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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 2-2-16: Celebrating Our Most Cherished Holidays

A school in Minnesota has decided to do away with recognizing and celebrating holidays. Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day are all on the chopping block. The principal says the intent is to create a school climate that is welcoming and respectful of all cultures. Parents seem divided, with some wanting schools to focus exclusively on the edumacation end of things and others saying that kids do indeed learn things during holiday celebrations.

Donald Trump told a group of supporters to knock the crap out of anyone they see preparing to throw a tomato at him. He said he’ll pay the legal fees, and also threw in there that the courts agree with him.

Street cops in Chicago say that the “ACLU Effect” is to blame for the rise in shootings in Chicago so far in 2016. They say the Chicago Police Department’s pact with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois to monitor police stops in greater detail is prompting officers to stop policing, leaving the streets to the criminals and leading to the spike in gun violence.

The Chicago Teachers Union “bargaining team” has decided to reject the contract offer from Chicago Public Schools. It doesn’t guarantee a strike, but it certainly doesn’t look good at the moment.

Adele is telling Donald Trump to stop using her music on the campaign trail. She’s actually gone so far as to say that she hasn’t given any politicians permission to use her music. First Mike Huckabee, now Donald Trump. Adele doesn’t car whose toes she steps on.

Moment of Racial Insensitivity? I had to double check to make sure this story was actually accurate. A middle school in Wisconsin is dealing with some angry parents and social media outrage after they decided to name their new fitness center the “White Pride Fitness Room.” The school got a $10,000 donation from the local credit union, and a $15,000 donation from the family of a famous graduate of the school. The school decided to name the new fitness room after both the graduate and the bank. Hence the  “Roger T. White – Pride Fitness Room as Presented by RCU” was born. One of the people on the naming committee remarked to the local paper that the name was kind of a mouthful and said it would probably be called the “White Pride Fitness Room” for short. And that’s when all hell broke loose. There were Facebook comments, phone calls and presumably letter bombs from people upset about the name. The school has since issued a statement that the name of the room will never ever be shortened.

A guy in Sweden decided it was a good idea to have a chip implanted in his hand. It allows him to get through airport security with just the wave of his hand. Cool or 1984-level creepy?

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 1-29-16: Barbie’s Change Of Life

Mattel has announced that they are launching a new line of Barbie dolls that will be more realistic than the original stick-thin doll.Barbie will now come in original, tall, petite and curvy. The dolls will actually come in four body types and seven skin tones, with 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles, 33 different dolls in all. So which would be more damaging to a young girl: Having a doll that looks rail-thin or being given one of the “curvy” dolls and bring told that’s the one that you should have?

Chicago Police were doing pretty much everything they could to get around their dashcams. According to a new report, officers stashed microphones in their squad car glove boxes. They pulled out batteries. Microphone antennas got busted or went missing. And sometimes, dashcam systems didn’t have any microphones at all. Do you think they were actually trying to get away with something or just uncomfortable with being on camera while they were working?

How would you like to gather your family together and put together a puzzle that will teach you an important part of Chicago history?A new Kickstarter campaign wants to create a puzzle of the H.H. Holmes house. It shows all of the rooms, secret passageways and torture chambers. Cool or creepy?

A 78 year old woman from Northbrook took a final parting shot at Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in her obituary. It said: “She was a woman of loyalty, integrity, opinion, curiosity and intelligence. A lifelong fan of the Cubs, Blackhawks and Bears (except Jay Cutler).”

Washington Post columnist is taking kids to task for not doing things like shoveling snow anymore. Back in her day, it was a great way to make a few extra shekels. Now though, kids just want to stay inside and play video games.

The Huffington Post decided to add a little note to all of their Donald Trump stories explaining how they really feel about him. It reads: “Note to our readers: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.”

Mike Huckabee has made a powerful enemy. Adele’s people are none too pleased about his parody of “Hello”

The owner a tattoo parlor in Seabrook, New Hamshire is offering free tattoos to anyone who gets a Donald Trump-related tattoo. It can be his name, slogan or even a picture of The Donald. Fast forward a few years, what do you do if you’re an employer interviewing someone for a job and you see someone with “Make America Great Again” tattooed on their wrist?

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 12-1-15: Unexpected Day Off

The University of Chicago was shut down on Monday because of a threat against the campus and it turns out it wasn’t just a student trying to get out of an exam. Someone posted online that they were going to be on campus and shoot 16 students, as many campus police as possible and themselves. They said it was in response to the shooting of Laquan McDonald.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 3.38 million. U.S. opening week sales for Adele’s new album, “25,” the first to sell more than 3 million copies in a week in Nielsen’s history of monitoring sales.

Because it’s that time of the year: The gifts in the 12 Days of Christmas would cost $34,131 in 2015.

The next world’s tallest building will be in Basra, Iraq and will be 1 kilometer tall. It should be done in 2025.

In technology news, A breach has compromised 4.8 million records of Hong Kong-based toy company VTech, potentially exposing customer account data to hackers.

Plus, a YouTuber claims to have found pictures of a mouse scurrying around on Mars.

Each morning Keith Conrad will give you a few stories useful for starting conversations around the water cooler at work. Assuming that your office actually has a water cooler.

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