Gabatron Morning Briefing 1-16-15: This Is Only A Test

Today’s high school sophomores in Arizona will have to pass a civics test to get their diploma. The measure goes into effect in 2017, and other states are expected to follow suit to mark the 230th anniversary of the US Constitution. I like the idea of having an “exit exam”, they had that in Alabama when I was in high school, oh so many years ago. I also think that civics is a good thing to make sure that the kids know about. Civics being the only thing on that list? Your kid may not be able to add, but at least they know how the Electoral College works. How about a comprehensive exam about everything they need to know?

Millennials will overtake Baby Boomers as the United States’s largest living generation this year. Millennials, aged 18 to 34, will number 75.3 million by the end of the year, compared to 74.9 million Boomers aged 51 to 69. Gen X-ers, meanwhile (ages 35 to 50), will outnumber Boomers by 2028. Here’s hoping that 20 years from now, we’re not spending all of our time making documentaries talking how great we are.

Alex Malarkey said that he got a guided tour of Heaven when he was in a coma when he was six years old. Now he says the story, which formed the basis for his book “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven,” was fake. Now older, he says he just wanted attention. His mother posted a statement last April doubting the story and wondering why nobody was questioning it.

A study confirms that you remember stuff better when you close your eyes. They think that closing your eyes blocks out distractions, that blocking out distractions frees up the necessary brainpower to remember things. Of course that’s problematic if you’re trying to remember something while you’re also driving.

We’ve found out lost Beagle on Mars! The European Space Agency says its Beagle-2 lander, which had been lost on Mars since 2003, has been found. Everybody assumed that it crashed, but photos from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show it made it all the way down intact. So the mystery here is why didn’t it make contact with the Earth? Little Green Men?

Keith Conrad got his first job in radio in Huntsville, Alabama the day after the 2000 Presidential election when he was a freshman in college. He’s produced radio shows in Huntsville, Milwaukee, WI, Atlanta, GA and finally back in his hometown of Chicago. Currently he lives in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood steps away from the Red Line. The train goes by so often you don’t even notice it. Keith has been dabbling in the Internet arts for a while now, in various roles both professional and just for fun.