Thursday Numbers

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” If you are a first-time visitor, “Thursday Numbers” is the column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with a little sarcasm).

This week I write about Medicare payments to doctors, John Walsh, unemployment, Montana State Fair, Champ Edmunds, Titanic, ESPN’s Bracket Challenge, stolen explosives, armed agents from the BLM and FBI, quality of education, Minuteman III missiles, Archie Andrews RIP, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Tax Day, approval ratings for congress, election performance rankings, UConn women, seven astronauts, and much more!


That’s how much ($20.8 million) a Florida ophthalmologist was paid through the Medicare program according to an analysis by the Associated Press. (Source)

A Billings rheumatologist was paid $3.6 million to take the top spot in Montana. (Source)


That’s how much money U.S. Senate candidate John Walsh raised during the first three months of this year. (Source)

That’s pretty good – let’s see what the other folks do…


That’s the number of new claims for unemployment filed last week, which was a decrease of 32,000 from the week before. (Source)

If we can just get it to stay below 300k, that would be good.


That’s how much country star Jake Owen will be paid to perform at the Montana State Fair on July 30. (Source)


U.S. Senate candidate Champ Edmunds found more than $12,000 in cash outside a church in Missoula this past week. (Source)

Maybe it’s a sign…


On this date (April 10) in 1912, the luxury liner Titanic set sail for a three-hour tour its maiden voyage.

Spoiler alert: It did not make it.


That’s how many points I scored in ESPN’s Bracket Challenge during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The 830 points put me ahead of everyone in the “celebrity” bracket group which includes the experts at ESPN, as well as the President.

Although the 830 points scored placed me in the 98th percentile, I finished in 217,622nd place which means I should probably keep my day job and stay away from Vegas…


That’s how many pounds of explosives were stolen from a storage facility in Montana. (Source)

This should never happen…


There are “roughly 200 armed agents from the BLM and FBI” stationed around the Bundy ranch in Nevada because of a dispute about grazing fees. (Source)

It sounds like a big mess…


That’s the percentage of people who rate their quality of education in North Dakota as excellent or good. That’s according to polling from Gallup.

Montana is ranked very high, too. They have a 78% excellent or good rating which places them in a tie for seventh place. So thank your child’s teacher today – and support public education.


That’s how many total Minuteman III missiles will be removed from Malmstrom AFB in Montana, F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming, and Minot AFB in North Dakota. After they are removed, we will then have the lowest deployed ICBM total since the early 1960s. (Source)

But that’s OK, “it’s a huge win” or a “big win” according to some folks who know very little about the military…


In issue 36 of the “Life with Archie” comic book, Archie Andrews dies. He is survived by Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and Reggie. (Source)

That, my faithful readers, means nothing is sacred…


That is how many years after the release of their first record that artists become eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Source)

REO Speedwagon and Styx were eligible in 1996/97; they should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


This is a Public Service Announcement from The Western Word: The deadline to file your taxes is Tuesday, April 15, 2014. That’s this Tuesday. Click on THIS LINK if you can’t get them done on time.

Remember that America is the land of opportunity; everybody can become a taxpayer. (Source)


According to Gallup, “Americans’ approval of Congress is 13% in April, inching down from 15% in March, and currently standing only four percentage points higher than the all-time low of 9% in November 2013.” (Source)

Come on Congress, you can break the all-time low record – we know you can!


That’s Montana’s rank (11th best) in election performance according to a study by Pew Charitable Trusts. (Source)

Maybe Montana was ranked so high because Democratic officeholders and candidates in Cascade County were allowed to hand out chips, candy, and water to people who are waiting in line to vote?


The University of Connecticut women’s college basketball team won its ninth national championship Tuesday night. They also won 40 games this season with no losses. (Source)

I think women’s college basketball is much better (fundamentally) than most basketball played by men in college and pros. It’s also more fun to watch.


Yesterday in 1959, the first seven astronauts were named by NASA. They were Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton. (Source)

Everyone should watch the movie, “The Right Stuff.”


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