No. 284: On plutonium, gun control and the video Q&A, with a Silicon Valley vibe

Hope they wound it: Deep in the heart of Texas, Jeff Bezos' 10,000 Year Clock will keep on ticking.

Friday on my mind: Spend your bread and lose your head, dear readers – you’ve reached another glorious (if wet) weekend. Reward yourself by checking out Eater’s list of highly binge-able TV options, the perfect cure for soggy Saturdays and soaked Sundays.

Jiminy Crickets: Happy birthday, “Pinocchio.” The animated Disney classic debuted this date in 1940.

Exactly one year later, at Berkeley, Nobel Prize winner Glenn Seaborg produced plutonium.

Other debuts: Real boys (and girls) celebrating birthdays today include German-British composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), NAACP founder W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963), “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone With the Wind” director Victor Fleming (1889-1949), “Star Trek” original Majel “Nurse Chapel” Barrett (1932-2008) and actress Dakota Fanning (1994).

Also: German painter Franz von Stuck (1863-1928), whom we admit we’ve never heard of, but that is our favorite name of the day.

Big thinkers: Feb. 23 is actually a red-letter date in the annals of invention. Legendary chemist/innovator James Watt patented his “sun-and-planet” gear, vital cog of the steam engine (1782); genius mechanical engineer Rudolf Diesel patented his internal-combustion engine, later known as the “diesel engine” (1893); and Leo Hirschfeld, an Austrian confectioner who emigrated to New York, introduced the Tootsie Roll (1896).

Cool beans: And Boston was also invented today, sorta, incorporating as a city in 1822.

How do you take your beans? Tell us at Drop off a story idea or calendar item, too.

Autoimmune accolades: Before we review the week in socioeconomic progress, hats off to Feinstein Institute for Medical Research professors Betty Diamond and Peter Gregersen, who this week released data from their National Institutes of Health study on cellular roles in rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

As part of part the NIH’s Accelerating Medicines Partnership for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Phase I study, the Feinstein Institute doctors joined investigators from across the country to analyze individual cells from the joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis and the kidneys of people with lupus.

The research uncovered information with clues “that may lead to future treatment options,” according to the Feinstein Institute. Learn more here about the Accelerating Medicines Partnership and the Diamond/Gregersen research.



Armed with knowledge: With anxious parents, defiant Second Amendment supporters, terrified students, conspiracy theorists, morally conflicted lawmakers and pundits of every stripe weighing in on the raging national gun-control debate, the governors of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island on Thursday announced the formation of States for Gun Safety.

The multistate coalition will create a shared database to disseminate information on firearms and other gun-related law-enforcement efforts, while supplementing the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Its top priority will be tracing and intercepting firearms as they move between states, according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

The effort will also include “the nation’s first regional gun-violence research consortium,” the statement added, which will “conduct studies to better inform policymakers.” Says Murphy, the Garden State’s rookie guv: “Gun violence is not a New Jersey problem or a New York problem … it is a national problem. A collective of states can take these steps together (and) broaden the reach and impact of commonsense gun-safety laws.”

Return fire: Best Line of Thursday goes to Cuomo, who – after National Rifle Association Executive VP Wayne LaPierre blasted liberal Democrats, the news media and other political opportunists for leveraging the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy into a secret socialist plot to “eradicate all individual freedoms” – noted, “If Wayne LaPierre is attacking you, you know you’re doing something right.”

The deals on the bus: Congratulations to everyone who breathes oxygen on Long Island, where U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funds are being directed to curb harmful pollution produced by school buses.

The EPA’s New York office on Thursday announced that the National School Transportation Association has received a Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program grant totaling $246,006, earmarked for the replacement of some diesel school buses with all-electric buses and the retrofitting of others with lower-emission anti-idling technologies, all in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

This investment is projected to remove 11 tons of nitrogen oxides and about two tons of fine particles from Long Island’s air, according to the EPA.


A few words from our sponsor: Farrell Fritz, a full-service law firm with 15 practice groups, advises startups on entity formation, founder and shareholder agreements, funding, executive compensation and benefits, licensing and technology transfer, mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions. The firm’s blog, New YorkVenture Hub, discusses legal and business issues facing entrepreneurs and investors.



Fade in: Practicing the trends it preaches, Edgewood digital marketing ace Lorraine Gregory Communications is adding video interviews to its popular CEO-focused blog.

Go west, young students: The first-ever fellow of the Hofstra University Center for Entrepreneurship will play a key role in bringing the “Silicon Valley Experience” to Hempstead.

Never too old: With “non-traditional” students applying in record numbers, regional SUNY schools and other admissions experts have assembled Long Island’s first Adult-Learner College Fair.

Blip: After a seemingly endless run of positive reports, colossal Melville healthcare distributor Henry Schein finally recorded a down quarter (but still cleared better than $400 million in FY2017).



Startup Flygirl likes it small, North Shore University leads on livers and Long Island surgeons are all heart when it matters most.



World of tomorrow: MIT Technology Review releases its 2018 list of “breakthrough technologies.”

E for “exciting:” From Techcrunch, how Harley Davidson’s first production-model electric bike is primed to revolutionize the motorcycle industry.

Fast tracks: With Cape Town mired in its worst drought in a century, South African musical artists are remixing their beats to help shower singers meet two-minute limits.

Time piece: For Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the 10,000 Year Clock is shaping up as an iconic symbol of long-term thinking.



+ Ruskin Moscou Faltischek in Uniondale has hired two first-year associates: Elizabeth Sy, a recent graduate of the Touro College law center in Central Islip and a summer associate for the firm, and Neeti Sachdev, a recent graduate of Brooklyn Law School and a Long Island/Queens liaison for the South Asian Bar Association of New York.

+ Mark Meinberg, partner-in-charge of EisnerAmper’s Long Island office and leader of its affiliated Private Business Services Practice, has been elected to the board of directors of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in Melville.

+ Martin Valk has been hired as the attorney in charge of the Tax Certiorari Unit at Berkman, Henoch, Peterson, Peddy & Fenchel in Garden City. Valk was previously bureau chief in assessment litigation for the Nassau County Attorney’s Office.

+ Rivkin Radler in Uniondale has added four new attorneys. Christina Bezas, hired for the Insurance Fraud practice group, was an assistant DA in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office. David Gise, hired for the Real Estate, Zoning and Land Use practice group, was an associate with Westerman Ball Ederer Miller Zucker & Sharfstein. Robert Kern, hired for the Corporate practice group, was counsel to Hand Baldachin & Amburgey. Amanda Reynolds, hired for the General Liability and Complex Torts and Product Liability practice groups, was an associate wiith Goldberg Segalla.

+ Edy Meyer, manager and vice president of Empire National Bank in Port Jefferson Station, has been promoted to senior vice president.

+ Chris Daniello has been hired as executive director of the nonprofit Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association, based in Melville. He was previously a sales manager at Parts Authority in Roslyn.



Island trees: The Arbor Day Foundation has honored SUNY Old Westbury with Tree Campus USA recognition, for its “commitment to effective urban forest management.”

Taste, and aftertaste: Targeting new foods with super-low sugar, salt and fat content, a German biotech has earned a European patent for a novel technology that creates “taste cells capable of continuous proliferation.”

And not just milk and cookies: Why you absolutely need a bedtime routine.

Suit up: Understanding the “sometimes, always, never” rule, a must for the three-button blazer.

Gentle reminder: There’s still no “free” news, so please remember to support the great firms that support Innovate LI – like Farrell Fritz.