Tidbits on May 31 2014
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Photographic History of the White Mountains --- Set 5 (Pinkham Notch)


Tidbits on May 31, 2014
Bob Jensen

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pearl Harbor After the Tourists Leave ---

Two Classics (one is an automobile) --- https://www.youtube.com/embed/qxCpK1W_Gjw?feature=player_embedded

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

Listen to Philip K. Dick’s Favorite Classical Music: A Free, 11-Hour Playlist ---

Best of Times (1950s) --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDc0ID6PJeg&feature=youtu.be 

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

Visit The Museum of Online Museums (MoOM): A Mega Collection of 220 Online Exhibitions ---

The Most Breathtaking Natural Wonder In Every State --- http://www.businessinsider.com#ixzz32CIA99lB

The World's Most Popular Hiking Trails, According To Pinterest --- http://www.businessinsider.com#ixzz32Fyu09y2

MNArtists --- http://www.mnartists.org/

Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection --- http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/online/roby/

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Puts 400,000 High-Res Images Online & Makes Them Free to Use ---

Never-Before-Published Photos Show What WWI Trench Warfare Really Looked Like ---

 The Navy Has A High-Tech Hovercraft, And It Is Spectacular ---

Amherst College: Digital Collections --- http://clio.fivecolleges.edu/amherst/ 

The University of Iowa Libraries: Patrobas Cassius Robinson Collection --- http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/pcr/

23 Awesome Photos From The Berlin Air Show --- http://www.businessinsider.com/awesome-photos-from-the-berlin-air-show-2014-5


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

13 Lectures from Allen Ginsberg’s “History of Poetry” Course (1975) ---

The British Library Puts Online 1,200 Literary Treasures From Great Romantic & Victorian Writers ---

600 Free eBooks: Fiction, Poetry & Non-Fiction for Kindle, iPad & Other Devices ---

Jack Kerouac’s Poems Read by Patti Smith, John Cale & Other Cultural Icons (with Music by Joe Strummer) ---

Read the First Children’s Picture Book, 1658′s Orbis Sensualium Pictus ---

Ralph Waldo Emerson Writes a Job Recommendation for Walt Whitman (1863) ---

Read 4,500 Unpublished Pages of Madame Bovary ---

As Pride and Prejudice Turns 200, Read Jane Austen’s Manuscripts Online

See F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Handwritten Manuscripts for The Great GatsbyThis Side of Paradise & More

The Online Emily Dickinson Archive Makes Thousands of the Poet’s Manuscripts Freely Available

James Joyce Manuscripts Online, Free Courtesy of The National Library of Ireland

Mary Shelley’s Handwritten Manuscripts of Frankenstein Now Online for the First Time

The Complete Works of Leo Tolstoy Online: New Archive Will Present 90 Volumes for Free (in Russian)


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 31, 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 ---

GAO: Fiscal Outlook & The Debt --- http://www.gao.gov/fiscal_outlook/overview 

Bob Jensen's threads on entitlements --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Entitlements.htm

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

Luxury Cameras:  More Luxury Than I Will Ever Need or Fully Appreciate
"Tiny New Cameras with Big Sensors: The Leica T vs. Sony's A6000," by David Pogue, Yahoo Tech, May 15, 2014 ---

13 Accidental Inventions That Changed The World --- http://www.businessinsider.com/accidental-inventions-that-changed-the-world-2014-5

Jensen Comment
I don't think some of these like the Slinky changed the world. Others like Coca Cola did not change the world for the good.

"Smart, Versatile Surface Pro 3 Can Do It All — Maybe Even Lift the Windows 8 Curse," by David Pogue, Yahoo Tech, May 22, 2014 ---

. . .

The Surface concept is either brilliant, or doomed: It’s a tablet and a laptop in one. A hybrid. A convertible.

When it’s a tablet, it’s something like an iPad. It has a beautiful touchscreen (now enlarged to 12 inches, a full laptop-screen size), nine-hour battery life, a finger-friendly interface, and an app store full of simple, full-screen apps. It’s fantastic for tablet-y things like reading ebooks, watching movies, surfing the Web, and skimming through Twitter and email.

When it’s a laptop, though, it runs full-blown Windows. You know: the desktop, the taskbar, the Recycle Bin, overlapping windows, the works. It can run the 4 million Windows programs — full-blown software like Photoshop, Quicken, iTunes — that the iPad can only look at and drool.

The Surface works as a laptop thanks to two ingenious features, both of which have been vastly improved in version 3.

First, the screen has a kickstand — a hinged, supportive panel that’s invisible when closed but sturdy and nifty when open. Previous versions could click open to your choice of two predefined angles. But in version 3, the kickstand’s friction hinge lets you prop up the Surface at any angle, all the way down to nearly flat. It’s a superb engineering feat.

The second feature that contributes to the Surface’s success as a laptop is its screen cover. This wafer-thin, felt-lined cover has a full keyboard and trackpad on the inside. And, no, it’s not like the Bluetooth add-on keyboard covers you can buy for the iPad. This one attaches magnetically to the Surface and turns on instantly. There’s no messing around with Bluetooth, pairing, and all that stuff. This one is also thinner, lighter, and better designed than anything you can get for the iPad.

The Surface Pro Type Cover, Version 3, has been overhauled and improved. The trackpad is much smoother and more solid, and clicks more nicely. The keys light up now.

Better yet, the far edge of the cover folds up by half an inch and fastens magnetically to the tablet. The effect is to put the keyboard at an angle — a much better imitation of a real keyboard — and also to stabilize the whole thing.

For the first time, you can almost happily use the Surface on your lap. It’s not the Rock of Gibraltar, but it works.

A convertible that doesn’t leak The upshot is that, with hardly any thickness or weight penalty, the kickstand and the Type Cover let you transform your 1.8-pound tablet into an actual, fast, luxury laptop.

The Surface Pro 3 comes with a stylus, too — a pressure-sensitive pen for writing, drawing, and annotating on the screen. It works wonderfully (it’s not fooled by your palm resting on the glass).

Very cool: Even if the Surface is asleep, you can wake it directly to a blank OneNote note-taking document by clicking the pen’s top button. That’s great when you want to jot something down in a hurry, like that cute stranger’s phone number or a new flight confirmation code.

The only bummer is that there’s still nowhere to carry that darned pen. There’s no socket for it in the tablet — only a loop of fabric on the Type Cover, which is clumsy at best.

Rescuing Windows 8 I’m on record as a disser of Windows 8. It’s two operating systems crudely shoveled together. One is for touchscreens — it’s tile-based (like Microsoft’s phone operating systems) and runs its own apps.

The other is the traditional Windows desktop, which is clumsy to use without a keyboard and a mouse.

In Windows 8, including the current and improved version, Windows 8.1, you have two control panels, two copies of Internet Explorer, two Help systems, two email programs, and so on. Both of the operating systems are polished and powerful. But, smashed together, they’re a train wreck.

There is one solitary time when Windows 8’s split personality is not a disaster, though, and this is it. The Surface is the one machine (so far) where Windows 8 makes sense. You’ve got one OS for tablet mode, and regular Windows for desktop mode. Boom.

Now, it’s hilarious to read the Microsoft bashers online dump on the Surface. Usually, their primary beefs have to do with its price. In this case, that’s $800 for the base model (with 64 gigabytes of memory, about 37 of which are available for your use), plus $130 for the Type Cover, which is essential. Grand total: $930.

“That’s absurd,” the haters say. “Does Microsoft think I’m stupid?! I can get an iPad for $500!”

Yes, but that iPad doesn’t have 64 gigabytes of storage — it has 16. To get 64 gigs in your iPad, your price would be $700.

Even then, you wouldn’t have a keyboard, mouse, USB jack, video-output jack, or pressure-sensitive pen. You wouldn’t have a real desktop operating system, and you wouldn’t be able to run real desktop programs. The iPad is fantastic, but it’s not the same thing.

Continued in article

Also see
"With Surface Pro, Microsoft Is Trying To Recreate The PC Market: Microsoft thinks it can save the PC industry by recreating laptops as elegant tablets with shocking price tags. Good luck with that"

Jensen Comment
Previously  ran a tidbit on how I bought a Surface tablet as a learning machine for my wife. The cost for this refurbished version was $250 on Amazon plus $10 for a port replicator and $39 for a display adapter that lets us view the screen on a large monitor. We also plug in a large Microsoft ergonomic keyboard.

Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Office came already loaded and ready to go. I must admit that we are only using this computer as a cheap PC. There are many built in table apps, but I don't have the time to play around with all of the apps. What I wanted was a cheap PC. It works wonderfully. I really like the instant on and instant off. I'm still learning Windows 8.1, but that seems pretty easy. I don't do many touch screen things yet. Like  said above. Until now my Surface is just a PC with a large keyboard and large monitor.

"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 ---

The Most Important Features In Microsoft's New Surface Pro 3 ---

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

"2 Years On, Two-Thirds of This Graduating Class Aren’t Financially Self-Sufficient," by Beckie Supiano, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 28, 2014 ---

The last few years haven’t been easy for new graduates, with a tight job market and, more often than not, student loans to repay. As for how young adults are managing such challenges, and how that will affect their future, a study from the University of Arizona is poised to offer some answers.

The longitudinal study, Arizona Pathways to Life Success for University Students, began following some 2,000 students in 2007-8, when they were freshmen at the university. Designed to examine how financial attitudes and behaviors form, the study was fortuitously timed to capture that information in a tumultuous economy.

In addition to suggesting a connection between early financial behavior and becoming self-sufficient, the findings paint a picture of how young adults’ lives are taking shape. Only about half are working full time, a similar proportion rely on their parents for financial support, and significant minorities say marriage, children, and homeownership aren’t important to them.

"We have young adults who are entering a labor market that is not flush with opportunity," said Joyce Serido, the principal investigator. Even those who land a full-time job may not be doing the kind of work they wanted to, and find they have little time beyond the hours they’re working, said Ms. Serido, assistant director and research professor at the university’s Take Charge America Institute, which studies and promotes financial literacy.

A new report, "Life After College: Drivers for Young Adult Success," reflects the lives of study participants in 2013, about two years after their projected college graduation (at the time, 8 percent of the sample were still enrolled in an undergraduate program and another 3 percent had not graduated). Over all, only about half of the respondents reported having full-time jobs. Most of the rest were working part time, self-employed, or in graduate school. Six percent, meanwhile, said that they were unemployed, and 7 percent that they were not looking for work.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Chances are that two thirds or more of the graduating class are financially illiterate since more most graduates colleges do not require financial literacy skills ---
I contend that financial illiteracy is the leading cause of divorce in the USA.

Junk bonds are bonds offering high returns at maturity accompanied by high risks of being worthless at or before maturity. Usually they pay low or zero cash interest before maturity ---

Tesla Motors --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Motors

Tesla Scores Junk Bond Rating from S&P ---

Jensen Question

Electric Cars in 2014 --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_cars

. . .

Models released to the market in 2012 and 2013 include the BMW ActiveE, Coda, Renault Fluence Z.E., Tesla Model S, Honda Fit EV, Toyota RAV4 EV, Renault Zoe, Roewe E50, Mahindra e2o, Chevrolet Spark EV, Fiat 500e, Volkswagen e-Up!, and BMW i3. The Nissan Leaf passed the milestone of 50,000 units sold worldwide in February 2013.

Hybrid Vehicles in 2014 --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_vehicle

I understand that electric car manufacturers have not yet solved the cold weather problem such that they are practically useless in the wintertime where I live. But my friend down the road, who absolutely loves his Toyota Prius (a hybrid) says he cannot take his Prius on the road leading to his lake cottage in Maine. Nor can he drive his Prius up up our driveway.

The problem is that every electric and hybrid car seems to be built so close to the ground that it barely clears the roadway. I can understand why electric cars are useless in our winters. But why do they have to be so low to the ground as well so that they are likely to scrape bottom on many of the roads in our mountains?

The analogy here is that a junk bond is a bit like a low riding electric car
It may work very well most of the time but there's a high risk over the lifetime of an electric car and a junk bond that it will bottom out.

This is the worst article that I've read in a long, long time.

"Let's All Stop Worrying About Grade Inflation," by David Goobler, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 21, 2014 ---

Jensen Comments

Grade Inflation is the Number 1 Disgrace in Higher Education ---

  1. The article by Goobler provides no evidence for its speculations that grades don't matter.
    Grades do matter. If all graduates have nearly an A average then prospective employers and graduate schools adapt by either using other measures of quality or by raising standards.

    For example, graduate schools may adapt to relying more on admission test scores like the MCAT, LSAT, GRE, and GMAT when grades can no longer be meaningfully evaluated (all graduates had high grades).

    For example, prospective employers adapt by keeping secret books of standards for different colleges. The large CPA firms, for example, keep such books such that College A graduates are interviewed only if their gpa exceeds 3.5 since nearly all accounting graduates of College A have a higher gpa than 3.0. The firms may set the target for interviewing at 3.0 for College B where most accounting graduates have a gpa lower than 3.0 in college B.
  2. There's a lot of anecdotal evidence that students don't put in as much effort if grading is not competitive.  
    Why put in blood, sweat, and tears if you are assured of getting an A with minimal effort?

    Students have to make tough decisions of where to allocate their study time. The courses with high grade competition will get more of their study time allocation than the gut courses where top grades for little effort are assured (because the teachers in those courses are paranoid over getting poor teaching evaluations).
  3. Do you want a physician who shed blood, sweat, and tears to for an A average or a physician who spent most of his time in the pub while getting an A average in medical school?

  4. There's some anecdotal evidence that students are tempted to game the assignments of the course.
    For example, some students may cooperate with each other by dividing up assignments and then copying each others' answers. Exhibit A is a political science course at Harvard where over 60 students were expelled for doing this type of plagiarism of each otherss' assignments.


"Cheating Scandal at Harvard," Inside Higher Ed, August 31, 2012 ---

Harvard University is investigating about 125 students -- nearly 2 percent of all undergraduates -- who are suspected of cheating on a take-home final during the spring semester, The Boston Globe reported Thursday. The students will appear before the college’s disciplinary board over the coming weeks, seem to have copied each other’s work, the dean of undergraduate education said. Those found guilty could face up to a one-year suspension. The dean would not comment on whether students who had already graduated would have their degrees revoked but he did tell the Globe, “this is something we take really, really seriously.” Harvard administrators said they are considering new ways to educate students about cheating and academic ethics. While the university has no honor code, the Globe noted, its official handbook says students should “assume that collaboration in the completion of assignments is prohibited unless explicitly permitted by the instructor.”

"The Typo That Unfurled Harvard’s Cheating Scandal," Chronicle of Higher Education, September 12, 2012 ---

"Facing Cheating Inquiry, Harvard Basketball Co-Captains Withdraw," Inside Higher Ed, September 12, 2012 ---

Jensen Comment
The main issue is whether students plagiarized work of other students.

Ironically the course involved is "Government 1310: Introduction to Congress." So why is does cheating in this course come as a surprise?

"Harvard Students in Cheating Scandal Say Collaboration Was Accepted," by Richard Perez-Pena, The New York Times, August 31, 2012 ---

. . .

 In years past, the course, Introduction to Congress, had a reputation as one of the easiest at Harvard College. Some of the 279 students who took it in the spring semester said that the teacher, Matthew B. Platt, an assistant professor of government, told them at the outset that he gave high grades and that neither attending his lectures nor the discussion sessions with graduate teaching fellows was mandatory.

¶ “He said, ‘I gave out 120 A’s last year, and I’ll give out 120 more,’ ” one accused student said.

¶ But evaluations posted online by students after finals — before the cheating charges were made — in Harvard’s Q Guide were filled with seething assessments, and made clear that the class was no longer easy. Many students, who posted anonymously, described Dr. Platt as a great lecturer, but the guide included far more comments like “I felt that many of the exam questions were designed to trick you rather than test your understanding of the material,” “the exams are absolutely absurd and don’t match the material covered in the lecture at all,” “went from being easy last year to just being plain old confusing,” and “this was perhaps the worst class I have ever taken.”

¶ Harvard University revealed on Wednesday that nearly half of the undergraduates in the spring class were under investigation for suspected cheating, for working together or for plagiarizing on a take-home final exam. Jay Harris, the dean of undergraduate education, called the episode “unprecedented in its scope and magnitude.”

¶ The university would not name the class, but it was identified by students facing cheating allegations. They were granted anonymity because they said they feared that open criticism could influence the outcome of their disciplinary cases.

¶ “They’re threatening people’s futures,” said a student who graduated in May. “Having my degree revoked now would mean I lose my job.”

¶ The students said they do not doubt that some people in the class did things that were obviously prohibited, like working together in writing test answers. But they said that some of the conduct now being condemned was taken for granted in the course, on previous tests and in previous years.

¶ Dr. Platt and his teaching assistants did not respond to messages requesting comment that were left on Friday. In response to calls to Mr. Harris and Michael D. Smith, the dean and chief academic officer of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the university released a statement saying that the university’s administrative board still must meet with each accused student and that it has not reached any conclusions.

¶ “We expect to learn more about the way the course was organized and how work was approached in class and on the take-home final,” the statement said. “That is the type of information that the process is designed to bring forward, and we will review all of the facts as they arise.”

¶ The class met three times a week, and each student in the class was assigned to one of 10 discussion sections, each of which held weekly sessions with graduate teaching fellows. The course grade was based entirely on four take-home tests, which students had several days to complete and which were graded by the teaching fellows.

¶ Students complained that teaching fellows varied widely in how tough they were in grading, how helpful they were, and which terms and references to sources they expected to see in answers. As a result, they said, students routinely shared notes from Dr. Pratt’s lectures, notes from discussion sessions, and reading materials, which they believed was allowed.

¶ “I was just someone who shared notes, and now I’m implicated in this,” said a senior who faces a cheating allegation. “Everyone in this class had shared notes. You’d expect similar answers.”

¶ Instructions on the final exam said, “students may not discuss the exam with others.” Students said that consulting with the fellows on exams was commonplace, that the fellows generally did not turn students away, and that the fellows did not always understand the questions, either.

¶ One student recalled going to a teaching fellow while working on the final exam and finding a crowd of others there, asking about a test question that hinged on an unfamiliar term. The student said the fellow defined the term for them.

¶ An accused sophomore said that in working on exams, “everybody went to the T.F.’s and begged for help. Some of the T.F.’s really laid it out for you, as explicit as you need, so of course the answers were the same.”

¶ He said that he also discussed test questions with other students, which he acknowledged was prohibited, but he maintained that the practice was widespread and accepted.

2012 Harvard Cheating Scandal --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Harvard_cheating_scandal

"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

Jensen Question
The question is why cheat at Harvard since almost everybody who tries in a Harvard course receives an A. We're left with the feeling that those 125 or so students who cheated just did not want to try?

The investigation revealed that 91 percent of Harvard's students graduated cum laude.
Thomas Bartlett and Paula Wasley, "Just Say 'A': Grade Inflation Undergoes Reality Check:  The notion of a decline in standards draws crusaders and skeptics," Chronicle of Higher Education, September 5, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/weekly/v55/i02/02a00104.htm?utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en


Grade Inflation is the Number 1 Disgrace in Higher Education ---


"How Statisticians Found Air France Flight 447 Two Years After It Crashed Into Atlantic," MIT's Technology Review, May 27, 2014 --- Click Here

After more than a year of unsuccessful searching, authorities called in an elite group of statisticians. Working on their recommendations, the next search found the wreckage just a week later.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Quantitative methods often do very well in conditions of steady states and equilibrium. However, if the underwater currents and other forces moved this wreckage daily, the quant experts lose a lot of their powers. This is why the same statisticians who found Flight 447 usually do not get rich in the stock markets.

How to Mislead With Statistics
"The Myth of the Climate Change '97%' : What is the origin of the false belief—constantly repeated—that almost all scientists agree about global warming?" by Joesph Bast and Roy Spencer, The Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2014 ---

Last week Secretary of State John Kerry warned graduating students at Boston College of the "crippling consequences" of climate change. "Ninety-seven percent of the world's scientists," he added, "tell us this is urgent."

Where did Mr. Kerry get the 97% figure? Perhaps from his boss, President Obama, who tweeted on May 16 that "Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous." Or maybe from NASA, which posted (in more measured language) on its website, "Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities."

Yet the assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is a man-made, urgent problem is a fiction. The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research.

One frequently cited source for the consensus is a 2004 opinion essay published in Science magazine by Naomi Oreskes, a science historian now at Harvard. She claimed to have examined abstracts of 928 articles published in scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and found that 75% supported the view that human activities are responsible for most of the observed warming over the previous 50 years while none directly dissented.

Ms. Oreskes's definition of consensus covered "man-made" but left out "dangerous"—and scores of articles by prominent scientists such as Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Sherwood Idso and Patrick Michaels, who question the consensus, were excluded. The methodology is also flawed. A study published earlier this year in Nature noted that abstracts of academic papers often contain claims that aren't substantiated in the papers.

Another widely cited source for the consensus view is a 2009 article in "Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union" by Maggie Kendall Zimmerman, a student at the University of Illinois, and her master's thesis adviser Peter Doran. It reported the results of a two-question online survey of selected scientists. Mr. Doran and Ms. Zimmerman claimed "97 percent of climate scientists agree" that global temperatures have risen and that humans are a significant contributing factor.

The survey's questions don't reveal much of interest. Most scientists who are skeptical of catastrophic global warming nevertheless would answer "yes" to both questions. The survey was silent on whether the human impact is large enough to constitute a problem. Nor did it include solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists or astronomers, who are the scientists most likely to be aware of natural causes of climate change.

The "97 percent" figure in the Zimmerman/Doran survey represents the views of only 79 respondents who listed climate science as an area of expertise and said they published more than half of their recent peer-reviewed papers on climate change. Seventy-nine scientists—of the 3,146 who responded to the survey—does not a consensus make.

In 2010, William R. Love Anderegg, then a student at Stanford University, used Google Scholar to identify the views of the most prolific writers on climate change. His findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences. Mr. Love Anderegg found that 97% to 98% of the 200 most prolific writers on climate change believe "anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for 'most' of the 'unequivocal' warming." There was no mention of how dangerous this climate change might be; and, of course, 200 researchers out of the thousands who have contributed to the climate science debate is not evidence of consensus.

In 2013, John Cook, an Australia-based blogger, and some of his friends reviewed abstracts of peer-reviewed papers published from 1991 to 2011. Mr. Cook reported that 97% of those who stated a position explicitly or implicitly suggest that human activity is responsible for some warming. His findings were published in Environmental Research Letters.

Mr. Cook's work was quickly debunked. In Science and Education in August 2013, for example, David R. Legates (a professor of geography at the University of Delaware and former director of its Center for Climatic Research) and three coauthors reviewed the same papers as did Mr. Cook and found "only 41 papers—0.3 percent of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0 percent of the 4,014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1 percent—had been found to endorse" the claim that human activity is causing most of the current warming. Elsewhere, climate scientists including Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir J. Shaviv and Nils- Axel Morner, whose research questions the alleged consensus, protested that Mr. Cook ignored or misrepresented their work.

Rigorous international surveys conducted by German scientists Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch —most recently published in Environmental Science & Policy in 2010—have found that most climate scientists disagree with the consensus on key issues such as the reliability of climate data and computer models. They do not believe that climate processes such as cloud formation and precipitation are sufficiently understood to predict future climate change.

Surveys of meteorologists repeatedly find a majority oppose the alleged consensus. Only 39.5% of 1,854 American Meteorological Society members who responded to a survey in 2012 said man-made global warming is dangerous.

Finally, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—which claims to speak for more than 2,500 scientists—is probably the most frequently cited source for the consensus. Its latest report claims that "human interference with the climate system is occurring, and climate change poses risks for human and natural systems." Yet relatively few have either written on or reviewed research having to do with the key question: How much of the temperature increase and other climate changes observed in the 20th century was caused by man-made greenhouse-gas emissions? The IPCC lists only 41 authors and editors of the relevant chapter of the Fifth Assessment Report addressing "anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing."

Of the various petitions on global warming circulated for signatures by scientists, the one by the Petition Project, a group of physicists and physical chemists based in La Jolla, Calif., has by far the most signatures—more than 31,000 (more than 9,000 with a Ph.D.). It was most recently published in 2009, and most signers were added or reaffirmed since 2007. The petition states that "there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of . . . carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."

Continued in article

Mr. Bast is president of the Heartland Institute. Dr. Spencer is a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on NASA's Aqua satellite


"A Letter to My Sons:  An African-American law professor explains to her young twins why she is opposed to affirmative action," by Sheryll Cashin, Chronicle Review, May 27, 2014 ---

Dear Langston and Logan,

In my new book, I make arguments that hurt your chance to benefit from affirmative action. When you are older, you’ll learn what that is, or what it used to be. I have great confidence in you and believe you will amaze yourselves and better your country and your world. But other children will not have the opportunities you have, and I want them, too, to be successful and to contribute to society.

As I write this you are 6—and three-quarters, you would remind me. Your curiosity is boundless. Your willingness to work at things is growing. Your dad and I push you. But one day, all too soon, you will have to choose your own paths.

You will have to decide whether you will enter the fray that is elite higher education. You cannot depend on your name, or your color, or your parents’ connections. You must depend on yourselves and the lifelong project of cultivating what is unique and precious about you.

While you are pursuing your passions, recognize that some things are required of you that you won’t enjoy, and just deal with it. Work and work and work some more until you get it. That is what African-American strivers have always done.

Grandpa did. I hope you will remember him, and not only as the old man we visited at the nursing home. Before he was in a wheelchair, before his voice had diminished to a whisper and words eluded him, he strode proudly in the world. At Fisk University, where he and his parents went, he would get up at 4 or 5 in the morning to study. He was expelled for having a party in his dorm room, but he recovered from that mistake and went on to graduate first in his class at Meharry Medical College. Grandpa learned the habits of success from his mother, my Grandma Grace, a school principal who raised both of her sons to be valedictorians.

Grandpa’s habits became my habits. And you have watched your father, too, toil for hours, researching and writing papers for his master’s degree. He already had two degrees, from college and law school. In middle age, even with a full-time job, he decided to go back to school, because he wanted to do more in life, and he wanted to explore a subject that interested him. That is your legacy. Embrace it and know that you are capable of more than you ever thought possible.

But for African-Americans, possibility is matched by peril. If the police are called to a party where kids of all colors smoke marijuana or drink alcohol, you may be the only one who gets arrested and hauled off to jail. That is an old story. Your great-great-grandfather, Herschel V. Cashin, was ejected violently from a train in Alabama in the 1890s because he sat where he wanted to. It didn’t matter that he was a lawyer dressed like the patrician that he was. In the 1950s an Alabama state trooper knocked my father unconscious with a police stick, all because Grandpa had exited his fancy convertible and spoke too confidently, in the trooper’s estimation, after a stop for speeding. A policeman stopped me for driving too fast on a dark road in Georgia. It was 1986. I was skinny then and clearly no threat, but the officer made me get out of the car and stand spread-eagle against it while he frisked me.

Neither affirmative action nor I can protect you from predatory policing, gun violence, or the fact that society will never love you the way I do. All I can do is prepare you and pray. One day you will cease being adorable in the eyes of strangers. Even before your first facial hairs emerge, you will notice that some people are afraid of you. They may lack the empathy that you already possess. You notice a homeless man on the street and ask about his life, how he got there, how he eats. You told your father the other day that you wanted to give your money to people who don’t have very much. Giving and caring about others is also your legacy.

Grandma Harriette’s mother and father, Hattie and John Francis Clark, raised five children in Charleston, W.Va. Four of them became doctors and the fifth a lawyer. Great-Grandpa Clark earned degrees from the University of Chicago and Harvard and became a high-school principal, the leading educator of Negro children in Charleston. Hattie became a schoolteacher at 15 and bought her first piece of land at 17. Your great-grandparents were always investing and building. They built a post office and leased it to the government. They started a family corporation that is now run by a third generation of descendants.

In the Depression, the Clark home was filled to bursting with relatives and friends who had lost everything. Hattie Clark would take them in. One family lived on the back porch. Mommy and Daddy were following Hattie’s example when we invited your cousin to live with us and sponsored her through college. That is another tradition you must continue: Take care of your family. Lift up the ones who stumble. They will lift you when you fall.

Find your allies, whatever color they may be, and don’t worry about those who are difficult to connect with. Try to understand how they see the world, but then move on. A maître d’ once asked me whether you would become rappers or ball players. "Aiming kind of high, aren’t we?" he said when I suggested doctor or lawyer instead. At first I was angry. Then I realized that he may have been struggling to take care of his own children on what he earned working in that restaurant. You enjoy advantages his children do not.

That is why I do not believe that you need or deserve affirmative action. It is not enough that each of you is an African-American male, that you will be profiled, that some people see you as an endangered species, that you may offer a "black" perspective, whatever that is, in the classroom. There are other black children who have a lot less than you do who need the fair shot at life your parents are providing you. If you apply to college and are allowed to benefit merely from the fact that you are black, then some people will continue to resent you, and that will make it harder for the country to adopt policies that help poor children of all colors.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on affirmative action ---

"What It Takes to Be Great," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, May 19, 2014 ---

. . .

So, here is the assignment: I want you to read a Fortune magazine article that I read about 7 years ago that has impacted much of what I have done in this world since that time. The article is titled “What It Takes to Be Great.” It can be found at: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2006/10/30/8391794/

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
There's a distinction between becoming great versus staying great.
Italian heart surgeon, Dr Gino Strada, became a great heart surgeon by performing delicate open heart surgeries in the Congo for children having rheumatic heart disease. His services are free. Before that he was a war surgeon and founder of the UN-recognized Italian NGO Emergency. Emergency has operated in thirteen war-torn countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, and the Central African Republic.

Long eradicated in the West, rheumatic heart disease caused by strep throat kills hundreds of thousands of African children each year. A hospital in Sudan, founded by Dr. Gino Strada, offers a life-saving surgery for free ---

Dr. Strada performs approximately five open heart surgeries per day and does so day in and day out over the years in Africa. This is not only a great surgeon who manages to stay over time in extremely limited facilities. This is the only hope for this type of surgery in all of Africa. It's one thing to become a great heart surgeon. It's quite another thing to stay great under tremendous and exhausting adversity.

NPR Launches Database of Best Commencement Speeches Ever ---

University of Texas at Austin Commencement Address

Jensen Comment
This makes me feel old. I used to pay bridge regularly with the father of Adm. William H. McRaven. We called his father "Mac." Mac was himself a retired WW II fighter pilot (in the pacific) and former halfback for Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama. I only met his son Adm. McRaven once at a party. He has no reason to remember me. His father Mac died shortly before I retired and moved to New Hampshire ---

. . .

(Admiral) McRaven is credited for organizing and executing Operation Neptune Spear,[11] the special ops raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011. CIA Director Leon Panetta delegated the raid to McRaven who has worked almost exclusively on counter-terrorism operations and strategy since 2001

Continued in article

"Life Lessons From Navy SEAL Training:  Adm. William H. McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, gave a commencement address last week that graduates, and their parents, won't soon forget," The Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2014 ---

. . .

So, what starts here can indeed change the world, but the question is: What will the world look like after you change it?

Well, I am confident that it will look much, much better, but if you will humor this old sailor for just a moment, I have a few suggestions that may help you on your way to a better a world.

And while these lessons were learned during my time in the military, I can assure you that it matters not whether you ever served a day in uniform. It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your orientation, or your social status. Our struggles in this world are similar and the lessons to overcome those struggles and to move forward—changing ourselves and the world around us—will apply equally to all.

I have been a Navy SEAL for 36 years. But it all began when I left UT for Basic SEAL training in Coronado, Calif.

Basic SEAL training is six months of long, torturous runs in the soft sand, midnight swims in the cold water off San Diego, obstacle courses, unending calisthenics, days without sleep and always being cold, wet and miserable.

It is six months of being constantly harassed by professionally trained warriors who seek to find the weak of mind and body and eliminate them from ever becoming a Navy SEAL.

But, the training also seeks to find those students who can lead in an environment of constant stress, chaos, failure and hardships. To me basic SEAL training was a lifetime of challenges crammed into six months.

So, here are lessons I learned from basic SEAL training that hopefully will be of value to you as you move forward in life.

1. Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed. If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack—that's Navy talk for bed.

It was a simple task, mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs, but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.

If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.

If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

2. During SEAL training the students are broken down into boat crews. Each crew is seven students—three on each side of a small rubber boat and one coxswain to help guide the dingy. Every day, your boat crew forms up on the beach and is instructed to get through the surfzone and paddle several miles down the coast.

In the winter, the surf off San Diego can get to be 8 to 10 feet high and it is exceedingly difficult to paddle through the plunging surf unless everyone digs in. Every paddle must be synchronized to the stroke count of the coxswain. Everyone must exert equal effort or the boat will turn against the wave and be unceremoniously tossed back on the beach.

For the boat to make it to its destination, everyone must paddle.

You can't change the world alone—you will need some help—and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the goodwill of strangers and a strong coxswain to guide them.

If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.

3. Over a few weeks of difficult training my SEAL class, which started with 150 men, was down to just 42. There were now six boat crews of seven men each.

I was in the boat with the tall guys, but the best boat crew we had was made up of the little guys—the munchkin crew we called them. No one was over about 5-foot-5.

The munchkin boat crew had one American Indian, one African-American, one Polish-American, one Greek-American, one Italian-American and two tough kids from the Midwest.

They out-paddled, out-ran and out-swam all the other boat crews.

The big men in the other boat crews would always make good-natured fun of the tiny little flippers the munchkins put on their tiny little feet prior to every swim. But somehow these little guys, from every corner of the nation and the world, always had the last laugh—swimming faster than everyone and reaching the shore long before the rest of us.

SEAL training was a great equalizer. Nothing mattered but your will to succeed. Not your color, not your ethnic background, not your education and not your social status.

If you want to change the world, measure people by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.

4. Several times a week, the instructors would line up the class and do a uniform inspection. It was exceptionally thorough. Your hat had to be perfectly starched, your uniform immaculately pressed and your belt buckle shiny and void of any smudges.

But it seemed that no matter how much effort you put into starching your hat, or pressing your uniform or polishing your belt buckle, it just wasn't good enough. The instructors would find "something" wrong.

For failing the uniform inspection, the student had to run, fully clothed, into the surfzone and then, wet from head to toe, roll around on the beach until every part of your body was covered with sand. The effect was known as a "sugar cookie." You stayed in that uniform the rest of the day—cold, wet and sandy.

There were many students who just couldn't accept the fact that all their effort was in vain. That no matter how hard they tried to get the uniform right, it was unappreciated.

Those students didn't make it through training. Those students didn't understand the purpose of the drill. You were never going to succeed. You were never going to have a perfect uniform.

Sometimes, no matter how well you prepare or how well you perform, you still end up as a sugar cookie. It's just the way life is sometimes.

If you want to change the world, get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.

5. Every day during training you were challenged with multiple physical events. Long runs, long swims, obstacle courses, hours of calisthenics—something designed to test your mettle.

Every event had standards, times that you had to meet. If you failed to meet those standards, your name was posted on a list and at the end of the day those on the list were invited to a "circus."

A circus was two hours of additional calisthenics designed to wear you down, to break your spirit, to force you to quit. No one wanted a circus. A circus meant that for that day you didn't measure up. A circus meant more fatigue, and more fatigue meant that the following day would be more difficult—and more circuses were likely.

But at some time during SEAL training, everyone—everyone—made the circus list. Yet an interesting thing happened to those who were constantly on the list. Over time those students, who did two hours of extra calisthenics, got stronger and stronger. The pain of the circuses built inner strength—built physical resiliency.

Life is filled with circuses. You will fail. You will likely fail often. It will be painful. It will be discouraging. At times it will test you to your very core.

But if you want to change the world, don't be afraid of the circuses.

6. At least twice a week, the trainees were required to run the obstacle course. The obstacle course contained 25 obstacles including a 10-foot-high wall, a 30-foot cargo net and a barbed-wire crawl, to name a few.

But the most challenging obstacle was the slide for life. It had a three-level, 30-foot tower at one end and a one-level tower at the other. In between was a 200-foot-long rope.

You had to climb the three-tiered tower and, once at the top, you grabbed the rope, swung underneath the rope and pulled yourself hand over hand until you got to the other end.

The record for the obstacle course had stood for years when my class began training in 1977. The record seemed unbeatable until one day a student decided to go down the slide for life—head-first. Instead of swinging his body underneath the rope and inching his way down, he bravely mounted the top of the rope and thrust himself forward.

It was a dangerous move—seemingly foolish, and fraught with risk. Failure could mean injury and being dropped from the training. Without hesitation, the student slid down the rope, perilously fast. Instead of several minutes, it only took him half that time and by the end of the course he had broken the record.

If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head-first.

7. During the land-warfare phase of training, the students are flown out to San Clemente Island near San Diego. The waters off San Clemente are a breeding ground for great white sharks. To pass SEAL training, there are a series of long swims that must be completed. One is the night swim.

Before the swim, the instructors joyfully brief the trainees on all the species of sharks that inhabit the waters off San Clemente. The instructors assure you, however, that no student has ever been eaten by a shark—at least not recently.

But, you are also taught that if a shark begins to circle your position, stand your ground. Do not swim away. Do not act afraid. And if the shark, hungry for a midnight snack, darts towards you, then summon up all your strength and punch him in the snout and he will turn and swim away.

There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them.

So, if you want to change the world, don't back down from the sharks.

8. As Navy SEALs, one of our jobs is to conduct underwater attacks against enemy shipping. We practiced this technique extensively during basic training. The ship-attack mission is where a pair of SEAL divers is dropped off outside an enemy harbor and then swims well over 2 miles—underwater—using nothing but a depth gauge and a compass to get to their target.

During the entire swim, even well below the surface, there is some light that comes through. It is comforting to know that there is open water above you. But as you approach the ship, which is tied to a pier, the light begins to fade. The steel structure of the ship blocks the moonlight, it blocks the surrounding street lamps, it blocks all ambient light.

To be successful in your mission, you have to swim under the ship and find the keel—the centerline and the deepest part of the ship. This is your objective. But the keel is also the darkest part of the ship, where you cannot see your hand in front of your face, where the noise from the ship's machinery is deafening and where it is easy to get disoriented and fail.

Every SEAL knows that under the keel, at the darkest moment of the mission, is the time when you must be calm, composed—when all your tactical skills, your physical power and all your inner strength must be brought to bear.

If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.

9. The ninth week of SEAL training is referred to as Hell Week. It is six days of no sleep, constant physical and mental harassment and one special day at the Mud Flats. The Mud Flats are an area between San Diego and Tijuana where the water runs off and creates the Tijuana slues—a swampy patch of terrain where the mud will engulf you.

It is on Wednesday of Hell Week that you paddle down to the mud flats and spend the next 15 hours trying to survive the freezing-cold mud, the howling wind and the incessant pressure from the instructors to quit.

As the sun began to set that Wednesday evening, my training class, having committed some "egregious infraction of the rules" was ordered into the mud. The mud consumed each man till there was nothing visible but our heads. The instructors told us we could leave the mud if only five men would quit—just five men and we could get out of the oppressive cold.

Looking around the mud flat, it was apparent that some students were about to give up. It was still over eight hours till the sun came up—eight more hours of bone-chilling cold. The chattering teeth and shivering moans of the trainees were so loud it was hard to hear anything. And then, one voice began to echo through the night—one voice raised in song.

The song was terribly out of tune, but sung with great enthusiasm. One voice became two, and two became three, and before long everyone in the class was singing.

We knew that if one man could rise above the misery then others could as well. The instructors threatened us with more time in the mud if we kept up the singing—but the singing persisted. And somehow, the mud seemed a little warmer, the wind a little tamer and the dawn not so far away.

If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person—Washington, Lincoln, King, Mandela and even a young girl from Pakistan named Malala—can change the world by giving people hope.

So, if you want to change the world, start singing when you're up to your neck in mud.

10. Finally, in SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see.

All you have to do to quit is ring the bell. Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o'clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing cold swims. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT—and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training. Just ring the bell.

If you want to change the world don't ever, ever ring the bell.

To the graduating class of 2014, you are moments away from graduating. Moments away from beginning your journey through life. Moments away from starting to change the world—for the better.

It will not be easy.

But start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up—if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today. And what started here will indeed have changed the world, for the better.

Thank you very much. Hook 'em horns.

NPR Launches Database of Best Commencement Speeches Ever ---

Jensen Comment
Despite all the publicity over commencement speaker withdrawals in 2014 the list of collegiate commencement speakers is not exactly dominated by the Michael Moore's and other leftist radicals.

Exhibit A is former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer who is the commencement speaker at the University of Washington.

Exhibit B is the General Motors CEO Mary Barra speaking at the University of Michigan commencement.

Exhibit C is 2012 GOP Presidential Candidate John Huntsman who is the commencement of speaker at left-leaning University of Wisconsin

The list is dominated by actors, musicians, and other performers who are more like Jay Leno and Wysnton Marseales than Sean Penn.

Peyton Manning is the commencement speaker at the University of Virginia

Early on I made the mistake of assuming that political correctness was becoming the number one criterion for being a commencement speaker in collegiate America. I apologize. There are still quite a few media lefties speaking at commencements, but it would seem that accomplishments above and beyond the competition are more important than political leanings in the 2014 selection of commencement speakers.

2014 Commencement Graduation Speakers List Compiled by: Cristina Negrut ---

"When Ph.D.s realize they won’t be professors:  Young academics struggle with the transition from school to work," by Josh Dehaas, MacLeans, May 22, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
And there are those who start out in their dream beginning job (say at Harvard) knowing full well they will probably have to move on (some know initially that they prefer to eventually move on to avoid having to live in research publishing and teaching evaluation hell for their entire careers). Belatedly 5+ years later they discover that their dream lifetime jobs (say at Middlebury or Bowden) are not going to be available to them after leaving Harvard. Instead they either have to leave academia or get stuck teaching for almost minimum wages as adjuncts or lifetime associate professors in colleges they hate.

The USA Media Chooses Not to Investigate Where the Money Went
"Has Mark Zuckerberg's $100million gift to Newark public schools gone down the drain? The money’s gone but standards remain the same," Daily Mail (U.K.), May 14, 2014 ---

. . .

Zuckerberg's money has mostly gone into the early stages of overhaul, paying consultants upwards of $1,000 a day to find solutions to Newark public schools' problems.

According to the report, between 2010 and 2012 'more than twenty million dollars of Zuckerberg's gift and matching donations went to consulting firms and various specialities: public relations, human resources, communications, data analysis, [and] teacher evaluations.'

And the plans for overhaul did not settle well with Newark parents, who were informed that many of the schools would be closed and replaced with charter schools.

Anderson's plan, titled 'One Newark', is the latest iteration of how to change the schools. It offers familes the ability to chose between 55 public schools and 16 charter schools to send their children to, with low-income familes and those with special-needs students getting first pick.

 Continued in article

Jensen Question
The jury is still out on whether all those high-priced consultants came up with brilliant ideas about using charter schools. Those recommendations will not set will with the teachers' unions who do not wanted to be evaluated on tougher standards. This is an example of how money alone cannot solve problems in education.

Wisconsin Professor Sues Former Student Over Online Reviews ---

Jensen Comment
Most of Sally Vogl-Bauer's student evaluations on Rate-My-Professor are pretty high ("Good Quality")---
I like the fact that she is also rated as a somewhat tough grader with difficult assignments.

Most online teacher evaluations are written anonymously by students and former students and possibly by persons who were never students. The revelation of this student's name arises from voluntary actions such as putting a review on YouTube.

Wireless broadband can reach the moon, and maybe Mars (but maybe not your upstairs or a back room) ---

Jensen Comment
The television set in our den that also serves as our favorite television room. However, it was too far from our wireless transmitter for reliable streaming video via my home wireless system. So I bought a new TV set and placed it a living room wall just for watching streaming movies. Now my Kendell fire that I use for wireless movie reception is within three feet of my wireless transmitter and is connected to the new television set via HDMI cable --- works better this way.

"The Last, Best Hope For Those In The Newspaper Business Is Probably A Hallucination," by Henry Blodget, Business Insider, May 24, 2014 ---

On an inflation-adjusted basis, print advertising revenue in newspapers is now 14% below the 1950 level. When digital revenue is included, the number is only modestly higher. And it's still headed in the wrong direction.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
When newspapers cut back drastically on expenses the world of reporting takes an enormous hit. Television and the Web media depend upon newspaper reporters for news that they re-broadcast. If it does not get reported by newspapers it may not get reported at all. The Associated Press is the Associated "Press."


"Cronyism Blamed for Half of Univ. of Texas Law School Grads’ Inability to Pass the Bar," by Paul Caron, TaxProf Blog, May 23, 2014 ---
Raw Story ---

A mushrooming scandal at the University of Texas has exposed rampant favoritism in the admissions process of its nationally-respected School of Law.

According to Watchdog.org, Democratic and Republican elected officials stand accused of calling in favors and using their clout to obtain admission to the law school for less-than-qualified but well-connected applicants.

The prestigious program boasts a meager 59 percent of recent graduates who were able to pass the Texas bar exam. Those numbers rank UT “dead last among Texas’ nine law schools despite it being by far the most highly regarded school of the nine,” wrote Erik Telford at FoxNews.com.

“Every law school — even Harvard and Yale — turns out the occasional disappointing alum who cannot pass the bar,” said Telford. “In Texas, however, a disturbing number of these failed graduates are directly connected to the politicians who oversee the university’s source of funding.”

Telford singled out State Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D) and State House Speaker Joe Straus (R) as particularly egregious offenders. A series of Zaffirini emails showed that the state Senator was more than willing to pull strings in applicants’ favor. Another six recent graduates who failed the bar exam twice each have connections to Straus’ office.

“None of the emails published so far explicitly mention any sort of quid pro quo, but none need do so,” wrote Watchdog.org’s Jon Cassidy, “as the recipients all know Zaffirini is the most powerful voice on higher education funding in the Texas Legislature. Even so, in one of the emails, Zaffirini mentions how much funding she’s secured for the university before switching topics to the applicant.”

Furthermore, the children of three Texas lawmakers, including Zaffirini’s son, have graduated from UT Law School and failed the bar exam eight times between them. In addition to Zaffirini, State Sen. John Carona (R) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts (R) each sent their sons to the program, neither of whom has passed the bar to this day.

Continued in article

"More on Justice Scalia's Critique of Legal Education," by Paul Caron, TaxProf Blog, May 21, 2014 ---

Following up on Saturday's post, Justice Scalia Rejects 2-Year Law School, Skills Training; Calls for Cutting Tuition and Faculty Salaries, Increasing Faculty Teaching Loads:


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

Seven States Running Out of Water ---

"Pushed by Lawmakers, U. of Florida Dives Into Online Education," by Megan O’Neil, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 23, 2014 ---

A little more than a year after Florida lawmakers committed $35-million to the University of Florida to create a reduced-cost, online-only baccalaureate program, university officials say they are taking stock of the inaugural semester while preparing for the second.

UF Online began in January with 20 classes. About 565 students completed the first semester—95 percent of those enrolled, says W. Andrew McCollough, associate provost for teaching and technology, who oversees the program. All of them were transfer students because operations were not up and running until after the application deadline for first-time students had passed.

"The persistence acid test will come when we get a larger number of first-time-in-college kids," Mr. McCollough says. "These transfer students, or degree-completer students, often are a little older. They are less interested in the college experience and more interested in college degrees."

UF Online has received about 1,500 applications for the fall, says Mr. McCollough, who expects fall enrollment to be about 1,000. The application deadline is June 1.

If the online effort is to succeed, it will have to be an upward march from there—the university’s business plan for UF Online calls for an enrollment of 24,152 students in 35 different degrees by 2024. It also projects $76.6-million in revenue and $14.5-million in profit by then.

New distance education programs in other states ---

Bob Jensen's threads on alternatives for distance education and training ---

From US News in 2014
Best Online Degree Programs (ranked)

Best Online Undergraduate Bachelors Degrees --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/bachelors/rankings
Central Michigan is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Business MBA Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/rankings
Indiana University is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Education Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
Northern Illinois is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/engineering/rankings
Columbia University is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Information Technology Programs ---
The University of Southern California is the big winner

Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/nursing/rankings
St. Xavier University is the big winner

US News Degree Finder --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/features/multistep-oe?s_cid=54089
This beats those self-serving for-profit university biased Degree Finders

US News has tried for years to rank for-profit universities, but they don't seem to want to provide the data.

"For-Profit Education Stocks Are Getting Killed," by Myles Udland, Business Insider, May 22, 2014 ---

Shares of for-profit education companies are getting killed after ITT Educational (ESI) withdrew its full-year outlook. ITT shares are down 25% in afternoon trade.

ITT cited uncertainty related to inquiries from the SEC regarding its accounting treatment of an entity involved in its PEAKS Private Student Loan Program.

In addition to pulling its outlook, ITT said was not able to file a timely reports with the SEC for its fiscal-year 2013 or the first quarter of 2014. 

ITT's preliminary first quarter results also showed that total student enrollment had fallen 6.4% as of March 31.

Apollo Education, which owns The University of Phoenix, (APOL) is down 10% following the news.

Other for-profit education companies that are also lower include Career Education (CECO), Strayer Education (STRA), DeVry Education (DV), and Grand Canyon Education (LOPE). 

Jensen Comment
When billionaire Mike Milken formed a for-profit education company his famous warning to non-profit colleges and universities was:
"We're going to eat your lunch."
What he forgot to add was that he meant leftover lunches in dumpsters.

Teaching Case
From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on May 9, 2014

Elite Colleges Don't Buy Happiness for Graduates
by: Douglas Belkin
May 06, 2014
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com


SUMMARY: "A Gallup survey of 30,000 college graduates of all ages found that highly selective schools don't produce better workers or happier people, but really inspiring professors-no matter where they teach-just might....The poll is the brainchild of former Indiana Republican Governor Mitch Daniels who became president of Purdue University in January 2013." The data presented in tables also includes employment levels for graduates holding different broad categories of degrees: science, business, social sciences, and arts and humanities.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: The article may be used in any class. It contains good suggestions for gleaning benefit from students' college education at any type of institution.

1. (Introductory) Who developed this survey of college graduates? What entity administered the survey? To whom and how many was it administered?

2. (Introductory) What is the measure of happiness that is used in this poll?

3. (Introductory) What factors in the survey provided "the strongest correlation" with well-being later in life?

4. (Advanced) What caveats exist in the ability to interpret the survey results? That is, do the associations found in this study truly explain factors leading to college graduates' happiness? Explain.

5. (Advanced) What points from this article can you take away to enhance your educational experience? Do you think these points will also help you later in life? Explain.

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

"Elite Colleges Don't Buy Happiness for Graduates, by Douglas Belkin, The Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2014 ---

A word to high-school seniors rejected by their first choice: A degree from that shiny, elite college on the hill may not matter nearly as much as you think.

A new Gallup survey of 30,000 college graduates of all ages in all 50 states has found that highly selective schools don't produce better workers or happier people, but inspiring professors—no matter where they teach—just might.

The poll, undertaken this spring, is part of a growing effort to measure how well colleges do their jobs. This survey adds an interesting twist, because it looked not only at graduates after college; it tried to determine what happens during college that leads to well-being and workplace engagement later in life.

The poll didn't measure graduates' earnings. Rather, it was rooted in 30 years of Gallup research that shows that people who feel happy and engaged in their jobs are the most productive. That relatively small group at the top didn't disproportionately attend the prestigious schools that Americans have long believed provided a golden ticket to success. Instead, they forged meaningful connections with professors or mentors, and made significant investments in long-term academic projects and extracurricular activities.

"It matters very little where you go; it's how you do it" that counts, said Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education. "Having a teacher who believes in a student makes a lifetime of difference."

Charts not shown here

The poll is the brainchild of former Indiana Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, who became president of Purdue University in January 2013. As he prepared for the job, Mr. Daniels said he kept bumping into the same problem: a lack of benchmarked data to measure the value of a college degree. Last spring, during a trip to Gallup's D.C. offices, he seized on the idea of applying their engagement and well-being questions, which had been used in other contexts, to college graduates. The index will soon be broken down to the level of individual schools "for those that have the will, and frankly, the nerve," Mr. Daniels said.

"There is a lot we don't know about higher education, and there is a sense it's skating on its reputation," Mr. Daniels said. "We needed to know with more rigor how well the experience is serving people."

The poll found that just 39% of college graduates feel engaged at work—meaning, for instance, that they enjoyed what they did on a daily basis and are emotionally and intellectually connected to their jobs. And only 11% reported they were "thriving" in five different aspects of their lives, among which are financial stability, a strong social network and a sense of purpose.

That relatively small handful of graduates—who tend to be more productive—went to a variety of colleges, though they were slightly more likely to go to larger schools and less likely to have attended for-profits.

The strongest correlation for well-being emerged from a series of questions delving into whether graduates felt "emotionally supported" at school by a professor or mentor. Those who did were three times as likely to report they thrived as adults. Graduates who reported having "experiential and deep learning" were twice as likely to be engaged at work as those who didn't.

University of Pennsylvania Professor Martin Seligman, who has studied the psychology of happiness, said it was impossible to know whether the college experiences Gallup asked about were the cause of later success or simply coincidental to it.

"One hopeful possibility is that if college were changed to produce more emotional support, this would result in much more engagement later in life," he wrote in an email. "Another, less interesting possibility" is that people engaged at work who said they were emotionally supported in college are simply upbeat to begin with, and that rosy outlook colors their memories.

Other, less fuzzy correlations were between debt and entrepreneurship. About 26% of graduates with no undergraduate debt started their own business, compared with just 20% of those carrying debt from $20,000 to $40,000. Nearly three-quarters of U.S. college graduates leave school with debt; among those who do, the average is nearly $30,000. Graduates with that amount of debt were one-third as likely to report they were "thriving" as graduates without debt reported.

Continued in article

Teaching Case
From The Wall Street Journal Weekly Accounting Review on May 16, 2014

Studying Philosophy is Good for Business
by: Marcelo Bucheli and R. Daniel Wadhwani
May 12, 2014
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Accounting Education

SUMMARY: The article is written by two professors, one at the University of Illinoi, Urbana-Champaign and one at the University of the Pacific. The related article is the original report on changes in MBA programs to which these two professors have responded in this letter to the WSJ editors. The professors focus on market-related benefits of broad thinking capabilities. The related article describes employers' concerns about current teaching methods and focus in business programs.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: While the articles focus on MBA programs, questions ask students to consider whether these issues apply in accounting programs. The article may be used in any accounting class.

1. (Advanced) What do you understand is the meaning of critical thinking?

2. (Introductory) What concerns are raised in the main and related articles about development of students' critical thinking skills in business programs?

3. (Advanced) While the two articles are focused on MBA programs, do you feel that your accounting curriculum helps to develop your critical thinking skills? Support your answer.

4. (Introductory) Refer to the related article. What do employers cite as a problem with the thinking skills of business school graduates?

5. (Advanced) Could this issue being raised by employers apply to accounting graduates as well as MBAs? Explain.

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

Why Some M.B.A.s Are Reading Plato, Kant
by Melissa Korn
May 01, 2014
Page: B6

"Studying Philosophy is Good for Business," Marcelo Bucheli and R. Daniel Wadhwani, The Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2014 ---

Most business-school students are gunning for jobs in banking, consulting or technology. So what are they doing reading Plato?

The philosophy department is invading the M.B.A. program—at least at a handful of schools where the legacy of the global financial crisis has sparked efforts to train business students to think beyond the bottom line. Courses like "Why Capitalism?" and "Thinking about Thinking," and readings by Marx and Kant, give students a break from Excel spreadsheets and push them to ponder business in a broader context, schools say.

The courses also address a common complaint of employers, who say recent graduates are trained to solve single problems but often miss the big picture.

"Nobel Thinking," a new elective at London Business School, explores the origins and influence of economic theories on topics like market efficiency and decision-making by some Nobel Prize winners. The 10-week course—taught by faculty from the school's economics, finance and organizational behavior departments—might not make students the next James Watson or Francis Crick, but it aims to give them a sense of how revolutionary ideas arise.

"It's important to know why we're doing what we're doing," says Ingrid Marchal-Gérez, a second-year M.B.A. who enrolled in Nobel Thinking to balance her finance and marketing classes. "You can start to understand what idea can have an impact, and how to communicate an idea."

Students write narrative essays to explain how ideas—such as adverse selection, or what happens when buyers and sellers have access to different information—gain currency. Joao Montez, the economics professor leading Nobel Thinking, says he wants students to reflect, if only for a short while, on world-changing thought.

Career advancement and salary outrank ideas about world peace and humanity's future for many M.B.A.s, but Dr. Montez says LBS students have requested more opportunities to step back and consider big-picture ideas.

"You can leave the classroom with these ideas in the back of your mind, and then maybe one day it will be useful," he says.

That's true to a point: Ms. Marchal-Gérez, 38 years old, says she is somewhat concerned she'll "have a good time, but then what?"

Abstract ideas remain a hard sell for many M.B.A.s.

Patricia Márquez, an associate professor of management at the University of San Diego's School of Business Administration and an anthropologist by training, has struggled for nearly 20 years to teach M.B.A.s to dream up business solutions for poverty, her area of scholarly focus. Students, she found, needed a great deal of coaching to apply theories from anthropology and ethnography to the business world.

She eventually replaced theory-based readings with traditional case studies, though she still tries to conduct discussions on abstract topics, such as how cultural stereotypes stymie innovation.

"I spent six years thinking about the definition of culture. At a business school, culture can be measured through a survey," she says. "It's so solution-oriented. We don't ask, and we don't let them have space to ask better questions."

To give students room for questions, Bentley University in Waltham, Mass., introduced "Thinking about Thinking" as a unit in its one-year M.B.A. program last year. Students spend two weeks studying art, reading fiction and even meditating.

"There's too much emphasis in leadership work on understanding followers," says Duncan Spelman, management department chair and co-instructor. "We're really trying to emphasize understanding the self" to make students effective leaders.

Mariia Potapkina, a 29-year-old Russia native who plans to work in consulting or strategy after graduation, says the class was "a nonstop, 14-day discovery of yourself." For example, she learned that she became more organized in the face of ambiguity.

But ambiguity can be unsettling for some. Esteban Hunt, an M.B.A. student who hails from Buenos Aires, recalled a class when an artist presented a piece of artwork and asked students to describe what they saw.

The variety of interpretations, and the realization that there was no single right answer, left him frustrated, Mr. Hunt says, and produced palpable anxiety among his classmates.

That's the point, says Dr. Spelman, adding that uncertainty is a reality in life and business.

Expect more abstract ideas in business schools soon.

To meet student demand, Copenhagen Business School is expanding its 15-year-old master of science in business administration and philosophy program this year, shifting to English-language instruction from Danish and taking in more international students.

"The tension between the two words business [and] philosophy appeals to quite a lot of young students," says Kurt Jacobsen, program director and a professor of business history. He says students want to better understand market and business dynamics after the extreme economic upheaval of recent years.

Continued in article

Critical Thinking:  Why's It So Hard to Teach
Go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory02.htm#CriticalThinking


"Health-care fraud in America:  That’s where the money is How to hand over $272 billion a year to criminals," The Economist, May 31, 2014 ---

MEDICAL science is hazy about many things, but doctors agree that if a patient is losing pints of blood all over the carpet, it is a good idea to stanch his wounds. The same is true of a health-care system. If crooks are bleeding it of vast quantities of cash, it is time to tighten the safeguards.

In America the scale of medical embezzlement is extraordinary. According to Donald Berwick, the ex-boss of Medicare and Medicaid (the public health schemes for the old and poor), America lost between $82 billion and $272 billion in 2011 to medical fraud and abuse (see article). The higher figure is 10% of medical spending and a whopping 1.7% of GDP—as if robbers had made off with the entire output of Tennessee or nearly twice the budget of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

Crooks love American health care for two reasons. First, as Willie Sutton said of banks, it’s where the money is—no other country spends nearly as much on pills and procedures. Second, unlike a bank, it is barely guarded.

Some scams are simple. Patients claim benefits to which they are not entitled; suppliers charge Medicaid for non-existent services. One doctor was recently accused of fraudulently billing for 1,000 powered wheelchairs, for example. Fancier schemes involve syndicates of health workers and patients. Scammers scour nursing homes for old people willing, for a few hundred dollars, to let pharmacists supply their pills but bill Medicare for much costlier ones. Criminal gangs are switching from cocaine to prescription drugs—the rewards are as juicy, but with less risk of being shot or arrested. One clinic in New York allegedly wrote bogus prescriptions for more than 5m painkillers, which were then sold on the street for $30-90 each. Identity thieves have realised that medical records are more valuable than credit-card numbers. Steal a credit card and the victim quickly notices; photocopy a Medicare card and you can bill Uncle Sam for ages, undetected.

It is hard to make such a vast system secure: Medicare’s contractors process 4.5m claims a day. But pointless complexity makes it even harder. Does Medicare really need 140,000 billing codes, as it will have next year, including ten for injuries that take place in mobile homes and nine for attacks by turtles? A toxic mix of incompetence and political gridlock has made matters worse. Medicare does not check new suppliers for links to firms that have previously been caught embezzling (though a new bill aims to fix this). Fraud experts have long begged the government to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards to deter identity thieves—to no avail.

Start by closing the safe door

One piece of the solution is obvious: crack down on the criminals. Obamacare, for all its flaws, includes some useful measures. Suppliers are better screened. And when Medicaid blackballs a dodgy provider, it now shares that information with Medicare—which previously it did not. For every dollar spent on probing health-care fraud, taxpayers recover eight. So the sleuths’ budgets should be boosted, not squeezed, as now.

But the broader point is that American health care needs to be simplified. Whatever its defects, Britain’s single-payer National Health Service is much simpler, much cheaper and relatively difficult to defraud. Doctors are paid to keep people well, not for every extra thing they do, so they don’t make more money by recommending unnecessary tests and operations—let alone billing for non-existent ones.

Too socialist for America? Then simplify what is left, scale back the health tax-perks for the rich and give people health accounts so they watch the dollars that are spent on their treatment. After all, Dr Berwick’s study found that administrative complexity and unnecessary treatment waste even more health dollars than fraud does. Perhaps that is the real crime.


Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---


From the CPA Newsletter on May 16, 2014

U.K. boasts most billionaires per capita in the world
The U.K. has one billionaire for every 607,692 residents, the highest per-capita level in the world. The U.S. is second with one billionaire for every 1,022,475 residents. One reason for Britain's ascendency may be that it doesn't tax non-domicile residents on their global wealth.
The Daily Mail (London) (5/12)

Jensen Comment
The United Kingdom's corporate tax rate is half the corporate tax rate in the USA. Roger Collins pointed out that this was a huge factor in the decision by Phizer to move its headquarters to England.

"Pfizer admitted that moving to the UK would also give it "substantial tax benefits" at the expense of US taxpayers. The company will save millions by spending its £40bn cash pile it has built up overseas on buying AstraZeneca rather than bringing the money back to America, where it would be taxed.

The tax plans have been attacked by prominent US senators Carl Levin and Roy Wyden, who are working to urgently to close the loophole.

Pfizer said the UK's 20% corporate tax rate from next year compared with 40% in the US was "very attractive".

Read praised the UK government's "very clever" tax breaks strategy and said it was crucial to Pfizer's decision to make an offer for AstraZeneca. "We would change the price we are offering if we didn't have the advantage of the tax," he said.

He highlighted the UK's "patent box" tax - introduced by George Osborne - which allows companies to pay just 10% tax on profits derived from UK research."

For more, see..




On the Stanford Campus I used to sit for wasted hours praying that the last stack in a succession of such stacks of IBM cards that I submitted for batch processing would compile (mostly in Fortran). It was an IBM System 370 that was so big it had its own building with freezing air conditioning. Now I have more power in my new $250 tablet computer.

"The Specs On This 1970 IBM Mainframe Will Remind You Just How Far Technology Has Come," by Dylan Love, Business Insider,  May 19, 2014

. . .

Adjusted for inflation, this computer would cost you between $4.3 million and $10.8 million in today's dollars, depending on the options you selected.

Nowadays, the smartphone in every millenial's pocket is at least 1,000 times faster, and the most basic iPhone can store 80 times the data.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ibm-1970-mainframe-specs-are-ridiculous-today-2014-5#ixzz32CRTMr4A

Jensen Comment
During my 10 years on the faculty at the University of Maine I painstakingly had the UMO Computer Center punch our an 88,000+ IBM card bibliography on mathematical statistics after I coded (with a pencil) the contents of each card as a row on a paper form. When I moved to Florida State I finally got the Computer Center to store all these cards on a magnetic tape. When I moved to Trinity University the Trinity Computer Center lost the tape.

Nassim Taleb --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nassim_Taleb

Lawrence Summers --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Summers

"Nassim Taleb Debated Larry Summers Last Week, And He Is NOT Happy With How Summers Behaved," by Linette Lopez and Joe Weisenthal , Business Insider, May 19, 2014

Jensen Comment
Taleb has always been troubled by "fat tails" that he argues are not "normal" (read that Gausian).

"5 US Colleges You Can Attend For Free," by Christina Couch, Business Insider, May 24, 2014 --- 

"What 'Hard Work U' Can Teach Elite Schools:  'We don't do debt here,' says College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis." by Stephen Moore, The Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2014 ---

Looking for the biggest bargain in higher education? I think I found it in this rural Missouri town, 40 miles south of Springfield, nestled in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. The school is College of the Ozarks, and it operates on an education model that could overturn the perverse method of financing college education that is turning this generation of young adults into a permanent debtor class.

At this college the tuition is nowhere near the $150,000 to $200,000 for a four-year degree that the elite top-tier universities are charging. At College of the Ozarks, tuition is free. That's right. The school's nearly 1,400 students don't pay a dime in tuition during their time there.

So what's the catch? All the college's students—without exception—pay for their education by working 15 hours a week on campus. The jobs are plentiful because this school—just a few miles from Branson, a popular tourist destination—operates its own mill, a power plant, fire station, four-star restaurant and lodge, museum and dairy farm.

Some students from low-income homes also spend 12 weeks of summer on campus working to cover their room and board. Part of the students' grade point average is determined by how they do on the job and those who shirk their work duties are tossed out. The jobs range from campus security to cooking and cleaning hotel rooms, tending the hundreds of cattle, building new dorms and buildings, to operating the power plant.

The college was founded in 1906 as the "School of the Ozarks" atop local Mount Huggins, named for brothers Louis and William Huggins from St. Joseph, Mo., who gave the school its first endowment. From the start, the school was run on the same work-for-education principle as it is today.

Just over 40 years ago, this newspaper made College of the Ozarks famous with a 1973 front-page story that nicknamed the school "Hard Work U." In 1988, when he became the school's president, Jerry C. Davis, started plastering the moniker "Hard Work U" on nearly every structure and piece of promotional material printed at the college. "We saw this as a huge marketing coup because it sets us apart from nearly every other school in the country," explains the colorful Mr. Davis, who in 26 years as head of the school has brought to campus such luminaries as President George W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Tom Brokaw and Norman Schwarzkopf.

"We don't do debt here," Mr. Davis says. "The kids graduate debt free and the school is debt free too." Operating expenses are paid out of a $400 million endowment. Seeing the success of College of the Ozarks, one wonders why presidents of schools with far bigger endowments don't use them to make their colleges more affordable. This is one of the great derelictions of duty of college trustees as they allow universities to become massive storehouses of wealth as tuitions rise year after year.

In an era when patriotism on progressive college campuses is uncool or even denigrated as endorsing American imperialism, College of the Ozarks actually offers what it calls a "patriotic education." "There's value in teaching kids about the sacrifices previous generations have made," Mr. Davis says. "Kids should know there are things worth fighting for."

He says a dozen or so students will be taking a pilgrimage to Normandy in June to commemorate the 70-year anniversary of D-Day and the former College of the Ozarks students buried there. Amazingly, four of the school's graduates served as generals in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.

The emphasis on work in exchange for learning doesn't mean the classroom experience is second rate. The college has a renowned nursing program, business school and agriculture program. As one who has lectured at many universities, I can attest that the many students I met on the campus are refreshingly respectful, inquisitive and grateful for the opportunity to learn.

These aren't the highest academic status kids (the average ACT score is 21), but there is an unmistakable quest to succeed. To gain admittance, each student must demonstrate "financial need, academic ability, sound character, and a willingness to work." Elizabeth Hughes, the public-relations director, says: "We don't have a lot of rich kids . . . they have plenty of other schools they can choose from."

That doesn't mean the school is not in high demand. Unlike many small liberal-arts schools that are suffering a steep decline in applications, last year College of the Ozarks had 4,000 applicants for about 400 freshman slots, which makes this remote little school among the nation's most selective.

All of this raises the question: To bring down tuition costs elsewhere, is it so unthinkable that college students be required to engage in an occasional honest day's work? Many of the privileged class of kids who attend Dartmouth or Stanford or Wesleyan would no doubt call it a violation of their human rights. Others are too busy holding rallies for unisex bathrooms, reparations for slavery and an end to fossil fuels to work while in school. As the humorist P.J. O'Rourke once wrote: "Everyone wants to save the world, but no one wants to do the dishes."

At Hard Work U, the kids actually do the dishes and much more while working their way through a four-year degree. Nearly 90% of graduates land jobs—an impressive figure, given the economy's slow-motion recovery.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I hate to sound elitist here, but I have some questions about academic honesty here. The literature of the College of the Ozarks claims that there is an option to major in accounting and take a curriculum that qualifies graduates to sit for the uniform national CPA Examination.

However, the College only lists one accounting professor among five school of business faculty ---

Mr. Steven Flowler
Assistant Professor of Accounting

At another point it is stated that there are two "accounting faculty members" ---

The objectives of the accounting major are to (1) prepare students for placement in the competitive job market by teaching the basic accounting skills necessary to succeed, (2) prepare those students who are interested in and who qualify to pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam or other professional exams, and (3) prepare students who wish to further their education in graduate school with a strong foundation. The two faculty members currently teaching accounting courses have combined teaching experience of over 60 years.


The State of Missouri requires the following to sit for the CPA Examination according to NASBA:

Have 150 semester hours of general college education to include:


Even if there are two teachers for the accounting courses, I cannot imagine those two teachers are superhuman enough to teach all the content areas required to sit for the CPA examination. I'm sure there are some disciplines outside accountancy that are probably covered well at the College of the Ozarks. And some areas of accounting and auditing may be covered very well by the two teachers who supposedly teach all the accounting courses, but I cannot imagine any two accounting teachers having such expertise and time to teach these 33 semester hours in accounting and auditing.

Chances are that graduates must go elsewhere to complete the requirements to sit for the CPA examination. It might be useful if the literature noted that accounting graduates at the College of the Ozarks are prepared for further studies to sit for the CPA examination.

Aside from that there is certainly a lot to say for a "free" college degree from the College of the Ozarks --- that has full accreditation from the North Central Association. I would hate to be an admissions officer for this college since it only has a capacity for around 1,400 students.

One stated goal of the College of the Ozarks is to foster the Christian faith. That narrows down the number of applicants.

How to Mislead With Statistics
Gini Coefficient of Poverty

Jensen Comment
The Gini Coefficient is one of the most misleading statistics in economics. It supposedly measures the gap between the rich and poor in any nation. However, the terms "rich" and "poor" are highly relative. For example, the USA has a high Gini Coefficient indicating a gap between the rich and poor. However, South Sudan has very nearly the same Gini Coefficent where the poor of the USA would be considered well off in South Sudan. Think of how rich a person would be in the South Sudan with housing subsidies, food stamps, Medicaid, vehicles, HDTV, and welfare.

Chile is a high Gini Coefficient nation with about the same score as Zambia, but the poor in Chile are not nearly as desperate as the poor in Zambia. The level of income for the poor in Chile is the highest in all of Latin and South America ---

At one point Canada and North Korea had about the same Gini Coefficient, although the index is no longer computed for North Korea ---

"Countries With the Widest Gap Between Rich and Poor," by Alexander E.M. Hess, Vince Calio and Thomas C. Frohlich, Business Insider,  May 20, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
Denmark has the lowest (best) Gini Coefficient but its public education and health care systems are lacking and rank below those of Morocco ---

Other measures of inequality and poverty ---

"Professor in Florida Is Accused of Forging His Doctoral Credentials," by Charles Huckabee, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 22, 2014 ---

David Scott Broxterman, a professor of business administration at Polk State College, in Florida, was arrested Wednesday on charges related to accusations that he forged the transcript and doctoral diploma he used to get the job, according to the Ledger Media Group.

Mr. Broxterman, who was placed on administrative leave at the end of the spring semester, has taught at the college since January 2009 and was hired as a full-time professor in January 2010. In his application, he had claimed to have received a doctorate in business organization and management from the University of South Florida in 2007. But state prosecutors say their investigation has determined that he was never a student there.

Rachel Pleasant, a spokeswoman for Polk State, said Mr. Broxterman’s transcripts had been verified by college personnel, which was college’s policy at the time he was hired. In response to this case, however, the college will now use a third party to verify academic degrees before employment.

All student credits from his courses will remain intact, Ms. Pleasant said. The college is cooperating with the state investigation and is conducting its own internal investigation, she said.

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

"Easiest Way To Get Caught Plagiarizing? Forget You’re White!," by Joe Patrice, Above the Law, May 28, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
Plagiarism is a bad thing made worse when the plagiarist has not even read what he/she plagiarizes.

Vladimir Putin not only did not write a single word in his Ph.D. thesis, it's not clear that he ever read a single word in his Ph.D. thesis ---
Maybe he was too busy building his billion dollar house on the Black Sea

Large parts of an economics thesis written by President Vladimir Putin in the mid-1990s were lifted straight out of a U.S. management textbook published 20 years earlier, The Washington Times reported Saturday, citing researchers at the Brookings Institution. It was unclear, however, whether Putin had even read the thesis, which might have been intended to impress the Western investors who were flooding into St. Petersburg in the mid-1990s, the report said. Putin oversaw the city's foreign economic relations at the time.
"Putin Accused of Plagiarizing Thesis," Moscow Times, March 27, 2006 --- http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2006/03/27/011.html
Jensen Comment
What's interesting about this news item is that it was published in Moscow. This would not have happened in the old Soviet Union.

E. Gordon Gee ---  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Gee#West_Virginia_University_president  

"Executive Compensation at Public Colleges, 2013 Fiscal Year," Chronicle of Higher Education, May 16, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
In addition to his salary, Gordon Gee was given lavish expense accounts over the years at OSU. Gordon Gee retired from OSU in 2013 and was invited by West Virginia University to become first its interim president and then its permanent president at age 72 (at much lower salary and expense allowances than he received at OSU).

I once heard Gordon Gee state that one of his goals in life was to make more than his football coach.

The "Hot Hand Fallacy" in Gambling (and investing)
"How Gamblers Get Hot," Jay Caspian Kang, The New Yorker, May 20, 2014 ---

When your betting “hobby” goes degenerate and those Sunday football bets spill over into Monday Night Football bets and then Wednesday college-basketball bets and then lunch-break bets on the five horse in the third race at the Aqueduct, there’s one mantra that can bring you a measure of comfort: every gambling theory is wrong, and, because gamblers all have theories, every gambler will eventually be as broke as you. The sense of community among the people who fall asleep at poker tables or ride the bus to Foxwoods or crowd around off-track betting screens comes, in part, from a collective sense of bewilderment. How could all of us be wrong all the time?

Last month, researchers at University College, London, released a study that seems to confirm the existence of one of gambling’s most ubiquitous and destructive theories: the “hot hand.” Loosely defined, the hot hand, better known as the hot-hand fallacy, is the idea that winning begets more winning. Suppose you’re playing blackjack and you hit sixteen against the dealer’s ten and then pull a five. This swing of luck prompts you, on your next hand, to double down on nine against a dealer seven. When the dealer slides you an ace, for a total of twenty, you win, and you certainly aren’t going to stop betting now. So, in the next hand, you split sevens against a dealer eight (a terrible decision) because you’ve just won two hands in a row and how could you possibly lose a third? That’s the hot hand in all its ruinous glory.

Juemin Xu and Nigel Harvey, the study’s authors, took a sampling of 569,915 bets taken on an online sports-gambling site and tracked how previous wins and losses affected the probability of wins in the future. Over all, the winning percentage of the bets was somewhere around forty eight per cent. Xu and Harvey isolated the winners and tracked how they fared in their subsequent bets. In bet two, winners won at a rate of forty-nine per cent. From there, the numbers go haywire. A player who had won two bets in a row won his third bet at a rate of fifty-seven per cent. His fourth bet won sixty-seven percent of the time, his fifth bet seventy-two. The best gamblers in Las Vegas expect to win fifty-five per cent of their bets every year. Seventy-two per cent verges on omniscience. The hot hand, it appears, is real.

Losers, unsurprisingly, continued to lose. Of the 190,359 bettors who lost their initial bet, fifty-three per cent lost their next, and those who had enough money left for a third round lost sixty per cent of the time. When unfortunate bettors got to five straight losses, their chance of winning dropped to twenty-three per cent. The losing streaks should be familiar to problem gamblers and can be explained by another well-worn theory called the gambler’s fallacy. If you’ve ever called heads on a coin flip, seen the coin land tails up, and then called heads again because “heads is due,” you’ve been caught up in the gambler’s fallacy.

Winning and losing streaks had no correlation with the skill or risk aversion of the gambler. Xu and Harvey examined the over-all payoffs of gamblers across three currencies and found no significant difference between hot-streakers and cold-streakers.

What the research did find was that gamblers on streaks—good or bad—acted under the influence of the gambler’s fallacy. Winning bettors began placing more prudent bets because they assumed their luck would soon run out. Losers began placing bets with longer odds because they wanted to win big when their luck finally, inevitably changed.

What this means is that streaky gamblers who win do so because they expect to lose, and streaky gamblers who lose do so because they expect to win. Or, more simply put, when you’re losing, you’re wrong, but when you’re winning, you’re also wrong.

Xu and Harvey’s study was commissioned by the Responsible Gambling Trust, an organization funded by casino companies which seeks out ways to prevent problem betting. The headlines on articles about the research, which include “Are ‘Lucky Streaks’ Real? Science Says Yes,” and “The ‘Hot Hand’ of Gambling Is No Fantasy,” might suggest an ulterior motive. For the most part, the articles written about the study will eventually clarify the nuances of the researchers’ argument, but Xu has come across a few sites that used the research as proof that God loves some bettors more than others. She sent e-mails politely asking for corrections. “I certainly don’t want people to think that if you’re winning that you’re more likely to win and eventually you win, win, win,” Xu told me. “That’s absolutely not the case.”

Continued in article

"The Backfire Effect: The Psychology of Why We Have a Hard Time Changing Our Minds," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, May 13, 2014 ---

How the disconnect between information and insight explains our dangerous self-righteousness.

“Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind,” I wrote in reflecting on the 7 most important things I learned in 7 years of Brain Pickings. It’s a conundrum most of us grapple with — on the one hand, the awareness that personal growth means transcending our smaller selves as we reach for a more dimensional, intelligent, and enlightened understanding of the world, and on the other hand, the excruciating growing pains of evolving or completely abandoning our former, more inferior beliefs as we integrate new knowledge and insight into our comprehension of how life works. That discomfort, in fact, can be so intolerable that we often go to great lengths to disguise or deny our changing beliefs by paying less attention to information that contradicts our present convictions and more to that which confirms them. In other words, we fail the fifth tenet of Carl Sagan’s timelessly brilliant and necessary Baloney Detection Kit for critical thinking: “Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours.”

That humbling human tendency is known as the backfire effect and is among the seventeen psychological phenomena David McRaney explores in You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself (public library) — a fascinating and pleasantly uncomfortable-making look at why “self-delusion is as much a part of the human condition as fingers and toes,” and the follow-up to McRaney’s You Are Not So Smart, one of the best psychology books of 2011. McRaney writes of this cognitive bug:

Once something is added to your collection of beliefs, you protect it from harm. You do this instinctively and unconsciously when confronted with attitude-inconsistent information. Just as confirmation bias shields you when you actively seek information, the backfire effect defends you when the information seeks you, when it blindsides you. Coming or going, you stick to your beliefs instead of questioning them. When someone tries to correct you, tries to dilute your misconceptions, it backfires and strengthens those misconceptions instead. Over time, the backfire effect makes you less skeptical of those things that allow you to continue seeing your beliefs and attitudes as true and proper.

But what makes this especially worrisome is that in the process of exerting effort on dealing with the cognitive dissonance produced by conflicting evidence, we actually end up building new memories and new neural connections that further strengthen our original convictions. This helps explain such gobsmacking statistics as the fact that, despite towering evidence proving otherwise, 40% of Americans don’t believe the world is more than 6,000 years old. The backfire effect, McRaney points out, is also the lifeblood of conspiracy theories. He cites the famous neurologist and conspiracy-debunker Steven Novella, who argues believers see contradictory evidence is as part of the conspiracy and dismiss lack of confirming evidence as part of the cover-up, thus only digging their heels deeper into their position the more counter-evidence they’re presented with.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
One of the most frustrating things for Paul Williams, Jagdish Gangolly, and the rest of us who debate on the AECM is how our arguments seldom change preconceived notions. Those who agree with Paul or Jagdish or Bob agree with him before he makes an argument. Those who did not initially agree with Paul or Jagdish or Bob are not hand-waving converts after his arguments.

In academia we are asking too much if we are looking for total converts to our controversial arguments. What often goes unnoticed is that academic debates often raise doubts in our previous thinking --- even if we don't admit it to ourselves. We are not converts coming to the front of the church to be patted on the head and blessed for our conversions. But the world is less black and white as we have increased doubts about our initial positions on matters being debated.

For example, I like to raise doubts in the minds of accountants advocating the mixing of completed-contract revenues with transitory price changes that have not yet be realized and probably will never be realized when many contracts are held to maturity. I like to make readers think of what is lost in the analysis of the net earnings number that is so important to financial analysts. 

"The Asset-Liability Approach: Primacy does not mean Priority," by Robert Bloomfield, FASRI Financial Accounting Standards Research Initiative, October 6, 2009 ---

The above article does make fair value accounting advocates change their advocacies. But it raises doubts --- which is often the best we can achieve in academic debates.

"U Southern California Ed School Intros Online Teacher Training," by Dian Schaffhauser, T.H.E. Journal, May 9, 2014 ---

The University of Southern California's (USC) Rossier School Education has developed a set of online and blended training courses to help teachers develop their skills in working with diverse learners. The school will make the online certificate program available through Knowledge Delivery Systems (KDS), a company that provides professional learning to states and school districts. The new courses will launch in fall 2014.

The courses have been developed by faculty members at Rossier whose areas of expertise include English learners, gifted learners and underserved students. The first four courses focus on relationally responsive classroom management, responding to individual differences, facilitating learning for non-standard English learners and pedagogical practices for English learners.

Those will be delivered on KDS' online platform. Following the format of other KDS instruction, the program will include coaching, modeling, practice and feedback. The two partners will contract with districts to deliver teacher training in the Rossier-designed program.

Those who finish all four courses will earn a certificate of competency from the university.

"This program is a revolutionary joint effort to deliver an innovative, effective transformation in teaching practice, at scale, leveraging technology," said KDS CEO Alvin Crawford.

Added Rossier Dean Karen Symms Gallagher, "The mission of the Rossier School is to improve learning in urban education locally, nationally and globally. This partnership will be yet another example of expanding our reach to meet that mission."


The Mighty Mite
"Government Report Says An 'Unexpected Problem' Is Killing Honeybees," by Dina Spector, Business Insider, May 15, 2014 ---

"Book Review: 'The Soul of the World' by Roger Scruton A first kiss is more than the mating ritual of gene-perpetuating machines. It summons 'the consciousness of another in mutual gift'," by Ian Marcus Corbin, The Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2014 ---

The English philosopher and writer Roger Scruton might receive more grudging admiration than any other living thinker. My aesthetics tutor at Oxford—a self-consciously Wildean character with long hair and puffy sleeves—once assigned a text by Scruton with a caveat: There is, he explained, a little known but valid form of argument called argumentum ad Scruton: "If Scruton says p, p is necessarily false." This "argument" has what currency it does because Scruton is defiantly conservative, and he wears that designation on his (decidedly unpuffy) sleeve. But to the irritation of bien-pensants everywhere, his philosophical work is simply too sharp and cogent to be ignored.

"The Soul of the World" is an example of what conservatism can be, at its best—a clear-eyed, affectionate defense of humanity and a well-reasoned plea to treat the long-loved with respect and care. This kind of conservatism comes into being when something good is threatened: Here Mr. Scruton aims to conserve "the sacred" in the face of threats from scientific reductionism, an ideology that asserts that all phenomena—including things like love, art, morality and religion—are most accurately described using the vocabulary of contemporary science.

Viewed through the lens of scientific reductionism, all existence is fundamentally the bouncing around of various material particles, some arranged in the form of gene-perpetuating machines we call humans. Mr. Scruton almost agrees—we are, in fact, gene-perpetuating machines, and the finer, higher aspects of human existence emerge from, and rest upon, biological machinery. As he points out, though, it's a long jump from this acknowledgment to the assertion that "this is all there is." The jump, according to Mr. Scruton, lands us in "a completely different world, and one in which we humans are not truly at home." A truly human outlook involves the intuition of intangible realities that find no place in even our most sensitive systems of biology, chemistry or physics.

Philosophers and theologians have traditionally understood that certain things transcend our abilities to fully perceive, comprehend and articulate them and that the way we incorporate those things into our lives is through the experience of the sacred—the irruption of the transcendent into our mundane reality. The sacred stands, as Mr. Scruton puts it, "at the horizon of our world, looking out to that which is not of this world" but also "looking into our world, so as to meet us face-to-face." While sacredness is most commonly associated with religious actions and artifacts—such as sacraments, scriptures and holy places—it is not limited to these. Mr. Scruton argues that our encounters with one another, and indeed with nature, are experiences of the sacred as well. He makes his case with bravado and sensitivity, exploring the role of the sacred in such realms as music, city planning and moral reasoning.

Happily, it is entirely possible to embrace the findings of science without rejecting the older vocabulary of the sacred, even if one finds oneself (as Mr. Scruton does) unable to fully embrace the claims of any metaphysical doctrine, religious or otherwise. The reductionist leap is unnecessary, in the first instance, because the idea that "this is all there is" could never be substantiated by science. What experiment could possibly prove that there is no such thing as a soul or that God doesn't exist? But perhaps all science needs to do is present a complete explanation for reality that eliminates any need for nonmaterial explanations. This will not do, according to Mr. Scruton. Even if the guild of scientists produced a million-volume tome that comprehensively tracked the tortuous series of causes and effects that led from the pinpoint origin of material existence through the Big Bang and the earliest wrigglings of life, all the way to our own wedding vows and Pachelbel's Canon in D, we would still need more. We would need the sacred.

In making this case, Mr. Scruton employs the concept of Verstehen borrowed from the German philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey (roughly, this means the kind of understanding that is the product of human interpretation and interaction rather than scientific measurement). To take an example, the moment of a first kiss is not experienced simply as the mating ritual of complex gene-perpetuating machines. To describe it thus would be to take leave of the human perspective. Our actual experience is better captured by more emotionally, spiritually freighted language. As Mr. Scruton writes, "the lips offered by one lover to another are replete with subjectivity: they are the avatars of I, summoning the consciousness of another in mutual gift."

Continued in article

From the Scout Report on May 7, 2014

Place My Past --- http://www.placemypast.com/ 

Place My Past is a handy application designed to map a family history via historical maps made available online. After uploading family information, visitors can use the annotation tools to mark places on the map for future reference and use. It's a great way to bring a few different worlds together and it's compatible with all operating systems.

Weather Odds --- http://www.weatherodds.info/ 

The Weather Odds site helps users learn about the odds of various weather happening at monthly and daily levels. The site relies on past climate data from thousands of locations and it's a fine resource. In the Quick Weather Data area, visitors can check out popular United States locations or use the search engine to breeze along to their preferred habitat. This version of Weather Odds is compatible with all operating systems.

Fast food workers set to strike across the world on May 15
Exclusive: Fast food strikes in 150 cities and protests in 30 countries
planned for May 15

Fast-food worker strike about to go global

Fast-food Workers Plan Massive Global Protest

Did the fast-food industry play these Nobel economists for suckers?

National Restaurant Association: Minimum Wage Overview

Home economics: Fast food v. homemade food

From the Scout Report on May 16, 2014

TypoWeather --- http://www.typoweather.com

The TypoWeather application is a great way to stay on top of the latest weather conditions. This handy device presents users with a five day outlook and an hourly breakdown that is updated based on data from the National Meteorological Service. Visitors can customize their layout to include alerts about certain meteorological conditions, such as wind patterns, humidity, and more. This version is compatible with all operating systems.

Spotliter --- http://spotliter.com 

Are you looking to customize your photos and videos before sending them out to friends and family on various social networks? You can do just that with Spotliter using various features that give you the ability to add effects such as Horizon, Dots, Overlay, and twelve others. It's easy to learn with the provided FAQ and there's also an introductory video as well. This version is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch.

A stellar start for the 2014 'Cosmos' series

'Cosmos' dazzles in debut with Neil deGrasse Tyson

'Cosmos' Reboot Starts With a (Big) Bang

'Cosmos' review: making science cool again

Old 'Cosmos' vs. new 'Cosmos': Who's the king of the universe?

Flickr: 'Cosmos' - NASA Images of a Space-Time Odyssey

COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey



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

Education Tutorials

Taking Stock: Five Years of Structural Change in Boston's Public Schools ---

Anti-Social Media (hate groups and language) --- http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/antisocialmedia

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

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for multiple disciplines ---

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond

Inside Science TV --- http://www.ams.org/news/discoveries/discoveries

MIT OpenCourseWare Physics --- http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/

AP Chemistry Course Home Page --- http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/2119.html

From the Scout Report on May 16, 2014

A stellar start for the 2014 'Cosmos' series

'Cosmos' dazzles in debut with Neil deGrasse Tyson

'Cosmos' Reboot Starts With a (Big) Bang

'Cosmos' review: making science cool again

Old 'Cosmos' vs. new 'Cosmos': Who's the king of the universe?

Flickr: 'Cosmos' - NASA Images of a Space-Time Odyssey

COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey


Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) --- http://www.nih.gov/science/brain/index.htm

The Learning Brain: Neuroscience ---

NOAA Education Resources: Data Resources for Educators (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) ---

West Virginia Agricultural and Forestry Experimental Station Bulletins --- http://agnic.lib.wvu.edu/

The Society of Women Engineers --- http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/

Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering --- http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/

Birmingham Public Library Cartography Collection --- http://bplonline.cdmhost.com/cdm/search/collection/p4017coll7

USGS: Education Resources for Paleontology --- http://geology.er.usgs.gov/paleo/eduinfo.shtml

Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at ---

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

The 9/11 Museum Opened in 2014
"A Masterpiece of a Museum Its focus on the tangible does justice to the memory of September 11," by Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2014 ---

New York's new 9/11 museum is a masterpiece. It is the first big thing built to mark that day that is fully worthy of it.

It also struck me as a departure from a growing style among those who create and tend historic sites. That style involves the banishment of meaning—of the particular, of the real and tangible, even to some degree of the human. The plaques on landmarked buildings often tell us of the architectural school under which the edifice was created, but little of the great man or woman born there. A few weeks ago, during a visit to the occasional residence of a former American president, a museum official noted with pride the lack of furniture—no chair the president sat in, or bureau he used. Such personal artifacts, she said, would only distract visitors from pondering the sublime greatness of the president's achievements. Absence creates a space in which the past can be fully contemplated.

Actually presence is likelier to prompt contemplation. Meaning matters; things that are real and tangible are moving. A single bullet dug from the ground of Gettysburg can tell you as much about what that battle was, the sheer bloody horror of it, as a chapter of a book. People know this naturally, which is why Gettysburg years ago had to stop people from digging around. They were tearing the place apart.

Physical reality is crucial in understanding history. The bullet says the battle was real.

The physicality of things is why people collect autographs: "His hand touched this, his eye considered this document." It's why Catholics keep relics of saints, why people collect mementos of all sorts. It's why it was so thrilling when they found the Titanic in 1985. "It was real, it all happened, there it is. There's the door of the grand salon."

The street-level World Trade Center memorial site—the gleaming buildings and reflective pools—seems to me part of the modern trend. There are no heroic statues, nothing to tell us what the firemen did. In the imagination of curators and historical custodians the Higher Blankness gives us space in which to contemplate meaning. Instead we see emptiness and it feels . . . empty, bled of import.

But below ground the new museum is a masterpiece of particularity. Everything in it says the real and physical does matter, and what happened on that day—the facts of it, the meaning of it, who did what and how, who survived and died—matters.

It is a true history of the day and its aftermath. You see the ruined fire truck from Ladder Company 3. The helmet of a fireman. The red bandana that Welles Crowther, a young equities trader, wore when he lost his life saving others in the south tower. There are things picked from the debris like bullets from the field at Gettysburg: a woman's purse, her eyeglasses, the shoes a man wore as he fled the collapse. The early reports on TV, the "missing" posters, Mass cards. The cross at Ground Zero, the votive candles, the tridents, the slurry wall, the survivors' staircase, which people in the buildings walked down to safety. And the posters and poems and banners and flags and funeral cards that were suddenly all over the city as New York, in the days and weeks after, began to come back.

What a relief to see history treated as something with meaning.

After I went a friend made a face and asked if it was sad. Amazingly enough, it was not. It was moving, stirring and at moments painful, but not sad. Because you are moved by it, you wind up with a mild case of what Tom Wolfe called information compulsion. You see something—a collection of papers that fluttered from the towers as they burned—and it evokes a world of memory, and you find yourself saying aloud, "I remember," and, "That day I saw a man covered in ashes waiting patiently on line at my grocery uptown in the 90s—he'd made it all the way up and was standing there in ashes waiting to pay for a bottle of water."

Because the museum does not dodge reality but shows you what really happened, you wind up reflective. Contemplative in a way that blankness does not engender.

All of it is presented coherently, sensitively, intelligently—nothing vulgar or sentimental, nothing exploitative. The space itself is massive, which underscores the brute massiveness of the event. The lighting is intensely targeted but not harsh, just bright where it needs to be. Someone did beautiful sound design—turn this corner and you hear the EMT operators trying to deal with a flood of unbelievable data, turn that corner and it's the wailing bagpipes at a fireman's funeral.

It is all just so real, and done with such exquisite respect for the human beings who were there, and wound up that day enmeshed in history.

The memorial and museum cost about $700 million combined. A press officer notes the nonprofit foundation that oversees both does not receive city, state or federal funding.

The admission price is high, $24 for adults. I mentioned this to a press representative who later noted that family members of those who died, and the families of rescue and recovery workers, are admitted free, and there are free hours for the public Tuesdays from 5 to 8 p.m.

There has been a controversy about the gift shop, which is said to be cheesy, and undignified. The criticism was led by local politicians who didn't like the T-shirts and jewelry, the NYPD dog vests and little bronze earrings.

I always sit up and listen when New York City pols call something crass, because they'd know, right?

Continued in article

Anti-Social Media (hate groups and language) --- http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/antisocialmedia

GAO: Fiscal Outlook & The Debt --- http://www.gao.gov/fiscal_outlook/overview

University of South Florida Libraries: LGBT Collections ---

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

University of Missouri-Columbia, Department of Economics: Working Papers ---

Taking Stock: Five Years of Structural Change in Boston's Public Schools ---

Code for America (community development) ---  http://codeforamerica.org

Planners Web (urban planning) --- http://plannersweb.com/

Innovation District (urban planning) --- http://www.innovationdistrict.org/

Redirecting Innovation in U.S. Health Care: Options to Decrease Spending and Increase Value ---

Institute for Environment and Sustainability (Europe) --- http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/

Geography & Map Resources: University of Buffalo Libraries ---

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta: Center for Human Capital Studies ---  http://www.frbatlanta.org/chcs/?d=1&s=ad

Pacific Rim Archive --- http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15799coll46

Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archive --- http://www.library.georgetown.edu/krogh

DNAinfo Chicago --- http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/

Crain's Chicago Business --- http://www.chicagobusiness.com/

From the Scout Report on May 7, 2014

Fast food workers set to strike across the world on May 15
Exclusive: Fast food strikes in 150 cities and protests in 30 countries
planned for May 15

Fast-food worker strike about to go global

Fast-food Workers Plan Massive Global Protest

Did the fast-food industry play these Nobel economists for suckers?

National Restaurant Association: Minimum Wage Overview

Home economics: Fast food v. homemade food

Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at

Law and Legal Studies

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at

Math Tutorials

Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at

History Tutorials

Visit The Museum of Online Museums (MoOM): A Mega Collection of 220 Online Exhibitions ---

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Puts 400,000 High-Res Images Online & Makes Them Free to Use ---

Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond

13 Lectures from Allen Ginsberg’s “History of Poetry” Course (1975) ---

Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection --- http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/online/roby/

Read the First Children’s Picture Book, 1658′s Orbis Sensualium Pictus ---

Never-Before-Published Photos Show What WWI Trench Warfare Really Looked Like ---

University of South Florida Libraries: LGBT Collections ---

Amherst College: Digital Collections --- http://clio.fivecolleges.edu/amherst/

The University of Iowa Libraries: Patrobas Cassius Robinson Collection --- http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/pcr/

National Historic Sites of Canada --- http://www.pc.gc.ca/progs/lhn-nhs/index.aspx

Irish in the American Civil War --- http://irishamericancivilwar.com/

The First-Ever Look at the Original Disneyland Prospectus (1953) ---

Jack Kerouac’s Poems Read by Patti Smith, John Cale & Other Cultural Icons (with Music by Joe Strummer) ---

MNArtists --- http://www.mnartists.org/

Geography & Map Resources: University of Buffalo Libraries ---

Cuban Theater Digital Archive --- http://cubantheater.org/

Pacific Rim Archive --- http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15799coll46

Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm  

Language Tutorials

"The Military Is Working On A Tablet That Can Translate In Real-Time," by Richard Sisk, Business Insider, May 23, 2014 ---

"Translation Apps and Traveling Abroad," by Anastasia Salter, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 30, 2013 ---

During my last week of being mostly disconnected at a conference in France, I ran into one big challenge: my knowledge of French is limited, and usually involves dictionary-heavy translation of text, not everyday conversation or quickly reading for comprehension and navigation. I relied heavily on phrases picked up from travel guides before my trip. Most street signs were immediately comprehensible: other documents, like menus, descriptions on products at the pharmacy, or signs on art, took much more work.

Throughout the trip, I found myself wishing for better technical solutions to the problem of translation. I started relying on a few apps to make the daily information processing easier.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
A problem with language translation arises when documents or speech to be translated are very technical. For example, a German-to-English translator for the United Nations may be hapless when it comes to translating business and legal contracts. My wife and I ran into this when she recently inherited a small amount of money from a German relative's estate. She could not translate the documents sent to us by a German law firm. We took it down the road to a friend who used to translate German and Russian for the United Nations. He could not translate our legal document. We eventually drove down to the German Consulate in Boston who translated the documents for us because they deal in such inheritances all the time.

Another drawback is differences in languages over time and dialects. I once had a Russian course that was totally devoted to reading Pushkin in the original Russian language. That course did little, if anything, in helping me read current Russian newspapers like Pravda.

The advantage of a Tablet translating machine is that it can, in theory at least, be programmed for increasingly technical translations in various disciplines such as business, law, chemistry, physics, etc.

Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm

Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#ForeignLanguage

Music Tutorials

Listen to Philip K. Dick’s Favorite Classical Music: A Free, 11-Hour Playlist ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials

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

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

May 15, 2014

May 17, 2014

May 19, 2014

May 20, 2014

May 22, 2014

May 23, 2014

May 24, 2014

May 27, 2014

May 29, 2014


"Scientists create antibody that blocks pain and itchiness," by Ryan Whitwam, Geek.com, May. 24, 2014 ---

The pharmaceuticals used to treat pain haven’t changed substantially in many years, and they all come with a range of possible side effects. In the case of strong opioids, the potential for dependence or overdose sometimes outweighs the benefits. A team of researchers from Duke University may have discovered an alternative to the drugs traditionally used to treat pain. They have developed a highly specialized antibody that can dull the pain response by acting directly on neurons.

Professor Seok-Yong Lee was originally seeking to isolate a particular type of sodium channel called Nav1.7 found on neurons in order to study its structure. Sodium channels regulate the flow of sodium through the membrane of a neuron to control the action potential — that is, it controls the firing of electrical signals by the neuron. The Nav1.7 channel subtype is known to be involved in the generation of pain and itch sensations. Lee used antibodies to capture the channel proteins for study, but he got to wondering if it might be possible to create an antibody to inhibit the function of the channel in living organisms.

An antibody is a type of protein produced by the immune system of all vertebrates. They are part of the so-called adaptive response that attaches to pathogens and marks them for removal from the body. When you get vaccinated against a disease, it is the antibodies produced by the immune system in response that give you the protection. Researchers have long known they can generate antibodies in the lab that target a certain molecule or structure (called an antigen), and that’s what the Duke researchers did in this case.

The custom antibody has high affinity for the Nav1.7 sodium channel on neurons, which causes the antibodies to stick to the surface of these proteins and stabilize them in the “off” position. With no sodium flowing in through that channel, the pain and itch response is suppressed. Because the neurons aren’t even sending signals our brains interpret as pain, this technique could be effective in treating both inflammatory and neuropathic pain.

In a mouse model, the researchers found that the antibody treatment was effective and didn’t produce any dependence or obvious side effects. Duke is pursuing additional funding to patent the antibody and begin clinical trials for future pharmaceutical use in humans.


A Bit of Humor

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

Celeb Psychic Sally Morgan Embarrassed After 'Contacting' Spirit of Woman Sitting ALIVE in Audience ---
I'll bet the Q/A session was interesting

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

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

Bob Hope Entertaining the Troops --- http://biggeekdad.com/2011/02/bob-hope-christmas/

Cute cats waking up owners - Funny cat compilation ---

Slavoj Žižek’s Jokes: A Sampling of the Theorist’s Philosophical, Political & Sexual Humor (NSFW) ---

If the shoe doesn't fit wear it!
New French Trains Too Big for Stations ---

Some New and Some Old
25 Jokes That Only Accountants Will Find Funny ---

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting humor ---
Keep scrolling down!

Humor Between April 1-30, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q2.htm#Humor043014

Humor Between March 1-31, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q1.htm#Humor033114

Humor Between February 1-28, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q1.htm#Humor022814

Humor Between January 1-31, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q1.htm#Humor013114

Humor Between December 1-31, 2013 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book13q4.htm#Humor123113

Humor Between November 1-30, 2013 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book13q4.htm#Humor113013

Humor Between October 1-31, 2013 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book13q4.htm#Humor103113

Humor Between September 1 and September 30, 2013 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book13q3.htm#Humor093013

Humor Between July 1 and August 31, 2013 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book13q3.htm#Humor083113

Humor Between June 1-30, 2013 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book13q2.htm#Humor063013

Humor Between May 1-31, 2013 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book13q2.htm#Humor053113

Humor Between April 1-30, 2013 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book13q2.htm#Humor043013


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