No 379: Tuning in at Hofstra, soaring high at JFK and music by John Williams (plus: a new origin story for the universe)

The Force is with him: The American Film Institute selected John Williams’ score for 1977's "Star Wars" as the greatest American film score of all time. The distinguished composer, conductor and pianist turns 87 today.


Finishing touch: And down the stretch we come, dear readers, with the end of another busy workweek and the promised land of another well-earned weekend coming up fast.

It’s Friday out there, Feb. 8 to be precise, and good luck to all our readers in India preparing to pop the question on this romantic Propose Day 2019.

The pickings are slim (Scout’s honor): Here in the States, it’s National Opera Day (just two years old, but catching on) and Laugh and Get Rich Day (also new, promoting the benefits of belly-laughs).

More substantially, it’s also National Boy Scout Day, commemorating the 1910 founding of the Boy Scouts of America by W.D. Boyce.

Last licks: Massachusetts inventor John Ames Sherman earned a U.S. patent for his “envelope-folding and gumming machine” on this date in 1898.

Other U.S. patents issued on Feb. 8 include one in 1916 for inventor Charles Kettering’s “self-starting automobile engine” and one in 1921 for Dunlop America Ltd.’s “clipper” golf balls.

The rest is history: At his brother’s urging, a fledgling cartoonist in Burbank, Calif., renamed his struggling art studio on Feb. 8, 1926, coming up with “Walt Disney Studios.”

Let’s go to the movies: This is a red-letter date for motion-picture premiers. D.W. Griffith’s uber-racist “Birth of a Nation” (1915, America’s first 12-reel film), Franklin Schaffner’s original sci-fi classic “Planet of the Apes (1968) and Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” (1976) all opened on Feb. 8.

Today we call it a “chatroom:” But on this date in 1996, it was the largest single online event in history – 24 Hours in Cyberspace, a global collaboration uniting photographers and other artists for a “real time” snapshot of life on the very young Internet.

Copy that: American physicist Chester Carlson (1906-1968) – who invented xerography, an electrostatic dry-copying process that would become a big hit in office settings – would be 113 years old today.

Other Feb. 8 birthdays include Dmitry Mendeleev (1834-1907), the Russian chemist credited with creating the periodic table of elements; French scribe Jules Verne (1828-1905), the “Father of Science Fiction”; Tunku Abdul Rahman (1903-1990), the founding father and first prime minister of Malaysia; and American cultural icon James Dean (1931-1955).

The music man: And take a bow, John Williams – the Academy Award-winning composer of blockbuster movie scores (and Floral Park native) turns 87 today.

We’d have to go with “The Asteroid Field” on “The Empire Strikes Back” soundtrack, or perhaps the stirring “Raiders March,” but from “Jurassic Park” to “ET” to the Harry Potter movies, the man has been busy – so what’s your favorite bit of Williams’ work? Strike up the band at, and compose a story tip or calendar item also. Bravo!


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Look orth: Cementing Valley Stream’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center as a specialty orthopedic facility, Northwell Health has cut the ribbon on a new hospital for orthopedic care.

The Orthopedic Hospital is located on the second floor of the medical center (alternately known as LIJ Valley Stream) and represents a $13.5 million investment for the New Hyde Park-based health system – sunk into 18 private patient rooms, a state-of-the-art physical therapy unit and “technologically advanced operating rooms,” according to Northwell Health.

The staff includes experts in general orthopedics, sports medicine and fractures of the feet and ankles, as well as surgeons specializing in everything from total joint replacements to spine procedures. “Opening The Orthopedic Hospital is a key milestone at [LIJ Valley Stream] that will enhance our standing across Long Island and Queens,” noted Steve Bello, the hospital’s executive director.

Space, the initial frontier: Think you know your cosmic history? Think again, according to new research out of Stony Brook University’s C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics, where Associate Professor Patrick Meade is questioning commonly accepted theories about the birth of the universe.

Based on science derived from the Higgs boson – known popularly as the “God particle,” or the itty-bitty speck that started it all, according to conventional particle-physics wisdom – scientists largely believe the universe was hotter and more symmetrical in its earlier phases. But Meade and former student Harikrishnan Ramani don’t buy it.

Through research funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, the post-doc duo is proposing an alternate universal timeline, previously undiscussed phases of matter and a host of other mind-bending ideas. Read all about it (and probably reread it at least once) in “Unrestored Electroweak Symmetry,” an article published this week in Physical Review Letters, the American Physical Society’s flagship journal.



On the air: The Zucker School of Medicine, Hofstra University and Northwell Health’s hybrid healthcare haven, is reaching to the masses with a new regional radio show.

Fein print: A new discovery detailed this week in a Science magazine piece featuring Feinstein Institute CEO Kevin Tracey may reshape the burgeoning bioelectronics field.

Friendly skies: And a passenger-friendlier ground game, too, as American Airlines and British Airways team up on a new $344 million terminal at JFK.



Applied DNA Sciences is smoking hot in Taiwan, Intelligent Product Solutions is putting out fires.



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

From Arizona: Phoenix-based Intelligent Data Solutions launches a Data Enrichment Platform pumping Pitney Bowes info into top analytics software.

From California: Los Angeles-based customer relationship-management expert Pipeliner smartens up its Mobile CRM with “artificial intelligence functionality.”

From Canada, eh? Toronto-based Venus Concept Ltd. introduces its latest medical device – Venus Heal, combining multi-polar radio frequencies, pulsed electromagnetic fields and soothing massages.



+ Kyle Gruder and Katherine Medianik have joined Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz as first-year associates. They were both previously summer associates and law clerks at the firm.

+ Andreas Boyiakis has been hired as insurance coordinator at The Engel Burman Group in Garden City. He previously served as operations manager for Magnetic Construction Group in Brooklyn.

+ The United Way of Long Island has announced two new hires: Jenette Adams will serve as director of YouthBuild Long Island; she was a primary clinician at Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in Brentwood. Susan Dunbar will serve as marketing and communications manager; she was community engagement manager at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post in Brookville.

+ Michael Violano has been promoted to partner at Jericho-based Grassi & Co.

+ Jose Santiago has joined Alcott HR as its human resources compliance specialist. He previously managed the Law Offices of Jose G. Santiago.

+ Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty has promoted Jennifer Cooper to sales manager of its Cold Spring Harbor office. She had been the office’s assistant sales manager.



Bacon: Its one-day “bacon bash” may be over, but McDonald’s has triggered an all-out bacon war with rival Wendy’s.

Egg(head)s: Newsday goes head-to-head with the Ross Family of Rockville Centre, inventors of GooseEgged, a cool response to boo-boos.

Toast on the side: Why toasted bread is one of the best breakfast foods to avoid, according to the healthy eaters at Cosmopolitan.

Breakfast of champions: Please support the great organizations that support Innovate LI, including the Town of Islip’s economic-development offices, which provide a healthy start to any entrepreneurial day.