No. 534: In which batters strike out, small businesses strike gold and Henry Ford gives you your weekend

Holding court: Sandra Day O'Connor (right, with the late, great Ruth Bader Ginsburg) was sworn in as the first woman jurist to serve as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 39 years ago today.


Autumnal equalizer: Give yourself 10 seconds to forget POTUS, SCOTUS and every other fuss, dear reader, and consider this – you’ve completed the gauntlet of another busy workweek, and the first weekend of fall awaits. Aaahhh.

Shell right: Tasty with butter, but the first guy who ate a lobster must have been REALLY hungry.

Couldn’t do it without you: It’s Friday all right, Sept. 25 to be exact, and that’s one of Innovate LI’s favorites – National Research Administrator Day, when we honor the fiscal stewards, faculty assistants and other project managers who keep science steaming ahead.

For the famished, a seafood sweep: Today is National Lobster Day and National Crab Meat Newburg Day.

Recipe for success: No better time to look up flaky Newburg recipes than National Cooking Day, held this and every Sept. 25.

Amendable: Speaking of successful formulas, Congress approved 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution – 10 of which would later be ratified as the Bill of Rights – on this date in 1789.

Social distancing: In what is widely considered the birth of remote control, Spanish engineer and mathematician Leonardo Torres y Quevedo guided a boat through Bilbao port from a distance of two kilometers on Sept. 25, 1906.

Although the “telekino” worked, funding issues forced Torres Quevedo to abandon the project.

Green with envy: Other great stadiums have come and gone; Fenway Park persists.

Monstrous: The groundbreaking for Boston’s iconic Fenway Park was held on this date in 1911.

Your 40-hour man: Dispelling the notion that “leisure for workmen is either lost time or a class privilege,” innovative industrialist Henry Ford – who previously pushed through the eight-hour workday – institutionalized the five-day workweek on Sept. 25, 1926.

Before there was RBG: There was Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, sworn in on this date in 1981.

Rollin’ with Nolan: And on that same day – Sept. 25, 1981 – Houston Astro Nolan Ryan threw his record fifth Major League Baseball no-hitter.

The remarkable Ryan finished his career with seven no-no’s; next closest is all-time Dodgers great Sandy Koufax with four.

Clean living: New York-born, Wisconsin-raised inventor and entrepreneur Melville Reuben Bissell (1843-1889) – who patented the carpet sweeper, added rubber tires and really cleaned up – would be 177 years old today.

Who knew: Certainly not Barbara Walters, born 91 years ago today.

Also born on Sept. 25 were Danish astronomer Ole Rømer (1644-1710), first to measure the speed of light; American civil engineer and architect William Le Baron Jenney (1832-1907), whose technical innovations led to future skyscrapers; German meteorologist Wladimir Köppen (1846-1940), who made some seriously long-term forecasts; tennis pro May Sutton (1886-1975), the first American woman to earn a Wimbledon singles title; and Nobel Prize-winning American novelist William Faulkner (1897-1962).

This IS 2020: But we don’t blame you, Barbara Jill Walters, the Emmy-winning American broadcast journalist, author and television personality who turns 91 today.

Give the first woman to anchor a nightly network news broadcast, the first man to give light a speed limit and all the other Sept. 25 innovators your best at Story tips, calendar events and general socioeconomic howdy-do’s always appreciated.


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Renewed enthusiasm: Environmentalists and sustainable-energy advocates are hailing new draft rules out of the New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting, designed to streamline licensing and operation of larger wind and solar facilities.

There are six public hearings on the docket, and final NYSERDA approvals, before the draft rules – required by the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act and targeting 25-megawatt-plus facilities – take effect. But “the renewable energy industry applauds New York’s release of a proposed new process for permitting wind and solar projects more efficiently,” noted Alliance for Clean Energy New York Executive Director Anne Reynolds, while Sierra Club spokesman David Alicea called renewable-energy acceleration “a critical part of jumpstarting our economy … with the nation facing the worst economy since the Great Depression.”

“Large-scale renewable energy can and will be a driving force for New York to solve its climate crisis and financial crisis,” added New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe. “Establishing standard rules and operating conditions for solar and wind developments to follow before going through the permitting process will help ensure that more renewable energy facilities are built quickly and efficiently.”

Deep thinker: Isaiah Nengo, busy in the Turkana Basin.

Fish out of Africa (OK, mammal): A 17 million-year-old whale fossil – discovered in Africa, 740 miles inland and more than 2,000 feet above sea level – will key a new, international research effort targeting the secrets of evolution.

Funded by a four-year, $2.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Stony Brook University scientists will lead the Turkana Miocene Project, which involves researchers from five U.S. universities. Scheduled to kick off in January, the multidisciplined team will use fieldwork, laboratory analysis and digital climate modeling to better define how the climate interacted with tectonics – large-scale processes affecting the Earth’s crust – to shape an environment that allowed humanity’s ancestors to rise in Africa.

The whale fossil, discovered in 1964 in Kenya’s Turkana Basin, suggests some serious changes for the region over the last five or 10 million years. Researchers aim to understand the roles climate change and tectonics played “in the evolution of life” since the thick of the Miocene epoch, noted principal investigator and anthropology Professor Isaiah Nengo, associate director of Stony Brook University’s Turkana Basin Institute. “The East African Rift is among the best places to study the influences of Earth processes on the evolution of mammals.”



Passage to India (return passage not included): And that’s just the start of this innovation adventure, packed with pandemics, deadly storms and critical life lessons.

Small step: Albany has changed the low-interest-loan rules for small businesses that received federal PPP funding but still need recovery assistance.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: Borders may be re-closing, but DMV windows are open – keep your place in line with Long Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer.



Stony Brook researchers take to the skies, Hollywood steams into Port Washington.



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

From Washington State: Vancouver-based business software developer Evosus introduces LOU, a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning solution.

From Tennessee: Chattanooga-based health and longevity booster NuLife Ventures floats hydrogen-water machinery.

From Florida: West Palm Beach-based organic originator Z Natural Foods packs 30 organic superfoods – plus ginger root, lion’s mane and more – into cacao-flavored meal-replacement shakes.



John Lombardo

+ John Lombardo has been selected to serve on the Suffolk County Workforce Development Board. He is the associate vice president for workforce and economic development at Suffolk County Community College.

+ Fred Jaeck has been promoted to chief financial officer at Southampton-based Hampton Coffee Company. He previously served as business manager.

+ Athos Patsalides has been hired as chief of neuro-interventional surgery and director of the Neuro-Interventional Surgery Fellowship Program at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. He previously served as an associate attending physician in the Department of Neurosurgery and associate professor of radiology and neurological surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weil Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan.

+ Andrew Ferguson has been hired as an associate in the Health Care Reimbursement and Recovery Practice Group at Lake Success-based Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf and Carone. He previously served as an associate attorney at the Manhattan-based Law Office of Erin McGinnis.

+ Bethpage-based King Kullen Grocery Co. has announced three executive promotions: Joseph Brown, most recently senior vice president/chief merchandising officer, has been named executive vice president; Michael Simco, most recently director of corporate payroll and benefits, has been named vice president/administration and benefits; and Bernard Kennedy has been named senior vice president/corporate and legal affairs.

+ Alessandra Napoli has joined Melville-based Epoch 5 Public Relations as an account executive. She previously served as a marketing communications specialist at Hauppauge-based Crosstex.


Detailed files: The T-800 isn’t practical, but there are lots of ways for robots to kill humans.

BELOW THE FOLD (Wild West Robots Edition)

The good: Robots guard London train station with ultraviolet ray guns.

The bad: From accidental maimings to “slaughterbots,” killer robots are coming.

The ugly: Jobs vanish as pandemic, anti-trade agenda accelerate automation.

New sheriff in town: When it comes to robotics, artificial intelligence and drone technology, nobody on Long Island keeps us safer – or raises the bar higher – than the big brains at New York Tech. Check them out.