In 2017 my Website was migrated to the clouds and reduced in size.
Hence some links below are broken.
One thing to try if a “www” link is broken is to substitute “faculty” for “www”
For example a broken link
can be changed to corrected link

However in some cases files had to be removed to reduce the size of my Website
Contact me at if you really need to file that is missing


Tidbits on February 15, 2016
Bob Jensen at Trinity University



Tidbits on February, 2016
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Bob Jensen's Tidbits ---

For earlier editions of Fraud Updates go to
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to 
Bookmarks for the World's Library --- 

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures ---   

Bob Jensen's Threads ---

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Updates from WebMD --- Click Here

Google Scholar ---

Wikipedia ---

Bob Jensen's search helpers ---

Bob Jensen's World Library ---


Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio

New York Street Painter ---

Pakistani Immigrant Goes to a Led Zeppelin Concert, Gets Inspired to Become a Musician & Then Sells 30 Million Albums ---
Pakistani Musicians Play a Delightful Version of Dave Brubeck’s Jazz Classic, “Take Five” ---

Free music downloads ---
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 --- 

Pakistani Musicians Play a Delightful Version of Dave Brubeck’s Jazz Classic, “Take Five” ---

The Harlem Jazz Singer Who Inspired Betty Boop: Meet the Original Boop-Oop-a-Doop, “Baby Esther” ---

Hear the First Jazz Record, Which Launched the Jazz Age: “Livery Stable Blues” (1917) ---

Duet for a French Horn and Chair ---

Watch Wagner’s Ring Cycle: A Complete 15-Hour Performance Is Now Free Online Thanks to the BBC ---

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) ---
(online music site) ---
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) ---

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site ---
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection ---
Also try Jango ---
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) ---
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live ---
Also note
U.S. Army Band recordings ---

Bob Jensen's threads on nearly all types of free music selections online ---

Photographs and Art

Browse Every Art Exhibition Held at MoMA Since 1929 with the New “MoMA Exhibition Spelunker” ---

Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series

The Met Expands Access to Artworks ---

Norman Rockwell: Provocative Artist or Predictable Hack? ---
Jensen Comment
200 years from now his name and paintings will survive better than almost all of America's 20th Century artists.

This 392-Year-Old Bonsai Tree Survived the Hiroshima Atomic Blast & Still Flourishes Today: The Power of Resilience ---

31 beautiful photos of traditional wedding dresses from around the world ---

NASA Photographs of Saturn ---

NASA: Mars Trek ---

Stuart Davis: In Full Swing (paintings) ---

Antarctica ---

The Cold War Museum ---

Incredible colorized photographs show the immigrants who passed through Ellis Island 100 years ago ---

Tragic Images from Inside the University of Mosul ---

Bob Jensen's threads on art history ---

Abandoned Shopping Mall ---

Essential Lens: Analyzing Photographs Across Curriculum --- 

 Free Coloring Books from World-Class Libraries & Museums: The Met, New York Public Library, Smithsonian & More ---

Inside the Wrapper: The True Tales of the Mountain Mist Quilt Patterns ---

My Mother Before Me (stories and photographs about mothers) ---

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 ---

Magical Books: From the Middle Ages to Middle-earth ---

Bob Jensen's threads on libraries ---

The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickenson ---
Morgan Library & Museum ---

20,000 Letters, Manuscripts & Artifacts From Sigmund Freud Get Digitized and Made Available Online ---

The Stunning Love Letters of Kahlil Gibran and Mary Haskell ---

How to switch between reading and listening in Kindle apps ---

Free Electronic Literature ---
Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials ---
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines ---
Edutainment and Learning Games ---
Open Sharing Courses ---

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on February 15, 2017          

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the booked obligation of $19+ trillion) ---
The US Debt Clock in Real Time --- 
Remember the Jane Fonda Movie called "Rollover" ---

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the unbooked obligation of $100 trillion and unknown more in contracted entitlements) ---
The biggest worry of the entitlements obligations is enormous obligation for the future under the Medicare and Medicaid programs that are now deemed totally unsustainable ---

Entitlements are two-thirds of the federal budget. Entitlement spending has grown 100-fold over the past 50 years. Half of all American households now rely on government handouts. When we hear statistics like that, most of us shake our heads and mutter some sort of expletive. That’s because nobody thinks they’re the problem. Nobody ever wants to think they’re the problem. But that’s not the truth. The truth is, as long as we continue to think of the rising entitlement culture in America as someone else’s problem, someone else’s fault, we’ll never truly understand it and we’ll have absolutely zero chance...
Steve Tobak ---

"These Slides Show Why We Have Such A Huge Budget Deficit And Why Taxes Need To Go Up," by Rob Wile, Business Insider, April 27, 2013 ---
This is a slide show based on a presentation by a Harvard Economics Professor.

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

Bob Jensen's threads on entitlements ---

Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates ---

Critical Thinking ---

What is Critical Thinking Anyway?

32 Animated Videos by Wireless Philosophy Teach You the Essentials of Critical Thinking ---

Authentic Assessment Toolbox (critical thinking assessments) ---
Also see

The British MOOC Invasion ---

Three new plants in California show how lithium-ion storage is ready to power the grid --- 

Jensen Question
How long before a powerful Chinese-South American Lithium Cartel emerges to control the price of power in California and elsewhere?

One advantage of natural gas is that the USA produces much of its own gas and has enormous gas reserves.
The same can't be said for lithium.
This creates enormous problems in financial reporting regarding how to disclose this contingency.

Also I wonder how efficient these enormous batteries will be in colder climates like where I live?

This tiny device can record everything you say and transcribe it for you ---

Gregory Mankiw ---

A renowned Harvard economist explains why his class has been the most popular 4 years in a row ---

Jensen Comment
My purely anecdotal evidence suggests that, unlike in most Harvard courses, Professor Mankiw is a tough grader in a hard work course. This makes it more admirable that his course is so popular.

"The Quick and Dirty on Data Visualization," by Nancy Duarte, Harvard Business Review Blog, April 16, 2014 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on visualization of multivariate data --- 

States With the Highest and Lowest Tax Burdens ---

The Best and Worst States to Raise Your Family ---

Jensen Comment
Interestingly the top two states for raising a family (including public education quality) are North Dakota and New Hampshire. These are also states ranked outstanding with low state tax burdens. What makes it interesting is that in terms of raising a family Vermont, Minnesota, Massachusetts and New Jersey come in at ranks three, four, six and seven. These four states are among the worst in terms of state tax burdens.

The conclusion is that state tax burdens are not necessarily very good for predicting family quality of life, including housing and education quality and low crime rates. One possible explanation is that top teachers are willing to take lower incomes in North Dakota and New Hampshire due to quality of life factors such as low cost of rural property, lower taxes, lower crime rates and opportunities to life in small family villages. Top teachers forced to live in more costly urban areas with higher crime rates demand higher teaching salaries and benefits. Vermont is an exception here. Vermont has a very low crime rate with great opportunities for rural and village living. But Vermont is a relatively high cost of living state with taxes on everything and high energy costs due to such things as phasing out of nuclear and gas sources of energy. Biomass is not a cheap energy source these days.

There are some other inconsistencies. For example, Nebraska is very low on state taxation yet comes in at rank nine in terms of family quality of life. Perhaps there's an Omaha factor working here where living in Omaha is quite unlike living in the rest of Nebraska.

Another conclusion is that poor job opportunities are not necessarily bringing down quality of family life. A good illustration here is where New Hampshire comes in at rank two in terms of family life but is a poor state for job opportunities. For example, housing is dirt cheap in mountain towns of New Hampshire where paper mills shut down. Jobs are not plentiful anywhere in the state except near Hanover and Lebanon where there is the huge Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. I guess in terms of family quality of life, for those who do have jobs in New Hampshire the low crime rate and rural living opportunities make up for lack of job opportunities.

Another conclusion about quality of life for a family is that winter does not seem to bring down quality of life for families. The warmer states are not so hot in terms of family life.

Golden Years' Divorces Show Couples' Need for Financial Literacy ---

Jensen Comment
Attorneys who take on divorce cases are not necessarily experts on accounting finance. The road to misery for one spouse is often paved with an attorney's financial ignorance and the financial concealments of the other spouse in a divorce.

Is 'Inclusive Access' the Future for Publishers? ---

Textbooks aren't selling like they used to, but a new business model that has led to increased access to course materials and lower costs at some universities is beginning to take shape.

The textbook publishing industry is considering a transformation that could significantly alter how faculty members assign readings, publishers make money and students obtain course materials.

For years, that transformation has been portrayed as a shift from physical textbooks to digital course materials, but that description doesn’t capture underlying changes in how course materials are delivered and paid for as the industry moves away from transactions and toward subscriptions.

That strategy is emerging as the industry faces pressures from all sides. Technology has given students new ways to obtain information. The rental and used book markets have cut into publishers’ bottom lines. Open educational resource providers have sprung up to offer free or affordable alternatives to traditional textbooks. And while the cost of textbooks continues to rise, some studies show students now spend slightly less on course materials than they did a decade ago.

Pearson is the latest company to feel the impact of those changes. The company this month said it experienced an “unprecedented” decline in the North American courseware market last year as revenues fell by 30 percent in the fourth quarter. Changing its 2017 outlook from stable to negative, the company slashed e-textbook rental prices and launched a new print rental program. Its stock dropped nearly 30 percent in response to the news -- the largest one-day drop the company has ever seen.

“In some ways I believe that is a long-coming wake-up call for the industry,” Peter J. Cohen, president of McGraw-Hill Education’s U.S. education group, said in an interview. “We and the rest of the industry are recognizing that the days of what had been a high-priced textbook is over.”

McGraw-Hill Education and other publishers are growing increasingly interested in a model called, among other things, all students acquire, day-one access, digital direct access and inclusive access. They generally refer to the same thing: Instead of shopping for their own textbooks, students pay a course fee that provides access to course materials -- delivered digitally unless students pay extra for a print-on-demand copy -- on the first day of class.

The inclusive-access model, common at some for-profit colleges but gaining traction in other sectors of higher education, has previously been described as a “win-win-win” situation. Colleges can point to fewer students who go without course materials and to -- they hope -- improved student outcomes. Publishers gain more reliable, recurring revenue. And students, since few of them tend to opt out from the model, benefit from volume discounts, meaning they end up paying less for their course materials than if they had shopped for a traditional print book or ebook.

Cohen said McGraw-Hill Education now wants to work with other publishers and the Association of American Publishers to “evangelize” and expand the inclusive-access model, an indication that the industry is endorsing some of the efforts it is seeing to change how it operates.

A spokesperson for the AAP indicated that it would be open to such a discussion, saying in an email that “concept of providing students with day-one access to their course materials at a lower cost is a top priority” for the association.

“As an industry, it’s incumbent upon us to sit down with our university and community college partners and talk about how we ensure that every student has access to the materials on the first day of class and every student can afford the materials that are required for the class,” Cohen said. “Between us, if we sit down and say let’s solve the problem, we can work together and provide an affordable solution.”

“That’s the philosophy,” he added. Any sort of meeting between the AAP, publishers and various colleges has not yet taken place.

A ‘Fundamental Pivot’

While publishers debate how best to promote the inclusive-access model, universities and start-ups are putting it to the test.

Indiana University’s inclusive-access model started as a pilot in 2009. By the 2015-16 academic year, more than 40,000 students got at least one textbook through what the university calls its eText initiative. The program passed $10 million in revenue last summer and has over the last several years posted double-digit growth. After seeing 43 percent year-over-year revenue growth last year, the eText initiative is this year on track to grow by even more -- 56 percent.

Bradley C. Wheeler, vice president for IT and chief information officer at IU, said the university isn’t doing anything different with the program today than it did eight years ago. It’s just that more faculty members are choosing to assign eTexts (for the program is opt in, not out), he said -- a development he attributed to a combination of faculty members and students growing more comfortable with reading and studying digitally, increased attention to the affordability of higher education, and the maturation of reading software.

Now that students are buying tens of thousands of books through the program, its partnering publishers -- it has about two dozen -- are “looking very, very favorably” at it and similar models, Wheeler said. But that wasn’t always the case.

“They were reluctant in the first days,” Wheeler said. “We dragged them there.”

IU also had to drag the publishers’ prices down. When they began negotiating, publishers saw the model as a way to cut out the middleman -- the bookstore -- but charge students about two-thirds of list price, Wheeler said. They eventually agreed that students would pay about 32 to 35 percent of list price. Today, average prices have dropped by a few percentage points, into the 20s. In other words, a textbook listed for $100 costs $20-30 through the eText initiative.

To be able to offer those discounts, IU had to get publishers on board with what Wheeler called a “fundamental pivot,” shifting them toward more predictable revenue streams.

 Continued in article

MIT OpenCourseWare: Mechanical Engineering ---

Jensen Comment
Last week I had an examination by my new and relatively young ophthalmologist. His older associate (a woman) was my former ophthalmologist who elected to no longer accept Medicare patients even when they have premium Medicare supplements.

What I found interesting in conversation with my new ophthalmologist is that he's now working part time toward an MBA in an Auburn University online program that's available only to physicians. Although the degree will be from Auburn his online courses come from various universities such as the University of Virginia. I suspect this type of specialized program targeting students from a profession may become a trend such as MBA degrees for physicians, AI degrees for auditors, big data degrees for accountants, advanced tax degrees for attorneys,  Spanish degrees for nurses, etc.

My point is that as degree programs become more generalized for undergraduates there will be more specialized advanced degrees for professionals in areas outside of their professions. Much of this is enabled by advances in the technology and popularity of distance education and asynchronous learning.

I told my ophthalmologist that he probably would not make it through the entire Auburn program because he did not talk with a proper accent for a degree from Auburn University. He replied that this was no longer a prerequisite for an online degree from Auburn.

Credit-Card Fraud Keeps Rising, Despite New Security Chips—Study ---

Increase in identity fraud driven by rise in fraudulent online purchases

More consumers became victims of identity fraud last year than at any point in more than a decade despite new security protections implemented by the credit-card industry, a report released Wednesday said.

Some 15.4 million U.S. consumers were victims of identity fraud in 2016, resulting in $16 billion in total losses, according to the report by consulting firm Javelin Strategy & Research and identity-theft-protection firm LifeLock Inc. The number of victims rose 18% from 2015 and was the highest since Javelin, a unit of Greenwich Associates LLC, started tracking the phenomenon in 2003.

The increase in identity fraud, the bulk of which comes from card activity, was driven in part by a 15% rise in cases of fraudulent online purchases, the study noted. That activity led to “existing-card” fraud, which involves criminals counterfeiting debit and credit cards already held by customers, reaching a new peak.

Big increases also occurred in rarer frauds that have been steadily rising in recent years and that are harder for consumers and lenders to detect. The incidence of new-account fraud, for example, in which new accounts are opened in consumers’ names without their knowledge or knowledge by the lender, rose 40% to 1.8 million, while the number of cases of consumers having a bank account, credit card or other account taken over improperly increased by over one-fifth to 1.4 million.

The increases happened despite the rollout of tougher security measures around debit and credit cards over the past couple of years. Most major card issuers in the U.S. have replaced consumers’ magnetic stripe cards with chip cards, and merchants have increasingly shifted to more secure payment terminals, which combined are supposed to make it harder for consumers’ card information to be stolen.

But the findings of the report suggest that swindlers are finding ways around the new measures. “Fraud is kind of like squeezing Jell-O,” said Stephen Coggeshall, chief analytics and science officer at LifeLock. “Stop it one place, and it migrates to somewhere else.”

With online shopping, there is no way to use the chips on cards. Most of those merchants still rely on the basic card numbers, expiration dates and security codes on the cards. That is largely why “card-not-present” fraud, in which criminals use card information to make transactions online without needing to present the actual card, affected 3.4% of consumers, up from 2.4% in 2015, according to the study.

Continued in article

A group of Russian scammers figured out a way to crack the pseudorandom number generators that power slot machines. Then they went on a global tour of slot parlors, raking in money using a method of cheating so brilliant it was almost impossible for authorities to catch them.
Russians Engineer a Brilliant Slot Machine Cheat—And Casinos Have No Fix ---

Explaining Complicated Mathematics of Pension Obligations With Baseball
California Teachers' Pension System Lowers Projection, Potentially Tripling What Taxpayers Will Owe ---

MIT:  For the past three weeks a poker playing robot has been taking on human pros in a casino to test its ability to deal with imperfect information --- It Won!

Jensen Comment
It would be interesting to see how this robot does when playing poker machines.

The invention of the first wearable computer ---

The first wearable computer was conceived in 1955 by the author to
predict roulette, culminating in a joint effort at M.I.T. with Claude Shannon in 1960-61. The final operating version was rested in Shannon's basement home lab in June of 1961. The cigarette pack sized analog device yielded an expected gain of +44% when betting on the most favored "octant". The Shannons and Thorps tested the computer in Las Vegas in the summer of 1961. The predictions there were consistent with the laboratory expected gain of 44% but a minor hardware problem deferred sustained serious betting. We kept the method and the existence of the computer secret until 1966.

MIT:  This Robot Will Carry Your Stuff and Follow You Around All Day ---

Jensen Comment
One problem is the cost of the extra seat needed in airplanes.

On a family vacation their may not be room for her in the car.

Now two people not only have to test for compatibility in a singles bar, their robots must also be tested for compatibility.

Before filing an income tax return it's best to start with the great IRS Website at
Don't confuse this with the site

First check to see if you qualify for free filing directly with the IRS at
You cannot have over $64,000 in taxable income for free filing.

TurboTax versus H&R Block: How two of the most popular tax-filing programs stack up for your 2016 tax returns ---

Both programs offer a free federal edition for simple tax returns.

The other editions — from "basic" to "home and business" — vary in price, depending on your needs.

Filing for your business is the most expensive option in both cases.

Jensen Comment
H&R Block has thousands of offices across the USA for that personal touch (generally for a modest fee). However, I advise paying a higher fee (for complicated tax situations) to professional CPA firms or law firms who specialize in more complicated tax situations. Law firms often outsource tax return preparation to CPA firms. However. law firms can combine legal advice and tax planning advice in situations involving legal contracts as well as tax planning issues. CPA firms can combine accounting and tax services software.

Before buying TurboTax or H&R Block software in a store check on Amazon specials on H&R Block versus TurboTax software.

I don't think Amazon offers the free basic versions of tax software.
For free H&R Block filing go to|CAMPSitelink|ADGPSitelink|KWRDwww hrblock com&KeywordID=20145
I think H&R Block is a better place to go than TurboTax or the IRS for free filing when taxpayers have itemized deductions and mortgages
You cannot have over $64,000 in taxable income for free filing.

For free TurboTax online filing go to
I think H&R Block is a better place to go than TurboTax or the IRS for free filing when taxpayers have itemized deductions and mortgages.
You cannot have over $64,000 in taxable income for free filing.

In addition to local CPA firm and law firm offices there are also "enrolled agent" tax firms in many towns and cities that specialize in tax return preparation, often for lower fees than CPA firms and law firms. I don't advise using these firms unless they are currently licensed to practice before the IRS as enrolled agents ---
Enrolled agent firms, however, are not usually as qualified as CPA firms and law firms that specialize in taxes. Nor do they usually have deep pockets when sued for negligence relative to large law firms and large CPA firms.

Sometimes accounting professors and students offer free services to poor people in need of tax help.

"One Campus’s iPad Revolution Results in Education Evolution," by Mark Lambardi, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 3, 2017 ---

Mark Lombardi, president of Maryville University, in Missouri, describes some of the interesting changes it has recently made in the education it offers. Technology plays a key role.


LEE GARDNER: I'm here today with Mark Lombardi, president of Maryville University, in St. Louis. Maryville has done some interesting things with the education it offers in recent years. We're here to talk about that. Welcome.

MARK LOMBARDI: Thank you, Lee.

LEE GARDNER: So, technology in the classroom is something that I think a lot of college faculty and, frankly, a lot of college leaders have a somewhat wary relationship with. But at Maryville you've embraced it, and I was curious to know why that is, and what it looks like.

MARK LOMBARDI: Well, when we were finishing our last strategic planning, entering into our next one, which was two years ago, we were identifying faculty who were doing amazing things in the classroom with technology, with iPads, with varied learning technologies and apps. And these faculty, really Pied Pipers, and doing some incredible things and getting results.

And so when we fashioned our plan, we really wanted to make the center of it student learning. And so we created and we invested in this active-learning ecosystem where we would provide a platform, an environment, an opportunity for all of our students to benefit from it. And so far it has been hugely successful.

LEE GARDNER: At the classroom level, what does that look like?

MARK LOMBARDI: Well, we about outfitted our entire student body with iPads, 2,800 deployed thus far to our traditional and certain selected graduate programs, loaded with free apps, about 80 learning apps of all different types, around different disciplines.

And then we've provided training for our faculty. We actually added two weeks to every faculty-member contract so that one week in May and August would be faculty training in the use of all this technology. And thus far 90 percent of our faculty have gone through the training and then are applying it in the classroom.

So what happens in that classroom is we've got our students and our faculty engaged in this vibrant learning process, where the students own it. They're involved, they're engaged, they actually are a part of creating that content.

So an example of that would be in a science class, for example, we would be going through a smart textbook. And the students and the faculty would be downloading and bringing video and other materials and loading that in so everyone can benefit from what the students and the faculty are bringing in and learning.

And the other part of this that's crucial is it's based on learning theory and learning diagnostics. So we have a learning diagnostics profile of every student, and we also provide that and implant that into the class for the faculty member. So the instruction on a one to one can be very personalized.

So if you're an auditory learner, you might be listening to the faculty member talk about this while I may be sitting next to you watching a video on the same topic and learning. So it really gets at the multiplicity of learning styles that exist, that we know exist, in every student and in every classroom.

LEE GARDNER: I'm curious about that aspect of the faculty and getting their buy-in with it. How did that work?

MARK LOMBARDI: Well, as I said we had these wonderful faculty who, we call them the Pied Pipers. They were really leading the way. And what we did was we put together a group of faculty and staff and we said, look, we're going in this direction. We want you to plan out the implementation of it and we want you to have that plan ready for us in about two to three months. And they did it. They came up with a fantastic plan.

And so there were a number of faculty on the fence. How is this going to work? I wouldn't call it oppositional. I would say they were being legitimately skeptical and wondering if this is going to work. And so what they did was many of those faculty kind of seeing how these Pied Pipers were doing it, viewing their classes, getting engaged.

And what they found was the student learning, the student experience, was greatly enhanced. And that brought a lot of those faculty in. So it was really an effort where peer-to-peer education, peer-to-peer communication really led to an embracing of this by a significant majority of our faculty.

LEE GARDNER: What do the financial underpinnings of this look like? And also I'm curious about if you had to make any infrastructure or facilities changes to make this work.

MARK LOMBARDI: Well, absolutely. In fact, when we began thinking about this about three years ago or about a year before the actual learning design process was put together, our CIO, who's now retired, who was fantastic, he came in and he said, look, in order to do this, we've got to have a state-of-the-art, connected campus, indoors-out wireless, wired across the board, to make the entire campus a learning community.

And so we educated the board, the board was all on board with it, loved it, believed in it totally. So we invested, over three years, four and half million, making our campus, we believe, one of the top 10 percent wired campuses in the United States for connectivity. That provided the infrastructure baseline so that all these things can happen.

So if you walk on our campus, you might see classes taking place not only within learning spaces in classrooms, but in the dining hall and in the library and outdoors and whatnot. Because the connectivity allows that class to continue and that learning to continue.

One of the things that I think's emerged out of it with that connectivity and that investment is students no longer think about learning happens between 8 o'clock and 9:50 when the class ends, that the learning is happening all over and at all times. And that empowerment of student learning, it's infectious. It really is.

LEE GARDNER: You mentioned the board. Was that an easy sell from the outset?

MARK LOMBARDI: You know what? The answer is yes. We brought in some of the research on learning theory, learning diagnostics, brain theory, the research on using technology and learning, and we showcased it for the board. We spent an entire Saturday morning actually. We brought them together to go over this.

And when they were done, they said, we're all in. We've got to do this. We're supporting it. In fact, they reorganized several of the committees, including academic affairs, around this entire initiative. So they are Pied Pipers about it. They're just huge believers.

LEE GARDNER: It's still relatively early having made this shift, but could you talk about some of the demonstrable outcomes that you've had?

MARK LOMBARDI: Sure. The first time we went out of the box with this was fall of 2015. And we did some control groups, particularly in our Intro to Biology classes and some other classes. What we began to find is everywhere we implemented this — at this time was just for first-year students, now it's campus-wide — we were seeing 12 percent to as much as 18 percent or 20 percent improved learning outcomes for students in these classes.

Continued in article

College 101 for Parents Helping moms and dads help their first-generation students succeed ---

The first reaction Denny Gutier­rez had when his mom said he had to join her for eight weeks of college-­prep classes this past fall was "but I have soccer games Wednesday nights."

"I thought it was going to be a waste of time," the high-school freshman recalled at his graduation from Arizona State University’s American Dream Academy, in December. "I never thought my mother could understand me."

But after the first class, Mr. Gutierrez and his mother were already communicating better, he said. They stopped arguing over his low grades and started working together to improve them.

These days, his mom, Gisela Avalos, sits with him when he reads and does homework. She said she listens more than she used to. And she understands now the steps that it will take to get him through high school and into college.

"Our dream has been for him to go to college," said Ms. Avalos, who moved to the United States from Mexico in 1994 and owns a window-tinting business. If he makes it through, he will be the first in his family to earn a degree.

Ms. Avalos is among the more than 35,000 parents who have graduated from ASU’s American Dream Academy over the past decade. The program serves two purposes: to give parents of first-generation students like Mr. Gutierrez the information and confidence they need to help their children succeed in school, and to sell Arizona State to communities that may be less familiar with the university.

Research shows that family engagement is critical to student success in school and college. Students who have involved, supportive parents are more motivated, less likely to miss class, and more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college.

Yet surveys also show that many parents of first-generation students aren’t sure what it takes to be effective partners and advocates for their children.

Most college-access programs focus on the student, educating the child as a way to compensate for gaps in the parents’ knowledge. The programs may offer a workshop or two on applying to college, or on applying for financial aid, but they rarely involve parents in substantive ways, said William G. Tierney, a University of Southern California professor who has studied parent engagement.

"Programs frequently give lip service to working with parents, but with limited budgets the vast majority have to focus on direct services to students," Mr. Tierney said.

That is slowly starting to change, as more colleges and nonprofit groups offer multiweek seminars, savings accounts, and scholarships aimed at getting more parents of first-generation students involved in their children’s education.

The American Dream Academy was in 74 elementary and secondary schools in Phoenix and Tucson in 2016. All the schools that offer the program are Title I institutions, meaning that at least 40 percent of their students are low income. More than 85 percent of the parent participants speak only Spanish. For many of the parents who complete the course, it will be their first time graduating from anything.

Continued in article

Insider Trading ---

"Outwitting the FBI and the SEC," by David McClintick, The Wall Street Journal, February 7, 2017 ---

The story of Steven A. Cohen and his hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, will be familiar to anyone who reads this newspaper. For more than two decades, Mr. Cohen’s fund was the most successful on Wall Street, with average annual returns of nearly 30%. But in 2013, SAC pled guilty to insider trading and paid a $1.8 billion fine—the biggest insider trading penalty in history. The hedge fund was forced to shut down. And Mr. Cohen went off to enjoy his $1 billion art collection.

What can Sheelah Kolhatkar add to this well-known story?

An astonishing amount, it turns out. Ms. Kolhatkar, a staff writer for the New Yorker, has interviewed more than 200 people and mobilized countless new details to craft her propulsive narrative. She takes the reader into one of the most complex fraud investigations in history—the most important since the Michael Milken-Ivan Boesky saga of the 1980s, which James B. Stewart chronicled in “Den of Thieves” (1991)—to show how contemporary Wall Street tries to outwit the FBI and the SEC by exploiting an ambiguous area of law.

“Black edge” is Wall Street lingo for “inside information”—things that should be known only to officers, directors or other “insiders” of a corporation. Undisclosed trading on such information is illegal if the trader has a fiduciary duty not to exploit the information for personal gain. It’s also illegal to pass it along if the tippee knows that the disclosure breaches the tipper’s duty.

Seems clear enough. But it isn’t. Just two months ago, the Supreme Court seemed to harden the standard for insider trading in Salman v. United States. But it commented in its unanimous decision that “in some factual circumstances, assessing liability for gift-giving will be difficult” and, quoting from another of its rulings, “determining whether an insider personally benefits from a particular disclosure, a question of fact, will not always be easy for courts.” Congress has long needed to clarify the law, whose ambiguity invites the unscrupulous to try to subvert it.

Steve Cohen had always wanted to be rich. He grew up in a financially distressed middle-class family on Long Island and was an avid poker player in high school. After graduating from Wharton he quickly established a reputation as a phenomenal day trader. In 1992 he founded SAC with $23 million and nine employees. At its height in 2008, the firm managed assets of $17 billion and employed 1,200 people. The culture was intense: The company employed three masseuses to keep the highly competitive traders relaxed and a psychiatrist to keep everyone “ruthless,” Ms. Kolhatkar writes.

Mr. Cohen paid his traders multi-million-dollar bonuses but just as quickly fired them if they didn’t perform to his standards. According to Richard Choo-Beng Lee, a trader Ms. Kolhatkar paraphrases, “the only way to satisfy them was to get inside information.” But the fund was structured to keep Mr. Cohen insulated: “All of the ideas for trades were filtered through layers of portfolio managers and assigned codes for how strong they were before they reached him—a ‘high conviction’ idea might be given to the boss without explaining why the analyst was so sure about it,” the author writes.

Anyone who knew Wall Street knew that SAC’s returns were suspiciously excellent. And Mr. Cohen didn’t exactly hide his wealth: His 36,000-square-foot home in Greenwich, Conn., had an ice-skating rink. But when the FBI went digging into the world of hedge funds in 2006, it wasn’t after SAC but the Galleon Group, a smaller fund run by a flamboyant trader named Raj Rajaratnam. A relentless FBI special agent, B.J. Kang, secretly listened to Rajaratnam on a wiretap for months. Those conversations tipped Mr. Kang off about SAC, where some Galleon traders had previously worked.

The agent was keen to flip Galleon suspects who might give evidence against Mr. Cohen. So on April 1, 2009, he drove to the California home of Ali Far, a former Galleon trader familiar with SAC. In front of Mr. Far’s wife, mother, daughters and mother-in-law, Mr. Kang confronted him with accusations of insider trading and a threat of prison. After a sleepless night, Mr. Far flipped and went on to record 244 calls for the FBI, many with Rajaratnam. Over the coming months, as Ms. Kolhatkar shows, Mr. Kang continued to flip traders at Galleon and other firms associated with SAC. Eventually he got to an SAC trader named Mathew Martoma.

Martoma was a Stanford MBA who specialized in health-care stocks; he had joined SAC in June 2006 and Mr. Cohen had given him hundreds of millions of dollars to invest. Martoma focused on two companies, Elan and Wyeth, which were developing a drug to treat Alzheimer’s. In doing so, he relied on insight from an eminent medical school professor: Sidney Gilman of the University of Michigan. Dr. Gilman, who was laden with confidential information from the companies, the government and other scientists, had at first insisted to Martoma that he could discuss only information in the public domain. But it didn’t take long for Martoma to push Dr. Gilman, who, according to the author, was being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees by SAC and other Wall Street clients, over the edge. After Dr. Gilman confided that Bapineuzumab, the new Alzheimer’s drug co-developed by Wyeth and Elan, was flawed, Martoma spent 20 minutes on the phone with Mr. Cohen. Little is known about their conversation, but SAC quietly liquidated stock and shorted more in the companies, netting more than $250 million, according to federal prosecutors, before the bad news was made public and the stocks collapsed.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The biggest fear of the SEC is that insider trading will scare investors out of the stock market. Stories like this don't help in the least. The smartest inside traders don't get greedy.

Concept of Zero ---

The History of Zero: How Ancient Mesopotamia Invented the Mathematical Concept of Nought and Ancient India Gave It Symbolic Form ---

. . .

This cumbersome system lasted for thousands of years, until someone at some point between the sixth and third centuries BCE came up with a way to wedge accounting columns apart, effectively symbolizing “nothing in this column” — and so the concept of, if not the symbol for, zero was born. Kaplan writes:

In a tablet unearthed at Kish (dating from perhaps as far back as 700 BC), the scribe wrote his zeroes with three hooks, rather than two slanted wedges, as if they were thirties; and another scribe at about the same time made his with only one, so that they are indistinguishable from his tens. Carelessness? Or does this variety tell us that we are very near the earliest uses of the separation sign as zero, its meaning and form having yet to settle in?

But zero almost perished with the civilization that first imagined it. The story follows history’s arrow from Mesopotamia to ancient Greece, where the necessity of zero awakens anew. Kaplan turns to Archimedes and his system for naming large numbers, “myriad” being the largest of the Greek names for numbers, connoting 10,000. With his notion of orders of large numbers, the great Greek polymath came within inches of inventing the concept of powers, but he gave us something even more important — as Kaplan puts it, he showed us “how to think as concretely as we can about the very large, giving us a way of building up to it in stages rather than letting our thoughts diffuse in the face of immensity, so that we will be able to distinguish even such magnitudes as these from the infinite.”

Continued in article

By 1740 BC, the Egyptians had a symbol for zero in accounting texts ---

Quipu, a knotted cord device, used in the Inca Empire and its predecessor societies in the Andean region to record accounting and other digital data, is encoded in a base ten positional system. Zero is represented by the absence of a knot in the appropriate position.---

A Blackjack Pro Explains How Ignoring the Odds Cost the Falcons the Super Bowl --- 

Efficient-Market Hypothesis ---

Arbitrage --- 

The First Mathematician Banned from Playing in Las Vegas Casinos
The Math Whiz and the Money After Thorp beat the blackjack dealers in Las Vegas, he took his gambling savvy to an even bigger casino—Wall Street ---

It is said that investing in the stock market can resemble betting at a casino. For Edward Thorp, the comparison has a certain resonance. In “A Man for All Markets,” he delightfully recounts his progress (if that is the word) from college teacher to gambler to hedge-fund manager. Along the way we learn important lessons about the functioning of markets and the logic of investment.

Born in the depths of the Depression, Mr. Thorp grew up poor but infused with a love of numbers and an uncanny ability to retain information. At age 6, he would amaze strangers by naming the kings and queens of England in order and reciting the dates they reigned. Later he amused himself by creating a ham-radio station and setting up a personal chemistry lab. He once turned a Long Beach swimming pool red with chemicals from his lab. He attended Berkeley by earning a scholarship after excelling in a physics exam, never having formally studied the subject but having taught himself by reading a textbook. At UCLA he earned a Ph.D. in math and embarked on an academic career.

We learn that, for the 26-year-old mathematics instructor and his young wife, Las Vegas was the perfect vacation destination, with its cheap rooms and food. It also proved to be the perfect testing ground for Mr. Thorp’s method of turning the game of blackjack in the player’s favor. Using a mathematician’s logic, he developed a set of rules that minimized the casino’s advantage. He then realized that the odds of the player winning would shift as play proceeded, with certain combinations becoming more or less likely as the deck reveals the undealt cards remaining. The trick to winning money depended on betting less when the casino had the advantage and more when the player did. The casino would win most of the small bets, but the player would win most of the big ones.

Two New York millionaires, learning of Mr. Thorp’s experiments, offered to bankroll a test of his system. The test succeeded, and Mr. Thorp began a prosperous career as a Nevada gambler. Soon enough he invented a wearable computer to make the job of card counting easier. He published his method in a best-selling book, “Beat the Dealer” (1962), and unleashed an army of card counters. The casinos fought back by using multiple decks and shuffling the cards more often, not to mention more nefarious techniques. In one case, Mr. Thorp claims, the accelerator pedal of his car was sabotaged, leading to a hair-raising highway episode from which he emerged, luckily, unscathed.

Eventually Mr. Thorp took his mathematical expertise and gambling savvy to an even bigger casino—Wall Street. Giving up his academic appointment, he teamed up with securities traders in 1969 to form a hedge fund called Princeton Newport Partners. The technique he employed there is called statistical arbitrage.

Arbitrage in its pure form involves exploiting differences in the price of the same good in separate markets. If an ounce of gold sells for $1,210 in London and $1,200 in New York, an arbitrageur can short gold in London while buying it in New York, earning the $10 discrepancy in price (minus expenses). The stock market offers similar opportunities. If an exchange-traded fund representing the S&P 500 trades at $2,200 while the prices of the individual 500 stocks convert to a value of $2,150, a profitable arbitrage trade is possible. Building his own option pricing model, Mr. Thorp would pounce on any discrepancy revealed by his mathematical formulas. The arbitrages he used included exploiting the value of options traded in Chicago on individual stocks and the prices of the underlying stock in New York.

Princeton Newport was very successful until some of its traders got caught up in the prosecution of Michael Milken in the 1980s. The five top people in New York and Princeton, N.J. (who refused to help convict Milken) were indicted by New York’s U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani on various charges, including stock manipulation and tax fraud. Though most of the charges were later dropped, the prosecution spelled the end of Princeton Newport.

The rest of “A Man for All Markets” covers a variety of topics, all associated with investing and life. There is a chapter on swindles and hazards, including the Madoff Ponzi scheme and how it worked. We learn lessons from financial crises: e.g., the need to price mortgages more reliably by including catastrophic “black swan” events in their predicted default rates. In a section on asset allocation Mr. Thorp notes that “investors who chase returns, buying asset classes on the way up and selling on the way down, have had poor historical results.” Throughout, he emphasizes the importance of containing risk and avoiding excessive leverage. Perhaps his best advice is a maxim that has nothing to do with material wealth: “Whatever you do, enjoy your life and the people who share it with you, and leave something good of yourself for the generations to follow.”

Mr. Thorp goes out of his way to criticize the academic view that our securities markets are reasonably efficient. He cites the story of the finance professor admonishing his students not to pick up a $100 bill on the ground because if it was really a $100 bill it wouldn’t be there. Of course markets aren’t perfectly efficient, any more than a well-built mechanical engine is perfectly efficient. Arbitrage opportunities do appear from time to time and can be exploited.

But one implicit lesson of Mr. Thorp’s memoir is that, as arbitrage opportunities are exploited, they tend to disappear and pricing becomes more efficient. Casinos changed their rules when the card counters invaded. When option traders entered the market with hand-held computers, the option trades that Mr. Thorp made became less profitable. Over time, hedge funds lose their edge as opportunities for arbitrage are exploited with more money and returns diminish. Perhaps the finance professor’s story should be restated: “Pick up the $100 bill right away because if it is really a $100 bill it will not be there for long.”

Jensen Comment
Arbitrage is not a sure thing even for the pros. Years ago two Nobel Prize winning mathematical economists (Professor Merton at MIT and Professor Scholes at Stanford) and some of their prized doctoral students plus a Wall Street pro (John W. Meriwether) in the bond markets formed an arbitrage hedge fund called Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) that performed spectacularly for selected rich folks allowed to invest in the fund. It appeared these whiz mathematicians would really beat the market when they placed a "Trillion Dollar Bet" (the title of a subsequent Nova video on PBS). The bet lost due to unforeseen and highly unlikely circumstances (most notably a crash in the Asian financial markets). The resulting LTCM implosion nearly brought Wall Street in its entirety down. The big Wall Street investment banks dug deep into their own pockets to bail out LTCM and then quietly folded up this arbitrage hedge fund forever.

Net Neutrality ---

MIT:  What Happens When Net Neutrality Goes Away?

The Coin Toss and the Love Triangle There are two flavors of uncertainty in our lives. Math helps with both ---

IBM's Watson became the world's master at playing chess. Now H&R Block wants Watson to become the world's master tax expert ---
The tax preparer's workers will use IBM’s Watson data crunching service to answer customer questions, find obscure deductibles, and presumably help clients score bigger tax refunds.

Second Life ---
The Biggest Villain of the Artificial World --- Boredom

MIT:  Second Life Is Back for a Third Life, This Time in Virtual Reality ---

No Fees or Memberships:  Walmart will offer free two-day shipping on more than two million items for all orders over $35 ---

Jensen Comment
Presumably this is intended to be an Amazon Prime killer. However, it may well be an onsite shopping killer, including shopping in Walmart stores.
'Why burn gasoline and take an hour to find items on shelves when the two-day shipping is totally free.

Walmart even lets you compare online deals with your local Walmart store deals ---
Chances are that it's no longer much of a deal to shop in a local store.

Jensen Comment
The biggest advantage of Amazon, in my opinion, is the vast selection of types of goods, including used products and used books. Walmart just does not compete at this level of shopping.

Also my Amazon Rewards (applied to future purchase)  really add up since I do so much shopping on Amazon.

From the Scout Report on February 3, 2017

Google Fonts --- 

Designers and lovers of typography will want to check out Google Fonts, a service that aims to improve the visual richness and aesthetic appeal of web design through font. First launched in 2010, Google Fonts is essentially a library of free fonts that have been optimized for web use. The site opens to the Directory, where users may browse the collection of over 800 font families. Fonts of interest may then be previewed and customized. For instance, users can change the background color of the site to explore how fonts will look with different color pairings. Once a font is selected, users may copy and paste the generated code into their webpage. Users less familiar with adding fonts to webpages may find the Getting Started Guide helpful.

Zoho Mail --- 

Zoho Mail is an online email service that seeks to offer privacy and simplicity. In contrast to most online email services, Zoho is free of advertisements and assures users that it does not scan email texts for key words. The service was created with professional users in mind, offering unlimited storage along with a Zoho Docs and Zoho instant messaging feature. In addition, Zoho arranges email correspondence in a "nested-tree" format, allowing users to read and respond to group conversations with ease. Zoho offers both POP and IMAP access, allowing users to check their email on multiple devices. The most basic version of Zoho, offering limited storage for 25 users, is free; a variety of extensive plans can be purchased for a monthly fee.

New Studies Demonstrate that As We Sleep, Our Brain's Synapses Shrink
The Purpose of Sleep? To Forget, Scientists Say

The Brain's Connections Shrink During Sleep

Sleeping Shrinks the Brain ... and That's a Good Thing

The Nervous System, Part 3: Synapses!: Crash Course A&P #10

The Brain: Lesson 2: Neurons, Brain Chemistry, and Neurotransmission

NOVA Teachers: Media-Rich Lesson Ideas: What are Dreams?

From the Scout Report on February 10, 2017

Freesound --- 

From the Musical Technology Group of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain comes Freesound, a collection of "audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps" that have all been released under Creative Commons licenses to allow their reuse. Intended for sound artists to use as they create songs and other works, this collection may also appeal to anyone looking to integrate sounds into a professional presentation or educational video. New users may want to start by checking out licensing information, available in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Help page. Visitors can learn about how to properly attribute sounds to ensure that they use this service legally and fairly. Visitors can also browse a large collection of sounds, accompanied by descriptions, via the Sound section. Available sounds range from short instrumentals to the sound of heavy rain to a "windy farmland" recorded in the Netherlands.

Way of Life --- 

Whether you are trying to create a new habit or break an old one, Way of Life is a free mobile application (available for both iPhone and Android devices) that promises to help. This app allows users to track positive habits (such as exercising and drinking water) and view their progress via a series of graphs and charts. Similarly, users can also track habits they are trying to break and view corresponding weekly data. Way of Life suggests a number of lifestyle choices that users can select to tract (ranging from Reading to Flossing). However, not all of these suggestions may be for everyone, so the app also allows users to create their own categories. The Basic version of Way of Life is free; users have the option to purchase additional features through the app.

Relocating <i>The Battle of Atlanta</i>, a Cyclorama with a Complex
Atlanta Rolls Up, Moves an Old Oil Painting - All 374 Feet and 12 Tons of

A Painstaking Mission to Save Atlanta's Colossal Civil War Painting

"The Battle of Atlanta" begins its move from Grant Park to the Atlanta
History Center Today

YouTube: WABE Atlanta: The Atlanta Cyclorama

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Essential Lens: Analyzing Photographs Across Curriculum ---

Apron Strings and Kitchen Sinks: The USDA Bureau of Home Economics ---

 Free Coloring Books from World-Class Libraries & Museums: The Met, New York Public Library, Smithsonian & More ---

HERB: Resources for Teachers (American History) ---

National Association for Music Education ---

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PLOS Collections: Meta-Research ---

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From Milligrams to Kilograms: Synthetic Chemistry Following Nature's Lead ---

Entomology Today ---

Why does Saturn have rings ---

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Western Digs ---

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375+ Episodes of William F. Buckley’s Firing Line Now Online: Features Talks with Chomsky, Borges, Kerouac, Ginsberg & More ---

The Met Expands Access to Artworks ---

20,000 Letters, Manuscripts & Artifacts From Sigmund Freud Get Digitized and Made Available Online ---

The Cold War Museum ---

Think Florida (history) ---

The A. & L. Tirocchi Dressmakers Project ---

Incredible colorized photographs show the immigrants who passed through Ellis Island 100 years ago ---

Inside the Wrapper: The True Tales of the Mountain Mist Quilt Patterns ---

Akron Art Museum: Scrumptious Sculptures Lesson Plan (PDF) ---

Magical Books: From the Middle Ages to Middle-earth ---

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The Joy of Suffering Overcome: Young Beethoven’s Stirring Letter to His Brothers About the Loneliness of Living with Deafness and How Music Saved His Life 


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Does depression have an evolutionary purpose? ---

Love is like cocaine ---



Humor for February 2015

Chronicle of Higher Education Cartoons --- |

Mary Tyler Moore Show Bloopers ---

The Enduring (Snobby) Humor of The New Yorker Cartoons ---

Forwarded by Paula ---

The Norwegian Salesman from Minnesota           

Ole, the smoothest-talking Norske in the Minnesota National Guard and a natural born salesman, got called up to active duty.          

 Ole's first assignment was in a military induction center. Because he was a good talker, they assigned him the duty of advising new recruits about government benefits, especially the GI life insurance, to which they were entitled.         

The officer in charge soon noticed that Ole was getting a 99% sign-up rate for the more expensive supplemental form of GI insurance. This was remarkable, because it cost these low-income recruits $30 per month for the higher coverage, compared to what the government was already providing at no charge.           

The officer decided he'd sit in the back of the room at the next briefing and observe Ole's sales pitch. Ole stood up before the latest group of inductees and said…"If you haf da normal GI insurans an' yoo go to Afghanistan an' get yourself killed, da governmen' pays yer beneficiary $20,000. If yoo take out da supplemental insurans, vich cost you only t'irty dollars a mont, den da governmen' got ta pay yer beneficiary $200,000!  

"Now," Ole concluded . . . "Vich bunch you tink dey gonna send ta Afghanistan first?”

Automobile Trivia Forwarded by Paula

Where did the name " Pick UP Truck" come from?

You must Read till the end to learn…


Q: What was the first official White House car?

A: A 1909 White Steamer, ordered by President Taft.


Q: Who opened the first drive-in gas station?

A: Gulf opened up the first station in Pittsburgh in 1913.



Q: What city was the first to use parking meters?

A: Oklahoma City , on July 16, 1935.



Q: Where was the first drive-in restaurant?

A: Royce Hailey's Pig Stand opened in Dallas in 1921.



Q: True or False?  The 1953 Corvette came in white, red and black.

A: False. The 1953 'Vettes were available in one color, Polo White.



Q: What was the first car fitted with an alternator,  rather than a direct current dynamo?

A: The 1960 Plymouth Valiant



Q: What was the first car to be offered with a "perpetual guarantee"?

A: The 1904 Acme, from Reading , PA. Perpetuity was disturbing in this case, as Acme closed down in 1911.


Q: What car was the first to have its radio antenna embedded in the windshield?

A: The 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix.



Q: Where was the World's first three-color traffic lights installed?

A: Detroit , Michigan in 1919. Two years laterthey experimented with synchronized lights.



Q: What type of car had the distinction of being  GM's 100 millionth car built in the U.S. ?

A: March 16, 1966 saw an Olds Tornado roll out of Lansing , Michigan with that honor.



Q: Where was the first drive-in movie theater opened, and when?

A: Camden , NJ in 1933



Q: What autos were the first to use a standardized production key-start system?

A: The 1949 Chryslers



Q: What car was the first to place the horn button in the center of the steering wheel?

A: The 1915 Scripps-Booth Model C. The car also was the first with electric door latches.



Q: What U.S. production car has the quickest 0-60 mph time?

A: The 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS 409. Did it in 4.0 seconds.



Q: What's the only car to appear simultaneously  on the covers of Time and Newsweek?

A: The Mustang



Q: What was the lowest priced mass produced American car?

A: The 1925 Ford Model T Runabout. Cost $260, $5 less than 1924.



Q: What is the fastest internal-combustion American production car?

A: The 1998 Dodge Viper GETS-R, tested by Motor Trend magazine at 192.6 mph.



Q: Who wrote to Henry Ford, "I have drove fords exclusively when I could get away with one It has got every other car skinned, and even if my business hasn't been strictly legal it don't hurt anything to tell you what a fine car you got in the V-8"?

A: Clyde Barrow (of Bonnie and Clyde ) in 1934.



Q: What car was the first production V12, as well as the first production car with aluminum pistons?

A: The 1915 Packard Twin-Six. Used during WWI in Italy, these motors inspired Enzi Ferrari to adopt the V12 himself in 1948.



Q: What was the first car to use power operated seats?

A: They were first used on the 1947 Packard line.



Q: Which of the Chrysler "letter cars" sold the fewest amount?

A: Only 400, 1963, 300J's were sold (they skipped "I" because it looked like a number 1)



Q: When were seat belts first fitted to a motor vehicle?

A: In 1902, in a Baker Electric streamliner racer which crashed at 100 mph. on Staten Island !



Q: In January 1930, Cadillac debuted it's V16 in a car named for a theatrical version of a 1920's film seen by Harley Earl while designing the body, What's that name?

A: The "Madam X", a custom coach designed by Earl and built by Fleetwood. The sedan featured a retractable landau top above the rear seat.


Q: What is the Spirit of Ecstasy? 

A: The official name of the mascot of Rolls Royce, she is the lady on top of their radiators. Also known as "Nellie in her nighty".


Trivia...Ford, who made the first pick-up trucks, shipped them to dealers in crates that the new owners had to assemble using the crates as the beds of the trucks. The new owners had to go to the dealers to get them, thus they had to "pick-up" the trucks.

And now you know the "rest of the story".


Forwarded by Tina

When I bought my Blackberry, I thought about the 30-year business I ran with 1800 employees, all without a cell phone that plays music, takes videos, pictures and communicates with Facebook and Twitter.

I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, my 13 grand kids and 2 great grand kids could communicate with me in the modern way.  I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140 characters of space.

My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation.

I am not ready to live like this. I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.

The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library.  I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Bluetooth [it's red] phone I am supposed to use when I drive.  I wore it once and was standing in line at Barnes and Noble talking to my wife and everyone in the nearest 50 yards was glaring at me.  I had to take my hearing aid out to use it, and I got a little loud.

I mean, the GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside that gadget was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time.  Every 10 minutes, she would sarcastically say, "Re-calc-u-lating.”  You would think that she could be nicer. It was like she could barely tolerate me.  She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light.  Then, if I made a right turn instead. Well, it was not a good relationship...   When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets and while she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GPS lady, at least she loves me.

To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house.  We have had them for 4 years, but I still haven't figured out how I lose three phones all at once and have to run around digging under chair cushions, checking bathrooms, and the dirty laundry baskets when the phone rings.

The world is just getting too complex for me.

They even mess me up every time I go to the grocery store.

You would think they could settle on something themselves, but this sudden "Paper or Plastic?"  Every time I check out, just knocks me for a loop.  I bought some of those cloth reusable bags to avoid looking confused, but I never remember to take them with me.

Now I toss it back to them.

When they ask me, "Paper or plastic?" I just say, "Doesn't matter to me. I am bi-sacksual."  Then it's their turn to stare at me with a blank look.

I was recently asked if I tweet. I answered, No, but I do fart a lot."

P.S. I know some of you are not over 70.  I sent it to you to allow you to forward it to those who are.  I figured your sense of humor could handle it....

We senior citizens don't need any more gadgets.  The TV remote and the garage door  remote are about all we can handle.


Humor January 2017 ---

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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 ---
Facts about the earth in real time ---

Interesting Online Clock and Calendar ---
Time by Time Zones ---
Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) ---
         Also see
Facts about population growth (video) ---
Projected U.S. Population Growth ---
Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- 
Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons ---
Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

Free (updated) Basic Accounting Textbook --- search for Hoyle at

CPA Examination ---
Free CPA Examination Review Course Courtesy of Joe Hoyle ---

Rick Lillie's education, learning, and technology blog is at

Accounting News, Blogs, Listservs, and Social Networking ---

Bob Jensen's Threads --- 
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

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 ---

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at
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
AECM (Educators)
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)  (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)
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.
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 
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 ---

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 []
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  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 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) ---


Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

Some Accounting History Sites

Bob Jensen's Accounting History in a Nutshell and Links ---

Accounting History Libraries at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) ---
The above libraries include international accounting history.
The above libraries include film and video historical collections.

MAAW Knowledge Portal for Management and Accounting ---

Academy of Accounting Historians and the Accounting Historians Journal ---

Sage Accounting History ---

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 ---
Part II covering years 1974-2003 published in February 2005 --- 

A nice timeline of accounting history ---

From Texas A&M University
Accounting History Outline ---

Bob Jensen's timeline of derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting ---

History of Fraud in America ---
Also see

Bob Jensen's Threads ---

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

All my online pictures ---


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone:  603-823-8482