No. 398: The shadows of Mercy, the lessons of JLABS and an arthritis shocker (plus: garlic breath!)

Good eggs: Innovate Long Island wishes you and yours a joyous and meaningful Easter and Passover.


Holy cow, what a week: Good Friday morning, dear reader, and a good Good Friday morning to those of the Christian persuasion, and a peaceful Passover, too. Whatever your holiday of choice, the blessed end of another busy workweek is upon us.

It’s April 19 out there, and on the subject of special observances, a safe and happy Landing of the 33 Patriots Day to our many readers in Uruguay.

Double Dutch: Today is also Dutch-American Friendship Day, recalling the day in 1782 when John Adams was received by the Hague and became America’s first ambassador to the Netherlands.

The holiday was signed into law in 1982 by President Ronald “Dutch” Reagan, who was not Dutch.

We’re breathless: Today is also National Garlic Day, very real, very awesome.

Something like a million people were already there: But British explorer James Cook “discovered” Australia on this date in 1770.

Still echoing: The infamous “Shot Heard Round the World” was fired on April 19, 1775, in Concord, Mass., triggering the American Revolution.

It works: This is a red-letter date for the standard 40-hour week. It was April 19, 1919, when the French Assembly ruled that an eight-hour workday worked best, and April 19, 1932, when President Herbert Hoover first suggested formalizing the five-day workweek.

On the air: With stations in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington and New York City carrying “On the Corner,” a variety show featuring satirist Henry Morgan, the American Broadcasting Co. Television Network went live on this date in 1948.

And the nation’s first all-news radio station – New York City’s 1010 WINS – began giving you the world (in 22 minutes) on April 19, 1965.

Meanwhile, in space: It was this date in 1975 when Aryabhata, the first satellite built in India, blasted into orbit aboard a Soviet rocket.

And it was April 19, 1982, when NASA held a press conference to introduce its first black astronaut (Guion Bluford Jr.) and first female astronaut (Sally Ride), who’d both fly into space in 1983.

Crank it up: Norwegian inventor Ole Evinrude (1877-1934), who built the first outboard marine engine, would be 142 years old today.

Other April 19 birthday boys and girls include “Untouchable” G-man Eliot Ness (1903-1957), American ecologist and Nature Conservancy founder Richard Pough (1904-2003) and world-class Spanish-French fashion designer Paloma Picasso (born 1949).

Explosive pen: And take a bow, Valerie Plame Wilson – the espionage novelist and former CIA operations officer turns 56 today.

Wish them all a happy birthday (secret code for Wilson, please) at, and complete your mission by slipping in a story tip or calendar item. It’ll be our little secret.


A few words from our sponsor: Farmingdale State College is New York’s largest public college of applied science and technology and a national pioneer in environmental sustainability. With more than 10,000 students, Farmingdale has Long Island’s second-largest undergraduate enrollment among four-year institutions and offers rigorous academic programs in business, engineering technology, health sciences and liberal arts and sciences. Farmingdale also offers a master’s degree in Technology Management. Learn more here.



Stop your engines: The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the NYS Department of Transportation this week ponied up $3 million in available funding for innovative proposals to improve the efficiency of New York’s transportation system.

The announcement supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s goal of reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030. The funding will be awarded through a two-step competitive process, with applicants submitting proposals leveraging one of two basic ideas: efficient mobility solutions or efficient infrastructure, with a focus on new technologies, improved safety and increased access to alternative transportation modes.

Concept papers will be accepted through Oct. 30, with NYSERDA and the DOT then reviewing submissions and selecting the funding winners. “Reducing carbon emissions from transportation plays an important role in addressing climate change,” noted NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton, adding the competition “will help transform our communities and provide all New Yorkers with cleaner and safer transportation options.”

The shadow knows: More than 30 students from Baldwin High School’s Medical and Health Sciences Academy partnered up this week with Mercy Medical Center mentors, learning the ropes of nursing, radiology, physical therapy, biomedical engineering and more during the academy’s 25th annual Shadow Day.

Part of a year-long partnership between the Baldwin School District and the Rockville Centre-based medical center, the event introduced prospective college-level medical students to a professional environment and offered the high schoolers “a richer experiential learning opportunity, which simply can’t be learned in the classroom,” according to Barbara Reese, coordinator of Baldwin High School’s School-to-Career Program.

Applying these professional experiences to what they’ve learned in class gives the Medical Academy students a running start and “a real-life picture of what it would be like to work in healthcare,” Reese added. “This type of learning is rare and typically doesn’t happen until college.”



Ear ye: A new Feinstein Institute bioelectronic medicine study says rheumatoid arthritis can be effectively treated with tiny electric shocks to the outer ear.

Laboratory specimen: The second-generation owner of a Long Island med-tech innovator sees a formula for socioeconomic success in Houston’s JLABS ecosystem.

Tele us more: Northwell Health’s new Emergency Telepsychiatry Hub is being hailed as a round-the-clock mental-health resource for patients on Long Island and beyond.



A dozen Long Island researchers snagged NSF fellowship nominations, and a Stony Brook University evolutionary scientist will just shrew it.



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

From Virginia: The Arlington-based Warrior to Cyber Warrior Foundation launches a new website, part of its “expanded approach” to helping veterans excel in civilian life.

From Washington State: Seattle-based Dynotag offers complimentary “smart IDs” – necklaces, bracelets, etc., providing detailed emergency profiles – to first responders and military personnel.

From Illinois: Chicago-based creative agency TPN launches the Velocity Commerce Group, a consultancy keeping up with the rapid evolution of digital retailing.



+ Michelle Greenberg has joined Uniondale-based Sahn Ward Coschignano PLLC as counsel. She will concentrate her practice on real estate law and transactions.

+ Jeffrey Wurst, a senior partner at Uniondale-based Ruskin Moscou Faltischek P.C., has been elected to the Board of Regents of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers.

+ Patricia Tan has been hired as a pediatric physiatrist at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson. She previously held the same position at Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan.

+ Bokkwan Jun has been hired as a neuro-ophthalmologist at East Meadow-based Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island. He was a neuro-ophthalmology assistant professor at Mason Eye Institute in Missouri.

+ Tamara Stillman has been promoted to director of survey and mapping at Brookhaven-based L.K. McLean Associates. She previously served as senior surveyor.

+ Justin Stroker was named director for patient and customer experience at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson. He has worked at the hospital for three years as a registered nurse.

+ Catholic Health Services in Rockville Centre has announced three leadership appointments for its physician partner groups: Christopher Windham has been named vice president and chief medical office of CHS Physician Partners; Steve Stepp has been named vice president of population health analytics at CHSPP; and Sunny Chiu has been named chief administrative officer of CHP’s Employed Physician Group.



Rocky Mountain high: In a bold (and basically illegal) move, Carl’s Jr. will serve the “4/20 burger” to Colorado customers, topped with a very special sauce.

Innovation is risen: You can thank one of America’s most prolific inventors for the plastic hinged Easter egg (and plastic Easter grass).

Cracking the case: Just how did the dime-a-dozen egg come to symbolize Christianity’s most sacred holiday?

Big ideas for small business: Please continue supporting the amazing institutions that supporting Innovate LI, including Farmingdale State College, where the FSC Small Business Development Center is a true entrepreneurial resource.