Friday, 1 August 2014

"The Phantom" is the thirteenth episode and season

"The Phantom" is the thirteenth episode and season finale of the fifth season of the American television drama series Mad Men and the 65th episode of the series overall. It is co-written by Jonathan Igla and Matthew Weiner and directed by Weiner. It originally aired on the AMC channel in the United States on June 10, 2012.
Much of the episode takes place in March and April 1967. Don has a toothache that brings up painful memories of his brother as the firm looks to expand after a profitable quarter with Joan running the books. Roger seeks to expand the affair with Megan's mother and asks her to join him on an LSD trip. Pete has a "last" encounter with Beth with lasting repercussions. Megan struggles to find acting work and asks for Don's help getting an audition for a commercial at the agency to jump start her career. Peggy is adjusting to her new agency and enjoying the challenge of an upcoming campaign bid for a "women's cigarette," but still seeks Don's approval. After Megan uses Don's connections to further her career, Don has to answer a question.

"The Phantom" metaphorically depicts the guilt and contrition of various characters of the series, including main character Don Draper—who feels that he encouraged one of his coworkers to commit suicide—and his wife Megan, who is conflicted with her aspirations and the slights from her mother. The death of Lane Pryce, who dies in "Commissions and Fees", looms over the episode even more than the other conceptual "phantoms" in the installment. Although Lane's name is not mentioned, the former writer of The Sopranos noted that the audience could discern his presence. "We feel his presence in conversations with Joan in the office, certainly when Don goes to see Rebecca [Lane's widow], we see his chair there in the background." Although The New York Times columnist Dave Iztkoff suggested that "The Phantom" was a deliberate tribute to The Sopranos finale "Made in America", Weiner proclaimed otherwise; "I say this without any humility whatsoever, that anything that people find comparable to The Sopranos is flattering to me. It was not deliberate by any means — this not the end of the show. We have to come back next season and we don't know how he's going to answer but we know he's in a different place. But you recognize that guy when he looks up. We haven't seen him in a while."
Themes relating to feminism are imbued in "The Phantom", particularly in a scene where Peggy goes to see a film with Don. To Elisabeth Moss, this scene was fundamental for her character's progression, as it demonstrated that Peggy and Don were equals for the first time. "For once, they were just friends meeting at a movie theater", asserted Moss. As Weiner summed up, "There's a new respect. He's very frank with her and they're much more like colleagues now that he doesn't own her anymore." In another scene, Peggy arrives at a hotel in Richmond, Virginia, where she is staying for a business conference. "Then she gets to fly for the first time and she's staying at this Holiday Inn, and there's these dogs outside of the window, and she has her work on the bed and her wine. She's by herself, and she's so supremely happy." In making the stunt, the trainers affirmed that the dogs may copulate during production; the incident did take place on the last day of shooting on the set of a parking lot of a replica of a Holiday Inn. "It was incredible to me — these dogs have been waiting for that moment their whole lives," stated Weiner, "We got what we needed, they got their treat, it was over."
In crafting the wardrobe for Megan throughout "The Phantom", costume designer Janie Bryant studied the mod subculture which was then at its apex. In particular, Megan sports a burgundy overcoat embroidered with windowpane patterns, strikingly reminiscent of one worn by English model Lesley "Twiggy" Lawson.

Friday, 17 January 2014


Joseph had his wishes raised and then apparently destroyed many times. He still recognized that God was working. He gets married to the daughter of the Pharaoh and has two sons Manasseh-God causes to overlook and Ephraim means productivity, In core, forgetfulness of the bad and fruitfulness.  

Regional abundance and regional scarcity-7 years of abundance-Each year there is more and more. They have so much food and grain that they stop counting. Seven years of famine-Joseph is about 40 years old. Each year the food crisis gets worse and worse. Joseph brings in the storehouses. Now he is praised by the people too.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Joseph’s Journal Gen 41:46-42:38

Joseph had his hopes raised and then seemingly destroyed many times. He still knew that God was working. He gets married to the daughter of the Pharaoh and has two sons Manasseh-God causes to forget (the bad) and Ephraim means fruitfulness. In essence, forgetfulness of the bad and fruitfulness. 

Regional abundance and regional famine-7 years of plenty-Every year there is more and more. They have so much grain and food they quit counting. 7 years of famine-Joseph is about 40 yrs. old. Every year the famine gets worse and worse. Joseph opens up the storehouses. Now he is praised by the people as well.

1. A reversal of fortune! First, the brothers have power over Joseph and now Joseph has power over them. In Chapter 42:1 the famine has gotten so bad that Jacob tells his sons to go toEgypt (all the sheep and cattle are dead). The question should be asked: Has Jacob lost his faith in God? He knows nothing of God’s purpose in the famine. We have not heard about Jacob since chapter 37:34-35 where he is weeping over the loss of Joseph. It is now 20 yrs. later. 

God first took his son and now he hears that He has given the Egyptians corn and there is nothing for them. What kind of faith would you have if you were taught that God blesses His own (and Jacob had success) and now this? Remember that Abraham and Issac also faced famine in Canaan. “Famine” is mentioned 25 x in Genesis. Jacob still has money to buy food. Does this mean that 

Jacob didn’t trust God? No, he just uses common sense. Other than the manna in the wilderness, normally God uses human means (others) to fulfill our basic needs. Trusting God doesn’t mean idleness. Jacob said “We are starving so get up and get over to Egypt.” Do you realize the humility it takes to basically ask your enemy for help? Benjamin is now mentioned-youngest son of Rachael who died in childbirth. Jacob will not let him go to Egypt. Why? He believes he is the only son of Rachael left and the last time he sent his son out, he didn’t return.

2. A reversal of honor! v. 6, 9 The brothers bow down to Joseph (remember the dream over 20 years ago). Joseph appears like an Egyptian so they would not recognize him (shaved head). The test of Joseph-acting harshly, asking questions he already knew the answers to, accusing them of spying…etc. The brothers are still not completely honest. V. 10 are true but v. 11 are not. They say they are “honest men” but v. 13 reveal the truth. “One is no more.” – implying there was a misfortunate accident.Adam and Eve-God say, “Where are you?” God knew where Adam was but still asked him to see his response. Notice that a reversal of honor doesn’t mean personal vengeance. Joseph could have exacted vengeance by 1) putting them all in jail 2) revealing himself to them. So why does Joseph do this to them?

1) To find out and see his father and his brother
2) To show his brothers God’s faithfulness. (They were not godly).
3) A reversal of punishment! v. 21 “we are being punished because of our brother.”

A. Guilt- There is something here we need to understand. After over 20 years, their sin and guilt still affects them. V. 22 – Rueben says: “I told you so” Although sin is against God, it is directly related to others. “What is this that God (not Joseph) had done to us?” v. 23 – Joseph wept.

B. Hostage-Simeon is held until they return with Benjamin. God reverses the past-Joseph was thrown into a cistern and prison and now Simeon gets the same treatment. He chose Simeon (next oldest after Rueben who wasn’t really behind Joseph’s destruction) probably because he remembered him to have been his most bitter enemy and probably the least humbled.

C. The plan to guarantee their return – Joseph had gold put in their bags so they would have to return with Benjamin and the gold. They thought for sure Simeon would be killed.

D. Return to Canaan–Jacob is now in complete despair. Jacob says this is the second time I sent you out and you returned without your brother-now you want Benjamin. The truth is that Simeon was in the safest place of all (under the care of Joseph). God’s purpose for Joseph and us will be unfolded in stages over the course of our life.

Life Lessons

1. Trusting God means you know it is God who balances the injustices of your life.
2. Trusting God means you will be faithful to God through abundance and through famine.
3. Trusting God means that we show mercy to those who have treated us unjustly. Joseph opened the storehouse of food to all nations.
4. Trusting God means we don’t have all the answers.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Joe (magazine)

Joe was a popular magazine published in Kenya in the 1970s, at the height of what acclaimed publisher Henry Chakava described as the "fat years" of Kenyan publishing. Joe magazine was one in a number of popular publications aimed at the new urban middle and lower-middle classes. What set Joe magazine apart was its subversive use of humour, as well as its use of art and fiction as a narrative frame for cultural, social and political analysis. This strategy was seminal not only in educating and activating its readers but also in providing a platform for new fiction writers and artists to develop their talents.

Founded by writer/publisher Hillary Ng'weno and artist Terry Hirst, Joe magazine published regularly between 1973 and 1979. The magazine was named after "Joe", a common man who used humour to deal with and expose the realities of urban life in contemporary Africa. This epitomized Joe magazine's aim; readers were encouraged to do the same, and enter into a dialogue with the character, and thus the magazine. Hirst described Joe as "a survivor who has to laugh to keep from crying."

Taking its cue from Drum, Joe magazine employed street-wise language in comic strips, fiction stories and thematic columns to explore everyday problems of the urban population. Its letters column, "Dear Joe", like Drum's "Speak up Man", encouraged interaction from readers. The magazine also carried an original short story in every issue, nurturing writers such as Sam Kahiga and Meja Mwangi, and even Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, who occasionally contributed to the magazine. Joe's main distinguishing factor was its use of graphics, drawings, illustrated jokes and comic strips, such as "City Life" by Edward Gitau, "O.K, Sue! A City-Girl's View" by Kimani Gathingiri and Terry Hirst's "Daddy Wasiwasi & Co" and "The Good, the Bed and the Ugali", all of which created a lasting impression on Kenya's visual culture.

Ng'weno left Joe magazine in 1974 and in 1979 Hirst renamed the magazine Joe Homestead, increasing the number of comic strips and adding a new section on family, nutrition and health - perhaps to take Joe magazine from its original urban setting to a more rural one. However, the new title did not attract advertisers and the magazine shut down in August 1979.

Friday, 19 August 2011


Several species of Aspidistra inhabit the floors of east Asian forests from eastern India, Indochina, China and Japan. Aspidistra is a genus that has been ignored by field botanists until quite recently, and there has been a very rapid rise in the number of recognised species in recent years.

Many books state that there are eight to ten species, which repeats the knowledge of the late 1970s. In the 1980s, thirty new species were described from China.

Based on current knowledge, China has the most species with some fifty-nine, of which fifty-four are endemic. The biodiversity 'hotspot' of the genus seems to be Guangxi Province, from where no fewer than thirty-nine species have been recorded.

New species are still being found, and the focus has shifted to Vietnam, from where 28 new species have recently been described; it is known that there are many more Vietnamese species. Currently 93 Aspidistra species have been formally described, and it has been speculated that there may be between two and three hundred. (Tillich 2008).

It has long been erroneously assumed that slugs and snails pollinate Aspidistra flowers. Research in Japan has shown that tiny terrestrial crustaceans called amphipods are responsible for pollinating Aspidistra elatior.

Australian amphipods have also been shown to pollinate introduced Aspidistra sp. and collembolans may also be implicated. Fungus gnats have also been suggested as possible pollinators.