As I've written in a previous post, I'm moving SilverMedals.net to a new platform, one that is easier to maintain yet still powerful enough to accommodate all I want to do with this site. For the most part I've got it all set up and designed, but now comes the tedious part of moving content over. From a data perspective, moving the actual content over is pretty easy, however, there are a lot of style and image issues that are cropping up such as picture captions being messed up, sidebar issues, and some general loose ends.
When Alan Bean retired from NASA and decided to become a full-time professional fine-art artist, he had to shed his aeronautical engineering and astronaut self to allow his inner artistic vision come through to the canvas. Not an easy task for the former Apollo 12 astronaut, one of only 12 men to have walked on the surface of the moon, a person who spent his entire adult life in the very un-artistic no-BS world of naval aviation and astronaut training, where attention to detail and doing things "by the book" was essential.
For the past few months, I've been doing less in terms of writing pieces for SilverMedals.net and more stuff on the administrative back end of the site. That is, the boring codey stuff that makes this site operate. Not to get too technical but I'm in the midst of a platform change — well, I can't really say "midst" since I don't have a concrete end date for when this is supposed to happen, so I guess it would be more true to say that I'm about waste deep in a platform change that I realized I should have made about a year ago. More on that later.
The world got a little smaller over the weekend, especially for those who live in the greater London and Perth areas. Qantas, the Australian airline once made popular by the character Raymond Babbitt1 in the movie Rain Man, just added a new nonstop route to its commercial route offerings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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