Halfway home: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, as we reach the midpoint of this latest busy week of innovation and economic progress.
It’s Feb. 26, and honestly, the pickings are fairly slim on Planet Earth: You can go nuts for National Pistachio Day (one of only two nuts mentioned in the Bible, by the by) or go medieval for Ash Wednesday (not mentioned in the Bible, more of a 6th century thing), and that’s about it.
Abstained: Speaking of Ash Wednesday, the ever-innovative Catholic Church has updated the rules of Lent, for those so inclined.
He blew it: Other innovations associated with Feb. 26 include the first U.S. glass-blowing machine, patented by Ohio inventor Michael Owens in 1895; Ohio tinkerer John McDonnell’s improved meat broiler, patented in 1877; and Texas inventor W.T. Graham’s “vibrating plow,” patented in 1947.
Welcome to the new age: It was this date in 1896 when French physicist Henri Becquerel inadvertently kicked off an experiment that would result in the accidental discovery of radioactivity.
She did better (slightly): The sister ship of the RMS Titanic, the HMHS Britannic, put to sea on Feb. 26, 1914.
Designed as a transatlantic passenger liner, the Britannic wound up serving as a British hospital ship in World War I and was sunk by the Germans near Greece in 1916 – the largest ship destroyed in the war.
Park it right here: Grand Canyon National Park and Grand Teton National Park both came to be, on this date in 1919 and 1929, respectively.
The blip that saved Britain: And Scottish physicist Robert Watson-Watt first demonstrated the feasibility of radar as an aircraft-tracking system for the British Air Ministry on Feb. 26, 1935.
Watson-Watt, who had been researching methods to help airmen avoid approaching thunderstorms, is credited with tipping the scales in the Battle of Britain and other WWII aerial engagements.
Dow, not out: American industrialist Herbert Henry Dow (1866-1930) – who founded the Dow Chemical Company and had a hand in a number of innovative inventions, including steam engines, automatic furnace controls and water seals – would be 154 years old today.
Also born on Feb. 26 were “Les Miserables” and “Hunchback of Notre Dame” author Victor Hugo (1802-1885); blue jeans boss Levi Strauss (1829-1902); physician, health-food advocate and flaked-cereal progenitor John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943); “The Great One,” Brooklyn’s own Jackie Gleason (1916-1987); all-time rocker Antoine “Fats” Domino (1928-2017); and famed prison-reform advocate Johnny Cash (1932-2003).
Take the Helms: And take a bow, Susan Jane Helms – the retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant general, five-time space shuttle astronaut, one-time resident of the International Space Station (for five months) and world record holder for the longest spacewalk by a woman (eight hours, 56 minutes) turns 62 today.
Wish the spacewoman, the man in black and all the other Feb. 26 innovators well at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’ll also take story tips, calendar suggestions and a bowl of Frosted Flakes, please and thank you.
About our sponsor: The Law Offices of Andrew Presberg is Long Island’s premier “IDA attorney” for businesses relocating, expanding and growing on Long Island. Founded in 1984, the practice also focuses on the purchase, sale, leasing and financing of commercial and industrial property, SBA loan transactions, construction, commercial banking and real estate litigation.
BUT FIRST, THIS
Tales from the crypto: An Adelphi University cyber-law expert has won a prestigious Fulbright Scholar Program award that will send him to the Philippines to research cryptocurrency.
Associate Professor Mark Grabowski, author of “Cryptocurrencies: A Primer on Digital Money” (Routledge, 2019), will spend the Fall 2020 semester at Ateneo de Manila University, where he’ll see what other nations looking to implement cryptocurrency into their economies – including the United States – can learn from the Philippines, a cryptocurrency mecca where banking services are scarce and Bitcoins are readily available in convenience stories.
“As U.S. lawmakers begin to develop their own comprehensive regulatory framework for cryptocurrency, they could learn from the Philippines,” the freshly minted Fulbright scholar noted Monday. “Having a shared vision for cryptocurrency regulation could encourage more U.S. investment in the Philippines and also help strengthen diplomatic ties between the two English-speaking democracies.”
Yes, she Kenya: An accomplished international educator with a hard-core work ethic and a soft spot for orphans will take over Adelphi University’s graduate programs and community collaborations.
Anne Mungai, the former interim dean of Adelphi’s Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, has been named the Garden City university’s associate provost for strategic initiatives and graduate studies. A special assistant to Provost Steve Everett since September, Mungai will continue working on “diverse academic initiatives” following her promotion, Adelphi said Monday, including academic strategies, community partnerships, faculty-diversity efforts and fresh graduate-programming support.
Mungai – who travels often to her native Kenya, where she started professionally as a high school teacher in 1976 and co-founded a home for orphans and other vulnerable children – has filled numerous positions since joining the Adelphi faculty in 1998, including professor of education and chairwoman of the Curriculum and Instruction Department. She earned a doctorate and a master’s degree in special education from Michigan State University and bachelor’s degrees in education in English and religious education from the University of Nairobi in Kenya.
TOP OF THE SITE
Healthy start: With a national shortage getting worse, Hofstra University and Northwell Health are investing millions to educate tomorrow’s nurses.
Does the heart good: A Long Island hospital is among the first to offer a next-generation pacemaker that clips wires and cuts incisions.
Broken record: Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but Melville global distributor Henry Schein just logged another record quarter (and a record fiscal year, too).
Get your Irish up: And don’t take overcooked, tasteless corned beef lying down – not when our in-house gastronomic genius (and bona fide lad) Ambrose Clancy can tell you how to do the traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish right. Ambrose’s latest is still warm.
STUFF WE’RE READING
Easier than you thought: Three short steps to a killer innovation strategy, via Forbes.
Harder than you think: Why healthcare-data integration is so difficult, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Bigger than we realize: With the coronavirus (and coronavirus fears) spreading and the stock markets tanking, USA Today detects some serious economic risks.
+ Invetx, a Massachusetts-based animal health biopharma, raised $15 million in Series A financing led by founding investor Anterra Capital.
+ Be My Eyes, a California-based mobile app providing assistance for the visually impaired through videocalls, raised $2.8 million in Series A funding led by Cultivation Capital.
+ Inpria, an Oregon-based developer of high-resolution metal oxide photoresists for extreme ultraviolet lithography, secured $31 million in Series C funding led by JSR Corp., SK hynix Inc., TSMC Partners, Air Liquide Venture Capital ALIAD, Applied Ventures, Intel Capital and Samsung Venture Investment Corp.
+ OneTrust, a Georgia-based provider of a privacy, security and third-party risk technology platform, raised $210 million in Series B funding led by Coatue and Insight Partners.
+ EnClear Therapies, a Massachusetts-based life-sciences company developing device-based neurodegenerative disease therapies, raised $10 million in Series A financing led by 20/20 HealthCare Partners, with participation from Peter Thiel, Amgen Ventures, GHS Fund (Quark Venture LP and GF Securities), Christian Angermayer’s Presight Capital and Dolby Ventures.
+ Eventus Systems, a Texas-based global trade surveillance and market-risk software provider, raised $10.5 million in Series A funding led by Jump Capital and LiveOak Venture Partners, with participation from Coinbase Ventures and Chimera Securities.
BELOW THE FOLD
Hard: Why avoiding career advice may be the best advice of all.
Harder: You eat right and exercise – but are you taking emotional care at work?
Hardest: WalletHub ranks the hardest-working cities in America (none on Long Island).
Hard to beat: WalletHub may have overlooked Long Island, but nobody works harder for their Island-based corporate clients than the Law Offices of Andrew Presberg, one of the brilliant (and tireless) firms that support Innovate LI. Check them out.