No. 471: Hike! It’s your Super Bowl newsletter, starring Michael Sahn, the Jingle King and Ham the space chimp

Son of a "Shogun": Clearly, not Tokugawa Ieyasu.


The time warp, again: It’s happened once more, dear readers – that blink-and-you-missed-it jump to the left (or was it a step to the right?) and the whole first month of 2020 is gone, poof, just like that.

Yep – it’s Jan. 31 already, a Friday this year, wrapping up both the month and the week in socioeconomic innovation.

Goes down easy: The best Super Bowl ads always hit the spot.

Ad on: Speaking of socioeconomic innovation (and the first weekend in February), we already know which Super Bowl commercials we’ll like – even though we haven’t seen them yet. How? Marketing science, that’s how.

Mugging it up: Before we chill out, a toast to National Hot Chocolate Day, celebrated this and every Jan. 31.

And another to National Brandy Alexander Day, wetting our whistle with the classically creamy adult beverage.

Condensed version: Speaking of sweet sips, inventive industrialist Gail Borden announced the creation of condensed milk on Jan. 31, 1851.

Tape measure: Minnesota manufacturing company 3M stuck Scotch Tape to the world on this date in 1930.

Patented Edison: The Wizard of Menlo Park, America’s patent prince, scored twice on Jan. 31, 1893 – with “The Art of Generating Electricity,” describing cells with positive and negative electrodes and a heated chamber in between, and the “Manufacture of Carbon Filaments for Electric Lamps.”

Signature move: The unmistakable Coke logo.

And on the subject of historical protections, the famous “Coca-Cola” logo was trademarked on this date in 1893.

Ham in a can: And it was Jan. 31, 1961, when Ham, the first hominid in space, rode NASA’s Mercury Redstone 2 rocket to the heavens and back.

The then-4-year-old chimpanzee – who reached an altitude of 108 miles, experienced about seven minutes of weightlessness and even performed simple in-flight tasks like pulling levers to release banana pellets – did not trigger a Planet of the Apes, though he did clear the way for the Mercury astronauts.

All-star lineup: Major League Baseball greats Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), Ernie Banks (1931-2015) and Nolan Ryan (1947) were all born on Jan. 31.

On with the shogun: Tokugawa Ieyasu, sitting pretty.

So were Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), the Shogun who united Japan; Austrian music man Franz Schubert (1797-1828), last of the classical composers; American author (and dentist) Zane Grey (1872-1939); and prolific American novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, filmmaker, actor and political activist Norman Mailer (1923-2007).

You’ve said it all: And take a bow, “Jingle King” Steve Karmen – the American composer, who wrote numerous time-tested jingles, including Budweiser’s “When You Say Bud” and the iconic “I Love New York,” turns 83 today.

Wish the artists, ballplayers and deadly assassins well at – and throw in a story tip or calendar item, which always makes our weekend.


About our sponsor: Bridgeworks is Long Island’s modern coworking and office space. Headquartered in Long Beach, our workspace offers flexible month-to-month private offices, meeting rooms and innovative amenities for companies of all types. Membership includes onsite management, high-speed Internet access, mail services, full café, onsite parking and easy access to the Long Island Rail Road. Members also gain early access to the Airbnb for commercial real-estate, DropDesk.



Chunyan Li: TBI is more than just a headache.

Brain gain: Traumatic Brain Injury may be no big deal to certain stable geniuses, but for victims and the medical professionals treating them, brain injuries are as serious as it gets.

And the National Institutes of Health seems to agree, awarding a $460,000 research grant to Feinstein Institutes of Health investigator Chunyan Li, who studies the therapeutic potential of electric nerve stimulation on the injured brain. The two-year grant backs what is billed as the first-ever research into mitigating the effects of Cortical Spreading Depolarization, a fritzing of the brain’s electrical activity following traumatic injury.

“CSD can be both a real-time marker for delayed cell death and a possible target for therapeutic intervention,” Li, also an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, said in a statement. “With this support from the NIH, we aim to better understand the therapeutic potential of [trigeminal nerve stimulation] in the injured brain.”

Big Difference: Envisioning community gardens, anti-bullying campaigns and other small-but-important societal benefits, Bethpage Cares – Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s charitable giving arm – is funding a new outreach program meant to inspire Long Island youth.

Difference Makers, a first-of-its-kind program for the credit union, will award “mini grants” of $250 to $5,000 to roughly 100 community-focused efforts proposed by individual students and student groups, ranging from fifth-graders to college undergrads. Applications for grants are available online now, with the Difference Makers Committee standing by to give each a thorough review.

The program purposefully moves BFCU’s grantmaking focus away from established fundraising channels, noted Senior Vice President Linda Armyn. “Bethpage Cares is shifting gears to now support high-impact projects … that directly impact our communities,” Armyn said this week. “Today’s youth are both passionate and compassionate, and we want to harness that energy and positivity for the good of everyone.”



Tectonic shift: As climate change reshapes the world’s physical geography, land-use regulators will need dynamic new laws to keep up, warns this Long Island expert.

Future festival: Innovations from across Stony Brook University will seek potential partners at a forward-thinking Technology Commercialization Conference.

Make it quick: Please share this entertaining and informative newsletter with your fellow innovators – might as well sign them up for free, too. Saves time.



Seeing the change at Eastern Suffolk BOCES, going the distance at the Feinstein Institutes and surviving the coronavirus, with Hofstra’s help.



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

From Illinois: Oak Brook-based empowerment organization Zonta International spreads 30 scholarships around the globe for women studying tech.

From California: Costa Mesa-based WiFi pacesetter EnGenius Technologies blows past 1 gigabit speeds with upmarket multi-gig networking switches.

From North Carolina: Charlotte-based CBD dispensary The Hemp Doctor welcomes Super Bowl champion Roman Harper to the team.



Christopher Clarke

+ Christopher Clarke has joined Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz as an associate in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group. He previously served as an associate at Mineola-based Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone.

+ David Milner has joined Uniondale-based Ruskin Moscou Faltischek as a partner in the Trusts and Estate Department. The certified public accountant previously served as a partner at Gallet, Dreyer & Berkely in Manhattan.

+ Wantagh-based Literacy Nassau has announced the election of new Board of Directors officers: Judith Beckman, president of Financial Solutions in Northport, is president; Susan Santoro, co-owner of Oceanville Mason Supply in Oceanside, is vice-president; Iris Grover, a retired NYC Department of Education reading teacher and guidance counselor, is secretary; and Sean Miller, store manager for TD Bank in Floral Park, is treasurer.

+ Richard Passariello, superintendent of the Roslyn Water District, has been elected chairman of the Melville-based Long Island Water Conference Board of Directors.

+ Johir Rayhan has been hired as a data operations engineer at Jericho-based E&I Cooperative Services. He previously served as a business data analyst and database developer for Melville-based Henry Schein.

+ Nicole Robinson has been promoted to associate creative director at Melville-based EGC Group. She previously served as art director.

+ Woodbury-based HUB International Northeast has announced three promotions: Cara Siegel, formerly first vice-president of communications, is senior vice-president of communications; Danyle Reback, formerly senior account executive, is assistant vice-president of commercial lines; and Jennifer Cordello, formerly assistant vice-president, is vice-president of human resources.


BELOW THE FOLD (“Big Game” edition)

Winging it: Get ready to chicken out, America.

First and foremost: Why some companies can’t, won’t or just don’t call it “the Super Bowl.”

Second (and maybe thirds): We’ll eat 1.33 billion chicken wings on Sunday, and that’s just for appetizers.

Third downer: Three companies have altered major Super Bowl ad campaigns following Kobe Bryant’s death.

Fourth, and Long: It’s a team effort at Long Beach-based Bridgeworks, the 21st century co-working hub and one of the great organizations that support Innovate LI. Check them out – and enjoy the game!