Geography

Cities with the Second-Worst and Second-Best Air Quality in the U.S.

04/29/2019

Several cities in the U.S. had a dark smoggy cloud come over them last week as the American Lung Association (ALA) released its annual State of the Air report. The sobering and slightly depressing report uses data on particulate matter — otherwise known as “soot” — and ground-level ozone — otherwise known as “smog” — that was collected between 2015…read more

Louis Rudd — Second Person to Complete a Solo Traverse of Antarctica

01/06/2019

When it comes to polar exploration, history is the mother of all excursion. To close out 2018, Louis Rudd became the second person to complete a solo crossing of the continent of Antarctica. In what seems a repeat of the Shackleton/Amundsen race to the pole (that was a race to the pole and not a traversal of the continent), the…read more

Disappearing Island and a Lost Habitat

10/25/2018

Almost all of what was the second-biggest island in the French Frigate Shoals disappeared on or around October 4 after having been hit by Hurricane Walaka. The category 4 storm’s high winds sent a storm surge over the small islet almost completely destroying it. The now-gone 11-acre island was known as East Island and was part of the Northwestern Hawaiian…read more

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

02/22/2018

Updated on 01/27/2019

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…read more

Elite Polish K2 Climbers

01/28/2018

Updated on 10/08/2018

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. A multi-national climbing party was attempting to summit Nanga Parbat, the second-highest peak in Pakistan at 26,660ft (8,125m), and the ninth-highest mountain…read more

Elcano, Drake, or Urdaneta?

10/11/2017

Updated on 10/26/2018

You’d think that if finding out the first person to do something was relatively easy, then finding the second person to do something would be just as easy, right? SilverMedals finds that this is not the case in many cases, and annoyingly so. For instance who was the second person to circumnavigate the globe? Most of us American kids learned…read more