No. 519: Baseball returns, Cape Canaveral launches and aquafarmers take a closer look – plus, a real Moon bounce

Earhart beat: Famed American aviator Amelia Earhart was born 123 years ago today. When she died is a bit less clear.


Here’s the pitch: It’s Friday, dear readers, and you’ve completed yet another sultry summertime workweek – with a special bonus to boot.

For the first time this entire pandemic, you can spend your weekend watching balls and strikes and dingers and diving stops, as greedy, aggravating and eternally glorious Major League Baseball makes its long-awaited return. Of course, the Mets’ rotation is already a shambles, so it appears the universe remains in working order.

Best shot: Bottoms up, tequila lovers.

Package deal: Today is July 24, which appears custom-built for catching up with family in a waning regional pandemic – it’s National Cousins Day, National Drive-Thru Day and National Tequila Day, all at once.

Finders keepers, eh: Speaking of just passing through, French explorer Jacques Cartier claimed Canada for France (dubious at best) on this date in 1534 (local Iroquois from Stadacona were not amused).

Little did they know: The first-ever newspaper opinion poll, predicting a win for Andrew Jackson in that November’s presidential election, was published on July 24, 1824, by the Harrisburg Pennsylvanian.

In other innovative newspaper news, New York inventor and manufacturer Richard Hoe earned a U.S. patent for his “Improvement in Rotary Printing Presses” – a new spin on mass printing – on this date in 1847.

Instant classic: Happy anniversary, Nescafe.

Make it quick: Nescafe first mushed “Nestles” and “café” on July 24, 1938, debuting exclusively in Switzerland.

These are the voyages: Cape Canaveral officially became America’s first spaceport on this date in 1950 with its first-ever rocket launch.

Future firsts at the famed Florida site include the launch of the first U.S. satellite, the first American astronaut and the first Earth ship to fly past another planet.

Can you speak up? And it was July 24, 1954, when a human voice traveled beyond our ionosphere and, for the first time, returned to Earth – part of the Communication Moon Relay project, a Naval Research Laboratory experiment that bounced a Maryland-based radio signal off the Moon.

One for all: Prolific and popular French author Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) – who defined swashbuckling with “The Three Musketeers,” “The Count of Monte Cristo” and other Romantic period classics – would be 218 years old today.

Lo’s Mets: Wannabe MLB owner Jennifer Lopez.

Also born on July 24 were French mathematician Émile Picard (1856-1941), who significantly advanced analysis, algebraic geometry and mechanics; no-further-introduction American aviator Amelia Earhart (1897-????, though best guesses say 1939, around two years after she vanished over the Pacific); legendary feminist “Battling” Bella Abzug (1920-1998), who took her firebrand Civil Rights advocacy to the U.S. Congress; and Golden Globe winner Ruth Buzzi (born 1936).

Lo down: And take a bow, Jennifer Lynn Lopez – the American actress, singer, dancer, fashion designer, producer and power couple partner (now with retired MLB lightning rod Alex Rodriguez) turns 51 today.

Wish the possible future co-owner of the New York Mets well at – story tips, calendar items and rival bids for current Mets ownership also welcome.


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Sea hunt: A new digital mapping tool will provide unprecedented information on environmental, navigation and even regulatory conditions – critical data for the siting of new shellfish and seaweed farms, which are key to the ecological and economic health of Long Island waterways.

The Shellfish and Seaweed Aquaculture Viewer – a collaboration of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Long Island Regional Planning Council and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission – is part of the Nutrient Bioextraction Initiative, which targets recurring problems like oxygen depletion and algae blooms in U.S. estuaries, including the Long Island Sound.

The interactive online map spans New York and Connecticut’s coastal bays, where aquaculture (known sometimes as aquafarming) goes way back – and could have a bright future, with the right foresight, according to LIRPC Chairman John Cameron. “Aquaculture is great for Long Island’s environment, food supply and economy,” Cameron noted. “The planned cultivation and harvest of shellfish and seaweed will help improve our water quality, add an abundant and healthy food source, and generate economic opportunity.”

Worth a fortune: Betty Diamond, federal-grant magnet.

Recurring lupus: Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but Betty Diamond – lupus virtuoso and head of the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research’s Institute of Molecular Medicine – has landed an enormous federal grant to continue her lauded research into the nefarious autoimmune disease.

Her latest five-year, $15 million National Institutes of Health grant will help Diamond and her research teams study brain dysfunction tied to lupus, which turns about 1.5 million Americans’ immune systems on themselves. Up to 90 percent of lupus patients suffer cognitive impairment, and Diamond – praised internationally as a lupus leader and no stranger to NIH check-writers – aims this time to improve the lives of neuropsychiatric lupus patients, and maybe even prevent hereditary transmission.

Two decades of neuropsychiatric lupus research suggest that antibodies create a “chronic inflammatory state” in the brain of adults, according to Diamond, and cause permanent cognitive impairment in children exposed to the antibodies during pregnancy. “With the NIH’s support, we will study if common medications could protect against these negative effects of lupus,” the scientist said.



Let’s get flexible: In unprecedented, unpredictable 2020, only the nimble will survive – solid advice from the Nassau IDA, courtesy of CEO Harry Coghlan.

Brain matters: Emerging biotechnologies offer new hope in the difficult fight against brain cancer, according to a dozen Northwell Health experts.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: A dire warning for cancer patients – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg that is Long Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer, now 125 timely, informative and enlightening reports and still going strong.



Long Island battles COVID-19 with better physical barriers and smarter vaccine candidates.



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

From Arizona: Chandler-based gamemaster Mythion Games releases mobile interactive-fiction adventure for Android and iOS.

From California: The Los Angeles-based University Foot and Ankle Institute and friends carve out a minimally invasive and painless bunion surgery.

From Maryland: Gaithersburg-based med-device maker Shreis Scalene Therapeutics presents Scalene Hypercharge Corona Canon, bane of viral air and ground forces.



Pina Campagna

+ Pina Campagna has been appointed to Hofstra University’s Center for Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. She is a partner at Melville-based Carter, DeLuca & Farrell.

+ Robert Chaloner, executive director of Southampton-based Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, has been appointed chairman of the Hauppauge-based Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council’s Board of Directors.

+ Wendy Frost has been hired as a nurse practitioner at Woodbury-based NYU Langone Health. She previously served as a nurse practitioner in obstetrics and gynecology at Woodbury-based Women’s Health and Wellness.

+ Leah Lieber has been hired as a gastroenterologist at Lake Success-based NYU Langone Ambulatory Care. She previously held the same position at Woodbury-based Advantage Care Physicians.

+ Chaim Ross has been hired as a gastroenterologist at Great Neck-based NYU Langone at Great Neck Medical. He previously held the same position at Uniondale-based Gastroenterology Associates.

+ Karol Danowski has been hired as a staff engineer at Melville-based H2M architects + engineers. He previously served interned at the firm.



Speed reading: Well, ok … this could be a problem.

Get smart: How COVID-19 supercharged smart cities.

Get smarter: Best free online classes for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Get smarter faster: Oh, good – unsupervised robots can now learn at lightspeed.

Smart as it gets: Please continue supporting the genius firms that support Innovate LI, including Webair, where managed clouds and unmatched business resiliency barely scratch the surface of their IT expertise.