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Performance enhancers and war go hand in hand

The use of performance-enhancing drugs has a long history in war, both as a product of state-sanctioned programs and illicit use by participants. Aggression, energy and alertness have always been critical to any warfighter, but artificial means of achieving and maintaining a state of combat readiness have evolved—or devolved, as the case may be—and...
  • A global arms race is simmering, only this one does not involve robots, nuclear weapons, laser beams or other futuristic gadgets. Rather, these rivals are trying to outdo one another in an age-old quest to extend the limits of the human body. Militaries around the...
  • Resurrecting the memory of a WW II pilot

    June 6, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    For years, it was my favourite photograph in the rather extensive album my father assembled chronicling his time overseas as a medical officer with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. The black-and-white image (ABOVE) shows a classic 1940s-era air force pilot...
  • Two pictures, a thousand stories and millions of lives

    May 30, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. These two pictures spawned a thousand stories and to this day, some 70 years later, they speak in profound reflection to two triumphs and the prices paid. Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima by Joe Rosenthal and...
  • Who won the war in Europe? Historians weigh in

    May 23, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    History isn’t always what we might assume it to be, and there appears to be no consensus among nations over the question of which country contributed most to the Allies’ Second World War victory in Europe. The North American public tends to assume that the...
  • Preparing for a nuclear attack

    May 22, 2018 by David J. Bercuson
    At the end of November, an article appeared on the CBC news website announcing that the Privy Council Office—the bureaucratic arm of the federal cabinet—drafted an agreement with the Department of National Defence to open up two old Cold War-era bunkers in the National Capital...
  • They provided medical aid, comfort and peace to wounded and dying soldiers throughout decades of conflict, but it was during the First World War that the nursing sisters of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps came into their own. Nicknamed “Bluebirds” for their blue dresses...
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