No. 413: Spacemen in Garden City, pharma/nutra in-depth and sweet somethings from a cider insider

Landing zone: The Cradle of Aviation Museum packed them in for a special June 6 dinner event honoring the heroes of NASA's Apollo moon landings.


Wednesday’s child: Full of woe? Of course not, dear friends – we are a focused and forward-thinking workforce on the road to socioeconomic greatness, no matter what day it is!

It happens to be Wednesday, June 12 to be precise, and as we hurtle the hump of another busy workweek, we wish our many readers in Paraguay a joyous and peaceful Chaco Armistice Day.

Loving it: In a double entendre for the ages, today also marks National Loving Day, a sweetheart’s holiday marking the end of America’s anti-miscegenation laws, which banned interracial marriages.

Appropriately, the laws were struck down by the June 12, 1967, U.S. Supreme Court decision in Loving vs. Virginia, brought by plaintiffs Mildred and Richard Loving, both humans.

Still standing: Speaking of interesting humans, Giovanni Bernini – the leading sculptor of his age and creator of the Baroque style – unveiled his Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) in Rome on this date in 1651.

Very observant: Honored as the nation’s oldest permanent astronomical observatory, Williams College’s Hopkins Observatory opened on this date in 1838 in Williamstown, Mass.

Sharp mind: Swiss cutler, inventor and entrepreneur Karl Elsner patented the Swiss army knife on this date in 1897.

Other U.S. patents issued on this date include one in 1860 for inventor Nehemiah Hodge’s “Railroad Air Brake” and one in 1906 for inventor John Ballance’s “Combined Phonograph and Stereopticon” – arguably, the first motion pictures with sound.

Long day’s night: United States Sen. Huey Long of Louisiana began an epic Senate filibuster on this date in 1935, speaking for 15 hours, 30 minutes in a successful effort to stop political enemies from landing jobs in the National Recovery Administration.

Long’s long turn – which veered into fried-oyster recipes before the senator finally yielded the floor around 4 a.m. June 13 – is merely the second-longest in Senate history. The dubious honors go to Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who ranted through a 24-hour, 18-minute tirade meant to stall voting on the Civil Rights Act of 1957. (The bill eventually passed).

Like the Flintstones, with wings: And the Gossamer Albatross, a human-powered aircraft built by American aeronautical engineer Paul MacCready, successfully crossed the English Channel on this date in 1979.

Keeping us in suspense: John Augustus Roebling (1806-1869), a German-American engineer who pioneered the design and construction of suspension bridges, would be 213 years old today.

Other June 12 birthday boys and girls include leading American ornithologist Frank Chapman (1864-1945); disaster-movie auteur Irwin Allen (1916-1991); Italian astrophysicist Margherita Hack (1922-2013), who was a spectral-identification and dark-matter trailblazer in her native Italy; 41st U.S. President George H.W. Bush (1924-2018); and Dutch diarist Anne Frank (1929-1945).

Yes! And take a bow, Marv Albert – the legendary sports broadcaster and enshrined member of the Basketball Hall of Fame turns 78 today.

Wish the former Voice of the New York Knicks, the face of the holocaust and the last word on cheesy 70s disaster flicks a happy birthday at And if you have any story tips or calendar items laying around, do share.


About our sponsor: Hofstra University is an engine for research and innovation, combining a Center for Entrepreneurship, a Center for Innovation, the expertise of its faculty, the energy of its students and the state-of-the-art resources of its schools of engineering and applied science, business, law and medicine to drive and transform the region’s economy. Visit us.



Houston, we’re having dinner: Some 800 guests joined a crew of living-legend astronauts and engineers June 6 to break bread and recall the glory of NASA’s historic Apollo missions.

As part of its 50th anniversary observances of the July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 moon landing, Garden City’s Cradle of Aviation Museum hosted five Apollo astronauts, two Apollo flight directors and dozens of Grumman workers, reunited to reflect upon the challenges and glory of Apollo. The star-studded dinner panel, emceed by WABC-TV meteorologist and space enthusiast Lee Goldberg, included Lunar Module Pilots Walt Cunningham (Apollo 7), Rusty Schweickart (Apollo 9), Fred Haise (Apollo 13), Charlie Duke (Apollo 16) and Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17), the second-to-last man to walk on the moon.

Trumpeting a teaching tool for both history and STEM studies, Cradle of Aviation Museum President Andrew Parton said he hoped the museum’s myriad 50th anniversary programs serve to both highlight the heroism of the Apollo missions and inspire future greatness. “We hope with that all these efforts we can re-energize interest in the space program and the science behind it,” Parton said.

Large, in charge: Congratulations, Dix Hills! The affluent Town of Huntington hamlet, no stranger to plastic, was among the U.S. cities paying off the most credit-card debt during the first quarter of 2019.

So say our friends over at WalletHub, which on Tuesday released its latest Credit Card Debt Study. While the overall picture is bleak – WalletHub predicts a national net credit-debt increase of $70 billion during 2019 – some cities did quite well paying down their collective debt during the first quarter, including Dix Hills, which ranked third behind Darien, Ct., and Ewa Beach, Hawaii.

For the record, the residents of Atlantic City, NJ, did the worst job paying off their credit card debt in the quarter. All told, WalletHub compared more than 2,500 cities based on how much residents owe to credit card companies and how those balances changed over the first three months of the year.



Pharm hand: An in-depth study by regional stakeholders details the pharma/nutra industry’s rise on Long Island – and the significant challenges to its future growth.

Mission ‘Complete’: Actually, it’s just getting started, as Nassau County and Town of Oyster Bay officials recruit regional patrons to the “Complete Streets” cause.

Forward march: Love this newsletter? So do we. Help us keep these informative, entertaining updates coming – share this one liberally and encourage your fellow innovators to subscribe for free.



Apples of his eye: Veteran Long Island journalist Ambrose Clancy lends his food-and-beverage expertise to the Voices rotation, commenting first on Long Island’s well-fermented hard-cider industry.



Automatic: From Forbes, how automation – properly used – can drive innovation.

Symptomatic: The BBC lights a fire under professional burnout, which is now an official World Health Organization syndrome.

Problematic: Newsday reads up on a Long Island Association Research Institute report that says Long Island is running out of workers.



+ Phospholutions, a Pennsylvania-based sustainable fertilizer startup, raised up to $1.5 million in funding. Backers included 1855 Capital and Maumee Ventures.

+ ChartSpan, a South Carolina-based managed-service provider for chronic-care healthcare-management programs, raised a $15 million Series A funding round led by BIP Capital, with participation from Blue Heron Capital, Bailey Southwell & Co., C&B Capital and Service Provider Capital.

+ Voatz, a Massachusetts-based voting and citizen-engagement platform, raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Medici Ventures and Techstars, with participation from Urban Innovation Fund and Oakhouse Partners.

+ Strand Therapeutics, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology company specializing in gene therapies powered by synthetic biology, completed a $6 million seed-funding round led by Playground Global, with participation from Alexandria Venture Investments, ANRI and private investors.

+ Real Capital Analytics, a New York City-based provider of commercial real estate data and analytics solutions, raised $115 million in funding. Susquehanna Growth Equity made the investment.

+ Hart Dairy, a Georgia-based single-source producer of free-range, grass-fed milk, closed a $10 million seed-funding round led by Sydney-based Alium Capital.



Bleed out: This Island Now reports on NYU Winthrop’s efforts to “Stop the Bleed” at LaGuardia Airport.

Sleep in: Fast Company warns the slow-rising snooze-button set – you snooze, you lose.

Hulk up: Forget the candles – rage yoga is yoga for badasses, complete with beer, heavy metal and adult language.

Take Pride: Please continue supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI, including Hofstra University, where education and culture inspire innovation.