No. 481: In which aspirin arrives, coronavirus hits home and microbes pig out

It's a stretch: Still silly after all these years, Silly Putty was first introduced to retail consumers on March 6, 1950.


Week strain: It’s been a stressful five days, dear readers, with the crashing stock markets and global pandemics, but you’ve persevered again – another Friday reached, another weekend on tap. Well done.

It’s March 6 out there, and a fairly busy day on Planet Earth: Independence Day in Ghana, Foundation Day across the Norfolk Islands and Europe’s Day of the Righteous, honoring those who choose a moral path.

Double stuff: Go ahead, make a day of it.

Culture clash: Here in the States, we witness a showdown of periodontal proportions –National Oreo Cookie Day vs. National Dentist’s Day.

That’s cold: It’s also National Frozen Food Day, signed into law in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan to honor March 6, 1930 – the date industrialist Clarence Birdseye began test-marketing frozen foods at a Massachusetts market.

…and call me in the morning: Also introduced on this date was acetylsalicylic acid – German pharmaceutical firm Bayer patented aspirin on March 6, 1899.

Other patents issued on March 6 include the very first mechanical patent issued in North America, by the General Court of Massachusetts in 1646, covering inventor Joseph Jenkes Sr.’s scythe mill.

Designing woman: Barrier-buster Barney.

Move over, boys: English-born U.S. civil engineer and architect Nora Stanton Blatch Barney became the first woman elected to the American Society of Civil Engineers on this date in 1906.

True story: The gender barrier-busting engineer was the granddaughter of famed American suffragist and abolitionist Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Don’t be silly – no, actually, do: Silly Putty, invented years earlier by chemist James Wright, was introduced to the public by marketer Peter Hodgson on March 6, 1950.

Paint it black: And it was March 6, 1992, when a dormant computer virus named for Renaissance artist Michelangelo sprang to life, threatening pre-Internet DOS systems and causing history’s first public malware scare.

Essay on mind: Victorian Era literary star Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) – a voracious reader who suffered physical trauma her entire life, but started writing poetry at age 11 and quickly built a global following – would be 214 years old today.

A real cut-up: Multitalented Michelangelo.

Also born on March 6 were the aforementioned Italian giant Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), who created amazing artworks and enjoyed dissecting cadavers; substantially snouted, uber romantic French writer Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655), who was quite real; American forester Benton MacKaye, the “father of the Appalachian Trail”; Super Glue inventor Harry Coover (1917-2011); and Russian engineer Valentina Tereshkova (born 1937), the first woman to fly in space.

Very economical: And take a bow, Alan Greenspan – the American economist and former chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States turns 94 today.

Give the preeminent bean counter, the trailblazing trail-mapper and all the other March 6 innovators your best at – and sculpt us a story tip or calendar item, grazie mille.


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 on-site 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.



By Emily Bergin: You’ve got a future, kid.

Enemies of the people, the next generation: Clearly unphased by head of state-level buffoonery casting work-a-day journalists as villains, some 280 high school reporters and editors gathered Feb. 26 for the annual Adelphi Press Day.

The highlight of the Fourth Estate event at the Garden City university was the presentation of the 2020 Quill Awards, which recognized outstanding editorial efforts by writers, photographers, illustrators and other high school newspaper contributors across Long Island and Queens.

Among the big winners were Brentwood High School’s Pow Wow News, ranked Best Online Newspaper; Dave Budhram of New Hyde Park Memorial High School, who crafted the Best Front-Page Layout; the George W. Hewlett High School Editorial Board, big brains behind this year’s Best Editorial; and Most Outstanding Reporter Emily Bergin, chief editor of the Lynbrook High School Horizon, which also emerged as the annual competition’s Most Outstanding Newspaper.

Tastes great, more fulfilling: Speaking of award-winners, one more big round of applause, please, as we pull back the curtain to reveal another batch of amazing entrepreneurs, inventors and go-getters – five more honorees taking the stage at Innovate Long Island’s 2020 Innovator of the Year Awards, coming March 24 to the Crest Hollow Country Club.

Today, we present another of our university-level Young Innovators, plus an appetizing selection of Food & Beverage honorees:

  • Then-Farmingdale State University senior/now-Stony Brook University MBA candidate Orville Davis, who captured first place in the 2019 NYS Business Plan Competition’s Energy & Environment category with a recycling-focused mobile app
  • Foodpreneurs Marie and Louis Camassa of Calverton-based Lucky Lou’s Gourmet Rice Pudding – a journey from hot dog truck to diner to “the best rice pudding on the East Coast”
  • Inspired foodie Mayra Robayo, who packs Sayville-based startup Precise Gluten Free Foods (also soy- and nut-free) with tasty products, recipes and tips
  • East End Food Institute Executive Director Kate Fullam, who heads an ambitious and innovative team advocating for regional farmers, food-makers and consumers

More honorees coming in next week’s newsletters. And yes, the clock is ticking: Now just 18 days until our fifth-annual A-list breakfast networker and awards show. Sponsorship opportunities, ticket pricing and everything else you need to know right here.



The biotic man: Entrepreneurial microbiologist Raymond Sambrotto does the heavy lifting, but gets plenty of help as his environmental biotech rises.

Numbers of reasons: The bottom line didn’t exactly sparkle, but Melville telecom titan Comtech still posted a stellar second quarter, according to its CEO.

Healthy addition: Ninety-eight percent of Innovate LI newsletter subscribers experience mild symptoms ranging from gentle chuckles to enhanced cerebrums. Totally safe (and free) to subscribe your fellow innovators.



Coronavirus tests (rapidly) reach Long Island, coronavirus cures (maybe) in Applied DNA’s labs and big changes (molecularly) at SBU’s Center for Laser Manufacturing.



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

From California: Anaheim-based light-therapy pioneer BioPhotas flips the switch on FDA-approved LED panel for skin, muscle and joint conditions.

From Washington State: Seattle-based lifestyle icon Tommy Bahama and health-product manufacturer Boomer Naturals co-brand new line of wellness products.

From California: The Santa Monica-based Pacific Neuroscience Institute christens a cutting-edge neuroanatomy lab inside the John Wayne Cancer Institute.



Georgios Klironomos

+ Georgios Klironomos has been hired as a cerebrovascular neurosurgeon at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore. He previously served as an attending physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Susquehanna in Pennsylvania.

+ Discover Long Island has announced the election of new executives to its Board of Directors: Bryan Deluca, executive director of Atlantis Holdings in Riverhead, is chairman; Nancy Costopulos, president & CEO of Old Westbury Gardens, is vice-chairwoman; Mitch Pally, CEO of the Long Island Builders Institute, is secretary; Marc Weinstein, owner of Hauppauge-based Mark of Elegance, is treasurer; and Gus Montesantos, general manager of the Hilton Long Island, is an executive board member.

+ Stephanie Gress has been hired as a service associate at Smithtown-based Branch Financial. She previously served as director of curatorial affairs at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport.

+ Thomas Perri has been promoted to assistant vice president of business services at Suffolk Federal Credit Union in Medford. He previously served as senior relationship manager.

+ Charles Rutenberg Realty has announced the addition of five licensed real estate professionals. Joining the Plainview office are Robert Mostacci, formerly with Realty Connect in Hauppauge; Leslie Vasquez, formerly with Empire Home in Hauppauge; Kelly Gonzalez-Benavides, formerly with Power Team Realty Corp. in Bay Shore; and Alice LaiYee Chan, formerly with New Horizon Real Estate in California. Joining the Bronx office is Dionne Harris-Jackman, formerly with Keller Williams Realty in the Bronx.


BELOW THE FOLD (Antivirus Edition)

Second opinion: We’ll go with the experts on this one.

Don’t panic: Officials preach calm, elbow-bumps as the coronavirus officially reaches Long Island.

Collision course: How innovation is going toe-to-toe with COVID-19.

Not helping: All due respect to presidential “hunches,” but the adults are talking.

 Whatever Works: Too many sniffles on the LIRR? Too much coughing along Madison Avenue? Can the commute and check out the co-working options at Long Beach-based Bridgeworks, one of the amazing firms that support Innovate LI. Check them out.