No. 673: Giving you some lip, with healthcare innovation, artichokes and a heartfelt St. Patrick’s Day blessing   Leave a comment


May the road rise up to meet you: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, as we travel the long and exciting road of socioeconomic innovation straight through another busy workweek.

Green means go: And red means stop. Pay attention, for criminy’s sake.

Many of us, of course, are also greening our beer, corning our beef and otherwise shining our shamrocks in preparation for tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Remember, it’s a big Amateur Night on the roads, and that actually starts tonight – so please celebrate responsibly and drive carefully.

You can’t miss: If tomorrow is Lá Fhéile Pádraig, then today is March 16, and you’ve got to like your chances on Everything You Do Is Right Day, which turns those frowns upside down following Tuesday’s Everything You Think Is Wrong observance.

Locked in: Today is also National Lips Appreciation Day, which is really about proper hygienic care of the soft anatomical structures, but if you have other ideas about showing appreciation for this favored facial feature, feel free.

If you want a real treat today, lock your lips around a vastly underappreciated edible thistle – March 16 is also National Artichoke Hearts Day.

Good point: Forward, march!

War and peace: The U.S. Congress was all heart – with a touch of overwhelming military might – when it launched the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (for civil emergencies and military construction) and the United States Military Academy at West Point (for future military masterminds) on March 16, 1802.

Fire in the blowhole! Another intriguing combination of small arms and noncombative science is the Explosive Hand-Darted Harpoon – perfect for simultaneously fastening and killing whales, according to inventor Albert Moore of Maine, who patented the primed projectiles on this date in 1844.

Red-letter date: Back on land, author Nathanial Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” – a scathing tale of Colonial American adultery – was first published on this date in 1850.

FTC legs: Monitoring the publishing industry – and all other U.S. industries – is the Federal Trade Commission, which opened for business on March 16, 1915.

The FTC replaced the outdated federal Bureau of Corporations, originated by Teddy “Trustbuster” Roosevelt.

Meet cute: And the first-ever docking of two spacecraft in Earth orbit occurred 56 years ago today, when Gemini VIII Command Pilot Neil Armstrong and Pilot David Scott successfully linked their orbiter with NASA’s Agena target vehicle.

The docking worked, but control problems forced the crew to separate the two vehicles after just 30 minutes – and to make an emergency splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

When the laughter stops: American comedian, actor, singer, producer and screenwriter Jerry Lewis (born Joseph Levitch, 1926-2017) – remembered fondly for his MDA telethons, recalled harshly for lascivious behaviors – would be 96 years old today.

Tu-faced: Alan’s in there, somewhere.

Also born on March 16 were American statesman, diplomat, expansionist and Founding Father James Madison (1751-1836), the fourth U.S. President; English botanist and illustrator Anna Atkins (1799-1871), credited as the first female photographer and the first scientist to use photography to illustrate a textbook; English-American engineer and inventor Andrew Hallidie (1836-1900), who built San Francisco’s famous cable car system; American comedian and musician Henry “Henny” Youngman (1906-1998), king of the one-liner; and Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov (1927-1967), the first man known to die during a space mission.

Resident alien: And take a bow, Alan Tudyk! The American character actor – a science fiction veteran who’s graced “Star Wars,” “Star Trek” and tons of other sci-fi you know – turns 50 today.

Wish the immortal “Wash” Washburne well at, where we’re more focused on science than fiction, starting with your news tips and calendar events.


About our sponsor: The Long Island Business Development Council has helped build the regional economy for 53 years by bringing together government-economic development officials, developers, financial experts and others for education, debate and networking.



Silver lining: The COVID tragedy did inspire some impressive innovation, according to Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling.

Points for creativity: It appears Northwell Health is getting even more innovative.

So says Fast Company, which has included the New Hyde Park-based health system in is prestigious 2022 list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies. Fast Company spotlighted 528 organizations in 52 categories, recognizing orgs making meaningful changes in their industries – including big names like Microsoft, SpaceX, Canva and others – and showcasing the various ways innovation helps them thrive in today’s ever-changing global business environment.

Northwell ranked third among the year’s 10 most innovative health companies – an impressive climb from 2020, when it finished ninth in health-sector innovation – and was the only health system on the 2022 list. “Northwell has always had an innovative, team-oriented and collaborative culture, but the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 certainly put our health system and staff to the test,” noted Northwell Health President and CEO Michael Dowling. “The pandemic allowed us to tap into that culture to deliver new ideas to treat patients and help the communities we serve.”

At least we’re not last: It’s no shock that New York is an expensive place to live – but how expensive may surprise you.

Porch, an online residential relocation/home improvement hub, has measured cost-of-living differences across the nation and determined that New York is the nation’s fourth-least-affordable state. Factoring the prices of consumer goods, services and housing, the overall cost of living in New York State is 10.2 percent higher than the national average – and the disparity is growing, with Porch citing month-over-month and year-over-year (2020-2021) spikes in energy bills, transportation costs and other key spending categories.

New York does boast relatively high per-capita personal income ($74,472, besting the national average of $59,510) and relatively affordable utilities (4 percent below the national average), but New Yorkers pay more for groceries and other goods – and a whopping 34 percent more for housing, according to Porch, which tapped U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis 2020 Regional Price Parities data to calculate its findings. Mississippi and West Virginia rank as the nation’s most affordable states; Hawaii, New Jersey and California are the least.



Episode 17: Renee Flagler throws like a girl.

Trailblazing scientists, regional economic-development champions, top university presidents, internationally syndicated talk-show hosts – they’re all waiting to talk to you on Spark: The Innovate Long Island Podcast.

Sponsored by clean-energy pioneer ThermoLift, Spark’s Season 2 enlightens and entertains, 30 enriching minutes at a time. Pick a mentor.



Succession story: The first family of American supermarkets continues a 90-year-old innovation story by charting a new course for the future.

Running on batteries: Leading Long Island researcher/laboratory scientist Esther Takeuchi has added another world-class award to her prestigious collection.

Below your paygrade: Thanks for forwarding this engaging newsletter to your entire innovation team, but don’t you have more important things to do? Individual subscriptions are always easy, always free.



Voices historian Tom Mariner celebrates Ronkonkoma-based medical device components distributor Qosina, where the founder saw the forest for the trees four decades ago – and his innovative son is busily modernizing the works.



Lost in translation: Exercise is good for you – the exercise industry, not so much. The New Yorker works out.

Gained in translation: A Ukrainian literary agency is desperately seeking Ukrainian-English translators. Lit Hub spells it out.

All about translation: Meta/Facebook is creating an AI-powered universal translator for “everyone in the world.” The Verge speaks out.



+ Once Upon a Farm, a California-based children’s organic-nutrition manufacturer, raised $52 million in Series D funding led by CAVU Venture Partners, with participation from S2G Ventures, Cambridge and Beechwood.

+ ClearMix, a New York City-based remote video-production services provider, raised $3.25 million in seed funding led by Scout Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Runa Capital and Liquid2 Ventures.

+ Zeta Surgical, a Massachusetts-based surgical robotics and mixed-reality company, raised $5.2 million in seed funding led by Innospark Ventures, TSVC, Y Combinator and Trevor Fetter.

+ Justpoint, a Colorado-based AI-powered platform for the legal system, raised $6.9 million in seed extension funding led by Divergent Capital, Charge Ventures, Crossbeam Venture Partners, Honeystone Ventures,, Weekend Fund, Vijay Krishnan, Jackson Moses and Ali Moiz.

+ Nice Healthcare, a Minnesota-based clinic health company, raised $30 million in Series A funding led by DNA Capital, Waterline Ventures and Conductive Ventures, among others.

+ Behavidence, a NYC-based provider of AI-powered tools for monitoring psychiatric and neurological disorders, raised $4.3 million in seed funding led by Welltech Ventures, with participation from Arc Impact and Longevity Ventures.


Like this newsletter? Innovate Long Island newsletter, website and podcast sponsorships are a prime opportunity to reach the inventors, investors, entrepreneurs and executives you need to know (just ask the LIBDC). Marlene McDonnell can tell you more.


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Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ aliiiiive: Please continue supporting the amazing organizations that support Innovate Long Island, including the Long Island Business Development Council, still kickin’ it after five busy decades. Check them out.




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