No. 364: Planning HQ2, digitizing Robert Moses and still taking giant leaps for mankind, a half-century later

Twice the trouble: Inspired by Max and Moritz, a children's story of the 1860s by German author Wilhelm Busch, The Katzenjammer Kids is the oldest comic strip still in syndication and the longest-running ever.


All downhill from here: Over the hump we go, dear readers, as another wintry Wednesday arrives (though it’s still not winter) and we race through the midpoint of another busy workweek.

Ride share: Before we get to it, welcome new newsletter subscribers Alida, Greg, Michael, Marc, Carmela, George, Nina, Stanley, Stacy, Brittany, Sarah, Christopher, MJ and Cristian.

What a fine-looking group! Please keep your hands in the car at all times.

Not taking sides: It’s Dec. 12 out there, and we can’t decide whether to plug Ground Forces Day in the Ukraine or Croatian Air Force Day, so instead we’ll salute the Day of Neutrality in Turkmenistan.

In the States, it’s National 12-Hour Fresh Breath Day, and yes, somehow, that’s actually a thing.

The kids are all right: Still popular in Denmark and Norway, the “Katzenjammer Kids” comic strip debuted in the New York Journal on Dec.12, 1897.

Teeing it up: Inventor George Grant of Boston patented the wooden golf tee on this date in 1899.

Other Dec. 12 patents include a looped end for measuring tape (by inventor C.W. Crogan) and a floor-surfacing machine for “stony floors” (by inventor Harry Wolfe), both issued in 1922.

Can you hear me now? Guglielmo Marconi confirmed the reception of the first transatlantic radio signals on Dec. 12, 1901, sent from Cornwall, England, to Newfoundland, Canada.

Hard facts: Borazon, a cubic form of boron nitride considered one of the hardest known materials, was first produced by General Electric chemists on this date in 1957.

Slice of life: And Apple Inc. – now the world’s largest company by market capitalization – held its IPO on Dec. 12, 1980.

If you’d bought 10 shares at the initial public price of $22 each, your $220 investment – 30 years and four stock splits later – would be worth more than $124,000, and that’s without dividends.

All’s Wells: Wheeling and dealing American businessman Henry Wells (1805-1878), cofounder of American Express Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., was born on Dec. 12.

So were “Madame Bovary” novelist Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), “The Scream” painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra (1915-1998) and Hungarian-American physical chemist Maria Telkes (1900-1995), who pioneered the use of solar energy in home heating.

Come on down! And take a bow, Bob Barker – the longtime host of “The Price is Right” turns 95 today.

So, is it Barker? “Kissing bandit” Richard Dawson? A classic like Bob Eubanks or a modern contender like Steve Harvey? Cast your vote for the best game show host of all time at – and we’ll take whatever’s behind Door No. 3, Monty, hopefully a story tip or calendar suggestion.

Oh, crop: We dug ourselves a deep hole in the Dec. 7 newsletter, which referred Long Island farmers to Albany’s Advancing Agricultural Energy Technologies initiative. Alas, the program is only open to customers who pay into the state’s System Benefits Charge, and Island agriculturalists do not.

Apologies for the error, and thank-you to the eagle-eyed readers who spotted it.


About our sponsor: The Long Island Business Development Council has helped build the regional economy for nearly 50 years by bringing together government economic development officials, developers, financial experts and others for education, debate and networking.



Good advice: With a new Amazon headquarters facility coming soon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday the formation of a Community Advisory Committee to share information and solicit input about Amazon’s planned Long Island City headquarters.

The CAC will work through Project Plan, Neighborhood Infrastructure and Workforce Development subcommittees to develop strategies for the headquarters and what the governor’s office called “onsite public amenities,” as well as investments in surrounding infrastructure and training programs to prepare some of the new headquarters’ projected 25,000-plus employees.

Cuomo called the HQ2 facility “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our economy” and said community input was a “critical part of the development process,” while de Blasio added that “robust community engagement” would be “critical to ensuring that the investments and resources generated from this project serve the needs of everyone in Long Island City and beyond.”

Holy (digital) Moses! Long Island University announced this week that a $695,000 grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation will help fund the Robert Moses Archival Project, a digitizing of irreplaceable Long Island historical records.

Long Island University’s Palmer School of Library and Information Sciences is already into the second year of Digitizing Local History Sources, a Gardiner Foundation-funded effort to digitally preserve materials sourced by local historical societies. Like that program, the new Robert Moses Archival Project is run in partnership with the New York State Department of Parks and the New York State Archives.

Researchers and historians will now add Robert Moses’ personal archives to the 25,000 images and more than five terabytes of data already preserved through Digitizing Local History Sources. “The history of Long Island is rich and varied,” noted LIU President Kimberly Cline. “By working to preserve Robert Moses’ archival heritage, we’re bringing another part of that history to life.”



Reach for the stars: Fifty years later, Garden City’s Cradle of Aviation Museum still finds inspiration in the historic Apollo missions, according to museum president Andrew Parton.

Step by sepsis: A federal grant will fund a new Feinstein Institute research project that seeks to understand how proteins trigger sepsis – and how to stop them.

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Mega-deal: Newsday shines a spotlight on Long Island’s second-largest solar array, now online in Shoreham.

Crystal ball: Fortune takes its best guess about national and international business developments in the New Year.

The long run: Forbes runs the last mile of innovation, a critical differentiator of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.



+ Kallyope, a New York City-based biotechnology company identifying therapeutic opportunities involving the gut-brain axis, raised $21 million in expanded Series B financing led by Bill Gates, with participation from Lux Capital, The Column Group, Polaris Partners, Illumina Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, Euclidean Capital and Two Sigma Ventures.

+ Pindrop, a Georgia-based provider of voice security and authentication solutions, raised $90 million in Series D funding led by Vitruvian Partners, with participation from Allegion Ventures, Cross Creek, Dimension Data, Singapore-based EDBI, Goldman Sachs, CapitalG, IVP, Andreessen Horowitz, GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Citi Ventures.

+ Aceable, a Texas-based company that offers digital courses for people advancing their life goals through licensing, certification and training, raised $47 million in Series B funding led by Sageview Capital.

+ FreeWire Technologies, a California-based provider of flexible and future-proof power solutions for the grid edge, closed a $15 million Series A financing round led by BP Ventures, with participation from Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Stanley Ventures, Blue Bear Capital, Oski Clean Energy Partners, Strawberry Creek Ventures, Spike Ventures, TRIREC and others.

+ OnSiteIQ, a New York-based visual-documentation and risk-assessment platform provider for construction projects, raised $2 million in seed funding led by Anthemis Group, with participation from MetaProp.

+ Jaanuu, a California-based direct-to-consumer brand offering contemporary medical workwear, raised $15 million in growth equity financing led by JMK Consumer Growth Partners, with participation from the Nordstrom family and Excellere Partners.



Get it together: StartupNation lists the important tasks entrepreneurs must complete before the New Year.

Get it done: U.S. News and World Report suggests seven tax moves to make before the end of the year.

Get it right: HealthPayer Intelligence explains how employers will promote healthcare transformation in 2019.

Get going: That’s all for today, dear reader – but please remember to support the great organizations that support Innovate LI, including the Long Island Business Development Council, a driving force behind the Long Island economy for more than four decades.