Tidbits on May 15, 2015
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Photographs of the Pemigewasset (Pemi) River


Tidbits on May 15, 2015
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

John Green’s Crash Course in U.S. History: From Colonialism to Obama in 47 Videos ---

TED Talks: Mental health for all by involving all ---

YouTube seems like it's been available forever, but it's only ten years old ---

Brookings Institution YouTube --- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi7jxgIOxcRaF4Q54U7lF3g

Watch a Timelapse Video Showing the Creation of New York City’s Skyline: 1500 to Present ---

Hōshi: A Short Film on the 1300-Year-Old Hotel Run by the Same (Japanese) Family for 46 Generations ---

The Oldest Known Footage of London (1890-1920) Shows the City’s Great Landmarks ---

The Poetry of the Cherry Blossoms Comes to Life in a One Minute Time Lapse Video ---

The 10 Greatest Films of All Time According to 358 Filmmakers ---

Dramatic Color Footage Shows a Bombed-Out Berlin a Month After Germany’s WWII Defeat (1945) ---

How to Live a Good Life? Watch Philosophy Animations Narrated by Stephen Fry on Aristotle, Ayn Rand, Max Weber & More ---

An English Country Garden --- https://www.youtube.com/embed/9H9IojB9iYY

Hear Thomas Edison’s Creepy Talking Dolls: An Invention That Scared Kids & Flopped on the Market ---

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

Lost in the 1950s --- http://safeshare.tv/w/FEDEwZHZXu

Johnny Cash Machines: Johnny Cash Stars in 1980s Commercials for ATM Machines ---

Hear What is Jazz?: Leonard Bernstein’s Introduction to the Great American Art Form (1956) ---

Listen to James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake Read Aloud & Set to Music (31 Hours, Unabridged) ---

Watch Miles Davis Improvise Music for Elevator to the Gallows, Louis Malle’s New Wave Thriller (1958) ---

Music for a String Quartet Made from Global Warming Data: Hear “Planetary Bands, Warming World” ---

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

See the First Known Photograph Ever Taken (1826) ---

Harvard Art Museums --- http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/

Devastating photos of California show how bad the drought really is --- 

Elusive Siberian Tigers Captured in Brilliant Images ---

Lake Michigan is So Clear Right Now its Shipwrecks Are Visible From the Air ---

Beastly Verse: From Lewis Carroll to William Blake, Beloved Poems About Animals in Vibrant and Unusual Illustrations ---

See the 50 Best Images Taken by the Hubble Space Telescope ---

National Geographic: The Ocean --- http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/ 

The 20 Best Photographs of Obama's Travels Across America ---

Winners of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards ---

Milan --- http://www.businessinsider.com/what-to-do-in-milan-2015-4

An English Country Garden --- https://www.youtube.com/embed/9H9IojB9iYY

The Bread and Roses Strike of 1912 --- http://dp.la/exhibitions/exhibits/show/breadandroses

May Day During the Cold War --- http://www.businessinsider.com/these-photos-show-how-crazy-may-day-used-to-be-during-the-cold-war-2015-5

The Poetry of the Cherry Blossoms Comes to Life in a One Minute Time Lapse Video ---

Fashion in Time --- http://www.fashionintime.org/

32 powerful pictures of the US Marines through history ---

Art Nerd City Guides (art news) ---  http://art-nerd.com/

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

35 books everyone should read at least once in their lifetime ---

Shakespearean Actor Brian Cox Teaches Hamlet’s Soliloquy to a 2-Year-Old Child ---

1810 edition of Little Red Riding Hood --- http://www.bl.uk/collection-items/1810-edition-of-little-red-riding-hood

Listen to James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake Read Aloud & Set to Music (31 Hours, Unabridged) ---

Listen to Playwright August Wilson’s American Century Cycle in Its Entirety: 10 Free Plays ---

The Internet Poetry Archive --- http://ibiblio.org/ipa/

Beastly Verse: From Lewis Carroll to William Blake, Beloved Poems About Animals in Vibrant and Unusual Illustrations ---

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

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on May 15, 2015

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

What is the easiest way to create a Website?

Answer from David Pogue

"Adobe Slate: New App for Creating Beautiful Sites Is Almost Too Simple," by David A. Pogue, Yahoo Tech, April 23, 2015 ---

. . .

So it’s eye-popping to see Adobe unveiling apps that are free and aimed at normal people: students, teachers, photographers, small business owners, just folks of every kind.

A few months back, Adobe’s first stab in this direction was a free iPad app called Adobe Voice. It’s a clean, lovely, incredibly easy-to-use program that lets you make “explainer videos” — a popular kind of online narrated persuasion videos. Here’s my review and video demonstration.

Now there’s a second app in this line: Adobe Slate. Once again, the company has observed a hot trend in online media and brought amateurs the tools to get onboard. This time, the trend is parallax-scrolling websites.

Continued in article

Doctoral Studies Fellowships and Assistantships
"The Ph.D. Pay Gap How unequal stipends foster an unequal education," by Vimal Patel, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 11, 2015 ---

For Ksenia Krylova, the years she has spent earning her Ph.D. have been largely worry free, at least when it comes to money.

As a doctoral student at the University of Houston’s C.T. Bauer College of Business, she receives $33,000 a year in stipend support. The assistance, which also includes a free laptop while she’s in the program, has helped her to focus on her coursework and dissertation. She is set to complete her program in the summer after five years and has a job offer for a tenure-track position at a university in Paris.

"We’re provided the environment and the equipment necessary to go through our program without any burdens," says Ms. Krylova.

Across campus, Tracy Butler doesn’t feel the same.

When she began working toward her Ph.D. in history in 2010, Ms. Butler received a stipend of roughly $11,000 a year. It forced her to work as a part-time nanny, which distracted her from her Ph.D. studies, she says.

"If I didn’t have to work outside," says Ms. Butler, "I would have had more time to focus on my dissertation and my comprehensive exams. I probably would have been finished with my Ph.D. by now."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
In accountancy doctoral students in most instances are heavily funded by accounting alumni professionals and the matching contributions from their employers. The larger firms also have funding programs such as the KPMG minority doctoral student funding foundation that gives full-ride funding to minority doctoral students ---

The article points out that equally-generous funding in medicine and science come from research grants and other sources, including revenue from medical practice of the medical schools in university hospitals and clinics. In these instances the university's general fund also benefits from overhead portions of grants and profit sharing of the practice of medicine.

It seems to me that virtually all doctoral programs should rely somewhat on fund raising. Should a successful fund raising department be forced to share the fruits of this doctoral program fund raising with less-successful fundraising departments?  This becomes very difficult when the external funds are restricted by donors. Virtually all fellowships funded by accounting firms for doctoral programs are restricted by donors to go to accounting doctoral students. The KPMG Foundation does not raise minority fellowships for history majors.

Similarly, in health sciences I assume that government grants are restricted to health science programs.

The Era of Coddled Students
"A Plague of Hypersensitivity," by Todd Girlin, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, May 11, 2015 ---

Are we living through a plague of hypersensitivity?

Most readers will be aware of campaigns to dampen hateful speech, to stop "microaggressions," and to get professors to supply students with "trigger warnings" — verbal trailers or coming attractions — when anticipating visual and verbal disturbances. It’s as if we need the equivalent of G, PG, PG-13, R, and X ratings for both texts and talk. Those who want mandatory warnings believe they are straightforward remedies for a straightforward problem: Vulnerable people need to be protected from upset. If the demand for comfort collides with the need for truth, or with the needs of an atmosphere of intellectual give and take, the truth must be more prettily wrapped. At my own university, advocates of trigger warnings counted "roughly 80 instances of assault" in Ovid’s Metamorphoses alone. Though Metamorphoses is neither a Sadean revelry nor a snuff movie, some students find it deplorable that they’re required to read the book without a prior alert.

The counterargument is not hard to make. No one ever promised that the truth would be comforting. History, Western and otherwise, is (among other things) a slaughterhouse. The record of civilization is a record of murder, rape, and sundry other brutalities. As for the discomfort that may be occasioned by the discovery — even the shock — of this record, discomfort is the crucible of learning. The world is disconcerting. The proper way to begin understanding it is to accept the unwritten contract of university education: I am here to be disturbed.

Excesses of censorial zeal are easy to recognize, and pseudosolutions that require tiptoeing through minefields are easy to decry. The more deeply interesting question is: Why are we having this discussion at all? Deploring is simple, but grasping is hard.

The closer you look, the higher the questions pile up. Are more students arriving at college already feeling rattled? Is sexual assault on campus more common than ever, requiring new levels of preventive intervention? Or is the fear of rape, surely realistic up to a point, inordinate?

Does a troubling curriculum suggest an abundance of troubled minds? Is there an epidemic of fragility? Of the fear of fragility? Or both? (Are they the same thing?) Maybe more traumas — more date rapes, more racial "microaggressions" — lie in wait for unsuspecting students nowadays. Does the clamor for the right to be undisturbed emanate from a particular set of students, or does it reflect a more sweeping incidence of disturbance? Is there a climate of contagion? Is fragility the new normal?

It is, of course, conceivable that sensitivity in the face of ugliness is on the upswing even if presumably objective measures of the ugliness are not. In other words, if we are living through an epidemic of thin-skinnedness, the problem of explanation is only kicked backward into the mists of obscure causation. Why should so many skins be so thin nowadays?

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on grade inflation ---

Entitlements Actuarial  Lies
A trillion lie here and a trillion lie there and pretty soon you're talking about an unsustainable future covered up by lying in politics.

Social Security is Going to Be Insolvent Before Anybody Thinks.
New studies from Harvard and Dartmouth researchers find that the SSA's actuarial forecasts have been consistently overstating the financial health of the program's trust funds since 2000.

"Social Security May Be in Worse Shape Than We Thought: Study," by Tom Anderson, NBC News, May 12, 2015 ---

The Social Security Administration projects that its trust funds will be depleted by 2033—not an optimistic forecast. But it may be even bleaker than that.

New studies from Harvard and Dartmouth researchers find that the SSA's actuarial forecasts have been consistently overstating the financial health of the program's trust funds since 2000.

"These biases are getting bigger and they are substantial," said Gary King, co-author of the studies and director of Harvard's Institute for Quantitative Social Science. "[Social Security] is going to be insolvent before everyone thinks."

The Social Security and Medicare Trustees' 2014 report to Congress last year found trust fund reserves for both its combined retirement and disability programs will grow until 2019. Program costs are projected to exceed income in 2020 and the trust funds will be depleted by 2033 if Congress doesn't act. Once the trust funds are drained, annual revenues from payroll tax would be projected to cover only three-quarters of scheduled Social Security benefits through 2088.

Continued in article

Entitlements --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entitlement

Harvard, Dartmouth:  Social Security forecasts have been too optimistic — and increasingly biased ---

Republicans have tried a decade ago to reform the Social Security system, warning that the program would tip over into the red earlier than expected and the trust fund would entirely dissipate while some current recipients were still alive to see it. Democrats led by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi claimed the crisis didn’t exist when George W. Bush proposed limited privatization options, and the 2008 financial-sector crash put an end to further GOP reform efforts. Studies from Harvard and Dartmouth this week corroborate Bush’s warnings on Social Security, and further accuse the SSA of increasing bias in its analyses in order to maintain the illusion of a slower decline:

New studies from Harvard and Dartmouth researchers find that the SSA’s actuarial forecasts have been consistently overstating the financial health of the program’s trust funds since 2000.

“These biases are getting bigger and they are substantial,” said Gary King, co-author of the studies and director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. “[Social Security] is going to be insolvent before everyone thinks.” …

Researchers examined forecasts published in the annual trustees’ reports from 1978, when the reports began to consistently disclose projected financial indicators, until 2013. Then, they compared the forecasts the agency made on such variables as mortality and labor force participation rates to the actual observed data. Forecasts from trustees reports from 1978 to 2000 were roughly unbiased, researchers found. In that time, the administration made overestimates and underestimates, but the forecast errors appeared to be random in their direction.

“After 2000, forecast errors became increasingly biased, and in the same direction. Trustees Reports after 2000 all overestimated the assets in the program and overestimated solvency of the Trust Funds,” wrote the researchers, who include Dartmouth professor Samir Soneji and Harvard doctoral candidate Konstantin Kashin.

How bad is it? Barron’s notes that the estimates are off by $1 trillion, maybe more.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
If Tom Brady had cheated like that he'd be expelled for good. There will, however, be no punishments for the liars who gave false estimates of the entitlements liabilities of the future. That type of deflation goes unpunished in Washington DC.

Bob Jensen's threads on the "Entitlements Crisis" ---

Infotopia (search engine for homeschoolers) --- http://www.infotopia.info/

Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASE_%28search_engine%29

BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) is a multi-disciplinary search engine to scholarly internet resources, created by Bielefeld University Library in Bielefeld, Germany. It is based on search technology provided by Fast Search & Transfer (FAST), a Norwegian company. It harvests OAI metadata from scientific digital repositories that implement the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), and are indexed using FAST's software. In addition to OAI metadata, the library indexes selected web sites and local data collections, all of which can be searched via a single search interface.

It allows those who use the search engine to search metadata, when available, as well as conducting full text searches. It contrasts with commercial search engines in multiple ways, including in the types and kinds of resources it searches and the information it offers about the results it finds. Where available, bibliographic data is provided, and the results may be sorted by multiple fields, such as by author or year of publication.


Conduct a BASE Search --- http://www.base-search.net/
For example, conduct a search in "Interest Rate Swaps"

Jensen Comment
This could be useful for searches of international academic literature.

Bob Jensen's search helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm

"Microsoft Making Fast Progress with HoloLens," by Rachel Metz, MIT's Technology Review, May 1, 2015 --- Click Here

In just a few months, the Microsoft wearable device that blends virtual reality with the real world seems to have gotten closer to becoming a commercial product.

Jensen Comment
Rumors are flying about that Google Glass will be revived by Google. Of course this is not VR.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---

Computing History
"This is the first news article ever written about Apple," by Jim Edwards, Business Insider, May 5, 2015 --- 

Numbers...Easy for the Machine --- http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/sgahistory/clips/numbers-easy-for-the-machine

In this clip from Who's Got the Action, a mafia boss describes his UNIVAC mainframe and how it keeps the records of his gambling business.

Critical Commons (tutorials on varied topics) --- http://www.criticalcommons.org/

How to Mislead With Statistics
"How much you have to save every year if you want to put your kids through college," by Libby Kane, Business Insider, April 27, 2015 ---
Customized cost and savings calculators.

Jensen Comment
I've repeated elsewhere over and over that there are many factors that make the cost of college education variable and uncertain. For example, the cost of getting an online degree (even from a high quality university) while living at home is a whole lot different than paying full tuition, room, and board for an onsite degree at either a public or private university or college.

Also financial aid is common and very serious for a majority of students. The tuition cost is now zero in many USA prestigious (e.g., Ivy League) universities for students from families earning less than $125,000 per year. In addition, President Obama is now forgiving all or parts of student loans for a relatively small number of graduates.

The problem when the kids are very young lies in choosing a college savings plan without knowing what lies ahead in terms of future tuition costs, living costs, financial aid, etc. Colleges may be funded quite differently 20 years from now, and we really don't know what kind of deals will be available way out in the future. For example, it's entirely possible that the most prestigious universities in the USA will be totally free to all students, albeit a highly restricted number of students qualifying for admissions. It's entirely possible that the first two years of college will eventually be free in most state-supported universities.

Parents and especially grandparents currently contribute a great deal of financial support from tax-advantages 529 Plans ---
Who knows if and how long those plans will survive?
These plans are currently clobbered by the Fed's "quantitative easing" (QE) interest rates that through savers under the bus by paying virtually negligible interest rates.

Bob Jensen's personal finance helpers ---

How to Mislead With Statistics
The 25 college majors that will lead to the lowest-paying jobs ---

Jensen Comment
Such rankings on "pay" typically are misleading. Firstly, these are medians such that half the people are earning more in each category and half the people are learning less in each category. We need to know more about variances and reasons for those variances --- often the variances are due to variances in living costs.

Secondly, many of the low paying jobs are in education. But most of those low paying jobs only entail working eight or less nine per year and can hardly be compared with jobs that are nearly 12 months per year. Many parents are willing to sacrifice pay for more opportunity to share time with their own families. Many others take advantage of opportunities to earn more money in the off season by writing books, working on organic farms, etc.

Some job categories are too vague to be compared. For example, what does a job in "music" or "neuroscience" or "drama" entail? Typically music and "drama" careers are highly variable in terms of time commitment. Performers may average only a few hours or less per month in actual performance with highly variable hours in practice and preparation. Music teachers, like other educators, are not likely to have 12-month job commitments. Drama performers may not be so lucky.

Also majors do not necessarily translate to jobs requiring those majors. For example about half of the law school graduates are now working in jobs that do not require law degrees.

Lastly, it does not make much sense to compare "pay" without comparing benefits. For example, teachers working for school systems typically get fairly generous benefits in terms of medical insurance for 12 months while working less than eight months on the job.

Nate Silver Has Egg on His Face (again)
Nate Silver --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nate_Silver

How to Mislead With Statistics
Nate Silver fared terribly in Thursday's UK election: In his pre-election forecast, he gave 278 seats to Conservatives and 267 to Labour. Shortly after midnight, he was forecasting 272 seats for Conservatives and 271 for Labour. But when the sun rose in London on Friday, Conservatives had an expected 329 seats, against Labour's 233.

GIGO --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garbage_in,_garbage_out

What We Got Wrong In Our 2015 U.K. General Election Model ---

No calculations are necessary to see that we missed badly in our forecast of the U.K. election.

Our final forecast was for the Conservatives to win an expected 278 seats (or somewhere in the range of 252-305 seats), Labour to win 267 (240-293), the Scottish National Party 53 (47-57), and the Liberal Democrats 27 (21-33). The actual final results are 330 seats for the Conservatives, 232 for Labour, 56 for the SNP and just eight for the Lib Dems. Even though we took (or at least tried to take) into account the scale of historical poll misses in the U.K., our prediction intervals fell short of including the result for all of these parties except the SNP.

The only thing we can say on our behalf is that in comparative terms, our forecast was middle of the pack, as no one had a good pre-election forecast. Of course the national exit poll, while not as close to the target as in 2010, was far better than any pre-election forecast.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Although the Nate Silver team this time mostly blames bad polling data, in previous election failures (such as when Scott Brown soared in late voting decisions of the public when winning the Senate seat vacated by Ted Kennedy) to nonstationarity of voting preferences as the election gets under way. 

Accountics scientists similarly assume stationarity in questionable circumstances. This point was recently driven home very forcefully by former AAA Presidents Tom Dyckman and Steve Zeff ---

Goodbye to Philosophy, Engineering Management, and Science Management Low Demand Programs
Alaska-Fairbanks to Cut Several Academic Programs ---

Details are at

MacArthur Foundation: What We're Learning (learning, aging, and learning disorders) --- http://www.macfound.org/learning/ 

HASTAC: Blogs (interdisciplinary ideas for higher education and learning) --- http://www.hastac.org/blogs

Bob Jensen's on education and learning ---

What is the most commonly misspelled word?
"A Kontest for Speling," by Lucy Ferriss, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 7, 2015 ---

Jensen Comment
When I was in college I was told that one of the most commonly misspelled words was "business." This apparently is no longer such a huge problem. My problem these days is more one of choice of the wrong word when I know better but get careless when typing on the fly such as using "to"  in place of "too" too often. Is too much Fonix an old age addiction? Also spell checkers fail to make corrections for use of the wrong words.

Is this the first multimedia flop?

Hear Thomas Edison’s Creepy Talking Dolls: An Invention That Scared Kids & Flopped on the Market ---

Under pressure, India's students turn to cheating ---

"JFK on Poetry, Power, and the Artist's Role in Society: His Eulogy for Robert Frost, One of the Greatest Speeches of All Time," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, May 1, 2015 ---

Bob Jensen's threads (with a photograph of JFK and Jackie) on Robert Frost ---

From Econometrics Beat by David Giles --- http://davegiles.blogspot.com/2015/04/introductory-statistics-for-data-science.html

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Introductory Statistics for Data Science

The latest issue of Chance contains a very timely article by Nicholas Horton, Benjamin Baumer, and Hadley Wickham. It's titled, "Setting the Stage for Data Science: Integration of Data Management Skills in Introductory and Second Courses in Statistics".

Ask yourself - "Is the traditional way that we teach introductory and second-level statistics courses really suited for preparing students for future work in modern data science?"

More specifically, do our undergraduate courses provide the data-related skills that are increasingly needed? The same question could be asked of undergraduate training in econometrics.

Horton et al. itemize five things which, in their opinion, deserve more attention in this context:
Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I wonder if we should be asking the same types of questions about the first year of accounting in this new era of data science.

Has two semesters of Principles of Accounting in higher education changed much is the last 50 years?

Reading Recommendations from David Giles for the Merry Month of May ---

While you're dancing around the Maypole (or whatever else it is that you get up to), my recommendations are:
  • Claeskens, G., J. Magnus, A. Vasnev, and W. Wang, 2014. The forecast combination puzzle: A simple theoretical explanation. Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper TI 2014 - 127/III. 
  • de Jong, R. M. and M. Sakarya, 2013. The econometrics of the Hodrick-Prescott filter. Forthcoming in Review of Economics and Statistics.
  • Honoré, B. E. and L. Hu, 2015. Poor (wo)man’s bootstrap. Working Paper 2015-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • King, M. L. and S. Sriananthakumar, 2015. Point optimal testing: A survey of the post 1987 literature. Working Paper 05/15, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics, Monash University.
  • Meintanis, S. G. and E. Tsionas, 2015. Approximately distribution-free diagnostic tests for regressions with survival data. Statistical Theory and Practice, 9, 479-488. 
  • Piironen, J. and A. Vehtari, 2015. Comparison of Bayesian predictive methods for model selection. Mimeo.
  • Yu, P., 2015. Consistency of the least squares estimator in threshold regression with endogeneity. Economics Letters, 131, 41-46.

Report: Harvard Faculty Supports Democrats a Whopping 96% of the Time --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's threads on Liberal Bias Among Higher Education Faculty ---

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

List of Countries by Population --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_population

Malthusian Exponential Growth Model --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusian_growth_model

Earth Day Special
"The Biggest Threat to the Earth? We Have Too Many Kids," Wired Science, April 22, 2015 ---

Today is Earth Day. For 45 years, the secular holiday has brought people—along with their ideas and enthusiasm—together to confront the world’s environmental challenges. There will be speeches about sustainability, discussions about air quality, and pamphlets on how to reduce your carbon footprint. You might even learn how to help save some sub-Saharan elephants, but nobody will be addressing the elephant in the room. That’s the fact that every single environmental solution is addressing the same, ugly problem: The world has to support a lot of hungry, thirsty, fertile people.

“No question, the human population is the core of every single environmental issue that we have,” says Corey Bradshaw, an ecologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia. There are seven billion of us and counting. And though people are developing technologies, regulations, and policies to make humanity less of a strain on the Earth, a number of environmentalists believe that these fixes will never catch up to the population as long as it continues to grow. The only way to save the world is to stop making more (and more, and more, and more) humans.

This is not a new idea—but it has been driven underground for a time. Built on Malthusian foundations, and bolstered by books like The Population Bomb, reining in human reproduction was a major talking point at the first Earth Day, in 1970. The idea almost went mainstream in America, but extremists advocating for government regulation of fertility gave it a bad reputation. China’s one-child policy, in 1980, didn’t help.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Climate change that reduces food and water exacerbates the problem. Aside from the dire restraints of Thomas Malthus, our our hope mostly depends upon technology such as low-cost desalinization of sea water for crop irrigation and newer technologies for energy such as fusion and hydrogen. There are two outlier scenarios. One is learning to live like ants piled on top of each other. The other is having a few tribes learning to live on an earth that is virtually destroyed.

"Chinese Anti-Corruption Campaign Targets M.B.A. Programs," by Laura Farrar, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 27, 2015 ---

A recent decision by the Chinese government to limit who can enroll in executive M.B.A. courses threatens a lucrative set of partnerships operated by top American business schools here.

The new rules bar government officials and managers of state-owned enterprises, known as SOEs, from attending expensive courses "or other training programs, which seemingly for study, are actually for networking and making friends." The rules explicitly mention executive M.B.A. programs.

The ban is part of a sweeping campaign by Xi Jinping, China’s president, to stamp out corruption and extravagant spending by government officials. While the anti-graft effort has previously focused on a handful of Chinese university officials, education experts say the new ban represents the first time Western university programs have been affected, if indirectly.

The ban affects only certain American programs, but the sweep and unexpected nature of the edict show the risks foreign universities face operating in China, where regulations can change quickly for unclear reasons.

"The education sector is not immune from all of the roller-coaster rides of cultural differences and government interventions and regulatory issues that don’t make sense from a Western perspective," says Ira Cohen, executive vice president of Universal Ideas, an education consulting company in China, and former executive director of Rutgers’s executive-education programs there.

During the last 10 years or so, there has been an explosion of executive-education and management programs in China, some run by business schools of prestigious American universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, Duke, and the University of Maryland. The schools have been trying to take advantage of a huge market where an affiliation with a top-notch global university is highly coveted.

So far, China’s own programs have been hit the hardest by the rule; The Wall Street Journal reports that enrollment is down 15 to 30 percent for programs at some of China’s top business schools.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

"Daft on graft," The Economist, May 8, 2015 ---

A hard line on commercial bribery is right. But the system is becoming ridiculous.

IN 2008 Siemens, a German conglomerate, was fingered for handing out bribes in emerging markets. It has since spent a staggering $3 billion on fines and internal investigations to atone for its sins. Half of that has gone to advisers of one sort or another. Walmart, an American retailer, will soon have spent $800m on fees and compliance stemming from a bribery investigation in Mexico. The most complex bribery probes used to take three years. Now they last an average of seven.

In recent years lots of big economies, from Britain to Brazil, have followed America’s lead in tightening anti-bribery enforcement (see article). Offences that once drew a slap on the wrist now attract fines in the hundreds of millions of dollars as well as prison terms for palm-greasing managers. It is right that bribery should be punished. The economic effects of graft are insidious. Bribery distorts competition and diverts national resources into crooked officials’ offshore accounts. But the cost and complexity of investigations are spiralling beyond what is reasonable, fed by a ravenous “compliance industry” of lawyers and forensic accountants who have never seen a local bribery issue that did not call for an exhaustive global review; and by competing prosecutors, who increasingly run overlapping probes in different countries. In this section

The dawn of artificial intelligence Jokowi’s to-do list Fixing America’s inner cities The fintech revolution Daft on graft

To stop a descent into investigative madness, enforcement needs to be reformed in four ways. First, regulators should rein in the excesses of the compliance industry and take into account the cost to firms of sprawling investigations. When firms admit to having uncovered bribery among their managers, regulators expect them to investigate themselves. The authorities should tell them what level of investigation they want so that companies are not overzealous out of fear of seeming evasive. This is slowly starting to happen, with officials telling firms they should not. “aimlessly boil the ocean”.

. . .

As corrosive as bribery is, the response must be proportionate. Investigations that drag on are a waste of management and public resources. The starting-point for up to half of all cases is a firm’s voluntary disclosure, but if costs continue to rise then firms may be more tempted to bury their bad news. Anti-corruption campaigners would have nothing to cheer if the cure ended up being more harmful than the disease.

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Former Homes of Whites Became Affordable to Blacks
"A silver lining to white flight? White suburbanization and African–American homeownership, 1940–1980," by Leah P. Boustan and Robert A Margo,

Between 1940 and 1980, the homeownership rate among metropolitan African–American households increased by 27 percentage points. Nearly three-quarters of this increase occurred in central cities. We show that rising black homeownership in central cities was facilitated by the movement of white households to the suburban ring, which reduced the price of urban housing units conducive to owner-occupancy. Our OLS and IV estimates imply that 26 percent of the national increase in black homeownership over the period is explained by white suburbanization.

Jensen Comment
This is silver lining is tarnished, however, if property taxes supporting school districts and other community services are greatly reduced due to declines in home values. Another worry is that more affluent minorities also fled, thereby, adding  to declines in the highly motivated minority (e.g., Asian) students in the school systems. Still another worry is that many of the best teachers will also leave the schools.

Actually many central cities like NYC, Chicago, and San Francisco recovered a great deal in value since the 1980s, but the residents moving back are more often than not childless such that many problems with declining public schools remain in spite of recoveries of property taxes. For example, few minorities with children can afford to move back into the recovered San Francisco or Manhattan due to soaring housing ownership and rental prices.

For the Week Ending April 25, 2015
Seven Must Read Stories Chosen by MIT's Technology Review ---

"A Major Trial Lawyer Defeat:  The ‘innovator liability’ theory goes down in Alabama," The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2015 ---

Kudos to Alabama, which this week shot down a dangerous theory of “innovator liability” that would have let companies be sued over products they didn’t make. On Tuesday the state House voted 86-14 to prevent this latest threat to the American economy.

In January 2013, the Alabama supreme court had a senior moment when it said plaintiff Danny Weeks (Wyeth v. Weeks) could sue Wyeth (since bought by Pfizer ) over side effects from the acid-reflux drug Reglan. Mr. Weeks never took Reglan, opting for the generic version, metoclopramide. Wyeth had sold the rights to Reglan long before Mr. Weeks used the generic medication between 2007 and 2009.

Product liability claims typically require evidence that the company being sued designed, made or sold the product alleged to have done harm. In this case the lawyers tried an end-run by arguing it as a fraud case. On rehearing in August 2014, the Alabama court again bought the snake oil, 6-3, finding liability because the brand-name manufacturer controlled the warning label that doctors and patients say they rely on. That decision broke with more than 100 courts in 30 states and seven federal courts of appeal that have rejected theories of innovator liability.

Continued in article

Down in the USA, but Up in Brazil
"Changes for DeVry University," Inside Higher Ed,  April 24, 2015 ---

DeVry Education Group, a major publicly traded for-profit, on Thursday announced consolidations and a rebranding for its DeVry University. The company announced that it would close 14 campus locations, converting academic programs at those locations to online-only offerings.

Like most for-profits, DeVry's flagship brand has struggled with sagging enrollments and revenue. This quarter it reported declines of almost 16 percent in revenue and 15 percent in total undergraduate enrollment. However, the broader holding company has fared better of late -- its overall enrollment is up 18 percent. In Brazil, for example, DeVry enrolls roughly 40,000 degree-seeking students, company officials said.

Continued in article

From the CPA Newsletter on April 25, 2015

Rethinking the 4% rule
Financial advisers once told retirees that they could use 4% of their savings a year. But lower interest rates have affected investment returns, and life expectancy is climbing. "Retirement readiness is too complex to be codified by a simple rule of thumb," a recent PwC study found. CNBC (4/22)

From the CPA Newsletter on April 25, 2015

The high cost of using credit cards
Research has found that people are willing to spend up to double amount for the same item when using a credit card as opposed to cash. Credit card debt climbed 1,500% per capita from 1980 to 2010. The Atlantic online (4/23

From the CPA Newsletter on April 25, 2015

IRS commissioner responds to report about customer service
The Internal Revenue Service diverted $134 million away from its customer-service activities this year, causing trouble for taxpayers, according to a report by House Republicans. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the cutbacks were necessary to pay for other activities at the agency, which had its funding reduced by $346 million this year.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/Washington Wire

From the CPA Newsletter on April 25, 2015

Seeking a solution to the IRS service problem
Long hold times, delayed responses and other frustrations with the IRS have mounted as a result of declining resources. The AICPA is asking members to weigh in to bolster advocacy efforts to address the problem. AICPA Insights (4/23)

From the CPA Newsletter on April 25, 2015
Diversity is truly about seeing everyone’s uniqueness as a beautiful gift to be nurtured and developed, not changed to conform to some arbitrary standard.
Mary-Frances Winters, president and founder of The Winters Group

Jensen Comment
This is a big deal in so far as it's an MBA degree from one of the top MBA programs in the USA and "might" eventually  have no admission standards and no limit on the number of students who can enroll worldwide. Although non-credit MOOCs are generally open to all and free, this diploma-granting MBA program is not free.

I hesitate to call this a for-credit MOOC since it is not truly open-sourced to the masses for diplomas/badges. It is an open source MOOC for non-credit.

One question that remains in my mind is whether the transcript of graduating students will distinguish between onsite graduates versus unline MOOC graduates who complete the full online MBA program.

There will be endless debates among faculty about competency-based academic standards versus academic standards that add some additional criteria to grades such as class participation (online or site) and case method courses that are popular in nearly all MBA programs, particularly business policy capstone courses.

"U. of Illinois to Offer a Lower-Cost M.B.A., Thanks to MOOC," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 4, 2015 ---

. . .

The program is the latest in a string of high-profile experiments in using free MOOCs as part of cut-rate degree programs. Just last month Arizona State University announced a MOOC-based equivalent of the first year of a bachelor’s degree for about $6,000. And Illinois modeled its program on a $7,000 computer-science master’s degree offered by the Georgia Institute of Technology in partnership with Udacity, another MOOC provider.

One unusual aspect of the Illinois plan is that students would be able to earn smaller certifications each time they finished three courses, an idea leaders call "stackable credentials." In that way, if students stopped early, they might still have a lighter-weight credential to show potential employers.

"Unlike a degree, which is this binary, zero-one thing, students are getting benefit at every step along the way," said Daphne Koller, a co-founder of Coursera.

Students taking one-off courses would not be eligible for federal financial aid, though, unless they were officially enrolled in the degree program, because of a quirk of federal student-aid rules. Essentially the rules do not allow students to receive aid for prior knowledge, so courses taken before officially enrolling would not be eligible.

The program is starting small — only 200 students will be admitted in its pilot phase.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The ultimate test will be the reaction of potential employers to this and other for-credit MOOC programs. My guess is that there will be no distinction between high gpa achievers. It would be entirely self-defeating if Coursera allows the online credits to have lower academic standards. My hunch is that A grades will be very tough to achieve in this online degree/badge program.

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs and other open-sourced learning materials available from prestigious universities ---

Arizona State's Freshman Year MOOCs Open to All With Final Examinations for Inexpensive Credits

"Arizona State and edX Will Offer an Online Freshman Year, Open to All," by Charles Huckabee, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 24, 2015 ---

Arizona State University is joining with the MOOC provider edX in a project that it says “reimagines the freshman year” and opens a new low-cost, low-risk path to a college degree for students anywhere in the world.

The project, called the Global Freshman Academy, will offer a set of eight courses designed to fulfill the general-education requirements of a freshman year at Arizona State at a fraction of the cost students typically pay, and students can begin taking courses without going through the traditional application process, the university said in a news release on Wednesday. Because the classes are offered as massive open online courses, or MOOCs, there is no limit on how many students can enroll.

. . .

The courses to be offered through the Global Freshman Academy are being designed and will be taught by leading scholars at Arizona State. “These courses are developed to their rigorous standards,” Adrian Sannier, chief academic officer for EdPlus at ASU, said in the release. “Course faculty are committed to ensuring their students understand college-level material so that they can be prepared to successfully complete college.”

Students who pass a final examination in a course will have the option of paying a fee of no more than $200 per credit hour to get college credit for it.

Mr. Agarwal and Mr. Crow are scheduled to formally announce the project at a conference in Washington on Thursday.


Jensen Comments and Questions
The real test is how well these credits are accepted by other universities for transfer credit. It probably will not be an issue for graduate school admission since there are three more years of more traditional onsite or online credits. But it could be a huge issue for example when a student takes the first year of ASU MOOC credits and then tries to have these credits accepted by other universities (such as TCU) that still resist accepting any online courses for transfer credit.

What are the main differences between MOOC online credits and traditional online credits such as those documented at the following site?

For example, at many universities these days there are multiple sections of a course where some sections are onsite and some are online. Often they are taught by the same instructor. The online sections are usually as small or even smaller than the onsite sections because online instructors often have more student interactions such as in instant messaging not available to onsite students ---

These are the following obvious differences between MOOC online credits and traditional online credits.

The bottom line is that it appears that the ASU freshman year MOOC course credits will be little more than competency-based credits. This will be controversial since many faculty in higher education feel like credits in general education core  courses should  entail class participation, including first-year core courses. For example, at Trinity University there is a first-year seminar that all new students take in very small classes that require a lot of class participation in discussions of assigned readings and the writing of term papers. I think some sections of this seminar don't even have examinations. I did not have examinations when I taught a section of this seminar for two years.

In traditional large lectures courses on campus students typically are broken out into accompanying recitation sections intended for class participation and interactions with a recitation instructor.

Jensen Note
I never anticipated competency-based credits in the first-year of college. I think these will be wildly popular in advanced-level training courses such as a CPA examination review course in the final (fifth) year of an accounting program. Using competency-based courses for first-year general education courses is more controversial.

After I made a comment following this article at the Chronicle's Website, somebody else (from Colorado) made the following comment:

Inside HigherEd has an article on this subject that reports ASU does not intend to indicate if a course was taken via MOOC on the transcript. Other institutions will have no way of knowing the delivery modality, and although ASU offers assurances that the courses will be the same, they haven't figured out how they will assess learning outcomes in the MOOC courses.

One worry for ASU is that its accrediting body has not yet reviewed this proposal ---

This is a very good article on the major issues of competency-based assessment of learning
"Performance-Based Assessment," by  Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed, April 29, 2015 ---

. . .

In contrast, classroom discussions, debates, and case studies tend to emphasize analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Students are typically asked to offer a critique or assessment, identify bias, present a judgment, or advance a novel interpretation.

Performance-based assessment offers a valuable alternative (or supplement) to the standard forms of student evaluation. Performance-based assessment requires students to solve a real-world problem or to create perform, or produce something with real-world application. It allows an instructor to assess how well students are able to use essential skills and knowledge, think critically and analytically, or develop a project.  It also offers a measure of the depth and breadth of a student’s proficiencies.

Performance-based assessment can, in certain instances, simply be an example of what Bloom’s Taxonomy calls application. Thus, a student or a team might be asked to apply knowledge and skills to a particular task or problem. 

But performance-based assessment can move beyond Bloom’s Taxonomy when students are engaged in a project that requires them to display creativity and that results in an outcome, project, or performance that is genuinely new. The more sophisticated performance assessments involve research, planning, design, development, implementation, presentation, and, in the case of team-based projects, collaboration.  

If performance-based assessments are to be fair, valid, and reliable, it is essential that there is an explicit rubric that lays out the criteria for evaluation in advance. It is also helpful to ask students to keep a log or journal to document the project’s development and record their reflections on the developmental process.

The most commonly used assessments – the midterm and final or the term paper – have an unpleasant consequence. Reliance on a small number of high stakes assessments encourages too many students to coast through the semester and to pull all-nighters when their grade is on the line. This may inadvertently encourage a party culture.

In stark contrast, performance-based assessment offers a way to ensure that evaluation is truly a learning experience, one that engages students and that measures the full range of their knowledge and proficiencies.

Steven Mintz is Executive Director of the University of Texas System's Institute for Transformational Learning and Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. Harvard University Press will publish his latest book, The Prime of Life: A History of Modern Adulthood, next month.

Bob Jensen's threads on competency-based credits ---

Vintage Wine in our Collection of 1100 Free Online Courses ---

Rummage through our collection of 1100 Free Online Courses, and you’ll find many recently-recorded courses from great universities, covering topics like “How Hannibal Crossed the Alps,” “Existentialism in Literature & Film,” and “Introduction to Computer Coding.” But you’ll also find on our list of Free Online Courses some vintage lectures recorded during generations past.

Take for example Walter Kaufmann’s Classic Lectures on Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Sartre (1960), which sit nicely alongside Michel Foucault’s UC Berkeley Lectures on Truth, Discourse & The Self (circa 1980). Or perhaps even Leo Strauss’ numerous political philosophy courses recorded at The University of Chicago between 1959 and 1973. You can also dig intoQuantum Physics Made Relatively Simple,” a Mini Course from Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Hans Bethe. Endearingly, Bethe presented the course at a retirement home in 1999 when he, himself, was pretty long in the tooth.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on thousands of more current MOOCs ---

Take this test to see if you can answer history questions that stumped America's 8th graders ---

New Results Show Eighth-Graders' Knowledge of U.S. History, Geography, and Civics ---
I recommend that you read the comments following the article.

"What the Dalai Lama Taught Daniel Goleman About Emotional Intelligence," by Andrea Ovans, Harvard Business Review Blog, May 4, 2015 --- Click Here

This Is the Worst Retirement Solution Ever ---

Bob Jensen's threads on personal finance ---

Political Correctness --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness

Slavoj Žižek Calls Political Correctness a Form of “Modern Totalitarianism” ---

Bob Jensen's threads on political correctness ---

April 23, 2015 message from Joe Hoyle


Hope you are having a great semester.   I recently added my 209th posting to my teaching blog (Joe Hoyle: Teaching - Getting the Most from Your Students).   It is entitled “Fourteen Characteristics of Great Teaching” and can be found at:


I hope you will take a moment to read over my list and decide whether you agree or disagree with the characteristics that I selected.

The weather in Richmond today is absolutely wonderful and I hope it is the same where you are.

Teach great -- make a difference.

Joe Hoyle
Robins School of Business
University of Richmond


April 23, 2015 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Joe,

I tend to agree with most of your points, although your first point that great teachers are "ambitious" is too vague and can be taken in widely different contexts. Most of the teachers I know that became exceptional in giving one-on-one time to undergraduate and masters students virtually gave up attempts to conduct research and publish new knowledge.

Time and time again these great teachers either used teaching as a reason or an excuse to no longer do research. Some were promising researchers at least until they became tenured. Others struggled to get tenure. One of those who struggled to get tenure was the terrific intermediate accounting teacher at Florida State named Alice Nichols who spend 40+ hours with students in her office each week. However, it took a special edict from the President of FSU to get her tenured quite late in the game.

My point is that you could say Alice was "ambitious," but certainly not ambitious in the usual sense of being ambitious for her own resume or salary. She was independently wealthy such that salary did not matter in her case. I can name other tremendous teachers, particularly in basic accounting, that were like Alice.

There also was a terrific intermediate accounting teacher at the University of Florida and later the University of Georgia who had a great start as a researcher but shifted all attention to students after earning tenure.

There are of course some very ambitious researchers who are also terrific teachers. It's not hard to find role models here, many of which are already in the Accounting Hall of Fame --- http://fisher.osu.edu/departments/accounting-and-mis/the-accounting-hall-of-fame

There are also some I will not name in the Accounting Hall of Fame that had or still have lousy teaching reputations.



Benford's Law --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benford%27s_law

"I've Got Your Number How a mathematical phenomenon can help CPAs uncover fraud and other irregularities," 
Journal of Accountancy, May 1999, --- 

BENFORD'S LAW PROVIDES A DATA analysis method that can help alert CPAs to possible errors, potential fraud, manipulative biases, costly processing inefficiencies or other irregularities.

A PHYSICIST AT GE RESEARCH LABORATORIES in the 1920s, Frank Benford found that numbers with low first digits occurred more frequently in the world and calculated the expected frequencies of the digits in tabulated data.

CPAs CAN USE BENFORD'S DISCOVERY in business applications ranging from accounts payable to Y2K problems. In addition, subset tests identify small lists of serious anomalies in large data sets, making an analysis more manageable.

DIGITAL ANALYSIS IS WELL SUITED to finding errors and irregularities in large data sets when auditors need computer assisted technologies to direct their attention to anomalies.


"How Benford's Law Reveals Suspicious Activity on Twitter," MIT's Technology Review, April 21, 2015 ---

Say What?
John Deere (and GM) Says You Don't Really Own Any Vehicles Bought From Them, You Only Have "An Implied License for the Life of the Vehicle to Operate the Vehicle --- Click Here

Jensen Comment
Some of these allegations may have to be resolved by the courts.
Just what is "ownership?"

From the Scout Report on April 24, 2015

Ello --- https://ello.co/beta-public-profiles 

Most social networking sites are built and sustained by selling their users' personal information to advertisers. In addition, Facebook and other platforms provide nearly as much space to flashy ads as they do to the work of helping people connect to their friends and family. Ello, which was created by designer and entrepreneur Paul Budnitz and was released in August 2014, seeks to be the antithesis of all that. The social media site does not sell its users' info or host ads. While one wonders how the company will ever make money, the resulting production is refreshingly simple and unflashy, with an artsy emphasis on beauty over profit. Sign up takes only minutes and the only requirement is a working email address.

Frame.io --- http://frame.io/ 

For anyone working with teams of people on multimedia projects, Frame.io provides a way to co-create and co-edit video, photos, audio, documents, and other modalities all in one place. Recently launched, Frame.io operates on the premise that more and more people are working with more complex media programs but are forced to use different platforms for different parts of the same project. So, for example, teams use Vimeo for their video, email for communication, and Dropbox to share files. Frame.io wraps all of the functionalities of those various services into a single well-designed platform. It's fast too - 5x faster than Dropbox. So when users are uploading and sharing large files, there's less lag, which leads to greater productivity. The company offers 2GB of free file storage on a single project that can include up to five collaborators. For larger projects, the paid tiers start at $15 per month.

Is it Time to Put a Woman on the $20 Bill?
Lawmakers Push Bills Campaign to Put a Woman on the Twenty

Congressman Proposes Putting a Woman's Face on the $20 Bill

Should a woman replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill?

US Senator Says It's Time to Put a Woman on the $20 Bill

Behind the Viral Campaign to Put a Woman on the $20 Bill

Women On 20s

From the Scout Report on May 1, 2015

Scalar --- http://scalar.usc.edu/scalar/ 

For many users, Scalar is the next step in digital, online, open source writing. It combines the functionality of a blog with the focus and length of an e-book. It also enables authors - even relatively un-techy authors - to assemble videos, infographics, music, and other media from around the web, easily, conveniently, and seamlessly. While the service seeks to strike a balance between standardization and flexibility, most beginners will find the templates and platforms easy to approach (more experienced developers may wish to move on to truly open source sites where they can design to their hearts' content). To understand what Scalar is capable of, readers might like to scroll through the featured projects on the homepage. In addition, selecting Learn More navigates to a four-minute video that explains the intricacies of the platform. Registering an account with Scalar is simple; all that is required is an email address. So, for readers who are looking for fresh ways to publish web-based content, Scalar is definitely worth checking out.

U.N. Ranks Happiest Countries
This Country Is the Happiest in the World

These Are the Happiest Countries in the World

Get Happy in the world’s happiest countries

The Path to Happiness: Lessons From the 2015 World Happiness Report

Money really does buy happiness, in one map

World Happiness Report 2015

From the Scout Report on May 8, 2015

metaflop --- http://www.metaflop.com 

Created by Swiss designers Marco Muller and Alexis Reigel, Metaflop is an online tool that allows users to create their own fonts. While this may sound daunting, the platform makes the process easy and fun, allowing readers to familiarize themselves with typeface terms like "ascenders," "cap heights," "overshoot," "descenders," and "contrasts" in a playful, low-pressure environment. One easy way to begin is to select "metafonts," which draws up a list of preexisting letter designs. Selecting any of these navigates to the "modulator." From there, readers may play at will, adjusting unit width, pen width, glyph angle, and other variables. The program is approachable - and the best way to learn is to simply jump in and start making changes! Once you're happy with your results, you can download your webfont for embedding on your website or as an opentype postscript font (.oft) that can be used in applications supporting otf.

DownThemAll --- http://www.downthemall.net/ 

For readers who download movies, audio files, large PDFs, and other big files, one of the frustrations of the Internet experience can be waiting around while a browser figures out what to do with the abundance of information. This powerful, easy-to-use Mozilla Firefox extension takes care of that problem, allowing users to download multiple media all at once - and fast. As a download manager, it gives users the power to pick and choose what content from a page they would like (including, if desired, everything). As a download accelerator it can make the process up to 400 percent faster. This add-on is free and works with Windows, Linux, and Mac, however, users must have already installed Firefox to use

Tesla Unveils New Lithium-Ion Battery to Power Homes
Tesla unveils batteries to power homes

Will Tesla's battery change the energy market?

Tesla Battery Economics: On the Path to Disruption

Tesla's New Battery Will Make Lithium Ion the Next AA

Who Is Tesla's Home Battery For?

What backing up your home with Tesla's battery might be like



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

Education and Learning Tutorials

Reuters: Technology News --- http://www.reuters.com/news/technology

Art Nerd City Guides (art news) ---  http://art-nerd.com/

Critical Commons (tutorials on varied topics) --- http://www.criticalcommons.org/

NPR Ed: How Learning Happens --- http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed

The Space Place --- http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/

Digital Commonwealth: Academy Publications - Phillips Academy Andover ---

Multimedia Studios: The Physics Classroom --- http://www.physicsclassroom.com/mmedia

MacArthur Foundation: What We're Learning (learning, aging, and learning disorders) ---  http://www.macfound.org/learning/

HASTAC: Blogs (interdisciplinary ideas for higher education and learning) --- http://www.hastac.org/blogs

AACC: 21st Century Center (community college helpers, including practice examinations) --- http://www.aacc21stcenturycenter.org/
For example search on the term "accounting"

SparkNotes: Math Study Guides --- http://www.sparknotes.com/math/ 

Women in Science --- http://www.womeninscience.org/

PBS: SciGirls --- http://pbskids.org/scigirls/

Bagheera (endangered species) ---  http://www.bagheera.com

The Untold History of Women in Science and Technology --- http://www.whitehouse.gov/women-in-stem

John Green’s Crash Course in U.S. History: From Colonialism to Obama in 47 Videos ---

Zinn Education Project (progressive American history) --- http://zinnedproject.org/

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for multiple disciplines ---

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Multimedia Studios: The Physics Classroom --- http://www.physicsclassroom.com/mmedia

Arkive: Birds --- http://www.arkive.org/explore/species/birds

Bagheera (endangered species) ---  http://www.bagheera.com

Entomology and Nematology: Featured Creatures --- http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/

The Space Place --- http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/

European Space Agency: Planck --- http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Planck

2014: The Year in Science --- http://www.nature.com/news/2014-1.16547

Faultline: Earthquake History and Science | Exploratorium --- http://www.exploratorium.edu/faultline/

National Geographic: The Ocean --- http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/

Women in Science --- http://www.womeninscience.org/

PBS: SciGirls --- http://pbskids.org/scigirls/

The Untold History of Women in Science and Technology --- http://www.whitehouse.gov/women-in-stem

"Advantage Women,," by Colleen Flaherty," National Academy of Sciences via Inside Higher Ed, April 14, 2015 ---

The Magazine Nature
Nature Outlook: Cancer --- http://www.nature.com/nature/outlook/cancer/

TED Talks: Mental health for all by involving all ---

World Meteorological Organization: Weather --- https://www.wmo.int/pages/themes/weather/index_en.html

Nature's Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters ---

Reuters: Technology News --- http://www.reuters.com/news/technology

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

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

On Being with Krista Tippett (society and social relationship futures) --- http://onbeing.org/

The Atlantic: Health: Family --- http://www.theatlantic.com/health/category/family/

MIT Center for Civic Media --- https://civic.mit.edu/

It’s Our Environment: EPA’s Blog About Our World --- http://blog.epa.gov/blog/

Brookings Institution YouTube --- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi7jxgIOxcRaF4Q54U7lF3g

The Bread and Roses Strike of 1912 --- http://dp.la/exhibitions/exhibits/show/breadandroses

The Magazine Nature
Nature Outlook: Cancer --- http://www.nature.com/nature/outlook/cancer/

TED Talks: Mental health for all by involving all ---

MacArthur Foundation: What We're Learning (learning, aging, and learning disorders) ---  http://www.macfound.org/learning/

Women in Science --- http://www.womeninscience.org/

PBS: SciGirls --- http://pbskids.org/scigirls/

The Untold History of Women in Science and Technology --- http://www.whitehouse.gov/women-in-stem

"Advantage Women,," by Colleen Flaherty," National Academy of Sciences via Inside Higher Ed, April 14, 2015 ---

U.S. Supreme Court Media --- http://www.oyez.org/

Urban Land: The Magazine of the Urban Land Institute --- http://urbanland.uli.org/

Urbanology: BMW Guggenheim Lab (study of people living in cities) --- http://www.bmwguggenheimlab.org/urbanology-online

Wine and Food Society of Baltimore - Enoch Pratt Free Library ---

Discover the Oldest Beer Recipe in History Dating Back to 1800 BC, and Then Maybe Brew Your Own Batch ---

Szathmary Culinary Manuscripts --- http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cookbooks/

Critical Commons (tutorials on varied topics) --- http://www.criticalcommons.org/

Digital Commonwealth: Academy Publications - Phillips Academy Andover ---

Reuters: Technology News --- http://www.reuters.com/news/technology 

From the Scout Report on May 1, 2015

U.N. Ranks Happiest Countries
This Country Is the Happiest in the World

These Are the Happiest Countries in the World

Get Happy in the world’s happiest countries

The Path to Happiness: Lessons From the 2015 World Happiness Report

Money really does buy happiness, in one map

World Happiness Report 2015

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

Law and Legal Studies

U.S. Supreme Court Media --- http://www.oyez.org/

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

Math Tutorials

SparkNotes: Math Study Guides --- http://www.sparknotes.com/math/

NRICH: enriching mathematics --- http://nrich.maths.org

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

History Tutorials

Benedict Cumberbatch Reads a Letter Alan Turing Wrote in “Distress” Before His Conviction For “Gross Indecency” ---
Jensen Comment
The Imitation Game is my favorite movie of all time ---

How to Live a Good Life? Watch Philosophy Animations Narrated by Stephen Fry on Aristotle, Ayn Rand, Max Weber & More ---

History Channel: Ask History --- http://www.history.com/news/ask-history

The Internet Poetry Archive --- http://ibiblio.org/ipa/

John Green’s Crash Course in U.S. History: From Colonialism to Obama in 47 Videos ---

Harvard Art Museums --- http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/

Latah County Oral History Collection (Idaho) --- http://www.lib.uidaho.edu/digital/lcoh/

See the First Known Photograph Ever Taken (1826) ---

Watch a Timelapse Video Showing the Creation of New York City’s Skyline: 1500 to Present ---

Hōshi: A Short Film on the 1300-Year-Old Hotel Run by the Same (Japanese) Family for 46 Generations ---

The Oldest Known Footage of London (1890-1920) Shows the City’s Great Landmarks ---

Zinn Education Project (progressive American history) --- http://zinnedproject.org/

The Bread and Roses Strike of 1912 --- http://dp.la/exhibitions/exhibits/show/breadandroses

1810 edition of Little Red Riding Hood --- http://www.bl.uk/collection-items/1810-edition-of-little-red-riding-hood

Van Gogh Museum --- http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en

Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night --- http://moma.org/exhibitions/2008/vangoghnight/

Vincent Van Gogh: The Letters --- http://www.vangoghletters.org/vg/

The 10 Greatest Films of All Time According to 358 Filmmakers ---

Australia’s National Portrait Gallery --- http://www.portrait.gov.au/index.php

Simon Schama Presents Van Gogh and the Beginning of Modern Art --- Click Here

Gauguin and Polynesia: An Elusive Paradise (art history) --- http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/gauguin/

Fashion in Time --- http://www.fashionintime.org/

Listen to James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake Read Aloud & Set to Music (31 Hours, Unabridged) ---

Gauguin: Metamorphoses (art history) --- http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2014/gauguin/

Faultline: Earthquake History and Science | Exploratorium --- http://www.exploratorium.edu/faultline/

The official website of the British Monarchy --- http://www.royal.gov.uk/

Wine and Food Society of Baltimore - Enoch Pratt Free Library ---

Discover the Oldest Beer Recipe in History Dating Back to 1800 BC, and Then Maybe Brew Your Own Batch ---

Szathmary Culinary Manuscripts --- http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cookbooks/

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

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

Music Tutorials

Listen to James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake Read Aloud & Set to Music (31 Hours, Unabridged) ---

Learn to Play Guitar for Free: Intro Courses Take You From The Very Basics to Playings Songs In No Time ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials

Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips --- http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl

David Ogilvy’s 1982 Memo “How to Write” Offers 10 Pieces of Timeless Advice ---

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

Bob Jensen's threads on medicine ---

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

April 23, 2015

April 24, 2015

April 25, 2015

April 27, 2015

April 29, 2015

April 30, 2015

May 1, 2015

May 2, 2015

May 4, 2015

May 6, 2015

May 7, 2015

May 8, 2015

May 9, 2015

May 11, 2015

May 12, 2015

May 13, 2015

May 14, 2015



"Overkill An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is harming patients physically and financially. What can we do about it?" by Atul Gawande, The New Yorker, May 11, 2015 ---

It was lunchtime before my afternoon surgery clinic, which meant that I was at my desk, eating a ham-and-cheese sandwich and clicking through medical articles. Among those which caught my eye: a British case report on the first 3-D-printed hip implanted in a human being, a Canadian analysis of the rising volume of emergency-room visits by children who have ingested magnets, and a Colorado study finding that the percentage of fatal motor-vehicle accidents involving marijuana had doubled since its commercial distribution became legal. The one that got me thinking, however, was a study of more than a million Medicare patients. It suggested that a huge proportion had received care that was simply a waste.

The researchers called it “low-value care.” But, really, it was no-value care. They studied how often people received one of twenty-six tests or treatments that scientific and professional organizations have consistently determined to have no benefit or to be outright harmful. Their list included doing an EEG for an uncomplicated headache (EEGs are for diagnosing seizure disorders, not headaches), or doing a CT or MRI scan for low-back pain in patients without any signs of a neurological problem (studies consistently show that scanning such patients adds nothing except cost), or putting a coronary-artery stent in patients with stable cardiac disease (the likelihood of a heart attack or death after five years is unaffected by the stent). In just a single year, the researchers reported, twenty-five to forty-two per cent of Medicare patients received at least one of the twenty-six useless tests and treatments.

Could pointless medical care really be that widespread? Six years ago, I wrote an article for this magazine, titled “The Cost Conundrum,” which explored the problem of unnecessary care in McAllen, Texas, a community with some of the highest per-capita costs for Medicare in the nation. But was McAllen an anomaly or did it represent an emerging norm? In 2010, the Institute of Medicine issued a report stating that waste accounted for thirty per cent of health-care spending, or some seven hundred and fifty billion dollars a year, which was more than our nation’s entire budget for K-12 education. The report found that higher prices, administrative expenses, and fraud accounted for almost half of this waste. Bigger than any of those, however, was the amount spent on unnecessary health-care services. Now a far more detailed study confirmed that such waste was pervasive.

I decided to do a crude check. I am a general surgeon with a specialty in tumors of the thyroid and other endocrine organs. In my clinic that afternoon, I saw eight new patients with records complete enough that I could review their past medical history in detail. One saw me about a hernia, one about a fatty lump growing in her arm, one about a hormone-secreting mass in her chest, and five about thyroid cancer.

To my surprise, it appeared that seven of those eight had received unnecessary care. Two of the patients had been given high-cost diagnostic tests of no value. One was sent for an MRI after an ultrasound and a biopsy of a neck lump proved suspicious for thyroid cancer. (An MRI does not image thyroid cancer nearly as well as the ultrasound the patient had already had.) The other received a new, expensive, and, in her circumstances, irrelevant type of genetic testing. A third patient had undergone surgery for a lump that was bothering him, but whatever the surgeon removed it wasn’t the lump—the patient still had it after the operation. Four patients had undergone inappropriate arthroscopic knee surgery for chronic joint damage. (Arthroscopy can repair certain types of acute tears to the cartilage of the knee. But years of research, including randomized trials, have shown that the operation is of no help for chronic arthritis- or age-related damage.)

Continued in a very long article

Jensen Comment
Twice my wife was sent from the ER to a night in intensive care when my own suspicions were that she really did not have to spend one night in the hospital let alone the ICU unit. I think that sometimes ER doctors in small hospitals support the ICU units and the CAT Scan or MRI units beyond what is called for in the ethics of medicine. It might be argued that such expensive prescriptions are shields against ambulance-chasing lawyers, but I think in many cases the small hospitals just need more revenues to support unused capacity.

Harvard Economist
Sugar is Enemy Number One

Jensen Comment
Professor Fox does not mention Cuba, but sugar trade is obviously lurking in the background of our new trade relations with Cuba.

The 1991 dissolution of the Soviet state forced the closure of most of Cuba's sugar industry.---

Sugarcane declined somewhat in importance in Hawaii, but still remains an important part of the economy as it competes with sugar beet production in various parts of the mainland.

Khan Academy: What is Coronary artery disease ---

"Why Nothing, Especially Chicken, Tastes Like it Used To," by Mark Schatzker, New York Post, April 24, 2015 ---

. . .

Chicken is cheap. The bird that was selling for 60¢ a pound in 1948 was down to 39¢ in 1968. In 1948, a 5-pound chicken cost $3 — which might sound inexpensive, but in today’s dollars it works out to $30 for a single bird. In 2015, a supermarket chicken will run you $7. Chicken today costs less than a quarter of what it did during the Chicken of Tomorrow contest.

They are all broilers now. Words like “fryer” and “roaster” still appear in cookbooks, but they don’t exist anymore. We eat gigantic babies. As a paper in the journal Poultry Science puts it, if humans grew as fast as broilers, “a 6.6 lbs. newborn baby would weigh 660 lbs. after 2 months.”

. . .

Why do consumers put up with chicken that tastes like…nothing? You can thank what the food industry refers to as “flavor solutions.”

When you stop to consider that nearly half of all chicken sold is “further processed” — chicken nuggets, chicken sausage, chicken patties, chicken burgers, chicken strips, chicken cutlets, chicken Kiev — that adds up to a lot of “preflavoring.”

If this makes you imagine, as I did, a man wearing a chef’s hat sampling a nugget and then sprinting to the other end of the factory while shouting, “More oregano! More oregano!” think again.
Seasoning arrives by the truckload to chicken factories and is stored in big paper sacks in a kind of flavor warehouse alongside sacks of powdered marinade, breading and batter. Just tear open a bag and dump it in.

Because however complicated it may be to breed and grow chickens, that’s actually the easy part. Making a modern chicken taste good requires a flavor solution that calls for three rounds of seasoning that includes recognizable substances like garlic and oregano, unrecognizable substances like MSG or hydrolyzed yeast, and unknowable, secret substances called “natural flavors” or “artificial flavors.”

Making flavor solutions requires a cluster of scientific know-how that brings together advanced organic, analytic and synthetic chemistry with engineering, neuroscience, psychography, psychophysics, ethnography, demography, molecular biology, finance, botany, economics and physiology — even feelings.

If you are wondering why you’ve never noticed this thing called the dilution effect, why all that supposedly bland food we now grow tastes delicious — why people still want it despite its nutritional and flavor diminishment — it is thanks to flavor solutions.

So much of the food we now eat is not only a lie, it is a very good lie. Modern food may be the most compelling lie humans have ever told.

Excerpted from “The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor” by Mark Schatzker, out now, published by Simon & Schuster.

Back When Chickens Really Tasted Wonderful
An excerpt form  "A Glimpse of Heaven: What I Learned From Max and Gwen" a story by Bob Jensen about growing up"

. . .

I think back to my earliest days in Swea City with my grandparents ---back to when I was a small boy in the magnificent “town farm” built by a wheeler-dealing, horse-trading landowner named Christian Granville (Grant) Dourte. My Grandfather Dourte built a splendid house and barn in Swea City. In 1940, Swea City had 47 people and 168 Swedes. Fewer hobos passed through town during the war years, but one or two passing through each day stepped down from the boxcars and proceeded directly to Swea City’s well-known Dourte town farm. My Grandmother Mayme Kerr Dourte never allowed us to use the words “hobo,” “beggar,” “bum,” or “drunken sot.” She called these itinerants our friends in need. Their skin color never mattered two hoots.

My grandmother selected a chicken in the yard and with one flick of her wrist that chicken was bloody headless chicken flipping about on the ground. She usually killed and clean several for noon and evening meals on certain days of the week. Those freshly-killed chickens tasted so much better than the bland chicken meat today.

When a whiskered man in rags rapped lightly on the unlatched screen door, there was sometimes a frightened toddler hiding behind my grandmother’s dress. She greeted the strangers in Methodist benevolence with hot coffee and apple cider. Because of their lice and body odors, she never invited them into the house --- Methodist benevolence had its limits. But while they sipped on their coffee and cider on the back porch, she loaded up china plates heaped with mashed potatoes, pickled beets, string beans, and baked chicken or pot roast depending on whether it was an even or odd day of the week. Afterwards, each “unfortunate friend” on the back porch got a generous wedge of apple pie that must’ve been nearly three inches thick in the center. The only thing my grandmother ever asked in return is that each recipient bow in a personal, silent prayer before leaving.

Fear of theft or bodily harm just did not seem to exist for Grandmother Dourte. She held a deep and abiding faith. The town of Swea City did not have a single constable in those years. There were hunting guns on the place, but Grandma never allowed guns and cigars in the house. Whiskey was not allowed anywhere on the property. She never learned about the bottles of Old Crow that my Grandfather Dourte always hid in the side pocket of that old Franklin automobile stored in the big barn behind the orchard. Being a snoop, I discovered where the whiskey was hid, but I never revealed my kindly grandfather’s pint-sized secrets.

When a small pox epidemic hit Swea City, the Dourte house became a quarantined town hospital. My grandmother, who was immune to small pox, treated every case day and night. She also helped the town prostitute up in the East Bedroom when the woman became racked with syphilis.

The barn was never closed, and the house was never locked. There were locks on the house doors, but the keys got lost in 1900 when the house was built and were never replaced. My mother had new keys cut for the locks when they carted my grandmother off to a nursing home in 1962.

Grandmother Dourte never attended church in the last 42 years of her long life. She fretted that some stranger in need of Sunday dinner would lightly rap on the back door.

Continued in my short story about growing up

There are a lot of bad things about  aspartame in diet sodas and those pink packets of Sweet & Low --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame

"The company will begin to replace aspartame with a blend of sucralose and acesulfame potassium in Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi sold in the US in August," reports Duane Stanford at Bloomberg ---

Why bedbugs are about to become even more horrifying ---

Meet the World’s First Baby Born With an Assist from Stem Cells ---

A Bit of Humor May 1-15, 2014

I have something that rhymes with "bucket list."
Barack Obama --- http://www.businessinsider.com/white-house-correspondents-association-dinner-2015-2015-4

Watch the Funniest Jokes From the White House Correspondents’ Dinner ---

Tina Fey gave David Letterman an incredible send-off ---


From LISnews on May 5, 2015

-A Hearty Laugh for Work Weary Librarians
After a long day of answering questions and serving up information to the public (students, etc), a librarian could use a laugh. So pick up a copy of Roz Warren's OUR BODIES, OUR SHELVES: A COLLECTION OF LIBRARY HUMOR (HOPress, 2015) and see what might be between the covers that tickles your funnybone. Here's an excerpt from one story: Freeze! It's the Library Police [a librarian's fantasy of recovering stolen books] "Open up bitch! It's LIBRARY SQUAD! Library Squad! A group of enraged middle-aged librarians. We're brainy, we're relentless. We'll hunt you down. We'll never give up. We know the Dewey Decimal Sysytem and we're not afraid to use it. And we always get our book. And if you resist? We'll shush you. Permanently." In addition to her library duties at the Bala Cynwyd Library right outside Philadelphia, Roz Warren writes forThe New York Times, The Funny Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Jewish Forward and The Huffington Post. And she‘s been featured on the Today Show. Our Bodies, Our Shelves is her thirteenth humor book. Years ago, Roz left the practice of law to take a job at her local public library “because I was tired of making so damn much money.” She doesn't regret it. Our Bodies, Our Shelves, ISBN 9780692406465

Forwarded by Paula

A joke that’s going around Ukraine:

Vladimir Putin, wanting to get on the good side of voters, goes to visit a school in Moscow to have a chat with the kids. He talks to them about how Russia is a powerful nation and how he wants the best for the people. At the end of the talk, there is a section for questions.

Little Sasha puts her hand up and says "I have two questions. Why did the Russians take Crimea? And why are we sending troops to Ukraine?"

Putin says "Good questions..." But just as he is about to answer, the bell rings, and the kids go to lunch.

When they come back, they sit back down and there is room for some more questions.

Another girl, Misha, puts her hand up and says "I have four questions. My Questions are - Why did the Russians invade Crimea? Why are we sending troops to Ukraine? Why did the bell go 20 minutes early? And Where is Sasha?"


Humor Between April 30, 2015 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book15q2.htm#Humor043015

Humor Between March 1-31, 2015 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book15q1.htm#Humor033115

Humor Between February 1-28, 2015 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book15q1.htm#Humor022815

Humor Between January 1-31, 2015 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book15q1.htm#Humor013115

Humor Between December 1-31, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q4.htm#Humor123114

Humor Between November 1-30, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q4.htm#Humor113014

Humor Between October 1-31, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q4.htm#Humor103114

Humor Between September 1-30, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q3.htm#Humor093014

Humor Between August 1-31, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q3.htm#Humor083114

Humor Between July 1-31, 2014--- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q3.htm#Humor073114

Humor Between June 1-31, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q2.htm#Humor063014

Humor Between May 1-31, 2014, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q2.htm#Humor053114

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

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

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