio inside and can't connect to the Internet via the latest cellphone networks, which now boast broadband speeds. Instead, it relies on Wi-Fi wireless networking, which is faster but much less ubiquitous than cellphone networks. It's possible to connect a cellphone to the 770 and indirectly use a cellphone network, but as with all such setups, this is a clumsy approach.

I have been testing the 770, and I found that it performs its main function, Web browsing, better than any other pocket device I've tried. But it falls down badly on many other tasks, partly because of kludgy software and partly because it is agonizingly slow at almost everything other than surfing the Web.

The best thing about the Nokia 770 is the hardware design. It's a sleek, thin, horizontally oriented device with a handsome black-matte finish and a small number of silver-colored buttons. It weighs just 8.1 ounces, and is only 5.5 inches long and 0.7 inch thick.

Most of the surface is occupied by the very vivid, bright display, which boasts by far the highest resolution I have seen on a hand-held digital device -- 800x480, enough to display photos and videos really well and to view many Web pages without scrolling. This is a higher resolution than many Windows PCs commonly used 10 years ago.

By contrast, the screen on the Sony PSP portable game player, generally hailed as excellent, has a resolution of just 480x272, although it's roughly the same size as the screen on the Nokia. And the screen on the Treo 700p, which has the best resolution of any smart phone display, is just 320x320.

Text looks very sharp on the 770, but it can be too small to read easily. To help with that, Nokia has placed buttons on the top edge of the device that can quickly zoom the display in and out, and put the device into full-screen mode, banishing all menus and icons temporarily.

Unfortunately, this beautiful exterior hardware is served poorly by the software, and by the processor and memory beneath the covers, which are easily overwhelmed.

Using the 770's Web browser, I was able to successfully, and fairly quickly, call up a wide variety of sites, and all the ones I tried were rendered just as they would be on a regular computer.

In most cases, even though no horizontal scrolling was needed to read the pages, I often had to use the zoom feature to make out small text. Vertical scrolling using the stylus was easy. You can also skip from link to link on a Web page using the gadget's five-way navigation control pad.

But the email program was so slow as to be essentially useless. Even simple tasks like selecting and deleting emails take forever. There's another reason the 770 isn't a very good email device: Unlike the Treo, the 770 lacks a keyboard; so you have to tap out emails on an onscreen keyboard or use handwriting recognition, which wasn't great.

The image viewer, and video and music players, worked pretty well with pictures, song files and video clips I copied to the 770's storage card from my Macintosh via an included USB cable. But I couldn't figure out how to do some simple things, like rotating a photo.

The user interface is confusing. The same icon is used for both the Web browser and for turning on the Wi-Fi connection. The email program is buried in the Contact menu and the picture viewer is buried in a Utilities menu.

There are many more software oddities. The 770 also uses an unusual, hard-to-find type of memory card for data storage -- a "reduced-size" Multimedia card.

If you are a gadget geek, or just want to surf the Web on a small device with a great screen, the 770 might be for you. But for most mainstream users, the 770 is a disappointment. With more horsepower and a revamped interface, it might get closer to the holy grail.


From Germany With Debits and Credits:  Outsourcing of Accounting
DaimlerChrysler may outsource some of its accounting work to countries that pay lower wages, German media sources reported.According to the company’s works council, the German-U.S. car manufacturer is considering the Czech Republic and India for some of the company's accounting work. The works council opposes the outsourcing plan and has threatened a veto. "We are saying without a balance of interest this simply won't fly," said Erich Klemm, head of the council, according to a report in Monday’s Stuttgarter Zeitung. He called the plan “the biggest restructuring program that there has ever been in the auto sector.” DaimlerChrysler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche, who hopes to save around $1.8 billion per year, wants to cut a fifth of the company's accounting, personnel and strategic planning staff worldwide, Forbes reported. In total, Daimler’s restructuring plan calls for cutting about 6,000 positions, including 3,200 in Germany, Accountancy Age reported.
"Daimler Plan to Outsource Accounting Sparks Opposition," AccountingWeb, July 13, 2006 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=102343
 


"Keeping Computers in Sync," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2006; Page B4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/mossberg_mailbox.html

Q: I travel among three locations and I currently lug an eight-pound Dell laptop. I would like to change this to having "permanent" PCs (either Windows or Mac) at each of the three locations. What software can I use to keep them in sync?

A: I recommend a product called FolderShare (www.foldershare.com), which is now owned by Microsoft, or a competing product called BeInSync (www.beinsync.com). Both do the job, though they differ. FolderShare can synchronize selected folders among groups of computers, including mixed groups of Windows and Macintosh computers. For instance, all the files in your My Documents folder on a Dell can be synchronized with all the files in the My Documents folder on an HP, or with all the files in the Documents folder on a Mac. But it doesn't synchronize contacts and calendar items in Microsoft Outlook. BeInSync doesn't work with Macs, but it does synchronize Outlook items, in a limited fashion.

Jensen Comment
For years I've used "GoToMyPC" which allows me to save files back and forth between remote clients computers and networked home computers. The real advantage of GoToMyPC is that no software need be installed on a client computer such that public remote computers such as those in public libraries, Internet cafes, and rented hotel computers can be used for file updating and interactions. GoToMyPC is not a free service, although I think prices are reasonable for this very ethical company --- www.gotomypc.com

Lately I've been using a "free service" provided to me by Trinity University (where I am an emeritus professor of accounting). This is called Cisco VPN networked file access. The drawback is that the remote computers must have VPN software installed by techies. It cannot be used on public computers that do not allow personal software installation. Access also is somewhat slow due to VPN's encryption processing.


Accounting Made Easy: BillMonk Formalizes IOUs
A new field of accounting has sprung forth from the software industry: “social money.” And a start-up company is servicing the recently identified market, helping college students and young adults track informal debt. “BillMonk helps you avoid the awkwardness of borrowing and sharing. We track the debts that might otherwise be forgotten, and we do the cumbersome money-math,” the company says. In short, BillMonk helps a circle of friends keep track of who owes how much to whom. For example, a user wants to report a debt like shared rent or an IOU to another person. He or she simply enters it on BillMonk.com. This is easy to do, says a review by Michael Arrington of TechCrunch.com, even for more complicated transactions, such as a bill shared among a lot of people. Simply input the amount of the bill and the e-mail addresses of those who participated. The BillMonk software keeps the balance and sends out payment reminders, says Business 2.0 Magazine. Now, when the check comes for dinner, the young party of five can avoid those awkward moments of dividing up the bill at the table. It gets paid by whomever has cash on hand, then BillMonk will let you know later who owes whom.
"Accounting Made Easy: BillMonk Formalizes IOUs," AccountingWeb, July 14, 2006 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=102345


Question
What 's a recently measured non-human major contributor to global warming?

Gas escaping from the ocean floor may provide some answers to understanding historical global warming cycles and provide information on current climate changes, according to a team of scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The findings are reported in the July 20 on-line version of the scientific journal, Global Biogeochemical Cycles. Remarkable and unexpected support for this idea occurred when divers and scientists from UC Santa Barbara observed and videotaped a massive blowout of methane from the ocean floor. It happened in an area of gas and oil seepage coming out of small volcanoes in the ocean floor of the Santa Barbara channel –– called Shane Seep –– near an area known as the Coal Oil Point seep field. The blowout sounded like a freight train, according to the divers. Atmospheric methane is at least 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide and is the most abundant organic compound in the atmosphere, according to the study's authors, all from UC Santa Barbara. "Other people have reported this type of methane blowout, but no one has ever checked the numbers until now," said Ira Leifer, lead author and an associate researcher with UCSB's Marine Science Institute. "Ours is the first set of numbers associated with a seep blowout." Leifer was in a research boat on the surface at the time of the blowouts.
Gail Gallessich, "Gas escaping from ocean floor may drive global warming," Eureka Alert, July 19, 2006 --- http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-07/uoc--gef071906.php

 


Pretty in Pink
What's Great for Japanese Women, But Not Necessarily for Men?

"'Women only' signs make Japan's men fume," Julian Ryall, Scotsman, July 19, 2006 --- http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1047972006

AT THE time, most people agreed it seemed a good idea: carriages on Japanese commuter trains set aside specifically for females would dramatically reduce the number of women being molested by the chikan who get their kicks by having a sly fondle among the tightly packed bodies. And it worked.

The idea was so effective that it was quickly adopted by numerous train companies across the country, with pink signs adorning certain carriages warning men to keep their distance.

What is less welcome, however, is the sudden embracing of an entire male-free environment by whole sectors of the Japanese service industry.

It has become so common to see "no males" signs outside stores, restaurants, hotels, spas and even entertainment outlets that the victims of this policy are beginning to grumble that they are becoming second-class citizens.

"I completely supported the whole thing with women-only train carriages, even though it made my commute more difficult because there always seemed to be room in those carriages while us men were squeezed together tighter than ever," one Tokyo businessman said.

"But now it's just getting silly. I couldn't even get into my gym at my regular time last week because they have introduced a 'women-only' hour in the early evening."

Responding to a survey in the weekly news magazine Aera, 55 per cent of men said matters have gone too far. Perhaps surprisingly, 40 per cent of women agreed, saying the complete exclusion of men amounts to sex discrimination.

Men turning up at restaurants are being turned away because the women-only lunch special is on the menu, while convenience stores, cinemas and even pachinko parlours - the pinball gambling game that is the staple for the weary workers - are out of bounds for the boys, either permanently or for parts of the day.

"All these other establishments are simply jumping on the women-only bandwagon because they see an economic opportunity in it," says Toshiko Marks, a professor of multicultural understanding at Shumei University.

"It's well-known that single women today have a lot of money, so companies are exploiting that. Men are definitely starting to complain."


From the Scout Report on July 14, 2006

Maxthon 1.5.6 http://www.maxthon.com/ 

A number of browsers out there attempt to offer improvements for existing products, and some do the job quite admirably. Maxthon improves upon Internet Explorer by offering autoscrolling, a newsgroup-browsing mode, and customizable skins. Additionally there are a number of unique security features that provide protection against those who would use the Internet for their own unscrupulous purposes. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 95 and newer.


AirPort Radar 1.1 http://www.macwireless.com/html/support/airport_radar/index.php 

People and their computers are growing hungry for more wireless options as they travel for work, pleasure, and sometimes, journeys that combine a little bit of both. This handy tool will be quite useful for such persons as it scans the surrounding area for nearby wireless networks. The program will tell users the signal’s strength, and also allow them to attempt to connect to open networks. This application is compatible with all computers running Mac OS X 10.4.

From the Scout Report on July 21, 2006

iNetFormFiller 3.5.09 http://www.inetformfiller.com/site/en/features/features.php 

In this rather hectic world of deadlines, due dates, and decision-making, it can be hard to remember: Did I fill out that form correctly? While this program can’t help with that exact aspect of a busy lifestyle, it can make it a bit easier for users to fill out online forms. iNetFormFiller can be used to edit online forms, store personal data, and also record any order of actions required to accurately fill out such forms. This free trial version will work on computers running Windows 98 and newer.


JAlbum 6.5 http://jalbum.net/ 

Whether they are images of the lovely Jersey shore or the tremendous vistas to be found among the peaks of the Olympic National Rainforest, all photos can be cataloged, displayed, and sent on to friends via JAlbum 6.5. Visitors can customize their photo albums appearance with different skins and also create any number of image folders. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, or XP.



How to get broadband Internet upload and download service in the boonies
WildBlue is lightning fast. Get download speeds up to 1.5 Mbps and upload speeds up to 256Kbps. WildBlue is available to virtually every home and small office in America. Just enter your zip code so we can verify your availability. Check out the minimum system requirements for the WildBlue service. With packages as low as $49.95 per month, WildBlue is very affordable. All of your ISP services like email and web space are included. Get this great value in wireless broadband today!
WildBlue --- http://www.wildblue.com/aboutWildblue/

 

Summary Information  --- http://www.earleytech.com/wildblue.html
Also see http://www.direcway.tv/compare.htm

 

A negative review is at http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-11524_7-6548891-2.html?messageID=2059058&tag=lst
or Click Here
That review focuses on possible downtime for maintenance and bad weather. WildBlue may still be the most cost-effective alternative for remote areas (e.g., for pig farmers) not covered by cable and DSL.
 


Why not stay for lunch?

Multnomah County deputies say a male inmate snuck into a female inmate's cell and had sex with her. He then pressed a call button, to ask a guard to allow him back into his own cell.
"Multnomah Jail Inmate Sex:  Sheriff Waits A Month To Admit Problem," KOIN News, July 24, 2006 --- http://www.koin.com/news.asp?RECORD_KEY%5Bnews%5D=ID&ID%5Bnews%5D=4492


"Google profits, revenues rocket," PhysOrg, July 20, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news72632518.html

The Internet search leader said its net profit for the April-June period came to 721 million dollars, compared to 343 million dollars in the same quarter of 2005.

The figure translated into earnings per share of 2.33 dollars, well ahead of Wall Street's target of 2.22 dollars.

Revenue surged 78 percent to 2.46 billion dollars in the quarter as Google entrenched its dominance of Internet searches and the online advertisers they attract.

"Google grew at an impressive pace during a seasonally slower quarter," company chief executive Eric Schmidt said in a statement.

"We continue to deliver valuable new products and services to users around the world through our partnerships and investments in our business," he said.

"Our strong performance results from our clear focus on increasing the quality of user experience, particularly in search and ads."

Google's stellar performance came after its leading rival Yahoo Tuesday unveiled quarterly earnings that were merely in line with analyst forecasts.

Continued in article


Probing Question:
What are computer viruses and where do they come from?

Answer
PhysOrg, July 20, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news72632629.html

The history of medical viruses is outlined at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virus

The history of computer viruses is outlined at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_Virus

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


Identity Theft Resource Center --- http://www.idtheftcenter.org/index.shtml

Bob Jensen's helpers for ID theft victims are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#IdentityTheft


Woodpecker (possibly nonexistent) halts Ark. irrigation project
A federal judge temporarily stopped construction on a $320 million irrigation project Thursday, ruling the changes could disturb the habitat of a woodpecker that might or might not exist.
"Woodpecker halts Ark. irrigation project," PhysOrg, July 20, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news72620142.html


Denver choking on near record smog levels
Colorado is suffering through a summer of smog. With temperatures topping 100 degrees this month in Denver and elsewhere along the populous Front Range, routine activities like filling up at the gas station or mowing the lawn are releasing fumes into a perfect cauldron for creating ozone, a major component of smog.
"Denver choking on near record smog levels," PhysOrg, July 20, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news72627795.html


July 14, 2006 message from Ivy Banaag [ibanaag@ECNext.com]

Hello Bob,

My name is Ivy Carla, and I work for ECNext, Inc. After reviewing your website, specifically the Helpers for Searching the Web section,
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm, I wanted to propose you consider adding a new online textbooks site, iChapters.com.

iChapters.com offers brand new textbooks, in electronic & print formats. Electronic versions of college textbooks, including individual chapters, are available for immediate download at affordable prices. Only at iChapters.com can you choose to buy just what you need at the price you want to pay.

Students who frequent your website, especially those with a tight budget, will surely benefit from iChapters. I am hoping that you can help them find us by including iChapters
(http://www.iChapters.com) on your Helpers for Searching the Web section.


Please don’t hesitate to contact me (ivy@ecnext.com) if you have any questions.

Ivy Carla
iChapters.com

July 17, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Ivy,

I added your message to the following documents:

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

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks


From The Washington Post on July 20, 2006

Which company will become the first to sell downloadable mainstream movies that will give customers a "Burn to DVD" option?

A. Apple
B. Blockbuster
C. CinemaNow
D. Netflix


Question
Do industry ties always have to be disclosed to peer-reviewed journals?

"Think Before You Research," by David Epstein, Inside Higher Ed, July 17, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/17/faseb

Do industry ties always have to be disclosed to peer-reviewed journals? What stipulations should researchers put up with in return for money from the private sector?

These are just a few of the questions that the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology wants institutions and researchers to consider.

The federation released a report, “Shared Responsibility, Individual Integrity: Scientists Addressing Conflicts of Interest in Biomedical Research,” which offers some ethical guidelines that FASEB hopes will spur widespread discussion and that might eventually lead to consensus on some ethical issues.

“This will be an unending issue for us,” said Leo Furcht, president of FASEB, who has been both a researcher, a physician, and an entrepreneur, and is head of the department of laboratory medicine and pathology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. “The vast majority of researchers want to do the right thing, if they know what the right thing is but … some of the conflicts are not obvious.”

Though FASEB officials acknowledged the impossibility of rooting out all improprieties in biological research, they said that more clearly stated principles could go a long way in strengthening public trust in medical research, even as researchers embrace and often seek funding or consulting work with companies.

Among the 19 “guiding principles” in the FASEB report are: “Investigators shall not use federal funds to the benefit of a company, unless this is the explicit purpose of the mechanism used to fund the research,” and “Mentors and institutions should make trainees aware of their rights and responsibilities in industry relationships.”

Guiding principle number nine — “Investigators shall be aware of and adhere to individual journal policies on disclosure of industry relationships” — is particularly timely.

Last week, the Journal of the American Medical Association printed a note telling readers that many of the 13 authors of a study published in February, which showed that pregnant women who go off antidepressants can slip back into depression, have ties to drug companies, including antidepressant manufacturers, which they did not disclose. It’s the second time in two months that JAMA has had such an experience with unreported conflicts.

In a letter to JAMA, the researchers defended their work, saying that industry interests did not influence the work, and that because it was funded by the government, they did not think they had overlooked relevant disclosures.

A study by Harvard Medical School researchers, which was published in JAMA in May, found that about half of medical studies are now funded entirely by for-profit entities, and that such clinical trials are more likely to find a positive benefit from whatever drug or treatment is being tested.

Furcht said that many conflict of interest questions remain in a gray area, like how much equity, if any, a researcher should take in a company that funds research at their institution. “We think there needs to be a greater consensus,” Furcht said. He added that the attitude often taken is that “laissez faire is fine as long as it works out,” but that it is not fine right now. “We have fallen short of where we need to be.”

Robert Palazzo, president-elect of FASEB and director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, said that the medical research community is “relatively naïve about this terrain.”

Last August, some researchers showed their apparent naïveté in a Seattle Times investigation. Some researchers told the paper that they didn’t see a problem with sharing their impressions of a clinical trial — for which they had signed a confidentiality agreement — with select clients from investment firms prior to the completion and public dissemination of the study. The Securities and Exchange Commission and at least one of the institutions home to one of the researchers named began investigations immediately after the article appeared.

Furcht, who said he holds 30-40 patents, said that researchers also need to learn the ins and outs of the patent process so they don’t hurriedly make public results that could be patented and used to bring money to a university. Furcht recalled an assistant professor who published, without a patent, the discovery of a new signaling pathway in detecting whether prostate tumor cells are metastatic.

Palazzo echoed one of the guiding principles in the report when he emphasized the need for student protection. Confidentiality and pre-publication review stipulations made by corporate funders can delay or restrict a graduate student’s ability to publish, and hence to complete their degree. “There has to be clarity that the student needs to be protected,” Palazzo said. “It’s not something that pops into a junior professor’s mind when there’s a chance for funding.”

Some institutions have been proactive in outlining principles for years. Harvard’s Medical School has a comprehensive set of guidelines originally drafted in the 1980s, and reviewed every 8-10 years. A Harvard spokesman said that all researchers have to fill out a formal conflict of interest form every 12-18 months, and that if the forms show a conflict, Harvard insists that the researcher divest.

Bob Jensen's threads on research independence controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ResearchIndependence


"American Moguls:  Top biographies of business titans," by David Nasqw, The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2006 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/weekend/fivebest/?id=110008663 

1. "Titan" by Ron Chernow (Random House, 1998).

Piety and ruthlessness are often conjoined as defining character traits in saints, sinners and moguls. John D. Rockefeller's life, as Ron Chernow shows us, was saturated by religiosity and rapacity in almost equal quantities. Chernow is a master at peeling back the layers of obfuscation and denial to get to the man himself. As the story unfolds, we see how this most unsociable of moguls was deeply embedded in an extended family. Part of the strength of the interpretation is Chernow's ability to use insights into Rockefeller's family life--as son, brother, husband and father--in tracking his evolution from clerk to titan. The trick in writing a mogul biography is to concentrate on telling the story, not judging the life or moralizing about it, and at this Chernow succeeds.

2. "Morgan" by Jean Strouse (Random House, 1999).

It's difficult to write the biography of a man as humorless, unpleasant and reticent as J. Pierpont Morgan, but Jean Strouse manages to do it by clearing away the apocryphal anecdotes, then starting over again. A fresh interpretation requires new material--and Strouse, an indefatigable researcher, located a number of sources that enabled her to round out the cartoonish, villainous portrait left by other biographers. Hers is a heroic account of one financier's attempts to rein in the excesses of speculative capitalism. But heroes have their flaws, and Strouse does not shrink from describing Morgan's. For those of us who avoided college economics courses, she provides a readable primer on matters financial.

3. "The Colonel" by Richard Norton Smith (Houghton Mifflin, 1997).

Robert Rutherford McCormick, the editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, was probably the most outrageously provocative critic of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. Smith brilliantly captures McCormick's flamboyant theatricality as a newspaperman and judiciously reconstructs his rather outlandishly idiosyncratic political philosophy. This is a highly readable and judicious account of a madman mogul who reveled in excess, invective and ridicule long before it was fashionable. Smith is a master prose stylist. There is not a dull sentence in the book.

4. "Orson Welles" by Simon Callow (Viking, 1996).

This is the first of a two-volume biography in which Callow, an actor and director as well as a gifted writer, tells the story of the boy wonder in his glory years. Welles's appetites and ambitions were matched only by his talents. By his mid-20s, when this volume concludes, he had made his mark as a performer and innovator in a variety of media, displaying an uncanny ability to attract audiences and the admiration of critics. He directed dozens of theater pieces in New York, including an all-black "Macbeth" and a modern-dress "Julius Caesar" set in Mussolini's Rome. He also produced, directed and performed in some 100 radio dramas, including the notoriously successful "War of the Worlds" broadcast. He set off for Hollywood, intending to transform film as he had theater and radio. And then he ran into William Randolph Hearst and his watchdog, Louella Parsons. The resulting movie, "Citizen Kane," was premiered in New York City on May 1, 1941, five days before Welles's 26th birthday. After reading Callow's biography, we come to see that the megalomaniac captured on screen in "Citizen Kane" is much more Welles than Hearst.

5. "Why Sinatra Matters" by Pete Hamill (Little, Brown, 1998).

Frank Sinatra was not exactly a "mogul," and Hamill's book is not a biography per se, but it belongs here--as an astounding portrait of a 20th-century icon, his rise and fall and rise again. Sinatra embodied the mogul's gift for brutally focused self-invention. He understood his appeal--to women and men--far better than anyone else, and he capitalized on it to build a personal empire. He was the king, surrounded by courtiers and retainers and a usually adoring throng of subjects. This is a small book, but it brilliantly depicts how the skinny kid from Hoboken, N.J., became the "chairman of the board" and managed to exercise political, social and cultural influence totally incommensurate with his considerable talents as singer and actor.

Mr. Nasaw is the author of "The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst." His latest book, "Andrew Carnegie," will be published in October.

 


Judge Approves $36M Settlement Balance in PNC Accounting Scandal: $193 Million Out of $1.15 Billion
The separate suit against Ernst & Young is still pending

A federal judge in Pittsburgh has approved the last part of a settlement involving more than 73,000 shareholders who lost money in a PNC Financial Services Group Inc. accounting scandal. The shareholders are ready to receive about $2,600 each, for a total of $36.6 million, based on the $193 million settlement and interest. That amounts to 68 cents per share, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. It's not clear when settlement money will be distributed, and the final amount will be reduced by attorneys' fees. The last remaining portion of the class-action lawsuit was approved by U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone, July 13.
"Judge Approves $36M Settlement Balance in PNC Scandal," AccountingWeb, July 19, 2006 ---
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=102357

Earnings were restated, as required by the Federal Reserve, and the results were $155 million less than originally reported. The lawsuit contends that stockholders who bought the bloated shares between July 19, 2001, and July 18, 2002, lost an estimated $1.15 billion.

PNC paid $25 million to the U.S. Department of Justice to settle conspiracy to commit securities fraud charges in June 2003. The government ordered PNC to place $90 million into the $193 million restitution fund. Most of the rest of the escrow fund came from insurance companies and from AIG, which paid in $44 million.

A separate shareholder lawsuit is pending against Ernst & Young, which reviewed the questionable loan sales.

Continued in article

July 21, 2006 reply from MacEwan Wright, Victoria University [Mac.Wright@VU.EDU.AU]

Dear Bob,

The level of the judgement is to be expected. It is similar to the experience in Australia:

About 100 years ago, the State of Victoria founded a "State Bank", the State Savings Bank of Victoria. The main purpose of the bank was to provide housing loans for the citizens of Victoria, a function it performed well. With careful lending to established wage earners with historically sound savings habits, and secured by 1st mortgage, the operations of the bank were on a sound footing. In the 1980's the incumbent government decided that the bank should expand to operate as a normal commercial bank, with normal commercial lending programs. The problem was that the bank had no real experience in that type of lending. It sought to employ outside expertise, but not knowing how to vet the experts, made some really poor choices. These choices wrote some very very risky (some would say outright bad) business.

Probably because of fear of loosing the audit, the auditors did not highlight this risky lending and the growing underprovision for bad debts, until the bank ran out of capital.

The bank was wound up in a manner that protected most employees and all the depositors. The State Government sued the auditors for the amount of capital the govenment had lost, slightly over one billion, and settled for around 150 million. This was basically the amount the auditor's liability insurers were willing to pay. Had they gone to court, the government may have bankrupted the individual partners in the firm, but by settling, the partners were able to keep the house and BMWs (and therefore the wife). The net outcome was a steep increase in public liabilty insurance for audit firms (insurance hypothesis?)

Best wishes,
Mac Wright

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

Bob Jensen's threads on Ernst & Young are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#Ernst

 


You can read about the Poincaré conjecture at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poincar%C3%A9_conjecture

"Major Math Problem Is Believed Solved By Reclusive Russian," by Sharon Begley, The Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2006; Page A9 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115343370457612903.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace

For six years, $7 million in prize money has lay unclaimed at the Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, Mass., waiting for someone to solve any of the seven "millennium prize problems," the oldest of which has been kicking around since 1859. Despite periodic claims, it looked like the institute would hold on to the cash until after the sun burned out.

But the math world is abuzz over the very real possibility that one millennium problem, the Poincaré conjecture, has been proved by a mathematician in Russia. After nearly four years of scrutiny by other mathematicians, the work holds up, even though Grigori Perelman's work is decidedly unusual.

In 2002 and 2003, he posted two papers to an online archive. Usually, a posting serves a flag-planting function -- "I solved this first!" -- until the paper is published in a journal, which can take years. But as the math community waited for him to follow up his postings, a realization set in. Dr. Perelman, long affiliated with the Steklov Institute of Mathematics in St. Petersburg, apparently has no intention of saying more. He probably feels he proved the Poincaré conjecture, mathematicians surmise, and has no interest in the $1 million bounty. (He did not respond to emailed requests for comment.)

Dr. Perelman's style is reminiscent of the Sid Harris cartoon of a board filled with equations and, at a key step, the words, "then a miracle occurs." One mathematician tells the other, "I think you should be more explicit here in step two."

The conjecture Henri Poincaré posited in 1904 is the most famous problem in topology, the branch of math that analyzes the shape of objects and space. He claimed, "if a closed 3-dimensional manifold has trivial fundamental group, [it must be] homeomorphic to the 3-sphere," as John Milnor of Stony Brook University puts it.

Translated, that means that if you wrap one rubber band around the surface of an orange and another around a doughnut, and shrink down both, the rubber bands act differently. The one around the orange keeps shrinking without tearing or leaving the surface. The one around the doughnut can't, without breaking itself or the doughnut. This difference says something profound about the structure of space itself.

Many mathematicians have claimed to prove Poincaré, but the claims flamed out immediately, their fatal flaws obvious. Dr. Perelman's proof has survived. The dilemma for the Clay Institute is that, according to its rules, a proof must be published in a refereed math publication. The archives aren't refereed.

Putting his proof online rather than in a journal is only one example of Dr. Perelman's iconoclasm. He admits that he gives only "a sketch of an eclectic proof of" a more general conjecture from which Poincaré's follows; he never mentions Poincaré. The papers are difficult to understand, and sketchy in the extreme. He asserts that one can prove something by a variation on an earlier argument, but it isn't clear what the variation is. "Perelman's papers are written in a style rather different from what would appear in a journal," says mathematician Bruce Kleiner of Yale University.

The sketchiness may reflect how a genius interacts with mortals. Dr. Perelman may believe some things are so obvious he needn't bother to explain them step by step, say mathematicians. If readers are too dumb to fill in the blanks, he doesn't care. Or, he has better things to do than justify every tortuous step, as proofs must.

Others have taken it upon themselves to explicate his work -- and find no major flaws. Like Torah commentaries, they dwarf the original. Dr. Perelman's 2003 paper is 22 pdf pages; the 2002 paper is 39. But "Notes on Perelman's Papers," in which Prof. Kleiner and John Lott of the University of Michigan explain them almost line-by-line, is 192 pages. A book on the papers is expected to top 300 pages. A "complete proof" of Poincaré, based on Dr. Perelman's breakthrough and published last month in the Asian Journal of Mathematics (which Prof. Milnor describes as throwing "a monkey wrench" into the question of who gets credit), is 328 pages long.

Oddly, either the book or the Kleiner-Lott paper might count as the "refereed" work the Clay Institute demands. If so, we would have the weird situation in which authors of the work that satisfies the prize requirement aren't the people who figured out the proof. But their efforts could win Dr. Perelman $1 million.

"It's definitely an unusual situation, but what's important is that the person who made the breakthrough put it out there so the community could scrutinize and analyze it," says institute president, James Carlson.

Dr. Perelman shuns the limelight, but is known through lectures in the U.S. and for getting a perfect score at the 1982 International Mathematical Olympiad, at age 16. He isn't expected at the quadrennial meeting of the International Congress of Mathematicians, in Madrid. There, the Fields Medal, math's Nobel Prize, will be awarded to the "outstanding" mathematician 40 or under. Dr. Perelman is the odds-on favorite.

And the millennium prizes? "I don't think the other six will be solved in my lifetime," says Dr. Carlson. "But then, I didn't think the Poincaré conjecture would be solved either."


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All materials on eslgold.com are free of charge and organized by skill and level for quick and easy access. In addition to its free online resources, ESLgold provides you with recommendations for great textbooks, an online Bookstore, and even a book exchange, where you can buy and sell used books.

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The American Language --- http://www.bartleby.com/185/

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries


At the Feet of Sociology Professor Phillip Rieff

"A Moralist of the Mind," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, July 19, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/07/19/mclemee

Rieff, who died on July 1, was for decades a somewhat legendary professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. To echo a point made elsewhere, I think the power of his influence greatly exceeded the reach of his reputation. Rieff didn’t want a large readership. He wrote in knotty apothegms — developing a set of terms that resembled sociological jargon less than it does the private language of some brilliant but eccentric rabbi. With his later texts (including My Life Among the Deathworks, just published by the University of Virginia Press) you do not so much read Rieff as sit at his feet.

But in his first book, Freud: The Mind of the Moralist (1959) — his dissertation from the University of Chicago, as rewritten with the help of his first wife, Susan Sontag — the knack for aphorisms had not yet hardened into a tic. He was still addressing a broad audience of educated readers, not disciples. And it was in the final pages of that volume that he sketched the concept of “psychological man.”

According to Rieff’s careful reading, the founder of psychoanalysis was no subversive champion of the id against bourgeois society. Rather, his Freud comes to resemble other Victorian sages who tried to create inner order as the established patterns of authority were dissolving. But along the way, Freud also helped foster a new system of values – one toward which Rieff would show deep and growing ambivalence.

The new “character ideal” that Rieff saw emerging in Freud’s wake was no longer inspired by religious faith, or a strong sense of civic responsibility. Psychological man would not even need to cultivate the sort of self-interested self control practiced by his immediate ancestor, homo economicus. (Think of Benjamin Franklin, making himself wealthy and wise by careful planning.) Psychological man need not fret over material security – being, after all, reasonably comfortable in an affluent society. His energies would turn inward, toward the care and maintenance of the self.

Rieff returned to the future of psychological man in his second book, The Triumph of the Therapeutic. Its final sentence verges on a prophetic statement, then carefully backs away:

“That a sense of well-being has become the end, rather than the by-product of striving after some communal end,” wrote Rieff, “announces a fundamental change in the entire cast of our culture – toward a human condition about which there will be nothing further to say in terms of the old style of hope and despair.”

It can be strange to read some of the earliest discussions of Rieff’s work, for there was occasionally a tendency to regard him as cheerleading “the triumph of the therapeutic.” This was wide of the mark. Eventually Rieff did find things to say about this cultural transformation “in the old style of despair.”

He became a cultural reactionary. I mean that term as a description, rather than a denunciation. He saw culture as a system of restraints (what he termed “interdicts”) that prevented the individual from being swamped by the excessive range of potential human desires and behaviors. Thrown into “the abyss of possibility,” man “becomes not human but demonic.” So Rieff put it in reviewing Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism.

As the historian Christopher Lasch once put it, Rieff belonged to “the party of the superego.” (Lasch translated many of Rieff’s insights about psychological man into a neo-Marxist analysis of the “culture of narcissism” emerging in advanced capitalist society.) And it was the duty of any teacher worthy of the name to play the role of superego to the hilt. “Authority untaught,” Rieff declared in the early 1970s, “is the condition in which a culture commits suicide.”

His later writings are, in effect, a series of coroner’s reports. “We professionals of the reading discipline,” he stated in My Life Among the Deathworks, “we are the real police. As teaching agents of sacred order, and inescapably within it, the moral demands we must teach, if we are teachers, are those eternal truths by which all social orders endure.” And Rieff made it pretty clear that he did not think this was happening.

There are plenty of conservative publicists in America now. There are not many conservative thinkers, proper, worthy of the name. Rieff, for all his crotchety obliqueness, was one of them.(By the way, the ratio of philosophers to propagandists is hardly any better on the left.)

In scrutinizing the logic of contemporary culture, Rieff indirectly revealed some of the dark secrets of U.S. politics — which has been dominated by the right wing for at least a quarter century now. The therapeutic has triumphed in the red states as well as the blue. Any reference to how Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush proved themselves as great leaders by “helping America feel good about itself” confirms that psychological man is often happy to vote Republican.

But more than that, Rieff is of lasting interest for upholding an exorbitant standard of seriousness. The Feeling Intellect, a collection of his essays published by the University of Chicago Press in 1990, is rather awe-inspiring in the range and intensity of its erudition – though you do have to look past the strangely cultish introduction by one of the author’s devotees, Jonathan B. Imber, a professor of sociology at Wellesley College.

And his early polemic in the culture wars, Fellow Teachers, is some kind of cranky masterpiece. (It is now out of print.) One passage in particular has left a strong impression, lingering in my mind like the voice of a testy grandfather telling me to get off the Internet.

“Our sacred world must remain the book,” he says. “No, not the book: the page.... To get inside a page of Haydn, of Freud, of Weber, of James: only so can our students be possessed by an idea of what it means to study.... Then, at least, they may acquire a becoming modesty about becoming ‘problem-solvers,’ dictating reality. Such disciplines would teach us, as teachers, that it would be better to spend three days imprisoned by a sentence than any length of time handing over ready-made ideas.”

Reading this again, I feel guilty of a thousand sins. Which is, of course, the intent. There are qualities and opinions in Rieff’s work it is difficult to admire. But studying him has at least one good effect. It teaches you to think about the difference between a strong want and a justifiable need — and to keep a safe distance from anything tending to blur that distinction.

Scott McLemee writes Intellectual Affairs each week. Suggestions and ideas for future columns are welcome.



"Rose and Milton Friedman:  The Romance of Economics," by Tunku Varadarajan, The Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2006; Page A10 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115352827130914276.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

Keynes was a great economist. In every discipline, progress comes from people who make hypotheses, most of which turn out to be wrong, but all of which ultimately point to the right answer. Now Keynes, in 'The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money,' set forth a hypothesis which was a beautiful one, and it really altered the shape of economics. But it turned out that it was a wrong hypothesis. That doesn't mean that he wasn't a great man!"

It cannot be said of too many economists that they "altered the shape of economics." Would Mr. Friedman say -- modesty aside -- that he was one of them? A long silence ensued -- modesty, clearly, was hard to put aside -- before he mumbled, as if squeezing words out of himself, "Er . . . very hard to say . . ." And then he was saved by the belle: The door opened, and in walked Rose, his wife, bringing a waft of panache into the drab office, her impact enhanced by a beautiful mink coat -- worn, it should be said, on a late afternoon when it was 80 degrees outside. "It will be very cold tonight," she forecast with a shiver. The Friedmans were dining al fresco that night -- along with 1,200 others at the Stanford quad -- and Rose had come prepared for the mercury to plummet to, oh, the late 60s. "It's a crazy time to have a dinner outside!"

Mrs. Friedman settled herself in a chair, her eyes twinkling, and my questioning resumed. If they were to throw a small dinner party -- indoors! -- for Mr. Friedman's favorite economists (dead or alive), who'd be invited? Gone was his tonguetied-ness of a moment ago, as he reeled off this answer: "Dead or alive, it's clear that Adam Smith would be No. 1. Alfred Marshall would be No. 2. John Maynard Keynes would be No. 3. And George Stigler would be No. 4. George was one of our closest friends." (Here, Mrs. Friedman, also an economist of distinction, noted sorrowfully that "it's hard to believe that George is dead.")

Had it helped their marriage -- now in its 68th year -- that they are both economists? Rose (nodding affirmatively): "Uh-unh. But I don't argue with him . . . very much." Milton (guffawing): Don't believe her! She does her share of arguing . . ." Rose (interrupting): ". . . and I'm not competitive, so I haven't tried to compete with you." Milton (uxoriously): "She's been very helpful in all of my work. There's nothing I've written that she hasn't gone over first."

The spark between the Friedmans is clear, and rather touching. So I'm tempted to ask whether there is a romantic side to economics, in the way there is to history, or to philosophy. "Is there a romantic side to economics?" Mr. Friedman repeats after me, sounding incredulous, and then chuckling. "No, I don't think so. There's a romantic side to economics in the same way there's a romantic side to physics. Fundamentally, economics is a science, like physics, like chemistry . . . It's a science about how human beings organize their cooperative activities." Was that his preferred definition of economics? "Well, the standard definition is the study of how a society organizes its resources. In that sense, it's not particularly romantic."

* * *

Is immigration, I asked -- especially illegal immigration -- good for the economy, or bad? "It's neither one nor the other," Mr. Friedman replied. "But it's good for freedom. In principle, you ought to have completely open immigration. But with the welfare state it's really not possible to do that. . . . She's an immigrant," he added, pointing to his wife. "She came in just before World War I." (Rose -- smiling gently: "I was two years old.") "If there were no welfare state," he continued, "you could have open immigration, because everybody would be responsible for himself." Was he suggesting that one can't have immigration reform without welfare reform? "No, you can have immigration reform, but you can't have open immigration without largely the elimination of welfare.

"At the moment I oppose unlimited immigration. I think much of the opposition to immigration is of that kind -- because it's a fundamental tenet of the American view that immigration is good, that there would be no United States if there had not been immigration. Of course, there are many things that are easier now for immigrants than there used to be. . . ."

Did he mean there was much less pressure to integrate now than there used to be? Milton: "I'm not sure that's true . . ." Rose (speaking simultaneously): "That's the unfortunate thing . . ." Milton: "But I don't think it's true . . ." Rose: "Oh, I think it is! That's one of the problems, when immigrants come across and want to remain Mexican." Milton: "Oh, but they came in the past and wanted to be Italian, and be Jewish . . ." Rose: "No they didn't. The ones that did went back."

Mrs. Friedman, I was learning, often had the last word.

* * *

With Mr. Friedman, personal questions are often inextricable from the currents of history. How did he cope, I ask, with the great opposition to his views in and out of the economics profession during much of his active career? And how does it feel to have gone from being a person reviled in certain quarters as Evil, to one revered across the world?

Milton (suppressing a laugh): "I don't think I was ever regarded as 'evil.'" Rose (alluding to the protests that followed him everywhere, especially after he gave economic advice to the Pinochet regime): "It was very difficult to go to the colleges . . ." Milton: "I remember a fellow who came to see me from Harvard or somewhere . . . he wanted to see 'that devil from the West'!" Rose: "Harvard probably still feels that way!"

Here, Mr. Friedman explains "the story of the postwar period" in the U.S. "In 1945-46, intellectual opinion was almost entirely collectivist. But practice was free market. Government was spending something like 20%-25% of national income. But the ideas of people were all for more government. And so from 1945 to 1980 you had a period of galloping socialism. Government started expanding and expanding and expanding." Mr. Friedman stopped, as if deciding whether to use the word "expanding" a fourth time, before continuing: "And government spending went from 20% to 40% of national income.

"But what was happening in the economy was producing a reverse movement in opinion. Now people could see, as government started to regulate more, the bad effects of government involvement. And intellectual opinion began to move away from socialism toward capitalism. That, in my view, was why Ronald Reagan was able to get elected in 1980." I noted, here, that Mr. Friedman, too, had some role to play in this shift in opinion. He was, characteristically, reluctant to take any credit. "I think we have a tendency to attribute much too much importance to our own words. People saw what was happening. They wouldn't have read my Newsweek columns and books if the facts on the ground hadn't been the way they were." (Rose: "Oh, don't be so modest!")

Does it disappoint Mr. Friedman that the Bush administration hasn't been able to roll back spending? "Yes," he said. "But let's go back a moment. During the 1990s, you had the combination that is best for holding down spending. A Democrat in the White House and Republicans controlling Congress. That's what produced the surpluses at the end of the Clinton era, and during the whole of that era there was a trend for spending to come down. Then the Republicans come in, and they've been in the desert, and so you have a burst of spending in the first Bush term. And he refuses to veto anything, so he doesn't exercise any real influence on cutting down spending. In 2008, you may very well get a Democratic president" -- (Rose, interjecting: "God forbid!") -- "and if you can keep a Republican House and Senate, you'll get back to a combination that will reduce spending."

Mr. Friedman here shifted focus. "What's really killed the Republican Party isn't spending, it's Iraq. As it happens, I was opposed to going into Iraq from the beginning. I think it was a mistake, for the simple reason that I do not believe the United States of America ought to be involved in aggression." Mrs. Friedman -- listening to her husband with an ear cocked -- was now muttering darkly.

Milton: "Huh? What?" Rose: "This was not aggression!" Milton (exasperatedly): "It was aggression. Of course it was!" Rose: "You count it as aggression if it's against the people, not against the monster who's ruling them. We don't agree. This is the first thing to come along in our lives, of the deep things, that we don't agree on. We have disagreed on little things, obviously -- such as, I don't want to go out to dinner, he wants to go out -- but big issues, this is the first one!" Milton: "But, having said that, once we went in to Iraq, it seems to me very important that we make a success of it." Rose: "And we will!"

Mrs. Friedman, you will note, had the last word.


From My Cousin Mark Jensen in Africa

Mark’s newsletter July 18, 2006

First I want to let everybody know my test in late April showed no cancer found so I want to thank everyone for your prayers. Thus a plane ticket was bought as quickly as possible and I was on my way to Iringa. We will return on Aug. 8th and I will be tested again on August 9th. I humbly request that you keep us in your prayers.

I arrived safe and sound in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on June 1st. I spent several days with a friend that was instrumental in getting the land for our future Demonstration Farm of 5,000 hectares in Mpanga. Mpanga is southwest of Iringa about 200 kilometers. He lives in a suburb of Dar called Kisarawe. This is where the first Lutherans came to Tanzania and I saw the first mission house. They were German Lutherans. This is also the place that the first Catholics came to Tanzania and he showed me that area called Pugo. While in Kisarawe I was able to visit the hospital and spend time with Dr. Kibera who is in charge. We went through all the wards. One interesting fact is that Tuberculosis is becoming more of a problem because of HIV.

I arrived in Iringa and could not get into my house. The key the guard had only opened the door that was bolted from the inside. To the rescue was friends from my last stay in Iringa who had moved to Same, which is up by Kilimanjaro, but they kept the same cell phone and told me where a spare key could be located. My Toyota pickup (jumpy) would not start but after a couple $100’s it is fine. I came to the office the next day and only thing there was a lonely desk. The computer was gone, the bookcase was gone, my maps off the wall were gone and my other desk was gone. Lucky I brought my laptop because they did not have one for me to use. The office is Spartan but good enough for me. I am out in the rural areas a lot.

Iringa is as I remembered. It is so hard to see their problems. I know it is tough for them because the cost of corn has doubled. It will not get any better for a year. The farmers have to sell chickens to buy corn and it is sad because the buyers that go to the villages know they have to sell so they have dropped the price they pay by over half. When I go to the market I still pay the full $5 for a chicken and the villager is getting $1.5 instead of $3.50.

Iringa always has a way of reminding me that the world does not revolve around me. When we got jumpy running then I had a friend a driver at Tumaini check to make sure I had all the stickers up to date for jumpy. We were only renewing the motor vehicle license. We had to go to six different offices in three different buildings with several long waits. Magava the driver asked how do you renew the vehicle license in the United States and I said by mail. I must have looked a little haggard. He said we next needed to get a municipal license but he said just give me the money tomorrow and I will do it alone. The very next Sunday I was driving and the police had a check point that you had to stop at. They ask me for the registration card and I did not have one so the police man got in the car we drove to the police station and I had to pay a $20 fine plus it took about 45 minutes. The policeman kept saying “I am doing this for your protection.”

I have been to all of the plots that we had scheduled and it was very discouraging. It looks like we will get one yield check. The problems were many. Some plots were not put in. Some plots did not germinate properly. The rain was real late then they quit for a time then began again. As I observe the crops it appears the later planted crops did the best.

We will be working on inexpensive water harvesting techniques this year. I have taken soil samples so we will keep trying. We have also gotten the plans and drawings done for the first multi purpose building we will put up on each of the three Demonstration Farms. The cost will be about $15,000 per building which is about three times more than I was expecting. The building is necessary for the storage of equipment and supplies. We also will use as a classroom. The most important reason is security. We also need to get plots put in at the three farms especially in Mpanga where we can get some return on our investment. For what we would like to do minimum this year (one building built, planting the plots and our operating cost) we are about $15,000 short. I would also like you to humbly keep the Institute and Iringa in your prayers.  As I said earlier this has been a tough year for a lot of the people in Iringa.

I would like to share what I came across while doing devotions this morning.

We should willingly come under God’s discipline and learn what he wants to teach. Important factors are:

First - silent reflection on what God wants.

Second - repentant humility.

Third - self-control in the face of adversity.

Fourth - confident patience, depend upon the divine teacher to bring about loving lessons in our lives.

God has several long-term and short-term lessons for us right now. Are we doing our home work?

Another thing that I ran across is what has God taken away from you so you become more dependant on Him?

I had a great experience with a Veterinarian from England Andy Hart who I met at a Tuesday night bible study. He has been here for four years. He is an Anglican. He invited me to go with to visit several villages in the Isiamoni area. This is north of Iringa 30 kilometers. He knows the writer and relatives of the author that wrote the book All Creatures Big and Small. I felt like we were living the same book only in Iringa. We doctored goats, wormed pigs, vaccinated chickens for new castle disease, saw improved donkey harness, saw oxen moldboard plow, looked at a goat and cattle dip tank. He said the villagers that dip their cattle have less malaria by 80% it has something to do with less mosquitoes around the house?

On Sunday July 9th I attended our companion congregation and had a great time with everyone especially Pastor Kimbavala and Aloyce Chawala. We looked and discussed the upkeep to the church, the junior seminary that they are beginning to build, a new church being built at the Junction preaching point, the mill, the plot of corn we put in, took soil samples and had a great meal including kitimoto (fried pork) which has become my favorite food.

Terry comes on Friday the 21st and will that be great. We go to Matamba about 400 kilometers southwest of Iringa Fr. Mbiche’s parish, then Mpanga Fr. Mbiche”s hometown and where one of the Institute farms is located, then Iringa, Tumaini University the people and my office and the other two Institute farms then on to Same where we have Missionary friends then Dar and back to Minnesota for a cancer check up.

I apologize for not keeping in touch better but have been very busy. Feel free to email me with questions or to say hi.

Totaonana (Good Bye),

Mark Jensen

 

 




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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
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