This has been a lousy snow year up here. There are about six inches of snow
in the above picture.
I'd like it better if there was six feet of snow. We still have our wild turkey
friends begging for food.
This is a sorry excuse for an edition of Tidbits. I've been in
Erika's hospital in Boston most of January. Since she will also be there most of
February, I'm suspending further editions of both Tidbits and New Bookmarks
until life gets back to normal.
Updates on Erika's 2007 Surgeries ---
With Pictures ---
Tidbits on January 30, 2007
earlier editions of Tidbits go to
earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to
Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter ---
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
Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures
Bob Jensen's Threads ---
Bob Jensen's Home Page is at
Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics ---
(Also scroll down to the table at
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 ---
"YouTube airs medical help videos," PhysOrg,
January 3, 2007 ---
The Circus in America: 1793-1940 ---
Digging Your Own Grave Videos ---
A great helper site for HDTV shoppers
Free music downloads ---
Guitar Never Seemed So Hard ---
Trio Plays Music for a Nordic Winter Wonderland
The British Invasion Meets the Everlys' Elegance
(Remember the Everly Brothers?) ---
'Performance Today' at 20: A Look Back
Urban Legend of the University of Iowa Farm
Machine Music ---
Happy Birthday Elvis! January 8, 1935 ---
100 Golden Oldies on the Juke Box ---
Be patient with the "Unknown Zone" message. The songs load relatively slow.
The juke box will pass automatically from song to song in a given year.
Hits From the 1960s (original recordings) ---
Photographs and Art
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 ---
Historical and Philosophical Audio Books ---
Medievalists' online resources ---
Funny Air Traffic Controller Quotations ---
The Oops List ---
My Favorite Murder by Ambrose Bierce (1842 1914) ---
A Tangled Tale by Lewis Carroll
Verses by Rudyard Kipling
you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
you can dream - and not make dreams your master,
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
- Rudyard Kipling
Proposal for correcting, improving and
ascertaining the English Tongue by Jonathan
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by
Mark Twain (1835-1910) ---
eNotes.com features high-quality study guides, lesson plans,
and other reference material in various academic areas ---
Quotations About Banned and Challenged Books ---
You know you're getting old when all the names in
your black book have M. D. after them.
Harrison Ford ---
The only way to have a friend is to be one.
Ralph Waldo Emerson ---
Money talks...but all mine ever says is good-bye.
The only place success comes before work is in the
Vince Lombardi ---
It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Much You Want
David Maister, AccountingWeb,
January 2, 2007 ---
A cynic is a man who, when he smells
flowers, looks around for a coffin.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) ---
The secret of greatness is simple: do better work
than any other man in your field - and keep on doing it.
Wilfred A. Peterson ---
The reasons for Xerox PARC's
inability to take advantages of its own inventions are debated in business
schools to this day. Jacob Golman, Xerox's chief scientist at the time who
founded PARC, blames short-sighted managers unwilling to take chances on
small-scale, unproven technologies. "They managed the company quarter to quarter
and looked at the bottom line," Mr. Goldman says. "They weren't thinking about
the future really."
Stephen Miller, "Former XERX CEO Funded Fabled PARC But Failed to Harvest
Innovations," The Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2006, Page A6.
In a recent study, fuel cell expert Ulf Bossel
explains that a hydrogen economy is a wasteful economy. The large amount of
energy required to isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas,
biomass), package the light gas by compression or liquefaction, transfer the
energy carrier to the user, plus the energy lost when it is converted to useful
electricity with fuel cells, leaves around 25% for practical use — an
unacceptable value to run an economy in a sustainable future. Only niche
applications like submarines and spacecraft might use hydrogen.
"Why a hydrogen economy doesn't make sense," PhysOrg, December
11, 2006 ---
This country is not worth dying for.
Cindy Sheehan ---
58% of the American public are with us.
We're preaching to the choir, but the choir's not singing, if all of the 58%
started singing, this war would end.
Cindy Sheehan ---
If you can believe Cindy, her facts suggest that she would be a cinch to defeat
Hillary, Obama, and McCain. But she's known for her off-the-cuff and unsupported
statistics. that badly undermine her integrity.
Mr. O'Rourke says he is adjusting well to middle
age, or, he prefers, "very late youth": "I can't complain. Well, I can complain.
It's a f -- ing nightmare." "I'm still getting out enough, as much as I like,"
he permits. "I spent about a month in China recently. I was over in Kyrgyzstan.
But I can't do it like I used to. It's a matter of age-appropriate. Again, a lot
of the fun of seeing the Third World is first impressions. I covered my first
war in Lebanon about 22 years ago. Everybody just gets exasperated. Twenty years
ago we were all very interested in what was making these people fight each
other, and who was right and who was wrong, and after a while you say: Sit down
and shut up. Go to hell."
Joseph Rago, "P.J. O'Rourke Jokers
to the Right," The Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2007, Page A7
Mr. O'Rourke divides his time between D.C., where I
join him for lunch, and a country place in New Hampshire. His views are firmly
of the live-free-or-die variety, though he is unsparing in his commentary on the
last election, in which all but one of the New England Republicans were
dispatched in favor of "some left-wing gals and other complete nonentities." "I
think it was all about the war, and about George Bush," he says. "They just hate
Bush in New England, even in New Hampshire, and I don't know why it is that they
seem to loathe him more than everybody else. Is it because he's a traitor to the
New England tradition of transcendento-liberalism? . . . Bush went to Groton,
and then he goes to Yale, then Harvard, and at the very worst he should have
emerged boring like his old man. Instead he comes out this Southern,
borderline-evangelical, hard-right conservative." Hold one beat. "Except as a
hard-right conservative myself," he continues, "Bush has been a pretty miserable
failure on that front. It's called failure. Bush and the Republicans are
offering a Newer Deal, a Greater Society. Where the hell did this come from? And
there's no other word for it but failure: failure to control spending, failure
domestically and failure in Iraq."
Joseph Rago, "P.J. O'Rourke Jokers
to the Right," The Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2007, Page A7
The United States seems destined by
Providence to plague America with misery in the name of democracy.
Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) ---
Custom Google Searches ---
Link forwarded by
Build and customize
your own search engine
- Specify the sites you want to
include in searches.
- Place a search box and search
results on your website.
- Customize the look and feel to match
- Invite your community to contribute
to the search engine.
- Make money from relevant ads in your
- Learn more:
Bob Jensen's search helpers are at
An Email and Internet Picture Printing Machine for Luddites Who Don't Have
"Emailing to a Computer-Free Zone:
Service Uses Its Own Printer For Offline Data Delivery;
No Way to Write Back,"
by Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal,
December 20, 2006; Page D4 ---
Hewlett-Packard printer called the Printing
Mailbox. After setup, the user is assigned a Presto.com email address to
which friends and family send text emails or photos. But the owner of this
gadget doesn't need a computer, and never has to go online to retrieve
emails. The Printing Mailbox automatically and periodically dials into the
Internet using a regular phone line, retrieves all messages sent to it --
including photos -- and prints them out.
Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Printing Mailbox costs $150.
The accompanying Presto service (www.presto.com) from Presto Services Inc.
costs about $10 monthly or $100 annually. The printer doesn't work without
Presto, making it useless if you stop the service
The Presto plan includes optional free
subscriptions to various articles and puzzles, which print out in addition
to any emails that you receive. You set up and manage the account via a Web
site accessed from a computer, a task intended to be performed on the
owner's behalf by a friend or relative.
Overall, we liked Presto and the H-P Printing
Mailbox. It has some room for improvement, but it does an excellent job of
emphasizing simplicity, and providing a way for the computer-phobic to feel
part of the online community.
But the system has one major drawback: It's a
one-way street. The owner of the device can receive emails but can't email
back. The printer has no keyboard, and can't scan in typed or written notes
that might be converted into emails and sent to others.
The idea of bringing email to those without
computers has been tried before. For years, EarthLink sold a simple two-way
device called the MailStation. This small tabletop gadget included a
bare-bones screen and keyboard and also used a dial-up connection to
automatically receive and send email. But EarthLink stopped making the
To get started with Presto, we took 10 minutes
setting up the Presto account, doing so as if the Printing Mailbox were
going to be used by someone else. This process designated us as the account
managers and asked us to choose a username and password that let us log in
to the account from any computer. Another step suggests setting up dial-in
and printing schedules; we chose 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Print size can be
preselected as medium, large or larger -- a feature that helps older users
with poor eyesight.
We entered our credit-card information and created
an email address. This address will receive messages only from those whose
names and emails are added to a list so as to prevent spam or unwanted
Finally, we scanned a list of optional
subscriptions before choosing a few, including a weekly health column; a
daily Sudoku puzzle; and a Dave Barry humor column that comes out each
Sunday. Other optional categories included food and recipes, arts and
entertainment and travel.
We unpacked our printer, plugged in its power and
phone cords, inserted its included ink cartridge and loaded 50 sheets (the
maximum amount) of paper. We never had to turn it on or off; the printer
automatically dialed into Presto the first time its phone cord was
connected. Unlike a fax machine that audibly dials, the Printing Mailbox
works silently until it churns out a message, pleasantly chiming to indicate
Even though we receive many emails on a daily
basis, the sound of the Presto chimes had us up and dashing to the printer
to see which friend or family member had sent us something and what it was.
The Printing Mailbox prints embedded or attached photos but not attached
Microsoft Word documents -- a feature Presto may add in the future. The
photos looked good, even on basic white paper. Users could insert photo
paper for printing, as long as it was the same 8½" by 11" size.
By default, an attractive pale green border printed
around each personal email, with the subject line prominently centered at
the top of the page. The Presto account manager can set the style for all
printouts, such as Birthday or Wedding. Or anyone sending email to a Presto
user can go to Presto.com to select an email style. Each style has a
designated code that, when used in the subject line, produces the printed
template for the receiver. We tried this by labeling a subject line as "Hi
Walt [Presto YellowWave]" and the printout had a pale yellow design on its
top and right edges.
The printer itself is handsome with a shiny white
patina and the cartridge and loaded paper hidden from view. It has just
three buttons: stop, volume up and volume down; the notification chimes can
be adjusted to one of six noise levels. Holding stop while pressing the
volume up button twice forces the printer to dial in and check for mail, a
handy feature if you can't wait to receive something.
The printer and its ink cartridges can be ordered
through the Presto.com site. They cost $25 for a cartridge that will print
about 330 pages and $35 for a 580-page cartridge. The printer's ink level
can be monitored from the Web site, letting the account manager order more
ink when necessary.
The Presto service and its accompanying H-P
Printing Mailbox offer a simple and relatively affordable way for friends
and family to feel included in the otherwise intimidating environment of
email. We wish Presto offered a way for recipients to respond, but this
service might be just enough for its target audience.
Tutorials and Web Resources for College Mathematics Courses ---
University Channel (video and audio) ---
Bob Jensen's links to online mathematics and statistics tutorials and helpers
A different way to think about assessment
January 26, 2007 message from Carnegie President
A different way to think about ... assessment In
the most recent issue of
I join several other authors to examine higher education's ongoing
responsibility to tell the story of student learning with care and
precision. Fulfilling this responsibility at the institutional level
requires ongoing deliberations among colleagues and stakeholders about the
specific learning goals we seek and the broad educational purposes we
espouse. What will motivate such discussions?
In this month's Carnegie Perspectives,
Lloyd Bond makes a strong case for the use of
common examinations as a powerful form of assessment as well as a fruitful
context for faculty deliberations about their goals for students. Using an
institutional example from the
Carnegie/Hewlett project on strengthening teaching
and learning at community colleges, Lloyd describes a particular example of
this principle and how it supports faculty communication and student
Carnegie has created a forum—Carnegie
Conversations—where you can engage publicly with Lloyd and read and respond
to what others have to say about this article at
Or you may respond to the author privately through
We look forward to hearing from you.
Lee S. Shulman
President The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at
International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning ---
From the Financial Rounds blog on January 1, 2007 ---
Using Game Theory On
At bedtime, the Unknown Kids get a story read
to them and it seems like they always want different stories/ And
I'm only going to read one. We've tried a number of methods for
choosing which story to read. Invariably, one child ends up happy
and the other doesn't.
So this time, I thought I'd try a little game theory (hey, I studied
a lot of this stuff in grad school, and I should get some use out of
it). So, here's what we did tonight:
I explained that we'd go three
"rounds", and if they couldn't agree on a book, no one would get
First, we flip a coin to determine
who'd go first. Unknown Daughter (age 6) won.
For the first round, Unknown daughter
chose a book. Then Unknown Son (age 8) got to either accept the
book or reject it. If he rejected it, he then got to choose one
of his own. At this point, Unknown Daughter would get to accept
or reject his choice. If she rejected, round one would be over.
At this point, the choice went back to
Unknown Daughter for round two, and she got to choose. And then
Unknown Son, and so on.
The key is that if three rounds went
by and a book hadn't been agreed upon, no one got a story.
My goal was to see if they'd realize that if
they choose a book that the other party had no interest in, they
could end screwing themselves and getting NO story.
Here's how it played out: In round one, Unknown Daughter choose an
American Girl book that Unknown Son had no interest in. Then, for
his turn he choose a Sponge Bob book that she had no interest in.
At this point, she said "that's no fair - all you're going to do is
choose Sponge Bob books, and I don't like them." Then I took her
aside and told her that she could reject his choice if she didn't
want it (that's exactly what she did).
At this point, I explained once again that if they both kept saying
no, after three rounds, there would be NO story. So, if they used
their turns to only chose stories that THEY wanted and that their
sibling didn't, their sibling could easily decide that NO story was
just as good as a story that they didn't like, and they could end up
with NO story at all.
At this point, Unknown Daughter took Unknown Son out into the
hallway, and some frantic whispering ensued. About 20 seconds later,
they told me that they'd chosen a Disney Story book.
So this episode could show that there's actual benefit to this
Or, it could just illustrate why children of academics turn out so
different from their peers.
90,000 plant specimens ---
"Checked Out: A Washington-area library tosses out the classics" by
John J. Miller, The Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2007 ---
"For Whom the Bell Tolls" may be one of Ernest
Hemingway's best-known books, but it isn't exactly flying off the shelves in
northern Virginia these days. Precisely nobody has checked out a copy from
the Fairfax County Public Library system in the past two years, according to
a front-page story in yesterday's Washington Post.
And now the bell may toll for Hemingway. A software
program developed by SirsiDynix, an Alabama-based library-technology
company, informs librarians of which books are circulating and which ones
aren't. If titles remain untouched for two years, they may be
discarded--permanently. "We're being very ruthless," boasts library director
As it happens, the ruthlessness may not ultimately
extend to Hemingway's classic. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" could win a special
reprieve, and, in the future, copies might remain available at certain
branches. Yet lots of other volumes may not fare as well. Books by Charlotte
Brontë, William Faulkner, Thomas Hardy, Marcel Proust and Alexander
Solzhenitsyn have recently been pulled.
Library officials explain, not unreasonably, that
their shelf space is limited and that they want to satisfy the demands of
the public. Every unpopular book that's removed from circulation, after all,
creates room for a new page-turner by John Grisham, David Baldacci, or James
Patterson--the authors of the three most checked-out books in Fairfax County
But this raises a fundamental question: What are
libraries for? Are they cultural storehouses that contain the best that has
been thought and said? Or are they more like actual stores, responding to
whatever fickle taste or Mitch Albom tearjerker is all the rage at this very
moment? If the answer is the latter, then why must we have government-run
libraries at all? There's a fine line between an institution that aims to
edify the public and one that merely uses tax dollars to subsidize the
recreational habits of bookworms.
Fairfax County may think that condemning a few
dusty old tomes allows it to keep up with the times. But perhaps it's
inadvertently highlighting the fact that libraries themselves are becoming
There was a time when virtually every library was a
cultural repository holding priceless volumes. Imagine how much richer our
historical and literary record would be if a single library full of unique
volumes--the fabled Royal Library of Alexandria, in Egypt--had survived to
the present day.
Continued in article
In modern days an argument can be making scarce shelf space available for works
that are not available freely online ---
But this deprives stack browsers the opportunity of stumbling on classic works
deemed over the years by scholars to stand tall among the millions of other
books of less interest to scholars. The issue probably cannot be resolved since
this is a zero sum game. With millions of books competing for very limited space
it is not possible to simultaneously satisfy those that want the stacks devoted
to the best of the best versus those that want new shelf space for books trying
to become the best of the best.
Fortunately, the best of the best and the worst of the worst are are or will
soon become available online ---
There are also ways to beat the system. One can imagine a literary club
organizing to check out most of the classics a sufficient number of times on a
two-year cycle such that none of the selected classics ever meets the test of
failing to be checked out often enough to remain of the shelves.
Finding Online Training and Education Programs
January 16, 2006 message from Martha Vasquez
I saw your website and I like it. I am the
Assistant Editor of
http://www.onlinelearning101.com and we
provide information and advice about studying online and a list of online
schools as well.
Would you mind giving me a link on your Bookmark’s
page? I believe we would make a useful complement to your site.
Here is the information in case you consider
linking to us.
Title: Online Education
Description: Comprehensive resource for information
about the extensive educational opportunities available online
Thank you for taking the time to read my message.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I added Martha's link to my helpers for finding online training and education
Discarded books are not necessarily the same as banned books: It's all
a matter of intent
Quotations About Banned and Challenged Books ---
library is not 'unsafe', it probably isn't doing its job." -- John Berry, Iii,
Library Journal, October 1999
free speech no search for truth is possible... no discovery of truth is
useful... Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech.
The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people, and
entombs the hope of the race." -- Charles Bradlaugh
are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. " --
Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg
and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)
"Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being
extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they
like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage." -- Winston
these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers
and the truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken -
unspeakable! - fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad,
thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden.
These terrify them. A little mouse - a little tiny mouse! -of thought appears in
the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic." -- Winston
fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the
end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion..." --
Henry Steel Commager
is no answer." -- Camille Desmoulins' reply to Robespierre, January 7, 1794, on
burning his newspaper, Le Vieux Cordelier
librarianship is the connecting of people to ideas – and I believe that is the
truest definition of what we do – it is crucial to remember that we must keep
and make available, not just good ideas and noble ideas, but bad ideas, silly
ideas, and yes, even dangerous or wicked ideas." -- Graceanne A. Decandido
join the book burners. Don't think you are going to conceal thoughts by
concealing evidence that they ever existed." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower, speech at
Dartmouth College, June 14, 1953
burned book enlightens the world." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
slavery, not to speak one's thought." -- Euripides, Greek tragic poet (480 or
485 B.C. - 406 B.C)
human body's obscene, complain to the manufacturer, not me." -- Larry Flynt
that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve
neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of
printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would
offend nobody, there would be very little printed." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1730
You can read more about banned books at
"The Changing ‘Place’ of the Library," by Laura Rein, Inside Higher Ed,
January 5, 2007 ---
I run a library at a university of nearly 22,000
students, but I know that two-thirds of them will never step foot in our
library. Ditto for hundreds of our professors. These students and faculty
are either teaching or learning online or at one of our over 100 extended
So when I read any of the slew of reports that come
out about the library “as a place,” I worry a bit. What do these on-site
spaces mean to our growing population of distance education students and
professors? The concept of the “library as place” was most recently reviewed
in a report published by the Council on Library and Information Resources
“The Library as Place: Rethinking Roles, Rethinking Space.”
Few would argue with the authors that the library is
vitally important to higher education institutions in helping them achieve
their mission. Indeed, if designed or renovated around the institution’s
learning principles as outlined in an issue of
Educause Review, the
library can offer spaces and services to support virtually all of the latest
learning theory principles. As summarized by Colleen Carmean and Jerry
Haefner, deep learning occurs when it is
“social, active, contextual, engaging, and student-owned.”
What better place on campus to provide social, active,
contextual, engaging, and student-owned environments than the library with
its wired reading and study spaces, reference and access services,
collaborative study rooms, rich print and digital collections, media
facilities and — in many cases — cafes, information commons, conference
space, classrooms, displays, and art installations.
How can libraries translate the benefits that our
physical libraries offer to on-campus students and professors to serve our
distance education students and faculty members in an equitable way? I
believe we can do this through careful planning during building and
renovation projects, through the creation or revamping of services and
collections, and through the creation of specialized services to promote
community and active learning.
During library building and renovation projects,
space and technical infrastructures should be planned in a new way. Private
office space for professionals, for example, is more important when a
librarian could be on a lengthy, complicated phone call with a student
overseas. Ample processing space is necessary for paraprofessionals
providing document delivery and electronic reserves service. Growth space
for developing print and media collections and robust technical
infrastructure for access to the library’s digital resources also take on
new importance in a distributed campus network.
Many other changes are needed that don’t have to do
with physical structures but with services and resources that have real
costs and need to be part of the library budget. For example, creation or
revamping of services and collections should be undertaken with the
overarching goal of providing services and resources to distance education
students and faculty that are the equivalent of those provided on-campus.
Services might include, for example, online request forms and second-day
delivery of books and media from the main library to the requestor’s home or
office with prepaid return labels; or online faculty reservations of
videos/DVDs with delivery to the faculty’s home, office, or campus (if any).
Several options might be offered for reference service, including live chat;
Web conferencing with the capability to share screens; e-mail with a
guaranteed 24-hour response; or low-tech, low-cost toll-free telephone
assistance, which some patrons may prefer. Options for posting required or
suggested readings might include a full-scale electronic reserves system or
assistance with scanning and posting items to a courseware page, university
portal, or Web page. Increasingly, libraries are taking a leadership role on
campus in educating faculty about copyright compliance, while ensuring that
their faculty may make full use of the rights accorded under the fair use
provision of copyright law.
Providing opportunities for information literacy
instruction to distance education students can be challenging but is
possible through a variety of means. Options range from designing an online
credit course to creating a series of online tutorials. The latter may be
home-grown or adapted at no charge from established sites such as the
Information Literacy Tutorial. Webcasting
technology offers the opportunity to “visit” remote classrooms at the
request of the faculty member and tailor an instruction session to a
particular assignment. All that is needed is a camera, computer, Internet
connection, and Web conferencing software.
Providing equivalent resources to distance
education students has a few challenges but is increasingly becoming easier.
The number of academic databases with full-text content is growing
exponentially. In many cases, it is possible to use existing funds by
shifting resources from print to online. In other cases, consortiums may
reduce the costs for a particular institution. Students love full-text
articles but appear to be slow in adopting electronic books. If e-books are
provided as a supplement to print resources available via document delivery,
however, and marketed effectively as a database of information rather than
as discrete titles to be read cover-to-cover, they can be useful.
Our challenge increasingly is not the inability to
provide sufficient online resources but to make them the resources of choice
by our students. We must compete with Internet search engines such as Google
to market the quality of our resources and to make them as easy to search as
possible. Software tools such as federated searching, which enables
searching across many databases, and open URL resolvers, which enable more
direct linking to full-text sources, go a long way in making our resources
easier to use. However, we need to work with these software producers on
continuing enhancements to these products and on new products that make
research more seamless.
Perhaps most challenging for libraries in serving
distance education students and faculty is creating a sense of community to
promote learning. Some libraries are experimenting with blogs to address
this, but these seem to have limited reach and focus. One promising
direction, however, is helping distance education professors to promote
community and active learning. The new library at my institution, Webster
University, includes a Faculty Development Center that supports both
on-campus faculty and distance education faculty. Resources for off-campus
faculty include a discussion forum, where faculty members may discuss any
topic on teaching and learning; share their expertise with each other;
review new techniques to improve learning outcomes; discuss instructional
technology software/hardware; or address common learning issues. Other
resources include a new faculty orientation course, an active learning
handbook, and most recently, live Web conferencing with a staff of
instructional support specialists to offer individualized instructional
support to faculty regardless of their location. Many institutions may find
similar ways to serve the teaching and learning needs of their faculty in
ways that benefit students.
In the last decade,
almost a half-billion dollars per year have been
invested in new or renovated academic libraries. With this rate of
investment, it is imperative that we ensure that these new and renovated
libraries meet the needs of our growing distance education population. We
can do this in many ways — by investing in new resources, staff, and
services; or by leveraging existing resources (in some cases across
departments) in creative ways — but do it we must.
Ex-Merrill Lynch Analyst Sentenced for Insider Trading
A former Merrill Lynch analyst caught in a sprawling $7 million insider trading
scheme must serve more than three years in prison to show Wall Street that
sharing inside secrets will not be met with leniency, a judge said yesterday.
The judge, Kenneth M. Karas of United States District Court in New York, said he
was sending the former trader, Stanislav Shpigelman, to prison because he did
not want those entrusted to protect secrets about stocks to think stellar
academic backgrounds and great families would protect them from punishment for
"Ex-Merrill Lynch Analyst Sentenced for Insider Trading," The New York Times,
January 6, 2007 ---
This is only the first round. Generally scum bags like this get greatly reduced
or suspended sentences on appeal. It's far worse to be poor and steal a loaf of
Bob Jensen's threads on why white collar crime pays even if you get caught
Bob Jensen's "Rotten to the Core" threads are at
Testing for Technology Literacy
Professors, librarians, and other college officials are
increasingly coming to grips with the somewhat confounding reality that despite
students’ affinity for IPods and their complete comfort with Google,
many of them lack the technological literacy they
need to navigate today’s information landscape. But recognizing the problem is
not the same as knowing how to measure or fix it — tasks that many colleges are
puzzling over.The California State University system is drawing a bead on a
solution, though. Its officials are putting the finishing touches on a test —
developed in conjunction with Educational Testing Service — that they believe
accurately gauges students’ technological literacy. And they are contemplating
making the test a requirement that students would have to pass to move on to
higher level courses, much like they do now for writing proficiency.
Paul D. Thacker, "Testing for Technology Literacy," Inside Higher Ed,
January 4, 2007 ---
Researchers Use Wikipedia To Make Computers Smarter
Using Wikipedia, Technion researchers have developed a
way to give computers knowledge of the world to help them “think smarter,”
making common sense and broad-based connections between topics just as the human
mind does. The new method will help computers filter e-mail spam, perform Web
searches and even conduct intelligence gathering at more sophisticated levels
than current programs.
"Researchers Use Wikipedia To Make Computers Smarter," PhysOrg, January
6, 2006 ---
The Wikipedia link is at
Bob Jensen's search helpers are at
"Heed these tips to guard against mortgage fraud," MarketWatch,
January 4, 2006 ---
Beware of the So-Called Investor Education Programs
(especially beware of infomercials)
"I don't see frankly much out there
that really does the job, and that's partially because investors
are their own worst enemy," says former SEC Chairman Arthur
Levitt. "They refuse to invest skeptically, and are too easily
seduced by all the purveyors of financial products that prey
upon their worst instincts."
"Investor Education 101: How to Avoid Scams:
Outreach Programs Target Most-Vulnerable Americans, But Success
Is Hard to Assess," By Lynn Cowan, The Wall Street Journal,
May 9, 2006; Page D3 ---
I personally do not trust the highly-advertised DiTech ---
Bob Jensen's threads on mortgages are at
Quality Counts in Education
Education Week has released its annual “Quality
Counts” look at education nationally and in the states. While the articles and
data focus on elementary and secondary education, additional information this
year examines state policies and performance in higher education.
Inside Higher Ed, January 4, 2006 ---
Plagiarism: Judge Posner Builds a Reputation Cutting and Pasting Opinions
Written by Others
THE club of people accused of plagiarism gets ever larger. High-profile members
include Stephen Ambrose, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Kaavya Viswanathan — of chick-lit
notoriety — and now even Ian McEwan, whose best-selling novel “Atonement” has
recently been discovered to harbor passages from a World War II memoir by
Lucilla Andrews. Plagiarism is apparently so rife these days that it would be
extremely satisfying to discover that “The Little Book of Plagiarism,” by
Richard A. Posner, has itself been plagiarized. The watchdogs have been caught
before. The section of the University of Oregon handbook that deals with
plagiarism, for example, was copied from the Stanford handbook.Mr. Posner,
moreover, is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh
Circuit and a law professor at the University of Chicago who turns out books and
articles with annoying frequency and facility. Surely, under deadline pressure,
he is tempted every now and then to resort to a little clipping and pasting,
especially since he cuts members of his own profession a good deal of slack on
the plagiarism issue. In the book he readily acknowledges that judges publish
opinions all the time that are in fact written by their clerks, but he excuses
the practice on the ground that everyone knows about it and therefore no one is
harmed. What he doesn’t consider much is whether a judge who gains a reputation
for particularly well-written opinions or for seldom being reversed — or, for
that matter, who is freed from his legal chores to do freelance writing —
doesn’t benefit in much the same way as a student who persuades one of the smart
kids to do his homework for him.
Charles McGrath, "Plagiarism: Everybody Into the Pool," New York Times Book
Review, January 6 2007 ---
My question is why it is so inconvenient for Judge Posner to add citations to
his plagiarisms? His book might be of interest on Barf 101 courses, but that's
Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at
Fraud: LA learns from New Orleans or vice versa
After downplaying the scope for years, Los Angeles
County officials have started to quietly acknowledge that scams by county
employees and recipients of county services may be costing taxpayers nearly
$2billion a year. While there are no exact figures, the county Grand Jury last
summer estimated welfare recipients are defrauding taxpayers of $500million a
year. Prosecutors have estimated fraud in the food stamp, in-home care and
health care programs costs more than $200million. "It's as though in all the
public assistance programs - be it welfare, food stamps, child care or Section8
housing - someone put a pot of gold in the middle of the street and walked away
from it with very little integrity controls," said James Cosper, head deputy in
the District Attorney's Office Welfare Fraud Division.
Troy Anderson, "County fraud explodes $2 billion annual tab for worker, public
abuse," LA Daily News, January 6, 2007 ---
How well do blacks and Latino students compete in college? Moving Beyond
Most colleges provide the public with very little
information about racial and ethnic differences in students’ grades and
graduation rates. Nor do they provide much information about the effectiveness
of their diversity programs. So what should prospective minority students and
their parents expect after being accepted? Unfortunately, the answer is that
race and ethnicity are important predictors of college performance. Recent
research confirms that white and Asian students not only enjoy pre-college
advantages in family income and school quality, but on average, they also
benefit throughout their college experience in ways that black and Latino
students do not.
David R. Harris, "Moving Beyond Affirmative Action," Inside Higher Ed,
January 4, 2007 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on affirmative action in student admissions are at
World's Highest Standard of Living ---
Hot Ghetto Mess ---
Note from the Editor and Creator of the Hot Ghetto Mess Web site
"As long as ignorance prevails, blacks will be the
tools of the exploiting class." --
Charles Hamilton Houston
What’s up my people. To those of you who are new to
the site welcome and to my regular viewers, welcome back.
My mission with this site is to usher in a new era
of self-examination. And because I am proud member of the black community,
they are my priority. However, those of other races take note and if the
shoe fits wear it. I think it is time that the black community or (insert
your race here) needs to take a good look at itself in the mirror and each
of us ask ourselves why are our communities are going to hell.
This site does not proclaim to know the answer to
that question, for the answer is different for each of us. I want each and
every person that reads these words to look at your life and ask how you can
make yourself better, your community better or your kids better.
I am just holding up a mirror to my community so
don’t blame me if you don’t like your reflection.
Frankly, the blame game is getting real tired.
There is simply no excuse for not maintaining a high standard for yourself
and your children. And by high standards I don’t mean expensive stuff, I
means high standards of character. We already squander our considerable
spending power on stuff and look where’s its gotten us. Yes, yes I know
there is racism, there is inequality of opportunity, gross disparities in
education and health care. But my reasoning is, BECAUSE there are all these
things, it is even more imperative that we look inward and strengthen our
communities ourselves. When I was growing up, my mother used to tell me that
I had to be twice as good as my white counterparts to be considered equal.
And of course we still have to fight the big fights for civil rights, health
care reform, equality in education, economic opportunity but I just don’t
see how we can do that when our own communities are in shambles. Those
fights require cohesion and strength. Two things we are struggling with in
the black community right now.
Back in the day, everyone lived together, the
doctors and teachers and plumbers and lawyers and housewives and whinos all
lived in the same community—so you had standard bearers-- role models,
people for the kids to look up to. But now, with our cities economically
segregated, there are areas of concentrated poverty where kids have no idea
what opportunity is—not because there are none, because there is no one to
show them what it is. The black middle class has moved to the suburbs and
too often don’t have time to tutor or mentor an underprivileged child
because by the time they get off work and brave traffic back to their
McMansion, where has the day gone. Now we all bear part of the blame, the
middle class has moved up and out never looking back to help our less
fortunate brothers and sisters, and some of our less fortunate brothers and
sisters conduct their lives like idiots.
And money isn’t always the answer, just because you
are poor that doesn’t give you license to live any kind of way. You can pick
up the trash in front of your damn door.
Just because you are poor doesn’t mean you don’t
have to support your children, respect women, live in a pig sty or you can
have 5 kids by different fathers. To say that we shouldn’t expect strength
of character from a person because they are poor is insulting to all the
hard working folks scratching and scraping to get by but know they must set
a high standard for themselves and their children if they ever want to
change their condition. Look at black folks in the 20’s and 30’s when we
didn’t have two nickels to rub together but we had pride in ourselves and
our image. And you’re just as bad if you ARE making money and not helping
somebody else along the way.
So again, I ask what are we doing to help each
other because as Farrakhan said recently, “the days of the benevolent white
man are over.” Power concedes nothing. All we got is us people. We can’t
afford to live like we’re living. From school, to clothing to music, to our
children—where have our standards gone? And if our own can’t come out and
rally for change, who can? Why do we so often condemn the people who point
out what’s wrong instead of condemning the behavior?
And I will say again, to all of you who are angry
at me for airing our dirty laundry—good I’m glad you’re angry, now maybe
collectively, including me, we’ll be forced to finally go wash it. This site
is the beginning, the ending is up to us.
Also see "'We Got To Do Better'," by Amy Alexander, The Nation, December
20, 2006 ---
Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/
New Small Business Helpers
From the Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, January 2007 ---
The Health Benefits Adviser
This Web site of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits
Security Administration has all the information employees and employers need
to know about federal laws related to workforce health benefits. There are
discussions on COBRA continuation health coverage, a glossary of benefits
terms and guidance for employees on Medicare eligibility. Publications
offers 10 ways to make your health benefits work for you with a detailed
review of your coverage.
Get the Word Out
Business marketer Joe Gracia’s home on the Web offers entrepreneurs and
small businesses hundreds of marketing tips. Read advertising case studies,
get low-cost promotional ideas and tips for writing attention-grabbing
headlines. Find five ways to attract Web visitors, read marketing myths and
get tips from David Letterman and Jay Leno on how to grow your sales.
Is your PC secure from threats? This site’s self-assessment quiz will show
just how safe your computer is. Get eight cybersecurity best practices,
links for protecting your children when they’re online and tutorials on
cybersecurity and data recovery for small businesses. Research business
cases on computer security in accounting firms and manufacturing companies
and access self-assessment guides and checklists.
Go to the Guru
Marketing strategist Robert Middleton shares tactics for getting
your business noticed at his Web site. Register for the 24-page marketing
plan workbook and information on how to attract new clients, develop a core
marketing message and write an executive summary for your business.
Bob Jensen's small business helpers are at
Wanting Red to be Read
"Where The New York Times Is Coming From," by George Reisman, December
29, 2006 ---
Below are the headlines
of four obituaries that have run in The New York Times. The first
is that of the recent obituary of the Anti-Communist Augusto Pinochet. The
next three are those of the obituaries of the Communist mass murderers Mao,
Stalin, and Lenin. Please be sure to note how many are described as having
ruled by terror.
December 11, 2006,
Augusto Pinochet, Dictator Who Ruled by Terror in Chile, Dies at 91
September 10, 1976, Friday,
. . . Mao Tse-tung Dies in Peking at 82; Leader of Red China's
March 6, 1953, Friday,
Stalin Rose From Czarist Oppression to Transform Russia Into Mighty
Socialist State; RUTHLESS IN MOVING TO GOALS
January 24, 1924, Thursday,
ENORMOUS CROWDS VIEW LENIN'S BODY AS IT LIES IN STATE; Wait Hours in
Snow and Zero Temperature Outside Moscow Nobles' Club. COFFIN CARRIED
FIVE MILES Members of Council of Commissars Stagger Under Load, Refusing
Gun Caisson. LENIN CALLED A CHRISTIAN Archbishop Summons Synod to
Declare Founder of Bolshevism Member of Church. ENORMOUS CROWDS VIEW
headlines we find utter condemnation of a dictator who was relatively mild
as dictators go, but who was Anti-Communist; his leading characteristic was
allegedly rule by “Terror.”
In contrast, in the case of Communist mass murderers we find non-judgmental
tolerance in the headlines, along with a studious refusal to mention the
incalculably greater terrors they caused. More than that, we find positive
esteem and enthusiasm in the headlines for the Communist mass murderers.
Thus Mao was the “Leader of Red China’s Revolution”; Stalin allegedly
transformed “Russia Into Mighty Socialist State”; and Lenin’s funeral was
described as a phenomenon of near worshipful enthusiasm: “…COFFIN CARRIED
FIVE MILES Members of Council of Commissars Stagger Under Load, Refusing Gun
It is patterns such as this that lead some people to
think that the reporting of The New York Times is colored by its politics
and that the color of its politics is red.
Forwarded by Auntie Bev
1. Save the whales. Collect the whole set.
2. A day without sunshine is like . . . night.
3. On the other hand, you have different fingers
4. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
5. Remember, half the people you know are below average.
6. He who laughs last thinks slowest.
7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese
in the trap.
9. Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.
10. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.
12. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.
13. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand.
14. OK, so what's the speed of dark?
15. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
16. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
17. Every one has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.
18. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
19. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
20. What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
21. I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
22. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
23. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what
24. Just remember - if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.
25. Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear
bright until you hear them speak.
More Tidbits from the Chronicle
of Higher Education --- http://www.aldaily.com/
Fraud Updates ---
For earlier editions of New Bookmark
s go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory ---
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
Three Finance Blogs
Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor Blog ---
FinancialRounds Blog ---
Karen Alpert's FinancialMusings (Australia) ---
Some Accounting Blogs
Paul Pacter's IAS Plus (International Accounting) ---
International Association of Accountants News ---
AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries ---
Gerald Trite's eBusiness and XBRL
Blogs --- http://www.zorba.ca/
Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud
Torian's Managerial Accounting Information Center ---
Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586