No. 327: On ‘Moby Dick,’ ‘Gangsta’s Paradise,’ shredded wheat and life on Mars

As real as news gets: Freedom-of-the-press champions Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward published the first of their Washington Post articles detailing the Watergate scandal 46 years ago today.


August already? How did THAT happen?

We’re as dumfounded as you, dear reader, but here we are – Aug. 1, 2018, about halfway through the summer and this exciting week in Long Island socioeconomic innovation.

Neck and neck: It’s also World Scout Scarf Day, when active and former Scouts around the world are encouraged to wear the trademark neckerchiefs (actual word) to promote Scouting’s history and spirit.

For the record, some 170 countries around the world have Boy Scouts of America-affiliated organizations, catering to both boys and girls.

Air apparent: Joseph Priestly, a British theologian and chemist who defended America’s right to rebel against England, discovered oxygen on Aug. 1, 1774.

The frosting came later: But it was Aug. 1, 1893, when early American foodies Henry Perky and William Ford earned a U.S. patent for shredded wheat cereal.

Hot spot: Although several private residences (and even a few schools) preceded it, The Solar Building – regarded as the world’s first commercial building heated by solar power – officially opened on Aug. 1, 1956, in New Mexico.

The one-story Albuquerque landmark, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, is still in operation today, as the main office of New Mexico’s Home Education Livelihood Program.

Heroes of the people: And the first of Woodward and Bernstein’s articles detailing the Watergate scandal was published by The Washington Post on Aug. 1, 1972.

Almost exactly two years later, on Aug. 8, 1974, President Nixon resigned.

Speaking of great Americans: Explorer William Clark (1770-1838), known best for his westward expeditions with fellow adventurer Merriweather Lewis, was born on Aug. 1, as was “Star-Spangled Banner” composer Francis Scott Key (1779-1843).

So were “Moby Dick” author Herman Melville (1819-1891); Irish-American schoolteacher, dressmaker and organized labor champion Mary Harris “Mother” Jones (1837-1930); and fashion icon Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent (1936-2008).

Original Gangsta: And take a bow, Artis Leon Ivey Jr. – the American rapper, actor, chef and record producer, known best as Coolio, turns 55 today.

All due respect to the originator, but we’re partial to Weird Al’s version of Coolio’s top hit “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Tell us which you like better at, and drop off a story tip, too. Even a weird one.


About our sponsor: The Law Offices of Andrew Presberg is Long Island’s premier “IDA Attorney” for businesses relocating, expanding and growing on Long Island. Founded in 1984, the practice also focuses on the purchase, sale, leasing and financing of commercial and industrial property, SBA loan transactions, construction, commercial banking and real estate litigation.



Small biz, big impact: A critical American institution focused on innovation and entrepreneurism is now eligible for retirement – but don’t expect the U.S. Small Business Administration to bow out anytime soon.

Founded on July 30, 1953, the SBA turned 65 years old on Monday, marking six-and-a-half decades of advocacy for the little guy in the form of funding access, mentoring, counseling and post-disaster recovery protocols. And lest you think the SBA is just so many small potatoes, think again: There are more than 30 million small businesses in the nation, according to the administration, and they’re responsible for two out of every three new private-sector jobs created each year.

“The SBA has helped make the American Dream possible for millions of aspiring entrepreneurs over the years,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said in a statement marking the big birthday. “[In] our 65th year, we renew our commitment to providing relevant products and services to these vital job creators … SBA will be their partner every step of the way.”

Ladies firsts: A leading online resource for comprehensive healthcare information has bestowed unprecedented praise upon South Nassau Communities Hospital.

Colorado-based Healthgrades, which has collated data on more than 3 million U.S. healthcare providers since its founding 20 years ago, has named the Oceanside hospital a “Five-Star Recipient” in all four of its Women’s Care categories, and also pegged South Nassau as a winner of its 2018 Gynecologic Surgery Excellence Award – the sixth straight year the hospital has claimed that prize.

South Nassau is the only New York hospital to snag all five honors this year, including Five-Star awards for gynecological procedures, hysterectomies, C-section deliveries and vaginal deliveries. That places the hospital in some elite national company, according to Healthgrades, which rates South Nassau in the top 5 percent of all U.S. hospitals evaluated for gynecologic procedures and the top 10 percent of those evaluated for gynecologic surgeries. “The Healthgrades awards testify to our longstanding commitment to ensure that women have convenient access to the very best care,” noted South Nassau President and CEO Richard Murphy.



Our favorite Martian: A Stony Brook University geologist is part of an award-winning team that may ultimately create housing tough enough to sustain humans on the unforgiving surface of the Red Planet.

Pill perk: Northwell Health’s 66,000-plus employees can now have their personal prescription medications delivered in the mail, as the health system brings its script-fulfillment protocols in-house.

Stop us if you’ve heard this: Two deals approved this week by the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency – one involving a car dealership, one a residential complex – may sound a little familiar.

All Systemax go: The Port Washington-based global tech distributor has posted another winning fiscal quarter – and figures to soar even higher, with a big deal to sell off its France IT unit in the bag.



Day trippers, yeah: Newsday breaks down a new report showing tourist spending is a nearly $6 billion industry on Long Island, and rising.

In living color: Researchers at New Zealand’s Otago University have captured three-dimensional color X-rays of the human body – a big step toward detecting diseases without invasive surgeries.

Kelly’s new book: Xconomy explains why 72-year-old Michigan-based temporary-employee stalwart Kelly Services is now funding startups.



+ RaiseMe, a San Francisco-based edtech startup focused on helping high schoolers access college scholarships, raised an additional $15 million in Series B funding led by Teamworthy Ventures, with participation from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Salesforce Ventures and Strada Education Network.

+ Cloud9 Technologies, a New York City-based financial communications solutions provider, completed a $14 million Series B funding round led by Barclays, with participation from JPMorgan and NEX Group.

+ Skillshare, a NYC-based online learning community offering classes in creative, business and tech disciplines, closed $28 million in Series C financing led by Union Square Ventures, with participation from Burda Principal Investments and existing investors Amasia and Spero Ventures.

+ LeoLabs, a California-based commercial provider of low Earth orbit mapping and Space Situational Awareness services, closed a $13 million Series A financing round led by global investors WERU Investment and Airbus Ventures, with participation from Space Angels and Horizons Ventures.

+ Guild Education, a Denver-based education-benefits platform that connects large employers with top, nonprofit universities focused on serving the needs of working adults, closed $40 million in Series C funding led by Felicis Ventures, with participation from Rethink Impact & Education, Salesforce Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank and Workday Ventures.



The young and the innovative: Forbes’ Under 30 Summit is putting the “hip” back into “leadership,” with more than 7,000 youthful innovators – not to mention reigning rap queen Cardi B – on the dance card.

Nonstop: Connecting the Grand Central Parkway directly to three passenger terminals, the first of revamped LaGuardia Airport’s new “flyover highways” opened this week.

Achieving Mock One: Now you can hammock anywhere (yes, it’s a verb, and no, you don’t need trees).

That’s a wrap: That’s all for today, dear friends – but please remember to support the great firms that support Innovate LI, including the Law Offices of Andrew Presberg, where business law, real estate law and commercial litigation set the tone.