Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from October 29th, 2010

Carry Your Cup in Your Hand

October 29th, 2010 · 2 Comments

It felt weird leaving an abysmal Sidney Sheldon mini-series atop the blog for the weekend, so let me instead outro with a brief poem from the latest issue of Granta—one of the publication’s best in recent memory. It is by the Peshawar-based writer Hasina Gul, and translated from Pashto: We grow up but do not […]

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From the Department of the Obvious

October 29th, 2010 · 3 Comments

This week’s Bad Movie Friday entrant bends the rules a bit: it’s actually a network mini-series, a once glorious TV genre that has sadly fallen out of favor in the modern era. Rage of Angels: The Story Continues was one of many Sidney Sheldon potboilers to appear on the small screen during the 1980s, and […]

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Miss Galaxy

October 28th, 2010 · 1 Comment

In the course of researching the controversial career of Filipino basketball star Asi Taulava, I decided to look into the hoops scene in his native Tonga. That line of inquiry led me to this account of the sport that Tongans describe as “basketball,” but really resembles something else entirely: Basketball in Tonga is not like […]

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A Singer’s Burden

October 27th, 2010 · 3 Comments

I recently bought a bevy of vinyl off a guy in my building. He just showed up at my door with a crate full of records, which I purchased for a relative song after giving the contents only a cursory glance. Turns out there was a lot of junk in there—I am now the not-so-proud […]

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The Forgetting

October 27th, 2010 · 5 Comments

I’ve been dealing with some mega writer’s block these past few days, which has got me wondering whether it’s possible for someone to spontaneously lose their most well-developed skills. That’s obviously true in the athletic realm, where the dreaded Steve Blass Disease has ended more than a few baseball careers. The problem with such vexed […]

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Justice for Paw Paw

October 26th, 2010 · No Comments

I’ve previously examined the economics of Nigerian filmaking, a business that rewards both the prolific and the extremely cost-conscious. The industry’s margins are typically razor thin because producers begin with the assumption that 70 percent of each movie’s revenue will end up in the hands of pirates. The trick to longevity, then, is to create […]

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Turn Off the Dark

October 25th, 2010 · 2 Comments

The mere act of flicking on a light switch is something that can’t be taken for granted on the Navajo reservation, where tens of thousands of homes still lack electricity. Nowhere else in America do so many live in darkness, a fact driven home by this eye-popping stat: More than 18,000 households on the reservation […]

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The Uzbek in the Mirror

October 22nd, 2010 · No Comments

Sorry about dropping the blogging ball this week. The quick trip to Florida made things rough, and I just remembered that the Grand Empress and I have a pressing appointment in Sunnyside today. When this post goes live, then, I’ll likely be on the 7 train, looking out at Five Pointz. I’ll leave you, then, […]

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Filet-O-Skink

October 21st, 2010 · 2 Comments

I’m scrambling to catch up after the whirlwind Florida jaunt, so today’s polymathism shall consist of a mere reference back to an oldie-but-goodie: My 2003 Slate piece about the veracity of Eric Rudolph‘s nutritional claims. The serial bomber stated that he managed to live on the lam for five-plus years by dining on North Carolina’s […]

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The Turnaround

October 19th, 2010 · No Comments

Doing a quick trip down to Florida for some reporting, so either working or traveling for a short bit. Will try and use some downtime to read this 1831 tract, which bears one of the most irresistible titles in all of literature: A narrative of the wreck of the Minerva: whaler of Port Jackson, New […]

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The Kevin Durant of Bus Driving

October 18th, 2010 · No Comments

Thanks for Microkhan Jr.’s increasing obsession with all things mechanical, I recently found myself trolling through the hundreds of transit-related videos on this YouTube channel. It is quite an amazing collection, the handiwork of a New York City metrophile who apparently spends the bulk of his leisure time filming buses and subways. And among his […]

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The Failed Heartthrob

October 15th, 2010 · No Comments

There’s a great scene in Robert Altman’s The Player in which Tim Robbins’ slithery movie producer stops a writer who’s in the middle of pitching a script idea. The poor scribe, it seems, made the mistake of implying that his proposed film would feature a TV star in the main role. This notion makes Robbins […]

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The Proverbial Thousand Words

October 15th, 2010 · 4 Comments

The current issue of Granta contains an enlightening Jane Perlez piece about Muhammad Ali Jinnah (right), Pakistan’s founding father. In making the argument that Jinnah’s vision for the nation has been grossly misinterpreted, Perlez notes that it’s easy enough to determine where a Pakistani official resides on the political spectrum. All you have to do […]

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Bobbing Along

October 14th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Just one of those dour days here in Atlah, with the brain creaking along so slowly that the firing of each synapse sounds like the bursting of a soap bubble. Classic ZZ Top will have to see you through for the moment. And if you have a few spare moments over lunch, it’s worth checking […]

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Beautiful Minds at the Fronton

October 13th, 2010 · 1 Comment

My heart goes out to contemporary jai-alai players who must constantly answer a rather irritating question from casual observers: “Isn’t your sport fixed?” The stars of the circuit have gone to great lengths to assure the public of jai-alai’s credibility, but it’s still tough to overcome some of the extreme shadiness that dogged the sport […]

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Gangs of Jakarta

October 12th, 2010 · 3 Comments

The Indonesian capital is still reeling in the wake of a deadly gang brawl outside a city courthouse. As in most cases of Jakartan gang violence, the young men involved belonged to rival ethnic groups, each with close ties to local politicians who rely on thuggery to manage their constituencies. In fact, it appears that […]

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Here There Be Monsters

October 11th, 2010 · 4 Comments

Columbus Day brings to mind all the various explorers who are more deserving of modern recognition than the dour Genoan you either love or loathe. One such admirable icon is our namesake, St. Brendan, who allegedly sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in the sixth century A.D. True, there is zero physical evidence to prove that […]

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“We Got Robots, We Got Cavemen, We Got Kung Fu…”

October 8th, 2010 · No Comments

In order to round out a gestating Wired essay, I spent a good chunk of this past week drumming up examples of celluloid robots. One invaluable resource that I relied upon was this excellent Wikipedia entry, which mentions a number of B-movie ‘bots that vanished from my memory banks. Perhaps the most laughably cheesy of […]

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Promises, Promises

October 7th, 2010 · No Comments

The federal government is becoming increasingly zealous about deporting convicted criminals who’ve completed their sentences. That official enthusiasm has led to some interesting legal conundrums, such as this case of an oil worker down in Texas: A descendant of the Lipan Apache tribe who was convicted this summer of re-entering the United States after being […]

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The Jueteng Economy

October 6th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Filipinos can certaily be forgiven for having mixed feelings about jueteng, their nation’s equivalent of the ol’ numbers racket that used to flourish on these shores. After all, jueteng helped bring down the government of former President Joseph Estrada, who was later convicted of having close ties with the underworld characters who operate the lotteries. […]

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A Queen’s Edge

October 5th, 2010 · No Comments

Scrambling to prep for a key interview and finish a Wired essay, so just a quickie this morning. The clip above features the coolest drummer ever to brush a cymbal; the snippet below reveals how a young woman named Courtney Larkin was able to triumph in this year’s Miss National Peanut pageant: On Monday, Larkin […]

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“War Has Been a Very Efficient Schoolmaster”

October 4th, 2010 · 4 Comments

One of Microkhan’s top Alaskan correspondents recently alerted me to the existence of Project Facade, one of the eeriest and coolest art projects to be found on The Tubes. The endeavor is tough to describe in a pithy sentence or two, so please bear with me as I try: Project Facade is one artist’s attempt […]

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After Vega$

October 1st, 2010 · 3 Comments

Scrambling to catch up with a pile of work after a rough trip back from Nevada—funny how an overly large and inconsiderate seatmate can really ruin an otherwise uneventful flight. So no polymathism today; in its stead, please check out The A.V. Club‘s recent take on Death Wish 3, the subject of last week’s Bad […]

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