Tidbits on May 15 2014
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

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 

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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/

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories


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

You Can Now Watch Thousands of Fascinating Old Newsreels on YouTube for Free ---

Peter Sellers Presents The Complete Guide To Accents of The British Isles ---

PennSound Cinema (on writing and literature) --- http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/video.php

Sigmund Freud Appears in Rare, Surviving Video & Audio Recorded During the 1930s ---

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

Marine Stuns Crowd at a Party --- 

German String Quartet Performs Vivaldi & Mozart in Delightfully Comical & Acrobatic Routine ---

Johnny Cash Impersonates Elvis Presley: A Slapstick Version of “Heartbreak Hotel” (1959) ---

The Land That Made Me, Me (life in the 1950s) --- https://www.youtube.com/v/J55S38xwxnQ

Lost in the Fifties- Another Time, Another Place - YouTube --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjj9VKKSV2g

GI Joe And Lillie --- http://silverandgoldandthee.net/V/Lil.html

Watch the Talking Heads Play a Vintage Concert in Syracuse (1978) ---

Neil deGrasse Tyson Moonwalking ---

Unreal Photos From Shackleton's 1914 Antarctic Expedition ---

Such Sweet Thunder: Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn’s Musical Tribute to Shakespeare (1957) ---

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

Pandora (my favorite online music station) --- www.pandora.com
(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's threads on nearly all types of free music selections online ---

Photographs and Art

Discover 100 Great Works of Art with Videos Created by Khan Academy & Google Art Project ---

Stunning And Eerie Photos Show 'Ground Zero' Of Chernobyl Years After The Nuclear Disaster ---

The Clark: Digital Collections (art, photography, literature, history) ---  http://maca.cdmhost.com/

A Woman Quit Her Job To Travel For Two Years And Took These Incredible Photos In Africa ---

Image Gallery: Egypt's Valley of the Kings ---

India Illustrated --- http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/p15195coll29

Mary Binney Wheeler Image Collection (India and Sri Lanka) ---  http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/wheeler/index.html

Golden Retriever Forms Incredible Bond With Abandoned Kitten ---

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

Download 55 Free Online Literature Courses: From Dante and Milton to Kerouac and Tolkien ---

Mark Twain Writes a Rapturous Letter to Walt Whitman on the Poet’s 70th Birthday (1889) ---

Martin Heidegger Talks Philosophy with a Buddhist Monk on German Television (1963) ---

Leo Tolstoy --- http://www.ltolstoy.com/

Vintage Footage of Leo Tolstoy: Video Captures the Great Novelist During His Final Days ---

PennSound Cinema (on writing and literature) --- http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/video.php

Jean-Luc Godard Gives a Dramatic Reading of Hannah Arendt’s “On the Nature of Totalitarianism” ---

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

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on May 15, 2014

U.S. National Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Also see http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

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

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

"Why We Teach--Four Short Stories," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, May 7, 2014 ---

Jensen Reply

Is this a love of teaching?

Thanks Joe,

I will forward your message to AECM.

Before asking why a professor teaches it might be more interesting to ask a professor why she or he got a PhD where, in accounting, teaching goes hand in hand with becoming a PhD since almost no accounting PhDs get paid for full time research.

Interestingly, most accounting professors seek to minimize their teaching loads in terms of class size, number of preps, and number of courses per year. There are some tradeoffs. A professor who takes on a large course may only have to teach one course per term. These days research professors tend to teach four courses per year with two or three preps per year. One of my former students (Igor Vaysman) negotiated one course per year at UC Berkeley as an assistant professor of accounting. The course was a doctoral seminar in accountics.

My point is that love of teaching does not go hand-hand with a lot of teaching and a lot of preparation time, especially for those of us who were evaluated more in terms of the counts of hits in research journals than our teaching performance which did have to meet a minimum threshold. Spending a whole lot of time becoming a world class teacher in most cases entails research performance sacrifice. Those teachers that spend 35+ hours per week outside of class in one-on-one tutoring become beloved, albeit low-paid, career associate professors.

Now in answer to your original question, I entered a doctoral program intent of teaching and research because I was originally obsessed with being a ski bum but not a low income ski bum. I was working for Ernst & Ernst in Denver while still working on my MBA and really did not like the way tax season cut into ski season.

I looked at some of my tenured MBA professors at Denver University who literally did not teach more than two five hour courses per quarter and seemingly did not work more than 12 hours per week (including teaching) for DU. Most of them had businesses on the side, mostly tax consulting businesses. Grant Schaffer, my hero, had a lucrative tax consulting business and a 4,000 acre Colorado mountain ranch. He was a fabulous tax teacher because he was such an expert on the tax code.

That's the kind of job for me I concluded. My plan was was to get a free PhD from Stanford (plus room and board), work 12 hours per week as a tenured accounting professor and ski, raise horses, and chase wild women the rest of every week (I was single my first nine years of college).

After I got a PHD and took my first full-time faculty job at Michigan State University I was the married father of a new baby girl and lost all interest in skiing. Teaching became a necessary condition to my employment but most of my time went into research which I liked and knew that it was the most important thing for performance evaluations. I was successful at publishing and obtained my first endowed chair (at the University of Maine) after three years at MSU.

I ended up averaging 60 hours per week in teaching and research, loved every minute of it, and never looked back for the next 40 years. I might add that I much preferred being in academe rather than public accounting professional because I had almost total time control of my life in academia.

Each move during my 40 years as an accounting professor was for more pay and less teaching. I was evaluated on my output in teaching and research, but almost every day I could pick and choose what I wanted to do that particular day. There were no time clocks, time reports, and assignments to work on client problems. I could have skied, sailed, jogged, chased wild women, or whatever for 40 years, but for me leisure became boring and I loved my work and my colleagues.

I always wanted first and foremost to be a better scholar. I did enjoy my students, but in all honesty they were not my life. My life was in the library (where I spent more time than you would believe) and later on the computer (where I spent even more time as you can probably well believe).

Bob Jensen

Educating the Net Generation
Diana G. Oblinger and James L. Oblinger, Editors
ISBN 0-9672853-2-1 (free online)

Educating the Net Generation Diana G. Oblinger and James L. Oblinger, Editors

Chapter 1: Introduction by Diana Oblinger, EDUCAUSE, and James Oblinger, North Carolina State University

Chapter 2: Is It Age or IT: First Steps Toward Understanding the Net Generation by Diana Oblinger, EDUCAUSE, and James Oblinger, North Carolina State University

Chapter 3: Technology and Learning Expectations of the Net Generation by Greg Roberts, University of Pittsburgh–Johnstown

Chapter 4: Using Technology as a Learning Tool, Not Just the Cool New Thing by Ben McNeely, North Carolina State University

Chapter 5: The Student’s Perspective by Carie Windham, North Carolina State University

Chapter 6: Preparing the Academy of Today for the Learner of Tomorrow by Joel Hartman, Patsy Moskal, and Chuck Dziuban, University of Central Florida

• Introduction • Generations and Technology
• Emerging Pattern s
• Assessing the Generations in Online Learning
• Learning Engagement, Interaction Value, and Enhanced Learning in the Generation s
• Responding to Result s
• Excellent Teaching
• Conclusion • Endnote s
• Further Reading
• About the Authors

Chapter 7: Convenience, Communications, and Control: How Students Use Technology by Robert Kvavik, ECAR and University of Minnesota

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---

Hi Joe,

Education is a lot like a pair of dress shoes. One size won't fit all.

Studies show that pedagogy does not matter in terms of learning achievement of top students driven for A grades. They adapt to whatever it takes to earn those A grades. Pedagogy may matter in terms of their choice of majors and social relationships (such as team assignments) even for the top students. In other words pedagogy may matter in areas other than the minimum it takes to earn A grades.

The free and non-credit MOOCs work for the small subset of students driven to learn such as an aspiring engineer seeking a job that requires knowledge of Bessel functions --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessel_function 

MOOCs also serve a purpose for a student who only wants to learn a few things in a MOOC course. Examples abound here such as when a professor takes an advanced-level MOOC for ideas on what to build into her own courses and life.

In this context MOOCd are a bit like a campus library where we go for selected bits and pieces of knowledge.

Pedagogy may draw out talent and motivation such as when a really bright street kid who has been misguided by lowlife parents and/or street gangs. Bill Gates and other billionaires are pouring a lot of money into to developing the talented kids in the ghettos so that they do not become a lost generation.

The hardest kids to deal with are those between the special education level and the top half of a class when the problem is low talent rather than just low motivation. In nations like Germany these lower scholastic kids are redirected into careers they can handle and are never given a choice to go to college.

Germany only admits the top 25% into college.

In the USA we have a somewhat ineffective and certainly inefficient idea that everybody above the special education level should earn a college degree. So we put a community college, sometimes a really lousy community college, in every county in the USA.

Pressures to get college degrees are dysfunctional for low-talent students who mostly get saddled with debt and maybe diplomas that are little more than decorations on the wall.

Bob Jensen

Predicting the Outcome of the Kentucky Derby

One of my favorite economists in at the University of Chicago. He came into fame for his books and blog on Freakonomics. Every year Steven is asked to predict the winner of the Kentucky Derby ---

I make public predictions about anything exactly three times a year: who will win each of the three Triple Crown thoroughbred horse races.  Other than that, I predict nothing.

The nice thing about making so few predictions is that by the time next year’s predictions roll around, no one can remember how last year’s predictions turned out.  My very worst year, I named with confidence the horse that I believed would finish dead last, when in fact that horse won the race!  Nonetheless, people still asked me for my picks the next year.

This year, I even got invited to do a live Q&A on the Kentucky Derby, which you can check out at Deadspin.

So who do I like this year in the Kentucky Derby?  My top choice is a horse called Chitu.   His morning line odds are 20-1, and my model predicts he will be at about those same odds at race time.

There are another 6 horses in the 20 horse field I will also play in my exotic bets: Wildcat Red, Vicar’s In Trouble, General A Rod, Wicked Strong, Candy Boy, and Vinceremos.

My model says that the overwhelming favorite California Chrome is not such a bad bet either. But in races like the Kentucky Derby, where there is so much attention and so many horses, I have a general rule to steer clear of prohibitive favorites.  I think it is very easy for a herd mentality to take over (not among the horses, but among the bettors), which makes me feel like the favorites are bad bets.  People want to be able to say they had a winner in the Derby, so they bet the favorite.  And when they play exotics, they use rules of thumb which (I think) lead them to bet favorites too much.  So it is not that I think California Chrome doesn’t have a good chance of being among the top finishers, it is just that from a betting perspective I think he is a sucker bet.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
After the above article was published California Chrome won the race and is now eligible to win the Triple Crown for 2014.

Espinoza made his move into the clear rounding out of the far turn, and it became a race for second as the bronze-colored California Chrome finished 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.66 the slowest time over a fast track since 1974.

Are Kentucky Derby winners being bred to run faster making records fall in recent years?

Hint:  California Chrome finished the 1 1/4 miles (2,000 meters) in 2:03.66 minutes in the 2014 Kentucky Derby
Who won this Derby in with a record time of 1:59.40 minutes? When?


Personally I think Espinoza was the best horse on the track in the 2014 Derby. His jockey should have made Espinoza'a move earlier, but that's all hindsight at this point.

I owned horses in Florida that could beat California Chrome and Esp;inoza when they saw me going toward the feed barrel in the barn.

"How Data Visualization Answered One of Retail’s Most Vexing Questions," by Gretchen Gavett, Harvard Business Review Blog, May 9, 2014 ---

Sometimes it’s relatively easy to know what your customers are doing. In e-commerce, advances in tracking and analytics have made it possible for retailers to understand what individual customers are doing before they make a purchase, and to gather and analyze hundreds and thousands of data points to identify trends.

Brick-and-mortar stores haven’t had the same advantage.

“Retailers are all using scanner data to track what happened at the point of sale,” says Sam Hui, an associate professor of marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business. “But they have no idea what’s really happening at a point-of-purchase decision.”

This is changing with the emergence of location analytics. Take Alex and Ani, which designs and retails jewelry, and Belk, a department store chain. Both have signed on with Prism Skylabs, a software company, to map in-store customer behavior.

By using a store’s existing security cameras, or installing new ones, Prism (no relation to the NSA program) is able to track the movement of a store’s customers and identify patterns. “We’re not really looking at any individual; we’re looking at what a group of people over a period of time do,” says senior vice president of managed services Cliff Crosbie. “That’s the really big thing: Identifying what a volume of people do over a period of time, and how you read that information.”

In many ways, Prism is capturing the simplest aspects of shopping, aspects ecommerce websites now take for granted. “Retailers want to know what parts of their store are busy, and where customers particularly shop. So, if there’s a promotion on, when do people stop there and what do they do?” Prism can also track what happens on individual days, or over time, using a dashboard like this (rather than reams of Excel spreadsheets):

Continued in article

Visualization of Multivariate Data (including faces) ---

Jimmy Page --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Page_%28singer%29

A different kind of non-political commencement speech, almost a non-speech, in 2014 at the Berklee College of Music in Boston ---
Berklee musicians performed a concert the night before in honor of Page's performance history

One point to note is how some types of musicians, like Jimmy Page, and artists and athletes can be self taught  Some like Bode Miller are self taught early on, but Bode and most others receive training and education helpers in the advanced stages of their craft.

Being self-taught is probably almost impossible in professions such as brain surgery and combat flying. There are of course barriers to entry (possibly somewhat artificial) to some professions such those that require college diplomas for licensure and those that require expensive equipment such as a combat jet aircraft capable of supersonic speeds where owners of a $100 million aircraft will not allow use the equipment for self learning. A self-learning brain surgeon is not likely to have access to operating rooms and patients and staff until progressing through medical school.


What happens when a university on the brink of unexpected financial disaster attempts to cut faculty in most departments, but sees the need to hire new faculty in "growth areas?"

"Jobless in Two Days," by Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, May 14, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
There are no easy answers. Much depends upon the realities of "financial disaster." I recall that, when employees of Eastern Airlines refused to accept pay cuts to save their job, they lined up to cheer when Eastern Airlines failed for good so that no former Eastern Airlines employees kept their jobs. 

What makes the current Quinnipiac University case so controversial is that the employees being laid off apparently got or will soon get such short notice. Will Quinnipiac University employees all line up to cheer if Quinnipiac fails completely rather than endure the pains of such possibilities as layoffs of some employees and pay cuts of those that keep their jobs?

Can an anonymous tip from a disgruntled student get a teacher arrested for drunk driving?

"Can an Anonymous Tip Get You Arrested for Drunk Driving? In a recent Supreme Court case, both sides took liberties with the facts," by Garret Epps, The Atlantic, May 14, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
In recent years we've become accustomed to Supreme Court decisions in which the four conservative justices vote one way and the four liberal judges vote the opposite way with Justice Kennedy holding the swing vote. In this particular case, the voting blocks did not hold up in the 5-4 vote ---

THOMAS delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS , KENNEDY, BREYER , and ALITO joined.

SCALIA filed a dissenting opinion, in which GINSBURG , SOTOMAYOR , and KAGAN  joined.

Reports are that there are growing tensions between Justice Scalia versus Justice Sotomayor --- but not in this case!

Is Arizona State University soft on plagiarism, or is this the trend for most universities in the USA?

"New Book, New Allegations," by Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, May 13, 2014 ---

An investigation into plagiarism allegations against an Arizona State University professor of history in 2011 found him not guilty of deliberate academic misconduct, but the case remained controversial. The chair of his department’s tenure committee resigned in protest and other faculty members spoke out against the findings, saying their colleague – who recently had been promoted to full professor – was cleared even though what he did likely would have gotten an undergraduate in trouble.

Now, Matthew C. Whitaker has written a new book, and allegations of plagiarism are being levied against him once again. Several blogs – one anonymously, and in great detail – have documented alleged examples of plagiarism in the work. Several of his colleagues have seen them, and say they raise serious questions about Whitaker’s academic integrity.

Meanwhile, Whitaker says he won’t comment on allegations brought forth anonymously, and his publisher, the University of Nebraska Press, says it’s standing by him.

Three years ago, several senior faculty members in Whitaker’s department accused him of uncited borrowing of texts and ideas from books, Wikipedia and a newspaper article in his written work and a speech. In response, the university appointed a three-member committee to investigate. The group found that Whitaker’s work contained no “substantial or systematic plagiarism,” but that he had been careless in some instances, as reported by Inside Higher Ed at the time. As a result, the university did not impose serious sanctions on the scholar, who is the founding director of Arizona State’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.

In response, Monica Green, professor of history, resigned as department tenure committee chair. Several other professors called the investigation flawed and incomplete in a formal complaint to the university and in public statements.

Whitaker at the time told the university that his colleagues were pursuing a personal vendetta, possibly due to his race and the fact that they disagreed with his promotion, The Arizona Republic reported.

The university backed Whitaker, saying that the investigation had been thorough and carried out by distinguished scholars.

In January, the University of Nebraska Press published Whitaker’s newest book, Peace Be Still: Modern Black America from World War II to Barack Obama. Several prominent professors of history have written blurbs for the book, which won the Bayard Rustin Book Award from the Tufts University Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.

But not everyone is impressed.

Since the book’s publication, a blog called the Cabinet of Plagiarism has detailed numerous alleged instances of plagiarism in the book, including text and ideas taken from information websites and published scholarship. The blog is moderated by someone using the name Ann Ribidoux, who did not return a posted request for comment. There is no one on the Arizona State faculty by that name.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/05/13/arizona-state-professor-accused-plagiarism-second-time#ixzz31ajydqT2
Inside Higher Ed


Bob Jensen's threads on faculty who plagiarize or otherwise cheat ---

"The Most Misleading Product Claims" ---

Jensen Comment
The phrase "most misleading product claims" is misleading. The courts decided these were misleading claims, but nobody went to prison. More misleading are those claims that were so egregious folks went to prison.

There are dubious infomercial claims that landed promoters in jail. For example Kevin Turdeau finally got his just rewards
Fraudster Author and Infomercial King Kevin Trudeau Gets 10 Years In Prison For Massive Deception ---

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---

Correlation versus Causation Nonsense ---

Jensen Comment
Academics spend much of their time searching for underlying factors that may provide some justification for causation assumptions in correlations. Probably the most famous illustration is the relatively high correlation of birth rates with stork nests in Denmark.  Over the years statisticians have not presented credible explanations for common causal factors, although if I were looking I would look at food data that relates to prosperity in which both human parents and stork parents have changes in food abundance over long periods of time. Sadly human diets are much more complicated than the diets of storks.

The Average American Can't Answer These Three Simple Finance Questions ---

Here’s a frightening fact via The Atlantic’s Moises Naim.  Roughly half of the world can’t answer these three questions correctly:

1.  Suppose you had $100 in a savings account and the interest rate was 2 percent per year. After five years, how much do you think you would have in the account if you left the money to grow? A) more than $102; B) exactly $102; C) less than $102; D) do not know; refuse to answer.

2.  Imagine that the interest rate on your savings account is 1 percent per year and inflation is 2 percent per year. After one year, would you be able to buy A) more than, B) exactly the same as, or C) less than today with the money in this account?; D) do not know; refuse to answer.

3.  Do you think that the following statement is true or false? “Buying a single company stock usually provides a safer return than a stock mutual fund.” A) true; B) false; C) do not know; refuse to answer.

Even worse – 70% of Americans can’t answer all three questions correctly.  And we wonder why the world seems to have so many persistent financial problems.  We don’t even come close to understanding the construct of money or how it should be used.  The world desperately needs to become better educated on the topic of money, finance and economics.  It certainly won’t solve all of our financial problems, but information really is power when it comes to money.   Unfortunately, we don’t even teach basic finance in most schools and economists can’t even agree on what “money” is in the first place.  We have a long road ahead of us but it’s not too late to get started….

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
People who cannot answer the above questions cannot answer the question of why the Feds low interest strategy (Quantitative Easing) has wiped out savings of tens of millions of people young and old. This is especially troublesome for the elderly. My parents, for example, used to draw off upwards of 6% interest on certificates of deposit (CDs while leaving the investment amount intact. Today they would have to cut into the savings with CDs earning less than 1%. That's what is happening to senior citizens today. They are eating their seed corn and when the savings are gone they have little left to live on except for their meager Social Security checks.

My question would be how long it would have taken my parents to double the value of a 6% investment compounded annually if all interest payments are plowed back into savings at the same 6% (ignore inflation and taxes)? This is a question raised years ago in the popular economics textbook by Paul Samuelson. My parents had sufficient income from their pensions and farm to enable them to leave some CDs untouched for 12 or more years. Of course they faced the realities of inflation (higher than today's inflation rate) and taxes (higher than today's taxation of the middle class).

My guess is that 90% of the adults in the USA could not answer the above question, especially if complications of taxes and inflation were thrown into the problem.

Financial troubles are a bigger cause of divorce and sexual troubles. It's especially dangerous for couples to pile on debt for such things as student loan repayments, mortgage loans. car loans, and ever deepening credit card debt reflecting spending sell beyond income. This creates tension in individuals and families. Fights ensue over money and debt. Many couples declare bankruptcy but there are some debts that carry on after bankruptcy declarations.

What person wants to marry a spouse carrying $65,000 student that cannot be eliminated by declaring bankruptcy?

My opinion is that financial literacy should be a part of college core skills requirements for the sake of financial sanity in the USA ---

Khan Academy provides some great financial literacy free learning videos ---

Bob Jensen's personal finance helpers ---

Toyota's hottest car is Subaru (almost a secret), which is a bit surprising since Subaru does not produce fuel efficient (all wheel drive) cars ---
Subaru sells well in snow and ice country. I own a 2009 Subaru Forrester that I purchased in 2010 in the Cash for Clunker government program.  We don't drive much and it only 32,000 miles.

Some of my nearby friends prefer higher mileage cars. They seem to go for higher mileage GM choices. Subaru is generally rated highest in safety in its class, although luxury cars have higher safety ratings. I think Subaru overcharges for the regular 15,000 mile service required for warranty coverage. But car dealers generally stick it to buyers in one way or another.

I also have a Jeep that I seldom drive since if I drive it much something is bound to fall apart. I will never buy a Chrysler vehicle again.


"Why Aren't Teens Reading Like They Used To?" by Jennifer Ludden, NPR, May 12, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
In part a teen's reading interest might be affected by parents who read less than their parents and so on for generations.

In part this is definitional. Teens and parents are reading more "things" online. Reading varies in terms of study and retention. If I'm going to comment on an article I read from a hard copy magazine my attention will be about the same as if I read the article online. I do subscribe to hard copy things like The Economist that I can also access online. However, I'm more apt to speed read almost every page cover-to-cover in hard copy, whereas I do not even download most of the online articles except those few each week that I'm especially interested in for purposes of making a blog posting.

Maybe teens are like me. When I'm traveling and not on a computer I'm more apt to have my nose in a hard copy book. More often than not this is a book I read for fun --- often to pass time in a hotel or medical office.

"A Second Rice Revolution Could Save Millions Of Lives," The Economist, May 9, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
The "Second Rice Revolution" may save millions of fewer lives where (as in California) rice farms are turning into parched dust farms ---

"We Could Be At The Start Of A Sea Change In American Migration Patterns ," by Conor Sen, Business Insider, May 9, 2014 ---

As my road trip winds down, I’ve seen with my own eyes that every city has “global neighborhoods” — thriving areas that appeal to some combination of young singles, immigrants, “global/college-educated talent,” and the like. Market Square in Knoxville. Short North and the German Village in Columbus. Downtown and Fountain Square in Indianapolis. And with the construction going on, you can tell that both the private sector and local governments know what’s working and where to direct resources.

It’s interesting because as the economy continues to shake off the past 5 years, municipal budgets improve, the oldest Millennials start to form households and have kids in greater numbers, mega-city housing costs becoming increasingly prohibitive, and high-powered services companies look to “outsource” their jobs the way manufacturing companies did towards the middle of the 20th century, we could be at the start of a sea change in migration patterns.

We are not going to live in some dystopia in 2030 where a handful of elites have great jobs, schools, and short commutes in mega-cities while the rest of us deal with 2-hour long commutes and/or bad schools in order to get by.

The vision I have is there are four basic city/neighborhood archetypes taking shape:

Global neighborhoods in global mega-cities: Pac Heights. The Mission. Wicker Park. Georgetown. The West Village. Williamsburg. The only people living here are the super-rich and/or global talent without dependents. This is the new aspiration that people will overpay for.

Local neighborhoods in global mega-cities: These are places in global mega-cities that still provide access to the jobs and amenities those regions provide, but there’s something undesirable about them. Maybe it’s a long commute (families). Maybe it’s an unsafe neighborhood and/or bad schools (immigrants, singles). It’s where people who are uneconomic buyers of global-megacities but can’t afford the housing costs of global neighborhoods end up settling, and where the gentrification/displacement tension is felt most strongly.

Global neighborhoods in regional cities: There’s a spectrum of cities from global to regional/local — Seattle, Dallas/Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia are closer to global while Columbus and Indianapolis are closer to regional/local. This is the community category I’m most bullish on. It’s where the Whole Foods and the Apple store and the Lululemon is. It’s where Google will think about building an outpost, and where plucky underdog startup accelerators live. Where you can get real Mexican food, and solid Vietnamese. Where college grads who can’t fathom moving to SF or NY end up, at least for awhile. These are the suburbs/Sun Belt of the 21st century.

Local neighborhoods in regional cities: The new Rust Belt. Bad demographics. Not much immigration. Below average educational attainment. Car-centric, generic, old buildings/dilapidated infrastructure. Grim.

The choice facing global talent as rents rise in mega-cities and/or they approach family-rearing years is are the benefits of mega-cities worth the tradeoffs of high prices and/or long commutes/bad neighborhoods, or have global neighborhoods in regional cities created enough social and physical infrastructure to make the move?

Jensen Comment
I think of more along the lines of climate change. The other night I read where Wichita Falls in Texas now is recycling sewage for drinking and is expected to run out of water completely in the next few years ---

As climate change expectations in the south and west become realities I expect businesses, jobs, and people to follow the rainfall which favors the north and east according to predictions.

Maybe snow birds living in the north who seek a couple of months in the south will trade their motor homes in for water tanker trucks to get them through their winter visits to Texas, Arizona, and California. Rental rates will plunge as cities empty out of drought-ridden states.

One AECMer from New Mexico reports that wells are drying up where he lives.

One Chart Shows How Climate Change Will Destroy Each Region Of The Country ---


Eat, drink, and make merry --- tomorrow we die!
Neil deGrasse Tyson: Don't Worry, Earth Will Survive Climate Change — We Won't


The Bad Guys are Winning
"Symantec declares antivirus 'dead' as it focuses on damage control," by Jon Fingas, Engadget, May 6, 2014 ---

Given how hard antivirus software makers push you to sign up, you'd think that business was booming. Far from it, according to Symantec's Brian Dye. He tells the Wall Street Journal that antivirus tools like his company's Norton suite are effectively "dead." The utilities now catch less than half of all attacks, according to the executive -- to him, the focus is on minimizing the damage whenever there's a successful hack or infection.

To that end, Symantec plans to sell both recovery services and threat briefings to corporate customers. In the long run, it should also have technology that finds malware trying to imitate other apps. However, the developer can't give up its original cash cow just yet. Antivirus packages like Norton still make up more than 40 percent of the company's revenue, and the new services won't safeguard your PC at home. You can still count on security software hanging around, then -- just be aware that you may need extra software (and a healthy dose of caution) to stay safe.

Jensen Comment
Most computer users have their favorites. My favorite is F-Secure. To my knowledge there is no optimal choice for home users.

Comparisons of Antivirus and AntiMalware Software --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_antivirus_software#Microsoft_Windows

The 50 Best Engineering Schools ---

Jensen Comment
Not many surprises here although I was surprised to see Princeton ranked so much higher than the other Ivy League universities (except for Cornell). Notre Dame's business school stands out much higher among its peers than the Notre Dame engineering school (that barely made the Top 50).

May 7, 2014 message from Mohammad A. Raza

Here is an interesting BBC documentary on Dangerous Knowledge on mathematics, and other branches of science. Thought some of you might find it interesting, if you haven't already watched it.

Past, Present, and Future of Statistical Science ---
The Editors:  Xihong Lin, Christian Genest, David L. Banks, Geert Molenberghs, David W. Scott, Jane-Ling Wang , 
Chapman and Hall/CRC Press
643 Pages (free online, $80 hard copy)

The COPSS Presidents' Award is given annually by the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies[1] to a person under the age of 40, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the profession of statistics. It is awarded by the five sponsoring statistical societies:

The presentation of the award takes place at the annual Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM).


Contributors = COPSS awardees

Theodore W. Anderson Stanford University Stanford, CA

James O. Berger Duke University Durham, NC

Peter J. Bickel University of California Berkeley, CA

Lynne Billard University of Georgia Athens, GA

Norman E. Breslow University of Washington Seattle, WA

David R. Brillinger University of California Berkeley, CA

Donna J. Brogan Emory University Atlanta, GA

Raymond J. Carroll Texas A&M University College Station, TX

Nilanjan Chatterjee National Cancer Institute Bethesda, MD

Herman Chernoff Harvard University Cambridge, MA

R. Dennis Cook University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN

Noel Cressie University of Wollongong Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Marie Davidian North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC

Arthur P. Dempster Harvard University Cambridge, MA

David B. Dunson Duke University Durham, NC

Bradley Efron Stanford University Stanford, CA

Jianquing Fan Princeton University Princeton, NJ

Stephen E. Fienberg Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA

Free Download --- http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781482204964

Table of Contents

The History of COPSS
A brief history of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) Ingram Olkin


Reminiscences and Personal Reflections on Career Paths
Reminiscences of the Columbia University Department of Mathematical Statistics in the late 1940s Ingram Olkin
A career in statistics Herman Chernoff
". . . how wonderful the field of statistics is . . ." David R. Brillinger
An unorthodox journey to statistics: Equity issues, remarks on multiplicity Juliet Popper Shaffer
Statistics before and after my COPSS Prize Peter J. Bickel
The accidental biostatistics professor Donna Brogan
Developing a passion for statistics Bruce G. Lindsay
Reflections on a statistical career and their implications R. Dennis Cook
Science mixes it up with statistics Kathryn Roeder
Lessons from a twisted career path Jeffrey S. Rosenthal
Promoting equity Mary Gray


Perspectives on the Field and Profession
Statistics in service to the nation Stephen E. Fienberg
Where are the majors? Iain M. Johnstone
We live in exciting times Peter Hall
The bright future of applied statistics Rafael A. Irizarry
The road travelled: From a statistician to a statistical scientist Nilanjan Chatterjee
Reflections on a journey into statistical genetics and genomics Xihong Lin
Reflections on women in statistics in Canada Mary E. Thompson
"The whole women thing" Nancy Reid
Reflections on diversity Louise Ryan


Reflections on the Discipline
Why does statistics have two theories? Donald A.S. Fraser
Conditioning is the issue James O. Berger
Statistical inference from a Dempster–Shafer perspective Arthur P. Dempster
Nonparametric Bayes David B. Dunson
How do we choose our default methods? Andrew Gelman
Serial correlation and Durbin–Watson bounds T.W. Anderson
A non-asymptotic walk in probability and statistics Pascal Massart
The past’s future is now: What will the present’s future bring? Lynne Billard
Lessons in biostatistics Norman E. Breslow
A vignette of discovery Nancy Flournoy
Statistics and public health research Ross L. Prentice
Statistics in a new era for finance and health care Tze Leung Lai
Meta-analyses: Heterogeneity can be a good thing Nan M. Laird
Good health: Statistical challenges in personalizing disease prevention Alice S. Whittemore
Buried treasures Michael A. Newton
Survey sampling: Past controversies, current orthodoxy, future paradigms Roderick J.A. Little
Environmental informatics: Uncertainty quantification in the environmental sciences Noel A. Cressie
A journey with statistical genetics Elizabeth Thompson
Targeted learning: From MLE to TMLE Mark van der Laan
Statistical model building, machine learning, and the ah-ha moment Grace Wahba
In praise of sparsity and convexity Robert J. Tibshirani
Features of Big Data and sparsest solution in high confidence set Jianqing Fan
Rise of the machines Larry A. Wasserman
A trio of inference problems that could win you a Nobel Prize in statistics (if you help fund it) Xiao-Li Meng


Advice for the Next Generation
Inspiration, aspiration, ambition C.F. Jeff Wu
Personal reflections on the COPSS Presidents’ Award Raymond J. Carroll
Publishing without perishing and other career advice Marie Davidian
Converting rejections into positive stimuli Donald B. Rubin
The importance of mentors Donald B. Rubin
Never ask for or give advice, make mistakes, accept mediocrity, enthuse Terry Speed
Thirteen rules Bradley Efron


Jensen Special Note
Chapter 33
"Statistics in a new era for finance and health care"
by Tze Leung Lai ,Department of Statistics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Special Subnote
33.4 Credit portfolios and dynamic empirical Bayes in finance

May 5, 2014 reply from David Johnstone

Dear Bob, the Bayesian approach to portfolio management in finance got a big plus out of the financial crisis, where it was made very evident that predicting future asset returns from no more than samples of historical returns, with no subjective allowance for where the future might differ from the past, was a recipe for losses. This comes down to the age old dispute between objectivist (classical) statistics and subjectivist (Bayesian) statistics, and as each year goes by the Bayesians win the argument (maybe mostly by the retirement of objectivists and the entry of young free thinkers).

Fama is an avowed Bayesian who credited LJ Savage (one of the great subjectivist Bayesians) with his commitment that way, but the industry took the objectivist strictly-data path. (Some real pros might have been more flexible, but there has long been a belief in the truth that comes of data). Bayesians would say that basing big decisions only on what we “know” objectively is dumb. The machinery of portfolio management is very advanced, but it’s a case of garbage in, garbage out. If you go the races with a great betting strategy but you put probabilities on the horses that don’t accurately represent their chances, then you won’t do well (apart from maybe beginner’s luck). No professional punter would rely on strictly historical results to judge these probabilities. The data would be of great interest, but so would a myriad of other things, many of which are extremely subjective and have no past occurrence.

Nonetheless, just because we might go all subjective and use Bayesian beliefs based on subjective priors and subjective likelihoods, we can still lose everything if we make poor subjective judgements. One of the very interesting parts of Bayesian theory to me is the part on probability scoring rules, which is designed to assess ex post which expert is actually any good at judging probabilities of future events. That’s a really interesting thing to know and test.

Thank you,


One Chart Shows How Climate Change Will Destroy Each Region Of The Country ---


Eat, drink, and make merry --- tomorrow we die!
Neil deGrasse Tyson: Don't Worry, Earth Will Survive Climate Change — We Won't
Carl Sagan recognized Professor deGrasse's talent when deGrasse was still in high school.

"It Sounds Like Microsoft Is Going To Announce A Mini Version Of The Surface Tablet,"  by Steve Kovach, Business Insider, May 5, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
The mini Surface is a product I would never buy. For me, the current Surface would be too small if it were not for the ports that let you turn it into a full PC complete with a full keyboard, large monitor, Windows mouse, Windows 8.1, MS Office, and external hard drives. I just purchased a refurbished MS Surface RT for my wife for $250.

My expectation was that I would have to activate the "free" Windows 8.1, MS Office, and the many apps. But to my pleasant surprise all of this software was fully active when I turned on the tablet. I did have to connect to my wireless system, but that is a piece of cake as long as you remember the password to your wireless router. Window Internet Explorer was also installed. I had to install other browsers.

There are advantages of tablet computers along with huge drawbacks. One drawback of making them smaller and smaller is that the external ports become increasingly fragile and unstable. I've carelessly bent the wires out of several micro HDMI male adapters on my Kendall Fire. I've come to hate the word "micro."

Bob Jensen's New MS Surface RT compared with his Dell Laptop (Studio) and Kendall Fire

What I think you should purchase along with an MS Surface RT

What I'm saying is that the MS Surface RT (refurbished) that cost me $250 on Amazon is easily transformed into an inexpensive PC complete with built-in Windows (2.1 in my case) plus MS Office at no extra charge or installation hassle.  It's good-to-go for online email, browsing, and streaming video. Of course it's best if you have a home wireless router.

The MS Surface tablet has quite a lot of built in free apps that I've not bothered (yet) to use other than a great weather app.

I like the instant on and instant off feature --- at last!

For streaming video such as from NetFlix or Amazon Prime I prefer my Kendall Fire --- mostly because I don't have to unplug everything to connect to a television set.

As a book reader I prefer my Kendall Fire because it was designed to be a book reader and is easy to return to exactly where you left off in a downloaded book.  The Kendall screen is easier on my old eyes.

If I were traveling to make a presentation such as a PowerPoint presentation I would probably carry the MS Surface tablet and a portable screen projector where both items easily fit into my travel vest. I could also read email but would hate to write email if all I had was the built-in keyboard or the small keyboard that also serves as the cover to the MS Surface tablet. Hence, I would probably throw an old keyboard and mouse into my suitcase for use in a hotel room or in a meeting room. I would have to live with the small screen because I can't throw a monitor into the suitcase.

If I were traveling and wanted to do heavy production work on a book or paper I would probably carry my main Dell laptop, although it is so expensive I hate leaving it alone in a hotel room. I could use the MS Surface for production using a keyboard and mouse that I threw into a suitcase.

For heavy production work at home I prefer to use the Dell laptop that I also turn into a PC with a full ergonomic keyboard and large monitor. It has a built-in DVD player. I also use a $10 USB hub to plug in devices like multiple external hard drives.

The built-in Surface keyboard that is not much use except to type in movie titles or search words. he MS Tablet does have a physical keyboard on the inside of a screen cover that must be purchased extra. I did not bother purchasing this cover and keyboard. I prefer a full keyboard and the screen cover is not necessary.

Drawbacks of the MS Surface RT tablet

Conclusion 1
The bottom line is that the MS Surface RT functions both as a tablet and a cheap PC that will connect to all the traditional devices like a full keyboard, mouse, monitor, television, and microphone. It has a camera, but I'm not sure what I would use it for except to take pictures during a meeting or a presentation. I don't know that I will ever use the Surface's camera.

On second thought, the built-camera might function as a built-in document scanner. Maybe that would be useful in a library or while traveling. However, a digital camera is probably more convenient as a cameral scanner.

Conclusion 2
If it were just for me, I would buy a very expensive laptop for all my computing needs and a Kendall Fire for book reading and streaming video from NetFlix and Amazon Prime. I have no interest for myself in any tablet computer.

However, for Erika who does not yet even know how to type, the MS Surface is a very inexpensive table that also serves as a PC training machine with a full sized keyboard, mouse, and monitor. If and when she gets good enough at computing, I will move her up to a more expensive laptop. Given her many hobbies her heart is only slightly interested in computing. She usually overestimates how much time she will have for her planned projects.

Link to the Surface Users Guide ---

There are also a lot of MS Surface demos on YouTube.

Condoleezza Rice Pulls Out Of Rutgers Commencement Ceremony After (faculty) Protests ---
You have to squelch such things in the bud before she becomes a black female candidate for the Presidency of the USA

"Moving Further to the Left," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, October 24, 2012 ---

Academics, on average, lean to the left. A survey being released today suggests that they are moving even more in that direction.


Among full-time faculty members at four-year colleges and universities, the percentage identifying as "far left" or liberal has increased notably in the last three years, while the percentage identifying in three other political categories has declined. The data come from the University of California at Los Angeles Higher Education Research Institute, which surveys faculty members nationwide every three years on a range of attitudes.


Here are the data for the new survey and the prior survey:

  2010-11 2007-8
Far left 12.4% 8.8%
Liberal 50.3% 47.0%
Middle of the road 25.4% 28.4%
Conservative 11.5% 15.2%
Far right 0.4% 0.7%


Gauging how gradual or abrupt this shift is complicated because of changes in the UCLA survey's methodology; before 2007-8, the survey included community college faculty members, who have been excluded since. But for those years, examining only four-year college and university faculty members, the numbers are similar to those of 2007-8. Going back further, one can see an evolution away from the center.


In the 1998-9 survey, more than 35 percent of faculty members identified themselves as middle of the road, and less than half (47.5 percent) identified as liberal or far left. In the new data, 62.7 percent identify as liberal or far left. (Most surveys that have included community college faculty members have found them to inhabit political space to the right of faculty members at four-year institutions.)


The new data differ from some recent studies by groups other than the UCLA center that have found that professors (while more likely to lean left than right) in fact were doing so from more of a centrist position. A major study in 2007, for example, found that professors were more likely to be centrist than liberal, and that many on the left identified themselves as "slightly liberal." (That study and the new one use different scales, making exact comparisons impossible.)


In looking at the new data, there is notable variation by sector. Private research universities are the most left-leaning, with 16.2 percent of faculty members identifying as far left, and 0.1 percent as far right. (If one combines far left and liberal, however, private, four-year, non-religious colleges top private universities, 58.6 percent to 57.7 percent.) The largest conservative contingent can be found at religious, non-Roman Catholic four-year colleges, where 23.0 percent identify as conservative and another 0.6 percent say that they are far right.


Professors' Political Identification, 2010-11, by Sector

  Far left Liberal Middle of the Road Conservative Far right
Public universities 13.3% 52.4% 24.7% 9.2% 0.3%
Private universities 16.2% 51.5% 22.3% 9.8% 0.1%
Public, 4-year colleges 8.8% 47.1% 28.7% 14.7% 0.7%
Private, 4-year, nonsectarian 14.0% 54.6% 22.6% 8.6% 0.3%
Private, 4-year, Catholic 7.8% 48.0% 30.7% 13.3% 0.3%
Private, 4-year, other religious 7.4% 40.0% 29.1% 23.0% 0.6%


The study found some differences by gender, with women further to the left than men. Among women, 12.6 percent identified as far left and 54.9 percent as liberal. Among men, the figures were 12.2 percent and 47.2 percent, respectively.


When it comes to the three tenure-track ranks, assistant professors were the most likely to be far left, but full professors were more likely than others to be liberal.


Professors' Political Identification, 2010-11, by Tenure Rank

  Far left Liberal Middle of the Road Conservative Far right
Full professors 11.8% 54.9% 23.4% 9.7% 0.2%
Associate professors 13.8% 50.4% 24.0% 11.5% 0.4%
Assistant professors 13.9% 48.7% 25.9% 11.2% 0.4%


So what do these data mean?


Sylvia Hurtado, professor of education at UCLA and director of the Higher Education Research Institute, said that she didn't know what to make of the surge to the left by faculty members. She said that she suspects age may be a factor, as the full-time professoriate is aging, but said that this is just a theory. Hurtado said that these figures always attract a lot of attention, but she thinks that the emphasis may be misplaced because of a series of studies showing no evidence that left-leaning faculty members are somehow shifting the views of their students or enforcing any kind of political requirement.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
It's amazing to me how liberals celebrate diversity and at the same time condemn diversity among their ranks when it comes hiring in higher education.

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.
 George S. Patton

"Noam Chomsky Spells Out the Purpose of Education," by Josh Jones, Open Culture, November 2012 ---


Commencement speakers must be politically correct in our biased institutions of higher education ---

"Gerontologists in Demand, but Degree Programs Languish," by Michael Anft, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 5, 2014 ---

"Two Carbon-Trapping Plants Offer Hope of Cleaner Coal: Coal power plants in Saskatchewan and Mississippi will produce fewer emissions, but rely on special circumstances," by Peter Fairley, MIT's Technology Review, May 5, 2014 ---

Two of the world’s first coal-fired power plants with integrated carbon capture are nearing completion in Saskatchewan and Mississippi, providing a rare lift for a technology that has languished in recent years.

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) remains expensive, but the cost of stabilizing the climate could be much higher without it, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (see The Cost of Limiting Climate Change Could Double without Carbon Capture Technology”). In a report last month, the IPCC noted that CCS is the only way to cut the carbon emissions of existing power plants, and that CCS-equipped power plants burning biomass could help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The IPCC says both strategies may be essential to limit global warming.

A 110-megawatt plant in Saskatchewan, a refurbished coal-fired generator, is set to restart in a matter of weeks with carbon capture added, according to Robert Watson, CEO for provincial power utility SaskPower.

Under Canadian regulations, the Boundary Dam power station can release no more than 420 tons of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of power generation—the same as a state-of-the-art plant fired with natural gas. This is a tall order since the power station will burn lignite—the dirtiest form of coal. Yet SaskPower expects to release just 150 tons of carbon dioxide per day thanks to its new carbon dioxide scrubber, which will absorb and capture 90 percent of the carbon in the plant’s exhaust.

SaskPower could afford to build the $1.2 billion plant partly because lignite is so cheap, but also because Boundary Dam is adjacent to a lignite strip mine. Extra revenue will come from piping most of the 3,000 tons of carbon dioxide that the plant captures per day to Cenovus, a Calgary-based oil and gas firm. Leftover carbon dioxide will be stored in an aquifer 3.5 kilometers below the plant.

“If they couldn’t sell the CO2 for enhanced oil recovery, the project wouldn’t have been economic,” says Howard Herzog, an expert on carbon sequestration, and a senior research engineer with the MIT Energy Initiative.

SaskPower CEO Watson says that the cost of the power from Boundary Dam will be “comparable” to natural gas-fired generation providing the recent price increase in natural gas holds. He expects that natural gas prices will tend to rise over the next 30 years-plus that the Boundary Dam plant will operate.

The other coal plant with carbon capture, in Kemper, Mississippi, should start up later this year. Its owner, Mississippi Power, is counting on similar strategies to minimize operating costs. The plant is also adjacent to a lignite strip mine, and will boost revenues by selling its carbon dioxide to oilfield operators. The project also received $270 million from the U.S. Department of Energy.

However, at 565 megawatts, the Mississippi plant is five times bigger than the Saskatchewan plant, and it uses less conventional technology. It has also been far more controversial than the Boundary Dam project because it gasifies its coal, and because its price tag is now expected to be more than double Mississippi Power’s original projection of $2.4 billion.

The Mississippi plant uses a proprietary gasifier designed by Southern Company and Houston-based engineering firm KBR to turn lignite into a mix of carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The firms have also licensed the design for use in China (see Cleaning Up on Dirty Coal”). Another novel component is the plant’s carbon dioxide capture system, which will remove 65 percent of the carbon dioxide from its gas mix prior to firing the turbines. The carbon dioxide will be captured at the same time that the plant captures its sulfur dioxide, using the same solvent scrubber that conventional coal plants use to remove sulfur dioxide.

Despite the controversy, experts are not greatly concerned by the cost overruns. “The costs of a first-of-a-kind plant are always going to be higher than the cost of your nth plant,” says Sarah Forbes, a senior associate at the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C.

Herzog agrees: “Kemper was a real first of a kind. You’ve got a lot of first-mover costs in there, and people tend to underestimate first mover costs drastically. By the time you do it half a dozen times, you’re knocking out a lot of cost.”

Continued in article

"16-Year-Old Student Receives College Degree Before Graduating High School," by Peter Jacobs, Business Insider, May 2, 2014 --- 

Grace Bush, a 16-year-old student, is set to graduate from both high school and college this week — but not in the order you may think.

The high school senior received her college diploma today during Florida Atlantic University's graduation ceremony and will graduate from FAU High next Friday, a week later, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

"I know that sounds weird, but just by nature of it, college graduations are sooner than high school graduations," FAU High Principal Tammy Ferguson told the Sun-Sentinel.

Bush earned college credit from Florida Atlantic University while a student at FAU High, which allows students to take college courses for free as part of the state's dual enrollment programs.

Continued in article

"UCLA Professor Blows Whistle on Illegal Admissions Practices at University," by Larry Elder, Townhall, May 8, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision does not ban affirmative action. It simply affirmed the right of the individual states to ban affirmative action should they choose to do so. California is one such state that bans affirmative action. UCLA has a very low percentage of African Americans relative to the other state-supported universities in the USA. Asians dominate some California universities.

Are the nation's twelfth-graders making progress in mathematics and reading?

Have a box of tissues at your side when reading the report below.

2013 Grade 12 Reading and Mathematics Results, The Nation's Report Card ---

Jensen Comment
The slight progress made early in the 21st Century seems to have stalled and in some cases slipped back. The outcomes vary a lot by state and race, but no state in the USA is doing extremely well relative to most developed nations around the globe. Results will probably get worse since teachers unions have succeeded in not requiring standardized achievement tests in some cities and states. For example, NYC is no longer requiring achievement tests for grade promotion. The roughly 9,000 students who are typically held back in NYC schools will be reduced significantly suggesting that more NYC students will be sent on to the next grade ready or not.

There are some positive signs among eight graders, but there's very little positive about twelfth grader reading and arithmetic across the entire USA. On the positive side there were fewer K-12 dropouts last year across the USA. Perhaps that's one of the reasons the reasons achievement test performance declined --- more students stayed in school and graduated, thereby drawing the reading and math performance scores downward for twelfth graders.

Top athletes who can't read get preferential treatment in being admitted to some NCAA Division 1 universities that don't think reading and arithmetic are such big deals --- at least not for varsity athletes.

In the world of genetics there's a lot to be said in favor of diversity

Are Kentucky Derby winners being bred to run faster making records fall in recent years?

Hint:  California Chrome finished the 1 1/4 miles (2,000 meters) in 2:03.66 minutes in the 2014 Kentucky Derby
Who won this Derby in with a record time of 1:59.40 minutes? When?


60 Massive Open Online Courses Getting Started in May 2014: Enroll in a MOOC Today ---

Introduction to Statistical Thinking (With R, Without Calculus) --- http://pluto.huji.ac.il/~msby/StatThink/IntroStat.pdf
StatsTeachR ---
Econometrician David Giles claims this is a great resource --- http://davegiles.blogspot.com/2014/04/great-resource-for-teaching-statistics.html

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

"Harvard Faculty Members Approve College’s First Honor Code," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 7, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
Honor codes in the USA are not what they used to be --- when students were honor-bound to report other students whom they detected cheating. The tort lawyers pretty well ended that clause in university honor codes.

Harvard recently expelled over 60 students for cheating in a political science course. The odd thing is that if students did the work they were all promised A grades for the course (not uncommon at Harvard). But this raises a question of why to bother sweating over assignments if you're promised a top grade. Over 120 plagiarized, although some of the plagiarists were not expelled. It remains a question whether such plagiarism would have taken place with an Honor Code at Harvard.

My guess is that the Honor Code is less important to students than the demonstrated willingness of Harvard University to expel students for cheating, including two members of the varsity basketball team.

"Half of students in Harvard cheating scandal required to withdraw from the college," by Katherin Landergan, Boston.com, February 1, 2013 ---

In an apparent disclosure about the Harvard cheating scandal, a top university official said Friday that more than half of the Harvard students investigated by a college board have been ordered to withdraw from the school.

In an e-mail to the Harvard community, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith wrote that more than half of the students who were brought before the university's Administration Board this fall were required to withdraw from for a period of time.

Of the remaining cases, approximately half the students received disciplinary probation, while the rest of the cases were dismissed.

Smith's e-mail does not explicitly address the cheating scandal that implicated about 125 Harvard students. But a Harvard official confirmed Friday that the cases in the email solely referred to one course.

In August, Harvard disclosed the cheating scandal in a Spring 2012 class. It was widely reported to be "Government 1310: Introduction to Congress."

“Consistent with the Faculty’s rules and our obligations to our students, we do not report individual outcomes of Administrative Board cases, but only report aggregate statistics,” the e-mail said. "In that tradition, the College reports that somewhat more than half of the Administrative Board cases this past fall required a student to withdraw from the College for a period of time. Of the remaining cases, roughly half the students received disciplinary probation, while the balance ended in no disciplinary action.''

Smith wrote that the first set of cases were decided in late September, and the remainder were resolved in December.

The e-mail said that "The time span of the resolutions in this set had an undesirable interaction with our established schedule for tuition refunds. To create a greater amount of financial equity for all students who ultimately withdrew sometime in this period, we are treating, for the purpose of calculating tuition refunds, all these students as having received a requirement to withdraw on September 30, 2012."

In a statement released when the cheating scandal became public, Harvard president Drew Faust said that the allegations, “if proven, represent totally unacceptable behavior that betrays the trust upon which intellectual inquiry at Harvard depends. . . . There is work to be done to ensure that every student at Harvard understands and embraces the values that are fundamental to its community of scholars.”

As Harvard students returned to classes for the current semester, professsors included explicit instructions about collaboration on the class syllabus.

On campus Friday afternoon, students reacted to the news.

Michael Constant, 19, said he thinks the college wanted to make a statement with its decision. But when over half of the students in a class cheat, not punishing them is the same as condoning the behavior.

“I think it’s fair,” Constant said of the board’s disciplinary action. “They made the choice to cheat.”

Georgina Parfitt, 22, said the punishment for these students was too harsh, and that many students in the class could have been confused about the policy.

Parfitt said she does not know what the college is trying to achieve by forcing students to leave.

Continued in article

Huge Cheating Scandals at the University of Virginia, Harvard, Ohio, Duke, Cambridge, and Other Universities  ---

Discover 100 Great Works of Art with Videos Created by Khan Academy & Google Art Project ---

"Desperate for work, college grads become nannies Parents have more options as overeducated young people turn to baby-sitting," by Samantha Melamed, Of The Philadelphia Inquire,The Morning Call, May 4, 2014 --- 

Ashley Newhall of Philadelphia has a law degree and a master's in agricultural law, and she passed the bar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. These days, she's working with some extremely demanding and exacting clients.

Most of them are less than 3 years old. Newhall's primary income source for the past few years has been baby-sitting.

Parents, said Newhall, are "blown away. They're like, 'Oh my gosh! You're the most overeducated nanny I've ever had.' "

Topics Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Central Bank Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) See more topics »

But jobs are scarce, and all that education came with six-figure debt for Newhall, 28. Along with two other jobs, she said, "the nannying is keeping me afloat."

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/mc-phila-nannies-20140503,0,4716071.story#ixzz30kRjJFHu Follow us: @mcall on Twitter | mcall.lv on Facebook

Newhall may consider her stint in the nursery a detour. But for busy parents, it's a boon. Parents are enjoying a pool of highly qualified and educated 20-something sitters — some with safety certifications and degrees in early-childhood education — often at the same price as the high-schooler down the street.

"You'd think, if they have more education, they'll bring more to the table and honestly they do," said Rachel Kerner, a physician and mother of two toddlers who lives in Melrose Park, Montgomery County. "We have a person who finished her degree in education, so she's able to do projects with the kids. We have an occupational-therapy student and a social worker — and they're all bringing added benefits, so it's not just a teenager sitting there waiting for her boyfriend to come over with the pizza."

According a recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, underemployment among college graduates has risen significantly since 2001. Last year, 18.3 percent of young college grads were underemployed.

"The labor market's growing very slowly, and there's been a number of graduating classes since the recession began, so the competition is pretty fierce," said Mark Price, labor economist at the Keystone Research Center.

College graduates fare better than those with less education, Price said, "but their circumstances as a group are worse today than where their counterparts were a decade ago."

As of 2012, half the employed college grads younger than 25 held jobs that didn't require four-year degrees, according to an analysis by a Northeastern University economist.

The flooded market benefits parents like Kerner and her husband, Jeff Cawthorne because teenage baby sitters they might depend on otherwise are often overscheduled and inaccessible.

"The one kid who lives down the street, he's in a play, he's got karate. He doesn't have a lot of free time. But the people who are underemployed and living with their parents, they're readily available," Cawthorne said.

A number of those reluctant nannies are aspiring (or laid-off) teachers. In Pennsylvania, for example, steep education budget cuts and layoffs beginning in 2011 "made for a very bleak labor market for instructors," Price said.

Asia IrgangLaden, 24, of Elkins Park, Montgomery County, can attest to that.

"From what I've seen, it takes everybody about a year to get a full-time teaching job," she said. She got her degree in special and elementary education from Temple University in 2012 and last fall landed a job as a support teacher. She hopes that will lead to her own classroom.

In the imeanttime, she fell back on a job she'd first held at age 14.

"A lot of my friends are babysitting," she said. "It feels like a natural thing to do if you're going into a teaching position."

So parents are getting trained educators for the price of a baby sitter. Some are willing to be nannies until a better job comes along; others are doing it until they enter graduate school.

"Late 2009 to 2010, I started getting overly qualified young women applying for the job and I was thrown for a loop," said Suzette Trimmer, who has run a Philadelphia nanny agency called Your Other Hands for 18 years.

The supply is actually fueling a demand for more educated nannies, said Wendy Sachs, who runs the Philadelphia Nanny Network.

"Being a nanny has gained a tremendous amount in terms of professional prestige and respect," Sachs said. "The compensation packages reflect that ... with paid holidays, paid sick [leave], and personal time and health care."

Miles Butler, 23, a friend from IrgangLaden's Elkins Park neighborhood, said he was drawn to the flexibility baby-sitting offers and is considering a full-time nannying job.

"Financially, it makes sense," he said, adding that he likes reconnecting with what it's like to be a kid. With first aid and CPR certifications, he makes double the minimum wage.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on careers are at

"Students Prefer Smartphones and Laptops to Tablets, Study Finds," by Danya Perez-Hernandez , Chronicle of Higher Education, April 25, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
I just ordered a MS Surface tablet as a birthday present for Erika. In computing she's not yet embarked on a learning curve. I ordered a $250 refurbished model from Amazon that has MS Office. The docking station that turns it into a PC also cost $250. The computer should arrive today. I will let you know later on how we like this Surface "tablet."

I figure this is enough for her as a starter computer that she will use mostly for online shopping and writing her life story beginning with when she was smuggled, at age five, into Germany after the Communists took their Czech farm with guns loaded and pointed  --- first she has to learn how to type. The docking station lets her have a traditional keyboard and monitor.

My guess is that she will still prefer shopping via 1-800. She's a charter member of the QVC Hall of Fame --- in part because we have 12 grandchildren spread out from Maine to California. The head of the Franconia Post Office, Annie, claims that Erika is the only reason her Post Office was not closed in the latest round of closings.

MS Surface "Tablet" --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Surface

"South Carolina State U. Is Said to Be a Month Away From ‘Financial Disaster’," by Vincent DeFrancesco, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 25, 2014 --- http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/jp/south-carolina-state-u-is-said-to-be-a-month-away-from-financial-disaster?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Jensen Comment
My good friend John Bacon, owner of the Bacon Printing Company, in Bangor, Maine used to tell me that you don't know what stress is when you have to meet a payroll and don't know where the money is going to come from.

I noticed in my version of the Hasselback Directory that South Carolina State only lists three accounting faculty in the Department of Accounting and MIS, two of which are assistant professors with a JD and an MBA respectively.

"Race Gap Narrows in College Enrollment, But Not in Graduation," by Ben Casselman, Nate Silver's 5:38," April 30, 2014 ---

Book Review:
'Infinitesimal' by Amir Alexander The idea of an infinitely tiny quantity—the foundation of calculus—was so unsettling that in the 17th century the Church banned it from classrooms
The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2014 ---

To the prospective reader, a subtitle is to a book what a carnival barker is to a midway: the step-right-up pitchman who peddles a mixture of awe, enlightenment and—no less important—bang for the buck. The marketing-savvy Galileo appended to his volume of heavenly observations, "The Starry Messenger" (1610), a prose banner that stretches nearly 70 words. In it, the Florentine astronomer promised readers "great and very wonderful sights"—the moon, sun and stars, literally—and even tossed in a paean to his Medici patron. Modern-day subtitles are generally shorter, yet they continue to tantalize us with invitations to learn the surprising secrets of America's wealthy, tag along in one woman's search for everything, or craft a life of well-being, wisdom and wonder.

Historian Amir Alexander's "Infinitesimal" arrives with the tagline, "How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World." That a mathematical theory can be characterized as dangerous, much less world-shaping, pings my skeptic's radar. To earn this dual distinction for what appears to be merely a centuries-old quibble over the nature of points, lines and planes sets a formidable test for any author. But Mr. Alexander succeeds, weaving the strands of a colossal mathematical dispute into the fabric of Western cultural history. The result is an interpretive tapestry whose richness justifies his exclamatory subtitle.

For all its effect on post-Reformation Europe, an infinitesimal is surprisingly slight. In fact, it exists only in the mind. The term refers to anything whose magnitude or breadth verges on zero: the tiniest imaginable number, the most diminutive imaginable point, the slimmest imaginable line. Were fairies infinitesimal in size, an infinite throng could boogie on the head of a pin. My high-school calculus teacher introduced the concept with a bit of instructional mime: carving an imaginary salami into ever-thinner slices. Slowing his knife hand, he announced that the next slice would be so thin as to defy measurement: Its thickness would approach, but never quite reach, zero. That vaporous slab floated before my mind's eye, alternating between something and nothing, contradicting both logic and experience. In time, though, I came to know the computational power of this geometrical nubbin: how the infinitesimal's capable offspring—calculus—allowed me to reckon the area under a curve, the capacity of a vessel or the orbit of a comet.

Continued in book review

Khan Academy now has wonderful free mathematics and statistics tutorials at wide-ranging levels, including tutorials on the mathematics of finance ---

Gallup:  People In Texas Really Don't Want To Leave, While People In Illinois, Connecticut, and Maryland Want To Flee ---

Jensen Comment
I have difficulty with the survey question:
"Regardless of whether you will move, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move to another state, or would you rather remain in your current state?"

There's an impossible ceteris paribus issue interacting with the definition of "opportunity." Over 90% would probably leave their happy homes and move to Illinois if the opportunities were turned up so high that it's harder and harder to say no. People move or stay for reasons other than their after-tax incomes and the weather. A leading factor is location of family and long-time friends combined with fear of change.

We lived in Texas and retired elsewhere for reasons that had little to do with Texas in general --- although I think we were seeking more marked seasonal changes in climate somewhat away from oppressive heat and humidity (yes much of Texas is very humid). The desire to move had more to do with wanting to get out of a city having stifling traffic congestion and increasing crime.

My point is that we wanted out a city more than we wanted out of a state. But once you've decided to leave the home and the locale where you've lived for 24 years it opens up consideration of new locales both within and outside a state. Our five children are spread from Maine to Wisconsin to California. Aside from not wanting to be a long distance from all of our children where we ended up in retirement in the White Mountains of New Hampshire was as much happenstance as it was any other one thing. Someday I'll tell you the story. We could have been as happy or even more happy in other locales if we had worked harder at finding other locales. Happiness is more what you make of where you live and work and retire.

Happiness is mostly making the most of what you've got to work with. As you grow older and smarter you should know full well that the grass is always greener elsewhere but that green grass is only is only one criterion of happiness in life. Happiness is making the most of what you got in terms of lots of other criteria!

Happiness is also relative to what you can do with what you've got. We like living in the boondocks that requires, among other things, driving to buy fresh meat, milk, and a haircut. When they don't renew our driving licenses we will probably wish we were in the retirement towers near Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.

There's a joke passing around the Internet that asks an old mountain man over 90 what he likes about his new and younger wife who is ugly, can't cook, won't clean house, won't do laundry, refuses to have sex, and is no fun in any way imaginable. His answer as to why he married her --- she has a driving license.

"Georgia Tech Professor Resigns After Allegedly Bilking Students," by Charles Huckabee, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 6, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
This is an egregious extension of what is some times a problem when teachers maintain their own commercial Websites related to their courses or require their own textbooks in courses. One of my textbook author friends donated the profits of his courses as a contribution (of course a tax-deductible contribution to offset his incremental income taxation) to our department. Some might argue that that he was still bilking students. His argument was that they would have to pay for the textbooks even if he required a competitor's textbook.

Returning the profits to students can get messy like any other cash dealings with students.

Then there's the related problem of student labor. A professor might assign case writing to teams of students. Some of these cases might then be used, possibly with proper attribution, in his commercial casebook or commercial Website where he keeps all the profits or royalties. All good accountants know that attributing the profit of an entire case book with 40 cases to three of the cases written by students is possibly very complicated and controversial.

Life is often not as simple as we would like.

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---

What do electricity power plants and data centers have in common?

"Why Data Centers Are Popping Up In Iowa," by Jodi Mardesich, ReadWriteWeb, April 29, 2014 ---

So why not in the green forests of New Hampshire?
Probably the reason is that Iowa also has tech workers whereas New Hampshire mostly has dumb trees.

Sometimes There is a Correction for Injustice
Montana Supreme Court Overturns Ex-Teacher's 30-Day Rape Sentence ---

"The Soul of the Research University," by Nicholas Lemann, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, April 28, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
This is a pretty good summary of the history of research universities, although it should have given more attention to what, arguably, was the first university in history --- Humboldt-Universität in Berlin ---
One year the European Accounting Association held its annual meeting at Humboldt University not too long after the Iron Curtain was torn down. It was easier to travel into East Berlin. Humboldt lays claim to being the world's first true university. For me it was like a step back in time with facilities largely unchanged from the 1800s.

One of the things I remember most about that trip was the construction noise all night long outside our hotel and the loud Russian voices. We laughed when thinking how the Russians destroyed Berlin at the end of WWII and later rebuilt it --- I think the reason for all the Russian construction workers is that they worked much cheaper than the Germans.

Older European "universities" like Oxford historically were really only collections of colleges that lacked the interactions, science,  and integrative curricula of universities as defined today ---

"Jobs for Humanities Majors?" Accuracy in Academia, April 25, 2014 ---

. . .

“Upon graduating from college, those who majored in the humanities and social science made, on average, $26,271 in 2010 and 2011, slightly more than those in science and mathematics but less than those in engineering and in professional and pre-professional fields,” Vartan Gregorian writes in the Carnegie Reporter. “However, by their peak earning age of 56 to 60, these individuals earned $66,185, putting them about $2,000 ahead of professional and pre-professional majors in the same age bracket.“

Jensen Questions
Top undergraduate humanities majors typically go into professions later on such as those that go to law schools and become attorneys and those that obtain MBA degrees from prestigious universities and become business executives. Is it surprising that graduates of prestigious law schools and MBA programs become highly paid professionals? In such instances undergraduate and graduate degrees are confounded making it impossible to attribute cause to one of the two diplomas. In other words, correlation is not causation.

Humanities majors that get into prestigious law schools and MBA programs are cream of the crop humanities majors. Among professional majors such as undergraduate business majors the entire spectrum may from high to low grade averages may be in the business professions. My point is that the comparisons may be between top humanities majors with low-to-high business majors.

The $66,185 average at age 55-60 is below the starting salaries of most engineers and close to the starting salaries of new hires in public accounting firms. It is not as impressive to claim success if humanities majors after 30 years on the job are doing not much better than the starting employees in some of the higher paying professions such as engineering, accounting, and computer science graduates.

My point is not to put down the total value of being a humanities major. However, I think there are some quirks in the data that need to be investigated by professionals before putting too much faith in questionable conclusions.

Bob Jensen's threads on careers are at

"Coursera Seeks to Create a ‘Global Translator Community’," Chronicle of Higher Education, April 29, 2014 ---

Last year Coursera announced partnerships with international organizations to expand the number of its massive open online courses available in foreign languages. Now the for-profit MOOC provider is going a step further by establishing a Global Translator Community in which individuals will volunteer to help translate lectures.

Coursera says it hopes not only to “make more content more available in more languages” but also to create a close-knit community of translators who will be recognized for their work, according to a news release. Volunteers will help with subtitle translations for the lectures.

The company now offers courses with subtitle translations in 13 foreign languages, with Chinese, French, and Spanish among the most popular. The company says only 40 percent of the people who take its courses live in English-speaking countries.

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

What's the difference between a tweet and the sheeet?

Twitter Shares Tank To All-Time Lows --- http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-falls-toward-all-time-lows-2014-4

"Whistle-Blower Suit Against Education Management Corp. to Proceed," by Charles Huckabee, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 7, 2014 ---

"2 Houston Professors Charged With Lying to Get Grants," Inside Higher Ed, April 29, 2014 ---

.. her thoughts – if not always her words – remain her own.
"In Her Own Words," April 25, 2014," by Colleen Flaherty,  Inside Higher Ed, April 25, 2014 ---

Brown University’s investigation into a professor accused of plagiarism was supposed to remain confidential. But after it was leaked to the student newspaper, the professor is speaking out both to apologize for what she says was unintentional plagiarism and to assert that her thoughts – if not always her words – remain her own.

While some colleagues criticized the university’s response to its inquiry into Vanessa Ryan, assistant professor of English, especially in light of the fact that she recently was named as an associate dean who oversees a graduate teaching program, others have come to her defense. Plagiarism is often framed as an ethical choice, they say, but unintentional plagiarism is easier and maybe more common than many believe.

“In August 2013, I learned that my book contains inadvertent errors of attribution, which resulted from mistakes I made in documenting my research as I worked on the project over many years,” Ryan said via email. “I take full responsibility for these mistakes.”

At the same time, she said, “While, as a result of these mistakes, my book uses words from other scholars’ writings without attribution, the substance of the ideas in the book is my own.”

Last year, Brown University received an anonymous allegation that Ryan’s book, Thinking Without Thought in the Victorian Novel, published in 2012 by Johns Hopkins University Press, contained numerous instances of plagiarism.

David Savitz, vice president for research at Brown, said his predecessor determined that there was enough cause to convene a three-member panel of senior faculty members familiar with Ryan’s area of research but without personal ties to investigate.

After a “very serious” inquiry, “what they found didn’t rise to the level of the research misconduct,” Savitz said of the panel. Although there were unattributed quotes, Savitz said the panel found they weren’t central to Ryan’s argument, and were related to “peripheral or contextual issues.”

Quoting from the panel’s report, Ryan said the investigators found the “passages did not reflect the co-opting of others’ views as [my] own and notwithstanding these passages, the contribution of [my] book still stands.”

Ryan said she took immediate action, notifying her publisher, her department chair, other colleagues and the scholars improperly cited in her book.

She added: “I want to underscore how seriously I take academic integrity and how distressed I am to have made these unintentional mistakes. As my students and colleagues know, I am passionate about my work as a scholar, teacher, and member of our academic community.”

Still, some at Brown are not satisfied by that apology or by the university’s response to the query. Someone with access to the confidential plagiarism report leaked it to the student newspaper, the Brown Daily Herald. The paper ran a story and also reported that 13 English professors had written to the administration questioning the findings of the report and Ryan’s appointment in January as associate dean of the graduate school, in which she leads a training program for teaching assistants. To some faculty, it seemed like the wrong job for someone accused of bad academic behavior, however unintentional.

Ryan is still a faculty member, but is on administrative leave from that position until her contract expires next year, a university spokeswoman said.

James Egan, professor of English, said via email: “I stand behind what we wrote in the letter,” referring to the faculty letter saying that the university had acted inappropriately. But he declined further comment due to a department decision not to speak with media about the case.

Philip Gould, department chair, said he was not immediately available for comment.

Despite the criticism from some of her colleagues at Brown, others have stood behind Ryan since the allegations went public.

Kate Flint, a Victorianist who is familiar with Ryan’s work, and who is chair of the department of art history at the University of Southern California, said that Ryan’s response to the allegations demonstrates her academic integrity. Immediately, Flint said, Ryan called her to explain and offer an apology (although Flint’s work was not part of the investigation, to her knowledge).

Continued in article

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

States with the Most Drunk Driving ---

Jensen Comment
It's hard to make much sense of this data. I think that perhaps the analysts left out the most important variable --- the length of jail time convictions for repeat offenders who did not cause death or injury.  When I went to Finland several times I learned that nobody drinks and drives because even the first conviction carries an automatic one year in the jail.

When I lived in Texas 24 years DUI convictions were a sick joke. Judges are elected and judges need lots of campaign money to get elected. Hence, there's a serious body of lawyers that "own" their judges. A DUI defense lawyer can usually get a DUI arrest transferred to the court of one of "his judges." There were some judges who openly defied bad publicity. I recall one judge that had thousands of DUI cases tried and none that resulted in convictions according to the leading San Antonio newspapers. The DUI cases that result in convictions are due to not hiring the "politically correct" lawyer who owned some judges.

One of my colleagues at Trinity University did not drink but he loved to speed on the open road and had a terrible record of speeding tickets to a point that he kept his lawyer on retainer just for the speeding tickets.

In Dimmit County the one elected judge was not even a lawyer. It became known, as reported in the San Antonio Express News, that he never had jury trials because he did not understand jury trials. It became a scandal how any person having a DUI arrest could request a jury trial so his case would never go to trial.

When I lived in Maine, DUI arrests were more serious. I think you are less likely to encounter a drunk driver in Maine than in Texas, because Maine is more serious about DUI convictions. I've not heard much about DUI convictions in New Hampshire, but I don't think NH is as tough as Maine.

"College Degrees Aren't Becoming More Valuable -- Their Glut Confines People Without Them To A Shrinking, Low-Pay Sector Of The Market," by George Leef, Forbes, April 22, 2014 ---

Every time a new study comes out regarding the “payoff” from college, I wonder: Will this finally be the one that takes note of widespread underemployment among recent grads and comprehends the impact of credential inflation?

In February, Pew Research released a study on the effects of college but the instant I saw the title, I was sure that this would not be one that broke out of the usual “college is a great investment” model. That study, “The Rising Cost of Not Going to College,” actually moves further in the wrong direction by telling people that those who don’t go to college are penalizing themselves.

The many “college is a great investment” papers present statistics showing that, on average, individuals who have college educations earn more than do people without them. They left the conclusion, “If you aren’t planning on college, you really should,” implicit.

Pew, however, makes that explicit. “If you don’t go to college, you’ll lose out big time” is the message it sends.

What makes that message particularly distressing is the fact that more and more young Americans who have their college degrees are unable to find jobs they couldn’t have gotten straight out of high school—or maybe even while still in high school. They’re often struggling with large college debts. And yet this study tells them that going to college is more important than ever.

Pew proclaims that its research is “non-partisan and non-advocacy” but they don’t say that it’s “non-misleading.” This study is very misleading and if young Americans take it seriously, many will go to college just because they think that not going would be a self-inflicted penalty.

The paper declares, “As college costs have increased in recent decades, so, too, have many of the economic rewards for getting a four-year degree as well as the penalties for not doing so….”

But is it true that the rewards for college have increased? And is it true that Americans who don’t attend college suffer a financial penalty?

Because Pew is highly respected, it is worth some time to closely examine its data and conclusions.

The most important data in the paper are in a chart showing a widening gap over time between full-time workers who have a 4-year degree or higher, those who have a two-year degree or “some college,” and those who are high school graduates. Looking back to 1965, the difference was comparatively small: college graduates earned on average $38,833, the middle group earned on average $33,655, and high school graduates earned on average $31, 384.

By 2013, the inflation-adjusted figures were: $45,500, $30,000, and $28,000. Average earnings for college grads are way up, but they’re down for people who did not earn 4-year degrees or go to college at all. At a glance, those figures certainly appear to justify the conclusions that getting that bachelors degree is an excellent investment and that young Americans who don’t do so are seriously penalizing themselves.

Paraphrasing Hamlet, “Get thee to a college!”

But before everyone who doesn’t have a college degree hurries to apply (or if still in high school, take the SAT or ACT as the prelude to applying), let’s inject a cautionary note. Going to college guarantees you a lot of expense, both in money spent and time that could have been used differently), but it does not guarantee you a job that pays well enough to cover your costs. In truth, it doesn’t guarantee you any sort of job.

Reading through the report, you find no evidence of the fact that large numbers of college graduates can only find employment in jobs paying the minimum wage. Currently, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 260,000 people with college or even professional degrees are so employed. Moreover, the percentage of college graduates who work in jobs that don’t require any advanced academic preparation (the “mal-employed”) has been rising for years, and now stands at 36 percent. If college degrees are becoming more valuable, why are so many graduates either unemployed or employed at low-paying jobs?

Those facts clash with the report’s encouragement for anyone who does not have a college degree to enroll and try to earn one. They comprise the elephant in the room that Pew can’t see.

The report’s only hint that college isn’t proving to be as beneficial now as it previously was is its finding that only 62 percent of the “Millennials” agree that their college experience “has paid off” compared with 84 percent of the “Generation Xers” and 89 percent of the “Boomers.” Conversely, the percentage who say that college was not beneficial is growing. Among “Boomers” it was only 8 percent, but among   “Millennials” is has reached 12 percent.

Unfortunately, the authors never ponder this paradox: How can it be that college education is getting more and more valuable in financial rewards when there is abundant evidence that many students learn little while in college?

In their book Academically Adrift, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa quantified what numerous professors have said for years—students can pass many college courses with minimal effort owing to falling academic standards and the erosion of the curriculum. Falling academic standards and declining learning by students seems clearly inconsistent with the notion that degrees are becoming increasingly beneficial.

The solution to the paradox is that the gap is widening because credential inflation is steadily wiping out good careers for people who don’t have college degrees.

Look back at the oldest of the data. In the mid-60s, prior to the great push to increase the number of people going to college with federal student aid, the average earnings gap was quite small. Up until that time, very few good careers were foreclosed to Americans who didn’t have college credentials. For reasons of professional licensure, some fields required college degrees—law and medicine for example—but otherwise young people who had good high school educations could get into entry level jobs in finance, insurance, manufacturing, hospitality, and most other businesses.

After the government started vigorously promoting “access” to college, however, something changed in the labor market: credential inflation. Employers, facing a market in which more and more job applicants had college credentials, began to screen out those who didn’t. (One reason for that was the Supreme Court’s 1971 ruling in Griggs v. Duke Power, the subject of this Pope Center paper. That decision made aptitude testing legally dangerous for employers, so they increasingly turned to using college credentials as a proxy.)

Professors James Engell and Anthony Dangerfield noted this trend in their 2005 book Saving Higher Education in the Age of Money, writing, “(T)he United States has become the most rigidly credentialized society in the world. A B.A. is required for jobs that by no stretch of imagination need two years of full-time training, let alone four.”

Therefore, the explanation for the gap between the average earnings of college graduates and people with lower educational levels, as well as the paradox regarding the decline in learning, is that the latter group is increasingly confined to the lowest-paying jobs sectors by our mania for college credentials.

Evidence that this trend is still going strong is found in this report, which notes that “27 percent of employers say their educational requirements for employment have increased over the last five years and 30 percent are hiring more college-educated workers for positions that were previously held by high school graduates.”

Continued in article

"Too Much Higher Education," by Walter E. Williams, Townhall, September 14, 2011 ---

Too much of anything is just as much a misallocation of resources as it is too little, and that applies to higher education just as it applies to everything else. A recent study from The Center for College Affordability and Productivity titled "From Wall Street to Wal-Mart," by Richard Vedder, Christopher Denhart, Matthew Denhart, Christopher Matgouranis and Jonathan Robe, explains that college education for many is a waste of time and money. More than one-third of currently working college graduates are in jobs that do not require a degree. An essay by Vedder that complements the CCAP study reports that there are "one-third of a million waiters and waitresses with college degrees." The study says Vedder -- distinguished professor of economics at Ohio University, an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and director of CCAP -- "was startled a year ago when the person he hired to cut down a tree had a master's degree in history, the fellow who fixed his furnace was a mathematics graduate, and, more recently, a TSA airport inspector (whose job it was to ensure that we took our shoes off while going through security) was a recent college graduate."

The nation's college problem is far deeper than the fact that people simply are overqualified for particular jobs. Citing the research of AEI scholar Charles Murray's book "Real Education" (2008), Vedder says: "The number going to college exceeds the number capable of mastering higher levels of intellectual inquiry. This leads colleges to alter their mission, watering down the intellectual content of what they do." In other words, colleges dumb down courses so that the students they admit can pass them. Murray argues that only a modest proportion of our population has the cognitive skills, work discipline, drive, maturity and integrity to master truly higher education. He says that educated people should be able to read and understand classic works, such as John Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding" or William Shakespeare's "King Lear." These works are "insightful in many ways," he says, but a person of average intelligence "typically lacks both the motivation and ability to do so." Mastering complex forms of mathematics is challenging but necessary to develop rigorous thinking and is critical in some areas of science and engineering.

Continued in article


Jensen Comment
I might add that our UPS driver and good friend has a masters degree in finance. And the woman who just painted our back porch has two degrees in etymology. Both got their degrees over 20 years ago.

I am not making a case that education is not intrinsically valuable to workers in any occupation. However, if the college degrees are increasingly watered down to attract more and more tuition revenue then there are bound to be negative externalities for our nation as a whole. Prosperous nations like Finland and Germany place great value having workers highly skilled from training and apprenticeship in the trades. Why does everybody in the U.S. prefer a B.S. degree (the abbreviation has a double meaning)?

"The Case Against College Education," by Ramesh Ponnuru, Time Magazine, February 24, 2010 ---
Thank you Ms. Huffington for the heads up.

Even in these days of partisan rancor, there is a bipartisan consensus on the high value of postsecondary education. That more people should go to college is usually taken as a given. In his State of the Union address last month, President Obama echoed the words of countless high school guidance counselors around the country: "In this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job." Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who gave the Republican response, concurred: "All Americans agree that a young person needs a world-class education to compete in the global economy."

The statistics seem to bear him out. People with college degrees make a lot more than people without them, and that difference has been growing. But does that mean that we should help more kids go to college — or that we should make it easier for people who didn't go to college to make a living? (See the 10 best college presidents.) --- http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1937938_1937934,00.html

We may be close to maxing out on the first strategy. Our high college drop-out rate — 40% of kids who enroll in college don't get a degree within six years — may be a sign that we're trying to push too many people who aren't suited for college to enroll. It has been estimated that, in 2007, most people in their 20s who had college degrees were not in jobs that required them: another sign that we are pushing kids into college who will not get much out of it but debt. 

The benefits of putting more people in college are also oversold. Part of the college wage premium is an illusion. People who go to college are, on average, smarter than people who don't. In an economy that increasingly rewards intelligence, you'd expect college grads to pull ahead of the pack even if their diplomas signified nothing but their smarts. College must make many students more productive workers. But at least some of the apparent value of a college degree, and maybe a lot of it, reflects the fact that employers can use it as a rough measure of job applicants' intelligence and willingness to work hard.

We could probably increase the number of high school seniors who are ready to go to college — and likely to make it to graduation — if we made the K-12 system more academically rigorous. But let's face it: college isn't for everyone, especially if it takes the form of four years of going to classes on a campus.
(See pictures of the college dorm's evolution.) --- http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1838306_1759869,00.html

To talk about college this way may sound élitist. It may even sound philistine, since the purpose of a liberal-arts education is to produce well-rounded citizens rather than productive workers. But perhaps it is more foolishly élitist to think that going to school until age 22 is necessary to being well-rounded, or to tell millions of kids that their future depends on performing a task that only a minority of them can actually accomplish.

The good news is that there have never been more alternatives to the traditional college. Some of these will no doubt be discussed by a panel of education experts on Feb. 26 at the National Press Club, a debate that will be aired on PBS. Online learning is more flexible and affordable than the brick-and-mortar model of higher education. Certification tests could be developed so that in many occupations employers could get more useful knowledge about a job applicant than whether he has a degree. Career and technical education could be expanded at a fraction of the cost of college subsidies. Occupational licensure rules could be relaxed to create opportunities for people without formal education.

It is absurd that people have to get college degrees to be considered for good jobs in hotel management or accounting — or journalism. It is inefficient, both because it wastes a lot of money and because it locks people who would have done good work out of some jobs. The tight connection between college degrees and economic success may be a nearly unquestioned part of our social order. Future generations may look back and shudder at the cruelty of it.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1967580,00.html?xid=huffpo-direct#ixzz0gYarvwQM

Time's Special Report on Paying for a College Education --- http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/0,28757,1838709,00.html

Jensen Comment
I think it is misleading to talk about the "value" of education in terms of the discounted present value of a degree due to career advantages. Firstly, education has many intangible values that cannot be measured such as being inspired to really enjoy some of the dead or living poets.

Secondly, even if  college graduates on average make a lot more money, this is an illustration of how to lie with statistics. A major problem is in the variance about the mean. Much depends upon where students graduate, what they majored in for their first degree, whether or not they attended graduate school, what they majored in in graduate school, where they got their graduate degree, etc. Average incomes may also be skewed upward by kurtosis and the related problem of bounds on the left tail of the distribution. Low income levels are bounded whereas high income levels may explode toward the moon for bankers, corporate executives, physician specialists, etc.

In any case telling every student to expect more than a million dollars just for getting a bachelors degree is a big lie!

Bob Jensen's threads on The Case Against College Education ---

Jesus' Wife Hoax:  This is not about Christianity per se. It's about cheating and hoaxes in academe.

"How the 'Jesus' Wife' Hoax Fell Apart The media loved the 2012 tale from Harvard Divinity School," by Jerry Pattengale, The Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2014 ---

In September 2012, Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King announced the discovery of a Coptic (ancient Egyptian) gospel text on a papyrus fragment that contained the phrase "Jesus said to them, 'My wife . . .' " The world took notice. The possibility that Jesus was married would prompt a radical reconsideration of the New Testament and biblical scholarship.

Yet now it appears almost certain that the Jesus-was-married story line was divorced from reality. On April 24, Christian Askeland—a Coptic specialist at Indiana Wesleyan University and my colleague at the Green Scholars Initiative—revealed that the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife," as the fragment is known, was a match for a papyrus fragment that is clearly a forgery.

Almost from the moment Ms. King made her announcement two years ago, critics attacked the Gospel of Jesus' Wife as a forgery. One line of criticism said that the fragment had been sloppily reworked from a 2002 online PDF of the Coptic Gospel of Thomas and even repeated a typographical error.

But Ms. King had defenders. The Harvard Theological Review recently published a group of articles that attest to the papyrus's authenticity. Although the scholars involved signed nondisclosure agreements preventing them from sharing the data with the wider scholarly community, the New York Times NYT +0.76% was given access to the studies ahead of publication. The newspaper summarized the findings last month, saying "the ink and papyrus are very likely ancient, and not a modern forgery." The article prompted a tide of similar pieces, appearing shortly before Easter, asserting that the Gospel of Jesus' Wife was genuine.

Then last week the story began to crumble faster than an ancient papyrus exposed in the windy Sudan. Mr. Askeland found, among the online links that Harvard used as part of its publicity push, images of another fragment, of the Gospel of John, that turned out to share many similarities—including the handwriting, ink and writing instrument used—with the "wife" fragment. The Gospel of John text, he discovered, had been directly copied from a 1924 publication.

"Two factors immediately indicated that this was a forgery," Mr. Askeland tells me. "First, the fragment shared the same line breaks as the 1924 publication. Second, the fragment contained a peculiar dialect of Coptic called Lycopolitan, which fell out of use during or before the sixth century." Ms. King had done two radiometric tests, he noted, and "concluded that the papyrus plants used for this fragment had been harvested in the seventh to ninth centuries." In other words, the fragment that came from the same material as the "Jesus' wife" fragment was written in a dialect that didn't exist when the papyrus it appears on was made.

Mark Goodacre, a New Testament professor and Coptic expert at Duke University, wrote on his NT Blog on April 25 about the Gospel of John discovery: "It is beyond reasonable doubt that this is a fake, and this conclusion means that the Jesus' Wife Fragment is a fake too." Alin Suciu, a research associate at the University of Hamburg and a Coptic manuscript specialist, wrote online on April 26: "Given that the evidence of the forgery is now overwhelming, I consider the polemic surrounding the Gospel of Jesus' Wife papyrus over."

Having evaluated the evidence, many specialists in ancient manuscripts and Christian origins think Karen King and the Harvard Divinity School were the victims of an elaborate ruse. Scholars had assumed that radiometric tests would return an early date (at least in antiquity), because the Gospel of Jesus' Wife fragment had been cut from a genuinely ancient piece of material. Likewise, those familiar with papyri had identified the ink used as soot-based—preferred by forgers because the Raman spectroscopy tests used to test for age would be inconclusive.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating ---


Many colleges are making the SAT optional for the admissions file. This author wants to ban SAT scores from the file completely.
"Why Your College Should Dump the SAT," Chronicle of Higher Education, April 28, 2014 ---

. . .

For Washington State University and our admissions process, the revamp of the SAT means little. The "Defining Promise" study, though, does mean something. We hope to eliminate the use of standardized tests in the admissions process, but that will take legislative action; the state still requires that we collect the scores of all applicants whether we use them or not. And this summer, we will take a hard look at our scholarship programs and very likely will eliminate the SAT requirement for many of our general freshman scholarships.

After all, as a land-grant institution with a rapidly growing proportion of diverse and first-generation students, we are committed to access and to defining ourselves on how inclusive we can be, not how exclusive we are. It is time we say a prayer, throw dirt on the grave, and bury the SAT

Jensen Comment
Below is the comment that I sent to the Chronicle that was posted beneath this article.

What is overlooked in this article is how predictive the SAT is on the tails of the distribution. Those Phi Beta Kappa graduates most likely had high SAT scores or would have had high SAT scores if they had taken the SAT. It seems quite unlikely that the lowest SAT admissions had great academic performance, especially in the more difficult majors like math, engineering, and science. The predictive ability of the SAT outlier scores is lost by the the range between the first or second standard deviations.

Another thing that's overlooked in this article is how the SAT helps some students get a chance. Males in particular are late bloomers who often did poorly in nearly all of high school, especially those that matured some in military service. If you bury the SAT completely in making admission decisions you are overlooking those really good prospects with low grade averages. We can all point to low high school gpa students with high SAT scores that really turned things around in college because they had superior intellectual ability that needed to be melded with maturation.

I see no advantage in burying the SAT completely. It is just a statistic, along with other statistics, that should not be banned from a student applicant's profile.

I was at a university that was having some enrollment declines that were corrected by lowering the bar on the SAT scores. Many professors complained that they could tell the bar had been lowered. When the bar was raised once more things got better. This was, however, and expensive university that did not get many minority applicants except for those high SAT performers who got generous scholarships.

Bob Jensen aka rjensen65

Which Law Schools Are Shedding Their Full-Time Faculty? ---

Bob Jensen's threads on turkey times for overstuffed law schools ---

Gary Becker --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Becker

"RIP:  Gary S. Becker He was a pioneer in applying economics to human behavior." Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2014 ---

Modern economics too often seems to devolve into statistics and mathematical formulas, which is only one of the reasons the world will miss Gary Becker, who died on Saturday at age 83. The Nobel laureate always put the study of humanity first and foremost, applying the principles of his discipline to human capital and how it can best be utilized for the common good.

Like so many other great free-market economists, Becker flourished in the second half of the 20th century at the University of Chicago, which rose as an alternative to the reigning orthodoxy of faith in government economic management. Milton Friedman was a teacher and colleague.

Gary Becker made his reputation in particular by applying economics to human behavior and problems not typically thought to be subject to economic analysis. His study of racial discrimination, for example, upended the view that bias benefits those who discriminate. He showed that an employer loses if he refuses to hire a productive worker for reasons of bias, and he demonstrated that discrimination is less likely in the most competitive industries that need to hire the best workers.

Becker also did ground-breaking work on the economics of crime and punishment, the family, and investments in human capital. He studied the allocation of time in the family unit, showing that rising wages increase the value of time and thus the cost of such work in the home as child-rearing. This combined with the need to provide more costly education for children tends to reduce fertility rates.

Americans now know this application of economics to human behavior as "Freakonomics," but Becker was a pioneer. He believed governments should invest in human capital through education in particular, but he also believed that humans flourish most when markets rather than governments allocate resources. His work graced these pages many times over the years, and we offer a sample nearby. Above all he believed in the ability of human beings to improve themselves if given the opportunity to exploit their talents.

Jensen Comment
I frequently quoted from the Becker-Posner Blog at
His final blog posting was entitled "The Embargo of Cuba: Time to Go" ---
Richard Posner's reply is at


Existentialism --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existentialism


Søren Kierkegaard --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kierkegaard


"Kierkegaard on Our Greatest Source of Unhappiness," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, May 5, 2014 ---

. . .

In a latter chapter, titled “The Unhappiest Man,” he returns to the subject and its deeper dimension:

The unhappy person is one who has his ideal, the content of his life, the fullness of his consciousness, the essence of his being, in some manner outside of himself. The unhappy man is always absent from himself, never present to himself. But one can be absent, obviously, either in the past or in the future. This adequately circumscribes the entire territory of the unhappy consciousness.

He considers how the very architecture of our language perpetuates our proclivity for absence:

The unhappy one is absent. But one is absent when living in the past or living in the future. The form of expression is important, for it is evident, as philology also teaches us, that there is a tense that expresses present in the past, and a tense that expresses presence in the future; but the same science also teaches us that there is a pluperfect tense in which there is no present, as well as a future perfect tense with the same characteristics. These are the hoping and remembering individuals. Inasmuch as they are only hoping or only remembering, these are indeed in a sense unhappy individuals, if otherwise it is only the person who is present to himself that is happy. However, one cannot strictly call an individual unhappy who is present in hope or in memory. For what one must note here is that he is still present to himself in one of these. From which we also see that a single blow, be it ever so heavy, cannot make a person the unhappiest. For one blow can either deprive him of hope, still leaving him present in memory, or of memory, leaving him present in hope.

. . .

Kierkegaard goes on to explore these two key forms of escapism from presence, via hope and via memory:

Consider first the hoping individual. When, as a hoping individual (and of course to that extent unhappy), he is not present to himself, he becomes unhappy in a stricter sense. An individual who hopes for an eternal life is, indeed, in a certain sense an unhappy individual to the extent that he renounces the present, but nevertheless is strictly not unhappy, because he is present to himself in the hope and does not come in conflict with the particular moments of finitude. But if he cannot become present to himself in hope, but loses his hope, hopes again, and so on, then he is absent from himself not just in the present but also in the future, and we have a type of the unhappy. Though the hoping individual does not hope for something that has no reality for him, he hopes for something he himself knows cannot be realized. For when an individual loses hope, and instead of becoming a remembering individual, wants to remain a hoping one, then we get this form.

Similarly if we consider the remembering individual. If he finds himself present in the past, strictly he is not unhappy; but if he cannot do that but remains constantly absent from himself in a past, then we have a form of the unhappy.

Memory is pre-eminently the real element of the unhappy, as is natural seeing the past has the remarkable characteristic that it is gone, the future that it is yet to come; and one can therefore say in a sense that the future is nearer the present than is the past. That future, for the hoping individual to be present in it must be real, or rather must acquire reality for him. The past, for the remembering individual to be present in it, must have had reality for him. But when the hoping individual would have a future which can have no reality for him, or the remembering individual remember a past which had had no reality for him, then we have the genuinely unhappy individuals. Unhappy individuals who hope never have the same pain as those who remember. Hoping individuals always have a more gratifying disappointment. The unhappiest one will always, therefore, be found among the unhappy rememberers.

For a potent antidote, pair this with Alan Watts on how to live with presence and Anna Quindlen on how to live rather than exist, then see Albert Camus on happiness, unhappiness, and our self-imposed prisons.

Either/Or is a consciousness-expanding read in its entirety. Complement it with Kierkegaard on the relationship between creativity and anxiety.



From the Scout Report on April 27, 2014

Unseen --- https://unseen.is 

What is Unseen, you ask? This free service "provides privacy and security for messaging, email and calling." The free version allows visitors to perform group audio calls, share files, and create encrypted emails. First-time users should check out the FAQ section for additional details on how Unseen functions and the reason for its recent move to Iceland. This version is compatible with all operating systems.

Cite This For Me --- http://www.citethisforme.com/ 

Interested in crafting your own bibliography? It's quite easy with this fantastic website, Cite This For Me. Visitors can take advantage of a user-friendly interference to insert their own citations from books, journal articles, websites, and more. Also, visitors can login to create their own account so past bibliographies can be saved. Visitors can even toggle between citation styles and view sample bibliographies. This version is compatible with all operating systems

Celebrating Shakespeare's 450th birthday
Is Today Shakespeare's 450th Birthday? Maybe

Shakespeare's Birthday

William Shakespeare's 450th birthday: 50 everyday phrases that came from
the Bard

How to talk like Shakespeare on his 450th birthday

45 Hamlets for Shakespeare's 450th birthday - in pictures

Folger Shakespeare Library

From the Scout Report on May 2, 2014

Tackk --- https://tackk.com/ 

Interested in creating a basic site to share content online? Tackk can make this dream come true. Using a graphic user interface that allows for click and drag style additions and deletions, visitors can pick a color palette, move around borders, pick fonts, and much more. The site contains a helpful FAQ section and tutorial making it fairly easy to get started. Users can create a site that will last a week without registering, however registering will garner privileges to create a site that will last a year. This version is compatible with all operating systems.

Torpedo --- https://usetorpedo.com/ 

Torpedo is a short-term file sharing program that allows visitors to share files, passwords and more. Visitors just need to download the app to get started. After this, files can be dragged to the menu bar and Torpedo will create a link that can be shared with others. The free version allows visitors to send files up to 35MB. Users should note that this version requires Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 and newer.

A renaissance in public space flourishes around the world
The World's Best Public Spaces

New public spaces for Bristol

The Visibility of a City: The Rebirth of Public Space in a Private Time

Landscape architecture: An indelible effect on public spaces

Living Innovation Zones

Project for Public Spaces


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

Education Tutorials

MakeUseOf (technology tips_ --- http://www.makeuseof.com/

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

Folger Digital Texts (all things Shakespeare for the K-12 crowd) ---  http://www.folgerdigitaltexts.org/

Humanities: The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities --- http://www.neh.gov/humanities

EdCommunity ESRI (geography and maps) --- http://edcommunity.esri.com/

British Library Labs --- http://labs.bl.uk/

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for multiple disciplines ---

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Carl Sagan Writes a Letter to 17-Year-Old Neil deGrasse Tyson (1975) ---

JCE Chemical Education Xchange --- http://www.jce.divched.org/video

Researchers Have Solved The Mystery Of How The Egyptians Made The Pyramids ---


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

Japan's Youngsters Aren't Having Enough Sex --- http://www.businessinsider.com/japans-youth-suffer-from-celibacy-syndrome-2014-5#!HDXcP
Crowding also affects animal sexual behavior --- http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/welfare/international/out67_en.pdf
Crowding also affects behavior in microbiology --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowding_effect

Studs Terkel Interviews Bob Dylan, Shel Silverstein, Maya Angelou & More in New Audio Trove ---

Research & Publications: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (health and drugs research) --- 

WHO: Public Health and Environment --- http://www.who.int/phe/en/

COLORS Magazine (social issues) --- http://www.colorsmagazine.com/

Global Edge: Online Course Modules (Michigan State University Executive Education Modules) --- 

EdCommunity ESRI (geography and maps) --- http://edcommunity.esri.com/

National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership --- http://www.neighborhoodindicators.org/

Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy --- http://urbanpolicy.berkeley.edu/workingpapers.htm

From the Scout Report on May 2, 2014

A renaissance in public space flourishes around the world
The World's Best Public Spaces

New public spaces for Bristol

The Visibility of a City: The Rebirth of Public Space in a Private Time

Landscape architecture: An indelible effect on public spaces

Living Innovation Zones

Project for Public Spaces


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 and Statistics Tutorials

John Vincent Atanasoff and the Birth of Electronic Digital Computing --- http://jva.cs.iastate.edu/

MAA Math Alert --- http://www.maa.org/news/maa-math-alert

Mathematics: MIT OpenCourseWare ---  http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mathematics/

Mathematics:  Khan Academy --- http://ww2.kahnacademy.org/

Wolfram Alpha (absolutely unbelievable) --- https://www.wolframalpha.com/

Wolfram Alpha Computational Database --- http://www.wolframalpha.com/

Introduction to Statistical Thinking (With R, Without Calculus) --- http://pluto.huji.ac.il/~msby/StatThink/IntroStat.pdf
StatsTeachR ---
Econometrician David Giles claims this is a great resource --- http://davegiles.blogspot.com/2014/04/great-resource-for-teaching-statistics.html

Jensen Comment
You can learn a lot about statistical, finance, and other formulas (with illustrations) simply by going to the explanations of these functions in Excel. I always told my accounting theory that this was the first stop in learning about the functions that are built into Excel.

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

History Tutorials

"White-Collar World:  What the office has done to American life," by Nikil Saval, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, April 14, 2014 ---

Leo Tolstoy --- http://www.ltolstoy.com/

Vintage Footage of Leo Tolstoy: Video Captures the Great Novelist During His Final Days ---

Researchers Have Solved The Mystery Of How The Egyptians Made The Pyramids ---

Folger Digital Texts (all things Shakespeare for the K-12 crowd) ---  http://www.folgerdigitaltexts.org/

The Clark: Digital Collections (art, photography, literature, history) ---  http://maca.cdmhost.com/

UK National Portrait Gallery: Digital Resources (United Kingdom) --- http://www.npg.org.uk/learning/digital.php

Columbus Letters (discovery of America) --- http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0110

Humanities: The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities --- http://www.neh.gov/humanities

India Illustrated --- http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/p15195coll29

Sigmund Freud Appears in Rare, Surviving Video & Audio Recorded During the 1930s ---

Unreal Photos From Shackleton's 1914 Antarctic Expedition ---

Unreal Photos From Shackleton's 1914 Antarctic Expedition ---

Mary Binney Wheeler Image Collection (India and Sri Lanka) ---  http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/wheeler/index.html

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

Britain and the American Civil War --- http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/uscivilwar/index.html

Pike Place Market Centennial (Seattle) --- http://www.seattle.gov/CityArchives/Exhibits/PPM/default.htm

University of Oregon Archives Photographs --- http://oregondigital.org/digcol/univ/

City of Chicago: Cultural Affairs & Special Events --- http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca.html

British Library Labs --- http://labs.bl.uk/

Afghanistan: The Australian Story --- https://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/afghanistan-australian-story/

OldSF --- http://www.oldsf.org/#

Annual Reports for Former Towns of Swift River Valley ---

Language Tutorials

"Coursera Seeks to Create a ‘Global Translator Community’," Chronicle of Higher Education, April 29, 2014 ---

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

Music Tutorials


Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials

Yale College Writing Center --- http://writing.yalecollege.yale.edu/

PennSound Cinema (on writing and literature) --- http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/video.php

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

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

April 28, 2014

April 29*, 2014

April 30, 2014

May 2, 2014

May 5, 2014

May 6, 2014

May 7, 2014

May 9, 2014

May 10, 2014

May 12, 2014

May 13, 2014





WHO: Public Health and Environment --- http://www.who.int/phe/en/

Research & Publications: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (health and drugs research) --- 

Here's The Real Difference Between All Those Allergy Medications --- http://www.businessinsider.com#ixzz30kB9IVsl

A Mysterious Killer Virus Has Wiped Out More Than 10% Of America's Pig Population In Less Than A Year ---

"Stem Cells from a Diabetes Patient:  Researchers hope stem cells could one day treat chronic conditions like diabetes and Parkinson’s disease," by Susan Young Rojahn, MIT's Technology Review, April 28, 2014 ---

A Bit of Humor

Johnny Cash Impersonates Elvis Presley: A Slapstick Version of “Heartbreak Hotel” (1959) ---

Advertising More: Madison Avenue Features Advertising Mad Men 'MAD MEN' vs. REALITY: Compare Don Draper's Ads With Those That Actually Ran In The 1960s ---

Peter Sellers Presents The Complete Guide To Accents of The British Isles ---

Yakov Smirnoff Remembers “The Soviet Department of Jokes” & Other Staples of Communist Comedy ---

KFC Corsage --- http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/kfc-corsage/

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

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Update in 2014
20-Year Sugar Hill Master Plan --- http://www.nccouncil.org/images/NCC/file/wrkgdraftfeb142014.pdf

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/

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 ---

The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

How Accountics Scientists Should Change: 
"Frankly, Scarlett, after I get a hit for my resume in The Accounting Review I just don't give a damn"
One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this

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.

Accounting  and Taxation News Sites ---


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://listserv.aaahq.org/cgi-bin/wa.exe?HOME
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.

Over the years the AECM has become the worldwide forum for accounting educators on all issues of accountancy and accounting education, including debates on accounting standards, managerial accounting, careers, fraud, forensic accounting, auditing, doctoral programs, and critical debates on academic (accountics) research, publication, replication, and validity testing.


CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/  (Closed Down)
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
FEI's Financial Reporting Blog
Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, March 2008 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/mar2008/smart_stops.htm

Find news highlights from the SEC, FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board on this financial reporting blog from Financial Executives International. The site, updated daily, compiles regulatory news, rulings and statements, comment letters on standards, and hot topics from the Web’s largest business and accounting publications and organizations. Look for continuing coverage of SOX requirements, fair value reporting and the Alternative Minimum Tax, plus emerging issues such as the subprime mortgage crisis, international convergence, and rules for tax return preparers.
The CAlCPA Tax Listserv

September 4, 2008 message from Scott Bonacker [lister@bonackers.com]
Scott has been a long-time contributor to the AECM listserv (he's a techie as well as a practicing CPA)

I found another listserve that is exceptional -

CalCPA maintains http://groups.yahoo.com/taxtalk/  and they let almost anyone join it.
Jim Counts, CPA is moderator.

There are several highly capable people that make frequent answers to tax questions posted there, and the answers are often in depth.


Scott forwarded the following message from Jim Counts

Yes you may mention info on your listserve about TaxTalk. As part of what you say please say [... any CPA or attorney or a member of the Calif Society of CPAs may join. It is possible to join without having a free Yahoo account but then they will not have access to the files and other items posted.

Once signed in on their Yahoo account go to http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/TaxTalk/ and I believe in top right corner is Join Group. Click on it and answer the few questions and in the comment box say you are a CPA or attorney, whichever you are and I will get the request to join.

Be aware that we run on the average 30 or move emails per day. I encourage people to set up a folder for just the emails from this listserve and then via a rule or filter send them to that folder instead of having them be in your inbox. Thus you can read them when you want and it will not fill up the inbox when you are looking for client emails etc.

We currently have about 830 CPAs and attorneys nationwide but mainly in California.... ]

Please encourage your members to join our listserve.

If any questions let me know.

Hemet, CA
Moderator TaxTalk





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

Bob Jensen's Threads ---

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