No. 517: The universe ages, Adelphi goes for the Goldman and the AC is invented (thank goodness)

Sorry, wrong continent: Thick clouds and a busted compass led aviator Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan from Brooklyn to Ireland 82 years ago today (he was trying to fly to California).


You made it! And we’re so glad you did, dear readers, as we reach the end of this summertime workweek and get ready for another well-earned weekend.

A thousand words: Or less, with emojis.

It’s July 17 out there, a date that reverberates across the human spectrum – both the World Day for International Justice, supporting the critical work of the International Criminal Court, and World Emoji Day, celebrating tiny digital cartoon things.

Just peachy: It’s also National Peach Ice Cream Day, which sounds a little forced, but we’ll go with it.

A river runs over it: Speaking of rolling with things, the Chicago City Council authorized construction of the Washington Street Traffic Tunnel – which would become the world’s first automotive tunnel under a river – on July 17, 1866.

Cold start: New York inventor Willis Carrier completed schematic drawings on this date in 1902 that would lead to the accidental invention of air conditioning.

True story: Carrier was trying to invent a machine that would keep printing press paper dry on humid days.

The wrong stuff: One of the great chapters in aviation history took flight on July 17, 1938, when Texas-based aviator Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan “accidentally” flew his homemade boneshaker from Brooklyn to Ireland (he was shooting for California).

Say it ain’t OH: The “missing link” cranium goes by many names — including “OH 5,” “Nutcracker Man” and Zinjanthropus.

News Leakey: British paleoanthropologist Mary Douglas Leakey discovered the roughly 2 million-year-old cranium of the “Nutcracker Man” – according to some, the missing link – in Tanzania on July 17, 1959.

A bridge too far: And it was this date in 1981 when the costly, controversial Humber Bridge – then the world’s longest single-span bridge, crossing England’s Humber estuary east of Leeds – was ceremoniously opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

The bridge – which languished for years in the planning phase, overran construction estimates by millions of pounds and has been swamped in debt ever since – is lamented as a classic “white elephant.”

Old money: America’s first multimillionaire – German-American tycoon John Jacob Astor (1763-1848), who monopolized the American fur trade and invested brilliantly in New York City real estate – would be 257 years old today.

Ritterreiter: Berlin was Hoff the wall on Jan. 31, 1989.

Also born on July 17 were Swiss geologist Amanz Gressly (1814-1865), remembered as the founder of paleogeography; mystery master Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970), who wrote under a dozen pseudonyms and invented “Perry Mason”; Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin (1920-2002), who revolutionized automotive safety with the three-point seatbelt; Canadian screen legend Donald Sutherland (born 1935); and inexplicably popular international megastar David Hasselhoff (born 1952), who headlined – headlined – the New Year’s Eve 1989 celebration at the Brandenburg Gate, atop the recently crumbled Berlin Wall.

Chancellors are: And take a bow, Angela Dorothea Merkel – Germany’s 15-year chancellor, who earned a doctorate in quantum chemistry and is the de facto head of the European Union, turns 66 today.

Wish the poised, professional and exceedingly intelligent world leader a happy birthday at, where calendar events and news tips (in English or German) are always appreciated (but especially in English, please and thank you).


About our sponsor: Northwell Health is New York’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 750 outpatient facilities and 70,000-plus employees. We’re making research breakthroughs at the Feinstein Institutes and training the next generation of medical professionals at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. Visit



Goldman standard: A New York City-based multinational investment bank has assumed control of the nine-digit  Adelphi University Endowment Fund.

The Adelphi University Board of Trustees has named Goldman Sachs as Adelphi’s Outsourced Chief Investment Officer, putting the bank in charge of a total endowment fund that weighed in around $188.6 million as of 2018, according to U.S. News and World Report. Goldman Sachs will work with the university’s Finance and Investment Committee to manage the main endowment fund and ancillary investments, effective this month – and not a moment too soon, according to James Perrino, the Garden City school’s executive vice president of finance and administration.

“Adelphi’s administration and the board recognized that the volatility in today’s financial markets required a more sophisticated and active approach to managing our endowment fund,” Perrino said in a statement. “We believe that adopting this new investment model will allow the university to react more timely to market conditions and provide us with a greater opportunity to maximize our investment returns.”

For your consideration: When deciding who will benefit from its tax-deferring economic incentives packages, the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency will now give “special consideration” to construction projects that include new affordable housing units.

On July 9, following a direct written request from Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, the IDA adopted a new policy meant to promote the creation of additional affordable housing options across the county. Curran asked the agency to “consider granting special consideration in the awarding of financial assistance” to developers who agree to build new affordable units “and/or lower the income eligibility thresholds for existing or contemplated affordable units” – and recognizing a clear economic win, the IDA was only happy to sign on, according to Chairman Richard Kessel.

“We are confident this new policy will incentivize developers to increase the number of below market-rate apartments, which will, in turn, provide more affordable housing options for our residents,” Kessel said Wednesday. “Being able to deliver lower-cost housing is a key benchmark in improving our overall economic viability.”



Age of reason: With key contributions from Stony Brook University, researchers have completed a universal ID check.

Off menu: As new COVID-19 threats loom, Albany is updating its selection of pandemic-flavored restaurant restrictions.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: The Suffolk EOC helps Brookhaven families, New York beefs up its “travel advisory” and an LI lawyer commits a real class act – keep up with Long Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer.



Albany is investing millions to keep Jones Beach a day-trip destination for all New Yorkers (even NYC residents).



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

From Florida: Orlando-based premium beverage subsidiary Once Upon a Coconut introduces a coconut water line with real heart.

From Massachusetts: Beverly-based software specialist Altova adds an upgraded debugger to its “low-code framework” app developer.

From Florida: Fort Meyers-based pharmaceutical product developer Trilogy Laboratories unveils a unique “hand mask” to moisturize over-washed hands.



Christina Brennan

+ Christina Brennan, vice president of clinical research at the Manhasset-based Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, has been appointed to the Maryland-based Society for Clinical Research Sites’ Leadership Council.

+ Robert Creighton has been elected chairman of the Huntington-based Family Service League Board of Directors. Creighton is managing partner of Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz.

+ Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman in Manhattan, and Emily Ladau, founder and owner of West Babylon-based Words I Wheel By, have been elected to the Garden City-based Adelphi University Board of Trustees.

+ Kerry Frommer Fierstein, CEO of Melville-based Allied Physicians Group, has been appointed CEO of Melville-based Adjuvant.Health. Fierstein will also continue in her roll at Allied Physicians Group.

+ Wayne Carrabus has been hired as an associate at Smithtown-based Futterman, Lanza and Pasculli. He previously served as deputy general counsel at Manhattan-based Stifel Financial Corp.

+ Hillary Needle has been appointed president of the Alumni Association at Hempstead-based Hofstra University. She is president of Dix Hills-based Hillary Needle Events Inc.



Crawl cam: A beetles documentary.

Little things: Six simple, positive modifications for your work-from-home lunch break.

Big changes: Why the next three decades will be the most transformative in human history.

Little perspective: Tiny wearable tech gives scientists a bug’s-eye view of the world.

Big picture: Please continue supporting the amazing organizations that support Innovate LI, including Northwell Health, New York’s busiest healthcare provider and home of the indispensable Coronavirus Digital Resource Center.