No. 551: Indoctrinating, stimulating and surveillance testing – and bringing the extinct back to life

The man in the yellow hat: Green Bay Packers all-time great Aaron Rodgers, a serious contender for 2020 NFL Most Valuable Player, turns 37 today.


Reunited: And it feels so good, dear readers, as we’re back on schedule and back in your inbox, right where we belong. It’s OK to say you missed us. We missed you, too.

The end of the year, that is: Though 2020 gave it the old college try.

It’s Wednesday, Dec. 2, and we’re midway through this busy holiday-season workweek – and, blessedly, into the final stretch of problematic, perplexing and (literally) plagued 2020. Let’s finish both in style.

Peaceful transition: Speaking of big finishes, less than two weeks remain in the most impactful election of the year, Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s 2021 Best of Long Island contest – meaning Innovate LI has only 13 more days to run up the score in the race for Best Long Island Blog (an Arts & Entertainment category).

You can vote once a day through Dec. 15 (please do) for us and your favorite hotel, pediatric dentist, auto repair shop, martini …  the best of Long Island’s best in dozens of categories. Every vote counts – thanks for your support!

Save it: The Philadelphia Saving Fund Society, recognized as the first U.S. savings bank, opened on this date in 1816.

Monroe shocks, struts: Still the best-known U.S. policy regarding the Western Hemisphere, President James Monroe delivered his Monroe Doctrine on Dec. 2, 1823 – essentially, warning European powers not to mess with America’s neighbors to the north and south.

Other effective presidential doctrines include the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency by President Richard Nixon, via an executive order signed on this date in 1970.

Burn, bambino, burn: Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi presided over the world’s first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction on Dec. 2, 1942, at the University of Chicago.

First in: Clark, wired up.

Cutting their teeth: Seattle dentist Barney Clark became the first human recipient of a permanent artificial heart on this date in 1982.

The “successful” procedure heralded amazing new advances – but for Clark, who survived 112 days with his Jarvik-7 implant, it was not a pleasant experience.

Bunnies in spaaaaace: And it was Dec. 2, 2013, when China launched the Chang’e-3 lunar probe, carrying the Jade Rabbit rover to the moon.

The Jade Rabbit spit the bit after a spectacular 31 months of lunar exploration – but its scientific payload is still returning useful data.

Leaving his Goldmark: Hungarian-American engineer and inventor Peter Goldmark (1906-1977) – the innovator behind the first color TV, the 33-1/3 LP phonograph, a Lunar Orbiter scanning system and the videocassette recorder – would be 114 years old today.

No wonder: Crosby, 1974 superheroine.

Also born Dec. 2 were American ringmaster Charles Ringling (1863-1926), arguably the nicest of the seven Ringling Brothers; American physician George Minot (1885-1950), who shared a Nobel Prize for treating anemia with raw liver; American chemist Isabella Karle (1921-2017), a Manhattan Project contributor who pioneered the science of crystallography; iconic Italian-American fashion designer Gianni Versace (1946-1997); and American tennis star-turned-actress-turned-“That’s Incredible!” co-host Cathy Lee Crosby (born 1944).

Discount double check: And take a bow, Aaron Charles Rodgers! The Green Bay Packers star and surefire Pro Football Hall of Famer – who this week became just the 11th NFL quarterback to amass 50,000 passing yards – turns 37 today.

Salute the State Farm spokesman, the Hungarian scientist responsible for your 1980s entertainment and all the other Dec. 2 innovators at Story tips and calendar events? That’s incredible.


About our sponsor: Sahn Ward Coschignano is one of the region’s most highly regarded and recognized law firms. Our attorneys are thought leaders, dedicated to achieving success through excellence. With our broad experience in land use, development, litigation, real estate, corporate and environmental law, we have the vision and knowledge to serve our clients and our communities. Please visit



Stimulating conversation: The incoming presidential administration must make economic inducements its top priority, starting with the swift passage of a new COVID-19 stimulus package.

So say respondents to the latest CEO Survey by accounting giant Marcum LLP and Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business, which quizzed 250 C-suite executives in November, representing a wide range of national industries – healthcare, manufacturing, construction, real estate, retail and more. More than two-thirds (67.6 percent) said a new federal COVID-19 stimulus deal should be one of the Biden Administration’s top three opening acts, with nearly half (45.6 percent) calling it President Biden’s Job No. 1.

The pandemic hangs heavy over the survey, with four out of five middle-market CEOs labeling COVID a “continuing factor” in their operations and 82.4 percent of all respondents noting current actions in anticipation of new shutdowns. Executives also cited a need for expanded access to capital for midsized businesses, while ranking national immigration reform and improved trade with China as low priorities. Full survey here.

Say Hagan: Molloy College’s Barbara H. Hagan School of Nursing and Health Sciences, home of the Barbara H. Hagan Endowed Scholarship.

The gifts that keep on giving: A million-dollar donation will help establish a new endowed scholarship program at Molloy College.

During its “2020 Galathon” – a virtual Nov. 28 celebration honoring Molloy College alumni and other community leaders who spent the year on the pandemic’s front lines – the Rockville Centre college raised nearly $1.5 million in cash and pledges. That included a $1 million gift from the family of Barbara H. Hagan, backbone of the new Barbara H. Hagan Endowed Scholarship, which supports students pursuing Molloy College undergraduate nursing degrees.

The generous subsidy isn’t the first time the Hagan family has stepped up for the college: In 2016, the family made the founding donation establishing Molloy’s Barbara H. Hagan School of Nursing and Health Sciences. “The Hagan family continues to support Molloy and, in particular, the [Hagan School],” noted Molloy Vice President of Advancement Edward Thompson. “Their latest gift is one of the largest Molloy has ever received, and we are grateful for their ongoing contributions to our success.”



The fur is flying: From cats to Seawolves, Applied DNA Sciences is showing animal instincts in the struggle against COVID-19.

Why the long face? A Stony Brook University-led archeological effort has discovered a new Cretaceous Era bird with a wholly unique beak.

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: Drive-through tests, lifelines for sinking fisheries and lots more – Long Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer is now 200 stories deep and still going strong.



Breaking boundaries: Nothing drives technological innovation like strict regulatory frameworks. Entrepreneur explains.

Source code: Scientists are crunching data to predict where the next deadly virus will strike first. Fast Co. disseminates.

2020 (re)vision: Behold, the 100 greatest innovations of the year. Popular Science counts them down.



+ DefenseStorm, a Georgia-based, cloud-based cybersecurity and cyber-compliance management provider for regional banks and credit unions, raised $12 million in Series B funding and an additional $7 million in financing led by Georgian, with participation from TTV Capital.

+ Firehawk Aerospace, a Florida-based startup developing and manufacturing high-performance hybrid rocket engines, closed a $2 million seed funding round led by members of the Victorum Capital Club, with additional investments from Achieve Capital and Harlow Capital Management.

+ Lunewave, an Arizona-based maker of a proprietary, 3D-printed antenna and radar system, raised $7 million in Series A funding led by FM Capital, with participation from Baidu, Proeza Ventures, Intact Ventures, Blue 9 Capital, Tsingyuan Ventures and others.

+ Hellosaurus, a New York City-based interactive video platform that enables audience participation by leveraging mobile technologies, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. The round was led by General Catalyst, GSV Ventures, Shrug Capital, Next 10 Ventures, BDMI, Runway Fund and GFC, as well as the founders of Warby Parker, Allbirds, YouTube and Vimeo, among others.

+ Catamaran Bio, a Massachusetts-based biotech developing allogeneic cell therapies to treat cancer, launched with $42 million in Series A financing co-led by Sofinnova Partners and Lightstone Ventures, with participation from SV Health Investors, Takeda Ventures and Astellas Venture Management.

+ Loadsmart, a NYC-based digital freight technology company, completed a $90 million Series C funding led by BlackRock’s managed funds, TFI International and Maersk and co-led by Chromo Invest, with participation from Perry Capital and Bramalea Partners.



Mane attraction: Palace intrigue in Beijing.

Bronze star: A Chinese palace, a 160-year-old war crime and an irreplaceable horsehead sculpture, home at last.

Silver lining: Working from home may be making us healthier.

Gold standard: A lens-less camera made from microscopic gold wires could be a disease-diagnosis breakthrough.

Full mettle: Nobody safeguards clients’ real estate, environmental and land-use interests like Sahn Ward Coschignano, one of the amazing firms that support Innovate LI. Check them out.