ochronus.online newsletter week 43

2020 week 43

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Dear Subscribers,

I hope you had a great week and you’re ready for this next edition! Sit back, relax and enjoy 💖

A New Map of All the Particles and Forces

An amazing overview of where particle physics is at today – it’s also a good primer. As a bonus – if you’re a physics geek like me – you’ll enjoy What Is the Geometry of the Universe? too.

Use “pseudo-sets” to control how many actions people take

A 3-years old Harvard research building on Gestalt psychology shows us how we can influence people to take more, or less, actions (e.g. reading or buying something, going to the gym) by grouping them into sets that feel ‘complete’. Pseudo-set framing is widely used in areas like web design (“you’ve read 66% of this article”. Really), gaming (“unlock 8 new levels”), and collectible products (e.g. cards, toys).

Communicating organizational changes

Org changes can be disruptive if not communicated properly. Read this article for some actionable advice on how to do it right.

Less status updates, more coaching

James Stanier talks about how to avoid “status snore-fests” and turn your one-to-ones into coaching sessions. Shameless plug: I’ve also written about the basics of one-on-ones.

The four dangerous animals of product development

As usual, the last piece is from me, myself and I – there are (at least) four specific behaviors in product development that we need to watch out for. Join me in a quick (really, it’s a short post) stroll through the zoo.


As an extra, this time we have a new section:

What happened this week in history?

October 25

  • 1881 Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, is born in Malaga, Spain.
  • On October 25, 1944, during the Battle of the Leyte Gulf, the Japanese deploy kamikaze (“divine wind”) bombers against American warships for the first time. It will prove costly–to both sides.

October 24

  • Not only the first woman but the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, Annie Edison Taylor is a poor widow when she arrives in Niagara Falls in 1901. The 63-year-old (who claims to be 42) sees the stunt as a way to make money. After hiring a manager, she braves the falls in a barrel she designs herself. She survives, but “the heroine of Horseshoe Falls” doesn’t end up with the financial windfall she expects. She works as a Niagara street vendor for 20 years and dies penniless.
  • On October 24, 1951, President Harry Truman finally proclaims that the nation’s war with Germany, begun in 1941, is officially over. Fighting had ended in the spring of 1945.
  • The Treaty of Westphalia is signed in 1648, ending the Thirty Years’ War and radically shifting the balance of power in Europe. As a result, the Netherlands gained independence from Spain, Sweden gained control of the Baltic and France was acknowledged as the preeminent Western power. The power of the Holy Roman Emperor was broken and the German states were again able to determine the religion of their lands.
  • The supersonic Concorde jet makes its last commercial passenger flight, traveling at twice the speed of sound from New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to London’s Heathrow Airport on October 24, 2003.
  • On October 24, 1945, the United Nations Charter, which was adopted and signed on June 26, 1945, is now effective and ready to be enforced. The United Nations is born.
  • President Eisenhower pledges support to Diem’s government and military forces in 1954, leading to the Vietnam War next year.

October 23

  • On October 23, 2002, about 50 Chechen rebels storm a Moscow theater, taking up to 700 people hostage during a sold-out performance of a popular musical. After a 57-hour-standoff at the Palace of Culture, during which two hostages were killed, Russian special forces surrounded and raided the theater on the morning of October 26. Most of the guerrillas and 120 hostages were killed during the raid.
  • In 42 B.C. Marcus Junius Brutus, a leading conspirator in the assassination of Julius Caesar, dies by suicide after his defeat at the second battle of Philippi.
  • In 1983, a suicide bomber drives a truck filled with 2,000 pounds of explosives into a U.S. Marine Corps barracks at the Beirut International Airport. The explosion killed 220 Marines, 18 sailors, and three soldiers. A few minutes after that bomb went off, a second bomber drove into the basement of the nearby French paratroopers’ barracks, killing 58 more people. Four months after the bombing, American forces left Lebanon without retaliating.

October 22

  • JFK’s address on the Cuban Missile Crisis shocks the nation in 1962. During the next six days, the crisis escalated to a breaking point as the world tottered on the brink of nuclear war between the two superpowers.
  • On October 22, 2012, Lance Armstrong is formally stripped of the seven Tour de France titles he won from 1999 to 2005 and banned for life from competitive cycling after being charged with systematically using illicit performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions as well as demanding that some of his Tour teammates dope in order to help him win races.
  • In 1797 The first parachute jump of note is made by André-Jacques Garnerin from a hydrogen balloon 3,200 feet above Paris.
  • 1975 – Air Force Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, is given a “general” discharge by the air force after publicly declaring his homosexuality. Matlovich, who appeared in his air force uniform on the cover of Time magazine above the headline “I AM A HOMOSEXUAL,” was challenging the ban against homosexuals in the U.S. military. In 1979, after winning a much-publicized case against the air force, his discharge was upgraded to “honorable.”

October 21

  • 1805 – In one of the most decisive naval battles in history, a British fleet under Admiral Lord Nelson defeats a combined French and Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar, fought off the coast of Spain.
  • 1967 – in Washington, D.C. nearly 100,000 people gather to protest the American war effort in Vietnam. More than 50,000 of the protesters marched to the Pentagon to ask for an end to the conflict. The protest was the most dramatic sign of waning U.S. support for President Lyndon Johnson’s war in Vietnam. Polls taken in the summer of 1967 revealed that, for the first time, American support for the war had fallen below 50 percent.

October 20

  • On October 20, 1947, the notorious Red Scare kicks into high gear in Washington, as a Congressional committee begins investigating Communist influence in one of the world’s richest and most glamorous communities: Hollywood.
  • In 2011, Muammar al-Qaddafi, the longest-serving leader in Africa and the Arab world, is captured and killed by rebel forces near his hometown of Sirte. The eccentric 69-year-old dictator, who came to power in a 1969 coup, headed a government that was accused of numerous human rights violations against its own people and was linked to terrorist attacks, including the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland.
  • 1973 Sydney Opera House opens
  • 1973 – solicitor General Robert Bork dismisses Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox; Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus resign in protest. This series of resignations and firings became known as the Saturday Night Massacre and outraged the public and the media. Two days later, the House Judiciary Committee began to look into the possible impeachment of Nixon.

October 19

  • 1781 – Hopelessly trapped at Yorktown, Virginia, British General Lord Cornwallis surrenders 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a larger Franco-American force, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution.
  • 1812 – One month after Napoleon Bonaparte’s massive invading force entered a burning and deserted Moscow, the starving French army is forced to begin a hasty retreat out of Russia.

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