Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries from December 30th, 2010

Borne Forward Ceaselessly Into MMXI

December 30th, 2010 · No Comments

Cutting out a little early on 2010 to prep for 2011; today’s all about wrapping up loose ends, drawing up New Year’s resolutions, and game-planning for what’s sure to be another madcap 12-month stretch. Lots in the works, starting with my long-promised Jazz Age yarn. As always, check this space for details—or simply because you […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:···

The Measure of a Story

December 29th, 2010 · 6 Comments

I toyed with the idea of doing a couple of “Best of…” lists in these waning days of MMX, much as I did last year. But in the course of trying to pull together some worthy candidates from the realms of filmdom, books, and booze, I got to thinking about the criteria I was employing—at […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:··········

The Fine Art of Terrible Lizards

December 28th, 2010 · 4 Comments

On Christmas Night, the ingestion of too much fine red wine led the Grand Empress and I to spend a pleasant few minutes researching Thrinaxodon, one of the many Therapsids to be found in mankind’s evolutionary tree. We were intrigued to find great disagreement on what this critter looked like; due to a paucity of […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:····

The Cure for Workaholism

December 24th, 2010 · No Comments

Can’t believe I’m about to do this, but actually gonna take a few days off starting right now. Big plans for the holiday weekend: ice skating, Staten Island, and Ayinger Celebrator (not necessarily in that order). I leave you with a comically inappropriate snippet from Yogi’s First Christmas, arguably the greatest ursine-themed holiday movie of […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:··

Saints and Sinners

December 23rd, 2010 · No Comments

In the midst of researching an upcoming post on the cigarette economy in prisons, I came across this image of juvenile prisoners in Russia. I was struck by the extreme youth of these convicts, and thus motivated to look a bit more deeply into how Russia handles criminals who’ve yet to become adults. As I […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·····

Packing Up the Turtle Doves

December 22nd, 2010 · 2 Comments

Taking a day to wrap up pending projects, so that I can unplug for 96 hours starting on Christmas Eve. Stevie Wonder will see you through; a great remix of this tune leads the latest installment of Microkhan fave Fresh Produce.

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·

Theater of the Absurd

December 21st, 2010 · 3 Comments

The hooded lady above was not a bandit, but rather a New York City detective who worked the 21 Jump Street beat in the early 1970s. Kathleen Conlon earned her gold shield after surviving a scary incident in the Bronx: While working on an undercover narcotics unit, she was dragged into an alley, assaulted, and […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·········

Battledrome

December 20th, 2010 · 2 Comments

I’ve previously written about the odious racism of the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, where various peoples from around the world were displayed like zoo animals. For the most part, these folks were asked to inhabit ersatz villages, so that their clothes and customs could be gawked at by paying customers. But some of […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:··

As Dry as the Sahara

December 17th, 2010 · No Comments

Absolutely nothing left in the tank today—not even enough mental bandwidth to squeeze out a Bad Movie Friday. Spent the bulk of yesterday recording the audio version of my upcoming Jazz Age yarn, an experience that has given me new respect for voice actors. You try saying “Critics and compatriots rarely stinted on superlatives” without […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·

The Only Way to Win is Not to Play

December 16th, 2010 · 10 Comments

The fundamental premise of the American economic system is that competition is healthy. By extension, we generally assume that the greatest men and women are those in whom the competitive spirit burns brightest—individuals with “fire in the belly.” These are the people who take play as seriously as work, and thus descend into deep depressions […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:···

Closing in on Dawn

December 15th, 2010 · No Comments

Mere hours away from this killer Wired deadline that’s been vexing me since last week, so please endure one last day of meh-ish posting. There’s only so much mental bandwidth to spare, alas, and most of what I’ve got is currently dedicated to figuring out a way to end this piece. (I’m playing with several […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·

The Best Job in Show Business

December 14th, 2010 · 4 Comments

Still cranking on this Wired deadline, so I can only offer you a pittance this morning. But what a pittance—a tribute to the Morris Day, a few hours too late to celebrate his 53rd birthday. Aside from absolutely owning Purple Rain, Day is responsible for one of the greatest on-stage gimmicks ever: Checking his reflection […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:···

Pilolevu in the Sky with Diamonds

December 13th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Somewhat lighter-than-usual posting these next three days, as I hack through yet another killer Wired deadline—the last major work task of an exhausting 2010. I was tempted to just toss up a few YouTubes between now and Thursday morning, but that wouldn’t be very sporting. So I will instead offer some quick hits about topics […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:····

The Picasso of Cartography

December 10th, 2010 · 1 Comment

I distinctly remember the first time I was surprised by a geographical truth that ordinary maps conceal. I was about ten years old, and thought of myself as pretty sharp when it comes to map-related matters. Seeking to impress my pops with my knowledge, I mentioned at the dinner table one night that Maine was […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:···

Hard Times

December 9th, 2010 · 5 Comments

Not to tease too much, but I’m getting really excited ’bout this secret project I’m wrapping up. Details to come shortly, I promise—all should be public right after the New Year, if not a little sooner. In the meantime, though, I can only hint at the nature of the yarn: It involves a son of […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:······

The Waning of Oxen

December 8th, 2010 · 5 Comments

Putting the finishing touches on a long-gestating major project this a.m., so just a quickie before I get back to ironing out some word-choice matters. The graph above comes from the much buzzed-about paper estimating that per-capita GDP in late Medieval England was around $1,000 in 1990 dollars—an estimate that, if accurate, would mean that […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·····

A Clear Conscience

December 7th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Whenever my work involves looking at rolls of decades-old microfilm, I inevitably stumble across a handful of tremendous yarns that have been lost to time. Such was the case this past Saturday, as I whiled away the hours scrolling through old copies of The San Diego Union-Tribune. Lazily panning across the pages in search of […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:······

You Don’t Have to Be Alone

December 6th, 2010 · No Comments

Microkhan has a bunch of A-plus material lined up for the coming weeks, including looks at gossip in Borneo, Korean marathoners, chess hustling, and Orissan labor songs. But today’s a wash due to a Wired deadline, so please ease into your Monday with a humble musical offering: New Birth‘s “You Don’t Have to Be Alone.” […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:··

“Beef Plus Buns…Equal Bucks”

December 3rd, 2010 · 2 Comments

There was a time not long ago when slapstick comedies like Hamburger…The Motion Picture seemingly occupied half the multiplexes in America. The cinematic formula, arguably pioneered by the much-maligned Police Academy heptalogy, was devilishly simple: Throw a bunch of wacky, hormonally charged characters into close quarters and let physical mayhem ensue. I was squarely in […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·····

That Baffling Last Act

December 2nd, 2010 · 11 Comments

Perhaps I am bucking for a karmic penalty here, but let me take a brief moment to speak slightly ill of the dead. Neutron-bomb inventor Samuel T. Cohen, who passed away four days ago, was always a controversial figure, and not just because of his role in the atomic-weapons industry. As previously highlighted on Microkhan, […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:······

“The Juice Come Thicker Than Sunny Delight”

December 1st, 2010 · 1 Comment

Putting the finishing touches on a soon-to-be-revealed major project this morning, so just a quick slice of sonic grandeur to get your day started. Laugh if you must at this band’s name, but rest assured that many of the finest minds in hip-hop history can see beyond the cheesy psychedelic moniker. The Electric Prunes’ “General […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:······