Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from March 29th, 2013

“Some Were True Believers in Their Cause”

March 29th, 2013 · No Comments

I’m trying to cram in a bunch of last-minute work before disappearing for the (brief) holiday weekend, so I’ll catch y’all on Monday with something about Aztec marital law. In the meantime, please check out the trailer for The Skies Belong to Us, which is the genius handiwork of Thomas Beug (of This is My […]

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Next-Level Celebrity Activism

March 27th, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Gujarati folksinger Farida Mir does not mess around when it comes to political activism. While her Western peers may content themselves with making bold statements in the media, Mir has no problem with getting her hands dirty—particularly when the lives of cows are stake. Just check out how far she recently went to protest […]

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A Tough New Front

March 26th, 2013 · No Comments

There’s no question that the animal-rights movement has successfully altered America’s attitude toward fur; coats composed of pelts are no longer a de rigueur status symbol for those with too much money on their hands. So why, then, is mink production ramping up to virtually unprecedented levels? Because the newly affluent Chinese covet fur coats […]

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The Specialist, Cont’d

March 21st, 2013 · 2 Comments

Non-fiction storytelling is ridiculously time-consuming. My latest Wired story, which began life as a Microkhan post in January 2012, has been in the works for nearly a year. Granted, much of that time was wasted on tasks that didn’t pan out—I’m still waiting for a certain FOIA request to come through, for example, not to […]

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Woven Scars

March 19th, 2013 · 1 Comment

One of the tangential characters in The Skies Belong to Us is the late William L. Eageleton, one of the most storied diplomats of the Cold War. When he wasn’t busy representing American interests in global hot spots, Eagleton passed the time by delving into the minutiae of rugs: He was a noted collector of […]

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Everybody Loves the Sunshine

March 15th, 2013 · 2 Comments

Having been raised to think that all of the Soviet Bloc resembled the drab realm depicted in this infamous Wendy’s ad, I’m always amused to come across depictions of our Cold War foes basking in the sun. The photo above, of a crowded beach in Odessa, is part of a terrific Ian Berry series from […]

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Sympathy for the Predator

March 13th, 2013 · 1 Comment

Here at Microkhan world headquarters, there are few things we admire more than passionate attention to detail, especially when it’s in the service of chronicling the arcane. And so you can imagine our joy upon encountering this awesomely comprehensive list of bygone mountain lion attacks, which does an excellent job of illustrating North America’s century-long […]

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Skyjacker of the Day

March 11th, 2013 · No Comments

Let me assure you that the recent slowdown in Microkhan posting is not due to my having surrendered to indolence. I have instead been busy prepping the launch of a major project in support of The Skies Belong to Us: Skyjacker of the Day. Over the next hundred days, I’ll be profiling a hundred skyjackers […]

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Filipino Brass

March 8th, 2013 · No Comments

The annual Musikahan sa Tagum, which just wrapped up its 2013 edition, touts itself as the premier music festival in the entire Philippines. I don’t know enough about that nation’s arts scene to judge the validity of that claim, but I certainly can’t stop watching videos of the Musikahan’s marching-band competition. (The one above, for […]

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High Stakes

March 6th, 2013 · 6 Comments

I was recently intrigued to learn that 45 percent of the world’s opiate alkaloids—that is, the ones incorporated into prescription medicines rather than illicit narcotics—come from Tasmanian poppies. The Australian state’s dominance in this industry is the result of several factors, starting with its unique geography; tucked away in the Southern Hemisphere and surrounded by […]

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Teksi Driver

March 5th, 2013 · No Comments

Apologies for the late jump on the week, but I’m swamped with prepping an excerpt from The Skies Belong to Us. Back tomorrow with thoughts on the brouhaha in Tasmania’s poppy industry; in the meantime, take a moment to learn about the hardships of driving a taxi in Port Moresby.

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A Wonder This Didn’t Catch On

March 1st, 2013 · 4 Comments

In an attempt to flesh out the nascent The Skies Belong to Us mood board, I have been combing through reams of patents for anti-hijacking devices. Most are deliciously zany, such as this capture chamber or this trick chair. The hijacking epidemic of the late 1960s and early 1970s certainly seems to have fired up […]

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