Like magic: Blink and you might have missed it, dear readers, as the first full workweek of 2020 nears its end and we approach an unusually warm winter weekend.
That voodoo that you do: It’s Friday, Jan. 10, on Planet Earth, and to our many readers in Benin – the tiny West African nation known best as the birthplace of voodoo – a spirit-pleasing Fête du Vodoun.
Here in the States, no voodoo dolls or bone rattles are necessary to enjoy Bittersweet Chocolate Day, National Oysters Rockefeller Day or Peculiar People Day, held every Jan. 10 to salute high cacao content, the classic seafood dish and folks who might combine them, among other highly individualized preferences.
League of their own: Today is also League of Nations Day, marking the 100th anniversary of the United Nations precursor, which got busy promoting diplomacy among 42 member states on Jan. 10, 1920.
Made Sense at the time: The “father of the American Revolution,” political activist Thomas Paine, published his influential, revolution-rallying pamphlet “Common Sense” on this date in 1776.
Token subway: London’s first underground railway opened on Jan. 10, 1863, carrying passengers on steam-powered trains through gas-lit tunnels.
Bright ideas: British inventor David Misell, living in New York City at the time, patented an “Electric Device” on Jan. 10, 1899, that would later be commercialized as history’s first battery-powered flashlight.
Other Jan. 10 patents include one in 1922 for Thomas Edison’s “Storage-Battery Electrode” and one in 1888 for African American inventor A.B. Blackburn, who invented a railway-crossing signal triggered by train wheels.
Beam up, beam down: It was this date in 1946 when a U.S. Army research team known as Project Diana detected radar signals coming from the Moon’s surface.
For the record, the 180-cycle wave pulse with a quarter-second duration was beamed by the Army Signal Corps from the Evans Signal Laboratories in New Jersey, and the echo was received by Project Diana 2.4 seconds later.
Short and sweet: And it was Jan. 10, 1949, when RCA Victor introduced the 45 RPM record, the “single” format (double, with the “B” side) that soared with the rock & roll set.
Armchair quarterback: Ethan Allen (1738-1789) – a farmer, land speculator, philosopher, writer, lay theologian and American Revolutionary War patriot who had absolutely nothing to do with interior decorating – would be 282 years old today.
Also born on Jan. 10 were Swiss-French horologist Abraham-Louis Bréguet (1747-1823), the leading watchmaker of his day; nutty African American agriculturalist George Washington Carver (1864-1943); American tinkerer Frederick Cottrell (1877-1948), who invented the electrostatic precipitator, predecessor of the modern air purifier; English biochemist Norman Heatley (1911-2004), who successfully separated penicillin from its mold, facilitating mass production; and historical American historian Stephen Ambrose (1936-2002).
She belongs: And take a bow, Patricia Mae Giraldo (née Andrzejewski) – Greenpoint’s favorite Grammy Award winner, known best as Pat Benatar, turns 67 today.
Cast your vote right here to help Benatar earn her rightful spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And hit us with your best shot at firstname.lastname@example.org, where hell is for children, but story tips and calendar items make us feel invincible.
From our sponsor: Northwell Health is New York’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 750 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 Northwell.edu.
BUT FIRST, THIS
On the Path: A sizeable state grant will help a Long Island-based education organization expand its national IT curriculum, with a steady eye on workforce development.
Syosset-based We Connect the Dots has received a $196,000 New York State Department of Labor grant, part of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council’s overall 2019 funding application, earmarked for “Pathways to Success,” a 22-week training course designed to impart the skills and credentials required by the IT workforce – specifically, jobs involving cloud computing.
By preparing participants for careers in the rapidly growing cloud-computing space, the nonprofit We Connect the Dots and its for-profit Nebula Academy are “positioning them well for careers today and in the future,” WCTD founder Laurie Carey said Thursday. “We are excited to be the first to offer a full stack web-development program blended with Amazon Web Services Academy certification on Long Island.”
To Baldwin, and beyond: It’s a big day at Lenox Elementary School in Baldwin, where spaced-out students are celebrating a rare achievement by a sky-high alumna.
United States Marine Corps. Major Jasmin Moghbeli, who attended both Lenox Elementary and Baldwin High School, is set to graduate today from the Johnson Space Center’s NASA Candidate program, after completing two years of basic spaceflight training that qualifies her for missions to the International Space Station, the Moon and, someday, Mars.
Moghbeli – who once donned a spacesuit for a sixth-grade book report about a female astronaut, according to Lenox Elementary – is expected to engage in a video Q&A with current students after the NASA ceremony. The freshly minted astronaut, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Naval Postgraduate School in California, respectively, was one of 13 trainees chosen for this graduating class, from a record-setting pool of 18,000-plus applicants.
TOP OF THE SITE
Scoring position: With a legend of Long Island innovation added to its bench, up-and-coming power player Hoplite is ready for the big leagues.
Full seed ahead: With a chunky seed-financing round in the books, cyber-communications startup Qunnect is going quantum.
Spread it around: If you love reading this thrice-weekly newsletter as much as we love writing it, encourage your fellow innovators to subscribe for free, please and thank you.
BEST OF THE WEST (AND SOMETIMES NORTH/SOUTH)
Innovate LI’s inbox overrunneth with inspirational innovations from all North American corners. This week’s brightest out-of-towners:
From Florida: St. Petersburg-based digitized bodybuilder Muscle Shocker launches palm-of-your-hand personal training for peak muscularity.
From California: Costa Mesa-based networking specialist EnGenius introduces a weatherproof (and “future proof”) outdoor access point for high-capacity WiFi.
From Indiana: Ligonier-based precision-components leader Advanced Metal Etching adds cutting-edge aluminum-etching services.
ON THE MOVE
+ Anthony DeCapua has joined Uniondale-based Forchelli Deegan Terrana as partner in its Construction and Litigation practice groups. He was previously of counsel at another Uniondale-based law firm.
+ Michael Schulder has been appointed president of the Manhattan-based Brain Tumor Foundation. He is vice chairman of neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset and Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park.
+ Lynn O’Connor has been hired as section chief for colon and rectal surgery at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre and St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage. She is the founder and medical director of Huntington-based Colon and Rectal Surgery of New York.
+ Debbie Mullarkey has joined Deer Park-based United Way of Long Island as vice president of resource development. She previously served as executive director for Roslyn-based CAPS/Bully Prevention Center.
+ Denise McGlone has been hired as chief financial officer for Hauppauge-based Teachers Federal Credit Union. She previously held the same position at Virginia-based PenFed Credit Union.
+ Joseph Trifilettti has been promoted to president of Woodbury-based Vanderbilt Financial Group. He previously served as chief operating officer.
+ Jim DeKonig has been promoted to principal at Brookhaven-based L.K. McLean Associates. He previously served as an associate.
BELOW THE FOLD
Excelsior: Highlights from Gov. Cuomo’s 2020 State of the State address.
Accelerator: Subatomic particles and billions of federal dollars will collide at BNL.
Circumlunar: Tonight’s “wolf moon” – the first full moon of 2020 – includes a penumbral lunar eclipse.