While I'm under contract to write a book I suspended weekly editions of Tidbits. However, when my monthly editions of New Bookmarks become too cluttered with tidbits I will occasionally come out with a special edition of Tidbits.

Erika in on April 16, 2008 looking south for Spring that seems like it will never arrive
She's standing on her elevator
Her elevator does not go all the way to the top (top floor that is)
Notice how straight her spine became after the 10th surgery

Below are our Azaleas in April versus June

 

Below is Erika's Rock Garden in April (after losing most of our snow) versus June
In March there was over a foot of block ice (under deep snow) on the rocks

Below are our wild roses in April versus June

Below is our driveway in April versus July

And last but not least, here's a snow covered view of Mt. Washington from my desk in April
The Twin and Kinsman Mountain Ranges look higher only because they're closer
Mt. Washington is 28 miles away as the crow flies
The snow was almost gone on our lawn before we had this light snowfall
There really isn't much springtime up here until late May

 

Poems About Mountains --- http://www.poetseers.org/poem_of_the_day_archive/poems_about_mountains

All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other -
Only the mountain and I.

It probably should be "mountain and me," but that doesn't rhyme.

 

Tidbits on July 8, 2008
Bob Jensen

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

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


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


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

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

CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination


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 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm

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

Global Incident Map --- http://www.globalincidentmap.com/home.php

Set up free conference calls at http://www.freeconference.com/
Also see http://www.yackpack.com/uc/   

Free Online Tutorials in Multiple Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials

Google Maps Street View --- http://maps.google.com/help/maps/streetview/

World Clock --- http://www.peterussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php

Tips on computer and networking security --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm

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




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

Take Just One Minute --- http://s259.photobucket.com/albums/hh289/Impish_Dragon/?action=view&current=Untitled.flv

Video Pick: Pixar's Magical Short, Presto --- http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2008/07/video-pick-pixa.html

WorldWideScience --- http://worldwidescience.org/

Carnegie Institution for Science --- http://www.ciw.edu/ 

Cop for a Day --- http://www.baltimorepolice.org/join-the-team/media-center/cop-for-a-day

The Walrus [video) --- http://www.walrusmagazine.com/

Mr. T. Bear (inspirational) --- http://www.mrbearmovie.com/

Absalom, Absalom! [William Falkner] --- http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/absalom/

King's Last March [civil rights history) http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/king/

Abbot and Costello --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbot_and_Costello


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

Back to the Sixties --- http://objflicks.com/TakeMeBackToTheSixties.htm

Meglio Stasera --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WlcDBwIfVE

Orchestra Baobab in Concert (nearly two hours full concert) --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91597883

John Coltrane: Saxophone Icon, Pt. 2 --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91859910

Artifact: Hear! Hear the pipes are calling! The surprising history of the bagpipe --- http://www.reason.com/news/show/126873.html

Listening Post's Top 10 Hottest Music Sites --- http://blog.wired.com/music/2008/07/listening-posts.html
Bob Jensen's preferred listening site --- http://www.tropicalglen.com/


Photographs and Art

Beijing Olympics Gardening --- http://www.hyd-masti.com/2008/06/beijing-olympics-gardening.html

Hidden Gardens of Paris (slide show) --- http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/gardens/overview.html?inline=nyt-classifier

A tear jerker with great still-life photography --- Click Here

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: Podcasts --- http://www.hirshhorn.si.edu/educate/list.asp?key=56

Masters of Photography (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-Xu4PNWkV4

Masters of Photography (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tqmco1C6L_E

Day in the Life of President Bush --- http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection: Recent Additions --- http://www.davidrumsey.com/recentadditions.html

Revitalizing Arts Education Through Community-Wide Coordination --- http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG702.pdf

Flowers by Georgia O'Keefe - Mozart Symphony in F (Presto) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URYhTUYZpAc

Chautauqua 1999: Georgia O'Keeffe (Part 1) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrmQkkCaPFU

Part 3 --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLzqbImwHXI

Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv_TVXxWe_A

El Anatsui: Gawu: National Museum of African Art (multimedia) --- http://africa.si.edu/exhibits/gawu/index.html

Changing Times: Los Angeles in Photographs, 1920-1990 --- http://unitproj.library.ucla.edu/dlib/lat/ 

Covering Photography [Book Covers] --- http://www.coveringphotography.com/covering_photography.html

National Geographic: History --- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/

Villa Cicogna Mozzoni (art history) --- http://www.villacicognamozzoni.it/sito/index.php

 


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

Lost Titles, Forgotten Rhymes: How to Find a Novel, Short Story, or Poem Without Knowing its Title or Author --- http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/lost/

Free videos, textbooks, and tutorials in various fields --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

Many more free online tutorials in various fields --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials

Online poems and poets --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#OnlinePoems

Especially for Children --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Children

Lehman Special Correspondence Files http://ldpd.lamp.columbia.edu/lehman/
Hervert H. Lehman is a former mayor of New York City, Governor of NY, and U.S. Senator from NY

 

 




President Bush and the top U.S. military commander warned Israel Wednesday against bombing Iran, suggesting the U.S. doesn't want to get involved in a third war. "This is a very unstable part of the world and I don't need it to be more unstable,"
Richard Sisk, "Don't bomb Iran, Bush warns Israel," Daily News, July 2, 2008 --- Click Here
But there are rumors that Dick Cheney wants Israel to hit Iran before he leaves town --- http://story.malaysiasun.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/b8de8e630faf3631/id/379352/cs/1/

Co-Authored Declaration of Independence
Jefferson was famously proud of having written the Declaration of Independence. But his first draft, Mr. de Bolla reminds us, underwent major revision. About a quarter of what Jefferson wrote, in fact, was dropped from the final document, and a good portion of what remained was changed by Franklin and Adams, among others.
Mark Leepson, "The Founding of Fireworks," The Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2008, Page A9 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121504525079024919.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

Near the end of his career, Carlin was more bitter than funny—It's Bad for Ya is a righteous tirade that provokes more nods than laughs—but he never lost his unparalleled ability to play with words. He deconstructed the phrases that we use absentmindedly, exposing our hypocrisies—and our human condition—in the process. He was a comic genius because he was a linguistic master. As Carlin said in his most famous routine: "I thank you for hearing my words... They're my work, they're my play, they're my passion. Words are all we have, really." But Carlin's comedy was not simply about dirty words; it was about the English language, and our collective fear of it. He used more expletives than Howard Stern, but his obsession was linguistics, not lasciviousness. As Carlin told CNN in 2004, "[I]f I hadn't chosen the career of being a performer, I think linguistics would have been a natural area that I'd have loved-to teach it, probably...Language has always fascinated me." He was especially fascinated with the blunting of language for comfort's sake. Carlin ridiculed our watering-down of sexual descriptions and ethnic categories, not to mention our mourning clichés, all of which he believed were the real-life manifestations of George Orwell's "Newspeak," utilized to obscure reality, numb the mind, and discourage criticism. As much as Carlin loathed theology, war, greed, and hypersensitivity, he was most disgusted when religious puritans, the military, corporations, and P.C. "classroom liberals" mangled the language for the purpose of soothing the masses. When I saw Carlin perform in the ‘90s, the biggest laugh of the night came from his observation that "the unlikely event of a water landing," discussed in every preflight safety lecture, sounds suspiciously like "crashing into the fucking ocean."
Marty Beckerman, "The Cunning Linguist Remembering George Carlin's literary genius," Reason Magazine, June 23, 2008 --- http://www.reason.com/news/show/127137.html

Teaching, I find is a lot like Susan Sarandon’s Annie Savoy describes baseball. It “may be a religion full of magic, cosmic truth, and the fundamental ontological riddles of our time, but it’s also a job.
James Tuten, "Baseball, ‘Bull Durham’ and the Classroom," Inside Higher Ed, June 27, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/06/27/tuten

As a result, the bank has been growing fast. With an average loan size of only $450, it now has more than 900,000 clients – 15 times as many as it had in 2000. This strong growth suggests that the bank's for-profit model makes both borrowers and lenders better off. Yet the triumph is not good news for everyone. In the economic sector that Compartamos serves – those making about $10 a day – the international charity brigade is at risk of becoming obsolete. Perhaps this explains why people who make their living giving away other people's money are badmouthing Compartamos for the vulgar practice of earning "too much" profit. Lending to microenterprises took off some years ago as economists recognized that the poor, just like the middle class, can make productive use of credit. The most famous microfinancier is Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
Anastasia O'Grady, "Markets for the Poor in Mexico," The Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2008; Page A11 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121478119445214333.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

The future? The disappearance of sun spots was the hot topic at a recent international solar conference held at Montana State University. For the past two years, the sun has undergone a phase of relative inactivity, meaning usual solar phenomena such as sun flares, sun spots, and solar eruptions have all but disappeared. "It's a dead face," researcher Saku Tsuneta says of the solar surface. Tsuneta is with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and was one of the participants at the MSU conference The good news is that without such intense solar activity disruptions to space technology and even our beloved gadgets here on earth have been minimal. While this provides some relief to those of us whose cell phones dropped calls at the tiniest solar flare, scientists are concerned that this means bigger things to come for Earth's climate. Dana Longcope, a solar physicist at MSU, explains that the sun generally runs on an 11-year cycle and that there is usually a minimum of activity as the cycles change. The last cycle peak was in 2001 and the next cycle is predicted to peak around 2012. The sun is now as inactive as it was two years ago, and scientists aren't sure why. Some have even suggested that the inactivity portents the beginning of a new ice age. Geophysicist Phil Chapman, the first Australian NASA astronaut, confirms that there are indeed no sun spots currently on the solar surface. He also notes that the earth has cooled by about 0.7 degrees Celsius between January 2007 and January 2008, and says, "This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record, and it puts us back to where we were in 1930." Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow at the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, is also certain that it's an indication of a coming cooling period. He warns that climate change caused by man is "a drop in the bucket" compared to the fierce cold that can inactive solar phases can bring.
dascalle, "Will Earth's Future Be a FROZEN One?...rather than a hot one?" Free Republic, June 29, 2008 ---
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2038172/posts

Why do weeds grow better in the city?
Not only did the weeds grow much larger in hotter, CO2-enriched plots — a weed called lambs-quarters, or Chenopodium album, grew to an impressive 6 to 8 feet on the farm but to a frightening 10 to 12 feet in the city — but the urban, futuristic weeds also produced more pollen. Even more alarming was the way that the increased heat and CO2 accelerated and perverted the succession of species within the plots. Typically, a cleared area in the Eastern United States, if left to itself, returns to native woodland. This process varies with the site and circumstances, but in its archetypical form fast-growing annual weeds cover the soil first, playing the role of what ecologists classify as “pioneer plants.” These gradually give way to longer-lived perennial weeds, which are in turn replaced by shrubs and trees.
Tom Christopher, "Can Weeds Help Solve the Climate Crisis?" The New York Times, June 29, 2008 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/magazine/29weeds-t.html

Writing for a narrow majority, Justice David Souter noted that "American punitive damages have been the target of audible criticism in recent decades" and agreed that the problem is "the stark unpredictability of punitive awards." State practices vary widely, from no punitive damages to headline-grabbing judgments. Some offer nine review factors for juries to consider, some seven, some have no set approach. The results are highly unpredictable, with the court concluding, "We are aware of no scholarly work pointing to consistency across punitive awards in cases involving similar claims and circumstances."
Gordon Crovitz, "Common Sense on Punitive Damages," The Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2008; Page A11 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121478179475314385.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

Militants soon attacked the patrol again, the statement said, and 29 more insurgents were killed. "During this engagement, insurgents attempted to disguise themselves in women's clothing in order to escape," it said. The number of NATO and coalition troops in Afghanistan has been increased and more Afghan soldiers and policemen are on duty, but there has been no let-up in the violence and the Taliban insurgency shows few if any signs of weakening. More than 6,000 people were killed in Afghanistan last year and there are signs that this year the toll could be higher, with neither side able to gain the upper hand.
Yahoo News, June 28, 2008 --- http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080628/wl_nm/afghan_violence_dc_1

The U.S. Congress has refused to give the FBI $11 million to expand the use of data mining in counter-terrorism efforts. American politicians are generally hostile to government use of data mining, a technique widely used, for decades, in business (marketing), law enforcement (catching criminals) and the military (finding the enemy). This last use has become much more sophisticated since the U.S. Department of Defense began pouring billions of dollars a year into finding ways to defeat IEDs (improvised explosive devices, usually roadside bombs). The effort to lower IED casualties has opened up all sorts of opportunities...
"Congress Blinds The FBI." Strategy Page, July 1, 2008 ---  http://strategypage.com/
Jensen Comment
The FBI has been unable to make this point to Congress, mainly because some key legislators are ideologically opposed to data mining, and refuse to acknowledge the widespread success of the technique in civilians and military sectors.

Meanwhile some senators got sweetheart deals from mortgage companies seeking Congressional favors (which mortgage companies finally got)  --- http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/07/the_obamas_and_their_mortgage_1.html

John Edwards hauled out former Joint Chief of Staff chair Hugh Shelton to attack Clark. As everyone knows the military vote in the South is a big deal, and Shelton, along with a lot of other military people, don't like Clark . . . In September Shelton said that Clark was relieved of his assignment as NATO commander because of "integrity and character issues." He never said what these were.
James Ridgeway, "John Edwards's Mudslinging Ways," Village Voice, November 10, 2002 --- http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0346,mondo5,48665,6.html

There is no terrorist threat in this country. This is a lie. This is the biggest lie we've been told.
Michael Moore

If someone did 9/11 to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California - these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!
Michael Moore

I'm a millionaire, I'm a multi-millionaire. I'm filthy rich. You know why I'm a multi-millionaire? 'Cause multi-millions like what I do.
Michael Moore

The Iraqis who have risen up against the U.S. occupation are not 'insurgents' or 'terrorists' or 'The Enemy.' They are the revolution, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow - and they will win.
Michael Moore
Jensen Comment
As far as I know British soldiers were not standing between warring "tribes" of Minutemen killing and torturing each other in unimaginable horror.

Michael Moore's homepage pleads for young people to volunteer to help the Democratic Nominating Convention and Shut Down the Republican Convention
The following modules appear at his homepage --- http://www.michaelmoore.com/

NOW: Volunteer to Work at the Republican National Convention --- https://jobs.quickhire.com/scripts/msp2008.exe
September 1st - 4th:
Help SDS Shut Down the RNC in St. Paul --- http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20080328130926247

Michael Moore is actively pushing for Wesley Clark to be Obama's VP Running Mate
Jensen Comment
I think Moore wants Wesley Clark, more than any other viable prospect, to be President or Vice President because, unlike Obama, Clark cannot be manipulated by the GOP. Until Obama won the nomination, Michael Moore was never in favor of Obama: Here's a quote that Moore removed from his Webpage and would like us to forget:

Barack Obama is a good and inspiring man. What a breath of fresh air! There's no doubting his sincerity or his commitment to trying to straighten things out in this country. But who is he? I mean, other than a guy who gives a great speech? How much do any of us really know about him? I know he was against the war. How do I know that? He gave a speech before the war started. But since he joined the senate, he has voted for the funds for the war, while at the same time saying we should get out. He says he's for the little guy, but then he votes for a corporate-backed bill to make it harder for the little guy to file a class action suit when his kid swallows lead paint from a Chinese-made toy. In fact, Obama doesn't think Wall Street is a bad place. He wants the insurance companies to help us develop a new health care plan -- the same companies who have created the mess in the first place. He's such a feel-good kinda guy, I get the sense that, if elected, the Republicans will eat him for breakfast. He won't even have time to make a good speech about it.
Michael Moore, "Who Do We Vote For This Time Around?" January 2, 2008 --- http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?id=220

Hence Moore wants Wesley Clark to be a defacto Commander and Chief behind the scenes even if Clark's not the Vice President. Wesley Clark as joined the advisory team for Obama:
"Clark Finds a Home Among Obama Advisors (updated)." by Ed Lasky, American Thinker, July 1, 2008 --- http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/07/clark_finds_a_home_among_obama.html

On Sunday, Wes Clark, who had been on Hillary Clinton's campaign list of advisers, seems to have adroitly switched sides to support Barack Obama and did so in a very maladroit way. He impugned the character of John McCain and his war-record on Meet The Press Sunday.

. . .

Also lest we forget, Wes Clark, like so many closely associated with Barack Obama, has been a beneficiary of money from George Soros.  Right after receiving large chunk of change from Soros, Wes Clark again let loose a broadside against American support for Israel in its battle with Hezbollah, calling it "a serious mistake".  
He will find a comfortable home among Barack Obama's team of advisers.

Jensen Comment
Since Obama has so little knowledge and experience in military matters, it is altogether possible that the defacto next Commander and Chief will be Michael Moore's choice Wesley Clark. Now that's really scary to most of the top brass in the current military and to me.  Clark opposes our support of Israel against the Hezbollah and military resistance of Iran's takeover of Iraq.

If you’re Barack Obama, and you’re looking for a retired general to make the implausible case that you’re ready to handle America’s national security concerns, you can’t afford to be choosy. So Obama is stuck with Wesley Clark – a man whose public utterances are usually bizarre and often hilarious . . . During the Kosovo War, he created so many problems with his ill-advised statements to the press that Shelton was forced to convey a message from Secretary of Defense William Cohen to “get your #$*#& face off the TV. No more briefings. Period.”
Dan Calabrese, July 7, 2008 --- http://www.northstarwriters.com/dc185.htm

Colin Kahl, a national security professor at Georgetown who is Mr. Obama’s Iraq policy coordinator, wrote a paper in April suggesting the US should leave a “residual” force of 60,000 to 80,000 troops – far below the current 150,000 but much higher than the anti-war Democratic base would wish.
Edward Luce, "Obama under fire over Iraq troop pledge," Financial Times, June 24, 2008 ---
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/292c39c0-4217-11dd-a5e8-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

But Obama is ignoring Kahl's advice. On July 3, 2008 he reiterated his unilateral fixed time table for having all U.S. troops out of Iraq in 16 months.
"Barack Obama Reiterates his Stance on Iraq," July 3, 2008 --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2WS0kiX5Os
 
Jensen Comment
Sadly, ignoring Colin Kahl's  takes away our best bargaining chips when negotiating with Iran to not take over Iraq's oil fields for Iran and Syria in the wake of our surrender. Iran will most likely allow U.S. troops to be unharmed during the pull out before unleashing stoked-up Shiite power to take over Iraq in much the same manner as Hezbollah has taken over Lebanon. In fairness Obama has even more frequently claimed he would take military action, even re-invade Iraq, if U.S. homeland security was immediately threatened. But it's not likely that he will view Iran's takeover of Iraq as a threat to U.S. homeland security. His dilemma will be the increased threat to Israel that he's vowed to protect.

There's a close parallel between how Iran-backed Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah (read that Hezbollah) took over Lebanon and how Iran-backed Moqtada al-Sadr will most likely take over Iraq. Iran probably figures that the same formula that worked in Lebanon will work in Iraq once the last U.S. troops are withdrawn. President Obama will not view the loss of Lebanon or Iraq as  immediate threats to U.S. homeland security, but these losses most certainly spell immediate trouble for Israel's security. The question is increasing how much our long-run homeland security is tied to Israel's homeland security in the presence of Iran's mission of destroying Israel. The most likely long-run scenario, in the face of nuclear holocaust, is that Israelis will be moved --- mostly to Europe and America. Since Europe is quickly becoming a Muslim stronghold, it's most likely that most Jews will opt for America. This may be a win-win scenario for American scholarship,  technology advances, medical advances, and one-party control of Washington DC under the name of "MoveOn." that replaces the Democratic Party to get rid of the last vestiges of conservatism.

And once Israel is out of the Middle East there may even be a meltdown of weapons of mass destruction --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl32Y7wDVDs 
Of course by then, America's national debt will have risen from $55 trillion today to $12 tredecillion at a time when $10,000 bills are worth more as wallpaper than as a medium of exchange. Such inflation is inevitable with vastly increased egalitarian entitlements.  The U.S. will quickly become a bit player on the world economy relative to China, Brazil, India, Russia, and all valuable parts of South and Latin America gobbled up by Venezuela. Hopefully, the rich nations of the new world order will send us foreign aid in remembrance of how generous we were in their times of need --- http://trumanstake.blogspot.com/2008/03/global-poverty-act-of-2007-s2433.html

"I'm glad I'm not young anymore."

Action Needed to Avoid Mission Failure
Having a major governmental accounting-type problem on CPA examinations bolstered this module in most U.S. accounting education programs, but it most likely is tokenism compared to the sink hole forming in our Federal, state, and local governments. Much of our hope for the future depends upon having a more stable, enlightened, dedicated, ethical, and knowledgeable body of civil service workers to keep our naive and often corruptible elected officials from losing this nation.

The problem is that it really takes no expertise to run for any elected office. We're in a bigger mess when the government civil service is cannot counter the ignorance and ethically-challenged elected leaders.

"Action Needed to Avoid Mission Failure,' Warns Study," AccountingEducation.com, June 26, 2008 ---
http://accountingeducation.com/index.cfm?page=newsdetails&id=147252 

Identifying the new skills and competencies that federal financial managers will need to face 21st century challenges is the focus of a research paper released recently by the AGA (Association of Government Accountants).

21st Century Financial Managers: A New Mix of Skills and Educational Levels? warns that with 60 percent of the US workforce eligible for retirement over the next 10 years and the commensurate mass retirement of skilled and experienced government financial managers, federal agencies could be left vulnerable to mission failure.

According to AGA Director of Research Anna Miller, "This report is of particular importance given the magnitude of the anticipated problem. The study highlighted those areas in which we must act if we are to avoid compromising standards of accountability and transparency to taxpayers."

Continued in article

The Association of Government Accountants --- http://www.agacgfm.org/homepage.aspx

The U.S. is now dangling on a debt and accountability cliff on the side of that sink hole, and virtually none of our presidential or congressional candidates for office are willing to face these issues because the voters themselves won't have any part of sacrificing to save our great nation.

Truth in Accounting or Lack Thereof in the Federal Government (Former Congressman Chocola) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWTCnMioaY0 
Part 2 (unfunded liabilities of $55 trillion plus) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Edia5pBJxE
Part 3 (this is a non-partisan problem being ignored in election promises) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG5WFGEIU0E

Watch the Video of the non-sustainability of the U.S. economy (CBS Sixty Minutes TV Show Video) ---
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS2fI2p9iVs 
Also see "US Government Immorality Will Lead to Bankruptcy" in the CBS interview with David Walker --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS2fI2p9iVs
Also at Dirty Little Secret (David Walker) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGpY2hw7ao8

At the moment the overwhelming majority of our top accounting graduates do not aspire to civil service.
Therein lies much of the problem for our future.

June 27, 2008 reply from Richard C. Sansing [Richard.C.Sansing@TUCK.DARTMOUTH.EDU]

And now, a rebuttal from the late George Carlin.

"Now, there's one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks."

Richard C. Sansing
Professor of Accounting
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
100 Tuck Hall Hanover, NH 03755

Jensen Comment
You can watch George Carlin saying this on video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlXoIVLJWCY

 




"Nuclear's Tangled Economics:  John McCain says new plants can help solve the energy crisis and address climate change. It's not that simple," by John Carey, Business Week, June 26, 2008 --- http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_27/b4091024354027.htm?link_position=link3 

To power America's future, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has an energy plan with a distinctly French accent. "The French are able to generate 80% of their electricity with nuclear power," the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee points out. "There's no reason why America shouldn't."

In a mid-June speech, part of a continuing blitz on energy issues, McCain laid out his vision for 100 new nuclear plants—45 of them to be built by 2030. They would help meet America's energy needs, and because nukes don't emit greenhouse gases, they would fight global warming as well. McCain also wants to borrow from the French playbook by reprocessing and reusing spent nuclear fuel and by providing government incentives to get all this done. Nukes now produce 20% of U.S. electricity, says McCain senior policy adviser Douglas J. Holtz-Eakin: "To move north of that, we have to be aggressive."

BUDGET BUSTERS But McCain may not want to follow the French example too closely. While France's existing 59 atomic plants are relatively trouble-free, its largest nuclear company, Areva, has run into difficulties building next-generation reactors in France and Finland. The Finnish project is two years behind schedule and more than $1.5 billion over budget, while construction of the other plant, in Normandy, was temporarily halted in late May because of quality concerns. And while France has the world's biggest fuel-reprocessing program, it still hasn't found a permanent home for a growing pile of highly radioactive waste that's left over. The waste sits in heavily guarded storage at Areva's La Hague reprocessing plant.

The U.S. nuclear industry believes that delays and cost overruns, which helped kill new plant construction in the late 1970s, are less likely today, thanks to now-standardized reactor designs and a streamlined U.S. government licensing process. That process has yet to be tested, though, and costs for new plants are climbing. Two years ago, the price of a 1,500-megawatt reactor was pegged at $2 billion to $3 billion. Now it's up to $7 billion and rising, as the cost of concrete, steel, and other materials and labor soars. MidAmerican Energy Holdings (BRK), a gas and electric utility owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK), shelved its own nuke plan earlier this year, saying it no longer made economic sense. "The country badly needs new nuclear plants to deal with the climate issue," says John W. Rowe, chief executive officer of Exelon (EXC), currently the largest nuke operator, and chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry's trade group. "But they are very expensive, very high-risk projects."

So risky and expensive, in fact, that building new ones won't happen without hefty government support. NRG Energy (NRG), Dominion (D), Duke Energy (DUK), and six other companies have already leaped to file applications to construct and operate new plants largely because of incentives Congress has put in place. The subsidies include a 1.8 cents tax credit for each kilowatt hour of electricity produced, which could be worth more than $140 million per reactor per year; a $500 million payout for each of the first two plants built (and $250 million each for the next four) if there are delays for reasons outside company control; and a total of $18.5 billion in loan guarantees. The latter is crucial, since it shifts the risk onto the federal government, making it possible to raise capital from skittish banks. "Without the loan guarantees, I think it would be very difficult for the first wave of plants to move forward," says David W. Crane, CEO of NRG.

Even $18.5 billion won't guarantee the debt needed to build dozens of reactors, though. And the current limit on the loan guarantee is just one bottleneck. Only two companies, Japan Steel Works and France's Creusot Forge, a unit of Areva, are capable of forging key reactor parts such as massive pressure vessels. There are also shortages of contractors with nuclear certification and of skilled workers—even a lack of potential sites for new reactors. The proposed plants are all next to existing reactors. Builders of the power plants, utility executives say, are unwilling to commit to fixed prices and fixed schedules. Most companies want to be paid their actual costs, including overruns, plus a reasonable return, says one CEO.

That's why experts say the much-heralded nuclear "renaissance" will be slow to flower. "I'm not quite sure the number McCain put out is obtainable," says Adrian Heymer, senior director for new plant deployment at the Nuclear Energy Institute. "If there are any hiccups in coming in on time or on budget, it will be a struggle to go much beyond the first eight or 10 plants." Exelon's Rowe adds that the industry can't grow until the government solves the waste problem, either by opening a proposed storage site in Nevada, or by setting up surface storage facilities around the country. And in the long run, to cut the amount of waste, he says, "it's very clear that we've got to have a fuel-recycling technology."

The trouble is, separating out plutonium in the spent fuel for reuse is costly and dangerous, argue critics like Princeton University physicist Frank N. von Hippel. And in any case, worries over separated plutonium being diverted to make bombs led the U.S. to ban reprocessing 31 years ago.

The upcoming election will pull many of these issues into the limelight. The nuclear industry's call for still more government support will find a more sympathetic ear in McCain than in Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.). The presumptive Democratic nominee agrees nuclear energy could help combat global warming, but he says there are better alternatives. Indeed, many Democrats and renewable power advocates are upset that the playing field is tilted so far in favor of nukes. Robert Fishman, a veteran utility executive who is now CEO of solar startup Ausra, says the investment tax credit sought by the solar industry would cost less than 1% of the dollars going to nukes and fossil fuels. "I don't think we've done a good job laying out to Senator McCain what the renewable industry can do for the country," Fishman says. So it looks like a few nuclear plants may come online in the U.S.—some as early as 2016—but not as many as McCain wants.

Continued in article

"The War Over Offshore Wind Is Almost Over:  It's no longer if, but when, where, and how many wind farms will go up along the U.S. coast," Business Week, June 26, 2008 --- http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_27/b4091052403644.htm

Wind farms are springing up in Midwestern fields, along Appalachian ridgelines, and even in Texas backyards. They're everywhere, it seems, except in the windy coastal waters that lap at some of America's largest, most power-hungry cities. That's partly because the first large-scale effort to harness sea breezes in the U.S. hit resistance from an army led by the rich and famous, waging a not-on-my-beach campaign. For almost eight years the critics have stalled the project, called Cape Wind, which aims to place 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound about five miles south of Cape Cod. Yet surprisingly, Cape Wind has largely defeated the big guns. In a few months it may get authorization to begin construction. Meanwhile, a string of other offshore wind projects is starting up on the Eastern Seaboard, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Great Lakes.

Much of the credit—or blame—for this activity goes to Jim Gordon, the man who launched Cape Wind in 2000. His goal is to provide up to 75% of the electric power on Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard by tapping the region's primary renewable resource: strong and steady offshore breezes. He has methodically responded to every objection from Cape Cod property owners and sometime-vacationers, ranging from heiress Bunny Mellon and billionaire Bill Koch to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.). "This is like trying to put a wind farm in Yellowstone National Park, as far as we're concerned," says Glenn Wattley, CEO of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the opposition's lobbying arm.

Since 2000, Cape Wind's Gordon has burned through $30million of his own wealth, much of it to pay for studies of the site. The result is a four-foot-high stack of environmental reports, including three federal applications looking at the wind farm's potential impact on birds, sea mammals, local fishermen, tourism, and more. "We've gone through a more rigorous evaluation process than any prior energy project in New England," says Gordon, who built natural-gas-fired power plants before starting Cape Wind.

Victory is by no means certain. Cape Wind could yet bog down in litigation or be nixed by the feds, Gordon concedes. Even if Washington O.K.'s the project, he must find a way to finance it. Expected costs have more than doubled in the last eight years, to over $1.5billion, by some estimates. And assuming the funding comes through, engineering and construction could drag on for three or more years.

Regardless of how this all plays out, Gordon has secured his spot as one of U.S. wind power's pioneers. When it comes to building natural gas and oil rigs in federal waters, energy companies must follow clear government rules. But until Cape Wind floated its first proposal, Washington had never spelled out how to develop an offshore wind farm. Gordon's plan prodded the Minerals Management Service, the federal agency that oversees energy extraction from public lands, to take action. The regulators hope to release detailed rules for utilizing wind, wave, and tidal power by yearend, at which point the path will be cleared for applications from a dozen or so wind projects in federal waters, with nearly as many under way in state areas. "We'll see an incredible flurry of proposals to tap ocean resources for clean and renewable energy," says Maureen A. Bornholdt, program manager at the MMS's Office of Alternative Energy Programs.

It's easy to understand why entrepreneurs are rushing in. Winds at sea blow stronger and more steadily than on land, where they are slowed by forests, hills, and tall buildings. Unlike terrestrial winds, sea breezes also tend to keep blowing during the hottest times of the day, when the most power is needed. Within a few miles of much of the U.S. coastline, in almost any direction, wind resources are more abundant and dependable than anywhere outside the Great Plains. Exploiting this resource could supply about 5% of all U.S. electricity by 2030, says the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Putting turbines in open water is not a cheap proposition. It costs up to twice as much as in rural expanses. But the economics still work well in the Northeast, where open land is scarce, electricity is pricey, and demand for power keeps surging as populations swell. The Northeast is heavily dependent on electricity from natural gas, which has doubled in price in the past year. What's more, most state governments in this region have passed laws dictating that a growing share of power must come from renewable resources. These states "have to build offshore," says Bruce Bailey, president and CEO of AWS Truewind, which assesses wind resources. "They won't be able to meet their [renewables goals] if not."

In Hull, Mass., a faded Victorian-era beach town just across the bay from Boston, there's already a windmill spinning above the local high school and another over the dump. Four more turbines are planned for the waters just a mile and a half from one of Greater Boston's busiest public beaches. Thanks to the two functioning windmills, power rates in the town haven't risen in seven years, although they've doubled statewide. With four more, Hull could meet all of its needs with homegrown energy, says town manager Phil Lemnios.

Throughout New England, shrunken shipbuilding and fishing towns have begun to view offshore wind power as a source of investment and jobs. In Rhode Island, a consortium of fishermen is vying with Bluewater Wind, a unit of wind-farm developers Babcock & Brown (BNB), to put turbines in state waters near Block Island. Across the region, planners hope to reanimate shipyards by building not just turbines and foundations but also the specialized ships needed to transport and erect supersized towers and blades. In Delaware, Bluewater Wind has a project in development that could produce as much as 600 megawatts 12 miles from Rehoboth Beach; it scored an industry first in late June, when it inked a long-term contract to supply electricity to Delmarva Power. Bluewater's project may well become the first functioning offshore wind farm in North America.

The shores of the Great Lakes, with their strong winds and shallow waters, are also luring developers. Cleveland is among a handful of cities planning wind farms. With offshore wind as a driver, the Rust Belt city wants to remake its waning industrial base into a launchpad for green energy projects.

Down in the Gulf of Mexico, a consortium of oil-and-gas-industry veterans has leased tracts stretching from Galveston, Tex., to the Mississippi Delta to develop offshore wind. Their startup, Wind Energy Systems Technology, plans to adapt retired oil rigs to cut the cost of building offshore plants to a fraction of current prices, says CEO Herman J. Schellstede. The rigs also let them site the turbines farther out at sea. Today's offshore windmills are built on gigantic steel tubes bored into the seabed. It's a proven approach, but it demands a lot of costly steel and can't go too deep. Moving farther offshore on rigs allows developers to tap stronger winds—and the turbines are out of sight.

Continued in article

Prospects for Solar Energy Aren't So Hot
Further dampening hopes for a big solar-energy boom, the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has abruptly slapped a moratorium on new applications to put solar collectors on federal land. The agency says it has a backlog of more than 130 applications and needs to conduct a region-wide environmental-impact study on the industry before it will accept any more. The study will take 22 months to complete, however. Few argue against trying to preserve precious water sources and protect desert tortoises and other creatures that might not enjoy cohabiting with sprawling fields of mirrors. But many solar advocates wonder why the government is not acting as cautiously when it comes to drilling for oil and gas.
"Freezing the sun," The Economist, Jun 26th 2008 --- http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11637342




From MIT's Technology Review in June 2008

To Market by TR Editors

New products unveiled: solar, Spore, 3D mouse and cameras, multitouch display, GPS, Internet TV, genetic sequencing and screening.


Here's added nuz for yuz neuters out their:
The online hangout Facebook is getting more serious about grammar. No more should users see jarringly incorrect declarations such as "Debbie changed their profile picture." Users who haven't specified their gender in their Facebook profiles will be asked to do so in the coming weeks. That way, Facebook doesn't have to default to "their" or the made-up word "themself," as it had been doing. While not knowing someone's gender poses grammatical challenges in English, it has created even larger headaches as Facebook expands to other languages, where a gender-neutral option isn't available in plural form.
"Facebook to users: Let's cut grammatical errors," MIT's Technology Review, June 27, 2008 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Wire/21023/?nlid=1175
 


2008 EDUCAUSE Survey of Top Issues for Higher Education --- http://www.educause.edu/2008IssuesResources/15516

Security and ERP Systems are numbers 1 and 2; Infrastructure rises; Change Management, E-Learning, and Staffing move into top ten

Table 3
2008 Current Issues Survey Choices*
Administrative/ERP Information Systems
Advanced Networking
Assessment/Benchmarking
Change Management
Collaboration/Partnerships/Building Relationships
Commercial/External Online Services
Communications/Public Relations for IT (new item in 2008)
Compliance and Policy Development
Course/Learning Management Systems
Data Administration
Digital Library/Digital Content
Digital Records Management
Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity
E-learning/Distributed Teaching and Learning (incorporating “E-portfolio development and management” in 2008)
Electronic Classrooms/Technology Buildings/Commons Facilities
Emerging Technologies
Faculty Development, Support, and Training
Funding IT
Governance, Organizational Management, and Leadership
Identity/Access Management
Infrastructure
Intellectual Property and Copyright Management
Outsourcing/Insourcing/Cosourcing
Portals
Research Support
Security
Staffing/HR Management/Training
Strategic Planning
Student Computing
Support Services/Service Delivery Models (incorporating “End-to-end service assurance” in 2008)
Web Systems and Services
Other

* For an expanded table of the 2008 survey choices, showing all sub-items that the Current Issues Committee defined as constituting each issue, see http://www.educause.edu/2008IssuesResources.

 

Bob Jensen's (dated) threads on ERP are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245glosap.htm

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


Microsoft Office for $70 Per Year
Microsoft Corp. will begin selling its Office programs to consumers on a subscription basis starting mid-July, in a bid to reach thrifty PC buyers who would otherwise pass on productivity software. The software bundle, which also includes Microsoft's Live OneCare computer security software, will be sold at nearly 700 Circuit City stores for $70 per year. Bryson Gordon, a group product manager for the Office group, said in an interview that the agreement with Circuit City Stores Inc. is not exclusive, and that the bundle will be available at other retailers and on PCs sold by the likes of Dell Inc. in the future . . . Office is a well-established cash cow for Microsoft, but the relatively new OneCare software has been slow to catch on, said Matt Rosoff, an analyst for the independent research group Directions on Microsoft. If this model succeeds -- and Rosoff gives it good odds given the low price tag -- that might change.
"Microsoft to sell Office, OneCare for $70 a year," MIT's Technology Review, July 2, 2008 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Wire/21041/?nlid=1187

Here's the Catch
Buying those programs the traditional way would cost about $200; consumers who want to replace Office 2007 with "Office 14," rumored to be set for a 2009 release, would have to pay full price.


Wow! It's hard to believer PayPal will go this far in protecting eBay customers
Can PayPal continue to afford this kind of protection?

On June 20, eBay announced that it will fully reimburse buyers and sellers when transaction problems arise, providing they use eBay’s PayPal payment service. That means eBay will foot the bill when, say, a buyer purchases an item that was misrepresented on the site or not sent. So, if that too-good-to-be-true bargain Gucci bag turns out to be a cheap knockoff, eBay will give the buyer a refund. The additional protections will go into effect this fall. “We’re combining the power of eBay and PayPal to give all buyers and sellers more confidence and trust,” said Lorrie Norrington, eBay’s president of Marketplace Operations in a statement. “Buyers who pay with PayPal on eBay will be covered, with no limits, on most transactions.”
Catherine Holahan, Business Week, June 19, 2008 --- http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2008/06/post_7.html?link_position=link3

Bob Jensen's threads on consumer fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm

"Australia vs. eBay," The Wall Street Journal Asia, June 26, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121442890505904767.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

EBay is an Internet company that has found a way to make money by offering a product -- its online auction platform -- that hadn't existed before. So quick, someone fetch the antitrust regulators.

At issue is eBay's proposal to require its Australian customers to use its proprietary payment system, PayPal, for transactions. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission thinks the move is anticompetitive because eBay's position as Australia's "leading online marketplace" means that shutting out other payment methods would hobble them unfairly. So on June 12, the Commission issued a draft ruling that would bar eBay from going ahead with its plan. The Commission is now preparing its final verdict on the matter.

Set aside the fact that consumers Down Under have plenty of choices of where to trade their goods online, including Trading Post, an offshoot of telecommunications giant Telstra, Gray'sOnline Auctions, Oztion and several other smaller operators. EBay is certainly more popular, but in a market with low barriers to entry mere success doesn't an antitrust offender make. The Commission's investigation smacks of a basic misunderstanding of how market competition really works.

The Commission's draft finding is also anti-innovation, since eBay's experiment with a new business model is also at stake here. The company argues the move to PayPal will improve the user experience by reducing payment fraud. But it's also trying to determine the market price for the valuable platform it provides to sellers. EBay already charges a fee for each auction it hosts. Now it wants to see if use of its platform is worth the additional fees sellers must pay to accept PayPal payments.

Little wonder that the main objectors are the sellers, who pay PayPal's fees. Most, like Phil Leahy of the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance, say they're defending consumer choice. But given their own financial stake in the outcome, they're not exactly disinterested consumer champions. They object to the price eBay wants to charge. No regulation is forcing these sellers to use eBay.

The other "aggrieved" parties are banks and credit card companies such as the Australian Bankers' Association and American Express, which argue that they'll lose business if eBay shuts them out. EBay responds that other forms of payment -- namely bank-to-bank transfers and credit cards -- aren't as cheap or secure as PayPal. These companies could respond by improving their products. Instead, they're making their case to the antitrust regulator rather than to consumers.

EBay may be the dominant player today in Australia and in other big markets such as the United States and the European Union. But its position isn't sacrosant. Established companies and start-ups are trying everyday to find ways of retailing online that will offer maximum benefits to both consumers and sellers. If anything, the low barriers to entry for online traders make the Internet an even more fluid -- and innovative -- marketplace than most. As Yahoo! has found out recently, the fortunes of technology companies can change swiftly when a better idea comes along.

The danger here is that regulators will stop such innovation in its tracks, to the detriment of entrepreneurs and consumers. This would be particularly ironic in Australia, which has thrived in recent decades by unleashing market forces, not shackling them. The successes of companies like eBay are just that -- successes, not threats.


Correcting for Grade Inflation
It can't get much more complicated!

"A New Approach to Grade Inflation," by Abbott Katz, Inside Higher Ed, July 1, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/07/01/katz 

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


More on the Bare Sterns Scandal

From Jim Mahar's blog on July 1, 2008 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

Financier Starts Sentence in Prostitution Case - NYTimes.com

It has not been a good year for Jeff Epstein. A billionaire money advisor who owned his own island in the Caribbean as well as a large townhouse in NY, Epstein used to be known for his secrecy, smart friends, dislike of suits and ties, and yoga. That has changed in the past year. In fact, it has changed in a big way! Read on:

Financier Starts Sentence in Prostitution Case - NYTimes.com
:

"On Monday morning, he turned himself in and began serving 18 months for soliciting prostitution....It is a stunning downfall for Mr. Epstein...a tabloid monument to an age of hyperwealth. Mr. Epstein owns a Boeing 727 and the largest town house in Manhattan. He has paid for college educations for personal employees and students from Rwanda, and spent millions on a project to develop a thinking and feeling computer and on music intended to alleviate depression.

But Mr. Epstein also paid women, some of them under age, to give him massages that ended with a sexual favor, the authorities say."

 

In addition to these charges, he was also recently was identified as a major investor in Bear Stearns' (where he used to work) hedge funds that collapsed last year:

 

Remember a month or so ago when the WSJ had a series of articles on Bear? I thoght they were great. Well this may be better! By Bryan Burrough who helped write "Barbarians at the Gate" (one of my all time favorites).

From Jim Mahar's blog on June 30, 2008 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

What Really Killed Bear Stearns? - Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds -- DealBook - New York Times:

One look in:
 

"According to Mr. Burrough’s account, Bear did not have a liquidity problem, at least at first. In fact, he said it had more than $18 billion in cash to cover its trades when the week began. There were no major withdrawals until late in the week, after rumors flew that the company was in trouble.

A top Bear executive told Mr. Burrough, “There was a reason [the rumor] was leaked, and the reason is simple: someone wanted us to go down, and go down hard.”

Bear executives frantically tried to find the source of the rumors, but failed to do so in time. They have their suspicions, and they have turned over the names to federal authorities that are investigating the matter."

 

If that was all the article would be great, but there is so much more. Granted some is based on rumor and sort of one sided and designed to sell magazines, but who cares? A very good read!
 

And the NY Times Deal Book goes even further providing links to Fed meetings on the collapse. This will definitely be used in class!

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


Question
What does a student's blinkless stare signify?

a. Daydreaming
b. Confusion
c. Anger
d. Stoned
e. Death

"Facial-Recognition Software Could Give Valuable Feedback to Online Professors," Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 27, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3126&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Many professors who teach online complain that they have no way of seeing whether their far-away students are following the lectures — or whether the students have fallen asleep at their desks. But researchers at the University of California at San Diego say they have a solution. They recently tested a system that can detect facial expressions of online students and determine when they find the material difficult, so that cues could be sent to the professors telling them to slow down.

Jacob Whitehill, a doctoral student at the university working on the research, presented results from the experiment this week at the Intelligent Tutoring Systems 2008 conference in Montreal.

In the experiment, eight subjects were shown short video clips of lectures while a Web cam tracked their facial expressions — looking for smiles, blinks, raised eyebrows, and the like. The subjects were then asked to report how difficult they found each section, and to take a quiz on the material. Mr. Whitehill says that the system correctly detected when students were having trouble (the most reliable indicator: students blinked less when they were struggling to understand).

The system could be used to give valuable feedback to professors teaching online, says Mr. Whitehill. “It’s not going to be perfect by any means,” he says, but it’s better than no student feedback at all. “Professors say that they can’t see the students. This could do it for them automatically.”

Visualization of Multivariate Data (including faces) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/352wpvisual/000datavisualization.htm 

June 30, 2008 reply from Amy Dunbar [Amy.Dunbar@BUSINESS.UCONN.EDU]

There are so many ways around the issue of online students not engaging. I have discussion boards labeled “content modules” and “quizzes” as well as others, including a “water cooler” board that always has great threads going! In addition, each group has its own board. By reading through the posts, I can figure out where the problem areas are, and I do small clips that explain difficult concepts. The neat thing about an online class is that the students have to engage or they can’t do the homework and projects. Because the students meet in their groups to discuss the weekly quiz (aka homework), they teach each other. Every week they evaluate each other, so free riders quickly come to the surface. Last week was a project week: here’s a couple board postings:

>12 hours and many IMs to Dunbar later, I think I got it!!
>Finally done! It took me so much time that I gained at least 2 pounds as I was always sitting and staring at the screen!
>Ok guys, 16 hours later, here is my project.

These students are engaging.

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


"America's Universities Are Living a Diversity Lie," by Peter Schmidt, The Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2008; Page A11  --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121460672212612067.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

Thirty years ago this past week, Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. condemned our nation's selective colleges and universities to live a lie. Writing the deciding opinion in the case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, he prompted these institutions to justify their use of racial preferences in admissions with a rationale most had never considered and still do not believe – a desire to offer a better education to all students.

To this day, few colleges have even tried to establish that their race-conscious admissions policies yield broad educational benefits. The research is so fuzzy and methodologically weak that some strident proponents of affirmative action admit that social science is not on their side.

In reality, colleges profess a deep belief in the educational benefits of their affirmative-action policies mainly to save their necks. They know that, if the truth came out, courts could find them guilty of illegal discrimination against white and Asian Americans.

Continued in article

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


Among Academe's Sociology Faculty:  Men versus Women (including correlations of pay and parenthood and    productivity)
Mothers appeared, on average, to earn less than others in the cohort. The income question was asked with categories, not exact amounts. The median income for sociologists who are fathers, and for sociologists who don’t have children, was between $70,000 and $99,000. The median income for sociologists who are mothers was between $50,000 and $59,000. On many issues, mothers and fathers both reported high levels of stress related to advancing their careers while also caring for their families. Child care, the tenure process, and teaching loads were key issues for parents.
Inside Higher Ed, July 3, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/07/03/women
The study is at http://www.asanet.org/galleries/default-file/ASAPhdMidCareer_r5.pdf 

Bob Jensen's threads on academic salaries are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Salaries
One thing commonly ignored is the important factor of varying living costs and taxes in different states of the U.S. Ignoring this greatly weakens conclusions on compensation differences.

Gender Differences Among Faculty in Terms of Compensation --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#GenderSalaryDifferences
The most significant factor in male versus female faculty compensation is the lower proportion of tenured women in some of the highest paying disciplines such as computer science, business, mathematics, and some other science disciplines. The proportion of women is increasing in some disciplines such as accounting but not in other areas like computer science where less than 10% of the doctoral graduates are women.

Pay differences between disciplines is most affected by supply versus demand irrespective of gender differences. Many colleges are making concerted efforts to reduce salary differences among tenure-track faculty, but it is very difficult in some disciplines such as accounting where there are less than 100 new PhD graduate men and women each year to meet demand of over 1,000 open tenure-track positions each year. Colleges that make offers way "below market" generally come up empty handed for PhD accountants. The demand for faculty, in turn, is greatly impacted by student choices of major where accounting has been steadily increasing in the past decade.

Controversies of affirmative action and pay raises --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#AffirmativeAction


Bob Jensen's Tips on Capturing and Presenting Online Video Lessons

June 30, 2008 message from Glen L Gray [glen.gray@CSUN.EDU]

I have philosophical questions regarding online tutoring.

I just returned from the 3-day AIS Educators Conference in Colorado. While there, I participated in a 1-hours hands-on session on using Camtasia to create on-line tutorial materials. I was impressed with the program's ability to produce the materials--and produce almost any output format.

Here are my questions:

My core IS class meets twice a week for 15 weeks. So, we have 30 75-class meetings. About 6 (20%) of those class meetings are used to explain how to do 3 hands-on projects. So, lets say I put all the material for those 6 classes online using Camtasia, then do I do about the 6 class meetings that I free up?

If fill those 6 class meetings with more stuff (2 more chapters or other readings), it seems that one could argue that I have expanded by class to the equivalent of 18 weeks (15 weeks of in-class meetings plus 3 weeks of online class "meetings").

The opposite approach would be to not have the 6 in-class meetings at all because I now have 6 online class meetings. But what would my chair and/dean think of this? Or will it be easy to convince them that this approach (not having 6 in-class meetings) is a move toward online courses, which is a goal of our university?

Glen L. Gray, PhD, CPA Accounting & Information Systems, COBAE California State University, Northridge 18111 Nordhoff ST Northridge, CA 91330-8372 818.677.3948 818.677.2461 (messages)
http://www.csun.edu/~vcact00f

July 1, 2008 reply from Steven Hornik [shornik@BUS.UCF.EDU]

Glen,

At UCF we utilize what we term M classes, for mixed mode class.  An M class is a reduced seat time class where the reduction in in-class seat time is offset by online delivery of content.  It sounds like that's what you are describing.

Steven

 

July 1, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Glen,

So I don't forget while typing this, my best tip for Camtasia recording is to learn to use the Pause/Record options (in my case I toggle the F9 key). That way you can pause recording, take a break, prep for the next module, and then start to record again. Unless you tell the viewers that you paused, they won't even know you took a break.

I always used Camtasia modules for students to use outside of class. I rarely used these inside class unless it was something I might screw up live (especially when teaching some MS Access modules).

 Camtasia worked great in relieving student frustration about not understanding or remembering all aspects of a one-time presentation in class. It surely gave me more free time, because students had much less need to come to my office to get me to repeat something technical.

 I have many hours of Camtasia video that I recorded, much of which is no longer online. One thing you have to consider when you really get serious is that video, even when tightly compressed with Camtasia Producer, still takes a lot of storage space. Instructors seldom have such space on Blackboard or WebCT servers. Trinity was very generous with me with respect to Web server space, but I felt guilty about taking too much video storage advantage of this generosity. I was saved by my really good friends in the Computer Science Department who seemed to have no problems will providing me with video serving.

 For illustrative purposes you can also view the following modules online:
I suggest viewing the wmv compressed file extensions.

 ACCT 5342 (AIS) --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5342/

 ACCT 5341 (Accounting Theory) --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5341/

Some tutorials --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/

Where can Camtasia be improved?
I think the biggest improvement would be to capture audio from something other than a microphone in front of speakers. For example, for my technology road shows I like to capture video from online sources like TechSmith itself. That way I can easily show parts of longer video streams. The visual parts of video capturing video seem to work quite well but the audio capturing generally sucks. I wish Camtasia had an option for capturing audio directly rather than through the speakers.

You can find some video capturing of video examples in some of my road show files at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/EdTech/Video/
For example, note the Interactive Video module and the PodcastVodcast module.

Note the poor sound of my captured Techsmith videos. This illustrates how Camtasia could be improved with an option to record video internally without having to hold a microphone in front of the speakers.

Mostly we capture computer screens and narrate what we want to demo. When there is video of a talking head, don't sweat the lip sinking too much. To get lip sinking you have to capture at a very expensive (in terms of file size) frame capture rate. Camtasia allows you to increase this capture rate, but I highly, highly recommend sticking with the default capture rate. Lip sinking only matters in a 1955 Chevy at a drive-in movie.

Remember that my best tip for Camtasia recording is to learn to use the Pause/Record options (in my case I toggle the F9 key). That way you can pause recording, take a break, prep for the next module, and then start to record again. Unless you tell the viewers that you paused, they won't even know you took a break.

I have some tips on using Camtasia at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm

Bob Jensen


This type of cheating raises all sorts of legal issues yet to be resolved for students who might've thought what they did was perfectly legal

More than 1,000 prospective MBA students who paid $30 to use a now-defunct Web site to get a sneak peak at live questions from the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) before taking the exam may have their scores canceled in coming weeks. For many, their B-school dreams may be effectively over. On June 20, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted the test's publisher, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a $2.3 million judgment against the operator of the site, Scoretop.com. GMAC has seized the site's domain name and shut down the site, and is analyzing a hard drive containing payment information. GMAC said any students found to have used the Scoretop site will have their test scores canceled, the schools that received them will be notified, and the student will not be permitted to take the test again. Since most top B-schools require the GMAT, the students will have little chance of enrolling. "This is illegal," said Judy Phair, GMAC's vice-president for communications. "We have a hard drive, and we're going to be analyzing it. If you used the site and paid your $30 to cheat, your scores will be canceled. They're in big trouble."
Louis Lavelle, "Shutting Down a GMAT Cheat Sheet:  A court order against a Web site that gave away test questions could land some B-school students in hot water," Business Week, June 23, 2008 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/jun2008/bs20080623_153722.htm

Jensen Comment
A university admissions office that refused to accept applications from the "cheating" prospective MBA students would probably be sued by one or more students. GMAC would probably be sued as well. But it's hard to sue a U.S. District Court.

There are several moral issues here. From above, this is clearly cheating. But in various parts of society exam questions and answers are made available for study purposes. For example, preparation manuals for the U.S. Citizenship Test all the questions that might be asked. It is entirely possible that some MBA applicants fell for a scam that they believed was entirely legitimate. Now their lives are being messed up.

I guess this is a test of the old saying that "Ignorance is no defense" in the eyes of the law. Clearly from any standpoint, they were taking advantage of other students who did not have the cheat sheets. But the cheat sheets were apparently available to anybody in the world for a rather modest fee, albeit an illegal fee. Every buyer did not know it was illegal.

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


"Corporate Tax Cut Windfall," The Wall Street Journal,  July 1, 2008; Page A16 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121486763043717547.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

For those who still claim that tax rates don't matter to economic decisions or U.S. competitiveness, we present Exhibit A: the 2004 American Jobs Creation Act.

This law gave American companies a one-year window in 2005 to repatriate earnings from foreign subsidiaries to the United States at a 5.25% tax rate. Normally companies must pay the 35% U.S. corporate tax rate, minus a credit for whatever foreign taxes they paid on those earnings.

The IRS examined the results from this tax cutting experiment and found that the money came back in a flood. More than 800 U.S. corporations repatriated $362 billion from foreign operations. Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation had predicted closer to $200 billion. These dollars are now being invested in the U.S., rather than remaining in Europe or China. This capital infusion may be one reason that U.S. business investment rose 9.6% in 2005 – the highest rate in more than a decade.

Many Democrats, liberal groups and even some economists in the Bush Treasury opposed the measure four years ago, predicting it would lose revenue and merely be a tax holiday for profitable corporations. The Joint Tax Committee estimators also blundered again by predicting a mere $2.8 billion in revenue gains in the first year and then big losses after 2005. As always, they underestimated how tax reductions change behavior. The tax incentive raised $18 billion in 2005, and revenues have continued to exceed estimates. Instead of getting 35% of nothing, as U.S. companies kept their cash abroad, the Treasury took in 5.25% of the hundreds of billions the companies brought home.

One lesson here is how hypersensitive the trillions of dollars of annual global capital flows are to tax rates. It also underscores how damaging the U.S. corporate income tax is to American firms. Over the past decade the U.S. has gone from a below-the-average corporate tax nation to the second highest rate in the industrial world. (See table.) Many countries have slashed their corporate rates to as low as 10%. The economic impact is even worse because the U.S. is one of the few countries that taxes foreign subsidiary income when it is repatriated.

Most countries let their companies pay taxes in the country where the income is earned, and the few countries that do tax repatriated income are changing their models. Japan is the only developed nation with a higher corporate tax rate than the U.S., but the Japan Times reports that the government wants to change its tax laws to stop taxing repatriated capital.

America's tax laws are repelling capital at the same time the rest of the world is inviting these dollars and the jobs and growth that inevitably follow. House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel wants to dig the ditch deeper by taxing American companies on their foreign earnings whether or not they bring the money back to the U.S. He thinks this will raise money for the Treasury, but the likelier effect is that more American multinationals will relocate abroad.

Senator John Ensign of Nevada, the author of the 2005 holiday bill, is proposing to do the same again for one year to stimulate the economy. As a rule, we don't like temporary tax cuts because they don't provide permanent incentives. But the 2005 holiday was an exception that proved the folly of current policy.

The best response going forward would be for Congress and the next Administration to reduce sharply the corporate tax rate so it is competitive with falling rates around the world. John McCain is proposing to cut it to 25%. If Barack Obama really wanted to "run to the center," he'd see that and cut it even further. As the 2005 results show, he'd then have more tax revenue to spend on his many social programs.

 


Journal publishers are increasingly using plagiarism detection software
Plagiarists beware. A group of 12 publishers have begun using CrossCheck, software that ferrets out plagiarized articles submitted for publication in scholarly journals. The software was created by CrossRef, a publishing industry association, and iParadigms, a company that sells Turnitin, software that checks student papers for plagiarized material. CrossCheck is targeted at scholars. It flags passages that a submitted journal article may have in common with published journal articles. The publishers will contribute more than 29 million articles to the CrossCheck database, according to a statement released Monday by Elsevier. It and eight other publishers tested the service for six months. "By creating a pooled database of articles from multiple publishers and tested tools, we can provide assistance to the scholarly community on an unprecedented scale," Martin Tanke, Elsevier's managing director of science-and-technology journal publishing, said in the statement. Other publishers contributing to the CrossCheck database are: the Association of Computing Machinery, American Society of Neuroradiology, BMJ Publishing Group, International Union of Crystallography, Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Nature Publishing Group, Oxford University Press, Sage, Informa UK, and Wiley Blackwell.
Andrea L. Foster, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 27, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3124&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Scholarly Journals Using Plagiarism Detection Software
Students may not be the only ones being checked electronically for plagiarism. The company that offers the popular detection service Turnitin announced this week a new service to be used by scholarly journals.
Inside Higher Ed, April 18, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/04/18/qt
Also see  http://chronicle.com/free/2008/04/2546n.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

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


This incoming open-sharing tide really puts pressure on universities that sponsor expensive research journals!
And what will SSRN do if the research is open shared by the authors' own universities?
Will SSRN develop a two-tier pricing system where open access research papers are free but not those from universities that have not yet signed on to open access?

Open-access advocates predicted that the move last February by Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and, later, by its Law School to require free online access to all faculty members’ scholarly articles would prompt other universities to adopt similar policies. The movement has not exactly snowballed, but another institution did just join in.Last week Stanford University’s School of Education revealed that it would require faculty members to allow the university to place their published articles in a free online database.The school’s faculty passed a motion unanimously — just as Harvard’s two faculties had — on June 10. A faculty member and open-access advocate, John Willinsky, made the policy public last week at the International Conference on Electronic Publishing, in Toronto. A video of his presentation is available.
Lila Guterman, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 30, 2008 --- http://snipurl.com/stanfordopenshare  [chronicle_com] 

The real test of open access in accounting will be what happens with the Journal of Accounting Research (JAR) if the University of Chicago signs on to this trend of open access.

Still a tougher test will be the leading journal policy (like that of The Accounting Review) that articles that it charges for in print and electronically "must not be published elsewhere."

Are we eventually going to get free access to research of leading accounting research journals because of this open-sharing tide in leading research universities?

Note that the Harvard Business School has not, to my knowledge, bought into the open sharing declarations of its sister Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Could it be because of the profitability of the Harvard Business Review current issues and archives?

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


Question
Is downloading of texts protected by "Fair Use" in U.S. Copyright Law (the DMCA)

"Georgia State: Downloading Texts is Fair Use," The University of Illinois Issues in Higher Education Blog, June 27, 2008 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

Many of us have been following the lawsuit three publishers have brought against Georgia State University for copyright infringement with great interest. In its response to the suit, Georgia State has now asserted that its online distribution of course material is permitted under copyright law's fair-use exemption. In papers filed earlier this week, the university admitted that it was offering the material online to students through electronic reserves in the library, the Blackboard/WebCT Vista course-management system, department Web pages, and other Web sites. But, it says the practice is allowed under the fair-use doctrine of the Copyright Act.

There is no clear interpretation of "Fair Use" relating to the amount of material that can be used for such activities as scholarship, teaching, reporting, and review.

In addition to advancing its fair-use argument, the university also says it is protected from federal lawsuits by sovereign immunity protections guaranteed by the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The outcome of this lawsuit will impact the ways in which colleges and universities distribute course materials and provide access to digital materials.

Question
Are you confused by the nuances of the "Fair Use" section of U.S. Copyright Law under the DMCA?

From the Scholarly Communications Blog at the University of Illinois on June 19, 2006 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

A Good Fair Use Site

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law has created a Web site on fair use.

Called The Fair Use Network, the site says it attempts to alleviate the "mass of confusion for artists, scholars, journalists, bloggers, and everyone else who contributes to culture and political debate."

The site guides people on what to do if they get a letter from a copyright owner demanding that they cease and desist from making use of the owner's work. And the site also explains how much people can borrow, quote or copy from another's work.

Jensen Comment
The Fair Use safe harbors are frequently violated by professors who really do not want to know the limitations of these provisions in the law.

July 3, 2008 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

This might be a good time to repeat this video on fair use.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJn_jC4FNDo

A full-screen version is available for download for your classes from:

http://snipurl.com/fairu1

This was put together by a law professor from Bucknell, and apparently is being distributed by Cyberlaw at Stanford University. Be sure to carefully read the pseudo-FBI warning at the beginning, too. Cute.

If I remember correctly, I believe this was posted on AECM on March 28 by Richard Campbell.

David Fordham

Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright


"Founder of Textbook-Download Site Says Offering Free Copyrighted Textbooks Is Act of 'Civil Disobedience'," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 2, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3136&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Publishers see Web sites like Textbook Torrents, which offer free downloads of textbooks without authorization, as part of a growing problem of piracy that could potentially threaten their industry. But the founder of Textbook Torrents calls his actions “civil disobedience” against “the monopolistic business practices” of textbook publishers.

The site’s founder, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of legal action against him, talked to The Chronicle over an Internet phone call last night and defended his creation, though he described it as operating in a “legal gray area.” He said he is an undergraduate at a college outside of the United States, though he would not name the institution or country, and that he operates the Web site from there.

His biggest complaint: that textbooks are just too expensive, and that prices climb each year. “We’re showing both students and textbook publishers that this isn’t acceptable anymore,” he said. “A lot of users are absolutely fed up with the system.” He said he views the 64,000 registered users of his textbook-download site as votes against that system.

The site started last January, but except for an author or two writing to ask that their books be removed, no one had complained until recently, he said. Last Friday, after The Chronicle began asking publishers about the site, Pearson Education sent the site a note demanding that 78 of its titles be removed. The site quickly complied. “We don’t have the legal muscle to fight them,” the founder said. But he added that he will press on with the site, even if such takedown requests continue. “I certainly have no intention of going anywhere.”

The site takes in some money through banner advertising, and some users have made donations, but he said Textbook Torrents is not profitable, and that the goal is simply to break even rather than to benefit financially.

The Chronicle requested an interview with officials at Pearson to talk about the site. In response, they issued the following statement by LaShonda Morris, a Web security specialist: “Pearson does monitor this and other potentially infringing websites. We have contacted this particular site and they have complied with our request to remove our copyrighted material.”

Bob Jensen's threads on free (legal) textbooks, cases, tutorials, and videos are at  ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks


A Dumb Policy for Dumb Athletes
If you're a really dumb football/basketball/baseball player, note that it's easier to be dumb at the top NCAA Division 1 universities!
Read that "Bench Sitting for Dummies" who are not quite good enough to make the starting team at top schools but could be stars in mid-level NCAA Division 1 colleges.

"NCAA Imposes Stiffer Penalties for Academic Performance of Midlevel Division I Teams," by Libby Sander, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 30, 2008 --- Click Here

The NCAA punishes athletics programs at midlevel Division I colleges more harshly for having low academic-progress rates than it does teams in marquee conferences like the Big Ten or the Pacific-10, according to an analysis published today in USA Today.

In its latest round of penalties for low academic performance, released last month, the NCAA sanctioned more than 200 teams at 123 Division I institutions for having low academic-progress rates.

But as USA Today explains, the six wealthiest and highest-profile conferences, which make up nearly 20 percent of the NCAA’s Division I membership (Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific-10, and Southeastern), accounted for less than 10 percent of the scholarship cuts the NCAA doled out as part of the penalties.

Two midlevel programs — San Jose State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham — lost more scholarships for poor academic performance than all 65 institutions in the power conferences, the report said.

USA Today said one possible explanation for the disparate results is that richer colleges can provide their athletes with more academic support, including summer school, and can afford to use airplanes, not buses, to transport their players to away games, making for less time missed in the classroom.

The Good News
Athletes with weak brains are unlikely to sustain more brain damage on the bench than in the game.

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

"Academic fraud runs rampant at major universities," by Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, September 2, 2003 --- http://news.mysanantonio.com/story.cfm?xla=saen&xlb=200&xlc=1058365&xld=200 

The first time a coed casually walked up to him, introduced herself and offered to do his homework, it would have been natural for Terrance Simmons to be taken aback.

When he learned that his basketball coach at Minnesota, Clem Haskins, was being forced out as a result of massive NCAA rules violations, Simmons understandably could have been shocked.

And when he read this spring about another seemingly endless string of new academic fraud cases — involving people who somehow didn't learn from the 1999 scandal that was supposed to be a national wake-up call — one might have expected Simmons to be a bit dismayed.

But he wasn't.

None of it surprised him.

Because the way Simmons sees it, he knew the kind of world he was getting into from the very beginning.

He remembers sitting in his family's living room in Louisiana as a prized high school recruit. He remembers college coaches — "and we're talking about coaches from major universities," he said — giving him all kinds of reasons to join their programs.

Most of all, he remembers many of those recruiters making it quite clear that scholastic integrity wasn't exactly their top priority.

"They didn't come right out and say I didn't have to go to class," Simmons said, "but it wasn't very hard to read between the lines."

Likewise, it doesn't take many code-breaking skills to figure out that academic fraud has become a scourge of epic proportions in major college athletics.

In the past four years alone, the NCAA has doled out punishment nine times for academic infractions, ranging from grade tampering to improper use of tutors. That number doesn't even include all of the schools involved in the latest outbreak.

In the span of just a few weeks at the end of last season, the men's basketball teams at Fresno State, Georgia and St. Bonaventure all removed themselves from postseason play amid reports of fraud.

Those scandals were followed by accusations of similar violations at Fairfield and Missouri. The possibility of academic infractions hasn't been ruled out at Baylor, where the basketball program is already under intense scrutiny after the alleged murder of a player, the ensuing cover-up and the resignation of coach Dave Bliss.

Simmons, who graduated from Minnesota with a degree in communications and economics and wasn't involved in the violations that occurred while he played for the Golden Gophers, thinks the frequency of reported similar transgressions will grow before it subsides.

Continued in the article


More on how to lie with statistics
There Is No “The Firm” or is there?

It brings to mind the joke about Bill Gates walking into a bar and suddenly everyone in the room becomes a millionaire. Statistically, by averaging the incomes in the room, the statement is true.
Zachary Karabell (see below)

"There Is No 'The Economy'," by Zachary Karabell, The Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2008; Page A13 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121478256977914431.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

Once upon a time, and for most of the 20th century, there was. The data that we use today is a product of the nation-state, and was created in order to give government the tools to gauge the health of the nation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which measures the unemployment rate and inflation, was created around the turn of the 20th century, and for much of that century the U.S. was a cohesive unit. It was its own most important market, its own source of consumption, and its own source of credit.

Big-picture statistics form the basis of almost every discussion about "the economy." But these statistics are averages reporting one blended number that is treated as if it applies to all 300 million Americans. It brings to mind the joke about Bill Gates walking into a bar and suddenly everyone in the room becomes a millionaire. Statistically, by averaging the incomes in the room, the statement is true.

Macro data and big-picture statistics like GDP growth, the unemployment rate and consumer spending are all large averages. The fact that the economy is growing or contracting by 1% or 2% is taken as a proxy not just for the economic health of the nation, but for the economic health of the bulk of its citizens. The same goes for consumer spending. If it goes up or down 2%, that is taken as representative not just of the statistical fiction called "the American consumer" but as indicative of the behavior and attitudes of U.S. consumers writ large.

To begin with, someone in the upper-income brackets is living a different life than those in the lower-income brackets. The top 20% of income earners spend more than the lower 60% combined. The wealthiest 400 people have more than $1 trillion in net worth, which exceeds the discretionary spending of the entire federal government. These groups are all American, yet it would be stretching the facts to the breaking point to assert that they share an economic reality. On the upper end, the soaring price of food and fuel hardly matter; on the other end, they matter above all else. The upper end does matter quantitatively, but the group of people on the lower end is vastly larger and therefore has more resonance in our public and electoral debate.

Look at housing, widely regarded as a national calamity. The regional variations depict something different. In Stockton, Calif., one in 75 households are in foreclosure; in Nebraska, the figure is one in every 1,459; and the greater Omaha area is thriving. Similar contrasts could be made between Houston and Tampa, or between Las Vegas and Manhattan. Home prices have plunged in certain regions such as Miami-Dade, and stayed stable in others such as San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Houston, bolstered by soaring oil prices, has a 3.9% unemployment rate; the rate in Detroit, depressed by a collapsing U.S. auto industry, is 6.9%. The notion that these disparate areas share a common housing malaise or similar employment challenges is a fiction.

We hear continual stories of the subprime economy and its fallout on Main Street and Wall Street. All true. Yet there is also an iPhone economy and a Blackberry economy. Ten million iPhones were sold last year at up to $499 a pop, and estimates are for 20 million iPhones sold this year, many at $199 each. That's billions of dollars worth of iPhones. Add in the sales of millions of Blackberrys, GPS devices, game consoles and so on, and you get tens of billions more.

The economy that supports the purchases of these electronic devices is by and large not the same economy that is seeing rampant foreclosures. The economy of the central valley of California is not the same economy of Silicon Valley, any more than the economy of Buffalo is the same as the economy of greater New York City. Yet in our national discussion, it is as if those utterly crucial distinctions simply don't exist. Corn-producing states are doing just fine; car-producing states aren't.

The notion that the U.S. can be viewed as one national economy makes increasingly less sense. More than half the profits of the S&P 500 companies last year came from outside the country, yet in indirect ways those profits did add to the economic growth in the U.S. None of that was captured in our economic statistics, because the way we collect data – sophisticated as it is – has not caught up to the complicated web of capital flows and reimportation of goods by U.S.-listed entities for sale here.

These issues are not confined to the U.S. Every country is responsible for its own national data, and every country is falling victim to a similar fallacy that its national data represent something meaningful called "the economy."

In truth, what used to be "the economy" is just one part of a global chess board, and the data we have is incomplete, misleading, and simultaneously right and wrong. It is right given what it measures, and wrong given what most people conclude on the basis of it.

The world is composed of hundreds of economies that interact with one another in unpredictable and unexpected ways. We cling to the notion of one economy because it creates an illusion of shared experiences. As comforting as that illusion is, it will not restore a simplicity that no longer exists, and clinging to it will not lead to viable solutions for pressing problems.

So let's welcome this new world and discard familiar guideposts, inadequate data and outmoded frameworks. That may be unsettling, but it is a better foundation for wise analysis and sound solutions than clinging to a myth.

Jensen Comment
Sadly, the same thing is happening with the state of financial reporting of global companies. The once tough minded FASB (leases, pensions, pooling, post-retirement benefits, stock options, derivatives, etc.) is caving in to globalization of accounting standards that is analogous to turning over law making to the United Nations. The goal is to "welcome this new world and discard familiar guideposts (read that bright lines in accounting standards), inadequate data and outmoded frameworks."

Perhaps I'm a luddite, but I do not think IASB's so-called principles-based standards provide "a better foundation for wise analysis and sound solutions than clinging to myth." All these principle-based standards are going to do is make it harder to pin down CEO crooks and incompetent auditors in court.

"Accounting rule-makers putting markets at risk," by Michael Starkie, Financial Times, June 12 2008 --- Click Here

Sir, Whither accounting?

I write this letter in a personal capacity. My qualifications for expressing these opinions are that I have been chief accountant at BP for the past 14 years and have been for some years chairman of the UK's CBI Financial Reporting Panel and a member of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group Technical Expert Group.

Recent years have seen major changes in the topography of accounting standards; acceptance by the European Union (subject to endorsement) of International Financial Reporting Standards and by other countries also, and the decline in the influence of US generally accepted accounting principles as the US capital markets have become relatively less attractive.

What a wasted opportunity, then, that the current body of IFRS is so unhelpful for the markets when the accounting world was given this historic opportunity to create something that should have been both useful for markets and with the potential to be welcomed globally. I recall a year or two ago that the heads of leading accounting firms said that current international financial reporting was broken. But nothing has been done about this.

And the future looks even bleaker. The International Accounting Standards Board continues to develop an accounting model about which users of financial information have grave misgivings. Probably the most disturbing example is the use of predominantly mark-to-model exit values in the balance sheet, which cannot be relevant for a market trying to assess the economic performance and position of companies that have the intention of continuing to operate as going concerns. In the interests of brevity I will not list other examples though there are enough voices of protest being raised by those in the financial world to make it apparent that all is far from well.

How have things come to this pass? I have concluded, albeit with regret, that the fundamental problem is the members of the IASB. Collectively as board members they do not have the experience and wisdom to produce and maintain accounting standards that are useful for the capital markets and the wider economy. And some of the board members are clearly committed to an extreme view of recognition and measurement which will severely damage the operation of markets and ultimately economies. Recent appointments to the board are too little and too late to change the overall thrust.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the sorry trend in the setting of accounting standards are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#MethodsForSetting


PlagiarismDetect.com --- http://www.plagiarismdetect.com/

Other software for detecting platiarism can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm


Question
Do you have to know your subject if you're a great scholar/teacher?

College teacher education programs do a poor job of preparing elementary school mathematics teachers, according to a report to be released today, the Associated Press reports. The report, by the National Council on Teacher Quality, which featured 10 programs that work well, found that most spend too little time training teachers to understand the foundations of basic math concepts.
Inside Higher Ed, June 26, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/06/26/qt

Jensen Comment
This makes me wonder about our accounting doctoral programs who are graduating econometricians and psychometricians who know very little accounting. I repeat once more the following quotation of a journal referee who write the following about a submission of Denny Beresford to Accounting Horizons.--- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#AcademicsVersusProfession

*************
1. The paper provides specific recommendations for things that accounting academics should be doing to make the accounting profession better. However (unless the author believes that academics' time is a free good) this would presumably take academics' time away from what they are currently doing. While following the author's advice might make the accounting profession better, what is being made worse? In other words, suppose I stop reading current academic research and start reading news about current developments in accounting standards. Who is made better off and who is made worse off by this reallocation of my time? Presumably my students are marginally better off, because I can tell them some new stuff in class about current accounting standards, and this might possibly have some limited benefit on their careers. But haven't I made my colleagues in my department worse off if they depend on me for research advice, and haven't I made my university worse off if its academic reputation suffers because I'm no longer considered a leading scholar? Why does making the accounting profession better take precedence over everything else an academic does with their time?
**************

I can't think of any courses we want the above "accounting" professor to teach if those courses are supposed to cover accounting content! In some cases it's not so much the lack of background. Instead it's the arrogant attitude of “leading scholars” not caring enough to learn accounting.

June 26, 2008 reply from Bender, Ruth [r.bender@CRANFIELD.AC.UK]

On a personal note, for many years I found that my worst lectures were those on executive compensation, the subject of my PhD. I knew too much to teach it well, because I felt the need to share my wealth of knowledge!

It was only when I approached the lecture prep from the point of view of ‘what is the minimum an intelligent manager would need to know?’ that I built up a good lecture session. Gradually, I added back many of the more interesting research findings - but always keeping the focus on the class’s learning needs rather than my teaching needs.

And some of my best lectures (according to the students) have been in areas where I had to learn the material myself in order to teach it – that meant that I really understood where their problems were going to lie, because I’d faced those same problems myself.

Dr Ruth Bender
Cranfield School of Management

June 26, 2008 reply from Peters, James M [jpeters@NMHU.EDU]

This is an example of a common phenomenon known in some psychology circles as the "expert blind spot." Experts know their material too well to be good teachers because they take too many basics for granted. Their knowledge becomes so practiced that it is automatically applied and they lose conscious access to all the steps they went through to solve the problem, which is what a novice needs. Texts should not be written by PhDs. They should be written by a team of PhDs and students so that they can communicate better to students and so they won't leave out critical details. For example, a colleague of mine at CMU did a student of physics texts and found that the text only contained 50% of the knowledge needed to solve the problems in the back of the book. In today's publishing markets, the main authors of texts rarely solve all the problems in those text before submitting them for publishing.

Even experienced teachers have a difficult time "seeing though the eyes of a student." Another study that the same colleague at CMU ran was of high school math teachers. He poled teachers and students on the relative difficulty of types of math problems. Teachers felt that simple formulas were easier for students to learn because they didn't have to process the verbiage in word problems to arrive at the formula to solve. However, students felt that the word problems were easier because they provided a real world context that helped students understand the meaning of the formula and, thus, made it easier to solve.

Breaking through the expert blind spot takes effort on the part of the expert to develop more self-insight on how they solve problems. This is fighting the brain's natural tendency to automate repeated processes and make their execution automatic and, thus, subconscious. I have disciplined myself to never give any student a problem that I have not personally solved and where I have stepped back and tried to analyze every step, no matter how minor, that I used. Most accounting professors are aided by our natural tendency to teach accounting by solving problems in class. Just be very careful to listen to what your students do and don't understand.

I also have gone to the extreme of writing up my own text materials with the aid of students. I have never found a text I liked or that I felt adequately communicated complex materials to novices. Another reason is what Dr. Bender cited. Experts try to include too much material because the lower level details are too easy for them and they don't appreciate what a novice will need to learn. But, I have pontificated on this topic to this list before. Teach fewer topics at greater depth and you will turn out students that actual know something.

Jim Peters

June 26, 2008 reply from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

About the time I started really reading Bob Jensen's posts on a daily basis, I put in motion a process that has completely changed the way I do things and the way I view my professional world. Simultaneously with reading every one of Bob's posts (and the articles linked to), I started signing up for e-mail newsletters dealing with accounting. One of the first was CFO Magazine. I think that CFO is getting better at putting out relevant articles. Then I discovered Google news alerts. I put a news alert in for every accounting term I could think of related to financial reporting issues and auditing firms. I get about 40 of these every day, each with links to between two and six articles or blogs. I started read, about 3 hours per day. Oh, I could be reading the WSJ (and I do), but I find that the various e-mail newsletters I get are filtered on some dimension, and it shortens my search time.

As a result, I've become much more aware of issues in the profession. Has this helped me? Yes and no.

It most definitely has helped my teaching and my students. Not just because I can season class with salt and pepper from current stories. I joined the learning-centered bandwagon at about the same time. Under the learning-centered approach, a teacher is a success if students learn to do something valuable with the knowledge they pick up. Well, for me to get a firm grasp on what undergraduate students should learn to do, I need to be very current on the practical side of things. This seems to have worked out pretty well for my students. Along the way, I went from being perceived as nothing special in the classroom to one of the best teachers on campus.

Expanding on this. After graduating with a Ph.D., I was assigned to teach intermediate accounting. I now realize that I didn't even understand or know the organization of the income statement. Oh, I covered how to compute inventory numbers and bond numbers, but I never could fit the coverage into a bigger picture, or even communicate that bigger picture to students. Now, I help students really learn financial statements. Students really like this holistic approach instead of a piecemeal approach. More and more I'm introducing what to do with the statements once they understand them. I start my courses with a review of each of the financial statements, and I drill students until they know the organization and composition inside and out. Then when we cover the accounting for any topic, we always cover how the numbers on each of the four statements are affected. And the interpretation of those numbers, also. I don't like the way that most cases are written, so I try to incorporate simulations as much as I can.

It has helped increase my appreciation for accounting. I like thinking about the big issues of financial reporting, regulation and enforcement. I think that E&Y's internal reorganization, and the SEC's proposal that its counterparts in other countries band together to oversee the IASB are two extremely important developments for the successful transition to IFRS (I need to post some links about this). Now, if the IFRS can adopt some of GAAP's bright lines, I'll be happy. I discuss these things on AECM. Sometimes I come across as a dufus, but I think in many ways I'm not a complete dufus. Now, I can't wait to open up e-mail each day to see how the accounting world is doing.

It has not helped me generate scholarly output, at least the type that gets published. To stay current enough so that I can select the stuff I need to learn about (and not rely on Bob to tell me what I need to know) takes a lot of time. I just don't have the blocks of time needed to get stuff written and published. Why, this e-mail will take more than an hour to write. I can seldom find the time for an hour writing. Where would I find time to get published? Moreover, the world is changing at such a rapid rate right now, I just don't want to suspend normal processes for months so that I can get a respectable pub. In this way, I really envy Bob right now. Retired, he has the blocks of time needed to stay current AND to work on an academic project. And, he has time to reflect. The many posts he sends to AECM are an outlet for his reflections. And it is the results from this reflection that have fueled my admiration and respect for him. Bob, you're a giant to me. For the upcoming semester, I'll teach three different courses with 60 students in each (60 is the room limit for most classrooms at BGSU). If I stay current, and honor my class commitment, and do some other stuff, where does the time come from to get much done in publishing? I'll try to find time to think and reflect before I spend time trying to get something published.

There have been other effects, too. More than you want to read about.

One other thought: to me, becoming a great scholar can be divorced from having a great publishing record. Becoming a scholar means that your mind, your knowledge base, and your world view have all evolved to the point where you have something that can be contributed to the world. Getting pubs does mean that you are a scholar (especially in today's academic accounting world). But if you are going to grow to the point where you can be respected for your understanding and wisdom, then you must know your subject inside and out. You do not have to know your subject to thrive in the current world of accounting academe, unfortunately.

Now, I need to complete writing a final exam for later today.

David Albrecht

Bob Jensen's threads on the problems with accountancy doctoral programs and research journals are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms


The interaction of moral sentiments and self-interest

"Does the Invisible Hand Need a Helping Hand? A behavioral economist explores the interaction of moral sentiments and self-interest," by Ronald Bailey, Reason Magazine, June 24, 2008  --- http://www.reason.com/news/show/127130.html

Remember how you reacted to your micromanaging boss in a past job? He was forever looking over your shoulder, constantly kibitzing and threatening you. In return, you worked as little as you could get away with. On the other hand, perhaps you've had bosses who inspired you—pulling all-nighters in order to finish up a project so that you wouldn't disappoint her. You kept the first job only because you couldn't get another and because you needed the money; you stayed with the second one even though you might have earned more somewhere else.

In the June 20 issue of Science, Samuel Bowles, director of the Behavioral Sciences Program at the Santa Fe Institute, looks at how market interactions can fail to optimize the rewards of participants—e.g., the micromanager who gets less than he wants from his employees. For Bowles, the key is that policies designed for self-interested citizens may undermine "the moral sentiments." His citation of the "moral sentiments" obviously references Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), in which Smith argued that people have an innate moral sense. This natural feeling of conscience and sympathy enables human beings to live and work together in mutually beneficial ways.

To explore the interaction of moral sentiments and self-interest, Bowles begins with a case where six day care centers in Haifa, Israel imposed a fine on parents who picked their kids up late. The fine aimed to encourage parents to be more prompt. Instead, parents reacted to the fine by coming even later. Why? According to Bowles: "The fine seems to have undermined the parents' sense of ethical obligation to avoid inconveniencing the teachers and led them to think of lateness as just another commodity they could purchase."

Bowles argues that conventional economics assumes that "policies that appeal to economic self-interest do not affect the salience of ethical, altruistic, and other social preferences." Consequently, material interests and ethics generally pull in the same direction, reinforcing one another. If that is the case, then how can one explain the experience of the day care centers and the micromanager?

Bowles reviews 41 behavioral economics experiments to see when and how material and moral incentives diverge. For example, researchers set up an experiment involving rural Colombians who depend on commonly held forest resources. In the first experiment, the Colombians were asked to decide how much to anonymously withdraw from a beneficial common pool analogous to the forest. After eight rounds of play, the Colombians withdrew an amount that was halfway between individually self-interested and group-beneficial levels. Then experimenters allowed them to talk, thus boosting cooperation. Finally, the experimenters set up a condition analogous to "government regulation," one where players were fined for self-interestedly overexploiting the common resource. The result? The players looked at the fine as a cost and pursued their short-term interests at the expense of maximizing long-term gains. In this case, players apparently believed that they had satisfied their moral obligations by paying the fine.

While this experiment illuminates how bad institutional designs can yield bad social results, I am puzzled about why Bowles thinks this experiment is so telling. What would have happened if the Colombians in the experiment were allocated exclusive rights to a portion of the common pool resources—e.g., private property? Oddly, Bowles himself recognizes this solution when he discusses how the incentives of sharecropping produced suboptimal results. He recommends either giving the sharecropper ownership or setting a fixed rent.

In fact, Bowles recognizes that markets do not leave us selfish calculators. He cites the results of a 2002 study that looked at how members of 15 small-scale societies played various experimental economics games. In one game, a player split a day's pay with another player. If the second player didn't like the amount that the first player offered, he could reject it and both would get nothing.

The findings would warm the hearts of market proponents. As Bowles notes, "[I]ndividuals from the more market-oriented societies were also more fair-minded in that they made more generous offers to their experimental partners and more often chose to receive nothing rather than accept an unfair offer. A plausible explanation is that this kind of fair-mindedness is essential to the exchange process and that in market-oriented societies individuals engaging in mutually beneficial exchanges with strangers represent models of successful behavior who are then copied by others." In other words, as people gain more experience with markets, morals and material incentives pull together.

Interestingly, neuro-economics is also beginning to delve deeper into how we respond to various institutions. In one experiment done by Oregon University researchers, MRIs scanned the brains of students as they chose to give—or were required to give—some portion of $100 to a food bank. The first was a charitable act and the second analogous to a tax. In both cases, their reward centers "lit up," but much less so under the tax condition. As Oregon economist William Harbaugh told the New York Times, "We're showing that paying taxes does produce a neural reward. But we're showing that the neural reward is even higher when you have voluntary giving."

Bowles, with some evident regret, observes, "Before the advent of economics in the 18th century, it was more common to appeal to civic virtues." Bowles does recognize that such appeals "are hardly adequate to avoid market failures." How to resolve these market failures was the subject of Smith's second great book, The Wealth of Nations (1776), where he explained: "By pursuing his own interest (the individual) frequently promotes that of society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it."

June 30, 2008 reply from Paul Williams [Paul_Williams@NCSU.EDU]

Bob,
Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational) reports on studies he has performed of how differently people behave when the cues are that market norms apply and when cues indicate social norms apply. Offer to pay someone when they offer you help and their behavior will change. The carry away from this research seems to be to minimize the contexts in which market norms apply. Unfortunately market norms are being extended to every aspect of life, something that Adam Smith decidedly did not advocate. Contexts for human behavior, thus the design of social institutions, matter a great deal. You tend to get the behavior you design for.

Bob Jensen's threads on theory are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm


Samsung introduces pocket-sized projectors (at 3.7 inches by 2.0 inches its more coat-pocket-sized but easy to carry on airplanes and between classes) --- http://www.1105newsletters.com/t.do?id=1345211:1395577

June 26, 2008 reply from Jagdish Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]

Bob,

This contraption provides just 150 lumens. My understanding is that you need at least 1100 or so lumens for the presentation to be respectable.

With 150 lumens, it will be like watching a movie in a theatre.

Am I mistaken?

Jagdish

June 26, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Jagdish,

I've not tried the pocket projector. However, apparently there are more considerations these days then lumens. Techies say its the ANSI lumens that count.

"The bulb has been rated at 150 ANSI lumens, which makes it good enough to throw a decent 30" to 40" image in a well-lit office." --- http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2008/06/samsung_unveils_p400_pocket_projector.html 
The above link also shows a picture of this little projector.

I don't think Samsung could sell a projector that was little more than a flashlight these days. Now in the late 1980s it would've been another story. I'm probably one of the few professors back in the late 1980s who bought two (not just one) overlay panel for an overhead projector. When I made a presentation at Virginia Tech we had to tape garbage bags over the window in a huge lecture hall.

My first panel could only project black and white screens in very darkened rooms. My upgraded color panel could only take 300 by 120 resolution, and the rooms had to be pitch black. Those were not the good old days.

These were not the good old days. The World Wide Web was not even invented until 1990, and it took many more years after that to become available so we had to carry everything on floppy disks in the early years. There was no linking to Web servers back home.

My first technology road trip was on October 4-5, 1990 at the University of Wisconsin to present a managerial accounting course that I'd developed in HyperGraphics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm
The room had to be pitch black for my color panel. I made quite a few darkened room presentations on college campuses in those days --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/resume.htm#Presentations

It came as a great relief when, in the mid-1990s, my hosts had rooms with those big three-gun projectors that cost about $25,000 and weren't as good a a $2,000 projector these days. Hotels were a problem in those days because they charged $600-$800 per day to rent a three-gun projector. It also took some super-techies to tweak the projector to your computer, which sometimes was a full PC.

 

I even lugged my full PC across Sweden, England, and Germany. Laptops were a great innovation later on when they finally had some RAM and hard drive that amounted to something. England was my best host when I was a visiting international scholar making presentations in universities from Scotland all the way down to South Hampden. My hosts figured out how difficult it was to get my full PC, my wife, and all that luggage on trains. So they gave provided a taxi even for long rides such as from South Hampden to Warwick, London, and Glasgow. I sure miss my good friend Anthony Steele (Warwick) who made my U.K. visit so enjoyable. Anthony later died of cancer at a very young age. He was a good man and a good friend. How did I get off on this tangent

Bob

June 26, 2008 reply from Tom Selling [tom.selling@GROVESITE.COM]

My Casio data projector model XJ-S35 is one of my favorite toys. It is about the same thickness as my Toshiba Tecra laptop and only 75% of the length and width. 2000 lumens, easy to tote in the same bag as my laptop, and has a wide range zoom lens. Costs about $1800. For portability, shape can be as important as size, and this machine is perfectly shaped for easy packing for road trips.

Tom Selling


Question
How might your FICO credit score be lowered without notice to you for nothing that you've done wrong?

Those facing this predicament might not even know it until they apply for a loan or another credit card, and then get denied because their credit score has dropped. This is an unintended consequence of the financial world's widespread ratcheting down of risk. Banks and other card lenders are trying to better protect themselves from more massive losses like those they've seen from subprime mortgages. As a result, they are looking for ways to reduce their exposure to cardholders more likely to default. That's why they are lowering credit limits, which means they are reducing the maximum amount of credit extended to an individual, along with boosting card interest rates and allowing fewer balance transfers.
Rachel Beck, "Credit Scores Hit by Card Limits," SmartPros, June 30, 2008 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x62328.xml

 

Don't Believe Everything Advertised Widely on TV (I saw an add yesterday during an ABC News broadcast)
FreeCreditReport.com is a Scam! ---
http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/2006/11/16/freecreditreportcom-is-a-scam/

Pay to Get Your FICO Score
Your FICO credit score is crucial to your credit to your good name.  It can be altered without your knowing it due to fraud and errors.  Getting a free credit report may not give you a FICO scores as well. 
The main advantage of the from http://www.myfico.com/ is that it will give you your FICO score from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.  Consumer Reports (August, Page 18) notes that credit scores nearly always differ between the three major credit reporting agencies.  You may miss something if you only get one agency’s score.

To monitor your FICO score, Consumer Reports (August 2005, Page 17) recommends that you get the $44.85 package from http://www.myfico.com/

Mike Kearl has an interesting document online called "Credit Card Crazy" --- http://www.trinity.edu/mkearl/credcard.html

 

You can read more about how credit scoring works and dirty secrets of credit card companies at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#FICO


Students are Renting Textbooks

June 30, 2008 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

Chronicle of Higher Education: June 30

To Avoid High Price of Textbooks, Students Turn to Renting With a college textbook often costing more than $100, it’s no wonder that students are protesting, and Congress has discussed legislation to lower the price of textbooks.

But what if students rented books instead of buying them? That’s the business model behind a company called Chegg, which was started a year ago and bills itself as “the Netflix for college textbooks.” Students identify the books they want to rent and place their order online. Then, Chegg ships the books to students’ residences. After using the books for a semester, students mail the books back to Chegg with prepaid shipping labels that they download from the Chegg Web site.

Chegg literature says its rental model can save students 60 percent to 80 percent off the price of a book. ­Andrea L. Foster http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/3128/to-avoid-high-price-of-textbooks-students-turn-to-renting 

I recall keeping most books I purchased in college. Eventually I threw them out, unread since the college course. Now, I don't recommend to any student that they keep an accounting textbook. This recommendation goes double for financial accounting, which is changing so rapidly.

David Albrecht

The Best Way to Rent Textbooks --- http://www.chegg.com/


The Bright Future of Grand Canyon University online
The Apollo Group is the king of for-profit higher education, parent of the University of Phoenix. By comparison, Grand Canyon University, another for-profit college in Phoenix, is David to Apollo’s Goliath. But that’s obviously not quite how Brian Mueller sees it. Mueller, the president of the Apollo Group and the driving force behind the University of Phoenix’s highly successful online division, is betting that Grand Canyon’s future is brighter — or perhaps more profitable — than Apollo’s. The two companies announced this morning that Mueller is giving up his position at Apollo to help lead Grand Canyon into its recently announced initial public offering, which was initially valued at $230 million. Compared to Apollo, which educates hundreds of thousands of students and is 35 years old, Grand Canyon is comparatively a toddler. Since 2004, when it was purchased by a team of investors, it has been transformed from a struggling nonprofit Christian college with fewer than 1,000 into a thriving institution that has about 20,000 students, most of them online. A full report on these striking developments will be available on our Web site Thursday morning.
Inside Higher Ed, June 25, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/06/25/qt

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm


Apples over the Fence: A Holocaust story that beggars the imagination ---
http://lipstadt.blogspot.com/2007/12/apples-over-fence-holocaust-story-that.html


A Nobel Laureate Claims Newspapers are Doomed

"Are Newspapers are Doomed?," by Richard Posner, The Becker-Posner Blog, June 29, 2008 --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/

"Yes, Newspapers are Doomed," by Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, The Becker-Posner Blog, June 29, 2008 --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/

 The number of general-purpose newspapers has been declining in cities ever since the growth of television, and the decline accelerated after the Internet was developed. The trend downward will continue, and perhaps even accelerate. I do not see much of a future for the general-purpose hard copy newspaper that combines opinions, sports, advertisements, comics, and information.

A telling fact is that young people today do not read general newspapers, whereas they did in the past. When I was a boy my father bought at least five newspapers every day, and I "read" (that is, looked mainly at sports and comics) three or four of them. It is now rare to see anyone under age 30 reading the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, or any other major newspaper. A teacher used to be bothered when bored students starting reading newspapers in class. That is no longer a problem since they now turn to their computers and play video games or email friends.

I find it hard to reconcile the rapid decline in the number of newspapers with Posner's data suggesting that newspapers are quite profitable. Declining industries, such as the American automobile industry, have always been associated not with profits but with substantial losses, as is happening to Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. There is no doubt that the many newspapers which went out of business did so because they were losing money. Of course, the surviving newspapers tend to be the ones that are more profitable, but they too are experiencing financial problems. They are cutting staffs, long-term owners are selling their papers to others- as with the Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune- and they are trying various approaches to deal with the tough competition from online advertisements and other online services.

The Internet has gravely wounded the newspaper industry because it provides information, opinion, and entertainment more frequently and effectively than newspapers do. The Web offers as much sports news as desired, and presents the progress of baseball and other sporting in real time. The weather is updated every hour, or more frequently, and so are stock market quotes. Online ads give pictures and personal information about individuals looking for jobs, and prices and other characteristics of products offered for sale. Major as well as minor news stories, local and general news, and opinions on numerous issues are continually being presented.

A case still made for good newspapers and magazines is that they separate facts from opinions, and do enough checking to stand behind the materials presented as facts. I do not know of anything comparable on the Internet, although the reputations of better-known bloggers do rise and fall with changing perceptions about their insights and accuracy. Yet it is not apparent that the demand is very strong for this dimension of what newspapers have traditionally provided.

Newspapers are trying to strengthen their survival prospects by expanding online presentations, and combining these with print editions. In the short run this may help them, which explains why all the major newspapers are moving aggressively to expand online materials, and widen their online customer base. However, I do not believe this approach will succeed in the long run. The reason is that the way newspapers bundle different services is not the right approach to online presentations that usually provide information about the weather on websites that are different from those used to discuss sports or present ads for cars. Some online sites specialize in opinions about domestic politics, others discuss religion, some present pornographic pictures and films, while others focus on economic issues. The traditional newspaper does not readily fit into this format, and so they are generally losing money in their online efforts.

This does not imply that online presentations in the future will continue to be organized in the same way as at present. Perhaps the growing tendency for some websites to link to other sites will coalesce into organized multi-site presentations that deal with many different topics. Already some subscriber-based sites collect and present the best blogs on different topics. How that will evolve is not clear to me, but it is unlikely to develop into anything that looks like the conventional newspaper that has bundled news, information, and advertisements for hundreds of years.

The rapid and continuing decline in the number of major newspapers will be regretted mainly by older persons who are accustomed to reading several newspapers daily-my wife and I still subscribe to four and read others online. However, by voting with how they use their time, the great majority of consumers clearly have shown that they prefer to get their information, entertainment, and opinions from television, and especially from the Internet, than from newspapers.

Jensen Comment
If the Newspapers are trampled over by blogs it will be a huge loss, because most blogs are aided by the thousands of reporters and correspondents who get paid by newspapers. In comparison, reporters and correspondents of television and radio stations are a drop in the bucket. It's sad and dangerous to free speech when society feels it is no longer willing to support those thousands of professional reporters and correspondents.

Shame on Gary Becker who as an economist fails to recognize the externality benefits of having these large newspapers on every street in every town seeking newsworthy items.  The newspapers still supply the Internet with most of the current news, but it's the print subscribers and print advertisers who pay most of the bill. Most newspapers have not been able to find a way to have their online versions generate enough revenues to support their many reporters and correspondents. The Internet is a failed model for the newspaper industry. Sadly, the numbers of subscribers and advertisers are increasingly choosing to put their support money elsewhere. What's the incentive to subscribe to The New York Times if the newspaper is free online each morning when I turn on my computer? The Wall Street Journal also made each days paper free online, but WSJ made it so complicated to find the free version, I still subscribe to the print version that contains free online access. Most days the printed copies go straight from my mail box to my trash can even though I read most WSJ articles even more closely than I read NYT articles.

But what good are major online newspapers without the thousands of reporters and correspondents who (formerly) fed us the news from around the world?

July 1, 2008 reply from Jagdish Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]

Bob,

I trust prognostications of economists as much as I trust long term forecasts of weathermen.

When the technology changes, there is always a period of adjustment that is painful. The newspapers are going through it just as the automobile industry is going through now. Business models are not very easy to change, but they will, and I think general-purpose hard-copy papers with visionary managements will survive and do well.

Perhaps Gary Becker would confine his interests to esoteric results such as his "rotten kid theorem" and his forays into sociological economics.

Jagdish

July 1, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Jagdish,

Up here our weather forecasters have about 80% accuracy as they watch the weather roll across the nation from west to east or northwest out of frigid Canada. Weathermen up her mostly get unreliable in the face of those occasional blockbuster “Nor’easters” off the North Atlantic.

“Visionary managers” are not doing much to stop investors from dumping their airline, automobile, and newspaper investments these days. It appears that taxpayers will have to save the airlines and maybe the auto industry. Newspapers are in bigger trouble when seeking taxpayer relief.

I grant you that when the stock prices plunge there are some good values to be had, but good values in those union-bound industries are hard to find. Thus far the only things saving these industries is cost cutting, but I think cost cutting by releasing reporters and correspondents is self defeating. It’s like cutting off the brain to save the body --- for what? The parts? Unfortunately, the blogs are not waiting out there to pay dissected reporters and correspondents. 

Visionary management may save the auto and airline industry with unlikely inventions of ways to make cheap hydrogen or something else eventually cost-effective. It’s hard to imagine what will save the newspaper industry except for a few niche-market papers like the WSJ. Much depends on competing with the likes of Google and cable TV for those advertising dollars. Sadly, Becker’s correct about our younger generation. They’re TV and Internet users, but their not newspaper readers online or offline.

 Perhaps the NYT can save itself as cleverly designed computer games where newsfeeds pop out from behind buildings for target practice.

 In any case, I respect your hope for our struggling private industries. For their sake, I also hope you’re keeping them in your portfolio.

Bob Jensen

July 2, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Amy and Jagdish,

Most faculty can view free electronic versions of hundreds of newspapers, including the WSJ, if their campus libraries subscribe to electronic databases that most colleges now make available to students, faculty, and retired faculty. But it’s a bit of a pain in the tail to go to a database in this manner every instant you want to see a WSJ article.

WSJ deals for professors (free) and students (at greatly discounted prices)  are described at http://info.wsj.com/college/
There’s a catch since professors receiving free subscriptions must sign up the WSJ to students or set up an arrangement with bookstores.

The WSJ now has two types of “introductory-offer” subscriptions:

$79 for the electronic (online) subscription for one year
$99 for the hard copy by mail and the electronic (online) subscription for a year   
Thus getting the hard copy six days a week in the mail costs an added 6.4 pennies per day.

Renewal of a subscription is higher priced, and I was told on the phone when I renewed that I could not get the electronic version without also paying for a hard copy subscription. I don’t know how you renewed for an electronic version only. Actually the pricing difference is probably so nominal that the only things to suffer from the hard copy add on are my mail delivery woman (Mary Bless Her Heart) and the trees in Maine where Dow Jones has a long-term newsprint contract with the St Regis Paper Company or whoever owns St Regis now).

At the WSJ home Website I cannot find any mention of how to get a free electronic subscription to the WSJ. This is sad since one of Rupert Murdach’s promises when he bought the WSJ was that the electronic versions would be free in much the same convenient manner that current editions of the NYT are free.

 However, there is away for persistent freebie searchers to view the WSJ for free. The “Unknown Professor” of the Financial Rounds blog showed how he manages to view online versions free: I did not check to see if his methods still work.

 

Saturday, April 05, 2008 --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/

Get The Wall Street Journal Online For Free

Either on the blog or in class, I refer to articles in the Wall Street Journal a lot. Unfortunately, the person I'm talking to often doesn't have a subscription. Fear no more - it turns out there's a way to get all the content on the WSJ Online for free. Here's how it works: If you click on a link to the WSJ's "protected" content through a non"portal" site, you get sent to a limited version of the full article. To get the whole thing, you have to log in.

But if you click on a link to that same article in Google News or Digg, you can access the full story for free. Here's how to use this approach:

 


Question
How do McCain and Obama differ in terms of tax proposals?

It would seem that our two presidential candidates are simply rearranging the deck chairs with their current tax proposals that do virtually nothing for funding their most expensive benefit programs. Neither candidate has a plan for seriously reducing our $55 trillion deficit! In fact they rarely, if ever, mention the deficit.

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on June 27, 2008

Your Tax Bill: How McCain, Obama Differ
by Tom Herman
The Wall Street Journal

Jun 18, 2008
Page: D1
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121374794468982701.html?mod=djem_jiewr_AC  
 

TOPICS: Capital Gains, Income Tax, Individual Taxation, Tax Planning, Taxation

SUMMARY: As the presidential campaign heats up, investment and tax advisers are warning upper-income clients to prepare for higher capital-gains taxes no matter who gets elected. Here is a look at Obama and McCain's still-evolving tax plans.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: This article shows how tax planning is so dependent on the unknown and unpredictable aspects of politics regarding tax law. The writer of this article offers information about how the presidential and congressional elections could impact taxpayers in the areas of income taxation, capital gains tax, and estate tax.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Advanced) How has Sen. Obama indicated he would change the income tax laws? What has Sen. McCain said his position is on changes to the income tax laws? How are these positions similar, if they are? How are they different?

2. (Advanced) What are the candidates views on capital gains taxes? Which position would investors favor? How should the candidates' views affect planning decisions of investors?

3. (Advanced) What are the positions of the candidates on social security taxes? What planning, if any, could be done in this area?

4. (Advanced) Why would municipal bonds become more or less interesting, depending on the outcome of the elections?

5. (Advanced) One investor notes the old adage that you should not make investment moves based solely on tax reasons. Why is that? What impact should the tax effects have in the decision-making process?

6. (Advanced) What are the positions of the candidates on the estate tax? What is the current estate tax law? What kinds of planning could be formulated as a result of the current law and proposed changes?

7. (Introductory) As a future tax advisor, what have you learned from this article? How would you approach tax planning, given the politics involved?

8. (Advanced) As a current or future investor, what have you learned from this article?
 

Reviewed By: Linda Christiansen, Indiana University Southeast
 

 

"Your Tax Bill: How McCain, Obama Differ Capital-Gains Rates Are Likely To Rise, No Matter Who Wins; Far Apart on Estate Taxes." by Tom Herman, The Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2008; Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121374794468982701.html?mod=djem_jiewr_AC

Get ready for higher capital-gains taxes.

As the presidential campaign heats up, investment and tax advisers are issuing that warning to upper-income clients. Underpinning this view is Sen. Barack Obama's early lead in the polls, as well as speculation that Democrats will increase their majority in Congress.

Today's capital-gains tax rates "are probably the lowest we'll see" for decades to come, says Nadine Gordon Lee, president of Prosper Advisors LLC, a wealth-management firm in Armonk, N.Y.

So should you be rushing to sell your investment winners now to take advantage of today's historically low tax rates? While some investors say they are considering it, very few say they are doing anything different right now. Election Day still is more than four months away, an eternity in American politics -- and even if lawmakers do enact higher taxes next year, nobody knows how much higher they will be or what the effective dates will be. Moreover, investors seem far more worried about the economy and the slumping stock market than about tax rates.

"There's no question in my mind the next president will raise the capital-gains rate. It's just a question of when," says David Anderson, a retired banker living in Darien, Conn. But Mr. Anderson sees "no rush" to sell investments immediately, especially in view of the stock market's sinking spell this year. He also notes the adage that you shouldn't make investment moves solely for tax reasons and says there still appears to be "plenty of time" to take action before any capital-gains tax-rate changes become effective.

Sen. Obama is calling for higher taxes on families making more than $250,000 a year. That includes increased taxes not only on ordinary income such as salary but also on capital gains and most corporate dividends. The Illinois senator also is calling for higher Social Security taxes on many upper-income workers.

Sen. John McCain has staked out a strong antitax stance. That includes extending President Bush's income-tax cuts and enacting new breaks, such as raising the exemption for dependents.

Here is a look at the still-evolving plans of Sens. Obama and McCain, as well as thoughts from financial advisers and tax lawyers on what, if anything, to consider doing this year.

Income taxes. Sen. Obama is calling for higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans but lower taxes on lower- and middle-income households. "It's time for folks like me who make over $250,000 to pay our fair share," Sen. Obama said in a speech last week. "If you are a family making less than $250,000, my plan will not raise your taxes -- not your income taxes, not your payroll taxes, not your capital-gains taxes, not any of your taxes. In fact, chances are you will get a tax cut."

For example, the Illinois senator wants to raise the top ordinary income-tax rate, now 35%, to 39.6%. For 2008, the top federal rate of 35% in most cases applies to taxable income of more than $357,700. (The 2009 income threshold won't be announced until later this year.)

The Obama plan also includes imposing higher Social Security taxes on workers making over $250,000. However, the senator hasn't given precise details, such as how much more those people would pay. Under current law, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax for 2008 is $102,000.

In contrast, Sen. McCain wants to make permanent the current federal income-tax rates. He also opposes Sen. Obama's plan to lift the earnings cap on the Social Security payroll tax. Such a move would be bad news for the economy, says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, senior policy adviser to Sen. McCain and a former Congressional Budget Office director.

If the Obama plan becomes law, investment advisers agree that among the biggest winners could be tax-exempt municipal bonds, which are issued by state and local governments. Tax-exempt bonds typically benefit when ordinary income-tax rates rise. But be careful before you jump into the muni market: Even though these bonds typically are known as tax-exempts, some pay interest subject to the alternative minimum tax, which ensnared about four million investors last year. If that includes you, be sure to check with your broker whether the bonds you're considering are "AMT bonds."

One New Jersey investor says she recently purchased her first muni bond -- $5,000 of hospital bonds. She says part of the reason was her expectation of higher tax rates in 2009.

Even though investment advisers say most clients aren't doing anything different, some should be thinking about making changes. "For an investor with a low-basis, large concentration in a publicly traded company, a family business or some other illiquid asset, taking steps to diversify in 2008, before a potential capital-gains rate increase, could result in significant tax savings," says Dan Schrauth, wealth adviser with JPMorgan Private Bank in San Francisco. Many clients are taking "a serious look" at the potential for higher capital-gains rates as a relevant factor in determining when to diversify out of a concentrated position, he says.

But Michael Holland, who heads a New York-based investment firm bearing his name, says: "I don't hear anyone talking about doing anything" right now in anticipation of higher capital-gains taxes. "If we had a huge run-up [in stock prices] between now and December, I think you'd then begin to hear" talk about selling this year, he says. "I don't hear any of that right now."

Investment income. Under current law, the top long-term capital-gains rate on stocks, bonds, mutual-fund shares and other securities typically is 15%. ("Long term" means investments held more than one year.) If you make a profit by selling stocks or other securities you've owned for a year or less, that's considered a "short-term" gain and is subject to tax as ordinary income.

Sen. Obama wants to raise the long-term capital-gains rate for families making more than $250,000 to around 20% or somewhat higher -- but not above the 28% level it reached during the Reagan presidency, an Obama economic adviser says. The same rate would apply to most dividend income for these investors.

Sen. McCain wants to keep the current structure of tax rates on capital gains and dividends. But many wealth advisers believe that if he won the presidency, he would be forced to compromise with the Democrats in control of Congress and eventually would agree to a capital-gains rate increase.

Capital-gains rates are likely to "go up by more -- and possibly earlier" if Sen. Obama wins, says Thomas D. Gallagher of International Strategy and Investment Group. But rates "still probably go up under McCain," he says, noting that the 15% rate is set to rise automatically after 2010 if Congress takes no action.

Bob Willens, president of a tax-advisory firm in New York bearing his name, agrees the capital-gains rate is going up next year. "It's something you need to resign yourself to," he warns. But he says there's no reason to rush to sell today, since lawmakers aren't likely to make tax-rate increases retroactive to the start of next year. He sees the effective date more likely as sometime around mid-2009.

Estate taxes. Neither candidate wants to kill the estate tax permanently, as President Bush has proposed. Instead, both favor a compromise, but Sen. McCain's plan would be far more beneficial for wealthy heirs than the Obama plan.

Under current law, the federal estate-tax exemption this year is $2 million, and the top rate is 45%. (Transfers from one spouse to the other typically are tax-free.) Next year, that exclusion is set to rise to $3.5 million, with the rate remaining at 45%. In 2010, the federal estate tax is scheduled to disappear completely, only to return again in 2011 with an exclusion of $1 million.

Sen. McCain proposes raising the exclusion to $5 million and cutting the tax rate to 15%. Sen. Obama proposes a $3.5 million exclusion while keeping the top rate at 45%. In either case, the basic strategy is the same: If you're wealthy and care about how much your heirs get, make sure to keep breathing at least through the end of this year to take advantage of 2009's higher exclusion.

Jensen Comment
Both candidates are in favor of greatly extending health care to over 40 million uninsured. Whether this is funded by direct taxes or by mandates to employers, this will be an added form of tax in the broad sense. For example, local schools that must provide additional  insurance benefits to part-time workers will burden local taxpayers. Similarly a restaurant must greatly increase menu prices to pay for part-time worker medical coverage.. An even bigger problem is the unemployed that have no employer to pick up the tab. Another is the partly employed. A person working 25 hours per week on each of two jobs is still considered a part-time worker and probably receives no health care benefits at the present time. A an added problem arises with the fully employed workers for very small businesses and small town government agencies that will likely fold if forced to pay health care benefits. An enormous arises with job applicants with serious preconditions in health that are terribly expensive to a health care insurance plan such as job applicants with AIDS, seriously ill children, drug dependencies, need of organ transplants, etc. Still another compounding problem arises with the explosion in demand for health care workers at all levels who will be needed to provide for over 40 million previously uninsured. Taxpayers one way or another will have to pick up the tab for educating and training these workers. Still another problem is that taxpayers will have to build many new hospitals and medical clinics. In other words the costs keep piling up for any type of universal health care, and these costs will likely be unmentioned burdens in the political campaigns of 2008. And then we begin to think about the costs of fighting global warming and environmental protection all of the candidates are pushing without serious programs for funding these expenditures.

It would seem that our two presidential candidates are simply rearranging the deck chairs with their current tax proposals.

The U.S. is now dangling on a debt and accountability cliff on the side of that sink hole, and virtually none of our presidential or congressional candidates for office are willing to face these issues because the voters themselves won't have any part of sacrificing to save our great nation.

Truth in Accounting or Lack Thereof in the Federal Government (Former Congressman Chocola) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWTCnMioaY0 
Part 2 (unfunded liabilities of $55 trillion plus) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Edia5pBJxE
Part 3 (this is a non-partisan problem being ignored in election promises) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG5WFGEIU0E

Watch the Video of the non-sustainability of the U.S. economy (CBS Sixty Minutes TV Show Video) ---
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS2fI2p9iVs 
Also see "US Government Immorality Will Lead to Bankruptcy" in the CBS interview with David Walker --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS2fI2p9iVs
Also at Dirty Little Secret (David Walker) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGpY2hw7ao8

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

 


Political Insults: From Clever to Crude
The crude insults are more likely to reflect (read that to be more revealing) on the insulter more than the insultee

"In Praise of Political Insults," by Joseph Tartakovsky, The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2008; Page A13 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121495554953121291.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

The great American political insult is older than the nation itself. Ben Franklin, writing in 1771 before the States were even United, lamented "Libeling and Personal Abuse, which is of late Years become so disgraceful to our Country." Not even George Washington was spared: Tom Paine raged about his "treachery" and "pusillanimity."

By the time of the third U.S. administration, Thomas Jefferson had seen enough of the democratic officeholder's fate to perceive that "it will rarely fall to the lot of imperfect man to retire from this station with the reputation and the favor which bring him into it." So it has passed.

But insults, unlike imperfect man, are not created equal. In March, Samantha Power, a scholar-activist then on the Barack Obama campaign, called Hillary Clinton a "monster." "You just look at her and think, 'Ergh,'" she elaborated. It is encouraging that she was thrown from the campaign, but her insult was only a disgrace because of its insipidity.

It is an old parlor game to gripe that our political wit fails the coruscating standard of a Benjamin Disraeli or a Winston Churchill. But what, after all, makes for an effective political insult?

The answer is style. Too coarse, and the abuser sounds malicious. Too unimaginative, and the words evaporate en route. Too petty, and the insulter is harmed more than the insultee. Too distant from truth, and it just won't stick. Bill Moyers's jibe that "hyperbole was to Lyndon Johnson what oxygen is to life" is an attempt at wit; the real thing is Bill Buckley's remark that LBJ was a man of his last word. Is Jimmy Carter the worst president the U.S. ever had, or, as William Safire put it, the "best U.S. president the Soviet Union ever had"? Gore Vidal calling Ronald Reagan a "triumph of the embalmer's art" seems itself the triumph of a curdled soul; but even Reagan could laugh when Gerald Ford quipped, "No, Reagan doesn't dye his hair. He's just prematurely orange."

It is one thing for our semiliterate intellectuals to sneer at the current president's locution, and another to remark, as H.L. Mencken did of Warren Harding, that his speech "reminds me of a string of wet sponges . . . It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash." Compare this to Sen. Harry Reid's feeble attempt at scathing wit against President George W. Bush in 2005: "I think this guy is a loser."

Benjamin Franklin Bache, writing in the 1790s, probably our most abusive era, called John Adams a "ruffian deserving of the curses of mankind," which isn't bad. But that's a mere zephyr compared to the storms of James Callender, who called the second president a "hideous hermaphroditical character which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

The political insult is not insinuation, a whisper campaign, or a planted story. It is direct verbal attack, a public performance before a voting audience. Its purpose is to stain character, which, in the great personality contests that are elections, is a candidate's most precious asset. Nothing does this better than ridicule.

The flamboyant Sen. John Randolph (1773-1833) was an early master. His famed sallies, like good poetry, present unforgettable images: "He is a man of splendid abilities but utterly corrupt," he said of Secretary of State Edward Livingston. "Like a rotten mackerel by moonlight, he shines and stinks." "Never was ability so much below mediocrity so well rewarded," he said of one political appointee. "No, not even when Caligula's horse was made consul." Randolph had a flamboyant 20th-century counterpart in Norman Mailer, who is supposed to have said, "Gerald Ford was unknown throughout America. Now he's unknown throughout the world."

We can cheer the fact that these days, newspapers, TV networks, politicians and parties that traffic in scurrility imperil only their own reputations. The spirit of benevolence is upon us: Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, speaking by phone on June 4, agreed nobly to uphold "civil discussion."

But civility has a way of creeping into daintiness. If our candidates lose their willingness to spar, their sense of combative humor, will the contest grow more polite, or just less honest? The well-turned insult is a necessary and salutary force in politics, a spicy seasoning in an old, force-fed dish. It's a check on pomposity, proof of democratic vitality, a relief from endless electioneering, and a show of intelligence and moderation. The dull and the bigoted are rarely witty.

During a campaign, Henry Adams reminded us, the air is full of speeches and vice versa. Nothing deflates like a happy insult.

We, in Ireland, can't figure out why you in the U. S . are even bothering to hold an election. On one side, you have a bitch who is a lawyer, married to a lawyer, running against a lawyer who is married to a bitch who is a lawyer. On the other side, you have a war hero married to a good looking woman who owns a beer distributorship.
Anonymous quote from Ireland forwarded by Auntie Bev
Now we know which candidate will have the best foreign relations with Ireland!

Quotations forwarded by Nancy Mills

When Insults Had Class

There was a time when words were used beautifully. These glorious insults are from an era when cleverness with words was still valued, before a great portion of the English language was boiled down to four-letter words!

 

The exchange between Churchill and Lady Astor:
She said, "If you were my husband, I'd give you poison,"
And he said, "If you were my wife, I'd take it."

Gladstone, a member of Parliament, to Benjamin Disraeli:
"Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, sir," said Disraeli, "On whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."

"He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about." - Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." - Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?" - Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know." - Abraham Lincoln

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." - Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one." - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one." - Winston Churchill, in response.

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." - Stephen Bishop

He is a self-made man and worships his creator." - John Bright

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." - Irvin S. Cobb

"He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others." - Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." - Paul Keating

"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure." comedian Jack E. Leonard

"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt." - Robert Redford

"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge." - Thomas Brackett Reed

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." - Charles, Count Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." - Forrest Tucker

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" - Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork. - Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."- Oscar Wilde

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination." - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." - Billy Wilder

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx

Jagdish Gangolly recommends Honourable Insults, by Greg Knight, Robson Books, 1990 --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Knight 

 


Forwarded by Sid and Eileen

"A Contretemps over Newspaper Vocabulary," by Ben Zimmer, Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2008

The "Letters to the Editor" section of the Los Angeles Times has featured some heated discussion about what kind of vocabulary is suitable for printing in a newspaper. And no, this doesn't have anything to do with the "seven dirty words" famously satirized by the late lamented George Carlin. Instead, it's about some moderately challenging vocab items that you might expect to find on a Visual Thesaurus word list.

It all started with a June 8 profile of director M. Night Shyamalan by L.A. Times staff writer Rachel Abramowitz. The piece included these sentences:

"Shyamalan's new movie, 'The Happening,' [is] a phantasmagoria of paranoia."
"His business offices and editing suite are set in a colonial stone home on this bucolic spread of Pennsylvania land."
"Everything about Shyamalan the person appears pristine, precise
, aesthetic."
"A vague soupçon of chagrin hangs over him."
" He's been through a complete cycle of media glorification and diminution, and emerged chastened but certainly not bowed."
"
Schadenfreude
careened around the studios like the metal ball in a pinball machine."
"The media contretemps was stressful and upsetting, but he tries to be stoic about the vicissitudes of Hollywood fame."

The following week, a letter from L.A. Times reader Grant Nemirow appeared:

I loved Rachel Abramowitz's profile of M. Night Shyamalan. However, I have a great deal of concern about the future of newspapers and her article made me ask, "How many Los Angeles residents under 40 (a demographic newspapers must keep and expand if they are to remain in business) know the meaning of the following words in this one article: phantasmagoria, bucolic, aesthetic, soupçon, diminution, schadenfreude, contretemps and vicissitudes?
The L.A. Times needs to speak to all the residents of Los Angeles. I ask that its writers go out in the real world. Ask people if they know what these words mean. They don't.

Backlash to Nemirow's letter from other readers was fast and furious. Here's a selection of responses printed by the Times:

So I'm reading the June 15 Calendar, you know, the letters part, and there's this awesome letter from Grant Nemirow, and he says The Times should wise up and, like, stop with the big words, because nobody under 40 knows what they mean. To which I say, dude, you are so right on!
But The Times should do more, like tossing that "sentence" and "paragraph" stuff. Nobody writes like that anymore. Just put everything in text message format, then you'll have a newspaper that's relevant -- uh, scratch that, I mean hot.
Totally.
(Bonnie Sloane)

As A 26-year-old reader born and bred in Los Angeles, I would like to respond to Grant Nemirow's letter in which he accuses readers like me of not knowing a host of useful words.
Anyone who graduated from an English-speaking high school without knowing such basic words as "aesthetic" and "diminution" ("diminutive," anyone?) ought to be ashamed of him or herself. The situation is easily remedied, even without recourse to a hard-bound dictionary: online dictionaries abound. One need only spend a moment at
www.dictionary.com, and no one need know he or she was ever so ignorant as Mr. Nemirow assumes we all are.
(Abigail Kessler)

As a simple woman of simple words, I have essayed, oh, dear, I mean tried to edit Abramowitz's piece for us common folk:
"Shyamalan's new movie, 'The Happening,' a
totally trippy rush of paranoia . . . ." "His business offices and editing suite are set in a colonial stone home on this Beverly Hillbillies spread of Pennsylvania land." "Everything about Shyamalan the person appears pristine, precise, totally nerd." "He's been through a complete cycle of media glorification and trashin' . . . ." "Being all like 'cool!' because someone else screwed up careened around the studios like the metal ball in a pinball machine." "The media dis was stressful and upsetting, but he tries to be stoic about the bummers of Hollywood fame."
As if!
(Mary Sojourner)

In the vast "phantasmagoria" of letters sent to The Times over the years, Grant Nemirow's message chiding Rachel Abramowitz for her extensive and interesting vocabulary must rank as an "aesthetic" "contretemps" of the highest order. If the writer had even a "soupçon" of sense, he'd have scolded our current education system for its "diminution" of quality, not The Times for standing firm on the side of literacy.
If today's students are ever going to escape the "vicissitudes" of the more "bucolic" careers and function in the big city, they'd do well to note any unfamiliar words in Times articles and then open their dictionaries to expand their knowledge of our glorious language.
(Preston Neal Jones)

The readers who objected to Nemirow's letter would probably love the piece we ran last month from Simon Glickman and Julia Rubiner on "Big Words." Simon and Julia, professional copywriters, dismantle the old maxim that writers should eschew "big words" for fear of alienating readers. "Ultimately, the fear of big words is unwarranted, because people actually love the audacious use of language," Simon and Julia wrote. "The world is hungry for vivid, bracing, thoughtful, sincere communication."

What do you think? Should newspaper writers keep it simple and avoid using words that might be unfamiliar to their audience? Or should readers be challenged to expand the horizons of their vocabulary?

Jensen Comment
This reminds me of a book I once wrote entitled Phantasmagoric Accounting
Studies in Accounting Research Volume 14 --- http://aaahq.org/market/display.cfm?catID=5


"Thinking Like an Entrepreneur," by Kevin M. Guthrie, Inside Higher Ed, June 25, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/06/26/guthrie

Increasingly, therefore, foundations, government agencies and universities are asking where they will find the recurring funding to sustain these online resources over time. They are requiring the leaders of such projects to develop sustainability plans that include ongoing sources of revenue; in short, they are looking for academics to act as publishing entrepreneurs. Success in such endeavors requires entrepreneurial expertise and discipline, but in our experience at Ithaka, few OAR projects employ fundamental principles of project planning and management. Why don’t they?

What we have observed is that deep cultural differences separate the scholarly mindset from the mindset of the e-entrepreneur. Most people overseeing online academic resources are scholars, raised in the academy, accustomed to its collegial culture and deliberative pace, shielded from traditional market forces. However, the rapid changes and ruthless competitive landscape of the Internet require a different mindset. The challenge for a successful OAR project leader is to marry the scholarly values essential to the project’s intellectual integrity with the entrepreneurial values necessary for its survival in the Internet economy.

To assist project leaders in successfully managing digital enterprises, Ithaka embarked on a project to study the major challenges to the sustainability of these online academic resources. Working with support from the Joint Information Systems Committee and the Strategic Content Alliance, we interviewed a range of people both in the academy and industry. During that effort, the fruits of which were published last week, we identified several aspects of the entrepreneurial approach that seem particularly important to creating sustainable digital projects:

1. Grants are for start-up, not sustainability. Most often, project leaders should regard initial funding as precisely that — start-up funding to help the project develop other reliable, recurring and diverse sources of support. The prevailing assumption that there will be a new influx of grant funding when the existing round runs out is counter-productive to building a sustainable approach. There are exceptions to this assertion — for example, if a grantee offers a service that is vital to a foundation’s mission or is exclusively serving an important programmatic focus of the funder — but these cases are unusual.

2. Cost recovery is not sufficient: growth is necessary. Project leaders need to adopt a broader definition of “sustainability” that encompasses more than covering operating costs. The Web environment is evolving rapidly and relentlessly. It is incorrect to assume that, once the initial digitization effort is finished and content is up on the Web, the costs of maintaining a resource will drop to zero or nearly zero. Projects need to generate surplus revenue for ongoing reinvestment in their content and/or technology if they are to thrive.

3. Value is determined by impact. OAR project leaders tend to underestimate the importance of thinking about demand and impact and the connections between those elements and support from key stake holders. The scholarly reluctance to think in terms of “marketing” is a formula for invisibility on the Internet. Without a strategic understanding of the market place, it is only through serendipity that a resource will attract users and have an impact on a significant population or field of academic endeavor. And of course, attracting users is essential for garnering support from a variety of stake holders: host universities, philanthropies and government agencies, corporate sponsors and advertisers. The most promising and successful online resource projects are demand driven and strive for visibility, traffic and impact.

4. Projects should think in terms of building scale through partnerships, collaborations, mergers and even acquisitions. Project leaders need to consider a range of options for long-term governance. Start-ups in the private sector, for example, aim for independent profitability but they also consider it a success to merge with complementary businesses or to sell their companies to a larger enterprise with the means to carry those assets forward. Not-for-profit projects should think similarly about their options and pursue different forms of sustainability based on their particular strengths, their competition, and their spheres of activity. Given the high fixed costs of the online environment, collaborations and mergers are critical for helping single online academic resource projects keep their costs down and improve chances for sustainability.

5. In a competitive world, strategic planning is imperative. In the highly competitive environment of the Web, project leaders must embrace the best operating practices of their competitors — a group that includes commercial enterprises — for mindshare and resources. That means they will have to act strategically, develop marketing plans, seek out strategic partnerships, understand their competitive environment, and identify and measure themselves against clear goals and objectives for how they will accomplish their missions successfully and affordably. An academic disdain for “commercialism” can doom many a promising scholarly project to failure on the Internet.

Historically, academic projects have been shielded from commercial pressures, in part by funders, but mainly because their economic environment operated independently from other areas of commerce. This separation between the “academic” and “commercial” economies is no longer meaningful. The project leaders that are most likely to succeed in today’s digital environment are those who can operate successfully under the pressures of competition and accountability, and in the messiness of innovation and continual reinvention.

6. Flexibility, nimbleness, and responsiveness are key. OARs need to develop the capability for rapid cycles of experimentation (“fail early and often”), rather than spending years attempting to build the optimal resource in isolation from the market. Unfortunately, many OARs are structurally set up to do the latter – their grants commit them to promised courses of action for several years and tie them to specific deliverables. Leaders of online academic resources may not realize that many funders would prefer nimbleness if it means that the OARs will have a greater impact. Funders, for their part, must recognize that multi-year plans need to be highly flexible to allow for adaptation to new developments in technology and the marketplace.

7. Dedicated and fully accountable leadership is essential. Running a start-up – and developing an online academic resource is running a start-up – is a full-time job requiring full-time leadership. The “principal investigator” model, in which an individual divides her time among a variety of research grants, teaching assignments, and other responsibilities, is not conducive to entrepreneurial success. New initiatives aiming for sustainability require fully dedicated, fully invested, and intensely focused leadership. If a principal investigator cannot provide it, he or she will have to retain a very capable person who can.

If new digital academic resources are going to survive in the increasingly competitive online environment, the academy needs a better understanding of the challenges of managing what are essentially digital publishing enterprises. Leaders and supporters of these projects must orient themselves to an entrepreneurial mindset and embrace principles of effective management. If they are unable to do that, important resources serving smaller scholarly disciplines will disappear, leaving only those projects that are commercially viable.

Judith Boettcher in Syllabus, June 1999, 18-24 Judith Boettcher is affiliated with CREN. She predicts the following scenarios (which appear to be heavily in line with the emerging WGU programs mentioned above):

1.  A "career university" sector will be in place (with important partnerships of major corporations with prestige universities).

2.  Most higher education institutions, perhaps 60 percent, will have teaching and learning management software systems linked to their back office administration systems.

3.  New career universities will focus on certifications, modular degrees, and skill sets.

4.  The link between courses and content for courses will be broken.

5.  Faculty work and roles will make a dramatic shift toward specialization (with less stress upon one person being responsible for the learning material in an entire course).
(Outsourcing Academics http://www.outsourcing-academics.com/ )

6.  Students will be savvy consumers of educational services (which is consistent with the Chronicle of Higher Education article at http://chronicle.com/free/99/05/99052701t.htm   ).

7.  The tools for teaching and learning will become as portable and ubiquitous as paper and books are today.

Will Universities Be Relics? What Happens When an Irresistible Force Meets an Immovable Object? John W. Hibbs

Peter Drucker predicts that, in 30 years, the traditional university will be nothing more than a relic.    Should we listen or laugh? Hibbs examines Drucker's prophesy in the light of other unbelievable events, including the rapid transformation of the Soviet Union "from an invincible Evil Empire into just another meek door-knocker at International Monetary Fund headquarters." Given the mobility and cost concerns of today's students, as well as the growing tendency of employers to evaluate job-seekers' competencies rather than their institutional affiliations, Hibbs agrees that the brick-and-mortar university is doomed to extinction.

Jensen Comment
I think bricks and mortar will be around for a long time as long as young and naive students commencing adulthood need more than just course content in the process of becoming well-rounded adults. Behind the bricks and mortar there are some very inspiring and motivating scholars. Even those professors, however, must change with the times as asynchronous learning keeps becoming more superior on tough content items --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's advice for new faculty can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/newfaculty.htm


Question
How can you advise Internet map providers regarding errors in their maps?

From Walt Mossberg's Mailbox, The Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2008, Page D4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121443490604604975.html

Q. All of the major digital maps contain erroneous information about our street in Virginia, and don't even show several new streets near our home that were built over three years ago. I infer that there is one source of cartography used by these Web services, and also by my Garmin navigation system. But I can't find out what it is. How can an individual get something like this corrected?

A. There are actually two main companies that make the underlying maps that most of the navigation-device makers and digital-map sites use. One is called Tele Atlas, and one is called Navteq. Garmin uses Navteq. Each mapping company has a Web page where users can report errors or changes.

For Navteq's error-reporting Web page, go to navteq.com and click on "Map Reporter." For Tele Atlas' similar page, go to teleatlas.com and click on "Report Map Changes."

 


From the Scout Report on June 20, 2008

Omeka 0.9.2 --- http://omeka.org/ 

Developed by The Center for History and New Media and the Minnesota Historical Society, Omeka is a web platform for publishing exhibitions and collections online. The design of the program is intended to be best utilized by educators, cultural institutions, and those who are just plain enthusiastic about a particular subject. Visitors can download the program and get started after looking over the "How To" area. For those who are curious, "omeka" is a Swahili word meaning "to display or lay out goods or wares". This particular application is compatible with all operating systems.

Firefox 3.0 --- http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/ 

Firefox 3.0 was recently released, and those who were fans of the browser before will find a number of new features worth checking out. Now visitors will find that the location bar drop-down menu includes URLs from the browsing history and bookmarks. Additionally, there's an "Add-Ons" manager which includes a built-in plug-in search engine. Also, visitors can pause and resume downloads for their own convenience. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.4 and newer or Windows 2000 and newer.

From the Scout Report on June 27, 2008

Evernote 3.0.0.625 http://evernote.com /

Sometimes it would be great to have a long roll of virtual paper just to store thoughts, reminders, notes, and other items. This latest version of Evernote might be just the application, as it gives users the ability to quickly access typed and handwritten memos. Visitors can also synchronize items from their phone to their Evernote program as well. This particular free version offers users 40MB per month of storage, and it is compatible with computers running Windows XP or Vista.


Password 2.6.5 http://agilewebsolutions.com/products/1Password 

Those persons who are having trouble keeping track of all their computer passwords may breathe a sign of relief upon learning about this application. The 1Password application effectively generates secure passwords for sites which require a login. It works with many of the most popular browsers and this version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5.

June 29, 2008 reply from Gerald Trites [gtrites@ZORBA.CA]

I use Roboform for keeping track of passwords. I put all my passwords on it except those for banking, which I exclude because I don't have enough confidence in the security or Roboform itself. However, its a simple download and works well to bring up passwords for sites where they are needed. Currently I have 157 passwords on it, most of which are not important from a security point of view. Many of them are simply required by the sites as a means to get users to register and therefore provide them with some information about their users.

Jerry

The Roboform home page is at http://www.roboform.com/

June 29, 2008 message from George Wright [geo@LOYOLA.EDU]

I use Password Safe (http://passwordsafe.sourceforge.net/), an open source project. I installs both to individual machines and to USB memory keys. The password file is encrypted with Bruce Schneier's twofish algorithm. Works for me :-)!

Geo

 


Free online textbooks, cases, and tutorials in accounting, finance, economics, and statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks


Education Tutorials

Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence: Tools for Teaching and Learning --- http://www.schreyerinstitute.psu.edu/Tools/

Revitalizing Arts Education Through Community-Wide Coordination --- http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG702.pdf

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch


Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Carnegie Institution for Science --- http://www.ciw.edu/ 

WorldWideScience --- http://worldwidescience.org/

Academy of Natural Sciences: Thomas Jefferson Fossil Collection --- http://www.ansp.org/museum/jefferson/

The Walrus [video) --- http://www.walrusmagazine.com/

The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (interdisciplinary research) --- http://www.keckfutures.org

Mayo Clinic: Fitness Center --- http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness/SM99999

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Travelers' Health --- http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx

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


Social Science and Economics Tutorials

China Digital Times --- http://chinadigitaltimes.net/

From UNESCO
Social and Human Sciences division of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) --- http://www.unesco.org/shs/views

Unite for Children --- http://www.uniteforchildren.ca/

From Oxford University
Centre for Research for Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity --- http://www.crise.ox.ac.uk/ 

24-Nation Pew Global Attitudes Survey --- http://pewglobal.org/reports/pdf/260.pdf

From Stanford University
Documents to the People --- http://collections.stanford.edu/dttp/bin/page?forward=home

UK Confidential --- http://www.demos.co.uk/files/UK confidential - web.pdf

Oral Tradition Journal --- http://journal.oraltradition.org/

The U.S. Conference of Mayors: Online Publications --- http://www.usmayors.org/publications/ 

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


Law and Legal Studies

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Law


Math Tutorials

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


History Tutorials

El Anatsui: Gawu: National Museum of African Art (multimedia) --- http://africa.si.edu/exhibits/gawu/index.html

Absalom, Absalom! [William Falkner] --- http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/absalom/

Absalom, Absalom! [William Falkner] --- http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/absalom/

King's Last March [civil rights history) http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/king/

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection: Recent Additions --- http://www.davidrumsey.com/recentadditions.html

Lehman Special Correspondence Files http://ldpd.lamp.columbia.edu/lehman/
Hervert H. Lehman is a former mayor of New York City, Governor of NY, and U.S. Senator from NY

Changing Times: Los Angeles in Photographs, 1920-1990 --- http://unitproj.library.ucla.edu/dlib/lat/ 

Denver Public Library: Western History Genealogy (including Denver neighborhood history) --- http://history.denverlibrary.org/

Villa Cicogna Mozzoni (art history) --- http://www.villacicognamozzoni.it/sito/index.php

Millions of records from Saddam Hussein's regime may soon be available for review at the Hoover Institution (at Stanford University). The Iraq Memory Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based group, collected about 7 million documents from Hussein's Baath Party headquarters just after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Foundation is entrusting the records to Hoover, which has agreed to hold the documents for five years and then help arrange their return to Iraq.
Adam Gorlick --- http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2008/june18/iraq-061808.html 

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


Language Tutorials

Oral Tradition Journal --- http://journal.oraltradition.org/

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


Writing Tutorials

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


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

 


Mayo Clinic: Fitness Center --- http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness/SM99999


"Thin line between desire and dread: Dopamine controls both," PhysOrg, July 7, 2008 --- http://www.physorg.com/news134658734.html


Chemicals in Popular Products --- http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-07/st_justformen


"Red wine ingredient (in large doses) wards off effects of age on heart, bones, eyes and muscle," PhysOrg, July 3, 2008 --- http://www.physorg.com/news134309666.html

Large doses of a red wine ingredient can ward off many of the vagaries of aging in mice who begin taking it at midlife, according to a new report published online on July 3rd in Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication. Those health improvements of the chemical known as resveratrol—including cardiovascular benefits, greater motor coordination, reduced cataracts and better bone density—come without necessarily extending the animals' lifespan.

Sinclair and de Cabo's team further show evidence that resveratrol mimics the beneficial effects of eating fewer calories. In mice, they found that resveratrol induces gene activity patterns in multiple tissues that parallel those induced by dietary restriction and every-other-day feeding.

" From a health point of view, the quality of life of these mice at the end of their days is much better," said Rafael de Cabo of the National Institute on Aging. It suggests that resveratrol may "extend productive independent life, rather than just extending life span."

" I was most surprised by how broad the effects were in the mice," added David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School. "Usually, you focus on slowing down or ameliorating one disease at a time. In this case, resveratrol influences a whole series of seemingly unrelated diseases associated with aging." Sinclair said he expects some of the effect seen in the mice would have even greater impact if they hold in humans. That's because, unlike people, mice usually don't die as a result of heart disease, or suffer from weakening bones.

Earlier studies showed that reducing calorie intake by 30%󈞞%, or eating a nutritious diet every other day, can delay the onset of age-related diseases, improve stress resistance, and decelerate functional decline, the researchers said. Although dietary restriction has beneficial effects in humans, such a diet is unlikely to be widely adopted and would pose a significant risk to the frail, critically ill, or the elderly.

Therefore, the researchers are on a quest for "dietary restriction mimetic" compounds that provide some of the benefits without cutting calories. One contender has been compounds like resversatrol that activate SIRT1, a protein linked to long life in many species, from yeast to mammals.

Continued in article


Tibetan Personality Test --- http://memoriter.net/flash/test.html




Things I'll bet you never knew

Forwarded by Dick Haar

Q: Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?


A: Long ago, dishes and cookware in
Europe were made of a dense orange clay called 'pygg'. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as 'pygg banks.' When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a bank that resembled a pig. And it caught on.

Q: Did you ever wonder why dimes, quarters and half dollars have notches, while pennies and nickels do not?


A: The US Mint began putting notches on the edges of coins containing gold and silver to discourage holders from shaving off small quantities of the precious metals Dimes, quarters and half dollars are notched because they used to contain silver. Pennies and nickels aren't notched because the metals they contain are not valuable enough to shave..

Q: Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right while women's clothes have buttons on the left?


A: When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily b y the rich. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid's right.! Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left. And that's where women's buttons have remained since. 
 


Q: Why do X's at the end of a letter signify kisses?


A: In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

Q: Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called 'passing the buck'?


A: In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility, he would 'pass the buck' to the next player.

Q: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?


A: It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would then just touch or clink the host's glass with his own.


Q: Why are people in the public eye said to be 'in the limelight'?


A: Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and stage lighting by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theatre, performers on stage 'in the limelight' were seen by the audience to be the center of attention. 
 


Q: Why do ships and aircraft in trouble use 'mayday'as their call for help?


A: This comes from the French word m'aidez -meaning 'help me' -- and is pronounced 'mayday,' 
 


Q: Why is someone who is feeling great 'on cloud nine'?


A: Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.. 
 


Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called 'love'?


A: In
France , where tennis first became popular, a big, round zero on scoreboard looked like an egg and was called 'l'oeuf,' which is French for 'egg.' When tennis was introduced in the US , Americans pronounced it 'love.' 
 


Q: In golf, where did the term 'Caddie' come from?


A. When Mary, later Queen of Scots, went to France as a young girl (for education & survival), Louis, King of
France, learned that she loved the Scot game 'golf.' So he had the first golf course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this a lot and when she returned to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took the practice with her. In French, the word cadet is pronounced 'ca-day' and the Scots changed it into 'caddie.'

Now YOU know! 

 




Forwarded by Gene and Joan

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (Ford Motor) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River.

Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India. Sadly, The End.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages. TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US.

The last quarter's results:

TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads.

IF THIS WEREN'T SO TRUE IT MIGHT BE FUNNY


Forwarded by James Don

Subject: English Can Be QUITE Confusing.

Can you read these correctly the first time?

01) The bandage was wound around the wound.

02) The farm was used to produce produce.

03) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

04) We must polish the Polish furniture.

05) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

06) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

07) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present thepresent.

08) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

09) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it, English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England nor French fries in France .

Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital, ship by truck and send cargo by ship, have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't Buick rhyme with quick?

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this:

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is UP.

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or toward the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends. We use something to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers, and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UPexcuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the wordUP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will takeUP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may windUP. When it threatens to rain, we say it is cloudingUP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

We could go on, but I'll wrap it UP for now my time is UP, so time to shut UP!


Forwarded by Sid and Eileen
Note the computer sketch link (video) that I added at the end of this message.

This is for all my friends over 50 who wish to purchase a computer at
 Circuit City or Best Buy. This probably how your conversation with the
 pimply faces geeky sales kid is going to sound like to the person in the
 next aisle!!!!!!!!!!

 You have to be old enough to remember Abbott and Costello, and too old to
 REALLY understand computers, to fully appreciate this. For those of us who
 sometimes get flustered by our computers, please read on.


 If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their famous sketch,
 'Who's
on First?' might have turned out something like this:


 COSTELLO CALLS TO BUY A COMPUTER FROM ABBOTT


 ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?



 COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm
 thinking
 about buying a computer.



 ABBOTT: Mac?



 COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.



 ABBOTT: Your computer?



 COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.



 ABBOTT: Mac?



 COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.< BR


 ABBOTT: What about Windows?



 COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?



 ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?



 COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?



 ABBOTT: Wallpaper.



 COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.



 ABBOTT: Software for Windows?



 COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write
 proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?



 ABBOTT: Office.



 COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?



 ABBOTT: I just did.



 COSTELLO: You just did what?



 ABBOTT: Recommend something.



 COSTELLO: You recommended something?



 ABBOTT: Yes.



 COSTELLO: For my office?



 ABBOTT: Yes.



 COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?



 ABBOTT: Office.



 COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!



 ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows



 COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say
 I'm
 sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?



 ABBOTT: Word.



 COSTELLO: What word?



 ABBOTT: Word in Office.



 COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.



 ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

 &g t;

 COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?



 ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue 'W'.



 COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue 'w' if you don't
 start with some
 straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything
 I can track my money with?



 ABBOTT: Money.



 COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?



 ABBOTT: Money.



 COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?



 ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.



 COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?



 ABBOTT: Money.



 COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?



 ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.



 COSTELLO: I ge t a bu ndle of money with my computer? How much?



 ABBOTT: One copy.



 COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?



 ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.



 COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?



 ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT!



 (A few days later)



 ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?



 COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?



 ABBOTT: Click on 'START'.............

Jensen Comment
Note the Computer Sketch Below

Abbot and Costello --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbot_and_Costello

 




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

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

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

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

Three Finance Blogs

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

Some Accounting Blogs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teaching Materials (especially video) from PBS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moodle  --- http://moodle.org/ 

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

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

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

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

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

 

 

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