Science

Finback Whale — Word's Second-Largest Animal

02/26/2018
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. 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!

 

2018 Groundhog Round-up

02/02/2018

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.

Moonless February

01/25/2018

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.

The Python Programming Language

12/05/2017

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.

Laika the Space Dog

10/24/2017

Sputnik 1 was successfully launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957, becoming the first artificial object to reach Earth orbit. Having been launched during the Cold War era, this tiny, beeping, ball-shaped satellite caused great concern among many paranoid red-scared Americans for whom the event was not so much a great moment of scientific achievement, but rather a disconcerting development in the Soviet-American balance of power, which effectively put the Soviets thoroughly ahead of the U.S. in the so-called “space race”.

Second-Degree Burns

10/19/2017

Author's note: Please don't be a moron. Under no circumstances should anything written in this post be considered medical advice or be used for diagnostic purposes. Doctors do that stuff. I'm not a doctor and I don't pretend to be. SilverMedals.net is not a refereed journal by any stretch.

Lesedi La Rona Diamond

10/05/2017

A little over a week ago, the Lesedi La Rona diamond, the second-biggest gem-quality* diamond ever found, sold for a whopping $53 million. Well, whopping is a relative term here, just a few years prior the diamond had failed to sell at auction when nobody was willing to meet the opening bid price, which Sotheby's had set at $70 million.

Finding the World's Second-Biggest Lake Island

09/11/2017
You’d think it would be easy to establish which is the world’s second-biggest lake island — a lake island being an island on a lake. For the most part, you can look at a map, figure out which bodies of water are the lakes, then look for the islands in them. Simple right? For the biggest lake island, it’s super simple. When you get to the second-biggest, however, things get complicated fast.

Nagasaki — Second City to Suffer a Nuclear Attack

08/20/2017
Updated
05/08/2018
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.