The Battle of the Tsushima Straits is the most underrated moment of historical importance in the 20th century.
We’ve all heard lots of different explanations for the start of the First World War. The standard ones are as follows: Europe was a mess of alliances, imperial powers treated war like a game, and one unlucky arch-duke got offed by anarchists.
Less commonly mentioned is Russia’s lack of international prestige, a situation that made it desperate for military victories at the same time it made the Central Powers contemptuous of Russia’s strength.
Russia was the first country to mobilize in 1914 (with its “period preparatory to war”) after Austria issued an ultimatum to Serbia and it was arguably this mobilization that set the stage for a continent spanning war.
Why was Russia so desperate and the Central Powers so unworried?
Well, over 24 hours on May 27/28th, 1905, Russia went from...
In 2006, Dr. Atul Gawande wrote an article in The New Yorker about maternal care entitled “How Childbirth Went Industrial”. It’s an excellent piece from an author who consistently produces excellent pieces. In it, Gawande charts the rise of the C-section, from its origin as technique so dangerous it was considered tantamount to murder (and consequently banned on living mothers), to its current place as one of the most common surgical procedures carried out in North American hospitals.
The C-section – and epidurals and induced labour – have become so common because obstetrics has become ruthlessly focused on maximizing the Apgar score of newborns. Along the way, the field ditched forceps (possibly better for the mother yet tricky to use...