Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'history'

The Rise and Fall of R.I.S.E.

May 3rd, 2013 · 3 Comments

The two young men above once dreamed of committing a truly dreadful act: poisoning Chicago’s water supply, in order to kill millions and further the ambitions of their revolutionary organization, R.I.S.E. Mainstream press accounts of their failed caper describe them as incompetent fools, but this case study gives them credit for developing some biological agents […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:········

“Untouched by Time’s Dark Captains”

January 6th, 2010 · 3 Comments

In the midst of prepping a forthcoming post on urban population trends, we randomly stumbled across this 1959 video from the Bureau of Mines, in which asbestos gets its praises sung by an amazingly eloquent narrator. Historical curios such as this can only make us wonder which of today’s miracle products will eventually be revealed […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:··

Unwinged Pegasus

September 22nd, 2009 · Comments Off on Unwinged Pegasus

Via the invariably spectacular Ptak Science Books blog, a quick peek back at the brief heyday of airborne horses: “Sep 1850 English Aeronaut Gale on horseback suffocated Bordeaux”. Is this the first man-on-horseback-in-flight death? And death by suffocation? (?) I’m not so sure that the ascent records for 1850 would’ve made allowance for running out […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:····

“Take Up the Sword of Justice”

September 3rd, 2009 · 3 Comments

Every once in a while, we stumble upon an online resource that makes us wonder how we ever managed to get along without it. Such is the case with the clunkily named First World War Digital Poetry Archive, which features even more interesting historical tidbits than advertised. The main focus here, of course, is one […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:··

The Red Sultan’s Legacy

July 23rd, 2009 · 1 Comment

We find ourselves completely baffled by the uproar over the publication of the Turkish-language “Blue Book,” a once-secret British dossier that chronicled the Armenian genocide some 93 years ago. The Turkish government’s griping is predictable enough, of course, given its long history of chafing at public mention of the slaughter. But we’re mystified as to […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·····

Holy War in China

July 8th, 2009 · Comments Off on Holy War in China

In getting up to speed on the Uighur riots in China, we’ve been spending appreciable time delving into the history of the nation’s numerous Muslim rebellions. No 19th-century history of China is complete without an extensive section about these uprisings, which were eventually put down in the most brutal fashion imaginable. We’re particularly enamored with […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:···

The Middle Ages Get a Bad Rap

July 7th, 2009 · 3 Comments

So you think Medieval knights were condemned to lug around unwieldy swords, while their Renaissance counterparts bounced around with mere wisps of metal weaponry? Dr. Timothy Dawson believes you’ve been grossly misinformed—a fact he expounds upon at length in one of Microkhan’s all-time favorite publications, the Journal of Western Martial Art: These results show that […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:····

First Contact: The English and the Inuit

July 1st, 2009 · 10 Comments

Continuing our ongoing First Contact series, today we’re gonna look back at the 1576 encounter between the English and the Inuit of Baffin Island. The details of the meet-up were recorded by one Christopher Hall, a member of a Martin Frobisher-led expedition in search of the fabled Northwest Passage to China. Upon first landing on […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·······

Do You Know These Master Builders?

June 23rd, 2009 · Comments Off on Do You Know These Master Builders?

Rick Yelton, editor-in-chief of The Concrete Producer, has obviously been feeling nostalgic of late, a sentiment spurred by his discovery of an old box of photos. The picture above, he informs us, is of his graduating class from a 1987 Master Builders conference. In the immortal words of that radio DJ from This is Spinal […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:······

Iranian Half-Truths During the Harrison Years

June 17th, 2009 · Comments Off on Iranian Half-Truths During the Harrison Years

Given our admitted lack of expertise in contemporary Iranian affairs, we’ll henceforth do our best to leave the running protest commentary to far more qualified folks. But since we’re obviously somewhat transfixed by the Iranian opposition’s humble request for electoral fairplay, we couldn’t help but spend much of the morning delving into the nation’s history. […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·

Whatever Happened to Zezozose Zadfrack?

April 22nd, 2009 · 12 Comments

The recent leak of this Charles Manson mugshot got Microkhan thinking about his youthful obsession with Helter Skelter, still a classic of the true-crime genre. The way that Vincent Bugliosi slowly reveals the paranoia at the Family’s core, as well as the crazy Beatles link, taught us a lot about narrative pacing—not to mention the […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:····

The Somalia of 1855

April 21st, 2009 · Comments Off on The Somalia of 1855

A dispatch (PDF) from the pirate-filled waters off Canton (present-day Guangzhou). The parallels to modern accounts from Somalia are pretty eerie, especially when you consider that China was undergoing its own brand of internal turmoil during this period: The pirates, who have always been very numerous and very formidable in these waters, have lately increased […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:···

The Puputans of Bali

March 31st, 2009 · 10 Comments

Microkhan’s few loyalists know that suicide is a frequent topic of interest ’round here. No surprise, then, that in the midst of reading Miguel Covarrubias’s Island of Bali, I was struck by the Mexican artist/ethnographer’s account of an infamous 1906 ritual mass suicide. Students of Balinese history (of which I’m certainly not one) are already […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:····

“…Are Doomed to Repeat It”

March 27th, 2009 · 8 Comments

As we prepare to ramp up Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as focus more intently on the Taliban’s Pakistani havens, it’s worth looking back at the British experience in the Graveyard of Empires. Of specific interest is the classic 1898 account The Risings on the North-West Frontier, a detailed account of several expeditions carried out […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:····