Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from June 30th, 2011

“The One That Shall Not be Named”

June 30th, 2011 · No Comments

Friend o’ Microkhan Tristan Patterson is the man most responsible for hipping me to the post-baseball travails of Pedro Guerrero. He is also an immensely talented writer and director whose latest project, Dragonslayer, justifiably took home top honors at the latest SXSW Film Festival. Patterson himself provides a summary of the film that makes it […]

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Witch Hunting in Assam

June 29th, 2011 · No Comments

So far this year, Microkhan’s coverage of sorcery-related violence has focused primarily on Papua New Guinea, where efforts at legal reform have done little to reduce the bloodshed. Now comes word that my beloved Assam, one of the primary settings for my first book, is dealing with a similarly tragic wave of killings. The latest […]

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Who’s Hero?

June 28th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Though my ability to feed my family depends entirely on humankind’s affinity for written communication, I’m often surprised by the power of words. Case in point: the developing brouhaha between Hungary and Romania over a plaque tacked onto a statue of King Matthias (right). The monument is located in the Romanian town of Cluj, where […]

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How They Saw Us

June 24th, 2011 · 2 Comments

All the time I spent delving into the Soviet sports machine for my hammer-throw saga got me thinking a lot more about the “Evil Empire” my youth. One of the first truly adult books I read was Hedrick Smith’s The Russians, because I as so curious about what daily life was like in the nation […]

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Where in the World is The Human Fly?

June 23rd, 2011 · 8 Comments

Inspired by The New York Times‘ successful effort to crowdsource a solution to a Nazi mystery, I’ve decided to try something similar in these slightly less august digital pages. Instead of identifying a photographer who documented the brutality of war, my goal is to find out whatever became of Rick Rojatt, a Canadian stuntman who […]

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Try, Try Again

June 22nd, 2011 · 2 Comments

There are few more hallowed legal principles than the protection against double jeopardy, which is enshrined in various constitutions and codes throughout the world. But as allegedly unimpeachable DNA evidence has become more common in courtrooms, a backlash has developed against the centuries-old prohibition against trying a person again after they’ve been acquitted. In Scotland, […]

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The Most Invincible Record in Sports

June 21st, 2011 · 8 Comments

For those loyal Microkhan readers who’ve been wondering why I’ve been posting so much about the hammer throw, consider the mystery solved: my long-gestating ESPN the Magazine piece about Yuriy Sedykh’s 1986 world record is finally out. I’m particularly excited about the story because it grew out of a Microkhan post—back in this ongoing project’s […]

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Tempting, But…

June 20th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Banging out these words from the new global headquarters in Sunnyside, having left Harlem in the dust after seven wondrous years. As Microkhan Jr. and I headed for the 125th Street subway stop for the very last time, we passed one of the neighborhood oddities I’ll truly miss: the ATLAH World Missionary Church, infamous for […]

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Beneath the Elevated

June 15th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Little time for Microkhan-ing between now and the weekend, as the Golden Horde is in the midst of packing up its yurts for points not-too-far-afield. After seven years in the blessed Paradise known as Atlah, we’re moving across the East River to a land with a slightly Brave New World-ish name. Always bittersweet to move, […]

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Bucking the Trend

June 14th, 2011 · 7 Comments

There is great wisdom to be gleaned from studying anomalies, which is why the El Paso Police Department’s homicide unit deserves our attention. It is the rare squad that appears to be solving an ever-greater percentage of its cases, thereby defying the nationwide trend illustrated in the graph above: Since 2004, unit detectives have investigated […]

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A Light from Njoro

June 13th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Revising the latest Wired opus all day, then segueing into some hardcore packing for Queens. And so I give you one of the best Biggie remixes of recent vintage, which first crossed my ears last night courtesy of the always-on folks at WEFUNK. While you’re listening, give this update on the fight against Ug99 a […]

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The Ponchos: Sean Young in Wall Street

June 10th, 2011 · 2 Comments

After a long hiatus, it’s finally time for the esteemed Microkhan jury to hand out another Poncho, an award given to supporting actors who utter memorable throwaway lines that often outclass everything else in their film. You might recall that the first-ever Poncho went to its namesake, Richard Chaves, who played one of The Arnold’s […]

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Skin in the Game

June 9th, 2011 · No Comments

Given all we know about the wonders of the placebo effect, I’m always deeply skeptical about alternative medical practices that have never been the subject of peer-reviewed scrutiny. Yet I’m also deeply fascinated by the techniques employed by legendary boxing cutmen, many of whom had the ability to stanch geysers of blood—without sutures—in less than […]

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That Revelatory Moment

June 8th, 2011 · 4 Comments

In studying various classic works of non-fiction, I’ve noticed that many do an excellent job of setting up a character’s epiphany. This is no mean feat, as it is quite easy to make those sudden revelations come off as artificial. The key is to make us understand the logical trail that led someone to realize […]

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Copywronged

June 7th, 2011 · No Comments

The passing of Bangladeshi pop idol Azam Khan is notable not just because he was an all-around champ—a former guerrilla fighter turned platinum-selling artist—but also due to the fact that he exited this world with barely a taka to his name. In fact, Khan had to suspend his cancer treatments in Singapore because he couldn’t […]

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Wishful Milking

June 6th, 2011 · No Comments

If you’re the sort who follows the more bizarre tidbits to emerge from the world of agribusiness, you’ve probably noticed that there’s been quite a stir about camel milk as of late. The United Arab Emirates, for one, has vowed to take advantage of relaxed European Union regulations regarding the import of the offbeat dairy […]

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Powerless

June 3rd, 2011 · 1 Comment

The last time we checked in on Papua New Guinea’s efforts to counter its epidemic of sorcery-related killings, the country was considering making changes to its Sorcery Act of 1971 in order to make it easier for authorities to punish both witchcraft practitioners and those who murder them. Unfortunately, those legal reform efforts seem to […]

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Under Pressure

June 1st, 2011 · 3 Comments

First time in forever that I have, quite literally, 27 hours to turn a C+ Wired story into an A-. Not sure I have what it takes, especially since this lede ain’t even close to humming, but I owe the good folks in San Francisco my best shot. Back to y’all once the tale is […]

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