Tidbits on September 14, 2010
Bob Jensen

In this edition of Tidbits I will share some random photographs of the memorable Summer of 2010

Here is Erika on September 8, 2010 between towering sons Mike and David in Yuba City, California
Each son gave us four grandchildren
Erika was four inches taller before her 12 spine surgeries
David sings a solo nearly every Sunday in his church
But Mike thinks his own voice is better
Mike's Versions of Elvis are pretty good --

Mike's wife Rene directing a choir of grandchildren and two grandparents
David adopted the gentle and loving grandchild Isaiah standing six feet eight inches in height
Isaiah's deceased father played defensive corner back for the San Francisco 49ers
A recently-discovered heart condition prevents Isaiah from following in his father's footsteps
Troubles mount higher in California's troubled economy
Our David lost his job last week
And his Isaiah most likely will have to undergo open-heart surgery

Looking out to the east from my computer nest in the White Mountains
Window glass blurred part of the picture
Mt. Washington still had a bit of snow when I took this picture

I'm trying to get a neighbor to send me a picture she captured of a moose standing in our driveway below

In future editions of Tidbits I will show you how the Impatience and Roses got better and better in the summer

Looking out to the west from our back deck

Looking out toward the south from the deck

Cottage, studio, and distant barn all in one picture

Looking back at the front of our cottage
The rock hides our well head

Lupine in our wild flower field
Our barn is in the background on the fr left

We leave an opening in the rail fence so golfers can search for their wayward balls

The aged maple trees in our field probably can't withstand many more winters
Deep snow and thick ice weigh down heavily on these old limbs
I only hope these big trees last as long and Erika and me
"The days grow shorter when you reach September"

Can't we all be friends like the lion and the lamb?
Picture forwarded by our friend Dan Somnea in Romania

Forwarded by Auntie Bev and Paula

Loon Mountain alongside the Kancamagus Highway --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loon_Mountain
It’s a popular ski mountain about 25 miles from our cottage.

This is slow loading but worth the effort

Bob Jensen's Theme Song (Thank you Tom Robinson in Fairbanks)
Train of Life ---
Click Here


Tidbits on September 14, 2010
Bob Jensen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Sugata Mitra Video: The child-driven education --- Click Here

Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills --- http://www.imls.gov/pdf/21stCenturySkills.pdf

Corning Museum of Glass [Flash Player] --- http://www.cmog.org/Default.aspx

The Art of Ancient Greek Theater [Flash Player] --- http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/ancient_theater/

Ephemeral Films [films that are made "for educational, industrial, or promotional purposes"]--- http://www.archive.org/details/ephemer

Gordon Knox Film Collection --- http://digital.library.unt.edu/explore/collections/GKFC/

Film Literature Index ---  http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/fli/index.jsp

Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody's Fool [Flash Media Player] --- http://sites.asiasociety.org/yoshitomonara/

Magnificent Maps [Flash Media Player] --- http://www.bl.uk/magnificentmaps/

Facts about growing old (yup, that's the way it goes)--- http://www.caregiverstress.com/2010/07/a-reminder-that-laughter-is-the-best-medicine/

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

First Listen: 'Cantique,' With The Music Of Arvo (classical) --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129282688

NPR Full Concerts --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1109

Music and the Deaf [Flash Player] --- http://www.matd.org.uk/

NWeb 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

Corning Museum of Glass [Flash Player] --- http://www.cmog.org/Default.aspx

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Digital Library --- http://www.desertmuseumdigitallibrary.org/public/index.php

Southern Nevada: The Boomtown Years --- http://digital.library.unlv.edu/boomtown/

Buckaroos in Paradise: Ranching Culture in Northern Nevada, 1945-1982 ---

Rivers, Rails and Trails: Kansas City before UMKC --- http://library.umkc.edu/spec-col/rivers-rails-and-trails/index.htm

Magnificent Maps [Flash Media Player] --- http://www.bl.uk/magnificentmaps/

America's First Illustrator: Alexander Anderson --- http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/explore/dgexplore.cfm?topic=culture&col_id=221

McCracken Research Library: Digital Collections --- http://www.bbhc.org/mccracken/collections/

San Antonio Museum of Art [Flash Player] --- http://www.samuseum.org/main/

The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today --- http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2010/originalcopy/

The Art of Ancient Greek Theater [Flash Player] --- http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/ancient_theater/

International Museum [Japanese Art, Flash Media Player] --- http://www.mingei.org/

Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody's Fool [Flash Media Player] --- http://sites.asiasociety.org/yoshitomonara/

Japanese Fine Prints, Pre-1915 --- http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/jpdhtml/jpdabt.html

The Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens --- http://www.morikami.org

Shots of War: Photojournalism During the Spanish Civil War --- http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/speccoll/swphotojournalism/

Australian War Memorial: This Company of Brave Men: The Gallipoli VCs --- http://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/bravemen

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

Profiles in Science: The Daniel Nathans Papers --- http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/PD/

Southern New Hampshire University Academic Archive --- http://academicarchive.snhu.edu

Film Literature Index ---  http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/fli/index.jsp

McCracken Research Library: Digital Collections --- http://www.bbhc.org/mccracken/collections/

The Journal of Electronic Publishing --- http://www.journalofelectronicpublishing.org/

VYOM eBooks Directory --- http://www.vyomebooks.com/?

Search for electronic books --- http://www.searchebooks.com/ 
There were 293 hits for accounting books.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are 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

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on September 14, 2010

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

"What They're Reading on College Campuses," Chronicle of Higher Education, September 5, 2010 ---

1. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson —


2. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert —


3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson —


4. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer —


5. Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern —


6. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner —


7. Nightlight: A Parody by the staff of the Harvard Lampoon —


8. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson —


9. Little Bee by Chris Cleave —


10. Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler —


The Chronicle's list of best-selling books was compiled from information supplied by stores serving the following campuses: American U., Beloit College, Case Western Reserve U., College of William & Mary, Drew U., Florida State U., George Washington U., Georgetown U., Georgia State U., Harvard U., James Madison U., Johns Hopkins U., Kent State U., Pennsylvania State U. at University Park, Stanford U., State U. of New York at Buffalo, Tulane U., U. of California at Berkeley, U. of Chicago, U. of Florida, U. of Miami, U. of Nebraska at Lincoln, U. of New Hampshire, U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, U. of North Dakota, U. of North Texas, U. of Northern Colorado, U. of Oklahoma at Norman, Vanderbilt U., Washington State U., Washington U. in St. Louis, Wayne State U., Williams College, Winthrop College, Xavier U. (Ohio).

Reports, which include data provided by Barnes & Noble and the Follett Higher Education Group, are for sales of hardcover and paperback trade books in May.

Jensen Comment
Since Amazon is now selling more electronic books than hard copy and provides many alternatives to save money on used hard copy books, there is increasing suspicion about book sales information provided by campus bookstores.

September 10, 2010 reply from Denny Beresford

It's only been out a couple of weeks, but "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen is a terrific read and is destined to be at least one of the best novels of the year if not a semi-classic.

Denny Beresford

"The New Games People Play: .How Game Mechanics Have Changed In The Age Of Social," by Alexia Tsotsis, TechCrunch, August 1, 2010 ---

The crux behind game mechanics is the feeling that you’ve accomplished something; “Whether you’re clicking on a plot of land or a musical note, that is an accomplishment” says Social Gaming Network’s Shervin Pishevar. Social gaming gives you the opportunity to share these goals with your social graph so that many people see them, as well as the chance to work on these accomplishments collaboratively.

At Friday’s Social Currency CrunchUp, leaders from the Social Gaming space including Pishevar, Disney Mobile SVP Bart Decrem, Stanford School of Business Professor Jennifer Acker and SCVNGR CEO Seth Priebatsch sat down together in order to discuss gaming’s latest incarnation.

What elements are needed for addictive games?

Pavlovian mechanics are crucial. It’s important as a user to feel like the time that you spent came up with a result, social elements like being able to see how you did with other people, and being able to play with other people play into this. Integration with music also creates an emotional linkage, one thing responsible for Tapulous’ success was the functionality to apply multiple songs from artists like Justin Bieber to Lady Gaga.

Decrem elaborates, “There’s an actual science around how to engage and monetize users, the Farmville harvest mechanic, for example. On mobile, its ‘the x factor’ does the game have magic?” What we’re now seeing is what happens when the science of game mechanics in social games is combined with the quirkiness of what you see on the iPhone platform.

According to Seth Priebatsch, new employees at SCVNGR memorize a deck of 50 game dynamics like the progression dynamic, or earning points to make progress. They then can incorporate those elements into a game, “Humans love progress bars, if you see a progress bar, you want to complete it.”

How will games increasingly square with the real world?

Currently all the value creation happens mostly on Facebook, but that will soon change. The panelists all agreed that this recent integration of social and mobile is beginning of a new computing platform, mainly due to the capabilities introduced by the iOS. Killer apps on this new platform will need to incorporate both a social element and an entertainment element in order to survive.

According to Pishevar, SGN is “Working on things where you’re placing your phone in the real world and seeing 3D characters walking down the street, games where you have a garden in your actual physical yard that you’re actually tending to and it’s growing and you can see it on the iPhone.

Decrem elaborates “There’s no difference to me between playing Tapulous on the iPhone and using my Starbucks card in the morning, wanting to get 15 stars so I can get a free coffee … “

Real life rewards for online behavior are a force to be reckoned with, and will increasingly become more prevalent as developers continue to experience success with them. Yelp for example, saw their usage skyrocket when they incorporated the Check-in element. “You’re checking in with a physical card instead of a mobile. We haven’t invented anything new.”

Says Priebatsch “We are bringing one very new thing to the game framework, the open graph API. Social traffics in connections, games traffic in influence. By applying that to the real world, we are building a platform that traffics in motivations and rewards.”

In what new ways can these game mechanics can be applied in the future?

“We’re really in the first or second inning on the mobile side,” says Pishevar, “The level of creativity and fun that’s coming is incredible.”

Should businesses rush to apply social mechanics? “It’s just natural evolution,” says DeCrem. Businesses developing a product should ask themselves, How about if you can connect with your friends? How about if we make it fun?

Piveshar’s one criticism is that the gaming industry could do so much more. “Because of the social graph many have cut corners of quality in order to monetize; We’ve got hypergrowth. Lots of millions have been created and its time to give something back.”

Acker brought up the idea of games that cure cancer as one way social gaming can actually benefit society, referring to HopeLab’sRe-Mission and Zamzee, “It doesn’t matter how many brochures you show a kid, he’s not going to want to [go to chemo]. But when you build an avatar called Roxy, have her shooting the cancer cells, and then when she feels feel weak you go get her a chemo tap … It’s incredibly powerful.”

Elements of gaming engender powerful emotions; Chemotherapy can become a positive thing and cancer becomes something you can beat. And that’s pretty formidable.

Also see
"Welcome to the Decade of Games," by Seth Priebatsch, Harvard Business Review Blog, September 10, 2010 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on games are at

"A New Alternative for Taking and Sharing Notes: 3Banana Notes," by Mark Sample, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 9, 2010 ---

In my recent ProfHacker guide to 5 Android Apps I Can't Live Without, there was one seemingly obvious mobile application missing from my list: Evernote, which has gotten a lot of attention on ProfHacker. That wasn't an oversight on my part. I rarely use Evernote, for many reasons: I don't like the way it locks up my data, the desktop client is distractingly cluttered, and both the Apple and Android app interfaces are forgettable and unintuitive. And then there's Evernote's firepower. It's too much application for my purposes. I don't know about you, but I don't need my grocery shopping list tagged with keywords and filed away in notebooks. Bloated with features, Evernote is simply not useful for quick and dirty notes.

What I use instead is 3Banana Notes, an application available for iPhone and Android devices, powered in the cloud by Snaptic.com. Besides being oddly named, 3Banana is free, ad-free, incredibly lightweight, but powerful enough to corral the bits and pieces of my information stream—and then share them when needed.

Here's what you see when you open the application (I'm demonstrating the Android version, but its iPhone counterpart is nearly identical.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Since some faculty attend conferences and Webcasts that most faculty cannot attend, it would be helpful if sharing professors shared their conference notes, audio recordings, and video clips with the rest of us.

Red-Hot Chili Peppers on RateMyProfessor

August 13, 2010 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

If you (like me) have never received a red hot chili pepper at ratemyprofessors.com (Bob, did you ever get one?), then perhaps this article in the CHE might be of interest.  It probably needs a subscription to read the entire article.  I'll paste enough to give you the idea, though.

Does grade inflation at the privates extend to ratings by students of professors?

Dave Albrecht

September 12, 2010

August 13, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

I can’t even find myself on RMP let alone brag that I received a red-hot chili pepper. I’m 100% certain that I was never any-colored chili pepper. Some of my former colleagues at Trinity do, however, have red chili peppers beside their names --- http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ 

The reason Bob Jensen would never have been a red chili pepper is that his students had to learn a lot of tough topics like hedge accounting on their own! I hate to throw a wet blanket on red chili peppers. However, I do want to point out the book “Measure Learning Rather than Satisfaction in Higher Education.” This is not to imply that satisfied students do not learn and much or more than students who grumble that “everything I had to learn in this #X%&#Z course I had to learn by myself” --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm 

Measure Learning Rather than Satisfaction in Higher Education, Edited by Ronald E. Flinn and D. Larry Crumbley (American Accounting Association Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Section, 2009). ISBN 0-86539-093-2 The book is free to TLC dues-paying members. Others can purchase the book from http://aaahq.org/market.cfm 

But I would’ve loved to be more loved by my students.
More often than not I was cursed by my students.

Bob Jensen

"Kindles and Coursepacks," by Joshua Kim, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 12, 2010 ---

The $139 Kindle is a game changer. 2011 will be the year that the traditional paper coursepack (finally) disappears, to be replaced by a default digital version with the option to print on demand. And if things go right, the Kindle should be the dominant coursepack delivery platform.

I know, lots of complaints that the Kindle is bad for annotation. True. But highlighting is vastly overrated. Convenience and cost savings will drive Kindle coursepack adoption. For anyone who really needs to annotate they will be free to print. Most will not print - mostly because schools are moving away from subsidizing printing - a sound economic and environmental shift.

What about the iPad? My prediction is that the significantly lower cost of the Kindle will push the digital coursepack market towards this device. The iPad will remain an important platform, along with the iPhone/Touch, but will account for only a portion of all the digital courespacks read on a Kindle. The price differential between the Kindle and the iPad, $139 vs. $499, is large enough to insure that most student sales will be Kindles. iPad prices will drop, but so will Kindle prices - making the Kindle as a digital coursepack platform even more appealing.

The dominance of the Kindle in the digital coursepack market, however, is not assured. While I think the annotation issue is overblown, their are some obstacles that Amazon and the digital coursepack providers will need to overcome:

PDF Issues: The Kindle can natively handle PDF files, but it does so very poorly. Reading a PDF on an iPad is a good experience, reading one on a Kindle is a terrible experience. The workaround is to e-mail the PDF to Amazon and have it convert the file to the proprietary DRM restricted *.azw format. Amazon needs to find some way to either make the PDF reading experience as good as the Kindle e-book experience, or to make its *.azw format a standard filetype. A second PDF issue is that there is no way (that I know of) to convert a locked down PDF file to an *.azw file. Since many coursepack content providers only want to release their articles and case studies in a protected PDF format, and because this is the filetype that some digital coursepack providers want to use, any conversation to the Kindle format for the digital coursepack become problematic.

Rights Issues: I'm not clear exactly how we will be able to get all the digital content that institutions license for the academic library on to a Kindle for a digital coursepack. I'm unclear how the rights and permissions actually work databases licensed by the library in terms of creating formats beyond the traditional web delivery mechanism. I'm not sure who is working on this issue, where the leadership is coming, and where the content aggregators that libraries buy their database licenses stand on digital coursepacks.

Technology and Company Issues: While I firmly believe that the $139 Kindle dramatically pushes us away from paper in the coursepack world, I'm not clear which company or companies will provide the end-to-end solutions that replace the traditional paper coursepack. Who is going to step-up?

The window that we have to figure all this out is starting to close. Students will be coming to campus with Kindles or iPads (or both), and smart phones and who knows what else. They will expect to be able to read their course materials on these devices. They will want choice. Providing this choice may be one differentiator that campuses can offer, a recruitment tool and a new way to signal a student centered and tech forward campus environment.

Jensen Comment
Eventually most electronic book readers will probably have both a Kindle and an iPad. The Kindle comfortably weighs less, costs less, and is easier on the eyes for long-term reading. The iPad has more apps, better multimedia, and more apps. But neither device can replace the ever-popular and much more versatile laptop computers.

Since Amazon's electronic books can be downloaded into laptop computers, students on limited budgets should give first priority to the purchase of laptop computers. Kindles and iPads are added luxuries.

The Journal of Electronic Publishing --- http://www.journalofelectronicpublishing.org/

VYOM eBooks Directory --- http://www.vyomebooks.com/?

Search for electronic books --- http://www.searchebooks.com/ 
There were 293 hits for accounting books.

Bob Jensen's threads electronic books ---

"A Review of NOOKStudy," by Amy Cavender, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 10, 2010 ---

About a month ago, I got hold of a Nook. I was interested in an e-reader primarily for reading journal articles as PDFs. In the interest of saving trees (and wear and tear on my back) I much prefer electronic copies of journal articles to dead tree versions. The problem is, at the end of a day of onscreen reading at a computer, eye strain is really bad (sometimes to the point of seeing squiggly little lines of light). An ereader, I thought, would be much better for my eyes. I was right; I now find myself dealing with significantly less eyestrain after a day of reading.

About the same time that I was considering the Nook, Barnes and Noble started advertising an piece of software that became available August 2nd: NOOKStudy. It looked interesting. Unlike the standard B&N eReader application (for Mac, at least), NOOKStudy supports highlighting and notetaking, and will sync those highlights and notes between two computers.

The software is designed primarily for use with textbooks. That's no surprise. It's also no surprise that textbooks can't be viewed on the Nook itself. Really, who'd want to look at all the diagrams you find in textbooks on a 6" grayscale screen, anyway? But though it isn't possible to read textbooks on the Nook,you can read any of your purchased B&N content in NOOKStudy; any e-books you've purchased will automatically show up in your NOOKStudy library.

That sounded good to me, so I thought I'd give the software a try. Sure enough, when I opened the software and plugged in my account information, my entire B&N library magically appeared (which, incidentally, is far better than the standard B&N eReader software does).

The Journal of Electronic Publishing --- http://www.journalofelectronicpublishing.org/

VYOM eBooks Directory --- http://www.vyomebooks.com/? 

Search for electronic books --- http://www.searchebooks.com/ 
There were 293 hits for accounting books.

Bob Jensen's threads electronic books ---

"Deloitte Touche plans hiring spree," by Alan Rappeport, Financial Times, September 13, 2010 ---

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the global accounting firm, said on Monday that it would hire an average of 50,000 workers a year during the next five years as it revealed strong revenues.

Revenues at Deloitte rose by 1.8 per cent to $26.6bn in the fiscal year ending May 31 on the strength of its consulting business and growing demand for its services in Asia.

Deloitte, which is one of the “big four” accounting firms, has been helped by the greater regulatory scrutiny that companies are facing along with the need to streamline their businesses in the wake of the downturn.

Consulting revenues at Deloitte rose by 14.9 per cent to $7.5bn last year. That helped the company absorb weaker revenue in its financial services advisory unit and its audit business, which Deloitte attributed to reductions in its hourly rates.

Deloitte’s consulting business was lifted by the acquisition of BearingPoint’s US public sector consulting practice and greater demand from businesses that needed help integrating new technology.

“I am proud of our people and their continued commitment to client service excellence during the most difficult economic climate in decades,” Jim Quigley, Deloitte’s chief executive, said in a statement.

Audit revenues declined by 1 per cent and financial advisory revenues were off by 2 per cent.

Deloitte employs 170,000 people worldwide and said on Monday that it expects to add 250,000 new workers during the next five years as it looks to expand its services and geographic reach.

Regionally, Deloitte had the strongest growth in Asia, where revenues were up by 8.5 per cent to $3.6bn. Revenues were up by nearly 4 per cent to $13bn in the Americas, thanks to increased demand in Brazil, but dipped in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In the US, accounting and audit firms have been under scrutiny in the aftermath of Bernard Madoff’s “Ponzi” scheme for failing to catch irregularities related to his investments. In the UK, the Financial Reporting Council is investigating conflicts of interest between firms that provide both accounting and audit services to clients.

Bob Jensen's threads on accountancy career are at

"Employers Favor State Schools for Hires," by Jennifer Merritt, The Wall Street Journal, September 13, 2010 ---

U.S. companies largely favor graduates of big state universities over Ivy League and other elite liberal-arts schools when hiring to fill entry-level jobs, a Wall Street Journal study found.

In the study—which surveyed 479 of the largest public and private companies, nonprofits and government agencies—Pennsylvania State University, Texas A&M University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ranked as top picks for graduates best prepared and most able to succeed.

Of the top 25 schools as rated by these employers, 19 were public, one was Ivy League (Cornell University) and the rest were private, including Carnegie Mellon and University of Notre Dame.

The Journal research represents a systematic effort to assess colleges by surveying employers' recruiters—who decide where to seek out new hires—instead of relying primarily on measures such as student test scores, college admission rates or graduates' starting salaries. As a group, the survey participants hired more than 43,000 new graduates in the past year.

The recruiters' perceptions matter all the more given that employers today are visiting fewer schools, partly due to the weak economy. Instead of casting a wide net, the Journal found, big employers are focusing more intently on nearby or strategically located research institutions with whom they can forge deeper partnerships with faculty.

The Journal study didn't examine smaller companies because they generally don't interact with as many colleges. In addition, the survey focused on hiring students with bachelor's as opposed to graduate degrees.

The research highlighted a split in perception about state and private schools. Recruiters who named an Ivy League or elite liberal-arts school as a top pick say they prize their graduates' intellect and cachet among clients, as well as "soft skills" like critical thinking and communication. But many companies said they need people with practical skills to serve as operations managers, product developers, business analysts and engineers. For those employees—the bulk of their work force—they turn to state institutions or other private schools offering that.

Jensen Comment
I have two (largely untested) theories on employer preference for graduates of state universities. Firstly, I think state universities are preferred for hiring over for-profit universities because prospective employers have doubts about admission standards, curricula, grade inflation, and academic rigor of virtually all for-profit universities. Secondly, I think prospective employers know there is significant grade inflation in both non-profit private and public colleges, but employers are more suspicious of worse grade inflation in non-profit private colleges, especially small private colleges that perhaps are favored by high school graduates fearful of the grading competition in state universities.

“Gaming for GPA” by Bob Jensen
So your goal in education is a gpa
That’s as close as possible to an average of A;
First you enroll in an almost unknown and easy private college
Where your transcript records accumulated knowledge.

But take the hardest courses in prestigious schools
Where you accumulate transfer credit pools;
Then transfer the A credits to your transcript cool
And bury the other credits where you were a fool.

And when the Great Scorer comes to write against your name
It’s not a question of whether you won or went lame;
You always win if you know how to play the game
And for a lifetime there’s no transcript record of your shame.
(but you may not win if prospective employers suspect you played this game)

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

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


In performance reports, many faculty struggle when asked to write about their "teaching philosophy"
"4 Steps to a Memorable Teaching Philosophy," by James A. Lang, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 29, 2010 ---
Especially note the comments following this article

Readers may also benefit from the passion and wisdom of Joe Hoyle in this regard ---

September 1, 2010 reply from Jagdish Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]


I normally would not have liked to speak about my teaching philosophy (many find it off the wall), but this Chronicle article prompted me to attach a statement of my teaching philosophy I wrote, if I remember right, some time last century (probably around late 1999 or so).

I have been an outsider both as a person (my ancestors were refugees from Kashmir eons ago) and as an academic (my education was in mathematics/statistics, but spent most of my professional life in accounting), and so I wrote this to convince the university administration that I was not goofing off.

Thought some AECMers might find it interesting.

Jagdish Gangolly (gangolly@albany.edu)
Department of Informatics
College of Computing & Information State University of New York at Albany
7A, Harriman Campus Road, Suite 220 Albany, NY 12206
Phone: (518) 956-8251, Fax: (518) 956-8247

The Teaching Philosophy of Jagdish is now online at

September 1, 2010 reply from Rick Lillie [rlillie@CSUSB.EDU]

Good morning Bob,

I would like to share my personal teaching philosophy.  I discuss it with students at the opening of each course.  Like David Fordham, I refer students to my personal philosophy statement when they need to be reminded.  The statement provides the foundation for how we will work together throughout a course.

Click the link below to access my personal teaching philosophy statement.  Tell me what you think of the statement.

Link:  http://www.drlillie.com/DLPhilosophy.htm

Best wishes,

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

Yeah Right!
"Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits," by Guy Spier & Peter Rothman, Simoleon Sense, September 8, 2010 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on metacognitive learning ---

Updates on the iPad:  LCD Projection, Keyboard, DVD No No, and Flash No No
Bit by bit the iPad is becoming more functional. I had a random conversation in the Orlando airport with a guy that was using an iPad. He said he was now using a LCD projector that connected to the iPad with a dongle. Unfortunately, the dongle only works with selected iPad apps --- 
There is als, o a small keyboard that can be connected to the iPad.

Another bummer is the inability to play DVD disks on an iPad.

One big and unresolved war going on is the war between Adobe and Apple regarding the ever-popular Adobe Flash Videos. The iPad will not play Flash Videos. It’s possible to convert your own Flash videos to some other format using Camtasia, but this is not practical for all the outside Flash videos produced by other folks that you want to view. You must view these on something other than an iPad. Also conversion of Flash videos to other formats may kill some features such as interactive Flash video that is popular for giving examination questions on video.

"The Next Stage of Online Video Evolution:  HTML5 is changing the look of Web video, but can it edge out Flash?" by Kate Greene, MIT's Technology Review,

Bob Jensen's video helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm

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

This is an exciting listing to over 100 video clips and full-feature videos that might be excellent resources for your courses, for your research, and for your scholarship in general. Included are videos on resources and useful tips for video projects as well as free online communication tools.

My thanks to Professors Holtzblatt and Tschakert for this tremendous body of work that they are now sharing with us.

September 9, 2010 reply from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

Here is a technology that facilitates Flash on an Ipad using the cloud.

Richard J. Campbell

The Fed's New Theme Song:  Behind Closed Doors
Was AIG viewed as really "Too Big to Fail?"

"Rare Fed Tightening The central bank wants to keep its AIG bailout debates a secret," The Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2010 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703597204575483903923110856.html .

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is justly famous for his loose-money policies. But when it comes to preventing disclosure to taxpayers, Mr. Bernanke continues to tighten. In central bank speak, you could say that Mr. Bernanke's operation is not "accommodative" when responding to Freedom of Information Act requests.

This week we received a letter from the Fed regarding documents we requested in February. Specifically, we asked the central bank to release a 2008 staff memo entitled, "Issues Related to Possible IPC Lending to American International Group." Soon after the memo was drafted, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York began lending money to AIG. This might suggest that the Fed staff favored this federal intervention.

But in a CNBC interview last winter, Senator Jim Bunning said that Mr. Bernanke's staff did not think AIG was too big to fail after all. "His staff didn't agree with him," said the Kentucky Republican. "I'm talking about an email that he sent his staff after his staff recommended that the Federal Reserve not touch AIG."

Members of Congress have been able to see this memo, though not to take a copy with them. We think taxpayers should be able to see the staff memo, as well as Mr. Bernanke's response, since the taxpayer exposure at AIG eventually reached $182 billion and the decision may hold lessons for the future. But our request has been "denied in full," according to the Fed, because the documents contain "pre-deliberative intra-agency analyses and recommendations."

This is exactly the type of information that the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission should be studying and making available to the public. We urge the commission to shine a light on this central episode in the history of the financial panic, allowing taxpayers to learn the truth.

Jensen Comment
I think saving AIG was not the main thing on Hank Paulson's mind. As former CEO of Goldman Sachs, he wanted to save Goldman and the only way was to save AIG and thereby channel $100 billion to Goldman and other lesser CDS counterparties through AIG. Or am I just being too cynical in my old age?

Credit Default Swap (CDS)
This is an insurance policy that essentially "guarantees" that if a CDO goes bad due to having turds mixed in with the chocolates, the "counterparty" who purchased the CDO will recover the value fraudulently invested in turds. On September 30, 2008 Gretchen Morgenson of The New York Times aptly explained that the huge CDO underwriter of CDOs was the insurance firm called AIG. She also explained that the first $85 billion given in bailout money by Hank Paulson to AIG was to pay the counterparties to CDS swaps. She also explained that, unlike its casualty insurance operations, AIG had no capital reserves for paying the counterparties for the the turds they purchased from Wall Street investment banks.


"Your Money at Work, Fixing Others’ Mistakes," by Gretchen Morgenson, The New York Times, September 20, 2008 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/business/21gret.html
Also see "A.I.G., Where Taxpayers’ Dollars Go to Die," The New York Times, March 7, 2009 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/business/08gret.html

What Ms. Morgenson failed to explain, when Paulson eventually gave over $100 billion for AIG's obligations to counterparties in CDS contracts, was who were the counterparties who received those bailout funds. It turns out that most of them were wealthy Arabs and some Asians who we were getting bailed out while Paulson was telling shareholders of WaMu, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch to eat their turds.

You tube has a lot of videos about a CDS. Go to YouTube and read in the phrase "credit default swap" --- http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Credit+Default+Swaps&search_type=&aq=f
In particular note this video by Paddy Hirsch --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaui9e_4vXU
Paddy has some other YouTube videos about the financial crisis.

Bob Jensen’s threads on accounting for credit default swaps are under the C-Terms at

"The Ballad of 'Large Loan' Verrone:  During the boom, Wachovia banker Robert Verrone made money by slicing and dicing billions of dollars in commercial real estate loans. After the crash, he made money by restructuring those loans before they blew up. What has he learned?" by Devon Leonard, Business Week, September 9, 2010 ---

Bob Jensen's Rotten to the Core Threads ---

Bob Jensen's threads on the bailout mess are at

"Elite B-Schools Keep on Building:  They're constructing bigger and more-elaborate campuses to attract applicants and professors and climb higher in magazine rankings," by Oliver Staley, Business Week, September 2, 2010 ---

Note that the term "animation" as used below is much more broad that the mere cartoon animation. I think it includes video clips, PowerPoint shows, and many other interactive technologies that cannot be set into action in hard copy books with a single click of a mouse or the  pressing of a finger.

"Moving Tales: Do Animated eBooks Have a Future?" by Richard McManus, Read/Write Blog, September 1, 2010 ---

Recently we've been exploring how the book industry is adjusting to electronic books. There are pros and cons to eBooks, but regardless the industry is moving to digital formats fast - even to the point of the Oxford English Dictionary considering not publishing another print edition.

Some book publishers aren't just adjusting to eBooks, they're embracing them with open arms. Moving Tales is one such publisher. It recently released a book as an iPad app, called The Pedlar Lady of Gushing Cross. Moving Tales, as the name implies, is a producer of animated books. It's a mix of movies and books, but does it work?

Moving Tales aims to "bring stories to life," through multimedia features such as 3D animation, music, voice overs, sound effects, alternate views and animation of text "using the iPad's accelerometer." The company also makes use of features native to a tablet-like device, such as page swipe or tap for page turning and what it describes as "extras to ensure no two viewings [are] alike."

The Pedlar Lady is a book about "the journey of a poor pedlar woman who, guided by the shifting line between the real and the unreal, discovers a surprising and wonderful treasure." It costs $4.99 in the App Store.

Continued in article

The Journal of Electronic Publishing --- http://www.journalofelectronicpublishing.org/

VYOM eBooks Directory --- http://www.vyomebooks.com/

Search for electronic books --- http://www.searchebooks.com/

Jensen Comment
What must be avoided is simply putting $1,000 dollar saddles on $50 horses. To really be successful the expensive saddles must be put on beautiful and expensive horses.

Animation might improve entertainment and learning in most any electronic book. However, there are some disciplines literally begging for this technology. Animated mathematics is an obvious example. History is another example, especially with the introduction of animated maps and video clips. If I were a science professor I would literally drool over animated lab experiments.

Accountants might imagine animated financial statements. In addition, accounting teachers might imagine teaching XBRL with animation of various types. If I were younger and still teaching, I would seriously consider writing an animated textbook on accounting for derivatives and hedging activities.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at


"Mathematicians Create Objective Quality of Life Index," MIT's Technology Review, August 31, 2010 ---

I mention the tidbit above mainly to suggest that it may have some application to vegetable comparison, financial statement analysis, and accounting. My summary of the vegetable problem is given at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#BadNews

When it comes to financial statement analysis I am visualizing more complex financial statements that have multiple dimensions based upon historical cost, historical cost price-level-adjusted, exit value, and entry value dimensions (hence four dimensions as in the Quality of Life Index application noted above).

It would seem that there are many other types of applications such as expanding the Balanced Score Card concept to something like a Quality of Corporate Performance index.

At this point these are simply wild ideas off the top of my head.

September 1, 2010 reply from Jagdish Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]


I briefly went through the paper. To the authors, the only two things that seem to count towards "Quality of life" are 1. wealth and 2. health. Even here, the measures used are too rudimentary. This is a perverted view of quality of life. It is also not surprising that the rankings substantially follows GDPPC. It is therefore no wonder that the Kuwait and UAE rank well above UK.

The statistical method that the authors employ is the principal manifold. Each datapoint in the study can be represented as a point in a 4-dimensional space (one dimension for each attribute). If one can find the manifold that best fits the set of datapoints, then the projection of each point on that manifold provides a measure of how far an observation deviates from the "norm" that is the manifold. This is the usual method in statistics, other examples being multivariate methods such as principal components Analysis (PCA) or k-means analysis among others.

The rankings the authors get are bogus simply because wealth and health are not the only measures of quality of life. The freedom of action, freedom of movement, freedom of speech, leisure time, work week, and a whole host of factors must mean some thing to quality of life. Also, it is patently absurd to consider health as expressed by just three factors that merely reflect economic development (or rather the lack thereof): Life expectancy at birth, Infant mortality rate, and Tuberculosis incidence. Is it a wonder that the entire continent of Africa lies at the bottom of their pile?

I hope the folks at the United Nations do not draw any policy implications based on this. I hope neither does the State Department. And neither do the social scientists.

Jagdish Gangolly (gangolly@albany.edu)
Department of Informatics College of Computing & Information
State University of New York at Albany
7A, Harriman Campus Road, Suite 220 Albany, NY 12206
Phone: (518) 956-8251, Fax: (518) 956-8247

September 1, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

In fairness, the model could be extended to more variables. One problem is that additional variables may be less reliable. For example, international crime statistics are so riddled with error it's criminal.

However, you do make a good point. We should always look at any rankings with a skeptical eye.

Bob Jensen

The University of Iowa has increased its adjunct workforce (to 2,308) by nearly10 percent this year to accommodate an influx of freshmen
Alison Sullivan, "UI increases temporary workforce, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 8, 2010 ---

September 9, 2010 message from Patricia Walters [patricia@DISCLOSUREANALYTICS.COM]

One question is whether adjuncts are in fact temporary. Yes, they are on a course by course contract and may not be rehired or may choose not to teach a particular semester, but many adjuncts teach year after year, especially those are are good teachers and are teaching because they love it, rather than as their primary source of income.

Given the shortage of new PhDs in accounting, what is a school to do? We have just gone from a 3-3 to a 3-2 teaching load for tenured faculty. Tenure track faculty generally have at least an additional course reduction for some of the years until tenure. Yet, there are courses that much have faculty to teach them. One action is to increase the class size of those courses with multiple sections. But that strategy doesn't work with courses that have only one section and are only offered once a year. Either a full-time faculty teaches an overload course (at additional $), the school hires an adjunct or the course isn't offered.

What other options do members of this list believe could be done?


September 9, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Pat,

I can’t offer any magical solutions, but it would seem that potential adjuncts and PQ accounting faculty in NYC are much more plentiful than in Iowa City.

In between the part-time adjunct and the tenure-track alternatives are full-time hires under the AACSB’s PQ standards in place of AQ standards. Use of full-time PQ faculty is becoming very popular in accounting programs. PQ faculty are often retired technical partners from CPA firms.

This is also an outlet for technically-qualified CPA firm managers that did not make the cut for partnership status.

I’m guessing that if the accountics doctoral programs do not change their ways, we may one day have more PQ accounting faculty than AQ faculty in our worldwide accounting education programs ---

We may even see more and more colleges setting PQ scholarship publication standards in place of AQ research publication standards. I think the AAA might begin to think of more ways to serve PQ accounting faculty, including electronic publishing outlets for scholarly papers that do not technically qualify as research papers.

In some disciplines like nursing it is virtually impossible to hire PhDs. Many of these disciplines have been thriving nicely with professionally qualified scholars.

Bob Jensen

However, reliance on PQ faculty is not without problems
Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation (Carnegie Foundation for Excellence in Teaching)
--- Click Here

Abstract: Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation explores the strengths and weaknesses in nursing education and the external challenges the profession faces. It identifies the most effective practices for teaching nursing and persuasively argues that nursing education must be remade. Indeed, the authors call for radical advances in the pathways to nursing licensure and a radical new understanding of the curriculum.

Based on extensive field research conducted at a wide variety of nursing schools, and a national survey of teachers and students administered in cooperation with the National League for Nursing (NLN), the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA), Educating Nurses offers recommendations to realign and transform nursing education.

 September 9, 2010 reply from Peters, James M [jpeters@NMHU.EDU]

This week's Economist has a nice op ed piece of US higher education and its problems. In short, the costs have risen much faster than inflation and even faster than health care costs with no sense that the quality is improving. The costs are mainly being driven by research faculty salaries going up and their teaching loads going down. When I was a Department Chair at Maryland, my Dean use to say that "every business school in America is working with a going out of business model because we are paying faculty more and more to teach less and less." Had I hired a new PhD at the time, it would have cost $60,000 per class. Personally, I am a bit cynical about the social contribution of academic research in accounting. It seems like we are spending a ton of money for very little social benefit.

My (as always radical solution) is to follow a more Euopean model and downsize research faculty (AQ) and remove them from most classrooms except PhD classes. They should remain as intellectual leaders in their deparments and the PQ faculty, who would be teaching nearly all Masters and Undergraduate classes, should interact with them so that our classes are still influenced by recent research, but this can be done through close collaboration between AQ and PQ faculty and we don't need expensive AQ faculty in undergraduate or even masters classes. It might be time to rethink the "one person does everything" model and specialize a bit to cut costs. I really defy anyone to show how cutting edge research in top journals offers more than a short footnote to topics in undergraduate or even masters accounting classes and that short footnote can be provided with collaboration with research faculty and doesn't need the research faculty member actually teaching the class.

I know I was very discouraged when I first came into academics and interview at some pretty good schools only to find that teaching was not only de-emphasized, in some cases good teaching was actively discouraged of research faculty because it took too much time from research. When I was an assistant professor at Maryland, I was faulted and graded down in my annual performance review because I participated in some University committees. Actually, I have found that the top-tier private schools (e.g., CMU) place much more emphasis on good teaching that top-tier public schools because their revenue models are tuition driven and so they become more customer sensitive. Most everything I learned about the science of teaching, and it is a science, I learned from the Teaching Center and Center for Innovation in Learning at CMU.

As the Economist article implies, something has to give or traditional academics will lose the battle to for-profit and foreign schools. When I was discussing all this with my former Dean, he asked me what I thought would happen. My response was that like most major changes to human society, it will take a train wreck before anything really changes. However, I am not sure what the wreck will look like. Cost and revenue pressures are putting a severe strain on teaching quality and we don't really measure teaching quality very well. Thus, the cost and revenue pressures are bound to win out and education will become increasingly commodatized.

Its time to retire.

Jim Peters

Where Highest Ranked Colleges Don't Excel ---


"Where the Free Market Fails: Online Dating," by Dan Ariely, Harvard Business Review Blog, September 8, 2010 --- Click Here

In economics, there's a concept called bad equilibrium. It's a strategy that all the players in the game can adopt and converge on, but it won't produce a desirable outcome for anyone. We decided to research this problem in the context of online dating, a prototypically perfect lab full of bad equilibrium.

First dates are all about strategies that both parties can agree to but which won't help them learn if the date was effective. Think of a first date: We try to express ourselves and learn about the other person, but not express ourselves too much or offend by being intrusive. We default to friendly over controversial, even at the risk of sounding dull. "We have so much in common," says one character in the movie Best in Show, exemplifying what first-date strategies yield. "We both love soup and snow peas, we love the outdoors, and talking and not talking. We could not talk or talk forever and still find things to not talk about."

It's easy to talk about our views on the weather or food. But while that may guarantee that we don't fail on this date, it does nothing to get us closer to success, as it provides us little useful information on whether we are a long-term romantic match.

In our research, we picked apart what we were hoping would be the juicy details of first introductions between potential matches. But what we found was a whole lot of bad equilibrium. Text analysis supported the idea that people like to maintain boring equilibrium at all costs. Whatever interesting things they may have had to say, they didn't say them, and instead presented themselves as utterly insipid in their written conversations. The dialogue was boring, consisting mainly of questions like:

Where did you go to college? What are your hobbies? What is your line of work? We sensed a compulsion to avoid rocking the boat, and so we decided to push these hesitant daters overboard. So with a certain group of daters who agreed to the experiment, we limited the type of discussions that online daters could engage in. We literally stripped them of the right to ask anything they wanted to and assigned them a list from which they could select questions to ask.

The questions we chose had nothing to do with the how many siblings someone might have or if their favorite show was Mad Men. Instead, we made sure all of the questions were personally revealing, like:

How many romantic partners have you had? When was your last breakup? Do you have any STDs? Have you ever broken someone's heart? How do you feel about abortion?

How about those ice breakers!

What we did, essentially, is rig the market by imposing an artificial risk level that would help prevent a bad equilibrium. Daters had no choice but to ask questions generally considered "out of bounds" for a first date.

And their partners responded in kind, creating much livelier conversations than we had seen when daters came up with their own questions. Instead of talking about the World Cup or their favorite pie, they shared deeply felt fears or told the story of losing their virginity. Both senders and repliers reported that they were happier with the interaction.

We believe that restricting the market in such ways can get people to gravitate toward behaviors that are produce better results for everyone. (Remember, in dating, learning sooner that you're not compatible is a better result than wasting time being polite to each other.) More generally, this research suggests that some restricted marketplaces can yield more desirable outcomes. Maybe you can use this idea to energize your next meeting. Create questions that people must address, or topics that aren't allowed to help avoid bad equilibrium.

By forcing people to step out of their comfort zone, risk tipping the relationship equilibria, we might ultimately gain more than if we just fall back on those tropes that are safe for everyone, and useful to no one.


Jensen Comment
It has long been known that the free market fails when there are positive and negative externalities (non-convexities). Their are obviously enormous non-convexities in dating, love, and other human relationships. That of course does not mean that the Central Planning Board should control these relationships if they are not illegal.

"Online, Bigger Classes May Be Better:  Classes Experimenters say diversity means richness," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 29, 2010 --- http://chronicle.com/article/Open-Teaching-When-the/124170/

In his work as a professor, Stephen Downes used to feel that he was helping those who least needed it. His students at places like the University of Alberta already had a leg up in life and could afford the tuition.

So when a colleague suggested they co-teach an online class in learning theory at the University of Manitoba, in 2008, Mr. Downes welcomed the chance to expand that privileged club. The idea: Why not invite the rest of world to join the 25 students who were taking the course for credit?

Over 2,300 people showed up.

They didn't get credit, but they didn't get a bill, either. In an experiment that could point to a more open future for e-learning, Mr. Downes and George Siemens attracted about 1,200 noncredit participants last year. They expect another big turnout the next class, in January.

The Downes-Siemens course has become a landmark in the small but growing push toward "open teaching." Universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have offered free educational materials online for years, but the new breed of open teachers—at the University of Florida, Brigham Young University, and the University of Regina, among other places—is now giving away the learning experience, too.

"We have to get away from this whole idea that universities own learning," says Alec V. Couros, who teaches his own open class as an associate professor of education at Regina, in Saskatchewan. "They own education in some sense. But they don't own learning."

Openness proponents contend that distance education often isolates students behind password-protected gates. By unlatching those barriers, professors like Mr. Couros are inventing a way of learning online that feels less like a digital copy of face-to-face classes and more like the open, social, connected Web of blogs, wikis, and Twitter. It can expose students to a far broader network than they would encounter discussing their lessons with a small group of graduate students.

Some open professors are finding, though, that exposure brings its own challenges. Like disruptive jerks who inject themselves into your class. Or a loss of privacy that some students find jarring.

Still, the concept is spreading. The classes have even spawned a new name: Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC. In February, Wendy K. Drexler, a postdoctoral associate at the University of Florida who studied with Mr. Siemens and Mr. Downes, will help lead a new would-be MOOC about technology and learning. Ms. Drexler calls their course, which she took for credit as a high-school teacher, one of the most valuable learning experiences of her life.

She found herself interacting mostly with participants who weren't taking the course for credit. Corporate instructional designers, other classroom teachers, consultants: The chance to engage with so many different people on a focused topic, she says, was "mind-boggling."

Openness vs. Control But the difficult questions remain.

Start with privacy. How do professors protect students who feel uncomfortable—or unsafe—communicating in a classroom on the open Web? How do they deal with learning content that isn't licensed for open use? What about informal students who want course credit?

And, most basically, if professors offer the masses a chance to pull up a virtual seat in class, how do they make sure the crowd behaves?

Dave Cormier, who co-taught a 700-person open class with Mr. Siemens this year, says he shut off registration because a couple of people had clearly signed up to spam students.

In the class taught by Mr. Downes, a research officer at National Research Council Canada, and Mr. Siemens, a researcher and strategist with the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University, one woman joined simply to attack the concept of the course, Mr. Downes recalls. She slammed the forum like a "one-woman posting machine," accusing the teachers of being pretentious unqualified technocommunists.

"The minute you open this up to anybody in the world to participate, you are giving up a considerable amount of control—and just going with the adventure," Ms. Drexler says. "Not everybody is comfortable doing that."

The Students' View But she learned to love it. It's a feeling shared by some other open-course alumni, both students and professors, whose glowing descriptions can make these happenings sound like digital Woodstocks for the educational-technology set.

Not that everything was revolutionary. As a for-credit student, Ms. Drexler jumped through some of the usual hoops: papers, final project, weekly readings (though those were posted openly on a wiki). What was different was the radically decentralized, "kids in control" environment.

Instead of restricting posts to a closed discussion forum in a system like Blackboard, the class left students free to debate anywhere. Some used Moodle, an open-source course-management system. Others preferred blogs, Twitter, or Ning. In the virtual world Second Life, students built two Spanish-language sites. Some even got together face-to-face to discuss the material.

"This is a very different way to learn," Ms. Drexler says. "I as a learner had to take responsibility. I had to take control of that learning process way more than I've had to do in any traditional type of course, whether it's face-to-face or online."

Instructors, for their part, curated rather than dictated the discussion. Each day they e-mailed a newsletter highlighting key points. While 2,300 people got the newsletter, a far smaller group, perhaps 150, actively participated in the course. Only those taking the course for credit had their work evaluated, although in smaller open courses at least one faculty member has volunteered to grade work by nonpaying students.

Much like the founders of Napster shredded the notion of an album, allowing users to remix songs however they pleased, Mr. Siemens is hacking the format of a class.

"It's a construct that is necessary in a physical world," he says. "But it's not a construct that's necessary in a digital world."

The course-hacking did have frustrating elements, though. Users were flooding Moodle at first. More than 1,000 messages were posted to the Introductions forum by 560 participants, according to one of the multiple research papers that emerged from the course, "The Ideals and Reality of Participating in a MOOC."

What's more, the course design "allowed for disruptive trolling behavior in the forums to go unchecked," the researchers found. "This made some participants feel 'unsafe' in the forums and caused them to retreat to their blogs."

Future of Open Teaching The question is whether open teaching has a future beyond early adapters. Distance educators who haven't taken the plunge yet are interested, but also cautious.

Like many institutions, the University of California at Irvine publishes free online learning materials, such as lecture slides and syllabi. But Gary W. Matkin, dean of continuing education, says he can see inviting outsiders to participate in an online course only if they did so in a separate space.

Partly, he says, it's about student privacy. But it's also about setting a learning context for paying students, meaning what they see and how their education is structured. If instructors don't control that context, he says, "they're in some sense abdicating their responsibilities to their own students."

Continued in article

A Partial List of Open Courses --- http://chronicle.com/article/Opening-Up-Learning-to-All/124169/

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing are at

The Economics Department, which has almost no majors, was saved in a last minute deal
"U. of Southern Mississippi Plans to Cut Programs and 29 Faculty Jobs," by Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 31, 2010 ---

"Attention Dallas Cowboys Fans: You Have Another Shot at Season Tickets Courtesy of the IRS," by Calib Newquist, Going Concern, August 30, 2010 --- http://goingconcern.com/

The Internal Revenue Service plans to auction the six-seat package Tuesday, with bidding starting at about $185,000.

It’s the first time in at least five years that a season ticket package for any professional sports team has been auctioned to settle a debt, said Clay Sanford, an IRS spokesman in Dallas.

Sanford said the agency’s privacy rules prevented him from identifying the ticket holder. But a document relating to the auction shows the federal government is owed $4.5 million.

Jensen Comment
The above tidbit reminds me of something a dinner speaker once mentioned. Supposedly a very wealthy Oklahoma couple worked out a divorce property settlement with the exception of six choice seats in the Sooners' stadium. Supposedly that part of the settlement worked it all the way to the state supreme court that eventually issued a judgment.

What was that judgment?

It was settled in a way the former spouses might see each other quite often in football season.

Forced Savings in the Private Sector? The public sector is exempted in this legislation!
In an effort to increase the number of Americans who are saving for retirement – roughly 50 percent of employees have no retirement savings at all – the Automatic IRA Act of 2010 has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and in the House by Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA). The bill establishes IRA accounts for all employees and sets up automatic payroll deductions.

AccountingWeb, August 31, 2010 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/topic/accounting-auditing/democrats-seek-legislate-retirement-savings

"Report: Castro says Cuban model doesn't work," by Paul Haven. Associated Press, Yahoo News, September 8, 2010 ---
Forwarded by Paul Bjorklund [paulbjorklund@AOL.COM]

Fidel Castro told a visiting American journalist that Cuba's communist economic model doesn't work, a rare comment on domestic affairs from a man who has conspicuously steered clear of local issues since stepping down four years ago.

The fact that things are not working efficiently on this cash-strapped Caribbean island is hardly news. Fidel's brother Raul, the country's president, has said the same thing repeatedly. But the blunt assessment by the father of Cuba's 1959 revolution is sure to raise eyebrows.

Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, asked if Cuba's economic system was still worth exporting to other countries, and Castro replied: "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore" Goldberg wrote Wednesday in a post on his Atlantic blog.

He said Castro made the comment casually over lunch following a long talk about the Middle East, and did not elaborate. The Cuban government had no immediate comment on Goldberg's account.

Since stepping down from power in 2006, the ex-president has focused almost entirely on international affairs and said very little about Cuba and its politics, perhaps to limit the perception he is stepping on his brother's toes.

Goldberg, who traveled to Cuba at Castro's invitation last week to discuss a recent Atlantic article he wrote about Iran's nuclear program, also reported on Tuesday that Castro questioned his own actions during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, including his recommendation to Soviet leaders that they use nuclear weapons against the United States.

Even after the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba has clung to its communist system.

The state controls well over 90 percent of the economy, paying workers salaries of about $20 a month in return for free health care and education, and nearly free transportation and housing. At least a portion of every citizen's food needs are sold to them through ration books at heavily subsidized prices.

President Raul Castro and others have instituted a series of limited economic reforms, and have warned Cubans that they need to start working harder and expecting less from the government. But the president has also made it clear he has no desire to depart from Cuba's socialist system or embrace capitalism.

Fidel Castro stepped down temporarily in July 2006 due to a serious illness that nearly killed him.

He resigned permanently two years later, but remains head of the Communist Party. After staying almost entirely out of the spotlight for four years, he re-emerged in July and now speaks frequently about international affairs. He has been warning for weeks of the threat of a nuclear war over Iran.

Castro's interview with Goldberg is the only one he has given to an American journalist since he left office.

"Racial Stupidity and Malevolence," by Walter E. Williams, Townhall, September 8, 2010 ---

The white liberal's agenda, coupled with that of black race hustlers, has had and continues to have a devastating impact on ordinary black people. Perhaps the most debilitating aspect of this liberal malevolence is in the area of education.

Recently, I spoke with a Midwestern university engineering professor who was trying to help an inner-city black student who was admitted to the university's electrical engineering program. The student was sure that he was well prepared for an engineering curriculum; his high school had convinced him of that and the university recruiters supported that notion. His poor performance on the university's math placement exam required that he take remedial math courses. He's failed them and is now on academic probation after two semesters of earning less than a 2.0 grade point average.

The young man and his parents were sure of his preparedness. After all, he had good high school grades, but those grades only meant that he was well behaved. The college recruiters probably knew this youngster didn't have the academic preparation for an electrical engineering curriculum. They were more concerned with racial diversity.

This young man's background is far from unique. Public schools give most black students fraudulent diplomas that certify a 12th-grade achievement level. According to a report by Abigail Thernstrom, "The Racial Gap in Academic Achievement," black students in 12th grade dealt with scientific problems at the level of whites in the sixth grade; they wrote about as well as whites in the eighth grade. The average black high school senior had math skills on a par with a typical white student in the middle of ninth grade. The average 17-year-old black student could only read as well as the typical white child who had not yet reached age 13.

Black youngsters who take the SAT exam earn an average score that's 70 to 80 percent of the score of white students, and keep in mind, the achievement level of white students is nothing to write home about. Under misguided diversity pressures, colleges recruit many black students who are academically ill equipped. Very often, these students become quickly disillusioned, embarrassed and flunk out, or they're steered into curricula that have little or no academic content, or professors practice affirmative-action grading. In any case, the 12 years of poor academic preparation is not repaired in four or five years of college. This is seen by the huge performance gap between blacks and whites on exams for graduate school admittance such as the GRE, MCAT and LSAT.

Is poor academic performance among blacks something immutable or pre-ordained? There is no evidence for such a claim. Let's sample some evidence from earlier periods. In "Assumptions Versus History in Ethnic Education," in Teachers College Record (1981), Dr. Thomas Sowell reports on academic achievement in some of New York city's public schools. He compares test scores for sixth graders in Harlem schools with those in the predominantly white Lower East Side for April 1941 and December 1941.

In paragraph and word meaning, Harlem students, compared to Lower East Side students, scored equally or higher. In 1947 and 1951, Harlem third-graders in paragraph and word meaning, and arithmetic reasoning and computation scored about the same as -- and in some cases, slightly higher, and in others, slightly lower than -- their white Lower East Side counterparts.

Going back to an earlier era, Washington, D.C.'s Dunbar High School's black students scored higher in citywide tests than any of the city's white schools. In fact, from its founding in 1870 to 1955, most of Dunbar's graduates went off to college.

Let's return to the tale of the youngster at the Midwestern college. Recruiting this youngster to be a failure is cruel, psychologically damaging and an embarrassment for his family. But the campus hustlers might come to the aid of the student by convincing him that his academic failure is a result of white racism and Eurocentric values.

Some states are rigging achievement tests to get more money and deceive the public
Will future college graduates in President Obama's home town be able to read and divide 37/13?
But they will be college "graduates" if community colleges lower standards like their K-12 counterparts.

"Second City Ruse:  How states like Illinois rig school tests to hype phony achievement," The Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124786847585659969.html#mod=djemEditorialPage

When President Obama chose Arne Duncan to lead the Education Department, he cited Mr. Duncan's success as head of Chicago's public school system from 2001 to 2008. But a new education study suggests that those academic gains aren't what they seemed. The study also helps explain why big-city education reform is unlikely to occur without school choice.

Mr. Obama noted in December that "in just seven years, Arne's boosted elementary test scores here in Chicago from 38% of students meeting the standard to 67%" and that "the dropout rate has gone down every year he's been in charge." But according to "Still Left Behind," a report by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, a majority of Chicago public school students still drop out or fail to graduate with their class. Moreover, "recent dramatic gains in the reported number of CPS elementary students who meet standards on state assessments appear to be due to changes in the tests . . . rather than real improvements in student learning."

Our point here isn't to pick on Mr. Duncan, but to illuminate the ease with which tests can give the illusion of achievement. Under the 2001 No Child Left Behind law, states must test annually in grades 3 through 8 and achieve 100% proficiency by 2014. But the law gives states wide latitude to craft their own exams and to define math and reading proficiency. So state tests vary widely in rigor, and some have lowered passing scores and made other changes that give a false impression of academic success.

The new Chicago report explains that most of the improvement in elementary test scores came after the Illinois Standards Achievement Test was altered in 2006 to comply with NCLB. "State and local school officials knew that the new test and procedures made it easier for students throughout the state -- and throughout Chicago -- to obtain higher marks," says the report.

Chicago students fared much worse on national exams that weren't designed by state officials. On the 2007 state test, for example, 71% of Chicago's 8th graders met or exceeded state standards in math, up from 32% in 2005. But results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam, a federal standardized test sponsored by the Department of Education, show that only 13% of the city's 8th graders were proficient in math in 2007. While that was better than 11% in 2005, it wasn't close to the 39 percentage-point increase reflected on the Illinois state exam.

In Mr. Duncan's defense, he wasn't responsible for the new lower standards, which were authorized by state education officials. In 2006, he responded to a Chicago Tribune editorial headlined, "An 'A' for Everybody!" by noting (correctly) that "this is the test the state provided; this is the state standard our students were asked to meet." But this doesn't change the fact that by defining proficiency downward, states are setting up children to fail in high school and college. We should add that we've praised New York City test results that the Thomas B. Fordham Institute also claims are inflated, but we still favor mayoral control of New York's schools as a way to break through the bureaucracy and drive more charter schools.

And speaking of charters, the Chicago study says they "provide one bright spot in the generally disappointing performance of Chicago's public schools." The city has 30 charters with 67 campuses serving 30,000 students out of a total public school population of 408,000. Another 13,000 kids are on wait lists because the charters are at capacity, and it's no mystery why. Last year 91% of charter elementary schools and 88% of charter high schools had a higher percentage of students meeting or exceeding state standards than the neighborhood schools that the students otherwise would have attended.

Similar results have been observed from Los Angeles to Houston to Harlem. The same kids with the same backgrounds tend to do better in charter schools, though they typically receive less per-pupil funding than traditional public schools. In May, the state legislature voted to increase the cap on Chicago charter schools to 70 from 30, though Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has yet to sign the bill.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley deserves credit for hiring Mr. Duncan, a charter proponent. But in deference to teachers unions that oppose school choice, Mr. Daley stayed mostly silent during the debate over the charter cap. That's regrettable, because it's becoming clear that Chicago's claim of reform success among noncharter schools is phony.

Academic Whores: School Systems into Lowering Standards for Achievement Tests and Graduation ---

Bob Jensen's threads on grade inflation are at

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

"Illegal Immigrants Estimated to Account for 1 in 12 U.S. Births ," by Miriam Jordan, The Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2010 ---

One in 12 babies born in the U.S. in 2008 were offspring of illegal immigrants, according to a new study, an estimate that could inflame the debate over birthright citizenship.

Undocumented immigrants make up slightly more than 4% of the U.S. adult population. However, their babies represented twice that share, or 8%, of all births on U.S. soil in 2008, according to the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center's report.

"Unauthorized immigrants are younger than the rest of the population, are more likely to be married and have higher fertility rates than the rest of the population," said Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at Pew in Washington, D.C.

The report, based on Pew's analysis of the Census Bureau's March 2009 Current Population Survey, also found that the lion's share, or 79%, of the 5.1 million children of illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. in 2009 were born in the country and are therefore citizens.

In total, about 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the U.S. Latinos account for 75% of undocumented U.S. immigrants and about 85% of the births among that population.

A spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a national group that lobbies for curbing immigration, said Wednesday its studies have yielded numbers similar to those estimated by Pew.

Amid a heated national debate over illegal immigration, some Republican politicians have been calling for changes to the Constitution's 14th Amendment, which grants citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof," in order to deny citizenship to children born in the U.S. to unlawful residents.

Late last month, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham announced his support for reconsidering automatic U.S. citizenship for babies born to undocumented immigrants. He said the status quo enticed people to enter the country illegally and have children to qualify for U.S. benefits.

Under U.S. law, children have to wait until they reach the age of 21 before they can petition for permanent legal residency for their parents.

Recently, Mr. Graham's idea has been embraced by several other lawmakers, including Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, where state legislators passed a controversial law to quash illegal immigration. A federal judge stayed major portions of the law on July 28; the case has been appealed.

Legislation to amend birthright citizenship stalled when it was introduced in the past decade in the House. It would require a vote of two-thirds of the House and Senate, and would have to be ratified by three-fourths of state legislatures.

Proponents of amending the 14th Amendment, which was enacted in 1868, say it was intended to guarantee citizenship to freed slaves after the Civil War, not the offspring of illegal immigrants. Their proposals are expected to appeal to conservative Republican voters as immigration emerges as a central issue in November's elections.

GOP opponents of repealing birthright citizenship say it undermines the party's electoral prospects among Hispanics, the nation's largest minority and fastest-growing group. Generally, Democrats are strongly opposed to repeal.

Mr. Passel said that the Pew analysis found that more than 80% of the undocumented immigrant mothers who gave birth in the U.S. had been in the country at least a year, and that many had been here about a decade.


"Roots of Gamblers’ Fallacies and Other Superstitions: Causes of Seemingly Irrational Human Decision-Making," Simoleon Sense, September 8, 2010 --- http://www.simoleonsense.com/roots-of-gamblers-fallacies-and-other-superstitions-causes-of-seemingly-irrational-human-decision-making/

H/T Freakonomics

Introduction (via Science Daily)

Gamblers who think they have a “hot hand,” only to end up walking away with a loss, may nonetheless be making “rational” decisions, according to new research from University of Minnesota psychologists. The study finds that because humans are making decisions based on how we think the world works, if erroneous beliefs are held, it can result in behavior that looks distinctly irrational.

Important Excerpts (Via Science Daily)

“Where people go astray is when they base their decisions on beliefs that are different than what is actually present in the world,” says Green. “In the coin example, if you toss a coin five times and all five times are heads, should you pick heads or tails on the next flip? Assuming the coin is fair, it doesn’t matter — the five previous heads don’t change the probability of heads on the next flip — it’s still 50 percent — but people nevertheless act as though those previous flips influence the next one.”

“This demonstrates that given the right world model, humans are more than capable of easily learning to make optimal decisions,” Green says.


Click Here To Read: Roots of Gamblers’ Fallacies and Other Superstitions: Causes of Seemingly Irrational Human Decision-Making


Other Related Posts From Simoleon Sense:
  1. Irrational Lottery Ticket Preferences…..Why Gamblers Think They Can Pick Winners
  2. How Power Affects Complex Decision Making
  3. Often Mindless Collectives Better at Rational Decision-Making Than Brainy Individuals
  4. Good Feedback Can Lead To Better Decision Making
  5. Decision Makers Beware: A List of common fallacies

"Why Bayesian Rationality Is Empty, Perfect Rationality Doesn’t Exist, Ecological Rationality Is Too Simple, and Critical Rationality Does the Job,"
Simoleon Sense, February 15, 2010 --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's threads on theory are at

"Shikha Dalmia on the General Motors IPO," The Wall Street Journal, September 1, 2010 ---

The General Motors IPO, the second largest ever, is arguably this decade's most hyped financial event. But it might also turn out to be this decade's biggest financial fiasco. Its timing is driven not by the financial needs of the company—or the interests of taxpayers . . . but the election-year needs of the Obama administration.

The IPO will allow GM to sell a part of the government's share to investors on the open market. But floating an IPO now is the Bush administration equivalent of declaring "mission accomplished" after two months in Iraq. . . .

[P]otential investors are likely to take a dim view of the company's prospects right now, making it nearly impossible for taxpayers who still have somewhere between $40 billion to $60 billion "invested" in it to come out whole. For that to happen, the Treasury's 304 million of the company's 500 million common shares would need to average $131 to $197 per share, notes Brad Coulter director at O'Keefe & Associates, a Michigan-based corporate finance firm. That would put GM's implied valuation at somewhere between $65 billion to $98 billion.

To understand just how absurdly high this is consider that Ford Motor Company, whose earnings are expected to be six times those of GM, has a market value of only $40 billion. "There is no rational reason for investors to choose GM relative to Ford right now," notes Francis Gaskin of IPODesk.com. But even if investors valued both companies the same that would still represent a 50% loss for taxpayers. It was always unlikely that taxpayers would ever recover their entire investment, but a more auspiciously timed IPO might at least have limited their losses.

Jensen Comment

Add to this a $100 billion liability for defined benefit pensions.

Add to this the fact that GM workers are eager to recover the sacrifices in wages and benefits they made to keep GM from sinking entirely.

It would seem that pension holders and GM workers and their unions will stand in line ahead of share holders to share in future successes of GM. I cannot fathom that GM's IPO will be anywhere close to $131 per share.

Former equity shareholders lost their entire investments when GM was taken over by the government. It would seem that new equity shareholders stand last in line for sharing in any future GM earnings.

Teaching Case on the General Motors Forthcoming IPO
From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on August 27, 2010

GM Files for Long-Awaited IPO
by: Sharon Terlep and Dan Fitzpatrick
Aug 19, 2010
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Audit Report, Auditing, Disclosure, Financial Reporting, Internal Controls, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, SEC, Securities and Exchange Commission

SUMMARY: General Motors. Co. filed registration papers Wednesday for an initial public offering in a 734-page document the WSJ describes as "...the most detailed portrait yet of GM post-bankruptcy....GM outlines a business plan that intends to leverage its massive global scale, strength in fast-growing emerging markets such as China and a balance sheet cleaned up by Chapter 11. At the same time, the company warns it faces many risks, such as continuing losses in Europe and a significant underfunding of its pension obligations." The report also is tainted by a disclaimer due to material weakness in internal controls.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Questions ask students to understanding the nature of an IPO, its required SEC filing, discussion of risk factors, and the impact of a weakness in internal control on the overall report. It can be used in any financial accounting classes to cover disclosure or stock issuances and in auditing classes to cover weaknesses in internal control and forms of attestation reports.

1. (Introductory) What is an initial public offering (IPO)? What filing must be made in order to sell shares of stock to the public in the U.S.? What entity regulates these transactions?

2. (Advanced) After having been founded in 1908, why is General Motors (GM) now undertaking an IPO?

3. (Introductory) What types of stock will GM sell in this offering? Explain the difference between these two types of stock. Also explain the features that lead some shares to "behave more like bonds than stock in the financial markets and [possibly] attract different types of investors."

4. (Advanced) Why do you think that GM must disclose myriad 'risk factors' it faces in the registration documents filed for this IPO?

5. (Advanced) Access the General Motors preliminary prospectus via the live link in the online article or directly at http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1467858/000119312510192195/ds1.htm#toc Proceed to page F-228 by clicking on the last item in the table of contents, "Controls and Procedures." What is the general nature of the weakness in internal controls at GM? What impact does that weakness have on this financial report?

6. (Advanced) Access the auditor's reports on the consolidated financial statements by returning to the Table of Contents, clicking on Index to Consolidated Financial Statements, then clicking on the first two items, reports of the independent registered public accounting firm. What types of reports did this public accounting firm issue? What unusual items are included in each of these reports?

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

"GM Files for Long-Awaited IPO,"  by: Sharon Terlep and Dan Fitzpatrick, The Wall Street Journal, August 19, 2010 ---

"Pension time bomb: The shadow hanging over GM's turnaround," The Washington Post, August 27, 2010

PRESIDENT OBAMA has a riposte for critics of his decision to rescue General Motors and Chrysler: You can't argue with success. And much good news has emanated from Detroit of late, especially from GM. Having wiped out almost all of its debt through an administration-orchestrated bankruptcy process, slashed excess plants and streamlined operations, GM is once again turning a profit: $2.2 billion so far in 2010. Sales are up; promising new models are coming to market. GM's aggressive new management is planning a public stock offering, which would let the Treasury Department start unloading the 61 percent stake it bought for nearly $50 billion. U.S. officials speak of escaping with modest losses -- a small price for averting industrial catastrophe.

All true -- up to a point. But the company's stock prospectus points to several reasons for caution, including such obvious ones as the sluggish U.S. economy and overcapacity in global auto manufacturing. And then there's a threat that the Obama-supervised bankruptcy did not address: the precarious condition of GM's immense pension plans.

With almost $100 billion in liabilities, GM's defined-benefit plans for U.S. employees (one covers a half-million United Auto Workers members, another, 200,000 white-collar personnel) are the largest of any company in America. Yet they were underfunded by $17.1 billion as of the end of 2009, and the underfunding had only slightly lessened, to $16.7 billion, as of June 30. (Chrysler has a similar problem, on a smaller scale.) Having been filled with borrowed money before Chrysler's bankruptcy, the funds can limp along for a couple of years. But, as GM's prospectus acknowledges, federal law will require it to start pumping in "significant" amounts by 2014 if not sooner. GM does not say exactly how much, but an April Government Accountability Office report suggested that a $5.9 billion injection might be required initially, with larger ones to follow. In other words, any investor who buys GM stock is buying stock in a firm whose revenue is already partially committed to retired workers.

When companies go bankrupt, their underfunded pensions often are taken over by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC), a government-run, industry-funded insurance agency, which then pays retirees a fraction of what they were owed. But that didn't happen in the GM-Chrysler bankruptcy. The UAW resisted what would have been a huge reduction in the generous benefits of its members, especially the many who retire before age 65. And the Obama administration chose not to push back.

The net effect is that the pension time bomb is still ticking. If GM earns robust profits, even more robust than it is making now, the bomb won't detonate. Otherwise -- well, in a worst-case scenario, GM winds up back in bankruptcy, with PBGC intervention both unavoidable and more expensive than it would have been last year. And that could necessitate a bailout from Congress, because of the PBGC's own deficits.

We're not offering investment advice -- just a dash of realism about a still-troubled industry, and a warning that its dependence on taxpayers may not be ended so easily.

Bob Jensen's threads on pension accounting are at

Bob Jensen's threads on the bailout are at

At this point, GM’s balance sheet remains loaded with fluff

Green Accounting Without Pollution
"How GM Made $30 Billion Appear Out of Thin Air," by Jonathan Weil, Bloomberg, September 8, 2010 ---

It will be a long time before General Motors Co. can shake the stigma of being called Government Motors. Here’s another nickname for the bailed-out automaker: Goodwill Motors.

Sometimes the wackiest accounting results are the ones driven by the accounting rules themselves. Consider this: How could it be that one of GM’s most valuable assets, listed at $30.2 billion, is the intangible asset known as goodwill, when it’s been only a little more than a year since the company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection?

That’s the amount GM said its goodwill was worth on the June 30 balance sheet it filed last month as part of the registration statement for its planned initial public offering. By comparison, GM said its total equity was $23.9 billion. So without the goodwill, which isn’t saleable, the company’s equity would be negative. This is hardly a sign of robust financial strength.

GM listed its goodwill at zero a year earlier. It’s as if a $30.2 billion asset suddenly materialized out of thin air. In the upside-down world that is GM’s balance sheet, that’s exactly what happened.

Indeed, the company’s goodwill supposedly is worth more than its property, plant and equipment, which GM listed at $18.1 billion. The amount is about eight times the $3.5 billion GM is paying to buy AmeriCredit Corp., the subprime auto lender. Another twist: GM said its goodwill would have been worth less had its creditworthiness been better. Talk about a head- scratcher. (More on this later.)

Not Normal

This isn’t the way goodwill normally works. Usually it comes about when one company buys another company. The acquirer records the other company’s net assets on its books at their fair market value. It then records the difference between the purchase price and the net assets it bought as goodwill.

The origins of GM’s goodwill are more convoluted. Shortly after it filed for bankruptcy last year, GM applied what’s known as “fresh-start” financial reporting, used by companies in Chapter 11. Through its reorganization, GM initially slashed its liabilities by about $93.4 billion, or 44 percent. Under fresh- start reporting, though, GM’s assets rose by $34.6 billion, or 33 percent, mainly because of the increase to goodwill.

GM’s explanation? The company said it wouldn’t have registered any goodwill under fresh-start reporting if it had booked all its identifiable assets and liabilities at their fair market values. However, GM recorded some of its liabilities at amounts that exceeded fair value, primarily related to employee benefits. The company said the decision was in accordance with U.S. accounting standards on the subject.

Funky Numbers

The difference between those liabilities’ carrying amounts and fair values gave rise to goodwill. The bigger the difference, the more goodwill GM booked. In other instances, GM said it recorded certain tax assets at less than their fair value, which also resulted in goodwill.

On the liabilities side, for example, GM said the fair values were lower than the carrying amounts on its balance sheet because it used higher discount rates to calculate the fair value figures. The higher discount rates took GM’s own risk of default into account, which drove the fair values lower.

Here’s where it gets really funky. If GM’s creditworthiness improves, this would reduce the difference between the liabilities’ fair values and carrying amounts. Put another way, GM said, the goodwill balance implied by that spread would decline. That could make GM’s goodwill vulnerable to writedowns in future periods, which would reduce earnings.

Unexpected Outcome

A similar effect would ensue on the asset side if GM’s long-term profit forecasts improved. Under that scenario, GM could recognize higher tax assets and bring their carrying amount closer to fair value, narrowing the spread between them.

So, to sum up, the stronger and more creditworthy GM becomes, the less its goodwill assets may be worth in the future. An intuitive outcome, this is not.

There’s a broader storyline here. Normally when companies go public, they’re supposed to be prepared from a business and financial-reporting standpoint to take on the responsibilities of public ownership. GM’s IPO, of course, is a much different animal. Taxpayers already own most of the company. Now the government is trying to unload its 61 percent stake back onto the investing public, though it may take years before the government can sell it completely.

Fluffy Balance Sheet

At this point, GM’s balance sheet remains loaded with fluff, as the goodwill illustrates. GM said its August deliveries were down 25 percent from a year earlier, so it’s not as if business is booming. Moreover, GM disclosed that it still has material weaknesses in its internal controls, which is a fancy way of saying it doesn’t have the necessary systems in place to ensure its financial reporting is accurate.

This being the political season, the Obama administration has made clear that it wants GM to complete the IPO this year, so the president can claim a policy success. It’s bad enough GM needed a taxpayer bailout. What would be worse is taking the company public again prematurely.

This much is certain: The next time GM wants to create $30 billion out of nothing, it won’t be so easy.

Jensen Comment
This reminds me of KPMG's unusual twist.

KPMG’s “Unusual Twist”
While KPMG's strategy isn't uncommon among corporations with lots of units in different states, the accounting firm offered an unusual twist: Under KPMG's direction, WorldCom treated "foresight of top management" as an intangible asset akin to patents or trademarks.
See  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm#WorldcomFraud

Punch Line
This "foresight of top management" led to a 25-year prison sentence for Worldcom's CEO, five years for the CFO (which in his case was much to lenient) and one year plus a day for the controller (who ended up having to be in prison for only ten months.) Yes all that reported goodwill in the balance sheet of Worldcom was an unusual twist.

Bob Jensen's threads on goodwill are at


From the Scout Report on September 3, 2010

Google Earth 5 --- http://earth.google.com/intl/en/

Google Earth has been around for a while, but this latest version adds oceans into the mix. Users are encouraged to use the various historical Earth maps included in this version, but visitors will want to take the opportunity to dive to the bottom of the ocean floor and also look over video content provided by the BBC and National Geographic.  This version of Google Earth is compatible with computers running Windows, OS X, or Linux.

From the Scout Report on September 10, 2010

MindNode 1.5.3 --- http://www.mindnode.com/ 

Perhaps you have a thought you'd like to keep around? Maybe it's linked to several other thoughts? MindNode can help you out. Designed by Markus Mueller, this mindmapping application helps users develop thoughts new and old, and visitors can use them for to-do lists, brainstorming, and project management. The program can be customized to constrain node width and size, and also create multiple "mind-maps" on one canvas. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.5 and newer.

Wise Registry Cleaner Free 5.54 --- http://www.wisecleaner.com/download.html 

The Wise Registry Cleaner provides a set of utilities that will help users clean up their registry. Visitors can set up the program so that it will check the registry automatically, and it will efficiently locate incorrect or obsolete information. The program is quite effective and it is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer.

Concern over buckwheat shortage prompts panic, hoarding, and speculation In Russia, a Shortage Triggers Soviet Habits [Free registration may be required] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/07/world/europe/07russia.html 

Wheat price soars, Kremlin scrambles http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2010/09/03/wheat-price-soars-kremlin-scrambles/  

Stockpiling as Russian food prices soar http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11163536

Ask Food Network: What is buckwheat? http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/sep/02/ask-food-network-what-is-buckwheat/ 

Buckwheat Information http://calshort-lamp.cit.cornell.edu/bjorkman/buck/main.php 

Epicurious: Buckwheat recipes http://www.epicurious.com/tools/searchresults?type=food&search=buckwheat

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

Education Tutorials

Sugata Mitra Video: The child-driven education --- Click Here

Ephemeral Films [films that are made "for educational, industrial, or promotional purposes"]--- http://www.archive.org/details/ephemer

Gordon Knox Film Collection --- http://digital.library.unt.edu/explore/collections/GKFC/

Film Literature Index ---  http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/fli/index.jsp

Southern New Hampshire University Academic Archive --- http://academicarchive.snhu.edu

The Journal of Electronic Publishing --- http://www.journalofelectronicpublishing.org/

VYOM eBooks Directory --- http://www.vyomebooks.com/

Search for electronic books --- http://www.searchebooks.com/ 
There were 293 hits for accounting books.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at

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

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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Profiles in Science: The Daniel Nathans Papers --- http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/PD/

Endangered Species International --- http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org/

National Geographic: Endangered Species Photo Map --- http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/01/endangered-species/photo-map-interactive

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

The Test Ban Challenge: Nuclear Nonproliferation and the Quest for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty ---

The Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health --- http://www.jhsph.edu/gatesinstitute/
PATH --- http://www.path.org/index.php

Online Historical Population Reports --- http://www.histpop.org/ohpr/servlet/
State of World Population 2008 (read a free chapter) --- http://www.unfpa.org/swp/2008/en/

Child Labor Coalition --- http://www.stopchildlabor.org/

Child Labor in America (Photographs) --- http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor/

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

Law and Legal Studies

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

Math Tutorials

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

History Tutorials

Magnificent Maps [Flash Media Player] --- http://www.bl.uk/magnificentmaps/

Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills --- http://www.imls.gov/pdf/21stCenturySkills.pdf

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Digital Library --- http://www.desertmuseumdigitallibrary.org/public/index.php

Shots of War: Photojournalism During the Spanish Civil War --- http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/speccoll/swphotojournalism/

Spanish Civil War Posters --- http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/spcwhtml/spcwabt.html

The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today --- http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2010/originalcopy/

Australian War Memorial: This Company of Brave Men: The Gallipoli VCs --- http://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/bravemen

Southern Nevada: The Boomtown Years --- http://digital.library.unlv.edu/boomtown/

Buckaroos in Paradise: Ranching Culture in Northern Nevada, 1945-1982 ---

Rivers, Rails and Trails: Kansas City before UMKC --- http://library.umkc.edu/spec-col/rivers-rails-and-trails/index.htm

America's First Illustrator: Alexander Anderson --- http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/explore/dgexplore.cfm?topic=culture&col_id=221

Southern New Hampshire University Academic Archive --- http://academicarchive.snhu.edu

Corning Museum of Glass [Flash Player] --- http://www.cmog.org/Default.aspx

International Museum [Japanese Art, Flash Media Player] --- http://www.mingei.org/

Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody's Fool [Flash Media Player] --- http://sites.asiasociety.org/yoshitomonara/

Japanese Fine Prints, Pre-1915 --- http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/jpdhtml/jpdabt.html

The Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens --- http://www.morikami.org

San Antonio Museum of Art [Flash Player] --- http://www.samuseum.org/main/

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, Kansas City, Missouri, 1895-1957 --- http://www.kchistory.org/cdm4/sanborn_splash.php 

The Art of Ancient Greek Theater [Flash Player] --- http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/ancient_theater/

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

Language Tutorials

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

Music Tutorials

Music and the Deaf [Flash Player] --- http://www.matd.org.uk/

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials

National Writing Project --- http://www.nwp.org/

Creative Writing Tutorials (some free and some not free)
Creative Writing Now ---

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

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

September 9, 2010

September 10, 2010

September 11, 2010

September 13, 2010



"Runners Who Stretched Expended More Energy, Ran Shorter Distances, Study Finds," by Kathleen Doheny, WebMD, September 10, 2010 ---

Some runners swear by their pre-run stretch as a sure-fire way to run better and stronger and reduce their risk of injury in the process.

But according to a new study, distance runners who stretch before a run may not perform as well and may spend more energy than runners who skip the stretch.

''Overall, I don’t think it's worth it to stretch before a run," researcher Jacob M. Wilson, PhD, assistant professor of exercise science and sport studies at the University of Tampa, tells WebMD. "After a run, if someone is trying to work on flexibility, that's fine."

Although his study was done only on male runners who were young and highly trained, Wilson speculates that the findings would apply to recreational runners and to female runners as well.

The study is published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Jensen Comment

Obviously runners should also investigate risks of not warming up before a run, especially recreational runners whose success in life does not depend going the extra mile.

From now on when I wake up in the morning I'm going to hit the floor in slow motion while I walk to my computer. No more stretching when getting out of bed

I remember in one of the movies about legends in boxing (perhaps Jake LaMotta, Rocky Graziano, or Rocky Marciano) when the trainer wanted the fighter's wife out of town for weeks before a big fight. I'll leave the reasoning up to your imagination.

From the Scout Report on September 3, 2010

A Pesky Pest Makes a Dramatic Comeback in the United States Bedbugs Crawl, They Bite, They Baffle Scientists [Free registration may be required]

Bedbug Disclosure Law, Signed by Gov. Paterson, Forces Landlords to Reveal Apartment Infestations

New York, Darwin, and Cimex Lectularious http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/08/in_1913_the_department_of.htm 

Bedbugs: MayoClinic.com http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bedbugs/DS00663 

Bed Bugs: University of Kentucky Entomology http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef636.asp 

The Bed Bug Registry http://bedbugregistry.com/

From 1898 through to 1910 diacetylmorphine was marketed under the trade name Heroin as a non-addictive morphine substitute and cough suppressant. Bayer marketed the drug as a cure for morphine addiction before it was  discovered that it rapidly metabolizes into morphine. As such,
heroin is essentially a quicker acting form of morphine.

The company was
embarrassed by the new finding, which became a historic blunder for Bayer


"Cash-Poor Governments Ditching Public Hospitals," by Suzanne Satalite, The Wall Street Journal, August 29 , 2010 ---

Faced with mounting debt and looming costs from the new federal health-care law, many local governments are leaving the hospital business, shedding public facilities that can be the caregiver of last resort.

Officials in Lauderdale County, Ala., this spring opted to transfer their 91-year-old Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital and other properties to a for-profit company after struggling to satisfy an angry bond insurer.

"We were next to knocking on bankruptcy's door,'' said Rhea Fulmer, a Lauderdale County commissioner who approved the deal with RegionalCare Hospital Partners, of Brentwood, Tenn, but with trepidation. She said the county had no guarantee the company would improve care in the decades to come. "Time will tell.''

Clinton County, Ohio, in May sold its hospital to the same company. Officials in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, are weighing a joint venture with a for-profit company, similar to one the same company made with Bannock County, Idaho. And Prince George's County, Md., is seeking a buyer for its medical complex.

More than a fifth of the nation's 5,000 hospitals are owned by governments and many are drowning in debt caused by rising health-care costs, a spike in uninsured patients, cuts in Medicare and Medicaid and payments on construction bonds sold in fatter times. Because most public hospitals tend to be solo operations, they don't enjoy the economies of scale, or more generous insurance contracts, which bolster revenue at many larger nonprofit and for-profit systems.

Local officials also predict an expensive future as new requirements—for technology, quality accounting and care coordination—start under the overhaul, which became law in March.

Moody's Investors Service said in April that many standalone hospitals won't have the resources to invest in information technology or manage bundled payments well. Many nonprofits have bad credit ratings and in a tight credit market cannot borrow money, either. Meantime, the federal government is expected to cut aid to hospitals.

"We've been hit by that whiplash recently, with industries closing down and the number of insured growing less," said J.D. Mosteller, the attorney for Barnwell County, S.C., which is considering selling its hospital.

The county has raised property taxes in recent years to bolster the hospital, which spends more than $1 million just to pay emergency-room physicians, he said. "We're a county government. We're not set up to run a nursing home or hospital.''

Experience WSJ professionalEditors' Deep Dive: Hospitals Fight Rising CostsDOW JONES NEWS SERVICE Hospitals Work to Lower ReadmissionsCrain's New York Business Soaring Cancer-Care Costs Strain BudgetsThe Atlanta Journal - Constitution Health-Care Facilities Offer Check-In KiosksAccess thousands of business sources not available on the free web. Learn MoreSales and mergers of public hospitals are hard to quantify; the country had 16 fewer government-owned hospitals in 2008 than 2003, says the American Hospital Association, the result of sales, closings or transfers.

Health-care consultants and financial analysts say the pace of all hospital sales is picking up at a rate not seen since the 1990s, the dawn of managed care. James Burgdorfer, a partner with investment banker Juniper Advisory LLC in Chicago, said most public systems would end in the next two decades because the industry has become too complex for local politicians. "By the nature of their small size, their independence and their political entanglements, they are poorly equipped to survive,'' Mr. Burgdorfer said.

During the five-year period that ended Dec. 31, 2009, $52 billion was used to fund hospital mergers and acquisitions of all types, says Irving Levin Associates of Norwalk, Conn., which tracks health-care deals. This amount exceeds by 140% the total amount of capital committed to fund hospital deals announced in the prior five-year period.

In the first half of 2010, there were 25 deals involving 53 hospitals that were bought or merged, for a total of $3.1 billion, according to Levin Associates. If deals continue apace, it would be the busiest time since 2007, when there were 58 deals involving 149 hospitals totaling $9.3 billion.

Public and nonprofit hospitals—the latter of which represent three-fifths of all U.S. hospitals and are sometimes affiliated with a religious denomination—can be appealing targets for private operators, which are betting that the new federal law will eventually yield more paying, insured customers.

Chip Kahn, president and CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals, a trade group for chains that own nearly 1,000 for-profit hospitals, said his industry tends to run operations more efficiently, while adding capital.

Most sales include stipulations that the companies keep services, he said. "You've got to provide the array of services that the community expects," he said. "Otherwise you're not going to get the consumers using them.''

Still, skeptics worry that in the hunt for healthy returns, the for-profits will kill expensive programs and close hospitals with poor revenue. Residents in many towns have fretted over the blow to their civic pride and the loss of their history.

The nation's public hospitals rose in different ways. Some were built with philanthropic donations and were sick houses for society's poorest. Many in the west and south rose through loans and grants made possibly by the Hill-Burton Act of 1946. In exchange, public hospitals provide a large amount of free and reduced-priced care. Some are academic medical centers. Many suburban and rural public hospitals provide care to all members of the community, rich and poor.

Continued in article


Forwarded by Paula

I am passing  this on to you because it definitely worked for me and we all could use more calm in our lives. 
By following the simple advice I heard on a Medical TV show, I have finally found inner peace. 
A Doctor proclaimed the way to achieve inner peace
 is to finish all the things you have started. 
So I looked around my house to see things I'd started
and  hadn't finished,

and, before leaving the house this morning,

I finished off a bottle of Merlot,

a bottle of shhhardonay,

a bodle of Baileys,

a  butle of vocka,

a pockage of Prunglies,

tha mainder of botal Prozic and  Valum scriptins,

the res of the Chesescke an a box a choclits. 
Yu haf no idr hou fkin gud I feal. 
Peas sen dis orn to dem yu fee AR in ned ov inr  pis


Forwarded by Paula


The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
------------ --------- -----
The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon
tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'
------------ --------- -----
Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of
those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
----------- --------- -----
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at
someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care
much about you.
------------ --------- -----
Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
------------ --------- -----
Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving
obvious pleasure to the congregation.
------------ --------- -----
For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery
------------ --------- -----
Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the
help they can get.
------------ --------- -----
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the
church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days..
------------ --------- -----
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music
will follow.
------------ --------- -----
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is
Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.
------------ --------- -----
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of
several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
------------ --------- -----
Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be
recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
------------ --------- -----
Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased
person you want remembered.
------------ --------- -----
The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and
gracious hostility.
------------ --------- -----
Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
------------ --------- -----
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may
be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
------------ --------- ---- -
This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across
from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
------------ --------- -----
Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies
are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. is done.
------------ --------- -----
The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would
lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
------------ --------- -----
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM.. Please use
the back door.
------------- --------- ----
The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare' s Hamlet in the
Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend
this tragedy.
------------ --------- -----
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church.
Please use large double door at the side entrance.
------------ --------- -----
and the best for last:

The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last
Sunday: "I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours."

Forwarded by Maureen

One day Gerry decided to retire...

He booked himself on a Caribbean cruise and proceeded to have the time of his life, that is, until the ship sank.  He soon found himself on an island with no other people, no supplies, nothing, only bananas and coconuts.

After about four months, he is lying on the beach one day when the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen rows up to the shore. In disbelief, he asks, "Where did you come from? How did you get here?"

She replies, "I rowed over from the other side of the island where I landed when my cruise ship sank."

"Amazing," he notes. "You were really lucky to have a row boat wash up with you."

"Oh, this thing?" explains the woman. "I made the boat out of some raw material I found on the island. The oars were whittled from gum tree branches. I wove the bottom from palm tree branches, and the sides and stern came from a Eucalyptus tree."

"But, where did you get the tools?"

"Oh, that was no problem," replied the woman. "On the south side of

the island, a very unusual stratum of alluvial rock is exposed. I found that if I fired it to a certain temperature in my kiln, it melted into ductile iron I used that to make tools and used the tools to make the hardware."

The guy is stunned.

"Let's row over to my place," she says. So, after a short time of rowing, she soon docks the boat at a small wharf. As the man looks to shore, he nearly falls off the boat. Before him is a long stone walk leading to an exquisite bungalow painted in blue and white. While the woman ties up the rowboat with an expertly woven hemp rope, the man can only stare ahead, dumb struck.  As they walk into the house, she says casually, "It's not much, but I call it home. Sit down, please."

"Would you like a drink?"

"No!  No thank you," the man blurts out, still dazed.  "I can't take another drop of coconut juice."

"It's not coconut juice," winks the woman.. "I have a still.  How would you like a Pina Colada?"

Trying to hide his continued amazement, the man accepts, and they sit down on her couch to talk. After they exchange their individual survival stories, the woman announces, "I'm going to slip into something more comfortable.  Would you like to take a shower and shave?  There's a razor in the bathroom cabinet upstairs."

No longer questioning anything, the man goes upstairs into the bathroom.  There, in the cabinet is a razor made from a piece of tortoise bone.  Two shells honed to a hollow ground edge are fastened on to its end inside a swivel mechanism.

"This woman is amazing," he muses.  "What's next?"  When he returns, she greets him wearing nothing but some small flowers on tiny vines, each strategically positioned, she smelled faintly of gardenias.  She then beckons for him to sit down next to her.

"Tell me," she begins suggestively, slithering closer to him, "We've both been out here for many months.  You must have been lonely. There's something I'm certain you feel like doing right now, something you've been longing for, right?" She stares into his eyes..

He can't believe what he's hearing. "You mean..." he swallows excitedly as tears start to form in his eyes, "You've built a Golf Course?"


Tidbits Archives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

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

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

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

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

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


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---

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


World Clock --- http://www.peterussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php
Facts about the earth in real time --- http://www.worldometers.info/

Interesting Online Clock and Calendar --- http://home.tiscali.nl/annejan/swf/timeline.swf
Time by Time Zones --- http://timeticker.com/
Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) --- http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm
         Also see http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/P/Populations.html
Facts about population growth (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U
Projected U.S. Population Growth --- http://www.carryingcapacity.org/projections75.html
Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- http://www.costofwar.com/ 
Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons --- http://zipskinny.com/
Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

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

Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

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

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

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

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


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

Some Accounting History Sites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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