Tidbits on January 18, 2010
Bob Jensen

This was taken from our front yard before we had so much snow
The hill in the foreground is called Ore Hill and once was a source of iron ore
The ore was carried on backs of mules down to the Franconia smelter source of iron for fine Franconia Stoves
Iron Ore --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits070924.htm

Here's a picture of Ore Hill in autumn

I took this shot of Mt Washington after we had more snow

 Canon Mountain (ten miles distant) is out closest mountain with operating ski lifts.
However, a neighbor down the road has a couple of former Killington Ski Resort gondolas

About a half mile down the road from our cottage is this small Episcopalian Church
It is only open in the summertime using visiting speakers
Up here it's claimed that this is the most photographed church in New England

Erika and I are members of the small Sugar Hill Community Church that meets year around

In the late 1800s my grandparents Regina and Julius Jensen gave a corner of their Seneca, Iowa farm
for a new country church and cemetery. It was named the Blakjer Church and has since been
moved to the a nearby town park in Lone Rock, Iowa
Here's a picture before the move as it looked on the corner of our Jensen Family Farm
My grandparents and several other relatives are still buried at the site

Here's a picture of the Blakjer Church after the 2002 move
It's not had a congregation for over five decades

The Sunset Hill House Hotel down the road from our present home maintains
cross-country ski trails. Here are markers for some of the trails

Here's the road that now leads to our cottage and beyond to the Sunset Hill House Hotel

We live at 190 Sunset Hill Road where I try to find the mail box before Mary delivers our mail
I spent four hours pushing a snow thrower. It doesn't pull itself through high drifts.
Harry Howe tempted me with a new fangled snow thrower --- http://www.popsci.com/node/30913
But David Fordham provided me with the real corker --- http://cob.jmu.edu/fordham/Snow1.htm

This is the Sunset Hill House Hotel overlooking three mountain ranges in the White Mountains

Here's the Arab mare that used to reside at the Sunset Hill House Hotel
Lonnie thinks coyotes chased her colt in broad daylight until the colt broke a leg

This is our front yard being blown over with a strong and frigid north wind
We get very strong winds
The horse did not much like these winds

This picture of Erika in San Antonio was taken when my parents were still living
On the left are horseman Cousin Don and his wife Ladonna from Armstrong, Iowa

When I received the AAA Outstanding Educator Award in San Antonio in 2002,
Don, Ladonna, and some of their family drove down to Texas to join in the celebration.

A Blast from the Past
In 1990 our Executive Committee of the American Accounting Association
met in Amsterdam to meet with European accounting leaders.
Our trip was funded with money raised by Deloitte's Jerry Searfoss
so that AAA members did not have to fund this memorable trip.
The picture below shows how people in Holland commute to the train stations

The most visible faces in our sightseeing group are
Corine Norgaard, then Executive Director of the AAA Paul Gerhardt,
eventual FASB Board Member Gerhard Mueller, and lovely Erika
The mountain/ice climbing Swede in the red jacket is Corine's finance professor husband Dick Norgaard

Erika would not let the guy below go window shopping
Prostitutes are displayed in some store front windows in Amsterdam

Holland Slide Show --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/PictureHistory/Holland.pps

And Another Holland Slide Show --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/FlowerGarden.pps 

2010 Chinese Ice Festival ---

Great Advice Comes With Great Snow Pictures (slide show) ---




Tidbits on January 18, 2010
Bob Jensen


Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on January 18, 2010
To Accompany the January 14, 2010 edition of Tidbits

Tidbits on January 14, 2009
Bob Jensen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Video: Larry Summers: Innovation and Economic Growth ---

What toddler does not love a lawn sprinkler (especially a moose toddler)? --- http://www.wimp.com/babymoose/

Singing Insects of North America --- http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/walker/buzz/

Walt Mosberg Video Reviews of New Devices
Google's Nexus One
--- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nexus_One
Video:  The Wall Street Journal Technology Editor Walt Mossberg Reviews the Nexus One (Google Smartphone) ---
Cloud Computing --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing
The Litl
--- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Litl
Video:  The Wall Street Journal Technology Editor Walt Mossberg Reviews The Litl (cloud computer) ---
The somewhat negative review by Walt video follows the above Nexus One video.
Other device reviews follow in succession:  New Bayer diabetic test meter) the Barnes & Noble Nook Book Reader, .Intel e-Reader for sight-impaired readers, . . .  . .

Binary Explosives Video --- Click Here
Snopes says the authenticity of this is undetermined.

MIT Video on how to photograph the earth --- http://www.technologyreview.com/video/?vid=491

World's tallest building opens in Dubai --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8439618.stm

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

 Best Dance Scenes:  Top 10 Movie Dancing Moments ---

 The 50 Best Movie Dance Scenes of All Time---

 Dancing Dog --- Click Here

Old Cats, New Lions Celebrate Woody Shaw --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98532760

Pocket Elvis for the iPhone http://www.macworld.com/article/145521/2010/01/pocketelvis.html

Ode to Forgetfulness --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=7lSliucgygc
Thanks Maria. This is well filmed.

Web outfits like Pandora, Foneshow, Stitcher, and Slacker broadcast portable and mobile content that makes Sirius look overpriced and stodgy ---

TheRadio (my favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.theradio.com/
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.slacker.com/
Gerald Trites likes this international radio site --- http://www.e-radio.gr/
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection --- http://songza.com/
Also try Jango --- http://www.jango.com/?r=342376581
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) --- http://www.tropicalglen.com/
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live --- http://www.army.mil/fieldband/pages/listening/bandstand.html
Also note U.S. Army Band recordings --- http://bands.army.mil/music/default.asp

Bob Jensen listens to music free online (and no commercials) --- http://www.slacker.com/ 

Photographs and Art

2010 Chinese Ice Festival --- http://www.slideshare.net/pacific2000/the-harbin-festival-china-2010

Ever see a 12 story building just fall over rather gently? Click Here

David Douglas Duncan (art history) --- http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/web/ddd/

Gypsies (Romanies) and Travelers --- http://www.utoledo.edu/library/carlson/exhibits/DX2009/index.html

Year 2009 in Pictures (Time Magazine slide show) --- http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1946595,00.html

Design Observe --- http://www.designobserver.com/ 

Design Build Network (architecture) --- http://www.designbuild-network.com/

Drawing Out Meaning: 500 Years of Architectural History

Design USA: Contemporary Innovation [Flash Player] http://exhibitions.cooperhewitt.org/Design-USA/

Multimedia from Stanford University (engineering, architecture)
R. Buckminster Fuller Digital Collection --- http://collections.stanford.edu/bucky/bin/page?forward=home

Oyez Baseball http://baseball.oyez.org/ 

Glory Days: New York Baseball, 1947-1957 --- http://www.mcny.org/glorydays/

Elvis fans are all shook up for the King's 75th birthday Elvis fans mark 75th birthday at his beginning

Elvis Fans Flock to Australian Outback for Annual Festival

Elvis, the young King http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-elvis-photos8-2010jan08,0,5003931.story  

Selections from "Elvis at 21": Photographs by Al Wertheimer

Elvis Presley at 75: Songs We Love http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122312475 

National Portrait Gallery: Echoes of Elvis http://www.npg.si.edu/exhibit/elvis/index.html 

Hubble Catches End of Star-Making Party in Nearby Dwarf Galaxy ---

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

Read.gov --- http://www.read.gov/

"Why Students Don't Like Poetry," by Mark Bauerlein, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, April 19, 2009 ---

No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century --- http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub142/pub142.pdf

Louis Braille: His Legacy and Influence on the blind [Flash Player] http://myloc.gov/Exhibitions/braille/Pages/Default.aspx

Books in Depth --- http://www.booksindepth.com/period.html

storySouth (showcases top fiction) --- http://www.storysouth.com/

Mickle Street Review: An Electronic Journal of Whitman and American Studies [iTunes] http://micklestreet.rutgers.edu/index.htm

New York Review of Books ---

Electronic Literature Directory --- http://directory.eliterature.org/

World Wide Words --- http://www.worldwidewords.org/nl/lfsh.htm

101 Best Websites for Writers --- http://www.writersdigest.com/101sites/2005_index.asp

Thornton Wilder for Sophisticated Blokes --- Click Here

James Joyce for Ordinary Blokes? --- Click Here

How to Publish in Top Journals --- http://www.roie.org/how.htm

Arts and Letters Daily --- http://aldaily.com/?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

The Atlantic book reviews from the 1800s --- http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/classrev/crindex.htm

Digital Defoe Reviews of 18th Century Literature --- http://www.english.ilstu.edu/digitaldefoe/features/index.shtml


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

What They're Reading on College Campuses (not necessarily online or free) ---

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on January 18, 2010
To Accompany the January 14, 2010 edition of Tidbits

Fraud Updates have been posted up to December 31, 2009 ---

Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm

IRS Commish Finds the Tax Code Complex, Doesn’t Do His Own Taxes:  Calls the U.S. Tax Code a "flippin’ mind job.”  
Calib Newquist, Going Concern, January 14, 2010 --- http://goingconcern.com/2010/01/irs-commish-doesnt-do-his-own.php

Jensen Comment
It could be that Doug Shulman is afraid he'll goof big time like Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner using TurboTax by himself.

"Colleges Lag in Technology and Teaching Quality, a Top Education Official Says," by Josh Fischman, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 10, 2010 ---

History and Strategy of Poker --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poker
Warning:  Gambling online is not recommended since the games tend to be rigged according to an expose on CBS Sixty Minutes
Interestingly many of the online games are run by Canadian Native Americans not subject to gambling laws in Canada.
CBS Sixty Minutes tied some online cheating to organized crime located --- Guess?  Would you believe Las Vegas.

"Online Poker Study: The More Hands You Win, the More Money You Lose (even if the games are honest) ," Science Daily, January 13, 2010 ---

The likely reason, said Cornell sociology doctoral student Kyle Siler, whose study analyzed 27 million online poker hands, is that the multiple wins are likely for small stakes, and the more you play, the more likely you will eventually be walloped by occasional -- but significant -- losses.

This finding, Siler said, "coincides with observations in behavioral economics that people overweigh their frequent small gains vis-à-vis occasional large losses, and vice versa." In other words, players feel positively reinforced by their streak of wins but have difficulty fully understanding how their occasional large losses offset their gains.

Continued in article

"How Poker Can Make You a Better Investor," by Bob Frick, Kiplinger, January 7, 2010 ---

Ever watch professional poker players calculating the odds, then coolly dissecting their opponents? Many of the same skills the top players use can help you be a better investor. Success at both investing and gambling, it turns out, has much to do with controlling emotions. And playing a little poker can help you recognize, and avoid, emotional traps that endanger your most important stack of chips -- your portfolio. But you need to know what to look for.

The psychological issues that drive investing and gambling decisions aren’t merely similar. They are “identical,” says Andrew Lo, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Laboratory for Financial Engineering and one of the leaders in the field of behavioral finance (listen to our podcast with Lo). It’s easy to find investment professionals and professional poker players who agree. Says poker pro Daniel Negreanu, who holds four World Series of Poker bracelets and two World Poker Tour Championship titles: “Having emotional stability and emotional control is key to both investing and poker.”

Can you gain that control at a poker table? Aaron Brown is among many who think so. Brown is a onetime finance professor and former portfolio manager for Prudential Securities who is now a risk manager for hedge funds. He’s also the author of The Poker Face of Wall Street (Wiley, $17). Says Brown: “People tell me playing poker is risky. Investing for a financial lifetime without playing poker is risky. I’d much rather make these mistakes at the table.”

And by mistakes, Brown means the common emotional errors that plague investors. The burgeoning fields of investor psychology and behavioral finance are uncovering more about these errors all the time, and they are the subject of a year-long series co-produced by Kiplinger’s and Nightly Business Report on PBS.

By playing some poker, “you can find out your tendencies to make emotional mistakes, and then you can guard against them,” says Frank Murtha, a behavioral-finance consultant with a PhD in counseling psychology (his dissertation explored the effect of psychological errors in gambling). Murtha helps clients from investment banks, financial-services companies and trading firms to avoid making psychological errors.

He’s also co-founder of MarketPsych, which offers psychological-training services to traders and money managers and which offers a number of online tests that any investor can take to better understand his or her own psychological makeup.

Most investors make few investment decisions over a year, or even over a lifetime. But experts agree that just a few hours of playing poker will take you through literally dozens of financial decisions -- potentially a lifetime’s worth if you were making those decisions about your portfolio. By playing poker while keeping in mind the psychological errors that are also common to investing, you can get a lifetime’s worth of training in one evening.

What are these errors? We’ve picked five of the most common, and all can be found both in investing and in gambling. Click on each one below to learn how they appear in poker and investing and to find out how you can use poker to help train yourself not to make these errors.

Seeing patterns
Holding on to losers

More on Poker and Investing
How Texas Hold 'Em Simulates Investing
How Deepak Chopra Helped Me Become a Better Poker Player
SPECIAL REPORT: Your Mind, Your Money

Next page: GREED


Bob Jensen's personal finance and  investment helpers are at

Education Technology Award Winners

"Teaching Toolbox: 57 Ways to Upgrade Education," by Tanya Roscorla, Converge Magazine, January 4, 2010 ---

This year, spruce up your teaching toolbox with some of the top education blogs, tweets, wikis and more, as voted on by educators in the Edublog Awards.

On these sites, you'll be able to connect with other educators, see what's going on in classrooms around the world and find out what technology tools you can use in your classroom.


Best individual blog

  1. Winner: Free Technology for Teachers
    Google certified teacher Richard Byrne reviews free technology resources and shows educators how they can integrate those resources into their teaching. He also won the best resource sharing blog award.
  2. First Runner Up: Kathy Schrock's Kaffeeklatsch
    Technology administrator Kathy Schrock covers ed tech tools, techniques and tricks of the trade.
  3. Second Runner Up: Larry Ferlazzo's Websites Of The Day For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL
    Larry Ferlazzo teaches English Language Learners and native English speakers in Sacramento, Calif.. He provides links to sites that help educators teach English to non-native speakers. He also won best resource sharing blog award.


Best individual tweeter

  1. Winner: web20classroom
    From Winston-Salem, N.C., technology educator Steven W. Anderson interacts with other educators by sharing links to online resources and participating in conversations about real issues in education.
  2. First Runner Up: russeltarr
    Russel Tarr teaches history in Toulouse, France.
  3. Second Runner Up: courosa
    Alec Couros teaches educational technology and media in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Best group blog

  1. Winner: MacMillian Dictionary Blog
    As the English language constantly changes, five authors take the pulse of the living language and share how it is used around the world.
  2. First Runner Up: I.N.K.: Interesting Nonfiction for Kids
    Authors and illustrators give readers a behind-the-scenes look at how they research, write and integrate art into their books. 
  3. Second Runner Up: SCC English
    The English Department of St. Columba's College in Whitechurch, Dublin 16, Ireland posts news, poems, drama, essays, podcasts, book recommendations and more. 


Best new blog

  1. Winner: Kirsten Winkler
    Kirsten Winkler started blogging about online education in January and takes readers on a quest to find better education.
  2. First Runner Up: Look At My Happy Rainbow
    A male kindergarten teacher shares stories from his classroom in Maine. As for the blog title, one of his students shouted, "Look at my happy rainbow!" one day after he drew a rainbow with four or five crayons in one hand.
  3. Second Runner Up: Teach Paperless
    Shelly Blake-Plock shows educators how to teach with interactive technology and provide real-world learning opportunities for their students.


Best class blog

  1. Winner: Billings Middle School Tech Class Blog
    From Seattle, Technology Integration Coordinator Jac de Haan shines a spotlight on students' adventures with digital tools and discussions about the social, political, environmental and moral impacts of technology.
  2. First Runner Up: Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog
    Third graders from Linda Yollis' class learn and share what they're learning on their blog.
  3. Second Runner Up: English With Rosa
    Rosa Fernández Sánchez helps her students from Coruña, Galicia, Spain, practice English.


Best student blog

  1. Winner: Civil War Sallie
    A Boyd's Bear named Sallie Ann travels to classrooms, museums and battlefields to learn about the United States Civil War, and then shares what she learns on her blog. The person who created Sallie Ann is a student from St. Patrick School in Carlisle, Pa.
  2. First Runner Up: Universo
    Eighteen-year-old Néstor Aluna Maceda Pacheco writes about botany from Rio Blanco, Veracruz, México.
  3. Second Runner Up: Moo
    A college student majoring in photography shares photos and commentary. She also happens to be the daughter of The Scholastic Scribe, which earned first runner up in the best teacher blog category.


Best resource sharing blog

  1. Winner: Free Technology for Teachers
    Voted the best resource sharing blog for the second straight year. Google certified teacher Richard Byrne reviews free technology resources and shows educators how they can integrate those resources into their teaching. He also won the best individual blog award.
  2. First Runner Up: Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day
    Larry Ferlazzo teaches English Language Learners and native English speakers in Sacramento, Calif.. He provides links to sites that help educators teach English to non-native speakers.
  3. Second Runner Up: Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day
    Social learning consultant Jane Hart features an ed tech tool each day.


Most influential blog post

  1. Winner: "Heads in the Cloud" from Anseo.net
    This post shows how one school uses cloud computing through Google Apps as a communication tool for the staff and board of management.
  2. Joint First Runners Up:
    "This, This, That" from Dear Kaia and Skyelar
    Three-year-old Kaia explored the desert near her home in Qatar, took photos of what she saw and created a photo essay that she posted on her blog. She wrote the post with her dad, teacher Jabiz Raisdana, who then sent it out to his Twitter network. 

    The link made its way into the Twitter stream of technology teacher William Chamberlain, who asked the eighth grade students in his class to comment on the blog post.

    The story doesn't end there. The eigth-graders had some questions about Kaia and her dad's life in Doha, Qatar, so Raisdana skyped into their class. The students also created video comments that they sent to Kaia (read the complete story on Raisdana's blog).

    On top of that, professor John Strange from the University of South Alabama saw the post and passed it on to the students in his educational media class. They commented on Kaia's photo essay as well and wrote more than 50 blog posts in response to the photo essay (read this part of the story in Raisdana's words).

    "Tech addiction 'harms learning' ... really??? $24.99 and I am no wiser" from Wishful Thinking in Medical Education
    After seeing tweets about a BBC News Education story in her Twitter stream, general practitioner and clinical lecturer Ann Marie Cunningham checked out the research that prompted the above headline.

    She had to pay to find out what was in the report "Techno Addicts: Young Person Addiction to Technology, and what she found was 'poor research.' She gives her analysis in this blog post.

Jensen Comment
My threads on educator use of Twitter are at  

Most influential tweet / series of tweets / tweet-based discussion

  1. Winner: #edchat
     Through Twitter, educators discuss real education issues on Tuesdays at noon EST and 7 p.m. EST using the hashtag "edchat."
  2. First Runner Up: Blogworthy Tweets
    English teacher Claudia Ceraso from Buenos Aires, Argentina, publishes some of her tweets on the blog ELT notes.
  3. Second Runner Up: #teachertuesday
    Every Tuesday on Twitter, educators and others recommend teachers to follow through the hashtag #teachertuesday.


Best teacher blog

  1. Winner: Two Writing Teachers
    Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz share their tools, ideas and experiences with educators who teach kids how to write.
  2. First Runner Up: The Scholastic Scribe
    A high school journalism teacher writes about life inside and outside of her District of Columbia classroom. She is the mother of the college student behind Moo, who earned first runner up in the best student blog category.
  3. Second Runner Up: Cool Cat Teacher
    Vicki A. Davis from Camilla, Georgia, shares her experiences with technology as well as how students are collaborating globally through activities including the Flat Classroom Project


Best librarian / library blog

  1. Winner: Never Ending Search
    Joyce Valenza writes about technology, research, search engines and more from Springfield Township High School in Oreland, Pa. Check out the school's cool virtual library.
  2. First Runner Up: Bright Ideas
    The School Library Association of Victoria run this blog, where school library staff can share how they use the latest research tools in their libraries.
  3. Second Runner Up: Library Media Tech Musings
    Gwyneth A. Jones passes on education links and resources, among other things, with a sprinkle of snark, as she puts it.


Best educational tech support blog

  1. Winner: iLearn Technology
    Technology teacher Kelly Tenkely wants to help teachers "fall in love with technology the way that their students have," and she does that by giving them ideas for how to integrate new technology into their classrooms.
  2. First Runner Up: Langwitches
    This blog follows Silvia Tolisano as she discovers the magic of learning on her journey as a technology integration facilitator.
  3. Second Runner Up: Life Feast
    Ana Maria Menezes shares what she's learning about using Internet tools to enhance her classes and change up the daily routine for her EFL students in Brazil.


Best elearning / corporate education blog

  1. Winner: MPB Reflections — 21st Century Teaching and Learning
    From Teaching Without Walls, co-owner and educational consultant Michelle Pacansky-Brock posts her thoughts about changes in higher education, with an emphasis on online learning.
  2. First Runner Up: Angela Maiers
    After a 20-year career in education, Angela Maiers became an independent consultant who focuses on literacy education, and through her blog, she encourages teachers to be great learners.
  3. Second Runner Up: e-learning, conocimiento en red y web colectiva
    This blog covers e-learning, network knowledge and the collective Web.


Best educational use of audio

  1. Winner: Xyleme Voices Podcasts
    A podcast library on the evolution of training, featuring interviews with top industry analysts, consultants and practitioners in the field of learning.
  2. First Runner Up: Musical Blogies
    Ignacio Valdés posts audio and video of his students, who play music from a secondary education institution in the Spanish principality of Asturia.
  3. Second Runner Up: My Audio School
    Children can download more than 150 classic books and listen to more than 200 radio and television broadcasts on My Audio School. While this Web site was originally designed to help dyslexic students, it can be used for any students.


Best educational use of video / visual

  1. Winner: Bitácora de Aníbal de la Torre
    Aníbal de la Torre compiles short educational videos on his blog from Palma del Rio, Cordoba, Spain.
  2. First Runner Up: The Longfellow Ten
    Middle school students create and share stop-motion films that depict academic terms and concepts. They're definitely not boring.
  3. Second Runner Up: Inanimate Alice
    Through text, sound, images and games, writer Kate Pullinger and digital artist Chris Joseph tell the story of a girl named Alice and her imaginary digital friend, Brad. Pullinger teaches creative writing and new media for De Montfort University in Leicester, United Kingdom.


Best educational wiki

  1. Winner: Greetings From The World
    Teachers and students tell others about their countries by sharing glogs on this wiki.
  2. First Runner Up: Soar 2 New Heights
    A fourth-grade class shares books and themes that they enjoy.
  3. Second Runner Up: HUMS3001: Censorship and Responsibility
    From the University of South Wales, the students in Ben Miller's class on censorship and responsibility work together to build the pages in this wikispace.


Best educational use of a social networking service

  1. Winner: English Companion Ning
    English teachers help each other on this network, which high school English teacher and author Jim Burke created.
  2. First Runner Up: EFL Classroom 2.0
    This Ning provides a space for English language teachers and students to ask questions, share answers and find resources to help them learn. 
  3. Second Runner Up: RSC Access and Inclusion Ning
    The Regional Support Centre for North and East Scotland allows educators to discuss, share and join with other colleagues as they work with learners who need additional support in higher education.

Jensen Comment
My threads on educator social networking are at 

Best educational use of a virtual world

  1. Winner: Virtual Graduation at the University of Edinburgh
    While some education students graduated at McEwan Hall in November, other students graduated online in Second Life. Those students completed their Master of Science in E-learning, which is a distance learning program.
  2. First Runner Up: Virtual Round Table Conference
    This Ning is dedicated to a virtual conference on language learning with technology that LANCELOT School coordinated.
  3. Joint Second Runners Up:
    ISTE's Second Life Island
    Second Life Education New Zealand

Jensen Comment
My threads on Second Looks and virtual learning are at

Lifetime achievement

  1. Winner: Karl Fisch
    Karl Fisch has been teaching for 21 years and is currently director of technology at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo. He was previously a middle and high school math teacher.
  2. First Runner Up: Will Richardson
    Will Richardson is the "learner in chief" at Connective Learning and author of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms.
  3. Second Runner Up: Larry Ferlazzo
    Larry Ferlazzo teaches English Language Learners and native English speakers in Sacramento, Calif. On his blog, he provides links to sites that help educators teach English to non-native speakers.


For more ways to learn online, check out these resources:

Bob Jensen's threads on educator blogs, social networks, and tweets are at

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade (including Edutainment) are at

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at

David Albrecht Goes Green

"Questions From A Future Blogger," by David Albrecht, The Summa, January 14, 2010 ---

Accounting and/or financial blogs are a big deal. As the world evolves and becomes faster paced, long-lived jobs will disappear. We accountants will adapt by piecing together a career from many project-length opportunities. I believe it will be a matter of professional life or death for accountants to get on top of evolving current events and stay there. For there to be life, we all need to make life-long learning a lifestyle.

The ability to think will separate thrivers from survivors and hangers-on. We accountants will need to think critically (buzzword for analyze and understand what is going on), creatively (inventing solutions) and practically (applying cutting edge skills to implement solutions).

How will we get learn to think these ways and grow our thinking? Independent blogs commentaries like The Summa, and re: The Auditors, and TaxGirl. Blogs provide input to fuel critical thinking, seeds for creating thinking, and energy for practical thinking.

So, I want to encourage accounting/financial blogging. Then along came this e-mail. from a Summa reader, asking about my blogging process. Although I don’t reveal his identity, I’m already aware of his writing and his unifying message. He has a lot to contribute, and I think he should blog. So, I wrote this blog piece. His comments/questions are in emphasized green, answers in normal font.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on listservs, blog, social networks, tweets, and open sharing ---

Was the 9/11 damage to the Pentagon caused by something other than the hijacked jet liner?

"Sticking to Diets Is About More Than Willpower -- Complexity Matters," Science Daily, January 12, 2010 ---

Many people think the success of dieting, seemingly a national obsession following the excesses and resolutions of the holiday season, depends mostly on how hard one tries -- on willpower and dedication. While this does matter, new research has found that a much more subtle aspect of the diets themselves can also have a big influence on the pounds shed -- namely, the perceived complexity of a diet plan's rules and requirements.

Cognitive scientists from Indiana University and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin compared the dieting behavior of women following two radically different diet plans and found that the more complicated people thought their diet plan was, the sooner they were likely to drop it.

"For people on a more complex diet that involves keeping track of quantities and items eaten, their subjective impression of the difficulty of the diet can lead them to give up on it," reported Peter Todd, professor in IU's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

Jutta Mata, now a professor of psychology at Stanford University, said this effect holds even after controlling for the influence of important social-cognitive factors including self-efficacy, the belief that one is capable of achieving a goal like sticking to a diet regimen to control one's weight.

"Even if you believe you can succeed, thinking that the diet is cognitively complex can undermine your efforts," she said.

Dieting is not all in one's head -- environment matters, too, the professors say. The physical environment has to be set up properly, such as putting snack foods out of sight to avoid mindless eating. But the cognitive environment, they say, must also be appropriately constructed, by choosing diet rules that that one finds easy to remember and follow.

For people interested in following a diet plan, Mata suggests they take a look at several diet plans with an eye toward how many rules the plans have and how many things need to be how many things need to be kept in mind.

"If they decide to go with a more complex diet, which could be more attractive for instance if it allows more flexibility, they should evaluate how difficult they find doing the calculations and monitoring their consumption," she said. "If they find it very difficult, the likelihood that they will prematurely give up the diet is higher and they should try to find a different plan."

About the study: The study examined both the objective and subjective complexity of two diet plans. Brigitte, the cognitively simpler of the two, is a popular German recipe diet that provides shopping lists for the dieters, thus requiring participants to simply follow the provided meal plan. Weight Watchers assigns point values to every food and instructs participants to eat only a certain number of points per day. The 390 women involved were recruited from German-language Internet chat rooms dealing with weight management and were already in the midst of using one of the two diet plans. They answered questionnaires at the beginning, mid-point and end of an eight-week period.

While losing weight initially isn't rocket science, keeping it off remains a challenge to dieters. It generally is believed that the longer people can adhere to their diet plan, the more successful they will be long-term with their weight loss maintenance. And the more like rocket science one's diet plan feels, Todd and Mata report, the less likely that long-term adherence and maintenance is to succeed.

Jensen Comment
I wonder if these findings extrapolate to the current problems of Tiger Woods?

The only way to really make this perfect would be to make it eight digits of 8 in front of the decimal point
Yale University received a pledge of $8,888,888 from Chinese investor Lei Zhang to help build a new business-school campus and to fund international scholarships.
Oliver Staley, "Yale Alumnus Gives Lucky $8,888,888 for Business-School Campus," Business Week, January 8, 2010 ---

Facebook is friending college researchers -- and helping pay for their education -- in the hope that academics will help the company improve its popular social network. The company on Friday announced a new fellowship program to support five docotoral students, who will be asked to work with Facebook developers
"Facebook Announces Fellowship Program ," by Jill Laster, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 8, 2010 ---

"The Year (2010) Ahead in IT," by Lev S. Gonick, Inside Higher Ed, January 7, 2010 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2010/01/07/gonick

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

"E-Readers Everywhere: The Inevitable Shakeout:  Samsung, Plastic Logic, enTourage Systems, Hearst, and Spring Design launched e-readers at CES against Sony, Amazon, and even Apple's rumored tablet," by Douglas MacMillan, Business Week, January 11, 2010 ---

Johnny Makkar is intent on buying a digital book reader. Yet he won't consider any of the more than two dozen new devices introduced in recent months, many of them at the just-completed Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. For Makkar, a resident of Fairlawn, N.J., with a background in marketing, only two manufacturers will do, and one has yet to unveil a reader. "I want the e-book buying process to be as effortless as possible," says Makkar, 26. "Only Apple (AAPL) or Amazon (AMZN) are going to be able to provide that."

Standing out may prove challenging for many new entrants to the market for e-readers, expected by Forrester Research (FORR) to double to 6 million devices this year. "Half the e-readers that have been announced [at CES] won't be around a year from now," says Forrester analyst James McQuivey.

At CES, some e-reader hopefuls played to niche audiences; Plastic Logic pitched its QUE to business users. Others played up tech breakthroughs; Spring Design introduced a dual-screen device called Alex. All are vying against Sony (SNE), which pioneered e-readers with its first device in 2005, and Amazon, which has been selling versions of its Kindle for just over two years. Forrester expects Kindle sales to reach 3 million and Sony to sell from 1.5 million to 2 million e-book readers in 2010.

Even the established vendors could lose buyers this year. Apple is expected to put out a tablet computing device that many analysts expect to include the ability to read digital books. "We are in a market where consumers no longer believe in one device serving one industry or one function," says Forrester's McQuivey. Single-purpose products such as the Kindle might be ignored by customers who prefer a multipurpose device from Apple.

Plastic Logic's QUE: an "unmet need?"

Upstarts may benefit from focusing on specific kinds of customers. For instance, enTourage Systems said school textbook publishers will custom-format several books for its new device, the eDGe, which was demonstrated at CES. With its QUE proReader, Plastic Logic included a large touchscreen reader and the ability to store and view business documents such as those made with Microsoft (MSFT) Excel and Adobe Systems (ADBE) PDF software. "If I'm starting from scratch, I'd probably go after one of the niches," says Citigroup (C) analyst Mark Mahaney.

Plastic Logic CEO Richard Archuleta says the company doesn't intend to compete with the existing e-reader makers. "Amazon proved that you could build a business out of this," Archuleta says. "Our concept was always to meet this unmet need and create this new category that we didn't think anybody was focused on."

Continued in article

Amazon claims sales of e-books surpassed sales of physical books
That's somewhat amazing since many physical books (especially popular textbooks) are not yet available as e-books

"Amazon's Kindle Reader cuts book shipping:  Book sales in the United States surged during the holiday season, but in a dramatic shift for the shipping world, retailer Amazon.com said this week sales of e-books for the first time surpassed sales of physical books," Journal of Commerce, December 2009 ---

Book sales in the United States surged during the holiday season, but in a dramatic shift for the shipping world, retailer Amazon.com said this week sales of e-books for the first time surpassed sales of physical books.

Amazon’s peak in e-book sales occurred on Christmas day as gift recipients used their new Kindle reading devices to make purchases from among the 390,000 books available in Amazon’s Kindle Store.

The Kindle electronic reader, which allows users to download books and other media from a variety of sources, was “the most gifted item ever in our history,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Overall retail spending the first of November through Dec. 24 increased 3.6 percent compared with last year, according to MasterCard’s SpendingPulse survey, which tracks cash as well as credit purchases. The online portion of sales jumped 15.5 percent compared with last year to account for 10 percent of all retail sales, the survey said.

Another retailer industry watcher said online spending in the United States grew 10 percent in November over a year ago. The comScore research firm said online sales reached $12.3 billion in November, and the group said visits to the Web site of Wal-Mart grew 62 percent and visits to the Target site grew 43 percent over last year.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic readers are at

Index of Null Effects and Replication Failures in All Fields of Psychology --- http://www.jasnh.com/m9.htm

The iNERF is an index comprising short descriptions of experiments or replications that did not meet the traditional level of significance. All fields of psychology are encouraged to post their null findings. The purpose of the iNERF is to provide researchers with an opportunity to disseminate information about their null studies without having to take up precious time writing up a full manuscript. This is an online collection so you can quickly and easily see what others in your field have tried. The iNERF is separate from JASNH the journal, which contains full articles and is peer reviewed. Be aware that the studies found in the iNERF are not peer reviewed, may be missing crucial details, and are not necessarily convincing in providing support for a null effect.

The Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis --- http://www.jasnh.com/index.htm

Welcome to the Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis. In the past other journals and reviewers have exhibited a bias against articles that did not reject the null hypothesis. We seek to change that by offering an outlet for experiments that do not reach the traditional significance levels (p < .05). Thus, reducing the file drawer problem, and reducing the bias in psychological literature. Without such a resource researchers could be wasting their time examining empirical questions that have already been examined. We collect these articles and provide them to the scientific community free of cost.

AACSB Data at a Glance --- http://www.aacsb.edu/dataandresearch/dataglance.asp
Faculty may have to contact a AACSB Member-Dean of the College of Business for access to much of this data.
If the data have not been updated for 2009, the data may be misleading since 2009 had such an impact on college budgets.
Note that there is a database for AACSB-accredited online business programs.
Also note that the AACSB does not accredit doctoral programs. There are no online accredited doctoral programs to my knowledge ---

The data includes:

Global Business School Characteristics

Global Business School Student Data

Global Business School Faculty and Administration Data

Global Business School Programs


AACSB Examines Graduate Enrollment by Discipline at Member Schools, January 2010 ---

Business School Faculty Trends—Changes by Discipline, January 2010 ---
The economic crisis in 2009 may have changed some of the data reported here, especially the number of faculty in finance where student employment opportunities took a huge hit in 2009.

Talk About Moral Hazard
"A Novel Idea to Keep Students in College: Failure Insurance," by David Glenn, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 10, 2010 ---
Jensen Comment
This is a little like flood insurance in that only people in high risk flood zones want to purchase flood insurance such that the only deep pockets insurer that takes on flood insurance is the government. College failure insurance will most likely have to be underwritten by government.

I agree with most of the comments at the end of the above article.

Proposed Changes in Humanities Doctoral Programs as Tenure Track Openings Decline

"No Entry," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, January 10, 2010 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/01/04/nojobs

"Ph.D. Supply and Demand," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, January 11, 2010 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/01/11/grad

Student Evaluation of the Second Life 3-D Learning Aid

Bob Jensen's threads on virtual learning and the 3-D use of Second Life are at

A veteran user of Second Life in financial accounting classes summarizes student evaluations at

 Steven is an avatar in these applications. You can read a bit more about how he does this in his messaging at

January 8. 2010 message from Steven Hornik [shornik@BUS.UCF.EDU]

I've written a blog post about how my students have assessed Second Life since Fall 2007 when I first began using it.  The post only examines one question from a semester end survey that I ask the students to complete.  It may not be classified as rigorous empirical research but I think it's interesting nevertheless.  Here's the link if anyone's interested:  http://www.mydebitcredit.com/2010/01/08/second-life-what-do-the-students-think/

 Enjoy your weekend,



Dr. Steven Hornik
University of Central Florida
Dixon School of Accounting

Second Life: Robins Hermano --- http://mydebitcredit.com
yahoo ID: shornik

"City Tech Gets a ‘Second Life’,"  by Converge Staff , Converge Magazine, January 4, 2010 ---

At Brooklyn's New York City College of Technology (City Tech), faculty and students aren't just attending classes on campus, they're attending virtually as well — in Second Life.

Several classes are involved with developing the City Tech's presence in Second Life, a virtual digital world created by its more than nine million “residents.” In this world, alter egos (avatars) they have constructed live, play and work in immersive environments — artificial, interactive, computer-created scenes or “worlds” within which users can immerse themselves and interact with others. In Second Life, students can manipulate their avatars’ movements to walk around in, fly through and thoroughly explore such virtual environments as the Sistine Chapel, foreign cities, lecture halls and workplaces.

On “CityTech Island,” City Tech's Second Life site, students from various academic disciplines not only observe, but also, along with their professors, help create that world, which challenges them to use and master 3-D modeling skills in some cases or
script-writing skills in others.

“Some consider Second Life only a game,” says City Tech Entertainment Technology Professor David Smith, “but we see it as a huge outlet for creative activity, allowing students and faculty to work on projects as a team.”

Second Life's introduction

Smith introduced Second Life to the college and uses it in the Introduction to Interactive Technology, Design Process course and for his senior students’ final projects.

City Tech professors currently using Second Life in their classes, in addition to Smith, are Isaac Barjis and Walied Samarrai (biological sciences); Reneta Lansiquot (English) and Jenna Spevack (entertainment technology). All of them have presented papers on their work or have reached out to involve segments of the larger community — Brooklyn artists, for example. 

Spevack and her Introduction to Media Design Process students planned, designed and developed the virtual "
Brooklyn is Watching" Museum. It houses photos of artwork created by the Brooklyn is Watching Project, which invites interaction between the thriving art communities of Second Life and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The Project and Museum will continue to evolve during the spring 2010 semester.

CityTech Island features a virtual laboratory where professor avatars lecture and conduct experiments. Biology students can take a special ride — inside a virtual cell. At the International Summer Simulation Multiconference, held in Istanbul, Smith, Barjis and Samarrai presented a research paper, “Modeling and Simulation of 3-D Virtual Cell as a Game,” to an audience of top simulation and modeling researchers.

Actively engaged students more apt to learn

Their paper, published in Simulation Journal, proposed Second Life as a tool enabling students to enter, observe and visit a cell’s components, ask questions and interact with those components as one would in a video game. “Students can tour the cell, take a quiz and test their knowledge after and before the tour,” Samarrai explained. “We are working now on other processes such as transportation and diffusion of molecules, ions and water across the cell membrane.”

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on virtual learning and Second Life are at

Free Primer: Learning How To Use Decision Trees! --- http://www.simoleonsense.com/free-primer-learning-how-to-use-decision-trees/

Accounting for co-operation and commitment versus command and control?

Without having read this book (yet) it would seem that it must overstate the case. Organization behavior and leadership and financial structures do not change that quickly without a greater shock than the 2009 recession and efforts made by governments to save the previous structures. However, our present managerial accounting systems are built upon the foundation of "command and control," and may take some new foundational building for whatever is meant by "co-operation and commitment."

As a rule I avoid what I call these Harvard Business School types of books on leadership (that often preach more than teach based upon substantive research), but the book below does have a provocative summary.

Selective reviews of The Death of Modern Management: How to Lead in the New World Disorder," by Jo Owen (Wiley, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-470-68285-2) --- http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-047068285X.html

We are at the start of a new wave of management. The recent financial crisis highlighted problems not just in the economic system, but also in the way that many companies are governed and managed. Now modern management has reached its end game and we approach a new era in leadership. Rather than the certainties of command and control, this new epoch will be based on co-operation and commitment. There has been a strategic revolution - instead of following the rules, we now have to make them. For some this represents great risk; for others it is an enormous opportunity.


The Death of Modern Management is a how-to guide for surviving and thriving amidst the new uncertainties of contemporary business.

"...a joyride through new ideas, memorable stories and superb writing." Philip Kotler

"Jo Owen gives a fascinating insight into how 21st century management now works.  It is helpful to have someone with his experience, intellect and vision explain the radical changes in a way that makes sense and is immediately usable."
Juliet Hope, CEO, Startup

“Jo Owen delivers a robust and wide-ranging assault on the delusions of management, strategy, finance and marketing that have created an aura of justified mistrust around the modern corporation, but does so with wit, lucidity and lots of enlivening illustrations. The answers for 21st century business are helpfully accessible.”
Professor Nigel Nicholson, London Business School, author of Managing the Human Animal and Family Wars

"...offers insights that help encourage different thinking." Director Magazine



Bob Jensen's threads on the History of Management Theory are at

Also see "Great Minds in Sociology"  ---

Finance and Investing
"10 Classic Books of the 'Naughties'," Seeking Alpha, December 30, 2009 ---

As we say goodbye to the “Naughties” I thought it may be interesting to step back and reflect on some of the significant books of the last decade that really did change the way we thought about private sector development and its contribution to overall development. Given the “decade” theme, I’ve limited the selection to ten, although the books don’t map to each year of the decade. Obviously such an exercise is pretty subjective so please feedback any glaring omissions/personal prejudices. So, in order of publication date, rather than magnitude of contribution we have:

  1. De Soto, Hernando (2000) The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. The central idea that the poor in developing countries with weak systems of property rights and stifling bureaucracies are unable to leverage the value of their (informal) assets has been a big influence on donor PSD programmes.
  2. Easterly, William (2002) The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics. Here at the World Bank, the battle between “planners” and “searchers” shows no sign of abating.
  3. Yunus, M. (2003) Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty. The nobel prize winner who made micro-finance mainstream. I was tempted to include the more recent Portfolios of the Poor for its more hard edged analysis of how the poor spend their money. Yunus’s more recent work focuses on the concept of social entrepreneurship.
  4. Kay, John (2004) The Truth about Markets: Why Some Countries are Rich and Others Remain Poor. Everything you need to know about incentive compatability, disciplined pluralism and embedded markets.
  5. Wolf, Martin (2005), Why Globalisation Works. Some might question whether it actually does after the last couple of years. But setting out the merits of global integration is an intensely competitive space occupied also by Stigtitz (2005) “Fair Trade for All” and Bhagwati (2004) “In Defense of Globalisation” amongst others.
  6. Prahalad C.K (2005) The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Although many have questioned whether there really is a fortune there or not, this book shows how the poor can be treated as a serious market players making rational economic decisions, rather than being passive aid beneficiaries. I think much more PSD work can usefully be done in relation to wealth creation at the base of the pyramid (BoP). Stuart Hart’s “Capitalism at the Crossroads: Aligning Business, Earth, and Humanity” is also a close contender in the BoP space, as is Al Hammond’s “Bottom Four Billion”.
  7. Levitt and Dubner (2006) Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explains the Hidden Side of Everything. The original thought-provoking book that put Pop Economics on the map and spawned lots of imitators including this blog’s own Undercover Economist (Tim Harford) as well as the Armchair Economist (Landsberg); and the Economic Naturalist (Frank).
  8. Collier, Paul (2007) The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It. The four traps that show how development for the world’s poorest means more than just more aid.
  9. Stern, Nicholas (2007), The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. Depicting climate change as the “greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen” was a huge conceptual step forward. This perspective makes it much easier to devise and justify PSD or market based contributions to low-carbon growth. However, recent events in Copenhagen show we’re still some way away from establishing a clear global price for carbon.
  10. Tett, Gillian (2009), Fool’s Gold: how unrestrained greed corrupted a dream, shattered global markets and unleashed a catastrophe. Do you still need to know what this book is about?


Google Wave --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Wave

Google Wave is a self-described "personal communication and collaboration tool" announced by Google at the Google I/O conference on May 27, 2009.[1][2] It is a web-based service, computing platform, and communications protocol designed to merge e-mail, instant messaging, wikis, and social networking.[3] It has a strong collaborative and real-time[4] focus supported by extensions that can provide, for example, spelling/grammar checking, automated translation among 40 languages,[2] and numerous other extensions.[4] Initially released only to developers, a "preview release" of Google Wave was extended to 100,000 users in September 2009, each allowed to invite twenty to thirty additional users. On the 29th of November 2009, Google accepted most requests submitted soon after the extended release of the technical preview in September 2009; these users have around 25 invitations to give.

Google Wave Overview Video --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6pgxLaDdQw

Google Wave Security --- http://googlewavesecurity.com/

"How to Teach With Google Wave," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 4, 2010 --- Click Here

If you're wondering what use Google's new Wave tool might have for teaching, one online-learning leader has an answer: combining classes from different colleges.

Think of it like bringing in a guest speaker. But with Wave, which is like e-mail but live and jazzed up with multimedia features, you can build online communities that link entire classrooms for a week or two. And you can do it without the administrative headaches of booking rooms or adjusting class schedules.

Ray Schroeder gave it a try last semester at the University of Illinois at Springfield
, one of the first colleges to use Wave for online teaching since the preview version came out in September. For about two weeks in December, he joined his "Internet in American Life" course with a class on energy studies at the Institute of Technology at Sligo, in Ireland. They created a "wave" to discuss the impact of the Internet on energy sustainability.

But what if you merged a biology class and a philosophy class? You could have them evaluate a bioethics case study, suggests Mr. Schroeder, director of the university's
Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service. Or what about a class on Asian history? You could use Wave's translation tool and hook up with a group of Chinese students.

It's different than a proprietary learning-management system, Mr. Schroeder says, "where licensing restrictions limit these kinds of inter-institutional projects." Already, some college professors and administrators are excited about Wave's
potential to be a course-management-system killer. 

Plenty of other technologies already enable online collaboration, like wikis and Web conferencing. The difference is that Google Wave dumps everything into a one-stop Web 2.0 sandbox of audio and video and text. Also, it's free. And it has a "playback" feature that lets you watch the history of each posting in a kind of time-lapse animation.

So if a student comes to you whining about how she should get an "A" because she did all the work in a group project, Mr. Schroeder says, you can check exactly who did what.

But you'll have to be patient. While students liked the Wave collaboration, they also complained

January 4, 2009 reply from Rick Lillie [rlillie@CSUSB.EDU]

Hi Bob,

 Thanks for the story about Google Wave.  I like what Ray Schroeder did with Google Wave.  His idea is creative and exciting.

 I tried using Google Wave with a couple of my accounting blended and online classes.  At this point, I decided not to continue using Google Wave until it "really" comes online with more of its bells and whistles and technical support.  For now, users are pretty much on their own which makes it difficult to support students when they encounter problems or have a hard time figuring out how a Google Wave feature is supposed to work.

 Google Wave will be an incredible collaboration tool once its full range of features are in place.  Until then, its usefulness for teaching-learning purposes is limited.  For now, Google Wave is "use at your own risk."  Unless an instructor is fairly confident with his(her) technology skills, I suggest it might be better to be patient before adopting the tool for course use.

 While Google Wave shows great promise, in my opinion, I do not see it as a course-management-system killer now or in the future.  Course management systems provide an instructor with a structured instant website that offers a variety of features.  Most faculty that I have worked with do not venture beyond the CMS features.  That's too bad.

 Google Wave could be described as quasi-organized chaos.  It functions a bit like a threaded discussion board on steroids.  When I used Google Wave, I hyperlinked from the CMS to Google Wave.  This made it accessible from within the CMS and improved what students could do through the CMS.

 This approach gave me the best of two worlds.  The CMS provided organization.  Google Wave provided the place to explore and interact with others in ways that the CMS was not designed to do.

 There are lots of Web 2.0 technology tools that add really interesting things to the teaching-learning experience.  Figuring out which tool to use at the right moment is part of the instructional design challenge.  I would not yet consider the CMS to be dead-done-and-buried.

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

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

Bob Jensen's threads on social networking are at

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

"Barnes & Noble Announces Textbook Rental Service," by Jill Laster, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 11, 2010 ---

Barnes & Noble's college-bookstore division has entered the growing field of textbook rental for college students, the bookseller announced Monday. After testing the waters with a pilot program, the service has expanded. It will allow students to rent textbooks through campus-bookstore Web sites at 25 college campuses or through the Barnes & Noble stores on those campuses. Students can pay for the service in several different ways, including financial aid and campus debit cards

Also see http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/01/12/rent

Jensen Comment
Students should carefully make comparisons between renting versus buying used and possibly reselling. Campus bookstores will usually buy back books they sold to students, and there are online buyers of used books.

This is an early Jensen tidbit on renting.
We Rent Movies, So Why Not Textbooks?
," by Miguel Helft, The New York Times, July 4, 2009 ---

Cengage Learning said Thursday that it would become the first higher education publisher to let students rent as well as buy print textbooks directly from the source. Cengage said it would transform its existing online platform, known as iChapters, into a broader site that would allow students to rent print textbooks at 40 to 70 percent off retail as well as purchase print and digital texts and other materials. Publishers have been exploring a range of ways to enter the burgeoning market for renting textbooks.
Inside Higher Ed
, August 14, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/14/qt#205700

Jensen Test:
Rent Textbooks from Chegg --- http://www.chegg.com/
Rental prices are about half the so-called purchase price of a new book.
Buying a used book is probably a better idea since it, in turn, can be sold back into the used market.

Intermediate Accounting ISBN 0470374942 by Kieso et al.
New (Chegg claims the new price is $209 but the price of hardcover is $177 at Barnes & Noble )
            The Amazon Price of a new hardcover is $168 --- Click Here
Bigwords.com (international edition that differs somewhat in chapter orderings) lists a price of $53.98
Used prices start at Amazon for about $159 (but watch carefully for the edition number)
Rent from Chegg ($96.53) ---

Jensen Comment
To get value for my money, I prefer used houses, cars, and books.
Of course, both Amazon and Google are now selling electronic versions of textbooks. For Amazon you must have a Kindle reader. For Google, all you have to have is a computer, although to date Amazon has a wider selection of textbooks available.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at

Dirty Rotten Strategies: How We Trick Ourselves and Others Into Solving the Wrong Problems Precisely by Ian I. Mitroff and Abraham Silvers (Stanford University Press; November 2009, 192 pages; $24.95 but Amazon sells it new for $12.95

People and organizations are perfectly capable of making the most outrageous missteps. But, how does a person, organization, or society know that it is committing an error? And, how can we tell that when others are steering us down wrong paths?

Dirty Rotten Strategies delves into how organizations and interest groups lure us into solving the "wrong problems" with intricate, but inaccurate, solutions. Authors Ian I. Mitroff and Abraham Silvers argue that we can never be sure if we have set our sights on the wrong problem, but there are definite signals that can alert us to this possibility.

While explaining how to detect and avoid dirty rotten strategies, the authors put the media, healthcare, national security, academia, and organized religion under the microscope. They offer a biting critique that examines the failure of these major institutions to accurately define our most pressing problems. For example, the U.S. healthcare industry strives to be the most technologically advanced in the world, but, our cutting-edge system does not ensure top-quality care to the largest number of people.

Readers will find that far too many institutions have enormous incentives to let us devise elaborate solutions to the wrong problems. As Thomas Pynchon said," If they can get you asking the wrong questions, then they don't have to worry about the answers."

From a political perspective, this book shows why liberals and conservatives define problems differently, and demonstrates how each political view is incomplete without the other. Our concerns are no longer solely liberal or conservative. In fact, we can no longer trust a single group to define issues across the institutions explored in this book and beyond.

Dirty Rotten Strategies is a bipartisan call for anyone who is ready to think outside the box to address our major concerns as a society—starting today.

 Jensen Comment
This strikes me a bit like our problem with the billions of dollars spent by major universities in accountics research that is virtually ignored by the accounting profession and business firms and investors worldwide for the past four decades.
What went wrong with accountics research and how did it have some "dirty rotten strategies?"


Accountics is the mathematical science of values.
Charles Sprague [1887] as quoted by McMillan [1998, p. 1]

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research? 
How did academic accounting research become a pseudo science?


At the same time, it's possible to take the "Dirty Rotten Strategies" thesis too far in academe and in life. For example, should we eliminate the entire space exploration program and divert the money to improving high speed rail service between major urban centers in the United States? History is replete with examples of where what seemed like a "dirty rotten" waste of money turned out to have a very high benefit to cost ratios in the long run, e.g., the contributions of basic particle physics research to the ultimate warming of our New England houses from the Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.

I'm less optimistic about the ultimate benefit to cost ratio of accountics research and manned space exploration, but who knows?
I've been wrong 2,195 times in my life. Accountants keep track of everything.

Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method by Niccolo Guicciardini (MIT Press; October 2009, 422 pages; $55).
A study of Newton's philosophy of mathematics; topics include how the British scientist distanced himself from Descartes and Leibniz and saw himself as the heir of the ancients.


"Canada Gets Good Grades on Education Report Card but a D for Producing Ph.D.'s," Chronicle of Higher Education, January 6, 2010 ---

Jensen Comment About Canadian Contributions to the AECM
I also give an A to the contributions of Jerry Trites to the AECM listserv. However, virtually all other North American contributions to the AECM are from the United States. It would be nicer if Canadians added more to our messaging, especially regarding IFRS replacement of Canadian GAAP. For example, how are Canadians managing the IFRS content on the Chartered Accountancy Examination when candidates now applying to take the examination learned mostly Canadian GAAP.?

 "Beyond Critical Thinking," by Michael S. Roth, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, January 3, 2010 ---

The antivocational dimension of the humanities has been a source of pride and embarrassment for generations. The persistence of this reputed uselessness is puzzling given the fact that an education in the humanities allows one to develop skills in reading, writing, reflection, and interpretation that are highly prized in our economy and culture. Sure, specific training in a discrete set of skills might prepare you for Day 1 of the worst job you'll ever have (your first), but the humanities teach elements of mind and heart that you will draw upon for decades of innovative and focused work. But we do teach a set of skills, or an attitude, in the humanities that may have more to do with our antipractical reputation than the antivocational notion of freedom embedded in the liberal arts. This is the set of skills that usually goes under the rubric of critical thinking.

Although critical thinking first gained its current significance as a mode of interpretation and evaluation to guide beliefs and actions in the 1940s, the term took off in education circles after Robert H. Ennis published "A Concept of Critical Thinking" in the Harvard Educational Review in 1962. Ennis was interested in how we teach the "correct assessment of statements," and he offered an analysis of 12 aspects of this process. Ennis and countless educational theorists who have come after him have sung the praises of critical thinking. There is now a Foundation for Critical Thinking and an industry of consultants to help you enhance this capacity in your teachers, students, or yourself.

A common way to show that one has sharpened one's critical thinking is to display an ability to see through or undermine statements made by (or beliefs held by) others. Thus, our best students are really good at one aspect of critical thinking­—being critical. For many students today, being smart means being critical. To be able to show that Hegel's concept of narrative foreclosed the non-European, or that Butler's stance on vulnerability contradicts her conception of performativity, or that a tenured professor has failed to account for his own "privilege"—these are marks of sophistication, signs of one's ability to participate fully in the academic tribe. But this participation, being entirely negative, is not only seriously unsatisfying; it is ultimately counterproductive.

The skill at unmasking error, or simple intellectual one-upmanship, is not completely without value, but we should be wary of creating a class of self-satisfied debunkers or, to use a currently fashionable word on campuses, people who like to "trouble" ideas. In overdeveloping the capacity to show how texts, institutions, or people fail to accomplish what they set out to do, we may be depriving students of the capacity to learn as much as possible from what they study. In a humanities culture in which being smart often means being a critical unmasker, our students may become too good at showing how things don't make sense. That very skill may diminish their capacity to find or create meaning and direction in the books they read and the world in which they live. Once outside the university, our students continue to score points by displaying the critical prowess for which they were rewarded in school. They wind up contributing to a cultural climate that has little tolerance for finding or making meaning, whose intellectuals and cultural commentators delight in being able to show that somebody else is not to be believed.

I doubt that this is a particularly contemporary development. In the 18th century there were complaints about an Enlightenment culture that prized only skepticism and that was satisfied only with disbelief. Our contemporary version of this trend, though, has become skeptical even about skepticism. We no longer have the courage of our lack of conviction. Perhaps that's why we teach our students that it's cool to say that they are engaged in "troubling" an assumption or a belief. To declare that one wanted to disprove a view would show too much faith in the ability to tell truth from falsehood. And to declare that one was receptive to learning from someone else's view would show too much openness to being persuaded by an idea that might soon be deconstructed (or simply mocked).

In training our students in the techniques of critical thinking, we may be giving them reasons to remain guarded—which can translate into reasons not to learn. The confident refusal to be affected by those with whom we disagree seems to have infected much of our cultural life: from politics to the press, from siloed academic programs (no matter how multidisciplinary) to warring public intellectuals. As humanities teachers, however, we must find ways for our students to open themselves to the emotional and cognitive power of history and literature that might initially rub them the wrong way, or just seem foreign. Critical thinking is sterile without the capacity for empathy and comprehension that stretches the self.

One of the crucial tasks of the humanities should be to help students cultivate the willingness and ability to learn from material they might otherwise reject or ignore. This material will often surprise students and sometimes upset them. Students seem to have learned that teaching-evaluation committees take seriously the criticism that "the professor, or the material, made me uncomfortable." This complaint is so toxic because being made uncomfortable may be a necessary component of an education in the humanities. Creating a humanistic culture that values the desire to learn from unexpected and uncomfortable sources as much as it values the critical faculties would be an important contribution to our academic and civic life.

But the contemporary humanities should do more than supplement critical thinking with empathy and a desire to understand others from their own point of view. We should also supplement our strong critical engagement with cultural and social norms by developing modes of teaching that allow our students to enter in the value-laden practices of a particular culture to understand better how these values are legitimated: how the values are lived as legitimate. Current thinking in the humanities is often strong at showing that values that are said to be shared are really imposed on more-vulnerable members of a particular group. Current thinking in the humanities is also good at showing the contextualization of norms, whether the context is generated by an anthropological, historical, or other disciplinary matrix. But in both of these cases we ask our students to develop a critical distance from the context or culture they are studying.

Many humanities professors have become disinclined to investigate with our students how we generate the values we believe in, or the norms according to which we go about our lives. In other words, we have been less interested in showing how we make a norm legitimate than in sharpening our tools for delegitimization. The philosopher Robert Pippin has recently made a similar point, and has described how evolutionary biology and psychology have moved into this terrain, explaining moral values as the product of the same dynamic that gives rise to the taste for sweets. Pippin argues, on the contrary, that "the practical autonomy of the normative is the proper terrain of the humanities," and he has an easy task of showing how the pseudoscientific evolutionary "explanation" of our moral choices is a pretty flimsy "just-so" story.

If we humanities professors saw ourselves more often as explorers of the normative than as critics of normativity, we would have a better chance to reconnect our intellectual work to broader currents in public culture. This does not have to mean an acceptance of the status quo, but it does mean an effort to understand the practices of cultures (including our own) from the point of view of those participating in them. This would include an understanding of how cultures change. For many of us, this would mean complementing our literary or textual work with participation in community, with what are often called service-learning courses. For others, it would mean approaching our object of study not with the anticipated goal of exposing weakness or mystification but with the goal of turning ourselves in such a way as to see how what we study might inform our thinking and our lives.

I realize that I am arguing for a mode of humanistic education that many practice already. It is a mode that can take language very seriously, but rather than seeing it as the master mediator between us and the world, a matrix of representations always doomed to fail, it sees language as itself a cultural practice to be understood from the point of view of those using it.

The fact that language fails according to some impossible criterion, or that we fail in our use of it, is no news, really. It is part of our finitude, but it should not be taken as the key marker of our humanity. The news that is brought by the humanities is a way of turning the heart and the spirit so as to hear possibilities of various forms of life in which we might participate. When we learn to read or look or listen intensively, we are not just becoming adept at exposing falsehood or at uncovering yet more examples of the duplicities of culture and society. We are partially overcoming our own blindness by trying to understand something from another's artistic, philosophical, or historical point of view. William James put it perfectly in a talk to teachers and students entitled "On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings": "The meanings are there for others, but they are not there for us." James saw the recognition of this blindness as key to education as well as to the development of democracy and civil society. Of course hard-nosed critical thinking may help in this endeavor, but it also may be a way we learn to protect ourselves from the acknowledgment and insight that humanistic study has to offer. As students and as teachers we sometimes crave that protection because without it we risk being open to changing who we are. In order to overcome this blindness, we risk being very uncomfortable indeed.

It is my hope that humanists will continue offering criticism, making connections, and finding ways to acknowledge practices that seem at first opaque or even invisible. In supporting a transition from critical thinking to practical exploration, I am echoing a comment made by my undergraduate philosophy teacher Louis Mink, and echoed by my graduate mentor, Richard Rorty. Years before Dick Rorty deconstructed the idea of the "philosopher as referee," Louis Mink suggested that critics "exchange the judge's wig for the guide's cap." I think we may say the same for humanists, who can, in his words, "show us details and patterns and relations which we would not have seen or heard for ourselves."

My humanities teachers enriched my life by showing me details and pattern and relations. In so doing they also helped me to acquire tools that have energetically shaped my scholarship and my interactions with colleagues and students. It is my hope that as guides, not judges, we can show our students how to engage in the practice of exploring objects, norms, and values that inform diverse cultures. In doing so, students will develop the ability to converse with others about shaping the objects, norms, and values that will inform their own lives. They will develop the ability to add value to (and not merely criticize values in) whatever organizations in which they participate. They will often reject roads that others have taken, and they will sometimes chart new paths. But guided by the humanities, they will increase their ability to find together ways of living that have meaning and direction, illuminating paths immensely practical and sustaining.

Michael S. Roth is an intellectual historian and president of Wesleyan University. This essay was part of a lecture commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Wesleyan's Center for the Humanities.

Bob Jensen's threads on critical thinking are at

January 5, 2009 reply from Barbara Scofield [barbarawscofield@GMAIL.COM]

At the University of Kentucky in the 1990s I took a faculty development course in "Integrative Studies," which was required of the medical students at that time, and then offered one summer to all faculty. In the discussion segments the faculty participants were asked to always provide comments that were an addition to the comments of the other participants. In other words, we couldn't begin with "Yes, but ..." We were supposed to find common ground and build from there. Some faculty found this impossible to do, even when the facilitator emphasized it over and over again. My remembrance is that the business and agriculture faculty had an easier time with the cooperative nature of the course than the liberal arts folks.

Barbara W. Scofield, PhD, CPA Chair of Graduate Business Studies Professor of Accounting The University of Texas of the Permian Basin 4901 E. University Dr. Odessa, TX 79762
432-552-2183 (Office) 817-988-5998 (Cell)



The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning --- Click Here

The Miniature Guide To Critical Thinking Concepts & Tools --- Click Here

"The Future of Decision Making: Less Intuition, More Evidence," Simoleon Sense, January 11, 2010 ---

Awesome article (covering decision making, Kahneman, etc) via Harvard

Big thanks & h/t to Michael & Stuart

Click Here Fore: The Future of Decision Making: Less Intuition, More Evidence

Introduction (Via Harvard Blogs)

Human intuition can be astonishingly good, especially after it’s improved by experience. Savvy poker players are so good at reading their opponents’ cards and bluffs that they seem to have x-ray vision. Firefighters can, under extreme duress, anticipate how flames will spread through a building. And nurses in neonatal ICUs can tell if a baby has a dangerous infection even before blood test results come back from the lab.

The lexicon to describe this phenomenon is mostly mystical in nature. Poker players have a sixth sense; firefighters feel the blaze’s intentions; Nurses just know what seems like an infection. They can’t even tell us what data and cues they use to make their excellent judgments; their intuition springs from a deep place that can’t be easily examined. . Examples like these give many people the impression that human intuition is generally reliable, and that we should rely more on the decisions and predictions that come to us in the blink of an eye.

Findings (Via Harvard Blogs)

* It takes a long time to build good intuition. Chess players, for example, need 10 years of dedicated study and competition to assemble a sufficient mental repertoire of board patterns.

* Intuition only works well in specific environments, ones that provide a person with good cues and rapid feedback . Cues are accurate indications about what’s going to happen next. They exist in poker and firefighting, but not in, say, stock markets. Despite what chartists think, it’s impossible to build good intuition about future market moves because no publicly available information provides good cues about later stock movements. Feedback from the environment is information about what worked and what didn’t. It exists in neonatal ICUs because babies stay there for a while. It’s hard, though, to build medical intuition about conditions that change after the patient has left the care environment, since there’s no feedback loop.

* We apply intuition inconsistently. Even experts are inconsistent. One study determined what criteria clinical psychologists used to diagnose their patients, and then created simple models based on these criteria. Then, the researchers presented the doctors with new patients to diagnose and also diagnosed those new patients with their models. The models did a better job diagnosing the new cases than did the humans whose knowledge was used to build them. The best explanation for this is that people applied what they knew inconsistently — their intuition varied. Models, though, don’t have intuition.

* It’s easy to make bad judgments quickly. We have a many biases that lead us astray when making assessments. Here’s just one example. If I ask a group of people “Is the average price of German cars more or less than $100,000?” and then ask them to estimate the average price of German cars, they’ll “anchor” around BMWs and other high-end makes when estimating. If I ask a parallel group the same two questions but say “more or less than $30,000″ instead, they’ll anchor around VWs and give a much lower estimate. How much lower? About $35,000 on average, or half the difference in the two anchor prices. How information is presented affects what we think.

* We can’t know tell where our ideas come from. There’s no way for even an experienced person to know if a spontaneous idea is the result of legitimate expert intuition or of a pernicious bias. In other words, we have lousy intuition about our intuition.

Click Here Fore: The Future of Decision Making: Less Intuition, More Evidence

"Video: Daniel Kahneman - The Psychology of Large Mistakes and Important Decisions" Simoleon Sense, July 27, 2009 ---

"I was going to say I saw a duckie and a horsie, but I changed my mind."
Computer Trained Yet Deeply Intuitive

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

Remember this Charles Shultz Cartoon

Lucy Van Pelt: Aren't the clouds beautiful? They look like big balls of cotton. I could just lie here all day and watch them drift by. If you use your imagination, you can see lots of things in the cloud's formations. What do you think you see, Linus?
Linus Van Pelt: Well, those clouds up there look to me look like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean. [points up] That cloud up there looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor. And that group of clouds over there... [points] ...gives me the impression of the Stoning of Stephen. I can see the Apostle Paul standing there to one side.
Lucy Van Pelt: Uh huh. That's very good. What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?
Charlie Brown: Well... I was going to say I saw a duckie and a horsie, but I changed my mind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Economists Consistently Get it Wrong

"Why Good Spreadsheets Make Bad Strategies," by Roger Martin, Harvard Business Review Blog, January 11, 2010 --- Click Here 

We live in a world obsessed with science, preoccupied with predictability and control, and enraptured with quantitative analysis. Economic forecasters crank out precision predictions of economic growth with their massive econometric models. CEOs give to-the-penny guidance to capital markets on next quarter's predicted earnings. We live by adages like: "Show me the numbers" and truisms such as "If you can't measure it, it doesn't count."

What has this obsession gotten us? The economists have gotten it consistently wrong. As late as the first half of 2008, no prominent macroeconomist or important economic forecasting organization predicted that the economy would not grow in 2008 (or 2009), let alone that it would crater as disastrously as it did. But, undaunted, the same economists who totally missed the recession turned back to the same quantitative, scientific models to predict how the economy would recover, only to be mainly wrong again. CEOs keep on giving quarterly guidance based on their sophisticated financial planning systems and keep on being wrong — and then get slammed not for bad performance but for their failure to predict performance exactly as they promised mere months earlier.

In this oh-so-modern life, we have deep-seated desire to quantify the world around us so that we can understand it and control it. But the world isn't behaving. Instead, it is showing its modern, scientific inhabitants that quantity doesn't tell us as much as we would wish. While the macroeconomists would dearly love to add up all the loans to provide a total for "credit outstanding" and then plug this quantity into their economic models to be able to predict next year's Gross Domestic Product, they found out in 2008 that all of those loans weren't the same — some, especially the sub-prime mortgages, weren't worth the proverbial paper on which they were written.

And CEOs and their CFOs would love to be able to extrapolate last month's sales quantity and predict next quarter's sales, but sometimes they find out that those sales weren't as solid a base for growth as they might have thought — especially if some of the customer relationships underpinning them weren't as strong as they might have imagined.

The fundamental shortcoming is that all of these scientific methods depended entirely on quantities to produce the answers they were meant to generate. They were all blissfully ignorant of qualities. My colleague Hilary Austen, who is writing a fantastic book on the importance of artistry, describes the difference between qualities and quantities in the latest draft:

Qualities cannot be objectively measured, as a quantity like temperature can be measured with a thermometer. We can count the number of people in a room, but that tells us little about the mood — upbeat, flat, intense, contentious — of the group's interaction.

Why are qualities so important? We need to understand the role of qualities in dealing with the complex, ambiguous and uncertain world in which we live because understanding, measuring, modeling and manipulating the quantities just won't cut it. Adding up the quantity of credit outstanding won't tell us nearly enough about what role it will play in our economy. Adding up sales won't tell us what kind of a company we really have. We need to have a much deeper understanding of their qualities — the ambiguous, hard-to-measure aspects of all of these features.

To obtain that understanding, we need to supplement the quantitative techniques brought to us through the march of science with the artistic understanding of and facility with qualities that our obsession with science has brushed aside. We must stop obsessing about measurement so much that we exclude essential but un-measurable qualities from our understanding of any given situation. We must also consider the possibility that if we can't measure something, it might be the very most important aspect of the problem on which we're working.

Roger Martin is the Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto in Canada and the author of The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage (Harvard Business Press, 2009).

Why this applies to accountics research as well --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#AcademicsVersusProfession

Controversial Tax Court Decision on Tuition Deductions
How One Woman Went to Tax Court and Won Deduction

January 11, 2010 message from Davidson, Dee (Dawn) [dgd@MARSHALL.USC.EDU]

Nurse Outduels IRS Over M.B.A. Tuition

How One Woman Went to Tax Court and Won Deduction http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703535104574646582965101664.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines 

By LAURA SAUNDERS A Maryland nurse accomplished two rare feats in her battle with the Internal Revenue Service: She defended herself against the agency's lawyers and won, and she got a ruling that could help tens of thousands of students deduct the cost of an M.B.A. degree on their taxes. The U.S. Tax Court handed Lori Singleton-Clarke her victory last month, saying the 47-year-old Bryantown, Md., woman had properly deducted nearly $15,000 in business school tuition. The Tax Court ruling should make it easier for many other professionals to deduct the expense of a Master in Business Administration degree.

dee davidson
Leventhal School of Accounting
Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California

January 11, 2010 reply from Ramsey, Donald [dramsey@UDC.EDU]

To get to the essence of this concept, you really need to read the case at


The degree in question was an MBA with a concentration in Health Care Administration, from the University of Phoenix. The tax court held that the degree did not qualify her for a new occupation, but did enhance her skills in her existing job.

An interesting observation was that sometimes an MBA does qualify one for a new occupation, but not always. The court also noted that the MBA does not lead to any particular professional license.

I suppose an MBA with a concentration in accounting might be construed as leading to a professional license, and likely so would an MAcc. Such graduates, of course, are not all necessarily intending to seek the CPA, but if they do sit for the CPA exam I suppose that would likely disqualify the deduction even though the individual might continue working as an accountant.



(A message from Pod L, 7L13, of the UDC temporary satellite station in the Intelsat Building) Donald D. Ramsey, CPA, Department of Accounting, Finance, and Economics, School of Business and Public Administration, University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave., N. W., Washington, D. C. 20008. (202) 274-7054.

Bob Jensen's taxation helpers ---

HDTV:  That's So Last Decade

"3-D TV, Apple tablet, Google phone among next-generation devices on the way," by Frank Ahrens, The Washington Post, January 6, 2010 ---

The 21st century may finally be starting, one decade late.

A raft of sci-fi-inspired gadgets and technologies are being announced this month, promising a future of 3-D television, super-smart phones and next-generation electronic tablets that wrap the features of a laptop and a digital book into one wafer-thin package.

If you think you've heard all this before, well, you have. Moviegoers were donning 3-D glasses in the 1950s, and legions of gee-whiz devices have come and gone, with little discernible improvement of the human condition.

What makes this month notable is the sheer number of pitches being shouted by tech and media giants ranging from Apple to Google to Sony to Discovery Communications, in the hope that recession-weary Americans are ready to start spending their discretionary income again. These corporate goliaths maintain large cash balances, enabling them to spend money on product development during downturns while smaller rivals struggle to stay afloat.

The buzz kicked off Tuesday with the rollout of Google's Nexus One smartphone, which marks the search-engine giant's first foray into hardware and represents a broadside aimed at Apple's popular iPhone.

A flurry of announcements is coming before the Thursday kickoff of the annual Consumer Electronics Show, the tech industry's annual bacchanalia of personal-jet-pack futurism and gadget fetishization. If these devices and technologies pan out, they may represent significant steps forward, rather than just refinements of existing technology.

Also on Tuesday, broadcasting giants ESPN and Discovery each said they will launch 3-D television networks; ESPN's this year, Discovery's in 2011. To create the unnamed 3-D channel, Silver Spring's Discovery is forming a joint venture with 3-D theater pioneer Imax and Sony, which makes cameras that film in 3-D.

Like "Avatar," the blockbuster film currently in theaters, programming on these two new channels would require special glasses to achieve the you-are-there benefit of 3-D.

Special glasses? To watch TV at home? Really?

"Consumers seem quite willing to put on glasses in a movie theater," Imax chief executive Richard Gelfond said in a conference call Tuesday. "We're going to create something compelling for consumers, and they're going to want to put on glasses."

Sony chief executive Howard Stringer envisioned 3-D TV without the need for glasses "in three to five years."

Set makers, such as Sony, hope 3-D programming will drive demand for new televisions in the same way that high-definition broadcasts pushed consumers to junk their old analog TVs. South Korea's LG Electronics, the world's second-biggest TV maker, said last month that it hopes to sell 400,000 3-D TVs this year and 3.4 million next year. Any manufacturer's 3-D set is likely to cost at least $3,000.

But if the transition from analog to HD is any guide, the migration to 3-D could take years. Discovery launched its HD channel in 2002, and it took seven years for HD TVs to start selling at a rate of nearly 30 million units per year.

Further, the upgrade strategy has not always worked. Years of industry squabbling over a new format for DVDs -- HD vs. Blu-ray -- finally was settled with Blu-ray as the winner. Yet sales of Blu-ray DVD players have hardly surged.

A first for Google

Google's Nexus One is a big step forward because it represents the company's first venture into hardware, as opposed to its current moneymaker: selling advertising alongside its various services. Google, which has 66 percent of the global search market, hopes to expand its empire by claiming the mobile phone market.

Unlike Apple's iPhone, which is limited to AT&T's network, Google boasts that the Nexus is not tied to any one service provider. But that freedom comes at a price -- $529 for the phone. A T-Mobile deal, by comparison, offers it for $179 with a two-year service contract.

Some analysts see the Nexus as a way for Google to gain more control over its destiny. As a provider of Web-based services from e-mail to street maps, the company may have perceived a need to secure a gateway to the wireless Web, as well as to show off its vision for the devices that access its services. For instance, the Nexus offers voice commands for every feature.

"In this day and age, you need to have a play beyond being just a content company," said Stephen Baker, an analyst with the NPD Group.

Apple's newest secret

Meanwhile, Apple is fighting to keep its kingpin title among the tech hipsterati with its newest device, expected to be unveiled this month: a digital tablet similar in size to the Amazon Kindle but with more eye-popping features. The Kindle allows customers to wirelessly buy books over the Internet and read them on a screen a little larger than a paperback and as thin as a few pages.

Even though Apple's tablet remains cloaked in the company's typical secrecy, industry insiders expect a full-color screen that will play videos in addition to displaying type. Though the tablet is likely to come with a big wow factor, some analysts are warning that Apple is becoming too insular -- creating its own closed environment, rather than making products that can work on a number of devices, as Google is.

"Will Apple's insistence on maintaining end-to-end control, on trying to shoot the moon by owning every aspect of the mobile computing business, doom it to failure against a competitor hell-bent on achieving software ubiquity?" tech analyst and blogger Henry Blodget wrote Tuesday.

Excited techies, meanwhile, are calling this year's Consumer Electronics Show the "3-D show."

And unlike the '50s fad, 3-D is here to stay, said Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of DreamWorks Animation, which released "Monsters vs. Aliens" in 3-D last year. Last year, 3-D put down a footprint in theaters; this year, Katzenberg said, it's coming to your home.

Continued in article

"We Are All Gadget Nerds Now," by David Carr, The New York Times, January 6, 2010 ---

"Google's Nexus One: Can Openness Win?" by Peter Merholz, The Harvard Business Review Blog, January 8, 2010 ---

Walt Mossberg Video Reviews of New Devices
Google's Nexus One
--- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nexus_One
Video:  The Wall Street Journal Technology Editor Walt Mossberg Reviews the Nexus One (Google Smartphone) ---
Cloud Computing --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing
The Litl
--- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Litl
Video:  The Wall Street Journal Technology Editor Walt Mossberg Reviews The Litl (cloud computer) ---
The somewhat negative review by Walt video follows the above Nexus One video.
Other device reviews follow in succession:  New Bayer diabetic test meter) the Barnes & Noble Nook Book Reader, .Intel e-Reader for sight-impaired readers, . . .  . .

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on Tricks and Tools of the Trade --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

AccountingWeb Ethics Cases --- Click Here
Note the "Previous entries" links.

What single attribute had the most consensus in building a college leadership team?

Small-College Presidents Hear Tips on Building a Leadership Team
A gathering here this week sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges was a chance for the 355 small-college presidents who attended to share tips and exchange success stories as well as concerns. The association's Presidents Institute is the largest meeting in the country of college presidents all year. One of the most well-attended and candid sessions here concerned how presidents should approach the difficult task of forming a senior leadership team—the vice presidents and other top officers who make up a president's cabinet.
Robin Wilson, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 5, 2010 --- 

"Recommended by HBR Contributors: January/February 2010," by Rasika Welankiwar, Harvard Business Review Blog, January 8, 2010 ---

While putting together the January-February issue, we asked some of our authors and bloggers what they had read — a recent item or an old gem — that they would recommend to our readers. Here's what they said:

The Enlightened Eye
by Elliot W. Eisner (Prentice Hall, 1991)
A classic book by Stanford education professor Elliot W. Eisner is emerging as a must-read. He argues that little of value can be learned about the student experience, or how to improve it, from quantitative research. The same applies to business customers. Instead, he encourages the development of an "enlightened eye" to observe and interpret rigorously without being confined to the narrow strictures of statistically significant quantitative tests and measures. To Eisner, qualitative research is the only tool for deeply understanding the complicated world of people in organizations.
–Roger Martin, author of
The Age of Customer Capitalism

Alexander Hamilton
by Ron Chernow (Penguin, 2004)
I'm plowing my way through various biographies of the Founding Fathers. This started when we were having such a horrible time in 2006, and I needed to be reminded that bad situations sometimes turn out all right. That the U.S. came into existence — with a third of George Washington's troops down to smallpox and going against the greatest power at the time — is one of those impossible things that now we see was inevitable. I'm a Hamilton person myself, and Chernow's book on him is great. Hamilton had a lot of downsides. He wanted a king. But I think he was audacious in the way he went about things.
–Condoleezza Rice, interviewed by HBR

Crude World
by Peter Maass (Knopf, 2009)
With this book, New York Times Magazine writer Peter Maass adds his voice to others predicting severe economic dislocation after global oil production passes its peak and enters an inevitable decline — a view of the future that doesn't sit well with the oil industry. Maass, author of a 1996 book about the Bosnian conflict, writes beautifully about this ugly stuff: "[Oil] is a commodity that is extracted, refined, shipped and poured into your gas tank with few people seeing it. It has no voice, body, army or dogma of its own. It is invisible most of the time, but, like gravity, it influences everything we do."
–Rob Toker, coauthor (with Alex Rau and Joanne Howard) of Can Technology Really Save Us from Climate Change?

Love 'Em or Lose 'Em
by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans (Berrett-Koehler, 1999)
When I was a manager back home in the U.S., I read this book to get ideas about recognition and reward. Later, as a cross-cultural coach, I bought a stack of copies for my clients, mainly Europeans managing Americans. They found it a revelation.

Books on cross-cultural management often don't provide the same level of psychological insight as when authors write for their own country. Love 'Em or Lose 'Em reminds the U.S. how extreme its business culture can be, but also — crucially — helps outsiders to navigate it.
–Erin Meyer, coauthor (with Elisabeth Yi Shen) of China Myths, China Facts

Revolution in a Bottle
by Tom Szaky (Portfolio, 2009)
Szaky has written the best book on entrepreneurship I've read. This is not the story of a huge exit, or wow technology, or big money from top-tier VCs. It's the witty, funny, poignant tale of a young Princeton dropout who finds himself up to his elbows in worm poop turned fertilizer on the way to building a pioneering "upcycling" company, TerraCycle. This is how entrepreneurship happens in the real world: Scrappy, resourceful, hustling, flexible, idealistic, smart people take on big challenges by thinking differently, dealing innovatively with crises (bullets whizzing through the Newark office), and learning as they go.
–Daniel Isenberg,
HBR author and blogger

Before reading this module you may want to read about Governmental Accounting at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governmental_accounting

"Don't Like the Numbers? Change 'Em If a CEO issued the kind of distorted figures put out by politicians and scientists, he'd wind up in prison," by Stanford Economics Professor Michael J. Boskin, The Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2010 ---

Politicians and scientists who don't like what their data show lately have simply taken to changing the numbers. They believe that their end—socialism, global climate regulation, health-care legislation, repudiating debt commitments, la gloire française—justifies throwing out even minimum standards of accuracy. It appears that no numbers are immune: not GDP, not inflation, not budget, not job or cost estimates, and certainly not temperature. A CEO or CFO issuing such massaged numbers would land in jail.

The late economist Paul Samuelson called the national income accounts that measure real GDP and inflation "one of the greatest achievements of the twentieth century." Yet politicians from Europe to South America are now clamoring for alternatives that make them look better.

A commission appointed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy suggests heavily weighting "stability" indicators such as "security" and "equality" when calculating GDP. And voilà!—France outperforms the U.S., despite the fact that its per capita income is 30% lower. Nobel laureate Ed Prescott called this disparity the difference between "prosperity and depression" in a 2002 paper—and attributed it entirely to France's higher taxes.

With Venezuela in recession by conventional GDP measures, President Hugo Chávez declared the GDP to be a capitalist plot. He wants a new, socialist-friendly way to measure the economy. Maybe East Germans were better off than their cousins in the West when the Berlin Wall fell; starving North Koreans are really better off than their relatives in South Korea; the 300 million Chinese lifted out of abject poverty in the last three decades were better off under Mao; and all those Cubans risking their lives fleeing to Florida on dinky boats are loco.

In Argentina, President Néstor Kirchner didn't like the political and budget hits from high inflation. After a politicized personnel purge in 2002, he changed the inflation measures. Conveniently, the new numbers showed lower inflation and therefore lower interest payments on the government's inflation-linked bonds. Investor and public confidence in the objectivity of the inflation statistics evaporated. His wife and successor Cristina Kirchner is now trying to grab the central bank's reserves to pay for the country's debt.

America has not been immune from this dangerous numbers game. Every president is guilty of spinning unpleasant statistics. President Richard Nixon even thought there was a conspiracy against him at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But President Barack Obama has taken it to a new level. His laudable attempt at transparency in counting the number of jobs "created or saved" by the stimulus bill has degenerated into farce and was just junked this week.

The administration has introduced the new notion of "jobs saved" to take credit where none was ever taken before. It seems continually to confuse gross and net numbers. For example, it misses the jobs lost or diverted by the fiscal stimulus. And along with the congressional leadership it hypes the number of "green jobs" likely to be created from the explosion of spending, subsidies, loans and mandates, while ignoring the job losses caused by its taxes, debt, regulations and diktats.

The president and his advisers—their credibility already reeling from exaggeration (the stimulus bill will limit unemployment to 8%) and reneged campaign promises (we'll go through the budget "line-by-line")—consistently imply that their new proposed regulation is a free lunch. When the radical attempt to regulate energy and the environment with the deeply flawed cap-and-trade bill is confronted with economic reality, instead of honestly debating the trade-offs they confidently pronounce that it boosts the economy. They refuse to admit that it simply boosts favored sectors and firms at the expense of everyone else.

Rabid environmentalists have descended into a separate reality where only green counts. It's gotten so bad that the head of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols, announced this past fall that costly new carbon regulations would boost the economy shortly after she was told by eight of the state's most respected economists that they were certain these new rules would damage the economy. The next day, her own economic consultant, Harvard's Robert Stavis, denounced her statement as a blatant distortion.

Scientists are expected to make sure their findings are replicable, to make the data available, and to encourage the search for new theories and data that may overturn the current consensus. This is what Galileo, Darwin and Einstein—among the most celebrated scientists of all time—did. But some climate researchers, most notably at the University of East Anglia, attempted to hide or delete temperature data when that data didn't show recent rapid warming. They quietly suppressed and replaced the numbers, and then attempted to squelch publication of studies coming to different conclusions.

The Obama administration claims a dubious "Keynesian" multiplier of 1.5 to feed the Democrats' thirst for big spending. The administration's idea is that virtually all their spending creates jobs for unemployed people and that additional rounds of spending create still more—raising income by $1.50 for each dollar of government spending. Economists differ on such multipliers, with many leading figures pegging them at well under 1.0 as the government spending in part replaces private spending and jobs. But all agree that every dollar of spending requires a present value of a dollar of future taxes, which distorts decisions to work, save, and invest and raises the cost of the dollar of spending to well over a dollar. Thus, only spending with large societal benefits is justified, a criterion unlikely to be met by much current spending (perusing the projects on recovery.gov doesn't inspire confidence).

Even more blatant is the numbers game being used to justify health-insurance reform legislation, which claims to greatly expand coverage, decrease health-insurance costs, and reduce the deficit. That magic flows easily from counting 10 years of dubious Medicare "savings" and tax hikes, but only six years of spending; assuming large cuts in doctor reimbursements that later will be cancelled; and making the states (other than Sen. Ben Nelson's Nebraska) pay a big share of the cost by expanding Medicaid eligibility. The Medicare "savings" and payroll tax hikes are counted twice—first to help pay for expanded coverage, and then to claim to extend the life of Medicare.

One piece of good news: The public isn't believing much of this out-of-control spin. Large majorities believe the health-care legislation will raise their insurance costs and increase the budget deficit. Most Americans are highly skeptical of the claims of climate extremists. And they have a more realistic reaction to the extraordinary deterioration in our public finances than do the president and Congress.

As a society and as individuals, we need to make difficult, even wrenching choices, often with grave consequences. To base those decisions on highly misleading, biased, and even manufactured numbers is not just wrong, but dangerous.

Squandering their credibility with these numbers games will only make it more difficult for our elected leaders to enlist support for difficult decisions from a public increasingly inclined to disbelieve them.

Mr. Boskin is a professor of economics at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under President George H.W. Bush

Bob Jensen's threads on The Sad State of Governmental Accounting and Accountability ---


The Most Criminal Class is Writing the Laws ---


Video: Fora.Tv on Institutional Corruption & The Economy Of Influence ---

Why single out capitalism for immorality and ethics misbehavior?
Making capitalism ethical is a tough task – and possibly a hopeless one.
Prem Sikka (see below)

The global code of conduct of Ernst & Young, another global accountancy firm, claims that "no client or external relationship is more important than the ethics, integrity and reputation of Ernst & Young". Partners and former partners of the firm have also been found guilty of promoting tax evasion.
Prem Sikka (see below)

Jensen Comment
Yeah right Prem, as if making the public sector and socialism ethical is an easier task. The least ethical nations where bribery, crime, and immorality are the worst are likely to be the more government (dictator) controlled and lower on the capitalism scale. And in the so-called capitalist nations, the lowest ethics are more apt to be found in the public sector that works hand in hand with bribes from large and small businesses.

Rotten Fraud in General --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm
Rotten Fraud in the Public Sector (The Most Criminal Class Writes the Laws) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#Lawmakers

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.

Congress is our only native criminal class.
Mark Twain --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain

Why should members of Congress be allowed to profit from insider trading?
Amid broad congressional concern about ethics scandals, some lawmakers are poised to expand the battle for reform: They want to enact legislation that would prohibit members of Congress and their aides from trading stocks based on nonpublic information gathered on Capitol Hill. Two Democrat lawmakers plan to introduce today a bill that would block trading on such inside information. Current securities law and congressional ethics rules don't prohibit lawmakers or their staff members from buying and selling securities based on information learned in the halls of Congress.
Brody Mullins, "Bill Seeks to Ban Insider Trading By Lawmakers and Their Aides," The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2006; Page A1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114351554851509761.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

The Culture of Corruption Runs Deep and Wide in Both U.S. Political Parties:  Few if any are uncorrupted
Committee members have shown no appetite for taking up all those cases and are considering an amnesty for reporting violations, although not for serious matters such as accepting a trip from a lobbyist, which House rules forbid. The data firm PoliticalMoneyLine calculates that members of Congress have received more than $18 million in travel from private organizations in the past five years, with Democrats taking 3,458 trips and Republicans taking 2,666. . . But of course, there are those who deem the American People dumb as stones and will approach this bi-partisan scandal accordingly. Enter Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi, complete with talking points for her minion, that are sure to come back and bite her .... “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) filed delinquent reports Friday for three trips she accepted from outside sponsors that were worth $8,580 and occurred as long as seven years ago, according to copies of the documents.
Bob Parks, "Will Nancy Pelosi's Words Come Back to Bite Her?" The National Ledger, January 6, 2006 --- http://www.nationalledger.com/artman/publish/article_27262498.shtml 

And when they aren't stealing directly, lawmakers are caving in to lobbying crooks
Drivers can send their thank-you notes to Capitol Hill, which created the conditions for this mess last summer with its latest energy bill. That legislation contained a sop to Midwest corn farmers in the form of a huge new ethanol mandate that began this year and requires drivers to consume 7.5 billion gallons a year by 2012. At the same time, Congress refused to include liability protection for producers of MTBE, a rival oxygen fuel-additive that has become a tort lawyer target. So MTBE makers are pulling out, ethanol makers can't make up the difference quickly enough, and gas supplies are getting squeezed.
"The Gasoline Follies," The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2006; Page A20  --- Click Here

Once again, the power of pork to sustain incumbents gets its best demonstration in the person of John Murtha (D-PA). The acknowledged king of earmarks in the House gains the attention of the New York Times editorial board today, which notes the cozy and lucrative relationship between more than two dozen contractors in Murtha's district and the hundreds of millions of dollars in pork he provided them. It also highlights what roughly amounts to a commission on the sale of Murtha's power as an appropriator: Mr. Murtha led all House members this year, securing $162 million in district favors, according to the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense. ... In 1991, Mr. Murtha used a $5 million earmark to create the National Defense Center for Environmental Excellence in Johnstown to develop anti-pollution technology for the military. Since then, it has garnered more than $670 million in contracts and earmarks. Meanwhile it is managed by another contractor Mr. Murtha helped create, Concurrent Technologies, a research operation that somehow was allowed to be set up as a tax-exempt charity, according to The Washington Post. Thanks to Mr. Murtha, Concurrent has boomed; the annual salary for its top three executives averages $462,000.
Edward Morrissey, Captain's Quarters, January 14, 2008 --- http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/016617.php

The motto of Judicial Watch is "Because no one is above the law". To this end, Judicial Watch uses the open records or freedom of information laws and other tools to investigate and uncover misconduct by government officials and litigation to hold to account politicians and public officials who engage in corrupt activities.
Judicial Watch --- http://www.judicialwatch.org/

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2009 ---

"A Low, Dishonest Decade: The press and politicians were asleep at the switch.," The Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2009 ---

Stock-market indices are not much good as yardsticks of social progress, but as another low, dishonest decade expires let us note that, on 2000s first day of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 11357 while the Nasdaq Composite Index stood at 4131, both substantially higher than where they are today. The Nasdaq went on to hit 5000 before collapsing with the dot-com bubble, the first great Wall Street disaster of this unhappy decade. The Dow got north of 14000 before the real-estate bubble imploded.

And it was supposed to have been such an awesome time, too! Back in the late '90s, in the crescendo of the Internet boom, pundit and publicist alike assured us that the future was to be a democratized, prosperous place. Hierarchies would collapse, they told us; the individual was to be empowered; freed-up markets were to be the common man's best buddy.

Such clever hopes they were. As a reasonable anticipation of what was to come they meant nothing. But they served to unify the decade's disasters, many of which came to us festooned with the flags of this bogus idealism.

Before "Enron" became synonymous with shattered 401(k)s and man-made electrical shortages, the public knew it as a champion of electricity deregulation—a freedom fighter! It was supposed to be that most exalted of corporate creatures, a "market maker"; its "capacity for revolution" was hymned by management theorists; and its TV commercials depicted its operations as an extension of humanity's quest for emancipation.

Similarly, both Bank of America and Citibank, before being recognized as "too big to fail," had populist histories of which their admirers made much. Citibank's long struggle against the Glass-Steagall Act was even supposed to be evidence of its hostility to banking's aristocratic culture, an amusing image to recollect when reading about the $100 million pay reportedly pocketed by one Citi trader in 2008.

The Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal showed us the same dynamics at work in Washington. Here was an apparent believer in markets, working to keep garment factories in Saipan humming without federal interference and saluted for it in an op-ed in the Saipan Tribune as "Our freedom fighter in D.C."

But the preposterous populism is only one part of the equation; just as important was our failure to see through the ruse, to understand how our country was being disfigured.

Ensuring that the public failed to get it was the common theme of at least three of the decade's signature foul-ups: the hyping of various Internet stock issues by Wall Street analysts, the accounting scandals of 2002, and the triple-A ratings given to mortgage-backed securities.

The grand, overarching theme of the Bush administration—the big idea that informed so many of its sordid episodes—was the same anti-supervisory impulse applied to the public sector: regulators sabotaged and their agencies turned over to the regulated.

The public was left to read the headlines and ponder the unthinkable: Could our leaders really have pushed us into an unnecessary war? Is the republic really dividing itself into an immensely wealthy class of Wall Street bonus-winners and everybody else? And surely nobody outside of the movies really has the political clout to write themselves a $700 billion bailout.

What made the oughts so awful, above all, was the failure of our critical faculties. The problem was not so much that newspapers were dying, to mention one of the lesser catastrophes of these awful times, but that newspapers failed to do their job in the first place, to scrutinize the myths of the day in a way that might have prevented catastrophes like the financial crisis or the Iraq war.

The folly went beyond the media, though. Recently I came across a 2005 pamphlet written by historian Rick Perlstein berating the big thinkers of the Democratic Party for their poll-driven failure to stick to their party's historic theme of economic populism. I was struck by the evidence Mr. Perlstein adduced in the course of his argument. As he tells the story, leading Democratic pollsters found plenty of evidence that the American public distrusts corporate power; and yet they regularly advised Democrats to steer in the opposite direction, to distance themselves from what one pollster called "outdated appeals to class grievances and attacks upon corporate perfidy."

This was not a party that was well-prepared for the job of iconoclasm that has befallen it. And as the new bunch muddle onward—bailing out the large banks but (still) not subjecting them to new regulatory oversight, passing a health-care reform that seems (among other, better things) to guarantee private insurers eternal profits—one fears they are merely presenting their own ample backsides to an embittered electorate for kicking.

"Taxpayers distrustful of government financial reporting," AccountingWeb, February 22, 2008 ---

The federal government is failing to meet the financial reporting needs of taxpayers, falling short of expectations, and creating a problem with trust, according to survey findings released by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA). The survey, Public Attitudes to Government Accountability and Transparency 2008, measured attitudes and opinions towards government financial management and accountability to taxpayers. The survey established an expectations gap between what taxpayers expect and what they get, finding that the public at large overwhelmingly believes that government has the obligation to report and explain how it generates and spends its money, but that that it is failing to meet expectations in any area included in the survey.

The survey further found that taxpayers consider governments at the federal, state, and local levels to be significantly under-delivering in terms of practicing open, honest spending. Across all levels of government, those surveyed held "being open and honest in spending practices" vitally important, but felt that government performance was poor in this area. Those surveyed also considered government performance to be poor in terms of being "responsible to the public for its spending." This is compounded by perceived poor performance in providing understandable and timely financial management information.

The survey shows:

 The American public is most dissatisfied with government financial management information disseminated by the federal government. Seventy-two percent say that it is extremely or very important to receive this information from the federal government, but only 5 percent are extremely or very satisfied with what they receive.


Seventy-three percent of Americans believe that it is extremely or very important for the federal government to be open and honest in its spending practices, yet only 5 percent say they are meeting these expectations.


Seventy-one percent of those who receive financial management information from the government or believe it is important to receive it, say they would use the information to influence their vote.

Relmond Van Daniker, Executive Director at AGA, said, "We commissioned this survey to shed some light on the way the public perceives those issues relating to government financial accountability and transparency that are important to our members. Nobody is pretending that the figures are a shock, but we are glad to have established a benchmark against which we can track progress in years to come."

He continued, "AGA members working in government at all levels are in the very forefront of the fight to increase levels of government accountability and transparency. We believe that the traditional methods of communicating government financial information -- through reams of audited financial statements that have little relevance to the taxpayer -- must be supplemented by government financial reporting that expresses complex financial details in an understandable form. Our members are committed to taking these concepts forward."

Justin Greeves, who led the team at Harris Interactive that fielded the survey for the AGA, said, "The survey results include some extremely stark, unambiguous findings. Public levels of dissatisfaction and distrust of government spending practices came through loud and clear, across every geography, demographic group, and political ideology. Worthy of special note, perhaps, is a 67 percentage point gap between what taxpayers expect from government and what they receive. These are significant findings that I hope government and the public find useful."

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Association of Government Accountants between January 4 and 8, 2008 among 1,652 adults aged 18 or over. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

You can read the Survey Report, including a full methodology and associated commentary.

"The Government Is Wasting Your Tax Dollars! How Uncle Sam spends nearly $1 trillion of your money each year," by Ryan Grim with Joseph K. Vetter, Readers Digest, January 2008, pp. 86-99 --- http://www.rd.com/content/the-government-is-wasting-your-tax-dollars/4/

1. Taxes:
Cheating Shows. The Internal Revenue Service estimates that the annual net tax gap—the difference between what's owed and what's collected—is $290 billion, more than double the average yearly sum spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

About $59 billion of that figure results from the underreporting and underpayment of employment taxes. Our broken system of immigration is another concern, with nearly eight million undocumented workers having a less-than-stellar relationship with the IRS. Getting more of them on the books could certainly help narrow that tax gap.

Going after the deadbeats would seem like an obvious move. Unfortunately, the IRS doesn't have the resources to adequately pursue big offenders and their high-powered tax attorneys. "The IRS is outgunned," says Walker, "especially when dealing with multinational corporations with offshore headquarters."

Another group that costs taxpayers billions: hedge fund and private equity managers. Many of these moguls make vast "incomes" yet pay taxes on a portion of those earnings at the paltry 15 percent capital gains rate, instead of the higher income tax rate. By some estimates, this loophole costs taxpayers more than $2.5 billion a year.

Oil companies are getting a nice deal too. The country hands them more than $2 billion a year in tax breaks. Says Walker, "Some of the sweetheart deals that were negotiated for drilling rights on public lands don't pass the straight-face test, especially given current crude oil prices." And Big Oil isn't alone. Citizens for Tax Justice estimates that corporations reap more than $123 billion a year in special tax breaks. Cut this in half and we could save about $60 billion.

The Tab* Tax Shortfall: $290 billion (uncollected taxes) + $2.5 billion (undertaxed high rollers) + $60 billion (unwarranted tax breaks) Starting Tab: $352.5 billion

2. Healthy Fixes.
Medicare and Medicaid, which cover elderly and low-income patients respectively, eat up a growing portion of the federal budget. Investigations by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) point to as much as $60 billion a year in fraud, waste and overpayments between the two programs. And Coburn is likely underestimating the problem.

The U.S. spends more than $400 per person on health care administration costs and insurance -- six times more than other industrialized nations.

That's because a 2003 Dartmouth Medical School study found that up to 30 percent of the $2 trillion spent in this country on medical care each year—including what's spent on Medicare and Medicaid—is wasted. And with the combined tab for those programs rising to some $665 billion this year, cutting costs by a conservative 15 percent could save taxpayers about $100 billion. Yet, rather than moving to trim fat, the government continues such questionable practices as paying private insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans an average of 12 percent more per patient than traditional Medicare fee-for-service. Congress is trying to close this loophole, and doing so could save $15 billion per year, on average, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Another money-wasting bright idea was to create a giant class of middlemen: Private bureaucrats who administer the Medicare drug program are monitored by federal bureaucrats—and the public pays for both. An October report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform estimated that this setup costs the government $10 billion per year in unnecessary administrative expenses and higher drug prices.

The Tab* Wasteful Health Spending: $60 billion (fraud, waste, overpayments) + $100 billion (modest 15 percent cost reduction) + $15 billion (closing the 12 percent loophole) + $10 billion (unnecessary Medicare administrative and drug costs) Total $185 billion Running Tab: $352.5 billion +$185 billion = $537.5 billion

3. Military Mad Money.
You'd think it would be hard to simply lose massive amounts of money, but given the lack of transparency and accountability, it's no wonder that eight of the Department of Defense's functions, including weapons procurement, have been deemed high risk by the GAO. That means there's a high probability that money—"tens of billions," according to Walker—will go missing or be otherwise wasted.

The DOD routinely hands out no-bid and cost-plus contracts, under which contractors get reimbursed for their costs plus a certain percentage of the contract figure. Such deals don't help hold down spending in the annual military budget of about $500 billion. That sum is roughly equal to the combined defense spending of the rest of the world's countries. It's also comparable, adjusted for inflation, with our largest Cold War-era defense budget. Maybe that's why billions of dollars are still being spent on high-cost weapons designed to counter Cold War-era threats, even though today's enemy is armed with cell phones and IEDs. (And that $500 billion doesn't include the billions to be spent this year in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those funds demand scrutiny, too, according to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, who says, "One in six federal tax dollars sent to rebuild Iraq has been wasted.")

Meanwhile, the Pentagon admits it simply can't account for more than $1 trillion. Little wonder, since the DOD hasn't been fully audited in years. Hoping to change that, Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation is pushing Congress to add audit provisions to the next defense budget.

If wasteful spending equaling 10 percent of all spending were rooted out, that would free up some $50 billion. And if Congress cut spending on unnecessary weapons and cracked down harder on fraud, we could save tens of billions more.

The Tab* Wasteful military spending: $100 billion (waste, fraud, unnecessary weapons) Running Tab: $537.5 billion + $100 billion = $637.5 billion

4. Bad Seeds.
The controversial U.S. farm subsidy program, part of which pays farmers not to grow crops, has become a giant welfare program for the rich, one that cost taxpayers nearly $20 billion last year.

Two of the best-known offenders: Kenneth Lay, the now-deceased Enron CEO, who got $23,326 for conservation land in Missouri from 1995 to 2005, and mogul Ted Turner, who got $590,823 for farms in four states during the same period. A Cato Institute study found that in 2005, two-thirds of the subsidies went to the richest 10 percent of recipients, many of whom live in New York City. Not only do these "farmers" get money straight from the government, they also often get local tax breaks, since their property is zoned as agricultural land. The subsidies raise prices for consumers, hurt third world farmers who can't compete, and are attacked in international courts as unfair trade.

The Tab* Wasteful farm subsidies: $20 billion Running Tab: $637.5 billion + $20 billion = $657.5 billion

5. Capital Waste.
While there's plenty of ongoing annual operating waste, there's also a special kind of profligacy—call it capital waste—that pops up year after year. This is shoddy spending on big-ticket items that don't pan out. While what's being bought changes from year to year, you can be sure there will always be some costly items that aren't worth what the government pays for them.

Take this recent example: Since September 11, 2001, Congress has spent more than $4 billion to upgrade the Coast Guard's fleet. Today the service has fewer ships than it did before that money was spent, what 60 Minutes called "a fiasco that has set new standards for incompetence." Then there's the Future Imagery Architecture spy satellite program. As The New York Times recently reported, the technology flopped and the program was killed—but not before costing $4 billion. Or consider the FBI's infamous Trilogy computer upgrade: Its final stage was scrapped after a $170 million investment. Or the almost $1 billion the Federal Emergency Management Agency has wasted on unusable housing. The list goes on.

The Tab* Wasteful Capital Spending: $30 billion Running Tab: $657.5 billion + $30 billion = $687.5 billion

6. Fraud and Stupidity.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wants the Social Security Administration to better monitor the veracity of people drawing disability payments from its $100 billion pot. By one estimate, roughly $1 billion is wasted each year in overpayments to people who work and earn more than the program's rules allow.

The federal Food Stamp Program gets ripped off too. Studies have shown that almost 5 percent, or more than $1 billion, of the payments made to people in the $30 billion program are in excess of what they should receive.

One person received $105,000 in excess disability payments over seven years.

There are plenty of other examples. Senator Coburn estimates that the feds own unused properties worth $18 billion and pay out billions more annually to maintain them. Guess it's simpler for bureaucrats to keep paying for the property than to go to the trouble of selling it.

The Tab* General Fraud and Stupidity: $2 billion (disability and food stamp overpayment) Running Tab: $687.5 billion + $2 billion = $689.5 billion

7. Pork Sausage.
Congress doled out $29 billion in so-called earmarks—aka funds for legislators' pet projects—in 2006, according to Citizens Against Government Waste. That's three times the amount spent in 1999. Congress loves to deride this kind of spending, but lawmakers won't hesitate to turn around and drop $500,000 on a ballpark in Billings, Montana.

The most infamous earmark is surely the "bridge to nowhere"—a span that would have connected Ketchikan, Alaska, to nearby Gravina Island—at a cost of more than $220 million. After Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Senator Coburn tried to redirect that money to repair the city's Twin Span Bridge. He failed when lawmakers on both sides of the aisle got behind the Alaska pork. (That money is now going to other projects in Alaska.) Meanwhile, this kind of spending continues at a time when our country's crumbling infrastructure—the bursting dams, exploding water pipes and collapsing bridges—could really use some investment. Cutting two-thirds of the $29 billion would be a good start.

The Tab* Pork Barrel Spending: $20 billion Running Tab: $689.5 billion + $20 billion = $709.5 billion

8. Welfare Kings.
Corporate welfare is an easy thing for politicians to bark at, but it seems it's hard to bite the hand that feeds you. How else to explain why corporate welfare is on the rise? A Cato Institute report found that in 2006, corporations received $92 billion (including some in the form of those farm subsidies) to do what they do anyway—research, market and develop products. The recipients included plenty of names from the Fortune 500, among them IBM, GE, Xerox, Dow Chemical, Ford Motor Company, DuPont and Johnson & Johnson.

The Tab* Corporate Welfare: $50 billion Running Tab: $709.5 billion + $50 billion = $759.5 billion

9. Been There,
Done That. The Rural Electrification Administration, created during the New Deal, was an example of government at its finest—stepping in to do something the private sector couldn't. Today, renamed the Rural Utilities Service, it's an example of a government that doesn't know how to end a program. "We established an entity to electrify rural America. Mission accomplished. But the entity's still there," says Walker. "We ought to celebrate success and get out of the business."

In a 2007 analysis, the Heritage Foundation found that hundreds of programs overlap to accomplish just a few goals. Ending programs that have met their goals and eliminating redundant programs could comfortably save taxpayers $30 billion a year.

The Tab* Obsolete, Redundant Programs: $30 billion Running Tab: $759.5 billion + $30 billion = $789.5 billion

10. Living on Credit.
Here's the capper: Years of wasteful spending have put us in such a deep hole, we must squander even more to pay the interest on that debt. In 2007, the federal government carried a debt of $9 trillion and blew $252 billion in interest. Yes, we understand the federal government needs to carry a small debt for the Federal Reserve Bank to operate. But "small" isn't how we would describe three times the nation's annual budget. We need to stop paying so much in interest (and we think cutting $194 billion is a good target). Instead we're digging ourselves deeper: Congress had to raise the federal debt limit last September from $8.965 trillion to almost $10 trillion or the country would have been at legal risk of default. If that's not a wake-up call to get spending under control, we don't know what is.

The Tab* Interest on National Debt: $194 billion Final Tab: $789.5 billion + $194 billion = $983.5 billion

What YOU Can Do Many believe our system is inherently broken. We think it can be fixed. As citizens and voters, we have to set a new agenda before the Presidential election. There are three things we need in order to prevent wasteful spending, according to the GAO's David Walker:

• Incentives for people to do the right thing.

• Transparency so we can tell if they've done the right thing.

• Accountability if they do the wrong thing.

Two out of three won't solve our problems.

So how do we make it happen? Demand it of our elected officials. If they fail to listen, then we turn them out of office. With its approval rating hovering around 11 percent in some polls, Congress might just start paying attention.

Start by writing to your Representatives. Talk to your family, friends and neighbors, and share this article. It's in everybody's interest.


Bob Jensen's threads on The Sad State of Governmental Accounting and Accountability ---

The Most Criminal Class is Writing the Laws ---

"How to Guard Against Stimulus Fraud:  Based on past experience, thieves may rip off the taxpayers for $100 billion," by Daniel J. Castleman, The Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2010 ---

The Obama administration—and state and local governments—should brace themselves for fraud on an Olympic scale as hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars continue to pour into job creation efforts.

Where there are government handouts, fraud, waste and abuse are rarely far behind. The sheer scale of the first and expected second stimulus packages combined with the multitiered distribution channel—from Washington to the states to community agencies to contractors and finally to workers—are simply irresistible catnip to con men and thieves.

There are already warning signs. The Department of Energy's inspector general said in a report in December that staffing shortages and other internal weaknesses all but guarantee that at least some of the agency's $37 billion economic-stimulus funds will be misused. A tenfold increase in funding for an obscure federal program that installs insulation in homes has state attorneys general quietly admitting there is little hope of keeping track of the money.

While I was in charge of investigations at the Manhattan District Attorney's office, we brought case after case where kickbacks, bid-rigging, false invoicing schemes and outright theft routinely amounted to a tenth of the contract value. This was true in industries as diverse as the maintenance of luxury co-ops and condos, interior construction and renovation of office buildings, court construction projects, dormitory construction projects, even the distribution of copy paper. In one insurance fraud case, the schemers actually referred to themselves as the "Ten Percenters."

Based on past experience, the cost of fraud involving federal government stimulus outlays of more than $850 billion and climbing could easily reach $100 billion. Who will prevent this? Probably no one, particularly at the state and local level.

New York, for instance, has an aggressive inspector general's office, with experienced and dedicated professionals. But, it is already woefully understaffed—with a head count of only 62 people—to police the state's already existing agencies and programs. There is simply no way that office can effectively scrutinize the influx of $31 billion in state stimulus money.

There is a solution however, which is to set aside a small percentage of the money distributed to fund fraud prevention and detection programs. This will ensure that states and municipalities can protect projects from fraud without tapping already thinly stretched resources.

Meaningful fraud prevention, detection and investigation can be funded by setting aside no more than 2% of the stimulus money received. For example, if a county is to receive $50 million for an infrastructure project, $1 million should be set aside to fund antifraud efforts; if it costs less, the remainder can be returned to the project's budget.

While the most obvious option might be to simply pump the fraud prevention funds into pre-existing law enforcement agencies, that would be a mistake. Government agencies take too long to staff up and rarely staff down.

A better idea is to tap the former government prosecutors, regulators and detectives with experience in fraud investigations now working in the private sector. If these resources can be harnessed, effective watchdog programs can be put in place in a timely manner. Competition between private-sector bidders will also lower the cost.

Some might object to providing a "windfall" to private companies. Any such concern is misplaced. One should not look at the 2% spent, but rather the 8% potentially saved. Moreover, consider the alternative: law enforcement agencies swamped trying to stem the tide of corruption on a shoestring and a prayer.

There will always be individuals who will rip off money meant for public projects. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and Hurricane Katrina hundreds of people were prosecuted for trying to steal relief funds. But the stimulus funding represents the kind of payday even the most ambitious fraudster could never have imagined

To avoid a stimulus fraud Olympics that will be impossible to clean up, it is better to spend a little now to save a lot later. The savings could put honest people to work and fraudsters out of business.

Mr. Castleman, a former chief assistant Manhattan district attorney, is a managing director at FTI Consulting.

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---

Bob Jensen's threads on The Sad State of Governmental Accounting and Accountability ---

The Most Criminal Class is Writing the Laws ---

"On Eve of NCAA Meeting, College Sports Wrestles With Vexing Questions," by Libby Sander, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 11, 2010 ---

What a difference a year makes.

When leaders of the nation's biggest athletics programs last met as a group, one year ago, the scope of the economy's malaise was still unknown. This week, as officials gather again for the NCAA's annual meeting, in Atlanta, they do so under starkly different circumstances.

Few athletics departments have escaped the recession's chill: Midyear state budget cuts and a slowdown in key revenue streams have combined to create a special kind of pain. To help balance their budgets, some have eliminated teams, including such formerly untouchable sports as football and baseball. Others have laid off, furloughed, or frozen the pay of employees.

Yet the past year has done more than shake the foundations of all but the wealthiest programs. It has also cast into sharp relief some pressing—and familiar—questions about the financial sustainability of big-time college sports. Meanwhile, tensions between faculty and athletics departments that smoldered even during flush times grew more heated as the budget situation worsened on many campuses.

For Cary Groth, athletic director at the University of Nevada at Reno, the recession merely highlighted disparities between well-off programs and those clamoring to keep up with them. Revenue-distribution agreements that funnel larger payouts to the six major athletic conferences, she believes, put programs like hers at a disadvantage—and heighten temptations at some programs to mortgage the future to keep up in the present.

"It's an issue of fairness," she told The Chronicle last year. "What would it be like if you had 119 schools playing on common ground?"

Troubled Times Last year began with layoffs in a storied athletics program, at Stanford University, and ended with the University of Texas's football coach, Mack Brown, passing the $5-million compensation mark. In between those unlikely bookends was a steady drumbeat of dire news as athletics departments labored to balance their books.

There were layoffs (at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Southern Methodist and Texas A&M Universities, to name a few) and dozens of dropped teams (at the Universities of California at Irvine, Maine, Massachusetts, Washington, and many more). At some colleges, the difficult year further inflamed long-simmering budget woes, leading, in one case, to a likely—and unusual—move to scale back from Division I to Division III. Donors guarded their checkbooks (the University of Central Florida saw a 20 percent decline in fund-raising) many stadiums and arenas had vacant seats, and debt from costly capital projects bore down heavily as revenue dried up.

Yet as some programs struggled, for the well-off, it appeared to be business as usual.

The Southeastern Conference saw the first payouts from a 15-year, $3-billion deal with CBS and ESPN. The University of Michigan's athletics department posted a surplus of $9-million, while the University of Florida increased its athletics budget by $6-million. There were multimillion-dollar deals for marquee coaches like Mr. Brown and John Calipari, who inked an eight-year, $32-million contract to coach the University of Kentucky's men's basketball program. Ribbon-cuttings at luxurious new facilities (the University of Oregon put the finishing touches on a sparkling new academic center for athletes) and expansive plans to build more (the University of Arizona announced it would spend $378-million over the next 20 years on a dozen major sports projects) further threatened competitive imbalances among programs.

Not surprisingly, big budgets for sports did not go over well on some campuses, particularly those reeling from universitywide retrenchment. Watchdog groups like the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, as well as faculty-led organizations, stepped up their protests.

One of the most vocal objections came from the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley, where severe budget cuts, coupled with a 32-percent tuition hike, have roiled the university system. In October, faculty members at Berkeley approved a nonbinding resolution to end university subsidies to athletics, which amounted to about $8-million last year.

Looking For Answers As athletics officials head into their annual meeting this week, they are unlikely to find solutions to their financial woes, or to the broader questions that surround college sports. NCAA rules can do many things—impose academic standards on scholarship athletes, for instance—but they can't control the vast commercial forces that, for better or worse, shape today's landscape of big-time college sports.

Even the NCAA, of course, takes part in the commercial side of college sports: The association is reportedly in early talks with broadcasters over the possibility of expanding the men's basketball tournament, a move that would potentially increase its revenue. (The NCAA's current deal with CBS for broadcast rights to the tournament is worth $6-billion.)

What officials will find this week is plenty of debate and speculation. Scholars will weigh in on questions of college sports' economic sustainability. College presidents will speak about calming a fiscal storm they recently admitted to feeling "powerless" to control. Workshops and panel discussions will offer practical tips on weathering the recession and other challenges.

What athletics officials might long for the most, though, is a map to tell them how to navigate the twists and turns ahead. In Atlanta, at least, they'll find plenty of other weary travelers. But as for that map? Don't count on it.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education's athletics controversies are at

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.

That Placebo Effect in Research: Dan Ariely on Tennis Shoes and Toilet Paper
Dan Ariely is James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and is head of the eRationality research group at the
MIT Media Lab.
Dan Ariely --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Ariely

Published works


"The Science Behind Exercise Footwear," by Dan Ariely, MIT's Technology Review, January 5, 2010 ---

A few weeks ago Reebok unveiled a walking shoe purported to tone muscles to a greater extent than your average sneaker. All you had to do was slip on a pair of EasyTone and the rest would take care of itself.

Exercise without exercise? Great!

Considering the abracadabra-like quality of the shoe, it’s no surprise that it’s been selling like hotcakes. The question of course is “ does it work”?

According to a recent New York Times article on the topic Reebok has accumulated “15,000 hours’ worth of wear-test data from shoe users who say they notice the difference.” (The company also quotes a study as support, but it’s one they commissioned themselves and only carries a sample size of five.) The two women quoted in the article further echo this sentiment.

Reebok’s head of advanced innovation (and EasyTone mastermind), Bill McInnis, says the shoe works because it offers the kind of imbalance that you get with stability balls at the gym. Unlike other sneakers, which are made flat with comfort in mind, the EasyTone is purposely outfitted with air-filled toe-and-heal “balance pods” in order to simulate the muscle engagement required to walk through sand. With every step, air shifts from one pod to the other, causing the person’s foot to sink and forcing their leg and backside muscles into a workout.

But as the Times article proposes at the end (without explicitly using the term), the shoe’s success could instead come from the placebo effect. Thanks to Reebok’s marketing efforts, buyers pick up the shoes already convinced of their success, a mind frame that may then cause them to walk faster or harder or longer, thereby producing the expected workout – just not for the expected reason.

And there are some reasons to suspect this kind of placebo effect: In a paper by Alia Crum and Ellen Langer. Titled “Mind-Set Matters: Exercise and the Placebo Effect.” In their research they told some maids working in hotels that the work they do (cleaning hotel rooms) is good exercise and satisfies the Surgeon General’s recommendations for an active lifestyle. Other maids were not given this information. 4 weeks later, the informed group perceived themselves to be getting significantly more exercise than before, their weight was lower and they even showed a decrease in blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and body mass index.

So, maybe exercise affects health are part placebo?

Irrationally Yours


A One-Hour Video on What it Means to Be Predictably Irrational (July 25, 2008) --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/
The video is also at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZv--sm9XXU
This is quite interesting!

From the Financial Rounds Blog on January 25, 2008 --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/

"Dan Ariely (Duke University) - Predictably Irrational

Here's a video of Dan Ariely (author of "Predictably Irrational") in his recent talk for the Google Authors program. Ariely has written a fascinating book about some of the cognitive and behavioral biases that most of us exhibit. If you listen carefully, you'll find that he even gives a hint about how to increase your student evaluations --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/


Summary of what it means to be "predictably irrational" --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predictably_Irrational

New York Times Book Review
"Emonomics," by David Berreby, The New York Times, March 16, 2008 ---

For years, the ideology of free markets bestrode the world, bending politics as well as economics to its core assumption: market forces produce the best solution to any problem. But these days, even Bill Gates says capitalism’s work is “unsatisfactory” for one-third of humanity, and not even Hillary Clinton supports Bill Clinton’s 1990s trade pacts.

Another sign that times are changing is “Predictably Irrational,” a book that both exemplifies and explains this shift in the cultural winds. Here, Dan Ariely, an economist at M.I.T., tells us that “life with fewer market norms and more social norms would be more satisfying, creative, fulfilling and fun.” By the way, the conference where he had this insight wasn’t sponsored by the Federal Reserve, where he is a researcher. It came to him at Burning Man, the annual anarchist conclave where clothes are optional and money is banned. Ariely calls it “the most accepting, social and caring place I had ever been.”

Obviously, this sly and lucid book is not about your grandfather’s dismal science. Ariely’s trade is behavioral economics, which is the study, by experiments, of what people actually do when they buy, sell, change jobs, marry and make other real-life decisions.

To see how arousal alters sexual attitudes, for example, Ariely and his colleagues asked young men to answer a questionnaire — then asked them to answer it again, only this time while indulging in Internet pornography on a laptop wrapped in Saran Wrap. (In that state, their answers to questions about sexual tastes,, violence and condom use were far less respectable.) To study the power of suggestion, Ariely’s team zapped volunteers with a little painful electricity, then offered fake pain pills costing either 10 cents or $2.50 (all reduced the pain, but the more expensive ones had a far greater effect). To see how social situations affect honesty, they created tests that made it easy to cheat, then looked at what happened if they reminded people right before the test of a moral rule. (It turned out that being reminded of any moral code — the Ten Commandments, the non-existent “M.I.T. honor system” — caused cheating to plummet.)

These sorts of rigorous but goofy-sounding experiments lend themselves to a genial, gee-whiz style, with which Ariely moves comfortably from the lab to broad social questions to his own life (why did he buy that Audi instead of a sensible minivan?). He is good-tempered company — if he mentions you in this book, you are going to be called “brilliant,” “fantastic” or “delightful” — and crystal clear about all he describes. But “Predictably Irrational” is a far more revolutionary book than its unthreatening manner lets on. It’s a concise summary of why today’s social science increasingly treats the markets-know-best model as a fairy tale.

At the heart of the market approach to understanding people is a set of assumptions. First, you are a coherent and unitary self. Second, you can be sure of what this self of yours wants and needs, and can predict what it will do. Third, you get some information about yourself from your body — objective facts about hunger, thirst, pain and pleasure that help guide your decisions. Standard economics, as Ariely writes, assumes that all of us, equipped with this sort of self, “know all the pertinent information about our decisions” and “we can calculate the value of the different options we face.” We are, for important decisions, rational, and that’s what makes markets so effective at finding value and allocating work. To borrow from H. L. Mencken, the market approach presumes that “the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

What the past few decades of work in psychology, sociology and economics has shown, as Ariely describes, is that all three of these assumptions are false. Yes, you have a rational self, but it’s not your only one, nor is it often in charge. A more accurate picture is that there are a bunch of different versions of you, who come to the fore under different conditions. We aren’t cool calculators of self-interest who sometimes go crazy; we’re crazies who are, under special circumstances, sometimes rational.

Ariely is not out to overthrow rationality. Instead, he and his fellow social scientists want to replace the “rational economic man” model with one that more accurately describes the real laws that drive human choices. In a chapter on “relativity,” for example, Ariely writes that evaluating two houses side by side yields different results than evaluating three — A, B and a somewhat less appealing version of A. The subpar A makes it easier to decide that A is better — not only better than the similar one, but better than B. The lesser version of A should have no effect on your rating of the other two buildings, but it does. Similarly, he describes the “zero price effect,” which marketers exploit to convince us to buy something we don’t really want or need in order to collect a “free” gift. “FREE! gives us such an emotional charge that we perceive what is being offered as immensely more valuable than it really is,” Ariely writes. None of this is rational, but it is predictable.

What the reasoning self should do, he says, is set up guardrails to manage things during those many, many moments when reason is not in charge. (Though one might ask why the reasoning self should always be in charge, an assumption Ariely doesn’t examine too closely.)

For example, Ariely writes, we know our irrational self falls easily into wanting stuff we can’t afford and don’t need. So he proposes a credit card that encourages planning and self-control. After $50 is spent on chocolate this month — pfft, declined! He has in fact suggested this to a major bank. Of course, he knew that his idea would cut into the $17 billion a year that American banks make on consumer credit-card interest, but what the heck: money isn’t everything.


An Experiment With Toilet Paper and Other Messages --- http://www.predictablyirrational.com/

Other videos on being Predictably Irrational


Great Minds in Management:  The Process of Theory Development --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/GreatMinds.htm

This is a combination of two earlier tidbits about my cool sunglasses that can shoot up to three hours of video

From QVC, Erika bought me a pair of sunglasses that will also shoot over three hours of video (wireless). You’ve no reason to be interested in my home movies, but you might like to see how well the glasses work (next time I will try to do less heavy breathing):

Unfortunately and truthfully, my wife's favorite cable TV channel is QVC ---
QVC generally has high quality merchandise. Erika mostly buys clothes, gifts, and gadgets for me that I can never find on those rare occasions where a gadget might be useful.

Her latest purchase is four pairs of sunglasses with a built-in camcorder --- Click Here
She intends to give them away as gifts this holiday season.
Here is a site with a picture and the following description ---

Eagle-I Built-in Video/Audio Recording Camera
Sunglass is designed with polarized lenses that provide UV protection. The Eagle-I Camera Sunglass comes with built-in video camera to record video and audio content for up to three hours on the internal memory. The camera is positioned over the bridge of the nose for minimal visibility, while still providing a wide recording range. It is very easy to use, just push a button to start recording. A slot on the arm of the glasses allows you to input your own MicroSD memory card for more recording time up to eight hours with a 2GB MicroSD card, not included. QVC offers Eagle-I Built-in Video/Audio Recording Camera Sunglass for $79.20

Interestingly, the price above is stated as $79 whereas the QVC site has them with a crossed out $96 price that makes you think you're getting a special deal for $87. Erika falls for that every time. What's worse is that the QVC site also claims the "retail value" is $192. That's stimated the same way banks are now estimating the value of poisoned loan portfolios.

My cool sunglasses plug into a USB port for battery recharging and video downloading. Video playback works on either Quicktime software or my favorite free video software called VLC Media Player --- http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
My favorite would be Camtasia Producer if this software was not so limited with respect to what codecs it will play.

Here is my first and only video capture, to date, with my cool sunglasses ---

To be honest I would probably use my cool sunglasses more if they only captured still photos since it's a bit more convenient for me to put still photos on the Web, and readers of things like Tidbits probably prefer viewing pictures rather than having to download my home videos.


Software Advice --- http://www.softwareadvice.com/

Business Ethics --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_ethics
Lots of Good Links

Government Bonds --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_government_bonds

Note that in high inflation countries like Brazil, virtually all bonds are inflation adjusted. Inflation adjusted bonds are much less common in the United States. However, with weakened-dollar hyperinflation looming in the distant future for the U.S. (nobody knows when), there may be more demand for inflation-adjusted long-term bonds.

 TIPS --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treasury_security#TIPS

Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (or TIPS) are the inflation-indexed bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury. The principal is adjusted to the Consumer Price Index, the commonly used measure of inflation. The coupon rate is constant, but generates a different amount of interest when multiplied by the inflation-adjusted principal, thus protecting the holder against inflation. TIPS are currently offered in 5-year, 10-year and 20-year maturities. Beginning in February 2010, the U.S. Treasury will once again offer 30-year TIPS bonds.

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on January 15, 2010

U.S., in Nod To Creditors, Is Adding TIPS Issues
by: Min Zeng
Jan 11, 2010
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Advanced Financial Accounting, Bonds, Financial Accounting, Investments

SUMMARY: The government is set to ramp up the sale of bonds that provide protection against inflation, with its biggest such offering in five years totaling $10 billion of 10-year notes.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Questions are oriented towards students learning about accounting for investments in bonds.

1. (Introductory) Explain the relationship between bond prices and interest rates. How do TIPS bonds' terms reflect this relationship?

2. (Introductory) TIPS Bonds' "...value rises along with the increase in consumer prices. The fixed returns on nominal Treasurys, in contrast, can be eroded over time by inflations, which especially effects long-term bonds." What then does the fact that the government is issuing TIPS say about expectations regarding inflation?

3. (Advanced) Assume you are the corporate controller for a medium-sized manufacturing firm. Explain the accounting for an investment in a TIPS bond that your company expects to hold to maturity.

4. (Advanced) Now consider the possibility that your company has bought the TIPS bond knowing it is likely to trade the bond. Does the special feature of the TIPS bond impact your accounting for this investment? Explain?

5. (Advanced) What is hedging? Why does the small size of the TIPS market raise "doubts about how efficient an inflation hedge" it is? In your answer, define market efficiency as well.

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

Jensen Comment
Also see Jim Mahar's June 10, 2009 summary at http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
In particular this references a study by Arnott that asserts that over the past 40 years the stock market underperformed the bond market. In my opinion, if you into bonds for the next 40 years they'd better be inflation-indexed bonds such as Treasury TIPs.

Bob Jensen's personal finance helpers ---

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at

"NCAA Upholds Penalties Against Florida State," Inside Higher Ed, January 6, 2010 ---

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has upheld a vacation of records penalty against Florida State University for an “academic fraud” scandal involving 61 athletes in 10 sports. Chief among those affected by the penalty, Bobby Bowden, former head football coach, must vacate up to 14 wins from 2004 through 2007 in which players who received help cheating on some of their exams participated. The penalty, which was appealed by Florida State when the rules violations were announced last March, has irked many Seminole fans because it essentially will prevent Bowden from becoming the all-time winningest coach in college football. (Bowden retired after Florida State’s bowl game this season as the second-winningest coach with 389 wins; Joe Paterno, coach at Pennsylvania State University, is still active and has 394 wins.) In addition to the records vacations in 10 sports, the NCAA also upheld its penalty against Brenda Monk, the former learning specialist at Florida State who “knowingly arranged for fraudulent academic credit for numerous student-athletes and provided improper academic assistance.” Monk retains a “show-cause penalty,” meaning that any institution that hires her by 2013 must explain “why it should not be penalized if it does not restrict [her] from having any contact with student-athletes.” Randy Spetman, Florida State athletic director, told the Associated Press that the institution was upset with the NCAA’s decision. Spetman said, "We believed that our administration did everything it possibly could to ferret out any and all improprieties in this matter."

Bob Jensen's threads on athletics controversies --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Athletics

Community News
SeeClickFix ---

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting news and taxation news --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/AccountingNews.htm

"Chicago's Sample Essay Amuses Some, Offends Others," Inside Higher Ed, January 4, 2009 ---

The University of Chicago amused some applicants, but angered others with a sample admissions essay sent out as the deadline was approaching. As reported by The New York Times, the essay compared the college to a lover, saying: "Dear University of Chicago. It fills me up with that gooey sap you feel late at night when I think about things that are really special to me about you. Tell me, was I just one in a line of many? Was I just another supple ‘applicant’ to you, looking for a place to live, looking for someone to teach me the ways of the world?” Many reactions from applicants can be seen on the College Confidential Web site.

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on January 4, 2010

"Harley-Davidson Union Makes Concessions," by: Kris Maher, The Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2010 ---

Workers at Harley-Davidson's largest plant agreed to job cuts of nearly 50%, more flexibility and an unusually long labor deal, in exchange for the motorcycle maker's commitment to invest $90 million in the plant.

1. Why were the Harley-Davidson employees willing to agree to job concessions? How does this indicate the employees' highest priorities? What do they consider to be lesser priorities?

2. What incentives did Pennsylvania offer to the company in order to retain the job in the state? Why do state and local governments offer aid to businesses? What is the cost-per-job in this particular case? Why would the state think this is a good deal?

3. What might this deal mean for labor unions in other industries or areas of the country? How could this trend impact employees who are not in a union? How would the negotiation process be different for union vs. nonunion employees?

Employees at Harley-Davidson Inc.'s largest factory agreed Wednesday to job cuts of nearly 50%, more work-rule flexibility and an unusually long labor deal, in exchange for the motorcycle maker's commitment to invest $90 million in the plant.

The unusual seven-year pact at the company's massive York, Pa., plant represents an acknowledgment by the plant's work force of the vulnerability of well-paid U.S. manufacturing jobs. Harley had threatened to move the jobs from York to a new plant in Kentucky if the union rejected the contract.

The state of Pennsylvania also offered its own sweeteners: job training, low-interest loans and $15 million for upgrades.

The contract, approved by members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, paves the way for Harley to meet a previously stated goal of cutting almost half of the 2,000 nonmanagerial jobs at the plant.

The contract institutes a new category of "casual" worker to be used on an as-needed basis and who will earn about 30% less than first-tier production workers. The company eventually expects to employ about 250 casual and 750 full-time production workers.

The union also agreed to slash the number of job classifications to five from more than 60 and allow for much greater flexibility in moving workers from one task to another.

"The agreement is designed to allow York to resize and become more flexible and more cost-competitive and efficient, all of which is key to a sustainable future" there, Harley spokesman Bob Klein said Wednesday.

Keith Wandell, chief executive of Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson, told analysts in October that restructuring the York plant would help the company reach a goal of $120 million to $150 million in productivity savings.

The new contract signals that job security—even if it covers fewer jobs—is a top priority for organized labor. It is rare for a union to agree to both deep job cuts and wage and benefit concessions, especially given the contract's length, said Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

"This is tying the hands of the union for a long time," he said.

Union officials couldn't be reached to comment.

Analysts said the contract reflects the difficulties facing companies across the economy as well as their unionized workforces. Harley, which had an 84% skid in third-quarter profits, had "unprecedented retail sales declines" during the recent downturn, said Sharon Zackfia, a partner at investment bank William Blair & Co. in Chicago. "These were changes that had to be made to keep the company viable," she said.

Even with the concessions, the contract provides workers pay and benefits that are "among the best in the area," Harley said.

The lowest-paid production technicians in the first wage tier will earn $24.10 an hour as of February, when the contract takes effect, while a comparable new hire would earn $19.28 an hour, and a casual worker would earn $16.75 an hour.

Local business officials in York said they were relieved that the plant would continue to provide well-paying jobs that feed into the region's economy, despite the steep job losses.

"It's never good news when a plant has to cut 50% of its work force," said Bob Jensenius, executive vice president of the York County Chamber of Commerce. "It is good news that they're going to stay and will keep 700 employees." The company's plan to invest $90 million in the plant means that "when the economy recovers more work will be sent York's way," he said.

In August, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell offered $15 million in "capital assistance" to keep the plant in York. Spokesman Michael Smith said other money could be tapped through the state's economic-development or labor and industry departments.

From the Scout Report on January /, 2010

NotesLogExp 2009 --- http://computclub.110mb.com/ 

With its very basic design, NotesLogExp 2009 can help computer neophytes organize any type of information. The simple entry fields include forms for "Description", "Date", "Comment", "Address", and so on. Adding information to these fields can help users locate and categorize information as they see fit. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer.

Advanced SystemCare Free 3.4.2 --- http://www.iobit.com/advancedwindowscareper.html?Str=download 

In this New Year, it may be time for a computer cleanup. Advanced System Care offers a path to better overall system performance, and its user interface is only populated with several buttons. The application includes spyware removal, registry cleaning, junk file deletion, and disk defragmentation. You can't schedule scans with this free version, so users will have to do this manually each time. This version is compatible with systems running Windows 2000 and newer.

Elvis fans are all shook up for the King's 75th birthday Elvis fans mark 75th birthday at his beginning

Elvis Fans Flock to Australian Outback for Annual Festival

Elvis, the young King http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-elvis-photos8-2010jan08,0,5003931.story  

Selections from "Elvis at 21": Photographs by Al Wertheimer

Elvis Presley at 75: Songs We Love http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122312475 

National Portrait Gallery: Echoes of Elvis http://www.npg.si.edu/exhibit/elvis/index.html 

Pocket Elvis for the iPhone http://www.macworld.com/article/145521/2010/01/pocketelvis.html


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

Education Tutorials

Read.gov --- http://www.read.gov/

What They're Reading on College Campuses (not necessarily online or free) ---

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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Hubble Catches End of Star-Making Party in Nearby Dwarf Galaxy ---

Singing Insects of North America --- http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/walker/buzz/

University of Minnesota's Insect Collection --- http://www.entomology.umn.edu/museum/index.html

Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States --- http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12621

Climate 1-Stop --- http://arcserver4.iagt.org/climate1stop/

The World Bank: Climate Change --- http://beta.worldbank.org/climatechange/

Drawing Out Meaning: 500 Years of Architectural History

Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

Video: Larry Summers: Innovation and Economic Growth ---

From The New Yorker:  Interviews With the Chicago Economists
"Interview with James Heckman," by John Cassidy, The New Yorker, January 14, 2010 ---

Women's Law Initiative --- http://www.womenslaw.org/

Oral History of the U.S. House of Representatives --- http://oralhistory.clerk.house.gov/

Open Collections Program: Islamic Heritage Project --- http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/ihp/

Read.gov --- http://www.read.gov/

The Great American Migration Slowdown: Regional and Metropolitan Dimensions ---

Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates [iTunes] http://insideislam.wisc.edu/

A Daring Experiment: Harvard and Business Education for Women, 1937-1970 --- http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/daring/


Human Security Report Project --- http://www.hsrgroup.org/

Montana Memory Project --- http://mtmemory.org/

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

National Institute of Corrections Library --- http://www.nicic.org/Features/Library/  

Women's Law Initiative --- http://www.womenslaw.org/

Human Security Report Project --- http://www.hsrgroup.org/

World Legal Systems --- http://www.juriglobe.ca/ 

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

Oral History of the U.S. House of Representatives --- http://oralhistory.clerk.house.gov/

National Institute of Corrections Library --- http://www.nicic.org/Features/Library/  


Open Collections Program: Islamic Heritage Project --- http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/ihp/

Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates [iTunes] http://insideislam.wisc.edu/

David Douglas Duncan (art history) --- http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/web/ddd/

Oyez Baseball http://baseball.oyez.org/ 

Glory Days: New York Baseball, 1947-1957 --- http://www.mcny.org/glorydays/

Montana Memory Project --- http://mtmemory.org/

North Carolina Newspaper Digitization Project http://www.archives.ncdcr.gov/newspaper/index.html 

Drawing Out Meaning: 500 Years of Architectural History

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


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

Writing Tutorials

"Words to Banish ... and Words to Use," Inside Higher Ed, January 4, 2009 ---

Lake Superior State University on Thursday issued its annual "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness" and several of the 15 words are much used in academe, including "teachable moment," "app," "friend" (as a verb), "tweet" and "transparent/transparency." Several of the other words relate to the economic downturn and efforts to reverse it. These words include "shovel ready" and "stimulus." Wayne State University Word Warriors project meanwhile has released its annual list of "expressive words that have fallen out of use and deserve to return to conversation and prose." Among them: antediluvian, festoon, mendacity and unctuous.

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

Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/ January 5, 2010

January 6, 2010

January 7, 2010

January 8, 2010

January 11, 2010

January 12, 2010

January 13, 2010

January 14, 2010

January 15, 2010

January 16, 2010


"A Helmet to Prevent Paralysis:  Engineers are designing a helmet that could protect the spine from serious injury," by Lauren Gravitz,  MIT's Technology Review, January 6, 2010 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/24312/?a=f

Helmets for everything from football and hockey to motorcycle riding are built to protect the head from impact. Each successive generation of design is better at dissipating force and protecting against concussions and other knocks to the skull. But current helmets can still do little to prevent the spinal injuries that cause paralysis.

Now researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver are working on a design that could protect the spine during a head-on collision. When a person's head hits a flat object straight on, the impact normally causes the neck to crumple as it absorbs the brunt of the force. If a broken vertebra dissects or otherwise damages the delicate spinal cord, the result can be permanent paralysis. If the head hits an object at an angle, it can glance off without much damage--that's why football players are taught to tackle opponents with their heads raised.

"I became interested in whether there was a way to convert the impact against a flat object into an impact against an angled object," says Peter Cripton, the mechanical engineer and biomechanics specialist at UBC who led the project. He and his colleagues developed the "Pro-Neck-Tor" helmet, which consists of an outer shell that looks like most helmets on the market today, a rotating inner shell that hugs the head, and a mechanism that connects the two.

"The main purpose of helmets, whether in sports or transportation, is always to prevent brain injuries. We're trying to do something quite different," Cripton says. "We're working toward a helmet with the same ability to prevent concussion, but also with the ability to prevent neck injuries." During normal, day-to-day use, the inner shell remains immobile. But when the helmet hits something with enough force, the inner mechanism releases, and the inner shell rotates, guiding the head as if it were hitting an angled surface instead of a flat one.

"Just putting more padding on your head isn't going to solve the neck injury problem, and it may even make it worse," says injury biomechanics expert John Melvin, an adjunct professor at Wayne State University in Michigan who's been studying the problem since 1968. "It's a tough problem, but they're taking a unique approach, and I think it has potential. It'll have to be evaluated in many, many ways to make sure it's safe--you don't want to end up causing serious brain injury while preventing a serious neck injury."

Continued in article


Forwarded by Bill Mister

The Diary of a Snow Shoveler

December 8 6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season, and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9 We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best thing I've ever done. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

December 12 The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.

December 14 Snow lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way.

December 15 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in the Yukon, after all.

December 16 Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like heck. The wife laughed for one hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17 Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. God I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20 Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Darn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

December 22 Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white crap fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to poop. By the time I got undressed, pooped and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think the jerk is lying.

December 23 Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she nuts!!! Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she's lying.

December 24 6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the man who drives that snowplow I'll drag him through the snow by his nose and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the snowplow.

December 25 Merry freakin' Christmas! 20 more inches of the slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's a frickin' idiot. If I have to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to stuff her into the microwave.

December 26 Still snowed in. Why the heck did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

December 27 Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze. Plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him. He only charged me $1400 to replace all my pipes.

December 28 Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. THE WITCH is driving me crazy!!!

December 29 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30 Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver. He is now suing me for a million dollars - not only for the beating I gave him but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel down his throat. The wife went home to her mother. 9" predicted.

December 31 I set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8 Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

Jensen Comment
I just noticed --- they've started me up on white pills.

I spent four hours pushing a snow thrower. It doesn't pull itself through high drifts.
We can now get out of our driveway. We may just keep on heading south.

Harry Howe tempted me with a new fangled snow thrower --- http://www.popsci.com/node/30913

But David Fordham provided me with the real corker --- http://cob.jmu.edu/fordham/Snow1.htm
This one is very well written and will break you up!

Your snow thrower story tops my snow thrower story, especially your wife's version.
Thank you David.

January 18, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi David

I will tell my story on the AECM because it makes for an example of the importance of ABC costing and back flush costing.

Three years ago I bought a $1,500 deluxe Craftsman that had a cable assembly to turn the chute (afterwards several Sears repair guys warned me to avoid models with cable assemblies for the chute).

The chute would only turn on my snow thrower when the temperature was above 30 degrees. Up here in the mountains after a snow storm the temperature almost never is above 30 degrees. But there are occasions like yesterday when it hit 32 degrees after a heavy and relatively wet snow fall.

I'd also purchased the five-year onsite warranty (surprisingly cheap for $149) which means that, after I phone Sears, a repair guy will find his way up here about two weeks after I phone. The first year I met six different repair guys who at one time or another made eight visits to my house to replace the chute cables.

Keep in mind that if it was above 30 degrees the machine worked great. If it was below 30 degrees they couldn't fix the thing, but I nevertheless kept making them come up here under terms of the warranty contract. I kept begging them to replace the entire machine with a snow thrower that had a chute-turning rod rather than cables. But they couldn't convince the dodo heads in warranty service. 

The second year Sears trucks made nine visits to our cottage, and I became quite good friends with each and every Sears repair guy. I always tipped them for their troubles. On the last visit in April of 2009 a repair guy, Scott, showed up with a set of cables about 18 inches long instead of 36 inches long.

The snow thrower has worked wonderfully ever since.

Scott said that Craftsman engineers finally figured out that shorter cables not only worked better --- they also worked in cold weather.

What this teaches accounting students is how important engineering design is when computing the cost of a product. This back flush design problem probably cost Sears a lot of money. Considering that it takes a repair guy around five hours round trip to reach my house, the repair cost alone is probably $250 or more when you consider the cost of the technician, the fuel, the new part that was installed and never worked properly, etc. Multiply $250 by 17 visits, and it doesn't take long to estimate how much Sears lost by selling me a snow thrower with an engineering design flaw.

This is why engineering design is not only important before building a product, it may be more important after thousands of repairs should signal that there may be an engineering problem. I don't know why it took Sears two years to figure this one out. Maybe they figured it out in the first two months but then had to wait nearly two years for China to make the newly-designed replacement parts.

Other than that I'm happy with my snow thrower.

I thought about getting a blade on my tractor, but I don't want to have to keep the road cleared all the way to my barn. Also, we get so much snow up here that we run out of places to push new snow with a blade. The snow thrower blows it to hell and gone.

And I mainly like to clean my own driveway for the exercise. It's hard to get good exercise that makes you sweat outdoors when its below zero. My snow suit has the sweet smell of successful exercise.

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/

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.

Three Finance Blogs

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

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

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

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

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

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

Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

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

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

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

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


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

Some Accounting History Sites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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