Tidbits on February 26, 2005
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

For earlier editions of New Bookmark s go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Archives of Tidits:  Tidbits Directory --- 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.
This search engine may get you some hits from other professors at Trinity University included with Bob Jensen's documents, but this may be to your benefit.

This edition features, at the bottom, "Ten Things Bob Jensen's Done That You've Never Done."


I've not ordered one just yet, but I'm thinking . . . still thinking . . . I wonder?
Men, are you tired of the time, trouble and expense of having a girlfriend? Irritated by the difficulty of finding a new one?  Eberhard Schöneburg, the chief executive of the software maker Artificial Life Inc. of Hong Kong, may have found the answer: a virtual girlfriend named Vivienne who goes wherever you go.

Keith Bradsher, "Sad, Lonely? For a Good Time, Call Vivienne," The New York Times, February 24, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/VirtualFriend 


Say What?  Are liberals in academe listening to Ted Kennedy?
"We're in some areas of confrontation, but my own sense is that this president knows how to work with Democrats. He worked with Democrats in Texas. I worked with him on No Child Left Behind."

Time Magazine, February 23, 2005 --- http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1030924,00.html )

In fact, just such a momentous law has been passed and is now being implemented. But as painful as it is for me, a progressive Democrat, to acknowledge, it was a conservative Republican president who passed the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), and it is traditionally Democratic education groups and activists who decry the law as intrusive federal meddling. And true to the confusing and peculiar politics of education reform, instead of embracing the laudable goals of NCLB-and joining in a bipartisan effort to repair its flaws-the institutional players in education and their allies have put their energy into fighting it. To veterans of the education wars at the state level, this peculiar political situation comes as no surprise. In state battles over reforming schools, liberal and conservative labels have lost their meaning. Instead, the battle lines are drawn between those who are willing to take on powerful institutional interests and contemplate systemic change and those who are not.
Mark Roosevelt, "Real reform By Mark Roosevelt," Boston Globe, February 20, 2005 --- http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1030924,00.html 


Educating the Next Generation
Today's students have different expectations and skills with regard to technology, and colleges sometimes fail to meet those expectations or understand what those skills mean, according to a new e-book.  The e-book, the first published by Educause, is Educating the Net Generation. It is available free on the organization's Web site.  Diana G. Oblinger, a vice president of Educause and co-editor of the book, answered some questions about its themes in an e-mail interview. 
Oblinger concludes:  "What we hope this book will do is encourage colleges and universities to think about who their current generation of learners are and the implications for courses, curricula, services and support. There is no one right answer for everyone. And, there are many things we don't yet understand. But as more institutions explore the implications we'll all be able to do a better job making learners successful."
Scott Jaschick, "'Educating the Net Generation'," Inside Higher Ed, February 25, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/insider/educating_the_net_generation 


For those who thought Ted Williams was crazy when he made a death wish
Other microbes have been discovered in similar frigid environments, sometimes clinging to pockets of liquid water in ice packs. And some microbes survive in ice as spores, but they need to be cultured to bring them to life.  NASA described the newfound critter as "the first fully described, validated species ever found alive in ancient ice."
"Creatures Frozen for 32,000 Years Still Alive," MSNBC News, February 24, 2005 --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7019473/ 


The chilling effect on free inquiry may harm everyone or so some say
The reaction to this controversy from outside higher education brings into relief professors' tone deafness as to how non-academic figures interpret such comments. It came as little surprise that neoconservative iconoclast Andrew Sullivan defended the Harvard president. But so too did the liberal editorial pages of The Washington Post and, less enthusiastically, The Boston Globe.  The Post concluded that if "Summers loses his job for the crime of positing a politically incorrect hypothesis -- or even if he pays some lesser price for it -- the chilling effect on free inquiry will harm everyone."
K.C. Johnson, "Summers Beyond Harvard," Inside Higher Ed, February 25, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/summers_beyond_harvard
Jensen Comment:  Balony!  He behaved irresponsibly as President of Harvard University.  Only unchecked grade inflation at Harvard can save his job.


With respect to Dean Karnazes who ran 262 miles in 75 hours and is shooting for a 300 mile run
People who run distances they ought to be driving aren't necessarily superior athletes.  They are actually a bit freaky physically, born with the kind of biomechanics that can take repeated pounding . . . "Ultra marathoners eventually burn fat, and women have a higher percentage of body fat than men do, giving them more endurance.  They also benefit from the hormone estrogen which may act like an antioxidant, preventing their muscles from breakdown.
Bill Saporito, :Born to Run---For 300 Miles," Time Magazine, February 28, 2005, Page 61 --- http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1029875,00.html 


This site also has some great links to professorial blogs.
I'm always relieved when students drop.  I hate giving out low grades.

These and other comments regarding dropping of a course --- http://www.cheekyprof.com/archives/2005/02/theyre_starting.php 

Also see "Cut-rate parasite A traveling professor's guide to missing the point" at http://journey-man.blogspot.com/ 


By Any Other Name:  Sounds a bit like the titles of old Russian Commissars 
The Arizona Republic reports that the Scottsdale school district is adopting fancy new titles for many of its employees. Barbara Levine, who "used to be known as the receptionist," is now the "Director of First Impressions," which we guess means she's allowed to ignore anyone she already knows who comes into the office. The bus driver is now called the "Transporter of Learners," and the assistant superintendent for elementary schools is (take a breath) "Executive Director for Elementary Schools and Excelling Teaching and Learning."
Opinion Journal, February 24, 2005


Not so free speech in Iran
Iranian authorities have recently clamped down on the growing popularity of weblogs, restricting access to major blogging sites from within Iran.  A second Iranian blogger, Motjaba Saminejad, who also used his website to report on bloggers' arrests, is still being held.
"Iran jails blogger for 14 years," BBC News, February 23, 2005 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4292399.stm 


Where is there a line in the sands of ethics?
But at the time, Dr. Hitchcock faced a state ethics inquiry into accusations that she offered to steer a campus construction contract to a developer, who in exchange would pay to endow a university professorship that she could fill once she left her job as college president, according to state officials familiar with the ethics review.

Michael Slackman, "Case of Former SUNY Official Points to Ethics Law Loophole," The New York Times, February 25, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/25/nyregion/25ethics.html 
Jensen Comment:  Steering construction in exchange for funding her professorship is clearly unethical.  However, what if she was a full professor who merely had friends or family fund her professorship that would live on long after she departed from the university?  I know of at least two instances where this has happened, and in both of those cases I don't think it was wrong.  If Professor Lazy Dumb did this, I would probably have concerns.  But in the instances I know of these were highly competent and valuable faculty members.  Also millions more were given to the university beyond the portions devoted to fund the endowed chairs.  My conclusion is that this is a case of situational ethics except in egregious violations like that alleged in the case of Dr. Hitchcock.

Related Links
"Questions at SUNY Albany on Why Ex-President Left," by Al Baker and Michael Slackman, The New York Times, February 26, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/26/nyregion/26ethics.html

"Case of Former SUNY Official Points to Ethics Law Loophole," by Michael Slackman, he New York Times, February 26, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/25/nyregion/25ethics.html 


64.75 million years late with Lamisil
After a meteor slammed into the Earth 65 million years ago, "the great dying" began, decimating life in the oceans and killing off the dinosaurs -- with mysteriously little effect on mammals. Conjecture over what did in the reptiles has long fascinated everyone from school children to paleontologists, but a new theory suggests that a less earth-shaking possibility could have played a role.  "The forests went out. The fungi proliferated, and the Earth became a giant compost pile. An enormous number of spores were released," said Dr. Arturo Casadevall, an infectious disease researcher who proposed last month that air thick with fungal spores after the meteor hit could have overwhelmed animals' immune systems, causing sickness and death. If he's right, the large numbers of warm-blooded mammals and birds that survived the mass extinction might have had a natural advantage -- body temperatures too hot for fungal infections to take hold.
Carolyn Y. Johnson, "Were the dinosaurs done in by fungus?" Boston Globe, February 22, 2005 --- http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2005/02/22/were_the_dinosaurs_done_in_by_fungus/ 


Inmates Running Asylum'
A report into the imminent collapse of Media Lab Europe, a research center jointly owned by the Irish government and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, describes an environment of managerial and financial chaos.  Media Lab Europe, a pet project of Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, closed this month after the government and MIT couldn't agree on who should foot the mounting bill for its survival.

"Report: MIT's Doomed Media Lab Europe Suffered from 'Inmates Running Asylum'," MIT's Technology Review, February 24, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/02/ap/ap_022405.asp?trk=nl 


Need to study a  long argument between the lovers?
It would be foolish to fault a Danielle Steel novel for its conventions. Writing romance novels is her métier. Not the kind with the steamy clichés -- throbbing loins, moaning ecstasies -- but novels with glossy characters of barely one dimension.  The best episode in "Impossible" is a long argument between the lovers, in which the occasionally sockless artist is petulant and shrill. Like many arguments in novels -- there is a truly great one in Robert Louis Stevenson's "Kidnapped" -- it has the ring of truth. Not much else does here. 

Stuart Ferguson when reviewing Daniell Steele's latest book Impossible in The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2005 
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110929104337163815,00.html?mod=todays_us_weekend_journal 


Don't buy red-state chocolates or shop at Wal-Mart:  Does Labor's Tom really want to force those hourly U.S. workers into unemployment and loss of employer health plans by losing out to foreign makers of chocolate?  Tom Larken has heretofore always been the champion of U.S. workers and their unions.  Think of how many workers would be thrown out of work if Wal-Mart failed because of a Democratic Party boycott.  Isn't this called cutting off your nose to spite your face?

No more kisses This Valentine's Day, Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat, encouraged the romantic sweethearts in his party not to buy chocolates from three of the nation's biggest chocolate producers: Hershey, Nestle and Mars. After all, he warned, all three are "red" companies — purportedly supporters of President Bush and his policies. It's not just Hershey's Kisses that Democrats were asked to give up. Outback Steakhouse is similarly a target of the left, as are hundreds of Wal-Mart stores that are "not so blue." And Democrats are pumping Hess "blue gasoline" these partisan days. "You may have voted blue, but...
Washington Times, February 25, 2005 --- http://www.washingtontimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20050224-110953-1486r 
As quoted from Free Republic on February 25, 2005

Jensen Comment:  Not to Worry:  Wal-Mart profits are still ringing up at $20,000 per minute as Iowa's Tom goes unheeded --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/27/business/yourmoney/27count.html 


She's not clueless
"I always knew that Hunter was going to die before me," Anita Thompson, 32, said of her 67-year-old husband.
Rocky Mountain News, Feb. 25


And in this corner, weighing in at 244 lbs we have Judge Droolmouth
Judges Wrestle With Procreation and Gays
Headline, Associated Press, Feb. 24


Or mostly so
A new book says Abraham Lincoln was gay or mostly so, and it's impossible to understand America's 16th president without accepting that.  The disagreement over Lincoln's sexuality pries into perhaps the least-known, most private aspect of one of history's most scrutinized figures.  It also spotlights the obscure field of historiography--the study of history and how it is written.  Historiographers know history sees the past through the prism of a current society's beliefs.  What is notable now, they say, is how fractured the current society's beliefs are.  Drawing to the fore one set of those beliefs, the subject of the disagreement, C.A. Tripp's posthumously published "The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln," was the culmination of gay and lesbian activism and scholarship in the 1990s, said Illinois State Historian Thomas Schwartz.  "This book," he said, "would be written sometime, by someone."  For gay and lesbian scholars, Tripp's 2005 book shines brightly, calling into question heterocentric tellings of the past.
James Janega, "Book trying to `out' Lincoln sparks civil war of words," Chicago Tribune, February 26, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/LincolnFeb26 


One "Little Eichmann"
My brother Chris was a 1985 graduate of the University of Colorado, the father of three young children and a compassionate, respectful and generous man. He stood in defense of our environment, volunteered his time and money in support of human rights, and gave unselfishly to help disadvantaged, vulnerable members of our society. He spoke openly against unjust government policies, and followed a private ethic of compassion.
Chris was also a U.S. government Treasury bond broker for Cantor Fitzgerald, and therefore by your definition was a "little Eichmann." At 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, you claim that my beautiful...

"An Open Letter to Ward Churchill: My Brother, the 'Eichmann'," by Michael Faughnan, September 11 Victims for Peaceful Tomorrows, February 16, 2005 --- http://pt.radicaldesigns.org/article.php?id=506 
Bob Jensen's essay on "The Evil Empire" is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/hypocrisyEvilEmpire.htm 


I won't comment on this one --- it sort of speaks for itself

Welcome to DiscoverTheNetwork. 
This site is a "Guide to the Political Left." It identifies the individuals and organizations that make up the left and also the institutions that fund and sustain it; it maps the paths through which the left exerts its influence on the larger body politic; it defines the left's (often hidden) programmatic agendas and it provides an understanding of its history and ideas.  The site is made up of two principal data elements along with a powerful search engine to locate and explore the information stored. The first of these elements is a database of PROFILES of individuals, groups and institutions, which can be accessed through the heptagram on the home page, or the DTN DIRECTORY on the navigation bar. The PROFILES provide thumbnail sketches of histories, agendas and (where significant) funding sources. More than 1,500 such groups and individuals have already been delineated in the PROFILES sections of this base. The information has been culled from public records readily available on the Internet and other sources, whose veracity and authenticity are easily checked.  The second data element of this site consists of a library of articles, which analyze the relationships disclosed in the database and the issues they raise. These analyses are drawn from thousands of articles, both scholarly and journalistic, that have been entered into the base and linked in the TEXT columns that appear on the PROFILE pages. The judgments that inform these analyses are subjective, reflecting informed opinion about the matters at hand. In every case possible, their authors and sources are identified so that users of the database can form their own judgments and opinions about the reliability and value of the analyses.  DiscoverTheNetwork is an ambitious undertaking that would not have been possible before the creation of the Internet with the storage capacities and data linkage features that digital space affords and that such an undertaking requires. As a result of the information that these technologies make available, a user of this site can follow the networks described in the database to arrive at a new understanding of the forces that define our social reality and shape our collective futures.
A Guide to the Political Left --- http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/ 

As we expected, the left has not taken the news presented on our site well. A pro-Islamic jihad writer for Alex Cockburn’s CounterPunch regards it naturally as  “David Horowitz’s Smear Portal” and objects to our linking noble champions of social justice like himself with the “resisters” in the Sunni triangle he supports.  But other, less politically deranged exponents of the leftist persuasion have also weighed in with objections to these inclusions. This article is by way of answering their complaints.
David Horowitz, "In Denial: The Left’s Reaction to DiscoverTheNetwork" --- http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/Articles/In%20Denial.htm 


She's right about all ten.  I've never done those.

Ten Things... --- http://crazyphd.blogspot.com/ 

That I've done that you probably haven't. As seen at jo(e)'s , profgrrrrl's, and probably a bunch of other places, too. And, I should note, that like profgrrrrl I found this exercise difficult because, well, most of my "crazy" things I'm sure others have done. But not these ones! (Well, maybe you have, but I did my best....)
  1. Watched the sun set over the Adriatic Sea, a glass of wine in hand, while standing on the balcony of a Hapsburg palace.
  2. After almost having a head-on collision with a cop car, being involved in a Dukes-of-Hazzard-like car chase that ended with the driver of the vehicle suddenly turning off the road into a dirt driveway, turning off the car's lights, and running (accompanied by his friend in the passenger seat) into the woods. My friend and I were in the backseat. Stupidly crouching down hoping that the cops would drive by. They did.
  3. Saw John F. Kennedy, Jr. riding his bike in Central Park on my first visit to New York City.
  4. Fell through a glass coffee table after consuming a great deal of watermelon soaked in Everclear. And not only didn't I need stitches, but I somehow got away without even a scratch.
  5. The Roommate Switch.
  6. Had a beer with Paul Muldoon at an outdoor cafe in Italy.
  7. During the span of one academic conference, acquired not one but two "conference boyfriends," with each never getting wise about the other.
  8. When eight years old, called Judy-Garland-As-Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz a "dick" because she got captured by the Wicked Witch of the West, thus sparking the first and last extended discussion of penises that I would have with my mother.
  9. As a senior in high school, was named the runner up for The Journalism Education Association National High School Journalist of the Year.
  10. Smoked marijuana in the "beer garden" of a pub in Dublin, in plain sight of all, with colleagues, knowing full well that I had to give a paper at 9 AM the next morning.

She's right about all ten.

10 things I've done that you probably haven't:
(seen so many places, I won't bother to list them all)
From http://thedroolfactory.com/ 

1. Seen someone get thrown out of a moving vehicle then hit by another.
2. Moved to Serbia and lived there for two years.
3. Gotten Brian Orser's autograph (becuase why would you want to?)
4. Talked to my chocolate cookie dough.
5. Stuck my hand inside a running vaccuum.
6. Driven to Montreal, eaten McD's, and returned home. Whole Trip.
7. Had a snake coiled around my waist, under my shirt, and up and out my shirt sleeves.
8. Seen THREE men 'whip it out' and pee on an OC Transpo bus.
9. Helped Alexei Yashin pick out some tylenol.
10. Drank an entire bottle of whiskey without noticing that it wasn't the coke I thought it was.


Ten things Bob Jensen's done that they've never done

1.  Zoomed (drunk) out of our garage on my son's "Big Wheel" in front of a 78-year old baby sitter whom I'm supposed to be driving home.  My lawyer friend Tom Brown, who really never drank very much, is literally standing on his head in the front lawn with his legs pointed toward the moon.  (That was way back when when I was on the faculty at the University of Maine).

2.  Waited for an extra twenty four hours on a battleship (USS Wisconsin just outside Norfolk) helping to search seamen's sea bags for the admiral's flag (the two-star flag of Admiral Park) which had been replaced mysteriously in the night by a flapping pair of panties high above our sixteen inch bombardment guns.  (That was way, way, way back when on our return from Chile.)

3.  Helped carry, along with three other midshipmen, Admiral Park into a liberty boat so we could get him back to the ship (a long time ago in Panama when Admiral Park partied a bit too long).

4.  Watched the smoke rising from the sides of a battleship in the locks of the Panama Canal where the sides of the locks were only a few inches beyond each side of the ship.

5.  Listened to rifle shots from Castro's revolution while sipping on cubalibras on the beach at Guatama Bay.

6.  Missed the target drone every day for six days running in anti-aircraft during firing drills in the Caribbean.  (Actually this was not a rare event.  Hitting a target drone would've been a rare event in the U.S. Navy in those days.)

7. Fed my basset hound (Andy, the last dog of my life ) one can of dog food and later found seven piles of you know what on our cherished Tabriz.  He somehow manufactured more than eight pounds of that stuff out of one twelve ounce can of dog food. (That was way, way back when when I was on the faculty at Michigan State University).

8.  Had all five strands of the girth break at the same time while galloping a racing horse.  (That was back when when I was on the faculty at Florida State University and raised a couple of saddle horses).

9.  Had the top of my Oldsmobile convertible fly off in a freak wind while I was driving late at night alongside the San Francisco Bay (that was when I was still a student at Stanford).

10.  Felt the wet nose of a cow on my bare back while I was parked (not quite as naive as Johnnie Carson) with a girl friend in a pasture in Iowa late one hot summer night.  The startled cow then jerked back, caught her horns inside the roof of the car, and ripped out the headliner.  Try to picture me the next morning "explaining" what happened to Dad's car.  It was even worse than the time I had to wake up a farmer and call Dad to come help us in a cornfield about twenty miles from home when my old car's battery went dead.  (That was way, way, way back when I was in high school, long before the days of cell phones)  

Some more of Bob Jensen's tales about growing up are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/max01.htm 


For earlier editions of New Bookmark s go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Archives of Tidits:  Tidbits Directory --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

 

 

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu  

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