No. 334: On waffles, NATO, Estée Lauder and ocean acidity – plus feeding healthier pets, one ingredient at a time

Eloquence in motion: Award-winning actress, author and activist Marlee Maitlin turns 53 today.

Mission accomplished: You set out on Monday to complete another summer workweek, dear readers, and here you are – it’s Friday, Aug. 24, and another well-earned weekend dawns.

Listen to this: It’s also International Strange Music Day, an annual event designed to broaden musical tastes by getting people to listen to music they’ve never heard before.

To that end, put your hands together for Swedish folktronica band Wintergatan, and the amazing marble music machine!

Somehow, “leavened batter” just isn’t as appetizing: August 24 is also National Waffle Day, commemorating the date in 1869 when New York-born inventor Cornelius Swartwout earned the fist U.S. patent for the waffle iron.

Turns out Aug. 24 is an historically busy day for IP. Inventor W. Lightfoot’s lawn sprinkler (Canadian patent, 1875), T. Edison’s “kinetograph” movie camera (U.S. patent, 1891) and F. Graham’s traction engine (U.S. patent, 1909) were also patented on this date.

Feel the heat: If you think tempers are flaring in Washington now, it’s nothing compared to what happened on Aug. 24, 1814, when the British marched into the District of Columbia and burned down a number of landmarks, including the White House.

Coast to coast: Pioneering aviator Amelia Earhart become the first woman to fly nonstop across America on Aug. 24, 1932, winging from Los Angeles to Newark in just over 19 hours.

Happy birthday, NATO! The North Atlantic Treaty Organization treaty, a U.S.-led effort to protect European allies from possible Soviet Union invasion, took effect on Aug. 24, 1949.

Actual births on this date include diminutive English actor Kenny Baker (1934-2016), who performed as loveable droid R2-D2 in the original “Star Wars” movies; professional wrestling mastermind Vince McMahon (born 1945); noted artist and longtime Long Islander Tracy Harris (born 1958); and Major League Baseball “Iron Man” Cal Ripken Jr. (born 1960).

Sign on: And take a bow, Marlee Matlin – the American actress and the only deaf performer to win an Academy Award (“Children of a Lesser God,” 1986) turns 53 today.

Learn how to say “happy birthday” in American Sign Language right here – or just wish Marlee and the rest well at, and send along a story tip or calendar suggestion, too. We’re listening.


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Beauty shot: A global beauty-products distributor will create a new manufacturing and prototyping hub in Melville, with a little help from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

The Suffolk IDA on Thursday issued preliminary approval for a tax-abatement package that will help New York City-based Estée Lauder Companies create a new 51,000-square-foot Engineering Technical Center on Maxess Road. The multinational manufacturer of prestige makeup, fragrance and haircare products already boasts a 7-acre Melville campus with multiple buildings and some 1,700 employees, but the new technical center – which will leverage a $14.5 million company investment in renovations and equipment and create 30 new high-paying jobs – will emerge as “a critical hub for advanced manufacturing prototyping and process testing for the … company’s entire product line,” according to the IDA.

Noting the 72-year-old beauty company “has been a major employer on Long Island for decades,” Suffolk IDA Executive Director Tony Catapano said his agency was “pleased to play a role in leveraging this investment to ensure their Melville campus remains viable for years to come.”

Panel discussion: The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority this week announced the launch of the Municipal Solar Procurement Toolkit, a resource for communities hoping to develop solar projects on landfills, brownfields and other underutilized properties.

Presented as “the newest chapter” of The New York Solar Guidebook – a comprehensive NYSERDA resource designed to help municipalities make informed decisions about renewable-energy projects – the Municipal Solar Procurement Toolkit includes recent revisions to the NY-Sun Megawatt Block Program, which provides financial incentives for solar developments. Albany considers NY-Sun a vital cog in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandate that 50 percent of New York’s electricity come from renewable resources by 2030.

“Responsible development of solar projects on brownfields and landfills enables municipalities to transform this dead space into a renewable-energy resource that helps lower consumer energy bills and provide emission-free energy,” NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton said in a statement. “The Municipal Solar Procurement Toolkit makes it easier to increase statewide solar capacity while stewarding the environment for generations to come.”



Tell it to the marines: Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences figures heavily in a New York State environmental rescue mission targeting oceanic acidification.

A moment’s paws: A Lindenhurst-based startup pushing single-ingredient, health-first pet treats is earning high praise from dogs, cats and horses – and their humans, too.

Earn, baby, earn: A one-time boost from the TCJA helped Orbit International overcome middling sales, while Lifetime Brands continues struggling, according to the companies’ second-quarter earnings reports.



Long Island leaders must get smarter, NYIT will get busy on climate change, “retired” Tappan Zee Bridge deck panels will get back to work and a long-overlooked radiological treatment may get off the bench in the fight against breast cancer.



Return flight: Newsday reports on small-scale Elite Airways, which is returning to MacArthur Airport with a single route connecting Long Island, Florida and the Bahamas.

Feeling a lot better: Forbes explains how customer-experience innovations are helping some hospitals feel more like luxury hotels.

Raising the barre: How a classically trained ballerina became the leader of an innovative social-enterprise effort at Newfoundland’s top university.



+ Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz has announced several new hires: Philip Butler is now a land use and municipal associate in the firm’s Hauppauge office; he was previously an associate at Melville-based Weber Law Group. Lee Peretz is now a business development manager in the firm’s Uniondale office; he previously worked at Manhattan-based Anchin, Block and Anchin. Richard Quatrano is now a corporate associate in the Uniondale office; he previously worked as an associate at Manhattan-based Fox Horan & Camerini.

+ Barbara Christe has been named dean of the School of Engineering Technology at Farmingdale State College. She previously chaired healthcare engineering and taught engineering technology at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.

+ Amanda D’Introno has joined East Meadow-based Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman as an associate in the Commercial Lending/Banking Practice Group. She worked previously as counsel to Lake Success-based Newtek Small Business Finance LLC.

+ Cania Infante has been promoted to vice president of brand strategy for Bethpage Federal Credit Union. A 17-year veteran of the credit union, she previously served as assistant vice president of marketing.

+ The Amagansett Food Institute has announced two new hires: Bob Hattan has been hired as operations manager; his last position was as commodity operations manager at Salvation Farms in Vermont. Heather Meehan has been hired as new program coordinator; she previously worked at Brooklyn-based Allergic to Salad.

+ Linda Margolin has been elected chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Museum of Art, History and Carriages in Stony Brook. She is managing partner at Islandia-based MargolinBesunder.



Eating it up: The New York Academy of Sciences is co-hosting an innovation challenge targeting malnutrition in India.

100 is the new 60: And other thoughts from SingularityHub explaining how the future is coming faster than you thought.

Night in the brewery: An Ohio-based microbrewery owned by a Scottish craft beermaker proudly presents the world’s first brewery-based hotel.

Speaking of suds: You may know your IPAs from your stouts, but unless you’re Cicerone Certified, you’re no pro.

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