Newsletters

No. 184: Gwen O’Shea, Joan Bucchino and what to name Ford’s soy car

TG it’s F: It’s Jan. 13, on which Henry Ford applied for a patent for plastic car parts, actually made from soybeans, which reduced the weight of a 1942 beta model by 1,000 pounds. Interest in the project waned when World War II steel rationing ended and the recipe has since been lost and the single test model destroyed. Tofu, Brute: Send us your funnest ideas on what a soybean-built car should have been named and…


No. 183: Golub, Waldman, Kaufman, Scaduto and a redux for the VW bus

Happy Tuesday: Which we’ve decided is a much better day than Monday for a newsletter, given the slow pace of news, especially over winter weekends. (OK, that and the playoffs. And Sunday roasts. Fires. Naps. You get the idea.) It’s Jan. 10, on which Swiss chemist Jacques Brandenberger received a 1911 patent for a waterproof film made from plant material. The inventor combined “cellulose” with “diaphanous” to get the product name cellophane. (Saran Wrap didn’t come…


No. 182: Scary optimism, a flu breakthrough and the red wine-no shrinkage diet

TG it’s F: A great end to the week everyone and welcome new readers Les, Gus, Blake, Gianni and Kelly. It’s Jan. 6, on which “Home of the Whopper” was trademarked in 1965. It’s also National Bean Day. Please celebrate responsibly. Just in: In a potentially huge breakthrough in the struggle against seasonal influenza mutations, Farmingdale-based Codagenix Inc. is preparing to release data demonstrating “multi-season efficacy” for its frontline flu vaccine – meaning the vaccine could prevent flu-related sicknesses even…


No. 181: Hot wearables, top stories and real news about fake news

TG it’s OVER: A happy end to the year, everybody, and welcome new readers including Jason, Gil and Stefanie. It’s Dec. 30, on which the USSR was formed, Hubble spotted another galaxy and England stopped using canaries in coal mines. (The canaries ended in 1986. Interestingly, most came back around when exposed to fresh air.) It’s National Bacon Day. Those who do not partake of the pork product may celebrate by watching “Footloose.” The Innovate staff…


No. 180: Fake snow, real Nutella and setting the tone for 2017

Happy Festivus: Today’s also Hanukkah eve and the day before the day before Christmas. However you’re celebrating, here’s wishing the magic and joy of the holiday season reaches far into your new year. The Innovate staff is taking time off to be with family and friends, so no newsletter on Monday. (Which, if you need more celebrating, is the start of the 50th Kwanzaa.) Wrapping up the year: Feinstein Institute researchers have put a bow on an impressive 2016 with…


No. 179: Reed Phillips, Apollo’s end and Faulkner’s toddy curative

A great start to the holiday week, everybody, and how did we ever manage before Amazon Prime? (Or at least a Dudley.) Welcome new readers Cliff, Amanda and Roger. The final Apollo mission returned to Earth on this day in 1972, setting up one of the great bar trivia questions of all time: How many Americans landed on the moon? Answer below. But first, this: We’ve been sifting through the fine print of Long Island’s $62…


No. 178: More jobs, quantum weirdness and Bowie makes the charts

TG it’s F: A happy Friday, everybody, and if you’re looking for a warm thought to combat this polar vortex business, remember this: The days start getting longer in less than a week. 5:44 a.m. on Thursday, to be exact. In the interim, may we suggest an Old Fashioned? In the 1800s, it was America’s favorite morning drink. (Because it’s always 5 a.m. somewhere.) Jobs: The number of private sector jobs on Long Island increased…


No. 177: $1 billion for clean gen, $650 million for bio and a nickel for the LIE

It’s Tuesday: The next-best day to publish a Monday newsletter. It’s also the National Day of the Horse, on which Congress asks us to reflect on the important contributions of equus caballos. Two great celebratory movies to consider, depending on your taste in leading men, Mickey Rooney or Viggo Mortensen. If you’re dining out French, it’s probably best to skip the steak à cheval. But first, this: Washington and Albany are butting heads over the LIE’s new Long Island Welcome Center, at which the state…


No. 176: Winnie Mack, Dave Kapell and what to sing to in the shower

But first, this: A new Gallup report looks at American productivity as measured by per capita GDP and suggests the country has posted pathetically low growth since long before the Great Recession. Since 1980, actually. The big culprits, according to Gallup, are health care, housing and education costs, which have been rising steadily – now 36 percent of total national spending – but without providing any of the game-changing innovations that might spur added economic growth….


No. 175: State of Startups, Dr. Leonardo and woolly mammoths in a post-truth world

Rainy day and Monday: Yes, but count your blessings. Hawaii’s Big Island got 30 inches of snow and an ice advisory over the weekend. Welcome new readers Jon, Sergy, Edna and W.T. Happy to have you aboard. Collectively, don’t forget to send story ideas, news tips, calendar and people items, carps, comments and corrections to editor@innovateli.com. It’s Dec. 5, on which Aaron Allen patented the folding theater chair in 1854. The first practical pipe wrench –…


No. 174: Of Lesko and the Cullens and a librarian you just can’t help but love

TG it’s F: A great end to the week everybody. Hope it’s been a good one. It’s Dec. 2, meaning you’ve already had to duck at least eight days of radio Christmas caroling. One of the most-overplayed is the Gene Autry cover of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” It was released during Christmas week in 1949 and topped the charts on Jan. 7, making it – great bit of trivia – the first No. 1 hit of the 1950s….


No. 173: Smart socks, new eyes and Snapchat’s latest Spectacle

Monday, Monday: You should be just about out of gravy by now. Say hello to new readers Beth, Arlene, Silus, Peter and Tasha. It’s National French Toast Day. (They call it pain perdu, or lost bread.) It’s also Cyber Monday, on which we are collectively expected to buy $3.36 billion worth of stuff, a 9.4 percent increase over last year. That will make it the largest shopping day in history, according to Forbes. But just…


No. 172: Björk, dumb roofs and goodbye to the Piltdown Man

Monday, Monday: A great short week to everyone and welcome new readers Beth, Laura and Neil. Like many of you, the Innovate staff will be stretching Thursday’s celebration into the weekend, so no Friday newsletter. Have a great holiday. Today is Nov. 21: On which we remember the Piltdown Man, heralded as the 500,000-year-old “missing link” between apes and humans. Discovered in 1912 by a British lawyer and amateur paleontologist named Charles Dawson, the fossilized…


No. 171: Speed networking, Jeter’s new gig and a whole lotta sriracha

TG it’s F: A great close to the week everyone. It’s Nov. 18, on which we got the push-button phone, the first color comics and Twain’s celebrated jumping frog. It’s also National Vichyssoise Day, which makes no sense since it’s served cold, but hey. Many, many ones and zeroes: A national research team led by Stony Brook University has been awarded 45 million hours on the Titan Cray XK7 supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to further research on explosive astrophysical…


No. 170: Israel’s flicks, an invention demo and inside the Tunnel of Fudge

It’s Monday out there: A great start to the week everybody and welcome new readers John, Paul, Christian, Chris and Justin. Great to have you on board. Collectively, don’t forget to send tips, story ideas, criticisms and corrections to editor@innovateli.com. Today is Nov. 14, on which the bundt pan was invented in 1950. It didn’t really take off until 1966, when Houston housewife Ella Helfrich placed second in the Pillsbury Bake-Off with a cake called…