Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'Mongolia'

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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One of a Kind

November 21st, 2012 · 1 Comment

I send you off into the Thanksgiving break with a special treat: an entire site dedicated to the 1981 spaceflight of Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa, the only Mongolian to have soared into the heavens (albeit with Soviet help). The mission made Gürragchaa a national hero, a status that he later parlayed into a political career. What is […]

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Boiling a Frog in Reverse

May 31st, 2012 · 2 Comments

I have previously written about Mongolia’s struggles with endemic alcoholism, which the political establishment has tried to address by leading by example. But as this editorial makes clear, the problem is only getting worse, with over 55 percent of the nation’s population admitting to excessive alcohol intake. Aside from raising taxes to exorbitant levels, then, […]

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The Teetotaler of Ulaanbaatar

January 11th, 2012 · 1 Comment

It’s a little hard for Americans to wrap their heads around alcoholism’s social toll in places like Mongolia, where the perpetually inebriated constitute a significant percentage of the potential workforce (and also commit the majority of crimes). So it will be interesting to see whether the government’s lead-by-example campaign makes any sort of impact on […]

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Would These Men Juice?

May 16th, 2011 · 3 Comments

For obvious reasons, I have been avidly following the performance of Mongolian grandmaster Dul Erdenebileg at the ongoing World Draughts Championship in The Netherlands. (Previous checkers-related posting here.) In the course of keeping up on the tourney’s matches, I noticed something rather odd: the organizing body is apparently quite serious about drug testing. The complete […]

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Signifying Nothing

November 29th, 2010 · 3 Comments

The human rays of sunshine above are academics devoted to the study of juche, the nonsensical North Korean ideology that stresses self-reliance above all else. You would think that men and women in possession of advanced degrees would recognize the flaws in an economic theory that denies the basic sociability of our species—or, at the […]

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The Saga Continues

June 22nd, 2010 · 2 Comments

We’re still on the hook with Microkhan Jr., at least until the early afternoon. We’ll try to check back in then, as we don’t want a long-gestating post on Algeria’s legacy of anti-Americanism to go to waste. In the meantime, we present you with two data points involving public health in Mongolia. The video above […]

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The Sacred Exchange of Knucklebones

June 11th, 2010 · 6 Comments

We’ve been lassoed into some emergency parenting today, and Microkhan Jr. is tugging on the hem of our deel as we type these very words. So let us just quickly share with you two things that bring much gladness to our collective heart: the above Donny Hathaway gem, an Afro-Cuban spin on “The Ghetto,” and […]

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The Hilarity of Specificity

November 19th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Upon learning about the opening of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Me., we felt compelled to spend a pleasant few minutes going over the latest in Sasquatch research. What we find most entertaining about this field is not its sheer uselessness, but rather the seriousness of its tone. As demonstrated by the chart above, […]

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The Flag Racket

July 21st, 2009 · No Comments

Once again, we’re gonna use our platform here to highly recommend The Snakehead, Patrick Radden Keefe’s non-fiction account of the 1993 Golden Venture disaster. The book would be awesome enough if it just told the tale of Sister Ping‘s rise and fall as the tsarina of human smuggling in New York’s Chinatown. But The Snakehead […]

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Mongol Derby, Cont’d

June 24th, 2009 · No Comments

In response to yesterday’s post about the rough-and-toughMongol Derby, one of the race’s brave competitors wrote in to ask for Microkhan’s support. So let it be known that from this point forward, we’ll be pulling for 26-year-old Hannah Ritchie to a) survive the race with nary a broken bone or crushed pelvis, and b) to […]

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Mongol Derby Disclaimer

June 23rd, 2009 · 3 Comments

The 1,000-kilometer Mongol Derby kicks off on August 22nd. Twenty-six equestrians are currently confirmed for the race, which runs between Delgerhaan (home to this awesome Genghis Khan statue) and Kharkhorin. More riders are expected to join the fray as the start date nears, but only those hardy enough to stomach the event’s heavy warning that […]

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Running Late to the Gig

June 8th, 2009 · No Comments

Gonna be a late start today, due to the impossibility of blogging while simultaneously making sure Microkhan Jr. doesn’t throw toys out our fifth-floor window. Back in the game as soon as he decides to nap; ’til then, please enjoy the above video of Ulaan Baatar’s finest buskers. The YouTube poster’s whole channel is actually […]

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A Ray of Sumo Sunshine

June 4th, 2009 · 6 Comments

These are somewhat dark days for sumo, with a celebrated trainer about to serve six years in prison for the bizarrely violent hazing death of one of his pupils. (It involved beer bottles, metal bats, and rubber hoses.) And the sport’s still reeling from a drug scandal, albeit one that would cause little outrage in […]

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A Feast Fit for Khans

May 21st, 2009 · No Comments

An American scholar digs into the sort of debauched Mongolian feast that, alas, we’ve only had in our wildest dreams: Sheep fat! Stuffed beef intestine! Goat’s head! Petrified curds, harder than jawbreakers! And, of course, buuz. I ate them all, these foods that not so long ago had my fork shaking. Two bottles of vodka […]

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Cooking Marmots, Mongolian Style

February 13th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Because it’s Friday, and because I’m fascinated by all things Mongolian: An illustrated guide to barbecuing marmots. It’s all about the rocks in the stomach, apparently. (h/t Mstrmnd)

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