Table of Content

20190320: Bad Blood - Chapter 17: Fame


  • Richard and Joe Fuisz were tired and battered with the litigation that had pitted the Fuiszes against Theranos for the past two and a half years. Mike Underhill, one of the Boies Schiller attorneys came to them and suggested to settle the case, and they agreed. However, John Fuisz was not happy with the settlement and looking forward to testifying in court. He email a young reporter named Julia Love to cover the settlement.
  • Roger Parloff, Fortune magazine’s legal correspondent was caught by Julia Love’s article, and he was impressed with Theranos after the phone call with Dawn Schneider, Boie’s longtime public-relations representative. He decided to flew to Palo Alto to interview Elizabeth, and found her for the most part to be genuine and sincere.

    All of them (members of her board of directors) vouched for Elizabeth emphatically. Shultz and Mattis were particularly effusive.

  • Parloff’s cover story on Fortune vaulted Elizabeth to instant stardom, and then a story came from Forbes, and more fawning followed in USA Today … , along with segments on NPR, Fox Business. All of these brought Elizabeth a sudden fame.
  • Elizabeth’s speech at the TEDMED:
  • Patrick O’Neill, whom Elizabeth had hired away from TBWA\Chiat\Day and appointed Theranos’s chief creative officer. Patrick had become instrumental in honing Elizabeth’s image and raising her profile.
  • A finger-stick draws versus regular venous ones


  • warily
  • powwow: (informal) a quick private conference
  • pique: a sudden outburst of anger
  • quid pro quo: something for something
  • effusive: uttered with unrestrained enthusiasm
  • fawning: attempting to win favor by flattery
  • the trappings of fame: The trappings of power, wealth, or a particular job are the extra things, such as decorations and luxury items, that go with it.

20190313: Bad Blood - Chapter 15: Unicorn


  • An article about Theranos was published on the Journal (the Wall Street Journal), with the support from George Shultz, the former statesman and still a revered and influential figure in Republican circles. A press release was due to go out next morning announcing the opening of the first Theranos wellness center in a Walgreens store. The interview was driven by Paul Gigot, who is the Journal’s long-serving editorial page editor, and was written by Joseph Rago, a member of the Journal’s editorial board who had written extensively about health care.
  • Donald A. Lucas (Don) called his old friend in college Mike Barsanti , pitching him on an investment: Theranos. He told Mike that Theranos had come a long way since then, because not only the Theranos technology was about to launch in one of the country’s largest retail chains, but also it was being used by the U.S. military. Furthermore, Theranos was a huge valuation at $6 billion.
  • A venture capitalist named Aileen Lee wrote on the technology news website TechCrunch about the proliferation of startups valued at $1 billion or more, and these startups are called unicorn. Uber was at a valuation of $3.5 billion, and Spotify was at $4 billion. But for now they had been leapfrogged by Theranos. Christopher James and Brian Grossman, two seasoned investment professionals from a hedge fund Partner Fund noticed Theranos. During their visit to Theranos, they were impressed with their heavy security. The security at Theranos was managed by Jim Rivera, the head of James Mattis Pentagon security detail. And also Sunny and Elizabeth’s boldest claim (their scientific accomplishments) made a impression on them, because they were told the devices are capable to perform so many test (70+ different blood tests simultaneously) on just a drop or two of blood. But the author of the book says it remained beyond reach for a few basic reasons(what are they??) Moreover, what helped win James and Grossman was its board of directors, who are former cabinet members, congressmen, and military officials. Finally, the investment from Partner Fund brounght in another $96 millions to Theranos’s coffers and valued it at a stunning $9 billion!

20190313: Bad Blood - Chapter 14: Going Live


  • Alan Beam witnessed an accident that one of the nanocontainers just exploded when a technician was operating, only after a few weeks he’d been working at Theranos. He joined Theranos as a laboratory director. What troubles him is the lab’s morale was low when he took it over and it’s members wer downright despondent. And later he found the 4S, aka the miniLab, was not ready after the conversation with Paul Patel.
  • The biggest problems of all was the dysfunctional corporate culture in which it was developed. Elizabeth and Sunny regarded anyone who raised a concern or an objection as a cynic and a naysayer, while sycophants were promoted. Several Indians wer elevated to key position by Sunny, such as Sam Anekal the manager for integrating the various components of the MiniLab, Chinmay Pangarkar, and Suraj Saksena. While Elizabeth was fast to catch on to engineering concepts, Suny was often out of his depth during engineering discussions.(Examples?) Elizabeth’s unreasonable demands led to several issues such as cartridge, pipette and temperature issues (because of the six-blade design). Before the launch in Walgreens, Elizabeth and Sunny decided to dust off the Edison, which in turn, led to another fateful decision, the decision to cheat.
  • Daniel decides to tinker with the ADVIA 1800 made by Siemens Healthcare. Finally the machines was jailbroke/hacked and Elizabeth and Sunny decided to purchase six more ADVIAs. The blood sample were now being prediluted before being run through the Edisons. Anjali, the head of immunoassay was so disappointed with the go-live, and she decided to leave. The resignation of Anjali infuriated Elizabeth and Sunny that they told the gathered employees that she was building a religion. 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 - Chapter 11: Lighting a Fuisz


Bad Blood - Chapter 8: The miniLab

Key persons

  • Kent Frankovich
  • Greg Baney: was recruited by Kent, and convinced his buddies from Georgia Tech to join, including Jordan, Trey, and Ted
  • Gary Frenzel: the man who told Greg the relation between Elizabeth and Sunny?
  • Christian Holmes: Elizabeth’s younger brother, and recruited four of his fraternity brothers from Duke University, including Jeff Blickman, Nick Menchel, Dan Edlin, Sani Hadziahmetovic and Max Fosque
  • John Fanzio: the supply-chain manager
  • Del Barnwell: nick Big Del, not working long-enough hours


  • What is miniLab, how does it differ from Edison, why did Elizabeth need it?
  • New engineer for miniLab
    • Kent Frankovich
    • Greg Baney
  • Does Theranos keep a work-life balance?
  • What’s the voice incident that Greg come across? Elizabeth’s deep voice was affected
  • Who did Greg heard from about the relationship between Elizabeth and Sunny? Gary Frenzel
  • What is nepotism? And how did it take on a new dimension in Theranos?
  • Who is called Frat Pack in Theranos? But why? Source:
  • How was Greg struck by how clearly the line was drawn between the two groups?
  • How did Elizabeth and Sunny react to Jobs’s death?
  • How did Greg pay the price for his sister’s rejection of the offer from Theranos?
  • What was the Kent’s successful campaign on Kickstarter, a crowd-funding website? And how did Elizabeth react to this?: She thought Ken had betrayed her.
  • How did Kent’s departure affect Elizabeth and Greg?
  • When did Greg become fully disillusioned and resolved to leave?
  • Why did John got fired by Sunny?
  • What happened when Big Del leave the company?


  • Endear sb to sb: you become popular with them and well liked by them.

Bad Blood - Chapter 7: Dr. J

Key Persons

  • Dr. J: His real name was Jay Rosan, and he was member of Walgreens’ innovation team, and Walgreen is a drug store chain
  • Kevin Hunter, who headed a small lab consulting firm called Colaborate, and he was part of a Walgreen delegation led by Dr. J
  • Partnership: Walgreens had committed to prepurchase up to $50 million worth of Theranos cartridges and to loan the startup an additional $25 million
  • Wade Miqurelon, Walgreen’s chief financial officer who help Dr.J behind the project, a powerful allay with Dr. J
  • Danial Young: the successor of Seth Michelson, the head of Theranos’ biomath team
  • Van den Hooff: a Belgia executive of Walgreeen
  • Trish Lipinski: an internal replacement for Hooff
  • Steve Burd, the CEO of Safeway


  • How many times did Hunter get denied from Theranos? What are they
    • Show him the “commercially-ready” lab
    • demonstrate a live vitamin D test on its device
    • bring Walgreens IT department in on the pilot preparation
    • The blood-test result for Walgreens executives
    • Embed someone at Theranos through the pilot’s launch
    • A simply comparison study: fifty-patient study in which they would compare the results to ones from Stanford
  • Why did Hunter grow more and more suspicious/skeptical?
    • Eat at four in the afternoon
    • Theranos changed its tune and said the tests is would be offering in Walgreens store are “lab-developed tests”
    • a review document of its technology from Johns Hopkins University’s medical school: “novel and sound”

Vocabulary and expressions

  • remained mired in a deep economic malaise
  • Burd was over the moon about the partnership: extremely happy, delighted
  • DUI: driving under influence, commonly called “drunk driving”

Bad Blood - Chapter 6: Sunny

News Coverage:


Key Person:

  • Chelsea Burkeet: one of Elizabeth’s friend at Stanford
  • Sunny: Elizabeth’s boyfriend, senior Theranos executive, executive vice chairman
  • Seth Michelson: Theranos’s chief scientific officer, bring up the math model called SEIR(Susceptible, Exposed, Infected, and Resolved)
  • Gary Frenzel: told Chelsea that best way diagnose H1N1 was with a nasal swab rather than blood-testing


  • Chelsea Burkeet joins Theranos, and she didn’t like Sunny(Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani), who had come on board as a senior Theranos executive just a week earlier
  • Sunny is wealthy but boastful and patronizing towards employees: he pocketed more that $40 million after CommerceBid was acquired by “Commerce One”
  • What projects was Chelsea assigned?
    • a study with Centocor, a division of Johnson & Johnson, took her to Antwerp, Belgium, and the Theranos devices seems very buggy to her.
    • Mixico with Sunny, to predict where the swine flu virus would spread next, and She grew frustrated and miserable
  • How did Sunny met Elizabeth? in Beijing attending Stanford’s Mandarin program
  • How did the book describe Sunny?
    • boastful and patronizing
    • haughty and demeaning toward employees
    • He spawned a culture of fear with his intimidating behavior
  • How did Seth get dismissed?
  • What’s the reason that Tony Nugent confronted Sunny?
  • Why did Chelsea got appalled?
  • Why did Chelsea left Theranos with conflicting emotions?

Vocabulary & Expressions

  • in deference to …
  • take an immediate dislike to sb.
  • Chelsea was appalled

Bad Blood - Chapter 5: The Childhood Neighbor

  • Holmes Family
    • Chris Holmes
    • Noel
    • Elizabeths
  • Fuisz Family
    • Richard Fuisz
    • Lorraine
    • Son: Justin Fuisz

Bad Blood - Chapter 2: The Gluebot

  • What’s the obstacles Ed facing to improve the prototype?

Bad Blood - Chapter 1: A Purposeful Life

  • How did she raise the money she needed? she leveraged her family connections

Bad Blood - Prologue

  • Key People
    • Tim Kemp, had spent thirty years at IBM
    • Henry Mosley, Theranos’s chief financial officer
    • Donald L. Lucas - The chairman of her board
    • Channing Robertson - Another board member with a sterling reputation, the associate dean of Stanford’s School of Engineering.
    • Diane Parks, Theranos’s chief commercial officer, had twenty-five years of experience at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
    • John Howard, the senior vice president for products, had overseen Panasonic’s chipmaking subsidiary
    • Shaunak Roy, Theranos’s cofounder. Shaunak had a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. He and Elizabeth had worked together in Robertson’s research lab at Stanford.
  • What is ‘the hockey-stick forecast’
  • What’s the gist of the cartridge-and-reader system?
  • Why Mosley was stunned when he heard the explanation from Shaunak about why the system was not reliable?
  • What’s the charisma of Elizabeth in the eye of Mosley?
  • What was its new valuation when the company was 3-year-old? And why?
  • Why Mosley got fired?

2018-08-13: idiosyncrasy

  • meaning:
    • a mode of behavior or way of thought peculiar to an individual: one of his little idiosyncrasies was always preferring to be in the car first
    • a distinctive or peculiar feature or characteristic of a place or thing: the idiosyncrasy of the prison system
  • synonyms: peculi’arity, eccen’tricity, individual/personal trait, oddity
  • plural form: idiosyncrasies
  • adjective: idiosyncratic
  • And, wondering if the fault is mine, I rack my brains to remember idiosyncrasies which might lend them vividness. 我想知道这是不是我的过错,我苦思苦想,希望回忆起一些能使他们性格鲜明的特征。(Chapter 8 1)

2018-08-08: instinctive

  • instinctive: doing or being a specified thing apparently naturally or automatically; done without conscious thought. for example, protecting her own children is an instinctive reaction of a mother, and blinking is a an instinctive reaction of everyone
  • Synonym: spontaneous, impulsive, instinctive, automatic, mechanical, (intuitive, natural), see more at
  • noun: instinct. 1) a natural or inherent aptitude, impulse, or capacity. For example, “his instinct for making the most of his chances”, “instinct told her not to ask the question”
  • instigate ??
  • Origin: Latin , from in- ‘towards’ + stinguere ‘to prick’. (刺,扎)
  • Everyone talked a little louder than natural in an instinctive desire to make the party go, and there was a great deal of noise in the room. 每个人都想叫宴会热闹一些,所以谈话的嗓门都比平常高了许多,屋子里一片喧哗。(Chapter 5)

2018-08-06: disparagingly

  • disparaging(adj.): expressing the opinion that something is of little worth, derogatory 贬义的: a derogatory term/a disparaging term
  • disparage (verb)
    • simply means to describe things as unimportant or bad : to belittle, to depreciate. e.g. He never missed an opportunity to disparage his competitors
    • also means to lower the reputation: Your behavior will disparage the whole family
  • Word origin: late Middle English (in the sense ‘marry someone of unequal rank,’ also ‘bring discredit on’): from Old French desparagier ‘marry someone of unequal rank,’ based on Latin par ‘equal.’
  • She said this not disparagingly, but affectionately rather, as though, by acknowledging the worst about him, she wished to protect him from the aspersions of her friends.她用这个词一点儿也没有贬抑的意思,相反地,倒是怀着一股深情,好像由她自己说出他最大的缺点就可以保护他不受她朋友们的挖苦似的。 (Chapter 5)
  • podcast

    This is the English reading club’s Word of the Day podcast for Monday, August 6th.

    Today’s word is disparagingly, which is an adverb as you can guess. The adjective form is ‘disparaging’ and the verb form is ‘disparage’, which is spelled ‘DISPARAGE’.

    A disparaging word or term is the word you use to criticize something, or to express that something is of little worth. It can also be addressed as ‘a derogatory term’ 贬义词

    Disparage has two meanings: 1) to describe things as unimportant or bad : to belittle, to depreciate. e.g. He never missed an opportunity to disparage his competitors” 2) to make things unimportant/ to lower the reputation: Your behavior will disparage the whole family.

    It’s a little bit interesting to talk about its word origin: in late Middle English, to disparage someone meant causing that person to marry someone of inferior rank. ‘dis-‘ is a negative prefix, and the ‘-parage’ actually comes from ‘per’, meaning ‘peer’ or ‘equal’.

    This word appears in the beginning of Chapter 5: She said this not disparagingly, but affectionately rather, as though, by acknowledging the worst about him, she wished to protect him from the aspersions of her friends.她用这个词一点儿也没有贬抑的意思,相反地,倒是怀着一股深情,好像由她自己说出他最大的缺点就可以保护他不受她朋友们的挖苦似的。 (Chapter 5)

    To know more that the word ‘disparage’, please visit the Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for Sep. 27, 2013

    Thanks for listening, and I’m Jizu. See you next time!

2018-08-05: disconcerting

  • Disconcert /ˌdiskənˈsərt/: simply means to make confused, embarrassed or upset. Any abrupt/sudden/unexpected changes, news or behavior will disconcert you, or you will be disconcerted by these things. Something you’re not used to would also disconcert you. For example: She was not as disconcerted as she had expected to be.
  • Word origin: from obsolete French desconcerter, from des- (expressing reversal) + concerter ‘bring together.’
  • Concert /ˈkänˌsərt/: (noun) a musical performance given in public, e.g. symphony concerts; (verb) formal: arrange (something) by mutual agreement or coordination. For example, they started meeting regularly to concert their tactics.
  • Concerto /kənˈCHerdō/ 协奏曲:a piece of music for one or more soloinstruments playing with an orchestra 协奏曲
  • … and the novels she wrote were original and disconcerting 她写的小说很有特色,读起来叫你心绪不能平静 (Chapter 4 1)
  • Podcast

    This the English reading club’s Word of the Day podcast for Sunday, August 5.

    Today’s word is disconcerting. Spelled as DISCONCERTING. It is the gerund (/ˈjerənd/ 动名词)and present participle of ‘disconcert’. Disconcert is a verb which simply means to make confused, embarrassed, or upset. Any abrupt/sudden/unexpected change, news or behavior would disconcert you, or you would be disconcerted by these things. For example: She was not as disconcerted as she had expected to be.

    ‘Disconcert’ can be understood with its two parts: dis, and concert. ‘dis’ means opposite/reversal, ‘concert’ means ‘bring’ together. You should differentiate the pronunciation of the following words with the same origin: concert and concerto. You already know that concert means a musical performance given in public, e.g. symphony concerts; (verb) formal: arrange (something) by mutual agreement or coordination. For example, they started meeting regularly to concert their tactics. Concerto /kənˈCHerdō/ 协奏曲:) a piece of music for one or more solo instruments playing with an orchestra 协奏曲

    This word appears in the Chapter 4 of the book: … and the novels she wrote were original and disconcerting 她写的小说很有特色,读起来叫你心绪不能平静.

    With your word of the day, I’m Jizu. Thanks for listening, and see you.

2018-08-04: demure

  • adjective: demure; comparative adjective: demurer; superlative: demurest 2
  • (of a woman or her behavior) reserved, modest, and shy
  • synonyms: modest, unassuming, reserved, quiet, shy, bashful
  • Rose Waterford cast down her eyes demurely to give greater effect to her reply. 为了使自己的答话给我更深的印象,瓦特尔芙德故意把眼皮一低,做出一副一本正经的样子。(Chapter 4 of 1
  • When we first met Kelly, she was quiet and demure, so it surprises us now to see that she can be vocal and forward. (From M-W Podcast: demure )
  • Podcast

    This is the English reading club Word of the Day podcast for Saturday, August 4.

    Today’s word is demure. Spelled D-E-M-U-R-E. Demure is an adjective which means reserved, modest or shy, and primarily used to describe a woman or girl. Its comparative adjective (比较级) is demurer and its superlative adjective (最高级) is demurest. A sentence with both of its synonyms and antonyms might be: When we first met Kelly, she was quiet and demure, so it surprises us now to see that she can be vocal and forward. Other synonyms might be retiring, bashful, unassuming, and quite. It can also be used to describe the clothing leading a modest appearance.

    Demure is sometimes confused with ‘demur’ (D-E-M-U-R) because of the similar-sounding. demur is an verb which means to disagree politely, although they share the same old french word, well… which unfortunately I cannot pronounce.

    The word appeared in the beginning of Chapter 4: Rose Waterford cast down her eyes demurely to give greater effect to her reply. 为了使自己的答话给我更深的印象,瓦特尔芙德故意把眼皮一低,做出一副一本正经的样子。1

    This word is also the Merriam-Webster’s word of the day for June 17, 2013. You can know more about its etymology with the link provided in the transcript of today’s podcast.

2018-08-03: copiousness

  • copious
    • etymology(origin): copia (Latin) means ‘plenty’ 2
    • words with same origin: copy, a cornucopia of sth.
    • synonyms: abundant, plentiful, ample, profuse
    • antonyms: sparse
    • cornucopia: (1) A container shaped like a hollow horn full of fruits, vegetables, and ears of grain. (2) An abundance of something desirable. (Example) These books were a cornucopia of wonderful stories and poems, and as a child I spent countless hours with them. 3
  • Podcast:

    Hi everyone! Thanks god, it’s Friday. :sparkles: First of all, I would like to thank all of you for encouraging me to innovate the word of the day, although the podcast yesterday is in a hurry. And I hope I can improve it, and bring to you more fun and the reminiscences of our reading club, in the coming days.

    Today’s word is “copiousness”, spelled “COPIOUSNESS”. Its adjective is ‘copious’, which simply means very large in amount or number. Some of its synonyms might includes abundant, plentiful, ample, and profuse. And sparse might be one of its antonyms.

    You might come up with the word “copy” when you hear the word “copious”, and you’re on the right track since both of them share the same origin “copia”, the latin word for “abundance”. And another word that directly derived from it is cornucopia. It’a noun which means …. It can also mean … For example, you can use the expression a cornucopia of something like this: …

    And here’s the sentence at the end of chapter 2 of the Moon and Sixpence: I marvel at the felicity of their style; but with all their copiousness (their vocabulary suggests that they fingered Roget’s Thesaurus in their cradles) they say nothing to me. 我惊叹他们精巧的文体;但是虽然他们用词丰富(从他们的语汇看,倒仿佛这些人躺在摇篮里就已经翻读过罗杰特的《词汇宝库》了),却没有告诉我们什么新鲜东西。

    With your word of the day, I’m Jizu. Thanks for listening and have a nice weekend, and, enjoy reading :books::books:

  • Merriam-Websters’ Word of the Day for August 3

    It’s Merriam-Websters’ Word of the Day for August 3.

    Support for today’s podcast comes from Google Play. Listen to great audiobook anytime anywhere with Google Play. And enjoy hands of free listening using Google Assistant or ChromeCast. Find your story with audiobook on Google Play and for a limited time. You get ten dollars off your first one by visiting

    Today’s word is pacify. Spelled P-A-C-I-F-Y. Pacify is a verb that means to allay the anger or agitation of, to soothe. It can also mean to appease or propitiate. Pacify also means to restore to tranquil state, to settle. Or reduce to a submissive state, to subdue. Here’s a word used in the sentence from the Economist. “To check on the health of a colony of bees it is usually necessary to open the hive, a procedure which involves using smoke to pacify the bees.”

    A parent who wants to win a little peace and quiet might give a fussy baby a pacifier. And employer seeking to avoid worker discontent might pay employees well. These actions may seem unrelated, but etymologically speaking, they have a lot in common. Both pacifier and pay are ultimately derived from pax, the latin word for “peace”. As you may have guessed, pax is also the source of our word peace. Pacify comes to us through Middle English from Latin word pacificare, which derives from pax. With your word of the day, I’m Perter Sokolowski. Visit today for definitions, word-play and trending word lookups.

2018-08-02: reminiscence

  • reminiscence /ˌrɛməˈnɪsn̩s/
    • a story that someone tells about something that happened in the past: I listened to my grandmother’s reminiscences of the past 4
    • the act of remembering or telling about past experiences: a time of reminiscence.
    • What would we not give for the reminiscences of someone who had been as intimately acquainted with El Greco as I was with Strickland? 如果有人同埃尔·格列柯像我同思特里克兰德那样熟稔,为了读到他写的格列柯回忆录,有什么代价我们不肯付呢?1

2018-07-21: maniacal

  • maniacal
    • maniac /ˈmeɪniˌæk/ (n. & adj.)
    • maniacal /məˈnajəkəl/ (adj.)
    • [Synonym] nut, enthusiast, fanatic, zealot, fiend
    • [Confusables] mania, manual, menial, panic, magic
    • a maniacal cry or laugh is loud and wild: He suddenly exploded into maniacal laughter.

2018-07-20: duvet

  • duvet /duˈveɪ, ˈduːˌveɪ/
    • a large, soft, flat bag filled with feathers or artifical material used as a covering on a bed
    • Examples:
      • She pulled the duvet over her head to try to shut ou the light
      • The children’s duvet have some type of synthetic fillings, not goose-down or anything like that
      • I was just snuggling down into the my warm duvet when my phone rang.
      • an unbleached cotten duvet
  1. The Moon and Sixpence  2 3 4 5

  2. Google this word with “define this_word”  2

  3. Merriam Webster’s Vocabulary Builder 

  4. Merriam Webster Advanced Learners (2013)