No. 109: Ren rocks, Hofstra roars and 2015’s top elective surgeries

SBU prof and BNL researcher Esther Takeuchi.

Monday, Monday: A great start to the week everybody and welcome new readers, including Keith, Mark, Eryn, Diana and whoever that is at Deloitte. It’s Leap Day, which occurs in years divisible by four except those that are divisible by 100 but not counting the ones you can divide by 400. Got it? Good.

Unstuck in the middle: Stony Brook University engineering PhD student Yufei Ren has landed a major national prize for his development of middleware, a kind of software glue that can speed the flow of giant research data sets but may soon revolutionize how companies and common folk share photos, videos and other media online. Mentoring by BNL’s Dantang Yu.

Not related but cool: BNL/SBU battery expert Esther Takeuchi has been included in the latest deck of scientist trading cards produced by the Electrochemical Society. Takeuchi holds more than 150 patents, the most of any U.S. woman. No bubble gum with the deck, but she’s in good company, including Edison, Faraday and Dow.

Eats of Eden: Farmingdale State College will celebrate National Nutrition Month with a healthy food expo, March 12, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Campus Center Ballroom, screenings, snacks and other stuff, free but bringing along a non-perishable for Island Harvest would be nice.

Roaringly good ideas: Senior Tamisha Lubin won top honors, and $500, in Hofstra’s first Lion’s Den pitch competition with her design for a portable carbon monoxide detector for cars. Freshman Anthony Avgi was second ($300) for his startup apparel and accessory company, while Keanu Hypolite scored third and $200 for a vibrating smoke detector to alert sleeping residents to house fires.

Come chill: Cold Spring Harbor Lab is offering weekend tours of its Ötzi the Iceman exhibit, which features a perfect 3D copy of the 5,300-year-old mummy discovered in an Italian mountain pass in 1991.

Surprised us: Ötzi has at least 19 living relatives.

Attention Nintendo: The SUNY Research Foundation is funding a 3D video controller invented by a Buffalo State music professor. The Slinky-like device tracks motion, orientation, force, etc. and can send data wirelessly to a computer, robot, drone, you name it. Could be a hit in the gaming and UAV sectors, and far beyond.

Get it in the calendar: The Nassau Tech Task Team is organizing a giant April pitch event that’s designed to encourage local youth to pick LI technology as a career. April 30 at Adelphi, times and program details still being ironed out. Watch this space for more.

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Hailing investors: Gett, an Uberlike-but-smaller taxi app, has hired Wells Fargo to find investors for a $400 million private funding round. Gett’s in 57 cities, including NYC.

For our overseas readers: Brazil, India, Indonesia and Mexico – don’t forget you only have until the end of March to enter Google’s LaunchPad Accelerator program. You could get up to $50K in equity-free financing and a trip to Mountain View.

Not kidding: 9 percent of Innovate LI readers live in foreign lands.

How’s the meatloaf? Fifty-two percent of Baby Boomers admit to using their smartphone and other technology during meals, topping both Millennials (40%) and Gen Z (38%).

Smart growth: Don Monti of Renaissance Downtowns keynotes the Long Island Business Development Council’s Hempstead meeting, Monday, April 4, noon to 2 p.m., Chateau Briand. Contact Marlene McDonnell at 516-314-8982 or via for seats.

Visit us: Between newsletters, get breaking news at And please like us on Facebook, our No. 1 source of new traffic. And LinkedIn, please.

Stuff we’re going to: Tech Together Happy Hour, April 5, 5:30 p.m., Jewel in Melville, brought to you by Innovate, LISTnet, Ellevate Women and Women in Technology. Free hors d’oeuvres, on your own for beverages. Let us know you’re coming.

Many happy returns: More than 24 million Americans claimed business activity as sole proprietors in 2013, a 2.2 percent increase. Profits were down 2.6 percent, but margins were 22.5 percent, according to the IRS.

Smart brush: The Oral-B Genius uses Bluetooth, gyroscopes and your smartphone’s camera to tell when you’ve missed a spot. It also can tamp heavy-handed brushing by adjusting speed and pulsation to compensate. Out in July.

Channeling the future: NBC will replace advertising on some of its shows with content paid for by American Express. Look for bonus scenes and interviews with the stars, bookended by mentions of American Express, on The View and Late Night With Seth Meyers.

Front seat: Rosa Parks’ papers, including her recipe for “featherlite” peanut butter pancakes, are now available to all at the Library of Congress site.

Rapid transit? New York City commuters spend 48 percent more time on public transportation than if they had driven, according to an analysis of America’s top 136 commuting cities, of which NYC ranked 81st.

Noted: Researchers have determined that wider use of automated cars could eliminate any energy savings and environmental benefits.

Not yet paperless: A study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation found that U.S. companies trash 127 million metric tons of paper a year, or the equivalent of a cube with sides of a quarter mile.

Can’t picture it? That’s the same as 4 million stacks of 8.5 x 11 inch paper that are each 10 million sheets high.

Tuned in: Researchers believe they’ve found a treatment for Huntington’s disease, the genetic disorder that killed Woody Guthrie.

Top cosmetic surgeries of 2015: Of the total 1.7 million procedures, 279,143 were breast augmentation and 217,979 involved nose reshaping. Eyelids (203,934) and tummy tucks (127,967) followed. Breast jobs are up 31 percent since 2000.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.