The list of weekly items has gotten a bit longer this week as I added some military spending statistics to the mix. I'm always fascinated by those numbers, mostly because of how much more the U.S. spends over everyone else. As things stand according to the latest data, of the top 10 countries in military spending, the U.S. spends more than the next 8. Number-2 China, spends more than the next 3.

Next week we'll try adding some sports ranks to the ever-growing list.





read more...Weekly Review

Editor's Note: When I first started thinking about SilverMedals.net, along with feature stories and shorter blog posts about second-ranked superlatives, I envisioned there being a digest of current "second-ranked" events, lists, and stories on the site that would be updated periodically — somewhat of an anti-Harpers Index, which is about as high as I could aspire to in this case. A weekly digest seemed a good thing not only for editorial reasons, but it's also easier to compile on a weekly basis than, say, a daily one.

read more...Weekly Review

Second feats and events can come to me from anywhere here at SilverMedals.net, where I've taken the collection of "seconds" in history to new and obsessive levels. This one comes from an interesting book review in the The New Yorker by Adam Gopnik who wrote about composer Andrew Lloyd Weber's new memoir, Unmasked.

read more...Arts & Pop Culture Music Musicians Television
Updated: 02/28/2018

Finner, razorback, flathead, common rorqual, herring whale, fin whale — these are all names for the finback whale, an animal that few outside of the marine biology or maritime communities know or care about. But it is a majestic animal with sleek hydrodynamic lines and curves that roams the world's oceans gulping down plankton and fish in astonishing quantities.

read more...Science Animals

The table below lists the silver medal winners for each event from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. The bobsleigh events threw a few curveballs this year.

The 2-man bobsleigh competition resulted in a tie for gold between Canada and Germany, therefore there were only two gold medalists, one bronze medalist and no silver medalists, which for we enthusiasts at SilverMedals.net is a result just short of tragedy.

read more...Sports Olympics

If you're a rich person looking for a place to hide your money from the evil tax-collecting hoards in your home country, or maybe you're a super rich drug dealer who doesn't want your local government asking questions about that Bentley parked in your quarter-mile driveway when on your last return you reported earnings of only $28,000, then look no further than the United States of America, the world's second-largest tax haven, just behind Switzerland and just ahead of the Cayman Islands.

read more...Economics

It's February 2 — favorite day for SilverMedals.net enthusiasts! Not only is it the second day of the second month and the anniversary of the launch of SilverMedals.net, it is also Groundhog Day! Yes, it's the day where fancy men in top hats stand outside in the freezing cold staring at the furry little rodents and their shadows. As a reminder for groundhog enthusiasts, if the groundhog "sees" his shadow, it means we're in for 6 more weeks of winter; if he does not, then the warmer weather should blow in sooner.

read more...Science Arts & Pop Culture

Last May, SM did a blog post on a team of mountain climbers from Poland who were going to attempt a winter ascent on K2, little did anyone know that those same climbers would end up being heroes.

read more...Geography Exploration Feats

A celestial event will occur in February 2018. The event may not be as exciting as say, an eclipse, or a comet, or a good meteor shower. In fact, it's not even an event per se, but more an oddity of the calendar. For ease of language we'll just call it an "event". So the event about which I am writing (which seems even more less eventy the more I go on) is that there will be no full moon in February 2018. Exciting right? Okay, maybe not exciting, but it's at least kinda interesting.

read more...Science Space
Updated: 02/22/2018

Dick Sargent is one of those actors who had roles in almost every major network TV show over the course of his career, which lasted just under 40 years from the 1950s to the 1990s. His resume included appearances or starring roles on Dr.

read more...Arts & Pop Culture Actors Television

I've probably been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art about 60 or 70 times over the years, and I'm pretty sure I've seen every gallery there, but I haven't always given pieces the proper attention they deserve. Then again, how could I? There are millions of pieces  from all over the world and from all different time periods, nine times out of ten have no idea of the significance of what I'm looking that other than it may look pretty darn interesting (which isn't a bad thing, really).

read more...Arts & Pop Culture Architecture Scuplture

There are many dozens of programming languages that exist in the tech universe today. In no particular order, Assembly, BASIC, C, C++, C#, Fortran, Java, Perl, Python, Javascript, PHP, SQL, Delphi, Visual Basic, Lua, Lisp, Go, Objective-C, Swift, ColdFusion, R, Actionscript, COBOL, Erlang, ABC, Haskell, ASP, A, B, D, E, F, F#, F*, G, Pascal, Tcl, YAML, SALSA are some of the languages out there for programmers to choose from. Some such as Java or Python can be used for anything. Some such as SQL are used for specific purposes, in this case for talking to SQL databases.

read more...Science Computers

History was made on November 13, 2017, when a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi, sold for $450.3 million at auction to an unknown buyer, making it the most expensive painting ever sold at auction1. Dating from around 1500, the oil on walnut panel painting depicts Jesus Christ against a dark background holding a very unrealistic glass orb.

read more...Arts & Pop Culture Painting

The armistice1 that ended the fighting in World War I was signed by representatives from Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, at 5AM on 11/11/1918, in a railroad carriage in Compiègne, France, but the agreement didn't go into effect for another six hours. WWI would end at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which was fine for those who like things wrapped up in neat little packages for posterity, but bad for those who were still in the trenches living like rats and getting shot at. 

read more...History War

The quarterback-heavy New England Patriots the other day traded their backup (or second-string) quarterback to the quarterback-needy San Francisco 49ers for a pick in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft.

read more...Sports Football