Well at least there wasn’t any brimstone

Two weeks ago I started work in a new office at MIT Sloan Management Review. With this move comes the odd luxury of working in a building at MIT that is a) 101 years old, b) actually has offices (vs. cubicles), c) has four windows with ample natural light, and d) river views. All in all not too bad. (Well the hundred-year old thing does mean controlling the heat in the winter is nearly an art form

Over the course of the past week, nearly every day around 5pm the room darkens quickly and the thunderstorms roll in. Today the storm came a little early. Its Friday, I bet it is getting an early jump on heading to the Cape like everybody else.

Chicken Florentine Recipe

There’s fresh spinach in the fridge looking for a meal other than salad so I did a little searching for “chicken spinach cream sauce” which led me to a bunch of recipes about “chicken florentine“. Now who am I going to trust more:  the food network, cooks.com, southernfood.about.com, or some blogger? What’s Southern Food got to do with anything “Florentine”? TV Food Network? Too much Giada, Paula, Ray-Ray. As for cooks.com, I can’t seriously take any recommendations from what’s practically a domain name squating site. As for the parent company of cooks.com, The FOURnet Information Network, its nice to see that they offer a $20 a month 56k dialup service.

But I digress, there is great recipe with pictures for chicken florentine over at The Kicthen Illiterate, a source you can trust.

MySQL Crosstab Query

After wrangling with the data in python trying to effect a cross-tab result I finally stepped back and learned how to do it in MySQL. MS-Access has this nifty TRANSFORM … PIVOT function that was so handy I used to keep a copy of Access around just for this one function. (I even wrote a MS SQL Server / ColdFusion / ASP / VB / Access piece of horrible spaghetti code once just to use the PIVOT function within a web application once).


SELECT fake_user_name,

sum(if(week = 1, total_mins, 0)) as week1,
sum(if(week = 2, total_mins, 0)) as week2,
sum(if(week = 3, total_mins, 0)) as week3,
sum(if(week = 4, total_mins, 0)) as week4,
sum(if(week = 5, total_mins, 0)) as week5,
sum(if(week = 6, total_mins, 0)) as week6,
sum(if(week = 7, total_mins, 0)) as week7,
sum(if(week = 8, total_mins, 0)) as week8,
sum(if(week = 9, total_mins, 0)) as week9,
sum(if(week = 10, total_mins, 0)) as week10,
sum(if(week = 11, total_mins, 0)) as week11,
sum(if(week = 12, total_mins, 0)) as week12,

team_name, user_type, user_affiliation, user_tshirt, user_days_ex_week, user_did_getfit_before

FROM `final_2008_report-user_details`

group by fake_user_name,team_name, user_type, user_affiliation, user_tshirt, user_days_ex_week, user_did_getfit_before