Tidbits on August 26, 2009
Bob Jensen

Another Sunrise in the White Mountains
Wilbur Mills suggested that I hold my finger over the flash in order to
prevent the spot reflections on the window.
For the picture below his advice came to late.
The bright flash does mark where the highway comes out of Franconia Notch
between Cannon and Lafayette Mountains
Frost in in the air this morning, but we did have two weeks of almost summer.
This has been the coldest and wettest summer up here since the Ice Age.

Below is what we can expect for sunrises in a couple of months

And I will be ready for the white stuff that makes the White Mountains white.
Sometimes the snow fall is too deep for my snow thrower.
Lon from the Sunset Hill House Inn then comes and moves it with a real snow plow.

But I really don't need to haul the snow thrower up from the barn just yet.


Nice legs!

A rainbow just beyond our wild roses
I looked but there was no pot of gold


I did not take the humor pictures below that were sent to me by friends.


Cash for Clunkers?
Almost every time I sneeze, cough or laugh, either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires.

New Hampshire History: Digital Collections Initiative --- http://www.library.unh.edu/diglib/collections.shtml

From the University of Pittsburgh
Birds of America (435 birds mounted online) --- http://digital.library.pitt.edu/a/audubon/

Xeno-Canto: Bird Sounds From the Americas --- http://www.xeno-canto.org/

U.S. Debt/Deficit Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/

New Feature in Tidbits:  Quotations are Now in a Separate Document
Quotations Between August 18-26, 2009 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2009/tidbits090826Quotations.htm


Tidbits on August 26, 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 Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

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

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

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

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

Cool Search Engines That Are Not Google --- http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/06/coolsearchengines

World Clock and World Facts --- http://www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock.swf

U.S. Debt/Deficit Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/

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

Cool Search Engines That Are Not Google --- http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/06/coolsearchengines
Bob Jensen's search helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm
Education Technology Search --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm
Distance Education Search --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm
Search for Listservs, Blogs, and Social Networks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

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

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 ---

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

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

MBA Ethics Oath (humor video dredged up by John Stewart, Rated R) ---
Jim Mahar guided me to this link that should be shown to all business students
Also see Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwUXx4DR0wo

The World Bank: Climate Change --- http://beta.worldbank.org/climatechange/

Funny commercial for the L.A. County Fair --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wmn38FqWlBk

 American Museum of Natural History: Climate Change --- http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/climatechange/?src=h_h

Xeno-Canto: Bird Sounds From the Americas --- http://www.xeno-canto.org/

Jeanne Robertson "Don't send a man to the grocery store!" --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YFRUSTiFUs

The mysterious Hannity Non-report of August 16, 2009 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HannityReport081609.htm

Trunk Monkey Videos --- http://www.trunkmonkey.com/

I would not have expected this video from the liberal and often snobby magazine called The New Yorker
I also wondered whether Hess’s next movie would address his religious ideas more explicitly; my editors encouraged me to cut that speculation from the review, and I agreed that it’s better to stay out of the forecasting business. Imagine my delight when, a month later, Nacho Librecame out: it is, as I discuss in the clip below, one of the strangest and most personal American movies ever made about religion. (I’m happy to report that Hess’s new movie, “Gentlemen Broncos,” i
s scheduled for release on October 30th.)
Richard Brodie, Nacho Libre, The New Yorker, August 13, 2009 --- http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/movies/2009/08/nacho-libre.html
Jensen Comment
I don't think this is my kind of movie or humor, but I found it interesting to be featured by The New Yorker. I'm more of a Lillies of the Field type of person --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lillies_of_the_Field

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

Celine Dion & Elvis Presley How It Was Done --- http://video.yahoo.com/watch/968493/3744941

Mike's Oldies (no nickels required in the jukebox) --- http://www.mikesoldiestoo.com/
Note that there are multiple selections for each artist

Les Paul and His Wife Mary Ford --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Paul_and_Mary_Ford
Les invented the solid-body electric guitar in the 1950s --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Paul_(guitar)
His talent was beyond belief
This week he died at age 94

Even though he’s a pot head, Willie Nelson plays a mean guitar ---

Four Hands Guitar (simply amazing) ---

Mozart´s alla turca - played in 4 hand guitar! (even more amazing) ---


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

From the University of Pittsburgh
Birds of America (435 birds mounted online) --- http://digital.library.pitt.edu/a/audubon/

Xeno-Canto: Bird Sounds From the Americas --- http://www.xeno-canto.org/

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Birds, Birds, Birds --- http://birds.fws.gov/ 

Behind the Scenes at Harvard's Museum of Natural History --- http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth

Union Pacific Railroad: History and Photos http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/history/index.shtml

American History
DuBoisopedia --- http://www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/duboisopedia/doku.php 

Smithsonian Source: Resources for Teaching American History --- 

Strange Bridges --- http://www.freakingnews.com/Bridges-Pictures--959.asp

New Hampshire History: Digital Collections Initiative --- http://www.library.unh.edu/diglib/collections.shtml

Working Class Movement Library --- http://www.wcml.org.uk/

Minnesota's Historic Shipwrecks --- http://www.mnhs.org/places/nationalregister/shipwrecks/index.html 

Design Build Network (architecture) --- http://www.designbuild-network.com/

America's Favorite Architecture --- http://www.favoritearchitecture.org/

Glaswegians Photo Archive (Scotland) --- http://www.glaswegians.org/

Noah Today --- http://home.att.net/~hideaway_today/t133/noah.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on history, literature and art ---

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

New Hampshire History: Digital Collections Initiative --- http://www.library.unh.edu/diglib/collections.shtml 

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

New Feature in Tidbits:  Quotations are Now in a Separate Document
Quotations Between August 18-26, 2009 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2009/tidbits090826Quotations.htm

The Almanac of Higher Education 2009-10
The new Almanac of Higher Education features national and state-by-state data on colleges and universities, and their students, finances, and faculty and staff members, as well as regional profiles of the issues facing academe across the country.
Chronicle of Higher Education --- http://chronicle.com/section/Almanac-of-Higher-Education/141/
Jensen Comment
There's a ton of financial information here, including salary juxtaposed against cost of living in different regions.

Video on the Edge
"Making Video as Easy to Edit as Text," by David Talbot, MIT's Technology Review, September/October 2009 ---

David Talbot Mozilla's Chris Blizzard and Mark Surman demonstrate a novel insertion of Twitter feeds into real-time video streams and discuss how open-source video tools will make such innovation easy.

Read the article  --- Click Here

From the Scout Report on August 7, 2009

HardCopy Pro 3.0.11  --- http://www.desksoft.com/HardCopy.htm 

HardCopyPro is a screen-capture tool, but it has some nice bells and whistles that make it worth a closer look. Visitors can use the tabbed dialog box interface to pick images or even capture images at set time intervals. Also, users can preset the program to capture a certain rectangle, window, full screen, or even the window located under the mouse cursor. This version is free for 30 days, and it is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.

Statement from the Company
 HardCopy Pro is the professional, easy to use screen capture utility for Windows. It can capture rectangular screen areas and whole windows. The captured images can be cropped very easily and the color depth can be changed to any desired value from monochrome to true color. Images can be printed, saved, copied to the clipboard, emailed, edited with any image editing program, etc. Many options allow the customization of all these actions to individual user needs.

Jensen Comment
I downloaded this (temporarily free) program by clicking on Downloads and then choosing HardCopy Pro. I first saved the zip file in a Temp folder and then unzipped the file under Program Files.
The download link is at http://www.desksoft.com/HardCopy_Download.htm

The free download version only lasts 30 days, but you can purchase the software for $20 such that there’s no big investment here if you like the program. After about 20 days of playing around with this I will probably buy the software for $20.

I like the HardCopy Pro feature of being able to click (using PrintScreen) what's on the screen and have it automatically save to a folder without disrupting the viewing screens. You can just click away as if a camera was recording each screen you click on. You can then access the picture files later on for editing and pasting.

Like most low priced screen capturing software, it will not capture video frames. I use Camtasia Producer
( http://www.techsmith.com/  ) to capture video frames of stored video files, but it will not capture streaming video frames.

I also use Camtasia SnagIt ( http://www.techsmith.com/  ) for screen captures. One advantage of SnagIt is that it will capture rolling screens such as a text document or spreadsheet that will not all fit on one screen. But I’ve not had any success using SnagIt to capture video of any kind. SnagIt seems to capture the screen but will not save it as a picture file that I can edit. However, I’m not running the latest version of SnagIt.

Bob Jensen

Free Podcast Software

August 21, 2009 message from Rick Lillie [rlillie@CSUSB.EDU]

Hi Amy,

Do a Google search for “free podcasting software.”  You will discover a lot of free software programs that can produce podcast file formats.  Use the links below to learn more about podcasting and what it can do for course materials.

When you ask this question, you are sure to get a lot of different answers.  People who use podcasting as a way to share information tend to have a favorite software program.  The key to selecting a software program is to know upfront what you want to do with your recording (e.g., How do you want to share the recording?  Do you want the recording public or private?  Do you want students to download the recording and keep it?  Do you want students to only listen/view but not keep the file?).

Tablet PC computers are similar but quite different.  I use an IBM ThinkPad X61.  The “inking” technology works extremely well with the tablet’s features.  It has a fast processor, lots of RAM memory, and tons of disk space.  I have not found any multimedia software that did not perform well on the ThinkPad X61.  This is not the case with all brands of Tablet PCs.

During my 2009 CTLA presentation, I mentioned a great, inexpensive program called “PDF Annotator” (http://www.ograhl.com/en/pdfannotator/) that makes it possible to annotate and markup and create PDF files in ways that Adobe Acrobat Pro does not include.  I use PDF Annotator to grade papers and create graphics. 

VoiceThread (http://www.voicethread.com) is a hosted Web 2.0 service.  You do not need to upload the file before it can be accessed.  Uploading is done automatically for you by VoiceThread.  You create your presentation.  VoiceThread stores the file on its servers and then gives you a URL link to the file.  You can share the URL link with students.  Students can listen/view the presentation so long as they have internet access.  As I mentioned at my 2009 CTLA presentation, VoiceThread produces similar results to Camtasia, but does it in a different way, and in my opinion, is much easier to use.  Again, some people like Camtasia.  Some people prefer VoiceThread.

TokBox (http://www.tokbox.com) is a free, hosted Web 2.0 service similar to VoiceThread.  With TokBox, you can create a video message of up to 10 minutes in length.  A 10 minute streaming video is a “long” video for educational purposes.  TokBox gives you a URL to the video message that you can share with others.  TokBox also gives you html code that you can use to embed a player in a web page.  At 2009 CTLA, I explained how I embed a TokBox video message in a class assignments schedule.  I do this when I feel that a video commentary will provide a warmer connection with my students than printed text.

Uploading a file, whether MP3 or MP4 (or other file format) may be a little tricky depending upon the size of the file.  This is where “hosted” files make the creation/sharing process easier to use.  Be careful with using free hosting services, since many of them are always open to the world (i.e., “public”).  Do you really want your materials available to the “public?”  Sometimes, “public” files include material that may create a copyright issue.  Just be careful to consider these issues.

Hope this helps.

Rick Lillie
CalState San Bernardino

Email:  rlillie@csusb.edu


#1:  Podcasting in Plain English:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-MSL42NV3c

#2:  About Audacity:  http://audacity.sourceforge.net/about/

#3:  Comparison of MP3 and MP4 file formats:  http://www.diffen.com/difference/Mp3_vs_Mp4

Bob Jensen's threads on archiving --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#archiving

Bob Jensen's video helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm

Free YouTube to MP3 Download/Converter --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#YouTubeMP3

At Long Last:  Camtasia for a Mac --- http://visuallounge.techsmith.com/
I love Camtasia --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/

It's best use, in my viewpoint, is by students seeking to learn something technical that an instructor does not want to have to explain over and over in office hours ---

Compressed Versus Uncompressed AVI Camtasia Video Files
Podcasting and Vodcasting Using Camtasia and Screencast

Although I've been using Camtasia for years, I've recently been preparing some Camtasia video for a road show that I will do on education technology. Camtasia is wonderful for making educational videos, especially narrated videos of lessons and tutorials on computer screens, videos of narrated PowerPoint files, interactive videos, podcasts (audio), Vodcasts (video), and narrated sequences of pictures turned into video files.

One really nice thing about Camtasia is that you do not have to record an entire video clip continuously, It's easy to record a segment and then hit the pause button (or F9 that's used both to start a recording session and pause a recording session). That way you have time for each segment to think about what you're going to say and to bring up software, video files, audio files, and/or Websites appropriate for that segment of the clip. When you've finished the entire clip you can hit the stop button (or F10) to generate a avi file. Later on you can "produce" a compressed version of the clip.

Camtasia generally captures video as uncompressed avi files. These uncompressed files are enormous and are not efficient for storing on CDs, DVDs, Web servers, Blackboard servers, WebCT servers, etc. Fortunately Camtasia has software called "Producer" in Camtasia Suite that compresses videos into much smaller files that can be played in common software such as wmv files for Windows Media Player, rm files for RealMedia, mov files for Quicktime, scf files for Adobe flash, mp3 files, and other "production" files.

I thought you might be interested in how much disk space is saved in the compression process. Last weekend I made a number of Camtasia avi videos and then compressed them into wmv video for Windows Media Player. I have both an old Camtasia 2 and a current Camtasia 4 (with updates). I captured the avi files using Camtasia 4, because this will also capture video playing on the screen. However, I found that the Producer software in Camtasia 2 gave me smaller compressed video files for some reason. The savings are shown below comparing the avi files and my compressed files:

Video Uncompressed AVI File Size Compressed Video File Size Video Run Time
Video 1 106,095 KB avi 5,928 KB wmv 02.57minutes
Video 2 319,904 KB avi 29,586 KB wmv 22.28 minutes
Video 3 162,745 KB avi 22,228 KB swf 05.47 minutes
Video 4 25,315 KB avi 4,766 KB wmv 04.49 minutes

Warning:  You can only edit the video (e.g., add fades, delete portions of clips, combine clips, split clits, change volume, etc) in the uncompressed avi video using Producer software. You lose quality in video and audio if you have to re-capture a compressed video as a avi file using Camtasia. Hence, it is best to store the initial avi files somewhere if you think you might want to edit later on.

The video size to runtime ratio varies greatly with both the capture rate and the size of the region on a computer screen that you are capturing. Since all the above videos were captured at the same (default) capture rate, the ratio of file size to run time varies greatly because the capture region varies in size in each of the above videos.  Capturing only a region greatly saves on the size of the captured video file. Capturing full or nearly-full screen sizes greatly adds to the video file size.

Video size relative to video run time also depends heavily on the frame rate at which the video is captured. Camtasia allows you to use a default setting for both the capture rate and audio interleaving. This is fast enough to capture video with audio playing on the screen with reasonable lip synching if the audio shows the face of a speaker. If you were making a video of a PowerPoint file without adding audio narration you could save disk space by greatly slowing down the video capture rate. However, I generally do not mess with the default settings. If you want to change the frame rates, you can read more about it --- Click Here
You can also change playback rates --- Click Here

Camtasia allows you to do some things like highlighting where your cursor is pointing. I generally use a big yellowish translucent circle around my mouse pointer. You can also have audio sounds whenever you click on your mouse and/or keyboard. This may alert student attention. You can also bring up a pen that allows you to write on video screens without writing on the computer program, like Excel, that you are running in the video.

You can also pan and zoom. Zoom lets you point to something like a cell formula in Excel and then make that formula larger and larger and larger. You can subsequently return to normal size. I use the panning feature when I am only recording a region of a screen such as a rectangle about a third of the size of the full computer screen. Capturing only a region greatly saves on the size of the captured video file. I use the panning feature to allow me to float the capture region to wherever I move my mouse. This allows me to capture anything appearing on a computer screen without having to capture a full screen in every video frame.

Years ago I started using Camtasia to field questions posed by students. For example, after technical lessons in my Accounting Information Systems course, I almost always received email messages from students who could not get something to work, especially in Excel and MS Access. I would then record a video tutorial and shared my answers with the entire current class and my future classes. You can download some of my sample wmv tutorials in this regard from http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5342/
The acronym PQQ stands for Possible Quiz Question source.

I also prepared longer tutorials on more complicated technical lectures in my Accounting Theory course. Most all of my students were confused after my lectures in this course until they viewed my video tutorials over and over and over. Some of my tutorials for the theory course are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5341/

I also recorded some general tutorials that you can download from http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/

I have other tutorials that are filed away somewhere on CDs. It would take some effort to dig them out now.

The nice thing about Camtasia is that it's is so simple to use when creating and compressing video. Editing video is more complicated. It is also possible to add hot spots to swf flash video that you have compressed such that you can create interactive videos for your students, including examination videos. However, this is extremely tedious. I found it better to create my interactive examination files in Excel and then link to my tutorial videos at any time in those Excel files.

The hard thing about Camtasia is getting the audio to sound professional. Actually, I found my narrations using a cheap microphone adequate for my course tutorials. This weekend I had satisfactory results using only the internal microphone that's built into my Dell laptop. However, audio could be improved with an expensive microphone and a sound proof booth. Ambient noise in your office can be irritating when recorded in video.

If you are recording in your office, you should probably disconnect the telephone during recording sessions. Also put a sign on your office door that you are in a recording session.

It is also possible to make videos of PowerPoint files. If you choose to do so you can easily add a Camtasia toolbar in your PowerPoint file such that you can make videos with audio narrations on any any part or all of a PowerPoint file. That way you can teach from PowerPoint when you're out of town, retired, or dead.Users can download compressed video files of PowerPoint files with less virus risk than from any MS Office files such as doc, xls. or ppt files. However, when I narrate any of my PowerPoint files and make videos of them, I generally find that even the compressed videos are enormous since my PowerPoint files usually have more than 50 slides. Actually, it is probably best to compress PowerPoint vides at a slow frame rate as swf Flash files. Since Powerpoint is not fast moving video, a slower frame rate is usually quite satisfactory.

Nevertheless, recording and serving up entire lectures requires huge amounts of disk space. If your university will not provide you with enough Web, Blackboard, or WebCT server space for such large video files, I suggest that you make a DVD disk of compressed video for each lesson and then make these disks available in the library or by mail to students. Your campus media center may have more creative solutions.

Bob Jensen's threads on archiving --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#archiving

Bob Jensen's video helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm

Free YouTube to MP3 Download/Converter --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#YouTubeMP3


Do you ever get the feeling while we debate accounting theory and standards that we're just fiddling while investors burn?

"Is stock market still a chump's game? Small investors won't have a fair shot until a presumption of integrity is restored. It's not clear that Obama's proposed remedy will resolve the conflicts," by Eliot Spitzer, Microsoft News, August 19, 2009 ---
Link forwarded by Steve Markoff [smarkoff@KIMSTARR.ORG]

One of America's great accomplishments in the last half-century was the so-called "democratization" of the financial markets.

No longer just for the upper crust, investing became a way for the burgeoning middle class to accumulate wealth. Mutual funds exploded in size and number, 401k plans made savings and investing easy, and the excitement of participating in the growth of our economy gripped an ever larger percentage of the population.

Despite a backdrop of doubters -- those who knowingly asserted that outperforming the average was an impossibility for the small investor -- there was a growing consensus that the rules were sufficient to protect the mom-and-pop investor from the sharks that swam in the water.

That sense of fair play in the market has been virtually destroyed by the bubble burstings and market drops of the past few years.

Recent rebounds notwithstanding, most people now are asking whether the system is fundamentally rigged. It's not just that they have an understandable aversion to losing their life savings when the market crashes; it's that each of the scandals and crises has a common pattern: The small investor was taken advantage of by the piranhas that hide in the rapidly moving currents.

And underlying this pattern is a simple theme: conflicts of interest that violated the duty the market players had to their supposed clients.

It is no wonder that cynicism and anger have replaced what had been the joy of participation in the capital markets.

Take a quick run through a few of the scandals:

The unifying theme is apparent: Access to information and advice, the very lifeblood of a level playing field, is not where it needs to be. The small investor still doesn't have a fair shot.

While there have been case-specific remedies, the aggregate effect of all the scandals is still to deny the market the most essential of ingredients: the presumption of integrity.

The issue confronting those who wish to solve this problem is that there really is no simple fix.

Bob Jensen's threads on the economic crisis are at

Bob Jensen's Rotten to the Core threads are at

How to find the cheapest college textbooks ---

I’m not in college any more, thank goodness, but I remember every penny-pinching moment. Some days I hardly had enough money for food, mainly because the materials and textbooks I had to buy ripped a hole in my pocket the size of the Grand Canyon. And so I’m always on the lookout for ways to help out college students. Today, I found two.

There are numerous methods available to search for textbooks, including the ever-popular “shopping” search option in Google. But if you want to go deeper, a few of my favorite sites in the past have included:

Half.com (which is part of eBay)

No doubt you’ve used one or two of these already. But it’s a pain to search each one and compare results. Usually, you find the book you want, ponder the price and then pay. Not good enough for me. I want to help students, who are suffering like the rest of us in this hellish economy, to get the absolute rock-bottom price on any book they’re looking for.

So I did a little more hunting around and found some much more powerful search engines, devoted to scouring multiple books sources at once. The two I like the most are CAMPUSBOOKS.COM and BIGWORDS.COM. And they really are the ultimate search engines for books, especially textbooks.

All you need to know are a few basics about the book you’re searching for. The easiest way is to have the ISBN number readily at hand. If that’s not available, you can search by keyword, author, title, the usual search engine options. And as you can see, the results from both sites are impressive. Here are two searches I did for an advertising book I love called “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This.”

Community College Open-Textbook Project G
Especially note the open sharing sources being used

The Community College Open Textbook Project begins this week with a member meeting in California," by Catherine Rampell, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 29, 2008 --- Click Here

At the meeting, representatives of institutions around the country will start reviewing open-textbook models for “quality, usability, accessibility, and sustainability,” according to a news release. They will initially review four providers of free online educational resources: Connexions, run by Rice University; Flat World Knowledge, a commercial digital-textbook publisher that will begin offering free textbooks online next year; the University of California’s UC College Prep Online, which offers Advanced Placement and other courses online; and the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources, which was founded by the Foothill-De Anza Community College District and the League for Innovation in the Community College.

One of the most popular sites for textbooks is Bigwords --- http://www.bigwords.com/
Be careful, however, when buying cheaper foreign editions such as European editions of popular textbooks. There are often differences to be aware of such as different orderings of chapters.

One of the first places to start is to look for used books on Amazon.com and bn.com
I like buying from Amazon in order to reduce the number of online vendors that have my credit card numbers. Also Amazon guarantees delivery of used books and other merchandise from linked vendors.

We Rent Movies, So Why Not Textbooks?," by Miguel Helft, The New York Times, July 4, 2009 ---

Cengage Learning said Thursday that it would become the first higher education publisher to let students rent as well as buy print textbooks directly from the source. Cengage said it would transform its existing online platform, known as iChapters, into a broader site that would allow students to rent print textbooks at 40 to 70 percent off retail as well as purchase print and digital texts and other materials. Publishers have been exploring a range of ways to enter the burgeoning market for renting textbooks.
Inside Higher Ed, August 14, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/14/qt#205700

Jensen Test:
Rent Textbooks from Chegg --- http://www.chegg.com/
Rental prices are about half the so-called purchase price of a new book.
Buying a used book is probably a better idea since it, in turn, can be sold back into the used market.

Intermediate Accounting ISBN 0470374942 by Kieso et al.
New (Chegg claims the new price is $209 but the price of hardcover is $177 at Barnes & Noble )
            The Amazon Price of a new hardcover is $168 --- Click Here
Bigwords.com (international edition that differs somewhat in chapter orderings) lists a price of $53.98
Used prices start at Amazon for about $159 (but watch carefully for the edition number)
Rent from Chegg ($96.53) ---

Jensen Comment
To get value for my money, I prefer used houses, cars, and books.
Of course, both Amazon and Google are now selling electronic versions of textbooks. For Amazon you must have a Kindle reader. For Google, all you have to have is a computer, although to date Amazon has a wider selection of textbooks available.

American Council of the Blind filed a lawsuit last month against Arizona State University, saying that its plan to use the Kindle to distribute books to students is illegal because blind people cannot use the device as currently configured ---

March 25, 2009 message from Ramsey, Donald [dramsey@UDC.EDU]

The cost accounting book I'm using retails for $190.30. I see on a textbook search website called Bigwords.com that no less than 9 large dealers are offering it at under $50 for a new copy, including shipping. How can this be possible?

My concern would be how to get the word to students early enough so they could (1) not buy books at retail, and (2) get delivery in time for the first assignment.



March 25, reply from Zane Swanson [ZSwanson@UCO.EDU]

Convince your university/college/department to go completely electronic (like Kindle) and the pricing problem would be gone. This recession may well drive some cost-sensitive programs to go to electronic books looking for a comparative advantage or a means of covering a budgetary shortfall. The tipping point will center around the trade-off costs of the campus book store versus outsourcing the textbooks electronically.

Zane Swanson

Jensen Added Comment
Universities that are promoting Kindle are running into some resistance from sight-impaired students. Although Kindle benefits some sight-impaired students by being able to enlarge fonts, the issue is one of access to Kindle readers and access to audio versions of the text. Many publishers have audio versions restricted to sight-impaired students. To avoid conflicts with sight impaired students, universities might have to offer audio versions to sight-impaired students at deals as good as Kindle deals to other students.

The National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind filed a lawsuit last month against Arizona State University, saying that its plan to use the Kindle to distribute books to students is illegal because blind people cannot use the device as currently configured --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/07/06/kindle

I noticed that Bigwords.com is also selling solutions manuals --- Click Here


"Textbooks Offered for iPod, iPhones CourseSmart Applications Will Let Students Access 7,000-Plus Titles," by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, The Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2009 ---

A provider of subscription e-textbooks for college students is making its 7,000-plus titles accessible on Apple Inc.'s iPhone and iPod Touch as interest heats up in the digital-textbook arena.

The new applications, free for subscribers to CourseSmart LLC, will let students access their full electronic textbooks, read their digital notes and search for specific words and phrases.

"Nobody is going to use their iPhone to do their homework, but this does provide real mobile learning," said Frank Lyman, CourseSmart's executive vice president. "If you're in a study group and you have a question, you can immediately access your text."

The move comes as Amazon.com Inc. is shipping its $489 large-screen Kindle DX e-reader, which is aimed in part at college students. Amazon is overseeing a DX pilot program at seven colleges this fall involving hundreds of students who will experiment with reading textbooks digitally. Last week, McGraw-Hill Education, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos., said it is making about 100 college textbooks available for use on Amazon's Kindle and Kindle DX.

CourseSmart's titles aren't available on either Amazon device. Mr. Lyman said he would like to see his books available wherever college students want them but that the two companies haven't yet had any conversations.

CourseSmart, which was created in 2007 as a joint venture of six higher-education publishers, including McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson PLC's Pearson Education, operates on a subscription model. Typically students rent a book for 180 days; when their subscription expires, they lose access to the title.

The company, which doesn't release financial results, offers its digital books at about 50% of the retail price of the corresponding physical textbook. Although students can't resell their e-textbooks, Mr. Lyman said they typically don't get more than 50% of what they paid for a new book when they resell it.

"Textbooks are the missing link in the e-reader content base," said Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst with Forrester Research, Inc. "The problem so far is that college students haven't really been interested in reading on their laptops. The iPhone will help create excitement and generate awareness of e-textbooks."

Mr. Lyman said he believes that lack of awareness has been the largest barrier to students trying e-textbooks.

Albert N. Greco, a professor at the Fordham Graduate School of Business Administration who studies the book industry, estimates that sales of printed college textbook this year will reach $5.02 billion, up 3.5% from last year. He expects college e-textbooks to hit $117.5 million in sales in 2009, up 10.3%. "Once the recession ends, we will see a major, national push to make all higher education textbooks available in digital formats, as well as a move in that direction for high-school textbooks," Mr. Greco said.

Jensen Comment
I am truly amazed at the large number of accounting textbook listings, far more than are available on Kindle or Google eBooks. Perhaps this is because books are more difficult to copy books not actually stored on iPods and iPhones. Many of the books have 2008 and 2009 copyrights such that these are not obsolete editions. I cannot, however, even imagine reading textbooks on such small screens. Also the subscription prices seem quite high.

Instructors can request examination copies. For example, enter "Accounting" into the Instructor's search box at http://www.coursesmart.com/

August 16, 2009 reply from Gerald Trites [gtrites@ZORBA.CA]


I think the best way for us as academics to help students with the textbook pricing problem is to self publish our books. Since we publish the textbooks, we have some control over that in the longer term, and for those who have not yet published a text, it could be done in the shorter term.

The current publishing indistry is an anachronism that survives only through their marketing system, the entrenched habits of writers, the fixed long term contracts that they cannot get out of, and the residual attachment of some prestige (arguably falsely grounded) to the traditional publications means as opposed to self publishing To use my book as a comparison, it sells for $125 per copy. The royalty is 20% of net sales. Lets ignore the net aspect for the moment. That means a royalty of $25 per copy. If I were to publish this same book through LuLu, for example, the "royalty" would be 80%, which means I could sell the same book for $31.25 and make the same $25 each. If I were to sell it through Booksurge, which has some marketing capability through Amazon and other online outlets,  the royalty would be 35%, so the same book could be priced at $72 to make the 25 each. The fly in the ointment is that LuLu has no marketing arm cruising around the universities selling the books or displaying them at conferences. However, if we academics made a little adjustment in our buying choices, and checked out sources like LuLu, we could make a difference. It's really all in our hands.

If I could get out of my existing contract, which I can't, I would love to move it over to LuLu or Booksurge or an equivalent. I'd price the book at 19.95, giving the students a break and still getting back some reward for my efforts. I would also have more control over my book and could still get it reviewed by colleagues. If I ever write another textbook, it will definitely be done that way.

We could change our ways and make life a little easier for the students if we really wanted to.


Phone - 416-602-3931
Website - www.zorba.ca
Blog - www.zorba.ca/blog.html

August 19, 2009 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Jerry,

The issue lies in what one expects from a textbook. I seldom cared much about the text part itself, because I usually thought I had better text in my course notes, my videos, and my Websites.

But I almost always assigned a textbook, and the reason was almost always to provide students with problems, cases, and other assignments. It just took too much of my time to develop the end-of-chapter stuff (complete with an answer book) for my own materials. For example, I think one of the best textbooks ever written was the one I assigned repeatedly for my accounting theory course (where I did not assign accounting theory textbooks):

Derivatives: An Introduction (Hardcover)

by Robert A. Strong

Robert A. Strong (Author)

Before my students could begin to comprehend FAS 133 and IAS 39, they had to understand derivatives. I can, and did, explain derivatives in class. But I could not find the time to develop assignment material like that found in Strong’s textbook. Nor could I teach some of the hedging strategies developed by Strong in that book.

I might add that one of the huge problems in free textbooks is the loss of incentive to update the end-of-chapter stuff that, in many cases, is not even written by the textbook authors. Publishers often outsource the end-of-chapter stuff, and with a free textbook there’s no longer any incentive to pay a lot of money for updating the end-of-chapter material so vital to a textbook.

Of course there are many textbook revisions that badly suffer from having updated the chapters without updating the end-of-chapter material or only superficially updating what’s at the end of the chapter.

When a publisher’s rep sent me a new edition of a textbook to examine, the first thing I always did is compare the ends of chapters between the old and the new editions if I was seriously contemplating an adoption of the new edition.  I figure that the revision is a cheapie if it does not significantly revise what’s at the end of the chapters.

 Bob Jensen


Free online textbooks, cases, and videos ---

Teaching Without Textbooks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#NoTextbooks

Bob Jensen's threads on technologies for aiding handicapped learners --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Handicapped

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books ---

If your budget forces you to drop the Department Bad Luck that has one or more required courses in the general education curriculum, what department should be eliminated?

"So, Department Bad Luck was right in line with Accounting, Management, and Marketing for [Credit Hour Production]/FTE -- three degree programs that produced over 300 graduates last year compared to 3 for Department Bad Luck," Nail wrote in an e-mail to Inside Higher Ed.

"Cruel Irony," Inside Higher Ed, by Jack Stripling, Inside Higher Ed, August 14, 2009 ---

Amid the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the University of Southern Mississippi is poised to eliminate -- of all things -- its economics department, faculty were informed this week.

The elimination of economics, along with five tenured and four tenure-track faculty positions, is part of a plan to reduce spending by $11 to $12 million, universitywide, within a year. While university officials stress the plan isn't yet final, they are slated to decide by September 1 whether to go forward with the proposed cuts, according to a news release. Tenured and tenure-track faculty are legally required to a year's notice prior to termination, and economics faculty say they've already received such notice.

The proposal was crafted by a provost-led committee, which also included faculty. The committee’s proposal recommends 12 tenured or tenure-track positions be cut across the university, and three quarters of those will come from economics.

George Carter, a professor of economics at Southern Mississippi, sent a letter to colleagues proclaiming that “USM will stand alone as a major university without an economics faculty.” He went further, attesting that “due process has been denied” to economics professors who were unrepresented on the budget committee and kept in the dark about its deliberations throughout the process.

Much of the justification for eliminating the economics department was tied to student demand. An outline of the plan drafted by the committee notes that the program has “less than five graduates per year,” but that number is in dispute. Until recently, the department housed the university’s international business program, which produced 17 graduates in 2007-8. If those graduates were added to the total, economics would have produced 20 graduates that year.

Even with the international business graduates included, however, economics trails all other departments in the college in the number of degrees awarded. The highest degree producer in 2007-8 was Management and Marketing, which had 293 graduates. The second-lowest was Tourism and Management, which had 29 graduates -- nine more than economics, even with international business included in the tally.

While faculty in the department acknowledge the need to boost degree numbers in core economics programs, they note that the economics courses they teach support many other majors.

“We actually have, I believe, the highest student credit hours per [full-time equivalent faculty member] in the College of Business, and maybe one of the highest at the university," said Mark Klinedinst, a professor in the department. "[Administrators] were constantly complaining 'Oh, we're overstaffed.' How can we be overstaffed if we teach one of the heavier course loads at the college and the university?"

Southern Mississippi did not provide universitywide data on teaching loads requested by Inside Higher Ed, but the teaching loads economics faculty carry are actually relatively close to two of the four other departments within the college, according to data provided by the faculty and Lance Nail, dean of the college. About 275 credit hours were produced by each full-time equivalent economics faculty member in 2007-8, according to slightly differing data supplied by both the dean and faculty. That ratio is similar to the load carried by the Department of Accountancy and Information Systems -- 310 credit hours per FTE -- and Management and Marketing -- 307 per FTE, Nail's data show.

To Nail, the credit hour data illustrate that faculty in other departments are producing just as many credit hours, while also producing more degrees than economics.

"So, ECON was right in line with Accounting, Management, and Marketing for [Credit Hour Production]/FTE -- three degree programs that produced over 300 graduates last year compared to 3 for ECON," Nail wrote in an e-mail to Inside Higher Ed.

Dean's Process Criticized

Economics faculty are still smarting that the international business program was moved to another department, but their primary complaint is about the process by which that change took place. The move was part of an overall redesign proposed by Nail, who went ahead with the plan over the objections of the university’s Academic Council, December meeting minutes indicate. While the council acknowledged that it did not have governing authority over the redesign, it nonetheless voted against the proposal in a symbolic gesture. The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, however, endorsed the redesign, and it went forward.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Economics faculty are among the most articulate faculty  and trench fighters on campus. My guess is that this "just ain't going to happen." Otherwise Southern Mississippi will become the most frowned upon university in the world.

What would corporations do when faced with such fiscal emergencies? Many will turn to what accountants call zero-based budgeting --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_Based_Budgeting
Given only the facts in the article, it would seem that zero-based budgeting alone may point to ECON as the bad luck department because of having almost no majors. But this is precisely the mistake that zero-based budgeting can make in the academy since the academy is much more than a business.

Years ago, Colorado College dropped Accounting (and I think the entire department of Business Administration).. But in fear of losing a huge number of applicants to the university, a sufficient number new accounting courses were offered in the Economics Department such that graduates became eligible for sit for the CPA examination in Colorado --- ergo old wine in new bottles. I don't think there was any difference between Intermediate Accounting and the Economics of Intermediate Accounting. I think Colorado College soon afterwards brought back accounting, finance, and business administration.

Economics is probably more vulnerable than Business Administration in terms of appeal to applicants seeking careers, but economics is so part and parcel to business education and research, I just cannot imagine having a business administration department that is not served by economics courses in one structure or another. If the Department of Economics is eventually dropped at Southern Mississippi, watch for new courses called Finance of Economics Principles, Finance of the Macro Economy, Principles of Microeconomics in Business, etc.

The bit about astrology was just a joke (... er... well sort of anyway).

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

Ghost writers for the halls of academe
Sen. Charles E. Grassley, an Iowa Republican who has been investigating financial conflicts of interest in medicine, is now urging the National Institutes of Health to combat the practice of university researchers' signing their names to scientific papers that were actually prepared by ghostwriters working for drug companies. At least three Columbia University researchers signed their names to articles financed by the pharmaceutical maker Wyeth, The New York Times reported.
Chronicle of Higher Education, August 19, 2009 ---

Update about a professor of psychology
"Professor at Canada's McGill U. Admits Signing Research Generated by Drug Maker," by Paul Basken, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 24, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/article/McGill-U-Professor-Admits/48164/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates are at

Bob Jensen's threads on Professors Who Cheat are at |

Bob Jensen's threads on ghost students on campus are at

Missouri woman charged with cyberbullying on Craigslist
A Missouri woman has been charged with cyberbullying for allegedly posting photos and personal information of a teenage girl on the "Casual Encounters" section of Craigslist after an Internet argument. Prosecutors said 40-year-old Elizabeth A. Thrasher posted the 17-year-old's picture, e-mail address and cell phone number on the Web site in a posting that suggested the girl was seeking a sexual encounter. St. Charles County Lt. Craig McGuire said Tuesday that the victim is the daughter of Thrasher's ex-husband's girlfriend. The girl, who has not been named, received lewd messages and photographs from men she didn't know and contacted police. Thrasher, of St. Peters, is the first person charged with felony cyberbullying under a law passed in Missouri after the suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier, who was the victim of an Internet hoax that drew international attention.
MIT's Technology Review, August 18, 2009 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/wire/23285/?nlid=2283&a=f

The disaster we call doctoral programs in economics and accounting

As Southern Mississippi, having almost no majors in accounting, seriously contemplates dropping its Economics Department, the following article is critical of what has happened in economics and in particular doctoral programs in accounting.

In Particular, Note the Preface Statement of a Skeptical CPA at ---

If you replace the word "economics" with "accounting" you have the same problem that I address ad nauseum at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

Gone was the accounting history course that exposed students to market failures and the importance of the evolution of accounting traditions and standards in the evolution of business and financial contracting.. In their place: mathematically-oriented courses devoid of any historical content or context. … In the mid 1980s the accountics community discovered it could use mathematics to restrict entry into accounting doctoral programs.

Most US economists believe globalization is good. The unfettered flow of goods, labor, and intellectual capital across our international borders reduces costs and improves competitiveness of most sectors of the economy. … Foreign students increasingly dominate US doctoral programs in economics. Although the number of doctorates has remained relatively stable ove the past 35 years, the fraction of these degrees conferred on foreign students has increased dramatically–from 20.5 percent in 1972 to 72 percent in 2005. … The best and the brightest? Perhaps. Most PhD candidates in economics are Asians–from Japan, Korea, India, and China, and Taiwan. … But there is one problem: while the Asians are whizzes at math, they generally do not speak English well. Had they been high-schoolers, remedial English classes would have been mandatory for most of them. … Gone was the history of economic thought. Gone was the economic history course that exposed students to market failures and the importance of psychological factors–what Keynes dubbed ‘animal spirits’– to a prosperous economy. In their place: mathematically-oriented courses devoid of any historical content or context. … In the mid 1980s the financial community discovered it could use mathematics to make money
"A Rant On 'Economathematicians," Simoleon Sense, August 17, 2009 ---

Also see http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2009/08/economathematicians.html
Note the Preface Statement of a Skeptical CPA at the above link.

Also see http://www.simoleonsense.com/economists-and-economics-what-does-the-crisis-tell-us/

Bob Jensen's threads on the disaster of accountancy doctoral programs are at

Public reviews are also available on Amazon for many current textbooks. However, most of these reviews emphasize the positive and eliminate the negative. Perhaps, as with the classics, the authors must die before members of our academy feel free to write negative as well as positive reviews.

A music composer at Trinity University once had a cartoon on his door that said composers have no chance whatsoever until they've been dead at least 200 years.

"Amazon Reviewers Take On the Classics What if the Internet had existed centuries,"
by Joe Queenan, The Wall Street Journal, August 24, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204683204574356541209342218.html

One superb innovation of recent times is the readers' review section on Amazon.com. Here ordinary people get to voice their opinions, acting as cultural watchdogs to shield their fellow book lovers from duds. Certain individuals have built quite a reputation for themselves online, their aperçus vying with the phoned-in ruminations of the snooty, burned-out hacks who masquerade as professionals at our top magazines and papers.

Of course, some reviewers can get a bit coarse and personal in the rough-and-tumble world of Internet interfacials, but for the most part these gifted amateurs inject a much-needed breath of fresh air into the reviewing process. Most appealing is their absolute fearlessness when it comes to trashing high-profile authors that mainstream reviewers would hesitate to mix it up with.

Beholden to no man, cloaked in anonymity, they do not hesitate to take even the brightest stars —Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Auster, Dan Brown—to task. This is what makes citizen reviewers such a welcome addition to the body politic: Their courageous sniping from behind the bushes, emulating Ethan Allen and the Swamp Fox back in 1776, reaffirms that democracy functions best when you fire your musket and then run away.

It is always fun to go back in time and speculate on what might have happened had Anne Boleyn been on Facebook, or had Pharaoh's army included amphibious equipment. This is why I cannot help wondering what a typical Amazon.com review might have looked like had the Internet existed centuries ago:

• "King Lear"—Average reader rating: Two stars. The author tells us: "As like flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport." Oh, right, like I didn't know that? Like I didn't know that to be or not to be is the question? Like I didn't know that the fault lies not in us but in the stars? Tell me something I don't know, Mr. Bard of Whatever.

• "The 120 Days of Sodom"—Average Reader's Rating: Five stars. OK, so I like totally pre-ordered this book based on the author's name, which just happens to be the same as my maiden name—Marquis de. Yeah, a sketchy reason to buy a book, but I was pumped. But when it got here I didn't understand it at all. It just didn't go anywhere. It just kept repeating itself. I went through it a few times more, searching for some deeper, awesome meaning, but just ended up totally bummed. Actually, some parts of it were kind of gross.

• "Oedipus Rex"—Average reader rating: Four stars. Sophocles is a satisfying author who writes in clear, snappy prose. Youngsters in particular could learn a lot by imitating Mr. Rex, until he goes a bit off the rails toward the end. Nothing earth-shattering here, but zippy stuff. Have to admit I'm still puzzled by the weird subplot involving Mr. Rex's mother.

• "The Aeneid"—Average reader's rating: Two stars. Whine, whine, whine! Okay, so your hometown burnt to the ground and your family got wiped out, but do you have to keep bellyaching about it? Where's that gonna get you, Mr. Grumpy? Basically, Virgil is a poor man's Tacitus. He goes on and on about Priam and Dido and Zeus, when all the reader wants is to get to the good part when the Trojans defile the Vestal Virgins. And talk about a rip-off: He doesn't even include the story about the one-eyed giant who can turn pigs into Greeks!

• "On the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres"—Average Reader Rating: Three stars. Those who have read my countless reviews elsewhere know that I am a mathematician, astronomer, polyglot and philosopher in my own right, and therefore uniquely qualified to discuss everything from Zeno's Paradox to Gordian's Knot. Mostly, I think my fellow polymath Copernicus has done a pretty solid job here. The thing most laymen don't realize—unlike mathematicians/ philosophers/astronomers/polymaths like me (as those familiar with my numerous other reviews can tell you)—is that people like Copernicus are really good with numbers. Just as I am. Really, really good. (Me, that is.) Readers seeking more of my unique insights can reach me at Igor@mymommysbasement.com.

• "Deuteronomy"—Average Reader's Rating: Three stars. I don't get it. I've read most of the books in this series, and they totally kick butt, but this one leaves me scratching my head. Is there a story here? Am I missing something? Why so much talk about clean and unclean beasts? The author really got on a roll with Genesis and Exodus, and I was on the edge of my seat when I read The Book of Numbers. But this one runs out of gas early. Now I'm glad I skipped Leviticus!

• "Mein Kampf"—Average reader's rating: One star. Lively writing, but just too, too depressing. Why does he keep using big words that normal people can't understand, like lebensraum and oberkommandant? Hey! I own a thesaurus, too! And what's up with the Jewish thing?

Mr. Queenan, a satirist and writer, is the author, most recently, of the memoir "Closing Time" (Viking, 2009).

Jensen Comment
Public reviews are also available on Amazon for many current textbooks. However, most of these reviews emphasize the positive and eliminate the negative. Perhaps, as with the classics, the authors must die before members of our academy feel free to write negative as well as positive reviews.

A music composer at Trinity University once had a cartoon on his door that said composers have no chance whatsoever until they've been dead at least 200 years.

Although Amazon sells many of the classics, most classics can also be downloaded for free ---
The above link also includes free textbooks and videos that can be downloaded for free.

The Critical Importance of Retrieval For Learning

From the Financial Rounds Blog on August 14, 2009 --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/
The author is an associate professor of finance who is studying for the CFA examination. His studies were sidetracked for a period of time while his young son was dying from cancer.

I just read a study that is highly applicable to anyone who's studying for the CFA exams, since there's a ridiculous amount of information that must be retained. When people ask me how much they have to study for the L1 exam, I answer "about 16 pounds", since that's the weight of the curriculum.

But the study is applicable to students in many other disciplines.

The study is titled "The Critical Importance of Retrieval For Learning" by Jeffrey Karpicke and Henry Roediger, and it's in the February 2008 issue of the journal Science. They examine the question of how best to improve long-term recall. Specifically, they tested whether, once a student can recall a piece of knowledge once, they most improve their long term recall by repeated studying of the material, by repeated testing of the material, or both. Here's the abstract:

Learning is often considered complete when a student can produce the correct answer to a question. In our research, students in one condition learned foreign language vocabulary words in the standard paradigm of repeated study-test trials. In three other conditions, once a student had correctly produced the vocabulary item, it was repeatedly studied but dropped from further testing, repeatedly tested but dropped from further study, or dropped from both study and test. Repeated studying after learning had no effect on delayed recall, but repeated testing produced a large positive effect. In addition, students' predictions of their performance were uncorrelated with actual performance. The results demonstrate the critical role of retrieval practice in consolidating learning and show that even university students seem unaware of this fact.
So, the takeaway is that the best way to retain (for example), the Black-Scholes option pricing formula isn't to keep going over the formula once you've gotten it down - it's to repeatedly TEST yourself on it. I don't necessarily mean a formal test -- just put the formula on a flash card and periodically (every couple of days at first, but eventually at longer intervals) try to write it out. After that, check your results against the flash card.

Of course, if you're studying for the CFA exams, most of the test-prep companies have test banks with numerous questions on each topic, so using them would be perfectly consistent with this approach.

I almost forgot - you can read the Science article

Jensen Comment
Studying for memory examinations like the CPA, CFA, CMA, and almost every other triple imaginable the Karpicke and Roediger approach makes intuitive sense and is indeed how I studied as a student. But as one gets older and seeks more breadth of knowledge, it becomes overwhelming to try to keep honing recall in such the intense manner needed to pass a certification examination. My alternate solution has been to develop "knowledge databases" for what I learn each and every day. This started out, believe it or not, with a steel filing cabinets for IBM Cards. At one time I had over 88,000 cards punched, much of it dealing with mathematical statistics believe it or not.

Later, I transferred my punched-card knowledge base onto magnetic tape that, on occasion, I printed out by the ton so I could have hard copy access (before the days of personal computers and networking). Searching computer tape was slow, slow, slow.

I immediately jumped on two Web servers and a LAN server once this newer technology became available at Trinity University. Now my knowledge databases are pretty much contained in these three servers. You can access my two Web servers with the following links. Printing out the entire contents would probably take a million pages of hard copy.

Trinity University Computing Center Web Server:  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

Trinity University Computer Science Department Web Server:  http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/

The two servers above contain knowledge (including portions of many articles) that I feel I can legally retain myself and share with the world. My private LAN server contains my digitized library that I cannot share with the world largely because I do not have legal authority to share copyrighted material with the world.

My memory skills thus changed from being a student studying for examinations to a professor seeking to facilitate learning of my students and to personally aid me in my own scholarship and research. My memory skills thus shifted from test-reinforcement skills to knowledge-base searching skills.

But in the process of searching my knowledge bases an interesting thing happened along the way. For example, I've accessed the Black-Scholes Model so many hundreds of times over the years I'm actually prepared to take an examination on its technicalities. Hence, knowledge based searching hones memory for things frequently searched. And for things not frequently searched, I can sometimes impress you with what seems to be something that I recall in my brain but in reality my brain only helps be recall what I've stored in huge knowledge bases that I maintain.

Also the modules in my knowledge base must be typed or pasted into the computer. Since I've done virtually all of this input myself, I've honed my memory skills while inputting the modules.

August 14, 2009 reply (portion only) from Richard Pettway [richard.pettway@cba.ufl.edu]

Many Finance Ph.D.s also are on a CFA track, especially if they specialize in investments. They pass the first level exam after their first year in the program and take the two other levels each year there after. But they are also required to have three years of experience, but academic experience is allowed as a substitute. Actually, getting a CFA was an important part of the Ph.D. program several years ago, but now the desire is much less. Perhaps, there is a general decline in the interest in the security business due the excesses of Wall Street's recent past. However, the data may just be a short-term trend, not a long-term trend.


Bob Jensen's threads on metacognition are at

Bob Jensen's threads on asynchronous learning are at

Recovering Hard Drive Data
Replace a Laptop's Crashed Hard Drive Don Homan's hard drive crashed. What should he do?

If you don't have an up-to-date backup, your first priority will be getting your data back. Depending on how you use your PC, that could include business documents, photos, music, email, and so on. Several companies specialize in recovering data from broken drives. I hesitate to recommend one because I've never needed one myself and there's no practical way to test them. But I can say that Ontrack and DriveSavers have long and mostly positive reputations. Recovery could cost you thousands of dollars, but that's the price of not backing up. If you decide to get into the backup habit, see What's the Best Way to Backup What I Need to Backup?
Lincoln Spector,  PC World via The Washington Post, August 21, 2009 ---  Click Here

Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#sweep

Some total backup solutions --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#TotalBackup

"Large Texas bank shut down by federal regulators," by Marcy Gordon, Breitbart,  August 22, 2009 ---

Guaranty Bank became the second-largest U.S. bank to fail this year after the Texas lender was shut down by regulators and most of its operations sold at a loss of billions of dollars for the U.S. government to a major Spanish bank. The transaction approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. marked the first time a foreign bank has bought a failed U.S. bank.

The bank failure, the 10th largest in U.S. history, is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund an estimated $3 billion.

The FDIC seized Austin-based Guaranty Bank, with about $13 billion in assets and $12 billion in deposits, and on Friday sold all of its deposits and $12 billion of its assets to BBVA Compass, the U.S. division of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Spain's second-largest bank. In addition, the FDIC agreed to share losses with BBVA on about $11 billion of Guaranty Bank's loans and other assets.

Guaranty Bank, with 162 branches in Texas and California, saw its investments in real estate lending and mortgage-backed securities bought from other banks sour and had been teetering near collapse for weeks. Its parent, Guaranty Financial Group Inc., reaffirmed Monday in a regulatory filing that the company was critically short of capital and didn't believe it could stay in business.

In April, the federal Office of Thrift Supervision said the company had engaged in "unsafe and unsound" banking practices and ordered it to raise fresh capital, find a buyer or face a takeover by the government.

Guaranty's failure, along with those of three small banks in Georgia and Alabama Friday, brought to 81 the number of U.S. bank failures this year amid rising loan defaults spurred by tumbling home prices and spiking unemployment. That is the highest number in a year since 1992 at the height of the savings and loan crisis; it compares with 25 last year and three in 2007.

Last week the FDIC seized Colonial Bank, a big lender in real estate development, and sold its $20 billion in deposits, 346 branches in five states and about $22 billion of its assets to BB&T Corp. It was the biggest bank failure so far this year, and the sixth-largest in U.S. history.

Birmingham, Ala.-based BBVA Compass, with 600 branches from Florida to California, said its acquisition of Guaranty creates the 15th-largest commercial bank in the U.S., with about $49 billion in deposits. "This compelling transaction makes excellent strategic sense and represents an exciting growth opportunity for BBVA Compass as we continue to build the leading banking franchise in the high-growth Sunbelt region," Jose Maria Garcia Meyer, chairman of BBVA Compass, said in a statement.

Like Spain's biggest bank, Banco Santander, BBVA has managed to skirt the turmoil that swept the industry worldwide by staying away from toxic assets such as mortgage-backed securities.

Instead, BBVA and other big Spanish lenders stuck to their nuts-and-bolts business of lending to consumers and businesses, relying on it for the bulk of their revenue, Nuria Alvarez, an analyst with Madrid-based brokerage firm Renta 4, said earlier this week.

With its strong presence in the American South through BBVA Compass, the bank had made no secret that it was open to expanding.

"It is no surprise. BBVA had never ruled out buying assets or banks, so long as attractive opportunities arose," Alvarez said. The deal is especially attractive because it enables BBVA to expand in Texas, she said.

The financial crisis is giving Spanish banks "the opportunity to make acquisitions and keep expanding their international presence at much more affordable prices than they would have if this crisis had not emerged," Alvarez said.

The FDIC also announced Friday the closures of Internet-based ebank, located in Atlanta, with $143 million in assets and $130 million in deposits; First Coweta, based in Newnan, Ga., with $167 million in assets and $155 million in deposits; and CapitalSouth Bank, based in Birmingham, Ala., with $617 million in assets and $546 million in deposits.

Stearns Bank, based in St. Cloud, Minn., agreed to buy the assets and deposits of ebank. United Bank, based in Zebulon, Ga., is assuming the deposits and $155 million of the assets of First Coweta; the FDIC will retain the rest for eventual sale. IberiaBank, based in Lafayette, La., is assuming the deposits and $589 million of the assets of CapitalSouth Bank.

Those failures are expected to cost the insurance fund an estimated $63 million for ebank, $48 million for First Coweta and $151 million for CapitalSouth Bank.

Are accounting standards to blame? --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#FairValue

Bank Meltdown
Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) and Credit Derivatives (CDR) Got Too Much of the Blame

As more U.S. banks get shut down by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., it is becoming clear that most bank failures have nothing to do with investments in complex financial products that bear risks that are difficult for laymen to understand. Today, banks fail the old-fashioned way: They make loans but do not ever get the money back. These loans are going bad at a rate far beyond what banks and regulators imagined.
"Most Failing Banks Are Doing It the Old-School Way," by Floyd Norris, The New York Times, August 20, 2009 ---

Banks are now losing money and going broke the old-fashioned way: They made loans that will never be repaid.

As the number of banks closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has grown rapidly this year, it has become clear that most of them had nothing to do with the strange financial products that seemed to dominate the news when the big banks were nearing collapse and being bailed out by the government.

There were no C.D.O’s, or S.I.V.’s or AAA-rated “supersenior tranches” that turned out to have little value. Certainly there were no “C.D.O.-squareds.”

Staying away from strange securities has not made things better. Jim Wigand, the F.D.I.C.’s deputy director of resolutions and receiverships, says banks that are failing now are in worse shape — in terms of the amount of losses relative to the size of the banks — than the ones that collapsed during the last big wave of failures, from the savings and loan crisis.

The severity of the current string of bank failures shows that many of the proposed remedies batted about since the financial crisis erupted would have done nothing to stem this wave of closures. These banks did not get in over their heads with derivatives or hide their bad assets in off-balance sheet vehicles. Nor did their traders make bad bets; they generally had no traders. They did not make loans that they expected to sell quickly, so they had plenty of reason to care that the loans would be repaid.

What they did do is see loans go bad, in some cases with stunning rapidity, in volumes that they never thought possible.

The fact that so many loans are souring is a testament to how bad the recession, and the collapse in property prices, has been. But looking at some of the banks in detail shows that they were also victims of their own apparent success. Year after year, these banks grew and grew, and took more and more risks. Losses were minimal. Cautious bankers appeared to be missing opportunities.

As the great economist Hyman P. Minsky pointed out, stability eventually will be destabilizing. The absence of problems in the middle of this decade was taken as proof that nothing very bad was likely to happen. Any bank that did not lower its lending standards from 2005 through mid-2007 would have stopped growing, simply because its competitors were offering more and more generous terms.

Take the recent failure of Temecula Valley Bank, in Riverside County, Calif. For most of this decade, it grew rapidly. Deposits leapt by 50 percent a year, rising to $1.1 billion in 2007, from less than $100 million in 2001.

That growth was powered by construction loans, on which it suffered virtually no losses for many years. By 2005, loans to builders amounted to more than half its total loans — and to 450 percent of its capital.

Temecula appeared to be very well capitalized. But virtually all that capital vanished when the boom stopped.

When the F.D.I.C. stepped in last month, the bank had $1.5 billion in assets. The agency thinks it will lose about a quarter of that amount.

Across the country, at Security Bank of Bibb County, Ga., the story was remarkably similar. Its fast growth was powered by construction loans, although in this case the loans mostly financed commercial buildings, not houses. When those loans went bad, what had appeared to be a well-capitalized bank went under. The F.D.I.C. estimates its losses will be almost 30 percent of the bank’s $1.2 billion in assets.

In both of those cases, to get another bank to take over the failed bank, the F.D.I.C. had to agree to share future losses on most of the loans. That is one reason the agency’s estimates of its eventual losses could turn out to be wrong. In the best of all worlds, the loss estimates would be too high because the economy and property prices recover rapidly. But if the recovery is slow, the losses could grow.

In either case, the F.D.I.C. may soon need to seek more money to pay for failing banks. It could seek that cash from the Treasury, where it has a line of credit, or it could seek to raise the fees it charges banks.

So far this year, the F.D.I.C. has closed 77 banks, and there almost certainly will be more on Friday, the agency’s preferred day for bank closures. Last Friday there were five. Not since June 12 has there been a Friday without a bank closing. By contrast, there were three failures in 2007 and 25 in 2008.

Of the 77 failures in 2009, the F.D.I.C. could not even find a bank to acquire eight of them. Of the other 69, the agency signed loss-sharing agreements on 41.

By contrast, the agency found acquirers for all of the 25 failed banks in 2008, and had to sign loss-sharing agreements for just three of the banks.

“Loss-sharing” is something of a misnomer. In practice, the vast majority of the losses are borne by the F.D.I.C. Typically, it takes 80 percent of the losses up to a negotiated limit, and 95 percent of losses above that level.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on banking failures are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#Bailout

Mortgage Fraud Increasing
Despite the attention paid to mortgage fraud committed by borrowers and lenders since declines in the real estate values and the subprime loan crisis triggered severe problems in the banking industry, the number of Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) investigations of mortgage fraud and associated financial crimes is increasing. “The FBI has experienced and continues to experience an exponential rise in mortgage fraud investigations,” John Pistole, Deputy Director, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in April.
AccountingWeb, August 18, 2009 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/topic/mortgage-loan-fraud-increasing
Jensen Comment
I think mortgage fraud will continue to rise as long as remote third parties like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA continue to buy up mortgages negotiated by banks and mortgage companies basking in moral hazard. The biggest hazards are fraudulent real estate appraisals and lies about income in mortgage applications. We need to bring back George Bailey (James Stewart) in It's a Wonderful Life --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Wonderful_Life
The banks that negotiate the mortgages should have to hang on to those mortgages.
Watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJJN9qwhkkE

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

Second Life (Membership is Free) --- http://secondlife.com/
Also see --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Life
A Second Life Blog --- http://blog.secondlife.com/

Videos --- Click Here

The IRS Embraces the Virtual World of Second Life Software
The virtual world of Second Life is home to entrepreneurs, visionaries, crackpots, nerds, CPAs (!), Fortune 500 businesses - basically anyone with a computer and a willingness to explore a 3-D world - and it also includes the IRS among its denizens. The IRS uses Second Life as a recruiting tool, and claims that, depending on how one looks at it, the taxing agency is actually saving millions of taxpayer dollars by devoting some time and money to this virtual world instead of using its resources in more expensive venues, like, say, NASCAR?
Gail Perry, "IRS might be saving millions by recruiting in Second Life," AccountingWeb, August 19, 2009 ---

"Stanford U. Offers Special Exhibits in Second Life," by Marc Beja, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 20, 2009 ---

You’re sitting at your computer doing preliminary research for a course on Israeli history. A Web search shows that Stanford University had an extensive exhibit on the history of Tel Aviv that opened in April, but either you've missed it, or you don’t have the time or money to hop a flight to California.

That's no problem. Sign onto Second Life and check out the university's exhibit there.

The university library's special-collections department has begun to post exhibits and materials both on campus and online, letting anyone view temporary presentations, even long after they have been physically removed from public viewing.

The Stanford University Second Life library began as an experiment in 2006, say Mimi Calter, special-projects librarian and Deni Wicklund, manager of the library’s technical-support group. Ms. Wicklund began by purchasing a small plot of land on a Second Life island. At first, some content was added, along with links to university Web sites. Slowly, scanned materials for the library exhibits were also posted. Then manuscript boxes that looked identical to those in the library were added. Now, a few exhibits and even a documentary are available online, and more content is on the way. Just last month the university had an open house where users could tour the Second Life library.

Stanford is not the only university to open online versions of its library on Second Life. Harvard has its own island, and San Jose State University’s School of Library and Professional Services has its own portal.

While many colleges and universities have used Second Life in different ways, Ms. Wicklund understands that Second Life is not for everybody.

"The collaborative potential for it is so great that you have to try it to understand the full impact that it can have," she says. "This is just one more tool to be used in the cause of education and learning."

Bob Jensen's threads on Second Life are at

"We Must Teach Students to Fail Well," by Leah Blatt Glasser, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 1, 2009 ---

A poster titled "Freshman Counseling" hangs on the wall in the least conspicuous corner of my office. I inherited it from my predecessor as she gleefully departed. The image, in dungeon-and-dragon style, is daunting.

A tall guard, perhaps the executioner himself, stands masked and towering above a meek first-year student. The guard holds the end of a long chain around the student's neck; on the other side of the desk sits the homely and obese dean in hooded medieval garb, hunched

I recall one semester when that poster, merely a source of amusement for me on my busiest days, took on new meaning. On the first day of classes, I sat in my office on the third floor of the imposing ivy-covered administrative building at Mount Holyoke College, awaiting my first "probationer." The student — let us call her Emily — entered with her head hanging low. Her eyes avoided mine quite deliberately as she gripped the letter outlining her poor performance and the terms of academic probation.

Emily was already shrugging her shoulders and expressing despair, shame, and apology, even before reaching the seat on the other side of my desk. She glanced over at the poster. Ironically, the ominous image served to put her at ease, and we had a good laugh for a moment. "I feel just like that kid," she said. What she learned over the course of the next six months was how to get rid of the executioner and the chain around her neck, the one she had conjured up in her imagination as a result of her failure.

In my role as an academic dean, I frequently meet with students on probation who have not yet learned how to fail and are consequently paralyzed academically. One of the most pivotal skills for a student who wishes to succeed in the academic arena is the ability to fail well.

"Good failing" requires the strength to make use of a self-generated mess. As Anne Lamott explains in Bird by Bird, "perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life." She urges her writers to "go ahead and make big scrawls and mistakes. Use up lots of paper. Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist's true friend. ... We need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here."

Of course after the mess, the learning can begin, and that is precisely what the students whom I work with discover. It is a lesson more valuable than the lessons learned in the courses in which they will ultimately earn A's. The energy, even courage, to rethink a failed piece of work, write, rewrite, inquire, and respond to the comments and questions of a critical reader is crucial for anyone aiming to excel in college. Moreover, the shame and embarrassment of producing a less-than-perfect paper or exam becomes a handy shield against the hard work it takes to build on failure.

Unfortunately, more often than not, students placed on academic probation because of a poor performance in their first semester of college resisted turning in an imperfect paper, completing a flawed exam, or appearing in subsequent classes because they were too paralyzed by criticism to prepare or move forward. Their self-defeating actions stem from fear of criticism. In short, they are bad at failing.

How can we turn such students around? To be sure, no matter how much we advise, they may continue to perform poorly in a discipline that doesn't tap their interests or abilities. But the first year of college is a time to discover strengths and weaknesses. The role of a good adviser or dean is to engage the student in dialogue, to encourage her to examine the causes of failure, to give her room for honest self-assessment, and then to guide her toward taking responsibility for improvement.

Simple questions work: What do you think went wrong? What will you do differently? Did you meet with the professor or only communicate through e-mail messages? Did you go to the writing center? Seek the help of the reference librarian? The goal is to help students listen to themselves and make the needed connections so that their failure fuels success.

A good example of "bad failing" is the pattern Emily confessed as she sat before me in shame during our first meeting. In her first semester, Emily said, she had stared in shock at the grades for her papers and exams in each course, and subsequently internalized the low grades (not yet F's) as symbols of her inadequacies rather than as opportunities for growth. While on probation, Emily learned that criticism is the best gift college can provide. Failure can and should be the key impetus for success. A quick review of her experience will serve to demonstrate my point.

I asked Emily which of the courses from her first semester was her favorite. She selected the course for which she received a C-minus. That impressed me. "Great Books," a first-year writing-intensive seminar, opened Emily's eyes to a range of interpretations and analyses of classical texts, and challenged her to read and write more often than she ever had in high school. She loved the reading but dreaded the writing. When her first paper came back with exclamation points and question marks in the margins, and the words "we need to meet" at the top of the first page, Emily hid. Her professor continued to urge her to come in, but that was the last thing she could imagine doing. To her mind, he was the equivalent of the judgmental figure behind the big desk in my poster, and only some guard pulling her along with a chain could have gotten her to that office. Avoiding the professor was her way of erasing the reality of those marked-up papers.

It was as if she had convinced herself that if she ignored the comments on her papers, somehow they weren't really there. So she dutifully continued to hand in her assignments, and each one was worse than the one that came before. Her final grade seemed to her something tragic from which she might never recover. Literature was, after all, the field in which she hoped to major.

A decision had to be made now about whether or not to continue into the second semester of the seminar with the same teacher. "How will you feel if you drop it?" I asked. "Will you miss the discussions and the readings? Were you excited about what you were learning even though the grades were low? Tell me about what you learned."

Continued in article

Hereeeeeee's Johnnie! Johnnie who?
From Beloit College:  Get to know the Class of 2013 Better
If the entering college class of 2013 had been more alert back in 1991 when most of them were born, they would now be experiencing a severe case of déjà vu. The headlines that year railed about government interventions, bailouts, bad loans, unemployment and greater regulation of the finance industry. The Tonight Show changed hosts for the first time in decades, and the nation asked “was Iraq worth a war?” Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college. It is the creation of Beloit’s Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and Emeritus Public Affairs Director Ron Nief.  It is used around the world as the school year begins, as a reminder of the rapidly changing frame of reference for this new generation. It is widely reprinted and the Mindset List website at http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/ receives more than 300,000 hits annually.

Most students entering college for the first time this fall were born in 1991.

  1. For these students, Martha Graham, Pan American Airways, Michael Landon, Dr. Seuss, Miles Davis, The Dallas Times Herald, Gene Roddenberry, and Freddie Mercury have always been dead.
  2. Dan Rostenkowski, Jack Kevorkian, and Mike Tyson have always been felons.
  3. The Green Giant has always been Shrek, not the big guy picking vegetables.
  4. They have never used a card catalog to find a book.
  5. Margaret Thatcher has always been a former prime minister.
  6. Salsa has always outsold ketchup.
  7. Earvin "Magic" Johnson has always been HIV-positive.
  8. Tattoos have always been very chic and highly visible.
  9. They have been preparing for the arrival of HDTV all their lives.
  10. Rap music has always been main stream.
  11. Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream has always been a flavor choice.
  12. Someone has always been building something taller than the Willis (née Sears) Tower in Chicago.
  13. The KGB has never officially existed.
  14. Text has always been hyper.
  15. They never saw the “Scud Stud” (but there have always been electromagnetic stud finders.)
  16. Babies have always had a Social Security Number.
  17. They have never had to “shake down” an oral thermometer.
  18. Bungee jumping has always been socially acceptable.
  19. They have never understood the meaning of R.S.V.P.
  20. American students have always lived anxiously with high-stakes educational testing.
  21. Except for the present incumbent, the President has never inhaled.
  22. State abbreviations in addresses have never had periods.
  23. The European Union has always existed.
  24. McDonald's has always been serving Happy Meals in China.
  25. Condoms have always been advertised on television.
  26. Cable television systems have always offered telephone service and vice versa.
  27. Christopher Columbus has always been getting a bad rap.
  28. The American health care system has always been in critical condition.
  29. Bobby Cox has always managed the Atlanta Braves.
  30. Desperate smokers have always been able to turn to Nicoderm skin patches.
  31. There has always been a Cartoon Network.
  32. The nation’s key economic indicator has always been the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  33. Their folks could always reach for a Zoloft.
  34. They have always been able to read books on an electronic screen.
  35. Women have always outnumbered men in college.
  36. We have always watched wars, coups, and police arrests unfold on television in real time.
  37. Amateur radio operators have never needed to know Morse code.
  38. Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Latvia, Georgia, Lithuania, and Estonia have always been independent nations.
  39. It's always been official: President Zachary Taylor did not die of arsenic poisoning.
  40. Madonna’s perspective on Sex has always been well documented.
  41. Phil Jackson has always been coaching championship basketball.
  42. Ozzy Osbourne has always been coming back.
  43. Kevin Costner has always been Dancing with Wolves, especially on cable.
  44. There have always been flat screen televisions.
  45. They have always eaten Berry Berry Kix.
  46. Disney’s Fantasia has always been available on video, and It’s a Wonderful Life has always been on Moscow television.
  47. Smokers have never been promoted as an economic force that deserves respect.
  48. Elite American colleges have never been able to fix the price of tuition.
  49. Nobody has been able to make a deposit in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
  50. Everyone has always known what the evening news was before the Evening News came on.
  51. Britney Spears has always been heard on classic rock stations.
  52. They have never been Saved by the Bell
  53. Someone has always been asking: “Was Iraq worth a war?”
  54. Most communities have always had a mega-church.
  55. Natalie Cole has always been singing with her father.
  56. The status of gays in the military has always been a topic of political debate.
  57. Elizabeth Taylor has always reeked of White Diamonds.
  58. There has always been a Planet Hollywood.
  59. For one reason or another, California’s future has always been in doubt.
  60. Agent Starling has always feared the Silence of the Lambs.
  61. “Womyn” and “waitperson” have always been in the dictionary.
  62. Members of Congress have always had to keep their checkbooks balanced since the closing of the House Bank.
  63. There has always been a computer in the Oval Office.
  64. CDs have never been sold in cardboard packaging.
  65. Avon has always been “calling” in a catalog.
  66. NATO has always been looking for a role.
  67. Two Koreas have always been members of the UN.
  68. Official racial classifications in South Africa have always been outlawed.
  69. The NBC Today Show has always been seen on weekends.
  70. Vice presidents of the United States have always had real power.
  71. Conflict in Northern Ireland has always been slowly winding down.
  72. Migration of once independent media like radio, TV, videos and compact discs to the computer has never amazed them.
  73. Nobody has ever responded to “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
  74. Congress could never give itself a mid-term raise.
  75. There has always been blue Jell-O.

Funny commercial for the L.A. County Fair --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wmn38FqWlBk


What is "negative learning" in college?

"Letting Students Down:  A new study finds that even top undergraduates are woefully ignorant of history and civic government," by Pat Wingert, MSNBC, September 27, 2006 --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15014682/site/newsweek/from/ET/

Does going to college make students better-educated citizens? A new study of more than 14,000 randomly selected college students from across the country concludes that the answer is often no. Not only did many respondents at the 50 participating colleges fail to answer half of the basic civics questions correctly, but at such elite schools as Cornell, Berkeley and Johns Hopkins, the college freshmen scored higher than the college seniors. Josiah Bunting, III, chairman of the National Civic Literacy Board of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), the nonprofit that funded the study, decried “the students’ dismal scores” as providing “high-quality evidence of … nothing less than a coming crisis in American citizenship.” Mike Ratliff, a senior vice president at the ISI spoke to NEWSWEEK’s Pat Wingert about the study’s findings, which were released today.

. . .

How did you pick the participating schools?
We surveyed 14,000 students at 50 schools as part of the largest study ever done on this topic. The University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy picked 25 schools on a random basis. Then we oversampled among the most selective schools, and added 25 schools like Harvard, Yale and Princeton.

What did you find?
Basically, we found that the freshmen arriving on campus were not very well prepared to take on their future responsibility as citizens. They earned a failing grade on our test. [The average participating freshman got 51.7 percent of the questions correct.] But after four to five years in college, we found that seniors, as a group, scored only 1.5 percent better than the entering freshmen.

What was most surprising was the finding that at 16 of the 50 schools, the freshmen did better than the seniors. We were startled by the extent of what we call “negative learning.” When courses are not offered or required, the students forget what they knew when they entered as freshmen, and that 16 included some of the best schools in the country, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Duke.

Continued in article

The Russians are Scamming; The Russians are Scamming
"Bank-fraud scam alleged in Denver and Aurora:  Investigators say 700 people were involved in a Denver-based scheme run by Russian immigrants, with losses topping $80 million," by Felisa Cardona, The Denver Post, August 15, 2009 ---

A alleged massive organized bank-fraud scheme involving 16 Russian immigrants was busted by federal agents Friday, with 15 raids at several locations, including an Aurora auto dealership and a Denver medical-marijuana business.

Federal agents said the Denver-based scheme led to losses of more than $80 million and involved 700 people — mostly students in the U.S. on visas who were recruited by the criminal enterprise.

Described by authorities as a "bust out" scam, the allegations involved using the identity and credit line of a business to obtain loans and goods with no intention of repaying the money or paying for the merchandise, according to the case affidavit unsealed Friday. Additionally, some of the 700 obtained credit cards to buy luxury items with no intention of paying for them, while others took out cash loans without repaying, it is alleged.

As part of the investigation, federal agents searched CannaMed, a medical-marijuana dispensary on Leetsdale Drive in Denver. But medical marijuana was not the focus of the search or the investigation, said Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the Colorado U.S. attorney's office.

"The focus of the investigation is fraud and has nothing to do with medical marijuana, and there is no link to the initial investigation and medical marijuana," he said.

Medical marijuana is legal in Colorado. But under federal law, once a federal agent comes in contact with marijuana, the plants must be seized because the drug is illegal.

A person involved with the medical-marijuana dispensary is potentially involved in unrelated criminal conduct, according to a source close to the investigation.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents also came in contact with a marijuana-growing operation at another home that was searched Friday.

Maaliki Motors on South Havana Street in Aurora was raided as well, but the business was searched solely because some of the suspect credit cards were used there to purchase vehicles, according to the affidavit.

Valeria Igorevna Glukhova, 22, used a Washington Mutual credit card on Sept. 22, 2008, at the dealership and spent $10,000 on a 2005 Lexus RX 330, court records say. Glukhova has not been arrested.

Four women were arrested during the bust, but only two were in U.S. District Court in Denver on Friday for an initial appearance.

Natallia Vishnevskaya, 26, and Nadezda Nikitina, 23, remained in custody and through a Russian interpreter were told by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Hegarty that they have a detention hearing Wednesday to determine whether they should be released on bail.

Vishnevskaya and Nikitina are each charged with bank fraud and submitting a false and fraudulent application for credit. The charges carry maximum terms of 30 years in prison.

The court documents say that Nikitina formed a business, A&N Enterprises, and filed articles of organization with the Colorado Secretary of State.

However, the Colorado Department of Labor reported that she did not have any employment income at the time she filled out applications for credit on which she said she earned $180,000 a year.

In May 2008, Nikitina tried to buy Jet Skis at Vickery Motorsports, and the store denied her loan application when it saw the number of loans on her credit reports.

Susan Ghardashyan, 69, and Seda Sahakyan, 77, were taken to a medical facility after their arrests. They may make an initial appearance in court next week, but the charges against them were unavailable Friday.

Court documents say Ghardashyan spent $20,300 at Maaliki Motors from February to April using a Target National Bank Card and another $10,000 on a Nordstrom card at the dealership. In late February, two attempts were made at charging another $21,000 to the Nordstrom card at Maaliki, but the charges were declined, the records show.

Dorschner declined to comment on whether anyone involved in the businesses knew that the cards were being used fraudulently.

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

"Google Books to add Creative Commons books," The Washington Post, August 14, 2009 --- Click Here

Google Inc. is now enabling authors and publishers who release their work under Creative Commons licenses to distribute it through Google Books, a free service that allows users to search and read books online.

Creative Commons is a nonprofit group that encourages writers, artists and others to use its licensing tools to let their work to be reused and shared by others in certain ways.

In a blog post Thursday, Google Books associate product manager Xian Ke wrote that rights holders who are already part of Google Books' partner program can update their account settings. Those who aren't can sign up to be a partner and choose one of seven different Creative Commons licenses.

People will be able to download these books from Google Books and share them. If rights holders indicate that people can modify their books, readers will be able to do that, too.

Those who download the books will be agreeing that they will only use them in the ways the license says they may. This could include giving the author credit if they remix the work or distribute it publicly,

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at

Links to millions of free books can be found at

"New Carnegie Mellon U. Project Will Build Online Community-College Courses," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 14, 2009 --- Click Here

Carnegie Mellon University is expanding its open online-learning efforts with a new project focused on community colleges. 

The Community College Open Learning Initiative is the second wave of an educational experiment that gained attention recently from the Obama administration. Carnegie Mellon's work has given about 300 classrooms around the world access to software-enhanced, college-level online-course material in subjects like biology and statistics. These digital environments track students’ progress, give them feedback, and tip off professors about where students are struggling so the instructors can make better use of class time.

Now Carnegie Mellon plans to work with a consortium of community colleges to set up four "high gatekeeper" courses, defined as classes that have poor success rates but are important to getting degrees. The goal is to raise completion rates by 25 percent in those courses. The courses will be team-designed by community-college faculty experts, scientists who study how people learn, human-computer-interaction specialists, and software engineers.

Carnegie Mellon says its approach is efficient, but the tracking-intensive model has also raised questions about student privacy.

Candace Thille, director of the Open Learning Initiative, said the community-college project had secured $4.5-million. Multiple foundations are backing the effort, but Ms. Thille declined to identify all of them. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has supported Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative since 2002. 

When the Open Learning Initiative began, the idea was to offer students outside Carnegie Mellon online courses that gave them a shot at learning the same information a traditional course would convey, but without an instructor. Researchers have also studied a hybrid mode, meaning online teaching combined with some classroom time, though less than in a traditional course. Results showed that students in the hybrid course "successfully learned as much material in half the time," according to an overview of the Community College Open Learning Initiative proposal that was provided to The Chronicle.

The community-college project intends to use the hybrid style.

Because of work and family responsibilities, community-college students' schedules are often less flexible than those of students in residential four-year colleges, Ms. Thille said. Blended learning gives community-college students more flexibility, she said, and it has the potential to keep them in classes they might otherwise have to drop "because life got in the way." 

The new project involves partnerships with a variety of associations and state systems in North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Washington. The proposal calls for reaching 40 community-college partners within three years.

Bob Jensen's threads on various universities that freely share course materials, video lectures, and entire courses are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Should There Be a Publisher of Last Resort for Your Rejected Papers?

Over 40 years of submitting research papers for publications, I've had a lot of these papers rejected for reasons that were darned good --- reasons that in retrospect embarrassed me. As a referee I've sometimes rejected papers that for reasons that later embarrassed me when the authors presented their rejoinders. There are also some instances were I felt the referees of my own papers had their heads where the sun doesn't shine.

I provide three very old examples of where I had rejected papers that, with encouragement, could've been turned into good work in my opinion. You can read these examples called "The Big Ones That Got Away" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/default4.htm
Admiring Google searchers quite frequently seek me out to this day regarding my rejected Working Paper 127.

In the course of those 40+ years, there were also some research papers that "got away." For a variety of reasons, journal referees and editors did not find sufficient merit in the drafts of these papers to accept them for publication. Most of my drafts that got away were deservedly rejected. (Probably in a conspiracy to keep me humble.) However, as I reflect upon my past work, I think that at least three of my favorites were rejected even though I liked the papers better than most of my work that was accepted for publication. The powers of the Internet now allow me to make these "big ones" available to the world. The papers below are HTML versions of the original (not revised) drafts. Please keep the dates of the papers in mind in you take the time and trouble to examine my big ones that got away.

Note that I'm not arguing that these three papers did not need revising, especially revising to make them more concise and readable. Like Andy Bailey, I always had difficulty writing papers that were less than a hundred pages long.

I might point out that for much of my career as a teacher of accounting my research was more in the area of mathematics, economics, and operations research. I considered it too difficult to make an original contribution to accountancy.

"Hear the One About the Rejected Mathematician? Call it a scholarly 'Island of Misfit Toys,' Chronicle of Higher Education, August 12, 2009 --- Click Here

Rejecta Mathematica is an open-access online journal that publishes mathematical papers that have been rejected by others. Rejecta's motto is caveat emptor, which is to say that the journal has no technical peer-review process.

As The Economist notes in its article on the journal, there are plenty of examples of scholars who have suffered rejection, only to go on to become giants in their field. (OK, two.) Nonetheless, if you have lots of free time on your hands, by all means, check out the inaugural issue.

And if deciphering mathematical formulae isn't your thing, stand by: Rejecta says it may open the floodgates to other disciplines. Prospective franchisees are invited to contact the journal.

Next up: Rejecta Rejecta, a journal for articles too flawed for Rejects Mathematica, printed on single-ply toilet paper.

Jensen Comment
If any rejected paper is automatically published, it behooves the author to also share the anonymous referee reports that hopefully give reasons for rejection, such as proof that the research findings have been previously published by somebody else and were not referenced in the rejected paper. When I was in the doctoral program at Stanford, one of my friends was getting a PhD in electrical engineering. The original contribution of his thesis was to be a mathematical proof I never did understand. After he'd worked out his elegant proof, somebody pointed out that a monk had developed an identical proof hundreds of years earlier. My friend then had to search for a new thesis idea.

After so many moves in my life I no longer have the referee reports for the above three rejected papers. Suffice it to say that none of the referees questioned the originality of my works. They mostly complained that my writing was incomprehensible. Sigh!

From the Scout Report on August 14, 2009

Free YouTube to MP3 Converter ---  

If you've ever wanted to just listen to a particular YouTube video at your leisure as a mp3 file, this application may be just the thing. Visitors simply need to install the program and drop the YouTube URLs in question into a box. The application will convert the files into the mp3 format. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP or Vista.

Jensen Comment
I tried this and my first saved file was a  MP3 file of Les Paul and Mary Ford
The full video file on YouTube is at
World is Waiting for the Sunrise --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iGXP_UBog4 

I pasted the above URL into the converter program and saved it to my hard drive as a MP3 file.
It saved as a 3,132 Kb compressed audio file that you can listen to at

It's neat the way the program can download in background from YouTube. This way you can start a download and then go about your business in other software. Your computer will give a tiny bleep when the download is finished. If you then download another file, be sure to first change the "Output" file name so as to not write over the previous download file.

A clear advantage to saving YouTube audio or video is that these links come and go on YouTube all the time. The above link to the Les Paul and Mary Ford video might even have been removed between now and when I pasted the above link into this document. But my MP3 recording is now subject to my control, although care must be taken with respect to copyrights. I assumed that this demo will not upset anybody. U.C. Berkeley and other universities who put full length lectures and courses on YouTube encourage users to download the audio or video files (the video takes up an enormous amount of file space).

Another advantage is that you easily edit the MP3 file and/or make clipped portions to be saved as other audio files. For example, a six-minute clip might be saved from a 75-minute YouTube lecture from MIT.

I was amazed at the ease with which YouTube audio can be captured and saved as a file on my hard drive. When it’s audio that’s more important than video of a talking head or unneeded viewing of music performers, there is a great savings in storage requirements for audio files versus video files. This includes the wasted space of talking heads in videos and the desire to hear music without necessarily always having to watch it performed while you are playing it in background.

Librarian Pro 1.4.4 --- http://www.koingosw.com/products/librarianpro.php 

This application is a nice way to create an organized and cross-referenced catalog for books, movies, and music. Visitors can keep track of loaned material, and they can easily import detailed cataloging information from popular sites like Amazon. Also, the application allows users to export these lists onto iPod and other such devices. This version can be used for fifteen days at no cost, and it is compatible with computers running Windows XP and newer and those running Max OS X 10.4 and newer.

Amidst ongoing financial difficulties, the United States Postal Service thinks about the future Talking Business: The Postal Service May Be Headed the Way of the Pony Express [Free registration may be required] --- Click Here

Fixing the Mail: Neither Snow nor Rain nor…Red Ink?

US Postal Service faces protest over cutbacks

Federal Eye: Do New Postage Stamps Help or Hurt?

National Postal Museum http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/ 

HowStuffWorks: "How the U.S. Postal Service Works" http://people.howstuffworks.com/usps.htm


Archaeologists find cache of tablets in 2,700-year old Turkish temple
Excavations led by a University of Toronto archaeologist at the site of a recently discovered temple in southeastern Turkey have uncovered a cache of cuneiform tablets dating back to the Iron Age period between 1200 and 600 BCE. Found in the temple's cella, or 'holy of holies', the tablets are part of a possible archive that may provide insights into Assyrian imperial aspirations.
, August 10, 2009 --- http://www.physorg.com/news169121163.html

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

Education Tutorials

The International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy --- http://www.iccdpp.org/

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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

From the University of Pittsburgh
Birds of America (435 birds mounted online) --- http://digital.library.pitt.edu/a/audubon/

Xeno-Canto: Bird Sounds From the Americas --- http://www.xeno-canto.org/

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Birds, Birds, Birds --- http://birds.fws.gov/ 

Unseen Life on Earth: An Introduction to Microbiology --- http://www.learner.org/resources/series121.html

Microbial Life-Educational Resources --- http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/

Place and Location (a journal on how creatures interact with habitat) --- http://www.eki.ee/km/place/

American Museum of Natural History: Climate Change --- http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/climatechange/?src=h_h

Behind the Scenes at Harvard's Museum of Natural History --- http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth

"Setback for Enhanced Geothermal Energy," by Kevin Bullis, MIT's Technology Review, August 20, 2009 ---

The World Bank: Climate Change --- http://beta.worldbank.org/climatechange/

Fossils in Antarctica: British Antarctic Survey http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/about_antarctica/geography/rock/fossils.php

Washington State Department of Natural Resources: Geology & Earth Sciences ---  http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ResearchScience/GeologyEarthSciences/Pages/Home.aspx 

Design Build Network (architecture) --- http://www.designbuild-network.com/

America's Favorite Architecture --- http://www.favoritearchitecture.org/

National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research --- http://www.nichd.nih.gov/about/org/ncmrr/

Supercourse:  Epidemiology, the Internet and Global Health http://www.pitt.edu/~super1/index.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event --- http://www.bt.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/ 

Center for Aging Services Technologies --- http://www.agingtech.org The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation tutorials in medicine, medical insurance, healthcare administration ---  http://www.rwjf.org/

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

The International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy --- http://www.iccdpp.org/

Working Class Movement Library --- http://www.wcml.org.uk/

Hard Times in Middletown: How the Middle Class Became the Brittle Class ---  http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/muncie/

Streetplay --- http://www.streetplay.com/

The World Bank: Climate Change --- http://beta.worldbank.org/climatechange/

American Museum of Natural History: Climate Change --- http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/climatechange/?src=h_h

Integrating U.S. Climate, Energy, and Transportation Policies --- http://www.rand.org/pubs/conf_proceedings/2009/RAND_CF256.pdf

American Museum of Natural History: Division of Anthropology --- http://anthro.amnh.org/

Place and Location (a journal on how creatures interact with habitat) --- http://www.eki.ee/km/place/

National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research --- http://www.nichd.nih.gov/about/org/ncmrr/

Supercourse:  Epidemiology, the Internet and Global Health http://www.pitt.edu/~super1/index.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event --- http://www.bt.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/ 

Center for Aging Services Technologies --- http://www.agingtech.org The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation tutorials in medicine, medical insurance, healthcare administration ---  http://www.rwjf.org/


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

Law and Legal Studies

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

Math Tutorials

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

History Tutorials

Union Pacific Railroad: History and Photos http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/history/index.shtml

American History
DuBoisopedia --- http://www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/duboisopedia/doku.php 

Smithsonian Source: Resources for Teaching American History --- 

New Hampshire History: Digital Collections Initiative --- http://www.library.unh.edu/diglib/collections.shtml

Working Class Movement Library --- http://www.wcml.org.uk/

Hard Times in Middletown: How the Middle Class Became the Brittle Class ---  http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/muncie/

Minnesota's Historic Shipwrecks --- http://www.mnhs.org/places/nationalregister/shipwrecks/index.html 

Design Build Network (architecture) --- http://www.designbuild-network.com/

America's Favorite Architecture --- http://www.favoritearchitecture.org/

Glaswegians Photo Archive (Scotland) --- http://www.glaswegians.org/

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


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/


Breakthrough in Maple Sugar Production Function
An innovative new maple spout developed by the University of Vermont's Proctor Maple Research Center with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture secured by Senator Patrick J. Leahy, will have a dramatic impact on maple syrup production and will boost job creation and economic development in the state, the senator announced at a press conference August 17.
"Innovative spout will increase maple production up to 90 percent," PhysOrg, August 18, 2009 ---

Bumper Stickers

Darwin Awards --- http://www.darwinawards.com/

"On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study," by Ali Rahimi1, Ben Recht 2, Jason Taylor 2, Noah Vawter 2, MIT Department of Electrical Engineering, February 17, 2005 ---
Link forwarded by Rose Cohen-Brown [Rose.Cohen-Brown@trinity.edu]

Forwarded by Maureen

The light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing by stopping at the crosswalk even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection. 

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the  intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup. As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up  into the face of a very serious police officer.

The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. 

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects. 

He said, ''I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off  the guy in front of you and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the  'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Choose Life'  license plate holder, the 'Follow Me to Sunday-School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk,  so naturally...I assumed you had stolen the car.''


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

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

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