Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from February 28th, 2013

Documents Matter

February 28th, 2013 · No Comments

I have been reluctant to comment on the recent witch burning horror in Papua New Guinea, even though I have previously written at length about that nation’s problems with stamping out superstition-related violence. There was something alarmingly voyeuristic about the way in which the murder was covered, and I didn’t think it appropriate to chime […]

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Maximum Entertainment

February 26th, 2013 · No Comments

Double Wired deadline today, plus tweaking a soon-to-launch Web project related to The Skies Belong to Us. Back tomorrow with something slightly more erudite than footage of Loni Anderson strutting across a field of broken glass.

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A Question of Competence

February 25th, 2013 · No Comments

Guinea’s political opposition is none-too-pleased with the current regime’s decision to outsource the management of May’s election to Waymark, a South African information technology firm. At first glance, these objections may seem flimsy, based more on xenophobia than legitimate fear of cronyism. But if you scratch beneath the surface a bit, you can get a […]

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Muzzled in Fiji

February 21st, 2013 · No Comments

Approximately two years ago, the Fiji Times reprinted a story from New Zealand’s Sunday Star Times in which a soccer official questioned the ethical soundness of Fiji’s judiciary. The military dictator who runs Fiji as his personal fiefdom did not take kindly to such an insinuation, even though even a casual observer of the island […]

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Life in the Bubble

February 19th, 2013 · No Comments

The adulation accorded Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear motivated me to look up the very first Scientology exposé I can remember: Richard Behar’s 1991 Time investigation, which irked the Church to no end. That piece made me a lifelong fan of Behar, whose meticulous approach to reporting is something I’ve sought to emulate in my own […]

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Mistakes Were Made

February 15th, 2013 · No Comments

Crashing on a mammoth Wired opus today, as well as reviewing the final page proofs for The Skies Belong to Us (which is now endorsed by some thoroughly amazing folks). Back on Monday, provided Asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn’t veer off course and dinosaur us all.

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Grudge Match

February 14th, 2013 · No Comments

When Senator Warren B. Rudman recently passed, I was struck by the concluding section of his New York Times obituary, which contained an anecdote that attested to his stubbornness: Mr. Rudman feuded with his alma mater long after he had left its campus. In 1952, Syracuse University withheld his bachelor’s diploma because he had refused […]

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The Hieroglyphics of Vagabonds

February 12th, 2013 · No Comments

Last summer we marveled at the complexity of hobo pictographs, which we took to be a uniquely American phenomenon. But as this 1872 dictionary of slang from London makes clear, the tradition of wordless transient communication traces back to the Old World. In decidedly non-PC language, the author argues that this code was created by […]

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Male Ruffled Grouses in the Mist

February 8th, 2013 · No Comments

The latest post from the indispensable Camoupedia recounts the career of Gerome Brush, an artist with whom I was previously unfamiliar. His anonymity is undeserved, however, as he played an instrumental role in the advent of military camouflage; he helped fellow artist Abbott Handerson Thayer patent the first concept for the visual concealment of ships […]

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So Far from the Zenith

February 6th, 2013 · No Comments

It is tough not to be saddened by the unraveling of English soccer hero Paul Gascoigne, who is currently drying out at an American rehabilitation facility after a very long, very public battle with a virulent strain of alcoholism. Like so many celebrities who we adore for their bad behavior, Gazza became trapped in a […]

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Supreme Mathematics

February 4th, 2013 · No Comments

A great illness has swept the royal Microkhan yurts in Queens, and so I must dedicate the bulk of today to making sure the clan recuperates in fine style. Back soon with something tasty—in the meantime, please enjoy another sample from our burgeoning collection of book-related images and info.

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The Hidden Beauty of the Panelaks

February 1st, 2013 · No Comments

Working-class apartment blocks—particularly those built by authoritarian governments—don’t exactly have stellar aesthetic reputations. When you think of the high-rises erected for the proletariat, adjectives such as “brutish,” “drab”, and “grim” are what immediately pop to mind. Yet it is important to remember that even when budgetary constraints and government ideology factored into the construction equation, […]

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