Tidbits on February 23, 2011
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

During winter the gardens beside the cottage and our outer wildflower field have no color
And so we look inward for color

Or to each other

But there is also color in each sunrise and each sunset


This week I made a special photograph file of my Indoor Plants Favorites


Video: There's more than one type of time lapse
A Great Illustration of Time Lapse Photography
Sub Zero: Winter Time-Lapse in South Dakota --- Click Here

Jensen Comment
As I watched the above video I kept thinking how this illustrates a time lapse in more ways than one. I grew up partly on an Iowa farm at a time when hopes and dreams for the future were unbounded as we looked out under a night sky toward the lights of a small town called Ringsted.. Now the Ringsteds of the Midwest are mostly boarded up like something in "The Last Picture Show.". Buildings on the smaller farms have been torn down completely or only a few weathered old barns remain like ghosts of times past.

When I see an old weathered barn no longer serving any purpose I think back to when it gave shelter to a dozen milk cows, a sturdy bull, three teams of thick-bodied horses that were gentle giants munching down hay and oats and resting up for another long day of leaning into leather hames. Chickens scurry about between their legs without the least fear of being stepped upon. Kittens tumble bout waiting for a sideways squirt of a cow's teat in my small child's hand.

Now the old barn is empty, cold, and dead like hopes and dreams of the children that called this piece of ground the "home place." Yes time has lapsed.!

 At the bleakest point in the movie it's almost like looking out upon nuclear winter where no life remains except for a camera on a tripod waiting for its batteries to finally give out. A time when there will not even be pictures of an old barn that still manages to hold up against the cold winter winds.

My short story about growing up is at

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 



Tidbits on February 23, 2011
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/.

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

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food [Macromedia Flash Player]

The making of a Southwest Airlines jetliner (Florida One) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=zKnsyYbfC60&feature=popular
This short video might be used to have students identify direct mfg. costs, indirect mfg. costs, inventory costs, overhead expenses, etc.

Some things you did not know about the latest technology
Did You Know? video --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8

The Great Train Robbery: Where Westerns Began --- https://mail.google.com/a/trinity.edu/#inbox/12e489628b517da0

Video:  History of Global Debt (from the IMF) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeIanMdkUj0

Lonesome Dove Old Men Respect --- http://www.firefighternation.com/video/889755:Video:1088035

Free Electron Naval Weapon (but it can't stop pirates) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWdGkb7r1iA

Penguin Goes Shopping --- http://www.flixxy.com/pet-penguin-goes-shopping.htm

A Football Game Gives Hope --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52AOPQvCTv4&NR=1
Something similar happened one year when Notre Dame beat Navy
"ND salutes Navy" --- http://www.brendanloy.com/temp-archives/2005_11_14_archive.html

The Chicago Sun-Times's Jim O'Donnell explains the touching gesture that had 80,000 people watching in reverential silence at the end of the ND-Navy game on Saturday:

Jim Mahar's Finance Class Videos, February 16, 2011 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/class-videos.html
Jim's Finance Professor Blog --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

Hence the "author unknown" appears to be Jim O'Donnell. This following is the message I received from Dr. Wolff.

Navy-Notre Dame - A Hard Act to Follow.....
With thanks to Colonel Bill Hutchison for passing this along. Sorry, author unknown but I'd like to know him just to shake his hand.

Call me a sissy. Call me corny, out-dated, or whatever you think appropriate. But on Saturday, 12 November, I cried. I sat in front of my television with tears streaming down my face. It was not a war movie or a love story on the screen, but a football game!

I had just watched my team, Navy, seriously defeated by a powerhouse Notre Dame, 42-21. But that was not the reason for my tears.

When the game ended, a reporter ran up to Charlie Weis, Notre Dame's phenomenal coach, and asked him one of the usual post-game questions. Coach Weis politely, but firmly, told the reporter he had something more important to do and, pushing the microphone aside, headed for the opposite side of the field. With him came the entire Notre Dame team.

What I saw next I will never forget. With their fans looking on, The Fighting Irish joined the Midshipmen and stood respectfully with them as the latter sang Navy Blue and Gold, their alma mater.

An article appeared in a Notre Dame newspaper and described the event as follows: The weather was beautiful, the team looked great, and the home crowd at Notre Dame Stadium had plenty to cheer about on Saturday. However, the most impressive event in that stadium was when 80,795 people did no cheering at all. No yelling, no talking, not even an odd sneeze. Dead silence. That's what the Navy band received at the end of the game while they played their alma mater.

From that moment on, I am forever a Notre Dame fan (though I will still root for Navy when the two teams meet). It was a moment of pure class, of unabashed patriotism, and of true sportsmanship. An all-too-rare combination.

The class part is not too surprising. Though I am not Catholic and have been to Indiana only once, I have long had a healthy respect for Notre Dame as a university with class. Educational standards and the value of tradition have always brought this school much well-deserved respect.

The patriotism part is a bit more complicated. As a Viet Nam veteran, I lived through an era when respect for the military was wanting by too many Americans. It was a time when CBS actually considered taking the Army-Navy game off the air. It was a time when no one thanked you for your service. It was a lonely time.

I suspect that some of the tears I shed in front of the TV were a bit self-indulgent, because I saw something I would have given much to have seen in those dark days. But it was not bitterness I felt; it was gratitude and thanks that we are now doing it right.

The sportsmanship part is something that lately we are not getting right. I have all but given up on my beloved NFL because it just isn't much fun anymore, when I have to watch players dance and strut after every routine tackle and wave the football in their opponents face after scoring a touchdown. I won't say sportsmanship is dead, but it is seriously wounded.

But when those Notre Dame players stood beside their Navy opponents it was a gesture that said more than thousands of words could ever convey. Class, patriotism, sportsmanship. All in one simple, but noble, gesture.

I have since learned from friends who were there, that the nobility went well beyond that one moment. I was told that the Notre Dame fans did not boo the opposing team when they first ran onto the field which is all too often the case these days instead, they cheered them. And at the end of the first quarter, the stadium announcer asked the fans to recognize Navy on this day after Veterans Day and they gave the Midshipmen a long standing ovation.

The Irish band played Anchors Aweigh several times during the game and one witness watched as total strangers walked up to the Midshipmen and thanked them for their service. He described it as not just one act of manners it was all day long.

In post-game interviews, I watched spellbound as Notre Dame players spoke not of their own (awesome) achievements on the field, but talked instead of their opponents and how they faced far greater challenges in the future, not on the football field, but on the battlefield. Again, I cried.

Thank you, Charlie Weis, for a class act. Thank you, Notre Dame, for embracing patriotism. Thank you, Navy, for your service.

 Video:  5,000 Years of History in the Middle East --- http://www.mapsofwar.com/images/EMPIRE17.swf

Video on the Beauty of Mathematics --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=h60r2HPsiuM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

FRONTLINE: Are We Safer?

Open Studio [Flash Player artistic tutorials] --- http://blogs.getty.edu/openstudio/

Norman Mailer & Gore Vidal Feud on Dick Cavett Show --- Click Here

Philip Elwood Films (travel, national parks, history) --- http://cdm15031.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=/p15031coll19

Snow Blower Revenge --- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/07/snow-blower-revenge-stole_n_819540.html

Two Women in a Small Box --- http://www.jokeroo.com/bin/player.swf?5f9f_f369

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

Hear the first in a month-long series of brand new works based on the words of American presidents. ---

Renewed by Romance: Smetana's 'The Kiss' (introduction to the opera) ---

"Romantic Recrimination: Mozart's 'Così Fan Tutte'," The Vienna State Opera (Introduction to the opera) ---

A Kid and an Accordian --- http://biertijd.com/mediaplayer/?itemid=2763

February 7, 2011 message from David Fordham

Dave, here's another one worthy of watching, albeit using a very different instrument and showing individual ability rather than complex coordinated teamwork:

You really have to watch all four minutes to truly appreciate what kind of solo talent it takes to earn a *standing ovation* at Carnegie Hall with such a toy.

(I say "toy" because, in 1938, at age 18, my father was the state champion in Florida on this instrument, and he used a Hohner full-concert version;  the little one Buddy Greene uses in this video is what my dad would call a "toy", even though in the hands of a master like Buddy, the performance runs rings around the average "champion" using a full concert instrument.  My dad admitted he couldn't hold the proverbial candle to Greene in this video.)

David Fordham

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

These pictures were taken in Lead, South Dakota, on January 5, 2011. That's just off I-90 close to Rapid City near the Wyoming border. Check out the Hot Tub location ---

The Human Camera --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8YXZTlwTAU
Thank you Jagdish Gangolly for the heads up.

Annenberg Space for Photography [Flash Player] --- http://www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org/

American Sign Museum --- http://www.signmuseum.net/

The Ice Book, a Beautiful Pop-Up Book --- Click Here

Ludwig-Svenson Studio Collection (photographs) --- http://digitalcollections.uwyo.edu:8180/luna/servlet/ahc-ludwig~1~1

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam --- http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/index.jsp

Mont St-Michel --- http://www.ot-montsaintmichel.com/index.htm?lang=en

Preservationnation.org --- http://www.preservationnation.org/

Felix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist --- http://mcis2.princeton.edu/candela/index.html

Great Buildings Collection (architecture) --- http://www.greatbuildings.com/gbc.html

The Margo Duggan Collection (Pacific Photographs Hawaii) --- http://digicoll.manoa.hawaii.edu/duggan/

Philip Elwood Films (travel, national parks, history) --- http://cdm15031.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=/p15031coll19

Ruskin at Walkley (English History Museum) --- http://www.ruskinatwalkley.org/

Secrets of the Silk Road [Flash Player] --- http://www.penn.museum/silkroad/

University of Rochester Black Freedom Struggle Online Project --- http://www.lib.rochester.edu/index.cfm?PAGE=572

100 Greatest Posters of  Film Noir

100 Greatest Posters of Film Noir --- Click Here

During the 1940s and 50s, Hollywood entered a “noir” period, producing riveting films based on hard-boiled fiction. These films were set in dark locations and shot in a black & white aesthetic that fit like a glove. Hardened men wore fedoras and forever smoked cigarettes. Women played the femme fatale role brilliantly. Love was the surest way to death. All of these elements figured into what Roger Ebert calls “the most American film genre” in his short Guide to Film Noir. (Also find 23 noir films right here.)

Accompanying noir films were visually engaging movie posters, and Where Danger Lives (a noir blog) now gives you the “100 Greatest Posters of Film Noir.” They’ve been working through this “best of” list for the past three months, and they conclude this week with the Top 10 … the best of the best.

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

Children's Library --- http://www.archive.org/details/iacl

Baldwin Library of Children's Literature, Digital Collection --- http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/UFDC/UFDC.aspx?c=juv

From Carnegie-Mellon University
The HistoryMakers Digital Archive --- http://www.idvl.org/thehistorymakers/

The American Colony in Jerusalem, 1870-2006 --- http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/americancolony/

Amazing Facts About Israel (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxK6OwIpK5o

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 February 23, 2011


Peter G. Peterson Website on Deficit/Debt Solutions ---

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

When Preconceived Notions Stand in the Way of Academic Scholarship and Research
I think the article below extends well beyond the realm of traditional politics and extends into other worlds of academe

"In the Teeth of the Evidence," by Barbara Fister, Inside Higher Ed, February 22, 2011 ---

So I was intrigued to read a news story in the Boston Globe about research in political behavior. It turns out that people who have made up their minds are not receptive to information that doesn't support their beliefs. I tracked down some of the research mentioned in the article to see how the studies were conducted. (I'm nerdy that way.) Essentially, James Kuklinski and others found that people who held strong beliefs wouldn't let facts stand in their way. Those who were the least well informed were also the group that were the most confident in their mistaken beliefs. (I use "mistaken" here because they were factually wrong, and those misperceptions of fact conspired with their opinions about what policies should be taken.) Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler recently devised several experimental procedures to see how people respond to corrections in information. Not well, apparently. When people read false information and then a correction to it, they tend to dig in their heels and become even more convinced of the wrong information, a "back fire" effect that increases their insistence on misinformation being correct.

This is all very depressing. We have enough of a challenge giving students the knowhow to locate good information. I am reminded of James Elbow's notion of the "believing game." Rather than teach students the art of taking a text apart and arguing with it, like a dog worrying a dead squirrel, he thought there was some value in entering into ideas and doing our best to understand them from the inside rather than take a defensive position and try to disprove them as a means of understanding. I am also reminded of research done by Keith Oatley (and discussed by him here) that suggests that those who read fiction engage in a kind of simulation of reality that leads them to become more empathetic - and more open to experiences that they haven't had.

Continued in article

A PS to this little paper chase of mine - this exercise of tracing sources mentioned in a news story convinces me we need to do a much better job of making research findings accessible in every sense of the word. When you are engaged in a debate online, the links that are easily found to support your position tend to come from in the form of opinion pieces and news stories. So much of our scholarly work is locked up behind paywalls that even finding research referred to in these opinion and news sources takes a lot of detective skill and patience, and when you find them you can't provide links that work. If we want our work to matter, if we want the evidence we gather to make a difference, we need to think about making it more accessible, not just in terms of readability, but findabilty. Kudos to the authors who have made their work open access, and kudos to those publishers and libraries who help.

"Social Media Lure Academics Frustrated by Journals," by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 22, 2011 ---

Social media have become serious academic tools for many scholars, who use them for collaborative writing, conferencing, sharing images, and other research-related activities. So says a study just posted online called "Social Media and Research Workflow." Among its findings: Social scientists are now more likely to use social-media tools in their research than are their counterparts in the biological sciences. And researchers prefer popular applications like Twitter to those made for academic users.

The survey, conducted late last year, is the work of Ciber, as the Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research is known. Ciber is an interdisciplinary research center based in University College London's department of information studies. It takes on research projects for various clients. This one was paid for by the Emerald Publishing Group Ltd. The idea for the survey came from the Charleston Observatory, the research arm of the annual Charleston Conference of librarians, publishers, and vendors.

An online questionnaire went to researchers and editors as well as publishers, administrators, and librarians on cross-disciplinary e-mail lists maintained by five participating publishers—Cambridge University Press; Emerald; Kluwer; Taylor & Francis; and Wiley. Responses came from 2,414 researchers in 215 countries and "every discipline under the sun," according to David Nicholas, one of the lead researchers on the study. He directs the department of information studies at University College London.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on social networking are at

A computer that lacks common sense, unfortunately, isn't an oddity. Maybe it should be.
Henry Lieberman, MIT

"Has the HAL 9000 Finally Arrived?" by Robert Plant, Harvard Business Review Blog, February 9, 2011 --- Click Here
Key Words:  Artificial Intelligence, AI, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey

"Watson on Jeopardy, Part 2: The IBM machine's mistakes offered insights about how it works," by Henry Lieberman, MIT's Technology Review, February 16, 2011 ---

What Watson failed to realize was that the word "leg," by itself, wasn't actually an answer to the question. This is common sense for people, because "leg" is an anatomical part, not an anatomical oddity, though Watson did realize that legs were involved somehow. What happened here might have been something more profound than a simple bug. David Ferrucci, Watson's project leader, attributed the failure to the difficulty of the word "oddity" in the question. To understand what might be odd, you have to compare it to what isn't odd—that is to say, what's common sense. A problem with Watson's approach is that if some sentence appears in its database, it can't tell whether someone put it there just because it's true, or because someone felt it was so unusual that it needed to be said.

A computer that lacks common sense, unfortunately, isn't an oddity. Maybe it should be.

Henry Lieberman is a research scientist who works on artificial intelligence at the Media Laboratory at MIT.

An audit firm that lacks common sense, unfortunately, isn't an oddity. Maybe it should be.
In the context of Repo 105/108 auditing of Lehman and C12 Capital Management auditing at Barclays where common sense should've prevailed but did not prevail in order to facilitate accounting deception. What happened to the common sense auditors? ---

"Spitzer Calls Accountants 'Facilitators' for Corporate Abuse," by Michael Cohn, Accounting Today, February 8, 2011 --- Click Here

"When Computers Beat Humans on Jeopardy Artificial intelligence is developing much more rapidly than most of us realize," by Ray Kurzweil, The Wall Street Journal, February 17, 2011 ---

Over the past three days,the TV show "Jeopardy!" featured a showdown between a clever IBM computer system called Watson and the two greatest "Jeopardy!" champions. Watson won handily. It won the preliminary practice round, tied Monday's opening round, and won by large margins on Tuesday and Wednesday. The point has been made: Watson can compete at the championship level—and is making it more difficult for anyone to argue that there are human tasks that computers will never achieve.

"Jeopardy!" involves understanding complexities of humor, puns, metaphors, analogies, ironies and other subtleties. Elsewhere, computers are advancing on many other fronts, from driverless cars (Google's cars have driven 140,000 miles through California cities and towns without human intervention) to the diagnosis of disease.

Watson runs on 90 computer servers, although it does not go out to the Internet. When will this capability be available on your PC? The ratio of computer price to performance is now doubling in less than a year, so 90 servers would become the equivalent of one server in about seven years, and the equivalent of one personal computer within a decade. However, with the growth in cloud computing—in which supercomputer capability is increasingly available to anyone via the Internet—Watson-like capability will actually be available to you much sooner.

Given this, I expect Watson-like "natural language processing" (the ability to "understand" ordinary English) to show up in Google, Bing and other search engines over the next five years.

With computers demonstrating a basic ability to understand human language, it's only a matter of time before they pass the famous "Turing test," in which "chatbot" programs compete to fool human judges into believing that they are human.

If Watson's underlying technology were applied to the Turing test, it would likely do pretty well. Consider the annual Loebner Prize competition, one version of the Turing test. Last year, the best chatbot contestant fooled the human judges 25% of the time.

Perhaps counterintuitively, Watson would have to dumb itself down in order to pass a Turing test. After all, if you were talking to someone over instant messaging and they seemed to know every detail of everything, you'd realize it was an artificial intelligence (AI).

A computer passing a properly designed Turing test would be operating at human levels. I, for one, would then regard it as human.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
But it truly is not a question of computer versus human. The beauty is that it is a question of human with the computer as a tool --- Hal 9000 is not here yet and probably will never be here until humans are extinct on earth and Hal is in outer space.

However, what we are probably not anticipating is how well we will one day be able to program creativity into the computer where eventually the computer will create original works of art, music, opera, ballet, literature, elegant (rather than brute-force) mathematical proofs, science experiments, aircraft designs, chess playing strategies, and even computers not yet conceived by humans.

I suspect that credit must be given to humans who can program creativity into a machine to a degree that it can invent things. The debate of "creativity" will one day boil down to a chicken versus the egg question.

Or put another way, when God says to the Devil "make your own dirt," can the "computer" truly create unless a human provides the "dirt?"

How long before Watson is in on the financial audits and financial analysis and even the XBRL task of tagging dialog?

"Watson Goes to the Hospital:  Can IBM's Jeopardy winner help doctors treat their patients?" by Katherine Gammon, MIT's Technology Review, February 23. 2011 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703529004576160473786350078.html

Last week, IBM's Watson computer beat two human competitors on Jeopardy. Before the contest was even over, IBM and Nuance, a leading maker of voice-recognition software, announced plans to put Watson to work in the health-care industry.

The idea is for Watson to digest huge quantities of medical information and deliver useful real-time information to physicians, perhaps eventually in response to voice questions. If successful, the system could help medical experts diagnose conditions or create a treatment plan. But it could prove a far more challenging trick than winning a game show.

"The medical domain doubles in knowledge every few years," said Janet Dillione, executive vice president and general manager of the health-care division of Nuance. "No human brain can possibly retain all the information that's out there."

Dillione says that while other health-care technology can work with huge pools of data, Watson is the first system capable of usefully harnessing the vast amounts of medical information that exists in the form of natural language text—medical papers, records, and notes. Nuance hopes to roll out the first commercial system based on Watson technology within two years, although it has not said how sophisticated this system will be.

Watson holds 200 million pages of unstructured data, including some medical information. But the first part of a new IBM-Nuance research project, which is taking place at the University of Maryland and Columbia University, will be determining what other information Watson needs to know. Even then, it will be tricky to present that information in the right format. For the Jeopardy challenge, Watson was fed precategorized and tagged data. The medical literature, in contrast, consists of terabytes of highly specialized and unstructured data.

"Clinical text is often ungrammatical, rich in ambiguous acronyms and abbreviations, misspellings, and sometimes written to resemble bullet lists or tables, especially when directly typed in by health-care providers," says Stephane Meystre, an assistant professor of biomedical informatics at the University of Utah.

Having Watson listen to the dialogue between a doctor and his or her patient would be very hard, as the dialogue is usually free-form and conversational. Meystre says the main challenge in natural language processing in a clinical setting is the need for very high accuracy and speed—Watson can handle the speed, but problems with accuracy could lead to serious problems, including legal liability.

Physicians and nurses would also need to be trained to use the technology in their work. They would normally expect long descriptive answers to medical queries, not the short succinct ones Watson gave on Jeopardy, says Rohit Kate, a professor of informatics and computer sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. "Physicians and nurses may not be interested in just the answer but also some reasoning or justification behind arriving at it, otherwise they will be reluctant to use the answer by itself for something as critical as their patients' health." Watson would need to justify the answer and cite sources, according to Kate. Ideally, the system would even be able to clarify an answer by talking to a physician directly.

Continued in article

A Timeline of Computer Science --- http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=524

Jensen Comment
I don't care too much for the above timeline. Why is the slide rule a computer? Why not the abacus?
I much prefer the following links (that are admittedly in need of updates for the 21st Century):

Computing History Timeline --- http://trillian.randomstuff.org.uk/~stephen/history/timeline.html
Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_computing

A complicated issue is where social networking falls into "computing history." If social networking is an application of computing technology, it begs the questions:
Why not add other applications to the "computing history timeline?"
Why not create an entirely new "computer applications history timeline?"
Other timelines suggested at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_computing

Freeman Dyson --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_Dyson

A review of Freeman Dyson's latest book
"The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood," by James Gleick, New York Review of Books, February 2011 ---

James Gleick’s first chapter has the title “Drums That Talk.” It explains the concept of information by looking at a simple example. The example is a drum language used in a part of the Democratic Republic of Congo where the human language is Kele. European explorers had been aware for a long time that the irregular rhythms of African drums were carrying mysterious messages through the jungle. Explorers would arrive at villages where no European had been before and find that the village elders were already prepared to meet them.

Sadly, the drum language was only understood and recorded by a single European before it started to disappear. The European was John Carrington, an English missionary who spent his life in Africa and became fluent in both Kele and drum language. He arrived in Africa in 1938 and published his findings in 1949 in a book, The Talking Drums of Africa.1 Before the arrival of the Europeans with their roads and radios, the Kele-speaking Africans had used the drum language for rapid communication from village to village in the rain forest. Every village had an expert drummer and every villager could understand what the drums were saying. By the time Carrington wrote his book, the use of drum language was already fading and schoolchildren were no longer learning it. In the sixty years since then, telephones made drum language obsolete and completed the process of extinction.

Carrington understood how the structure of the Kele language made drum language possible. Kele is a tonal language with two sharply distinct tones. Each syllable is either low or high. The drum language is spoken by a pair of drums with the same two tones. Each Kele word is spoken by the drums as a sequence of low and high beats. In passing from human Kele to drum language, all the information contained in vowels and consonants is lost. In a European language, the consonants and vowels contain all the information, and if this information were dropped there would be nothing left. But in a tonal language like Kele, some information is carried in the tones and survives the transition from human speaker to drums. The fraction of information that survives in a drum word is small, and the words spoken by the drums are correspondingly ambiguous. A single sequence of tones may have hundreds of meanings depending on the missing vowels and consonants. The drum language must resolve the ambiguity of the individual words by adding more words. When enough redundant words are added, the meaning of the message becomes unique.

In 1954 a visitor from the United States came to Carrington’s mission school. Carrington was taking a walk in the forest and his wife wished to call him home for lunch. She sent him a message in drum language and explained it to the visitor. To be intelligible to Carrington, the message needed to be expressed with redundant and repeated phrases: “White man spirit in forest come come to house of shingles high up above of white man spirit in forest. Woman with yam awaits. Come come.” Carrington heard the message and came home. On the average, about eight words of drum language were needed to transmit one word of human language unambiguously. Western mathematicians would say that about one eighth of the information in the human Kele language belongs to the tones that are transmitted by the drum language. The redundancy of the drum language phrases compensates for the loss of the information in vowels and consonants. The African drummers knew nothing of Western mathematics, but they found the right level of redundancy for their drum language by trial and error. Carrington’s wife had learned the language from the drummers and knew how to use it.

The story of the drum language illustrates the central dogma of information theory. The central dogma says, “Meaning is irrelevant.” Information is independent of the meaning that it expresses, and of the language used to express it. Information is an abstract concept, which can be embodied equally well in human speech or in writing or in drumbeats. All that is needed to transfer information from one language to another is a coding system. A coding system may be simple or complicated. If the code is simple, as it is for the drum language with its two tones, a given amount of information requires a longer message. If the code is complicated, as it is for spoken language, the same amount of information can be conveyed in a shorter message.

Another example illustrating the central dogma is the French optical telegraph. Until the year 1793, the fifth year of the French Revolution, the African drummers were ahead of Europeans in their ability to transmit information rapidly over long distances. In 1793, Claude Chappe, a patriotic citizen of France, wishing to strengthen the defense of the revolutionary government against domestic and foreign enemies, invented a device that he called the telegraph. The telegraph was an optical communication system with stations consisting of large movable pointers mounted on the tops of sixty-foot towers. Each station was manned by an operator who could read a message transmitted by a neighboring station and transmit the same message to the next station in the transmission line.

Continued in the book review

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side ---

The Investment Answer (Short Book), by Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon S. Murray  ---
Thank you Amy Haas for the heads up.

Also see http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/27/your-money/27money.html

Bob Jensen's investment helpers are at ---

The 40 Worst Cheaters in Sports History ---

And we thought Michigan was hard pressed for public servant wages and salaries
These salaries may look a little high, but they're miniscule compared to what the football coaches put in the bank

"Law Dean Salaries," by Paul Carone, LawProf Blog, February 22, 2011 --- http://taxprof.typepad.com/

The median 2010 law school dean salary was $278,454, according to a report issued yesterday by the  College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (via Chroncile of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed.)  Sample law school dean salaries:

"The Order of Things:  What college rankings really tell us,". by Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, February 14, 2011 ---

DEPT. OF EDUCATION about college rankings. Last summer, the editors of Car and Driver conducted a comparison test of three sports cars, the Lotus Evora, the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, and the Porsche Cayman S. This was the final tally: 1. Porsche Cayman 193; 2. Chevrolet Corvette 186; 3. Lotus Evora 182. Yet when you inspect the magazine’s tabulations it is hard to figure out why Car and Driver was so sure that the Cayman is better than the Corvette and the Evora. A ranking can be heterogeneous as long as it doesn’t try to be too comprehensive. But it’s an act of real audacity when a ranking system tries to be comprehensive and heterogeneous. The U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Colleges” guide is run by Robert Morse, whose six-person team operates out of a small office building in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Over the years, Morse’s methodology has steadily evolved, and the ranking system looks a great deal like the Car and Driver methodology. It is heterogeneous. It aims to compare Penn State—a very large, public, land-grant university with a low tuition and an economically diverse student body—with Yeshiva University, a small, expensive, private Jewish university. The system is also comprehensive. Discusses suicide statistics. There’s no direct way to measure the quality of an institution, so the U.S. News algorithm relies instead on proxies for quality—and the proxies for educational quality turn out to be flimsy at best. Describes the reputation score and reputational biases. Mentions Michael Bastedo. Jeffrey Stake, a professor at the Indiana University law school, runs a Web site called the Ranking Game, which demonstrates just how subjective rankings are. There are schools that provide a good legal education at a decent price, and, by choosing not to include tuition as a variable, U.S. News has effectively penalized those schools for trying to provide value for the tuition dollar. The U.S. News ranking turns out to be full of these kinds of implicit ideological choices. It gives twice as much weight to selectivity as it does to efficacy. It favors the Yale model over the Penn State model, which means that the Yales of the world will always succeed at the U.S. News rankings because the U.S. News system is designed to reward Yale-ness. At a time when American higher education is facing a crisis of accessibility and affordability, we have adopted a de-facto standard of college quality that is uninterested in both of those factors. Mentions Graham Spanier and Ellsworth Huntington

Only subscribers are allowed to read the article itself, but most faculty and students can access, like I did, the article through their campus library's database subscription sevice.

Gladwell's points have been made before ---

Google Public Data Explorer
Data visualizations for a changing world --- http://www.google.com/publicdata/home

Available Data Sets --- http://www.google.com/publicdata/directory

Bob Jensen's threads on Multivariate Data (including faces) ---

"The Future of TV (According to Hulu)," by Jason Kiler, PBS, February 4, 2011 --- Click Here

Two days ago, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar fired a shot heard round the media world with this treatise on the Hulu blog. According to the Financial Times and AllThingsD, Kilar's attack on the entrenched view of TV and cable put him in an uncomfortable position with the joint venture owners of Hulu: Fox, Disney and NBC Universal. We thought it was worthwhile to reprint his post here.

From the Scout Report on February 14, 2011

Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project: Trend Data ---
http://www.pewinternet.org/Home/Static Pages/Trend Data.aspx

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has created this terrific site
which brings together many of their data sets, charts, and graphs in one
convenient location. Here visitors can look over ten different data sets,
including "Who's Online", "Online Activities", and "Daily Internet
Activities". Some of these data sets are available as Excel files, and they
will be of tremendous benefit to journalists, educators, and public policy
scholars. Visitors are encouraged to use this data for a variety of
reporting purposes and other needs, and they may also wish to click on the
"Research Toolkit" as well. Here they will find experts, additional data
sets, and survey questions from previous surveys

From the Scout Report on February 14, 2011

The Economist: The World in 2011 --- http://www.economist.com/node/21015461

The Economist has been doing a special issue at the conclusion of each calendar year for sometime, and it is full of interesting and provocative materials about various political, economic, and technological trends around the world. The site includes a brief introduction to the 2011 edition, and a link to their "Cassandra" blog, which includes a series of predictions and the like. The other sections on the site include "Leaders", "United States", "Europe", "Britain", and "The Americas". Topical areas of note include "Business" and "Finance", which features articles like "China's balancing hand" and "What China and Israel will teach the world". The site also includes a calendar of important world events in 2011 and links to past "World" issues. Finally, the site is rounded out by the "World in Figures" area, which includes a list of key economic indicators broken down by country and industry.

February 16, 2011 message from David Albrecht on February 16, 2011

Fascinating look at accounting/auditing in China by retired PWC
auditor now professor.



A Must Read
Educause:  Emerging Trends in Education Technology
--- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/02/09/qt#250713

Educause and the New Media Consortium have released the 2011 Horizon Report, an annual study of emerging issues in technology in higher education. The issues that are seen as likely to have great impact:

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at

On the Dark Side 

For nearly two decades I've updated a Web document called "The Dark Side" in which I post things that worry me about advances in education and communication technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

Business Week now has a very long cover story that fits right into "The Dark Side." I don't consider myself a prude or a religious nut. But this trend in networking most certainly discourages me about how technology sometimes eats away at morality and good name of technology. This is yet another dark side tidbit on the evils of technology that goes along with ID theft, malware spreading, Internet frauds, porn, plagiarism, malicious hacking, and the like. I was a bit surprised to find this article in Business Week rather than Newsweek or Time Magazine.
The infidelity economy may be "alive, well, and profitable." But so is porn!

Those of you teaching about advances in social networking should also cover the emerging dark sides of social networking.

"Cheating, Incorporated:  At Ashley Madison's website for "dating," the infidelity economy is alive, well, and profitable," by Sheelah Kolhatkar , Business Week, February 10, 2011 ---

Do you want to have an affair?

After hearing an ad on Howard Stern's radio show or seeing a schlocky commercial on late-night TV, you might find yourself on AshleyMadison.com—the premier "dating" website for aspiring adulterers. Type in the URL, and as the page loads a gauzy violet backdrop appears with a fuzzy image of a half-dressed couple going at it beyond a hotel doorway. "Join FREE & change your life today. Guaranteed!"

Setting up a profile costs nothing and takes about 12 seconds. First you check off your availability status: "attached male seeking females," "attached female seeking males," or, even though the concept of the site is that all users are in relationships and therefore equally invested in secrecy, "single female seeking males." Next you're asked for location, date of birth, height and weight, and whether you're looking for something "short term," "long term," "Cyber affair/Erotic Chat," "Whatever Excites Me," and so on. If you're like me, you choose a handle based on the cupcake you most recently ate—"redvelvet2"—and then shave a few years and pounds off your numbers.

Once you provide an e-mail address that your spouse would presumably never have access to, you're thrust into Ashley Madison's low-tech pink and purple interface. And then, if you're a woman, the onslaught begins.

Continued in article

February 12, 2011 reply from Francine McKenna

Maybe you forgot it was that terrible Ashley Madison.com site, the one that advertises on CNBC and wanted to advertise on the Superbowl that lured the poor Ernst & Young partner into a debauched life of inside trading and illicit love triangles.

Bad, bad internets...



In the fall of 2004, a fortysomething investment banker named Donna Murdoch logged into Ashley Madison, the discreet dating website married people visit "when divorce is not an option," and introduced herself to James Gansman, a partner at Ernst & Young in New York. The two struck up a relationship, meeting occasionally in hotels in Philly, New York, and California, and talking on the phone about their lives: James told Donna about how he was kicking ass at work, Donna told James about how she was struggling with her subprime mortgage.

Eventually the two settled into a comfortable day-to-day routine in their respective offices in New York and Philadelphia, staring at the same Yahoo Finance screen.

Sweet. Bill and Melinda Gates used to do kind of the same thing when they were long-distance dating. They'd see the same movies in different places and then talk about them on the phone. We just though we'd mention that, because that's the kind of information we have trapped inside our brains, and we hope that by releasing it we can make room for other things. Anyway, Donna and James's relationship did not go the way of Bill and Melinda's.

Eventually, their conversations about business grew more specific.

Mr. Gansman led Ms. Murdoch in a guessing game about which deals he was working on, she said. "The game was that I wouldn't be looking and he would give me hints: The market cap of two billion or market cap of 400 billion, and here's what they do, and he'd read it to me, and ultimately make sure I guessed," Ms. Murdoch testified. Before long, the guessing game fell away. Mr. Gansman told her more directly about upcoming deals of Ernst clients, she said.

She made $400, 000 off the deal, and the SEC noticed. He made nothing, and now he's going to jail. The end.

Insider Affair: An SEC Trial of the Heart [WSJ via Business Insider]

Francine McKenna
Managing Editor
@ReTheAuditors on Twitter


February 12, 2011 reply from Jagdish Gangolly

Bob, Steve,

The forensic practices at the Big 4 are WAY ahead of the accounting academia in using the technology to cover the dark side of social networking in e-discovery. We in the accounting academia have been too busy regressing to take note.

I know of at least two who used it extensively in fraud examination as far back as 2008. They demonstrated its use to me while I was designing our fraud examination course.

One commercial product that is popular is attenex. See http://www.jurinnov.com/attenex.asp 


Bob Jensen's threads on social networking are at

Bob Jensen's threads on The Dark Side ---

Bob Jensen's threads on Education Technology ---

Energy Savers: Your Home --- http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/

Email – February 17, 2011
“I am only sending this note to my students who made a C or less on our first test. As you and I both know, this grade was only a small part of your grade. There is no reason why you cannot turn your grade into an A or (at least) a B. However, my experience is that students tend to keep their same grades unless they make some changes. Without changes, the first test is a pretty decent indicator of the final grade. And, I don’t like that – I didn’t get into this business to give Cs, Ds, and Fs. I want As and Bs. “So, what changes can you make? And, I realize that I have already talked with several of you about this. And, even better, several of you have already started to do the following . . .
Joe Hoyle, "A Critical Moment," February 18, 2011 ---  http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2011/02/critical-moment.html 

Jensen Comment
Joe essentially asks the students to determine what they do not understand well and instructs them to seek more help on those fuzzy things in his office hours. I think the students receiving low grades must take on more responsibility for themselves. Firstly, these students must be honest with themselves about the difference between "effort" versus "concentration (sweat) effort." Some students seem to think that sitting in the library with their books open constitutes "effort," when in fact they're more than likely day dreaming, chatting with friends, watching the mini skirts, and falling for all sorts of other distractions. "Concentration (sweat) effort" entails shutting off everything other than focusing at the task itself.

The second thing in learning accounting, as with learning mathematics and piano playing, entails practice, practice, and more practice until learners can honestly say that they got it down pat. Understanding a few assigned textbook problems is not enough. Nor is writing down what you don't understand and running for a professor or friend enough to "get it down pat." If there's no sweat on the brow then a student probably does not really "get it."

When I took my first two calculus classes and my first two intermediate accounting classes (using the Finney and Miller textbook) I think I worked every problem at the end of every chapter and then asked for permission to check my answers with the answer books. This was overkill, but it worked for this farm boy! Both subjects came easier for me after that, although while a senior I studied for the CPA examination in much the same manner (in those days in Colorado we could take the CPA examination before we graduated). That's how I learned to equate sweat with learning. As a result I never had to bother my instructors much outside the classroom. And I got by the CPA examination on the first try before I graduated as a senior.

To my musician mother's disappointment I never worked up a sweat when I put in hours practicing the piano. It was wasted time, and to this day I can only play one song (badly) on the piano. I never did "get it" with reading music and playing what I read. Day dreams took over for concentrated effort during my "practice sessions." My mother, on the other hand, could play any sheet of music propped up on the piano at our church. She could also play requests "by ear" when she played a big Wurlitzer in the center of a roller skating rink on Friday and Saturday nights. She also gave private lessons to music students on a weekly basis. But I was a hopeless case. Sigh!

Stanley Fish --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Fish
Controversy often follows Professor Fish. He's sometimes given credit for coining the term "political correctness"
In reality he's notoriously independent and cannot be pigeon holed as a liberal or conservative. Mostly he just wants to be viewed as a leading scholar.
I don't particularly go along with his somewhat permissive views on plagiarism, although he certainly does not advocate plagiarism.

How to Write a Sentence: and How to Read One

"School of Fish," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, February 23, 2011 ---

Stanley Fish's latest book is How to Write a Sentence: and How to Read One, published by HarperCollins, and it is doing pretty well. As I write this, it is the 158th best-selling book on Amazon, and ranked number one in sales for reference books in both education and rhetoric. It is also in eighth place among books on political science. This is peculiar, for it seems perfectly innocent of political intention. The title is not playing any games. It is a tutorial on how to recognize and learn from good sentences, the better to be able to fashion one. It could be used in the classroom, though that does not seem its true remit. Fish has pedagogical designs going beyond the university. The “intended reader” (to adopt an expression Fish used during an earlier stage of his work) appears to be someone who received the usual instruction in composition, in secondary school or college, without gaining any confidence about writing, let alone a knack for apt expression. And that describes a lot of people.

His advice to them, if not in so many words, is that they learn to practice Fishian literary criticism. How to Write a Sentence offers a series of lessons in “affective stylistics,” as he called the approach he developed three or four decades ago. This is not an interpretive method but a form of close reading, focusing less on what a given line in a literary work means than on what it does: how it creates its effects in the reader's awareness. This requires taking a sentence slowly – and also taking it apart, to determine how its elements are arranged to place stress on particular words or phrases, or to play them off against one another. (One formulation of Fish's work in affective stylistics is found in this essay, in PDF.)

A fair bit of the book -- roughly half of each chapter, and sometimes more -- amounts to a a course in affective stylistics, though happily one conducted without resorting to jargon. Fish examines individual sentences from Edgar Allen Poe, Virginia Woolf, Philip Roth, and dozens of other authors to show how they work. Most are literary figures, though Martin Luther King, Jr. and Antonin Scalia also make the cut. Most of the rest of it consists of explanations of some basic stylistic modes and how they impose order on (or extract it from) the world. Fish suggests a few exercises intended to encourage readers to experiment with creating sentences that are tightly structured, or loose and rambling, or epigram-like. That is part of getting a feel for the flexibility of one's options in sentence-making, and of becoming comfortable with experimentation. The scrutiny of how a line from Hemingway or Donne functions is made in the service of demonstrating how much force can be generated by the right words in the right order. Imitating them isn't a matter of insufficient originality, but rather a way to absorb some of their power.

The result is a handbook that seems very different from Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, with its list of prescriptions and prohibitions. I don't want to bash Elements; there has been too much of that lately. But Strunk and White's emphases on brevity, clarity, and vigor of diction and syntax, while still having value, tend to imply that good writing is largely a matter of following rules. Fish's book is more open-ended and pluralistic. He shows that there are numerous ways for a piece of writing to be effective -- that there are a various registers of expression that are worth learning. And his approach recognizes the element of playfulness and experimentation with language that a writer can cultivate, making it more likely that a precise though unexpected turn of phrase might come to mind. It is not that there are no rules, and you can learn some of them from Strunk and White. But the rules are not the game.

Having now recommended the book, let me quickly register a few concerns, lest this column seem like an unqualified endorsement of Fish™ brand textual goods and services.

How to Write a Sentence is not at all innovative. The guiding principle is an ancient one -- namely, that learning to write requires taking lessons from authors who have demonstrated great skill in their craft. Not in the sense of attending semester-long workshops with them, but through years of concentrating on their work, combined with frequent, shameless pilfering of their techniques. (You read what you can, and steal what you must.) The book can't be faulted for relying on an old, reliable approach, but there's something to say for acknowledging that it does.

Continued in article

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

Plagiarism Is Not a Big Moral Deal:  Yeah Right!
Although I admire Professor Fish, I don't quite share his views on plagiarism. And even if you share his views, this may not protect you or your students from the thunderbolts of wrath that sometimes strike plagiarists --- such thunderbolts as loss of job, loss of a degree (yes your prized college degree can be withdrawn), your publications may be withdrawn, you can be sued for your life savings, and you may face a lifetime of disgrace.

The scarlet letter "P" around your neck is serious business and becomes even worse with a record of addiction. Of course there are examples of plagiarists who are highly regarded in spite of their plagiarism, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Vladimir Putin ---

"Plagiarism Is Not a Big Moral Deal," by Stanley Fish, The New York Times, August 9, 2010 ---

During my tenure as the dean of a college, I determined that an underperforming program should be closed. My wife asked me if I had ever set foot on the premises, and when I answered “no,” she said that I really should do that before wielding the axe.

And so I did, in the company of my senior associate dean. We toured the offices and spoke to students and staff. In the course of a conversation, one of the program’s co-directors pressed on me his latest book. I opened it to the concluding chapter, read the first two pages, and remarked to my associate dean, “This is really good.”

But on the way back to the administration building, I suddenly flashed on the pages I admired and began to suspect that the reason I liked them so much was that I had written them. And sure enough, when I got back to my office and pulled one of my books off the shelf, there the pages were, practically word for word. I telephoned the co-director, and told him that I had been looking at his book, and wanted to talk about it. He replied eagerly that he would come right over, but when he came in I pointed him to the two books — his and mine — set out next to each other with the relevant passages outlined by a marker.

He turned white and said that he and his co-author had divided the responsibilities for the book’s chapters and that he had not written (perhaps “written” should be in quotes) this one. I contacted the co-author and he wrote back to me something about graduate student researchers who had given him material that was not properly identified. I made a few half-hearted efforts to contact the book’s publisher, but I didn’t persist and I pretty much forgot about it, although the memory returns whenever I read yet another piece (like one that appeared recently in The Times) about the ubiquity of plagiarism, the failure of students to understand what it is, the suspicion that they know what it is but don’t care, and the outdatedness of notions like originality and single authorship on which the intelligibility of plagiarism as a concept depends.

Whenever it comes up plagiarism is a hot button topic and essays about it tend to be philosophically and morally inflated. But there are really only two points to make. (1) Plagiarism is a learned sin. (2) Plagiarism is not a philosophical issue.

Of course every sin is learned. Very young children do not distinguish between themselves and the world; they assume that everything belongs to them; only in time and through the conditioning of experience do they learn the distinction between mine and thine and so come to acquire the concept of stealing. The concept of plagiarism, however, is learned in more specialized contexts of practice entered into only by a few; it’s hard to get from the notion that you shouldn’t appropriate your neighbor’s car to the notion that you should not repeat his words without citing him.

The rule that you not use words that were first uttered or written by another without due attribution is less like the rule against stealing, which is at least culturally universal, than it is like the rules of golf. I choose golf because its rules are so much more severe and therefore so much odder than the rules of other sports. In baseball you can (and should) steal bases and hide the ball. In football you can (and should) fake a pass or throw your opponent to the ground. In basketball you will be praised for obstructing an opposing player’s view of the court by waving your hands in front of his face. In hockey … well let’s not go there. But in golf, if you so much as move the ball accidentally while breathing on it far away from anyone who might have seen what you did, you must immediately report yourself and incur the penalty. (Think of what would happen to the base-runner called safe at home-plate who said to the umpire, “Excuse me, sir, but although you missed it, I failed to touch third base.”)

Golf’s rules have been called arcane and it is not unusual to see play stopped while a P.G.A. official arrives with rule book in hand and pronounces in the manner of an I.R.S. official. Both fans and players are aware of how peculiar and “in-house” the rules are; knowledge of them is what links the members of a small community, and those outside the community (most people in the world) can be excused if they just don’t see what the fuss is about.

Plagiarism is like that; it’s an insider’s obsession. If you’re a professional journalist, or an academic historian, or a philosopher, or a social scientist or a scientist, the game you play for a living is underwritten by the assumed value of originality and failure properly to credit the work of others is a big and obvious no-no. But if you’re a musician or a novelist, the boundary lines are less clear (although there certainly are some) and if you’re a politician it may not occur to you, as it did not at one time to Joe Biden, that you’re doing anything wrong when you appropriate the speech of a revered statesman.

And if you’re a student, plagiarism will seem to be an annoying guild imposition without a persuasive rationale (who cares?); for students, learning the rules of plagiarism is worse than learning the irregular conjugations of a foreign language. It takes years, and while a knowledge of irregular verbs might conceivably come in handy if you travel, knowledge of what is and is not plagiarism in this or that professional practice is not something that will be of very much use to you unless you end up becoming a member of the profession yourself. It follows that students who never quite get the concept right are by and large not committing a crime; they are just failing to become acclimated to the conventions of the little insular world they have, often through no choice of their own, wandered into. It’s no big moral deal; which doesn’t mean, I hasten to add, that plagiarism shouldn’t be punished — if you’re in our house, you’ve got to play by our rules — just that what you’re punishing is a breach of disciplinary decorum, not a breach of the moral universe.

Now if plagiarism is an idea that makes sense only in the precincts of certain specialized practices and is not a normative philosophical notion, inquiries into its philosophical underpinnings are of no practical interest or import. In recent years there have been a number of assaults on the notion of originality, issuing from fields as diverse as literary theory, history, cultural studies, philosophy, anthropology, Internet studies. Single authorship, we have been told, is a recent invention of a bourgeois culture obsessed with individualism, individual rights and the myth of progress. All texts are palimpsests of earlier texts; there’s been nothing new under the sun since Plato and Aristotle and they weren’t new either; everything belongs to everybody. In earlier periods works of art were produced in workshops by teams; the master artisan may have signed them, but they were communal products. In some cultures, even contemporary ones, the imitation of standard models is valued more than work that sets out to be path-breaking. (This was one of the positions in the famous quarrel between the ancients and the moderns in England and France in the 17th and 18th centuries.)

Arguments like these (which I am reporting, not endorsing) have been so successful in academic circles that the very word “originality” often appears in quotation marks, and it has seemed to many that there is a direct path from this line of reasoning to the conclusion that plagiarism is an incoherent, even impossible, concept and that a writer or artist accused of plagiarism is being faulted for doing something that cannot be avoided. R.M. Howard makes the point succinctly “If there is no originality and no literary property, there is no basis for the notion of plagiarism” (“College English,” 1995).

That might be true or at least plausible if, in order to have a basis, plagiarism would have to stand on some philosophical ground. But the ground plagiarism stands on is more mundane and firm; it is the ground of disciplinary practices and of the histories that have conferred on those practices a strong, even undoubted (though revisable) sense of what kind of work can be appropriately done and what kind of behavior cannot be tolerated. If it is wrong to plagiarize in some context of practice, it is not because the idea of originality has been affirmed by deep philosophical reasoning, but because the ensemble of activities that take place in the practice would be unintelligible if the possibility of being original were not presupposed.

And if there should emerge a powerful philosophical argument saying there’s no such thing as originality, its emergence needn’t alter or even bother for a second a practice that can only get started if originality is assumed as a baseline. It may be (to offer another example), as I have argued elsewhere, that there’s no such thing as free speech, but if you want to have a free speech regime because you believe that it is essential to the maintenance of democracy, just forget what Stanley Fish said — after all it’s just a theoretical argument — and get down to it as lawyers and judges in fact do all the time without the benefit or hindrance of any metaphysical rap. Everyday disciplinary practices do not rest on a foundation of philosophy or theory; they rest on a foundation of themselves; no theory or philosophy can either prop them up or topple them. As long as the practice is ongoing and flourishing its conventions will command respect and allegiance and flouting them will have negative consequences.

This brings me back to the (true) story I began with. Whether there is something called originality or not, the two scholars who began their concluding chapter by reproducing two of my pages are professionally culpable. They took something from me without asking and without acknowledgment, and they profited — if only in the currency of academic reputation — from work that I had done and signed. That’s the bottom line and no fancy philosophical argument can erase it.

Jensen Comment
The really sad fact about professors who plagiarize or otherwise cheat is that their employers may be tougher on student plagiarists than on faculty plagiarists ---

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at

Last night on television news a clip was played of a robber in what I think was a book store. The robber was extremely polite and apologetic when claiming he would not be doing this if his kids were not hungry. But he insisted on taking all the cash in the drawer rather than the $40 offered by the store owner.

On the way out the door the polite robber promised that when he got a job and was back on his feet again he would pay all of the stolen money back.

Would the store owner have committed such a robbery if the roles were reversed?

Are ethics and morality variables that depend upon situational circumstances?
How does Sprite or Pepsi soda fit into the following lecture on morality?
What is heteronomy?

Video:  Immanuel Kant Assumes Categorical Imperatives in a World of Relativity (where we're slaves to our varying necessities)
Professor Sandel @ Harvard University

Here is Professor Sandel’s video introducing Immanuel Kant’s philosophy of ethics. In my opinion, one of the best lectures on ethics. Below is an extract for the one hour lesson --- |

I'm not normally a big fan of Tom Selleck films. But this winter Erika and I have really enjoyed the mystery series in which Selleck plays the role of a crusty  alcoholic chief of police, Jesse Stone, in a town of last resort called Paradise. When asked if he shoots to kill or just wound, his automatic response is the categorical imperative "to kill" followed by reasoning decided early in his law enforcement career. Although we've not seen the entire series as of yet, to date all of his victims do not live to see another day.

Bankruptcy Laws Drive Corporate Default Rates ---

AACSB Task Force Report Addresses the Most Significant Challenge to Business Schools in 50 years.
February 10, 2011

Rarely, if ever, have business schools experienced change as far-reaching and powerful as the current wave of globalization. The need for business schools to understand these changes and respond accordingly is the core tenet of a groundbreaking report—The Globalization of Management Education: Changing International Structures, Adaptive Strategies, and the Impact on Institutions—released today by AACSB International.

In this comprehensive report, the AACSB Globalization of Management Education Task Force asserts that rising expectations from business and society for graduates with global competencies, coupled with the increasing complexity and global connectedness of higher education, command the attention of business schools around the world. The report’s findings draw upon results from a survey of AACSB member schools’ collaborative agreements, a survey of academic thought leaders regarding global content in curricula, and a series of case studies.

Connecting insights from this research with information gleaned through a comprehensive review of existing literature and current events, the Task Force presents a data-driven analysis of the global nature of management education. According to the Task Force, business schools have just begun to experience the wide range of implications of globalization, and to realize the full potential of the opportunities presented.

“The imperative for change is clear. We are at a critical inflection point, and now is the time for all business schools to respond,” said Task Force chair Bob Bruner, dean and Charles C. Abbott Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business. “Schools must develop approaches that will positively impact globalization within the business community and broader society.”

But the Task Force goes beyond simply calling schools to attention. The report presents insights that will help guide individual school strategy development and implementation. Focusing on approaches that include curriculum design, faculty development, and the cultivation of strategic partnerships, the Task Force challenges all business schools to embrace globalization in ways that are mission-appropriate, manageable given available resources, and meaningful to the stakeholders being served.

The report also considers the role of industry-wide initiatives that will move business schools from keeping pace with the sweeping changes of globalization to leading the way. “This definitive report reveals important implications for cross-border alliances, information sharing and benchmarking, and global quality assurance,” said John J. Fernandes, president and chief executive officer of AACSB International. “The Task Force shows that through collaborations with one another and organizations like AACSB, business schools can accelerate and improve globalization.”

A complimentary electronic copy of The Globalization of Management Education: Changing International Structures, Adaptive Strategies, and the Impact on Institutions is available to AACSB member schools and media, and an electronic or hard copy is available for purchase by the general public. Please visit th
e AACSB Globalization of Management Education Resource Center for more information.

Wow! A torpedo just hit the second home market in New York to say nothing of condos owned for incidental use by out-of-state (read that Florida) residents.
Will out-of-state time share owners also get clobbered by this court decision?
If other states adopt this aggressive tax, it might go a long way toward killing the second home lifestyle and real estate market.

"Court: NY Can Tax All Income of Owner of NY Vacation Home Used 17 Days/Year," by Paul Carone, Tax Prof Blog, February 11, 2011 ---

Wall Street Journal, Out-of-State Owners Could Face Tax Bill:

Connecticut and New Jersey residents with a Hamptons summer cottage or a Manhattan pied-a-terre are about to get a nasty surprise: New York state wants more taxes from them.

A New York court ruled last month that all income earned by a New Canaan, Conn., couple is subject to New York state taxes because they own a summer home on Long Island they used only a few times a year. They have been hit with an additional tax bill of $1.06 million. [In re Barker, No. 822324 (NY Tax App. Jan. 13, 2011).] ....

For years, New York law stated that residents of another state who spend more than 183 days a year in New York have to pay taxes on any income they make in this state. But they generally haven't had to pay New York taxes on income they make outside of the state or on their spouses' income if they work elsewhere.

Under the recent ruling, this might change for many out-of-state residents who own vacation homes or apartments here. In effect, it reinterprets what counts as a permanent residence.

In defining a "permanent place of abode," New York tax code specifically excludes "a mere camp or cottage, which is suitable and used only for vacations." New York tax experts say the new ruling is the first they recall that counts summer homes as permanent residences. ....

[The judge] ruled that the couple's Long Island vacation home qualifies under the law as a permanent abode because it was suitable for living year-round—whether or not the couple actually stayed in the home wasn't relevant. Under the ruling, if an owner doesn't spend a single a day in a home it could still count toward a permanent residence.

The Napeague, Long Island, house was purchased by John and Laura Barker for $260,000 in 1997, according to court documents. From 2002 to 2004, the period that was assessed for back taxes, the Barkers said they spent only [17] days a year at the home, usually during the summer.

Jensen Comment
It might be a good year for New York residents to buy second homes and condos at fire sale prices. But don't count too much on making a bundle from  the resale market.

I propose that New Hampshire consider this for all the wealthy out-of-state second home owners. New Hampshire has no income or capital gains tax, but it does have a nasty surprise for them in a cash dividends and interest tax (5%) after a $5,000 deductible.

"The Pulse: Faculty and Social Media," Inside Higher Ed, February 9, 2011 ---

The February 2011 edition of The Pulse, our monthly technology podcast by Rod Murray, features an interview with Brian Hughes, associate director of design, publishing and service at Teachers College's Library at Columbia University. He discusses the best ways to get faculty members comfortable with using social media in teaching. Find out more about The Pulse, and listen to selections from its archive, here.

An Absolute Must Read for Educators
One of the most exciting things I took away from the 2010 AAA Annual Meetings in San Francisco is a hard copy handout entitled "Expanding Your Classroom with Video Technology and Social Media," by Mark Holtzblatt and Norbert Tschakert. Mark later sent me a copy of this handout and permission to serve it up to you at

Social Networking for Education:  The Beautiful and the Ugly
(including Google's Wave and Orcut for Social Networking and some education uses of Twitter)
Updates will be at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

Bob Jensen's links to accounting news ---

Video on How to Increase Marriage and Mortgage Rates: 
I'll Show You Mine if You Show Me Your's (savings portfolios that is)

"Obama report on Fannie, Freddie plan may boost mortgage rates:  Video - The future of Fannie and Freddie The White House is going to propose a range of options to reform Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the mortgage market, which could cause changes to the face of American housing," by Zachary A. Goldfarb and Brady Dennis, Washington Post, February 11, 2011 ---

The Obama administration wants to raise fees for borrowers and require larger down payments for home loans as part of a long-term effort to restructure the nation's housing market. But it warned that these measures could boost mortgage rates and make it harder for home buyers to secure the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, a mainstay of American home buying for decades.

In a long-awaited white paper, the administration said it intends to wind down the federal mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and curtail the Federal Housing Administration to help reduce the government's outsized role in mortgage funding.

The housing finance system, which has ensured that Americans can get home loans, came crashing down in the financial crisis, helping fuel millions of foreclosures and the recession.

"I think it's absolutely the case that the U.S. government provided too much support for housing, too strong incentives for investment in housing," Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said Friday during a speech at the Brookings Institution. He noted that in addition to those fundamental mistakes, the government "allowed a huge amount of basic mortgage business to shift where there was no regulation or oversight."

But in proposing a strategy for the future, administration officials acknowledged they are walking a tightrope. Any steps that dial back government support too dramatically - making mortgages more expensive - could extend the housing decline.

Geithner said that a new housing finance system without Fannie and Freddie could take seven years to put in place, suggesting it might fall in part to future administrations.

"We have to see the process of repair in the housing market completed," Geithner said.

The white paper focuses on a series of short steps to increase fees and down-payment requirements. The administration hopes these measures will allow banks to more effectively compete in offering loans without government guarantees.

The report offers three options for replacing Fannie and Freddie. They include creating a new government agency that would continue to insure mortgages or a new agency that would step in only during times of crisis. Each, however, could put taxpayers at more risk of having to bail out the mortgage market during big declines.

The most drastic option would end government backing for home loans beyond the FHA. But the administration warned that this measure could affect access to credit for many potential homeowners. It could boost mortgage rates the most, the officials said, and it could make it harder for community banks to compete in the housing market.

Continued in article

What Happens to Barney's Rubble? ---

"Is eHarmony Scientific?" by Benjamin Radford, Discovery News, February 14, 2011 ---

Online dating is big business, with dozens of websites offering clients the chance to find love in cyberspace. Dating services, like many other businesses, like to adopt the veneer of scientific validity.

While anyone can set up a web-based dating profile matching system, some websites such as eHarmony.com and Chemistry.com claim to use science to help people find love, romance, or just a quick dip in the gene pool.

eHarmony is perhaps the best known dating service claiming to mix science with seduction. According to the company's website, its marriage profile, "developed by a team of clinical experts... is rooted in classical psychometric theory, which uses well-established standards to measure mental abilities and traits in a reliable way."

It all sounds very scientific. I picture Kate Winslet in a slinky black dress under a white lab coat, mixing a beaker of crimson sex appeal and cool blue psychometric theory.

Yet there are serious questions about the validity of eHarmony's much-vaunted "scientific, 29-dimension" tests. Does their "science" greatly improve the quality or odds of a match? How good is their tests' construct validity? After all, many matches are made without a hint (or claim) of scientific basis for the pairing. Though the company and its founder, Neil Clark Warren, insist that the tests are useful, they have yet to be scientifically validated.

eHarmony, incidentally, does not offer services to same-sex partners because Warren, an evangelical Christian, does not believe homosexuality should be encouraged. However, in 2009 eHarmony launched a gay-friendly sister site called Compatible Partners.

Steven Carter, director of research at eHarmony, wrote an article in the February 2005 issue of the Association for Psychological Science's Observer. Carter offered little or no scientific support for the tests’ claims, but he did state that "to date, we estimate that over 9,000 eHarmony couples have married."

That statistic, if true, clearly doesn't tell the whole story, as it cherry-picks the successes and omits the failures: how many of the eHarmony matches were not compatible?

Does Online Dating Work?

If, by one estimate, there are over 20 million eHarmony members looking for matches or marriage, 9,000 is not really that impressive a success ratio. Furthermore, the real question would seem to be how many of those 9,000 marriages lasted longer than average; for all we know, most of the eHarmony couples may have since divorced.

And what about the science? It seems that Neil Clark Warren, the marriage and relationship expert behind eHarmony, has not published any research in peer-reviewed journals on the subjects of marriage or relationships. A 2011 search of several academic databases (including PsycInfo and MedLine) did not reveal a single article published by Neil Clark Warren on those subjects.

Continued in article

Dell's new tablet computer is no threat to the iPad market
"The Streak 7: Bargain Tablet From Dell Is No Real Deal," Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, February 10, 2011 ---

If you could get a tablet for the price of a smart phone, and if it also worked on one of the new, faster, 4G-class cellular networks, you'd jump at the chance, right? Dell and T-Mobile hope so, and that's why they've brought out the Dell Streak 7, at just $200 with a two-year service contract.

The Streak 7, Dell's second effort to compete with Apple's $500 iPad, is the least expensive tablet I've seen from a major manufacturer, and claims to be the first capable of 4G cellular speeds (it also has Wi-Fi). Like many planned iPad competitors, it runs Google's Android operating system. It's also the first I've tested using a fast new processor from nVidia, the Tegra 2, which will power a number of new tablets this year.

Unfortunately, after a week of testing, I found the compromises Dell made to get to that low price make it impossible for me to recommend the Streak 7. Its screen, battery life, and software are all disappointing, and vastly inferior not only to the iPad's, but also to those on the Samsung Galaxy Tab, a high-quality Android tablet about the size of the Streak 7 released late last year. In other words, you get what you pay for.

Like the Galaxy Tab, the Streak 7 has a 7-inch screen, measured diagonally, or less than half the size of the iPad's. But it's large enough to be properly called a tablet, unlike Dell's first Streak, an odd tweener device with a 5-inch screen—more like a big phone—that was released last year to a tepid response.

Continued in article

"E-Books' Varied Formats Make Citations a Mess for Scholars Kindle, Nook, and other devices put the same text on different pages," by Tushar Rae, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2011 ---

As e-reading devices gain popu­larity, professors and students are struggling to adapt them to an academic fun­damental: proper citations, which other scholars can use.

The trouble is that in electronic formats, there are no fixed pages. The Kindle, developed by Amazon, does away with page numbers entirely. Along with other e-book readers, the Kindle allows users to change font style and size, so the number of words on a screen can vary. Instead of pages, it uses "location numbers" that relate to a specific part of a book.

Other devices, like the Sony Reader, which reflows text based on font size and model of device, have different methods, so the same passage might have a different identifier. Things get more confusing when readers come in various screen sizes.

The inability to find passages limits scholarly research, academics complain, because they depend on citations not only to track down and analyze text, but also as a testament to the accuracy of their own work. "The lack of page numbers is disconcerting," says Rosemary G. Feal, executive director of the Modern Language Association.

To provide guidance for the e-book world, the three major keepers of academic-citation style—the Modern Language Association's MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, the American Psychological Association, and the University of Chicago Press, publisher of The Chicago Manual of Style—have taken steps to answer the question of how to cite e-books. But many scholars are unaware of such guidelines, or find the new citation styles awkward.

The MLA suggests treating all e-books in the same way as a digital file (like a Micro­soft Word document posted online) when listed in a bibliography. That means simply adding the kind of digital file used to the end of the traditional citation. To indicate where the snippet comes from within the file, the MLA recommends using section and paragraph numbers, if available. That's the same way the handbook suggests handling any work that lacks page numbers.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at ---

"Seven Tough Questions for the 'Cloud'," by Rick Telberg, CPA Trendlines, February 9, 2011 ---

In 2007, Kate Reiling enrolled in the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, specifically to develop a business plan for Morphology

"B-School Startups: The Birth of Morphology A bitter cold night in Minnesota spawns a hit board game for a Tuck MBA entrepreneur," by Sommer Saadi, Business Week, January 31, 2011 ---

Editor's Note: This story is part of Bloomberg Businessweek's occasional series on the world of startups. The series focuses on MBAs and undergraduate business students who developed their ideas or launched their businesses while still in school and the many ways their schools helped them get their new ventures off the ground. For a look at some business students trying to build their own businesses, check out our slide show.

Kate Ryan Reiling's big idea came on a freezing Minnesota night in 2002. It was too cold to venture out, so Reiling and her friends decided to stay in and play board games. They didn't like their choices—Jenga or Pente—so they opted to invent their own game.

What they came up with was something similar to a 3D version of Pictionary. A member of a team picks a word, and using an assortment of objects, such as string, glass beads, colored cubes, and wooden sticks, she builds the word for her teammates to guess before time runs out.


. . .

Crucial Toolkit
In 2007, Reiling enrolled in the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, specifically to develop a business plan for Morphology. She had a good feeling about Tuck. "There was a really exciting energy around the entrepreneurship program," she says, "a real sense that this was something the school was focused on nurturing."

In a course called First-Year Project, taught by adjunct professor Gregg Fairbrothers, she learned about scheduling and organization and how to work with investors, suppliers, and distributors. Fairbrothers calls the course a toolkit for students. "There are a bunch of things a businessperson needs to learn somewhere, and we're providing an accelerated, comprehensive way of picking up those tools," he says.

For three-months, Reiling and a few of her classmates worked on her business idea—and by the end of the course had refined her prototype and put together a convincing business proposal. So convincing, in fact, that the venture capitalists evaluating her assignment were interested in investing. "The whole final presentation was validation for me that I was onto something," Reiling says. "I realized I had the idea; now I needed the company."

Despite everything she'd learned in her first year at Tuck, Reiling wanted more time before she started accepting funding. She did, however, sell her first prototype to Fairbrothers for $50.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment are at

Flaunting the NCAA Academic Standards for Top Athletes

"Bad Apples or More?" by Doug Lederman, Inside Highe Ed, February 7, 2011 ---

The National Collegiate Athletic Association punished nearly half of all big-time college sports programs for major violations of its rules in the last decade, an Inside Higher Ed analysis shows.

The review finds that 53 of the 120 universities in the NCAA’s top competitive level, the Football Bowl Subdivision, were found by the NCAA's Division I Committee on Infractions to have committed major rules violations from 2001 to 2010. That number appears to have held largely constant from the previous two decades, but the 2000s show that the number of colleges that committed serious violations of the association’s academic rules nearly doubled, to 15 from 8 in the 1990s.

Exactly what these results say about the state of NCAA rule-breaking and enforcement is to some extent in the eye of the beholder. To many critics of big-time college sports, the fact that so many major programs committed what the association deems major violations of its rules is likely to undermine the argument -- historically heard from some sports officials -- that rule-breaking is relegated to “a few bad apples” (an argument likely to resonate with those paying attention to the debate in Washington over for-profit colleges).

To others, though, the large number of colleges ensnared in the NCAA’s infractions process is evidence that the association has an impossibly complex (and, some would argue, arcane) set of rules that virtually no program can follow to a tee. Some argue that college and university sports officials -- with bigger compliance staffs and more cooperation with NCAA investigators -- are doing a much better job ferreting out (and self-reporting) wrongdoing in their own programs.

Still others point out that, especially compared to some of the high-profile pay-for-play and other scandals of the 1980s and 1990s, many of the cases in the last decade involve relatively minor violations, such as excessive phone calls to recruits.

Yet even some experts who take a more upbeat view of the infractions statistics admit to concern about the increase in academically related violations, which they attribute, at least in part, to changes in NCAA eligibility rules that lowered the minimum academic requirements for freshmen and imposed penalties on teams and colleges whose athletes do not make consistent progress toward a degree. (See related Views article here.)

Continued in article

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

"In Defense of Grade Grubbers," by Noah Roderick, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, February 8, 2011 ---

Most gripe sessions in the college-faculty lunchroom these days include complaints that today's students are addicted to praise. They are unable to take constructive criticism and unwilling to settle for anything less than an A. When we teachers were undergraduates—the story goes—the curriculum was so rigorous and the teachers so tough that a C was something we worked for.

I've been an enthusiastic participant in these gripe sessions. After all, one of the most tedious and contemptible parts of my job as a teacher is having a grade-grubbing student hold me up after class to try to wrangle an extra few points out of her test or paper, especially if that student already did well on the assignment. I tell myself time and again that I'd take 20 C, or even D, students who struggle but who are intellectually engaged with the material over one A student who simply hits the marks.

In the past couple of years, however, I've tried to get to know the grade-grubbers a bit more. A few of them do seem to need constant external validation. But for the most part, the students I had dismissed as grade-grubbers have good and pressing reasons for being so obsessed with their marks. As state support for higher education withers and reckless administrators lavish millions of dollars on athletic facilities, franchise restaurants, and conference centers, students are being asked to foot a larger percentage of the bill. Most rely upon the predatory student-loan industry, but increasing numbers of students also qualify for, and depend upon, scholarships that often require a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or greater. So while most colleges put students on academic probation when their GPA's drop below 2.0, the threshold that marks the difference between staying in school and being forced out is actually much higher for some students.

In addition, students whose scholarships are contingent upon their participation in extracurricular activities, such as sports, are asked to spend extravagant amounts of time practicing, and they often miss class to travel. As for the nonathletes, they're busy working. According to a 2008 study by the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of college students with full-time jobs increased significantly between 1970 and 2006. The consequences of having to spend time earning a living—time that should be spent studying in a library or getting a good night's sleep—are, of course, evident for those students who work a graveyard shift and perform poorly in class.

Along with labels like "entitled" and "overpraised," this generation of students is accused of not taking enough risks. Educators everywhere seem to agree that risk-taking is what leads learners to the ethical and cognitive holy grail of contemporary education: critical thinking. Today's students' apparent unwillingness to take risks, however, is not solely a manifestation of their overpraised or consumerist culture—rather, it is a rational response to their material circumstances. It's not that this generation of students isn't exposed to risk; it's that the risks students could be taking—in their thinking, writing, and course selections—are being displaced by fear of the dire consequences of falling below unnecessarily high GPA requirements.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
One of the leading factors contributing to my decision to retire was to escape the "grade grubbers," especially those graduate students receiving a B who nagged me to death for an A grade. The C and lower grade students generally accepted their fate, but B students frequently tried to negotiate grade upgrades. I seldom lost in these negotiations but grew tired of the hostility when I encountered the same students in another graduate course. In graduate school an A is average, B is below average, and C is almost failing if a 3.00 gpa is required for graduation --- as is the case in graduate school in the various universities where I was on the faculty.

I once had a proof of mine plagiarized in a dastardly way

Jensen Comment
I can't recall adding "QED" to the bottom of anything since I retired. However, I once had a QED proof that was plagiarized by a reviewer who later published the proof as his own proof. The best I got was a belated reference to my working paper when he was called out by an angry Editor.
My still unpublished working paper is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/127wp/127wp.htm
The proof is in Exhibits 2 and 3.
Over the years I've had an amazing number of requests for this old working paper.
When the technology became available, I finally served it up at 

"PhD Degree revoked, plagiarist will pay to settle lawsuit Saturday, by Encarnacion Pyle, The Columbus Dispatch, February 5, 2011 ---
Thank you David Albrecht for the heads up.

An Ohio State University graduate whose degree was revoked last year for plagiarizing has agreed to pay another professor $15,000 to settle a federal lawsuit.

In August, a Bowling Green State University professor sued Elisabeth Nixon, an OSU alumnus who received her doctorate in 2006, saying she stole multiple passages from her dissertation.

A month later, an academic-misconduct committee at Ohio State concluded that Nixon had plagiarized and ordered her to return her diploma. Nixon, a Clintonville resident, has worked on and off as a part-time faculty member at four campuses: Columbus State Community College, Franklin University, Otterbein University and Western Kentucky University.

In her complaint, Montana C. Miller, a folklore professor, asked the federal court to order Nixon to stop copying her work and to destroy any material that contained unauthorized excerpts. Miller of Perrysburg in northwestern Ohio also requested damages and any profit Nixon might have earned from the copied material.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Sometimes a reverse plagiarism also transpires. One of my former colleagues, a professor of business and department chair, was called back by one of the most prestigious universities in the United States to give reason why his PhD should not be revoked due to plagiarism, in his thesis, of published works of an accounting professor at that prestigious institution. My colleague was totally shocked and confused. During the hearings on this matter it became evident that the accounting professor had instead plagiarized my friend's dissertation and not vice versa.

It's important to note that the university was prepared to punish the student severely by revoking his PhD degree. But in the case of the cheating faculty member there was no punishment. I know this professor and know that he continued to teach for that institution as a tenured professor. Perhaps punishment for cheating only works in one direction.


Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at

Death Tax --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_tax#Future_of_tax_on_inheritances

I should preface this tidbit by stating that I personally prefer high estate taxes because I think descendants wealthy people should make there own way in life even though they probably were advantaged with exclusive private school educations, world travel, and fantastic medical care. Having said this, if a multimillionaire came to me for advice, I would tell them to avoid certain states at all costs, including such nice retirement states as Hawaii, Vermont, and Oregon. The Garden State has nice green grass over its graves but it's a lousy place to die if you're very wealthy.

If you live in one of the following states it is probably best to call a real estate agent and a moving van company as quickly as possible. And then die as soon as possible before Congress brings back the Federal death tax.

"Death Tax Ambush: Many States Now Have Crushing Burdens," The Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2011 ---

Family business owners, ranchers, farmers and wealthy retirees can avoid that tax by relocating to Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, South Carolina and other states that don't impose inheritance taxes. There are plenty of attractive places to go.

New research indicates that high state death taxes may be financially self-defeating. A 2011 study by the Ocean State Policy Research Institute, a think tank in Rhode Island, examined Census Bureau migration data and discovered that "from 1995 to 2007 Rhode Island collected $341.3 million from the estate tax while it lost $540 million in other taxes due to out-migration."

Not all of those people left because of taxes, but the study found evidence that "the most significant driver of out-migration is the estate tax." After Florida eliminated its estate tax in 2004, there was a significant acceleration of exiles from Rhode Island to Florida.

Continued in article

Slemrod sees US tax/death experiment
Ig Nobel Prize winner Joel Slemrod (of the University of Michigan) celebrates/rues/assesses a grand US government experiment that will test his prize-winning theory:
Thank you Paul Polinski for the heads up

A few years ago I called Marc Abrahams offering to return my 2001 Ig Nobel Prize in economics (won jointly with Wojciech Kopczuk [of Columbia University). Our prize-winning research showed that when estate taxes are known in advance to be changing, some people time their deaths (or have their deaths timed for them) so as to save their heirs money. The evidence: in the U.S. history of estate taxes, when tax rates went up, there were less (than otherwise) deaths after the law change, and when tax rates went down, there were more deaths after the law change. Not many more (or less), but a statistically significant amount—and only for those rich enough that the estate tax actually would apply. My call to Marc was to inform him that our findings had recently been replicated in both Australian data and Swedish data. In 2001, the Prize criterion was for discoveries “that cannot, or should not, be reproduced,” but now our research had been reproduced (even if arguably it should not have been.) Marc told me not to worry because after 2001 the Ig criterion had been changed to achievements that “first make people laugh, and then make them think” and that our research therefore still qualified.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's taxation helpers are at

The AACSB Bridge Program for Increasing Accounting Faculty Without PhD Degrees in Accountancy ---

Actually the AACSB Bridge Program cuts across all business concentrations (accounting, management, finance, etc.). There are fewer universities that "bridge" accountants, and to be honest with you I never was optimistic that the Bridge Program would significantly impact the supply of accounting faculty, What I had not anticipated was the accompanying Pilot program that has been quite successful under the leadership of Kansas State's Dan Deines.:

"The Accounting Pilot and Bridge Project,"  by Joe Bittner, Dan Deines, and Glenda Eichman, New Accountant, February 2011 ---

The pilot course is a full-year course, based on approximately 90 – 100 contact hours with students from August/September through May/June. It is a rigorous, college-level course that emphasizes analytical and decision-making skills, and uses an integrated approach to teach financial accounting, managerial accounting, and financial statement analysis concepts. The course is structured so that students make business decisions and analyze the impact of those decisions on financial statements. As a result, students learn the critical role that accountants play in business.

To participate in the pilot course, teachers must attend an intensive three-day professional development workshop that offers subject-specific training on the content of the course, best practices for teaching accounting, and a forum for exchanging ideas about how to implement the course and exam. Now entering its fifth year, the Accounting Pilot and Bridge Project has trained approximately 450 teachers nationwide.

Continued in article


Management Education at Risk (AACSB, 2002) ---

Business School Faculty Trends in 2008 ---

The Sad State of Accounting Doctoral Programs ---

Before there was a CAPM model there was the seminal portfolio theory contribution (1952) if Harry Markowitz who later wrote one of the most remarkable books  in the history of economics and finance. Markowitz's theory was outstanding but the practicality of inverting matrices of the order of 1,000 or more rows was out of the question, whereupon subsequent Nobel Prize winners (Treynor, Sharpe, and Lintner) independently developed a more practical single-index (CAPM) approach for implementing the portfolio theory of Harry Markowitz. --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAPM

Nobel Laureate Harry Markowitz --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Markowitz

Video (apart from an introduction to Professor Markowitz that is entirely too long)
Markowitz' views on Modern Portfolio Theory in his own words ---

Aside from accountics research on human behavior, I'm not certain that any other discovery in history has had more impact on accountics research than the portfolio risk diversification theory of Harry Markowitz that is the root of the CAPM single-index model of portfolio risk.

Without the Markowitz portfolio of risk diversification and the subsequent CAPM accountics research might never have become so dominant in academic accounting research. In later years new findings about the limitations of a single index-model risk model like the CAPM became revealed to a point where many of the accountics research findings over decades of TAR, JAR, JAE, CAR, and BAR publishing are now in serious doubt. Students can even purchase and plagiarize from term paper mill essays of the limitations of the CAPM
Also scroll down at

The limitations of CAPM, however, do not detract from the outstanding seminal theory of Harry Markowitz on risk diversification in general.

February 20, 2011 reply from Jagdish Gangolly


The following Nobel lecture by Markowitz is one of the clearest exposition of the genesis of portfolio theory I have come across: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1990/markowitz-lecture.pdf 

His autobiography is at http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1990/markowitz-autobio.html 

I am not surprised, for his book on Portfolio Selection (one of the readings for an operations research course I took way back in 1967, when the finance and economics folks had pretty much ignored it) too is one of the clearest exposition of the mechanics of portfolio selection decision.

Markowitz also had serendipity on his side. He stood on the shoulders of Jacob Marschak, Leonard Savage, Milton Friedman, Tjalling Koopmans, and Milton Friedman among others. It is a pity that Marschak and Savage did not win the Nobels. Savage dies in 1971 and Marchak in 1977; the Nobel committee had probably not exhausted bestowing them on traditional economists palatable to mainstream ones. However, Jacob Marschak, Markowitz's advisor, may have been the only person all of whose doctoral students went on to win the Nobels: Markowitz, Horowitz, and Modigliani.

In the last paragraph of the Nobel lecture Markowitz talks about his dissertation defense where Milton Friedman argued that the work was not in Economics. An example of the tunnel vision that economists usually suffer from.


We're going to eat your lunch.
Mike Milken (to not-for-profit colleges following his multimillion investment in for-profit ventures)
Now virtually none of the for-profits can make it on their own without Federal government loans to students. It really turns out that Mike Milken should've been referring to taxpayers in the above quotation.

"For-Profit Higher Ed: 20 Questions," by Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, February 20, 2011 ---

1. Who is doing comparative research on the for-profit educational sector and the professionals who work in this industry?

2. Where can we find research on the for-profit educational sector that is unbiased and peer reviewed?

3. What researchers or institutions are conducting research on the for-profit education sector that presents balanced views of both the positives and negatives of this growing sector?

4. What can this research on for-profits teach us about the changing landscape of higher ed?

5. What can this research on for-profits teach us about improving the quality and affordability of all sectors of the postsecondary education market, including public and private non-profit institutions?

6. What is life like for a professor at a for-profit university?

7. How does an academic career at a for-profit resemble and differ from a career at a traditional nonprofit?
8. Does a full-time faculty position for a for-profit include research and service, or is it all about teaching?

9. Assuming that tenure is not a part of the picture of a for-profit professor (is this correct?), what sort of academic freedom and protection do for-profit full-time faculty enjoy?

10. Is a for-profit academic career a viable alternative for a new PhD?

11. How many full-time, teaching gigs exist at for-profits? How does this number compare to nonprofits?

12. How is the employment picture for full-time professors at for-profits changing?

13. What proportion of full-time faculty at for-profits have PhDs?

14. Is there a career path from part-time, adjunct faculty to full-time faculty at a for-profit?

15. What are the proportions for part-timers vs. full-timers across non-profits and for-profits?

16. What opportunities or forums or places exist for people who work in the non-profit and for-profit sectors to come together and honestly discuss what we are doing, and what we can learn from each other?

17. How would we rank for-profits in terms of quality and value for the money from a student perspective? Does such a ranking exist?

18. How would we compare and contrast the quality of non-profits with for-profits? Do such comparisons exist?

19. Who would be interested in research on the for-profit education sector, and why?

20. What are your questions about for-profit higher education?

"Loan-Default Rate at For-Profit Colleges Would Double Under New Formula," by Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 4, 2011 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on the gray zone of fraud in for-profit universities ---

Do great books sell themselves?
Apart from the Disappearing Spoons book itself, the article below has some things to say about book marketing. Some years back I remember receiving several copies of a book where each copy was contained in a really fancy box. After reading a goodly portion of the book I decided that the "gift" was more marketing hype than book content. I really did not care for the book in spite of really admiring one of the great authors who is also a friend. This book proved to me that really great scholars can write some pretty bad books --- especially when they are trying too hard to be creative. The book by the way is entitled:
Thog’s Guide to Quantum Economics: 50,000 Years of Accounting Basics for the Future
Copyright 2005 by Mike Brown and Zoe-Vonna Palmrose with Illustrations by Warren Miller.
Distributed by MAC Productions (Duvall, WA), ISBN 0-9764694-0-5.
As of February 20, 2011 Amazon has four copies left and Barnes & Noble has no copies available.

"Sharing 'The Disappearing Spoon'," by Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, February 10, 2010 ---

The nicest thing that one person can do for another is to give a book (maybe that is why I'm such a librarian groupie!). Imagine my joy when the UPS guy dropped off a big box full of 12 books! Actually 12 copies of The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements, by Sam Kean.

The books were sent by Amanda Tobier, a marketing manager at Little, Brown and Company. I had written a brief blog about the book, and Amanda reached out to me wondering if I'd like to share some copies of the book around campus. I'm not quite sure the best way to pass these books along to my campus community. Choices include:



I just don't know.

Any ideas? How would you find loving homes on your campus for this wonderful book?

Anyway, I was so happy with this box of books I decided to ask Amanda what motivated her to send it along. Below is a quick e-mail interview that I did with Amanda:

My Question: Why did you decide to send a box of the The Disappearing Spoon to me? What were your motivations?

Amanda's Answer: I sent out copies of The Disappearing Spoon knowing (hoping!) that you would better be able to find the right academic audience for the book. I’m limited in how I can find readers of a particular niche, because I am not in that niche myself, so it is of immeasurable help to have that assistance.

My Question: What do you think would be the best way to get this book into the "consciousness" or "zeitgeist" of my institution? How do you think the copies of the book should be distributed.

Amanda's Answer: The best way to get into the zeitgeist is probably something you know best! Maybe your community responds to contests, or challenges. The responders who have the funniest/smartest/most unique request for the book, perhaps. Or maybe it can inspire some short blog posts of their own—each person who wins a copy would then write up a short review. Or maybe teachers/students would write about their own favorite element.

My Question: How common is it to send a box of popular nonfiction books, books that could (and should) be assigned in courses and read by our faculty / students / staff, to campuses.

Amanda's Answer: Sending out books like this is fairly unusual. Publishers generally depend on the outreach of their academic marketing departments, which issue catalogs and attend conferences where faculty can request books for consideration of adopting for their courses. In seeking out bloggers like you, I know there is already interest, and it is a more focused approach. It sometimes also requires more work, but that’s the fun part of my job.

My Question: You sent a box of hardcover books - but I read the book in audio format from audible.com. Do you think that there is room for "seeding" books like this on campus with digital copies (from either e-books or audiobooks). What would be the pros and cons.

Amanda's Answer: Digital copies are always a possibility, especially when we are offering enhanced versions of the ebook. It’s a great way to introduce potential readers to the extra components of an ebook, or an audio book. There are no cons, I think—it still promotes reading, and readers can choose how they prefer to view/read/listen to the book.

My Question: How much adoption on college campuses have you seen around The Disappearing Spoon. Have you worked on other titles (or can you think of other popular nonfiction books) that have really taken off on campuses?

Amanda's Answer:The Disappearing Spoon has been adopted by several schools (that we know of, there could be more.) And we know there will be many more when the book comes out in paperback this spring. We have had huge success with all of Malcolm Gladwell’s books, and more recently, with Jonathan Safran Foer’s book on vegetarianism, Eating Animals.

Continued in article


Enormous Scandals in Higher Ed:  Reduced Course Rigor and Grade Inflation

NPR Audio
"A Lack Of Rigor Leaves Students 'Adrift' In College," , NPR, February 9, 2011 ---

As enrollment rates in colleges have continued to increase, a new book questions whether the historic number of young people attending college will actually learn all that much once they get to campus. In Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, two authors present a study that followed 2,300 students at 24 universities over the course of four years. The study measured both the amount that students improved in terms of critical thinking and writing skills, in addition to how much they studied and how many papers they wrote for their courses.

Richard Arum, a co-author of the book and a professor of sociology at New York University, tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that the fact that more than a third of students showed no improvement in critical thinking skills after four years at a university was cause for concern.

"Our country today is part of a global economic system, where we no longer have the luxury to put large numbers of kids through college and university and not demand of them that they are developing these higher order skills that are necessary not just for them, but for our society as a whole," Arum says.

Part of the reason for a decline in critical thinking skills could be a decrease in academic rigor; 35 percent of students reported studying five hours per week or less, and 50 percent said they didn't have a single course that required 20 pages of writing in their previous semester.

According to the study, one possible reason for a decline in academic rigor and, consequentially, in writing and reasoning skills, is that the principal evaluation of faculty performance comes from student evaluations at the end of the semester. Those evaluations, Arum says, tend to coincide with the expected grade that the student thinks he or she will receive from the instructor.

"There's a huge incentive set up in the system [for] asking students very little, grading them easily, entertaining them, and your course evaluations will be high," Arum says.

At every university, however, there are students who defy the trend of a decline in hours spent studying — and who do improve their writing and thinking skills. The study found this to occur more frequently at more selective colleges and universities, where students learn slightly more and have slightly higher academic standards. Overall, though, the study found that there has been a 50 percent decline in the number of hours a student spends studying and preparing for classes from several decades ago.

"If you go out and talk to college freshmen today, they tell you something very interesting," Arum says. "Many of them will say the following: 'I thought college and university was going to be harder than high school, and my gosh, it turned out it's easier.' "

Contininued in article (including an excerpt from the book)

Bob Jensen's threads on the scandal of grade inflation are at

"Student Evaluations, Grade Inflation, and Declining Student Work Effort," by Richard Vedder, The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 19, 2010 ---

The Chronicle's Susannah Tully has brought my attention to a great article in the prestigious Journal of Political Economy by Scott Carrell and James West dealing with professorial approaches to teaching, student evaluations and student performance. It seems professors who do more than teach the basic bare-bones knowledge and are in some sense more rigorous tend to get poorer student evaluations (no surprise there). The less rigorous professors even get good performances out of their students in the courses taught but those students subsequently, in follow up courses, do poorer than the more rigorous professors who do more than teach to the standardized test. Sounds reasonable to me.

This got me thinking more about student evaluations and some other evidence. Specifically, I would note that student evaluations began to become popular during the 1960s and early 1970s as a common evaluation tool for faculty. I would also note that most of the great grade inflation in America has occurred since evaluations began, with national grade point averages probably rising from the 2.5 or 2.6 range in about 1960 to well over 3.0 today (admittedly, this is based on limited but I believe likely correct evidence). Professors to some extent can "buy" good evaluations by giving high grades, so the evaluation process is probably a major factor in grade inflation.

So what? What difference does it really make if the average grade is a B- or C+ instead of a B or B+? This is where another working paper of the National Bureau of Economic Research comes in. Philip Babcock and Mindy Marks present evidence in Working Paper 15954 that in 1961, the average student spent 40 hours a week engaged in their studies—attending class and studying. By 2003, this had declined by nearly one-third to 27 hours weekly.

One advantage of getting old is that you gain some historical perspective, and I have been in higher education for over a half of century and believe that Babcock and Marks are right. Students do less reading, less studying, even less attending class than two generations ago. Why? They don't have to do more. With relatively little work they can get relatively high grades—say a B or even better. And student evaluations are one factor in explaining the underlying grade inflation problem. Go to the campusbuddy.com Web site and see for yourself evidence on the grade-inflation phenomenon. The colleges of education, which in my judgment should be put out of business (topic for another blog), are the worst offenders, but the problem is pretty universal.

College is getting more expensive all the time—and students are consuming less of it per year as measured by time usage. The cost of college per hour spent in studying is rising a good deal faster than what tuition data alone suggest. Why should the public subsidize mostly middle-class kids working perhaps 900 hours a year (half the average of American workers) on their studies?

What to do? We could move to reduce the impact of student evaluations, or even eliminate them. One reason for their existence—to convey knowledge to students about professor—is usually met separately by other means, such as the RateMyProfessors.com Web site. Alternatively, colleges could by mandate or the use of financial incentives encourage faculty to become more rigorous in their grading. If state subsidies started to vary inversely in size with grade-point averages, state schools would quickly reduce grade inflation. In any case, we need more research into WHY students today are working less. But I would bet a few bucks that grade inflation and student evaluations are part of the answer

Bob Jensen attributes most of the grade inflation problem in North America to teaching evaluations that greatly impact hiring (for faculty seek a new employer), promotion, tenure, and other factors affected by performance evaluations. In fact I call grade inflation the Number One Disgrace in Higher Education ---

Now that I'm retired, I've cherry picked from the stacks of teaching evaluations and plan to carry only the best outcomes when I eventually confront St Peter at the Pearly Gates. But there's a nasty rumor among my retired professor friends that St Peter has online access to grading distributions. Better watch out!

"Prisoners stole millions from the IRS in 2009," by Kevin McCoy, USA Today, February 17, 2011 ---

Prisoners in Florida, Georgia and California lead the nation's inmate population in scamming payments from an unlikely benefactor: the IRS.

Seemingly proving the adage that crime pays, even behind bars, prisoners in the three states received nearly $19 million in IRS refunds during 2009 after filing false or fraudulent tax returns, according to an IRS report to Congress that was included in a federal audit released in January.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Florida also leads the nation in Medicare fraud such as phony medical equipment billings where Cuban immigrants (possibly aided by the Cuban government) are often masters of deception.---

Sort of makes me wonder how much of the IRS refunding fraud in Florida makes finds its ultimate home in Cuba.

Our Jr. Debuty Accountant, Adrienne Gonzalez, manages to analyze the AOL purchase of Huffington Post without using the F-word, but in some of her other recent postings I conclude that this will not be a trend ---

"Why Most Facebook Marketing Doesn't Work," ReadWrite Blog, February 17, 2011 ---

For almost four years, since the Facebook Platform was launched, I have been involved in delivering Facebook apps for top brands such as CBS, NBC, Lifetime, Universal Music, Visa and more. Here's what we have learned doesn't work, and more importantly, what does work.

First, deep campaigns don't work. Digital agencies love deep, expensive campaigns on Facebook, with tons of pages, interaction, and art. It fits in with how agencies build microsites and websites, and justifies the $100,000-plus price tag that they like to charge. Examples include lightweight games, prediction contests, treasure hunts where you include friends, and such. Unfortunately for agencies and the brands that drop a lot of cash, Facebook users decidedly don't like deep campaigns.

hey do not like to spend 20 or 30 minutes on a single brand's page, unless they are consuming innovative, funny, or exclusive content. So a travel site looking for a long time spent on a page should not put up a treasure hunt on a world map where you invite your friends and can together find great prizes after exploring cities. Sounds good in a pitch meeting, but it results in abysmally numbers of active users.

Facebook users are very sophisticated, and there is no way a single campaign is going to compete on game mechanics with CityVille. If you want to build CityVille, it might work. But, even Netflix pulled their Facebook app. You're better off putting up a bunch of funny videos from around the world and leave it at that.

Lots of Apps on One Tab Don't Work

It is easy to think of a Facebook tab like a Web page, and throw a bunch of features on it - such as a poll, gifting, and some videos - all on one tab. However, most users do not show up on a Facebook tab like they do on a Web page. They are usually coming in by clicking on a page's newsfeed posting ("What kind of traveller are you? Take the quiz!"), a friend's newsfeed posting ("I'm a cranky traveller! What kind of traveller are you? Take the quiz?"), or a Facebook ad ("Find out what kind of traveller you are!").

Now, if after clicking on one of these links a user is dropped into a Facebook Page tab with eight different things on it, they are not going to see a quiz immediately and move on. There should only be one engagement feature per tab.

Sweepstakes Don't Work

After an initial onslaught of Facebook sweepstakes promotions, marketers are learning that sweepstakes have very low conversion rates and almost no viral uptake. We're also learning that they attract unengaged users who are there for the prize rather than a relationship with the brand.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on social networking are at

From the Scout Report on February 4, 2011

Minus 1.21 --- http://min.us/ 

Who doesn't love to share pictures, documents, and music with friends? The Minus site makes that all possible, with just one simple step. Users can use the Minus site to drag files from their desktop and folders into their browser, and then get started. Visitors will find a helpful FAQ area on the site, and they can also learn more about the company's work. This version is compatible will operating systems and it works best with browsers such as Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari.

Cacoo --- http://cacoo.com/ 

If you are looking for a simple and flexible online drawing tool, look no further than Cacoo. This handy application can be used to create a variety of diagrams, including site maps, wire frames, and network charts. Visitors can take a tour in order to get acquainted with some of the features. Cacoo also allows for real-time collaboration, which can be a very valuable asset. This version is compatible with all operating systems.

Film music composer John Barry passes away at 77 John Barry

BBC News: John Barry talks about his memories working in cinema http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-12323565 

David Arnold pays tribute to 'governor' John Barry http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-12324183

Cutting Edge Tries New Model for Film Music --- http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/business/media/31score.html?ref=todayspaper 

Film Score Monthly http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/daily/index.cfm 

John Barry Interview

From the Scout Report on February 14, 2011

Tuppy --- https://tuppy.com/ 

People who use social networks for business or leisure will find that Tuppy may be a good thing to know about. Represented by a rather happy looking sheep, the Tuppy interface is a tool designed to unify and organize accounts from different social networks. Visitors can manage their accounts by adding new entries to blogs, updating status messages, or uploading photos or video clips. Tuppy is compatible with all operating systems.

TokBox --- http://me.tokbox.com/ 

If you are trying to gather a group of people for a conference or chat, TokBox may be just the perfect thing. Visitors can use the video chat feature to include up to 20 participants in a call, import contacts from Gtalk and Facebook, and also text chat with other people during the call. Also, visitors can share YouTube videos and files. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 2000 and newer.

Jensen Comment
TokBox dropped its free video conference software --- http://www.tokbox.com/blog/?p=1701
However, it commenced OpenTalk that allows groups to have live video conversations --- http://www.tokbox.com/opentok/showcase

February 12, 2011 message from Rick Lillie

Hi Bob,

Last year, TokBox decided to drop the video messaging feature of its service and focus on multi-party video conferencing and chat. I told them that I felt they were making a big mistake with this service change.

I replaced TokBox with two other services (i.e., Eyejot and YouTube). Eyejot is a video email messaging service. YouTube added an option that makes it possible to upload a video and keep it private but shareable.

I'm using Eyejot with all my students. It's working very well and students really like it. I've been able to integrate Eyejot into Blackboard. Students can send me a video message of up to 5 minutes in length. Soon, Eyejot is supposed to increase the message time from 5 minutes to 10 minutes.

Tokbox went its way. I went mine. Life continues.

Rick Lillie
CalState San Bernardino

Owner of the Washington Redskins Intent on Continuing His Lawsuit Versus D.C. Weekly Dan Snyder's Odd Case Against Washington City Paper [Free registration may be required]

Could Dan Snyder's lawsuit threaten Redskin's return to D.C.? http://voices.washingtonpost.com/debonis/2011/02/why_dan_snyders_redskins_shoul.html 

NFL.com: Snyder says club is exploring relocating Redskin Park

The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder

ALA: Notable First Amendment court cases

The Helmet Project http://www.nationalchamps.net/Helmet_Project/

From the Scout Report on February 18, 2011

Splashup --- http://splashup.com/

Splashup is an online photo and image editor that gives users the ability to add multiple layers of depth, manipulate color tones, and also work with 24 different tools. The program is quite easy to use. Visitors won't need to download anything extra to use the program and files can be saved in a variety of file formats. This program is compatible with all operating systems.  

Movavi --- http://online.movavi.com/ 

Movavi is an online video converter that works simply and quickly to make a range of files available for a variety of purposes. Visitors can add the URL of a file to the online converter, and it can convert files up to a size of 100MB. Users can also select an output format. In addition, there's a FAQ section and a collection of short guides to using the program. This program is compatible with all operating systems

New Census data shows the continuing challenges and successes in New Orleans five years after Hurricane Katrina Census data highlights travails of Katrina victims http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-14/census-data-highlights-travails-of-katrina-victims.html 

Census Bureau Releases First Detailed Data on Katrina Damage to New Orleans Area Housing http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/housing/cb11-28.html 

St. Tammany Parish president again pushes for Katrina loan forgiveness http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/02/st_tammany_parish_president_ag.html 

American Housing Survey for the New Orleans Metropolitan Area: 2009

Greater New Orleans Community Data Center [pdf] http://www.gnocdc.org/ 

Hurricane Digital Memory Bank: Collecting and Preserving the Stories of Katrina and Rita http://hurricanearchive.org/ 

The Katrina Research Center http://www.usm.edu/katrina/digital-archives.php


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

Education Tutorials

350 Free Online Courses from Top Universities --- http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses
Note that students may often take the courses for learning purposes, but without a grading process there is no transcript credit.

National Archives: Teachers' Resources --- http://www.archives.gov/education/

Open Studio [Flash Player artistic tutorials] --- http://blogs.getty.edu/openstudio/

Energy Savers: Your Home --- http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/

Child Trends --- http://childtrends.org/

Improbable Research --- http://improbable.com

The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy --- http://coalition4evidence.org/wordpress/

From the Scout Report on February 14, 2011

Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project: Trend Data [pdf]

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has created this terrific site
which brings together many of their data sets, charts, and graphs in one
convenient location. Here visitors can look over ten different data sets,
including "Who's Online", "Online Activities", and "Daily Internet
Activities". Some of these data sets are available as Excel files, and they
will be of tremendous benefit to journalists, educators, and public policy
scholars. Visitors are encouraged to use this data for a variety of
reporting purposes and other needs, and they may also wish to click on the
"Research Toolkit" as well. Here they will find experts, additional data
sets, and survey questions from previous surveys


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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

350 Free Online Courses from Top Universities --- http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses
Note that students may often take the courses for learning purposes, but without a grading process there is no transcript credit.

MIT OpenCourseWare: Introduction to Solid State Chemistry

Annenberg Space for Photography [Flash Player] --- http://www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org/

Earth Science Teaching Plans and Classroom Activities --- http://geology.com/teacher/

Essentials of Geology --- http://www.wwnorton.com/college/geo/egeo/welcome.htm

NOAA Ocean Explorer: Lophelia II 2010: Oil Seeps and Deep Reefs [pdf, Flash Player]

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food [Macromedia Flash Player]

Food Research And Action Center --- http://www.frac.org/index.html

Alcohol Studies Database --- http://www2.scc.rutgers.edu/alcohol_studies/alcohol/

Energy Savers: Your Home --- http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/

U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research --- http://usacehr.amedd.army.mil/

Radiolab --- http://www.radiolab.org/

Ouch! (people with disabilities) --- http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/

Felix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist --- http://mcis2.princeton.edu/candela/index.html

Great Buildings Collection (architecture) --- http://www.greatbuildings.com/gbc.html

Improbable Research --- http://improbable.com

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

350 Free Online Courses from Top Universities --- http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses
Note that students may often take the courses for learning purposes, but without a grading process there is no transcript credit.

The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy --- http://coalition4evidence.org/wordpress/

Open Society Foundations (media) --- http://www.soros.org/regions/asia

ReliefWeb (poverty) --- http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/dbc.nsf/doc100?OpenForm

Child Trends --- http://childtrends.org/

Child Rights Information Network --- http://www.crin.org/

DiversityRx --- http://www.diversityrx.org/

Video:  History of Global Debt (from the IMF) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeIanMdkUj0

Alcohol Studies Database --- http://www2.scc.rutgers.edu/alcohol_studies/alcohol/

Program for Torture Victims --- http://www.ptvla.org/

The Torture Archive --- http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/torture_archive/index.htm

American Humane Association --- http://www.americanhumane.org/protecting-children/

Ouch! (people with disabilities) --- http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/

FRONTLINE: Are We Safer?

Children's Library --- http://www.archive.org/details/iacl

Baldwin Library of Children's Literature, Digital Collection --- http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/UFDC/UFDC.aspx?c=juv

From the Scout Report on February 14, 2011

The Economist: The World in 2011 --- http://www.economist.com/node/21015461

The Economist has been doing a special issue at the conclusion of each calendar year for sometime, and it is full of interesting and provocative materials about various political, economic, and technological trends around the world. The site includes a brief introduction to the 2011 edition, and a link to their "Cassandra" blog, which includes a series of predictions and the like. The other sections on the site include "Leaders", "United States", "Europe", "Britain", and "The Americas". Topical areas of note include "Business" and "Finance", which features articles like "China's balancing hand" and "What China and Israel will teach the world". The site also includes a calendar of important world events in 2011 and links to past "World" issues. Finally, the site is rounded out by the "World in Figures" area, which includes a list of key economic indicators broken down by country and industry.


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

American Humane Association --- http://www.americanhumane.org/protecting-children/

Program for Torture Victims --- http://www.ptvla.org/

Child Rights Information Network --- http://www.crin.org/

Child Trends --- http://childtrends.org/

The Torture Archive --- http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/torture_archive/index.htm

Last night on television news a clip was played of a robber in what I think was a book store. The robber was extremely polite and apologetic when claiming he would not be doing this if his kids were not hungry. But he insisted on taking all the cash in the drawer rather than the $40 offered by the store owner.

On the way out the door the polite robber promised that when he got a job and was back on his feet again he would pay all of the stolen money back.

Are ethics and morality variables that depend upon situational circumstances?

Video:  Immanuel Kant Assumes Absolutes in a World of Relative Morality
Here is Professor Sandel’s video introducing Immanuel Kant’s philosophy of ethics. In my opinion, one of the best lectures on ethics. Below is an extract for the one hour lesson --- |

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

Math Tutorials

350 Free Online Courses from Top Universities --- http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses
Note that students may often take the courses for learning purposes, but without a grading process there is no transcript credit.

Video on the Beauty of Mathmatices --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=h60r2HPsiuM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Free Open Sharing Tutorials, Videos, and Course Materials

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing lectures, videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free tutorials and videos in various academic disciplines ---

350 Free Online Courses from Top Universities --- http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses
Note that students may often take the courses for learning purposes, but without a grading process there is no transcript credit.

1,400+ Open Sharing "Tutorials" On YouTube from a Harvard Business School Graduate
Khan Academy Home Page --- http://www.khanacademy.org/
This site lists the course categories (none for accounting)

"A Self-Appointed Teacher Runs a One-Man 'Academy' on YouTube:  Are his 10-minute lectures the future?" by Jeffrey Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 6, 2010 ---

The most popular educator on YouTube does not have a Ph.D. He has never taught at a college or university. And he delivers all of his lectures from a bedroom closet.

This upstart is Salman Khan, a 33-year-old who quit his job as a financial analyst to spend more time making homemade lecture videos in his home studio. His unusual teaching materials started as a way to tutor his faraway cousins, but his lectures have grown into an online phenomenon—and a kind of protest against what he sees as a flawed educational system.

"My single biggest goal is to try to deliver things the way I wish they were delivered to me," he told me recently.

The resulting videos don't look or feel like typical college lectures or any of the lecture videos that traditional colleges put on their Web sites or YouTube channels. For one thing, these lectures are short—about 10 minutes each. And they're low-tech: Viewers see only the scrawls of equations or bad drawings that Mr. Khan writes on his digital sketchpad software as he narrates.

The lo-fi videos seem to work for students, many of whom have written glowing testimonials or even donated a few bucks via a PayPal link. The free videos have drawn hundreds of thousands of views, making them more popular than the lectures by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, famous for making course materials free, or any other traditional institution online, according to the leaders of YouTube's education section.

Mr. Khan calls his collection of videos "Khan Academy," and he lists himself as founder and faculty. That means he teaches every subject, and he has produced 1,400 lectures since he started in 2006. Now he records one to five lectures per day.

He started with subject matter he knows best—math and engineering, which he studied as an undergraduate at MIT. But lately he has added history lectures about the French Revolution and biology lectures on "Embryonic Stem Cells" and "Introduction to Cellular Respiration."

If Mr. Khan is unfamiliar with a subject he wants to teach, he gives himself a crash course first. In a recent talk he explained how he prepared for his lecture on entropy: "I took two weeks off and I just pondered it, and I called every professor and everyone I could talk to and I said, Let's go have a glass of wine about entropy. After about two weeks it clicked in my brain, and I said, now I'm willing to make a video about entropy."

Some critics have blogged that this learn-as-you-go approach is no way to run an educational project—and they worry that the videos may contain errors or lead students astray.

But to Mr. Khan, occasional mistakes are part of his method. By watching him stumble through a problem, students see the process better, he argues. Sometimes they correct him in comments on his YouTube videos, and he says this makes students more engaged with the material. "Sometimes when it's a little rough, it's going to be a better product than when you overprepare," he says.

The Khan Academy explicitly challenges many of higher-education's most sacred assumptions: that professional academics make the best teachers; that hourlong lectures are the best way to relate material; and that in-person teaching is better than videos. Mr. Khan argues that his little lectures disprove all of that.

Watching his videos highlights how little the Web has changed higher education. Many online courses at traditional colleges simply replicate the in-person model—often in ways that are not as effective. And what happens in most classrooms varies little from 50 years ago (or more). Which is why Mr. Khan's videos come as a surprise, with their informal style, bite-sized units, and simple but effective use of multimedia.

The Khan Academy raises the question: What if colleges could be retooled with new technologies in mind?

College From Scratch Mr. Khan is not the only one asking that question these days.

Clay Shirky, an associate teacher at New York University and a popular Internet guru, recently challenged his more than 50,000 Twitter followers with a similar thought exercise:

"If you were going to create a college from scratch, what would you do?"

Bursts of creativity quickly Twittered in, and Mr. Shirky collected and organized the responses on a Web site. The resulting visions are either dreams of an education future or nightmares, depending on your viewpoint:

All students should be required to teach as well, said @djstrouse. Limit tenure to eight years, argued @jakewk. Have every high-school senior take a year before college to work in some kind of service project away from his or her hometown, said @alicebarr. Some Twittering brainstormers even named their fictional campuses. One was called FailureCollege, where every grade is an F to desensitize students to failure and encourage creativity. Another was dubbed LifeCollege, where only life lessons are taught.

When I caught up with Mr. Shirky recently, he described the overall tone of the responses as "bloody-minded." Did that surprise him?

"I was surprised—by the range of responses, but also partly by the heat of the responses," he said. "People were mad when they think about the gap between what is possible and what happened in their own educations."

Mr. Shirky declined to endorse any of the Twitter models or to offer his prediction of how soon or how much colleges will change. But he did argue that higher education is ripe for revolution.

For him the biggest question is not whether a new high-tech model of higher education will emerge, but whether the alternative will come from inside traditional higher education or from some new upstart.

Voting With Their Checkbooks Lately, several prominent technology entrepreneurs have taken an interest in Mr. Khan's model and have made generous contributions to the academy, which is now a nonprofit entity.

Mr. Khan said that several people he had never met have made $10,000 contributions. And last month, Ann and John Doerr, well-known venture capitalists, gave $100,000, making it possible for Mr. Khan to give himself a small salary for the academy so he can spend less of his time doing consulting projects to pay his mortgage. Over all, he said, he's collected about $150,000 in donations and makes $2,000 a month from ads on his Web site.

I called up one of the donors, Jason Fried, chief executive of 37signals, a hip business-services company, who recently gave an undisclosed amount to Khan Academy, to find out what the attraction was.

"The next bubble to burst is higher education," he said. "It's too expensive for people—there's no reason why parents should have to save up a hundred grand to send their kids to college. I like that there are alternative ways of thinking about teaching."

No one I talked to saw Khan Academy as an alternative to traditional colleges (for one thing, it doesn't grant degrees). When I called a couple of students who posted enthusiastic posts to Facebook, they said they saw it as a helpful supplement to the classroom experience.

Mr. Khan has a vision of turning his Web site into a kind of charter school for middle- and high-school students, by adding self-paced quizzes and ways for the site to certify that students have watched certain videos and passed related tests. "This could be the DNA for a physical school where students spend 20 percent of their day watching videos and doing self-paced exercises and the rest of the day building robots or painting pictures or composing music or whatever," he said.

The Khan Academy is a concrete answer to Mr. Shirky's challenge to create a school from scratch, and it's an example of something new in the education landscape that wasn't possible before. And it serves as a reminder to be less reverent about those long-held assumptions.

Jensen Comment

The YouTube Education Link --- http://www.youtube.com/education?lg=EN&b=400&s=pop
I could not find Khan Academy tutorials linked at the above site.

The Khan Academy YouTube Channel is at http://www.youtube.com/user/khanacademy
The above site also links to a PBS News item about Khan Academy

Khan Academy Home Page --- http://www.khanacademy.org/
This site lists the course categories (none for accounting)

Although Khan Academy has many general education tutorials and quite a few things in economics and finance, I could not find much on accounting.  One strength of the site seems to be in mathematics. There is also a category on Valuation and Investing which might be useful for personal finance.

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing lectures, videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free tutorials and videos in various academic disciplines ---


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

History Tutorials

350 Free Online Courses from Top Universities --- http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses
Note that students may often take the courses for learning purposes, but without a grading process there is no transcript credit.

1,400+ Open Sharing "Tutorials" On YouTube from a Harvard Business School Graduate
Khan Academy Home Page --- http://www.khanacademy.org/
This site lists the course categories (none for accounting)

Video:  5,000 Years of History in the Middle East --- http://www.mapsofwar.com/images/EMPIRE17.swf

Ruskin at Walkley (English History Museum) --- http://www.ruskinatwalkley.org/

Preservationnation.org --- http://www.preservationnation.org/

From Carnegie-Mellon University
The HistoryMakers Digital Archive --- http://www.idvl.org/thehistorymakers/

Princeton Seminary Digital Library (Religion) --- http://digital.library.ptsem.edu/

Delaware: Digital Archives --- http://archives.delaware.gov/exhibits/exhibits-toc.shtml

Oberlin's Namesake --- http://www.oberlin.edu/archive/oberlins_namesake/

Oklahoma Historical Society --- http://www.okhistory.org/

Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/

Chronicles of Oklahoma: The Life and Work of Sequoyah --- http://digital.library.okstate.edu/chronicles/v008/v008p149.html

Ludwig-Svenson Studio Collection (photographs) --- http://digitalcollections.uwyo.edu:8180/luna/servlet/ahc-ludwig~1~1

Philip Elwood Films (travel, national parks, history) --- http://cdm15031.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=/p15031coll19

Children's Library --- http://www.archive.org/details/iacl

Baldwin Library of Children's Literature, Digital Collection --- http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/UFDC/UFDC.aspx?c=juv

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam --- http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/index.jsp

The Margo Duggan Collection (Pacific Photographs Hawaii) --- http://digicoll.manoa.hawaii.edu/duggan/

The American Colony in Jerusalem, 1870-2006 --- http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/americancolony/

Amazing Facts About Israel (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxK6OwIpK5o

American Humane Association --- http://www.americanhumane.org/protecting-children/

University of Rochester Black Freedom Struggle Online Project --- http://www.lib.rochester.edu/index.cfm?PAGE=572

American Sign Museum --- http://www.signmuseum.net/

The Alabama Historical Quarterly ---

University of Alabama Digital Collections (including agriculture history) ---  http://content.lib.ua.edu/cdm4/about.php

Civil War Traveler --- http://www.civilwartraveler.com/

The Great Train Robbery: Where Westerns Began --- https://mail.google.com/a/trinity.edu/#inbox/12e489628b517da0

Program for Torture Victims --- http://www.ptvla.org/

The Torture Archive --- http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/torture_archive/index.htm

Felix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist --- http://mcis2.princeton.edu/candela/index.html

David Rumsey Historical Maps Collection: Featured Maps

Secrets of the Silk Road [Flash Player] --- http://www.penn.museum/silkroad/

Open Studio [Flash Player artistic tutorials] --- http://blogs.getty.edu/openstudio/

Accounting Scandals
The funny thing is that I never looked up this item before now. Jim Mahar noted that it is a good link.

Accounting Scandals --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_scandals

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting scandals are in various documents:

Accounting Firms --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm

Fraud Conclusion --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm

Enron --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm

Rotten to the Core --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm

Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

American History of Fraud --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudAmericanHistory.htm

Fraud in General --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm


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

Language Tutorials

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

Music Tutorials

Edward MacDowell Piano Music Online http://aurora.wellesley.edu/macdowell/contents.cfm

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

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/

February 7, 2011

February 8, 2011

February 9, 2011

February 10, 2011

February 11, 2011

February 12, 2011

February 13, 2011

February 16, 2011

February 17, 2011

February 18, 2011

February 19, 2011

February 22, 2011

February 23, 2011


"Early Warning for Asthma Sufferers:  A new handheld breath sensor could signal that an attack is coming, even if it's a day away," by Erica Westly, MIT's Technology Review, February 22, 2011 ---

Forwarded by Miguel (Simoleon Sense)

The economy is so bad that…

I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

I ordered a burger at McDonald’s, and the kid behind the counter asked, “Can you afford fries with that?”

CEOs are now playing miniature golf.

If the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” you have to call them and ask if they mean you or them.

Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

Parents in Beverly Hills and Malibu are firing their nannies and learning their children’s names.

A truckload of Americans were caught sneaking into Mexico.

Motel Six won’t leave the light on anymore.

The Mafia is laying off judges.

BP Oil laid off 25 congressmen.

Congress says they are looking into the Bernard Madoff scandal. Oh great! The guy who made $50 billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $1.5 trillion disappear!

Improbable Research --- http://improbable.com

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

New dictionary definitions:

ADULT: A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle.

BEAUTY PARLOR: A place where women curl up and dye. -----------------

CANNIBAL: Someone who is fed up with people. ----------------------------------

CHICKENS: The only animals you eat before they are born and after they are dead. ----------------------------------------

COMMITTEE: A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DUST: Mud with the juice squeezed out. --------------------------------------------------------

EGOTIST: Someone who is usually me-deep in conversation. ---------------------------------------------------

HANDKERCHIEF: Cold Storage. -----------------------------------------------------------------

INFLATION: Cutting money in half without damaging the paper. -------------------------------------------------

MOSQUITO: An insect that makes you like flies better. --------------------------------------------------------

RAISIN: Grape with sunburn. ---------------------------------------------------------------------

SECRET: Something you tell to one person at a time. ----------------------------------------------------------------

SKELETON: A bunch of bones with the person scraped off. --------------------------------------------------

TOOTHACHE: The pain that drives you to extraction. --------------------------------------------------------------------

TOMORROW: One of the greatest labour saving devices of today. ----------------------------------

YAWN: An honest opinion openly expressed. -----------------------------------------------------------------

and Auntie Bev's Favorite
WRINKLES: Something other people have, similar to my character lines. ------------------------

Forwarded by Eileen


While trying to escape through Pakistan, Osama Bin Laden found a bottle on the sand and picked it up.

Suddenly, a female genie rose from the bottle and with a smile said, "Master, may I grant you one wish?"

Osama responded," You ignorant, unworthy daughter-of-a-dog! Don't you know who I am? I don't need any common woman giving me anything."

The shocked genie said, "Please, I must grant you a wish or I will be returned to that bottle forever."

Osama thought a moment, then grumbled about the impertinence of the woman and said, "Very well, I want to awaken in the morning with three American women in my bed. So just do it and be off with you.

The annoyed genie said, "So be it!" and disappeared.

The next morning Bin Laden woke up in bed with Lorena Bobbitt, Tonya Harding and Sarah Palin at his side.

His penis was gone, his knees were broken, and he had no health insurance.

God is good.



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