Gabatron Morning Briefing 1-29-15: Modern Homesteaders

The city of Detroit wants to demolish some of the abandoned homes, so that the landscape looks a little less like the set of The Walking Dead, but they’ve run into a problem. They are finding that more and more of the abandoned homes have squatters living in them. How about a 21st century homestead act… the city will actually let you continue to live in the property, free of charge, provided you do work to improve the condition of the property? Seems like a win-win for everybody, they get a home and the city will look a little less like a demilitarized zone.

Someone decided it was a good idea to send a picture of a body part to students at Fremd High School in Palatine. They aren’t saying what body part was involved. Anyone want to take bets on the culprit being a student?

NASA has discovered a star twice as old as our sun with five Earth-sized planets of its own, meaning life in the universe could potentially be older than we thought. The star is called Kepler-444 and it is some 117 light-years away from Earth. Closer than a lot of recently discovered exoplanets, but still much too far for us to think about visiting it any time soon. The important thing is that the star, which is only three-fourths the size of our sun, has the potential to burn for 30 billion years. Unfortunately, all of the five planets orbiting the star are too close to be in the Goldilocks Zone. Life has sprung up and been destroyed several times on our planet in far less time, so if there are other similar stars out there that do have planets in the Goldilocks Zone, it’s a pretty good bet that there would be life there, potentially far older than Humanity. Does that news make you more bullish on the prospect of finding life out there one day?

Worried about your child being lost in a sea of Sophia’s and Jacksons? For the low-low price of $31,000, a new company will come up with a unique baby name for you, and only you. They will research names and guarantee that no one on Earth will have the same name. Why not just call up Benedict Cumberbatch’s parents and have them pick a name for your little future tax break? They’ll probably be happy to do it for less than $31,000.

Russian lawmakers will consider a new statement that would condemn the “annexation” of East Germany by West Germany in 1989. The proposal has been put forward by a close ally of Vladimir Putin, so you’d have to think he’s at least aware of it. Who knew Russia was still holding a grudge over the fall of Communism? Meanwhile, the White House has released a statement saying “The 80’s are calling, they want their foreign policy back.”

Keith Conrad got his first job in radio in Huntsville, Alabama the day after the 2000 Presidential election when he was a freshman in college. He’s produced radio shows in Huntsville, Milwaukee, WI, Atlanta, GA and finally back in his hometown of Chicago. Currently he lives in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood steps away from the Red Line. The train goes by so often you don’t even notice it. Keith has been dabbling in the Internet arts for a while now, in various roles both professional and just for fun.

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