No. 448: In which the Earth ages, Applied DNA’s patents proliferate and Marvel gets super-Sirius

Mandatory fun: Singer, songwriter, humorist and five-time (!) Grammy Award-winner "Weird" Al Yankovic turns 60 today.


Turning point: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, as we hurtle the hump and steam into the latter half of this latest busy workweek.

Holy moly: It’s Oct. 23 out there, and you certainly don’t need us to tell you this, but it’s Mole Day, celebrated internationally (at 6:02 a.m. and 6:02 p.m. precisely) by chemists and design/tech types.

Of course, at those times, on this date, in the American style of date-writing, it’s 6:02 10/23 … quite similar to the Avogadro number, which is approximately 6.02×1023 and defines, obviously, the number of molecules in one mole of substance. (Duh.)

Pi chart: For non-numerologists, it’s also National Boston Cream Pie Day, so dig in.

The date that started it all: Based on data extrapolated from the Bible, Egyptian texts, Jewish scrolls and the best researchers of the time, some scholars – as recently as 1650 – believed the Earth was created on Oct. 23, 4004 B.C.

Some assembly required: Reconstructive surgery for busted body parts dates back to ancient Egypt, but what is generally regarded as Western medicine’s first modern plastic surgery was performed on this date in 1814 in London.

Blanche Stuart Scott: Going places.

Flygirl: “Tomboy of the Air” Blanche Stuart Scott became the first female American pilot on Oct. 23, 1910.

Scott, who’d later become a Hollywood script doctor and radio personality, was also the second woman to drive across the continental United States.

Laboratory of love: Carl and Gerty Cori of the Washington University Medical School became the first American husband-and-wife team to win a Nobel Prize (for medicine) on this date in 1947.

For the record, Polish-born physicist Marie Curie and her husband, French physicist Pierre Curie, were the first married couple overall to snag a Nobel (for physics, in 1903) – and this year, Americans Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo became the sixth, winning the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics.

Old testament: And, ruining that whole Earth-is-6,000-years-old thing, American paleontologist Elso Barghoorn announced the discovery of pre-Cambrian era single-cell microfossils on Oct. 23, 1977 – proving life evolved on Earth some 3.4 billion years ago.

The Morey you know: Called the “Edison of his day,” underappreciated American inventor and steamship pioneer Samuel Morey (1762-1843) – who cranked out a rotary steam engine, a fuel-efficient fireplace, America’s first internal-combustion engine and more – would be 257 years old today.

Game-changer: Rugby veteran Heisman reinvented American football.

Also born on Oct. 23 were American football coaching legend John Heisman (1869-1936), who introduced the forward pass to the playbook; American physicist and engineer William Coolidge (1873-1975), who tinkered with tungsten and improved lightbulbs and X-ray tubes; American swimmer Gertrude Ederle (1905-2003), the first woman to swim the English Channel; Japanese-American meteorologist Tetsuya “Ted” Fujita (1920-1998), who developed the storm-scoring Fujita scale; and the immortal Johnny Carson (1925-2005).

That’s odd: And take a bow, Alfred Matthew “Weird Al” Yankovic – the accordion-rocking parody singer, actor and producer turns 60 today.

Give the weirdo, “Mr. Tornado” and the rest your best at – story tips and calendar items always appreciated, in any weather.


About our sponsor: Northwell Health is New York’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, more than 700 outpatient facilities and 70,000-plus employees. We’re making research breakthroughs at the Feinstein Institute and training the next generation of medical professionals at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. Visit



Cut to cure: The new Stony Brook Children’s Hospital makes it official.

Really open for business: First conceived nine years ago and rolled out slowly over many months, the new Stony Brook Children’s Hospital made its official debut Oct. 17 with a splashy ribbon-cutting celebration.

The “completion” of Long Island’s only children’s teaching hospital – which boasts 180 pediatric specialists and a bevy of child-sized technological innovations, along with “breakthrough techniques” aimed directly at pediatric patients – marks the end of a long journey, according to Stony Brook University, which welcomed dignitaries from SUNY, Albany and several nonprofit agencies at the big shebang.

Some sections of the ultramodern facility have been operating for some time (one special ribbon-cutting guest underwent a unique rotationplasty procedure at SBCH in 2017). But completing the nearly decade-long creation process – funded by a $35 million NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant, some $50 million in additional state funding and a $50 million gift from Jim and Marilyn Simons, among other sources – also marks the edge of a new frontier, noted Interim SBU President Michael Bernstein. “This state-of-the-art children’s hospital will expand Stony Brook’s capabilities to meet the growing healthcare needs of children and their families across Long Island,” Bernstein said.

Culture class: NYIT architecture students and professors at the Porto Tolle power plant in Italy.

Architecture without borders: Study abroad and other informative international instruction programs are included in a fresh grant for NYIT architecture students, courtesy of the IDC Foundation.

The foundation – the legacy organization of the Brooklyn-based Institute of Design and Construction, a longtime architecture school that closed in 2015 – has gifted NYIT $130,000 to support scholarships, fellowships and travel-related student experiences for design and engineering students (both undergraduates and transitioning professionals), including faculty-led international-thesis and summer study-abroad programs.

The stipend marks the second straight year the foundation has awarded a grant to NYIT – a ringing endorsement and welcomed boost for the architecture program, according to NYIT School of Architecture and Design Dean Maria Perbellini. “The international travel programs … prepare our graduates to be global citizens, ready for evolving 21st century careers,” Perbellini noted. “The IDC Foundation grant helps our students participate in innovative and immersive, hands-on learning and professional-growth experiences.”



Stitch fix: With a new U.S. patent allowance and related patents pending around the globe, Applied DNA is sewing up its core textiles vertical.

Training day: An Island-wide orthopedic group will safeguard the health of hundreds of LIU Post athletes across a dozen-plus NCAA Division I teams.

To your health: The latest community-health survey by the Long Island Health Collaborative spotlights continued concerns about drugs, cancer and more.



Brand aid: Media maestro David Chauvin fills this week’s Voices column with the art of the marketing makeover – when, why and how to refresh a corporate brand, from someone who knows.



Good luck: Behold serendipity, a fortune-favors-the-prepared secret of success, revealed by Forbes.

Bad luck: Beware typosquatting, where one innocent typo can doom your domain, recounted by Digital Shadows.

No luck at all: At least for the losers, as formulas prove that chance is the biggest factor in this and every World Series. Mind Matters explains.



+ LyGenesis, a Pennsylvania-based biotech focused on organ regeneration, completed a total of $4 million in private financing of convertible notes. The backers were Juvenescence and Longevity Vision Fund.

+ Lovevery, an Idaho-based early-learning company, closed a $20 million Series B funding round led by Maveron, with participation from GV, Reach Capital, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Collaborative Fund.

+ Mable, a Massachusetts-based wholesale commerce platform for small businesses in the grocery, convenience, artisanal and health-food market spaces, raised $3.1 million in seed funding led by Venrock, Accomplice and Founder Collective, with participation from Laurent Amouyal and James McCann.

+ Azitra, a Connecticut-based clinical-stage dermatology company applying the microbiome to serious skin conditions, closed a $14 million Series A financing round led by KdT Ventures, with participation from existing investor Bios Partners.

+ Flowhub, a Colorado-based retail-management platform for cannabis dispensaries, raised $23 million in Series A funding led by, Poseidon and Evolv Ventures, with contributions from 9Yards Capital, former NBA commissioner David Stern and Iqram Magdon-Ismail, among others.

+ Lively, the California-based creator of a health savings account, raised $27 million in Series B funding led by Costanoa Ventures, with participation from Ally Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures, PJC, Teamworthy Ventures, Streamlined Ventures and Y Combinator.


Taking aim: Hawkeye is getting a podcast.


Well said: A new global study speaks well of the “writing-enhancement software market.”

 Say again: How the Internet is reworking the English language.

’nuff said: Marvel Entertainment and SiriusXM are assembling scripted series, talk shows and other exclusive super-content.

Speaking of awesome: Please continue supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI, including Northwell Health, where the Northwell Center for Learning & Innovation always has something interesting to say about the innovation economy.