No. 105: Gravitational waves, primordial soup and the shocking toll of inflatable amusements

TGIF: A great Friday everybody. It’s Darwin Day, celebrating the birth and scientific contributions of the late, great biologist.

Or: How about a bowl of primordial soup?

Patience required: In a big, big day for science, researchers on Thursday confirmed the existence of gravitational waves, predicted by Einstein more than 100 years ago. These particular waves were emitted when two black holes collided 1.3 billion light years ago.

The waves got here Sept. 14. They kept the news secret until confirming it wasn’t Chinese hackers.

Add exec: Gary Pollakusky, managing partner of Rocky Point’s Media Barrel marketing firm, has joined the board of the Brookhaven IDA.

Get it in the calendar: State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan keynotes the March 11 breakfast meeting of ACIT. Crest Hollow, 7:30 a.m. for networking, 8:30 for the main event, $50 for members, more to sit closer to the senator.

We should try this: NYC will invest $7.2 million to open tech-focusedbusiness hubs in midtown and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The centers will cater to firms too big for accelerators but which can’t afford market-rate space.

Tweetable: How many pols, celebs, flacks and quote re-quoters are there in the world? 320 million. Or at least that’s the number Twitter peaked at.

Latecomer: Newsweek is now free to read online. Mostly.

Remember Myspace? Time Inc. has acquired its parent.

Space oddity: WeWork has inked a lease agreement for the fourth floor of the U.S. Post Office at 450 Lex. Several peculiarities in the deal, including that USPS officials started negotiations by asking what the co-working giant was willing to pay. Ended up at $20ish per foot but the space is a gut job, including new windows.

They can afford it: Fidelity gave WeWork’s valuation a markup last week, to $15 billion.

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It only took 127 years: Jean Case, gorilla-loving, scuba-diving mother of five, former AOL exec and wife of the company’s cofounder, has been named the first female chair of the National Geographic Society.

Dream product: Lully, the Y Combinator-backed children’s night wares startup, has released the perfected version of its Sleep Guardian, which gives kids a gentle vibration to help avoid nightmares. $199 and 80 percent effective, it says.

Didn’t know: 75 percent of infants aged four to six months suffer from sleep terrors.

Goes both ways: Boeing has invented a two-way fuel cell that absorbs renewable energy – wind and solar, say – to dole out later, but can also produce hydrogen power when clean energy sources lag. The Navy’s testing.

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Artisan lunch: Where to eat next time you have to go to court in Islip.

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Breathing easier: Gregory Puglisi, local board-certified allergist and entrepreneur, has a new lineup of products designed to keep epinephrine auto-injectors current and within easy reach. A distribution deal with UK bio-giant Mylan NV looms.

Some skin in the game: Acne-focused Kantian Sciences Corp. of Smithtown has been accepted into the local Technology Hot Spot program via LaunchPad Huntington. The program, sometimes called Start-Up NY Lite, at least by us, offers sales-tax exemptions and other bennies.

Give her a call: Verizon has reportedly tapped Tim Armstrong, chief of its AOL unit, to begin negotiations for desirable Yahoo assets or – who knows? – maybe the whole enchilada. Armstrong and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer were once Google execs together.

Supply side economics: Medical products giant Henry Schein had a pretty, pretty good year. Would have been even better without foreign currency issues.

Conversely: Local nutraceutical leader NBTY posted soft sales and an almost90 percent plunge in net income for its first fiscal quarter.

Dolan deal dinged: Long Island’s Fair Media Council is urging the NY Public Service Commission to put the kibosh on the $17 billion acquisition of Cablevision by Europe’s Altice. FMC cites the likelihood of major job cuts and the certain dip in the system’s ability to keep residents informed during emergencies.

NYC and the state also oppose, same reasons.

Bright ideas: Doon Gibbs is promising big things – jobs, spinoffs, very cool science – from BNL’s newest Synchrotron Light Source.

Grander Republic: The state is seeking proposals to develop 40+ acres around the Farmingdale air strip.

Tube stake: The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation is promising financial support for local governments to safely dispose of more than 300 million pounds of old TVs and dead monitors banned from landfills by NY’s three-year-old e-waste law.

I am a Pitpoo: Nassau’s Heather Lehrman has expanded her dog-walking and pet-sitting franchise to include Deziner Dogs hoodies and other fashion accessories that answer the increasingly common question about hybrid pooches: “Um, what kinda dog is that?”


Attention PI attorneys: The Consumer Product Safety Commission stockpiles an odd assortment of statistics, including everything from product-related electrocutions to non-fire carbon monoxide deaths.

Most interesting: Estimated Injuries from Inflatable Amusements.

Roach clipped: UC Berkeley researchers have devised a cockroach-inspired mini-bot that can scrunch into tiny openings in rubble and other disaster spots, potentially leading rescuers to survivors.

Actual roaches are capable of collapsing their exoskeletons to one-fifth their normal size and can absorb 900 times their body weight without harm.

Human equivalent if you weigh 180 pounds: 81 tons.

Fun fact: Cockroaches can live a week without their heads.

VD gift, maybe? Follower, a new service that clandestinely shadows you for the day, has launched in NYC. You get an end-of-tail photo to remember it all by. Why? Dunno. They’re also looking for followers. (Now that might be fun.)

Gender inequality: Average amount American men spend on Valentine’s Day = $150. Amount women spend = $74.

All in: $19.7 billion, according to WalletHub.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.