Russia-Ukraine: Two years of war
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Humpday recommendations 1/31/2024

Watch:“Masters of the Air” Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg can’t stop producing WWII content, and I’m not mad about it. If you’re a history nerd like me and enjoyed “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” I would highly recommend checking out this new show on Apple TV. It focuses on the brutal air battles of WWII, offering an intense glimpse into Allied efforts to take the fight to the Nazis from above. – John

Listen: Twilight of the Aesir, Part II”: On the banks of the river Volga in the year 921, Ahmad ibn Fadlan, an ambassador from the Caliph in Baghdad encountered “the filthiest of all Allah’s creatures”: the Rus. Burly, tattooed slavers worshiping violent, jealous gods from the frozen north in ibn Fadlan’s day, within a few generations these fearsome “Eastern Vikings” had taken Slavic names and went to war under the Christian cross. In the second installment of Dan Carlin’s epic narrative about how Odin’s berserkers became brides of Christ, the veteran podcaster turns his eye to the much-understudied east, and the blood-soaked process that turned the Rus into Russians. (Skip the bit about their cleaning rituals — truly stomach-churning) – Matt

WatchBlue Eye Samurai”: This 2023 Netflix animated series deserves all the hype and more. Action-packed with a strong storyline, this show, set in the Edo period, centers around Mizu, a half-white half-Japanese outcasted samurai, out to seek revenge from the four white men who invaded Japan to bring in Western influence. The show has flawed yet well-developed characters, tons of blood, history, wholesome sidekicks, and a focused aim. It’s one of the best-animated shows I’ve seen and makes for a perfect Saturday binge! - Suhani

Read: “The Trials of Madame Restell” by Nicolas L. Syrett. For forty years, out of her home office at 148 Greenwich Street, Madame Restell gave an array of gynecological and abortions in nineteenth-century New York, when abortion was illegal but de facto tolerated. The book follows how Madame Restell built a gynecological empire by embracing that “there’s no bad press” as well as the shifts in medicine, morality, and law that shaped it.Riley

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