Onward and upward: Welcome to Wednesday, eager entrepreneurs and intrepid innovators, and the midpoint of this latest wintry workweek.
Pet peeves: It’s Jan. 22 out there – National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, which is real but requires a catastrophic loneliness we (thankfully) cannot fathom.
Unfortunately, the best alternative we could find is National Blonde Brownie Day, which is, you know, meh … kinda like blonde brownies.
Agree to disagree: It’s also the 47th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision – or, depending on your perspective, the 36th anniversary of National Sanctity of Human Life Day, first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan on this date in 1984.
Group build: There was agreement aplenty – about free enterprise, individual liberty and equal opportunity – on Jan. 22, 1895, when the National Association of Manufacturers held its first-ever organizational meeting in Cincinnati.
Witch hunt: Playwright Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” a central work in the canon of American drama, premiered on Broadway on this date in 1953.
The play, which opened to mixed reviews and only later became a classic, retells the Salem witch trials under the glare of 1950s McCarthyism.
Gonna need a bigger burger: Still the world record holder, the largest cheese ever created – a 34,591-pound cheddar – was completed by ambitious workers at Wisconsin’s iconic Steve’s Cheese on Jan. 22, 1964.
What are the odds: And it was this date in 1997 when a 6-inch sliver of a Delta II rocket that had disintegrated in the Earth’s atmosphere 30 minutes earlier grazed the shoulder of a woman in Tulsa, Okla., making Lottie Williams the first (and only) person on Earth reportedly hit by space debris.
For the record, NASA calculates the odds against any of the 7.63 billion humans on Earth being struck by falling space debris at 3,200 to 1 – making the odds that you will be hit roughly 24,000,000,000,000 to 1.
Powerful name: André-Marie Ampère (1775-1836) – the French mathematician, physicist and chemist who founded the science of electrodynamics (now known as electromagnetism) and lent his name to the base unit of electric current – would be 245 years old today.
Also born on Jan. 22 were Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626), an English lawyer and philosopher remembered best for promoting the scientific method; English romantic poet George Gordon “Lord” Byron (1788-1824); cinematic trailblazer D.W. Griffith (1875-1948); Hungarian mathematician Frigyes Riesz (1880-1956), a pioneer of functional analysis; soulful song man and civil rights activist Sam Cooke (1931-1964); and Bill “The Incredible Hulk” Bixby (1934-1993).
Boss man: And take a bow, Mike Bossy – the prolific NHL scorer, who played his entire 10-year career for the New York Islanders and was a key part of their four consecutive Stanley Cup championships in the early 1980s, turns 63 today.
Wish the legendary right wing well at firstname.lastname@example.org, where story tips and calendar items are our goal, and you get the assist.
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
The TRHT is out there: The Association of American Colleges & Universities has selected 13 additional institutions to host Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers – including Adelphi University, the only New York college or university on the 23-school list.
Joining an initial cohort of 10 institutions announced in 2017, the 13 new schools named Jan. 16 will work with the AAC&U and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation program to develop community-integrated, social justice-promoting Campus Centers built around the five pillars of the TRHT framework: narrative change, racial healing/relationship building, separation, law and economy.
Those pillars fit right in at Adelphi, where the TRHT Campus Center will create and implement “an array of interactive activities that will engage and empower the campus community,” according to history and interdisciplinary studies Professor Marsha Tyson Darling, the director of Adelphi’s Center for African, Black & Caribbean Studies who spearheaded the university’s TRHT application. “[The center] will focus on enabling participating youth to become future leaders who will take the TRHT framework into their futures.”
Fungal love: A startup biotech spun out of Stony Brook University has landed a chunky U.S. Department of Defense grant aimed at developing anti-fungal pharmaceuticals.
MicroRid Technologies, founded by SBU Center for Biotechnology BioEntrepreneur-in-Residence Brian McCarthy and Renaissance School of Medicine Professor Maurizio Del Poeta, will leverage the five-year, $4 million grant – issued through the DoD’s Office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs – to develop novel small-molecule anti-fungals, a critical need in infectious-disease medicine.
Launched in 2016, Dix Hills-based MicroRid will work closely with Iwao Ojima, director of SBU’s Institute of Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery, which was “integral in developing the lead compounds,” according to the university. The fresh funding is focused on developing new combinations that inhibit specific fungal targets, leading to “preclinical development” in anticipation of a new-drug filing with the Food and Drug Administration.
TOP OF THE SITE
Trans-cending: North Shore University Hospital’s Don Monti Adult Stem Cell Transplant Program celebrated a new record in 2019.
Over under: Hauppauge-based ULC Robotics and U.K. natural-gas utility SGN are building super-strong, super-smart robots for underground excavations.
Pardon our appearance: Park Aerospace and MSC Industrial are both rebuilding, partially explaining their sluggish quarterly financials.
If your New Year’s diet has collapsed under its own weight, you’re not alone – and with a little help from top Long Island nutritionists, Voices columnist Ambrose Clancy knows why. Check out the latest dish from our foremost foodie.
STUFF WE’RE READING
Athle-tech: Forbes plays around inside Comcast NBCUniversal’s new Sports Technology Accelerator.
Space Force wants you: Space News tracks a DoD project recruiting private satellite operators to monitor the Earth’s surface.
Escape pod: Popular Mechanics climbs into SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Abort System, which aces its in-flight catastrophe test.
+ Gathered Foods, a New York City-based food-tech company and maker of the Good Catch brand of plant-based seafood products, raised more than $32 million in Series B financing led by Stray Dog Capital and Rocana Ventures, Almanac Investments, CPT Capital and New Crop Capital, Greenleaf Foods and 301 INC.
+ Phenom People, a Pennsylvania-based Talent Experience Management company, raised $30 million in Series C funding led by WestBridge Capital, with participation from AllianceBernstein Private Credit Investors’ Growth Stage Capital Group and existing investors AXA Venture Partners, Sierra Ventures, Omidyar Technology Ventures, Sigma Prime Ventures and Karlani Capital.
+ Rebound Technologies, a Colorado-based developer of an energy-efficient alternative to traditional vapor-compression cooling systems, closed a $5 million Series A financing round led by Clean Energy Ventures and Skyview Ventures, with participation from Autodesk Foundation.
+ Insurify, a Massachusetts-based AI-powered insurance comparison platform, raised $23 million in Series A funding led by MTech Capital and Viola FinTech, with participation from Nationwide, Hearst Ventures and MassMutual Ventures.
+ H2scan, a California-based provider of proprietary hydrogen sensors and technologies for utilities and industrial markets, closed a $10.5 million Series E financing round led by Energy Growth Momentum. The company raised an additional $3 million in venture debt from El Dorado Investment Co.
+ Trusona, an Arizona-based authentication technology provider, raised $20 million in Series C financing led by Georgian Partners, Kleiner Perkins, M12, OurCrowd and Seven Peaks Ventures, with participation from Akamai.
BELOW THE FOLD
Optimistic: How public and private investments are fueling new biotech breakthroughs.
Pessimistic: Most people think you can’t be both ethical and competent.
Somewhere in between: The World Economic Forum projects a techno-realistic 2030.
On the bright side: Please continue to support the amazing firms that support Innovate LI, including the Law Offices of Andrew Presberg, where things are always looking up when it comes to commercial litigation and real estate law.