No. 527: On angry winds, sustained science and better mental health – we’ll sip to that!

Hero worship: Without innovator Jack Kirby (born 103 years ago today), we wouldn't have Thor, Captain America, Iron Man or many of today's other popular superheroes.


Days, and confused: This much we know, dear readers – it’s Friday, Aug. 28, and you’ve completed another summer workweek in the cruel parallel universe that is COVID-19.

Just one more week to go before a fashionably late Labor Day Weekend, then the opening of schools, or the delayed opening, or partial opening or non-opening or whatever. Not even sure they know yet. Stay tuned.

Nobody wore it better: And incidentally, happy belated to Sir Thomas Sean Connery, who turned 90 on Aug. 25.

Knot interested: You don’t even wear a necktie anymore, work-from-homer, so you’re definitely not wearing a bow tie, not even on National Bow Tie Day.

Code red: Instead of tying yourself down, loosen up – Aug. 28 is also National Red Wine Day.

It could be Worcester: Massachusetts pharmacists John Lea and William Perrins first manufactured their famous Worcestershire Sauce on this date in 1837.

Speaking of useful brown things, American Messenger Service – you know it today as the United Parcel Service – started delivering on Aug. 28, 1907.

Age of reason: Scientific American, the now-monthly popular-science digest and the nation’s oldest continuously published magazine, cranked out Issue No. 1 on this date in 1845.

Floating an idea: At 7,710 feet, Evergreen Point reigns among floating bridges.

Hope floats: The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge – still the world’s longest floating pontoon bridge, connecting Seattle and Bellevue across Lake Washington – opened on Aug. 28, 1963.

Also had hopes, and dreams: The bridge’s grand debut may have been slightly overshadowed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s momentous “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered to 200,000 listeners in Washington on that very same day.

’roid rage: And it was Aug. 28, 1993, when the space probe Galileo took the first-ever picture of an asteroid with its own moon – asteroid 243 Ida, to be precise, and its tiny associate Dactyl.

The first first Avenger: Comic book icon Jacob “Jack Kirby” Kurtzberg (1917-1994) – Stan Lee’s most famous collaborator, credited with creating or co-creating Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, among others – would be 103 years old today.

Illustrious illustrator: Artist and writer Tasha Tudor was born 105 years ago today.

Also born on Aug. 28 were British aviator and automobile manufacturer Charles Rolls (1877-1910), who made history with Sir Henry Royce and was the first British pilot to die in a plane crash; beloved American children’s book illustrator Tasha Tudor (1915-2008); English electrical engineer Sir Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield (1919-2004), a Nobel Prize laureate credited as the co-creator of CAT scans; and Facebook COO, former Google VP, author, billionaire and philanthropist Sheryl Sandberg (born 1969).

Tenacious: And take a bow, Thomas Jacob “Jack” Black – the Grammy Award-winning American actor, comedian, singer, songwriter, producer and YouTube personality turns 51 today.

Wish “Shallow Hal,” the Marvel-ous Mr. Kurtzberg and all the other Aug. 28 innovators well at Story tips, calendar events and superhero origin stories always welcome, true believers!


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Kelly Smith: Balanced environment.

Heavy weather: Adelphi University’s School of Social Work has launched a new postgraduate certificate program billed as a national first, designed to help social workers deal with issues stemming from climate change.

Environmental Justice for Social Workers – taught by Institute for Social Work and Environmental Justice founder Kelly Smith, who created the certificate program with Adelphi University Director of Continuing Education and Professional Development Renee Rawcliffe – addresses the effects of climate change on vulnerable populations. It is slated to be offered on Thursday evenings beginning in late September by the School of Social Work, an approved provider of continuing-education credits to social workers, psychologists, mental health counselors and other professional therapists.

With a “practical and actionable curriculum,” the certificate program is designed to fill in gaps for social workers whose education likely skimmed over environmental issues.  “While climate change and environmental justice impact all areas of social work practice … only 8 percent of social workers felt their courses adequately covered these issues,” Smith noted. “Increasing continuing education in this area can spark innovative thinking among social workers as they consider the intersections between practice and policy initiatives.”

Take a load off: Mental health is also heavy on their minds over at Stony Brook Medicine, where the pandemic may be downshifted – for now – but providers in numerous departments are still battling the nefarious COVID-19, and still dealing with emotional fallout from the virus’ horrific Long Island spike this spring.

The constant effort and difficult memories have taken an obvious mental toll on doctors, nurses and other staffers. Enter “Resilience at the Brook,” a longtime respite room inside Stony Brook University Hospital notched up (or down, depending on your perspective) with peaceful plants, calming wall art, private meditation pods and various other soothing materials, including “enhanced relaxation audio and video experiences.”

The permanent retreat, formerly known as the “12N Employee Respite Area,” also hosts socially distanced group meditation sessions and is part of a slate of mental-health support initiatives the Stony Brook system has introduced this very difficult year. To date, Resilience at the Brook has accommodated more than 19,600 visits, according to Stony Brook Medicine.



Wind, and fire: A chunk of New York’s congressional delegation is demanding Washington stop delaying offshore-wind development.

What a feeling: The National Science Foundation is funding a New York Tech professor who’s teaching computers to understand emotions.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: SWAT in action and campuses in trouble – it’s Long Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer, 150 stories deep and still going strong!



Reopening schools have a new post-pandemic ally; SUNY has a new government-savvy chancellor.



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

From Florida: West Palm Beach-based members-only travel program COVAC Global promises to get you home, no matter where you go (or how sick you get).

From California: Santa Cruz-based weather-tech trendsetter WeatherFlow personalizes your forecast with the home-based Tempest Weather System.

From Wyoming: Cheyenne-based collaboration champion Assembl launches the Torch of Knowledge podcast to cross-pollinate global research efforts.



Donnamarie Chaimannis

+ Donnamarie Chaimannis has been promoted to president of Greenvale-based Laffey Real Estate. She previously served as regional manager.

+ Jeremy Mutschler has been hired as director of marketing at Lindenhurst-based Nicolock Paving Stones. He previously held the same position at New York Cancer and Blood Specialists in Port Jefferson Station.

+ Keith Elgort has been hired as vice president and general manager at Farmingdale-based Emerald Document Imaging. He previously served as senior vice president of operations at Commack-based Carr Business Systems.

+ Melville-based H2M architects + engineers has announced several new hires: Bernadette Barresi is an accounts receivable specialist; she previously served as collections manager at Manhattan-based MG Engineering. Nicholas DiGiulio and Joseph Di Piero are staff engineers; both previously served as interns. Daria Zeman is a staff designer; she previously served as an intern at Bohemia-based P.W. Grosser Consulting.

+ Jordan Kimmel has been hired as chief equity strategist and portfolio manager for separately managed equity accounts at Hauppauge-based Lebenthal Diversified Asset Management. He previously served as a portfolio manager at New Jersey-based Gitterman Wealth Management.

+ James Jewett Jr. has been promoted to first vice president and chief investment officer at Ridgewood-based Ridgewood Savings Bank.


BELOW THE FOLD (Mind Over Matter Edition)

Open book: Write it down. It helps.

Write prescription: How keeping a journal promotes good health.

Breaking good: How to overcome bad habits developed during the pandemic.

Brain food: COVID-19 changed our minds, so producers will change our food.

Ever mindful: Please continue supporting the genius firms that support Innovate LI, including Webair, where managed clouds and unmatched business resiliency are just part of the well-considered plan.