No. 449: Braving the rebrand, locking down opioids and building a better Manufacturers’ Symposium

Bee's knees: Direct, poignant and never shy about her unapologetic viewpoints, Emmy Award-winner Samantha Bee turns 50 today.


Almost there: You’ve made it this far, dear readers, and congratulations for that, as we wind down another busy workweek and look ahead to another well-earned autumnal weekend.

Head off: Twin brothers (maybe) and Christian missionaries (for sure) Crispin and Crispian meet their fates.

Shoe ins: It’s Oct. 25 on Long Island and around the world, and before we dive in, welcome aboard new newsletter subscribers Judy, Michael, Wayne, Lee, Lloyd, Gordon, Holly, Maryellen, Raymond, Sai, Richard, Stephen, Eric and Tim.

If any of you had Crispin and Crispian, the patron saints of cobblers, beheaded by Roman Emperor Maximianus and his henchmen on this date in 285 A.D., bene factum – 100 gold aureus for you! Please have your ticket stubs ready.

Made in Taiwan: This date also brings Retrocession Day in Taiwan, marking the Asian state’s 1945 liberation from Japan and return to China (though, according to some, that’s a big lie).

You bet: Celebrated on the last Friday of October to mark the state’s Oct. 31, 1864, admission to the Union, today is also Nevada Day.

Audio, visual: American inventor Lee de Forest patented the “Audion” vacuum tube – which facilitated radio, television, radar and more before the invention of the transistor – on Oct. 25, 1906.

Other U.S. patents issued on this date include one in 1881 for Maine innovator Leslie Curtis and his “Atomizer for Coloring Pictures,” the first airbrush.

Ding! The Tappan Stove Co. sold the first domestic U.S. microwave oven, for the hefty retail price of $1,295, on this date in 1955.

Here’s an interesting kernel: Microwave popcorn was actually invented nine years earlier.

The grass is always greener: When XP was king of the hill.

Windows closed: It only operates on about 1 percent of PCs these days and no longer receives support or security upgrades, but the long-running Windows XP operating system debuted on Oct. 25, 2001.

Artificial artistry: And it was one year ago today when the first piece of AI-created art, “Portrait of Edmond Belamy,” fetched a whopping $432,500 in a Christie’s auction.

King pong: William Higinbotham (1910-1994) – an American physicist, co-developer of the first nuclear bomb, renowned nonproliferation leader and videogame pioneer (he invented the first interactive analog computer game, “Tennis for Two,” at Brookhaven National Laboratory) – would be 109 years old today.

Surreal: It’s a Picasso!

Also born on Oct. 25 were French “Carmen” composer Georges Bizet (1838-1875); American industrialist John Willys (1873-1935), a pioneer of automobile mass production; legendary Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881-1973); adventurer/explorer Richard Byrd Jr. (1888-1957), the first person to fly over both of Earth’s poles; legendary aviator Floyd Bennett (1890-1928), who piloted Byrd over the North Pole (maybe); and groundbreaking American immunologist Marian Koshland (1921-1997), an expert in antibodies and airborne pathogens.

Bee good: And take a bow, Samantha Bee – the outspoken, raw and frequently hilarious American-Canadian comedian and political commentator turns 50 today.

Wish these and all the other Oct. 25 innovators well at – story tips, calendar items and crackling socioeconomic commentary always welcome.


About our sponsor: Farmingdale State College is New York’s largest public college of applied science and technology and a national pioneer in environmental sustainability. With more than 10,000 students, Farmingdale has Long Island’s second-largest undergraduate enrollment among four-year institutions and offers rigorous academic programs in business, engineering technology, health sciences and liberal arts and sciences. Farmingdale also offers a master’s degree in Technology Management. Learn more here.



Permanent fix: It’s always Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at Adelphi.

Thinking inside the box: Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which provides a safe and responsible means of discarding unused prescription drugs while educating the general public about prescription-medication abuse – a cause Adelphi University has supported with a decade-plus of “Take Back Day” participation.

Now, the Garden City university is doubling down in the battle against prescription-drug abuse. Today, Adelphi’s Office of Public Safety and Transportation is slated to unveil what the school described as “a permanent and secure prescription drug lockbox,” offering the campus community a perpetual option for the safe disposal of unused medications.

The lockbox, which will be accessible for deposits around the clock and throughout the year, is a joint effort of the OPST (where it will be physically located), Adelphi’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Program, the university’s Student Counseling Center and its Division of Student Affairs, and is “one of many ways our university responds to the nation’s opioid crisis,” according to Scott Zotto, Adelphi’s coordinator of substance-abuse counseling and prevention programming.

Splice of life: Congratulations to our old pals at Envisagenics, a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory spinoff that has earned yet another Small Business Innovation Research grant.

The Phase I grant is the third SBIR award overall for the 2013 startup, which also earned a $225,000 Phase I grant in 2015 from the National Institutes of Health and a two-year, $1.5 million Phase II grant from the NIH in 2018. The latest award will earmark another $300,000 for the development of Envisagenics’ proprietary drug-discovery platform, SpliceCore, which seeks out novel targets for immuno-oncology therapeutic development.

The former LaunchPad Huntington resident and now New York City-based biotech will collaborate on the new research with Omar Abdel-Wahab, a hematologic malignancies expert and attending physician at NYC’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “This is a very exciting moment for Envisagenics,” co-founder and CEO Maria Pineda noted. “This grant will allow us to further explore and develop innovative applications of our platform … with the ultimate goal of helping patients in need.”



Farewell, “Zimm/Ed”: And hello ZE Creative Communications, as the iconic Long Island PR firm undergoes a 21st century brand refresher.

Built to last: The organizers of the 2nd Annual Long Island Manufacturers’ Symposium are working hard to give attendees exactly what they need.

Nobody’s tool: MSC Industrial Supply Co. had a down fiscal year – but don’t be fooled, advises its CEO, who sees plenty of positives.



Applied DNA’s patented progress, LIU Athletics’ topflight trainers and Long Island’s continued concerns about community health.



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

From Tennessee: Franklin-based nutrition champion BIPRI Wellness pumps Brain & Memory Fuel, “pharmacist-formulated” to reduce age-associated memory loss.

From Pennsylvania: A Pittsburgh-based solopreneur launches BossMakeHer, an online platform discreetly connecting female executives with elite job opportunities.

From Massachusetts: Boston-based digital consultant Northern Light spotlights competitive intelligence with an AI-enabled social media content analyzer.



Natan Davoudzadeh

+ Natan Davoudzadeh has been hired as a urologist at New York Health in Lawrence and Forest Hills. He previously served as attending physician at Mount Sinai Doctors Long Island in Greenlawn.

+ Charles Fuschillo, president and chief executive officer of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, and Joseph Westphal, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, have been elected to the Adelphi University Board of Trustees.

+ Jericho-based AMR Care Group has announced two new hires: Sherry Grobstein has been hired as a director of care management; she previously served as a director of social work at Oceanside Care Center. Sally Herrera has been hired as an office administrator; she previously served as an executive assistant at Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits in Syosset.

+ Paul DeMaria has been hired as vice president of engineering at Hauppauge-based Cashin Associates. He previously served as commissioner of the Department of Public Works for the Town of North Hempstead.

+ Aleksandr Kagan has been hired as a senior software developer at Jericho-based E&I Cooperative. He previously held the same position at Altice USA in Bethpage.



Top flight: Farmingdale’s Barrage Brewing Co. scored at the GABF.

Raise a glass: New York breweries rocked the 2019 Great American Beer Festival.

Lower your voice: Your gadgets are probably listening.

Ludicrous speed: Google’s “quantum chip” leaves supercomputers in the dust.

Higher learning: Please continue supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI, including Farmingdale State College, where the FSC Small Business Development Center always has something new to teach entrepreneurs.