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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 12-21-15: Economic Hardship For Bullies

A new anti-bullying proposal in Oklahoma would fine students $50 for bullying, instead of suspending or expelling them. The idea is by hitting the child and parent right in the wallet, they’ll take a more hands on role in teaching their little tax break to treat people like human beings.

Interesting Stat of the Day: $238 million. It’s no exaggeration to say that EVERYBODY saw Star Wars The Force Awakens over the weekend.

Donald Trump is defending Vladimir Putin from accusations that he had journalists killed. Not only did he say that there isn’t proof that Putin had anyone killed, but he went a step further and said the United States has killed its share of people.

An Air France flight from Mauritius to Paris had to be diverted to Kenya because of a device that was originally thought to be a bomb.

In Science news, the folks at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, the largest particle accelerator on Earth, say their machine might have produced a brand new particle that could send the laws of particle physics into a tizzy.

Plus, Max Temkin is a Chicago guy and the creator of Cards Against Humanity, a hugely successful card game and one of the first Kirkstarter projects. He and the rest of his company decided to give the Chinese company that does all of their printing a week’s vacation as a show of appreciation for all of their work. The problem is in China, there’s no such thing as a week’s vacation, so they had to get creative. They actually paid for a week’s worth of printing, and then told the employees they had nothing to print and they should go the next week traveling, or spending time with their families.

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 – 11-23-15: Please Stop Bothering Your Fellow Airline Passengers

Two Arabic-speaking men were briefly kept off a flight from Midway to Phoenix. Passengers said they were uncomfortable flying with them because they were speaking Arabic while they were waiting for their flight. Eventually Southwest employees let them on the airplane anyway, and while one of them was boarding, other passengers took it upon themselves to ask to see the contents of his carry on.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 93 percent. A study at an all-you-can-eat pizzeria found that men who dined with women ate 93 percent more pizza than men who dined with other men.

The Satanic Temple of Minneapolis is offering to help some of their fellow Twin Cities residents in need. They say they would be happy to help any Muslims made uncomfortable by the recent surge in anti-Islamic sentiment.

As if you needed another reason to be worried about our future as a species. According to a new poll 40% of millennials are OK with the government banning offensive speech.

In technology news, Washington and Beijing are making efforts to avoid a crisis in space before it happens.

Plus, a Vietnamese-Australian man is taking issue with Facebook after they’ve repeatedly blocked him from using his real name. His name? Phuc Dat Bich.

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 – 9-21-15: The Most Difficult Job On The Planet

A woman was fed up with her no-good 13 year old kid acting up decided to write him a letter saying if he wanted to be treated like an adult, he should pay his own way. She wrote to him that he should pay her $717 per month to carry his weight, if he’s really an adult. Costs included $430 for rent, $116 for electricity, $21 for internet, and $150 for food.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 20. Darin LaHood was sworn in as the replacement for Aaron Schock, representing the 18th Congressional district in the House of Representatives. He’s the 20th member of Congress who is the son or daughter of a member of Congress.

Edward Snowden told Neil deGrasse Tyson that we could be getting messages from aliens and not even know it.

Ben Carson told Chuck Todd on Meet The Press that a Muslim should never be elected President, he said the Muslim faith is not consistent with the Constitution. Article VI of the Constitution specifically says “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

In technology news, China and the United States reportedly working on a cybersecurity treaty that would be similar to nuclear arms treaties.

Plus, a 17-year-old teenager in North Carolina was prosecuted for having nude pictures of himself on his phone.

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 – 6-5-15: Pricey Patriotism

The Senate is trying to get the Defense Department to stop paying NFL teams to publicly salute soldiers. News broke a couple of months ago that the NFL was paying teams to publicly salute soldiers, hold pregame reenlistment ceremonies and perform on-field American flag rollouts.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 45,027,793. That’s the number of chickens and turkeys infected with the bird flu in the U.S. since December.

An advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration voted today to back the approval of female viagra.

In politics, former Texas Governor Rick Perry launched a second run for President on Thursday.

In technology news, Chinese hackers stole the personal information of 4.1 million current and former federal employees. It’s one of the largest-ever breaches of a U.S. government computer network.

In sports, according a new book Allen Iverson was drunk at the time when he set the land speed record for saying the phrase “we’re talking about practice.”

Plus, apparently 1 in 7 Americans suffer from something called “sleep drunkenness.” Basically you awaken from a deep sleep and are so out of it that it’s like you’re drunk.

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 – 5-13-15: Inspiring Work Ethic

Amtrak Train Derails in Philadelphia, Killing at Least 6 and Injuring Dozens.

Elon Musk may or may not have sent an employee an email saying that the birth of his child was no reason to miss a company meeting at Tesla. A new biography claims Musk did, but he denies it. The evidence is pretty thin at best.

A survey of the class of 2015 said that only 15% of millennials would prefer to work for a large corporation. 35% said they would prefer to work for small businesses.

In tech news, on Tuesday Version announced that they are buying AOL for the low-low bargain basement price of $4.4 billion.

Your interesting stat of the day: It turns out one in six serial killers are female.

Plus, Joe Mancino, the mayor of Hawthorn Woods here in the Chicago area really doesn’t want Route 53 to come through his town. He is so dead set against it that he says he go “all Tiananmen Square” to stop it.

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 – 5-6-15: Parenting Clinic

A Georgia mother had police “mock arrest” her misbehaving 10-year-old son to “give him a scare” because he was being disrespectful to his teacher. He was being rude to his teacher and refused to do his work over the past few weeks. Police showed up at his home and put the boy in handcuffs. He was placed in a patrol car and officers “pretended to take him to jail.”

The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled Tuesday that the government does not need a warrant to search wireless carriers’ cellphone records. The government will have to present “specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe” the records “are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.”

A UN agency is likely to issue a requirement of video cameras in airplane cockpits. Pilots and unions are dead set against it, on privacy grounds.

Employers now expect way more than 40 hours a week, preferably unpaid for any extra hours.

NASA is offering you the chance to win $29,000. All you have to do is come up with a way to shield Astronauts from dangerous cosmic rays on the way to Mars and points outward.

Plus, if you’re looking for a summer destination, consider Shiyan Lake in China’s Hunan Province. Once a year they have their traditional pig race.

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.

Follow Keith Conrad on Twitter
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