No. 335: Phooey chop, King of Pop and a phone flop – and why is Hank Foley so big on blockchain, anyway?

The people's King: Michael Jackson, whose music is credited with breaking racial barriers, would be 60 years old today.

Middle of the road: Welcome to the midpoint of another sweltering summer workweek, dear reader. Your three-day holiday weekend is now clearly in sight.

It’s already Aug. 29 out there, and not only is this week half over, but at midnight tomorrow night, 2018 will be two-thirds kaput. That’s fairly amazing.

Best of luck: For those keeping score, Wednesday is the best day of the week for airplane travel, grocery shopping, weighing yourself, getting married and buying a car – and one of the three best days for hiring new employees and visiting the laundromat, according to the masterminds at The Fun Times Guide.

Transformational: It was a Monday, on this date in 1831, when British physicist Michael Faraday demonstrated the first electric transformer – essentially inventing electro-magnetic induction and prewiring modern electricity supplies.

Langsam: It was Aug. 29, 1839, when Deutsche authors Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm – known better as the Brothers Grimm – announced their plans for an end-all, be-all German dictionary covering more than 450 years of lingo.

It was finally completed 123 years later, well after their deaths, in 1961. (Yes, “langsam” is German for “slow.”)

Cash machine: Still serving as the national “money factory,” the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing started producing paper and coin currency on this date in 1862.

Mostly cloudy: Using astronomical spectroscopy, a science he basically invented, English astronomer Sir William Huggins discovered the chemical composition of nebulae on Aug. 29, 1864 (mostly hydrogen and helium, plus plasma and dust).

Chop chop: A highly dubious origin story has chop suey invented by the personal chef of legendary Chinese diplomat Li Hung Chang during a tour of New York City on Aug. 29, 1896.

But the Oxford English Dictionary’s first reference to “chop suey” was in 1888, according to Snopes, so put that in your wok and fry it.

The rubber hits the road: Less disputed is the founding of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which occurred in Ohio on this date in 1898.

Still thrilling us: The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, would be 60 years old today.

Also sharing the birthdate are ASPCA founder Henry Bergh (1811-1888), Swedish screen legend Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982), influential American jazz innovator Charlie “Bird” Parker (1920-1955), recently departed war hero and U.S. Senator John McCain (1936-2018) and American entrepreneur Brian Chesky (born 1981), co-founder and CEO of Airbnb.

Make it fast: And take a bow, Speedy Gonzalez – the Warner Bros. cartoon character, who debuted in the 1953 Looney Tunes short “Cat-Tails for Two,” turns 65 today.

So, who takes it – the sombrero-wearing “fastest mouse in all Mexico” or the infamous Road Runner? Get your meep-meep on at editor@innovateli.com – and drop off a quick story idea or calendar suggestion, please and thank you.

 

A few words from our sponsor: Northwell Health is New York’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 22 hospitals, more than 550 outpatient facilities and 62,000-plus employees. We’re making research breakthroughs at the Feinstein Institute and training the next generation of medical professionals at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. Visit Northwell.edu.

 

BUT FIRST, THIS

The world at your doorstep: Empire State Development Corp.’s 2018 Global NY Exports Tour is coming to Long Island. The ESDC announced Tuesday that representatives from Global NY’s foreign offices will embark on a “trade promotion tour” to eight statewide regions, including an Oct. 18 stop at Suffolk County Community College.

A function of the ESDC’s international-trade division, the tour – featuring representatives from Canada, Mexico, the UK, South Africa, Israel and China – is designed to assist both foreign businesses looking to invest here and local businesses eager to export globally.

The weeklong tour also includes stops in New York City, the Capital District, the Southern Tier and four other New York economic zones. The Oct. 18 session is scheduled to run from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at SCCC’s Health, Sports and Education Center in Brentwood. Registration and more information, including a complete tour schedule, are available here.

Thanks a clot: A big brain at Northwell Health’s R&D mecca may have unlocked the secret to preventing certain blot clots and pulmonary embolisms, serious threats to patients enduring long-term hospitalizations.

According to clinical findings published this week in The New England Journal of Medicine, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research scientist Alex Spyropoulos, an oncologist and professor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, has uncovered an “anticoagulant treatment strategy” that reduces non-fatal blood clotting and pulmonary embolism in acutely ill patients – including cancer and post-surgical patients, among others.

Promising “almost no critical or fatal bleeding and with a very low incidence of major bleeding,” according to Northwell Health, Spyropoulos’ strategy might reduce venous thrombosis and non-fatal pulmonary embolism in up to 30 percent of acutely ill hospitalized patients – big news for 8 million qualifying U.S. patients and another 12 million across Europe. For more, check out the NEJM article authored by Spyropoulos and 11 of his closest friends.

 

TOP OF THE SITE

Over the Edge: Taiwanese technology giant HTC is peddling a new smartphone that lets users control functions by squeezing the sides – but a respected Long Island reviewer says the tech falls short.

Mental block: NYIT President Henry Foley has thought long and hard about blockchain technology – and he’s convinced it’s the best hope for quickly and accurately authenticating scientific research.

Breaking down walls: A Feinstein Institute researcher has landed a $3 million grant to overcome cultural barriers and create a telemedicine program designed specifically for Hispanic diabetes patients.

 

STUFF WE’RE READING

How to demotivate your disruptors: “We’ve always done it this way,” and other innovation killers management must avoid, according to Forbes.

Admit it, you still have nightmares: How your memories of gym class might be affecting your exercise habits today, according to the New York Times.

Let the bidding begin: What’s going to happen to all those empty Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores, according to Newsday.

 

RECENT FUNDINGS

+ Codeverse, a Chicago-based interactive classroom and platform designed to teach children ages 6 to 12 coding skills, raised $10 million in seed funding from undisclosed investors.

+ Equitymultiple, a San Francisco- and NYC-based commercial real estate investment startup, raised $3 million in funding anchored by lead investor Ken Pasternak, a former NASDAQ board members and founder of Knight Trading, and a consortium of real estate and finance executives.

+ 410 Medical Inc., a North Carolina-based medical device company focused on innovative resuscitation technologies, raised $3.1 million in new financing led by the AIM Group, with participation from the North Carolina Venture Capital Multiplier Fund, Kleinheinz Capital and WakeMed Health & Hospitals.

+ OPKIX, a California-based maker of a wearable smart camera and a companion studio editing/sharing app, raised $5.7 million in Series B funding. Investors included Sumerian Records and Films founder and CEO Ash Avildsen, Olympic gold medalist Dorian van Rijsselberghe, stunt rider Robbie Maddison and World Surf League Tour surfer Joel Parkinson.

+ Getaround, a San Francisco-based car-sharing platform, raised $300 million in Series D financing led by SoftBank, with participation from Toyota Motor Corp. and other investors.

+ DrayNow, a Philadelphia-based intermodal-freight marketplace allowing truck drivers to access freight, browse loads, compare rates, get paid and more, completed a $5 million Series A funding round led by Comcast Ventures, with participation from Osage Venture Partners.

 

BELOW THE FOLD

Easy does it: “Unmanned retail stores,” e-commerce “pickup lockers” and next-gen vending machines are quickly redefining the “convenience store.”

Revving the V8: The Campbell Soup Co. has joined the hydration craze by juicing up its 75-year-old veggie drink with a surprising addition.

Speaking of which: Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Depends on whom you ask.

The search continues: Still no sign of “free news,” but our eyes are peeled. While we look, please continue supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI – including Northwell Health, where robotic surgery is just the tip of the proverbial innovation iceberg.