Half full: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, and the midpoint of this latest summery week of socioeconomic progress.
Hard to believe, but tomorrow is already Aug. 1 – making today July 31, a busy one for the sweet-toothed (National Raspberry Cake Day, National Cotton Candy Day and National Jump For Jelly Beans Day) and puppy-lovers (National Mutt Day, an annual mixed-breed mixer).
Aloha: To our readers in the great State of Hawaii, a happy Ka Hae Hawai’i Day, aka Hawaiian Flag Day.
Island hopping: Not coincidentally, today is also Hawaiian Sovereignty Restoration Day, which previously celebrated the departure of the British in 1843 and is now a symbol of what some kānaka ʻōiwi consider an illegal occupation by the United States.
For the record, the Apology Resolution passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1993 admitted America’s 1893 Hawaiian coup d’état wasn’t entirely kosher.
Black moon rising: Sort of a lights-out cousin to the “blue moon,” a rare “black moon” occurs today. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to see.
Now that’s a first: The first numbered U.S. patent – signed by President George Washington himself – was issued on this date in 1790, protecting Vermont inventor Samuel Hopkins’ process for making potash, an important ingredient in soap and fertilizer.
Wild ride: Commercial flights had actually started 30 days earlier – and it was known better as Idlewild Airport, for the Queens golf course it replaced – but what is now John F. Kennedy International Airport was officially dedicated as New York International Airport on July 31, 1948, by President Truman.
It died a hero: On this date in 1964, the American space probe Ranger 7 transmitted more than 4,300 detailed images of the Moon before crashing into its rocky surface – the first lunar closeups taken by a U.S. spacecraft, and a big step toward future landings.
Those images surely helped on July 31, 1971, when Apollo 15 astronaut Dave Scott took the battery-powered Lunar Rover for a spin through the mountainous Hadley-Apennine region – the first man to drive a vehicle on the Moon.
Another happy landing: Speaking of daring flights, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner became the first man to fly unpowered over the English Channel on this date in 2003, gliding in a specially made flight suit with carbon-fiber wings.
Baumgartner, of course, is best known for his 2012 “space jump,” in which he leapt from a helium balloon in the stratosphere and parachuted into New Mexico.
Novel naval: Back at sea level (or just beneath it), Swedish-American innovator and naval engineer John Ericsson (1803-1889) – who invented the screw propeller and the double-rotation propeller and helped build the first armored-turret warships – would be 216 years old today.
Also born on July 31 were Irish geologist Richard Oldham (1858-1936), who proved the existence of Earth’s liquid core; pioneering microbiologist Theobald Smith (1859-1934), arguably America’s greatest bacteriologist; Baron Anton Freiherr von Eiselberg (1860-1939), an Austrian surgeon who led early research into the uber-important thyroid gland; Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006); and Stephanie Kwolek (1923-2014), an American chemist who invented the super-fiber Kevlar.
Wingardium leviosa: And take a bow, J.K. Rowling – the billionaire British author (born 1965) and her most famous creation (Harry James Potter, fictitiously born July 31, 1980) both mark birthdays today.
Wish the record-shattering writer, The Boy Who Lived and all the rest a happy birthday at firstname.lastname@example.org – and stupefy us with a story tip or calendar item, please and thank you.
About our sponsor: The Law Offices of Andrew Presberg is Long Island’s premier “IDA attorney” for businesses relocating, expanding and growing on Long Island. Founded in 1984, the practice also focuses on the purchase, sale, leasing and financing of commercial and industrial property, SBA loan transactions, construction, commercial banking and real estate litigation.
BUT FIRST, THIS
Taking ReCharge: Long Island fared especially well in the latest round of ReCharge NY power allocations, announced Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The New York Power Authority Board of Trustees has approved more than 3.7 megawatts of low-cost ReCharge NY power allocations to 11 enterprises at 13 locations throughout the state, including “significant support to enterprises on Long Island,” according to the governor’s office. The ReCharge NY program provides qualifying businesses and nonprofit organizations with power discounts in exchange for job-creation and job-retention commitments.
The reduced-rate megawatts flowing to Calverton-based Island Exterior Fabricators and three Northwell Health facilities in Nassau County, among other Long Island enterprises, follow the creation and/or retention of more than 3,600 regional jobs – a healthy chunk of the 38,000 ReCharge NY-related jobs counted at 770-plus statewide organizations.
Healthy effort: Long Island hospitals feature prominently in U.S. News & World Report’s latest “Best Hospitals” rankings, which include national props for several regional specialties and statewide honors for multiple Island infirmaries.
All told, the publication evaluated 211 New York hospitals and deemed 34 worthy of numerical ranking, including eight on Long Island. Leading the local pack is Manhasset’s North Shore University Hospital, the state’s No. 4 hospital overall; other Island contenders include Mineola’s NYU Winthrop Hospital (No. 7 in the state), New Hyde Park’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center (No. 8) and Roslyn’s St. Francis Hospital (No. 9).
Several Island hospitals also earned national rankings for one or more adult and/or pediatric specialties – including Stony Brook University Hospital (No. 11 overall in the state), Huntington Hospital (No. 12 overall) and Oceanside’s South Nassau Communities Hospital (No. 20), which earned one national ranking apiece. Unfortunately, no Island hospital made U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 Best Hospitals Honor Roll, which ranked the nation’s 20 top hospitals.
TOP OF THE SITE
Summer read: A new book from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press chronicles the adventures of the Feinstein Institute’s world-renowned bioelectronic medicine researchers.
On the house: Long Island’s newest accredited medical school officially opened its doors this week, welcoming 24 future doctors into its tuition-free programs.
Keep them coming: If you enjoy receiving this newsletter as much as we enjoy sending it, share it liberally – and encourage your fellow innovators to subscribe for free.
The real thing: Zimmerman/Edelson Executive Vice President David Chauvin, the new media-and-government-affairs slugger in our heavy-hitting Voices lineup, swings away on Corporate-Social Responsibility in an age of untruths.
STUFF WE’RE READING
Foot out the door: A new CareerBuilder survey finds that nearly one-third of all U.S. employees are actively looking to change jobs by the end of the year.
Foot in the grave: Introducing the Stronger Patents Act, a bipartisan legislative attempt to pull the national innovation ecosystem from death’s door.
Foot in mouth: Donald Trump Jr.’s new book, coming Nov. 5, is already being skewered by critics.
+ Sense, a Massachusetts-based home-energy monitor that provides real-time insights into energy and device activity, raised approximately $10 million in Series B funding. Backers included MacKinnon, Bennett & Co., IDO Investments, Shell Ventures, Energy Impact Partners, Prelude Ventures, Capricorn Investment Group and iRobot Corp.
+ TurnKey Vacation Rentals, a Texas-based vacation-rental management company for premium properties, secured $48 million in funding led by current investor Altos Ventures, with participation from Adams Street Partners, Greenspring Associates and Harmony Partners.
+ OptioSurgical, a Colorado-based analytics software company for hospitals and surgery centers, closed a $3.3 million funding round led by Next Frontier Capital.
+ HipCamp, a California-based online marketplace for campsites, raised $25 million in Series B funding led by Andreessen Horowitz’s Cultural Leadership Fund, with participation from return backers Benchmark Capital, August Capital and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and new investor Yes VC.
+ X-Vax Technology, a Florida-based biotech developing new vaccines, raised $56 million in an upsized Series A financing round. Backers included Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Adjuvant Capital, Serum Institute, Alexandria Venture Investments and FF DSF VI.
+ Freenome, a California-based biotech developing a “multiomics” platform for early cancer detection, closed a $160 million Series B financing round led by RA Capital Management and Polaris Partners, Perceptive Advisors, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and the American Cancer Society’s BrightEdge Ventures, among others.
BELOW THE FOLD
Work less: How slacking off in the summer helps employees be more productive.
Play more: How to keep it fun at the office this season.
All business: Your commercial success is no game at the Law Offices of Andrew Presberg, one of the great firms that support Innovate LI. Check them out.