Tidbits on February 1, 2010
Bob Jensen

Mt. Washington is in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains
Its summit is the highest point in the Northeastern United States
There's a road and a summer cog railroad leading up to Mt. Washington summit
The picture below at 5:45 am shows how temperatures vary with altitude on the road
Our cottage is 1760 feet high and 28 miles from the summit
On January 29, 2010 it was -2 F degrees with wind winds over 40 mph at our cottage

On January 30, 2010 a rare thing happened at 5:30 a.m. before I took the picture below
It was only -8.8 F on the summit of Mt. Washington and -15 F at our cottage
However, it was much colder on the summit with a wind chill of -45 F
Current weather report from Mount Washington --- http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/ 

Winds often exceed 150 mph on the mountain and have reached 231 mph
History of Mt. Washington's High Winds --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits071218.htm

I cannot see the skiers on Mt. Washington like I can on Cannon Mountain (only 10 miles away)
Below is a zoomed view of Mt. Washington
I must zoom my camera to get pictures like this 28 miles away

Bretton Woods and the big hotel are best known in history for the Bretton Woods agreements that were hammered out when  heads of states met to rebuild the advanced economies of the world.
Preparing to rebuild the international economic system as World War II was still raging, 730 delegates from all 44 Allied nations gathered at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire for the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference. The delegates deliberated upon and signed the Bretton Woods Agreements during the first three weeks of July 1944
--- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretton_Woods_system
In the summer a cog railroad will chug you to the top of the mountain, but you may be tossed around a bit and get soot on your clothes from the steam engine. The ride is not for the faint of heart or people with spine troubles.

We sometimes dine and even stay in the Mt Washington Hotel
I took this picture in the summer

A great slide show of the Mt. Washington Resort --- http://www.mtwashington.com/

Mittersill is a small alpine village with a chair lift to the top of Cannon Mountain
You can read more about the interesting history of Mittersill at

This is our view of Lafayette, Lincoln, and Cannon Mountains

The same view in summer

This is Echo Lake and Cannon Mountain in another season

This is a sunset in the other direction (west) taken from out bedroom


I can't recall if I took this picture in Holland or in Germany

Erika, Mom, and Dad when we still lived in San Antonio

When we lived in Texas my parents from Iowa spent a month each year in Donna, Texas
Below is a picture of their very good Ethel and Howard Bring from a ranch near Fargo
The dude on the right was headed for a New Year's Eve Dance

The picture below was forwarded by Bob Overn (in Florida)
It's ready for a full load

The pictures below were forwarded to me by Auntie Bev (in Ft. Lauderdale)

This photograph is from the John Edwards collection
She might've been our First Lady



Our very close friends Patricia and Bob Every live about five miles down the hill.
They have one son Daniel in the U.S. Coast Guard and another son David.
David is in the Merchant Marines but is now attending the U.S. Naval War College
David gave me permission to serve up a paper he wrote for one of his courses ---
"Killing Unarmed Civilians is Easy," by David P. Every ---

It's Not About the War, It's About the Warriors
Trace Adkins and the West Point Cadet Glee Club, USMA, ACM 2009 ---

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

If I Die Before You Wake --- http://www.andiesisle.com/ifidiebeforeyouwake.html

Thank the Military (slow loading video) --- http://media.causes.com/576542?p_id=92681239

Video:  The Lord's Prayer-(Diva)---
arbara Steisand's Rendition --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa9k9VdI8aU  

Another close friend up here, Lon Henderson, asked be to pitch in to block the LLC tax in New Hampshire.
I posted his explanation at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/HendersonTax01.pdf
His protest letter is at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/HendersonTax02.pdf
A Stop the LLC Tax Website --- http://www.petition.fm/petitions/stopthellctax/0/26/
This tax is definitely dysfunctional to efforts to reducing unemployment.

How Can We Help Haiti --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2010/01/15/fitzsimmons

Emergency Fund for Students From Haiti --- http://www.iie.org//Content/NavigationMenu/Programs7/Haiti-EAS/Haiti-EAS.htm



Tidbits on February 1, 2010
Bob Jensen


Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on February 1, 2010
To Accompany the February 1, 2010 edition of Tidbits

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

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

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free Residential and Business Telephone Directory (you must listen to an opening advertisement) --- dial 800-FREE411 or 800-373-3411
 Free Online Telephone Directory --- http://snipurl.com/411directory       [www_public-records-now_com] 
 Free online 800 telephone numbers --- http://www.tollfree.att.net/tf.html
 Google Free Business Phone Directory --- 800-goog411
To find names addresses from listed phone numbers, go to www.google.com and read in the phone number without spaces, dashes, or parens

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

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

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

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
The Master List of Free Online College Courses ---

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

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbitsdirectory.htm

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 


On May 14, 2006 I retired from Trinity University after a long and wonderful career as an accounting professor in four universities. I was generously granted "Emeritus" status by the Trustees of Trinity University. My wife and I now live in a cottage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm

Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
       (Also scroll down to the table at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ )

Global Incident Map --- http://www.globalincidentmap.com/home.php

If you want to help our badly injured troops, please check out
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops  --- http://www.valour-it.blogspot.com/

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

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


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

Museum of Animal Perspectives (videos) --- http://www.sameasterson.com/

Power of Validation --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbk980jV7Ao&feature=player_embedded

Gladys complains to Ellen on the air --- http://www.boreme.com/boreme/funny-2007/ellen-gladys-hardy-p1.php 

"How does broadcast journalism work?" (tongue in cheek humor, sort of) --- http://www.brucecarton.com/how-does-broadcast-journalism-work

"Jared Diamond Explains Haiti’s Enduring Poverty," Open Culture, January 21, 2010 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Available on MP3

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

Whatever Happened to those Old Westerns? --- http://oldfortyfives.com/thoseoldwesterns.htm

Pink Glove Dance for Breast Cancer Awareness --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEdVfyt-mLw

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

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

Amazing Mouth Art by Disabled Doug Landis --- http://www.mouthart.com/mouthart/

Ohio Roller Coaster --- Click Here

50 Strange Buildings of the World --- http://villageofjoy.com/50-strange-buildings-of-the-world/
Also see video --- http://villageofjoy.com/50-strange-buildings-of-the-world/

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

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

Museum of Animal Perspectives (videos) --- http://www.sameasterson.com/

African American History (photographs)
Documenting Our Past: The Teenie Harris Archive Project --- http://www.cmoa.org/teenie/intro.asp

BlackPast: Remembered and Reclaimed (African American History) --- http://www.blackpast.org/

Daphne Dare Collection (theatre costumes) --- http://drc.ohiolink.edu/handle/2374.OX/30999

Stage Costumes --- http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/theatre_performance/features/Costume/index.html

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

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


From the Scout Report on January 22, 2010

More than a century after his creation, Sherlock Holmes faces a new set of challenges For the Heirs to Holmes, a Tangled Web [Free registration may be required] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/books/19sherlock.html 

British tourism hopes to cash in on Sherlock Holmes http://www.cnn.com/2010/BUSINESS/01/18/sherlock.holmes.tourism.london/?hpt=Sbin 

The Official Web Site of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate http://www.sherlockholmesonline.org/ 

The Sherlock Holmes Museum of Baker Street http://www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk/ 

Works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/d/doyle/arthur_conan/ 

The Sherlock Holmes Society of London: Radio Programs [iTunes] http://www.sherlock-holmes.org.uk/world/radio.php


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 1, 2010
To Accompany the February 1, 2010 edition of Tidbits

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


574 Shields Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave  --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm
by Bob Jensen

Table of Contents

"Deductive reasoning,"  Phil Johnson-Laird, Wiley Interscience, ,2009 ---

This article begins with an account of logic, and of how logicians formulate formal rules of inference for the sentential calculus, which hinges on analogs of negation and the connectives if, or, and and. It considers the various ways in which computer scientists have written programs to prove the validity of inferences in this and other domains. Finally, it outlines the principal psychological theories of how human reasoners carry out deductions.  2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. WIREs Cogn Sci 2010 1 8–1

50 Supposed Worst Movies Ever --- http://www.empireonline.com/features/50-worst-movies-ever/


Jensen Comment
I think the top 20 worst should be the ones that one Best Picture Oscars in the past 20 years.

"Laptop Buying Guide," by Jason Cross, PC World via The Washington Post, January 29, 2010 ---

Why does Bob Jensen devote so much time to messaging on a listservs and blogs and the AAA Commons?

In truth there is a lot of altruism as found in the research of AECM subscribers by Taylor and Murthy:
"Knowledge Sharing among Accounting Academics in an Electronic Network of Practice," by  Eileen Z. Taylor and Uday S. Murthy, Accounting Horizons 23 (2), 151 (2009) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm#ListServs

But it's common in altruism of all kinds that the giver strangely gets more than he/she gives when the final scorer comes to write against our names.

I admit that when I give a lot to others on listservs and blogs that, besides feeling good about helping others to learn, I probably receive more than I give in return. First there is the learning that I receive searching for answers to questions raised by others. They inspired be to do the search, and I'm more knowledgeable for having tried to answer their queries.

Second, there are others on a listserv like the AECM who may also search and share their answers, thus advancing my knowledge with almost no effort on my part.

Third there are those who privately expand my knowledge even though they prefer that I not share their messages with others. I had such a message yesterday from a former executive partner in a Big Four firm who told me things about his firm that I never knew before, but he asked that I not broadcast what he confided. He would never have communicated with me if I had not pursued a particular path in my public messaging on the AECM.

Fourth it is possible to greatly enhance a professional reputation by being a blogger and a listserv messenger. I would never have known about Steve Hornik (Professor Second Life), Rick Lillie (Professor Learning Tech), and Francine Mckenna (with her stiletto heels in the backs of the Big Four) if these AECM subscribers did not send out messages to the AECM. Since I'm retired and my resume is too long for anybody to ever want to read, I'm not reputation building. Denny Beresford and I are more interested in changing the world than in building up our reputations and resumes.. But I don't want to play down the fact that it's possible for younger folks to greatly enhance their reputations by open sharing their scholarship.

Fifth it's wonderful to watch David Albrecht's scholarship mature in his blog and messaging to the AECM. At one time David used to put himself down quite often in messaging to the AECM. After he commenced to blog, I sense a renewal of his scholarship, leadership, confidence, and enthusiasm. He's risen above being a follower to becoming that of a leader in this academy. I also admire David because, like Paul Williams and David Fordham and Richard Sansing, he's willing to yell out that the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes.

Don't forget that David Albrecht had some advice for a future blogger ---

I have a lot more to say about advantages and disadvantages of being a blogger and an active contributor to a listserv at

I think Scott Rosenberg and Joshua Kim found what I found --- we would probably blog if we only blogged to our dogs
"Online Education and Blogging," by Joshua Kim. Inside Higher Ed, January 25, 2010 ---

A book that has a big impact on my thinking is Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters, by Scott Rosenberg. Have you read it? One of Rosenberg's main arguments is that a blog mostly benefits its author. People who are able to blog consistently do so for internal motivational reasons, rather than for extrinsic rewards. Writing a daily blog helps me sort through all the information around learning technology that crosses my screens. Any discussion that takes off around a particular blog post is a wonderful bonus, I always learn more about the issue from reading comments and other blogs, but the discussion is not the prime motivator. I'd blog if my only audience was my dog.

Which brings me back to online learning and blogging. My hypothesis is that people who enjoy online teaching and online learning may also enjoy blogging. Teaching and learning in an online format may be good preparation for blogging, or at least for practicing the art of brief persuasive writing. On-ground and hybrid classes can also take advantage of the collaborative LMS tools such as discussion boards and blogs to provide students with opportunities to practice, and receive feedback on, short persuasive writing. The advantages teaching online should not be restricted only to online courses.

I don't want to pretend that there are not costs as well as benefits to blogging and broadcasting on a listserv. I read fewer books from cover to cover because of tradeoffs that I choose in terms of time devoted to deep scholarship. I now spend a lot more time speed reading than deep reading. I'm a mile wide and an inch deep on a lot of issues that I just don't have time to pursue in deep scholarship.

Thirty years ago I spent a lot of time wandering the stacks of huge university libraries. Now I take shortcuts to, gasp, Wikipedia and Google and Bing and Simoleon Sense.

I also have some advantages over young bucks in this game. After over 40 years in some of my specialties where I used to teach (financial accounting, statistics, and operations research) and 20 years in newer specialties (education technology and learning), I can often recall things that the young bucks never knew about the past. They weren't even born yet and never met people face-to-face like Abe Briloff, David Solomons, Bill Cooper, and on and on.

I just want to thank all of you who contribute so much to me in private and in public over the years, including but not limited to Paul Pacter, Denny Beresford, Paul Williams, Jagdish Gangolly, Scott Bonacker, Amy Dunbar, Richard Sansing, Pat Walters, David Albrecht, Will Yancey, Ed Scribner, and on and on.

And lately I want to thank Steve Kachelmeier who has taken time out his very busy schedule to let me in on some things I did not know before. I often do not agree with Steve but, unlike most current accountics researchers actively publishing in TAR, JAR, JAE, and CAR, he's willing to go round and round with me in private messaging (most of which he will not allow me to quote for you because he wants to more carefully word craft his public messaging).

Which leads me up to my last point in this message. Word crafting probably does more bad than good in terms of scholarship. Our journal editors and referees are absolutely paranoid about word crafting. The main reason I don't write articles to submit is that there's just not enough years left in my life to be wasted on how to word craft my ideas. When I have something I think I would like to say, I just write it down as a first draft and hit the send button. To hell with spending another two hours or two days or two months trying to fancify it.

It 's very easy to revise Web documents time and time again long after they were released to the public domain at my Web site. For example, at least 20 times in the past 10 days I've revised the document at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm
Some changes were requested by  Steve Kachelmeier and some things were added because I myself found new things to add.

If I wrote the above article to submit to The Accounting Review, it would take me months to perfect it to where it might have a ghost of a chance of being published. And if it was published it would be frozen in time. By having the above paper at my Website, I can maybe add to and revise it 6,373 times before I die. It's a living document rather than a dead fish in published in a journal.

I plan to stick around for quite a few more years --- sorry Steve!

And I apologize to all of you for the many times I've written their when I meant there, to when I meant too, etc. It probably comes as no surprise that I despise proof reading.

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


From the Author of "Dilbert"
"Giving Stuff Away on the Internet," by Scott Adams, The Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2007; Page A19 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119388143439778613.html

I spend about a third of my workday blogging. Thanks to the miracle of online advertising, that increases my income by 1%. I balance that by hoping no one asks me why I do it.

As with most of my life decisions, my impulse to blog was a puzzling little soup of miscellaneous causes that bubbled and simmered until one day I noticed I was doing something. I figured I needed a rationalization in case anyone asked. My rationalization for blogging was especially hard to concoct. I was giving away my product for free and hoping something good came of it.

I did have a few "artist" reasons for blogging. After 18 years of writing "Dilbert" comics, I was itching to slip the leash and just once write "turd" without getting an email from my editor. It might not seem like a big deal to you, but when you aren't allowed to write in the way you talk, it's like using the wrong end of the shovel to pick up, for example, a turd.

Over time, I noticed something unexpected and wonderful was happening with the blog. I had an army of volunteer editors, and they never slept. The readers were changing the course of my writing in real time. I would post my thoughts on a topic, and the masses told me what they thought of the day's offering without holding anything back. Often they'd correct my grammar or facts and I'd fix it in minutes. They were in turns brutal and encouraging. They wanted more posts on some topics and less of others. It was like the old marketing saying, "Your customers tell you what business you're in."

At some point I realized we were collectively writing a book, or at least the guts of one. I compiled the most popular (mostly the funniest) posts and pitched it to a publisher. I got a six-figure advance, and picked a title indirectly suggested by my legion of accidental collaborators: "Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey-Brain!"

As part of the book deal, my publisher asked me to delete the parts of my blog archive that would be included in the book. The archives didn't get much traffic, so I didn't think much about deleting them. This turned out to be a major blunder in the "how people think" category.

A surprising number of my readers were personally offended that I would remove material from the Internet that had once been free, even after they read it. It was as if I had broken into their homes and ripped the books off their shelves. They felt violated. And boy, I heard about it.

Some left negative reviews on Amazon.com to protest my crass commercialization. While no one has given the book a bad review for its content, a full half of the people who comment trash it for having once been free, as if that somehow mattered to the people who only read books on paper. In the end, the bad feeling I caused by not giving away my material for free forever will have a negative impact on book sales.

I've had mixed results with giving away content on the Internet. I was the first syndicated cartoonist to offer a comic on the Internet without charge (www.dilbert.com). That gave a huge boost to the newspaper sales and licensing. The ad income was good too. Giving away the "Dilbert" comic for free continues to work well, although it cannibalizes my reprint book sales to some extent, and a fast-growing percentage of readers bypass the online ads with widgets, unauthorized RSS feeds and other workarounds.

A few years ago I tried an experiment where I put the entire text of my book, "God's Debris," on the Internet for free, after sales of the hard copy and its sequel, "The Religion War" slowed. My hope was that the people who liked the free e-book would buy the sequel. According to my fan mail, people loved the free book. I know they loved it because they emailed to ask when the sequel would also be available for free. For readers of my non-Dilbert books, I inadvertently set the market value for my work at zero. Oops.

So I've been watching with great interest as the band "Radiohead" pursues its experiment with pay-what-you-want downloads on the Internet. In the near term, the goodwill has inspired lots of people to pay. But I suspect many of them are placing a bet that paying a few bucks now will inspire all of their favorite bands to offer similar deals. That's when the market value of music will approach zero.

That's my guess. Free is more complicated than you'd think.

Mr. Adams is the creator of "Dilbert" and author of "Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey-Brain!" (Portfolio, 2007).

January 26, 2010 reply from Francine McKenna [retheauditors@GMAIL.COM]

What a great testament this is to the power of the written word, to sharing, and to how our lives have changed in the past year, five years, ten years, twenty years due to technology.

I was just telling a brother a few minutes ago that three years ago, 2007, when I went to my first Compliance Week Annual conference as "media", no one there admitted to knowing what a blogger was, except the very supportive publisher Scott Cohen.  This past June, I shared the front row with dedicated bloggers and Tweeters from the Compliance week publication as well as some others that I had met along the way on line and was glad to finally meet in person.  What a difference even a few years has made.

I am grateful for the invitation to share with this group and to learn from you.

One of my favorite poems sums up how I feel when I dwell too much on this subject.

And Bob...No one wants you to start writing you thank you notes for a good life just yet... :)

I Have Started to Say
by Phillip Larkin

I have started to say

“A quarter of a century”

Or “thirty years back”

About my own life.

It makes me breathless

It’s like falling and recovering

In huge gesturing loops

Through an empty sky.

All that’s left to happen

Is some deaths (my own included).

Their order, and their manner,

Remain to be learnt.



My Outstanding Educator Award Speech ---

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

Why smart people can be so stupid Or Rationality, Intelligence, and Levels of Analysis in Cognitive Science:
Is Dysrationalia Possible?

The sure-thing principle is not the only rule of rational thinking that humans have been shown to violate. A substantial research literature–one comprising literally hundreds of empirical studies conducted over nearly four decades–has firmly established that people’s responses often deviate from the performance considered normative on many reasoning tasks. For example, people assess probabilities incorrectly, they display confirmation bias, they test hypotheses inefficiently, they violate the axioms of utility theory, they do not properly calibrate degrees of belief, they overproject their own opinions onto others, they display illogical framing effects, they uneconomically honor sunk costs, they allow prior knowledge to become implicated in deductive reasoning, and they display numerous other information processing biases.
Keith E. Stanovich, In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Why smart people can be so stupid (pp. 124-158). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, ISBN-13: 9780300101706, September 2009 ---
http://web.mac.com/kstanovich/iWeb/Site/Research on Reasoning_files/Stanovich.Sternberg2002.pdf
Jensen Comment
And all of these real-world complications are usually brushed aside by analytical accountics researchers, because real people mess up the mathematics.

The findings from the reasoning and decision making literature and the many real-world examples of the consequences of irrational thinking (e.g., Belsky & Gilovich, 1999; Gilovich, 1991; Piattelli-Palmarini, 1994; Shermer, 1997; Sutherland, 1992; Thaler, 1992) create a seeming paradox. The physicians using ineffective procedures, the financial analysts making costly misjudgments, the retired professionals managing their money poorly– none of these are unintelligent people. The experimental literature is even more perplexing. Over 90% of the subjects in the studies in the literature are university students–some from the most selective institutions of higher learning in the world (Tversky & Shafir’s subjects are from Stanford). Yet these are the very people who have provided the data that indicate that a substantial proportion of people can sometimes violates some of the most basic strictures of rational thought such as transitivity or the sure-thing principle. It appears that an awful lot of pretty smart people are doing some incredibly dumb things. How are we to understand this seeming contradiction.                 

574 Shields Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm

January 25, 2010 reply from Paul Williams [Paul_Williams@NCSU.EDU]

Perhaps the problem isn't that humans are irrational -- we have, after all, managed to survive and evolve for 2-3 million years. Perhaps the problem is the imperious idea that "rational" means the calculative, expected value maximizing reason of "rational decision theory." The most irrational among us are those who proclaim that the way to be "rational" is to act as if their theory of rational behavior is the correct one. Positive theory is so presumptuous -- it is a rigidly normative normative theory.

Mind/body problem thinkers -- pretentiously disinterested but really just passionately cold-blooded. The commitment to modern finance theory and principal agent theory is certainly not based on a dispassionate consideration of the evidence -- considering how feeble the evidence is could only leave one skeptical, at best. The commitment is emotional -- a visceral belief this is the way the world ought to be (neoclassical economics is at its foundations utopian). Oh, the irony -- commitment to rational decision theory requires irrationality.

Principal/agent theory and Efficient Market theory aren't new -- they have been present (perhaps) since the beginning. The Enlightenment philosopher David Hume commenting on those of his contemporaries who subscribed to the theory that persons pursue only their individual private interests said: "What heart one must be possessed of who professes such principles, and who feels no internal sentiment that belies so pernicious a theory, it is easy to imagine; And also, what degree of affection and benevolence he can bear to a species, whom he represents under such odious colours, and supposes so little susceptible to gratitude or any return of affection (David Hume, 1983, An Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. Indianapolis, IN, Hacckett Publishing: page 88)." Indeed, it is easy to imagine -- they can actually be observed in all of their self-important glory every August in a selected city somewhere in the United States.



Wow:  97% of Elementary NYC Public Students Get A or B Grades --- There must be higher IQ in the water!
"City Schools May Get Fewer A’s," by Jennifer Medina, The New York Times, January 28, 2010 ---

Months after handing out A’s and B’s to 97 percent of New York City elementary schools, education officials plan to change their methods for grading the city’s public schools, making it harder to receive high marks.

Under the proposed changes, schools would be measured against one another, with those where students show the most significant improvements getting the top grades. There would be set grade-distribution guidelines, with 25 percent of schools receiving A’s, 30 percent B’s, 30 percent C’s, 10 percent D’s, and the bottom 5 percent of schools getting F’s.

Currently, the progress reports measure improvements, but an unlimited number of schools can receive high grades.

The Department of Education plans to hold several sessions with principals on the proposed changes to get their views. In a memo to principals, Shael Polakow-Suransky, the chief accountability officer, acknowledged Friday that the department’s “accountability tools aren’t perfect,” and said that it would continue to do more to improve them.

“We want to be able to really show how much value a school is actually adding,” he said in an interview.

While the department is responding to criticism that the report cards rely too heavily on year-to-year changes on state tests, the new process could be more confusing to parents. Rather than simply measuring how many students improved on state exams, the new system would use what researchers call a “growth percentile model.”

Students would be compared with others who scored at the same level on the previous year’s test, and improvement would be measured on a percentile basis. So a student who scored a 3 on the test in the third grade and 3.7 in the fourth grade could be in the 95th percentile, while a student who did not improve might be in the 35th percentile.

Mr. Polakow-Suransky said the department expected to have several meetings with parents to explain the changes and would revise the progress reports given to parents to make them easier to understand.

Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, criticized the decision to reduce the number of schools that receive top grades.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Must be tough getting an A in the fourth grade and an F on the uniform achievement examination.
This does not seem to embarrass the United Federation of Teachers.

This is a little like those universities (no names mentioned) that graduate accounting majors almost never take and/or pass the CPA examination even though they had all A or B grades in accounting.

Bob Jensen's threads on grade inflation are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#GradeInflation

January 30, 2010 reply from Glen Gray [glen.gray@CSUN.EDU]

Why are you surprised? NYC school system spends the most money per student of any school district. Doesn’t high dollars per student = high achievement? In California, we spend the highest dollars per prisoner of any state, so we have the “best” prisoners. At least we have the healthiest prisoners because we spend more dollars per prisoner for health care than any other state.

Glen L. Gray, PhD, CPA
Dept. of Accounting & Information Systems
College of Business & Economics
|California State University,
 Northridge 18111 Nordhoff ST Northridge, CA 91330-8372



Exacting Print Outs of Web Pages
David Albrecht wanted hard copies of some pages in his blog --- for example see the page at http://profalbrecht.wordpress.com/
As with most blogs and many other Web pages, the File, Print commands on a Web browser does not generate the desired facsimile when printed.
David asked AECMers to suggest ways to get printed facsimiles of his Web pages.
The thread drifted a bit into screen capturing of video frames.

Capturing Web Pages and Other Windows Screen Images (including scrollable images)
In particular note Shari Thompson's answer message below.

January 27, 2010 message from Rick Lillie [rlillie@CSUSB.EDU]

I use a relatively simple screen capture program called "CaptureWizPro" by Pixelmetrics ( http://www.pixelmetrics.com/ ) for capturing screen content.  I like it much better than other capture programs.  I went to "The Summa" web page and used CaptureWizPro to capture the web page and saved it in .pdf format. . . .

I used the "auto scroll down" feature to capture the entire web page.  I saved the page as a .pdf file and clicked the option to "fit to page."

When you open the attached .pdf file, you may need to use the +/- option at the top of the Adobe Acrobat screen to adjust the size of your blog page.  I was able to increase the page size to file most of the screen which made your content very readable.

People have individual preferences for screen capture.  Of all that I have used, I CaptureWizPro the best.  It makes capturing/printing/saving blog pages very easy to do.

Want to take this one step further?  Try WebNotes ( http://www.webnotes.net/ ).  With WebNotes, you can annotate (highlighting and sticky notes) web pages and .pdf documents.  WebNotes is a Web 2.0, hosted service.  I use it to annotate web pages and .pdf documents that I include in my course materials.  WebNotes provides an easy way to guide students through articles.

Hope this helps.

Rick Lillie, MAS, Ed.D., CPA
Assistant Professor of Accounting
Coordinator, Master of Science in Accountancy
CSUSB, CBPA, Department of Accounting & Finance
5500 University Parkway, JB-547
San Bernardino, CA.  92407-2397

 Email:  rlillie@csusb.edu
Telephone:  (909) 537-5726
Skype (Username):  ricklillie

January 28, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Rick,

This is very interesting software, I notice that there are some Websites that offer free downloads, but I don’t trust those sites. I have already ordered the professional version from PixelMetrics, but since I like to buy software on a mailed CD it will be a couple of weeks before the CD is delivered up here. I like a mailed CD because I can install the software on multiple computers and do not have to be online for the installation. Also if the vendor goes bankrupt I still have the installation CD.

Question 1 I just read where this will also capture video frames from YouTube. Have you tried a YouTube screen capture?

Question 2 Have you tried to capture a picture of a Windows Media Player screen of paused video using CaptureWizPro?

One of the most difficult things to capture perfectly is a Windows Media Player screen. I’ve never had any luck using SnagIT with on Windows Media Player screens. SnagIT captures what looks like an image, but you really cannot save the image as a bmp or other picture file.

Thanks for telling us about the CaptureWizPro software.

Bob Jensen

PS:  Some Blog Printing Considerations

The Problem of Frames in Blogs --- http://www.webpronews.com/blogtalk/2007/11/27/hp-blog-printing

Scrapbook Blogger --- https://www.scrapbookblogger.com/


January 28 2010 reply from Rick Lillie [rlillie@CSUSB.EDU]

Hi Bob,

About Question #1

The CaptureWizPro does capture video.  I saves files in a variety of formats.  I have not tried to capture a YouTube video file.  When I include a YouTube video in my course materials, I either include the URL link to the video or use the html code to embed the Flash player in the web page.

Video and audio capture
Record screen activity and/or sound to AVI, WMV, or GIV movie files of WAV audio files.

About Question #2

Yes, you can capture screenshots from Windows Media Player.  I've had the experience with getting nothing but a black screen.  Below is the explanation from CaptureWizPro.

 Rick Lillie

January 28, 2009 reply from Shari Thompson [shari.thompson@PVPL.COM]

Hi David
I think a relatively hassle-free way would be to use Adobe Acrobat (either Acrobat Standard or Acrobat Pro). Albeit somewhat more costly than other software suggested, you can try Acrobat for free by downloading it from: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/

I’ve found Acrobat to be the most convenient way to quickly convert a document—in any software format—into a good quality pdf that prints the way it displays. I use Acrobat almost daily at work. It makes document distribution a heck of a lot easier.

Acrobat samples: • I converted a section of your blog to an 8-pg pdf in about a minute (see “The Summa” pdf, attached)

Someone earlier mentioned want if you want just the blog text without the ads in the margins. I know of a couple ways to do this:

o One way: Start with the originally converted pdf, and then use the crop tool to take off the right margin. Acrobat displays a pop-up that visually shows how much of the actual image will be cropped. (see “The Summa cropped ”)

o Or use the browsers print feature and select “Adobe PDF” in place of your printer: Select “text only” from your browser’s print button and choose “adobe PDF” as the printer. Adobe then converts the selected text (and images, if selected) into a pdf. (see “The Summa - just the text”)

Email or give me a call if you have any questions. My employer paid $300 for it a few years ago, but looks like you could buy it at academic pricing for $160: http://www.adobe.com/education/purchasing/education_pricing.html 

Shari Thompson CIA
Internal Auditing Manager
Professional Veterinary Products
Direct 402.829.5248 Fax 402.829.5322


January 28, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Shari,

 What a great idea.

 Thanks so much.

 Just to make it easier for readers, I linked your facsimile files as follows:

The software below looks interesting:

Scrapbook Blogger --- https://www.scrapbookblogger.com/

Bob Jensen

January 28, 2010 reply from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

Bob: That limitation of file types is by design. Some of the myriad of codecs out there are very bad actors, and Camtasia has a filter to exclude potentially bad actors from causing harm to your system. Indiscrimate use of codecs can cause fatal implications for your computer.

However there are programs out there that will convert one file format to a format importable into Camtasia - the Nero suite has one for example and http://www.cucusoft.com/   has some more.

Richard J. Campbell

The Zero-Tuition Online University of the People (now working on gaining accreditation) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_the_People

"Tuition-Free University Gains a Following:  A year since its formation, the online University of the People has attracted several hundred students, a team of top academic advisers, and growing support worldwide," by Alison Damast, Business Week, January 21, 2010 ---

One of the higher education world's boldest experiments began in September when 180 students from nearly 50 countries around the world logged on to their computers for their first day of school at the University of the People. At first glance, the school has many of the trappings of a modern university: a provost, department heads, even an admissions committee. Yet there are glaring differences—namely, a the lack of a campus or physical classroom and just a handful of paid staff—that set it apart from its bricks-and-mortar counterparts.

Those are shortcomings the students, most of them from developing countries and without the means to pay for college, are willing to overlook, says Shai Reshef, an Israeli entrepreneur and founder of the school, the world's first global tuition-free online university.

"Education has become so expensive that not that many people can afford it, and in some parts of the world it just doesn't exist or there isn't a big enough supply," says Reshef, who has more than two decades' experience with Internet-based educational ventures and is chairman of Cramster.com, an online study community. "This is exactly why the Internet was invented. I thought: What can be done better with the Internet than helping people get an online education for free?"

Backed by the U.N. It was just about a year ago that Reshef made headlines in the distance learning community with his announcement that he intended to start an online college program using open-source software that would be free to students all over the world, one of just a handful of tuition-free universities. The nonprofit venture, which he named University of the People, attracted attention not only because of its tuition-free mission but also because it had the backing of the U.N., a leadership team made up of academics from top educational institutions like Columbia University and New York University, and an innovative approach to distance education, with an emphasis on peer-to-peer learning.

Today, the online university is fully operational, with 300 students, a growing array of course offerings, and even a recently announced research partnership with Yale University. The school is tapping into a growing market: Nonprofit institutions account for 68% of the more the more than 2 million students enrolled in online education, according to the latest estimates from Eduventures, a higher education consulting firm.

There are still many trials ahead for the fledgling university, which is struggling to make inroads in the competitive online global education market. To stay afloat, the school will need to raise several million dollars in startup costs this year and introduce new admission and application testing fees, which could pose difficulties for students from developing countries. But perhaps its greatest challenge—and the one its success will hinge on—will be gaining accreditation, a step toward the school's goal of conferring bachelor's degrees to students. This would also allow the school to carve out a niche as a major player in a space that has so far been primarily dominated by schools like the for-profit Apollo Group's (APOL) University of Phoenix and Washington Post Co.'s (WPO) Kaplan University, both of which have broad online degree offerings, says Roger C. Schonfeld, the manager of research at ITHAKA S+R, a higher education strategy and research organization.

Business and Computer Science "What the University of the People is offering to do is make education time- and space-neutral. They have a lot of ingredients there to be successful, and they certainly have quite a few superstars on their advisory board," Schonfeld says. Among them: a former dean at INSEAD and the current U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh. "I think that their success from a business perspective may turn on their ability to become accredited," Schonfeld notes. "With accreditation, they have a good chance of an innovative model that might see some success."

For now, the school's academic offerings are limited. Students can pursue an associate's-degree or bachelor's-degree track in business or a bachelor's track in computer science. Those subject areas were chosen because they are professions that "are in high demand and areas where students will most likely be able to find a job," Reshef says. (A notice on the school's Web site reads: "These programs may in the future lead towards undergraduate degrees. However, no degrees will be granted until the university obtains proper authorization from relevant authorities.")

Obtaining accreditation is a top priority for the school, says Reshef, noting that the school is incorporated in Pasadena, Calif., making it easier for the school to work with American accreditation agencies. "We intend to apply for accreditation as soon as we can," Reshef says, though he declined to specify which accreditation body the school planned to work with.

The school's unaccredited status does not appear to be a stumbling block for students like Deema Sultan, 27, who lives in Syria and was among the first cohort of students to matriculate at the University of the People this fall. She came across the school through a news story run on a Syrian Web site last summer and immediately became intrigued. "I thought, "Oh, this is a great idea, but I doubt it is true,"" says Sultan.

Her doubts were assuaged when she found the school's Web site and saw that she met the eligibility requirements. Now in her second semester, she is pursuing a business administration track. When not in school, she helps run her family's textile business. She hopes her education will help the business grow and help her become a more astute entrepreneur.

"This is a great opportunity for me because, even though I'm working, I could not afford to study in Syria or the U.S.," says Sultan, who takes classes from a computer in her parent's home or at Internet cafés, when the family's connection is down. "I'm very impressed by it so far and the level of education they are offering. I've been telling my friends all about it."

The University of the People has not launched an official marketing campaign, but word appears to be spreading quickly. In its first two semesters, the school received 3,000 applications from all over the world, the school says. Students enrolled in the current class range in age from 18 to 63; the vast majority have opted for the business program. To gain admission, students have to submit a high school diploma, have Internet access, be proficient in English, and be able to pass two mandatory courses in English and computer skills. The school has so far attracted students from 70 countries, including Afghanistan, Thailand, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Zambia, and expects to enroll several hundred more students when its third semester begins in February, Reshef says.

Peer-to-Peer Learning Admitted students are placed in a class of 15 to 20 of their peers and given access to free online materials and social networking tools. There are five semesters throughout the school year, each lasting 10 weeks. The school is using Moodle, an open sourceware e-learning software platform, to deliver lectures, reading material, homework assignments, and tests to students, who work together in groups.

Every class is overseen by an instructor, but the school's educational model is based on peer-to-peer learning, meaning that students are expected to learn by interacting with their peers, posting and responding to questions on lessons and reading in their online classrooms. If students can't find the answer to a question through their classmates, they can reach out for help to an online volunteer community of university professors, graduate students, retired academics, and computer specialists.

The model appears to be working, the school says. A survey of students conducted in November by the school indicated that 90% of the class was satisfied with the classroom experience and would definitely or likely recommend the school to peers and family.

Continued in article


University of the People --- http://www.uopeople.org/

Course Catalogs --- http://www.uopeople.org/ACADEMICS/CourseCatalog/tabid/197/Default.aspx



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

"Turnitin Begins Crackdown on Plagiarism in Admissions Essays," by Louis Lavelle, Business Week, January 20, 2010 ---

For a long time, b-school applicants have had it good. Submit an MBA application to Harvard, and who’s going to know if you send the same one to Wharton? And Columbia? And Yale? Turn in an essay with a few well-chosen words lifted from an online source, or a friend’s essay, and who’s the wiser? Well, those days are over my friends. O-V-E-R, over.

Turnitin.com, the web site that professors have been using for years to check student research papers for plagiarism, is now turning it’s attention to admissions essays, with Turnitin for Admissions. The new service, which was announced in December, checks admissions essays submitted by participating schools against a massive database that contains billions of pages of web content as well as more than 100 million student works previously submitted to Turnitin and millions of pages of proprietary content, including journals and books. It’s capable, the company says, of flagging instances of “plagiarism, recycled submissions, duplicate responses, purchased documents, and other violations of academic standards.”

No b-schools have signed up for the service yet, but it seems only a matter of time. The service was started by popular demand from colleges and universities, and b-school admissions directors are as vocal as any in their complaints about duplicate essays and similar problems.

And they don’t even know the half of it. Back in 2007, in anticipation of the new service, Turnitin undertook a study of every single undergraduate admissions essay submitted over the course of a year in a large (unnamed) English-speaking country, all told, about 453,000 “personal statements” received by more than 300 institutions of higher education. About 200,000 of them were found to include text that matched sources in the Turnitin database.

In all, more than a million matches were found (5 for each of the 200,000 essay). Half the matches were from online sources, with 29% coming from student documents (research papers, etc.) and 20% coming from other admissions documents. Turnitin’s conclusion: that 36% of the matches it found were suspected plagiarism. Here’s an excerpt from the Turnitin report:

Personal statements attached to university applications should be the work of that applicant and help the university know more about the perspective applicant. It is safe to assume that more that 70,000 applicants that applied though this system did so with statements that may not have been their own work. The number of Internet sites that matched personal statement/essay providing services leads one to question the additional 100,000 applicants whose personal statement contained a significant match (they may have borrowed or purchased all or part of their personal statement). The list of internet sites where most of this poaching went on includes Wikipedia, the BBC, the Guardian newspaper, as well as numerous sites designed specifically to help students with their essays, including Peterson’s Essayedge.com. A few of the sites belonged to admissions consultants, including Accepted.com and EssayEdge.com, and few others, if you can believe this, actually belong to schools themselves, including online writing labs at Purdue University and Ohio State.

I really don’t know where to begin. If the Turnitin study is at all representative of the current state of college admissions, it seems safe to assume that more than a few current MBAs, and quite a few MBA alumni who have gone on to bigger and better things, started out their academic lives committing the cardinal sin of the academy, and a serious breach of ethics. If they stammered through the essays on their own, without the benefit of cutting and pasting, would they have been admitted? Impossible to say. Did not getting caught encourage them to go on to bigger and better lies? Again, nobody knows.

I’m willing to entertain any opposing viewpoint that makes a modicum of sense, but I’m not sure there is one. Is duplicating your admissions essay okay? Is plagiarizing someone else’s work in an essay ever permissable?

Continued in article

I wonder if admissions officers are puzzled when two or more essay submissions look suspiciously alike?
"B-Schools Take on Essay Consultants," by Rob Capriccioso, Inside Higher Ed, February 6, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/02/07/bschool

“Vault is collecting successful admissions essays for top MBA programs, including Wharton — and will pay $40 for each main essay (main personal statement greater than 500 words), and $15 for each minor essay (secondary essay answering a specific question less than 500 words) that we accept for our admissions essay section.”

That message, recently sent out from a top company that helps students get into business schools, is enough to irk even the most experienced admissions officers at some the nation’s leading business schools.

“Some of our admissions counselors have gotten outraged,” says Thomas R. Caleel, director of MBA admissions at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. “We want students to be giving their real stories, not some ‘polished’ or even ‘over-polished’ versions of themselves.”

“Essays have to be meaningful per person,” he adds. “It might be helpful to see some successful essays, but in my mind, it might also be limiting. Someone might read one [of the consultant-produced essays] and think that their essays have to read the same way, in order to get in.”

Those sentiments are being expressed by an increasing number of business school officials who say that students shouldn’t have to pay exorbitant amounts of money to make themselves appear different than who they really are. While some officials plan to go on the offensive against firms that they find particularly egregious, others want to work more closely with consultants. Still others say that there is little they can do to prevent the phenomenon.

Deans at seven of the top American business schools are expected to address such issues at an upcoming gathering, according to a Monday report in The Boston Globe. In an effort to “remove the possibility of outside interference,” Derrick Bolton, director of admissions at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, told the paper that deans are considering making students complete their essays under supervision, providing different essays to students in the same applicant pool, and conducting more interviews and follow-up with references.

While the proliferation of admissions consultants of various sorts has frustrated officials in undergraduate admissions as well, especially at elite institutions, the steps being considered by business schools could amount to a much more aggressive stance against the application-consulting industry.

“Part of getting the best candidates is for them to be themselves during the admissions process,” says Caleel. “We really want to get to know the real person who is applying.” Wharton’s business school dean, Patrick Harker, is expected to be part of the group that will meet to discuss consultant issues.

While Vault officials could not be reached for comment on Monday, Alex Brown, a senior admissions counselor at ClearAdmit, in Philadelphia, says that not all consulting firms function the same way. “Some businesses are bad,” he says, “but the bulk of us, that’s not the way we operate.”

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at


Fascinating History
"The Chess Master and the Computer,"  By Garry Kasparov, New York Books, February 11, 2010 ---

In 1985, in Hamburg, I played against thirty-two different chess computers at the same time in what is known as a simultaneous exhibition. I walked from one machine to the next, making my moves over a period of more than five hours. The four leading chess computer manufacturers had sent their top models, including eight named after me from the electronics firm Saitek.

It illustrates the state of computer chess at the time that it didn't come as much of a surprise when I achieved a perfect 32–0 score, winning every game, although there was an uncomfortable moment. At one point I realized that I was drifting into trouble in a game against one of the "Kasparov" brand models. If this machine scored a win or even a draw, people would be quick to say that I had thrown the game to get PR for the company, so I had to intensify my efforts. Eventually I found a way to trick the machine with a sacrifice it should have refused. From the human perspective, or at least from my perspective, those were the good old days of man vs. machine chess.

Eleven years later I narrowly defeated the supercomputer Deep Blue in a match. Then, in 1997, IBM redoubled its efforts—and doubled Deep Blue's processing power—and I lost the rematch in an event that made headlines around the world. The result was met with astonishment and grief by those who took it as a symbol of mankind's submission before the almighty computer. ("The Brain's Last Stand" read the Newsweek headline.) Others shrugged their shoulders, surprised that humans could still compete at all against the enormous calculating power that, by 1997, sat on just about every desk in the first world.

It was the specialists—the chess players and the programmers and the artificial intelligence enthusiasts—who had a more nuanced appreciation of the result. Grandmasters had already begun to see the implications of the existence of machines that could play—if only, at this point, in a select few types of board configurations—with godlike perfection. The computer chess people were delighted with the conquest of one of the earliest and holiest grails of computer science, in many cases matching the mainstream media's hyperbole. The 2003 book Deep Blue by Monty Newborn was blurbed as follows: "a rare, pivotal watershed beyond all other triumphs: Orville Wright's first flight, NASA's landing on the moon...."

The AI crowd, too, was pleased with the result and the attention, but dismayed by the fact that Deep Blue was hardly what their predecessors had imagined decades earlier when they dreamed of creating a machine to defeat the world chess champion. Instead of a computer that thought and played chess like a human, with human creativity and intuition, they got one that played like a machine, systematically evaluating 200 million possible moves on the chess board per second and winning with brute number-crunching force. As Igor Aleksander, a British AI and neural networks pioneer, explained in his 2000 book, How to Build a Mind:

By the mid-1990s the number of people with some experience of using computers was many orders of magnitude greater than in the 1960s. In the Kasparov defeat they recognized that here was a great triumph for programmers, but not one that may compete with the human intelligence that helps us to lead our lives.

It was an impressive achievement, of course, and a human achievement by the members of the IBM team, but Deep Blue was only intelligent the way your programmable alarm clock is intelligent. Not that losing to a $10 million alarm clock made me feel any better.

My hopes for a return match with Deep Blue were dashed, unfortunately. IBM had the publicity it wanted and quickly shut down the project. Other chess computing projects around the world also lost their sponsorship. Though I would have liked my chances in a rematch in 1998 if I were better prepared, it was clear then that computer superiority over humans in chess had always been just a matter of time. Today, for $50 you can buy a home PC program that will crush most grandmasters. In 2003, I played serious matches against two of these programs running on commercially available multiprocessor servers—and, of course, I was playing just one game at a time—and in both cases the score ended in a tie with a win apiece and several draws.

Inevitable or not, no one understood all the ramifications of having a super-grandmaster on your laptop, especially what this would mean for professional chess. There were many doomsday scenarios about people losing interest in chess with the rise of the machines, especially after my loss to Deep Blue. Some replied to this with variations on the theme of how we still hold footraces despite cars and bicycles going much faster, a spurious analogy since cars do not help humans run faster while chess computers undoubtedly have an effect on the quality of human chess.

Another group postulated that the game would be solved, i.e., a mathematically conclusive way for a computer to win from the start would be found. (Or perhaps it would prove that a game of chess played in the best possible way always ends in a draw.) Perhaps a real version of HAL 9000 would simply announce move 1.e4, with checkmate in, say, 38,484 moves. These gloomy predictions have not come true, nor will they ever come to pass. Chess is far too complex to be definitively solved with any technology we can conceive of today. However, our looked-down-upon cousin, checkers, or draughts, suffered this fate quite recently thanks to the work of Jonathan Schaeffer at the University of Alberta and his unbeatable program Chinook.

The number of legal chess positions is 1040, the number of different possible games, 10120. Authors have attempted various ways to convey this immensity, usually based on one of the few fields to regularly employ such exponents, astronomy. In his book Chess Metaphors, Diego Rasskin-Gutman points out that a player looking eight moves ahead is already presented with as many possible games as there are stars in the galaxy. Another staple, a variation of which is also used by Rasskin-Gutman, is to say there are more possible chess games than the number of atoms in the universe. All of these comparisons impress upon the casual observer why brute-force computer calculation can't solve this ancient board game. They are also handy, and I am not above doing this myself, for impressing people with how complicated chess is, if only in a largely irrelevant mathematical way.

This astronomical scale is not at all irrelevant to chess programmers. They've known from the beginning that solving the game—creating a provably unbeatable program—was not possible with the computer power available, and that effective shortcuts would have to be found. In fact, the first chess program put into practice was designed by legendary British mathematician Alan Turing in 1952, and he didn't even have a computer! He processed the algorithm on pieces of paper and this "paper machine" played a competent game.

Rasskin-Gutman covers this well-traveled territory in a book that achieves its goal of being an overview of overviews, if little else. The history of the study of brain function is covered in the first chapter, tempting the reader to skip ahead. You might recall axons and dendrites from high school biology class. We also learn about cholinergic and aminergic systems and many other things that are not found by my computer's artificially intelligent English spell-checking system—or referenced again by the author. Then it's on to similarly concise, if inconclusive, surveys of artificial intelligence, chess computers, and how humans play chess.

There have been many unintended consequences, both positive and negative, of the rapid proliferation of powerful chess software. Kids love computers and take to them naturally, so it's no surprise that the same is true of the combination of chess and computers. With the introduction of super-powerful software it became possible for a youngster to have a top- level opponent at home instead of need ing a professional trainer from an early age. Countries with little by way of chess tradition and few available coaches can now produce prodigies. I am in fact coaching one of them this year, nineteen-year-old Magnus Carlsen, from Norway, where relatively little chess is played.

The heavy use of computer analysis has pushed the game itself in new directions. The machine doesn't care about style or patterns or hundreds of years of established theory. It counts up the values of the chess pieces, analyzes a few billion moves, and counts them up again. (A computer translates each piece and each positional factor into a value in order to reduce the game to numbers it can crunch.) It is entirely free of prejudice and doctrine and this has contributed to the development of players who are almost as free of dogma as the machines with which they train. Increasingly, a move isn't good or bad because it looks that way or because it hasn't been done that way before. It's simply good if it works and bad if it doesn't. Although we still require a strong measure of intuition and logic to play well, humans today are starting to play more like computers.

The availability of millions of games at one's fingertips in a database is also making the game's best players younger and younger. Absorbing the thousands of essential patterns and opening moves used to take many years, a process indicative of Malcolm Gladwell's "10,000 hours to become an expert" theory as expounded in his recent book Outliers. (Gladwell's earlier book, Blink, rehashed, if more creatively, much of the cognitive psychology material that is re-rehashed in Chess Metaphors.) Today's teens, and increasingly pre-teens, can accelerate this process by plugging into a digitized archive of chess information and making full use of the superiority of the young mind to retain it all. In the pre-computer era, teenage grandmasters were rarities and almost always destined to play for the world championship. Bobby Fischer's 1958 record of attaining the grandmaster title at fifteen was broken only in 1991. It has been broken twenty times since then, with the current record holder, Ukrainian Sergey Karjakin, having claimed the highest title at the nearly absurd age of twelve in 2002. Now twenty, Karjakin is among the world's best, but like most of his modern wunderkind peers he's no Fischer, who stood out head and shoulders above his peers—and soon enough above the rest of the chess world as well.

Excelling at chess has long been considered a symbol of more general intelligence. That is an incorrect assumption in my view, as pleasant as it might be. But for the purposes of argument and investigation, chess is, in Russkin-Gutman's words, "an unparalleled laboratory, since both the learning process and the degree of ability obtained can be objectified and quantified, providing an excellent comparative framework on which to use rigorous analytical techniques."

Here I agree wholeheartedly, if for different reasons. I am much more interested in using the chess laboratory to illuminate the workings of the human mind, not the artificial mind. As I put it in my 2007 book, How Life Imitates Chess, "Chess is a unique cognitive nexus, a place where art and science come together in the human mind and are then refined and improved by experience." Coincidentally the section in which that phrase appears is titled "More than a metaphor." It makes the case for using the decision-making process of chess as a model for understanding and improving our decision-making everywhere else.

This is not to say that I am not interested in the quest for intelligent machines. My many exhibitions with chess computers stemmed from a desire to participate in this grand experiment. It was my luck (perhaps my bad luck) to be the world chess champion during the critical years in which computers challenged, then surpassed, human chess players. Before 1994 and after 2004 these duels held little interest. The computers quickly went from too weak to too strong. But for a span of ten years these contests were fascinating clashes between the computational power of the machines (and, lest we forget, the human wisdom of their programmers) and the intuition and knowledge of the grandmaster.

In what Rasskin-Gutman explains as Moravec's Paradox, in chess, as in so many things, what computers are good at is where humans are weak, and vice versa. This gave me an idea for an experiment. What if instead of human versus machine we played as partners? My brainchild saw the light of day in a match in 1998 in León, Spain, and we called it "Advanced Chess." Each player had a PC at hand running the chess software of his choice during the game. The idea was to create the highest level of chess ever played, a synthesis of the best of man and machine.

Although I had prepared for the unusual format, my match against the Bulgarian Veselin Topalov, until recently the world's number one ranked player, was full of strange sensations. Having a computer program available during play was as disturbing as it was exciting. And being able to access a database of a few million games meant that we didn't have to strain our memories nearly as much in the opening, whose possibilities have been thoroughly catalogued over the years. But since we both had equal access to the same database, the advantage still came down to creating a new idea at some point.

Having a computer partner also meant never having to worry about making a tactical blunder. The computer could project the consequences of each move we considered, pointing out possible outcomes and countermoves we might otherwise have missed. With that taken care of for us, we could concentrate on strategic planning instead of spending so much time on calculations. Human creativity was even more paramount under these conditions. Despite access to the "best of both worlds," my games with Topalov were far from perfect. We were playing on the clock and had little time to consult with our silicon assistants. Still, the results were notable. A month earlier I had defeated the Bulgarian in a match of "regular" rapid chess 4–0. Our advanced chess match ended in a 3–3 draw. My advantage in calculating tactics had been nullified by the machine.

This experiment goes unmentioned by Russkin-Gutman, a major omission since it relates so closely to his subject. Even more notable was how the advanced chess experiment continued. In 2005, the online chess-playing site Playchess.com hosted what it called a "freestyle" chess tournament in which anyone could compete in teams with other players or computers. Normally, "anti-cheating" algorithms are employed by online sites to prevent, or at least discourage, players from cheating with computer assistance. (I wonder if these detection algorithms, which employ diagnostic analysis of moves and calculate probabilities, are any less "intelligent" than the playing programs they detect.)

Lured by the substantial prize money, several groups of strong grandmasters working with several computers at the same time entered the competition. At first, the results seemed predictable. The teams of human plus machine dominated even the strongest computers. The chess machine Hydra, which is a chess-specific supercomputer like Deep Blue, was no match for a strong human player using a relatively weak laptop. Human strategic guidance combined with the tactical acuity of a computer was overwhelming.

The surprise came at the conclusion of the event. The winner was revealed to be not a grandmaster with a state-of-the-art PC but a pair of amateur American chess players using three computers at the same time. Their skill at manipulating and "coaching" their computers to look very deeply into positions effectively counteracted the superior chess understanding of their grandmaster opponents and the greater computational power of other participants. Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process.

Continued in article

"A Bold Opening for Chess Player," by Magnus Carlsen, Time Magazine, January 11, 2010, Page 43 ---

Vladimir Kramnik, former world chess champion and current No. 4, is playing in the first round of the London Chess Classic, the most competitive chess tournament to be played in the U.K. capital in 25 years. Tall, handsome and expressionless, he looks exactly as a man who has mastered a game of nearly infinite variation should: like a high-end assassin. Today, however, he is getting methodically and mercilessly crushed.

His opponent is a teenager who seems to be having difficulty staying awake. Magnus Carlsen yawns, fidgets, slumps in his chair. He gets up and wanders over to the other games, staring at the boards like a curious toddler. Every now and then, he returns to his own game and moves one of his pieces, inexorably building an attack so fierce that by the 43rd move Kramnik sees the hopelessness of his position and resigns.

Genius can appear anywhere, but the origins of Carlsen's talent are particularly mysterious. In November, Carlsen, then 18, became the youngest world No. 1 in the game's history. He hails from Norway — a "small, poxy chess nation with almost no history of success," as the English grand master Nigel Short sniffily describes it — and unlike many chess prodigies who are full-time players by age 12, Carlsen stayed in school until last year. His father Henrik, a soft-spoken engineer, says he has spent more time urging his young son to complete his schoolwork than to play chess. Even now, Henrik will interrupt Carlsen's chess studies to drag him out for a family hike or museum trip. "I still have to pinch my arm," Henrik says. "This certainly is not what we had in mind for Magnus."

Even pro chess players — a population inured to demonstrations of extraordinary intellect — have been electrified by Carlsen's rise. A grand master at 13 (the third youngest in history) and a conqueror of top players at 15, he is often referred to as the Mozart of chess for the seeming ease of his mastery. In September, he announced a coaching contract with Garry Kasparov, arguably the greatest player of all time, who quit chess in 2005 to pursue a political career in Russia. "Before he is done," Kasparov says, "Carlsen will have changed our ancient game considerably."

In conversation, Carlsen offers only subtle clues to his intelligence. His speech, like his chess, is technical, grammatically flawless and logically irresistible. He dresses neatly but shows a teenager's discomfort with formality. (He rarely makes it through a game without his shirt coming untucked.) He would seem older than 19 but for his habit of giggling and his coltlike aversion to eye contact.

Carlsen joins chess's élite at a time of unprecedented change. He is one of a generation of players who learned the game from computers. To this day, he's not certain if he has an actual board at home. "I might have one somewhere. I'm not sure," he says. Powerful chess programs, which now routinely beat the best human competitors, have allowed grand masters to study positions at a deeper level than was possible before. Short says top players can now spend almost an entire game trading moves that have been scripted by the same program and that such play by rote has removed some of the mystique of chess. He likens chess computers to "chainsaws chopping down the Amazon." (Read a Q&A with Carlsen.)

But Kasparov says Carlsen's mastery is rooted in a "deep intuitive sense no computer can teach" and that his pupil "has a natural feel for where to place the pieces." According to Kasparov, Carlsen has a knack for sensing the potential energy in each move, even if its ultimate effect is too far away for anyone — even a computer — to calculate. In the grand-master commentary room, where chess's clerisy gather to analyze play, the experts did not even consider several of Carlsen's moves during his game with Kramnik until they saw them and realized they were perfect. "It's hard to explain," Carlsen says. "Sometimes a move just feels right."

Not that Carlsen lacks computational prowess, though. He often calculates 20 moves ahead and can comfortably play several games simultaneously while blindfolded simply by hearing each move in notation. The fear surrounding any such beautiful mind is that a life spent probing the edges of the infinite — the possible permutations of a chess game outnumber the estimated number of atoms in the universe — will eventually lead to madness. Grand masters say Carlsen's precociousness is reminiscent of Bobby Fischer's. The great American player spent his later years in isolation, reappearing only to spout anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. "It's easy to get obsessed with chess," Carlsen says. "That's what happened with Fischer and Paul Morphy," another prodigy lost to madness. "I don't have that same obsession." (Read: "Fischer vs. Spassky: Battle of the Brains.")

Although firmly atop the chess rankings, thanks in part to his victory in London, Carlsen must now fight his way through a series of qualifying competitions in order to earn a chance to play for the world-championship title — the game's highest prize, which is contested every two or three years. His father says he is more concerned about "whether chess will make him a happy person." It seems to be doing just that. "I love the game. I love to compete," Carlsen says. Asked how long he will continue to enjoy chess and where the game will take him, Carlsen pauses to ponder the variables. "It's too difficult to predict," he concludes. So far, at least, he's been making all the right moves.

Bob Jensen's threads on critical thinking, including "beyond critical thinking" --

"Did McGraw-Hill CEO spill Apple's tablet secret?" by Jesicca Mintz, The Washington Post, January ---

SAN FRANCISCO -- The McGraw-Hill Cos. Inc.'s CEO spoke on CNBC Tuesday and appeared to confirm speculation that Apple Inc. will indeed unveil a tablet computer running on iPhone software during a highly anticipated media event Wednesday.

Harold McGraw, the company's chief executive, was discussing his company earnings on the cable business news channel. When asked about the tablet, McGraw said Apple will "make their announcement tomorrow on this one" and that "the tablet is going to be based on the iPhone operating system."

His comments, though brief, sounded authoritative and several Apple-themed blogs reported the incident as if McGraw had accidentally beaten Apple CEO Steve Jobs to the punch.

McGraw-Hill spokesman Steven Weiss would not confirm that the CEO was describing Apple's actual product.

"There has been lots of speculation and we are as eager as anyone to see how the new device can be used to advance education and business information platforms," Weiss said.

McGraw's comments on CNBC appeared to be an abbreviated version of remarks made during a conference call with Wall Street analysts earlier in the day. According to a transcript supplied by Weiss, McGraw sounded confident that the tablet would soon become a reality. But as for technical details, he said only that "many expect that the Apple device will use the iPhone operating system."

McGraw-Hill is a major developer and publisher of educational materials and textbooks, and some of its college texts are already available for reading on Apple's iPhone. If Apple's tablet is based on the iPhone system, the investments McGraw-Hill and other publishers have already made in e-books would still be relevant on the new device.

"Awaiting the Tablet," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, January 27, 2010 ---

It has many names — the iTablet, the iSlate, the iTab, the iGuide — but if there is one thing people seem to agree on regarding Apple’s new computing tablet, expected to be unveiled today in San Francisco, it’s that it will change the way people consume media. And many observers believe the impact will be particularly notable on college campuses.

Media prognosticators have been buzzing for months about how higher education might be affected by the arrival of the Apple tablet, which is reported to have a 10-inch color display — about the same size as the screen on Apple’s smallest laptop and larger than the screens of the three-and-half-inch iPhone and iPod touch, the six-inch Amazon Kindle, or the five- to seven-inch Sony Reader

Ars Technica writer Jeff Smykil recently wrote that the addition of e-textbooks to the iTunes Store could precipitate new ways of supplying students with course materials, possibly based on selling subscriptions and bundling books and other resources by major. Joshua Kim, a senior learning technologist at Dartmouth College and Inside Higher Ed technology blogger, posited that the tablet could combine course materials and collaboration tools, bringing the futuristic vision of a “cloud-based, disaggregated, open educational experience” one step closer to realization. Brand expert Brian Phipps put it more bluntly, writing that the tablet “could replace the conventional classroom.”

Of course, most people won’t know until later today what the tablet can do; and they won’t know what it will do to traditional higher education for a long time after that. “At the moment we’re just sort of reading digital tea leaves,” said Kenneth C. Green, director of the campus computing project.

A Boost for E-Books?

Electronic textbook publishers, for one, are hoping that the release and anticipated popularity of the tablet will be a windfall for e-textbooks — which, though they have been available for several years, so far have failed to catch on with students. E-textbooks accounted for only 2 percent of total textbook sales last fall, according to data from the market research firm Student Monitor.

CourseSmart, a consortium of five major textbook publishers (at least one of which has been talking to Apple), made a video in anticipation of the tablet’s release, in which it superimposes its iPhone application on a tablet-like device and touts the many ways it could make students' lives easier. Frank Lyman, the consortium’s president, has said the tablet offers features far beyond what is offered by the Kindle and the Sony Reader, including color graphics, video, and other media.

In an interview yesterday with Inside Higher Ed, Lyman said he believes the Apple product will give e-textbooks a boost by combining a brand that is widely popular among college students with a platform that is oriented to reading. “At the level of general enthusiasm and interest for e-textbooks, it has sort of captured the imagination of another part of the market,” he said.

Eric Weil, managing director of Student Monitor, agreed that Apple’s brand power could help push e-textbooks into the mainstream. The problem for e-textbooks is not that students don’t know that they exist, it’s that they don’t find them appealing, Weil said. Apple’s involvement could change that, he said, the same way it popularized the MP3 player with the iPod.

Price Points

But the aspect about the Apple tablet that could provide the deepest insight into how much it stands to affect higher education — at least initially — is perhaps the hardest to pin down: the price tag. While some analysts predict that Apple would need to price the tablet at $600 or lower in order to market it successfully, rumors abound that the product could run as high as $1,000 — as much as a regular MacBook.

While CourseSmart claims that its e-textbooks cost half the price of a new, printed textbook, Lyman acknowledged that, depending on the tablet’s price tag, it could take all four years to break even on the initial hardware investment. But he said he hopes the additional value tablet’s many rumored features will persuade students to buy it. After all, given everything the tablet is supposed to do, students might regard cheaper, less cumbersome e-textbooks as a peripheral benefit rather than a main selling point.

Green said the tablet’s penetration on college campuses will turn largely on what current technologies it is capable of replacing. If the features of the Apple tablet are redundant with the functions students use on their iPod touches — or smartphones, or laptops — then they can subtract from the cost of the tablet the money they would have spent on those other technologies, he said. The more gadgets the tablet makes obsolete, the cheaper the investment.

But Weil said he thinks all this accounting is moot. College students don’t generally think in such calculating terms when it comes to technology, he said. “At the end of the day,” he said, “students spend more on their cell phone service than they do on their textbooks.”

The tablet is expected to hit the shelves in March.

"iPad and the Risk of 'Sustaining Innovations'," by Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, January 28, 2010 ---

iPad and the Risk of 'Sustaining Innovations' By Joshua Kim January 28, 2010 11:30 am The risk of the iPad for higher education is that the device will prove a "sustaining innovation" in learning technology.

Sustaining innovations, as explained by Michael Horn in his amazing talk at the 2009 EDUCAUSE ECAR Symposium, increase the quality of the service or product but also drive up the cost. Higher education has been moving through cycles of sustaining innovation, where improvements in facilities, amenities and technology have increased the fidelity of the campus experience while simultaneously driving costs (and tuition) faster than inflation.

The iPad could drive a new round of sustaining innovation as institutions seek to design specialized campus and educational apps for the new platform. We will want to design these learning and campus apps, and invest in tools that allow our university content to be accessed by the iPad, for the best of reasons. These reasons include the desire to stay relevant to our students' experience, to compete for their scarce attention, and to use the iPad to reach multiple learning styles.

We will see the ability of the iPad to digitize curricular texts and aggregate curricular media as progress. We will be excited that students will be able to easily sync up a syllabus' worth of course content, consuming the materials via the iPad's gorgeous interface. We will be excited by the possibilities of students engaging in formative assessments and collaborative work (wikis/blogs/discussions) through the browser, without the need to sacrifice the fidelity of reading (iBooks) or media viewing.

The possibilities for learning, student interaction and enhanced campus services that the iPad unleashes will all come at a price. Nothing about a tool as wonderful as the iPad will lower the cost of constructing or delivering education. We will need to invest in buying iPads, developing apps for iPads, and experimenting with new pedagogies and training around iPads. Perhaps the iPad will be a disruptive force for lifelong learners, as they will be able to sync up the lecture content from iTunesU, pair it with book content, and than engage in discussions of the material (through the browser) with other autodidacts.

It might be unpopular to say right now (and I'm sympathetic to the Edupunk movement), but an argument can be made that the LMS was a disruptive innovation for higher education. The LMS allowed, for the first time, hybrid and online learning to scale. Prior to the LMS any pedagogical innovation enabled by technology required custom development and a high degree of faculty technical proficiency. Faculty could make course Web pages, but they needed to know HTML. Assessment and collaboration tools could be built, but they were built one-by-one and by hand. The low technical threshold necessary to maintain and utilize and LMS opened the door to pedagogical innovation and a disruption of the status quo higher ed model. We are still struggling to walk through that door. (And yes, we can and should be debating if Web 2.0 tools have supplanted or complemented the LMS as catalysts for disruption -- but that is the topic of another discussion).

How can something as uncool and unsexy as the LMS be disruptive for higher ed, while something as cool, sexy and elegant as the iPad only be sustaining? And what do we do with the recognition that no matter how wonderful a sustaining innovation can be, the end result is to increase costs as quality also rises?

Do we stop adopting sustaining innovations?

Do we only innovate with learning technologies that can increase quality (active learning) while decreasing costs?

I have no idea, but while we figure all this out I'm totally excited to get my hands on a shiny new iPad. How about you?

iPad or iPoop?
January 30,  message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

A special thanks to the FCC - why? They have not approved the Apple Ipad, and they can not be sold (or ordered) until approved. I might have ordered one without fully considering the pitfalls of owning one.

Here are some of the issues: 1. Both the Iphone and Ipad do not handle flash files. So much of the richness of the web will be lost to Ipad owners. I have been digging around for the answer to the lack of flash, and the major reason is that that ATT network - already straining from the success of the Iphone - will come crashing down if the huge surge of Flash downloads would clog the ATT network. There are other technical reasons, but that is the major one.

2. If I bought the Ipad with the 3G capability, there would be ANOTHER $39 per month access fee paid to ATT. Currently I pay $30 per month for my Iphone, and the ATT assurances about being able to "tether" my Iphone to my laptop have not come into being yet. The ATT System is straining under the weight of its success in selling Iphones.

3. Creation of Ipad content - You really can't - the operating system - Iphone 3.3? is proprietary and if I wanted to create content, I need a separate Mac with the free Software Development Kit. BUT if I do create something, I have to kick over 30% to Steve Jobs.

4. Readabilty - The Kindle is superior to the Ipad here, but the current Kindle does not do color. Incidentally, Amazon just pulled Macmillan books from their store - a HUGE move with potential antitrust implications. It seems that Macmillan is very upset with Amazon about the heavy discounting of their ebooks. I have talked to an author friend who has self-published on Amazon and the "cut" that Amazon takes makes it difficult for anyone else to make money from their site, "unless you are an Oprah author" as he said.

I have more concerns, but later.

Richard J. Campbell

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

Note that over the XMAS season Amazon sold more Kindle books than hard copy books. However, many of the most popular textbook publishers are still avoiding electronic versions of any kind except for limited editions of books for special needs students.

Report Outlines 'Educational Crisis' for Minority Men
The College Board released a report Tuesday, "The Educational Crisis Facing Young Men of Color," outlining current research and important research questions that explore key gaps in educational attainment. The report highlights "undeniable challenges among minority students, including a lack of role models, search for respect outside of education, loss of cultural memory, poverty challenges, language barriers, community pressures and a sense of a failing education system," according to the announcement of the study. The report is the second this week to focus on gaps in enrollments between minority males and other students.
Inside Higher Ed, January 27, 2010 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/01/27/qt#218571

Bob Jensen's threads on affirmative action are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#AcademicStandards

"Colleges See 17 Percent Increase in Online Enrollment," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 26, 2010 ---

Colleges saw a 17 percent increase in online enrollment, with more than one in four students taking at least one online course in the fall of 2008, according to the findings of an annual survey published on Tuesday by the Sloan Consortium.

The growth rate eclipsed last year's 12-percent increase and dwarfed the 1.2 percent growth rate of the overall higher-education student population. The report, which has become a widely cited benchmark of distance learning, found a total of more than 4.6-million online students overall. That's up from about 3.9 million the previous year.

Despite this surge, the data suggest that not enough institutions have taken online education into account as they conduct planning around issues like how to deal with budget cuts and space shortages, says A. Frank Mayadas, a special adviser to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

"They have to wake up and begin to think about this as a strategic item," Mr. Mayadas says.

The report found that public institutions are by far the most likely to believe that online education is key to their long-term strategy. That reflects the striking demand for online couses at institutions like the University of Central Florida, where more than half of the 53,500 students take at least one online course each year.

The university's online efforts stem from its mission of providing access and its budget realities. All new construction money is "basically frozen at the state level," says Tom Cavanagh, assistant vice president for distributed learning.

"For us to grow, it’s going to be online until that money is freed up again," he says.

The Sloan report is based on data collected from more than 2,500 colleges and universities by the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board. Among the study's other key findings:

* Bad economic times, which traditionally drive more people back to school, are having a particularly strong impact on demand for online courses. Seventy-three percent of institutions report increased demand for existing online courses, compared with 54 percent for face-to-face. Sixty-six percent report increased demand for new online courses. And students are clamoring for distance education at colleges that don't offer it; 45 percent of institutions in that category report growing demand for new online courses and programs.

* Fewer than one-third of chief academic officers think that their faculty members accept the "value and legitimacy" of online education, a perception that hasn't change much in the past six years. (Another survey, released in 2009, also reflected broad faculty suspicion about the quality of online courses.)

* More than two-thirds of institutions have a contingency plan to deal with a disruption from the H1N1 flu, and substituting online for face-to-face classes is an element in 67 percent of those plans.

* The overwhelming majority of the 4.6 million online students — over 82 percent — are undergraduates.

Bob Jensen's threads for online training and education alternatives are at

Bait and Switch:  Henry Adams on Graduate School

Chronicle of Higher Education, January 27, 2010

The behavior of assistant professors teaches graduate students some unintentional lessons about academic life.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---

"A Russian University Gets Creative Against Corruption:  With surveillance equipment and video campaigns, rector aims to eliminate bribery at Kazan State," by Anna Nemtsova, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 17, 2010 ---

A student walks down the hallway of a university building and, in a stroke of luck, finds a 1,000-ruble bill lying on the floor. As he bends down to grab it, an idea crosses his mind.

"That is going to be just enough to pay for my exam!" he exclaims.

Then the figure of a man in a suit blocks the light over the squatting student.

"No it won't!" the man says, shaking his head.

In the next moment, the student is literally kicked out of the university, his official file flying down the stairs behind him.

This bit of melodrama is not an exam-time nightmare, but a video by students at Kazan State University. They are part of an unusual campaign to stamp out corruption on the campus. Too many students and professors have a "pay to play" mentality, reformers say, in which grades and test scores are bought and sold.

Anticorruption videos are shown daily. Students participate in classroom discussions about the problem. Kazan State's rector, Myakzyum Salakhov, has installed video cameras in every hallway and classroom, so that the security department can watch students and professors in every corner of the university to catch any bribes as they are made.

"Our job is to change the attitude to corruption at our university, so all students and professors realize that corruption is damaging our system of education, that corruption should be punished," says Mr. Salakhov, who is outspoken, both on campus and off, about the challenges that Russian higher education faces on this front.

"We are working on creating a new trend on our campus," he says. "Soon every student giving bribes or professor making money on students will feel ashamed."

Across Russia, bribery and influence-peddling are rife within academe. Critics cite a combination of factors: Poor salaries lead some professors to pocket bribes in order to make ends meet. Students and their families feel they must pay administrators to get into good universities, if only because everyone else seems to be doing it. And local government officials turn a blind eye, sometimes because they, too, are corrupt.

"Corruption has become a systemic problem, and we therefore need a systemic response to deal with it," Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, said last June.

Last fall a federal law-enforcement operation called Education 2009 reported that law-enforcement officials had uncovered 3,117 instances of corruption in higher education; of those, 1,143 involved bribes. That is a 90-percent increase over the previous year. Law-enforcement agencies prosecuted 265 university employees for taking bribes.

But while many Russians shrug their shoulders over this news—reports on corruption in higher education are hardly new—Kazan State decided to do something about it.

The 200-year-old institution in southwestern Russia, which educated Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir Lenin, among others, is considered among the best universities in Russia. It enrolls 14,000 full-time students, most of whom come from the nearby Volga River region of the country.

Grades for Sale Students and administrators alike say that bribery is rampant on the campus, and that it includes everyone from students to department chairs.

"Corruption is just a routine we have to deal with," says Alsu Bariyeva, a student activist and journalism major who joined the campaign after a professor in the physical-culture department suggested that she pay him to get credit for her work that semester. She paid.

Several students said they once saw a list of prices posted in the hallway of the law department. The cost of a good grade on various exams ranged from $50 to $200. Students from other departments report similar scenarios.

Many people on the campus identify the arrest last March of the head of the general-mathematics department as a turning point. Police, tipped off by students and parents, charged in and arrested Maryan Matveichuk, 61, as he was pocketing thousands of rubles from a student for a good mark on a summer exam.

The police investigation concluded that in at least six instances Mr. Matveichuk, a respected professor, had accepted bribes of 4,000 to 6,000 rubbles, or about $135 to $200, from students in other departments for good grades on their math exams and courses.

Last September a court in Kazan found the math professor guilty of accepting a total of 29,500 rubles, or $1,000, in bribes, issued a suspended sentence of three years in prison, and stripped him of his teaching credential.

Mr. Matveichuk's arrest inspired Mr. Salakhov, the rector, to form an anticorruption committee, including administrators and students.

"I personally believe that corruption sits in our mentality," Mr. Salakhov says. "With students' help, I found three professors taking bribes and asked them to leave. The committee's job is to crack down on corruption within these walls."

Constant Surveillance Mr. Salakhov's right-hand man in his fight against corruption is Gennady Sadrislamov, the deputy rector responsible for campus security. A large computer screen on his desk displays images from the cameras placed around the campus.

A former police colonel whose heavy figure appears in the campus anticorruption videos, Mr. Sadrislamov says students are crucial to the campaign's success.

"Matveichuk brought shame to our university, but unfortunately, he was not the only one making money on the side," the deputy rector says. "Corruption sits in everybody's head. We cannot eliminate the idea of bribing and cheating without students' help."

With information provided by students and professors, Mr. Sadrislamov goes to the rector to get investigations under way. At least one professor volunteered to quit after he was confronted by Kazan State's anticorruption council, which comprises the rector, his deputies, the security department, and some students. The group meets monthly to discuss the anticorruption campaign.

The security chief says it will take awhile to rid the campus of corruption, because it is so ingrained.

"I do not believe that professors commit crime because of their low salaries," he says. "They take bribes because it has gone unpunished. That is the real picture in every Russian university all across the country."

Russian professors' salaries are very low. At Kazan State, they make 20,000 to 25,000 rubles a month, or about $667 to $833.

"That is not enough to feed the family. People break the law out of need—they have no option," says one professor at the university, who did not want his name to be used.

Students have mixed views about the corruption campaign. In a conversation among a group of students from the law department, considered to be among the most corrupt, many scoffed at talk of reform.

"Law-enforcement agencies should reform first," said one student, who declined to give his name but said he was the son of an agent in the Federal Security Service, a successor agency to the KGB. "Russia is rotten of corruption. Even the president admits that. I do not believe somebody could put the end to it on our campus."

The reformers seem undeterred by such skepticism.

"Some say we are too naïve to believe that the old traditions can be changed; some avoid even talking to us. But there are students who agree the disease can be treated," says Dmitry Modestov, a third-year student who works with classmates on developing pens, fliers, and other materials with anticorruption slogans.

"We are trying to change the mind-set on our campus. We say, Knowledge is worth more than bribes."

A Reform Effort Backfires Efforts to combat corruption on a national scale have so far failed to have much of an effect.

In 2001, Russia introduced an SAT-like test known as the Unified State Exam. It was created in large measure to eliminate corruption in the college-entrance process. Colleges were to rely primarily on exam results in determining who should be admitted. Last year was the first in which testing became obligatory nationally.

But instead of reducing corruption, the exam apparently has fostered it. Claims arose that exam results were being tampered with by local officials whose job it is to administer the test.

Another avenue of abuse is the so-called "discount" for students with special needs and children of state employees.

Universities are obliged to accept lower scores on the Unified State Exam from members of those groups, which comprise 153 categories, including handicapped students, children of Chernobyl victims, and orphans.

The fixed price for obtaining the needed papers to be labeled as a member of a discount group is 70,000 rubles, or $2,300, says Deliara Yafizova, a first-year student at Kazan State.

"I entered without a bribe, but I heard that there was a price for making life easier," she said one recent morning in the campus cafe.

Mr. Salakhov, the rector, saw the problem firsthand when he looked at the applicants for this year's first-year class. "All of a sudden we had crowds of handicapped students applying to our university," he says. "At one department I had 36 handicapped students per 30 available seats. We tried to check every case, especially the cases where it said that the disability expired in two to three months. Many of these disabled children turned out to have parents working as hospital managers. Their papers turned out fake."

Of the 1,358 full-time students admitted to Kazan State this academic year, more than 250 were from discount categories.

"That is a tiny little opportunity for universities to stay corrupt," says Mr. Salakhov. "If a big bureaucrat from, say, the ministry of education sends his son with a letter of support to a rector, the university might have to admit that son. But not at this university. We do not let in students with just any score, no matter how high-rank their parents are."

As for reporting scores themselves, state-exam corruption has taken on absurd proportions, driven by regional bureaucrats' desire to ensure that the scores of students admitted to local colleges are better than average.

For example, students in Kab­ar­dino-Balkaria and Ingushetia, areas of economic hardship and low-level insurgency near Chechnya, achieved record scores last summer in the Russian-language exam. Yet Russian is not the native language of most residents there.

In another instance, Lyubov Glebova, head of the Federal Service for the Oversight of Education and Science, flew to Voronezh, in the southern part of the country, as soon as she found out that students' scores in the city were the highest on most of the seven parts of the national exam.

"You are the country's leaders on Unified State Exam results," she announced at the regional meeting of school and higher-education authorities in Voronezh. Unaware that she was about to accuse them of tampering with test scores, the crowd of local bureaucrats applauded her statement.

Ms. Glebova fired the head of the regional education authority, and several exam organizers will not be allowed to continue in those roles this year.

Russia still lives with the Soviet mentality of keeping information secret and presenting fake pictures of life, says Yevgeny Yasin, director of research at the State University Higher School of Economics, in Moscow. Even so, in a country where people tend to follow the signals given by authorities, he is hopeful.

"It will take a little longer," he says, "but the time of transparency will eventually come to the Russian education system, as it did to many Western countries."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
A more reliable and probably much cheaper alternative would be instead adopt competency-based grading and degree awarding. Two North American universities using competency-based courses are the accredited online undergraduate Western Governors University (WGU) and the Canadian masters degree program at Chartered Accounting School of Business (CASB). Both programs have a reputation for integrity and toughness.

Competency-Based Learning --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Governors_University#Competency-Based_Learning

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm

I think it’s neat how avid bird watchers get so excited about such things.

I have an accounting professor friend in Canada named Jack who would fly anywhere in the world for such a unique sighting. Sometimes bird  watchers will endure some primitive and almost shocking accommodations just to see a rare bird.

My friend raced out to a bird watching site in South America one time and had a room in what turned out to be a pretty seedy hotel. Late in the night he discovered by the sounds about that he really was booked in a brothel.

What on earth would an accounting professor do who finds himself in a brothel?
Worse yet try explaining it to Jack’s wife and mother of his six children.

Below is a message from my friend Jerry at Trinity University.

From: Hernandez, Jerry [mailto:GHernan1@Trinity.edu]
Sent: Friday, January 29, 2010 12:11 PM
Subject: Rare bird sighting in Laredo

This is a very rare, rare find !  First documented sighting for the U.S.   I will probably head out to Laredo on Saturday.  If you need directions to the Kingfisher  I will email them to you.



By Zach Lindsey - Laredo Morning Times

LAREDO — This border city could be home to a female Amazon kingfisher, a species of bird never reported in the United States.

Alan Wormington of Leamington, Ontario, and his friend Robert Epstein were on their way to the Rio Grande Valley when they made a stop in Laredo. Wormington caught sight of the bird and photographed it.

“He immediately posted it from his hotel room (Sunday) night,” local birder Tom Miller said. “Already, people drove up (Monday) morning.”

Bill Maynard of the American Birding Association blogged about the kingfisher, noting that it's typically found no farther north than southern Tamaulipas and Sinaloa states in Mexico.

The sighting must be confirmed with the birding association before it can be considered official.

Birders from at least eight states and two Canadian provinces reportedly have come to Laredo to catch a glimpse of the bird. The appearance of the kingfisher coincides with a recent sighting of the bare-throated tiger heron in the Valley.

Of nine species of water kingfisher, three of them already call Laredo home — the green, ringed and belted kingfishers — and many of them can be seen in the area along Zacate Creek where the Amazon kingfisher was spotted.

No males, or even a second female, have been spotted.

February 1, 2010 reply from Linda A Kidwell, University of Wyoming [lkidwell@UWYO.EDU]

Anyone who really enjoys bird watching should do what I did and take a sabbatical in a country university in Australia! Sure, there was a flock of cockatoos in my tree and numerous gullahs in town, but I also saw some incredibly diverse parrots on campus as well as crimson rosellas. Also saw wedge-tail eagles, kookaburras, rainbow lorikeets, emus of course, even the bizarre cassowary on my trip north.



From the Scout Report on January 22, 2010

Transmute 1.67 --- http://www.gettransmute.com/ 

As January turns into February, some people may be in the market for a new web browser. Of course, some may be wondering: What do I do about my bookmarks? That's easy enough to solve by making use of Transmute 1.67. This tiny program transfers bookmarks from one browser to another. The program is compatible with seven different browsers, including Google Chrome, Opera, and Chromium. The program provides automatic backups and the support site includes screen shots and support suggestions. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.

STOIK Imagic 5.0.4 --- http://www.stoik.com/imagic/ 

Persons looking for a free graphics editor to brush up their New Year's celebration videos and photos should give STOIK Imagic 5.0.4. their full consideration. The application gives users the ability to preview and organize images, and it also indexes video files into a variety of collapsible folders that can be manipulated in numerous ways. The video editor allows users to mix various media files and transform sounds to create their own artistic (or more pragmatic) vision. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000, XP or Vista.

More than a century after his creation, Sherlock Holmes faces a new set of challenges For the Heirs to Holmes, a Tangled Web [Free registration may be required] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/books/19sherlock.html 

British tourism hopes to cash in on Sherlock Holmes http://www.cnn.com/2010/BUSINESS/01/18/sherlock.holmes.tourism.london/?hpt=Sbin 

The Official Web Site of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate http://www.sherlockholmesonline.org/ 

The Sherlock Holmes Museum of Baker Street http://www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk/ 

Works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/d/doyle/arthur_conan/ 

The Sherlock Holmes Society of London: Radio Programs [iTunes] http://www.sherlock-holmes.org.uk/world/radio.php


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

Education Tutorials

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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Science Friday --- http://www.sciencefriday.com/

Fun and Educational Science Videos
Sixty Symbols (in physics and astronomy) --- http://www.sixtysymbols.com/ 

Video: Cambridge Physics: Past, Present and Future --- http://www-outreach.phy.cam.ac.uk/camphys/

Magnetic Resonance Online Texts --- http://www.ebyte.it/library/refs/MROnlineTexts.html

NOVA: Absolute Zero --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/zero/

Ethics in Science and Engineering National Clearinghouse --- http://www.ethicslibrary.org/

Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics --- http://bioethics.stanford.edu/

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

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

Museum of Animal Perspectives (videos) --- http://www.sameasterson.com/

Utah's Cambrian Life (paleontology) --- http://www.kumip.ku.edu/cambrianlife/

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

Ethics in Science and Engineering National Clearinghouse --- http://www.ethicslibrary.org/

Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics --- http://bioethics.stanford.edu/

"Notre Dame OpenCourseWare: Border Issues Seminar [US-Mexico Border] ---

Bob Jensen's threads on open courseware are at

London Datastore --- http://data.london.gov.uk/

Exploring 20th Century London --- http://www.20thcenturylondon.org.uk

Science Friday --- http://www.sciencefriday.com/

In Asia: Weekly Insights and Features From Asia --- http://asiafoundation.org/in-asia/

UNdata --- http://data.un.org/
Other data --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics

African American History (photographs)
Documenting Our Past: The Teenie Harris Archive Project --- http://www.cmoa.org/teenie/intro.asp

Independent Lens: Banished: American Ethnic Cleansings --- http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/banished/ 

URBZ: User Generated Cities  --- http://urbz.net/

World Bank: News & Broadcast [iTunes, pdf]  --- http://www.worldbank.org/news

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

London Datastore --- http://data.london.gov.uk/

UNdata --- http://data.un.org/
Other data --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics

Ethics in Science and Engineering National Clearinghouse --- http://www.ethicslibrary.org/

Independent Lens: Banished: American Ethnic Cleansings --- http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/banished/ 

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

Math Tutorials

Google's Kevin McCurley on the Mathematics of Online Search [iTunes]---  http://maa.org/news/120309mccurley.html

To illustrate the complexities of search, McCurley showed the results of a Google search on "mathematics." He noted the two success criteria for information retrieval: precision, returning documents relevant to the original query, and recall, presenting all documents relevant to the query. Of the two, precision is the more important criterion, he said. With the glut of information available online, providing a user with hundreds of thousands of documents to search through is not helpful.

Google and other search engines are successful if researchers can develop and continually improve algorithms that quickly pinpoint relevant material and eliminate irrelevant skewing factors. Indeed, a variety of mathematical procedures, going well beyond Google’s original PageRank algorithm, go into “Google’s secret sauce,” McCurley said.


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

History Tutorials

Palace of the Governors Library and Archives Digital Collection --- http://econtent.unm.edu/cdm4/indexpg.php

After Columbus: Four-Hundred Years of Native American Portraiture --- 

National Museum of the American Indian: Beauty Surrounds Us ---

U.S. Department of the Interior: Bureau of Indian Affairs --- http://www.doi.gov/bia/

London Datastore --- http://data.london.gov.uk/

Exploring 20th Century London --- http://www.20thcenturylondon.org.uk

Museum of London --- http://www.museum-london.org.uk/

UNdata --- http://data.un.org/
Other data --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics

Wisconsin County Histories --- http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/wch/

Wisconsin Magazine of History Archives --- http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/wmh/archives/search.aspx?area=basic 

Utah's Cambrian Life (paleontology) --- http://www.kumip.ku.edu/cambrianlife/

African American History (photographs)
Documenting Our Past: The Teenie Harris Archive Project --- http://www.cmoa.org/teenie/intro.asp

Independent Lens: Banished: American Ethnic Cleansings --- http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/banished/ 

Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed (African American History) --- http://www.blackpast.org/

She's Game: Women Making Australian Sporting History --- http://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/sg/sport-home.html

Uncommon Lives (Australia) --- http://uncommonlives.naa.gov.au/default.asp

Daphne Dare Collection (theatre costumes) --- http://drc.ohiolink.edu/handle/2374.OX/30999

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

Stage Costumes --- http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/theatre_performance/features/Costume/index.html

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

Language Tutorials

"Notre Dame OpenCourseWare: Border Issues Seminar [US-Mexico Border] ---

Bob Jensen's threads on open courseware are at

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

Music Tutorials

Ernest Bloch Legacy --- http://www.ernestbloch.org/

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

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


Writing Tutorials

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

Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/

January 25, 2010

January 26, 2010

January 27, 2010

January 28, 2010

January 29, 2010

January 30, 2010 (identify the good news items below)


Science versus Accountics Validity Challenges

I wish academic accounting researchers would work harder to weed out bad research reported in top academic accounting research journals.
I can't recall a single accounting research study in history being judged so harshly.
Academic accountics researchers rarely examine whether other accountics researchers broke the rules or made innocent mistakes.

"Study Linking Vaccine to Autism Broke Research Rules, U.K. Regulators Say MMR/Autism Doctor Acted 'Dishonestly,' 'Irresponsibly'," by Nicky Broyd, WebMD, January 29, 2010 ---

The British doctor who led a study suggesting a link between the measles/ mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism acted "dishonestly and irresponsibly," a U.K. regulatory panel has ruled.

The panel represents the U.K. General Medical Council (GMC), which regulates the medical profession. It ruled only on whether Andrew Wakefield, MD, and two colleagues acted properly in carrying out their research, and not on whether MMR vaccine has anything to do with autism.

In the ruling, the GMC used strong language to condemn the methods used by Wakefield in conducting the study.

In the study, published 12 years ago, Wakefield and colleagues suggested there was a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Their study included only 12 children, but wide media coverage set off a panic among parents. Vaccinations plummeted; there was a subsequent increase in U.K. measles cases.

In 2004, 10 of the study's 13 authors disavowed the findings. The Lancet, which originally published the paper, retracted it after learning that Wakefield -- prior to designing the study -- had accepted payment from lawyers suing vaccine manufacturers for causing autism.

Fitness to Practice

The GMC's Fitness to Practise panel heard evidence and submissions for 148 days over two and a half years, hearing from 36 witnesses. It then spent 45 days deciding the outcome of the hearing. Besides Wakefield, two former colleagues went before the panel -John Walker-Smith and Simon Murch. They were all found to have broken guidelines.

The disciplinary hearing found Wakefield showed a "callous disregard" for the suffering of children and abused his position of trust. He'd also "failed in his duties as a responsible consultant."

He'd taken blood samples from children attending his son's birthday party in return for money, and was later filmed joking about it at a conference.

He'd also failed to disclose he'd received money for advising lawyers acting for parents who claimed their children had been harmed by the triple vaccine

Continued in article

"U.S. Finds Scientific Misconduct by Former Nursing Professor," Inside Higher Ed, January 29, 2010 ---

A former nursing professor at Tennessee State University falsified data and results in federally sponsored research on sexual risk behaviors among mentally ill homeless men, the Office of Research Integrity at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday. The agency, in a statement in the Federal Register, said that James Gary Linn, who was a professor of nursing at Tennessee State, had provided falsified data to the university and to a journal that published an article on his research in Cellular and Molecular Biology. He will be barred from involvement in any federal studies for three years.

Professors Who Cheat --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm#ProfessorsWhoPlagiarize

Bob Jensen's threads on the absence of replication and validity studies in accountics research are at

Jensen Question to Steve Kachelmeier, Senior Editor of The Accounting Review (TAR)
Have you ever considered an AMR-type (“Dialogue”) invitation to comment?
These are commentaries that do not have to extend the research findings but may question the research assumptions.

Steve's Reply
I have not considered openly soliciting comments on a particular article any more than I have considered openly soliciting research on “X” (you pick the X).  I let the community decide, and I try to run a fair game.  By the way, your idea regarding an online journal of accounting replications may have merit – I suggest that you direct that suggestion to the AAA Publications Committee. 

My guess, however, is that such a journal would receive few submissions, and that it would be difficult to find a willing editor.

Jensen Comment
In other words, the accounting research academy purportedly has little interest in discussing and debating the external validity of the accountics research papers published in TAR. Most likely it's too much of a bother for accountics researchers to be forced to debate external validity of their findings.

The :"Shields Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave" will remain in place long after Bob Jensen has departed from this earth.

That's truly sad!

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


Forwarded by Maureen
Stoopid IQ Test --- http://www.flashbynight.com/test/

Auntie Bev forwarded her lovemaking trips (at her age)

1. Wear your glasses to make sure your partner is actually in the bed.

2. Set timer for 3 minutes, in case you doze off in the middle.

3 Set the mood with lighting. (Turn them ALL OFF!)

4. Make sure you put 911 on your speed dial before you begin.

5. Write partner's name on your hand in case you can't remember.

6. Use extra polygrip so your teeth don't end up under the bed.

7. Have Tylenol ready in case you actually complete the act..

8. Make all the noise you want...the neighbors are deaf, too.

9. If it works, call everyone you know with the good news!!

10. Don't even think about trying it twice.

.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . ... . . . . . . . . . . ..

Your sweetie says, 'Let's go upstairs and make love,' and you answer, 'Pick one; I can't do both!'


Your friends compliment you on your new alligator shoes and you're barefoot.

Going bra-less pulls all the wrinkles out of your face.


You don't care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don't have to go along.


You are cautioned to slow down by the
doctor instead of by the police .

'Getting a little action' means you don't need to take any fiber today.


'Getting lucky' means you find your car in the parking lot.

An 'all nighter' means not getting up to use the bathroom.

You're not sure if these are facts or jokes.


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/

574 Shields 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/

Three Finance Blogs

Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor Blog --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
FinancialRounds Blog --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/
Karen Alpert's FinancialMusings (Australia) --- http://financemusings.blogspot.com/

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

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm 
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

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

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at http://www.accountingweb.com/news/college_news.html
Sometimes the news items provide links to teaching resources for accounting educators.
Any college may post a news item.

Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for free) go to   http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
AECM (Educators)  http://pacioli.loyola.edu/aecm/ 
AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc

Roles of a ListServ --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm

CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/ 
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xyztalk
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
AccountantsWorld  http://accountantsworld.com/forums/default.asp?scope=1 
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
Business Valuation Group BusValGroup-subscribe@topica.com 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM

Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) --- http://www.iasplus.com/links/links.htm


Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Some Accounting History Sites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone:  603-823-8482 
Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu