No. 528: Speak softly, celebrate cultural diversity, raise the Titanic — and enjoy a blueberry popsicle!

"Adult" content: Superpowered talk show host Space Ghost (with guest John Henson, then host of "Talk Soup") on the set of Adult Swim mainstay "Space Ghost Coast to Coast."


Wrapping it up: Here we are, dear readers – midpoint of this latest workweek and just about done with Summer 2020, at least unofficially.

With that, a scheduling note: Innovate Long Island will be sticking our toes in the sand this Labor Day weekend, so no newsletters Friday (Sept. 4) or Monday (Sept. 7). Look for a special-edition Calendar Newsletter to ease you back into the flow Sept. 8, followed by your regularly scheduled Wednesday newsletter on Sept. 9.

Happy holiday, party smartly, stay healthy.

Shell game: Everything they’re cracked up to be.

Go nuts: Before we get to the long weekend, we have to get through the week – starting with today, Sept. 2, arguably known best as World Coconut Day.

It’s also National Blueberry Popsicle Day, which is about as made-up as it gets, but aren’t they all?

Victory! (Again!): It’s also V-J Day, marking the Allies’ victory over Japan in World War II, a sort of two-part observation also noted on Aug. 14 (it’s this whole big thing among historians).

Another man’s treasury: No questioning the numbers on this one – the U.S. Treasury Department was founded by Congress on Sept. 2, 1789.

Stick with it: Outlining his foreign policy strategy, then-U.S. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt – who’d win the presidency two weeks later and make these famous words stick – first uttered the axiom “speak softly and carry a big stick” at the Minnesota State Fair on this date in 1901.

Telling you straight: Cronkite, as mainstream as media gets.

And that’s the way it is: With the esteemed Walter Cronkite in the anchor’s chair, the “CBS Evening News” expanded from 15 to 30 minutes on Sept. 2, 1963 – the first network news show to adopt a half-hour format.

Titanic discovery: Employing state-of-the-art deep-water sonar and video systems, French and American explorers discovered the wreck of the luxury liner Titanic 35 years ago today – the first humans to actually see the ship since its legendary 1912 sinking.

Kinky ink: And cartoons came of age on this date in 2001, when the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim – a nightly animation block geared toward mature audiences – went live, so to speak.

Immortal instructor: American schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe (1948-1986) – who made joyful history when she was selected to be the first private citizen in space, then tragic history as one of seven U.S. astronauts killed in the Challenger disaster – would have been 72 today.

Also born on Sept. 2 were engineer Lysander Button (1810-1898), an early innovator of fire engines; economist Henry George (1839-1897), a journalist and land reformer who championed a single-tax system; former ballplayer Albert Spalding (1850-1915), a mediocre athlete but exceptional sporting goods entrepreneur; firearms manufacturer Hiram Maxim (1869-1936), who invented the silencer; and high-rolling businessman William Harrah (1911-1978), who founded Harrah’s Hotel and Casinos (later Caesars Entertainment Corp).

Queen of grace: Marge Champion, the “dance model” behind all those twirling Disney princesses.

Drawing on experience: And take a bow, Marjorie Celeste Champion – the American dancer and actress, who was first hired by Walt Disney Studios in 1933 as a “dance model” for the original “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and went on to enjoy a decades-long career in TV and film musicals, turns 101 today.

Wish these and all the other Sept. 2 innovators well at, where the Dopey and Grumpy need not apply, the Sneezy need a facemask and story tips (and calendar items) always make us Happy.


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A-mazed: Corn mazes at Mattituck’s Harbes Family Farm and across Long Island will be open for business this fall, with a few coronavirus-related twists.

Animal, vegetable, criminal: Albany wants autumnal aficionados to get the full flavor of fall in New York – but not at the expense of the state’s fantastic progress against COVID-19.

To that end, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced new state “guidance” for agritourism businesses including corn mazes, pick-your-own patches and haunted houses – all considered “low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment,” according to Cuomo’s office, and therefore permitted to operate under the constraints of the NY Forward reopening plan.

Mandatory masks and capacity limits are in play; hayrides must follow public transportation guidelines and petting zoos are still restricted. But with the same cautious and calculated approach that allowed New York to overcome a dreadful start to the pandemic, visitors can “enjoy this time with their family responsibly and safely” at East End destinations and across the state, the governor noted. “The new guidance announced today will ensure that these businesses can open to the public, allowing families to enjoy their favorite fall activities while providing a boost for our farming communities and local economies,” Cuomo added.

The university of diversity: They’re still mixing it up at SUNY Old Westbury, which has snagged a third straight Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Only 90 U.S. colleges and universities will claim 2020 HEED Awards in the November 2020 issue of INSIGHT, higher education’s oldest and largest diversity-focused publication. The national honor, which recognizes U.S. colleges and universities for outstanding commitments to diversity and inclusion, has become a perennial feather in the cap for SUNY Old Westbury, which boasts a student body that’s 60 percent non-white and now bills itself “the most racially and ethnically diverse institution of higher education in the SUNY system.”

Teresa Miller – the SUNY senior vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and chief diversity officer who’s serving as officer-in-charge while SUNY Old Westbury searches for a permanent successor to longtime President Calvin Butts III – called the third straight HEED Award a “prideful moment” for the school. “We have enjoyed extraordinary recognitions … in recent years reflecting our commitment to improving access, understanding and engagement around diversity, equity and inclusion,” Miller said.



Pump you up: Long Island hospitals in the Northwell and Mount Sinai systems have hearts in the right places, according to Albany and the American Heart Association.

Safety before business: And business is their pleasure at Bethpage Federal Credit Union, where CEO Wayne Grossé credits a dedicated workforce with overcoming COVID-19.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: An A-plus for statewide testing, extra credit for SBU and an F for Oneonta – making the grade with Long Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer.



Roll with it (you kneed to): The bread of life is … bread, according to food-and-beverage baroness Kate Fullam, who shares a pandemic-depressurizing guide to Long Island’s best bakers (and a few secrets for the DIY set).



Philadelphia freedom: A chemist-turned entrepreneur brings reusable PPE to the COVID-19 front lines. The Philadelphia Business Journal straps in.

Rocket man: A small U.K. startup is balancing the modern space race. Inverse blasts off.

I guess that’s why they call it the blues: Even the Ancient Greeks understood your current funk. Inc. explains.



+ EnerVenue, a California-based maker of metal-hydrogen batteries for large-scale renewable and storage applications, raised $12 million in seed funding led by Towngas Chairman Peter Lee and Energy Capital Partners founder Doug Kimmelman.

+ Fox Robotics, a Texas-based maker of self-driving forklifts, closed a $9 million Series A funding round led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from Eniac Ventures, La Famiglia, SignalFire, Congruent Ventures and AME Cloud Ventures.

+ WaveFront Dynamics, a New Mexico-based early-stage ophthalmic medical device company, held the first close of a $3 million Series A financing round led by new investor Tramway Venture Partners, with participation from Phoenix Venture Partners and an additional angel investor.

+ DiscGenics, a Utah-based clinical-stage biopharma focused on cell-based therapies for degenerative spine diseases, raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Ci:z Investment, with participation from Eagle Fund SP1, Medical Incubator Japan and CareNet of Japan.

+ Aetion, a New York City-based healthcare technology company that delivers real-world evidence for biopharma companies, payers and regulatory agencies, raised a $19 million extension to its Series B funding round. Backers included Johnson & Johnson Innovation, EDBI and Greenspring Associates, NEA, Flare Capital and Lakestar, and global healthcare organizations Sanofi, McKesson Ventures, Amgen Ventures, UCB and Horizon Health Services.

+ Juni Learning, a California-based live-instruction digital-education platform, closed a $10.5 million Series A funding round led by Forerunner Ventures, with participation from Index Ventures, Pear VC and AME Cloud Ventures.



This could take a while: Baseball needs a short stop.

The old hub-and-spoke: Big Four accounting firms are spinning up new office designs.

The old two-step: How testing methodology advances could significantly slow COVID-19.

The old ballgame: Nine innings is sooo looong … why all baseball games should end after seven

Something old, something new: Please continue supporting the amazing firms that support Innovate LI, including seasoned land-use ace Sahn Ward Coschignano, where experts in a dozen-plus key practice areas blend long experience and cutting-edge expertise.