No. 313: Takeuchi triumphs, the CPC goes global, the domestic innovations of yesteryear and serenity now (also, Mars has gas)

Forever Frank: The 1998 American Comedy Award winner and 5'4" dynamo Jerry Stiller turns 91 today.

Don’t know how you did it: But you did it, dear reader – it’s Friday, five more productive work days are in the books and the weekend is upon is.

It’s June 8 all over the world (or will be, depending on what time this hits your inbox). And while it’s celebrated on different dates in different countries, it’s Engineer’s Day today in Peru. Please celebrate responsibly.

A good day for domestic innovations: Engineers all over the world seem to like the date. Canadian inventor Noah Cushing patented the first washing machine on this date in 1824; Ives McGaffey of Chicago patented his “sweeping machine” – great-grandfather of the modern vacuum cleaner – on June 8, 1869.

And a great day for 80s cheese: Both “Gremlins” and the original “Ghostbusters” were released on June 8, 1984.

Elemental anniversary: The discovery of neptunium – a radioactive actinide metal and the first transuranic element, but of course everyone knows this – was announced on this date in 1940.

A sort of Internet of things: Promising to “take your personal computer anywhere in the world,” The Source – an early online service and one of the first geared toward the public – went online June 8, 1979 (they pulled the plug 10 years later).

Change this: Turning to current events, thank you to faithful reader “eaheil,” who wrote in after Wednesday’s newsletter to throw shade on the U.S. Climate Alliance, the union of 16 states (and Puerto Rico) determined to complete their share of the Paris Agreement, even though President Trump pulled the United States out of the international greenhouse-gas action plan last year.

Says eaheil: “I guess that the 16 states that support the Paris Agreement never recognized that activity on the sun has the most impact on climate change, and that climate change has taken place ever since the earth was here.”

What say you? How about it, innovators? Is climate change an unavoidable cycle, fake news or a manmade crisis requiring a manmade solution? Speak out at (unrelated story tips and calendar suggestions also welcomed).

Shoulda been sharper: Speaking of Wednesday’s newsletter, apologies to Freddy Krueger – that was actor Robert Englund, with a U, celebrating a birthday.

And speaking of birthdays, legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), painter and occasional “Rocky” ring announcer LeRoy Neiman (1921-2012) and comedian Joan Rivers (1933-2014) all add notches today.

So does Francis Crick, the English molecular biologist who co-discovered DNA’s structure in 1953 with James Watson, great friend of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory – and in 1962, shared a Nobel Prize with Watson and biologist Maurice Wilkins.

A Festivus for the rest of us: And take a bow, Ben Stiller’s dad – Jerry Stiller, forever Frank Costanza, turns 91 today.


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Battery power: A distinguished professor of chemistry, materials science and chemical engineering at Stony Brook University has won the 2018 European Inventor Award in the “Non-EPO Countries” category, the European Patent Office announced Thursday.

Esther Sans Takeuchi, who is also chief scientist of Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Energy & Photon Sciences Directorate, was on hand to receive the honor during an EPO ceremony in Paris. The leading battery-technology researcher and SBU’s William and Jane Knapp Endowed Chair in Energy and the Environment is best known as the inventor of a compact lithium/silver vanadium oxide battery that enabled the widespread introduction of modern implantable cardiac defibrillators in the 1980s.

Sans Takeuchi, whose personal collection exceeds 150 U.S. patents, has since helped miniaturize and otherwise improve the Li/SVO system, including adapting it for use in pacemakers and other implants. She was one of four women honored with 2018 European Inventor Awards, the highest total in the program’s 12-year history.

A brief history of life on Mars: It doesn’t resonate like the 1969 moon landings or have the Spielbergian impact of an ET radio signal, but NASA’s announcement Thursday of methane and 3-billion-year-old organic matter on Mars is awe-inspiring in its implications.

Catch up with this sweet primer on the Martian lifestyle. And just for chills, hang out with Mission Control during the 2012 landing of the car-sized Curiosity Rover, which is making all these amazing discoveries. (You want innovation? The thing landed on freakin’ Mars, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory was receiving thumbnail photos two minutes later).



Training day: They’re popping corks (possibly fiberglass ones) at Plainview’s Composite Prototyping Center, the new East Coast home of the world’s busiest provider of composites-based training programs.

Only the tech is nano: The potential is huge for the Bio-Nanotechnology and Biomaterials Laboratory, coming to NYIT’s Old Westbury campus via Albany’s REDC program.

You bet your harass: New York employers had better be paying close attention to new state laws targeting sexual harassment in the workplace, warns CPA Ken Cerini.

Easy reader: If you find this newsletter pleasant to the eye and the mind, please share it liberally with other innovators – and encourage them to subscribe for free.



Stony Brook’s Center for Biotechnology has been recruited by the HHS, the Feinstein Institute may have outflanked lupus and two regional institutions are teaming up to nourish Long Island food manufacturers.



Hacking your way through: Creativity in a rut? From Forbes, a lesson plan on energizing innovation through internal hackathons.

School’s out for the summer, homework’s out forever: At least in the Long Beach School District, which is eliminating traditional assignments for grade schoolers.

Stakes, both rare and well-done: One-hundred-fifty years of Belmont Stakes winners, courtesy of the Asbury Park Press.

Speaking of ginormous sports events: Saturday’s big race isn’t the only major-league event coming to our shores this month, with tee times set for next week’s U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.



+ Thomas McAteer Jr., executive vice president of Suffolk Transportation in Bay Shore, has been appointed to the board of trustees of Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation in West Islip.

+ The Long Island Association has elected three new directors to its board: John Mast is market executive managing director at Melville-based JPMorgan Chase; Phillip Eng is president of the Long Island Rail Road; and Joseph Giametta is publisher of Ronkonkoma-based Long Island Business News.

+ Linda Agnew has been hired as a partner in the litigation group at Melville-based Harras Bloom & Archer. She was a partner at Garden City-based Jaspan Schlesinger.

+ Ashley Valla has been hired as an associate at Islandia-based Haley Weinblatt & Calcagni. She is a recent graduate of Touro Law Center in Central Islip and completed an internship at Lynn Poster-Zimmerman in Huntington.

+ Empire National Bank has announced two new hires: Brian Handler is now senior vice president/residential loan officer, after having had a similar role at First Central Savings Bank in Glen Cove; and Robert Kiraly is now senior vice president/chief risk officer, after serving previously as executive VP/chief audit officer at Flushing Bank in Uniondale.



TALKS of the town: The Innovation Consultancy, a private “source of business expertise” tapping into SBU’s vast ecosystem, is showing off its podcast chops.

Artificial news: From PR Newswire’s brilliant Beyond Bylines blog, how artificial intelligence is raising new ethics challenges for journalists.

A bee in math: Showcasing a primitive ability thought only to exist in dolphins, birds and human preschool graduates, turns out honeybees can count to zero.

Red light, green light, one, two…: The history (and the science) of the traffic-controlling orbs ruling our vehicular lives.

Thought we had it for a second: But “free news” still eludes us. We’re tracking down some hot leads; for now, please keep supporting the great firms that support Innovate LI, including EisnerAmper (why, yes … that is Steven Kreit’s firm).