Warming to it: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, as we shed a few layers and enjoy the delightfully seasonal weather punctuating this latest week of socioeconomic innovation.
Truth still matters: Even in a world of “alternative facts,” self-serving politicians and other mainstreamed BS – which is why March 24 is always the UN’s International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims (a mouthful, but an important one).
It’s also National Cheesesteak Day, National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day and National Cocktail Day (also mouthfuls, though much less important).
Do as I Edo: Raise one of those cocktails today to Japan’s Edo Period (a.k.a. the Tokugawa Period), which kicked off on March 24, 1603, as a new military state headed by the Tokugawa shogunate.
The epoch – which emphasized artistic development, economic growth, isolationist foreign policies and stringent environmental protection in the Land of the Rising Sun – would stretch into the late 19th century.
In black and white: The Provincial Freeman, Canada’s first anti-slavery newspaper, debuted 168 years ago today – making Mary Ann Shadd Cary the first black woman in North America to publish a newspaper.
On track: New York City Mayor Robert Van Wyck ceremoniously broke ground on an underground “Rapid Transit Railroad” linking Brooklyn and Manhattan on this date in 1900, marking the birth of the NYC subway system.
Beam him up: American physicist Charles Townes patented microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation – the MASER, predecessor of the laser – on March 24, 1959.
Also patented on this date, in 1896, was the game-changing rotary-disk plow, by Texas-based inventor Clement Hardy.
Pandemics past: And looking to cut off a health crisis before it materialized, President Gerald Ford announced a national swine flu immunization program on March 26, 1976, with a then-staggering price tag of $135 million.
Ford cited flu epidemics that killed roughly 100,000 Americans each in 1957 and 1968 – but his bigger fear was a repeat of the 1918 worldwide pandemic, during which the mislabeled “Spanish flu” claimed 650,000 American lives and upwards of 50 million globally.
Essential minerals: German scholar Georgius Agricola (1494-1555) – the “father of mineralogy,” who believed natural science hinged on observation, not speculation, and was the first to classify minerals based on their physical properties – would be 527 years old today.
Also born on March 24 were British horologist John Harrison (1693-1776), who invented the first working marine chronometer; American gynecologist John Rock (1890-1984), who helped develop the birth-control pill and was the first to artificially fertilize a human egg; African American civil rights and women’s rights advocate Dorothy Height (1912-2010); German-American physicist and rocket scientist Krafft Arnold Ehricke (1917-1984), a champion of space colonization; and American astrophysicist Joseph Taylor Jr. (born 1941), a Princeton University-based Nobel laureate who co-discovered binary pulsars, among other astronomical phenomena.
Dino blood: And take a bow, Robert Thomas Bakker! The world-renowned American paleontologist and author – who proved that some dinosaurs were warm-blooded and has shared his prehistoric expertise across popular culture, including books, videogames and consultations on the “Jurassic Park” films – turns 76 today.
Give the dinosaur hunter and all the other March 24 innovators your best at email@example.com, where your story tips and calendar events are the lifeblood in our virtual veins.
About our sponsor: Presberg Law P.C. is Long Island’s premier “IDA attorney” for businesses relocating, expanding and growing on Long Island. Founded in 1984, the practice also focuses on the purchase, sale, leasing and financing of commercial and industrial property, SBA loan transactions, construction, commercial banking and real estate litigation.
BUT FIRST, THIS
Taking men out of mentorships: A new mentoring program will guide female New York Institute of Technology students from college to career.
Noting a lack of mentorship programs specifically for young women, NYIT’s Women’s Technology Council has created a new program that pairs seven New York Tech alumnae – each a successful professional in a technology-related field – with current female students studying architecture, biology, computer science or finance. The mentors and mentees are scheduled to meet bi-weekly in one-hour virtual sessions replete with goal-setting, self-reflection and professional feedback, with in-person networkers combining all current program participants every few months.
The program – designed to help young women get running starts on future careers in traditionally male-dominated fields – is the brainchild of Women’s Technology Council founding member Edie Weiner, president and CEO of New York City-based consultancy The Future Hunters. “Over time, it will become a much-sought-after value-add of attending New York Tech for young women deciding where to go for their education,” Weiner said in a statement.
Moisture farms: Albany is divvying up nearly $15 million in farm-focused water-quality conservation funds, with more than two dozen Long Island agricultural operations getting their feet wet.
Funneled through the state’s Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program, the statewide funding – including $341,625 earmarked for the Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District, ultimately benefitting 27 regional farm operations – will support on-farm environmental planning and the implementation of best-management practices to keep potential pollutants out of local waterways. Such best practices include vegetative buffers along streams and cover crops (planted specifically to benefit the soil); on Long Island, the replacement of dated petroleum-storage facilities and cutting-edge anaerobic digester systems are also in play.
The big-picture plan, according to State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball, is to combat climate change by proactively protecting soil health and water quality. “The [New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets] is committed to its goals to help the state lead the nation in having the most aggressive clean-energy agenda and to protect our most precious resources now and for the future,” Ball added.
TOP OF THE SITE
Brains of the operations: Steaming toward its one-decade anniversary, Stony Brook University’s Clean Energy Business Incubator Program is smarter than ever.
Aaaaand … cut! After 33 years, Debra Markowitz has wrapped her career as Nassau County film commissioner – but the motivated moviemaker is just getting started.
Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus: Long Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer marks its first birthday this week, replete with graduation celebrations, “vaccine finders,” Al Sharpton and more. Your COVID CliffsNotes.
The COVID crisis has forever changed how we live, and Long Island’s land-use policies must keep up. Legal anchor Michael Sahn weighs in on the need for important zoning-law changes – and a solid strategy for how (and where) to incorporate them.
STUFF WE’RE READING
Clueless: Nearly half of all global workers might quit their jobs this year, and most managers are too out-of-touch to notice. Bloomberg breaks the bad news.
Hopeless: After a year of COVID-19 mental and emotional burdens, the “echo pandemic” settles in. The Toronto Star seeks the silver lining.
Fearless: The little-girl statue that redefined Wall Street has done it again, with a literal shattering of the figurative glass ceiling. Forbes picks through the panes.
+ Ossium Health, a California-based biotech focused on stem cell therapeutics for blood and immune diseases, raised $63 million in Series B funding co-led by General Catalyst and Vivo Capital, with participation from First Round Capital, Manta Ray Ventures and XYZ Capital.
+ Fireblocks, a New York City-based crypto-infrastructure provider, raised $133 million in Series C funding led by Coatue, Ribbit, Stripes, The Bank of New York Mellon and SVB, with participation from Paradigm, Galaxy Digital, Swisscom Ventures, Tenaya Capital and Cyberstarts Ventures.
+ 86 Repairs, an Illinois-based services provider streamlining equipment repair and maintenance for restaurants, closed a $2 million seed funding round backed by TDF Ventures, HAVI, Gordon Food Service, GHS Holdings, Tamarind Hill, Invest Detroit Ventures, Network Ventures and the Cleveland Avenue State Treasurer Urban Success Fund.
+ Edge Pathways, a NYC-based education-technology company, raised $8 million in seed funding led by First Round Capital, Emerge Education and Rethink Education.
+ VLP Therapeutics Inc., a Maryland-based biotech researching potential vaccines against cancer, the novel coronavirus and other diseases, raised $16 million in Series A funding. Backers included MIYAKO Capital, Sojitz Corp., Konishiyasu Co., SK Impact Fund and RJ Fund.
+ Fort Robotics, a Pennsylvania-based tech innovator creating safety-and-security solutions for autonomous machines, closed on $13 million in funding led by Prime Movers Lab, Prologis Ventures, Quiet Capital, Lemnos Labs, Creative Ventures, Ahoy Capital, Compound, FundersClub and Mark Cuban.
BELOW THE FOLD
Hands on: How “thinking with your hands” can get you unstuck.
Hands off: How “Cuomosexual” went so very wrong.
Handyman special: The pandemic’s DIY directives have caused a national lumber shortage.
Helping hand: Always ready to give small business a big assist – that’s Presberg Law, one of the amazing firms that support Innovate LI. Check them out.
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