Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from April 30th, 2012

The East Bay

April 30th, 2012 · 1 Comment

I’m out in California, doing some (very, very, very) last-minute reporting for the book. In my absence, check out these abandoned structures; the ones from Gary, Indiana, are particularly haunting.

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You Have My Sympathies

April 27th, 2012 · 1 Comment

I have exactly one week to go before my book deadline, so expect the next few posts to spin off my last-minute writing struggles. Over the past several months, I’ve occasionally shouted out great examples of single descriptive details that elevated non-fiction tales into the realm of high art. There was Barbara Demick’s retelling of […]

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The First of Many Final Laps

April 26th, 2012 · No Comments

After a day spent haggling with the callous mandarins of America’s health-care system, I’m back to working on the final chapter of the book. I actually came up with a killer last line while walking Microkhan Jr. to school this morning; everything else, alas, is a mess, which is why I’m just leaving you with […]

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America’s Penchant for Reinvention

April 24th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Our vast nation’s architectural history boasts few curiosities more delightful than the Nuwaubian pyramids of Eatonton, Georgia, captured here in drive-by video. Some approximation of a backstory is available in this Macon Telegraph story; suffice to say that one must always be wary of religious leaders who were once aspiring musicians. (See also: Koresh, David; […]

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Reputational Dynamics

April 23rd, 2012 · No Comments

Watching Metta World Peace absolutely lose the plot in yesterday’s Lakers-Thunder contest made me think about the possible legal ramifications of on-court/on-field violence. Much has obviously been written about the possibility of treating such incidents as criminal matters, as has happened on occasion in the Canadian legal system. (The American system, by contrast, seems terribly […]

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Speed Above All

April 20th, 2012 · No Comments

I recently spent the better part of a day trying to verify a single, rather insignificant fact for my next book—namely, whether an interviewee’s claim to have received a certain model of Omega watch in early 1978 jibed with Omega’s production schedule. (It did.) Having expended way too much mental bandwidth to accomplish that one […]

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Biblical Wisdom

April 19th, 2012 · 1 Comment

I highly recommend this set of Papua New Guinea images, by the Australian photographer Ben Bohane. The one posted above (larger version here) is a personal favorite for the way it juxtaposes the firearm with the quote from Psalms. I read that quote as so sinister in this context, but alternate translations give quite the […]

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Flying Too Close to the Sun

April 17th, 2012 · No Comments

If all had gone according to plan, I would’ve handed in the complete first draft of my next book today. But, much to my discredit, I’m stil a whole chapter away from completion, plus a few more days’ worth of revisions. I can take some small comfort, at least, in knowing that I’m probably not […]

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One Man’s Pest, Another Man’s Steak

April 16th, 2012 · 5 Comments

Microkhan Jr. has reached the age at which he’s starting to ask about food taboos—like, why we eat pigs but not horses (a recent dinnertime inquiry). In straining to explain the nuances of societal dietary preferences, I thought of this incredible photo essay on the rat catchers of Mozambique, who provide that nation’s blue-collar workers […]

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A Questionable Deterrent

April 12th, 2012 · 3 Comments

In countries where the rule of law is less-than-robust, traffic cops can often best be classified as entrepreneurs rather than law-enforcement officials. Their main concern is not keeping the streets safe, but rather extracting bribes from unfortunate drivers—a pursuit that has made some Zambian policeman rather wealthy by that nation’s standards: Home Affairs Minister Kennedy […]

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Rage in Port Moresby

April 10th, 2012 · No Comments

As I re-apply nose to grindstone for the book’s sake, check out this footage from yesterday’s mass protest in Port Moresby. Despite its denials, the current Papuan regime is clearly intent on delaying this summer’s scheduled election, perhaps in the hope that Sir Michael Somare‘s influence or health will diminish. The Papuan people are rightfully […]

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The Fate of a Rajneeshee Rolls

April 9th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Anyone who takes the time to comment on Microkhan is pretty much on my cool list for all eternity. But I reserve extra-special love for those who help solve the mysteries this project occasionally explores. And so let me offer a cosmically enormous high five to the reader who recently responded to this January 2011 […]

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Oviraptor philocerataps

April 6th, 2012 · No Comments

Taking Microkhan Jr. to the dinosaur museum today. I think he’s finally old enough to appreciate the true grandeur of a sauropod.

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Personal Incentives

April 5th, 2012 · No Comments

Continuing on with our semi-regular practice of shouting out old Sports Illustrated stories that have stuck in our mind, I’d like to call your attention to this “Where Are They Now?” piece about the fabled Steve Dalkowski—a man who recently popped to mind when news of Ryan Leaf’s latest travails broke wide. The thumbnail sketch […]

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A Humble Request for Help

April 4th, 2012 · 6 Comments

As I steal another day to focus on the book—my deadline is less than two weeks away—I was hoping to ask y’all for a bit of help with a research matter. Let’s say I walked into an American embassy or consulate in the spring of 1978, claiming to have lost my passport while traveling. What […]

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The Lord of Chonda-Za

April 3rd, 2012 · 1 Comment

For those of us who lack law degrees, reading judicial opinions can often be a major slog. Those who occupy the bench favor a prose style that is, to be charitable, a bit on the dry side; yarn-spinning is not their forte. Yet every once in a while, I stumble upon a ruling that crackles […]

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“Power Creature of the Zephyr Lines”

April 2nd, 2012 · No Comments

Crashing on a major Wired deadline today. In my absence, please enjoy the North Korean propaganda video above, featuring the least enthusiastic narrator in the history of film. Back tomorrow with something truly splendid from the history of swindling.

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