No. 529: On loop-de-loops, safe bets and SUNY’s status – and Capt. Bligh’s revenge 

Intensity personified: Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, author of such titanic works as "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina," was born 192 years ago today.


Roll with it: Here we go, dear readers – the third and final leg of already legendary 2020, complete with an ongoing pandemic, history’s most important presidential election (maybe) and, we hope, oodles of ingenious innovation.

Let’s rock.

Combinatorial: More than just a numbers game.

By the numbers: It’s Wednesday, Sept. 9 – a.k.a. 9/9, which will have special significance to Sudoku players and, naturally, makes this International Sudoku Day.

Hungry? You’re in luck – it’s also National Steak Au Poivre Day.

United we stood: They were hungry for independence on Sept. 9, 1776, when the “United Colonies” became the “United States of America” by an act of the Second Continental Congress.

In other historic-naming news, commissioners officially named the U.S. capitol “Washington, D.C.” on this date in 1791.

Say cheese: English scientist and inventor John Herschel – much better known for his astronomical discoveries – took history’s first glass-plate photograph on Sept. 9, 1839.

Golden anniversary: Happy anniversary, California, which became the 31st U.S. State on this date in 1850.

On that same day, the Compromise of 1850 created the “incorporated U.S. territories” of Utah and New Mexico (which would earn statehood in 1896 and 1912, respectively).

Roundabout: Nesterov’s loop.

Wings, prayers: This is a big date for aeronautical innovations, with legendary inventor Orville Wright booking history’s first one-hour flight (1908, over Virginia), iconic aviator Jules Védrines clocking the first 100-mph flight (1912, over France) and Russian flyer Pyotr Nesterov nailing the first known loop-de-loop (1913, over Kiev).

For the record, Nesterov was arrested and jailed for endangering government property.

In space, nobody can see your profit margins: And commercial spaceflight became a thing on Sept. 9. 1982, when the privately funded Conestoga 1 rocket blasted off from Texas.

Mutiny this: British Naval Commander William Bligh (1754-1817) – who was infamously mutinied against on the HMS Bounty and set adrift on the South Pacific in the ship’s tiny launch, but somehow sailed the thing 3,600 miles to safety and helped bring several mutineers to justice – would have been 266 years old today.

Gone too soon: Redding, just 26 when he died.

Also born on Sept. 9 were Russian literary giant Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy (1828-1920); French neurologist Pierre Marie (1853-1940), who basically invented endocrinology; fried-chicken kingpin Harland Sanders (1890-1980), who was a soldier but not a colonel; German-born American physicist Hans Georg Dehmelt (1922-2017), who trapped ions; and soul music icon Otis Redding (1941-1967).

Happy birthday, Happy Madison: And take a bow, Adam Richard Sandler! Love him or hate him, the Brooklyn-born “Saturday Night Live” alum – who trails only Sylvester Stallone for number of Golden Raspberry Award nominations (11) and wins (three) – turns 54 today.

Wish the polarizing comedian, the badass British seaman and all the other Sept. 9 innovators well at News tips and calendar events always appreciated.


About our sponsor: St. Joseph’s College has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students in the New York metropolitan area with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition since 1916. Independent and coeducational, the college provides a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, aiming to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility and service. Through SJC Brooklyn, SJC Long Island and SJC Online, the college offers degrees in 50 majors, special course offerings and certificates, affiliated and pre-professional programs. Learn more here.



Take your chances: Jake’s 58 reopens today, at 25 percent capacity.

Game on: Place your bets … New York’s casinos are back in business.

Gaming houses across the state are allowed to reopen today with 25 percent occupancy limitations and a host of coronavirus-related safety protocols, including enhanced cleaning and disinfection requirements, crowd-reducing traffic-flows, smarter seating plans and enhanced ventilation systems. Casinos and video-lottery facilities must also observe face-covering and social-distancing regulations and add additional staff as necessary to safeguard visitors, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

Among the casinos reopening today is Islandia’s own Jake’s 58, where the (trademarked) Play It Safe operating plan aims to answer Albany’s demands, “minimize contact risk” for visitors and “meet or exceed the best-practice guidelines” of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. “Our Play It Safe program … focused on the health and safety of our guests and employees, which is our top priority,” said Chuck Kilroy, general manager of Jake’s 58 for Delaware North, the casino’s Buffalo-based operator. “We’ve worked closely with the state to ensure we are taking appropriate safety measures to reopen.”

But are you paranoid enough? In what is surely a coincidence of viral proliferation and not evidence proving every Deep State conspiracy theory, two popular East Coast destinations that spent the Summer of 2020 on New York’s mandatory-quarantine list, only to escape for the final two weeks of the vacation season, have landed back on Albany’s “travel advisory” – the day after Labor Day.

We joked about “last-minute Labor Day getaways” when Delaware and Maryland earned a late-season reprieve Aug. 26 (along with Montana, Arizona and Alaska). But nobody was laughing Tuesday, when the New York State Department of Health announced Delaware and Maryland – along with Ohio and West Virginia – had tripped the metrics again (10 COVID-19 positive cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average, or a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over the previous seven days) and rejoined the quarantine list.

With Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands coming off the list Tuesday, the travel advisory now extends to 35 states and/or territories (we’re looking at you, Guam). “We now have 35 high-risk states in this country, which is incredible,” Cuomo said Tuesday. “After Labor Day, people start to get back to work, schools are opening, activity is increasing, colleges are opening … we need to remain vigilant and smart so that we don’t backslide.”



Learn something every day: As college-campus outbreaks continue, Albany’s latest COVID-19 dashboard tracks developments at SUNY schools.

Time for the long pants: Summer’s over, girls and boys, and whatever wave we’re in, there’s innovating to be done. Keep your team sharp – Innovate LI newsletter subscriptions are always free, always a click away.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: LI lags, campuses crusade and public schools get graded – until there’s a vaccine, there’s Long Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer.



Albany needs to fix its faulty nursing home visitation strategy, according to resident healthcare expert Terry Lynam, who has good reason to be upset with current policies.



Save the date: Inc. jumps ahead to July 2021, when Google and Facebook plan to resume standard office hours.

Save the world: Forbes explores how community partnerships help businesses innovate (and may eradicate poverty).

Save the whales: The Guardian dives in with Tahlequah, the orca who heartbreakingly carried her dead calf for weeks (and has now welcomed a new baby).



+ Shine Medical Technologies, a Wisconsin-based nuclear technology company focused on medical isotopes, closed an $80 million Series C financing round led by Fidelity Management and Research Company, with participation from current and new investors.

+ Aqua Medical, a California-based developer of endoscopic ablation technology for treating gastrointestinal diseases, raised $8.2 million in Series A-3 equity funding led by ShangBay Capital, with participation from existing investors including Ithaka Partners and ForMED Ventures.

+ Aspinity, a Pennsylvania-based maker of ultra-low-power analog machine-learning processors, raised $5.3 million in Series A funding led by Anzu Partners, with participation from Amazon’s Alexa Fund, Birchmere Ventures, Mountain State Capital and Riverfront Ventures.

+ CH4 Global, a California-based aquaculture startup processing red seaweed as a livestock supplement, closed a $3 million seed-funding round. Backers included family offices and private investors, as well as the New Zealand Provisional Growth Fund and the Australian Fisheries Research Development Corp., among others.

+ Lumen Bioscience, a Washington State-based clinical-stage biopharma focused on biologic drug development, closed a $16 million Series B financing round co-led by new investor WestRiver Management, Bioeconomy Capital (with participation from Avista Development), Columbia Pacific, Lumen’s founders and Seattle-area angels.

+ Sarcos Robotics, a Utah-based human-augmentation robotics firm, raised $40 million in Series C financing led by Rotor Capital, with participation from existing investors.


BELOW THE FOLD (Random Name That Movie Edition)

Vanguard: The shape of things to come.

What’s our vector, Victor? A vibrant V-shaped vessel’s victorious verification.

Do you like movies about gladiators? Turkish architects bring the unearthed “City of Gladiators” back to life.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking: Zimbabwe introduces a demonstrably healthier “tobacco heating system.”

And don’t call me Shirley: It’s Patchogue, thank you, home to one of the three distinct campuses (along with SJC Brooklyn and SJC Online) of St. Joseph’s College, one of the great institutions that support Innovate LI. Check them out.