No. 431: Inventing Google, superior supercomputing and just the fax, ma’am

Dear friend: Based on the 1923 book "Bambi, a Life in the Woods," by Austrian author Felix Salten, Walt Disney's classic cartoon "Bambi" premiered on Aug. 21, 1942.


Equatorial shift: Over the hump we go, dear readers, as we slide into the second half of this summertime workweek on Long Island and around the world (except in the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s winter).

The new 50: Hug a senior citizen today. Preferably, one you know.

Senior circuit: Whatever your season, it’s Aug. 21 out there – and to the 47 million-plus U.S. citizens ages 65 and older (according to the 2017 census), enjoy your National Senior Citizens Day.

Readers of all ages can get their Maya Angelou on – today (and every Aug. 21) is also National Poet’s Day.

Passing the bar: Happy anniversary to the American Bar Association, founded on this date in 1878 in upstate Sarasota Springs by 100 lawyers from 21 states.

Happy anniversary also to Oldsmobile – the discontinued (as of 2004) General Motors division launched on Aug. 21, 1897, as Olds Motor Works.

It adds up: Missouri innovator William Seward Burroughs patented his “Calculating Machine” – the first successful modern calculator and an early ancestor of modern computers – on this date in 1888 (it actually earned four different patents).

Other patents issued on Aug. 21 include one in 1841 for Louisiana inventor John Hampson and his “Manner of Retaining In Any Desired Position the Slats of Venetian Blinds,” the first U.S. venetian blind patent.

Over hill and dale: Pioneering cross-country motorist Tom Fetch and his muddy Packard Model F.

Packard a punch: On this date in 1903, a single-cylinder Model F Packard rolled into New York State, becoming the first Packard automobile to drive across the country.

Covering an average of nearly 80 miles per day, the trip – officially the second U.S. cross-country drive on record – took 51 days.

Love is a cartoon: And happy birthday, “Bambi” – Disney’s classic animated feature premiered on Aug. 21, 1942.

Light reader: Speaking of birthdays, Scottish inventor William Murdock (1754-1839) – known for pioneering illumination via coal gas and advancing the development of steam power – would be 265 years old today.

Also born on Aug. 21 were Belgian chemist Jean Servais Stas (1813-1891), who accurately determined atomic weights; American jazz pianist, composer and bandleader William “Count” Basie (1904-1984); “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” animator Friz Freleng (1905-1995); basketball great Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain (1936-1999); and see-you-later Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt (born 1986).

Sergey Brin: Fortune seeker.

Feeling lucky: And take a bow, Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin – the Russian-American computer scientist and Google co-founder turns 46 today.

Give the search-engine maestro your best at And while you’re there, please drop off a story tip or calendar suggestion – the less we have to search, the better.


About 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.



Speed zone: Stony Brook University’s supercomputers are about to get even faster.

Gifted: From the Christmas in August file comes Stony Brook University, where a generous “anonymous gift” and a hefty National Science Foundation grant will each accelerate high-performance computing research.

The university’s Institute for Advanced Computational Science has received a $6.3 million donation from an unnamed source, meant to apply the IACS’s cutting-edge, data-driven resources to climate change, machine learning and other global challenges.

Meanwhile, a $5 million NSF grant will fund IACS testing of future supercomputing technologies – all told, an $11 million-plus booster shot that significantly advances the science of super-speedy calculations, helping scientists in various fields develop conclusions beyond contemporary limits. “In the age of supercomputing, we have a profound ability to transform scientific understanding across disciplines,” noted Interim SBU President Michael Bernstein.

It takes a village: Paying it forward today is Adelphi University, which is joining with the Village of Hempstead’s Community Development Agency for a unique Day of Service.

Beginning this morning, students from the Garden City-based university will join other members of the Hempstead community, including Village Mayor Don Ryan, to spruce up the village’s downtown, including painting village-owned gazebos, cleaning up parking lots and collecting litter outside the Long Island Rail Road’s Hempstead station, with supplies provided by the village’s Department of Public Works.

The cleanup will wrap up around noon, when volunteer students will hobnob with the mayor and other Hempstead leaders at the Kennedy Memorial Park Auditorium. “This Day of Service will go a long way toward connecting the students with the community and helping keep our village clean,” Ryan said Tuesday. “We are grateful for the opportunity to share the powerful concept of ‘community’ with everyone involved.”



The way we are: By closely monitoring how memories light the corners of our minds, Feinstein Institute researchers are breaking brain-mapping boundaries.

Clean campus: The New York Power Authority is pouring $79 million into new sustainability-focused infrastructure improvements at Stony Brook University.

Poor choice: Attempted poetry notwithstanding, limiting immigration to the wealthy is economically shortsighted and morally bereft, according to LIMBA’s Ernie Fazio.



A care in the world: Workforce-development whiz Rosalie Drago gets to the bottom of quality childcare – not a parent’s problem or a company’s problem, but a regional economic-development concern.



Breaking: FiOS1 News is saying farewell to Long Island.

Adios, FiOS: The Long Island Press tunes in as Verizon pulls the plug on its FiOS1 News programming.

Nurdle hurdle: Quartz dives deep into the worst global-pollution crisis you’ve never heard of.

Gottridge-quick scheme: Newsday notes a million-dollar donation that will fund Northwell Health’s new internist fellowship.



Clear advantage: Aclarity Water now has liquid assets.

+ Aclarity, a Massachusetts-based cleantech company focused on water purification, raised over $1 million in pre-seed funding backed by Maroon Venture Partners Fund, Springfield Venture Fund (created by MassMutual) and the Alchemy Group.

+ VeriSIM Life, a California-based company building digital simulations to reduce animal drug testing, raised $5.2 million in funding co-led by OCA Ventures and Serra Ventures, with participation from Susa Ventures, Intel Capital, Stage Venture Partners, Village Global, Twin and Loup Ventures.

+, a New York City-based homeownership platform, closed a $160 million Series C funding round led by Activant Capital, Ping An Global Voyager Fund, Ally Financial, Citi, AGNC, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan and American Express Ventures, joining existing shareholders Goldman Sachs, Pine Brook and Kleiner Perkins.

+ Ally, a Washington State-based management software solutions provider, raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Accel, with participation from Founders Co-op, Vulcan Capital and Lee Fixel.

+ Partners Pharmacy, a New Jersey-based provider of pharmacy and infusion services for senior living facilities, received a $60 million senior secured credit facility. CIT Group’s Healthcare Finance unit served as sole lead arranger on the facility.

+ MyHealthTeams, a California-based creator of social networks for people with chronic health conditions, raised $9.44 million in Series B financing led by strategic investor UCB, Adams Street Partners, Qiming US Ventures, CVS Health, The Westly Group, HealthTech Capital and 500 Startups.



Documented: Unflinching journalist Mike Wallace, now a major motion picture.

Top story: The acclaimed documentary “Mike Wallace is Here” graces the Gold Coast International Film Festival, tonight in Great Neck.

Short story: Behold, a breakthrough “exosuit” – essentially, smart shorts that assist walkers and runners.

Long story: Now enjoying renewed purpose, fax machines boast a jam-packed history.

Full story: With its Regulatory & Government Relations Practice Group and other topflight resources, nobody tells it as straight as Farrell Fritz, one of the amazing firms that support Innovate LI. Check them out.