Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from November 10th, 2009

The Vaccine Dream Deferred

November 10th, 2009 · 3 Comments

An MIT economist argues that botched incentives, rather than scientific hurdles, are frustrating the quest for an HIV vaccine. The point that jumped out at us the most: It has become increasingly apparent that an HIV vaccine may need to be administered in combination with antiretroviral drugs, even if a stand-alone vaccine remains the ultimate […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:····

Stars and Stripes Pale in Comparison

November 10th, 2009 · 3 Comments

A pal of ours recently quipped that he’s always had a yen to visit Mozambique, albeit because he’s always dreamed of traversing the sandy beaches of the Bazaruto Archipelago. No, our friend is attracted to the nation for a single, simple reason: he digs flags that feature weapons, and Mozambique’s official banner certainly qualifies. Given […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:······

The Peace Shield

November 9th, 2009 · 1 Comment

In response to Friday’s post on the launch of our “Bulletproof Project,” a commenter wryly noted that we should include the Strategic Defense Initiative among our list of magical shields. That quip naturally reminded us of this classic ad, in which a pro-SDI group tried to break down the appeal of Star Wars into the […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:···

Mark of the Least

November 9th, 2009 · No Comments

Want to ruin your chances of attending a Chinese university? Simply get tattooed: At the National Entrance College Examination of 2009, Zhong was accepted into a major university in Chongqing. But after the physical examination, the university ultimately refused to accept him because of the wolf head on his chest. Zhong’s university dream was broken. […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·

Livin’ It Up in Kiev

November 9th, 2009 · No Comments

At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much of interest in this plain-Jane rundown of Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko’s income and assets. The man who rose to the top of Ukraine’s political structure after surviving a bizarre assassination attempt is certainly well-off by his nation’s standards, but it’s not like he’s pulling a pulling […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:····

“Kingdom of Heaven Number One”

November 6th, 2009 · No Comments

No Bad Movie Friday this week, as The Tubes yielded up precious few usable clips from Smokey and the Bandit Part 3. Instead, we’re gonna hit you with a special treat—rare archival footage from the heyday of Father Divine, taken during his prosperous Harlem phase. It’s best viewed in tandem with this 1953 Life spread, […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:····

The Bulletproof Project

November 6th, 2009 · 13 Comments

If you’ve yet to read this jarring New York Times piece, do yourself a big favor and click over stat. It’s a damning account of how the Iraqi cops have been duped into buying a handheld “bomb detector” that apparently works no better than an old-school divining rod. Scary stuff, considering that so much of […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:······

If the Cosmos Turn Against Us

November 5th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Of all the sundry worries that vex us every day, annihilation by celestial object is fairly low on the list. The same can’t be said of the insurance industry, which knows it could be wiped out if we ever got another Tunguska event of 1908. If something similarly destructive happened in the skies above New […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:···

Really? These Guys?

November 5th, 2009 · 8 Comments

Before the Sandman took hold last night, we managed to dive into the first few pages of Lawrence Wright’s New Yorker piece on last January’s war in Gaza. It’s a topic we know little about, and so we were genuinely surprised by a passing mention regarding the paranoia of Hamas. According to Wright, the organization’s […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·······

“Be Cool, or Be Cooled”

November 4th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Earlier this year, we rescued several heaping armfuls of vinyl from a building on our blocks that’s undergoing a gut renovation. Many of the platters were too damaged to be of use, but there were gems amidst the trash—most notably an original pressing of the soundtrack for Three Tough Guys (aka Tough Guys). The lead […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·····

The Marching Powder

November 4th, 2009 · 12 Comments

When Latin percussion god Tito Puente died some years back, The New York Post speculated that a 40-year cocaine addiction had finally caught up with the man. This piece of gossip turned out to be of (to say the least) dubious veracity, but it stuck with us nonetheless. That’s because it got us thinking about […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·····

“They Shall Take Up Serpents…”

November 3rd, 2009 · 5 Comments

Yesterday’s quick mention of religious snake handling set us off on a minor research tangent. We’re accustomed to witnessing the practice via cheesy TV segments, which have always struck us as a tad too overproduced to convey the emotional appeal of grasping serpents in the name of the Lord. Fortunately, The Tubes now contain a […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:······

Vincent van Guenon

November 3rd, 2009 · 2 Comments

The industry that exists to service laboratory primates is surprisingly vast. Our close genetic cousins can’t just live off kibble while caged, nor can their brains remain limber with nothing more than a hamster wheel to occupy their time. So companies like New Jersey’s Bio-Serv exist to peddle “primate enrichment” products designed to make captivity […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:····

Antivenin and Econ 101

November 2nd, 2009 · 2 Comments

We initially didn’t quite believe the top-shelf venom prices quotes in this 1995 piece about Caucasian vipers. Upwards of $1,000 per gram just struck as too high, given the relative abundance of the most desirable species. But sure enough, the latest price list from the Kentucky Reptile Zoo proved our skepticism misplaced; a gram’s worth […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:····

The Perils of Blowback

November 2nd, 2009 · 2 Comments

If we were betting khans, we’d wager all our loose change on the eventual failure of the Communitarian Nation of the Moskitia. There’s just no way that Nicaragua will ever let its northeastern coast secede, no matter how legitimate the grievances of the Miskito people who’ve called it home for centuries. And while the separatist […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:···