No. 462: Silver bells, silver medals and the ‘Silver Tsunami’ – plus, STEM education for grown-ups

Welcome to the party, pal: Yes, "Die Hard" is a Christmas movie, and yes, we can prove it.


Are those bells we hear? Santa’s sleigh is warming up, dear readers, as we hurdle another Wednesday and trigger the one-week countdown to Christmas Day.

Can’t buy a vowel: There are none in the Arabic abjad, which is technically not an alphabet.

That makes it Dec. 18 out there, and around the world we go: Republic Day in Niger, National Day in Qatar, International Migrants Day and the U.N.’s Arabic Language Day, recognizing a true pillar of human history.

This little piggy: Pork will likely be scarce at Arabic Language Day celebrations, even though Dec. 18 is both National Roast Suckling Pig Day and National Ham Salad Day.

Before we begin: As per the coming holidays, your intrepid Innovate LI newsletter team will be dreaming by the fire and otherwise AFK for a couple of weeks.

Please watch for your regularly scheduled Friday newsletter on Dec. 20 and a year-ending/year-beginning calendar newsletter on Dec. 23, then keep your eyes on the homepage for innovative updates through New Year’s Day. Thrice-weekly newsletters return Jan. 6!

A holiday toast (not): It wouldn’t be ratified for another 13 months, but the Eighteenth Amendment – prohibiting the manufacture, sale or transportation of liquor – was approved by Congress on Dec. 18, 1917.

A toast with water, then – here’s to Ohio inventor Cleophus Monjeau, who filed a patent for the first-ever water-purification system on this date in 1900.

Arm the photons: We couldn’t do that without American chemist Gilbert Newton Lewis, a multitalented scientist who coined the word “photon” in a letter published on Dec. 18, 1926, in the journal Nature.

They shoot, they SCORE: NASA gained a point in the Space Race on this date in 1958, when the super-secret Project SCORE put the world’s first communications satellite into orbit.

Look out below: A satellite image catches the Bering Sea meteor on final approach.

Hold your Bering: And it was one year ago today when a widely unreported meteor rocketed into the atmosphere at 71,582 miles per hour – and exploded just 15 miles above the surface of the Bering Sea with the force of 10 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs.

Holy Moses: Lightning rod 20th century “master builder” Robert Moses (1888-1981) – who once held 12 regional offices simultaneously (without ever winning an election), essentially invented suburbia (by favoring highways over mass transit) and is otherwise a fairly big deal in these parts – would be 131 years old today.

Also born on Dec. 18 were engineer Edwin Armstrong (1890-1954), who invented FM radio; screen legend Betty Grable (1916-1973); microbiologist Esther Lederberg, a pioneer of bacterial genetics; gifted, inventive and diversity-minded mathematician Lenore Blum (born 1942); and wide-eyed filmmaker Steven Spielberg (born 1946).

Richards: Gathers no moss.

Still Rolling: And take a bow, Keith Richards – betraying science as we know it and shattering all mathematical odds, the iconic English musician and longtime hellraiser turns 76 today.

Wish the Rolling Stone, the master of blockbusters and all the other Dec. 18 innovators well at – and we’d love a Christmas bonus, please and thank you, in the form of a story tip or calendar suggestion.


About our sponsor: Hofstra University is an engine for research and innovation, combining a Center for Entrepreneurship, a Center for Innovation, the expertise of its faculty, the energy of its students and the state-of-the-art resources of its schools of engineering and applied science, business, law and medicine to drive and transform the region’s economy. Visit us.



It’s who you know: The new Northwell affiliation is a “significant strategic step,” says CareMount CEO Scott Hayworth.

Lab partners: New York State’s largest independent medical group will deepen ties with the state’s largest healthcare provider on Jan. 1, when the Chappaqua-based CareMount Medical alliance and New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health begin a new “clinical affiliation agreement.”

More synergistic coalition than corporate takeover, the agreement focuses on “clinical integration initiatives” and other pro-patient collaborations that introduce CareMount Medical’s 600-plus physicians – staffing 45 facilities in New York City and Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Columbia and Ulster counties – to a wide range of Northwell Health facilities and services.

The collaboration, which also adds CareMount’s on-site laboratories and eight urgent-care centers to Northwell’s mix, builds on existing ties (CareMount has a longstanding relationship with Northwell’s Mt. Kisco-based Northern Westchester Hospital) and promises “mutually beneficial opportunities that will further enhance patient care,” according to Northwell Health President and CEO Michael Dowling. “We’re extraordinarily pleased to be taking this important next step in our relationship with CareMount.”

Extended STEM: The importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education gets plenty of play on the K-12 level, but STEM education is all grown up at one of Long Island’s top colleges.

Adelphi University this week announced two new STEM-designation master’s degree programs – one focused on business analytics, the other on supply-chain management and both designed to prepare students to “meet the growing demand for professionals skilled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” according to Garden City-based Adelphi.

The 30-credit MS in Business Analytics with STEM Designation will create “highly competitive data scientists equipped with the foundations, leadership and communication skills required to succeed,” according to program director Juan Jaramillo, while the 30- to 36-credit MS in Supply-Chain Management with STEM Designation prepares students to be “supply-chain leaders” in myriad industries, according to program director Eunji Lim.



University of diversity: Stony Brook is all in on inclusion, naming an Olympic silver medalist and veteran academic administrator its new chief diversity officer.

Stuck in reverse: New York’s Green Light Law is in effect, but political biases may scare off undocumented immigrants – a low socioeconomic blow, warns these insiders.

Stocking stuffer: Please share this entertaining and informative newsletter with your fellow innovators – and sign them up for free, the gift that keeps on giving!



Silver surfers: The “Silver Tsunami” is rising, and how industry deals with an aging national workforce will be key, according to Northwell Health Senior Vice President and Innovate LI healthcare expert Terry Lynam. His latest Voices column awaits.


Booster: SpaceX has changed humanity.


Crystal ball: Top-heavy income inequity will leave plenty of room for innovation, but expect choppy economics in 2020, according to Forbes.

The X factor: No company had a bigger effect on human society in the 2010s than SpaceX, according to Popular Mechanics.

We are the Borg: Forget Ahhhnold – with cutting-edge tech inside our bodies and out, humans are the cyborgs now, according to Quartz.



+ Triplet Therapeutics, a Massachusetts-based biotech leveraging human genetics to develop treatments for “repeat expansion” disorders, raised $59 million total in financing, including a Series A financing round led by MPM Capital and Pfizer Ventures, Atlas Venture, Invus, Partners Innovation Fund and Alexandria Venture Investments.

+ NeuroFlow, a Pennsylvania-based provider of a collaborative behavioral-health tool for care settings, raised $7.5 million in Series A financing led by Builders VC, with participation from Dreamit Ventures, Spring Point Partners, Red & Blue Ventures and AWT Private Investments.

+ Notal Vision, a Virginia-based ophthalmic diagnostic-services company focused on advancing eyecare with precision home medicine, raised $25 million in funding. Backers included Ganot Capital.

+ Bridge Connector, a Tennessee-based technology company offering data-driven workflow automation for health IT, raised $5 million in additional funding. The round, which brought total funding to date to $25 million, was led by Jeff Vinik, with participation from existing investor Axioma Ventures.

+ Wagmo, a New York City-based pet-wellness company, closed a $3 million seed funding round co-led by Harlem Capital and Vestigo Ventures, with participation from Female Founders Fund, Clocktower Technology Ventures, The Fund and several existing and angel investors representing Flatiron Health, Clover Health and others.

+ ChromaCode, a California-based molecular diagnostics company, secured $28 million in Series C financing led by Northpond Ventures, with participation from new investors Windham Ventures, Moore Venture Partners and the California Institute of Technology, and existing investors New Enterprise Associates, Domain Associates and Okapi Ventures.



Keeping tabs: The iPad ranks as one of the best inventions of the 2010s.

Ten: Recalling the 10 greatest inventions of the decade.

Nine: Microsoft is no shocker, but the world’s other nine most innovative companies might surprise you.

Eight: Come out to the coast, have a few laughs … and don’t argue with these eight reasons why “Die Hard” is indisputably a Christmas movie.

Counting down: Between its Center for Innovation and its Center for Entrepreneurship, Hofstra University – one of the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI – offers more business-building resources than we can list here. Check them out.