Raise your glasses to Thanksgiving and winter

Pictures of our turkeys and our first snowfall of the season --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/ThanksgivingWinter.htm

Today it started out like a blizzard for our second snowfall, but at the moment it seems to be dying out. I can see the plumes on Cannon Mountain from the snow making machines. You can read about the "Snow Cannons" of Cannon Mountain at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_making#Homemade_snow_cannons

Dolly Parton Thanksgiving --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPruxdjdj7g

Johnny Cash (Thanksgiving Prayer) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA7ujUJCIdE&feature=related 

Three Turkeys Saying Goodbye --- Click Here

 

Tidbits on November 22, 2007
Bob Jensen

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

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


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


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

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


You can read about Erika's surgeries and see her pictures at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Erika2007.htm
Personal pictures are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/PictureHistory/
Some personal videos are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/EdTech/Video/Personal/ 

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

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

If you want to help our badly injured troops, please check out
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops  --- http://www.valour-it.blogspot.com/




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

Interactives: Dynamic Earth ---  http://www.learner.org/interactives/dynamicearth/ 

The University of Texas School of Nursing: Center For Teaching Excellence (included brown bag seminars)  http://son.uth.tmc.edu/centers/cte/default.htm

Charlie Rose ("FREAKONOMICS" / FUKUYAMA) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=or81AMlCJjs
Book Summary: "Freakonomics part 1" by Steven D. Levitt --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0CoI3Ohptg
Book Summary: "Freakonomics part 2" by Steven D. Levitt --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5dcGCTyzsw
Book Summary: "Freakonomics part 2" by Steven D. Levitt --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8ZGlWZ1LbY
Freakonomics Lecture --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWl_ll3SybE
Steven Levitt: the Freakonomics of inner-city gangs --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UGC2nLnaes

Steven Levitt on Blogging  --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JynCWbHT0eo
Bob Jensen's threads on listservs and blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

100 Years of Women Sex Symbols (Can you name each one?)

Anne Bancroft --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Bancroft

Ballet Staring Rudolf Nureyev


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

Gounod's 'Faust'From Houston Grand Opera (five acts) --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16097370

Charmaine Clamor is a jazz vocalist who grew up listening to Ella Fitzgerald on the radio, which shouldn't be surprising. What may be surprising is that Clamor grew up in the Philippines — as a 3-year-old, she sang to passengers on the bus in Manila. Clamor is now a star in her homeland and she's attracting attention in the United States --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16160313

The Fabulous Jitterbug Era --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jitterbug

How we change over time in terms of fitting in and wanting to make an impression. I remember my blue suede shoes, pink sweaters, and white corduroy trousers in high school. I must’ve looked ridiculous wearing them with my leather bomber jacket. That’s the way I looked my dad's pink and cream-colored Oldsmobile cruising State Street in Algona, Iowa in 1955.

We be-bopped to Elvis, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley, Teresa Brewer, etc.

Boogie (Eight to the Bar) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boogie

Jerry Lee Lewis (The Killer) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Lee_Lewis

Rock and Roll --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_and_Roll

Bill Haley and the Comets --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Haley

Teresa Brewer --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teresa_Brewer

Buddy Holly and The Crickets --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddy_Holly
(Remember "Happiness is Lubbock in my rear view mirror.")
In 1955 Bob Jensen wore horn-rimmed glasses that had no prescription (clear glass).
Buddy Holly's plane crashed in Mason City  about 50 miles from my hometown in Algona, Iowa.

 

Photographs and Art

From MIT
Audiovisual Environment (video) --- http://acg.media.mit.edu/people/golan/aves/

Eleven Phenomenal Images of Earth --- http://deputy-dog.com/2007/11/01/11-phenomenal-images-of-earth/

Photographs of Despair (slide your mouse near the top of the screen for a menu) --- http://26-04-1986.com/
It helps to first read the "About" screen.

Cellar Image of the Day --- http://www.cellar.org/iotd.php

The Butterfly Website --- http://butterflywebsite.com/gallery/index.cfm

Butterfly Pictures --- http://butterflywebsite.com/gallery/index.cfm

Martin Puryear --- http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2007/martinpuryear/

Uncommon Pictures --- http://uncommonpics.com/pic-1054-Early-bloomers

Cow Abductions --- http://www.cowabduction.com/
Jers Huygen of Belgium fitted his cows with toupees to disguise them.

Creative Art --- http://your-austin-dwi.com/Creative_Art.html

Philip Straub --- http://www.philipstraub.com/illustrations_page.htm

Birds Making a Face --- http://www.pizdaus.com/pics/93BSS34UkAXi.jpg

Chromasia --- http://www.chromasia.com/

 


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

Steve Fever by Greg Egan
 A new piece of fiction from Hugo Award winner Greg Egan.
MIT's Technology Review, November 20, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/19534/?a=f

Favorite Poem Project (videos) --- http://www.favoritepoem.org/

Alice in Wonderland (Infomotions) ---
http://www.infomotions.com/etexts/literature/english/1800-1899/carroll-alices-99.txt

Interactive Alice in Wonderland --- http://www.ruthannzaroff.com/wonderland/

Mark Twain Project --- http://www.marktwainproject.org/

Free eBooks --- http://www.free-ebooks.net/

American Library Association --- http://www.ala.org/ala/booklist/booklist.htm

Internet Book List --- http://www.iblist.com/

Writers Write --- http://www.writerswrite.com/

Overbooked (includes reviews) --- http://www.overbooked.org/

U.K. Poetry Magazine --- http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/

Lyrics Directory --- http://www.lyricsdir.com/

Charles Bukowski (Poet) --- http://home.swipnet.se/~w-15266/cultur/bukowski/

The Modern World --- http://www.themodernword.com/eco/eco_papers.html

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens --- Click Here

The Balloon Hoax by Edgar Allan Poe --- Click Here

The Plays of William Ernest Henley and Robert Louis Stevenson --- Click Here

Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne --- http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/v/verne/jules/v52tw/

Charlie Rose ("FREAKONOMICS" / FUKUYAMA) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=or81AMlCJjs
Book Summary: "Freakonomics part 1" by Steven D. Levitt --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0CoI3Ohptg
Book Summary: "Freakonomics part 2" by Steven D. Levitt --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5dcGCTyzsw
Book Summary: "Freakonomics part 2" by Steven D. Levitt --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8ZGlWZ1LbY
Freakonomics Lecture --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWl_ll3SybE
Steven Levitt: the Freakonomics of inner-city gangs --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UGC2nLnaes

November 18, 2007 message from Asia Lu [asiaing.lu@gmail.com]

Dear Bob:

I think you maybe interested in this:

Top Ten Free eBook Websites

1. Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org

2. Asiaing.com: http://www.asiaing.com

Over 2,000 free ebooks & free magazines. Most of them can be downloaded directly. I love the slogan: "Knowledge shared, power gained!."

3. The Online Books Page: http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/

Listing over 25,000 free books on the Web. The site is hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Library.

4. PSU's Electronic Classics Site:

http://www2.hn.psu.edu/faculty/jmanis/jimspdf.htm

Classic works of Literature.

5. PlanetPDF http://www.planetpdf.com/free_pdf_ebooks.asp?CurrentPage=1

Classics works of Literature.

6. University of California, eScholarship Edition:

http://content.cdlib.org/escholarship/

The eScholarship Editions collection includes almost 2000 books from academic presses on a range of topics, including art, science, history, music, religion, and fiction.

7. University of Adelaide Library's collection of Web books:

http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/

The collection includes classic works of Literature, Philosophy, Science, and History.

8. AvaxHome.ru: http://www.avaxhome.ru

Some new ebooks. Rapidshare download links. Copyright is a problem.

9. The National Academies Press: http://www.nap.edu Read more than 3,000 books online FREE!

10.You! Everyone has his own favorite ebook website. Maybe It's already on the list. Maybe not. It doesn't matter. The most important thing is that you love eBook.

Have a wonderful day.

Asia Lu

 




The victor will not be asked afterwards, whether he told the truth or not. When starting and waging war it is not right that matters but victory.
Adolph Hitler --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler

From "Founder's Quotes - Jefferson on Excessive Taxation," The Patriot Post, November 12, 2007 --- http://patriotpost.us/

Excessive taxation...will carry reason and reflection to every man's door, and particularly in the hour of election.
Thomas Jefferson (letter to John Taylor, 1798)
"every man" does not include the persons whose tax burden is light and receives great services from the government.

Many of the opposition [to the new Federal Constitution] wish to take from Congress the power of internal taxation. Calculation has convinced me that this would be very mischievous.
Thomas Jefferson to William Carmichael, 1788.

To preserve our independence, we must not let our politicians load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people under the pretense of caring for them, the people will be much happier.
Thomas Jefferson

The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife.
Thomas Jefferson (letter to Spencer Roane, 9 March 1821)

Mr. Bush is exercising his veto power, and Democrats don't seem to have the votes for overrides. On Thursday, Congress failed to reverse Mr. Bush's rejection of the overstuffed Labor-HHS-Education appropriation. If divided government ends up producing spending restraint, it will be a rare moment of fiscal virtue. Taking earmarks as the measure, some progress is already evident. According to a preliminary audit from Citizens Against Government Waste, the 2008 budget will likely wheel in with about 8,000 projects costing between $18 billion and $20 billion. That's down from the 2005 earmark peak of 13,997 and $27.3 billion. Competition between Bill Clinton and a new GOP Congress led to spending restraint in the mid-1990s. But once a balanced budget was achieved, spending began to soar once again. Mr. Clinton gave more earmarks and defense spending to Tom DeLay, who in return gave more domestic spending to Mr. Clinton.
"Divided They Cut," The Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2007; Page A10 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119526546530496637.html

Instead of ’broadcasting’ — trying to reach the biggest possible audience — the approach is to slice the audience into segments and target each with specific tactics, he said. “Terrorists are using the Internet to focus on children, very young children, to attract young people to the ideology and later to the way of terrorism. “When they target children, they do everything any commercial advertiser would do. They use comic books, storytelling, graphics, movies, competitions, prize-winning and so on,” Weimann added. Western security officials have been voicing growing concern about militant ’grooming’ of children on the Internet. Last week the head of Britain’s MI5 spy service said individuals aged 15 and 16 had been implicated in terrorist-related activity. Weimann said al Qaeda was also targeting women, including via an online manual, presented in pink, which educates them in the roles of female suicide bomber or wife or mother to a jihadist ’martyr’.
Alexandra Zawadil, "Islamic militants refine Web tactics," November 16, 2007 --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21842228/
Jensen Comment
I wonder if you can get personal letters and pictures from each of the 72 virgins promised to terrorists who blow themselves up in successful kills of infidels. I used to think the promise of 72 virgins were an isolated tactics used on a few male Palestinian suicide bombers (Don't know what is promised the female suicide bombers, perhaps virginity restoration). But according to Sixty Minutes (CBS Television) on November 18, the promise of 72 virgins is an extremely common tactic, especially in schools for boys in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Watch "Omar Khadr: The Youngest Terrorist?" ---
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/16/60minutes/main3516048.shtml
One of the wounded (paralyzed) young lads wanted U.S. soldiers to shoot him and still regrets that medical personnel saved his life, because he will not get 72 virgins since he did not die in for jihad. He envies his brother in Gitmo Prison. His brother will soon go on trial. If released from Gitmo, this young lad named Omar Khadr, according to his paralyzed brother, will most certainly try again for the virgins that were promised even by his own militant father.

Japan's whaling fleet was set to leave port Sunday for its biggest-ever scientific whale hunt in the South Pacific, the government fisheries agency said. The whalers have orders to kill up to 50 humpback whales — the first known large-scale hunt for the species since a 1963 moratorium put humpbacks under international protection. The new hunt is certain to renew Japan's angry standoff with anti-whaling forces. Greenpeace and the animal rights activist group Sea Shepherd have said they will track the South Pacific hunt. Four ships including the lead craft, the 8,044-ton Nisshin Maru, were set to leave Sunday morning. . . . Along with the humpbacks, the 239-member mission that runs through April will also take up to 935 Antarctic minke whales and up to 50 fin whales in their largest scientific whale hunt ever held in the South Pacific, according to a report Japan submitted to the International Whaling Commission earlier this year. But it is the plan to hunt the humpback — a favorite among whale-watchers for its distinctive knobby head, intelligence and out-of-the-water acrobatics — that has triggered environmentalists' condemnation.
Hiroko Tabuchi, Yahoo News, November 17, 2007 --- http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071117/ap_on_re_as/japan_hunting_humpbacks

Voters generally don't express much interest in the election of judges. This year, as in years past, voter turnout in elections for judges was very low. But judicial elections, which occur in some form in 39 states, are receiving growing attention from those who seek to influence them. In fact, motivated interest groups are pouring money into judicial elections in record amounts. Whether or not they succeed in their attempts to sway the voters, these efforts threaten the integrity of judicial selection and compromise public perception of judicial decisions. The final four candidates running for open seats on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania raised more than $5.4 million combined in 2007, shattering fund-raising records in Pennsylvania judicial elections. Since 2006, high court campaigns in Georgia, Kentucky, Oregon and Washington also set fund-raising records. Since 2004, nine other states broke records for high court election spending.
Sandra Day O'Connor, "Justice for Sale How special-interest money threatens the integrity of our courts," The Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2007 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010864

Officials in National City, a predominantly Hispanic community near San Diego, have pushed to bulldoze a popular athletic center for struggling kids to pave the way for private developers to build new luxury condos. As tragic and absurd as this may sound, such outrageous affronts to property rights are an almost daily occurrence. Episode 3 of The Drew Carey Project chronicles the devastating impact of eminent domain abuse on the lives of people whose property the government can threaten to take, not for public use, but for the benefit of wealthy developers.
Reason TV --- http://www.reason.tv/video/show/56.html

Cheap Dirty Fuels Versus Costly Clean Fuels Which will win the race to fuel the future?
Ronald Bailey, Reason Magazine, November 13, 2007 --- http://www.reason.com/news/show/123464.html 

Taliban militants in Afghanistan shot a killed a teenage boy for teaching English. http://www.news24.com Armed militants entered the school and dragged the boy out of his class and shot him dead. Their reason was because the boy was teaching English to other students after school hours and had been warned to stop
Neal Boortz, Neal's Nuze, November 16, 2007 --- http://boortz.com/nuze/index.html

Dallas and Los Angeles represent two distinct models for successful American cities, which both reflect and reinforce different cultural and political attitudes. One model fosters a family-oriented, middle-class lifestyle -- the proverbial home-centered "balanced life." The other rewards highly productive, work-driven people with a yen for stimulating public activities, for arts venues, world-class universities, luxury shopping, restaurants that aren't kid-friendly. One makes room for a wide range of incomes, offering most working people a comfortable life. The other, over time, becomes an enclave for the rich. Since day-to-day experience shapes people's sense of what is typical and normal, these differences in turn lead to contrasting perceptions of economic and social reality. It's easy to believe the middle class is vanishing when you live in Los Angeles, much harder in Dallas.
Virginia Postrel writing in the November issue of The Atlantic Magazine via The Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2007 ---  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119526920403396745.html

Mrs. Clinton is clearly trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, she waffles on NAFTA and calls for a "timeout" on any new trade agreements. But she also doesn't want to explicitly repudiate her husband's free trade record. As the Los Angeles Times reported last month: "Appearing before free-trade supporters, she has praised the landmark North American Free Trade Agreement, which is loathed by many unions. But speaking to a union audience as a presidential candidate, Clinton said NAFTA hurt workers." One of the biggest problems for Mrs. Clinton is Mrs. Clinton, who effusively praised NAFTA in her best-selling 2003 memoir, writing that "a free trade zone in North America -- the largest free trade zone in the world -- would expand U.S. exports, create jobs and ensure that our economy was reaping the benefits, not the burdens of globalization."
John Fund, Opinion Journal, November 16, 2007
Jensen Comment
All politicians become chameleons changing their colors to fit into changed surroundings. It's doubly hard when running for U.S. President, because she has to first win the Democratic Nomination (helps to hate NAFTA) and the general election (probably helps to love NAFTA because by then Democratic supporters are not going to vote for the GOP candidate because the Democratic nominee now supports NAFTA).

 

Angela Merkel's sky-high approval ratings are without precedent for a German Chancellor. So is her nearly blank record of achievement in two years in office. Ms. Merkel's popularity owes a lot to her reluctance to take a stand on tough issues -- a luxury she won't have forever. Europe's largest power faces serious challenges, at home and abroad, that will test her ability to exert leadership. On current evidence, little suggests that the Chancellor is up to the task. Earlier this month, the government's panel of economic advisers implored her, in a 627-page report, "Don't Gamble Away What Has Been Achieved." They weren't referring to Ms. Merkel's economic policies, which are anything but radical. Having run for office in 2005 pledging market-friendly reforms, including a possible flat tax, she is now accused of jeopardizing the limited progress made by Gerhard Schröder, her Social Democratic predecessor. To think Germans once likened Ms. Merkel to the Iron Lady.
"The Merkel Leadership Deficit," The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2007 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119550815910298325.html

Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days' worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.

Ryokan --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ry%C5%8Dkan
Jensen Comment
Sounds boring!




The easiest way for your children to learn about money is for you not to have any.
 Katharine Whitehorn
 

Low Cost Laptops Intended for Children in Developing Nations

Jensen Comment
Possibly the easiest way to make children to want to learn is not to have any scholarly education opportunity whatsoever.

Certainly education and worldwide communications can be a bad thing for preserving ancient cultures and isolated religions/superstitions. But people who do go deep into Africa or other parts of the world discover that there is usually tremendous enthusiasm for learning --- sometimes learning anything. This makes isolated tribes extremely vulnerable to biased and/or incompetent teachers and learning materials.

In fact computers may be a way of overcoming questionable teaching such as teaching from overly zealous missionaries who are strong on doctrine and shallow on scholarship. 

Certainly there are risks of bad scholarship such as when any person goes to Wikipedia. But there is a tremendous amount of great scholarship available in Wikipedia and other scholarly databases accessed via computers.

Knowledge wants to be shared and will find cracks in the barrier walls of any type in society. The MIT experiment (along with the ensuing effort by Intel) to open these cracks a bit wider with cheap computers will have a whole lot of direct and indirect (i.e., externalities) that are good and bad. As educators we know we have to take chances, even those of us who frequently go to Wikipedia.

*******************************************

BH: My last question : How would you define the ideal digital society in a few words?

MJ: Equality of communication. Equality of information. Environmentally sustainable design. Low cost and high quality. Technology guided by the needs of people and not by trade and governments. Finally education technologies should be accessible to all
.
Interview with Mary Joyce Ben Heine --- http://snipurl.com/mjdigitalsociety

Bob Jensen

"On a Laptop Mission for Kids: A Buy One, Give One Campaign Seeks to Send Tech Abroad," by Leslie Walker, The Washington Post, November 18, 2007, Page F06 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/17/AR2007111700180.html?wpisrc=newsletter

Jensen Comment
One huge problem is keeping the fortunate kids from being ripped off by adults with AK-47s seeking to sell anything of value.




Sixty-seven percent of American employees are living paycheck to paycheck, according to results released this week from the 2007 "Getting Paid In America" survey. The online survey by the American Payroll Association asked respondents how difficult it would be to meet their current financial obligations if their paycheck were delayed for a week. An overwhelming 31,640 of more than 47,000 respondents said they'd find it difficult to meet their financial obligations if their paycheck were delayed. This is a 2 percent increase from 2006 . . .
AccountingWeb, September October 2006, 2007 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=104038

I own a local payroll company, and you would be surprised at how true this is. Its not even a full paycheck that can put families in financial duress, but a few hundred dollars from a withholding change. Its difficult for some employers to even convince their employees that a 401k is in their best interest because the amount of disposable income per paycheck is reducing each year due to over spending.
Jonathan Pocius [jonp@PAYROLLSERVICESLLC.COM]

Illustrated Cash Flow For Dummies --- http://www.thetaoofmakingmoney.com/2007/11/05/540.html
Link forwarded by Jim Mahar


Question
How can you socially communicate with a Twitter?

Users of Twitter, a new social-networking tool, use the Web, mobile phones, and instant-messaging software to send and receive short, 140-character messages that answer the prompt, "What are you doing?" Launched in March, Twitter already has 500,000 users. Twitter encourages a new kind of social behavior that experts are calling presence--a shorthand for the idea that by using such tools, we can enjoy an intimate, "always on" virtual presence with our colleagues and friends.
Jason Pontin, MIT's Technology Review, November 15, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/19713/?nlid=668&a=f

You can read more about the free Twitter at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter


Congratulations to Robert Strong

For years, before I retired in 2006, I used Robert Strong's textbook in my Accounting Theory Course --- ACCT 5341
Derivatives: An Introduction by Robert A. Strong (Thomson South-Western)
This is not an accounting textbook and has virtually nothing to say about accounting. But the most concise and well written introductory text on derivative financial instruments (options, futures, forwards, and swaps) that I've ever seen. Before delving into the complexities of Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments (FAS 133 and IAS 39), I found this to be essential to understanding complex derivative contracts that had to be booked since Year 2000.

You might find my Excel Workbook illustrations inspired by Strong helpful in this regard. I introduce my traveling dog and pony show on accounting for derivatives with the Graphing.xls file at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/Calgary/CD/

Carnegie Foundation Names UMaine's Strong 2007 Maine Professor of the Year --- http://www.umaine.edu/news/article.asp?id_no=1940

November 16, 2007 Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

ORONO -- Robert A. Strong, a University of Maine professor of finance, has been selected as the 2007 Maine Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE.)

Established in 1981, the Professor of the Year award is the only national program that recognizes undergraduate professors for outstanding commitment to their students, educational institutions, profession and communities.

"Obviously I am very pleased with this honor," says Strong, "but there is a certain amount luck involved, after all, considering that there are so many other people out there qualified to win it."

Maybe so. But for Matthew Rossignol's money, none of them could be more deserving than his former business professor and mentor.

"There is no one, in my opinion, more worthy of this honor than Dr. Strong," says Rossignol, who received his undergraduate degree in business administration in May 2007 and now works for State Street Global Markets in Boston. "His commitment to excellence in teaching, on a personal level, has inspired me to achieve a career in finance that I would not have been been able to do otherwise."

Strong, winner of the 2005 Distinguished Maine Professor Award, earned an engineering degree at the United States Miltary Academy at West Point, a master's in business administration from Boston University and a Ph.D in finance from Penn State. Now in his 24th year at UMaine, the highly regarded finance professor is convinced that campus life trumps the private sector as an outlet for his abundant energy and passion.

"Everything's a tradeoff," says Strong, an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys sea-kayaking and fly-fishing, "but I've found that academics is the best job in the world for me. I like teaching very much, I like writing textbooks and I also enjoy the public service part."

Strong's scholarly output is voluminous and far-reaching. He has written more than 75 articles for business journals, many of them about his teaching methods, and books on a variety of financial topics. His three textbooks are used in more than 100 universities around the world.

Over the years, he has generously shared his considerable financial and investment prowess with many private an not-for-profit boards in the region, and is in demand as an expert witness and consultant.

"Bob's strong leadership in the business community and service in the nonprofit world complement his significant contributions to academic teaching and research," says Jim Conlon, president and CEO of Bangor Savings Bank, which has benefitted from Strong's involvement there as trustee, foundation director and advisor. "His expertise, dedication and ethics make him a professional colleague and decision maker of absolute first rank."

The license plate on Strong's car reads BUA 353 – a cryptic message to most people roaming the UMaine campus, perhaps, but instantly recognizable to students of the Maine Business School. The plate refers to Strong's undergraduate investment strategy course, the biggest class he teaches and one of the most thought-provoking.

"It's a class that sparks their interest," says Strong, who is the University of Maine Foundation Professor of Investment Education. "People are naturally interested in the topic, because everyone is going to wind up investing money in their lives, whether it's a 401K at work or whatever. The class really gives them ideas."

In 1993, Strong, working with the University of Maine Foundation, started a club that has allowed 30 to 40 students a year to put some of those ideas to the test by acting as real-money portolio managers for UMaine Foundation funds. The Student Portfolio Investment Fund, or SPIFFY, has since increased its original $200,000 allotment to more than $1.2 million today.

Because of its success, SPIFFY has become an ideal adjunct to Strong's investment class and an ambitious, student-driven model for other universities. A contingent of SPIFFY students also travels to New York City each year, where they mingle with Wall Street investment pros and witness firsthand the frenzy and clamor of the stock exchange at work.

Rossignol, SPIFFY president in his senior year, calls his investment club involvement "the most positive and worthwhile experiences of my UMaine career."

"The opportunities Bob makes for his students are invaluable," says Todd Saucier, president and executive director of the UMaine Alumni Association. "He provides a solid basis for their growth and is continuously cultivating their minds and whetting their appetites about the world of finance."

Jensen Comment
I was on the faculty at the University of Maine for ten years (1968-1978), but I never had the pleasure of meeting Professor Strong who arrived in Orono much later.


Question
What new lecture video search engine did MIT students develop?

"Skipping the Boring Parts of Faculty Lectures," by Josh Fischman, The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 16, 2007 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/2553/skipping-the-boring-parts-of-faculty-lectures

The 1-hour-and-13-minute lecture on “The Birth and Death of Stars” by the MIT physics professor Walter H.G. Lewin is probably really good. But suppose you’re cramming for an exam, and you just want to review the part where he talks about white dwarfs (a type of star)?

MIT students are in luck. Lewin’s lecture not only has been recorded, but MIT has come up with a search engine that scans lectures for key words (like white dwarf) and lets students play just that part of the lecture back. Lewin mentions white dwarfs, for example, at the 9-minute-and-20-second mark.

The search engine, a prototype, was developed at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. The system can now search 200 recorded MIT lectures, in video and audio, and the technology could be adopted at other universities.

The search engine is based on speech-recognition software that, MIT researchers say, gets four out of five words in a lecture correct.


Question
Is email dying after such a short life?

Those of us older than 25 can't imagine a life without e-mail. For the Facebook generation, it's hard to imagine a life of only e-mail, much less a life before it. I can still remember the proud moment in 1996 when I sent my first e-mail from the college computer lab. It felt like sending a postcard from the future. I was getting a glimpse of how the Internet would change everything—nothing could be faster and easier than e-mail.Ten years later, e-mail is looking obsolete. According to a 2005 Pew study, almost half of Web-using teenagers prefer to chat with friends via instant messaging rather than e-mail. Last year, comScore reported that teen e-mail use was down 8 percent, compared with a 6 percent increase in e-mailing for users of all ages. As mobile phones and sites like Twitter and Facebook have become more popular, those old Yahoo! and Hotmail accounts increasingly lie dormant.
Chad Laurenz, "The Death of E-Mail," Slate, November 15, 2007 --- http://www.slate.com/id/2177969/fr/flyout
Jensen Comment
Chats lack the storage tank capabilities and the asynchronous conveniences of email. I think there will always be email.

Preserving One Web
The W3C hopes that its new tool will help developers build websites that will work well on any device, be it a phone or a video-game console . . . The overarching goal of the initiative, according to Berners-Lee, is to keep content available regardless of the devices available to a person. "I like being able to choose my hardware separately from choosing my software, and separately from choosing my content," Berners-Lee said at the conference. There needs to be just one Web, he explained, and it needs to work on phones.
Erica Naone, MIT's Technology Review, November 16, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/19722/?nlid=671&a=f 
 


Question
Is Second Life catching on in academe?

November 15, 2007 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

I attended a session on Second Life today. My university has purchased an island and has erected a few buildings along with a huge sand box. Along with other Web 2.0 technologies, faculty are told that second life has many educational possibilities?

Does it open up anything for accounting? Does anyone currently use it? How should it be used?

Dave Albrecht
Bowling Green State University

November 15, 2007 from Bob Jensen

Hi David,

Steve Hornik at the University of Central Florida uses Second Life for accounting courses. He also has a YouTube video about his applications.

Go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#SecondLife 

His last email indicates that he's perhaps become a bit discouraged with it, although I don't want to put words in his mouth. You should contact him directly.

Bob Jensen

November 15, 2007 reply from Steven Hornik [shornik@BUS.UCF.EDU]

Dave,

First to Dave and anyone intersted, I'd be happy to show you around my area in Second Life, just let me know a good time and send me an e-mail or IM me in-world, I'm Robins Hermano.

I've used Second Life this semester, and as Bob mentioned to somewhat good results.  I should say that my expectations were way to high and for the high-end technology that is SL I actually am quite pleased and will be looking at some data once the semester ends.  My biggest disappointment came from students who didn't want to try it or thought it was too difficult to learn.  I think this mostly comes from the poor, very poor orientation that SL provides.  However, since the semester started there have been at least two independent orientations that have opened up which are quite good - One via the New Media Consortium, and the other is called Orientation Station. 

I teach financial accounting to undergrads (the debits/credits course) to mostly non-majors.  So my primary reason for using SL was to create an engaging environment for the students to overcome the non-engaging nature of accounting (to many).  I also used SL to create models that would allow my students to view (in 3-D) concepts that they consistently have trouble with - debits and credits do not mean positive and negative.  Being able to view the accounting equation and 'play' with it helps (or should help) reinforce how the model works and how various business transactions effect it.

I think there are quite many other things that can be modeled and I'll be working on them during the semester break to roll out this Spring.  Primarily how the temporary close, students just don't get what Retained Earnings is and how it ties the two Financial statements together.

From just a pedagogical point of view, SL inherently fosters collaboration.  Having students learn together to build things, interact with merchants, other accounting students, state CPA socities, the AICPA can only be a plus.  As an online learning platform it's still in its infancy, but has huge potential because of the presence it invokes.  Below is a small bit of a session I had with one of my students when we met in SL (she works, has a baby, and couldn't get to my office hours) to go over some concepts before an exam, when I asked her if she thought using SL has been valuable....

[20:47]  You: Quick question, compared to using meebo (if you have) how does doing this in SL help?
[20:47]  You: Now a days it is
[20:48]  Krisira Vollmar: oh well talking here makes me aware that i'm having an actual conversation
[20:48]  Krisira Vollmar: not to mention i really can't do anything else online so i have to concentrate on what is being said
[20:48]  Krisira Vollmar: which is VERY good in my case
[20:48]  Krisira Vollmar: i can't help but multi task online
[20:48]  You: That's one good thing about SL hogging up the computer, lol
[20:49]  Krisira Vollmar: and its just more interesting than typing in a white box
[20:49]  Krisira Vollmar: nice shirt btw

Bob Jensen's threads on Second Life are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#SecondLife 


Wal-Mart Significantly Increases Health Care Benefits to More Employees and Employees Previously Covered

"After Much Criticism, Wal-Mart Less Stingy on Health Care," SmartPros, November 15, 2007 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x59815.xml

Across the United States, politicians and labor groups derided the company's health plans for their high expense and bare-bones coverage.

Two states, California and Maryland, even passed laws demanding, in effect, that the company spend more on employee health benefits.

"We want this giant to behave itself," one Maryland legislator, Anne Healey, said at the time.

The giant, it turns out, was listening. All the criticism was hurting its reputation and its ability to expand. So now, after spending two years seeking advice from everyone from Bill Clinton to executives at Starbucks, Wal-Mart is overhauling its health plans.

. . .

In one sign of its success so far, the company has pushed down the price of 2,400 generic prescription drugs to $4 a month for employees, starting next year, a program that it offers, in more limited form, to its customers.

Now, the chain is even considering weight-loss clinics in its 4,000 stores and is toying with the idea of selling health insurance, hoping to finally bring coverage within reach of most Americans.

The company's turnabout demonstrates the power of public pressure to change even the biggest corporations like Wal-Mart, which has based its business strategy on low costs at all costs.

Continued in article


IBM's Innov8 Learning Game

November 14, 2007 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

Interesting article that starts:

Brandeis IBS Gets Serious About Games 11/12/2007

By David Kopf IBM is working with Brandeis International Business School (IBS) to test "serious games," video games designed to help students build combined business and IT skills often required in today's work environments.

The video and computer games are gaining traction in the enterprise and educational arenas as a means to teach new skills to a generation of young adults raised on video games. According to marketing consultancy The Apply Group, between 100 and 135 of the Global Fortune 500 will use gaming for instructional applications by 2012.

Brandeis will pilot a new serious game from IBM called Innov8, which is geared to teach young MBA and IT students and professionals how to compete in business, bridge gaps between business and IT teams. The interactive, 3-D game has the look and feel of a video game, but corresponds with non game events such as business operations.

The school will test Innov8 in its "Technology Strategy" course, which covers strategies for creating technology-based businesses. Students will use Innov8 to understand business processes in technology firms and how to manage knowledge across complex, global companies.

"Developing a blend of IT and business skills is critical for our students as they assume leadership roles at companies and institutions around the world," said Bruce Magid, dean of Brandeis IBS, in a prepared statement.

Continued at: http://www.campustechnology.com/articles/52805 

David Albrecht
Bowling Green

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


Adult Learners Find Some College Web Sites Wanting
Before they choose to enroll in continuing-education courses, adult learners spend plenty of time perusing college Web sites, looking for the right fit. But those prospective students don’t always like what they see, says a report from Eduventures. The college consulting firm surveyed more than 500 adults who were considering taking classes. Most said the sites they visited were at least somewhat helpful, but many said the college sites were difficult to search or skimpy on useful content. For example, more than nine out of 10 prospective students visited continuing-education Web sites to figure out how much courses will cost, the study found. But only 59 percent said the sites spelled out pricing plans clearly and comprehensively. Colleges that do make that information easily accessible, it would seem, are getting a leg up on their competition.
Brock Read, The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 14, 2007 --- Click Here

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


Something nasty is buried in the The College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007
 . . . college students accounted for less than 4 percent of the more than 8,400 John Doe lawsuits for illegal P2P downloading filed by the RIAA in 2004-25. Data from my annual Campus Computing Survey confirm that the vast majority of colleges and universities have campus policies to address illegal P2P and to inform students about appropriate use issues related to their access to and activities on campus networks. Moreover, colleges and universities are far more conscientious and concerned about illegal P2P activity than are the consumer broadband providers such as AT&T, Comcast, Earthlink, and TimeWarner, that, at times, implicitly promote P2P downloading as a reason to upgrade to higher speed consumer broadband services. The latest episode in the MPAA/RIAA swiftboat campaign on P2P unfolded on November 9, via the long awaited legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act of 1965. Buried in the legislation, now called  “The College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007,” are Congressional mandates on illegal P2P activity that take dead aim at colleges and universities.
Kenneth C. Green, "Swiftboating Higher Education on P2P," Inside Higher Ed, November 15, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/11/15/green 


Gadgets to Spur Energy Conservation
When the box turns red, it's time to turn off the air conditioner and save electricity. Can glorified glow lamps stop blackouts and slash energy costs? Manhattan-based ConsumerPowerline thinks so. This winter, about a thousand participants in the company's energy-conservation program will receive small plug-in boxes that glow red when power demand peaks, urging them to turn off space heaters, defer dishwasher runs, or otherwise save electricity.Energy suppliers respond to spikes in demand by gearing up extra production capacity. That can be so expensive that many utilities are willing to pay to promote conservation during periods of peak use. ConsumerPowerline pays apartment complexes, companies, and institutions to conserve on cue, then resells the resulting "negawatts"--reduction in demand--to utilities in New York, Massachusetts, and California.
Peter Fairley, MIT's Technology Review, November 14, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/19700/?nlid=665 


Stopping Cars with Radiation
A beam of microwave energy could stop vehicles in their tracks. Researchers at Eureka Aerospace are turning a fictional concept from the movie 2 Fast 2 Furious into reality: they're creating an electromagnetic system that can quickly bring a vehicle to a stop. The system, which can be attached to an automobile or aircraft carrier, sends out pulses of microwave radiation to disable the microprocessors that control the central engine functions in a car. Such a device could be used by law enforcement to stop fleeing and noncooperative vehicles at security checkpoints, or as perimeter protection for military bases, communication centers, and oil platforms in the open seas.
MIT's Technology Review, November 13, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/19699/?nlid=662&a=f 
Jensen Comment
Hmmmm! Could this also stop military aircraft in mid-flight?


"Here's a Mac FAQ If You're Looking To Buy a Computer," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2007; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119508572403993424.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace 

When I write my computer buyers' guides, I typically focus on Windows computers, not the Apple Macintosh. That's because I assumed that buying a Mac required little guidance: It's sold by only one company and comes in only a few models.

But in recent weeks, I've been bombarded by reader emails asking for Mac-buying advice. So, here's a quick guide -- a sort of Mac FAQ -- to shopping for a Macintosh. As with my Windows guides, this is aimed at average, mainstream users doing typical tasks, not techies or businesses or hobbyists

Q. Who should consider a Mac?

A. Pretty much every average consumer using a computer should at least look at the Mac. It combines gorgeous hardware with an operating system I consider superior to Windows, with better built-in software. It can even run Windows programs if you buy and install a copy of Windows. And unless you do that, you won't be vulnerable to the vast array of viruses and spyware that threaten Windows users. Only a handful, so far, have been written to run on the Mac operating system, OS X.

Q. Who shouldn't consider the Mac?

A. People who spend much of their time playing cutting-edge games should stick to Windows computers, because there are far fewer games written for OS X. Apple doesn't offer hardware tuned for serious gaming. People looking for the lowest-price PCs should also avoid the Mac, because Apple's cheapest model, the Mac Mini, costs $599.

Another group that should shun Apple's computers are people who depend for support on corporate IT departments that are either ignorant about, or hostile to, the Mac. Finally, if you know and like Windows, and expect mainly to use Windows programs, stick with a Windows PC.

Q. Can I run Microsoft Office on a Mac?

A. Yes. Microsoft makes a Mac version of Office, which uses the same file formats that Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Windows have used for years. A new version of Office for the Mac is due in January and it will handle the new file formats Microsoft introduced this year. But the Mac version of Office omits Outlook. It has a similar program called Entourage, but Entourage can't use Outlook data files. If you want a Mac but must have Outlook, you will have to install Windows.

Q. Can I use all my Windows files on a Mac?

A. Out of the box, Macs can handle all the common file types Windows machines create, including text files, pictures, songs and Adobe PDF files. The Mac even comes with a simple word processor that can open Microsoft Word files.

However, some specialized Windows programs create files that the Mac can't handle out of the box. And the Mac version of Quicken has a difficult time properly handling Windows Quicken files. If you are a Quicken fan, install Windows and run the Windows version.

Q. Can I mix Macs and Windows on the same home network?

A. Macs can plug and play with most brand-name wired and wireless routers, and can share Internet connections with Windows PCs.

Q. How are Macs at Web surfing?

A. Fine. Apple's built-in Safari browser is very good and the Mac version of Firefox is essentially identical to the Windows version. However, Macs lack an up-to-date version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, so you will have to install Windows if you need IE.

Q. Can Macs run standard peripheral hardware?

A. Macs can run nearly all keyboards, mice and printers that use USB connections, even ones that don't explicitly say they run on Macs.

Q. What desktops does Apple offer for consumers?

A. Apple's main consumer desktop is the one-piece iMac, which I regard as the best consumer desktop on the market. It comes in four models, with built-in 20-inch or 24-inch, flat-panel screens at starting prices ranging from $1,199 to $2,299.

Q. How about Mac laptops?

A. There are two. The entry-level MacBook has a 13-inch screen and a starting price of $1,099. The high-end MacBook Pro comes with either a 15-inch or 17-inch screen and starts at $1,999. Apple currently doesn't offer a smaller laptop for road warriors, but there are persistent rumors that it will do so soon.

Q. What minimum specs should I look for on a Mac?

A. All Macs come with at least one gigabyte of memory -- twice the minimum required for the new version of OS X, called Leopard. If you can, get two gigabytes. Apple charges a lot for extra memory, but you can buy it for less at stores and online providers.

Macs use the same dual-core Intel processors and graphics systems as many mainstream Windows computers; and, as with Windows, I wouldn't pay extra for greater processor speed.

The iMac comes with at least a 250-gigabyte hard disk, and Mac laptop hard disks start at 80 gigabytes. Mainstream Windows desktops typically start with larger hard disks. But Apple offers much larger disks as options, which you should consider if you store a lot of photos, music and video files.

 


Question
Is the disparity between liberals versus conservatives in academe due, in part, to self selection by undergraduates to pursue doctoral degrees?
Is the shortage of doctoral graduates in some professions (e.g., accounting and finance) due in part to tendencies of graduates in these professions to not seek out academic careers?

"The Conservative Pipeline Problem," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, November 16, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/11/16/conservative

Colleges have been increasingly competing to offer “family friendly” policies — in the hopes of attracting the best academic talent from a pool of Ph.D.’s that includes both more women than ever before as well as many men who take parenting responsibilities seriously. A new study suggests that such policies may be important for another group that believes its needs aren’t fully addressed in academe: conservatives.

...

The authors of the study do not dispute that conservatives are a distinct minority in academe and that the imbalance is problematic. They also hold open the possibility — much proclaimed by other authors at the conference of the American Enterprise Institute where all of the work was presented — that there may be bias against conservatives (although they question whether this has been proven). But the authors of the work on the pipeline say there is considerable evidence that could show conservative self-selection out of academic careers.

...

The husband-and-wife social science team based their findings on analysis they did from national surveys of freshmen and seniors conducted by the University of California at Los Angeles’s Higher Education Research Institute. They found that in both choices of majors and in personal values, conservatives seem to be taking themselves off the track for academic careers well before graduate school. The authors did not find evidence of statistically significant differences in grades or measures of academic performance, so most of the report is based on the premise that interests and experiences are at play, not aptitude.

For starters, the paper finds that conservatives are much more likely to pick majors in professional fields — areas that tend to put students on the fast track for an M.B.A. (or for a job) more than a Ph.D. Only 9 percent of students on the far left and 18 percent of liberals major in professional fields, compared to 33 percent of conservatives and 37 percent of those who identify as being on the far right.

Further, the study finds that not only (as has been reported many times previously) do students who identify as liberal outnumber those who identify as conservative, but that those who are liberal are much more likely to consider a Ph.D. The UCLA survey of seniors found that only 13 percent of all students were considering a Ph.D. But the numbers were significantly higher for those on the left (24 percent of the far left and 18 percent of liberals) than on the right (11 percent of the far right and 9 percent of conservatives).

The study also finds significant differences among colleges seniors in values that they care about — including values that might make someone more or less likely to enter a Ph.D. program. For instance, in a values study, the seniors were asked to rank certain experiences on a four-point scale (with 1 as not important, 2 as somewhat important, 3 as very important, and 4 as essential). The results show a divide.

Student Values and Ideology

  Raising a Family Being Well Off Financially Writing Original Works Developing Meaningful Philosophy of Life
Far left 2.58 2.05 2.19 3.03
Liberal 2.98 2.50 1.81 2.75
Moderate 3.22 2.73 1.60 2.51
Conservative 3.40 2.55 1.53 2.55
Far right 3.39 2.79 1.63 2.53

It’s not that conservatives don’t care about philosophy or that liberals don’t like kids, the paper suggests, but different underlying values that may frame decisions.

“Conservatives appear to be very practically oriented,” said Woessner.

Kelly-Woessner said that for many who want to raise a family, academic life may be daunting — what with both graduate school’s relative poverty and the long hours and stress of the tenure track. “The path up to tenure is perceived as very hostile to family,” she said, adding that colleges would do well — for all kinds of reasons — to become more family friendly.

In keeping with the overall paper, Kelly-Woessner suggested that a cumulative effect may be visible in explaining lopsidedly liberal departments. “You are just starting with the choice of majors,” she said, and then go on to what students value at the point of graduation.

In terms of suggestions, the paper argues both for family-friendly policies and for less politics in the classroom, expressing hope that the latter might attract more conservatives to the social sciences and humanities.

But the authors stress that — to the extent liberals and conservatives finishing colleges have different values — imbalances among college faculties may be permanent.

“Ideology represents far more than a collection of abstract political values,” they write. “Liberalism is more closely associated with a desire for excitement, an interest in creative outlets and an aversion to a structured work environment. Conservatives express greater interest in financial success and strong desires to raise families. From this perspective, the ideological imbalance that permeates much of academia may be somewhat intractable.”

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the shortage of accounting doctoral students are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

Bob Jensen's threads on the liberal side of academe are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#PoliticalCorrectness


Education Tutorials

Conversations about Creativity ---  http://www.cecilvortex.com/swath/conversations_about_creativity /

Sociology of Knowledge --- http://www.trinity.edu/~mkearl/knowledg.html

Some sites to stimulate the sociological imagination --- http://www.trinity.edu/~mkearl/theory.html#imag

Over 30,000 Free Academic Literature and Multimedia Items from EServer (including some "Bad Subjects") --- http://eserver.org 

 


Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Stanford Institute for Higher Education --- http://siher.stanford.edu/

The Center for International Earth Science Information Network --- http://www.ciesin.columbia.edu/ 

40 + Years of Earth Science: The Landsat Program http://www.earth.nasa.gov/history/landsat/landsat.html

Interactives: Dynamic Earth ---  http://www.learner.org/interactives/dynamicearth/ 

Utah Geological Survey: Teaching Geology Resources --- http://geology.utah.gov/teacher/index.htm 

USGS Learning Age: Geologic Age (teaching materials) ---  http://interactive2.usgs.gov/learningweb/teachers/geoage.htm

The University of Texas School of Nursing: Center For Teaching Excellence (included brown bag seminars)  http://son.uth.tmc.edu/centers/cte/default.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science


Social Science and Economics Tutorials

Blueprint for American Prosperity --- http://www.brookings.edu/projects/blueprint.aspx

Economics Lesson Plans --- http://www.mcrel.org/lesson-plans/economics/index.asp

CyberEconomics Tutorials --- http://ingrimayne.com/econ/index.htm

A Case Study: Gross Domestic Product --- http://www.econedlink.org/lessons/index.cfm?lesson=EM225&page=teacher

       Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_Domestic_Product

The World Bank, Mapped --- http://geo.worldbank.org/

Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social


Math Tutorials

History in College Algebra --- http://mathdl.maa.org/convergence/1/convergence/1/?pa=content&sa=viewDocument&nodeId=1629 

Algebasics --- http://www.algebasics.com/

xyAlgebra --- http://www.xyalgebra.org/

Tools for Understanding (Math) ---  http://www2.ups.edu/community/tofu/home.htm

Free from Temple University
COW:  Calculus on the Web (plus linear algebra) --- http://www.math.temple.edu/%7Ecow/

Free Science and Math Tutorials called "Interactive Lessons" from the Shodor Education Foundation
(With funding from the National Science Foundation) --- http://www.shodor.org/interactivate/lessons/

Historical Activities for the Calculus Classroom --- http://mathdl.maa.org/convergence/1/?pa=content&sa=viewDocument&nodeId=1581

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

Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics


History Tutorials

Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#History
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm  


Language Tutorials

Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Languages


Writing Tutorials

A Harvard economics professor (Greg Mankiw) provides tips on how to write better ---
http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2006/10/how-to-write-well.html

Resources for Writers: George Mason University ---
http://writingcenter.gmu.edu/resources/index.html

Writing Center Resources from Princeton University --- 
http://webware.princeton.edu/sites/writing/Writing_Center/WCWritingResources.htm

Writing Center Resources from Purdue University  ---
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/

Kansas University Writing Center --- http://www.writing.ku.edu/

Fifty tools to help your write better --- http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/fifty-50-tools-which-can-help-you-in-writing.html

Can I Have A Word? [Helpers for Writers and Poets] --- http://www.barbican.org.uk/canihaveaword/

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries


History on the Year You Were Born --- http://www.infoplease.com/yearbyyear.html


Professors of the Year
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced today winners of their annual U.S. Professors of the Year award, given to instructors who show dedication to undergraduate teaching and mentoring.
Elia Powers, Inside Higher Ed, November 15, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/11/15/topprofs
Jensen Comment
Although "professors of the year" are chosen by peers are often teach popular courses, there are possibly more popular courses that are taught by instructors who will never win awards given by peers.

It is somewhat revealing (a little about the professor and a lot about the RateMyProfessor site) to read the student comments on RateMyProfessor. The "hottest" professors at RateMyProfessor generally have many more evaluations submitted than the four Professors of the Year" listed below. You can find a listing of the "hottest" professors (Top 50) at http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/top50Profs.jsp?from=1&to=25&tab=hottest_top50

You can read more about RateMyProfessor at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#GradeInflation 
 


For Trivia Buffs and Serious Researchers
Thousands of College Instructors Ranked on Just About Everything

November 13, 2007 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

There is a popular teacher in my department. When this fellow teaches a section of a multi-section course, his section fills immediately and there is a waiting list. My department does not like an imbalance in class size, so they monitor enrollment in his section. No one is permitted to add his section until all other sections have at least one more students than his.

I'm concerned about student choice, about giving them a fair chance to get into his section instead of the current random timing of a spot opening up in his section.

Does anyone else have this situation at your school? How do you manage student sign-ups for a popular teacher? Any practical suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

David Albrecht
Bowling Green

November 14, 2007 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi David,

I think the first thing to study is what makes an instructor so popular. There can be good reasons (tremendous preparation, inspirational, caring, knowing each student) and bad reasons (easy grader, no need to attend class), and questionable without ipso facto being good or bad (entertaining, humorous).

The RateMyProfessor site now has some information on most college instructors in a number of nations --- http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/index.jsp  The overwhelming factor leading to popularity is grading since the number one concern in college revealed by students is grading. Of course there are many problems in this database and many instructors and administrators refuse to even look at these RateMyProfessor archives. Firstly, student reporting is self selective. The majority of students in any class do not submit evaluations. A fringe element (often outliers for and against) tends to provide most of the information. Since colleges do know the class sizes, it is possible to get an idea about "sample" size, although these are definitely not a random samples. It's a little like book and product reviews in Amazon.com.

There are both instructors who are not rated at all on RateMyProfessor and others who are too thinly rated (e.g., less than ten evaluations) to have their evaluations taken seriously. For example, one of my favorite enthusiastic teachers is the award-winning Amy Dunbar who teaches tax at the University of Connecticut. Currently there are 82 instructors in the RateMyProfessor archives who are named Dunbar. But not a single student evaluation has apparently been sent in by the fortunate students of Amy Dunbar. Another one of my favorites is Dennis Beresford at the University of Georgia. But he only has one (highly favorable) evaluation in the archives. I suspect that there's an added reporting bias. Both Amy and Denny mostly teach graduate students. I suspect that graduate students are less inclined to fool with RateMyProfessor.

Having said this, there can be revealing information about teaching style, grading, exam difficulties, and other things factoring into good and bad teaching. Probably the most popular thing I've noted is that the top-rated professors usually get responses about making the class "easy." Now that can be taken two ways. It's a good thing to make difficult material seem more easy but still grade on the basis of mastering the difficult material. It is quite another thing to leave out the hard parts so students really do not master the difficult parts of the course.

If nothing else, RateMyProfessor says a whole lot about the students we teach. The first thing to note is how these college-level students often spell worse than the high school drop outs. In English classes such bad grammar may be intentional, but I've read enough term papers over the years to know that dependence upon spell checkers in word processors has made students worse in spelling on messages that they do not have the computer check for spelling. They're definitely Fonex spellers.

Many students, certainly not all, tend to prefer easy graders. For example, currently the instructor ranked Number 1 in the United States by RateMyProfessor appears to be an easy grader, although comments by only a few individual students should be taken with a grain of salt. Here's Page One (five out of 92 evaluations) of 19 pages of summary evaluations at http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=23294

11/13/07 HIST101 5 5 5 5   easiest teacher EVER
11/12/07 abcdACCT 1 1 1 1   good professor
11/11/07 HistGacct 3 2 4 1   Good teacher. Was enjoyable to heat teach. Reccomend class. Made my softmore year.
11/10/07 HISTACCT 5 5 5 5   Very genious.
11/8/07 histSECT 3 5 4 4   amazing. by far the greatest teacher. I had him for Culture and the Holocust with Schiffman and Scott. He is a genius. love him.

Does it really improve ratings to not make students have presentations? Although making a course easy is popular, is it a good thing to do? Here are the Page 3 (five out of 55 evaluations) ratings of the instructor ranked Number 2 in the United States:

12/21/05 Spanish 10
2
3 5 5 5   One of the best professors that I have ever had. Homework is taken up on a daily base but, grading is not harsh. No presentations.
11/2/05 SPA 102 4 5 5 3   Wow, a great teacher. Totally does not call people out and make them feel stupid in class, like a lot of spanish teachers. The homework is super easy quiz grades that can be returned with corrections for extra points. You have to take her for Spa 102!!!! You actually learn in this class but is fun too!
10/27/05 Span 102 4 5 5 5   I love Senora Hanahan. She is one of the best teachers I ever had. She is very clear and she is super nice. She will go out of her way just to make sure that you understand. I Love Her! I advise everyone to take her if you have a choice. She is great!!
9/14/05 SPA 201 4 5 5 5   I am absolutly not suprised that Senora Hanahan has smiley faces on every rating. She is awesme and fun.
8/25/05 SPA 102 4 5 5 5 envelope I LOVE her! Absolutely wonderful! Goes far out of her way to help you and remembers your needs always. She will call you at home if you tell her you need help, and she will do everything possible to keep you on track . I have no IDEA how she does it! She really wants you to learn the language. She's pretty and fun and absolutely wonderful!

 

Students, however, are somewhat inconsistent about grading and exam difficulties. For example, read the summary outcomes for the instructor currently ranked as Number 8 in the United States --- http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=182825
Note this is only one page out of ten pages of comments:

10/31/07 hpd110 5 3 2 4   she is pushing religion on us too much... she should be more open minded. c-lots is always forcing her faith based lessons down our throats. she makes me wanna puke.
10/14/07 PysEd100 1 1 1 1   She is no good in my opinion.
5/22/07 HPD110 5 5 5 5   Dr. Lottes is amazing! it is almost impossible to get lower than an A in her class as long as you show up. her lectures are very interesting and sometimes it's almost like going to therapy. the tests and activities are easy and during the test there are group sections so it'll help your test grades. she is very outgoing and fun! so take her!
12/7/06 HDP070 2 5 5 2   Grades the class really hard, don't take if you are not already physically fit. Otherwise, she's an amazing teacher. You can tell she really cares about her students.

Read the rest of the comments at http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=182825

 

It's possible to look up individual colleges and I looked up Bowling Green State University which is your current home base David. There are currently 1,322 instructors rated at Bowling Green. I then searched by the Department of Accounting. There are currently ten instructors rated. The highest rated professor (in terms of average evaluations) has the following Page One evaluations:

4/9/07 mis200 4 5 5 1 i admit, i don't like the class (mis200) since i think it has nothing to do with my major. but mr. rohrs isn't that hard, and makes the class alright.
4/5/07 mis200 3 4 4 1 Other prof's assign less work for this class, but his assignments aren't difficult. Really nice guy, helpful if you ask, pretty picky though.
4/4/07 Acct102 2 5 5 2 Easy to understand, midwestern guy. Doesn't talk over your head.
12/14/06 mis200 4 5 5 2 Kind of a lot of work but if you do good on it you will def do good...real cool guy
12/10/06 BA150 4 5 5 4 Mr. Rohrs made BA 150 actually somewhat enjoyable. He is very helpful and makes class as interesting as possible. He is also very fair with grading. Highly Recommend.

 

Your evaluations make me want to take your classes David. However, only 36 students have submitted evaluations. My guess is that over the same years you've taught hundreds of students. But my guess is that we can extrapolate that you make dull old accounting interesting and entertaining to students.

In answer to your question about dealing with student assignments to multiple sections I have no answers. Many universities cycle the pre-registration according to accumulated credits earned.. Hence seniors sign up first and first year students get the leftovers. Standby signups are handled according to timing much like airlines dole out standby tickets.

It is probably a bad idea to let instructors themselves add students to the course. Popular teachers may be deluged with students seeking favors, and some instructors do not know how to say no even though they may be hurting other students by admitting too many students. Fortunately, classes are generally limited by the number of seats available. Distance education courses do not have that excuse for limiting class size.

 

PS
For research and sometimes entertainment, it's interesting to read the instructor feedback comments concerning their own evaluations of RateMyProfessor --- http://www.mtvu.com/professors_strike_back/

You can also enter the word "humor" into the top search box and investigate the broad range of humor and humorous styles of instructors.

Bob Jensen

Also see the following:

Question
What topic dominates instructor evaluations on RateMyProfessors.com (or RATE for short)?
"RateMyProfessors — or His Shoes Are Dirty," by Terry Caesar, Inside Higher Ed, July 28, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/07/28/caesar

Bob Jensen's threads on the dysfunctional aspects of teacher evaluations on grade inflation --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#GradeInflation


Insider Trading at Bear Stearns
A former broker at Bear Stearns, Ken Okada, is expected to plead guilty in a wide-ranging insider-trading case, becoming the ninth person to admit wrongdoing in a scheme that also involved employees at UBS and Morgan Stanley. An assistant United States attorney, Andrew Fish, revealed the expectation in a letter to a federal judge presiding over a related case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The letter was entered into court records yesterday. Mr. Okada is one of 13 people charged by federal prosecutors in Manhattan in March.
The New York Times, November 15, 2007 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/15/business/15insider.html?ref=business

Bob Jensen's "Rotten to the Core" threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm


Kickbacks at Chevron
Chevron has agreed to pay $30 million to settle charges that it had made illegal kickbacks to Iraq for oil purchased in 2001 and 2002 under the United Nations’ oil-for-food program. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday that Chevron had agreed to the settlement under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act without admitting or denying the charges. But the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York said Chevron could still be prosecuted for criminal tax violations.
The New York Times, November 15, 2007 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/15/business/worldbusiness/15chevron.html?ref=business

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


Bob Jensen's reply (November 16, 2007) to a CPA from Pennsylvania who inquired about online MBA programs

Many online MBA programs are linked at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm#Education
Obviously, some are more prestigious/reputable than others.

Your alma mater (Penn State) has very reputable business and accounting studies, including a fully-online MBA program --- http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/iMBA.shtml?cid=0406_GOOJS437_0606
This program is designed for applicants with business experience, but it appears you should qualify on this criterion since you are a CPA and are professionally employed in the real world.

Penn State’s online MBA program consists of 20 courses plus a two-week residency requirement. Given the scheduling constraints, it will probably take two years of part-time (but intensive) study. The online curriculum is at http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/iMBA_curriculum.shtml 

Online masters of accounting and taxation programs are linked at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm#MastersOfAccounting
However, I can’t see the cost benefit of these programs given that you are already a CPA. An exception might be made if you had a problem with reciprocity when relocating into a 150-credit licensing state.

You might also consider getting a doctorial degree in accounting or finance. However, I don’t think there are any respectable doctoral programs in these areas that do not require 2-3 years of full-time residency. However, these programs are generally free plus they provide added living allowances. Most require the equivalency of four-years of full-time study, part of which might be online and part of which includes the thesis year that probably does not require residency. There are other factors to consider --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms 

The good news is that there is a dire shortage of accounting and finance doctoral students. Most graduates currently expect to earn over $150,000 starting salaries (including summers).

Bob Jensen


Forwarded by a good neighbor

"Private School, Public Fuss," by Alan Salkin, The New York Times, November 18, 2007 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/fashion/18mann.html?ex=1196053200&en=bfe058c6d1632d7a&ei=5070&emc=eta1

Andrew Trees had been informed that his contract at the Horace Mann School, one of the nation’s most academically respected high schools, would not be renewed, and this May he was in his final days. A history teacher who had taught at the private school for six years, Mr. Trees had written a satirical novel, “Academy X,” about an elite school where students and parents resort to bribery and blackmail to ensure Ivy League college admission.

Like Robin Williams’s character in “Dead Poets Society,” Mr. Trees was admired by some of his students despite the school administration’s disapproval, and a week before the end of classes they were showing it.

In the movie, the students at a conservative boarding school stand on desks, saluting their departing teacher by quoting the Walt Whitman poetry he’d taught them, providing a sense of hope that their spirits would not be broken. In real life, a former student of Mr. Trees who had moved on to another history class, this one studying civil disobedience, rallied his classmates to march toward Mr. Trees’s classroom. Along the way, they picked up another class of students, studying the rise of Bolshevism.

More than 30-strong, they walked into Mr. Trees’s class, overlooking the school’s central lawn, and, along with his current students, began offering testimonials.

“Dr. Trees is the best teacher I ever had,” said one, according to Danielle McGuire, the teacher of the class studying civil disobedience. It is the practice at Horace Mann for students to address their teachers with Ph.D.s by the title “Doctor.”

The march was a rare flicker of disobedience at one of New York City’s most prestigious schools, but the departure of Mr. Trees has continued to roil the Riverdale campus. In the last year, the controversy has led to the censorship of the school newspaper, the resignations of all the members of a teachers’ grievance committee and, this month, a breach-of-contract and defamation lawsuit against the school filed by Mr. Trees.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on freedom of speech in academe are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#PoliticalCorrectness


At the End of the First Semester
63% of the full-time students who complete their first semester with a 3.0 or better grade-point average graduate within six years
09% of the full-time students who complete their first semester with less than a 2.0 grade-point average graduate within six years
 

But at a recent meeting about assessment, I learned the following tantalizing datum: Sixty-three percent of our full-time students who complete their first semester with a 3.0 or better grade-point average graduate within six years. When full-time students finish the first semester with a GPA below 2.0, only 9 percent graduate within six years. This sort of tracking, conceived and performed by experts in assessment and statistical analysis, ought to spur professors to think about their mission, about their individual courses, and about their institutions’ political status in a state or system. What are we teaching our students? How can we convey to first-year students the seriousness of creditable habits? How can we discuss seriously with outside stakeholders the challenges posed by teaching adults? . . . Many faculty are suspicious about assessment, whether for ideological reasons or because they perceive it as an unfunded administrative mandate. And faculty hear numbers, especially subpar numbers, as an indictment of their expertise or their empathy for students. I have reacted this way myself. Now, however, I try to remember that numbers are an opening salvo, not the final word: We’ve got a measurement — how do we improve it? That number looks bad — but what are its causes? Is the instrument measuring the right thing? Are we administering it in the best way? Are we making sure there’s a tight fit between assessment measures and intended learning outcomes? Until we begin to think clearly, both within departments and across schools and even across peer institutions — about what our students are up to, our own cultural position will continue to seem in crisis.
Jason B. Jones, "Start With a Number," Inside Higher Ed, November 16, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/11/16/jones 
 

In California Over half the first-year students don't return the second year
A new report from the Public Policy Institute of California criticizes the state’s community colleges for having low graduation and transfer rates. Half of all students in the mammoth system — the largest in American higher education — don’t return for a second year, the report found. The transfer rate for Asian students was double the rate for students from other minority groups.
Inside Higher Ed, November 17, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/17/qt 

Graduation rates at four-year colleges and universities are heavily influenced by the socioeconomic background of students, with rates dropping as the proportion of low-income students enrolled increases, according to a report released Thursday by the National Center for Education Statistics. Women graduate at higher rates than do men, the study found.
Inside Higher Ed, November 17, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/17/qt 

Bob Jensen's threads on dropout rates are at  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#DropoutRates


From the Scout Report on November 15, 2007

Glide 2.0 http://www.transmediacorp.com/glide_os.html 

There are a number of helpful web suites out there, and Glide is certainly one of the better options available to interested parties. This version of Glide includes a word processor, a site builder, and a photo editor. Perhaps the most novel aspect of Glide is that it can effectively synchronize data from any local computer so that it can be accessed from mobile phones or other devices with web access. This version of Glide is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer.


Quicksilver 1.0b53 http://docs.blacktree.com/quicksilver/what_is_quicksilver 

For persons with hundreds of documents or files on their computer, searching around for a little-used (yet important) file can be very time consuming. Quicksilver can help users out with that problem as it creates a catalog of applications and a number of frequently used folders and documents. Each search is adaptive, so Quicksilver will be able to recognize which items a user is looking for based on previous experience. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.3.


As oil prices rise, many grow concerned about the coming months NPR: High Oil Prices Affect Many Products http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16211938 

Is $100 Oil As Lethal As It Looks? http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_47/b4059057.htm 

In Maine, 'a lot of fear out there' as heating oil prices keep rising http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=147368&ac=PHnws 

Over a barrel, cruise lines boost ticket costs http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21755394/ 

USA National Gas Temperatures Map http://www.gasbuddy.com/gb_gastemperaturemap.aspx 

Mud, Sweat and Tears http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/oct/30/energy.oilandpetrol


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


Leading edge devices for detecting tooth decay --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/19729/?nlid=674


Grape powder blocks genes linked to colon cancer
Low doses of freeze-dried grape powder inhibit genes linked to the development of sporadic colorectal cancer, University of California, Irvine cancer researchers found. Grape powder blocks genes linked to colon cancer Medicine & Health / Cancer 21 hours ago | User rating: 4.9 / 5 after 23 vote(s) | No comments yet Low doses of freeze-dried grape powder inhibit genes linked to the development of sporadic colorectal cancer, University of California, Irvine cancer researchers found.
PhysOrg, November 14, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news114277352.html


A novel way found to prevent protein plaques implicated in Alzheimer's
For unknown reasons a protein called amyloid beta aggregates into toxic plaques in the brain, killing neurons. These plaques are one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Now two new animal studies show for the first time that the deadly transformation of amyloid beta into plaques can be prevented through an interaction between amyloid beta and another protein called cystatin C. “We are really excited by these findings because recent studies show that cystatin C is protective against a variety of insults that cause cell death in the brain. Our potential therapeutic approach focuses on keeping amyloid beta in a water soluble form, preventing its accumulation in the brain, and thus slowing, halting, or reversing disease progression,” says Dr. Levy, who is also Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Pathology of Cerebral Amyloidosis at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research in Orangeburg, New York. With support from the Alzheimer’s Association, Dr. Levy’s laboratory has already begun studies to develop a drug that will mimic the ability of cystatin C to bind to a non-pathological form of amyloid beta and thereby prevent its accumulation into plaques in the brain.
PhysOrg, November 18, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news114615116.html


For the First Time a Primate Embryo Has Been Cloned
Scientists have announced another first in cloning: They have cloned a primate embryo. The researchers in Oregon say they used those cloned monkey embryos to derive embryonic stem cells. A few years ago, South Korean scientists said they had done the same thing with human cells, but that turned out to be a fraud. The journal that published this new work took the unusual step of having an independent laboratory verify the results. Researchers hope to one day use such a process in humans to create customized stem-cell therapies for individual patients.
Joe Palca, NPR, November 14, 2007 --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16298417


"The Brain in Chronic Pain:  Sophisticated brain-imaging studies suggest new ways to treat chronic pain," by Emily Singer, PhysOrg, November 15, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/19715/?nlid=668

Anyone who suffers from chronic pain knows that the experience is fundamentally different from enduring a scratch or a broken toe. Growing evidence from brain-imaging studies supports this notion: people with chronic pain show fundamental differences in both the structure and function of their brain. Scientists are now using these findings to develop and test new drugs created specifically for chronic pain.

"It should eventually be possible to identify patterns of brain activity involved in perpetuating chronic pain, and then to introduce interventions that we know from published evidence can block or compete with those patterns," says Richard Chapman, director of the Pain Research Center at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City.

Chronic pain is one of the biggest medical health issues in the Western world; it costs the United States about $150 billion a year. Unlike with acute pain, the causes of chronic pain are often unclear--for example, doctors can identify a physical source in only about 10 percent of those with chronic back pain. A growing number of studies suggest that chronic pain should be viewed as a progressive disease, likely triggered by aberrant but potentially permanent changes in the brain.

The painkillers that help headaches and broken bones do little for chronic pain, leaving a huge need for new treatments. But developing them has been difficult. Perception of pain depends strongly on our level of attention and our emotional state--two factors that are difficult to study in animal models. "We don't have one drug developed from preclinical models of pain that works for chronic pain," says Irene Tracey, a scientist at the University of Oxford, in England, who studies pain.

Now scientists are aiming to develop and test new drugs using human brain imaging. A. Vania Apkarian and his colleagues at Northwestern University have found a series of abnormalities in the brains of chronic pain sufferers: the part of the prefrontal cortex linked to decision making appears to have shrunk in chronic pain patients. And another part of the prefrontal cortex linked to emotion is hyperactive. In fact, a unique study assessing background pain in chronic back-pain patients suggests that the constant pain these people experience is linked to activity almost entirely in emotion-regulating parts of the brain.

Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which measures brain activity, to study background pain. They asked back-pain patients to continually rate their pain while lying in the scanner, and then the researchers compared brain activity patterns during periods of constant pain with those during periods of worsening pain.

While activity patterns during flare-ups resembled those previously linked to acute pain, the pattern associated with constant background pain was distinct: it centered on the medial prefrontal cortex, a brain area involved in emotion and sense of self. "It almost seems like they've turned off the sensory part and are suffering entirely from the emotional aspect," Apkarian says.

Given these findings, the scientists are beginning human tests of a compound called d-cycloserine, an FDA-approved antibiotic that also blocks certain receptors in the brain. (It is currently being tested for treating post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions.) "We think it increases transmission within the prefrontal cortex to better control the emotional component of pain," says Apkarian. "This will be the first hypothesis-driven test for a pain drug driven by human-imaging studies."


"A Wiring Diagram of the Brain:  The emerging field of connectomics could help researchers decode the brain's approach to information processing," by Emily Singer, MIT's Technology Review, November 19, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/19731/?nlid=674

New Technologies that allow scientists to trace the fine wiring of the brain more accurately than ever before could soon generate a complete wiring diagram--including every tiny fiber and miniscule connection--of a piece of brain. Dubbed connectomics, these maps could uncover how neural networks perform their precise functions in the brain, and they could shed light on disorders thought to originate from faulty wiring, such as autism and schizophrenia.

"The brain is essentially a computer that wires itself up during development and can rewire itself," says Sebastian Seung, a computational neuroscientist at MIT. "If we have a wiring diagram of the brain, we might be able to understand how it works." For example, scientists previously identified the part of the songbird's brain that allows the birds to learn songs from their fathers. Seung would ultimately like to develop a wiring diagram of this structure in order to elucidate the features underlying its unique capability.

Only one organism's wiring diagram currently exists: that of the microscopic worm C. elegans. Despite containing a mere 302 neurons, the C. elegans mapping effort took more than a decade to complete, in the 1970s. It has been an invaluable research resource and earned its creators a Nobel Prize.

With an estimated 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses in the human brain, creating an all-encompassing map of even a small chunk is a daunting task. Using standard methods, it would take roughly three billion person years to generate the wiring diagram of a single cortical column, a narrow functional unit of neurons in the cortex, estimates Winfried Denk, a neuroscientist at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany.

Denk, Seung, and their collaborators are now developing sensitive new imaging techniques and machine-learning algorithms to automate the construction process. They have already generated a partial wiring diagram of part of the rabbit retina. But they'll need to make their technique a million times faster to finally bring larger maps--like that of a cortical column--into the realm of reality.

Previous efforts to map the wiring of the brain have focused on larger anatomical features, such as the thick wiring tracts that connect different parts of the brain, or on the paths of single neurons, stained a particular color to distinguish them from their tangled multitude of neighbors. But to truly understand how a network of neurons can perform a particular function, scientists need a new kind of map. "A lot of properties of brain function are at the level of the circuit--information is being integrated, processed, extracted," says Elly Nedivi, a neuroscientist at MIT who is not involved with the research. "To understand what that means, you need to be able to see who connects to who."

Continued in article

 


The University of Texas School of Nursing: Center For Teaching Excellence (included brown bag seminars)  http://son.uth.tmc.edu/centers/cte/default.htm

Medicine in the Americas, 1619-1914 (History) ---  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/americas/americashome.html





 

"Literary Finds:  These works record extraordinary journeys of discovery," by Dava Sobel, The Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2007 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/weekend/fivebest/?id=110010877

1. "The Accidental Indies" by Robert Finley (McGill-Queen's, 2000).

In the just under 100 pages of "The Accidental Indies," Robert Finley uses the tools of poetry to describe Columbus's trip westward--perhaps the most familiar of all journeys of discovery--and thereby cracks open the nature of wanderlust and destiny. Finley's Columbus is a man "immune to distances," who thrives on "that greatest of opiates, the here, here, here in there." The moment the ships set sail, Finley invokes the second person to thrust the reader aboard, to feel "the first gentle lift and fall of the dark hull under your feet. And with it the world falls away from you . . . like a word you have spoken," while "a lightness and a loneliness gather under your heart." All the way across the ocean, the compass rose flowers on the page.

2. "The Path" by Chet Raymo (Walker, 2003).

Chet Raymo turns a mile-long wooded path--from his house to Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., where he is a professor emeritus of physics--into a crucible for all his acquired knowledge of the world. On a wooden bridge over a brook, he stops to consider "the algae scum, the fiddleheads, the ducks, the turtles, the gush of life," but then Raymo, who is also an astronomer, turns his thoughts to a view of the Atlantic from 30,000 feet and an appreciation of Earth as Water Planet. He traces the source of water back to the origin of the universe and ponders the properties of ice and the effect of cloud-cover on global climate. And he praises the world's "quintillions of tons of life-giving water"--some of which he watches "purl in languorous eddies under the plank bridge across Queset Brook."

3. "A Man on the Moon" by Andrew Chaikin (Viking, 1994).

This thrill-a-minute account of NASA's Apollo program speaks to two distinct audiences: those who (like me) avidly followed every launch and vicariously set foot on the moon in 1969, and those who were born too late to do so. The beauty of Andrew Chaikin's approach is his focus on the most important features of each Apollo mission, sparing our having to return repeatedly to the launch pad or wander in a welter of technical details. At the outset, the program's worst accident unfolds in undiminished horror. No, not Apollo 13 ("Houston, we have a problem"), ultimately a triumph, fully captured here, but Apollo 1, in which astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee burned to death while performing a simulated countdown in a test capsule atop an unfueled rocket. Although one of the Apollo veterans recalls the moon as "really a very uninviting place," Chaikin insists that "the significant journey takes place not in their minds, but in ours."

4. "Victorian Lady Travellers" by Dorothy Middleton (Dutton, 1965).

Dorothy Middleton chronicles the days when English women who journeyed abroad by themselves did so in skirts, even while "swarming up a rope ladder" or shooting rapids. The seven "globe trotteresses" treated in "Victorian Lady Travellers" shared "a love of escape" that took them everywhere. Each had her reasons--and the means--for going. Thus naturalist and artist Marianne North painted the world's tropical vegetation (in 800 works permanently on display at Kew Gardens), and nurse Kate Marsden penetrated the forests of Siberia by sledge and on horseback to find and minister to outcast lepers. Middleton's excellent study of these women is enhanced by her intimacy with their letters and diaries as well as their published memoirs.

5. "The Book Nobody Read" by Owen Gingerich (Walker, 2004).

When Nicolaus Copernicus's "On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres" was published in 1543, most people believed that the Earth sat motionless at the center of the universe. Even after Copernicus declared that our planet circled the sun, the world was slow to agree--so slow that it seemed as if he and his seminal book had been largely ignored. But historian Owen Gingerich proves otherwise in a quirky, enlightening account of the 30 years he spent traversing the world in search of "On the Revolutions." He eventually uncovers more than 600 16th-century copies, many of them crammed with comments penned in the margins by Copernicus's contemporaries. It turns out that everybody read "On the Revolutions"; they just couldn't accept what it said. Today the book is still popular, and more expensive than ever, with copies selling at astronomical prices (around $1 million apiece). Copernicus appeals to thieves, too, and Gingerich describes his courtroom appearances to help identify some of the stolen books.
Jensen Comment:  Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Revolutions_of_the_Heavenly_Spheres

Ms. Sobel is the author of "The Planets" (2005), "Galileo's Daughter" (1999) and "Longitude" (1995).

 

 




Forwarded by a neighbor

     The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation says that "When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount."


      However, in government, education, and in corporate America, more
advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

      1. Buying a stronger whip.
      2. Changing riders.
      3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
      4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures
          ride dead horses.
      5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
      6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.
      7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
      8. Harnessing several dead horses together
      9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead
          horse's performance.
    10. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

And of course...

      Promoting the dead horse to a management position.


Funny Signs --- http://eightsolid.com/24-very-strange-funny-signs/


Computer Stupidities --- http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/cs_paranoia.shtml


Forwarded by James Don

I don't know if you have seen these before--they have been circulating for a while. If you have not seen them I thought you might get a laugh out of them.

These sentences are reported to have actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:

--------------------------

The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.

--------------------------

The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.'

The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'

--------------------------

Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house.

Bring your husbands.

--------------------------

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.

--------------------------

Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.

--------------------------

Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

--------------------------

For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

--------------------------

Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir.

They need all the help they can get.

--------------------------

Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

--------------------------

A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

--------------------------

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?'

Come early and listen to our choir practice.

--------------------------

Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

Scouts are saving aluminium cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

--------------------------

Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.

--------------------------

The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.

--------------------------

Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.

--------------------------

The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind.

They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

--------------------------

This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

--------------------------

Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. is done.

--------------------------

The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.

--------------------------

Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.

--------------------------

The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

--------------------------

Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

--------------------------

The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.'

 




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

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

World Clock --- http://www.peterussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php
Facts about the earth in real time --- http://www.worldometers.info/

Interesting Online Clock and Calendar --- http://home.tiscali.nl/annejan/swf/timeline.swf
Time by Time Zones --- http://timeticker.com/
Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) --- http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm
         Also see http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/P/Populations.html
        
Facts about population growth (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U
Projected U.S. Population Growth --- http://www.carryingcapacity.org/projections75.html
Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- http://www.costofwar.com/ 
Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons --- http://zipskinny.com/
Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

Three Finance Blogs

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

Some Accounting Blogs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teaching Materials (especially video) from PBS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moodle  --- http://moodle.org/ 

The word moodle is an acronym for "modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment", which is quite a mouthful. The Scout Report stated the following about Moodle 1.7. It is a tremendously helpful opens-source e-learning platform. With Moodle, educators can create a wide range of online courses with features that include forums, quizzes, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, and surveys. On the Moodle website, visitors can also learn about other features and read about recent updates to the program. This application is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer or Mac OS X and newer.

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for free) go to   http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
AECM (Educators)  http://pacioli.loyola.edu/aecm/ 
AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc

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

CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/ 
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xyztalk
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
AccountantsWorld  http://accountantsworld.com/forums/default.asp?scope=1 
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
Business Valuation Group BusValGroup-subscribe@topica.com 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM

 

 

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