No. 525: On Wilt the Stilt, Lincoln and ‘Looney Tunes’ – and a dose of reality for Walt Whitman

Amazing heights: Among the NBA's 50 all-time greatest (and leading most of them in points and rebounds, not to mention off-court scoring), Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain would have been 84 years old today. (A lifelong heart condition, sadly, benched him in 1999.)


Good Friday: You’ve done it again, dear readers … another long workweek bested, another summery weekend earned. Well done.

Since we can’t do it properly – bellying up in your favorite dive and getting lost in some smokin’ house band – ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Cowboy Junkies!

The big 5-0: Hawaii states its case in 1959.

An even 50: Before we jump in, aloha to our many readers in Hawaii, where Statehood Day – marking the 1959 admission of the 50th U.S. state – is underway.

Oldies, but goodies: That makes it Aug. 21 out there, also notable for the 54 million U.S. residents ages 65 and older, honored this and every National Senior Citizens Day (and every other day, for that matter, or at least they should be).

Poetic injustice: Roses are red, violets are blue, it’s also National Poet’s Day, and it doesn’t have to rhyme.

How it should be done: The first of the seven monumental Lincoln-Douglas Debates, recollected among the most impassioned, intelligent and important discourse in American history, was held on Aug. 21, 1858.

Centered on an Illinois senatorial race, the debates became an intense study of the country’s future, with slavery and other national issues in play.

And then there’s…: Speaking of points and counterpoints, the American Bar Association was founded on this date in 1878 in upstate Sarasota Springs.

Number base: Missouri bank clerk William Burroughs secured four U.S. patents for his “Calculating Machine” on Aug. 21, 1888, kickstarting modern computing.

Stepping out: Slinky and Slinky Jr., with spring in their steps.

What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs? In other patent news, Pennsylvania inventor Richard James filed an application to protect his new plaything – a “helical spring toy which will transfer its turns from one end to the other in an entertaining manner when it is bent into general semi-circular form” – on this date in 1946.

In 1947, he patented the Slinky.

Blink and you missed it: And it was three years ago today (already?!?) when the Great American Eclipse – the first solar eclipse to span the entire North American continent since 1918 – rolled from coast to coast.

The next U.S. solar eclipses will occur in 2023 (partial) and 2024 (total), according to the American Astronomical Society.

Jazz hands: Count Basie, orchestrating.

Count on him: American jazz pianist, composer and bandleader William James “Count” Basie (1904-1984) – who lent his name to an orchestra and a theater, is synonymous with jazz’s “Golden Age” and is buried right here on Long Island – would have been 116 years old today.

Also born on Aug. 21 were celebrated American animator Friz Freleng (1905-1995), of “Looney Tunes” fame; German anatomist Karl Gegenbaur (1826-1903), big into comparative anatomy; towering basketball legend Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain (1936-1999); and Russian-born American computer scientist Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin (born 1973), co-founder of Google.

His gain, their Voss: And take a bow, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss – the Southampton-born cryptocurrency investors, Harvard graduates and arch-enemies of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg turn 39 today.

Wish the Winklevii, the search-engine sire and all the other Aug. 21 innovators well at News tips, calendar items and early-stage, billion-dollar Internet innovations always appreciated.


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Test patterns: From the Winter is Coming File comes flu season, sure to be tricky during the Age of Coronavirus and already in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sights.

The governor this week ordered the New York State Department of Health to check in with county health departments and ensure that local health officials have a ready plan to simultaneously, safely and efficiently perform both influenza and COVID-19 tests. The concurrent testing could boil over fast if the annual flu season meets up with a “second wave” of the novel coronavirus, according to Cuomo’s office, creating a logistical nightmare that might muck up detection and treatment of both viruses.

Top of the list, according to the letter circulated Wednesday by NYS Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, is ensuring that “limited testing, lab and treatment resources are being utilized most effectively.” Local health departments have also been asked to update Albany on their plans to promote the availability of both flu and COVID-19 tests, as well as localized strategies to increase flu-vaccination rates.

John Christopher Muran: Pressure-packed.

Things fall apart: The associate dean of Adelphi University’s Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology has put pen to paper (once again) to explore the tumultuous nature of therapy – in particular, the emotional journey of the therapist.

Therapist Performance Under Pressure: Negotiating Emotion, Difference, and Rupture” is the ninth book by John Christopher Muran, a fellow of the American Psychological Association and past president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (as well as past editor of its journal, Psychotherapy Research). Co-authored by Catherine Eubanks, a Yeshiva University associate professor of clinical psychology, “Therapist Performance Under Pressure” – a March publication of the APA – draws heavily on performance-based research to help therapists negotiate psychotherapy’s often-difficult emotional challenges.

The 200-page volume focuses particularly on therapists treating patients who evoke challenging emotions, often leading to ruptures – any disturbance in their cordial equilibrium, up to and including overt disagreements. “This book … represents a culmination of many years of collaborative research,” Muran noted. “Our hope by these publications was to help therapists improve their effectiveness by providing them clinically useful principles and strategies.”



OnWords, and upwards: Two Adelphi University computer-science grads have added augmented-reality awesomeness to a third alumna’s ambitious poetry app.

Check please: Here’s a reality check for you – our free, thrice-weekly innovation newsletters are always augmented and always awesome. Sign up your whole crew.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: Evictions restricted, foreclosures forestalled and providers protected – another busy week for LI’s one-and-only pandemic primer.



Coronavirus hits the gym; miracle man heads home.



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

From Florida: Fort Lauderdale-based cannabidiol alchemist Canna Hemp laces flavored lip balms with “lab-certified pure CBD.”

From Canada, eh: Toronto-based body-care brand Way of Will brings essential oil-based washes, lotions and deodorants to Whole Foods Market.

From Florida: Wellington-based all-natural sweets innovator Essential Candy introduces “candy with a purpose,” featuring soothing and wellness blends.



Kevin Jordan

+ Kevin Jordan has been promoted to vice president of student affairs at Farmingdale State College. He was previously interim vice president of student affairs and chief diversity officer.

+ Pat Guidice has been elected business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1049. He previously served as assistant business manager.

+ Jason Sattler has been named to the Board of Trustees of the Ronkonkoma-based Association for Mental Health and Wellness. He serves as a managing director for the Babylon and West Islip branches of Sterling National Bank.

+ Bethpage Federal Credit Union has promoted four members of its Board of Directors: Freeport Deputy Mayor Jorge Martinez will serve as chairman; Vincent Scicchitano, who’s held senior management positions at Vytra/HIP/Emblem Health Plans and Grumman Data Systems, will serve as vice chairman; YMCA of Long Island President and CEO Anne Brigis will serve as secretary; and Northwell Health Vice President and Chief Rewards Officer Gregg Nevola will serve as treasurer.

+ Michelle Mahabirsingh has been hired as counsel at Melville-based Lamb & Barnosky. She previously served as the executive director at the Franklin Park-based Moving Minds Forward Foundation.

+ Fred Hoffman has been hired as chief information officer at Holbrook-based Future Tech Enterprises. He previously served as virtual chief technology officer at East Islip-based Network Outsource.

+ Sylvia Cabana has been named to the Board of Trustees of the Mineola-based Family & Children’s Association. She is principal of the Law Office of Sylvia A. Cabana in West Hempstead.



Rebound effect: Forbes predicts a stock market surge.

High times: As pandemic fears subside, the markets can only climb.

High value: Can Google certifications really replace a diploma?

High achieving: Reimagining the second half of your career.

Higher learning: Please continue supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI, including Hofstra University, where the Center for Entrepreneurship helps regional business development reach a higher plane.