October 1944 (5)

Pacific Paratrooper

20 October – the X and XXIV Corps of the 6th Army, under General Krueger, made their amphibious landing on a 25-mile (40 km) stretch of coastline between Dulag and Tacloban on the eastern side of Leyte.

At o945, the 1st Cavalry went ashore on White Beach, the 24th Infantry Division went on their left at Red Beach and the 96th Infantry Division landed further south on Orange and Blue Beaches.  They all moved inland for about a mile, hitting stiffer resistance as they went.

The 7th Infantry Division at Violet and Yellow Beaches had the lightest opposition, but Dulag was taken by the following day.  MacArthur described the view he witnessed from the flag bridge of the USS Nashville:

Gen. MacArthur surveys the beachhead ay Leyte.

Landings are explosive once the shooting begins and now thousands of guns were throwing their shells with a roar that was incessant…

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Good News For Rail Passenger Service In California


By Noel T. Braymer

Could California make money running passenger trains in the near future?

The LOSSAN Joint Powers Authority recently came out with a draft for its Business Plan for Fiscal Years 2017-18 and 2018-19. In this proposed Business Plan is a lot of information about recent ridership and revenue growth for the Pacific Surfliner trains which LOSSAN oversees. Most telling is the improvement in the Farebox Cost recovery. By law the Pacific Surfliner must earn at least 55% of its costs from the farebox. For fiscal year 2012-13 the Surfliner’s farebox recovery was 61.7%, for 2013-14 67.1%, for 2014-15 70.5% and for the last fiscal year 2015-16 it was 78.8%. Now when comparing farebox recovery over the years for the Surfliners, the problem is what Amtrak charges the State has changed and increased many times since the 1970’s when California first supported rail passenger service between Los Angeles…

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Why the Number Line Freaks Me Out

Math with Bad Drawings

One of my favorite quotes about mathematics is from John von Neumann:

“In mathematics you don’t understand things. You just get used to them.”

On one level, this runs against everything I believe as a teacher. Mathematics should not be an intimidating collection of inscrutable methods! It should be a timidating collection of scrutable methods! We should accept nothing on authority. Everything in mathematics is there to be understood.

And I do believe that.

But I also know that mathematics is full of startles and shocks. I know that even the simplest objects can bury deep secrets.

Take the number line.


Boring, right? Nothing could be more prosaic.

Well, that’s only because you’ve gotten used to it. To my mind, the number line merits only one possible reaction:


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Utica Comets Roll To 6th Straight Win Over Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Utica, NY – The Utica Comets secured the team’s sixth straight win with a 2-1 regulation victory against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

Thatcher Demko and Jaroslav Halak picked up where they left off from Sunday’s goaltender duel. The two netminders turned aside all scoring chances in the first period. The Comets were denied on two different power play chances and 12 total shots. Demko stopped all seven shots in the frame.

Curits Valk broke the scoreless tie with 5:08 left in the second period. His 15th of the year was scored on a backhand shot with assists from Jake Virtanen and Cody Kunyk. The goal occurred directly after a fight between Cole Cassels and Kyle Burroughs. Towards the end of the stanza, Borna Rendulic was penalized on a hooking call. The Sound Tigers began to grab momentum but the score remained 1-0 headed into the third period.

Michael Carcone extended the Comets lead with a one-timer goal in front of the net. The goal, scored 6:36 into the third period, was assisted by Pascal Pelletier on a pass from behind the net. Kellen Jones cut the lead to 2-1 with his fourth of the year scored on a wrist shot as soon as he entered the Utica zone. Burroughs and Devon Toews assisted on the goal at 9:40. Halak was pulled for the extra attacker in the closing minutes but the Comets held on to cruise to five straight wins on home ice.

Demko won his six straight game by stopping 23 of 24 shots and improving his record to 15-11-4. Halak lost his third game to the Comets, all of which in regulation. The goaltender stopped 26 of 28 shots to move his record to 15-4-3. The other regulation loss occurred against the Providence Bruins on February 24.

The Comets killed the lone penalty in the game and were scoreless on two power play chances.

The Comets visit the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. The game will be broadcasted live from the PPL Center on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.

For the latest Comets news visit http://www.uticacomets.com or follow the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/uticacomets), Twitter (@UticaComets), Instagram (@UticaComets), Snapchat (@UticaComets) and the Comets YouTube Channel.

2016 Sports Moments: Top 10


What a year! I hope everybody enjoyed 2016. If you didn’t for whatever reason, I hope 2017 will be a better one. In the sports world, we definitely had our fair share of good and bad moments. We even had some interesting moments like Odell Beckham Jr. going one on one with a kicking net (and losing), Rougned Odor knocking the shades off of Jose Bautista’s face, Kevin Durant shaking up the NBA by signing with the Golden State Warriors, and JR Smith being topless for about half the week (supposedly) since the beginning of the Cleveland Cavaliers championship parade.

Honorable Mentions

  • Joe Thomas Sr. (55 year old running back from South Carolina State becoming the oldest man to play Division I football. His son Joe Thomas Jr. is a linebacker for the Green Bay Packers)
  • Colin Kaepernick Kneeling (You may or may not agree with Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling to…

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