Welcome to Wednesday: Over the hump of another busy workweek, dear friends.
We are the world: To our readers in the 193 sovereign states comprising the U.N. General Assembly, a peaceful United Nations Day, celebrated every Oct. 24 since 1948. At a time when some would suggest that nationalism – defined as promoting national interests “to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations” – is the way to go, the U.N.’s commitment to equality for all seems especially critical.
On the beam: Today marks the 425th anniversary of one of history’s great mysteries, involving an apparent case of spontaneous teleportation.
It’s a doozy: A day after Chinese pirates assassinated the governor of Manila (on Oct. 23, 1593), castle guard Gil Perez was on duty outside the governor’s residence when he began to feel nauseous and rested his eyes. When he opened them, he found himself in Mexico City, some 8,800 miles away.
Perez told Mexican officials of the assassination (unknown outside of the Philippines) and claimed no knowledge of how he’d gotten to Mexico, still dressed in his Filipino uniform. Naturally, they locked him up, until a Filipino galleon arrived in December carrying news of the assassination and a sailor who actually recognized Perez – noting he’d disappeared on Oct. 24.
Old flame: The phosphorous friction match, the same basic design still used today, was patented on this date in 1836.
Washington crosses the Hudson: The George Washington Bridge, the double-decked suspension bridge connecting Manhattan and Fort Lee, NJ, opened on Oct. 24, 1931.
She’s got legs: Nylon stockings debuted on Oct. 24, 1939, in Wilmington, Del.
The big blue (well, black-and-white) marble: And on this date in 1959, a camera affixed to a V-2 rocket launched from White Sands, NM, took the first-ever pictures of Earth from space.
It’s the little things: Dutch naturalist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723), the first scientist to observe bacteria through a microscope, was born on Oct. 24.
So were “Mary Had a Little Lamb” author Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879), plastic soda bottle inventor Nathaniel Wyeth (1911-1990) and Batman co-creator Bob Kane (1915-1998).
Love the Drake: And take a bow, Drake – the Canadian entertainer (born Aubrey Drake Graham) turns 32 today.
By a Cornwall mile: No contest, says reader Todd Wilson, who wrote in last week to say John le Carré – not Ian Fleming, Tom Clancy or anyone else – is history’s best espionage novelist.
See what happens when you write us at firstname.lastname@example.org? You don’t even have to leave a story tip (though we love it when you do).
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BUT FIRST, THIS
The (electoral) truth is out there: With a critical midterm election looming (and the White House already spreading unsubstantiated claims of “election fraud”), Molloy College is hosting a public seminar that cuts through the fearmongering and falsehoods to educate the electorate.
“Vote Smart: Facts Matter,” a nationally acclaimed civic-literacy roadshow, is coming Thursday to the Rockville Centre college’s Public Square Building. Covering the Founding Fathers’ fear of ignorance, the prevalence of misleading campaign commercials and other important topics, the multimedia seminar is designed to instruct voters on many critical components of the modern U.S. electoral system.
The big-picture idea is to help the general public obtain true information about candidates’ positions without embracing any one political ideology, allowing for more informed decision-making when ballots are cast on Nov. 6. The truth will be revealed between noon and 2 p.m. Thursday on Hempstead Avenue; more information on “Vote Smart: Facts Matter” is available here.
Speaking of political climates: After the “Vote Smart” seminar, head over to Suffolk County Community College’s Grant Campus in Brentwood, where a cabal of New York State Assembly members and concerned citizens will discuss new efforts in the fight against climate change.
On Oct. 6, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a dire warning and called for “unprecedented action,” noting the world’s scientists have less than a decade to turn the ship around on global warming before it’s too late. President Trump disagrees (the environment is “fabulous,” he says), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week actually, audaciously disavowed any knowledge of the U.N. report. But several Long Island Democrats sitting on the State Assembly are nonetheless taking action.
Joining Assembly members Steve Englebright, Phil Ramos, Kimberly Jean-Pierre and Michaelle Solages at Thursday’s Forum for Statewide Action on Climate Change are members of the Long Island Progressive Coalition and NY Renews, a coalition of more than 100 organizations dedicated to climate justice and advancing employment in the clean-energy sector. The discussion is slated to kick off at 6:30 p.m. inside SCCC’s Learning Resource Center.
TOP OF THE SITE
Shining example: The clever tinkerers at Hauppauge’s Intelligent Product Solutions have leant their IoT expertise to a project that will shine a new light on sports broadcasting.
Hail to the chief: Stony Brook University Hospital has recruited a new chief medical officer from the executive offices of the Cleveland Clinic.
Blues wave: Adelphi University’s faculty-research magazine psychoanalyzes “post-election stress disorder,” which is bumming out many Americans.
Body of work: SUNY-Old Westbury is on an enrollment roll, with a record 5,000-plus students attending classes this semester.
STUFF WE’RE READING
Chem-buy-o: Medford manufacturer Chembio Diagnostics has snagged a longtime German collaborator for a cool $5.5 million, Newsday reports.
How to be sick in America: Via The New York Times, seriously ill patients discuss lessons learned navigating the often-daunting national healthcare system.
Organizational skills: From Forbes, how creating a community around an issue or specific need can drive innovation.
+ Thirty Madison, a New York City-based healthcare company focused on treating hair loss and migraines, raised $15.25 million in Series A funding co-led by Maveron and Northzone, with participation from Greycroft, Steadfast Venture Capital, First Round, ERA, HillCour and Two River, among others.
+ Shoulder Innovations, a Michigan-based developer of shoulder-replacement systems related to glenoid loosening, closed a $2.5 million Series A equity funding round led by Michigan Angel Fund, Wakestream Ventures, Genesis Innovation Group, cultivate(MD) and other equity holders.
+ Castle Creek Pharma, a New Jersey- and Illinois-based biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies for patients with rare, serious or debilitating dermatological conditions, received $71.8 million in funding. Backers included Fidelity Management & Research Company and Valor Equity Partners.
+ Next Century Spirits, a North Carolina-based company combining traditional distilling techniques and finishing technologies to create enhanced spirits, raised $3.6 million in funding led by Blue Hill Group.
+ Vacasa, an Oregon-based vacation-rental management company, raised $64 million in funding led by Riverwood Capital, with participation from Level Equity, NewSpring and Assurant Growth Investing.
+ ProducePay, a California-based provider of financial resources, tech tools and data insights to produce farmers, secured $14 million in Series B funding led by Anterra Capital, with participation from Rabo Frontier Ventures, Coventure, Social Leverage, FJ Labs, Greenhouse Capital, Moonshots Capital and Tribeca Angels.
BELOW THE FOLD
Charles in charge: He co-founded Computer Associates and is one of Long Island’s all-time-great philanthropists, but Charles Wang may be remembered best for his ownership of the New York Islanders.
Visionary: Turns out pareidolia – the very common phenomenon of seeing shapes in random cloud patterns, once thought to be a form of psychosis – serves a practical purpose.
Trying it on: Zeitgeist, meet Frightgeist – a GoogleTrends “social experiment” exploring the most popular Halloween costumes of 2018.
In search of: We’re still tracking down this so-called “free news.” For now, please continue supporting the innovative companies that support Innovate LI – including Webair, where Dedicated Private Clouds and Hybrid IT Management are just two of the amazing tech services.