No. 537: In which Yo-Yo meets Cougar, arenas get healthier and the dark side is revealed

Dance fever: No, that came later -- 68 years ago today, it was weekly dance-a-thon "Bandstand" (ultimately "American Bandstand") premiering on Philadelphia public television.


But who’s counting? Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, and the halfway mark of this latest busy week of socioeconomic progress.

On this Oct. 7, a few key countdowns: 28 days until the election, 85 days until 2021 and 105 days until Jan. 20. Hang tight.

Location, location, location: Before we dive in, a correction to Monday’s calendar newsletter, which erroneously listed the 32nd annual HIA-LI Business Trade Show and Conference as happening today and tomorrow at the Suffolk County Community College Sports & Exhibition Center in Brentwood.

The Hauppauge Industrial Association of Long Island’s 2020 show of shows is happening today and tomorrow, but of course it has adopted a virtual online format due to COVID-19. Tune in here from 9 a.m. to midnight both days for all the B2B action – and thank you, faithful reader Arthur Germain, for flagging our error.

Rhymes with “pay”: It actually took us 10 minutes of Googling to determine this.

Eye of the beholder: Today is National Inner Beauty Day, which is a fairly odd name for an observance meant to call attention to the scourge of human trafficking, but there you have it.

Less noble but more self-explanatory is National Frappe Day, held this and every Oct. 7.

Copy that: Speaking of making it a double, London inventor Ralph Wedgewood patented carbon paper on Oct. 7, 1806.

Other U.S. patents issued on this date include one in 1856 for Pennsylvania innovator Cyrus Chambers Jr., who built a machine that folded book and newspaper pages.

Make “Bandstand” American again: It was just “Bandstand” then, but the popular weekly music program – ultimately remembered as “American Bandstand” – debuted in Philadelphia on Oct. 7, 1952.

It all adds up: The first calculator to utilize solid-state transistors instead of vacuum tubes was introduced by IBM on this date in 1954.

Cue Pink Floyd: As seen by Luna 3.

Can you brighten that up a bit? Russia’s Luna 3 space probe first photographed the dark side of the moon on Oct. 7, 1959.

Ace in the hole: And it was this date in 1965 when golfer Robert Mitera landed a 447-yard hole-in-one at Miracle Golf Course in Omaha – a non-dogleg (or “straight away”) record that put Mitera in the Guinness Book of World Records and stood for 40 years.

For those keeping score, Mitera’s ace was bested in 2007 by Bret Melson, who dropped one in from 448 yards on the par-four 18th at Oahu’s Ko’olau Golf Club.

Bohr-ing: Actually, Danish physicist Niels Henrik Bohr (1885-1962) – a 1922 Nobel laureate who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory – was quite interesting, and would have been 135 years old today.

Look, Ma: Yo-Yo, on a string.

Also born on Oct. 7 were Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing (1927-1989), who championed alternative treatments for schizophrenia; South African Anglican cleric and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Mpilo Tutu (born 1931), renowned for his human-rights efforts; American poet and essayist Diane Ackerman (born 1948), known best for her explorations of the natural world; legendary French comic-book artist Enki Bilal (born Enes Bilalović, 1951); and American singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor John Mellencamp (also born 1951).

Around the world with Yo-Yo: And take a bow, Yo-Yo Ma – the beloved American cellist, born in France to Chinese parents and educated at Julliard and Harvard, turns 65 today.

Wish the 18-time Grammy Award-winner, the former “Johnny Cougar” and all the other Oct. 7 innovators well at – and tune us up with a story tip or calendar event, please and thank you.


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High achievers: The best of Long Island’s business community, as judged by the Hauppauge Industrial Association of Long Island, were honored last week at the 26th annual HIA-LI Business Achievement Awards.

The association, among the Island’s largest business groups, weighed factors including corporate accomplishments, community commitment and – special for 2020 – handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in selecting winners (and numerous runners-up) in four categories. The “Large Business” (100-plus employees) honoree was Hauppauge-based American Diagnostic Corp., while Melville-based Central Business Systems captured “Small Business” honors (fewer than 100 employees).

Other winners included Rookie of the Year (startups operating less than five years) Connections4Hire of Hauppauge and the Not-For-Profit honoree, the Smithtown-based Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, in addition to numerous honorable mentions in each category. “It’s more important than ever to celebrate excellence and achievement within our business community,” HIA-LI President and CEO Terri Alessi-Miceli said during the Sept. 29 virtual ceremony. “Our honorees serve as inspiring examples of innovation, dedication and accomplishment.”

Tribute: Michael J. Field Memorial Bridge, carrying Corona Avenue over the Southern State.

Hero bridge: A Southern State Parkway overpass has a new name, christened for a beloved local EMT who fell victim to COVID-19.

The Town of Hempstead’s Corona Avenue bridge, passing over the Southern State Parkway, has been renamed the Firefighter/EMT Michael J. Field Memorial Bridge, honoring a 33-year veteran of the Valley Stream Fire Department EMS who passed away this year after contracting the novel coronavirus from a patient he was transporting. Field, who was 59, was also a one-time emergency medical technician with the New York City Fire Department, and assisted in the response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks 19 years ago.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who signed legislation Monday officially redesignating a portion of the state highway system, said Fields’ life “was defined by public service and a selfless commitment to helping others,” while New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Dominguez noted “his heroism saved lives and helped New York beat back COVID-19.”



Healthy gains: As UBS Arena rises at Belmont Park, the New York Islanders and Northwell Health are teaming up to protect future visitors.

Waste, want not: Wastewater happens, and so does nitrogen – but at healthier levels, at least in critical Reynolds Channel, thanks to major wastewater-treatment upgrades.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: Sympathy across SUNY, anger in Albany … things get pretty emotional this week in Long Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer.



Food-and-beverage boss Kate Fullam is just warming up, as the change of seasons brings out Long Island’s spicy side. Feel the heat.



Pandemic-proof: American entrepreneurism is alive and well, according to these 25 small-business standouts. Forbes counts them down.

Flame out: American’s forest fire-fighting tools and techniques are in desperate need of innovation. CNBC gears up.

Economics in spaaace: The exploration of Mars may be the biggest driver of innovation and commerce on Earth. The Hill boldly goes.



+ Sora, a Georgia-based virtual high school designed to engage students with dynamic, personalized, synchronous learning, closed a $2.7 million seed-funding round led by Union Square Ventures, with participation from Village Global, ReThink Education, Firebolt Ventures, Peak State Ventures, Contrary Capital and angel investor Taylor Greene.

+ Tend, a New York City-based network of oral-health studios, raised $37 million in Series B funding led by GV, Tiger Global, Good Friends and existing investors Juxtapose, Redpoint and Zigg Capital.

+ BEGiN, the NYC-based company behind the early-learning program Homer, closed a $50 million Series C funding round. Backers included Lego Ventures, Sesame Workshop, Music, 3One4 Capital, Trustbridge Partners and Interlock Partners.

+ Bloomscape, a Michigan-based online garden center, raised $15 million in financing led by General Catalyst, Bob Mylod, Jeff Boyd, John Replogle, Revolution Ventures and Ludlow Ventures.

+ ShipBob, an Illinois-based e-commerce enablement-tech company providing fulfillment and fast shipping options to e-commerce businesses, raised $68 million in Series D funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

+ Icon Health & Fitness, a Utah-based provider of connected fitness equipment and software, received a $200 million growth investment led by L Catterton, joined by existing investor Pamplona Capital Management.



Timebender: The chronically tardy may have a good excuse.

Their time: How freelancers are key to saving startups in the Age of Coronavirus.

A little late: A five-cent sensor that can detect viruses in seconds might be ready for the next pandemic.

Always late: Why 20 percent of the population just can’t be punctual.

Early adapter: Webair, one of the amazing firms that support Innovate LI, was providing international managed-infrastructure solutions and other cutting-edge IT services decades before the other guy. Check them out.