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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 3-1-16: Assault With A Deadly Emoji

Welcome to the Internet age: A 12-year-old girl is facing criminal charges for making a death threat… with emoji. And she’s one of several defendants across the country in cases where emoji are being interpreted as threats, including one in which a cop emoji was followed by a gun emoji. How seriously should the courts take emoji threats? Because some people see emoji as cartoonish and non-threatening in general, and others see them as the new (really stupid) universal language.

Everybody panic: The first Chicago case of the Zika virus has popped up at a hospital on the north side. She’s not pregnant and had recently traveled to Colombia. Officials are expecting the number of cases to rise over the next month or so, as people head off the warm weather destinations for spring break.

Donald Trump has hit 49% among Republicans nationally according to a new CNN poll. That would seem to be somewhat problematic for the “well if only Cruz/Rubio dropped out and it was a one-on-one race” crowd.

Trump was interrupted by a protester at rally on Monday. He asked her if she was from Mexico and scolded her for interrupting his punchline.

CBS head honcho Les Moonves has found the silver lining in the rise of Donald Trump. “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS,” and called Donald Trump‘s presence in the race a “good thing.” He’s not wrong.

El Chapo says he’ll plead guilty in the US under one condition, he wants to go to a medium security prison. Gee, I wonder why. He’s currently being held in the same prison he escaped from, and apparently he’s not happy with the way he’s being treated.

House of Squalor: A woman in Kansas City was living with 26 cats in her house. People thought the house was abandoned. Basically, they were squatting in the house with 26 cats. The city only allows people to have up to four animals, so even if they were living in it legally 26 would be a problem. She said she wants people to know she is not a crazy cat lady. Which is exactly what a crazy cat lady would say.

Pour some out for Joe Patroni. Actor George Kennedy has died at the age of 91. He was Dragline in Cool Hand Luke, Joe Patroni in the Airport movies and of course Ed in the Naked Gun movies.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 2-11-16: Skynet Just Got The Keys To Your Car

U.S. vehicle safety regulators have said the artificial intelligence system piloting a self-driving Google car could be considered the driver under federal law. So basically, if your self-driving car is in an accident, you won’t be on the hook. Google’s self-driving cars have an excellent record so far. Actually, all of their accidents have been caused by humans driving other cars. This is exactly how Skynet got started.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina both suspended their campaigns on Wednesday. Jim Gilmore remains.

Hillary Clinton has no idea what it means to “go viral.” She said it sounds “like some kind of disease.” In other news, Clinton also expressed confusion about why Bernie Sanders seems to be doing a better job of appealing to young voters.

Funny or Die has created the can’t-miss biography of Donald Trump. It’s called “Donald Trump’s The Art of The Deal: The Movie”, it’s an hour long and stars Johnny Depp as The Donald.

The hits keep coming for poor Jeb Bush. Bush was speaking at a rotary club in New Hampshire when the event hosts came up and kicked him off the podium.

The budget tightening continues here in Illinois. Now, in addition to being on your own when it comes to your license plate renewals,the state will also stop sending reminders about emissions testing. That’s required every other year. So you’ll have to remember that yourself. Good luck with that.

The Chicago Museum of Art has dressed up a one bedroom apartment in the city to look like Vincent Van Gogh’s bedroom. You can rent it on Airbnb for $10 a night. The listing is actually set up as if you are renting the room from Van Gough. Cutting your ear off is not required, but it is encouraged.

Someone dug up film footage of a ski-jump contest at Soldier Field from the 1930’s. The Chicago Ski Tournament was held in 1936-1938 and 1954, according to the Chicago History Museum. Ski jumpers landed on shaved ice, not snow.

An Alaska Airlines flight from Boston to San Diego was diverted to Denver after an intoxicated passenger became disruptive and threatened crew members. The pilot decided to put her down in Denver out of an “abundance of caution.”

Something to think about as Navy Pier prepares to open the new, much larger ferris wheel: A couple was arrested in Las Vegas for having sex during their ride on a 500 foot-tall ferris wheel on the strip. They told police they did not think anyone would be able to see them, but the surrounding cars got a great view and so did the security cameras in each of the cars.

If you’re heartbroken in Florida this Valentine’s Day, there’s a great new way to get out all of your feels and move on with your life.The Florida branch of Goodwill is encouraging people to donate all of the ex’s stuff on Valentine’s Day. Get rid of your emotional and physical baggage all at once.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 1-8-16: Big Mother Is Watching You

According to a new study, parents in the 21st century are spending most of their time following their little snowflakes around online. Is that good old fashioned parenting or being nosey?

Interesting Stat of the Day: 320,000 passwords. Time Warner Cable reported that up to 320,000 customers of the service may have had their email passwords stolen.

Donald Trump is stepping up his birther strategy against Ted Cruz. Now he’s saying he should immediately have a judge verify that he is eligible to run for President.

Ben Carson was at a school in Iowa and decided he would make a point about his own story of turning his life around, saying he was the worst kid in his school and asking who the worst kid in their school was. Before he could say “just kidding” all of the students pointed to the same kid.

In science news, the level of volcanic eruptions has reached its highest level in 300 years. Now some scientists are saying we should be worried about the Yellowstone Supervolcano blowing it’s top.

Plus, an eight year old girl from Evanston here in Illinois took on the mighty Hasboro toy empire and won.

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 – 12-22-15: Wizards Don’t See Race

The geek world is all a Twitter. You knew the calm after the Star Wars storm couldn’t last forever. They announced the cast of the new Harry Potter stage play, and it turns out that Hermione is black in this adaptation. For some reason this is controversial to some people. JK Rowling, who is pretty much the authority on all things Potter thinks it’s great, so to me that pretty much ends the discussion. Get over it or don’t see the play.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 2.5 roles. It turns out that Hollywood has a disgusting anti-alien bias.

According to a new poll from Public Policy Polling, 30% of Republican primary voters would support bombing Agrabah.

Noted liberal media shill Megyn Kelly will host the next GOP Presidential debate.

In technology news, Sunday marked the 25th birthday of the very first website on the Internet.

Plus, someone stole a truck with $10,000 worth of Little Debbie snacks on 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 – 12-10-15: No One Who Speaks German Could Be Evil

Time’s Person of the Year: Angela Merkel. Merkel got the tip of the cap for her leadership with the Greek debt crisis and Syrian refugees.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 34.7 percent. According to a report from Sandvine, a Canadian broadband equipment company, Netflix accounts for 34.7 percent of prime-time Web traffic in North America.

The world is responding to Donald Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from coming into the US, and they don’t like it. A university in Scotland has stripped Trump of an honorary degree. Plus, a petition in the UK is calling for him to be banned from the country. It has well over 300,000 signatures at this point. And finally, even Benjamin Netanyahu weighed in on it and says it’s a bad idea.

United Airlines is bringing back free snacks for coach passengers on their flights. They’ve been gone since 2008.

In science news, remember that star with something funny orbiting it that scientists said might be alien megastructures but probably weren’t? SETI scientists have been keeping a keen eye on it, and they have seen no evidence of any aliens out there trying to get out attention.

Plus, a school board member in a town in Wisconsin is calling for a Muppet book to be banned.

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 – 12-9-15: Stuck In A Series Of Tubes

According to a new Pew study, 1 in 5 Americans say they are “almost constantly” online.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 49 percent. Percentage of Republicans who oppose a religious test for Syrian refugees to come to the U.S., according to a Fox News poll.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter came up with a unique response to Trump’s call for a ban on all Muslims coming into this country. He’s banned Donald Trump from coming to Philadelphia.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is just days away from hitting theaters around the world, and while no one knows anything about the plot of the movie, we were given a crucial piece of information by producer Kathleen Kennedy: There will be no Jar Jar Binks and no Ewoks in the movie.

In technology news, the USS Zumwalt is heading to sea for the first time. It’s the most technologically advanced ship the Navy has ever built.

Plus, a Florida man who was hiding out from the police ended up getting eaten by an alligator.

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 – 12-2-15: Flowery Rhetoric And Colorful Metafors

Some teachers and language geeks are on the warpath against common words. They are demanding that students use different, more expressive, more flowery words.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 15 years. George Lucas says that he has not used the Internet in the past 15 years.

President Obama referenced the Planned Parenthood shooting in a press conference on Tuesday and reiterated his frustration that these mass shootings don’t happen in other countries. He was speaking in Paris, where they just had a mass shooting a couple of weeks ago.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump says that he wants $5 million from CNN to show up for the next Presidential debate.

In technology news, NASA and SpaceX have announced that the next Falcon 9 launch later this month will actually try to land the first stage back in Florida.

Plus, a Chicago-area woman was housesitting, fell in the shower and was stuck there for 5 days because she couldn’t get up.

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 – 11-10-15: Be Careful Who You Hitch Your Wagon Of Outrage To

The outraged Starbucks cup guy was on CNN and he pretty much ended his 15 minutes of fame. Among other things, he told the anchor that the US is a obviously a Christian nation, because President Obama had to pretend to be one to get elected.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 47 percent. “Saturday Night Live” viewership ratings for the episode hosted by Donald Trump over the weekend were the show’s highest since 2012 — and were 47 percent higher than the ratings during Hillary Clinton’s guest appearance earlier this season.

Jeb Bush was asked one of the most critical questions facing the world today: If you could go back in time, would you kill Baby Hitler? He said “Hell yeah, I would!”

SeaWorld has announced that they will be be phasing out their Killer Whale shows.

In technology news, Comcast is testing bandwidth caps on home Internet use. Because they are already so well loved. Under the scheme, customers have a monthly limit of 300 gigabytes and pay an overage fee of $10 for every additional 50 gigabytes they use.

Plus, according to a new survey, Americans over the age of 30 are more miserable than they’ve ever been.

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 – 10-15-15: I For One Welcome Our New Alien Overlords

Astronomers observing a star between the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra have noticed something strange. The light coming from the star seems to indicate that it may have a swarm of something orbiting it.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 6 percent. That’s the divorce rate in “The Sims 4,” according to the game’s publisher, EA, with 27.5 million marriages resulting in 1.7 million divorces.

According to a new study, a fifth of small-business owners say they would allow an employee with a medical marijuana prescription to use the drug while at work.

The gambling world has officially taken notice of the Cubs after their victory against the Cardinals. They are now favored to win the World Series by sports books in Las Vegas and offshore gambling sites.

In technology news, Netflix has announced that they will soon be getting into the TV news game.

Plus, you might be wondering how the livestreaming of Rand Paul’s day went. At one point his staffers had him answer the top Google searches about him, and one was “Is Rand Paul still in the race?” His answer: I wouldn’t be doing this dumbass live stream if I weren’t.”

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 – 10-14-15: Behaving Badly On Camera

A new study says there’s less violence and fewer complaints when police wear body cameras.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 16 days. That’s the average number of vacation days taken by the American worker last year, a 35-year low and down from 21.1 days in 1996

A jury has ruled that a gun shop in Milwaukee must pay $6 million to a pair of police officers who were wounded by a gun they sold. The gun was sold to someone who was ineligible to buy one. The lawsuit argued the store should have done more to ensure something like that would not happen.

Donald Trump’s lead in the Republican race is down to 1 point in a new Fox News poll.

In technology news, believe it or not, For the majority of the world, “Googling” and “Facebooking” are not second nature. There are currently 4.2 billion people — 57% of the world — who are still offline on a regular basis according to a new survey.

Plus, a Cessna landed on a highway in Idaho in the middle of rush hour on Tuesday morning.

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
Subscribe to GMB on iTunes
Subscribe to GMB on TuneIn
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