Also see the birth of a Belgian foal ---
I started out earlier this morning
thinking back to our St. Patrick's Day parties in San Antonio that generally
kicked off the wonderful wildflower season in Texas. Then my mind wandered to
other times and other places in my life.
Iowa (Twenty Years)
--- those wonderful years before becoming an adult
--- thick-necked gentle giants leaning
into leather hames
Mother's fingers making magic on
the keyboard at a roller rink on Saturday nights and in church on Sunday
Hot summer nights in the country
listening to the corn ripple in the wind and squeak when it grows
Yeah corn stalks actually squeak in August, and these are sounds known well
by high school couples
mooning (or is a better word spooning?) in Iowa corn fields on summer nights
All the other joys of growing up
Chusing down the
Copper Bowl trail by day and drinking beer with racer chasers at night
in Aspen (before it became an extension of Hollywood)
Fortunately there were never enough top racers to spread around so that
there were always a few left over racer chasers for me (and free Gov.
Wearing white shirts to
work on my first professional job (Ernst & Ernst) in the tallest building,
then, in downtown Denver
Watching the Christmas
lights on the
State Capitol grounds across the lawn from my University of Denver
(I went to school and taught at the University of Denver while also working
half days for Ernst & Ernst)
Skiing down a
St Mary's Glacier and other Colorado glaciers on hot summer days
Trail rides in Bear Creek
meadow land before it became a housing suburb
(Five years in graduate school plus two more years later on in a think tank)
Discovering that it might
be nice just living the rest of my life in the Stanford University Library
Sparkling nights in San
Francisco by the Bay
All those kick turns in
Squaw Valley plus the ski days in Heavenly Valley and nights in South Shore
Towering redwood giants and
the many sea lions, abalone, and crashing surf of the Pacific Ocean
Wine tours in Napa Valley
(three years before tenure)
Some of the best faculty
colleagues ever and wonderful doctoral students taking my courses
Joys of becoming a father
and chores of tending to a useless Basset Hound on an abandoned dairy farm
Joys of buying our first
home on a small acreage with a house and a carriage house
Agony of waiting for
Michigan State and Notre Dame to settle which team would be Number 1 in the
and then watching
Duffy's best team ever finding Rolaids relief in a 10-10 tie --- What
years plus two years on leave of absence)
Puffing up with my first
named professorship (the Nicolas Salgo Professor of Accounting)
Wading in cold Atlantic
surf, digging for clams, and steaming lobsters on the beach in front of our
(our deck was less than twenty feet from water at high tide)
Learning that you really
can have fun partying with the same ten couples every weekend
Riding our horses in the
100,000 acres of piney woods across the road. The forest extended all the
way into South Georgia and is now partly owned by Ted Turner.
Springtime Tallahassee spring into Technicolor in March and April
Seminole Fever and tailgate parties in the autumn semesters
Bobby win so often but almost always lose the big ones to
Fredericksburg and watching the miles and miles of
wildflowers come to life right around St. Patrick's Day every spring
Enjoying scholars from
divergent disciplines across campus
Seeing so much of some
retired military friends that we really became surrogate family
Super Bowl parties that
really were super
Those St. Patrick's day
parties at the home of Widow Vera Sergeant (now 95 years young)
and the follow-up Sunday Pastrami Bashes at the home of Widow Birdie Lea
Corcoran (an Irish name if there ever was one)
many trips to Canada, Mexico, Germany, Finland, Sweden, England, Hong
Kong, Taiwan, and wonderful New Zealand
(almost three years)
The ever-changing weather,
winds, and seasons looking out at the mountains
Not having to commute to
work in blizzards and even in beautiful sunshine
Our tiny but faithful
The even stronger bonding
of two soul mates in
The joys of flowers in
spring and riding my tractor
The soul mates' picture below
was taken in front of our fireplace in Texas sometime around 1987. We no longer
fit in those duds.
The following picture of
in Texas was taken April 2007 by Debbie Bowling and her husband Sam.
Spring flowers don't arrive in the White Mountains
until June. But the Lupin are
great when the snow finally melts.
Tidbits on March 15, 2008
For earlier editions of Tidbits go to
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to
Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter ---
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron"
enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and
other universities is at
Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures
Bob Jensen's Threads ---
Bob Jensen's Home Page is at
On May 14, 2006 I retired from Trinity University after a long
and wonderful career as an accounting professor in four universities. I was
generously granted "Emeritus" status by the Trustees of Trinity University. My
wife and I now live in a cottage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire ---
Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics ---
(Also scroll down to the table at
Global Incident Map ---
Set up free conference calls at
Free Online Tutorials in Multiple Disciplines ---
Google Maps Street View ---
World Clock ---
Tips on computer and networking
If you want to help our badly injured troops, please check out
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops ---
Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available
free on the Web.
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---
Jared Massey was awarded $40,000 after being tasered by a Utah
State Patrolman ---
In his case it turned out profitable to peacefully refuse to cooperate with law
You can read about the court decision at
In my opinion the Utah State Patrolman John Gardner could’ve handled this
non-cooperating speeder much differently. I would’ve phoned in for backup just
to have witnesses to the speeder’s non-cooperation, albeit non-threatening
refusals to cooperate. Then his continued and witnessed non-cooperation could be
used later on in court. Besides the longer the incident drags on the better the
odds that the speeder will grow impatient and cooperate
Robert Frost Lectures (1947 at Dartmouth College) ---
Biology Animation Library ---
National Archives Experience ---
Ecology, Art, and Technology ---
British Empire Exhibition 1938 ---
Federal Bureau of Investigations: Art Crime Team ---
Lone Ranger Story (on the David Letterman Show) ---
Free music downloads ---
Grada Makes Irish Music New ---
Mean Kitty Rap ---
The Stan Kenton Band (that I heard this band
twice in Iowa ballrooms many years ago)
Bob Jensen listens to music free online (and no commercials)
Photographs and Art
Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various
types electronic literature available free on the Web.
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---
Diseases of the Mind: Highlights of American Psychiatry
through 1900 ---
Robert Frost Lectures (1947 at Dartmouth College) ---
Off-the-record discussions between
Robert Frost and Dartmouth College students 60 years ago
may provide new insights into the poet, as transcripts
are about to be published, the
reported. The sessions were recorded on reel-to-reel
tapes and are becoming public because of the work of an
editor at the Poetry Foundation who came across them
while an undergraduate at Dartmouth. The first
transcript will be published this month in the journal
Literary Imagination, whose editor described the
conversations as “Frost unplugged.”
Inside Higher Ed, February 25, 2008 ---
Robert Frost Poem
Discovered Tucked Away in Book ---
Frost Poems (Free) ---
Yes I was closing down other prostitution rings
while frequenting this prostitution ring, but I assure you this is normal for
attorney generals. It’s standard operating procedure.
Eliot Spitzer in Pictures ---
Eliot Spitzer Scandal Inspires Plethora of Jokes and Parody Songs (e.g., by
Letterman and Leno) ---
You can read more about the truly remarkable and talented Eliot Spitzer at
All of this underscores what has long been obvious:
The vast majority of asbestos claims are bogus. The plaintiffs lawyers know it,
which is why, instead of trying to defend these claims, they've fought every
attempt by Grace to examine them. Now that they've lost that battle, they argue
that because Grace settled such claims in the past, they should continue to pay
them going forward. That decision now rests with Judge Fitzgerald. Comparisons
are being made to federal Judge Janis Jack, who several years ago blew up bogus
silicosis claims. But unlike the recent silica fraud, some Grace plaintiffs do
have asbestos-related disease. Judge Fitzgerald has to weed out the many false
claims from the few legitimate ones, but she does have the tools to do it. The
medical community long ago established diagnosis criteria that account for
dosage, exposure, and work and medical histories. Plaintiffs lawyers have tried
to keep these common-sense standards out of courtrooms, but they clearly belong
in any court whose goal is just compensation.
"Some Asbestos Grace," The Wall Street Journal, March 8,
2008; Page A8 ---
Editorial Criticizes Anachronisms in Barack Obama's 2007 Speech in Selma ---
"Obama's Pastor: God Damn America, U.S. to Blame for 9/11" by Brian
Ross and Rehab El-Buri, ABC News, March 13, 2008 ---
Also see "For someone who's done so well, Michelle has a decidedly bleak vision
of America," by Dorothy Rabinoqitz, The Wall Street Journal, March 13,
2008; Page A19 ---
Now we know where
Obama gets some of her hate-America speech material. The deep-seated hatred
of Senator Obama's pastor and wife for America is likely to hurt Obama with the
silent majority of voters in the November 2008 presidential election. I doubt
that he can distance himself from his wife, but he distance himself as far as
possible from his (hopefully former) pastor.
must be sneaking out at night to dance in the streets.
John McCain said he thinks the GOP has gone astray. On the other hand, the"
Democratic Party is a fine party " that he "has no problems with." ---
We have a bit of bipartisan action taking place this
week on the floor of the U.S. Senate. A Republican and a Democrat Senator:
DeMint of South Carolina and McCaskill of Missouri, are going to offer an
amendment to a bill that would require a two-thirds vote of the senate for any
pork (or earmark, as they like to call it) spending to be approved. McCain will
be there to cast a vote. Now Hillary and Obama say that they're both going to
sponsor the amendment.
In the meantime .. let's take a peek at the
presidential candidate earmark records for the 2008 budget:
Hillary Clinton: 212 earmarks totaling $266
Barack Obama: 53 earmarks totaling $126 million
John McCain: 0 earmarks totaling $0.0 million.
Neal Boortz, Pork Spending
Scorecard, March 11, 2008 ---
Don't be misled that earmark pork waste is just a Democratic Party fraud. Many
GOP representatives and senators are truly depressed that John McCain won the
nomination to be the GOP candidate for the U.S. presidency.
Sen. Barack Obama and
Sen. Hillary Clinton announced Monday that they would
co-sponsor Senate legislation that would ban all lawmaker sponsored “earmarks”
of which flow to colleges and universities) from 2009
spending bills. The legislation, which is being sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.),
now has the support of all three major presidential candidates, as Sen. John
McCain (R-Ariz.), a longtime crusader against earmarks, backed DeMint’s
legislation some time ago. In a news release, Obama said that reforms in the
process of awarding earmarks, which are known derisively as pork barrel
projects, have failed to fix a “broken” system. “We can no longer accept a
process that doles out earmarks based on a member of Congress’ seniority, rather
than the merit of the project. We can no longer accept an earmarks process that
has become so complicated to navigate that a municipality or nonprofit group has
to hire high-priced D.C. lobbyists to do it. And we can no longer accept an
earmarks process in which many of the projects being funded fail to address the
real needs of our country.” He said he favors DeMint’s one-year moratorium and
would not be requesting any earmarks for Illinois this year. “The jig’s up on
earmarks,” DeMint said.
Inside Higher Ed, March 11, 2008 ---
This is mostly show on the part of Democratic and GOP candidates for the
presidency. The odds of this Senate initiative eventually passing in the House are smaller than the odds of my
winning the NH Powerball lottery this week. In both cases I would be overjoyed
at winning, but I'm not in the least bit optimistic. Earmarks won't go away,
although in this election year the term may disappear and be replaced by
something like pork chops.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois is a
big booster of Mr. Obama, but he declares himself "disappointed" in his Illinois
colleague's embrace of the (earmarks pork)
moratorium proposed by GOP Senator Jim DeMint. Similarly, New York Senator Chuck
Schumer has parted ways with Hillary Clinton over the proposed time-out on
earmarks. Mr. Schumer privately expressed disgust when Senator DeMint held a
news conference outside the Capitol building that featured a man in a
6-foot-tall pink pig suit ridiculing Congressional excess . . . For his part,
Mr. DeMint says his colleagues are acting like addicts who refuse to admit they
have a problem. He told Politico.com this week: "We need to go cold turkey."
Anything less would be "like telling an alcoholic, 'Don't drink as much.'"
John Fund, Wall Street Journal,
March 14, 2008
The (pending farm subsidy) giveaways are so large
that the House version is the first farm bill ever that would raise taxes to pay
for it -- by $14 billion, mostly on the U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies.
This only discourages new foreign investment in the U.S. at a time when the weak
dollar is already chasing it away. It's a sign of how insidious these welfare
programs are that the Farm Bureau, traditionally an antitax outfit, recently
signed off on the tax hikes in return for the subsidies. Both bills also allow
farmers to keep exploiting a loophole that lets them cash in twice. First, they
can lock in loan subsidies at the lowest possible price for their crops; then
later they can sell those same crops at a higher market price. The government
pays the farmer the difference between the two prices, and the farmer gets the
maximum price at market. Hence, when corn prices plunged in 2005 after a bumper
crop and Gulf Coast supply disruptions after Hurricane Katrina, many farmers
locked in an estimated $3.8 billion in subsidy payments at low prices. But they
also cashed in when they sold the crops later after prices rebounded. And
speaking of cashing in, Congress has also spurned the Bush Administration's
sensible proposal to establish a $200,000 income ceiling in order to receive
subsidies. Instead, full-time farmers will be able to earn up to $1 million per
farm ($2 million for a married couple) and still be eligible for a USDA handout.
That means you can be in the top 0.2% in income in the U.S. and still get a
subsidy check from Uncle Sam. Yet Robert Goodlatte of Virginia, the Republican
who helped craft the House bill, says with a straight face that the bill is
"real reform and a real safety net for the farmer." Yes, thank heavens for that
millionaire safety net.
"Amber Waves of Green," The Wall Street Journal, March 13,
"These are not American values or Western values,"
she (Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice)
told OIC ambassadors in Washington on Monday. "They are universal values, values
that are lived and practiced by the majority of Muslims in the world, many of
whom are citizens of democracies."
Patrick Goodenough, "Human Rights,
Liberty Are Values Practiced by Most Muslims, Says Rice," CBS News, March
11, 2008 ---
A western New York businessman will be fined
millions of dollars for falsely billing the Department of Defense and he likely
will not serve any time behind bars. Christopher Alf, an Amherst native, who
splits his time between homes on Florida and Hamburg, was not in court on
Thursday. He has one of the best legal teams money could buy. The team consists
of Vice President Cheney's personal lawyer and the man who served as Secretary
of the Air Force during the Clinton administration. Senator Charles Schumer
expressed dismay. He told 2 On Your Side "blue collar criminals, they go to
jail, I don't see why white collar criminals don't because they can hire fancy
lawyers. Anybody who rips off the federal government should never get another
government contract again." One of Alf's lawyers says National Air Cargo is
still doing work for the U.S. Government. Alf's Orchard Park based company,
National Air Cargo ships supplies to military bases. Last October, the company
pled guilty to essentially cheating the U.S. government out of millions of
dollars for falsely billing the Department of Defense. Federal Judge William
Skretny has re-scheduled sentencing because he wants to review the plea
agreement before formally accepting it on the record. The company agreed to pay
$28-million in fines and restitution. The plea does not call for any jail time,
because the charges are only against the company and not individuals.
Josh Boose, "Federal Judge Will Have
Final Say On $28 Million Plea (Company ripped off govt, no one in jail),"
WGRZ, March 7, 2008 ---
If all this wasn't enough to keep union leaders
awake at night, there is a well-funded school-choice ballot initiative being
drafted which might, under present circumstances, have a shot at passing in
November. And the union knows full well that any proposal that gives parents a
real choice in education works against their self interest. Could Nevada become
the first state to approve a statewide, universal school voucher bill? That has
about as much chance as the Giants beating the Patriots, John McCain winning the
Republican presidential nomination, or Barack Obama beating Hillary Clinton.
Chuck Muth, "Nevada Tax Fight,"
The Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2008; Page A8 ---
The suggestion in the obituaries that he
F. Buckley, Jr.) united free-market economists with
other conservatives is especially misleading. Free-market economists have always
been on a different track from the kind of political and social conservative
that Buckley exemplified. He was a friend of free markets, but on moral grounds
rather than because he thought the market a more efficient method of allocating
resources than the government, though he thought that also. The conservative
economic movement has had two major streams, which are convergent. One is the
Austrian school, whose best-known exemplar was Friedrich Hayek. Hayek argued
powerfully that socialism doesn't work, because it does not enable the
aggregation of the information required to operate a modern economy; for that,
the price system is necessary, because prices impound and transmit information
far more effectively than a centralized economic controller can do. Hayek's
insight was vindicated by the collapse of the communist system. But his
influence has been mainly in Europe, where it has been, however, considerable,
especially in the nations transitioning from communism. The other stream,
largely independent of the Austrian, originated with maverick economists, such
as Milton Friedman, Aaron Director, and George Stigler, who at the height of the
1930s depression, when free-market economics was in the dog house and the Soviet
Union's collectivist economy was widely admired including among economists, had
the temerity (like Hayek) to argue that collectivist regulation of the economy
was inferior to leaving the regulation of economic activity to the market. The
school expanded slowly after World War II; Ronald Coase, a brilliant English
economist who moved to the United States, was an influential critic of
regulation. While Director and Stigler mounted a strong challenge to
conventional views of antitrust, Stigler and especially Friedman challenged a
wide range of governmental policies.
Richard Posner, The Becker-Posner
Blog, March 9, 2008 ---
Although a friend and skiing companion of Milton
Friedman, Buckley had little interest in economic issues per se, and he was not
concerned with the effects of taxation, regulation, and other economic policy
issues. He recognized and accepted that his support of strong armies would lead
to a much bigger government. He had a well-publicized conversion toward
legalizing the use of drugs, a conversion influenced by Milton Friedman's strong
stand in favor of legalized drugs. Discussions by economists of regulation,
competition, and other economic issues generally concentrate on their
contribution to economic efficiency, and the analysis of conditions under which
competition and private enterprise promotes efficiency. Friedman, Hayek, and
George Stigler, three leading free market economists of the twentieth century
,were very much interested in these issues, but they also took a much broader
view. For example, in Capitalism and Freedom, Friedman claims that greater
freedom should be the goal of economic activity, and also discusses the
connection between political and economic freedom: "economic freedom is an end
in itself…economic freedom is also an indispensable means toward the achievement
of political freedom". Hayek's Road to Serfdom and Constitution of Liberty
argues that a private enterprise system is crucial for the achievement of
political and social freedoms.
Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, The
Becker-Posner Blog, March 9, 2008 ---
Fannie, of course, occupies a curious middle ground
between the public and private sector as a result of its privatization in 1968
as a Government Sponsored Enterprise, or GSE. While owned by its shareholders,
Fannie is regulated by a government agency and is able to borrow money cheaply,
thanks to an implicit guarantee by Uncle Sam. It uses those funds to buy and
securitize home loans -- lots of them. At year end, the company owned in its
portfolio or had packaged and guaranteed some $2.8 trillion of mortgages or 23%
of all U.S. residential mortgage debt outstanding.
Jonathon R. Lange, Is Fannie Mae the Next Government Bailout?"
Barron's, March 8, 2008 ---
A gun rights organization in the United States is
accusing the media of trying to conceal the fact that a gunman who attacked
students at Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav seminary was stopped by an armed student at
the school. Authorities report that Ytizhak Dadon, 40, was a "private citizen
who had a gun license and was able to shoot the gunman with his pistol,"
according to a statement released today by the Citizens Committee for the Right
to Keep and Bear Arms. In its earlier reporting on the tragedy, WND confirmed,
"One terrorist reportedly was shot to death (not true)
by a student who was armed…"
"Press 'ignore' terrorist stopped by armed student 'Yitzak
Dadon's apparently well-placed bullets interrupted a rampage'," WorldNetDaily,
March 7, 2008 ---
In fairness the climate for terror is much hotter in Israel than in the U.S.,
but this is yet another illustration of how the media cherry picks what it
reports according to political criteria. I'm opposed to arming students and
teachers, but I do think pilots should have weapons (including Tasers) locked in
a cockpit secure case.
Alaa Abu Dhein, the child-murderer from the East
Jerusalem village of Jabal Al Mukaber, had a blue Israeli identity card, which
meant he and his family enjoyed Israeli medical care, and social security
benefits. He was twenty, and was about to get married in a few months. He worked
as a driver. Some have said for the yeshiva where he murdered students, but the
Rabbis deny this. He watched the school for weeks, planning his "heroic" act. He
walked up the steps carrying a box. He met three young boys who joked: "What are
you bringing us, a television?" He then put down the box, took out a kalashnikov
and murdered two of them, without another word. He walked into the library and
began to shoot every single person there, checking each one was dead, and firing
a few more shots if he wasn't sure. When there wasn't anyone left in the
library, he started up the steps to the roof, firing in the air. A student shot
him twice, but didn't kill him. An army officer, David Schapiro, coincidentally
home on leave, heard the shots. He had just finished bathing his two and four
year-old babies, but he left his pregnant wife, took his rifle, and headed
towards the shooting. Risking his life, he entered the building -which he knew
well having spent time there learning and praying-reconnoitered the terrorist,
and fired sixteen shots into him, finally ridding the world of this "hero" as he
is being called among his fellow Palestinians, who admire people who kill
Naomi Ragen, Email message on March
9, 2008 --- email@example.com
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has approved a
plan to build up to 750 new homes in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. The
project was first signed off in 1999, but stopped two years later after
Palestinian labourers refused to go on. Israel's housing minister said the
construction at Givat Zeev would address "the demographic needs of Jerusalem".
But the decision provoked an angry reaction from Palestinian leaders. For the
Palestinians there are few issues as contentious as the building of Jewish
settlements in the West Bank, says the BBC's Crispin Thorold in Jerusalem.
"Israel approves settlement growth," BBC News, March 9,
Why does Israel keep looking for trouble?
A leader of Mahmoud Abbas's US-backed Fatah party
has come out in support of the terrorist war being fought against US and British
forces in Iraq. PA text books (which the U.S. helped pay for)
for school children also push attacks on American and British forces. Mahmoud
Ismail, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, expressed his support for the
war on the US during an interview on official Palestinian Authority (PA) TV,
which is under the control of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The clip was recorded
and translated by Palestinian Media Watch, which monitors incitement on PA
Ezra HaLevi, "Fatah Leader, School
Books Supports Terrorism Against US in Iraq," Israel National News, March
9, 2008 ---
The military wing of Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization today labeled this week's Jerusalem yeshiva
shooting massacre an "heroic act," called for more terror attacks against
Israelis and urged Fatah to forge a unity government with the Hamas terror
group. The official statement came hours before Abbas told an international
group today peace talks with Israel should continue despite the bloody attack,
in which eight yeshiva students were gunned to death while studying in their
school's main library. "Despite all the circumstances we're living through and
all the attacks we're experiencing, we insist on peace. There is no other path,"
Abbas said today in a speech marking International Women's Day. The Al Aqsa
Martyrs Brigades, Abbas' military wing, meanwhile released an official pamphlet
obtained by WND declaring their appreciation of "the heroic operation in
Jerusalem." "We bless the martyr [who carried out the shootings] with all the
blood of the heroes of the resistance and with the soil of our land," continued
the Fatah statement. "Kill them and then Allah will torture them in your hands
and Allah will give you victory over them and will bring joy to the hearts of
the believers," said the Al Aqsa statement, quoting a verse from the Quran.
Aaron Klein, WorldNetDaily,
March 8, 2008 ---
And the United States with the blessings of President Bush is poised to give
tens of millions more to the Fatah organization for more of such "heroism."
The exact nature of his research -- past and present
-- remains a mystery, as does the work of other key Iranian scientists whose
names appear in documents detailing what U.N. officials say is a years-long,
clandestine effort to expand the country's nuclear capability. The documents,
which were provided to the IAEA, the U.N. nuclear agency, in recent months by
two countries other than the United States, partly match information in a stolen
Iranian laptop turned over by Washington. IAEA officials say these documents
identify Fakhrizadeh and other civilian scientists as central figures in a
secret nuclear research program that operated as recently as 2003. So far,
however, Iran is refusing to shed light on their work or allow U.N. officials to
question them. After being presented with copies of some of the new documents,
Tehran denied that some of the scientists exist.
John Warrack, "U.N. Alleges Nuclear
Work By Iran's Civilian Scientists," The Washington Post, March 11, 2008
This is surprising coming from the U.N. and even more surprising in terms of the
newspaper that published the story.
Scientists are attacking the global campaign to ban
plastic shopping bags, saying the activists' claim that the modern conveniences
are responsible for the deaths of 100,000 animals and one million seabirds is
based on a "typo" in a 2002 report and there is no scientific evidence showing
the bags pose a direct threat to marine mammals. Researchers and marine
biologists have told the London Times plastic bags pose, at best, a minimal
threat to most marine species, including seals, whales, dolphins and seabirds.
"I've never seen a bird killed by a plastic bag," said Professor Geoff Boxshall,
a marine biologist at the London Natural History Museum. "Other forms of plastic
in the ocean are much more damaging. Only a very small proportion is caused by
"Anti-plastic crusaders stuck holding the bag," WorldNetDaily,
March 9, 2008 ---
"The Marines are unwelcome here." These weren't the
comments of a banana republic dictator or the rantings of a religious radical.
These were the words of Tom Bates, the elected mayor of Berkeley. It's difficult
to match up the animosity of the residents of Berkeley, Calif., USA, with the
residents of Ramadi, Anbar, Iraq. I met Ramadis who were so happy to have the
Marines among them that they literally hugged and kissed them on the streets.
Children made high-five signs when they saw Marines of the 3rd battalion 7th
Marines on patrol and residents insisted they come in to drink chai and eat
goats the hosts were willing to kill in their honor.
Matt Sanchez, WorldNetDaily,
March 7, 2008 ---
In the (WSJ) editorial, Ohio's corporate tax rate
was cited as being 10.5%, based on a two-year-old set of numbers. Today, the
actual effective corporate tax rate is only 3.6%. In two years, that tax rate
will be zero, as Ohio will become one of only four states without a
corporate-profits tax. Ohio is also one year away from becoming one of only 10
states without a tax on business tangible property (machinery, equipment,
fixtures, and inventory). New machinery and equipment is already tax-exempt.
Finally, Ohio's personal income tax is in the fourth year of a five-year series
of rate cuts that will reduce all tax rates by 21% from their pre-reform levels.
In sum, Ohio's tax structure is much more business friendly than the editorial
"The Governor Says Ohio Is Good for Business," The Wall Street Journal,
March 12, 2008; Page A19 ---
The U.S. now produces 6.5 billion gallons of
renewable fuels each year -- a number expected to jump to 36 billion gallons by
2022. Many plants, from switchgrass to poplar trees, are potentially good
sources of renewable fuel, especially if scientists figure how to process them
more efficiently. Corn, however, is almost universally regarded as an
environmentally-unfriendly crop that compares poorly to other biofuel sources
and requires enormous quantities of fertilizers and pesticides to grow. But in
the U.S., corn is king, and a combination of early adoption and agro-industry
lobbying made it the most common plant-based fuel. If that trend continues, say
sustainability scientists Simon Donner and Christopher Kucharik, fertilizer
pollution will expand an oxygen-starved region in the Gulf of Mexico, spelling
doom for crustaceans, fish and the people whose livelihoods depend on catching
Brandon Keim, "Corn-Based Biofuels
Spell Death for Gulf of Mexico," Wired News, March 13, 2008 ---
Derivatives the new 'ticking bomb' Buffett and Gross warn: $516
trillion," by Paul B. Farrell, Market Watch, March 10, 2008 ---
Wall Street didn't
listen to Buffett. Derivatives grew into a massive bubble, from about
$100 trillion to $516 trillion by 2007. The new derivatives bubble was
fueled by five key economic and political trends:
increased corporate disclosures and government oversight
Reserve's cheap money policies created the subprime-housing boom
burdened the U.S. Treasury and future entitlements programs
with China and others destroyed the value of the U.S. dollar
commodity rich nations demanding equity payments rather than debt
In short, despite
Buffett's clear warnings, a massive new derivatives bubble is driving the
domestic and global economies, a bubble that continues growing today
parallel with the subprime-credit meltdown triggering a bear-recession.
. . .
bond fund king Bill Gross said "What we are witnessing is essentially the
breakdown of our modern-day banking system, a complex of leveraged lending
so hard to understand that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke required a
face-to-face refresher course from hedge fund managers in mid-August." In
short, not only Warren Buffett, but Bond King Bill Gross, our Fed Chairman
Ben Bernanke, the Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and the rest of America's
leaders can't "figure out" the world's $516 trillion derivatives.
Why? Gross says we
are creating a new "shadow banking system." Derivatives are now not just
risk management tools. As Gross and others see it, the real problem is that
derivatives are now a new way of creating money outside the normal central
bank liquidity rules. How? Because they're private contracts between two
companies or institutions.
Continued in article
March 10, message from Mike Gasior
We're used to hearing about the unemployment rate, which rose to 5 percent in
December. That figure is fairly misleading, because there's an extraordinary
variance if you were to look at unemployment as measured by education level.
According to the most recent data from the Department of Labor, the unemployment
rate is as follows for these education levels:
--8.2 percent for high school dropouts.
--4.7 percent for high school graduates with no
--3.7 percent for workers with an associate's
degree or some college.
Unemployment is also higher in states that discourage new business with high
income tax and other taxes such as Maine, Michigan, and Ohio vis-a-vis Texas,
Florida, and Delaware. It also varies by skills and experience where there are
labor shortages in all states in some trades such as software technicians. CBS
News recently ran a special showing a serious shortage of skilled factory
workers in America. The loss of factory jobs oversees is mostly among unskilled
workers that can be easily replaced in Asia and elsewhere. Skilled factory
workers are another matter entirely. Also there are plentiful jobs that
unemployed and unskilled American workers shirk such as migrant farm workers,
roofers, chamber maids, and restaurant kitchen workers. "Across the country,
some 26 percent of companies expect to increase the size of their work force
between April and June" ---
The fence Khapova refers to surrounds the
correctional facility UF 91/9, an all-women's prison camp some 20 miles away
from the Siberian capital, Novosibirsk. Her ball gown is one of three outfits
she will don for the prison's main event of the year - the annual "Miss Spring"
beauty contest . . . Former inmate Natasha Patalakhova, 29, who served eight
years for armed assault, directed the pageant when she was in prison and her
involvement helped her secure an early release. But Natasha has found life
difficult on the outside. As an ex-convict and a refugee from Kazakhstan, she
has been unable to get the papers she needs to work or even to travel. "My
prison days continue to haunt me," she says.
Maria Yatskova, "Siberian prison's beauty pageant."
BBC News, March 11, 2008 ---
What the drugs themselves have not destroyed, the
warfare against them has. And what once began, perhaps, as a battle against
dangerous substances long ago transformed itself into a venal war on our
underclass. Since declaring war on drugs nearly 40 years ago, we've been
demonizing our most desperate citizens, isolating and incarcerating them and
otherwise denying them a role in the American collective. All to no purpose. The
prison population doubles and doubles again; the drugs remain.
Ed Burns et al., "The Wire's War on the Drug War," Time
Magazine, March 17, 2008, Page 50 ---
I consider this another in a long line of articles that lie with statistics. The
authors of the HBO series called The Wire would make drug abuse legal if
not tied to crimes of violence. The only data cited is in a Pew Center report
showing that 1 of every 100 adults in the U.S. — and 1 in 15 black men
over 18 — is currently incarcerated. But this is misleading since the percentage
of those incarcerated for drug abuse alone (apart from more crimes inflicted on
other victims) is miniscule. They never mention any data to support their
recommendation to not incarcerate drug abusers.
The above article that quotes no genuine supporting data. It
would have us believe without supporting evidence that our prisons are filled
with mostly drug abusers for crimes in which the only victims are themselves.
Actually, a miniscule percentage of prisoners have not inflicted injury on other
victims. Slightly over 10% of the arrests (not necessarily charged or convicted)
for drug abuse (1,357,800 arrests in 2005) out of a total of 10,369,800 arrests
in 2005 ---
Arrested drug abusers have a much lower probability of being charged and
imprisoned relative to most other arrests. Incarceration in prison for drug
abuse apart from more serious crimes is a relatively low percentage of the
prison population. Most of those in prison are there for other more serious
crimes as well.
I think the authors of this Time Magazine article are
trying to mislead the public. The War on Drugs is generally credited with
arrests for more serious crimes than drug abuse. Often the War on Drugs is
successful in finding violent criminals such as those selling assault weapons.
Halting the war on drugs, in my viewpoint, will be dysfunctional on preventing
more serious crimes unless other "war" measures to take its place are enacted.
This article stops short of recommending what will really
reduce violent crime --- the legalization of drugs. Think of how many heroin
addicts will stop committing crimes if they can get high quality heroin cheaply
by prescription if they stay crime free. Think of how we can put the drug
cartels out of business if we sell narcotics by prescription at Wal-Mart.
There's no magic solution to drug addiction, but there is a solution to much of
the crime caused by making drugs illegal.
I give Time Magazine an F on the above article written
by writers of
Also see ""Non-Judgmental" Nonsense," by Thomas Sowell, Creaters.com,
March 2008 ---
"Wall Street Sex Scandals: A Partial History," by Heidi Moore, The Wall
Street Journal, March 11, 2008 ---
And, yes, we know
Spitzer isn’t a Wall Streeter–in fact, he is the antithesis. (CNBC reported
today that the traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange whooped
and hollered when they heard reports that Spitzer “was linked” to an escort
service). Still, this all is a reminder that the financial district hasn’t
always been gleaming skyscrapers and Starbucks. Consider this passage from
City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution, and the Commercialization of Sex,
1790-1920: Adjacent to the Wall Street business district, prostitutes worked
in saloons along Greenwich Street, taking men upstairs….In addition,
immediately south of Wall Street was the Battery Tenderloin, on Whitehall
Street…The Water Street area, however, remained the most significant and
poorest waterfront zone of prostitution….Amid the rookeries, rat pits and
dance halls, prostitutes ‘exposed in each window to the public view’ plied
Of course, in the new Bloombergian
New York, those days seem distant indeed. Still, let us
take a by no means comprehensive walk down memory lane,
to when Wall Street, both by geography and by industry,
has been a victim of
Former Keefe Bruyette & Woods Chief Executive James
McDermott was found guilty in 2000 on six of seven
counts of insider trading for allegedly tipping off an
exotic dancer, Kathryn Gannon–stage name, Marylin
Star–to upcoming bank mergers. Gannon, who reaped
$88,000 in profit from the information, also was found
Chief Executive John Browne left both his post at the
oil company and his directorship at Goldman Sachs Group
last year after it was revealed that Lord Browne had
lied to a court about his young male lover, whom he had
met through an escort-service Web site.
group of six women sued Dresdner Kleinwort in 2006 for
$1.4 billion on allegations that male executives
entertained clients at strip clubs and even brought
prostitutes back to the office. The case was settled out
of court in 2007.
Canadian hedge fund manager Paul
Eustace in 2007, by his own admission in a deposition
filed in court, lied to investors and cheated on his
with a stripper.
1987, Peter Detwiler, vice chairman of E.F. Hutton &
Co., was, according to court testimony, instructed by
his client, Tesoro Petroleum Corp. Chairman Robert V.
West, to hire a blonde prostitute for the finance
minister of Trinidad & Tobago, which had been supporting
a tax issue that would have hurt Tesoro’s profits.
Back to Spitzer. We couldn’t help by notice that
governor–client No. 9, in court documents–apparently
requested an escort from the Emperors’ Club VIP to be
sent from New York to Washington, where he was staying
at the Mayflower Hotel in Room 871. The date: Feb. 13,
the day before Valentine’s Day.
I haven't noticed in the press, but surely some reporter by now has made a
comment to the effect that Governor Spitzer had his own version of the "Mayflower
Madam." Client No. 9 may have been Governor Spitzer, but Clients 101-429
currently reside in the hallowed halls of Congress. The Emperor's Club had a
great thing going in posh Washington DC hotels paid for by lobbyists. It's all
part of the earmarking process where the phrase "stick in your ear" originated.
I doubt that the FBI will dare expose Washington DC members of the Emperor's
Actually Governor Spitzer may survive this scandal. President
Clinton and Senator Ted Kennedy survived worse scandals with taxpayer-funded
playmates (read that interns). At least Eliot bought the very best with his own
money. However, not one of the Emperor's Club members is as smart or as
charismatic as JFK who purportedly frolicked with freebies from filmland ---Prince
Maids All in a Row. Has the real cause of JFK's aching back ever been
disclosed to the public?
Happy Birthday Mr. President ---
Famous for His Last Lecture, Testifies Before Congress,"
by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 13, 2008
Randy Pausch held up an 8-by-10 picture of his
three children and his wife — who, he noted, will soon be his widow — as he
testified before a U.S. House appropriations subcommittee this afternoon,
urging lawmakers to provide more money for research on pancreatic cancer.
Mr. Pausch, a professor of computer science at
Carnegie Mellon University and co-founder of its Entertainment Technology
Center, is fighting the terminal disease and said doctors don’t expect him
to make it through the year. Testifying on behalf of the Pancreatic Cancer
Action Network, he wore a purple bracelet and purple tie, the group’s
The professor described to the lawmakers on the
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related
Agencies how he
became an accidental celebrity last year by giving
an inspirational “last lecture” that has been
viewed millions of times on YouTube. He says he is trying to use that fame
to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer, a disease on which little
medical progress has been made in the past 30 years.
“We don’t have a Michael J. Fox” to speak for
pancreatic cancer “because people die too fast,” said Mr. Pausch, referring
to the actor who has been a powerful advocate for Parkinson’s disease since
his diagnosis. Those who get pancreatic cancer are “dead within a year, 75
percent of the time,” he said.
“Pancreatic cancer is a disease that I think we can
beat, but it’s going to take more continued courage and funding from our
government,” he said in closing.
He almost didn’t make it to the hearing. On Monday
he was hospitalized for complications from his chemotherapy treatment. He
described himself as “more wobbly today than I thought I would be” during an
interview after his testimony.
“Let’s face it,” he said, explaining his
determination to make the trip and testify. “The only way you get funding is
to rattle a lot of cages."
Randy's entire last lecture and commentaries are linked at Carnegie-Mellon
TiVo (pronounced TeeVo) = digital video recorder (DVR) mostly used to
capture television shows for replay later on according to an annual fee that
downloads television schedules making it easier to choose what and when to
record. History of this device and its controversies are summarized at
Find Out Some "Secret Features" of TiVo
“Tapping Your TiVo's Hidden Talents,” by Katherine Boehret, The Wall
Street Journal, March 5, 2008, Page D8 ---
"YouTube Coming to TV, With TiVo the Gateway," by Brian Stelter,
The New York Times, March 13, 2008 ---
Pick up the remote, turn on the television and
The blurring of the television and the computer,
envisioned by technology enthusiasts for years, advanced another step on
Wednesday when TiVo, the popular maker of digital video recorders, announced
an agreement with YouTube that will deliver millions of Web videos directly
to users’ TV screens.
“TiVo’s strategy is to bridge the gap between Web
video and television and make as much content available as possible for our
subscribers,” said Tara Maitra, TiVo’s vice president and general manager
for content services.
TiVo is the latest entrant into the marketplace for
porting Internet videos to television. Apple has introduced a version of
Apple TV with similar features. Although several companies are trying to
merge online content with the big screen in the living room, no one product
dominates the market.
“Leaning forward at my computer screen, I’ve got
this giant amount of content,” said Dmitry Shapiro, the founder of Veoh, one
such company. “But as soon as I want to relax in my living room with
friends, I’m stuck with what’s on my TV.”
TiVo pioneered the digital video recorder
technology that enabled television viewers to time-shift their favorite
shows, and its set-top boxes are increasingly acting like digital video
retrievers and receivers as well. The company already makes video from about
40 partners available through its box.
Just as users can sign up for a season pass to
record “Desperate Housewives” on ABC, they will be able to subscribe to CNet
video clips, CBS episode recaps and other segments and have the content
downloaded to their hard drives. The YouTube clips, however, will be
streamed by broadband Internet connection.
When it is introduced this year (the exact time has
not been specified), the YouTube service will be available only to TiVo
users who have up-to-date hardware — a Series 3 or HD set-top box — and a
Of the four million TiVo users nationwide, more
than half get their set-top box from a cable operator. Of the 1.7 million
who bought their box directly from TiVo, only about 800,000 have the
necessary broadband connection.
Continued in article
Time Machine: A Built-in Feature on a Mac for Backing Up the Entire
Computer System Painlessly
(simpler than Vista's tedious alternative for a PC)
With its new Leopard operating system, Apple tried to
solve one of the most nagging problems faced by home-computer users: how to
regularly back up their computers completely and painlessly. Leopard includes a
feature called Time Machine that automatically and continuously backs up a
Macintosh computer's entire hard disk, without requiring the user to do any
tedious setup or have any technical knowledge. Time Machine is a key selling
point for Leopard and the Mac. It is more complete, and yet simpler, than the
built-in backup feature in Vista Home Premium, the most popular home version of
Walter S. Mossberg, "Apple's Time Capsule Gives You Easy Way To Back Up
Wirelessly," The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2008; Page B1 ---
Should you believe these many claims that the equity capital markets are
inefficient and that it's worth investing the time and money to beat the market?
A Dartmouth College finance professor would have us conclude that in recent
years the equity markets are a bit like Las Vegas. It's possible to leave Las
Vegas more than a million dollars ahead if you take high risks, but the odds are
decidedly in favor of the casinos. Similarly, it's possible to beat the stock
index funds if you take the risks, but the odds are definitely against beating
the index funds.
This we return to the age old paradox. It's rather useless to carefully
conduct a financial analysis of audited accounting reports in an effort to gain
superior knowledge to take advantage of more naive investors. On the other hand
if a sufficiently large number of investors did not make a sufficient number of
"sophisticated-knowledge" buys and sells the equity markets might be less
efficient. Even in efficient markets we must remain diligent in restraining
earnings management and other types of creative accounting ploys that mislead
Sophisticated investors (apart from insiders) cannot take advantage of naive
investors because there are so many sophisticated investors. Of course insiders
can exploit efficient markets, but the SEC spends most of its budget trying to
prevent insider trading. If the SEC was not successful in this effort by and
large, the equity capital markets would cease to exist. This is why corporate
executives turned more to stealing from their own companies (e.g., outrageous
salaries, kickbacks and options backdating) rather than in exploiting inside
information for direct buying and selling of their (or their sex partners and
family) own shares at timely points in time.
"Can You Beat the Market? It’s a $100 Billion Question," by Mark Hulbert,
The New York Times, March 9, 2008 ---
The study, “The Cost of Active Investing,” began
circulating earlier this year as an academic working paper. Its author is
Kenneth R. French, a finance professor at Dartmouth; he is known for his
collaboration with Eugene F. Fama, a finance professor at the University of
Chicago, in creating the Fama-French model that is widely used to calculate
In his new study, Professor French tried to make
his estimate of investment costs as comprehensive as possible. He took into
account the fees and expenses of domestic equity mutual funds (both open-
and closed-end, including exchange-traded funds), the investment management
costs paid by institutions (both public and private), the fees paid to hedge
funds, and the transactions costs paid by all traders (including commissions
and bid-asked spreads). If a fund or institution was only partly allocated
to the domestic equity market, he counted only that portion in computing its
Professor French then deducted what domestic equity
investors collectively would have paid if they instead had simply bought and
held an index fund benchmarked to the overall stock market, like the
Vanguard Total Stock Market Index fund, whose retail version currently has
an annual expense ratio of 0.19 percent.
The difference between those amounts, Professor
French says, is what investors as a group pay to try to beat the market.
In 2006, the last year for which he has
comprehensive data, this total came to $99.2 billion. Assuming that it grew
in 2007 at the average rate of the last two decades, the amount for last
year was more than $100 billion. Such a total is noteworthy for its sheer
size and its growth over the years — in 1980, for example, the comparable
total was just $7 billion, according to Professor French.
The growth occurred despite many developments that
greatly reduced the cost of trading, like deeply discounted brokerage
commissions, a narrowing in bid-asked spreads, and a big reduction in
front-end loads, or sales charges, paid to mutual fund companies.
These factors notwithstanding, Professor French
found that the portion of stocks’ aggregate market capitalization spent on
trying to beat the market has stayed remarkably constant, near 0.67 percent.
That means the investment industry has found new revenue sources in direct
proportion to the reductions caused by these factors.
What are the investment implications of his
findings? One is that a typical investor can increase his annual return by
just shifting to an index fund and eliminating the expenses involved in
trying to beat the market. Professor French emphasizes that this typical
investor is an average of everyone aiming to outperform the market —
including the supposedly best and brightest who run hedge funds.
Professor French’s study can also be used to show
just how different the investment arena is from a so-called zero-sum game.
In such a game, of course, any one individual’s gains must be matched by
equal losses by other players, and vice versa. Investing would be a zero-sum
game if no costs were associated with trying to beat the market. But with
the costs of that effort totaling around $100 billion a year, active
investing is a significantly negative-sum game. The very act of playing
reduces the size of the pie that is divided among the various players.
Even that, however, underestimates the difficulties
of beating an index fund. Professor French notes that while the total cost
of trying to beat the market has grown over the years, the percentage of
individuals who bear this cost has declined — precisely because of the
growing popularity of index funds.
From 1986 to 2006, according to his calculations,
the proportion of the aggregate market cap that is invested in index funds
more than doubled, to 17.9 percent. As a result, the negative-sum game
played by active investors has grown ever more negative.
The bottom line is this: The best course for the
average investor is to buy and hold an index fund for the long term. Even if
you think you have compelling reasons to believe a particular trade could
beat the market, the odds are still probably against you.
Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at
Avoid hucksters that try to sell you knowledge of how to take
advantage of naive investors in inefficient equity markets!
Especially avoid those high pressure "FREE workshops" in posh hotels that try to
sell books, software, and schemes for beating the market.
"SEC goes after infomercial personalities in investor workshop fraud,"
AccountingWeb, March 11, 2008 ---
The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed
civil fraud charges against two promoters who illegally made millions
selling a get-rich-quick stock trading system they touted on TV and at
investor workshops at hotels in dozens of cities nationwide.
The Commission's complaint alleges that Linda Woolf
and David Gengler, both of Utah, duped seniors and others who had attended
free introductory seminars into believing they would make extraordinary
stock market profits if they bought expensive "Teach Me to Trade" (TMTT)
classes, mentoring, and computer software.
In order to con victims into paying as much as
$40,000 for TMTT products and services, the Commission alleges that Woolf
and Gengler lied about their success with the trading system, when in truth
neither Woolf nor Gengler ever purchased TMTT's products or became
"The allegations depict a cold-hearted scheme that
preyed on the elderly, the desperate, and even the unemployed by promising
financial security while instead robbing victims blind," said SEC Chairman
Christopher Cox. "The Commission's charges should send a warning to all
those who would masquerade as successful traders on TV while prowling the
country for victims."
Linda Chatman Thomsen, Director of the SEC's
Enforcement Division, added, "The evidence shows they callously urged
customers to go into debt to purchase expensive products and services.
Today's charges make clear that we will hold accountable those who prey on
seniors and other investors."
The Commission's complaint alleges that at their
workshop presentations between 2003 and 2006, Woolf and Gengler made false
and misleading statements to sell TMTT packages of personal mentoring,
software and classes ranging in price from approximately $11,000 to $40,000.
According to the Commission's complaint, Woolf and Gengler also appeared in
television infomercials portraying themselves as successful former TMTT
customers, with Woolf targeting retirees, among others. In his workshops,
Gengler urged investors to borrow against their retirement accounts to
follow TMTT strategies.
Through false stories of their own trading success
and bogus claims of a 96.5 percent success rate for TMTT students who
purchased personal mentoring, courses, and software, Woolf and Gengler
convinced attendees that they, too, would make extraordinary profits in the
stock market if they followed TMTT's trading strategies that emphasized
options trading and short-term swing trading.
In one infomercial, for example, Woolf told how she
used to be an elementary school teacher and was able to replace her entire
income after attending TMTT workshops. "I had no idea it was that easy to
learn how to make money in the stock market," Woolf said. In another
infomercial, Gengler claimed, "If you can simply follow steps and follow our
principles, you'll make money. It's that simple."
Instead, the Commission alleges, Woolf and Gengler
are unsuccessful traders, with Woolf having never declared a trading profit
on her federal tax returns and Gengler typically declaring losses, or no
profits. However, Woolf reaped approximately $4 million in commissions from
selling TMTT packages, and Gengler made approximately $2.25 million,
according to the Commission's complaint.
The Commission's complaint against Woolf and
Gengler seeks disgorgement of their ill-gotten gains, civil money penalties
and permanent injunctions enjoining the defendants from violating the
antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.
In a related action, the U.S. Attorney's Office for
the Eastern District of Virginia has announced the filing of an indictment
against Woolf and Gengler.
The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the
U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, the U.S. Postal
Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida
Attorney General's Office.
The Commission's investigation is continuing.
Beware of the So-Called Investor Education Programs (especially beware
"I don't see frankly much out there that really does
the job, and that's partially because investors are their own worst enemy," says
former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt. "They refuse to invest skeptically, and are
too easily seduced by all the purveyors of financial products that prey upon
their worst instincts."
"Investor Education 101: How to Avoid Scams: Outreach Programs
Target Most-Vulnerable Americans, But Success Is Hard to Assess," By Lynn
Cowan, The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2006; Page D3 ---
An onslaught of investor education is being
unleashed, thanks to an ever-growing stockpile of money set aside for this
purpose by regulators.
Senior-citizen investors being preyed upon? The
nonprofit Investor Protection Trust is financing a Florida state program
that teaches retirees to identify and report suspected scams.
Military families feeling pressured into buying
unnecessary financial products? The National Association of Securities
Dealers' Investor Education Foundation has launched a specialized Web site:
Auto workers receiving lump-sum retirement buyouts
in coming months? There is a new Securities and Exchange Commission
publication that warns that they could be prime targets for fraud.
There seems to be no end to the list of
publications, public-service announcements and seminars being funded in the
wake of a landmark settlement in 2003 between regulators and Wall Street
over stock analysts' conflicts of interest. The settlement provided $80
million in investor-education funds, and regulators add to that amount every
year with more penalties for new securities-industry transgressions.
Unfortunately, there's also a seemingly infinite
trove of outright hucksters and smooth marketing materials bombarding
investors every day, say regulators and observers. And no one knows how
effective investor-education programs are in combating them.
"I don't see frankly much out there that really
does the job, and that's partially because investors are their own worst
enemy," says former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt. "They refuse to invest
skeptically, and are too easily seduced by all the purveyors of financial
products that prey upon their worst instincts."
There's also little information available about
what kinds of programs really work to educate and protect investors.
Regulators and investor-education specialists say they are working hard to
expand their materials beyond brochures with basic information to encompass
interactive games for students, television programs and in-person seminars.
But regulators add that they are also fighting
against strong forces in their battle to educate and protect investors from
scam artists, their own emotions and a legacy of conflicts of interest in
the brokerage industry.
Scam artists are the most easily identified
investor-protection issue: Often organized in pyramid, or "Ponzi,"
structures, the schemes promise outsized returns and can exist for years
before collapsing. Investor-protection programs can easily focus on warning
about this kind of threat because it has some obvious hallmarks.
Regulators' second villain is trickier: investors'
own inertia and greed. Getting most people in the U.S. to learn the basics
of a careful investing strategy is akin to asking them to read a legal
footnote, but there is no shortage of people willing to sign up for the
chance to earn 130% on ersatz securities.
Possibly the most innovative investor-education
program in existence today targets investors who are drawn to these
get-rich-quick scams. The SEC runs several Web sites that pose as can't-fail
investment schemes. One,
outlines the business dealings of a fake
construction-supply company, Growth Venture, which invites viewers to invest
and receive returns of 350% a year. Anyone falling for the bait is linked to
an SEC page that gently chides them and describes how to avoid scams.
But such educational tools aren't as easy to
construct for one of the thorniest issues facing investor-education
programs: teaching people about protecting themselves in daily interactions
with the legitimate brokerage industry.
Although larger Ponzi scams, such as the Financial
Advisory Consultants bust in California in 2004, are headlined for bilking
investors out of as much as $300 million, industry wide brokerage scandals
involving well-known firms have surpassed $1 billion apiece. From Prudential
Securities' abusive sales of limited partnerships in the early 1990s to the
conflicts of interest in analyst research in the late 1990s, major Wall
Street firms appear to be struggling with improper systematic conduct every
Yet investor educators often express concern about
finding the right balance between warning investors and condemning a highly
regulated industry that provides legitimate advice and services.
Continued in article
Also be careful what mutual fund or brokerage firm you deal with. My advice is
to avoid high-commission brokerage firms. My advice is to also compare the
mutual fund expense rates with benchmark rates of Vangaard and Fidelity.
Check the fraud rates of firms of better known firms. For example do a search
on "Merrill" at
Bob Jensen's investment helpers are at
Bob Jensen's threads on investing scams are at
This citation was forwarded by Don Ramsey
"Why business ignores the (research of) business schools," by Michael Skapinker,
Financial Times, January 7, 2008
Chief executives, on the other hand, pay little
attention to what business schools do or say. As long ago as 1993, Donald
Hambrick, then president of the US-based Academy of Management, described
the business academics' summer conference as "an incestuous closed loop", at
which professors "come to talk with each other". Not much has changed. In
the current edition of The Academy of Management Journal.
. . .
They have chosen an auspicious occasion on which to
beat themselves up: this year is The Academy of Management Journal's 50th
anniversary. A scroll through the most recent issues demonstrates why
managers may be giving the Journal a miss. "A multi-level investigation of
antecedents and consequences of team member boundary spanning behaviour" is
the title of one article.
Why do business academics write like this? The
academics themselves offer several reasons. First, to win tenure in a US
university, you need to publish in prestigious peer-reviewed journals.
Accessibility is not the key to academic advancement.
Similar pressures apply elsewhere. In France and
Australia, academics receive bonuses for placing articles in the top
academic publications. The UK's Research Assessment Exercise, which
evaluates university research and ties funding to the outcome, encourages
similarly arcane work.
But even without these incentives, many business
school faculty prefer to adorn their work with scholarly tables, statistics
and jargon because it makes them feel like real academics. Within the
university world, business schools suffer from a long-standing inferiority
The professors offer several remedies. Academic
business journals should accept fact-based articles, without demanding that
they propound a new theory. Professor Hambrick says that academics in other
fields "don't feel the need to sprinkle mentions of theory on every page,
like so much aromatic incense or holy water".
Others talk of the need for academics to spend more
time talking to managers about the kind of research they would find useful.
As well-meaning as these suggestions are, I suspect
the business school academics are missing something. Law, medical and
engineering schools are subject to the same academic pressures as business
schools - to publish in prestigious peer-reviewed journals and to buttress
their work with the expected academic vocabulary.
Bob Jensen's threads on the irrelevance of academic research to the
profession of accountancy can be found at the following links:
What's the main difference between RateMyProfessor versus RateMyCop sites?
www.RateMyProfessor.com site might
be embarrassing to some professors, but the RateMyCop may be seriously dangerous
to some law enforcement officers ---
Note the five most rated column on the right side of the page.
Both sites are guilty of self-selection bias. The raters in both instances
are self-selected and are likely to be outliers.
Actually it’s possible for the public to fight back against
the RateMyCop site. Responders to the RateMyProfessor site must usually show
some relationship to a professor such as having had a course or part of the
course from that professor. Any adult can rate a cop (based upon what any
stranger writes) without ever meeting that cop personally. At the moment there
are only a few defenders of unknown officers, but the credibility of RateMyCop
will go downhill when over 99% of all responders on RateMyCop have had no
contact whatsoever with the officer in question positively or negatively.
Professors and their employers tend to ignore the RateMyProfessor site.
Hopefully, the public and law enforcement agencies will either ignore the
RateMyCop site or bring it down with a tidal wave of phony respondents never
having met the officers in question.
My threads on the
RateMyProfessor site are at
The average salary of college faculty members rose
4 percent this year, according to a survey by the College and University
Professional Association for Human Resources.
Law professors had, for the most part, the highest
average pay, no matter what their status or where they worked. Full
professors of law earned an average of $129,527 in 2007-8; associate
professors earned $94,444, on average. Assistant professors of law earned an
average of $79,684, a figure that was topped only by business professors at
the same level, the survey found.
Law professors were the top earners as instructors,
with an average salary of $63,174.
Other disciplines that commanded high salaries were
engineering and business. Average salaries for full professors in those
disciplines were $107,134 and $102,965, respectively.
Among new assistant professors, those in business
had the highest average salary, at $86,640. Their average pay topped that of
their counterparts in law by about $7,700.
The three disciplines with the lowest average
salaries for full professors were English, visual and performing arts, and
parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies, the survey found. Those
faculty members earned about $76,000.
Average salaries at private institutions rose 4
percent, compared with 3.7 percent the year before. At public institutions,
average salaries climbed 3.9 percent, the same increase as last year. Public
baccalaureate colleges, however, saw a 4.5 percent increase in average
salaries, up from 4.2 percent.
The salary information included in the CUPA-HR
survey was reported by 838 public and private institutions and covers about
211,400 faculty members. The survey categorizes salaries by discipline and
rank rather than by institution, like the annual faculty-pay survey
conducted by the American Association of University Professors.
The full report is available on the CUPA-HR Web
Now that the excitement of Super Tuesday has passed,
we should remember the kinds of policies and principles at stake. Exhibit A:
three pieces of legislation pending in Congress that would dramatically increase
the liability of private companies for alleged acts of employment
discrimination. The first would resurrect the discredited idea of "comparable
worth." The second would add various sexual orientations to the classifications
protected from employment discrimination. The third is a plaintiffs' bar wish
list, aimed mostly at overturning cases it lost in the Supreme Court . . . There
are actually two versions of comparable worth legislation, the
Fair Pay Act and the
Paycheck Fairness Act.
The former is co-sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama; the principal sponsor of the
latter is Sen. Hillary Clinton (Mr. Obama is a co-sponsor). Both would push
companies to set wages based not on supply and demand -- that is the free market
-- but on some notion of social utility. The goal is to ensure that jobs
performed mostly by men (say, truck drivers) are not paid more than those
performed mostly by women (paralegals, perhaps) . . . The third measure -- the
Civil Rights Act of 2008,
introduced on Jan. 24 by Sen. Kennedy (co-sponsored by Sens. Clinton and Obama)
-- is the plaintiffs' bar wish list. It would, among other provisions, eliminate
existing damage caps on lawsuits brought under Title VII of the 1964 Civil
Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act; add compensatory and
punitive damages to the Fair Labor Standards Act; and push states into waiving
sovereign immunity in individual claims involving monetary damages. It would
also give authority to the National Labor Relations Board to award back pay to
Roger Clegg, "Equal Rights Nonsense," The Wall Street Journal,
February 8, 2008; Page A16 ---
Sports Management graduates are mostly male varsity athletes who are in abundant
supply for rather low-paying coaching jobs in middle schools and high schools.
Nursing graduates are predominantly female in short supply and as of late have
relatively high-paying careers. Isn't it ironic that an assistant middle school
football coach who barely graduated in Sports Management might ultimately have
to be legally upgraded to Nursing pay with a whole lot less job stress, science
courses, and bad hours? The Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, if taken
to extremes in the final legislation, are mixed blessings at the university
level. These will quell much, but not all, of the interdisciplinary strife among
faculty. Average pay in all disciplines will be equal irrespective of supply and
demand. Universities will have to give enormous pay raises to some lower-paid
disciplines having surplus labor supply. For example suppose that there are
nearly 100 applicants for an Assistant Professor of Primary School Education
tenure track opening relative to disciplines having excess labor demand (say
Computer Science that graduates less than 10% women and gets very few if any
female or male PhD applicants for every tenure track opening). The collegiate
losers will be students already facing faculty shortages of teachers in some
disciplines like Computer Science. Economists have concluded for years that
price fixing and equalization are generally a disaster except for believers in
Labor Theory of Value. Both the Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act
are disasters for universities seeking to make education more affordable for
students. The only way this will be possible in most colleges will be to revert
more and more tenure track positions to part-time temporary teaching positions.
The problem in hiring faculty is that some disciplines offer greater
competitive salaries than in other disciplines. For example, the average new PhD
in Computer Science ceteris paribus has more alternatives for high paying
employment in industry than do many (most?) other disciplines. Denying
demand/supply pricing in the law is a disaster for students who want more and
more courses in Computer Science, Nursing, Business, Medicine, and many other
professional disciplines. Already some students, especially graduate students,
in Business and Computer Science are entering degree programs in other
countries, especially in Europe and Asia. Some schools in these nations (e.g.,
China) are now offering courses only in English to attract top U.S. talent. Will
the U.S. really be better off with dwindling national undergraduate and graduate
programs in the professions? Since law professors are now the highest paid
faculty members on average, and most members of Congress are lawyers, there's
still hope for the demise of or significant watering down of both the Fair Pay
Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act before enactments.
The biggest winners from the other disastrous proposed legislation will be
tort lawyers seeking uncapped punitive damage awards for such things as
fraudulent asbestos and other medical claims under the Civil Rights Act of 2008.
The plaintiffs' bar is flashing middle fingers to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Lawyers rant and rave about excessive CEO compensation (and they're correct)
while allowing themselves court awards far in excess of what CEOs fraudulently
truck home. Watch the cost of medical insurance malpractice insurance take
another leap upward when this legislation passes. Will the last obstetrician in
practice please turn out the lights! In reality we must have obstetricians. What
the tort lawyers really want is for taxpayers to ultimately pay the insurance
premiums from seemingly boundless tax revenues. Ultimately billions of tax
dollars will then be diverted to tort lawyers in uncapped punitive damages.
What are the big faculty cat fights all about? ---
"The Syllabus Becomes a
Repository of Legalese: As dos and don'ts get added, some professors cry
'enough'," by Paula Wasley, Chronicle of
Higher Education, March 14, 2008 ---
The syllabus for a course on American literature at
the University of South Alabama seems pretty routine at first glance. It
includes among its required readings, for instance, The Great Gatsby
and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
But near the bottom of Page 3 is something not
related to course work — a detailed clause on classroom behavior: "Students
are expected to arrive on time, not to leave early, not to wear caps inside
the classroom, and to follow traditions of decorum and civility."
Course syllabi have long been as varied as the
instructors who composed them. Indeed, many faculty members are loath to
share them, for fear of intellectual theft.
But increasingly the contemporary syllabus is
becoming more like a legal document, full of all manner of exhortations,
proscriptions, and enunciations of class and institutional policy — often in
minute detail that seems more appropriate for a courtroom than a classroom.
Take, for example, the injunction that appeared
recently on an introductory-religion syllabus at Wartburg College: "Keep
your e-mail 'inbox' tidy so that you may receive timely notices from your
Such clauses have cropped up on college syllabi
around the country for a variety of reasons. Some have been required by the
college or university. Since the passage of the Americans With Disabilities
Act, a statement about students with disabilities has become de rigueur.
This fall the University of Missouri at Columbia added a statement on
"intellectual pluralism" to its syllabi. Some institutions require the
inclusion of an inclement-weather policy.
Heading off conflict is another goal. Faculty
members concerned about campus violence add codicils to their syllabi
declaring their commitment to a "safe and supportive learning environment";
others include disclaimers about potentially controversial films and
With its ever-lengthening number of contingency
clauses, disclaimers, and provisos, the college syllabus can bear as much
resemblance to a prenuptial agreement as it does to an expression of
intellectual enterprise. But experts say that when things go wrong in the
classroom, fuzzy expectations are almost always to blame.
"Our own experiences suggest that when trouble
arises in a class, the conflict often began, in some way, with the
syllabus," wrote Joseph Kenneth Matejka and Lance B. Kurke in a 1994 article
on the syllabus for the journal College Teaching.
"You wouldn't think it was that important," says
Mr. Matejka, a professor of leadership and change management at Duquesne
University's Graduate School of Business. Still, he says, research indicates
that the syllabus is "the single biggest determining variable in determining
the success and reaction to the course." The well-designed syllabus, he
notes, lays out right from the start the goals, requirements, and operating
principles of the course.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at
"Ethanol from Garbage
and Old Tires: A versatile new process for making biofuels could slash
their cost," by Kevin Bullis, MIT's Technology
Review, March/April 2008 ---
Is homework credit sometimes dysfunctional to learning?
If the instructor allows face-to-face study groups, extra-help tutorials, and
chat rooms, what is so terrible about this Facebook study group?
Apparently its the fact that ten percent course credit was given for homework
that was discussed in the study group. It seems unfair, however, to single out
this one student running the Facebook study group. If the students were
"cheating" by sharing tips on homework, they were probably also doing it
face-to-face. All students who violate the code of conduct should be sanctioned
or forgiven based on the honor code of the institution.
Ryerson U. Student Faces
Expulsion for Running a Facebook Study Group
A student at Ryerson
University, in Toronto, is facing expulsion for running a Facebook study group,
Toronto Star reports. Chris Avenir, a
first-year engineering student, is facing expulsion from the school on 147
counts of academic charges — one for himself, and one for every student who used
the Facebook group “Dungeons/Mastering Chemistry Solutions” to get homework
help. University officials say that running such a group is in violation of the
school’s academic policy, which says no student can undertake activity to gain
academic advantage. Students argue, however, that the group was analogous to any
in-person study group. Of course, this wouldn’t be the first
Facebook-related expulsion hearing. The
expulsion hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
Chronicle of Higher Education, March 7, 2008 ---
My approach was to assign homework for no credit and then administer online
quizzes. Students were assigned different partners each week who attested to
observing no cheating while an assigned "partner" took the online quiz. You can
read the following at ---
Most every week beginning in
Week 2, you will be required to take an online quiz for a chapter from the
online textbook by Murthy and Groomer. This book is not in the bookstore.
Students should immediately obtain a password and print the first three
chapters of the book entitled
Accounting Information Systems: A Database Approach. You can purchase a
You will then be able to access the book and the online quizzes at any time
using the book list at
Each week students are to take an online quiz in the presence of an assigned
student partner who then signs the attest form at
The online quizzes are relatively easy if you take notes while reading the
assigned chapter. You may use your notes for each quiz. However, you may
not view a copy of the entire chapter will taking a quiz.
Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at
Silicon Light Bulbs to Compete with Fluorescent Bulbs
Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in 1880, and,
since the 1920s, the incandescent light bulb has remained largely unchanged.
While that's a testament to Edison's ingenuity, it's also a bulb that uses up to
95% of its power to generate heat rather than light. In order to improve this
efficiency, the fluorescent bulb has recently gained popularity as an
alternative that uses about 25% of its power for light and lasts up to 10,000
hours, compared with the incandescent bulb's 1,500-hour lifetime. However,
unlike the recyclable incandescent bulb, fluorescent bulbs contain phosphor and
mercury - toxic chemicals that could pose disposal problems on a large scale.
But a company from Ottawa, Canada, is hoping to create a light bulb that further
increases the efficiency of fluorescent bulbs, while using completely non-toxic
materials. Since 2003, Group IV Semiconductor has been working on a unique bulb
design, one that uses a tiny computer chip in place of a traditional wire
filament or gas. The new bulbs, officially called solid state light bulbs, use
low-cost silicon technology originally developed for fiber optic networks in the
early 2000s. The chips were intended to boost the light signal, increasing its
speed and allowing it to travel longer distances. Today, silicon is widely used
in cell phones, computers, and other electronics. But as the telecommunications
market began to lose its appeal, Group IV's chief executive Stephen Naor looked
into other applications. As he explains, in North America alone, 2.2 billion
light bulbs are replaced every year, and lighting is a $12-billion global
Lisa Zyga, PhysOrg, March 8, 2008 ---
"Singapore Math and a Possible Truce in
the "Math Wars" by Mark Shapiro, The Irascible Professor,
March 12, 2008 ---
education in the United States has been in somewhat of a
crisis for nearly two decades owing to ongoing battles
between vocal factions that disagree about how math should
be taught in elementary and secondary schools. One side,
represented mainly by math educators and the National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), has pushed for an
approach to math education that places far less emphasis on
rote memorization and drill, and much more emphasis on
"constructivist" techniques that encourage students to learn
basic mathematical principals through a process of "guided
discovery". This approach often is accompanied by the early
introduction of calculators for the solution of numerical
problems. The other side, represented by parent groups and
many university mathematicians, favors a return to more
traditional methods (direct instruction) that include
greater emphasis on such things as learning the
multiplication tables, repeated drills on the basic
algorithms of arithmetic, and traditional word problems.
Paper and pencil calculations often are favored over the use
of calculators in the early grades.
in the "math wars" frequently has been heated.
Traditionalists have called the constructivist methods
"fuzzy math", and the constructivists have called the
traditional approach "drill and kill." The situation has
been complicated by the fact that the each state has its own
standards for public school math education, and these
standards vary widely. This, combined with the fact that
most math curricula are taught in a "spiral" fashion where
individual math concepts are revisited many times as
students progress through the grades, has presented problems
for the textbook publishers. It's not unusual for math
textbooks to run well over 500 pages in length, regardless
of approach, in order to meet the various state
the National Mathematics Advisory Panel (appointed by
President Bush in 2006) has tried to broker a truce by
noting that there is little scientific research that
definitively shows one method of math instruction to be
better than the other. Instead, the panel has called for a
strong focus on essential math concepts, and has provided a
series of benchmarks that should be achieved regardless of
the method used and location within the United States. For
example, under the "Fluency with whole numbers" benchmark
"By the end of grade three, students should proficient with
the addition and subtraction of whole numbers"; and, under
the "Fluency with fractions" benchmark "By the end of grade
four, students should be able to identify and represent
fractions and decimals ..." et cetera.
also expressed concern about the continuing mediocre
performance of American students on international tests of
mathematics proficiency. Although the averages for American
students on most of these tests are modestly above the
overall international averages in almost all cases, a number
of Asian countries including Singapore, the Republic of
Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan significantly outscore
American students. While some part of the difference in
performance can be attributed to the highly heterogeneous
nature of the American student body, it often has been
suggested that much of the difference can be traced to less
effective teaching techniques.
Singapore students almost always end up in first place in
the international comparisons, the methods used to teach
mathematics there have received some attention here. In
particular, English versions of the textbooks used to teach
mathematics in Singapore have become available in the United
States; and, they have been used in test programs in a few
school districts in different parts of the country. Mitchell
Landsberg, writing in The Los Angeles Times reported on the
experience with "Singapore math" at Ramona Elementary School
in Hollywood (Los Angeles). He found that in 2005 only 45%
of Ramona Elementary fifth-graders scored at grade level on
a standardized state test. In 2006, after Singapore math had
been introduced, 76% of fifth-graders were scoring at grade
level. That was considered significant because most of the
students at Ramona Elementary are from low-income, immigrant
families (mostly from Central America and Armenia), and
nearly 60% of them speak English as a second language.
Landsberg's article notes, the unique feature of the
Singapore approach to math education is that it emphasizes
the basics while at the same time instilling a deep
understanding of key mathematical ideas. The pedagogy has
been structured to use drill to reinforce patterns of
mathematical thinking that appear again and again throughout
the curriculum. Singapore math thus bridges the concerns of
both traditionalists and constructivists, and develops
mathematical intuition in "gentle, clever ways" according to
University of Illinois at Chicago mathematics professor
Yoram Sagher, who trains teachers to use the Singapore math
materials. In addition, the Singapore math texts avoid the
repetition common in most American math texts. Only a
limited number of concepts are introduced in each year of
the program. Each new concept builds on previously learned
ones, and students must master each concept before
progressing to the next one. Clearly, not every student will
proceed at the same rate, but this approach helps teachers
to identify students who need more help.
Continued in article
Facebook CEO Admits Missteps
But at the South by Southwest
Interactive Festival in Austin, Tex., Zuckerberg presented a
humbler side of himself in his most public confession to date.
In a Mar. 9 keynote Q&A session with BusinessWeek
columnist Sarah Lacy, Zuckerberg admitted to a series of
missteps. In a wide-ranging interview that lasted an hour,
Zuckerberg also announced the launch of a French-language
version of his social networking site aimed at the 100
million-plus Francophones worldwide. In the span of four years,
Facebook has become the
second-largest social networking site after News Corp.'s
MySpace. The company's top challenge
now is figuring out a way to make money from its 60 million-plus
members worldwide. But Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook's first
attempts to turn the site into a financial powerhouse have not
turned out as planned.
Spencer Ante, Business Week, March 10, 2008 ---
Is brain enhancement morally right or wrong?
March 9, 2008 message from David Albrecht
Another article in today's NYT. We've talked about
this before, but it's on-going and will undoubtedly become a bigger issue.
In the final paragraph I've cited there, a researcher claims that the ethics
in considering the ethically of using performance enhancing drugs differs
between professional sports and academia, because of competition. I might
be off base here, but I see lots of competition. I see lots of competition
amongst accounting professors in getting the highest SET scores, getting
articles in the best journals, and serving on the best committees (and the
competition is not always friendly, either). Especially getting articles
into better journals. The ranking of the journal really matters. And
historical record keeping? Academic record keeping and the attendant
summary statistics rival those of baseball! Some say that professional
sport is about competition and entertainment. Well, don't we have that here
in accounting? The two ways in which accountics-research publications add
value is (1) faculty at the elite schools winning a competition, and (2)
March 9, 2008
Is Wrong, Right?
So far no one is demanding that asterisks be attached
to Nobels, Pulitzers or Lasker awards. Government agents have not been
raiding anthropology departments, riffling book bags, testing professors’
urine. And if there are illicit trainers on campuses, shady tutors with
wraparound sunglasses and ties to basement labs in Italy, no one has exposed
Yet an era of doping may be looming in academia, and it has ignited a debate
about policy and ethics that in some ways echoes the national controversy
over performance enhancement accusations against elite athletes like
Barry Bonds and
In a recent commentary in the journal Nature, two
Cambridge University researchers reported that
about a dozen of their colleagues had admitted to regular use of
prescription drugs like Adderall, a stimulant, and Provigil, which promotes
wakefulness, to improve their academic
performance. The former is approved to treat attention deficit disorder, the
narcolepsy, and both are considered more
effective, and more widely available, than the drugs circulating in dorms a
Letters flooded the journal, and an online debate immediately bubbled up.
The journal has been conducting its own, more rigorous
survey, and so far at least 20 respondents have
said that they used the drugs for nonmedical purposes, according to Philip
Campbell, the journal’s editor in chief. The debate has also caught fire on
the Web site of The Chronicle of Higher Education, where academics and
students are sniping at one another.
But is prescription tweaking to perform on exams, or prepare presentations
and grants, really the same as injecting hormones to chase down a home run
record, or win the Tour de France?
Some argue that such use could be worse, given the potentially deep impact
on society. And the behavior of academics in particular, as intellectual
leaders, could serve as an example to others.
In his book “Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology
Francis Fukuyama raises the broader issue of
performance enhancement: “The original purpose of medicine is to heal the
sick, not turn healthy people into gods.” He and others point out that
increased use of such drugs could raise the standard of what is considered
“normal” performance and widen the gap between those who have access to the
medications and those who don’t and even erode the relationship between
struggle and the building of character.
“Even though stimulants and other cognitive enhancers are intended for
legitimate clinical use, history predicts that greater availability will
lead to an increase in diversion, misuse and abuse,” wrote Dr. Nora Volkow,
director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and James Swanson of the
University of California at Irvine, in a letter to Nature. “Among high
school students, abuse of prescription medications is second only to
But others insist that the ethics are not so clear, and that academic
performance is different in important ways from baseball, or cycling.
“I think the analogy with sports doping is really
misleading, because in sports it’s all about competition, only about who’s
the best runner or home run hitter,” said Martha Farah, director of the
Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the
University of Pennsylvania. “In academics, whether you’re a student or a
researcher, there is an element of competition, but it’s secondary. The main
purpose is to try to learn things, to get experience, to write papers, to do
experiments. So in that case if you can do it better because you’ve got some
drug on board, that would on the face of things seem like a plus.”
Continued in article at:
March 10, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen
It all comes down to issues of whether competitive edge is deemed unfair
to other participants.
I think physical and brain enhancing drugs and prostheses are morally
wrong in competitions only if they have side effects that are not acceptable
to the majority of participants. If there are unacceptable health risks to a
majority of participants then a few participants willing to risk the side
effects gain unfair competitive advantage including academic as well as
sports competitions. Academic competitions include such things as SAT tests
and other school admissions tests. However, if the majority of participants
are willing to take these risks (such as when side effects are mild or
assumed to be nonexistent) then there is no unfair competitive advantage as
long as the majority of users get more or less the same benefits to a point
where no user gains and unfair competitive advantage. For example, we do not
ban test takers or football players from having a cup of coffee before they
The issue gets cloudy when persons have handicaps that prevent them from
being competitive unless they take special drugs or wear a prosthesis that
allows them to compete possibly to a point where they have a competitive
edge. This is supposedly why a very fast runner without feet caused such a
stir since his bouncy
carbon fibre prosthesis on each foot purportedly gives him an
edge over other runners. At the moment he's causing a stir because he wants
to compete with the fastest runners of the world in the Olympics games. This
is why a Stanford University alumnus golfer with physical handicap making
him unable to walk all day in a golf course is banned from using a golf cart
in PGA tournaments that require all golfers to walk the course and endure
the fatigue of such walking.
There's now a new "deep brain" electronic surgical treatment for persons
afflicted with Parkinson's disease that has a side effect of enhancing
memory beyond memory powers before they had Parkinson's disease. There may
eventually be drugs for the treatment of various brain ailments such as
Alzheimer's disease that may in fact be brain enhancing to where users on
such drugs have competitive edges. It's unfair to deny persons with terrible
brain diseases access to such drugs even though there are side effects that
discourage normal people from taking such brain enhancing drugs. The issue
then is whether to restrict afflicted persons on such brain enhancing drugs
from competitions such as being contestants on the Jeopardy game show on
Most of the conflict centers on unfair competitive edges. Typically
unfair competitive edges are banned in sports and mental "games." But life
is not all a game and the "competitive edge" argument sometimes becomes very
blurry. We can ban a footless runner from Olympic games but we cannot ban
him from running for pleasure and entertainment. We can ban super-enhanced
memory persons from Jeopardy games, but we cannot ban them from reading and
writing. It becomes particularly cloudy if super-enhanced memory persons
want to enroll in schools and compete with classmates in examinations, term
paper writing, and class discussions. At the moment I think the problem is
academic since we do not yet have memory drugs that are of great concern in
competitions. But the day will come when this will be an issue in games and
schools. For example, the day may come when any person not on brain
enhancing drugs has zero percent chance of graduating summa cum laude.
The Financial Psychology of Worry and Women
March 12, 2008 message from Ricciardi, Victor
I thought you would enjoy reading my new working
paper on negative emotion, gender, and money management. The paper is
entitled “The Financial Psychology of Worry and Women."
The abstract of the paper (and links to free copies of the paper)
is available at:
Also, if you scroll down the webpage you can download
a PDF file of the paper.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
All the best,
Assistant Professor of Finance
Kentucky State University
SSRN Coordinator: Behavioral & Experimental Research
The Social Science Research Network at
Work# (502) 597-6284
Electronic copies of my papers are available from my
author page at the SSRN Electronic Library at:
Is there a need for a change in tenure criteria for humanities and some social
"A Call for Slow Writing," by Lindsay Waters, Inside Higher Ed,
March 11, 2008 ---
What will it
take to make essays the standard of achievement once again
in the scholarly world? This is not where we are: Books are
the gold standard for tenure in most of the humanities and
some of the social sciences, so much so that journal
articles almost don’t even count. As august a figure as
Helen Vendler assured me recently that essays could never
replace books as a basis for tenuring junior colleagues. So,
in departments of English as on Wall Street, counting is all
that counts. “It’s the bottom line, stupid.” Countability is
the thing whereby you’ll catch the conscience of the dean,
as a friend of Hamlet might advise the young Danish
assistant professor or the young Shakespeare scholar.
Articles don’t make a thumping sound when you drop them on a
table the way a body might in Six Feet Under.
elsewhere (subscription required)
that the book-for-tenure system is coming to an end, that it
is unsustainable, that its growth has been an obscenity,
because it was mindless, because it sought to make something
automatic and machine-like play the role that should only be
played by the soul. Please excuse my antiquated language:
The “soul,” I remind you, is that faculty of the human body
whose juices are made to flow by the exercise of judging
myself whether something is of merit. In earlier
publications I have charged that professors have been
seeking to dodge the one activity that is most essential to
their own development when they outsource tenure decisions
to bureaucracies and counting replaces reading as the
central job of tenure committees, because in that situation
content goes by the by. Personally, for me as a publisher,
the situation that has arisen is sad beyond endurance. I
believe the contents of the books I publish matter. I am not
selling milk, which does sustain life, but is homogenized by
comparison to book. In fact, milk’s the very definition of
homogenized. Each of the books I publish is different.
Books are the
standard now, and for me to ask you to think that the future
will feature the renaissance of journals and the replacement
of the book by the essay might seem crazy. (You should know
that it does not seem crazy to many of the leading
university press publishers.) My suggestion is not crazy;
it’s utopian. We don’t live in that world I am asking you to
imagine, the world in which essays are the norm, but if we
were to imagine that world could exist even for a second,
how might seeing things that way cause us to change what we
need to slow down, and remember that the essay has been the
main form for humanistic discourse. The book is an outlier.
Many of the writings that changed the direction a scholarly
community was marching toward were essays. Think of Edward
Said’s “Abecedarium Culturae” or Paul de Man’s “The Rhetoric
of Temporality,” to stay in recent history and not begin, as
I easily could, an epic catalog from Montaigne’s “De
l’amitie” onwards. Some of the most important books are
collections of essays, sometimes assembled with no pretence
to forging a unity of them, such as John Freccero’s
Dante: The Poetics of Conversion.
One could give many examples.
is no good reason why the essay should not replace the book,
and a lot of good reasons why it should. I am tempted to say
— in order to be maximally provocative — that anyone who
publishes a book within six years of earning a Ph.D. should
be denied tenure. The chances a person at that stage can
have published something worth chopping that many trees down
is unlikely. I ask you: How are you preparing for the future
that could be yours and mine? We — I mean the world in
general — don’t need a lot of bad writing. We need some
great writing. “Pump Up the Volume” has been the watchword
in the scholarly world and in America long before
that movie with Christian Slater
came out. “Don’t Believe the Hype” somehow got twisted into
“Believe the Hype” along the way, too. Totally.
problem that afflicts the humanities in the United States is
not a problem of quantity. Yes, I know, some politicians
ridicule university administrators who retain on their staff
professors who produce so little by way of income,
student-credit hours served, and publications. The
newspapers said that U.S. troops could “walk tall again”
after conquering Granada. Will professors be able to walk
tall again if they produce tall heaps of publications on the
scale of manufactured goods coming out of the factories in
Suzhou? (If you don’t know where Suzhou is, look it up.
It’ll do you good. You are going to want to know in fewer
years than you can imagine.)
productivity problem of professors in the U.S. is not one of
quantity, but quality. (Same is actually the case in China,
too.) I recently got a book proposal that I decided to look
at closely rather than reject it summarily as I knew it
deserved. It consisted of a welter of confusing sentences.
It was contemporary, very up-to-date, located right where
the profession is. And the scholar, though young, was very
accomplished in the way the world judges achievement, a
dozen or more fellowships, a book from a major press, tenure
too at a respectable university. But the views in the
proposal were those manufactured by others and the linking
of them in the proposal had no coherence, and the problem
was manifest in the clumsy writing. Who had ever read
anything by this young scholar seriously before, I wondered?
passing come to grad school? A friend teaches in a clinic to
help people from 3 to thrice 20 to remedy problems of
speaking and reading. I have been curious about the stories
she tells me of people in their 50s confident enough about
their personal success in life to address what used to be a
source of deep embarrassment — the fact that although they
could talk like a college grad they could not read better
than a second-grader. It takes great self-acceptance to go
to the clinic at that age and confess you cannot read and to
be taught the things little kids learn.
Continued in article
"Rethinking Tenure — and Much More," by Scott Jaschik, Inside
Higher Ed, December 9, 2006 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on tenure controversies in the humanities disciplines
Today's students have a spectacular hunger for experience — real and virtual.
But can they hold still long enough to learn?
"Dwelling in Possibilities: Our students' spectacular hunger for life
makes them radically vulnerable." by Mark Edmundson, Chronicle of Higher
Education's Chronicle Review, March 14, 2008 ---
This hunger for life has a number of consequences,
for now and for the future. It's part of what makes this student generation
appealing, highly promising — and also radically vulnerable. These students
may go on to do great and good things, but they also present dangers to
themselves and to the common future. They seem almost to have been created,
as the poet says, "half to rise and half to fall." As a teacher of theirs
(and fellow citizen), I'm more than a little concerned about which it's
going to be.
Internet technology was on hand for my current
students from about the time they were eight years old; it was in 1995 that
the Netscape browser made the Internet accessible to everyone. And the
Internet seems to me to have shaped their generation as much as the
multichannel TV, with that critical device, the remote control, shaped the
students who registered for my classes a decade ago. What is the Internet to
Consider first what it is not. A friend of mine,
who has assiduously kept a journal for 40 years, calls the journal, which
now runs to about 40 volumes, a "life thickener." His quotations and
pictures and clips and drawings and paintings give density and meaning to
the blind onrush that life can be. He looks back through the volumes and
sees that there was a life and that to him it meant something. To my
students, I suspect, my friend would look like a medieval monk, laboring
over his manuscripts, someone with a radically pre-postmodern feel for time,
someone who did not, in fact, understand what time actually is.
An Internet-linked laptop, one may safely say, is
not a life thickener. At the fingertips of my students, the laptop is a
multiplier of the possible. "I dwell in possibility," says Emily Dickinson,
"a fairer house than prose." Well, my students want to dwell there with her
and, it seems, to leave me in the weed-grown bungalow, prose.
My university recently passed an edict: No one,
damn it (insofar as edicts can say damn it), is going to triple major.
Everyone now who is worth his tuition money double majors: The students in
my classes are engineering/English; politics/English; chemistry/English. An
urban legend in my leaf-fringed 'hood is that someone got around this inane
dictum about triple majors by majoring in four subjects — there was, it
seems, no rule against that. The top students at my university, the ones who
set the standard for the rest, even if they drive the rest a little crazy,
want to take eight classes a term, major promiscuously, have a semester
abroad at three different colleges, connect with every likely person who has
a page on Facebook, have 30 pages on Facebook, be checked in with and check
in at every living moment.
One day I tried an experiment in a class I was
teaching on English and American Romanticism. We had been studying Thoreau
and talking about his reflections (sour) on the uses of technology for
communication. ("We are in great haste," he famously said, "to construct a
magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have
nothing important to communicate.") I asked the group, "How many places were
you simultaneously yesterday — at the most?" Suppose you were chatting on
your cellphone, partially watching a movie in one corner of the computer
screen, instant messaging with three people (a modest number), and glancing
occasionally at the text for some other course than ours — grazing, maybe,
in Samuelson's Economics rather than diving deep into Thoreau's "Economy" —
and then, also, tossing the occasional word to your roommate? Well, that
would be seven, seven places at once. Some students — with a little
high-spirited hyperbole thrown in, no doubt — got into double digits. Of
course it wouldn't take the Dalai Lama or Thoreau to assure them that anyone
who is in seven places at once is not anywhere in particular — not present,
not here now. Be everywhere now — that's what the current technology
invites, and that's what my students aspire to do.
Internet-linked computers are of course desiring
machines — machines for the stimulation of desire. But so is a TV, so in a
certain sense is a movie screen. What makes the Internet singular is its
power to expand desire, expand possibility beyond the confines of prior
media. (My students are possibility junkies.) You can multiply the number of
possible clothing purchases near to infinity and do it with stunning speed.
You can make all the pleated skirts in the world appear almost all at once,
for you to choose from. As we talked about this in class — with Thoreau's
disapproving specter looking on (sometimes it appears that Thoreau
disapproves of everything, except the drinking of cold water) — something
surprising came out. The moment of maximum Internet pleasure was not the
moment of closure, where you sealed the deal; it was the moment when the
choices had been multiplied to the highest sum. It was the moment of maximum
promise, when you touched the lip of the possible: of four majors and eight
courses per term and a gazillion hits on your Facebook page, and being
everyplace (almost) at once, and gazing upon all the pleated skirts that the
world doth hold.
This is what Immanuel Kant, were he around to see
it, might have called the computer sublime (he called something like it
mathematical sublimity). The moment when you make the purchase, close the
deal, pick a girlfriend, set a date: All those things, the students around
the Thoreau table concurred, were a letdown, consummations not really to be
wished for. The students were a little surprised by the conclusions they
came to about themselves. "It's when I can see it all in front of me," one
young woman said, "that's when I'm the happiest."
Ask an American college student what he's doing on
Friday night. Ask him at 5:30 Friday afternoon. "I don't know" will likely
be the first response. But then will come a list of possibilities to make
the average Chinese menu look sullenly costive: the concert, the play, the
movie, the party, the stay-at-home, chilling (or chillaxing), the monitoring
of SportsCenter, the reading (fast, fast) of an assignment or two.
University students now are virtual Hamlets of the virtual world, pondering
possibility, faces pressed up against the sweet-shop window of their
all-purpose desiring machines. To ticket or not to ticket, buy or not to,
party or no: Or perhaps to simply stay in and to multiply options in
numberless numbers, never to be closed down.
And once you do get somewhere, wherever it might
be, you'll find that, as Gertrude Stein has it, there's "no there there." At
a student party, about a fourth of the people have their cellphones locked
to their ears. What are they doing? "They're talking to their friends."
About? "About another party they might conceivably go to." And naturally the
simulation party is better than the one that they're now at (and not at),
though of course there will be people at that party on their cellphones,
talking about other simulacrum gatherings, spiraling on into M.C. Escher
It's possible that recent events in the world have
added intensity to students' quest for more possibilities, more and more
life. The events of September 11, which current college students experienced
in their early teens, were an undoubted horror. But they had the effect, I
think, of waking America's young people up from a pseudo-nihilistic doze.
Before New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the middle-class American
teenager's world had been a pleas-ure dome, full of rare delights. It was
the reign of television: the oracle that knows everything and can take you
anywhere. Television brought images of bliss, and its ads showed you the
products that you needed to buy in order to achieve it. The well-known Jeep
ad that depicted hip kids tossing Frisbees and laughing like rock stars had
nothing to do with the properties of a Jeep. It was a persona ad that
advertised the sort of person you'd be when you acquired the product. The ad
was an emblem of the consumer moment: Buy in order to be.
Students wanted to be cool. They wanted to be
beyond reproach. There was a sense abroad that if you simply did what you
were supposed to do, kept low to the ground and stayed on the conveyor belt,
the future that TV promised would be yours. Everything was a mode of
entertainment, or could be transformed into one, after it had been submitted
to Letterman-like or Leno-like ridicule. The president was a genial boy from
Arkansas who awoke one day and found himself in office. But that had not
slaked his boyishness at all. He still wanted a version of what everyone
did: all-nighters, pizza, and his pals. The president was a dog who couldn't
stay on the porch. My students — the guys in particular — often found him
the perfect image of success: You need never grow up; need never abandon
college-boy mode. The couch where you sat, hours a day, in lordly
condescension, monitoring the box, would in time morph into an airship to
swoosh you into your dreams.
But then there came the day of near apocalypse in
America, September 11, 2001. The prospect of hanging, Doctor Johnson
observed, does wonders to concentrate the mind. Well, the mind of America
has been concentrated. No one believes that the whole edifice is likely to
come down around us soon. But everyone now lives charged with the knowledge
that today, tomorrow, next week, we can suffer an event that will change
everything drastically. A dirty bomb in the middle of a great city, poison
wafting in soft clouds through a subway system, a water supply subtly
tainted: Such things would not only derange the lives of those they touch
directly, they'd discompose and remake America in ways that would be, to say
the least, none too sweet. Tomorrow the deck may be shuffled and recut by
the devil's hand. So what shall we do now?
Continued in article
"Harsh Realities About Virtual Ones," by Michael Bugeja, Inside Higher Ed,
March 11, 2008 ---
Since the 1990s,
educators have been focusing on access to Internet as a means of
engagement, concerned about the digital divide; now that the divide has
been bridged, we are concerned about access to education.
effect here correlate.
costs of a college degree at our wireless colleges and
universities have resulted in increasing public
scrutiny, student debt and budget models based on
marketing rather than pedagogical concepts. Academe’s
insatiable investment in virtual worlds, social networks
and other consumer applications is a benchmark of how
far we will go and how much money we will spend in the
name of engagement.
past decade we have seen consumer technology used as
delivery system, then as content in the classroom and
finally as classroom, building and campus itself, and in
every case, pedagogy changed to accommodate the
application and the interface, adding courses to the
curricula and fees to tuition.
past two years, tuition has spiked about 12 percent at
most four-year institutions. Room and board rates have
been rising on average 5 percent annually over the same
time period. Driving these rates is an engagement
industry, largely corporate, relying on wireless
campuses to vend their virtual products and on teaching
excellence centers to advertise their brands in the name
marketing strategy is stupefyingly rhetorical. Few
administrators bother to explicate “engagement,” a
generic term whose synonym has come to mean “retention”
— the only factor that matters in funding formulas. The
student pays tuition here rather than elsewhere or not
the generic meaning of engagement is “to occupy the
attention or efforts of a person or persons,” according
to my unabridged Random House Dictionary, the
specific meaning relates to business, as in “to secure
for aid, use, or employment, etc., hire” and “to bind,
as by pledge, promise, contract, or oath; make liable.”
outsourcing our environment when we invest in virtual
worlds and social networks, and their vendors bind us by
service terms that make our institutions liable.
Moreover, these corporations and the public relations
agencies that represent them (often “engaging” early
adopters to promote their brand) have schooled academics
in advertising basics, which contain two messages,
manifest and latent, as in: Purchase this toothpaste
(manifest). Get the girl or guy (latent). Adapted
to academe, the advertisement plays as follows:
Purchase this virtual-life game (manifest). Get
Advertisements also include endorsements, as in “a
recent dental association survey found that 3 of 4
dentists prefer this brand over another.” In academe,
any use of the word “engagement” suggests an endorsement
by the National Survey on Student Engagement, whose
philosophy gauges the quality of institutions by
activities that give meaning and value to collegiate
activities, I contend, have proliferated technologically
beyond the intent but nevertheless in the name of NSSE
whose four-page survey contains only four of some one
hundred questions related to technology … or, should I
[Have you] used an electronic medium (listserv, chat
group, Internet, instant messaging, etc.) to discuss
or complete an assignment?
[Have you] used e-mail to communicate with an
what extent does your institution emphasize] using
computers in academic work?
what extent has your experience at this institution
contributed to your knowledge, skills and personal
development in] using computer and information
the NSSE 2007 College Student Report, eliminating
questions on demographics, and found 23 related to
interpersonal contact, 11 to critical thinking, 9 to
reading and writing, 6 to commitment or work ethic, 6 to
financial and other support, 5 to diversity, and 20 on a
range of topics from commuting to learning communities.
(Some questions contained elements of two or more
categories, as in how often students included diverse
perspectives in their discussions and writing
Certainly, you might code the questions differently than
I and argue that technology factors heavily now in
discussions with professors or sessions with academic
advisers, deleting those from interpersonal contact and
adding them to technology; but keep in mind that this
survey dates back to 2000 with the intent behind
questions suggested by distinct terminology such as
“electronic medium” to discuss an assignment or “e-mail”
to communicate with a professor.
not only use electronic media to discuss or complete an
assignment; they have become the assignment in virtual
worlds as avatars and check e-mail out of boredom as
well as text each other, download music, visit social
networks and make online purchases in wireless
classrooms during lecture.
Attempting to engage today’s students, we have embraced
consumer technologies on the flawed assumption that
students want to learn through the same devices that
amuse and distract them.
profession, journalism, abandoned its constitutional
responsibility to inform the electorate using these very
same technologies, with this result: The public
interest now is what interests the public. Media
moguls embrace that notion to engage their audience,
giving us a steady diet of news about Paris Hilton,
Britney Spears and American Idol augmented by outsourced
war and foreign correspondence with unremitting
follow-ups about school violence, beautiful women gone
missing, athlete and celebrity scandals, and health
reporting that plays to the advertising base and is
cheaper than investigative journalism.
Continued in article
Concerns about video game addiction and cyberpsychology ---
Bob Jensen's threads on Second Life virtual worlds ---
How does accounting for time differ from accounting for money?
Gilbreth time and motion studies in cost accounting.
How has time accounting changed in the workplace (or should change)?
The link below was forwarded by Gregory Morrison at Trinity University
Studies have shown the alarming extent of the
problem: office workers are no longer able to stay focused on one specific task
for more than about three minutes, which means a great loss of productivity. The
misguided notion that time is money actually costs us money.
"Time Out of Mind," by Stefan Klein, The New York Times, March 7,
In 1784, Benjamin Franklin composed a satire,
“Essay on Daylight Saving,” proposing a law that would oblige Parisians to
get up an hour earlier in summer. By putting the daylight to better use, he
reasoned, they’d save a good deal of money — 96 million livres tournois —
that might otherwise go to buying candles. Now this switch to daylight
saving time (which occurs early Sunday in the United States) is an annual
ritual in Western countries.
Even more influential has been something else
Franklin said about time in the same year: time is money. He meant this only
as a gentle reminder not to “sit idle” for half the day. He might be
dismayed if he could see how literally, and self-destructively, we take his
metaphor today. Our society is obsessed as never before with making every
single minute count. People even apply the language of banking: We speak of
“having” and “saving” and “investing” and “wasting” it.
But the quest to spend time the way we do money is
doomed to failure, because the time we experience bears little relation to
time as read on a clock. The brain creates its own time, and it is this
inner time, not clock time, that guides our actions. In the space of an
hour, we can accomplish a great deal — or very little.
Inner time is linked to activity. When we do
nothing, and nothing happens around us, we’re unable to track time. In 1962,
Michel Siffre, a French geologist, confined himself in a dark cave and
discovered that he lost his sense of time. Emerging after what he had
calculated were 45 days, he was startled to find that a full 61 days had
To measure time, the brain uses circuits that are
designed to monitor physical movement. Neuroscientists have observed this
phenomenon using computer-assisted functional magnetic resonance imaging
tomography. When subjects are asked to indicate the time it takes to view a
series of pictures, heightened activity is measured in the centers that
control muscular movement, primarily the cerebellum, the basal ganglia and
the supplementary motor area. That explains why inner time can run faster or
slower depending upon how we move our bodies — as any Tai Chi master knows.
Time seems to expand when our senses are aroused.
Peter Tse, a neuropsychologist at Dartmouth, demonstrated this in an
experiment in which subjects were shown a sequence of flashing dots on a
computer screen. The dots were timed to occur once a second, with five black
dots in a row followed by one moving, colored one. Because the colored dot
appeared so infrequently, it grabbed subjects’ attention and they perceived
it as lasting twice as long as the others did.
Another ingenious bit of research, conducted in
Germany, demonstrated that within a brief time frame the brain can shift
events forward or backward. Subjects were asked to play a video game that
involved steering airplanes, but the joystick was programmed to react only
after a brief delay. After playing a while, the players stopped being aware
of the time lag. But when the scientists eliminated the delay, the subjects
suddenly felt as though they were staring into the future. It was as though
the airplanes were moving on their own before the subjects had directed them
to do so.
The brain’s inclination to distort time is one
reason we so often feel we have too little of it. One in three Americans
feels rushed all the time, according to one survey. Even the cleverest use
of time-management techniques is powerless to augment the sum of minutes in
our life (some 52 million, optimistically assuming a life expectancy of 100
years), so we squeeze as much as we can into each one.
Believing time is money to lose, we perceive our
shortage of time as stressful. Thus, our fight-or-flight instinct is
engaged, and the regions of the brain we use to calmly and sensibly plan our
time get switched off. We become fidgety, erratic and rash.
Tasks take longer. We make mistakes — which take
still more time to iron out. Who among us has not been locked out of an
apartment or lost a wallet when in a great hurry? The perceived lack of time
becomes real: We are not stressed because we have no time, but rather, we
have no time because we are stressed.
Studies have shown the alarming extent of the
problem: office workers are no longer able to stay focused on one specific
task for more than about three minutes, which means a great loss of
productivity. The misguided notion that time is money actually costs us
And it costs us time. People in industrial nations
lose more years from disability and premature death due to stress-related
illnesses like heart disease and depression than from other ailments. In
scrambling to use time to the hilt, we wind up with less of it.
Continued in article
March 12, 2008 reply from David Albrecht
For those who don't remember these time and motion
studies (about 100 years ago), here is a summary:
Pondering your question, I keep coming back to a
humorous story I read in Reader's Digest years ago. A person's car breaks
down and a mechanic with a fine reputation is summoned. The mechanic looks
over the engine, pulls out a screwdriver, and in about three seconds
tightens a screw. The mechanic then hands the driver a bill for several
hundred dollars. The driver complains about paying so much for so little of
the mechanic's time. The mechanic replies that the itemization was $0.10
for the act of tightening the screw, and hundreds of dollars for knowing
what to tighten.
At this time I refrain from saying much about the Empire Club and it's
ability to charge thousands of dollars per hour for the time of its models.
I'm wondering if Governor Spitzer maintained personal financials according
to GAAP, would he have reported his time involvement with Empire Club as a
Bob, you're retired and on pension, I'm still employed and getting paid.
The time you spend surfing, writing and sharing on AECM is unrecompensed,
but mine is not. Yet, you provide much more value to AECM than I.
Bob Jensen's threads on accounting history and theory are at
From the Scout Report on March 7, 2008
RSS Bandit 188.8.131.52 ---
RSS Bandit is an RSS reader that will help users
keep track of their various feeds through the inclusion of a number of novel
features. Visitors can view news items in customizable newspaper views and
also "expire" items so that they will be automatically deleted after a set
number of days. Additionally, visitors can view comments directly in the
reader and also maintain fine- grained control of how often items are
downloaded. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000
Desktop Flickr 1.0.14 ---
For those individuals who can't wait to see their
friends latest pictures on Flickr, the popular online photo-sharing website,
this desktop client will be a real find. With this application, users will
be notified as soon as any of their contacts uploads new photos to the site.
Additionally, visitors can also upload photos to their own Flickr account.
This version is compatible with all operating systems, and of course,
visitors must also have a Flickr account.
After return and restoration, paintings by Edvard
Munch to go back on display Munch's Scream to go back on show
Munch's Scream, Madonna set for summer return in
Edvard Munch: The Dance of Life Site
Edvard Munch Online
Munch Museum [Macromedia Flash Player]
Wal-Mart Ends Test of Linux in Stores
"This really wasn't what our customers were looking
for," said Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman Melissa O'Brien. To test demand for
systems with the open-source operating system, Wal-Mart stocked the $199 "Green
gPC," made by Everex of Taiwan, in about 600 stores starting late in October.
Walmart.com, the chain's e-commerce site, had sold Linux-based computers before
and will continue selling the gPC. This was the first time they appeared on
retail shelves. Paul Kim, brand manager for Everex, said selling the gPC online
was "significantly more effective" than selling it in stores. Wal-Mart sold out
the in-store gPC inventory but decided not to restock, O'Brien said. The company
does not reveal sales figures for individual items. Walmart.com now carries an
updated version, the gPC2, also for $199, without a monitor. The site also sells
a tiny Linux-driven laptop, the Everex CloudBook, for $399. Linux software is
maintained and developed by individuals and companies around the world on an
"open source" basis, meaning that everyone has access to the software's
blueprints and can modify them. There is no licensing fee for Linux, which helps
keeps the cost of the Everex PC low. Manufacturers have to pay Microsoft to sell
computers with Windows preloaded. Linux is in widespread use in server
computers, but it hasn't made a dent in the desktop market. Surveys usually put
its share of that market around 1 percent, far behind Windows and Apple Inc.'s
PhysOrg, March 11, 2008 ---
Tools of Thinking: Understanding the World Through Experience and Reason (24
lectures, Fee-based) Course No. 4413 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at
Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials
Breathing Earth ---
Western Waters Digital Library ---
Ecology, Art, and Technology ---
Biology Animation Library ---
Natural History Museum of London ---
Diseases of the Mind: Highlights of American Psychiatry through 1900 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on free online science,
engineering, and medicine tutorials are at ---
Social Science and Economics Tutorials
Race, Immigration and America's Changing Electorate ---
Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and
Philosophy tutorials are at
Law and Legal Studies
Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at
The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive ---
Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at
National Archives Experience ---
British Museum: The Americas ---
History of the United States ---
British Empire Exhibition 1938 ---
Arts & Crafts Movement: 1880-1920 in Europe and America ---
In Their Words: The Story of British Columbia Fish Packers ---
Diseases of the Mind: Highlights of American Psychiatry through 1900 ---
Race, Immigration and America's Changing Electorate ---
Finnish National Gallery: Art Collections ---
Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at
Center for Applied Linguistics ---
Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at
Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at
Updates from WebMD ---
Diseases of the Mind: Highlights of American Psychiatry through 1900 ---
in 4 Teen Girls Has Sexual Disease
At least one in four teenage girls
nationwide has a sexually transmitted
disease, or more than 3 million teens,
according to the first study of its kind in
this age group.
A virus that causes cervical
cancer is by far the most common sexually
transmitted infection in teen girls aged 14
to 19, while the highest overall prevalence
is among black girls - nearly half the
blacks studied had at least one STD. That
rate compared with 20 percent among both
whites and Mexican-American teens, the study
from the federal Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention found. About half of the
girls acknowledged ever having sex; among
them, the rate was 40 percent. While some
teens define sex as only intercourse, other
types of intimate behavior including oral
sex can spread some infections. For many,
the numbers likely seem "overwhelming
because you're talking about nearly half of
the sexually experienced teens at any one
time having evidence of an STD," said Dr.
Margaret Blythe, an adolescent medicine
specialist at Indiana University School of
Medicine and head of the American Academy of
Pediatrics' committee on adolescence. But
the study highlights what many doctors who
treat teens see every day, Blythe said.
Lindsey Tanner, "1 in 4 Teen Girls Has
Sexual Disease," PhysOrg, March 11,
Typical North American diet is deficient in
omega-3 fatty acids
New research from
the Child & Family Research Institute
shows the typical North American diet of
eating lots of meat and not much fish is
deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and
this may pose a risk to infant
neurological development. Omega-3 fatty
acids are unsaturated fats found in some
fish such as salmon and herring and in
smaller amounts in eggs and chicken.
This discovery is an important step
towards developing dietary fat
guidelines for pregnant and
breastfeeding women. Current dietary
recommendations evolved from the 1950’s
emphasis on reducing saturated fat
intake to lower the risk of
cardiovascular disease. “Omega 3 fatty
acids are important for the baby’s
developing eyes and brain,” says Dr.
Sheila Innis, the study’s principal
investigator, head of the nutrition and
metabolism program at the Child & Family
Research Institute at BC Children’s
Hospital, and professor, department of
pediatrics, University of British
Columbia. “During pregnancy and
breastfeeding, fat consumed by the mum
is transferred to the developing baby
and breastfed infant, and this fat is
important for the baby’s developing
organs. Our next task is to find out why
the typical North American diet puts
mothers at risk. Then we can develop
dietary recommendations to help women
consume a nutritious diet that promotes
optimal health for mums and babies.” The
researchers found that the women who ate
lots of meat and little fish were
deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and
their babies didn’t do as well on eye
tests as babies from mothers who weren’t
deficient. The results were noticeable
as early as two months of age. The study
is ongoing as the researchers intend to
follow the children’s development until
four years of age.
PhysOrg, March 8, 2008 ---
Doctors defend safety of vaccinations
U.S. health officials defended the safety of childhood
vaccines after an agency conceded that a vaccine was linked to one child's
autism diagnosis. "The government has made absolutely no statement about
indicating that vaccines are the cause of autism, as this would be a complete
mischaracterization of any of the science that we have at our disposal today,"
Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, said in a Thursday news conference. "I think we need to set the
record straight on that." The parents of 9-year-old Hannah Poling said the
government agreed to pay for her care after conceding that vaccines she was
given as a toddler triggered the encephalitis that led to her eventual diagnosis
of autism. Hannah's mother, Terry Poling, said one theory is that her daughter
had an underlying mitochondrial disorder that was aggravated by the
vaccinations. She said the other theory is vaccinations caused the disorder, The
New York Times reported. The case was handled under the National Childhood
Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which created a no-fault system for people to file
injury claims against the federal government, the newspaper said.
PhysOrg, March 8, 2008 ---
Analysis: Vaccine-Autism Link Unproven
For those convinced that vaccines can cause autism, the
sad case of a Georgia girl, daughter of a doctor and lawyer, seems like
clear-cut evidence. The government has agreed to pay the girl's family for
injury caused by vaccines. But it turns out it's not that simple - and maybe not
even a first. For those convinced that vaccines can cause autism, the sad case
of a Georgia girl, daughter of a doctor and lawyer, seems like clear-cut
evidence. The government has agreed to pay the girl's family for injury caused
by vaccines. But it turns out it's not that simple - and maybe not even a first.
Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione, PhysOrg, March 8, 2008
Paradoxical Alzheimer's finding may shed new light on memory loss
Do you remember the seventh song that played on your
radio on the way to work yesterday? Most of us don’t, thanks to a normal
forgetting process that is constantly “cleaning house” – culling inconsequential
information from our brains. Researchers at the Buck Institute now believe that
this normal memory loss is hyper-activated in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and that
this effect is key to the profound memory loss associated with the incurable
neurodegenerative disorder. Last year, this same group of researchers found that
they could completely prevent Alzheimer’s disease in mice genetically engineered
with a human Alzheimer’s gene—“Mouzheimer’s”—by blocking a single site of
cleavage of one molecule, called APP for amyloid precursor protein. Normally,
this site on APP is attacked by molecular scissors called caspases, but blocking
that process prevented the disease. Now they have studied human brain tissue and
found that, just as expected, patients suffering from AD clearly show more of
this cleavage process than people of the same age who do not have the disease.
However, when they extended their studies to much younger people without
Alzheimer’s disease, they were astonished to find an apparent paradox: these
younger people displayed as much as ten times the amount of the same cleavage
event as the AD patients. The researchers now believe they know why. The Buck
Institute study implicates a biochemical “switch” associated with that cleavage
of APP, causing AD brains to become stuck in the process of breaking memories,
and points to AD as a syndrome affecting the plasticity or malleability of the
brain. The study, due to be published in the March 7 issue of the Journal of
Alzheimer’s Disease, provides new insight into a molecular event resulting in
decreased brain plasticity, a central feature of AD.
PhysOrg, March 14, 2008 ---
Launch of Web-based tool to predict risk of bone fracture
It will soon be possible for anyone over 60 to predict
their individual risk of bone fracture with the aid of a simple web-based tool,
developed by the Sydney-based Garvan Institute of Medical Research. The tool
will be accessible online from the end of March at
www.fractureriskcalculator.com Each person
has a unique risk profile, a combination of five factors including sex, age,
weight, history of prior fracture, number of falls in the past 12 months and
bone mineral density. Scientists from Garvan developed the tool using data,
accumulated over 17 years, from the internationally recognised Dubbo
Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study. A paper describing the tool and its methodology
was published online today in the prestigious international journal,
Osteoporosis International. “The biggest challenge at the moment is how to
develop prognostic tools that allow individuals and their doctors to predict
risk of fracture” said Professor John Eisman, Director of Garvan’s Bone and
Mineral Research Program. Associate Professor Tuan Nguyen, whose team at Garvan
developed the tool, said “We have kept our model simple and easy to use. In
addition to the web-based version, it is also available on paper as a nomogram,
a simple graph which is easy for a clinician to complete.”
PhysOrg, March 7, 2008 ---
Boys need regular doses of action to focus on study
Short, regular doses of exercise between lessons helps
boys concentrate and learn more in class, says a specialist in educating boys,
Dr Michael Irwin. Dr Irwin, an Auckland-based senior education lecturer at the
University's College of Education, says five to 10-minute bursts of vigorous
activity, such as skipping or running, several times a day will help boys
settle. It is one of the key points he will make at a seminar on boys education
later this month. The seminar is a precursor to an international conference on
boys’ education at the University's Auckland campus later this year. “Overseas
studies have reported a significant improvement in learning if this practice is
followed,” he says. Girls would also benefit if schools were to adopt the
practice of building in mini-exercise routines, but biology and socialisation
meant that boys generally have a greater need for regular physical activity. He
also recommends that schools create “communities of men” – including fathers,
older brothers, uncles and grandfathers – that are involved in school
PhysOrg, March 12, 2008 ---
Weight loss more effective than intensive insulin therapy for type 2
Weight-loss and major lifestyle changes may be more
effective than intensive insulin therapy for overweight patients with poorly
controlled, insulin-resistant type 2 diabetes, according to a diabetes
researcher at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The National Heart, Lung, and
Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health recently halted part of an
ongoing clinical trial on diabetes and heart disease after more than 250 people
died while receiving intense treatment to drive their blood glucose levels below
current clinical guidelines. The evidence is compelling that when insulin levels
are high, certain tissues are overloaded with fatty molecules, which leads to
insulin resistance. And yet, the high blood glucose levels of many obese
patients with insulin-resistant type 2 diabetes are being treated with
increasing amounts of insulin in an attempt to overpower that resistance. While
high doses of insulin may lower glucose levels, it will also increase the fatty
molecules and may cause organ damage. In a commentary in the March 12 issue of
The Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Roger Unger, professor of
internal medicine, wrote about the recent findings of his own and other labs
that link insulin resistance to excess accumulation of fatty molecules in liver
PhysOrg, March 12, 2008 ---
Bullying more harmful than sexual harassment on the job, say researchers
Workplace bullying, such as belittling comments,
persistent criticism of work and withholding resources, appears to inflict more
harm on employees than sexual harassment, say researchers who presented their
findings at a conference today. “As sexual harassment becomes less acceptable in
society, organizations may be more attuned to helping victims, who may therefore
find it easier to cope,” said lead author M. Sandy Hershcovis, PhD, of the
University of Manitoba. “In contrast, non-violent forms of workplace aggression
such as incivility and bullying are not illegal, leaving victims to fend for
themselves.” This finding was presented at the Seventh International Conference
on Work, Stress and Health, co-sponsored by the American Psychological
Association, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the
Society for Occupational Health Psychology.
PhysOrg, March 8, 2008 ---
Memory researchers turn to Beatles
A group of researchers in the British city of Leeds are
using the music of The Beatles to study how musical memories impact an
individual's identity. The Sunday Times of London said by having research
subjects detail memories of listening to the famed British rock group,
psychologists at Leeds University hope to learn more about the creation of
"autobiographical" memories. Senior lecturer Dr. Catriona Morrison says by
focusing on individuals' memories of the rock band, the researchers want to
learn how certain memories can be triggered. "We are using an iconic cultural
entity to get all those memories in one place and to try to assess the influence
that the Beatles had on people's lives," Morrison said. "Whether you were there
in the 1960s or if you grew up in the 1980s, virtually everybody has got some
thoughts or memories about the Beatles." The Times said the final results of the
musical memory research will be released this September during a British
Association for the Advancement of Science-organized festival.
PhysOrg, March 10, 2008 ---
Eliot Spitzer (read that Eliot Mess) Scandal Inspires Plethora of Jokes and
Parody Songs (e.g., by Letterman and Leno) ---
You can read more about the truly remarkable and talented Eliot Spitzer at
David Letterman uncovered the following messages left on Spitzer's answering
10. “Hey, what’s new?”
09. “It’s Barack Obama. Remember our conversation about being my running
mate? Never mind.”
08. “Ralph Nader here. Glad to hear I’m not the only politician who has
to pay for it.”
07. “Hi, I’m calling from the ‘New York Post.’ Would you rather be known
as ‘Disgraced Governor Perv’ or ‘Humiliated Whore Fiend’?”
06. “This is John McCain. If it makes you feel better, I once got caught
having sex with Lincoln’s wife.”
05. “It’s Dr. Phil. Call me if you need any horse**** advice.”
04. “This is Sen. Larry Craig. Do you ever go through the Minneapolis
03. “It’s Wolf Blitzer. Call me if you ever want a hot Spitzer-Blitzer
02. “Paris Hilton here. I would have done it for free.”
01. “It’s Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thanks, I’m no longer America’s
Forwarded by Paula
you remember the Original Hollywood Squares
and its comics, this may bring a tear to
These great questions and answers are
from the days when 'Hollywood Squares'
game show responses were spontaneous,
not scripted, as they are now. Peter
Marshall was the host asking the
questions, of course...
female frogs croak?
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their
little heads under water long
you're going to make a parachute
jump, at least how high should
A. Charley Weaver: Three days of
steady drinking should
or False, a pea can last as long
as 5,000 years...
A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure
seems that way sometimes.
been having trouble going to
sleep. Are you probably a man
or a woman?
A. Don Knotts: That's what's
been keeping me awake.
to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a
stranger at a party and you think
that he is attractive, is it okay to
come out and ask him if he's
A. Rose Marie: No; wait until
Which of your five senses tends
to diminish as you get older?
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of
Hawaiian, does it take more than
three words to say 'I Love
A. Vincent Price: No, you can say
it with a pineapple and a twenty.
are 'Do it,' 'I can help,' and 'I
can’t get enough'?
A. George Gobel: I don't know, but
it's coming from the next apartment.
As you grow older, do you tend
to gesture more or less with
your hands while talking?
A. Rose Marie: You ask me one
more growing old question,
Peter, and I'll give you a
gesture you'll never forget!
why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon
wrinkles too easily.
you've just decided to grow
strawberries. Are you going to get
any during the first year?
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not,
I'm too busy growing strawberries.
bowling, what's a perfect score?
A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.
is considered in bad taste to
discuss two subjects at nudist
camps. One is politics, what is the
Paul Lynde: Tape measures.
a tornado, are you safer in the
bedroom or in the closet?
A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately Peter,
I'm always safe in the bedroom.
boys join the Camp Fire Girls?
A. Marty Allen: Only after lights
you pat a dog on its head he will
wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?
If you were pregnant for two years,
what would you give birth to?
A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it
would never be afraid of the dark.
to Ann Landers, is there anything
wrong with getting into the habit of
kissing a lot of people?
A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of
is the most abused and neglected
part of your body, what is it?
A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused,
but it certainly isn't neglected.
Back in the old days, when Great
Grandpa put horseradish on his head,
what was he trying to do ?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his
stays pregnant for a longer period
of time, your wife or
A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my
When a couple have a baby, who is
responsible for its sex?
A. Charley Weaver: I'll lend him the
car, the rest is up to him.
Gleason recently revealed that he
firmly believes in them and has
actually seen them on at least two
What are they?
A. Charley Weaver: His feet.
to Ann Landers, what are two things
you should never do in bed?
A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh
WE DON'T STOP LAUGHING BECAUSE WE
GROW OLD, WE
GROW OLD BECAUSE WE STOP LAUGHING!
Tidbits Archives ---
Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter ---
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron"
enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and
other universities is at
World Clock ---
Facts about the earth in real time --- http://www.worldometers.info/
Interesting Online Clock
Time by Time Zones ---
Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) ---
Facts about population growth (video) ---
Projected U.S. Population Growth ---
Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq ---
Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons ---
Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.
Three Finance Blogs
Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor Blog ---
FinancialRounds Blog ---
Karen Alpert's FinancialMusings (Australia) ---
Some Accounting Blogs
Paul Pacter's IAS Plus (International
International Association of Accountants News ---
AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries ---
Gerald Trite's eBusiness and
XBRL Blogs ---
Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New
Current and past editions of my newsletter called
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud
Online Books, Poems, References,
and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available
free on the Web.
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---
Shared Open Courseware
(OCW) from Around the World: OKI, MIT, Rice, Berkeley, Yale, and Other Sharing
Free Textbooks and Cases ---
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Free Education and
Research Videos from Harvard University ---
VYOM eBooks Directory ---
From Princeton Online
The Incredible Art Department ---
Online Mathematics Textbooks ---
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives ---
The word moodle is an acronym for "modular
object-oriented dynamic learning environment", which is quite a mouthful.
The Scout Report stated the following about Moodle 1.7. It is a
tremendously helpful opens-source e-learning platform. With Moodle,
educators can create a wide range of online courses with features that
include forums, quizzes, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, and surveys. On the
Moodle website, visitors can also learn about other features and read about
recent updates to the program. This application is compatible with computers
running Windows 98 and newer or Mac OS X and newer.
Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials
Accountancy Discussion ListServs:
For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a
ListServ (usually for free) go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
AECM is an email Listserv list which
provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software
which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the
college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and
peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets,
multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base
programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc
Roles of a ListServ ---
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of
all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an
unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments,
ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed.
Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L
or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for
a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional
accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or
education. Others will be denied access.
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA.
This can be anything from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ
initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as
accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed
assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag
Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586