Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from September 28th, 2012

Attention to Detail

September 28th, 2012 · No Comments

Deep apologies for failing to Microkhan much this week, but I have an excellent excuse: I’m in the thick of endnoting my book, which will finally start wending its way through the production process on October 15th. (Street date: June 15, 2013.) Back next week with plenty of tasty victuals; in the meantime, please check […]

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Honor Among Kidnappers

September 26th, 2012 · No Comments

Because it happened during the frenetic final throes of the Cold War, the 1983 abduction of 66 Czechoslovaks by Angolan rebels didn’t get much coverage on these shores. Were a similar event to occur today, though, it would receive immense attention, primarily because of the kidnappers’ rough tactics: In addition to taking children as well […]

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The Turkmen Neil Peart

September 24th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Here at Microkhan, we spend an awful lot of time highlighting all that is wretched about Turkmenistan’s political culture. Heartless autocracy can never fully squelch creativity, however, as the raucous drumming of Rishad Shafi so ably demonstrates. His prog-fusion band Gunesh started out as a mainstay of state-run Turkmen television, but later involved into something […]

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The Art of Getting By

September 21st, 2012 · No Comments

A while back, I explored the athletic means by which American prisoners-of-war coped with confinement in North Korea. That story popped to mind when I recently came across Bill Manbo’s color photographs of life in Japanese-American internment camps, which depict the unfortunate inmates’ efforts to inject some sense of normalcy into their daily lives. Sports […]

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No Half Measures

September 19th, 2012 · 1 Comment

The Ivorian government thinks it’s trying to do its cocoa farmers a solid by guaranteeing export prices, rather than leaving folks at the mercy of a capricious market. But the farmers don’t seem to appreciate the gesture, for the way the prices are apparently being calculated by bureaucrats who don’t understand the country’s on-the-ground realities: […]

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The Jueteng Economy, Cont’d

September 18th, 2012 · No Comments

Nearly two years ago, I wrote about the Philippines’ futile efforts to stamp out jueteng, an illegal lottery analogous to the mob-run numbers games of yore. At that time, the government was about to launch legal lotteries that would offer higher payouts than their underground counterparts—the same strategy that states in the U.S. used to […]

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Hazerunner

September 17th, 2012 · No Comments

On deadline for my Wired column today, so I must ask that you content yourselves with some Polish rock. A full discography of the band in question, Breakout, can be glimpsed here.

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Swept Under the Rug

September 14th, 2012 · 6 Comments

I make no bones about wearing my Salman Rushdie fandom on my sleeve, even going so far as to use an out-of-context

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For Those About to Crash…

September 13th, 2012 · 4 Comments

I have recently become interested in the trials and tribulations of Truman-era test pilots, the same ballsy crew whose death-defying exploits were chronicled in a book you may have read. Brave men, for sure, but their pursuit was relatively safe compared to that of aviation’s earliest pioneers. As this amazingly exhaustive necrology (PDF) makes clear, […]

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A Real Political Gambit

September 11th, 2012 · No Comments

I was amused by the recent hullabaloo over whether athletes have a right to comment on controversial issues. There was something uniquely American about the controversy, for we are the rare nation that pretends that jocks must check their political leanings at the door. This concept must sound bizarre to the soccer fans of Brazil, […]

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The Mystery of Throatboxing

September 10th, 2012 · No Comments

Throat singing is considered something of a female pursuit in Inuit culture, but Nelson Tagoona has no qualms about incorporating the artform’s esophagus-expanding techniques into his beatboxing. Check out the above clip, then move onto this related performance, which took place this summer in front of one of Microkhan’s favorite architectural curiosities.

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Tougher Than His Rep

September 7th, 2012 · 4 Comments

The common narrative about the end of the Cold War is that the Soviet Union’s decline began to inevitably steepen on the day that Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency. His peanut-farming predecessor, the conventional wisdom goes, was too soft to strike fear into the heart of the Kremlin, as evidenced by the Soviets willingness to […]

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The Greatest Love of All

September 6th, 2012 · No Comments

The recent passing of uber-successful businessman Rev. Sun Myung Moon brought to mind a long-ago possession that I dearly, dearly wish I hadn’t lost during one of my I-95 moves: a poster advertising a 1997 Unification Church mass wedding at Washington D.C.’s RFK Stadium. The poster was particularly fantastic not because of the bizarre event […]

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“Earth Proved a Great Disappointment to Us”

September 5th, 2012 · 3 Comments

Okay, almost got this ultra-parenting thing nailed down. Please allow me one more day to catch up on sleep and book-related work, and I’ll be back atcha in the morning—probably with some belated thoughts about the intersection between the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and the organizational disaster that was Whitney Houston’s entourage. In the meantime, […]

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The Grand Emprette

September 1st, 2012 · 8 Comments

Apologies for my failure to keep pace with this project in recent days, but I have an unassailable excuse for my absence: the Grand Empress has yielded us a seven-pound, nine-ounce Grand Emprette, who is currently rocking in her automated swing at the foot of my desk. Needless to say I’m dazed, albeit in a […]

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