No. 340: On hoagies, OPEC, barbarians and Mr. Chekov – plus a fashion startup that truly loves New York 

For the ages: "The Star-Spangled Banner" was recognized for official use by the U.S. Navy in 1889 and was made the national anthem by a Congressional resolution in 1931. Francis Scott Key penned the poetic lyrics 204 years ago today.

Mission accomplished: You’ve done it, dear reader – another workweek in the books, another weekend on the horizon. Well done.

Today is Friday, Sept. 14, and to our readers in Romania, a very happy Engineer’s Day. To our friends in the Carolinas, no joke – stay dry, stay safe.

Sexual harassment lawsuits not included: Today is also National Hug Your Boss Day. What you do with this information is entirely up to you.

For a safer bet, consider celebrating Eat a Hoagie Day, National Bakery Day and National Coloring Day (crayons, markers or colored pencils, your call), all happening this Sept. 14.

A Handel on things: On another Sept. 14, way back in 1741, legendary composer George Frideric Handel finished his masterful oratorio “Messiah” – arguably the greatest English-language choral work – just 23 days after starting it.

Night work: Speaking of quality and speedy efforts, it was Sept. 13-14, 1814, while observing an overnight battle during the War of 1812, when lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key penned the poem “Defence of Fort M’Henry” – the first verse of which later became the “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

And don’t get snippy about dates: Key finished the thing on Sept. 14, and the War of 1812 actually ran through 1815.

Click-click-clackity-clack: Tennessee inventor George Anderson patented the typewriter ribbon on this date in 1886.

Whirlybird: Igor Sikorsky’s VS-300, considered the world’s first practical helicopter, took its first test flight in Connecticut on this date in 1939.

Well, well: And happy birthday, OPEC – Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela formed the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on this date in 1960.

Now headquartered in Austria, the intergovernmental organization today boasts 15 member nations and accounts for 44 percent of global oil production – while controlling more than 81 percent of the world’s “proven” oil reserves.

Live at five (actually, 55): Happy birthday also to the Fischer Quintuplets, America’s first set of surviving quintuplets (four girls and a boy), born in South Dakota on this date in 1963.

Also born on Sept. 14 were Russian physiologist and Nobel Prize laureate Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936, namesake of “Pavlov’s dog”); American nurse and birth-control advocate Margaret Sanger (1879-1966, established organizations that evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America); and talented, tragic British singer Amy Winehouse (1983-2011).

A wery happy birthday: And take a bow, Walter Koenig – the American actor, known best as “Star Trek’s” Russian navigator/science officer Pavel Chekov, turns 82 today.

Beam a birthday message to Chekov and the rest at And please remember that while Starfleet regulations prevent the acceptance of gifts like story leads and calendar items, we’re not as strict.


A few words from our sponsor: Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt is Long Island’s premier patent and IP law firm, with rich experience in biotechnology, chemistry, electrical, computer software, mechanical, optical, physics and more.



Blasts from the past: Armed with some of modern science’s most innovative tools, researchers at Stony Brook University – in cahoots with investigators from around the globe – have reached deep into human history for a pair of momentous discoveries.

Noted primatologist Patricia Wright, founder of SBU’s Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments, has co-authored a study with the Zoological Society of London explaining how an analysis of fossilized bones from the now-extinct Madagascan elephant bird – once the world’s largest bird – proves humans arrived on the tropical island of Madagascar some 6,000 years earlier than previously thought. The study was published this week in the journal Science Advances.

Meanwhile, DNA samples lifted from the skulls of humans interred in 6th Century cemeteries – one in Italy, one in Hungary – have helped scientists piece together precisely how invading barbarians interacted with local European populations, “laying the foundation for modern European society,” according to SBU. That study, co-led by Assistant Professor Krishna Veeramah of the university’s Department of Ecology and Evolution, was featured this week in the journal Nature Communications.

Keeping abreast: Back in the 21st century, Stony Brook University this week was one of eight statewide medical schools sharing nearly $3 million in New York State Department of Health grants for breast cancer research.

Professor Jun Lin of SBU’s Department of Anesthesiology snagged a $360,000 Peter T. Rowley Breast Cancer Scientific Research Projects award from the Health Department, part of roughly $2.4 million in Rowley Awards doled out this week.

Another $513,601 was granted through the Patricia S. Brown Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Education Research Projects program. The grants will “encourage innovative research into the causes of breast cancer, as well as prevention, detection or screening, treatment, survivorship and cure,” according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.



Wearing it on their sleeves: The ambitious entrepreneurs behind the Boyz From New York clothing line have a bit of an attitude problem – or is that an attitude advantage?

Amneal for one: The Brookhaven IDA is considering a tax-benefits package that will help a major-league pharma manufacturer bulk up its Long Island operations.

Green lights: Long Islanders can benefit big-time as the automotive industry hits the gas on electric vehicles, according to Ford Motor Co. regional bigwig John Billard.



SmartCoparent is feeling bullish about Merrill Lynch, FuzeHub is scaling up on Long Island and NYIT is rolling out its first PhD program.



Faster, food: With food and agriculture lagging behind transportation, medicine and other rapidly evolving industries, a new innovation studio aims to catch them up.

The Aira up there: “Artificial Intelligence” meets “Remote Assistance” in a new app designed to give the visually impaired a second set of eyes.

Throttling back: With net neutrality effectively killed by the Trump administration, Popular Mechanics explains how wireless providers are slowing the spread of certain data.



+ Matthew McCann has joined Uniondale-based Sahn Ward Coschignano PLLC as an associate in its Litigation and Appeals Practice Group. Prior to joining the firm, McCann was a senior litigation associate at a prominent New York City firm where he handled employment law cases and related bankruptcy proceedings, with a focus on employment matters in the financial industry.

+ The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University has announced the hiring of two new associate professors: Matthew Shapiro, a former law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., and Brenner Fissell, who formerly served in the U.S. Department of Defense as an appellate defense counsel for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

+ Farmingdale State College has announced two new hires: Davinder Kaur, the former dean of online learning at Stony Brook University, has been hired as director of distance learning, and Alexander Caviedes, previously an associate professor of politics and international affairs at SUNY Fredonia, has been hired as director of academic advisement and information.



Chaaaaarge! The 16-square-mile Suffolk County Hamlet of Dix Hills racked up the fifth-largest Q2 2018 debt increase of any U.S. town or city, according to WalletHub’s new Credit Card Debt Study.

We miss you, alarm clocks: And camcorders and carpet sweepers, too – but maybe these classics shouldn’t be consigned to the scrapheap of history just yet.

Repeat defender: That pile of lightly worn clothing tossed over your bedroom chair – your “chairdrobe” – is about to get a second chance.

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