Feature Stories

Finback Whale — Word's Second-Largest Animal


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. Second in size only to its slightly longer but much heavier cousin the blue whale, the finback whale (Balaenoptera physalus) is the second-biggest animal on Earth, and likely one of the top 5 biggest animals ever to exist!


Dick Sargent — The Second "Darrin" on Bewitched


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. Kildare, Gunsmoke, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Hazel, Wagon Train, The Rat Patrol, I Dream of Jeannie, Love American Style, McMillan & Wife, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Tony Randall Show, Three’s Company, The Love Boat, Charlie’s Angels, The Dukes of Hazard, Vega$, Fantasy Island, Alice, Benson, Diff’rent Strokes, Murder She Wrote, and Columbo.

George Lawrence Price — Second-to-Last Soldier Killed in WWI


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. 

Second Day of School for the Little Rock Nine

The decision handed down in 1954 by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka case put an end to the idea of "separate but equal" in the U.S. and effectively ruled that segregation on the basis of race was unconstitutional. It was no longer permissible for public institutions to have separate bathrooms for black people and white people, separate offices for black people and white people, or more to the point of this article, separate schools for black people and white people. For 58 years following the 1896 Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, this type of enforced segregation was the law of the land. It didn't stop there, in many parts of America, it was against the law during to NOT segregate certain facilities.

Nagasaki — Second City to Suffer a Nuclear Attack

Nagasaki was not the primary target for the nuclear attack the United States launched against Japan on the morning of August 9, 1945. It had barely even made the list of potential targets for atomic bombings. Kokura was the primary target, and Nagasaki was the secondary target should weather conditions have prevented the attack on Kokura. Conditions for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which occurred three days earlier, were perfect — sunny, clear skies, nothing to obscure the target. Not so on August 9 over Kokura. The city was obscured by clouds and smoke coming from a nearby town that had been, ironically enough, firebombed by the U.S. the day before. This was a big problem.

The Second Madison Square Garden


Madison Square Garden is New York's premier indoor arena and venue. It is the home of the the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the New York Rangers (NHL) sports franchises. It is the main venue for the Men's Big East Basketball Conference Tournament, the National Invitational Tournament Final and many other sporting and boxing events. Even the first Wrestlemania was held there. As a concert hall, many famous bands and musicians have performed there, including Aerosmith, Marc Anthony, Beyoncé, Black Sabbath, Cher, Eric Clapton, Depeche Mode, Bob Dylan, Missy Elliot, Enrique Iglesias, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Elton John, Alicia Keys, Kiss, Lenny Kravitz, Lady Gaga, John Lennon, Madonna, Metallica, Katy Perry, Phish, Elvis Presley, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Barbara Streisand, Taylor Swift, U2, Kanye West, Whitney Houston, the Who, Neil Young, and many others.

Geri Reischl — the "Fake" Jan Brady


Geri Reischl may not be a household name but she occupies a rather unique place in American pop-cultural history. Some may know her for her singing. Some may know her for her toy ads in the late 60s and early 70s. There are many French Canadians who may remember Reischl from when she toured with singer René Simard. But the majority of those who remember Reischl know her as “Fake Jan.” As in, Jan Brady, the character from the family sitcom, The Brady Bunch.

Ms. Pac-Man — Sequel to Pac-Man

When Pac-Man came out in 1980, it was big. I mean really big. Like “stand in a 10-person line to play for just a few minutes” big. For the price of 25¢, you could guide Pac-Man — a little, binge-eating, yellow, three-quarter circle — through a maze loaded with tasty little white pellets, while being chased by four colorful little ghosts named Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde. Ms. Pac-Man, the sequel to Pac-Man and the second game in the Pac-Man series, was an even bigger success. The game itself was the same, but the game play was better. Ms. Pac-Man travelled faster, as did the ghosts. There were 4 mazes as opposed to the one that you kept playing over and over again in Pac-Man. The ghosts were “smarter” too, that is, they weren’t as predictable as those in Pac-Man. Then of course, there was Ms. Pac-Man, who was just so darn cute.

The History of K2 — The World's Second-Highest Mountain


Attempts to summit K2 begin in Islamabad. From there you will spend a day driving in a rickety bus toward the town of Skardu on the dangerous Karakoram Highway (and they’re using the term “highway” VERY loosely here). You’ll probably have an armed guard wth your party because aside from the road itself being dangerous, there are people on it who want to rob you. If the weather is good, instead of ground transport to Skardu, you can take a one-hour plane flight through the mountains.

Carl Ludwig "Luz" Long — Won the Silver Medal in Long Jump at the 1936 Berlin Olympics


German athlete Luz Long is quite possibly the ultimate Silver Medalist. He is the athlete who finished second to American Jesse Owens in the long jump competition at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, but more than that, he made sports history with a gesture that stunned many who witnessed it. After their competition, Long, a white man, enthusiastically embraced Owens, a black American man, in front of an ecstatic crowd that included many high-ranking Nazi officials, at a time in Germany when such interaction between white and black people was frowned upon. Despite his gesture, Long wasn't looking to make a political statement. The 23-year-old was the greatest long jumper Europe had ever produced and all he wanted was to compete against Owens, who held the world record for the long jump (8.13m), and who was largely considered the greatest athlete in the world.