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Geek/CounterGeek – #47: Katrina And The Gravitational Waves

Scientists have confirmed the existence of gravitational waves. It proves a theory that was proposed by Einstein around 100 years ago.

The Russians have announced that they will do their best impression of a Michael Bay movie, and try to blow up the asteroid Apophis as it passes by the Earth in 2036.

Speaking of Michael Bay movies and blowing stuff up, Transformers 5, 6 and 7 have their release dates, just in case you’re still interested in that kind of thing.

Plus, there was big news in the Star Trek universe. Bryan Fuller has been tapped as the showrunner for the new CBS Star Trek series that will headline their new streaming channel. Fuller is a life-long Star Trek fan and former writer for both DS9 and Voyager so the news has Keith and Elliott both more bullish on the project.

Each week Keith Conrad and Chicago’s Top Geek Elliott Serrano debate a controversial topic in contemporary geekery: Kirk vs. Picard? Was Douglas Quaid dreaming in Total Recall? No topic is off limits.

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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 12-29-15: Most Admired People

Gallup’s list of 2015’s Most Admired People is out. President Obama and Hillary Clinton top the list, but Donald Trump ties Pope Francis for second place.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 1,100. That’s the number of flights that were canceled at O’Hare and Midway Airports in Chicago on Tuesday because of snow.

Good news, a computer security researcher discovered that there’s a 191 million US voters out there exposed on the Internet. The database includes names, addresses, birth dates, party affiliations, phone numbers and emails of voters in all 50 U.S. states and Washington.

In technology news, Russian President Vladimir Putin is dissolving the country’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos, and turning it into a state-run corporation.

Plus, someone’s crunched the numbers and they’ve calculated that rescuing Matt Damon’s character in The Martian would have cost $200 billion.

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 – 12-4-15: Women Get Combative

The Pentagon is ordering the military to make all combat jobs open to women. They have until the first of the year to make it happen.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 185,345. People went out to buy lots and lots of guns on Black Friday. The FBI reported running 185,345 background checks for gun sales on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Several of Syed Farook‘s neighbors told ABC News they noticed “suspicious activity” at his home but didn’t report anything for fear of being called racist. Overall though, it seems like he was a good neighbor, with some going so far as to say he was “good with kids.”

Donald Trump addressed the Republican Jewish Coalition. He said they should like him because “I’m a negotiator, just like you.”

In science news, Russia has announced that they will be building a permanent colony on the Moon in the 2030’s.

Plus, a company in Vermont is offering you the chance to store your loved ones ashes in an urn that looks just like their severed head.

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 – 11-19-15: America Gets A Little Jittery

Several people were yanked off of a Southwest flight at Midway for fighting over seat assignments. The passengers were described as being of “Middle Eastern decent,” they were asking people to switch seats so they could all sit together, and they were taken off because they were making their fellow passengers “uncomfortable.”

Interesting Stat of the Day: $50 million.

Paul Ryan has shot down the idea of putting a religious test on refugees from Syria. Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush wanted to only allow Christian refugees into the country.

Also, proving that stupidity is bipartisan: A mayor in Virginia, who is a Democrat is suggesting that internment camps might be the way to go. Basically, he said if it was good enough for the Japanese in WWII, it should work for fighting ISIS.

KFC and Dunkin Donuts are both toying with the idea of offering delivery service. Delivery fees will run somewhere around $5-7.

In technology news, Lyft, the RC Cola of on-demand ride sharing apps, predicts it will hit $1 billion in gross annual revenue based on its October performance.

Plus, a teacher in Poland decided it was a good idea to put a question on a physics test about pushing Syrian refugees off of a raft.

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 – 10-19-15: The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth

A third and final trailer for Star Wars The Force Awakens will debut during halftime on Monday Night Football tonight. Advanced tickets will also go on sale at about the same time. ESPN is owned by Disney, which also owns Star Wars, so you can see why they’d debut it on MNF.

Interesting Stat of the Day: $77 billion. Cost to the U.S. economy in 2010 due to hungover workers, according to the CDC.

A high school junior in Texas died during a football game. He was complaining of dizziness at halftime and collapsed later in the game. He’s the 6th high school player to die in the United States this year. Would you think twice about letting your child play football at this point?

Donald Trump and Jeb Bush’s latest war of words is over 9/11. Trump is basically saying that Jeb Bush would not be able to keep us safe as President, because 9/11 happened while his brother was President.

In science news, the European Space Agency and the Russians are going to send a robotic mission to the Moon’s south pole. The flight will launch in 2020, and spacecraft will take a look to see whether or not there is water, and other raw materials to make fuel and oxygen.

Plus, someone has created a Change.org petition that aims to change the official currency in Australia to the Dollarydoo.

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 – 10-7-15: Edward Snowden Prefers Prison To Russia

Edward Snowden said he’s offered to come back to the US and go to prison but they haven’t called him back. He faces three felony counts, including violations of the U.S. Espionage Act.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 350 rolls of toilet paper.

Burger King unveiled a new Whopper with a black bun, just in time for Halloween. People were anxious to try it, but immediately started reporting odd side-effects: It apparently turns your… leavings… green.

Ben Carson told Fox and Friends that if he was in a mass shooting like in Oregon, he “wouldn’t just stand there and let him shoot me.”

In science news, American scientists in Antarctica are going to have to submit to breathalysers.

Plus, a 12-year-old girl in Texas can’t seem to stop sneezing.

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 – 10-5-15: Armed But Not Dangerous

A veteran and Umpqua student explained on MSNBC the night of the shooting the potential concerns if he and other vets tried to act. John Parker said he does have a concealed carry permit and had a firearm on him when the shooting happened, and so he and others around him wanted to see if they would be able to intervene. They ultimately decided not to, because it could have made them a target for SWAT teams responding to the shooting. Does that make him a coward or just smart?

Interesting Stat of the Day: $5.4 million. Congress is taking action following the revelation the Department of Defense paid 14 NFL teams $5.4 million over four years to salute the troops during its broadcasts.

A White House petition posted Friday is calling on President Obama to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Chris Mintz. He is the Army veteran who has been hailed as a hero after trying to block the gunman and taking multiple bullets on Thursday’s mass shooting.

ISIS has opened two theme parks for young children. They are in Syria and Iraq, and include among other things spinning teacups, a big wheel and a miniature.

In technology news, based undoubtedly on the success of The Martian over the weekend, Elon Musk is walking back his plan to nuke Mars to terraform it. He says that he doesn’t actually want to nuke Mars, he wants to create a couple of artificial Suns.

Plus, a guy in Russia was spotted driving around with a bear in his passenger seat.

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 – 9-30-15: Finger On The Pulse Of America

Republican Presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina is putting antiquated phone users on notice, when she’s President you’re going to have to upgrade to a smart phone. She’s not talking about banning flip phones, she just wants to make it easier to communicate with your government. she is proposing a polling app that she’d use as President to gauge people’s opinions on major issues.

Interesting Stat of the Day: $3.94. A congressman who swiped the Pope’s water glass following the pontiff’s address to Congress will owe the House Clerk $3.94.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will officially declare October “Zombie Preparedness Month” at an official ceremony on Wednesday.

Donald Trump took to Twitter and predicted that Rand Paul will drop out of the race soon, because of Trump’s comments about him.

In technology news, The Campaign Against Sex Robots is apparently fighting a loosing battle. A new report from a futurologist says that by 2050 human-on-robot sex will be more common than human-on-human sex.

Plus, heroic whistleblower/traitor Edward Snowden has joined Twitter from his Russian hideout.

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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Coca Cola And Propane Makes Sweet Bottle Rocket

Coca Cola has been a favorite for homemade experiments for ages. Ukrainian DIY nerds Kreosan demonstrate how to make a sweet bottle rocket with a 20 oz bottle of Coke and some lighter fluid. After filling the bottle with propane gas and quickly flipping it over, the gases react and launch the bottle straight up!

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 6-24-15: US Spying On The French

WikiLeaks claims to have published documents that prove that the National Security Agency has spied on the last three French presidents. The communications were between 2006 to 2012, include discussions about a top U.N. appointment, the Middle East peace process, and the euro crisis, along with the French president’s cell phone number.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 67.6 million. That’s the number of Americans over the age of 25 who are obese. Another 65.2 million are just overweight.

People in the news, composer James Horner has died in a plane crash near Santa Barbara, California at the age of 61.

In technology news, Google is trying to idiot-proof email so you won’t accidentally send messages to the wrong people. They are adding a 5 to 30 second “Undo Send” feature.

In world affairs, there was an unlikely visitor to a meeting of various secessionist taking place in Russia. Nathan Smith is the self-styled foreign minister of the Texas Nationalist Movement. He says their movement is bigger than you might think.

Plus, Warner Bros. has decided that they will no longer license any models of the car because it has the Confederate Flag 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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