No. 522: Storming back on Long Island, with elephants, Diamond Jim and some deep-brain neurostimulation

Bones to pick: Life's pretty easy for a T Rex named "Sue," the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus skeleton ever found, now on permanent display at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History.


Right where you left us: Here we are, dear readers – about a week past due, it’s long-awaited Newsletter No. 522, back on track after the surprising and frustrating disruption that was Tropical Storm Isaias.

It’s Wednesday, Aug. 12, on Long Island and around the world, and the children shall lead: Today marks the U.N.’s annual International Youth Day.

Stuck in the middle with you: No Jan left behind.

Jan Brady Syndrome: Some youth have it a little harder than others, and so we have National Middle Child Day, observed every Aug. 12.

It’s also World Elephant Day, so put that in your trunk and … oh, just be nice to elephants today.

A stitch in time: The first practical sewing machine was patented on Aug. 12, 1851, by New York City inventor Isaac Singer.

Also patented on this date, in 1930, was a “Method of Preparing Food Products” – actually, the exclusive frozen foods technique invented by New Yorker Clarence Birdseye.

T rex: The Ford Motor Co.’s iconic Model T was first manufactured in Detroit on Aug. 12, 1908.

In actual T rex news, fossil hunter Susan Hendrickson discovered the first three bones of “Sue,” the largest (and most complete) Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever unearthed, 30 years ago today in South Dakota.

This little piggy: The Enterprise, switching to manual control.

Short trek: After piggybacking aboard a specially designed 747 jumbo jet, the Space Shuttle Enterprise detached midflight and glided to a safe Mojave desert landing on Aug. 12, 1977.

No flop: But the first IBM personal computer, which hit shelves on this date in 1981, did have floppy drives, among other then-cutting-edge features.

CSI-Auckland: And it was Aug. 12, 1996, when New Zealand became the second country to establish a crime-fighting national DNA database, following the debut of the U.K.’s DNA database in 1995.

For the record, the Combined DNA Index System – a.k.a. CODIS, the U.S.’s national DNA database – wasn’t implemented until 1998.

Out of the bag: Actually, Erwin, the whole cat thing is a little dark.

Must love cats: Austrian theoretical physicist Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961) – who shared a Nobel Prize in physics for divining the wave-like nature of atomic particles, leading directly to the foundation of quantum mechanics – would be 133 years old today. (Cat thing explained here).

Also born on Aug. 12 were Gilded Era businessman, legendary hungryman and cherished philanthropist James Buchanan “Diamond Jim” Brady (1856-1917); American educator and internationally beloved author Edith Hamilton (1867-1963); American inventor and industrialist Vincent Hugo Bendix (1882-1945), an automotive and aviation trailblazer; “The Princess Bride” author William Goldman (1931-2018, and he wrote a lot more); and Hungarian-American billionaire investor George Soros (born 1930), a favorite target of the political right who has, incidentally, donated nearly $35 billion through his international grantmaking network.

Motherboard: And take a bow, Dorothy Elizabeth Denning – the oft-published Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School and world-renowned data-security pioneer turns 75 today.

Wish the mother of cybersecurity, the father of all conspiracy theories and the other Aug. 12 innovators well at – story tips, calendar events and your personal thoughts on the nature of wave-like atomic particles always appreciated.


About our sponsor: Bridgeworks is Long Island’s modern co-working 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 onsite 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.



Healthy growth: Two health systems with deep Long Island roots are in growth mode, highlighted by acquisitions and ambitious expansion plans.

Stony Brook Medicine announced Monday that internal-medicine specialists Ranjana Mehta and Devendra Singh and their longstanding practice – East Moriches Primary Care, which has serviced the East Moriches community for more than 40 years – have joined Stony Brook Community Medical, the health system’s expanding network of community-based practices. Mehta said signing on “allows the practice to grow and allows us to continue taking care of our patients and concentrate on the clinical aspect of medicine,” all critical components in “today’s complicated healthcare system.”

On Tuesday, the Mount Sinai Health System – specifically, Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital, in partnership with Mount Sinai Doctors, a physician network similarly focused on community-based medicine – announced plans to refurbish a 60,000-square-foot Wantagh building and open a state-of-the-art healthcare and advanced diagnostics facility for South Shore patients. The $35 million Wantagh investment represents “the future of healthcare,” according to Mount Sinai South Nassau President and CEO Richard Murphy, who trumpeted an array of multidisciplinary services “under one roof, so patients are not ping-ponged from one medical office to another.”

Not your grandkids’ cone: Your new favorite thing, now New York legal.

Frozen assets: Dairy farmers, liquor makers and other food-and-beverage barons across the state are raising a glass – and possibly a spoon – to Albany, where legislation authorizing the manufacture and sale of booze-infused frozen desserts has become law.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Binghamton) and State Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse) and signed Aug. 3 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, sets limits (alcohol in ice cream must be 5 percent or less by volume, for instance) and requires the same product labeling (including alcohol warning statements) found on confectionaries containing wine, beer or cider.

But even with the restrictions, permitting the manufacture and sale of spiked spumoni and saucy sundaes furthers New York’s already-established commitment to craft-beverage excellence, according to the governor. “The craft beverage industry has experienced explosive growth in New York, and with that comes a responsibility to advance regulations that help ensure long-term viability, protect consumers and provide farmers with opportunities to increase their business,” Cuomo said. “This legislation will further grow a burgeoning industry and boost small businesses.”



Big Tech saved my small business: And someday it might save yours – but only if federal regulators remember the little guys, warns this successful LI entrepreneur.

Deep dish: An epilepsy-eradicating neurostimulator by Irish med-tech master Medtronic is making (brain) waves at Northwell Health.

Money in the bank: New York Community Bancorp is handling the pandemic quite well, according to the Westbury-based bank’s latest quarterlies.



Hawaii is flagged, the stressed out are supported and schools are officially opened – until there’s a vaccine, there’s Long Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer.



Ones to watch: Fast Company runs down 2020’s Most Creative People in Business.

Google it: Forbes explains how the multinational giant is fostering innovation during the pandemic.

What could go wrong? Tech Xplore decodes a near future where computers program computers.



+ Eargo, a California-based Medical-device company focused on hearing loss, closed a $71 million equity financing round led by Gilde Healthcare and Longitude Capital, New Enterprise Associates, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation and Nan Fung Life Sciences.

+ RangeForce, a Virginia-based provider of on-demand, realistic cloud-based cybersecurity training, raised $16 million in Series A funding led by Energy Impact Partner, with participation from Paladin Capital Group, Trind and Cisco Investments.

+ Epic CleanTec, a California-based sustainability company promoting a novel approach to onsite wastewater treatment, secured $2.6 million in seed funding. Backers included VCs, real estate leaders and entrepreneurs including Elizabeth Cutler and Kathy Fields.

+ Sea Machines Robotics, a Massachusetts-based developer of autonomous systems for oceangoing vessels and workboats, closed a $15 million financing round led by Accomplice, Toyota AI Ventures, Brunswick Corp., Geekdom Fund, NextGen Venture Partners, Eniac VC, LaunchCapital and others.

+ MBX Biosciences, an Indiana-based drug-discovery company focused on rare endocrine diseases, closed a $34.6 million Series A financing round led by Frazier Healthcare Partners, with participation from OrbiMed, New Enterprise Associates, Indiana Philanthropic Venture Fund, Indiana Seed Fund III and Twilight Venture Partners II.

+ WhizAI, a New Jersey-based cognitive insights platform for the life sciences, raised $4 million in seed funding led by Healthy Ventures, with participation from Bling Capital, Firebolt Ventures and existing investors.


BELOW THE FOLD (Bill & Ted Edition)

Most triumphant: Reeves, in his moto-matrix.

Excellent adventure: Innovation roars at Keanu Reeves’ custom-motorcycle company.

Bogus journey: How the battle against “bogus butter” changed the world.

Face the music: How livestreaming might save the music industry.

Party on: And continue supporting the amazing firms that supports Innovate LI, including Bridgeworks, where there’s always time and space for innovation. Check them out – and be excellent to each other!