If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, on our golf course it's most definitely a duck. How would you like to splash out of this rough?

Erika's medical team gave her a new word to look up --- Arachnoiditis
Read about it in her May 28 update at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Erika2007.htm

Neal Hannon is a former accounting professor who now is on the staff of the Financial Accounting Standards Board. He deals mostly with XBRL, but he also writes poems. He sent this poem for Bob and Erika.

Do you remember love (turn on your speakers)
Auntie Bev forwarded a poem about an old dog like me.

You can link to both poems (for May 28) at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Erika2007.htm

Tidbits on June 1, 2007
Bob Jensen

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

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


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


Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

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


Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
       (Also scroll down to the table at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ )

Set up free conference calls at http://www.freeconference.com/  




Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Cape Buffalo vs. Lion vs. Croc --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM

Should the U.S. legalize drugs (a Wall Street Journal video)
http://online.wsj.com/public/page/8_0004.html?bcpid=86195573&bclid=212338097&bctid=932485429
I think this is the only solution to being eaten alive by the merger of drug cartels and terrorists.

Digital Duo Video
The Differences Between DVRs DVR, TiVo, huh?
The Duo clear up the recorder confusion with a history lesson.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,124109/article.html

Digital Duo Video
E-Mail Behavior and Batman
Dawn Chmielewski gives etiquette tips and the Duo lose their minds
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,124131/article.html

Dan Tynan
Finding Online Video Search tools are just catching up
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,122859/article.html
Bob Jensen's search helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm

A documentary billed as "the film PBS doesn't want you to see" will at long last get a national audience. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) announced a joint agreement yesterday to make "Islam vs. Islamists" available to the 354 Public Broadcasting Service member stations across the nation as a "stand-alone" TV program, with a little extra embellishment.
The Washington Times, May 24, 2007. The PBS link is at http://www.pbs.org/

The Stanford University Graduate School of Business launches a new and unprecedented MBA curriculum this fall short video --- Click Here

Do you remember love (turn on your speakers)
Here's a love poem (about an old dog like me) forwarded by Auntie Bev --- http://doyourememberlove.com/musiconlymovie.html


Free music downloads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Apple debuts songs online free of copying restrictions --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Wire/18800/

Pianist Glenn Gould's classic 1955 recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations has never been out of print. Yet this week, Sony Classical will release a brand-new recording of it.
NPR, May 28, 2007 --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10439850 

Hear the original recordings and the new re-performed versions.

Wagner and his Operas --- http://www.wagneroperas.com/

The Ring in A Day (Wagner) --- http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/classical/thering/

One Day at a Time (country midi) --- Click Here

The 100 biggest hits of the millennium so far (some junk), a special edition of the Billboard Pop 40!
To look up Billboard's #1 song on a specific date in history, select a month to the left.
http://www.joshhosler.biz/NumberOneInHistory/SelectMonth.htm

From Jessie
What a Wonderful World --- http://www.jessiesweb.com/wonderfulworld.htm
Wonderful Tonight
--- http://www.jessiesweb.com/wonderful.htm
I Am Telling You I'm Not Going
--- http://www.jessiesweb.com/tellingyou.htm
Go Rest High on That Mountain --- http://www.jessiesweb.com/restmtn.htm
Rhiannon --- http://www.jessiesweb.com/rhiannon.htm
If the sound does not commence after 30 seconds, scroll to the bottom of the page and turn it on. Then scroll back to the top for the picture and menu.

Listen to "Ever Present Past" by Paul McCartney --- http://www.npr.org/programs/asc/archives/20070524/#mccartney

Music Group Offers Some Web Radio Sites a Break (Washington Post, May 23, 2007) --- Click Here


Photographs and Art

American Museum of Photography --- http://www.photographymuseum.com/

fanfasticphotography --- http://www.scribd.com/doc/8742/fantasticphotography

Photographs of the Great Depression (which may happen again with more global warming) --- http://history1900s.about.com/library/photos/blyindexdepression.htm 

100 Great Photographs --- http://www.edinphoto.org.uk/10/12_exhibitions_-_2003_100_great_photographs.htm

Seby Thokkadam's Travel Pictures --- http://www.chitram.org/

Edward Hopper: The Artist --- http://www.mfa.org/hopper/ 

 


Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Creativity Quotations --- http://www.creativityatwork.com/articlesContent/quotes.htm 

Confessions of a Scam Artist, by Glen Ruffenach, Pennsylvania Securities Commission --- http://trendfollowing.com/whitepaper/scamartist.pdf
Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

British Navy History
Sea Your History
---
http://www.seayourhistory.org.uk/

Eleonora by Edgar Allan Poe --- Click Here

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

Day-by-Day Cartoons --- http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2007/05/27/

 




If you are a primate reading this, chances are you have a gene called KLK8, recently discovered by Chinese scientists.
David Ewing Duncan, "Why Monkeys Can't Recite Shakespeare," MIT's Technology Review, May 18, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/duncan/17606/
But chimera pigs and other species may someday be able to read and "talk."
"Charlotte calling Wilbur --- Come in Wilbur!"
The United Kingdom Department of Health reverses its proposed ban on chimeras, saying that Parliament should allow the fusing of humans and other species.
"Can Centaurs and Talking Pigs Be Far Behind?" by David Ewing Duncan,
  MIT's Technology Review, May 24, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/duncan/17608/

We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.
Aristotle as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-05-25-07.htm

Candidates attempting to cheat in an exam by writing on a part of their body must be reported to the chief invigilator immediately. Please speak to an exam attendant who will contact the student administration office. Keep the students under close observation to ensure that they do not attempt to erase the evidence. The chief invigilator will arrange for a member of staff with a camera to come to the exam room to photograph the evidence to present to the examinations offences panel.
Signs on the walls of Student Administration Office at Queen Mary College in London, as reported by Abbott Katz, "Inside Higher Ed, May 31, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/05/31/katz
Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

Life can be wonderful if it doesn't frighten you.
Charlie Chaplin --- Click Here

War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.
Ambrose Bierce --- Click Here

It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
Howard Ruff --- http://www.creativityatwork.com/articlesContent/quotes.htm

I know that poetry is indispensable, but to what I just do not know.
Jean Cocteau (1889 - 1963) --- Click Here

The American right is a cauldron of debate; the left isn't.
Peter Berkowitz, "The Conservative Mind," The Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2007 --- Click Here

The cultural contradictions of welfare states are comparable. Such states presuppose economic dynamism sufficient to generate investments, job-creation, corporate profits and individuals' incomes from which come tax revenues needed to fund entitlements. But welfare states produce in citizens an entitlement mentality and a low pain threshold, which causes a ruinous flinch from the rigors, insecurities, uncertainties and dislocations inherent in the creative destruction of dynamic capitalism. The flinch takes the form of protectionism, regulations and other government-imposed inefficiencies that impede the economic growth that the welfare state requires.
George Will, "Sarkozy's Challenge," The Washington Post via The Wall Street Journal, May 21, 2007 --- Click Here

A survey of Iraqi politicians and citizens shows that they believe a withdrawal of U.S. troops levels could lead to a violent chain reaction. There is one matter on which American military commanders, many Iraqis and some of the Bush administration’s staunchest Congressional critics agree: if the United States withdrew its forces from Baghdad’s streets this fall, the murder and mayhem would increase. But that is where the agreement ends. The wrangling in Washington over war financing, still fierce despite the Democrats’ decision to forgo for now withdrawal deadlines, has obscured a more fundamental debate over what Iraq’s future might look like without American troops.
Michael R. Gordon and Alissa J. Rubin, "Increased Strife Is Foreseen in Iraq if U.S. Troops Leave," The New York Times, May 27, 2007 --- Click Here

People talk about their sex life and their kids and you can open up and share about your past and mistakes you’ve made, and that’s always a catharsis and is emotionally and spiritually freeing,”... “But people don’t want to talk about their money.” What are we afraid of? One concern is that we will be branded failures. When we were living in caves, we fought for physical survival (and showed off our muscles). Now we fight for financial security (and show off our S.U.V.’s).
Shira Boss, "Breaking the Silence on Finance," The New York Times, May 26, 2007 --- Click Here

Frank Blake confronted the past, saying he regretted last year’s now infamous (Home Depot) annual meeting, when members of the board stayed home and his predecessor, Robert L. Nardelli, refused to take questions from investors. “There is no better way to deal with a mistake than to acknowledge it, fix it and move forward,” Mr. Blake said. “We apologize for last year’s meeting. It was a mistake and we won’t do it again.” Over the next two hours, Mr. Blake strove to make this year’s meeting a model of openness.
Michael Barboro, "Home Depot Chief Offers Apology to Shareholders," The New York Times, May 26, 2007 --- Click Here

A political campaign costs much more than an honest man can pay.
Author unknown

Vietnam could be the next top-drawer destination in Asia, as overseas investors plant posh getaways on the same white-sand beaches where U.S. troops took R 'n' R breaks during the Vietnam War.
Bruce Stanley, "Vietnam Aims for Image As a Luxury Destination," The Wall Street Journal,  May 30, 2007; Page B1 --- Click Here

Hank Brown, president of the University of Colorado System, gave his answer on Friday and it’s clear that to Brown, speeding is speeding. He formally recommended that Churchill, who has tenure as an ethnic studies professor at Boulder, be fired. In a detailed letter to the Board of Regents, Brown said that Churchill’s violations of academic research norms were too serious and too numerous to ignore — regardless of the circumstances that led to all the scrutiny.
Scott Jaschik, "The Ward Churchill Endgame," Inside Higher Ed, May 29, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/05/29/churchill
The NPR account is at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10506061
Bob Jensen's threads on the Ward Churchill saga are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HypocrisyChurchill.htm

I think the (Mexico border) fence is least effective. But I'll build the goddamned fence if they want it.
Presidential candidate Senator John McCain in an interview with Vanity Fair --- http://www.townhall.com/columnists/KevinMcCullough/2007/05/27/senator_cranky_strikes_again!
Jensen Comment
You can read how all 100 senators voted on both fencing bills at http://www.trinity.edu/%7Erjensen/tidbits/2006/tidbits061008.htm
Only 13 senators voted "nay" on both fencing bills. All senators who are presidential candidates voted "Yea" for the second bill, but my guess is that most of those will vote no when the bill to actually fund the fence is put forth. Politicians have a way of voting symbolically (Yea or Nay in this case)  as long as the vote is really meaningless. As President they, and perhaps all current presidential candidates from both political parties, would probably veto the funding bill to actually build such a fence. Some politicians are pointing to the success of the experimental  fences that have already been built. But that's short run success only. In the long run claiming success of a border fence will be about as long-lived as when Israel declares victory in a war with its neighbors. The vanquished just keep coming back ad infinitum.

Merrill Lynch employees may be looking a bit paler than usual this summer. That is because the investment bank has slashed the number of sick days that United States employees can take without consequences each year to three days from 40 — an amount that had been unusually generous by American standards — apparently in an effort to keep its bankers, traders and other workers from skipping off for long weekends at the Hamptons.
"Summertime Blues: Merrill Reins in Sick Days," The New York Times, May 27, 2007 --- http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/05/24/summertime-blues-merrill-reins-in-sick-days/
Jensen Comment
Paid sick leave and vacation time are typically not as generous in the U.S. as in Europe. For example, in Germany it is common to have six weeks of paid vacation including free visits to health spas. In the U.S. the typical paid vacation is two weeks, although paid sick leave is normally more than three days and can accumulate over the years is not taken along the way. I think that some of the generosity in Europe is being tightened in recent years but not down to stingy U.S. practices.

I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a “tool” of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our “two-party” system? However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the “left” started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used… The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing… I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost. I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble…Good-bye America …you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.
Cindy Sheehan, "More heart-ache: St. Cindy quits the anti-war movement," May 27, 2007 ---
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/05/28/more-heart-ache-st-cindy-quits-the-anti-war-movement/
Jensen Comment
What makes me think that Cindy's "goodbye" will be about as long lasting as Barbara Streisand's so-called last concert and retirement before she once again took up the concert tours? In Cindy's case it may even be less time before she's back in the protest events. Cindy's well intentioned and exhausted. To me she's always seemed a bit too naive and vulnerable for the grueling protest business where street smart people rule the roost.

The UCU, which represents Britain's university lecturers, has passed a resolution asking its members to weigh the moral consequences of a connection with Israel's academic institutions in light of the situation in the territories. It also called upon the European Union to consider stopping the funding of all research and development projects in Israel. The vote of the 250 member organization was 158 in favor, 99 opposed, with 8 abstentions. It stopped short of calling for an outright boycott because that is illegal. Although this resolution does not involve the institutions of higher learning themselves, it nevertheless sets a precedent. For a long time, British journals have been quietly boycotting Israeli academics, insisting on removing the name of Israeli institutions from academic papers, for example, as a condition to publication.
Naomi Ragen [nragen@netvision.net.il], May 30, 2007

In a sign of how tense the (UCU resolution mentioned above) issue has become, Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate physicist at the University of Texas at Austin, announced this week that he was turning down an invitation to speak at a conference in Britain because of his frustration with attitudes there about Israel. “I don’t want to say I’m cutting ties with the U.K. — I love England. I just feel personally uncomfortable going with the atmosphere there at the moment. It’s increasingly hostile to Israel, especially in the intellectual world,” Weinberg told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Scott Jaschik, "Academic Fallout From Middle East," Inside Higher Ed, May 31, 2007 ---   http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/05/31/mideast
Jensen Comment
The UCU resolution applies only to the "terrorist" nation of Israel and not to Iran, Syria, or any other nations actively seeking annihilation of Israel. It's a temporary compromise to the Palestinian membership's call for a full boycott of Jewish academics. Efforts have been underway for years by Palestinian sympathizers in the UCU for a full boycott. The UCU is the largest trade union and professional association for academics, lecturers, trainers, researchers, and academically-related staff working throughout the United Kingdom. It speaks for its membership and not for the learning institutions who employ UCU members. The union is officially affiliated to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. It also "voted unanimously to reject government plans to instruct university staff to report students for 'extremism'."  No mention is made of drawing the line at extremist felonies such as bomb making factories in dormitories, suicide bomber recruitment centers, torture chambers, or raping centers for Jewish women. Actually most UCU members are probably too frightened of extremist retaliation to report incidents of any type.

In a recent raid on an al-Qaeda safe house in Iraq, U.S. military officials recovered an assortment of crude drawings depicting torture methods," TheSmokingGun.com reports. The site reproduces a dozen pages of the illustrations, which depict such methods as "blowtorch to the skin" and "eye removal ...
"Torture, Al-Qaeda Style." The Smoking Gun, May 28, 2007 --- http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0524072torture1.html
Jensen Comment
Why isn't there more media protest of what've become the worst torturers in the world?  Keep in mind that most of this Islamic extremist torture is inflicted upon fellow Muslim captives in the name of Allah. Much smaller percentages of Israeli and U.S. soldiers are so viciously tortured. Many of those prisoners are treated better because they're bargaining and propaganda chips.

Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam
Rosie O'Donnell
Jensen Comment
In the final analysis, any person who severely tortures, intentionally targets innocent people, or resorts to massive overkill (especially in air warfare)  is the lowest form of person whether or not he/she commits such atrocities in the name of some god. Sadly, the problem today is that lethal and tortuous enemies are more prone to hiding behind innocent people, strapping bombs on their own children, aiming rockets at schools, and blowing up chlorine-filled tanker trucks in crowds of innocent people. The drawn out war in Northern Ireland proved once again that terrorists could indeed be Catholic and Protestant. Terrorists are not people of God. They're mostly lowlife criminals obsessed with hate, vengeance, thirst for great wealth, and power grabs. Sadly it may take torture to prevent terror on a scale never before known in history. A huge problem is that the weapons of terror are far more dangerous than ever imagined and will become exceedingly worse with advances in chemistry, biology, and physics. Unfortunately, hurting is so much easier than healing. Is Malthus really correct in the end despite an error in timing? --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthus

But the Northern Ireland recent peace settlements give us some hope that torture is not the only solution to resolving conflicts between terrorists. There are many complex factors behind the wonderful peace settlements in Ireland, one of which is economic opportunity. Partly due to low taxes, Ireland is booming with high technology industry. Irish people with little opportunity in the past to learn and work and live a good life now have an opportunity that will be destroyed if the culture reverts to terror and torture. It's truly sad that it took so many years in hell realize this dream.

In spite of radical Islamic propaganda for world domination, most Muslims can live and let live in a diverse and democratic culture. I see this among my Muslim friends in academe who work in harmony with Jews and other factions on campus (noted exceptions are some British colleges dominated by UCU unionists who actively seek to bar Jewish professors from teaching and research as mentioned in the modules above).

From the Pew Research Center, 2007 --- http://pewresearch.org/assets/pdf/muslim-americans.pdf

The first-ever, nationwide, random sample survey of Muslim Americans finds them to be largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world.

 
Figure
The Pew Research Center conducted more than 55,000 interviews to obtain a national sample of 1,050 Muslims living in the United States. Interviews were conducted in English, Arabic, Farsi and Urdu. The resulting study, which draws on Pew's survey research among Muslims around the world, finds that Muslim Americans are a highly diverse population, one largely composed of immigrants. Nonetheless, they are decidedly American in their outlook, values and attitudes. This belief is reflected in Muslim American income and education levels, which generally mirror those of the public.

Key findings include:
  • Overall, Muslim Americans have a generally positive view of the larger society. Most say their communities are excellent or good places to live.
     
  • A large majority of Muslim Americans believe that hard work pays off in this society. Fully 71% agree that most people who want to get ahead in the U.S. can make it if they are willing to work hard.
     
  • The survey shows that although many Muslims are relative newcomers to the U.S., they are highly assimilated into American society. On balance, they believe that Muslims coming to the U.S. should try and adopt American customs, rather than trying to remain distinct from the larger society. And by nearly two-to-one (63%-32%) Muslim Americans do not see a conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society.
     
  • Roughly two-thirds (65%) of adult Muslims in the U.S. were born elsewhere. A relatively large proportion of Muslim immigrants are from Arab countries, but many also come from Pakistan and other South Asian countries. Among native-born Muslims, roughly half are African American (20% of U.S. Muslims overall), many of whom are converts to Islam.
     
  • About 1 in 4 young adult American Muslims says suicide bombings against civilian targets "to defend Islam" can be justified --- a finding that disturbed American Muslim leaders and thinkers across the country.

 




"Your Coffee Table as a Computer:  Microsoft has announced a touch-screen table that interacts with gadgets placed on its surface," by Kate Greene, MIT's Technology Review, May 30, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/17612/

Also see the AP account at http://www.technologyreview.com/Wire/18799/

Jensen Comment
First the coffee table then a computer that interacts with objects in your bed, car, clothing, and whatever.

Bob Jensen's Threads on Invisible Computing, Ubiquitous Computing, Nanotechnology, and Microsoft.Net are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm


Question
Should you continue taking a drug called Avandia if you are already on this drug?
This is an interesting case study of how to possibly lie with statistics.

"US study links diabetes drug to risk of heart attack," PhysOrg, May 21, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news98982712.html

Rosiglitazone, sold under the name Avandia by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, was linked to a "significant risk" of heart attacks and death from cardiovascular causes based on an analysis of 48 clinical trials, said the study published on the New England Journal of Medicine's website.

While the study is not conclusive and more research is needed, the findings "are worrisome because of the high incidence of cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes," the researchers wrote.

An editorial accompanying the article urged US regulators to review the use of the drug and called on the manufacturer to make more data available about the results of previous clinical trials.

Avandia was introduced in 1999 and is widely used to treat type-2 diabetes, which has surged in the United States owing to an epidemic of obesity.

WebMD is keeping up with the developing news. Here's the what they have so far:
Diabetes Drug Avandia: Heart Risk? --- http://boards.webmd.com/webx?THDX@@.89561baf!thdchild=.89561baf

The diabetes drug Avandia may increase a person's risk of heart attack and death due to heart disease, a new study warns.

Avandia maker GlaxoSmithKline says the study is flawed and that better data -- some already submitted to the FDA, some from an ongoing clinical trial -- show Avandia poses no significant risk to patients' heart health.

The FDA says that based on this "contradictory evidence about the risks in patients treated with Avandia," patients taking the drug -- especially those who have had heart attacks or who have underlying heart disease -- should talk with their doctors about whether to continue taking the drug.

The new warning comes from an analysis of publicly available, short-term clinical studies comparing Avandia to other diabetes treatments. It shows that Avandia increases heart attack risk by 43% -- and increases risk of death from heart disease by 64%.

However, the overall risk was small. Among the 15,560 Avandia patients there were 86 heart attacks and 39 deaths, compared with 72 heart attacks and 22 deaths among the 12,283 patients not taking Avandia.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
This is a good illustration of the risks of statistical inference. In general, even the slightest differences between samples become "statistically significant" if the sample sizes are enormous. In other words it's tempting in large sample studies for analysts to make mountains out of mole hills. . I find this to be a very common overlooked mistake in many capital markets studies using huge databases.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that analysts on either side of this Avandia debate are making mountains out of mole hills. I am saying that sample sizes of 15,560 and 12,283 are very large. Statistical inference testing is probably nonsense. What analysts must decide is whether relatively small differences are serious apart from the nonsensical outcomes of statistical inference testing.

As with any new drug, there may be more serious and unknown long-term side effects. Such is the inevitable risk of taking new drugs of any kind.

May 28 reply from Mac Wright [mac.wright@VU.EDU.AU]

Given that we are talking 1/4% or less of each population dying, and there are so many other variables that are not explained, and that untreated diabetes will kill, it seems a strange statistical inference.
Kind regards,
Mac Wright


"Eating Radiation: A New Form of Energy?" by David Ewing Duncan, MIT's Technology Review, May 29, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/duncan/17611/

Here's a possible solution to both the energy crisis and what to do with highly radioactive waste from nuclear reactors: use the radiation as food.

It sounds like something out of a comic book, although scientists already know that fungi will eat asbestos, jet fuel, and plastic. It has also been shown to decompose hot graphite in the ruins of the Chernobyl power plant, which melted down in 1986. The plant's release of large amounts of radiation appears to have attracted black hordes of fungi. But how does it work?

According to Ekaterina Dadachova and her colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City, the fungi Cryptococcus neoformans and two other species use melanin, also a pigment found in human skin, to transform radiation into energy to use as food for growth. Researchers believe that melanin is present to protect fungi from stress, such as radiation, and that certain species use this molecule for metabolic reactions. Dadachova's lab discovered that exposure to radiation caused the melanin in these species to change shape, increasing its ability to impact metabolism and growth. The results appear in Public Library of Science (PLoS).

Continued in article


Question
What should students expect to make if they seek positions on Wall Street or related investment careers in other cities.

Answer
As a student I would not jump on this career track. Some of this compensation is commission-based such that you really have to accept uncertainty, stress, and need for luck to attain these salary and bonus levels. You should also factor in living costs and high taxes of cities like NYC where most of the jobs are located. Relatively low odds of making vice president or higher must also be factored into the equation. These are high risk and high stress rainbows relative to accounting firm and most other corporate careers..

See the 2006 Wall Street Bonus Survey --- http://www.wsren.org/career

Remember that 2006 was a high flying year on Wall Street. Bonuses may have been well above average.


Controlled versus Uncontrolled Entries in Wikipedia

Some Wikipedia entries obviously are better than others. Sometimes they're at their best in providing capsule summaries of the history battles and wars. For example, the Israel-Lebanon 2006 short-lived war is rather nicely covered at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict

Most of the millions of Wikipedia modules can be entered/edited by anybody in the world. However, there are some politically-sensitive entries that are controlled. Under the term "Iraq" you will find the following at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq

Editing of this article by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled to deal with vandalism. If you are prevented from editing this article, and you wish to make a change, please discuss changes on the talk page, request unprotection, log in, or create an account.

 


Rethinking an Athletic Code of Conduct
That’s been the case at Ohio University, where 17 football players have been arrested in the local county since January 1. Players were charged — and some convicted — of assault, driving under the influence of alcohol and the illegal possession of drugs. None had been suspended by the head football coach, Frank Solich.
"Rethinking an Athletic Code of Conduct," Inside Higher Ed, October 4, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/10/04/ohiou 

Update on May 31, 2007
The vote, organized by the university’s American Association of University Professors chapter and released on Wednesday, revealed that a vast majority of those surveyed say the McDavis administration — which began in 2004 — is taking the university in the wrong direction. A year ago, the group organized a similar campaign, which resulted in a similar vote of no confidence . . . Earlier this month, nearly 80 percent of the 4,600 students who voted in a Student Senate election (roughly 23 percent of the entire student body) said they, too, lacked confidence in McDavis. And last week, the outgoing Faculty Senate executive committee presented to the board’s executive committee results of its own survey of faculty that showed concern about the university’s direction.
Elia Powers, "Leaders Under Siege at Ohio U.," Inside Higher Ed, May 31, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/05/31/ohio

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

 

Question
Wikipedia and most other online helpers are very demanding regarding the exact spelling of a word or a name. For example, my wife asked me to look up something she discussed with her surgeon (on the telephone) that she wrote down on a piece of paper as "arachnoitus." What's a medical dummy like me to do to help her?

Answer
No luck in finding anything about "arachnoitus" in Wikipedia,

I know the drill.
Google is fantastically programmed to deal with misspelled words. When I read "arachnoitus" into Google the return was "Do you mean Arachnoiditis? I then put "Arachnoiditis" on the clip board and pasted it into the search box at Wikipedia.
Arachnoiditis --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arachnoiditis

Alternate definitions can be found by feeding in "define Arachnoiditis" in Google, but my wife was very happy and sad with the Wikipedia module which seems to me to be quite helpful.


What will be so great about Microsoft's forthcoming MOICE?
Microsoft programmers are working on a file conversion program that will disable infected Office 2003 files by converting them into the new, XML-based Office 2007 formats, AccountingWEB's John Stokdyk reports. Called the Microsoft Office Isolated Conversion Environment (MOICE), the converter will be available in a few weeks time and was previewed by Microsoft security technologist David LeBlanc.
John Stokdyk, AccountingWeb, May 25, 2007 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=103542


Blogs/Listservs Versus Scholarly Journals:  Bob Jensen's secrets about blogs and listservs

Recently I encountered criticism that blogs and listservs providing public information that allegedly is not refereed and misleading relative to scholarly journals. First I would like to point out that this is not an either/or choice between blogs/listservs versus journals. Fortunately in this age of technology we can learn from both outlets.

The term "blog" evolved out the term "Weblog" that is defined more formally at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Weblog
A blog is like a scrapbook of knowledge on a subject that is maintained by an individual or an entire organization. For example, Jim Mahar maintains an excellent finance professor blog at http://www.financeprofessor.com/ .
The University of Illinois Library maintains a great blog at http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

Listservs are defined at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Listserv
My advocacy of listservs for scholars can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm

Some Advantages of Scholarly Journals
Journals have some comparative advantages over blogs/listservs in that journal articles published are carefully crafted and generally subjected to blind reviews by referees that, because they are anonymous, can be quite critical and demanding. Journals articles are generally time tested in that they're not fired off without time to reflect and consider many ramifications before publication.

Some Disadvantages of Scholarly Journals
Probably the biggest myth is that referees are independent reviewers. In my opinion, journal refereeing is often a biased process where all sides of arguments are not given fair tests. Much of the bias centers on allowable research methodologies. For example, leading accounting research journals just do not allow humanities and legal studies research methodologies. Virtually all published articles have to have mathematical analysis and/or rigorous statistical inference testing. One example here is The Accounting Review (TAR), Virtually no Accounting Information Systems  (AIS) papers were published in TAR between 1986 and 2005. The reason is that AIS research methods generally do not entail mathematical modeling. Virtually all TAR referees have required mathematical models for over two decades. Jean Heck and I examined all articles published by TAR 1986-2005 and found less than one percent of the TAR articles that did not have mathematical equations and/or multivariate statistical analyses. Our examination excluded a few articles labeled as book/literature reviews, editorials, and memorials. Thus “…over 99 percent of TAR’s articles contained complex mathematical equations and multivariate statistical analyses…” See  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/395wpTAR/Web/TAR395wp.htm

Another problem is that journal editors have only a discrete set of available referees. Expertise needed is a continuum rather than a discrete scale. There is a strong likelihood that for a given submission to a journal, there are no available (known) referees that are as expert on this topic and methodology as perhaps 100 or more experts in the world who are unknown to the journal editor and/or unwilling to take the time and trouble to conduct formal reviews for the journal. Paranoia thereby enters the journal refereeing process. When assigned referees are uncomfortable with their own expertise they are often inclined to be more fault finding and not recommend publication.

Another problem with journal refereeing is that the referees are anonymous and therefore are not held accountable for their decisions. If a referee is superficial or wrong, nobody knows except maybe the unhappy author who receives the rejection notice.

Another problem in some journals, like TAR, is that they do not publish commentaries such that the public in general has no outlet for writing critical, supportive, or expansive comments on a published article. TAR also will not publish replications --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm#Replication

Still another problem in some journals is the long delay between when the research was conducted and when the paper is finally published. In accounting this delay can be years. Fortunately some authors provide free working papers or post the papers on something like SSRN where readers can purchase non-refereed working papers for a fee.

Advantages of Blogs and Listservs
The advantages of blogs and listservs is that they can and often do overcome the major disadvantages of the flawed refereeing process and timing delays of scholarly journals. Listservs open to the general public are best in the sense that bias is overcome by allowing anybody to comment on a topic or paper. Blogs are good if the person running the blog will publish comments that are both favorable and unfavorable with respect to the original blog item.

The biggest myth about blogs and listservs is that they published non-refereed items. In fact when an article or tidbit is published on a blog or listserv, the entire world has an opportunity to referee the item. Blogs are deemed the most successful when their items are not ignored by the public.

Disadvantages of Blogs and Listservs
Probably the biggest disadvantage is that there are so many blogs and listservs that it is very time consuming to ride heard on all the ones that touch on topics of interest to you. Secondly, some blogs and listservs post so much material that readers are apt to get information overload from just one blog or listserv.

Another problem is that most readers of a given blog or listserv are "lurkers" who for various reasons are unwilling to submit their own commentaries like the fewer number of "actives" who submit comments, news items, etc. Hence, the world may be open to all persons whereas only a small subset of people are actually willing to share their expertise.

Bob Jensen's Secrets
Since I actively publish what might be termed blogs and actively contribute to some listservs, I will now reveal my secrets for doing so. This is a message that I recently sent out to a listserv called TigerTalk at Trinity University.

Hi XXXXX,

Apology accepted. Now I will let you in on my secrets about blogs.

I find it strange that you’re critical of Tidbits from time to time and, at the same time, brag in public about never reading them. I place more stock in avid readers who weigh them on balance. Of course that’s a biased sample since “avid readers” by definition find them to worthy of the time and effort it takes to read and respond to them. I remind folks once again that my Tidbits are rarely posted to TigerTalk since I retired. Readers must seek them out at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm  or stumble upon them while using search engines.

I might add that I receive many, many replies to Tidbits that I also post in Tidbits when I obtain permission. I might’ve requested to do so in your case had you found errors in the physics of David’s technical explanation. In fact probably more Tidbits are accompanied by replies (critical, supportive, and/or expansive) from readers than the smaller number of Tidbits that elicit no readership response. In fact, one of the real advantages of blogs, listservs, and forums in general is that the whole world can be referees rather than just a few referees that are assigned in scholarly journals. At the time lapse between publishing and critiquing is nearly instantaneous.

Secret One
I’ve always viewed my Tidbits, New Bookmarks, and Fraud Updates "blogs" as my own personal scrapbook archives that I’m willing to share with the world. My first secret about these “blogs” is that they’re invaluable to me when answering the many inquiries I get from students, faculty, and the public in general. When my memory fails, my searching process almost never fails if I’ve posted tidbits about the topic in the past.

Secret Two
Now I will let you in on my second secret about why I really publish my "blogs." My second reason is to learn more about each of the topics. It’s the replies that make the effort really worthwhile. Instead of having to search and struggle to learn more about a tidbit, the world sends value-added information back to me either in public or private communications. For me it’s a great learning experience, especially for technical topics in accountancy, economics, and finance.

Secret Three
My third secret that I will share with you is that I sometimes post a tidbit for purposes of stirring up controversy. My love of academe comes from my love of watching debates by scholars on opposing sides. I often take a side I don’t especially believe just to stir up the pot. And I’m not in general fond of political correctness. PC is dysfunctional to our academic principles and purposes. I miss those “pink pistol” debates between Glen and Harry.

It may sound strange but I’m rather glad that you criticized me on TigerTalk. I’ve long regretted that TigerTalk virtually degenerated to classified advertising and directory requests. When Larry Gindler commenced TigerTalk it was intended to be a listserv where faculty and students actively debated scholarly issues. Sadly there is no longer campus-wide listserv for scholarly debate. There are some specialty listservs, but it’s sad that there’s no longer a listserv for debate that spreads across the entire campus.

David XXXXX who wrote the tidbit that you challenged assumed you were a student Gordon. I subsequently revealed to him that you are a professor. He says he would like to write a more technical rejoinder to your criticisms of his tidbit, but I hope he just lets this one lie.

Having said all this, the May 23 edition of Tidbits (subject to some tweaking) is up and running at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits070523.htm
I don’t know if I should be happy or sad that you will not be reading any of these tidbits Gordon.

Bob Jensen
May 22, 2007

May 22, 2007 reply from Paul Williams [Paul_Williams@NCSU.EDU]

There is a substantial amount of misleading information in refereed scholarly journals, particularly ours, as well.

Paul

May 23, 2007 reply from Dan Stone, Univ. of Kentucky [dstone@UKY.EDU]

Good insights gentlemen on blogs vs. scholarly journals. A few more thoughts:

1. academic institutions are conservative and increasing in their conservatism. At this point, posting to or creating blogs brings intrinsic, communitarian rewards to the "poster" or "creator". But my Dean (and most others, I suspect) cares only about my publications in a remarkably small number of scholarly journals.

2. given the mission creep (or should this be "mission crap") of most institutions the end-point of academic scholarship seems to be that only publications in a single U.S. journal will have extrinsic (i.e., careerist) value.

3. reforming the creepy, crappy academic scholarship domain requires bold iconoclasts like Bob and Paul who are willing to note that the Emporers are frequently severely underclothed.

Dan Stone
Univ. of Kentucky

 



Why accountancy doctoral programs are drying up and
why accountancy is no longer required for admission or
graduation in an accountancy doctoral program

 

All is Not Well in Modern Languages Education
Proposal to integrate languages with literature, history, culture, economics and linguistics
Proposal to use fewer adjuncts who now teach language courses
The MLA created a special committee in 2004 to study the future of language education and its report, being issued today
(May 24, 2007) is in many ways unprecedented for the association in that it is urging departments to reorganize how languages are taught and who does the teaching. In general, the critique of the committee is that the traditional model has started with basic language training (typically taught by those other than tenure-track faculty members) and proceeded to literary study (taught by tenure-track faculty members). The report calls for moving away from this “two tiered” system, integrating language study with literature, and placing much more emphasis on history, culture, economics and linguistics — among other topics — of the societies whose languages are being taught.
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, May 24, 2007 --- http://insidehighered.com/news/2007/05/24/mla

Who Teaches First-Year Language Courses?
Rank Doctoral-Granting Departments B.A.-Granting Departments
Tenured or tenure-track professors 7.4% 41.8%
Full-time, non-tenure track 19.6% 21.1%
Part-time instructors 15.7% 34.7%
Graduate students 57.4% 2.4%

 


All is Not Well in Programs for Doctoral Students in Departments/Colleges of Education
The education doctorate, attempting to serve dual purposes—to prepare researchers and to prepare practitioners—is not serving either purpose well. To address what they have termed this "crippling" problem, Carnegie and the Council of Academic Deans in Research Education Institutions (CADREI) have launched the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED), a three-year effort to reclaim the education doctorate and to transform it into the degree of choice for the next generation of school and college leaders. The project is coordinated by David Imig, professor of practice at the University of Maryland. "Today, the Ed.D. is perceived as 'Ph.D.-lite,'" said Carnegie President Lee S. Shulman. "More important than the public relations problem, however, is the real risk that schools of education are becoming impotent in carrying out their primary missions to prepare leading practitioners as well as leading scholars."
"Institutions Enlisted to Reclaim Education Doctorate," The Carnegie Foundation for Advancement in Teaching --- http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/news/sub.asp?key=51&subkey=2266

The EED does not focus enough on research, and the PhD program has become a social science doctoral program without enough education content. Middle ground is being sought.


All is Not Well in Programs for Doctoral Students in Departments/Colleges of Business, Especially in Accounting
The problem is that not enough accounting is taught in what have become social science doctoral programs
See http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

Partly the problem is the same as with PhD programs in colleges of education.
The pool of accounting doctoral program applicants is drying up, especially accounting doctoral program pool that is increasingly trickle-filled with mathematically-educated foreign students who have virtually no background in accounting. Twenty years ago, over 200 accounting doctoral students were being graduated each year in the United States. Now it's less than one hundred graduates per year, many of whom know very little about accounting, especially U.S. accounting. This is particularly problematic for financial accounting, tax, and auditing education requiring knowledge of U.S. standards, regulations, and laws.

Accounting doctoral programs are social science research programs that do not appeal to accountants who are interested in becoming college educators but have no aptitude for or interest in the five or more years of quantitative methods study required for current accounting doctoral programs.

To meet the demand of thousands of colleges seeking accounting faculty, the supply situation is revealed by Plumlee et al (2006) as quoted at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/395wpTAR/Web/TAR395wp.htm

There were only 29 doctoral students in auditing and 23 in tax out of the 2004 total of 391 accounting doctoral students enrolled in years 1-5 in the United States.

The answer here it seems to me is to open doctoral programs to wider humanities and legal studies research methodologies and to put accounting back into accounting doctoral programs.

Partly the problem is the same as with “two-tiered” departments of modern languages
The huge shortage of accounting doctoral graduates has bifurcated the teaching of accounting. Increasingly, accounting, tax, systems, and auditing courses are taught by adjunct part-time faculty or full-time adjunct faculty who are not on a tenure track and often are paid much less than tenure-track faculty who teach graduate research courses.

The short run answer here is difficult since there are so few doctoral graduates who know enough accounting to take over for the adjunct faculty. If doctoral programs open up more to accountants, perhaps more adjunct faculty will enter the pool of doctoral program prospects. This might help the long run problem. Meanwhile as former large doctoral programs (e.g., at Illinois, Texas, Florida, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan) shrink more and more, we’re increasingly building two-tier accounting education programs due to increasing demand and shrinking supply of doctoral graduates in accountancy.

We’re becoming more and more like “two-tier” language departments in our large and small colleges.

Bob Jensen's threads on alleged reasons why accountancy doctoral programs are drying up and why accountancy is no longer required for admission or graduation in an accountancy doctoral program are provided at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

The Parable Of Being In The Wrong Paradigm
May 30, 2007 parable by David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

Sorry to revive this thread (need a favor) after it seemed to die 10 days ago. I present this parable with apologies to Ed Scribner, our resident parable teller.

I call this The Parable Of Being In The Wrong Paradigm.

A certain professor is the sad-sack of accounting higher education. It seems as if he's always been a member of an out-of-power paradigm. He started off college as a music major. He then switched to chemistry to Spanish to creative writing to history to political science. After graduation he discovered his degree qualified him to operate the french frier at a fast food joint. Friends, unhappy with his unhappiness, advised him to pursue an MBA degree. Our professor switched to an MA in accounting.

After this graduation he failed to secure an accounting or auditing job with the Big 8-7-6-5-4, probably due to a combination of not being young enough and wearing a colored shirt to his interviews. He wanted a true job, but it was not to be for him. Count him out of the Big 8-7-6-5-4 paradigm, his first experience with the wrong paradigm.

But lo and behold, a small school hired him to teach accounting. He enjoyed it so much that he decided to pursue an accounting doctorate for that academic union card. On the bright side, he learned new ways of thinking, new ways to approach a problem, and mental flexibility (this trait gets him in trouble, though). On the dark side he tried to pass himself off as a quantoid, but he wasn't. Nor was his degree from a powerful elite university. So count him out of the elite accounting school paradigm, and count him out of a top level salary. He is again a member of the wrong paradigm.

He's been a bust as a research/publishing hound, never hitting a top four journal. Some of his pubs were practitioner oriented and out of favor in his department. His last publication was too many years ago. He hit with the Journal of Excellence in College Teaching, but was told by his dean that it wouldn't count because his article wasn't about accounting (and the journal is too lowly ranked anyway). So, count him out of the dominant accounting research paradigm and from getting annual raises from his department. He is again a member of the wrong paradigm.

He was curious fellow, though, and always eager to contribute to making things better. Intrigued by how students learned, he researched it (but never got anything published, of course). He invested the results of the research back into his classrooms and became a popular teacher. As he continued to learn about how students learn, he became more popular. Eventually, students had to line up to get into one of his classes. The department chair responded by putting in a special registration process to keep excess students away from his classes and into other sections. The lucky students in his classes thrived in his learning-centered environment, it seems that they had been hungry to learn for a long time. The traditional paradigm ("tell them and then test them") is alive and well at at his school, though. He had to endure peer-to-peer evaluations of his teaching from professors who had difficulty in helping students learn. One accounting professor, notorious for his long lectures and lethal use of Power Point, came into our professor's classroom on one of his more non-traditional approach days. After a few minutes, the notorious accounting professor angrily steamed out of the classroom, giving our professor the the lowest score ever on a peer evaluation of teaching. It seems our professor didn't cover enough content. So count him out of another dominant accounting professor paradigm, and again a member of the wrong paradigm.

Despite being considered the worst accounting professor (0 for 4) by his department, he received his university's highest award for contributing to student learning.

One day he was asked how it felt not to be a part of the crowd or a dominant accounting paradigm. He replied that not being in a correct paradigm feels like not being invited to a party. He took solace, though from reading posts to AECM. Contributors seemed to be out of at least one power paradigm, just like him. They discussed it aud nauseum, year after year. Eventually he concluded that the more people lament the power of a dominant paradigm, the more things stay the same. It is like the weather--people can talk about it a lot but no one can do anything to change it. Leaving his computer, our professor went back to work, changing the world one student at a time.

David Albrecht

Bob Jensen's threads on alleged reasons why accountancy doctoral programs are drying up and why accountancy is no longer required for admission or graduation in an accountancy doctoral program are provided at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms


The Washington Post's 2007 Video Game Reviews --- Click Here


"Gadgets That Tackle Tough Problems," by Agam Shah, PC World via The Washington Post, May 17, 2007 --- Click Here


AICPA backs tax planning patent legislation
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) applauded the introduction by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), with co-sponsors Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Steve Chabot (R-OH), of H.R. 2365, legislation that would limit damages and other legal remedies available to holders of patents for tax planning methods. “Tax strategy patents may make it impossible for the U.S. Tax Code to be applied equally to all taxpayers,” said Barry C. Melancon, AICPA President and CEO. “We want to thank Reps. Boucher, Goodlatte and Chabot for clearly seeing the threat and for their leadership in introducing legislation that would protect taxpayers and tax practitioners from infringement when they use patents that have been granted for tax planning methods.”
AccountingWeb, May 25, 2007 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=103537


Biology professor Bob Blystone distributed a very personal message on TigerTalk in April.
"August 1, 1966" as written in April 2007 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/BlystoneAug1966.htm

An interesting follow-up by political science professor Shelton Williams appears at http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/05/24/williams
 

May 30, 2007 message of concern from Aaron Konstam

If New Hampshire goes through with the plan to reject the seatbelt law they will have to change their state motto from, "Live Free or Die" to "Life Free and Die".

May 30, 2007 reply of less concern from Bob Jensen

Hi Aaron

The fight against seatbelts (and motor cycle helmets) up here is carried on by idiots who equate seatbelt requirements with Orwellian trends and infringements of government on private lives.

I don't get passionate about this issue. It's hard to feel sorry for any adult stupid enough not to buckle up. New Hampshire does have a seatbelt law for children up to the age of 18.

I get more passionate about DWI offenders. DWI offenses are more problematic in Texas (where corrupt judges are too lenient on DWI offenders), but we have our share of drinkers behind the wheel on mountain roads. If they hit a moose I'm mostly just sorry for the moose.

Bob Jensen


iTunes University:  The New Education Campus That Never Sleeps --- http://www.apple.com/education/itunesu/

Apple introduced iTunes U, a new section within its music software where universities can publish lecture audio, promotional videos and other downloadable media for current and prospective students. Top downloads on Wednesday included a “What Is Existentialism?” lecture from the University of California at Berkeley and another called “Technical Aspects of Biofuel Development” at Stanford University. Unlike traditional podcasts, not just anyone can post material to iTunes U — universities control the content, and institutions can sign up to publish their own media relatively easily, according to Chris Bell, Apple’s director of worldwide marketing for iTunes. The new initiative to bring content from institutions of higher learning together into a unified interface stemmed in part from a program that began with Stanford in 2005, in which colleges could offer course content available only to their students. iTunes U was developed in collaboration with many of those colleges and universities, Bell added. “It’s free to the university, it’s free to the end user, and we think it’s a great way to take the assets that universities have and really serve the public,” he said.
Inside Higher Ed, May 31, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/05/31/qt


But they know enough about U.S. culture to sue
Hopefully Duke made all of its MBA students sign that they understood the honor code

"Cheating Across Cultures," by Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, May 24, 2007 --- http://insidehighered.com/news/2007/05/24/cheating

When Duke University found 34 first-year business school students guilty of collaborating on a take-home test late last month, officials announced a variety of penalties: Pending appeals, nine of the Fuqua School of Business M.B.A. students would be expelled, 15 would receive a one-year suspension and a failing grade in the required course, nine would simply fail the class and one would fail the assignment alone.
Not surprisingly, some of the students are contesting their sentences. This week, a Durham lawyer who’s filed appeals on behalf of 16 of the students cried foul to the Associated Press, arguing that all nine of the expelled students were from Asian countries, and that the students in question failed to fully understand the honor code and the judicial proceedings.

Excuses, excuses? Maybe; maybe not. Regardless, the complaints serve to spotlight some of the particular challenges inherent in addressing issues of academic integrity involving international students, many of whom come to American colleges with different conceptions of cheating. As the number of international students has increased in recent years — and the number of academic misconduct incidents involving international students has risen accordingly — educators have increasingly embraced the need to address academic integrity concerns proactively, recognizing in their actions the various cultural influences that can help cause one to cheat.

“These issues come up in unusual ways. It doesn’t mean there isn’t cheating in China [for instance]. There is,” says Sidney L. Greenblatt, senior assistant director of advising and counseling at Syracuse University and an expert on China (he’s currently writing an essay for a collection on cultural aspects of academic integrity, and has co-authored a publication onU.S. Classroom Culturehighlighting these issues). “People present false credentials to the American embassy and corruption in the system is about what it is here.”

Continued in article

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


Pentagon Lags on Business Help for Disabled Vets
Congress passed a law eight years ago that would set aside 3 percent of all federal procurement dollars for service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs. Is the government living up to expectations?
John Ydstie, NPR, May 26, 2007 --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10470023

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


Question
Why should authors be wary of contracts with publishers that allow "print on demand" publishing after a book has been mass produced and afterwards would otherwise go out of print?

Answer
For many years now, if a book goes out of print authors have been allowed by their contracts to ask their publishers for their copyrights back. That way they could try to have it reissued by another publisher. Until recently, that has meant that if a book was unavailable in at least one format — hardback, trade paperback or mass market paperback being the most common — or if sales fell below a minimum annual threshold, it was deemed out of print.
"When Is A Book Out of Print?" The University of Illinois Issues in Scholarly Communication Blog, May 19, 2007 ---
http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

With the advent of technologies like print-on-demand, publishers have been able to reduce the number of back copies that they keep in warehouses. Simon & Schuster, which until now has required that a book sell a minimum number of copies to be considered "in print," has removed that lower limit in its new contract.

So,in effect, this means that as long as a consumer can order a book through a print-on-demand vendor, that book is still considered to be "in print," no matter how few copies it sells.

The Authors Guild, a trade group that says it represents about 8,500 published authors, is urging writers and agents to exclude the publisher from book auctions because of it.

In an article in the New York Times, Adam Rothberg, a spokesman for Simon & Schuster, said that the publisher was acknowledging advances in technology that made it easier for readers to order books on demand. “We’re anticipating that it’s only going to get better and that this is the best way to make our authors’ books available for consumers on a large-scale basis over the long haul,” Mr. Rothberg said.

The agent David Black said, however, that in reality, if a book is available only through print-on-demand, “an author’s book is going to be available in dribs and drabs.”

He added: “If there is the possibility that I can take this book and place it somewhere else where somebody is going to publish it more aggressively than on a print-on-demand basis, shouldn’t I have the opportunity to do that?”

Continued in article


Question
Public nudism is accepted in many parts of the world such as Europe and Brazil. In the United States it's pretty well confined to hide away parks and clubs, although there are some U.S. towns that openly condone and even encourage public nudity.
Can you name one of those towns?

Answer
One is Brattleboro, Vermont --- http://www.nakedinvermont.com/
Unfortunately most days are pretty chilly for nudity anywhere in northern New England.

"Nudism: A Sagging Tradition," by Will Wadell, May 15, 2007 ---http://www.omninerd.com/2007/05/15/news/1278

Around the world, the specter of aging populations in developed countries looms ominously large on the horizon. Social welfare systems strained to the breaking point and empty kindergarten classes send a much deserved shiver down peoples' backs. In places like Germany the flagging birthrate has left the Teutons with a rapidly graying folk. Japan's aging citizenry is expected to drop to 100 million by 2050. But these developments have more far-ranging consequences than just economics or the impact on social support systems.

The hallowed and much-revered practice of Nudism is on the wane as well. Frightening new statistics from the American Association for Nude Recreation reveal that 90% of nudists today are over 35 and the trend is only getting worse. Solair Recreation League, a nudist resort in Connecticut, reports that its median membership age is a staggering 55. The nudists themselves blame the problem on high membership fees and a misperception among the young as to what it means to be a nudist. One arrogant 'textile,' largely dismissive of the growing calamity, suggested that today's young people have little interest in "loose skin and old balls ... gross." A spokesman for the AANR called this reasoning patently ridiculous.

Jensen
Purportedly most of the public nudists in Brattleboro are teens making some sort of bare statement in the public square.


From the Scout Report on May 18, 2007

Vectors Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular [Macromedia Flash Player]

http://vectors.iml.annenberg.edu/index.php?page=1

A number of electronic journals talk about being truly dynamic, but this very fine offering from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema and Television lives up to that billing in fine form. The journal’s intent is "to propose a thorough rethinking of the dynamic relationship of form to content in academic research, focusing on ways technology shapes, transforms, and reconfigures social and cultural relations." Visitors can start by drawing their own vector, and then clicking their way into the latest issue of the journal. Each article is more accurately titled a "project", and after reading a bit about each author and some background on their project, visitors can then enter each visually dynamic project at their leisure. Some of the recent project titles include "Unmarked Planes and Hidden Geographies" and "Public Secrets". Additionally, visitors can take part in online forums and also browse through the journal’s archive.


Sound Junction --- http://www.soundjunction.org/

It’s hard to learn about music without listening to it closely, and this multimedia website created by a group of organizations in Britain (including the Royal Academy of Music), provides a surfeit of music from all genres.

Through interactive games, musical excerpts, interviews, and other such devices, the SoundJunction site is a great way for anyone to learn about music. A good place to start is the "What can I do on SoundJunction?"

overview feature, which walks users through the layout of the site. After that, visitors may wish to look at the left-hand side of the homepage and click on through such areas as "Explore Music", "How Music Works", "Music in Context", and "Composing and remixing". For budding Beethovens, there is the "Composer Tool", which allows users to create their own music. Music educators and those who are just generally curious will find that this site merits numerous return visits, and it may prove to be quite habit-forming, in the best possible sense of the phrase.


National Heath Lung and Blood Institute: Information for Health Professionals ---
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/other/index.htm

Health care professionals and educators will be delighted to learn about this site, provided that they haven’t heard about it already. Created by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, this site brings together a number of interactive tools and online resources that will be of great use to those in these fields. The site includes such materials as asthma mortality maps of the United States, BMI calculators, and a variety of other health assessment tools, such as menu planners and a ten-year heart attack risk calculator. Additionally, the site contains slide shows and downloadable slide sets on asthma, cholesterol, and high blood pressure that can be used by health care educators.


Question
Does this pass the smell test in the California state university system?

"Ethically Challenged and Tone Deaf in the CSU," Mark Shapiro, The Irascible Professor, May 25, 2007 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-05-25-07.htm

Several months ago -- July 21, 2006 to be exact -- the Irascible Professor posted a commentary outlining questionable compensation practices for high-ranking officials in the California State University System. These practices have been employed by the system's Chancellor, Charlie Reed, to grant millions of dollars in extra compensation to campus presidents and to cronies of Reed at the system's headquarters in Long Beach upon their retirement or departure from the system. These six-figure payouts for "consulting" work or "special projects" have been so egregiously out of line with what ordinary faculty and staff members in the California State University system earn that the California Legislature is taking hard look a legislation that would end the practice.

Faculty members found it particularly galling that such huge bonuses were being handed out at time when faculty salaries lagged national averages by significant percentages, and at a time when the faculty union was locked in protracted negotiations over a new contract after they had gone without raises for three years. During that three year period, Reed and other high-ranking administrators were granted hefty pay raises. For example, in 2005 Reed received a $45,808 increase in his salary (14.5%) and a $3,000 increase in his car allowance. Reed's total compensation increase in 2005 was about the same as the starting salary for a new assistant professor in the system at the time.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm
In particular, questions of ethics and accountability are discussed at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Accountability

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


Question
What are some computer science courses doing to slow the decline in enrollments?
Could robots play Monopoly in basic accounting and economics courses?

"U.S. Colleges Retool Programming Classes," by Greg Bluestein, PhysOrg, May 26, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news99378145.html 

The lesson plan was called "Artificial Unintelligence," but it was written more like a comic book than a syllabus for a serious computer science class.

"Singing, dancing and drawing polygons may be nifty, but any self-respecting evil roboticist needs a few more tricks in the repertoire if they are going to take over the world," read the day's instructions to a dozen or so Georgia Tech robotics students.

They had spent the last few months teaching their personal "Scribbler" robots to draw shapes and chirp on command. Now they were being asked to navigate a daunting obstacle course of Girl Scout cookie boxes scattered over a grid.

The course is aimed at reigniting interest in computer science among undergraduates. Educators at Georgia Tech and elsewhere are turning to innovative programs like the Scribbler to draw more students to the field and reverse the tide of those leaving it.

At risk, professors say, is nothing less than U.S. technology supremacy. As interest in computer science drops in the U.S., India and China are emerging as engineering hubs with cheap labor and a skilled work force.

Schools across the country are taking steps to broaden the appeal of the major. More than a dozen universities have adopted "media computation" programs, a sort of alternate introduction to computer science with a New Media vibe. The classes, which have been launched at schools from the University of San Francisco to Virginia Tech, teach basic engineering using digital art,
digital music and the Web.

Others are turning to niche fields to attract more students. The California Institute of Technology, which has seen a slight drop in undergraduate computer science majors, has more than made up for the losses by emphasizing the field of bioengineering.

"Many of our computer science faculty work on subjects related to biology, and so this new thrust works well for us," said Joel Burdick, a Caltech bioengineering professor.

At Georgia Tech,
computing professor Tucker Balch says the brain drain is partly the fault of what he calls the "prime number" syndrome.

It's the traditional way to teach computer science students by asking them to write programs that spit out prime numbers, the Fibonacci sequence or other mathematical series.

It's proven a sound way to educate students dead-set on joining the ranks of computer programmers, but it's also probably scared away more than a few.

That's why Balch, who oversees the robotics class, is optimistic about the Scribbler, a scrappy blue robot cheap enough for students to buy and take home each night after class but versatile enough to handle fairly complex programs.

The key to the class is the design of the robot. It weighs about a pound and is slightly smaller than a Frisbee, sporting three light-detecting sensors and a speaker that can chirp. And at about $75, it's roughly the price of a science textbook.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on tools and tricks of the trade in teaching are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment and learning games are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment


Kitchen Chemistry

From PBS (for kids) --- http://pbskids.org/zoom/games/kitchenchemistry/

MIT Course (for adults) --- Click Here


The rich get richer and the poor get . . . richer

"The Poor Get Richer," The Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2007

It's been a rough week for John Edwards, and now comes more bad news for his "two Americas" campaign theme. A new study by the Congressional Budget Office says the poor have been getting less poor. On average, CBO found that low-wage households with children had incomes after inflation that were more than one-third higher in 2005 than in 1991.

The CBO results don't fit the prevailing media stereotype of the U.S. economy as a richer take all affair -- which may explain why you haven't read about them. Among all families with children, the poorest fifth had the fastest overall earnings growth over the 15 years measured. (See the nearby chart.) The poorest even had higher earnings growth than the richest 20%. The earnings of these poor households are about 80% higher today than in the early 1990s.

Continued in article


Question
How are Belgians forced to vote?

May 20, 2007 message from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

I'm not making this up.

But on with the post: I find it interesting that Belgium, a monarchy, *requires* its citizens to vote. Second, I also was surprised to learn that citizens get fined a minimum of 500 euro (about US$675) if they don't vote. Repeat offenders get higher fines.

But even more interesting is that it's not only citizens who get to vote -- any legal resident gets to vote, too!

And finally, most interesting of all, not only are legal residents *allowed* to vote, they are also, like citizens, *required* to vote! And fined if they don't.

See: http://www.flandersonline.org/othernews/207/756041 

It seems that a few Dutch nationals living in Belgium failed to vote in the recent municipal elections, and are having to pay up.

I wonder how much the American political landscape would change if we required all our citizens to vote, let alone the legal immigrants, and fined them all $675 for skipping an election?

David Fordham

May 20, 2007 reply from Mac Wright [mac.wright@VU.EDU.AU]

Belgium is not the only monarchy that requires it's citizens to vote. So does Australia. This limits the possibility of voter fraud by the process of discouraging voters with a couple of "heavies" outside the polling booth. (One US textbook on the section about Australia - system of government says "Elections - nil - Hereditary Monarchy). For those interested the so called "Hereditary Monarchy" of the UK (Britain etc.) is only hereditary to the extent that the British Parliament allows, as the rules are set by the Act of Secession which has been changed many times.)

Kind Regards,
Mac Wright

 


The anonymous finance professor who writes the Financial Rounds blog, compares journal rejections with love rejections --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/  (May 22, 2007)

It's Almost Like Being Single (redux)
Like I mentioned earlier, I just got another (paper submission) rejection. But now there's potential good news -- the recent conference I went to had a special issue. And the article is being considered for it. So, it looks like the rejection wasn't the end of the story.

It still might end up being rejected, but you never know.

And to complete the analogy to my single days, when my wife went out with me the first time, she was dating another guy at the time. After our 2nd date, she told me that she preferred him to me (at least she didn't say "Go away or I will taunt you again" in a French Accent).

To make a long story short, four months later, they broke up and we started dating again. We're coming up on our 17th anniversary in about 3 months.

So, it ain't over till it's over ---
http://www.amazon.com/What-Time-You-Mean-Now/dp/0743244532

On May 21, he stated the following about his rejected article:

Time to patch the piece up and send it off to another journal. But that's for tomorrow. For tonightI guess I'll have to console myself with a Strongbow's and the season finale of Heroes.
 

Jensen Comment
He probably should've carried the analogy further by discussing how rejected, albeit hopeful, lovers bounce back from rejection by seeking other lovers. Similarly, rejected journal articles are bounced from journal to journal in hopes that some journal will publish the article. Sadly there are no singles bars for rejected authors.

I'm reminded of the time I rejected the same journal article three times. Each time, for some unlikely reason, different journals chose me as an ad hoc reviewer. By the third time I photocopied my earlier referee reports and appealed for the journal to have the submission refereed by somebody else. By the way, the author(s) never changed anything but the title on each submission. I was a bit irked that they never took the time and trouble to improve the paper along the lines that I had suggested. But then again, this particular piece was pretty hopeless from the start.

Lastly, this Financial Rounds blogger might've carried the analogy a bit further. Is getting tenure a bit like getting married? Getting married means not having to date anymore. Does getting tenure mean not having to publish anymore? Probably the analogy breaks down here if the newly tenured professor faces 40 more years of inflation pricing. I can think of examples of some professors who never published in refereed journals after getting tenure. Virtually all of them are called associate professors, some after more than 30 years of being stalled at that intermediary rank. They live in the starter home they purchased before they got tenure and drive what are becoming vintage cars.

But these long-haul associate professors  probably live longer than their researcher pals who suffer from hypertension and are on their third marriages.

May 29, 2007 reply from Paul Williams [Paul_Williams@NCSU.EDU]

Getting tenure is now even more like marriage in that your "spouse" can now more easily divorce you. In NC tenure simply means you cannot lose your job as a professor for one of three causes: personal malice, discrimination (e.g., race, sex, religious preference, etc), and for exercising your first amendment rights (something every employed person in the US should logically have).

Tenure has always been subject to withdrawal for various sorts of misbehavior (commit a serious felony and you will lose it). As part of post tenure review policy revisions at my school the provost is proposing "non-performance" as another justification. Now we have "irreconcilable differences" as grounds for NC State divorcing terminal associates.

It's like being married to Donald Trump or Demi Moore -- we aren't allowed to grow old gracefully, but have to compete with the "pretty young things" or we're out the door.

May 29, 2007 reply from  Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

Bob / Paul:
Why does not the AAA establish a new journal (digital of course), entitled "The Journal of Residual Accounting Research", in which those rejected papers could find a home?

Richard Richard J. Campbell
mailto:campbell@rio.edu

May 29, 2007 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Richard,

Those dogs are often published in “Conference Proceedings.” I won’t name which conferences at the moment.

Actually some professors who enjoy repeated support for expense-paid vacations eventually prefer that the rejected papers not be published. Since audiences at some conference presentations are mostly a few other presenters doing the same thing, presenting the same dog year after year in Las Vegas, Mexico, Europe, Hawaii, etc. is less likely to be detected if the dog is never published.

Bob Jensen

My threads on this type of professorial fraud (ripping off employers) are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#AcademicConferences 

May 29, 2007 reply from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

Bob and Paul:

And this journal could use all the tools of the web to determine worthiness in the collective eyes of the business deans:

Richard J. Campbell
School of Business
218 N. College Ave.
University of Rio Grande
Rio Grande, OH 45674
Voice:740-245-7288

http://faculty.rio.edu/campbell 

 



 

The University of Texas at Austin Loses Legal Effort to Scrap the Controversial Top 10% Admissions Law

"Don’t Scrap Top 10% Plans," by Michael A. Olivas, Inside Higher Ed, April 26, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/04/26/olivas 

10 Percent Plan Survives in Texas
Ten years ago, Texas legislators created the “10 percent” plan — an innovative and controversial approach to public college admissions that seemed to assure racial and ethnic diversity at flagship universities, even if they were barred from using affirmative action. Ever since the plan was created, complaints have come in from the University of Texas at Austin and its would-be students, and for much of the 2007 session of the Texas Legislature, it appeared that this would be the year for the plan to be scaled back. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed legislation to do so and a conference committee came up with a compromise version, which passed the Senate. But Sunday night, the House refused to go along, and voted down the idea of changing the 10 percent plan, 75-64.Legislators representing minority and rural districts, who perceive the 10 percent system as helping their constituents, united to push back the legislation.
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, May 29, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/05/29/percent


Jensen Comment
Good News About the Law
There are a lot of things I like about the 10% law. These include spreading the top SAT scoring talent around all the state universities rather than concentrating so much of it at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M in College Station. The law has marked impact on affirmative action admission to the highest ranked universities in the state.


But the Bad News is Worse in the Long Run Due to How it Affects the Top Talent Who Now Avoid Tough Courses
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 likely to be 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?

 

May 21, 2007 reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]

Bob,

I also used to categorise subjects into easy and difficult ones. In fact, when my daughter decided to switch her major from molecular biology to political science, I told her she was choosing a BS major. However, with age I have realised how foolish I have been.

Let the whizz kids in science or math take courses in political philosophy or Poetry and find out for themselves if it is as easy as they thought. We place too much importance on the sciences and mathematics at the expense of a balanced development of humans. This had disastrous consequences especially for countries such as India, and the educators there are now comiung to realise their folly. Unfortunately, for us in the US, in spite of the imoprtance placed in science/mathematics we have fared rather poorly.

Howard Gardner developed theory of multiple intelligences in his classic Frames of Mind", where he classified intelligences into six categories: Logical-Mathematical, Linguistic, Spatial, Musical, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, and Intrapersonal. Various disciplines require different doses of each of these, and it is meaningless to come up with a single yardstick (such as SAT or GPA) for admissions.. It would make a lot more sense to develop a composite score for each major used in admissions, and ask the students to retake the test whenever they change their majors. This my version of midieval torture, but just might be worth it.

My daughter obviously was well qualified for sciences (she took a five course sequence in Calculus meant for Science & Engineering and did well there before changing her mind), but just found her calling. She obviously was forced to choose a socially-desirable field at the beginning.

It might just be worthwhile doing some research on exactly what intelligences are important for accounting and developing a scoringng mechanism. Such an exercise might be more meaningful than all the current regression mongering on hallucinatory (or imagined) problems. ETS and US Department of Education might even be interesting funding such research.

Jagdish

 

May 21, 2007 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Jagdish,

But you miss the point. If Ms. Dickenson's poetry classes and Mr. Twain's literature classes are really tough for A grades, the gaming students will avoid those courses like they avoid tough grading Calculus II and linear algebra. If Mr. Einstein gives every student an A in linear algebra, then all students will flock to linear algebra.

The point is that gaming students under the 10% rule aim for only the gut (easy A) courses in any discipline. This is not academically healthy.

I think the second point is that the students who avoid math and science courses in high school hurt their chances for majoring in many alternatives in college, including accounting, economics, political science, finance, business administration, engineering, as well as math and science.

Many professional programs require math skills as a prerequisite. It's not so much that poetry classes are easier than Calculus II or linear algebra. It's just that many professional undergraduate and graduate programs require the math and not the poetry just to get into those programs.

I would really like to see a study that tracks the top 10% at the University of Texas before and after the 10% plan was really rolling (say in the last five years).

It would also be interesting to track the SAT scores since not taking the hard math and science courses may lower SAT scores among students really capable of higher SAT scores had they taken a harder curriculum in high school.

At some point many college graduates will also have to face GMAT and GRE graduate admissions tests that have math components. If they avoid math all the way through high school and college, they've also limited themselves for graduate school

Bob Jensen

May 29, 2007 reply from Morris, Roselyn E [rmorris@txstate.edu]
(Who is experienced with Texas students being admitted under the 10 Percent Plan)

Bob,

Gaming students even go further and do not even attempt to try on the entrance exams. For instance, top 10% Texas students are admitted based upon rank in class and must only have taken the entrance exams but have no required scores. Only students, who are trying for scholarships, private or out-of-state schools, have incentive to try to make a good score on the entrance exams.=20

I know from our experience here at Texas State that we have many students in the top 10% of high school but with total SAT scores of 900 to 1000. Since many of our incoming freshmen scholarships have been rewritten to award based on class ranking, we do not necessarily see higher entrance scores from scholarship applicants.

Roselyn E. Morris, PhD, CPA
Chair, Department of Accounting
McCoy College of Business
Texas State University-San Marcos
601 University Drive
San Marcos, Texas 78666-4616 phone: 512.245.2566 fax: 512.245.7973 email:
rmorris@txstate.edu

May 29, 2007 reply from Paul Williams [Paul_Williams@NCSU.EDU]

Jagdish, et al,

You observations about kinds of intelligence reminded me of an exercise the director of our scholars program here had those of us on his faculty advisory committee perform a few years ago. The task was to decide from among a number of applicants who would receive a scholarship. The "applications" were narrative describing the students -- no metrics were included, but narration provided by each students guidance counselors.

One student was the overwhelming choice: star athlete, top grades in all his classes, an Eagle Scout, etc. The moral of the exercise is that all of the narrations provided to us where actual descriptions of actual students taken from their academic records. The one we all preferred was actually Bill Bradley -- Rhodes Scholar, U.S. Senator, Princeton All-American and New York Knick.

But the others, who we didn't think were so hot, were also accomplished people, e.g., Albert Einstein (described by his teachers as lazy and not likely to amount to much), Isadora Duncan (and indifferent student at best). What we are creating in the U.S. is an admission process to top universities that favors one kind of student, notably the one who works incessantly hard at what he or she is told to work hard at in order to SUCCEED!

Even the aspiring poets that get into Harvard now have to be ones who have high SAT scores, editied their high school year book, mastered a musical instrument, and built homes for the less fortunate so they may effuse in their essay how lucky they are to live in America and to feel such pity for those who aren't so lucky. (Much like academic success in accounting). What about the others?

The odd balls and misfits whose genius lies in their not being like the model student every university seems to set up its admission process to find so they can brag about the average SAT and high school rank of their freshmen classes. Perhaps if students were assigned at random to universities on the basis of their demonstrating some minimum level of capability for doing college work whatever it might happen to be, then students in high school could "waste" more of their time doing things that they enjoyed rather than obsessing on the check list of achievements required by admission officers at prestigious schools.

May 30, 2007 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Paul,

Actually I think reliance on the SAT helps identify some Einsteins who do not end up in the top ten percent of their class.

You sent us an interesting reply. My first thought after reading it was that the Einsteins of high school probably do not graduate in the top ten percent of their classes and, therefore, lose out to some street smart but dumb kid who played the game and aced all the easy courses.

What is interesting about the SAT tests is that they give some Einsteins a shot at the best colleges even though their supposed laziness and distractions led to low grade point averages on their application forms.

Perhaps this is one reason the SAT-type tests became more popular than high school grades for admission to top colleges. Admission officers are seeking out the oddball non-conformist geniuses. The University of Texas said that the main concern is that the 10 Percent Law takes almost all discretion out of the hands of university admission officials. Einstein no longer can be invited to UT.

Another reason is that grade inflation has virtually destroyed the credibility of grade averages for admissions screening. I wonder how high schools in Texas pick the top ten percent of students among the twenty or more percent who have all A grades on their transcripts.

(The Boston Globe reported: "We're seeing 30, 40 valedictorians per class."

Bob Jensen

May 29, 2007 reply from Glen L Gray [glen.gray@CSUN.EDU]

This is slightly off this tread but if you ever want to see a really sad, state-of-education video, I saw a video a couple of years ago of a guess speaker talking to a group of juniors at Compton high school (a poor, gang-infested high school south of Los Angeles). She asked how many of you plan to go to college? No one in camera view raised their hand. Then she asked how many of you plan to be doctors, lawyers, or other professionals. Many hands went up. She pointed out that you need to go to college to get into those professions. The students were surprised to learn that.

Glen L. Gray, PhD, CPA
Accounting & Information Systems, COBAE
California State University,
Northridge Northridge, CA 91330-8372
818.677.3948 818.677.2461 (messages)

http://www.csun.edu/~vcact00f

Bob Jensen's threads on the pros and cons of the 10 Percent plan are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#AffirmativeAction

Bob Jensen's threads on grade inflation are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#GradeInflation


The Global Information Society Watch 2007 report - the first in a series of annual reports- looks at state of the field of information and communication technology (ICT) policy at local and global levels and particularly how policy impacts on the lives of people living in developing countries.
Studies of the ICT policy situation in twenty-two countries from four regions are featured: Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda); Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Philippines); Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru); and Eastern Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania), with one report from a Western European country (Spain).
The University of Illinois Issues in Scholarly Communication Blog, May 28, 2007 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/ 


Travel Guides

May 23, 2007 message from Chad [chad@hotelsbycity.com]

I was browsing your site and noticed that you link to some really great travel resources located here: http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book00q3.htm.

Being a travel website manager myself; I would like to encourage you to visit out site as we offer great travel info and have an extensive amount of travel guides that your visitors would enjoy and find usefull.

To let you know about www.hotelsbycity.net we are an online travel company focused primarily on hotels. We run a Hotel blog, have over 500 travel guides located here: http://www.hotelsbycity.net/guides/ and new to our website, we offer Travel Tips found here:

http://www.hotelsbycity.net/help/tips/.

I would like to know if you could possibly link to our site from your page?

I really do like your site, hopefully will be in touch.

Thanks,

Chad Evans
www.hotelsbycity.net

Bob Jensen's travel helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Travel


Question
What's a masters of administration?

I dimly recall Yale had a troubled program like this before Yale changed full bore into a MBA program. One of the many problems of this program is that there isn't a very well defined career track for a graduate with a masters of administration. I'm certain there are other colleges that still offer such a degree. I don't know just who recruits graduates with this diploma.


I found this distance education masters degree from Northern Arizona University's of paid advertisement in an online newsletter called PhysOrg --- http://www.distance.nau.edu/NAUDegrees/76/M-Administration.htm

The Master of Administration is a specialized master's degree for mid-career professionals needing a general background in Administration plus a custom emphasis to meet your particular career goals. Earning the M.Admin degree gives professionals the opportunity to strengthen and update their business and administration skills.
 
Click here for information . . .

 


Putting a computer hard drive in the freezer will help recover lost data. --- http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/garfinkel/posts/

What happens to flash drives if you run them through the washing machine?
May 30, 2007 message from Donald Ramsey [dramsey@UDC.EDU]

Just a report--for what it may be worth.

This morning I washed my flash drives (two of them) that were on a key chain in my pants pocket. The whole washer cycle. I had removed the main key ring, but unintentionally left the other bunch in the pocket with the flash drives and other less-used items (including a stainless steel multi-knife).

Did my best to dry them internally with a hair dryer.

The good news is that they seem to be none the worse for wear. Just thought someone out there would like to know. I have no idea what they're made of internally, but (knock wood) it appears to be good stuff.

Doubtless I'm not the first. Just the first case I know about. But still, I don't recommend this procedure.

Don

 

I honestly don’t know if a freezer would help recover data on a flash drive. Personally I doubt it. But I’ve been wrong a couple of times in my life.

 


"How Is It That You Can Lead a Staff But Not a Family?" by Jared Sandberg, The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2007; Page B1 --- Click Here

Elizabeth Gray wasn't getting anywhere with her husband on a particular parenting issue. Always admiring parents who have the kind of control she's accustomed to having at the office, she finally turned to the kind of tactic that comes in handy at work: a contract.

"I'm a project manager," she says, "so I managed it like a project."

The document was intended to lay out a compromise over the couple's one source of friction. She valued her boys doing chores while her stay-at-home husband was more permissive. So, the document attempted to close the gap, including "Whereas" resolutions stating that consistency is important in parenting and that the boys would get the same answer from both of them, she recalls. She would have quoted the two-and-a-half page contract verbatim but, after they negotiated it last July, she ripped it up in a fit of frustration when she felt her husband breached the agreement by December.

"It was an abject failure," she says.

How Is It That You Can Lead a Staff But Not a Family? May 29, 2007; Page B1 Elizabeth Gray wasn't getting anywhere with her husband on a particular parenting issue. Always admiring parents who have the kind of control she's accustomed to having at the office, she finally turned to the kind of tactic that comes in handy at work: a contract.

"I'm a project manager," she says, "so I managed it like a project."

The document was intended to lay out a compromise over the couple's one source of friction. She valued her boys doing chores while her stay-at-home husband was more permissive. So, the document attempted to close the gap, including "Whereas" resolutions stating that consistency is important in parenting and that the boys would get the same answer from both of them, she recalls. She would have quoted the two-and-a-half page contract verbatim but, after they negotiated it last July, she ripped it up in a fit of frustration when she felt her husband breached the agreement by December.

"It was an abject failure," she says.

Family life informs work more than the other way around. It goes beyond boasts that a company is one big, happy family. The home hones skills, such as fostering development, and virtues, such as patience. It's easy to delegate once you've learned to let a toddler spend 23 minutes buttering toast without an overwhelming urge to intervene.

One study shows employees rate their bosses with dependents more highly than they rate their bosses with none. That may be in part because heads of families have to earn authority while office workers, by virtue of the org chart, can simply insist on it.

Families don't have to buy what someone who can't fire them sells. "You can be a great boss at work but you can't get your two-year-old into the bathtub," says Ellen Galinsky, co-founder of the Families and Work Institute.

Continued in article


From The Washington Post on May 23, 2007

How many Web sites did Google find were successfully launching malicious downloads?

A. 100,000
B. 250,000
C. 300,000
D. 450,000


From The Washington Post on May 24, 2007

How many users did Facebook add in April?

A. 500,000
B. 1 million
C. 1.5 million
D. 2 million
Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.


From The Washington Post on May 25, 2007

What provides more than 10 percent of revenue for mobile phone operators in the European Union?

A. Mobile Web access
B. Roaming charges
C. Phone upgrades
D. Texting charges
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From The Washington Post on May 29, 2007

The new "n" version of Wi-Fi is expected to be how much faster than the widely used "g" version?

A. 5 times
B. 8 times
C. 12 times
D. 20 times
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Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/

 


Some Little Known Facts About Exercise (Sigh!)

From Time Magazine, March 28, 2007, pp. 38-67
(I know its from two months ago, but we always read old magazines in a doctor's office)

Exercise does more than build muscles and help prevent heart disease. New science shows that it also boosts brainpower --- and may offer hope in the battle against Alzheimer's.

Kids with the finest bodies were the ones with the fittest brains, even when factors such as socioeconomic status were taken into account.

The idea of a "scholar athlete" isn't just a marketing ploy dreamed up by the NCAA.

IGF-1 takes on the role of foreman in the body's neurotransmitter factory.

Effects of exercise take effect almost immediately on the brain. They wear off quickly when vigorous daily exercise is skipped.

The brain results apply to children as well as old folks.

Some forms of exercise benefit the brain more than other types of exercise. Weight lifting just isn't as good as sweaty running and aerobics. Dripping in sweat is a good thing if the exercise caused the sweat. When I sweat planting seedlings in the hot sun, there isn't a whole lot of exercise. On the other hand, an hour at a four mph clip on the treadmill is a good thing that can be improved with more time or more speed.

Sweat is now viewed as an anti-depressant.

Estimates are now that four hours of vigorous exercise can ceterus paribus extend life by two hours. (Of course many risk factors can come into play that can override benefits of exercise.) Since vigorous exercising is misery, it seems like we could at least get a four hour delay in the "big sleep."


"Drinking 4 or more cups of coffee a day may help prevent gout," PhyOrg, May 25, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news99286291.html


14 Little Known Facts About Caffene, WebMD, May 27, 2007 ---
http://blogs.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/2007/05/caffeine-facts.html

While catching up on my reading about caffeine I came across a story featured in the April 23, 2007 print edition of U.S. News & World Report. The facts I was able to pull out were simply amazing:
  • A police officer in Alaska has invented a combination of caffeine and lip balm.
  • An inventor in Durham, NC has perfected the recipe for a caffeine-infused doughnut or bagel.
  • The number of 18-to-24-year-olds who drink coffee daily has doubled, from 16 percent to 31 percent.
  • Energy drinks like Red Bull and Cocaine (now marketed under a different name), with several times the buzz of a can of Coke, have mushroomed into a $3.5 billion-a-year industry.
  • Children's consumption of soft drinks has doubled in the past 35 years, with sodas supplanting milk.
  • A 2003 study of Columbus, Ohio middle schoolers found some taking in 800 milligrams of caffeine a day -- more than twice the recommended maximum for adults of 300 milligrams. (Learn how to cut back on caffeine intake.)
  • Test subjects dosed with the amount found in a cup of coffee come out ahead on problem-solving tasks.
  • By triggering the release of adrenaline to help muscles work harder and longer, caffeine so clearly enhances athletic performance that until 2004 it was considered a controlled substance by the International Olympic Committee.
  • The latest findings on coffee suggest that it even staves off disease. Caffeine reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease, for example, by blocking receptors for adenosine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in motor function. It is now being tested as a Parkinson's treatment. Caffeine also heads off migraines by contracting blood vessels in the brain.
  • Coffee, like blueberries and broccoli, contains potent antioxidants. It appears to reduce the risk of colon cancer, gallstones, and liver cancer, among other illnesses.
  • In 2005, Harvard researchers found that drinking six cups of coffee or more daily cut the risk of getting type 2 diabetes by half in men and 30 percent in women.
  • One study of 80,000 women showed that those who drank more than two or three cups of coffee daily reduced their risk of suicide over 10 years by a third.
  • The young adult crowd who favor caffeine with their alcohol appear to be putting themselves at some risk, too. According to Mark Fillmore, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky, "Caffeine seems to restore the speed of your behavior but not the accuracy." This gives a whole new meaning to "The Quick and the Dead!"
  • "Coffee culture" has become so much a part of American culture that 36-year-old Starbucks, once considered a gourmet's treat, now boasts 9,401 stores nationwide and has focused growth on economically struggling neighborhoods far from the yuppified precincts of its early success.
So what have a learned from all of these factoids?

First, I think it is safe to say that very few people who use caffeine really know the pros and cons and how to use it appropriately.

Second, I know almost no one who thinks about their use or abuse of caffeine.

And finally, it made me think twice about my single morning cup a few days per week.

New technologies for treating depression could make the proverbial couch obsolete.

"Transforming the Psychiatrist's Office," by Emily Singer, MIT's Technology Review, May 29, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/18791/

The iconic symbol of the psychiatrist's office--the psychoanalyst's couch--could soon be supplemented with new medical devices that can help doctors treat patients or objectively assess how treatment is progressing. Two experimental devices--one to treat patients with drug-resistant depression, and one that can quickly assess if a particular medication is working--are currently in late-stage clinical development. They could transform psychiatry from a specialty practiced largely with a prescription pad into one that more closely resembles a typical medical specialty.

"Psychiatrists don't do procedures; they do talk therapy and write scripts," says Mark Bausinger, chief financial officer of Neuronetics, a medical-device company based in Malvern, PA, that is developing a noninvasive treatment device. "So this is really going to change the way they work."

While antidepressants such as Prozac and Lexapro have been a huge boon to the treatment of depression, they possess some serious limitations. Antidepressants can take weeks or months to exert their full benefit, and different patients respond to different drugs. Because doctors have no way to predict the best drug for a particular patient, many people spend months or even years switching or tweaking their prescriptions to find the drug or combination best suited to them. In addition, recent studies have shown that about a third of patients do not respond to any medication they try, leaving them with options such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which is effective but carries serious side effects.

A new device that measures brain waves could help solve the first problem. While it may take patients several weeks of medication to feel better, previous research has shown that brain-activity changes measured via electroencephalogram (EEG) can, within just one week, predict if that medicine will help. Patients who are likely to improve show a decrease in activity in certain parts of the brain.

In 2001, Aspect Medical Systems, a neurotechnology company based in Norwood, MA, began developing a commercial version of this EEG technology. Requiring only five electrodes to be placed on a subject's forehead and temples, rather than 20 or more electrodes scattered over the entire scalp, the device is much easier to use than the EEG systems typically employed in research labs.

The company is now sponsoring a large, multicenter clinical trial to determine if the device can reliably detect antidepressant response. Initial results from the study, presented this week in San Diego at a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, are promising. After a week of treatment, the device could predict if a particular drug would work in the longer term 70 to 80 percent of the time.

Continued in article


The Psychiatric Vest:  Wear one to diagnosis just what's wrong in your head (this is not humor)
A study being conducted by psychiatric researchers is using a novel device to monitor patients' behavior and create a new method for diagnostics.
Brittany Sauser, "Computerized Vest Helps Diagnose Mental Disorders," MIT's Technology Review, May 31, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/18803/


"Zapping Seizures Away:  Stopping seizures at their source may provide a more effective way to treat medication-resistant epilepsy," by Emily Singer, MIT's Technology Review, May 22, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/18763/


A Few Things Michael Moore Leaves Out in His New Documentary Called Sicko
How to Lie With Statistics and How to Mislead by Leaving out Important Facts

"‘Sicko,’ Castro and the ‘120 Years Club’," The New York Times, May 28, 2007 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/27/weekinreview/27depalma.html

Of course, many people regard any figures about Cuba as at least partly fiction. But even if the longevity statistics are correct, they are open to interpretation. Carmelo Mesa-Lago, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Pittsburgh, said statistics also show that Cuba has a high rate of abortion, which can lower infant mortality rates and improve life expectancy figures. The constant flow of refugees also may affect longevity figures, since those births are recorded but the deaths are not.

. . .

By the time Dr. Cordova started practicing in 1992 (after the Russians pulled out), equipment and drugs were already becoming scarce. He said he was assigned to a four-block neighborhood in Havana Province where he was supposed to care for about 600 people.

“But even if I diagnosed something simple like bronchitis,” he said, “I couldn’t write a prescription for antibiotics, because there were none.”

. . .

Mr. Moore transports a handful of sick Americans to Cuba for treatment in the course of the film, which is scheduled to open in the United States next month, and he is apparently dumbfounded that they could get there what they couldn’t get here.

. . .

“Actually there are three systems,” Dr. Cordova said, because Cuba has two: one is for party officials and foreigners like those Mr. Moore brought to Havana. “It is as good as this one here, with all the resources, the best doctors, the best medicines, and nobody pays a cent,” he said. But for the 11 million ordinary Cubans, hospitals are often ill equipped and patients “have to bring their own food, soap, sheets — they have to bring everything.” And up to 20,000 Cuban doctors may be working in Venezuela, creating a shortage in Cuba.

Continued in article


Reason 1,013 that people should avoid binge drinking
People addicted to alcohol and young adults who are heavy drinkers, but not considered alcoholics, have something in common: they possess poor decision-making skills, according to psychologists at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The findings are based on research examining binge drinking and heavy alcohol use among college students.
"MU study finds binge drinking among college students impaires decision-making ability," PhysOrg, May 25, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news99304634.html 


"Persistent smokers may have higher risk to become depressed than never smokers," PhysOrg, May 21, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news98964673.html


Question
Can finger length predict SAT scores?
Now I've heard everything!

"Fingers May Forecast Kids' Test Scores:  Researcher Points to Finger Length as Predictor of Math, Verbal Test Scores," by Miranda Hitti, WebMD, May 23, 2007 --- http://www.webmd.com/news/20070523/fingers-may-forecast-kids-test-scores 

Fingers May Forecast Kids' Test Scores Researcher Points to Finger Length as Predictor of Math, Verbal Test Scores By Miranda Hitti WebMD Medical NewsReviewed by Louise Chang, MDMay 23, 2007 -- Students' fingertips may hold a clue to their academic test scores, a British researcher suggests.

Mark Brosnan, PhD, of the psychology department at England's University of Bath, studied 75 children aged 6-7 at a British elementary school.

One by one, the children had their hands photocopied at school. Brosnan then measured the length of the children's fingers, down to 0.01 millimeters (about 0.0004 inches).

Brosnan also checked the children's math and verbal scores on a standardized British academic exam. Then he compared the test scores and finger length data, especially the ratio of the length between the children's index and ring fingers.

At first glance, Brosnan found no clear patterns between the kids' test scores and their finger length. But that changed when he separated data on boys and girls.

Among boys, a low ratio of index finger length to ring finger length was associated with higher math scores. But that ratio wasn't associated for better or worse with boys' verbal test scores.

The opposite was true for girls. Among girls, a low ratio of index finger length to ring finger length was linked to better verbal test scores, but not to any patterns in girls' math test scores.

What difference does finger length make to test scores? Brosnan argues that finger length is linked to prenatal exposure to the hormone testosterone.

However, his study doesn't prove that, since it doesn't include the children's current or prenatal testosterone levels.

The study will be published in the British Journal of Psychology, states a news release from the University of Bath.


Reading Rather Than Listening to Voice Mail

"Hate Voice Mail? New Services Turn Recordings Into Text," by Sarmad Ali, The New York Times, May 24, 2007; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117996600139812770.html 

Overall, both services work pretty well and are easy to use. I was able to read transcribed texts in a fraction of the time I would have spent dialing in to hear them. I was also able to sift through my messages and go directly to the ones I wanted to check, as opposed to having to listen to every single one sequentially. And the transcripts end the hassle of having to jot down names, numbers or addresses.

Another advantage is that the transcribed messages are sent immediately after the voice mails. When I was on a train and passing in and out of reception areas, I got my written messages faster than if I had tried voice mail only. Users can forward the messages to others or reply by calling back, sending an email or text messaging.

Signing up with SimulScribe.com took just minutes. After setting up an online account naming a cellphone carrier, I got a confirmation email with instructions on how to activate the service on my phone. SimulScribe, launched this past September, costs $9.95 a month for 40 transcribed messages plus 25 cents for each additional message. The service is compatible with all wireless carriers.

Currently, SimulScribe transcribes English voice mails only. A voice mail left on my phone in Spanish wasn't transcribed at all. The company says it's testing a Spanish system to add to the service in a couple of weeks.

Activating SpinVox's Spin-my-Vmail on the phone was easy, too. After signing up on spinvox.com, the company sends subscribers a guide to using the service on the phone. I was able to activate "call forwarding busy/no answer" to divert messages to my SpinVox voice mail just by changing a setting in my T-Mobile's cellphone settings menu.

I received an email in my mailbox whenever someone left me a voice mail. Each had the number of the caller, the transcript, date and time the message was received, plus a message code I could type into the keypad after accessing my voice mail to hear the original audio.

U.S. customers can get a free one-year trial by sending an email to gamma@spinvox.com , during which time the company expects to launch the service in the U.S. first through Cincinnati Bell and later through other carriers. Bloggers can also test Spin-my-Blog, which lets users speak a posting to their blogs from any phone. Sign-up for that is also at spinvox.com.

SpinVox, first launched in the U.K. in May 2005, transcribes in English, French, Spanish and German. Unlike SimulScribe, messages left to me in Spanish were successfully transcribed.

One friend who left me a voice mail on both services said she was pleased to be reminded by SimulScribe that her message would be transcribed so she should speak slowly and clearly.

Users of SimulScribe get unlimited inbox storage so they don't have to delete old mail. Both services work better with hand-held email devices such as Treos or BlackBerrys than with the cellphones that don't have the email capability. The number of characters that can be transcribed into SMS text is limited.

With SimulScribe, long messages delivered by SMS are parsed over multiple text messages. The same happens when customers use SpinVox on CDMA cellphones. Customers using SpinVox on GSM phones like those from Cingular or T-Mobile fit three-minute calls on one text.

Sometimes, the transcriptions contain misspellings, missing words or unnecessary punctuation marks. A friend left me a voice mail on my cellphone with SpinVox's Spin-my-Vmail service. She ended it by asking me if I was sick of Thai food, but the transcribed note, amusingly, turned it into: "Hi Sarmad, it's Kain(?). I'm calling at 4:09(?). I just wanted to see what the plans were for tonight. Are you interest in dinner, are you up for Lasagna(?)."

Words -- mostly names -- spelled phonetically, some numbers and undecipherable words are usually followed by a question mark.

Aside from sporadic imprecision, I liked SimulScribe more, mostly because it eliminates the need to dial in any passwords to get a voice version of transcribed messages. But it's hard to beat the free trial of SpinVox and its multiple-language transcription capability. Both services are a nice addition to hand-held devices if you can overlook a few nuisances.

Continued in article


Summer Reading Suggestions from Finance Professor Jim Mahar on May 22, 2007
http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

  1. A Guide to Equity Index Construction by Daniel Broby. Good stuff. Will definitely be used in class next semester!
  2. A Behavioral Approach to Asset Pricing by Harsh Shefrin. This one has been on by "to-read" list for a while. teaching SIMM in the fall gave me the kick I needed. It is the most technical of the books on the list but definitely have learned quite a bit and it will be useful in class! (Especially read the chapters on prospect theory).
  3. Train your Mind, Change your Brain I am almost done with this. Very interesting! It fits perfectly with what I have always thought: namely you can teach an old dog new tricks, and the brain (and body for that matter) is much more flexible then traditional thought has given it credit for. Super short version: brains change based on environment and inputs. Well written and easy/fast to follow. (if you know anyone with who has had a stroke this should be a MUST read!--see pages 102-106ish).
  4. Five Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner- Disciplined, Synthesizing, Creative, Respectful, Creative. I am not very far into it, but so far seems good!
  5. Ideas that Stick. By the brothers Heath. First of all, any book with duct tape on cover is a given purchase. But this is awesome. Short version: covers how to get your ideas across and how to get them to "stick". Sure some is common sense, but very well done, interesting, and even fun! And useful not only in teaching, but also writing, managing, and just about everything else!
  6. Long Way Gone: memoirs of a boy soldier--by Ismael Beah. The story of a 12 year old (yeah 12) boy who gets involved in the Sierra Leone Civil War. Unreal. FTR I almost didn't get it when I saw it was Oprah's list, but I did and it is good (and only sounds like a Dixie Chick song title).
  7. I just ordered Pearl Harbor by Newt Gingrich and William Forsctchen. If it is even a fraction as good as the alternate history Civil War Trilogy by the same two co-authors (the best since Fama and French!), it will be great (Grant Comes East, the middle of the trilogy, is one of my favorite books of all time!)

Summer Reading and DVD Suggestions from Scott McLemee
"Bookapalooza," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, May 30, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/05/30/mclemee

Some Great books and DVDs for Summer Entertainment and Learning

When I Was a Loser: True Stories of (Barely) Surviving High School
The two dozen or so
contributors to When I Was a Loser: True Stories of (Barely) Surviving High School managed to wear the entire range of unfortunate hair styles available throughout the 1970s and ‘80s. This collection — edited by John McNally, who spent last semester as a visiting writer at Columbia College Chicago — is one of the less solemn works of “creative nonfiction” (as the term of art now has it) currently available. Published by the Free Press, it is available in both paperback and e-book formats.
Scott McLemee, "Beach Blanket Bingo," Inside Higher Ed, May 23, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/05/23/mclemee

 

Adolescence Isn’t Just for Teenagers Any More
Twitch City,” an absurdist sitcom that premiered on Canadian television in 1998, offers one of the funniest portraits around of someone determined to avoid the demands of adult life. It ran through 13 episodes before the show ended in 2000. The recent DVD release doesn’t provide many features. Still, it’s good to have the whole series available to those of us who weren’t part of its original cult following.
Scott McLemee, "Beach Blanket Bingo," Inside Higher Ed, May 23, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/05/23/mclemee

Slings and Arrows
Set at a repertory theater best known for its Shakespeare productions, “Slings and Arrows” is in some ways a show about trying to keep viable routines from turning into a rut of mediocrity. The theater’s regular audience is aging. It buys its season tickets out of force of habit, mostly. But box office sales aren’t what they could be, and it’s hard to find corporate sponsors who won’t try to meddle with how the place is run. And in any case, the troupe’s creative spark has diminished over time. Revitalization isn’t impossible, but it takes some doing. Each season tracks the production of a different Shakespeare play (Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear) with a keen eye and ear for the way the artistic director and the actors work out the staging. At the same time, plenty of drama and farce takes place behind the scenes.People who have worked in theater tell me that the situations and backstage dynamics in “Slings and Arrows” are absolutely typical of professional productions. As much as I enjoyed the first season, it was hard to believe that the second would be anything beyond a repetition — reducing success to a formula. But those misgivings were completely off track. The third season carried things to a natural close.
Scott McLemee, "Beach Blanket Bingo," Inside Higher Ed, May 23, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/05/23/mclemee

Other interesting new books and DVD movies are reviewed by Scott at the above site.


Summer Reading Suggestions from Senator John McCain

War Stories
On Memorial Day, keep in mind these books about soldiers in battle.

BY JOHN MCCAIN
The Wall Street Journal, Saturday, May 26, 2007 12:00 a.m. EDT

1. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway (Scribner, 1940).

Before I entered the U.S. Naval Academy as a young man, I'd read "For Whom the Bell Tolls," a book that helped bring home to me one of the fundamentals of military experience: what it is that moves soldiers in battle. Clashing ideologies and interests might be the genesis of war, but for the soldier any conflict comes down to fighting for his brothers. In Ernest Hemingway's novel, the main character, Robert Jordan, is an American teacher who has joined the International Brigades; he is an idealist battling against fascism in the Spanish Civil War. But he becomes disenchanted--not necessarily with his cause but with its leaders and with their foreign allies. Still, in the end, Jordan voluntarily sacrifices his life for the sake of the people he fought alongside, the people he had come to love. Hemingway himself was not a veteran, but he saw war close up in the ambulance corps in World War I--a perspective that gave him a profound grasp of the instinct that binds warriors together.

2. "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbon (1776-88).

Edward Gibbon's six-volume classic is rightly considered the greatest historical narrative ever written. It chronicles Roman rule from the second century to the empire's collapse in the west in the fourth century and in the east in the 15th, with the fall of Constantinople. Gibbon famously portrayed the "vicissitudes of fortune, which spares neither man nor the proudest of his works, which buries empires and cities in a common grave." But his eloquent, sweeping exposition showed that this peerless imperial power had a hand in its own decay, done in by decadence, corruption and war. The soldiers of Rome's legions could not make up for the negligence of their leaders.

3. "This Kind of War" by T.R. Fehrenbach (Macmillan, 1963).

T.R. Fehrenbach's "This Kind of War: A Study in Unpreparedness" is perhaps the best book ever written on the Korean War. Fehrenbach, who saw the conflict firsthand as an Army officer, offers a sobering, comprehensive look at a war that the U.S. military was ill prepared to fight. He relates in detail how American soldiers--many of whom were poorly trained and equipped--bore the burden of bad planning and the bad decisions of their senior commanders. The soldiers endured many setbacks and the most awful conditions, yet still overcame their enemy. The Korean War, sandwiched between World War II and the Vietnam War, is often overlooked, but it occasioned no smaller measure of heroism--or suffering--from the Americans who fought it.

4. "Hell in a Very Small Place" by Bernard B. Fall (Lippincott, 1966).

"Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu," another classic of its kind, is a fascinating look at the decisions in the French Indo-China war that led to the decisive battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, when a communist guerrilla force overwhelmed a French military base. The book also explores how the battle influenced America's involvement in Vietnam and how it helped the enemy learn a strategy and gain the confidence to fight us. Journalist Bernard Fall--who was killed in Vietnam in 1967, a year after the book's publication--merited all the acclaim he received for "Hell in a Very Small Place." It stands as a brilliant work of enduring historical importance. American leaders should ponder the lessons of Dien Bien Phu today just as they should have pondered them before following the French into Vietnam.

5. "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque (Little, Brown, 1929).

In Erich Maria Remarque's extraordinary novel, based on his experience fighting for Germany in World War I, a young man and his classmates march off to the trenches full of bravado--but in their first encounter with battle, they fall apart. All his vanity gone, the young man learns to hate the thing he thought would be an adventure. "All Quiet on the Western Front" is an indelible depiction of World War I, but it is also a timeless reminder that whether a conflict is necessary or not, whether it is ably commanded or mishandled, whether its outcome is just or unjust, war is a deadly enterprise. We should all shed a tear when war claims its wages.

Sen. McCain (R., Ariz.) is a former Navy aviator.

The Death of Captain Waskow
May 30, 2007 reply from Ivan N. Kaye

In regard to John McCain's choices for books about soldiers in wartime:  Though not a book, the column by Ernie Pyle, "The Death of Captain Waskow," will take about 10 minutes to read and a lifetime to forget.

Jensen Comment
You can read (or listen to) The Death of Captain Waskow at http://www.journalism.indiana.edu/news/erniepyle/waskow.html
You can read about Ernie Pyle at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernie_Pyle

 




Forwarded by Bob Overn

Understanding our Tax System
by
David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
University
of Georgia

 

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. "Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.  But what about the other six men, the paying customers?  How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'  They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be
fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20, declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.


Where to children get their ideas from?  --- http://www.btinternet.com/~knutty.knights/adult_children.html


How to write a paper in college/university --- http://asil.logicalinsanity.ca/300college paper.html




Tidbits Archives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

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

Three Finance Blogs

Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor Blog --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
FinancialRounds Blog --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/
Karen Alpert's FinancialMusings (Australia) --- http://financemusings.blogspot.com/

Some Accounting Blogs

Paul Pacter's IAS Plus (International Accounting) --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
International Association of Accountants News --- http://www.aia.org.uk/
AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/
Gerald Trite's eBusiness and XBRL Blogs --- http://www.zorba.ca/
AccountingWeb --- http://www.accountingweb.com/   
SmartPros --- http://www.smartpros.com/

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

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Shared Open Courseware (OCW) from Around the World: OKI, MIT, Rice, Berkeley, Yale, and Other Sharing Universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Free Textbooks and Cases --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

Free Mathematics and Statistics Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics

Free Science and Medicine Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science

Free Social Science and Philosophy Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social

Free Education Discipline Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm

Teaching Materials (especially video) from PBS

Teacher Source:  Arts and Literature --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/arts_lit.htm

Teacher Source:  Health & Fitness --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/health.htm

Teacher Source: Math --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/math.htm

Teacher Source:  Science --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/sci_tech.htm

Teacher Source:  PreK2 --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/prek2.htm

Teacher Source:  Library Media ---  http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/library.htm

Free Education and Research Videos from Harvard University --- http://athome.harvard.edu/archive/archive.asp

VYOM eBooks Directory --- http://www.vyomebooks.com/

From Princeton Online
The Incredible Art Department --- http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/

Online Mathematics Textbooks --- http://www.math.gatech.edu/~cain/textbooks/onlinebooks.html 

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives --- http://enlvm.usu.edu/ma/nav/doc/intro.jsp

Moodle  --- http://moodle.org/ 

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 applications, etc

Roles of a ListServ --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
 

CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/ 
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 access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xyztalk
This 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.
AccountantsWorld  http://accountantsworld.com/forums/default.asp?scope=1 
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 BusValGroup-subscribe@topica.com 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM

 

 

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