Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'engineering'

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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Degrees of Fragility

March 11th, 2011 · No Comments

I was all set to end the week with a post about a particularly egregious patent-medicine fraud, but it somehow seems wrong in light of the catastrophe in Japan. We often forget how much our species is at the mercy of the planet, and how quickly everything we treasure can be snatched away. For the […]

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The Importance of Good Design

January 13th, 2011 · No Comments

A salient reminder that engineering details really matter, from the august (and 141-year-old) pages of The Field Quarterly Magazine and Review: The Hindustani howdah often requires six men to place it on the elephant’s padded back. The Siamese “shing kha” can be easily lifted by two persons, and this while the elephant is standing—a great […]

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Burnt to a Crisp

July 6th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Our long holiday weekend would’ve been much more enjoyable had New York City enjoyed its typical July weather. Instead, we were slammed with a heatwave of the utmost severity, which made strolling the streets only slightly more pleasant than roaming the post-apocalyptic Outback from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. And, alas, the worst is yet to […]

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“Call in the Welding Team…”

April 16th, 2010 · 4 Comments

We have very vivid memories of the disappointment we felt upon first seeing The Phantom Menace. One of our pals had scored tickets to a late-night showing at the mammoth Ziegfeld Theater, and we ducked out of a raging party just to get our Star Wars on. The lights dimmed and the movie opened not […]

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The Terrible Predictability of It All

January 13th, 2010 · 5 Comments

One of the most ghoulish-yet-wise sayings we’ve ever heard is “Earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do.” (Or, a bit more accurately, “poorly constructed buildings do.”) So as soon as we heard news of Haiti’s latest natural catastrophe yesterday, we knew the death toll would be high. There is little chance that the nation’s relatively weak […]

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Prowlers of the Seven Seas

August 4th, 2009 · No Comments

In keeping with our vow to consume lots of classic flicks while banging out Draft Two of the Now the Hell Will Start screenplay, we launched into the uncut version of Das Boot. We hadn’t seen the movie in about a decade, so we’d largely forgotten about its splendor. It’s tough to imagine a better […]

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