Good Friday was not so good
Winds Howling and Snow Swirling
March 21, 2008 on the summit of Mt. Washington
||291° (W), 104.3 mph
When we first moved to New Hampshire in 2005
we attended a tiny Episcopal church about a half-mile down the road that is only
open in the summer season. It has the distinction of being the most photographed
church in New England. Indeed it is at the height of its glory, along with the
surrounding fields, in our
June Lupin Festival. Afterwards we joined another church about a mile down
the road that has year-around services.
The blue jay above is sitting directly over our well head . He's watching and
waiting for springtime that will not arrive for a couple of months.
Taps are beginning to appear on the maple
trees of Sugar Hill. In the next edition of Tidbits I will talk about
sugaring in these hills. It's a sweet time of year even if the snow is still on
Anything out of the ordinary seems much more ordinary when it happens to a
friend or relative. It sometimes broadens perspective and compassion and
Since moving to New Hampshire, my wife and I feel more a part of the
community by joining in with our very small congregation at the Sugar Hill
Community Church. On any given Sunday we're doing well if twenty worshippers join
in the service. Two of our very active worshippers are Wendy Kern (former wife
of Randy Mitton) and Arwen Mitton (former husband of Wendy Kern). The two women
still live together when Arwen is not in college in Rhode Island, but both hope
to move on in their own ways and loves when Arwen finishes college. In fact
Arwen was home on spring break and came to church with Wendy last Sunday. Arwen
recently had three pins put in her hip as a result of an accident with her
sailing team on the college campus. That is the least of her problems as she
moves forward with her life.
Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID) is something that I never anticipated
would directly touch upon my life, especially after I retired from teaching,
moved to the boondocks, and no longer encountered students from all walks in
life. But these conditions have touched upon my life because of two good
friends in our church.
On February 10, 2008 Arwen Mitton's story appeared in the Concord Monitor
newspaper. Below is a link to this very enlightening article. You will most
likely never meet Arwen or Wendy. But the article below will open your eyes to
the struggles faced by people with DID who took an enormous step to be
transgendered. I cannot really say more that will add value to the tremendous
article linked below. I wish I could do more for Arwen and Wendy, but I am and will
always be their friend. I might add that Arwen's a very good student, and
Wendy's a very good teacher.
For a short while you may read about Arwen at
March 18, 2008 reply from one reader
Thanks for sharing
this. Fascinating, scary, and heartbreaking. That other world that Arwen
describes living in before she appeared in this world is very similar to the
Robert Monroe describes in his books about his out-of-body
experiments. Evidently, the mind (and the universe) contain much more than
we know about or can understand
March 18, 2008 reply from another reader
article, thanks Bob. On a similar topic, there was an article in this past
weekend’s New York Times magazine which focused on transgender students
feeling more room to experiment with their gender identity within women’s
colleges. You might want to have your
Judith Butler books handy for this
Tidbits on March 22, 2008
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enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and
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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 ---
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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 ---
Going Boom in Dubai (Slide Show) ---
Israeli-Arab conflict ---
Interactives: The Rock Cycle (as in geology) ---
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Addictive Tic-Tac-Toe (interactive) ---
Dog, Cat, and Rat ---
Arthur C. Clarke (renowned science fiction author) died this
Free music downloads ---
SXSW 2008: The Whigs (full rock concert from
Austin, TX) ---
Choro Ensemble: Brazil Before Bossa ---
Before bossa nova and samba, Brazilian music was choro. Born in 19th-century Rio
de Janeiro, choro started when polkas and waltzes mixed with Afro-Brazilian
rhythms. Beginning in the early part of this decade, it has been heard weekly in
New York — thanks to a group called the Choro Ensemble.
When You're Running Down Our Country Man, You're
Walking on the Fighting Side of Me (Merle Haggard) ---
http://www.trdaniel.com/Take A Look America/index.htm
Shirley Bassey: New CD for 'Goldfinger' Diva ---
Saxophone Giant Benny Golson ---
Things You Don't Hear Anymore ---
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 ---
LibrarySpot (left column library finder
Scribd's 100 Top Novels ---
Charles Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal (poetry about society) ---
The Jewish Americans (includes four lesson plans) ---
Project Gutenberg Update ---
Other Free eBook Links:
You Can't Leave Education to A Few Theorists
AccountingWeb, March 13, 2008 ---
Sky-high oil prices are pumping tens of billions of
dollars into Iraq's coffers, reaping a windfall for a war-torn nation plagued by
unpassable roads, dilapidated hospitals and crumbling schools. Yet most of this
desperately needed cash is languishing in the bank. The reason: Iraq's
government is so ill-equipped to handle the basics of finance, it is having
trouble spending the money. In 2006, the Iraqi central government spent just 22%
of its $6 billion capital budget, which is aimed at improving Iraq's
infrastructure, while the oil ministry spent less than 3% of its reconstruction
Gina Chon, "Baghdad's Strange
Dilemma: Flush With Oil Cash, Unable to Spend It," The Wall Street Journal,
March 17, 2008; Page A14 ---
Can J.P. Morgan wear a mask and ride a white horse for over 100 years? ---
As a matter of fact yes, but sometimes he mistakenly saves the bad guys that
buried themselves in kemosabi.
This week we continue our discussion of the Panic of
1907 and the man who, single-handedly, turned things around,
J.P. Morgan. As I wrote
last week, speculation in the early 1900s was rampant. The lack of a central
bank became a worrisome topic for many because the banks were intimately
involved in the market, either as underwriters or investors. This included the
trust banks, a group separate from commercial and investment banks. Trust banks
were administrators of trust funds, money invested on behalf of estates, wills,
and the like. They provided a tenuous link to the markets and many of them made
loans to market speculators, taking securities as collateral. Thus, if stocks
fell, the trust banks as well as other banks would be severely hurt, as would
their investors. Without a central bank, no one would loan them money if a
depositor's run developed or they needed cash to prop up their positions under
Brian Trumbore, "J.P. Morgan -
Savior -- The Panic of 1907," BuyAndHold, March 2008 ---
Jim Mahar alerted me to this link.
In a dramatic move Friday,
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York stepped in with emergency funds to keep
beleaguered investment bank Bear Stearns Cos. afloat. The move, during a week of
worry about whether Bear could continue to meet its obligations, took the credit
crisis to a new, more serious stage and was a reminder of how quickly an erosion
of confidence can undermine even leading financial institutions.
Kevin Kingsbury, Andrew Dowell, and Serena Ng,
"Bear Stearns to Get Backing From J.P. Morgan, N.Y. Fed," The Wall Street
Journal, March 14, 2008 ---
Bankers bet with their bank's capital, not their
own. If the bet goes right, they get a huge bonus; if it misfires, that's the
Sebastian Mallaby. Council on Foreign Relations, as quoted by
Avital Louria Hahn, "Missing: How Poor Risk-Management Techniques
Contributed to the Subprime Mess," CFO Magazine, March 2008, Page 53 ---
Now that the Fed is going to bail out these crooks with taxpayer funds makes it
all the worse.
Bob Jensen's "Rotten to the Core" threads are at
That some bankers have ended up in
prison is not a matter of scandal, but what is outrageous is the fact that all
the others are free.
What if anything should governments do to help out
in this present financial crisis, mindful of the many kinds of moral hazard that
are lurking, but also mindful that the financial structure is delicately
balanced? Despite the moral hazard risks, interventionist policies might be
justified not because some borrowers or lenders were taken advantage of, but if
these interventions would help the economy recover more quickly, and insure that
the recession is neither prolonged nor deep. Still it is difficult to see the
merits in the Fed's efforts to help the sale of Bears Stearns to JPMorgan Chase
by guaranteeing many billions of mortgage and other assets of the company.
Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, "The
Erosion of Individual Responsibility," The Becker-Posner Blog, March 16,
Becker makes two principal points in his interesting
post: that free enterprise encourages people to take responsibility for their
actions and thereby make better decisions; and that there is "a strong trend
toward shifting responsibility to others." I would qualify these points as
follows. Free enterprise requires individuals to make a variety of decisions,
concerning both production and consumption, that in a socialist system is the
responsibility of government officials. It does not follow that people in
free-enterprise societies "take responsibility," in some psychological sense,
for their actions. The tendency to blame others when things go wrong is deeply
rooted in human nature and I imagine no less common in America than in any other
country. In fact, in a free-market system, competition places significant
limitations on the freedom of choice of consumers, investors, and workers . . .
As for the people who took out risky mortgages in the expectation that house
prices would continue to rise, they should not be bailed out (that is the moral
hazard problem) by government even, I think, if they were victims of fraud. But
if they were victims of fraud, they should have legal remedies against the
people who defrauded them. Of course, if there were no legal remedies against
fraud, people would be more careful--but they would be too careful; they would
incur high costs of self-protection. It is cheaper to punish fraud, just as it
is cheaper to punish burglary than to tell people to fortify their houses.
"The Erosion of Individual Responsibility," The Becker-Posner Blog, March
16, 2008 ---
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
I met Eliot Spitzer during his first semester in law
school, my first year teaching criminal law at Harvard. He was smart and
ambitious, which certainly didn't set him apart from the rest of his classmates
at Harvard. What did, and what brought him to my door, was that he was
interested in a career in politics.... Maybe he was absent the day we discussed
the Mann Act. But I don't think so.... Eliot Spitzer knew better, but he clearly
forgot that the rules apply to everyone. Especially him. Now, the face in the
mirror is the one that did him in. Poor Eliot. I do feel sorry for him. But
there are some things you can't teach, some things that can only be learned
through painful experience. Hubris is what it's called.
Susan Estrich, former campaign
manager for Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis in 1988, reflecting on her time
teaching Eliot Spitzer at Harvard Law School.
Opinion Journal, The Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2008
Hubriz is where brain surgeons first look when they cannot find a man’s brain
above his neck.
Sadly it's belatedly coming out that Spitzer's replacement as NY Governor, David
Paterson, and Paterson's wife cheated on each other with extra-marital affairs
But the Kennedy Clan has repeatedly claimed this is all right as long as
politician's get it for free.
Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, a Republican,
grouses that the Senate Democrats' budget documents contain more than $100
billion of spending that is "paid for" only by budget tricks and gimmicks, such
as changing the timing of payments so they don't happen inside the budget
window. This doesn't save any money, it just camouflages the total spending
Congress is doing. An even taller tale concerns some of the Democrats' revenue
assumptions. They claim to be keeping the party's pledge of fiscal balance in
five years, but that's possible only by assuming that 30 million Americans will
pay the Alternative Minimum Tax in 2013. As Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin notes,
"There aren't 30 million rich people in America." That means a giant tax
increase on the middle class five years from now.
Opinion Journal, The Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2008
Cambridge Health Alliance, a key part of the Boston
area's healthcare network, is facing a potentially "catastrophic" loss this year
and is looking to eliminate up to 300 jobs, or about 9 percent of its workforce,
in an effort to stabilize finances. The alliance, which includes Cambridge
Hospital, Somerville Hospital, and Whidden Hospital in Everett, says it is being
hit hard by the state's new healthcare reform law, which has left it responsible
for providing free care for those without insurance while reducing the
hospitals' compensation for such services. "A significant downturn in our volume
and the transition to the new free care pool reimbursement system created a
perfect storm for us," said Dennis D. Keefe, chief executive of the alliance.
Jeffry Krasner, "Health provider
predicts big loss," Boston Globe, March 17, 2008 ---
Massachusetts like all other states is just waiting for the Federal government
to pay the tab for free health care after November 2008.
Doctor shortage takes a toll in Japan Japan might
boast universal health cover and some of the world's best medical technology,
but an acute shortage of doctors is leaving some hospitals unable to treat even
car crash victims. Gruelling work hours are discouraging people from entering
the medical profession in a country where the population is rapidly ageing,
foreign doctors are barred and a swelling public debt caps doctors' salaries.
The strains are even being felt here at the Hyogo Brain and Heart Centre in the
western city of Himeji, one of Japan's best-known neurology and cardiology
hospitals. "We toil like workhorses," said Teishi Kajiya, the hospital's vice
director and a cardiologist, taking some time for an interview before heading to
the operation room. "It's become the norm for doctors to work 36 hours straight,
which is emotionally and physically exhausting. We never know when one of us
might collapse," he said, looking weary despite his tidy coat.
PhysOrg, March 16, 2008 ---
"Last week, the University of Virginia's student
paper, The Cavalier Daily, ran a cartoon depicting a naked man smoking a
cigarette in bed. Standing beside the bed, a woman in her underwear buttons up
her shirt and asks, 'Come on God, be honest – Did you really get a vasectomy? I
can't let Joseph find out about this.' The man replies, 'Well, Mary, you're
f----d," the AFA said.
WorldNetDaily, March 17, 2008 ---
This comes on the heels after publishing a cartoon that appeared to make fun of
starving people in Africa ---
The former treasurer of a Republican Congressional
fund-raising committee may have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars by
submitting elaborately forged audit reports for five years using the letterhead
of a legitimate auditing firm, a lawyer for the committee said Thursday. Robert
K. Kelner, a lawyer with Covington & Burling, who was brought in by the National
Republican Congressional Committee to investigate accounting irregularities,
said a new audit showed that the committee had $740,000 less on hand than it
believed. Mr. Kelner said it was unclear whether that amount represented money
siphoned off by the former treasurer, Christopher J. Ward. Mr. Ward, who is
under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had the authority to
make transfers of committee money on his own, Mr. Kelner said . . .
Mr. Kelner lamented the fact that the finances of the
Republican committee had been set up to allow Mr. Ward to authorize wire
transfers of money unilaterally.
Neal A. Lewis, "Sham Audits May Have
Hid Theft by G.O.P. Committee Treasurer, Lawyer Says," The New York Times,
March 14, 2008 ---
The first line of defense against fraud is internal control. This committee had
no such control.
The state Legislature on Friday wrapped up its
second special session during the 2-month-old administration of Gov. Bobby
Jindal by completing a full sweep of the governor's proposed package of business
tax cuts and $1.1 billion in surplus spending priorities. Jindal and his
legislative allies won all the initiatives they set out to accomplish during the
six-day session, including a controversial bill to grant a partial tax deduction
for private school tuition . . . "This group should be proud of batting a
thousand," Jindal said. "The country's watching us . . . we know they'll like
what they see."
Ed Anderson, "Jindal 'bats a
thousand' at session," The Times-Picayune, March 15, 2008 ---
I sure hope Maine, Michigan, Maryland, New Jersey, California, Taxachusetts, Vermont, and New York are watching.
This would be even better for Louisiana if it finds more cash stored in
freezers. Seriously, Jindal's move would really attract business to Louisiana if
there weren't so much Louisiana political corruption and crime (read that
extortion and kickbacks).
Proponents (of a computer services tax in
Maryland) say the $200 million in revenue the tax is
projected to garner is indispensable when Maryland is already facing a budget
shortfall. Senate President Mike Miller insists that "We can't afford to cede to
businesses $200 million in revenue without an alternative." Wait until they see
what happens to revenue when business begins to leave the state. Many Maryland
companies and small businesses say they could be forced to relocate if the tax
isn't repealed. And nearby states are courting potential departees: 70 Maryland
computer services firms got a letter last month from Delaware economic director
Judy McKinney-Cherry to encourage companies to "include Delaware when you are
contemplating an expansion." Other states have tried similar tax experiments --
with dismal results. In Pennsylvania, a 6% computer services tax was repealed
after it handicapped the state's ability to compete with other states for
business. Ditto Connecticut, which enacted a 6% computer consulting tax in the
late 1980s, only to walk it back in 1997 as the importance of the computer
industry became apparent, and business associations revolted.
"High Tech Tax," The Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2008;
Page A10 ---
Ted Kennedy has called Nantucket Sound near his
Massachusetts estate “a national treasure” — but that didn’t stop the senator
from having oil dumped from his yacht into its waters. A local photographer
spotted an oil slick coming from Kennedy’s yacht Mya as Kennedy and his guests
left the vessel in a launch following a race that ended in Hyannis, the Cape Cod
Today newspaper reported. The lensman was so shocked that he rowed his dinghy
out to question the crew member left aboard the yacht. He asked the crewman,
“What the hell are you doing?” The crewman said that diesel fuel had gotten into
the bilge and he was told to dump it.
"Ted Kennedy Dumps Fuel into Nantucket Sound," Newsmax,
March 14, 2008 ---
That's not the worst thing Ted's secretly dumped into the Atlantic Ocean.
At the tender age of 23 years, Yon Goicoechea is
arguably President Hugo Chávez's worst nightmare. Mr. Goicoechea is the retiring
secretary general of the university students' movement in Venezuela. Under his
leadership, hundreds of thousands of young people have come together to confront
the strongman's unchecked power. It is the first time in a decade of Chávez rule
that a countervailing force, legitimate in the eyes of society, has successfully
managed to challenge the president's authority.
Mary Anastasia O'Grady, "Student
Power," The Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2008; Page A16 ---
Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, a founding father of the
modern mega-tort class-action industry, pleaded guilty yesterday to trying to
bribe a judge. It is notable but perhaps unsurprising in this particular week,
when we have already seen one famous figure, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer,
brought down by his own sense of invulnerability to the law or common sense. In
the 1990s, Mr. Scruggs famously got corporate defendants, and whole industries,
to make mammoth settlements in lieu of fighting the thousands of plaintiffs the
Mississippi tort lawyer had gathered into a class-action lawsuit. Mr. Scruggs
was a legal entrepreneur, who figured out that the combined weight of endless
plaintiffs and bad publicity would force even the richest corporations to plead
for a settlement. It was his further insight that his percentage of the take,
aka contingency fees, would make him and his associates rich as Croesus. The
trappings of wealth that attended the class-action plaintiffs bar are the stuff
"Dickie's Plea," The Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2008;
Page A10 ---
Dickie and his wife donated $25 million to the University of Mississippi. They
now request that their names be removed from the music building, following his
pleading guilty to charges of trying to bribe a judge. The couple did not ask
for funds to be returned. Musicians will still be required to wear
some symphony performances.
Until recently, Obama's church website outlined a
controversial code of ethics written by blacks for blacks called the "Black
Value System." It asks members to commit their
time, money and talents to the black community, black businesses, black
institutions and black political leaders. The program also demands black members
disavow "the pursuit of (Bill Cosby's) middleclassness." The 160-word section has since been
deleted from the About Us
page, replaced by videotaped testimonials from church
members extolling the virtues of the church, including a white official from the
parent United Church of Christ who said she feels welcome at predominantly black
"Obama's preacher sanitizes website," WorldNetDaily, March 16,
What just got sanitized from Obama's church Website are many of the "Black
Value System" ideas borrowed from black theologian
Cone's Black Theology
"The time has come for white America to be silent
and listen to black people."
"All white men are responsible for white
"Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he
called the white man 'the devil.'"
"Any advice from whites to blacks on how to deal
with white oppression is automatically under suspicion as a clever device to
"Black suffering is getting worse, not better. . .
. White supremacy is so clever and evasive that we can hardly name it."
" Jesus Christ is black therefore not because of
some cultural or psychological need of black people, but because and only
because Christ really enters into our world where the poor were despised and
the black are, disclosing that he is with them enduring humiliation and pain
and transforming oppressed slaves into liberating servants."
"Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not
identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for
us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill
"The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do
not belong to the black community ...
Black theology will accept only the love of God
which participates in the destruction of the white enemy."
"What we need is the divine love as expressed in
Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors
here and now by any means at their disposal. "
Some ideas not found at that Website's former "Black Value System" are as
We must develop and maintain the capacity to
forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to
love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere
ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Through violence you may murder a murderer, but you
can't murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can't
establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder
hate. Darkness cannot put out darkness.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can
do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
. . . the number of Hispanic and Asian high-school
students is already growing, and significant increases are expected over the
next decade. At the same time, white and black enrollment are each projected to
see double-digit-percentage drops, causing an overall decline in the number of
Elyse Ashburn, "New Data Predict
Major Shifts in Student Population, Requiring Colleges to Change Strategies,"
Chronicle of Higher Education, March 21, 2008 ---
For black males the numbers of college graduates in the past decades are small.
I fear that we're seeing more and more of the shifts in "Black Value System"
away from a quest for Bill Cosby's "middleclassedness" in contrast to the Hispanic and Asian
minority students. I wonder how much a role hate-mongering Christian and Muslim
Malcom X, and
Farrakhan have had is this phenomenon in the black community.
When Don Imus uttered his infamous slur on the radio
last year, Obama cut him no slack. Imus should be fired, he said. "There's
nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like
that about anybody of any ethnic group." When it came to Wright, however, he
wasn't nearly so categorical. Oh, he's "like an old uncle who says things I
don't always agree with," Obama indulgently explained to one interviewer. He's
just "trying to be provocative ," he told another. "I don't think my church is
actually particularly controversial," he said. Far from severing his ties to
Wright, Obama made him a member of his Religious Leadership Committee only four
Jeff Jacoby, "It's Still a Question
of Wright Versus Wrong," The Boston Globe, March 19, 2008 ---
Jesus Christ as a "black messiah" and blacks as "the
chosen people" who will only accept a god who assists their aim of destroying
the "white enemy" --As quoted in "Obama pastor's
theology: Destroy 'the white enemy': 'If God is not for us and against
whites ... we had better kill him'," WorldNetDaily, March 17, 2008 ---
What amazes me is racist hate mongering ministers like Jeremiah Wright and Al
Sharpton often imply that
power in the U.S. Government is reserved for the white race. They never once
mention that the most powerful Congressman controlling the purse strings of the
entire United States is a hard-nosed black liberal from Brooklyn --- Charlie
Rangel., Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee ---
They never mention that our Secretary of State is both black and female ---
They never mention black executives in the Fortune 500 companies and black
billionaires like Oprah.
Bill Cosby became their enemy when he asserted that many
blacks, certainly no all, do not want to put in the effort for free education
and training in order to live the American dream.
Watch the video ---
Another one is here ---
Bill Cosby was no doubt pained to see what's
happening today. Rather than have a role model like him or the character he
played on TV, a well-to-do physician, far more black youth today seem to emulate
the thugs who pose as music artists. What would have pained him more than this
is the apathy shown by black elders and the community as a whole. It doesn't
take years of research into society to figure out that something's not right
with the state of urban black youth today . . . . . Bill Cosby's harsh
words on the condition of many of today's black youth have evoked many
responses. I thought that I should get my two cents' worth on it as well. I
wholeheartedly applaud Bill Cosby for saying what he did, and I completely agree
with his views. I have felt for a long time the exact things that he expressed
in words in front of a group of black leaders a few weeks back.
Vivek Thuppil ---
As Kaus notes, Obama's "explanations of white anger
seem distant and condescending." The same is often true when white liberals
proclaim their "understanding" of black anger--except that black anger is
invested with a certain nobility for its having originated in genuine
oppression. And Obama's agenda is not exactly bold ... What he seems to be
offering "working- and middle-class white Americans" is to label them
"resentful" rather than "misguided or even racist," in exchange for which they
are expected to support an expansion of left-liberal social programs. Will this
bargain appeal to voters any more than it has in the previous 10 elections?
Editors of The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2008 quoting
Mickey Kaus in Slate Magazine, March 17, 2008 ---
Yes, I read the transcript of Mr. Obama's much
touted "great" speech. His heartfelt cry: " that investing in the health,
welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately
help all of America prosper," might tug at the heartstrings of Americans who
never heard of Lyndon Baines Johnson's "Great Society." Or "Project Headstart"
Well, I was a high school student then, and in the summer I went into a black
ghetto in Rockaway and picked up black pre-schoolers every morning to bring them
to a Federally-funded pre-school program which it was hoped would enrich their
educational experiences. I went to a public college in which Affirmative Action
gave preferential treatment for admissions and scholarships to minorities. That
is also part of America's "tragic past."
Naomi Regan (an influential and
writer who now lives in Israel). In a flurry of recent messages she's claimed
Jews are increasingly questioning the credibility of Obama's promises to Israel.
Most working and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been
particularly privileged by their race. In fact many feel that they've faced
unfair competition due to affirmative action hiring, scholarships, and
admissions to prestigious colleges and universities. Eventually it will be the
silent majority's proud Americans that decide who will be the next President of
the United States. The hate-America black preachers and showmen screaming James
Cone's "Black Value System" are shooting the Democratic Party in both feet in
ways never imagined by Karl Rove.
Most significantly, Mr. Obama asserted that race in
America has become a generational story. The original sin of slavery is a fact,
but the progress we have lived through the past 50 years means each generation
experiences race differently. Older blacks, like Mr. Wright, remember Jim Crow
and were left misshapen by it. Some rose anyway, some did not; of the latter, a
"legacy of defeat" went on to misshape another generation. The result:
destructive anger that is at times "exploited by politicians" and that can keep
African-Americans "from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition."
But "a similar anger exists within segments of the white community." He speaks
of working- and middle-class whites whose "experience is the immigrant
experience," who started with nothing. "As far as they're concerned, no one
handed them anything, they've built it from scratch." "So when they are told to
bus their children to a school across town," when they hear of someone receiving
preferences they never received, and "when they're told their fears about crime
in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced," they feel anger too.
Peggy Noonnan's favorable review of the March 18 Obama speech,
"A Thinking Man's Speech," The Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2008; Page
"The New Austerity," by Justin Fox, Time Magazine, March 24,
2008, Page 26 ---
Journalists and others with a tendency to
see glasses as half empty have a long history of pronouncing the American
consumer maxed out. "Time for a New Frugality," this magazine declared in
1973. "Over the Ears in Debt," it chimed in again in 1987. It wasn't just
TIME. Historian of credit Lendol Calder has assembled a long list of worried
headlines through the decades: "Debt Threatens Democracy" (Harper's, 1940),
"Is the Country Swamped with Debt?" (Business Week, 1949), "Never Have So
Many Owed So Much" (U.S. News & World Report, 1959). And so on.
Amid all this hand-wringing, Americans
have kept piling on more and more debt. The last significant episode of
belt-tightening came during the recession of the early 1980s. But that
turned out to be just the prelude to a quarter-century of growing
profligacy, capped by a final half-decade of mostly mortgage-related fun
that will go down as one of the most reckless borrowing-and-lending binges
Now that particular binge has come to a
crashing end, and the credit worriers believe their moment may have finally
arrived. "I'm not saying we're going back to our parents' level of
frugality," says David Rosenberg, North American economist at Merrill Lynch.
"But what we have witnessed in the past 20 to 30 years — and especially the
parabolic credit growth of the last five years — is going to be bursting in
the next decade."
Americans simply don't have enough money
to pay back the mortgage and credit-card debt they've run up. That reality
is forcing banks to retrench as loans gone bad shrink their capital bases
and falling house prices shrink the collateral that homeowners can borrow
against. And it will presumably force chastened consumers to change their
ways as well. At least that's what Rosenberg is predicting. "It's an
entirely new attitude toward debt," he says. "It is the new four-letter
Continued in article
To top off the out-of-control consumer debt is the totally out-of-control
national debt of the Federal government itself. The last time I looked on
March 20, 2008 it was as follows at
Watch the Video (CBS Sixty Minute Video) ---
Mr. Obama's villains, in other words, are the
standard-issue populist straw men of Wall Street and the GOP, and his candidacy
is a vessel for liberal policy orthodoxy -- raise taxes, "invest" more in social
programs, restrict trade, retreat from Iraq. Needless to say, this is not an
agenda rooted in bipartisanship or even one that has captured a national
Presidential majority in more than 40 years. It would be unfortunate if Mr.
Obama's candidacy were toppled by racial neuroses, and his speech yesterday may
have prevented that. But it also revealed the extent to which his ideas are
neither new nor transcendent.
"Discovering Obama," The Wall Street Journal, March 19,
2008; Page A16 ---
The Surprise Quotation of the Week from the Liberal
It would be dunderheaded to demand of our three
presidential candidates that they and their campaigns do what nobody else can.
We cannot expect them to offer a (financing)
program of action. But it is not asking too much of them to cut down on the
blue-sky promises and come on back down to reality. It would reassure some of
the voters if they would acknowledge that we are teetering on one helluva big
(sinking economy) problem. It's going to be
a bumpy night.
Nicholas von Hoffman, "Economic
Chaos, Political Consequences," The Nation, March 17, 2008 ---
If Barack Obama fails this year in his quest to become the first black President
of the United States, it should not be because of the racism, anti-Semitics, and
"damn America" speeches of his friend and pastor. I do blame Obama somewhat for his
Keith Olbermann about never having heard years of
hate sermons. When later confronted with the
text of many sermons and his attendance records at church, Senator Obama later confessed that he had listened to these
hate America and hate Jews sermons for years. He waited until March 18, 2008 to
own up to these embarrassing facts.
My own view is that Senator Obama should not be President
because of the
Zimbabwe-like inflation and job losses of his economic recklessness to spend
up to a
trillion dollars on "blue sky"
social and environmental programs this faltering nation can ill afford with
a faltering economic engine. The disastrous spendthrift ways of President Bush
and the war in Iraq pale in light of the unrealistic Great Society visions of
Barack Obama. Monumental increases in taxes are counter productive to raising
revenue of this magnitude and financing these social and environmental programs in a times of
soaring oil prices, a plunging dollar, and a National Debt this nation cannot
afford before the November 2008 election.
Liberals often argue that we should take from the military and
give to the poor. But they don't understand how the United States burdened
future generations with entitlements to pay for past wars. The lion's share of
the annual military budget is not discretionary due to entitlements for lifetime
pensions, medical care, and medicines for soldiers and staff that retired as
early as 40 years of age and have many more years to live. When these
are carved out of the military budget there isn't near enough money reallocate
to Obama's Great Society dreams.
Instead the hope of this nation rides on large and small
business prosperity and anti-trust enforcement that does prevents big businesses
from monopoly abuses. Obama may well become the blue sky Captain of the USS
Titanic in a sea of national debt. Thus far Obama's avoided being specific about
how to finance his dreams for America. Let's hope he comes to his senses about
economics before we sink to a hopeless bottom. The social ills
of this nation cannot be solved with an economy in ruins.
Assuming that Hillary Clinton will remain a powerful senator
after McCain and Obama begin to slug it out for the presidency, it's high time
that both surviving presidential candidates commence to provide specifics on what they
plan to do to keep the United States from
sinking to the bottom. At the moment
all three are promising hot air balloons (read that
entitlements) in the
blue sky of false hopes instead of realistic programs to save this nation.
It was a delight and a surprise that the highly liberal
Nocholas von Hoffman
admitted this (that the presidential candidates are promising unrealistic "blue
sky") in the highly liberal news magazine called
The Nation. Our former enemies (Russia and China) and fickle allies in
the Middle East and South America now have us in frigid and bumpy waters where
they want us. Our plunging economy can do what al Qaeda never had a chance to do
with terror and bombs. The so-called poor of this nation don't know what it's
like to be really, really poor without a shred of hope from a bankrupt
government and no charities left to lean on. All is doomed unless we shore up
business performance and energy supplies.
Read about our biggest economic worry for future generations ---
We've reached a low point where politicians have to promise to literally give
away the farm to become president of the United States.
The problem with Obama's Great Society programs is that once enacted most of
them cannot be unwound because he's
proposing huge entitlements..
And John McCain may well be just as much of a spendthrift as
George Bush. The inability of George W. Bush to say no to lavish spending by
Congress over the past eight years has led us into much of the current mess.
It's long overdue that the two surviving presidential candidates begin proposing
realistic ways to change directions on our economy's descent in a sea of national debt.
What former Andersen partner, who watched the Andersen accounting firm implode
alongside its client Enron, has been traveling for years around the United
States warning that the United States economy will implode unless we totally
come to our senses?
David Walker is the top accountant, Controller General, of the United States
He was a featured plenary speaker a few years back at an annual meeting of the
American Accounting Association.
See his "State of the Profession of Accountancy"
the October 2005 edition of the Journal of Accountancy.
Watch the Video of the non-sustainability of the U.S.
economy (CBS Sixty Minutes TV Show Video) ---
Blue Sky Presidential Candidates
An old man, a boy & a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey &
the old man walked.
As they went along they passed some people who remarked it was a shame the
old man was walking and the boy was riding.
The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right so they changed
Then, later, they passed some people who remarked, "What a shame, he makes
that little boy walk."
So they then decided they'd both walk!
Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when
they had a decent donkey to ride.
So, they both rode the donkey.
Now they passed some people who shamed them by saying how awful to put such a
load on a poor donkey.
The boy and man figured they were probably right, so they decide to carry the
As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell
into the river and drowned.
The moral of the story?
If you try to please everyone, you might as well kiss your ass goodbye!
How can you best publish books, including multimedia and user interactive books,
on the Web?
Note that interactive books may have quizzes and examinations where answers are
sent back for grading.
My Answers ---
Just wondering what the soaring price of gasoline will do for students'
choices between commuting campuses and distance education alternatives, often
from the same universities and colleges. There may be more open parking places
on some campuses.
Bob Jensen's threads on distance education alternatives
Find home values, reverse phone numbers, animated population growth maps,
specialized research sites and more
More likely the reported home values are unrealistically high at the moment
The above link was forwarded by Ed Scribner
Bob Jensen's search helpers are at
Be on Your Guard
IRS 2008 'Dirty Dozen' Phishing Scams ---
Bob Jensen's threads on Phishing, Spoofing, Pharming, Slurping, and
Bob Jensen's threads on tax scams are at
"Survey Reveals Wackiest Job Interview Mistakes," SmartPros,
March 13, 2008 ---
year's Top 10 list includes:
- Candidate answered cell phone and
asked the interviewer to leave her own office because it was a
- Candidate told the interviewer he
wouldn't be able to stay with the job long because he thought he
might get an inheritance if his uncle died -- and his uncle
wasn't "looking too good."
- Candidate asked the interviewer for a
ride home after the interview.
- Candidate smelled his armpits on the
way to the interview room.
- Candidate said she could not provide a
writing sample because all of her writing had been for the CIA
and it was "classified."
- Candidate told the interviewer he was
fired for beating up his last boss.
- When applicant was offered food before
the interview, he declined saying he didn't want to line his
stomach with grease before going out drinking.
- A candidate for an accounting position
said she was a "people person" not a "numbers person."
- Candidate flushed the toilet while
talking to interviewer during phone interview.
- Candidate took out a hair brush and
brushed her hair.
Bob Jensen's career helpers are at
"Research on Accounting Should Learn From the Past," by Michael H. Granof
and Stephen A. Zeff, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 21, 2008 ---
Starting in the 1960s, academic research on
accounting became methodologically supercharged — far more quantitative and
analytical than in previous decades. The results, however, have been
paradoxical. The new paradigms have greatly increased our understanding of
how financial information affects the decisions of investors as well as
managers. At the same time, those models have crowded out other forms of
investigation. The result is that professors of accounting have contributed
little to the establishment of new practices and standards, have failed to
perform a needed role as a watchdog of the profession, and have created a
disconnect between their teaching and their research.
Before the 1960s, accounting research was primarily
descriptive. Researchers described existing standards and practices and
suggested ways in which they could be improved. Their findings were taken
seriously by standard-setting boards, CPA's, and corporate officers.
confluence of developments in the 1960s markedly changed the nature of
research — and, as a consequence, its impact on practice. First,
computers emerged as a means of collecting and analyzing vast amounts of
information, especially stock prices and data drawn from corporate financial
statements. Second, academic accountants themselves recognized the
limitations of their methodologies. Argument, they realized, was no
substitute for empirical evidence. Third, owing to criticism that their
research was decidedly second rate because it was insufficiently analytical,
business faculties sought academic respectability by employing the methods
of disciplines like econometrics, psychology, statistics, and mathematics.
In response to those developments, professors of
accounting not only established new journals that were restricted to
metric-based research, but they limited existing academic publications to
that type of inquiry. The most influential of the new journals was the
Journal of Accounting Research, first published in 1963 and sponsored by the
University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
Acknowledging the primacy of the journals,
business-school chairmen and deans increasingly confined the rewards of
publication exclusively to those publications' contributors. That policy was
applied initially at the business schools at private colleges that had the
strongest M.B.A. programs. Then ambitious business schools at public
institutions followed the lead of the private schools, even when the public
schools had strong undergraduate and master's programs in accounting with
successful traditions of practice-oriented research.
The unintended consequence has been that
interesting and researchable questions in accounting are essentially being
ignored. By confining the major thrust in research to phenomena that can be
mathematically modeled or derived from electronic databases, academic
accountants have failed to advance the profession in ways that are expected
of them and of which they are capable.
Academic research has unquestionably broadened the
views of standards setters as to the role of accounting information and how
it affects the decisions of individual investors as well as the capital
markets. Nevertheless, it has had scant influence on the standards
The research is hamstrung by restrictive and
sometimes artificial assumptions. For example, researchers may construct
mathematical models of optimum compensation contracts between an owner and a
manager. But contrary to all that we know about human behavior, the models
typically posit each of the parties to the arrangement as a "rational"
economic being — one devoid of motivations other than to maximize pecuniary
Moreover, research is limited to the homogenized
content of electronic databases, which tell us, for example, the prices at
which shares were traded but give no insight into the decision processes of
either the buyers or the sellers. The research is thus unable to capture the
essence of the human behavior that is of interest to accountants and
Further, accounting researchers usually look
backward rather than forward. They examine the impact of a standard only
after it has been issued. And once a rule-making authority issues a
standard, that authority seldom modifies it. Accounting is probably the only
profession in which academic journals will publish empirical studies only if
they have statistical validity. Medical journals, for example, routinely
report on promising new procedures that have not yet withstood rigorous
Floyd Norris, the chief financial correspondent of
The New York Times, titled a 2006 speech to the American Accounting
Association "Where Is the Next Abe Briloff?" Abe Briloff is a rare academic
accountant. He has devoted his career to examining the financial statements
of publicly traded companies and censuring firms that he believes have
engaged in abusive accounting practices. Most of his work has been published
in Barron's and in several books — almost none in academic journals. An
accounting gadfly in the mold of Ralph Nader, he has criticized existing
accounting practices in a way that has not only embarrassed the miscreants
but has caused the rule-making authorities to issue new and more-rigorous
standards. As Norris correctly suggested in his talk, if the academic
community had produced more Abe Briloffs, there would have been fewer
corporate accounting meltdowns.
The narrow focus of today's research has also
resulted in a disconnect between research and teaching. Because of the
difficulty of conducting publishable research in certain areas — such as
taxation, managerial accounting, government accounting, and auditing — Ph.D.
candidates avoid choosing them as specialties. Thus, even though those areas
are central to any degree program in accounting, there is a shortage of
faculty members sufficiently knowledgeable to teach them.
To be sure, some accounting research, particularly
that pertaining to the efficiency of capital markets, has found its way into
both the classroom and textbooks — but mainly in select M.B.A. programs and
the textbooks used in those courses. There is little evidence that the
research has had more than a marginal influence on what is taught in
mainstream accounting courses.
What needs to be done? First, and most
significantly, journal editors, department chairs, business-school deans,
and promotion-and-tenure committees need to rethink the criteria for what
constitutes appropriate accounting research. That is not to suggest that
they should diminish the importance of the currently accepted modes or that
they should lower their standards. But they need to expand the set of
research methods to encompass those that, in other disciplines, are
respected for their scientific standing. The methods include historical and
field studies, policy analysis, surveys, and international comparisons when,
as with empirical and analytical research, they otherwise meet the tests of
Second, chairmen, deans, and promotion and
merit-review committees must expand the criteria they use in assessing the
research component of faculty performance. They must have the courage to
establish criteria for what constitutes meritorious research that are
consistent with their own institutions' unique characters and comparative
advantages, rather than imitating the norms believed to be used in schools
ranked higher in magazine and newspaper polls. In this regard, they must
acknowledge that accounting departments, unlike other business disciplines
such as finance and marketing, are associated with a well-defined and
recognized profession. Accounting faculties, therefore, have a special
obligation to conduct research that is of interest and relevance to the
profession. The current accounting model was designed mainly for the
industrial era, when property, plant, and equipment were companies' major
assets. Today, intangibles such as brand values and intellectual capital are
of overwhelming importance as assets, yet they are largely absent from
company balance sheets. Academics must play a role in reforming the
accounting model to fit the new postindustrial environment.
Third, Ph.D. programs must ensure that young
accounting researchers are conversant with the fundamental issues that have
arisen in the accounting discipline and with a broad range of research
methodologies. The accounting literature did not begin in the second half of
the 1960s. The books and articles written by accounting scholars from the
1920s through the 1960s can help to frame and put into perspective the
questions that researchers are now studying.
For example, W.A. Paton and A.C. Littleton's 1940
monograph, An Introduction to Corporate Accounting Standards, profoundly
shaped the debates of the day and greatly influenced how accounting was
taught at universities. Today, however, many, if not most, accounting
academics are ignorant of that literature. What they know of it is mainly
from textbooks, which themselves evince little knowledge of the
path-breaking work of earlier years. All of that leads to superficiality in
teaching and to research without a connection to the past.
We fervently hope that the research pendulum will
soon swing back from the narrow lines of inquiry that dominate today's
leading journals to a rediscovery of the richness of what accounting
research can be. For that to occur, deans and the current generation of
academic accountants must give it a push.
Michael H. Granof is a professor of accounting at the McCombs School
of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. Stephen A. Zeff is a
professor of accounting at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management
at Rice University.
March 18, 2008 reply
from Paul Williams
Steve Zeff has
been saying this since his stint as editor of The Accounting Review
(TAR); nobody has listened. Zeff famously wrote at least two editorials
published in TAR over 30 years ago that lamented the colonization of the
accounting academy by the intellectually unwashed. He and Bill Cooper wrote
a comment on Kinney's tutorial on how to do accounting research and it was
rudely rejected by TAR. It gained a new life only when Tony Tinker published
it as part of an issue of Critical Perspectives in Accounting devoted
to the problem of dogma in accounting research.
It has only been since
less subdued voices have been raised (outright rudeness has been the
hallmark of those who transformed accounting into the empirical
sub-discipline of a sub-discipline for which empirical work is irrelevant)
that any movement has occurred. Judy Rayburn's diversity initiative and her
invitation for Anthony Hopwood to give the Presidential address at the D.C.
AAA meeting came only after many years of persistent unsubdued pointing out
of things that were uncomfortable for the comfortable to confront.
Bob Jensen's threads on these matters are at the following links:
“An Analysis of the Evolution of Research Contributions by The Accounting
Review: 1926-2005,” by Jean Heck and Robert E. Jensen, Accounting Historians
Journal, Volume 34, No. 2, December 2007, pp. 109-142.
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.
March 17, 2008 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University
In response to Don Ramsay's quote from the
Skapinker article: "The reason that real-life lawyers, doctors and engineers
have no problem with their [respective academics'] research is not because
they are smarter than business people, but because their research assists
them in what they do" ---
So the problem is that business professors are not
publishing studies that are relevant to what the business practitioners
need? Our research doesn't assist our practitioners in what they do? Hmmmm.
Question: could the problem (IF it's a problem) be
traced back, beyond the business professors, to the "gatekeepers" (read:
reviewers and editors) who control the publishing arm of the field? Could it
be that professors really are interested in engaging in relevant and
applicable research, but this stuff never gets publishined in the "journals
that count" because the *criteria* used by reviewers (to judge whether the
work is acceptable for publication) is fatally flawed?
This is in the front of my mind because I am
revising one more time a paper in which the reviewers say the paper is
"interesting", "intriguing", "applicable", "enlightening","revelant to
practice", "could materially improve" accounting education, and even "is
well-written", ... but they then condemn the paper to rejection or revision
saying "it needs more thorough development of theoretical underpinnings", in
other words, more Greek letters and diagrams with arrows. The ideas in this
paper won a national award in a practitioner journal, but academic reviewers
repeatedly reject it, even when it's explained in a way designed to directly
My post here isn't the sour grapes it sounds
like... I don't mind playing the game now and then (and although I'm at the
point where one more pub isn't worth too much effort anymore, I honestly
enjoy the exercise). But I figured that perhaps flawed publication criteria
might indeed be responsible for the observed effect of business
practitioners (and accountants in particular) ignoring academic publishing.
Just another thought.
This begs the next question: what SHOULD be the
criteria used for academic publishing? (criteria is plural, by the way...)
Another paper tiger from...
James Madison University
White Collar Fraud Site ---
Note the column of links on the left.
Experts vs. Amateurs Searching the Web
The credibility war rages on in the world of Web 2.0.
Those who say information provided by Internet
research tools needs to be vetted have
made their case in several ways.
Knol, for example, appears to be Google's answer to
Wikipedia. And for now, while the project is under development, authors can
contribute content by invitation only. The plan is to let users rank the wheat
among the chaff; the highest-ranking articles would pop up first in a Google
search. A clear example is
Mahalo. It's essentially a search engine run by
staff members, who hand-pick links for popular search terms. That's a familiar
academic libraries. There
is resistance to the idea that experts have lost their place in the
indiscriminate, user-generated Web 2.0. John Connell, an education-business
manager at Cisco Systems, writes in his
blog that experts and laymen can coexist on the
Web: "We are not dealing with a zero-sum game of any kind -- the rise of one
source of information does not (necessarily) cause the dissipation of another.
Why then do those who espouse the ‘cult of the expert,’ for want of a better
term, feel it necessary not just to have access to the authoritative information
(in their terms) that they seek, but to deny those who want access to the ...
trivial information they want? "It is elitism, pure and simple." The question
is, do users need someone else to filter information for them? We know from past
reports that the
"Google Generation" has a hard time sorting the
relevant from the trivial. But isn't it better to teach them how?
Hurley Goodall, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 14, 2008 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on how experts/scholars search the Web are at
Accountancy Business and the Public Interest Journal
I am writing to encourage you and your colleagues to
submit papers to “Accountancy Business and the Public Interest”. It is a
free online peer reviewed journal published by the Association for
Accountancy and Business Affairs (http://www.aabaglobal.org.
The journal is well established and publishes papers
on a variety of topics to stimulate debates and develop alternative public
Details of the editorial
policies, how to submit papers and previous editions are available on
I very much hope that you and
your friends will submit papers.
Professor of Accounting
University of Essex
Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ
Office Tel: +44(0)1206 873773
Office Fax: +44 (01206) 873429
Mobile: 07866 139390
Tax Justice Network:
The Tribune - The Thinking Person's Paper:
On blogs and Web sites, by e-mail and video, the Iraq war is fought on the
U.S. soldiers return from battle to their rooms or
tents, boot up their laptops and log on to let their friends and family know
they've made it through another day. If their base is large enough, the Internet
service provider offers broadband, and they can make a video call home, watch
news reports on the war or post their own versions of life in Iraq to their
blogs. ''I blog for the same reasons soldiers wrote letters and diaries during
previous wars: to communicate with family and friends, (and) to maintain an
honest record of our daily existence,'' wrote 1st Lt. Matt Gallagher, in
response to an e-mail about his blog
http://kaboomwarjournal.blogspot.com . ''Blogging is simply a 21st century
tool for a new generation of soldiers to utilize.''
MIT's Technology Review, March 18, 2008 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on listservs and blogs are at
Chinook Salmon Vanish Without a Trace
The Chinook salmon that swim upstream to spawn in the
fall, the most robust run in the Sacramento River, have disappeared. The almost
complete collapse of the richest and most dependable source of Chinook salmon
south of Alaska left gloomy fisheries experts struggling for reliable
explanations — and coming up dry. Whatever the cause, there was widespread
agreement among those attending a five-day meeting of the Pacific Fisheries
Management Council here last week that the regional $150 million fishery, which
usually opens for the four-month season on May 1, is almost certain to remain
closed this year from northern Oregon to the Mexican border. A final decision on
salmon fishing in the area is expected next month.
Felicity Barringer, The New York Times, March 16, 2008 ---
OECD Statistics Portal ---
Bob Jensen's threads on economic statistics are at
of Finance Doctoral
(and other finance)
Because I'm one of the few bloggers who regularly write
about the life of a finance professor, I get about a
dozen questions a month from people considering a PhD in
finance (Note: if you're interested, you can read about
a finance professor's typical day
here, and about what's
involved in getting a PhD in finance
The emails are one of the more surprising and most
enjoyable things about writing the blog, and at least a
couple of the folks who've sent me questions are
currently in PhD programs. I look forward to seeing how
their careers progress, knowing I may have played some
small part it them.
Some of the most frequent questions I get are along the
lines of "How do I find out how well respected
University X's finance doctoral program is?" or
alternately, "Where can a get a list of rankings of
finance doctoral programs?"
I should have done this some time ago, but I'm a bit
slow at times. But, since Unknown Daughter and She Who
Must Be Obeyed are out to a classmate's birthday party,
and Unknown Son is entranced by a Harry Potter movie,
this seems like a good time to spent a little time on
the Almighty Google. Here are the results:
these will prove useful. If any of you are aware of any
other rankings that are relatively recent (i.e. done in
the last 4-5 years or so), let me know and I'll update
Karolyis and Silvestrini have
a piece on SSRN titled "Comparing the Research
Productivity of Finance PhD Program Graduates"
Jean Heck has a similar piece
titled "Establishing a Pecking Order for Finance
Academics: Ranking of U.S. Finance Doctoral Programs
here. Both it and the
Karolyi/Silvestrini piece analyze productivity on
the basis of the author's doctoral-granting program,
but this one lists a few more doctoral programs than
the other piece. So, it might yield some
possibilities for those looking for less selective
Finally, Arizona State has a
ranking of finance departments (which may or may not
have doctoral programs)
here, while EconPhD has a
similar one covering several finance areas
Do those dubious college rankings really matter?
"Resigned Over Rankings," by Rob Capriccioso, "Inside Higher Ed,
April 19, 2006 ---
In 2002, the University of Houston Law
Center was ranked 50th in the U.S. News & World Report annual law
Today, it’s ranked number 70.
Some faculty members and students at the
institution believe that the downward slide may have been the cause
of Monday’s resignation of Nancy Rapoport, the center’s dean since
2000. Others say that notion — and the rankings themselves — are
“After six years as dean, I don’t think
this is a really big deal,” says Michael A. Olivas, a law professor
at Houston and director of the Institute for Higher Education Law
and Governance at the school. “There is a shelf life for deans, you
know. These rankings are definitely not how I measure the success of
But, according to students who attended a
faculty member meeting last week, some professors directly
criticized the dean for the drop. While the U.S. News rankings are
regularly derided by educators as poor measures of quality, many of
those same educators worry about how their institutions fare.
Joy N. Hermansen, who has seven more months
before she graduates from the school, was reluctant to give names of
faculty members who were particularly critical of the dean. “I know
that most deans don’t stay longer than six years, and maybe it was
time for the dean to move on anyway,” she says. “However, I doubt
she would have resigned but for the recent events related to the
rankings because our school is up for accreditation next year.
That’s a really bad time to not have a dean.”
One professor, who wished to remain
anonymous, said that faculty members and student groups had been
meeting regularly since the most recent rankings came out to discuss
what could be done to boost them. The professor indicated that none
of these meetings involved the dean.
Hermansen says that students began to
concurrently rebel against Rapoport. “I’m sure the fact that a few
irresponsible people, not thinking about the consequences of their
actions, posted messages seriously criticizing her and her actions
on public Internet forums bothered her,” says Hermansen.
“Dean Rapoport, as one faculty member
described her, prides herself on being an ‘outside’ dean — one who
spends most of her time meeting with people outside the law school
to try to improve its reputation,” she adds. “This would be in
contrast to an ‘inside’ dean who spends his or her time mingling
with students and is very visible on campus. Therefore, we really
don’t have much insight into her thought processes or most of her
While Rapoport did not respond to calls for
comment for this story, there is evidence that the magazine rankings
have, in recent years, weighed heavily on the minds of
administrators and faculty members. In an article published by
Rapoport in the Illinois Law Review in 2005, she detailed a plan
called Project Magellan, which was begun after the law school
dropped below the 50th spot in the U.S. News rankings.
“Magellan is raising important issues and
forcing us to make some hard choices,” wrote the dean. “In our last
few brown-bag discussions, we’ve talked about making some changes
that may, over time, improve our rankings — at least as long as
every other school above us in the rankings doesn’t make these
changes at the same time that we do. Most of those changes (to
improve placement, to reconsider how we award financial aid, to
change the curriculum slightly, and to encourage different choices
for placement of articles by faculty) are likely to make our school
better than our rankings will demonstrate.”
Donald J. Foss, senior vice president for
academic affairs and provost at the university, cautioned against
putting too much stock in the rankings in a recent Houston Chronicle
story regarding the dean’s departure. In a press release, he stated
that plans to appoint an interim dean and a search committee in the
Olivas also cautions against putting too
much stock in a dean’s ability to affect the rankings of the school.
He says that funding shortcomings resulting from the state’s Enron
scandal as well as continued and rebuilding efforts from Tropical
Storm Allison are challenges that will not soon go away. He says
that these situations have affected the magazine’s ranking of the
school, but that the school is actually doing much better than the
drop would indicate.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on ranking controversies are at
The Now Infamous Favored Professor by University of Michigan
A single University of Michigan professor taught 294
independent studies for students, 85 percent of them athletes, from the fall of
2004 to the fall of 2007, according to
The Ann Arbor News. According to the report,
which kicks off a series on Michigan athletics and was based on seven months of
investigation, many athletes reported being steered to the professor, and said
that they earned three or four credits for meeting with him as little as 15
minutes every two weeks. In addition, three former athletics department
officials said that athletes were urged to take courses with the professor, John
Hagen, to raise their averages. Transcripts examined by the newspaper showed
that students earned significantly higher grades with Hagen than in their
regular courses. The News reported that Hagen initially denied teaching a high
percentage of athletes in his independent studies, but did not dispute the
accuracy of documents the newspaper shared with him. He did deny being part of
any effort to raise the averages of his students. The newspaper also said that
Michigan’s president and athletics director had declined to be interviewed for
Inside Higher Ed, March 17, 2008 ---
Florida State U. Cuts Scholarships and Places Itself on Probation
Florida State University has placed itself on probation
for two years and will reduce the number of scholarships it offers in several
sports as a result of an academic-fraud scandal involving some 60 athletes,
The Orlando Sentinel reported today.The scandal swept
up athletes in various sports, most notably the
football team, which had to play in December’s
Music City Bowl without two dozen players implicated in the violations.The
university has been conducting an
internal investigation of the misconduct since last
year. In addition to the probation, it will impose penalties that include
personnel changes at several top positions in the athletics department and the
firing of the “learning specialist” and tutor accused of helping dozens of
athletes cheat, the Sentinel reported.
Libby Sander, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 14, 2008 ---
comes to the
academic clustering of athletes,
the question typically is “in what major?” The suggestion:
Members of a given sports team are enrolled in a particular
program at a much higher rate than are other students at the
college. But what about when the question is “with what
the case at the University of Michigan, where officials
Monday were responding to an Ann Arbor News
that alleges athletes there have been steered to independent
study courses taught by a psychology professor who often
requires little of the students and gives them high grades.
The investigation found that the professor, John Hagen,
taught 294 independent studies for students, 85 percent of
them athletes, from the fall of 2004 to the fall of 2007.
doesn’t dispute those numbers, but it refuted the article’s
description of Hagen as a safety net for athletes who might
need a quick grade-point-average jolt. The university also
denies that athletics department academic counselors are
directing students to Hagen, or that any athlete has been
forced to take an independent study course with him.
Michigan allegations come less than two years after the
New York Times published
findings that a large number of
Auburn University athletes were taking “directed studies”
with the same professor and earning significantly higher
grades on that work than in regular courses. As a result,
announced new limits on the number
of students whose independent study work can be supervised
by a single professor.
practice of independent study, commonly reserved for
students with unique intellectual interests, is at the
center of a controversy over special arrangements and
academic rigor comes as little surprise to some faculty
members. Among them is R. Scott Kretchmar, a professor of
exercise and sport science at Pennsylvania State
University’s main campus and a sports philosopher. He said
in a recent meeting with academic support staff at Penn
State, independent study emerged as one of several potential
clearly an area of risk,” Kretchmar said. “Any student can
go to any faculty member and work out a deal, and there
aren’t many checks on that. It’s one of those slippery areas
in higher education that probably deserves a little more
scrutiny — both for athletes and generally speaking.”
of independent study courses can be met with skepticism,
Kretchmar said, because it often doesn’t undergo Faculty
Senate review as new courses typically do. In many cases, a
department chair signs off on the topic.
Goldfield, a professor of history at the University of North
Carolina at Charlotte and past president of the Faculty
Athletics Representatives Association, said that despite the
fact that the majority of independent study arrangements
would pass an academic merit test, the possibility of
impropriety is significant.
advantage of independent study at a public institution is
that it gives students an opportunity to work one-on-one
with a particular faculty member in a subject area that’s of
interest to them,” said Goldfield, the current faculty
athletics representative at Charlotte who has served on the
academic eligibility and compliance cabinet of the NCAA.
“The most disturbing aspect of [the Michigan case] is that
there appears there was no monitoring, and it’s mind
boggling that nobody picked up on this.”
part, Michigan says that the psychology department closely
monitors independent study, and that two internal
investigations have showed no wrongdoing on the part of
Hagen or the department. (More on that later.)
Goldfield said based on what he’s read, it looks to him like
a case of academic advisers feeling the heat to boost
athletes’ academic standing. When the National Collegiate
Athletic Association lowered initial eligibility
requirements and raised the stakes for athletes remaining
placed an increasing strain on institutions —
and in particular academic support
staff within athletics departments — to keep athletes
eligible, Goldfield said.
question, then, is who should set the tone on independent
study? While the NCAA has talked recently about taking a
closer look at which majors athletes tend to choose, Erik
Christianson, an association spokesman, said that it’s up to
campuses to come up with independent study policies that
best fit their institutions.
said such decisions as how many such courses an athlete (or
non-athlete) can take, or how many students a professor can
take on should be handled internally.
about the NCAA regulating it, because we aren’t all cut out
of the same mold,” he said. “Clearly, each institution
should be vigilant about keeping statistics on number of
students in a major, number of students taking a course from
a professor and grading differences.
philosophy is we don’t want to be draconian in prohibiting
athletes from taking independent study, but we don’t want to
be stupid about ignoring particular problems.”
agreed that the NCAA “can’t micromanage academic integrity”
and that its role is to “set a standard and hope
universities live up to it.” Faculty athletics
representatives have the responsibility to monitor
statistics on who’s choosing what major, Goldfield said.
Ann Arbor News
continued its series Monday with a
look at the rise in general studies majors among Michigan
athletes. Critics of clustering say that athletes are
funneled year after year into programs that are seen as less
rigorous. Others argue that if a major isn’t up to
university standards, it’s not the athletes or academic
advisers who should be faulted — it’s the committee that
approved the program.
said he has never asked his department about the number of
independent studies athletes are taking. “I believe in the
integrity of the athletic-academic support center,” he said.
experience running independent studies, Goldstein said
there’s “no way to provide any semblance of academic rigor”
by directing as many students as Hagen did over several
years. There’s simply not enough time and energy to go
around, he said.
quoted in the News article make similar points. They
say that athletes have signed up for several of Hagen’s
independent studies knowing that they’ll have to put in
minimal effort — earning three or four credits for meeting
with him as little as 15 minutes every two weeks, the
investigation found. An analysis of transcripts also showed
that athletes performed better in his classes than they did
in other classes.
a statement defending his academic record and said in an
e-mail Monday that he takes issue with some of the data
cited in the News article. He said that students in
his courses do demanding work.
FAQ response posted on the
university’s Web site says that faculty such as Hagen make
themselves readily available to students. “The independent
study model is very flexible,” it says. Hagen scores high in
accessibility and time spent with students in student
evaluations, Michigan added.
Michigan’s faculty athletics representative and a professor
of education, said “it’s clear to me that the monitoring
that we do is pretty adequate, even around the issue of
independent studies. We make sure that what people are doing
is legitimate work for students, and these aren’t professors
who are willy-nillying.
that’s out there, that doesn’t mean we won’t take another
look at what we’re doing,” Bates added.
ago, after the Auburn case became public, Michigan’s provost
office asked deans in each undergraduate college to look
into how independent studies courses are vetted. A professor
in the psychology department has since raised concern with
subsequent reviews — one by his
department’s executive committee
and another by the
College of Literature, Science and the Arts
— found Hagen clear of wrongdoing,
saying that the courses are academically rigorous and that
the professor’s grading patterns caused no concern. The
latter report concluded “not only that there is nothing
about Professor Hagen’s independent study program that
should concern us, but that in fact he is performing a
valuable service for the students in those studies and to
the university by having them available.”
enough non-athletes getting that experience? Michigan says
that the ratio of athletes to other students in Hagen’s
independent study courses is often 2:1 in a given semester.
University research shows that other psychology professors
have a proportion of athletes to students that ranges from 0
to 60 percent.
vice president for academic and budgetary affairs at
Michigan, said Hagen’s focus on developmental psychology —
and in particular student learning and teaching style —
attracts many athletes who are interested in becoming
coaches or teachers. According to Michigan’s FAQ
explanation: “Much of Professor Hagen’s scholarly work
addresses learning styles and skills among college students
who excel in physical attributes and performance.”
mouth, Hanlon said, is another reason to explain the high
number of athletes in his independent study courses.
university’s FAQ explanation also says that “in a recent
term, more than 20 students with identified learning
problems or disabilities took Independent Study with
Professor Hagen because his expertise and interest in
working with students in this area is well known.”
because the university doesn’t disaggregate students by
disability status, he couldn’t say whether more athletes had
learning disabilities than students over all at the
institution. “I have no reason to think there’s any kind of
connection,” he said.
faculty athletic representative, said he didn’t find the
number of athletes in Hagen’s courses alarming. “What he was
doing was focusing on a number of athletes who might be
labeled at-risk and with learning problems.” Bates said he’s
unsure if they are athletes with documented disabilities or
not, but that many students heard from past students that
Hagen had a record of helping students with different
think of a professor who’s been more concerned with at-risk
students than Hagen has over his time here,” Bates said.
Michigan, in academic year 2006–7, nearly 4,000
undergraduate students enrolled in one or more independent
study course. This year, Michigan has 716 athletes, but the
university said it couldn’t immediately provide data on how
many athletes took independent studies courses.
$1.1-Billion 'War Chest' to Prevent Professor Poaching,"
by Paula Wasley, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 17, 2008 ---
The University of California at Berkeley has
accumulated a $1.1-billion “war chest” to fend off Ivy League poachers, the
service reported today.
Berkeley administrators hope the money, which will
go toward endowed chairs for 100 professors, will dissuade faculty members
from defecting to wealthier competitors like Harvard and Yale, where
are significantly higher.
For the 2006 fiscal year, full professors at
Berkeley earned an average of $134,672 and associate professors $88,576 —
about 15 percent less than peers at private institutions. And, since 2003,
the California university has lost at least 30 faculty members to its eight
main competitors, chief among them Harvard.
“These institutions are competing for exactly the
same faculty that we are trying to hire, and so an important question is
whether the public universities are going to be able to compete,” said
Berkeley’s chancellor, Robert J. Birgeneau.
Mr. Birgeneau also announced plans to restructure
to match Harvard’s 23-percent return on its
Berkeley, which faces a 10-percent cut in state
support under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget, plans to raise
$107-million from donors and to add it to a
$113-million grant from the William and Flora
Hewlett Foundation to help create the 100 endowed chairs.
From the Scout Report on March 14, 2008
Flock 1.1 ---
Billed as a "social browser", Flock allows users to
draw on a wide range of resources for their webbrowsing, including blogs and
RSS feeds. This new release also allows users to monitor their friend's
activities via Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube. For users who are
intimately linked in to various social networking sites, this browser is
definitely worth a look. This version is compatible with computers running
Windows 2000, XP and Vista.
TeamViewer 3.5.4011 ---
If you are working with a friend on a joint project
and he is in Houston and you are in Shanghai, what do you do? You could take
a glance at TeamViewer, a program that allows for desktop sharing and file
transfer. Visitors just need to run TeamViewer on both machines
and the program can also be used to create and display
presentations. This version is compatible with computers running Window 95
The Partnership for Higher Education in Africa ---
Global Education Digest 2007 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at
Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials
Arts & Genomics ---
Educational Materials in Atmospheric Chemistry ---
Interactives: The Rock Cycle (as in geology) ---
Science of Music: Exploratorium's Accidental Scientist ---
Lauren R. Donaldson Collection (first atomic
bomb tests) ---
Bob Jensen's threads on free online science,
engineering, and medicine tutorials are at ---
Social Science and Economics Tutorials
Everyday Sociology ---
Women and Nation-Building ---
Disaster Recovery Assistance ---
Charles Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal (poetry about society) ---
The Jewish Americans (includes four lesson plans) ---
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
Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at
The Jewish Americans (includes four lesson plans) ---
Lauren R. Donaldson Collection (first atomic
bomb tests) ---
Antique Spectacles & Other Vision Aids ---
Luxury for Export: Artistic Exchange between India and Portugal around 1600
Pay Phone History
The Antique Telephone History Web Site
Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at
Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at
Find home values, reverse phone numbers, animated population growth maps,
specialized research sites and more.
The above link was forwarded by Ed Scribner
Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at
Updates from WebMD ---
Wheat Killer Detected In Iran: Dangerous Fungus On The Move From East
Africa To The Middle East
A new and virulent wheat fungus, previously found in
East Africa and Yemen, has moved to major wheat growing areas in Iran, reports
the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization. The fungus is capable of wreaking
havoc to wheat production by destroying entire fields. Countries east of Iran,
like Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, all
major wheat producers, are most threatened by the fungus and should be on high
alert, FAO said. It is estimated that as much as 80 percent of all wheat
varieties planted in Asia and Africa are susceptible to the wheat stem rust (Puccinia
graminis). The spores of wheat rust are mostly carried by wind over long
distances and across continents.
Science News, March 17, 2008 ---
"Depression: the symptoms in children are not like in adults,"
PhysOrg, March 14, 2008 ---
Depression is not always manifested in children as
dejection and anhedonia. Depending on the age of the child, the dominant
features may be weeping, irritability or defiance, as explained by Prof.
Claudia Mehler-Wex and Dr. Michael Kölch of Ulm University in the new
edition of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2008;
The signs of depression in infants are often
screaming, restlessness, and weeping attacks for no clear reason. Preschool
children may behave irritably and aggressively, while schoolchildren may be
listless and apathetic. The symptoms in adolescents become similar to those
It is thought that up to 3.5% of children and 9% of
adolescents in industrial countries are depressive. In particular, the risk
of depression increases from the age of 12. In a third of minors, the
depressive symptoms subside within three months. However, in 80% of those
affected, the symptoms may reappear and become chronic. Mehler-Wex and Kölch
emphasize that psychotherapy and psychosocial therapy are mostly necessary.
The antidepressive fluoxetine can also be used. Patients with a severe
clinical course, a difficult family background or suicidal tendencies may
have to be admitted to hospital.
Depressive minors often exhibit other psychological
abnormalities. Thus, anxiety disorders and disorders in social behavior
occur widely, followed by substance abuse and aggression.
The causes of depression are multifactorial. The
decisive factors include hereditary, personality and environmental factors,
particularly in early youth.
Symptoms Of Depression Learn about the causes, symptoms and treatments for
Depression Disability Qualify for Disability if you can't work due to your
Depression Symptoms Find Useful Information On Major Depression ---
The difference in eating habits between men and women
When it comes to what we eat, men and women really are
different according to scientific research presented today (March 19) at the
2008 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta,
Georgia. In general, men are more likely to report eating meat and poultry items
and women are more likely to report eating fruits and vegetables . . . There
were some exceptions to the general trend. Men were significantly more likely to
consume asparagus and brussels sprouts than women while women were more likely
to consume fresh hamburgers (as opposed to frozen, which the men preferred). The
researchers also looked at reported behavior in regards to consumption of 6
risky foods: undercooked hamburger, runny or undercooked eggs, raw oysters,
unpasteurized milk, cheese made from unpasteurized milk and alfalfa sprouts. Men
were significantly more likely to eat undercooked hamburger and runny eggs while
women were more likely to eat alfalfa sprouts.
PhysOrg, March 20, 2008 ---
Research on consequences: Hyperactive girls face problems as adults
Young girls who are hyperactive are more likely to get
hooked on smoking, under-perform in school or jobs and gravitate towards
mentally abusive relationships as adults, according to a joint study by
researchers from the Université de Montréal and the University College London (UCL).
The study, published in the latest issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry,
followed 881 Canadian girls from the ages of six to 21 years to see how
hyperactive or aggressive behaviour in childhood could affect early adulthood.
The research team found that one in 10 girls monitored showed high levels of
hyperactive behaviour. Another one in ten girls showed both high levels of
hyperactive and physically aggressive behaviour. “Few studies have looked at the
consequences of aggressive and hyperactive behaviour in girls,” said UCL lead
researcher, Nathalie Fontaine. “This study shows that hyperactivity combined
with aggressive behaviour in girls as young as six years old may lead to greater
problems with abusive relationships, lack of job prospects and teenage
pregnancies.” Girls with hyperactive behaviour (restlessness, jumping up and
down, a difficulty keeping still or fidgety), while girls exhibiting physical
aggression (fighting, bullying, kicking, biting or hitting) were found to have a
high risk of developing adjustment problems in adulthood. The study also found
that hyperactive or aggressive girls were more vulnerable to grow into smoking,
psychologically abusive partners and poor performance in school. What’s more,
females with both hyperactivity and physical aggression reported physical and
psychological aggression towards their partner, along with early pregnancy and
dependency on welfare.
PhysOrg, March 19, 2008
Brain images show schizophrenic's memory usage differs
The enduring memory problems that people with
schizophrenia experience may be related to differences in how their brains
process information, new research has found. The Public Library of Science
published the report by Vanderbilt University researchers Junghee Lee, Bradley
S. Folley, John Gore and Sohee Park in the online journal PLOS One on March 12.
"We found that schizophrenic patients use different areas of their brain than
healthy individuals do for working memory, which is an active form of short-term
memory," Park says. "Both groups used their frontal cortex while remembering and
forgetting. However, while healthy subjects groups used the right side of this
brain area when asked to remember spatial locations, the schizophrenic patients
used a wider network in both hemispheres. "This suggests that while healthy
people recruit a specialized and focused network of brain areas for specific
memory functions, schizophrenic patients seem to rely on a more diffuse and
wider network to achieve the same goal." The researchers also found a
fundamental difference in the way healthy people and schizophrenic patients made
errors. When healthy people forgot, they had no confidence in their response for
that trial and the brain areas that were recruited during correct memory trials
remained inactive. A more complex picture emerged for schizophrenic patients.
PhysOrg, March 14, 2008 ---
What effect does melatonin have in colitis?
In rats with experimental colitis, the marked increase
in bacterial translocation in postcolitis rats has been reversed by melatonin
administration. This is due to melatonin's anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic
effects. Using an elegant study design, including experimental colitis model,
this research was performed by doctors from the Departments of General Surgery,
Microbiology, Pathology and Biochemistry of the Faculty of Medicine at the
University of Erciyes, Kayseri, Turkey. This study, performed by a team led by
Dr. Alper Akcan, is described in a research article in the February 14 2008
issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology. According to the authors, the
purpose of this study was to determine whether exogenously administered
melatonin had any influence on the impairment of bacterial translocation and
apoptosis in experimental colitis. To their knowledge, their study is the first
one showing the relation between colitis, melatonin, and bacterial
PhysOrg, March 18, 2008 ---
Grape skin compound fights the complications of diabetes
Research carried out by scientists at the Peninsula
Medical School in the South West of England has found that resveratrol, a
compound present naturally in grape skin, can protect against the cellular
damage to blood vessels caused by high production of glucose in diabetes,
according to a paper published in the science journal “Diabetes, Obesity and
Metabolism” this week. The elevated levels of glucose that circulate in the
blood of patients with diabetes causes micro- and macrovascular complications by
damaging mitochondria, the tiny power plants within cells responsible for
generating energy. When they are damaged they can leak electrons and make highly
damaging ‘free radicals’. Complications that can result when this happen include
nephropathy (kidney disease), heart disease and retinopathy (which if left
untreated can lead to blindness). Resveratrol stops the damage by helping cells
make protective enzymes to prevent the leakage of electrons and the production
of toxic ‘free radicals’. As well as being naturally present in grape skins,
resveratrol is also present in seeds, peanuts and red wine.
PhysOrg, March 18, 2008 ---
Research illuminates link between Alzheimer's and stroke
For years, neuroscientists have known that the risk of
Alzheimer’s disease is nearly doubled among people who have had a stroke. Now
researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have found a process in the
brain that may help explain the link between Alzheimer’s and stroke. Findings
are published in the March 13, 2008 issue of Neuron. After a stroke, it is known
that there is an increase in the production of the toxic amyloid beta (Aβ)
peptides that are believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease. In this study, results
showed that Aβ production rises when there is an increase in production of a
peptide called p25, which is known to occur, both in rodent models and in human
post-mortem tissue, following a stroke. Columbia researchers and their
colleagues identified a pathway, known as p25/cdk5, whereby higher levels of p25
led to enhanced activity of a molecule called cdk5, which in turn led to a rise
in the production of Aβ. When lead author Karen Duff, Ph.D. and her colleagues
reduced the activity of cdk5 either using an inhibitor, or by genetic
manipulation, they found a decrease in Aβ production in the brain. These results
indicate that the p25/cdk5 pathway may be a treatment target for Alzheimer’s
disease – in particular, inhibitors of cdk5 are particular candidates for
PhysOrg, March 17, 2008 ---
Universal Healthcare Doctor shortage takes a toll in Japan
Doctor shortage takes a toll in Japan Japan might boast universal health cover
and some of the world's best medical technology, but an acute shortage of
doctors is leaving some hospitals unable to treat even car crash victims.
Gruelling work hours are discouraging people from entering the medical
profession in a country where the population is rapidly ageing, foreign doctors
are barred and a swelling public debt caps doctors' salaries. The strains are
even being felt here at the Hyogo Brain and Heart Centre in the western city of
Himeji, one of Japan's best-known neurology and cardiology hospitals. "We toil
like workhorses," said Teishi Kajiya, the hospital's vice director and a
cardiologist, taking some time for an interview before heading to the operation
room. "It's become the norm for doctors to work 36 hours straight, which is
emotionally and physically exhausting. We never know when one of us might
collapse," he said, looking weary despite his tidy coat.
PhysOrg, March 16, 2008 ---
I don't know how many of these are true and how many are urban legends, but some
of them make sense. This morning I peeled my banana from the bottom and got as
many "stringy things" as ever. Maybe I'm just not a primate!
Forwarded by Auntie Bev
DID YOU KNOW?
Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little "stringy
things" off of it. That's how the primates do it.
Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them
connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much
longer and not mold!
Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and
better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for
Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease
away from the meat while cooking.
To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoons full of
sour cream, cream cheese , or heavy cream in and then beat them up.
For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in
double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty
Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at
the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.
Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simple chop
them up with the food chopper. Pe el, core and slice a few apples. Place them in
a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350
for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yum!
1. Reheat Pizza Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the
stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No
soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.
2. Easy Deviled Eggs Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till
they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up
mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just
throw bag away when done easy clean up.
3. Expanding Frosting When you buy a container of cake frosting from the
store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You
get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar
and calories per serving.
4. Reheating refrigerated bread To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that
were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased
moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
5. Newspaper weeds away Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in
your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go
cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening
plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.
6. Broken Glass Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of
glass you can't see easily.
7. No More Mosquitoes Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the
8. Squirrel Away! To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your
plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the
squirrels won't come near it.
9. Flexible vacuum To get something out of a heat register or under the
fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It
can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.
10. Reducing Static Cling Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and
you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that
cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and -- ta da! --
static is gone.
11. Measuring Cups Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup,
fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your
ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.
12. Foggy Windshield? Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and
keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser!
Works better than a cloth!
13. Reopening envelope If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to
include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an
hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.
14. Conditioner Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper
than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to
use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your
15. Good-bye Fruit Flies To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass
fill it 1/2" with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid, mix
well. You will fi nd those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!
16. Get Rid of Ants Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat
it, take it "home," can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so,
especially if it rains, but it works & you don't have the worry about pets or
small children being harmed!
17. INFO ABOUT CLOTHES DRYERS The heating unit went out on my dryer! The
gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to
show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter.
It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load
clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter
over to the sink, ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh
material - I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like.
Well,...the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at
all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns
out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in
the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free -- that nice
fragrance too, you know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the
box, well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen.
This is also what causes dryer units to catch fire & potentially burn your house
down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long
time (& to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out & wash it
with hot soapy water & an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six
months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How
about that!! Learn something new everyday! I certainly didn't know dryer sheets
would do that. So, I thought I'd share!
Note: I went to my dryer & tested my screen by running water on it. The water
ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen.
I washed it with warm soapy water & a nylon brush & I had it done in 30 seconds.
Then when I rinsed it -- the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn't any
pudding at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!
Forwarded by Gene and Joan
MARCH CAME IN LIKE A LAMB WILL GO OUT LIKE A LION
A curious fellow died one day and found himself waiting in the long line of
judgment. As he stood there he noticed that some souls were allowed to march
right through the pearly gates into Heaven.
Others though, were led over to Satan who threw them into the burning fire.
But every so often, instead of hurling a poor soul into the fire, Satan would
toss a soul off to one side into a small pile.
After watching Satan do this several times, the fellow's curiosity got the
best of him. So he strolled over and asked Satan what he was doing.
"Excuse me, Prince of Darkness," he said. "I'm waiting in line for Judgment,
but I couldn't help wondering. Why are you tossing those people aside instead of
flinging them into the Fires of Hell with the others?"
"Oh those . . " Satan groaned. "They're all from New Hampshire. They're still
too cold and wet to burn.
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 ---
Free Mathematics and Statistics Tutorials ---
Free Science and Medicine Tutorials ---
Free Social Science and Philosophy Tutorials ---
Free Education Discipline Tutorials ---
Teaching Materials (especially
video) from PBS
Teacher Source: Arts and
Teacher Source: Health & Fitness
Teacher Source: Math ---
Teacher Source: Science ---
Teacher Source: PreK2 ---
Teacher Source: Library Media ---
Free Education and
Research Videos from Harvard University ---
VYOM eBooks Directory ---
From Princeton Online
The Incredible Art Department ---
Online Mathematics Textbooks ---
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives ---
The word moodle is an acronym for "modular
object-oriented dynamic learning environment", which is quite a mouthful.
The Scout Report stated the following about Moodle 1.7. It is a
tremendously helpful opens-source e-learning platform. With Moodle,
educators can create a wide range of online courses with features that
include forums, quizzes, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, and surveys. On the
Moodle website, visitors can also learn about other features and read about
recent updates to the program. This application is compatible with computers
running Windows 98 and newer or Mac OS X and newer.
Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials
Accountancy Discussion ListServs:
For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a
ListServ (usually for free) go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
AECM 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