No. 504: On Phase 1, thousands of grads and 918 million degrees (but who’s counting)?

Still scraping by: Defining the art of the skyscraper, New York City's iconic Chrysler Building opened 90 years ago today.


Cross your fingers: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, and not just the midpoint of this abbreviated WFH workweek, but possibly the Phase 1 reopening Long Island has been waiting for. Stay tuned.

Sol searching: Sunscreen is no joke.

All over the map: Either way, it’s May 27 out there and a busy one on Planet Earth, featuring Nicaragua’s Armed Forces Day, Bolivia’s Mother’s Day, Nigeria’s Children’s Day and Slavery Abolition Day in Guadeloupe.

Here in the States, nothing quite so high-minded  – though National Sunscreen Day is nothing to sneeze at.

Tsar wars: Known alternately as St. Petersburg, Petrograd, Leningrad and St. Petersburg again, Russia’s second-largest city (and cultural center) was founded on May 27, 1703, by Tsar Peter the Great.

Tall tale: Beating the significantly taller Empire State Building by one year, the Art Deco-defining Chrysler Building – briefly, mankind’s tallest tower – opened on this date in 1930.

Tape measure: On that same date – May 27, 1930 – American engineer Richard Drew earned a U.S. patent for his improved adhesive tape and assigned the rights to the 3M Company – which soon marketed the new tape under the trademarked name “Scotch.”

Blowin’ in the wind: On this date in 1931, the first U.S. wind tunnel for testing airplanes – an enormous shaft that measured the characteristics of full-size planes in gales up to 115 mph – opened at the Langley Field Research Center in Virginia.

Golden arches: Straddling the Bay of California, the Golden Gate Bridge opened 83 years ago today.

Bridge to the future: Still standing proudly among the world’s most recognizable structures, California’s Golden Gate Bridge opened on May 27, 1937 – a symbol of progress in defiance of the Great Depression.

Hot stuff: And it was this date in 1994 when the highest temperature ever produced in a laboratory setting was recorded in the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor, tucked inside the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

The magnetic-fusion reactor – the first device in the world to study deuterium/tritium plasma, the likeliest fuel of future fusion power plants – cranked it up to 918 million degrees Fahrenheit.

Wild child: Hickok, a.k.a. James Butler, in a calmer moment.

Deep thoughts: German psychiatrist/psychologist Karl Bühler (1879-1963) – whose 1907 academic paper “On Thoughts” demonstrated that the mind doesn’t need prior details to imagine, but is capable of purely abstract thought – would be 141 years old today.

Also born on May 27 were Ibn Khaldūn (1332-1406), considered the greatest of all Arab historians; “Battle Hymn of the Republic” writer Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910); famed cowboy “Wild Bill” Hickok (born James Butler, 1837-1876); Pennsylvania-born writer and ecologist Rachel Carson (1907-1964), an influential progenitor of the global environmental movement; and American physicist William Hansen (1909-1949), credited as the founder of microwave technology.

Out there: And take a bow, Lawrence Krauss – the Arizona State University theoretical physicist (and tangible genius), a big one for dark matter, universal origins and other consciousness-confounding concepts, turns 66 today.

Wish these and all the other May 27 innovators well at, where story tips and event listings also blow our minds.


About our sponsor: Farmingdale State College is New York’s largest public college of applied science and technology, and a national pioneer in environmental sustainability. With more than 10,000 students, Farmingdale has Long Island’s second-largest undergraduate enrollment among four-year institutions and offers rigorous academic programs in business, engineering technology, health sciences and liberal arts and sciences. Farmingdale also offers a master’s degree in Technology Management. Learn more here.



Feel the Bern: Virtual ceremony, real emotion for Interim President Michael Bernstein and 7,100 Stony Brook University graduates.

’Wolves see, ’Wolves do: Stony Brook University has joined the virtual ranks, wrapping things up for the Class of 2020 with an online commencement – albeit, larger than most.

The tale of the tape from SBU’s 2020 Virtual Degree Conferral Celebration: 7,100 graduates from 40 states and 67 countries, ages 18 to 71, earning a combined 7,109 degrees and certificates, including 1,925 master’s degrees, 375 doctorates and 125 medical degrees. The Class of 2020 swells the global ranks of circulating Seawolves past 200,000, and does it on the heels of a three-month crash course in remote learning at the height of a global pandemic – no mean feat, according to Interim Stony Brook University President Michael Bernstein, even for “one of the most prestigious public universities in the world.”

In prerecorded comments shared during the May 22 livestreamed ceremony, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reminded graduates that “it’s natural to fear the unknown,” but encouraged them to accept their roles as leaders, in a society that needs them. “We’ll need your help to rebuild our country to be stronger than it was before,” Schumer said. “You are our future leaders and we have faith in you.”

Frozen assets: The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic – and a future clouded by possible second waves and other uncertainties – have convinced two Long Island private colleges to hold the line on 2020-21 tuition rates.

Both Rockville Centre-based Molloy College and Patchogue-based St. Joseph’s College, which also boasts a Brooklyn campus, will forego tuition hikes for the coming academic year. President Donald Boomgaarden announced the St. Joseph’s tuition freeze May 19, noting it was no easy decision. “We recognize that this step is a serious one, as costs incurred by the institution to prepare and support the current modes of remote learning will be quite high,” Boomgaarden said. “Even so … our Board of Trustees agreed that we must consider the gravity of the crisis for our entire region.”

Molloy College, which has also refunded approximately $1 million in meal-plan payments and other student fees paid in advance of the disrupted Spring 2020 semester, announced its freeze May 22. “Students and their families have been severely impacted by the virus, including financially,” said Molloy Board of Trustees Chairman John McEntee. “The board … is taking this unprecedented step to help make a Molloy education as affordable as possible.”



Home advantage: Tourists flock here for a reason, notes Destination Long Island, which promotes staycations in its pandemic-friendly summer 2020 strategy.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: Phase 1 beckons Long Island, Huntington Hospital feels the love and the LIRR cleans up nice – all this and more in the Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer, now featuring contactless delivery.

Gotta see this: Help your creative problem-solvers keep their eyes on the prize – Innovate LI newsletter subscriptions are just a click away, and always free.



Rags-to-riches-to-Rag & Bone: Why a bit of authentic brand-building struck a nerve with marketing maestro David Chauvin – and why it’s so critically important to you and your business.



Stage hand: The vital differences between innovation and innovation theater, as per Forbes.

Good timing: How an economic rebound could propel Trump in November, as per The Intelligencer.

Best shot: Why U.S. pharmacies are gearing up for a run on flu vaccinations, as per Reuters.



+ Day One Biopharma, a California-based startup focused on pediatric cancer, raised $60 million in Series A funding. Backers included Canaan Partners, Atlas Venture and Access Biotechnology.

+ PathSpot, a New York City-based creator of a real-time, high-tech, hand-hygiene management system, closed a $6.5 million Series A funding round led by Valor Siren Ventures I, with participation from FIKA Ventures and Walden Venture Capital.

+ PresenceLearning, a NYC-based provider of online special education services for K-12 schools, raised $27 million in Series D funding led by Bain Capital Double Impact, with participation from existing investors Catalyst Investors, New Markets Venture Partners and Catamount Ventures.

+ Encamp, an Indiana-based environmental, health and safety software provider, raised $3.1 million in Series A funding led by Allos Ventures and High Alpha Capital, with participation from IU Ventures.

+ Liongard, a Texas-based software company providing a unified automation platform to managed-service providers, raised $17 million in Series B funding led by Updata Partners, with participation from TDF Ventures, Integr8d Capital and private investors.

+ CalciMedica, a California-based clinical-stage biotech targeting calcium channels for the treatment of acute inflammatory diseases, raised $15 million in Series C financing led by Valence Life Sciences, with participation from Bering Capital, Mesa Verde Venture Partners and Sanderling Ventures.


But it should be: Not on the list.

BELOW THE FOLD (How to Spend Your Summer Vacation Edition)

Eat: Eight high-tech gadgets to accelerate your grill game.

Play: Thirty-five outdoor games to get your kids off the couch.

Read: Forty-five new page-turners, from thrilling fiction to chilling nonfiction.

Learn: Please continue supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI, including Farmingdale State College, where the Health & Wellness Center keeps the college community updated on its General Coronavirus Information page.