No. 357: Dodging bullets, firing lasers, icing the heat-pump competition and remembering Stan the Man (excelsior!)

Local hero: "You know, my motto is 'Excelsior.' That's an old word that means 'upward and onward to greater glory.' It's on the seal of the State of New York. Keep moving forward, and if it's time to go, it's time. Nothing lasts forever." Stan Lee, 1922-2018.

Middle march: We’re equidistant from the beginning and the end of the workweek, which must make today Wednesday. Congratulations, dear reader, you’re halfway home.

It’s Nov. 14 out there, and yes, the season’s first snow is in Thursday’s forecast – but as of late Tuesday, the heavy stuff was predicted to stay to the north and Long Island was looking at less snow than freezing rain and sleet. So that should cheer you up.

Insulating: Today is World Diabetes Day, a joint informational effort of the World Health Organization and the International Diabetes Foundation held every Nov. 14 since 1991 to honor the birthdate of Nobel Prize laureate Frederick Banting (1891-1941).

Banting, you may know, is the Canadian physician who co-discovered insulin in 1922 with fellow Canadian scientist Charles Best.

Literally awesome: Nov. 14 is also a big date for classic literature. Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” (1851) and Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” (1883) were both published on this date.

Laser focus: American scientist Theodore Maiman, who first experimented seven years earlier with laser beams formed through ruby crystals, was issued a U.S. patent for his “Ruby Laser System” on Nov. 14, 1967.

Other patents issued on this date include the woodworking vise (to Ohio inventor John Simpson in 1871) and the carpet-treating method known as Scotchgard (to American inventors Patsy Sherman and Samuel Smith in 1973).

Joyeux anniversaire: In addition to the aforementioned Banting, groundbreaking scientists born on Nov. 14 include Henri Dutrochet (1776-1847), the French physiologist who discovered osmosis, and Auguste Laurent (1807-1853), the French chemist credited with developing organic chemistry as its own thing.

Also born on this date were French impressionist Claude Monet (1840-1926), American steamboat pioneer Robert Fulton (1765-1815), American composer Aaron Copland (1900-1990), “Brady Bunch” and “Gilligan’s Island” creator Sherwood Schwartz (1916-2011) and Edward White II (1930-1967), the first U.S. astronaut to walk in space.

O yeah: And take a bow, P.J. O’Rourke – the political satirist, journalist and frequent contributor to National Public Radio’s “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me” panel show turns 71 today.

Wish the correspondent, the composer, the painter and the rest well at – and maybe include a little something for us, too. We love those story tips.


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.



’Nuff said: One-time Stony Brook resident Stan Lee will get a hero’s farewell Thursday at the Holiday Inn Express-Stony Brook, where community leaders, Stony Brook University students and other true believers – many in full costume – will gather to salute the late, great comic book master, who passed away Monday at age 95.

Lee – celebrated co-creator of Spider Man, Iron Man, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men and a host of other enduring superheroes, and the creative driver of the now-dominant form of American cinema – will be eulogized by Charlie Ziegler, president of the Tri-State Stan Lee Fan Club, and John Tsunis, community activist and owner of the Holiday Inn Express-Stony Brook. Other fans and community leaders are expected to join them for the candlelight vigil and quasi-convention, which kicks off at 5 p.m. and invites mourners to suit up and show off their comic-book and memorabilia collections.

The hotel, meanwhile, while be running Marvel Cinematic Universe selections on all of its pubic screens as a tribute to Lee. Calling the innovator “a member of the Long Island family,” Ziegler said Tuesday that “this Earth lost an icon (and) a legend. He brought the superhero out in all of us.”

First-person shooter: In a grim sign of the times, Stony Brook University is hosting a frightening-but-innovative “active shooter training opportunity” today to help the innocent be more than potential targets.

Following another tragic spate of public mass shootings – and with no real gun-control legislation in sight – the Stony Brook University Police Department is offering this afternoon’s open training session “for anyone on campus interested in learning what to do in case of an emergency,” according to the university.

The seminar – which follows a recent section of the SBU Citizen’s Police Academy curriculum dedicated to the same topic – adds to the new nationwide momentum toward training for active-shooter scenarios, wherein citizens are learning how to protect themselves, their children, their coworkers and others who may be endangered by a shooter on campus or in the workplace.



Running hot and cold: Stony Brook innovation superstar ThermoLift and its revolutionary clean-gen heat pump have aced a critical national-laboratory field test.

Sand dollars: A public-private partnership involving regional utilities and state parks officials will bring an $18 million Energy and Nature Education Center to Jones Beach.

Storm damage: Understanding the emotional toll of major hurricanes can help responders prepare better for the next storm, according to Feinstein Institute scientists.

Slow start: After a less-than-heavenly start to its fiscal year, Lake Success-based food and beauty-product distributor Hain Celestial is predicting a quick turnaround.



Connected commerce: Forbes catches up with forward-thinking retailers eager to introduce innovation to your daily shopping experience.

Glowing growth: The Washington Post catches up with innovative farmers who are using LED lights to create crops sans sunlight.

Maximum Mineola: Newsday catches up with the Mineola School District, ranked among America’s most innovative school districts by national regulators.



+ Analytical Flavor Systems, a New York City-based provider of artificial intelligence for new product development in the food and beverage industry, raised $4 million in funding led by Leawood Venture Capital and Global Brain, with participation from Hyperplane Venture Capital, Bits X Bites, Cornes Technology and others.

+ Harpoon Therapeutics, a California-based clinical-stage immunotherapy company developing a novel class of T-cell engagers, raised $70 million in Series C funding led by Arix Bioscience, OrbiMed, Cormorant, Ridgeback Capital Investments, Lilly Asia Ventures and NS Investment, among others.

+ Plus One Robotics, a Texas-based 3D vision and controls developer for robotic automation, raised $8.3 million in Series A funding led by Pritzker Group Venture Capital, with participation from Zebra Technologies, Schematic Ventures, Lerer Hippeau, TCL Ventures, ff Venture Capital, Dynamo and First Star Ventures.

+ FLEx Lighting, an Illinois-based provider of front-lighting products that provide solutions for reflective LCDs for mobile devices, closed a $9 million Series B financing round led by Energy Foundry, with participation from SABIC Ventures, Bascom Ventures and others.

+ Ribometrix, a North Carolina-based biotechnology company developing small-molecule therapeutics that directly target RNA, completed a $30 million Series A financing round led by M Ventures, Amgen Ventures, Pappas Capital and Illumina Ventures, among others.

+ Mayvenn, a California-based provider of a service for buying and installing hair, raised $23 million in funding led by Essence Ventures.



Amazon uh-oh: Long Island City has been officially announced as one of the locations of Amazon’s bifurcated HQ2, and – well, be careful what you wish for, warns The Weekly Standard.

Coin of the realm: Why startup e-commerce marketplace OmniBazaar Inc. is giving away 6.4 billion cryptocurrency tokens.

Call me crazy: You’re not nuts – robocalls are actually getting worse, and Mental Floss can tell you why.

See you next time: Until then, 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.