No. 446: In which octogenarians race, future doctors suit up and the Mouse House roars

The running man: The immortal Ed Whitlock, two seconds after he set the over-70 world marathon record in 2004.


Middle of the road: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, as we reach the midpoint of another busy week of socioeconomic innovation.

It’s Oct. 16 out there – Boss’s Day in the United States and Canada, when we salute the fair and loveable leaders who sign our checks and keep the ship on course.

Plenty for everyone: World Food Day targets zero global hunger.

Alternates: Those less eager to celebrate their supervisory situation might consider World Food Day, or perhaps World Anesthesia Day would help.

Gas man: Of course, World Anesthesia Day – a.k.a. Ether Day – marks the date in 1846 when Boston dentist William Morton first publicly demonstrated ether’s incapacitating capacities at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Well read: This is also a great date for classic English literature – both Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” (1847) and C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” (1950) were published on Oct. 16, both in London.

“Jeopardy” champ Ken Jennings went there: Happy anniversary, Brigham Young University – the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ private research university was founded in Provo, Utah, as Brigham Young Academy on this date in 1875.

In control: Famed nurse Margaret Sanger, driving force behind the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, opened the first U.S. birth-control clinic in Brooklyn on Oct. 16, 1916.

Nothing to ear: Ssshhh. They can probably hear you.

It’s a small world after all: Now the happy public façade of a sinister technocratic regime controlling entertainment, news and critical commodities around the globe, Disney was founded on Oct. 16, 1925.

Long distance: And it was this date in 2016 when Ed Whitlock, aged 85, completed the Toronto Marathon in 3:56:36, setting the octogenarian world marathon record.

The late, great Canadian – who was finally stopped by prostate cancer in 2017, one week after his 86th birthday – was also the first person over 70 to finish a marathon in less than three hours (he did it three times), the world-record holder for over-70 marathoners (2:54:48, at age 73) and the oldest person, period, to run a marathon in less than three hours (2:58:40, at age 74).

Wilde child: Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854-1900) – Irish playwright, poet, novelist, essayist and convicted criminal (for “gross indecency with men”) – would be 165 years old today.

Also born on Oct. 16 were “father of Italian geology” Giovanni Arduino (1714-1795); lexicographer and dictionary namesake Noah Webster (1758-1843); American biochemist Henry Sherman (1875-1955), who established average human requirements for many vitamins and minerals; Bjorn Helland-Hansen (1877-1957), the Norwegian pioneer of modern oceanography; and groundbreaking American novelist Kathleen Winsor (1919-2003), whose “Forever Amber” was pretty racy for 1944.

Fletcher, quite fetching: Lansbury, before she “wrote.”

Murder, she survived: And take a well-earned bow, Angela Lansbury – the iconic Irish-American thespian with an eight-decade career spanning theatre, film and, of course, insanely popular television turns 94 today.

Give your best to the TV sleuth, the vicar of vitamins and all the other Oct. 16 innovators at – give us your story tips and calendar suggestions, please and thank you.


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Earnings potential: The State University of New York has introduced a new online tool offering a real-time rundown of SUNY graduate earnings.

The SUNY Gradwages interactive dashboard includes programmable parameters and a host of valuable data on what graduates from all 64 state university campuses earn, and in what fields, extending as far as 10 years after they leave the SUNY system. Combining academic information with wage statistics from the New York State Department of Labor, the dashboard lets users search by area of study, business sector or campus, and to filter their searches by degree types and other factors.

The idea was to create an “easy-to-use tool that will help both prospective and current students make informed choices about their majors and career path,” according to SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson. “SUNY Gradwages gives students and their parents an expectation of what they can earn years after college.”

Karat top: An element that’s worth its weight.

Gold standard: Adelphi University will show its true colors as part of National Chemistry Week.

Created by Russian chemist Dimitri Mendeleev in 1869, the periodic table of elements turns 150 this year. To mark the anniversary, the New York section of the American Chemical Society has scheduled a National Chemistry Week celebration (Oct. 20-26), and as part of that celebration, more than 50 organizations from around the region are creating their own unique “element” for a giant, three-dimensional periodic table slated to be unveiled Friday at the New York Hall of Science in Queens.

Among the sections being donated is the periodic symbol for gold (Au), created by members of the Adelphi University community. Gold, of course, is Adelphi’s primary school color, making this “a great expression of their love for Adelphi … and a wonderful example of the collaboration between arts and sciences,” according to Adelphi associate chemistry professor Justyna Widera-Kalinowska, 2019 chairwoman of the NY-ACS.



Critical connection: Ambitious We Connect the Dots hopes a new alliance with a Marcum marketing team will help proliferate its proven STEM-education model.

Coat drive: Diversity reigns as freshly minted Long Island medical students don their white coats and kick off their med-school journeys.

Stuck in Park: A new corporate identity couldn’t help Melville’s former Park Electrochemical Corp. gain altitude in its latest quarterly report.



Bean counter: Pod people beware! Snooty Starbucks-ers stay away! Food and beverage baron Ambrose Clancy knows what makes a good cup of joe – and where to get it on Long Island. His latest Voices column here.



Imagination prioritization: According to Forbes, business revolutions always come from new ideas.

Cultural phenomenon: Inc. travels deep inside Amazon, where a creative culture offers a blueprint for all disruptive companies.

Blame game: Yes, according to Entrepreneur, your company is discouraging innovation – and yes, it’s your fault.



+ RapidSOS, a New York City-based emergency technology company, closed a $55 million funding round led by Energy Impact Partners.

+ Satelles Inc., a Virginia-based provider of satellite-based time and location services, raised $26 million in Series C funding led by C5 Capital, with participation from Iridium Communications and existing investors.

+ Razberi Technologies, a Texas-based provider of secure video surveillance and IoT solutions, raised $5.8 million in funding led by LiveOak Venture Partners, Chartline Capital Partners and other investors, including the family offices of industry leaders Ken Boyda and Jiri Modry.

+ Swift Health Systems, a California-based maker of invisible orthodontic braces, raised $45 million in series C funding co-led by Vivo Capital, Novo Holdings and venBio Partners.

+ Mebias Discovery, a Pennsylvania-based drug-discovery biotech targeting G-protein-coupled receptors, closed a $3.5 million funding round led by Viva Biotech Ltd. and Sprout BioVentures.

+ Parsley Health, an NYC-based personalized holistic-health services startup, raised $26 million in Series B funding led by White Star Capital, with participation from FirstMark Capital, Amplo, Alpha Edison Partners, Arkitekt Ventures and Galaxy Digital.



Vision quest: Battling the blue-light blues.

Lights: How to keep those screens from ruining your eyes (and your sleep).

Cameras: Apple and Google snark over computational photography.

Action: How bikers, hikers, skiers and climbers spread handcrafted beer across the land.

And … cut! That’s a print! Special thanks to the real stars – the amazing organizations that support Innovate LI, including Sahn Ward Coschignano, where the cutting-edge Environment, Energy and Resources practice group is ready for a close-up.