Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from November 30th, 2012

MD

November 30th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Since I’m in the habit of noting significant Microkhan miletones, I feel obligated to alert y’all to the fact this is my fifteen-hundredth post. Thanks a million to everyone who has followed this often ragtag project since its launch nearly five years ago; I promise that good things lie ahead, especially once I get the […]

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The Tongasat Affair, Cont’d

November 29th, 2012 · 1 Comment

We last wrote about Tonga’s unusual space enterprise, Tongasat, back in December 2010, when we focused on the alleged religious motivations of Princess Pilolevu Tuita, the firm’s majority shareholder. After a long quiet spell, the controversial company is now back in the news, as a pawn in a political tug-of-war between a Tongan opposition leader […]

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Rubber Suit Blues

November 28th, 2012 · No Comments

Wobbling beneath the weight of two major projects at the moment—my next Wired opus and the copy edit for The Skies Belong to Us. In my brief absence, please marvel the awesomely sophisticated space monsters from 1962′s Planeta Bur, a masterpiece of Soviet sci-fi schlock.

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Incarceration is the Mother of Invention

November 26th, 2012 · 13 Comments

There are two things to marvel at in the Texas Prison Gangs Dictionary, which comes to us via the good folks over at Public Intelligence. The first is the incredible effort it took to document 168-pages worth of vocabulary that is expressly designed to be as indecipherable as possible. The second is the sheer linguistic […]

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One of a Kind

November 21st, 2012 · 1 Comment

I send you off into the Thanksgiving break with a special treat: an entire site dedicated to the 1981 spaceflight of Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa, the only Mongolian to have soared into the heavens (albeit with Soviet help). The mission made Gürragchaa a national hero, a status that he later parlayed into a political career. What is […]

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A Voice from the Murk

November 19th, 2012 · 3 Comments

Aside from being the native land of Microkhan’s most beloved soccer star, Benin is also currently home to one of the sketchiest political dramas in the Eastern Hemisphere. To hear the nation’s government tell it, President Yayi Boni (above) narrowly escaped death when a plot to poison him fell apart—a plot masterminded by a wealthy […]

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Defective Combs

November 16th, 2012 · No Comments

Parent-teacher conference plus Wired deadline make today too hairy to Microkhan. See you back here on Monday, by which time I expect each and every one of you to have completed all 341 pages of The Mating and Breeding of Poultry. There will be a quiz.

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“They Think Drums Are Not for Women”

November 14th, 2012 · No Comments

I first became aware of Tajikistan’s tiny rock scene this past summer, when I read this dispatch about the straight-edge, black-metal band Al-Azif. I am always drawn to stories about artists who create despite hardship, and so I was naturally intrigued by the band’s zeal for playing Western music in such an oppressively conservative country. […]

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A Scrappy Monolith

November 13th, 2012 · 6 Comments

The object above washed ashore in the Hawaiian district of Ka’u last month, and has remained immobile ever since—no great surprise, perhaps, given that it weighs an estimated seven tons. State authorities are now in the process of two vital tasks: Figuring out how to dispose of the monstrosity, and figuring out what the heck […]

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Okada vs. Lagos

November 9th, 2012 · No Comments

Okada are Lagos motorcyclists who earn cash by zipping customers through traffic, often with little regard for safety. The regional government recently banned okada from all major roadways, in part because the bikes are often used by robbers to flee from crime scenes. The prohibition hasn’t gone over well, however, for okada are more than […]

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To My Former Captor

November 8th, 2012 · 3 Comments

As I learned so long ago in the mind-blowing Summer of My German Soldier, thousands of Axis prisoners-or-war were housed in Arkansas during World War II. Upon their release at conflict’s end, many of the former captives kept in touch with their American bosses—the men they were forced to pick cotton for, in exchange for […]

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Under Siege

November 6th, 2012 · No Comments

As I spend this Election Day tracking down an amazing/disturbing/tragic tale in the sunbaked flatlands of Los Angeles, I hope y’all are considering which of our aspiring rulers are most equipped to deal with our great nation’s worsening wildlife-strike problem (PDF). If you thought geese and pelicans were the main flesh-and-blood threats to America’s aircraft, […]

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Fortress Queens

November 2nd, 2012 · No Comments

The situation in Queens is getting a might chippy, as once again both schools and local trains are closed. The enforced isolation would be more tolerable if I wasn’t slated to skip town for a Wired assignment tomorrow. I fear greatly for the sanity of the Grand Empress, who shall be all alone here with […]

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Gorilla Jones and His Lions

November 1st, 2012 · No Comments

While recently listening to a few selections from Mae West’s misguided rock album, I came across the tale of one of her associates, a middleweight boxer by the name of Gorilla Jones. The exact nature of Jones’ relationship with the famously libidinous West is hard to establish—he has variously been mentioned as her bodyguard, her […]

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