No. 104: Zemsky’s street cred, Lemmium rocks and 3.57 degrees of separation

Empire State Development chief Howard Zemsky.

It’s Monday again: A happy start to the week gentle readers, and welcome Tom, Irwin, Elaine, David, John, June, Lisa and more. Collectively, don’t forget to send news, tips, suggestions and corrections to

Yikes: LI Brew Bus co-founder John Monderine is 39 tomorrow.

He wants closure: Gov. Andrew Cuomo, already an advocate for shuttering the Indian Point nuke facility, is hopping mad to learn there’s been a leak oftritium-laced water that has pushed radioactivity to “alarming levels” in monitoring wells at the plant. What’s alarming? 65,000 percent. No leaks off site. Yet.

ICYMI: State economic development czar Howard Zemsky spoke before a crowd at last week’s Long Island Business Development Council dinner in Islip, delivering a quick overview of Gov. Cuomo’s infrastructure initiatives, then taking Qs from the crowd.

But not before establishing his Long Island street cred: “I was raised in Woodbury and I played on the Cerro Wire Little League. Little did I know it was a future brownfield site. They never told me about that.

“And the patience I have I learned from working at Waldbaum’s in Huntington. Do you know how much patience you needed to slice lox for ladies in a Waldbaum’s store? ‘Is it fresh?’ ‘Can you slice that thinner?’ ‘Are you taking that from the back?’ ‘Let me see it.’

“If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.”

Visit us: Between newsletters, get breaking news at And please like us on Facebook, from whence we get lots of new readers.

Attention Kevin Bacon: People are a lot more closely linked than the commonly held six degrees of separation, according to new math by Facebook. The average FBer is actually 3.57 people away from any other Facebook user, the company notes in a post, which will also show you your score if you’re signed in.

Small brag: Kominicki registered a 3.01, besting Zuckerberg’s 3.17.

Your side parking: Mayor Bill de Blasio used his State of NYC address last week to announce a new citywide parking app that will allow motorists to remotely check their remaining meter time and pay to extend it without having to head back to the car. The system has been beta-ed on 300 meters. Should be fully deployed by year’s end.

About our sponsor: Hofstra University is an engine for research and innovation, combining a Center for Entrepreneurship, a Center for Innovation, the expertise of its faculty, the energy of its students and the state-of-the-art resources of its schools of engineering and applied science, business, law and medicine to drive and transform the region’s economy. Visit us.

Out on a limb: Italian researchers have been building robotic arms that mirror the workings of octopus tentacles, including their ability to stretch, curl and scrunch. Behold the rise of the squishy – some same cuddly – machine.

Rock on: There’s a petition circulating that seeks to honor the late, head-banging Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister of Motörhead by naming one of four newly discovered heavy metals after him. The element’s official name would be Lemmium. Add your name to the list of 150,000+ others supporting the idea here.

Good company: Fifteen elements are named for people, including Einstein, Copernicus, Nobel and the Curies.

Likelihood of Lemmium becoming a thing: Pretty much zero. But a cool thought.

Skype for scrubs: Telemedicine entrepreneur Don Marchon is beating the bricks for $5 million to help take the latest generation of his patented video and imaging technology – now including teleultrasound – to the medical masses. And, yes, he’s pivoted once or twice.

Food-tech: Artisans Eatery founder Donna Trapani traveled the path less taken, including stops in commercial security, bartending and bank catering. For Islip diners, it was worth the wait.

War of the roses: Four-year-old online florist Ode á la Rose is stealing market share from the big boys by sending customers an actual photo of what they bought. Clients can also send in a personal memento to add to the order.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day gifts: Adore Me, the NYC-based lingerie platform, is scouting sites for brick-and-mortar.

La vida local: State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released his annual report on local governments last week. There are plenty of challenges in its 33 pages, but the over-arching truth is this: Revenue growth is down to a piddling 1.3 percent, compared to annual jumps of 5 to 7 percent before the recession.

And though: Local governments have reined in spending, fixed costs are climbing by an average 6.3 percent annually, leading to cuts in public safety, infrastructure, health services and economic development.

Lots to say: That stereotype about fast-talking New Yorkers is just wrong. According to the Marchex Institute, which analyzed more than 4 million “this call may be recorded” calls, NYers are actually among the nation’s slowest speakers. Fastest: Folks from Oregon, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Kansas and Iowa.

But: New Yorkers talk the most, followed by residents of California, New Jersey, Nevada and Maryland.

Gardiner’s green: Stony Brook University has received a major donation from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation that will endow a chair in Long Island history. The Simons Foundation matched.

What to do Wednesday: Attend the “Thriving in the 21st Century Workplace” meetup, this one focused on emotional intelligence, Hofstra’s student center, 6 to 7 p.m.

Missed a newsletter? Most are archived here.

Missed joining as a sponsor? You can quickly correct that mistake here.


Life mirroring life: Filip Syta, a former Google salesman who said he spent most of his time partying, drinking, snorting and having indiscriminate sex with coworkers, has penned a thriller about a fictional search company at which a young salesman spends most of his time partying, drinking, snorting and having indiscriminate sex with coworkers.

Trouble in Mot Town: France’s seven-year effort to simplify spelling takes agéant step forward in September as new textbooks drop unnecessary letters, hyphens and many uses of the beloved circumflex, the little hat-shaped accent that adorns certain vowels but has become a bête noire for orthographists.

Speaking of languages: The Academy for the German Language has chosen Smombie as the word of the year for 2015. It combines smartphone and zombie to describe those who stagger about enfixed by their devices.

A reminder: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support great organizations like Hofstra University.

Did we mention liking us on Facebook?

And how about that sponsorship thing? You’d be in great company.

Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.