No. 219: Mark Cuban, Casper the friendly mattress and guess what’s selling better than Viagra

Leather and lace: Stevie Nicks is 69.

TGIF: Welcome to the Friday edition and hope it’s capping an awesome week. The Innovate staff is celebrating the long Memorial Day weekend, so no Tuesday newsletter.

Please do take a moment to thank the 1.8 million Americans who have died in uniformed service to our country.

Today’s birthday troika: Peggy Lee, Stevie Nicks, Lenny Kravitz.

30 Rock rocks: The Feinstein Institute celebrated the remarkable achievements of its women scientists with lunch at the Rainbow Room and $225,000 in prizes.

The pipes, the pipes, are calling: It may be a shining example of transit-oriented development, but the Ronkonkoma Hub project is really all about sewers.

Now at Southside: The $2.5 million da Vinci surgical system can do things your doctor wouldn’t dare.

Buffalo Billion Watch: LPCiminelli, the construction firm building the giant SolarCity plant upstate – and under federal scrutiny for alleged contract rigging – is routinely reimbursed for expensive meals, drinks and other perks that would not normally receive taxpayer support. (The plant, just to remind, is costing us $750 million. That may not include cocktails.)

Ever ready: LIPA has agreed to spend $110 million for a pair of batteries that would store power for peak summer usage on the South Fork, where consumption is still growing. Should be ready for next year’s white bucks season.

Hire echelon: The Long Island unemployment rate remains steady at 3.9 percent, the Labor Dept. reported.

Not exactly related: Philly has more robust job growth than NYC.

Saw that coming: Altice is retiring the Optimum and Suddenlink brand names.

Indisputably the best: Don’t miss Islip’s annual CEO breakfast, June 15, free, register here.

Long Island’s Healthiest Companies: A new Innovate LI program recognizes local firms that promote workplace health and employee wellness. Nominations being accepted here now and mark your calendars for Sept. 13.

Toasting history: Women’s Collaborative suffrage celebration, Cocktails and Conversation, Crest Hollow, June 28, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Lt. Guv Kathy Hochul says she’s coming, tickets from $125, info here.

The rest of the Innovate calendar: Is here.

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.

WHAT WE’RE READING

White sale: Casper, the NYC platform that sends you mattresses by mail, received a $75 million investment from Target as part of a $100 million round. Target reportedly offered to buy the whole shooting match for $1B but was turned down.

Now that’s a service: Mark Cuban led a $1.5 million seed round in Meta SaaS, an Austin startup that alerts companies to abandoned, underutilized, or redundant software licenses before they auto-renew.

Pot luck: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study – as close to bullet-proof as you can get in medicine – suggests the nonpsychoactive component of marijuana can significantly reduce epileptic seizures.

Related: U.S. sales of legal marijuana will hit $6 billion this year, topping those of Viagra, tequila and Girl Scout cookies. (The cookies remain a perfect pairing, however.)

Like a Loonie, but digital: Canadian messaging app Kik is launching its own cryptocurrency, to be called Kin.

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

House guess: Zillow is offering a $1 million prize to the someone who can improve the algorithm that Zestimates home prices on the site.

Spreading togetherness: WeWork is opening in Beijing, Nashville, Bogota and Houston.

Growth busters: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reveals five strategies for moving fast and breaking things on the podcast Masters of Scale, hosted by LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman. Free. Should be posting here soonest.

Your serve: Serena Williams has replaced Meg Whitman on the SurveyMonkey board.

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.

Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading this far.