Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'cars'

Joyous Mayhem

October 18th, 2012 · No Comments

The typical peace of Oslo was recently shattered by one of my favorite wedding traditions: the Chechens’ enthusiasm for turning vehicular processions into demolition derbies, as participants jockey for the exalted slot just behind the bride and groom’s car. (More examples here.) Lives are occasionally lost in such a manner, which is why various governments […]

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Simple Things

August 22nd, 2012 · No Comments

As I have previously explored, Bangladesh has some of the world’s most lethal roads. The nation’s motor vehicle-related fatality rate is about fifty times greater than in any Western country. As this piece makes clear, that sad fact is creating a massive drag on the Bangladeshi economy: According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), road […]

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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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The Specialist

January 18th, 2012 · 10 Comments

By now you may have heard of the landmark federal conviction of Alfred Anaya, who played a key role in a drug trafficking ring that moved product from Mexico to the Midwest. What makes Anaya’s downfall so interesting is that fact that, by the government’s own admission, he never touched any drugs himself; his role […]

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Decimal Points

January 5th, 2012 · 2 Comments

I should have mentioned long ago that noted Microkhan ally Nathan Thornburgh has launched a new project near-and-dear to my heart: Roads & Kingdoms, a site that operates under the hard-to-resist motto “Journalism, travel, food, murder, music.” The first several weeks’ worth of posts have focused exclusively on Burma, where Nathan and his co-creator traveled […]

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A Different Kind of Road Rage

April 12th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Because Bangladesh’s public institutions are rickety at best, frustrated citizens often feel as if they have no choice but to resort to vigilantism. That’s certainly been the case in regards to the country’s abysmal road safety situation, as the police seldom exhibit any interest punishing drivers who mow down pedestrians or rickshaw pullers. The result […]

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Where the Gaudy Wheels Went

January 12th, 2011 · 10 Comments

I’m a few months late in noting a milestone in American cult history: the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh‘s commune in Oregon, after his followers’ unsuccessful attempt to tilt a local election by tainting some local salad bars. Though I was still in grade school when this all happened, I […]

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Grand Delusion

July 13th, 2010 · 2 Comments

One of the creepiest things about Burma’s ruling junta is its insistence on creating the trappings of prosperity, even as the vast majority of the nation grapples with desperate economic circumstances. Take the recent Yangon Auto Show, which followed the Western blueprint to a T with scantily-clad models draped across shiny new vehicles. Yet the […]

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H-Day

July 7th, 2010 · 1 Comment

We stayed up late last night finishing Grounded, an unusual (and excellent) travelogue by our pal and occasional Slate colleague Seth Stevenson. (Check out one of our NFL-centric back-and-forths here.) The book is an account of Seth’s attempt to circumnavigate the globe with his girlfriend, using only surface transportation—no planes, helicopters, or dirigibles. Hilarity and […]

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The Risk of the Chase

June 23rd, 2010 · No Comments

Those of you who follow Microkhan’s microblog know that the situation near headquarters was beyond hectic yesterday—not just because we had the kid on our hands, but also due to our physical proximity to a senseless tragedy. A police pursuit of two robbery suspects ended with a massive collision about 50 feet from our front […]

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Choke on This

February 16th, 2010 · 2 Comments

There’s an old chestnut (of dubious veracity) about how more rock climbers perish in auto accidents to-and-from the cliffs than from accidental falls. We thought of that contrarian info-nugget this morning upon stumbling across some surprising morbidity news from Britain: Last week, the House of Commons’s Environmental Audit Committee heard evidence that about 35,000 people […]

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In Defense of Hitchhiking

January 25th, 2010 · 2 Comments

It’s not often that we read a piece as boldly contrarian as this letter to the editor from the pages of The Bellingham Herald. The correspondent comes out hard in favor of a practice that’s likely to get you arrested if you don’t take care: hitchhiking: As a person who has traveled thousands of miles […]

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The Mongoose as Showman

December 29th, 2009 · No Comments

We’ll be posting later today about the best books we read in 2009, but we thought we’d start the day by shouting out a book sure to be atop our to-read list for the coming months: Snake vs. Mongoose: How a Rivalry Changed Drag Racing Forever. Drag racing owes much of its current success to […]

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Livin’ It Up in Kiev

November 9th, 2009 · No Comments

At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much of interest in this plain-Jane rundown of Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko’s income and assets. The man who rose to the top of Ukraine’s political structure after surviving a bizarre assassination attempt is certainly well-off by his nation’s standards, but it’s not like he’s pulling a pulling […]

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Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

October 28th, 2009 · No Comments

We recently argued that symbols do, indeed, matter. Is it possible that someone in the administration of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki read our screed? Because the Nairobi regime has suddenly decided to make a rather brilliant token gesture, obviously designed to indicate a willingness to tackle government excess: it’s forcing officials to give up their […]

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Truly Unsafe at Any Speed

October 2nd, 2009 · 2 Comments

This is the last post we scheduled before departing for Kenya last weekend—a Bad Movie Friday entry that rankles with its unrealistic depiction of vehicular combustion. Even the 1971 Ford Pinto wasn’t quite this fragile. Thanks to those of you stuck with us this week, despite knowing that a WordPress bot was at the posting […]

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The Safety Line

September 8th, 2009 · 4 Comments

We here at Microkhan are avid fans of Robert Young Pelton’s World’s Most Dangerous Places series, in part because we never cease being amazed by the man’s utter ballsiness. (Algeria sans security in the thick of civil war? Really?) But the lure in Pelton’s work isn’t just his bravado—it’s his frankness about which travels threats […]

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Old-School Strongman Sheds Mortal Coil

June 8th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Microkhan is big enough to admit when we were wrong. And so we must eat a bit of humble pie regarding Gabonese president Omar Bongo, who apparently wasn’t faking his illness. Last month, we opined that the timing of Bongo’s medical leave seemed curiously perfect, given that he was under French investigation. Given Bongo’s horrendously […]

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