Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from May 31st, 2011

Alternate Reality Jazzercise

May 31st, 2011 · No Comments

The exercise visionary Sim D. Kehoe believed that the swinging of Indian clubs could lead to utmost fitness. To his great credit, he recommended such workouts for properly attired ladies as well as men who dreamed of becoming the next Eugen Sandow. In fact, Kehoe had high hopes that Indian club training would help cultivate […]

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Wormholes

May 27th, 2011 · 4 Comments

After much travel-related unpleasantness—most occurring by Gate F8 at the Philadelphia airport—I’m back in my beloved Atlah. Thanks so much for putting up with this week’s sporadic posting; rest assured the absence will pay off down the line, as I managed to collect some dynamite research for my next book. Getting really excited about how […]

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U.S. Airways Has Made a Powerful Enemy

May 27th, 2011 · 6 Comments

I’m writing this post a bit before 1 a.m. as I sit in the Philadelphia airport, awaiting a 6:45 a.m. flight home. I find myself in this predicament thanks to the horrid incompetence of U.S. Airways, which saw fit to cancel my connecting flight to LaGuardia after a five-hour delay. (The lackluster explanation given: “Maintenance.”) […]

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An Explanation for the Drabness

May 25th, 2011 · 4 Comments

One of the small upsides of traveling is that it’s given me time to catch up on the to-read queue—not much else to do in a small Oregon town after sundown, except devour information and good beer in equal measure. The first book to fall was Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy, which is both brilliant […]

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Questing in Oregon

May 23rd, 2011 · No Comments

As noted late last week, I’ll be on the road in Oregon for the next few days, gathering research for the next book. I’ll try to post when possible, but apologies in advance for skipped days; gotta focus on the task at hand before I jet back to Atlah. For the moment, enjoy another artifact […]

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We’ve Been Here Before

May 20th, 2011 · 8 Comments

I’m scheduled to begin a long journey to the southwest Oregon coast tomorrow, and thus have spent a good deal of the morning getting ready for the trip. While making sure that my digital recorder had enough battery juice to serve me well, I had an unexpected twinge of worry: What if the nutters handing […]

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Sportverbot

May 19th, 2011 · No Comments

Writing about the hammer throw has got me thinking a lot about Soviet Bloc athletics, and in turn one of the phenomena that fascinated me during my youth: East-to-West defectors. I was always drawn to tales of sportsmen from the other side of the Iron Curtain who decided to chuck it all and start anew […]

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“Maybe a Kiss in the Dark, Maybe a Knife in the Back”

May 18th, 2011 · No Comments

Today’s all about putting nose to grindstone and writing about the greatest hammer thrower who ever lived, so not much time to Microkhan, alas. But I leave you with a delectable treat: the trailer to 1973′s Wonder Women, which absolutely should have triumphed over The Great Gatsby for the Best Costume Design Oscar. Just check […]

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Transporting Hammerheads

May 17th, 2011 · 2 Comments

I surely can’t be the only aquarium patron who, when confronted with a vast array of exotic sealife sealed behind glass, can only wonder how the largest of those captive animals was transported to their new homes. Sharks, of course, present special challenges, given their size and potential ferocity. And no shark species has proven […]

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Would These Men Juice?

May 16th, 2011 · 3 Comments

For obvious reasons, I have been avidly following the performance of Mongolian grandmaster Dul Erdenebileg at the ongoing World Draughts Championship in The Netherlands. (Previous checkers-related posting here.) In the course of keeping up on the tourney’s matches, I noticed something rather odd: the organizing body is apparently quite serious about drug testing. The complete […]

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I’m Gonna Beat This Deadline Now

May 13th, 2011 · No Comments

Lost a day to partially feigned child illness this week, so scrambling to meet yet another Wired deadline before a preschool picnic. Apologies for not yet following through on installment two of the Ponchos; next Friday, for sure.

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Pawns in the Game

May 12th, 2011 · No Comments

Is there any professional sports league in the world more troubled than Serbia’s top soccer division? Yesterday’s championship ended in utter confusion, after one side walked off to protest some questionable refereeing. Though I haven’t yet seen video of the plays in question, the losing players had every right to be suspicious—Serbia has endured its […]

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The Revolution Will Not be Besotted

May 11th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Did East Germany contribute to its own demise by launching an official program to combat alcoholism? New research, packaged under the ominous title The Blue Strangler (a nickname for cheap vodka), makes the case: Despite the steep prices, high proof alcohol was popular and the average GDR citizen drank 23 bottles of liquor a year […]

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Picking Up the Yurts

May 10th, 2011 · No Comments

Out in the outer boroughs today, trying to hook up a geographical shift for Microkhan world headquarters. As much as I’ve loved living in Atlah, this shoebox-sized abode has become intolerable; I blame all lousy writing on the fact that I’ve been reduced to working on the floor of Microkhan Jr.’s room during school hours. […]

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Soft Time in Finland

May 9th, 2011 · No Comments

Buried in this account of a Rwandan-born, Kansas-based octogenarian who may be a genocidaire is an interesting tidbit regarding Finnish jurisprudence: Mr. Kobagaya did not come to the United States government’s attention until December 2007, when he agreed to testify as a defense witness on behalf of a former neighbor, Francois Bazaramba, in a trial […]

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“He Stayed to Write a Grander Legend”

May 6th, 2011 · 3 Comments

Since I can scarcely imagine life without the biological rocket fuel known as caffeine, I’m counting my lucky stars this morning that I’m not a Cuban. That’s because sky-high coffee prices have forced the government to cut rations, meaning that Cuba’s java addicts must now satisfy their urges with a beverage partly concocted from roasted […]

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Nonlinear Athletic Niches

May 5th, 2011 · 2 Comments

I’m heading upstate today to attend a workout with a world-class track-and-field athlete, as part of my reporting for a story about the limits (or lack thereof) of human performance. In the course of my research, I’ve had occasion to give a lot of thought to nonlinear athletic niches, a spin on the economic phenomenon […]

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The Hazards of Herding Blitzen

May 4th, 2011 · 1 Comment

In case you don’t keep regular tabs on Scandinavian jurisprudence, I’d like to draw your attention to a recent legal triumph by a group of Sami reindeer herders who operate in Sweden’s forbidding north. After 14 years of litigation, the herders have finally won the right to let their animals graze in the forests around […]

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Hiding in Plain Sight

May 3rd, 2011 · 4 Comments

I somehow doubt we’ll ever hear the full story regarding what Pakistan’s intelligence apparatus knew about Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts these past five years. It is totally naïve to think they knew naught, of course; the big question is who in the spook food chain was in on the conspiracy, and (perhaps most important) what […]

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Let it All Come Down

May 2nd, 2011 · No Comments

If you desire a brief respite from today’s deluge of bin Laden-related news and punditry, take a sec to check out the work of Bern Will Brown. He’s sort of the Paul Gaugin of the frozen north, having settled into the tiny Arctic hamlet of Colville Lake many decades ago. Though he originally journeyed up […]

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