Tidbits on September 27, 2018
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Wes Lavin's Photographs From the 2018 Turbridge Country Fair--- 


Tidbits on September 27, 2018
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Bob Jensen's Tidbits ---

For earlier editions of Fraud Updates go to http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Bookmarks for the World's Library --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm 

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

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

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

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Updates from WebMD --- Click Here

Google Scholar --- https://scholar.google.com/

Wikipedia --- https://www.wikipedia.org/

Bob Jensen's search helpers --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm

Bob Jensen's World Library --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm

USA Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/ ubl

Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio

Quanta Magazine: In Theory (Mathematics in Science) --- www.quantamagazine.org/videos/playlist/in-theory

What Makes Edgar Allen Poe So Great?

A Few Short but Entertaining Videos/Ads ---

Life Noggin (Science Videos) --- www.youtube.com/user/lifenoggin

The Inn on Sunset Hill (just down from our cottage) ---

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

7-year-old girl wows crowd with stunning rendition of national anthem ---
Warning:  This is not politically correct. Afterwards in an ABC News interview she called the National Anthem an important song to be respected.

Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” Played by 28 Trombone Players ---

The History of the Guitar & Guitar Legends: From 1929 to 1979 ---

A Brief History of Guitar Distortion: From Early Experiments to Happy Accidents to Classic Effects Pedals ---

Hear the Last Time the Jimi Hendrix Experience Ever Played Together: The Riotous Denver Pop Festival of 1969 ---

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

Sad:  Aerial Photos Reveal the Devastation Left by Florence ---

Happy:  Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards - in pictures ---

Kunene Conservation Research Science --- http://kuneneconservation.dash.umn.edu/

National Museum of Women in the Arts: Educator Resources & Guides ---

The Nasher Museum of Art: Collections --- https://emuseum.nasher.duke.edu/collections

Christo and Jeanne-Claude (if you like big art) --- http://christojeanneclaude.net/

20 of the most outrageous-looking skyscrapers of all time ---

The Courtauld Gallery: Beyond the Label --- www.beyondthelabel.info

Intense photos show the USS Enterprise, the decorated WWII aircraft carrier that the Japanese just couldn't sink ---

America's Beautiful Public Lands as Seen from Outer Space ---

Photography as a Social Practice --- www.asocialpractice.com

NYC:  Greene Street: A Long History of a Short Block --- www.greenestreet.nyc

A Massive, Knitted Tapestry of the Galaxy: Software Engineer Hacks a Knitting Machine & Creates a Star Map Featuring 88 Constellations ---

50 epic photos from Oktoberfest prove it's one of the most misunderstood celebrations in the world ---

In 1900, a Photographer Had to Create an Enormous 1,400-Pound Camera to Take a Picture of an Entire Train ---

Bob Jensen's threads on art history ---

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://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on libraries --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm#---Libraries

Hear Dylan Thomas Recite His Classic Poem, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” ---

C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-century Writings ---

Letters of William Herle Project --- www.livesandletters.ac.uk/herle/index.html

First Days Project (stories of immigrants first days) --- www.firstdaysproject.org

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

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on September 27, 2018

USA Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/ ubl

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the booked obligation of $19+ trillion) ---
The US Debt Clock in Real Time --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 
Remember the Jane Fonda Movie called "Rollover" --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollover_(film)

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 --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/Entitlements.htm

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

Former Google CEO predicts the internet will split in two — and one part will be led by China ---

Jensen Comment
Given the EU's recent obsessions with copyrights, rights to be forgotten, and enormous anti-trust fines, the Internet may well split into three parts.

The problem is a form of what economists call arbitrage. Information, especially crowd-sourced information like Wikipedia, is not easily contained in two or three markets.

In my opinion spitting the Internet is futile. Giving some "world court" jurisdiction over a single Internet is an alternative possibility, but the futility of having the UN resolve some issues is an example where a world court Internet solution will be very difficult to achieve.

Balancing Work and Learning: Implications for Low-Income Students ---

How to Mislead With Statistics
GDP Growth Is Not the Same Thing as Real Economic Growth ---

How to Mislead With Statistics
Measuring human capital: a systematic analysis of 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016

Jensen Comment
Firstly, rankings can be easily distorted by denominator effects that compare highly populated and diverse nations with small nations. It's like comparing rates of growth of infants (who double their weight and height in few years) with teenagers )that rarely double their weight and height). Also racial and ethnic homogeneity coupled with small size account for a lot of Nordic country attainment in human capital. Hundreds of thousands of unhealthy and poorly educated immigrants are not pouring into Finland each year.

This study ignores the leading reasons why scholars from around the world are seeking to go to graduate school (including medical school) in the USA relative to Nordic countries, Singapore, and South Korea.

The study above is good for analyzing rates of improvement in human capital of nations. But it's also misleading in terms of identifying nations favored by immigrants if they're given a choice to live anywhere in the world. In spite of its limitations the USA is still a great land of opportunity that does not show up in the above rankings of nations. Of course that does not mean that our public education system is serving the majority as well as Finland. It does not mean that our health care system is serving the majority as well as Finland. But Finland does not face the enormous problems that the USA faces in serving its majority.

And yes Finland provides free college education. But it does so only for the top third of its people. The other two thirds are not allowed into college --- as is the case for virtually all European nations. And most of the training in Finland for skills in the trades is provided by private sector companies rather than taxpayers.

It's very easy to be mislead when comparing human capital betterments in Finland with the USA. For example Finland's K-12 education system does very well because of learning that nearly all children get in two-parent homes. Finland does not have the high proportion of single-parent homes where learning school work at home is doubly hard.

And remember that Finland is more of a capitalist nation than the USA. Singapore is more capitalist than the USA. Capitalism can be very good for attaining high human capital achievements.

How to Record Your PC’s Audio With Virtual Audio Cable ---

Virtual Audio Cable, a 20-year-old piece of software originally written for Windows 98, still holds up today. It creates a virtual link between your output and input—send audio to an output, and it shows up as an input. This is useful if you want to record your desktop audio for mixing and sampling, but also if you want to play things through your microphone. In games, for example, you could use this to annoy your teammates with in-game music, and while this is not something we endorse, the tech behind it is pretty cool.

To get started, head to VB Audio’s website and download VB-Cable. You’ll want to extract the download, right-click the “VBCABLE_Setup_x64” file, and then run it as Administrator.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the trade in education ---

Wikipedia --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia

Wiki Education (connects higher education to Wikipedia) ---

IrfanView.Free Image Converter (such as conversion to JPG) ---

Jensen Comment
Over the years I've always used PaintShopPro, but this is not free software.

Before earnings were announced Nike was trading at all-time highs ---

Stock prices took a nose dive after disappointing earnings were announced ---

Jensen Comment
I'm not implying that the drop in earning was caused by the Colin Kaepernick advertising promotion. A whole lot of other factors impact earnings. The Kaepernick promotion may have helped earnings in the short-term.

It is somewhat interesting that the 49ers are now seeking a new quarterback after their top quarterback was injured (pesky ACL tear) for the season. Several top quarterbacks were invited for tryouts. This was an opportunity for the 49ers to seek a Kaepernick boost, but that seems to not be what the 49ers want this season.

Say What?
From a Chronicle of Higher Education Newsletter on Sptember 24, 2018

Several longtime professors at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice are under state investigation for allegations including "the use and sale of drugs on campus, the attempt to coerce women into prostitution, and rape," according to The New York Times.
Also see

Say What?
From a Chronicle of Higher Education Newsletter on Sptember 24, 2018

American students spend more time at paid jobs than they spend in classes or studying, a new survey finds.

Veterinary Medicine --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterinary_medicine

What Cornell's Vet School Can Teach Us ---

Closing the Skills Gap With Digital Badges ---

Seven colleges and universities are working with industry partners to develop digital badges to help underserved students display their skills and gain employment as part of a pilot project called #TeeUpTheSkills.

The yearlong initiative is being led by the Educational Design Lab, a nonprofit that specializes in designing and implementing new learning models. Ed-tech companies Credly and Checkster will be providing pro bono services to the pilot, which will run this academic year.

The project aims to identify skills required by employers to fill in-demand entry-level positions, and to help minority students gain and display these skills with digital badges. The name #TeeUpTheSkills refers to the concept of "T-shaped workers" -- employees who have technical skills as well as "horizontal" skills that help them successfully collaborate, problem solve, communicate and empathize with and lead others. “Microcredentials have gained a lot of traction quickly,” said Kathleen deLaski, founder and president of the Education Design Lab. “But to fulfill the promise that they will help students articulate hireability skills and make them digitally visible to employers, we need hiring managers to give us clearer ‘market signals’ to validate these as credentials.”

Employers participating in the project have agreed to look at the résumé of any student who acquires the badges deemed necessary for different job pathways. The employers will also track short-term hiring outcomes.

The following universities and employers are participating:

§  Alamo Colleges District (Employer partner: San Antonio Works)

§  American Public University System (Employer partner: MVM, Inc.)

§  Central New Mexico Community College (Employer partner: TLC Plumbing, Jaynes Corporation)

§  Langston University (Employer partner: ONEOK)

§  San José State University (Employer partner: Cisco)

§  University of Maine (Employer partner: Bangor Bank, Northern Light Health)

§  University at Albany, State University of New York (Employer partner: Startup NY, Branch VFX)


Video: A Scenario of Higher Education in 2020 (or thereabouts closer to 2040)---

Speaking Skills Top Employer Wish Lists. But K-12 Schools Don't Teach Them (and Colleges Often Don't Require Them) ---

Jensen Comment
Speech courses are challenging for  online teaching and/or large classes. I doubt that there has ever been a speech course MOOC. Online speaking can nevertheless be studied online such as watch for very good and lousy TED Talks ---

However newer technologies (especially video selfies) are making online courses feasible when enrollments are not overwhelming ---



Duke University Ceases Criminal Background Investigations of Job Applicants


Jensen Comment
I wonder if this pleases the #MeToo activists on campus when there's a record of abusive behavior toward families and women.

There should be some exceptions such as the hiring of armed security officers, coaches, and day care facility attendants. This makes me wonder if there's accepted gender discrimination in day care hiring.

There's a gray zone regarding the investigations of employment history. For example, suppose an applicant has a 10-year lapse in employment. Can the reason for this be investigated? Suppose an applicant avoids recommendation letters from recent employers or recent employers refuse to write recommendation letters?

Sometimes job history can be revealing. For example, suppose military service ends abruptly after two months. The reason for this raises suspicions. But in the case of mental illness there are a whole lot of questions that cannot be asked.

Jensen Comment
In one previous AECM message I related a true story of a professor almost being derailed in life because of a false claim of sexual molestation where only the student's belated admission of lying saved the future for the professor but harmed the accuser.  In a second message I pointed out where either true or false claims of sexual harassment can become suicide bombs such as how Dr. Ford's life is endangered by possibly (outcome unknown today) derailing of a Supreme Court appointment.

The posting below is another example of a disputed sexual harassment claim that will probably derail the future for both a very distinguished philosophy professor and her accuser. This is another one of those disputed claims that, due to media attention, will negatively affect both the accused and the accuser. Professor Ronell will forever wear a scarlet letter. The accuser possibly will have a more difficult time succeeding in a career because the accusation will be viewed by many as an act of vengeance.

The Overlooked Lesson of the Ronell-Reitman Case ---

It shouldn’t take a case like Avital Ronell’s to make us pay attention to graduate advising. Ronell, a professor of philosophy at New York University, was recently suspended from teaching for a year for the sexual harassment of Nimrod Reitman, one of her former Ph.D. advisees. Reitman, who had brought a Title IX complaint against Ronell after he graduated, has further claimed that Ronell’s lukewarm recommendations have hindered his search for an academic job. Ronell disputes all the charges.

This case is strange for many reasons. One is that Ronell is female and Reitman is male — an inversion of the usual pattern for sexual-harassment cases. Further, Ronell is a prominent scholar. And the kicker: Ronell is lesbian, and Reitman is gay. The two have been flinging he said/she said barbs at each other since his accusations went public. More than 50 scholars signed an open letter of protest of NYU’s investigation, and now that the university found that he was sexually harassed, Reitman has sued NYU for damages.

"What Happens to #MeToo When a Feminist Is the Accused?" asked The New York Times."Groping professor Avital Ronell and her ‘cuddly’ Nimrod Reitman see kisses go toxic," said Britain’s The Times. The public fascination is no wonder. This is bizarre stuff.

The Ronell case is also not an outlier at all. It illustrates the typical structural problems that attend graduate advising, especially of the doctoral kind. Educators don’t talk enough about those problems. Even now, when they flare into view, we join the general public in gaping at the burning tree rather than considering the dry, crackling forest it’s part of.

Graduate advising is institutional. That’s definitionally true: Students get their degrees from a university, not an adviser or a committee. Yet in practice, we treat graduate advising as personal — the private property of the individual professors who do it.

That combination of the personal and the private makes graduate advising a potential tinderbox.

Consider a deliberately unsensational scenario. Let’s say a professor is engaging in questionable advising practices — like putting a dissertation student through 18 drafts of an article that was ready to be sent out for publication months ago. If a colleague in the same department read the manuscript and saw the student losing traction, do you think that colleague would take the professor aside and offer some friendly suggestions? In practice, that conversation rarely happens. Usually the colleague decides to mind his or her own business.

But whose business is it, really? Graduate education is the responsibility of an entire department — or, to view it on an even wider scale, of the university itself. When a student chooses an adviser, it’s not as though the student is withdrawing from the department’s common culture to enter the adviser’s private world. So why do we act as though that were true?

The roots of this habit of thinking — and of the resulting practice — lie in the American university’s European past. The founders of American research universities were mainly inspired by German models. And in German universities during the 18th and 19th centuries, the learned professor radiated with power and intellectual allure, an effect that the historian William Clark calls "academic charisma." The charismatic professor was more of a master instructing acolytes than a mere teacher advising students.

American research universities imported that straitened and hierarchical worldview into the culture of graduate education here. Laurence Veysey points out in The Emergence of the American University that the rise of "cults" around "magnetic" professors in the United States coincided with their general withdrawal (along with their students) from the public sphere, to live behind the walls of the ivory tower.

The opposite is true today: Graduate students have to think about their career options outside of academe as well as inside it. Yet the insular view of doctoral advising as the personal and private realm of an individual professor has persisted. Sure, every doctoral student has a committee, but many (if not most) of its members do little, and defer to the main adviser in charge.

Given the inherent conservatism of American academe, we shouldn’t be surprised that this model remains in force. David Damrosch, a professor of comparative literature at Harvard, has written: "The heart of Ph.D. training is the relationship between mentors and students." The question is how that relationship should be structured.

The Ronell-Reitman affair "may be a weird case," as one scholarly editor put it, but by omission, "it highlights the fact that the professional duty of a professor is to prepare grad students for their careers and help them get jobs."

That instrumental view makes sense, of course. For advisers to prioritize that goal, we need to work together, and in the open. Graduate advising is, after all, a form of teaching, and teaching is inherently public work.

Continued in article

New bill would finally tear down federal judiciary’s ridiculous paywall ---

A Data Visualization Tool Might Be Better Than Excel ---

Bob Jensen's threads on data visualization ---

Modelling with Tornado Charts in Excel ---

Things are looking up with this Excel function (vector analysis) ---

Johnny Paycheck:  Take this job and shove it; I ain't workin' here no more ---

What worker can’t understand the NFL player who quit at halftime?
Jensen Comment
Every situation is different (such as when you feel you're doing more harm than good on the job), but the way Buffalo Bills' defensive back Vontae Davis did this seems inappropriate. He could've at least told his coaches and/or teammates he was walking away in the middle of the game where he was a key player. In the military AWOL instances are common, and some (certainly not all) lead to prison terms. especially if the moment of AWOL endangers other soldiers.

Suppose a $20 million lawsuit (instigated by teammates, coaches, Bills' owners, or whatever) is served on Vontae Davis. Further suppose that the loss on that particular game constitutes the difference for the Bills becoming eligible for the 2019 Super Bowl. Then suppose Vontae Davis loses that $20 million lawsuit. One thing is probably assured. No highly paid professional athlete will ever do what he did in future years after such an enormous financial judgment. Of course this is hypothetical. Davis still gets his $9 million for the season even though he will never play football again or otherwise work for the team.

I know a high school tenured teacher who quit almost exactly the same way by just walking away in the middle of the autumn term without telling anybody. In her case there was a serious mental illness issue. She never set foot in the school again. The school district paid her salary and benefits for the rest of the term and the subsequent term. She's now on S.S. disability and Medicare.

Murderous Canadians Are Invading the USA ---

These are the 25 most powerful militaries in the world ---

Japan has landed two rovers on the surface of an asteroid ---

Jensen Question
Is it looking for cobalt and lithium?

September 25, 2018 message from Joe Hoyle

I recently posted my 270th essay.  It contains my observations on the importance of testing in developing deeper student understanding of your topical coverage.  The title is Three Tips to Help Your Tests Create Better Student Learning.  You can read the essay at the URL below.  I hope you will forward it along to any teacher who might find the ideas helpful.  The more we think about teaching the better we get.



September 25, 2018 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Joe,

I agree to a point, although I think that the phrase "better tests" is quite ambiguous and controversial.

Since much (not all) of the learning takes place before taking a test some testing styles may work better than others. The obvious case is where math problems are multiple choice or open ended. A type of sensitivity analysis approach can often be used for multiple choice math problems --- an approach to problem solving that won't work with open-ended questions.

My point here is that testing style may impact learning long before the actual testing takes place.

It's a little like playing an opponent in chess. 
Knowing a great deal about how the opponent plays increases the odds of winning against that opponent. If the opponent is a "teacher" perhaps having a varied and unpredictable style of play will make her or him a better "teacher" of the "students." 

And then there's that learning that takes place during an examination. 
As a veteran fan of Jeopardy on television, I've found that some questions are worded in a way to make the questions more educational than the correct answers. In fact, sometimes the answers are trivial and can be found without really knowing anything about the content of the question. Viewers sometimes learn a little about content just by reading the question and ignoring the answer.

Bob Jensen


Over the last few decades AIs have been taught to compose music, paint pictures and write (bad) poems. Now they’re writing advertising copy, 20,000 lines of it a second ---


The Guardian:  Computer programmed to write its own fables ---

. . .

"For computers to really be able to tell stories in the way human authors do, not only are further advances in both story planning and natural language generation required, but state of the art work in both areas must also be combined, so that a system not only plans out what happens in a story, but is also able to convey it effectively to readers. I think such a system is still a long way off, and it's pretty unlikely a computer will ever produce works like War and Peace," said Sarlej. "However, I don't think computational storytelling systems should necessarily aim to replace human authors and produce literary masterpieces, but rather serve as a tool for developing new ways of experiencing story. The possibilities they offer for interactivity open up a wealth of opportunities that traditional authors have probably never even considered."

The researchers are hoping that authors and computer game designers will contribute to the research. "For us, this is a serious literary project, and we want to find artists who can help direct it to that end," said Ryan.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Perhaps more frightening is the day when AI can reproduce music, stories, and other forms where plagiarism is virtually impossible to detect. Formula writers do something like this today when "cloning" their novels with completely new titles and text that somehow seems not a whole lot different than some of their previous books (did I say James Patterson?).

How Professor Borden (Villanova)  Improved His Memory by Playing Connect 4 ---

Jensen Comment
I found the most fantastic memory aid is my massive Website that I maintain daily. I mostly search my own Website using Google and constantly find postings that I'd long forgotten. Those postings can then be quoted in current debates. Sometimes my media quotations may be among the only quotations available from sites that are long gone. For example, my quotations from the Grumpy Old Accountants Blog may be the only available source for quotations from Professors Ketz and Catanach. who gave me permission for those quotations.

I will spend most of my professional time improving my Website and zero time playing Connect 4.

Furor Over Blended and Active Learning ---

. . .

Origins of the Approach

Central Florida -- one of the country's largest institutions, with more than 64,000 students -- was one of the first universities to invest heavily in blended learning, with courses offered for the last two decades both in person and online via lecture capture. University administrators have long regarded the hybrid format as the most popular among students, according to Kelvin Thompson, executive director for the institution’s Center for Distributed Learning. The university also has a mandate from the state government to offer diverse education options.


But according to Jarley, data reveal that many business students in blended classes who opt not to attend face-to-face also never watch the recorded lecture videos -- or they wait weeks after the recording to watch them, perhaps to cram for an exam. During the 2017-18 school year, an average of 46 percent of the 3,400 students enrolled in lecture-capture courses watched fewer than half the videos in their course, according to a university spokesperson.

Those classes tend to have between 800 and 2,000 students, Jarley said. The university doesn't collect attendance data on the in-person sessions because they're not mandatory, a spokesperson said, adding only that "faculty [report] lecturing to largely empty rooms." The business college also didn't provide to "Inside Digital Learning" data on student performance in lecture-capture courses.

The business college, which enrolls 8,500 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students, was the first of the university’s schools to implement the reduced class time format, developed last year by the Center for Distributed Learning. Jarley hoped eliminating instructor-led lectures would let students spend more time engaging with their peers and gaining a deeper understanding of the material.

“It’s important that our students get the soft skills and the decision-making skills they need in order to succeed in the workplace,” Jarley said. “That was very hard to do in the lecture-capture format because they’re just being lectured at. They’re not actually doing anything.”


But some students bemoan the drastic step of ending the weekly sessions with instructors altogether. They believe they learn more when they have more opportunities to engage with the professor in person about the learning material, rather than learning most of the material online and completing a group project they perceive as tangential.


Under the lecture-capture model, students could spend up to about 30 hours in a physical classroom with an instructor (assuming they actually went). Now the maximum class time is approximately 6.25 hours, and in some cases the professor might not be present for all of them.


“I’ve been in lecture classes and I’ve also been in reduced seat time classes,” said Kelly Kennedy, another member of the COBA Reform group. “It was way more beneficial having face-to-face interactions than speaking to my professor five times in a whole semester.”



Kennedy said students are balking at the group project assignment, which isn't directly connected to exams. She and some of her peers would prefer to use that time to discuss course content with the instructor.

Students also told “Inside Digital Learning” that the McGraw-Hill Connect online textbooks, which cost more than $100 each, have been glitchy at times, and that in some cases, the first face-to-face session this semester was run by teaching assistants.


“I’m a straight-A student now struggling to get B's,” Wensinger said. “I’m very nervous and stressed out all the time about that.”

In addition to offering more structured in-class activities, this format frees up the business college's 135 full-time faculty members for more sections with smaller class sizes in the business school’s upper-level classes, Jarley said.

Wensinger and his peers say they know some students who like the reduced class time format. But students who signed the petition say they want the university to provide more than one modality option, or to listen to their suggestions for improving the reduced class time format.


John Nazario, a junior business marketing major, thinks the format could work with a few more class sessions focused on discussion, or if the courses were offered entirely online. He told “Inside Digital Learning” Wednesday that he was strongly considering scheduling an appointment with his adviser and switching out of the business school to a new major like digital media.


“If I would have known about this, I wouldn’t have studied at UCF,” Nazario said. “I would have gone to a private college to do something else.”


Navigating Student Feedback

Jarley said he and his colleagues are thinking about ways to explain the reduced class time format more clearly to students during orientation, particularly for transfer students from community colleges, where class sizes are significantly smaller and engaging one on one with a professor can happen more frequently.


According to Jarley, two-thirds of more than 3,200 students who respon


ded to surveys at the end of the last school year rated the reduced class time format “excellent” or “very good.” The business school also trained student observers to evaluate the effectiveness of the group projects sessions and asked business school department chairs to sit in on several sections.


“We were pretty pleased with those outcomes,” Jarley said.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment

This Central Florida Blended and Active Learning (BAL) pedagogy is heavily like I taught my courses over the last 10 years of my 40-year faculty career at four universities. In those 10 later years I made hundreds of Camtasia videos on the most technical aspects of course content and made students study those videos before classes. During each class in an electronic classroom students were then randomly called upon to demonstrate before the class what they'd learned from my videos. There were other more inspirational moments in classes as well with occasional visiting speakers and videos on professionalism and career opportunities.

My students were not especially thrilled Camtasia-video learning because it allowed me to cover much more technical material than was covered in their textbooks. They also had to learn more on their own, although parts of the videos could be replayed over and over again until they got it.

How does this BAL pedagogy I used differ from the BAM pedagogy invented at the University of Virginia?
The BAM Pedagogy is similar in that it eliminated most lectures. But BAM also eliminated textbooks and other instructor-supplied learning materials.  The instructors did assign error-ridden case modules where students had to find and correct the mistakes. The BAM pedagogy was more like a scavenger hunt. Or rather it was more like real-life professionalism where employees are given tasks and are on their own to accomplish those tasks.

Many students really did not like the BAM approach because almost "everything they learned in two semesters of intermediate accounting they learned on their own."

The BAM approach was painful for students, but follow-up research indicated that they had much better long-term memory about what they learned and were better prepared for real life (including the CPA exam).

I never had the guts to adopt the BAM approach.
I was obsessed with covering as much technical material as I could cover in my semesters with small numbers of graduate students. The BAL pedagogy worked great for my purposes.

Neither the BAM nor BAL pedagogies are as popular as spoon feeding where teachers funnel knowledge into the ears of students. Most students prefer learning with as little effort as possible --- as revealed in hundreds of thousands of teacher evaluations on RateMyProfessor.com.

Potsdam, Germany:  Much like a driverless car, the street tram uses various radar, lidar and camera sensors to detect its surroundings and react to trackside signals, bikes, cars. And runaway prams ---

Two hydrogen-powered trains, the world’s first, began operating on a 62-mile stretch between four towns in northern Germany ---

Future robo-taxis could charge themselves and help balance the electric grid ---
Jensen Comment
Note that this is technology for relatively short hardware installed under streets. It may be too expensive "down the road" so to speak such as between Los Angeles and Chicago.

CPA Journal:  Mixing Old and New Teaching Methods to Get Better Student Results ---

Top mathematician says he solved the 'single most important open problem' in math after 160 years ---

Jensen Comment
Don't ask me to validate it.

Plastic --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

Plastic Pollution --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_pollution

Much more than you probably really wanted to know about plastic pollution ---

The proportion of incoming cellphone calls placed by scammers could leap to 45% by early next year from 29% this year ---

Jimmy Wales: Wikipedia and the search for trusted information ---

Jensen Comment
University departments could do a lot by making a concerted habitual effort to  examine Wikipedia entries in each department's specialty and make appropriate changes directly online. It gives me comfort to note that some medical schools have programs for doing this for medicine and pharmacology Wikipedia modules. Of course it's especially important in those specialties since users of Wikipedia could incur health damages from fake information about medicine. I'm especially impressed by what seems to be the coverage and seeming accuracy of medical information on Wikipedia. You can cross check certain things with a Web crawler like Google.

My wife is on quite a few medications with obscure-sounding names. We've learned a lot about side effects and alternative medications using Wikipedia. But it's always important not do anything significant in medicine without first checking with your physician.

Wikipedia has no revenue from advertising. But some of the least-trusted information that avoids negatives comes from companies that contribute Wikipedia modules for there brands. Be especially suspicious of entries for brand names.

You can help a lot by making donations to Wikipedia that help support its internal editing process. I'm proud to contribute money to Wikipedia every year. Like it or not Wikipedia is now a vital part of global education. But always be suspicious when you use it like you are suspicious of Web search engines like Google and product reviews on Amazon.

Moral Hazard of Crop Insurance

Moral Hazard --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_hazard

New England:  Huge squirrel population chomps crops, driving farmers nuts ---

Jensen Comment
The problems of an overabundance of squirrels in New England made the national news last night --- I think it was NBC airing interviews with farmers. The year 2018 is a particularly destructive year on such crops as squash and apples. One farmer admitted that some things could be done to mitigate crop damage. However, he said that since he had crop insurance it was not worth the cost or effort to protect the crops. I won't go into details here, but mitigation efforts include hunting,  trapping, and use of guard dogs tied to the bases of fruit trees.

I'm not trying to play down the importance of crop insurance. But moral hazards of such insurance should be noted. Sometimes it's a whole lot easier to collect on the insurance than it is to protect and harvest crops. The challenge to insurance providers is pricing to minimize moral hazards.

MBA students at Cornell University voted for grade nondisclosure, effectively immediately, after years of agitating for a policy similar to those in place at other highly selective M.B.A. programs.---

Jensen Comment
Graduates on Cornell's MBA program are honor bound not to disclose grades until recruiters make them job offers. Presumably Cornell University will provide transcripts without grades revealed for courses, including courses taken on a pass-fail basis.

It's not clear, at least to me, that this will also apply to graduates seeking admission to graduate programs such as Ph.D. programs. This would greatly hurt some applicants such as those with very high grades who don't do as well on GMAT or other Ph.D. program admission criteria.

Of course this begs the question of why assign grades at all. If graduates with low grades can compete equally with graduates with highest grades then what's the incentive to for a student to go through blood, sweat, tears for high grades.

What's especially unfortunate is that some socially disadvantaged students  who really dig in and excel with high gpas can no longer compete with the extroverted smooth talkers who do better in job interviews. Taken to extremes are those borderline Asperger Syndrome students who earn exceptional grades. 
I know about this because I have a grandson who is a straight-A student in his junior year as a computer science major with Asperger Syndrome. After I tell him and his parents about this you can bet he will not be applying for Cornell's MBA program. In fact, I question the legality of this policy under the ADA Act of 1990 ---
Some disabled graduates excel in grades when they do poorly on many of the other criteria for getting jobs.

Come on Cornell MBA students --- Let's party


Cornell University, like all Ivy League Universities, is embarrassed by grade inflation where professors give mostly A grades across the entire campus. Unlike other Ivy Universities, Cornell tried to shame professors into giving fewer A grades in a failed experiment. The result was that the professors could not be shamed into reducing grade inflation in their courses.

If median grades for each course are made publicly available on the Internet, will students seek out the high grade average or low grade average courses?
Examples of such postings at Cornell University were previously posted at http://registrar.sas.cornell.edu/Student/mediangradesA.html

Hypothesis 1
Students will seek out the lower grade average courses/sections thinking that they have a better chance to compete for high grades.

Hypothesis 2
Students will seek out the higher grade average courses/sections thinking that particular instructors are easier graders.

However, when Cornell researchers studied about 800,000+ course grades issued at Cornell from 1990 to 2004, they found that most students visited the site to shop for classes where the median grade was higher. Plus, professors who tended to give out higher grades were more popular. Students with lower SAT scores were the most likely to seek out courses with higher median grades.
"Easy A's on the Internet:  A surprising Cornell experiment in posting grades; plus a look at recent research into ethical behavior, service charges, and volunteer habits," by Francesca Di Meglio, Business Week, December 11, 2007 ---

In a striking example of unintended consequences, a move by Cornell University to give context to student grades by publicly posting median grades for courses has resulted in exactly the opposite student behavior than anticipated.

Cornell's College of Arts & Sciences originally set up a Web site in 1997 where median grades were posted, with the intention of also printing median class grades alongside the grade the student actually received in the course on his or her permanent transcript. Administrators thought students would use the information on the Web site to seek out classes with lower median grades—because, they reasoned, an A in a class that has a median grade of B-minus would be more meaningful than say, an A in a course where the median was A-plus.

Course Shopping Leads to Grade Inflation

However, when Cornell researchers studied about 800,000 course grades issued at Cornell from 1990 to 2004, they found that most students visited the site to shop for classes where the median grade was higher. Plus, professors who tended to give out higher grades were more popular. Students with lower SAT scores were the most likely to seek out courses with higher median grades.

This "shopping" in turn led to grade inflation, Vrinda Kadiyali, associate professor of marketing and economics at Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management, one of the authors, explained in an interview. The study, which is undergoing peer review, has not yet been published.

So far, however, the university has posted the median course grades only on the Internet and has not yet put those grades on transcripts. According to an article in the Cornell Daily Sun, the school will start posting the grades on transcripts in the spring. School officials were not immediately available for comment.

The research team hopes the school follows through on its plans. "That will allow Cornell to hold itself to a higher standard because it lets potential employers know where students stand relevant to other students," says Kadiyali.

The presence of the median grade data is well-known to students but less well-known to faculty. The researchers themselves were prompted to do the study when one of them learned of the Web site from a student questioning grades in her course.

Kadiyali says the formula the researchers used to come to these conclusions could easily be applied to Internet teacher rating sites, such as ratemyprofessors.com. It's something educators should consider, she adds, to find out how these posts affect the decision-making of students and, thus, professors and their courses.

Jensen Comment
The problem is that, in modern times, grades are the keys to the kingdom (i.e., keys unlocking the gates of graduate studies and professional careers) such that higher grades rather than education tend to become the main student goals. A hundred years ago, just getting a degree could open postgraduate gates in life because such a small proportion of the population got college diplomas. With higher percentages of the population getting college diplomas, high grades became keys to the kingdom. In many colleges a C grade is viewed as very nearly a failing grade.

At the same time, formal teaching evaluations and teacher rating sites like ratemyprofessors.com have led to marked grade inflation in virtually all colleges. The median grades are often A, A-, B+, or B. The poor student's C grade is way below average. Just take a look at these course medians from Cornell University --- http://registrar.sas.cornell.edu/Grades/MedianGradeSP07.pdf

December 19, 2007eply from a good friend who is also a university-wide award winning teacher

I'm not for easy grading, but I also wonder some about this study. Could it be that the MORE EFFECTIVE instructors are also easier graders and vice versa? I have no idea, but I'd like to see a control for this variable.

And God help us if a professor is popular! What an awful trait for an educator to have!


December 20, 2007 reply from Bob Jensen

Dear Jeez,

The terms "easy grader" and "easy grading" are probably not suited for hypothesis testing. They are too hard to precisely define. Some, probably most, "easy graders" counter by saying that they are just better teachers and the students learned more because of superior teaching. In many cases, but certainly not all cases, this is probably true. Also, it is almost impossible to distinguish easy grading from easy content. Students may learn everything in a course if the course is easy enough to do so.

Instructors will also counter that they are ethical in the sense of scaring off the poor students before the course dropping deadlines. Instructors who snooker poor students to stay in their courses and then hammer them down later on can show lower median grades without punishing better students with C grades. Fortunately I don't think there are many instructors who do this because they then face the risk of getting hammered on teaching evaluations submitted by the worst students in the course.

Easy grading/content is a lot like pornography. It's probably impossible to precisely define but students know it when they shop for easier courses  before registering. It may be possible to a limited extent to find easy graders in multiple section courses having common examinations. For example, I was once a department chair where our two basic accounting courses had over 30 sections each per semester. But even there it is possible that all instructors were relatively "easy" when they put together the common examinations.

It is widely known that nearly every college in the U.S. suffers from grade inflation. Only an isolated few have been successful in holding it down. College-wide grade averages have swung way above C grades and in some instances even B grades. It is typical any more for median grades of a college to hit the B+ or A- range, and in many courses the median grade is an A.

The Cornell study sited above covering 800,000 course grades (a lot) did not identify easy graders. It identified courses/sections having higher median grades. Higher median grades may not signify easy grading or easy content, but students seem to know what they are shopping for and the Cornell study found that students do shop around for bargains. My guess is that the last courses left on the shelf are those with median grades in the C range.

Bob Jensen

Bob Jensen's threads on grade inflation http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#GradeInflation

Why Economics is Having a Replication Crisis ---

Replication and Validity Testing:  How are things going in political science? ---

Replication and Validity Testing:  How are things going in psychology? ---

Replication and Validity Testing:  How are things going in accountancy?

Philosophy of Science Meets the Statistics Wars ---

Significant Effects From Low-Powered Studies Will Be Overestimates ---

80% Power? Really?

Responsible Research Results:  What can universities do?

Are recommendation letters a professional responsibility or subject to faculty members' political (or religious) views?

A professor at the University of Michigan declined to write a recommendation for a student to study abroad upon realizing the student’s chosen program was in Israel. In an email to the student, which was posted as a screenshot (at left) on Facebook by the pro-Israel group Club Z and was first reported by Israeli media, the professor cites support for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions as the reason why he was rescinding an offer to write a recommendation letter. At the same time he indicated he would be happy to write other letters for the student, who is identified only as “Abigail.”



"As you may know, many university departments have pledged an academic boycott against Israel in support of Palestinians living in Palestine," says the email from John Cheney-Lippold, an associate professor in the American culture and digital studies department at Michigan. "This boycott includes writing letters of recommendation for students planning to study there."

"I should have let you know earlier, and for that I apologize. But for reasons of these politics, I must rescind my offer to write your letter."

 Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Other possibilities could be refusal to recommend a student wanting to go to Singapore (too capitalist) or a USA military academy (too war mongering) or Liberty University (too Christian).

Teaching History with Historic Clothing Artifacts --- https://hti.osu.edu/fashion2fiber

Machines will soon outwork humanity ---
Humanity performs about 71% of the work in 2018. By 2015 that will drop to 50% and not stop dropping in the foreseeable future.
I can't recall the science fiction movie from years ago in which humans are fatted up in pasture-like settings and used only for food for monsters that rule the machines. That's science fiction, but it's going to be a serious issue concerning what to do with "humanity" once humanity is no longer needed for work.

How to Mislead With Statistics (this is not science fiction)
A World With Fewer Babies Spells Economic Trouble ---

. . .

The United Nations calculated the world’s population as of 2017 at 7.6 billion people, a number it projects will grow to 11.2 billion at the end of this century, after which it could begin to fall. But a lot of countries are going to shrink before then. With a fertility rate of only 1.6, China’s population will drop 28 percent by 2100, ceding the title of world’s most-populous nation to India, the UN predicts. With a fertility rate of 1.4, Japan’s population will plunge 34 percent by 2100. The U.S.’s headcount is expected to keep growing, despite a low fertility rate of 1.8, because of large numbers of immigrants, though government policies could change that.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
It's unbelievable that Bloomberg published such a misleading article that the encourages increased birth rates at a time when climate change impacts on food and water shortages are so dire for the next few decades while we await dramatic and technologies to feed and water the existing world populace. The problem is just not climate change. Before climate change was on everybody's mind agricultural aquifers (think Nebraska and Oklahoma) were drying up from over use.

It's unbelievable that Bloomberg would publish such a misleading article when it's known that robotics and artificial intelligence advances threaten so many labor markets, especially the unskilled labor markets and even quite a few of the skilled labor markets where robots are even doing complicated surgeries these days. Sure the birth rate in Japan is down, but a high tech nation like Japan could lead the way in robotics and artificial intelligence.

It's like Bloomberg merely wanted to paint a gloomy picture of declining birthrates in some industrial nations while overlooking the enormous problem of the ever-onward growth in world population amidst growing resource shortages to meet that steady growth in global population. And we really cannot rely on that growth leveling out in Year 2100 so far ahead in time. The Mad Max era may have come and gone by then ---

It's certain that there will be ever- increasing numbers of immigrants in the USA and Europe because nothing, certainly not walls, will stem the flow of undocumented immigration thru all borders while health care, education, and higher incomes in the USA and Europe serve as magnets for the sick and the poor.

How to Mislead With Statistics
American Life Expectancy vs. Europe: It's Not About "Socialized Medicine" ----

Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong ---

'Catastrophic': EU passes controversial copyright law that could hit the likes of Google and Facebook (to say nothing of Wikipedia)---

Article 11 would grant press publications copyright over the sharing of their content online, meaning they would be able to charge services like Google News for aggregating their stories. Critics have dubbed this as an effective "link tax," but proponents say hyperlinks will be exempt.

Meanwhile, Article 13 calls for "effective content recognition" technology to filter out copyright-protected content. Detractors hold that this part of the law could threaten social media users' ability to share anything from internet memes to snippets of music and film.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
What is even more controversial is that fact that the law exceeds its jurisdiction in the rest of the world. Since EU residents can spoof their locations the EU says the copyright restrictions apply to the USA, Canada, China, and everywhere.

This is a whole new era for copyright law and litigation. Can the EU police serve subpoenas in San Francisco?

How to Mislead With Statistics
Your state's taxes could determine whether your NFL team makes it to playoffs ---

Jensen Comment
Among other things there's a sample size problem in this analysis. Also teams are not fungible sampling items --- there's a huge difference in terms of having key players and team harmony. A few rotten apples can spoil a basket.. There are also lots of long-term deals that differ in terms of annual cash flows.

Microsoft Excel: Including an '&' in headers and footers ---

The Guardian:  Scientific publishing is a rip-off. We (taxpayers) fund the research – it should be free ---

Bob Jensen's threads on scientific publishing rip-offs ---

The New Climate Economy: 2018 Report --- https://newclimateeconomy.report/2018/

U. of Pennsylvania Says It Will Be First Ivy to Offer Online Bachelor’s Degree ---
Jensen Comment
Penn has also been among the leaders in offering free MOOCs to global students

Hispanic Adult Learners Are Often Overlooked ---

The Adult Student: The Population Colleges — and the Nation — Can’t Afford to Ignore
Click Here

Distance Education Degrees from Hundreds of Top Universities ---
These days its common for onsite degree programs (including Ph.D. programs) to offer distance education components and to accept transfer credits from high quality distance education courses (including MOOC-based credits)
Georgia Tech offers one of the best-known engineering distance education degrees
Purdue bought Kaplan University now called Purdue Global

MITx --- https://openlearning.mit.edu/beyond-campus/mitx-edx-moocs/courses

Bob Jensen's threads on open source video and course materials from prestigious universities ---

Jim Borden:  The Fascinating Online Gig Economy ---

Jensen Comment
NYT:  California just took a huge step to discourage the gig economy ---

In a ruling with potentially sweeping consequences for the so-called gig economy, the California Supreme Court on Monday made it much more difficult for companies to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees.

The decision could eventually require companies like Uber, many of which are based in California, to follow minimum-wage and overtime laws and to pay workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance and payroll taxes, potentially upending their business models.

Industry executives have estimated that classifying drivers and other gig workers as employees tends to cost 20 to 30 percent more than classifying them as contractors. It also brings benefits that can offset these costs, though, like the ability to control schedules and the manner of work.

“It’s a massive thing — definitely a game-changer that will force everyone to take a fresh look at the whole issue,” said Richard Meneghello, a co-chairman of the gig-economy practice group at the management-side law firm Fisher Phillips.

Jensen Comment
Here in the mountains of New Hampshire there's a very popular orthopedic clinic comprised of surgeons having various specialties (think shoulders, arms, hands, knees, hips, etc.). The are "associates" sharing the same office building, secretaries, office nurses, accountants, etc. But I assume that the surgeons do not share revenues the same as if they were employees or partners. This type of "associate" business model is extremely popular in a variety of professions. The key feature is the sharing of major expenses without the sharing of revenues in an associate business model.

What's not clear to me is where California will draw the line on an associate business model. Clearly the model is not acceptable for barbershops and beautician shops under the California Supreme Court ruling. But will this associate model also apply to medical practices, dental practices, law practices, etc. My guess is that there are so many lawyers in the California legislature that the new law will not apply to law practices.

My point here is that it seems to be unclear just where California will draw the line. This clearly has tax implications such as unemployment compensation taxes and other payroll taxes.

The IRS could be an 800-lb gorilla here. The problem is that such businesses as barbershops are now treated differently in California versus most of the other states. Will Uber worker withholding taxes be treated differently in California than most other states? Remember that in some cases like Social Security Taxes both employers and employees are taxed.

There are other implications regarding medical insurance coverage.

I'm not a lawyer, but it would seem that this controversy could possibly end up in the USA Supreme Court --- where California may soon have a number of hopes overturned.

Microsoft Windows: How to best name and search for files ---

How to Mislead With Opinion Surveys
'Someone is going to die in this truck': Amazon drivers and managers describe harrowing deliveries inside trucks with 'bald tires,' broken mirrors, and faulty brakes ---

Jensen Comment
I'm not saying that the opinion surveys are misleading. But I am saying that the article ignores the fact that most states now have fairly rigorous annual state inspections of vehicles. It's possible that the regulations for those inspections are not rigorous enough for delivery vehicles, but the two states I've lived in do not permit 'bald tires,' broken mirrors, and faulty brakes, broken windows, exhaust systems, etc. And state troopers can ticket inspected vehicles that have safety defects such as broken mirrors, lights, and windows.

What is misleading is that these delivery companies often serve other vendors as well. The tone of the article is anti-Amazon like maybe there's some bias in the article.

What I found during the NH and Texas inspections of my own vehicles is that the inspectors are really rigorous when it comes to brakes and exhaust systems. The least bit of rust on rotors for example gives inspectors and excuse to require new brakes. The least bit of rust on mufflers and exhaust pipes leads to requiring new replacements. Of course there are often conflicts of interest where the inspectors are also employees of repair facilities. But, in my experience, the inspectors are willing to let you see the reason for negative reports.

I think inspections should be more frequent for heavily driven vehicles like taxis and deliver vehicles --- perhaps at least twice a year.

Amazon should use only reputable delivery companies that have deep enough pockets for lawsuits. Up here in the boondocks the only Amazon deliveries are made by UTS, FedEx, or the USPS.

A record $6.2 billion settlement won’t be enough to end Visa and Mastercard’s long-running feud with the U.S.’s biggest retailers ---
There’s a separate class of merchants fighting for changes to Visa and Mastercard’s business practices.

Journals Retract 6 More Articles by a Controversial Cornell Food Scientist ---

How Notre Dame Rethought Its Core Curriculum ---

Hello, and welcome to Teaching, a free weekly newsletter from The Chronicle of Higher Education. Today, Beth tells us about how Notre Dame is rebooting its core curriculum to help students avoid going through the motions. Beckie highlights one reader’s idea for improving group work, and she shares news about an effort to improve introductory history courses. Let’s begin.

A More-Cohesive Core

 In recent years, faculty members at the University of Notre Dame came to a realization about their institution’s core curriculum: Students had adopted a checklist mentality, seeing their required general-education courses as something to simply get through. And Notre Dame, the professors realized, was feeding that attitude.

This fall Notre Dame introduced the most noteworthy changes to its core curriculum in more than 40 years, following a lengthy review process. Among other changes, the new core will provide a more cohesive and thoughtful introduction to the liberal arts.

“That’s a big lift,” says John McGreevy, a history professor and co-chair of the committee that spent two years reviewing the core curriculum and recommended the changes. “Our curriculum had drifted over the past 40 years,” he said, “where everyone just offered an intro course that wasn’t really distinctive in terms of general education.”

To restart the process of creating a more coherent design, Notre Dame has recategorized core requirements into “ways of knowing,” including quantitative reasoning, science and technology, fine arts and literature, advanced language and culture, history, social science, theology, and philosophy. While all of the courses that met the previous requirements will be grandfathered in, a new core-curriculum committee will spend the next few years reviewing them, in collaboration with departments.

McGreevy points to a revamped philosophy course, “God and the Good Life,” as an exemplar of the kind of core courses he hopes evolve under this new system, ones that look at pressing questions through the lens of a particular discipline. “God and the Good Life” is hugely popular, he says, because it asks big questions, such as: What does it take to live a meaningful life? “The kids are electrified by this,” he says.

Notre Dame has also put out a call for faculty members to propose “integration” courses for the core. They must be team-taught and analyze complex problems from the perspective of two or more disciplines. Another new category of courses is called Catholicism and the Disciplines,” designed to examine issues of faith and ideas from the Catholic tradition as they relate to one or more disciplines. The university will provide grants and other support to help faculty members develop these courses.

Part of the problem with the old system, says Michael Hildreth, a physics professor and chair of the new curriculum committee, is that departments controlled what met a requirement and what didn’t. As a result, he said, no higher body was asking the tough questions, including: Is this what you want to be teaching students if it’s their only exposure to your discipline?

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I would like to see all core curricula include Financial Literacy to a point where students learn how to budget, compute APR rates on loans, and understand the basics of medical insurance and taxation (including itemized deductions). Computing APR rates on loan contracts is especially important because lenders like car dealers often cheat by basing rates on asking prices of vehicles instead of the rock bottom cash prices.

Among other things financial ignorance is a leading cause of divorces in the USA. I think couples fight more over money than sex. Budgeting knowledge is especially important in this era of student loan repayments. Also students should learn enough to truly understand loan repayment alternatives.

A good financial literacy course should teach use of financial functions in spreadsheet software like Excel. For example, students should learn how how to both calculate IRR versus RATE and understand the basic difference between internal rate of return and net present value criteria for comparing financing alternatives.

Students should also learn some of the basics of using the wonderful, albeit formidable, IRS Website.

Students should also learn about some of the common scams they will encounter in adult life such as phishing. They should also learn how to compare credit card alternatives and abuses.

Amazon Alexa --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Alexa

Amazon just raised the bar with its new Alexa devices ---

Australians are changing the way they eat strawberries after more than 100 people found needles hidden inside them ---

Jensen Comment
All companies that sell products with higher contamination risks are subject to added costs and risks that are largely ignored in financial reporting systems. For example, bananas, apples, tomatoes, and oranges are often not packaged even though short needles can be cleverly inserted in in such produce. And a company that sells whole melons is subject to more risk than a company that packages sliced/diced items.

Companies become more vulnerable after contentious labor disputes among growers, wholesalers, truck drivers, or retailers. There's some safety in robot handling. Perhaps bulk packaging for delivery to stores should have seals that discourage contamination  in route.

Open fruit and vegetable markets are especially vulnerable to contamination by customers who can handle items without purchasing.

My favorite supermarket has a really, really extensive salad bar. I use it even though there's concern about customer contamination. I would feel safer if an employee or close-up video cameras were watching all along the salad bar (and other parts of the produce area).

Even when only monitored randomly, the video cameras, like audits, sometimes prevent attempts to do bad things.

Chevy Chase:  A Rotten Way to End a Career ---

Jensen Comment
I suspect that most of us in academe know at least one disgruntled faculty member who left the Academy angry, hateful, cynical, and mean. I think this is so sad. Life is too short to end up like Chevy Chase.

How to Mislead With Statistics
Harvard Study Concludes People Who Graduate During Recessions Earn Less Money — but They’re Happier ---


Jensen Comment
I think this study is limited to those that have jobs for which they aspired to rather than those that are unemployed or have jobs beneath their aspirations such as when an Ph.D. can only get a fast-food job or an adjunct teaching job rather than a tenure-track position.

Secondly, recessions and booms are not binary events. No two recessions are exactly alike in degree or in terms of impact degrees on labor sector varying impacts in the economy. A study of workers in the 2008 recession may not apply to workers in future recessions. Happiness varies over time such as when increased numbers of student loan borrowers are increasingly stressed over loan repayments. Its always tough to do statistical analysis on non-stationary systems.

Also, I'm dubious of measures of "happiness." There are many unknown variables when studying "happiness." Also people sometimes forget things when asked about their "happiness." For example, some respondents may ignore that they have to still live with parents when asked about their happiness in a particular job.

From the Scout Report on September 14, 2018 

Wire Science --- https://wire.com/
Wire is a secure collaboration platform that supports instant messaging, file sharing, voice calls, and video conferences. Users can switch among Wire's different communication modes (IM to video conference, for example) with a single click, without needing to change programs. Wire supports "encrypted guest rooms" for communication with external clients and partners. Guests are sent an invitation link which they can click to join the chat from their browser with no requirement to register or download anything. The Wire site shows an example where this feature is used for an electronic interview. Source code for both the Wire server and clients are available on GitHub. Wire's open approach to security has enabled a number of independent third-party audits of their code, with improvements resulting from those audits integrated into the software. Wire can be accessed over the web using any modern browser, with a desktop application for Windows, macOS, or Linux, and with mobile clients for iOS and Android. Wire is free for personal use and available for business use for a monthly fee, with discounts available for non-profit and educational institutions.

Etherpad --- http://etherpad.org/
Etherpad is a web-based real-time collaborative editor. Any user can create a collaborative document, called a "pad," each of which has a distinct URL. Anyone that has this URL can make edits to the pad, with every editor's changes appearing in their own color. Etherpad automatically saves changes periodically, but users may also checkpoint specific versions at any time. The editing history of each pad is also saved, with a slider allowing users to rewind a document to view previous versions. Pads can be downloaded in plain text, HTML, PDF, ODF, or Word format. A number of free, public Etherpad servers are available. These can be located in the "List of public instances" on the Etherpad site. For users that wish to self-host an Etherpad instance, server installers are provided on the Etherpad site for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Etherpad is distributed under the Apache 2.0 license, with source code available on GitHub.

American History Education:  Obituary for a Billion-Dollar Boondoggle ---

The amendment buried on Page 69 of the federal education budget for 2000 was easy to overlook. Tucked into "Repeals, Redesignation, and Amendments to Other Statutes" was a proposal by Sen. Robert C. Byrd to provide $50 million "to develop, implement and strengthen programs to teach American history … as a separate subject within school curricula."

The speed of the amendment’s passage on June 30, 2000, caught most observers unawares. Department of Education officials scurried to set up shop, draft specs for grant proposals, establish due dates, post notices, solicit reviewers, and put into place procedures for the disbursement of funds. Few historians saw the windfall coming, especially those who remembered the thrashing they got in the 1990s when they tried to tinker with the nation’s curriculum. The ill-fated National Standards for United States History — a collaboration among professional historians, curriculum specialists, teachers, and staff developers — hemorrhaged on the Senate floor before its death in a 99-1 censure (the lone dissenter fuming that the rebuke was insufficiently harsh).

But on this June day, history found its superhero. Senator Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, commanded respect as one of the longest-ranking members of Congress. He was admired for his stately manner, encyclopedic knowledge of Greek and Roman history, and his habit of drawing a folded copy of the Constitution from his breast pocket to remind fellow senators of their sworn duty. Byrd believed that the teaching of history was in crisis, that the "civic glue" that bound the strands of a polyglot mix into a single people was losing its power. He noted that only 22 percent of seniors at America’s colleges could identify the line "government of the people, by the people, for the people" as part of the Gettysburg Address. Colleges and universities were shirking their responsibility: America’s most prestigious institutions "no longer require the study of any form of history." Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat, backed him up with numbers just as bleak: 81 percent of college seniors "received a grade of D or F on history questions drawn from a basic high-school examination."

What Byrd and Lieberman didn’t mention was that American students had never been the sharpest at answering decontextualized test questions. In 1917, in the first large-scale test of historical facts, Texas high-school students conflated Thomas Jefferson with Jefferson Davis, yanked the Articles of Confederation from the 18th century and plunked them down in the middle of the Confederacy, and stared with bafflement at 1846, the beginning of the Mexican-American War, unaware of its significance in Texas history. "Surely a grade of 33 in 100 on the simplest and most obvious facts of American history," the testers admonished, "is not a record in which any high school can take great pride." A 1942 test of 7,000 college students, designed by Columbia University’s Allan Nevins and administered by The New York Times, found students "all too ignorant of American history," a finding recycled in 1976 just in time to pour down on the bicentennial parade: "Times Test Shows Knowledge of American History Limited." Subsequent test administrations in 1987, 1994, and 2006 of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, the "Nation’s Report Card") showed scant improvement.

One has to wonder, then, what mix of pollen was in the air that made Byrd, Lieberman, and other senators wake up one day and fret that American memory was disintegrating. The senators, it turned out, had all read the same document, or at least its press release: Losing America’s Memory: Historical Illiteracy in the 21st Century, a report of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), an organization that Lieberman characterized as a "nonprofit group dedicated to the pursuit of academic freedom."

ACTA guards academic freedom the way foxes guard chicken coops. With the financial backing of foundations like Bradley and Olin, the council specializes in making headlines with reports such as Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and What Can Be Done About It. To measure civic memory, ACTA commissioned the Center for Survey Research and Analysis, at the University of Connecticut, to create a 34-item multiple-choice test about American history. Respondents had to identify the Missouri Compromise (legislation that admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state), name the court case associated with John Marshall (Marbury v. Madison, in which the chief justice held that the Constitution did not grant the Supreme Court the right to issue writs of mandamus, effectively establishing the precedent of judicial review), and name the father of the Constitution (not Jefferson, chosen by 53 percent of respondents, but James Madison, identified by less than a quarter).

ACTA designed its survey to make students look dumb. The strategy worked. Archly sprinkled among its questions were items on popular culture (Were Beavis and Butt-Head cartoon characters or "fictional soldiers"? Was Snoop Dogg a rapper or a "jazz singer"?) that testers knew would be a cinch for any self-respecting college kid. Ninety-nine percent of students aced Beavis and Butt-Head; only a third pinned Marshall to Marbury. Nor were the 556 respondents your garden-variety undergraduates. ACTA went out of its way to bag seniors at top colleges and universities — including Harvard, Amherst, and Swarthmore — with the heftiest price tags and the most liberal faculties.

By the beginning of the new millennium, testing the young on historical facts had become a yearly ritual, a blip on the news feed gone as soon as it appeared. But Losing America’s Memory seized the attention not only of Senators Byrd and Lieberman, but also of Sen. Edward Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Sen. Slade Gorton, Republican of Washington. The report spurred Congress to make the biggest federal commitment to history education — more than one billion dollars — in the annals of the Republic. How come?

For the launch of Losing America’s Memory, ACTA recruited some of the history profession’s biggest names, including Gordon S. Wood and John Patrick Diggins, and solicited written statements of support from luminaries like the best-selling author David McCullough. More events than available slots compete each day for space on lawmakers’ packed schedules. How, then, did a news conference assailing college students’ failure to tie John Marshall to William Marbury climb its way to the top? Hard to know for sure, but accompanying Lieberman and Gorton to the event was a colleague from the House of Representatives, Tom Petri, a Republican from Wisconsin’s Sixth District. It couldn’t have hurt that Petri had a special relationship with the lead author of Losing America’s Memory, Anne D. Neal. She was his wife.

ACTA’s target, and the original target of Byrd’s program, was the lax history requirements at the nation’s colleges. Byrd called on trustees to "review public college and university curricula in their states and promote requirements in United States history."

The senator had to know that the kind of history he championed — the portrayal of America as a "wonderful, glorious experiment in representative democracy" — wouldn’t go down easily with many professors. So he found a more tractable target: schoolteachers. Byrd redirected his criticism at the teaching of "‘multicultural’ social studies," which "shortchanges our young people who will someday be the leaders of our nation." Nothing but a return to teaching "traditional American history" in our nation’s schools would avert a crisis of civic memory. Even though the use of "traditional" and the baggage it carried didn’t sit well with college history departments, they ended up embracing it, and enriching themselves, with the teacher-training programs that resulted. Today, when Americans are bombarded by misinformation and propaganda, the missed opportunity to teach students the skills of historical analysis and interpretation is especially glaring.

Accustomed to being passed over in funding priorities, historians were initially slow to see the windfall headed their way. When the program was announced, Arnita Jones, then director of the American Historical Association, objected that university-based historians were barred from applying for the Teaching American History (TAH) dollars, their role confined to "content providers." Jones grumbled that program guidelines offered "no provisions for projects to be initiated or financed through colleges, universities, historical societies, or other such institutions." Because of this restriction, content-allergic schools, she feared, might do an end run around historical knowledge and focus on lesser goals, such as "teaching strategies or curriculum development."

The steady flow of TAH grant funds, however, had a way of greasing squeaky wheels. TAH dollars plied historians with handsome summer salaries and pumped new life into moribund M.A. programs, their seats now filled with schoolteachers holding tuition waivers courtesy of the program. Historian dream teams barnstormed the land. In one rural Wisconsin project, teachers hosted the likes of Gary Nash, Eric Foner, and Mary Beth Norton in hamlets like Bayfield (population 578) and Washburn (population 2,280). Amid the rushing stream of green, historians’ ambivalence toward TAH morphed into boosterism. Arnita Jones, who in 2002 objected to TAH’s funding guidelines, exhorted America’s schoolteachers in 2009 to write their representatives, letting them know that "TAH grants are making a difference and should continue."

In the first two years of TAH, the Department of Education doled out 174 grants to local school districts. At the end of the program’s second year, the Department of Education contracted with SRI International, a nonprofit research firm headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., to evaluate what this $150-million investment had bought. SRI evaluators reviewed project proposals and work plans, interviewed program directors, surveyed teacher participants, and conducted eight case studies of individual programs. The range of projects they reviewed gave new meaning to "eclectic." Some projects were informed by guidelines set by the Bradley Commission on History in Schools, funded by the conservative Bradley Foundation; others drew on Howard Gardner’s multiple-intelligence theory, which encouraged teachers to exploit the full range of students’ intelligences, including "kinaesthetic," "visual-spatial," and "naturalistic." Still others used a curriculum called History Alive!, produced by the Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, to promote "experiential learning," which involved having students crouch under their desks as they viewed slides of World War I battles in order to "empathize with the physical discomforts of trench warfare."

SRI found that the assessment instrument of choice for teacher learning was also the least reliable: More than 90 percent of projects relied on teachers’ self-reports. Although the original legislation specified that activities with teachers should be linked to student achievement, fewer than half the projects tried to forge that link; those that did relied on teachers’ subjective reports rather than studies by outside evaluators. In a conclusion that excelled in understatement, evaluators wrote that "overall, the projects’ efforts to assess students’ or teachers’ knowledge of American history did not appear to be systematic."

Summer institutes were the activity of choice in three-quarters of the projects. Teachers convened in bucolic settings to listen to "content providers" (typically historians from the local college or historical society) deliver lectures. Scintillating or boring, the underlying logic was the same. Teachers were expected to return to classrooms with knowledge that they would then impart to 12- and 13-year-olds. Students would, presumably, go on to score higher on standardized tests.

. . .

If timidity were a mortal sin, the Department of Education would certainly have to serve penance. Rather than earmarking funds to develop assessments that could be used for cross-project comparisons, the department treated each project on its own, wasting untold resources in fruitless attempts to reinvent the wheel. Worse still, department officials ignored advice given to them back in 2002 at a meeting that included the executive directors of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the National Council for the Social Studies. This gathering (and another, held two months later) called on the Department of Education to abandon bubble tests in favor of assessments that examine "student understanding of historical thinking and important, in-depth, contextualized subject matter rather than discrete historical ‘facts.’" While leaders of individual projects may have heeded this advice, it never influenced the program as a whole. When evaluators in 2011 submitted their recommendations at the end of their report, the department was, yet again, urged to create tools that "could contribute both to stronger local evaluations and to potential comparisons between projects." This suggestion came too late for TAH.

By 2015, with TAH a distant memory, Stacia Kuceyeski, a historian with the Ohio History Connection, a statewide organization, wistfully recalled a time when her organization partnered in 22 TAH grants, and money flowed like water over Brandywine Falls. "Many of us at history museums and departments of history," she blogged, "were like Scrooge McDuck, sliding around giant piles of sweet [federal] money that was especially designated for American history. How Amazing!" But with the party over, she and fellow historians were left with a "massive hangover, the likes of which can’t be helped with three Advil and a bunch of Gatorade."

The history profession sure got plastered on TAH dollars. The billion-dollar bash lasted for a decade. But with sobriety comes a reckoning — in the words of the Twelve Steps, "a searching and fearless moral inventory." We’re still waiting.

Sam Wineburg is a professor of education and, by courtesy, history at Stanford University. His book Why Learn History (When It Is Already on Your Phone), from which this essay was adapted, is out this month from the University of Chicago Press.

From the Scout Report on September 21, 2018

Dat Educational Technology ---- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dat_(software)
Dat is a peer-to-peer platform for publishing datasets both large and small. Its design borrows concepts from distributed revision control systems, allowing multiple users to contribute changes and updates to a dataset while retaining authorship information and preserving older versions. Dat was initially funded by the Knight Foundation under an initiative that "seeks to increase the traction of the open data movement by providing better tools for collaboration." The Try Dat section of the project site contains a detailed tutorial that covers creating, publishing, and updating a dataset. Reference datasets are also provided in a number of formats, including a CSV on recent earthquakes, a JSON file of recently published DOIs, and Bionode format genomics data. The tutorial covers installing Dat on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Dat is free software, distributed under the BSD license, with source code available on Github.

Beaker Browser Educational Technology ---  https://beakerbrowser.com/
Beaker Browser uses the Dat protocol to provide a fully decentralized platform for publishing and accessing websites. Under the hood, Beaker uses Chromium (the open source component of Google Chrome) so it works with the majority of websites that work in Chrome. However, in addition to supporting the usual http and https protocols for accessing websites, Beaker can also access websites that were published as Dat datasets. Websites published in this way do not live in any central server. Instead, visitors all have a copy that they share among each other, with each visitor providing additional redundancy and bandwidth for the site. Beaker also includes a website editor and a one-click publishing system for creating new Dat-based websites. The take a tour link at the bottom of the home page contains a detailed tutorial on creating, publishing, and updating a decentralized website. Beaker is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Beaker is free software, distributed under the MIT license, with source code available on Github.

Free Online Tutorials, Videos, Course Materials, and Learning Centers

Education Tutorials

Nature Works Everywhere --- www.natureworkseverywhere.org

Teaching History with Historic Clothing Artifacts --- https://hti.osu.edu/fashion2fiber

Wikipedia --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia
Wiki Education (connects higher education to Wikipedia) ---

C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-century Writings ---

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

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for multiple disciplines --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Big Earth Data --- https://tandfonline.com/toc/tbed20/current

Life Noggin (Science Videos) --- www.youtube.com/user/lifenoggin

Is It Time to Get Rid of Time? The crisis inside the physics of time

 Not the physics of our everyday world. Stopwatches, pendulums, and hydrogen maser clocks will continue to keep track of nature quite nicely here in our low-energy earthly environs. The crisis arises when physicists attempt to merge the macrocosm—the universe on its grandest scale—with the microcosm of subatomic particles.

Long-Lost Letter Shows How Galileo Tried to Fool the Inquisition & Escape Censure for Putting Scientific Truth Ahead of Church Dogma (1613) ---

Science Friday: Undiscovered --- www.wnycstudios.org/shows/undiscovered

A Massive, Knitted Tapestry of the Galaxy: Software Engineer Hacks a Knitting Machine & Creates a Star Map Featuring 88 Constellations ---

Native Plants of North America --- www.wildflower.org/plants-main

The Plant List (well over a million plants) --- http://www.theplantlist.org

Fooling With Mother Nature
Here's the Plan to End Malaria With Crispr-Edited Mosquitoes ---
Jensen votes Yes!

State of the World's Fungi 2018 --- https://stateoftheworldsfungi.org/

Interviews with invertebrates --- https://interviewswithinvertebrates.com/

 From the Scout Report on September 14, 2018

Astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell Awarded $3 Million Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics


British astrophysicist overlooked by Nobels wins $3m award for pulsar work

Jocelyn Bell Burnell wins $3 million prize for discovering pulsars

He got the Nobel. She got nothing. Now she's won a huge prize and she's giving it all away

Jocelyn Bell Burnell: A Life in Science

Nobel Prize women: the female scientists who should have been winners

Pathways to Science: Resources Library


Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at --http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

The New Climate Economy: 2018 Report --- https://newclimateeconomy.report/2018/

These are the 25 most powerful militaries in the world ---

Kunene Conservation Research Science --- http://kuneneconservation.dash.umn.edu/

NYC:  Greene Street: A Long History of a Short Block --- www.greenestreet.nyc

Photography as a Social Practice --- www.asocialpractice.com

Letters of William Herle Project --- www.livesandletters.ac.uk/herle/index.html

First Days Project (stories of immigrants first days) --- www.firstdaysproject.org

Life Noggin (Science Videos) --- www.youtube.com/user/lifenoggin

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

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Law and Legal Studies

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at
Scroll down to Law

Math Tutorials

Quanta Magazine: In Theory (Mathematics in Science) --- www.quantamagazine.org/videos/playlist/in-theory

Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at
Scroll down to Mathematics and Statistics

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

History Tutorials

Long-Lost Letter Shows How Galileo Tried to Fool the Inquisition & Escape Censure for Putting Scientific Truth Ahead of Church Dogma (1613) ---

Intoxicants & Early Modernity: England, 1580-1740 Social studies --- www.intoxicantsproject.org

Teaching History with Historic Clothing Artifacts --- https://hti.osu.edu/fashion2fiber

The Authorial London Project (more than you ever wanted to know about London)  --- https://authorial.stanford.edu/

How a new kind of bomb and a daring nighttime raid helped the Allies cripple the Nazi war machine ---

NYC:  Greene Street: A Long History of a Short Block --- www.greenestreet.nyc

Wearing Gay History  --- www.wearinggayhistory.com

National Museum of Women in the Arts: Educator Resources & Guides ---

What Makes Edgar Allen Poe So Great?

In 1900, a Photographer Had to Create an Enormous 1,400-Pound Camera to Take a Picture of an Entire Train ---

Letters of William Herle Project --- www.livesandletters.ac.uk/herle/index.html

First Days Project (stories of immigrants first days) --- www.firstdaysproject.org

Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm
Scroll down to History
Also see http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm  

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Language Tutorials

Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2-Part2.htm#Languages

Music Tutorials

The History of the Guitar & Guitar Legends: From 1929 to 1979 ---

A Brief History of Guitar Distortion: From Early Experiments to Happy Accidents to Classic Effects Pedals ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at
Scroll down to Music

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials

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

Bob Jensen's threads on medicine ---

CDC Blogs --- http://blogs.cdc.gov/

Shots: NPR Health News --- http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots

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

September 15, 2018

, September 17, 2018

September 18, 2018

September 19, 2018

September 22. 2018

September 25, 2018

September 26, 2018

September 27, 2018

View All Health News


How Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft are shaking up healthcare — and what it means for the future of the industry ---

Bob Jensen's threads on health care ---

Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong ---

Fooling With Mother Nature
Here's the Plan to End Malaria With Crispr-Edited Mosquitoes ---

Humor for July 26 2018

Jim Borden:  Can Computers Write Funny Jokes? ---

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards - in pictures ---

Ig Nobel (Improbable Research) Winners ---
Scroll down for the 2018 awards

Telling it like it "ain't"
Hilarious: Weatherman 'Braces' Hurricane Winds As 2 Bros Casually Stroll By In Background ---


Forwarded by Paula

Why  isn't the number 11 pronounced  onety-one?

 If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea...does that mean that one out of five enjoys  it?

  Why do croutons come in airtight packages?

Aren't  they just stale bread to begin with?

If people from Poland are called Poles, then why aren't people from Holland called  Holes?


 If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
 Why is  a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a race car is not called a racist?
If it's true that we are here to help  others, then what exactly are the others here for?


If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen  defrocked, then doesn't it follow that electricians  can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners  depressed?

Do Lipton Tea employees take 'coffee breaks?'

What  hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald  men?
I  thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use, Toothpicks?
Why do  they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them?  Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?
Is it true that you never really learn to swear until you learn to drive?
If a cow laughed, would milk come out of her nose?

Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?

Why,  Why, Why do we press  harder on the remote control when we know the batteries are getting weak?

Why do banks charge a fee due to insufficient funds; when they already know you're broke?

Why is it that when  someone tells you that there are one billion stars in the universe you believe them, but if they tell you there is wet paint you have to touch it to check?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Whose cruel idea was it to put an "s" in the word "lisp"?

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

Why is it that, no matter what color bubble bath you use, the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people run over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it and then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

How do those dead bugs get into the enclosed light fixtures?

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

Why, in winter, do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

Do you  ever wonder why you gave me your e-mail address in the first  place?

The statistics on sanity say that one  out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental  illness. Think of your three best friends.

If they're OK..? (then it's  you!)

Forwarded by Paula

From:  https://www.alphadictionary.com/fun/headlines.html

Dr. Beard's Collection from the Columbia School of Journalism

·         Autos killing 110 a Day; Let's Resolve to do Better

·         Blind Woman Gets New Kidney from Dad she Hasn't Seen in Years

·         British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands

·         Child's Death Ruins Couple's Holiday

·         Child's Stool Great for Use in Garden

·         Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

·         Deaf Mute Gets New Hearing in Killing

·         Dealers will Hear Car Talk at Noon

·         Dr. Ruth to Talk about Sex with Newspaper Editors

·         Drunk Drivers Paid $1,000 in 1984

·         Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax

·         Eye Drops Off Shelf

·         Farmer Bill Dies in House

·         Grandmother of Eight Makes Hole in One

·         If Strike isn't Settled Quickly it May Last a While

·         Iraqi Head Seeks Arms

·         Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?

·         Juvenile Court Tries Shooting Defendant

·         Kicking Baby Considered To Be Healthy

·         Killer Sentenced to Die for Second Time in 10 Years

·         Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

·         Quarter of a Million Chinese Live on Water

·         Queen Mary Having Bottom Scraped

·         Reagan Wins on Budget, but More Lies Ahead

·         Robber Holds Up Albert's Hosiery

·         Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should be Belted

·         Shot Off Woman's Leg Helps Nicklaus to 66

·         Smokers are Productive, but Death Cuts Efficiency

·         Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Experts Say

·         Soviet Virgin Lands Short of Goal Again

·         Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim

·         Stiff Opposition Expected to Casketless Funeral Plan

·         Stolen Painting Found by Tree

·         Teacher Strikes Idle Kids

·         Two Convicts Evade Noose, Jury Hung

·         Two Sisters Reunite after Eighteen Years at Checkout Counter

·         Two Soviet Ships Collide - One Dies

·         War Dims Hope for Peace

·         William Kelly was Fed Secretary

Gathered from E-mail and the Internet

·         Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

·         Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

·         Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge

·         New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

·         Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

·         Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

·         Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

·         Hospitals are Sued by Seven Foot Doctors

·         Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

·         Lawmen from Mexico Barbecue Guests

·         Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms

·         Man is Fatally Slain

·         Milk Drinkers are Turning to Powder

·         Miners Refuse to Work after Death

·         Never Withhold Herpes from Loved One

·         Nicaragua Sets Goal to Wipe out Literacy

·         NJ Judge to Rule on Nude Beach

·         Organ Festival Ends in Smashing Climax

·         Panda Mating Fails - Veterinarian Takes Over

Suspicious Statements beneath the Headlines: From the Mailbox of Dave Berry

·         David Davidson sent an article from the Tybee News containing this statement about the mayor of Tybee Island, Ga.: "He also said an older woman suffered a broken hip when a dog pounced on her and read a long letter from someone supporting the dog ban."

·         Tim O'Marra sent in an article from the Skagit Valley (Washington) Heraldcontaining this sentence: "Suspecting the action was suspicious, the officer ordered both of them to raise their hands."

·         Chaz Liebowitz sent in an article from The Miami Herald that begins: "Davie police are searching for a man with a .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun to rob a convenience store Wednesday."

·         Several readers sent in an article from the Richmond Times-Dispatch concerning a dump-truck driver who "dropped more than 59,000 pounds of processed human excrement on Interstate 295" and was charged with "failure to contain his load."

·         Sue Colson sent in a "Police Blotter" item from the Port Aransas (Texas) South Jetty, consisting entirely of this fascinating statement: "No goat was found in the trunk of a vehicle when an officer responded to a complaint on East Avenue G at about 1:20 p.m."


Humor September 2018 --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book18q3.htm#Humor0918.htm

Humor August 2018 --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book18q3.htm#Humor0818.htm  

Humor July 2018--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book18q3.htm#Humor0718.htm 

Humor June 2018--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book18q2.htm#Humor0618.htm

Humor May 2018--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book18q2.htm#Humor0518.htm

Humor April 2018--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book18q2.htm#Humor0418.htm

Humor March 2018--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book18q1.htm#Humor0318.htm 

Humor February 2018--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book18q1.htm#Humor0218.htm

Humor January 2018--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book18q1.htm#Humor0118.htm 

Humor December 2017--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book17q4.htm#Humor1217.htm

Humor November 2017--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book17q4.htm#Humor1117.htm

Humor October 2017--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book17q4.htm#Humor1017.htm

Humor September 2017--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book17q3.htm#Humor0917.htm 

Humor August 2017--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book17q3.htm#Humor0817.htm

Humor July 2017--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book17q3.htm#Humor0717.htm

Humor June 2017--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book17q2.htm#Humor0617.htm

Humor May 2017--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book17q2.htm#Humor0517.htm

Humor April 2017--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book17q2.htm#Humor0417.htm

Humor March 2017--- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book17q1.htm#Humor0317.htm

Humor February 2017 --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book17q1.htm#Humor0217.htm

Humor January 2017 --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/book17q1.htm#Humor0117.htm


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

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

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://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.) --- http://faculty.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://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm 
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://faculty.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://faculty.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://faculty.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://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Some Accounting History Sites

Bob Jensen's Accounting History in a Nutshell and Links --- http://faculty.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://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/415wp/AmericanHistoryOfFraud.htm
Also see http://faculty.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