No. 402: A Machiavellian mashup featuring NYIT grants, Farmingdale State fairs and ‘Breezy’ Bob Catell

From John F. Kennedy: "That is why our press was protected by the First Amendment ... to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion."


You made it: Welcome to Friday, friends, and the finale of another busy workweek.

It’s May 3 out there, and as full-blooded advocacy journalists, we’re proud to come to you on World Press Freedom Day, wherein the United Nations recognizes that no democracy is complete without a free and transparent information flow.

Creepy and kooky: Here in the States, it’s also the seventh-annual National Paranormal Day.

Mysterious: It’s also National Two Different Colored Shoes Day. Yep, real.

And spooky: “Day turned to night” on this date in 1375 BC, when Mesopotamian observers noted the western world’s first recorded solar eclipse.

Capital gain: Happy birthday, Washington, D.C.! The current U.S. capital (it was Philadelphia at the time) was incorporated as a city on May 3, 1802.

Today is also the anniversary of the NCAA – the National Collegiate Athletic Association officially changed its name from the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (which had formed four years prior) on this date in 1910.

Pen pals: Heavyweight scribes Margaret Mitchell (1934), Upton Sinclair (1943), James Michener (1948), Tennessee Williams (also 1948) and Charles Lindbergh (1954) – yes, that Charles Lindbergh – all claimed Pulitzer Prizes on this date.

That’s the way it is: Now the longest-running U.S. network news show, the “CBS Evening News” premiered on May 3, 1948.

And speaking of iconic news programs, National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” made its broadcast debut on this date in 1971.

Machiavellian: Considered the founder of modern political science (actually political ethics, and in most references a lack thereof), Italian philosopher, writer and politico Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli would be 550 years old today.

Also marking birthdays this May 3 are Scottish chemist Charles Tennant (1768-1838), who invented bleaching powder and built an industrial dynasty; American chemist Wilbur Atwater (1844-1907), a pioneer of agricultural chemistry; Italian mathematician Vito Volterra (1860-1940), who basically created calculus; Israeli educator and Prime Minister Golda Meir (1898-1978); Hollywood legend Bing Crosby (1903-1977); and soul-singing funkmaster James Brown (1933-2006).

Playing Mantis: And take a bow, Pom Klementieff – the French actress and veteran of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (including runaway hit “Avengers: Endgame”) turns 33 today.

Wish the galactic guardian and the rest well at … and be our hero with a story tip or calendar suggestion, please and thank you.


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NSF loves NYIT: The New York Institute of Technology has landed two forward-looking National Science Foundation grants, one benefitting tech-minded students and one preparing regional high school teachers for a critical task.

The latter, a $1.2 million grant from the NSF’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, will see NYIT team up with four public Long Island high schools and the New York Hall of Science in Queens to prepare math and science educators to work in “high-need districts.” The idea is to “open up the field of K-12 teaching to talented STEM graduates and professionals from all economic circumstances,” NYIT said Wednesday.

The other grant, earmarked for the institute’s College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, will funnel $600,000 over five years into an effort to recruit, support and retain 16 academically talented, low-income New York City students who will major in computer science or electrical and computer engineering – part of a strategy to “help fill the national need for well-educated scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technicians,” according to NYIT.

Adult content: Farmingdale State College has scheduled a May 29 Adult-Learner College Fair, a SUNY-heavy community-outreach event geared toward “post-traditional” students, including adults considering college for the first time.

Covering important topics like transcript transfers, online learning opportunities, veterans’ services and “life experience credit,” the fair is designed primarily to soothe nerves, according to Judi Cestaro, Farmingdale State’s director of transfer services. “The one common thread amongst [returning adults] is that they are apprehensive,” Cestaro noted. “This program is designed to alleviate their concerns.”

The evening event is slated to include representatives of Farmingdale State, Stony Brook University, SUNY College at Old Westbury, Nassau Community College, Suffolk County Community College and other schools within the state university system, as well as reps from the Brentwood-based Long Island Educational Opportunity Center. Pre-registration required; more info here.



Wind win: Innovate LI Debriefs iconic innovator Bob Catell, who thinks Long Island’s best energy future could rest with his powerful offshore-wind consortium.

Gas lines: Regional rainmakers want Albany to greenlight a natural-gas pipeline they deem critical to Long Island economics.

Return service: The New York Institute of Technology has cut tuition in half for the children of regional public servants, including teachers and first responders.



Long Island manufacturers are feeling good; regional winners of the 2019 New York Business Plan Competition are feeling great.



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

From Virginia: Fairfax-based Salient CRGT adds to its Voyager mobility solutions with a smartphone app connecting law enforcers, victims and victim advocates.

From California: San Diego-based Manscaped, the “premier men’s below-the-waist hygiene brand,” partners with the Testicular Cancer Society on a humorous-yet-educational video.

From New Jersey: Florham Park-based “digital interactions” expert Conduent opens a collaborative Innovation Center stocked with data visualization, touch-table exploration and other dynamic tools.



+ Joseph Fennessy and Anthony Cancellieri – the chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the South Nassau Communities Hospital Board of Directors – have been appointed to the Mount Sinai Health System Board of Trustees.

+ Arthur Klein, president of the Mount Sinai Health Network, and Don Scanlon, Mount Sinai Health System chief financial officer and Mount Sinai Medical Center chief of corporate services, will serve on the South Nassau Communities Hospital Board of Directors.

+ Paul Pietrofere has been hired as a sales associate at Coldwell Banker Commercial Island Corporate Services in Islandia. He previously served as an accounting manager with Woodbury-based Valiant Solutions.

+ Yonatan Bernstein has been hired as an associate in compliance, investigation and white-collar and insurance fraud at Uniondale-based Rivkin Radler. He previously served as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn.

+ Lyn Weiss has been hired as chairwoman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola. She formerly led residency training for physical medicine and rehabilitation and directed electrodiagnostic medicine at Nassau University Medical Center.

+ Hauppauge-based Austin Williams has announced four new hires: John Zontini, formerly a marketing/branding associate at Voyetra Turtle Beach in Valhalla, will serve as director of creative operations; Freddy Pinto, formerly a product education designer at Eileen Fisher in Manhattan, will serve as a designer; Katherine Sohm, formerly a branding specialist at Nesconset-based GNP Branded Gear, will serve as associate media planner; and Julian DiVietro, formerly a field marketing manager at City Eventions in Manhattan, will serve as a digital intern.



Three-hundred-million plastic Chipotle gloves: Bagged.

Three days of peace and music: Cancelled.

Three-eyed Australian snake: Discovered.

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