No. 523: Veteran ‘Ventures,’ pandemic page-turners and throwing shots with the real Doc Holliday

Bringing a knife to a gunfight: The legendary Kirk Douglas as the iconic Doc Holliday, who was born 169 years ago today.


Engines of innovation: Welcome to Friday, dear readers, as we race to the end of another sticky summer workweek and throttle down for another well-earned weekend.

Cream of the crop: If this is your thing, this is your day.

Low key: It’s Aug. 14 out there, and honestly, the pickings are very slim – the best we could do is the Day of Remembrance of the Defenders of the Fatherland in Abkhazia, which is, like, not even a real country.

It’s also National Financial Awareness Day, which also fails to inspire, and neither does National Creamsicle Day.

Land of the rising patents: It is, however, a foremost date for Japanese innovation – the first-ever Japanese patent was issued on Aug. 14, 1885, to inventor Zuisho Hotta, who locked up a rust-proof maritime paint.

United States patents issued on this date include one in 1917 for New Jersey inventor Edmond Idoux’s new and improved hatband.

Dot’s impressive: The first message transmitted by radio (using Morse code) was sent and received at Oxford University on Aug. 14, 1894, in a demonstration for the British Association.

Famed English physicist Sir Oliver Lodge transmitted the code roughly 150 yards, from Oxford’s old Clarendon Laboratory to the University Museum.

In-security: It’s in mortal danger now, but the future of Social Security seemed relatively robust when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on Aug. 14, 1935.

The old ball game: The Wiffle Ball turns 67 today.

It curves: Connecticut creator David Mullany Sr. invented the Wiffle Ball on this date in 1953. Today there are tournaments and everything.

Put a ring on it: And it was Aug. 14, 1994 when NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope beamed back what were, at the time, the best-ever images of the distant gas giant Uranus.

The unprecedented pics included detailed views of Uranus’ rings, as well as several inner moons and bright clouds above the seventh planet’s southern hemisphere.

Real bite: Old West icon Doc Holliday (1851-1887) – a good friend of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp, a dentist by trade and one of the famous gunslingers throwing lead in the fabled gunfight at the O.K. Corral – would be 169 years old today.

Far away: Welcome back (and happy birthday), Gary Larson.

Also born on Aug. 14 were Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian Ørsted (1777-1851), the “father of electromagnetism”; German-American zoologist Paul Bartsch (1871-1960), mollusk cop; Canadian-American physicist Arthur Dempster (1886-1950), who built the first mass spectrometer and discovered isotope uranium-235; American civil rights journalist and “First Lady of the Black Press” Ethel Payne (1911-1991); and long-retired “The Far Side” creator Gary Larson (born 1950), who recently surprised fans with three new cartoons.

Nerves of Steel: And take a bow, Danielle Fernandes Dominique Schuelein-Steel – the top-10 all-time bestselling author, known by the pen name Danielle Steel, turns 73 today.

Wish the sensational scribe, the clever cartoonist and all the other Aug. 14 innovators well at Story tips and calendar events always welcome, and if you don’t agree that Kirk Douglas was Hollywood’s best Doc Holliday, well, go ahead and explain yourself.


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Servicemen, with a smile: With a seamless pivot to a virtual format and a heaping helping of innovation, the 2020 Hofstra Veterans Venture Challenge has successfully concluded its annual competition, with handsome packages of business-development funds and in-kind business services bestowed upon three entrepreneurial soldiers.

The business-mentoring program – a partnership of Hofstra’s Center for Entrepreneurship, Hofstra University Entrepreneur-in-Residence Kevin Hesselbirg and the U.S. Veterans Chamber of Commerce – offers $100,000 in total prizes to U.S. armed services veterans-turned-industrialists from around the country. The 2020 program included a virtual course based upon the Business Model Canvas, an online business bootcamp, remote mentoring from experienced CEOs, access to Hofstra University interns and a grand-finale virtual pitch competition, held Aug. 6.

First prize went to CathWear, an all-in-one medical undergarment for catheter leg bag users created by Massachusetts inventor and U.S. Air Force veteran Brian Mohika. Finishing second was Explorer’s Guide Online, a series of digital maritime-licensing courses created by Wisconsin innovator and U.S. Coast Guard veteran Bobby Carsey. Third prize was captured by At Ease Rentals Corp., a Texas-based startup that arranges temporary lodging for transient military and federal-government personnel and their families, created by U.S. Marine Corps veteran Anthony Gantt Jr.

Cross purposes: Albany has completed nearly 300 pedestrian-safety measures across Long Island.

Talking the walk: Several pedestrian-safety projects have been completed across Long Island as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s five-year, $110 million New York State Pedestrian Safety Action Plan.

Cuomo announced the completion of the $6.1 million opening phase on Thursday. Among the Phase One work: upgrades at 225 uncontrolled crosswalks across Nassau and Suffolk, plus the installation of two dozen new crosswalks and new signage and traffic signals at locations throughout the two counties – including 60 audible pedestrian signals along Hempstead Turnpike in Nassau and signal upgrades at six locations along Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton.

The governor also put a bow on a separate, $3.3 million project that installed wheelchair-accessible ramps and other enhancements at 39 different Nassau and Suffolk locations. “These enhancements … are helping to create safer, more walkable communities across Long Island,” Cuomo said. “By making these significant investments, we are supporting the growth of eco-friendly transit, increasing safety and accessibility, and improving quality of life for Long Islanders.”



Different strokes: But it’s all based on computer science, as Stony Brook University professors snag hefty federal grants focused on cybersecurity and alcoholism (yep).

Speed writers: COVID-19 is still among us – but already there’s “Leading Through A Pandemic,” a new book detailing Northwell Health’s coronavirus response.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: Negative news on new positives, crowded bars emptied out and lots more to learn in Long Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer.



A warning about Big Tech overregulation, a shocking epilepsy breakthrough and another strong quarter for (pandemic-proof?) New York Community Bank.



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

From California: Los Angeles-based dining doyen Virtual Restaurant Consulting cooks up a new online resource for mom-and-pops struggling through the pandemic.

From Utah: Salt Lake City-based postmortem producer lives up to its name with posthumous video presentations.

From Nebraska: Omaha-based software startup Swishboom programs a new babysitting app for working parents in the Age of Coronavirus.



Marc Suntup

Marc Suntup has been hired as vice president of development at Hauppauge-based Island Harvest Food Bank. He previously served as chief development officer at Commack-based Gurwin Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

+ Philip Castrovinci has been hired as a family lawyer at Syosset-based Simonetti & Associates. He previously served as an associate at Hauppauge-based Petroske Riezenman & Meyers.

+ Alain Alisca has been hired as an associate in the real estate group at East Meadow-based Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman. He previously served as an intern at the Hempstead-based Law Offices of Frederick K. Brewington.

+ Andrew Godwin has been hired as a surgeon at Huntington-based Long Island Obesity Surgery. He completed his fellowship in minimally invasive/bariatric surgery at Lennox Hill Hospital in Manhattan.

+ Kevin McGeachy has been hired as senior vice president for administration at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson. He previously served as senior vice president of strategic alliances at New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health.

+ David Sank has been hired as vice president of operations and logistics at Hauppauge-based Island Harvest Food Bank. He previously served as chief operating officer and executive vice president of sales and marketing at Amityville-based Calico Cottage.

+ John Coraor has been hired as interim director of the Huntington-based Heckscher Museum of Art. He previously served as director of cultural affairs for the Town of Huntington.



Smart move: Why CRM specialist Salesforce is getting into education.

To the core: The skinny on Apple’s new subscription packages.

Heart and goal: The “emotional intelligence” of Google’s remote-work policy.

Creative approach: From branding strategies to web design to multifaceted marketing campaigns, nobody promotes client growth like Bowen, a hotbed of regional innovation and one of the amazing firms that support Innovate LI. Check them out.