Tidbits on December 23, 2009
Bob Jensen

Happy New Year!

Abba's Happy New Year --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcLMH8pwusw

Mount Washington before the heavy snows arrived

Mt. Lafayette before the heavy snows arrived

No two sunsets are exactly alike (the camera is pointed eastward at sunset)

This is the golf club house beside our barn
100 years ago our barn was the powerhouse that lighted the big hotel that once sat where our house sits

This is the original Sunset Hill House Hotel that was torn down in 1973
It could sleep 340 guests in the days of the old grand hotel resorts
Beside our barn there was once a casino and a bowling alley
Only our barn and the golf club house remain
This is a picture of the old hotel on an old post card

Before it was winterized, our home was known as Brayton Cottage on the golf course
in 1975 it was moved across the tennis court to the site of the old hotel

Our neighbor's Arab mare longs for green grass of summertime

Remembering our foliage season

Bob's Been Into the Egg Nog

Keep Repeating:  "There was a summer, there was warm weather, ... "


Cats in Don's Barn (Northern Iowa)

The following pictures were sent to me by Auntie Bev


Video:  The Lord's Prayer-Mormon Choir-Andrea Bocelli ---

Helping Each Other in Times of Need: Financial Help as a Means of Coping with the Economic Crisis ---  http://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/2009/RAND_OP269.pdf 

My Theme Song
Train of Life (Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline) ---
Click Here

Thank You America (slide show) --- Click Here


A Carolina Christmas, With Kathy Mattea (full concert) ---

Twenty Years Of A Jazz Piano Christmas ---

Video link forwarded by Brent Mindy
World's biggest train set revealed This is the world's biggest train set which covers 1,150 square metres (12,380 square feet), features almost six miles of track and is still not complete.

Mt Washington Pictures  forwarded by Will Yancey

Video:  Christmas Can Can --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E-47VmFopE

Christmas lighting video --- http://www.flixxy.com/best-christmas-lights-display.htm


Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations Between November 17-23, 2009
To Accompany the November 23, 2009 edition of Tidbits

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

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

The Real National Debt (booked + unbooked entitlements) 2008
Source --- http://www.pgpf.org/about/nationaldebt/


Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm



Tidbits on December 23, 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

Daily News Sites for Accountancy, Tax, Fraud, IFRS, XBRL, Accounting History, and More ---

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 ---

I see from my house by the side of the road
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife,
But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)

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 


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

Video:  The Lord's Prayer-Mormon Choir-Andrea Bocelli ---

Video link forwarded by Brent Mindy
World's biggest train set revealed This is the world's biggest train set which covers 1,150 square metres (12,380 square feet), features almost six miles of track and is still not complete.

Video:  Hugo Chavez Calls Obama The Devil, Will Media Notice? ---

Copenhagen:  The Shift from "Global Warming" to "Climate Change" --- http://www.kusi.com/home/78477082.html?video=pop&t=a

Video: Why Singapore Leads The World In Mathematics --- http://www.simoleonsense.com/why-singapore-leads-the-world-in-mathematics/

Mambo Dog (college humor) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQr8UWuVefA

Sproingo:  Take the Guesswork Out of Erectile Dysfunction --- http://www.hulu.com/watch/44522/saturday-night-live-sproingo

Paddy Hirsh of American Public Media uses his usual sense of humor to explain interest rates in 2 min. --- 

Make 'Em Laugh http://www.pbs.org/wnet/makeemlaugh /

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

Video:  The Lord's Prayer-Mormon Choir-Andrea Bocelli ---

A Carolina Christmas, With Kathy Mattea (full concert) ---

Twenty Years Of A Jazz Piano Christmas ---

Till Fellner's Journey With Beethoven ---

Centre for Performance Science: Music and Science Online --- http://www.science.rcm.ac.uk/Science/Home

Video:  Christmas Can Can --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E-47VmFopE

Brecht's Works in English: A Bibliography (composer) ---  http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/BrechtGuide/ 

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

Ernest Clayton Collection of California Wild Flowers --- http://sfpl.lib.ca.us/librarylocations/sfhistory/clayton/clayton.htm 

Fore-Edge Paintings at the Lilly Library at Indiana University ---  http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/fore-edge/index.html

Ed Ruscha: Catalogue Raisonn? --- http://www.edruscha.com/

Chicago History Museum [Flash Player] --- http://blog.chicagohistory.org/

Digital Horizons: A Plains Media Resource --- http://digitalhorizonsonline.org/index.html 

Waddesdon Manor: The Rothschild Trade Card Collection http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/searchthecollection/trade_cards_introduction.html

The New York Real Estate Brochure Collection --- http://nyre.cul.columbia.edu/

Drawings by Rembrandt and His Pupils [Flash Player] http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/rembrandt_drawings/interactive.html 

Rembrandt's Journey: Painter, Draftsman, Etcher http://www.artic.edu/aic/exhibitions/rembrandt.html


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

Scholarly Online Publishing Bibliography --- http://www.digital-scholarship.org/sepb/sepb.html

Brecht's Works in English: A Bibliography (composer) ---  http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/BrechtGuide/ 

Free e-book of great thinkers: WHAT MATTERS NOW!  --- http://sethgodin.typepad.com/files/what-matters-now-1.pdf

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

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations Between December 17-23, 2009
To Accompany the December 23, 2009 edition of Tidbits

Bank regulators report more than half of modified mortgages back in default six months after modification
U.S. Department of the Treasury, Third Quarter 2009
Mortgage Metrics --- http://www.occ.treas.gov/ftp/release/2009-163a.pdf

Comprehensive summary of Paypal ---  http://www.howstuffworks.com/search.php?terms=Paypal

December 21. 2009 message from George Wright [Geo@LOYOLA.EDU]

Experienced eBay users swear by it, as one has more recourse in the event of problems.

An experienced friend also tell me that it's a good idea to open a new bank account specifically for PayPal purposes. The reason is that you can move newly deposited funds to an account beyond PayPal's reach. I'm told this prevents PayPal from sequestering your funds in the event of a late protest by the source of the funds.


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

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

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

"Harder to buy US Treasuries," Shangai Daily, December 18, 2009 ---

IT is getting harder for governments to buy United States Treasuries because the US's shrinking current-account gap is reducing supply of dollars overseas, a Chinese central bank official said yesterday.

The comments by Zhu Min, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, referred to the overall situation globally, not specifically to China, the biggest foreign holder of US government bonds.

Chinese officials generally are very careful about commenting on the dollar and Treasuries, given that so much of its US$2.3 trillion reserves are tied to their value, and markets always watch any such comments closely for signs of any shift in how it manages its assets.

China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange reaffirmed this month that the dollar stands secure as the anchor of the currency reserves it manages, even as the country seeks to diversify its investments.

In a discussion on the global role of the dollar, Zhu told an academic audience that it was inevitable that the dollar would continue to fall in value because Washington continued to issue more Treasuries to finance its deficit spending.

He then addressed where demand for that debt would come from.

"The United States cannot force foreign governments to increase their holdings of Treasuries," Zhu said, according to an audio recording of his remarks. "Double the holdings? It is definitely impossible."

"The US current account deficit is falling as residents' savings increase, so its trade turnover is falling, which means the US is supplying fewer dollars to the rest of the world," he added. "The world does not have so much money to buy more US Treasuries."

China continues to see its foreign exchange reserves grow, albeit at a slower pace than in past years, due to a large trade surplus and inflows of foreign investment. They stood at US$2.3 trillion at the end of September.

Bob Jensen's threads on the U.S. National Debt and Entitlement Disasters are at

What hand-held device can photograph close up and read aloud from books, price labels, receipts, and newspapers?

This device has far more uses beyond being a helper for sight impaired people.
For one thing, auditors might make use of this when detail testing.

Intel Reader --- http://www.intel.com/healthcare/reader/index.htm

The Intel Reader, powered by an Atom processor, is a handheld device with a five-­megapixel camera that can read aloud any printed text it is pointed at, including product labels, receipts, and pages from books and newspapers. Previously, visually impaired or dyslexic people required a desktop scanner connected to a computer to convert print into speech.
"Scan and Listen," MIT's Technology Review, December 17, 2009 ---

Other Technology Aids for the Handicapped and Learning Challenged ---

Free Stanford University Business School Book (with chapters on psychology and cognition)
Handbook of Negotiation and Culture , by Michelle J. Gelfand and Jenne M. Brett, 2004 ---
ISBN 0-8047-4586-2

Bob Jensen's threads on free textbooks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

"Credit Derivatives Are Not 'Insurance'," by M. Todd Henderson University of Chicago - Law School, SSRN, July 22, 2009 ---

According to the conventional wisdom, credit derivative contracts are a form of insurance. This view is held by academics, pundits, journalists, and government officials. This essay shows why they are wrong. While there is some superficial similarity between some kinds of credit derivative contracts and insurance contracts - both involve payments by a party holding a risk to another party in return for a promise to make the first party whole under certain future conditions - providing risk-sharing does not make a contract one of insurance. All contracts involve allocating risk between parties, and the lines between insurance contracts and other contracts cannot be sensibly drawn in the abstract. Moreover, the primary reason insurance contracts are treated differently than other contracts (and 'insurance law' is a separate body of law) is not because of their nature as 'insurance' but rather because they are issued by insurance companies. We regulate insurance companies with special rules for three reasons: (1) the inverted production cycle of insurance; (2) the unique governance problems inherent in a model in which the firm's creditors are policyholders; and (3) a view that state-based consumer protection is important to ensure a functioning market. This essay shows that none of these policy justifications obtain in credit derivative markets. Finally, the essay briefly discusses how a centralized clearinghouse or exchange can help improve the credit derivatives markets, as well as potential pitfalls with this solution.

Jensen Comment
But I think they should have regulated capital reserves like insurance ---

Timeline on the History of Derivatives Frauds ---

Bob Jensen's free tutorials and videos on accounting for derivative financial instruments ---

Lawrence Solomon: Wikipedia’s climate doctor
To color the world as warming when it was cooling
"How Wikipedia’s green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles," by Lawrence Solomon, Canada's National Post, December 19, 2009  ---

The Climategate Emails describe how a small band of climatologists cooked the books to make the last century seem dangerously warm.

The emails also describe how the band plotted to rewrite history as well as science, particularly by eliminating the Medieval Warm Period, a 400 year period that began around 1000 AD.

The Climategate Emails reveal something else, too: the enlistment of the most widely read source of information in the world — Wikipedia — in the wholesale rewriting of this history.

The Medieval Warm Period, which followed the meanness and cold of the Dark Ages, was a great time in human history — it allowed humans around the world to bask in a glorious warmth that vastly improved agriculture, increased life spans and otherwise bettered the human condition.

But the Medieval Warm Period was not so great for some humans in our own time — the same small band that believes the planet has now entered an unprecedented and dangerous warm period. As we now know from the Climategate Emails, this band saw the Medieval Warm Period as an enormous obstacle in their mission of spreading the word about global warming. If temperatures were warmer 1,000 years ago than today, the Climategate Emails explain in detail, their message that we now live in the warmest of all possible times would be undermined. As put by one band member, a Briton named Folland at the Hadley Centre, a Medieval Warm Period “dilutes the message rather significantly.”

Even before the Climategate Emails came to light, the problem posed by the Medieval Warm Period to this band was known. “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period” read a pre-Climategate email, circa 1995, as attested to at hearings of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works. But the Climategate transcripts were more extensive and more illuminating — they provided an unvarnished look at the struggles that the climate practitioners underwent before settling on their scientific dogma.

The Climategate Emails showed, for example, that some members of the band were uncomfortable with aspects of their work, some even questioning the need to erase the existence of the Medieval Warm Period 1,000 years earlier.

Said Briffa, one of their chief practitioners: “I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. … I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1,000 years ago.”

In the end, Briffa and other members of the band overcame their doubts and settled on their dogma. With the help of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the highest climate change authority of all, they published what became the icon of their movement — the hockey stick graph. This icon showed temperatures in the last 1,000 years to have been stable — no Medieval Warm Period, not even the Little Ice Age of a few centuries ago.

But the UN’s official verdict that the Medieval Warm Period had not existed did not erase the countless schoolbooks, encyclopedias, and other scholarly sources that claimed it had. Rewriting those would take decades, time that the band members didn’t have if they were to save the globe from warming.

Instead, the band members turned to their friends in the media and to the blogosphere, creating a website called RealClimate.org. “The idea is that we working climate scientists should have a place where we can mount a rapid response to supposedly ‘bombshell’ papers that are doing the rounds” in aid of “combating dis-information,” one email explained, referring to criticisms of the hockey stick and anything else suggesting that temperatures today were not the hottest in recorded time. One person in the nine-member Realclimate.org team — U.K. scientist and Green Party activist William Connolley — would take on particularly crucial duties.

Connolley took control of all things climate in the most used information source the world has ever known – Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003, just when opposition to the claims of the band members were beginning to gel, Connolley set to work on the Wikipedia site. He rewrote Wikipedia’s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling. On Feb. 14, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug.11, the Medieval Warm Period. In October, he turned his attention to the hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the band. Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer, two of the world’s most distinguished climate scientists, were among his early targets, followed by others that the band especially hated, such as Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, authorities on the Medieval Warm Period.

All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.

The Medieval Warm Period disappeared, as did criticism of the global warming orthodoxy. With the release of the Climategate Emails, the disappearing trick has been exposed. The glorious Medieval Warm Period will remain in the history books, perhaps with an asterisk to describe how a band of zealots once tried to make it disappear.

Read more: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2009/12/19/lawrence-solomon-wikipedia-s-climate-doctor.aspx#ixzz0aLv4L8Rz  The Financial Post is now on Facebook. Join our fan community today.

"Carter apologizes for 'stigmatizing Israel':  Former US president offers US Jewish community heartfelt apology for any contribution he may have had to Jewish nation's negative image," by Yitzhak Benhorin, Jerusalem Post, December 21, 2009 ---

Former US President Jimmy Carter on Monday asked for the Jewish community's forgiveness for any negative stigma he may have caused Israel over the years.

Carter, who is not a popular character in Israel, enraged the American Jewish community's in the past with various statements made in his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid."

In the book, Carter blamed Israel for impeding the Middle East peace process via settlement construction, further claiming such a policy will lead to apartheid.

The former president also accused Israel of interfering with US efforts to broker peace in the region.

"We must recognize Israel’s achievements under difficult circumstances, even as we strive in a positive way to help Israel continue to improve its relations with its Arab populations, but we must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel.

Continued in article

Looking for All Sides on an Issue

December 17, 2009 message from Donahue, John [jdonahue@trinity.edu]

Saul Alinsky (“Rules for Radicals”) has been reported as saying that Ph.D.s are the hardest people to organize since they tend to see several sides of an issue. Maybe that is why single issue folks are more successful in stirring up people as their reality is often cast as “them vs, us.” My understanding of a “liberal arts education” is one in which we are taught to resist reducing people to a single issue or single label. I would tell Alinsky that I can organize around that - which is why I have loved teaching at this university for 35 years.


John M. Donahue, Ph.D. Professor of Anthropology Trinity University San Antonio, TX 78216

Video:  FRONTLINE: The Credit Card Game [Flash Player] --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/creditcards/

Bob Jensen's threads on Dirty Secrets of Credit Card Companies --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#FICO

Starting January 1, a new law enables anyone to convert retirement savings to a Roth IRA, creating an opportunity for significant long-term savings in taxes.* But whether you can benefit depends on such factors as your age, financial goals, and current and anticipated tax bracket. One of our experienced consultants can discuss these factors with you. Our consultants receive no commissions.
TIAA/CREF --- Learn more about Roth and Traditional IRAs, and how the conversion process works
Watch the new video

December 21, 2009 message from Scott Bonacker [lister@BONACKERS.COM]

ERISA and the Rise of the Faculty Free Agent

Gail Heriot (San Diego),

Did ERISA Contribute to the Decline of Faculty Governance on Campus?:

The traditional system ... has broken down in the last few decades in part, I believe, because academics have become more mobile. Today’s academic is a free agent who may work at a half dozen different institutions during his or her academic career. Just as baseball free agents are less committed to the team, academic free agents are less committed to their home institution. It’s been a huge change – although one that has sneaked up on us so slowly and quietly that few have noticed it.


Born at 9.1 Ounces  She Would've been thrown away in most other nations
Cozy in her incubator, set to 81.5 degrees, heart going at 174 beats a minute as she snoozed in her red, footy pajamas, Oliviyanna Harbin-Page may be a global record-holder. Born Aug. 5 to 16-year-old Jamesha Harbin of Eight Mile after 21 to 24 weeks of gestation, Oliviyanna weighed only 259 grams, or 9.1 ounces -- possibly making her, according to the University of South Alabama Children's & Women's Hospital, the world's smallest surviving baby. She now weighs 3 pounds 2 ounces. One of three girl triplets -- the other two are identical, she is fraternal
"Baby who may be world's smallest surviving newborn could go home soon," by Roy Hoffman, al.com, December 18, 2009 ---

How to download journal articles and books

When I said yesterday in a reply to Pat that I use the Trinity University Library’s subscription to JSTOR to download free copies of AAA articles like The Accounting Review articles, I should’ve pointed out that, since I pay for the AAA Electronic Journals access, I use JSTOR only for articles published 1925-1998. In my case I access JSTOR using a password provided to me by the Trinity University Library that subscribes to JSTOR and many other electronic literature databases.

Beginning in 1999, the AAA created digital archives that subscribers can access directly, but there is a subscription fee added on to membership dues to access those archives. Students may download, without charge, JSTOR archived articles through their college library subscription. JSTOR is not usually as immediately up to date for the most recent articles as the AAA site --- http://aaahq.org/pubs/electpubs.htm
People without access to JSTOR can pay for copies of AAA journal articles published after 1998.

Of course there are also free hard copies of journals available in most college libraries, and these articles can be photocopied or scanned for educational purposes. As you grow older, you find yourself almost choked out of your office with stacks of old journals. I commenced giving most of my hard copy journals away even before I retired. Services like JSTOR allow me to download and store articles of interest in a hard drive.

MAAW has a convenient indexing of AAA journals back to when they were first published. This is a great free service generously and meticulously provided by Professor James Martin. However, after locating a historic AAA journal article, you will still have to use something like JSTOR to actually download the complete article ---
Thank you for sharing James.

I personally, however, have hung onto a lot of books that now perhaps have some antique value. Eventually, Google Advanced Book Search and similar archiving services will have most old accounting books available for free digital downloading. Google Advanced Book Search is finally up to speed for many, many antique accounting books --- http://books.google.com/advanced_book_search
Give it a try with an antique accounting book of particular interest to you such as Truth in Accounting by Kenneth MacNeal.

 Another thing about Google Books is that it often provides other information about books and links to articles about selected books. Feed in the term Pacioli and see what you get at http://books.google.com/advanced_book_search

 One problem I still have with Google Advanced Book Search is that it will often link to later editions of old books rather than earliest editions. For example, on my desk I have a hard copy of the 1932 edition of Accountants’ Handbook edited by William A. Payton. When I use Google Advanced Book Search, however, I only find a link to the 1953 edition. If I search for the book title, Payton, and 1932 I do not find any hits.


Happy hunting.
I have hundreds of links to electronic literature at

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at

2009 Best Places to Start/Intern According to Bloomberg/Business Week --- Click Here
Also see the Internship and Table links at http://www.businessweek.com/careers/special_reports/20091211best_places_for_interns.htm
The Top five rankings contain all Big Four accountancy firms.
Somehow Proctor and Gamble slipped into Rank 4 above PwC
The accountancy firms of Grant Thornton and RMS McGladrey make the top 40 at ranks 32 and 33 respectively.

Best Places to Intern --- http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/dec2009/ca2009129_394659.htm?link_position=link1
I'm waiting for Francine to throw cold water on the "ever before" claim
Especially note the KPMG Experience Abroad module below
"Best Places to Intern:  Bloomberg BusinessWeek's 2009 list shows employers are hiring more interns to fill entry-level positions than ever before,"  by Lindsey Gerdes, Business Week, December 10, 2009 ---

How valuable is a summer internship in a recession? Consider Goldman Sachs, the leading choice for students interested in a career on Wall Street. This year, the investment bank hired 600 fewer entry-level employees. That's not surprising given the stunted economy and the government bailout of banks. What is noteworthy is nearly 90% of Goldman's new hires were former interns. The previous year, Goldman wasn't as concerned about hiring a high percentage of students it had already invested time and money to trainonly 58% of entry-level hires had spent a summer at the company.

The same is true for other employers. KPMG, a Big Four accounting firm that finds itself in tight competition with Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, hired nearly 900 fewer entry-level employees this year. But 91% of those full-time hires were former interns, whereas only 71% of new hires in 2008 were interns.

Internships have long been seen as a primary recruiting tool at many top employers—a 10-week job tryout to see who would be the best fit for full-time employment. But with full-time hiring down, even the largest employers are trying to maximize the investment they've made in interns by hiring a larger percentage to fill entry-level position than ever before. "It's true for all years, but I think it's even more so in years like this," says Sandra Hurse, a senior executive at Goldman who handles campus recruiting.

Evaluating Employers

With this ranking, Bloomberg BusinessWeek has put together its third annual guide to the best internships, providing information on the number of interns each company recruits, how many are offered full-time jobs, the number of interns expected to be hired next year, even the salaries students receive.To compile our list, we judged employers based on survey data from 60 career services directors around the country and a separate survey completed by each employer.We also consider how each employer fared in the annual Best Places to Launch a Career, our ranking of top U.S. entry-level employers released in September of each year.

Our ranking of the best U.S.companies for undergraduate internships highlights employers who have put together an outstanding experience for students.Accounting firm Deloitte tops our list, followed by rivals KPMG (No.2) and Ernst & Young (No.3).The last of the Big Four accounting companies, PricewaterhouseCoopers, comes in at No.5, right behind consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble.

The employers on our list understand that an outstanding internship experience is their most effective recruiting tool to snap up the top entry-level job candidates. That's why some companies have invested a considerable amount of money in their programs. Microsoft, for example, estimates it spends on average $30,000 per intern, when you factor in pay and benefits. Considering the company hired 542 undergraduate interns in 2009, that's roughly a $16 million investment.

Experience Abroad

Two years ago KPMG realized it had to make a substantial investment in its internship program if it hoped to woo top students from larger consulting and accounting firms. So the company decided to offer interns an opportunity to gain valuable overseas experience. KPMG lets student interns spend four weeks in the U.S. and four weeks abroad. "It's extremely competitive [to recruit top students], and this is a differentiator," says Blane Ruschak, executive director of campus recruiting at KPMG.

A chance to work overseas is precisely what appealed to Andrew Fedele, 21, an accounting and economics double major at Pennsylvania State University. "I was sold pretty much when I first read about [KPMG's] global internship program." He spent four weeks in Chicago and four weeks in Johannesburg, South Africa. "South Africa has just such an interesting history. To go there and live with the locals and work with them was really exciting."

What did KPMG get in return? Exactly what it hoped: Fedele accepted a full-time job almost immediately after KPMG made its offer at the end of the summer.

Gerdes is a staff editor for BusinessWeek in New York.

Bob Jensen's threads on careers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/BookBob1.htm#careers

"Dumbest Moments in Business 2009," Fortune ---
This link was forwarded by Richard Campbell.

Darn! It’s hard for us accounting professors to pad our resumes.
I could not find a single essay to purchase on accounting for derivative financial instruments or variable interest entities.

"Cheating Goes Global as Essay Mills Multiply," by Thomas Bartlett, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 20, 2009 ---

The orders keep piling up. A philosophy student needs a paper on Martin Heidegger. A nursing student needs a paper on dying with dignity. An engineering student needs a paper on electric cars.

Screen after screen, assignment after assignment—hundreds at a time, thousands each semester. The students come from all disciplines and all parts of the country. They go to community colleges and Ivy League universities. Some want a 10-page paper; others request an entire dissertation.

This is what an essay mill looks like from the inside. Over the past six months, with the help of current and former essay-mill writers, The Chronicle looked closely at one company, tracking its orders, examining its records, contacting its customers. The company, known as Essay Writers, sells so-called custom essays, meaning that its employees will write a paper to a student's specifications for a per-page fee. These papers, unlike those plucked from online databases, are invisible to plagiarism-detection software.

Everyone knows essay mills exist. What's surprising is how sophisticated and international they've become, not to mention profitable.

In a previous era, you might have found an essay mill near a college bookstore, staffed by former students. Now you'll find them online, and the actual writing is likely to be done by someone in Manila or Mumbai. Just as many American companies are outsourcing their administrative tasks, many American students are perfectly willing to outsource their academic work.

And if the exponential surge in the number of essay mills is any indication, the problem is only getting worse. But who, exactly, is running these companies? And what do the students who use their services have to say for themselves?

Go to Google and type "buy an essay." Among the top results will be Best Essays, whose slogan is "Providing Students with Original Papers since 1997." It's a professional-looking site with all the bells and whistles: live chat, flashy graphics, stock photos of satisfied students. Best Essays promises to deliver "quality custom written papers" by writers with either a master's degree or a Ph.D. Prices range from $19.99 to $42.99 per page, depending on deadline and difficulty.

To place an order, you describe your assignment, the number of pages, and how quickly you need it. Then you enter your credit-card number, and, a couple of days later, the paper shows up in your in box. All you have to do is add your name to the top and turn it in. Simple.

What's going on behind the scenes, however, is another story.

The address listed on the site is in Reston, Va. But it turns out that's the address of a company that allows clients to rent "virtual office space" — in other words, to claim they're somewhere they're not. A previous address used by Best Essays was a UPS store in an upscale strip mall. And while the phone number for Best Essays has a Virginia area code, that line is registered to a company that allows customers to forward calls anywhere in the world over the Internet.

The same contact information appears on multiple other essay-mill Web sites with names like Rush Essay, Superior Papers, and Best Term Paper. All of these sites are operated by Universal Research Inc., also known as Essay Writers. The "US/Canada Headquarters" for the company, according to yet another Web site, is in Herndon, Va. An Essay Writers representative told a reporter that the company's North American headquarters was a seven-story building with an attached garage and valet parking.

That was a lie. Drive to the address, and you will find a perfectly ordinary suburban home with a neatly trimmed front lawn and a two-car garage. The owner of the house is Victor Guevara and, ever since he bought it in 2004, he has received lots of strange mail. For instance, a calendar recently arrived titled "A Stroll Through Ukrainian Cities," featuring photographs of notable buildings in Odessa and Yalta. Not all of the missives, however, have been so benign. Once a police officer came to the door bearing a complaint from a man in India who hadn't been paid by Essay Writers. Mr. Guevara explained to the officer that he had no idea what the man was talking about.

So why, of all the addresses in the United States, was Mr. Guevara's chosen? He's not sure, but he has a theory. Before he bought the house, a woman named Olga Mizyuk lived there for a short time. The previous owner, a friend of Mr. Guevara's, let her stay rent free because she was down on her luck and she promised to teach him Russian. Mr. Guevara believes it's all somehow connected to Ms. Mizyuk.

That theory is not too far-fetched. The state of Virginia listed Olga Mizyuk as the agent of Universal Research LLC when it was formed in 2006, though that registration has since lapsed (it's now incorporated in Virginia with a different agent). The company was registered for a time in Nevada, but that is no longer valid either. The managing member of the Nevada company, according to state records, was Yuriy Mizyuk. Mr. Guevara remembers that Ms. Mizyuk spoke of a son named Yuriy. Could that all be a coincidence?

Hiring in Manila

Call any of the company's several phone numbers and you will always get an answer. Weekday or weekend, day or night. The person on the other end will probably be a woman named Crystal or Stephanie. She will speak stilted, heavily accented English, and she will reveal nothing about who owns the company or where it is located. She will be unfailingly polite and utterly unhelpful.

If pressed, Crystal or Stephanie will direct callers to a manager named Raymond. But Raymond is almost always either out of the office or otherwise engaged. When, after weeks of calls, The Chronicle finally reached Raymond, he hung up the phone before answering any questions.

But while the company's management may be publicity shy, sources familiar with its operations were able to shed some light. Essay Writers appears to have been originally based in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. While the company claims to have been in business since 1997, its Web sites have only been around since 2004. In 2007 it opened offices in the Philippines, where it operates under the name Uniwork.

The company's customer-service center is located on the 17th floor of the Burgundy Corporate Tower in the financial district of Makati City, part of the Manila metropolitan area. It is from there that operators take orders and answer questions from college students. The company also has a suite on the 16th floor, where its marketing and computer staff members promote and maintain its Web sites. This involves making sure that when students search for custom essays, its sites are on the first page of Google results. (They're doing a good job, too. Recently two of the first three hits for "buy an essay" were Essay Writers sites.) One of its employees, who describes herself as a senior search-engine-optimization specialist at Uniwork, posted on her Twitter page that the company is looking for copy writers, Web developers, and link builders.

Some of the company's writers work in its Makati City offices. Essay Writers claims to have more than 200 writers, which may be true when freelancers are counted. A dozen or so, according to a former writer, work in the office, where they are reportedly paid between $1 and $3 a page — much less than its American writers, and a small fraction of the $20 or $30 per page customers shell out. The company is currently advertising for more writers, praising itself as "one of the most trusted professional writing companies in the industry."

It's difficult to know for sure who runs Essay Writers, but the name Yuriy Mizyuk comes up again and again. Mr. Mizyuk is listed as the contact name on the domain registration for essaywriters.net, the Web site where writers for the company log in to receive their assignments. A lawsuit was filed in January against Mr. Mizyuk and Universal Research by a debt-collection company. Repeated attempts to reach him — via phone and e-mail — were unsuccessful. Customer-service representatives profess not to have heard of Mr. Mizyuk.

Installed in its Makati City offices, according to a source close to the company, are overhead cameras trained on employees. These cameras reportedly send a video feed back to Kiev, allowing the Ukrainians to keep an eye on their workers in the Philippines. This same source says Mr. Mizyuk regularly visits the Philippines and describes him as a smallish man with thinning hair and dark-rimmed glasses. "He looks like Harry Potter," the source says. "The worst kind of Harry Potter."

Writers for Hire

The writers for essay mills are anonymous and often poorly paid. Some of them crank out 10 or more essays a week, hundreds over the course of a year. They earn anywhere from a few dollars to $40 per page, depending on the company and the subject. Some of the freelancers have graduate degrees and can write smooth, A-level prose. Others have no college degree and limited English skills.

James Robbins is one of the good ones. Mr. Robbins, now 30, started working for essay mills to help pay his way through Lamar University, in Beaumont, Tex. He continued after graduation and, for a time, ran his own company under the name Mr. Essay. What he's discovered, after writing hundreds of academic papers, is that he has a knack for the form: He's fast, and his papers consistently earn high marks. "I can knock out 10 pages in an hour," he says. "Ten pages is nothing."

His most recent gig was for Essay Writers. His clients have included students from top colleges like the University of Pennsylvania, and he's written short freshman-comp papers along with longer, more sophisticated fare. Like all freelancers for Essay Writers, Mr. Robbins logs in to a password-protected Web site that gives him access to the company's orders. If he finds an assignment that's to his liking, he clicks the "Take Order" button. "I took one on Christological topics in the second and third centuries," he remembers. "I didn't even know what that meant. I had to look it up on Wikipedia."

Most essay mills claim that they're only providing "model" papers and that students don't really turn in what they buy. Mr. Robbins, who has a law degree and now attends nursing school, knows that's not true. In some cases, he says, customers have forgotten to put their names at the top of the papers he's written before turning them in. Although he takes pride in the writing he's done over the years, he doesn't have much respect for the students who use the service. "These are kids whose parents pay for college," he says. "I'll take their money. It's not like they're going to learn anything anyway."

That's pretty much how Charles Parmenter sees it. He wrote for Essay Writers and another company before quitting about a year ago. "If anybody wants to say this is unethical — yeah, OK, but I'm not losing any sleep over it," he says. Though he was, he notes, nervous that his wife would react badly when she found out what he was doing. As it happens, she didn't mind.

Mr. Parmenter, who is 54, has worked as a police officer and a lawyer over the course of a diverse career. He started writing essays because he needed the money and he knew he could do it well. He wrote papers for nursing and business students, along with a slew of English-literature essays. His main problem, he says, is that the quality of his papers was too high. "People would come back to me and say, 'It's a great paper, but my professor will never believe it's me,'" says Mr. Parmenter. "I had to dumb them down."

Eventually the low pay forced him to quit. In his best months, he brought home around $1,000. Other months it was half that. He estimates that he wrote several hundred essays, all of which he's kept, though most he can barely remember. "You write so many of these things they start running together," he says.

Both Mr. Parmenter and Mr. Robbins live in the United States. But the writers for essay mills are increasingly international. Most of the users who log into the Essay Writers Web site are based in India, according to Alexa, a company that tracks Internet traffic. A student in, say, Wisconsin usually has no idea that the paper he ordered online is being written by someone in another country.

Like Nigeria. Paul Arhewe lives in Lagos, that nation's largest city, and started writing for essay mills in 2005. Back then he didn't have his own computer and had to do all of his research and writing in Internet cafes. Now he works as an online editor for a newspaper, but he still writes essays on the side. In the past three years, he's written more than 200 papers for American and British students. In an online chat, Mr. Arhewe insisted that the work he does is not unethical. "I believe it is another way of learning for the smart and hardworking students," he writes. Only lazy students, Mr. Arhewe says, turn in the papers they purchase.

Mr. Arhewe started writing for Essay Writers after another essay mill cheated him out of several hundred dollars. That incident notwithstanding, he's generally happy with the work and doesn't complain about the pay. He makes between $100 and $350 a month writing essays — not exactly a fortune, but in a country like Nigeria, where more than half the population lives on less than a dollar a day, it's not too bad either.

Mr. Arhewe, who has a master's degree from the University of Lagos, has written research proposals and dissertations in fields like marketing, economics, psychology, and political science. While his English isn't quite perfect, it's passable, and apparently good enough for his clients. Says Mr. Arhewe: "I am enjoying doing what I like and getting paid for it."

Write My Dissertation

Some customers of Essay Writers are college freshmen who, if their typo-laden, grammatically challenged order forms are any indication, struggle with even the most basic writing tasks. But along with the usual suspects, there is no shortage of seniors paying for theses and graduate students buying dissertations.

One customer, for example, identifies himself as a Ph.D. student in aerospace engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He or she (there is no name on the order) is interested in purchasing a 200-page dissertation. The student writes that the dissertation must be "well-researched" and includes format requirements and a general outline. Attached to the order is a one-page description of Ph.D. requirements taken directly from MIT's Web site. The student also suggests areas of emphasis like "static and dynamic stability of aircraft controls."

The description is consistent with the kind of research graduate students do, according to Barbara Lechner, director of student services at the institute's department of aeronautics and astronautics. In an initial interview, Ms. Lechner said she would bring up the issue with others in the department. Several weeks later, Ms. Lechner said she was told by higher-ups not to respond to The Chronicle's inquiries.

The head of the department, Ian A. Waitz, says he doesn't believe it's possible, given the highly technical subject matter, for a graduate student to pay someone else to research and write a dissertation. "It seems like a bogus request," says Mr. Waitz, though he wasn't sure why someone would fake such an order. However, like Ms. Lechner, Mr. Waitz acknowledged that the topics in the request are consistent with the department's graduate-level research.

Would-be aerospace engineers aren't the only ones outsourcing their papers. A student at American University's law school ordered a paper for a class called "The Law of Secrecy." She didn't include her full name on the order, but she did identify one of her two professors, Stephen I. Vladeck. Mr. Vladeck — who immediately knew the identity of the student from the description of the paper — was surprised and disappointed because he tries to help students who are having trouble and because he had talked to her about her paper. Mr. Vladeck argues that a law school "has a particular obligation not to tolerate this kind of stuff." The student never actually turned in the paper and took an "incomplete" for the course.

Essay Writers attempts to hide the identities of its customers even from the writers who do the actual work. But it's not always successful. Some students inadvertently include personal information when they upload files to the Web site; others simply put their names at the bottom of their orders.

Jessica Dirr is a graduate student in communication at Northern Kentucky University and an Essay Writers customer. She hired the company to work on her paper "Separated at Birth: Symbolic Boasting and the Greek Twin." Ms. Dirr says she looked online for assistance because the university's writing center wasn't much help and because she had trouble with citation rules. She describes what Essay Writers did as mostly proofreading. "They made some suggestions, and I took their advice," she says. Unfortunately, Ms. Dirr says, the paper "wasn't up to the level my professor was hoping for."

Mickey Tomar paid Essay Writers $100 to research and write a paper on the parables of Jesus Christ for his New Testament class. Mr. Tomar, a senior at James Madison University majoring in philosophy and religion, defends the idea of paying someone else to do your academic work, comparing it to companies that outsource labor. "Like most people in college, you don't have time to do research on some of these things," he says. "I was hoping to find a guy to do some good quality writing."

Nicole Cohea paid $190 for a 10-page paper on a Dove soap advertising campaign. Ms. Cohea, a senior communications major at the University of Southern Mississippi, wrote in her order that she wanted the company to "add on to what I have already written." She helpfully included an outline for the paper and wondered whether the writer could "add a catchy quote at the beginning."

When asked whether it was wrong, in general, to pay someone else to write your essay, Ms. Cohea responded, "Definitely." But she says she wasn't planning to turn in the paper as her own; instead, she says, she was only going to use it to get ideas. She was not happy with the paper Essay Writers provided. It seemed, she says, to have been written by a non-native English speaker. "I could tell they were Asian or something just by the grammar and stuff," she says.

James F. Kollie writes a sporadically updated blog titled My Ph.D. Journey in which he chronicles the progress he's making toward his doctorate from Walden University. He recently ordered the literature-review portion of his dissertation, "The Political Economy of Privatization in Post-War Developing Countries," from Essay Writers. In the order, he explains that the review should focus on privatization efforts that have failed.

Mr. Kollie acknowledged in an interview that he had placed an order with Essay Writers, but he said it was not related to his dissertation. Rather, he says, it was part of a separate research project he's conducting into online writing services. When asked if his university was aware of the project, he replied, "I don't have time for this," and hung up the phone.

Policing Plagiarism

Some institutions, most notably Boston University, have made efforts to shut down essay mills and expose their customers. A handful of states, including Virginia, have laws on the books making it a misdemeanor to sell college essays. But those laws are rarely, if ever, enforced. And even if a case were brought, it would be extremely difficult to prosecute essay-mill operators living abroad.

So what's a professor to do? Thomas Lancaster, a lecturer in computing at Birmingham City University, in England, wrote his dissertation on plagiarism. In addition, he and a colleague wrote a paper on so-called contract-cheating Web sites that allow writers to bid on students' projects. Their paper concludes that because there is almost never any solid evidence of wrongdoing, catching and disciplining students is the exception.

In his research, Mr. Lancaster has found that students who use these services tend to be regular customers. And while some may be stressed and desperate, many know exactly what they're doing. "You will look and see that the student has put the assignment up within hours of it being released to them," he says. "Which has to mean that they were intending to cheat from the beginning."

What he recommends, and what he does himself, is to sit down with students and question them about the paper or project they've just turned in. If they respond with blank stares and shrugged shoulders, there's a chance they haven't read, much less written, their own paper.

Susan D. Blum suggests assigning papers that can't easily be completed by others, like a personal reflection on that day's lecture. Ms. Blum, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame and author of the recently published book My Word! Plagiarism and College Culture, also encourages professors to keep in touch with students as they complete major projects, though she concedes that can be tough in a large lecture class.

But Ms. Blum points out a more fundamental issue. She thinks professors and administrators need to do a better job of talking to students about what college is about and why studying — which may seem like a meaningless obstacle on the path to a credential — actually matters. "Why do they have to go through the process of researching?" she says. "We need to convey that to them."

Mr. Tomar, the philosophy-and-religion major who bought a paper for his New Testament class, still doesn't think students should have to do their own research. But he has soured on essay mills after the paper he received from Essay Writers did not meet his expectations. He complained, and the company gave him a 30-percent refund. As a result, he had an epiphany of sorts. Says Mr. Tomar: "I was like — you know what? — I'm going to write this paper on my own."

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at

Bob Jensen's threads on diploma mills are at

Authors Can Bypass Publishing Companies by Transferring Rights Directly to Amazon eBooks
Or there are selected publishers that take reduced portions of book prices on books sold through Amazon

"Top Author Shifts E-Book Rights to Amazon.com," by Brad Stone and Motoko Rich, The New York Times, December 14, 2009 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm

Video: Why Singapore Leads The World In Mathematics --- http://www.simoleonsense.com/why-singapore-leads-the-world-in-mathematics/

"Boosting Math Standards," by David Moltz, Inside Higher Ed, December 21, 2009 ---

My Good Friend Bill Trench
One of my very good friends in my days at Trinity University was mathematics professor Bill Trench. Bill retired several years before I retired, but he's still very active in mathematics research and presentations of his research.
Andrew G. Cowles Distinguished Professor (Retired) --- http://ramanujan.math.trinity.edu/wtrench/index.shtml

Bill and Beverly first retired near Pike's Peak in Colorado but now own a circa 1803 house near Concord, New Hampshire. Among their successful children is one with a well-known name --- Joe Trench, President for Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services Performance,

INTRODUCTION TO REAL ANALYSIS by William Trench can now be downloaded free --- http://ramanujan.math.trinity.edu/wtrench/misc/index.shtml
A complete solutions manual is available by request to wtrench@trinity.edu  on verification of faculty status

This book was previously published by Pearson Education. This free edition is made available in the hope that it will be useful as a textbook or reference. Reproduction is permitted for any valid noncommercial educational, mathematical, or scientific purpose. It may be posted on faculty web pages for convenience of student downloads. However, sale of or charges for any part of this book beyond reasonable reproduction costs are prohibited.

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

"My Lazy American Students," by Kara Miller (Babson College), Boston Globe, December 21, 2009 --- Click Here

It was a student conference I hate.

“I’ll do better,’’ my student told me, leaning forward in his chair. “I know I’ve gotten behind this semester, but I’m going to turn things around. Would it be OK if I finished all my uncompleted work by Monday?’’

I sat silent for a moment. “Yes. But it’s important that you catch up completely this weekend, so that you’re not just perpetually behind.’’

A few weeks later, I would conduct a nearly identical conversation with two other students. And, again, there would be no tangible result: No make-up papers. No change in effort. No improvement in time management.

By the time students are in college, habits can be tough to change. If you’re used to playing video games like “Modern Warfare’’ or “Halo’’ all night, how do you fit in four hours of homework? Or rest up for class?

Teaching in college, especially one with a large international student population, has given me a stark - and unwelcome - illustration of how Americans’ work ethic often pales in comparison with their peers from overseas.

My “C,’’ “D,’’ and “F’’ students this semester are almost exclusively American, while my students from India, China, and Latin America have - despite language barriers - generally written solid papers, excelled on exams, and become valuable class participants.

One girl from Shanghai became a fixture at office hours, embraced our college writing center, and incessantly e-mailed me questions about her evolving papers. Her English is still mediocre: she frequently puts “the’’ everywhere (as in “the leader supported the feminism and the environmentalism’’) and confuses “his’’ and “her.’’ But that didn’t stop her from doing rewrite after rewrite, tirelessly trying to improve both structure and grammar.

Chinese undergraduates have consistently impressed me with their work ethic, though I have seen similar habits in students from India, Thailand, Brazil, and Venezuela. Often, they’ve done little English-language writing in their home countries, and they frequently struggle to understand my lectures. But their respect for professors - and for knowledge itself - is palpable. The students listen intently to everything I say, whether in class or during office hours, and try to engage in the conversation.

Too many 18-year-old Americans, meanwhile, text one another under their desks (certain they are sly enough to go unnoticed), check e-mail, decline to take notes, and appear tired and disengaged.

Of course, it would be wrong to suggest that all American students are the same. I’ve taught many who were hardworking, talented, and deeply impressive. They listened intently, enriched class discussions, and never shied away from rewrites. At their best, American students marry knowledge and innovation, resulting in some astoundingly creative work.

But creativity without knowledge - a common phenomenon - is just not enough.

Too many American students simply lack the basics. In 2002, a National Geographic-Roper survey found that most 18- to 24-year-olds could not find Afghanistan, Iraq, or Japan on a map, ranking them behind counterparts in Sweden, Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Japan, France, and Germany. And in 2007 the American Institutes for Research reported that eighth graders in even our best-performing states - like Massachusetts - scored below peers in Singapore, South Korea, and Japan, while students in our worst-performing states - like Mississippi - were on par with eighth graders in Slovakia, Romania, and Russia.

We’ve got a knowledge gap, spurred by a work-ethic gap.

Which brings me to another grade-challenged student, who once sprinted across campus to talk to me.

“I’m really sorry I missed office hours,’’ he said. “Do you have time to talk?’’

“I have a meeting in a couple of minutes,’’ I said. “But you can walk with me.’’

“OK,’’ he said. “I really enjoy your class, and I think I can do better. How can I improve my grade?’’

I looked at him sideways. “Well, you might start with staying awake.’’

“Yeah,’’ he grinned, looking at his shoes. “Sorry about that. There’s always stuff going on in my dorm late at night. I have to learn to be better about time management.’’

Of course, he had it exactly right. Success is all about time management, and in a globalizing economy, Americans’ inability to stay focused and work hard could prove to be a serious problem.

Nowhere, sadly, is this clearer than in the classroom.

Kara Miller teaches rhetoric and history at Babson College.

"The Real Reasons Students Can’t Write," by Laurence Musgrove, Inside Higher Ed, April 28, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/04/28/musgrove 

At my university, I chair a faculty committee charged with reviewing and revising our general education curriculum. Over the past two and a half years, we have examined programs at similar colleges and studied best practices nationwide. In response, we have begun to propose a new curriculum that responds to some of the weaknesses in our current program (few shared courses and little curricular oversight), and adds what we believe will be some new strengths (first-year seminars and a junior-level multidisciplinary seminar).

In addition, we are proposing that we dispense with our standard second course in research writing, revise our English 101 into an introduction to academic writing, and institute a writing-across-the-curriculum program. Our intention is to infuse the general education curriculum with additional writing practice and to prompt departments to take more responsibility for teaching the conventions of research and writing in their disciplines. As you might imagine, this change has fostered quite a bit of anxiety (and in some cases, outright outrage) on the part of a few colleagues who believe that if we drop a course in writing, we have dodged our duty to ensure that all students can write clearly and correctly. They claim that their students don’t know how to write as it is, and our proposal will only make matters worse.

I believe most faculty think that when they find an error in grammar or logic or format, it is because their students don’t know “how” to write. When I find significant errors in student writing, I chalk it up to one of three reasons: they don’t care, they don’t know, or they didn’t see it. And I believe that the first and last are the most frequent causes of error. In other words, when push comes to shove, I’ve found that most students really do know how to write — that is, if we can help them learn to value and care about what they are writing and then help them manage the time they need to compose effectively.

Still, I sympathize with my colleagues who are frustrated with the quality of writing they encounter. I have been teaching first-year writing for many years, and I have directed rhetoric and compositions programs at two universities. During this time, I have had many students who demonstrate passive aggressive behavior when it comes to completing writing projects. The least they can get away with or the later they can turn it in, the better. I have also had students with little interest in writing because they have had no personally satisfying experiences in writing in high school. Then there are those students who fail to give themselves enough time to handle the complex process of planning, drafting, revising, and editing their work.

But let’s not just blame the students. Most college professors would prefer to complain about poor writing than simply refuse to accept it. Therefore, students rarely experience any significant penalties for their bad behaviors in writing. They may get a low mark on an assignment, but it would a rare event indeed if a student failed a course for an inadequate writing performance. Just imagine the line at the dean’s door!

This leads me to my modest proposal. First, let me draw a quick analogy between driving and writing. Most drivers are good drivers because the rules of the road are public and shared, they are consistently enforced, and the consequences of bad driving are clear. I believe most students would become better writers if the rules of writing were public and shared, they were consistently enforced, and the consequences of bad writing were made clear.

Therefore, I propose that all institutions of higher learning adopt the following policy. All faculty members are hereby authorized to challenge their students’ writing proficiency. Students who fail to demonstrate the generally accepted minimum standards of proficiency in writing may be issued a “writing ticket” by their instructors. Writing tickets become part of students’ institutional “writing records.” Students may have tickets removed from their writing records by completing requirements identified by their instructors. These requirements may include substantially revising the paper, attending a writing workshop, taking a writing proficiency examination, or registering for a developmental writing course. Students who fail to have tickets removed from their records will receive additional penalties, such as a failing grade for the course, academic probation, or the inability to register for classes.

What would the consequences of such a policy be? First of all, it would mean that we would have to take writing-across-the curriculum more seriously than most of us do now. We would have to institute placement and assessment procedures to ensure that students receive effective introductory instruction and can demonstrate proficiency in writing at an appropriate level before moving forward.

Professors would also be required to get together, talk seriously and openly, and come to agreements about what they think are “generally accepted minimum standards of proficiency in writing” at various levels, in each discipline, and across the board. We would be required to develop more consistent ways of assigning, responding to, and evaluating writing. We would also have to join with our colleagues in academic support services to recruit, hire, and train effective tutors.

And we would have to issue tickets. Lots of them. But not so many after awhile when students soon learn the consequences of going too fast, too slow, or in the wrong direction, stopping in the wrong place or failing to stop altogether, forgetting to signal when making a turn, or just ending up in a wreck. Then there is that increasing problem of students who take someone else’s car for a joy ride.

Here’s your badge.

Laurence Musgrove is an associate professor of English and foreign languages at Saint Xavier University, in Chicago.


In one century we went from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to offering remedial English in college.
Joseph Sobran as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-11-27-07.htm

"Failure in Urban Universities," by Kevin Carey, Inside Higher Ed, October 14, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/10/14/carey 

Most Students in Remedial Classes in College Had Solid Grades in High School Nearly four out of five students who undergo remediation in college graduated from high school with grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher, according to a report issued today by Strong American Schools, a group that advocates making public-school education more rigorous.
Peter Schmidt, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 15, 2008 ---

College Admissions Officers Urge Dumbing Down of College Admissions Tests (e.g., the SAT and ACT tests)
"Admissions Group Urges Colleges to 'Assume Control' of Debate on Testing," by Eric Hoover, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 22, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/09/4685n.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en
Also see http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/09/22/testing

Bob Jensen's threads on education controversies are at

Free e-book of great thinkers: WHAT MATTERS NOW!  --- http://sethgodin.typepad.com/files/what-matters-now-1.pdf
Here, thanks to Seth Godin, are more than seventy big thinkers, each sharing an idea for you to think about as we head into the new year. From bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert to brilliant tech thinker Kevin Kelly, from publisher Tim O'Reilly to radio host Dave Ramsey, there are some important people riffing about important ideas here. The ebook includes Tom Peters, Jackie Huba and Jason Fried, along with Gina Trapani, Bill Taylor and Alan Webber.

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

It would be wrongheaded to compare the h-indexes of a sociologist and a computer scientist

"Tenure0O-Meter/Tenurometer," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, December 15, 2009 ---

For some young professors, any evaluative tool called the “Tenurometer” (i.e. tenure-o-meter) is sure to turn some heads.

Which is the point, says Filippo Menczer, associate professor of computer of informatics and computer science at Indiana University and co-creator of the Tenurometer, a cheekily named tool (still in beta phase) designed to measure scholars' impact on their fields by counting how much they have contributed to the literature and how frequently those articles have been cited.

The use of citation-based “impact” metrics to help departments assess their professors’ publishing performance is nothing new. Across higher education, there has been a push to increase accountability by analyzing the oceans of metadata that come from storing information on computer servers, where it can be sorted like never before. And as Google Scholar and others have emerged to put huge, searchable repositories as anyone’s fingertips, programs such as Publish or Perish — Tenurometer’s closest ancestor — have been close behind, giving professors and their bosses ways to quantify who is more prolific than whom.

The Tenurometer, a project by Menczer and Diep Thi Hoang, a graduate student at Indiana’s School for Computing and Informatics, uses the same method as Publish or Perish to find out this out within various disciplines: the h-index.” Founded in 2005 by physicist Jorge E. Hirsch, the h-index combines researchers' scholarly output with the influence of their work on subsequent research in the field. Hirsch proposed it to be the best single criterion for determining promotions.

Like Publish or Perish, Tenurometer also draws on the Google Scholar index (though it does so as a browser extension, not an application, meaning it is compatible with Macs). What the Tenurometer adds, Menczer says, is an additional measure, called theuniversal h-index.” As research becomes increasingly cross-disciplinary, it is not uncommon for a department to be considering candidates for jobs, promotions, and tenure appointments who hail from different disciplinary backgrounds or whose influence is evident in other disciplines.

“We have computer scientists, and physicists, and we have social scientists, and people from many different backgrounds, who publish in lots of different areas,” Menczer says of the informatics program at Indiana. “…We have very different citation patterns, many different communities, with different publishing traditions, and it is very different to compare.” In other words, it would be wrongheaded to compare the h-indexes of a sociologist and a computer scientist.

The universal h-index, however, controls for differences in the publishing traditions of each field, as well as the amount of research each scholar has had to compete with in order to make an “impact,” Menczer says. Still, “We don’t intend for it to be used by academic departments as a single element of decisions,” he adds, pointing to the project’s stated caveats against giving the h-index top credence in tenure decisions. “That would be a pretty bad thing.”

Really, Menczer says the implications of the provocatively named tool as far as comparing the accomplishments of researchers in different disciplines are not as exciting as the ability to help academics map how disciplines are bleeding into one another. As professors — curious, perhaps, about their own h-indexes and those of their colleagues — and administrators query the Google Scholar database through the Tenurometer interface, the tool records their activities, producing metadata that could allow observers to "begin to see the dynamics of the emergent collaborations across fields,” he says.

How to Play h-Index Games
I've always thought the h-index was a dumb idea. Use of it would lead to a lot more game playing like such as
“I’ll cite yours if you cite mine” adult version of an old childhood “playing doctor game.”

As I’ve indicated many times before, sometimes citations are carried on from paper to paper to paper by different authors who’ve not really read some of the citations. For example, the most-often cited paper of Ball and Brown would probably be less cited if the authors really read this questionable, albeit early, paper --- http://acct.tamu.edu/giroux/Ball&Brown(1968).pdf
I was at the Chicago University Empirical Research Conference where the audience beat up rather badly upon the paper, yet it is cited more than any other paper just because it was one of the first capital markets research papers published in an accounting research journal.

For tenure-granting purposes it would be far better to critically study the paper than to play an h-index game with the paper.

Here are two of my previous tidbits on the h-index absurdity.

Three mathematics associations -- the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the International Mathematical Union, and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics -- have examined citation-based statistics such as the impact factor and the h-index, and concluded that the measures are often misunderstood and misused. The use of the impact factor, developed as a way of ranking scientific journals, as the main tool to evaluate the quality of research has boomed during the last decade, and this measure has become crucial in hiring and tenure decisions, as well as in the awarding of grants. In a report released this month, the associations say that the impact factor and other citation-based statistics should not be dismissed as tools for assessing research quality, but they warn against using such metrics as the only evaluation method and not taking into consideration other factors, such as peer review.
Maria José Viñas, "3 Mathematics Associations Caution Against Overreliance on Impact Factor," Chronicle of Higher Education, June 20, 2008 ---

The h-Index:  A new way to rank academic (faculty) performance

Publications in peer-reviewed journals are the yardstick by which academic scientists compare their work with their colleagues. But is the best measure of a scientist’s worth the total number of his or her published papers? Or the average quality of those papers, based on the number of times they are cited or the reputation of the journals (or the reputations of famous co-authors who are often cited) in which they are published?

"Physicist Proposes New Way to Rank Scientific Output," Physorg, November 8, 2005 --- http://physorg.com/news7971.html

The early part of this article is not quoted here.

The h-index is derived from the number of times a scientist’s publications are cited in other papers, but is calculated in a way to avoid some of the problems associated with counting large numbers of marginal papers or high-profile coauthors.

For example, Hirsch says that while the total number of publications gives some indication of a scientist’s productivity, it says little about the quality of those publications. And while the total number of times a scientist’s papers are cited in other publications says something about their quality, he says those measurements can be suspect if a scientist has high-performing coauthors, few publications or a lifetime of mediocre work skewed by one or two highly cited papers . Citation counts may also be skewed if a scientist publishes scientific review articles, which are not reports of original research, but summaries of other scientists’ work frequently referenced in subsequent journal articles.

Hirsch was motivated to develop the h-index because of his own problems publishing controversial papers on superconductivity in journals considered high-impact. Although these papers ended up in journals categorized as low-impact, they garnered many citations, evidence of their importance to the field.

His new method relies on the use of the Thomson ISI Web of Science database at http://isiknowledge.com To search for a scholar’s h-index, go to the Web of Science and enter the name in the “General Search” category. Clicking on “Search” brings up a list of papers over the entire lifetime by that author. To reorder the list from the most highly cited papers to least cited, click on “Sort by Times Cited” in the right hand column.

The h-index is obtained by moving down this list until the number of the paper—essentially the scholar’s h name—exceeds the number of citations from that paper. For example, a scholar will have an h value of 75 whose 76 th paper on the list has been cited 75 or fewer times, but whose 75 th paper has been cited 75 or more times. Put another way, this scholar has published 75 papers with at least 75 citations each.

Hirsch devotes a section in his paper to demonstrate mathematically why this method for “h”—which stands for “high citations”—seems to work. But the real proof of the pudding came when he applied the h-index to the scientific luminaries within various disciplines and found that they ended up where expected.

Edward Witten, a theoretical physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., who developed an extension of string theory and is widely regarded as one of the most brilliant physicists ever, has the highest h-index in physics, 110. By contrast, Nobel laureate Philip Anderson of Princeton University has an h-index of 91, while Nobel laureates Steven Weinberg of Harvard University has an h-index of 88, Frank Wilczek of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (68) and David Gross of UC Santa Barbara (66).

Hirsch, whose own h-index is 49, notes that comparisons of h-index among scientists in different disciplines don’t work as well. High-impact biologists tend to have generally higher h-index values, he says, possibly because of their greater research resources, while social scientists tend to have lower h-index values, presumably because their other non-journal publications, such as books, are not factored into this calculation.

Nevertheless, Hirsch is able to make some generalizations. After 20-year career in science, he says in his paper, an h-index of 20 should generally indicate a “successful scientist,” while an h-index of 40 “characterizes outstanding scientists, likely to be found only at the top universities or major research laboratories.” An h-index of 60 after 20 years or 90 after a 30-year scientific career, meanwhile, he says, “characterizes truly unique individuals.”

Hirsch says he is concerned that his h-index, while useful to compare publication records, not be misused.

“It should only be used as one measure, not as the primary basis for evaluating people for awards or promotion,” he adds. “You surely wouldn’t want to say that in order to get tenure or to get into the National Academy of Sciences you need to have an h-index of such and such.”

Nonetheless, Hirsch’s h-index has generated intense interest among scientists who have found out about it and used it.

“The reaction I’ve gotten has been very favorable,” he says. “Scientists want to know how they compare to their colleagues. The h-index really says something about that person and their work.”

"Embellished Biography for Opera Educator at BU," Inside Higher Ed, December 18, 2009 ---

Boston University's Web site biography of Sharon Daniels, head of the university's Opera Institute, has significantly embellished her career, The Boston Globe reported. The biography said she had starring roles with several top companies that either have no record of her performing or that say she played only minor roles. The Globe reported that the university was aware of the errors as long ago as January, but corrected them only this week, after being contacted by the newspaper for an article. Daniels blamed the errors on the way her C.V. was condensed, and said she thought the mistakes had been fixed before this week.

Jensen Comment
The question is how do embellishments get added while her resume was being "condensed."

Bob Jensen's threads on Professors Who Cheat are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm#ProfessorsWhoPlagiarize

December 17, 2009 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]


In November, the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research released "Assessment for Improvement: Tracking Student Engagement over Time," the report on the tenth annual National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). In 2009, over 640 baccalaureate-granting colleges and universities participated in the survey.

Some of the findings related to information technology include:

Students and faculty most often used computer technologies for: -- Postings of announcements, assignments, or course readings -- Online lecture notes/slides -- Posting grades

They were least like to use them for or were familiar with: -- Videoconferencing or Internet phone chat -- Video games, simulations, or virtual worlds -- Blogs -- Student response systems -- Online portfolios

The survey results are available at http://nsse.iub.edu/NSSE_2009_Results/pdf/NSSE_AR_2009.pdf   

See also:

"Do College Student Surveys Have Any Validity?" Paper presented at the 2009 meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education By Stephen R. Porter, Iowa State University http://srporter.public.iastate.edu/surveys/porter_ashe_2009.pdf 

Porter believes that NSSE "fails to meet basic standards for validity and reliability, and recommend[s] that higher education researchers initiate a new research agenda to develop valid college student surveys."

Also see articles on Porter's paper:

"Engaged or Confused?" By Scott Jaschik INSIDE HIGHER ED, November 9, 2009 http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/11/09/porter 

"Researcher Harpoons the 'Nessie' Survey of Students" By Peter Schmidt THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, November 7, 2009 http://chronicle.com/article/Researcher-Harpoons-the/49088/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=eng 



"Explaining a need shared by your students is one of the most commonly used strategies for motivating people. If a teacher can convince the student that a need exists, it is relatively easy to propose a solution that will meet the need. Even if a solution does not exist, people will be motivated to act, believe, or change their values and attitudes if a true need has been illustrated."

In "Infomercials Inform Online Learning?" {ECOLLEGE: EDUCATOR'S VOICE, vol. 10, no. 6, November 19, 2009), Jeff D. Borden discusses persuading students to make time for incorporating new technologies into their schedules. Using what he believes is "the best, modern day example of persuasion in action," he takes examples from infomercials to suggest strategies to motivate students to adopt new tools that will enhance their learning activities. The article is available at http://www.ecollege.com/Educators_Voice.learn 

Educator's Voice is published monthly by Pearson eCollege. For more information contact eCollege, eCollege Building, 4900 S. Monaco Street, Denver, CO 80237 USA; tel: 888-884-7325; fax: 303-873-7449; Web: http://www.ecollege.com/ 



In "Search Engine Use Behavior of Students and Faculty: User Perceptions and Implications for Future Research" (FIRST MONDAY, vol. 14, no. 12, December 7, 2009), Oya Y. Rieger, librarian at Cornell University, reports on research that examined the use of Web search engines in support of learning, teaching, and research. While faculty and students view them as "taken–for–granted background tools," users have several concerns "about the information management challenges associated with having access to large and diverse corpuses of digital information."

The paper is available at http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2716/2385 

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



"We have plenty of empirical studies about simulations over the last 25 years. We know simulations work. We know simulations improve performance. We know simulations improve learning. Yet, I challenge anyone to show me a literature review of empirical studies about game-based learning. There are none. We are charging head-long into game-based learning without knowing if it works or not. We need studies."

In "Do Serious Games Work? Results from Three Studies" (ELEARN MAGAZINE, December 1, 2009), Richard Blunt reports on studies that set out to answer the challenge that Jan Cannon-Bowers issued at the Training 2006 Conference and Expo. The studies found that, "at least in some circumstances, the application of serious games significantly increases learning" but "[t]he potential of using serious games to create new expectations of learning and performance achievements remains to be proven."

The paper is available at http://www.elearnmag.org/subpage.cfm?section=research&article=9-1 

eLearn Magazine [ISSN: 1535-394X] is published by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. For more information, contact eLearn Magazine, Association for Computing Machinery, 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 701, New York, NY 10121-0701 USA; Web: http://www.elearnmag.org/



Each year EDUCAUSE produces a list of top-ten IT issues that will impact higher education. The latest list was published in the July/August 2009 issue of EDUCAUSE REVIEW ( http://www.educause.edu/174191  ). To augment the list, the November/December 2009 issue includes the article "Recommended Resources for the Top-Ten IT Issues." All the listed resources can be found in the EDUCAUSE Resource Center (http://www.educause.edu/resources). The article is available at http://www.educause.edu/185231 

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



Since 1996, Charles W. Bailey, Jr. has published the SCHOLARLY ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING BIBLIOGRAPHY. Version 77 has just been compiled and is now available from Digital Scholarship. This selective bibliography "presents over 3,620 articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding scholarly electronic publishing efforts on the Internet." The bibliography is available at http://www.digital-scholarship.org/sepb/sepb.html 

Newly available this year are the paperback and Kindle e-book formats of SCHOLARLY ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING BIBLIOGRAPHY: 2008 ANNUAL EDITION. For more information see http://digital-scholarship.org/sepb/annual/sepb2008.htm


Cartography 2.0 --- http://cartography2.org/

From The Scout Report on December 11, 2009

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.42--- http://www.malwarebytes.org/ 

This version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware only takes around eight minutes to complete a scan, and it also supports multiple drive scanning. The application has proved to be capable of determining the difference between false positives and dangerous applications, and users can also set up the program to scan individual files. For visitors who wish to have real-time protection, there is also a paid version which is available. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer.

Nocturne 1.0.4 --- http://www.blacktree.com/ 

Night vision can be a very helpful thing, and it can be quite useful when working on a computer. This tiny application helps Mac users switch their computers to night vision mode, and it contains a few bonus features. These features include the ability to toggle the window shadow and proper color correction, effectively preserving distinctive blues and piercing reds. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.4 and newer.

The Second City celebrates 50 years of comedy and theater Second City celebrates 50 years of funny http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/stage/chi-tc-arts-second-city-1202-120dec06,0,4273586 

Fifty Years of Second City http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703558004574582721836294000.html 

The Second City: 50 Years of Funny [Flash Player] http://www.secondcity.com/?id=history/timeline

Chicago Humanities Festival: The Second City's Museum Pieces

SCTV.org http://sctv.org/ 

Make 'Em Laugh http://www.pbs.org/wnet/makeemlaugh /

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

Education Tutorials

Scholarly Online Publishing Bibliography --- http://www.digital-scholarship.org/sepb/sepb.html 

How do scholars search for academic references?

Scholarly Online Publishing Bibliography --- http://www.digital-scholarship.org/sepb/sepb.html  

Scholarpedia --- http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Main_Page

PLoS One --- http://www.plosone.org/home.action

Google Scholar --- http://scholar.google.com/
Not to be confused with Google Advanced Search which does not cover many scholarly articles --- http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en

Google Knol --- http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2007/12/encouraging-people-to-contribute.html

Google Research --- http://research.google.com/

JURN (search engine for humanities and social science research) --- http://www.jurn.org/

One Million University of Illinois (Free) Books to be Digitized by Google --- http://www.cic.uiuc.edu/programs/CenterForLibraryInitiatives/Archive/PressRelease/LibraryDigitization/index.shtml
Google Digitized Books --- http://books.google.com/advanced_book_search?q=Accounting
For example, key in the word "accounting"
Then try "Advanced Managerial Accounting"
Then try "Joel Demski"
Then try "Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments"
Then try "Robert E. Jensen" AND "Accounting"

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announces the availability of a newly-digitized collection of Abraham Lincoln books accessible through the Open Content Alliance and displayed on the University Library's own web site, as the first step of a digitization project of Lincoln books from its collection. View the first set of books digitized at: http://varuna.grainger.uiuc.edu/oca/lincoln/

Microsoft's Windows "Live Search" or  "Academic Search" ---

Amazon's A9 --- http://a9.com/-/search/advSearch 

The University of California's eScholarship Repository has recently exceeded five million full-text downloads, according to the university
The eScholarship Repository, a service of the California Digital Library, allows scholars in the University of California system to submit their work to a central location where any users may easily access it free of charge. The idea is to ease communication between researchers. Catherine Mitchell, acting director of the CDL publishing group, says the number shows that both content seekers and creators have embraced the service, allaying concerns among researchers that others wouldn't contribute to the repository.
Hurley Goodall, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 16, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=2667&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Beginning October 23, 2003, Amazon.com offers a text search of entire contents of millions of pages of books, including new books ---

How It Works --- http://snurl.com/BookSearch 
A significant extension of our groundbreaking Look Inside the Book feature, Search Inside the Book allows you to search millions of pages to find exactly the book you want to buy. Now instead of just displaying books whose title, author, or publisher-provided keywords that match your search terms, your search results will surface titles based on every word inside the book. Using Search Inside the Book is as simple as running an Amazon.com search. 

Soon to be the largest scholarly library in the world:
Google Book Search --- http://books.google.com/advanced_book_search 

Answers.com --- http://www.answers.com/

Carnegie Mellon Libraries: Digital Library Colloquium (video lectures) --- http://www.library.cmu.edu/Libraries/DLColloquia.html

America [multimedia] --- http://www.america.gov/

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

Paddy Hirsh of American Public Media uses his usual sense of humor to explain interest rates in 2 min. --- 

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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Copenhagen:  The Shift from "Global Warming" to "Climate Change" --- http://www.kusi.com/home/78477082.html?video=pop&t=a

The New York Academy of Medicine: Current Grey Literature Report --- http://www.nyam.org/library/pages/current_grey_literature_report#

Cartography 2.0 --- http://cartography2.org/

Hidden Histories of Exploration [Flash Player] http://hiddenhistories.rgs.org/

Ernest Clayton Collection of California Wild Flowers --- http://sfpl.lib.ca.us/librarylocations/sfhistory/clayton/clayton.htm 

Biology Animation Library --- http://www.dnalc.org/ddnalc/resources/animations.html

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/

Audubon: Ivory-billed woodpecker --- http://www.mass.gov/lib/collections/dc/Audubon/Ivory_Billed_Woodpecker.htm

The North American Breeding Bird Survey --- http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/

Centre for Performance Science: Music and Science Online --- http://www.science.rcm.ac.uk/Science/Home

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

Video:  Hugo Chavez Calls Obama The Devil, Will Media Notice? ---

Helping Each Other in Times of Need: Financial Help as a Means of Coping with the Economic Crisis ---  http://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/2009/RAND_OP269.pdf 

Video:  FRONTLINE: The Credit Card Game [Flash Player] --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/creditcards/

Bob Jensen's threads on Dirty Secrets of Credit Card Companies --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#FICO

Fore-Edge Paintings at the Lilly Library at Indiana University ---  http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/fore-edge/index.html


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

Law and Legal Studies

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

Math Tutorials

Fermat and Pascal on Probability --- http://www.scribd.com/doc/24407527/Fermat-and-Pascal-on-Probability

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

History Tutorials

Chicago History Museum [Flash Player] http://blog.chicagohistory.org/ 

Ed Ruscha: Catalogue Raisonn? --- http://www.edruscha.com/

Waddesdon Manor: The Rothschild Trade Card Collection --- http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/searchthecollection/trade_cards_introduction.html

The New York Real Estate Brochure Collection --- http://nyre.cul.columbia.edu/

Drawings by Rembrandt and His Pupils [Flash Player] http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/rembrandt_drawings/interactive.html 

Rembrandt's Journey: Painter, Draftsman, Etcher http://www.artic.edu/aic/exhibitions/rembrandt.html

Fermat and Pascal on Probability --- http://www.scribd.com/doc/24407527/Fermat-and-Pascal-on-Probability

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

Centre for Performance Science: Music and Science Online --- http://www.science.rcm.ac.uk/Science/Home

Brecht's Works in English: A Bibliography (composer) ---  http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/BrechtGuide/ 

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/

December 17, 2009

December 18, 2009

December 21, 2009

December 22, 2009

Born at 9.1 Ounces  She Would've been thrown away in most other nations
Cozy in her incubator, set to 81.5 degrees, heart going at 174 beats a minute as she snoozed in her red, footy pajamas, Oliviyanna Harbin-Page may be a global record-holder. Born Aug. 5 to 16-year-old Jamesha Harbin of Eight Mile after 21 to 24 weeks of gestation, Oliviyanna weighed only 259 grams, or 9.1 ounces -- possibly making her, according to the University of South Alabama Children's & Women's Hospital, the world's smallest surviving baby. She now weighs 3 pounds 2 ounces. One of three girl triplets -- the other two are identical, she is fraternal
"Baby who may be world's smallest surviving newborn could go home soon," by Roy Hoffman, al.com, December 18, 2009 ---

Further Decline of the Bee Colonies
"Expect Another 35% Loss in U.S. Bees to Colony Collapse Disorder This Winter:  Beekeepers faced a devil's bargain this year: Honey and money now, at the expense of their hive's health," The Daily Green, December 21, 2009 ---

Beekeepers have to scratch this season to find much to be thankful for.

Too-cool, too-rainy weather almost everywhere gave American farmers great soybean and field corn crops this season, but kept summer blossoms from producing much nectar and kept bees from gathering what little there was. In lots of places (the Dakotas and Midwest and much of the east) the bees were barely able to keep up with feeding themselves and their young this summer. Everything they gathered they turned into more bees ... and, unfortunately, more mites. Excess honey just wasn't in the equation, leading to the worst honey crop ever, as reported here.

Down south and out west the dry, hot conditions accomplished basically the same thing. There was just enough, and too often not quite enough food to keep the bees going. They barely made it though the early and mid part of the season. Lots of bees, but no honey. Then, in the Midwest, especially the bountiful Dakotas and the surrounding states, the weather took on a kinder, gentler attitude in late summer, and beekeepers and their bees actually began gathering more honey than they could use. Surplus is what we call that honey ... and it puts food on the table and pays the bills. But there's a hitch.

Good varroa mite management dictates that beekeepers strive to reduce the number of varroa in a colony as early in the spring as possible so there's hardly any stress from varroa during the summer while the bees are raising brood and making honey. More importantly, all treatments have to be removed before the bees start making honey so that honey and varroa treatment chemicals don't mix.

But sometimes treatments don't work. Some are temperature-sensitive, so if it's too warm or too cold they aren't effective. Sometimes beekeepers can't get to the bees because spring is late and there's still snow and mud all over. And even when treatment are both well-timed and effective you never get them all so any remaining mites continue to breed unhindered all summer long, building to what can be a huge population later in the summer, unchecked and unchallenged. So in late summer, as soon as the bees quit making honey, beekeepers rush to get treatments back on to tackle what now is usually a large population of mites, again.

Continued in article

Video:  Make 'Em Laugh http://www.pbs.org/wnet/makeemlaugh /

You're a dumb criminal if:

You air your neighbor's dirty laundry
As she walked around her neighbor's yard sale in Severn, Maryland the woman couldn't help admiring the items. The Oriental rug,, the luggage, the shoes --- they were exactly here style. And why not? They were hers!

You let your supply of antismoking patches run out
An Indiana state trooper stopped a car for a traffic violation. When a passenger, Honesty Knight, asked if she could smoke, the officer said yes. She proceeded, police say, to light up a marijuana joint.

You don't know when to write off a loss
John Opperman-Green robbed a Kissimmee, Florida 7-Eleven, then called the cops to complain when he tried to hitch a ride with strangers, who, in ther, robbed him.
Jensen Comment
The was a similar police report in NYC about a bank robber who went running down the street and latter reported that he was mugged.

You harbor grudges
Joseph Goetz's alleged attempt to rob a York, Pennsylvania, bank met with some snags. Cops say the first teller he tried to rob fainted and the next two insisted they had no cash in their drawers. Fed up, Goetz stormed out, threatening to write an angry letter to the bank.

You can't let go of your friends
Two New Zealand prisoners had the brilliant idea of fleeing the courthouse while tethered together by handcuffs. They might have escaped had a light pole not gotten between them. Like a pare of click-an-clacks, they slammed into each other and were arrested trying to get back to their feet

.December 9, 2009 reply from the sister of an AECM Friend

Down here our senior drivers are referred to as "Q-tips," because all you can see is a tuft of white above the driver's side headrest. My favorite related bumper sticker: "When I get old, I'm gonna move north and drive real slow."

The mention of "no turn signals" did resonate. When we arrived 12 years ago, the number of local folks using turn signals increased by 100%. Thanks to my nagging, we experienced another substantial increase in the turn-signal-using population when Beth & Stoney got there licenses.

I had to laugh about the "All Republican" line. In fact, Democrats are the majority here in Florida. However, thanks to the magic of gerrymandering every 10 years, the Republicans have an overwhelming majority in the statehouse.

You gotta love it.



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/

Accounting News, Blogs, Listservs, and Social Networking ---

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

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


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

Some Accounting History Sites

Bob Jensen's Accounting History in a Nutshell and Links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#AccountingHistory

Accounting History Libraries at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) --- http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/accountancy/libraries.html
The above libraries include international accounting history.
The above libraries include film and video historical collections.

MAAW Knowledge Portal for Management and Accounting --- http://maaw.info/

Academy of Accounting Historians and the Accounting Historians Journal ---

Sage Accounting History --- http://ach.sagepub.com/cgi/pdf_extract/11/3/269

A nice timeline on the development of U.S. standards and the evolution of thinking about the income statement versus the balance sheet is provided at:
"The Evolution of U.S. GAAP: The Political Forces Behind Professional Standards (1930-1973)," by Stephen A. Zeff, CPA Journal, January 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/105/infocus/p18.htm
Part II covering years 1974-2003 published in February 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/205/index.htm 

A nice timeline of accounting history --- http://www.docstoc.com/docs/2187711/A-HISTORY-OF-ACCOUNTING

From Texas A&M University
Accounting History Outline --- http://acct.tamu.edu/giroux/history.html

Bob Jensen's timeline of derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting ---

History of Fraud in America --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/415wp/AmericanHistoryOfFraud.htm
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.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