Tidbits on June 17, 2010
Bob Jensen

On Sunday, June 6 while I was pruning our wild roses out front, a man introduced himself
and asked permission to photograph our wild roses and other wild flowers
He's a retired school teacher named Wes Lavin from Ashland, NH
He carries a huge camera on a tripod and does professional-quality photography
Here's a beautiful lupine picture that he later sent to me.

Bob Jensen's Walk Down Lovers Lane
On June 16, 2009 I took a walk down a country road called Lovers Lane that begins at our Sugar Hill Community Church heading north. First I had to walk down Sunset Hill Road where I passed the The Sampler (gift barn and museum) owned by
Barbara Zarafini --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2009/tidbits090303.htm

Barbara and her husband Joe live across the road in "The Cabin" that is surrounded by lupine fields. Joe mows walking paths through one of the fields so tourists can see the lupine up close.


About a half mile down from the Sampler is our Sugar Hill Community Church. The Cape Cod house next to the Church was once a guest house owned by the famous sportscaster Curt Gowdy --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curt_Gowdy
After Gowdy died, the house was bought by Bud and Mary Weiler--- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2008/tidbits081111.htm
In front of the Gowdy-Weiler house is a rail fence covered with roses in bloom this time of year.


South from our Church is Sugar Hill's Main Street that contains some houses and only one store called Harmon's General Store and Cheese House --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2009/tidbits090115.htm
Heading north from our church is the beginning of one of Sugar Hill's country roads called Lovers Lane. This "lane" passes through woods so dense that the trees form a canopy over the road. About a quarter mile down from the road is a huge red barn that most likely was a dairy barn at one time. Surrounding the barn are lush pastures now grazed upon by three Percheron draft horses --- two blacks and a gray that is so light-colored it looks white from a distance.


Across from these horses is a farm known as Hilltop Farm that has the traditional New Hampshire stone fences. Robert Frost, who once lived in a house down from where I live, once wrote "good fences make good neighbors." His house up here is now a museum and center for poetry readings --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits070905.htm

The pictures below show the stone fences of the beautiful Hill Top Farm on Lovers Lane. At this point I encountered two of our pastor's ten children also taking a morning stroll on the Lane. Seven of the children moved here last year with their parents. They live beside the Gowdy-Weiler house in the former Foxglove Inn --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2008/tidbits080916.htm


About a quarter mile up from the Hill Top Farm is what I call the Peckett Farm. In the early 1900s there were four luxury resorts in the Sugar Hill vicinity. My cottage now sits where the Sunset Hill House Hotel and Resort thrived in the early part of the 20th Century ---
Up from our cottage about a half mile was the smaller Lookoff Hotel and Resort. All of Sugar Hill's four luxury hotels were demolished in the latter part of the 20th Century as summer living/playing cultures evolved and the passenger railroads ceased to operate in remote parts of America.

About two miles from our cottage was the Peckett's-On-Sugar Hill Resort. Although a sign on Lovers Lane says the first ski school in the United states was at the Peckett's resort, I'm told it was really the second but better-known ski school. It was run by a well-known ski instructor from Austria --- http://www.nesm.org/page.php?cid=doc30

Near where the Peckett's hotel once stood is the following Lovers Lane barn with its sweeping views of fields and the mountains in the background. Both the Hill Top and Peckett farms are quiet as cemeteries these days except when tractors move in on occasion to cut hay. There are no longer crops or animals on these or most other Sugar Hill farms. There are woods and fields of lupines and other wild flowers.


Not far from the Peckett Farm is the Butternut Farm on Blake Road. Butternut at one time was owned by film star Bette Davis --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits070801.htm
She and her mother Ruthie moved into the farm house. Soon afterward Bette bought a huge dairy barn in Vermont and had it carted in pieces across the mountains to her farm. She then reconstructed the barn into a magnificent home called Butternut Lodge. Butternut Lodge looks like a big old dairy barn. It's now a private residence and is not visible from a public road or walking trail.

Bette Davis married her Sugar Hill neighbor and Pecketts' Resort manager Arthur Farnsworth in 1940. In 1943 she was investigated and suspected but never charged with his mysterious death. After he died, she purportedly placed a bronze memorial plaque on the rock at the bottom of a mountain brook where Farnsworth "rescued her" in 1939 before they were married. This plaque still exists in the stream and can be viewed at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits070801.htm

At the intersection of Lovers Lane and Coffin Road is a house with a panoramic view of the Iris Farm down below (with silos). Unlike most farms around Sugar Hill, the Iris Farm is still a working farm with horses, sheep, chickens, and a herd of Scottish Cows. A portion of Lovers Lane borders on an Iris Farm field. Alongside the field are wild iris blooms shown below.

Lovers Lane begins at the Sugar Hill Community Church and ends at Highway 117. To the east about a half mile is the village of Franconia chartered in 1764 --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franconia,_New_Hampshire
About a half mile to the west is Hildex Farm where you will find the legendary Polly's Pancake Parlor --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2009/tidbits090105.htm

Having come to the end of Lovers Lane, however, I did not return home via the Hildex Farm or stop for pancakes. Instead I crossed over to Birches Road where I took more pictures along the two miles remaining before I returned to our cottage. The pictures from Birches Road will be shared with you in subsequent editions of Tidbits.


Slide Show on Cactus in Bloom (forwarded by Blan McBride)

Awesome Beauty of Space (Hubble) Slide Show  --- Click Here

Old Barns and Old People ---

Beautiful Photographs Slide Shoe

Resurrection Sunday Dance, Budapest, Hungary --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5dSIL358NM

Stephen Fry: What I Wish I Had Known When I Was 18 --- Click Here  http://www.openculture.com/2010/05/stephen_fry_what_i_wish_i_had_known_when_i_was_18.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29


Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on June 17, 2010

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


Tidbits on June 17, 2010
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

Find a College
College Atlas --- http://www.collegeatlas.org/
Among other things the above site provides acceptance rate percentages
Online Distance Education Training and Education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

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 ---

149 Interesting People to Follow on Twitter (but I don't have time to follow them) ---
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

574 Shields Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

Publish Poop or Perish
We Must Stop the Avalanche of Low-Quality Research

Gaming for Tenure as an Accounting Professor ---
(with a reply about tenure publication point systems from Linda Kidwell)

"So you want to get a Ph.D.?" by David Wood, BYU ---

Do You Want to Teach? ---

Jensen Comment
Here are some added positives and negatives to consider, especially if you are currently a practicing accountant considering becoming a professor.

Accountancy Doctoral Program Information from Jim Hasselback ---

Why must all accounting doctoral programs be social science (particularly econometrics) "accountics" doctoral programs?

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?



Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---

"The Accounting Doctoral Shortage: Time for a New Model,"
by Neal Mero, Jan R. Williams and George W. Krull, Jr. .
Issues in Accounting Education
24 (4)

The crisis in supply versus demand for doctorally qualified faculty members in accounting is well documented (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business [AACSB] 2003a, 2003b; Plumlee et al. 2005; Leslie 2008). Little progress has been made in addressing this serious challenge facing the accounting academic community and the accounting profession. Faculty time, institutional incentives, the doctoral model itself, and research diversity are noted as major challenges to making progress on this issue. The authors propose six recommendations, including a new, extramurally funded research program aimed at supporting doctoral students that functions similar to research programs supported by such organizations as the National Science Foundation and other science-based funding sources. The goal is to create capacity, improve structures for doctoral programs, and provide incentives to enhance doctoral enrollments. This should lead to an increased supply of graduates while also enhancing and supporting broad-based research outcomes across the accounting landscape, including auditing and tax. ©2009 American Accounting Association

Bob Jensen's threads on accountancy doctoral programs are at


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

Resurrection Sunday Dance, Budapest, Hungary --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5dSIL358NM

Stephen Fry: What I Wish I Had Known When I Was 18 --- Click Here  http://www.openculture.com/2010/05/stephen_fry_what_i_wish_i_had_known_when_i_was_18.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Video:  Why Accountants Don't Run Startups ---

Walter Brennan Reading Mark Twain ---

Webwise 2010: Imagining the Digital Future [Flash Player, Windows Media] http://www.tvworldwide.com/events/webwise/100303/

Jagdish Gangolly clued me in on this link
Tom Lehrer on the great Russian mathgematician Lobachevsky:

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

Digital Comic Museum --- http://digitalcomicmuseum.com/  

Slide Show on the Classics --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/Classics.pps

12. Entitled Opinions (about Life and Literature) --- http://www.stanford.edu/dept/fren-ital/opinions/

The Asia Foundation: Multimedia --- http://asiafoundation.org/media/

Video:  The Invisible Chair --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=6NPF0A_vGC4

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

Video:  Resurrection Sunday Dance, Budapest, Hungary --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5dSIL358NM

Slide Show on the Classics --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/Classics.pps

Eydie Gorme Carol Burnett Hollywood Music Medley --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FQHYNejFks&NR=1

National Science Foundation: Science Nation [Flash Player] http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/

The Mathematical Association of America: Podcast Center http://www.maa.org/audio clips/podcast/podcast.html

Exploratorium 40th Anniversary: Speaking of Music Rewind [iTunes] http://www.exploratorium.edu/40th/podcasts.php

Bonnaroo 2010: Regina Spektor In Concert --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10001

Sarah Jaffe: A Lullaby For Adults --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127533476

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

NASA Clips --- http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/nasaeclips/

Balzac's Paris: A Guided Tour http://www.balzacsparis.ucr.edu/

HistoryWorld --- http://www.historyworld.net/

Nature Milestones --- http://www.nature.com/milestones/

"The Pageant of America" Photograph Archive (over 7,000 photographs) ---

Slide Show on Cactus in Bloom (forwarded by Blan McBride)

Digital Comic Museum --- http://digitalcomicmuseum.com/ 

The Allure of the Automobile (museum) http://www.high.org/main.taf?p=3,1,1,17,1

Old Barns and Old People ---

The Henry Ford Museum --- http://www.hfmgv.org/

Cincinnati Art Museum: The Collection ---

University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee Book Arts Collection --- http://www4.uwm.edu/libraries/digilib/bookarts/index.cfm

LaVie: The Penn State Life (Yearbook History Going Back to 1890) --- http://www.libraries.psu.edu/digital/lavie/ 

UW Student Newspapers Archive --- http://content.lib.washington.edu/dailyweb/index.html

You don't want to see these
Photos of the Gulf of Mexico --- http://holykaw.alltop.com/photos-of-gulf-of-mexico-by-andy-levin

From the Scout Report on June 11, 2010

New evidence from Saturn's moon Titan suggests possibility of alien life and reveals new clues about early Earth as well Saturn moon offers hints of early life on Earth http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/vergano/2010-06-06-titan_N.htm  

Titan: NASA Scientists discover evidence 'that alien life exists on Saturn's moon'

Astrobiologist tries to set the record straight about extraterrestrial life on Titan

Saturn's Beauty and Power http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8564405.stm 

The Saturn System: A Feast for the Eyes http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/cassini_equinox/cassini_equinox_slideshow.html 

Eerie Sounds of Saturn's Radio Emissions http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/pia07966.html 

Windows to the Universe: Saturn http://windows2universe.org/saturn/saturn.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

12. Entitled Opinions (about Life and Literature) --- http://www.stanford.edu/dept/fren-ital/opinions/

"The Rockets' Red Glare": Francis Scott Key and the Bombardment of Fort McHenry

Journal of Aesthetics & Culture --- http://journals.sfu.ca/coaction/index.php/jac

Vincent Van Gogh: The Letters --- http://www.vangoghletters.org/vg/

Balzac's Paris: A Guided Tour http://www.balzacsparis.ucr.edu/

HistoryWorld --- http://www.historyworld.net/

From the University of Missouri: Collection of Fourth of July Speeches --- http://digital.library.umsystem.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jul;cc=jul;tpl=home.tpl

A Biography of America --- http://www.learner.org/resources/series123.html

Bear Expedition Digital Collections --- http://polarbears.si.umich.edu/

LaVie: The Penn State Life (Yearbook History Going Back to 1890) --- http://www.libraries.psu.edu/digital/lavie/ 

UW Student Newspapers Archive --- http://content.lib.washington.edu/dailyweb/index.html

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 on June 17, 2010

No sugar coating from this Wharton professor
"National Retirement Expert: 75 needs to be the new 62," by Carla Fried, CBS Moneywatch, June 2010 ---

Olivia Mitchell is one of the nation’s foremost retirement experts, having spent an impressive career studying the evolving nature of retirement planning issues for individuals, corporations and government. The short version of Mitchell’s resume is that she is a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and executive director of the Pension Research Council. I’ll let you peruse Mitchell’s full 23-page CV at your own leisure.

So I was interested to read a recent PRC paper Mitchell penned that digs into some of the most pressing retirement security issues in the wake of the financial crisis.

Sugarcoating is not her way.

My message is straightforward and, I fear, not particularly upbeat: current and future generations of managers and employees will not be able to use the ‘old fashioned’ model of provisioning for retirement. Instead, the 21st century economy will require an entirely new perspective on retirement risk management.

From there Mitchell ticks off the big risks weighing on the current model: We’re not saving enough, we don’t have a clue how to deal with longevity risk — in fact, we don’t have a clue about basic financial concepts — traditional pensions are in major trouble, the PBGC is not exactly rock solid, and then there’s the little issue of Social Security, a topic near and dear to her heart, having served on the 2001 bipartisan presidential Commission to Strengthen Social Security

The Retirement Fix

Mitchell concludes the report with a perfectly serviceable call to action:

Part of the task is to enhance financial literacy and political responsibility.  We will also need to save more, invest smarter, and insure better against longevity. Another task will be to develop new products which can be used to hedge longevity and better protect against very long term risks including inflation.

What struck me in her report was this final thought:

But when all is said and done, most of us will simply have to work longer to preserve some flexibility against shocks in the long run.

And there it is: one of the nation’s foremost retirement thinkers concludes that at the end of the day, it’s working longer that is going to be our ticket out of any shortfalls and “shocks.”

Retire Early….at 75

Mitchell points out that working two to four more years can go a long way to closing a retirement funding gap. But that’s directed at Baby Boomers. Given ever-expanding longevity forecasts for younger generations she has this bit of advice for Gen X and Gen Y:

For the younger generation, age 75 might be a good target for early retirement, and later if possible!

Confirmation, from one of the country’s leading retirement thinkers, that 75 may indeed be the new 55.

Jensen Comment
At the moment we're between a rock and a hard place apart from each person's private problem concerning retirement. The global problem is that extending retirement age to 75 contributes significantly to decline of employment opportunities for younger people versus the need to extend retirement age to 75 to save the U.S. Social Security and Medicare entitlement programs.

Video on IOUSA Bipartisan Solutions to Saving the USA

If you missed Sunday afternoon CNN’s two-hour IOUSA Solutions broadcast, you can watch a 30-minute version at
http://www.pgpf.org/newsroom/press/IOUSA-Solutions-Premiers-on-CNN/   (Scroll Down a bit)
Note that great efforts were made to keep this a bipartisan panel along with the occasional video clips of President Obama discussing the debt crisis. The problem is a build up over spending for most of our nation’s history, It landed at the feet of President Obama, but he’s certainly not the cause nor is his the recent expansion of health care coverage the real cause.

One take home from the CNN show was that over 60% of the booked National Debt increases are funded off shore (largely in Asia and the Middle East).
This going to greatly constrain the global influence and economic choices of the United States.

By 2016 the interest payments on the National Debt will be the biggest single item in the Federal Budget, more than national defense or social security. And an enormous portion of this interest cash flow will be flowing to foreign nations that may begin to put all sorts of strings on their decisions  to roll over funding our National Debt.

The unbooked entitlement obligations that are not part of the National Debt are over $60 trillion and exploding exponentially. The Medicare D entitlements to retirees like me added over $8 trillion of entitlements under the Bush Presidency.

Most of the problems are solvable except for the Number 1 entitlements problem --- Medicare.
Drastic measures must be taken to keep Medicare sustainable.


I thought the show was pretty balanced from a bipartisan standpoint and from the standpoint of possible solutions.

Many of the possible “solutions” are really too small to really make a dent in the problem. For example, medical costs can be reduced by one of my favorite solutions of limiting (like they do in Texas) punitive damage recoveries in malpractice lawsuits. However, the cost savings are a mere drop in the bucket. Another drop in the bucket will be the achievable increased savings from decreasing medical and disability-claim frauds. These are important solutions, but they are not solutions that will save the USA.

The big possible solutions to save the USA are as follows (you and I won’t particularly like these solutions):



Watch for the other possible solutions in the 30-minute summary video ---
(Scroll Down a bit)



You can search video and start the video when a particular word crops up
YouTube's Interactive Transcripts --- http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2010/06/youtubes-interactive-transcripts.html

YouTube added a cool feature for videos with closed captions: you can now click on the "transcript" button to expand the entire listing. If you click on a line, YouTube will show the excerpt from the video corresponding to the text. If you use your browser's find feature, you can even search inside the video. Here's an an example of video that includes a transcript.

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

You might be interested in this “special” University of Wisconsin Scout Report even though most of the links are off topic for the AECM.

The Scout Report finds interesting new (sometimes old) bookmarks (usually around 15-20 per week).

 Best of 2009-2010
- Xeno-Canto: Bird Sounds From the Americas [Real Player]
- Nasa eClips
- Vincent Van Gogh: The Letters
- Exploratorium 40th Anniversary: Speaking of Music Rewind [iTunes]
- National Science Foundation: Science Nation [Flash Player]
- The Mathematical Association of America: Podcast Center
- Balzac's Paris: A Guided Tour
- BioEd Online: Podcasts Plus Lessons
- HistoryWorld
- Nature Milestones

Webwise 2010: Imagining the Digital Future [Flash Player, Windows Media]

Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price
You might want to examine the NYT feature while it is still free --- http://nyti.ms/9EegB2

"Hooked on Gadgets and Happy About It," by Alexandra Samuel, Harvard Business Review Blog, June 8, 2010 --- Click Here

Yesterday's New York Times has a two-page feature, Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price . It's a sign of the growing awareness and concern about how our network-centric lives are not only affecting our work but also our personal lives, and even our bodies — you might say, our souls.

The Times article looks at one wired family to make the point that all these gadgets negatively affect us. "Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave" the story reads. "They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information."

This is the same argument made by Nicholas Carr in his recent article for Wired and his new book, The Shallows, released yesterday. It's interesting to learn from Carr that neuroscientists can now illuminate some of what happens in our heads when we go online. But then again, their concerns are not fundamentally different from the worries expressed about the Internet over the past fifteen years.

The Internet is bad for our brains, the argument goes. It's bad for our relationships, our families and maybe (if it stops us thinking creatively or deeply) it's even bad for our careers.

As a pathological gadget and Internet user, I'm not going to join the chorus and argue that network and screen time impoverish our minds, our friendships and our communities. Maybe they do, but so what? Networks aren't going anywhere, nor is our time online likely to decrease. In fact, there's every indication that our time online is going to keep expanding.

What we need are practical strategies for how to reduce the negative impact of the net on our brains, and to magnify its positive effects. The Times article notes one study that showed Internet users "showed greater brain activity than nonusers, suggesting they were growing their neural circuitry," and another study of video gamers showed that games "can improve reaction and the ability to pick out details amid clutter."

I haven't got an MRI machine handy, so I can't document the impact of my net-taming practices at the neural level, but here are some strategies I can recommend for those who want to mitigate the personal and social impact of multitasking, and amplify the benefits:

  1. Ration your e-mail: E-mail is one of the chief sources of distraction since so many of us feel compelled to check for new messages throughout the day. Different friends have shared their strategies for keeping e-mail at bay, like scheduling a specific two-hour period to process e-mail each day, or checking for new messages only after emptying the inbox. I rely on Gmail filters to support my own system for maintaining an empty inbox and I find that the practice of processing my inbox to zero also helps me focus my e-mail checkins on the moments when I actually have time to respond.
  2. Structure your monotasking: I'm used to working with a dozen programs and fifty windows open on my computer, and as per the practice reported by the Times, I'm switching windows constantly to follow links or check e-mail. So when I'm trying to write a report or do any kind of focused work, I break my multitasking habit by working on a computer that has very limited memory (so I can only have a couple of applications open at a time), or I restart my main computer and launch only a couple of applications. You could even create another account on your computer that has access to only Word or Excel, and no Internet connectivity, so you can force yourself to monotask.
  3. Take a tech sabbath: The National Day of Unplugging married the Jewish practice of observing the sabbath with the growing need to get some distance from technology. Try taking one day with no screen time. That means no TV, no Blackberry, no Internet. If you find it creates a useful pause in your wired-up life, consider making it a weekly practice.
  4. Find hope outside your inbox: Last year I started experimenting with ways to break my constant email and Twitter check-ins. I realized I was looking for that jolt of excitement, the possibility that some sort of good news would come my way with each check-in. When I started exploring other ways to get a little unexpected delight in my day — by talking to a stranger, or visiting a new part of town — I was able to reduce my reliance on the net as the bearer of good news.
  5. Use your right brain/use your left brain: If you spend your computer time geeking out in Excel or checking Google Analytics, it's time to give your right brain a workout with a browse through Flickr or a film editing project in Final Cut. If you spend your computer time writing poetry or creating collages in Photoshop, it's time to give your left brain a workout with a game of Scrabble or some financial management with Mint.com. The more you vary your online diet with activities that draw on both hemispheres, the more you'll be tapping into the net's potential to grow your brain's circuitry.

If you had to sit through a meeting with me, and watch me take notes in Evernote, tweet, and chew my nails at the same time) you would find that these practices have hardly turned me into a picture of mellow monotasking. But I take some comfort in the fact that I'm still able to focus on a single task for up to 5 minutes at a time. Considering the amount of time I spend online, neuroscientists might call that a miracle.

Bob Jensen's gadgets bookmarks ---

PC World Videos on New Products --- http://www.pcworld.com/video.html

Bob Jensen's threads on ubiquitous computing are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm

A Different Set of Heroes, Ethics, Morals, and Rules
"Bernie Madoff, Free at Last In prison he doesn’t have to hide his lack of conscience. In fact, he’s a hero for it," Steve Fishman, New York Magazine, June 6, 2010 --- http://nymag.com/news/crimelaw/66468/

Last August, shortly after his arrival at the federal correctional complex in Butner, North Carolina, Bernard L. Madoff was waiting on the evening pill line for his blood-pressure medication when he heard another inmate call his name. Madoff, then 71, author of the most devastating Ponzi scheme in history, was dressed like every other prisoner, in one of his three pairs of standard-issue khakis, his name and inmate number glued over the shirt pocket. Rec time, the best part of a prisoner’s day, was drawing to a close, and Madoff, who liked to walk the gravel track, sometimes with Carmine Persico, the former mob boss, or Jonathan Pollard, the spy, had hurried to the infirmary, passing the solitary housing unit—the hole—ducking through the gym and the twelve-foot-high fence and turning in the direction of Maryland, the unit where child molesters are confined after they’ve served their sentences. As usual, the med line was long and moved slowly. There were a hundred prisoners, some standing outside in the heat, waiting for one nurse.

Madoff was accustomed to hearing other inmates call his name. From July 14, the day he arrived, he’d been an object of fascination. Prisoners had assiduously followed his criminal career on the prison TVs. “Hey, Bernie,” an inmate would yell to him admiringly while he was at his job sweeping up the cafeteria, “I seen you on TV.” In return, Madoff nodded and waved, smiling that sphinxlike half-smile. “What did he say?” Madoff sometimes asked.

But that evening an inmate badgered Madoff about the victims of his $65 billion scheme, and kept at it. According to K. C. White, a bank robber and prison artist who escorted a sick friend that evening, Madoff stopped smiling and got angry. “Fuck my victims,” he said, loud enough for other inmates to hear. “I carried them for twenty years, and now I’m doing 150 years.”

For Bernie Madoff, living a lie had once been a full-time job, which carried with it a constant, nagging anxiety. “It was a nightmare for me,” he told investigators, using the word over and over, as if he were the real victim. “I wish they caught me six years ago, eight years ago,” he said in a little-noticed interview with them.

And so prison offered Madoff a measure of relief. Even his first stop, the hellhole of Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), where he was locked down 23 hours a day, was a kind of asylum. He no longer had to fear the knock on the door that would signal “the jig was up,” as he put it. And he no longer had to express what he didn’t feel. Bernie could be himself. Pollard’s former cellmate John Bowler recalls a conversation between Pollard and Madoff: “Bernie was telling a story about an old lady. She was bugging him for her money, so he said to her, ‘Here’s your money,’ and gave her a check. When she saw the amount she says, ‘That’s unbelievable,’ and she says, ‘Take it back.’ And urged her friends [to invest].”

Pollard thought that taking advantage of old ladies was “kind of fucked up.”

“Well, that’s what I did,” Madoff said matter-of-factly.

“You are going to pay with God,” Pollard warned.

Madoff was unmoved. He was past apologizing. In prison, he crafted his own version of events. From MCC, Madoff explained the trap he was in. “People just kept throwing money at me,” Madoff related to a prison consultant who advised him on how to endure prison life. “Some guy wanted to invest, and if I said no, the guy said, ‘What, I’m not good enough?’ ” One day, Shannon Hay, a drug dealer who lived in the same unit in Butner as Madoff, asked about his crimes. “He told me his side. He took money off of people who were rich and greedy and wanted more,” says Hay, who was released in December. People, in other words, who deserved it.

There is, as it happens, honor among thieves, a fact that worked mostly to Madoff’s benefit. In the context of prison, he isn’t a cancer on society; he’s a success, admired for his vast accomplishments. “A hero,” wrote Robert Rosso, a lifer, on a website he managed to found called convictinc .com. “He’s arguably the greatest con of all time.”

From the day Bernard Lawrence Madoff, prisoner No. 61727-054, arrived at the softer of Butner’s two medium-security facilities in handcuffs and shackles, his over-the-collar hair shorn close, his rich man’s paunch diminished, he was a celebrity, even if his admirers were now murderers and sex offenders. The Butner correctional complex, which includes four prisons and a medical center, already has its share of crime kings. Pollard, the Israel cause célèbre who spied for the Jewish homeland, lived in Madoff’s housing unit, Clemson (the dorms are named after Atlantic Coast Conference colleges). Persico, the former Colombo-family godfather, lives in nearby Georgia Tech. Omar Ahmad-Rahman, the blind sheikh who helped engineer the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, is in Butner. The Rigases from Pennsylvania, the father and son who bankrupted Adelphia Communications Corporation, are there—they wear crisp, pressed uniforms, which inmates assume they pay others to maintain.

Yet even in this crowd, Madoff stands out. Every inmate remembers the day he arrived. “It was like the president was visiting,” a visitor to Butner that day told me. News helicopters buzzed overhead, and the administration locked down part of the prison, confining some inmates to their units, while an aging con man with high blood pressure shuffled through processing, where other inmates fitted him for a uniform and offered a brief orientation: “Man, chill out and go with the flow, ” was the advice of one former drug dealer.

Quickly, the flow came to Madoff. From the moment he alighted, he had “groupies,” according to several inmates. Prisoners trailed him as he took his exercise around the track. (Persico had also attracted a throng when he arrived, but was disgusted and quickly put an end to it.) “They buttered him up,” one former inmate told me. “Everybody was trying to kiss his ass,” says Shawn Evans, who spent 28 months in Butner. They even clamored for his autograph.

And Madoff was usually more than happy to respond. “He enjoyed being a celebrity,” says Nancy Fineman, an attorney to whom Madoff granted an interview shortly after his arrival at Butner. (Fineman represents victims who are suing some of Madoff’s “aiders and abettors,” as she calls them.) Madoff seemed surprised and tickled by the lavish treatment, though he steadfastly refused to sign anything. Even in prison, he wasn’t going to dilute the brand. “He was sure they would sell it on eBay,” Fineman told me. “He still did have a big ego.”

Remarkably, that ego appears to have survived intact. H. David Kotz, the Security and Exchange Commission’s inspector general, investigated his agency’s failure to uncover Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, and Madoff volunteered to speak to him—he is, no doubt, the world’s expert on the subject. He quickly reminded Kotz of his stature—“I wrote a good portion of the rules when it comes to trading,” Madoff said. He insisted that he’d been “a good trader” with a solid strategy, explaining that he’d stumbled into trouble because of his success. Hedge funds—“just marketers,” he said with evident disgust—pushed cash on him. He overcommitted, got behind, and generated a few imaginary trades, figuring he’d make it up—and never did. Whatever his own missteps, Madoff saved his scorn for the SEC. He did impressions of its agents, leaning back with his hands behind his head just as one self-serious agent did—“a guy who comes on like he’s Columbo,” but who was “an idiot,” Madoff said, as recorded in the extraordinary exhibit 104, a twelve-page account of the interview that is part of Kotz’s report. Madoff is no ironist. His disdain for the SEC is professional, even if the agency’s incompetence saved his skin for years—all Columbo had to do was make one phone call. “[It’s] accounting 101,” Madoff told Kotz, still amazed.

Madoff’s ego was on display in prison, too. “Bernie walked around prison confident,” says ex-con Keith Mack, adding, with a trace of resentment, “he acted like he beat the world.” And to most inmates he had. Many—and I communicated with more than two dozen current and recent Butner inmates (though not Madoff)—can recount stories of his conquests, a good number of them related by Madoff himself. “He said something to me one day,” recalls an ex–drug trafficker, released in February. “He could spin the globe and stop it anywhere with his finger, and chances are he had a house there or he’d been there. I was pretty blown away.” One evening, Bowler, a drug trafficker (“I’m not a con man, I’m a businessman,” he wrote to me), sat next to Madoff watching a 60 Minutes segment about him. Prison authorities keep the volume off, and inmates wear headphones and tune in to the radio signal that broadcasts the sound. Bowler removed one earpiece. “ ‘Bernie, you got ’em for millions,’ I said to him. ‘No, billions,’ he told me.” Another evening, one former inmate was watching a TV news report on the auction of Madoff’s much-chronicled watch collection—he owned more than 40, from Rolexes to a Piaget. The watch featured that evening fetched just $900, and Madoff, whose only watch now is a Timex Ironman that he bought at the commissary for $41.65 and is likely engraved with his inmate number, called out, “They told me that watch was worth $200,000.” The inmates laughed along with him. They didn’t see any reason for Madoff to regret his past. “If I’d lived that well for 70 years, I wouldn’t care that I ended up in prison,” Evans says.

Inmates were impressed by the sheer scale of Madoff’s operation and turned to him for guidance in getting their own ambitions on track. Madoff had always enjoyed being counselor to the wealthy and powerful. That had been part of the scheme’s seduction: Bernie, the scrappy kid from Queens, depended on by rich businessmen. “He wants to be remembered as a titan of Wall Street,” says Fineman, and one who subsidized the private schools and fancy vacations of his wealthy friends, even if it was with the funds of other investors. And to inmates he still was a titan.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Madoff and Ponzi frauds in general ---

"New Analysis on Poverty and Education," Inside Higher Ed, June 9, 2010 ---

The Institute for Higher Education Policy is today releasing a report, "A Portrait of Low-Income Young Adults in Education," with data showing the education gaps between those young adults in poverty and those who are more affluent. Over all in 2008, 44 percent of young adults in the United States were from a low-income background -- and they had low levels of educational attainment, with levels even lower for black, Latino and Native Americans.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

Bob Jensen's threads on global online training and education alternatives ---

Is this analogous to television show recorders that eliminate commercials? Viewers all like to see those commercials removed. But advertising revenue sustains the producers of those television shows and the networks that distribute those shows.

If our television sets could strip away commercials and speed up programming between segments of shows we just might not have any worthwhile shows to watch that are broadcast "free" to us.

Keep in mind that advertising is what pays for our popular Web sites like Google, Bing, YouTube, and Wikipedia.

Of course Bob Jensen's blockbuster Website has no advertising.

"Will Apple's Latest Browser Hurt Publishers (of Web sites)? Removing ads from Web pages may be an attempt to push content creators toward the iPad and iPhone." by Stephen Cass, MIT's Technology Review, June 9, 2010 ---

The latest version of Apple's Web browser, Safari 5, sports a feature called "Reader" that concatenates the multi-page articles seen on most news sites (including Technology Review's) into a single scrollable window. According to Apple, the stripped down format "removes annoying ads and other visual distractions from online articles."

It, of course, also removes advertising revenues from the people who created those articles. Ad blocking software is nothing new; personally I've appreciated the option to block pop-ups that are incorporated into most modern browsers. What is new is that Apple doesn't give the user the option to not block ads in Reader. This option wouldn't be technically difficult to add in comparison to the work Apple has already done on developing Reader: most websites already provide links to stripped down versions of their articles, under a "printer-friendly" link, which contain one or two static ads that could be integrated into the Reader presentation of a story without being disruptive.

Why would a reader want an ad-enabled version? Well, for the same reason I don't install any of the freely available ad blockers; I'm happy to support sites that I think strike a reasonable balance between advertising and content. Having to, say, watch a few 30-second commercial breaks in exchange for free video-on-demand from Hulu seems a fair deal. Similarly, seeing a few display ads scattered around a news article also seems like a fair exchange for original reporting and writing. But Apple's Reader doesn't give users the flexibility to make that choice; if they want Reader's functionality, they have to accept its philosophy, which is firmly oriented towards what's best for Apple, not users.

Some have interpreted Apple's ad-less Reader as a blow for the little guy. But I don't think Apple really cares about sparing surfers from advertising; it seems more likely the Reader is designed to push publishers towards delivering their products via custom apps on the iPad and iPhone, where ads can't be blocked. And if, as Apple hopes, publishers serve ads using Apple's own iAd platform, the company will happily take its 40 percent right off the top.

I can only imagine how loudly Apple would complain if news websites retaliated against Reader by blocking Safari outright, and heaven knows no-one wants a return to the days when many sites came with a notice stating "Warning: Your browser is not supported!" if you dared to visit them with anything other than the one or two browsers that had been officially blessed. Instead, I hope a balance between Apple and content providers can be struck, perhaps as simply as by adding a "Display printer-friendly ads" checkbox in Safari's preferences.


Here's an interesting comment that follows the article:

When the Reader creates the concatenated article view, it performs all page- and ad-views that would be involved in reading the article page-by-page. So from the publisher's perspective, ad revenue should not be affected by it. However, if enough people start using it (is there any way for a publisher/advertiser to know this?), advertisers would presumably be less likely to buy ads since they'll never be seen by the user, which could set up an interesting problem.

That aside, I think it'd be a ballsy and perhaps welcome move for some big publishers to block Safari over this.

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at

Update on Wal-Mart University

Does this pass the Academy’s smell test?
"Wal-Mart Employees Get New College Program—Online," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 3, 2010 ---

The American Public University System has been described as a higher-education version of Wal-Mart: a publicly traded corporation that mass-markets moderately priced degrees in many fields.

Now it's more than an analogy. Under a deal announced today, the for-profit online university will offer Wal-Mart workers discounted tuition and credit for job experience.

Such alliances are nothing new; see these materials from Strayer and Capella for other examples. But Wal-Mart is the country's largest retailer. And the company is pledging to spend $50-million over three years to help employees cover the cost of tuition and books beyond the discounted rate, according to the Associated Press.

"What's most significant about this is that, given that APU is very small, this is a deal that has the potential to drive enrollments that are above what investors are already expecting from them," Trace A. Urdan, an analyst with Signal Hill Capital Group, told Wired Campus. "Which is why the stock is up."

Wal-Mart workers will be able to receive credit—without having to pay for it—for job training in subjects like ethics and retail inventory management, according to the AP.

Wal-Mart employs 1.4 million people in the U.S. Roughly half of them have a high-school diploma but no college degree, according to The New York Times. A department-level manager would end up paying about $7,900 for an associate degree, factoring in the work credits and tuition discount, the newspaper reported.

“If 10 to 15 percent of employees take advantage of this, that’s like graduating three Ohio State Universities,” Sara Martinez Tucker, a former under secretary of education who is now on Wal-Mart’s external advisory council, told the Times.


"News Analysis: Is 'Wal-Mart U.' a Good Bargain for Students?" by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 13, 2010 ---

There might have been a Wal-Mart University.

As the world's largest retailer weighed its options for making a big splash in education, executives told one potential academic partner that Wal-Mart Stores was considering buying a university or starting its own.

"Wal-Mart U." never happened. Instead, the retailer chose a third option: a landmark alliance that will make a little-known for-profit institution, American Public University, the favored online-education provider to Wal-Mart's 1.4 million workers in the United States.

A closer look at the deal announced this month shows how American Public slashed its prices and adapted its curriculum to snare a corporate client that could transform its business. It also raises one basic question: Is this a good bargain for students?

Adult-learning leaders praise Wal-Mart, the nation's largest private employer, for investing in education. But some of those same experts wonder how low-paid workers will be able to afford the cost of a degree from the private Web-based university the company selected as a partner, and why Wal-Mart chose American Public when community-college options might be cheaper. They also question how easily workers will be able to transfer APU credits to other colleges, given that the university plans to count significant amounts of Wal-Mart job training and experience as academic credit toward its degrees.

For example, cashiers with one year's experience could get six credits for an American Public class called "Customer Relations," provided they received an "on target" or "above target" on their last performance evaluation, said Deisha Galberth, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman. A department manager's training and experience could be worth 24 credit hours toward courses like retail ethics, organizational fundamentals, or human-resource fundamentals, she said.

Altogether, employees could earn up to 45 percent of the credit for an associate or bachelor's degree at APU "based on what they have learned in their career at Wal-Mart," according to the retailer's Web site.

Janet K. Poley, president of the American Distance Education Consortium, points out that this arrangement could saddle Wal-Mart employees with a "nontransferable coupon," as one blogger has described it.

"I now see where the 'trick' is—if a person gets credit for Wal-Mart courses and Wal-Mart work, they aren't likely to be able to transfer those to much of anyplace else," Ms. Poley wrote in an e-mail to The Chronicle. Transferability could be important, given the high turnover rate in the retail industry.

Inside the Deal Wal-Mart screened 81 colleges before signing its deal with American Public University. One that talked extensively with the retailer was University of Maryland University College, a 94,000-student state institution that is a national leader in online education. According to University College's president, Susan C. Aldridge, it was during early discussions that Wal-Mart executives told her the company was considering whether it should buy a college or create its own college.

When asked to confirm that, Ms. Galberth said only that Wal-Mart "brainstormed every possible option for providing our associates with a convenient and affordable way to attend college while working at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club," which is also owned by Wal-Mart Stores. "We chose to partner with APU to reach this goal. We have no plans to purchase a brick-and-mortar university or enter the online education business," she said.

The Wal-Mart deal was something of a coming-out party for American Public University. The institution is part of a 70,000-student system that also includes American Military University and that largely enrolls active-duty military personnel. As American Public turned its attention to luring the retail behemoth, it was apparently able to be more flexible than other colleges and willing to "go the extra mile" to accommodate Wal-Mart, said Jeffrey M. Silber, a stock analyst and managing director of BMO Capital Markets. That flexibility included customizing programs. APU has a management degree with courses in retail, and its deans worked with Wal-Mart to add more courses to build a retail concentration, said Wallace E. Boston, the system's president and chief executive.

It also enticed Wal-Mart with a stable technology platform; tuition prices that don't vary across state lines, as they do for public colleges; and online degrees in fields that would be attractive to workers, like transportation logistics.

Unlike American Public, Maryland's University College would not put a deep discount on the table.

Credit for Wal-Mart work was also an issue, Ms. Aldridge said.

"We feel very strongly that any university academic credit that's given for training needs to be training or experience at the university level," Ms. Aldridge said. "And we have some very set standards in that regard. And I'm not certain that we would have been able to offer a significant amount of university credit for some of the on-the-job training that was provided there."

Awarding credit for college-level learning gained outside the classroom is a long-standing practice, one embraced by about 60 percent of higher-education institutions, according to the most recent survey by the Council for Adult And Experiential Learning. A student might translate any number of experiences into credit: job training, military service, hobbies, volunteer service, travel, civic activities.

Pamela J. Tate, president and chief executive of the council, said what's important isn't the percentage of credits students get from prior learning—a number that can vary widely. What's important, she said, is that students can demonstrate knowledge. Workers might know how they keep the books at a company, she explained. But that doesn't automatically mean they've learned the material of a college accounting course.

Karan Powell, senior vice president and academic dean at American Public University system, said credit evaluation at her institution "is a serious, rigorous, and conservative process." But will the credits transfer? "Every college or university establishes its own transfer-credit policies as they apply to experiential learning as well as credit from other institutions," she said in an e-mail. "Therefore, it would depend on the school to which a Wal-Mart employee wanted to transfer."

Affordable on $12 an Hour? Then there's the question of whether low-wage workers will be able to afford the degrees. One of the key features of this deal is the discount that Wal-Mart negotiated with American Public.

"Wal-Mart is bringing the same procurement policies to education that it brings to toothpaste," said John F. Ebersole, president of Excelsior College, a distance-learning institution based in New York.

American Public University's tuition was already cheap by for-profit standards and competitive with other nonprofit college options. It agreed to go even cheaper for Wal-Mart, offering grants equal to 15 percent of tuition for the company's workers. Those employees will pay about $11,700 for an associate degree and $24,000 for a bachelor's degree.

But several experts pointed out that public colleges might provide a more affordable option.

The Western Association of Food Chains, for example, has a partnership with 135 community colleges in the western United States to offer an associate degree in retail management completely online, Ms. Tate said. Many of the colleges also grant credit for prior learning. Though the tuition varies by state, the average tuition cost to earn the degree is about $4,500, she said. By contrast, she said, the American Public degree is "really expensive" for a front-line worker who might make $12 an hour.

"What I couldn't figure out is how they would be able to afford it unless Wal-Mart was going to pay a substantial part of the tuition," she said. "If not, then what you've got is this program that looks really good, but the actual cost to the person is a whole lot more than if they were going to go to community college and get their prior learning credits assessed there."

How the retailer might subsidize its employees' education is an open question. In announcing the program, Wal-Mart pledged to spend up to $50-million over the next three years "to provide tuition assistance and other tools to help associates prepare for college-level work and complete their degrees."

Alicia Ledlie, the senior director at Wal-Mart who has been shepherding this effort, told The Chronicle in an e-mail that the company is "right now working through the design of those programs and how they will benefit associates," with more details to be released later this summer.

One thing is clear: The deal has a big financial impact on American Public. Wal-Mart estimates that about 700,000 of its 1.4 million American employees lack a college degree.

Sara Martinez Tucker, a former under secretary of education who is now on Wal-Mart's external advisory council, suggests 10 or 15 percent of Wal-Mart associates could sign up.

"That's 140,000 college degrees," she told The Chronicle. "Imagine three Ohio State Universities' worth of graduates, which is huge in American higher education."


Jensen Comment
This Wal-Mart Fringe Benefit Should Be Carefully Investigated by Employees
It does not sit well with me!

"Inspector General Keeps the Pressure on a Regional Accreditor," by Eric Kelderman, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 27, 2010 ---

The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Education has reaffirmed a recommendation that the department should consider sanctions for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, one of the nation's major regional accrediting organizations. In a report this week, the Office of Inspector General issued its final recommendations stemming from a 2009 examination of the commission's standards for measuring credit hours and program length, and affirmed its earlier critique that the commission had been too lax in its standards for determining the amount of credit a student receives for course work.

The Higher Learning Commission accredits more than 1,000 institutions in 19 states. The Office of Inspector General completed similar reports for two other regional accreditors late last year but did not suggest any sanctions for those organizations.

Possible sanctions against an accreditor include limiting, suspending, or terminating its recognition by the secretary of education as a reliable authority for determining the quality of education at the institutions it accredits. Colleges need accreditation from a federally recognized agency in order to be eligible to participate in the federal student-aid programs.

In its examination of the Higher Learning Commission, the office looked at the commission's reaccreditation of six member institutions: Baker College, DePaul University, Kaplan University, Ohio State University, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and the University of Phoenix. The office chose those institutions—two public, two private, and two proprietary institutions—as those that received the highest amounts of federal funds under Title IV, the section of the Higher Education Act that governs the federal student-aid programs.

It also reviewed the accreditation status of American InterContinental University and the Art Institute of Colorado, two institutions that had sought initial accreditation from the commission during the period the office studied.

The review found that the Higher Learning Commission "does not have an established definition of a credit hour or minimum requirements for program length and the assignment of credit hours," the report says. "The lack of a credit-hour definition and minimum requirements could result in inflated credit hours, the improper designation of full-time student status, and the over-awarding of Title IV funds," the office concluded in its letter to the commission's president, Sylvia Manning.

More important, the office reported that the commission had allowed American InterContinental University to become accredited in 2009 despite having an "egregious" credit policy.

In a letter responding to the commission, Ms. Manning wrote that the inspector general had ignored the limitations the accreditor had placed on American InterContinental to ensure that the institution improved its standards, an effort that had achieved the intended results, she said. "These restrictions were intended to force change at the institution and force it quickly."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The most successful for-profit universities advertise heavily about credibility due to being "regionally accredited." In some cases this accreditation was initially bought rather than achieved such as by buying up a small, albeit still accredited, bankrupt not-for-profit private college that's washed up on the beach. This begs the question about how some for-profit universities maintain the spirit of accreditation acquired in this manner.

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at

"Want a Higher G.P.A.? Go to a Private College:  A 50-year rise in grade-point averages is being fueled by private institutions, a recent study finds," by Catherine Rampell. The New York Times, April 19, 2010 ---

Over the last 50 years, college grade-point averages have risen about 0.1 points per decade, with private schools fueling the most grade inflation, a recent study finds.

The study, by Stuart Rojstaczer and Christopher Healy, uses historical data from 80 four-year colleges and universities. It finds that G.P.A.'s have risen from a national average of 2.52 in the 1950s to about 3.11 by the middle of the last decade.

For the first half of the 20th century, grading at private schools and public schools rose more or less in tandem. But starting in the 1950s, grading at public and private schools began to diverge. Students at private schools started receiving significantly higher grades than those received by their equally-qualified peers -- based on SAT scores and other measures -- at public schools.

In other words, both categories of schools inflated their grades, but private schools inflated their grades more.

Based on contemporary grading data the authors collected from 160 schools, the average G.P.A. at private colleges and universities today is 3.3. At public schools, it is 3.0.

The authors suggest that these laxer grading standards may help explain why private school students are over-represented in top medical, business and law schools and certain Ph.D. programs: Admissions officers are fooled by private school students' especially inflated grades.

Additionally, the study found, science departments today grade on average 0.4 points lower than humanities departments, and 0.2 points lower than social science departments. Such harsher grading for the sciences appears to have existed for at least 40 years, and perhaps much longer.

Relatively lower grades in the sciences discourage American students from studying such disciplines, the authors argue.

"Partly because of our current ad hoc grading system, it is not surprising that the U.S. has to rely heavily upon foreign-born graduate students for technical fields of research and upon foreign-born employees in its technology firms," they write.

These overall trends, if not the specific numbers, are no surprise to anyone who has followed the debates about grade inflation. But so long as schools believe that granting higher grades advantages their alumni, there will be little or no incentive to impose stricter grading standards unilaterally.


Buying grades is also common in some foreign universities ---


Bob Jensen's threads on grade inflation ---
And http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#RateMyProfessor

Ketz Me If You Can
"Grade Inflation," by: J. Edward Ketz, SmartPros, June 2010 ---

I was interviewed recently about grade inflation, which motivated me to return to this familiar topic. While I have little new to offer, that does not mean that nothing can be done about the problem. If accounting faculty members have the will, they can reduce the amount of grade inflation in the system.

I remember when grade inflation began. I was an undergraduate at Virginia Tech during the Vietnam War. In 1969 Congress passed legislation, signed by President Johnson, that stopped students from staying in school indefinitely to avoid the draft, limiting the deferment to four years. The act required students to have at least a C average, else they could be drafted. (It also created the draft lottery. I even remember my draft lottery number—187.)

The public turned from supporting the war to opposing the war around this time. A number of university professors opposed the war; other faculty members who did not oppose the war did not want the blood of young men on their conscience. So, many of them refused to give less than a C grade to any student. The only significant exception was the engineering college, which apparently thought that ignorant engineers could be dangerous to society. Overall, there was an immediate and statistically significant upward shift in the university’s GPA the next quarter.

As everybody knows, the other major impact on grades is student evaluations. Universities, striving to objectivize the assessment of instructor performance, have turned to students. Universities used to employ evaluations by other faculty members—and a few still do—but faculty members are loathe to cut the throats of those who may return the favor.

There are many problems with student evaluations, but I’ll mention only one here. Instructors can manipulate the system by playing the game and patronizing the students. I learned this early in my career when I was a member of the Promotion and Tenure Committee two years in a row. The first year we had a person who regularly attained about 1.5-2.0 on a seven point scale, one being low and seven being high. When the committee castigated his teaching one year, he came back the following year with 6.5s in all his sections. The committee learned that he achieved this feat by giving students the exam questions a few days before the exam and offering coffee and donuts during the exams.

Today there is no draft, so the consequences of a bad grade does not carry the weight of yesteryear. Perhaps it will lead to a lower self-esteem, but self-esteem is overrated. It only leads to inflated egos.

I have sympathy toward untenured faculty who need to avoid giving promotion and tenure committee members reasons to deny tenure. But, tenured faculty have no such excuses. They can and should tell administrators to quit satisfying students’ demands when they involve a decline in educational quality.

This past semester a colleague and I team-taught Introductory Accounting to about 700 students (the number at the beginning of the term). About 200 students dropped the course. Of those who stayed, the class achieved a course GPA of 2.2; in other words, the median grade in the class was C+.

We think we avoided grade inflation. Our teaching evaluations will take a hit, but so what? The class deserved the grades they obtained and no higher.

Surely other instructors hold the line as well, but some others do not. We need as many faculty as possible to quit giving grades out merely because somebody paid tuition. The way to stop grade inflation is simple—just do it.

"Want a Higher G.P.A.? Go to a Private College:  A 50-year rise in grade-point averages is being fueled by private institutions, a recent study finds," by Catherine Rampell. The New York Times, April 19, 2010 ---


Grade Inflation is the Number One Disgrace of Higher Education ---


"Publish or perish? Not at these prices, UC says," by Matt Krupnick, Contra Costa Times, June 10, 2010 ---

University of California librarians are urging professors not to submit research to Nature or 66 related journals to protest a 400 percent increase in the publisher's prices.

A new contract with Nature Publishing Group would raise the university's subscription costs by more than $1 million, library and faculty leaders wrote in a letter this week to professors throughout the 10-campus system. With recent budget cuts, UC libraries simply can't handle the higher price, which would take effect in 2011, the letter said.

Boycotting the Nature group would be a huge step for a university that, according to UC estimates, has provided 5,300 articles to the 67 journals in the past six years. Nearly 640 of those articles went to Nature itself, one of the world's premier scientific journals.

"We understand that it's an important journal," said Laine Farley, executive director of UC's California Digital Library, which manages most systemwide journal subscriptions. "But we can't simply wipe out our savings on one publisher."

In a written response to the university, London-based Nature Publishing Group criticized UC's "sensationalist use of data out of context" and said the negotiations were supposed to be confidential. The pricing dispute is rooted in confusion over whether UC is one institution or many, Nature's response said. that (UC) is paying an unfair rate."

This week's volleys represented an escalation of a long-simmering battle between universities and journal publishers, who have been criticized for charging thousands of dollars for annual subscriptions to some publications. Many titles have been consolidated under a handful of major publishers, including Nature, making it more difficult for universities to negotiate lower prices.

Several UC professors have fought back against publishers, refusing to contribute work to highly priced journals. But a widespread boycott of one of the most prestigious journals would present a dilemma for faculty members under pressure to publish research in order to gain promotions.

The so-called publish-or-perish structure is fundamentally unfair to professors, said Michael Eisen, a UC Berkeley biology professor who refuses to publish his research group's work in Nature's journals.

"The university is forced to give away information for free and then to buy it back at a huge markup," he said. "The whole thing is just completely screwed up. The only alternative the university has is to strike back at what Nature really values."

A boycott of the Nature group would not hurt UC professors' careers, said Lawrence Pitts, the university's provost.

"The reality is that there is a number of quality publications," said Pitts, UC's chief academic officer. "Nature Publishing Group isn't the only game in town."

Some journals, recognizing that universities are struggling to afford them, have cut prices in recent years. Others have invented ways to give away their articles for free.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, for example, makes its contributions available for free six months after publication, said its editor-in-chief, UC Berkeley biologist Randy Schekman.

"Nature's just being tone-deaf," said Schekman, who is considering writing an article for Nature. "They have to know that California is in a perilous financial state. They can't win this one."

Bob Jensen's threads on Commercial Scholarly and Academic Journals and Oligopoly Textbook Publishers Are Ripping Off Libraries, Scholars, and Students ---

The whole world is invited to learn from BYU's Many online courses (except for high school athletes)
"Black Mark for BYU," by Doug Lederman , Inside Higher Ed, June 9, 2010 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/06/09/byu

Brigham Young University's Independent Study program appears to be wildly successful. At any given time, students are taking more than 100,000 high school courses and 22,000 college classes, for a variety of reasons: to get courses out of the way in the summer, finish high school or college early, or improve their performance in classes in which they struggled. Based on those numbers and the fees the program charges for its nearly 600 online courses, the program generates millions of dollars in revenue a year. (BYU officials won't say.)

A tiny fraction of its enrollments -- about 500 a year -- are high school athletes seeking to use the BYU program's courses to meet the National Collegiate Athletic Association's freshman eligibility standards. Yet for the second time in several years, dealings with the high-stakes world of big-time college athletics appear to pose a potentially serious threat to the 90-year-old program's status. Last month, the NCAA decided to "de-certify" the BYU program (and one other, the American School) as a legitimate provider of "nontraditional" courses. The decision came in response to a change in NCAA rules this spring requiring "nontraditional" courses to include regular interaction between students and professors, and to set specific timeframes in which the courses must be completed.

Brigham Young officials expressed dismay about the NCAA's decision, which they said had caught them by surprise. "We do want to look at what we can do to be in compliance with what the NCAA has put in place," said Carri Jenkins, a spokeswoman for the university.

She noted that BYU Independent Study had made a set of changes in its programs and policies the last time it drew NCAA scrutiny -- when athletes at several colleges were found to have earned credit from their institutions for courses at BYU in which they did little or no work (or cheated to complete). Among other changes, Jenkins noted, BYU Independent Study altered its policies surrounding when and how tests are administered, and stopped letting athletes enrolled in NCAA member colleges enroll in its classes.

But the courses remain a commonly-trod path for high school athletes seeking to meet the NCAA's academic eligibility standards for freshman athletes, which require students to surpass a minimum grade-point average in 16 core high school courses to compete in their first year in college. BYU and the American School, which is based in Illinois, are among the most common programs from which high school athletes seek eligibility through nontraditional courses, which the association defines as "[t]hose taught via the Internet, distance learning, independent study, individualized instruction, correspondence, and courses taught by similar means, including software-based credit recovery courses."

Use of the courses has burgeoned, and in March the association's Division I members approved a rule aimed at toughening oversight of them, said Chuck Wynne, an NCAA spokesman. "Members were obviously concerned that prospective student-athletes were taking these courses and not being prepared for the rigors of college academics," he said. The changes require that instructors and students have "ongoing access to one another and regular interaction with one another for purposes of teaching, evaluating and providing assistance to the student throughout the duration of the course"; that the "student's work ... is available for review and validation"; and that "[a] defined time for completion of the course is identified by the high school or secondary school program."

In the wake of the rules changes, NCAA officials began reviewing providers of nontraditional courses, and the association has "approved a bunch" as meeting the new standards, Wynne said. So far, only BYU Independent Study and the American School were found to fall short. (American School responded to the NCAA's findings, which it is appealing, here.)

Wynne declined to specify exactly how and why BYU was deemed to fall short of the NCAA standards. But he said that most of the scrutiny of the nontraditional programs focused on the lack of regular, sustained interaction between students and instructors -- ideally interaction initiated by the instructor, designed to ensure at least some oversight of the students' work -- and on some programs' failure to set a minimum timeframe for the completion of course work.

One NCAA review -- "not necessarily at BYU," Wynne said -- found that one high school athlete had completed "a semester of algebra in six minutes."

"We understand that these are good quality educational tools when implemented and done right," Wynne said, noting that the NCAA is not philosophically opposed to online learning. "It's mostly about the administration of these programs. You can have the best curriculum in the world, but if someone does algebra in six minutes, you know there's something wrong."

Jenkins of BYU insisted that the six-minute-algebra incident had most definitely not taken place in one of the university's online offerings. She said that the university plans to do whatever it needs to to reassure the NCAA that its courses are of high quality, and that the independent study program had not heard from past, current or prospective students who might be concerned about a stigma from the NCAA's action.

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education programs ---

June 8, 2010 message from Zabihollah Rezaee (zrezaee) [zrezaee@MEMPHIS.EDU]

I have developed and taught a "Corporate Governance, Ethics and Business Sustainability" course. All MBA students are required to take this course at the University of Memphis. I am attaching the course syllabus and will gladly share my PPT slides and other teaching materials.



Zabihollah "Zabi" Rezaee, PhD, CPA, CMA, CIA, CGFM, CFE, CSOXP, CGRCP, CGOVP
Thompson-Hill Chair of Excellence/
Professor of Accountancy Fogelman College of Business and Economics 300 Fogelman College Administration Bldg.
The University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152-3120
901.678.4652 (phone)
901.678.0717 (fax)

zrezaee@memphis.edu (e-mail)

June 8, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

Thank you for sharing Zabi,

In addition to your attachment, I found the links at https://umdrive.memphis.edu/zrezaee/www/

You might find some helpful references at
Includes a Harvard University Guidance Link

Bob Jensen

"Preventing Plagiarism," by Amy Cavender, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 11, 2010 ---

In the ideal world, none of us would ever have to write a note on a student's paper like the one in this photo. Since this isn't the ideal world, we're likely to have to deal with plagiarism every now and again. Dealing with instances of plagiarism will be the topic of my post for next week.

This week, I'd like to float a few ideas on preventing plagiarism.

The way we approach writing assignments can certainly make a difference. Most faculty are well aware that reusing the same essay prompts from one year to another is a bad idea, and asking students to submit longer papers in stages is useful for catching potential problems before they get a student into real trouble. (Incremental due dates may also reduce the temptation for students to plagiarize, since they force students to get started earlier.)

There are some good suggestions for instructors at pages maintained by the The University of Texas and The University of Alberta Libraries.

Further, I'm convinced that a lot (certainly not all) of the plagiarism committed by undergraduates is less than fully intentional, and that much of it stems from poor information-management practices.

That conviction has persuaded me that I need to change my approach to teaching students how to use Zotero. Some time ago, I wrote a post on teaching tech in Political Science. In that post, I mentioned introducing students to Zotero in order to emphasize the collaborative nature of scholarship and to make it easy for students to format their citations properly.

But Zotero is also a marvelous information-management system, and is therefore well-suited to avoiding the accidental plagiarism that results from not keeping good track of one's sources. If students get into the habit of keeping both their sources and their notes in Zotero, they're much less likely to inadvertently neglect to cite a source, or to accidentally cite something as a paraphrase or summary when it's really a direct quote.

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at

Second Life passes on to its Life Number Two

June 10, 2010 message from Steven Hornik [shornik@BUS.UCF.EDU]

Yesterday Linden Labs announced a significant restructuring laying off 30% of their workforce with the stated intent to focus on two endeavors:

1) Create a browser based Second Life vs. the downloaded client you need today and

2) Extend Second Life into more Social networks.

The twitterverse, etc. among educators is pretty active now wondering what this means for us.  As a pretty big supporter of Second Life I wish I knew as one of the laid off employees Claudia Linden was the point person for education, and this follows on the heals of the layoff of Pathfinder Linden who was the initial trailblazer for Second Life and the education community.

It does seem that this is intended to position Second Life more towards the mass consumers and in that respect I look forward to the changes that might come.  One of the biggest hurdles to using SL is overcoming the learning for the software that needs to be used and the hardware requirements that many students newly bought laptops, netbooks, and coming soon iPads and other tablets don't have - not to mention iPhones and Android devices.  So if this change enables students to access 3-D learning objects and environments on those devices than this will be a huge plus.

What most educators are unsure about is that in the PR release that mentions the 2 areas of focus, the CEO of Linden Lab, Marc Kingdon states: ""We've emerged from a two-year investment period during which, among other things, we've spent a considerable amount of time improving reliability and the overall user experience. Today's announcement about our reorganization will help us make Second Life® even simpler, more enjoyable, relevant and engaging for consumers starting with their first experience."  So many are asking are the consumers a general term for your virtual clothing creating/buying individuals, business' for meetings, and educators?  Or is it just the former that will be the focus for LL.

To be honest I'm not sure it matters that much.  When I first began to explore SL for use in my class it was probably 95% focuses on the former and educators like myself simply saw SL as a platform or tool that might be used (same thing that happened with the web if my memory serves me ).


Dr. Steven Hornik
University of Central Florida
Dixon School of Accounting
Second Life: Robins Hermano
Twitter: shornik

yahoo ID: shornik

June 10, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Steve,

Might we conclude that Second Life has entered Life Number Two?

Thanks for the heads up!

My threads on Second Life (including your previous messages) are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#SecondLife

Bob Jensen

"Senators Get Donor $8 Million Earmark," Judicial Watch, June 8, 2010 ---

In yet another example of lawmakers unscrupulously funneling tax dollars to their political supporters, New Jersey’s two U.S. Senators steered a multi million-dollar earmark to enhance a campaign donor’s luxury condominium development.

Democrats Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez allocated $8 million for a public walkway and park space adjacent to upscale, waterfront condos built by a developer whose executives have donated generously to their political campaigns. The veteran legislators have received about $100,000 in contributions from the developer, according to federal election records cited in a news report this week.

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates are at

The Most Criminal Class Writes the Laws ---

Can any of you identify the mystery "Fraud Girl" who will be writing a weekly (Sunday) column for Simoleon Sense?

She seems to have a Chicago connection and seems very well informed about the blog posts of Francine McKenna.
But I really do know know who is the mystery "Fraud Girl."

"Guest Post: Fraud Girl Says, “Regulators, Ignore the Masses — It’s Your Responsibility!!”
(A New SimoleonSense Series on Fraud, Forensic Accounting, and Ethics)

Simoleon Sense, April 25, 2010 --- Click Here

I’m exceptionally proud to introduce you to Fraud Girl, our new Sunday columnist. She will write about all things corp governance, fraud, accounting, and business ethics. To give you some background (and although I can not reveal her identity). Fraud girl recently visited me in Chicago for the Harry Markopolos presentation to the local CFA. We were incredibly lucky to meet with Mr. Markopolos  and enjoyed 3 hours of drinks and accounting talk. Needless to say Fraud Girl was leading the conversation and I was trying to keep up. After a brainstorm session I persuaded her to write for us and teach us about wall street screw-ups.

So watch out, shes smart, witty, and passionate about making the world a better place. I think Sundays just got a lot better…

Miguel Barbosa
Founder of SimoleonSense

P.S. For Questions or Comments:  Reach fraud girl at:    FraudGirl@simoleonsense.com 

Regulators, Ignore the Masses — It’s Your Responsibility

Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see but only a few can test feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are; and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion, supported by the majesty of the government. In the actions of all men, and especially of princes who are not subject to a court of appeal, we must always look to the end. Let a prince, therefore, win victories and uphold his state; his methods will always be considered worthy, and everyone will praise them, because the masses are always impressed by the superficial appearance of things, and by the outcome of an enterprise. And the world consists of nothing but the masses; the few have no influence when the many feel secure.

-Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

Why are Machiavelli’s words so astonishingly prophetic? How does a 500 year old quote explain contagion, bubbles, and Ponzi schemes? Do financial decision makers consciously overlook reality or do they merely postpone due diligence? That is the purpose of this series — to analyze financial fraud(s) and question business ethics.

Recent accounting scandals i.e. Worldcom, Enron, Madoff, reveal a variety of methods for boosting short term performance at the expense of long run shareholder value. WorldCom recorded bogus revenue, Enron boosted their operating income through improper classifications, and Madoff ran the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Sure these scandals were unethical, deceived the public, and made a ton of money. But what is the most striking similarity? Each of these companies was seen as the golden goose egg; an indestructible force that could never fail. Of course, the key word is “seen”, regulators, attorneys, financial analysts, and auditors failed to see reality. But why?

Fiduciaries are entrusted with protecting the public and shareholders from crooks like Skilling, Pavlo, and Schrushy. An average shareholder lacks the knowledge and expertise of a prominent regulator, right? Shareholders don’t perform the company’s annual audit, review all legal documentation, or communicate with top executives. No, shareholders base their decisions off information that is “accurate” and “meticulously examined”.

Unfortunately in each of these instances regulators failed to take a stand against consensus and became another ignorant face in the crowd. “Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are; and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion”. Who are the few that really know who these companies are? The answer should be evident. What isn’t clear is why these cowardly few are in charge of overseeing our financial markets.

When Auditors Look The Other Way

A week ago, I came across this article: Ernst & Young defends its Lehman work in letter to clients. I chuckled as I was reading it, remembering Roxie Hart from the play Chicago shouting the words “Not Guilty” to anyone who would listen. Like Roxie, the audit team pleaded that the media was inaccurate. In recording Lehman’s Repo 105 transactions, they claimed compliance with GAAP and believed the financial statements were ‘fairly represented’. But, fair reporting is more than complying with GAAP. Often auditors are “compliant” while cooking the books (a mystery that still eludes me). In this case, the auditors blatantly covered their eyes and closed their ears to what they must have known was deliberate misrepresentation of Lehman Brother’s financial statements.

We will explore the Lehman Brothers fiasco in next week’s post…but here’s the condensed version. Days prior to quarter end, Lehman Brothers used “Repo 105” transactions, which allowed them to lend assets to others in exchange for short-term cash. They borrowed around $50 Billion; none of which appeared on their balance sheet. Lehman instead reported the debt as sales. They used the borrowed cash to pay down other debt. This reduced both their total liabilities and total assets, thereby lowering their leverage ratio.

This was allegedly in compliance with SFAS 140, Accounting for Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets and Extinguishments of Liabilities that allowed Lehman to move the $50 Billion of assets from its balance sheet. As long as they followed the rules, auditors could stamp [the] financial statements with a “Fairly Represented” approval and issue an unqualified opinion.

Clearly in this case complying was unethical and probably illegal. Howard Schilit, the author of Financial Shenanigans: How to Detect Accounting Gimmicks & Fraud in Financial Reports, once said, “You [the auditor] work for the investor, even though you are paid by someone else”. He insists that auditors should look beyond the checklists and guidelines and should instead question everything. Auditors are the first line of defense against fraud and the shareholders are dependent upon the quality of their services. So I ask again, with respect to Lehman Brothers, were the auditors working for the investors or where they in the pockets of senior management?

What can we do?

An admired value investor believes in a similar tactic for confirming the honesty of companies. It’s known as “killing the company”, where in his words, “we think of all the ways the company can die, whether it’s stupid management or overleveraged balance sheets. If we can’t figure out a way to kill the company, then you have the beginning of a good investment”. Auditors must think like this, they must kill the company, and question everything. If you can’t kill a company, then (and only then) are the financial statements truly a fair representation of the firms operations.

There was no “killing” going on when the lead auditing partner said that his team did not approve Lehman’s Accounting Policy regarding Repo 105s but was in some way comfortable enough with them to audit their financial statements. This engagement team failed in looking beyond SFAS 140 and should have realized what every law firm (aside from one firm in London) was stating; that the accounting methods Lehman Brothers used to record Repo 105s were a deliberate attempt to defraud the public.

So I repeat: Ignoring reality is not an option. Ignoring the crowd, however, is an obligation.

See you next week….

-Fraud Girl

Bob Jensen's threads on fraud are linked at

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates are at

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting news are at

"Guest Post – Fraud Girl: “Fraud by Hindsight”- How Wall Street Firms [Legally] Get Away With Fraudulent Behavior!," Fraud Girl, Simoleon Sense, June 6, 2010 --- Click Here

Last week we discussed the credit rating agencies and their roles the financial crisis. These agencies provided false ratings on credit they knew was faulty prior to the crisis. In defense, these agencies (as well as Warren Buffet) said that they did not foresee the crisis to be as severe as it was and therefore could not be blamed for making mistakes in their predictions. This week’s post focuses on foreseeability and the extent to which firms are liable for incorrect predictions.

Like credit agencies, Wall Street firms have been accused of knowing the dangers in the market prior to its collapse. I came across this post (Black Swans*, Fraud by hindsight, and Mortgage-Backed Securities) via the Wall Street Law Blog that discusses how firms could assert that they can’t be blamed for events they couldn’t foresee. It’s a doctrine known as Fraud by Hindsight (“FBH”) where defendants claim “that there is no fraud if the alleged deceit can only be discerned after the fact”. This claim has been used in numerous securities fraud lawsuits and surprisingly it has worked in the defendant’s favor on most occasions.

Many Wall Street firms say they “could not foresee the collapse of the housing market, and therefore any allegations of fraud are merely impermissible claims of fraud by hindsight”. Was Wall Street able to foresee the housing market crash prior to its collapse? According to the writers at WSL Blog, they did foresee it saying, “From 1895 through 1996 home price appreciation very closely corresponded to the rate of inflation (roughly 3% per year).  From 1995 through 2006 alone – even after adjusting for inflation – housing prices rose by more than 70%”. Wall Street must (or should) have foreseen a drastic change in the market when rises in housing costs were so abnormal. By claiming FBH, however, firms can inevitably “get away with murder”.

What exactly is FBH and how is it used in court? The case below from Northwestern University Law Review details the psychology and legalities behind FBH while attempting to show how the FBH doctrine is being used as a means to dismiss cases rather than to control the influence of Wall Street’s foreseeability claims.

Link Provided to Download "Fraud by Hindsight"  (Registration Required)

I’ve broken down the case into two parts. The first part provides two theories on hindsight in securities litigation: The Debiasing Hypothesis & The Case Management Hypothesis. The Debiasing Hypothesis provides that FBH is being used in court as a way to control the influence of ‘hindsight bias’. This bias says that people “overstate the predictability of outcomes” and “tend to view what has happened as having been inevitable but also view it as having appeared ‘relatively inevitable’ before it happened”.  The Debiasing Hypothesis tries to prove that FBH aids judges in “weeding out” the biases so that they can focus on the allegations at hand.

The Case Management Hypothesis states that FBH is a claim used by judges to easily dismiss cases that they deem too complicated or confusing. According to the analysis, “…academics have complained that these [securities fraud] suits settle without regard to merit and do little to deter real fraud, operating instead as a needless tax on capital raising. Federal judges, faced with overwhelming caseloads, must allocate their limited resources. Securities lawsuits that are often complex, lengthy, and perceived to be extortionate are unlikely to be a high priority. Judges might thus embrace any doctrine [i.e. FBH doctrine] that allows them to dispose of these cases quickly” (782-783). The case attempts to prove that FBH is primarily used for case management purposes rather than for controlling hindsight bias.

The psychological aspects behind hindsight bias are discussed thoroughly in this case. Here are a few excerpts from the case regarding this bias:

(1)“Studies show that judges are vulnerable to the bias, and that mere awareness of the phenomenon does not ameliorate its influence on judgment. The failure to develop a doctrine that addresses the underlying problem of judging in hindsight means that the adverse consequences of the hindsight bias remain a part of securities litigation. Judges are not accurately sorting fraud from mistake, thereby undermining the system, even as they seek to improve it” (777).

(2) “Judges assert that a company’s announcement of bad results, by itself, does not mean that a prior optimistic statement was fraudulent. This seems to be an effort to divert attention away from the bad outcome and toward the circumstances that gave rise to that outcome, which is exactly the problem that hindsight bias raises. That is, if people overweigh the fact of a bad outcome in hindsight, then the cure is to reconstruct the situation as people saw it beforehand. Thus, the development of the FBH doctrine suggests a judicial understanding of the biasing effect of judging in hindsight and of a means to address the problem” (781).

(3) “Once a bad event occurs, the evaluation of a warning that was given earlier will be biased. In terms of evaluating a decision-maker’s failure to heed a warning, knowledge that the warned-of outcome occurred will increase the salience of the warning in the evaluator’s mind and bias her in the direction of finding fault with the failure to heed the warning. In effect, the hindsight bias becomes an ‘I-told-you-so’ bias.” (793).

(4) “In foresight, managers might reasonably believe that the contingency as too unlikely to merit disclosure, whereas in hindsight it seems obvious a reasonable investor would have wanted to know it. Likewise, as to warning a company actually made, in foresight most investors might reasonably ignore them, whereas in hindsight they seem profoundly important. If defendants are allowed to defend themselves by arguing that a reasonable investor would have attended closely to these warnings, then the hindsight bias might benefit defendants” (794).

Next week we’ll explore the second part of the case and discuss the importance of utilizing FBH as a means of deterring the hindsight bias. We’ll see how the case proves that FBH is not being used for this purpose and is instead used as a mechanism to dismiss cases that simply do not want to be heard.

See you next week…
-Fraud Girl

Bob Jensen's Rotten to the Core threads on credit rating agencies ---

Bob Jensen's Rotten to the Core threads on banks and brokerages ---

Bob Jensen's Fraud updates ---

June 8, 2010 reply from Robert Bruce Walker [walkerrb@ACTRIX.CO.NZ]

The link below is a book review of Michael Lewis’s latest book ‘The Big Short’. The book is clearly based on an article that Bob uncovered about 9 months ago. The mechanism underpinning the ‘short’ is better explained in the NYRB essay and, presumably, in the book itself. It seems that the ‘mezzanine’ tranches (BBB rated) of a series of MBS were packaged, rated AAA and then issued in another MBS. Dubious this might be, but fraud it will not be. It lacks the central element of mens rea. In the face of an accusation of fraud the accused will generally resort to the defence of incompetence or inadequacy – a dangerous thing when facing civil action as well – but better than being seen to have acted ‘knowingly’. No-one knew the property markets would collapse. Many people, including me*, thought that it was inevitable – but we did not know it.


*When I was first told of the ‘low doc’ loan concept by an investment manager, I could hardly believe it. He, on the other hand, described the packager of such products as very clever. The investor in question failed badly due to an over-exposure to MBS. Funny that.

"Guest Post – Fraud Girl: “Fraud by Hindsight”- How Wall Street Firms [Legally] Get Away With Fraudulent Behavior! Part 2," by Fraud Girl, Simoleon Post, June 13, 2010 --- Click Here

Last week we discussed the first part of the “Fraud by Hindsight” study. As we learned, the FBH doctrine is utilized in securities litigation cases. In learning about the FBH doctrine we reviewed the Debiasing Hypothesis and the Case Management Hypothesis. According to the Debiasing Hypothesis, FBH is used as a tool to “weed out” hindsight bias in order to focus on legal issues at hand. The Case Management Hypothesis, on the other hand declares that FBH is used to dismiss securities fraud cases in order to facilitate judicial control over them. This week we will strive to analyze how Fraud By Hindsight has evolved, meaning, how the courts apply the doctrine (in real life), which differs markedly from the doctrine’s theoretical meaning.


The first mention of FBH was in 1978 with Judge Friendly in the case Denny v. Barber. The plaintiff in this case claimed that the bank had “engaged in unsound lending practices, maintained insufficient loan loss reserves, delayed writing off bad loans, and undertook speculative investments” (796). Sound familiar? Anyway — the plaintiff plead that the bank failed to disclose these problems in earlier reports and instead issued reports with optimistic projections. Judge Friendly claimed FBH stating that there were a number of “intervening events” during that period (i.e. increasing prices in petroleum and the City of New York’s financial crisis) that were outside the control of managers and it was therefore insufficient to claim that the defendant should have known better when out-of-the-ordinary incidents have occurred. The end result of the case provided that “hindsight alone might not constitute a sufficient demonstration that the defendants made some predictive decision with knowledge of its falsity or something close to it” (797). Friendly established that FBH is possible, but that in this case the underlying circumstances did not justify a judgment against the bank.

The second relevant mention of FBH was in 1990 with Judge Easterbrook in the case DiLeo v. Ernst & Young. Like the prior case, DiLeo involved problems with loans where the plaintiff plead that the bank and E&Y had known but failed to disclose that a substantial portion of the bank’s loans were uncollectible. This case was different, in that there were no “intervening events” that could have blind sighted managers from issuing more accurate future projections. Still, Easterbrook claimed FBH and said, “the fact that the loans turned out badly does not mean that the defendant knew (or should have known) that this was going to happen” (799-800). Easterbrook believed that the plaintiff must be able to separate the true fraud from the underlying hindsight evidence in order to prove their case.

Easterbrook’s articulation of the FBH doctrine set the stage for all future securities class action cases. As the authors state, the phrase was cited only about twice per year before DiLeo but it increased to an average of twenty-seven times per year afterwards. Unfortunately, the courts found Easterbrook’s perception of the phrase to be more compelling. Instead of providing that the hindsight might play a role determining if fraud has occurred, Easterbrook claimed that there simply is no “fraud by hindsight”. This allows the courts to adjudicate cases solely on complaint, therefore supporting the Case Management Hypothesis.

The results of many tests provided in this case proved that courts were using the doctrine as a means to dismiss cases. Of all the tests, I found one to be most interesting: The Stage of the Proceedings. The results of the test shows that “over 90 percent of FBH applications involve judgments on the pleadings” (814) stage rather than at summary judgment. In the preliminary (pleading) stages, the knowledge of information is not provided, meaning that it is less likely that hindsight bias will affect their decisions. The more the judge delves into the case, the more they are susceptible to the hindsight bias. If the judge is utilizing the FBH doctrine mostly during the pleading stages where hindsight bias is “weak”, then the Debiasing Hypothesis is not valid.

The authors point out the problems with utilizing the FBH doctrine in this way:

“The problem, however, is that the remedy is applied at the pleadings stage, not the summary judgment stage. At the pleadings stage, a bad outcome truly is relevant to the likelihood of fraud. At this stage, the Federal Rules do not ask the courts to make a judgment on the merits, and hence the remedy of foreclosing further litigation is inappropriate. By foreclosing further proceedings, courts are not saying that they do not trust their own judgment, but that they do not trust the process of civil discovery to identity whether fraud occurred” (815).

Because cases are being dismissed so early in the litigation process, courts are not allowing for the discovery of fraud that may be apparent even though hindsight is a factor in the case.

By gathering this and other evidence, the case concludes that judges utilize FBH as a case management tool. They cited that the development of the FBH doctrine could be described as “naïve cynicism”. Though judges understand that hindsight bias must be taken into consideration, they express the belief that the problem does not affect their own judgment. The courts are relying on their own intuitions and gathering the necessary facts to prove fraud by hindsight. The authors note a paradox here saying, “Judges simultaneously claim that human judgment cannot be trusted, and yet they rely on their own judgment”.

The problem is that the naively cynical (FBH) approach has led to securities fraud cases to be governed by moods. The authors say that “In the 1980s and 1990s, as concern with frivolous securities litigation rose, courts and Congress simply made it more difficult for plaintiffs to file suit. In the post-Enron era, this skepticism about private enforcement of securities fraud might have abated somewhat, leading to lesser pleading requirements” (825).

Recap & Implications

Overall the case proves that the courts have not yet been able to establish a sensible mechanism for sorting fraud from mistake. It therefore allows cases that really involve fraud to potentially be dismissed. In cases since DiLeo, the win rate for defendants in FBH cases is 70 percent, as compared with 47 percent in those cases that did not mention it. The mere declaration of “Fraud by Hindsight” gives the defendant an automatic advantage over the plaintiff. Now, the defendant may in fact be innocent – but the current processes are not able to determine who is or isn’t guilty. Remember, judges spend much of their time in these cases separating the hindsight bias from the fraud. This task can become very complex and time consuming.

In sum, the increasing use of FBH has been beneficial for (1) judges because they don’t have to listen to these complicated cases and (2) defendant’s because they are likely to win the case by using the doctrine. The only ones who don’t benefit from doctrine are the plaintiff’s who may truly have been victims of fraud. It is crucial that the judiciary revise the way the FBH is interpreted in order to protect the innocent and convict the guilty.

Have any ideas on how to fix the FBH problem? Send me an email at fraudgirl @ simoleonsense.com.

See you next week.

- Fraud Girl

Click Here To Access The Original  Fraud by Hindsight Case – Part II ---

Bob Jensen's threads on fraud are at

"Microsoft Office Simplified For the Web," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2010 ---

I am writing this in Microsoft Word, hardly an unusual way to author a document. But I'm not using Word as you know it—part of the large, complex Microsoft Office suite installed on your computer's hard drive. Instead, I am using a new, streamlined version of Word that for the first time resides on remote servers you reach through the Internet.

This new version of Word is used inside a Web browser. It works on both Windows PCs and Macs, and via the newer versions of the major browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. It's free and it doesn't require you to have regular Office on your computer.

Word isn't the only Office component that's now available in a free online version. Microsoft has created similar simplified versions of Excel, PowerPoint and its OneNote note-taking program as part of the free online suite called Office Web Apps, which is available at office.live.com. To use the new online Office, you'll need a free account for the company's broader Windows Live online service.

WSJ's Personal Technology columnist Walt Mossberg takes a look at the new free, online version of Microsoft Office, called Office Web Apps. It's a stripped down version of the familiar desktop edition of Office, and runs on both PCs and Macs. Walt says it may be all you'll ever need in an Office suite. Microsoft is also releasing a new version of its traditional desktop Office for Windows next week, called Office 2010. But in my view, the online edition is the most interesting new development for consumers in this round of updates. It's part of the broader trend toward cloud computing—doing tasks online rather than with desktop programs. And it's meant to help the software giant compete with rival online office suites from competitors like Google and Zoho.

I've been testing Office Web Apps on both Windows and Mac computers, and in all four major browsers, and I like it. It has some downsides and is still a work in progress. It lacks many of the more sophisticated features of the local, desktop version of Office. In fact, Microsoft—apparently trying to protect its profitable desktop suite—refers to Office Web Apps as a "companion" to desktop Office, for "light" work.

Mossberg Mailbox Mossberg on buying an iPad for children But these are capable, if simpler, programs that look and feel like their desktop counterparts and they will likely meet the needs of many consumers who produce basic documents, even if they don't own desktop Office. Also, the new Web Apps are connected to a generous 25 gigabytes of free online storage for your documents, via a companion Microsoft online storage system called SkyDrive.

Another big benefit: Microsoft boasts its Office Web Apps produce documents that use the same file formats as the desktop programs and thus, look fully accurate when opened in desktop Office. The company calls this "fidelity." In my tests, this claim held true, at least on my Windows PC. (A revised version of Microsoft Office for the Mac, tuned to work with Web Apps, is in the works.)

The new version of the desktop Office suite also has many new features, but a lot of these are for power users or corporate users, and, overall, it isn't nearly as big a change as its predecessor, Office 2007. Among the new desktop features consumers will notice and use are the extension of the consolidated top tool bar called the "Ribbon," introduced in the 2007 version in most Office programs, to Outlook; a new unified view for printing, sharing and previewing documents, called "Backstage"; and richer graphics. You can also now customize the Ribbon.

In my tests of the streamlined Office Web Apps, I was able to use a variety of fonts and styles, insert and resize photos, and create tables. And I was able to view my documents, though not edit them, on an iPhone and iPad. This also works with other mobile devices.

One glitch I ran into in the Word Web App was that, if you use a tab to start a paragraph, it changes the left margin of each subsequent line. Microsoft says this is a bug and it is working to fix it.

Another downside for some users may be that the Web Apps only directly open documents from, and save them to, your online SkyDrive storage, not your hard disk. So you have to upload files from your hard disk to SkyDrive to edit them in the Web Apps. And, like most cloud-based programs, they can only be used when you're online.

There are numerous things you may be used to doing in desktop Office that can't be done in the online version. For instance, you can't drag photos by the corners to resize them, embed videos, create slide transitions or add new spreadsheet charts.

You can, with one click, open a Web version of your document in the full desktop program, to take advantage of richer editing. However, this only works with certain combinations of browsers and desktop Office versions.

Two of the Web apps, Excel and OneNote, allow multiple users to log on and work on the same document together. The others don't yet. In fact, in my tests, I couldn't open a Word document locally until I had closed it online, and vice versa. Microsoft says it is working on expanding simultaneous use to all the apps.

Office Web Apps are a good start for Microsoft at bringing its productivity expertise to the Web, and may be all many consumers need for creating simple documents.


Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade are at

From the Scout Report on June 11, 2010

JetPhoto Studio 4.8 --- http://www.jetphotosoft.com/web/home/

A number of photo software programs make bold promises, but JetPhoto Studio actually delivers the goods. The program is designed to help users manage their photograph collections, and some of the application's perks include GPS tracking, photo keyword tagging, and an interactive calendar feature which organizes photos by date. The program also features some basic editing tools, and the interactive online user guide is quite nice. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer and Macs running OS X 10.3 and newer.

New evidence from Saturn's moon Titan suggests possibility of alien life and reveals new clues about early Earth as well Saturn moon offers hints of early life on Earth http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/vergano/2010-06-06-titan_N.htm  

Titan: NASA Scientists discover evidence 'that alien life exists on Saturn's moon'

Astrobiologist tries to set the record straight about extraterrestrial life on Titan

Saturn's Beauty and Power http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8564405.stm 

The Saturn System: A Feast for the Eyes http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/cassini_equinox/cassini_equinox_slideshow.html 

Eerie Sounds of Saturn's Radio Emissions http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/pia07966.html 

Windows to the Universe: Saturn http://windows2universe.org/saturn/saturn.html


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

Education Tutorials

Webwise 2010: Imagining the Digital Future [Flash Player, Windows Media] http://www.tvworldwide.com/events/webwise/100303/

Video:  The Worst Thing You Can Do in Life is Set Goals
Stephen Fry: What I Wish I Had Known When I Was 18 --- Click Here  http://www.openculture.com/2010/05/stephen_fry_what_i_wish_i_had_known_when_i_was_18.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Walter Brennan Reading Mark Twain ---

Find a College
College Atlas --- http://www.collegeatlas.org/
Among other things the above site provides acceptance rate percentages
Online Distance Education Training and Education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Global Drug Reference Online --- http://www.globaldro.com/
Drug Information --- http://matweb.hcuge.ch/Medical_search/Drugs_pharmacology_pharmacy.html 
Drug Information --- http://www.coreynahman.com/medicalinfodatabases.html 
Drug Information --- http://library.pbac.edu/drug_information_databases.htm 

BioEd Online: Podcasts Plus Lessons http://www.bioedonline.org/podcasts/

Nature Milestones --- http://www.nature.com/milestones/

National Science Foundation: Science Nation [Flash Player] http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/

NASA Clips --- http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/nasaeclips/

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

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory --- http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/usgginventory.html

Southern Forests for the Future --- http://www.seesouthernforests.org/

Bear Expedition Digital Collections --- http://polarbears.si.umich.edu/

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: Ted Talk – Sweat The Small Stuff: Hilarious examples of Behavioral Economics," Simoleon Sense, June 9, 2010 ---
Bob Jensen's not-so-hilarious threads on EMH controversies ---

Global Drug Reference Online --- http://www.globaldro.com/
Drug Information --- http://matweb.hcuge.ch/Medical_search/Drugs_pharmacology_pharmacy.html 
Drug Information --- http://www.coreynahman.com/medicalinfodatabases.html 
Drug Information --- http://library.pbac.edu/drug_information_databases.htm 

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia [Flash Player, pdf] http://www.escwa.un.org/

The Asia Foundation: Multimedia --- http://asiafoundation.org/media/

Digital Comic Museum --- http://digitalcomicmuseum.com/ 

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

The Mathematical Association of America: Podcast Center http://www.maa.org/audio clips/podcast/podcast.html

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

History Tutorials

"The Rockets' Red Glare": Francis Scott Key and the Bombardment of Fort McHenry

From the University of Missouri: Collection of Fourth of July Speeches --- http://digital.library.umsystem.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jul;cc=jul;tpl=home.tpl

12. Entitled Opinions (about Life and Literature) --- http://www.stanford.edu/dept/fren-ital/opinions/

The Allure of the Automobile (museum) http://www.high.org/main.taf?p=3,1,1,17,1

The Henry Ford Museum --- http://www.hfmgv.org/

A Biography of America --- http://www.learner.org/resources/series123.html

"The Pageant of America" Photograph Archive (over 7,000 photographs) ---

HistoryWorld --- http://www.historyworld.net/

Vincent Van Gogh: The Letters --- http://www.vangoghletters.org/vg/

Cincinnati Art Museum: The Collection ---

University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee Book Arts Collection --- http://www4.uwm.edu/libraries/digilib/bookarts/index.cfm

Exploratorium 40th Anniversary: Speaking of Music Rewind [iTunes] http://www.exploratorium.edu/40th/podcasts.php

Bear Expedition Digital Collections --- http://polarbears.si.umich.edu/

Digital Comic Museum --- http://digitalcomicmuseum.com/ 

LaVie: The Penn State Life (Yearbook History Going Back to 1890) --- http://www.libraries.psu.edu/digital/lavie/ 

UW Student Newspapers Archive --- http://content.lib.washington.edu/dailyweb/index.html

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

Language Tutorials

Slide Show on the Classics --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/Classics.pps

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

Music Tutorials

Exploratorium 40th Anniversary: Speaking of Music Rewind [iTunes] http://www.exploratorium.edu/40th/podcasts.php

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/

June 10, 2010

June 11, 2010

June 14, 2010

June 15, 2010

June 16, 2010




Fentanyl Pain Patches --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fentanyl
Brand names include Sublimaze, Actiq, Durogesic, Duragesic, Fentora, Onsolis[2], [3] and Instanyl[4] — is a synthetic primary μ-opioid agonist and a potent narcotic analgesic with a rapid onset and short duration of action . Historically it has been used to treat chronic breakthrough pain and is commonly used in pre-procedures.

Global Drug Reference Online --- http://www.globaldro.com/

Drug Information --- http://matweb.hcuge.ch/Medical_search/Drugs_pharmacology_pharmacy.html 
Drug Information --- http://www.coreynahman.com/medicalinfodatabases.html 
Drug Information --- http://library.pbac.edu/drug_information_databases.htm 

"New Report From Carnegie Foundation Recommends Changes in Medical Education," by Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 8, 2010 ---

Comedy Video on Financial Crises
I'm beginning to think these are not perfect storms. I'm beginning to think these are regular storms and we just have a sh**ty boat.

Jon Stewart --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/jon-stewart-takes-on-perfect-storms.html

Groups of free riders on the Paris Metro have created informal insurance pools that pay the fine when riders get caught. The groups call themselves mutuelles des fraudeurs -- fraudster mutuals.
NPR --- http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2010/05/dont_pay_your_fare_on_the_subw.html
Jensen Comment
One issue not considered in the above article is how many misdemeanors it takes for the sum to become a felony.

Also could these frauds affect credit scores?

Digital Comic Museum --- http://digitalcomicmuseum.com/ 

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Awful Puns For the Educated

1. King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world. Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan.

Croesus said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it."

"But I paid a million dinars for it," the King protested. "Don't you know who I am? I am the king!"

Croesus replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are."

2. Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. Unfortunately, all the Swiss league records were destroyed in a fire, ...and so we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

3. A man rushed into a busy doctor's office and shouted, "Doctor! I think I'm shrinking!" The doctor calmly responded, "Now, settle down. You'll just have to be a little patient."

4. A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls. One day, his supply of the birds ran out so he had to go out and trap some more. On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the road. Afraid to wake them, he gingerly stepped over them. Immediately, he was arrested and charged with-- transporting gulls across sedate lions for immortal porpoises.

5. Back in the 1800's the Tate's Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products, and since they already made the cases for watches, they used them to produce compasses. The new compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California. This, of course, is the origin of the expression -- "He who has a Tate's is lost!"

6. A thief broke into the local police station and stole all the toilets and urinals, leaving no clues. A spokesperson was quoted as saying, "We have absolutely nothing to go on."

7. An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin strip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off, chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day. After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling. The chief shrugged and said, "The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on."

8. A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official who apologized profusely saying, "I must have taken Leif off my census."

9. There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deer skin, one slept on an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All three became pregnant. The first two each had a baby boy. The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This just goes to prove that... the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides. (Some of you may need help with this one).

10. A skeptical anthropologist was cataloging South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal Brujo who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the Brujo looked him in the eye and said, "Let me tell you, with fronds like these, you don't need enemas."

Jagdish Gangolly clued me in on this link
Tom Lehrer on the great Russian mathgematician Lobachevsky:


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/

Find a College
College Atlas --- http://www.collegeatlas.org/
Among other things the above site provides acceptance rate percentages
Online Distance Education Training and Education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---

Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---


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.

Free (updated) Basic Accounting Textbook --- search for Hoyle at

CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination
Free CPA Examination Review Course Courtesy of Joe Hoyle --- http://cpareviewforfree.com/

Rick Lillie's education, learning, and technology blog is at http://iaed.wordpress.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