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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 – 12-23-15: Early Release Program

As many as 3,200 convicted offenders were mistakenly released too early from Washington state prisons. Apparently they made a mistake in calculating good time credit.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 18 percentage points. Donald Trump may be polling at 30 percent among Republicans nationally, but he has the support of just 19 percent of Republicans with a college degree, and 37 percent of those without a degree, a whopping 18-point difference.

A British Muslim family heading for Disneyland was barred from boarding a flight to Los Angeles. No US officials have given any reason for why they were barred from coming into the country.

What’s bothering you, America? New data says that Americans are drinking themselves to death at a faster clip than ever before.

In technology news, on Monday night SpaceX did something no one else has ever done before: They flew the first stage of their rocket back to Cape Canaveral and landed it. It’s meant to be the first step to making rockets reusable.

Plus, British Astronaut Tim Peake just arrived aboard the International Space Station a few days ago. He is actually the first British Astronaut to fly in space in about 20 years. He decided to give his parents a call, from the space station, but they didn’t answer. He got their voicemail.

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 – 12-14-15: Christmas Is About To Throw Up On Your Apartment

It’s going to happen this week. If you’re an apartment dweller, you will probably at some point be completely blocked from getting because of a gigantic glut of holiday cheer. This is the week when nearly all of the things that people ordered on Black Friday and Cyber Monday should be arriving.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 47 percent. Percentage of Americans who are “somewhat worried” or “very worried” that they or someone in their family could be the victim of terrorism.

Speaking of terrorism, Donald Trump says that he’s a big fan of Harrison Ford and how he “stoop up for America” in the movie Air Force One. Harrison Ford is off on the press tour for Star Wars The Force Awakens and reminded Trump that it’s only a movie, he was never actually President and never actually stood up to terrorists.

A teacher in Atlanta decided it was a good idea to ask a 13- year old Muslim student if she was carrying a bomb in her backpack.

The Kickstarter hoping to bring back Mystery Science Theater 3000 wrapped its campaign, earning $5.76 million. Combining that with the $425,000 the creators say they’ve raised through other channels, the total funding for the project has passed $6 million. The creators have now pledged to shoot 14 new episodes next year.

Plus, a food truck in Portland, Oregon decided to make a big production of their grand opening. They had dancers and visitors were also given a chance to take a swing at a Donald Trump pinata.

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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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 10-27-15: Fashion Advice From Donald Trump

Donald Trump spoke in New Hampshire on Monday and weighed in on the fashion sense of women in the Muslim world. Yeah, you know this is going to be entertaining. He says burqas are great, because then women don’t have to worry about putting makeup on.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 150,000. That’s the current Alpaca population in the United States.

Next fall classes at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire here in Illinois will start 25 minutes later. The idea is they want students to get more rest, because studies show if they get more rest they will do better in school.

A biscuit that survived the 1912 sinking of the Titanic has sold for $23,000 at auction.

In science news, a new study finds there’s human DNA buried in your favorite hot dog.

Plus, a New Mexico man beat his friend to death with a guitar and a microwave oven. He had been binge-watching The Walking Dead on Netflix and thought his friend was beginning to turn into a zombie.

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 – 9-17-15: A Clockwork, Stupid

On Wednesday, America learned about Ahmed Mohamed, a 14 year old in Texas who thought it would be cool to build a homemade clock. His teachers thought it was a bomb, called the police and he was arrested. After that though, he may have had the best day ever. Not only were people outraged on social media, but people actually stepped up to help him out, big time. The White House invited him to come and demonstrate his homemade clock, and he also got invitations from Facebook, NASA and MIT.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 85 percent. That’s the percentage of parents of high-school aged kids who said that computer science courses were just as, or more, important than classes like math, science, history and English

Actor and comedian Stephen Rannazzisi is coming clean about a lie he told about being in one of the World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001. He was in Manhattan, but nowhere near the twin towers.

The Republican Presidential candidates faced off in a debate last night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

In science news, NASA said the first manned flight of its Orion capsule, a deep-space vehicle intended to eventually allow human exploration of Mars, is likely to be delayed by two years to 2023.

Plus, Waterton Canyon in Colorado has been warning people repeatedly that taking selfies with the bears in the park isn’t a good idea, but people keep on doing it. So now they are debating whether or not they will have to close the park.

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
Listen to GMB on Stitcher
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