No. 373: On Tesla patents, quasi-three-day weekends and Winnie the Pooh (and introducing the ‘Voices’ of Innovate LI)

Wireless wonder: Though never completed, the Tesla Tower in Shoreham was issued a patent on Jan. 18, 1902, among 300 worldwide patents issued to Nikola Tesla.


Flake out: That’s two down and just 49 1/2 to go, dear readers, as another productive workweek concludes and 2019 gains steam – and with barely a snowflake in sight, this is already shaping up as the quietest winter in recent memory.


Winter is coming: Actually, there is a little snow in our weekend forecast, and that’s not a bad thing – not only is the white stuff a critical part of natural environmental cycles, but snow days include some surprising health benefits.

Another word for: Astonish, astound and otherwise amaze your family and friends by letting them know today, and every Jan. 18, is National Thesaurus Day.

From the Department of Much Less Silly Holidays comes Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is celebrated on Jan. 21 this year. Congratulations to the estimated 37 percent of you who will enjoy a paid holiday and a three-day weekend. Grumble, grumble.

Close encounters of the soggy kind: Part alien-invasion tale, part ghost story, American’s first USO – an unidentified submerged object, underwater kin of the UFO – was spotted near Boston on Jan. 18, 1644, among a spate of unearthly sightings.

Towering achievement: Predicting that of all his inventions, this would “prove most important and valuable to future generations,” Nikola Tesla patented a “magnifying transmitter for wireless transmission of electrical energy” – looming 187 feet high over his Wardenclyffe laboratory in Shoreham – on this date in 1902.

Other Jan. 18 patents include one for a “design to ornament cooking stoves” issued in 1848 to inventors J. Beesley, D. Stuart, S.H. Sailor and W.P. Cresson, and one for a mechanical “diving apparatus” – imagine 19th century scuba gear – issued in 1881 to inventor Stephen Taskeb.

Man of words: As suggested by National Thesaurus Day, today marks the birthdate of Peter Roget (1779-1869), the British physician, theologian and lexicographer who wrote the book (literally) on synonyms, starting with 1852’s “Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases.”

Also born on Jan. 18 were American barbed wire inventor Joseph Glidden (1813-1906), “Winnie the Pooh” author A.A. Milne (1882-1956), pioneering English aircraft designer Sir Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith (1888-1989) and Ray Dolby (1933-2013), an American physicist and engineer who invented the Dolby Noise Reduction System and innovated everything from cassette tapes to theater sound systems.

Untouchable: And take a bow, Kevin Costner – the actor and producer turns 64 today.

Wish Bull Durham and the rest well at, but save the presents for us: story tips, calendar items, please and thank you.


A few words from our sponsor: Farrell Fritz, a full-service law firm with 15 practice groups, advises startups on entity formation, founder and shareholder agreements, funding, executive compensation and benefits, licensing and technology transfer, mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions. The firm’s blog, New York Venture Hub, discusses legal and business issues facing entrepreneurs and investors.



And don’t spare the ribs! The Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency has closed on an economic-incentives package that will lure a Nassau County-based food manufacturer to eastern environs.

United Meat Products of Glen Cove will purchase and renovate a Bellport industrial building with the help of a Brookhaven IDA tax-abatement deal, which was first approved by the development agency in December and officially greenlighted this week. United Meat, which operates multiple Westbury processing facilities totaling 70,000 square feet, will use its new 33,500-square-foot facility to manufacture sausages, ham, roast duck, meat sauce and other foodstuffs to be sold to Asian markets and restaurants under the Northern Foods label.

Helping the Nassau company expand into Brookhaven was an easy call, according to IDA Chairman Frederick Braun III. “We’re always pleased to provide incentives to a business that intends to bring new manufacturing and employment to the town,” Braun said Wednesday.

Comforting thought: Good Shepherd Hospice has opened the second Catholic hospice center on Long Island, and the first in Nassau County, at Rockville Centre’s Mercy Medical Center.

Featuring expert hospice-nursing care, medical social work services and round-the-clock visitor access to 12 private inpatient rooms, a family lounge, a kitchen/dining area and dedicated prayer and meeting spaces, the $5 million, 8,400-square foot Hospice Center at Mercy Medical Center provides a “home-like environment that delivers expert hospice care to patients with complex medical needs,” according to Catholic Health Services of Long Island, which operates the Mercy Medical Center.

Good Shepherd Hospice President and Chief Administrative Officer Mary Ellen Polit stressed “the importance of the mission we have pledged to honor,” trumpeting a new Catholic hospice center “where patients and families will know that the dignity of each person extends to the end of life.”



Something to say: Introducing “Voices,” a new Innovate LI feature presenting fact and opinion from the brightest thinkers behind the Island innovation economy. First up – political commentator Jeff Guillot explains why the partial government shutdown is a very big, very bad deal for Long Island.

Ends meet: Speaking of the War of the Wall, Island Harvest Food Bank and several key partners have teamed up to ease the burden on Long Island’s unpaid federal employees.

That’s the truth, Ruth: Adelphi University graduate Ruth S. Ammon will still lend her name to the university’s School of Education, but the school is now part of Adelphi’s reworked College of Education and Health Sciences.



A millennial surge, a flood of anti-water contamination funds and a smart shortcut for scientific Adelphi University business students.



From California: The Redlands-based Pollination Network is abuzz about a mobile app connecting growers and beekeepers.

From Texas: A Houston-based Kickstarter campaign featuring the Yogi Jacket – the “world’s first everyday acupressure jacket,” with more than 7,000 “acupressure spikes” – blows past $20,000.

From California: The creators of “Age of Power,” a musical chronicling Edison vs. Tesla in the race to electrify the world, want to crowdfund a one-night-only Hollywood performance.



+ Richard Gatteau has been appointed vice president for student affairs/dean of students at Stony Brook University. He previously served as interim dean of students.

+ Dave Cassaro has been elected president of the Board of Directors at Hauppauge-based Long Island Cares-The Harry Chapin Food Bank. He is president of Garden City-based Dave Cassaro Consulting.

+ Chris Valsamos, president and CEO of Brentwood-based Castella Imports, and Karen Frank, executive vice president of Hauppauge-based Omnicon, have been elected to the Board of Directors of the Hauppauge Industrial Association.

+ Melville-based Genser Cona Elder Law has announced two hires: David Carl has been hired as an associate attorney; he was deputy bureau chief of the Social Services Office of the Nassau County Attorney’s Office. Christine Cavanagh has been hired as an associate attorney; she was an associate with Melville-based Atlas Law Group.

+ Charissa Kwan has been elected president of the Appraisal Institute’s Mineola-based Long Island chapter. She is an assistant vice president and senior review appraiser at Sterling National Bank in Jericho.

+ Marcos Maldonado has been promoted to media/special events executive and assistant to the CEO at Mineola-based McBride Consulting and Business Development Group. He previously served as the group’s communications and grant-procurement director.



Price point: A new report says manufacturer price increases, not research costs or improvements to the products themselves, are why prescription drugs cost so much.

Paying the price: Quartz explains how President Trump’s trade war with China may send the cost of rubber bands snapping upwards.

Priceless: The Washington Post reviews how “The Price is Right” has endured to become the longest-running game show in American TV history.

The price of awesome: Even “free news” ain’t free, so please continue supporting the great firms that support Innovate LI – including Farrell Fritz, where the busy Regulatory & Government Relations practice group keeps a close eye on all of Albany’s legislative action.