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 August 2, 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/


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

Question: Did she really get angry or was she playing along with the Comedy Central spirit?
Hilarious Stephen Colbert interview of Eleanor Holmes Norton --- Click Here

Breaking Through Poverty with Microfinance from the  Grameen Foundation --- http://www.gfusa.org/

Additional multimedia presentations on microfinance linked by Jim Mahar

Kevin Sites in War Hot Zones (History) ---  http://hotzone.yahoo.com/

Dog  Wins a Game of "Simon Says" --- http://www.metacafe.com/watch/154224/simon_says_with_a_dog/

She's Really, Really Blonde --- http://www.metacafe.com/watch/114136/beautiful_but_stupid/

 


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

Art of the States --- http://artofthestates.org/
Includes collections titled, "Music of Memory" and "Parody Pieces"

From NPR
A Country Music Outlaw, Resurrected --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5573820

Bitkraft --- http://www.bitkraft.com/

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

From NPR
Reggae versions of songs by Radiohead --- http://www.npr.org/programs/asc/archives/asc117/

Gina from Lifehacker has a feature how-to on finding free music online. She suggests couple of places on finding free music, such as Google, Singing Fish, WebJay, del.icio.us, Amazon’s Top Free Music downloads, MP3 blogs. Google’s query on finding files (in this case, using mp3 and wma file extension for music) is the most popular method introduced around blogsphere --- http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/find-free-music-on-the-web.html

THE HYPE MACHINE audio blog aggregator --- http://hype.non-standard.net/


Photographs and Art

For Photographer, Lebanon a Different Kind of War --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5591796

Veterinary Anatomy Instruction ---  http://vanat.cvm.umn.edu/WebSites.html

Panda, Inc. --- http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0607/feature1/index.html

Wildlife Habitat Council --- http://www.wildlifehc.org

Paul Roberts Paintings --- http://www.paulrobertspaintings.co.uk/

Colette Calascione --- http://calascione.com/

Lora Earley --- http://www.loriearley.com/

Deviant Art --- http://www.deviantart.com/view/14080073/

Anamorphic Drawings By Julian Beaver --- http://greensboring.com/viewtopic.php?t=575
Also see http://www.gumibobo.info/go/page.php?74

J.H. Fuerstenberg --- http://www.fuerstenberg.ca/

Chromasia --- http://www.chromasia.com/iblog/archives/0607041851_clean.php

From NPR
Web Collections Pose Question: What Is a Museum? --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5563221

From Scott McCloud
An online continuation of my 2000 book Reinventing Comics, "I Can't Stop Thinking!" provided a forum for ongoing speculations about digital comics. Originally sponsored by The Comic Reader (now offline, apparently). I might do another some day, but right now I'm inclined to give my cartoon alter-ego a rest --- http://www.scottmccloud.com/comics/icst/index.html

 


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

John Barbato's Collected Poems 1964 - 2002 is Now Available On-line at Lulu.com ---
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/7/prweb415159.htm

Meeting of Frontiers is a bilingual, multimedia English-Russian digital library that tells the story of the American exploration and settlement of the West, the parallel exploration and settlement of Siberia and the Russian Far East, and the meeting of the Russian-American frontier in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest --- http://international.loc.gov/intldl/mtfhtml/mfhome.html

All Empires History Forum --- http://www.allempires.com/

HyperHistory Online --- http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/History_n2/a.html

History World --- http://www.historyworld.net/

World History International --- http://history-world.org/

MacroHistory:  PREHISTORY TO THE 21st CENTURY --- http://www.fsmitha.com/

When The Sleeper Wakes by Herbert G. Wells --- Click Here

Brain Juice Biographies --- http://www.brain-juice.com/main.html

100 Best Novels --- http://www.randomhouse.com/modernlibrary/100bestnovels.html

Read Steady Book Reviews --- http://www.readysteadybook.com/index.aspx




Knowledge is our most powerful engine of production; it enables us to subdue nature and force her to satisfy our wants.
British Economist Alfred Marshall as quoted by Nick Schulz --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/la/?id=110008738

Robert Heilbroner commented on how mathematics brought great rigor to economics, unfortunately, as he opined, it also brought mortis.
Paul Williams in a recent email message

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure.
Thomas Jefferson --- http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/foley/

Ahmed says he always knows who the air marshal is on a flight: "It's the guy who's reading People magazine upside down and is looking right at me."
Ahmed Ahmed, Axis of Evil' Comedy, on Tour --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5589877

Television is more interesting than people. If it were not, we would have people standing in the corners of our rooms.
Alan Coren --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Coren

Ride me down easy lord, ride me on down
Leave word in the dust where I lay Say
I'm easy come, easy go,
And easy to love when I stay.

Bill Joe Shaver as quoted in a recent email message from Patricia Doherty [pdoherty@BU.EDU]

Washing Clothes Instructions Forwarded by Paula

Never thought of a "washer" in this light before. . .what a blessing!
' Washing Clothes Recipe' -- imagine having a recipe for this ! ! !

Years ago an Alabama grandmother gave the new bride the following recipe:

This is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrapbook - with spelling errors and all.

WASHING CLOTHES

Build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water. Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert. Shave one hole cake of lie soap in boilin water.

Sort things, make 3 piles 1 pile white, 1 pile colored, 1 pile work britches and rags.

To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.

Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored don't boil just wrench and starch.

Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.

Hang old rags on fence.

Spread tea towels on grass.

Pore wrench water in flower bed. Scrub porch with hot soapy water. Turn tubs upside down.

Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs. Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.
================================================
Post this over your washer and dryer. Next time when you think things are bleak, read it again, kiss that washing machine and dryer, and give THANKS First thing each morning you should run and hug your washer and dryer, also your toilet---those two-holers used to get mighty cold!

For any non-southerners out there: "wrench" means rinse. ;)

AND WE TH INK WE HAVE IT ROUGH!!!

Jensen Comment
Of course our modern conveniences use more water, and gas or electricity. They also require experts to repair. Furthermore these appliances always malfunction of weekends or holidays. And there are no backup conveniences when they are needed the most. Who has a reserve outhouse or a washboard these days?

See Time Magazine's photo essay of living without electricity --- Click Here 
 




While the media focuses on Lebanon, the bigger tragedy in the Congo is largely ignored
Though Congo’s civil war supposedly ended four years ago, and the nation’s first democratic elections in more than four decades are scheduled for Sunday, the fighting and chaos here continue to kill about 1,250 people each day, mostly from hunger and disease. In all, nearly four million people have died as a result of the conflict since 1998, almost half of them children under the age of 5, according to the International Rescue Committee.
"War’s Chaos Steals Congo’s Young by the Millions," by Lydia Polgreen, The New York Times, July 30, 2006 ---
Click Here

See Time Magazine's photo essay on the Congo tragedy --- Click Here
http://www.time.com/time/photoessays/2006/congo_elections/?internalid=AOT_h_07-30-2006_congos_battle_


Contrary to media claims that Beirut is being systematically destroyed by bombs, the evidence is quite to the contrary --- http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=21814&only&rss

The long-term environmental damage to Lebanon as a whole is more worrisome --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1674159/posts

Hezbollywood? Evidence mounts that Qana collapse and deaths were staged --- http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Diplomacy/8997.htm
Also see http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0%2C7340%2CL-3283816%2C00.html


Israel’s response to Hezbollah has demonstrated to the enemies of the Jewish state that Israel will stand up and fight. This is in marked contrast to Spain, France and Germany under Schroeder, who have blinked and withdrawn responding to Islamic terror or threatened terror. Thankfully, our country’s leaders appreciate that we are at war with international terrorism.
Ed Koch, "FUTURE DETERRENCE AT STAKE," New York Press, August 2, 2006 --- http://www.nypress.com/19/31/news&columns/opinion.cfm


Question
What's the Elephant-in-the-Room syndrome?

Forget NATO:  Europe Will Not Fight to Suppress Hezbolla
Europe will chastise Jerusalem and beseech Beirut and excoriate Washington and aggrandize Kofi Annan, but it will not fight in Lebanon to support Israel and America in suppressing Hezbollah. Why? Europe is not ignorant or cowardly; rather, Europe is collectively suffering what savants call the double wall of denial, or what is drolly known as the Elephant-in-the-Room syndrome . . . The elephant is Iran. The double wall is that not only can Europe not talk about Iran as the command and control of Hezbollah in Lebanon, but also Europe won't let the United Nations Security Council talk about the facts that those are Iranian missiles with Iranian agents with Iranian war aims to destroy Israel and defeat America in Iraq, the Gulf, the ummah.
John Bachelor, "War Elephant,"  The New York Sun, July 25, 2006 ---
http://regimechangeiran.blogspot.com/2006/07/war-elephant.html


The complex and changing world of enemies and friends
Iranians view the Taliban as a C.I.A. creation formed to drive the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. The Islamic fundamentalists that control the Iranian government had no official relations with the Taliban and the two groups have different interpretations of Islam. In Iran, the C.I.A., Israel, and British intelligence, are often blamed for most things that go wrong.
"Iran's Sept. 11 theories and feelings about Iraq," by Ramin Talaie, Downtown Express, April 1, 2003 ---
http://www.zwire.com/Site/News.Cfm?Newsid=7569906&Brd=1841&Pag=461&Dept_Id=513885&Rfi=6

Iran did help the U.S. during the war with Afghanistan. When we went after the Taliban, we made deals with the Iranians through third parties to do search and rescue operations near the Iran-Afghan border. On the west, Iran shares a vast border with Iraq, and Iranians fought a bloody eight-year war to defend the opposing Iraqi forces while the U.S. and the Europeans provided arms and intelligence to Saddam Hussein. In Tehran, a taxi driver told me stories from the frontlines of that war. He told me about his unit getting hit with chemical bombs and how devastating it was. When I was there, the United Nations and Iran were building camps on the old battlefields for anticipated Iraqi refugees.

Iranians do not like Saddam, but they do not trust what the U.S. is going to do [post Saddam]. They do not like Bush putting them in the "axis of evil."

Yet even with a U.S. economic embargo for more than 20 years, many Iranians love most everything American. Iranian boys and girls, born after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, wear DKNY shoes purchased in Dubai, and listen to the latest hip-hop CD's fresh from the thriving black market.


"Terror's Playbook:  Al Qaeda manual is a blueprint for hate that reveals a sinister plot to invade & conquer,"
by William F. McCants, New York Daily News, July 30, 2006 ---
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ideas_opinions/story/439083p-369945c.html 

Most Americans know that Al Qaeda and its franchises are willing to sink to any depth to destroy the United States. But few people realize just how deep those depths are.

The public's knowledge of the terror group's goals and motives is largely confined to the English translations of Osama Bin Laden's and Ayman al-Zawahiri's propaganda. Consequently, Al Qaeda and like-minded groups, or "jihadis," are viewed either as unthinking zealots or misguided freedom fighters.

"The Management of Savagery" - a book written in 2004 by Abu Bakr Naji, a high-level Al Qaeda strategist - suggests that both perspectives are off the mark.

Most jihadi writings in Arabic are similar to those already available in English. These are lengthy exposés on the Western plot to destroy Islam, dense with religious references meant to justify a violent response to this plot. Naji's book is different. Unlike typical jihadi tracts, this genre eschews religious propaganda in favor of scientific analysis, drawing on close readings of Western political theories.

In "The Management of Savagery," Naji argues that the jihadis failed in the past to establish an Islamic state because they were focused on toppling local regimes. These efforts were fruitless, he argues, because jihadis were seen as fighting their own people, which alienated the masses. Moreover, the local governments proved impervious to revolution as long as they were supported by the U.S. Based on his understanding of power politics, Naji says that the jihadis had to provoke the United States to invade a country in the Middle East.

This would 1.) turn the Muslims against local governments allied with the U.S.; 2.) destroy the U.S. aura of invincibility, which it maintains through the media, and 3.) create sympathy for the jihadis, who would be viewed as standing up to Crusader aggression. Moreover, the invasion would bleed the U.S. economy and sap its military power, leading to social unrest at home and its ultimate withdrawal from the Middle East.

Naji had hoped that Afghanistan would play out in this manner for the U.S., as it did for the Soviets. Now, Naji places his hopes on Iraq. Once the U.S. withdraws from Iraq, he contends, the jihadis must quickly move to invade neighboring countries.

Some countries are particularly ripe for jihadi incursion: Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Yemen, as well as North West Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. These areas were selected by Al Qaeda because of each region's geographic features, weak central governments, the receptivity of the people and the proliferation of weapons and jihadi propaganda. The plan, according to Naji, is to conduct small- to medium-scale attacks on crucial infrastructure (like oil or tourism), which will cause the government to draw in its security forces. Chaos or "savagery" will erupt in the unpoliced areas.

Then, the jihadis will move into these security vacuums and provide basic services to people, who will welcome an end to the instability. The final goal is to establish a single global state ruled by a pious Muslim dictator, the caliph, who will implement a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

Drawing on the experience of jihadis in Egypt and Algeria, Naji cautions his readers that no plan will succeed unless the jihadis learn how to respond to public opinion and manipulate the media.

Many Westerners underestimate just how sophisticated and ruthless our enemy is. Reading Naji is a start to better understand our foes' mind-set, particularly because his text has Al Qaeda's seal of approval. The manual is available at www.ctc.usma.edu/naji.asp . Without this kind of information, the American people and our lawmakers and judges will never fully understand the awful magnitude of what we face.

This understanding is crucial for generating the bipartisan support and action so badly needed to effectively wage the long-term battle against those who would threaten our way of life. Only by knowing the depths to which the enemy will sink to defeat us will we be able to have a meaningful discussion of how far we should go to destroy them.

McCants translated "The Management of Savagery." He is a fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.




Questions
What is the best method of peer review?
Is it truly a value-adding process?
What are the ethical concerns?
And how can new technology be used to improve traditional models?

"Nature's Debate on Peer Review and Test of Open Review," Issues in Scholarly Communication from the University of Illinois, July 27, 2006 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

From Nature... "Peer review is commonly accepted as an essential part of scientific publication. But the ways peer review is put into practice vary across journals and disciplines. What is the best method of peer review? Is it truly a value-adding process? What are the ethical concerns? And how can new technology be used to improve traditional models?"

The Nature debate consists of 22 articles of analyses and perspectives from leading scientists, publishers and other stakeholders on such subjects as listed above. Readers are invited to comment on the various articles.

Additionally, for a period of three months, Nature is holding it's own "peer review trial".

Again, from Nature: "The trial will not displace Nature's traditional confidential peer review process, but will complement it. From 5 June 2006, authors may opt to have their submitted manuscripts posted publicly for comment. Any scientist may then post comments, provided they identify themselves. Once the usual confidential peer review process is complete, the public 'open peer review' process will be closed. Editors will then read all comments on the manuscript and invite authors to respond. At the end of the process, as part of the trial, editors will assess the value of the public comments."

Nature's site on this debate is at http://www.nature.com/nature/peerreview/debate/index.html

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

July 28, 2006 reply from Alexander Robin A [alexande.robi@UWLAX.EDU]

Two quotes from a couple of Bob Jensen's recent posts:

"Of course we knew students are obsessed with grades." (from the RateMyProfessors thread)

"The problem is that universities have explicit or implicit rankings of "journal quality" that is largely dictated by research faculty in those universities. These rankings are crucial to promotion, tenure, and performance evaluation decisions." (from the TAR thread)

These two issues are related. First, students are obsessed with grades because universities, employers and just about everyone else involved are obsessed with grades. One can also say that faculty are obsessed with publications because so are those who decide their fates. In these two areas of academia, the measurement has become more important than the thing it was supposed to measure.

For the student, ideally the learning is the most important outcome of a class and the grade is supposed to reflect how successful the learning was. But the learning does not directly and tangibly affect the student - the grade does. In my teaching experience students, administrators and employers saw the grade as being the key outcome of a class, not the learning.

Research publication is supposed to result from a desire to communicate the results of research activity that the researcher is very interested in. But, especially in business schools, this has been turned on its head and the publication is most important and the research is secondary - it's just a means to the publication, which is necessary for tenure, etc.

It's really a pathetic situation in which the ideals of learning and discovery are largely perverted. Had I fully understood the magnitude of the problem, I would have never gone for a PhD or gotten into teaching. As to what to do about it, I really don't know. The problems are so deeply entrenched in academic culture. Finally I just gave up and retired early hoping to do something useful for the rest of my productive life.

Robin Alexander

July 28, 2006 reply from Carol Flowers [cflowers@OCC.CCCD.EDU]

Interestingly, I used to believe that education should be run as a business. However, as this has occurred, I have seen that education has no longer become the issue. The value of education has been lost on the grade and funding. And, colleges (in order to "stay in business") have allowed standards to be watered down to "give the customer what they want and what they are willing to pay for".

This is reflected in Rate My Professor. The individual postings rarely mention what they have learned from the class but whether the teacher is easy and which instructors you can be assured will GIVE you a good grade--all with minimal effort involved on the students part, of course. What really is a surprise to me is that students BELIEVE they are "A" students. If they enroll with an instructor who doesn't provide an acceptable grade for them, the instructor is the problem. After all, they got high grades in the other classes!! I see instructors being pulled into this popularity contest to survive. Since funding is very directly tied to retention, it becomes obvious what needs to be done to be "successful as an instructor."

With the No Child Left Behind policy, everyone must pass. Education is now an entitlement instead of being earned. I keep hearing about the sad state of affairs in education. Yet, no one indicates that this could be turned around if the country's value system changed instead of just throwing money at the problem. Sadly, I see the deterioration of education from my mother's generation to my son's. American society no longer places value on it (as in the past). It used to HAVE TO BE EARNED. That is not the case, anymore. Now it can be bought!!

Signed,
Frustrated in Academia


Peer Review or Wikipedia, That is the Question
Peer review, the mainstream media, and government agencies have landed us in a ditch. Not only are we impatient with the authorities but we are in a mood to talk back. Wikipedia offers endless opportunities for self-expression. It is the love child of reading groups and chat rooms, a second home for anyone who has written an Amazon review. This is not the first time that encyclopedia-makers have snatched control from an élite, or cast a harsh light on certitude. Jimmy Wales may or may not be the new Henry Ford, yet he has sent us tooling down the interstate, with but a squint back at the railroad. We’re on the open road now, without conductors and timetables. We’re free to chart our own course, also free to get gloriously, recklessly lost. Your truth or mine?
Stacy Schiff, "KNOW IT ALLL  Can Wikipedia conquer expertise?" The New Yorker, July 31, 2006 --- http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060731fa_fact
 

When Professors Accept Research Money from Questionable Sources
Last week, news reports surfaced that Patrick J. Michaels, a research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, and Virginia’s state climatologist, is receiving money from coal-burning utility companies pleased with his public skepticism about global warming.
David Epstein, "Helping a Global Warming Skeptic," Inside Higher Ed, July 31, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/31/warming

Bob Jensen's threads on "Appearance Versus the Reality of Research Independence and Freedom" are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ResearchIndependence


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

Then again, maybe we're all entitled to our own facts!

"The Power of Postpositive Thinking," Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, August 2, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/08/02/mclemee

In particular, a dominant trend in critical theory was the rejection of the concept of objectivity as something that rests on a more or less naive epistemology: a simple belief that “facts” exist in some pristine state untouched by “theory.” To avoid being naive, the dutiful student learned to insist that, after all, all facts come to us embedded in various assumptions about the world. Hence (ta da!) “objectivity” exists only within an agreed-upon framework. It is relative to that framework. So it isn’t really objective....

What Mohanty found in his readings of the philosophy of science were much less naïve, and more robust, conceptions of objectivity than the straw men being thrashed by young Foucauldians at the time. We are not all prisoners of our paradigms. Some theoretical frameworks permit the discovery of new facts and the testing of interpretations or hypotheses. Others do not. In short, objectivity is a possibility and a goal — not just in the natural sciences, but for social inquiry and humanistic research as well.

Mohanty’s major theoretical statement on PPR arrived in 1997 with Literary Theory and the Claims of History: Postmodernism, Objectivity, Multicultural Politics (Cornell University Press). Because poststructurally inspired notions of cultural relativism are usually understood to be left wing in intention, there is often a tendency to assume that hard-edged notions of objectivity must have conservative implications. But Mohanty’s work went very much against the current.

“Since the lowest common principle of evaluation is all that I can invoke,” wrote Mohanty, complaining about certain strains of multicultural relativism, “I cannot — and consequently need not — think about how your space impinges on mine or how my history is defined together with yours. If that is the case, I may have started by declaring a pious political wish, but I end up denying that I need to take you seriously.”

PPR did not require throwing out the multicultural baby with the relativist bathwater, however. It meant developing ways to think about cultural identity and its discontents. A number of Mohanty’s students and scholarly colleagues have pursued the implications of postpositive identity politics. I’ve written elsewhere about Moya, an associate professor of English at Stanford University who has played an important role in developing PPR ideas about identity. And one academic critic has written an interesting review essay on early postpositive scholarship — highly recommended for anyone with a hankering for more cultural theory right about now.

Not everybody with a sophisticated epistemological critique manages to turn it into a functioning think tank — which is what started to happen when people in the postpositive circle started organizing the first Future of Minority Studies meetings at Cornell and Stanford in 2000. Others followed at the University of Michigan and at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Two years ago FMS applied for a grant from Mellon Foundation, receiving $350,000 to create a series of programs for graduate students and junior faculty from minority backgrounds.

The FMS Summer Institute, first held in 2005, is a two-week seminar with about a dozen participants — most of them ABD or just starting their first tenure-track jobs. The institute is followed by a much larger colloquium (the part I got to attend last week). As schools of thought in the humanities go, the postpositivists are remarkably light on the in-group jargon. Someone emerging from the Institute does not, it seems, need a translator to be understood by the uninitated. Nor was there a dominant theme at the various panels I heard.

Rather, the distinctive quality of FMS discourse seems to derive from a certain very clear, but largely unstated, assumption: It can be useful for scholars concerned with issues particular to one group to listen to the research being done on problems pertaining to other groups.

That sounds pretty simple. But there is rather more behind it than the belief that we should all just try to get along. Diversity (of background, of experience, of disciplinary formation) is not something that exists alongside or in addition to whatever happens in the “real world.” It is an inescapable and enabling condition of life in a more or less democratic society. And anyone who wants it to become more democratic, rather than less, has an interest in learning to understand both its inequities and how other people are affected by them.

A case in point might be the findings discussed by Claude Steele, a professor of psychology at Stanford, in a panel on Friday. His paper reviewed some of the research on “identity contingencies,” meaning “things you have to deal with because of your social identity.” One such contingency is what he called “stereotype threat” — a situation in which an individual becomes aware of the risk that what you are doing will confirm some established negative quality associated with your group. And in keeping with the threat, there is a tendency to become vigilant and defensive.

Steele did not just have a string of concepts to put up on PowerPoint. He had research findings on how stereotype threat can affect education. The most striking involved results from a puzzle-solving test given to groups of white and black students. When the test was described as a game, the scores for the black students were excellent — conspicuously higher, in fact, than the scores of white students. But in experiments where the very same puzzle was described as an intelligence test, the results were reversed. The black kids scores dropped by about half, while the graph for their white peers spiked.

The only variable? How the puzzle was framed — with distracting thoughts about African-American performance on IQ tests creating “stereotype threat” in a way that game-playing did not.

Steele also cited an experiment in which white engineering students were given a mathematics test. Just beforehand, some groups were told that Asian students usually did really well on this particular test. Others were simply handed the test without comment. Students who heard about their Asian competitors tended to get much lower scores than the control group.

Extrapolate from the social psychologist’s experiments with the effect of a few innocent-sounding remarks — and imagine the cumulative effect of more overt forms of domination. The picture is one of a culture that is profoundly wasteful, even destructive, of the best abilities of many of its members.

“It’s not easy for minority folks to discuss these things,” Satya Mohanty told me on the final day of the colloquium. “But I don’t think we can afford to wait until it becomes comfortable to start thinking about them. Our future depends on it. By ‘our’ I mean everyone’s future. How we enrich and deepen our democratic society and institutions depends on the answers we come up with now.”

Portions of the Colloquium will be made available online. For updates, and more information on the Future of Minority Studies project, check the FMS Web site.

A version of the keynote speech from this year’s Colloquium, “Multiculturalism, Universalism, and the 21st Century Academy,” by Nancy Cantor, chancellor and president of Syracuse University, will appear soon at Inside Higher Ed.

Earlier this year, Oxford University Press published a major new work on postpositivist theory, Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self,by Linda Martin Alcoff, a professor of philosophy at Syracuse University. Several essays from the book are available at the author’s Web site.

 


Hatsize Camtasia Update
Camtasia began as an effective and efficient way to video capture computerized explanations of technical processes. These videos can be served up for replay by students over and over until they get the technical steps down pat --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm

July 27, 2006 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

I just completed a Camtasia training session in a virtual lab environment using www.hatsize.com  technology.

Essentially the trainer uploaded Camtasia to the hatsize server and demonstrated certain tasks in Camtasia. Then each of the students had their own instance of Camtasia running on the server and replicated the steps by the instructor.

The instructor was able to toggle between views of the various students just as if he was physically in the lab.

The difference between this technology and Webex and Gotomeeting web conferencing software is the ability of students to work in their own workspace on the same software.

Very interesting web application software.

Richard Campbell

Richard J. Campbell
mailto:campbell@rio.edu


European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia --- http://eumc.eu.int/eumc/index.php

The recent months have seen a heated debate on freedom of speech and hate speech. This issue of the EUMC’s Magazine Equal Voices brings together different views on the issue: NGOs, representatives of different religious communities, and media experts explain how they think hate speech can be tackled, and how freedom of speech should be applied in our societies.


Alumnus and Nike founder Philip H. Knight, MBA '62, will make a gift of $105 million to Stanford University's Graduate School of Business --- http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/headlines/knight_gift.shtml


Auntie Bev verified this with Sears before sending it out
I assume you have all seen the reports about how Sears is treating its reservist employees who are called up? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up...Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years. I submit that S ears i is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution.
Auntie Bev, "Shop at Sears"


Question
What topic dominates instructor evaluations on RateMyProfessors.com (or RATE for short)?

"RateMyProfessors — or His Shoes Are Dirty," by Terry Caesar, Inside Higher Ed, July 28, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/07/28/caesar

But the trouble begins here. Like those guests, students turn out to be candid about the same thing. Rather than sex, it’s grades. Over and over again, RATE comments cut right to the chase: how easy does the professor grade? If easy, all things are forgiven, including a dull classroom presence. If hard, few things are forgiven, especially not a dull classroom presence. Of course we knew students are obsessed with grades. Yet until RATE could we have known how utterly, unremittingly, remorselessly?

And now the obsession is free to roam and cavort, without the constraints of the class-by-class student evaluation forms, with their desiderata about the course being “organized” or the instructor having “knowledge of subject matter.” These things still count. RATE students regularly register them. But nothing counts like grades. Compared to RATE, the familiar old student evaluation forms suddenly look like searching inquiries into the very nature of formal education, which consists of many other things than the evaluative dispositions of the professor teaching it.

What other things? For example, whether or not the course is required. Even the most rudimentary of student evaluation forms calls for this information. Not RATE. Much of the reason a student is free to go straight for the professorial jugular — and notwithstanding all the praise, the site is a splatfest — is because course content can be merrily cast aside. The raw, visceral encounter of student with professor, as mediated through the grade, emerges as virtually the sole item of interest.

Of course one could reply: so what? The site elicits nothing else. That’s why it’s called, “rate my professors,” and not “rate my course.” In effect, RATE takes advantage of the slippage always implicit in traditional student evaluations, which both are and are not evaluations of the professor rather than the course. To be precise, they are evaluations of the professor in terms of a particular course. This particularity, on the other hand, is precisely what is missing at the RATE site, where whether or not a professor is being judged by majors — a crucial factor for departmental and college-wide tenure or promotion committees who are processing an individual’s student evaluations — is not stipulated.

Granted, a student might bring up being a major. A student might bring anything up. This is why RATE disappoints, though, because there’s no framework, not even that of a specific course, to restrain or guide student comments. “Sarcastic” could well be a different thing in an upper-division than in a lower-division course. But in the personalistic RATE idiom, it’s always a character flaw. Indeed, the purest RATE comments are all about character. Just as the course is without content, the professor is without performative ability. Whether he’s a “nice guy” or she “plays favorites,” it’s as if the student has met the professor a few times at a party, rather than as a member of his or her class for a semester.

RATE comments are particularly striking if we compare those made by the professor’s colleagues as a result of classroom observations. Many departments have evolved extremely detailed checksheets. I have before me one that divides the observation into four categories, including Personal Characteristics (10 items), Interpersonal Relationships (8), Subject Application/Knowledge (8), and Conducting Instruction (36). Why so many in the last category? Because performance matters — which is just what we tell students about examinations: each aims to test not so much an individual’s knowledge as a particular performance of that knowledge.

Of course, some items on the checksheet are of dubious value, e.g. “uses a variety of cognitive levels when asking questions.” So it goes in the effort to itemize successful teaching, an attempt lauded by proponents of student evaluations or lamented by critics. The genius of RATE is to bypass the attempt entirely, most notoriously with its “Hotness Total.” Successful teaching? You may be able to improve “helpfulness” or “clarity.” But you can’t very well improve “hotness.” Whether or not you are a successful teacher is not safely distant at RATE from whether or not you are “hot.”

Perhaps it never was. In calling for a temperature check, RATE may merely be directly addressing a question — call it the charisma of an individual professor — that traditional student evaluations avoid. If so, though, they avoid it with good reason: charisma can’t be routinized. When it is, it becomes banal, which is one reason why the critical comments are far livelier than the celebratory ones. RATE winds up testifying to one truism about teaching: It’s a lot easier to say what good teaching isn’t than to say what it is. Why? One reason is, because it’s a lot easier for students who care only about teachers and not about teaching to say so.

Finally, what about these RATE students? How many semester hours have they completed? How many classes did they miss? It is with good reason (we discover) that traditional student evaluation forms are careful to ask something about each student. Not only is it important for the administrative processing of each form. Such questions, even at a minimal level, concede the significance in any evaluation of the evaluating subject. Without some attention to this, the person under consideration is reduced to the status of an object — which is, precisely, what the RATE professor becomes, time after time. Students on RATE provide no information at all about themselves, not even initials or geographical locations, as given by many of the people who rate books and movies on amazon.com or who give comments on columns and articles on this Web site.

In fact, students at RATE don’t even have to be students! I know of one professor who was so angered at a comment made by one of her students that she took out a fake account, wrote a more favorable comment about herself, and then added more praise to the comments about two of her colleagues. How many other professors do this? There’s no telling — just as there’s no telling about local uses of the site by campus committees. Of course this is ultimately the point about RATE: Even the student who writes in the most personal comments (e.g. “hates deodorant") is completely safe from local retribution — never mind accountability — because the medium is so completely anonymous.

Thus, the blunt energies of RATE emerge as cutting edge for higher education in the 21st century. In this respect, the degree of accuracy concerning any one individual comment about any one professor is beside the point. The point is instead the medium itself and the nature of the judgements it makes possible. Those on display at RATE are immediate because the virtual medium makes them possible, and anonymous because the same medium requires no identity markers for an individual. Moreover, the sheer aggregation of the site itself — including anybody from anywhere in the country — emerges as much more decisive than what can or cannot be said on it. I suppose this is equivalent to shrugging, whatever we think of RATE, we now have to live with it.

I think again of the very first student evaluation I received at a T.A. The result? I no longer remember. Probably not quite as bad as I feared, although certainly not as good as I hoped. The only thing I remember is one comment. It was made, I was pretty sure, by a student who sat right in the front row, often put her head down on the desk (the class was at 8 a.m.) and never said a word all semester. She wrote: “his shoes are dirty.” This shocked me. What about all the time I had spent, reading, preparing, correcting? What about how I tried to make available the best interpretations of the stories required? My attempts to keep discussions organized, or just to have discussions, rather than lectures?

All irrelevant, at least for one student? It seemed so. Worse, I had to admit the student was probably right — that old pair of brown wingtips I loved was visibly becoming frayed and I hadn’t kept them shined. Of course I could object: Should the state of a professor’s shoes really constitute a legitimate student concern? Come to this, can’t you be a successful teacher if your shoes are dirty? In today’s idiom, might this not even strike at least some students all by itself as being, well, “hot"? In any case, I’ve never forgotten this comment. Sometimes it represents to me the only thing I’ve ever learned from reading my student evaluations. I took it very personally once and I cherish it personally still.

Had it appeared on RATE, however, the comment would feel very different. A RATE[D] professor is likely to feel like a contestant on “American Idol,” standing there smiling while the results from the viewing audience are totaled. What do any of them learn? Nothing, except that everything from the peculiarities of their personalities to, ah, the shine of their shoes, counts. But of course as professors we knew this already. Didn’t we? Of course it might always be good to learn it all over again. But not at a site where nobody’s particular class has any weight; not in a medium in which everybody’s words float free; and not from students whose comments guarantee nothing except their own anonymity. I’ll bet some of them even wear dirty shoes.

Bob Jensen's threads on teaching evaluations are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#TeachingStyle

Bob Jensen's threads on course evaluations and grade inflation are at http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/07/28/caesar

Bob Jensen's threads on teaching evaluations and learning styles are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#LearningStyles


Mutual Funds Watchdog Site
Featured (Positively) in USA Today on July 3, 2006, Page 3B --- http://www.fundalarm.com/

FundAlarm is a free, non-commercial Website. Our view of the mutual fund industry is slightly off-center. We help you decide when it's time to sell a fund, instead of when it's time to buy. The mutual fund industry is full of broken promises, arrogance, greed, hypocrisy -- the list goes on. We try to shine a light in the darker corners, and poke holes in balloons that could use some poking.

Bob Jensen's threads on mutual fund scandals are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#MutualFunds

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


EU Ministers Agree to Fund Stem Cell Research
European ministers have struck a compromise deal allowing embryonic stem cell research to continue. It means EU members states can spend some of the bloc's over 50 billion euro science budget on stem cell programmes. Science and Research Minister Janez Potocnik said no exact figure was available
EuroNews, July 24, 2006 --- Click Here


Sociology Should Redefine Its Mission in General Education
The problem, the panel found, was that at a time that colleges are placing increasing emphasis on assessing what students learn, sociologists have focused primarily on assessing what their majors learn. Because the discipline’s role in general education is primarily educating non-majors, professors and departments need to find ways to measure learning in areas like critical thinking, not just assume that the learning takes place, the report said.
Scott Jaschik, "What Role for Sociology?" Inside Higher Ed, July 25, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/25/sociology


Universities Take on the Price-Gouging Publication Oligopoly

"Rallying Behind Open Access," Inside Higher Ed, July 28, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/28/provosts

If universities pay the salaries of researchers and provide them with labs, and the federal government provides those researchers with grants for their studies, why should those same universities feel they can’t afford to have access to research findings?

That’s part of the argument behind a push by some in Congress to make such findings widely available at no charge. The Federal Public Research Access Act would require federal agencies to publish their findings, online and free, within six months of their publication elsewhere. Proponents of the legislation, including many librarians and professors frustrated by skyrocketing journal prices, see such “open access” as entirely fair. But publishers — including many scholarly associations — have attacked the bill, warning that it could endanger research and kill off many journals.

In an attempt to refocus the debate, the provosts of 25 top universities are jointly releasing an open letter that strongly backs the bill and encourages higher education to prepare for a new way of disseminating research findings. “Widespread public dissemination levels the economic playing field for researchers outside of well-funded universities and research centers and creates more opportunities for innovation. Ease of access and discovery also encourages use by scholars outside traditional disciplinary communities, thus encouraging imaginative and productive scholarly convergence,” the provosts write.

While the letter acknowledges that the bill would force publishers and scholarly societies to consider potentially significant changes in their operations, the provosts conclude that the legislation “is good for education and good for research.”

The letter originated with the provosts of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, which includes the universities of the Big Ten Conference plus the University of Chicago. Others joining the effort include the provosts of such institutions as Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Texas A&M University, the University of California, the University of Rochester, Vanderbilt University, and Washington University in St. Louis.

“I think the provosts are concerned that our scientists are doing important research, and their fields demand that they publish the research in highly respected journals, and then those journals become more and more expensive and control information in a way that is worrisome,” said R. Michael Tanner, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs of the University of Illinois at Chicago and one of those who worked on the letter. When universities can’t afford to keep all of their subscriptions, universities face the prospect that their own faculty members can’t read the findings of fellow faculty members — even when taxpayers paid for the research.

“At a certain point, we can’t be held prisoner within the publication system,” Tanner said.

Tanner said he was worried about how the changes already taking place in publishing — and those that could potentially take place because of this legislation — would affect small publishers. But he said that the reality was that larger publishers were making large profits off universities like his.

Barbara Allen, director of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, said that she hoped the open letter would reshape the debate on open access. “The public debate on these issues seems to be driven by the commercial publishing sector, and the scholarly publishers were lining up with the commercial sector,” she said. The provosts wanted to make clear to Congress and others that “our needs as communities of scholars” aren’t necessarily the same as those of large commercial publishers.

It’s not at all clear that the legislation will go anywhere this year, with Congress already headed into pre-election season and debates over scholarly publishing not exactly competing with Iraq or the economy for voters’ attention. But the proposal is almost sure to return next year — and the provosts’ action marks a shift of sorts for academic leaders. Scholarly associations (many of which depend for their budgets on journal sales) have been against these kinds of changes — even as more and more of their members demand free, online access for information. The groups that represent colleges have also been less than enthusiastic about this push. The Association of American Universities — which includes most of the institutions whose provosts signed the open letter — hasn’t taken a position on the bill, and officials say that they see both benefits and problems with the legislation.

While the provosts don’t claim the legislation is perfect, they want university leaders to be decidedly on the “open access” side of the debate.

Continued in article

But many professors oppose open sharing of research outcomes --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#OpenSharing

Bob Jensen's threads on the price-gouging publication oligopoly are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#ScholarlyJournals

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


Engineering Programs Facing Up to Possible Requirements for Masters Degrees
Accounting Programs Were Forced to Do This Via Newly-Enacted State Laws for CPA Licensure

"Mastering Engineering," by David Epstein, Inside Higher Ed, July 28, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/28/engineer

“I would like to see people with an engineering education go into government,” King said. But King argues that the narrow, rigorous program required for an undergraduate engineering degree limits the amount of education engineering students get in other disciplines King hopes to see the master’s degree, rather than the bachelor’s, become the true entry level degree for professional engineers.

In King’s view, the undergraduate engineering program — “pre-engineering,” he calls it, like pre-med or pre-law — should have a lighter engineering load so that students can get a broader liberal arts education. “The abilities of engineers to move into other areas … [is] limited by the narrowness and inward-looking nature of their education,” King says in a paper titled Engineers Should Have a College Education,” on the Berkeley center’s Web site. A version of the essay appeared in the summer 2006 edition of Issues in Science and Technology. “Engineering is typically the one undergraduate area that is not subject, or is much less subject, to the general education requirements that are common for other undergraduates.”

Making the master’s degree the entry level degree would open up room in the undergraduate curriculum, King said, which is now chock full of the requisite science and engineering courses for professional practice. King makes some very similar suggestions to those made by the National Academy of Engineering in its 2005 report, “Educating the Engineer of 2020,” which calls for a more liberal education for engineers, and greater prevalence and recognition of the worth of professional master’s degrees. “We’re recognizing that, because of the very fast expansion of knowledge in science and engineering,” said Richard Taber, a program officer at the National Academy of Engineering, “there’s too much for a student to learn in that area in a four year degree.”

But critics cite students’ past resistance to five-year B.S./M.S. programs, and say that graduate study is often unnecessary for engineers, and would turn many students away from engineering altogether.

Continued in article

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


"Technology Q&A," by Stanley Zarowin, Journal of Accountancy, August 2006 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/aug2006/tech_qa.htm#PROGRAM

TECHNOLOGY Q&A
by Stanley Zarowin
Program Excel’s page-order print sequence
Save Excel formulas without using macros
Search out files across a network with Google
Print Outlook’s contacts as a paper phone directory
Print any mix of pages/sections from a document
Nudge a Word file that opens slowly
Excel shortcuts.


Denied tenure for being white
New Mexico Highlands University has agreed to pay $170,000 to Gregg Turner, who was fired shortly after being denied tenure in the math department, and to expunge the tenure denial from his record, The New Mexican reported. Turner is among several faculty members who say that they were treated unfairly, in part because of a push by a university president who recently agreed to quit, to hire more Latino faculty members. The American Association of University Professors found that the way Turner and another professor were treated violated standards of academic freedom and due process.
Inside Higher Ed, July 27, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/27/qt


"Google-porn site battle puts Internet freedoms in balance," PhysOrg, July 27, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news73183749.html

At issue in the landmark case being appealed to the San Francisco circuit court of appeals is whether Google infringed on copyrights by creating links to Perfect 10 pictures copied from its website and posted elsewhere on the Internet, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

"The stakes are high and everybody is out expressing an opinion," EFF attorney Fred von Lohmann told AFP. "Links are really the whole enchilada when it comes to the worldwide web."

A Perfect 10 court victory would stifle the sharing of website links whether it be by bloggers, search engines, online newspapers, or simply people sending e-mail to friends, von Lohmann said.

"It will be the most important copyright decision for search engines in years."

The photos which Google provided links to were evidently copies made by Perfect 10 website visitors and put on other websites.

Continued in article


Question
What tune should be used to accompany the lyrics to "Topless in the Goodtime Flow Toward Old San Antonio?"

In the midst of attempts to crack down on raunchy and rowdy behavior during traditional summertime tubing river trips through this city, a San Antonio topless club is planning a tubing excursion featuring strippers. Trey Maddox, a manager at Palace Men's Club, said Sunday's excursion on the Comal River — during which men can pay $25 to join the strippers — isn't meant to fly in the face of the city's new rules. "We're not hookers, dope dealers or Mafia thugs," he said, noting that the strippers will be appropriately dressed. "We're just coming to have a good time."
"Strippers plan to tube New Braunfels river Sunday," Chron.com, July 27, 2006 --- http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/4077025.html
Jensen Comment
Although we have more fun water flows up here, white water tubing just isn't the same in New Hampshire's mountains. I miss some things about San Antonio. Sigh!


"Smart Stops on the Web," by Vince Nolan, Journal of Accountancy, August 2006 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/aug2006/news_web.htm

 
CAREER BUILDING SITES
The Job Hunt
www.quintcareers.com
The Quintessential Careers Web portal offers links to job databases and search engines for more than 1,400 employment and resume-writing e-stops. Accounting and finance professionals also can research the latest starting salaries by geographic location and find schools offering continuing education programs. Once you’ve landed the interview, revisit the portal for behavioral interview strategies, interview dos and don’ts and tips for avoiding interview bloopers.

The Selection Process
http://jobstar.org
You’ve done the resume-writing, posting and job-search thing and you have a few interviews lined up. Now come to this site to check out more than 300 free salary surveys, some specifically for accounting and finance, take a salary I.Q. test and learn strategies for negotiating a higher starting salary. Already employed and looking to make a change? Career Guides has resources and links to the fastest growing job opportunities and aptitude tests for new occupations.

The Juggling Act
http://wlb.monster.com
You’ve got a new job and you’re busier than ever. Maybe too busy? Go to Monster’s Work/Life Balance Web stop for tips on how to simplify your work life in sections on office culture and politics, career development and managing time and stress levels. Also get advice on negotiating a flex schedule, building workplace friendships or renegotiating your salary at review time. Take quizzes to find out whether you’re a team player or a workaholic, and whether you’re getting the most out of your downtime.

Strike a Balance
www.workforceonline.com
Looking for advice on managing your work and home lives? The Benefits section at this Smart Stop links to articles on caregivers, the cost of absenteeism and flex practices. Free registration also gets you access to newsletters on human resources and recruiting topics. Community Center discussion threads let registrants voice their opinions and share information on topics from age bias and workplace dress codes to staffing and telecommuting. Check out the business cartoons in The Buzz for a quick chuckle.

(Bob Jensen's threads on careers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#careers

 

 


GENERAL INTEREST SITES
PFP Resources
www.financialplanninghq.com
CPAs looking for links to personal financial planning information should bookmark this Web site that has links in dozens of categories, from budgeting and business financial planning to small business and software. Subscribe for free to the Planner’s Weekly, Career Adviser and Wealth Adviser newsletters and post comments and questions on the discussion board sections for case studies, career building and tax issues. Financial Planning Tips has advice for business owners, new college graduates and newlyweds.

Take a Tax Tip
www.alloysilverstein.com
This accounting firm Web site offers free weekly tax tips, such as for year-end filing, and monthly business tips, including a checklist of ways to make business meetings worthwhile. Monthly Financial Planning Tips has a discussion on how to get the most out of investment dollars, while the weekly “Money Management” column offers advice on getting tax breaks when disaster strikes and deducting investment-related expenses. Check out Client Alert for information on buy-sell agreements and long-term-care insurance.

A Site for Savings
http://soundmoneytips.com
Financial planners looking for ways to save clients money can go here for quick tips on personal finances. Users can get tips on saving money through government auctions or when moving, as well as on teaching kids about money through a link to the “Jump$tart Financial Literacy Survey.” Visitors also can find out how to pay taxes with an IRS loan and look up archive entries for previous tips.

In the Beginning
www.howstuffworks.com
Curious Web surfers can explore the how of the inner workings of everything from laptop computers to the PayPal program at this e-site. Money Stuff has an explanation of how income taxes work with detailed sections on the origins of taxes in America, including the first income tax. Looking for information on how phishing works? Read how scammers do it, learn how to protect yourself and get links to popular firewall software.

Get Noticed Then Hired
www.searchfax.com
Of the roughly 1,500 resumes executive job hunters receive for each open position, only 100 of the applicants are ever contacted for interviews. Make your resume the best fit for that position and company by using this Web site’s fax resume distribution service. Jobseekers can receive a free resume review and tips on how to improve theirs before subscribing to this paid service, which sends out your revised and targeted resume and personalized fax cover sheet to recruiters.


The top 10 unintentionally worst company URLs --- http://independentsources.com/2006/07/12/worst-company-urls/

1. A site called ‘Who Represents‘ where you can find the name of the agent that represents a celebrity. Their domain name… wait for it… is
www.whorepresents.com

2. Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at
www.expertsexchange.com

3. Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at
www.penisland.net

4. Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at
www.therapistfinder.com

5. Then of course, there’s the Italian Power Generator company…
www.powergenitalia.com

6. And now, we have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales:
www.molestationnursery.com

7. If you’re looking for computer software, there’s always
www.ipanywhere.com

8. Welcome to the First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website is
www.cummingfirst.com

9. Then, of course, there’s these brainless art designers, and their whacky website:
www.speedofart.com

10. Want to holiday in Lake Tahoe? Try their brochure website at
www.gotahoe.com


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


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


Knowledge Media Laboratory --- http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/programs/index.asp?key=38
The Carnegie Foundation

The Knowledge Media Laboratory works to create a future in which communities of teachers, faculty, programs, and institutions collectively advance teaching and learning by exchanging their educational knowledge, experiences, ideas, and reflections by taking advantage of various technologies and resources.

The KML is currently working with its partners, including Carnegie Foundation programs, to achieve the following goals:

• To develop digital (or electronic) tools and resources that help to make knowledge of effective teaching practices and educational transformation efforts visible, shareable, and reusable.

• To explore synergy among various technologies to better support the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

• To build the capacity for faculty and teachers independently to take advantage of information and communications technologies that enable them to re-examine, rethink, and represent teaching and students learning, and to share the outcomes in an effective and efficient way.

• To sustain communities of practice engaged in collaboratively improving teaching and student learning by building common areas to exchange knowledge and by building repositories for the representation of effective practice.

Bob Jensen's threads on teaching resources are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/newfaculty.htm#Resources 


Question
What are does "Rent a Dread" mean and why are so many women doing this for sexual pleasure?

"Sex, sand and sugar mummies in a Caribbean beach fantasy," Lorna Martin, The Guardian, July 23, 2006 --- http://observer.guardian.co.uk/focus/story/0,,1827032,00.html

It's 10am on Jamaica's breathtaking Negril beach. Bleached white sand, swaying palms and crystalline Caribbean waters stretch into the distance for seven miles. It looks endless and, on a first impression, this could be paradise. But Negril is not as dreamlike as it looks. It is no longer visited primarily for sun, sea and sand. Instead it is the destination of choice for an increasing number of British female sex tourists. An estimated 80,000 single women, from teenagers to grandmothers, flock to the island every year and use the services of around 200 men known as 'rent a dreads', 'rastitutes' or 'the Foreign Service' who make this resort their headquarters.

Female sex tourism is nothing new. It was reported in the late 1840s, when an Englishwoman went to Rome to take a lover. But in recent years it has grown in popularity. These days the women who participate are more likely to be single professionals than bored Shirley Valentine housewives. With females staying single longer and rising divorce rates, these holidays are expected to explode in popularity in the years ahead. Consequently they are the subject of a sudden flurry of books, films and plays examining the motivations of women who travel for sex, love and affection.

Continued in article


Tackling Favoritism for Athletes
Watkins says it is all too common to see athletes grouped in certain departments or programs under the sheltering wings of faculty members who appear to care more about their success on the courts, rinks and fields than in the classroom. Faculty members are often the most vocal critics of favoritism for athletes (the issues at Auburn were raised by one whistle blowing sociology professor against another), he says, but it is frequently professors who are responsible for the favoritism in the first place.
Rob Capriccioso, "Tackling Favoritism for Athletes," Inside Higher Ed, July 20, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/20/sports

Bob Jensen's threads on athletic scandals in academe are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Athletics


The J-School Boom
Indeed, students, fewer of whom are reading newspapers than ever, are not deterred by the industry doom and gloom. A 2004 survey of journalism and mass communication graduates by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication and Research at the University of Georgia reported that enrollment in the nation’s journalism programs grew almost 30 percent between 1999 and 2004. And, after a dismal few years, the survey showed that, in 2004, about 70 percent of journalism undergraduates had a job offer upon graduation, up about 5 percentage points from the previous year.
David Epstein, "The J-School Boom," Inside Higher Ed, July 24, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/24/journalism


"Last Bastion of Liberal Education?" by W. Robert Connor, Inside Higher Ed, July 25, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/07/24/connor

The last bastion mentality discourages breakout strategies. Even talking to colleagues in business or environmental studies can be seen as collaborating with the enemy rather than as a step toward broadening and enriching the education of students majoring in these fields. The last bastion mentality, like the widespread narratives of decline, injects the insidious language of purity into our thinking about student learning, hinting that any move beyond the cordon sanitaire is somehow foul or polluting and likely to result in the corruption of high academic standards.

All right, what if one takes this professed concern for high standards seriously? What standards, exactly, do we really care about and wish to see maintained? If it’s a high level of student engagement and learning, then let’s say so, and be forthright in the claim that liberal education is reaching that standard, or at least can reach that standard if given half a chance. That entails, of course, backing up the claim with some systematic form of assessment.

That provides one way to break out of the last bastion mentality. One reason that liberal education remains so vital is that when properly presented it contributes so much to personal and cognitive growth. The subject matter of the liberal arts and sciences provides some of the best ways of helping students achieve goals such as analytical thinking, clarity of written and oral expression, problem solving, and alertness to moral complexity, unexpected consequences and cultural difference. These goals command wide assent outside academia, not least among employers concerned about the quality of their work forces. They are, moreover, readily attainable through liberal education provided proper attention is paid to “transference.” “High standards” in liberal education require progress toward these cognitive capacities.

Is it not time, then, for those concerned with the vitality of liberal education to abandon the defensive strategies that derive from the last bastion mentality, and adopt a new and much more forthright stance? Liberal education cares about high standards of student engagement and learning, and it cares about them for all students regardless of their social status or the institution in which they are enrolled.

There is, of course, a corollary. Liberal education can’t just make the claim that it is committed to such standards, still less insist that others demonstrate their effectiveness in reaching them, unless those of us in the various fields of the arts and sciences are willing to put ourselves on the line. In today’s climate we have to be prepared to back up the claim that we are meeting those standards. Ways to make such assessments are now at hand, still incomplete and imperfect, but good enough to provide an opportunity for the liberal arts and sciences to show what they can do.

That story, I am convinced, is far more compelling than any narrative of decline.


Rise of Women in the Accounting Profession

July 27, 2006 message from Linda C Pfingst CPA [lcpfingst@EARTHLINK.NET]

Lawrence Summers, the former Harvard University president who created a storm of controversy when he said that women lack the knack for science and mathematics, apparently wasn't paying attention to what's been happening in the accounting profession.

The number of female accountants has increased dramatically in recent years, to the point where they now outnumber men.

An estimated 842,000 women are employed as accountants in the United States, making up about 60 percent of the total, according to the Journal of Accountancy. In 1983, the percentage of women was 39 percent.

read entire at: http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060717/BUSINESS/607170311/1003

Linda Pfingst, CPA


No accounting for the disparity between the academic achievement of African American and white students
In her newest book, No Children Left Behind, Longshore takes issue with assertions made in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equally ; proving the opposite to be true; that no men, women or children are created equally. According to this author, the public school curriculum is not only based upon this pseudo-reality, but has failed historically to take into account the individual learning styles of all the students; accounting for the disparity between the academic achievement of African American and white students .
"No Children Left Behind?" PRWeb, July 24, 2006 --- http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/7/prweb415187.htm


"The Student Loan Network Introduces Graduate PLUS Loan With Fixed Rate for Grad Students," PR Web, July 21, 2006 --- http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/7/prweb414931.htm

With an average sticker price of $40,000 per year, graduate school can be a costly, though important, next step for those seeking greater opportunities for advancement. The new Federal Graduate PLUS Loan from the Student Loan Network can help fill this need.

A Federal Graduate PLUS Loan from the Student Loan Network, available through www.GradLoans.com, offers students many benefits:

-    Fixed interest rates at 8.5% - lower your rate by up to 2% through borrower benefits depending on your school
-    Borrow up to the cost of education - that includes tuition, books, fees, supplies, and a computer
-    No payments while enrolled in school half time or greater
-    No penalties for early repayment
-    Easy online application and knowledgeable Financial Aid Consultants who can even take an application over the phone

Continued in article
 


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

Latest Headlines on July 25, 2006

Latest Headlines on July 26, 2006

Latest Headlines on July 27, 2006

Latest Headlines on July 28, 2006

 


Question
Should there be a doughnut hole in the Medicare D coverage under Medicare's new drug plan?

"Medicare Beneficiaries Confused and Angry Over Gap in Drug Coverage," by Robert Pear, The New York Times, July 29, 2006 --- Click Here

Tens of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries who signed up for prescription drug coverage are paying monthly premiums, but Medicare is not paying any of their drug costs because they have reached a gap in their coverage.

The gap, the notorious “doughnut hole,” is upsetting many beneficiaries, and it has become a potent symbol as politicians debate the merits of the new program.

Federal officials and outside experts say that 3 million to 3.5 million people may fall into the gap this year, about half the number predicted. While lawmakers and lobbyists were well aware of the problem, it is attracting fresh attention because many beneficiaries are just now discovering it.

The original estimates assumed that people would sign up for drug coverage in January, but many waited until April or May. They will file fewer claims than expected and are therefore less likely to reach the gap in coverage this year.

Poor people eligible for Medicare and Medicaid have no gap in the benefit. In addition, many retirees found that employer-sponsored health plans provided better drug benefits than Medicare, so they stayed in those plans, which rarely have a gap in coverage.

Beneficiaries often learn about the doughnut hole when they try to refill prescriptions. They may be asked to pay $75 to $125 or more for a drug they had been receiving for a co-payment of $20 to $30.

Marcella Crown, 80, of Des Plaines, Ill., near Chicago, takes Lipitor for high cholesterol, Diovan for high blood pressure, Synthroid for thyroid disease, Fosamax for osteoporosis, Nexium for heartburn and several other drugs.

Mrs. Crown signed up in November for a drug plan offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. Her coverage began in January, and she reached the coverage gap in April.

Her husband, David F. Crown, a retired mechanical engineer, said: “Blue Cross is saying that even though she will get no benefit, she must still pay the premiums. That’s outrageous. We have never had insurance policies that gave us no benefit yet required us to pay premiums.”

Melvin A. Kinnison, 65, of Huntington Beach, Calif., a retired deputy sheriff with diabetes and prostate cancer, said: “The drug benefit was fine for a while, until the doughnut hole came around. It was a total surprise. Nobody ever explained it to me.”

Mr. Kinnison said he reached the coverage gap in June. The cost for a month’s supply of Cymbalta, which he takes for diabetic nerve pain, jumped to $104, from $20.

Former Senator Dave Durenberger, a Minnesota Republican who runs a national health policy forum, said, “The doughnut hole could have negative repercussions for Republicans in the November midterm elections.”

Democrats hope that is the case. The coverage gap is “a goofy idea,” said Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota.

Administration officials play down such concerns.

Dr. Mark B. McClellan, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said beneficiaries had already saved about $1,500 by the time they reached the coverage gap. Beneficiaries concerned about the gap, Dr. McClellan said, can often reduce their costs by switching to generic drugs and by taking advantage of assistance programs offered by many states and by drug manufacturers. Next year, he said, they can switch to plans that offer some coverage in the gap.

While beneficiaries are generally responsible for all drug costs in the gap, they do have access to discounts negotiated by their plans.

Many beneficiaries, like Mr. and Mrs. Crown, had heard about the coverage gap but did not fully understand how it worked.

Under the standard drug benefit defined by Congress in the 2003 Medicare law, the beneficiary pays a $250 deductible and then 25 percent of drug costs from $251 to $2,250. When total yearly drug costs, paid by the beneficiary and the plan, reach $2,250, the coverage stops, and the beneficiary pays 100 percent of the cost of each prescription, until the person’s out-of-pocket costs reach $3,600. At that point, insurance resumes, and the beneficiary pays about 5 percent of the cost of each drug. The tabulation of costs begins anew each year.

Wen A. Daniels of California Health Advocates, an insurance counseling organization, said she had clients who reached the gap in January or February because they were taking high-cost drugs like Avastin, Gleevec and Iressa for different types of cancer; Pegasys for hepatitis; Betaseron for multiple sclerosis; and Tracleer for a life-threatening lung condition.

UnitedHealth, the largest sponsor of Medicare drug plans, with 4.5 million members, said that 45,000 of them had reached the point where the coverage gap begins.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads confusion over the Medicare D Program are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#Medicare


Veggie Diets Do for Diabetics What Abstinence Does for Prevention of AIDs
Writing in the journal Diabetes Care, researchers say a diet that avoids animal products, such as meat and dairy, is superior to the traditional diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association, WebMD reports. According to the researchers, 43 percent of the diabetics who followed a low-fat vegan diet for 22 weeks reduced their need to take medicine to manage their disease compared to 26 percent who followed the ADA diet. In addition, those following the vegan diet lowered their cholesterol and weight more than diabetics following the traditional diet. "The diet appears remarkably effective, and all the side effects are good ones -- especially weight loss and lower cholesterol," said chief researcher Neal D. Barnard, M.D., adjunct professor of medicine at George Washington University and president of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. "I hope this study will rekindle interest in using diet changes first, rather than prescription drugs," he said.
"Vegan diet best for type 2 diabetics," PhysOrg, July 28, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news73226100.html


Question
What is prosopagnosia and why is it so debilitating for teachers?

Answer
Prosopagnosia is otherwise known as face blindness resulting from brain malfunction. In the July 17, 2006 issue on Page 56 of Time Magazine, a recent article from American Journal of Medical Genetics is summarized. Originally thought to be rare, it is now believed that 1 in every 50 people suffer to some degree of prosopagnosia with difficult or altogether inability to recognize faces. As a result sufferers are less likely to recognize people face-to-face. Most can see faces but fail to recall features of faces seen. Extreme sufferers cannot even see faces.


Scottish Women Learning to Love Their Scotch to Their Own Peril
The number of women dying from causes related to drinking and smoking rose to record levels in Scotland last year . . . "Women need to realize their drinking limits are lower. Their bodies cannot handle it and their livers are more damaged if they drink too much," she said. Men are still more likely than women to die of smoking and alcohol-related disease, but if current trends continue that could change, the newspaper said.
"Booze, smoking killing more women," PhysOrg, July 30, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news73452678.html
Jensen Comment
We might ask what drives more males to die of booze than females, but it would be unseemly to make jokes at this point.


Fargo's Body Chipper Déjà Vu at Western Carolina University

"Western Carolina U. plans 'body farm'," PhysOrg, July 30, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news73453825.html

The 6.5-horsepower wood chipper sitting in the middle of John Williams' forensic anthropology lab run is no macabre joke. Yes, a wood chipper did figure in the bloody climax of the 1996 film "Fargo." And yes, the professor at Western Carolina University has run human bones through this particular Briggs & Stratton model.

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But Williams, of course, isn't trying to dispose of any dead bodies. Rather, he's a student of how the human body decomposes.

He needed the chipper for a study on what the machine does to bone, a study commissioned by attorneys suing a Georgia crematorium owner charged with dumping - and chipping - human remains he had been given for incineration.

Soon, Williams will have a new place to conduct his research - a well-hidden location near Western Carolina's campus where he and students studying the science of the human skeleton and human remains can watch cadavers decompose in the mountainous environment of western North Carolina.

It will be just the second such "body farm" in the country - the first was found in 1980 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

"They'll be involved with the daily observation process. Very early on, you are examining that body daily, because the changes initially go very quickly," Williams said. "They'll learn how to observe as scientists."

How fast a body left in the open breaks down - key to establishing when a person was killed - depends heavily on temperature, moisture and other environmental factors, Williams said. In relatively dry, cold conditions, like those found in these mountains in the winter, it can take months for a body to decompose to skeletal remains.

In the warmer, more humid conditions of summertime, when there are plenty of insects around, that process can speed up greatly, said Williams, a veteran of body recovery operations at the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the 1999 EgyptAir crash off the Massachusetts coast.

School officials are keeping the facility's exact location a secret, to discourage those with a morbid curiosity from dropping by. Roughly the size of a garage with room for six bodies, it will be hidden from view by a 9-foot privacy fence and protected by a second security fence topped with razor wire. Campus plans daily patrols at the site, which is a half-mile from the nearest home.

Rick Schwein, head of the FBI office in Asheville, said his office handles four to six body recoveries each year on federal lands, including the Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians reservation and numerous national forests.

"We do have a fair number of body recoveries," Schwein said, "because of the remote and rural environment and the amount of publicly accessible remote land."

Most recently, he said, a murder victim from Cleveland County, in the central part of the state, was found dumped near the parkway. In a 2001 case, the body of a Wisconsin man was discovered by hunters in a forest about seven miles from the Western Carolina campus. The man's son, a former student at Western Carolina, was eventually convicted of killing his father in the summer of 1998.

"Any education program that can be utilized as a resource by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies has got to be a good thing," Schwein said.

Already, Williams has fielded dozens of calls from law enforcement officials excited about the research site, including a trainer who teaches search dogs for nearby Macon County and has put in a plug for training cadaver-finding bloodhounds at the site.

The planned Western Carolina facility is 120 miles southeast of the only other such research site in the country, at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Professor William M. Bass III founded his "Anthropology Research Facility" in 1980 and saw it become a sensation after it was featured as "the body farm" in a Patricia Cornwell novel.

Bass went on to co-author a 2003 book, "Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab 'The Body Farm,' Where the Dead Do Tell Tales."

Western Carolina Chancellor John Bardo, who hired Williams from the University of North Dakota in 2003, has been supportive of Williams' effort to build a Top 10 forensic anthropology program at the school.

Among the ways Williams hopes to set his facility apart from Tennessee's is by coming up with a moniker other than "body farm," which he finds both inaccurate and too flippant.

"I'd rather have something more dignified," he said.

That's in keeping with Williams' requirement that students working in his lab always refer to remains by the first name of the person from whom they came.

As an example, Williams holds up a leg bone from a man named Walter, a diabetic who had one leg amputated at the knee. The femur is from Walter's other leg, which he broke and doctors had to repair with the metal plate.

"We use their real names to remind people that these are real people," Williams said.

But Williams does have a sense of humor about his profession. The screen saver on the lab's computer scrolls a famous line from the film "The Sixth Sense" - "I see dead people" - while decorations include a bumper sticker that reads "I Sucked Bones at Fat Buddies," a local restaurant.

More than anything, Williams said, the new Western Carolina facility will help students learn whether they literally have the stomach for a field that many choose based on having watched the popular "CSI" television shows.

"'CSI' paints this picture of this sterile, perfect world, where there are no, for example, smells, and even the sights TV flattens out," Williams said. "One of the first thing I want our students to be exposed to is the real thing, so that they don't spend a portion of their life learning this and then go on their first case and ... realize, 'I can't handle this.'"

Continued in article


Questions
Who are the lowly "cashiers" in ID theft rings?
Who are the bad guys at the top of the theft chain?

According to Dillinger, he obtained at least 450 numbers from a Russian hacker he met online, then used them to withdraw thousands of dollars from ATM machines before banks canceled the cards and issued new ones to customers. Dillinger, a drug addict and former prostitute in Southern California, was arrested last month on charges unrelated to the cash-out operation. It's unclear whether he'll be charged for the cashing, although he's spoken openly about his activities with many people . . . Dillinger typifies the thieves who are carving out a living on the bottom rung of the growing international cybercrime industry. Congregating on members-only web forums, where they take assignments from more technically sophisticated criminals, many have only moderate computer skills. They are the mules of electronic fraud, filling a vital role at the intersection of the virtual and the real: converting stolen account information into cold, hard cash. Most are young males in their teens and early 20s who are lured by the prospect of making big bucks in an environment that offers them relative anonymity. Others are longtime bank and identity thieves in the offline world who have become acquainted with the riches that carding sites promise to even unsophisticated scammers like Dillinger. At the top of the pyramid are sophisticated hackers -- many of them East Europeans -- with the technical skills to hack databases and online bank accounts. It's the latter who have helped turn carding into a multibillion-dollar worldwide crime.
Kim Zetter, "Confessions of a Cybermule," Wired News, July 29, 2006 ---
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,71479-0.html?tw=wn_index_1

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


Could drugs that mimic nicotine help boost brain power? Several companies and academic research groups are banking on it, with a handful of compounds showing promising results in preliminary human tests.

Nicotine, even without the carcinogenic effects of smoking, has major downsides: it's addictive and can increase heart rate and blood pressure. But now scientists are trying to develop drugs that target the brain's nicotine receptors to treat an array of cognitive impairments without these side effects. Several candidates are now being tested or about to be tested in clinical trials to treat Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and age-related memory loss.
Emily Singer, "The Upside to Nicotine?" MIT's Technology Review, July 28, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17223&ch=biotech


Question
What are the world's ten most deadly ingested/inhaled poisons/

"The Best: Deadly Poisons, Ingested or Inhaled," by Christopher Null,  Wired Magazine, August 2006 --- http://wired.com/wired/archive/14.08/start.html?pg=4 

1. Botulinum (ingested)
It’s hard to rank the lethality of toxins, but experts agree that botulinum – several orders of magnitude deadlier than sarin – is the gold standard. Your nervous system fails and you die in extreme pain. Works miracles on wrinkles, though.

2. Ricin (ingested or inhaled)
Made from the lowly castor bean, ricin causes respiratory and organ failure, followed by death within hours. Even chewing a few beans can kill you.

3. Anthrax (inhaled)
Cutaneous exposure can kill, but the most deadly, panic-inspiring form of anthrax is inhaled. It starts with flu that doesn’t get better – then your respiratory system collapses.

4. Sarin (inhaled)
Sarin is one of the deadliest nerve gases, hundreds of times more toxic than cyanide. Just one whiff and you’ll foam at the mouth, fall into a coma, and die. Originally synthesized for use as a pesticide, it was outlawed as a warfare agent in 1997.

5. Tetrodotoxin (ingested)
Found in the organs of puffer fish (the famous Japanese delicacy fugu), tetrodotoxin persists even after the fish is cooked. If the toxin is consumed, paralysis and death can strike within six hours. Up to five Japanese die from badly prepared fugu every year.

6. Cyanide (ingested or inhaled)
Cyanide exists in a number of lethal forms that are present in nature or easily manufactured. Exposure leads to seizures, cardiac arrest, and death within minutes.

7. Mercury (inhaled)
Low levels of mercury are not especially toxic to adults. However, inhaled mercury vapor (the metal starts turning to a gas at room temp) attacks the brain and lungs, shutting down the central nervous system.

8. Strychnine (ingested or inhaled)
A common pesticide, strychnine isn’t as toxic as other poisons on our list, but it gets style points for causing one of the most horrific deaths of all: Every muscle in your body spasms violently until you die from exhaustion.

9. Amatoxin (ingested)
Derived from the death cap family of mushrooms, amatoxin destroys your liver and kidneys over several days. You remain conscious – and in excruciating pain – until you slip into a coma and expire.

10. Compound 1080 (ingested or inhaled)
As an animal poison, compound 1080 proved a little too effective: The bodies of creatures killed with 1080 remain poisonous for up to a year. Odorless, tasteless, water soluble, and without antidote, 1080 blocks cellular metabolism, leading to a quick yet painful death.


Successes of Privatization Across 30 Years

"Socialism in Reverse," The Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2006; Page A10 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115412585898220871.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

Both in the U.S. and abroad, there is still much more privatization that could be done. In this digital age, it's inexplicable to have government deliver the mail or burn $1.2 billion a year for Amtrak's passenger-train service. But these are trivial wastes compared with the public monopoly over the vital social service of education. It is no accident that education is one of the only modern services that has experienced a steady erosion of productivity. The advancement of charter schools, vouchers and private scholarship programs has been much too slow for the well-being of our poorest children.

Looking ahead, the Reason editors see much more private investments in roads, water systems and airports. More than a dozen nations have privatized air-traffic operations -- including Britain and Canada -- though not the U.S. The main obstacle in all of these cases is entrenched interests, such as unions and public employees, that intimidate politicians into opposing competition. Building a political strategy to overcome this opposition is one of the main challenges of our time.

All in all, however, the story over the last 30 years is one of remarkable progress. "All great ideas go through three stages. In the first stage they are ridiculed. In the second stage, they are strongly opposed. And in the third stage they are considered to be self-evident," the philosopher Schopenhauer once observed. Privatization may not have reached stage three, but it's getting there.

Continued in article


Five from Jim Mahar on July 26, 2006 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

  1. This would defintely be fodder for my Money and Banking classes if I were teaching that this semester!
     
From the BBC:
 
"Monopoly money will be phased out in a new version of the game in a bid to keep up with the times.

Instead players will use mock Visa debit cards to keep track of how much money they are winning or losing.

An electronic machine is provided, which allows the banker to transfer money from players and record their earnings and payments."

2. A somewhat dated (it is from 2003) piece by Nobel Prize Winner Joseph Stiglitz on Globalization in which he attacks the IMF. This would definitely be required reading were I to be teaching International (finance or economics). (thanks to MBA Depot for pointing it out!)

 

"What is this phenomenon of globalization that has been subject, at the same time, to such vilification and such praise? Fundamentally, it is the closer integration of the countries and peoples of the world which has been brought about by the enormous reduction in costs of transportation and communication, and the breaking down of artificial barriers to the flows of goods, services, capital, knowledge, and people across borders...."

"If, in too many instances, the benefits of globalization have been less than its advocates claim, the price paid has been greater, as political processes have been corrupted, and the rapid pace of change has not allowed countries time for cultural adaptation. These problems are hardly new–but the increasingly vehement worldwide reaction against the policies that drive globalization is a significant change."

"By some reckonings, close to 100 countries have faced crises. Worse, many of the policies that the IMF pushed – such as premature capital market liberalization – have contributed to global instability. And once a country was in crisis, IMF programs not only failed to stabilize the situation, in many cases, they actually made
matters worse."

 
3. CNN on backdating of options:
 
"...let's dispense with the pooh-poohers, those who'd minimize the importance of this issue....At its worst, the practice is called backdating because an executive manages to move the date of a stock option back in time, presumably to when the stock price was lower....by moving back the grant date during a rising market, for example - and the option is worth even more.The scandal, however, involves far more shenanigans, and deeper nuances, than mere backdating....the system of awarding options has gone from an incentive program to an entitlement....So here's a radical proposal: Scrap the whole system."
In a related article, the SEC is investigating how to increase pay transparency.

4. Longer term and traded options to minic emplouee options? From the WSJ:
"Analysts at Wall Street's Bear Stearns Cos. have outlined a proposal for competitive pricing of employee stock options that they claim would be a better gauge of value than the models companies currently use. The idea, laid out in a recent report, calls for companies to sell 10-year options to investors to be traded alongside the stock options they grant employees."
Which would be a great idea if (and this is a giant if) there is a market for them. Looking at LEAPS, that is questionable. But 10 year options would make various investment strategies much easier to implement.

5. The SEC promised to increase regulation of hedge funds after their original regulation plans were turned down by US courts.
 
"The head of the US financial watchdog has vowed to continue pushing for tougher regulation of the multi-billion dollar hedge fund industry...Mr Cox told the Senate Banking Committee that he had not ruled out appealing against the June court ruling....He added that without regulation "the potential for retail investors to be harmed by hedge fund risk" was a serious concern.

Question
What do companies and executives who back dated options fear the most?

The Internal Revenue Service is examining as many as 40 companies ensnared in various stock options investigations to determine whether they owe millions of dollars in unpaid taxes. In the last few weeks, the agency has directed its corporate auditors to start reviewing the tax returns of dozens of executives and companies, which may have improperly reported stock option grants. These preliminary investigations are expected to take months, but if there is early evidence of widespread tax trouble, I.R.S. officials said they were prepared to step up their effort. “Where there are indications of mischief, we want to now look at those cases and see if they complied with tax laws,” said Bruce Ungar, the agency’s deputy commissioner for large and midsize businesses. “It is possible that they are compliant, but the early indication is that there is a good likelihood there is some noncompliance.
Eric Dash, "I.R.S. Reviewing Companies in Options Inquiries," The New York Times, July 28, 2006 --- Click Here
Jensen Comment
The first 40 companies are only a drop in this scandalous bucket. Over 2,000 companies are suspected of this unethical compensation ploy.

Bob Jensen's threads on scandalous executive compensation are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#OutrageousCompensation


Question
What is the true meaning of "joint and severally liable?"

"Rumpelstiltskin, LLP" by Walter Olson, The Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2006; Page A11 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115412707998020896.html?mod=todays_us_opinion

When porcupines were a big nuisance in rural New England half a century ago, Vermont offered 50 cents for a pair of the creatures' ears. Industrious Yankees duly submitted the auricular trophies in great volume -- in 1952 the state paid out $90,000 on the bounty program -- yet the woods still abounded with the prickly rodents. Author Richard Conniff quotes a district forester who explained one of the reasons: "A trapper who knew how to use his knife could get 10 or 12 sets of ears out of a single animal."

Bounty hunting has, if anything, grown more popular in modern American law, despite the unintended consequences; and when the history of this practice is written, junk-fax litigation will have a special place. It all began in 1991, when Congress banned the transmission of unsolicited commercial ("junk") faxes. As legislative ideas go, this was one of the less controversial: Unasked-for faxes rank up there with dinnertime sales calls as a source of annoyance to consumers.

How to enforce such a ban? Lawsuits by an annoyed consumer might seem unlikely, because the damages would ordinarily be too trivial to justify a trip to court. So the law provided for automatic damages of $500 per fax page received, and triple that, or $1,500, for a willful and deliberate offense. This might make sense were the idea to let offended consumers vindicate their rights in a small-claims context (although federal in origin, the law can be enforced in state court).

Since a single damage claim could roll together multiple pages and transmissions, however, the sums get serious fairly quickly. For example, a three-page newsletter faxed monthly for a year might generate damages of $18,000 (36 times $500), or $54,000 if willful.

Enter the plaintiff lawyers.

An early order of business for these litigators was to find state courts willing to entertain class actions for junk faxes; damages from large numbers of passive recipients could then be rolled together with those from one live client and a routine case vaulted into the million-dollar class. In 1995 lawyers filed a class action demanding $7 billion from more than 70 Houston restaurants, car dealerships and other businesses that had advertised in a series of omnibus fax mailings. One local Mexican eatery was potentially liable for $25 million because it advertised in 50,000 faxes.

But wasn't the target the business that sent the fax, and not those that had merely paid to advertise in it? No: The law made all parties, including advertisers, jointly and severally liable. The actual sender of the faxes, often enough an independent marketing promoter or ad agency, had often vanished from the scene (or was without assets) by the time a case reaches a court. So advertisers become the main target -- and if a single fax carried coupons from a couple of dozen local businesses, each can be menaced with the law's scary penalties. A lawyer representing some of the Houston defendants dubbed the process "Powerball for the clever."

Many of the local businesses say they hadn't known about the law, or had believed promoters' assurances that all recipients had opted into tell-me-about-discount-offers arrangements, or that no one had complained. But those aren't valid defenses under the law, and a string of large judgments and settlements began that continues to this day.

A Web site in Arizona advises visitors to "Turn your fax machine into a money machine," and not without reason. The North Charleston, S.C. Ramada Inn agreed to pay $450,000 for promoting a New Year's celebration. A $12 million judgment forced a Georgia restaurant into bankruptcy. A car dealership in St. Clair County, Ill., was told to pay $7 million.

Illinois has emerged as a particular hotbed of junk-fax litigation; one Cook County judge alone has presided over more than 100 cases seeking class-action status, according to Crain's Chicago Business. Last month a plaintiff's lawyer in suburban Chicago who publishes the Internet and Class Action Law Blog told readers that they should stop regarding these unwanted transmissions as a mere throwaway nuisance: "Why not turn all those junk faxes into a college fund for your kids?"

The vast sums up for grabs have stimulated lawyers into what you might call ear-carving. California lawyers are advancing the theory that major telecom carriers have legally abetted the rogue faxers by setting them up with accounts: They too should be held liable under the law, to the tune of $2.2 trillion.

One case against AMF Bowling Centers for improper faxing of coupons was resolved by way of a promise to furnish members with more coupons; a critic pointed out that the sending of unasked-for coupons was "the conduct that got AMF in trouble" in the first place. (Lawyers of course got cash.) Incidentally, unsolicited court-ordered faxes notifying consumers of class actions going on in their name are not covered by the law's prohibitions.

There are wider lessons here about the dangers of bounty-hunting methods in law enforcement, which -- from the classic small-town speed trap to the ever-richer incentives for "whistleblowing" -- can undercut due process and create a constituency for harshly punitive applications of the law. In California, "citizen enforcement" provisions now attach to whole sectors of business regulation, with the result that a mercenary army of attorneys and freelancers roams the state, ginning up complaints over (among much else) the alleged sexism of Mother's Day promotions and businesses' failure to warn of "toxic emissions" from such unlikely substances as candles and billiard chalk.

No doubt you can make a case that getting at the most heinous wrongdoers through bounty-hunting is preferable to never getting at them at all. But note that where crimes are indisputably serious, the rewards for informing are fixed and often modest. The typical reward for helping solve a bank robbery is $5,000. At rewardsforjustice.net, the U.S. government offers bounties for information leading to the capture of leading terrorists: Even notorious masterminds tend to be worth at most $5 million, while turning in Osama bin Laden will win you $25 million.

If Osama had sent 100,000 junk faxes, there'd be a bigger price on his head.

Mr. Olson is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and edits Overlawyered.com.


The Deep Secret About Why Auditors Are Replaced
 Auditors are there to protect investors. When an audit firm resigns an engagement, the investors deserve to know why.
 Floyd Norris, "Deep Secret: Why Auditors Are Replaced," The New York Times, July 28, 2006 ---
 Click Here if You Are a TimesSelect Subscriber

Jensen Comment
Tracey Sutherland [ tracey@aaahq.org ]  informed me that Floyd Norris will be making a presentation in the August AAA meetings in Washington DC for those of you who are interested in this topic. She wonders what he will have to say, I can only guess at this point in time.

I suspect he’ll talk about the ethical problem of client confidentiality where professionals like auditors are pledged to confidentiality regarding client relationships. Of course this confidentiality was weakened over 30 years ago when it was deemed that accountants must disclose confidential information under court orders, disclosures that are not required of lawyers (and I think the clergy but I’m not certain how much protection is still afforded to the clergy).

The reason lawyers are immune from having to disclose client secrets is ostensibly that clients would be afraid to communicate information crucial to their defense. Accountants used to make similar arguments that, without confidentiality protection, clients would hide more from auditors, but the courts eventually rejected such arguments by accountants. Attorneys still are immune for the simple reason that lawyers write the laws due to the high proportion of (often unemployed) lawyers who are also legislators.

The SEC also has some rules regarding information that must be disclosed when clients change auditors, but these rules do not go far enough according to Norris. But I think the rules apply more to clients than to auditors. Perhaps some of you out there can clarify this for me.

One of the most interesting tests of client confidentiality arose in the Boston Strangler Case where the prosecution really did not have a good case against the serial killer named Albert Henry DeSalvo. His famed defense attorney, F. Lee Bailey, purportedly had confidential information about guilt and was faced with the dilemma of brilliantly defending DeSalvo and, thereby, allowing a supposedly deranged serial killer back on the streets to kill again. You can read the following at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._Lee_Bailey#.22Boston_Strangler.22  

While defendant Albert DeSalvo was in jail for the "Green Man" sexual assaults, he had confessed his guilt in the "Boston Strangler" murders to Bailey. Bailey sought to arrange a deal for DeSalvo to avoid the death penalty in the Strangler murders, in exchange for his confession. Bailey used DeSalvo's murder confession to argue an insanity defense in the sexual assault case. However, DeSalvo was found guilty.

Allegedly F. Lee Bailey faced the same dilemma in the O.J. Simpson murder trial where he helped Simpson to go free. Perhaps he viewed Simpson as less of a threat to society if Simpson was allowed to continue to roam the golf courses. Then again Simpson may truly have been innocent. Yeah Right!

I suspect there are countless instances where defense attorneys have acted in the best interest of the public in one way or another when defending a maniac who would be a continued menace to society if allowed to go free. But there are countless other instances where restraints of confidentiality have allowed persons or companies known to be guilty to get off to free or even collect gazillions in damages from truly innocent persons. This is probably the main ethical dilemma of “confidentiality rights and restraints.” It is a great issue for student debates and term papers.


"C. Frederick Mosteller, a Pioneer in Statistics, Dies at 89," by Kenneth Chang, The New York Times, July 29, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/27/us/27mosteller.html

C. Frederick Mosteller, the founding chairman of Harvard’s statistics department and a pioneer in using statistics to analyze an array of topics as disparate as anesthesia, presidential elections and baseball, died on Sunday in Virginia. He was 89.

The cause of death was sepsis, said his son, William.

From Dr. Mosteller’s earliest research, he ventured where few statisticians had gone before. During World War II, he calculated the dispersion pattern of a string of bombs. After the 1948 presidential election, he was a member of a committee that looked into how presidential pre-election polls erroneously forecast Thomas E. Dewey as the winner over Harry S. Truman, finding that pollsters’ data had contained signs that the election would be close and that their analysis of the data had included unproven assumptions.

In the late 1950’s, Dr. Mosteller assisted in analyzing data from a large clinical study looking at the anesthetic halothane, which was suspected of causing fatal liver damage in some patients. The analysis showed no evidence that halothane was more dangerous than other forms of anesthesia.

He worked with Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a professor of government at Harvard and later a senator from New York, on studies looking at the impact of home life on children’s performance in school. They argued that raising families out of poverty would have a greater educational impact than pouring money directly into schools.

Dr. Mosteller also appeared on national television in 1961, teaching a course on statistics on NBC’s early morning program “Continental Classroom.”

In 1962 he stepped into a question of prose. Scholars disagreed on who — James Madison or Alexander Hamilton — was the author of a dozen of the essays in the Federalist Papers, articles published anonymously in 1787 and 1788 that described how the fledgling United States government was to work. Analyzing the frequency of certain words — like “upon,” which Hamilton used frequently and Madison hardly at all — Dr. Mosteller and David L. Wallace of the University of Chicago concluded that Madison wrote all 12.

In the 1970’s, Dr. Mosteller worked on studies that questioned whether the benefits of some surgical procedures were worth their costs. In the 1980’s, he was instrumental in persuading Tennessee to conduct a controlled study on the effect of classroom size. The study showed convincingly that smaller classes significantly helped children from poorer minority families.

In his half-century career at Harvard, Dr. Mosteller served as chairman of four departments.

“He was a remarkably disciplined scholar,” said James Ware, the dean for academic affairs at Harvard School of Public Health, “and he really knew how to share with other people.”

Charles Frederick Mosteller was born in Clarksburg, W.Va., on Dec. 24, 1916. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, the forerunner of Carnegie Mellon University. He received a doctorate in mathematics from Princeton in 1946.

He then joined Harvard as a lecturer in the social relations department. After being promoted to professor in 1951, he became acting chairman of the department in 1953.

At that time, Harvard had nine statistics professors, and they were scattered among different departments. In 1957, the university created a statistics department, and Dr. Mosteller was its first chairman.

“Harvard literally created a department for Fred,” said Richard Light, an education professor at Harvard who was one of Dr. Mosteller’s graduate students.

In the 1970’s, Dr. Mosteller was chairman of the biostatistics department at the Harvard School of Public Health, and in the 1980’s he was chairman of the health policy and management department. After retiring in 1987, he continued to work as an emeritus professor until he moved to Virginia two years ago.

Continued in article



Algebra: In Simplest Terms --- http://www.learner.org/resources/series66.html

Bob Jensen's threads on math helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics These include the following:

Algebra Tutorials
Purplemath --- http://www.purplemath.com/index.htm

Math Tutorials
The Math Forum@ Drexel University --- http://www.mathforum.org/

Mathematics Help Central --- http://www.mathematicshelpcentral.com/ 

Wikipedia has a number of good modules on mathematics --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics

Wikipedia also has some modules on problem solving --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_solving

Help in Problem Solving Courses

July 14, 2006 message from biology professor Robert Blystone [rblyston@trinity.edu]

Below is a reference that may be useful to advisors with incoming first-year students and parents with children who are facing math classes.

St. Louis University has prepared a helpful commentary for students who are taking problem solving courses, such as mathematics courses.

http://euler.slu.edu/Dept/SuccessinMath.html 

The Web site has a lot of common sense information. It is nicely organized and should be helpful to the student who is facing a math class and is feeling a little uncomfortable about it.

The site was just reviewed by the Internet Scout Project folks and that is how it came to my attention.

I plan to read the information with my 15 year old grandson.

 


The Home Sewing Association --- http://www.sewing.org/


Do you know where your spouse's car is parked at the moment and where he/she has been most of the day?

"License Plate Tracking for All," by Luke O'Brien,Wired News, July 25, 2006 --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,71436-0.html?tw=wn_index_3 

Jealous lovers may soon have an alternative to sniffing for perfume to catch a cheating mate: Just follow their license plate.

In recent years, police around the country have started to use powerful infrared cameras to read plates and catch carjackers and ticket scofflaws. But the technology will soon migrate into the private sector, and morph into a tool for tracking individual motorists' movements, says former policeman Andy Bucholz, who's on the board of Virginia-based G2 Tactics, a manufacturer of the technology.

Bucholz, who designed some of the first mobile license plate reading, or LPR, equipment, gave a presentation at the 2006 National Institute of Justice conference here last week laying out a vision of the future in which LPR does everything from helping insurance companies find missing cars to letting retail chains chart customer migrations. It could also let a nosy citizen with enough cash find out if the mayor is having an affair, he says.

Giant data-tracking firms such as ChoicePoint, Accurint and Acxiom already collect detailed personal and financial information on millions of Americans. Once they discover how lucrative it is to know where a person goes between the supermarket, for example, and the strip club, the LPR industry could explode, says Bucholz.

Private detectives would want the information. So would repo men or bail bondsmen. And the government, which often contracts out personal data collection -- in part, so it doesn't have to deal with Freedom of Information Act requests -- might encourage it.

"I know it sounds really Big Brother," Bucholz says. "But it's going to happen. It's going to get cheaper and cheaper until they slap them up on every taxicab and delivery truck and track where people live." And work. And sleep. And move.

Privacy advocates worry that Bucholz, who wants to sell LPR data to consumer data brokers like ChoicePoint, knows what he's talking about.

"We have pretty much a Wild West society when it comes to privacy rights," says Jay Stanley, a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union. "The overall lesson here is that we really need to put in place some broad-based privacy laws. We need to establish basic ground rules for how these new capabilities are constrained."

Current laws don't constrain much. Just as it's legal for the paparazzi to take pictures of celebrities in public, it's legal for anyone to photograph your license plate on the street. Still, there aren't enough LPR units in service yet to follow your car everywhere.

The systems, which cost around $25,000 and are made by G2 Tactics, Civica, AutoVu and Remington Elsag Law Enforcement Systems, among others, have been sold mostly to major police departments around the country.

Police in cities such as Los Angeles use them to hunt down stolen cars and felony vehicles like getaway cars. And parking-enforcement officers use LPR to collect money -- lots of it. In the first 12 hours after New Haven, Connecticut, deployed a G2 Tactics LPR to crack down on parking violations, the city towed or booted 119 cars, resulting in a $40,000 windfall, according to Bucholz.

LPR cameras, which are usually around the size of a can of tomato sauce, can be mounted on police cruisers and powered by cigarette lighters. As the car moves, the camera bounces infrared light off other vehicles' license plates. The camera reads the plates and feeds them to a laptop in real time, where information from an FBI or local database can tell an officer if the car is hot. Some systems can read up to 60 plates per second, and they work at highway speeds and acute angles.

The next step is connecting the technology to databases that will tell cops whether a sexual offender has failed to register in the state or is loitering too close to a school, or whether a driver has an outstanding warrant. It could also snag you if you're uninsured, if your license expired last week or even if your library books are overdue.

The subway has never looked more appealing.

 


Helpers for Small Businesses

July 24, 2006 message from Wendell Gingerich [wgingerich@gobignetwork.com]

I just wound up on your site and noticed you had some links to other resources for entrepreneurs.

I was wondering if you could include my site in there.

Go BIG Network http://www.goBIGnetwork.com 

We're the largest on-line network of small businesses, startup companies and investors. I figured it might be a nice fit.

Let me know if that works - I'd appreciate it!

Thanks,
Wendell Gingerich
Go Big Network

Bob Jensen's helpers for small businesses are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#SmallBusiness


July 25, 2006 query from Carol Flowers [cflowers@OCC.CCCD.EDU]

I am looking for a study that I saw. I was unsure if someone in this group had supplied the link, originally. It was a very honest and extremely comprehensive evaluation of higher education. In it, the

Higher Education Evaluation and Research Group was constantly quoted. But, what organizations it is affiliated with, I am unsure.

They commented on the lack of student academic preparedness in our educational system today along with other challenging areas that need to be addressed inorder to serve the population with which we now deal.

If anyone remembers such a report, please forward to me the url.

Thank You!

July 25, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Carol,

I think the HEERG is affiliated with the Chancellor's Office of the California Community Colleges. It is primarily focused upon accountability  and assessment of these colleges.

HEERG --- http://snipurl.com/HEERG

Articles related to your query include the following:

Leopards in the Temple --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/06/12/caesar  

Accountability, Improvement and Money --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/05/03/lombardi

Grade Inflation and Abdication --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/06/03/lombardi

Students Read Less. Should We Care? --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/08/23/lombardi

Missing the Mark: Graduation Rates and University Performance --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/02/14/lombardi2

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

Especially note the module at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#AdmissionTesting


I can vouch for U.S.P.S. Priority Mail delivery delays in the White Mountains
But competitors often have similar delay troubles
“According to the deputy postmaster general, some Priority Mail delivery standards call for on-time delivery of Priority Mail in two days, but it is often physically impossible for U.S.P.S. to meet these standards when that requires moving the mail across the country,” the report said.
"Postal Service Is Criticized," The New York Times, July 28, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/28/washington/28brfs-006.html


And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

Robert Frost, Mending Wall --- http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/frost-mending.html

By the time Cindy Sheehan gets all the sewage and building permits for her one acre, Bush will be out of office
"Cindy Sheehan buys land near Bush’s ranch Antiwar mom used insurance money to buy Crawford, Texas plot," MSNBC, July 27, 2006 --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14062166/


Vanity Press Goes High Tech

"Technology Rewrites the Book," Issues in Scholarly Communications Blog at the University of Illinois, July 20, 2006 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

Technology Rewrites the Book

From today's New York Times comes an interesting look at the emerging print-on-demand book business:

The print-on-demand business is gradually moving toward the center of the marketplace. What began as a way for publishers to reduce their inventory and stop wasting paper is becoming a tool for anyone who needs a bound document. Short-run presses can turn out books economically in small quantities or singly, and new software simplifies the process of designing a book.

As the technology becomes simpler, the market is expanding beyond the earliest adopters, the aspiring authors. The first companies like AuthorHouse, Xlibris, iUniverse and others pushed themselves as new models of publishing, with an eye on shaking up the dusty book business. They aimed at authors looking for someone to edit a manuscript, lay out the book and bring it to market.

The newer ventures also produce bound books, but they do not offer the same hand-holding or the same drive for the best-seller list. Blurb’s product will appeal to people searching for a publisher, but its business is aimed at anyone who needs a professional-looking book, from architects with plans to present to clients, to travelers looking to immortalize a trip.

More at New York Times 7/20/06


High Accounting Fiction Resulting From the World's Worst Audit

The Wall Street Journal Flashback, July 24, 1998
WorldCom Inc., on the verge of closing its long-awaited merger with MCI Communications Corp., posted a more than fivefold increase in second-quarter profit on soaring revenue. The companies last week won Justice Department clearance for their $37 billion merger.

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


From the Scout Report on July 28, 2006

Loki 1.0.2.16 http://loki.com/ 

Have you ever found yourself in Wichita searching for the best Thai restaurant? Stranded in New York looking for the closest kosher deli? Users of this application will need to look no further for such assistance. Essentially, Loki turns Wi-Fi enabled laptops into a GPS device, and integrates their location into Internet searches. Visitors can also use the “Find Me” feature, if they are in fact not completely sure where they are. If they so desire, visitors can also share their locations with others, along with directions on how to reach them. This version of Loki is compatible with all computers running Windows XP and Internet Explorer.


OmniWeb 5.1.3 http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omniweb/ 

New browsers are about as common as celebrity weddings (or divorces, come to think of it), but there are a few that are worth some serious attention. One such browser is the latest incarnation of OmniWeb. With Omniweb, users can utilize their novel approach to tabbed browsing, auto-save browsing sessions, and even zoom in on text passages. Which computers can use this fine application you may ask? All computers running Mac OS X 10.2 will be in good standing with this particular version.

 


Too Much Pride:  Men Not Working, and Not Wanting Just Any Job
Millions of men are turning down jobs they think beneath them or cannot find work for which they are qualified.
"Men Not Working, and Not Wanting Just Any Job," by Louis Uchitelle and David Leonhardt, The New York Times, July 31, 2006 --- Click Here


"High Infidelity:  My favorite novels about cheating lovers," by Louis Begley, The Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2006 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/weekend/fivebest/?id=110008693

1. "Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert (1857).

Set in rural Normandy in the 1830s and 1840s, "Madame Bovary" tells the story of a peasant's daughter, Emma, who has had her head filled with romantic notions at the convent school to which she was sent at the age of 13. She marries Charles Bovary, the local doctor, and quickly discovers that this well-meaning man is incompetent, timid and a dullard. His personal habits revolt her; the life she leads is squalid. She seeks escape in two tawdry love affairs, but her passion wearies and frightens her lovers, who abandon her. Humiliated, ruined by the usurer from whom she borrowed for expensive gifts and wardrobe, she dies a suicide.

2. "Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy (1878).

Anna is married to an irreproachable high government official, Karenin, who is also obstinate, habitually ironic and unable to express emotion. She finds his appearance repellent. Then Anna meets Vronsky, a dashing cavalry officer, and the attraction is immediate. Soon she is pregnant. Karenin offers her a divorce, but a mixture of pride and scruples causes Anna to reject it. Instead she lives "in sin" with Vronsky. Good society ostracizes Anna, forcing her and Vronsky to rely on their own resources. He is bored by this mode of existence. Increasingly jealous and unreasonable, fearing that she has lost Vronsky's love, Anna throws herself under a train.

3. "The Golden Bowl" by Henry James (Scribner's, 1904).

This is, to my taste, the greatest of James's late novels. Adam Verver, a colossally rich American, finds for his beloved daughter Maggie the best available husband in the person of an attractive Italian nobleman, whom the reader will know only as the Prince. The wedding takes place in London, where Verver resides. Charlotte Stant, a splendid and impecunious American girl who was at Maggie's school, is an unexpected guest. She has been the Prince's mistress, and the liaison will continue not only after the Prince and Maggie's marriage but also after Charlotte's own marriage to Maggie's father. The Prince is a man who could make two women happy, but Charlotte is willfully indiscreet. She humiliates Maggie. The revenge Maggie takes is exquisite. It may preserve both marriages.

4. "The Good Soldier" by Ford Madox Ford (The Bodley Head, 1915).

The narrator of "The Good Soldier" is Dowell, a rich and obtuse American who is married to Florence. Theirs is a sexless marriage, in part because of her feigned heart condition. At a German spa, they meet an elegant English couple, Edward and Leonora. He is a retired army officer. The two couples immediately recognize each other as "good people"; they become inseparable and seemingly are happiest when together. Years later, Dowell learns the truth: Edward is a sexual predator, regarding women he is drawn to as a foreign territory he must conquer. Florence has been his mistress; the narrator could have become Leonora's lover; death and madness have been the accompaniment of these good people's idyll. The supreme irony of this ironic and exquisitely told tale is historical: In the interval between its composition, which began in 1913, and its publication two years later, the society that Ford Madox Ford so beautifully rendered perished on the early battlefields of World War I.

5. "Appointment in Samarra" by John O'Hara (Harcourt, Brace, 1934).

A perfect short novel, "Appointment in Samarra" is set during Prohibition in fictitious Gibbsville in the anthracite mining region of Pennsylvania. There is nothing the reader might want to know about Gibbsville society that O'Hara does not communicate. Julian and Caroline English are a smart, attractive couple, but he starts drinking heavily on Christmas Eve and is very drunk the next night when, at a roadhouse and in full view of Caroline, he persuades the local mob boss's girlfriend to follow him outside to his car. After half an hour the woman returns; Julian has passed out in the car. That was plenty of time for backseat sex, but, this being the most American of stories, the encounter probably hasn't gone beyond clumsy heavy petting. It hardly matters. Twenty-four hours later Julian is dead in his Cadillac, the motor running, and the garage door and windows closed.

Mr. Begley's novels include "Wartime Lies" (1991) and "Shipwreck" (2003). His latest, "Matters of Honor," will be published by Knopf in January.

 




Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Daddy's Poem --- Click Here for Snopes Version

 Her hair was up in a pony tail,
 her favorite dress tied with a bow.
 Today was Daddy's Day at school,
 and she couldn't wait to go.
 
 But her mommy tried to tell her,
 that she probably should stay home.
 Why the kids might not understand,
 if she went to school alone.
 
 But she was not afraid;
 she knew just what to say.
 What to tell her classmates
 of why he wasn't there today.
 
 But still her mother worried,
 for her to face this day alone.
 And that was why once again,
 she tried to keep her daughter home.
 
 But the little girl went to school
 eager to tell them all.
 About a dad she never sees
 a dad who never calls.
 
 There were daddies along the wall in back
 for everyone to meet.
 Children squirming impatiently,
 anxious in their seats
 
 One by one the teacher called
 a student from the class.
 To introduce their daddy,
 as seconds slowly passed.
 
 At last the teacher called her name,
 every child turned to stare.
 Each of them was searching,
 a man who wasn't there.
 
 "Where's her daddy at?"
 She heard a boy call out.
 "She probably doesn't have one,"
 another student dared to shout.
 
 And from somewhere near the back,
 she heard a daddy say,
 "Looks like another deadbeat dad,
 too busy to waste his day."
 
 The words did not offend her,
 as she smiled up at her Mom.
 And looked back at her teacher,
 who told her to go on.
 

And with hands behind her back,
slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
came words incredibly unique.
 
"My Daddy couldn't be here,
because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
since this is such a special day.
 
And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
 All about my daddy,
 and how much he loves me so.
 
He loved to tell me stories
he taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
and taught me to fly a kite.
 
We used to share fudge sundaes,
and ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him.
I'm not standing here alone.
 
"Cause my daddy's always with me,
even though we are apart
I know because he told me,
he'll forever be in my heart"
 

With that, her little hand reached up,
and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
beneath her favorite dress.
 
 And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads,
 her mother stood in tears.
 Proudl y watching her daughter,
 who was wise beyond her years.
 
 For she stood up for the love
 of a man not in her life.
 Doing what was best for her,
 doing what was right.
 
 And when she dropped her hand back down,
 staring straight into the crowd.
 She finished with a voice so soft,
 but its message clear and loud.
 
 "I love my daddy very much,
 he's my shining star.
 And if he could, he'd be here,
 but heaven's just too far.
 
 You see he is a Marine
 and died just this past year
 When a roadside bomb hit his convoy
 and taught Americans to fear.
 

But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it's like he never went away."
And then she closed her eyes,
and saw him there that day.
 
And to her mothers amazement,
she witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
all starting to close their eyes.
 
Who knows what they saw before them,
who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
they saw him at her side.
 
"I know you're with me Daddy,"
to the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
of those once filled with doubt.
 
Not one in that room could explain it,
for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.
 
And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,
by the love of her shining star.
And given the gift of believing,
that heaven is never too far
.


Typographical Errors Forwarded by Paula
Also see http://www.snopes.com/humor/nonsense/typos01.htm

From the Churchdown Parish Magazine:

"Would the Congregation please note that the bowl at the back of the Church, labelled 'For The Sick,' is for monetary donations only."

 


From The Guardian concerning a sign seen in a Police canteen in Christchurch, New Zealand:
'Will the person who took a slice of cake from the Commissioner's Office return it immediately. It is needed as evidence in a poisoning case."

 


From The Times:

A young girl, who was blown out to sea on a set of inflatable teeth, was rescued by a man on an inflatable lobster. A coast-guard spokesman commented: 'This sort of thing is all too common these days.'

 


From The Gloucester Citizen:

A sex line caller complained to Trading Standards. After dialling an 0891 number from an advertisement entitled 'Hear Me Moan' the caller was played a tape of a woman nagging her husband for failing to do jobs around the house. Consumer Watchdogs in Dorset refused to look into the complaint, saying, 'He got what he deserved.'

 


From The Barnsley Chronicle:

Police arrived quickly, to find Mr Melchett hanging by his fingertips from the back wall. He had run out of the house when the owner, Paul Finch, returned home unexpectedly, and, spotting an intruder in the garden, had visiting Mrs Finch and, hearing the front door open, had climbed out of the rear window. But the back wall was 8 feet high and Mr Melchett had been unable to get his leg over.

 


From The Scottish Big Issue:

In Sydney, 120 men named Henry attacked each other during a 'My Name is Henry' convention. Henry Pantie of Canberra accused Henry Pap of Sydney of not being a Henry at all, but in fact an Angus. 'It was a lie', explained Mr Pap, 'I'm a Henry and always will be,' whereupon Henry Pap attacked Henry Pantie, whilst two other Henrys - Jones and Dyer - attempted to pull them apart. Several more Henrys - Smith, Calderwood and Andrews - became involved and soon the entire convention descended into a giant fist fight. The brawl was eventually broken up by riot police, led by a man named Shane.

 


From The Daily Telegraph:

In a piece headed "Brussels Pays 200,000 Pounds to Save Prostitutes": "[T]he money will not be going directly into the prostitutes' pocket, but will be used to encourage them to lead a better life. We will be training them for new positions in hotels."

 


From The Derby Abbey Community News:

We apologise for the error in the last edition, in which we stated that 'Mr Fred Nicolme is a defective in the police force.' This was a typographical error. We meant of course that Mr Nicolme is a detective in the police farce.

 


From The Guardian:

After being charged 20 pounds for a 10 pounds overdraft, 30 year old Michael Howard of Leeds changed his name by deed poll to 'Yorkshire Bank Plc are Fascist Bastards.' The Bank has now asked him to close his account, and Mr Bastards has asked them to repay the 69p balance by cheque, made out in his new name.

 


From The Manchester Evening News:

Police called to arrest a naked man on the platform at Piccadilly Station released their suspect after he produced a valid rail ticket.

 


An Austrian circus dwarf died recently when he bounced sideways from a trampoline and was swallowed by a hippopotamus. Seven thousand people watched as little Franz Dasch popped into the mouth of Hilda the Hippo and the animal's gag reflex forced it to swallow. The crowd applauded wildly before other circus people realized what had happened.

 


An elderly woman at a unit for sufferers of senile dementia passed round a box of mothballs thinking that they were mints. Eleven people were taken to hospital for treatment.

 


An Indian man who eight months ago decided to spend his life in a tree has died. He fell out of it.

 


Following drinking binge in Christchurch, New Zealand, Koto Salaki passed out - so his buddies stripped him and shaved off his eyebrows as a joke. Getting no reaction, they proceeded to cut off his ear and glue it onto his forehead. Doctors managed to sew it back on.

 


After a heavy drinking session in Weymouth in August 1990, 51 year old Philip Pyne fancied a kip on a bench. To stop himself rolling off, he put 12 nails through his trousers and in the process, drove several of them through his leg. Fortunately he was discovered by police.

 


When 65-year-old Les Edwards shoveled some coal on to his living-room fire in January 1985, a sudden explosion rendered him deaf and blind. The mystery blast was traced to the accidental inclusion of a detonator in the coal mix. The National Coal Board admitted negligence.

 


An operation at Nottingham hospital in January 1989 ended prematurely when the patient exploded. The casualty, an 82-year-old woman, was undergoing electrosurgery for cancer. The blast was attributed to an unusual build-up of stomach gases ignited by the sparks.

 


A 20-year-old man was given a concrete enema by his mischievous lover. Surgeons had to meticulously remove the cast which, of course, formed the shape of a rectum, perfect in every respect except for the imprint of a ping-pong ball which was apparently used to retain the enema.

 


The Cinnamon family from Washington were surprised when several ball-sized chunks of green ice crashed through their roof and landed on the floor beside them. The ice soon melted, giving off a revolting odour. The Cinnamons were not happy to later discover that the ice was frozen human waste from the leaky sewage system of a passenger jet.

 


Phreakers, or 'phone hackers,' managed to break into the telephone system of 'Weight Watchers' in Glasgow, and changed the outgoing message to 'Hello, you fat bastard.'

 


The defence in an Irish murder trial hung on whether the accused, Thomas McGann, could draw a gun from his pocket without shooting himself. Demonstrating in court, his lawyer shot his own foot, and died 12 hours later. McGann, however, was acquitted.

Police in France are looking for a man who has been robbing banks dressed as a giant aubergine. During an armed robbery in Marseilles, he was asked by the manager 'Are you serious?', to which he replied 'No, I am an aubergine,' and fired a shot. The man escaped with the cash leaving a real aubergine on the counter.

 


In April 1993, suspected drug dealer Alfred Acree tried to evade capture in Charles County, Virginia, by running into a wood. The police had no trouble following him because he was wearing a pair of 'Light Gear' trainers, with battery powered lights that flash when the heel is pressed.

 


During a 'smash and grab' on a Zurich jeweller in October 1980, a thief had his finger cut off by broken glass as he grabbed a tray of rings. The police identified the finger from their fingerprint records and arrested the thief within a few hours.

 


In Ireland, a man staggered into the emergency room of Belfast Hospital with a wind-up turtle attached to his testicles, explaining that his young son had dropped the toy into his bath. "A mechanical joint connected to his tender bits and jammed solid," a nurse said.

When a crook decided to steal the central heating system from an empty house in Fulham, he removed a pipe connected to the gas supply, then lit a match so that he could see. Although the house exploded, he continued with the job and even returned the next day, only to be arrested.

A totally wrecked cream-coloured Ford Orion was found at the bottom of a 100 foot cliff face near Scarborough in North Yorkshire early on the morning of 22nd June. It was thought to have left the road at a sharp bend between Osgodby and Cayton. There was no sign of the driver, but a pile of human excrement was found in the driver's seat.

 

 




More Tidbits from the Chronicle of Higher Education --- http://www.aldaily.com/

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

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
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International Accounting News (including the U.S.)

AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/
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Deloitte's International Accounting News --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
Association of International Accountants --- http://www.aia.org.uk/ 
WebCPA --- http://www.webcpa.com/
FASB --- http://www.fasb.org/
IASB --- http://www.fasb.org/
Others --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm

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

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

I highly recommend TheFinanceProfessor (an absolutely fabulous and totally free newsletter from a very smart finance professor, Jim Mahar from St. Bonaventure University) --- http://www.financeprofessor.com/ 
Jim's great blog is at http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone:  603-823-8482 
Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu