Ore Hill as
Seen from Our Front Lawn in Sugar Hill
I took the above picture in early
October two years ago. This year, late in September, the foliage is beginning to
look almost identical as the color season swings into being once again. You can
track New England fall colors colors by going to
For travel guides see
Hundreds of pictures are available at
If we look off to the southeast from
our front windows we see the two Kinsman mountains (North and South) in the
Kinsman Range about 10-20
miles away. In the foreground of the above picture is the much closer Ore Hill
less than a mile away that leads up to the iron ore mine that's now boarded up.
The iron mine was known as the Franconia Iron Mine even though the mine itself
is in our village of
rather than the larger village of
Part of the iron that remains can be
found in our well water. We have a water conditioning system in the basement to
filter out the iron in our water.
As far back as 1805, iron ore was
packed on mules from the mine down to the historic village of Franconia.
There the iron ore was smelted down into high quality iron that was then
fabricated into some of the best iron stoves ever manufactured. If you have a
Franconia Stove you have a valuable antique. The Franconia Heritage Museum
collected some early artifacts of the hauling, smelting, and manufacturing
processes. Parts of the 200-year old smelter are still visible across the Gale
River running through downtown Franconia ---
The octagonal stone stack that is visible on the
far bank of the Gale River is all that remains of a 200-year-old iron
smelter shown on an 1805 map of Franconia. The New Hampshire Iron Factory
Company rebuilt the original furnace several times, adding hot blast after
1840 and extending the height to its present 32 feet.
Chiseled into one of the heavy stones in the west
arch opening is "S. Pettee, Jr. 1859". Pettee was a well-known iron master
who was associated with several blast furnaces in New England. He was the
last known foreman to operate this furnace.
The furnace was built of local granite. Its
interior is lined with firebrick, laid in a cylindrical shape. The space
between the firebrick and stone exterior is filled with clay.
Farmers burned trees to make charcoal to fire the
furnace. Iron production declined by 1865 as the ore and trees diminished
and as iron production in Pennsylvania progressed at less cost. The furnace
was abandoned with a belly full of once-molten iron. The furnace had been
inactive for twenty years when, in 1884, the shed that surrounded it burned
to the ground.
Visitors can see a scale model of the furnace and
the shed that enclosed it.
Also on display at the Interpretive Center are an
ore cart, stove, kettles and tools, as well as panels explaining the
process. The Franconia Heritage Museum offers additional displays of iron
and books on the subject.
For spectacular foliage trips I
recommend starting on Exit 32 of Interstate 93 in
Lincoln (about 20 miles from our cottage) and proceeding eastward on the
Kancamagus Highway (also
Here). For mountain views you can then proceed north toward
Mount Washington and complete the loop back west through Bethlehem and South
Notch. Or, after you take the Kancamagus Highway to Conway, you can
head east on Highway 302 to the Route 1 coastal highway in Maine. You may have
to take some of the side roads to see some of the best foliage by the Atlantic
When I was on the faculty at the University of Maine for ten years (1968-1978),
we had a summer/autumn house about a mile east of the bridge that crosses
Acadia National Park. This national park is spectacular in the autumn and is
best viewed, I think, from the
Cranberry Islands. Our kids loved
our beach even though the water was generally too cold for swimming.
Henry David Thoreau
Tidbits on September 28, 2007
Videos From Bob Jensen's Personal
Camera (the pictures are clear but some of them lost a bit in the video) ---
The Tidbits.wmv video is narrated.
For earlier editions of Tidbits go to
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to
Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter ---
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron"
enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and
other universities is at
Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures
Bob Jensen's Threads ---
Bob Jensen's Home Page is at
Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics ---
(Also scroll down to the table at
Set up free conference calls at
World Clock ---
If you want to help our badly injured troops, please check out
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops ---
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 ---
What happens when a hungry polar bear goes after a team of
huskies for lunch? ---
Trinity University, like many universities, has a
hypothetical "Last Lecture" series. By "hypothetical" I mean that each year
students invite an outstanding professor on campus to address them pretending
this was to be her/his last lecture. However, Linda Kidwell forwarded a last
lecture from a Carnegie-Mellon professor of Computer Science, Randy Pausch, who
quite literally gave his last lecture because he was dying.
He states: "I believe in the academy, not as a
transmitter of information, but as an exchanger of ideas, freely, uninhibited,
Also "experience is what you get when you don't get what you want."
Incidentally, he shows us how to do push ups.
Also see the following links:
Last lectures of some business professors over the years ---
Jagdish Gangolly, who forwarded the above link, highly recommends the last
lectures of James G. March and Michael Spence.
One accountant (video) who went back to school in a doctoral
program and became a professor:
Accounting professor stars in AICPA Foundation video ---
The cars we drove in 1950s and 1960s ---
Funny: Moma Nem is my kind of lawyer ---
Here's some Total Momsense ---
Not Funny: A friend forwarded the hate-crime link (Jena video) at
SpiralFrog.com, an ad-supported
Web site with a terrible name that allows visitors to download music and videos
free of charge, commenced on September 17, 2007 in the U.S. and Canada
after months of "beta" testing. At launch, the service was offering more than
800,000 tracks and 3,500 music videos for download ---
Other video search helpers are
Free music downloads ---
Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell (dancing at its
The most popular combination is probably the one
known as "Cav-Pag": Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo's I
Pagliacci. Both operas are lurid, Italian dramas centering on illicit lust and
murder — a pair of verismo potboilers ---
Grandma Faith (Boogie Through Life) ---
Jolson Sings Again - Trailer (1949) ---
Artie Dean Harris Live ---
Vasectomy (humor) ---
The cars we drove in 1950s and 1960s (history I remember) ---
409 (Beachboys) ---
an ad-supported Web site with a terrible name that
allows visitors to download music and videos free of
charge, commenced on September 17, 2007 in the
U.S. and Canada after months of "beta" testing. At
launch, the service was offering more than 800,000
tracks and 3,500 music videos for download ---
search helpers are given at
Photographs and Art
Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various
types electronic literature available free on the Web.
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---
How to Publish in Top Journals ---
Books in Depth (including downloads of
sample chapters) ---
Magazine, Periodical and Website Book Reviews from around the World ---
Third Coast, one of the nation's premier
university-based literary magazines, is published twice annually by the
Department of English at Western Michigan University ---
Digital Humanities Journal ---
The Milton Reading Room from
Ralph Waldo Emerson ---
Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson ---
A Pair Of
by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) ---
Stalky & Co. by Rudyard Kipling
Billy Budd by Herman Melville ---
The possibility that we will try to take out the nuclear capabilities of Iran
are very real, grave, and probably strategically dumb since all sides in these
disputes already have nuclear arms (e.g., Pakistan, India, Israel, North Korea,
China, Europe, Russia, the U.S., etc.). Our only worry is that a madman (like
Hitler) gets control of nukes. A mad person is one who will sacrifice most
his/her own people for vengeance. I don’t think the current people running these
countries are that insane unless we do something to make them insane with
vengeance obsessions. In his bunker at the end of World War II Hitler was a
madman who would have destroyed the rest of Germany himself if his remaining
followers had obeyed his orders.
But today at Columbia University we might learn more about the academic side
of why the U.S. will not take out Iran’s nuclear developments:
“Maths proves US won't attack” ---
I hope his QED is infallible.
I worry more about setting the spark off with smaller but nevertheless
horrible weapons. I don’t think the following French AFP news item has been
verified, but it’s scary in the tensions on the border of Israel:
The French news agency AFP and others reported this week that dozens of
Iranian weapons engineers and Syrian troops were killed in a July (accidental)
explosion in northern Syria. Jane's Defense Weekly, a reputable British journal,
quoted Syrian military sources as saying "VX and Sarin nerve agents and mustard
blister agents" were involved in the explosion, which occurred as engineers were
installing a warhead on a Scud missile. "Syria's WMDs," RepublicanAmerican,
September 20, 2007 ---
It’s time to come to our senses about reducing the tensions on all sides. How
this can be done is quite another matter. The simple suggestion is
“negotiation,” but if this simply means throwing money at all warring sides, the
money may simply be spent under the table on more horrific weapons. The tensions
seem to have been temporarily defused by “negotiating” with North Korea, but I
think the two-ton gorilla at that table was China. It may take the forces of
more two-ton gorillas like the U.S., Russia, and China to cooperate in diffusing
tensions in the Middle East that are increasingly dangerous with greatly
increased oil revenues for arms races.
Is such cooperation possible? Possibly when the interests of all sides are
truly at stake, and this may not be far off. Hopefully nobody will set the spark
Israeli warplanes last week bombed and destroyed a
northern Syrian missile base that was financed by Iran, an Arab Israeli
newspaper reported on Wednesday. Citing anonymous Israeli sources, the Assennara
newspaper said that Israeli jets "bombed in northern Syria a Syrian-Iranian
missile base financed by Iran ... It appears that the base was completely
destroyed." Syria on Tuesday lodged a formal complaint with the United Nations
over the "flagrant violation" of its airspace last Thursday, during which it
said its air defenses opened fire on Israeli warplanes flying over the northeast
of the country.
"Israel Reportedly Hit Syrian Base Financed by Iran," AFP
Jerusalem Newswire, September 12, 2007 ---
Fox News version ---
Note that Israel claims the Syrian missile sites destroyed were intended nuclear missile sites
funded by Iran
The Sept. 6 attack by Israeli warplanes inside Syria
struck what Israeli intelligence believes was a nuclear-related facility that
North Korea was helping to equip, according to current and former American and
Israeli officials. Details about the Israeli assessment emerged as China
abruptly canceled planned diplomatic talks in Beijing that were to set a
schedule to disband nuclear facilities in North Korea. The Bush administration
has declined to comment on the Israeli raid, but American officials were
expected to confront the North Koreans about their suspected nuclear support for
Syria during those talks.
Mark Mazzetti and Helene Cooper,
"Israeli Nuclear Suspicions Linked to Raid in Syria," The New York Times,
September 18, 2007 ---
So it's more than a little telling that the Israeli
newspaper Haaretz chose, in the wake of an Israeli Air Force raid on Syria on
Sept. 6 dubbed "Operation Orchard," to give front-page billing to an op-ed by
John Bolton that appeared in this newspaper Aug. 31. While the article dealt
mainly with the six-party talks with North Korea, Mr. Bolton also noted that
"both Iran and Syria have long cooperated with North Korea on ballistic missile
programs, and the prospect of cooperation on nuclear matters is not
far-fetched." He went on to wonder whether Pyongyang was using its Middle
Eastern allies as safe havens for its nuclear goods while it went through a U.N.
inspections process. How plausible is this scenario? The usual suspects in the
nonproliferation crowd reject it as some kind of trumped-up neocon plot. Yet
based on conversations with Israeli and U.S. sources, along with evidence both
positive and negative (that is, what people aren't saying), it seems the
likeliest suggested so far. That isn't to say, however, that plenty of gaps and
question marks about the operation don't remain.
Bret Stephens (former editor of the
Jerusalem Post), "Osirak II?" The Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2007
Bret Stephens is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board. He
joined the Journal in New York in 1998 as a features editor and moved to
Brussels the following year to work as an editorial writer for the paper's
European edition. In 2002, Mr. Stephens, then 28, became editor-in-chief of the
Jerusalem Post, where he was responsible for its news, editorial, electronic and
international divisions, and where he also wrote a weekly column. He returned to
his present position in late 2004 and was named a Young Global Leader by the
World Economic Forum the following year.
It is error alone which needs the support of
government. Truth can stand by itself.
Thomas Jefferson ---
Vice is such a hideous creature, that the more you
see of it the better you like it.
Finley Peter Dunne ---
Man had just completed 87 months in prison for 1995
robbery --- Federal authorities say an Indiana man robbed a Chicago bank just
hours after he was released from jail for a bank robbery conviction. FBI
spokesman Ross Rice says 39-year-old Kenneth Cunningham was arrested Wednesday
in Portage, Ind..
"Fresh from jail, suspect robs bank," Indystar.com,
September 20, 2007 ---
Brussels (read that all of Europe)
tries to tax the CO2 emissions of non-European airlines .
. . This is hardly the first time Europe has tried to foist its regulations on
the rest of the world. From antitrust policy to its over-the-top chemical safety
regime, Europe often uses its status as an important market to make everyone
else play by its rules.
"Cap and Fly," The Wall Street Journal, September
17, 2007 ---
Sounds like a good time to impose a CO2 tax on all incoming and outgoing
European carriers that land and take off in the U.S. and Canada and anywhere
else in the world outside the EU. We could even play the game: "Our tax is
bigger than your tax."
Fact 1) Gasoline contains 116,000 BTU's/gal, and
takes around 22,000 BTU's/gal to find, drill, transport, and refine. NET
POSITIVE BTU? 94,000 BTU's or a little bit short of 5:1 leverage, or, put
another way Return on BTU Investment. Corn based ethanol contains 76,000 BTU's/gal,
and takes 98,000 BTU's/gal to plant, grow, harvest, and refine. NET POSITIVE
BTU? Ugh --- None. -22,000 actually. Less than payback. Kinda like saying
"we lose money on every deal but we make it up in volume". I implored the oil
and gas lobbying organizations to NOT attack ethanol subsidies by pointing out
this physical limitation to lawmakers, because farmers get knee jerk defensive
when you try to rip their snouts away from their Pork Trough, an item so
important that it nearly is equivalent to a breathing tube... they cannot exist
wihtout it anymore... and hell, the negative BTUs are gonna come from
hydrocarbons anyway, Heh, Heh . . .
Attributed to a cynical oil company executive named "Open Choke"
who wins either way. Forwarded by Dick Haar, September 21, 2007
Ethanol producers are becoming the largest natural gas consumers of the nation.
If it were not for the government subsidies, corn farmers would have to go back
to selling corn for meat and vegetables.
After all, if they don't understand the basics
(supposedly learned in prerequisite courses), they
surely won't get the next step. And I simply don't have the time to review
everything they're supposed to know from the class they supposedly already
passed. After all, they ARE mostly finance majors.
Unknown finance professor who runs the "Financial Rounds" blog,
September 16, 2007 ---
This sounds so familiar it makes be happy that I've retired from teaching.
Unveiling his domestic reform agenda in Paris
Tuesday, Nicolas Sarkozy called for "a new social contract" for France. His
proposed revision of French socialist tradition going back to Jean-Jacques
Rousseau is nothing short of revolutionary. His ability to deliver will make or
break his presidency. True to character, Mr. Sarkozy came out swinging. The new
President declared that France's generous welfare state is "unjust" and
"financially untenable," "discourages work and job creation," and "fails to
bring equal opportunity." The result: France's jobless rate is the euro zone's
highest. The President wants "a new social contract founded on work, merit and
equal opportunity." He promised to loosen restrictions on working hours and
toughen up requirements for jobless benefits, to ease hiring and firing rules
and reduce incentives to retire early.
"French Revolution," The Wall Street Journal,
September 20, 2007; Page A12 ---
The proposed new social contract sounds "sicko."
Alumni provide funds for U. of Illinois to promote
capitalist thought, with goal of creating public university equivalent of
Stanford think tank — and spreading model elsewhere. Some professors are
alarmed. Is it
an “academy” or a “fund"? The name of the new
Academy on Capitalism
and Limited Government Fund could be read either
way. And the way people at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are
reading the name has something to do with how they view it.
Supporters describe it as a fund created by alumni to
support interests they have at the university, in this case the study of Western
civilization and free market economics. But many professors see it as much more
— as a move by conservative alumni with influential national support to bypass
normal faculty governance, create new courses and impose ideological tests on
who gets certain pots of money.
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, September 20,
This is just not politically correct!
Can you imagine giving money to support the study of capitalism. That should
never be allowed on a college campus. Shame! Shame! Such a
Center/Fund is just not politically correct in academe.
To reassure themselves that liberals are smart,
left-wing social scientists periodically conduct research that proves
conservatives are Neanderthals. Their latest foray, by New York University
researchers squandering $1.2 million in federal grants, concluded the usual
stuff — conservatives are simpleminded, less adaptive to change, etc. — plus
Ronald Reagan's brain worked like Adolf Hitler's and conservative drivers have
difficulty finding their way home when faced with a detour. Their conclusions
were based on research subjects' responses to reflexive tests, as if their
ability to answer an either-or question correctly in a fraction of a second is
predictive of their ability to think analytically.
"Researchers spread liberal mythology," American Republican,
September 21, 2007 ---
Now this is politically correct research, and I think taxpayers got a terrific
deal for the $1.2 million in federal grants. Think of how valuable this will be
when it comes to admitting students to colleges. Those students who claim to be
Republicans, or at least lean toward conservative economics, can be
automatically rejected because they're known to be simple minded from the start.
Of course these research findings are not really surprising since 99% of the
graduates from PhD programs are liberals. That alone tells us that there aren't
many smart conservatives capable of earning doctoral degrees. John Kerry tells
us that since conservatives are so simple minded, they enlist in the military
rather than go to college. The NYU study, however, fails to explain why so many
liberals are forceful in trying to bring all these conservatives home from Iraq.
In truth, I really miss Senator William Proxmire's
Golden Fleece Awards. To view some of the Golden Fleece Awards, go to
“HITS WITH THE
APPROXIMATE FORCE AND EFFECT OF ELECTROSHOCK
THERAPY” raved Roger Kimball’s review in The
New York Times, as quoted on the paperback
jacket of Allan Bloom’s
The Closing of the American Mind,
a surprise best-seller
in 1987 and the opening salvo in a ceaseless
conservative war against the academic and
cultural left. On the 20th anniversary of The
Closing, and 15 years after Bloom’s death, the
most salient issues concerning Bloom are his
role in neoconservative Republican circles and
his semi-closeted homosexuality, possibly
culminating — as in Saul Bellow’s thinly
fictionalized account in
in death from AIDS. In Bloom’s introductory
chapter to his 1990 collection of essays Giants
and Dwarfs, titled “Western Civ,” previously
published in Commentary, he responded to the
reception of The Closing as a conservative tract
by claiming that he was neither a conservative
("my teachers—Socrates, Machiavelli, Rousseau,
and Nietzsche — could hardly be called
conservatives") nor a liberal, “although the
preservation of liberal society is of central
concern to me.” He saw himself, rather, as an
impartial Socratic philosopher, above political
engagement or “attachment to a party” and
denying, against leftist theory, that “the mind
itself must be dominated by the spirit of
party.”A close re-reading of his books, however,
confirms that they are lofty-sounding
ideological rationalizations for the policies of
the Republican Party from Ronald Reagan to
George W. Bush.
"‘The Closing of the American Mind,’ 20 Years
Later," Inside Higher Ed, September 18,
You can read more about Allan Bloom (not to be
confused with Benjamin Bloom) at
addition to noting his duties heading the Pentagon under
President Bush, the September 7 announcement from Hoover
Rumsfeld’s credentials as a two-time Fortune 500 CEO, member
of Congress, U.S. ambassador to NATO and former White House
chief of staff. Perhaps illustrating the
affiliated-yet-independent nature of the institutions’
relationship, the (much shorter) announcement from Stanford
several days later begins: “Former U.S. Secretary of Defense
Donald H. Rumsfeld, who resigned from the position last year
after coming under increasing fire for his management of the war
in Iraq, has been appointed a distinguished visiting fellow at
the Hoover Institution.” . . . The uproar against
(visiting fellow to the Hoover Institute think tank at Stanford
University) began as a series of
e-mails fired over the “Faculty Against the War” listserv and
has evolved into an
online petition with more than 2,100
signatures from students, professors and alumni, which states in
part: “We view the appointment as fundamentally incompatible
with the ethical values of truthfulness, tolerance,
disinterested enquiry [sic], respect for national and
international laws, and care for the opinions, property and
lives of others to which Stanford is inalienably committed.”
Andy Guess, "Mr.
Rumsfeld Goes to Stanford Inside Higher Ed,", September
21, 2007 ---
Doesn't Stanford realize that this is just not politically
The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace is
designed, since 1919, to study the roots of war and processes
for achieving peace by means other than war. What could a
despicable war monger like Rumsfeld bring to the study of war
and peace? Just think of the damage he might do to the
Institute's Honorary fellows, Distinguished fellows,
Senior fellows, Senior research fellows, Research fellows,
Other distinguished visiting fellows, Media Fellows, and
Visiting scholar. The Institute even had the audacity to invite
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President Bush in for
short visits. What could Bush, Rice, and Rumsfeld possibly
add to study war, revolutions, and peace and the underlying
economies and cultures of nations.? Actually the Institute has a
history of inviting in leaders from most any powerful nation.
One of its most controversial residents was
Alexander Kerensky, a Communist revolutionary leader who helped
topple the Czar of Russia in the great revolution commenced
After the first government
crisis over Pavel Milyukov's secret note re-committing
Russia to its original war aims on May 2-4, 1917, Kerensky
became the Minister of War (read that
Secretary of Defense)
and the dominant figure in the newly formed
socialist-liberal coalition government. Under Allied
pressure to continue the war, he launched what became known
as the Kerensky Offensive against the
Austro-Hungarian/German South Army on June 17, Old Style. At
first successful, the offensive was soon stopped and then
thrown back by a strong counter-attack
(read that insurgency).
The Russian Army suffered heavy losses and it was clear -
from many incidents of desertion, sabotage, and mutiny -
that the Russian Army was no longer willing to attack
(read that wanted to withdraw its military without calling
it a surrender).
Kerensky was heavily criticized by the military for his
liberal policies, which included stripping officers of their
mandate (handing overriding control to revolutionary
inclined "soldier committees" instead), the abolition of the
death penalty, and the presence of various revolutionary
agitators at the front. Many officers jokingly referred to
commander in chief Kerensky as "persuader in chief".
July 2, 1917, the first coalition collapsed over the
question of Ukraine's autonomy. Following widespread unrest
in Petrograd and suppression of the Bolsheviks, Kerensky
succeeded Prince Lvov as Russia's Prime Minister. Following
the Kornilov Affair at the end of August and the resignation
of the other ministers, he appointed himself Supreme
Commander-in-Chief as well. He retained his other posts in
the short-lived Directory in September and the final
coalition government in October 1917 until it was overthrown
by the Bolsheviks.
Kerensky's major challenge
was that Russia was exhausted (sounds
familiar) after three
years of war, while the provisional government did not offer
much motivation for a victory outside of continuing Russia's
obligations towards its allies. Furthermore, Lenin and his
Bolshevik party were promising "peace, land, and bread"
under a communist system. The army was disintegrating due to
a lack of discipline, which fostered desertion in large
Kerensky and the other
political leaders continued their obligation to Russia's
allies by continuing involvement in World War I - fearing
the economy, already under huge stress from the war effort,
may become increasingly unstable (now
its called oil dependency)
if vital supplies from
France and the UK were to stop. Some also feared that
Germany would demand enormous territorial concessions
(today its called turning Israel over to Hamas and Hesbolla)
as the price for peace
(which indeed happened at the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk). The
dilemma of whether or not to withdraw was a great one, and
Kerensky's inconsistent and impractical policies further
destabilized the army and the country at large.
Furthermore, Kerensky adopted a policy which isolated the
right-wing conservatives, both democratic and monarchist
oriented. His philosophy of "no enemies to the left" greatly
empowered the Bolsheviks and gave them a free hand, allowing
them to take over the military arm or "voyenka" of the
Petrograd and Moscow Soviets. His arrest of Kornilov and
other officers left him without strong allies against the
Bolsheviks, who ended up being Kerensky's strongest and most
determined adversaries as opposed to the right wing, which
evolved into the White movement.
Kerensky eventually settled in New York City, but spent much
of his time at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University
in California, where he both used and contributed to the
Institution's huge archive on Russian history, and where he
taught graduate courses. He wrote and broadcast extensively
on Russian politics and history. His last public speech was
delivered at Kalamazoo College, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Kerensky's major works include The Prelude to Bolshevism
(1919) ISBN 0-8383-1422-8 , The Catastrophe (1927), The
Crucifixion of Liberty (1934) and Russia and History's
Turning Point (1965).
A scholarly reader points
out the following:
In your tidbits you
characterize Alexander Kerensky as "... a Communist
revolutionary leader". This is incorrect. He was indeed a
revolutionary, but he was never a communist nor was he ever
in any union with them. He joined the
Socialist-Revolutionary Party (infamous for the wave of
political terror unleashed in the early 1900), but after the
terror wave, and his followers in the party never followed
Marxism and rejected any union with the communists (his
opponents in the party split and set up a separate left
socialist revolutionary party which did support the
bolsheviks for a very short time). As a matter of fact, the
only semi-successful attempt on Lenin's life was perpetrated
in 1918 by Fanny Kaplan, a member of the Socialist
A year after
an aborted invitation to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
Iran’s president (and "Socrates of the Third Millenium"), to speak at Columbia University, he has another invitation.
Columbia announced that he would speak Monday as part of a series of talks by
world leaders that take place during their visits to the United Nations. Lee
Bollinger, Columbia’s president,
issued a statement in which he said that he would
introduce the event and would offer “sharp challenges” to the Iranian leader
about his statements denying the Holocaust and urging the destruction of Israel,
as well as his government’s policies denying women’s rights and imprisoning
scholars and journalists. Bollinger said that to fulfill Columbia’s mission in
“learning and scholarship,” the university must “respect and defend the rights
of our schools, our deans and our faculty to create programming for academic
purposes.” He added: “Necessarily, on occasion this will bring us into contact
with beliefs many, most or even all of us will find offensive and even odious.
We trust our community, including our students, to be fully capable of dealing
with these occasions, through the powers of dialogue and reason.” Student
leaders from a number of organizations
issued a joint statement Wednesday praising the
invitation, but saying it should have been announced earlier so students could
organize protests or other activities.
Inside Higher Ed, September 20, 2007 ---
A research centre run by the office of the president
of Iran has released a 15-page document in which they define President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad as the "Socrates of the Third Millenium". The document has been
released just days before Ahmadinejad is due to visit New York. The Iranian
president will arrive in the city on Sunday to address the United Nations
General Assembly. In the document, various speeches and letters written by the
Iranian president are analysed and it concludes that "Ahmadinejad reasons and
discusses exactly as Socrates did in ancient Greece, by disarming other speakers
and through his sharp reasoning."
DNKRONOS, September 20, 2007 ---
Zebulon Simentov, the last Jew in Afghanistan, is
once again marking the Jewish holy day of fasting in solitude, in a deserted
synagogue in the capital of a devoutly Islamic nation.
Beatrice Khadige, Yahoo News,
September 22, 2007 ---
Socrates of the Third Millenium, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, sent a
message to his troops in Iran requesting that Zebulon Simentov be bronzed as
soon as Simentov becomes the last Jew on earth.
Actress Kathy Griffin's
rant at the Emmy awards: "I guess
hell froze over. A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this. He had
nothing to do with this. ... Suck it, Jesus! This award is my god now," she
said. The statement brought an immediate reaction from Bill Donohue, president
of Catholic League. He called it a "vulgar in-your-face brand of hate speech"
from a self-described "complete militant atheist."
WorldNetDaily, September 22, 2007 ---
This is a planned as opposed to being an off-handed remark.
Griffin takes great pride in being a very militant atheist. Notice that Ms
Griffin was smart enough to malign Christians rather than Muslins. If she said
"Suck it, Allah" she might've bought the farm. I'm proud to say that I've never
seen Kathy Griffin act, and I will certainly try to maintain a perfect record
for the rest of my life. I fully respect her right, as is the right of every
American, to worship or not worship as she pleases. But insulting the faith of
others is in bad taste in general and is especially in bad taste when give the
privilege of being on national television. It pleases me to no end that that fat
"grew back" after her liposuction procedure.
Catholic bishops in Belgium have protested against a
TV ad depicting Jesus as a pot-bellied hippy picking up half-naked women in a
nightclub. The advertisement is being aired on the country's main TV channel to
promote youth channel Plug TV.
Frances Harrison, "Pot-bellied Jesus
ad irks Church ," BBC, September 21, 2007 ---
Griffin says she'll play the part in drag if the clip is run on American
television. The manure-mouthed
Charlotte Church says she'll do the same for BBC television. I hope both of
their careers take immediate and precipitous nose dives.
Is the Detroit River the Rio Grande del Norte?
Over the past three weeks, 45 families and 31
individuals -- approximately 200 people -- entered Canada at the Detroit River
crossings and applied in Windsor for shelter and social assistance after filing
refugee claims with the Canada Border Services Agency. Municipal agencies
dealing with the sudden influx of mainly Mexican refugee applicants are renting
out hotel rooms and bracing for predicted thousands more to come. "We don't have
the means, ability or capacity to deal with this additional cost. We are not
able to deal with this potential crisis locally," Francis wrote Harper. "I don't
believe that Windsor's residents and taxpayers should have to foot the bill for
U.S. immigration policy," Francis told The Star. He was referring to the
suspected source of the problem -- a recently begun crackdown on illegal
immigrants in economically struggling regions of the U.S. South.
Doug Schmidt and Dave Battagello, "Refugees pose 'potential
crisis'," The Windsor Star, September 20, 2007 ---
Also see "Illegal Immigrants Chase False Hope to Canada," by Monica Davey and
Abby Goodnough, The New York Times, September 21, 2007 ----
FedEx vs. Government Bureaucracy -- Newt Gingrich ---
A Russian boy suffers head injuries after falling
from a window while trying to elude police. A North African man slips from a
window ledge and fractures his leg while fleeing officers. A Chinese woman lies
in a coma after plunging from a window during a police check. As France races to
deport 25,000 illegal immigrants by the end of the year — a quota set by
President Nicolas Sarkozy — tensions are mounting and the crackdown is taking a
Elaine Ganley, "France Races to Oust
Illegal Immigrants," Associated Press, September 22, 2007 ---
Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.
Henry Brooks Adams --- Click
President Bush has had more Hispanics confirmed for
federal judgeships than any president in U.S. history, a record that earns him
praise from Hispanic organizations but is downplayed by the Democratic National
Ken Herman, Cox News Service,
September 21, 2007 ---
The U.S. Senate voted this morning to express its
support for Gen. David Petreaus, commander of United States forces in Iraq, and
to condemn MoveOn.org for its New York Times ad last week calling him "General
Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 20, 2007 ---
How each Senator voted ---
The fact that there were only 25 "nay" votes (out of 100
senators) supporting General Petreaus suprised me --- as were the abstainers of two
presidential candidates, Senators Biden and Obama, who strongly favor turning
tail in Iraq.
Not Voting - 3
Senator Feingold's separate bill to immediately "redeploy" troops in
Iraq only had 28 supporters that included Senator Obama ---
I think there more nervous Democrats tuned to public opinion and worried that surrendering and "moving
on" from Iraq immediately is not necessarily a good political strategy at the
moment. This is in spite of an undisputed sentiment among Americans to turn tail
as soon as pulling out of Iraq can be achieved without leaving an Al Qaeda or Iranian stronghold
feasting in Iraq's oil in the
aftermath. What terror group will win in Iraq? That is the question.
To be, or not to be: that is the
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
What drastic move is the AACSB
International (accrediting body) taking to deal with the shortage of
graduating students from business doctoral programs (including accountancy
It's called a “Postdoctoral Bridge to Business”
With many business schools reporting difficulty attracting
Ph.D. faculty members, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
has announced the first participating institutions in new
“Postdoctoral Bridge to Business” programs —
short-term programs that will train new Ph.D.’s in fields outside business for
faculty jobs at business schools. The programs are starting at the Grenoble
Ecole de Management, Tulane University, the University of Florida, the
University of Toledo and Virginia Tech.
Inside Higher Ed, September 20, 2007 ---
September 21, 2007 reply from John
Just so you know. Virginia Tech is NOT doing a
bridge (retread) program in Accounting. It is being done in Finance and
Marketing but not Accounting.
threads on alleged reasons why there are such shortages in accountancy doctoral
programs can be found at
A cynic might conclude that this
is a correctional option for naive students who earned an economics PhD in an
Economics Department rather than lucky students who earned virtual economics
PhDs in accountancy doctoral programs.
A realist might term this the
"Bridge Over Troubled Waters" that leads to higher salaries for "90-Day Wonders"
in business/accounting education ---
I never had any respect for 90-Day Wonders in the military, and I think I
will have even less respect for them as teachers of accounting. How can anybody
without years of accounting courses and professional experience teach upper
division financial accounting, auditing, and tax courses? In the military, the
90-Day wonders were not total failures --- they learned how to salute and
marched pretty well by the 90th day! The best bet for economics PhDs might be
managerial accounting where the ties are a little closer between microeconomics
and managerial accounting, but it’s still a stretch even here. Bridged faculty
may be very helpful in joint research projects, but as teachers in our upper
division courses I’m a doubting Thomas!
This reminds me of the Harvard
math professor (I can't recall which one at the moment) who said:
"Accounting is a fascinating discipline. I think I might take a couple of hours
to master it."
The faculty shortage in nursing schools is even more severe than that of
accounting schools. Why are there no "bridges over troubled waters" in schools
of nursing in the same context as the new bridges being built for non-accounting
PhDs mentioned above?
Answer with a Question
Would you really want an economics PhD who took a crash course in nursing
teaching the nurses who serve you?
Answer with an Answer ---
The fact of the matter is that the law of supply and demand works better in
schools of accounting than in schools of nursing. In general, accounting
educators are among the highest paid faculty on campus. The number of unfilled
tenure-track job openings in schools of accounting combined with starting
salaries in excess of $130,000 per year are the main reasons that the AACSB
International's "Postdoctoral Bridge to Business" just might work,
although I seriously doubt whether any of the bridged students will be able to
teach upper division financial accounting, auditing, and tax courses.
The law of supply and demand works lousy in nursing schools. In spite of
shortages of qualified faculty, nursing educators remain among the lowest paid
faculty on campus. A Nursing International's "Postdoctoral Bridge to Nursing"
probably would not work, and given my cynacism about 90-0Day Wonders it is some
comfort to me that there is no such bridge over troubled waters in nursing
What do accounting schools and nursing schools have in common?
Why do accounting professors get paid so much more?
"The Nursing Education Dilemma," by Elia Powers, Inside Higher Ed,
June 22, 2007 ---
market for nursing graduates remains hot, and plenty of
students are vying for those open positions. Enrollment in
entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs increased by
nearly 8 percent in 2006 from the previous year, which
sixth straight year of gains.
Community College programs are also
seeing increases in applications
positive news for the health care industry, which has
suffered from a well-documented nursing shortage since the
1990s, when many hospitals cut their staffs and some
colleges cut back their programs.
colleges of nursing, the increasing demand to accommodate
more students presents a dilemma: Who will teach them?
comes to clinical nursing courses, college programs are
bound to strict faculty-to-student ratios, set by individual
states. One instructor to every 10 or 12 students is a
fairly common ratio. So even as administrators and state
lawmakers seek more slots for students, there’s a ceiling on
expansion unless more faculty are recruited or produced.
happening quickly. A survey released last year by the
American Association of Colleges of Nursing identified at
least 637 faculty vacancies at more than 300 nursing schools
with baccalaureate or graduate programs — or what amounts to
a nearly 8 percent faculty vacancy rate. The majority of the
openings are tenure-track positions that require applicants
have a doctorate, the survey shows.
there continues to be a backlog of students. In 2006, more
than 38,000 nursing school candidates deemed “qualified” by
the AACN were turned away from entry-level baccalaureate
programs, while a total of 50,783 nursing school applicants
enrolled and registered in courses. When the new students
are added to the pool of all students enrolled, total
enrollment rises to 133,578.
quarters of the colleges that responded to the AACN survey
pointed to faculty shortages as a reason for not accepting
the applicants. Community colleges are turning away 3.3
“qualified” applicants for every one turned away by
four-year institutions, said Roxanne Fulcher, director of
health professions policy at the American Association of
nursing schools, wait lists are shrinking after years of
growth, officials say, not because slots are opening up, but
because students are becoming frustrated that their chances
of enrolling are dim.
Continued in article
Given the dire shortages of doctoral students in accountancy, should the
requirement for doctoral degrees be eliminated in higher education?
Perhaps I'm old and tired, but I always think that the chances of finding
out what really is going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do
is to say hang the sense of it and just keep yourself occupied.
There are two explanations one can give for this
state of affairs here. The first is due to the great English economist Maurice
Dobb according to whom the theory of value was replaced in the United States by
theory of price. May be, the consequence for us today is that we know the price
of everything but perhaps the value of nothing. Economics divorced from politics
and philosophy is vacuous. In accounting, we have inherited the vacuousness by
ignoring those two enduring areas of inquiry.
Professor Jagdish Gangolly, SUNY
The second is the comment that Joan Robinson made
about American Keynsians: that their theories were so flimsy that they had to
put math into them. In accounting academia, the shortest path to respectability
seems to be to use math (and statistics), whether meaningful or not.
Professor Jagdish Gangolly, SUNY
There are two
sides to nearly every profession (as opposed to a narrow trade). The first one
is the clinical side, and the second one is the research side. But this is not
to say that the twain do not meet.
requiring that most (maybe not all) clinical instructors be grounded solidly in
research. Requiring a PhD is a traditional way to get groundings in research.
Probably more importantly is that doctoral studies are ways to motivate
clinically-minded students to attempt to do research on clinical issues and make
important contributions to the practicing profession.
“research” as a contribution to new knowledge. Among other things a good
doctoral program should make scholars more appreciative of good research and
critical of bad/superficial research that does not contribute to much of
anything that is relevant, including research that should get
Senator William Proxmire's
Golden Fleece Awards. Like urban cowboys, our academic accounting
researchers are all hat (mathematical/statistical models) with no cows.
The problem with
accountancy doctoral programs is that they’ve become narrowly bounded by
accountics (especially econometrics and psychometrics) that in the past three
decades have made little progress toward helping the clinical side of our
profession of accountancy. This makes our doctoral programs very much unlike
those in economics, finance, medicine, science, and engineering where many
clinical advances in their disciplines have emerged from studies in doctoral
The problem with
higher education in accountancy is not that we require doctoral degrees
in our major colleges and universities. The problem is that our doctoral
programs shut out research methodologies that are perhaps better suited for
making research discoveries that really help the clinical side of our
profession. Accountics models just do not deal well with missing variables and
nonstationarities that must be allowed for on the clinical side of accountancy.
Humanities researchers face many of these same issues and have evolved a much
broader arsenal of research methodologies that are
verboten in accounting
doctoral programs --- (See below).
problem is that our leading scholars running those doctoral programs have taken
a supercilious view of the clinical side of our profession. Or maybe it’s just
that these leaders do not want to take the time and trouble to learn the
clinical side of the profession. Once again I repeat the oft-quoted referee of
an Accounting Horizons rejection of Denny Beresford’s 2005 submission
I quote from
1. The paper provides specific recommendations for things that accounting
academics should be doing to make the accounting profession better. However
(unless the author believes that academics' time is a free good) this would
presumably take academics' time away from what they are currently doing. While
following the author's advice might make the accounting profession better, what
is being made worse? In other words, suppose I stop reading current academic
research and start reading news about current developments in accounting
standards. Who is made better off and who is made worse off by this reallocation
of my time? Presumably my students are marginally better off, because I can tell
them some new stuff in class about current accounting standards, and this might
possibly have some limited benefit on their careers. But haven't I made my
colleagues in my department worse off if they depend on me for research advice,
and haven't I made my university worse off if its academic reputation suffers
because I'm no longer considered a leading scholar? Why does making the
accounting profession better take precedence over everything else an academic
does with their time?
steers us away from the clinical side of the accountancy profession by saying we
should avoid that pesky “vocational virus.” (See below).
The (Random House) dictionary defines "academic" as
"pertaining to areas of study that are not primarily vocational or applied , as
the humanities or pure mathematics." Clearly, the short answer to the question
is no, accounting is not an academic discipline.
Joel Demski, "Is Accounting an Academic Discipline?" Accounting
Horizons, June 2007, pp. 153-157
Statistically there are a few youngsters who came to
academia for the joy of learning, who are yet relatively untainted by the
I urge you to nurture your taste for learning, to follow your joy. That is the
path of scholarship, and it is the only one with any possibility of turning us
back toward the academy.
Joel Demski, "Is Accounting an Academic Discipline? American
Accounting Association Plenary Session" August 9, 2006 ---
accountancy doctoral programs have immunized themselves against the “vocational
virus.” The problem lies not in requiring doctoral degrees in our leading
colleges and universities. The problem is that we’ve been neglecting the
clinical needs of our profession. Perhaps the real underlying reason is that our
clinical problems are so immense that academic accountants quake in fear of
having to make contributions to the clinical side of accountancy as opposed to
the clinical side of finance, economics, and psychology.
Our problems with doctoral programs in accountancy are shared with other
disciplines, notably education and nursing schools.
Bob Jensen's threads on the role of academic accounting research in the
profession of accountancy can be found at
Why are women leaving academic medicine in droves?
"Why Women Leave Academic Medicine," by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed,
September 21, 2007 ---
Phoebe S. Leboy
was, she acknowledges, one of the lucky ones. It’s not that
things were easy for female scientists when she came of age
as an academic in the 1960s and 1970s; women earned a small
fraction of the Ph.D.’s in biology and chemistry at the
time, and they were an even rarer presence on medical or
dental school faculties (Leboy was the first tenured faculty
member at Penn’s dental school).
may well be tougher for female basic scientists now, though,
Leboy told a gathering of researchers and others Wednesday
at a Washington area meeting of the
for Women in Science, of which she
is the president-elect. The picture is better in some key
ways: In stark contrast to the physical sciences, where
women remain severely underrepresented in degree programs
and as doctoral candidates, women have largely gained parity
in the early parts of the biological sciences pipeline. They
earn nearly half of all Ph.D.’s awarded in fields such as
cell and molecular biology, and they are getting jobs as
postdocs and as entry-level non-clinical professors at
respectable if not nearly equitable rates.
positives fade at later points in the process, where women
are increasingly leaving academe in droves, Leboy said at
the gathering of the association’s Bethesda chapter, held at
the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of
Medicine. “You’ve got postdocs who don’t end up in tenure
track positions, tenure track professors who don’t get
tenure, and tenured professors who don’t end up to be
department chairs, deans, and the like.
that they don’t come into the field,” she said. “It’s that
they’re dropping out because the pipeline gets so clogged
with crud that you can’t get through it if you’re a woman.”
just another term for the sex discrimination that Larry
Summers got into trouble for saying didn’t exist for female
professors? No, Leboy said. While overt bias does exist, she
said, she seemed to lay the later-stage leaks in the
academic biomedicine pipeline much more at the feet other
sorts of obstacles, most notably a raising of the
expectations bar that affects both genders but hurts women
good scientist, she started with the data to reveal the
perceived problem. Citing statistics she had collected on
the composition of faculties at 24 medical schools in 2006,
she found that in fields such as cell biology, biochemistry
and and neuroscience, the proportion of female assistant
professors lagged the Ph.D. pool in the disciplines from a
decade earlier by anywhere from 10 to 15 percentage points.
seven of the most elite medical schools — those at Harvard,
Johns Hopkins, Penn, Stanford, the University of Washington,
Washington University in St. Louis, and Yale — she found
that “they are not doing a whole lot of hiring of junior
[female] faculty at all,” and those that they are hiring
aren’t staying. Five of the seven biochemistry departments,
and four of the six cell biology programs, at those schools
have no junior women, Leboy’s study found. At Penn’s own
medical school, the number of female assistant professors in
the basic sciences had dropped from 14 a decade ago to four
now (representing a net loss in women, since the number of
tenured female professors had risen to 23 from 18).
women appearing to drop out of the pipeline early in their
medical school faculty careers? Leboy attributed the problem
largely to a set of obstacles that make the life
“unattractive.” She ascribed some of it to the traditional
explanation of family-unfriendly policies such as tenure
clocks that coincide with child-bearing years, a culture of
early and late meetings that are difficult for parents to
make, and leave policies that are improving but still
more interestingly, Leboy explained how the rising
“expectations and criteria for success” for non-clinical
researchers in the biomedical science are having a
disproportionate effect on women.
male researcher, according to NIH data Leboy cited, has 1.4
basic research project grants, compared to slightly less
than 1.3 for women. While men and women earn new NIH grants
at roughly the same rate, women get “consistently fewer”
competing renewals grants than men do. And for every dollar
a male primary investigator receives, women get 80 cents.
Continued in article
Suppose you are on 122 South Sleazy Lane and need directions to 1200 Beacon
Street. How can you dial on your cell phone and get those directions? Voice
messages are free, but it gets a bit more complicated than that. See below:
This week I tried a service that cuts the time it
takes to get directions from a cellphone. It's called Dial DIR-ECT-IONS
(347-328-4667), and it works
as it sounds: You dial the word "directions" into a cellphone (347-328-4667) and
speak the address, name of business chain or event to which you need directions.
Step-by-step directions are instantly sent to your phone via SMS, or text
message. This isn't a substitute for phones that have GPS and can give real-time
directions, and it may not be ideal for those who need visual cues, like
turn-by-turn maps, but it is very convenient on the go and works on any basic
Katherine Boehret, "Directions Are a Cellphone Call Away," The Wall Street
Journal, September 19, 2007, Page D9 ---
The service, from a determined start-up called Dial
Directions Inc., is free -- except for the cost of receiving text messages
on your phone. After the first 30 days of use, a one-line advertisement will
start appearing at the bottom of the last text message sent per set of
directions (some take multiple text messages to include all of the steps).
. . .
In many instances, I found using Dial Directions to
be helpful and efficient, a welcome change from squinting to see miniature
maps on cellphone screens. It's smart enough to ask you if you know how to
get to the highway, thus saving you from reading directions you already
know. I tried the service with a few different cities -- you don't have to
be in the city to use it because GPS isn't involved -- and valued the
instant gratification of returned results with so little effort.
Dial Directions is still a work in progress. The
service prides itself on superb voice-detection technology, but in one
instance, it interpreted "New York City" as "Newark, N.J.," and didn't stop
to check the accuracy of this, forcing me to hang up to restart. And the two
other aspects of the service, finding business chains and events, need just
a little more time to include a better variety of businesses.
The service was launched in July, but this week
marks its expansion to nine metropolitan areas, including New York City,
Washington, D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San
Diego and Sacramento, Calif. The service still isn't in major cities like
Boston and Philadelphia, but these cities and others will be included within
the next month, in the company's attempt to take the service nationwide.
Dial Directions also plans to add landmarks in the
next month. I tried asking for directions to the White House and Yankee
Stadium without any luck. General terms will also be better integrated into
the service. I tried saying "movies" but Dial Directions thought I was
saying "Mervin's" one time and "Arby's" the next. Just 40 terms, including
"hotel" and "gas station," are usable right now.
I called Dial Directions from a Motorola Razr
cellphone, a Research In Motion BlackBerry Curve and an Apple iPhone. All
worked well. Since SMS messages are limited to about 160 characters,
regardless of your phone, none of the directions came through in just one
message; most directions required from two to five text messages. Symbols
help to shorten the messages, like using "L @ Maryland Ave. SW" to tell a
user to turn left at Maryland Avenue Southwest.
To receive these directions, you must first tell
the service what you're looking for. The female voice representing Dial
Directions is friendly and doesn't sound stiff and robotic. She offers to
give instructions on how to use the service if you don't know how. After
telling her what you're looking for, she asks what city you're in and where
you're trying to go.
I tried a variety of addresses and intersections;
the system suggests not saying "Street" or "Avenue." In certain instances
when a highway was involved, I was asked if I knew how to get on the
highway, and if I did, that extra text wasn't included in my directions.
Once I confirmed what I was looking for, the voice said directions would be
on the way in a couple of text messages. Each time, they appeared on my
phone almost instantly.
In the case of business chains or general terms
like "hotel," the voice told me first of the closest one it knew, asking me
to confirm whether or not it had found the right place. If I said no, it
suggested four more that were the next closest. This worked well in most
cases, including searches for McDonald's, Bloomingdale's, Starbucks and
pizza. However, in a hunt for the closest Dunkin' Donuts, it couldn't find
four stores that were located a mile from my office in downtown D.C.;
instead, it thought the closest one was in Arlington, Va.
The company pledges that this and other faults will
be improved over the next month as its database is improved and as more
users report issues that can be corrected.
Directions to local events can be retrieved as long
as the event is posted on DialDirections.com. Then anyone can just say the
name of the event (like "DC Shorts Film Festival") to receive directions to
that event. But this feature, too, isn't what it should be right now. On my
way to a Washington Nationals game, I couldn't get the service to recognize
the name of my event, which was frustrating.
If the company can correct some of its hit-or-miss
aspects, this free service could be a big help, especially for people who
don't own smart phones. But even if you do own a smart phone, it's faster
than typing in data and waiting for a Web browser to retrieve the
directions. If this service can improve its ability to find nearby
businesses, this alone could be really useful.
When it knows about more locations, Dial Directions
will be a great service. As it stands now, it's helpful for directions from
one address to another in certain areas. Sometimes, the most straightforward
solutions really do work best.
Of course there are various totally free services like Google Maps and Mapquest
if you're connected to a computer. But the 347-328-4667 number is a new
option if you're not on a computer. It is certainly worth it when used on rare
occasions where you're really lost as I was lost on a street in Boston the first
time I drove my car into the city to pick up my wife at the hospital. The first
six people I asked in a not-so-good part of Boston could not tell me how to get
from where I was to Beacon Street.
PS The pleasant
sounding woman on the phone is pretty square --- she’s a computer. This type of
service has been available experimentally for years in certain metropolitan
areas like the Bay Area near San Francisco. These experimental services can also
tell you about traffic conditions and weather.
The company that started this
directions, traffic conditions, weather, and stock quotes phone service in the
Bay Area is called BeVocal ---
I don't think BeVocal offers this service anymore.
Below are three BeVocal recordings
that I've used in my education technology dog and pony shows for years. You must
have RealMedia installed to play them on your computer. Remember that this
"woman" is merely a computer voice:
Marc H. Raibert's "Good Writing" advice ---
Recommended by computer scientist Randy Rausch ---
Bob Jensen's links to writing helpers are at
"IRS reaches out to foreclosure victims with
resource site," AccountingWeb, September 2007 ---
Bob Jensen's mortgage helpers are at
"A new approach to Excel pivot tables,"
AccountingWeb, September 2007 ---
Bob Jensen's videos on pivot table videos and
tutorials include the following:
"Human error and criminal cleverness still beating data security,"
AccountingWeb, September 2007 ---
"Hackers control PCs while users unaware," by Jim Fink, The Washington
Post, September 21, 2007 ---
A few weeks ago Candace Locklear's office computer
quietly started sending out dozens of instant messages with photos attached
that were infected with malicious software.
She was sitting at her desk, with no sign that the
messaging software was active. By the time she figured out what was going
on, several friends and colleagues had opened the attachments and infected
It took eight hours for a technician to clean up
her computer. But because the malicious software worked so secretly, she's
still not convinced that all's clear.
"I'd like to think that it's gone. But I just don't
know," said Locklear, 40, a publicist in San Francisco. "That's what is so
Computer security experts estimate that tens of
millions of personal computers are infected with malicious software like the
one that attacked Locklear's machine. Such programs, generally classified as
malware, attack companies along with consumers.
Some are keyloggers, recording every key stroke
that the user enters -- sending valuable bank account information, passwords
and credit card numbers to hackers.
In July, hackers used keylogging software to gather
passwords to databases at the U.S. Department of Transportation, consulting
firm Booz Allen, Hewlett-Packard Co and satellite network company Hughes
Network Systems, according to British Internet security software maker Prevx
And other malware programs turn PCs into "zombies,"
literally giving hackers full control over the machine. The zombies can be
instructed to act as servers, sending out tens of thousands of spam emails
promoting counterfeit medications, luxury watches or penny stocks without
the PC owner ever knowing about it.
The computer that controls the zombies -- known as
the command and control center -- is able to change the text of the spam
depending on what his or her customer wants to sell.
Monster Worldwide Inc (MNST.O) said last month that
confidential contact information of millions of its job seekers was stolen
by criminals who used zombies. Contact data for 146,000 job seekers using
the official U.S. government jobs Web site was also taken.
Monster said it would beef up its security, but
even with enhanced protection there are no guarantees.
Security experts say that while companies and
consumers need to be vigilant to protect themselves against Internet-borne
threats, determined criminals are hard to beat.
"I hate to scare people, but there is never 100
percent (security)," says Gadi Evron, a researcher with Internet security
firm Beyond Security. "If you want to know for sure, never do anything with
your computer and never connect to the Internet."
Evron has organized conferences between government
and industry researchers to fight hackers who set up botnets, or networks of
millions of zombies. He said the picture painted by some presenters was
"The problems are not getting solved. They are
getting worse," he said. "The bad guys are making a lot of money."
Continued in article
Link forwarded by Richard Campbell
Phishing Quiz ---
Bob Jensen's threads on computing and networking security are at
What next in course management since Blackboard is taking aim at its own foot?
September 18, 2007 message from Peters, James M
Our (small and poor) University is looking at
alternative to Blackboard to support both local and internet classes. I
recall that this issue was discussed recently on this list and was wondering
if any of you would be willing to provide some short statements about
alternative products to Blackboard and your assessment of them. Bluntly, the
merger between Blackboard and WebCt was, in my opinion, a disaster for the
consumer. The existing Blackboard product is full of programming bugs and I
would like to be able to go to the committee on which I serve with viable
options to switching. However, the State of New Mexico also is looking into
standardizing a product state-wide and so the alternatives need to be viable
for larger Universities as well.
Any thoughts or comments would be welcome. Since I
haven't used this list much, if there is an old archive of threaded
discussions I can review that would be useful as well.
Jim Peters, PhD
Associate Professor of Accounting
School of Business
213 Sininger Hall
New Mexico Highlands University
Las Vegas, NM 87701
September 18, reply from Del DeVries
The "what next" question that is most interesting
to me is what technology is compelling for engaging students in learning? If
I use Skype for online office hours, I believe that I am more accessible to
students AND the opportunity for easy voice / chat / file transfer are good
for solving some student problems. I can use Camtasia to create audio/video
Flash demo's to illustrate a "how-to". Both Skype and Camtasia are good for
communicating with students who may not physically show up in my office. But
what are the other possibilities that are both cost effective, time
effective, AND work to engage student learning?
The AECM (and Bob Jenson's archive of links) are a
virtual treasure chest of idea's over the years. Today's students are very
comfortable with wireless laptops, enhanced phones, and general savy for
social networking with Facebook, etc. But at the end of the day I'm still
asking the question of what technologies would be useful for engaging with
tomorrow's (and today's) students.
Dr. Del DeVries, CPA, CISA
Assistant Professor of Accounting & Information Systems
College of Business Administration
Belmont University 1900 Belmont Blvd Nashville, TN 37212 615-460-6930
Reply from Bob Jensen on September 18, 2007
Hi Del and Jim,
When there is an unregulated
monopoly, expect both prices and patent infringement suits to skyrocket.
Blackboard should've never been allowed to buy WebCT. My threads on
Blackboard are at
various competitors to Blackboard competitors, many of whom have been
involved in lawsuits with Blackboard and WebCT. Many of these competitors
are listed at
Some schools with severe funding problems use Moodle.
The expense of Blackboard, and all of these alternatives, in fact is much
more than licensing fees. The expensive problem is the technical support
staff needed to both maintain the servers (these systems have their own
servers) and to train users of the system, students and staff. This is an
expense that never ends. Most importantly there must be relatively expensive
backup systems. Servers crash and burn. If courses across a campus become
dependent on those servers, it is vital to have backup systems that can be
shifted into gear almost immediately. This is where IT staff become crucial.
Of course Blackboard and other vendors like eCollege can take all the IT
headaches off campus. This is something I recommend for smaller colleges,
but it is more expensive in some ways and cheaper in others considering the
expensive and specialized IT skills needed to maintain servers and backup
Below is a virtual-office-hours tidbit for the September 28 edition of
Tidbits. I wouldn't describe virtual office hours as a competitor to
Blackboard as much as it addresses Del's question of “What next?” However,
at Harvard this is “What now?” Various "What next?" scenarios are listed at
There are many other “what next?” possibilities, the most important of
which will be a joint effort (academe, standard setters, and industry) to
develop massive Wiki-like and YouTube-like knowledge bases filled with
pedagogical videos, spreadsheets, and hyperlinks on almost any accounting,
auditing, and systems topic imaginable. These probably will be somewhat more
secure than Wikipedia/YouTube, but it still will be in the open sharing and
development spirit. I’m constantly amazed at the immense (over a billion)
number of modules in Wikipedia that just grew and grew. My experience is
that most of the modules are excellent except for some politically sensitive
topics and highly specialized topics in technical disciplines.
This is why Camtasia is so important. More and more we will see YouTube-like
videos that can be used tot take over more and more where the classroom
leaves off. See some of the Acct 5341 and Acct5342 illustrations at
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/ (I’m not quite sure why I
downloaded the Astaire-Powel and BravoAmerica videos in this folder a long,
long time ago --- Dah!)
In the future, instructors can focus more on motivation to learn and
underlying theory while leaving the technical explanations to the knowledge
bases where technical explanations and illustrations can be played over and
over again and again until they are understood by users. This of course is
very frightening to many instructors who are practiced at explaining
technical modules and lousy at explaining underlying theory.
The searching will be partly like XBRL if the knowledge base items have
XML tags and eventually, as Jagdish points out, Semantic Web searching ---
It never ceases to amaze me how much knowledge is already available in
Wikipedia and YouTube. These are open sharing knowledge bases to be used
with caution and suspicion. But they are unbelievably vast in terms of
history and, in the case of Wikipedia, full of reference links and highly
informative user discussions. Knowledge has become so vast that it boggles
our minds. Rather than be scholars filled with facts and figures, we will
become scholars who can tap into facts, figures, and knowledge-base
explanations that we’re educated enough to comprehend on an as-needed basis.
I can’t remember how to do half the things I put into Camtasia videos
(especially in my MS Access videos), but I play them back once or twice and
it all makes sense again. What an aid to me these videos are whenever I have to teach
something in Access, Excel, XBRL, intangible assets valuation, etc. If only
others in the academy would see fit to freely share their Camtasia videos.
Anybody interested in developing Camtasia videos might look at my
PowerPoint file on Camtasia at
What are real time virtual office hours?
They operate a bit like a course
with some added features like microphones, and an instructor or teaching fellow
is in the room at all times.
The Harvard Crimson on Monday,
teaching fellows (Harvard parlance for TAs) for the course this
semester will begin holding real-time, online help sessions for
students this week. Using free, Java-based software, students
log on, chat with each other (via text
or microphone) and even “raise their hands” with the click of a
button, which adds them to a queue on the teaching fellow’s
Andy Guess, "Office Hours:
Coming to a Computer Near You," Inside Higher Ed,
September 18, 2007 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on tools and tricks of the trade in education
technology are at
A tools PowerPoint file is included at
September 18, 2007 reply from Jeanne Miller
Moodle may seem cheap, but there are other costs
involved. Yes, there is no license fee, but there are hosting costs and the
big one...technical support. To have that on campus, we would have to hire
personnel, and that's not an easy thing to do at our public college! I have
not researched what outsourcing would cost but I understand it's fairly
That said, Moodle seems to be the frontrunner in
the open source area, according to the Gartner Group. I have spoken to
publishers about course cartridges for Moodle. They all say they're "working
on it." McGraw Hill seems to be ahead in this area. I have seen a Moodle
cartridge (not accounting) that looks very much like Blackboard! I have also
used Moodle and it is a very flexible product, once you get used to the
We are using Blackboard and the cost this year went
up almost 280%. They have a 3,000 user limit for the Basic version. The next
jump is to 8,000 with the Enterprise version, with nothing in between. The
support thus far this semester has also been very poor. However, others with
whom I've spoken who use Web CT say it's even worse with that system.
We have considered changing to Moodle eventually.
However, the change in training and the acceptance by faculty have been
hurdles we just haven't wanted to approach right now. And, many of our
faculty use course cartridges.
It's definitely a quandary. I would be very
interested in others thoughts!
Jeanne Miller, CPA
Online Education Coordinator Professor,
Cypress College 9200 Valley View St.
Cypress, CA 90630
(714)484-7000 Ext. 48684
September 18, 2007 reply from David Coy
We are using Sakai. It's better than nothing.
Many of us use work-arounds to get past some of the
limitations of Sakai. I have a moderated list-serve set up for accounting
students through yahoogroups. Students also use the textbook websites
(Irwin/McGraw Hill) and for courses where it's available, I require them to
use Homework Manager. The textbooks also provide EZ Test and I use this to
generate in-class quizzes and exams.
September 18, 2007 reply from Rabinovich, Tamara
Indeed Blackboard/WebCT is an elephant in a family
room while comparing its share in higher education market with the rest of
Learning Management Systems. Bentley has used Blackboard as a course
management platform since 1999 (when they were small and cheap - around
$5,000 for a site license, including technical support).
Prior to upgrading it to the enterprise level last
year, our Academic Technology Center reviewed other competitors and
evaluated their functionalities.
We looked at a few open source platforms for course
management such as Moodle and Sakai. At that time, we found that there were
no other universities that were utilizing them at the institutional level.
Usually, they were used in special programs or courses and mostly as a
complimentary platform. We found that support was a concern.
We reviewed two other competitors, Angel and
Desire2Learn. We LOVED Angel - everything about it: look and feel,
functionality, stability, scalability, support... We also loved their
willingness to help and prompt feedback each time we needed them. The price
was also pretty attractive. We even contacted a few campuses that were using
Angel LMS; their feedback was extremely positive.
In the end, we stayed with Blackboard (and its
bugs). Comparing Angel's and Blackboard's functionalities, we actually found
them pretty equal. Our bottom line was to stay with what we have,
eliminating the need to re-train the faculty campus-wide to adopt a new
Learning Management System.
Research and Learning Technologies Consultant
ATC - Academic Technology Center
175 Forest Street 168
Adamian Academic Center
Waltham, MA 02452
Phone: (781) 891-2039 (Fax: 3125)
September 18, 2007 reply from Steven Hornik
I don't have much to add to what has already been
said here: Moodle is the best open-source solution and Angel is probably one
of the best proprietary systems and is SCORM compliant. We (UCF's college of
business) was looking into moving to a different LMS platform because of all
the problems with WebCT. However, something you should be aware of and
concerned about is the Patent that Blackboard holds on LMS Systems. I'm not
a lawyer nor an expert on this patent, but during our discussion it became
pretty clear that moving to another proprietary LMS could leave the
University open to a lawsuit from BlackBoard. We have not made a switch away
from WebCT and I'm not sure how the potential for a lawsuit factored into
the decision, though there wasn't any further discussion after this fact
I hope that helps,
Dr. Steven Hornik
University of Central Florida
College of Business Administration (407) 823-5739
September 18, 2007 reply from Steven Hornik
I've re-purposed the subject of this thread to
address the question posed by Dr. DeVries:
I've posted about Second Life here before - and I
believe it can be the foundation to an engaging learning platform - so I
won't bore the masses with it again - if your interested I blog about
it(though infrequently) at
I have just started incorporating Second Life into
my Financial Accounting class this semester (we are about 4 weeks into it
right now) for just the reason that Dr. Devries is inquiring about, to make
accounting more engaging for the students. I'm not sure of the success I'm
having on that front as it's early and to be honest there has been
resistance to its use from many of my students. I'm teaching a large lecture
class (which is just going to keep getting larger) and this precludes taking
students to a lab and showing them how to use SL. They are forced to go
through a pretty bad orientation before getting to my Second Life parcel
where I often have to "orient" them again. I keep thinking about some of the
instructions I give them to work with some of the models I've created and it
does seem extensive - then I think of how many clicks a student has to make
to get anywhere in a WebCT environment and it doesn't seem bad after all,
I will continue to monitor and evaluate SL in my
course this semester and blogging about it at the address above. For those
who wish to see what I think is engaging and capable in Second Life you can
view 2 videos I've made of a 3-D accounting equation and single-player
T-Account game here: http://reallyengagingaccounting.vodpod.com/
If anyone else is in Second Life teaching or just
exploring, I'd love to continue this discussion and collaborate.
Dr. Steven Hornik
University of Central Florida
College of Business Administration (407) 823-5739
September 19, 2007 reply from Fernando Catacora
I have been in this list for a while and this is a
first contribution to the WEBCT/Blackboard discussion. First of all, I am a
former academic that created ten years ago a web portal dedicated to CPA
Spanish speakers community and we have been supporting a project named "REDContable.com
University" now two and a half years old to improve the Accounting Education
in Latin America. We provide FREE (Yes, free) training for academics
interested to apply technology in the education process, to be specific;
here are the tools we have been using now for more than two years:
1. Online Classroom:
At the beginning, we used to use VoiceCafe (
http://www.voicecafe.com/ ) but after two years we switched to
http://www.hotconference.com/ ) I can share just a
few main reasons: 5 rooms vs. 1 (HC vs. VC), no limits for number of seats,
sharing mode, sending file to all the participants, MP3 recording, etc. The
only thing I miss from VC is the online blackboard which was really awesome.
As a standard, MSN + Skype, but now we are testing:
There are more, but the above are under testing
We also show the participants Trillian (
http://www.ceruleanstudios.com/ ) and
others, AOL, YIM, and the loved/always missed ICQ.
We provide a canonical domain to let them upload
4. Online Webpage creation.
We installed in our server, VISUALEDIT, an easy
tool that requires PHP and MYSQL, a standard in most of the UNIX/LINUX
servers in the Internet.
You will need to install (Your ISP) IONCUBE or ZEND
OPTIMIZER, this is not a big deal because they are free and most of the web
hosting companies provide the installation under their support. IMPORTANT:
Visualedit is NOT FREE.
Why we use VISUALEDIT? Simple, standardization, it
is a real challenge to teach Dreamweaver to Accounting Professors ( At least
in Latin America)
5. Online Books.
We use a tool called Webasyst Pages:
IMPORTANT: This tool is not free.
6. Blogs vs. Knowledge creation
We have not used any Blog tool and instead we use
Knowledge Builder, we think is a very useful tool for FAQ knowledge creation
IMPORTANT: This tool is not free.
7. Group Management
Yahoo Groups but we are evaluating to switch to
Google, any thoughts?
8. Online Exams
We did a comprehensive evaluation for a few
tools/systems (Moodle, WEBCT, etc) three years ago and I strongly suggest to
include Claroline in your choices (
Installation on the server side is a 5 minutes
process, maintenance is minimum, creation of courses pretty easy and all the
features are worth it.
10. Other tools
For those who enjoy installing and testing scripts
in their servers, a must should be to visit HotScripts, PHP, CGI/Perl etc, I
encourage to take a look:
I have not visited the above site for a long time
so I guess there should be nice new tools.
11. Self Training
Camtasia is the best, no additional options/choices
11. Some thoughts/experience I would like to share
after two years teaching Accounting academics through the Internet:
- As mentioned by Professor Jensen, the most
important thing is to focus in the content creation instead of the tool like
Moodle, Claroline WEBCT. Etc.
- We found a real challenge with academics in Latin
America, because they wanted just to learn or maybe stay just as a passive
student and did not have the attitude to "create" knowledge after they
receive the training. I guess is the human nature, but it doesn't make sense
that today we have so many tools compared to 20 years ago when I started
college and I remember a Remington machine (the same my father used as an
accountant) was my first typewriter machine for to write my papers.
- As a positive result we see that students from
the professors applying IT tools are asking more to them and because they
see the potential of using IT tools in their education.
We'll see how this story goes in the next 5-10
Carpio Fundador de REDContable.com
Comunidad Virtual de Contadores, creada por Contadores para Contadores
"College Accountability Movement Moves Online," by Doug Lederman,
Inside Higher Ed, September 17, 2007 ---
one, coalitions of colleges of different sorts and stripes
have wrestled with the best way to respond to the
intensifying public pressure to prove their value and their
effectiveness in educating students. Proposals have come
state colleges and universities,
major research institutions and
private colleges — and not
surprisingly, each has been tailored to the specific goals
of the proponents.
latest entrant in what might be called the accountability
sweepstakes comes from an entirely new set of institutions —
a small group of colleges (some for-profit, some nonprofit,
but all regionally accredited) that operate online and focus
primarily on educating adults. And as with its predecessors,
“Transparency by Design,” as the
plan is called, has distinctive characteristics that reflect
the colleges’ distinctive missions.
accountability proposals put forward by other groups of
institutions, the plan crafted by these colleges provides
some data that can be compared across institutions,
including scores on the
Survey of Student Engagement and
the performance of students in general education courses, as
measured by the Educational Testing Service’s
Measurement of Academic Proficiency and Progress.
what most distinguishes the substance of the Transparency by
Design effort from the others is its focus on student
outcomes at the program-specific level, a logical approach
given the colleges’ focus on preparing their students for
success in careers of their choice, says Michael Offerman,
president of Capella University, who led a panel of the
Presidents’ Forum of Excelsior College
that crafted the accountability
wanted to get at this in a discipline-specific way,”
Offerman says, to answer students’ question, “What am I
learning in this degree that I came to study?”
other associations and coalitions of colleges that have
grappled with accountability measures, though, the
adult-focused online institutions found that there were
limits for them, too, on how much comparability is possible
among institutions. Because “there is no national curriculum
for the M.B.A.,” for instance, says Offerman, the
accountability template will allow each institution to
define its own goals and hoped-for outcomes for students in
each program, and then to show how well it is achieving
saying, we don’t know how to get it to the point where it’s
comparative right now,” says Offerman. “We think that as a
prospective learner, the key thing you’re going to want to
know are, ‘Are you teaching me what I need to know?’ “
six institutions have committed to using the new
accountability system, which will be formally unveiled (and
shared with other potential participants) at
a Webinar this week: Capella
University, Charter Oak State College, Excelsior College,
Kaplan University, Regis University, and Union Institute and
and other participants in the
Presidents’ Forum of Excelsior College
designed the accountability system as
part of the forum’s larger discussions, in which online
institutions — which do not at this point have an
association of their own — gather occasionally to brainstorm
about promising practices and difficult challenges facing
distance education and their colleges.
that context, as in just about every other in higher
education in recent years amid pressure from the Secretary
Commission on the Future of Higher Education
and other sources, conversation has
turned to accountability and a desire to prove how the
institutions are faring, for potential students and for
policy makers alike.
more than a year of discussion, the institutions produced a
principles of good practice
(adapted from one used by the Pentagon and institutions that
educate large numbers of military personnel) and
a draft template to serve as a
potential model for participating institutions.
has institutions reporting basic information about its
students, including average age, proportion receiving
financial aid, and the proportion of students who completed
their degree requirements within six years, as well as the
per-credit cost that students paid to attend.
It calls on
participating institutions to report significant amounts of
information from the National Survey of Student Engagement
(many colleges and universities use NSSE for internal
purposes, but a far smaller number make their results
public), and, if they choose, to measure their
undergraduates’ success in mastering general education
skills such as writing and analytical reasoning by giving a
sample of students the Measure of Academic Proficiency and
Progress. The institutions also plan to include information
from surveys of alumni about what they got (and didn’t) out
of their programs.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at
Remember Senator Proxmire's Golden Fleece Awards? ---
Who's become the modern day, albeit female, Fagan?
Remember Oliver Twist's Fagin in the famous book (actually his second novel) by
Charles Dickens. Fagin recruited young boys, many of them orphans, trained them
to become thieves, and then shared in the booty.
Fulton County police believe 36-year-old Lakechia
Woodard drove the children and a car full of stolen merchandise to a pawn shop
in at least one burglary. Detectives have arrested at least 25 teens — including
Woodard's 12-year-old son — for robberies in new subdivisions off of Camp Creek
Parkway in suburban Atlanta. Police say Woodard has an arrest record that
includes fraud charges.
"Police Search for Mom Accused of Being Getaway Driver for Young Robbers," Fox
News, September 22, 2007 ---
How Palm Became an Also Ran
In the fiercely competitive business of smartphones,
you're only as good as your last innovation. For Palm (PALM ), which practically
invented the category, that's bad news. Deep-pocketed rivals such as BlackBerry
maker Research In Motion (RIMM ), Nokia (NOK ), Motorola (MOT ), and now Apple (AAPL
) keep rolling out glitzy new products, while Palm has done little to update the
bulky Treo since 2003.
Business Week, September 24, 2007 ---
New York Times to stop charging fees for access to columnists,
other material on Web site
The New York Times said Monday it is scrapping a
two-year-old program to charge fees for access to parts of its Web site,
including op-ed columnists and archives dating back to 1987.
MIT's Technology Review, September 19, 2007 ---
We can only hope that other media sources like The Wall Street Journal
Princeton University announced success in its
campaign against grade inflation.
In 2004, the university announced guidelines designed
to limit the percentage of A grades, based on the belief that there were far too
many being awarded. Data released this week by the university found that in
2004-7, A grades (A+, A, A-) accounted for 40.6 percent of grades in
undergraduate courses, down from 47.0 percent in 2001-4. In humanities
departments, A’s accounted for 45.9 percent of the grades in undergraduate
courses in 2004-7, down from 55.5 percent in 2001-4. In the social sciences,
there were 37.6 percent A grades in 2004-7, down from 43.3 percent in the
previous three years. In the natural sciences, there were 35.7 percent A grades
in 2004-7, compared to 37.2 percent in 2001-4. In engineering, the figures were
42.1 percent A’s in 2004-7, down from 50.2 percent in the previous three years.
Inside Higher Ed, September 19, 2007
The 2005 announcement of this grade inflation announcement by Princeton is
discussed in the link below:
"Fewer A’s at Princeton," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed,
September 20, 2005 ---
This initiative was controversial for an Ivy League university that attracts
the cream of the crop students every year. Most of them have probably never seen
a grade lower than an A grade before arriving at Princeton.
Bob Jensen's threads on grade inflation are at
Rankings of Top MBA Programs are in the Eyes of the Beholders
International, national, and regional rankings of universities, colleges, and
disciplines within schools is increasingly controversial ---
I think the biggest problem is the lack of information that raters have
regarding all the programs they are evaluating and trying to rank. Any college
president, dean, or corporate recruiter may sufficient information about a few
of the programs that she/he is asked to rank. But it is impossible for one
individual to track all the many programs that are to be ranked. These programs
are constantly changing in terms of students, faculty, curricula, and many other
important inputs to a ranking. Whenever a rater has insufficient information,
the "halo effect" comes into play leading to advantages of traditionally
prestigious universities that might have slipped slightly in reality but never
in the minds of naive raters.
Rankings are not taken lightly by either universities or pools of potential
applicants. Not only can some arbitrary choices by raters have short term
effects, there may be huge long term effects in terms of careers, decisions by
donors on how much to give to programs, choices of top faculty regarding where
to seek employment, and alumni praise and criticism. In some instances,
administrative bonuses are given to college and university administrators who
increase media rankings of their programs (such as the bonus plan for the
President of the University of Arizona State University).
The Wall Street Journal released its 2007 rankings of U.S. and
International MBA Programs on September 17, 2007 ---
The best known rankings are from US News at
There is also a video available at the above link about changes from 2006.
Business Week also ranks MBA programs based upon a large survey of
graduates from MBA programs ---
The 2006 rankings are at
I did not include the Business Week outcomes in the tables below because on
September 17, 2007 when I'm writing this the Business Week rankings are not yet
available for 2007. In fact, I don't think this is an annual event comparable to
the WSJ and US News efforts for MBA programs.
The rankings differ greatly between the US News, WSJ, and
Business Week outcomes. The reason is primarily due to who does the ranking.
Business school deans rank the US News top schools. Deans are heavily
influenced by reputations of faculty, high GMAT averages, research performance,
and what might be termed a traditional halo effect where some schools rank high
traditionally come hell or high water.
The WSJ rankings come from industry recruiters who try to land the
best MBA graduates they can both attract and afford. Herein lies the primary
difference. Many recruiters view the top ranked schools by US News as having too
much competition for graduates. Landing a top Harvard, Stanford, or Wharton
graduate is often too expensive relative to the top "best buy" schools that
appeal most to many recruiters.
I can't for the life of me understand how graduates of a given MBA program
are qualified to rank other MBA programs in the Business Week surveys.
In any case the results are as follows for 2007:
2007 MBA Program Rankings in the U.S.
||US News Ranking
|UC Berkeley (Haas)
2007 MBA Program Rankings in the U.S.
||US News Ranking
|UC Berkeley (Haas)
|Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)
|North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)
The WSJ also ranks the top international MBA programs as follows for the top
2007 International MBA Program Rankings
IMD --- Switzerland
|London Business School - U.K.
|MIT (Sloan) - U.S.
|Columbia - U.S.
Monterrey (EGADE) --- Mexico
|Thunderbird - U.S.
Best Academic Program Does Not Always Equate to Highest Media Ranking
Forwarded on January 31, 2006 by David Albrecht
"Graduates of Best Business Schools Don't Always Draw Top Pay, Study
Finds," by Katherine S. Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education,
January 31, 2006 ---
Companies pay higher salaries to graduates
of the most prominent business schools, even when they believe that
lesser-known schools offer better educations, according to a study
described in the December/January issue of the Academy of Management
The study, conducted by researchers at the
University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, found
that those two variables do not always go hand in hand. In their
analysis of data from a poll of 1,600 professional recruiters, the
researchers found that the business schools considered to be the
most prominent didn't always get top marks for quality.
The biggest bucks went to graduates of
high-profile schools -- the kind that top the charts in national
magazine ratings or have faculty members with lofty pedigrees. A
report on the study does not give the names of any of the schools
mentioned by the recruiters.
"There's an old cliché that nobody got
fired for buying from IBM," said Violina P. Rindova, an assistant
professor of strategy at the Maryland business school and one of the
study's authors. "There's a certain reassurance that if you recruit
someone from a prominent school, the boss won't be upset and that
you'll have a stronger guarantee."
Continued in article at
Paid subscription required for access.
What is an emoticon?
It was first invented by professor Scott E. Fahlman at Carnegie Mellon
University on September 19, 1972
Language experts say the smiley face and other
emotional icons, known as emoticons, have given people a concise way in e-mail
and other electronic messages of expressing sentiments that otherwise would be
difficult to detect. Fahlman posted the emoticon in a message to an online
electronic bulletin board at 11:44 a.m. on Sept. 19, 1982, during a discussion
about the limits of online humor and how to denote comments meant to be taken
lightly. "I propose the following character sequence for joke markers:
-)" wrote Fahlman.
"Read it sideways." The suggestion gave computer users a way to convey humor or
positive feelings with a smile _ or the opposite sentiments by reversing the
parenthesis to form a frown.
"Digital ‘smiley face’ turns 25," MSNBC, September 18, 2007 ---
A listing of emoticon examples is given at
Bob Jensen's technology glossary is at
September 18, 2007 reply from my former graduate student Andrew Schmelzle
I think you may find the following link interesting on the topic of
"emoticons." If you get a chance, check out their posters too. Many of them
are quite hilarious!
What are the main hiring advantages of public
colleges after salaries are factored out?
A study released
Monday by the
Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher
COACHE) suggests that public colleges may have
some advantages, at least once money is set
aside. COACHE, which is based at Harvard
University, has conducted a series of surveys of
thousands of junior faculty members, trying to
identify factors that make them satisfied (or
not) with their jobs.
Much of the analysis
of the data has focused on
the way female and minority faculty members are
less likely than their white, male counterparts
to feel good about their positions. The findings
could be significant because other studies from
COACHE have found that
junior professors place increasing importance on
factors like the clarity of the tenure process
in evaluating their employers. These findings go
against the long-standing tradition in higher
education that institutions that pay well and
have impressive reputations need not think much
about how professors (especially those without
tenure) are treated.“While private institutions
tend to receive higher scores overall from
junior faculty, in certain critical areas, the
publics are surpassing private institutions,”
said Cathy Trower, COACHE’s director. “Private
institutions may learn from what the public
institutions are doing right in terms of tenure
clarity,” said Trower. “Demystifying tenure, by
making the standards more clear and the
expectations more reasonable, helps
to reduce unwanted turnover among tenure-track
"The Public (Non-Salary) Advantage," Inside
Higher Ed, September 18, 2007 ---
Years ago when I was in the doctoral program at
Stanford University, it was rumored, with some
authority, that a black ball system was still
used where tenure applicants could be denied by
two "black balls" dropped by unidentified
tenured professors without any explanation or
accountability whatsoever. Times have changed
since we now read about some tenure rejection
instances where the rejecting faculty are
identified in the media and are pestered by
reporters. There are also lawsuits instigated by
tenure rejects, although these are seldom won by
plaintiffs except for those that can prove
illegal discrimination. In those rare instances
where the plaintiffs win, the courts impose
damage awards that do not include forcing a
college to grant tenure. The courts rarely, if
ever, rule on the quantity and quality of
research and research publications, and this is
the most common basis for denying tenure unless
teaching is atrocious.
Honorary Degree to Former CEO Who's Banned from
Being a Future CEO of Any Public Company
When Florida State
University students returned to campus this
fall, they found themselves basking in the
largesse of one of the school's newest honorary
doctors—Albert Dunlap of Ocala, Fla., listed by
FSU as an "entrepreneur and philanthropist."
Dunlap, of course, is better known by the
sobriquet "Chainsaw Al" for his rough-and-tumble
approach to management. He is probably the only
honorary graduate of FSU who sports a lifetime
ban from top jobs at public companies following
the 2001 bankruptcy of appliance maker Sunbeam,
where he was chief executive.
Jane Porter and Alina Dizik, "Make That 'Dr.
Chainsaw' Al Dunlap, banished from public
corporations following the Sunbeam collapse,
gets an honorary degree from Florida State,"
Business Week, September 11, 2007 ---
The world should always be forgiving. Perhaps Al
reformed and "stuffs" his millions of "cookies"
for good causes in recent years. Al Dunlap was a
channel stuffer who liked cookie jar accounting,
which were just two of his accounting frauds.
Sunbeam Corp. and its former CEO Albert Dunlap
created the illusion of a speedy turnaround
after he arrived at the company in 1996. The SEC
discovered that his company shifted revenues to
inflate losses under the old management and
added the sales back to inflate income under
Dunlap. The SEC also found that Sunbeam offered
discounts to customers that stocked up on
merchandise months ahead of schedule, but failed
to disclose that such revenue would hurt future
Sunbeam, under Al Dunlap, was one of Arthur
Andersen's huge auditing failures. You can read
more about the SEC lawsuit at
According to the Commission's Complaint:
* Dunlap, a turnaround specialist, was hired
by Sunbeam's Board in July 1996 to
restructure the financially ailing Company.
Dunlap placed Kersh in charge of Sunbeam's
finance organization. Soon after their
arrival, Dunlap and Kersh promised a rapid
turnaround to enable Sunbeam to
substantially improve its financial
performance. Together with Sunbeam senior
executives Gluck, Uzzi, and Griffith, they
then employed improper accounting techniques
and undisclosed non-recurring transactions
to meet promised sales and earnings figures.
These actions inflated the price of Sunbeam
shares to a high of $52 per share in March
1998. If the Company had been sold at an
inflated share price, Dunlap and Kersh could
have reaped tens of millions of dollars from
the sale of their Sunbeam securities.
* The illegal conduct began at year-end 1996
with the creation by Kersh and Gluck of
inappropriate accounting reserves, which
increased Sunbeam's reported loss for 1996.
were then used to inflate income in 1997,
thus contributing to the false picture of a
rapid turnaround. In addition, to further
boost income in 1997, and to create the
impression that Sunbeam was experiencing
significant revenue growth, Dunlap, Kersh,
Gluck, Uzzi, and Griffith ("the Sunbeam
officers") caused the Company to recognize
revenue for sales that did not meet
applicable accounting rules. As a result,
for fiscal 1997, at least $60 million of
Sunbeam's reported (record-setting) $189
million in earnings from continuing
operations came from accounting fraud.
* Also in 1997, the Sunbeam officers failed
to disclose that Sunbeam's 1997 revenue
growth was, in part, achieved at the expense
of future results. The Company had offered
discounts and other inducements to customers
to sell merchan dise immediately that
otherwise would have been sold in later
periods, a practice also known as "channel
The resulting revenue shift threatened to
suppress Sunbeam's future results of
* Phillip E. Harlow, a partner at Arthur
Andersen, Sunbeam's outside auditing firm,
authorized unqualified audit opinions on
Sunbeam's 1996 and 1997 financial statements
although he was aware of many of the
Company's accounting improprieties and
* In early 1998, the Sunbeam officers took
increasingly desperate measures to conceal
the Company's mounting financial problems,
meanwhile attempting to finance the
acquisition of three other companies, in
part through a bond offering. The Sunbeam
officers again engaged in, and recognized
revenue for, sales that did not meet the
applicable accounting rules; again caused
Sunbeam to engage in acceleration of sales
revenue from later periods; deleted certain
corporate records to conceal pending returns
of merchandise; and misrepresented the
Company's performance and future prospects
in its filing on Form 10-Q for the first
quarter of 1998, its offering materials in
connection with the bond offering, its press
releases, and its communications with
* In June 1998, negative statements in the
press about the quality of the Company's
earnings prompted Sunbeam's Board of
Directors to begin an internal
investigation. This resulted in the
termination of Dunlap, Kersh and other
members of Company management and,
eventually, to an extensive restatement of
Sunbeam's financial statements from the
fourth quarter of 1996 through the first
quarter of 1998. Sunbeam is presently in a
reorganization proceeding under Chapter 11
of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
According to the Commission's Complaint,
through this conduct, Dunlap, Kersh, Gluck,
Uzzi, and Griffith violated the anti-fraud,
reporting and other provisions of the
federal securities laws. The Commission
seeks, as to all defendants, permanent
injunctions against future violations and
civil penalties and, in the case of Dunlap,
Kersh, Gluck, and Uzzi, permanent bars from
acting as an officer or director of any
can read more about Sunbeam's frauds at
You can also
read about channel stuffing and other types of
revenue frauds at
are far worse choices for honorary doctorates,
most notably the honors awarded to the vicious
Robert Gabriel Mugabe
This murderer has honorary doctorates from the
Edinburgh University, in
Scotland, in 1984.
The University of
Amherst, in 1986.
University, in 1990
You can read about Mugabe's
other unfortunate awards, including an award from the Queen of
What are the trends in higher education in the U.S. versus the rest of the
"The World Gets a Little Flatter," by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed,
September 18, 2007 ---
Internationally, the report finds that:
Enrollments are rising generally, though growth has been
strongest — more than doubling — in countries such as
Korea, Ireland and Spain that have purposefully driven
that growth through changes in policy.
Graduation rates vary widely, with Austria, Germany and
Turkey hovering around 20 percent and countries such as
Australia, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, New
Zealand and Poland at over 40 percent.
- Even as
enrollments have expanded, there has been no significant
change in the generally high pay or the generally low
unemployment rates that the college educated enjoy
compared to other groups, indicating that “the benefits
of higher education have not deteriorated as higher
education as expanded.”
countries where higher education has expanded the most,
employment prospects for less-educated citizens had
deteriorated, despite predictions to the contrary.
- In most
countries, the number of science graduates is growing
faster than the overall number of graduates.
1995 and 2004, growth in spending on education fell
behind growth in national income.
there were numerous ways in which American higher education
continued to lead the world, the report cites several
statistics that are likely to prove worrying to policy
makers in the United States:
Military Recruiting and the Solomon Amendment
"Appeals Court Upholds Military Recruiting," by Scott Jaschik, Inside
Higher Ed, September 19, 2007 ---
The Solomon Amendment has
won another round in court, and the only remaining push against it may have
suffered a fatal blow this week when a federal appeals court upheld the
constitutionality of the controversial measure.
year, the U.S. Supreme Court
ruled unanimously that the Solomon
Amendment did not infringe on the First Amendment rights of law schools that
objected to it. The law threatens to withhold federal funds from institutions
that limit military recruiters’ access to campuses, which many law schools
historically have done to protest the Defense Department’s discriminatory
policies toward gay people.
While Supreme Court
rulings on specific laws generally settle matters, a group of Yale University
faculty members had a separate challenge to the Solomon Amendment and they won
in federal district court, where they focused on the First Amendment protections
for academic freedom. The Pentagon appealed that ruling, but the case was on
hold during the Supreme Court review. Some critics of the Solomon amendment
hoped they had an argument that might work, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Second Circuit disagreed.
The appeals court ruled
that the Supreme Court’s decision last year “almost certainly” rejected the
academic freedom argument put forth by the professors. And if it didn’t, the
appeals court found that the argument “lacks merit.”
On the question of
whether last year’s ruling covered the academic freedom argument, the appeals
court noted that — even if not addressed explicitly in the decision — there is
evidence that the justices were aware of the argument and were not moved by it.
Briefs filed in the case raised the issue, the appeals court said. And the
Supreme Court decision noted attempts by critics of the Solomon Amendment “to
stretch a number of First Amendment doctrines well beyond the sort of activities
these doctrines protect.”
Thus it is “much more
likely than not” that the Supreme Court rejected the academic freedom argument,
the appeals court said.
On the merits of the
argument, the Yale professors didn’t far much better. They had argued that their
academic freedom was being violated when they are forced to allow discriminatory
employers (in this case the military) to have access to the campus for
recruiting. Allowing such discrimination, the professors said, interfered with
their academic goals of having a diverse student body and promoting equal
justice among their students.
Continued in article
From The Washington Post on September 20, 2007
How much does Apple pay for the parts in
its new 4-gigabyte iPod Nano?
The new plan is slated to cost $110 billion a year.
And to pay for the new entitlement -- a tax hike. That in turn will slow down
the economy and make the cost of her system grow even higher. By contrast, both
the reforms I led in Massachusetts and the federalist reform plan I recently
proposed do not raise taxes or increase spending. In fact, in the new plan that
I have proposed, funds currently sent to states to care for the uninsured are
made flexible so that the states may use them to help the poor acquire their own
private insurance. . . . Let's be clear here: My plan in Massachusetts worked
very differently than Sen. Clinton's plan would. First, we worked to reduce the
burdens of regulation. The legislature insisted on more coverage mandates and
regulation than I would have liked, but even so, less regulation has resulted in
much lower premiums. Second, we used the money we were already getting from the
federal government to help the poor purchase their own private insurance --
without new taxes or spending. And even the poor paid their fair share of their
premiums. Third, with the help of the Heritage Foundation, we found a path for
most individuals to purchase insurance with pre-tax dollars, just like people
who get their coverage through their employers. And finally, once premiums had
been lowered and the poor were able to afford private insurance, my plan called
for people to either purchase insurance or pay their own way -- no more free
riders. I like the plan I put forward in Massachusetts. But even so, I wouldn't
do what Sen. Clinton does -- impose my way on every other state. Other states
may borrow from what we did. Some will surely improve on it. But let's keep
faith in federalism, in private markets and in individual responsibility.
Mitt Romney, "Where HillaryCare Goes Wrong," The Wall Street
Journal, September 20, 2007; Page A13 ---
Alternatives to the Tax-Funded Universal Health Plans ---
Liberals see the concerns of
families as a failure of private insurance, and want the U.S. to move toward
a government-run, single-payer model. This is a recipe for making problems
worse. Socialized medicine inevitably leads to poor quality, inefficiency,
rising taxes and rationing. The waiting lines and poor care that cause
people from other countries to come here for treatment are not the answer.
Government can help poorer and
older Americans get quality health care without sacrificing what everyone
wants -- the ability to choose their own doctor and health coverage that
meets their family's particular needs. What reforms will do that?
• Level the tax
playing field. People who work for companies get a tax break on the
health insurance they get from their employer. Many small business
employees, farmers and the self-employed are unable to benefit from the
same tax advantage, because they or their employers can't afford health
insurance. It's not fair or wise to penalize people who have to pay for
health insurance out of their own pockets. They should benefit from the
same tax advantage employees from bigger companies get.
The mortgage interest
deduction made it easier for people to own a home and all America benefited.
Similarly, every worker should get a deduction for health-insurance
premiums. This would ease the burden on working families and make it
possible for millions more Americans to own health insurance. Some
Republicans in Congress support a tax credit rather than a deduction: that's
reasonable, too. A deduction or a credit puts patients in charge by helping
them get private coverage that meets their needs.
savings for health costs. We are encouraged to save tax-free for
retirement and college; we should make it easier to save tax-free for
out-of-pocket medical expenses, too. Tax-free savings accounts, paired
with low-cost catastrophic health insurance, make coverage affordable
for working families. For example, a youth minister told me his Health
Savings Account (HSA) gave his family peace of mind because they now had
insurance coverage for big emergencies and could save tax-free for
everyday health expenses.
That's why, in less than three
years, more than 4.5 million families have set up HSAs. Some Democrats want
to rein in HSAs because they fear HSAs put the individual -- not government
-- in charge and once someone gets to pick a plan that meets their needs,
they won't like being dictated to by government.
And when people see they can
save money by eating better, exercising and making healthy lifestyle
choices, guess what? They do. I met with workers at Wendy's Headquarters in
Ohio who were eagerly taking steps to lead healthier lives because it saved
When you change jobs, you don't have to change auto insurance, but you
may have to change your health insurance and even your doctor. That's
important in a world where young Americans are likely to have 10 jobs
before they are age 36. Too many people are locked into jobs they don't
like out of fear they'll lose health coverage. The solution is obvious:
People should be able to take their health insurance with them when they
• Arming consumers through more competition.
Rep. John Shadegg (R., Ariz.) argues that people should be able to buy
health insurance issued by a company based in another state. Lack of
interstate competition helps to explain why the same health policy costs
$8,334 in North Dakota but $10,312 in South Dakota. If consumers in
South Dakota could buy that North Dakota policy, prices for health
insurance would go down.
• Pool risk, lower costs. Large
companies get purchasing power and savings because they share risk
across large numbers of employees. Sen. Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.) and Rep.
Sam Johnson (R., Texas) believe small businesses should be able to join
together to pool risk, too. It would mean more competition and lower
costs, and more people able to afford coverage.
• Greater transparency. Today, patients
rarely know what a procedure will cost or how good a clinic or hospital
is, except by reputation and word of mouth. For example, a study of
metropolitan hospitals found prices for services varied widely -- by as
much as 259% -- even after controlling for geographic variations in the
cost of doing business. Putting information about cost and quality in
the hands of patients would lower the cost and improve the quality of
health care. Patients making informed choices would create market
pressures for lower prices and better care.
• Stop junk lawsuits. I've heard sad
stories from doctors and patients. The doctor who had to close her
clinic in her hometown and move across the state to work at a hospital
that would pay her rising liability insurance premiums. The head trauma
specialist afraid that when he retired, his community in one of the
poorest regions in the country couldn't attract a replacement. The
pregnant woman who drove 80 miles from home in Las Vegas to get prenatal
Communities are losing
talented health-care professionals who simply can't afford the bigger
liability premiums caused by frivolous lawsuits. More than 48% of all
counties in the U.S. have no ob-gyn physicians. Hospitals are finding it
tougher to provide obstetrics, emergency room care or neurosurgery because
of frivolous lawsuits. And doctors, afraid of lawsuits, practice "defensive
medicine," ordering unnecessary tests and procedures which add to the cost
of health care.
Whose interest does that
really serve? If we want richer trial lawyers, let them keep filing junk
lawsuits we all pay for. If we want better health care, curb frivolous
• Build on the
progress already made by putting patients in charge and letting
competition work. When Congress considered prescription drug
coverage under Medicare, Democrats tried to have government set prices
and deliver the drugs. When the Congressional Budget Office estimated
the first year's monthly premium for seniors would be $35, Democrats
tried to lock in that price.
Medicare and Medicaid are currently in a long-term funding crisis as the baby
boomers age and more and more old people have to be supported by taxation on
fewer workers per old person. Adding millions of more people to be tax supported
can only worsen the crisis and make taxes soar. The above alternatives make more
sense until entitlements of Social Security, Medicare, Medicare Drug Plan, and
Medicaid massive funding shortages are corrected.
Updates from WebMD ---
John Kerry ruined his chances to become president of the U.S. by claiming that
(instead of college students) enlist in the military.
What would've been a better reason for him to promote going to college?
Another advantage for those who go to college:
Research just published in the
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
finds that those with a higher education are less likely than others to die from
Inside Higher Ed, September 18, 2007 ---
This study is a candidate for conclusions drawn from spurious correlation. But
there could be underlying reasons such as more exposure to dangerous sunlight by
workers who did not go to college or carcinogens in factories, farms, and
Research explains link between cholesterol and heart disease
Cholesterol contributes to atherosclerosis – a
condition that greatly increases the risk of heart attack and stroke – by
suppressing the activity of a key protein that protects the heart and blood
vessels, researchers at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine have
PhysOrg, September 18, 2007 ---
New way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease promises earlier treatment
The proposed criteria are based on examining the
structure and function of the brain using advanced brain imaging techniques as
well as looking at spinal fluid for the imprint of the disease. Early detection
will allow researchers to test vaccines that might be used preventively or to
treat fully affected individuals, or other drug treatments that are directed at
the earliest stages of the disease – the best time to reduce symptoms.
PhysOrg, September 17, 2007 ---
"Shaking (even in fun) may cause brain damage and serious long-term
effects to infants," PhysOrg, September 17, 2007 ---
Reasons why old folks are so glum on a bus headed for the casinos on an
In a study appearing in the October issue of Current Directions in Psychological
Science, University of Queensland psychologist, Bill von Hippel, reports that
decreased inhibitory ability in late adulthood can lead to unintended prejudice,
social inappropriateness, depression, and gambling problems. Regarding
prejudice, von Hippel and colleagues found that older white adults showed
greater stereotyping toward African Americans than younger white adults did,
despite being more motivated to control their prejudices. Von Hippel suggests
that “because prejudice toward African Americans conflicts with prevailing
egalitarian beliefs, older adults attempt to inhibit their racist feelings, but
fail.” Age-related inhibitory losses have also been implicated in social
appropriateness. Von Hippel found that older adults were more likely than
younger adults were to inquire about private issues (e.g. weight gain, family
problems) in public settings. Furthermore, these age differences emerged even
though older and younger adults both agreed that it is inappropriate to inquire
about such issues in public settings. The older adults seemed to know the social
rules but failed to follow them, which is consistent with diminished frontal
"Brain atrophy in elderly leads to unintended racism, depression and problem
gambling," PhysOrg, September 21, 2007 ---
Forwarded by Dick Haar
A seagull in Scotland has developed the habit of stealing chips from a
The seagull waits until the shopkeeper isn’t looking, and then walks into the
store and grabs a snack-size bag of cheese Doritos.
Once outside, the bag gets ripped open and shared by other birds.
The seagull’s shoplifting started early this month when he first swooped into
the store in Aberdeen, Scotland, and helped himself to a bag of chips. Since
then, he’s become a regular. He always takes the same type of chips.
Customers have begun paying for the seagull’s stolen bags of chips because
they think it’s so funny.
Forwarded by a good friend
Memory was something you lost with age
An application was for employment
A program was a TV show
A cursor used profanity
A keyboard was a piano
A web was a spider's home
A virus was the flu
A CD was a bank account
A hard drive was a long trip on the road
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived
And if you had a 3 inch floppy.
You just hoped nobody ever found out!
Tidbits Archives ---
Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter ---
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron"
enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and
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Online Books, Poems, References,
and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available
free on the Web.
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---
Shared Open Courseware
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National Library of Virtual Manipulatives ---
The word moodle is an acronym for "modular
object-oriented dynamic learning environment", which is quite a mouthful.
The Scout Report stated the following about Moodle 1.7. It is a
tremendously helpful opens-source e-learning platform. With Moodle,
educators can create a wide range of online courses with features that
include forums, quizzes, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, and surveys. On the
Moodle website, visitors can also learn about other features and read about
recent updates to the program. This application is compatible with computers
running Windows 98 and newer or Mac OS X and newer.
Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials
Accountancy Discussion ListServs:
For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a
ListServ (usually for free) go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
AECM 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 ---
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.
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.
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
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag
Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586