No: 365: Electrons, hackathons, gadget gifts and yes, America, there is a climate change

So close: The Wright Flyer, the first successful heavier-than-air powered aircraft. suffered minor damage during an aborted test flight on Dec. 14, 1903.


Golden mettle: Congratulations, dear reader – you’ve reached the 50th Friday of 2018 (go ahead and count, if you don’t believe us) and the end of another busy week of socioeconomic innovation. You are to be commended.

It’s Dec. 14 out there, and we have plenty of interesting days to choose from – it’s international Monkey Day and, here in the USA, National Salesperson Day.

Because it just sounds so badass: But we’re going to call it Forty-Seven Ronin Remembrance Day, a Japanese holiday recalling the “revenge of the forty-seven rōnin,” also known as the Akō Vendetta, an 18th-century historical event in which a band of rōnin avenged the death of their master.

Sweet home: There are very few ninjas in Alabama, which became the 22nd U.S. state on Dec. 14, 1819.

Screw them: Dec. 14 is a red-letter date for Rhode Island inventors earning patents for screw-making machines. Islander David Wilkinson earned one in 1798 for a machine that cut screw threads, while inventor Cullen Whipple – also a resident of the Ocean State – earned one in 1852 for his “Mechanism for Pointing and Threading Screw-Blanks in the Same Machine.”

Now that is streaming cable: The Commercial Pacific Cable Co. finished laying the first transpacific telegraph cable, connecting San Francisco and Honolulu, on this date in 1902.

Fly, fly again: December 17 hogs all the glory as the day they got it right, but the Wright brothers made their first attempt to fly the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, NC, on Dec. 14, 1903.

Goodnight, moon: And speaking of momentous flights, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt became the last people to walk on the moon (that we know of) on this date in 1972.

The stars in his eyes: In other space news, Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe – who developed many of the astronomical instruments that made modern astronomy possible – would be 472 years old today.

Also born on Dec. 14 were American bandleader Spike Jones (1911-1965); German aeronautical engineer Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain (1911-1998), inventor of the first successful jet engine; “The Haunting of Hill House” novelist Shirley Jackson (1916-1965); and Brown University mathematics Professor Jill Pipher (born 1955), the president-elect of the American Mathematical Society.

Agent of chaos: And take a bow, James Comey – the polarizing lightning-rod of a former FBI director turns 58 today.

Wish the fed, the math whiz, the spooky writer and the rest well at, and be sure to send along a story tip or calendar listing, please – it absolutely makes our weekend.


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Electron meddling: Brookhaven National Laboratory is mixing it up on new microscopic levels, with the Department of Energy facility sinking a chunk of New York State cash into a new cutting-edge lab.

The Empire State Development Corp., Albany’s main economic-development engine, announced Thursday that BNL has broken ground on a new facility to house two new electron microscopes, funded by $15 million from ESD’s Transformative Investment program. The microscopes will be part of a Laboratory for BioMolecular Structure that creates “positive impacts in understanding disease and the discovery of new drugs,” according to Brookhaven National Laboratory Director Doon Gibbs.

“Cryo-electron microscopy can significantly accelerate scientists’ understanding of molecular structures and processes,” Gibbs said Thursday, adding the new state-funded Laboratory for BioMolecular Structure would “boost the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries on Long Island and in New York State.”

Sign on Dot’s line: The happy hackers at Westbury-based nonprofit We Connect the Dots are hoping to connect with forward-thinking sponsors as they gear up for their annual code-a-thon.

With computer skills factoring into most good-paying jobs and millions of new IT jobs on the horizon, the annual “Back-to-School Code-a-Thon” – an oddly named late-January tradition – will involve more than 200 high school students in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Westbury, the second straight year the event has connected programmers at these three sites.

We Connect the Dots will gather its Long Island flock at LaunchPad Westbury, temporary home of the STEAM-focused nonprofit (add “art” to the science, technology, engineering and math), and would love to tell you more about sponsorship opportunities for the Jan. 25-27 interstate program.



Environmental catastrophe: He’s got bigger things to worry about, but for the record, most of America disagrees with the president about climate change, according to LIU’s Hornstein Center.

Applied science: With hot biotech, promising new verticals and a fourth-quarter revenue spike, Stony Brook-based Applied DNA Sciences is looking past a down fiscal year.

Circular logic: Keep reading Innovate LI’s thrice-weekly newsletters (including your exclusive Calendar Newsletter every Monday) and we’ll keep sending them. Meanwhile, keep the good times rolling by encouraging your fellow innovators to subscribe for free.



Moon-struck at the Cradle of Aviation, sepsis-hunting at the Feinstein Institute.



Innovate LI’s inbox overrunneth with inspirational ideas from all North American corners. This week’s brightest out-of-town innovations:

From Canada: Ontario-based Lorex Technology, a subsidiary of Chinese surveillance giant Dahua, extends the battery life of its leading wireless Diurnal cameras.

From California: Los Angeles-based cannabinoid gummy-bear maker CBDfx ramps up production to meet growing demand.

From Texas: San Antonio-based GPS-tracking specialist SATX Technologies takes the fight to holiday package thieves.



+ Uniondale-based Ruskin Moscou Faltischek has announced three new hires: Michael Brown and Matt Bryant have joined the firm as partners and former New York State Sen. Manfred Ohrenstein has joined as of counsel. All three were previously partners at Garden City-based Ohrenstein & Brown.

+ F. William Studier, adjunct professor of biochemistry at Stony Brook University and a senior biophysicist emeritus at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Kenneth Kaushansky, SBU’s senior vice president of health sciences and dean of the Renaissance School of Medicine, have been elected as Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

+ Scott Berlin has been appointed ob/gyn chairman at Riverhead-based Peconic Bay Medical Center. He is a physician at Northwell Health Physician Partners in Bay Shore and an assistant professor at the Hofstra/Northwell Zucker School of Medicine.

+ Jay Hellman has been hired as a construction law partner at Uniondale-based Forchelli Deegan Terrana. He was a partner at Jericho-based Silverman Acampora.

+ The Ronkonkoma-based Association for Mental Health and Wellness has named three to its board of directors: Wayne Gurnic, who works in the Academic Centers for Eastern Suffolk BOCES; the Rev. Alexia Huart, pastor of the Grace Community Church in Amityville; and Andrew Garbarino, of counsel to Uniondale-based Ruskin Moscou Falitschek.

+ Austin Williams has announced three new hires: Jaya Naik has been hired as digital project manager; she was previously project manager at Hicksville-based Reliable. Lindsay Calvo has been hired as account executive; she was previously client services manager at The Reward Company in Manhattan. Nelson Romero has been hired as web developer; he was previously a web developer at Ronkonkoma-based Rothco.

+ Ret. Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright, a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, has been appointed to the advisory board at Bohemia-based North Atlantic Industries.



Eleven days and counting: Engadget is all over the last-minute $50-and-under stocking-stuffers.

Eight aids worth milking: Fast Company giftwraps these innovative gadgets that get it right.

Five golden apps: Forbes delivers the five best mobile apps for surviving the holidays.

And a sponsor in a pear tree: There’s really is no “free news.” Please support the great institutions that support Innovate Long Island – including NYIT, where innovation never takes a holiday.