No. 469: On 3D homes, surveyed CEOs and Eskimo Pies – and why you don’t mess with Queens robots

Being Ernest: Gruff, gap-toothed and universally popular, late Hollywood great Ernest Borgnine was born on Jan. 24, 1917.


We’re as surprised as you: But here we are, dear readers – Friday already, with another workweek winding down and another weekend coming up.

It’s Jan. 24 out there, the Jane Goodall Institute’s International Mobile Phone Recycling Day, which supports global education efforts. And to our many readers in Romania, a peaceful Unification Day, celebrating the 1866 Union of the Romanian Principalities.

Shell game: Mr. Peanut has met a tragic end … or has he?

Plain nuts: Here in the States, where we pause to remember iconic Planters mascot Mr. Peanut – killed this week in one of the most bizarre Super Bowl marketing campaigns of all time – today is, fittingly, National Peanut Butter Day.

You know who liked peanut butter? Roman Emperor Caligula. (Actually, that’s a guess, and a bad one, since peanut butter as we know it wasn’t invented until the late 1800s. But here’s a fact: Caligula was assassinated by his own Praetorian Guard on Jan. 24, 41 A.D.)

Words to live by: In livelier news, British Army officer Robert Baden-Powell’s “Scouting For Boys” – the original “handbook for instruction in good citizenship” and blueprint for the international Scouting movement – was first published on this date in 1908.

That’s a little vague: You wouldn’t know it from the title on the application, but inventor Percy LeBaron patented the original microwave oven when he locked up his “Method of Treating Foodstuffs” on this date in 1950.

Frozen asset: We all scream for IP.

Other patents issued on Jan. 24 include one in 1922 for a confection combining a chocolate shell and an ice cream center (a.k.a. the “Eskimo Pie”) and one in 1899 for the “Safety Heel” (recorded as America’s first rubber shoe heel).

Can it: Canned beer became a thing on this date in 1935, when the first 2,000 tins of Krueger’s Finest popped open in Virginia.

So close: And yet so far, as NASA’s robotic Voyager 2 space probe – now cruising through interstellar space – made humanity’s closest-ever pass to the planet Uranus on Jan. 24, 1986, zipping by just 50,000 miles from its hydrogen-rich atmosphere.

Upper level: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton (1862-1937) – whose “Ethan Frome,” “The Age of Innocence” and other classic novels painted frank and not always flattering portraits of the turn-of-the-20th-century upper class – would be 158 years old today.

Also born on Jan. 24 were German aircraft engineer Ernst Heinkel (1888-1958), who built the first rocket-powered aircraft; German-American economist and mathematician Oskar Morgenstern (1902-1977), who popularized “game theory”; character actor Ernest Borgnine (1917-2012); pioneering Christian televangelist Granville Oral Roberts (1918-2009); and Grammy Award- and Golden Globe-winning singer/songwriter Neil Diamond (born 1941).

On the beam: Kaku, redefining “impossible.”

Stringing us along: And take a bow, Michio Kaku – the science-fiction loving American theoretical physicist, City College of New York/CUNY professor and co-founder of string field theory, who as a high schooler famously built an atom-smashing particle accelerator in his family garage, turns 73 today.

Wish these and all the other Jan. 24 innovators well at – and accelerate our particles with a story tip or calendar suggestion, please and thank you.


About our sponsor: Whether it’s helping in site selection, cutting through red tape or finding innovative ways to meet specific needs, businesses that settle in the Town of Islip soon learn that we take a proactive approach to seeing them succeed. If your business wants to locate or expand in a stable community with great quality of life, then it’s time you took a closer look at Islip.



Cheer up: Optimism among middle-market executives is waning, according to C-suite executives at 256 companies participating in the latest Marcum LLP-Hofstra University CEO Survey.

Released this week, the new poll – the third conducted by Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business and the New York City-based accounting giant, which maintains a thriving Melville office – found that middle-market CEOs remain largely positive about the current business environment, though an “enthusiasm gap” is widening: The number of CEOs rating their economic outlook 8 or higher (out of 10) in the fall dropped more than 11 percent, while the number of CEOs in the lowest optimism range (1-4) more than doubled.

The survey – which also quizzes execs on AI and records the most-common 2020 priorities as technology upgrades and talent acquisition – isn’t all doom-and-gloom, noted Zarb School Dean Janet Lenaghan, even if it is honest. “These surveys provide an inside view of the delicate balancing act every business leader must master between … fostering stability and nurturing growth,” Lenaghan said Thursday. “This project offers our students an exceptional experiential learning opportunity that is rare among MBA programs.”

Print lives: SQ4D’s printed house, under construction in Calverton.

New dimensions: The largest 3D-printed home in the world has risen in Riverhead.

Patchogue-based manufacturer SQ4D Inc., a business-grade 3D printing specialist charging headfirst into the industrial-grade 3D home-construction industry, has deployed its proprietary Autonomous Robotic Construction System. Capable of robotically creating foundations, exterior/interior walls and more, ARCS helped a completely 3D-printed, 1,900-square-foot home – the largest allowed by law – rise in the Hamlet of Calverton, requiring just 48 total hours of building time (over an eight-day period, to allow the printers to do their thing).

And that with just $6,000 worth of materials, according to SQ4D, which expects to reduce future print times by as much as 50 percent “due to ARCS enhancements implemented post construction.” Watch the 3D-printed house come together right here.



It came from the Outer Boroughs: And it conquered the eighth-annal Long Island VEX Robotics Competition, though regional STEM students held their own.

Punching tickets: Macho manufacturer Janam Technologies, home of the tough-as-nails workplace tablet, takes a swing at “contactless ticketing.”

Peer pressure: Please share this entertaining and informative newsletter with your fellow innovators – and suggest they subscribe for free, because this is, like, the third time already.



A stem cell century mark, an excavating automaton and a rebuilding phase for two Island stalwarts.



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

From California: Oceanside-based drone-illumination specialist FoxFury Lighting Solutions flashes the D3060, a multipurpose light for inspections, navigation and more.

From New York City: National booster Small Business Expo plugs “America’s most distinct small business owners” with annual Best Of awards.

From Florida: Blountstown-based subscription service MedLoyalty launches a new insurance alternative for entrepreneurial dentists.



Jothy Narendran

+ Jothy Narendran has been named co-managing partner at Garden City-based Jaspan Schlesinger. She currently serves in the firm’s Banking and Financial Services practice group.

+ Charles Rutenberg Realty has added five licensed real estate salespeople to its Plainview office: Cristina Soberano, formerly with Keller Williams Realty Group in Scarsdale; Tommy Mouscardy, formerly with South Shore Realty Concepts in Valley Stream; Francis Agyin, formerly with Keller Williams in Bayside; Steven Dianat, formerly with Great Success Realty in Jamaica; and Mei-Chau Kwok, dually licensed with Charles Rutenberg Realty and The Level Group in Manhattan.

+ Richard Blau, principal at Hicksville-based Good Deeds Development, and Anthony Bonomo, an attorney with the Law Offices of Ronald D. Weiss in Melville, have joined the Board of Directors of the Great Neck-based Gold Coast Arts Center.

+ Emily Corso has been hired as a marketing assistant at Melville-based Tenenbaum Law. She previously served as a public relations intern at New York City-based R. Couri Hay Creative Public Relations.

+ Former Suffolk County Presiding Officer and 15th Dist. Legislator DuWayne Gregory has joined Mineola-based McBride Consulting and Business Development Group as senior vice president.

+ Jacqueline Rappel has joined Uniondale-based Forchelli Deegan Terrana as a partner in its Litigation practice group. She previously provided of counsel services to numerous law firms across Long Island.

+ Dan Daugherty has been promoted to chief of university police at Farmingdale State College. He previously served as interim chief of police.



Bad form: There’s one in every office.

Talent search: These global trends will change your hiring practices (or should).

Keep it professional: These workplace rules show how office etiquette works (or doesn’t).

Inclusive individuality: These market forces prove “brand journalism” is alive and well – or is it?

Sounds familiar: Talent, professionalism and a focus on customization also describe the Town of Islip Office of Economic Development, one of the excellent organizations that support Innovate LI. Check them out.