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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 5-9-16: Mercury Rising

On Monday the planet Mercury will wander directly in front of the sun — a rare “transit” that only happens about 13 times a century. Most people in Europe and North America should be able to view the event through a telescope or binoculars, weather permitting. You can also catch the show live on the astronomy website Slooh.com, or via live streams from the European Space Agency and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. (Instructions for building a solar filter for your binoculars.)

The Chicago Police Department will be deploying 2,000 additional body cameras in seven police districts by the summer. Chicago Police currently use about 30 body cameras in one district on the Northwest Side, and complaints about police officers are way down so Eddie Johnson says it will help increase public trust. Dean Angelo still isn’t thrilled with them, basically saying that it won’t help protect officers if someone attacks them. (How about we put a “body camera” on John and broadcast it on Periscope?)

The Cook County Jail was placed on lockdown Sunday morning due to low staffing levels. The lockdown is “for officer safety,” allowing inmates to move only for medical reasons, emergencies and visitation. Hire some part-timers, folks.

Finally, you can express your disgust with all of your options in the 2016 Presidential election. A new website is selling yard signs that read “Everybody Sucks 2016.”

SNL started off with Ted Cruz vs The Church Lady, and it was amazing. She actually introduced him as “Satan.” She also talked to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Oops: A high school in California is apologizing after they misidentified a young Muslim student wearing a hijab as “Isis”. The yearbook has already released a statement saying it was an accident but the student, who has asked that their name not be released yet, is less than convinced.

80 year old woman in Washington state shot and killed a home intruder. The man appears to have been a burglar and had already beaten her husband with a crowbar. She says she’s “not your typical granny,” which probably goes without saying.

Sharon and Ozzy Osbourn are calling it quits after 33 years of wedded bliss. If a love like that can’t last, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 1-25-16: World Domination, Rule Everything… That Sorta Stuff

Video has popped up on YouTube of a very young Ted Cruz saying that he aspires to “take over the world, world domination, you know, rule everything, rich and powerful, that sort of stuff.” This was of course after he asked if “aspiration” was “like sweat on my butt?” Because he was 18. Naturally there’s no context given for the video, but it sounds very scripted to me, let it was part of a class project or something. Just to scare you a little bit about the future, it shows that this just just might be the last election in which everything the candidates have said in their entire lives hasn’t been recorded and put online somewhere.

Over the weekend Donald Trump bragged about how loyal his voters are and said that he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue in New York and wouldn’t lose any voters. Judging by what he has said in the past and managed to not lose any support, he might be right. But I’m not sure what that means for his supporters. Every day he sounds more and more like a third world dictator.

Michael Bloomberg is reportedly seriously considering an Independent run for the White House. Apparently his staffers are looking at ballot access issues to see how easy it would be to run. Considering how much Republicans dislike the guy now, it seems like that would most hurt the Democratic nominee, if anything.

President Obama told CBS News that he doesn’t wish he could run for a third term for President. He says the office should be “continually renewed by new energy and new ideas.” That’s just what someone who was secretly planning to name themselves “Dictator for Life” would say.

Chris Rock isn’t going to drop out as host of the Oscars. But he has apparently decided to re-write his jokes to reflect the recent brouhaha.

Why did the newt cross the road? To get it on… A road in the Berkeley, California hills has been shut down for newt mating season.

Apparently a man in Lansing kept a six foot alligator as a pet for 26 years without high neighbors knowing it. Authorities found out about it when an appliance repairman was down in the guy’s basement and heard something move in a covered cage and look a peek. He got it at a swap meet years ago and kept it in a cage in the basement. He fed it mostly chicken breasts, which is not the preferred diet of alligators. How freaked out would you be if you found out one of your neighbors had a man-eating beast chained up in the basement? (Also, what’s the strangest pet you’ve ever had?)

Last year someone tried to put a giant Klingon sword from Star Trek in the carry-on baggage, according to the TSA. Just for the record, you can put a giant sword in your checked baggage with no problem, since it would be out of reach and you couldn’t use it to commandeer the aircraft. But you can’t have it in your carry-on, just feet away from you.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 12-31-15: America’s Dad Gets Busted

Bill Cosby was arraigned on a sexual assault charge and is free on $1 million bail.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 32 degrees. A big mass of hot air made it all the way to the North Pole, where it was actually above freezing on Wednesday.

The mom of the Affluenza teen is coming back to the US. She and her son have both been deported from Mexico, but he has filed a writ to stay there so she’s coming back alone for the time being.

A bill making the rounds in California would require legislators to display the logos of their top ten contributors on their clothing.

In science news, remember a couple of weeks ago when Congress gave NASA little extra something something in their budget? It turns out the budget also included a requirement that they develop a deep space habitat for future Mars missions.

Plus, scientists say that a massive solar eruption could hit Earth on New Years Eve.

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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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 11-9-15: Portrait Of A Candidate

It turns out that certain parts of Ben Carson’s biography may or may not be true. Carson is screaming media bias, saying that President Obama never had to answer questions about his younger days. As a matter of fact, Obama’s school records are still sealed to this day.

Interesting Stat of the Day: Zero. So far into this season of television, none of the four major networks have cancelled a television show.

Larry David ended up being the one to yell out “Trump’s a racist!” on live TV. Trump seems to be getting universally poor reviews from his SNL performance, but people were watching. They had their highest ratings since January 2012.

The first salvo in the War on Christmas 2015 has been fired. Starbucks is in for a sleigh ride to full-blown outrage because their Christmas cups this year are just red, with no other decorations.

In science news, scientists have been looking very closely at the star discovered last month that looks like it could potentially have giant megastructures orbiting it but so far they haven’t gotten any signals.

Plus, Aliens may or may not be invading California.

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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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 7-24-15: Nation Mourns Loss Of Alien/Human Hybrid Protector

A California man’s body was found decomposing with $230,000, 1,200 firearms and 6 tons of ammunition. Apparently his fiancée and a woman who worked for her thought the dead guy was an alien/human hybrid sent to save Earth and working with the U.S. government.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 9. That’s the number of people in Florida who are infected with leprosy.

A woman visiting Yellowstone decided it was a good idea to take a selfie with a bison. The bison apparently disagreed, because it ran into her and flipped her into the air with its head.

In science news, NASA’s exoplanet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has spotted another Earth-like world. It’s called Kepler-452b, the smallest planet we’ve found yet orbiting inside a star’s habitable zone.

Plus, Republican Senator and Presidential candidate Ted Cruz talked in an interview about his love for sci-fi, including Star Trek. He said that Captain Kirk would probably be a Republican.

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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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 4-21-15: Crowdsourcing Infrustructure

Big news: 94 McDonalds restaurants in San Diego have begun testing all-day breakfast.

William Shatner has come up with a solution to California’s drought problem. Captain Kirk is suggesting doing a $30 Billion Kickstarter to build a pipeline from Seattle to L.A. along the 5 freeway to pipe water in to protect against future droughts.

Humpback whales have been taken off of the endangered species list.

Country music star Willie Nelson announced plans Monday to roll out his own brand of marijuana.

David Letterman wants Brian Williams to be his one of his final guests. Letterman’s show was one of the first places that Williams told the story that got him into such hot water.

A seven year old in Indiana wrote to George Lucas saying that he’d like to be a Jedi but would also like to be able to get married without becoming a Sith. George Lucas agreed, and said that the traits necessary to become a good Jedi are also needed in a good marriage.

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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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 3-12-15: Gym Class Heroes

Here in Illinois, a state representative wants to strip away the state law requiring gym class in school.

Colorado marijuana sales reached an all-time high in January. The pot sales brought with them excise taxes totaling a whopping $2.35 million designated for public schools.

Portland is now considering banning employers from asking whether job applicants have a criminal record. Supporters of the idea say asking about criminal records keeps people who are sincerely trying to start anew from being able to get a fresh start.

News sure to make the California tourism board happy: The U.S. Geological Survey says that California will get an 8.0 or larger earthquake in the next 30 years.

Uber announced this week that they want to hire 1 million female drivers by the year 2020.

Actor Will Ferrell will suit up for several teams training in the Phoenix area to play every position in one day. Ferrell is honoring the Athletics’ Bert Campaneris, who 50 years ago played every position in a major league game. Ferrell also is dedicating the event to cancer awareness.

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