Thursday Numbers

Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town. – George Carlin

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this 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 just a little bit of sarcasm.

This week’s topics include Apple ConnectED technology, Montana State University, Montana Lottery, unemployment, Bernie in Missoula/Billings, Clinton & Trump, Great Falls & fireworks, Area 51, Max Scherzer, Congressional fundraising, shoes & power lines, Corvallis school, San Antonio Spurs, and much more!


The Great Falls Tribune reported that Tuesday marked the official roll-out of a $1.8 million Apple ConnectED technology grant to the Box Elder School District. Each of the district’s 418 students received a new iPad 2, plus 48 extra to cover anticipated growth in enrollment over the next few years. And that was just the beginning. Teachers receive a MacBook Air and an iPad 4 and aides get an iPad 4.

This is wonderful news for Box Elder. Thank you, Apple!


That’s how many people filed new claims for unemployment last week. (USDOL)


That’s the annual salary of the athletic director at Montana State University, but maybe that salary is not enough.

Several sources, including the Salt Lake Tribune, reported that after accepting the athletic director’s job at Montana State last week, Kyle Brennan has had a change of heart and will return to his old job as Utah’s deputy athletic director. Brennan expressed concern about finding affordable housing in Bozeman, moving his children into new schools and that, overall, the move “didn’t feel right.”

I hear Belgrade, Manhattan, and the Walmart parking lot in Bozeman are nice places to stay…


The Associated Press is reporting that Montana Lottery officials say no one has claimed a $10,000 prize from December’s Montana Millionaire drawing. The ticket expires on June 18. Also, a $5,000 Mega Millions prize from the Jan. 12 drawing also has gone unclaimed.

I volunteer to drive to Helena to collect the winnings since no one has claimed them…


KPAX in Missoula reported that not everybody who showed up to see Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders got to actually see him in person. The Missoula Downtown Association estimates about 9,000 tried to get in, but over 4,000 couldn’t get close enough to see him.


The Billings Gazette reported that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke to a “standing room only crowd of 3,008 at MetraPark” Wednesday evening.

I heard a rumor that there were either 3,009 or 3,010 people attending…


A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Wednesday found 41 percent of likely voters supporting Hillary Clinton and 40 percent backing Donald Trump, with 19 percent undecided. The survey of 1,289 people was conducted over five days and has a credibility interval of 3 percentage points.


About 60 people attended a public meeting in Great Falls Wednesday evening to discuss fireworks. (GF Tribune)

Knowing how the Great Falls city commission operates, l look for them to pass an ordinance making it illegal to shoot fireworks while talking on a cell phone…


The Hill reported this week that Hillary Clinton has promised to release information about Area 51 — a Nevada Air Force base where many believe the U.S. keeps top secret information about extraterrestrial beings — if she is elected president.

Is this a great country or what? All we need now is for Hillary to release the details about chemtrails…

The truth is out there…


Last night Max Scherzer joined three other pitchers who have struck out 20 batters in a major league game in nine innings. They are Roger Clemens (who did it twice), Kerry Wood, and Randy Johnson. (ESPN)

Scherzer is a Missouri product – he was born in St. Louis and attended college at the University of Missouri. Congrats! #Mizzou


New members of Congress raised 16 percent more from political action committees tied to corporations, unions and issue groups in 2015 than they did in the entire two-year cycle in which they ran for office, according to a new report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

In Congress, it’s all about the next election…


Here is a photo of two pairs of shoes on a power line near the University of Great Falls (MT). I walk by this area often and wonder what the story is behind these shoes.

Shoes on power line

One pair of shoes actually has a CD attached. They look like wrestling shoes. Maybe the CD contains highlights of someone’s collegiate wrestling career – or maybe it’s a copy of a wrestling movie like “Nacho Libre” or “Vision Quest!”


The Ravalli County (MT) Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating a report of a Corvallis school bus driver leaving a developmentally disabled girl on the bus after she was transported to school. The Corvallis School District said the driver forgot to take the student off the bus. The district said the girl missed three hours of school before she was discovered, and then was delivered to school for the second half of the day. (NBC Montana)

This is inexcusable.


ESPN is reporting that the NBA said in its Last Two Minute Report posted Wednesday that San Antonio was on the wrong end of two incorrect non-calls down the stretch of Wednesday’s Spurs-Thunder game, which Oklahoma City won 95-91 for a 3-2 series lead.

Seems the Spurs have been on the wrong end of the calls several times in this series against the Thunder.


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