Tidbits on October 13, 2011
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

This week I feature another set of my favorite foliage pictures at the peak of this foliage season



More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Personal Note
In August of 2011, two screws were protruding into the skin on Erika's upper back. In Boston, her surgeon removed some metal rods near her neck in hopes that the bone had sufficiently healed. Apparently the bone was too weak to support itself, and Erika ended up with three cracked vertebrae. Surgeons then went back and added metal rods and screws in the upper part of her back.

Then in September 2011 she broke two rods in her lower back. Surgeons then repaired those rods on September 29 and added new support rods

Update on Erika on October 12, 2011 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Erika2007.htm

Tomorrow Erika has the stitches removed from the 18-inch incision in her back. After having 15 spine surgeries I requested that the surgeons make her life easier by just installing Velcro.

Her X-ray images make her spine look like it was built with an Erector set. Her surgeon says that there are two kinds of orthopedic surgeons. Many were former jocks in part because it takes strength and endurance for some types of orthopedic surgeries (Erika had one surgery where she was on the table for 14 hours). The other type of orthopedic surgeon is the type that liked to build things as a kid and often took up engineering as an undergraduate. The Stanford Medical School has various joint graduate programs with the Engineering School --- which is one reason an MD degree takes an extra year at Stanford.

The instruments table is similar to what one might find in a carpentry or metal working shop --- drills, screws, saws, chisels, braces, etc. The tension on the job in intense, because one wrong move and she's dead or paralyzed. This is spine surgery Number 15 for Erika --- eight in San Antonio, two in Concord, and five in Boston. Originally she injured her back 30 years ago while working as a nurse in an operating room. The surgeon asked her to lift a 200 lb instruments table over a power cord during a surgery on a man's back. They had to take Erika out of the operating room and put her in traction for a month in the hospital. She's had much more than her share of pain in life before and after commencing a succession of surgeries.

But life is more precious when she has good days. Life has some weird ways of making many people more appreciative of life and in testing courage, faith, and endurance.

Bob Jensen



Tidbits on October 13, 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/

Nude Clock --- http://lovedbdb.com/nudemenClock/index2.html

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

TED Video
Niall Ferguson: The 6 killer apps of prosperity --- Click Here

You might want to read the negative comments near the bottom of the page on this one

The Fall by Albert Camus Animated --- Click Here

Google Puts The Dead Sea Scrolls Online (in Super High Resolution) --- Click Here

Julia Sweeney "Sex Ed." Monologue --- http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/04/06/wits-sweeney/

Store Front in Berlin --- http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=153757

Lecture Style Trumps Content
The Great Dr. Fox Lecture: A Vintage Academic Hoax (1970) ---
Click Here

Steven Pinker on the History of Violence: A Happy Tale --- Click Here

Noam Chomsky & Michel Foucault Debate Human Nature & Power (1971) --- Click Here

Noam Chomsky vs. William F. Buckley, 1969 --- Click Here

Jacques Derrida Deconstructs American Attitudes --- Click Here

The Mechanical Monsters: Seminal Superman Animated Film from 1941 --- Click Here

Steve Jobs at Heaven’s Gate: The New Yorker Cover --- Click Here

Emperor Penguins Having No Fear of Visitors --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=SkY03n0_sD8&vq=medium

National Center for Biotechnology Information: Tutorials [Flash Player] --- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/education/tutorials/

John Hodgman Riffs on Magicians and Their Craft at Maker Faire --- Click Here

Video on "Capitalism at Risk," by Dutch Leonard and Lynn Paine, Harvard Business Review Blog, September 2011 --- Click Here
September 26, 2011 reply from Ruth Bender

Cranfield uses its ‘Hot Topics’ videos to get a message across; one video = one message.  Current ones can be accessed at http://www.som.cranfield.ac.uk/som/p14679/Knowledge-Interchange/Hot-Topics  Or the sidebar on the left lists the lot by subject.  For example, mine are under ‘business, economics and finance’. (The latest was when I got very irritated about something the media were saying about bank privatisation (back a couple of months ago, when we still believed the banks were worth something – which just shows how lousy my forecasting skills are!), so I phoned down to our media studio and asked if they could give me a slot to sound off - http://bit.ly/qGIAkj .)

The main challenge is to get your message across quite quickly.  We try to come in under 5 minutes; I don’t think there are any at more than 10.  Nothing too long, as the view is that people’s attention spans on the net are very short.

Some, like this one, come about because a member of staff or a doctoral student has something to say and wants a platform.  Others come about because the studio asks for a speaker on a topic in the news.

The other thing which we have built up is a presence on iTunesU (under Cranfield University) which I understand are building quite a following. 

As to the technicals – we do nothing complicated.  An interviewer against a black background. The interviewer is briefed; the interviewee talks freely.  Some people need editing, and others go out more or less ‘as is’.

Hope that answers your question.  All of our work is accessed through the Knowledge Interchange on the School’s home page.




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

Hero performed by Michael Israel in New York artist098 --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZFkZiwMLZ4&feature=player_embedded

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

Live Tuesday Night: The Mariinsky Orchestra Plays Tchaikovsky
Hear Valery Gergiev lead a celebration of Russian music — and help introduce a promising pianist.

Franz Liszt At 200: Performances At Boston's WGBH ---

NPR lassics in Concert

L.A. Philharmonic Goes Gershwin In Opening Night Gala
Hear the whole concert with superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel and guest pianist Herbie Hancock.


Deceptive Cadence

Sound And Silence: 'Remembering Sept. 11' At The Temple Of Dendur
Hear (and download) profoundly moving performances of Basinski, Marshall, Golijov and Schnittke.


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

British Museum: Treasures of Heaven --- http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/treasures_of_heaven.aspx

Hero performed by Michael Israel in New York artist098 --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZFkZiwMLZ4&feature=player_embedded

Alley of the Gardens of Monet at Giverny --- http://www.expo-monet.com/1_3.cfm?ID=1803782493
Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monet#External_links

The Warhol: Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross --- http://www.warhol.org/exhibitions/2011/heroesandvillains/

Making the Macintosh --- http://library.stanford.edu/mac/index.html

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

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

The Fall by Albert Camus Animated --- Click Here

Free Textbooks

Hi Glen,

Thank you for informing me about the Bookboon free textbook site ---

I added it to my listing of free electronic textbooks. The problem with free electronic textbooks is that there's not a whole lot of incentive for keeping them current. This is not so much of a problem with basic textbooks in slow-changing disciplines like mathematics, but it's a huge problem in fast-changing disciplines like financial accounting and law.

Bob Jensen's threads on free books (including textbooks) ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free lectures, courses, videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---

Popular High School Books Available as Free eBooks & Audio Books --- Click Here


Jensen Comment
Perhaps the best open sharing alternative for a free textbook in a a rapidly changing discipline like intermediate accounting or a CPA review textbook would be to model it after Wikipedia where the entire world is able to contribute new and revised modules, including problem wikis and problem solution wikis.

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 October 13, 2011

The booked National Debt on October 13, 2011 was over $14 trillion ---
U.S. National Debt Clock --- http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

The January 2010 Booked National Debt Plus Unbooked Entitlements Debt
The GAO estimated $76 trillion Present Value in January 2010  unless something drastic is done.
Click Here |

There are many ways to describe the federal government’s long-term fiscal challenge. One method for capturing the challenge in a single number is to measure the “fiscal gap.” The fiscal gap represents the difference, or gap, between revenue and spending in present value terms over a certain period, such as 75 years, that would need to be closed in order to achieve a specified debt level (e.g., today’s debt to GDP ratio) at the end of the period.2 From the fiscal gap, one can calculate the size of action needed—in terms of tax increases, spending reductions, or, more likely, some combination of the two—to close the gap; that is, for debt as a share of GDP to equal today’s ratio at the end of the period. For example, under our Alternative simulation, the fiscal gap is 9.0 percent of GDP (or a little over $76 trillion in present value dollars) (see table 2). This means that revenue would have to increase by about 50 percent or noninterest spending would have to be reduced by 34 percent on average over the next 75 years (or some combination of the two) to keep debt at the end of the period from exceeding its level at the beginning of 2010 (53 percent of GDP).


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

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

Cost-benefit analysis has its place. But the benefits of academic research can pop up in such unexpected ways, sometimes immediately and sometimes after centuries. We should not set too much store by any bureaucrat’s analysis of “academic impact”.
Tim Hartford, "New Ways With Old Numbers," TimHartford.com, September 24, 2011 ---

Ig Nobel Prize Winners and Ceremonies --- http://improbable.com/ig/

In particular note the winners listed at

See Nobel Economist Paul Krugman wearing half a brassiere over his face to keep out the foul stench of conservatism contamination.

If a really bad dust storm suddenly descends upon a baseball team, why is the catcher the most likely to survive?

"Taking Better Notes in Zotero," by Lincoln Mullen, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 10, 2011 ---

I’ve used Zotero for four years or so, and it’s extraordinarily useful software for research. I’m not the only one at ProfHacker who likes Zotero. Alex recently wrote about Scanner for Zotero, Mark wrote about Zotero and Android, and Brian wrote a comparison of Zotero and Endnote. There are a great many more posts about Zotero in our archives.

But there is one thing about Zotero that has bothered me. The problem is that the most intuitive way to take notes on a source is to attach the note to the source. For example, see the screenshot below, where I have a summary and a few topical notes about one book.

This is all well and good for certain types of notes, such as summaries of books that I read for exams. It’s kind of like scribbling marginalia in a book. But this method is not so good for other types of notes, such as pieces of evidence or quotations. The problem is that attaching notes to the source forces you to think about the source first and then the idea encapsulated in the note, rather than the other way round.

I first learned how to take scholarly notes on index cards: one thought per card, with carefully marked keys to subjects and sources. I still think that index cards have some virtues that digital note-taking can’t beat. What I wanted from Zotero was a way to think about notes that was more like the model of index cards and less like the model of marginalia.

Lo and behold, Zotero had the necessary functionality for years. The problem was not the capabilities of the software, but the way I was thinking about taking notes.

What I do now is make a standalone note for each thought or piece of evidence. But I also make the note a related item of the source from which I got the idea. You can see in the screenshot below that this standalone note is related to a book.

Continued in article

"Zotero vs. EndNote," by Brian Croxall, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 3, 2011 ---

We here at ProfHacker are big fans of Zotero. Some of our earliest posts covered teaching with Zotero groups and making your WordPress blog Zotero-able (although we can’t control whether it’s “zo terrible” <rimshot>). And of course, there’s Amy’s fantastic two-part series on getting started with Zotero (parts one and two). The folks at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (who make Zotero) are friends of ProfHacker, and we got one of our earliest boosts from their Digital Campus podcast. That’s why I feel a little sheepish about making the following confession: while I admire and proselytize for Zotero, I actually use EndNote for my own research.

A few weeks ago, ProfHacker got a request asking us if we could compare the two platforms, which gave me a great opportunity to try to figure out why I prefer EndNote. In many ways, it comes down to the fact that I’m very, very comfortable with EndNote. I started playing around with it in my last year of undergraduate work (as a way to procrastinate rather than actually writing papers), and I purchased a copy of the software before starting graduate school (only to find out that my school had a site license). I fastidiously created bibliographic entries for the reading I did in seminars. I wrote abstracts for the articles. I learned how to create my own styles. I took library workshops on the tool. So when it came time to write my dissertation, EndNote was already well integrated into my workflow. I began experimenting with Zotero in the fall of 2007 (a year after its first release) and while I very much appreciated what it did, it wasn’t enough to make me a convert.

Apart from my own level of comfort, however, I wanted to know what the differences were between the two tools. In my postdoc I regularly teach classes on both EndNote and Zotero, which means that I think I’ve got a pretty good perspective on both tools. It must of course be said that both tools work very well at their primary purposes: managing references and creating citations and bibliographies within documents. With that, then, I want to cover what I see to be the strengths and key features of each platform. A couple of caveats: First, I’m not going to cover everything that each tool does. My goal is to just touch on some key differences that I’ve found for preferring one program over another. Second, while I’m doing my best to represent the features of both EndNote and Zotero, if I’ve missed something or gotten something just plain wrong, please let me know in the comments!

To sum up, then, here are what I see as the different strengths of the two platforms:

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at

Free Textbooks

Hi Glen,

Thank you for informing me about the Bookboon free textbook site ---

I added it to my listing of free electronic textbooks. The problem with free electronic textbooks is that there's not a whole lot of incentive for keeping them current. This is not so much of a problem with basic textbooks in slow-changing disciplines like mathematics, but it's a huge problem in fast-changing disciplines like financial accounting and law.

Bob Jensen's threads on free books (including textbooks) ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free lectures, courses, videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---

Popular High School Books Available as Free eBooks & Audio Books --- Click Here


Jensen Comment
Perhaps the best open sharing alternative for a free textbook in a a rapidly changing discipline like intermediate accounting or a CPA review textbook would be to model it after Wikipedia where the entire world is able to contribute new and revised modules, including problem wikis and problem solution wikis.


"Mortgage Defaults Drive 88% Jump in Suspected Fraud," Journal of Accountancy, September 28, 2011 ---

The BizWorld Foundation (Venture Capital, Entrepreneurship) --- http://www.bizworld.org/
This site has a section on "Classroom Resources"

Baker Library (Harvard Business School) Electronic Resources --- http://www.library.hbs.edu/abouta.htm 

Bob Jensen's small business helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/BookBob1.htm#SmallBusiness

Careerzone --- http://careerzone.ny.gov/cz/stem/index.jsp

Bob Jensen's threads on careers ---

"Games in the Classroom (part 3)," by Anastasia Salter, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 30, 2011 ---

The challenge of finding a game for the classroom can be difficult, particularly when the games you’ve imagined doesn’t exist. And if you wait for a particular challenge or topic to make its way into game form, it might be a while. Educational games and “serious” games haven’t always kept up with the rest of video gaming, in part because there’s no high return. Modern game development tends towards large teams and impressive budgets, and these resources are rarely used on explicitly educational productions. While efforts like the STEM Video Game Challenge provide incentives for new learning games, and commercial titles can often be adapted for the classroom, there’s still more potential than games have yet reached.

But if you have a new concept for playful learning, you can still bring it to life for your classroom. There are two ways to start thinking about making games in the classroom: the first is to build a game yourself, and the second is to engage students in making games as a way to express their own understanding.

You’re probably not a game designer, although there’s a game for that: Gamestar Mechanic can help you “level up” from player to designer. But it’s also important to remember building games rarely happens alone: as with digital humanities projects, games lend themselves to collaboration. If you have a game design program (or even a single course) at your university or a neighboring school, there might be an opportunity to partner your students with them towards creating valuable content-based educational games. Similarly, there may be other faculty who are interested in collaborating on grant-funded projects to build new educational experiences, or collective and expanding projects like Reacting to the Past (which many readers cited as a classroom game system of choice). You might also find collaborators, inspiration and games in progress through communities such as Gameful, a “secret HQ for making world-changing games”–and community manager Nathan Maton has a few things to say about building serious games for education.

There’s also a difference between making a game or asking your students to make a game as an expression of content for pedagogical purposes and making a game in the industry. Even a flawed game can provide an opportunity for learning and discussion. And your students will often bring a wealth of their own experiences with games to the process, offering them a chance to make new connections with your course material.

Ready to try making games? Here are a few tools for getting started.

"Games in the Classroom (part 4)," by Anastasia Salter, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 6, 2011 ---

Throughout this series, we’ve talked about why you might want to use games in the classroom, how you can find them, and how to start making your own. But games can also inspire us to rethink our classrooms at a structural level, and particularly as sites for collaboration and playful learning that can extend long beyond a single lesson plan. Game designers are pointing out the similarities between games and the classroom. Extra Credits, a video series by game designers taking a deeper look at the form, recently did an episode on Gamifying Education that provides a great starting point for a conversation on game-inspired classroom design.

For ideas on getting started, I recently spoke with Lee Sheldon, author of the recently released The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game (Cengage Learning 2011), whose book chronicles both his own and others’ experiments with taking the structures, terminology, and concepts of a massive multiplayer role-playing game and applying them to the classroom. You can check out Lee Sheldon’s syllabus at his blog on Gaming the Classroom, along with more of his reflections on the experiment, which divided his students into guilds and encouraged them to “level up” through the semester. After using the course model in its latest iteration, he reported perfect attendance. He also notes the value in his system of “grading by attrition”—students are not being punished for failing, but instead rewarded for progressing and thus less likely to be defeated early.

As a professional game designer teaching courses on game design, Lee Sheldon has a natural environment for innovation–but his concepts open the door for a conversation across disciplines. Lee Sheldon describes his model as “designing the class as a game”—so not just focusing on extrinsic rewards (the typical focus of gamification), but instead trying to promote “opportunities for collaboration” and “intrinsic rewards from helping others.” As game designers, like teachers, are focused on creating an experience, many of the strategies for building a class as game are similar to more traditional preparation. And he advises that these ideas can work for anyone: “You don’t have to a be a game designer…you can prep like putting together a lesson plan, but learn the terminology.” Lee Sheldon explains that one of the benefits of using games as a model is that a game is abstracted—it has to “feel real”, but you get to “take out the stuff that isn’t fun.” He also notes that “You can do just about anything in a game that you can do in real life,” and the wealth of games today is a testament to that range of possibilities.

Lee Sheldon and his team at RPI are now working on an experiment with their new Emergent Reality Lab that offers a possible future for courses as games. He explained their current project, teaching Mandarin Chinese as an alternate reality game, as a “Maltese Falcon-esque mystery” narrative—the class will start out as usual, in a normal classroom, but it will be interrupted and move into the lab as the students take a virtual journey across China aided by motion-aware Kinect interfaces in an immersive environment. Lee Sheldon said that his ideal outcome would be for students to learn more Chinese than they would in a traditional class.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment are at

The iPad Decision
Some CPAs swear by the iPad, calling it an indispensable business tool. Other CPAs believe Apple's tablet is about as useful as a legless table. This article examines the iPad's strengths and weaknesses, introduces the top apps and accessories, and gives guidelines for deciding if the iPad is right for you and your business.

"Higher-Ed Gadget-Watchers React to Amazon’s New ‘Kindle Fire’ Tablet," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 28, 2011 ---

Today Amazon unveiled a new tablet computer, the company’s long-awaited competitor to Apple’s iPad. Though it won’t go on sale until November, some gadget-happy college professors and administrators are already speculating about the impact it will have on campuses.

The big surprise in today’s announcement was the tablet’s price: $199. That’s far less than the lowest-cost iPad, which sells for $499. Amazon named its new gadget the Kindle Fire, and it is smaller than the iPad, measuring about 7 inches (compared with the iPad’s 10-inch screen), so it more easily fits in one hand. It is powered by a processor on par with the chip in Apple’s iPad 2, and it runs a modified version of Google’s Android-tablet operating system. Amazon’s offering is missing some features of the iPad, though. For instance, it has no camera (there are two on the iPad 2) and no 3G antenna (which is an option on the iPad).

Previous iPad competitors have failed to win substantial fan bases, but the Kindle Fire has one key advantage over previous entrants. The new tablet seamlessly links to Amazon’s extensive marketplace of books, software apps, movies, and television shows, letting users access content (and spend money) with a simple tap of the finger.

Many education-technology officials have been enthusiastic about tablet computers, hoping the lightweight devices might work better in classroom settings than do laptops. Textbook publishers have also cheered tablet computers, hoping they will lift e-textbook sales.

Here are some reactions by education-technology leaders posted today on Twitter and on blogs:

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

"New iPhone, iPad and Android Apps for September 2011," by Dan Rowinski, ReadWriteWeb, October 8, 2011 ---

Jensen Comment
Continuing on with the theme of beer and New Hampshire's Number 1/50 ranking, there's a new app for tracking and rating beer.
Bottoms Up

By the way Ron Huefner pointed out a typo in my "Bottoms Up" message. German decedents no longer drink beer. I meant to type descendants.

In fact there's a German polka that goes something like:
In heaven there is no beer
That's why we drink it here

Student Financial Aid Fraud
"Hitting Hard on Fraud," by Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, October 11, 2011 ---

A fast-moving effort by the U.S. Education Department to crack down on financial aid fraud faces a common dilemma in higher education: how to protect the integrity of government aid coffers without harming students.

Fraud rings that use “straw students” to pilfer federal financial aid are a growing problem, particularly in online programs at largely open-access community colleges and for-profit institutions. But proposed regulatory fixes, even if well-meaning, could create layers of red tape for colleges and make it harder for some students to receive financial aid.

“It’s a balancing act,” said Evan Montague, dean of students for Lansing Community College. Montague said the fraud rings are a threat, but that his college has adequate safeguards in place, thanks to a recent upgrade. He worries that the proposed federal policies would be an added “regulatory burden.”

The department’s Office of the Inspector General has seen a dramatic increase in online education scams, according to a report released last month. The crimes typically feature a ringleader and phony students who enroll, receive federal aid and split the proceeds with the ringleader. Community colleges may be targeted more often than for-profits because they typically charge less in tuition, leaving more of a leftover aid balance for thieves to pocket.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Much of the student financial aid fraud takes place amongst for-profit universities operating in the gray zone of fraud ---

But there is substantial fraud among the non-profit universities as well. One recent example is Chicago State University that clung to students who never passed a course.

"Chicago State Let Failing Students Stay," Inside Higher Ed, July 26, 2011 ---

Chicago State University officials have been boasting about improvements in retention rates. But an investigation by The Chicago Tribune  found that part of the reason is that students with grade-point averages below 1.8 have been permitted to stay on as students, in violation of university rules. Chicago State officials say that they have now stopped the practice, which the Tribune exposed by requesting the G.P.A.'s of a cohort of students. Some of the students tracked had G.P.A.'s of 0.0.

The Accounting Review no longer considers case method research to be suitable for publication in TAR and discourages both submissions of field studies and cases ---

Case method in considered very relevant to teaching accounting and well-suited for publication in Issues in Accounting Education.(IAE).

Case method also has a central place in both teaching and research in science.

A Case Study of Memory Loss in Mice (a teaching case) ---

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science ---

Bob Jensen's threads on case method research and teaching ---


"Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against UCLA Over Use of Streaming Video," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 4, 2011 ---

A judge dismissed a lawsuit on Monday that had accused the University of California at Los Angeles of copyright infringement for streaming videos online. One copyright expert thinks the UCLA decision increases the chance that the HathiTrust digital-library consortium will prevail in its effort to fight off a separate copyright lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild over the digitization of books from university libraries.

The lawsuit against UCLA was filed by the Association for Information Media and Equipment (AIME) and Ambrose Video Publishing Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Those plaintiffs claimed that UCLA had violated copyright and breached its contract by copying DVD’s of Shakespeare plays acquired from Ambrose and streaming them online for faculty and students to use in courses.

But U.S. District Court Judge Consuelo B. Marshall found multiple problems with their arguments. Among the most important: He didn’t buy the plaintiffs’ claim that UCLA had waived its constitutional “sovereign immunity,” a principle that shields states—and state universities—from being sued without their consent in federal court. The judge also held that the association, which doesn’t own the copyrights at issue in the dispute, failed to establish its standing to bring the case.

The decision means “universities will have a little more breathing room for using media,” says James Grimmelmann, an associate professor at New York Law School.

But the more important implication is that the case will be a precedent that universities can cite in future copyright disputes, Mr. Grimmelmann says. The UCLA decision will make the Authors Guild case against HathiTrust more of a long shot, he speculates. That battle, which concerns a collection of digital books that Google scanned from university libraries, also involves an association suing on behalf of copyright owners, and the target of the lawsuit is a digital repository hosted by a state institution, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. In addition to Michigan, defendants in the HathiTrust case include Cornell University, Indiana University, the University of California, and the University of Wisconsin.

“That suit has almost exactly the same sovereign-immunity and standing problems as this one,” Mr. Grimmelmann says. “If the HathiTrust suit were to be decided tomorrow by the same court, it would be dismissed.”

The Association of Research Libraries hailed the UCLA victory as an especially welcome bit of good news, given all the copyright struggles dogging universities. But the group pointed out in a blog post that the decision ”stops short of vindicating the strongest fair-use arguments in favor of streaming.” Kevin Smith, Duke University’s scholarly-communications officer, also noted in his own post that, because much of the dismissal hung on the sovereign-immunity question, “a major part of the decision applies only to state entities” and “does not translate to private universities.”

"New DVD Copyright Exemption for Educational Purposes," Inside Higher Ed, July 27, 2010 ---

The U.S. Copyright Office on Monday promulgated a number of new exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, including one allowing university staffers and students to hack DVD content and display it for educational purposes. If a university or student lawfully obtains copy of a DVD, the agency says, they can bypass the encryption so long as "circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for... Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students." The exemption applies when professors or students want to use excerpts of the hacked DVD in documentary films or "non-commercial videos." Tracy Mitrano, director of I.T. policy at Cornell University and a technology law blogger for Inside Higher Ed, called the decision "very big news," and "good news," for higher education, noting that advocates in academe have been lobbying for an expansion of fair use exemptions for some time. One campus that might take heart is the University of California at Los Angeles, which an educational media group threatened to sue last spring for copying and streaming DVD content on course websites. The university had refused to stop the practice, and a UCLA spokesman said the group, the Association for Information and Media Equipment, has not followed through. He said UCLA is reviewing the new rules.

Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA are at

TIAA-CREF has done a good job weathering the latest economic recession
"TIAA-CREF and You," Chronicle of Higher Education, October 4, 2011 ---

. . .

To understand TIAA-CREF's offerings, first understand what it is: Whatever the prominence of the words Teachers and College in its unpacked acronym, TIAA-CREF is simply a giant insurance company. Pennywise wrote about TIAA-CREF once before, in a column that appeared at the height of the financial crisis entitled, "Is TIAA-CREF Safe?" Personally, I find that article has held up fairly well and may be reassuring today, in our renewed mood of uncertainty. New readers might want to take a look at it.

TIAA-CREF has weathered the Great Recession well. Today the company ranks 87th on the Fortune 500 list, with $32-billion in revenues and $1.4-billion in annual profits. All four ratings agencies still give the company the highest possible rating for financial stability; at this point, its ratings are better than the federal government's. A leading investing Web site calls the company the strongest annuity insurer in the United States.

As for your specific TIAA-CREF investing options, your university's human-resources department can choose from a smorgasbord, so plans will differ. Almost certainly your college's plan has annuities at its core. Those are, for the most part, variable annuities, meaning their value and rates of return fluctuate along with financial markets, functioning much like mutual funds in the accumulation phase—the stretch of life in which you amass your holdings. Once you reach the drawdown phase, however, those vehicles offer the ability either to take out your pile of money in a lump sum or to annuitize it, meaning convert it into a steady stream of annual (hence the name "annuity") income that will last the rest of your life.

You may notice annuities getting bad press from time to time because the ones sold by many insurers come wrapped in a lot of hidden fees and are sold by advisers seeking commissions. TIAA-CREF's annuities are in a different category; they are relatively low-cost, the company's consultants get no commissions, and the criticisms don't really apply (one exception noted at the end of this column).

Here's how not to invest with TIAA-CREF: Don't—after looking at the 10-year returns of the different options—put your money heavily into the ones that have performed best. Ten years from now something else may have outperformed them. The funds that have done well recently are probably the most expensive right now, but nobody can be sure.

Instead, consider your household portfolio as a whole. Seek a well-diversified mix of different types of investments that rely on returns from different sectors of the economy. Understand how each option functions and spread your money around in proportions that make sense for your relative sense of risk.

Your plan is likely to include the following:

TIAA Traditional Annuity. From your point of view, this account works a bit like a bank certificate of deposit with a very generous interest rate. TIAA-CREF guarantees that any money you put in will be returned. The company then pays a specific rate of interest (currently 3.75 percent) on all new money deposited, a rate adjusted periodically. (The overall rate of return for the past 10 years was 5.62 percent). Because TIAA-CREF manages the underlying pool of money by investing mostly in bonds and related securities, rates in the coming years will probably be fairly low, but your contributions are contractually guaranteed.

This is an excellent investment for those who react very badly to market drops. However, while you do not face market risk, you do face individual company risk. If TIAA-CREF went bankrupt, its guarantee would mean nothing. That's why the firm's profitability and stability are crucial.

Note: To guarantee your principal plus a rate of interest, TIAA-CREF puts some fairly strong restrictions on clients' ability to transfer money in and out of this annuity. Don't commit money to TIAA Traditional unless you are content to let it sit until you retire. You can get it out, but it will be difficult.

Tip: Concentrate your TIAA Traditional holdings in your main 403(b) account, since a much lower rate of interest (currently 0.75 percent less) will be paid on it in your Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA), if you have one.

TIAA Real Estate Variable Annuity. The funds in this distinctive offering are invested directly in real estate (office buildings, malls, industrial parks, and so forth). Buy in, and you get the perks of being a property mogul and landlord, without all the hassles.

CREF Variable Annuities. These function a great deal like regular mutual funds. There are five stock-market options: Global, Stock, Equity Index, Growth, and Social Choice. Global and Stock both invest in world stock markets, including U.S. and international ones. Equity Index and Growth are solely U.S. stock-market funds. Social Choice screens for certain ethical and political criteria. Then there are three options that apply to the more stable, less risky part of your portfolio: Bond, Inflation-Linked Bond, and Money Market.

It may be that your university plan also offers, beyond the above annuities, TIAA-CREF's vast array of mutual funds, which come in almost infinite variations, including LifeCycle funds (all-in-one, no-brainer options for those who want to put things on autopilot) or highly specific funds focusing on specific sectors of the stock market, such as small-cap companies.

The precise mix that is right for you depends on your risk tolerance and time frame. There are decent models on Page 12 of this brochure. No need to make it complex, though. A pretty good holding could be amassed in just TIAA Traditional (20 percent); TIAA Real Estate (10 percent); one of the stock-market annuities, perhaps Equity Index since it costs you the least, or Global since it has international diversification to offer (60 percent); and the inflation-adjusted bond option (10 percent). Reduce the equities portion and increase the bond if you are skittish or near retirement.

Remember that the current market mayhem may mean you will be buying low. Don't let it scare you away from stocks, even if, in the short term, you see some declines.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's personal finance helpers are at

"Princeton U. Adopts Open-Access Policy, by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 29, 2011 ---

The movement to make research freely available got a high-profile boost this week with the news that Princeton University’s faculty has unanimously adopted an open-access policy. “The principle of open access is consistent with the fundamental purposes of scholarship,” said the faculty advisory committee that proposed the resolution.

The decision puts the university in line with Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a growing number of other institutions with policies that encourage or require researchers to post open copies of their articles, usually in an institutional repository. Unpublished drafts, books, lecture notes, etc., are not included in the Princeton policy, which gives the university a “nonexclusive right” to make copies of its faculty’s scholarly journal articles publicly available.

“Both the library and members of the faculty, principally in the sciences, have been thinking for some time that we would like to take a concrete step toward making the publications of our extraordinary faculty freely available to a much larger audience and not restricted to those who can afford to pay journal subscription fees,” said Karin Trainer, Princeton’s university librarian. She said they had encountered “no resistance at all” to the idea among faculty members.

The new mandate permits professors to post copies of articles online in “not-for-a-fee venues,” including personal and university Web sites. The faculty advisory committee that recommended the policy said that it will keep faculty members “from giving away all their rights when they publish in a journal.”

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on open access lectures, videos, and course materials ---

Rankings of Universities in Latin and South America
You end up with a system where hundreds of thousands of people have degrees that are totally worthless.
"The struggle to make the grade:  If only more of the region’s higher-education institutions were like the University of São Paulo," The Economist, October 8-14, 2011 ---

LATIN AMERICA boasts some giant universities and a few venerable ones: the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) enroll several hundred thousand students apiece, while Lima’s San Marcos was founded in 1551. Even so, the region is hardly synonymous with excellence in higher education. Research output is unimpressive, teaching techniques are old-fashioned and students drop out in droves. These failings matter. Faster economic growth is driving a big rise in demand for higher education in the region and a large crop of new universities. Now, at last, comes an effort to assess the quality of Latin American higher education.

On October 4th Quacquarelli Symonds, an education consultancy, published the first regional ranking of Latin American universities, combining measures of reputation, research output, academics’ qualifications and staff-student ratios. Of the 200 top universities, 65 are in Brazil, 35 in Mexico, 25 apiece in Argentina and Chile and 20 in Colombia (see table for the top ten). The University of São Paulo (USP), the richest and biggest university in Brazil’s richest state, came top.

This week USP won another plaudit, becoming the only Latin American university to make it into the world’s top 200 universities in another much-watched list, published by Times Higher Education, a British specialist weekly. USP ranked 178th this year (up from 232nd last year). Founded and supported by the government of São Paulo state, USP’s climb up the rankings has been helped by a big increase in private funding and in international collaborations and recognition. It also led the Latin American contingent in another list, this time compiled by Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University and released in August, ranking in the cluster between 101st and 150th. This list focuses on scientific research; USP is becoming a world leader in tropical medicine, parasitology and biofuels.

Nowhere else in Latin America can match USP. The other leaders in the region are a mix of old-established public universities (the University of Chile, for example), Catholic institutions or secular non-profit places such as Bogotá’s University of the Andes and Monterrey’s Tecnológico.

University rankings miss hard-to-measure factors such as the quality of teaching and the campus atmosphere. They are biased towards bigger universities, which tend to be better known and to produce more research. (This may have helped Argentina’s UBA, whose glory days are in the past.) But what they do capture matters. In their different ways they try to identify beacons of excellence and innovation. When they agree, as with USP’s regional pre-eminence, it is worth taking note.

These regional rankings might also break down the insularity that has long been a mark of Latin American academia. “Across the region, good students are recruited to faculty at their own universities, rather than encouraged to leave and broaden their horizons,” says Jamil Salmi, a higher-education specialist at the World Bank. “And there’s a hostility to the very notion you might hire faculty from abroad.”

At many Latin American public universities students pay nothing, staff are unsackable, and the curriculum is old-fashioned and politicised. Good teaching and research are not rewarded with extra funding or promotions; institutions do not lose money if their students drop out. Except in Brazil many faculty members are part-timers without PhDs.

In the past three decades, governments have accepted a huge expansion of private provision, much of it by for-profit outfits. That has allowed them to expand higher education quickly without spending more, but before they decided what made a good university, says Francisco Marmolejo, a Mexican consultant on university administration. The result is that mechanisms to ensure quality are weak or nonexistent. Poor youngsters who attend the mainly awful state schools usually end up in these places, paying through the nose.

No country in the region has worked out satisfactorily how to share the cost of degrees between students and taxpayers. Chile’s government is currently suffering the consequences. Months of student protests against the exorbitant cost of for-profit universities have seen the popularity of the president, Sebastián Piñera, plunge. The country’s education system, from primary school to university, is probably the region’s best. But Chile also has one of world’s lowest levels of public funding for higher education, some of the longest degrees and no comprehensive system of student grants or subsidised loans. When a flat jobs market was added to this mix, it became combustible.

In Venezuela Hugo Chávez’s government has expanded higher education by forcing existing universities to accept a massive increase in student numbers, and by setting-up a giant new open-access state institution, the “Bolivarian University”. This is supposed eventually to have around 200 campuses. The result, says Mr Marmolejo, is a “time-bomb”. “Unprepared institutions; non-existent infrastructure; 300 students in classrooms that used to hold 15. You end up with a system where hundreds of thousands of people have degrees that are totally worthless.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on rankings controversies ---

. . . two key competitive advantages: a skilled labor force and a business-friendly regulatory and tax environment

"Lessons of the Irish Comeback:  Investors would be shortsighted to overlook the country's progress. Other indebted governments would have to be blind," by Michael Hasenstab, The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2011 ---

Recently, headline news out of Europe has led investors on a vertigo-inducing roller-coaster ride. Markets have swung wildly on the latest rumors and fears. Skepticism regarding Greece's ability to pay back its debt seems to have hardened. However, lost in all the tumult is one of the euro zone's newly reformed members. Ireland's example could offer other indebted countries some inspiration for solving their own crises.

Ireland was brought down by its wayward, over-leveraged banking system, which fueled a private-sector credit boom and a real-estate bubble. But this financial froth belied strong economic fundamentals and two key competitive advantages: a skilled labor force and a business-friendly regulatory and tax environment.

Moreover, fiscal policy was prudent leading into the crisis. In 2007 Ireland's public debt was only 25% of its gross domestic product and its budget was balanced, albeit thanks, in part, to strong tax revenues from a credit-fueled economic boom.

The financial crisis and ensuing global downturn dealt a heavy blow. But Irish citizens and politicians rolled up their sleeves and quickly worked to repair and rebuild. The early results are promising.

Unable to rely on an exchange-rate adjustment, Ireland has engineered a more than 20% drop in unit labor costs in manufacturing since 2008—which boosts its competitiveness equivalent to a 20% currency depreciation. Broad-based wage cuts have been painful, but they are working: Since January 2008 Ireland's trade surplus has doubled, and now runs at more than 20% of GDP.

This robust export performance has more than offset the ongoing adjustment in the domestic economy. As a result, Ireland was Europe's second fastest growing economy in the second quarter of this year, expanding at an annual rate of 2.3%. The recovery in GDP growth in turn helped Ireland to meet and exceed the deficit-reduction targets set by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Last year Ireland was also the first member of the euro zone's so-called periphery to return to an external current-account surplus, though it dipped back to a deficit this year. The IMF now expects it to return to a surplus of 2.3% of GDP by the end of next year. This is in sharp contrast to Greece and Portugal, which both have current-account deficits still hovering around 10% of GDP.

Meanwhile, the government has resisted pressure from its EU partners to raise its 12.5% corporate-tax rate. Dublin's regulatory touch also remains light. This business climate, along with a productive and educated work force, has served as a magnet for foreign direct investment. It rose 19% in the first half of this year, led by technology and services companies.

Ireland's policies have also pulled its banks back from the brink. The country has recapitalized its banking system, which continues to deleverage aggressively. The country's banking stress-tests have been among the most demanding and credible in Europe. They are the only ones to have relied on an independent external agency instead of just government regulators.

Beyond the country's strong economic fundamentals, broad social and political consensus sets Ireland apart. Austerity is bitter medicine to swallow, but Ireland's citizens understand there was no easy way out of their predicament, and that their short-term sacrifices are laying the groundwork for sustainable growth in the future. Thanks to this general social consensus—in contrast to the rioting and protests seen further south in Europe—and despite a change in government, Ireland's reforms remain fully on track.

While policy makers in the euro zone take the difficult steps to ensure the single currency's survival, markets will remain volatile and be tempted to paint all embattled European countries with the same brush. But that would only repeat an old mistake.

During the first 10 years of the euro's existence, markets ignored the fact that some member countries were accumulating unsustainable imbalances—only to be caught off-guard when sovereign spreads suddenly widened.

Continued in article

"KMPG: 'Cloud is Now'; Technology Spend to Leap Next Year," SmartPros, October 6, 2011 ---

The vast majority of senior executives globally say their organizations have already moved at least some business activities to the Cloud and expect 2012 investment to skyrocket, with some companies planning to spend more than a fifth of their IT budget on Cloud next year, according to a report by KPMG International.

“Clearly, these findings proclaim, ‘the Cloud is now,’” said Bryan Cruickshank, KPMG head of Global IT Advisory, Management Consulting. “Clearly Cloud is transcending IT and widely impacting business operations, as a full third of survey respondents said it would fundamentally change their business, which is significant considering many organizations are still developing their Cloud strategies.”

In a KPMG global survey of organizations that will use the Cloud, as well as companies that will provide Cloud services, economic factors were cited by 76 percent of both groups as an important driver for Cloud adoption. However, a number of other considerations were equally or more important: 80 percent said the switch to Cloud was driven by efforts to improve processes, offering more agility across the enterprise; 79 percent of users and 76 percent of providers said they saw it as having technical benefits, in some cases improvements that they otherwise could not gain from their own data centers; and, 76 percent said the use of Cloud would have strategic benefits, possibly including transforming their business models to gain a competitive advantage.

Most user respondents to the KPMG survey (81 percent) said they were either evaluating Cloud, planned a Cloud implementation, or had already adopted a Cloud strategy and timeline for their organization, with almost one-quarter of them saying their organization already runs all core IT services on the Cloud (10 percent) or is in transition to do so (13 percent). Fewer than one in 10 executives say their company has no immediate plans to enter the Cloud environment.

“Cloud adoption is quickly shifting from a competitive advantage to an operational necessity, enabling innovation that can create new business models and opportunities,” said Steve Hasty, head of Global IT Advisory, Risk Consulting. “As this rapid adoption curve continues to gain momentum amid a struggling global economy, it is important for corporate leadership, directors and boards to be informed and engaged in strategic discussions about Cloud’s impact on their long-term growth opportunities and competitiveness.”

Hasty pointed out that the role of the corporate Cloud leader remained contentious. IT executives see migration to the Cloud as their initiative, while operations executives believe the CEO should lead the change. “Enter the Chief Integration Officer, as the traditional CIO’s role expands to break down potential silos and integrate internal and external business needs, systems and partners,” said Hasty.

KPMG previewed the survey findings this week during Oracle Open World, Oracle Corp.’s global conference in San Francisco.

IT-Business Executives Differ Moderately on Cloud Expectations

Executives whose companies would use a Cloud strategy agree that spending will rise significantly in 2012.

According to the KPMG survey, 17 percent of corporate executives said Cloud spending would exceed 20 percent of the total IT budget in 2012.

Continued in article


Blog Entry from Jerry Trites on October 7, 2011 --- http://uwcisa-assurance.blogspot.com/

Web Application Security: Business and Risk Considerations

ISACA has a White Paper on its website with the above title. The paper is an excellent resource for those interested in cloud risks and how to address them. That includes a lot of people!

One of the interesting parts of the paper is the table listing the various types of vulnerabilities encountered in the cloud. These include SQL Injection, Cross-site scripting and Insecure Direct Object Reference, among others. The paper goes on to list some areas of security to focus on, including some specific guidance on the old stand-by's of executive support, training and support.

The paper concludes with assurance considerations, including the use of Cobit to strengthen controls.

An excellent paper.
You can download it through this link.

Bob Jensen's threads on computing and network security ---

"LESSONS FROM DILBERT (about PowerPoint)," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, September 28, 2011 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on PowerPoint (with warnings) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#PowerPointHelpers

Nine Career Lessons from Dilbert --- http://blogs.gocomics.com/2011/05/nine-career-lessons-from-dilbert-comic-strips.html

Dilbert Comic Strip --- http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2008-06-03/?Page=2


Video Messaging and Self-Testing

September 27, 2011 message from Amy Dunbar

Has anyone used Google docs to create self-tests?  I have been creating self-tests in Flash, but I just discovered that I can create a “form” in Google docs that results in a self-test.  I can edit the form after I have created it, but if I delete a question it still stays in the Excel doc that records the student answers. I’m not sure what I am doing wrong. 

I am trying to get undergrads to engage in class, and I thought the Google self-tests might be one way. One thing I know for sure is that the way I am using Powerpoint doesn’t work. For example, I developed slides to illustrate a problem step by step.  Then I ask a similar question, and it’s like I’m speaking a different language. My students just tune out when the slides start going.

If the Google self-test works like I think it could, I could post a link to a self-test in a web page or slide, have the students work the question in class and submit the answer, and then bring up the answers in the Excel sheet to see in real time if students are understanding the concept.  I think clickers would do the same thing, but I should have adopted those at the beginning of the semester.

I’m open to any other suggestions you might have.


September 27, 2011 reply from Rick Lillie

Hi Amy,

Have you considered using VoiceThread as an alternative to the PowerPoint slides? You can still use PowerPoint slides or your own slides and mark them up as you talk about each slide. Rather than audio narration, you can use video narration that displays in a separate side window to the presentation screen.

This approach works much the same way as if you projected an image onto a whiteboard in the classroom and then talked to students while marking up the image. I use this technique in fully online classes. Students really like this approach. It might get you a better result than what you describe in your AECM post.

I use Google Docs and Spreadsheets to create an online scantron type answer sheet for quizzes. The underlying spreadsheet format is set up in the spreadsheet. The form is tied to the spreadsheet. You can select a theme to make the form look more appealing to students.

You should be able to modify the spreadsheet and then resave or recreate the form. Changes should then be reflected in the online form.

I hope this helps.

Rick Lillie
CalState San Bernardino

September 27, 2011 reply from Ruth Bender

Hi Amy

I don’t use it myself, but you might like to read this page and the comments below it.  @russeltarr has tweeted about it a few times.



Dr Ruth Bender
Cranfield School of Management

September 27, 2011 reply from Amy Dunbar

WOW!  That was a great talk with Rick Lillie.  I am going to check out eyejot (http://www.eyejot.com/)

and voicethread. (http://voicethread.com/).  Also Rick suggested the following book:


Rick also said he posts on a teaching/learning blog on the AAA Commons.


Bob Jensen's links to Tools of the Trade are at


Is it really possible for time to turn backwards?
Although my personal view is that Professor Kaku is five parts scientist and five parts publicity-seeking gadfly, this article by him makes skeptical sense to me.

"Has a Speeding Neutrino Really Overturned Einstein? Unlike religion or politics (or accountancy), science will mercilessly pursue the evidence with repeated experiments," by Michael Kaku, The Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2011 ---

. . .

Cracking the light barrier violated the core of Einstein's theory. According to relativity, as you approach the speed of light, time slows down, you get heavier, and you also get flatter (all of which have been measured in the lab). But if you go faster than light, then the impossible happens. Time goes backward. You are lighter than nothing, and you have negative width. Since this is ridiculous, you cannot go faster than light, said Einstein.

The CERN announcement was electrifying. Some physicists burst out with glee, because it meant that the door was opening to new physics (and more Nobel Prizes). New, daring theories would need to be proposed to explain this result. Others broke out in a cold sweat, realizing that the entire foundation of modern physics might have to be revised. Every textbook would have to be rewritten, every experiment recalibrated.

Cosmology, the very way we think of space, would be forever altered. The distance to the stars and galaxies and the age of the universe (13.7 billion years) would be thrown in doubt. Even the expanding universe theory, the Big Bang theory, and black holes would have to be re-examined.

Moreover, everything we think we understand about nuclear physics would need to be reassessed. Every school kid knows Einstein's famous equation E=MC2, where a small amount of mass M can create a vast amount of energy E, because the speed of light C squared is such a huge number. But if C is off, it means that all nuclear physics has to be recalibrated. Nuclear weapons, nuclear medicine and radioactive dating would be affected because all nuclear reactions are based on Einstein's relation between matter and energy.

If all this wasn't bad enough, it would also mean that the fundamental principles of physics are incorrect. Modern physics is based on two theories, relativity and the quantum theory, so half of modern physics would have to be replaced by a new theory. My own field, string theory, is no exception. Personally, I would have to revise all my theories because relativity is built into string theory from the very beginning.

How will this astonishing result play out? As Carl Sagan once said, remarkable claims require remarkable proof. Laboratories around the world, like Fermilab outside Chicago, will redo the CERN experiments and try to falsify or verify their results.

My gut reaction, however, is that this is a false alarm. Over the decades, there have been numerous challenges to relativity, all of them proven wrong. In the 1960s, for example, physicists were measuring the tiny effect of gravity upon a light beam. In one study, physicists found that the speed of light seemed to oscillate with the time of day. Amazingly, the speed of light rose during the day, and fell at night. Later, it was found that, since the apparatus was outdoors, the sensors were affected by the temperature of daylight.

Reputations may rise and fall. But in the end, this is a victory for science. No theory is carved in stone. Science is merciless when it comes to testing all theories over and over, at any time, in any place. Unlike religion or politics, science is ultimately decided by experiments, done repeatedly in every form. There are no sacred cows. In science, 100 authorities count for nothing. Experiment counts for everything.

Mr. Kaku, a professor of theoretical physics at City College of New York, is the author of "Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100" (Doubleday, 2011).

Jensen Comment
One thing is absolutely certain. The answers will not be found in the CRSP, Compustat, or AuditAnalytic databases.

Bob Jensen's threads on replication are at

"The Truth About Who Fights for Us:  In 2007, only 11% of enlisted military recruits came from the poorest U.S. neighborhoods.," by Ann Marlowe, The Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2011 ---

"What’s the Best Way to Measure Poverty: Income or Consumption?" by Mathew Phillips, Freakonomics, September 14, 2011 ---

Yesterday we learned that 15.1% of Americans were living in poverty in 2010, the highest level since 1993, and up nearly 1 percentage point from 2009, when it was 14.3%. That data is based on an income measurement which shows that in 2010, 46.2 million Americans were living below the poverty line, defined as $22,314 a year for a family of four.

But income is just one way to measure poverty, and a particularly tricky (and narrow) way at that – so says Notre Dame economist and National Poverty Center research affiliate, James Sullivan, who believes that to measure poverty strictly by income fails to accurately reflect people’s true economic circumstances. Income alone ignores the effects of things like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Medicaid, food stamps, and housing subsidies. From a Notre Dame press release on Sullivan’s recent poverty research:

“Income received from food stamps, for example, grew by more than $14 billion in 2009. By excluding these benefits in measuring poverty, the Census figures fail to recognize that the food stamps program lifts many people out of actual poverty,” Sullivan says. “If these programs are cut back in the future, actual poverty will rise even more.”

Using income-based numbers only also overlooks the struggles of many Americans who are tightening their belts – those who are worried about losing their jobs or facing foreclosure, or those who devote a large chunk of their paychecks to paying off medical bills. The standard of living for these people is lower than their income would suggest.

In a recent paper, Sullivan and co-author Bruce D. Meyer of the University of Chicago, argue that consumption offers a more robust measurement of poverty than income. Their key point is that poverty, when measured correctly, has declined over time, which is contrary to official measurements. Here’s the full version of their paper. From the abstract:

This paper examines changes in the extent of material deprivation in the United States from the early 1960s to 2009. We investigate how both income and consumption based poverty have changed over time and explore how these trends differ across family types. Estimates of changes in poverty over the past five decades are very sensitive to how resources are measured. A poverty measure that incorporates taxes falls noticeably more than a pre-tax income measure. Sharp differences are also evident between the patterns for income and consumption based poverty. Income poverty falls more sharply than consumption poverty during the 1960s. The reverse is true for the 2000s, although in 2009 consumption poverty rises more than income poverty… Income based poverty gaps have been rising over the last two decades while consumption based gaps have fallen. We show that how poverty is measured affects the composition of the poor, and that the consumption poor appear to be worse off than the income poor.

Some quick highlights:

Here are three graphs from their paper demonstrating the differences between income-based measurements of poverty, and consumption based measurements over time:

Continued in article

"Impact of Not Reporting Grades at Top MBA Programs," Inside Higher Ed, October 4, 2011 ---

The practice at elite M.B.A. programs of not reporting student grades is popular but may not be achieving its stated goals, according to a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The theory, believed by many students, is that the policy of keeping grades secret encourages students to take risks in their educations, and to take challenging courses. But at several of the business schools with the policy, reports suggest high levels of apathy and little evidence of the intellectual risk-taking proponents cite, the study found.

"M.B.A. Students Who Don't Share Grades With Employers Tend to Study Less." by Dan Berrett, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 3, 2011 ---

Jensen Comment
I guess the transcripts with grades will only be sent to students and former students who must then decide to whom transcripts with grades will be disclosed.

I never quite understood how this works in practice. Employers typically demand transcripts with grades. Doctoral programs typically require transcripts when evaluating applicants. How can a candidate's refusal to report grades be viewed as anything other than negative when applying for a job or further graduate study?

Of course this is a bit of an exercise in futility in MBA programs where virtually all graduates get only A and B grades. Some programs allow C grades if each C grade is offset by an A grade in another course. In any case grade disclosure is somewhat an exercise in futility if a B-average is required for graduation.

Much more important from the standpoint of top students, employers, and prospective doctoral programs would be a student's graduating rank in the class much like military academies rand graduates. General MacArthur was a high ranking graduate of West Point whereas General Eisenhower had a lackluster ranking.

"Are Claims Of Transparency All They Are Cracked Up To Be?" by Philip J. Grossmana, Mana Komaib and Evelyne Beniec, Monash University, ISSN 1441-5429, 2011 ---


The current "buzzword" among leaders is "transparency." Hardly a day goes by that a group leader (politician, manager, or administrator) doesn’t state that he values transparency and will provide full disclosure of his information and actions. This project tests experimentally whether or not leaders, when given a choice, actually reveal a preference for transparency. Our experiment is based on a theoretical model by Komai, Stegeman, and Hermalin (2007). Fifteen subjects are randomly assigned to five groups of three. Each group separately participates in an investment game with three possible return scenarios (high, average, and low) that are equally likely to happen. Investing in the low-return scenario is not profitable to either individual group members or the whole group. In the average-return scenario, group well-being is maximized if all the group members invest in the project, but full cooperation may not be achieved simply because the dominant strategy of the individuals is to free ride on others. In the high-return scenario full cooperation is also optimal for the group, but subjects may or may not coordinate on full cooperation because they may fail to coordinate their efforts with the others. We consider a leader-follower setting. Only one member of the group (the leader) observes the scenario. The leader moves before the rest of the group members and first decides whether or not to invest in the project. The leader then chooses between two information regimes: revealing his decision and the return scenario to the rest of the group or revealing his decision but not the return scenario. Absent any information provided by their leader, followers know only the possible return scenarios and their likelihoods. They do not know which scenario is assigned to their group. Given the leaders’ information choices and investment decisions, the relevant information will be conveyed to the followers. The followers then will separately and simultaneously decide whether or not to invest in the project (followers do not know anything about the different information regimes). This is realistic in many real-world circumstances because in many business or political environments the leaders have exclusive access to critical information and are in charge of deciding whether or not to reveal the details of their information and actions to their potential followers; in many circumstances it is practically difficult for the followers to verify the real information or the leaders’ actions.

Keywords: Transparency, leading by example, free-riding, cooperation.

Bob Jensen's threads on standard setting controversies are at

"SOCIAL SECURITY IS A PONZI SCHEME," by Anthony H. Catanach and J.Edward Ketz, Grumpy Old Accountants, September 27, 2011 ---

Jensen Comment
When I made this assertion over a year ago, Jagdish Gangolly objected on the premise that Social Security was just a pay-as-you go program that was not a Ponzi fraud.. This begs the question about when a pay-as-you go system becomes a Ponzi fraud. I think it becomes a Ponzi fraud when the probability of sustaining future obligations with price-level-adjusted (PLA) payments becomes highly improbable.

Social Security Trust Funds filled with worker and employer contributions have played out without any hope that trust fund buildup with premiums can meet current or future entitlements obligations. A huge part of the problem is that Congress added billions of entitlements to persons at any age that are declared disabled who never paid anywhere near enough premiums to cover their future takeouts. Another huge part of the problem is that Congress wiped out these trust funds with IOUs so the trust fund cash could be spent on current programs and wars rather than being invested for the future like most trust funds in the private sector.

Be that as it may, is Social Security a Ponzi fraud as argued by Catanach, Ketz, Rick Perry, and many others?
My argument is that Social Security will always meet pension and disability entitlements contracted obligations, at least nominally, as long as the United States itself does not totally implode due to more serious entitlements obligations like Medicare and Medaid, The reason is that Ben Bernanke, Paul Krugman, the Weimar Republic, and Robert Mugabe have shown us how to meet government's contractual obligations simply by printing its legal tender without borrowing or taxing.

Of course in 2060 a $1,000,000 USD may not buy a single chicken egg --- as is the case for a million Zimbabwe dollars today.

Thus, whether Social Security is a Ponzi scheme really depends upon whether we're talking meeting entitlements obligations with nominal dollars or dollars indexed for changes in purchasing power. If were talking meeting entitlements with PLA dollars, Social Security is a hopeless Ponzi fraud, because there's virtually no hope of meeting obligations in 2060 with PLA dollars.

Bob Jensen's threads on entitlements are at

Why do more winning hands at poker equate to winning less money (net)? --- Click Here

Also how does playing more hands of poker differ from portfolio theory?

The answer lies in risk diversification in portfolio that is not present in playing more hands of poker, especially when the stakes are limited in poker.

If the stakes are unlimited, poker players with lots of time on their hands and unlimited funds never lose any money at poker.
Why is that?

This is known in statistics as the St. Petersburg Paradox ---
Which is why casinos always limit the bets.
Of course every poker player has limited time and funds except maybe Ben Bernanke and his successors controlling the printing presses.

"Texas May Cut Almost Half of Undergrad Physics Programs," Inside Higher Ed, September 27, 2011 ---

Almost half of undergraduate programs at public colleges and universities in Texas are in danger of being eliminated because they do not meet a new state requirement of graduating at least 25 students every five years, UPI reported. Many physics programs nationally do not graduate large numbers of undergraduates, but are considered vital nonetheless because of the role of the discipline in preparing students for a variety of science and engineering related fields, and because of the significance of research in physics. A delegation from the American Physical Society recently met with officials of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to discuss concerns about enforcing the rule with regard to physics. Raymund Paredes, the Texas commissioner of higher education, said he would not back exceptions to the rule. "In this budgetary environment, we can't afford the luxury of programs not producing graduates," he told UPI. "It's up to academic departments faced with closure of programs to salvage them."

Jensen Comment
Although physics courses may be vital to an undergraduate curriculum in science, it would seem like having physics majors is not so "vital" in a large state university that graduates less than five undergraduate majors per year on average. Some more "useless degrees" than physics have more majors per year. The problem in most of those instances is that the numbers of graduates in disciplines like journalism, advertising, agriculture, music, psychology, horticulture, and animal science greatly exceeds the demand even for PhD graduates in those disciplines.


The most useless 20 college degrees," The Daily Beast, April 27, 2011 ---
As college seniors prepare to graduate, The Daily Beast crunches the numbers to determine which majors—from journalism to psychology —didn’t pay.

Some cities are better than others for college graduates. Some college courses are definitely hotter than others. Even some iPhone apps are better for college students than others. But when it comes down to it, there’s only one question that rings out in dormitories, fraternities, and dining halls across the nation: What’s your major?

Slide Show
02. Horticulture
03. Agriculture
04. Advertising
05. Fashion Design
06. Child and Family Studies
07. Music
08. Mechanical Engineering Technology
09. Chemistry
10. Nutrition
11. Human Resources
12. Theatre
13. Art History
14. Photography
15. Literature
16. Art
17.Fine Arts
18. Psychology
19. English
20. Animal Science


Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

Eleven Rules of Life
(from the book "Dumbing Down our Kids")
by Charles J. Sykes, 1995

Thank you Dan Gheorghe Somnea for the heads up.

Rule 1:
Life is not fair - get used to it

Rule 2:
The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself

Rule 3:
You will NOT make $40,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both

Rule 4:
If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss

Rule 5:
Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping - they called it opportunity

Rule 6:
If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them

Rule 7:
Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your own room

Rule 8:
Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life

Rule 9:
Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time!

Rule 10:
Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs

Rule 11:
Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

From the Scout Report on September 30, 2011

Visualize.me --- http://vizualize.me/ 

Visualize.me is based in Toronto, and they believe the traditional text resume is "boring, lengthy, and long overdue for a makeover." With that in mind, they have created the Visualize.me application. Visitors can sign up here to create an interactive and graphically exciting version of their resume that is quite novel. First-time visitors should watch the introductory video on the site, and then look over a few of the sample resumes. The tool is quite a find, and this version of the application is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer and Mac OS X 10.3 and newer.

Twimbow --- http://www.twimbow.com/ 

Twinbow is a web application designed to help social media user to engage their network of friends more effectively. The application's basic function allows users to associate certain feeds (like Twitter or RSS) with certain colors. This way, users can search for items of interest more easily. One of the other nice features is that its dashboard format allows users view pictures in-client and they can also read news and other articles without leaving the application. This version is compatible with all operating systems, including Linux.


From the Scout Report on October 7, 2011

Magnt --- http://magnt.com/ 

Have you thought about creating your own website? Perhaps you feel that it might take too much time or be too complicated? Never fear, as Magnt is here. After signing up for a free account, Magnt will walk you through the creation of a personal website by using a number of existing templates and customized graphics. Also, users can bring together all of their social networks on their site, which makes communication with friends and potential business partners convenient. This version is compatible with all operating systems.

Puush --- http://puush.me/ 

The Puush application allows users to take advantage of keyboard shortcuts or drag-drop gestures to quickly capture any portion of their screen or upload any file. The files are effectively "puush'd", which leaves a short URL in the clipboard, which means they can be easily shared with others. Visitors can also archive and embed their files for free, which is quite nice. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP and newer and Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6

Tomas Transtromer awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature
Swedish Poet Wins Nobel Prize for Literature [Free registration may be

Swedish poet Transtromer wins Nobel in literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2011: Press Release

Tomas Transtromer

Tomas Transtromer: Poetry

The Nobel Prize in Literature


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

Education Tutorials

Careerzone --- http://careerzone.ny.gov/cz/stem/index.jsp

Bob Jensen's threads on careers ---

PBS Teachers: STEM Education Resource Center --- http://www.pbs.org/teachers/stem/

Transition Mathematics Project (remedial) --- http://transitionmathproject.org

Genetic/Genome Lesson Plans --- http://www.kumc.edu/gec/lessons.html

Popular High School Books Available as Free eBooks & Audio Books --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's threads on free books (including textbooks) ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free lectures, courses, videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---

Lecture Style Trumps Content
The Great Dr. Fox Lecture: A Vintage Academic Hoax (1970) --- Click Here


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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

How a Flu Invades Your Body: An Animated Look --- Click Here

Stem Cell Resources --- http://www.stemcellresources.org/

Genetic/Genome Lesson Plans --- http://www.kumc.edu/gec/lessons.html

PBS Teachers: STEM Education Resource Center --- http://www.pbs.org/teachers/stem/

nanoHUB.org: Simulation, Education, and Community for Nanotechnology --- http://nanohub.org/

A Case Study of Memory Loss in Mice (a teaching case) ---

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science ---

National Center for Biotechnology Information: Tutorials [Flash Player] --- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/education/tutorials/

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

Plants in Space --- http://www.bioedonline.org/space/STS_Mission_134P.cfm

When Is Dinner Served? Predicting the Spring Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine --- http://serc.carleton.edu/eet/phytoplankton/index.html

Benthic Marine Algal Herbarium of L.I. Sound --- http://www.algae.uconn.edu/

MAE 10: Introduction to Engineering Computations --- http://ocw.uci.edu/courses/course.aspx?id=129

National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service Education & Outreach --- http://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/EducationOutreach.html

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

Steven Pinker on the History of Violence: A Happy Tale --- Click Here

Miller-McCune (Journalism, Business, and Research Magazine) ---  http://www.miller-mccune.com/

Improving Access to Medicines for Non-Communicable Diseases in the Developing World --- http://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/OP349.html

National Center for Media Engagement --- http://www.mediaengage.org/

Los Angeles Economic Roundtable --- http://www.economicrt.org/

The BizWorld Foundation (Venture Capital, Entrepreneurship) --- http://www.bizworld.org/

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

Law and Legal Studies

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

Math Tutorials

Transition Mathematics Project (remedial) --- http://transitionmathproject.org

Teaching and Research with Original Sources from the Euler Archive ---

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

History Tutorials

British Museum: Treasures of Heaven --- http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/treasures_of_heaven.aspx

The Fall by Albert Camus Animated --- Click Here

Google Puts The Dead Sea Scrolls Online (in Super High Resolution) --- Click Here

A cleverly-constructed timeline on the history of the world's great religions --- http://www.mapsofwar.com/images/Religion.swf
Museum of Biblical Art (video) ---  http://www.mobia.org/index.php

Noam Chomsky & Michel Foucault Debate Human Nature & Power (1971) --- Click Here

Noam Chomsky vs. William F. Buckley, 1969 --- Click Here

Steven Pinker on the History of Violence: A Happy Tale --- Click Here

Jacques Derrida Deconstructs American Attitudes --- Click Here

Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands ---


The Warhol: Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross --- http://www.warhol.org/exhibitions/2011/heroesandvillains/

PA's Past: Digital Bookshelf (Pennsylvania History) ---  http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/digital/digitalbookshelf.html

Alley of the Gardens of Monet at Giverny --- http://www.expo-monet.com/1_3.cfm?ID=1803782493
Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monet#External_links

Boston Streets: Mapping Directory Data --- http://dca.lib.tufts.edu/features/bostonstreets/index.html

Civil War Era National Cemeteries: Honoring Those Who Served ---

Computing History

UCLA's Internet Project --- http://www.ccp.ucla.edu/pages/internet-report.asp 

Timeline of Computing History --- http://www.computer.org/computer/timeline/ 

Making the Macintosh --- http://library.stanford.edu/mac/index.html

The History of Computing --- http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/ 

American University Computer History Museum --- http://www.computinghistorymuseum.org/ 

The Apple (Computer) Museum  --- http://www.theapplemuseum.com/ 

A History of Microsoft Windows (slide show from Wired News) --- http://www.wired.com/gadgets/pcs/multimedia/2007/01/wiredphotos31

Oldcomputers.com  --- http://www.old-computers.com/news/default.asp

Aesthetics + Computation Group: MIT Media Laboratory --- http://acg.media.mit.edu/projects/

Personal Computer History
"Forgotten PC history: The true origins of the personal computer --- The PC's back story involves a little-known Texas connection," by Lamont Wood, Computer World, August 8, 2008 --- Click Here


From the Scout Report on September 30, 2011

New project brings more of the Dead Sea Scrolls online
Dead Sea Scrolls come to life on the Web

Dead Sea Scrolls Go Online In Israel Museum Project With Google

Google's Dead Sea Scrolls Project: Why Putting Parchment & Papyrus in the
Cloud Matters to Civilization

The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls

Educational Site: Dead Sea Scrolls

Dead Sea Scrolls

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

Sounds of a Forest --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_CDLBTJD4M&feature=youtu.be

Martha Pellerin Collection of Franco-American Song
http://cdi.uvm.edu/collections/getCollection.xql?pid=vfcpellerin&title=Martha Pellerin Collection of Franco-American Song 

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials

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

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

September 27, 2011

September 28, 2011

September 29, 2011

September 30, 2011

October 1, 2011


October 3, 2011

October 4, 2011

October 5, 2011

October 6, 2011

October 7, 2011

October 8, 2011

October 10, 2011

October 12, 2011


How a Flu Invades Your Body: An Animated Look --- Click Here

Forwarde4 by Gene and Joan

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Peppers with 3 (males) bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 (females) bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of Spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream; then beat them.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste Of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Reheat Pizza Heat leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove; set heat to med-low And heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the food channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal; mash till they are all broken up Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy; squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done - easy clean up.

Reheating refrigerated bread To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in A microwave next to a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food Moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds away Start putting torn newspaper in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, Put layers around the plants, overlapping as you go; cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic; they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

Flexible vacuum To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and ... Ta DA! ... Static is gone.

Measuring Cups Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient (peanut butter, honey, etc.) and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield? Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, Just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

Conditioner Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2 with Apple Cider Vinegar And 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

INFO ABOUT CLOTHES DRYERS The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes.) He took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material . I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. Well .... the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh - that's what burns out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box ... well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush at least every six months. He said that increases the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that!?! Learn something new every day! I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that. So, I thought I'd share! Note: I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it .... the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn't any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!


The Phyllis Diller Gag File --- http://americanhistory.si.edu/documentsgallery/exhibitions/diller/

Aging Boomers ---

Julia Sweeney "Sex Ed." Monologue --- http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/04/06/wits-sweeney/

Sister Myotis on Thongs - Halleluja! Amen! --- http://videos2view.net/thongs.htm

John Hodgman Riffs on Magicians and Their Craft at Maker Faire --- Click Here

New Hampshire is seldom ranked first in anything other than primary election dates. However, Lauren Srelb in Newsweek Magazine asserts that New Hampshire ranks Number 1 among our 50 states in beer "consumption" per capita ---
"Bottoms Up," by Lauren Strelb, Newsweek Magazine, October 10 & 17, 2011, Page 29 ---

Jensen Comment
This actually surprises me since New Hampshire has no large cities, no large factories, no large colleges, no large breweries, no large population of German descendents, etc. I think this is a statistical fluke attributed to the fact that New Hampshire has much cheaper alcohol prices than any of its bordering states, including Canada. And New Hampshire has no sales tax on beer and booze, unlike all of its neighbors. Outsiders come into New Hampshire to carry off beer, wine, and booze by the carload. New Hampshire probably has the only selected interstate exits that go nowhere other than giant liquor stores on I-95 and I-93, and I-91.

Hence, Lauren Strelb may be incorrect in concluding that New Hampshire residents "consume" the most beer. It may be more correct to conclude that New Hampshire "sells" the most beer per capita to budget-minded couch potatoes who slink back to their home states.

Other items to note in the study. Anheuser-Busch brews more beer than the next nine U.S. competitors combined. The U.S. ranks 15 behind 14 drunker nations headed by the Czech Republic and Ireland. Americans drink more soft drinks than beer, coffee, and liquor combined.

There's a German polka that goes something like:
In heaven there is no beer
That's why we drink it here


Forwarded by Dan Gheorghe Somnea in Romania

2011 Security Alerts for Travel in Europe
by John Cleese

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Libya and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels .

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be all right, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the Barbie this weekend!" and "The Barbie is canceled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

-- John Cleese - British writer, actor and tall person

Source --- http://biserica.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=5040#5040

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