Hot stuff: Hello again, dear readers, and welcome to your favorite regularly scheduled review of the Long Island innovation economy, back on the beat on this eighth day of July.
It’s Wednesday, it’s summer and it’s pretty muggy out there – but keep those masks on, please and thank you, as we work together to keep COVID-19 at bay.
Press start: Some say they’re the scourge of childhood, locking entire generations indoors and establishing lifelong patterns that encourage obesity and waste potential. Others think they’re cool.
Either way, July 8 is National Video Game Day – or is it?
Here’s the scoop: Video Game Day may have a complicated backstory, but here’s one we can all eat up – July 8 is also, indisputably, National Ice Cream Sundae Day.
Vasco-a-go-go: Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama set out on this date in 1497 on the voyage that would make him the first European to sail directly to India.
In other news from the Travel Desk, Philadelphian Francis Maria Barrere was issued the very first U.S. passport on July 8, 1796.
The daily diary of the American dream: Still lugging around that cumbersome tagline, The Wall Street Journal was founded on this date in 1899 by Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser.
Built to last: One of history’s most popular toys, the Erector Set, was patented on July 8, 1913, by inventor Alfred Gilbert.
In less-constructive, more-destructive patent news, Massachusetts inventor Charles Barnes patented the first crank-operated machine gun on this date in 1856.
Roswell on the record: And it was July 8, 1947, when the Roswell Daily Record reported that officers from the Roswell Army Air Field had recovered a crashed flying saucer, kicking off the modern UFO craze.
Setting the Standard: American industrialist and Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) – whose ruthless “robber baron” notoriety encouraged America’s strict anti-monopoly laws, and whose late-in-life devotion to philanthropic causes improved thousands of lives – would be 181 years old today.
Also born on this date were wounded Confederate soldier and accomplished American pharmacist John Styth Pemberton (1831-1888), who invented Coca-Cola; German engineer and industrialist Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838-1917), who pioneered the first blimps; American allergist Theron Randolph (1906-1995), who founded environmental medicine; former New York Governor and U.S. Vice President Nelson Rockefeller (1908-1979), grandson of the aforementioned John D.; and Canadian singer-songwriter Raffi Cavoukian (born 1948).
Six degrees: And take a bow, Kevin Norwood Bacon – the award-winning American actor, musician and namesake of “Bacon’s Law,” through which he (ostensibly) can be traced to any other actor in six connections or fewer, turns 62 today.
Wish the footloose film star, the granddaddy of American industry and all the other July 8 innovators well at email@example.com, where story tips, calendar items and Bacon’s Law challenges are always accepted.
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BUT FIRST, THIS
Micro classes, big picture: Adelphi University continues to evolve its curricula and course structures, with a smart new bachelor’s degree program and a series of public “micro classes” added to its summer schedule.
The new bachelor’s degree in health sciences will prepare students for careers in the thriving healthcare industries, with four concentrations designed to encourage specific career paths: biomedical, health promotion, healthcare administration and social/behavioral sciences. The degree program kicks off with the Fall 2020 semester and is intended to create “multidimensional thinkers who are well-prepared to follow any health-related career path,” according to Adelphi Department of Biology Chairwoman Andrea Ward.
The 30-minute “micro-classes,” which are open to the general public, are online “lunchtime” sessions – each taught by Adelphi faculty – that help participants “explore their intellectual curiosity,” according to the Garden City university. Upcoming sessions focus on the federal government’s pandemic response, the biological forces that cause aging, the differences between globalization and globalism and other key topics; the classes are free but pre-registration is required.
Macro contributions, big honor: A Setauket resident and Stony Brook University professor emeritus has earned a prestigious nod from the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases.
Pierce Gardner, a longtime contributor to the Renaissance School of Medicine and SBU’s medical community, is the recipient of the 2020 Dr. Charles Mérieux Award for Achievement in Vaccinology and Immunology. The award, a rare public-health honor, is bestowed by the NFID to acknowledge lifetime contributions and achievements in the fight against vaccine-preventable diseases.
Previous Mérieux Award recipients include American epidemiologist Donald Henderson, who helped eradicate smallpox, and American influenza vaccine pioneer Arnold Monto. Gardner – who has consulted often for the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and other national and global health groups – has focused his career on global health policy and training new generations of public-health providers in low-resource countries.
TOP OF THE SITE
Red glare: As Phase Four spreads, Gov. Cuomo is pleased with New York’s COVID-19 response – though not so much with President Trump’s.
Temp position: Tough-guy manufacturer Janam Technologies keeps its social distance with new “temperature-sensing kiosks.”
Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: Long Island legislator supports shopkeepers, Stony Brook brains mine COVID’s future and New York’s “travel advisory” swells – all that and more in LI’s one-and-only pandemic primer.
Bold stand: We’re still revved up over media maestro David Chauvin’s no-holds-barred takedown of the American communications industry – including marketers like himself – for its complicity in America’s cultural difficulties. Missed it? Catch up with all of our rich Voices content right now.
STUFF WE’RE READING
A reopen and shut case: Our minds are simply not built to handle the psychological strains of the national pandemic. The Atlantic explains.
Off the rails: From “vanity metrics” to trying too hard to impress the brass, how innovation gets derailed (and how to avoid that). Forbes stays on track.
The shell you say: A new generation of sustainable electrodes – key to improving battery technologies – made of used shrimp shells? PV Magazine dives in.
+ Area 1 Security, a California-based preemptive email security company, closed $25 million in growth funding led by ForgePoint Capital, along with current investors Kleiner Perkins, Icon Ventures and Top Tier Capital.
+ Work Shield, a Texas-based, full-service independent solution for reporting, investigating and resolving workplace harassment and discrimination, raised $4.11 million in Series A financing led by Hoak & Co., in partnership with Jeff Estes and other investors.
+ Poseida Therapeutics, a California-based biopharma focused on cell and gene therapeutics, closed a $110 million Series D financing round led by funds advised by Fidelity Management Research Co., with participation from Adage Capital Management and Schonfeld Strategic Advisors.
+ Simcha Therapeutics, a Connecticut-based biotech developing biologic drugs that modulate cytokine pathways, launched with a $25 million Series A financing round. Investors included WuXi AppTec’s Corporate Venture Fund, Sequoia Capital China and Connecticut Innovations.
+ Trivie, a Texas-based adaptive-learning platform designed to help companies engage their workforce, closed a $5 million Series A funding round led by Cottonwood Venture Partners.
+ SevenRooms, a New York City-based, data-driven guest-experience platform for the hospitality industry, raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Providence Strategic Growth.
BELOW THE FOLD
Things happened: Precisely how Washington botched its coronavirus response.
Now or never: Last-minute advice as Tax Day 2020 finally arrives.
Things to come: New NASA missions, a historic cicada swarm for LI and other exciting developments expected in 2021.
Any time: Please continue supporting the amazing firms that support Innovate LI, including Sahn Ward Coschignano, where the Environment, Energy and Resources practice group is always balancing the needs of industry and the demands of the environment.