No. 146: Cool albums, Dowling speaks and bomb-searching locusts

TG it’s F: A great Friday, everybody. It’s National Rat Catcher’s Day, which commemorates the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Some conflict: Robert Browning set the date as July 22 of 1376; the Brothers Grimm said it was June 26 … 92 years earlier.

Either way, honk if you see an Orkin truck.

Happy birthday Denise Angiulo, Michael Deering and Paul Arfin.

Working it: Long Island added a middling 10,000+ jobs over the past year, but June was big. Despite deficits, government tacked on 1,500 positions.

Then vote your conscience: LIPA held off a decision on an off-shore wind farm to give Albany time to tell the agency what it thinks it should do.

We have takeoff: The Port Authority board approved its $600 million share of the LaGuardia revamp.

Answering the call: Comtech landed a $45 million Washington State contract to improve 911 tech.

Hoping for a cure: Seven top CEOs, including Northwell chief Michael Dowling, opine on the one thing they’d change about modern health care. ERs, red tape and obstacles to access topped the list.

Not mentioned but related: The cost of recruiting some medical specialists now averages as much as $100,000. Most courted? Orthopedic surgeons, whose median annual comp hit $555,000. (Plastic surgeons are waning.)

Speaking of Northwell: The system’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center got the nod for a pediatric kidney-transplant program.

Drawing on his experience: Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Walt Handelsman has a spot-on piece in The Long Island Press this week. (Accompanying words not bad either.)

Act now: Aug. 3 is the application deadline to present at the Long Island Capital Alliance’s technology forum, set for Sept. 16, 8 to 11 a.m. Would-be presenters should contact Carol Lane at

Before then: LICA and NYIT team for a session on growing your business from the ground up, featuring IP whiz George Likourezos and the omnipresent Neil Kaufman. July 26, 5:30 to 8 p.m., NYIT Westbury, $15 or less, please register.

Also: You have until 4 p.m. July 29 – that’s next Friday – to enter your firm or project in the state’s annual economic development sweepstakes. Links and background info here. (Having looked over the application process, we suggest you get cracking right now.)

About our sponsor: SUNY Old Westbury is a selective public liberal arts college serving more than 4,300 students from Long Island, New York City and around the world. With graduate programs in business, education, mental health counseling and more, Old Westbury offers cutting edge instruction and convenient scheduling, all at the affordable rate of SUNY tuition. Own your future.


Another unicorn: Manhattan-based startup Sprinklr, which monitors how customers feel about brands like Nike and McDonald’s on social media, has raised $105 million in funding.

A ray of hope: NYC ranks eighth among U.S. cities for installed solar capacity. (But 37th on a per capita basis.)

Extending dog years: The University of Washington is conducting tests of a drug that would slow aging in pets. (The study required 40 canines; pet owners offered more than 1,500.)

Attention party supply stores: The world’s helium shortage is over thanks to a giant discovery in Tanzania. (There was a shortage?)

Incremental revenue: Apple could earn as much as $3 billion off the Pokemon Go app over the next two years, based on its cut of 5 cents per player per day.

Oh-oh: The number of first-time investments in a startup done by VCs at the Series A stage has dropped to its lowest level since the banking crisis of eight years ago.

Missed a newsletter? A full year’s worth is archived here.

Not a dud, really: The Navy has awarded a $750,000 grant to researchers studying using locusts for bomb detection.

Doh: The country will likely fall short of its auto fuel efficiency average – 54.5 mpg by 2025 – mostly because low gas prices have encouraged consumers to buy more pickup trucks and SUVs.

Patience required: Researchers have created a biohybrid aquatic robot by attaching sea slug muscles to a 3D-printed frame that crawls along at a spritely 0.16 inches per minute. Future versions could be used to search the sea bottom for wrecks, aircraft black boxes or oil leaks.

Disruption, by the numbers: Uber now controls 73 percent of the ride-hailing market; taxi ridership has declined 51 percent since 2014 and now represents only 22 percent of the sector; Lyft is growing at 176 percent per year but has a tiny 5 percent share, according to a study by Certify.

We should do this: Purdue is raising a $10 million seed fund to support companies that spin out of the school. Recent history suggests 75 percent of startups stay close if funded locally.

Fun fact: The school’s mascot is the boilermaker. (The worker, not the shot and a beer.)


Word: added more than 300 new entries this week, including al desko – eating lunch at your desk – and free-range parenting, in which children are allowed to roam without adult supervision to instill greater independence and self-reliance. Our favorite is presstitute, no further definition required, Donald.

On the record: Stony Brook University is displaying more than 1,000 album covers, garnered from private collectors and the school’s WUSB radio station, including Dali, Warhol and Rauschenberg works. Features the rare butcher cover of the Beatles “Yesterday and Today” set. Through July 30. Details here.

Tears of a clown: A study of standup comics found that the funnier you are, the more likely you are to die prematurely. Those with access to the International Journal of Cardiology can read the full report here.

Might we note: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support great institutions like SUNY Old Westbury.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.