Tidbits on April 28, 2011
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

This week I made a special photograph file of some humor pictures


My friend Ben Plummer, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at Trinity University, sent us some wildlife pictures he captured in Krueger National Park when he and his wife went on Safari.


I first encountered Wes Lavin when he was in front of our cottage taking pictures of our wild roses. Wes is a professional photographer who publishes occasionally in magazines. He's a patient professional who will patiently wait for perfect lighting to take his pictures.

His message below reinforces my earlier messaging about Bing Aerial View 3-D Maps --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Travel 

The attached picture, however, is from Wes and not from Bing. Pemi is short for New Hampshire's Pemigewasset River ---- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pemigewasset_River 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Wes Lavin <weslavin@worldpath.net
Date: Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 5:21 PM Subject:
Bing Maps-Sunset reflection
To: "Jensen, Bob" <rjensen@trinity.edu>

Hi Mr. Jensen,

I had always used Google maps prior to your email that told about using Bing. I was amazed when I tried it. I told a buddy about it and he was surprised with the clarity when looking at his home. Thank you for the tip.

I overlook a golf course that is close to the Pemi and it gets flooded frequently when the water rises. I took the picture below last week. The foreground is the 18th which is underwater. I ran out and took this picture as the light only lasted a few minutes.


Wes Lavin

Here's another "sweet" seasonal photograph from Wes

 American Orchid Society - Orchid Information ---

 White Mountain News --- http://www.whitemtnews.com/



Tidbits on April 28, 2011
Bob Jensen

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

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

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/

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

Yale Rolls Out 10 New Courses – All Free --- Click Here

Walter Kaufmann’s Lectures on Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Sartre (1960) --- Click Here

Human Planet --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=2HiUMlOz4UQ&vq=large

Evolution of an MBA --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ESGeeXC7Lc&feature=player_embedded
I think this evolution is more nurture than nature --- and I'm not at all certain what survival of the fittest means.

The Cat and the Dolphin --- http://www.coolestone.com/media/1948/Cat-And-Dolphin-Play-Together-/

Inventing the Digital Camera: A Short Portrait of Steven Sasson --- Click Here

El Teide in Time Lapse --- Click Here

Oral Histories: Emergency Refugee Shelter at Fort Ontario (Safe Haven in World War II history) ---

AmericanRadioWorks: Power and Smoke: A Nation Built on Coal --- http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/coal/

Stories to Watch: Narratives in Medieval Manuscripts [Flash Player] http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/stories_watch/

Medieval Imaginations: Literature and Visual Culture in the Middle Ages ---

Boots & Rifles Drill Team - Norwegian Royal Guard ---

Human Planet --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=2HiUMlOz4UQ&vq=large

American Experience: Panama Canal --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/panama/player/

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

Symphony in White --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL1xVSjFgcE

Andrea Bocelli:  The Lord�s Prayer --- http://www.angelfire.com/ak2/intelligencerreport/bocelli_lord_prayer.html

Irish Classical Music
First Listen: Donnacha Dennehy, 'Grá Agus Bás' --- http://www.npr.org/2011/04/27/135518942/first-listen-donnacha-dennehy-gr-agus-b-s

Chamber Music In The Greene Space: The Tokyo String Quartet ---

Guitar Heroes --- http://blog.metmuseum.org/guitarheroes/

I Moving Down to the Gulf Coast of Florida --- http://www.youtube.com/embed/7KhSMKfU8HE?rel=0

National Music Museum --- http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/

Here Comes Peter Cottontail --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5W7SUhojrA

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

Symphony in White --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL1xVSjFgcE

A Side of West Texas to Appreciate --- http://www.wymanmeinzer.com/
Wyman Meinzer, Official Texas State Photographer

American Orchid Society - Orchid Information ---

Museum of Glass --- http://www.museumofglass.org/page.aspx?pid=347

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

Photos of Famous Writers (and Rockers) with their Dogs --- Click Here

Stories to Watch: Narratives in Medieval Manuscripts [Flash Player] http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/stories_watch/

Medieval Imaginations: Literature and Visual Culture in the Middle Ages ---

The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota (archaeology) --- http://www.mammothsite.com/default.htm

American Experience: Panama Canal --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/panama/player/

Fashion Design & Merchandising Resources Online --- http://www.library.kent.edu/page/11285

From the University of Washington
Fashion Plate Collection (women's fashions in history) --- http://content.lib.washington.edu/costumehistweb/index.html

The Boys of Iwo Jima --- http://www.snopes.com/military/sixboys.asp

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

Poems as Short Films --- Click Here

Three Percent (of books in the U.S. are books in translation) --- http://www.rochester.edu/College/translation/threepercent/

Invitation to World Literature --- http://www.learner.org/courses/worldlit/

Air Force Historical Research Agency --- http://www.afhra.af.mil/documents/index.asp 

Air Force Link (history) --- http://www.af.mil/history/

Stories to Watch: Narratives in Medieval Manuscripts [Flash Player] http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/stories_watch/

Medieval Imaginations: Literature and Visual Culture in the Middle Ages ---

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

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on April 28, 2011

I think political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don't address reality.
Juan William before he was fired after a distinguished career on NPR.

"Academic Rot," by Walter E. Williams, Townhall, April 23, 2011 ---

Jensen Comment
Sometimes Professor Williams is a bit over the top, but I still admire his academic honesty in a world of political correctness. I respect him more than I respect David Horowitz.

Bob Jensen's threads on political correctness are at

On the externalities (nonconvexities) of an academic career
"The Matter of Faculty Salaries," by Nels P. Highberg, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 21, 2011 ---

How to download many audio versions of books for free that are not fully available in text formats for free ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free electronic and audio versions of books ---

Free Faxing Service
"HelloFax Makes Faxing Painless (Even without a Fax machine)," by Ryan Cordell, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 13, 2011 ---

The very idea of faxing a document seems outdated to me. I suspect that many ProfHacker readers wouldn’t willingly fax something were there any option to submit it electronically. Nevertheless, I find myself needing a fax machine several times a year. What’s more, the things that must be faxed are, inevitably, essential documents: often tied to my finances or academic records.

So I was thrilled when Lifehacker recently posted (yes, Lifehacker again!) about HelloFax, a service that allows you to fax documents straight from your computer. Once you register for an account with HelloFax, you simply type in the destination fax number, upload your document, sign it electronically (if you want to), and send it. HelloFax sends you an email when the fax is delivered (or if the delivery fails). When you log into HelloFax, you can see the status of all of your faxes, and resend faxes that failed.

Since I read Lifehacker’s post, I’ve scanned and then “faxed” three separate documents using HelloFax. Each time the service was easy to use and my documents were delivered safely. With a free account you can send up to 5 pages per month (about all I ever need). HelloFax also offers paid accounts for more frequent faxers.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks ---

Introducing the 1/1/5 rule as another way to avoid Death by PowerPoint in student presentations (April 19, 2011) --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's threads on PowerPoint are at

Evolution of an MBA --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ESGeeXC7Lc&feature=player_embedded
I think this evolution is more nurture than nature --- and I'm not at all certain what survival of the fittest means.

I think this evolution is more nurture than nature --- and I'm not at all certain what survival of the fittest means in this case?

Some of the "fittest" who make the cover of Fortune do so before they go to prison; Others make it to the cover after the judge slams the steel door with bars. Or maybe they don't have steel doors in Club Fed. Bernie Madoff seems to have a pretty soft life.

There's no such thing as hard labor for white collar crime.

Will Delicious bookmarking get sweeter or turn sour?
"Delicious Has New Owners: YouTube Founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen," ReadWriteWeb, April 27, 2011 ---

What do you think about the Denver University plan to remove 80% of the books from the campus library?

"No Room for Books," April 27, 2011," Inside Higher Ed, April 27, 2011 ---

Jensen Comment
The bad news is that this would eliminate the serendipity that comes with book browsing in the stacks.

The good news is that DU students and faculty can probably get portions of any book in a matter of minutes with electronic downloads using the Interlibrary Loan Service downloading alternative that can download judicious portions of copyrighted books from other libraries (like the Harvard Library) under Fair Use safe harbors.

Also most any book can be rented by DU users of the Interlibrary Loan check out service if they are willing to wait for snail mail delivery of the book.

Besides books are not like fine wine. Steve Martin in a movie entitled The Jerk tells the waiter not to bring of that old stuff on the wine list.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at


"Handling Overzealous Student Questions," by George Williams, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 26, 2011 ---

April 27, 2011 reply from Ruth Bender

 listen to the questions and answer them there and then if it fits with the lecture flow. If it doesn’t, I write a note at the side of the board, so that I know to answer it when the time comes, and I give the student an idea of whether that will be in 5 minutes or an hour’s time.

If it doesn’t fit the lecture at all, I say that I’ll deal with it outside class, either in a one-to-one or on a general email. But either way – only if they remind me about it. [They generally don’t]

And if I don’t know the answer I tell them that it’s a great question, I don’t know the answer, and please will they Google to find a good answer and then share it with all of us! [They generally don’t]

Ruth Bender
Reader in Corporate Financial Strategy
Cranfield School of Management

"How To Download Tons Of Free eBooks Online For Any eReader Device," Uveal Blues, April 14, 2011 ---

There are a ton of free eBooks out there, no matter what eReader you own—Amazon's Kindle, Barnes & Noble's Nook, Sony's Reader, etc. And with those eReaders comes fantastic eBook stores for easy browsing and purchasing. They have tons of great digital literature for sell, but you shouldn't waste your money unless necessary (or want to). There's plenty of free options out there, so make sure you exhaust the free before you receive the fee.
The majority of the free eBooks available are either promotional items or older, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books, which account for nearly 2 million titles. And it doesn't matter what eReader you own, or if you prefer reading digital copies on your computer, because you can convert almost any of the common eBook files into the version you need using something like Calibre.
Okay, enough babbling—here's some of your options.

Continued in article

Also see Bob Jensen's links to free online books ---

"An Aussie Takes On African-American History," by Shane White, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, April 17, 2011 ---

Yale Rolls Out 10 New Courses – All Free --- Click Here

Walter Kaufmann’s Lectures on Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Sartre (1960) --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's threads on free courses and/or course materials from prestigious universities ---

"The Next Big Short? The Student Debt Bubble," Simoleon Sense, April 25, 2011 ---

I spent a year in a think tank with Phil Zimbardo and found him to be really fascinating scholar. Aside from becoming a multimillionaire from his highly successful psychology textbook, Phil is known for creativity in psychological experiments --- before and after his infamous Stanford prison guard experiments blew up in his face.

Phil Zimbardo --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_zimbardo

Stanford Prison Experiment --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_study

"Too Hard for Science? Philip Zimbardo--creating millions of heroes," by Charles Q. Cho, Scientific American, April 22, 2011 ---

If outside influences can make people act badly, can they also be used to help people do good?

In "Too Hard for Science?" I interview scientists about ideas they would love to explore that they don't think could be investigated. For instance, they might involve machines beyond the realm of possibility, such as particle accelerators as big as the sun, or they might be completely unethical, such as lethal experiments involving people. This feature aims to look at the impossible dreams, the seemingly intractable problems in science. However, the question mark at the end of "Too Hard for Science?" suggests that nothing might be impossible.

The scientist: Philip Zimbardo, professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford University.

The idea: Zimbardo is likely best known for the Stanford Prison Experiment, which revealed how even good people can do evil, shedding light on how the subtle but powerful influences of a situation can radically alter individual behavior. The study randomly assigned two dozen normal, healthy young men as either "prisoners" or "guards" in a mock jail in a basement in Stanford University in 1971 to investigate the psychology of prison life. The researchers discovered the volunteers quickly began acting out their roles, with the guards becoming sadistic in only a few days, findings recently detailed in Zimbardo's book, "The Lucifer Effect."

After the Stanford Prison Experiment, Zimbardo began exploring ways to create heroes instead of villains. "My idea is sowing the earth with millions of everyday heroes trained to act wisely and well when the opportunity presents itself," he says.

The problem: The greatest challenge that Zimbardo thinks his idea of creating heroes en masse faces is how "people think heroes are born, not made; that they can't be heroes," he says. "The fact is that most heroes are ordinary people. It's the heroic act that is extraordinary."

As an example, Zimbardo pointed out New York construction worker Wesley Autrey, who jumped onto subway tracks and threw himself over a seizure victim, restraining him while a train hurtled an inch above their heads in 2007. "We want to change the mentality of people away from the belief that they're not the kind who do heroic deeds to one where they think everyone has the potential to be heroic," he says. "Mentality plus opportunity ideally equals heroic action."

The solution? Zimbardo and his colleagues have created the Heroic Imagination Project, a nonprofit organization devoted to advancing everyday heroism. By heroism, they do not simply mean altruism. "Heroism as we define it means taking action on the behalf of others for a moral cause, aware of possible risks and costs and without expectation of gain," he clarifies.

Their program has four sections. "First, we want to fortify people against the dark side, to be aware of the standard tactics used by perpetrators of evil, how they seduce good people to doing bad things," Zimbardo says. "Using video clips, we'll show how this happens — bystander inaction, diffusion of responsibility, the power of the group, obedience to authority and the like."

"Once you learn these lessons, we then want to inspire you to the bright side," he continues. "We want to give examples of how people like you have done heroic things to inspire your heroic imagination, and then train you to be a wise and effective hero. We want you to think big and start small, giving tips on what to do each day on this journey. We're saying, 'Here's how to be an agent of change, step by step by step.'"

"For instance, heroes are sociocentric — they come to others in need, make other people feel central — so a challenge each day might be to make people feel special, give them a compliment," he explains. "It's not heroic, but it's focusing on the other, and once you get used to it, you can develop other heroic habits. Also, heroes are always deviants — in most group situations, the group does nothing, so heroes have to learn how to break away from the pull of a group, be positive deviants, dare to be different."

"We want people to think of themselves as heroes-in-training, and make a public commitment to take on the hero challenge, since research shows that making public commitments increases the chances of intentions carried into action," Zimbardo says. "We also want to invite people to sign up with one or two friends, make it a social rather than a private event, since most heroes are effective in networks. We're arguing that we can create a network of heroes, using the power of the Web."

In the second part of the program, "we're developing corporate initiatives, thinking about how to create cultures of integrity," Zimbardo says. They are in talks with companies such as Google, he notes. "Can you imagine avoiding disasters such as the Deepwater oil spill if we had people in the right places willing to speak up and act?" In the third, they will engage the public, sending and receiving information through their Web site and promoting public activities, such as Eco-Heroes, a program where young people work with elders to save their environment; Health-Heroes, where one helps family members exercise, quit smoking, eat responsibly, take medications and the like; and the Heroic Disability Initiative, which aims to provide the handicapped and disabled with examples of people like them who performed heroic deeds, as well as ways to take part in community programs.

In the last part of the program, "we're research-centered," Zimbardo says. "We are measuring changes in attitude, beliefs, values and critical behavior with an education program in four different high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, from inner-city schools in Oakland to more privileged ones in Palo Alto, trying out these strategies, seeing what works, what doesn't. What does work we'll put on our Web site. We also want to start a research scholar award program for graduate students to do research on heroism. It's amazing that there's been research on evil for years, but almost no research on heroism, and we want to do more of that."

Coninued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on theory are at

Switcheroo:  The Board of Regents Takes a More Liberal Position Than the Mostly Liberal Tenured Faculty
"10 Years to Tenure at Michigan," by Dan Berrett, Inside Higher Ed, April 25, 2011 ---

Professors at the University of Michigan could face a possible wait of up to 10 years for tenure thanks to a new policy adopted Thursday by its Board of Regents -- over the objections of faculty.

The change to a university bylaw, as Michigan administrators are quick to point out, is not mandated. It gives schools and colleges at Michigan's campuses the option to extend the maximum allowable pre-tenure probationary period (including the terminal year) by two years, from the current maximum of 8 years to 10. In practice, each college and school sets its own policy through its governing faculty body, and this would not change. For example, in Ann Arbor, while the law school currently has a five-year probationary period, 13 other schools and colleges set a six-year period; five maintain a seven-year period.

The regents’ vote Thursday came as a blow to many faculty members in Ann Arbor, whose governing body, the Senate Assembly, in January voted nearly unanimously, 54-1, against the plan. “I think a lot of us are disappointed,” Edward Rothman, professor of statistics and chair of the assembly, told Inside Higher Ed. The faculty had wanted, he said, to take more time to examine the problem “carefully and numerically” and to explore options that were “consistent with a win-win atmosphere since we’re all part of the same university."

Despite the faculty resistance, Phil Hanlon, who serves as provost and as the Donald J. Lewis Professor of Mathematics, decided to move forward with proposing the measure to the regents after “much consultation and thought,” he wrote in a letter to faculty last week. “In seeking advice for this decision, I have consulted with the faculty in ways that are both broad-based and deep."

Continued in article

From Bob Jensen's Archives  --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2011/tidbits020811.htm
The faculty senate at the University of Michigan voted overwhelmingly (54-1) on Monday to reject an administration proposal that would allow the university to extend the pre-tenure probationary period to 10 years ---

Hi David and Paul,

I don't think I could vote one way or another on the 10-year tenure probationary period unless I also knew if and how performance expectations changed.

New faculty bring new life to a university. Under the seven-year probationary policy many colleges are now over 70% tenured. I think this is too high, and under a 10-year policy it will probably soon happen that the college will be well over 98% tenured. How unexciting!

Arguments for the 10-year period focus on such things as long delays of the refereeing process in some top journals and the way starting a family (babies) often coincides in situations where couples put off starting families until the completion of a doctoral program and the landing of the first full-time academic faculty job. Arguments also include the need for putting more time into development of courses on the first job and need to experiment with different pedagogies to find the best pedagogy that suits a particular teacher. Another argument is that a new faculty member that comes in with say three years of tenure credit has a bit more time to adjust to a new faculty position in a new town.

P&T committees may, however, be less sympathetic with the above excuses/reasons when the university has extended the probationary period to 10 years. In fact, there may be demands for more refereed journal hits, more hits in the very top research journals, and higher level of performance expectations in teaching.

In fact there may even be some demands for demonstration of research and teaching leadership of newer faculty rather than just expectations while being led by veterans in the department.

One thing is certain in my mind. If extending the probationary period to 10 years results in virtually every candidate getting tenure, the entire tenure granting process becomes dysfunctional to the living university. Here's why! If every candidate gets tenure it's not long before all faculty in the university are tenured. This becomes very dysfunctional to the dynamics of a university that is only very rarely injected with new blood.

New faculty bring new life to a university. Under the seven-year probationary policy many colleges are now over 70% tenured. I think this is even too high, and under a 10-year policy it will probably soon happen that the college will be well over 98% tenured. How unexciting!

Bob Jensen

From the Most Tenured University in the Ivy League
"Tenure Changes Coming to Brown U.," by Dan Berrett, Inside Higher Ed, February 8, 2011 ---

Brown University's faculty members have approved, in concept, changes in how the institution will reward tenure, including extending the maximum probationary period to eight years from seven.

With 85 percent of the faculty voting in favor of the general thrust of the recommended changes, the 170-30 vote in December represented a stark turnaround from the faculty's previous stance. In October, faculty members bristled at efforts floated by Provost David Kertzer and an ad hoc committee to make tenure -- a process once lauded as exemplary at Brown -- more difficult to earn. The faculty will consider codifying the new rules in a vote later this month.

The changes include extending the length of the first probationary contract from three years to four years, increasing the number of external letters submitted in support of a tenure bid from five to eight, and keeping confidential from tenure candidates a list of external scholars who will evaluate their application (though a minimum of three of these scholars will be drawn from the candidate's list of suggestions).

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on tenure are at various points in

"Using Deception to Comply With Title IX," Inside Higher Ed, April 25, 2011 ---

Many colleges are relying on deception to inflate the rosters of women's teams to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, The New York Times reported. Colleges add women to teams even if the women never play or, in some cases, even realize they are on the team, recruit some women by telling them they need not attend practice, and list male "practice players" (who participate in practices) as members of women's squads, the Times reported. Colleges have found it less expensive to create women's slots through increasing the number of alleged athletes on existing teams than to create new teams -- and need to add to their women's totals because the institutions do not want to cut football.

Bob Jensen's threads on collegiate athletics controversies ---

Helpers for Women in Academe ---

"Drake U. Hit With $600,000 Embezzlement," Chronicle of Higher Education, April 25, 2011 ---

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates are at

April 26, 2011 reply from Mac Wright

Dear Bob,
The most interesting part of that link is the "lay" posts about the event. The first one suggests firing the Auditor. The manner of writing in the post indicated that the writer did not consider materiality in the way the profession does. This indicates that the expectation gap is indeed alive and well.

Kind regards

Washington State Creates Own Version of Western Governors U.
Inside Higher Ed, April 25, 2011 ---

A new law in Washington State has created WGU Washington, a new division of Western Governors University that will offer WGU's competency-based online programs in the state. The new university -- part of an expansion of WGU -- will not receive state funds, and officials believe it will help many students obtain degrees more speedily than they might otherwise. The new branch of WGU is similar to an arrangement started last year in Indiana. In Washington State, some faculty members have objected to the new approach.

Jensen Comment
To be really like WGU a distance education program has to be "competency based" which takes away an instructor's discretion about assignment of grades.

Competency-Based Assessment --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Compentency-Based

"Here’s Why Health Care Costs Are Outpacing Health Care Efficacy," by Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics.com, April 18, 2011 ---

In a new working paper called “Technology Growth and Expenditure Growth in Health Care” (abstract here, PDF here), Amitabh Chandra and Jonathan S. Skinner offer an explanation:

In the United States, health care technology has contributed to rising survival rates, yet health care spending relative to GDP has also grown more rapidly than in any other country.  We develop a model of patient demand and supplier behavior to explain these parallel trends in technology growth and cost growth.  We show that health care productivity depends on the heterogeneity of treatment effects across patients, the shape of the health production function, and the cost structure of procedures such as MRIs with high fixed costs and low marginal costs.  The model implies a typology of medical technology productivity:  (I) highly cost-effective “home run” innovations with little chance of overuse, such as anti-retroviral therapy for HIV, (II) treatments highly effective for some but not for all (e.g.  stents), and (III) “gray area” treatments with uncertain clinical value such as ICU days among chronically ill patients.  Not surprisingly, countries adopting Category I and effective Category II treatments gain the greatest health improvements, while countries adopting ineffective Category II and Category III treatments experience the most rapid cost growth. Ultimately, economic and political resistance in the U.S. to ever-rising tax rates will likely slow cost growth, with uncertain effects on technology growth.

This paper strikes me as sensible, explanatory, and non-ideological to the max. It would be nifty if the people who work in Washington read it, and thought about it, and maybe even acted on it. (And it would be nifty if the Knicks beat the Celtics too, but I’m not holding my breath for either outcome …)

Here’s a very good paragraph from the paper:

The science section of a U.S. newspaper routinely features articles on new surgical and pharmaceutical treatments for cancer, obesity, aging, and cardiovascular diseases, with rosy predictions of expanded longevity and improved health functioning (Wade, 2009). The business section, on the other hand, features gloomy reports of galloping health insurance premiums (Claxton et al., 2010), declining insurance coverage, and unsustainable Medicare and Medicaid growth leading to higher taxes (Leonhardt, 2009) and downgraded U.S. debt (Stein, 2006). Not surprisingly, there is some ambiguity as to whether these two trends, in outcomes and in expenditures, are a cause for celebration or concern.

And the authors offer good specific examples of what they built their argument on, noting the …

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on health care are at

"Wanted: A New Kind of College Business Program --- A Carnegie Foundation study argues that undergraduate business programs must do a better job of giving students a strong grounding in the liberal arts," by William L. Sullivan, Business Week, April 11. 2011 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on our compassless colleges are at

"Michigan State Finds That Professor Plagiarized," Inside Higher Ed, April 20, 2011 ---

A Michigan State University panel has found that Sharif Shakrani, a professor there, plagiarized in a 2010 analysis he wrote of school-consolidation plans in the state, The Grand Rapids Press reported. The panel also found three other instances of plagiarism by Shakrani, who declined to comment on the findings. His analysis has been heatedly debated in the state by people with various positions on school consolidation. A decision on any punishment of the professor is pending.

Bob Jensen's threads on Professors Who Plagiarize or Otherwise Cheat are at

"Teaching in the Postdoc Space," by Leonard Cassuto, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 17, 2011 ---

Jensen Comment
Teaching postdoc students in formal programs is not common in accounting due to that fact that the shortage of accounting PhD graduates means that virtually all of them find jobs in tenure track positions. Their worry becomes one of getting tenure rather than in getting a job in academe.

But in the humanities and sciences, a undersupply of academic job openings presents all sorts of problems for PhD graduates.

An increasingly popular postdoc alternative for humanities and science graduates is the AACSB's Bridge Program that attempts to provide bridges into business and accounting tenure track positions for prospects who did not earn their doctorates in business or accounting ---

The above article about "Teaching in Postdoc Space" has some good pointers that can be extrapolated into our Bridge Programs.

Were us oldsters from accounting degree programs harder workers and better students than today's accounting graduates?

"Business majors spend less time preparing for class than do students in any other broad field, according to the most recent National Survey of Student Engagement: Nearly half of seniors majoring in business say they spend fewer than 11 hours a week studying outside class."

"Business Educators Struggle to Put Students to Work." By David Glenn, Chronicle of Higher Education, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 14, 2011 ---

Paul M. Mason does not give his business students the same exams he gave 10 or 15 years ago. "Not many of them would pass," he says.

Mr. Mason, who teaches economics at the University of North Florida, believes his students are just as intelligent as they've always been. But many of them don't read their textbooks, or do much of anything else that their parents would have called studying. "We used to complain that K-12 schools didn't hold students to high standards," he says with a sigh. "And here we are doing the same thing ourselves."

That might sound like a kids-these-days lament, but all evidence suggests that student disengagement is at its worst in Mr. Mason's domain: undergraduate business education.

Business majors spend less time preparing for class than do students in any other broad field, according to the most recent National Survey of Student Engagement: Nearly half of seniors majoring in business say they spend fewer than 11 hours a week studying outside class. In their new book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, the sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa report that on a national test of writing and reasoning skills, business majors had the weakest gains during the first two years of college. And when business students take the GMAT, the entry examination for M.B.A. programs, they score lower than do students in every other major.

This is not a small corner of academe. The family of majors under the business umbrella—including finance, accounting, marketing, management and "general business"—accounts for just over 20 percent, or more than 325,000, of all bachelor's degrees awarded annually in the United States, making it the most popular field of study.

Brand-name programs, like the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, among a few dozen others, are full of students pulling 70-hour weeks, if only to impress the elite finance and consulting firms they aspire to join. But get much below Bloomberg BusinessWeek's top 50, and you'll hear pervasive anxiety about student apathy, especially in "soft" fields like management and marketing, which account for the majority of business majors.

Scholars in the field point to three sources of trouble. First, as long ago as 1959 a Ford Foundation report warned that too many undergraduate business students chose their majors "by default." Business programs also attract more than their share of students who approach college in purely instrumental terms: as a plausible path to a job, not out of curiosity about, say, Ronald Coase's theory of the firm.

"Business education has come to be defined in the minds of students as a place for developing elite social networks and getting access to corporate recruiters," says Rakesh Khurana, a professor at Harvard Business School who is a prominent critic of the field. It's an attitude that he first saw in M.B.A. programs but has migrated, he says, to the undergraduate level.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
One of the reasons I did not continue teaching after reaching retirement age is that I got fed up with students who wanted to argue their ways to A-Grades rather than work for those A-Grades.

Bob Jensen's threads on grade inflation are at

Is he senile or a feared scientific genius?
"Where does good come from? Harvard's Edward O. Wilson tries to upend biology, again," by Leon Neyfakh, Boston.com, April 15, 2011 ---

. . .

What Wilson is trying to do, late in his influential career, is nothing less than overturn a central plank of established evolutionary theory: the origins of altruism. His position is provoking ferocious criticism from other scientists. Last month, the leading scientific journal Nature published five strongly worded letters saying, more or less, that Wilson has misunderstood the theory of evolution and generally doesn’t know what he’s talking about. One of these carried the signatures of an eye-popping 137 scientists, including two of Wilson’s colleagues at Harvard.

His new argument, in a nutshell, amounts to a frontal attack on long-accepted ideas about one of the great mysteries of evolution: why one creature would ever help another at its own expense. Natural selection means that the fittest pass down their genes to the next generation, and every organism would seem to have an overwhelming incentive to survive and reproduce. Yet, strangely, self-sacrifice exists in the natural world, even though it would seem to put individual organisms at an evolutionary disadvantage: The squirrel that lets out a cry to warn of a nearby predator is necessarily putting itself in danger. How could genes that lead to such behavior persist in a population over time? It’s a question that bedeviled even Charles Darwin, who considered altruism a serious challenge to his theory of evolution.

The puzzle of altruism is more than just a technical curiosity for evolutionary theorists. It amounts to a high-stakes inquiry into the nature of good. By identifying the mechanisms through which altruism and other advanced social behaviors have evolved in all kinds of living creatures — like ants, wasps, termites, and mole rats — we stand to gain a better understanding of the human race, and the evolutionary processes that helped us develop the capacity for collaboration, loyalty, and even morality. Figure out where altruism comes from, you might say, and you’ve figured out the magic ingredient that makes human civilization the wondrous, complex thing that it is. And perhaps this is the reason that the debate between Wilson and his critics, actually somewhat esoteric in substance, has become so heated.

Continued in article

Looking back at the events leading up to the 2008 crisis by Michael Burry
Vanderbilt University Chancellor's Lecture
April 5, 2011
Thank you Jim Mahar for the heads up

Jensen Comment
Michael Burry is the physician who anticipated the subprime scandal and made a fortune on short positions.

Bob Jensen's threads on the subprime scandals ---

"What You Need to Know About Socially Responsible Investing," by Adam Bold, Yahoo Finance, April 19, 2011 ---

Teaching Case on What's Holding Women Back in the Workplace

Video ---

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on April 15, 2011

View from the Top
by: Alan Murray and Indra Nooyi
Apr 11, 2011
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com
Click here to view the video on WSJ.com 

TOPICS: Accounting

SUMMARY: The WSJ held a conference for business and government leaders to examine "...what's holding women back in the workplace-and set out an action plan for creating new opportunities." Participants highlighted in the article include Chief Executive of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi; retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor; Marissa Mayer, the first woman engineer at Google; and actress Geena Davis among other highly accomplished women. The program involved presentation results of research by McKiney & Co. , panel discussions, and presentation of task force recommendations for action to solve issues. The focus of this article is an interview with Indra Nooyi about what she did to get to the top. The article begins with a summary of the McKinsey research essentially saying that "...at each stage of [corporate] advancement, men have at least twice the odds of advancing as women" and asks, "How the hell did you do it?"

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: The related video is essentially repeated in the printed article, so this video could be used in a classroom viewing followed by the questions. It is a useful discussion for any business class, particularly entry level accounting classes often taken by all business majors or in MBA classes.

1. (Introductory) Ms. Nooyi says that to reach the top, women must obtain P&L management responsibilities as men do. What does the term "P&L" mean? What does it mean to have "P&L responsibility"?

2. (Introductory) What are the functions that Ms. Nooyi says are critical? How do those functions relate to business school education?

3. (Introductory) What does Ms. Nooyi say were her biggest sacrifices to advance has she has?

4. (Advanced) Do you think that the statistics regarding women's advancement in corporate America will change? Support your answer.

5. (Advanced) Do you think this interview and other articles contain important lessons for men as well as women? Explain your answer.

The questions may be discussed in classroom groups following viewing of the Nooyi interview with reporting out, perhaps also including proposed solutions. These solutions then might be compared to the recommendations found in the related WSJ articles covering the conference.

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

Why Women Rarely Leave Middle Management
by Sue Shellenbarger
Apr 11, 2011
Online Exclusive

From Kindergarten to the Boardroom: The Top Priorities
by WSJ Editors of the Women in the Economy Report
Apr 11, 2011
Page: R7


"View from the Top," by: Alan Murray and Indra Nooyi, The Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2011 ---

Task-force participants at the conference had no end of recommendations for addressing the challenges—and opportunities—facing women in the economy. Give women more bottom-line responsibilities. Hold CEOs accountable. Recruit outside the regular channels. And so on.

To get insight into those issues, The Wall Street Journal's Alan Murray turned to one of the highest-ranking women in corporate America: Indra Nooyi, chairman and chief executive of PepsiCo. Here are edited excerpts from the discussion.

MR. MURRAY: McKinsey research, building on Catalyst research, shows this pipeline in corporate America. The majority of entrants are very high-qualified women—but at each stage of advancement, men have at least twice the odds of advancing as women. How the hell did you do it?

MS. NOOYI: I ask myself that question every day. Especially recently, I've been looking back and thinking about all of the trade-offs and sacrifices I've had to make to get here. My second daughter's going off to college this September, and I say, "My God, I missed so many things about her growing up." Hopefully, my two daughters will be in an environment where it's going to be easier for them.


MR. MURRAY: Are you suggesting that it could have been easier, and you still could have achieved the pinnacle you achieved?

INDRA NOOYI 'The harder the business, the bigger the turnaround, put your hand up and say "I want to do it." '

MS. NOOYI: From a family situation, I wanted it all, and it wasn't easy. But I lucked out in one way. I had a husband who said, "You're going to have true gender equality." He was working, I was working, but we juggled our schedules. I also had tremendous support from the extended family.

On the professional side, I had mentors who gave me feedback. For example, I'm a pretty honest and outspoken person. So, you sit in a meeting and somebody presents a three-year, five-year plan. Typically, a lot of the men in the room would say, "You know, that's very interesting. But maybe you could think about this slightly differently."

I just said, "That's crap. This is never going to happen." I'm sure they were all thinking that, but they were saying it in a much more gentle way. I'd come out of the meeting, and one of the guys would pull me aside and say, "You could have said the thing slightly differently. Maybe not the way I said it. Maybe not the way you said it. There might have been a middle ground."

I was very happy that these mentors stepped up and gave me feedback on how to interact in a world that is predominantly male. How can I keep my authenticity, yet adapt to the environment?


MR. MURRAY: Can you have an example of where you didn't make the compromise on authenticity?

MS. NOOYI: If my kids called in the middle of a meeting, I took the call. I never said, "Mom's not available." I said, "Excuse me, my kids need to talk to me."

The Leaky Pipe

MR. MURRAY: How do you account for the fact that the pipeline is, to use the adjectives that have been used here, leaky, blocked, broken?

MS. NOOYI: I think the pyramid starts narrowing for everybody, but disproportionately for women because the pipeline wasn't as rich as it needed to be coming up.

I think there might be three reasons why that's so. One, just law of numbers, there weren't enough women in the pipeline. Second, as you move up the organization, there are so many trade-offs and sacrifices to be made. Many women opted out. Third is the environment in many companies, because it's more male dominated. It's changing now, but the senior men belong to the older generation who talk differently and act differently.

Let's say Alan Murray made a presentation, and it was awful. The guys would go to Alan Murray, thump him on the back and say, "Alan, buddy, what happened? You screwed up, man." And Alan says, "You think so? Tell me what I did wrong." There's a locker-room conversation that goes on.

When a woman makes a presentation that's not so good, the men say, "She screwed up, God, she did." That's not locker room; that's heckling the woman.

Women need to go to women and say, "Hey, that presentation wasn't very good. Let me tell you how you could have done it better." But there's a reverse problem. When women give women feedback, women don't take it well. So, there's a funny psychological issue we need to address. Women can be better mentors to women, and women should be more willing to accept women mentors.

The Bottom Line

MR. MURRAY: Let's take a look at the list of priorities. Number one was that too many women are in support roles. In order to see women advance to the top, they needed to be put in positions where they could develop responsibility for the bottom line.

MS. NOOYI: Punching the ticket that you've done P&L management makes a huge difference. But roles like finance or HR or marketing are now critical to the functioning of a company. You can actually exert your influence from those roles. So, ask for a P&L role, get it out as soon as you can—and then figure out how to get into a critical function. But make sure that as you do this job, you expand your own definition of that job.

MR. MURRAY: Another recommendation was to hold CEOs accountable for hiring women in the top jobs and making sure pay was at an equal level.

MS. NOOYI: I agree with all of that, especially the pay parity, which is something we can fix right away. The thing to be very careful about, though, is that if you don't fix the issue of getting talented women in the pipeline, you can't fix the top-management issue overnight. That's a formula for disaster. You put women in there, and they don't succeed, and then it's a worse situation for women.


MR. MURRAY: Another idea was to promote women on potential. A phrase that's been repeated around here for the last few days is that men are promoted for potential, and women are promoted on performance. The implication is that there's a higher hurdle that women have to meet.

MS. NOOYI: I think that's changed a lot. The sensitivity, the awareness of these issues is rising, but I think we ought to keep the pressure on. As long as there are no women in the C-suite, these kinds of discussions won't happen.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the Glass Ceiling (and in some cases lack thereof in CPA firms) are at

April 14, 2011 message from Mike Jensen


We have been working on extracting references from all SSRN papers for 5 years as part of the CiteReader™ project that SSRN has undertaken with our development firm, ITX Corp. We have created a system to extract references and footnotes from PDF files on SSRN and to have that extracted data proofread by human beings. While this project is not yet complete, we are now announcing the release of over 6.7 million references extracted from the reference sections of over 182,000 papers on the SSRN site as well as over 4.2 million citations that we have linked to SSRN papers.

– The references from each SSRN paper (where we have been able to extract them) can be found on the REFERENCES tab on the public abstract page for each paper.
– The citations we have matched to each SSRN paper are available on the CITATIONS tab on the public abstract page for the paper.
– These reference links provide an excellent way for any reader to go back in the literature in any area, and the citation links provide an excellent way to go forward in the literature.

Data on the Current State of SSRN's CiteReader™ Project

– Papers with Resolved References: 182,645 out of the 270,109 full text papers on SSRN
– Total References Resolved: 6,689,847
– SSRN Papers with Resolved Citations: 180,339
– Total Citation Links between the Cited and the Citing Paper: 4,277,354
– Papers with Resolved Footnotes: 60,721 (we are giving footnote extraction priority to papers with no reference section)
– Total Extracted Footnotes: 6,899,585

NOTE: References in those papers on SSRN that do not have a Reference section have not been fully extracted as yet. We are working on this. These papers (primarily law papers) have their references in footnotes. This means that citations from law papers are currently dramatically undercounted in SSRN citation statistics.

SSRN is now extracting footnotes from all papers while giving processing priority to those papers with no reference section. We have extracted over 6.9 million footnotes from over 60,000 papers with no Reference sections thus far. These footnotes and the references we extract from them will also be appearing in tabs on SSRN's abstract pages. SSRN is now perfecting the algorithms for extracting references from these footnotes. The undercounting of citations from and to law papers will be resolved over the next year as our algorithms are perfected and references from papers with no reference section are extracted from footnotes and linked to the papers being cited.


Michael C. Jensen
Social Science Research Network

"Colorado Regents Vote to Shutter Boulder Journalism School," Inside Higher Ed, April 11, 2011 ---

A divided Board of Regents of the University of Colorado System voted narrowly Thursday to close down the journalism school at its flagship campus at Boulder, The Daily Camera reported. The regents voted 5 to 4 to shutter the school, approving a plan to replace it with a "journalism plus" approach in which students could earn a bachelor's degree in journalism if accompanied by another major. Board members who opposed the school's elimination argued that its problems could be fixed.

Jensen Comment
There appear to be various problems with this School of Journalism, but underlying all of them is the drying up of career opportunities for graduates in journalism ---

This saddens me in the new era where the opportunities are declining for those who collect the news on the streets in all parts of the world while the opportunities for those that are primarily aggregators (but not collectors) of news seem to be increasing. Collectors of news like The New York Times and Boston Globe are losing money hand over fist while aggregators like the Huffington Post are thriving. A lot is wrong with this model of news gathering, but the fact of the matter is that news gathering is expensive whereas news aggregating is cheap. Hey I do it for free.

"PricewaterhouseCoopers PwC: 2010 Internet Ad Revenues Zoom Up To Records," Big Four Blog, April 15, 2011 ---

Move over Print Media…the new King has arrived! And it is advertising on the internet. Get this – Full year 2010 US internet advertising revenues was a record $26 billion, up 15% from 2009 and Q4-2010 revenue was also a record at $7.45 billion, up 19% from Q4 2009 and 15% from Q3 2010.

The Washington Post Finds Distance Education More Profitable Than the Newspaper Business
The Washington Post Company continues to diversify not in journalism but in for-profit education. Last year, the company reported that it took in more revenue from its Kaplan businesses than the newspaper business. In filings last week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Post reported that it had purchased an 8.1 percent stake in Corinthian Colleges Inc.
Inside Higher Ed, February 18, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/02/18/qt

Flip Video is No More --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flip_Video

"Cisco's Flip Flop and (Mis)Managing the Obvious," by Michael Schrage, Harvard Business Review Blog, April 18, 2011 --- Click Here

"Did Cisco Slip on Flip or Was Flip a Flop?" by Rita McGrath, Harvard Business Review Blog, April 18, 2011 --- Click Here

So riddle me this: A business that generates an estimated $400 million in revenue, with 550 employees, and which sells an iconic product that was regularly praised as a model of innovation, is going to be shut down. In an analysis of Cisco's decision to shut down its Flip video recorder division, the New York Times reported April 12, 2011, that the networking giant had finally given up on a business that, at one point, was destined to bring it to relevance in consumer markets (along with networking gear company Linksys). The company was purchased just two years ago for $590 million.

The story is a familiar one. Large organization swallows up innovative smaller one, resulting eventually in the departure of the acquired company's leadership, complaints that the large organization doesn't understand what the small one is all about, lack of attention and commitment to developing the small company's future technology, and eventual disappearance of the small firm. It happens in technology all the time.

Theories on why Flip ...uh... flopped, abound. Did smartphones with easy Internet access make its functionality obsolete? Is running a consumer business simply not in the DNA of a company whose heart and soul revolve around networking gear for corporate customers? That might be an argument that Geoff Moore would make, in his well known distinction between complex operations and high volume businesses (he's long said it's extremely difficult to house both under a single corporate umbrella). Or maybe analysts just hated Cisco's consumer strategy, and the company struggled for too long to justify the acquisition. Or maybe they concluded that the product had no future and just decided to bail, without even attempting to find a buyer for the business.

One other theory is that, under the parental umbrella, Flip was not really able to continue to develop the string of innovations that would allow it to go beyond being just a small video camera that would make it more relevant to people's lives. People that loved Flip really loved it. And sales were up 15% over the prior year. Flip was also the best-selling camcorder on Amazon. Despite these signs of relevance, the good news was insufficient to keep it from the corporate chopping block.

Whatever the reason, the prognosis for using small-company acquisitions to change the DNA of large, established ones hasn't historically been very good. I guess we'll add the story of Flip to that history.

"Why Nokia's Collapse Should Scare Apple," by Patrick Barwise and Seán Meehan, Harvard Business Review Blog, April 25, 2011 --- Click Here

"Inflation Actually Near 10% Using Older (and more honest) Measure," by John Melloy, CNBC, April 12, 2011 ---

After former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker was appointed in 1979, the consumer price index surged into the double digits, causing the now revered Fed Chief to double the benchmark interest rate in order to break the back of inflation. Using the methodology in place at that time puts the CPI back near those levels.

Inflation, using the reporting methodologies in place before 1980, hit an annual rate of 9.6 percent in February, according to the Shadow Government Statistics newsletter.

Since 1980, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has changed the way it calculates the CPI in order to account for the substitution of products, improvements in quality (i.e. iPad 2 costing the same as original iPad) and other things. Backing out more methods implemented in 1990 by the BLS still puts inflation at a 5.5 percent rate and getting worse, according to the calculations by the newsletter’s web site, Shadowstats.com.

“Near-term circumstances generally have continued to deteriorate,” said John Williams, creator of the site, in a new note out Tuesday. “Though not yet commonly recognized, there is both an intensifying double-dip recession and a rapidly escalating inflation problem. Until such time as financial-market expectations catch up with underlying reality, reporting generally will continue to show higher-than-expected inflation and weaker-than-expected economic results in the month and months ahead.”

The pay-site and newsletter by Williams, an economic consultant for the last 30 years to companies, has gained a cult following among bloggers hungry to criticize Bernanke these days. The mission statement of the newsletter, according to the site, is to expose and analyze “flaws in current U.S. government economic data and reporting…net of financial-market and political hype.”

Investors are anxiously awaiting the release of March’s CPI reading on Friday. The consensus estimate from economists is for an annual inflation rate of 2.6 percent.

“Given ongoing inflation problems with food and the spreading impact of higher oil-related costs in the broad economy, reporting risk is to the upside of consensus expectation,” said Williams, citing a 10 percent jump in gasoline prices in March, in the note.

“While the federal government would have us believe the numbers are rather tame, our own personal gauge leads us to believe inflation is running between 5 percent to 6 percent annually,” wrote Alan Newman in his latest Crosscurrents newsletter that refers to Williams’ statistics.

Continued in article

"Microsoft's Office 365 Hits Public Beta," by Audrey Watters, ReadWriteWeb, April 18, 2011 ---
Also Office 365 Marketplace is also out for Beta testing

"The Casino Next Door:  How slot machines snuck into the mall, along with money laundering, bribery, shootouts, and billions in profits," by Felix Gellette, Business Week, April 21, 2011 ---

Inside a one-story building on the edge of a strip mall in Central Florida, Joy Baker calculates the sum total of her morning bets. It's almost noon, and she's down $5. Not bad. Her husband, Tony, sits a few feet away. "This is the most fun we've had in 20 years," says Joy, who is 78 and retired. "At our age, we can't hike. You can't pay him to go to the movies. This gives us a reason to get up in the morning."

Tony concurs. "We enjoy this," he says. "We will be very bitter if the politicians take this away from us. I will take it personally."

It's a Wednesday morning in mid-March, and the Bakers are sitting inside Jacks, a new type of neighborhood business that is flourishing in shopping malls throughout Florida—and across America. Jacks bills itself as a "Business Center and Internet Cafe," but it looks more like a pop-up casino.

Jacks is about the size of a neighborhood deli. There is a bar next door and a convenience store around the corner. Inside, jumbo playing cards decorate the walls. The room is filled with about 30 desktop computers. Here and there, men and women sit in office chairs and tap at the computers. They are playing "sweepstakes" games that mimic the look and feel of traditional slot machines. Rows of symbols—cherries, lucky sevens, four-leaf clovers—tumble with every click of the mouse.

John Pate, a 50-year-old wearing a Harley-Davidson T-shirt, says he is wagering the equivalent of 60 cents a spin. "This place is pretty laid-back," says Pate. "You can come here and get your mind off everything. You're not going to win the mortgage. You're not going to lose the mortgage. It's pretty harmless."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
It's a question of whether online porn sites are more dangerous than online gambling sites. From the standpoint of probability theory, online gambling sites are probably more dangerous to visit because of the denominator effect --- there are fewer gambling sites relative to the millions upon millions of porn sites. But both types of sites can do great damage to your computer and to your bank account and to your credit score.

From a psychological research standpoint, it's interesting to study what onsite gambling offers that patrons find lacking in online gambling sites.

Anecdotally, I believe that women are much more likely to become addicted to gambling than porn, especially addictions for the glitter of onsite casinos. Men on the other hand are more likely to be addicted to online porn, but when they are addicted to gambling it may well be a more destructive addiction than than the addiction of female patrons. I did not, however, look up any evidence to support this conjecture.

"Dave Bing on Fixing Detroit:  The former Pistons star and current Detroit mayor on trying to reshape a city with dwindling resources and a shrinking population," Business Week, April 21, 2011 ---

Jensen Comment
If we can get over the blame game (drug addiction, street gangs, union excesses, corporate excesses, bigotry, white flight, etc.), we should perhaps seek out what might be the first priorities for curing Detroit of its many ills.

In my opinion, the first priority has to become quality of K-12 schools and safety of children attending those schools. Without great schools families will not want to move into Detroit even for higher pay and cheap housing --- unless the pay is so excessive that families can afford extremely high quality home schooling.

No matter how much you spend on luring business factories and offices to relocate in Detroit, it ain't going to work with lousy and unsafe streets and schools.

I find it fascinating that schools and streets will probably be safest in a city like Detroit only if we follow the Big Brother lead of London where people in almost any public place are under camera surveillance. The purpose of the camera surveillance is not so much to detect crime and violence as it is to prevent crime and violence. People behave differently when they know Big Brother is watching their every move on the streets, in the stores, in the factories, in the schools, in the buses, and in the offices.

It's terrible to live under constant surveillance outside of bedrooms and bathrooms, but perhaps this is the most cost effective answer in a society full of drug addicts, street gangs, rapists, thieves, looters, arsonists, and bullies.

Perhaps we should even have cameras inside private homes and apartments much like convenience stores and banks have surveillance cameras. Such cameras are not 100% perfect in preventing crime, but on average they seem to have benefits greatly exceeding the costs.

Have you got a more cost effective idea to save Detroit?


Black Swan Theory --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory

Video of  Interview with Nassim Taleb
"Nassim Taleb on Living with Black Swans," Knowledge@Wharton, April 13, 2011 ---

April 25, 2011 message from David Fordham

Among my accounting majors last semester, out of 48 students, only one had a Mac, although 3 more had an iPad in addition to their Windows machines. This semester I'm teaching non-business majors (sports management, tourism management, education administration, public administration, healthcare administration, music industry, etc.) and when I polled, 66 out of 121 students had Macs, which surprised me (I thought surely it would be higher).

David Albrecht wrote: "do we need a new name for papers now that they aren't written on paper any more?"
To which I reply:

Good question. Excellent question. But there are many vestiges of obsolescence pervasive in today's cultural environment. Surely you've heard "ring" tones that sounded nothing like a ring? (although mine does). "Turning" up the volume or "turning" something on, is generally done today without actually "turning" anything anymore. The recording when you reach a non-working phone number says to check the number and "dial" again, even though there is no dial anymore associated with today's phones. People "write" on someone's facebook "wall" without actually "writing" anything. and the facebook wall is not a "bulkhead" (as the Navy people will tell you). In fact, "cyberspace" isn't really space the way the physicists define it. And the obsolete terminology isn't limited to tech topics: who in their right mind decided to start referring to rap as "music"? And my kids have been to "concerts" with comics that had no music at all. The British still call their MagLites "torches", my mechanic says a car with a broken starter won't "crank", and my nieces and nephews were referred to on Easter morning as "being all wound up".

Being a network guy as well as a radio engineer, I get a laugh every time someone talks about "connecting" to a "wireless" network.

And as Calvin (of Hobbes fame) observed, there is a trend to "verb" old nouns. Verbing nouns is a common practice these days: we "power" up our equipment, for instance. We also noun verbs, such as "upgrading to the latest upgrade".

Does anyone remember the old process of diagramming sentences? Old Mrs. Canella, my 7th-grade English teacher, would "bolt upright in her plot" if I tried to teach her to "text" someone.

So back to the question... if we can text someone a picture, I don't see anything wrong with "writing" a "paper" that doesn't require writing or paper...

David Fordham
Older than I realized..

Hi David Fordham,

I loved your message about drifting down the memory lane the memory lane of computing and papering.

One of my favorite examples is the history of hypertexting. We often associate "hypertexting" (verb) with the invention of word processing on computers. Hypertexting enables writers to create hot words that facilitated non-linear navigation to replace the traditional linear navigation of reading pages in numerical sequence (or crude random skimming or end-of-book indexes that never cover enough of the key words).

But in history, hypertext navigation was invented for 1940s "paper" before conceiving of its use on computers ---

Also see Memex --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypertext

In the early stages of my career I prided myself in some of my research in OR mathematical programming,, including linear programming, dynamic programming, integer programming, etc. It then surprised me somewhat in 1967 when James Don Edwards, my boss at Michigan State, announced that he'd written a linear programming accounting textbook. I knew for a fact that Don, who's still a dear friend that sends me email messages daily,  did not know the Simplex Algorithm and its pivot points from a hole in the wall.

It turns out that "linear programming" also referred to hypertexting in his hard copy accounting book.


"Fatal Risk: The Must-Read Story Of AIG's Downfall," by John Hemton, Business Insider, April 18, 2011 ---

There are dozens of books on the financial crisis: I have read many of them and the Kindle samples for just about all of them. There are only two I would recommend: those are Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera’s excellent All the Devils are Here and the much more specifically detailed Fatal Risk from Roddy Boyd. Roddy's book is solely concerned with the failure of AIG.

Both books start without any strong ideological preconceptions and let the facts woven into a good story do the talking - and both wind up ambivalent about many of the major players - with many players having human weaknesses (gullibility, delusion, arrogance etc) but committing nothing that looks like a strong case for criminal prosecution. Reading these you can see why there are so few criminal prosecutions from the crisis. And you will also see just how extreme the human failings that caused the crisis are.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the credit derivative disaster are at

Bob Jensen's Primer on Derivatives ---

You can play amateur psychologist with new revelations from Bernie Madoff behind bars

"From behind bars, Madoff spins his story,"  by David Gelles and Gillian Tett, Financial Times, April 8, 2011 ---

We are cruising through North Carolina on a foggy morning in late March, heading up to its rural north. Our route takes us through swampland shrouded in a thick mist; spruce trees and an occasional pink dogwood line the interstate. Butner, population 6,391, is our destination.

The town is home to a vast federal prison complex that includes a hospital, a minimum security unit and two medium security facilities. Since July 14 2009, arguably the most notorious inmate at FCI Butner Medium I has been Bernard Lawrence Madoff, the disgraced New York financier who orchestrated a $65bn Ponzi scheme, among the biggest financial frauds of all time. He is prisoner 61727-054.

When the Madoff scandal broke in 2008, a Financial Times reporter learnt that two acquaintances of his were close to the Madoffs and passed along an invitation for any member of the family to speak with the paper. For more than a year, there was silence. Then, early last December, the reporter received an e-mail from Madoff himself. Following sporadic correspondence, and at very short notice, a message came from the prison: Madoff would meet with the FT.

 It is only the second time he has agreed to meet a reporter in prison. But as we drive north, we wonder if this man who built his career on lies will tell us the truth. Or when we get to the prison, will he simply vanish – like all those billions in his Ponzi scheme? Crossing rusted train tracks, we drive a couple of miles and arrive at the main intersection of this one-traffic-light town.

Butner revolves around the prison. Its centre is just a clutch of convenience stores and a petrol station. In search of strong coffee we consult an iPhone: the nearest Starbucks is 18.4 miles away. Instead, we go to a diner and order the classic southern fare of biscuits and grits. The coffee is terrible.

. . .

Exactly when the Ponzi scheme started is actually a matter of dispute. The trustee seeking to retrieve assets for Madoff’s victims, Irving Picard, says the fraud began as early as 1983. But Madoff denies this, telling us that in the 1980s, at least, he was making plenty of legitimate trades. “[The prosecutors] came up with this idea that I came up with this whole legitimate business to come up with this fraud,” he says. “That is wrong. In the end I left $1bn on the table. I had access to any Swiss bank and offshore bank in the world if I had wanted to stash money. But it wasn’t about the money.”

To hear Madoff say it was not about the money strikes us as improbable. He spent lavishly on his lifestyle; after the fraud was revealed, authorities uncovered $75m in a Gibraltar bank account and millions in jewelry and luxury goods. These were reminders of how much Madoff personally had to lose. He was on the board of Yeshiva University and a regular at charity balls in Manhattan. He and Ruth holidayed in Monte Carlo, where she liked to shop.

We ask why he didn’t just hand the money back to investors. After all, he says that in 1992 he was already a fairly wealthy man, since the market-making operation was performing well. “Ego,” he explains. “Put yourself in my place. Your whole career you are outside the ‘club’ but then suddenly you have all the big banks – Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse – all their chairmen, knocking on your door and asking, ‘Can you do this for me?’

“[I was] under a lot of pressure – a lot,” he mutters. “And I was embarrassed. It was the first time in my life that something hadn’t worked. I was just dumb. Dumb! Starting in the early 1990s there were no trades. It was just paper. But let me tell you,” he adds forcefully. “It looked real.”

Once the Ponzi scheme was under way, it required a constant influx of new cash. Madoff began taking on clients referred to him by existing ones, who were inclined to keep their money parked with him because of the steady returns. At some point – Madoff never makes it clear exactly when – the real trading ceased altogether, and he began forging trade records for clients. And he says Picower, Chais, Levy and Shapiro – his big four clients – knew something was amiss. “They were complicit, all of them,” he says.

Madoff’s accusations cannot be corroborated. None of the four families has been charged with criminal wrongdoing. Picower is dead, and his estate settled for $7.2bn; his lawyers maintain he was not aware of the fraud. Levy is dead and his family settled for $220m. Chais is dead; his family denies any wrongdoing and has not settled. And Shapiro, the only one still alive, settled for $625m but denies any wrongdoing and has not been accused by authorities of being complicit. In the words of his lawyer, “Mr Madoff is a liar. These latest statements are no more believable than all the other lies that Madoff told his investors and the authorities for decades.”

On its surface, the fraud looked real enough to attract a steady stream of new investors, and not just from the US. According to Madoff, there were rich clients on both sides of the Atlantic eager to use his services to dodge local regulations. In France, for example, wealthy clients initially invested with him in order to avoid rules that prevented them from exporting francs.

“I did it for all of them – so many important people from France and elsewhere,” says Madoff. “That woman from L’Oréal, Christian Dior, so many – I even impressed myself. They came up to my office to meet me. They really wanted to deal with me.” The woman from L’Oréal Madoff refers to is Liliane Bettencourt, one of Europe’s richest women.

The returns on Madoff’s funds were not extraordinarily high, running at about 10 per cent; however, they were steady, which appealed to conservative European investors. Clients were also reassured by the apparently close ties that Madoff enjoyed to respected French and Swiss banks, such as Union Bancaire Privée.

Not everybody in Europe was keen to deal with the fund: Société Générale, for example, stayed away. But most investors seemed impressed by Madoff’s “black box”. Some also suspected that Madoff might be using inside information to give him an “edge”. That added to his allure. “The Swiss thought this – they are the most suspicious of all,” Madoff says, revealing a dislike that may stem from his Jewish heritage and the actions of some Swiss banks in relation to Nazi Germany. “Slimy people.”

In the US, Madoff used his powerful network of contacts across the wealthy Jewish community to lure money. By this time, Madoff had moved into the very heart of the financial “club” he once scorned. He was appointed the chairman of the Nasdaq index, to the board of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, and was vice-chairman of the NASD, his industry’s self-regulatory body.

This did not prevent the regulators from watching him. “In 2002 I had a contact with the SEC, who were concerned that I was front-running,” he recalls, referring to the practice of using insider information to inform trades. “I started laughing to myself – I knew I wasn’t because I wasn’t doing the trades.” Some of his rivals also asked why his returns were so steady. Harry Markopolos, a fund manager, was so suspicious that he filed reports to the SEC in 2000, and again in 2005, suggesting that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme. “Markopolos was the biggest idiot in the world,” recalls Madoff, displaying his first flash of anger, blinking hard again. “He had a hedge fund that couldn’t make money and his clients abandoned him [so he called the regulators].”

But the regulators did not crack down. “The regulators get calls all the time,” Madoff says. They didn’t investigate “because I had the reputation at the time for being the gold standard. I had all the credibility. Nobody could believe at that time that I would do something like that. Why would I? Stupidity – that is why. But remember that when people asked me about the strategy, it made sense. I was big, credible.”

. . .

As we leave the prison, we are still not sure where the truth ends and his lies begin. What we know is that this is a man who mercilessly ran a Ponzi scheme for at least 16 years, corrupted the financial system, destroyed lives and bankrupted families and charities. Yet, in the flesh, Madoff spins a credible tale of how a renegade entrepreneur ­conquered Wall Street and was drawn into crime by personalities and forces he could not control. It sounds almost convincing; or at least no more absurd than many of the other stories we hear every day in western finance.

The fact that so much of Madoff’s story is so commonplace on Wall Street – the tax shelters, black boxes and mysterious returns – is what allowed him to go undetected for so long. And this is why Madoff has sent chills through investors at every level. If the most sophisticated minds in finance were easily duped through an elementary scheme run by one of their own, how can anyone with money invested in the modern financial system know who to trust? This bedevilling question is why Madoff cannot be ignored, even as he ­languishes in a North Carolina prison.

David Gelles is US media and marketing correspondent. Gillian Tett is the FT’s US managing editor. For expanded coverage and full statements from JPMorgan, UBS, HSBC and Madoff’s prominent clients,
go to www.ft.com/madoff

Bob Jensen's threads on Ponzi Schemes Where Bernie Madoff was King are at

Why the Research Paper Isn't Working
I’m in love with this idea. I have long agreed with
Richard Larson who wrote way back in 1982 that the research paper as taught in college is an artificial genre, one that works at cross-purposes to actually developing respect for evidence-based reasoning, a measured appreciation for negotiating ideas that are in conflict, or original thought. I’m honestly a bit amazed that anyone was surprised by the results of the Citation Project study, also presented at the conference, that found students “skimming the surface.” This is a problem that existed long before the Internet, but has only grown more obvious as students are asked to do more documented expository writing than ever before. (This finding was published in a national study published in the CCCC's journal in 2008; subscription required.)
Barbara Fister, "Why the Research Paper Isn't Working," Inside Higher Ed, April 12, 2011 ---

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

The fact is, some schools represent terrific investments. At Caltech, financial aid recipients can expect to spend $91,250 for a degree that over 30 years will allow them to repay that investment and out-earn a high school graduate by more than $2 million. But schools like Caltech are the exception that proves the rule: most students would be better off investing their college nest eggs in the S&P 500 rather than a college education. So if you are going to choose college, it pays to choose wisely.
Louis Lavelle, Business Schools Editor Bloomberg Business Week, April 14, 2011

"The New Math: College Return on Investment," Bloomberg Business Week Special Report, April 2011 ---

Jensen Comment
Unlike in Germany, what is lacking in the United States is a status, prestige, and in some instances high earnings in the skilled trades. Our best and brightest high school students want to go to college rather than trade schools schools and apprenticeships like those skilled workers that thrive in Germany. As a result we get high school graduates that are wiping out the retirement savings of their parents and putting themselves deep in debt just for college degrees so they can stand in unemployment lines four to seven years later, some with PhDs in hand who are seeking to sell Big Macs and fries.

Last week a television news program featured a woman who graduated from Columbia University with an $80,000 government loan to pay back. She got a relatively low paying job that required a college degree, but her scheduled loan repayments will run on for 20 more years until she is about 50 years old.

We're bombarded with statistics about how much more the "average college graduate" makes than a mere high school graduate. However, nobody's exactly average at the mean. Mean distributions suffer from things like kurtosis, heteroscedasticity, nonstationarities, Black Swans, and 50% or more of the sampling population that's below the earned income means. Many naive people think they are assured of higher earnings if they get a college degree. How little they understand if they believe that fallacy and along with the legend of Santa Claus. Until it's too late, they just don't realize how many law school graduates. MBA graduates, and even nursing graduates are now collecting unemployment benefits or working jobs that require no college education. Times have now changed for women who must think of supporting themselves and their families rather than just marry high income husbands that have become much less likely to be "high income" husbands.

Of course there's much more to education than a career. But in this age it's possible to become superbly educated on your own if you have the drive to take advantage of all the free offerings that are available for an education that is not necessarily encumbered by career aspirations. You can be a licensed plumber and a literary scholar if being a literary scholar is an aspiration in life ---

The Case Against College Education ---


Is it possible to eliminate a $1.5 trillion deficit by increasing rates for taxpayers earning more than $250,000 per year?
Is it possible to eliminate the above deficit by increasing tax rates for all taxpayers?

In theory no to Question 1 and yes to Question 2, but in reality, closing the Federal spending gap with tax rate increases would be a total disaster on the economy to a point where the government might take in less rather than more tax revenue.

Firstly the answer is no unless you more than double what the poor and middle class pay in taxes. And since nearly half the households in the U.S. do not pay any Federal income tax, Congress would probably have to figure how to squeeze blood out of turnips. This would have an extremely adverse impact on middle and lower income families already deep in debt to to pay medical, housing, and education expenses.

Secondly, the answer is no if you anticipate that most taxpayers that have any form of savings would probably stampede to invest in tax free alternatives such as tax free municipal bonds and bond funds. This would be a disaster for business firms seeking capital.

Thirdly, many taxpayers now paying something into the U.S. Treasury would be thrown out of work and impact on the economy would be far worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s.

But if we could wave a magic wand and prevent all the dynamic reactions to tax rate increases, one solution would look something like this --- keeping in mind that all of this is pure fantasy since the dynamic reactions really cannot be prevented. From Paul Caron's TaxProf Blog on April 18, 2011 ---

"Why Aren't The Rich Paying 50 Percent in Income Taxes?" by Nick Gillespie and Meredith Bragg, Reason Magazine, April 8, 2011 ---

"How the Ivy League Is Killing Innovation:  Process-driven companies that trust professors to teach innovation are missing out, at least in part, on the real deal," by G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Vitón, Business Week, April 12, 2011 ---

We are seeing an alarming trend. The wrong people are making millions on innovation—teaching innovation that is.

It isn't sour grapes on our part. We don't teach innovation. It's just frustration. No one disputes the irony: Professors, who have chosen a safe, pragmatic, low-risk occupation and tenured career, are teaching companies how to innovate, a skill that almost always rewards the best risk takers.

What's going on here? Well, you probably can chalk it up to the law of attraction. Process-driven cultures love process-driven experts. Organizations, just like people, do what makes them feel strong, and nothing makes mature, process-driven companies feel stronger than having a template for doing anything (even if having a completely buttoned-down-ain't-no-exceptions-allowed template for innovation seems oxymoronic on its face). Need innovation? Simply call in a PhD with a bow tie and trademarked process and watch your innovation portfolio grow. Right? Nope.

Although the temptation is understandable, this road is usually the wrong path for large, set-in-their ways companies to take. Process is usually about mitigating risk, and let's face it, these companies already qualify as risk averse and need to learn how to take more chances. They must understand how to fail forward, not hedge their bets. So by layering on additional processes they can master to make them more innovative, businesses are actually making themselves less and less innovative by mastering more and more process.

Messiness and Quick Failures

Don't get us wrong here. As we have written before, we agree that you must have a proven, tested framework governing how you handle innovation. But we also coach people to accommodate, even encourage, the fast-failures and messiness that ironically make great ideas happen most efficiently.

Continued in article

"America Is Bankrupt (But Not the Way You Think)," by Umair Haque, Harvard Business Review Blog, April 20, 2011 --- Click Here

Jensen Comment
This article has a misleading title and is not really a good reference for how to get us out of our budget deficits mess. It's more about omissions in the GDP calculation. The concluding paragraph reads as follows:

You might be wondering: "Hey! What happened to Mama Jones?". Well, the answer's simple. She's spent her life toiling to raise the kids and keep the household together — and it was never easy. But just as the industrial age contraption of GDP leaves out "voluntary" and "household" work from our so-called economy pretty much entirely, so too, in my little allegory, do Mama Jones' contributions go largely unrecognized and unrewarded.

It's interesting how one of the side effects of China's effort to control population and discourage having children is the rise in the tendency for married couples in China to live far apart for employment opportunities for both spouses and to enjoy each others' company at occasional meeting sites. This of course would not be possible for Mama Jones whose life is devoted to raising a family.

Don't forget to read the comments at the end of this article!

Bob Jensen's threads on the entitlements mess are at

From the Scout Report on April 15, 2011

Symbaloo --- http://www.symbaloo.com/ 

What if you're on the road for work and you need to grab key sites, bookmarks, and other things? Fear no more, as Symbaloo can help you out with this and so much more. Symbaloo helps users keep a matrix of their favorite sites available at all times, and users can customize their matrix to prioritize certain sites by category. Visitors will need to sign up for a free account, and it is also available in a range of languages. This version is compatible with all operating systems.

TeacherTube --- http://www1.teachertube.com/

TeacherTube is a professionally vetted site that allows educators to share informative videos with others around the world. The essential interface resembles that of YouTube, and visitors can search for videos by keyword, or they can also look for audio-only resources or helpful documents. Visitors can find a wide variety here including a teacher rapping about perimeters, discussion of the Lenape tribe, and a talk with Benjamin Franklin. This particular resource is compatible with all operating systems.

he United States celebrates National Library Week
NPR: The Future of Libraries In the E-Book Age

ALA Report: Poor Middle, High School Libraries Suffer the Most Budget Cuts

Closing most Cobb libraries not realistic

ALA: 2011 State of America's Libraries Report [pdf]

The Most Criticized Books! A Handy List From Your Library

@Your Library

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic literature ---

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

Education Tutorials

The April 2011 edition of The Pulse podcast features an interview with Ray Henderson, president of Blackboard Learn, talking about future directions for Blackboard's teaching and learning division and the key differences for faculty between Angel and Blackboard 9.1. ---

Yale Rolls Out 10 New Courses – All Free --- Click Here

Walter Kaufmann’s Lectures on Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Sartre (1960) --- Click Here

On the externalities (nonconvexities) of an academic career
"The Matter of Faculty Salaries," by Nels P. Highberg, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 21, 2011 ---

A Degree in Management --- http://www.managementdegreezone.com/

TeacherTube (a video server for teachers) --- http://www1.teachertube.com/

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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Physics for the 21st Century --- http://www.learner.org/resources/series213.html

AMSER Science Reader Monthly: Plant Biology --- http://amser.org/ASRM-201103.html

The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota (archaeology) --- http://www.mammothsite.com/default.htm

Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South --- http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/csas/

Northwest Architectural Archives --- http://special.lib.umn.edu/manuscripts/architect.html

America's Favorite Architecture --- http://www.favoritearchitecture.org/

American Orchid Society - Orchid Information ---

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

Maryland Department of Planning --- http://planning.maryland.gov/home.shtml

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

Law and Legal Studies

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

Math Tutorials

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

History Tutorials

Air Force Historical Research Agency --- http://www.afhra.af.mil/documents/index.asp

Air Force Link (history) --- http://www.af.mil/history/

Stories to Watch: Narratives in Medieval Manuscripts [Flash Player] http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/stories_watch/

Medieval Imaginations: Literature and Visual Culture in the Middle Ages ---

Classical Studies Resources --- http://classicalstudy.luckycontent.com/

Museum of Glass --- http://www.museumofglass.org/page.aspx?pid=347

Reflecting Antiquity: Modern Glass Inspired By Ancient Rome --- http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/reflecting_antiquity/

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

AmericanRadioWorks: Power and Smoke: A Nation Built on Coal --- http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/coal/

"Coalbrookdale and the History of Coal Power," by Renee Montagne --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9955564

Three Percent (of books in the U.S. are books in translation) --- http://www.rochester.edu/College/translation/threepercent/

American Experience: Panama Canal --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/panama/player/

Celebrating New Mexico Statehood --- http://digitalnm.unm.edu/

Oral Histories: Emergency Refugee Shelter at Fort Ontario (Safe Haven in World War II history) ---

World War II History --- http://www.worldwar2history.info/

Maryland Department of Planning --- http://planning.maryland.gov/home.shtml

Fashion Design & Merchandising Resources Online --- http://www.library.kent.edu/page/11285

History of Costume
Fashion in Color ---  http://ndm.si.edu/EXHIBITIONS/fashion_in_colors/

From the University of Washington
Fashion Plate Collection (women's fashions in history) --- http://content.lib.washington.edu/costumehistweb/index.html

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

Language Tutorials

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

Music Tutorials

Guitar Heroes --- http://blog.metmuseum.org/guitarheroes/

National Music Museum --- http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials

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

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

April 15. 2011

April 18, 2011

April 19, 2011

April 20, 2011

April 22, 2011

April 23, 2011

April 25, 2011

April 26, 2011

April 27, 2011




"Resilience for the Rest of Us," by Daniel Goleman, Harvard Business Review Blog, April 25, 2011 --- Click Here

There are two ways to become more resilient: one by talking to yourself, the other by retraining your brain.

If you've suffered a major failure, take the sage advice given by psychologist Martin Seligman in the HBR article "Building Resilience." Talk to yourself. Give yourself a cognitive intervention and counter defeatist thinking with an optimistic attitude. Challenge your downbeat thinking and replace it with a positive outlook.

But, fortunately, major failures come along rarely in life.

What about bouncing back from the more frequent annoying screwups, minor setbacks and irritating upsets that are routine in any leader's life? Resilience is, again, the answer — but with a different flavor. You need to retrain your brain.

The brain has a very different mechanism for bouncing back from the cumulative toll of daily hassles. And with a little effort, you can upgrade its ability to snap back from life's downers.

Whenever we get so upset we say or do something we later regret (and who doesn't now and then?), that's a sure sign that our amygdalathe brain's radar for danger, and the trigger for the fight-or-flight response — has hijacked the brain's executive centers in the prefrontal cortex. The neural key to resilience lies in how quickly we recover from that hijacked state.

The circuitry that brings us back to full energy and focus after an amygdala hijack concentrates in the left side of our prefrontal area, finds Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin. He's also found that when we're distressed, there's heightened activity on the right side of the prefrontal area. Each of us has a characteristic level of left/right activity that predicts our daily mood range — if we're tilted to the right, more upsets; if to the left, quicker recovery from distress of all kinds.

To tackle this in the workplace, Davidson teamed with the CEO of a high-pressure, 24/7, biotech startup and Jon Kabat-Zinn of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn offered the employees at the biotech outfit instruction in mindfulness, an attention-training method that teaches the brain to register anything happening in the present moment with full focus — but without reacting.

The instructions are simple:

  1. Find a quiet, private place where you can be undistracted for a few minutes — for instance, close your office door and mute your phone.
  2. Sit comfortably, with your back straight but relaxed.
  3. Focus your awareness on your breath, staying attentive to the sensations of the inhalation and exhalation, and start again on the next breath.
  4. Do not judge your breathing or try to change it in any way.
  5. See anything else that comes to mind as a distraction — thoughts, sounds, whatever — let them go and return your attention to your breath.

After eight weeks, and an average 30 minutes a day of practicing mindfulness, the employees had shifted their ratio from tilted toward the stressed-out right side to the resilient left side. What's more, they said they remembered what they loved about their work — they got in touch with what had brought them energy in the first place.

Continued in article



Forwarded by Gene and Joan

A SPANISH Teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.

'House' for instance, is feminine: 'la casa.'

'Pencil,' however, is masculine: 'el lapiz.'

A student asked, 'What gender is 'computer'?'

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether computer' should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

The men's group decided that 'computer' should definitely be of the feminine gender ('la computadora'), because:

1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;

2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else; 3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and

4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.


The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be Masculine ('el computador'), because:

1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;

2 They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves;

3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and �4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

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

Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

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

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

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

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


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

Some Accounting History Sites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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