Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from July 31st, 2009

RIP Corazon Aquino

July 31st, 2009 · No Comments

Her story was amazing.

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“A Profound Instinct…for Vengeance!”

July 31st, 2009 · No Comments

Here’s a doozy of a me-too flick for Bad Movie Friday: 1977′s Orca, which tried oh-so-hard to copy the Jaws formula. But the film flopped miserably, in large part because its target audience wasn’t all that terrified by killer whales. (Thanks, Shamu.) Oh, and also because Richard Harris gnaws on the scenery like it was […]

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Divorce, Roman Style

July 31st, 2009 · 2 Comments

Continuing on with our recent divorce obsession, a reader comment inspired us to look at the split rate in ancient Rome. We recall that the union between Emperor Augustus and Livia came about only after the two lovebirds divorced their first spouses. (Livia’s husband, Nero, actually approved of the maneuver, and attended the ensuing wedding […]

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Jim Johnson and the Peter Principle

July 31st, 2009 · 2 Comments

As noted at the end of our mission statement, we reserve the right to occasionally veer away from the esoteric in favor of more mainstream topics that tickle our fancy. And so we’d like to spend a few minutes ruminating over the passing of Jim Johnson, arguably the greatest NFL defensive coordinator ever. A bold […]

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Your Friendly Neighborhood Birther

July 30th, 2009 · 3 Comments

On his way out of town, our pal Oken was sharp enough to snap the church sign to the right, which stands a mere block away from Microkhan world headquarters. This particular church, which gained some infamy during last year’s election, is evidently none too fond of the man currently occupying the White House. Oh, […]

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The Murder Project: “Doing the Big Job”

July 30th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Part of our goal with The Murder Project series is to assess how hitman prices have changed over time. Our assumption going in is that these prices shift according to the certainty (or lack thereof) of capture, and so more lawless epochs will be marked by lower murder-for-hire fees. A logical guess, perhaps, but does […]

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Oken Goes to Oshkosh

July 30th, 2009 · No Comments

Apologies, but gonna be a slightly late start today. We’re in the process of helping our great pal from Arunachal Pradesh catch a plan from LaGuardia to Minneapolis, en route to the big Oshkosh air show. So chew on the above Mood Swingaz track for the next hour or so, and we’ll be back at […]

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Mr. T, Copyright Defender

July 29th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Huge apologies for the string of bummer posts over the past few days—murder-for-hire, arms smuggling, and gulags do not a happy Microkhan reader make, we now realize. So let us make it up to you by sharing an episode of Mr. T’s eponymous (and hugely underrated) Reagan-era cartoon. It involves stuntmen, ninjas, and movie piracy, […]

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Too Fat for the Fuzz?

July 29th, 2009 · 2 Comments

We’ve seen our fair share of portly policemen over the years, so were were a bit surprised to learn of Chris Parent’s strange saga. The Nebraskan cop was fired two years ago for being way too fat—so fat, in fact, that he couldn’t kneel down and shoot during the department’s firearms test. A protracted legal […]

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Daily Bread

July 29th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Last night’s long subway ride afforded us an opportunity to start reading Ian Frazier’s Siberia travelogue in the latest New Yorker. So far, it’s every bit as astounding as we’d hoped—the long digression about Siberian butter, in particular, made our inner magazine geek nearly burst with glee. What can we say, we’re absolute suckers for […]

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The Arms Trade, Illustrated

July 28th, 2009 · 4 Comments

In the course of learning about contemporary cattle raiding in Sudan, we found ourselves sifting through a recent edition of the annual Small Arms Survey. It’s an informative publication, no doubt, but also mind-numbingly dense; our eyes glazed over midway through Chapter Three, during the extended exploration of “security enhancement projects.” Thankfully, the survey’s authors […]

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The Murder Project

July 28th, 2009 · 12 Comments

While scouring some FBI press releases last week, we came across this semi-comical gem from the Chicago field office. It announces the arrest of a Indiana tandem who stand accused of trying to arrange a contract killing. Note the details of their proposed payment for this risky task: FRIEDBURG and ALEXANDER were both charged in […]

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Katowice Got It Goin’ On

July 27th, 2009 · No Comments

Poland’s funk era has often been described as “little known,” and not without good reason. We here at Microkhan are intent on correcting that egregious oversight by bringing you the cut above, complete with candy-colored Slavic montage. We’re big fans of the rhythm guitar work on this one, not to mention Irena’s breathy “ahs.”

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Sports Transition Fail

July 27th, 2009 · 2 Comments

In response to our recent post about Japanese tackle football, a commenter asked a salient question: I’ve always wondered if some of the high-ranking sumo wrestlers could make it in the NFL as blitzing specialists. There’s been a long history of association between football and wrestling in the US, with a lot of highschool wrestling […]

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Divorce in Ye Olden Tymes

July 27th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Following up on last week’s divorce theme, we thought we’d take a look back at pre-modern marital splits. While divorce may not have been common in the West until the advent of women’s lib, it was apparently a staple of several Asian and Middle Eastern societies for centuries: The outpouring of scholarly and popular works […]

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Don’t Shake Henry’s Hand

July 24th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Yesterday we noted a mid-1980s toothpaste commercial that still freaks us out to this day. Now, in the space normally reserved for Bad Movie Friday, we’d like to recall the celluloid character who creeped us out more than Freddy and Jason combined: Henry Kane, the demonic cult leader who menaces the Freeling family in Poltergeist […]

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Clarification on Divorce

July 24th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Due to some less-than-stellar writing on our parts, we attracted some mystified “huhs?” regarding yesterday’s post on arranged-marriage divorce rates versus those for “love” marriages. That admittedly confusing post, in turn, referred back to a concept we mentioned about two months back: what we’ve termed the natural rate of divorce. Okay, let’s slow down and […]

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“Speed Like the Wind”

July 24th, 2009 · 7 Comments

After receiving word that a team of Notre Dame pigskin alums will soon take on Japan’s national football team, we got to wondering about the uniquely American sport’s history in the Land of the Rising Sun. Our natural assumption was that it was brought over during the post-World War II occupation. But it was, in […]

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Motrin, Motrin Everywhere

July 24th, 2009 · No Comments

Apologies for the super-late start today. Microkhan Jr.’s struggling with an aggressive virus that landed the whole crew in the ER last night. Naps, kiddie Motrin, and maybe a touch of kumis are in order, then we hope to catch y’all in a few. In the meantime, reward yourself with a week well done by […]

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The Monsters in Your Teeth

July 23rd, 2009 · 3 Comments

Microkhan Jr. stunned us yesterday by yelping out “Elmo!” upon seeing the ubiquitous monster on Sesame Street. That incident has got us thinking about how brands weasel their way into young minds, a train of thought that in turn led us to dig up the classic Crest commercial above. We’ve been Crest-loyal for years because […]

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More on Marriage

July 23rd, 2009 · 3 Comments

Staying on the marriage string, we wanted to note a stat we found buried in this recent piece on Unification Church mass weddings. The reporter found a figure that Microkhan has long been on the hunt for, regarding the divorce rate for arranged marriages (of the non-Moonie sort): Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, an economics professor at […]

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“Prefer Saturn 7″

July 23rd, 2009 · 3 Comments

An eagle-eyed reader, obviously aware of Microkhan’s longtime obsession with all things Sri Lanka, recently turned us on the marriage-proposal ads in one of the island nation’s leading papers. They make for fascinating reading, in part as evidence of how closely first-generation immigrants remain tied to the marital practices of their homelands; the bulk of […]

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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 […]

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“They Do That to Taunt Me”

July 22nd, 2009 · 5 Comments

We’re about to jet downtown for an all-important meeting regarding the Now the Hell Will Start screenplay, so we’ll call it a day with this super-classic clip from Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. Though we’re no great fans of the band, we swoon over the doc—a probing portrait of creative minds in crisis, brought on […]

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The Mammoths’ Last Stand

July 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

Yesterday’s news that a comet helped kill off the Ice Age’s most glorious creatures reminded us of this groundbreaking 1995 paper from the journal Radiocarbon. While most of the world’s mammoths disappeared long before mankind figured out the rudiments of civilization, a small pack of the elephant-like beasts survived until 2000 B.C. or later. Their […]

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Married Priests Now

July 22nd, 2009 · 2 Comments

Given the rapid growth of Catholicism in Africa, it’s certain that the continent’s clergymen are set to play an increasingly large role at the Vatican. (Cardinal Francis Arinze, for example, has already been mentioned as a possible future pope.) But while the majority of Africa’s priests and bishops hew closely to Chruch orthodoxy, there are […]

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Beg No Friends

July 21st, 2009 · No Comments

Cramming on a Wired deadline this afternoon, so we’ll outro with yet another track that the essential WEFUNK recently turned us on to. The group itself, Strictly Roots, is mighty obscure—as far as we can tell, they released just one album, back in 1993, before vanishing into the ether. But they were big enough to […]

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Wait of the World

July 21st, 2009 · No Comments

Account of Ajmal Kasab’s surprise confession have often noted that the Mumbai attacker’s trial has proceeded at a lightning clip, at least compared to other Indian criminal proceedings. How quickly have things gone? A 2007 study in Delhi cast a harsh light on the nation’s creaky wheels of justice: The analysis is based upon the […]

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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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Animal Could Have Done It

July 20th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Tending to Microkhan Jr. has given us a newfound appreciation for great kiddie fare of yore, most notably the late, great Muppet empire. And do when we stumbled across this clip of various Henson creations “auditioning” for the role of Yoda, we couldn’t resist the urge to pass it along. Honestly, we could totally see […]

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