Tidbits on May 9, 2009
Bob Jensen

I did not finalize the CD in my camera for about five months.
Hence you are seeing some winter pictures even though my lawn is now green.
It's still too early for our colorful flowers.

Below is the wild cranberry bush outside my office window.

Below is just a peep of sunrise under the clouds behind Mount Lafayette
The top of Mount Lafayette is obscured in the cloud layer
The bright light is my camera flash aimed directly at Franconia Notch

When I look out at the yard on these days, I sometimes have a warming cognac glass in hand
Only Erika needs a furnace

Erika's elevator does run all the way to the top

I put up stakes and reflectors to guide the snow thrower man (me) or my snow plow man (Lonnie)

Our wild roses in March versus July

It's amazing how the rose bushes can look so scrawny in winter and filled out in summer


Mount Washington where the three-digit winds often blow (the camera is zoomed from my desk)
This famous mountain in the Presidential Range is almost 30 miles from our cottage

Below is a picture looking toward the east from our living room at sunset (at about 4:00 p.m. in winter)
All three mountain ranges below are in the White Mountain Forest Region
Mt. Garfield is the peaked mountain in the picture's center (about 20 miles away in the Twin Range)
Mt. Lafayette is to the right and only about 10 miles away in the Kinsman Range
Mt. Washington is about 1.5 inches to the left of Mt. Garfield in the picture
Most of the Presidential Range is to the left of Mt. Washington


 Accounting Professor Linda Kidwell at the University of Wyoming
sent me this springtime picture of antelope in her back yard this spring
Behind the fence is Bureau of Land Management open range



Tidbits on May 9, 2009
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 Box in Upper Right Corner.
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

Free Residential and Business Telephone Directory (you must listen to an opening advertisement) --- dial 800-FREE411 or 800-373-3411
 Free Online Telephone Directory --- http://snipurl.com/411directory       [www_public-records-now_com] 
 Free online 800 telephone numbers --- http://www.tollfree.att.net/tf.html
 Google Free Business Phone Directory --- 800-goog411
To find names addresses from listed phone numbers, go to www.google.com and read in the phone number without spaces, dashes, or parens
Bob Jensen's search helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm

The Master List of Free Online College Courses --- http://universitiesandcolleges.org/

Bob Jensen's essay on the financial crisis bailout's aftermath and an alphabet soup of appendices can be found at


On May 14, 2006 I retired from Trinity University after a long and wonderful career as an accounting professor in four universities. I was generously granted "Emeritus" status by the Trustees of Trinity University. My wife and I now live in a cottage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire --- 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

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/

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
The Master List of Free Online College Courses ---

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

Magic Powder That Grows Back Flesh, Blood Vessels, Nails, Bones, Heart Valves, Organs, and Nerves
Man regrows finger tip after sprinkling on the powder
Regeneration of cells (CBS Cutting Edge) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxhi4Q8EDTU

NY Post's video quiz on top scandals --- http://www.nypost.com/entertainment/comicsgames/popjax_game.htm?gameId=1149

How Financial Markets Work (British Humor) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwRFoxgEcHc&feature=related

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) presents this exhibition of artwork by South African artist William Kentridge. ---

Jon Stewart is no student of history --- Click Here
When Bill Whittle heard about Jon Stewart calling Harry Truman a "war criminal" for dropping the bomb on Hiroshima (during an argument on waterboarding...), Whittle did his homework and made a video rebuttal that is second to none.

Cool Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant --- http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1137883380?bctid=16920289001

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

The Ross Sisters in 1944 (Great historic video) --- http://thefunnypage.com/potato-sisters/
Also see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHEtXkReIbE 
Contortions --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHEtXkReIbE
The Ross Sisters -- Where `40s pop music met freak-show contortionism --- Click Here

Baroque [Video] http://www.vam.ac.uk/microsites/baroque/

Web outfits like Pandora, Foneshow, Stitcher, and Slacker broadcast portable and mobile content that makes Sirius look overpriced and stodgy ---

TheRadio (my favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.theradio.com/
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.slacker.com/

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site --- http://www.e-radio.gr/
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection --- http://songza.com/
Also try Jango --- http://www.jango.com/?r=342376581
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) --- http://www.tropicalglen.com/
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live --- http://www.army.mil/fieldband/pages/listening/bandstand.html
Also note
U.S. Army Band recordings --- http://bands.army.mil/music/default.asp

Bob Jensen listens to music free online (and no commercials) --- http://www.slacker.com/ 

Photographs and Art

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) presents this exhibition of artwork by South African artist William Kentridge. ---

Jamestown Rediscovery --- http://www.preservationvirginia.org/jr.html?process=0

San Diego Natural History Museum: Field Guide for the Californias --- http://www.sdnhm.org/fieldguide/index.html

United States Military Academy Digital Library: Maps --- http://digital-library.usma.edu/collections/maps/ 

New York Correction History Society --- http://www.correctionhistory.org/index.html 

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

United Nations World Digital Library --- http://www.wdl.org/en/

The University of Vermont Libraries' Center for Digital Initiatives: Fletcher Family
http://cdi.uvm.edu/collections/getCollection.xql?title=Fletcher Family

The Wandering Minstrels (Many Poems from Rice University) --- http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/index_number_0.html

Poetry of Sara Teasdale 1884 - 1933 --- http://www.bonniehamre.com/Personal/Sara.htm

Dante Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise (a multimedia learning experience) --- http://danteworlds.laits.utexas.edu/
Also see Princeton University's contribution (in Italian or English) --- http://etcweb.princeton.edu/dante/pdp/
          Princeton's versions has both lectures and multimedia!

Old English Poetry --- http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth/library/oe/alpha.html

Charles Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal (poetry about society) --- http://fleursdumal.org/ 

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

Collected Poetry by Winston Churchill --- http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=463

Poetic Waves: Angel Island [San Francisco) --- http://www.poeticwaves.net/ +

Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889) --- http://www.romanianvoice.com/poezii/poeti_tr/eminescu_eng.php

Random poems penned by Barbara Fletcher --- http://www.barbarafletcher.com/

Kay Ryan, a prize-winning poet who teaches remedial English at the College of Marin, will today be named poet laureate of the United States, The New York Times reported. The article includes links to some of her writing.
Inside Higher Ed, July 17, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/07/17/qt

Phantasmagoria and Other Poems by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) --- Click Here

John Keats Poetry --- http://www.john-keats.com/

Works and Life of T.S. Eliot --- http://www.whatthethundersaid.org/

James Joyce's Poems Get a Musical Facelift --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91757715

John Keats Selected Poetry --- http://englishhistory.net/keats/poetry.html

Galway Kinnell's Modern American Poetry --- http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/g_l/kinnell/kinnell.htm

Edward Lear's Nonsense Poetry and Art --- http://www.nonsenselit.org/Lear/

Dylan Thomas Poetry --- http://www.dylanthomas.com/

Dylan Thomas --- http://www.dylanthomas.com/
Not So Gentle Into That Good Night --- http://poetry.suite101.com/article.cfm/dylan_thomas___do_not_go_gentle_
Free Online Video

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

How anxiously are you awaiting a FIAT with a Chrysler boilerplate?
When FIAT entered the U.S. market and failed in the 1970s it was called "Fix It Again, Tony"
Why does the Second Italian Navy use glass bottom boats? To look for the first Italian Navy.
Who put the seven bullets into Benito Mussolini? Three hundred Italian marksmen.

Among the 38 automobile models tested for reliability in 2008 ---
Honda and Toyota at the top of the 2008 reliability list, followed closely by Daihatsu, Lexus, Mazda, and Subaru. This largely mirrors the latest Consumer Reports predicted reliability ranking, though there Scion was at the top and Mazda placed 12th with Consumer Reports due to a different model line-up. Fiat ranked 35th (out of 38), followed by Renault, Land Rover, and Chrysler/Dodge. Jeep is the highest-rated brand from Chrysler, with its 29th place just barely keeping it in the “Poor” category. Fiat, Chrysler, and Dodge are categorized as “Very poor.” In total, Fiat, Chrysler, and Dodge provide similar reliability, and it isn’t good.
Consumer Reports, May 5, 2009 ---
Consumer Reports online subscribers can see how brands compare.--- Click Here
Jensen Comment
My 1989 Cadillac is ten times more reliable than my 1999 Jeep Cherokee. I don't plan to shift gears into a FIAT. My next car up in these mountains will probably be a Subaru station wagon (with all-wheel drive).

NY Post's video quiz on top scandals ---
Bonus Question
Why are there two prices ($100 versus $5,000) for a good massage?
Madoff enjoyed "frequent massages" during work, hurled vicious insults at underlings and physically fell to pieces as his scheme unraveled. Eleanor Squillari, his secretary reveals in an explosive Vanity Fair article.....a shocking, inside look at the day-to-day operations of Madoff's investment firm....his lusty penchant for the ladies as he bilked billions. The 70-year-old Madoff had a roving eye ...." I caught him scouting the escort pages alongside pictures of scantily clad women." Madoff had numbers for "masseuses" in his address book....Madoff would playfully "try to pat me on the ass" and say, "You know it excites you" when he would exit his office bathroom zipping his fly. Squillari said. "..... clients would frequently complain about the lack of customer service..... Bernie would say, "Most of these customers are a pain in the ass." As it became clear to her uber-controlling boss that he couldn't stop his world from crashing, he started to physically buckle... "He seemed to be in a coma. He was bunkered down in his palatial Manhattan pad with his wife, who had been "handl[ing] all the invoices that came in," Squillari said.

Dan Mangan, "BERNIE MADOFF'S LUST FOR LADIES & MONEY (unzipped scammer liked 'massages' from females" New York Post, May 6, 2009 ---

Swine Flew:  Madoff's Piggy Bank
For months lawyers and investors have been asking convicted conman Bernie Madoff, "Where's the money?" We got a partial answer to that question Wednesday from Irving Picard, the trustee liquidating Madoff Investment Securities LLC: Madoff turned his investment firm into his "personal piggy bank," using tens of millions of dollars in client funds to cover costs for employees and family members, court papers say. Madoff used money from his firm to pay loans, satisfy capital calls, fund real estate purchases and hire employees for his children, wife, brother and workers, according to a filing by Picard (see below). "He essentially used BLMIS as his 'personal piggy bank,' having BLMIS pay for his lavish lifestyle and that of his family," David Sheehan, a lawyer for Picard, wrote in a legal brief filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York. "Madoff used BLMIS to siphon funds which were, in reality, other people's money, for his personal use and the benefit of his inner circle. Plain and simple, he stole it."
"Where is Madoff's money?" The Deal, May 7, 2009 --- http://www.thedeal.com/dealscape/2009/05/madoff_piggy_bank_money.php
Jensen Comment
But ohhh those massages.

Moral Hazard:  Even if you're not sexually attracted to kids, it pays to pinch one or two if you teach in Los(t) Angeles
For seven years, the Los Angeles Unified School District has paid Matthew Kim a teaching salary of up to $68,000 per year, plus benefits. His job is to do nothing. Every school day, Kim's shift begins at 7:50 a.m., with 30 minutes for lunch, and ends when the bell at his old campus rings at 3:20 p.m. He is to take off all breaks, school vacations and holidays, per a district agreement with the teacher's union. At no time is he to be given any work by the district or show up at school. He has never missed a paycheck. In the jargon of the school district, Kim is being "housed" while his fitness to teach is under review. A special education teacher, he was removed from Grant High School in Van Nuys and assigned to a district office in 2002 after the school board voted to fire him for allegedly harassing teenage students and colleagues. In the meantime, the district has spent more than $2 million on him in salary and legal costs. Last week, Kim was ordered to continue this daily routine at home. District officials said the offices for "housed" employees were becoming too crowded. About 160 teachers and other staff sit idly in buildings scattered around the sprawling district, waiting for allegations of misconduct to be resolved.
"L.A. Unified pays teachers not to teach," Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
Think of the best sellers these teachers might write with all that free time using free computers and networking.  Or they can perfect drafts of their lawsuits intended to make them millionaires at taxpayer expense.

Like most people, Justice Holmes had empathy for some and antipathy for others, but his votes on the Supreme Court often went against those for whom he had empathy and for those for whom he had antipathy. As Holmes himself put it: "I loathed most of the things in favor of which I decided." After voting in favor of Benjamin Gitlow in the 1925 case of Gitlow v. People of New York, Holmes said in a letter to a friend that he had just voted for "the right of an ass to drool about proletarian dictatorship." Similarly, in the case of Abrams v. United States, Holmes' dissenting opinion in favor of the appellants characterized the views of those appellants as "a creed which I believe to be the creed of ignorance and immaturity."
Thomas Sewell, "'Empathy' Versus Law: Part II ," Townhall, May 6, 2009 ---

Berkeley's City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to eliminate homeowner mandates from its climate action plan, in part because of an uproar from infuriated residents. The plan required owners to upgrade their homes' energy efficiency, based on an independent audit of a home's windows, roof, appliances and insulation. The goal was for all of Berkeley's 23,000 homes and 25,000 duplexes and apartment units to reduce energy use by 35 percent by 2020. Many homeowners vehemently protested the mandates, saying the cost to upgrade a typical drafty prewar Berkeley home would be astronomical. Hills residents particularly fought the portion requiring white roofs, saying a white roof would reflect unwanted heat and light into the homes above.
Carolyn Jones, "Berkeley eliminates homeowner climate mandates," San Francisco Chronicle, May 6, 2009 ---

Convinced that the Obama administration is preparing to retreat from the Middle East, Iran's Khomeinist regime is intensifying its goal of regional domination. It has targeted six close allies of the U.S.: Egypt, Lebanon, Bahrain, Morocco, Kuwait and Jordan, all of which are experiencing economic and/or political crises . . . "There is this perception that the new U.S. administration is not interested in the democratization strategy," a senior Lebanese political leader told me. That perception only grows as President Obama calls for an "exit strategy" from Afghanistan and Iraq. Power abhors a vacuum, which the Islamic Republic of Iran is only too happy to fill.
Amir Taheri, "As the U.S. Retreats, Iran Fills the Void," The Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124139838660282045.html

But what if somebody cheats? How is Commander and Chief Obama going to confront the cheater? Torture is out!
The Washington Times reports that Barack Obama may counter demands from Israel to confront Iran over their nuclear program by confronting Israel over theirs. Eli Lake has the exclusive on the Obama administration’s strategy to force Israel under the umbrella of the non-proliferation treaty, apparently as a condition to getting Iran to surrender their nukes.
"Obama to force Israel to give up nukes?" Hot Air, May 6, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
Obama can't even get tiny North Korea, a nation that's not really threatened by any nuclear power, to abandon nuclear arms development.

When $27 billion is at stake, some companies would pay big bucks to win a PR battle, but one side of an environmental lawsuit doesn't have to, since CBS is pushing its position for free. On CBS's May 3 "60 Minutes," correspondent Scott Pelley, who once compared global-warming skepticism to Holocaust denial, gave the plaintiff of a $27-billion frivolous lawsuit against Chevron a public relations victory with his report. Pelley's report featured a suit filed by the Amazon Defense Coalition, a group described as "eco-radicals," who are trying to squeeze $27 billion from Chevron for environmental cleanup that the nation's government signed off on more than a decade ago. Pelley described ADC as working on behalf of 30,000 villagers, although there are only 48 named plaintiffs, to win funds for so-called environmental damage in Ecuador's rain forest from then-Texaco Petroleum's (Texpet) operation of oil well sites. Pelley left out everything from huge problems in the Ecuadorian courts to the close ties the lead attorney has with a prominent former U.S. senator - President Barack Obama. In 1998, the government of Ecuador certified that Texpet, a minority partner in an exploration and production venture with PetroEcuador, Ecuador's state-owned oil company, had met Ecuadorian and international remediation standards and had released Texpet from future claims and obligations. Texpet had cleaned up more than 100 sites in the area as part of that effort, leaving the remainder to PetroEcuador for cleanup. Nonetheless, a suit led by Steven Donzinger, a New York plaintiff's lawyer, Democrat contributorformer Harvard Law School classmate of President Barack Obama, against Texaco, now part of Chevron (NYSE:CVX), is entering its critical stage and could be ruled on by a court in Ecuador very soon.
Jeff Poor,
"'60 Minutes' Promotes $27-Billion Leftist 'Fraud' Efforts Against Chevron," Newsbusters," May 4, 2009 --- Click Here

Jon Stewart is no student of history --- Click Here
When Bill Whittle heard about Jon Stewart calling Harry Truman a "war criminal" for dropping the bomb on Hiroshima (during an argument on waterboarding...), Whittle did his homework and made a video rebuttal that is second to none.

A company owned by a nephew of Rep. John Murtha received $4 million from the Defense Department last year for engineering and warehouse services, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. Murtha, D-Pa., is chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee. Murtech Inc., based on Glen Burnie, Md., is owned by the congressman's nephew Robert C. Murtha Jr., who told the Post the company provides "necessary logistical support" to Pentagon testing programs, "and that's about as far as I feel comfortable going." The Post reported that the Pentagon rewarded contracts to Murtech without competition.
"Murtha's Nephew Got Millions in Gov't Contracts," Fox News, May 5, 2009 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on corrupt lawmakers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#Lawmakers

Geithner's New Bank Fix Is Bogus, Too
Tim Geithner has a clever new way to "recapitalize" banks that fail the stress test: Convert the taxpayer's preferred stock to common stock. From Geithner's perspective, this technique has several advantages: The banks will suddenly seem healthy, because their assets-to-common equity ratios will rise. Geithner doesn't have to ask Congress for more baillout money yet. Taxpayers won't understand that they're giving up a nice dividend and a safer security just to make the banks look better. If Geithner is right that what's wrong with the banks is just a temporary liquidity problem, the taxpayer should do well when the stocks . . . .
Henry Blodget, The American Thinker, May 2, 2009 ---

Banks are undercapitalized in the U.S. and no amount of propaganda will change that essential truth. That's why capital stock prices are still so much lower than a couple of years' ago.
J. Edward Ketz, "Calming Markets with Stress Tests," SmartPros, April 2009 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x66362.xml

How is Obama not a socialist? Under his “auto bailout” policy, the government would be taking GM and Chrysler away from the investors, with majority controlling interest for GM placed instead in the hands of the government (with 50% common stock ownership), and the majority interest for Chrysler (55%) to be given to the UAW union. This is exactly what socialism is. This policy basically involves stealing the company from the investors and giving it to the federal government and the auto union. This is especially clear for the senior bondholders that Obama has now taken to deriding as greedy....
Peter Ferrara, "Obama’s Auto Bailout Plan STEALS From Investors and Gives to the Government," Fox News, May 4, 2009 ---

"Attached at the Wallet: The Delicate Financial Relationship between the U.S. and China,"  knowledge@wharton,  April 29, 2009 --- http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2230

The arrangement worked for years. But recently, under mounting pressures from the global economic crisis, the financial relationship between China and the U.S. is beginning to look like an unhealthy co-dependency. China holds so much of its foreign reserves in dollar-based assets that it is now vulnerable to shifts in the U.S. economy. And the U.S. has allowed China to purchase so much of its debt that it is now beholden to Chinese interests.

"China's investments in the U.S. are so large that we are mutually dependent," says Wharton finance professor Richard J. Herring. "They would suffer serious financial loss if they did anything to cause the dollar to depreciate. Indeed, at this point they seem to be alarmed that both our monetary and fiscal policy are out of control and may cause" that to happen.

China's foreign exchange reserves have increased sharply over the past decade, from $216 billion in 2001 to $1.52 trillion in 2007, then $1.95 trillion in 2008, according to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report published in March. Some estimates put the current figure as high as $2.3 trillion. As a percent of GDP, China's foreign exchange reserves grew from 15.3% in 2001 to 45% in 2008. Economists estimate that about 70% of those reserves are held in dollar-backed assets. China now holds as much as $1.36 trillion in U.S. securities and government debt.

Some in the U.S. worry that China's massive dollar holdings could spell trouble for the U.S. economy if China ever decided to divest. "It's a weakness from the U.S. point of view," says Wharton finance professor Franklin Allen. "We are the vulnerable ones, because if [China] pulled out, there could be a run on the dollar, which would be very bad for the U.S."

Mutually Assured Distress

Such economic calamity is precisely the reason why China won't sell off its U.S. debt, others argue. China is dependent on the U.S. to buy its goods, and has no interest in seeing the American economy or the dollar collapse. Besides, if China sells off a chunk of its U.S. Treasury bonds, the value of the rest of its dollar-backed holdings would also fall. "If they begin to unload their holdings of U.S. Treasuries or even slow down the purchase [of them], it's going to have a huge impact on the dollar, and that's going to have a huge impact on the U.S., and they don't want to do that," says Todd Lee, greater China chief economist at research firm IHS Global Insight. "The U.S. is, after all, the most important export market for them."

So far, the U.S. has been happy to sell Treasury bonds to the Chinese because it helps finance America's $11 trillion national debt. China's strong appetite for U.S. Treasuries has kept bond prices high and interest rates low. Experts disagree, however, about why China has chosen to hold so much in U.S. securities, and they also disagree about how likely it is that China would ever sell them off.

China holds the bulk of its U.S. securities in long-term Treasury bonds and government agency debt, such as securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The country pulled ahead of Japan in September to become the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasuries. By the end of February, according to U.S. figures, China held approximately $744 billion in U.S. Treasury notes -- about a quarter of all foreign holdings. It is also by far the largest foreign holder of U.S. agency debt, with nearly 36% of all foreign holdings as of the end of June 2008.

Some say China has purposefully hoarded dollar-backed assets to manipulate the value of its own currency, the yuan (or renminbi). Buying dollars keeps the value of the yuan down, the argument goes, thus making Chinese exports cheap. Others say that China has simply needed a safe place to put its dollars, and has invested them in U.S. Treasuries because they are considered the safest possible investment. "For a long time, there has been no safer investment in the world than Treasury bonds," says Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics Philip M. Nichols. "It's not just a good place, it's a comfortable place."

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the Hidden Bailout Agenda --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#HiddenAgendaDetails

Tarnished Gold
If you’ve been tempted recently to respond to one of the numerous advertisements from start-up pawn brokers offering to cash in your gold jewelry for a small commission, do it now. Gold is about to get a lot cheaper. That’s not advice you’re likely to hear very much at the moment, however. Even as the price of gold has remained pretty stagnant in recent weeks, proponents of a long-term bull-market in the yellow metal haven’t lost any of their enthusiasm.

Daniel Harrison, "Why Gold Is Losing Its Shine," Seeking Alpha, May 4, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
I seldom advise gold investments. But if you want to invest more in gold, invest in a reputable gold fund rather than hoard the real stuff at home or in a bank box. The problem with holding the real stuff is that when it comes to selling it there are all sorts of barriers such as having to have the gold assayed and certified. This is an unnecessary and significant transactions cost. It also narrows the market of buyers when you're trying to sell gold coins or jewelry vis-a-vis merly selling shares in a gold investment fund.

Even Jay Leno can't top this --- please tell me it wasn't an OIL tanker
An expedition team which set sail from Plymouth on a 5,000-mile carbon emission-free trip to Greenland have been rescued by an oil tanker . . . The team, which left Mount Batten Marina in Plymouth on 19 April in a boat named the Fleur, aimed to rely on sail, solar and man power on a 580-mile (933km/h) journey to and from the highest point of the Greenland ice cap. The expedition was followed by up to 40 schools across the UK to promote climate change awareness.
"Eco-sailors rescued by oil tanker," BBC News, May 5, 2009 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/8034027.stm

Outrageous Bonus Frenzy

AIG now says it paid out more than $454 million in bonuses to its employees for work performed in 2008. That is nearly four times more than the company revealed in late March when asked by POLITICO to detail its total bonus payments. At that time, AIG spokesman Nick Ashooh said the firm paid about $120 million in 2008 bonuses to a pool of more than 6,000 employees. The figure Ashooh offered was, in turn, substantially higher than company CEO Edward Liddy claimed days earlier in testimony before a House Financial Services Subcommittee. Asked how much AIG had paid in 2008 bonuses, Liddy responded: “I think it might have been in the range of $9 million.”
Emon Javers, "AIG bonuses four times higher than reported," Politico, May 5, 2009 --- http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22134.html

"Let's Move Their Cheese:  We can get better bank management for a fraction of the cost," The Wall Street Journal on May 6,  2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124157594861790347.html

Incentives work, all right. Just look at the way our bankers come back to bonuses, finding in every occasion a good opportunity to cut themselves a slice of largess. Their determination is unrelenting, monomaniacal. It's like Republicans returning to tax cuts, the universal solution to every problem.

Some institutions, we read, are struggling to free themselves from the TARP, because of its exuberance-chilling compensation limits. Others have decimated their workforces, apparently so they might continue to shower money on the favored ones. Still other institutions have signaled that they would rather borrow at higher rates of interest than accept the compensation limits that come with cheaper federal loans. And certain banks are on track to return to pre-recession compensation levels this year, according to a story last week in the New York Times. Goldman Sachs, for example, set aside $4.7 billion for compensation in the first quarter alone.

Another way incentives work is this: They have kept the debate over incentives from getting off the dime for years. There is no amount of shame that will deter the bonus class from pressing their demand, no scandal that will put it off limits, no public outrage over AIG or Enron or really expensive Merrill Lynch trash cans that will silence the managers' monotonous warble: "Attract and retain top talent!"

And there is no possible objection to inflated compensation you can make that will not be instantly maligned as senseless populism.

In truth, however, the verdict has been in for years. Pay for performance systems, at least as they exist in many places, are a recipe for disaster.

What they have "incentivized" executives to do, in countless cases, is not to perform, but to game the system, to smooth the numbers, to take insane risks with other people's money, to do whatever had to be done to ring the bell and send the dollars coursing their way into the designated bank account.

It may well be true that those in our bonus class are geniuses, but in far too many cases their fantastic brain power is focused not on serving shareholders or guiding our economy but simply on getting that bonus.

One might say that events of the last year had proved this fairly conclusively.

Or one could quote the immortal words of Franklin Raines, the onetime CEO of Fannie Mae, as they were recorded by Business Week in 2003: "My experience is where there is a one-to-one relation between if I do X, money will hit my pocket, you tend to see people doing X a lot. You've got to be very careful about that. Don't just say: 'If you hit this revenue number, your bonus is going to be this.' It sets up an incentive that's overwhelming. You wave enough money in front of people, and good people will do bad things."

Will they ever. They might, for example, pull an accounting fraud of the kind Fannie Mae itself was accused of committing in 2004, in which earnings were allegedly manipulated to, ahem, hit certain revenue numbers and make the bonuses go bang.

They might rig the game to take the credit -- and reap the rewards -- when good luck befalls an entire industry. If they're bankers, they might even try to claim that their firm's recovery, made possible by TARP money and government guarantees, was actually a fruit of their personal ingenuity. Bring on the billions!

Of course, they will also threaten to leave if they don't get exactly what they want. Take last week's news story about the supersuccessful energy trading unit of Citibank, whose star trader scored $125 million in 2005, owns a castle in Germany, and collects Julian Schnabel paintings. This merry band of traders is apparently thinking about a white-collar walkout should the government refuse to lift its compensation restrictions.

At first one feels pity for Citi and its resident geniuses, brought to these straits by the interfering hand of government. But then it dawns on you: Should a company receiving billions of public dollars really be gambling on speculative energy trades? After all, the bank's ordinary, everyday deposits would have to be made good by you and me through the FDIC should one of their bright traders pull a Nick Leeson someday.

Besides, why is Citi so anxious to give in to these guys? It can't be that hard to "retain top talent" when New York is awash with unemployed bankers and traders who are no doubt anxious for a chance to prove their own brilliance.

Here's a Wall Street solution to Wall Street's problems: Let's offshore trading operations to lands where ethics are more highly esteemed -- Norway, for instance. And while we're at it, let's replace our gold-plated, Lear-jetting American CEOs with thrifty Europeans, who may not write management books but who will do the work better, and for a fraction of the cost.

Bob Jensen's threads on outrageous compensation are at

President Obama Opposes Labor Union Accounting Transparency
This reeks of the stench of illegal political contributions

"Obama Tries to Stop Union Disclosure:  No more sunshine on how worker dues are spent," The Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124157604375290453.html#mod=todays_us_opinion

Fifty years ago, Congress passed the landmark Landrum-Griffin Act to protect rank-and-file union members from malfeasance by union leaders. Senate hearings had uncovered serious corruption and other unethical practices inside the labor movement, and a bipartisan coalition emerged to shine the light of disclosure on union practices.

Nevertheless, Democrats in Congress and in the executive branch have often attempted to undercut that law's financial reporting and disclosure requirements. Prior to reforms adopted in the George W. Bush administration, for example, one union could get away with reporting a $62 million expenditure as nothing more than "contributions, gifts, and grants to local affiliates" -- with no further explanation. Unfortunately, the Obama administration is already showing that it wants to return to this nontransparent standard of financial disclosure.

Within days of the inauguration, the new leadership at the Labor Department moved to delay implementing a regulation finalized in January that would have shed much needed light on how union managers compensate themselves with union dues. The regulation required disclosure of receipts for expenditures and for the purchase and sale of union assets -- disclosures that would help deter embezzlement. The administration has since moved even more aggressively, initiating proceedings to rescind this rule and others promulgated when I was secretary of labor.

The Labor Department's Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS), created to enforce the 1959 law, also recently announced that it would not enforce compliance with the conflict-of-interest disclosure form (the "LM-30" form) that was revised in 2007. Labor's Web site states that "it would not be a good use of resources."

Instead, union managers will be able to file decades-old, less enlightening disclosure forms while the department considers whether to "revise" (i.e., gut) the current disclosure requirements. But what could be a better use of department resources than enforcing the laws under its jurisdiction?

From 2001-2008, the Labor Department secured more than 1,000 union fraud-related indictments and 929 convictions. This enforcement record was accomplished even though the enforcement office accounts for less than 0.1% of the department's budget. OLMS is the lone federal agency with the job of protecting worker interests in how their unions are managed. The last Congress increased President Bush's budget request for the Labor Department by $956 million even as it targeted OLMS for a budget cut.

This repeats the pattern we saw during the last Democratic administration. Under President Bill Clinton, staffing decreased more than 40%. The number of compliance audits dropped no less than 75% from fiscal year 1992 to fiscal year 2000. I would expect the current Congress to once again slash the OLMS budget, with the administration's blessing.

Union membership peaked in the 1950s, when more than one-third of American workers belonged to a union. Today, just 7.6% of American private-sector workers belong to a union. A Rasmussen Research survey conducted in March found that 81% of nonunion members do not want to belong to a union.

The response by union leaders and their Democratic allies to declining union membership is the Employee Free Choice Act. To increase unionization, it would deprive workers of private balloting in organizing elections, and it would substitute a signature-card process that would expose workers to coercion. The bill would also deny workers the right to ratify, or not ratify, labor contracts drafted by government arbitrators when negotiations in newly unionized workplaces exceed the bill's rigid timetable.

The Obama administration likes to say that it is "pro-worker." But something is amiss when its labor priorities are forcing unionization and labor contracts on American workplaces, and denying union members information on how their dues money is spent.

Ms. Chao was secretary of labor from 2001 to 2009 and is now a fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Labor Unions Want Less Financial Disclosure and accountability

From day one of the Obama era, union leaders want the lights dimmed on how they spend their mandatory member dues. The AFL-CIO's representative on the Obama transition team for Labor is Deborah Greenfield, and we're told her first inspection stop was the Office of Labor-Management Standards, or OLMS, which monitors union compliance with federal law. Ms. Greenfield declined to comment, citing Obama transition rules, but her mission is clear enough. The AFL-CIO's formal "recommendations" to the Obama team call for the realignment of "the allocation of budgetary resources" from OLMS to other Labor agencies. The Secretary should "temporarily stay all financial reporting regulations that have not gone into effect," and "revise or rescind the onerous and unreasonable new requirements," such as the LM-2 and T-1 reporting forms. The explicit goal is to "restore the Department of Labor to its mission and role of advocating for, protecting and advancing the interests of workers." In other words, while transparency is fine for business, unions are demanding a pass for themselves.
"Quantum of Solis Big labor wants Obama to dilute union disclosure rules," The Wall Street Journal, December 21, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122990431323225179.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

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

The Master List of Free Online College Courses --- http://universitiesandcolleges.org/

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
The Master List of Free Online College Courses ---

Bob Jensen's threads for online worldwide education and training alternatives ---

"U. of Manitoba Researchers Publish Open-Source Handbook on Educational Technology," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 19, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3671&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

My wife likes to view shopping catalogs sent to our mailbox (by the tons)

To order catalogs by shopping category --- www.catalogs.com

From Knowledge@wharton   --- http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/

China Knowledge@Wharton IE Business School's Riordan Roett: 'China Will Move Cautiously in Latin America for the Next Few Years'

Daisy Pooh, President of Ajisen China: 'Teamwork Is Fundamental'

Best Buy vs. Wal-Mart: Is There Room for Both, and Others?

China‘s Health Care Reform: The Focus Shifts to the Basic Health Care Service

Are 'Mark-to-market' Accounting Rules on the Mark?

Making Robots More Like Us

The $2 Trillion Question: Will Investors Buy the Government's Toxic Asset Plan? Universia Knowledge@Wharton The U.S. and Latin America: Renewed Relations, but the Crisis Still Looms Large

Welcome Reversal: Brazil's Banks Are Strengthening Its Economy Despite the Downturn

How Companies Can Prepare for -- and Emerge Stronger from -- a Crisis

Hope, Greed and Fear: The Psychology behind the Financial Crisis

All That Twitters Isn't Gold: A Popular Web Application in Search of a Business Plan

Kings of Cash: The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Sovereign Wealth Funds

No Man Is an Island: The Promise of Cloud Computing India Knowledge@Wharton Finding Market Opportunities in 'the Best Place to Get Sick'

Cricket Legend Sunil Gavaskar: 'The Biggest Challenge Is to Get the Team to Believe in Itself'

The Tech Mahindra-Satyam Deal: What Challenges Lie Ahead?

In South Africa, the Indian Premier League Takes on a Test Match of Its Own

India's New Stock Market Story and Its 'Next Trillion Dollar Opportunity'

Tata Sons' David Good: 'We Want to Be Known as a Global Company Rooted in India'

Tata Group's Farrokh Kavarana: 'We Are Just Trying to Reclaim Our Legacy'


A Guide to Grading Exams (Humor) --- http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2006/12/a_guide_to_grad.html

"Fraud in Academia," Walter E. Williams, Townhall, May 6, 2009 --- http://townhall.com/columnists/WalterEWilliams/2009/05/06/fraud_in_academia
Also see http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams050609.php3

Soon college students will come home and present parents with their grades. To avoid delusion, parents should do some serious discounting because of rampant grade inflation. If grade inflation continues, a college bachelor's degree will have just as much credibility as a high school diploma.

Writing for the National Association of Scholars, Professor Thomas C. Reeves documents what is no less than academic fraud in his article "The Happy Classroom: Grade Inflation Works." From 1991 to 2007, in public institutions, the average grade point average (GPA) rose, on a four-point scale, from 2.93 to 3.11. In private schools, the average GPA climbed from 3.09 to 3.30. Put within a historical perspective, in the 1930s, the average GPA was 2.35 (about a C-plus); whereby now it's a B-plus.

Academic fraud is rife at many of the nation's most prestigious and costliest universities. At Brown University, two-thirds of all letter grades given are A's. At Harvard, 50 percent of all grades were either A or A- (up from 22 percent in 1966); 91 percent of seniors graduated with honors. The Boston Globe called Harvard's grading practices "the laughing stock of the Ivy League." Eighty percent of the grades given at the University of Illinois are A's and B's. Fifty percent of students at Columbia University are on the Dean's list. At Stanford University, where F grades used to be banned, only 6 percent of student grades were as low as a C.

Some college administrators will tell us that the higher grades merely reflect higher-quality students. Balderdash! SAT scores have been in decline for four decades and at least a third of entering freshmen must enroll in a remedial course either in math, writing or reading, which indicates academic fraud at the high school level. A recent survey of more than 30,000 first-year students revealed that nearly half spent more hours drinking than study. Another survey found that a third of students expected B's just for attending class, and 40 percent said they deserved a B for completing the assigned reading.

Last year, the Delaware-based Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) published results of their national survey titled "Our Fading Heritage: Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions." The survey questions were not rocket science. Only 21 percent of survey respondents knew that the phrase "government of the people, by the people, for the people" comes from President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Almost 40 percent incorrectly believe the Constitution gives the president the power to declare war. Only 27 percent knew that the Bill of Rights expressly prohibits establishing an official religion for the United States. Remarkably, close to 25 percent of Americans believe that Congress shares its foreign policy powers with the United Nations. Other questions asked included: "Who is the commander-in-chief of the U S. military?" "Name two countries that were our enemies during World War II." "Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government?" Of the 2,508 nationwide sample of Americans taking ISI's civic literacy test, 71 percent failed; the average score on the test was 49 percent.

Possessing a college degree often does not mean much in terms of basic skills. According to a 2006 Pew Charitable Trusts study, 50 percent of college seniors failed a test that required them to interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, and compare credit card offers. About 20 percent of college seniors did not have the quantitative skills to estimate if their car had enough gas to get to the gas station. According a recent National Assessment of Adult Literacy, the percentage of college graduates proficient in prose literacy has declined from 40 percent to 31 percent within the past decade. Employers report that many college graduates lack the basic skills of critical thinking, writing and problem-solving.

The bottom line: To approach truth in grading, parents and employers should lower the average student's grade by one letter, and interpret a C grade as an F.

Jensen Comment
In my opinion the number one cause of grade inflation is the changed instructor evaluation system that shares evaluation results with administrators that have power in performance evaluation and tenure decisions. It gets worse in universities that share each instructor's evaluations with the university community. This made instructors grovel to students demands for higher grades. The RateMyProfessor site drove more nails into the coffins of course integrity.

Empirical evidence now points to the disastrous impact of student course evaluation systems on grade inflation.

Some instructors like Harvey Mansfield at Harvard share two grades with students:  The high grade going on the transcript and the lower grade actually earned (which is only disclosed to the student).

May 6, 2009 reply from Paul Williams [Paul_Williams@NCSU.EDU]

This issue has occupied countless hours of faculty senate time here at NC State. When student evaluations went electronic (instead of paper and pencil administered) there was a period of chaos. But problems over on-line administration quickly cut to the chase you note above.

Student evaluations have become a problem (they didn't start until the 1960s) because they are used for merit pay, promotion and tenure decisions and usually used inappropriately (no one pays attention to the variances of responses indicating that most faculty are not "statistically different").

In our (faculty) senate we have attempted to develop guidelines on how the student evaluation results should be used, but we all realize that is a fruitless exercise. Now with Rate-my-Professor and local sites (NC State students have created their own version for just NC State faculty) the time may have arrived when we should just do away with student evaluations. There is nothing sacred about them and peer review of instructional ability is more useful to the faculty member.

Now people who make tenure decisions will have to observe in the classroom and read the papers instead of count how many are in prestige weighted journals (he who gets to decide what's prestigious will almost certainly have the most prestige).

May 6, 2009 reply from Patricia Walters [patricia@DISCLOSUREANALYTICS.COM]


I absolutely agree with you on the course evaluation effect.

I would also place blame on the Business Week and other college rankings. When based on voting by seniors or recent college graduates, I believe we should ask: What matters to a senior in college?

IM(not so H)O: Having a good time and getting an easy A.

I have a transfer student in my Intermediate I class from a school that ranked very highly on the recent rankings. She is the best student in terms of performance on my tests that I have had in many sememsters. I asked her why she transferred to Fordham. Her response was that her previous schools was simply a "good time school".

I also think the rankings effect makes the course evaluation effect even worse. Someone should do a student on whether the course evaluation effect is a leading indicator of the rankings effect.


May 6, 2009 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

It's me again, Margaret (tee-hee-hee)...

Hi, Bob. Walter Williams is one of my favorite entertainers. His column is syndicated and appears in our local paper, and he is one of my favorites mainly because I agree with almost all of his opinions and they are always well-written.

Of course, like all entertainers in his field, he takes some artistic license to produce a worthwhile product that we can all enjoy. And he does a great job.

It is interesting I came across your post immediately after having recorded grades for one section of my Principles course where out of 33 students, not a single one earned an A or even an A-minus. Maybe deflation is kicking in because of the economy? ;-)

On a related note, while grading my graduate systems students' essay exams, I've been pondering the legitimacy (or illegitimacy, depending on your view) of the arbitrary selection of the "facts" used to determine "literacy". Or maybe as my students would say "the arbritrary selection of *trivia* to determine literacy".

I can't say I disagree too much with a student who might claim that they consider it more important to successful modern living -- as a well-informed, fully-educated, fully-functional, well-rounded citizen these days, both socially, culturally, even historically, etc. -- to know things other than the wording of a speech given more than 150 years ago.

I'm not knocking knowledge of such trivia (such as the arbitrary fact that the first ten amendments are known as the "Bill of Rights"... although I would think it's more important to know other amendments which also bestow rights). Such knowledge is useful. Such knowledge gives us a common base, a foundation, a shared understanding, for communication, appreciation, unity, perspective, etc. and is important.

But I can't help but wonder whether the esteemed Mr. Williams (and others who use arbitrarily-chosen trivia to judge literacy levels) would be able to know or even recognize the things that today's generation might consider more important to judge literacy, enlightenment, and basic functional knowledge.

For example, does Mr. Williams know the difference between LCD and plasma screen technology (today's literate students do and consider it fundamental knowledge). Or the capacity in GB of a Blu-Ray disk (today's literate students students do and consider it fundamental knowledge). Or the relative compression (playing times, storage capacities, etc.) of the various encoding methods (whereas many in Mr. Williams generation probably wouldn't even recognize some of the encoding terms)!

How about how to tell from an area-code phone-number combo whether a number is a cell phone or a land line? Or the practical difference between Cat-5e and Cat-6 cabling? Or how to read the standardized codes on an airline ticket? Or the relationship between voltage and charge-life between alkaline batteries and NiMH, or how to judge the danger or safety of the fast-discharge rating of Lithium-ion batteries? Or the difference between WPA and WPA-2 security on your home router? Or how to use Excel or an HP12C to double-check the monthly payment figures given to you by the used car dealer's financing manager? Or how to program a GPS? Or how to set up a receiver with your NOAA S.A.M.E. code to receive weather alerts and tornado warnings? Or the difference between a tweet and an RSS feed? Or how to use Google's photomap to see what's on the corner where you'll be making that important turn to get to your destination?

My mom, who made straight A's at Young Harris College in the 1940's, doesn't know how to get email, how to buy a TV today, how to make a cell phone call, how to use a GPS, how to update a calendar entry in a PDA, or how to use Wikipedia or Google to learn that stuff. She has no idea what an S.A.M.E. code is, even though living in North Florida's tornado alley her life might depend on it. She can't even program the LCD picture frame we bought her for Christmas. Yet she can recite Lincoln's Gettysburg address in toto. She can recite poems by Frost and Sandburg and Tennyson. She knows the facts behind the Crimean War into the valley of death in which the 600 obeyed and perished. She knew the details of the battle of Thermopylae long before the movie "300" came out. She can identify Nightwatch, the Scream, and the winged victory of Samothrace by sight, and she knows what the 18th constitutional amendment abolished and what the 21st restored. But she can't figure out how to! ! use Google maps to find an address across town.

My 11-year-old nephew (making B's in today's inflated educational system) knows a very different set of "trivia" than his grandparents. So who is more enlightened, educated, and functionally literate?

I vote for both.

History is important, no question about it. But I would think that today's students can make a good counter-argument that until those of us in Mr. Williams' generation can come up to standard in knowing the trivia that gets APPLIED in everyday life, they shouldn't be knocking the youngster's inability to correct recall trivia about things that DON'T get applied in everyday life, such as wording in a 155-year-old speech, a poem written 400 years ago, or where a border was drawn in a treaty six generations years ago. Yes, this stuff is important to call yourself an elightened citizen. But so is knowing how to turn on a firewall, how to use MAC address filtering, how to use a GPS, how to protect a new passport, how to instantly ruin a new credit card, why your ATM card worked in Miami but not Fort Lauderdale, and why channel 7's HDTV broadcast looks fantastic but channel 2's looks horrible.

Maybe today's grade-inflated B students aren't as inferior to those A-grades in the 1960's in the overall scheme of things as we think?

Regarding Paul's observation, I couldn't agree more. In fact, I'm quick to correct people around here (are you surprised?) when they refer to "faculty evaluations" or "teaching evaluations". I correct them and remind them that they are NOT either faculty evaluations or teaching evaluations, they are STUDENT PERCEPTIONS of faculty and teaching. I also agree with Pat's comments and would add that it's rare to find a student bright enough to leave a party school for real learning.

David Fordham, JMU

PS: How many enlightened citizens recognized my opening line of this post as coming from Ray Stephens? Being raised in a deep southern culture where Lincoln is seen as the epitome of tyranny, usurption of the Constitution, and the use of military force against citizens of his own country (not to mention what today would be war-crimes against peaceful uninvolved citizenry, including my ancestors who were sympathetic to the anti-slavery cause until Sherman's troops came down the Interstate 16 corridor and turned everything to toast and killed a number of innocent women and children relatives of mine) I know lots of people who would revere Ray Stephens' songs right up there with that little speech pencilled on the back of the envelope. Is it just me -- is arbitrary selection of trivia a good way to determine literacy? Let alone fraud in academia?

Bob Jensen's threads on grade inflation are at the following two links:



The RateMyProfessor site is at http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/

If you hate unregulated monopoly power, you will hate the latest Blackboard acquisition deal

"Blackboard Plans to Buy Another Rival, Angel Learning," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 6, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3755&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Blackboard Inc. announced this afternoon that it plans to buy Angel Learning, a rival course-management software company, for $80-million in cash and $15-million in stock, adding to the company's many acquisitions over the last several years.

Both companies have approved the deal, and Blackboard expects the arrangement to become final by the end of May.

Michael L. Chasen, president and chief executive of Blackboard, said in an interview with The Chronicle, that in the short run the combined company plans to continue to sell Angel Learning's software as a separate product, so the 400 colleges and elementary and secondary schools that use it can continue to do so for now. Down the road, the best features of Angel will be folded into Blackboard software, Mr. Chasen said. "There are a number of great features and functionalities from Angel that we would like to incorporate into our long-term product strategy," he said. He added that Angel is popular with community colleges, a market segment that Blackboard is excited to do more business with.

In 2005, Blackboard bought an even bigger competitor, WebCT, for $180-million. And in 2002 Blackboard bought another competing course-management system, called Prometheus, from George Washington University. Last year Blackboard diversified its product line by acquiring the NTI Group, which sells emergency-notification software.

In an interview just a few months ago, Mr. Chasen told The Chronicle that he felt the company had only just recovered from the difficult process of bringing together features from the WebCT and Blackboard products into a common framework. Some customers had complained that the merger was a sometimes rocky road, bringing spotty customer support and confusion over the different product lines.

Mr. Chasen said this week that Blackboard learned many lessons from its purchase of WebCT, and that it expects this latest acquisition to be much smoother as a result.

Ray Henderson, chief products officer for Angel Learning, said in an interview that his company's biggest concern in its early talks with Blackboard officials was whether Blackboard was committed to offering high levels of customer support for Angel's software. "We have been offered reassurances there," Mr. Henderson said.

The deal will mean a windfall for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, where the Angel software was first developed. In July 2000, the university spun off a company called CyberLearning Labs to sell the software to other institutions. Later the company changed its name to Angel Learning, but the university remains the largest shareholder.

Bob Jensen's threads on the Blackboard monster are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Blackboard.htm

Remember those trackers who rode ahead of the posses of the wild west

"How Do I Track My Kid's Surfing?" Tammy Setzer wants a way to keep her children from deleting their Web browsing history," by Lincoln Spector, PC World via The Washington Post, May 5, 2009 --- Click Here

The browsers, like Internet Explorer and Firefox, won't let you do that. In fact, they're going in the opposite direction. They're adding features to help users cover their tracks. (I discuss these tools in Selectively Delete Some of Your Browsing History.) That's wonderful for adults, but it's problematic if you need to protect your children.

What you need is child protection software--a program that will operate in the background, keeping track of what your kids are doing, blocking stuff you want blocked, and reporting back to you.

Before I recommend a program, I want to discuss the best way to use such software. I'm writing this not as a technical expert, but as a father with a grown son and two teenage daughters.

If you tell your children that you're going to monitor their Internet access, they're going to hate you for it (at least temporarily). But if you don't tell them, it will be far, far worse when they finally find out. It's best to be open with them, weather the storm, and seriously listen to their objections. Let them be part of the decision-making process about what will and will not be allowed, even though you, of course, must retain the last word.

And tracking their surfing habits makes more sense than blocking sites. If they know that you can see every site they visit, they'll learn to make wise choices, and isn't that what this is all about?

I recommend a brand-new program from Symantec called OnlineFamily.Norton, in large part because it encourages feedback between parents and children. It won't even let you hide the fact that you're spying on them. If they visit a site that falls into a category you object to (last I counted there were 47 categories), they will be told why they can't visit that site, and they'll get an opportunity to write you about it. You can block sites in the undesirable categories, merely monitor them, or have Online.Family warn the kids then allow them to proceed.

Online.Family can also block certain searches, monitor instant messaging, and control how much time your children spend on their computers. That last one is important. Too much time on a computer can be worse for a child than what they do on it.

The actual program is quite small, and runs in the background on your child's PC. You can monitor their activity from the Online.Family Web site, or be alerted to problems via e-mail.

OnlineFamily.Norton is free through the end of the year. Symantec isn't saying what it will cost after that. I suspect they'll charge for it as an ongoing service, rather than a one-time purchase.

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on computer and networking security are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm#SpecialSection

How would you deal with the following add on Craig's List where University X is a well known university

The person who placed this add shows signs of becoming a great banker.

"I Will Pay Someone $$$ To Take My Finance Final Exam (at University X)"

The "Unknown Professor" (I know the name and location of this professor) who maintains the Financial Rounds Blog provides an April 30, 2009  mean solution to this unethical add --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/

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

Classroom Tips
50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

From the Financial Rounds Blog on May 4, 2009 --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/

Using "Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive" In The Classroom I recently started reading Goldstein, Martin, and Cialdini's "Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive." It could easily be described as "Freakonomics for Social Psychology". It's a fun, easy, and very informative read, with each chapter only about 1500-2000 words long, and highlighting one persuasion technique. So, you can knock out a chapter in 10 minutes or so.

It's a very interesting introduction to the social psychology literature on persuasion - it lists all the underlying research in the appendix.

In addition to learning some interesting things, I've also gotten some great ideas to use in my classes. I'll be discussing these over the next few weeks, starting with

Chapters 1 & 2:
"The Bandwagon effect" One way to increase compliance with a request is to mention that a lot of other people have done the same thing. In these chapters, the authors mention a study where they tried to see if they could increase the percentage of people staying in a hotel who reused towels at least once during their stay. Their solution was simple. The hotels who do this typically put a little card in the hotel room touting the benefits of reusing towels. All they did was add a line to the extent that the majority of people who stay in hotels do in fact reuse their towels at least once during their stay. This dramatically increased the percentage of people who chose to reuse.

In a related study, they added another line stating that XX% of the people who stayed in this room reused towels. This increased compliance even more.

Chapter 3:
"What common mistake causes messages to self-destruct?" The bandwagon effect can also cause messages to backfire. In one study, they seeded the Petrified Forest with fake pieces of petrified wood, and then posted signs stating that "many past visitors have removed the petrified wood from the park, changing the natural state of the petrified forest", accompanied by a picture of several visitors to taking pieces of wood. These signs actually increased the incidences of the behavior they were intended to stop. Here are the applications to my classes: First off, to use the bandwagon effect in my case course, I'm going to state figures (made up, of course) at the beginning of class as to the average amount of time past students in that class have spent preparing each week. I'm also going to tell my classes that the average evaluation for the professors in the college ranges from 4.2 to 4.8 on a 5 point scale (I know, it's inflated, but it might be interesting to see what happens if I state that several times during the semester). If I really want to use the bandwagon effect, I'll mention that evaluations in THAT particular class have been a bit higher.

As for avoiding the "self-destruct" part of the bandwagon effect, I plan on spending less time talking about how many students are absent. If I need to mention it, I'll focus on the flip side that 94% of the students in this class make the vast majority of classes, and commend them on that fact.

More to come later. It's a great book, and inexpensive, too (the paperback is less than $20).

Bob Jensen's threads on what works in education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#WhatWorks

"Georgia Tech Plays Video Games to Save Journalism," by Dan Turner, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 5, 2009 --- Click Here

Ian Bogost, the primary investigator of the Journalism and Games project at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has found the question of how journalism and games intersect to be “much bigger than I originally thought.”

Mr. Bogost, an associate professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture, teaches in the undergraduate Media Computation and the graduate Digital Media programs. He is also a founding partner at video game developer Persuasive Games.

His goal is to investigate how video games can work within, and perhaps help rescue, the ailing field of journalism. His graduate students ask questions such as: Is there anything in the game-development process that could be applied to the practice of journalism? Can games be used to make an editorial statement? Can the lauded “citizen journalism” model be considered a game and managed as such? Would it help bring new life to a failing industry?

“If we wanted to design games to interact with journalism” — such as building one with storytelling resources that could be leveraged into longer-form articles and investigative reports, for example, or one that would explore the next equivalent of adding a crossword puzzle to raise sales — “how would one go about doing it?” Mr. Bogost said.

Mr. Bogost founded Persuasive Games, and wrote a book of the same title, to show how games can make arguments. Video games, he argued, can be a new form of rhetoric through rule-based procedures and interactions. This interactive medium can teach, cajole, challenge, and collect information.

Using this concept of games as both a medium and a tool, Mr. Bogost centered the Journalism and Games project to explore what each area has to contribute to the other, he said. And the answer may be nothing, he added. But given the number of newspaper closures and downsizings recently, he hopes to contribute something positive.

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the the Game (including learning games) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Linking Students With Counterparts in Other Nations
Especially note the 800+ online courses at East Carolina University

Tune in Live at Noon on May 7
"Innovators in Internationalization," Chronicle of Higher Education, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 7, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/free/v55/i35/livechat.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Many colleges want their students to have an international-education experience, but they struggle to get undergraduates overseas. East Carolina University found a way to use inexpensive and relatively unsophisticated technology to link its students with classrooms around the world. The university's Global Understanding program uses a low-bandwidth video link and e-mail chat software to connect East Carolina students with counterparts at 23 institutions in 17 countries on five continents. Want to know more? Join Rosina Chia and Elmer Poe, who started the program, for the latest in a series of talks on how colleges have tackled some of the basic challenges of internationalizing their campuses.

The Guests:

Rosina Chia is assistant vice chancellor for global academic initiatives at East Carolina University, where she is responsible for the internationalization of curricula on the campus. A professor of psychology and a native of China, Ms. Chia focuses her research on the areas of cross-cultural attitudinal comparison and locus of control.

Elmer Poe is associate vice chancellor for academic outreach at East Carolina. In this role he has helped the university become a leader in distance learning, with 800 courses completely online and more than 7,000 students who do not attend classes on the campus.

Jensen Comment on a Bit of Education Technology History Where an Accounting Professor Led the Way
I'm reminded of one of the early pioneers, Sharon Lightner, in internationalization of a course on world accounting standards. She managed to do this early on when technology was not in its infancy, and she managed to achieve face-to-face video on the cheap with almost no budget.

Present in for each class was Sharon in the U.S., an international standard setter from each of six nations (including a FASB staff member who stayed up late for each class), and a professor from each of the six nations who was physically present in a classroom. Note that in those days IASC international standards were pretty much a dream and not a reality. International standards across borders were literally fluff at that point, and the internal standards that mattered were the unique standards of each nation.

I should acknowledge that Sharon was a former doctoral student of Gerhardt Mueller when he was at the University of Washington. Gerhardt was originally from Germany and a world leader in internationalization of accounting. He was on the FASB when Sharon sought help in making the contacts in all the participating nations. Gerhardt’s cooperation was crucial to the success of Sharon’s endeavor. 

At San Diego State University (SDU), the course was given as ACCT 596 Experiential International Accounting course with focus on international accounting standards and standard setting. The course is simultaneously (synchronously) given on six campuses in Switzerland, Japan, Spain (two campuses), and Hong Kong. Each school provides five students. Hong Kong was added in the second year of providing this course online. A professor from each of the campuses is assigned to jointly teach the course (in English).

The course met once each week at the same time. This means that SDU students assembled in a computer lab at 11:00 p.m. at the same time students from other parts of the world assembled in their computer labs. Other starting times were at 8:00 a.m. in Switzerland and Spain, 12:00 p.m. in Japan, and 4:00 p.m. in Hong Kong. In addition, student teams must assemble at times when all team members can participate online. Grading is based primarily upon class participation and team project performance. The course professor from each campus also is online for each class. In addition, one or more staff members from the standard setting body of each nation is online for some of the classes.

You can read about the history of her efforts and accomplishments of doing this with interactive audio and video at

"Classroom Failure, Postseason Ban," by David Moltz, Inside Higher Ed, May 7, 2009 ---

For the first time in its history, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has banned teams from postseason play for their athletes’ poor academic performance.

Football teams from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Jacksonville State University and a men’s basketball squad from Centenary College of Louisiana are the first to be punished because each has a low Academic Progress Rate -- a nationally comparable score the NCAA uses to judge teams based on their athletes’ ability to remain in good academic standing, stay enrolled from semester to semester and ultimately graduate.

Teams are evaluated on the four-year average of their APR. The measure was introduced more than five years ago, but the NCAA first began penalizing teams for poor academic performance last year. The score of all Division I institutions and their teams is updated annually, and publicly released by the NCAA every spring. The latest scores and subsequent penalties were released Wednesday.

Teams whose APRs are less than 925 -- a perfect score is 1,000 -- are subject to “immediate penalties” that can take away up to 10 percent of their athletic scholarships. This year, 124 teams are facing “immediate penalties” and most will have their number of full scholarships reduced for the coming academic year. Some of the more prominent men’s basketball teams facing scholarship reductions include Auburn University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Ohio State University, Purdue University, the University of South Carolina at Columbia and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. The only two football teams from a Bowl Championship Series (or major) conference facing penalties are the University of Minnesota and the University of Mississippi.

After “immediate penalties,” teams that continue to have low APRs over the years -- the benchmark moves to 900 -- become susceptible to “historical penalties.” During this process, penalized institutions have to submit plans to the NCAA outlining how they intend to improve their academic performance. After two consecutive years of unsatisfactory scores, teams can lose more scholarships and be forced to reduce their number of practices. This year, 30 teams are facing second-year penalties. More than a third of these teams are men’s basketball teams from mid-major conferences, such as those from New Mexico State and Portland State Universities.

Following a third consecutive year of poor scores, teams can lose the ability to participate in postseason play. This is the first year that this penalty has been available for use. Of the three teams facing this penalty, only Jacksonville State has lobbied the NCAA for a waiver from this penalty.

Six teams that faced second-year penalties last year did not advance to third-year penalties this year, even though their APRs were still below 900. Kevin C. Lennon, the NCAA's vice president for membership services, explained that the NCAA evaluates each team and its plan to improve its APR separately. He added that some teams are given more leniency than others and that the NCAA can override a substandard APR to keep a team at a certain penalty level. Football and men’s soccer teams at San Jose State University, for example, continue to have APRs below 900, but did not advance to the third-year penalties and have not been banned from postseason play.

Once a team has a fourth consecutive year of substandard APR scores, its sponsoring institution can potentially lose its Division I status, jeopardizing all of its other sports teams. Next year, institutions will be eligible for this punishment for the first time. In recent weeks, some troubled institutions have responded to the strong potential of receiving this penalty by cutting underperforming teams instead of attempting to solve the academic problem they were facing.

“Our objective is to change behaviors,” said Myles Brand, NCAA president. “Our objective is not to punish and sanction.”

Brand, who has championed a number of sweeping academic reforms during his term as president, said he believed that very few institutions ultimately would cut academically troubled teams to avoid more serious punishment.

Still, he and other NCAA officials acknowledged that smaller athletics programs at less-wealthy institutions are often at a disadvantage to prevent these harsh academic penalties. Judging from the relatively small number of teams from larger programs facing penalties, Brand said he expected future academic penalties would be disproportionally levied against teams from poorer institutions.

"The truth of the matter is that if you're going to participate in high-level intercollegiate athletics, you have to provide for academic opportunities for the students," Brand said. "And that's not inexpensive."

The method the NCAA uses to calculate the APR changed slightly this year. For example, as a result of a recent NCAA policy change, athletes must be in good academic standing at one institution before they can qualify for scholarship money at another. Those athletes who transfer with less than a 2.6 grade point average will cost their institutions APR points. Additionally, this is the first year that athletes’ progress toward degree status is being considered by the APR.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on athletics in higher education are at

May 5, 2009 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]


"Most learning does not take place in formal educational programmes. Increasingly, technology is being used for learning -- both by young people of school age and older people inside and outside work, interacting with social networks -- and is greatly increasing in its power to do so. Yet we remain largely inept at responding to this at curriculum, pedagogical, administrative or financial levels. If this situation remains, then formal education is likely to become less relevant for the everyday lives and learning of many people. Of course, lifelong learning will not cease to be, but may be increasingly disconnected from the formal provision of education. However unpredictable the longterm nature of technological change, lifelong learning will be shaped by the increasing power and adaptability of the Web and the applications that it supports."

"Technological Change, IFLL Thematic Paper 2," published by the Inquiry into the Future for Lifelong Learning (IFLL), focuses on adult learning in the United Kingdom. However, much of its observations and conclusions are applicable, regardless of location:

"[I]ndividuals [are] becoming producers of learning content, initiating an un-owned and untethered 'curriculum cloud'."

"[L]earning through communities of interest [is] being self-defined rather than institutionally defined."

"[I]nformation and knowledge access [will] become increasingly unconstrained by having to make choices about where to go, what to take, or what to bring at any given time."

The report is available at http://www.niace.org.uk/lifelonglearninginquiry/docs/IFLL-TechnologicalChange.pdf 

The goal of the IFLL, established in 2007 and sponsored by the National Institute of Adult and Continuing Education (NIACE), is to offer "an authoritative and coherent strategic framework for lifelong learning in the UK." NIACE, founded in 1921, is "the main advocacy body for adult learning in England and Wales and probably the largest body devoted to adult education in the world." For more information, contact: NIACE, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK; tel:+44 (0)116 204 4200/4201; fax: +44 (0)116 285 4514;
email: enquiries@niace.org.uk;
Web: http://www.niace.org.uk/ 



"Have wikis lost their mojo? Were they before their (Internet) time? Or have they been co-opted by the newer, shinier social networks?"

In "Whither Wikis? The State of Collaborative Web Publishing" (LINUX INSIDER, April 29, 2009) Renay San Miguel asks if the usefulness of wikis has run its course. He speculates that the tool is too "nerdy," takes too much work, and requires too much oversight. The article is available at


In response to San Miguel's argument, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION asked the question "Have Wikis Run Out of Steam?" (April 30, 2009;
The resulting reader comments indicate that many college and university Instructors still continue to find wikis beneficial for their courses and students.



The first online-only edition of EDUCAUSE QUARTERLY (EQ)is devoted to learning spaces, both physical and virtual. Articles covering Internet tools in learning spaces include:

"Virtual World Learning Spaces: Developing a Second Life Operating Room Simulation" by Stephanie Gerald and David M. Antonacci

"'Where Do You Learn?': Tweeting to Inform Learning Space Development" by Elizabeth J. Aspden and Louise P. Thorpe

The entire issue is available at http://www.educause.edu/eq/ 

The March/April 2009 issue of EDUCAUSE REVIEW ( http://www.educause.edu/er/  provides a complement to EQ by focusing on the same theme.

EDUCAUSE Quarterly [ISSN 1528-5324] is "an online, peer-reviewed, practitioner's journal from EDUCAUSE about managing and using information resources in higher education." Articles from current and back issues are available at http://www.educause.edu/pub/eq/ 

EDUCAUSE Review [ISSN 1527-6619], a bimonthly print magazine that explores developments in information technology and education, is also published by EDUCAUSE. Articles from current and back issues are available at http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/ 

EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. The current membership comprises more than 1,900 colleges, universities, and educational organizations, including 200 corporations, with 15,000 active members. EDUCAUSE has offices in Boulder, CO, and Washington, DC. Learn more about EDUCAUSE at http://www.educause.edu/ 



THE INTERNET LITERACY HANDBOOK, compiled by Janice Richardson et al., was updated in December 2008. This third edition, aimed at parents, teachers, and students, contains a collection of Fact Sheets that provide brief, basic introductory explanations for a variety of Internet tools such as portals, email, social networks, and blogs. The Handbook is available at no cost online in HTML, Flash, or RTF formats, or it can be purchased in a hardcopy version. To access the Handbook go to http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/internetliteracy/hbk_EN.asp 

The Handbook is published by the Council of Europe, an organization of 47 member countries working to "promote awareness and encourage the development of Europe's cultural identity and diversity." For more information, contact: Council of Europe, Avenue de l'Europe, 67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France; tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 20 00;
email: infopoint@coe.int 
Web: http://www.coe.int/ 



On April 21, 2009, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) opened the World Digital Library (WDL). The Library's mission is to make "available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world" for the use of educators, scholars, and the general public. The initial collection includes about 1,200 documents and their explanations from scholars in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian. To explore the WDL, go to http://www.wdl.org/ 



In March 2009, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the report "Education Today: The OECD Perspective." Based on OECD work since 2002, the report's content ranges from "student performance to educational spending and equity in education" and covers educational levels from early childhood through higher education and adult education.

You can access the Handbook at

The OECD, established in 1961, is an international organization that represents 30 member countries and collects economic and social data, monitors trends, analyzes and forecasts economic developments, and researches social changes or evolving patterns in trade, environment, agriculture, technology, taxation and more. For more information, contact: OECD, 2 rue Andre Pascal, F-75775 Paris Cedex 16, France; tel: +33; fax: +33;
Web: http://www.oecd.org/ 



"Far from being a neutral conduit for knowledge, the publication system defines the social processes through which knowledge is made, and gives tangible form to knowledge."

In "Signs of Epistemic Disruption: Transformations in the Knowledge System of the Academic Journal" (FIRST MONDAY, vol. 14, no. 4-6, April 2009), Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis provide an overview of the current state of scholarly journals and go on to discuss some of the "disruptive forces" and breaking points that are changing the scholarly journal. Some of these breaking points include

-- the unsustainable costs and inefficiencies of traditional commercial publishing

-- the credibility and accountability of the peer review system

-- the flawed system of post-publication evaluation and impact analysis

The paper is available at http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/2309/2163

First Monday [ISSN 1396-0466] is an online, peer-reviewed journal whose aim is to publish original articles about the Internet and the global information infrastructure. It is published in cooperation with the University Library, University of Illinois at Chicago. For more information, contact: First Monday, c/o Edward Valauskas, Chief Editor, PO Box 87636, Chicago IL 60680-0636 USA; email: ejv@uic.edu; Web: http://firstmonday.org/

"A derivatives scandal in Milan may be the tip of an iceberg," The Economist, Page 77, May 2-8, 2009 --- http://www.economist.com/finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13579036

YOU might have expected more from people whose forebears invented the phrase caveat emptor. On April 28th it emerged just how unwary city elders of Milan had been when details emerged of staggering sums they have allegedly lost on a derivatives bet.

The disclosures came amid a swoop by the country’s financial police on some of the world’s biggest banks, seizing €476m ($634m) of their assets. The four banks, UBS, JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and Hypo Real Estate’s DEPFA unit, helped the city take a huge bet on interest rates in 2005 that had lost Milan, by its own estimate, €298m last June.

The banks are declining to comment on the case. In it, Italian prosecutors say they are investigating whether the banks fraudulently made more than €100m in “illicit profits” from the Milan deal and took advantage of naive buyers.

Yet the case has ramifications around the world as other big banks face accusations of mis-selling complex products before the credit crunch. Should there be restrictions on whom they sell such financial dynamite to? And should some institutions, such as local governments, be protected from themselves?

When Milan signed the deal in 2005, it thought (and, investigators suspect, it was assured) that it could barely lose from the deal. In an effort to cut its borrowing costs, it swapped the fixed interest rate it was paying on about €1.6 billion in borrowings for a floating rate. Prosecutors claim that the bankers promised Milan savings of almost €60m. Although the details of the transaction are vague, it seems that the city council agreed on an “interest-rate collar” that meant it would have been paid if rates increased but would have had to pay out if rates fell.

That such big potential penalties were missed by (or, as investigators suspect, concealed from) the council is staggering. A clue as to how this may have happened is found in a revealing deposition by an official involved in the negotiations who, according to Il Sole 24 Ore, a newspaper, swore that: “The banks’ representatives always presented every operation to me as being in the council’s best interests, always underlining—now I realise—only the profitable short-term aspects.” This positive spin, investigators suspect, was central to the deal. Under Italian law, councils can restructure their debts only if it leaves them in a better position than before.

Whether Milan was fooled or just plain foolish (people involved in the deals claim it has benefited from offsetting gains), it is not the only public body to have played dangerously with derivatives. Achim Duebel, a consultant in Berlin, reckons that as many as 700 German local authorities could lose money on such instruments as a result of a combination of mis-selling and insufficient financial regulation of local authorities. Such bets could have gone either way for the councils. But they were usually in the interests of the sellers, because they enabled them to offset interest-rate risk that they had accrued elsewhere.

In Italy the problem seems to have been just as widespread. Some estimate that as many as 600 Italian town councils could lose money on derivatives. And in neighbouring Austria the state-owned railway said on April 29th that it had made a loss of almost €1 billion, partly because of a €420m write-down on complex credit derivatives bought from Deutsche Bank in 2005. Bloomberg reported that the railway is appealing against a court judgment in February dismissing the claim that the lender did not disclose the risks.

Given the scale of the losses that are emerging, more such deals will probably end up in court. In America Jefferson County in Alabama is suing JPMorgan Chase for allegedly mis-selling credit derivatives. In most cases, buyers of credit derivatives will claim they were victims. In the case of public bodies, at least, voters should reserve judgment. For such claims to succeed, the officials who agreed to the deals will have to testify convincingly that they had no idea what they were doing. As Milan’s elders must be uneasily aware, the price they may have to pay for victory in court could be their jobs in the council.


Jensen Comment
Sounds like a page of the free wheeling derivatives scandals of Wall Street in the Roaring 1990s ---


2009 Webby Awards

The winners of the 13th Annual Webby Awards will be saluted alongside a remarkable slate of special achievement honorees, including Jimmy Fallon, Trent Reznor, Sarah Silverman, Lisa Kudrow, Seth MacFarlane, and Twitter, at a June 8th gala in New York City, organizers announced today. The Webby Awards winners were revealed today in a wide range of categories, including Websites, online film and video, interactive advertising, and mobile Websites. In addition, over a half a million votes were cast in The Webby People's Voice Awards. A full list of winners can be found at www.webbyawards.com
Webby Awards Press Release, May 5, 2009 --- http://www.webbyawards.com/press/press-release.php?id=183

Poking Fun at Community Colleges
NBC to debut sitcom, co-starring Chevy Chase, following a lovable group of "losers" at a two-year institution. Some in academe, however, are not laughing.

David Moltz, "Poking Fun at Community Colleges," Inside Higher Ed, May 6, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/05/06/nbc
Jensen Comment
President Obama may joke about the Special Olympics, but even he won't poke fun at community colleges.

Why Southwest Airlines Likes Purchased Options Hedges
Amid today's volatile oil prices, Southwest has placed new hedges this year using only call options. 'That's our favorite way to hedge,' she said, because it offers protection against rising prices, but allows the company to pay market rates if prices remain low. 'We used call options a lot in the late 1990s, but then they got too expensive' as oil prices rose, Wright said. 'In the last two years, we used a lot more collars,' which combine options contracts, providing protection from falling prices but less upside protection if prices rise. 'We've always used simple methods of hedging, a combination of options, collars and swaps,' she said."
Ann Keeton, "Southwest Air CFO: Fuel-Hedging Key To Financial Planning," The Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2009 ---

Jensen Comment
Purchased options are popular because the unfavorable risk is capped (maxed at the price of the premium paid initially). Writers of options receive the premium, but they seldom write naked options with unlimited risk. Usually they have hedges as well. One huge accounting problem with options is that options are seldom effective enough to receive special hedge accounting treatment under FAS 133 and IAS 39 rules. For this reason intrinsic value often receives hedge accounting but the more important time value changes are charged to earnings.

For a summary of ineffectiveness testing for accounting purposes see "ineffectiveness" at

Bob Jensen's tutorials on hedge accounting --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/caseans/000index.htm

New Opportunities for Accountants to Join the FBI

"Senate Passes Bill Targeting Mortgage Fraud," SmartPros, April 28, 2009 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x66378.xml

The Senate voted Tuesday to hire hundreds more FBI agents and prosecutors to investigate the estimated 5,000 allegations of mortgage fraud reported each month.

The 92-4 bipartisan vote came as a House panel considered an anti-predatory lending bill that attempts to ban the type of subprime mortgage loans that contributed to the nation's economic slide. It also came as the former head of a one-time leading mortgage lender, American Home Mortgage Investment Corp., agreed to pay nearly $2.5 million to settle allegations of accounting fraud.

"As foreclosures menace more and more hardworking homeowners, they become more desperate for help," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "Unfortunately, schemers, swindlers and scam artists are all too happy to pounce."

The Senate bill, sponsored by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is estimated to cost more than $265 million a year for the next two years. Supporters, including President Barack Obama, say the legislation would more than pay for itself because of the fines and penalties that would result from more aggressive government investigations.

Bill supporters anticipate that the money would hire another 160 special FBI agents and more than 200 support staff, including forensic analysts. Currently, the FBI has fewer than 250 special agents assigned to financial fraud cases, despite caseloads that have more than doubled in the past three years.

Under the bill, the Justice Department would hire 200 more prosecutors and civil enforcement attorneys, along with 100 support staff.

Other government entities in line to receive money include the Secret Service, Postal Inspection Service and the inspector general for the Housing and Urban Development Department.

An amendment by Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., added $21 million to the bill's original $245 million-a-year total for the Securities and Exchange Commission to boost its enforcement capabilities.

The measure covers the 2010 and 2011 budget years, which begin Oct. 1.

Another amendment added $5 million to create a congressionally appointed, independent commission to investigate the cause of the economic crisis. The bill also calls for a new Senate committee focused on improving regulations.

In the House, North Carolina Democratic Reps. Melvin Watt and Brad Miller on Tuesday pushed their proposal to try to prohibit banks from lending to consumers considered at risk for default. Lenders would have to make a "reasonable and good faith determination" effort to ascertain whether the customer can pay back the money.

The bill, which the full House could vote on as early as next week, encourages lenders to refocus their business on the kind of traditional 30-year, fixed-rate loans that require consumers to pay 20 percent of their house upfront. Other mortgages would be restricted in how they are sold.

Proponents of the bill say that if banks are required to retain some of the risk of the mortgages they sell, they would be less likely to lend to consumers with bad credit histories.

The bill also tries to protect consumers from exorbitant interest rates by limiting the amount of money a mortgage broker can earn from selling high-rate loans.

The House Financial Services Committee was on track to approve the measure on Wednesday, despite industry concerns that the new regulations would restrict the flow of available credit.

Also on Tuesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that former American Home Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Strauss had agreed to the $2.5 million settlement. Strauss had been accused of concealing the company's deteriorating finances as the subprime mortgage crisis hit and before the company filed for bankruptcy in August 2007.

Charges against the company's former chief financial officer, Stephen Hozie, also accused of accounting fraud and misleading investors, are pending.

Bob Jensen's threads on mortgage fraud ---

Video:  Careers in Insurance and Risk Management

Bill Hammond spoke to my class last week on careers in insurance and risk management. It was very good. If you only want audio of it, that is available here. If you want to see the powerpoint slides, they are available here.
Jim Mahar, "Bill Hammond's presentation to my classes" FinanceProfessor Blog, May 4, 2009
Watch the video at http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/bill-hammonds-presentation-to-my.html

Bob Jensen's threads on careers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm

"Books on Reputation:   The vagaries of reputation are superbly portrayed in these novels," by Tina Brown, The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2009 ---

1. The Portrait of a Lady
By Henry James

Reputation is a timely subject, now that nobody has one. Whether you are erstwhile financial wizard Bernard Madoff or former Federal Reserve chairman and no-longer-sacred-monster Alan Greenspan, it's not a good time to imagine that your legacy is a done deal. A trio of reputations lie at the heart of Henry James's "The Portrait of a Lady." There is, of course, the reputation of our protagonist, the bright, independent-minded American heiress Isabel Archer. Then we have her suitor and eventual husband, Gilbert Osmond -- a vile American expat in Florence who has a completely unearned reputation for being gifted and special. In fact, he is a vain and cruel narcissist. Finally we have the scheming but sociable Madame Merle, who is reputed to be the most intelligent woman in Europe but who ends (in James's unforgettable dismissal) as "almost as universally 'liked' as some new volume of smooth twaddle." Only Isabel manages to live up to her advance publicity.

2. Parade's End
By Ford Madox Ford

Christopher Tietjens spends much of the four related novels that constitute "Parade's End" in the hellish trenches of World War I, but even under fire he devotes plenty of time to pondering his reputation back home. In his civilian life, Tietjens is a government statistician who comes from a wealthy family. His wife, a flighty socialite, seems bent on humiliating him, and his supposed friends are all too eager to believe that he is carrying on an affair with a feisty suffragette. (He is actually amazingly continent.) In general, though, Tietjens sees that his reputation is held in thrall by a conspiracy of upper-class mediocrities: "They'll pursue me systematically. . . . You see in such a world as this, an idealist -- or perhaps it's only a sentimentalist -- must be stoned to death. He makes the others so uncomfortable. He haunts them at their golf." Tietjens is almost too proud to defend himself as he is betrayed and his fortunes are undermined. Those who owe him money and loyalty are the first to disown him. The books of "Parade's End" -- written during the 1920s and later published in a single volume -- strike me as a great next tetralogy for the BBC.

3. Little Dorrit
By Charles Dickens

Until 1869, when they were banned, debtors prisons were the great incinerators of British reputations. Those who were unable to pay their bills were jailed until their creditors were paid -- an unlikely event, given that the prisoner was unable to work. Outraged by this indefensible institution, which had snared his own father, Charles Dickens returned to the subject more than once but never more vividly than in "Little Dorrit." The little one of the title is actually a young woman, Amy Dorrit, a seamstress and the daughter of William, whose debts have landed him in Marshalsea Prison (where Dickens père once languished). This being Dickens, reputations are made and unmade, inheritances discovered and lost. Most pointed, for the reader in 2009, is the fate of the financier Mr. Merdle. People knew nothing about him, save that "he had made himself immensely rich," Dickens writes, and "for that reason alone, they prostrated themselves before him." But then the fraud at the heart of Mr. Merdle's investment success is revealed. Unlike Bernie Madoff, Mr. Merdle chooses not to witness his reputation's meltdown; he applies a borrowed penknife to his jugular vein.

4. New Grub Street
By George Gissing

Anyone aspiring to literary greatness should read "New Grub Street" and weep. In George Gissing's tale, writer Edwin Reardon is adored by his wife, Amy, who considers him a genius and prizes his love. But when his novels prove unsuccessful, and he fails even in his attempt to write something more salable, Amy dumps him -- for his more successful rival, the unscrupulous Jasper Milvain. Edwin's reputation, such as it is, evaporates even within his own house. Samuel Johnson had immortalized London's Grub Street in the 18th century as a place "much inhabited by writers of small histories, dictionaries, and temporary poems." By Gissing's late-Victorian day, the street's name had been changed, but the phrase "Grub Street" still conjured a world of shabby belles-lettres. Milvain dismisses Reardon because he "sells a manuscript as if he lived in Sam Johnson's Grub Street. But our Grub Street of to-day is quite a different place: it is supplied with telegraphic communication, it knows what literary fare is in demand in every part of the world, its inhabitants are men of business, however seedy." More than a century later, our Grub Street of to-day might be supplied with Bluetooth communication, but Gissing still has the last word on the making of literary renown.

5. Middlemarch
By George Eliot

My very favorite. In this masterly portrait of provincial life in 19th-century England, George Eliot anatomizes the fictional town of Middlemarch. We witness the ebb and flow of Middlemarchian reputations across hundreds of pages. Prominent among the many characters is Nicholas Bulstrode, a pious banker and pillar of the community who prides himself on his supposed self-denial and probity. But then a guilty secret from his past resurfaces -- in the figure of the blackmailing John Raffles, another banker! This juggernaut Victorian novel has it all when it comes to contemporary themes. As Eliot shows, the trophy wife is nothing new: Another plot thread is the course of the marriage of the decent Dr. Tertius Lydgate and the deadly, dainty Rosamond Vincy, who traps him, with her wheedling extravagance, into a slow descent toward ruin.



From the Scout Report on May 1, 2009

Wise Registry Cleaner 4.31 --- http://www.wisecleaner.com/

 This free version of Wise Registry allows even neophyte computer users to perform a Windows registry scan with relatively little hassle. The program has a user-friendly interface, and the cleanup tool also offers an undo option, which is quite helpful when dealing with such a task. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer.

Google Chrome --- http://www.google.com/chrome

 The purpose of Google's Chrome browser is to effectively make the "browser disappear" and to make the web "faster, safer, and easier." One rather noticeable feature is that instead of having a traditional toolbar, Chrome puts its tabs on top, and allows users to move them around to suit their own purposes. Users can also take advantage of the individual controls within each tab, which include forward and back buttons. Finally, the browser also contains a hybrid device which brings together the search box and the address bar. This version of Chrome is compatible with computers running Windows Vista and XP.

Not just maypoles and baskets, May Day sparks worker rallies around the globe Europeans rally on May Day amid economic worries [Free Registration may be required]

Economic woes fuel May Day anger --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8027884.stm 

Immigration activists plan May Day rallies http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-rallies1-2009may01,0,7459575.story 

Biltmore Village brings back May Day celebration

Chicago Anarchists on trial: Evidence from the Haymarket Affair 1886-7 http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/award98/ichihtml/hayhome.html 

F. Scott Fitzgerald's "May Day" http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald/mayday/index.html

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

Education Tutorials

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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Aging in the Know (medicine) --- http://www.healthinaging.org/agingintheknow/

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (genetics) --- http://www.cshl.edu/

Emerging Infectious Diseases --- http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/index.htm 

San Diego Natural History Museum: Field Guide for the Californias --- http://www.sdnhm.org/fieldguide/index.html

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

Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy --- http://www.foodfirst.org/ 

United Nations World Digital Library --- http://www.wdl.org/en/

IDEAS:  Economics and Finance Research --- http://ideas.repec.org/

Environmental History Resources --- http://www.eh-resources.org/index.html

New York Correction History Society --- http://www.correctionhistory.org/index.html 

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

New York Correction History Society --- http://www.correctionhistory.org/index.html 

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

Baroque [Video] http://www.vam.ac.uk/microsites/baroque/

United Nations World Digital Library --- http://www.wdl.org/en/

Real Companion and Friend: The Diary of William Lyon Mackenzie King, 1893-1950 (Canada) --- 

Jamestown Rediscovery --- http://www.preservationvirginia.org/jr.html?process=0

San Diego Natural History Museum: Field Guide for the Californias --- http://www.sdnhm.org/fieldguide/index.html

United States Military Academy Digital Library: Maps --- http://digital-library.usma.edu/collections/maps/ 

Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800 --- http://wardepartmentpapers.org/

The University of Vermont Libraries' Center for Digital Initiatives: Fletcher Family
http://cdi.uvm.edu/collections/getCollection.xql?title=Fletcher Family

New York Correction History Society --- http://www.correctionhistory.org/index.html 

Jon Stewart is no student of history --- Click Here
When Bill Whittle heard about Jon Stewart calling Harry Truman a "war criminal" for dropping the bomb on Hiroshima (during an argument on waterboarding...), Whittle did his homework and made a video rebuttal that is second to none.

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

Language Tutorials

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

Music Tutorials

Baroque [Video] http://www.vam.ac.uk/microsites/baroque/

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

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/

Magic Powder That Grows Back Flesh, Blood Vessels, Nails, Bones, Heart Valves, Organs, and Nerves
Regeneration of cells (CBS Cutting Edge) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxhi4Q8EDTU

I'll keep my tax money
You keep the Change

Bumper Sticker

"Secretary accidentally bites off boss' penis," The Star/Asia News, May 5, 2009 ---

A SECRETARY accidentally bit off the penis of her employer while giving him oral sex in a car.

Sin Chew Daily and China Press reported yesterday that while the 30-year-old woman was performing oral sex on the man, the car was hit by a reversing van.

The impact of the crash, China Press reported, caused the woman to bite off her lover's organ.

The daily reported that the incident occurred in a Singapore park where the couple met after work.

To make matters worse for the woman, her husband had sent a private investigator to spy on her after suspecting that she was being unfaithful.

The investigator said he had followed the woman and her boss to the park.

'On reaching the park, they did not alight from the car. Not long after, the car started to shake violently.

After the car was hit by the van, there was a loud scream from the woman whose mouth was covered with blood,' he said.

. . .

The woman later followed her lover to the hospital with part of the sexual organ.

Continued in article


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 Trites'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

Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at http://www.accountingweb.com/news/college_news.html
Sometimes the news items provide links to teaching resources for accounting educators.
Any college may post a news item.

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

Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) --- http://www.iasplus.com/links/links.htm


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