No. 62: Dodging debris, hot times in Ottawa and say goodbye to 03142

DEBRIS, THE FINAL FRONTIER: This just in from Orbital Debris Quarterly News: The International Space Station performed two recent “debris avoidance maneuvers,” changing orbit to duck a chunk of decaying U.S. Strategic Command satellite and the floating fourth stage of a Minotaur rocket. Another piece of the satellite snuck up on July 16, forcing crew to hurriedly board the docked Soyuz spacecraft for a return to Earth if the station was breached. It was not. Whew.

Wait: Six international scientists boarding a Russian spacecraft to avoid U.S. space junk? Call George Clooney.

HE’LL BE MISSED: America’s oldest living wild bald eagle was killed after being hit by a car in Henrietta, N.Y. “03142,” as he was known, was 38 and died while eating a rabbit in the road.

No personal information available on the rabbit.

TGIF: A good Friday everybody and a special welcome to new readers. It’s National Tequila Day, so please celebrate responsibly. In other words, don’t forget the lime. Also, remember that we’re always on the hunt for story ideas, trends, criticisms and corrections via

BOOM TOWN: Startups staying private longer and hedge and mutual funds jumping in on a (for now) good thing pushed New York venture investment to levels not seen since the dot-com boom. Spending on NY startups totaled $2.2 billion in Q2, surpassing any quarter since 2000. That’s a 49% jump over the prior quarter and a 60% vault over Q2 2014.

Big players: Co-working company WeWork, which hauled in $434M in the quarter, and Oscar Health with $145M.

NY remains far behind California ($11.4 billion) but ahead of arch rival Massachusetts, which had $1.4 billion.

Speaking of Red Sox Nation: The Canadian company with the rights to the .sucks family of URLs has erected a billboard near Boston’s Fenway Park that puts “New York” before the dot. The firm plans similar signage near Yankee Stadium that mentions Boston. They call it marketing.

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ATTENTION VAN MEEGEREN: Verisart, a new site co-founded by former Saatchi Online exec Robert Norton, plans to digitize and verify every art object ever made. (I’ve got some very nice macaroni work from first grade I hope they’ll consider.)

Van Meegeren? He’s the greatest art forger of all time.

HERE’S OUR CHANCE: Hamptons’ home prices dropped 16% in number of sales and 14% in total dollars as compared to Q2 last year. Median price also fell by 7% to $849,000 in the quarter.

MORE CO-NESS: Citco, best known for supplying support services to investment firms, plans to open 20K sf of co-working space on Park Avenue.

DIDN’T THEY USED TO CALL THEM CAFETERIAS? Co-working space is so five minutes ago. Now comes co-eating space.

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VIETNAM’S CONTINUING LEGACY: The Veteran’s Administration announced this week that 271,000 Vietnam War vets, or about 11 percent of all those who served and survived, have full-tilt post-traumatic stress disorder.

Not sure if the release of the report was related to the VA’s announcement that it is $3B short on budget.

BITDAQ: Nasdaq wants to be the first major exchange to trade shares priced in Bitcoins.

SKYUBER? NYC-based JetSmarter wants to be the Uber of the private jet business. And with backing from the Saudi royal family and Jay-Z – not to mention Goldman Sachs and Twitter – it just might.

MAKER MOVES: Brooklyn’s MakerBot cut the ribbon on a new 170K sf plant, triple the size of its old digs and despite a recent 20% staff layoff, as it moves into educational sales and away from retailing to consumers.

OUT THERE: Billionaire Internet investor Yuri Milner, Stephen Hawking and others have ponied up $100 million for the Breakthrough Listen Initiative, which is being touted as the most comprehensive search for extraterrestrial life project ever undertaken.

Yes, but then what do we do?

BTW, Stony Brook has been named fourth best for a degree in applied mathematics among all public and private colleges and universities in the United States by College Factual, based on overall quality and programs that challenge students and prepare graduates to become leaders in their field.

Dowling College, which has struggled to keep its Long Island campus from closing, plans to open a satellite branch in Manhattan’s Financial District to offer an MBA and internships. The branch counts on support from Gateway, a Norwegian firm that has been sending students to NYC. Also involved: India, which has already agreed to send 15 students, LIBN’s Claude Solnik reports.

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AND IF YOU MISSED IT: AVZ had a little news of its own this week.

SKIN IN THE GAME: An LA-based skin-care startup is coming to Stony Brook as part of the Start-Up NY program. Meet Steven and Michael Isaacman, a.k.a “The PhD Brothers.”

FLIGHT RISK: Subcontractors normally brace for the bad when a big merger goes down, but the Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky deal might actually be good news for some of Long Island’s remaining defense firms.

SWEIGHING IN: Centerport-based Sweigh, which is building out an online social sentiment platform, is staffing up before a looming $3M+ investment round.


LIU’s Carrie Cottingham drops word on a future technology park at the Brookville campus.

Caryn Horsley thinks she can help 13 million Americans find Inner Peace.

The Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club of Suffolk County held its annual hot-new-product night, and collaboration appears to be the mother of invention.

Hofstra, LIFT and the LI Arts Alliance were included (barely) in a $17M Empire State Development funding round.

Stony Brook’s Innovation Club has already welcomed 300 students who needed to know everything from programming to soldering, and much in between.

MISSED A ROUNDUP? Most are archived here.


LIFE IS ESPECIALLY SHORT IN OTTAWA: Ottawa ranks as the top city for philanderers, according to information leaked from the recent hack of cheat site Ashley Madison (“Life is short. Have an affair.”) with almost 190,000 citizens registered. The city has a total population of 883,000.

PARTLY CLOUDY: All of the world’s weather for all of 2014 in 3:15 minutes.


At last check, yesterday afternoon, Stony Brook Medical Center needed 312 more births to hit 100,000, having chocked up 13 in the week so far.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.