picture was taken from our driveway. Mount Washington is the white-topped
mountain 28 miles, in Bretton Woods, to our northeast. North and South
Twin mountains are to the right and on the far right is the pointed Mount
Garfield. These mountains to the right only look higher than Mount Washington
because they are in two mountain ranges closer to our cottage. The Mount
Washington Hotel and Resort is one of my favorite places to visit --- usually
for lunch and cocktails. There's a nice slide show of pictures at
Bretton Woods and the big hotel are best known
in history for the Bretton Woods agreements that were hammered out when
heads of states met to rebuild the advanced economies of the world.
Preparing to rebuild the international economic system as World War II was still
raging, 730 delegates from all 44 Allied nations gathered at the Mount
Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire for the United Nations Monetary
and Financial Conference. The delegates deliberated upon and signed the Bretton
Woods Agreements during the first three weeks of July 1944 ---
In the summer
a cog railroad will chug you to the top of the mountain, but you may be tossed
around a bit and get soot on your clothes from the steam engine. The ride is not
for the faint of heart or people with spine troubles.
Erika is still
in pain. I'm taking her to Boston May 6-8 for a myelogram and other tests ---
Tidbits on May 1, 2007
For earlier editions of Tidbits go to
For 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
Set up free conference calls 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 ---
Do You Remember Love? ---
The $5,000 YouTube first place winner ---
Amazing 11-Year Old Girl ---
Al Sharpton sings about Obama the Magic Negro ---
This video is of Andreas Helgstrand and his 9 yr old mare,
Matinee at the World Equestrian Games. It is the Musical Freestyle Dressage
competition, and they pretty much wiped the floor with everyone. Turn up the
sound and watch this mare dance...she is amazing...she KNOWS where the beat is!
How some people can not be excited
about finance is beyond me. If you can't watch the whole thing, minimally watch
between the 19-21 minute section or the 23 to 25 minute section and tell me how
finance gets a bad name when it helps so many!
Jim Mahar, "Microfinance," April 25,
And then a whole lot less seriously: The
UnknownProfessor and the NY Times'
Dealbook both point to the Columbia Business School's spoof (RAP)
of Sir Mix A Lot's "Baby Got Back" (which interesting is still played almost
every night on Open House Party--yeah sort of scary that I know that!)
Jim Mahar, "A Look Around" (Scroll
Down to the Video), April 26, 2007 ---
Also available at
Free music downloads ---
Lawrence Brownlee: A Rising Star Arrives at the
Amazing 11-Year Old Girl ---
Singer and songwriter Ruthie Foster has been
compared to Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin ---
Saxophonist Sonny Rollins Still Swinging Strong
With her no-nonsense voice, Mable John recorded
singles for the Stax label throughout the '60s ---
Photographs and Art
Niagara Falls lit up in crimson and gold in honor of Virginia
Forwarded by Paula
GardenWeb is the largest gardening site on the Web, with garden forums,
articles on gardening, directories of nurseries, gardens and gardening
organizations, a botanical glossary, an events calendar, a plant database,
contests, and much more.
Earth and Animal Shots (music in background) ---
America, Why I Love Her ---
Your Own Flower Garden (just click you mouse around the screen) ---
A Stanford researcher has studied the eye
diseases in two great impressionistic painters, Edgar Degas and Claude
Monet, and recreated images of some of their masterpieces to show how the
artists' may have seen their own work. The results may shed light on how the
painters' work changed as their eyesight failed.
Tracie White, "Eye diseases changed great painters' vision of their
work later in their lives Degas, Monet had significant loss of vision from
retinal disease and cataracts, ophthalmologist and art enthusiast says,"
Stanford News, April 11, 2007 ---
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 ---
Love, War and History: Israel's Yehuda Amichai (audio poetry) ---
Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) --- Click Here
Major Inventions of the 19th Century
Workshop of the World --- http://www.workshopoftheworld.co.uk/
National Academy of Sciences: Webcast Archive ---
Exploring Magnetism on Earth ---
Northwest Center for Sustainable Resources ---
Penn State University Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization
C-reactive Protein (CRP): If Drunken
Students Only Knew What Will Happen Later in Life
Making CRAP out of CRP is not a good way for students to earn an A
Bob Jensen (See Below)
We are frightening our children to death, and I'll
tell you what makes me angriest. I am not sure the makers of our culture fully
notice what they are doing, what impact their work is having, because the makers
of our culture are affluent. Affluence buys protection. You can afford to make
your children safe. You can afford the constant vigilance needed to protect your
children from the culture you produce, from the magazine and the TV and the CD
and the radio. You can afford the doctors and tutors and nannies and mannies and
therapists, the people who put off the TV and the Internet and offer
conversation. If you have money in America, you can hire people who compose the
human chrysalis that protect the butterflies of the upper classes as they grow.
The lacking, the poor, the working and middle class--they have no protection.
Their kids are on their own. And they're scared. Too bad no one cares in this
big sensitive country of ours.
Peggy Noonan, "We're Scaring Our
Children to Death Duck-and-cover drills were never this frightening," The
Wall Street Journal, April 27, 2007 ---
From what scientists know now, it is possible that
Venus and Mars started out a lot like Earth. At some point in time, each planet
followed a path that changed its climate. The transition was from Earth-like to
either a cloudy inferno (Venus) or a frigid desert (Mars). Data from Venus
Express and Mars express is now helping scientists determine if, when and why
each planet passed the point of no-return. . . . The atmosphere of
Venus is much thicker than Earth’s. Nevertheless,
current climate models can reproduce its present temperature structure well. Now
planetary scientists want to turn the clock back to understand why and how Venus
changed from its former Earth-like conditions into the inferno of today. They
believe that the planet experienced a runaway greenhouse effect as the Sun
gradually heated up. Astronomers believe that the young Sun was dimmer than the
present-day Sun by 30 percent. Over the last 4 thousand million years, it has
gradually brightened. During this increase, Venus’s surface water evaporated and
entered the atmosphere
"Climate catastrophes in the Solar System," PhysOrg, April 25, 2007 ---
When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I
think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others. It
is much more nearly certain that we are assembled here tonight than it is that
this or that political party is in the right. Certainly there are degrees of
certainty, and one should be very careful to emphasize that fact, because
otherwise one is landed in an utter skepticism, and complete skepticism would,
of course, be totally barren and completely useless.
Bertrand Russell. as quoted by Mark
Shapiro on April 22, 2007 ---
A survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre has been
describing how a (Muslim) colleague died to
protect others. Although badly injured, graduate student Waleed Shalaan
distracted gunman Cho Seung-Hui to save another person from his bullets. The
surviving student, who wishes to remain anonymous, told of Waleed's heroics
through an email to his supervisor.
"Student Gave His Life To Save Othersm" SKY News, April
20, 2007 ---
America's Best Weapon is the Iranian People
Azar Nafisi, "Culture War," The New Republic, April 26, 2007 ---
Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden is orchestrating
militants' operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a senior commander of Afghan
Islamist group Taliban said in remarks broadcast on Wednesday. Bin Laden has not
made any video statements for many months raising speculation that he might have
died. "He is drawing plans in Iraq and Afghanistan ... Praise God he is alive,"
Mullah Dadullah told Al Jazeera television.
Reuters, April 25, 2007 ---
operations, which either were thwarted by authorities or were canceled for one
reason or another, included efforts to assassinate Vice President Al Gore with
anti-tank missiles during a trip to Saudi Arabia, release cyanide in the New
York subway system and procure weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear
weapons, from Pakistani nuclear scientists.
Robert Windrem and Alex Johnson
while discussing revelations in former CIA Director George Tenet’s new book
At the Center of the Storm, MSNBC, April 30, 2007
Tenet was the focus of a CBS Sixty Minute module on April 29, 2007 ---
The real enemy we face in Iraq is al-Qaida.
According to the top American commander in Iraq, al-Qaida's No. 1 priority is
defeating the United States in Iraq.
Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of
Allied Forces in Iraq, April 28, 2007 ---
And once al-Qaida wins, it seems inevitable that its emboldened guerillas will
set their sights on the oil fields of Kuwait and everything gained in the first
Gulf War will be lost as well, including reasonably-priced oil from Saudi
Arabia. While America should be building nuclear power plants to prepare
for dire and absolutely certain oil shortages, we're twiddling our thumbs with
wind and corny solutions that will never be efficient replacements of the
massive amounts of power needed to sustain the U.S. economy. The question is
whether America will limp home defeated in Iraq and later refuse to save the
entire Middle East from al-Qaida's dreams of wealth and grandeur. Or put another
way, America may not be able to save the Middle East from al-Qaida under the
present political and morality restraints. It's becoming harder and harder to
fight an enemy that attaches explosives to children, hides among innocent
families, and fights with chlorine gas. Of course the wild card in the entire
equation is face off of nuclear-armed enemies in the region.
We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of
this war. Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, April 12, 2007.
Gen. David Petraeus is in Washington this week,
where on Monday he briefed President Bush on the progress of the new military
strategy in Iraq. Today he will give similar briefings on Capitol Hill, but
maybe he should save his breath. As fellow four-star Harry Reid recently
informed America, the war Gen. Petraeus is fighting and trying to win is already
"Harry's War: Democrats are taking ownership of a defeat in
Iraq," The Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2007 ---
Police arrested 172 Islamic militants,
some of whom had trained abroad as pilots so they could fly aircraft in attacks
on Saudi Arabia's oil fields, the Interior Ministry said Friday. Police arrested
172 Islamic militants, some of whom had trained abroad as pilots so they could
fly aircraft in attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil fields, the Interior Ministry said
Abdullah Shihri and Donna Abu-Nasr,
The Washington Times, April 27, 2007 ---
In the first rocket attack it claimed
responsibility for in five months, Hamas Tuesday fired 39 Qassam rockets and 79
mortars from the Gaza Strip aimed at nearby Jewish communities. The projectiles
were meant to serve as a diversion as the group attempted to storm an Israeli
military base on the Gaza border to kidnap Israeli soldiers. The attacks
occurred as Israelis nationwide celebrated the country's Independence Day. Last
night, Israel's major television newscasts quoted Israeli security officials
stating the Hamas attack was carried out with the approval of Abbas, other Fatah
members and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group, the declared military
wing of Fatah.
Aaron Klein, "Claim: Massive attack
approved by Abbas: Rockets slammed into Jewish towns while Palestinians
attempted kidnapping," WorldNetDaily, April 27, 2007 ---
Don’t fear the terrorists. They’re
mothers and fathers.
Rosie O’Donnell ---
A close examination of the media's role during the
2006 Israel-Hezbollah war in Lebanon comes now from Harvard University's Kennedy
School of Government, in an analysis of the war published in a paper whose
subtitle should give pause to journalists covering international conflict: "The
Israeli-Hezbollah War of 2006: The Media as a Weapon in Asymmetrical Conflict ."
Marvin Kalb, of Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public
Policy, methodically traces the transformation of the media "from objective
observer to fiery advocate." Kalb painstakingly details how Hezbollah exercised
absolute control over how journalists portrayed its side of the conflict, while
Israel became "victimized by its own openness." The lessons from the Harvard
paper go well beyond historic analysis. Kalb's thoroughly and persuasively
documented case points to the challenges to journalists in future "asymmetrical"
conflicts in which a radical militia provides access only to journalists
agreeing to the strictest of rules.
newsletter, April 26, 2007
Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog, will be mated
later this year with the world's second canine clone known as Bona, researchers
"Send in the Clones," PhysOrg, April 23, 2007 ---
That which makes men sociable is their inability to
Arthur Schopenhauer ---
He was a bully, a braggart and a rebel with a big
chip on his shoulder. They would never have made it without him.
Bob Deans writing about
Captain John Smith (1580-1631) remembered for his role in establishing the
first permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown, Virginia. The
quotation appears in "Captain John Smith," Time Magazine, April 26, 2007
MacDonald (Professor of Psychology at California
State University at Long Beach) combines his ethnic theories with his views on
Jews in a subject on which he has written a great deal: Jewish views on
immigration policy. MacDonald said that he believes that Jewish people view “a
homogeneous white population of North America as a threat, and they would be
better off in a multicultural policy.” So as a result, he said, Jewish
organizations work with Latino groups to let in Latinos and others to undermine
American culture . . . In December, the psychology department at California
State University of Long Beach added three statements to
its Web site
— all under the new heading of “Statements on
Controversial Issues.” One endorsed principles of academic freedom, another
emphasized the department’s commitment to diversity and equity, and the third
“misuse of psychologists’ work.”
Scott Jaschik, "Professor of Hate?"
Inside Higher Ed, April 26, 2007 ---
What happens when honorary doctorates
are awarded to the Devil?
Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe much criticized by human rights groups,
isn’t worried about the
moves afoot to revoke his honorary degrees. A
spokesman for Mugabe told
The Herald, a pro-government paper, that he has
earned seven degrees and “does not lose sleep” over the push to take away the
honorary doctorates. The spokesman suggested that Western universities are the
ones who should be concerned. “Honorary degrees are exactly that, an unsolicited
honor from the giver,” he said. “The president did not accost anyone to confer
the honor. If anything, those Western universities improved their international
profile by associating themselves with the president.” Among the institutions
where some want to see the honorary degrees revoked are Edinburgh University, in
Scotland, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Michigan State
Inside Higher Ed, April 26, 2007
You know the world is going crazy when the best
rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the
NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America's Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of
arrogance, Germany doesn't want to go to war, and the three most powerful men in
America are named Bush, Dick, and Colon.
An old quote (when Colin Powel was in office) by Chris Rock
Having no vices adds nothing to virtue.
Antonio Machado ---
The FBI raided two Republican Congressmen earlier
this month, and we can't muster much sympathy. Their misbehavior is the residue
of the GOP's lost, arrogant Congressional majority, which allowed its principles
to atrophy. If the Republicans hope to retake Congress in 2008, they'd do well
to eliminate the habits that created these scandals in the first place.
"Republican Residue," The Wall Street Journal, April 25,
2007; Page A14 ---
The scene in southern Denmark dispels a couple of
popular myths about Europe's labor market. The first is that the Continent can't
change. Denmark did through innovative reforms, going from chronically high
unemployment to a labor shortage. The other myth is that Western Europeans won't
cross the EU's open borders to find work. From as far as Berlin, Leipzig and
Frankfurt, Germans took to the road in search of employment in Denmark; hundreds
were bused in by fair organizers.
Daniel Schwammenthal, "Lazy Europe?"
The Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2007; Page A14 ---
When you're defending the case and you've got the
law on your side, argue the heck out of the law. And if you have the facts on
your side, argue the facts. And if you have neither on your side, accuse the
government of misconduct and yell entrapment.
U.S. Attorney Tim DiScenza as quoted
by Trevor Aaronson in Sen. John Ford's public corruption trial, Memphis
Commercial Appeal, April 25, 2007 ---
Starbucks Coffee Company employees have responded by
donating thousands of pounds of coffee and other items over the past several
years. “We kept getting cards and e-mails from troops deployed overseas saying
how much they missed our coffee,” said Julie Shelton, a consumer relations
partner at Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle. “It was great we were able to
get support from the military.
Jim Garamone, American Forces
Press Service, April 25, 2007 ---
Incidentally, did you know that Starbucks spends more on employee health
insurance than it does for all the coffee it sells worldwide.
Hope everyone is doing well. We are just now getting
some more warm weather. Yesterday was a rough day for Isaiah. His 600 lb sow
decided to go for a jaunt around the countryside and he had to locate her and
walk her home. I bag of dog food, the contents of several trash cans, and a poor
lady who almost passed out when she looked out her kitchen door to find a hog
attempting to come inside, and we finally convinced the sow to walk home. She
had made it a good two miles across a busy rode. She also ate Cheyenne's county
fair chicken. Today at school the varsity football coach introduced Isaiah to
the quarterback coach for the Cal Berkley football team. The coach was on campus
to talk to another player and got to meet Isaiah too. Sutter's coach pointed out
Isaiah as a person to watch and they talked for a bit. A positive day to balance
a rather lousy one . . . (next day) Well,
after a busy day of working at the school. Shuttling kids from different
locations home, give dinner directions over the phone and finally getting Isaiah
and David off to Isaiah's practice, I sat down to read the paper and recover.
The phone rang. The pig went visiting again. I think that Allie was the wrong
name, maybe Houdini instead. She escaped from her horse stall, through the horse
paddock and out the sheep pasture in a different area than the areas we patched
monday evening. She did not get as far because a nice couple noticed her walking
down the busy street and lured her into a stall. It was only about a mile walk
home but I had to do it alone. The little kids waited at the farm and one of
Isaiah's buddies drove nearby. I wrapped about four feet of chain around every
entrance/exit to Allie's pen. If she gets out again I think I have room for
about 600 or so pounds of sausage in my freezer.
Cindy, Mother of Four of Our
Grandchildren in California
Should you advise someone to purchase long term care insurance?
Beware of bad deals!
"A Conversation With Barry Goldwater: Are You Recommending
Long-Term Care Insurance?" AccountingWeb, April 20, 2007 ---http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=103435
Who is the
largest payer of long-term care
assistance? It’s the general public
who fund long-term care from
personal savings and through public
assistance programs. But the numbers
bear out that CPAs and advisors are
doing a poor job of referring their
clients to asset protection
long-term care programs. Why is
the way the U.S. healthcare system
is set up, a long-term care event
could devastate family retirement
savings. Last year the long-term
care insurers paid out $3.3 billion
in claims but that figure only
equated to 6 percent of total claims
paid – a percentage that pales in
comparison to the real costs born by
the general public. Twenty-seven
percent, or $30 billion, of all
long-term care expenses are paid out
of savings accounts, a major
contributing reason for people going
into bankruptcy. Another $42 billion
was paid by Medicaid, and Medicare
paid $15 billion.
litigious society, the reality of
long-term care insurance (LTCI)
being treated as a fiduciary item
has arrived. Disgruntled
beneficiaries whose inheritances
have been depleted by the expense
their parents bore funding their
long-term care experiences are
successfully arguing and receiving
monetary judgments from advisors who
are not bringing up the subject of
future liability planning. It is
becoming a question of fiduciary
responsibility to recommend asset
example: It is projected that a
50-year-old person today is going to
spend more than $1 million a year
upon needing long-term care
assistance when they are 85. Do you
really want to make a negative
million dollar decision for your
clients if they lose this amount to
the lack of asset protection? Are
CPAs making these kinds of client
assessments or does the CPA really
not care whether a client should
self insure the risk of a future
long-term care event or transfer
that risk to an insurance company?
Statistic: Forty percent of those
needing long-term care (LTC) are
under age 65.
recommend long-term care insurance?
Tax and audit professionals are
focused on fee planning in their
core competencies. They make few
financial planning referrals because
their firm does not have a team
planning approach outside of their
core business model. These CPAs
usually do not recommend LTCI. The
CPA who is a multi-disciplinary
advisor is looking for programs of
opportunity in a broader environment
that incorporates financial services
and wealth management. This group
usually will have an in house expert
or a very close strategic alliance
with an advanced planning insurance
broker and will try to incorporate
long-term care planning into their
practice. These CPAs do recommend
LTCI and are proactive inserting
this item in their financial plan
women generally outlive men by an
average of seven years, they face a
50 percent greater likelihood than
men of entering a nursing home after
just 18 percent of women who
responded to a study on the
financial literacy of women have
talked with their spouse or partner
about long-term care insurance. Most
women do not want to be a burden on
their children. Yet about
three-quarters of respondents have
not had serious discussions with
their children about long-term care
the CPA connect with the aging baby
boomer client on matters of
long-term care and asset protection
planning when 71 percent of all
caregivers are women who are related
to the in need relative? Advisors
are not connecting with women and
long-term care at all! We believe
there is reluctance among CPAs to
discuss transferring risk to
insurance companies because somehow
it is an uncomfortable conversation
to have. But the numbers are
compelling and advisors need to sit
up and take notice.
To plan for
a future liability in combination
with a plan for retirement income is
the kind of creative planning
clients are expecting. CPA advisors
should know and should be making
their clients aware that it is not
the decision of the client to buy
LTC insurance, it is the decision of
the carrier whether they will offer
the client a contract. When we
surveyed our clients with the
question, “Would you think it to be
a good idea that we do future
liability planning alongside of
future income planning so that if
you need medical or assistance to
live in your home in the future,
that expense would not come out of
your retirement savings account?”
When you say it with inflection, it
is not as long a sentence as it
appears and it is a very responsible
question for an advisor to ask. The
overwhelming response from our
clients was extremely favorable with
the most common reasonable
accompanying question being “How
much does it cost?” In other words,
how much of my $20k 401k
contribution am I going to be
spending in order to protect it? The
direct response is; “Based on
information analyzed as to costs
associated with a long-term care
event, you can spend $3k per year
for 20 years based on your age and
risk factor probabilities or you can
spend between $50k-$250k annually,
for an average of five years, on
your care? Which program can you
best afford to fund?” When you
consider the potential spend down of
assets, you begin to understand the
fiduciary aspects associated with
prudent advice when the client is
told to self insures these kinds of
other hand, high net worth clients
will not pay for something without
recognizing its perceived value. If
I can fund future liability events
from cash flow, why should I spend
money on insurance I do not need?
Here is the question for our high
net worth clients; “Do you have an
asset protection plan in place that
covers the downside risk of
investment loss due to a future
medical liability or long-term care
event?” That question enables me to
have the conversation about
long-term care insurance with high
net worth people. And these facts
bear me out.
client has a $5 million investment
portfolio returning 9 percent per
year, his/her income from
investments is projected to be
$450,000 before taxes. If a future
liability occurred and the cost of
an assistance related liability was
$150,000, the cost to the client
would be $150,000 plus the loss of
investment income at 9 percent. The
total loss of principal plus
interest for one year is $163,500,
for three years the cost is
$490,500. This is not how high net
worth people plan, they do not leave
these kinds of gaps that can
effectuate loss. To transfer the
risk, the cost is $6,000 for this
married couple in their mid-50’s. If
we do the math correctly, they would
have to pay premiums for 25 years to
equal one year’s cost for care.
Their premiums would never exceed
the cost of two years worth of care.
No matter what one does with his or
her money, the cost for care is
always going to be the same,
$163,000 is always going to be
greater then $6,000, high net worth
It is our
clients call to make, but if we
connect our recommendations to the
larger picture of asset protection,
our message for risk transference
becomes more powerful. From the
financial data presented, Americans
are paying 94 percent of the costs
associated with long-term care
expenses either in the form of
public assistance or from savings.
The majority of caretakers are our
mothers, wives and daughters. These
are alarming figures moving forward
and given medical inflation
outpacing other inflationary
indices, CPAs should be aware of
their fiduciary responsibility to
make relationships with long-term
care insurance specialists so their
clients can be better served in this
area of asset protection and they
will be protected from litigious
Barry Goldwater is the Principal of
the Financial Resource Group and a
20-year veteran of the insurance
industry. He focuses not only on
working with the business and
affluent clients of CPAs and
attorneys, but also in helping CPA's
form and develop a business model to
include financial services. He can
be reached at 617-527-9736,or at
email@example.com. His web
It is important to note that the above author is with the insurance industry. In
my opinion, elder care insurance is not a good deal for many people. For one
thing it is very expensive and adds another "middle man" to profit from elder
care. Second, reasonably wealthy people who can afford long-term care expected
costs (adjusted for probabilities and family health history) may find insuring
for long term care to be a bad deal that cuts into cash flow they might enjoy in
earlier years of their lives. Similarly people with limited means who are likely
to qualify for Medicaid benefits may find it a bad deal. Also read the fine
print of a contract. Insurance companies have a way of limiting their own risk
exposures, especially risks of rising eldercare costs.
Another risk is that your so-called financial advisor may be
receiving some sort of kickback for helping to get clients to take out elder
care insurance. This is an expensive cash flow item that requires high integrity
I think Goldwater's analysis is off base because the
probability of needing nursing home care beyond a year or two is relatively low
(I think). An
awful lot of elderly people die in their homes or after a short stay in a
hospital where Medicare pays the bill.
Also there is moral hazard of the family putting an
insured elderly person in a home before such care is really needed just so the
old person's home or farm can be sold.
Bob Jensen's threads on insurance scandals are at
What has been the major
change for college faculty in the past decade?
20 years after the first edition came out, the editors of
The Academic’s Handbook (Duke
University Press) have released a new version — the third — with
many chapters on faculty careers updated and some completely new
topics added. Topics covered include teaching, research, tenure,
academic freedom, mentoring, diversity, harassment and more. The
editors of the collection (who also wrote some of the pieces)
are two Duke University professors who also served as
administrators there. They are A. Leigh Deneef, a professor of
English and former associate dean of the Graduate School, and
Craufurd D. Goodwin, a professor of economics who was previously
vice provost and dean of the Graduate School.
Inside Higher Ed, January 10, 2007 ---
Hint as to what has been
the major change for college faculty in the past decade:
In April 2007, Stanford President John Hennessy has named Carla Shatz, , the
head of Harvard's neurobiology department, to lead the next phase of Stanford's
Bio-X program, the landmark bioscience research effort that promotes
interdisciplinary collaborations among life scientists, medical scientists,
engineers, physicists and computer scientists.
From Carnegie-Mellon University: How to Turn Your Photographs into 3-D
"A New Dimension for Your Photos Web service Fotowoosh wants to be the Flickr
of 3-D," by Wade Roush, MIT's Technology Review, April 27, 2007 ---
Looking at the photo prints
from your Washington, D.C.,
vacation can prompt memories
of being at real,
like the Lincoln Memorial.
But what if you could
actually walk into your
photograph and stand at
Lincoln's feet all over
again--or at least zoom
inside a 3-D version of your
image on a computer screen?
A new Web service called
promises to deliver such an
experience, courtesy of
at Carnegie Mellon
University, in Pittsburgh.
a doctoral candidate at
spent the past year and a
half figuring out how to get
software to convert flat
images into 3-D
virtual-reality models that
can be manipulated
on-screen. Working with
came up with a
machine-learning system that
identifies various surfaces
and their orientations based
on what it has learned from
examining previous photos.
In essence, Fotowoosh frees
the person viewing a
photograph from the
photographer's point of view
so that he or she can
explore perspectives other
than the one the camera
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on tricks and tools of education technology are at
And here's the real beauty of it: Companies that issue
stock under Rule 144a can access America's deep pools of capital without
submitting to public-company accounting rules or to the tender mercies of
Sarbanes-Oxley. In exchange, however, they must strictly limit the number of
qualified U.S. investors in their company -- to 500 total for U.S.-based firms
and 300 for foreign-based. They are also barred from offering comparable
securities for sale in the public market. The 144a market is also for the most
part nontransparent, often illiquid and thus in some ways riskier. But
increasingly, this is a trade that institutional investors and companies seeking
capital are willing to make.
Do you really understand the SEC's Rule 144a?
What is it and why do accountants hate it?
"A Capital Idea," The Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2007; Page A18
That America's public capital markets have lost
some of their allure is no longer much disputed. Eminences as unlikely as
Chuck Schumer and Eliot Spitzer have taken to bemoaning the fact and calling
for some sort of fix, albeit without doing much.
Tort reform -- to reduce jackpot justice in
securities class-action suits -- would certainly help. So would easing the
compliance costs and regulatory burden placed on publicly traded companies
by Sarbanes-Oxley, Regulation FD and the like. (See Robert Grady nearby.)
The good news is that, as usual, private-sector innovation is finding a way
around these government obstacles through the rapid growth of something
known as the Rule 144a market.
First, a little capital-markets background: Most
Americans are familiar with the "public markets," which consist of the New
York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and other stock markets. These are open to
investors of every stripe and are where the stocks of most of the world's
best-known companies are traded. Nearly anyone can invest, and these
exchanges are comprehensively regulated by the Securities and Exchange
Less well understood is another, more restricted
market known after SEC Rule 144a that governs participation in it. As on
stock exchanges, this market allows for the buying and selling of the stock
of companies that offer their shares for sale. But participation is strictly
limited. To be what is called a "qualified buyer" in this market, you must
be a financial institution with at least $100 million in investable assets.
If you meet these criteria, you are free to buy stocks of both U.S. and
foreign companies that have never offered their shares to the investing
And here's the real beauty of it: Companies that
issue stock under Rule 144a can access America's deep pools of capital
without submitting to public-company accounting rules or to the tender
mercies of Sarbanes-Oxley. In exchange, however, they must strictly limit
the number of qualified U.S. investors in their company -- to 500 total for
U.S.-based firms and 300 for foreign-based. They are also barred from
offering comparable securities for sale in the public market. The 144a
market is also for the most part nontransparent, often illiquid and thus in
some ways riskier. But increasingly, this is a trade that institutional
investors and companies seeking capital are willing to make.
There are estimated to be about 1,000 companies
whose stocks trade in the 144a market. And last year, for perhaps the first
time, more capital was raised in the U.S. by issuing these so-called
unregistered securities than through IPOs on all the major stock exchanges
combined. Even more telling is that the large institutional investors
eligible to buy these unregistered securities are more than happy to oblige.
There is no selling without buying, and for the 144a market to overtake the
giant stock exchanges, institutional investors who control trillions of
dollars in capital must see better opportunities outside the regulations
built by Congress and the SEC.
In a sign of these times, none other than Nasdaq is
now stepping in to bring some greater order, liquidity and transparency to
the Rule 144a market. Any day now, the SEC is expected to propose giving the
green light to a Nasdaq project called Portal. Portal aims to be a central
clearing house for buyers and sellers of Section 144a securities. You will
still need to be a "qualified institutional buyer" to purchase 144a
securities. And the companies whose stocks change hands on Portal will still
need to meet the limitations on numbers of investors to offer their stock
So Portal will not bring unregistered securities to
the masses -- at least not directly. It is forbidden to do so because the
entire U.S. regulatory system is designed to protect individual investors
from such things. What Portal will do, if it operates as intended, is make
the trading of Rule 144a securities easier and less costly. And this could,
in turn, further increase their attractiveness to issuers and investors
alike. Average investors will at least be able to participate indirectly via
mutual and pension funds, most of which meet the standards for "qualified
Given the limitations on eligibility for Rule 144a
assets, they will never replace our public markets. But their growth is one
more sign that investors, far from valuing current regulation, are seeking
ways to avoid its costs and complications. Nasdaq's participation is
especially notable given its stake as an established public exchange. Nasdaq
seems to have concluded that there is a new market opportunity created by
overregulation, so it is following the money.
This leaves our politicians with two choices. They
can move to meddle with and diminish this second securities market -- which
will only drive more business away from U.S. shores. Or they can address the
overregulation that is hurting public markets and prompting both investors
and companies to seek alternatives.
Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at
|The University of Texas at Austin Lobbies to Scrap the
Controversial Top 10% Admissions Law
"Don’t Scrap Top 10% Plans,"
by Michael A. Olivas, Inside Higher Ed, April 26, 2007 ---
parents keep a watchful eye on their progeny’s performance in high
school, knowing that a “top 10 percent” class rank guarantees admission
to the state college of their choice. There are variants in other
states, but this is the best known. Acclaimed by many for opening doors
to higher education for disadvantaged students at the state’s most
prestigious university, the program is now the target of sharp criticism
from the University of Texas at Austin.
state’s flagship university wants to bury the program. I come to praise
it — and to argue that it may be a model deserving more attention as
more states face referenda that may lead to the abolition of affirmative
action and could hinder minority enrollments at top public universities.
leaders claim that the Austin campus has become overenrolled if not
overrun with “top 10 percent” students — but data from fall 2006 show a
different story. And nationally, flagship university leaders fear that
such programs take away too much control over whom they admit to their
classes. At Austin, first-time freshmen indeed increased by 509 to
7,421, but the figure included new entrants as well as freshmen who
entered in the summer and continued into the fall. Among incoming
students from Texas high schools, about 71 percent were admitted under
the 10 Percent Plan, compared with 69 percent in fall 2005.
quantity at Austin appears manageable, but what about the quality? All
available data indicate that students admitted under the statewide 10
Percent Plan do better than their peers in grade point
average and in college retention. That’s to be expected — since students
who do well in high school have a proclivity to do well in college,
especially when UT and other universities make concerted efforts to
recruit them and to provide them with financial aid.
proof of the 10 Percent Plan’s success is found in data on ethnicity. At
UT-Austin, first-time freshman enrollment included 54.3 percent white,
0.5 percent American Indian, 5.2 percent African American, 17.9 percent
Asian American, 18.7 percent Hispanic and 3.4 percent foreign. Amid the
turbulence that attended major court cases (Hopwood from the
Fifth Circuit and Grutter from the U.S. Supreme Court), the UT
campus remains commendably populated by people from all economic classes
and all corners of the state. But the possibility of a Texas
anti-affirmative action referendum looms.
Credit for these outcomes properly goes to the late Rep. Irma Rangel,
who led the House Higher Education Committee that crafted the 10 Percent
Plan. For nearly 18 months, I was privileged to work in her shadow as we
sought race-neutral ways to assist colleges that genuinely wished to
recruit students from every precinct in the state. After sifting through
dozens of options, we opted for something we called the frog-pond
effect. That is, we determined that students who were “big frogs” in
high school were likely to do well in college — regardless of the size
of the frog pond that spawned them. Indeed, rank-in-class is a proven
marker of excellence, and many scholarships and other honors
traditionally flow from this measure of excellence.
plan that emerged in committee improved upon the California model that
requires many markers, especially standardized tests on which some
groups on average perform better than do others, beyond a simple
rank-in-class threshold. In part, it was based on research that showed a
handful of largely suburban high schools generated many of the students
admitted to the state’s flagship universities, and at UT-Austin in
particular. All were excellent high schools, to be sure, but we
identified many other good high schools that had never sent a graduate
to a flagship college in Texas. The 10 Percent Plan effectively got
these schools “into the game” of higher education — much like the
Olympic Games permits every country to enter three athletes in any given
event. The three-athlete limit might chafe Kenya in distance running and
chap the United States in swimming, but there is global agreement that
the system is fair.
legislators can lend a sympathetic ear to UT-Austin’s complaints, but
the problem is that the 10 Percent Plan works only as it is, when its
provisions are automatic and clear-cut. The benchmark could be set at a
higher point for this one campus — say, the top 7 percent — but such an
adjustment would only delay “filling up” the university at some point
down the road. UT-Austin says its far-reaching campus plans call for
improving student-teacher ratios by hiring more faculty and reducing the
number of students. But these goals could be achieved by limiting
transfer students or by hiring more professors, rather than by
constraining the size of admitted classes.
may be other options that UT-Austin could pursue, but if the core
problem is “too many excellent students,” only two plausible solutions
exist: other Texas public institutions need to step up and aggressively
recruit these students, and the state needs to create more attractive
flagships. The results of that second option are readily visible in
California, where virtually all UC campuses except the fledgling Merced
campus are awash in applications from highly accomplished students. Just
as not every qualified student in California can go to Berkeley, perhaps
not every qualified student can plan on attending UT-Austin.
Institutions such as the University of Virginia or the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill struggle to recruit rural high school
graduates and first generation students. Some public universities have
followed the lead of guaranteeing full financial aid and not simply
reimbursable loans, so as to diversify their entering classes. In most
states, there are racial housing patterns that make recruiting from a
wider swath of high schools efficacious. The deeply ingrained mythology
of graduating first in one’s class is an extreme version of percentage
plans, but virtually every college tracks and recruits such
Instead of waiting for Ward Connerly to stir the pot, and then to be
left stunned when he wins a referendum, states might be well advised to
consider a system like this, which is consistent with long-standing
flagship traditions in many cases. Why don’t Connerly and the Center for
Individual Rights and such others lead a similar charge against legacy
programs in public colleges, a demonstrably and predominantly white
Continued in article
Too much of the criticism of the Top 10% Law centers on the flagship
university loss of discretion on admissions. Not enough criticism
focuses on the gaming that takes place in high
school. Instead of taking math, science, and other tougher
curriculum courses that help improve SAT or ACT testing scores, students
are encouraged to take the easiest A courses that give them a better
shot at being in the Top 10% of their class. Accordingly, students in
the Top 10% are actually less prepared for math and science majors. The
fact that they tend to do well in college may also be reflected in the
majors they choose in college. What proportion of
those Top 10% opt for the tougher math, science, and engineering courses
at the university level vis-a-vis the high SAT students who were
denied admission to the flagship universities because they were not in
the Top 10% of their more competitive suburban high schools?
Bob Jensen's threads on the controversial Top 10% Rule are at
Grade Inflation from High School to Graduate School
The Boston Globe reports seeing 30- 40 valedictorians per class
Extra credit for AP courses, parental lobbying and genuine hard work by the
most competitive students have combined to shatter any semblance of a Bell curve
An increasing number of Canada's business schools are literally selling MBAs to
[some] professors who say their colleagues are so afraid of bad student
evaluations that they are placating students with A's and B's.
From Jim Mahar's blog on November 24, 2006 ---
Grade inflation from HS to Grad school
Three related stories that are not strictly
speaking finance but that should be of interest to most in academia.
In the first article, which is from the
, accelerated and executive MBA
programs come under attack for their supposed detrimantal impact on
learning in favor of revenue.
MBAs dumbed down for profit
"An increasing number of Canada's business
schools are literally selling MBAs to generate revenue for their
ravenous budgets, according to veteran Concordia University finance
professor Alan Hochstein.
The second article is a widely reported AP article
that that centers on High School grade inflation. This high school issue
not only makes the admissions process more difficult but it also
influences the behavior of the students ("complaining works") and their
their grade expectations ("I have always gotten A's and therefore I
deserve on here").
That apparent trend to make master of business administration
degrees easier to achieve at a premium cost is leading to
'sub-standard education for enormous fees,' the self-proclaimed
whistleblower said yesterday"
A few look-ins from
Boston Globe's version:
"Extra credit for AP courses, parental
lobbying and genuine hard work by the most competitive students have
combined to shatter any semblance of a Bell curve, one in which 'A's
are reserved only for the very best. For example, of the 47,317
applications the University of California, Los Angeles, received for
this fall's freshman class, nearly 21,000 had GPAs of 4.0 or above."
or consider this:
""We're seeing 30, 40 valedictorians at a high
school because they don't want to create these distinctions between
"The average high school GPA increased from
2.68 to 2.94 between 1990 and 2000, according to a federal study."
This is not just a High School problem. In part
because of an agency cost problem (professors have incentives to grade
leniently even if it is to the detriment of students), the same issues
are regular discussions topics at all colleges as well. For instance
consider this story from the
"A proposal to disclose class rank on student
transcripts has ignited a debate among University of Colorado
professors with starkly different views on whether grade inflation
is a problem....
I would love to wrap this up with my own
solution, but obviously it is a tough problem to which there are no easy
solutions. That said, maybe it is time that I personally look back at my
past years' class grades to make sure I am not getting too soft. If we
all did that, we'd at least make a dent in the problem.
[some] professors who say their colleagues are
so afraid of bad student evaluations that they are placating
students with A's and B's.
The few professors who grade honestly end
up with dismal scores on student evaluations, which affect their
salaries, professor Paul Levitt said. There is also the "endless
parade of malcontents" in their offices."
"Admissions boards face 'grade inflation'," by Justin Pope, Boston
Globe, November 18, 2006 ---
That means he will have to find other ways to stand
"It's extremely difficult," he said. "I spent all
summer writing my essay. We even hired a private tutor to make sure that
essay was the best it can be. But even with that, it's like I'm just kind of
leveling the playing field." Last year, he even considered transferring out
of his highly competitive public school, to some place where his grades
would look better.
Some call the phenomenon that Zalasky's fighting
"grade inflation" -- implying the boost is undeserved. Others say students
are truly earning their better marks. Regardless, it's a trend that's been
building for years and may only be accelerating: Many students are getting
very good grades. So many, in fact, it is getting harder and harder for
colleges to use grades as a measuring stick for applicants.
Extra credit for AP courses, parental lobbying and
genuine hard work by the most competitive students have combined to shatter
any semblance of a Bell curve, one in which 'A's are reserved only for the
very best. For example, of the 47,317 applications the University of
California, Los Angeles, received for this fall's freshman class, nearly
21,000 had GPAs of 4.0 or above.
That's also making it harder for the most selective
colleges -- who often call grades the single most important factor in
admissions -- to join in a growing movement to lessen the influence of
"We're seeing 30, 40 valedictorians at a high
school because they don't want to create these distinctions between
students," said Jess Lord, dean of admission and financial aid at Haverford
College in Pennsylvania. "If we don't have enough information, there's a
chance we'll become more heavily reliant on test scores, and that's a real
negative to me."
Standardized tests have endured a heap of bad
publicity lately, with the SAT raising anger about its expanded length and
recent scoring problems. A number of schools have stopped requiring tests
scores, to much fanfare.
Continued in article
Advanced brain-imaging techniques have begun to point to
specific brain patterns common among sociopaths.
"What Can Neuroscience Tell Us about Evil?" by Richard Brandt,
MIT's Technology Review, April 24, 2007 ---
"I had to do it. What other choice did you give
These words, spoken by Cho Seung-Hui on a video in
between the two sets of killings at Virginia Tech last week, raise more
questions than answers. What made him believe that such a tragic act was
necessary? Was he a psychopath, a man who killed in cold blood or in anger
set off by the slightest provocation? Did he embody what most religions
would simply classify as "evil"?
Psychiatrists and neuroscientists are making
extraordinary advances in understanding the psychopathic or sociopathic
mind, a mind that lacks empathy, compassion, fear, or remorse. In some of
the most exciting research, advanced brain-imaging techniques are revealing
that certain sections of psychopaths' brains seem to be misfiring.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI),
researchers in the United States, Germany, and elsewhere have started taking
scans of the brains of psychopaths while the patients view horrific images,
such as photographs of bloody stabbings, shootings, or evisceration. When
normal people view these images, fMRI scans light up to indicate heavy brain
activity in sections of the emotion-generating limbic system, primarily the
amygdala, which is believed to generate feelings of empathy. But in
psychopathic patients, these sections of the amygdala remain dark, showing
greatly reduced activity or none at all. This phenomenon, known as limbic
underactivation, may indicate that some of these people lack the ability to
generate the basic emotions that keep primitive killer instincts in check.
Other researchers see similar deficits from fMRI
scans of the frontal cortex, part of the reasoning center of the brain,
which helps regulate impulsive and irrational actions. These researchers say
that frontal-deficit syndrome creates a psychopathic inability to rein in
overly emotional, impulsive, and violent reactions to the slightest
James Blair, head of the National Institute of
Mental Health's Unit on Affective Cognitive Neuroscience, believes that a
dysfunctional amygdala affects the frontal cortex. In just-completed studies
of psychopathic brains, to be published late this year or early next,
Blair's fMRI scans show that a lack of normal activity in the amygdala is
mirrored in the frontal cortex. He believes that the amygdala forwards the
wrong signals to the frontal cortex.
Continued in article
"Creating Your Own 'Wiki' Web Site: Program Simplifies
Steps for Entries; Nothing Is Private," by Katherine Boehret, The Wall
Street Journal, April 25, 2007; Page D8 ---
|Wikipedia.com, the encyclopedia Web site
created and operated with contributions from online users around the
world, is a resourceful tool. Though accuracy isn't guaranteed, it
reflects a collection of knowledge contributed and edited by many
A "wiki" is a Web site or similar online
resource that allows anyone to add and edit content collectively.
But while the idea behind Wikipedia.com and other collaborative
sites is a good one, the process of contributing content can be
intimidating for nontechies. Instead, many people opt to publish
their writing and digital media on personal blogs or Web sites. Yet
these don't do much to encourage online communities and interaction.
This week, I tested a free program from
Wetpaint.com Inc. that helps regular users create wikis, which
encourage interaction because they're constantly changed by
contributors. Wetpaint's wikis ease the process of adding Web links,
digital images, digital videos and additional text to sites made
with Wetpaint. Likewise, your site can easily be adjusted and
enhanced by anyone who views it. Compared with blogs or normal Web
sites, my Wetpaint wiki felt much more alive and exciting.
Wetpaint has room for improvement. Nothing
created on its site can be kept private from random viewers. Some of
its functions -- like adding content at the same time as someone
else -- can be a bit confusing. And it has advertisements because
it's free, but these aren't overly intrusive. The Seattle-based
company has plans for upgrades, including introducing more privacy
options this summer. But most of its features are overwhelmingly
simple to use, and built-in tutorial videos demonstrate steps.
In less than five minutes, my own wiki -- a
site devoted to discussing television programs, compiling digital
photos and video clips from shows, all of which could be added to or
deleted by anyone at any time -- was up and running. I noticed other
Wetpaint wikis for organizing sports teams, assisting with dog
rescues and discussing favorite books. Setup was divided into three
steps playfully termed The Easy Part, The Fun Part and The Other
I named my wiki and its URL, and considered
the options for who I wanted to contribute to it: everyone (even
anonymously); anyone with a Wetpaint.com account; or only those whom
I invited. I chose to allow everyone's contributions in order to get
the full feel of a wiki. Twenty four style templates provide a
starting point for the color and overall look.
I invited others to see my site so that
they, too, could contribute their ruminations. When inviting others,
you must designate how much authority you'll give each invitee.
Whoever creates the wiki is an administrator with the ability to
change everything, including the template and permission settings.
You can give others the same ranking, or you might opt to make them
moderators, letting them move and delete pages but not change
settings. The least amount of power is given to registered users;
they can't move or delete pages, but they, like everyone else, can
still delete, change or add content on each page, by default.
Every change made to the site is tracked in
detail, letting everyone see which page was altered and by whom, the
time and date of the change and the scope of each adjustment.
Special views can compare how a page looked before and after
changes, so you know whether you liked the way you had it or the new
version. These details are important in the world of wikis, where
changes can be slight, frequent and barely noticeable.
The home page of your wiki allows space for
explaining what you'd like to do. I used mine to say how much I like
chatting about recent TV show episodes, and encouraged others to
contribute anything relevant to the discussion, including write-in
opinions, photos of show characters and clips from favorite scenes.
Each page has a section for navigation in
the top left, showing which page is currently in view and how it
relates to Home -- as a subcategory of Home, or a subcategory within
a category and so on. A toolbox on the far right offers one-click
help for editing, adding attachments, inviting others and emailing a
page. At the top of each page, an Easy Edit tool can be expanded to
help you add digital photos from your PC or from specific URLs,
hyperlinks or short video clips from sites like YouTube.com.
I never saw any confusing jargon while
adding content to my wiki. I just followed suggested links, searched
for the right content online or on my computer and pasted that
information into the right spot.
Within a few hours, the friends I invited
to my wiki caught on and added content to my pages or created pages
of their own to be listed under my wiki. In addition to my pages for
"Grey's Anatomy," "The Amazing Race" and "Friday Night Lights,"
others added pages for "American Idol" and "Battlestar Galactica." I
even got into a fun back-and-forth battle with a friend as he and I
each posted pictures of our favorite doctors on "Grey's Anatomy."
Each of us had the ability to delete the other's posting or to add
I ran into some trouble when I tried to
save a post and was told that someone else was simultaneously
changing content on the same page. I chose to manually merge my
content with the other person's content, but couldn't figure out how
to do so and lost my entire post. This problem isn't likely to crop
up often, but it's worth noting.
When I had questions about other sections,
a help section walked me through the wiki-building steps. I also
watched how-to videos that demonstrated the way certain aspects of
If you're tired of reading blogs that only
let you post comments in an obscure section of the page, the
interactive community aspect of Wetpaint's wikis will appeal to you.
Just be sure you're aware that until later this summer, nothing on
your wiki can be made private.
"Wikis Made Simple -- Very Simple: Wetpaint and other wiki startups
are offering free and easy-to-use tools. But will most consumers really care?,"
by Wade Roush, MIT's Technology Review, June 21, 2006 ---
A Seattle startup called
launched the newest Web-based "wiki" platform this
week, offering people who register with the company the ability to create
community websites that can be edited easily by any user, or by invited
members only, depending on the creator's preference.
Wikis have been a popular tool for Internet geeks
for about a decade, and now they're beginning to be adopted inside many
businesses. For the most part, though, they haven't crossed into the
mainstream -- the way that other Web-based publishing technologies such as
blogs have. Wetpaint's founders hope to make that transition -- in part, by
making their free, advertising-supported service as easy to use as familiar
software tools such e-mail and word-processor programs.
Starting a Wetpaint site is as simple as picking a
name and design, creating a few pages, writing something in them, and
deciding who can edit them. The company's CEO, Ben Elowitz, says he hopes
everyone from neighborhood watch groups to Cub Scout leaders will warm up to
Wetpaint and start using it to collaborate on projects and manage group
Elowitz believes that online collaboration is a
largely unexplored market. "Message boards are good for dialogues, blogs are
good as soapboxes, and social networks are good for meeting people, but none
of those really let you manage relationships," he says. "For people who are
online now, the technology is there to give them a chance to connect over
their common interests."
But the public still has a shaky idea of wikis.
Surveys conducted by the Harris polling organization for Wetpaint show that
only 5 percent of adults who go online can define the word "wiki," according
to Elowitz. And it's not clear that Wetpaint or any other wiki-focused
company has made the technology simple -- or useful -- enough to attract
large numbers of users.
The most famous wiki, of course, is Wikipedia --
it's the largest encyclopedia ever written, with 1.2 million articles
contributed by more than 1.6 million registered users and policed by
approximately 1,000 volunteer administrators. Indeed, Wikipedia has become
the 16th-most-trafficked site on the Web; on any given day, about 4 percent
of all Internet users stop there, according to Web traffic research firm
But while most of Wikipedia's readers are aware
that they can edit encyclopedia entries, the average visitor does so
very rarely. In fact, a core of around 500 people account for about half of
Wikipedia's content -- an indication that the technical process of writing
and editing wiki items remains forbidding for the average user.
From the Scout Report on April 27, 2007
Wikyblog 1.4.9 ---
A number of people have been intimately involved in
blending the worlds of the wiki and the blog together into one efficient and
engaging application, and Wikyblog is one of the very fine results of those
ruminations. Designed as a piece of open source software, Wikyblog allows
users to create their own different data types, and to arrange various
fields and variables as they see fit. Visitors can download this software,
and also take advantage of the “how-to” section offered on the Wikyblog
homepage. This version is compatible with all computers.
Bob Jensen's threads on tricks and tools of the education
technology are at
Gillette could almost give its blade razors away or why HP could almost give its
Kodak is about to upset HP’s printer cart
"Kodak's New Printer Is a Good Start, Plus It Cuts the Cost of Ink,"
By Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2007; Page B1
|As part of its long, rocky journey from
film to digital photography, Kodak just introduced a line of home
inkjet printers. The company has decided to go after its rival
Hewlett-Packard, which dominates consumer inkjet printing.
Kodak's main weapon in this new war is
cheaper ink. Traditionally, H-P and other makers have sold the
printers for relatively little, then made most or all of their money
on the ink cartridges.
So, Kodak decided to reverse that business
model. Its three new printers start at $149.99, not sub-$100 bargain
prices. But its black ink cartridges cost just $9.99, and the color
ones -- which combine five color inks -- just $14.99. And these are
standard-capacity cartridges, not small or starter versions.
Comparable H-P cartridges vary in price, but can easily cost double
that, or more.
Kodak hopes consumers will be willing to
spend more upfront for the printer to save later on the ink.
In a counter-move, H-P announced Tuesday
that it will also be introducing new lower-price cartridges. But
these new low-end cartridges will work only on future printers (and
a few very recent models). And they will hold less ink than today's
standard. Plus, they will still cost more than Kodak's cartridges:
$14.99 for black and $17.99 for the combined color versions. H-P
will also start selling larger-capacity "value" cartridges for the
new printers that will cost about twice as much as the low-end ink,
but print up to triple the number of pages.
How good are Kodak's new printers? After
all, cheaper ink isn't really a bargain if the printer is lousy. To
find out, I've been testing Kodak's midrange model, the EasyShare
5300, which costs $199.99. It's an "all-in-one" machine that
combines a printer with a flatbed copier and scanner.
I compared this new Kodak with a roughly
comparable all-in-one H-P model, the Photosmart C6180. This
particular H-P model costs $100 more than the Kodak, because it
includes some additional features. But H-P says that this printer
has the same printing, scanning and copying quality and speeds, in
the typical scenarios I tested, as H-P's C5180, the direct
competitor of the Kodak 5300, which costs the same.
My conclusion was that the Kodak EasyShare
5300 is a pretty good printer, with a good enough combination of
quality, speed and functionality to satisfy people attracted by the
lower ink costs. In my tests, it was better than the H-P at some
things and worse at others.
One caveat: I didn't try to verify Kodak's
claim that, overall, its printouts cost a lot less than H-P's. Such
claims depend on very specific sorts of test files produced and
tested in labs. H-P disputes Kodak's testing methodology and claims
that Kodak's printout costs are "about the same or only slightly
lower than H-P's."
Continued in article
Consumer Reports offers the following guidelines for purchasing a printer (prior
to the low-cost ink alternatives from Kodak) ---
I think Cannon makes the main inner parts for virtually all
inkjet printers. PC World lists its choice of the Top 10 printers (prior
to Kodak's new low-cost ink alternatives) ---
For Fon: Time Warner Cable lets customers set up cheap Wi-Fi
"Bucking convention, Time Warner Cable lets customers set up
cheap Wi-Fi hotspots," MIT's Technology Review, April 23, 2007 ---
In a big win for a little Wi-Fi startup called Fon,
Time Warner Cable Inc. will let its home broadband customers turn their
connections into public wireless hotspots, a practice shunned by most U.S.
Internet service providers.
For Fon, which has forged similar agreements with
ISPs across Europe, the deal will boost its credibility with U.S. consumers.
For Time Warner Cable, which has 6.6 million broadband subscribers, the move
could help protect the company from an exodus as free or cheap municipal
wireless becomes more readily available.
Fon was founded in Spain in 1995 on the premise
that people should not have to pay twice -- once at home, then again in a
coffee shop -- for Internet access. At first, the company offered software
that let members, called Foneros, turn Wi-Fi routers into shared access
points, but it took hours to get up and running.
In the fall of 2006, Fon, which counts Google Inc.
and eBay Inc.'s Skype among its investors, started selling and sometimes
giving away its own branded wireless router, called La Fonera. Since then,
it has distributed about 370,000 of them worldwide.
La Fonera splits a Wi-Fi connection in two: an
encrypted channel for the Fonero and a public one for neighbors or
passers-by. Foneros can decide how much of their bandwidth to share with the
public and can log on to any Fon router without charge. ''Aliens,'' as Fon
calls nonmembers, can register on a Web page and pay a modest $2 (euro1.47)
or $3 (euro2.20) for 24 hours of access.
In the U.S., where it costs $10 (euro7.35) for a
day pass to use a T-Mobile HotSpot at a Starbucks, Fon's economics seem
Joanna Rees, chief executive of Fon USA, said such
rates at coffee shops, airports and hotels might work for a business person
with an expense account but are too high for people who just want to quickly
check e-mail, make a call on a Wi-Fi phone or play on a wireless video game
''They're extorting people,'' Rees said.
Starbucks Corp. and T-Mobile USA Inc.
representatives responded that they provide a premium service, and that
customers see value in paying for speed, security and reliability.
Fon has about 60,000 Foneros in the U.S. In
February, the company launched ''Fonbucks,'' a one-month router giveaway
aimed at people who live above or next-door to a Starbucks. It was an
amusing way to get more La Foneras into high-density areas, and it worked to
the tune of 6,800 free routers.
But until now, ISPs in the U.S. have resisted the
Fon model. Most big companies' end-user license agreements prohibit
subscribers from sharing their connection outside the home or business.
Verizon Communications Inc., for example, can terminate contracts if it
finds an ad-hoc hotspot.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's bookmarks about wireless systems are at
Quiz about your powers of observation ---
Karl Popper's Black Swan
What is a "Black Swan" in portfolio theory?
Hint: Our strategies for managing risk, for instance--including Modern Portfolio
Theory and the Black-Scholes formula for pricing options--are likely to fail at
the worst possible time.
"Shattering the Bell Curve: The power law rules," by David A. Shaywitz,
The Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2007 ---
The attractiveness of the bell curve resides in its democratic distribution
and its mathematical accessibility. Collect enough data and the pattern
reveals itself, allowing both robust predictions of future data points (such
as the height of the next five people to enter the room) and accurate
estimations of the size and frequency of extreme values (anticipating the
occasional giant or dwarf.
The power-law distribution, by contrast, would seem
to have little to recommend it. Not only does it disproportionately reward
the few, but it also turns out to be notoriously difficult to derive with
precision. The most important events may occur so rarely that existing data
points can never truly assure us that the future won't look very different
from the present. We can be fairly certain that we will never meet anyone
14-feet tall, but it is entirely possible that, over time, we will hear of a
man twice as rich as Bill Gates or witness a market crash twice as
devastating as that of October 1987.
The problem, insists Mr. Taleb, is that most of the
time we are in the land of the power law and don't know it.
Our strategies for managing risk, for
instance--including Modern Portfolio Theory and the Black-Scholes formula
for pricing options--are likely to fail at the worst possible time,
Mr. Taleb argues, because they are generally (and mistakenly) based on
bell-curve assumptions. He gleefully cites the example of Long Term Capital
Management (LTCM), an early hedge fund that blew up after its Nobel laureate
founders "allowed themselves to take a monstrous amount of risk" because
"their models ruled out the possibility of large deviations."
Mr. Taleb is fascinated by the rare but pivotal
events that characterize life in the power-law world. He calls them Black
Swans, after the philosopher Karl Popper's observation that only a single
black swan is required to falsify the theory that "all swans are white" even
when there are thousands of white swans in evidence. Provocatively, Mr.
Taleb defines Black Swans as events (such as the rise of the Internet or the
fall of LTCM) that are not only rare and consequential but also predictable
only in retrospect. We never see them coming, but we have no trouble
concocting post hoc explanations for why they should have been obvious.
Surely, Mr. Taleb taunts, we won't get fooled again. But of course we will.
Writing in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel
de Montaigne, Mr. Taleb divides the world into those who "get it" and
everyone else, a world partitioned into heroes (Popper, Hayek, Yogi Berra),
those on notice (Harold Bloom, necktie wearers, personal-finance advisers)
and entities that are dead to him (the bell curve, newspapers, the Nobel
Prize in Economics).
A humanist at heart, Mr. Taleb ponders not only the
effect of Black Swans but also the reason we have so much trouble
acknowledging their existence. And this is where he hits his stride. We
eagerly romp with him through the follies of confirmation bias (our tendency
to reaffirm our beliefs rather than contradict them), narrative fallacy (our
weakness for compelling stories), silent evidence (our failure to account
for what we don't see), ludic fallacy (our willingness to oversimplify and
take games or models too seriously), and epistemic arrogance (our habit of
overestimating our knowledge and underestimating our ignorance).
For anyone who has been compelled to give a
long-term vision or read a marketing forecast for the next decade, Mr.
Taleb's chapter excoriating "The Scandal of Prediction" will ring painfully
true. "What is surprising is not the magnitude of our forecast errors,"
observes Mr. Taleb, "but our absence of awareness of it." We tend to
fail--miserably--at predicting the future, but such failure is little noted
nor long remembered. It seems to be of remarkably little professional
I suspect that part of the explanation for this
inconsistency may be found in a study of stock analysts that Mr. Taleb
cites. Their predictions, while badly inaccurate, were not random but rather
highly correlated with each other. The lesson, evidently, is that it's
better to be wrong than alone.
If we accept Mr. Taleb's premise about power-law
ascendancy, we are left with a troubling question: How do you function in a
world where accurate prediction is rarely possible, where history isn't a
reliable guide to the future and where the most important events cannot be
Mr. Taleb presents a range of answers--be prepared
for various outcomes, he says, and don't rush for buses--but it's clear that
he remains slightly vexed by the world he describes so vividly. Then again,
beatific serenity may not be the goal here. As Mr. Taleb warns, certitude is
likely to be found only in a fool's (bell-curve) paradise, where we choose
the comfort of the "precisely wrong" over the challenge of the "broadly
correct." Beneath Mr. Taleb's blustery rhetoric lives a surprisingly humble
soul who has chosen to follow a demanding and somewhat lonely path.
I wonder how many of us will have the courage to
join him. Very few, I predict--unless, of course, something unexpected
Dr. Shaywitz is a physician-scientist in
New Jersey. You can buy "The Black Swan" from most online bookstores,
April 24, 2007 reply from J. S. Gangolly
There have been excellent discussions of many of
these ideas by physicists (largely ignored by economists because of their
inconvenience to their ideological moorings) for a long time. Some examples
1. The book by the French mathematician Benoit
Mandelbrot titled "The (Mis) Behavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Risk,
Ruin And Reward". He also has an excellent book online, based on his course
at Yale, at
2. The so-called small world phenomena, which has
very interesting applications in psychology and sociology. It evolved out of
experiments by Stanley Milgrom. There are at least two books by David
Strogatz. One interesting place to start is
3. The work on "fat tail risk" as the explanation
for possibility of failures of large accounting firms. There are a bunch of
papers that deal with this issue in the legal literature. I can give cites
to those who might be interested (I do not have them handy). There is also
work on "long tails" by Mandelbrot.
April 24, 2007 reply from Paul Williams
Nassim Taleb's earlier book, Fooled
by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets is
an interesting read. Taleb was a fund manager for many years, got a PhD in
mathematics, and now apparently is working on a Trilogy debunking the
pretentions of the "economic snake oil salesmen."
The irony is that one of his heroes in
this book is Daniel Kahneman. Consistent with Jagdish observation that
economists aren't interested in anything that undermines the ideological
moorings, he touts Kahneman's work as if it was new!
The history of the so-called Nobel
Prize, which Taleb apparently has little use for, is another illustration of
the ideological and political pretensions of conventional economics. There
is no Nobel Prize in economics. There is the Bank of Sweden Prize in
Economic Science in Honor of Alfred Nobel, created in 1964.
The money for the prize does not come
from the Nobel trust, but from the banking industry. Little wonder that most
of the winners have a Chicago connection. One of the beauties of
conventional economics is that its scientific pretensions and form allow it
to "naturalize" certain value judgments. A reversal of the Humean problem of
is to should. Economics is the "science" of should to is.
April 24, 2007 reply from Mac Wright
This book appears to be critical of social
attitudes, rather than mathematics. After all, there will always be the risk
of statistical bias, as well as that most dangerous of the social phenomena
- confirmation bias.
With statistics I watched as an interested observer
as my daughter Katharine took the 100 th percentile of head size with her,
and panicked the medical profession (exept her doctor grandmother - "Keep
her away from those bloody pediatricians!"). After much searching the
diagnosis was returned "macrocephalis" OK she has a big head, but where did
the original stats come from. The best I can establish was a group of middle
class American mid west children in the 1950s. Could such a geographically
and socially restricted sample be valid for general predictions as to
height, weight and head size at different ages around the world?
As to confirmation bias, there are many examples of
this in the aviation accident research literature. Shutting down the wrong
engine appears to be very popular, driven by expectations, and once the
expectations happen, the decision seems confirmed as correct - o cruel fate.
For example; One engine surges as it goes into self destruct mode. The
aircraft yaws towards the good engine. Dials are checked, the engine giving
too much thrust is showing high numbers, the other a bit below normal. Shut
is down. Almost immediately the other engine self destructs, now we have
none, and a big glider! The glider becomes a not particularly seaworthy
boat. Had we waited then we would have seen that the high reading dials were
simply at a peak fluctuation.
(PS the first person plural is not me!)
Bob Jensen's threads on options valuation are at
What are the top ten U.S. cities in terms of car theft per capita?
"Las Vegas leads nation in auto theft rate," by Peter Valdes-Dapena,
CNN, April 24, 2007 ---
Top ten metro areas by per capita auto theft rate
Las Vegas/Paradise, Nev.
Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau (Link will open in a new window.)
Big Brother may soon be counting your sheets of toilet paper in
Her toilet paper manifesto would limit how many squares
of toilet paper Americans use in a sitting.
"Report: Sheryl Crow's Solutions to Global Warming," Fox News, April 23,
Sheryl forgot to factor in the added energy cost of increased soap and hot water
that will be used for more serious hand scrubbing as a result. The U.S. culture
may become more like that of Arabs and Japanese with non-existent hand shaking
as a gesture of greeting and friendship.
The Jobs Undercount Each Year
This year the great jobs undercount has continued. An
analysis by economists at First Trust Advisors in Chicago has found that from
April 2006 through February 2007 (the latest revised numbers available), the
federal government originally reported almost one-half million fewer Americans
working than actually were working. On average, the first monthly forecast for
this period was 113,000 jobs; the second report from a month later counted
138,000 new jobs; and the final revision was 157,000 jobs. Whoops. So this year,
one of every four new jobs flew below the government's statistical radar --
which counts as improvement, we guess.
"The Jobs Miscount," The Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2007 ---
"Practical Holographic Video: Researchers have designed a cheap and
small holography system that will work with PCs and gaming consoles," by
Kate Greene, MIT's Technology Review, April 24, 2007 ---
The tyranny of two-dimensional computer and TV
displays could soon be over. A team of MIT researchers has proposed a way to
make a holographic video system that works with computer hardware for
consumers, such as PCs with graphics cards and gaming consoles. The display,
the researchers say, will be small enough to add to an entertainment center,
provide resolution as good as a standard analog television, and cost only a
couple hundred dollars.
A holographic video display could provide another
way to view medical images such as MRIs and CT scans, as well as sets of
complex, multidimensional data and designs for furniture and cars, says V.
Michael Bove Jr., director of the consumer electronics program, CELab, at
MIT. And the system would be a natural fit for displaying video games and
virtual worlds. Most games now have sophisticated three-dimensional models
sitting deep within their software, "but you don't see them because [the
images are] rendered as a two-dimensional picture," Bove says.
Continued in article
Networked MS Office Products
Computer Science professors typically hate Microsoft products. Indeed Windows
is fundamentally flawed.
But the market share still goes to Microsoft, especially the MS Office
software. There are some new networking solutions that can save money.
Below is an April 24, 2007 message from a (retired) Computer Science
Join the world of network computing and never have to buy office
Go to: www.ajax13.com or
and get access to office -like applications that can be downloaded or
uploaded too and from any machine with a browser (preferrably Firefox).
Create a document anywhere and use or save it anywhere else. Is Microsoft
scared? Could be. --
April 25, 2007 reply from Richard Campbell
www.zoho.com for an
online suite of Office-type products.
Richard J. Campbell
School of Business
218 N. College Ave.
University of Rio Grande
Rio Grande, OH 45674
"How to Create List Reports in Excel," AccountingWeb, April 23,
List-type reports such as customer addresses, lists
of invoices and lists of products are vitally important in running the daily
operations of a business. So it is vital that you be able to write your own
when you need them. If your package has a full-strength Report Writer
function, writing your own list reports may prove difficult. As an
alternative approach, try writing them instead in Excel using the Sub-Total
and Import External Data commands.
Every package has its own individual report writer
module, or it may incorporate a third-party report writer package that is
far too complicated for most users. Now Playing: How to Create List Reports
Please be patient while play button activates. No
Player Above? Download Audio Here.
If you are finding it difficult to write your own
reports, investigate if the standard reports in your own package been
written via the report writer? If they have, find one similar to the one you
want, make a copy of it, then try tweaking the copy to see what happens.
It's infinitely easier to take a report that someone else has written and
amend it, rather than write your own from scratch.
But when all else fails, you can resort to that one
sure-fire friend and helper: Excel. How would we live without it? Excel can
help enormously in reporting. There are two phases in report design: getting
the data and formatting it. And Excel is brilliant at formatting. If only
you can get the raw data out of the accounts package and into Excel,
producing the rest of the report will be straightforward.
Let’s discuss the tools that Excel offers to help
you in writing list reports, because these tools don't seem to be very well
known. They are the Data Subtotals command, and the Data Import External
Data command (also called MS Query).
Before you start you must get your data into Excel
in the form of a list. That is, each row of the worksheet contains a record,
while each column represents a data field. At the top of each column is the
A practical example will make it clear. Download a
sample database and load it into Excel.
Let’s say, for example, that each record represents
a single line in a sales invoice. So the first two rows come from a two-line
sales invoice to our sample company, American Limited, invoice number
SIN1001. Let’s also say that the first item on this invoice is a Compaq H16
250mb server, and the second item is an HP Deskjet Printer.
The list is sorted in invoice number order or the
Suppose you wanted to see the total Quantity and
Net amounts for each invoice. Simply click anywhere on the data, then from
the main menu select: Data Subtotals. The Subtotal box appears. Enter the
At each change in: InvNo
Use function: Sum Add Subtotal to: tick the boxes
next to Qty and Net. Untick any other boxes and click OK. After every
invoice, Excel inserts a line and displays subtotals in the Qty and Net
The Limitations of Sub-Totals Sub-Total is a handy
little command. However, Sub-Total is fairly limited. For example, let’s say
you keep a daybook in Excel in which you list all sales invoices as they are
sent out. Every so often you want to add them up and see the totals you’re
billing. The only problem is that you want to see the totals by week or
month. But Excel can only sub-total on what is actually there on the screen,
so you have to insert two new columns to the left of each invoice WeekNo.
and MonthNo. Whenever you enter an invoice, you must manually enter a week
and month number as well. It helps if you always ensure that columns such as
WeekNo and MonthNo specified in the At Each Change box are positioned at the
Continued in article (including other limitations)
"How to Archive E-mails with Adobe Acrobat," by Simon Hurst,
AccountingWeb, April 16, 2007 ---
"Loss for Whistle Blowers," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed,
April 23, 2007 ---
In the end, the Supreme Court voted
significantly narrow the First Amendment protections of
public employees, ruling that
“when public employees make statements pursuant to their
official duties, the employees are not speaking as citizens
for First Amendment purposes, and the Constitution does not
insulate their communications from employer discipline.” The
decision stated that it was not a statement about public
college professors’ teaching and scholarship — although the
dissent expressed fears that the ruling could affect public
a federal appeals court applied the ruling in precisely the
way some free speech advocates feared — but the decision
came not in a professor’s case, but in a suit by a lawyer
who lost a job as a vice president at Miami Dade College. A
three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th
ruled that Adis M. Vila could not bring a suit
against Eduardo J. Padrón, president
at Miami Dade.
Vila’s suit charged that Padrón’s
treatment amounted to retaliation for her whistle blowing,
and was a violation of her First Amendment rights. But in
its ruling, citing last year’s Supreme Court ruling among
other cases, the appeals court said that Vila’s statements
to Padrón about various issues at Miami Dade were not
covered by the First Amendment because she spoke only to
college officials, as opposed to speaking out in public.
Several experts on higher education
law said that the ruling could create serious problems for
college lawyers and other administrators who have to
regularly risk offending their bosses by pointing out legal
or ethical vulnerabilities at their institutions. “The
determination in effect says ‘don’t be a pain and if you
are, you can be fired,’ ” said Sheldon E. Steinbach, a
lawyer in the higher education practice at the Washington
firm Dow Lohnes.
Vila served at Miami Dade as vice
president for external affairs, a position in which she was
in charge of college units dealing with legal issues,
government relations, grants and various other areas. During
2002 and 2003, the period when she worked at the college and
reported to Padrón, she had a series of conflicts with the
president and others in which she believed she was
performing a whistle-blowing function, saving the college
from future legal problems.
Among the areas where the appeals
court said she pointed out problems: the awarding of a
no-bid contract to an advertising company in apparent
violation of state law and then a draft of a board agenda
that might have incorrectly implied that a request for
proposals had been used; the hiring of an outside lawyer at
rates that were too high and in which the lawyer may have
had a conflict of interest; the transfer of funds from one
account to another to purchase a building with “private
funds” when the money’s original source was a bond vote by
taxpapers; and a plan to use college funds to finance the
illustration of the poetry book of the daughter of a college
The appeals court ruling did not
comment specifically on these college decisions, but
reviewed them only in the context of the factual history of
Vila’s actions while she was employed at the college.
E-mails and phone messages to various Miami Dade officials
asking for comment both on the ruling (which favored the
college) and the policies Vila objected to were not
returned. Padrón has been praised by many for his role in
promoting growth at the college, which added four-year
programs and dropped “Community” from its name under his
leadership. But Padrón has also clashed with faculty groups
rebuked by the American Association of University Professors
for abolishing the system of shared
governance after the faculty voted to unionize.
Michael Olivas, director of the
Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance at the
University of Houston Law Center, said that he was concerned
about the ruling because it backed a president who
“dismissed this lawyer for her doing a good job.”
“College counsel are in a unique
position to be whipsawed when their boards or superiors
engage in dubious behavior, as
news reports strongly indicate
have happened here,” Olivas said. He said that Florida
should bring in a neutral fact finder to go over the
situation, as well as the concerns raised by Vila about
decisions and contracts “which have the smell of week-old
fish to them.”
Steinbach — who in his current
position and his previous work at the American Council on
Education is in constant contact with college lawyers — said
that the decision could undercut those at public
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on whistle blowing are at
Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at
Can you be arrested for making terrorist threats to yourself?
A college professor has been arrested for making
threats to herself on her voice mail at the college, according to the Limestone
County Sheriff's Department. After making a statement to investigators admitting
her involvement, Penelope Blankenship, 43, of Decatur was charged with making a
terrorist threat, a felony. She was released on $5,000 bond, a statement from
Sheriff Mike Blakely said.
Budd McLaughlin, "Professor arrested for making threats," The Huntsville
Times, April 22, 2007 ---
From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on April 27,
"House Clears an Executive-Pay Measure," by Kara Scannell,
The Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2007 Page: A3 ---
TOPICS: Accounting, Disclosure, Disclosure Requirements, Regulation,
Securities and Exchange Commission
SUMMARY: This article reports on legislation passed by a 269-134 margin in
the House to give "...shareholders a nonbinding vote on executive pay packages
and a separate vote on any compensation negotiated as part of a purchase or sale
of a company..." (a golden parachute). The legislation "would require the
Securities and Exchange Commission to write rules under which investors could
use company-issued ballot forms to vote on executive pay on an advisory basis,
starting in 2009." This legislation builds on a law passed last year requiring
greater disclosure about executive compensation, including a total compensation
figure--an item difficult to determine from previous corporate financial
statements. Business and the White House generally disagree with the
legislation, in part because of fears that labor union negotiations would result
in pay determinations based on inequality issues rather than performance ones. A
related article identifies further specifics on the SEC's role in resolving
these and other hot issues.
1.) Summarize the legislation passed by the House. What will be the next step in
attempts to pass this legislation? How would it be implemented?
2.) Does this legislation show any impact from the political process on
financial reporting practices? In your answer, consider also the general process
undertaken by the SEC to resolve "hot" issues as well.
3.) If the shareholders vote on the issues discussed in this article are not
binding under the law if it is ultimately passed and implemented, then how would
the law change current practices in executive compensation?
4.) Despite President Bush's comments on executive compensation in this
year's State of the Union address, administrators in the White House now say
they do not support the proposed law but prefer to allow time for recently
enacted reforms to take effect. What are these reforms? When were they
5.) Focus in particular on the disclosure of executive pay packages in answer
to question 4. How might these disclosure requirements work to change current
practices in executive compensation?
Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island
RELATED ARTICLES: The SEC's Mr. Consensus by Kara Scannell, The Wall
Street Journal, Apr 20, 2007 Page: C1
Bob Jensen's threads on outrageous executive compensation even for
executive failure are at
"Electronic Publishing in the Humanities: Task Force Report,"
University of Illinois Blog Issues in Scholarly Communication, April
The Joint Task Force on Electronic Publishing of
the American Philological Association (APA) and the Archaeological Institute
of America (AIA) has submitted its
final report to the boards of the two societies.
This document has been submitted to the Board of Directors of the APA and
the Governing Board of the AIA for their consideration.
The APA Board of Directors formulated the following
guidance for the Task Force:
The Task Force will have as its charge the
analysis of particular issues associated with the burgeoning area of
electronic publishing, including peer refereeing, freedom of
information, intellectual property protection, storage and retrieval of
data and whatever other concerns it may identify. Our precedent is the
Association's Committee on Computer operations which, during its active
life, made many valuable contributions, some of which have had lasting
influence upon techniques utilized in our research.
Executive Summary, the following are the main
points of the Report:
- Invest in
cyberinfrastructure for the humanities and social sciences, as a matter
of strategic priority.
Implementation: Determine the amount and efficacy of funding that now
goes to support developing cyberinfrastructure for humanities and social
sciences from all sources; through annual meetings and ongoing
consultation, coordinate the goals this funding aims to achieve; and aim
to increase both funding and coordination over the next five years,
including commercial investments that are articulated with the
educational community's agenda.
public and institutional policies that foster openness and access.
Implementation: The leadership of the humanities and social sciences
should develop, adopt, and advocate for public and institutional polices
that foster openness and access.
cooperation between the public and private sectors.
Implementation: A private foundation, a federal funding agency, an
Internet business, and one or more university partners should cosponsor
recurring annual summits to explore new models for commercial/nonprofit
partnerships and to discuss opportunities for the focused creation of
digital resources with high educational value and high public impact.
leadership in support of cyberinfrastructure from within the humanities
and social sciences.
Implementation: Increase federal and foundation funding to one or more
scholarly organizations in the area of humanities and social science
computing so that they can work with member organizations of the
American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and others to establish
priorities for cyberinfrastructure development, raise awareness of
research and partnership opportunities among scholars, and coordinate
the evolution of research products from basic to applied.
Implementation: Federal funding agencies and private foundations should
establish programs that develop and support expertise in digital
humanities and social sciences, from short-term workshops to
postdoctoral and research fellowships to the cultivation of
appropriately trained computer professionals. The ACLS should encourage
discussion among its member societies in developing recommendations with
respect to evaluating digital scholarship in tenure and promotion
national centers to support scholarship that contributes to and exploits
Implementation: Universities and university consortia should develop new
and support existing humanities and social science computing centers.
These centers should provide for advanced training and research and
curate collections of unique materials.
- Develop and
maintain open standards and robust tools.
Implementation: University consortia such as the Committee on
Institutional Cooperation should license software such as SourceForge,
an enterprise-grade solution for managing and optimizing distributed
development, and make it available to open-source developers in academic
institutions. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), National
Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the Institute of Museum
and Library Services (IMLS) should support the development, maintenance,
and coordination of community-based standards such as the Text Encoding
Initiative, Encoded Archival Description, Metadata Encoding and
Transmission Standard, and Visual Resources Data Standards. The National
Science Foundation (NSF), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the IMLS, and
other funding agencies should support the development of tools for the
analysis of digital content.
extensive and reusable digital collections.
Implementation: Extensive and reusable digital collections are at the
core of the humanities and social science cyberinfrastructure. Scholars
must be engaged in the development of these collections. National
centers with a focus on particular methods or disciplines can organize a
certain amount of scholar-driven digitization. Library organizations and
libraries should sponsor discipline-based focus groups to discuss
priorities with respect to digitization. When priorities are
established, these should be relayed to the organizers of annual
meetings on commercial and nonprofit partnerships, and they should be
considered in the distribution of grant funds by federal agencies and
private foundations. Funding to support the maintenance and coordination
of standards will improve the reusability of digital collections. The
NEA, NEH, and IMLS should work together to promote collaboration and
skills development—through conferences, workshops, and/or grant
programs—for the creation, management, preservation, and presentation of
reusable digital collections, objects, and products.
- Finally, in
light of these requirements and in order to realize the promise of
cyberinfrastructure for research and education, the Commission calls for
specific investments—not just of money but also of leadership— from
scholars and scholarly societies; librarians, archivists, and curators;
university provosts and university presses; the commercial sector;
government; and private foundations.
Bob Jensen's threads on open access are at
Ex-Halliburton unit accused of war profiteering
U.S. lawmakers on Thursday railed against senior Army
officials and defense contractor KBR Inc. over persistent allegations of fraud
and contract abuse on a multibillion-dollar deal to provide food and shelter to
U.S. troops in Iraq. "Profiteering during wartime is inexcusable," said Sen.
Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., testifying at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
"This is the most significant waste, fraud and abuse we have ever seen in this
country." Lawmakers and the U.S. inspector general have accused KBR, formerly a
division of Halliburton Co., which was once headed by Vice President Dick
Cheney, of abusing federal rules in record-keeping...
Donna Borak, "Ex-Halliburton unit accused of war profiteering," Sun Herald,
April 20, 2007 ---
Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at
A THEORY OF THE FIRM'S COST OF CAPITAL
|How Debt Affects the Firm's Risk, Value, Tax Rate and the Government's Tax
by Ramesh K S Rao (University of Texas at Austin, USA) & Eric C Stevens (USA)
The Israeli-Hezbollah War of 2006: The Media as a Weapon in
Research Paper ---
April 26, 2007 message from Naomi Ragen
Frida Ghitis | Bio <http://worldpoliticswatch.com/author.aspx?id=36>
| 22 Apr 2007
World Politics Watch Exclusive <http://www.worldpoliticswatch.com/>
While the war between Israel and Hezbollah raged in
Lebanon and Israel last summer, it became clear that media coverage had
itself started to play an important role in determining the ultimate outcome
of that war. It seemed clear that news coverage would affect the course of
the conflict. And it quickly transpired that Hezbollah would become the
beneficiary of the media's manipulation.
A close examination of the media's role during the
2006 Israel-Hezbollah war in Lebanon comes now from Harvard University's
Kennedy School of Government, in an analysis of the war published in a paper
whose subtitle should give pause to journalists covering international
conflict: "The Israeli-Hezbollah War of 2006: The Media as a Weapon in
Asymmetrical Conflict ." Marvin Kalb, of Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the
Press, Politics and Public Policy, methodically traces the transformation of
the media "from objective observer to fiery advocate." Kalb painstakingly
details how Hezbollah exercised absolute control over how journalists
portrayed its side of the conflict, while Israel became "victimized by its
The lessons from the Harvard paper go well beyond
historic analysis. Kalb's thoroughly and persuasively documented case points
to the challenges to journalists in future "asymmetrical" conflicts in which
a radical militia provides access only to journalists agreeing to the
strictest of rules.
Journalists did Hezbollah's work, offering little
resistance to the Islamic militia's effort to portray itself as an
idealistic and heroic army of the people, facing an aggressive and ruthless
enemy. With Hezbollah's unchallenged control of journalists' access within
its territory, it managed to almost completely eliminate from the narrative
crucial facts, such as the fact that it deliberately fired its weapons from
deep within civilian population centers, counting on Israeli forces to have
no choice but defend themselves by targeting rocket launchers where they
stood. Hezbollah's strong support from Syria and Iran -- including the
provision of deadly weapons -- faded in the coverage, as the conflict
increasingly became portrayed as pitting one powerful army against a band of
heroic defenders of a civilian population.
Gradually lost in the coverage was the fact that
the war began when Hezbollah infiltrated Israel, kidnapping two of its
soldiers (still held to this day) and killing eight Israelis. Despite the
undisputed fact that Hezbollah triggered the war, Israel was painted as the
aggressor, as images of the war overtook the context.
Israelis by the hundreds of thousands became the
target of rocket fire aimed at civilian centers. Women and children, Jews
and Arabs, young and old, spent more than a month living in underground
shelters while nearly 4000 Hezbollah rockets rained on Israel. The coverage
from Israel, however, quickly moved away from the anxiety-filled civilian
areas, which were not terribly telegenic, and onto the front lines where
armed, uniformed soldiers could be seen by television cameramen and
By contrast, armed Hezbollah fighters were all but
invisible to the media. Also invisible were Hezbollah's thousands of rockets
and rocket launchers strategically positioned near schools, hospitals and
Within Hezbollah territory, journalists were led
through scenes of the destruction caused by Israel. Journalists rarely
complained about Hezbollah's restrictions, but they frequently complained
about Israel's efforts to limit coverage deemed useful to the enemy. Still,
circumventing Israeli restrictions proved easy in a country like Israel,
while in Hezbollah-controlled areas it proved all but impossible. Cameras
enjoyed full access to civilian victims of Israel's actions, but never to
the perpetrators of violence against Israel. And in Israel journalists could
interview soldiers complaining about the weaknesses in Israeli tactics. On
more than one occasion, Hezbollah choreographed theater for visiting
journalists, with ambulances ordered to parade on command for journalists,
who rarely challenged the inconsistencies in what they saw. Bloggers, for
example, noticed a perfectly unharmed Lebanese man standing in a picture,
not long after he had been seen being "rescued" from the crushing rubble of
Before long, Hezbollah had achieved a definitive
propaganda victory. The media had not only acquiesced to tell Hezbollah's
version of the war, they had started contributing to the creation of the
narrative, with at least one Reuters photographer altering photographs to
make Israeli attacks look more damaging. And many reporters simply failed to
offer much context. The study quotes the New York Times' Stephen Erlanger
commenting on a satellite picture published by his paper. The picture showed
a southern suburb of Beirut, which was largely destroyed. Erlanger said it
"bothered me a great deal," because the image with no context failed to show
that this was a small part of a Beirut, and the rest of the city was largely
undamaged by the war.
According to the Harvard paper, Arab TV network Al
Arabiya portrayed Arabs as the victims in 95 percent of its stories, while
Al Jazeera did it in 70 percent of its reports. Arab journalists' bias
against Israel is hardly surprising, but consider this: Al Jazeera's
coverage portrayed Israel as the aggressor just as often as did the four
main German television programs. And if you think American journalists held
no bias against Israel, you may be surprised to know that "On the front
pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post, Israel was portrayed as
the aggressor nearly twice as often in the headlines and exactly three times
as often in the photos."
The Harvard paper shows the need for journalists to
brace themselves and remain vigilant when they cover conflicts between open
societies on one side, and media-controlling militias on the other. These
conflicts, which we will undoubtedly continue to see, demand that
journalists make a greater effort to provide context and to keep from become
willing collaborators with one side. Islamic militant groups, such as al-Qaida
and others, have openly described their strategy of manipulating the media
and winning on the "information battlefield." Hezbollah, too, had a well
crafted, and ultimately successful media plan.
The challenge to keep from being used will be
greatest for journalists in the field, but editors back in the newsroom also
must look closely at what their organizations produce. They must be aware
that their reporters on the ground are the target of media campaigns by
those they cover, and that reporters can become emotionally allied with one
side, as we saw last summer in Lebanon.
Frida Ghitis writes on world affairs.
San Francisco Declares a Safe Harbor for Illegal Immigrants
(including wanted felons)
"(Mayor) Newsom pledges to make SF a sanctuary for illegal
immigrants," by Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, April 22, 2007 ---
Mayor Gavin Newsom vowed Sunday to maintain San
Francisco as a sanctuary for immigrants and do everything he can to
discourage federal authorities from conducting immigration raids.
The mayor cannot stop federal authorities from
making arrests, Newsom told about 300 mostly Latino members of St. Peter's
Church and other religious groups supporting immigrants. But no San
Francisco employee will help with immigration enforcement.
"I will not allow any of my department heads or
anyone associated with this city to cooperate in any way shape or form with
these raids," Newsom declared. "We are a sanctuary city, make no mistake
The Board of Supervisors first declared San
Francisco a "sanctuary city" in 1989. The designation, which many U.S.
cities across the country took on during the 1980s, has no legal meaning.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials
have since May 2006 conducted raids across the country, including arrests in
San Rafael, Oakland, Richmond, San Pablo, Santa Clara and other cities
across the Bay area. Immigration officials have said they were executing
arrest warrants for immigrants who had committed crimes or were in the
country illegally and had ignored final deportation orders.
Continued in article
Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter vetoed plans
to commission the Makin Island, the Navy's newest and most powerful warship,
in San Francisco in 2008 because of a perception that the city is
anti-military . . . One of the factors that turned the Pentagon against San
Francisco, he said, was widely quoted anti-military remarks made by various
city politicians. Some of the remarks got considerable attention, especially
ones made by Gerardo Sandoval, a member of the Board of Supervisors, who was
quoted on national television as saying national defense should be left to
"the cops and the Coast Guard.''
Carl Nolte, "Navy scuttles plan
to commission warship here, citing local politics," San Francisco
Chronicle, December 2, 2006 ---
The military considers them (AWOL)
criminals, and many Americans call them traitors. But during an anti-war
event Saturday in San Francisco, Anderson and others like him got a standing
Cecilia M. Vega, "SAN
FRANCISCO: Troops opposed to Iraq war get show of support: Rallies in
S.F., nationwide hear those who went AWOL speak on refusal to return to
combat," San Francisco Chronicle, December 10, 2006 ---
Anti-military San Francisco Supervisors are frustrated by the plunge in U.S.
military desertion rates since 9/11. In 1971 during the Viet Nam war, the
desertion rate hit a high of 3.4% of an Army that included many unhappy
draftees. In 2005 the desertion rate plunged to 0.24% of the all-volunteer
Army of 1.4 million men and women ---
Opposition to the war prompts a small
fraction of desertions, says Army spokeswoman Maj. Elizabeth Robbins. "[A
few] people always desert, and most do it because they don't adapt well to
the military," she says. The vast majority of desertions happen inside the
USA, Robbins says. There is only one
known case of desertion in Iraq.
Most deserters return within months,
without coercion. Commander Randy Lescault, spokesman for the Naval
Personnel Command, says that between 2001 and 2005, 58% of Navy deserters
walked back in. Of the rest, the most are apprehended during traffic stops.
Penalties range from other-than-honorable discharges to death for desertion
during wartime. Few are court-martialed.
San Francisco is known for its lenient Judges and liberal
Supervisors. The S.F. Chief of Police accuses the Judges and Supervisors of
having no accountability and calls the San Francisco Chronicle a
piece of crap ---http://mfile.akamai.com/12948/wmv/vod.ibsys.com/2006/0728/9591734.300k.asx
From The Washington Post on April 27, 2007
|How many "critical" software
updates did Microsoft ship in 2006?
Updates from WebMD ---
"Ethanol vehicles pose significant risk to health, new study finds,"
by Mark Shartz, Stanford News, April 18, 2007 ---
Ethanol is widely touted as an
eco-friendly, clean-burning fuel. But if every
vehicle in the United States ran on fuel made
primarily from ethanol instead of pure gasoline, the
number of respiratory-related deaths and
hospitalizations likely would increase, according to
a new study by Stanford University atmospheric
scientist Mark Z. Jacobson. His findings are
published in the April 18 online edition of the
journal Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T).
"Ethanol is being promoted
as a clean and renewable fuel that will reduce
global warming and air pollution," said Jacobson,
associate professor of civil and environmental
engineering. "But our results show that a high blend
of ethanol poses an equal or greater risk to public
health than gasoline, which already causes
significant health damage."
Gasoline vs. ethanol
For the study, Jacobson
used a sophisticated computer model to simulate air
quality in the year 2020, when ethanol-fueled
vehicles are expected to be widely available in the
"The chemicals that come
out of a tailpipe are affected by a variety of
factors, including chemical reactions, temperatures,
sunlight, clouds, wind and precipitation," he
explained. "In addition, overall health effects
depend on exposure to these airborne chemicals,
which varies from region to region. Ours is the
first ethanol study that takes into account
population distribution and the complex
In the experiment, Jacobson
ran a series of computer tests simulating
atmospheric conditions throughout the United States
in 2020, with a special focus on Los Angeles. "Since
Los Angeles has historically been the most polluted
airshed in the U.S., the testbed for nearly all U.S.
air pollution regulation and home to about 6 percent
of the U.S. population, it is also ideal for a more
detailed study," he wrote.
Jacobson programmed the
computer to run air quality simulations comparing
two future scenarios:
A vehicle fleet (that is,
all cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc., in the United
States) fueled by gasoline, versus
A fleet powered by E85, a
popular blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent
gasoline. Deaths and hospitalizations
The results of the computer
simulations were striking.
"We found that E85 vehicles
reduce atmospheric levels of two carcinogens,
benzene and butadiene, but increase two
others—formaldehyde and acetaldehyde," Jacobson
said. "As a result, cancer rates for E85 are likely
to be similar to those for gasoline. However, in
some parts of the country, E85 significantly
increased ozone, a prime ingredient of smog."
Inhaling ozone—even at low
levels—can decrease lung capacity, inflame lung
tissue, worsen asthma and impair the body's immune
system, according to the Environmental Protection
Agency. The World Health Organization estimates that
800,000 people die each year from ozone and other
chemicals in smog.
"In our study, E85
increased ozone-related mortalities in the United
States by about 200 deaths per year compared to
gasoline, with about 120 of those deaths occurring
in Los Angeles," Jacobson said. "These mortality
rates represent an increase of about 4 percent in
the U.S. and 9 percent in Los Angeles above the
projected ozone-related death rates for
gasoline-fueled vehicles in 2020."
The study showed that ozone
increases in Los Angeles and the northeastern United
States will be partially offset by decreases in the
southeast. "However, we found that nationwide, E85
is likely to increase the annual number of
asthma-related emergency room visits by 770 and the
number of respiratory-related hospitalizations by
990," Jacobson said. "Los Angeles can expect 650
more hospitalizations in 2020, along with 1,200
additional asthma-related emergency visits."
The deleterious health
effects of E85 will be the same, whether the ethanol
is made from corn, switchgrass or other plant
products, Jacobson noted. "Today, there is a lot of
investment in ethanol," he said. "But we found that
using E85 will cause at least as much health damage
as gasoline, which already causes about 10,000 U.S.
premature deaths annually from ozone and particulate
matter. The question is, if we're not getting any
health benefits, then why continue to promote
ethanol and other biofuels?
"There are alternatives,
such as battery-electric, plug-in-hybrid and
hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles, whose energy can be
derived from wind or solar power," he added. "These
vehicles produce virtually no toxic emissions or
greenhouse gases and cause very little disruption to
the land—unlike ethanol made from corn or
switchgrass, which will require millions of acres of
farmland to mass-produce. It would seem prudent,
therefore, to address climate, health and energy
with technologies that have known benefits."
Cutting back on the white stuff may save your life, say
Harvard Medical School researchers . . . the
Times of London is carrying a picture of salt
and a headline about how salt can kill--as if we need more evidence that
sodium-laced processed foods are unhealthy for our hearts. But reading the paper
over a typically salty English breakfast made me check my pulse.
David Ewing Duncan, MIT's Technology Review, April 20, 2007 ---
Killer Fat (even in moderation)
A steady, high-fat diet is bad, but the news gets worse
So much for the adage, ‘All things in moderation.’ Researchers at the University
of Calgary have found that people who consume a single, high-fat meal are more
prone to suffer the physical consequences of stress than those who eat a low-fat
PhysOrg, April 23, 2007 ---
Deafening Earbud (Music) Headphones
Experts are concerned that when turned up too loud,
earbuds may cause lasting damage to young ears.
Richard Knox, "Kids' Use of Earbuds Worries Hearing Experts," NPR,
April 26, 2007 ---
Commonly used pain medications do not prevent Alzheimer's
Over-the-counter pain medication naproxen and
prescription pain reliever celecoxib do not prevent Alzheimer's disease,
according to a study published April 25, 2007, in the online edition of
Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. These
findings appear to contradict earlier observational studies, which found
sustained use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may have a
protective effect against Alzheimer's disease.
PhysOrg, April 26, 2007 ---
Parkinson's Disease Medications May Lead to Compulsive
Scientists are searching for clues into why some
Parkinson's drugs trigger compulsive behavior.
Emily Singer, "Gambling and Parkinson's Disease," MIT's Technology Review,
April 27, 2007 ---
New blood test can diagnose and monitor treatment of
While Florey researchers have also created a genetic
test for PD (10% of PD cases are caused by genetic factors), this new test has a
broader application by screening for many different types of PD and monitoring
treatment, as well as measuring the effectiveness of drugs being developed to
treat the disease.
PhysOrg, April 26, 2007 ---
Lean for Life Infant Foods
Infant formula and other baby foods that provide
permanent protection from obesity and diabetes into adulthood could be on shop
shelves soon, reports Lisa Melton in Chemistry & Industry.
PhysOrg, April 23, 2007 ---
"Brain Electrodes Help Treat Depression: Studies
suggest that deep brain stimulation could effectively treat depression," by
Emily Singer, MIT's Technology Review, April 26, 2007 ---
Foods (especially vitamins) imported from China that are not
inspected pose health risks
Lost amid the anxiety surrounding the tainted U.S. pet
food supply is this sobering reality: It's not just pet owners who should be
worried. The uncontrolled distribution of low-quality imported food ingredients,
mainly from China, poses a grave threat to public health worldwide. Essential
ingredients, such as vitamins used in many packaged foods, arrive at U.S. ports
from China and, as recent news reports have underscored, are shipped without
inspection to food and beverage distributors and manufacturers.
Peter Kovacs, "Eat at your own risk -- U.S. safety rules weak Unregulated
imported food ingredients pose threat to humans, pets," The Charlotte
Observer, April 26, 2007 ---
C-reactive Protein (CRP): If Drunken Students Only Knew What
Will Happen Later in Life
Making CRAP out of CRP is not a good way for students to earn an A
Students who drink too much alcohol may be at risk for
heart disease later in life. New research from the American Heart Association
(AHA) reveals that college students who drink excessively can double their
levels of something known as C-reactive protein (CRP), a biological marker for
inflammation that has been associated with a higher chance of cardiovascular
problems. The study asked 25 college students to complete surveys assessing CRP
risk factors such as smoking, medication use and alcohol use. In case you're
curious (I was), heavy drinking was defined for the purpose of the study as
three or more alcoholic drinks at least three days a week or at least five
drinks two days of the week. Compared with those of moderate drinkers (two to
five drinks at a time, one or two days a week), the CRP levels of heavy drinkers
were more than double, placing them in the zone associated with a moderate risk
of heart disease.
"College Drinking and Heart Problems," by Sanjay Gupta, Time Magazine,
April 26, 2007 ---
Common Cause for Crippled Communication Network in the Brain
Fragile X versus Down Syndromes versus Autism
The two most prevalent forms of genetic mental
retardation, Fragile X and Down syndromes, may share a common cause, according
to School of Medicine researchers. The problem, a crippled communication network
in the brain, may also be associated with autism.
Krista Conger, "Fragile X, Down linked to flawed brain network,"
Stanford News, April 18, 2007 ---
Forwarded by Paula
Type in your phone number and this GPS free service will zoom a
whole lot further than you intended ---
(You must watch to the very "end.")
Forwarded by Auntie Bev
The Lost Dr. Seuss Poem: I Love My Job
I love my job, I love the pay.
I love it more and more each day.
I love my boss; he/she is the best.
I love his boss and all the rest.
I love my office and its location.
I hate to have to go on vacation.
I love my furniture, drab and gray,
And the paper that piles up every day.
I love my chair in my padded cell.
There's nothing else I love so well.
I love to work among my peers.
I love their leers and jeers and sneers.
I love my computer and its software;
I hug it often though it don't care.
I love each program and every file,
I try to understand once in a while.
I'm happy to be here, I am, I am;
I'm the happiest slave of my Uncle Sam.
I love this work; I love these chores.
I love the meetings with deadly bores.
I love my job-I'll say it again.
I even love these friendly men,
These men who've come to visit today
In lovely white coats to take me away.
Tidbits Archives ---
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
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
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
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 ---
Shared Open Courseware
(OCW) from Around the World: OKI, MIT, Rice, Berkeley, Yale, and Other Sharing
Free Textbooks and Cases ---
Free Mathematics and Statistics Tutorials ---
Free Science and Medicine Tutorials ---
Free Social Science and Philosophy Tutorials ---
Free Education Discipline Tutorials ---
Teaching Materials (especially
video) from PBS
Teacher Source: Arts and
Teacher Source: Health & Fitness
Teacher Source: Math ---
Teacher Source: Science ---
Teacher Source: PreK2 ---
Teacher Source: Library Media ---
Free Education and
Research Videos from Harvard University ---
VYOM eBooks Directory ---
From Princeton Online
The Incredible Art Department ---
Online Mathematics Textbooks ---
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives ---
The word moodle is an acronym for "modular
object-oriented dynamic learning environment", which is quite a mouthful.
The Scout Report stated the following about Moodle 1.7. It is a
tremendously helpful opens-source e-learning platform. With Moodle,
educators can create a wide range of online courses with features that
include forums, quizzes, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, and surveys. On the
Moodle website, visitors can also learn about other features and read about
recent updates to the program. This application is compatible with computers
running Windows 98 and newer or Mac OS X and newer.
Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials
Accountancy Discussion ListServs:
For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for
free) go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
|AECM (Educators) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/aecm/
AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a
forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful
in any way for accounting education at the college/university level.
Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes
spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation
packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web
of a ListServ ---
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all
aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated
environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to
accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an
active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just
monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are
either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting,
private industry, government or education. Others will be denied
forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be
anything from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or
anything else that relates to the AICPA.
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting
software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human
resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
|Business Valuation Group BusValGroupfirstname.lastname@example.org
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM]
Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586