Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from March 18th, 2009

From the “Where Are They Now?” File

March 18th, 2009 · No Comments

It’s frightening to think how many hours I’ve spent listening to WEFUNK Radio over the past seven or eight years. I’ve doubtless heard every archived show at least twice, and several of them close to a dozen times. (Neophytes should start out with Show 170.) WEFUNK, broadcasting weekly from Montreal’s famous

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Last of the Morans

March 18th, 2009 · No Comments

In the early part of this decade, the fair city of Melbourne, Australia was embroiled in a violent gangland war, pitting a speed trafficker named Carl Williams against the notorious Moran clan. The spat, which started when one of the Morans shot Williams in the belly, ended up claiming at least 34 lives; it also […]

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Upset of the Year

March 17th, 2009 · 2 Comments

With March Madness about to commence, you’re likely to hear a lot about mammoth upsets in the coming days—no hyperbole will be spared when a 14-seed inevitably knocks off the likes of Wake Forest or Gonzaga. But such triumphs pale in comparison to what went down in Gainesville, Florida over the weekend, when Bob Tasca […]

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Madagascar Backstory

March 17th, 2009 · No Comments

With DJ-turned-politician Andry Ralijaona finally seizing the mantle of power in Madagascar, after weeks of bloody turmoil, it’s worth linking back to this post from last month. It helps explain why Ralijaona felt his time was now—and what the whole situation has to do with South Korea’s brutal business culture.

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Yachts and Copious Hairspray

March 17th, 2009 · 4 Comments

The recent Snuggie fad has got me thinking about the infomercials of yesteryear, which provided invaluable companionship during my frequent bouts of insomnia. How I marveled at those knives capable of slicing through tin cans, or Ron Popeil’s dynamic range of chicken cookers. But nothing sticks in my mind quite like the oeuvre of Tom […]

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If You Plan on Visiting Galveston…

March 16th, 2009 · No Comments

…be sure to refrain from using the F-word. Particularly if you’ll be dining at Salsa’s Mexican and Seafood Restaurant on Seawall Boulevard.

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Pre-Columbian Stitches

March 16th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Over the weekend, I finally got around to seeing Mel Gibson’s hyper-violent Apocalypto; it’s been on my list for a while now, primarily because I need to study up on jungle chase scenes for the Now the Hell Will Start screenplay. The flick is every bit as brutal as I’d heard, and then some—don’t think […]

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Monkeys and Their Crayons

March 13th, 2009 · 4 Comments

As Microkhan’s regular readers know well, Fridays ’round here mean it’s time for hilariously negative movie reviews of yore. This week’s victim is John Travolta’s Scientology-infused sci-fi stinker Battlefield Earth, which remains the great blemish on Forest Whitaker’s otherwise amazing career. How the man behind Ghost Dog and Charles Jefferson got suckered into this disaster […]

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Lingvo de Paco

March 13th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Several decades too late to the ballgame, I finally got around to watching Lawrence of Arabia last night, as part of my ongoing David Lean tour. An utter classic, of course, but one with significant flaws—chief among them the fact that all the Bedouins seemed to speak flawless English. I don’t recalls a single word […]

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The China Conundrum

March 13th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Sorry to play Captain Bringdown on a Friday, but a promise is a promise. Microkhan recently vowed to explore the female suicide rate in China, and by golly, that’s what’s gonna happen in this here post. If you want sunshine and ponies instead, click here; otherwise, read on. China is the only nation in which […]

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Time to Pull the Goalie

March 12th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Looks like it’s curtains for the Richmond Renegades, of the scrappy-yet-venerable Southern Professional Hockey League. The team will call it quits after this season, having fallen victim to Depression v2.0. According to Renegades owner Allen Harvie, one of the big problems is Richmond’s parochialism: The Wiley Bridge and Route 288 and the new malls at […]

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A Rare Growth Industry

March 12th, 2009 · 1 Comment

There’s little doubt that as Depression v2.0 inevitably worsens, civil unrest will become more commonplace. Even the august New York Times is letting aged stock pickers pop off about the need to stock up on canned food and shotgun ammo. So don’t be surprised if your neighborhood occasionally comes to resemble Bartertown. But in madness […]

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Bushel Boosting

March 11th, 2009 · No Comments

A daring grain theft in a town with a population of 51. I wonder how the robbers planned to fence the stuff—not like you can walk into just any old pawn shop with 168,000 pounds of sorghum. Indispensible tips on stopping grain thieves here. Illuminate your bins!

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“We Will Touch the Sky…”

March 11th, 2009 · No Comments

Whenever there’s a budget crunch, space programs are usually the first to suffer. After all, their benefits (aside from bolstering national pride) are far from immediate, and rocket scientists usually make for poor lobbyists. So as Depression v2.0 kicks into ever higher gear, it seems certain that space exploration will suffer. But not in Ecuador! […]

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“Put a Little South in Your Mouth”

March 10th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Working on the screenplay yesterday, I spent way too many minutes groping for a way to describe a character’s gluttonous nature. I first described him as a fan of chicken gizzards, then of chicken skins, then of melted lard. I was close to wit’s end when the solution dawned on me: Pvt. Kelvin Brackett loves […]

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Intergalactic Dowsing Rod

March 10th, 2009 · No Comments

On April 16, the European Space Agency will launch the most powerful infrared telescope ever cobbled together by mankind: Herschel. (Yeah, I’m kinda underwhelmed by the name, too.) Taking off from the ESA’s spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana, Herschel will scan the cosmos in search of water, on the assumption that H20=potential planets inhabited by […]

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Shiv the Destroyer

March 10th, 2009 · No Comments

One of this blog’s core beliefs is that human ingenuity knows no bounds. Today’s Exhibit A: Prison inmates’ MacGyver-like knack for crafting weapons from ordinary objects. This particular set is in the possession of a San Francisco comic-book seller, who got the shivs from a crooked prison guard. Here’s his favorite: This was made as […]

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Those Poor Monkeys

March 9th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Earlier this year, I read The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, an occasionally entertaining account of the Roman Empire’s formative years. (Capsule review: The crazy emperors were fun to read about; the technocrats, not so much.) The thing that stays with me the most is not Caligula’s excess, or Augustus’s judiciousness, but rather […]

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Militicious!

March 9th, 2009 · No Comments

It’s with great sadness that I must confess I’m old enough to remember, quite vividly, when right-wing militias were considered a serious threat to our nation’s survival. The notion seems quaint now, much like the dot-com bubble. But a mere 14 years ago, the leaders of the much-feared Militia of Montana were called before Congress […]

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“We Were Warned”

March 9th, 2009 · No Comments

Last night’s killings of two British soldiers near Antrim have plenty of folks worried that Northern Ireland’s “Troubles” are set to flare anew. It had been a while since the hyper-violent Real IRA had executed such a bold attack, and you’ve got to think that Loyalist paramilitaries will be tempted to carry out reprisals against […]

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“A Place Beyond Good and Evil”

March 6th, 2009 · No Comments

With the official end of the work week just hours away, it’s time for Microkhan to offer a parting treat before he jets ’til Monday morning: Yet another hilariously negative movie review of yore. Inspired by the A.V. Club’s recent smackdown, I’ve decided to call out Dana Stevens’ classic pan of The Love Guru. As […]

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Give Us Your Ink-Stained Wretches

March 6th, 2009 · No Comments

The Maldives makes a bid to become the world’s leading refuge for persecuted journalists. The island nation’s president, Mohamed Nasheed, knows whereof he speaks: He spent years in prison during the three-decade reign of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, as punishment for getting a wee bit personal in his writings for Sangu.

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Old Believers in Alaska

March 6th, 2009 · No Comments

About a year ago, I started following the tragic case of an Alaskan charter flight that crashed near Kodiak, killing six. What caught my attention was the fact that the starcrossed passengers were said to be members of an “Old Believer” community near the remote hamlet of Homer. The victims were flying back home to […]

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They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

March 5th, 2009 · 6 Comments

As part of my research for the Now the Hell Will Start screenplay, I’ve been devouring a slew of classic flicks. Last night’s homework assignment was David Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai, which I hadn’t seen in over a decade. To say it stands the test of time is an understatement—a true epic […]

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“Children Are No Match for Fire”

March 5th, 2009 · 1 Comment

A truly uproarious compendium of books that look like spoofs, but are actually all-too-real. Not everything on the list deserves the scorn, but most do. I mean, what publishing “genius” decided to greenlight The Color of Her Panties? Or, for that matter, Mommy, Why Is There a Server in the House? I’m kind of curious […]

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The Downside of Reading

March 5th, 2009 · 7 Comments

In scanning the World Health Organization’s latest compilation of suicide rates, you can’t help but wonder why self-slaughter is so prevalent in Eastern Europe. All of the highest rates occur in countries from the former Soviet Bloc, such as Lithuania (68.1 males per 100,000) and Belarus (63.3). The rate in the United States, by contrast, […]

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When Tigers Grow Desperate

March 4th, 2009 · No Comments

There are less than 500 wild tigers left in Indonesia. But they’ve been mighty busy in 2009, mauling nine Sumatrans to death over the past five weeks alone. The victims were all either illegal loggers, or poachers, or possibly both. As with the tanking global economy, things are bound to get a lot worse before […]

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The Allure of the Fuzz, Part II

March 4th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Another day, another gobsmacking tale of police impersonation, this time involving a 14-year-old Chicagoan who managed to make his way onto patrol thanks to the laziness of commanders. The kid even got to twist a suspect’s arm—surely every rage-filled teenager’s dream. The Chicago case provides an excellent opportunity to call out another athlete with a […]

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Swimming in Molasses

March 4th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Somewhat limited posting today, alas, as the Microkhan Squad is suffering from a topper of a cold. The Man long ago took the good stuff out of Sudafed, so the former wonder drug can only do so much. Still, it’s quite a marvel of over-the-counter pharmaceutical engineering, solely for its impressively vivid, tasty coating—a feature […]

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Don’t Talk to Strangers

March 3rd, 2009 · 1 Comment

Thanks to the magic of Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” option, I recently became reacquainted with The A-Team, a childhood TV favorite. To say that I was underwhelmed would be an understatement—funny how the 1980s juvenile mind was unable to discern the campiness of network action shows. A makeshift cannon that shoots out lettuce, and is integral […]

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