Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from April 29th, 2011

Over the Bridge

April 29th, 2011 · No Comments

Have a date with the American bureaucracy this morning, so zipping out with a lil’ vintage Turkish funk. First got turned on to the tune above by a sample from Action Bronson’s decidedly NSFW “The Madness”, which I initially mistook for a new Ghostface cut. Not sure I’m tempted to sift through Ferdi Özbğen‘s entire […]

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Requiem for the Slug Kings

April 28th, 2011 · 1 Comment

A surprising number of tears were shed when the world’s last manual-typewriter factory announced its shuttering a few days back. Once again, generations of technological know-how are set to evaporate as a once state-of-the-art invention tumbles into museum mode. The manual typewriter industry’s long-anticipated demise got me thinking about engineering wizards whose skills have been […]

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Mushrooms for Strength

April 27th, 2011 · 7 Comments

I’m currently up to my eyeballs in research on a piece about Soviet athletic excellence, which was a more enigmatic phenomenon than most folks realize. There really isn’t one definitive explanation for the nation’s sporting success throughout its last three decades of existence, though there are certainly plenty of theories. As I’ve become immersed in […]

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What’s in Wyoming?

April 26th, 2011 · No Comments

Limited time to work today as Microkhan Jr. still has one day left of spring break, which he has apparently decided to spend attempting to coax me into serial games of hide-and-seek. Trying to grab a few hours here and there to focus on what pays the bills ’round this humble yurt, and that means […]

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The Folly of Youth

April 25th, 2011 · 5 Comments

I’m just now getting cranking on a sports-related project—my first crack at writing about the athletic games that adults play since I covered the Nagano Olympics as a mere cub. To get into the right mindset for the challenge, I’ve been looking up the old Sports Illustrated stories that influenced me so deeply as young’un. […]

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The Scope of the Slithery Problem

April 22nd, 2011 · 4 Comments

One of the great riddles of epidemiology is the toll of snakebites on India. Various studies over the years have estimated the annual death toll anywhere from 1,300 to 50,000. Until recently, the most convincing analysis out there, based on data from local hospitals, put the number of fatalities at roughly 11,000 per year. But […]

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The Giggle Box Comes Back

April 21st, 2011 · 3 Comments

I recently watched Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, which I can best describe as surprisingly awesome. As a resident of the Empire State, I thought I had a pretty good handle on our former governor’s self-destruction, but the flick gave me a whole new perspective on the affair. It’s shamelessly pro-Spitzer, […]

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Prick Up Your Ears

April 20th, 2011 · 4 Comments

It’s been a long time since overtly political music was considered dangerous in this country—as much as I like Dead Prez, for example, I sort of doubt that the FBI is bothering to give the group the John Lennon treatment. But the situation is very different in the anarchic amalgam commonly known as Somalia, a […]

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Keeping Up with the Boatengs

April 19th, 2011 · 4 Comments

Who among us doesn’t enjoy a tale of humanity laughing in the face of death? And so a zillion eyeballs were understandably drawn to this entertaining New York Times‘ account of the massive parties that Ghanaian expatriates throw when a loved one back home meets his or her Maker. This admirably raucous tradition is a […]

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Coin on a Wire

April 18th, 2011 · No Comments

Sorry to start the week out on a rushed note, but gotta jet out to the far reaches of Queens to work some business magic. Back soonest.

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Introducing the Ponchos

April 15th, 2011 · 12 Comments

I’m assuming this news will break few hearts, but Bad Movie Friday is gonna go on hiatus for a while. I just got a little sick of sifting through the mountains of cinematic dreck each week; it’s pretty depressing to realize that Invasion U.S.A. is actually the cream of the B-grade action crop. And so […]

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The Scent of Perfume in Biloxi

April 14th, 2011 · No Comments

Since I know first-hand the terrible things that young men are capable of when deprived of romantic companionship for too long, I fear for the future of India. The country’s gender ratio is skewing way too male these days, which means that tens of millions of 21-year-old men will one day find themselves coming up […]

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The Patron Saint of Chi-Chi’s

April 13th, 2011 · No Comments

I’m working on a Wired piece that’s requiring some deep-diving into Patent Office history, and so I’ve recently been losing myself in Google’s nifty patents database (which is far more user-friendly than Uncle Sam’s). For some odd reason, I’ve found myself gravitating toward food-technology patents, since engineering innovation has obviously remade the American diet—and, by […]

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A Different Kind of Road Rage

April 12th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Because Bangladesh’s public institutions are rickety at best, frustrated citizens often feel as if they have no choice but to resort to vigilantism. That’s certainly been the case in regards to the country’s abysmal road safety situation, as the police seldom exhibit any interest punishing drivers who mow down pedestrians or rickshaw pullers. The result […]

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Dirty Necks

April 11th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Mere hours to go before the first draft of my latest Wired yarn is due, and I’m struggling to come up with an ending that amounts to more than just a variation on “Only time will tell.” I reckon it’ll somehow have to incorporate the information offered here, but how to pull off that neat […]

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In Praise of Ugly Robots

April 8th, 2011 · 1 Comment

For robot designers, the natural inclination has always been to make their creations look more and more human over successive generations. After all, isn’t it safe to assume that we ultimately want our artificial analogues to reflect their makers’ biological perfection? But there is a danger in this trend, depending on the sorts of applications […]

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Edible Pigeons and the Misuse of Technology

April 7th, 2011 · 3 Comments

One of my favorite Ponzi schemes of recent vintage was Pigeon King International, which convinced thousands of cash-strapped farmers to raise so-called “rats of the sky” in backyard pens. The scam’s mastermind, Arlan Galbraith, claimed that poultry-loving North Americans were on the verge of falling in love with roasted squab, and that farmers who bred […]

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Squabs TK

April 6th, 2011 · No Comments

Got way mired in some morning reporting, and now the rest of the day is blocked off to attack the next monthly Wired column. Back tomorrow with a report on the squab bubble of the 1920s, and how investors too seldom learn from the missteps of the past.

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To the Teeth

April 5th, 2011 · 5 Comments

Granted, I haven’t been following the whole “rebirth of piracy” story as closely as I should be. But I nevertheless floored to read this assessment of just how bad the situation has gotten, particularly for sailors who lack the personal financial resources to wriggle free of captivity: Some 600 seafarers are at present held for […]

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Up from the Underground

April 4th, 2011 · 5 Comments

Though I only recently became aware of the fact that Burkina Faso is a hotbed of film production, I was completely unsurprised to learn that the nation’s movie industry is deeply troubled. The primary culprit, as you might surmise, is piracy; as cinemas have vanished with the proliferation of affordable DVD players, the markets in […]

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Revege of the Cobra (Kai)

April 1st, 2011 · 1 Comment

Felt weird to leave my political thoughts atop the blog for the weekend—I know you come here for more off-the-beaten-path fare, since my smarter fellow travelers already have that beat covered. So I’m gonna outro from this crazy week with a quick lil’ Bad Movie Friday entry: the Pat Morita death scene from 1999’s beyond-dreadful […]

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Laissez-Faire

April 1st, 2011 · No Comments

One of the pluses of travel these days is that it affords me the opportunity to catch up on reading. (The parents in the audience know well that young’uns page-rate down by quite a bit.) On this latest Texas trip, when I wasn’t busy finagling my way into a remote immigration detention facility, I stole […]

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