Tidbits on July 18, 2011
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

This week I made a special photograph file of My Favorite Mountain Photographs
Click Here



More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

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

Tidbits on July 18, 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

The Porcelain Unicorn --- http://www.porcelainunicorn.com/
Must watch to the end to appreciate this short film

Hudson River Landing (watch the engines go on fire) ---

3-D Printer Video--- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZboxMsSz5Aw

Catherine Destivelle Climbing Solo in Mali --- http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=49981

Edinburgh International Film Festival's Award Winning Splitscreen: A Love Story --- Click Here

Fail Safe!
Did you ever watch lemmings following each other over a cliff beyond the point of turning back?

Peter Falk at Roast for Frank Sinatra ---

National Academy of Engineering: WTOP Radio Series Archive --- http://www.nae.edu/Activities/Projects/20730/20186.aspx

The 1940s --- http://www.objflicks.com/decadeofthe1940s.html

James Baldwin: Witty, Fiery in Berkeley, 1979 --- Click Here

British Film Institute's Listing of the Top 100 Movies in History ---

Open Culture Beat No. 6: The Best Culture Links of the Week --- Click here

Sgt Reckless - Korean War Horse Hero --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YIo3ZfA9da0

Nine Impersonations by Kevin Spacey in Six Minutes --- Click Here

The Museum of Broadcast Communications --- http://www.Museum.TV/index.shtml 
(Includes the Radio Hall of Fame for us old timers)
The above site has free audio and video downloads.  I downloaded a free video of Steve Allen highlights.

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

The Museum of Broadcast Communications --- http://www.Museum.TV/index.shtml 
(Includes the Radio Hall of Fame for us old timers)
The above site has free audio and video downloads.  I downloaded a free video of Steve Allen highlights.

The 1940s --- http://www.objflicks.com/decadeofthe1940s.html

THE VILLAGE PEOPLE…IT’S A RIOT! --- http://martynorth.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/the-village-people-its-a-riot/

'The Magic Flute,' Distilled To An Essence --- http://www.npr.org/2011/07/09/137712504/the-magic-flute-distilled-to-an-essence

Dutch Treat: Gre Brouwenstijn Sings Verdi And Wagner --- Click Here

America's National Anthem --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=QEGlsHS6tSQ

Curated Song Collections to Match the Rhythms of Your Day --- Click Here

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

"Blastoff from the Past: A Look Back at the Space Shuttle: During 30 years of service, the shuttles shaped the exploration of space," by Brittany Sauser, MIT's Technology Review, July 8, 2011 ---

"100 Years of IBM in Pictures:  From clocks to supercomputers, IBM has a rich history of technological developments. Here’s a look back at its most notable innovations," by Kristina Bjoran, MIT's Technology Review, July 5, 2011 ---

National Association for Olmsted Parks (landscape design history) --- http://www.olmsted.org/

Name That Painting! --- Click Here

Paris: Life & Luxury --- http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/paris_lifeluxury/

Photos: #NASATweetup and the Final Launch of the Space Shuttle ---

Imagining the Past in France, 1250-1500 http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/imagining_past_france/

John Pugh (artist) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Pugh_%28artist%29

Worm Atlas (Nematode) --- http://www.wormatlas.org/

Historic Stockton Photographs --- http://library.pacific.edu/ha/digital/histstk/index.asp

The Cultural Landscape Foundation --- http://tclf.org/landslides/steinbrueck-park-design-threatened-by-renovations

Irving Sandler (Scene it All) --- http://chronicle.com/article/Irving-Sandler-Scene-It-All/128144/?sid=cr&utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en

Norman Rockwell Museum --- http://www.nrm.org/
Norman Rockwell Imanges (feed "Norman Rockwell" into the search box) --- http://www.google.com/advanced_image_search?hl=en

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

The Harvard Classics: A Free, Digital Collection --- Click Here

Video:  Remembering Ernest Hemingway, Fifty Years After His Death --- Click Here

Biodiversity Heritage Library: Charles Darwin's Library --- http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/collection/darwinlibrary

The Pulitzer Prizes --- http://www.pulitzer.org/

In Search of Shakespeare: Shakespeare’s Sonnets Lesson Plan ---

Open Culture Beat No. 6: The Best Culture Links of the Week --- Click here

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 July 18, 2011

Peter G. Peterson Website on Deficit/Debt Solutions ---

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

"Microsoft Will Pay for U. of Nebraska’s Switch to Its New Cloud-Based Service," by Jie Jenny Zou, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 7, 2011 --- Click Here

"Academic Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 2009," National Science Foundation, July 2011 ---

Technology Student Association --- http://www.tsaweb.org/

New Communication Technologies --- http://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/collections/NewComm

June 3, 2010 reply from Jagdish Gangolly


One excellent comprehensive list of CS links is our library page.


You may like to visit it.

Next year, June 23, 2012 will be the 100th BIRTHDAY of Alan Turing. He was conceived in India where his father was a civil servant, but born in England. He died when he was only 42 years young.

Isn't it wonderful that many of us on the list were witnesses to the birth of the computer?



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

Gaussian Copula Formula (a Math Error That Helped Bring Wall Street Down ---

"The Formula That Killed Wall Street is Alive and Well," Jayanth R. Varma's Financial Markets Blog, July 9, 2011 ---

Google Plus --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Plus

"Google+ Comes Up Short," by Joshua Ganz, Harvard Business Review Blog, July 7, 2011 --- Click Here

What problem does Google+ solve for consumers? The answer appears to be: nothing. And, therefore, it solves nothing for Google either.

As with many of these social launches — an exception being the ill-fated Google Buzz — the launch of Google+ was limited. Like Gmail and Google Wave, Google relied on invites to scale initial users and work out issues before a wider launch. I, somehow, managed to score access to Google+ from Day One of its recent launch, and I'm here to report on it. (I should note that opinions vary.)

What I found upon signing up was a routine to search my Google contacts and allocate people to Circles. The idea is that should any of them sign up to Google+ I could neatly organize my friends according to whatever category I thought best fit them. I could also find anyone currently on Google+ and choose to follow them. Ironically, I chose to follow Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Facebook, but I also followed Google's founders. The latter seem to participate regularly and lots of people comment on their activities. The former, unsurprisingly, not so much (although Zuckerberg seems to be the most followed person on the network).

I then spent a little time filling in my profile (you can view it here). You can even follow my Google Buzz feed from there, a legacy of automatic reposting of my tweets and shared Google Reader links.

Having done lots of set-up, I waited to see what happened. The answer to that was: not much. For Google+ to work, it has to be populated. Specifically, it has to be populated with people the user is interested in. As it is early days, that crucial feature isn't there.

This (lack of) network effect could do Google+ in if it can't get a virtuous cycle going. So the question is whether Google+ has the potential to attract a large enough network.

The reasoning why Google itself might desperately want this to work out is clear. Facebook and Twitter are grabbing attention and Google is in the business of getting attention and on-selling it to advertisers. Add to that the fact that the type of attention that comes from users providing content and demonstrating their interest by commenting and subscribing to things, and Google+ (were it to work) could yield important information that helps advertisers target consumers better.

Continued in article

"3 Steps Google Plus Must Take to Win Against Facebook," by Zubin Wadia, ReadWriteWeb, June 29, 2011 ---

Congratulations to the Google Plus team for shipping a superb beta under conditions which could be considered equal parts turmoil and FUD.

I absolutely love it. If it had 750 million users on it right now it would be a superior experience to Facebook.

For starters, it looks more cohesive. This isn't surprising because it is a blank slate product that did not have to deal with the technical debt Facebook has accumulated since 2004. Beyond the interface however, Google Plus will be more engaging emotionally for people because it allows them to be more authentic with one another.

Why? Because Google Plus establishes intuitive clarity for my social graph.

Bob Jensen's threads on social networking ---

"Texas Coalitions Spar Over Scholars' Time, Research, Pay," by Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 10, 2011 ---

Depending on whom you talk to in Texas these days, college professors are either elitist intellectuals oblivious to the financial struggles of their students or hard-working teachers and researchers being pressured to churn out graduates like widgets on a production line.

And no matter where you fall in this increasingly divisive debate, there's an interest group armed with colorful sound bites, well-heeled supporters, and a conviction that the future of higher education here hangs in the balance.

In recent weeks, the rhetoric of the players in this statewide power struggle has escalated to match the intensity of the blistering Texas heat. Students, alumni, and faculty members have weighed in, along with new coalitions consisting of former university presidents, chancellors, regents, and business leaders.

The political fight largely centers on a series of reforms dubbed the "Seven Breakthrough Solutions," pushed by Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank in Austin.

The proposals, which are based on the premise that professors spend too much time on esoteric research and not enough time in the classroom, would separate teaching and research budgets, give professors pay raises based on student evaluations, and treat students as customers.

The debate intensified this spring after a series of controversial comments and actions by Gene Powell, chairman of the University of Texas system's Board of Regents.

In addition to expressing support for the governor's call to develop a $10,000, four-year degree, he floated the idea of increasing undergraduate enrollment at the flagship campus by 10 percent a year for four years and cutting tuition in half.

And in March, Mr. Powell hired Rick O'Donnell, a former fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and a former executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, as a $200,000-a-year special adviser to the university's governing board. Mr. O'Donnell was fired six weeks later after complaining that university officials were suppressing data on how much professors earned, how many students they taught, and how much grant money they received.

Last month the system reached a $70,000 settlement with Mr. O'Donnell, a decision that Barry D. Burgdorf, vice chancellor and general counsel for the university system, said was based on "pure and simple economics" because Mr. O'Donnell had made it clear that he planned to sue the system.

Sen. Judith Zaffirini, a Democrat who chairs the state's Senate Higher Education Committee, says that rather than cooling the controversy, the settlement fanned the flames when the former adviser came out swinging, accusing university officials of orchestrating a smear campaign against him and the regents who supported his efforts to gather faculty-productivity data, which were eventually published.

"Higher-education administrators and faculty generally like to be left alone," Mr. O'Donnell said in an interview last month. "These are people who enjoy enormous privileges at taxpayer expense, and someone wants to question how much that costs and what we're getting in response."

Senator Zaffirini says the policy foundation and Jeff Sandefer—a board member who wrote the "breakthrough solutions" it promotes—are the ones hiding from public scrutiny. She co-chairs a new legislative oversight committee on higher education.

"They talk about transparency," she says, "but meanwhile, they're working with the governor behind closed doors in an attempt to hijack the higher-education agenda." Mr. Sandefer and foundation executives deny that accusation, and Mr. Perry's office did not reply to a request for comment last month.

Senator Zaffirini adds that the foundation's actions could harm the efforts of seven "emerging research universities" to gain "tier one" status.

David Guenthner, a spokesman for the public-policy foundation, scoffs at that idea. "Barely one in five faculty members is involved in research that relates to the university's tier-one status," he says. Taxpayers deserve to know why many professors teach less than a full load and "where their research is being published, how many people are reading it, how much is it being cited, or is it, for lack of a better term, a publication for the sake of a publication—or worse, a vanity project?" Undermine or Strengthen?

Debate over the "breakthrough solutions" and their potential impact on higher education has been raging for months, mostly at Texas A&M University, where e-mail exchanges between regents and Mr. Sandefer and his father described the Sandefers' frustration at the pace at which the steps were being carried out.

As the focus shifted to the University of Texas, the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education was started in June, to "support a more thoughtful and transparent discussion of ways to strengthen and improve, rather than undermine" the state's colleges and universities.

The group's 250 founding members include former presidents and chancellors of the University of Texas and Texas A&M University Systems and a former chair of the state's Higher Education Coordinating Board. A former chair of the University of Houston System's Board of Regents has also joined the coalition, which includes business and civic leaders and university donors.

Mr. Powell says he welcomes input from such groups, but he declined to comment on any of the specific complaints they have raised.

Peter T. Flawn, president emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin, is a founding member of the group.

"If the so-called solutions to as-yet-undefined problems advanced by the Texas Public Policy Foundation were to be forced on our institutions of higher education, the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M would, in a very few years, go from being first-class graduate research institutions to second-rate degree mills," he says.

"Teaching the future leaders of our state and nation to think critically, challenge assumptions, and make informed, reasoned decisions is quite different from manufacturing widgets on an assembly line."

Last week, Randy L. Diehl, dean of the University of Texas' College of Liberal Arts released a 17-page analysis that explains why he and his executive team concluded that the foundation "breakthrough solutions" would radically change the university and undermine progress it has already made to improve efficiency and graduation rates.

Two groups that support the governor's agenda have also joined the debate, both led by people who previously served as vice presidents of the Austin think tank.

Continued in article

Where the Highest Ranked Universities Do Not Excel ---

Why Do They Hate Us? ---

Four More Nails in the Coffins of Printed Textbooks

"Blackboard Announces Collaboration With Major Textbook Publishers," by Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 13, 2011 ---

Four major textbook providers—Cengage, Macmillan, Pearson, and John Wiley & Sons—today announced that they will build tighter links between their advanced e-textbook platforms and Blackboard’s popular course-management system.

Blackboard announced a similar deal with McGraw-Hill last year. So the company now has partnerships with the five dominant textbook publishers.

For students, a major benefit will be the ability to get to the publishers’ e-textbooks and online assignments through the campus network without having to create new logins and passwords. For professors, the new links will make it easier to push students’ grades on online quizzes from the publishers’ e-textbook systems to the gradebook they use on the Blackboard system.

The deals do not turn Blackboard into a bookstore, however. Students must purchase access to the online-textbook systems through traditional retailers such as the college bookstore, said Matthew Small, chief business officer for Blackboard. “This isn’t about a storefront—this is about making these things more interoperable,” he added. “It’s a real challenge for the universities because they have to maintain all of these different passwords” to each textbook provider, he said. “Now 90-plus percent of all of the digital-learning platforms are going to be integrated into Blackboard.”

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Blackboard (that was recently sold to a private equity outfit) are at

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books ---

Bob Jensen's links to free electronic literature (including textbooks) ---

"The Sociology of Academic Networks," by Lincoln Mullen, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 13, 2011 ---

I’m a historian who is spending a month in the company of sociologists, studying religious congregations and social change. In crossing these disciplinary boundaries, I’ve been fortunate to read a great deal of sociological works that I would otherwise not encounter. Among these is Randall Collins’s theoretical work, Interaction Ritual Chains (2004).

Collins’s describes his work as a “radical microsociology,” meaning that he theorizes about the rituals by which people interact with others, from large groups, to person-to-person relationships, to the imaginary conversations that a person engages in his or her mind. I’m ambivalent about parts of the theory, but I’m intrigued by his central claims: “occasions that combine a high degree of mutual focus of attention … together with a high degree of emotional entrainment … result in feelings of membership that are attached to cognitive symbols; and result also in the emotional energy of individual participants, giving them feelings of confidence, enthusiasm, and desire for action in what they consider a morally proper path” (42). In other words, when people interact their shared attention trains each other to be in a group with a shared purpose.

Though that theory is dense, I find it powerful for explaining many things, not least of which is the way parts of the academy work. If part of the mission of ProfHacker is to make plain the hidden (even unconscious) rules of the academy, then Collins’s explanations of the sociology of academic networks and of academic writing can be helpful.

I’ll take up Collins’s ideas of academic writing in a later post, but first let’s look at his ideas about academic networks.

Collins says that thinking is a social process. (Hint: sociologists think that everything is social.) He observes that important thinkers tend to be the students of important thinkers and to have important thinkers as students themselves. He also notes that the best scholars have personal contacts with the other best thinkers, whether allies or enemies. These groups are “not merely the clubbing together of the already famous, but groups of would-be thinkers who have not yet done the work that will make them famous.” This is not to say that only “important” scholars move on the work of scholarship, but that the social structure focuses on such eminent individuals, who “work extremely long hours, seemingly obsessed with their work.” Perhaps most important, Collins insists on the importance of direct interaction between scholars, especially face-to-face interaction. He writes, “What one picks up from an eminent teacher … is a demonstration of how to operate in the intellectual field of oppositions. Star intellectuals are role models … but in a fashion that cannot be picked up at a distance, and only by seeing them in action.”

Collins’s sociology goes a long way towards explaining the unpleasant side of the academy, such as the emphasis on academic celebrities and the plight of scholars who are never embedded in the academic social network. But it also offers ways of thinking about the academy that can help you hack your own career:

Jensen Comment
The AECM listserve is my main Academic network.
My threads on listservs, social networks, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook are at

Academic networks do not replace refereed journals for communication of research. Rather they enhance refereed journals in many ways, especially in expanding those journals like The Accounting Review that for all practical purposes do not publish replications or even commentaries on research articles they publish.

Academic networks are also important sources of research ideas where a networked message can inspire professors and even students to undertake research projects as well has deepen their scholarship.


Please Don't Shoot the Messenger This Time (I'm not forwarding this tidbit for political debate or to make a political statement)
With all due respect to my good friend and poet Neal Hannon, the Harvard Business Review published an item from a somewhat condescending  Haavud media "expert" who does not think so much of AskObama
I don't think Haque's criticisms have anything to do with liberalism versus conservatism in this particular instance since Haque's Harvard Media Lab most likely is more liberal than conservative or it would be driven out of that side of the Charles River. Haque calls this Twitter stunt "digital dumbification.."

"AskObama Is a Meaningless Marketing Stunt," Umair Haque, Harvard Business Review Blog, July 6, 2011 --- Click Here

So, what are you asking President Obama? Why not more stimulus? Why did he choose to bail out the banks? What about the deficit, China, the euro, youth unemployment, and the future? All worthy themes for today's Twitter Townhall.

But perhaps you should reconsider. Me? I'm asking him nothing. Consider it a tiny one man protest. Maybe, just maybe, AskObama is less 21st century transparency — and more like a tiny dose of digital dumbification.

I find the exercise cynical at worst, and at best, even if nobly well-intentioned, a tiny symbol of exactly how and why the 20th century's stopping the 21st from being born. I'd say that the Obama team, a little bit panicked with the growing sense of disappointment, disenchantment, and just plain outrage amongst the general populace, that decision-makers decided to mortgage the future of pretty much everyone worth less than $5 million not for, for example, tomorrow's moonshots, great achievements, or grand public works, but to save the skins of zombie fatcats and vampire investment bankers (sorry, did I say "save the skins of"? I mean "bestow fortune upon", because the super-rich have actually, while most people have gotten poorer, gotten richer during this great crisis) — headed off to hurriedly, nervously confer with their skinny-jeaned, sunglass-wearing, spiky-haired marketing droids. Who smoothly said something like: "Duuudes. Chillax! If you want loyalty, you need engagement. You know what's a killer move to build engagement with 'the digital consumer' (we've got that poor sucker's brain in a jar in our lab, and we've already scanned it into our MacBooks)? You know what really builds marketing synergies, and drives brand equity? Social media!! We've got it--let's let people ask President Obama questions!! On Twitter!! Look: think about it: it'll only take a day, and you'll be seen as a hero. It's perception over reality — and that's what it's always been about."

I hate to rudely interrupt this pulsing brainwave of an amazing epiphany with a hard dose of duh, but, well, I'm really sorry. You can't buy my "engagement" for a few bucks, you certainly can't have my "loyalty" (because though I might be a mutt, I'm not a pet). And you sure can't win my respect with lowest-common-denominator marketing "stunts" that makes the predictably tedious not-so-creative output of Madison Avenue's glorifiers of toxic, dispiriting, self-destructive, mass-made junk look like John Lennon met Michelangelo in the fifth dimension and they had offspring.

Why not? Because (welcome to the 21st century) you've got to earn it.

Now, it could be that my telling of the tale's totally, completely wrong. Maybe Obama dreamt the whole thing up himself, or maybe the Dalai Lama or David Hasselhoff did. Who knows? My point is that without a working, viable, lasting, participatory link to the who, what, when, where, and how of policy-making, the event is just that: a one-off marketing stunt, with little enduring significance or meaning.

Nearly every aspect of our democracy is in danger of being broken. Voters are apathetic, the judiciary seems toothless, the press rarely uses its much-vaunted freedom, checks and balances don't seem to check or balance much, the two parties that exert iron-clad control over Washington have about as much meaningful difference between them as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, our fiscal situation is blowing a hole in our future, and we fail, over and over again, to invest in stuff that matters most.

It's marketing over substance, hype over reality, spin over reform — as usual. The dismal truth is that pretty much all of yesterday's institutions — from banks, to "the corporation," to credit ratings, to schools — are just as broken as our political institutions are. And I'd say using the very, very awesome Twitter to solicit "questions" from citizens in this environment is a little bit like earnestly running a focus group about the best color for your next pair of $2000 loafers — while your boardroom's on fire.

Yet, all is far from lost. Here's the good news. While our democracy might be in disrepair, we're also the pioneers of a set of radically disruptive tools that have the power not merely to repair or restore it — but to reimagine and reinvent it.
It's not that we don't have the tools to reinvent democracy. If you can trade stocks from Kathmandu on your iPhone, my guess is we've barely scratched the surface of what's possible for 21st century democracy. Given today's panoply of powerfully disruptive social technologies, it's within the realm of the possible to create polities that slash coordination costs, erase information gaps, achieve a thicker consensus, build shared values, amplify audience costs, forge more imaginative policies, and heal yesterday's festering wounds. Sure, it's not going to be easy, straightforward, or automatic. It will take focus, effort, investment, and time. But perhaps for the first time in human history, it's possible to envision something like a real-time, organic, decentralized, sophisticated, multiparty, multipolar democracy — instead of the lumbering, plodding, top-heavy, simplistic, monolithic monster that's chasing us straight into a Great Stagnation.

The promise of social technologies is to fundamentally reimagine and reboot yesterday's crumbling institutions
(and disempower the bumbling beancounters who run them). In political terms? They should be used — right now, right here, right this very second — to build a deeper democracy, one where via deliberation, citizens have a bottom-up impact on policy-making, which as it stands today is totally disconnected from and unresponsive to the general populace and unable to do much of anything about anything. They should be used to help ignite an authentic prosperity, by redrawing the boundaries of political freedom for the underprivileged and the powerless — and to blow apart a polity that protects and props up the privileged and the powerful.

What we don't need is more of this: "People tuning out? Great — instead of actually improving stuff, hit 'em with some marketing!!"

Sorry, Mr President: you've got the pundits, talking heads, and powers that be right where you want them (judging from the response you've gotten so far), but little old me? I'm not buying into your latest "campaign." I'm not a "target." I'm a citizen of a generation whose future is going up in smoke faster than you can say "credit default swaps." And what you're really telling me is this: in some parts of the world, social tools can fuel the revolutions that topple dictators. Here, in the nation that invented them? They're used for marketing stunts.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on social networking and Twitter are at

That some bankers have ended up in prison is not a matter of scandal, but what is outrageous is the fact that all the others are free.
Honoré de Balzac

Bankers bet with their bank's capital, not their own. If the bet goes right, they get a huge bonus; if it misfires, that's the shareholders' problem.
Sebastian Mallaby. Council on Foreign Relations, as quoted by Avital Louria Hahn, "Missing:  How Poor Risk-Management Techniques Contributed to the Subprime Mess," CFO Magazine, March 2008, Page 53 --- http://www.cfo.com/article.cfm/10755469/c_10788146?f=magazine_featured
Now that the Fed is going to bail out these crooks with taxpayer funds makes it all the worse.

Wall Street Remains Congress to the Core
The boom in corporate mergers is creating concern that illicit trading ahead of deal announcements is becoming a systemic problem. It is against the law to trade on inside information about an imminent merger, of course. But an analysis of the nation’s biggest mergers over the last 12 months indicates that the securities of 41 percent of the companies receiving buyout bids exhibited abnormal and suspicious trading in the days and weeks before those deals became public. For those who bought shares during these periods of unusual trading, quick gains of as much as 40 percent were possible.
Gretchen Morgenson, "Whispers of Mergers Set Off Suspicious Trading," The New York Times, August 27, 2006 ---
Click Here


Hmm --- JP (pronounced gyp) Morgan Chase legal settlements
$861 million +$154 million + $211 million and still counting up the frauds
And the Bush and Obama Administration bailed these crooks out

"JP Morgan Settles Bond Bid-Rigging Case for $211 Million," by Eric Dash, The New York Times, July 7, 2011 ---

JPMorgan Chase reached a $211 million settlement with federal and state authorities on Thursday to resolve allegations that it cheated governments in 31 states by rigging the bidding process for reinvesting the proceeds of dozens of municipal bond transactions.

Without admitting or denying wrongdoing, the bank settled accusations that it had improperly entered secret agreements with bidding agents that gave it a “last look” at bids submitted by its competitors. The bank has agreed to return about $129.7 million to the municipalities that were harmed.

In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission said it would bar James L. Hertz, a former JPMorgan executive at the center of the bid-rigging scandal, from working in the municipal finance industry. Last December, Mr. Hertz pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges for his role in the improper deals.

JPMorgan Chase said in a statement that it “does not tolerate anticompetitive activity” and that the executives involved had concealed their behavior from management.

“The firm’s policies, both now and during the period in question, expressly prohibit the conduct that gave rise to these proceedings,” the statement said. The bank said the employees involved were no longer with the company and that it had improved its compliance program and increased ethics training for staff in the public finance group.

The $211 million pact is the largest of three major settlements that securities regulators have reached in an effort to clean up municipal finance.

In December, authorities struck a $137 million settlement with Bank of America to resolve similar fraud charges. In May, UBS agreed to pay more than $150 million to settle municipal bid-rigging charges. The JPMorgan settlement was reached amid public outrage toward Wall Street for its role in the financial crisis. Federal regulators are under increasing pressure to hold bankers accountable.

To resolve the charges, JPMorgan plans to pay $51.2 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission, $50 million to the Internal Revenue Service, $35 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and $75 million to a group of state attorneys general. The bank also reached settlements with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the antitrust division of the Justice Department.

Elaine C. Greenberg, the chief of the S.E.C.’s municipal securities unit, said that the settlement would send a message that undermining the fairness of the public sector bond market would not be tolerated. “Rather than playing by the rules, the rules got played,” she said in a statement.

Typically, when investors buy municipal bonds, local governments temporarily invest the tax-exempt proceeds until they are used. Banks help states and cities invest the money in so-called municipal reinvestment products and bid for the right by offering competitive interest rates. That process lets municipalities claim tax-exempt status for the money.

But regulators say JPMorgan undermined the competition. From 1997 to 2005, they say, members of the bank’s municipal derivatives desk made misrepresentations and omissions in at least 93 transactions. The moves affected the prices that governments paid and jeopardized the tax-exempt status of billions of dollars worth of those securities. JPMorgan marketers rigged the bids with help from at least 11 bidding agents.

At times, court documents said, the bank won investment business because it got information from bidding agents about what its competitors were bidding. In other cases it deliberately submitted nonwinning bids to satisfy tax requirements.

The case was settled on the heels of a JPMorgan settlement last month in which it agreed to pay $153.6 million to resolve federal civil accusations that it misled investors in a mortgage securities transaction in 2007.

Continued in article

"Judge Clears $861 Million J.P. Morgan-Lehman Settlement," The Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2011 ---

A judge on Thursday approved a settlement that calls for J.P. Morgan Chase to pay $861 million in cash and securities to customers of the defunct broker-deal business of Lehman Brothers Holdings.

The settlement is the largest to date reached by the trustee winding down’s Lehman’s former U.S. brokerage business.

“I’m satisfied that this is indeed an excellent result,” Judge James Peck of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan said. He added, “This is obviously a very substantial step forward of the LBI liquidation.” LBI is the brokerage subsidiary, Lehman Brothers Inc.

Greatest Swindle in the History of the World ---

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

"How Is Law School Like the NFL Draft?," Freakonomics, July 6, 2011 ---

Here’s a smart take by Jonathan Tjarks on the current state of law schools — a rather depressing look at how the odds are similarly stacked against law-school grads and college football players. After opening with a reference to Sudhir Venkatesh‘s study of the economics of crack from Freakonomics, Tjarks’s piece boils down to the following analysis:

Admittance into a top-14 law school, like a scholarship from a top-10 college football program, is the culmination of a lifetime of striving. Of the over 100,000 high school seniors who play football, fewer than 3,000 sign Division I letters of intent. Similarly, the top 25% in Harvard Law’s 2009 class had an average GPA of 3.95 and a LSAT score of 175, which puts them in the 99th percentile of the over 100,000 test takers each year.

Yet, despite overcoming nearly impossible odds, each group still has the toughest test of their lives ahead of them — each other. NFL teams rarely draft players not at the top of the depth chart, even at powerhouses like Texas or Oklahoma. And even at Harvard or Columbia Law, “Big Law” firms — those with the coveted $160,000 starting salaries — don’t reach too far below the median class rank when selecting first-year associate.

As you go down the ranks, the odds only decrease. NFL players from non-BCS conferences were usually top-tier starters in college, while top-50 law schools typically send only 10-25% of each class to “Big Law”. And just as there are always a few DII and DIII players in the draft each year, students from tier 2 and tier 3 law schools occasionally beat out graduates of elite schools for jobs. But “small school” success stories are the best of the best — collegiate All-Americans, the top 1% of their class in law review.

Tjarks also compares the long term hidden costs of each profession:

The newest research on concussions indicates that the gravest threats to players are not the highlight-reel hits, but the trauma of endless low-impact collisions over years of practice. Football players, especially linemen, usually put on 30-40 pounds of muscle in college, locking themselves into eating habits that will become increasingly unhealthy when they no longer burn thousands of calories a day in practice.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Since the NFL does not have farm teams like the professional baseball, perhaps professional baseball would be a better analogy. Law graduates who do not get into the "Big Law" are farmed out into small law firms, corporate law offices, state government, Federal government, the IRS, the FBI, and even adjunct teaching to keep cans of beans on the table. In the first decade most of these farmed out lawyers are waiting for that big break that will get them into a "Big Law" team. At the moment lawyers are a little like houses in the United States --- there's a tremendous oversupply relative to demand from people that can afford to pay.

The sad part is that is that those graduates being crushed by over $100,000 in student loans may be burdened for most of their careers just trying to get out from under an investment that never paid off when their Big Law dreams did not materialize and/or they never got that 50% of a $27 million award for a brain damaged premature birth after they were so inspired by Paul Newman in The Verdict ---

Turkey Times for Overstuffed Law Schools ---

"Why Does Pedigree Drive Law Faculty Hiring?," by Paul Caron, TaxProf Blog, July 15, 2011 ---

Off the Quad, Disciplinary Diversity & Pedigree Consciousness: A Few Thoughts:

In 2005, the Yale Daily News reported that 57% of the Yale Law faculty had attended Yale College or Yale Law School (which has a relatively small student body). The numbers suggest that the law school hiring committees are even more pedigree-sensitive than they were 20-30 years ago, so that percentage may have increased as senior faculty have retired. In any case, I would be surprised if more than 25% of this year’s permanent, tenure-track faculty attended law school somewhere besides New Haven or Cambridge. And of that remaining quarter, I bet you could count (or almost count) the number of law school alma maters on one hand....

[T]he assumption that the brightest minds go to four or so law schools is retrograde, ineffective, bad for the discipline, and demonstrably unjust on several counts. ... Demonstrably unjust, you might ask? Among its many problems, this status quo in hiring is biased against those who came to law school from regions, cultures and/or classes where academic pedigree carries less significance. ...

[A]s Professors William Henderson and Paul Caron have shown with their "Moneyball" analysis of entry-level legal hiring (see here), pedigree is far from the best predictor of future scholarly success. I’m not saying it’s meaningless, but it’s almost certainly not what hiring committees seem to act like it is. ... Do Yale graduates really, on average, have that much more scholarly potential or academic inclination than their peers at Chicago and Columbia?

Or, is there another explanation for the extreme pedigree consciousness? ... Perhaps self-interest comes into play (on a subconscious level): after all, if you have invested a ton in an exclusive legal education, you have a considerable incentive to justify and maintain the value of that investment. Or maybe this pedigree preoccupation is a vestige of the desire to treat the law as an objective discipline like physics. Who knows?

(Hat Tip: Brian Leiter.) Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

Jensen Comment
Equally pedigree prone is the U.S. Supreme Court where in 2009 seven of the nine justices were from the Ivy League before former Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan was appointed to the Court.

In the history of the court, half of the 110 justices were undergraduates, graduate students or law students in the Ivy League; since 1950, the percentage is 70. From the beginning of the 20th century, every president who has seated a justice has picked at least one Ivy graduate. Four of the six justices on President Obama’s short list studied at Ivy League institutions, either as undergraduates or law students.
John Schwartz, "An Ivy-Covered Path to the Supreme Court, The New York Times, June 8, 2009 ---

Accountics Faculty Inbreeding (with generation skipping)
In top accounting programs in R1 research universities it works more like this. PhD Student A graduates from University X and and Student B graduates from University Y. Then a few years later Professor A's doctoral Student C is hired by University X (A's Alma mater) and Professor B's doctoral Student D is hired by University Y (B's Alma mater). Then a few years later Professor C's doctoral Student E is hired by University Y (the Alma mater of B and C) and Professor D's doctoral Student F is hired by University X. (the Alma mater of A and D).

Of course there's no inbreeding going on because no top accounting research university hires its own PhD graduates (with only a few exceptions not noted here). In reality it gets a bit more complicated with the hiring circle expanded to about ten R1 universities trading each others' PhD graduates. But in reality its all a matter of accountics inbreeding with generation skipping.


Singapore --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore
Most of its five million people are of Chinese, Malay or Indian descent. Buddhism is the most widely practised religion in Singapore, with 33% of the resident population declaring themselves adherents at the most recent census. The next largest religions, in order of size, are Christianity, Islam, Taoism and Hinduism.

Singapore has a highly developed market-based economy, based historically on extended entrepôt trade. Along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Republic of China (Taiwan), Singapore is one of the Four Asian Tigers. The economy depends heavily on exports and refining imported goods, especially in manufacturing, which constituted 27.2% of Singapore's GDP in 2010 and includes significant electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, mechanical engineering and biomedical sciences sectors. In 2006 Singapore produced about 10% of the world's foundry wafer output. The country is the world's fourth leading financial centre. Singapore has one of the busiest ports in the world and is the world's fourth largest foreign-exchange trading centre after London, New York and Tokyo. The World Bank ranks Singapore as the world's top logistics hub.

"Singapore: It's the Caring, Not the Caning:  Yeah, we know, the corporal punishment. But Singapore's economic dynamism stems from a service culture based on pragmatic kindness and consideration," by Ron Kaufman, Business Week, July 5, 2011 ---

Singapore is not known for being soft. On crime, drugs, graffiti, and corruption, the country is world-renowned for its tough stance, punishing offenders with fines, jail time, and yes, the occasional caning.

But in the softer business of delighting customers, Singapore is now beating the naysayers and proving that great service equals cold, hard prosperity.

Retrace Singapore’s financial history just a few decades and you’ll notice a very different picture from what you see today. Singapore has few natural resources other than people and location. In the 1980s and 1990s, Singapore’s industrial base was moving to China where land was vast and labor inexpensive. Administrative tasks were being outsourced to India and other low-cost locations. Like many organizations today, the country was seeing its expected future disappear. And it needed to do something about it fast.

Consider these statistics about the country of Singapore today:

Foreign Reserve: $300 billion-plus

Population: about 4.5 million

Economic Growth: 14.7 percent in 2010, according to Standard Chartered Bank

Those are impressive credentials—a relatively small group of people, living on a small island, creating a massive impact. And considering its current government was born in 1965, Singapore is merely a baby. It’s like the highflier at your workplace who catches the eye of leadership. It’s the player on your team who constantly challenges the status quo. It’s the fearless meeting-attendee who speaks up and shares new ideas, even though he or she doesn’t have rank. It’s the person who, without question, will go above and beyond.

Singapore is a maverick. And it has become a beacon of hope in the past few years due to a simple strategy called "service." I’m not talking about niceties like a fake friendly smile or a cheesy tag line that many companies promote as their customer service policy. Instead, Singapore embraces service as an area for constant focus and improvement, with a mindset that digs deep into the fiber of the country.

Here are four examples of how to follow suit:

1. Entice the Best and Brightest. You may not relate superior service to recruitment. But Singapore understands the nation’s strength depends on the people who live and work there. With only 4.5 million residents, how do you bolster your primary resource—people—and develop it into a world-class phenomenon? Singapore does it by recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest. The country wants all-star residents and innovative workers. So it offers A-players a warm welcome to make the island their home, including friendly service at Immigration and concierge-type attention even in the Employment Pass office.

2. Create Service Efficiency. Take a country that had once built a culture on zero-defect manufacturing, and insert service as your primary outcome. What happens? You get a zero-defect service mentality. Consider the country’s "No Wrong Door" policy. No matter which government office you call, the person who picks up the phone will politely answer the question or personally transfer your call to the agency you need. This doesn’t sound like a big deal until you consider the magnitude of reaching into every government department, giving service education to all employees, and then providing government workers with centralized information so that every caller receives prompt and proper service. It’s especially impressive when you keep in mind that this is a government, not a five-star resort.

3. Take Ownership. Many companies talk about their employees taking ownership of their jobs. It’s often just lip service. But consider Singapore’s Central Provident Fund system. Much like Social Security does in the U.S., the government sets aside a percentage of workers’ incomes so when those workers choose, they can use the money for homeownership, stock ownership, medical care, and eventually retirement. Imagine the impact of this program. The system not only helps each resident afford a home but also serves as a massive crime deterrent. Most residents in the country own homes, so vandalism, burglaries, and other property crimes rarely happen. That’s not from fear of caning; it’s respect for fellow homeowners.

4. Don’t Make Punishment the Point. There have been media frenzies surrounding the country’s policy of caning criminals. And there’s no question that Singapore doesn’t tolerate crime. However, a close inspection of the country’s prison system reveals that even the justice system focuses on superior service. Criminals receive punishment, but the prison system aims to serve the criminal and the country by concentrating on reform. Inmates get the life-skills training and support needed to get back into the workforce. And after releasing prisoners, the government monitors them individually to ensure they all get the tools and support they need to remake themselves as self-sufficient, contributing members of society. This is a service process that gives the people who most need it a second chance to serve.

Can a true service mindset uplift an entire organization?

Continued in article

Most, but certainly not all, colleges in danger of losing regional accreditation are for-profit colleges
Here's an illustration of some not-for-profit colleges that are also in trouble
You've really got to be in trouble before regional accreditors sound alarms, especially in terms of admission and grading standards

"Middle States Ends Accreditation for 1 College, Issues Probation to 4 and Warnings to 9," Inside Higher Ed, July 1, 2011 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on accreditation are at

Dangers in Relying Upon Regional Academic Accrediting Agencies
Standards for measuring credit hours and program length, and affirmed its earlier critique that the commission had been too lax in its standards for determining the amount of credit a student receives for course work.

Unreliability of Higher Education's Accrediting Agencies
"Mend It, Don't End It," by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, February 4, 2011 ---

About two-thirds of the way through the first day of the Education Department's two-day forum on higher education accreditation, something strange happened: a new idea emerged.

Not that the conversation that preceded it was lacking in quality and thoughtfulness. The discussion about higher education's system of quality assurance included some of the sharper minds and best analysts around, and it unfolded at a level that was quite a bit higher than you'd find at, say, the typical Congressional hearing.

The discussion was designed to help the members of the Education Department's National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity understand the accreditation system, so it included a wide range of voices talking about many aspects of quality, regulation and oversight in higher education. The exchanges served largely to revisit history and frame the issues in a way that probably seemed familiar, at least to those who follow accreditation closely.

The basic gist on which there was general agreement:

Yet given Education Secretary Arne Duncan's formal charge to the newly reconstituted panel, which was distributed at its first formal meeting in December, most of the higher education and accreditation officials who attended the policy forum said they had little doubt that the panel is strongly inclined to recommend significant changes, rather than just ruminating about how well the system is working.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
On of the biggest abuses is the way for-profit universities buy out failing non-profit colleges for the main purpose of gaining accreditation by buying it rather than earning it. The scandal is that the accrediting agencies, especially the North Central accrediting agency, let for-profits simply buy this respectability. For-profit universities can be anywhere and still buy a North Central Association accreditation.

Finally, At Long Last, Why did it take so long?
"Standing Up to 'Accreditation Shopping'," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, July 1, 2010 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on accreditation are at

"Inspector General Keeps the Pressure on a Regional Accreditor," by Eric Kelderman, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 27, 2010 ---

The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Education has reaffirmed a recommendation that the department should consider sanctions for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, one of the nation's major regional accrediting organizations. In a report this week, the Office of Inspector General issued its final recommendations stemming from a 2009 examination of the commission's standards for measuring credit hours and program length, and affirmed its earlier critique that the commission had been too lax in its standards for determining the amount of credit a student receives for course work.

The Higher Learning Commission accredits more than 1,000 institutions in 19 states. The Office of Inspector General completed similar reports for two other regional accreditors late last year but did not suggest any sanctions for those organizations.

Possible sanctions against an accreditor include limiting, suspending, or terminating its recognition by the secretary of education as a reliable authority for determining the quality of education at the institutions it accredits. Colleges need accreditation from a federally recognized agency in order to be eligible to participate in the federal student-aid programs.

In its examination of the Higher Learning Commission, the office looked at the commission's reaccreditation of six member institutions: Baker College, DePaul University, Kaplan University, Ohio State University, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and the University of Phoenix. The office chose those institutions—two public, two private, and two proprietary institutions—as those that received the highest amounts of federal funds under Title IV, the section of the Higher Education Act that governs the federal student-aid programs.

It also reviewed the accreditation status of American InterContinental University and the Art Institute of Colorado, two institutions that had sought initial accreditation from the commission during the period the office studied.

The review found that the Higher Learning Commission "does not have an established definition of a credit hour or minimum requirements for program length and the assignment of credit hours," the report says. "The lack of a credit-hour definition and minimum requirements could result in inflated credit hours, the improper designation of full-time student status, and the over-awarding of Title IV funds," the office concluded in its letter to the commission's president, Sylvia Manning.

More important, the office reported that the commission had allowed American InterContinental University to become accredited in 2009 despite having an "egregious" credit policy.

In a letter responding to the commission, Ms. Manning wrote that the inspector general had ignored the limitations the accreditor had placed on American InterContinental to ensure that the institution improved its standards, an effort that had achieved the intended results, she said. "These restrictions were intended to force change at the institution and force it quickly."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The most successful for-profit universities advertise heavily about credibility due to being "regionally accredited." In some cases this accreditation was initially bought rather than achieved such as by buying up a small, albeit still accredited, bankrupt not-for-profit private college that's washed up on the beach. This begs the question about how some for-profit universities maintain the spirit of accreditation acquired in this manner.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

"Top 10 YouTube Videos Posted by Colleges, and What They Mean," by Rachel Wiseman, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 5, 2011 ---

More than 400 colleges and universities have set up channels on YouTube as part of the YouTube EDU section of the popular video site, but university officials admit they are still experimenting with the service and learning what types of videos resonate with off-campus audiences.

With data provided by YouTube, The Chronicle has determined the 10 most popular videos on YouTube EDU of the 2010-11 academic year (from June 2010 to June 2011). Some college officials stress that popularity is not always their main goal—because many colleges upload lectures and study materials designed for those enrolled in the courses. Still, the list gives a sense of the variety of videos colleges post and their impact.

Star-studded commencement speeches seem to be the best way for colleges to draw viewers. Four graduation videos made it onto the top-10 list, and three of the four featured high-profile celebrity speakers: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, and Conan O’Brien. According to YouTube officials, searches on the site for the phrase “commencement speech” have increased eightfold since 2008.

But the biggest hit of the year focused on a graduating student rather than a star speaker. UC Berkeley’s video, “Paralyzed student, Austin Whitney, walks at graduation,” topped the list, with over 471,000 views. The clip shows Mr. Whitney, a graduating senior who was paralyzed from the waist down before entering college, walking to receive his diploma, aided by a mechanized exoskeleton that UC Berkeley engineers designed for him.

Robotics videos were also crowd pleasers this year. The University of Pennsylvania’s baseball-pitching machine earned it a spot in the top 10, and the University of Chicago made it on the list twice for gadget-themed clips. The first, the “Universal Gripper,” displays a device researchers developed that can grip and move nearly any object regardless of shape or size. The other video investigates how the mechanized book-retrieval system in the university’s newly constructed library works. Jeremy Manier, the university’s news director, attributed the library video’s success to the fact that it could engage several Web communities: those concerned with libraries and the future of print; architecture enthusiasts; and techies. “It tells a good story and it’s got robots,” he said, adding jocularly that “robots rule the Internet.”

No traditional lectures made the list. The closest thing to a lecture is an MIT physics “module”—a 20-minute explanatory video by Walter H.G. Lewin, a professor of physics at the institute. It explains the physics behind a familiar dilemma: Which will make you more wet, walking or running in the rain?

Other academic lectures have proven quite popular, though: A Harvard University lecture series on the philosophy of justice has accumulated more than 1.6 million views since it was uploaded in September 2009.

Although other individual lectures may not receive a high number of hits, a growing number of colleges are posting them. Some universities, such as UC Berkeley, Stanford, and MIT, have begun posting all of the recorded lectures from selected courses, allowing viewers from around the world to tune in and see what goes on in their classrooms. By broadcasting their lectures, they “broaden the window of access” to their resources, said Ben Hubbard, the manager of UC Berkeley’s YouTube EDU channel. Through feedback from students and spikes in viewership during midterms and exams, Mr. Hubbard has inferred that the channel is actually being used as a study tool. However, he said, “We know that we haven’t had just students logging in 120 million times. We know we’re serving the public.”

It can be difficult to determine the factors that lead a college video to go viral, and many college-news offices and technology departments are still experimenting with ways to take full advantage of their presence on YouTube. Angela Y. Lin, EDU’s manager at YouTube, says the service provides “resources for all of our partners regarding how to optimize their channels,” including statistics on user views, as well as suggestions such as adding metadata, creating playlists, and tagging keywords.

But the success of a video is ultimately determined by the whims of The Crowd. “There is a certain mystery or alchemy about what captures the public’s minds,” said Dan Mogulof, a UC Berkeley spokesman. “There are common themes and variables that can increase the chance of something becoming popular, but it’s not a simple formula.”

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on prestigious universities that open share course videos and other course materials for free ---

Hundreds of Atlanta K-12 Teachers and Administrators Caught Revising Student Test Scores for Personal Gain
They met in large groups for more than a decade and cheated in Score Revision Parties --- it was fun to game the system

Changing a student's test score is so much easier than teaching that student how to read the test questions.
And these teachers are the role models for honesty and ethics of our children.
What says even more about society is the current effort of parents and unions not to punish the cheating teachers.
Do these parents and teachers' unions really care if the K-12 students cannot read?
Who really cares if high school graduates in Atlanta cannot read a newspaper or convert 523 inches into feet?
You will never see liberal Hollywood make a movie critical of this type of teacher cheating!
When I watched this on ABC News I became depressed to the point of changing from scotch to gin.

"Area superintendents silenced whistle-blowers and rewarded subordinates who met academic goals by any means possible."

"Investigation into APS cheating finds unethical behavior across every level," by Heather Vogell, The Atlanta Joiurnal Constitution, July 6, 2011 ---

Across Atlanta Public Schools, staff worked feverishly in secret to transform testing failures into successes.

Teachers and principals erased and corrected mistakes on students’ answer sheets.

Area superintendents silenced whistle-blowers and rewarded subordinates who met academic goals by any means possible.

Superintendent Beverly Hall and her top aides ignored, buried, destroyed or altered complaints about misconduct, claimed ignorance of wrongdoing and accused naysayers of failing to believe in poor children’s ability to learn.

For years — as long as a decade — this was how the Atlanta school district produced gains on state curriculum tests. The scores soared so dramatically they brought national acclaim to Hall and the district, according to an investigative report released Tuesday by Gov. Nathan Deal.

In the report, the governor’s special investigators describe an enterprise where unethical — and potentially illegal — behavior pierced every level of the bureaucracy, allowing district staff to reap praise and sometimes bonuses by misleading the children, parents and community they served.

The report accuses top district officials of wrongdoing that could lead to criminal charges in some cases.

The decision whether to prosecute lies with three district attorneys — in Fulton, DeKalb and Douglas counties — who will consider potential offenses in their jurisdictions.

For teachers, a culture of fear ensured the deception would continue.

“APS is run like the mob,” one teacher told investigators, saying she cheated because she feared retaliation if she didn’t.

The voluminous report names 178 educators, including 38 principals, as participants in cheating. More than 80 confessed. The investigators said they confirmed cheating in 44 of 56 schools they examined.

The investigators conducted more than 2,100 interviews and examined more than 800,000 documents in what is likely the most wide-ranging investigation into test-cheating in a public school district ever conducted in United States history.

The findings fly in the face of years of denials from Atlanta administrators. The investigators re-examined the state’s erasure analysis — which they said proved to be valid and reliable — and sought to lay to rest district leaders’ numerous excuses for the suspicious scores.

Deal warned Tuesday “there will be consequences” for educators who cheated. “The report’s findings are troubling,” he said, “but I am encouraged this investigation will bring closure to problems that existed.”

Interim Atlanta Superintendent Erroll Davis promised that the educators found to have cheated “are not going to be put in front of children again.”

Through her lawyer, Hall issued a statement denying that she, her staff or the “vast majority” of Atlanta educators knew or should have known of “allegedly widespread” cheating. “She further denies any other allegations of knowing and deliberate wrongdoing on her part or on the part of her senior staff,” the statement said, “whether during the course of the investigation or before.”

Don’t blame teachers?

Phyllis Brown, a southwest Atlanta parent with two children in the district, said the latest revelations are “horrible.” It is the children, she said, who face embarrassment if they are promoted to a higher grade only to find they aren’t ready for the more challenging work.

Still, she doesn’t believe teachers should be punished.

“It’s the people over them (who wanted her kids to be able to read) that threatened them (the cheating teachers), that should be punished,” she said. “The ones from the building downtown, they should lose their jobs, they should lose their pensions. They are the ones who started this..”

AJC raised questions

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue ordered the inquiry last year after rejecting the district’s own investigation into suspicious erasures on tests in 58 schools. The AJC first raised questions about some schools’ test scores more than two years ago.

Continued in article

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

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

Continued in article

"Culture of cheating breeding in schools across U.S. Poor test scores risk teachers’ jobs," by Ben Wolfgang, The Washington Times, July 14, 2011 ---

Those sneaky students in the back of the classroom aren't the only cheaters.

Teachers and school leaders are getting in on the scams by boosting test scores not through better instruction, but by erasing wrong answers, replacing them with the right ones and hoodwinking parents in the process.

Nowhere was the corruption more widespread than in Atlanta, where a recent probe found that 44 schools and 178 teachers and principals had been falsifying student test scores for the past decade. Suspected cheating also is under review in the District, and the Department of Education's inspector general is assisting with the investigation.

In Pennsylvania, reports that surfaced this week show suspected cheating in at least three dozen school districts. State Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis on Thursday ordered those districts to investigate the suspicious scores and report back within 30 days. He also asked a data company to analyze 2010 scores, according to the Associated Press.

Similar charges of cheating have been discovered in Baltimore, Houston and elsewhere.

Although the details differ, education specialists think each scandal has a common denominator.

"There's a very simple cause: consequences," said Gregory Cizek, a professor of educational measurement and evaluation in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Any district where you've got kids who are at risk of not succeeding ... there are problems as big as Atlanta, as big as D.C., as big as Philadelphia. The more stakes there are involved, the more you're going to see it."

The Atlanta probe found that "cheating occurred as early as 2001," the year the No Child Left Behind Act was enacted. Mr. Cizek and others argue that the greater accountability schools face, the more likely that teachers and administrators are to, at best, turn a blind eye to cheating. At worst, they encourage it.

Former Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall was named superintendent of the year by the American Association of School Administrators in 2009. She retired last month and told USA Today on Wednesday that she "did not know about the cheating."

Under No Child Left Behind guidelines, schools can be labeled "failing" if student test scores don't meet state benchmarks. Poor results are embarrassing for teachers and often cost principals, superintendents and school board members their jobs. By contrast, high scores on reading and math tests equal praise for those in charge.

In the face of such pressure, teachers and administrators sometimes go with their "natural reaction," said Robert Schaeffer, public education director of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing.

"The teachers and principals who changed test scores did something unethical and probably illegal, [but they were] caught between a rock and a hard place," he said. "We've created a climate that corrupted the educational process. The sole goal of education ... became boosting scores by any means necessary."

The Education Department has estimated that more than 80 percent of schools could be labeled as "failing" this year under No Child Left Behind, and congressional leaders are working on overhauling the law.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce has passed the first three pieces of its five-step reform process, and Rep. John Kline, Minnesota Republican and committee chairman, has said the final legislation will change the accountability process and free schools from the testing mandates.

"One of our primary goals is to put more control in the hands of state and local education officials who can properly monitor and address situations like this to ensure students are not being cheated out of a quality education," Mr. Kline said.

Investigations of suspected violations often move slowly.

Until recently, education officials in Pennsylvania apparently were unaware of a 2009 analysis of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment that identified "testing irregularities" at schools in Philadelphia, Hazleton, Lancaster and elsewhere. Former Education Secretary Gerald Zahorchak, who served under Gov. Edward G. Rendell, has denied seeing the 44-page document, the Associated Press reported.

Continued in article

Jensen Question
Egads --- let's blame the people who wanted Phyllis Brown's children to be able to read for forcing Atlanta's teachers to cheat.
Why doesn't anybody care that New York City teachers give A and B grades to over 97 percent of the children attending public schools?

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment ---

Bob Jensen's threads on professors who let students cheat ---

Bob Jensen's threads on professors who cheat ---

"A Home Is a Lousy Investment:  Today's young people would be foolish to imitate their parents and view ownership as the cornerstone of personal finance," by Robert Bridges, The Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2011 ---

At the risk of heaping more misery on the struggling residential property market, an analysis of home-price and ownership data for the last 30 years in California—the Golden State with notoriously golden property prices—indicates that the average single family house has never been a particularly stellar investment.

In a society increasingly concerned with providing for retirement security and housing affordability, this finding has large implications. It means that we have put excessive emphasis on owner-occupied housing for social objectives, mistakenly relied on homebuilding for economic stimulus, and fostered misconceptions about homeownership and financial independence. We've diverted capital from more productive investments and misallocated scarce public resources.

Between 1980 and 2010, the value of a median-price, single-family house in California rose by an average of 3.6% per year—to $296,820 from $99,550, according to data from the California Association of Realtors, Freddie Mac and the U.S. Census. Even if that house was sold at the most recent market peak in 2007, the average annual price growth was just 6.61%.

So a dollar used to purchase a median-price, single-family California home in 1980 would have grown to $5.63 in 2007, and to $2.98 in 2010. The same dollar invested in the Dow Jones Industrial Index would have been worth $14.41 in 2007, and $11.49 in 2010.

Insert Graph

Here's another way of looking at the situation. If a disciplined investor who might have considered purchasing that median-price house in 1980 had opted instead to invest the 20% down payment of $19,910 and the normal homeownership expenses (above the cost of renting) over the years in the Dow Jones Industrial Index, the value of his portfolio in 2010 would have been $1,800,016. The stocks would have been worth more than the house by $1,503,196. If the analysis is based on 2007, the stock portfolio would have been worth $2,186,120, exceeding the house value by $1,625,850.

In light of this lackluster investment performance, and in the aftermath of the recent housing-market collapse, why is there such rapt attention to the revival of the homebuilding industry and residential property markets? The answer is that for policy makers whose survival depends on economic recovery, few activities have such direct, intense and immediate positive economic impact as new home construction.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
There's a huge difference between owning rental property versus owning a residence for yourself, although dealing with tenants is sometimes a real pain in the tail. If you're handy with repairing rental property located in an area where there's huge demand (such as near a college campus or medical center), the returns can be quite high for property purchased when the real estate market is on the down side and mortgage rates were low --- such as in 2011. There are also added tax breaks such as deductions for repairs, insurance, and depreciation. But on your personal residence the capital gains are no longer as attractive as they were in the days of your ancestors. Plus Congress is debating whether to do away with deductions for residence mortgages, although I've great faith in the immense power of the banking and real estate lobbies.

Home ownership, until recently, was a very good inflation hedge. The above article tends to imply that inflation-adjusted returns may not be so great in the future unless you purchased your home at a really low price in a distressed market that shows signs of relatively good recovery such as in Texas versus California. Rural property and vacation properties are not so hot in terms of expected recovery. For example, small towns in the farming regions of the mid-west, like my home state of Iowa, have dismal chances of recovery as factory farms drive off small farmers and the rural towns small farmers support. My grandfather's well-maintained five bedroom house in Swea City, Iowa recently sold for less than $10,000. And over half of downtown Swea City is boarded over with plywood. I'm amazed that more owners have not torched buildings just to collect the insurance.

Anticipated fuel price increases will affect real estate values. Property values may decline for home owners now located 30 or more miles from where most of the jobs are located. On the other side of the coin, properties closer to work centers may have increasing returns if they are in areas of good schools. Dangerous and/or lousy schools always hurt the values of real estate. Another Hurricane Andrew might wipe out real estate prices in South Florida due, in part, to unaffordable hurricane insurance.

Your biggest worry as a home owner trying to sell these days is that no serious buyer even wants to view the property let alone make an offer unless you are willing to sell at a huge loss. The minister here in our Sugar Hill Community Church had a high-value former home in Grand Junction, Colorado. It took over three years to even have a potential buyer view the property. Many owners are finding they cannot sell at prices above the amortized balance on their mortgages. Owners often simply pack up and leave the keys with their banker, thereby wiping out all the equity built up in the home.

Of course there are various advantages and disadvantages of home ownership other than investment prospects. On the plus side many people like me find joy in taking care of a home and the land that surrounds the home --- more joy than we would find if we only rented the property.

In some cases ownership is the only alternative for a quality home on a long-term basis. For example, Stanford University provided on-campus land for faculty housing where, on a campus lot leased cheaply for 99 years, faculty could build their own houses under a condition that when they rent or sell these houses it will be to somebody in the Stanford community (faculty or staff or visiting scholars). It's usually possible for someone new to Stanford to rent a professor's house on this campus land. But such rentals are likely only short term for a year or two such that somebody new to Stanford who really wants to live on campus for the long haul really has to buy a home and not rent. When I was invited back to Stanford for two think-tank years, I rented a geology professor's home for one year and an economics professor's home the second year. These homes were both only a few blocks from where Stanford accounting professors Chuck Horngren, Bill Beaver, and Joel Demski had built their campus homes.

A drawback to home ownership in general, however, is that it's getting harder and harder to sell a house without taking a beating financially unless the property is purchased at very, very distressed prices. Some banks and towns are selling foreclosed homes very cheap. For example, a friend up here in Sugar Hill, NH recently purchased a foreclosed home at a third of its appraised value for property taxes. The problem is that for property taxes, the tax appraiser subsequently refused to lower the appraisal value down to the purchase price, i.e., the property taxes remained relatively high on this foreclosed property after it was resold at a 'bargain basement" price.. The tax assessor stated that Sugar Hill will not lower the property tax because of a "bargain basement" purchase price. Hence, buyers receiving good deals on purchase prices will not necessarily receive similar good deals when the property tax bills are received twice a year on this good deal purchase. Tax appraisal values may be much higher than the transacted purchase prices if the the tax appraiser deems the purchase prices as bargain basement prices on foreclosed properties.

Home Ownership is Never "Free" Even When You Own Your Home Free and Clear of First and Second Mortgages
Put another way, if a buyer pays more than the tax appraisal value, the tax appraisal value will be soon be raised for property tax purposes since all transacted real estate prices must be reported to the taxing authorities. But if the buyer pays less than the tax appraisal value, the tax appraisal value will not be lowered for property tax purposes unless the property owner is successful in a costly lawsuit in Superior Court. This means that most  new owners of Sugar Hill properties are paying property taxes at much higher appraised values than what they can realistically expect if they sell those properties in today's depressed real estate market. I think this is a fact of life in most other parts of the United States at the moment. And if the courts force property tax districts to set property tax appraisals at more realistic real estate value estimates, then the property tax districts will just set the tax rates at levels needed to support rising local, county, and school district budgets.

Another huge ownership drawback is that in many states like New Hampshire, property taxes have become the primary means of local town, county, and school financing. Hence, property taxes are markedly rising on homes even if their value is on the decline. Of course, renters of homes are indirectly paying the property taxes on homes. But landlord tax breaks (such as for depreciation) can be factored in to reduce somewhat increasing property taxes. Also renters often accept less spectacular houses to live in knowing that these houses are not investments and that they are free to relocate in a year or less with no transactions cost and trauma of trying to find buyers for their rental homes.

The point here is that many, many home owners are having second thoughts about ever again purchasing homes unless the homes can be purchased at exceedingly low bargain basement prices to justify the relatively high and ever-increasing annual property taxes due on those properties. Or there must be some very unique attributes that makes the property attractive to buyers such as golf course frontage, ocean frontage, lake frontage, mountain views, or a short walking/bicycle distance to a Stanford University faculty office.

Aside from a home plus a rural farm I inherited in Iowa, I owned three houses (one in Michigan, one in Maine, and one in Florida) during the era where home ownership was a great investment with values rising about 10%- 20% each year on average. I also owned one house in Texas in a later era where I lost 15% (even more loss if I adjust for inflation) of my 24-year investment and breathed a great sigh of relief that the only serious prospect (after ten months)  to look at this big house (4,500 square feet and my last-ever swimming pool)) made an offer. And I sold this San Antonio house in 2006 before the real estate bubble burst!

I suspect I will also lose a substantial amount that I invested in my present scenic and comfortable cottage. But, since I hope to remain here until the day I die, I don't care so much about that loss ---

In the our case, a home is far more than a financial investment even if it is a 150-year old money pit ---

July 11, 2011 reply from Hossein Nouri


I think it depends on when you start your initial investment date. I purchased $35,000 of mutual funds (10 different categories) in 1996 and at present its value is about $42,000 (20% increase or 1.33% a year). I also purchased a condo in 1999 for $85000 and at present it is $200,000 (135% increase or about 10% a year). It also provides about $6000 positive cash flow every year or about 7% of original cost. My retirement since 1992 also is not doing much better than my mutual fund investment.

So, my suggestion to all young people is to buy property, but in good location. At least you have something tangible in hand and not a piece of worthless paper which is manipulated by all sharks in the Wall street.

Hossein Nouri

July 11, 2011 reply from David Fordham

Bob: I'm assuming the author is announcing a change rather than trying to correct a myth, because I would disagree with him if he's doing the latter... up until the last four years, that is.

I would think it would be a very interesting study to look at a possible relationship between widespread home ownership in America (and possibly other countries) and social-class mobility of the middle-class. Home ownership served as a major source of wealth for my great-grandparents, grandparents, and my parents' generations, and even for my generation. Most of my own current non-retirement net worth was generated as roll-over gains on homes which I sold as the company transferred me around the country during my business career.

By contrast, in Europe, I saw a major social-class gap between the owners of rental properties, and the renters. In talking anecdotally with friends, they seemed to hold the view that in general, rich people own homes (country estates, townhomes, subdivision houses, city flats, etc.), and working-class stiffs rent those properties from them. They felt that most of the European middle-class population: (1) were renters rather than owners, and (2) were unable to save enough to materially increase their net worth the way Americans do by owning homes and watching them appreciate in value, and thus (3) were unable to climb the socio-economic ladder and deliver to their kids a better life the way most Americans have been doing for their children.

With apologies to Jagdish, the "caste inheritance" system whereby ones' children end up in the same socio-economic level as their parents, was somewhat more prevalent in Europe (albeit not at the trade/craft/occupation level as in India, but at the socio-economic level).

For example, my father greatly exceeded his father's level, as I have exceeded my father's, and my sons are almost ready to exceed me, while many of our friends in Europe were about where their parents and grandparents had been: children of blue collar workers became blue collar workers, etc.

Of course, this might be due to educational institutions, tradition, and many other factors besides home ownership. But since home ownership was such a wealth-builder (e.g., a GOOD investment) for about 100 years, I can't help but suppose an impact.

So I'm very curious as to what the current supposed trend (identified in your article, of moving away from the "home-ownership for every family" model to the "most everybody is renting their abode" will do to the traditional American middle-class.

It's going to be an interesting next 50 years or so.

David Fordham

July 11, 2011 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi David,

It will be very difficult to isolate the impact of home ownership apart from other factors affecting the U.S., including birth control technology, tax law changes, trends in delaying marriage, trends in couples living together without marriage, reduced numbers of children per household, career mobility, government policy on welfare that almost destroyed families the some population sectors, collapse of housing values, increasing proportion of women having long-term careers, etc.

Bob Jensen

Bob Jensen's helpers for personal finance are at

How to Lie With or Without Statistics
One of my heroes is John Stossel, especially in his "Give Us a Break" television modules on consumer rip-offs. However, his article below is highly misleading. Just because Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Mark Cuban became billionaires after dropping out of college does not mean this is good advice for 99% of college students who are doing well in college and are not digging themselves into a student debt hole they'll never get out of for 20 or more years.

I am truly a believer that many high school graduates can do better in life by not going to college ---
The Case Against College Education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#CaseAgainst

How to Lie With Statistics
I most certainly do not buy into claims that the reason college graduates have higher expected incomes than non-college graduates is the fact that they graduated from college. I'm more inclined to believe that college graduates have attributes like intelligence, motivation, work ethic, and high quality parental environments that would've led to higher incomes had they not graduated from college. In fairness, Stossel's article below makes this same point. Having said this, I also realize that the highest paying professional jobs require undergraduate and graduate degrees, e.g., medical doctors, veterinarians, licensed engineers, lawyers, licensed accountants, scientists, etc.

But I do not buy into all John Stossel's arguments below: For most graduates, college is not a scam provided it's from a college respected by employers
"The College Scam," by John Stossel, Townhall, July 6, 2011 ---

What do Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Mark Cuban have in common?

They're all college dropouts.

Richard Branson, Simon Cowell and Peter Jennings have in common?

They never went to college at all.

But today all kids are told: To succeed, you must go to college.

Hillary Clinton tells students: "Graduates from four-year colleges earn nearly twice as much as high school graduates, an estimated $1 million more."

We hear that from people who run colleges. And it's true. But it leaves out some important facts

That's why I say: For many people, college is a scam.

I spoke with Richard Vedder, author of "Going Broke by Degree: Why College Costs Too Much," and Naomi Schafer Riley, who just published "Faculty Lounges and Other Reasons Why You Won't Get the College Education You Paid For."

Vedder explained why that million-dollar comparison is ridiculous:

"People that go to college are different kind of people ... (more) disciplined ... smarter. They did better in high school."

They would have made more money even if they never went to college.

Riley says some college students don't get what they pay for because their professors have little incentive to teach.

"You think you're paying for them to be in the classroom with you, but every hour a professor spends in the classroom, he gets paid less. The incentives are all for more research."

The research is often on obscure topics for journals nobody reads.

Also, lots of people not suited for higher education get pushed into it. This doesn't do them good. They feel like failures when they don't graduate. Vedder said two out of five students entering four-year programs don't have a bachelor's degree after year six.

"Why do colleges accept (these students) in the first place?"

Because money comes with the student -- usually government-guaranteed loans.

"There are 80,000 bartenders in the United States with bachelor's degrees," Vedder said. He says that 17 percent of baggage porters and bellhops have a college degree, 15 percent of taxi and limo drivers. It's hard to pay off student loans with jobs like those. These days, many students graduate with big debts.

Entrepreneur Peter Thiel, who got rich helping to build good things like PayPal and Facebook, is so eager to wake people up to alternatives to college that he's paying students $100,000 each if they drop out of college and do something else, like start a business.

Continued in article

The Case Against College Education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#CaseAgainst

"The Year of School Choice:  No fewer than 13 states have passed major education reforms," The Wall Street Journal, July 5, 2011 ---

School may be out for the summer, but school choice is in, as states across the nation have moved to expand education opportunities for disadvantaged kids. This year is shaping up as the best for reformers in a very long time.

No fewer than 13 states have enacted school choice legislation in 2011, and 28 states have legislation pending. Last month alone, Louisiana enhanced its state income tax break for private school tuition; Ohio tripled the number of students eligible for school vouchers; and North Carolina passed a law letting parents of students with special needs claim a tax credit for expenses related to private school tuition and other educational services.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made headlines this year for taking on government unions. Less well known is that last month he signed a bill that removes the cap of 22,500 on the number of kids who can participate in Milwaukee's Parental Choice Program, the nation's oldest voucher program, and creates a new school choice initiative for families in Racine County. "We now have 13 programs new or expanded this year alone" in the state, says Susan Meyers of the Wisconsin-based Foundation for Educational Choice.

School choice proponents may have had their biggest success in Indiana, where Republican Governor Mitch Daniels signed legislation that removes the charter cap, allows all universities to be charter authorizers, and creates a voucher program that enables about half the state's students to attend public or private schools.

Florida, Georgia and Oklahoma have created or expanded tuition tax credit programs. North Carolina and Tennessee eliminated caps on the number of charter schools. Maine passed its first charter law. Colorado created a voucher program in Douglas County that will provide scholarships for private schools. In Utah, lawmakers passed the Statewide Online Education Program, which allows high school students to access course work on the Internet from public or private schools anywhere in the state.

Even in the nation's capital, and thanks largely to House Speaker John Boehner, Congress revived the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, a voucher program for poor families that the Obama Administration had wanted to kill at the behest of teachers unions.

One notable exception is Pennsylvania, where Governor Tom Corbett and the Republican state legislature bungled passage of a state-wide voucher bill. Mr. Corbett promised during his election campaign last year that he'd make the reform a priority. Instead, Republican legislative leaders dithered for most of the spring, and Mr. Corbett got engaged very late. The session ended last week without passage of the voucher bill and several other school choice measures, including an increase in charter school authorizers. The Pennsylvania State Education Association is no doubt delighted by the failure.

Continued in article

"Thanks to Google Plus, Picasa Gets Unlimited Storage for Photos & Videos, Also Better Tagging," by Sarah Perez, ReadWriteWeb, July 1, 2011 ---
Click Here

With the launch of Google Plus, there may be some confusion as to how the photos uploaded to the social network (Google+) integrate with Google's online photo-sharing service (Picasa), especially in terms of storage limits. The answer provides some great news for Google Plus users - nearly everything you upload to Google Plus won't count towards your storage limits on Picasa, with the only exception being videos longer than 15 minutes.

And there's another nifty feature involving photo-tagging, too - your Google+ friends can now tag your Picasa photos.

Thus far I past my photographs on two Web servers at Trinity University:

Server One
Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Server Two
More of Bob Jensen's Personal History in Pictures ---

Example requests for permission to reproduce materials on Wikipedia ---

Jensen Comment
Keep in mind that copyright law makes it possible to quote reasonable portions of text. Pictures and other multimedia items are more complicated under the law ---

"Why You Shouldn't Buy Those Quarterly Earnings Surprises," The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2011 ---

Everyone loves surprises. But perhaps you shouldn't get too excited over them.

This month, market strategists, television commentators and other investing pundits will bombard you with breathless updates on the percentage of companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index that have reported profits even higher than what analysts expected—in Wall Street lingo, a "positive earnings surprise."

The percentage of companies that have beaten expectations often is cited as a barometer of corporate profitability, an indicator of how well the economy as a whole is doing or a predictor of where the stock market is going.

What goes unsaid, however, is that these positive surprises are becoming so common they are nearly universal. They are predetermined in a cynical tango-clinch between companies and the analysts who cover them. And there is no reliable evidence that the stock market as a whole will earn higher returns after periods with more positive surprises.

In the first quarter of 2011, according to Bianco Research, 68% of the companies in the S&P 500 earned more than the consensus, or median, forecast by analysts.

What's more, that quarter was the ninth in a row when at least two-thirds of the companies in the S&P generated positive surprises—and the 50th consecutive quarter in which at least half of the companies surpassed the consensus forecast of their earnings.

Even in the depths of the financial crisis, from the third quarter of 2008 through the first quarter of 2009, between 59% and 66% of companies beat expectations, according to Wharton Research Data Services, or WRDS.

In short, there isn't anything surprising about earnings surprises. They aren't the exception; they are the rule. "All the numbers are gamed at this point," says James A. Bianco, president of Bianco Research.

With trading volumes down on Wall Street and commission rates near record-low levels, brokerage firms are starved for the revenue that stock trading used to provide. Since changes in earnings forecasts encourage many investors to buy or sell, analysts have an incentive to revise their predictions more often. But that hasn't made the forecasts more accurate. On average, according to Denys Glushkov, research director at WRDS, stock analysts are revising their earnings forecasts nearly twice as frequently as they did a decade ago. And while the typical forecast missed the mark by 1% in the 1990s, that margin of error has lately been running at triple that rate.

What's going on here? In what used to be called "lowballing" but now goes by the euphemism of "guidance," an analyst will guesstimate what a company will earn over the next year or calendar quarter. Then the company "walks down" the analyst's forecast by providing a series of progressively lower targets until the analyst's prediction falls slightly below where the actual number is likely to come out.

Voila: The company gets to announce earnings that are better than expected, while the analyst gets to tell his investing clients that his estimate was pretty accurate and conservative to boot.

According to a survey of 269 members by the National Investor Relations Institute, 90% provide guidance in one form or another, most commonly on earnings and revenues over the coming four quarters. No more than 5% offer any guidance on results further than one year into the future.

Refusing to dance this cynical tango isn't always easy. "If you cut back or eliminate guidance, management needs to be prepared for the possibility of more volatility in the stock price and a wider range in analysts' estimates," says Barbara Gasper, head of investor relations at MasterCard, which doesn't give short-term guidance. Instead, it provides three-year targets for sales and profitability, leaving analysts at least partly on their own to form interim forecasts of the company's earnings.

Somehow, the stock has survived.

You might think that positive earnings surprises would be good for future returns of the stock market overall. Companies that report positive surprises still get a short-term pop in their stock price, even though the smartest investors realize the surprise is a staged event.

Continued in article

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

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---

"The Fear and Frustration of Faculty at For-Profit Colleges," by Anonymous, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, July 10, 2011 ---

Faculty members at for-profit colleges were not surprised by anything revealed last year in the Government Accountability Office's investigations of the for-profit-college industry. The subsequent Congressional hearings provided a sense of relief and validation to those of us who teach at these colleges: relief that fraudulent recruitment practices and other abuses had finally come to light, and validation of our frequently expressed concerns about such matters.

This leads to two questions on the minds of those who scrutinize the faculty at for-profit colleges: Why on earth would anyone agree to teach at one? And what can faculty do to stop the blatant abuses at these colleges?

Let me be clear: I do not know any academics who willingly work at for-profit colleges. From my experience, educators usually accept positions in the for-profit sector because they really do not have a choice. With the job crunch in academe, with student loans kicking in, families to provide for, and the need for health insurance, any job is better than no job. That certainly was my situation, and I know numerous instructors for whom it was the same. Economic necessity is the primary reason that credentialed educators teach at for-profit colleges.

The other major reason that faculty members accept positions at for-profit colleges is that many traditional colleges no longer hire full-time faculty. Most educators at many for-profit colleges are a desperate group trying to cobble together a living wage by working on multiple campuses, including the for-profits. Faculty members have to take what they can get, where they can get it, in order to pursue their careers and pay their bills.

This situation should be familiar to anyone who has followed the academic job market for the past 10 years. More and more colleges save money in a time of shrinking budgets by cutting tenure-track positions and substituting limited appointments and adjunct-faculty positions for full-time faculty. In a cruel twist, this hiring pattern at colleges that are considered more legitimate than for-profit institutions contributes to the need for faculty members to seek positions at for-profit colleges—but then faculty at the more-legitimate colleges criticize and shun their colleagues at the for-profits.

The fact is, the collapse of the academic job market has led a large group of junior faculty members to take jobs at institutions where they never before would have dreamed of teaching.

Optimistic educators like myself are seduced by deans and department managers at for-profit colleges, who regale potential faculty members with romantic tales of how the colleges have "saved" many a lost soul by accepting poorly prepared students and providing opportunities to those who have fallen through the cracks of the traditional education system. Join us, they proselytize, and you, too, will be able to provide a second chance to someone who was unable to get into college anywhere else.

As trite as it sounds, many of us go into higher education to help people. We want to believe in students, to be generous and optimistic about them. We think that working at a for-profit college, if only for a little while as we search for a "real" job, will help us do that. At least that is how we reconcile our distaste for the for-profit system with our need to put bread on the table.

So we begin teaching at these colleges, hoping for the best, looking forward to helping those students who deserve that second chance. But we are quickly schooled in the reality of the for-profit world, which cares not for legitimate second chances but only for the bottom line. What matters to for-profit colleges is whether federal dollars and private loans keep rolling in. The integrity of the institution, the development of individual scholarship, the implicit promise made to students that college provides meaningful and legitimate learning experiences—all of the things that have historically been of value in higher education—have no place in the world of for-profit colleges.

But by the time new faculty realize this, they are committed to a contract or have selfishly gotten comfortable being able to pay the rent and see a doctor without going broke. And if they speak up against fraud and abuse, they risk losing even those comforts.

My four years of experience as a professor at a for-profit college revealed that the for-profit higher-education industry really is as corrupt as everyone suspects. In my position, I suffered a death threat from a student, was threatened by students and their friends countless times, was publicly denigrated by the administration whenever I raised a question or objected to a corrupt practice, and was continually undermined by a faculty and administration driven by fear and adherence to low standards. My colleagues and I have tolerated drunk and disorderly students in our classes, have been told that students should be allowed to talk on their phones, text, and eat hot meals during class—just to keep those bodies in the seats.

Instructors at my college have even been forced to lie about students' attendance, because one way the federal government monitors the colleges is through attendance. I have seen how the administration changes final grades to keep students enrolled, and how admissions representatives routinely contact professors to "discuss" specific student grades, in violation of federal student-confidentiality rules—and certainly in violation of the right of a qualified professor to manage his or her class without outside pressure or influence. In one medical program at my college, students with known criminal records are sent to only those externships that do not conduct background checks on employees. Those students then work with patients at clinics, nursing homes, and other medical facilities.

Countless examples from my years at a for-profit college show that these colleges exploit students and faculty alike. Faculty are pressured by the administration and other faculty to pass students, to give higher grades, to "work with" illiterate students who should not have earned high-school diplomas let alone gained admission to college. Some faculty members routinely ignore obvious plagiarism and cheating, and give passing grades to inadequate students, in order to continue bringing home paychecks and avoid conflicts with an administration that itself is pressured to recruit and retain students and to comply with the corrupt policies of the corporate office. Unqualified and illiterate students are provided with work-study jobs (supported by taxes) as tutors, teaching assistants, and administrators. Students with learning disabilities, who have a federal guarantee of support services through the Americans With Disabilities Act, are thereby cheated out of qualified assistance.

In these ways, it is clear that the for-profit model focuses on the most vulnerable in our society. Recruiters promise potential students that if they enroll in a program and borrow thousands of dollars in student loans, they will earn a degree that guarantees a career and an income. As Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, pointed out during the Congressional hearings, it's "a cruel irony" that for-profit colleges "seek out and enroll large numbers of minority and low-income students, offering them opportunities they wouldn't otherwise have"—but then cheat them out of what they are paying for.

Some of these students will never finish their degrees, whether because they are functionally illiterate, or have failed their courses throughout high school because of learning difficulties, or have generally low levels of intelligence and ability, or, perhaps, exhibit signs of untreated psychological problems. Those are among the reasons some students fail their way through public schools and cannot achieve admission to any other college. Such students are always accepted at for-profit colleges, where they fail semester after semester, continually encouraged to re-enroll by the admissions and advising offices that urge them to take out more student loans, thereby lining the pockets of investors.

As a result, some faculty have little knowledge of what actually constitutes college-level work. This means that attempts at course review and student assessment are flawed at the outset, because the faculty doing the assessments get so used to the low standards around them that those standards become the norm by which everything is judged. Faculty then routinely rate as "passing" or even "excellent" work that would not have passed muster when I taught high school.

The first time I attended a presentation of student work, I was horrified by the papers that professors told students to submit to academic journals. Littered with misspellings, incomplete sentences, and poorly cited sources, these papers contained neither cohesive arguments nor comprehensible language—and the faculty who promoted these students seemed unaware of these problems. When I suggested that the papers be reviewed and proofed before being sent to journals, my suggestion was rebuffed.

Continued in article

Hi David,

One of the editors (Goldie Blumenstyk) of the Chronicle of Higher Education did an undercover assessment of a University of Phoenix governmental accounting course by actually taking the course. She found the course to be very tough indeed. http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#OnlineVsOnsite 

Because the better for-profit universities often hire practitioners experienced in their discipline, the courses are sometimes quite good and not all that easy. However, since instructors vary so often there is probably a higher standard deviation in terms of course content and quality and rigor.

Course content and quality can also vary a great deal in onsite courses from major universities. My daughter majored in biology at the University of Texas. She had to take a required government course that was taught by Political Science Department doctoral students spread across many sections of this "course." I say "course" with quote marks, because the content varied a great deal depending upon the research interests of the doctoral students. Some sections were focused upon state law with a Texas law textbook. My daughter's section was pure game theory with a game theory textbook.

As I look back I find great variability in courses taught on campus by faculty and doctoral students. One of the best math instructors I ever had was a mathematics PhD student at Stanford. One of the worst instructors I ever had was a very famous tenured mathematics professor at Stanford. He really never prepared for class and it showed.

I seriously question accounting doctoral program faculty in all for-profit universities. I think universities that have AACSB accreditation are going to have accounting doctoral program faculty who are more experienced in research and publication of that research. Those universities pay heavily for faculty who teach in accounting doctoral programs, often at a cost of $200,000+ per year in terms of salary and research expense support. I doubt that for-profit university accounting doctoral faculty are paid anywhere near what their AACSB university counterparts are paying for research talent. Since there is such worldwide word-of-mouth networking about doctoral program instructors, most AACSB university doctoral programs are very careful about quality control of doctoral program instructors. At that level of course content, good quality is costly, especially for accountics professors who actually are accounting experts as well mathematicians and statisticians.

Bob Jensen


Misleading Promotional Sites for For-Profit Universities

For-profit universities provide some free Website services in an effort to lure people into signing up for for-profit programs without ever mentioning that in most instances the students would be better off in more prestigious non-profit universities such as state-supported universities with great online programs and extension services.

I'm bombarded with messages like the following one from ---

Then go to the orange box at http://www.paralegal.net/more/
If you feed in the data that you're interested in a bachelor's degree in business with an accounting concentration, the only choices given are for-profit universities. No mention is made of better programs at the Universities of Wisconsin, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, etc.

I've stopped linking to the many for-profit university sites like this.
My threads on distance education alternatives are at

Bob Jensen's threads on for-profit universities are at

"When is a Liability not a Liability? Textual Analysis, Dictionaries, and 10-Ks.," EmpiricalFinance, June 28/, 2011 ---


“Previous research uses negative word counts to measure the tone of a text. We show that word lists developed for other disciplines misclassify common words in financial text. In a large sample of 10-Ks during 1994-2008, almost three-fourths of the word count identified as negative by the commonly used Harvard Dictionary represents words that typically do not have negative meaning in a financial context. Words like tax, board, foreign, vice, and liability, simply describe company operations. Two potential solutions are explored. First, we develop an alternative negative word list that better reflects the tone of financial text. Second, we show that using a common term weighting scheme reduces the noise introduced by misclassifications. Without term weighting, our list generally outperforms the Harvard list; with weighting the performance appears comparable. However, we also find evidence that some of the power of the Harvard list could be attributable to misclassified words that proxy for other effects. Five other word classifications (positive, uncertainty, litigious, strong modal, and weak modal) are also considered. We link the word lists to 10-K filing returns, trading volume, subsequent return volatility, fraud, material weakness, and unexpected earnings.”

Data Sources:

The authors examine 10-Ks between 1994 and 2008. In total they have 50,115 firm-year data points. They also create a financial dictionary that better classifies words as ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ in a financial context. The dictionary can be found here. Their dictionary is compared to the ‘standard’ word classification dictionary called the Harvard Psychosociological Dictionary which can be found herePricing data comes from CRSP.

Continued in article

Data Erasure --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_erasure

Have you given your personal data away unexpectedly on your discarded computer?

"Wiping Out the Data," by Jerry Trites, IS Assurance Blog, June 27, 2011 ---

In her recent report, Canada's Privacy Commissioner noted that Staples, the large business supplier retailer, took in numerous computers on trade and then failed to wipe out the data before re-selling them. This meant that the people turning them in did not wipe out the data themselves. She stated that of 149 computers involved, 54 of them still had previous owners' data on them.

The report points to the responsibility of people for their data. Of course, some of these previous users would be running small businesses and some would have sensitive data on them.

The first responsibility for the data rests with the owners. The people who traded their computers should have wiped out the data right away. In my opinion, they should have re-formatted their hard drives, which is the only way to make sure the data is removed and beyond the reach of recovery tools. As we all know, deleting files simply doesn't do the job, as recovery is usually easy to accomplish.

Continued in article

"How to Wipe the Slate Clean; Cats and Computers Coexist," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2003 ---
This article is now dated, but I will quote it to make a point.

There's no other major item most of us own that is as confusing, unpredictable and unreliable as our personal computers. Everybody has questions about them, and we aim to help.

Here are a few questions about computers I've received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability. This week my mailbox contained questions about permanently erasing files, cats and computers, and backing up large folders.

If you have a question, send it to me at mossberg@wsj.com, and I may select it to be answered here in Mossberg's Mailbox.


Q: I want to give my old Dell computer to charity, but I don't want any of my old files and other information to be visible or retrievable. How can I be sure of this? A friend says that simply deleting the files won't do the trick.

A: Your friend is right. Deleting files in the standard way in Windows merely instructs the operating system that the space occupied by the file can now be reused. The contents of the file, or part of it, may remain on the hard disk forever unless something is written over it.

To be sure that your hard disk is safe from prying eyes, you have to overwrite the files, and even the free space, with nonsense data, preferably multiple times. This can be accomplished with a special kind of utility called a file-wiping program. One example is a program called Window Washer from Webroot Software (www.webroot.com), but there are many others.

Q: My cat likes to lounge on top of my PC, or curl up next to it. Is this a danger for either the computer or the cat?

A: The cat's probably fine, but the computer can suffer if the cat blocks the cooling vents, or too much cat hair gets inside. You should keep the pet from blocking the vents and the fan, at the rear of the PC. You should check the vents periodically, and make sure they're clear so air can flow freely. You might also open the computer once in a while to clear off any cat hair that has accumulated on internal components.

Q: My pictures folder on my three-year-old Windows PC is up to 500 megabytes in size. I have an Iomega Zip drive for backups, but it's really too small to back up this folder efficiently. What do you recommend for backing up a folder this size?

A: I suggest you use a recordable CD. A single CD-R disc, which can be written upon once, can easily hold the entire folder, and costs under a dollar. If your PC lacks a CD recorder, called a CD-RW drive, you can buy an add-on model. Some of these install internally, while others are external and connect through the USB port. Either type can be bought for less than $200.


Jensen Comment
Although the Staples' examples concern data left on hard drives, it should be noted that simply deleting data from a hard drive does not normally keep the data out of the hands of tech experts unless you used special software designed to really, really delete hard drive data. Some people sitting in prison lament their ignorance about how to really, really delete data from their hard drives.

I now store almost no data (especially personal data) on a computer's hard drive, although most of my executable programs are on that drive. That way if  I send the computer in for tech support or discard the computer, there's nothing of a personal nature that was ever stored on the computer itself. I also continuously back up my external hard drives onto external hard drives, LAN servers, and Web servers. Then if a external hard drive goes bad I drive over it several times with my tractor and beat it into a rock with the bucket loader. I keep Erika in line by explaining that this is a good way to deal with old wives who get out of line.

By the way, the Iomega Zip Drives mentioned by Walt Mossberg were very unreliable and have long since been replaced by larger and better hard drives. Back around Year 2000 I was heavy into these Zip drives and was repeatedly having to get them replaced by Iomega. One time Iomega sent me a replacement drive that had a complete training course developed by Cisco on the drive. Neither Cisco nor Iomega had deleted this proprietary data before the Zip Drive was sent to me by Iomega.

Data Erasure --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_erasure

Free Book
Bridging the Gap between Academic Accounting Research and Professional Practice
Edited by Elaine Evans, Roger Burritt and James Guthrie
Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia's Academic Leadership Series

Why is academic accounting research still lacking impact and relevance? Why is it considered so detached and worlds apart from practice and society? These and many more questions are tackled in this new publication commissioned by the Institute and the Centre for Accounting, Governance and Sustainability (CAGS) in the School of Commerce at the University of South Australia.

Each chapter provides fresh insights from leading accounting academics, policy makers and practitioners. The book triggers a call for action, with contributors unanimously agreeing more collaboration is needed between all three elements that make up the accounting profession - researchers, policy makers and practitioners.

Jensen Comment
The other day, following a message from Denny Beresford complaining about how Accounting Horizons is failing it's original mission statement as clearly outlined by its first editor years ago, the messaging on the AECM focused upon the complete lack of practitioners on the AH Editorial Board and tendency to now appoint an editor or pair of co-editors who are in the academy and are far afield from the practicing world.

Steve Zeff recently compared the missions of the Accounting Horizons with performances since AH was inaugurated. Bob Mautz faced the daunting tasks of being the first Senior Editor of AH and of setting the missions of that journal for the future in the spirit dictated by the AAA Executive Committee at the time and of Jerry Searfoss (Deloitte) and others providing seed funding for starting up AH.

Steve Zeff first put up a list of the AH missions as laid out by Bob Mautz  in the first issues of AH:

Mautz, R. K. 1987. Editorial. Accounting Horizons (September): 109-111.

Mautz, R. K. 1987. Editorial: Expectations: Reasonable or ridiculous? Accounting Horizons (December): 117-120.

Steve Zeff then discussed the early successes of AH in meeting these missions followed by mostly years of failure in terms of meeting the original missions laid out by Bob Mautz ---

Steve's PowerPoint slides are at

But as I think about it more, I'm inclined less and less to blame the editors of Accounting Horizons or the referees. Most likely all of them would like to see Accounting Horizons bridge the research gap between the esoteric Accounting Review (TAR) and practitioner journals like the Journal of Accountancy (JA) known less and less for publishing research.

The real reason Accounting Horizons has become so disappointing is that there are so few submissions of research articles that bridge the gap between the academic world and the practicing world. And practitioners themselves are not submitting research articles.

It's like Pogo said years ago:

Pogo --- http://www.igopogo.com/final_authority.htm

Since the 1960s accounting doctoral programs have produced decades of graduates interested in accountics research that has little relevance to the practicing profession of accountancy. Virtually all these graduates would like to get articles accepted by TAR, but TAR virtually won't publish field studies and case studies. Hence we have decades of accounting doctoral graduates seeking publishing outlets that are clones of TAR, JAR, and JAE. Academic researchers get little credit for publishing in practitioner journals and so the submit less and less research to those journals. And their accountics submissions to practitioner journals have little value to practitioners due to lack of relevance to practitioners. This is due in great measure to the fact accounting professors in R1 research universities, unlike their colleagues in medical, law, and engineering schools, are so removed from the practice of accountancy.

What Went Wrong With Accountics Research?

Also see

"Teaching Students to Write a Case Study," by James M. Lang, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 5, 2011 ---

In the late 1990s, when Ray McCandless was asked to create a public-administration concentration in the M.B.A. program at the University of Findlay, he wanted to include a memorable capstone experience. Instead of a standard academic thesis, he hoped to find an alternative that would still give the students a written project to mention in their graduate-school applications and interviews.

A longtime user of case studies—standard pedagogical fare in business-school courses—McCandless hit upon a unique solution: Instead of simply asking students to learn from a case study, he would ask students to write an original one of their own.

A dozen years later, McCandless is still having students write their own case studies, and still finds the exercise as productive and fascinating. He is now director of Findlay's Center for Teaching Excellence, chair of the university's department of justice sciences, and a professor of political science and public administration. I met him on a spring visit to the university and had the chance to learn how he developed the assignment, and what benefits and challenges it has provided both to him and to his students.

Case-study teaching has been around since the early part of the 20th-century, when faculty members at Harvard Business School responded to a lack of textbooks in the field by writing up descriptions of real business scenarios for their students to explore. Typically, case studies present students with real-life scenarios that they might face in their chosen fields, and then ask them to use what they have learned in their coursework to analyze the problem and recommend solutions.

Case studies also now frequently appear in the curricula of law, medical, and education schools. With a little creative thinking, the approach can be adapted to almost any discipline. I have used a modified case-study method in a postcolonial literature course: Students play the role of Western explorers who "discover" a prehistoric culture that condones infanticide of twins. The explorers have to decide whether to walk away or prevent the killing by using their more sophisticated weaponry to impose western standards of justice—or find some other alternative.

Having confronted a case like that, students come to their subsequent reading of texts like Heart of Darkness or Things Fall Apart better prepared to understand the complexity of the themes.

McCandless said his interest in case studies comes from his conviction that, as future managers, students will be faced with unique problems every day. The ability to solve such problems depends not only on an awareness of the theories and practices of the field but also on creativity and innovative thinking. He felt he could best help develop those skills by asking students first to engage with established case studies and then to write up their own.

"I wanted to tap into a different part of their thinking and skill set," McCandless said. "I wanted them to write a story ... maybe wake up or reinvigorate those creative juices that may have been killed by too many research papers."

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on writing and using cases ---

"Blackboard Gets Bought," Inside Higher Ed, July 5, 2011 ---

Blackboard, maker of the dominant online learning platform among nonprofit colleges, has been sold to Providence Equity Partners, the company announced on Friday. The announcement prompted hand-wringing from campus technology officials and reassurances from Blackboard that there are no significant changes in the offing.

“We have some concerns,” says Sam Segran, chief technology officer at Texas Tech University. “Any time somebody goes into private equity, one of the concerns we have is profit motivation and less motivation in terms of meeting educational needs.”

Blackboard’s transition from publicly traded company (its status since 2004) to private equity holding could indeed mean a greater emphasis on earnings, says Trace Urdan, a senior analyst at the investment firm Signal Hill. The new owners will not have to worry about feverishly acquiring other companies in order to make the company’s stock price go up, Urdan says. More likely, Providence will treat its new investment like a cash cow, focusing on the Blackboard products that reliably make money and possibly unloading the ones that do not.

Still, the sale of Blackboard might have a greater impact on Wall Street than on Campus Drive, experts say. The "losers" in this case may be confined to small software companies hoping to be bought out and short-sellers who bet against Blackboard.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Blackboard ---

A glimpse into how the FBI investigates cybercrime
"FBI Raids Iowa Woman’s Home in Lulz Security Hacker Investigation," by Adrian Chen, Wired News, June 28, 2011 ---
Thank you Robert Harris for the heads up.

From the Scout Report on July 1, 2011

Bridg.me ---  http://bridg.me/ 

What if you could have a conference call that called you? Such a thing is now possible courtesy of Bridg.me. Apparently one of the co-founders of Bridg.me was never on time for meetings and conferences, so this handy website was created to solve the problem. Visitors just need to register online, put a meeting in their Google Calendar, and the conference will call them at the appointed hour and minute. It's quite easy to use and it's compatible with all operating systems.

Buzztouch --- http://www.buzztouch.com/pages/ 

Would you like to develop an iPhone or Android application? If so, it just got much easier with the Buzztouch content management system. Visitors don't need to know any coding, and after creating a Buzztouch account they can get started building their own application. Visitors should look over the "How Buzztouch Works" area to get acclimated to the program and they should also check out the "FAQ" section. This version is compatible with all operating systems and users will need to have access to an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone to test their application's functionality.

Is California still the Golden State?
The California Dream is fizzling out

The Rise of the Third Coast: The Gulf's Region's Ascendancy in U.S.

California homicides decline to lowest rate in 45 years

Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West

Public Policy Institute of California

Online Archive of California

From the Scout Report on July 9, 2011

Klout --- http://klout.com 

Klout is a handy application that helps users measure their social media influence. The mission of Klout is "to help every individual understand and leverage their influence." Visitors can sign up here, and receive their own "Klout Score", which is based on 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure things such as "True Reach" and "Network Score". This program is compatible with all operating systems.

Chirbit --- http://www.chirbit.com/ 

Chirbit is a program that allows users to record, upload, and share audio with friends and others. Visitors will need to sign up with a username and they will need a microphone or webcam for recording purposes. Visitors can watch the demonstration video here to get started, and after they are done, they can share the audio files with friends via Twitter and Facebook with shortened URLs. Chirbit is compatible with all operating systems.

Amidst a spike in crime, the subject becomes a major issue in Mexican elections
Crime and politics in Mexico: A turning tide

Mexico vote takes pulse for presidential race

Mexico arrests Zetas leader 'connected to attack' against ICE agents

United Nations Human Rights: Mexico [pdf]

Mexico: Brookings Institution [pdf]

Mexican American History Guide

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

Education Tutorials

Updates in Teaching, Technology, and Productivity

"Teaching Carnival 4.9," by Jill Morris, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 2, 2011 ---

"Teaching Carnival 4.10," by Billie Hara, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 1, 2011 ---

"Teaching Carnival 4.11," by Billie Hara, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 1, 2011 ---


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

Bob Jensen's threads on Education Technology ---

Video course covers Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Tocqueville.
Introduction to Political Philosophy: A Free Yale Course"--- Click Here

Also see the BBC's "Big Thinker" Lecture Series --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing courses, materials, and videos ---

SUNY Albany Guide to Web Resources --- http://libguides.library.albany.edu/content.php?pid=130754&sid=1121460

Computer Science Teachers Association --- http://csta.acm.org/

Computational Science Education Reference Desk --- http://www.shodor.org/refdesk/

"The Evolution of Computer Science," MIT's Technology Review, June 3, 2010 ---

New Communication Technologies --- http://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/collections/NewComm

National Academy of Engineering: WTOP Radio Series Archive --- http://www.nae.edu/Activities/Projects/20730/20186.aspx

The Museum of Broadcast Communications --- http://www.Museum.TV/index.shtml 
(Includes the Radio Hall of Fame for us old timers)
The above site has free audio and video downloads.  I downloaded a free video of Steve Allen highlights..

Technology Student Association --- http://www.tsaweb.org/

Findings (in medical research) --- http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/findings/

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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Teachers' Domain: Biotechnology --- http://www.teachersdomain.org/special/biot/

Science: KQED --- http://www.kqed.org/science/

 Worm Atlas (Nematode) --- http://www.wormatlas.org/

Biodiversity Heritage Library: Charles Darwin's Library --- http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/collection/darwinlibrary

National Association for Olmsted Parks (landscape design history) --- http://www.olmsted.org/

New Communication Technologies --- http://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/collections/NewComm

National Academy of Engineering: WTOP Radio Series Archive --- http://www.nae.edu/Activities/Projects/20730/20186.aspx

Computer Science Teachers Association --- http://csta.acm.org/

Glass Works --- http://www.civilisations.ca/cmc/exhibitions/hist/verre/veint00e.shtml

Urban Forest Hurricane Recovery --- http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/features/series/hurricanerecovery.html

University of Iowa Hospitals Health Topics http://www.uihealthcare.org/vh/

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

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

The Pulitzer Prizes --- http://www.pulitzer.org/

Digital Library of Indigenous Science Resources (Native American, Indian) --- http://www.dlisr.org/index.html

The Cultural Landscape Foundation --- http://tclf.org/landslides/steinbrueck-park-design-threatened-by-renovations

Social Networking Sites and Our Lives --- http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Technology-and-social-networks.aspx

The Tulsa Race Riot --- http://www.utulsa.edu/mcfarlin/speccoll/collections/RaceRiot/indexphotos.htm

July 2, 2011 message from Amy Dunbar

This red, white, and blue Democrat was surprised at the following research about July 4th parades.  The methodology was ingenious.




Jensen Comment
Are these results all that surprising since many liberal groups are anti-military and anti-war? July 4 parades tend to celebrate military history and patriotism that are becoming the enemies of liberal causes.

These findings do not extrapolate to parades on other days such as Labor Day parades and other union parades, immigration rights parades, gay and lesbian parades, farm worker parades, government employee parades, civil rights parades, and other parades celebrating liberal causes. Of course many of those parades do not take place on July 4 because of the antagonism of some progressive groups toward symbols of patriotism.

Some of these groups prefer to burn the flag rather than wave the flag.

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

Digital Library of Indigenous Science Resources (Native American, Indian) --- http://www.dlisr.org/index.html

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

Math Tutorials

Computer Science Teachers Association --- http://csta.acm.org/

 Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as

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

History Tutorials

Video course covers Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Tocqueville.
Introduction to Political Philosophy: A Free Yale Course"--- Click Here

Also see the BBC's "Big Thinker" Lecture Series --- Click Here

Name That Painting! --- Click Here

British Film Institute's Listing of the Top 100 Movies in History ---

"Blastoff from the Past: A Look Back at the Space Shuttle: During 30 years of service, the shuttles shaped the exploration of space," by Brittany Sauser, MIT's Technology Review, July 8, 2011 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing courses, materials, and videos ---

In Search of Shakespeare: Shakespeare’s Sonnets Lesson Plan ---

The Harvard Classics: A Free, Digital Collection --- Click Here

"100 Years of IBM in Pictures:  From clocks to supercomputers, IBM has a rich history of technological developments. Here’s a look back at its most notable innovations," by Kristina Bjoran, MIT's Technology Review, July 5, 2011 ---
For a more complete IBM archives go to (thank you Jagdish) --- 

Norman Rockwell Museum --- http://www.nrm.org/
Norman Rockwell Imanges (feed "Norman Rockwell" into the search box) --- http://www.google.com/advanced_image_search?hl=en

The Works STEM Education (American History of Industry and Science) ---  http://www.attheworks.org/ExploreTheWorks/EducatorInfo.aspx

Glass Works --- http://www.civilisations.ca/cmc/exhibitions/hist/verre/veint00e.shtml

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

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

The 1940s --- http://www.objflicks.com/decadeofthe1940s.html

Paris: Life & Luxury --- http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/paris_lifeluxury/

Imagining the Past in France, 1250-1500 http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/imagining_past_france/

Video:  Remembering Ernest Hemingway, Fifty Years After His Death --- Click Here

National Academy of Engineering: WTOP Radio Series Archive --- http://www.nae.edu/Activities/Projects/20730/20186.aspx

Kansapedia (Historical Site for the State of Kansas) --- http://www.kshs.org/portal_kansapedia

Office of the Secretary of State: Rhode Island State Library --- http://sos.ri.gov/library/

Online Archive of California --- http://www.oac.cdlib.org/

Cool Things from the Kansas State Historical Society --- http://www.kshs.org/cool3/velocipede.htm

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps: New Hampshire --- http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/digital/collections/sanbornmaps/

Kansas Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1883-1922 --- http://cds.lib.ku.edu/sanborn-maps/

Historic Stockton Photographs --- http://library.pacific.edu/ha/digital/histstk/index.asp

The Tulsa Race Riot --- http://www.utulsa.edu/mcfarlin/speccoll/collections/RaceRiot/indexphotos.htm

Biodiversity Heritage Library: Charles Darwin's Library --- http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/collection/darwinlibrary

The Pulitzer Prizes --- http://www.pulitzer.org/

Technology Student Association --- http://www.tsaweb.org/

National Association for Olmsted Parks (landscape design history) --- http://www.olmsted.org/

Computer Science Teachers Association --- http://csta.acm.org/

Computational Science Education Reference Desk --- http://www.shodor.org/refdesk/

"The Evolution of Computer Science," MIT's Technology Review, June 3, 2010 ---

New Communication Technologies --- http://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/collections/NewComm

National Academy of Engineering: WTOP Radio Series Archive --- http://www.nae.edu/Activities/Projects/20730/20186.aspx

New England Chowder Compendium --- http://www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/chowder/

The Food Museum --- http://www.foodmuseum.com/

Digital Library of Indigenous Science Resources (Native American, Indian) --- http://www.dlisr.org/index.html

The Museum of Broadcast Communications --- http://www.Museum.TV/index.shtml 
(Includes the Radio Hall of Fame for us old timers)
The above site has free audio and video downloads.  I downloaded a free video of Steve Allen highlights..

Open Culture Beat No. 6: The Best Culture Links of the Week --- Click here

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

Language Tutorials

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

Music Tutorials

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials

The Pulitzer Prizes --- http://www.pulitzer.org/

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

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

July 2, 2011

July 6, 2011

July 7, 2011

July 8, 2011

July 9, 2011

July 11, 2011

July 12, 2011

July 13, 2011

July 14, 2011

July 15, 2011

July 16, 2011

University of Iowa Hospitals Health Topics http://www.uihealthcare.org/vh/

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

Health on the Net Foundation --- http://www.hon.ch/home.html

UNC Health Sciences --- http://www.hsl.unc.edu/lm/degrant/introduction.htm 
Health --- http://chid.nih.gov/ 

Dorland Healthcare Information --- http://www.healthcare-info.com/database.htm 

Pesticides --- http://ace.orst.edu/info/npic/tech.htm 

Sometimes There's Good News in the Drudgery of Exercise

"Study Shows Low-Fat Chocolate Milk May Boost Endurance, Build Muscle," by Kathleen Doheny, WebMD, July 1, 2011 ---

Jensen Comment
But I suspect you have to first work off more calories than you put back on with the chocolate milk. Darn!

One way to avoid the jolts of potholes in the road is to float above them
"Chinese Officials Get Embarrassed By Really Bad Photoshopped Photo of Street Inspection," by Adrienne Gonzalez, Jr. Deputy Accountant, July 1, 2011 ---

Nine Impersonations by Kevin Spacey in Six Minutes --- Click Here

This Cute Dog's a No-Brainer --- http://www.wimp.com/throwstick/

The Disappearing Car (Candid Camera) --- http://www.wimp.com/disappearingprank/

Don't Go Rafting With a Baptist  --- http://jeannerobertson.com/VideoBaptist.htm

Forwarded by Paula

Why English Teachers Die Young

Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country.

Here are last year's winners...

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country< BR>speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in anot her city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. Instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. Traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m., at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

If for no other reason, this one should get an award for an innovative title

"The Soft Things that Make Mergers Hard," by Greta Roberts, Harvard Business Review Blog, July 13, 2011 --- Click Here

Consider the following guidelines to preempt speed-related collaboration issues and merger integration:

1. Accept that speed preferences and requirements do exist, at company, team, and individual levels.
2. Realize that individual executives will differ in their speed profiles as well, which can easily drive high-level divisions in the way that a merger or initiative is imagined and executed.
3. Study an acquisition target to gain an understanding of the company's natural pacing as compared to your own.
4. Match merger strategy to the speed profile of the teams at hand. Perhaps sales would need to merge quickly, and engineering would need to merge more methodically.
5. Create internal merger communication strategies that match the speed profile of the teams at hand.
6. Educate leaders about the different pacing needs within their organizations.
7. Elevate discussions around speed and pacing to employees and teams, understanding the value and the need for both styles.


Forwarded by Gene and Joan


I had to look up "paraprosdokian". Here is the definition:

"Figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation." "Where there's a will, I want to be in it," is a type of paraprosdokian.

Ok, so now enjoy!

1. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

3. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. Evening news is where they begin with 'Good Evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

9. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

10. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

11. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.

12. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'DOCTOR.'

13. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

14. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

15. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

16. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.

17. I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

18. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

19. Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

20. There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.

21. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

22. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

23. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

24. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

25. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

26. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

27. A diplomat is someone who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip.

28. Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were.

29. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

Words of Wisdom "The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Video History Forwarded by Maureen

CHESTER A. RILEY   (1956) 
10.  THE PATTI PAGE SHOW   (1958)
13.  A TRUE 50's DOO WOP TV CLASSIC   (1958)
14.  FAMILY AFFAIR   (1966)
16.  THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW   (1957)
17.  The Inventor Of TV Sketch Comedy ERNIE KOVACS   (1954)
18.  THE RED SKELTON SHOW   (1959)
20.  FATHER KNOWS BEST   (1953)
23.  DANCES OF THE 1950's: THE HAND JIVE   (1957)
25.  DRAGNET   (1959)
31.  THE ORIGINAL FLASH GORDON SERIAL   theatres-1939; TV-1960's 
32.  THE LONE RANGER   1955
35.  MORE DANCES OF THE 1950's: THE LINDY HOP   1959
39.  HERE COMES TOBOR!   1954
42.  SPIKE JONES   1951
45.  MEDIC   1954
46.  THE BIG VALLEY   1965
48.  Mc HALE'S NAVY   1962
50.  DARK SHADOWS   1966
51.    FADS & FANCIES OF THE 50s & 60s 
52.  I LOVE LUCY   1952
55.  BAT MASTERSON   1958
58.  PASSWORD   1962
59.  STAR TREK TV ON DEMAND   1966-present
63.   BUILDING THE 1958 DODGE   1957
68.  FELIX THE CAT   1959
70.  THE GOLDBERGS   1952
73.  HIGHWAY PATROL   1956
74.  LOST IN SPACE   1966
75.  BEULAH   1951
76.  BEWITCHED   1966
77.  I DREAM OF JEANIE   1966
78.  SEA HUNT   1957


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

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

All my online pictures --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/PictureHistory/


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