Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from January 29th, 2010

The Midnight Rider on Sobriety

January 29th, 2010 · No Comments

No Bad Movie Friday this week, in part because we had a change of heart about calling out the 1993 Bruce Willis vehicle Striking Distance. Yes, it was almost certainly pitched to the producers as “Die Hard meets Serpico…on the water!” And we’ll never, ever buy Sarah Jessica Parker as a Pittsburgh cop. But watching

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The Scourge of Wine

January 29th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Given our obvious enthusiasm for the effects of alcohol, we were a bit taken aback by a recent New York Times piece extolling the virtues of half-bottles of wine. Apparently there are people out there for whom a regular ol’ 750-mL bottle of wine is too much to split with a loved one—the writer includes […]

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Reason Through the Haze

January 29th, 2010 · 5 Comments

Having finally closed the Wired story that sent us out to Kenya last fall, we’ve moved on to another big project for the magazine. This time the focus will be on addiction, which means you should expect plenty of drug-policy posts in the coming months. We’ll kick off the fiesta today by noting this paper […]

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“Make Them Understand the Cost of a Helping Hand”

January 28th, 2010 · 4 Comments

We’ve long been planning a meditative post on an axiom that’s caused us no shortage of angst these past few months: “People always run from what they’re best at.” Those musings will follow eventually, once things on the paying-work end have settled down a bit. In the meantime, take the above soul cut, off The […]

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Anatomy of a Hoax

January 28th, 2010 · No Comments

A great piece out of small-town South Carolina on an alleged attempted murder that turned out to be nothing of the sort. The “victim,” Pearl Brown, wasn’t very detailed oriented, and that was ultimately her undoing. She probably should have researched the link between head trauma and amnesia a bit more, a line of inquiry […]

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The King’s Gambit

January 28th, 2010 · 1 Comment

With the possible exception of Texas A&M’s poultry judging squad, no college team is as dominant right now as University of Maryland-Baltimore County’s chess club. The school recently earned yet another national title, its ninth in the past 14 years. It has done so by recruiting a United Nations’ worth of grandmasters, including such notables […]

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“Like When We Used to Climb the Rope in Gym Class…”

January 27th, 2010 · 3 Comments

If you’ve heard of the traditional Indian sport of mallakhamb, it’s likely in relation to its supposed role in the creation of modern pole dancing. But there’s an offshoot of the sport that involves rope tricks rather than pole stands, and it’s quite a sight to behold (see above). While mallakhamb may be little know […]

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Up on Trickle Creek

January 27th, 2010 · 4 Comments

Having spent some time in Alberta’s northern climes, we’ve taken an unusually keen interest in the arrest of Wiebo Ludwig, a religious patriarch with a Luddite streak a mile wide. Having served time for vandalizing oil-industry equipment in the past, Ludwig recently presented himself as man capable of coaxing a fellow pipeline bomber into giving […]

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Hand to the Throat

January 26th, 2010 · No Comments

Apologies, just a crazy day here in Atlah. Closing multiple stories and dealing with Microkhan Jr., all at once. May have to reach for a sip of hooch at lunch, just to keep the nerves on an even keel. Take the dreamy superstar collaboration above, and we’ll circle back to you either later today or […]

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A Heyday Down East

January 26th, 2010 · No Comments

Whenever we drive through a mid-sized American town that has obviously seen better days, we wonder what industry built the once stately homes that have fallen into gentle disrepair. In most cases, it seems, such towns have fallen victim to the decline in manufacturing—Waterbury’s reign as “Brass City,” for example, certainly seems like a distant […]

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Self-Publishing for Legends

January 25th, 2010 · 8 Comments

We’ve recently been toying with the idea of self-publishing a book, but can’t quite seem to get over the feeling that such a maneuver will result in a disastrous labor-to-pay ratio. That said, we’ve been heartened to learn that putting out one’s own book is no longer the sole domain of conspiracy theorists and frustrated […]

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In Defense of Hitchhiking

January 25th, 2010 · 2 Comments

It’s not often that we read a piece as boldly contrarian as this letter to the editor from the pages of The Bellingham Herald. The correspondent comes out hard in favor of a practice that’s likely to get you arrested if you don’t take care: hitchhiking: As a person who has traveled thousands of miles […]

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The Horse Gallops Onward

January 22nd, 2010 · No Comments

When it comes to sports fandom, we’re incurable pessimists—perhaps no surprise given our decades-long love affair with the most miserable franchise in the history of athletics. And so in the run-up to this Sunday’s monster Colts game, we will not dare to offer any sunny predictions about the inevitability of a Super Bowl. We’ve been […]

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“There’s a Female Up There Circling Mother Earth”

January 22nd, 2010 · No Comments

Not much time for Bad Movie Friday this week, as we’re scrambling on the Secret Major Project™. So this vintage anti-Soviet propaganda film about the travails of Laika will have to suffice. It gets really amazing around the 42-second mark, when one of Laika’s American peers dons granny glasses in order to peep the space-race […]

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Telling Johnny Redcoat to Scram

January 22nd, 2010 · 2 Comments

These are not particularly joyous days for legal fans of a liberal bent, seeing as how SCOTUS has just brought us ever-closer to selling naming rights to federal buildings. (The “1-800-FLOWERS White House Rose Garden” has a nice ring to it.) If you fall into that ideological category, let us brighten your day a tad […]

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Buried Whales, Cont’d

January 22nd, 2010 · 3 Comments

Our recent post about the hazards of whale burial attracted a celebrity commenter: Steve O’Shea of the Auckland University of Technology. Best known for his squid-hunting endeavors, O’Shea is also overseeing the research into the public-health consequences of interring beached whales. He takes us to school thusly: I can assure you that E. coli is […]

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“How in the Future Will Man Take It?”

January 21st, 2010 · No Comments

A dastardly confluence of events has prevented us from Microkhaning to our full potential today. Back as soon as circumstances allow. In the meantime, take a break from the Game of Life by learning more about Ham the Chimp, one of the great unsung heroes of the American space program. Okay, perhaps “unsung” is a […]

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Against Ivan Barleycorn

January 21st, 2010 · No Comments

More than we might care to admit, cultures are defined by their attitudes toward alcohol consumption. And so it makes sense that amateur anthropologists can learn a lot by paying attention not only to consumption habits, but to the psychological tactics that societies use to scare folks away from Demon Rum. Those tactics are on […]

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The Genius of Robert Vince

January 20th, 2010 · 3 Comments

When we were just a few years older than Microkhan Jr. is now, we developed a serious fascination with the Pippi Longstocking movies. At the time, it didn’t occur to us that the characters’ voices were dubbed, or that Pippi’s Popeye-liked strength defied logical explanation. All we cared about was the special bond that “the […]

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No Ice Cream in Karachi

January 20th, 2010 · 3 Comments

We were all set to start the morning on a light-hearted note, but then we stumbled across this eye-popping (and curiously underreported) Richard Holbrooke quote: “Karachi, the world’s largest Muslim city, 18 million people, had about four hours of electricity a day during the worst of the summer months. And we want to do things […]

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“Superfly Snuka Jumping from the Turnbuckle”

January 19th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Looking to use some Amazon credit we scored over the holidays, we flirted with the idea of finally picking up an album that we’ve long coveted: Sean Price‘s ultra-rare Donkey Sean Jr. mixtape, which features the oft-remixed (and eternally amazing) “60 Bar Dash.” Lo and behold, however, we’re not the only folks with such ideas […]

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Thorned Bonanza

January 19th, 2010 · 9 Comments

We’re certainly all for the Czech Republic’s willingness to step up to the plate and become a laboratory for drug-policy reform. But in their haste to craft decriminalization legislation that could kick in with the New Year, Czech lawmakers appear to have done a grave disservice to a rising agricultural sector: the cactus industry: A […]

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A Sadder Breed of Fail Whale

January 19th, 2010 · 5 Comments

What to do with beached whales who can’t be guided back out to sea, and so perish on the sand? In parts of New Zealand where the indigenous Maori hold sway, this has become quite the conundrum. The trust that oversees Maori fisheries recently proposed harvesting such unfortunate cetaceans for meat—arguably a more humane option […]

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Slow Daze

January 18th, 2010 · 8 Comments

Hopefully y’all are far away from the screen today, though we certainly know what it’s like to labor for a heartless boss who shrugs his shoulders at MLK Jr. Day. If you’re toiling for a paycheck today, please take a 2:42 respite to enjoy El Michaels Affair’s take on “C.R.E.A.M.” (above). Live version featuring Raekwon […]

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The Antidote to Cathy

January 15th, 2010 · No Comments

Sorry, but we just couldn’t bear to have that dreadful Cathy clip atop the blog all weekend. So we’ll instead leave you with this 1970 campaign ad, which we discovered while reading about Spiro Agnew’s proto-Tipper Gore act in the Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune. Ms. Dickinson eventually lost this election in a landslide, but we still […]

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The Absolute Nadir of Animation

January 15th, 2010 · 11 Comments

One of the greatest movie-review slams we’ve come across in recent months is Nathan Rabin’s brutal takedown of I Hate Valentine’s Day, the latest project from My Big, Fat Greek Wedding mastermind Nia Vardalos. The whole pan is full of choice insults, but the apex comes in the kicker: “If the comic strip character Cathy […]

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The Roots of the Trainspotting Generation

January 15th, 2010 · 3 Comments

“There is nothing sadder than an aging hipster,” Lenny Bruce once opined. While there’s certainly a kernel of truth to that statement, we believe the late comedian missed the mark by just a few degrees. Far sadder, in our estimation, is an aging drug addict, whose aims to recapture lost glory not by feigning interest […]

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Bulletproof: Indians in the Civil War

January 14th, 2010 · 2 Comments

The way that Civil War history is written, you’d think that the conflict was confined to the easternmost quarter of the nation. But though few significant battles took place on the western frontier, the region wasn’t exactly unscathed. In the vast area known then simply as “Indian Country,” for example, tribes split along factional lines—many […]

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File Under “Illusions, Shattered”

January 14th, 2010 · 9 Comments

Whenever the stress of big-city living starts to wear us down—which seems to be happening an awful lot these days—we briefly fantasize about chucking it all in favor of life as a shepherd. We can trace this pipe dream back to our grade-school viewing of Fletch, in which Chevy Chase’s titular character facetiously replies “I’m […]

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R.I.P. Teddy Bear

January 14th, 2010 · No Comments

This morning’s news that Teddy Pendergrass has passed on comes just months after we first started to discover his silky genius. For years, we considered Teddy Bear the epitome of old-person music, and rarely listened to the records of his that we’d somehow accumulated over the years. (When you’re a vinyl geek, you have a […]

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