Thursday Numbers

I’ve paid my dues
Time after time
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I’ve made a few
I’ve had my share of sand
Kicked in my face
But I’ve come through

-Queen (Freddie Mercury)

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you are a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm and humor.

This week’s topics include new unemployment claims, USA deaths from coronavirus, fully immunized Montanans, Minuteman III test, Bruce Springsteen, lots of wool, U.S. adults identifying as LGBT, March 4, a new record for extreme DUI, and much more!


In the week ending February 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 730,000, a decrease of 111,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 20,000 from 861,000 to 841,000. The 4-week moving average was 807,750, a decrease of 20,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 5,000 from 833,250 to 828,250. (DOL)

*Note: On Thursdays, this column is published right after 6:30 a.m. (Montana time), so I can post the latest unemployment numbers.


That is how many people have died in the United States from coronavirus, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. There are at least 505,899 deaths and 28,336,566 cases across the country so far. The first death in the USA was reported on February 29, 2020. (Johns Hopkins)

Last week the death total was 490,717.


That’s how many Montanans have been fully immunized for COVID-19. (SOURCE)

Last week the number of fully immunized Montanans was 55,504.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Montana’s estimated population in July 2019 was 1,068,778.

That’s just a small percentage of Montanans fully immunized. We should be wearing masks until a higher percentage is fully immunized.


The Air Force launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile and a test re-entry vehicle late Tuesday evening from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The Air Force said the test, whose re-entry vehicle traveled roughly 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, exhibits the United States’ nuclear deterrent is equipped to handle threats, as well as reassure allies. The missile came from the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Montana. (Air Force Times)

I remember when these test launches garnered more press coverage.


Bruce Springsteen has been fined $540 after pleading guilty to consuming alcohol in a national recreation area where drinking is banned, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. Springsteen, who had been operating a motorcycle, submitted to a breath test and blew .02, well under New Jersey’s legal driving limit of a .08 blood alcohol concentration. (AFP)


A sheep named Baarack received a much-needed shearing after rescuers in Australia found the abandoned animal with more than 75 pounds of wool weighing it down. (USA Today)

My hair is getting long, so I kind of know how the sheep feels…


Gallup’s latest update on lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identification finds 5.6% of U.S. adults identifying as LGBT. The current estimate is up from 4.5% in Gallup’s previous update based on 2017 data. (Gallup)


March 4, 2021, is the next big day for the QAnon folks. Newsweek reports that supporters of the radical conspiracy now believe that March 4 will be the day that Trump will still somehow be sworn in as president, seemingly undeterred by the January 20 ceremony, after which Biden entered the White House, and all their other predictions since late 2017 having failed. (Newsweek)

I guess we’ll find out next Thursday. By the way, did I ever tell you about the time I sat between Elvis and Bigfoot on the UFO?


In what appears to be a new record for extreme DUI, a motorist’s blood alcohol content was measured at .77–more than nine times the legal limit–after he crashed his car following a short police chase Friday afternoon, Oregon cops report. (The Smoking Gun)

Montanans are probably saying, “Hold my beer!”