Theranos – Believe or Else

The resignations infuriated Elizabeth and Sunny. The following day, they summoned the staff for an all-hands meeting in the cafeteria. Copies of The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho’s famous novel about an Andalusian shepherd boy who finds his destiny by going on a journey to Egypt, had been placed on every chair. Still visibly angry, Elizabeth told the gathered employees that she was building a religion. If there were any among them who didn’t believe, they should leave. Sunny put it more bluntly: anyone not prepared to show complete devotion and unmitigated loyalty to the company should “get the fuck out.”

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
John Carreyrou

Madonna Screwed Up My Database Schema

If you have a column in a SQL Server table that does not allow NULL values and you need to change it to allow NULLs, here is how you do it.

Let’s say, you created a table like this:

CREATE TABLE Employees (
Then you hire Madonna and realize you need to make LastName nullable. Here’s how you change it.


How to Change a Column to Allow NULL in SQL Server

Four Year Old You

I have few memories of being four—a fact I find disconcerting now that I’m the father of a four-year-old. My son and I have great times together; lately, we’ve been building Lego versions of familiar places (the coffee shop, the bathroom) and perfecting the “flipperoo,” a move in which I hold his hands while he somersaults backward from my shoulders to the ground. But how much of our joyous life will he remember? What I recall from when I was four are the red-painted nails of a mean babysitter; the brushed-silver stereo in my parents’ apartment; a particular orange-carpeted hallway; some houseplants in the sun; and a glimpse of my father’s face, perhaps smuggled into memory from a photograph. These disconnected images don’t knit together into a picture of a life. They also fail to illuminate any inner reality. I have no memories of my own feelings, thoughts, or personality; I’m told that I was a cheerful, talkative child given to long dinner-table speeches, but don’t remember being so. My son, who is happy and voluble, is so much fun to be around that I sometimes mourn, on his behalf, his future inability to remember himself.

Are You the Same Person You Used to Be?
Researchers have studied how much of our personality is set from childhood, but what you’re like isn’t who you are.
By Joshua Rothman

Old Code – Load Bearing Bugs

The World Depends on 60-Year-Old Code No One Knows Anymore
byu/debordian inprogramming

Had to learn COBOL and JCL at my first job. It wasn’t tremendously hard, but there was a huge volume of programs to understand.

At one point I was maintaining code written in 1969 where there was a bug that no one was supposed to fix because there was 45 years worth of programs that assumed that bug was present.

Load bearing bug

I spent a while building a code analysis tool for an ancient proprietary language that was basically a superset of Pascal. A multi billion dollar company was built on this. Nobody at the company fully knew how it worked because they’d all retired years ago so I just had to be a code archeologist and hunt through the ruins. That was an interesting project

Part of the problem with COBOL is it was meant for non-programmers to be able to encode/automate literal business logic. Maintaining or replacing a COBOL system isn’t only about just the code. The under-specified business process needs to be reimplemented with 50-60 years worth of special exemptions and in many cases load bearing bugs.

You can learn COBOL as easily as any other language. It’s much harder to bring in someone that understands the business process that COBOL automated.

Finally someone who gets it. I was well paid not because I was the worlds best COBOL programmer, but because I was an expert on grain contracts. In the Midwest I was never out of work and usually made more than double what PC guys were making back in the 80’s.

I am currently leading a squad developing a replacement for a core banking program originally In COBOL, and the complexity is 100% in the actual operations. The code ain’t too tough, but it’s been 18 months so far of reverse engineering back and forth with the finance and compliance guys trying to nail down what’s needed. Every time we find a new intricacy and tell them, they’re like “Oh yeah, didn’t we tell you that?”

Morons. They’ve been relying on this software so long they don’t even know their own jobs any more.

Brain Study Suggests Traumatic Memories Are Processed as Present Experience – The New York Times

“Now we find something that potentially can explain it in the brain,” she said. “The brain doesn’t look like it’s in a state of memory; it looks like it is a state of present experience.”

Indeed, the authors conclude in the paper, “traumatic memories are not experienced as memories as such,” but as “fragments of prior events, subjugating the present moment.”

The traumatic memories appeared to engage a different area of the brain — the posterior cingulate cortex, or P.C.C., which is usually involved in internally directed thought, like introspection or daydreaming. The more severe the person’s PTSD symptoms were, the more activity appeared in the P.C.C.

Brain Study Suggests Traumatic Memories Are Processed as Present Experience

Top Podcasts of 2023 – Apple’s list(s)

Top Shows

  1. Crime Junkie
  2. The Daily
  3. Dateline NBC
  4. SmartLess
  5. This American Life
  6. Morbid
  7. Up First
  8. Huberman Lab
  9. Hidden Brain
  10. Stuff You Should Know

Top New Shows

  1. Scamanda
  2. The Retrievals
  3. The Deck Investigates
  4. Murder & Magnolias
  5. Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  6. The Girl in the Blue Mustang
  7. The Coldest Case in Laramie
  8. Murder in Apartment 12
  9. The Girlfriends
  10. Undetermined

Most Followed Shows

  1. Huberman Lab
  2. SmartLess
  3. New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce
  4. Scamanda
  5. The Mel Robbins Podcast
  6. Crime Junkie
  7. The Retrievals
  8. The Deck Investigates
  9. Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  10. On Purpose with Jay Shetty

Most Shared Shows

  1. Scamanda
  2. Sold a Story
  3. The Retrievals
  4. Huberman Lab
  5. SmartLess
  6. The Witch Trials of J.K Rowling
  7. Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra
  8. Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis Dreyfus
  9. The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)
  10. True Sunlight

Most Shared Episodes

  1. Huberman Lab: “What Alcohol Does to Your Body, Brain & Health”
  2. Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus: “Julia Gets Wise with Jane Fonda”
  3. The Daily: “The Fight Over Phonics”
  4. Hidden Brain: “The Paradox of Pleasure”
  5. Sold a Story: “The Problem”
  6. The Mel Robbins Podcast: “The ‘Let Them Theory’: A Life Changing Mindset Hack That 15 Million People Can’t Stop Talking About”
  7. The Retrievals: “The Patients”
  8. We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle: “Why We Love the Way We Love: Attachment Styles with Dr. Becky Kennedy”
  9. Just B with Bethenny Frankel: “Reality Reckoning: Rachel Leviss (Part One)”
  10. Serial: “The Alibi”

Juarez Burritos – New York Times on

No one questions that Juárez is the birthplace of burritos, though there are competing origin stories. Some attribute their creation to Juan Mendez, who sold guisados wrapped in flour tortillas from a donkey-pulled buggy — a burrito — during the Mexican Revolution. Others say they were born of the workers who took these wraps on the go and then called them burritos because they resembled the rolled blankets that sat atop donkeys in the fields. Some say they were named after children who helped women carry their shopping — endearingly nicknamed burritos — and paid with these wraps.

On both sides of the Rio Grande, the love for and dedication to the craft of making what they consider true burritos are perhaps what define the style most. Making them, Mr. Vasquez said, “has to come from the heart.”

Ms. Covarrubias echoed that sentiment. “The main ingredient is mucho amor.”

On the Border, the Perfect Burrito is a Thin, Foil-Wrapped Treasure
Despite a culinary rivalry, the sister cities El Paso and Ciudad Juárez can agree that a simple burrito is the best burrito.
Pati Jinich

Clyde’s – Lynn Nottage Play

In this feisty new comedy by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (Sweat, Ruined) and directed by Jamil Jude (Choir Boy, DCPA), you’ll become a fly on the wall of Clyde’s, a roadside sandwich shop, in all its gastronomical glory.

At Clyde’s, formerly incarcerated individuals cook up meals that range from sublime to soul-crushing. Even as the surly shop owner tries to keep them under her thumb, their kitchen mentor, Montrellous, guides them on a quest to create the perfect sandwich – and reclaim their lives. Through this shared pursuit, each cook must face their demons on their personal journeys towards purpose, self-worth, and even salvation.

Highly recommended.

What are some of Napoleon’s non military achievements? Ask ChatGPT

Napoleon Bonaparte, in addition to his military prowess, made several significant non-military achievements during his rule. Here are some notable examples:

Napoleonic Code: One of Napoleon’s most enduring legacies is the Napoleonic Code (Code Napoléon), also known as the Civil Code of 1804. It was a comprehensive legal code that brought together and codified many of the legal principles established during the French Revolution. The code influenced legal systems in many countries and is considered a foundation for modern civil law.

Education Reforms: Napoleon initiated various reforms in education with the aim of creating a more efficient and centralized system. The University of France was established, and primary and secondary education underwent changes to provide a standardized curriculum. These reforms aimed at ensuring a well-educated and skilled workforce.

Infrastructure Developmen
t: Napoleon contributed to significant infrastructure improvements in France. He supported the construction of roads, bridges, and canals, which not only facilitated military movements but also stimulated economic development and improved communication throughout the country.

Bank of France
: In 1800, Napoleon established the Bank of France (Banque de France) as the central bank of the country. The bank played a crucial role in stabilizing the French economy and facilitating economic growth by issuing currency, managing government funds, and regulating credit.

Public Health Reforms
: Napoleon implemented measures to improve public health. He established the concept of a central board of health, which was tasked with monitoring and controlling diseases. These efforts aimed at enhancing the overall well-being of the population.

Religious Concordat
: Seeking to reconcile with the Catholic Church after the turbulence of the French Revolution, Napoleon signed the Concordat with the Pope in 1801. This agreement reestablished the Catholic Church in France, recognizing it as the majority religion while also ensuring religious freedom for other faiths.

Cultural Patronage: Napoleon was a patron of the arts and sciences. He supported the establishment of the Louvre Museum, which became a repository for many works of art collected during his military campaigns. He also encouraged scientific expeditions and research, contributing to the advancement of knowledge in various fields.

While Napoleon is often remembered for his military campaigns and conquests, these non-military achievements also played a significant role in shaping France and, to some extent, the broader European landscape during his rule.