Tidbits on October 15, 2014
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Photographs Wonder Woman's Rock Fence Beneath Fox Ridge ---


Tidbits on October 15,, 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

Watch The Ohio State Marching Band's Awesome Tribute To 'The Wizard Of Oz' ---
Also at http://www.businessinsider.com#ixzz3EoFnYPlm

Thousands Of Mysterious Green Balls Appear On A Beach In Australia — And They're Alive ---  http://www.slate.com/articles/video/video/2014/10/marimo_green_balls_on_australian_beach_explained_video.html#ixzz3FYejTHOA

Amazing Footage From 1973 Shows A Dogfight Between An Israeli Phantom And An Egyptian MiG ---


Territorial Hawk Attacks Drone Mid-Flight ---

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

Django Reinhardt Demonstrates His Guitar Genius in Rare Footage From the 1930s, 40s & 50s ---

Gershwin Music --- http://www.gershwin.com/

Copland and the American Sound: Keeping Score --- http://www.pbs.org/keepingscore/copland-american-sound.html

Hear the Album Björk Recorded as an 11-Year-Old: Features Cover Art Provided By Her Mom (1977) ---

Twin Banjos:  Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn ---

10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing ---

Evolution of Dance --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMH0bHeiRNg

The Blues Archive at Ole Miss --- http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/general_library/archives/blues

The Making (and Remaking) of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, Arguably the Greatest Rock Album of All Time ---

"Iz" Ka'ano'i Kamakawiwo'Ole sings ---  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgaMsXpQk2g 
Alternately try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z26BvHOD_sg

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

Accounting History Photographs --- http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/general_library/dac/files/photos.html

Recent Mars Images --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/3212824/posts

A 58-Foot-Long Fin Whale With Huge Bite Marks Has Washed Up On Long Island ---

Researchers Find A Strange Rock On The Surface Of Rosetta's Comet ---

Amazing Photos Of Russia Dismantling An Outdated Nuclear Submarine ---

Paleo Art (paleontology) --- http://paleobiology.si.edu/paleoArt/index.htm

Adachi Museum of Art (Japanese gardens) --- http://www.adachi-museum.or.jp/en

18 Photos That Show Why New York City's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Is A Legend ---

Pen & Ink: An Illustrated Collection of Unusual, Touching, Deeply Human Stories Behind People’s Tattoos ---

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

Ten Worst Opening Lines --- http://theamericanscholar.org/ten-worst-opening-lines/?utm_source=emai#.VCq8HPldWSo

Histories of philosophy are difficult to write. Bertrand Russell excelled. Then there’s Peter Adamson’s new, pun-laden work… ---

The 430 Books in Marilyn Monroe’s Library: How Many Have You Read? ---

"What Books Do for the Human Soul: The Four Psychological Functions of Great Literature," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, October 9, 2014 ---

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 October 15, 2014

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

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

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

Moral Hazards and Gaming the Law Enforcement System

"Victims" of some type of "abuse" or "negligence" sometimes intentionally or unintentionally game system. The most egregious abuse is where they intentionally become victims for the publicity and/or to win the legal lottery.

Examples, are as follows:

  1. The shopper in a super market who takes a bottle of oil from a shelf and surreptitiously spills a little on the floor before intentionally falling on the spill in an effort to win the million dollar legal lottery of punitive damages.

  2. Two or more colleagues, often disgruntled employees, intentionally violate employer policies and internal controls to commit egregious acts for purposes of sharing a huge whistleblower or lawsuit award.

  3. People who race with lawyers and/or photographers in tow to riots intent on being arrested for purpose of media publicity or suing for millions of dollars. The cause of the riots is not so much of interest as is the opportunity to arrested in a peaceful demonstration.

  4. Customers who abuse instructions or common sense when using products such as driving with freshly hot coffee in your lap. There are countless other examples
    "Snapchat Blames Victims In Nude Photo Leak" ---

  5. People outside the USA who think they may have been exposed to Ebola who quickly catch a flight to the USA thinking that if they begin to show symptoms they will get much better care in the USA than in their home countries. They might even be allowed to stay in the USA as an added benefit.

I saw a recent news segment the other night where a nicely-dressed person (white shirt and tie) and a lovely family were pulled over for speeding. I will now turn this into a hypothetical although it is loosely based on that recent incident. Suppose the episode is staged by a guy intent on suing the policing system --- a deliberate effort to win the legal lottery.

He does not have his driving license, locks his car, and refuses to come out claiming that police shoot African Americans and he's purportedly very afraid for his life. In this scenario assume that this is just a ploy to make the police do something so that he can win the legal lottery.

This inspired me to think about what the local police or the state patrol should do in such instances where a family is locked inside a car and the driver refuses to produce a driving license, refuses an alcohol test, and refuses to come out of the locked car.

  1. The police cannot simply drive away and let the driver back on the road. He could be an unlicensed driver and DUI, thereby creating a safety hazard to his family and others.

  2. The police cannot have the car towed with the family inside since this would be unsafe to the family and the tow truck operator and the two truck operating company (such as when a family member leaps from the vehicle being towed and then sues the tow truck company).

  3. The police cannot simply wait it out since this could become a health hazard for various reasons to "family" members in the car. When you gotta' go you gotta' go! Suppose they are there unwillingly out of fear of the driver.

What should be the policy of public safety officials in these situations where the driver is intentionally doing this so that law enforcement officials break in a window knowing full well that they are being filmed all the while by a teenager in the back seat of the vehicle?

What if Al Sharpton on MSNBC was asked to write the police policy in such instances?

I think Sharpton would refuse to make any recommendations in this instance.

This may be an instance where there is no solution other than break a window of the car. This is way happened in the news show episode, although at the time of the window breakage there were a lot of police officers and other witnesses on the scene.


What do you think should be the public safety policy in such instances?



This has implications for accounting.
Both the private and public sectors face countless contingencies where the nature of their products and services expose them to the legal lottery. Should financial statements disclose expert opinion regarding the possible or probable costs of such system gaming.

The USA legal system protects some systems from gaming. For example, it's very difficult to sue private sector or public sector road builders, because if there weren't such protections nobody would build roads if they are almost certain to be sued every time there is an accident on their roads.

Most nations like Canada limit lawsuit abuse by taking medical malpractice claims out of the legal system and do away with punitive damages for lawyers and victims. Instead medical boards review charges of medical malpractice and limit claims to actual damages to victims. Texas did away with punitive damages but still uses the court system for actual damages.

Hospitals in Canada, Europe, and Texas face much less fraud risk by taking the legal lottery out of their systems.

Tracking the 2014 Nobel Prize Winners ---

Higher Education Outreach Innovation --- Teaching and Learning on the Streets
"Big Idea, Tall Order," by Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, October 14, 2014 ---

Reaching Out With Learning Technology to Low Income Students
"Reaching Out With Tech," by Carl Straumsheim,  Inside Higher Ed, October 14, 2014 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---

Bob Jensen's threads on tools and tricks of the grade ---

When it's easier to steal a house and car than a candy bar:  At least someone stealing a candy bar might be caught on video
At least 100 deed frauds suspected in Queens

"Woman fights to take back house stolen in deed-fraud scam," by Amber Jamiesonn, NY Post, October 12, 2014 ---

It’s a case of grand theft house.

A Manhattan woman claims an ex-con stole her family home in Queens by filing a phony deed with the city and moving in.

Now Jennifer Merin is battling in court to remove the convicted armed robber, Darrell Beatty, 49, and his sons, Darrell Kash Beatty, 25, and DeShaun Beatty, 22, from the three-bedroom Tudor she says they snatched in February.

“It just devastates me,” Merin, an online film critic, said as she looked at cherished family heirlooms — photos, a circa-1920 bed frame, vintage suitcases, classic television sets, a smashed 6-foot vase — piled like trash in the garage of the Laurelton home.

Merin said her Russian and Ukrainian grandparents moved into the new row house on 141st Avenue in 1931 and raised her mother and her mother’s two siblings there.

The family filled the home with treasures from around the world. She inherited it several decades ago after her mother died.

“The house was maintained basically as a sanctuary to my family,” said Merin, who paid insurance, taxes and utility bills on the property and would visit every few months.

She never rented it, and kept her 1992 Subaru Outback parked there, she said.

A spike in her February water bill, which she got on May 27, first alerted her to illegal occupants. She called 911, but when cops went to the house, Beatty told them he was the legal resident.

She went to investigate herself and was “horrified” to find the locks changed and her car missing. Peering through the windows, she saw most of her possessions were also gone.

“Everything from Chinese palace vases to my underwear,” she recalled.

She called cops again. But with no one answering the door, they advised Merin to take the matter to court.

Neighbors said they saw trucks arrive at the house around February and furniture being carried out. Around the same time, they said, the Beattys and their pit bull became fixtures on the quiet block.

“I see them coming and going. I don’t think they talk to nobody in the neighborhood,” a neighbor said.

Merin and her lawyer soon unearthed a deed transfer filed by Darrell Beatty, claiming he obtained the house in March 2013 from an “Edith Moore.” But the address given for Moore does not exist.

The phone number for Beatty listed on the deed was answered by the voice mail of a “Tony,” and messages were not returned.

There was no mention of Merin or her grandparents, the original owners, on the transfer form.

Merin contacted the Finance Department, which oversees the city register. Officials confirmed the 2013 deed transfer was fraudulent and updated the deed with Merin’s name on June 4.

A Finance source said that the case is being jointly investigated by the Queens District Attorney’s Office and the city sheriff and that it “could be part of a larger ring” of deed scammers.

Beatty has not been charged.

The extraordinary theft has jolted city bureaucrats.

“That case is what changed the dynamic in the Department of Finance of how we process deed transfers,” city Sheriff Joseph Fucito, whose office executes evictions and probes deed fraud, told The Post.

For years, filing a fake deed transfer was easy. The legal documents can be found online, filled out with only basic details, then stamped by a notary public.

“The old policy was designed to be customer friendly. It’s very hard to be customer friendly and super vigilant at the same time,” Fucito said.

Since the Merin case, staffers have been retrained to flag discrepancies, such as unusually low sale prices or suspect businesses, and personal information is checked against previously filed city records.

City property owners can also sign up for a new Finance Department service that alerts them if a change is made to their deed.

Since June, the new policies have red-flagged more than 500 deed transfers. While many were found to contain legitimate filing errors, at least 100 deeds impacting 300 properties are now being investigated as possible frauds, Fucito said.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---

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

"Dusting Off the Abacus," by Allan Metcalf, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, October 7, 2014 ---

Bob Jensen's related threads at

Abacus: The Art of Calculating with Beads --- http://www.ee.ryerson.ca/~elf/abacus/index.html



Construction  ·  Basics  ·  Java Applet  ·  Technique  ·  The Abacus Today


Timeline  ·  Salamis Tablet  ·  Counting Board  ·  Roman Hand Abacus  ·  Suan Pan  ·  Soroban  ·  Schoty  ·  Nepohualtzitzin  ·  Khipu  ·  Lee Abacus

Interactive Abacus Tutor

Sarat Chandran and David A. Bagley's incredible Java abacus with a built-in tutor for counting, addition and subtraction.

Addition  ·  Subtraction  ·  Multiplication & Division  ·  Square Roots  ·  Cube Roots

The Lee Abacus

The manual for the Lee Abacus, c. 1958 is available as Text  ·  Images

The Abacus as Art

Michael Mode builds exotic abaci as art objects.

Abacus: Mystery of the Bead

Abacus Techniques by Totton Heffelfinger & Gary Flom.

Articles, Excerpts and Analysis

The Abacus vs.The Electric Calculator

In 1946, a contest held in Tokyo, pitted an abacus against an electric calculator; the abacus won, of course.

Feynman vs. The Abacus

Richard Feynman battles against the abacus; the result is not surprising (if you know Feynman).

Comparing the Chinese and the Mesoamerican Abacus

An analysis contributed by David B. Kelley.

The Roman Hand-Abacus

An analysis contributed by Steve Stephenson.

The Incan Khipu

String, and Knot, Theory of Inca Writing by John Noble Wilford.
Talking Knots of the Incas by Viviano and Davide Domenici.

Lost Tribes, Lost Knowledge

An article about the dangers of forgetting knowledge learned from the past, by Eugene Linden.

All Things Abacus

Additional Abacus Resources

Purchase  or build an abacus  ·  An abacus for your Palm  ·  Books about the abacus  ·  Java applet source code  ·  The Mesoamerican abacus

Resources For Teachers

The abacus in the classroom  ·  Abacus lesson plan  ·  Math and science resources for teachers


High-resolution photos of my abacus collection.

Early History of Mathematics and Calculating in China
The best general source for ancient Chinese mathematics is Joseph Needham's Science and Civilisation in China, vol. 3. In this volume you will learn, for example, that the Chinese proved the Pythagorean Theorem at the very latest by the Later Han dynasty (25-221 CE). The proof comes from an ancient text called The Arithmetical Classic of the Gnomon and the Circular Paths of Heaven. The book has been translated by Christopher Cullen in his Astronomy and Mathematics in Ancient China: The Zhou Bi Suan Jing. Needham also discusses the abacus, or suanpan ("calculating plate").
Steve Field, Professor of Chinese, Trinity University, September 24, 2008
Jensen Comment
Later Han Dynasty --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Later_Han_Dynasty_(Five_Dynasties)
Pythagorean Theorem Theorem --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_Theorem
Pythagorean Theorem (Gougu Theorem in China) History --

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting history ---

Searching for celebrates can be hazardous to your computer (and it's not their fault)
Jimmy Kimmel Is The Most Dangerous Celebrity To Search Online ---

Jensen Comment
Even so, searching for celebrities is probably not as dangerous as searching for gambling and porn sites. This makes looking for those naked celebrities having sex doubly dangerous.

This seems to be a pretty good USA news site
LISNews --- http://lisnews.org//

Peter Thiel’s Stanford Course on Startups: Read the Lecture Notes Free Online ---

Is grade inflation exacerbated by the rising use of adjuncts coupled with dependency of those adjuncts on teaching evaluations?

"For Adjuncts, a Lot Is Riding on Student Evaluations," by Max Lewonton, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 6, 2014 ---

. . .

The experience left Merklein feeling that, as long as she was an adjunct, she was only a couple of dissatisfied students away from losing her job. Among adjuncts, that feeling is not uncommon.

For most tenure-track and tenured professors, course evaluations are used as guidance or feedback, a way to tweak their courses based on student concerns. At their worst, the evaluations are an annoyance, as students vent their frustrations or lament a poor grade.

But for adjuncts, student evaluations often carry much more weight. In a way, that makes sense: Most adjuncts are, after all, hired to teach. But in the absence of other metrics or methods, many colleges use evaluations as a key means—or the only means—of determining whether to renew a contingent professor’s contract.

The evaluations, of course, can be deeply flawed. And while poor course evaluations can result in losing a teaching position, several adjuncts say, positive evaluations carry no benefit at all: They don’t lead to pay raises, office space, or equipment.

All of which has left adjuncts and observers wondering: Is there a better way to assess how well lecturers are doing their jobs?

Evaluating the Evaluators

Mary G. Gainer, who teaches writing at several colleges near Pittsburgh, has seen her evaluations vary widely. At Point Park University, the evaluation process involved classroom observation by a department administrator—a much more useful approach than the generic “bubble sheet” student evaluations used by a community college where she previously taught.

But even at Point Park, the process was far from perfect, she said, partly because the administrator saw only a tiny slice of Gainer’s classroom teaching.

“I don’t mind them,” Gainer said of the evaluations, “but I don’t think they’re an effective means of measuring performance for any professor.”

There are plenty of reasons why.

First and foremost, there’s the people doing the evaluating. Students aren’t experts in course subject matter or in pedagogical approach, said Robert C. Baum, a former adjunct professor at several colleges in New Hampshire and southern Vermont who became the dean of Lebanon College in April. (The college announced in August that because of declining enrollment and financial pressures it was canceling its classes for the fall and preparing to close.) With course evaluations, “content is not respected, expertise is not respected,” said Baum, who taught courses in philosophy, history and media studies.

Then there’s the fact that the evaluations are anonymous, inviting students to make sometimes inappropriate comments about a professor’s teaching style, demeanor, or even personal appearance.

“‘I like your boots,’ that’s a really nice compliment—but it doesn’t belong on an evaluation,” said one adjunct, who asked to remain unnamed because she is still teaching at several colleges in Illinois and Wisconsin.

In online courses, she says, the additional anonymity afforded by never being in a classroom leads some students to take out their frustrations with the institution on individual professors, primarily through course evaluations.

“Just this past term, I had a student that was incredibly irate because he had received a poor grade,” she said.

Although she offered the student an opportunity to revise the assignment, “I received three email diatribes that were incredibly long, and referred to me by all kinds of names and referred to himself as a customer in all caps, and me as a vendor, and said he wasn’t getting what he paid for,” she recalled.

“There’s no way I won’t get that on my official eval.”

‘Heads Turned the Other Way’

For many adjuncts, fear of angry evaluations can quickly turn into fear of honest grading, said Natalie M. Dorfeld, a former adjunct who landed a full-time position after teaching for several years at four different institutions.

As a newly-minted assistant professor of English at an institution in northwestern Pennsylvania, she was put in charge of evaluating adjunct professors, including some former colleagues.

Because of their contingent status, Ms. Dorfeld said, some adjuncts felt increasing pressure to lower their academic standards so they would not receive large numbers of negative student evaluations.

“No one wanted to be the ‘bitch’ of the group,” she said. “That is to say, hard and fast rules usually meant poorer grades.”

“So papers were accepted late,” she said. “Heads turned the other way with plagiarism cases. Some D’s were bumped to C’s and B’s. Behavior that should have never been tolerated was considered old hat because it meant work next semester.”

The end of the semester, said Merklein, the professor in New Mexico, is “a time of fear on campus, fear of retaliation mostly, and you’ll see that adjuncts will bring in cookies or candy that day, because you’ll see that students will respond better to that. If you’re tenured, you have academic freedom and you have freedom to not inflate your grades. It’s a totally different game.”

‘Real, Sincere Evals’

“I suspect many departments don’t read adjuncts’ evaluations closely unless there’s a serious accusation or pattern of negative assessment,” said Joseph A. Fruscione, who taught English for 15 years before leaving academia to work as a freelance writer and editor this past spring.

But both he and Baum expressed concerns that evaluations will get read thoroughly by department chairs who may be looking for reasons not to extend a contingent professor’s contract. Adjuncts can end up being judged by a handful of negative comments, Baum said, after several years of teaching with nearly unanimous positive responses from students.

Some institutions try to ward against that circumstance.

At the University of Maryland’s University College, which enrolls a large number of part-time and nontraditional students in online courses, Matthew Prineas, the college’s dean, says the most important step in evaluating adjuncts is a classroom visit made by a program chair each semester. Prineas said that since many courses are online, the chair will often notify the faculty member of an upcoming visit and then log on to the course software to observe a class session unbeknownst to students.

Because many of the faculty members at UMUC are adjuncts, Prineas said the college has developed a standard system of evaluating adjuncts in which the classroom visit—whether virtual or on-campus—is followed by a meeting between the department chair and the instructor to discuss the course.

The college does use student evaluations, but they are only one of several ways the adjuncts’ teaching is measured. The evaluations have never been used as a means to not renew an adjunct’s contract, he said.

“At most a student evaluation would prompt a class visit; we would want to inquire further if there seemed to be a pattern of student concerns,” Prineas said, adding that the evaluations are mostly used as feedback on changes on class curriculum or design, not the faculty member teaching.

Several adjuncts said institutions would benefit from weighing peer-review programs, even if those took more of administrators’ time.

“I think what really works is if you have a peer of some kind who’s coming in, and they’re not just giving you pats on the back but they’re also not on a witch hunt, and can give you a real, sincere eval,” said Gainer, the professor in Pittsburgh. “We need to hear the student’s voice in an authentic way, but we need peer feedback as well, because sometimes you don’t see yourself” while teaching.

But that’s easier said than done. In Pennsylvania, Dorfeld has discovered that while receiving student evaluations is often disheartening, evaluating adjuncts can be just as difficult.

With her experience as both an adjunct and a full-time professor tasked with evaluating some of her former colleagues, Dorfeld was skeptical of how institutions tend to judge their teachers.

“I think we set up all adjuncts to fail,” she said. “They are the backbone of many departments, and yet they are expected to not rock the boat. Smile. Nod. Give Johnny a C, so he can play football.”

- See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/741-for-adjuncts-a-lot-is-riding-on-student-evaluations?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en#sthash.GmK9vn1v.dpuf

Jensen Comment
Non-tenured faculty in general probably have the greatest dependency on teaching evaluations. However, tenured faculty can spend many years of low-performance raises with poor teaching evaluations arising, in part, to honest grading. Harvey Mansfield at Harvard gives two grades to each of his students. The grade he puts on their transcript and the grade he sends in a private envelope that discloses his opinion about what he thinks the real grade should have been. In the 1940s the median grade in Harvard was a C grade. Now over 80% of the graduates are designated cum laude. It is common for every student in a course to get an A, thereby destroying much of the incentive to work harder for a high grade.

Bob Jensen's threads on the biggest disgrace in higher education and links to research on negative impacts of teaching evaluations and RateMyProfessor.com ---

"MOTIVATION--ARE YOU A FOOTBALL COACH OR A SCOUT LEADER?" by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, October 2, 2014 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on Coaches Graham and Gazowski ---

Randy Pausch --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Pausch

That's a good thing," the assistant told me. "When you're screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they've given up on you.
Randy Pausch

"Can Sucking CO2 Out of the Atmosphere Really Work? A Columbia scientist and his startup think they have a plan to save the world," by Eli Kintisch, MIT's Technology Review, October 7, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
It's one thing if it works, but quite another thing if it becomes cost effective. And since much of the carbon pollution comes from China and India, will nations like the USA and Canada pay for the vacuum cleaning of the carbon?

Easy Question
What minority group beats whites on the SAT?

Harder Question
What is the second highest minority (non-white) group in terms of average scores on the SAT?

"Flat SAT Scores," by Kaitlin Mulhere, Inside Higher Ed, October 7, 2014 ---

"The Power of Race," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, November 3, 2009 ---

Jensen Comment
It must be getting harder and harder to define minority groups as ethnicities are mixed in the USA over the years. For example, Native Americans must be getting harder and harder to define. And how are Native Americans really different from Latin American Indians that comprise a portion of Latino groups (that are now less and less Native Americans in terms of genetic history after centuries of mixing with European and USA ethnicities)?

My point is that SAT scores grouped by ethnicity in the USA are subject to increasing error and fraud with the passing of each decade in time. I use the word "fraud" since there may be some financial advantages (e.g., scholarships and affirmative action admissions) to self-report minority ethnicity. I once had a student assistant with a Latino last name who was, in my viewpoint, not really Latino in anything other than name handed down by ancestors that were less and less Latino in anything other than name.

Bob Jensen's threads on affirmative action are at

Cramming --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cramming_%28fraud%29

"AT&T to Pay $105 Million to Settle Accusations It Billed for Bogus Fees:  FTC ‘Cramming’ Complaint Says Carrier Added Hundreds of Millions in Third-Party Charges to Subscribers’ Bills," by Gautham Nagesh, The Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2014 ---

WASHINGTON— AT&T Inc. T +0.80% has agreed to pay $105 million to settle accusations that it added hundreds of millions of dollars in bogus third-party charges to subscribers’ wireless bills.

The settlement is the latest in a string of enforcement actions from regulators aimed at stopping mobile “cramming,” the practice of charging subscribers fees for third-party services they didn’t order. Earlier this year the Federal Trade Commissionsued T-Mobile US Inc. TMUS +0.38% over similar conduct; that case is still pending in court.

The FTC, Federal Communications Commission and all 51 state attorneys general collaborated on the investigation and joint settlement. The regulators pledged to continue cooperating on future cramming investigations at a news conference on Wednesday.

“For too long, consumers have been charged on their phone bills for things they did not buy,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. “It’s estimated that 20 million people a year are caught in this kind of trap…costing hundreds of millions of dollars. It stops today for AT&T.”

The settlement stemmed from a complaint in which regulators accused AT&T of billing customers for horoscopes, ringtones, love tips and other third-party premium short message services, or PSMS, that they didn’t sign up for. The charges, typically $9.99 a month, were listed as “AT&T Monthly Subscriptions” on consumer phone bills, leaving customers to believe they were paying for services from AT&T. Regulators said AT&T kept at least 35% of the charges.

“This case underscores the important fact that basic consumer protections, including that consumers should not be billed for charges they did not authorize, are fully applicable in the mobile environment,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement.

The settlement is the largest against a specific carrier for cramming and the largest amount of redress to consumers victimized by the practice. It is also the largest enforcement action in FCC history.

An AT&T spokesman, in an email, said: “While we had rigorous protections in place to guard consumers against unauthorized billing from these companies, last year we discontinued third-party billing for PSMS services.”

The spokesman added that the “settlement gives our customers who believe they were wrongfully billed for PSMS services the ability to get a refund.”.

Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell said he was a victim of cramming himself in early 2011, when a member of his staff noticed a $9.99 charge on his office cellphone bill for two months. Mr. Sorrell said the charges were for services he hadn’t authorized and didn’t know were there.

The FTC complaint states that AT&T received numerous complaints from consumers regarding the practice, including more than 1.3 million calls to its customers service department about the charges in 2011. According to the complaint, AT&T in October 2011 altered its refund policy, reducing the amount customer service representatives could offer in refunds from three months’ worth of charges to two months’ worth.

As part of the settlement, AT&T will pay $80 million to the FTC to provide refunds to customers who were billed for unauthorized charges, along with $20 million to the states and $5 million to the FCC in penalties. The company must notify all current customers who were billed for unauthorized charges; customers who believe they are eligible for a refund can contact the FTC to submit a claim.

AT&T must also obtain customers’ consent before placing any further third-party charges on their wireless bills, must clearly indicate the charges on monthly bills, and give customers the option to block third-party charges altogether.

The wireless carriers have argued in the past that most third-party charges are authorized.

In some cases, customers can sign up by downloading a ringtone or responding to a text, without realizing it comes with a subscription fee. In other instances, customers are billed without any action on their part.

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---

"Tesla Motors’ New ‘D’ Cars Are All-Wheel Drive, Not Self-Drive," by Elizabeth Barber, Time Magazine, October 10, 2014 ---

My Subaru Forrester has 8.7 inches of road clearance. The Model S Tesla lists ground clearance as 4.46 inches. I think the Model D Tesla can go as high as 6.00 inches at clearance of all underside protrusions. That 2.7 extra inches, relative to my Subaru, means a lot in snow country and on woods roads with big pot holes and high bumps. I don't think the Tesla is a practical car for New Hampshire, especially since the Tesla battery power loses a lot of range in winter weather (and no gasoline auxiliary like a hybrid).

The Copyright Wars: Three Centuries of Trans-Atlantic Battle --- http://lisnews.org/the_copyright_wars_three_centuries_of_transatlantic_battle

Today's copyright wars can seem unprecedented. Sparked by the digital revolution that has made copyright--and its violation--a part of everyday life, fights over intellectual property have pitted creators, Hollywood, and governments against consumers, pirates, Silicon Valley, and open-access advocates. But while the digital generation can be forgiven for thinking the dispute between, for example, the publishing industry and Google is completely new, the copyright wars in fact stretch back three centuries--and their history is essential to understanding today's battles. The Copyright Wars--the first major trans-Atlantic history of copyright from its origins to today--tells this important story.

Peter Baldwin explains why the copyright wars have always been driven by a fundamental tension. Should copyright assure authors and rights holders lasting claims, much like conventional property rights, as in Continental Europe? Or should copyright be primarily concerned with giving consumers cheap and easy access to a shared culture, as in Britain and America? The Copyright Wars describes how the Continental approach triumphed, dramatically increasing the claims of rights holders. The book also tells the widely forgotten story of how America went from being a leading copyright opponent and pirate in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to become the world's intellectual property policeman in the late twentieth. As it became a net cultural exporter and its content industries saw their advantage in the Continental ideology of strong authors' rights, the United States reversed position on copyright, weakening its commitment to the ideal of universal enlightenment--a history that reveals that today's open-access advocates are heirs of a venerable American tradition.

Compelling and wide-ranging, The Copyright Wars is indispensable for understanding a crucial economic, cultural, and political conflict that has reignited in our own time.

Bob Jensen's threads on the disastrous DMCA ---

Education for the 21st Century: UNESCO --- https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-21st-century

Kaplan University --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaplan_University

"For-Profit Giant Starts Competency-Based ‘Open College’," by Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 3, 2014 ---

One of the biggest for-profit college companies in the country is creating an "Open College" aimed at adults who may already have skills and experience that could qualify for college credits.

The new venture, from Kaplan Higher Education, will include free online services and personalized mentoring to help people identify and organize prior experience and skills that could count toward a degree or move them closer to a new career.

It will also provide fee-based services, under a subscription model, that will offer ways for students to satisfy the remaining requirements for a bachelor of science degree in professional studies from Kaplan University. Students who enroll in Open College could take courses at Kaplan University or from other sources, such as the MOOC provider edX or the Saylor Foundation, as long as the students ultimately meet the course outcomes set by Open College.

Kaplan Higher Education, part of the Graham Holdings Company, hopes to begin enrolling its first Open College@KU students on Monday.

The Kaplan offerings respond to a growing interest in competency-based education and a concern among many higher-education experts about the absence of tools to help people, especially adults, find more economical and efficient pathways to degrees and careers.

Other ventures, including the movement around "badges," are trying to develop ways to take students’ informally acquired knowledge and "certify it, organize it, and credential it," notes Mark S. Schneider, a vice president at the American Institutes for Research who studies the earnings of college graduates. The Kaplan venture is "touching a need that everybody recognizes," he says, but whether it can actually execute the idea remains to be seen.

Open College will not participate in federal student-aid programs. But company officials say it will nonetheless offer an "affordable" path to a college degree through its use of assessments that give credit for prior learning and the self-paced program.

With enrollment subscription costs of $195 a month, charges of $100 per assessment for each of the 35 course equivalents needed to earn credits toward a degree, and a $371-per-credit charge for a final six-credit capstone course, a student entering with no credits who pursued the program for 48 straight months could earn a bachelor’s degree for about $15,000. Students who earned credits based on their prior experience would end up paying less than that.

Officials expect that such students would typically enroll with about 60 credits, take 24 to 30 months to complete a degree, and pay about $9,500.

'A Good Algorithm'

Mr. Schneider says the success of the venture, for Kaplan and for students, depends on the quality of the counseling and the costs of providing it. And that will depend on how much of it is based on online templates or personalized service.

"Obviously, if you have a good algorithm, then your price is really low," he says. And if Kaplan has that, he says, "more power to them. But if it’s human interaction, how can you do it for $195 a month?"

Competency-based degrees are not new, even in the for-profit-college sector. Capella University’s year-old FlexPath program, for example, now offers six degrees and enrolls abut 100 graduate and undergraduate students per quarter.

Peter Smith, president of the new Kaplan venture, says the free features of Open College set it apart. For example, at the nonprofit Western Governors University, he says, "you have to enroll" before you can know where you stand. "They do not help you figure all the stuff out prior to enrollment."

Mr. Smith is no stranger to higher education. Before joining Kaplan seven years ago, he was founding president of the Community College of Vermont, founding president of California State University-Monterey Bay, and a member of Congress. He says the offerings will help students who have accumulated learning but don’t know "how to turn it into something valuable to themselves."

The venture is not Kaplan’s first foray into prior-learning assessments. In 2011 the company announced a service it then called KNEXT that would, for a fee, advise students on preparing portfolios that demonstrated their expertise and qualifications and then submitting them for credit evaluation. But that effort didn’t catch on. In fact, Mr. Smith says, only two students outside of Kaplan University used the $1,500 service.

But within Kaplan University, thousands of students took advantage of a variant of that service in the form of a course. Kaplan Higher Education also created a free online pilot version, called the Learning Recognition Course, that it has been testing for the past year.

Mr. Smith says students who took the free online course or Kaplan's instructor-led version used it to turn their experiences into something of value: college credit. On average, the 100 or so students who took the online course requested 50 quarter-course credits and were awarded an average of 37. Those at Kaplan sought an average of 36 credits and were awarded 27.

A Gateway

Now that the online course will be a gateway to Open College@KU, students can take it at no cost to learn how to develop their expertise into a portfolio. Then, if they later elect to have their experience and skills assessed for credit, they will have several options: find another college willing to evaluate their portfolio for credit; pay NEXT (as KNEXT has since been renamed) to do an assessment for credit; enroll in Kaplan University or its Mount Washington College, which will waive the fees for assessing the credits; or enroll in the new Open College, which will assess the credits as part of the basic subscription price.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment

There are several ways to spot diploma mills.

I don't think the owner of Kaplan University will let Kaplan University become a diploma mill, although there have been some academic scandals in the past before The Washington Post, that owns Kaplan University, was sold to the billionaire founder of giant online retailer Amazon --- Jeff Bezos. An enormous academic scandal is publicity that I'm sure Bezos will desperately try to avoid. Amazon depends too much on the legitimate academic market.

The essence of this new Kaplan open-enrollment program is to give credit for "life experience" based upon competency-based testing. As the saying goes --- the Devil is in the details. In this case the details surround the rigor that makes graduates of the program competitive with graduates of respected colleges and universities in the Academy. Only the Ivy League universities  can get away with courses where everybody gets an A grade. The reason is that the admission criteria allow for extreme grade inflation in these prestigious universities. Kaplan University is a long way from the Ivy League.

Kaplan University is not the only for-profit university with competency-based testing course credits. Before now, the Department of Education approved the competency-based testing programs at Capella University. Similarly, such programs have been approved in non-profit universities like the University of Wisconsin, the University of Akron, and the University of Southern New Hampshire. The Kaplan Program, however, appears to be more personalized in terms of services other than mere administration of competency-based examinations.

I don't think any of these programs are intended for the dropouts or graduates of ghetto schools in the largest cities of the USA. It's too expensive and complicated to prepare unmotivated students for college who cannot even read properly or do basic arithmetic. The competency-based programs are aimed at highly motivated self-learners at higher levels of competency. For example, such programs might seek out top high school graduates who who dropped out of college along the way for a variety of possible reasons, including unintended parenthood. It might eventually even include college graduates trying to prepare for certain vocations like nursing, pharmacy, or accounting.

As I said above, the Devil is in the details --- meaning that the Devil is in the competency-based testing rigor.

Bob Jensen's threads on competency-based testing are at

10 Wacky Travel Gadgets ---

"Marriott fined $600,000 for jamming guests' Wi-Fi," by Scott Mayerwitz, AP via Philly.com, October 3, 2014 ---

Marriott International will pay a $600,000 fine for jamming conference attendees' own Wi-Fi networks at its Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, forcing them to pay hefty prices to use the hotel's own connection.

Frequent travelers often carry personal Wi-Fi hotspots - tiny devices that can connect to the Internet via cell phone towers. For $50 a month, they can connect to the Internet on the move, often avoiding hefty fees charged by hotels, airports and conference facilities. Some people upgrade their wireless data plans to make their smartphones into hotspots.

Last year, a conference attendee at the Opryland hotel in Nashville, Tennessee - which is managed by Marriott - found that the hotel was jamming devices in its ballrooms and complained to the Federal Communications Commission. In the complaint, the guest noted that the same thing happened previously at another Gaylord property. The block didn't affect Wi-Fi access in guest rooms.

While jamming personal Wi-Fi connections, Marriott was charging conference organizers and exhibitors between $250 and $1,000, per access point, to use the Gaylord's Wi-Fi connection. The FCC declined to release the initial guest complaint except if requested under the Freedom of Information Act, a process that can often take weeks.

Marriott agreed to the fine and has instructed its hotels not to use the jamming technology in the way it was used at Opryland, according to the FCC. But the company on Friday defended the blocking of guests' own Wi-Fi networks in the interest of network security. The company said it is legal to use FCC-approved technology to protect its Wi-Fi service against "rogue wireless hotspots that can cause degraded service, insidious cyber-attacks and identity theft," adding that hospitals and universities employee similar jamming practices.

At the four Gaylord hotels in the U.S., Marriott today monitors for hotspots causing interference but does not automatically block such connections, said Harvey Kellman, a lawyer for the hotel company. Only a handful of Marriott's 4,000 other hotels worldwide currently screen for hotspot interference.

Marriott said it encourages the FCC to change its rules "to eliminate the ongoing confusion" and "to assess the merits of its underlying policy."

The government said people who purchase cellular data plans should be able to use them without fear that their personal connection will be blocked.

"It is unacceptable for any hotel to intentionally disable personal hotspots while also charging consumers and small businesses high fees to use the hotel's own Wi-Fi network," Travis LeBlanc, chief of the FCC's enforcement bureau said in a statement. "This practice puts consumers in the untenable position of either paying twice for the same service or forgoing Internet access altogether."


Jensen Comment
If Marriott has the jamming technology, why can't prisons jam drug dealers running gangs from inside the prisons?

The 430 Books in Marilyn Monroe’s Library: How Many Have You Read? ---

Jensen Comment
Most books that I've read are no longer on the bookshelves of my studio in the back yard. Many of the discarded (given away) books were paperback novels (e.g., mysteries) that I read in hotel rooms and airplanes just to pass the time in an entertaining way. Some books ended up on my bookshelves that I have no intent to read. For example, when I was a student the Stanford University Library had a book sale where I bought the complete collection of Shakespeare's writings, including all the sonnets. I've no intention of reading most of these books cover-to-cover, although I occasionally read parts of them. There are quite a few books in my library that I mainly keep for reference without any intent to "read them."

My guess is that over the years Marilyn Monroe, like me, received quite a few books as gifts. I doubt that she read all of these gift books, although she might have read all or parts of most of them.

My point is that some books owned by most people when they die were not really read in full or in part. Many not on the shelves were read in full or in part.

"Book Review: ‘How Google Works’ by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg," by Steven Sinofsky," The Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2014---

Google prides itself on data-driven decision-making. But no algorithm could help when it had to decide whether to knuckle under to China’s government and censor its site.

Google, a company that most every PC or smartphone owner interfaces with in some way, can be seen as a company of some contradictions. From the start, it has held itself up as a force for good, using the mantra “don’t be evil” even as it has pushed the limits of privacy. Google is well known to hire smart, creative people, yet it sometimes creates less-than-clever or me-too products. Google consistently espouses the virtues of openness, while it closely guards its own core intellectual property. Even so, the company is a symbol of innovation, success and technology leadership.

In “How Google Works,” Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg offer a firsthand account of how they and their inner circle created Google’s early management techniques by applying algorithmic precision to often complex challenges.

Mr. Schmidt joined Google in 2001, having already reached stellar heights as a leader at Sun Microsystems and then Novell, and he is often credited with bringing “adult supervision” to a young company brimming with intellect but lacking traditional approaches to product development and management. Mr. Rosenberg joined shortly after Mr. Schmidt and during his tenure created and ran the Google “product team,” which in Silicon Valley parlance means that he figured out what to do and why to do it. Mr. Rosenberg remains an adviser to Google CEO Larry Page ; Mr. Schmidt is still the company’s executive chairman.

The book takes us through the maturation of the company from late-stage startup to well-functioning mega-corporation. In separate chapters, the authors take us through “Culture,” “Strategy,” “Talent,” “Decisions,” “Communications” and “Innovation.” The insights in “Decisions” are particularly valuable because Google’s unique executive model—a three-person committee at the top (Messrs. Schmidt and Page and co-founder Sergey Brin )—was a topic of great interest and even some concern in the early stages of Google’s rise. Yet it clearly worked well and yielded a very smooth transition, later, to a single CEO.

In “Strategy,” we learn of the Google view that products do not need strategies (or slide decks or other artifacts of MBA thinking). Rather, breakout products require a “technical insight” that amounts to a “new way of applying technology or design that either drives down the cost or increases the functions and usability of a product by a significant factor.” This meta-algorithm is used to explain why some products have been successful (such as Gmail) and others “flatlined” (such as “iGoogle, Desktop, Notebook, Sidewiki, Knol, Health, even the popular Reader”). While the scale of Google and the strength of the brand allowed every new product to achieve some traction, the data showed that products lacking growth also lacked a technical insight. But a lot depends on how one defines a technical insight. For example, Google Hangouts, the company’s video chat platform, is described by the authors as innovating in the use of encoding/decoding video. But many in the field would cast at least some doubt on that characterization.

One element of strategy detailed at length in “How Google Works” is the importance of “open, not closed” platforms. Google is well-known for supporting open standards, shared throughout the industry, and open-source software, in particular the incredibly successful Android operating system that runs on phones and tablets. But the authors explain that “there are situations where open platforms do not work on behalf of users and innovation.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, the core Google search product is one of these.

When it comes to hiring, almost every management book instructs you to hire the best and claims that companies become successful by doing so. Mr. Rosenberg pioneered Google’s unique systems for hiring. A vivid demonstration of his algorithmic approach can be seen in the rule that interviews should last 30 minutes and that there should be no more than four interviews in all. More than that, we learn, and the incremental cost fails to increase “decision accuracy” by more than 1%. The authors even provide a graph of “increase in mean interview score accuracy” versus number of interviewers, intended to show that using five interviewers works best—“with the added benefit (at least for computer scientists) of being prime.”

A reader of “How Google Works” might get the impression that, aside from the occasional “tough decision,” Google management operates algorithmically and according to data. Yet that famous admonition “don’t be evil” is decidedly not a data-driven rule, and an important part of the book shows how the founders and their team managed when the phrase was put to the test during Google’s clashes with the Chinese government over censorship—leading, ultimately, to the company’s decision to exit the China market in 2010. The authors present a timeline and an account of the decision process that led to effectively shutting down google.cn (Google’s mainland China product), though they add few new details about the Chinese hack attack against Google, a sophisticated operation aimed at stealing Google’s intellectual property and compromising the email accounts of specific individuals, including Chinese dissidents.

Here was a case where the company’s management algorithms yielded contradictory answers. If one were to decide in favor of users in China, who were already relying on the company’s services, then keeping the site running might be best. If one were to decide in favor of not being evil, then fighting the government on censorship would win out. Or perhaps it was pro-user to shut down the site rather than allow censorship.

Throughout the ordeal, there was no data about the future effects of the decision (though there never is, a point which is often not addressed in discussing the company’s reliance upon data for decision making). The fallout from the company’s decision to leave China—arrived at by consensus among Google’s leadership after all points of view were expressed—is not yet fully clear. Today the company is isolated in one of the largest markets of the world, but it also sees tremendous use of its Android operating system in China—just not the parts that appear to matter most to Google, such as search or maps.

Continued in article


"The Krugman Conundrum," by Eric Peters, Townhall, October 4, 2014 ---

The Congressional Budget Office recently released an update to their 2014-2024 budget projections, sending the Washington Budget wonks into a frenzy. With deficits projected to reach heights not seen since World War Two, the spin doctors have been out in full force trying to turn around recent report. One such man is New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. Armed with a Nobel Prize in New Trade Theory, Mr. Krugman’s opinion column carries extraordinary weight in intellectual circles however his latest on Medicare doesn’t pass the smell test upon closer examination.

Krugman recently wrote of the “Medicare Miracleabout how the growth of Medicare spending had slowed compared to earlier projections. This slowdown he argued shows that entitlement spending and America’s long term fiscal outlook is not as bleak as previously anticipated. The problem with Krugman’s analysis is that it’s incredibly narrow in focus and fails to account for healthcare and mandatory spending as a whole. His rationale took a further hit when CBO announced that tax receipts would be $2 trillion less than expected by 2023 and the Medicare savings he championed just a week ago would be erased five times over.

According to the CBO, spending on major health care programs “will jump by 67 billion (or about 9 percent) in 2014”, this spending is primarily due to costly expansion of Medicaid as well as costly subsidies to for individuals who signed up for Obamacare. Contrary to the opinion of Mr. Krugman, this trend of increased healthcare spending is unlikely to decline anytime in the near future. Overall Health Care Spending is projected to increase from $935 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2024. Medicaid spending increased by 15 percent while spending on Obamacare subsidies increased from $1 billion to $17 billion from 2013. While therate of growth for one program may have slowed, Medicaid and Obamacare spending has certainly picked up the slack at total healthcare spending will increase from 4.9 percent of GDP to 5.9 percent of GDP by 2024. By telling only one third of the overall spending on health care one could be forgiven thinking that Mr. Krugman is simply peddling talking points for ideological reasons.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Two of the things that created enormous drains on the Medicare insurance plan were: (1) the addition Medicare coverage to disabled people of any age coupled with (2) the Medicare D program enacted by George W. Bush. The lifetime disability program is costing hundreds of billions annually, much of it for lifetime frauds. Medicare D is costing hundreds of billions for medications for older folks like us that could be using some of our retirement savings for such medications.

Surely nobody who has studied the future of Medicare, including Professor Krugman, thinks the program is sustainable as currently written. Whereas Social Security entitlements can be paid off, if necessary, with inflation in the future, it's not possible to pay off Medicare obligations with inflation as the law is currently written. As written Medicare is just not sustainable. Either future benefits have to be limited or recipients will have to pay much larger deductibles to the extent they can afford paying for medical services and drugs out of their retirement savings.

The University of Nebraska offers early retirement to 30% of the tenured faculty
"UNL to offer faculty voluntary separation incentives at age 62," UNL Press Release, October 1, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
These deals are mixed blessings. For universities (like Brown University) where nearly all faculty have tenure such buyouts can free up tenure track slots for new blood on campus. Early retirement can weed out dead wood among faculty who are no longer motivated by much of anything but the need for a paycheck and benefits.

The financial impact can vary by discipline.
For example, giving early retirement to a long-time associate professor of accounting now making $75,000 per academic year and teaching six courses per year might entail doubling the salary for a new assistant professor who insists on teaching only four courses per year with no more than two preps. Furthermore the new assistant professor of accounting may insist of several summers with a 2/9 summer research stipend, because she or he can make such deals elsewhere. Replacing faulty in humanities and the school of education may not be so expensive.

Retiring faculty are usually not eligible for Medicare. Giving them early retirement may entail keeping them and their spouses on the university's medical plan until the retiree reaches age 65.

I think Trinity University recently had an early retirement deal that gave two full years of salary and provided TIAA-CREF contributions and medical insurance until the retiree reached the age of 65. Most faculty that I know who took this deal managed to delay tapping into TIAA-CREF and Social Security retirement funds until they were beyond age 65.

"Older Whiskey, Younger Women, but Not Necessarily More Money"
Obamacare made it a bit easier for faculty having trophy spouses to obtain spousal medical insurance after an older spouse retires. But it can be expensive for an ACA exchange plan inferior to the university's medical plan. Suppose the retiring professor going on Medicare has a spouse who is 24 years younger. Over those 24 years prior to Medicare eligibility the ACA premiums increase with age such that what seemed like a good deal at the time of the trophy-spouse wedding is not such a good deal years after the older spouse retired.

Obamacare does not necessarily end the need for professors to work until they're in their 80s or 90s --- if for no other reason than the need for better medical insurance coverage for their trophy spouses. Then again if the younger spouse keeps on working to support the aging retired spouse, and trophy wedding looks like a better deal for the retired spouse. It's even better if the younger spouse is a geriatrics physician.

The criteria for a trophy wife used to be a rich nymphomaniac who owns a chain of liquor stores. Over the years the old guy realizes that these were not the optimal long-term criteria.

"Which States Make You Pay an Amazon Sales Tax?" by Greg Bessinger, The Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
The title of this article is misleading. I think that legally Amazon sales are taxable in any USA state having a sales tax. However, collection is unlikely unless Amazon collects the sales tax at the time of the sale and sends it to the state where the goods are being shipped.

The USA map in the article shows which states persuaded Amazon and other online vendors to collect sales taxes at the point of sale.

The yellow states in the map with no sales tax in this map include New Hampshire, Montana, Oregon, and Alaska.

The white states in the map that do not yet require collection of sales taxes for online sales in their states include Maine, Ver,mont, Michigan, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, and Hawaii.

The article is not clear about differences in online vendors. If online vendors have sales outlets or other physical presence within a state in most instances they must collect a sales tax. For example, if there is a Wal-Mart store in the state Iowa or Idaho then Wal-Mart then Wal-Mart collects sales tax on online sales whereas Amazon having no sales outlet or warehousing collects no sales tax.

It's not clear whether some online vendors are still refusing to collect sales tax based on the LL Bean U.S. Supreme Court victory ---

U.S. Supreme Court Passes on Tax Case From Online Merchants ---
Taking it further to where the Supreme Court takes up such a case is a risk for states in fear of losing what they have gained to date.

"California Community Colleges Will Start Offering 4-Year Degrees," by Sharon Bernstein, Reuters via Business Insider, September 30, 2014 ---

PC Magazine's Reviews of 2014 Anti-Virus Software ---

Index Fund --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_fund

Investing Questions from Vanguard on September 17, 2014
Has indexing gotten too big? ---

Jensen Comment
It's rumored that some of the big pension funds like Calpers are going to move even more heavily into indexing. For me a gets scary when the giant funds commence relying on the same popular index.

How to Mislead With Statistics
"Here's The Hamilton Project's chart of median lifetime earnings by college major, in millions of dollars," by Peter Jacobs, Business Insider, September 29, 2014 ---
Also at http://www.businessinsider.com/college-majors-biggest-lifetime-earnings-2014-9#ixzz3EnxrY7jG

Full Report --- http://www.hamiltonproject.org/papers/major_decisions_what_graduates_earn_over_their_lifetimes/

Jensen Comment
These purportedly are only undergraduates without graduate degrees such as physicians, lawyers, MBAs, CPAs, etc.

It's not clear how the study dealt with five year programs in engineering, accounting, etc. Most of the programs ranked in this article have popular five-year programs.

The study also does not indicate how it deals with subsequent tracking into higher management. For example, more CEOs and CFOs tend track more from accounting, finance, marketing, management, and economics undergraduates and graduates than from engineering. Were those people included in the study even though they are no longer working in the discipline where they graduated?

The study does not deal with unemployment prospects for students who do not get advanced degrees. For example chemistry, physics, and earth science majors have relatively poor prospects unless they obtain doctorates. Does the study exclude physics undergraduates who also obtained physics doctoral degree? Presumably those science graduates who did move on to graduate school have more of an unemployment problem than nurses and lower-paid majors like elementary school teachers.

Also there's a limitation of using medians that ignore standard deviations and kurtosis. For example, students might be attracted to professions having the most fewer but much higher salary prospects like finance and information technology with a lower-end skewness bulge and prospects of enormous salaries

"Is Whistleblowing an Ethical Practice?" by Steven Mintz, Ethics Sage, September 30, 2014 ---

Jensen Comment
One problem with a remuneration program for whistle blowers is that it creates moral hazards. For example two disgruntled employees or former employees may have teamed up where one person, while an employee, violates company policy and internal controls so that the other employee or former employee can blow the whistle hoping to split the winnings of the legal lottery.

Bob Jensen's threads on whistleblowing ---

Babylon, Nevada:  Bankrupt Revel Casino Sells At Auction For $2 Billion Less Than It Cost To Build ---

Histories of philosophy are difficult to write. Bertrand Russell excelled. Then there’s Peter Adamson’s new, pun-laden work… ---

"9 Changes We Want to See in Windows 9," by Daniel Bean, Yahoo Tech, September 29, 2014 ---

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

"Why Warren Buffett Hates Gold," by Matt DiLallo, The Motley Fool via USA Today, September 21, 2014 ---

Warren Buffett didn't become one of the greatest investors of our generation by investing in gold. In fact, he pretty much hates the shiny metal. Just take a look at part of a speech Buffett gave at Harvard in 1998 when he said of gold:

"(It) gets dug out of the ground in Africa or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head."

Buffett just doesn't get what all the fuss is about when it comes to gold. The way he sees it, the value of gold is nothing more than our stubborn willingness to protect its value.

However, that's not the worst part of gold in Buffett's view. His biggest issue is the fact that gold is just so worthless. Not in the value someone is willing to pay for an ounce of it, but in its ability to create wealth. In Buffett's opinion, gold is lazy and has no place in an investor's portfolio.

Lazy, good-for-nothing ...

Buffett hammered on gold in his 2011 shareholder letter calling it an "unproductive asset." He said that assets like gold "will never produce anything, but are purchased in the buyer's hope that someone else will pay more for them in the future." He went on to say that the owners of assets like gold "are not inspired by what the asset itself can produce -- it will remain lifeless forever -- but by the belief that others will desire it even more avidly in the future."

The problem with gold is that it has two major insurmountable shortcomings. It is "neither of much use nor procreative" according to Buffett. While he does allow for the caveat that gold has some small industrial and decorative use, the demand for either purpose is insufficient to use up all of the gold we are digging out of the ground just to hide it away again is a bank vault. However, his bigger issue with gold is that it can't be used to produce anything of value. Its value rises and falls based on what someone else is willing to pay for it, not based on its ability to generate income for its owner.

Productivity builds wealth, not gold

Buffett ends his diatribe on gold in that letter by contrasting it to the productive assets he prefers:

Today the world's gold stock is about 170,000 metric tons. If all of this gold were melded together, it would form a cube of about 68 feet per side. (Picture it fitting comfortably within a baseball infield.) At $1,127 per ounce, its value would be about $9.6 trillion. Call this cube pile A.

Let's now create a pile B costing an equal amount. For that, we could buy all U.S. cropland (400 million acres with output of about $200 billion annually), plus 16 ExxonMobil's (the world's most profitable company, one earning more than $40 billion annually). After these purchases, we would have about $1 trillion left over for walking-around money (no sense feeling strapped after this buying binge). Can you imagine an investor with $9.6 trillion selecting pile A over pile B?

And yet, investors still do choose gold over these productive assets all the time. Assets that will be producing corn and cotton and oil and gas for longer than any of our lifespans. Meanwhile, the gold will be unmoved and still incapable of producing anything. To wit Buffett said, "You can fondle the cube, but it will not respond."

Don't be fooled by gold

There's a real good reason why Warren Buffett hates gold. One who buys gold is hoping for the greater fool to buy it from them for a higher price at some future date. But that's not investing -- it's gambling.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I don't in invest in any precious commodities, but the above article overlooks the possible advantages of gold ownership in some situations and in some cultures. For example, in India ownership of a sufficient amount of gold may be important in finding love and marriage for one's self and one's children.

Secondly, precious metals in general are possible long-term inflation hedges with great financial risks over shorter-term horizons. In some situations gold has great symbolic value or is great fun when searching for it on land and in the sea.

Transactions costs of physically buying, insuring, storing selling (especially selling) gold are very high. It may be much wiser to invest in gold funds in order to greatly reduce transactions costs. However, some people like antique dealers enjoy trading in gold items --- pleasures apart from mere investment gains. Unless you really get a lot of pleasure from coins and coin collections, I recommend avoiding all the advertised gold coin investing opportunities.

Gold is in abundant supply such that investors may prefer to invest in valuable commodities having much more limited world supplies. Millions of people holding gold have waited a long tome to cash in such that selling booms are generally short-lived. Lithium, platinum, palladium, etc. should be considered before jumping into a huge gold investment.

The bottom line is that commodities in general and precious commodities in particular should be avoided unless you have expertise in the trading of such items. Of course, there's a huge difference between speculating and hedging. Farmers should become experts on hedging their crop values with such things as derivative financial instruments ---
Don't confuse hedging with insurance. Insurance can also protect value, but insurance usually applies only to items conducive to natural risks for which actuarial science disaster protection contracts are available. Farmers who insure their crops against weather disaster should consider derivatives to hedge against future price movements.

Of course it's also possible to speculate in derivatives without any intention of ever having physical possession of the item. For example, you can speculate in gold by buying call (long) and put (short) options that "net settle" for cash without every having to buy or sell gold. There are additionally "net-settle" futures, forwards, and swaps contracts that require less initial investment but carry far greater risks than options if held as naked speculations.

In India it may be wise to give the wedding couple gold. In the USA I would instead consider paying off their student loans. I'm sure Warren Buffett would probably agree not to give the couple gold, although he might prefer giving the couple common stock or real estate gifts.

Bob Jensen's investment helpers ---

"In a First, Commercial Coal Plant Buries Its CO2:  A coal plant in Saskatchewan will capture most of its carbon pollution—and use it to extract oil from the ground," by David Talbot, MIT's Technology Review, October 3, 2014 ---

A coal plant that opened today in Saskatchewan captures and buries the carbon dioxide it emits—with two significant caveats: it still emits as much carbon dioxide as a natural gas power plant, and the carbon dioxide it buries is being used to force more oil out of the ground.

The 110-megawatt Boundary Dam project, operated by provincial power utility SaskPower, is a refurbished coal-fired generator. It includes new post-combustion technology designed to absorb and capture 90 percent of the carbon dioxide in the plant’s exhaust, one approach to so-called carbon capture and storage, or CCS.

Continued in article

"Jane Goodall on Empathy and How to Reach Our Highest Human Potential," by Jane Goodall, Brain Pickings, September 30, 2014 ---

Pending Legislation
For Bill on Disabled Access to Online Teaching Materials, the Devil’s in the Details
," by Rebecca Koenig, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 30, 2014 ---

. . .

While the bill, known as the Teach Act, has bipartisan support in Congress, several higher-education organizations have raised concerns about what they consider the legislation’s broad language, inflexibility, and misplaced oversight. For example, the American Council on Education objects to the bill in part because it grants authority to create guidelines to the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, which the council says lacks higher-education expertise.

“This provision creates an impossible-to-meet standard for institutions and will result in a significant chilling effect in the usage of new technology,” wrote Molly Corbett Broad, ACE’s president, in a letter last month to Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat who is chairman of the education committee. The letter was sent on behalf of the council and 19 other higher-education groups. “Such a proposal, if implemented, will seriously impede the development and adoption of accessible materials, harming the very students it is intended to assist.”

Rep. Thomas E. Petri, a Wisconsin Republican, introduced the Teach Act in the House of Representatives in November 2013, and Sen. Elizabeth A. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, introduced an identical bill in the Senate in February 2014. This past summer, Senator Harkin included it in his discussion draft for the reauthorization to the Higher Education Act.

“Congressman Petri believes that if there is a way to have these educational materials accessible to students who are disabled, they should have them,” said Lee Brooks, Representative Petri’s communications director.

The National Federation of the Blind and the Association of American Publishers are proponents of the measure, which would allow colleges to opt out of the guidelines if they already provide materials that serve students with disabilities “in an equally effective and equally integrated manner.”

“Every day, blind college students face frustration and despair in the pursuit of their education because of inaccessible technology,” Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, said in a written statement in February. “E-readers, web content, mobile applications, and learning management systems are integral to the 21st-century college experience, and students with disabilities are being needlessly left behind. … Schools and manufacturers must embrace readily available accessibility solutions so that all students can benefit from educational technology, and the guidelines established by the Teach Act will make it clear how manufacturers and institutions of higher education can best serve students with disabilities.”

In a letter published this month in The Chronicle, Terry W. Hartle, ACE’s senior vice president for government and public affairs, rejected the assertion that the Teach Act is the best way to protect students with disabilities.

“The bottom line is that the bill as written would damage the quality of learning for all students, and it would freeze the development and implementation of new learning technologies to benefit our students, including students with disabilities,” he wrote.

Officials at the associations declined requests for further comment.

Ron Zwerin, director of marketing for Educause, a higher-education-technology group that has opposed the Teach Act, said the proposed law would limit technology development. “For example, in a college chemistry course, the information a sighted student might get from an interactive 3D simulation of a chemical compound might be made available to a blind student through the use of physical models,” he said by email. “This reasonable accommodation would not be allowed under Teach, and thus institutions most likely would not be able to use such simulations, even if they might be made accessible to some but not all students with disabilities.”

Tracy Mitrano, director of Internet culture, policy, and law at Cornell University, plans to discuss the bill during a panel this week at the annual conference of Educause.

“I understand completely why the associations have been reluctant about the specifics of the Teach Act as an approach, but I think the conversation around all this is an opportunity to come out on top of it,” she said. “The question that remains for ACE or Educause or any other higher-education institution is, Are you satisfied with simply rejecting this approach and saying nothing else?”

Ms. Mitrano believes a solution already exists: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0,developed by the World Wide Web Consortium. But any well-thought-out, codified standard would benefit universities and students with disabilities, she said.

“It would make compliance relatively easy,” she said. “There would be no more need to debate what the standards are.”

Isabella Moreno, associate director of the office of disability services at Oberlin College, agrees. “Having federal guidelines would be extremely helpful,” she said. “We are always most interested in ensuring we are giving our students the absolute best. That doesn’t always mean that we know what is available. Despite our efforts to try to stay on top, there’s always new technologies that would assist our students.”

Compliance has been an issue at several colleges. Most recently, in July 2013, the Department of Justice announced a settlement with Louisiana Tech University regarding a complaint that a digital product was inaccessible to a blind student.

Federal guidelines would help colleges avoid litigation and help publishers produce the materials students need, according to Allan Adler, general counsel and vice president for government affairs at the Association of American Publishers.

“The legislation sets up a safe harbor for institutions of higher education and, at the same time, approaches the work of the manufacturers of materials with some amount of flexibility,” he said.

Continued in article

Recommended October Reading from the Econometrics Blog by David Giles ---

October already!
  • Chauvel, C. and J. O'Quigley, 2014. Tests for comparing estimated survival functions. Biometrika, 101, 535-552. 
  • Choi, I., 2014. Unit root tests for dependent and heterogeneous micropanels. Discussion Paper No. 2014-04, Research Institute for Market Economy, Sogang University.
  • Cho, J. S. and H. White, 2014. Testing the equality of two positive-definite matrices with application to in formation matrix testing. Discussion Paper, School of Economics,Yonsei University.
  • Hansen, B. E., 2013. Model averaging, asymptotic risk, and regressor groups. Quantitative Economics, in press.
  • Miller, J. I., 2014. Simple robust tests for the specification of high-frequency predictors of a low-frequency series. Mimeo., Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  • Owen, A. B. and P. A. Roediger, 2014. The sign of the logistic regression coefficient. American Statistician, in press.
  • Westfall, P. H., 2014. Kurtosis as peakedness, 1905-2014. R.I.P.. American Statistician, 68, 191-195.

From the Scout Report on October 3, 2014

ooVoo Video Chat --- http://www.oovoo.com/home.aspx 

ooVoo may just be the ultimate video chat app. Besides allowing you to chat with up to twelve of your closest friends simultaneously, you can also send video messages, film and upload to YouTube, instant message, and record 1,000 minutes of conversations for playback. ooVoo requires Android 2.3+ or iOS 7.0+.  

Google Translate --- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.translate&hl=en 

If the fact that most of us now carry high-powered computers in our pockets isn’t wild enough for you, try downloading Google’s ubiquitous Translate app. All of a sudden, you’ll be able to say “where’s the bathroom?” and “that’s not the fare we agreed on” in over 50 languages. This app is iOS (6.0+) and Android (2.3+) compatible.

Third Time’s a Charm: New Revelations About Da Vinci’s ‘Lady with
an Ermine’
Leonardo Da Vinci ‘painted three Ermine portraits’

Scientist Reveals Secrets Behind 550-Year-Old Leonardo Da Vinci Masterpiece

Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Woman With an Ermine’ reveals its secrets

Leonardo Da Vinci - The complete works

Leonardo da Vinci

Da Vinci Restoration Project Reignites Conspiracy Theories

From the Scout Report on October 10, 2014

Humin --- https://www.humin.com/#/product 

How often do you go to a conference (or a party, or a PTA meeting), meet ten interesting people, and then forget all of their names the next day? With Humin that might never happen again. The app recalls all the everyday contact info we’ve come to expect from our address books, but it organizes them by the way we actually think, so that you can search by “met last week” or “works at Cirque du Soleil.” Humin is currently only available for iOS 7.0+, however, interested users can sign up for the forthcoming Android Beta Release.  

Paper --- https://www.fiftythree.com/paper 

Winner of the Apple Design Award among other honors, the Paper app is, above all else, beautiful. It’s also convenient and user-friendly. Whether you’re doodling for fun or drawing out plans for a new kitchen, think about bringing your creative energy to your iPad with this hugely popular app. Available for iOS 7.0+.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to Three Scientists Who Broke New
Ground in Microscopy
The Nobel Prize in chemistry goes to three men who revolutionized

2 Americans, a German win Chemistry Nobel Prize

New Optics Strategies Cut Through Diffraction Barrier

The Official Website of the Nobel Prize

Announcement of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014

Nobel Prizes By Country Since 1901




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

Education Tutorials

Education for the 21st Century: UNESCO --- https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-21st-century

Annenberg Foundation (huge philanthropy site) --- http://www.annenbergfoundation.org

COACHE at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (advice on college faculty recruitment) ---
This site does not drill very far down into specific disciplines where faculty recruitment issues are the most varied. For example, some disciplines get hundreds of newly-minted Ph.D. applicants for a tenure-track opening versus other disciplines that get zero applicants in many colleges. For example, accounting and criminal justice newly-minted Ph.D. graduates are in extreme short supply whereas they are plentiful in most humanities disciplines. In the science disciplines it's usually pretty easy to get applicants from very prestigious universities. In some disciplines like computer science there's a dearth of female doctoral graduates whereas in other disciplines like English and music there are usually more female graduates than male graduates. Minority applicants are in short supply in the majority of disciplines other than for schools of education and humanities.

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for multiple disciplines ---

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Quantum Physics --- http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-04-quantum-physics-i-spring-2013/

Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) --- http://www.cap.ca

WorldWide Telescope --- http://www.worldwidetelescope.org

MagLab (magnet lab at Florida State University) --- http://www.magnet.fsu.edu

IceCube Neutrino Observatory --- http://icecube.wisc.edu

BMC Psychiatry --- http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcpsychiatry

Paleobiology (natural science history) --- http://paleobiology.si.ed

Aquarius (ocean research center at Florida International University) --- http://aquarius.fiu.edu
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2-Part2.htm#Oceans 

WHO: Global Health Observatory: Mental Health --- http://www.who.int/gho/mental_health/en/

The Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTER) --- http://www.lternet.edu/

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

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

This seems to be a pretty good USA news site
LISNews --- http://lisnews.org//

Presidential Job Approval Center --- http://www.gallup.com/poll/124922/Presidential-Approval-Center.aspx?ref=interactive

National Crash Analysis Center --- http://www.ncac.gwu.edu

Bob Jensen's threads on economic statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics

BMC Psychiatry --- http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcpsychiatry

The FREE Initiative (far right extremism in Europe) --- http://thefreeinitiative.com

Calisphere: Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives (JARDA) --- http://www.calisphere.universityofcalifornia.edu/jarda/

Backwards in High Heels: Getting Women Elected, 1842-1990 --

Global Consumption Database ---  http://datatopics.worldbank.org/consumption/
The lower consumption segments spend more than the middle and higher consumption segments combined. They spend $2.3 trillion a year on food and beverages alone.

UM Clark Library Maps (historical USA maps from the University of Michigan) --- http://quod.lib.umich.edu/c/clark1ic

The Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTER) --- http://www.lternet.edu/

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

Law and Legal Studies

Explore the Constitution --- http://constitutioncenter.org/constitution

The Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTER) --- http://www.lternet.edu/

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

Accounting Historians Journal --- http://www.libraries.olemiss.edu/uml/aicpa-library  and http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/aah
Accounting Historians Journal
Archives--- http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/general_library/dac/files/ahj.html
Accounting History Photographs --- http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/general_library/dac/files/photos.html

The Return of George Washington, 1783-1789 -
by Edward J. Larson
Amazon Link

Histories of philosophy are difficult to write. Bertrand Russell excelled. Then there’s Peter Adamson’s new, pun-laden work… ---

WTC Disaster (9/11 Trade Towers Disaster) Study --- http://www.nist.gov/el/disasterstudies/wtc/

Adachi Museum of Art (Japanese gardens) --- http://www.adachi-museum.or.jp/en

Calisphere: Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives (JARDA) --- http://www.calisphere.universityofcalifornia.edu/jarda/

Gershwin Music --- http://www.gershwin.com/

UM Clark Library Maps (historical USA maps from the University of Michigan) --- http://quod.lib.umich.edu/c/clark1i

Musee d'Art Classique de Mougins (French museum of ancient armor and weapons) --- http://www.mouginsmusee.com

Explore the Constitution --- http://constitutioncenter.org/constitution

National Crash Analysis Center --- http://www.ncac.gwu.edu

Bob Jensen's threads on economic statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics

Paleo Art (paleontology) --- http://paleobiology.si.edu/paleoArt/index.htm

From the Scout Report on October 10, 2014

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to Three Scientists Who Broke New
Ground in Microscopy
The Nobel Prize in chemistry goes to three men who revolutionized

2 Americans, a German win Chemistry Nobel Prize

New Optics Strategies Cut Through Diffraction Barrier

The Official Website of the Nobel Prize

Announcement of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014

Nobel Prizes By Country Since 1901



From the Scout Report on October 3, 2014

Third Time’s a Charm: New Revelations About Da Vinci’s ‘Lady with
an Ermine’
Leonardo Da Vinci ‘painted three Ermine portraits’

Scientist Reveals Secrets Behind 550-Year-Old Leonardo Da Vinci Masterpiece

Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Woman With an Ermine’ reveals its secrets

Leonardo Da Vinci - The complete works

Leonardo da Vinci

Da Vinci Restoration Project Reignites Conspiracy Theories

The Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTER) --- http://www.lternet.edu/

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

From the Scout Report on October 3, 2014

Google Translate --- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.translate&hl=en 

If the fact that most of us now carry high-powered computers in our pockets isn’t wild enough for you, try downloading Google’s ubiquitous Translate app. All of a sudden, you’ll be able to say “where’s the bathroom?” and “that’s not the fare we agreed on” in over 50 languages. This app is iOS (6.0+) and Android (2.3+) compatible.


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

Music Tutorials

The Blues Archive at Ole Miss --- http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/general_library/archives/blues

Evolution of Dance --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMH0bHeiRNg

Gershwin Music --- http://www.gershwin.com/

Copland and the American Sound: Keeping Score --- http://www.pbs.org/keepingscore/copland-american-sound.html

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials

The Writer: Advice and Inspiration for today’s writer ---  http://www.writermag.com
This is one of the longest-running magazines in the USA

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

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

September 30, 2014

October 1, 2014

October 2, 2014

October 4, 2014

October 6, 2014

October 7, 2014

October 8, 2014

October 9, 2014

October 10, 2014

October 11, 2014

October 14, 2014


WHO: Global Health Observatory: Mental Health --- http://www.who.int/gho/mental_health/en/

"What Books Do for the Human Soul: The Four Psychological Functions of Great Literature," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, October 9, 2014 ---

. . .


    It looks like it’s wasting time, but literature is actually the ultimate time-saver — because it gives us access to a range of emotions and events that it would take you years, decades, millennia to try to experience directly. Literature is the greatest reality simulator — a machine that puts you through infinitely more situations than you can ever directly witness.



    Literature performs the basic magic of what things look like though someone else’s point of view; it allows us to consider the consequences of our actions on others in a way we otherwise wouldn’t; and it shows us examples of kindly, generous, sympathetic people.

    Literature deeply stands opposed to the dominant value system — the one that rewards money and power. Writers are on the other side — they make us sympathetic to ideas and feelings that are of deep importance but can’t afford airtime in a commercialized, status-conscious, and cynical world.



    We’re weirder than we like to admit. We often can’t say what’s really on our minds. But in books we find descriptions of who we genuinely are and what events, described with an honesty quite different from what ordinary conversation allows for. In the best books, it’s as if the writer knows us better than we know ourselves — they find the words to describe the fragile, weird, special experiences of our inner lives… Writers open our hearts and minds, and give us maps to our own selves, so that we can travel in them more reliably and with less of a feeling of paranoia or persecution…



    All of our lives, one of our greatest fears is of failure, of messing up, of becoming, as the tabloids put it, “a loser.” Every day, the media takes us into stories of failure. Interestingly, a lot of literature is also about failure — in one way or another, a great many novels, plays, poems are about people who messed up… Great books don’t judge as harshly or as one-dimensionally as the media…

Literature deserves its prestige for one reason above all others — because it’s a tool to help us live and die with a little bit more wisdom, goodness, and sanity.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I think the article misses some bigger roles played by reading. Reading can give you self confidence that goes well beyond preparing you for failure. Many readers feel great pride and self assurance in the knowledge they archived in their brains from reading over the years. Reading gives you confidence and skill in writing and debating. Reading sets you apart in being less ignorant that those who have not read or comprehended what you have read or comprehended.

Of course reading also serves to make more aware of you own ignorance by shedding light on what others know that you've not mastered in your readings. Reading is a window to the vast complexities of the world. Reading is humbling in that it makes you more aware of how other scholars learned what you are still learning. But at the same time it gives you confidence to discover the mistakes of the authors. That helps build your confidence and motivates you to dig deeper into topics.

Bob Jensen's links to millions of free books ---

Bob Jensen's links to millions of free articles, videos, and tutorials ---

"Cancer-Detecting Yogurt Could Replace Colonoscopies:  Engineered yogurt bacteria could make detecting colorectal cancer and other diseases as simple as a pregnancy test<" by Kevin Bullis, MIT's Technology Review, October 2, 2014 ---


A Bit of Humor

Ten Worst Opening Lines --- http://theamericanscholar.org/ten-worst-opening-lines/?utm_source=emai#.VCq8HPldWSo

Carol Burnett - Bust Ups, Bloopers & Blunders Pt.1 --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIqofVwYi4I

Sarah Silverman Roasts Steve Jobs And Other Dead Celebs While Playing Joan Rivers On SNL --- http://www.businessinsider.com#ixzz3FHF7tTmo



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