No. 542: Earth, Smurfs and the iPod all begin – and so does a new era in Bay Shore

Blue man group: And Smurfette, too, as Belgian artist Pierre "Peyo" Cuillford's iconic cobalt dwarves turn 62 today.


No argument here: Welcome to Friday, dear readers, as we recover from another debilitating debate night – hopefully, the last we’ll ever see like that – and wrap up another busy workweek.

It’s Oct. 23 on Long Island and around the world – a big date for our readers in Hungary (National Day), Brazil (Aviator’s Day) and Thailand (Chulalongkorn Day, commemorating the 1910 passing of King Chulalongkorn, beloved fifth monarch of the Chakri dynasty).

Mole with it, baby: It’s also Mole Day, which doesn’t involve subterranean mammals (or double agents) but does celebrate Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro’s contributions to molecular theory – including the Avogadro Number (approximately 6.02×1023), which defines the number of particles in one mole of substance (and makes “mole time” 6:02 on 10/23).

Palm stings: I was SO much happier working at home!

You’ve been warned: Well-suited to this era of violent disagreement, today is also Slap Your Annoying Coworker Day.

Peace in our time: Here’s something we can agree on – Innovate Long Island is informative, entertaining and right up there with Long Island’s top blogs.

Help us prove it by heading over to Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s 2021 Best of Long Island contest, where we’ve been nominated for Best Long Island Blog (tucked neatly into the Arts & Entertainment category). Vote once a day through Dec. 15, for Innovate LI and your favorite Long Island author, dog walker, BBQ joint, public garden … (it goes on for a while). And thanks for your support!

Origin story: Working with less than all the facts, some of history’s early scholars – including some of the better ones, as recently as the 17th century – pegged Oct. 23, 4004 B.C., as the exact date of Earth’s creation.

However, in a coincidence of Biblical proportions, American paleontologist Elso Barghoorn announced – on Oct. 23, 1977 – the discovery of single-cell microfossils dating back 3.4 billion years.

Who throws a shoe? Honestly!: Actually, it’s called “pitching.”

We’ll toss this in: America’s first-ever national horseshoe-throwing competition was held in Iowa on this date in 1915.

All ears: Featuring cinema’s most famous cartoon elephant, Walt Disney’s “Dumbo” – still the studio’s shortest animated feature, at 64 minutes – premiered on this date in 1941.

Absosmurfly: Speaking of time-tested toons, the Smurfs – Belgian artist Pierre “Peyo” Culliford’s Gargamel-dissing dwarves, the little blue muscle behind a $5 billion global empire – debuted 62 years ago today.

For those keeping score, it’s “Schtroumpfs” in the original French.

Now hear this: And promising “1,000 songs in your pocket,” Apple introduced its breakthrough iPod MP3 music player on Oct. 23, 2001.

Pass it on: American football coaching legend (and trophy namesake) John Heisman (1869-1936) – considered by many to be the game’s greatest innovator, responsible for the center snap, the quarterback calling out plays and even the forward pass – would be 151 years old today.

Heeere’s Johnny: Carson, prototypical.

Also born on Oct. 23 were American inventor Samuel Morey (1762-1843), a steamship pioneer who patented America’s first internal-combustion engine; American physicist and chemical engineer William Coolidge (1873-1975), who took his lightbulb moments literally; Estonian astronomer Ernst Julius Öpik (1893-1985), who was big into meteors and comets; American Olympian Gertrude Ederle (1905-2003), first woman to swim the English Channel; late night template Johnny Carson (1925-2005); and American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, satirist, actor, music video director and author Alfred Matthew “Weird Al” Yankovic (born 1959).

Still kicking: And take a bow, Edson Arantes do Nascimento – the Brazilian soccer star known best as Pelé, and revered by many as history’s greatest footballer, turns 80 today.

Give the Brazilian football star, the American football star and all the other Oct. 23 innovators your best at, where story tips and calendar items are always our goal.


About our sponsor: Farrell Fritz, a full-service law firm with 15 practice groups, advises startups on entity formation, founder and shareholder agreements, funding, executive compensation and benefits, licensing and technology transfer, mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions. The firm’s blog, New York Venture Hub, discusses legal and business issues facing entrepreneurs and investors.



Fundraises like a girl: Betty Diamond, the next generation.

Ladies’ night: The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research’s Advancing Women in Science and Medicine initiative (yes, they are AWSM) has held its ninth-annual celebration of women researchers, doling out $500,000 in awards to young female scientists in pursuit of critical new breakthroughs.

Initiated in 2010 by lupus-research virtuoso Betty Diamond, head of the Feinstein Institute’s Institute of Molecular Medicine, AWSM is designed to advance career opportunities for women scientists, with female Feinstein Institutes faculty members leading biomedical research and the annual celebration – held virtually this year – generating more than $2 million in research funding to date.

Ranging from $2,000 to $150,000, individual awards recognized scientific excellence, innovation, mentorship, education and/or training across myriad disciplines – projects focusing on genetic risk factors for lupus, the tumor microenvironment of blood cancers, new schizophrenia interventions and more. “This is especially important this year,” noted AWSM Co-President and Feinstein Institutes Assistant Professor Lior Brimberg, who said the COVID-19 pandemic “is affecting the careers of female scientists, more so than their male counterparts.”

Feeling better already: In what may go down as Andrew Cuomo’s “kumbaya moment,” the Queens-born, no-nonsense governor this week acknowledged the very serious emotional fallout of the COVID-19 crisis – and encouraged empathy as a front-line solution.

Cuomo’s heartfelt plea came Wednesday, when he referenced “COVID fatigue” – not a so-over-it response to masks, incompetent leadership or increasingly bad statistics, but the significant anxiety, depression and other mental-health stresses weighing down society. The governor noted his lack of psychiatric and medical training, but said “talking to people and hearing their voice and hearing their concerns, I’m telling you we have a serious problem,” including the likelihood of long-term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder cases following the extended pandemic.

It’s a “frightening” time, Cuomo added, and the emotional dangers are real – as is the need for a more human touch, especially among “functionally oriented” types like himself. “The ‘how’s everything going,’ ‘how do you feel,’ ‘how are you dealing with this?’ is more important than ever before,” the governor said. “And slowing down so the person can answer the question and get past the trite, quick response, ‘I’m fine, everybody’s fine.’ Nobody’s fine. You can’t be going through this and be fine … just take that moment to show some love.”



Let’s get political: There’s really no other choice, says marketing master David Chauvin, not for professional communicators, not anymore.

Southside, on the flipside: New branding, and a $71 million obstetrics wing, will continue the comeback at Northwell’s Southside Hospital.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: Weathering the cytokine storm, coloring in the lines and other developments from COVID-19’s forward areas – Long Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer rolls on.



High-quality podcasts as a service; high-minded dementia early-warning system.



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

From California: Los Angeles-based radiation wrangler WaveBlock deflects electromagnetic fields with cutting-edge earbuds.

From Florida: Miami-based personal financing facilitator LendAmi expands its digital family-and-friends loan-tracking platform.

From California: San Jose-based headline aggregator Full Perspective News launches balanced bulletin buffet featuring issue-by-issue content from the left and right.



Jon Davies

+ Jon Davies has been promoted to president of Hauppauge-based United States Luggage Company. He previously served as chief operating officer.

+ John Doyle has been hired as vice president of marketing and communications for Holtsville-based CCi Voice. He previously served as director of technology and communications for East Meadow-based Alure Home Improvements.

+ Robin DaCosta has been hired as an internal medicine physician at Ronkonkoma-based New York Health. She previously held the same position at Island Medical Care in Medford.

+ East Meadow-based NuHealth System has promoted two executives: Anthony Boutin is now president and chief executive officer; he previously served as chief medical officer. Megan Ryan is now chief operating officer; she previously served as executive vice president for legal affairs.

+ Candace Gomez has been named co-chairwoman of the School Law Practice Group at Garden City-based Bond, Schoeneck & King.

+ Frank Bacchi has been named assistant superintendent for business for the North Babylon UnionFree School District. He previously served as the business and operations administrator for the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District.



Here’s why: Because Y Combinator is one of the most important tech developments of the last quarter century.

Catching up: Reviewing 25 years of definitive technology moments.

Looking up: Leading with optimism through a thoroughly pessimistic pandemic.

Trading up: How a Japanese bartering project turned a spool of thread into a free house.

For startups (and up): Nobody understands business formation, tech transfer and other early-stage corporate issues better than Farrell Fritz, one of the amazing firms that support Innovate LI. Check them out.