No. 179: Reed Phillips, Apollo’s end and Faulkner’s toddy curative

A great start to the holiday week, everybody, and how did we ever manage before Amazon Prime? (Or at least a Dudley.)

Welcome new readers Cliff, Amanda and Roger.

The final Apollo mission returned to Earth on this day in 1972, setting up one of the great bar trivia questions of all time: How many Americans landed on the moon? Answer below.

But first, this: We’ve been sifting through the fine print of Long Island’s $62 million award from the state’s annual economic development sweepstakes, looking for anything vaguely connected to the life sciences.

Biotech, you’ll remember, was the market sector on which our region was going to hang its hat, building on the prowess of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the Feinstein Center at Northwell Health and the Biotechnology Center at Stony Brook University.

Not to mention SBU’s own life sciences chops and new initiatives percolating at Hofstra and NYIT and Farmingdale State College and via the gaggle of OSI and Forest Labs alums roaming around out there.

So surprise, and disappointment, that this year’s award is short on biotech and long-suited in things like tourism, watershed restoration and “lean” employee training – including almost $100,000 for a plumbing company.

All worthy projects, perhaps, but the process is beginning to look suspiciously like what used to be called “member money” and the wild days when the Legislature never met a pet project it wasn’t willing to fund, willy-nilly and without any thought to a big picture.

The big picture, just to remind, is biotech. Focusing $62 million on it would be a very big thing.

Missed a newsletter? Many, many, many of them are archived here.


Great Neck investment banker Jonathan Gilbert, also a partner in Precision Nutrition among other things, is looking into the potential positive effects of cannabis on concussions. Could be big business.

A Norwegian energy company has agreed to pay a record $42 million for the right to maybe one day, who knows, fishermen willing, build wind turbines on 80,000 acres off Jones Beach.

Reed Phillips and Stony Brook-based energy startup Energystics continue to make waves.

Put this in the calendar: The Innovator of the Year awards are March 21, at 8 a.m., Crest Hollow Country Club, winners names coming very soon. An amazing group.

Cash flow 101: NYIT and LICA kick off their 2017 entrepreneur education series on Jan. 12 with a session on accounting and cash management.

Also: Our winter Tech Together event with LISTnet is Jan. 10, 5:30 p.m. onward, Jewel in Melville, free apps, BYOB. Let us know you’re coming.

Other stuff we’re going to: More of the Innovate calendar is here.

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A few words from our sponsor: Farmingdale State College is New York’s largest public college of applied science and technology, and a national pioneer in environment sustainability. With almost 9,000 students, Farmingdale boasts Long Island’s second-largest undergraduate enrollment among four-year institutions and offers rigorous academic programs in business, engineering technology, and the health sciences. Learn more here.

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Of the cloth: Applied DNA’s MeiLin Wan stars in a BBC radio feature on how consumers can avoid products, including linens, made with child labor. Find her at the 7:22 mark here.

Packs a dollop: Still a few tickets remaining for the eighth annual Latke Festival at the Brooklyn Museum. Info here.

A thought: It’s tough to wish good will to all when you’re hungry. We can help here.

Coming attractions: The 10 biggest next things in health care, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

The gift that didn’t: Comptroller Tom DiNapoli wants to remind you that the state collected almost $11 million from unused gift cards last year. That’s a tiny part of the $14.5 billion in unclaimed funds DiNapoli has control of, but still.

Bronx is up, battery’s down: Growing congestion at Tesla recharge stations has forced the company to institute a 40 cents per minute idling charge if your car stays plugged in more than five minutes after a battery fill up.

Be the life of the potty: The Brondell Swash smart toilet seat and bidet eliminates the need for toilet paper. Heated and with remote control. Raised $128,000 on a goal of $30K with two days to go.

Baby it’s cold outside: William Faulkner had a cure-all hot toddy recipe.  (Although it didn’t work for thrombosis. As he discovered.)

Moon shot: The first mission to set down on the lunar surface was Apollo 11, the last was 17. Two astronauts landed each time. That should be 14. But Apollo 13 never made it. (Which is why it’s 12. And such a great bar bet.)

Might we say: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support great institutions like Farmingdale State College.

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And how about that sponsorship thing? Your firm could be winning envious glances and new customers right now. We PayPal, BTW.

Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.