No. 544: In which Canada beckons, adults learn and people with disabilities save technology as we know it

This means War: There have been many versions of writer H.G. Wells' sci-fi classic "The War of the Worlds," but none more memorable than the radio broadcast by Orson Welles (no relation) that rattled nerves on Oct. 30, 1938.


Brrrrr: Holy Christmas, dear readers, it’s getting cold out there!

Yes, that was the S word in your local forecast last night (“north and west of the city,” as they say), and no, it’s not even Halloween yet. That’s tomorrow – today is Friday, Oct. 30, and we’re bundling up as we wrap up this latest week of socioeconomic innovation.

Thanks, but no thanks: Actually, 2020, you can keep the extra hour.

Notes: Before we do, two quick reminders: Be sure to set your clock back one hour Sunday morning, and be sure to head over to Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s 2021 Best of Long Island contest and vote for Innovate Long Island as the Island’s Best Blog!

We’re honored to be nominated and excited to bring the title home. Vote for us once a day (every day!) through Dec. 15, along with your favorite pet groomer, happy hour, daycare center … the best of LI’s best in dozens of categories. Show your support, and thanks for the votes!

Right on time: New York inventor Daniel Cooper clocked in on Oct. 30, 1894, with a U.S. patent for the punch-card time clock.

Also rolling into the patent-history books on this date was Massachusetts innovator John Loud, who locked up the ballpoint pen on Oct. 30, 1888.

Face the nation: Baird, beaming.

Not exactly 4K: The first television transmission of a moving image (a human face) was seen in London 95 years ago today.

Inventor John Baird’s “televisor” used mechanical rotating disks to scan moving images into electronic impulses, then transmitted them by cable to a screen and translated them into low-resolution patterns.

Pre-cock: In other early-television news, New York City’s WNBC Channel 4, now the flagship of the NBC Television Network, began transmitting on this date in 1931 as experimental station W2XBS.

Invasion exaggeration: Switching channels to radio, it was Oct. 30, 1938, when Orson Welles’ infamous “War of the Worlds” broadcast had listeners on the edge of their seats (though reports of mass hysteria were somewhat overstated).

Do we HAVE to eat them? And it was this date in 1952 when frozen-foods forefather Clarence Birdseye unleashed frozen peas upon unsuspecting American children.

One-man air force: Former NASA Administrator and Secretary of the U.S. Air Force Robert Seamans Jr. (1918-2008) – an innovative aeronautical engineer who managed RCA’s Airborne Systems Laboratory and taught aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, among other high-flying accomplishments – would be 102 years old today.

Wing to Airplane: Slick piloted Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship,

Also born on Oct. 30 were second U.S. President John Adams (1735-1826); American physicist Louis Winslow Austin (1867-1932), who went the distance on long-range radio transmissions; American cultural anthropologist Sol Tax (1907-1995), founder of the scientific journal Current Anthropology; New York City-born actor Henry “The Fonz” Winkler (born 1945); and American mathematician William Thurston (1946-2012), who snagged a Fields Medal for spearheading low-dimensional topology.

Pretty Slick: And take a bow, Grace Barnett Wing – the American singer-songwriter and key contributor to the 1960s psychedelic music scene, known best as Grace Slick, turns 81 today.

Wish Slick, Fonzie and all the other Oct. 30 innovators well at, where story tips and calendar events are always cool.


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 certificate and affiliated and pre-professional programs. Learn more here.



Functioning adults: Referencing “the fastest-growing population of students across college campuses,” Farmingdale State College is planning a six-part virtual series for adult learners looking to complete or augment their higher education.

“Return to Learn: The Adult Learner Series” will provide “key information adults need to enter a degree program, return to school to finish a degree or add credentials to an existing degree,” according to Farmingdale State, which considers “adult learners” to be 25 or older and cites a National Center for Education Statistics tally that says half of all U.S. collegians are adults – with nearly 40 percent of those older than 25, nearly 60 percent already in the workforce and some 25 percent raising children of their own.

That population needs assistance when it comes to earning college degrees, and to that end Farmingdale State is planning its free virtual workshop series for Thursday evenings throughout November and December. “‘Return to Learn’ was developed to address the most common questions adults ask when they initially contact us,” noted Judi Cestaro, the college’s director of transfer services and head of its adult learner initiative. “Our goal is to have adults leave this series feeling confident about continuing their education.”

Going up: A new IDA incentives deal will result in Contract Pharmacal’s 11th Hauppauge manufacturing facility.

New deal: The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency is close to inking a new contract with the Hauppauge-based Contract Pharmacal Corp., which will once again look to expand its regional manufacturing operations with the IDA’s help.

The development agency this week announced preliminary approval of a tax-abatement deal that will help Contract Pharmacal, a circa-1971 pharmaceuticals developer and manufacturer, lease and refurbish a 73,000-square-foot building on Engineers Road in Hauppauge – a $3.6 million company investment that will expand Contract Pharmacal’s warehousing and bottle-packaging capabilities and add about 40 full-time jobs to a regional headcount the IDA already pegs at 1,325. Final approvals on the tax breaks are pending, but company and agency officials are already looking ahead to what will be Contract Pharmacal’s 11th high-tech research and manufacturing facility in the Hamlet of Hauppauge.

In 2010, Contract Pharmacal nearly left Long Island for greener pastures in Florida, but worked with the IDA to extend existing incentives deals, enabling the longtime Suffolk County stalwart to stay put, remain competitive and grow its impressive employment roster. “The Suffolk IDA and Contract Pharmacal have worked together several times, and in each instance, job-creation expectations have been substantially exceeded,” noted Suffolk County IDA Executive Director Tony Catapano. “They are a continuing example of the need and value of IDAs.”



Oh, Canada: All roads lead north for former Purolator International President John Costanzo, a logistics veteran who wants all of Long Island along for the ride.

Ready, willing and disabled: A new academic/workforce development study plugs synergies between people with disabilities and talent-starved tech industries.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: Is the cure worse than the disease? Does your LIRR conductor have COVID? Find out in Long Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer, still going strong.



All SUNY campuses are mandating COVID tests (they really are). And voters like Joe Biden better (they really do).



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

From Pennsylvania: Newtown Square-based health-supplements specialist Kibow Biotech releases Biomunity booster against environmental pathogens and stress.

From Illinois: Chicago-based app-maker GIFgram offers personalized “contactless greeting cards,” perfect for pandemic-era holidays.

From Pennsylvania: Malvern-based blood glucose tracker LifeScan partners with digital health platform Truepill to innovate wellness for diabetes patients and others.



Douglas O’Dell

+ Douglas O’Dell has been appointed executive director of Roosevelt-based Bethany House. He previously served as executive director of Glen Cove-based SCO Family of Services in Queens County and Long Island.

+ Filomena Buncke, Michael Chiarello, Jill Bruning Hindes and their practice, South Setauket-based All Island Behavioral Health, all have joined the Stony Brook Medicine Physician Network.

+ Mary Pelkowski has been promoted to dean of students and director of student engagement at the Westbury-based New York Institute of Technology.

+ Avner Hershlag has joined Island Fertility at Stony Brook Medicine’s Advanced Specialty Care Center in Commack. He previously served as chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility for Northwell Health.

+ Martha McLanahan has been appointed to the Water Mill-based Parrish Art Museum’s Board of Trustees.

+ William Facibene has joined New Hyde Park-based NYU Langone Orthopedic Associates as an orthopedic surgeon. He is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Long Island School of Medicine.


BELOW THE FOLD (Be Afraid Edition)

Evil spell(ing): It’s just a game … right?

Ghost stories: Thirteen Halloween superstitions, explained.

Horrifying: The pandemic’s blood-curdling economic impacts, charted.

Super, naturally: How the Ouija board went from cross-dimensional talisman to best-selling toy.

Scary good: Please continue supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI, including St. Joseph’s College, where the SCJNY Health Update keeps students and staffers one step ahead of the truly frightening pandemic.