No. 445: On masters, laureates and ketchup (with robots and spaceships, too)

Rocket, man: Apollo 7 astronauts Wally Schirra Jr., Donn Eisele and Walter Cunningham blasted off on a Saturn 1-B rocket on Oct. 11, 1968. Their 11-day mission featured hot meals and the first live TV transmissions from a manned spacecraft.


Playoff atmosphere: They’re waving us in, dear readers, as another classic week of autumnal socioeconomic innovation rounds third and speeds toward home.

(On the subject of fall classics, with the juggernaut Yankees kicking off yet another American League Championship Series this weekend, consider this argument for a shorter baseball season and longer playoffs.)

Equal slice of the pie: It’s Oct. 11 out there, worthy of note for many reasons, including National Coming Out Day and the U.N.’s International Day of the Girl Child, a global equal-rights observance.

It’s also National Sausage Pizza Day, so go nuts.

You bet: Before we dive in, please welcome new newsletter subscribers Lowell, Denise, Adam, Barry, E.B., Louise, Greg, Ted, Jason, Terry, Andrew, Sai, Diana, Kevin, Christine, Brian and Kive.

If any of you had the British Royal Navy winning decisive victories on this date against American rebels (in 1776, on Lake Champlain) and the Batavian fleet (in 1797, during the French Revolution), congratulations on hitting our daily double! Here’s a £200 voucher, redeemable at any of our restaurants or gift shops.

Unrelated: There are just 73 shopping days until Christmas.

And inventor Dorr E. Felt could have told you that – he patented the Comptometer, the first successful adding machine, on Oct. 11, 1887.

Fall guy: That same day – Oct. 11, 1887 – African-American inventor Alexander Miles patented an automatic electric door for elevators, hailed as a major safety improvement.

Also patented on this date (in 1881) were photographic film rolls, by Scottish innovator David Houston, who would ultimately sell 21 camera-related patents to photo-preneur George Eastman.

Let’s do launch: Pioneer 1, ready to fly (kinda).

Try, try again: Turning to space, nascent NASA – just a month old at the time – launched its first spacecraft, the doomed Pioneer 1 lunar probe, on Oct. 11, 1958 (the probe basically stalled and fell back to Earth).

More successful was the first manned Apollo mission, Apollo 7, which blasted off on this date in 1968 and saw astronauts Wally Schirra Jr., Donn Eisele and Walter Cunningham orbit the Earth 163 times in 11 days.

Venus, if you will: And it was this date in 1994 when the NASA space probe Magellan ­– the first interplanetary mission launched from a Space Shuttle cargo bay (the Atlantis, in 1989) – ended its five-year mission, directed by controllers to dive into Venus’ dense atmosphere.

While the surface-mapping probe mostly vaporized, NASA – which finally lost contact the next day – believes some probe parts survived to the surface.

Top it off: German-American entrepreneur Henry John Heinz (1844-1919), who founded the H.J. Heinz company and personally created its famous “57 Varieties” slogan, would be 175 years old today (and still waiting for the ketchup to drip out of the bottle).

Also born on Oct. 11 were English pen pioneer Joseph Gillot (1799-1877); English philanthropist Sir George Williams (1821-1904), who founded the YMCA; American archeologist Harriett Boyd Hawes (1871-1945), who excavated Crete’s Iron Age Tombs; English physicist Lewis Fry Richardson (1881-1953), an innovative weatherman who introduced mathematics to forecasting; U.S. First Lady and human rights crusader Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962); and American physician Robert Gale (born 1945), co-founder of the International Bone Marrow Registry.

Wie bit: The former child phenom, all grown up.

Girl’s club: And tee it up, Michelle Wie – the heavy-hitting golf prodigy (who qualified for a USGA amateur championship at age 10, turned pro at 15 and won her first major tournament at 24) turns 30 today.

Salute the swinger, the condiment king and all the other Oct. 11 innovators at Story tips, calendar items, mustard and relish always appreciated.


About our sponsor: The Long Island Business Development Council has helped build the regional economy for more than 50 years by bringing together government economic-development officials, developers, financial experts and others for education, debate and networking.



Mental plan: The State University of New York will keep closer tabs on its students’ emotional wellbeing with a proactive mental health unit, SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson said Thursday.

Johnson announced the formation of the SUNY Student Mental Health and Wellness Task Force, which will make recommendations on how the university system can mitigate the negative effects of behavioral health risks among student, “including suicide,” according to a SUNY statement. Co-chaired by SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley and SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University President Wayne Riley, the task force will explore existing public-health practices across the nation to develop evidence-based intervention models at all 64 SUNY campuses.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented surge in mental-health issues among young adults in particular, including anxiety, depression and suicide,” Johnson said Thursday. “Not only will we expand our resources and safety nets across SUNY, we will also strengthen our early interventions to better ensure we reach our students in need.”

Chemical bond: One-time SBU faculty member M. Stanley Whittingham has earned a Nobel Prize.

Eyes on the prize: Speaking of heady developments in the State University system, congratulations to Distinguished Professor M. Stanley Whittingham of SUNY Binghamton, who on Wednesday was named one of three winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Wittingham was honored for helping to develop the lithium-ion battery, sharing the prize with John Goodenough, the Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, and Akira Yoshino, a professor at Meijo University in Japan. A British chemist, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Binghamton University and one-time Stony Brook University faculty member, Whittingham becomes the 15th SUNY faculty member to nab a Nobel.

“I am overcome with gratitude at receiving this award,” the laureate said Wednesday. “The research I have been involved with for over 30 years has helped advance how we store and use energy at a foundational level, and it is my hope that this recognition will help to shine a much-needed light on the nation’s energy future.”



Master class: Long Island has added 27 regional STEM instructors to the ranks of the New York State Master Teacher Program.

Eat up: With a little help from its friends, Island Harvest Food Bank is distributing an impressive fall haul to the regional food-insecure.

Human shield: Firewalls alone can’t stop hackers – a better defense rests with educated employees in a culture of integrity, says this HR ace.



Bleeding at home with Northwell Health, investing at sea with NYSERDA.



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

From Texas: University of Texas at Dallas scientists announce a robotics breakthrough pairing artificial intelligence and prosthetic hands.

From California: Los Angeles-based “mindologist” Chantelle Simone promotes positivity with her empowering “Clear the Crap Kit.”

From Massachusetts: Burlington-based CIMCON Lighting assists Ontario urban planners with a traffic-tracking “smart-city platform.”



Kevin Moore

+ Kevin Moore has been hired as an account coordinator at Smithtown-based SMM Advertising. He studied at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark and is a recent graduate of SUNY Binghamton.

+ Virginia Kawochka, an administrator at Uniondale-based Forchelli Deegan Terrana, has been elected president of the Association of Legal Administrators-Long Island Chapter’s Board of Directors.

+ David Samadi has been appointed director of men’s health at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn. He previously served as chairman of urology and chief of robotic surgery at Lennox Hill Hospital in Manhattan.

+ Renee Sumpter has been hired as vice president and controller at Suffolk Federal Credit Union. She previously served as a manager at Hauppauge-based Albrecht, Viggiano, Zureck & Co.

+ Jennifer Davis has joined Smithtown-based Michels & Hanley as a tax manager. She previously served as tax manager at Port Jefferson Station-based Cullen & Danowski.

+ Bonnie Mann Falk has been hired as head of quality control at Melville-based Raiche Ende Malter & Co. She previously served as a director on the Quality and Risk Management team at Mazars USA in Woodbury.


BELOW THE FOLD (Rise Of The Robots Edition)

You lift, bro?: Universal Robots’ UR16e, a real pickup artist.

Brains: How AI can rescue the global economy.

Brawn: Hardworking “cobots” are adding muscle.

Borg: A mind-controlled robotics rig helps the paralyzed walk again.

Automaton pilot: Fifty years later, the Long Island Business Development Council still leads regional socioeconomic innovation with machinelike efficiency and a calculating cool. Check them out.