There is no desire more natural than the desire for knowledge. – Michel de Montaigne
Prepare yourself – your free dose of knowledge awaits!
In case you’re new around here, “Thursday Numbers” is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm.
This week I write about National Parks, the Montana Legislature, Veterans Affairs, The Daily Show, unemployment, Major League Baseball, ramen & coffee, a bold prediction, my brackets, states & drug use, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, the ladies of Pleasant Pointe Assisted Living Facility, the National Basketball Association, and much more…
That’s how much it will cost ($334 million) just to clear up the backlog of maintenance work for the National Parks in Montana. Nationwide it will cost around $11.5 billion. (Source)
They will never be able to fund all the needs of the National Parks.
Lee Newspapers reported this week that Montana State House Republicans voted to kill a $31 million bill that would pay for state government cost overruns this year, including $9 million for public schools and $7 million for the state prison system.
This session of the Montana State Legislature has been an embarrassment. It’s a circus with plenty of clowns…
The office of U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs awarded a $6 million grant to the Volunteers of America Northern Rockies to help end veterans homelessness in Montana.
This is a very good thing…
That’s how many new claims for unemployment were filed last week, which is a decrease from the week before. (Source)
According to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs secretary Bob McDonald, that’s the backlog of VA disability claims. (Source)
With the VA’s track record, we don’t really know if that number is correct or if they are lying to us again. Plus, how many claims or appeals have been shoved into a file cabinet and forgotten? The VA has a long way to go to regain our trust.
According to The Guardian, The Daily Show’s replacement for Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah, sent 8882 tweets since he joined Twitter in 2009. They added, “Some weren’t funny. Get over it.”
I’ve been known to send one or two tweets that were not funny…
This is the blog post number 2,500 on The Western Word.
Please, no parades…
The Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season starts this Sunday night with one game and the official “Opening Day” is Monday. Each of the 30 MLB teams will play a 162 game schedule.
If my math is correct, that’s 4,860 games.
That’s the age of the world’s oldest person who died this week. Misao Okawa from Japan enjoyed a daily cup of coffee and one of her favorite dishes was ramen.
That’s positive news for the people who drink coffee and eat ramen!
116-year-old American woman, Gertrude Weaver of Arkansas, is now the world’s oldest person. (Source)
Bold Prediction: I will not live to 116…
That’s my percentage of correct picks in ESPN’s NCAA Men’s basketball “Tournament Challenge” bracket. I thought that looked really great until I saw that I am currently in 488,198th place!
As for my Great Falls Tribune bracket, I currently reside in 38th place (out of 173) but I am ahead of the Tribune sports reporters. Just sayin…
According to Gallup, that’s the percentage of Montanans who use drugs almost every day to alter their mood or help them relax. West Virginia had the highest rate of coming in at 28.1% and Alaska had the lowest at 13.5%.
Maybe Montanans would rather use alcohol! According to this 2014 report, Montanans, like North Dakotans, can flat-out drink — they pound more alcohol each year than 44 states. There is one bar per every 1,658 residents in Montana the report claims.
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) was indicted on 14 counts related to public corruption. (Source)
Watch for it – the right-wingers will be out in force saying Menendez should resign. Menendez will even find some cold shoulders in his own party because they don’t want to seem too close to him. He “voluntarily” stepped down as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
In politics there are very few true friends.
The Pleasant Pointe calendar will cost you $12. By the way, Miss March is 88 years old. The other models for the rest of the year are all around the same age – and they show a little skin.
They reside in the Pleasant Pointe Assisted Living facility. The $12 goes toward a fund providing shoes for children in the local schools in the city of Barberton. (Source)
Monday, April 6, is “Opening Day” for Major League Baseball. Sunday night (April 5) is being called “Opening Night” with the Cardinals and Cubs playing a nationally televised game on ESPN. (Source)
Let’s go Royals – reigning American League champions!
With about two weeks left of the NBA regular season, three of the eight playoff-eligible teams in the Eastern Conference have losing records. In the Western Conference, all eight teams have winning records. (Source)
Teams with losing records should not be in the playoffs.