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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 7-5-16: People You May Know

Every once in a while, another story surfaces that makes Facebook look even more creepy and big brothery. Now they were tracking users to see who they were in close proximity to in order to suggest potential new friends. The feature used to be automatic, but will now be up to the user to turn it on. I was wondering how some people seemed to be showing up in the “People You May Know” area, especially when I didn’t actually have any common friends with them.

There has been lots of speculation about what President Obama will do when he leaves office. He’s obviously one of the youngest people to take on the role of “former President.” There have been serious suggestions, like running for Illinois Senator again and actually completing a full term this time, and a few people have thrown out the idea of Obama serving on the Supreme Court. But it turns out he may have slightly less ambitious plans: He and Rahm Emanuel used to talk about moving to Hawaii and opening a t-shirt stand. In an effort to avoid having to make any tough decisions, they’d only sell medium-sized white t-shirts.

According to a new survey, more than 50% of Americans are now streaming content on their TV’s. A quarterly study of audience viewing habits by The Nielsen Company said that for the first time on-demand subscription services have reached a 50% penetration rate in American TV households. According to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report Q1 2016, the use of subscription-based services in the home has caught up to the number of households that use DVR devices to watch content on demand, both of which now show 50% penetration rate in the home.

Remember the guy last week who became the first person killed when their car was in “autopilot” mode in his Tesla? It turns out he was watching a Harry Potter movie at the time.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft arrived at Jupiter after a five year trip. Juno’s supposed to take a close look at Jupiter and hopefully give scientists an idea of how the planet was former, and whether it actually has any solid mass or really is just all swirling gasses.

The state of New Jersey has decided that being murdered is no reason to stop paying off your student loan. They’ve ruled parents have to pay for the loan they co-signed for despite the fact that their son was murdered.

A Minnesota man decided it was a good idea to stop on the interstate to allow a group of ducks to pass. He ended up causing a Blue Brothers-like multiple car crash. The driver and his teenage son were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Interesting/Slightly Horrifying Stat of the Day: More than 5,300 U.S. water systems violated lead-testing rules last year.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 6-22-16: Men In Black Invade Iowa

People in one Iowa town keep reporting sightings of men in black walking beside the road. They haven’t done anything illegal at this point, but they are really freaking people out. They seem to show up only at night, and they aren’t exactly dressed like Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. They are wearing black trench coats and capes. More or less creepy than the clowns that will occasionally show up in a neighborhood?

Based on the success of the Saved By The Bell restaurant here in Chicago, you had to know more would be coming. A Golden Girls pop-up restaurant will be opening in New York. I anxiously await the opening of the Knight Rider-themed drive in. Here’s my problem with this: Saved By The Bell took place in California (Aside from the first season in Indiana, after which all of the main characters decided to move to California together… really) why is the restaurant in Chicago? Golden Girls is even worse, since they were in Miami. Shouldn’t the pop-up be in a location that is remotely tied to what happened in the show?

The whole religion thing worked out so great for Donald Trump in the primaries that he’s going to that well again. Now he’s questioning whether or not Hillary Clinton is actually religious. Because Donald Trump is the picture of religious piety.

Rory McIlroy has decided not to compete at this summer’s Olympics in Rio due to fears over the Zika virus. It’s the latest problem for the Rio Olympics. Do you think the IOC is regretting picking them? Tokyo and Chicago are probably looking pretty good now.

A 15 year old girl in Alabama decided it was a good idea to put on a Barney the Dinosaur head to prank her friends. The costume got stuck on her head and she had to call the police to get it taken off.

Geek/CounterGeek – #56: Captain America’s Back Pay

Elliott Serrano and Keith Conrad discuss the renewals and cancellations in TV land.

A Reddit discussion on Captain America’s back pay for the years he was frozen prompted an actual response from the United States Army.

Plus, in the “Troubleshooting the Movies” segment, Elliott and Keith take a look at the 2005 version of War of The Worlds. Solution number one: Cast someone other than Tom Cruise.

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 – 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.

What Are We Going To Call This Thing? – #13: If We Put Hitler In The Title It Will Trend

(Audio version)

In think week’s thrilling edition, Dave and Keith discuss Hitler’s triumphant return to TV sitcoms (Really, this is a thing that’s happening). This gets Keith revved up on one of his pet peeves: People who get the definition of Fascism all wrong. Keith worries that he might lose a Mancard for being excited about Fuller House on Netflix. And of course the worst Valentine’s Days we’ve ever had.

Dave Stripling and Keith Conrad are producers for rival Chicago morning radio shows, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get along. This forbidden friendship is a lot like West Side Story, except with less finger-snapping.

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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 1-26-16: Ask The Experts

A man identifying himself as an official with the Virginia Department of Transportation pranked a TV news team in DC. It started off alright, with the man talking about the efforts of the DOT in the face of the snowpocalypse, but then he mentioned his “drug dealer and prostitute were on the way and they couldn’t get it delivered.” Much like the guy who talked to CNN about “Edward Scissorhands” instead of “Edward Snowden” the news anchors just kept talking to the guy, not even listening to what he was saying. They let him get out three different references to his drug dealers and prostitutes being stuck in the snow and never identified him as a fraud. They just wrapped up the interview and kept talking about the snow. PRO TIP: If someone claiming to be from the DOT calls you *wanting* to be on the air, they aren’t really from the DOT.

Rahm Emanuel says the Red Light Cameras are here to stay, despite the fact that everyone associated with them seems to have been corrupt. At the end of the day, the technology isn’t responsible for the fact that the people who installed/run them are jerks. Plus, it generates money for the city.

Admittedly uber-left publication Mother Jones has a pretty amazing piece on Ted Cruz. People don’t just dislike the guy, the hate him with the fire of a thousand Suns. Seriously, it’s everybody who has ever met that Canadian scumbag.

End of the World Update: A religious group that once held a 24-hour prayerathon to prepare people for the end of the world has endorsed Cruz. You can’t really control who endorses you, except Cruz decided to feature the statement on his website. This same pastor also once said the Holocaust was a God-sent punishment for the Jewish people. Maybe do a Google search before you post the endorsement on your site.

Remember the University of Missouri professor who wanted some “muscle” to take care of a reporter during the outrage over their President not doing enough to stop things that may or may not have happened? Yeah, she’s been charged with 3rd degree assault.

Donald Trump sat down with Wolf Blitzer on CNN on Monday. First of all, he said that has joking with the whole “I could shoot someone” line and says “everybody knows” he was joking. He went on to say that Jeb Bush has “disgraced himself.” He also said that he’d like to see Michael Bloomberg get in the race because he would “love the competition.”

Hillary Clinton had a coughing fit during a speech in Iowa on Monday. It lasted over a minute. After Marco Rubio’s swig heard round the world, a staffer thought to have some water within arms reach. But sadly it was to no avail.

At any given moment there’s probably a drone flying over you, watching everything you’re doing. The FAA says that 300,000 people registered drones by the deadline in December. That was before Christmas, so you’d have to think that’s gone up a bit.

Niagara Falls could run dry within the next couple of years. No, it’s not some side effect of global warming or El Nino, they would intentionally stop the water so they could replace a couple of 100 year old bridges.

A Pittsburgh woman was in a bit of a sticky wicket when her furnace broke just as her husband was deploying with the National Guard. So she called a repairman, who came and fixed the furnace. They chatted while he was working, and she happened to mention her husband was deployed. She was surprised when she got the bill and he only charged her $1. He called it the “deployment discount.”

An East Chicago councilman was sworn into office behind bars. He is in custody on murder charges, but was ran unopposed in November, so he was re-elected.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 1-12-16: Chicago Museum Teaches Kids The Circle Of Life

Today is National Poetry At Work Day:

Did you ever wonder what happened to that cute little baby chick you watched hatch and then named “Horatio” during your visit to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago? It turns out most of them are immediately taken to Lincoln Park Zoo where they are fed to snakes, leopards and Bald Eagles. At least the ones fed to the Bald Eagles are dying the most patriotic death possible for a baby chick.

An apartment fire in Oklahoma has created perhaps the greatest 30 seconds of video in TV over the past decade. Meet Michelle Dobyne, who explains what happened when her apartment complex burst into the flames. Thankfully no one was hurt in the blaze.

A new app is available in Chicago that is billing itself as the “Uber of private jets.” Unlike Uber, where you pay for each trip individually, with this new app called JetSmart you pay an annual fee of $9,000. But for that low-low price, you can fly on your very own jet.

A substitute teacher in Florida told her students that if they didn’t behave she would let a gunman come into the classroom and shoot them. She was teaching third graders at the time. The classrooms have doors to the outside and she allegedly dangled the keys in front of them. She was removed and escorted off campus.

Awkward Media Moment: A radio newscaster in Great Britain accidentally told listeners that David Cameron died, instead of David Bowie.

Meanwhile, in politics…

Donald Trump picked up the endorsement of the American Freedom Party. They are a white supremacist group founded in California. In their endorsement they refer to Trump as the “great white hope.”

(Audio) Hillary Clinton awkwardly panders to millennials by going on Ellen and talking about selfies and smartphone apps. She must have gotten a new software update, just like the Teslas.

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.

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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 – 9-29-14: The Walking Brain-Dead

Distracted walking is become a bigger problem than distracted driving. All over the place people are looking at their phones rather than where they are walking and they are running into things en masse.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 20 percent. The first two days of the new TV season saw a 20 percent drop in 18- to 24-year-old viewers compared to 2014.

A mom is upset because she went to Party City looking for a costume for her 3 year old daughter and found only three options: A cheerleader, cowgirl and police officer. Worse, the police officer outfit had a short skirt, low-cut top and boots with high heels.

CNN has created some drama surrounding the first Democratic Presidential debate. They say they will allow Joe Biden to participate in the first debate, even if he announces a run for the White House on the day of the debate.

In science news, NASA announced on Tuesday that they’ve found evidence of liquid water currently on Mars.

Plus, A couple near the border between Mexico and Arizona woke up to a sudden, loud crashing sound. It turned out to be a 23-pound package of marijuana that fell through their roof.

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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