Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from June 30th, 2009

Rising from the Turf

June 30th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Bit of a rough day here ’round Microkhan HQs, alas—a potential project just fell through, so we’re suffering through one of our periodic bouts of creative moroseness. Hopefully we’ll rebound in an hour or two, but for the moment the well is nearly dry. As such, we’re gonna go the lazy khan’s route and kick […]

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Maoists vs. Communists

June 30th, 2009 · No Comments

Violence continues in rural West Bengal, where the Indian military is campaigning against a scrappy band of rebels referred to as “Maoists.” How do Maoists differ from your garden-variety followers of Marxist tenets? Microkhan broke it down a few years back, when the Nepalese civil war was in full swing. Seems like it’s mostly about […]

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How Hard is the GED?

June 30th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Back in our high school days, we often fantasized about ditching the classroom routine in favor of taking the GED test. (This daydream was usually strongest during double-period Calculus AB, by far the dreariest educational experience on the planet.) But the fantasy was always short-lived, in large part because of some negative stereotypes. The folks […]

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Wings of Silver, Nerves of Steel

June 29th, 2009 · 8 Comments

We’re prepping to head downtown for the 20th anniversary screening of Do the Right Thing, a momentous occasion that has us on yet another ’80s nostalgia kick. It thus bears mentioning that another great cultural artifact is celebrating an important milestone this year— turns 23! And what better way to mark the occasion than with […]

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The Ninety-Fourth

June 29th, 2009 · No Comments

Tiny Togo joins the ranks of nations that have officially abolished capital punishment. Which means this list is now slightly out-of-date. Who will be next to do away with their (usually figurative) gallows? Our money’s on Burkina Faso. Or maybe another small African nation that’s trying to carve out better relations with Western Europe—the likes […]

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The Not-So-Delicate Art of Shin-Kicking

June 29th, 2009 · 3 Comments

There’s a great passage in Luc Sante‘s Low Life, in which he recounts the 19th-century New York City spectacle of man-versus-rat fights. A human competitor wearing heavy boots was placed in a ring with a swarm of hungry rats, and challenged to stomp as many to death as possible without suffering terrible injury. It’s quite […]

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“More Imperfect Than Impermeable”

June 29th, 2009 · 2 Comments

We’re fond of gently mocking those who seek to make teetotaling a legal requirement. The Eighteenth Amendment, after all, is widely regarded as a notable (even noble) failure, and we certainly can’t imagine life without the more-than-occasional bomber of Ballantine. But does that mean all attempts at enforcing prohibition are doomed to have zero positive […]

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The Piano Riff of Our Dreams

June 26th, 2009 · No Comments

Apologies for the lighter-than-usual day on Microkhan. We’re actually prepping for the third annual celebration of our legal link-up with the missus, so our thoughts are mostly elsewhere. Don’t fret, we’ll be back at full strength come Monday. Promise. In the meantime, please enjoy the clip above, the discovery of which stems from Wednesday’s Beatnuts […]

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Werner Loves the Jiggle

June 26th, 2009 · 2 Comments

One of our favorite means of procrastination is sifting through Nathan Rabin’s “My Year of Flops” series on The A.V. Club. That habit recently brought us in contact with this evisceration of The Real Cancun, which Rabin curtly derides as “a horrifying glimpse into the kiddie-pool-shallow minds of folks whose greatest ambition in life is […]

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Coup Four and a Half

June 26th, 2009 · No Comments

In April, Fiji’s government declared a public emergency that has led to total media censorship, a ban on political meetings, and the sacking of judges. It’s increasingly clear that Commodore Frank Bainimarama, Fiji’s prime minister, intends for martial law to become permanent. Fortunately, journalists are routing around the emergency rules on Coup Four and a […]

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Performance Decreasing Drugs

June 26th, 2009 · No Comments

With so much focus on steroid scofflaws these past few years, it’s tough to remember that professional athletes are often forced to dabble in performance-sapping drugs, too. Such is currently the case with Spanish MotoGP star Dani Pedrosa, who’s been racing on painkillers since badly injuring his hip in a nasty spill. And while the […]

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A Fond Farewell to MJ

June 25th, 2009 · 2 Comments

In the summer of 1983, my dad took me to the Sunset Boulevard Tower Records to purchase my first two audiocassettes. One was the eminently forgettable Cargo by Men at Work; the other, the legendary Thriller. By summer’s end, I knew every single lyric on that great album, and would watch MTV whenever possible in […]

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“Step Into My Dojo…”

June 25th, 2009 · 2 Comments

This morning’s sumo-related post stirred up memories of another Hawaiian-born legend of the sport: Konishiki, aka “The Dump Truck.” Though he never attained the exalted rank of yokozuna—perhaps due to anti-foreigner prejudice among sumo’s elite—Konishiki never let the disappointment get in the way of his artistic ambitions. As evidenced by the above video, the truly […]

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Around the World in 3,287 Days

June 25th, 2009 · 6 Comments

A Nepalese cyclist in the midst of a nine-year, around-the-world ride hits Ghana. The roughest part of Lok Bandhu Karki’s epic journey so far? Getting jacked in Malaysia: The journey has not been without difficulties. “Courage keeps me going,” he says of his worst experiences in a journey, which has also been characterised by robbery […]

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March of the Fire Ants

June 25th, 2009 · No Comments

The latest issue of Agricultural Research, a monthly must-read ’round Microkhan headquarters, contains an interesting nugget about fire ant immigration patterns. A Floridian entomologist who specializes in evolutionary genetics has concluded that our national fire-ant nightmare started with as few as nine queens, all of whom touched down in Mobile, Alabama, during the Great Depression. […]

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Scouting for Hawaiian Titans

June 25th, 2009 · 6 Comments

The sumo world is saddened by the passing of Larry Loyes Kukahiko Aweau, the man most responsible for the sport’s “Hawaiian invasion.” A judo black belt whose cousin was among the first Americans to wrestle in Japan, Aweau spent decades combing the 50th state in search of sumo talent. His greatest scouting find was an […]

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“Fat Styles Become a Stack…”

June 24th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Headed downtown to meet with our trusted rep and discuss that frightening concept known as The Future. So we’re gonna outro with the best track off The Beatnuts debut album. Like all songs by the pride of Corona, Queens, the lyrics are definitely not safe for work, so please do not play within earshot of […]

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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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Vital Boost or Glass Ceiling?

June 24th, 2009 · No Comments

As we walked across Little Senegal this morning, a throng of devout Muslim men got us thinking about Bangladesh. That may sound like a non sequitur, but our internal logic went something like this: Though most Islamic societies obviously feature male-dominated governments (note, for example, that all of Iran’s mullahs are male), Bangladesh’s two leading […]

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Speed Climbing’s Grey Eminence

June 24th, 2009 · No Comments

Granted, in the clip above, the bloke on the right-hand tree gets smoked. But cut him some slack—when this video was shot, Guy German was 53 years old, with nothing else to prove in the world of timbersports. He is, after all, widely recognized as the greatest speed climber in history. And he’s still competing […]

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Rescue Ops in the UTTR

June 23rd, 2009 · 5 Comments

The Air Force is currently combing the Utah Test & Training Range in search of a pilot whose F-16 crashed late last night. Even if the pilot managed to safely eject from the doomed aircraft, though, he could be tough to locate. As we previously noted, the UTTR is bigger than some states: If you […]

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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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Tapping Into Japan

June 23rd, 2009 · 7 Comments

Last night we started reading Harp of Burma, a book often touted as Japan’s post-World War II version of All Quiet on the Western Front. It provides a soldier’s eye view of Lieut. Gen. Renya Mutaguchi‘s ill-fated campaign in Burma, which ended up turning into one giant suicide mission as the war turned against the […]

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Do You Know These Master Builders?

June 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

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 […]

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Like Sands Through an Hourglass

June 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

We’re on a soul-crushing Wired deadline for the day’s remainder, so we’re gonna outro with a little vintage Tony Allen. Soak it in, and catch you again tomorrow morning.

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Yes, We Feel You

June 22nd, 2009 · 4 Comments

“Being in that situation made me more humble. I thought there was no way I could ever be off point, and I finally felt what it was to be stifled. I was still studying music theory and trying to make songs though. I didn’t care if she was trying to stab me or throw my […]

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Dibs on Miss Peru

June 22nd, 2009 · 2 Comments

Just as we’d hoped, The Economist decided to memorialize the late Gabonese president Omar Bongo in its current issue. And as befits an old-school strongman who appeared to care not a whit for his people’s welfare, the obituary is fairly damning—though, granted, not as gloves-off as the magazine’s posthumous takedown of Prabhakaran. The choicest bit, […]

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Nollywood Blues

June 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

Color us surprised to learn that Nigeria recently overtook the United States as the world’s second-leading producer of movies, behind only India. True, the vast majority of Nollywood’s “major productions” are straight-to-video affairs, but that’s to be expected in a nation where cheap DVD players reign and movie theaters are scarce. Yet the nature of […]

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Using Canned Peas to Your Advantage

June 19th, 2009 · No Comments

In keeping with last week’s Bad Movie Friday theme, we’re gonna once again focus on the thespian debut of a notorious athlete. In this case, our critical eye turns toward Brian Bosworth, the ex-Sooner star turned Bo Jackson doormat. Shortly after his pro football career came to an embarrassing end, Bosworth shifted gears and starred […]

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Echoes of an Ink-Stained Martyr

June 19th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Among the many ghostly memories conjured up by Iran’s current tumult, the unsolved murder of Paul Klebnikov is one of the most unexpected. After all, Klebnikov was known primarily for his investigative journalism in Russia, where he exposed myriad tales of corruption, thuggery, and outright theft. Yet The Lede recently reminded us of Klebnikov’s fine […]

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