I think too many people are preoccupied building empires when they should be focusing on creating a fertile environment in which to put down their roots. time and nourishment gives birth to fruit. they render seeds that sprout more fruits and eventually there will be a prosperous garden. empires reach a peak and then crumble.
Top of the Empire State Building barely peaks out from above the cloud deck, viewed from the Observation Deck of One World Trade Center. This view is basically “the island of Manhattan” during a day where the clouds are low.
I have a special place in my heart for this major main character from the Netflix Original series Marco Polo.
Kublai is the emperor of Mongolia when the Mongol Empire was at its peak, making him the most powerful person on the planet. And he is unapologetically fat.
He is outstandingly performed by Benedict Wong (UK, 1970)
Since the beginning of the series, Kublai dominates the spot in the series. You want to know what he is going to say next. You want to know what he is going to do next.
He is an incredibly complex character. He shows doubts, he shows mercy, he shows ruthlessness, he shows the worst and the best of a person. He rules. And he fights (he is actually a great warrior)
You go through the show loving, caring, hating and fearing the character just as you would with the Great Khan of Khans.
It is important to point that there is fatphobia in the series, since it portrays an old age where people mocked the Mongol Emperor calling him fat several times, but personally it doesn’t come off as “lazy script” or something really relevant, like other kind of fatphobia.
Besides other arguably problematic things of the series (white saviourism, 0 fat female characters) I find Kublai as one of the best written and acted fat characters I’ve found in a while, and also one of the most important ones in a series with a budget only surpassed by Game of Thrones.
Also, it is nice and refreshing to see a series with a 95% Asian cast (besides having a white protagonist, the plots sometimes leave Marco as secondary for many episodes).
But even if the series might not be for everyone, at least Kublai’s character has the Fatphobia Busters Seal of approval.
Diane, I have been summoned back to the box of chocolate bunnies through what appears to be an occult ritual. I am pleased to be made of dark chocolate again and wondering how chocolate bunnies became an Easter tradition when they seem more appropriate for Halloween.
Powerful Women Rulers of the 17th Century (2 of 8)
Nur Jahan, Empress of Mughal Empire (1577 - 1645)
Born as Mehr-un-Nissa, was Empress of the Mughal Empire as the chief consort of Emperor Jahangir.
A strong, charismatic and well-educated woman, she is considered to be
one of the most powerful and influential women of the 17th century
Mughal Empire. She was the twentieth and favourite wife of the Emperor
Jahangir who ruled the Mughal Empire at the peak of its power and
Nur Jahan was able to wield a significant amount of imperial influence and was often considered at the time to be the real power behind the throne.
She remains historically significant for not only the sheer political
power she maintained (a feat no Mughal women before her had ever
achieved) but also for her contribution to Indian culture, charity work,
commercial trade and her ability to rule with an iron fist. She was the
aunt of the Empress Mumtaz Mahal for whom the future Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal. Furthermore, she is the only Mughal Empress to have her name struck in silver coins
In writing, there is a famous rule called ‘Chekhov’s Gun’
after a comment from the playwright Anton Chekhov, that (essentially), if you
show a gun in the first act of a play, it had better be fired by the end. From the Adventures of Sinbad, the biggest
unfired gun is this:
I think there are three possible payoffs to this:
Jafar betrays Sinbad
Jafar betrays his principles (and not just by looking
the other way)
Jafar tries to intervene in Sinbad’s plans in a
way that is misread as betrayal
From ‘The Summit’ chapter, we’re shown that even though
Sindria is small, they have a spy network equal to the Kou Empire at its peak
(although admittedly, Kougyoku was a big, big help.), and that Jafar is very
good at his job.
So Jafar could be in contact with anyone on the down-low.
Sinbad definitely seems like he’s in a state of mind where
an intervention would be interpreted as ‘even Jafar doesn’t really believe in
me’. I also think that a ‘betrayal’ is
just the sort of thing to make Sinbad’s heart waver—making it the perfect time
for Davebad fusion to happen.
Or maybe I’m just prepping for every kind of heartbreak.
The Ottoman empire was one of the largest and longest lasting empires, created by Turkish tribes in Anatolia. It was a major power during the 15th and 16th centuries, spanning over six hundred years, replacing the Byzantine empire. It came to an end in 1922, when it was replaced by the Turkish Republic and various successor states in South-East Europe and the Middle East. The word Ottomam is derived from the name of the nomadic Turkmen chief, Uthmān or Osman, who founded the dynasty and the empire.
The Empire began to decline after being defeated at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, during which it lost the majority of its naval forces. It continued declining over the ensuing centuries and was effectively defeated by the First World War and the Baltic Wars. At its peak, the empire included most of southeastern Europe, up to Vienna, including Hungary, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and most of North Africa’s coastal strip.
There are several reasons why the Ottoman empire was so successful: it was highly centralised, and the government expended a lot of effort dealing with local leaders, in which they were ruthless. They had alliances that transversed political and racial boundaries and the education system was state-run. Furthermore, they were united by Islamic ideology. Religion was incorporated into state structure, and the Sultan was seen as the ‘protector of the faith’.
The first era of the Ottoman empire was one of rapid expansion. Constantinople, the previous heart of the Byzantine empire was conquered by Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II in 1453. Most of the population was slaughtered, and the rest were forced into exile. He renamed the city Istanbul, meaning 'the city of Islam’, and began to rebuild it culturally, socially and politically as the new capital of the Ottoman empire. Silk, rhubarbs and dyes became their main trades. The Pope, furious at the ending of the 1100 year Christian empire tried to incite a crusade, but there was an overwhelming lack of response from the Christian nations.
The Ottoman empire had its golden era during the reign of Suleiman the Lawgiver, 1520-66, and his grandson Selim II, 1566 - 74. Suleiman came to the throne as one of the world’s wealthiest rulers, due largely to his father’s work in establishing the economy and frightening the neighbouring Safavid Empire, in Iran, into a non-aggression policy. Suleiman had no internal opposition, either. His father had ensured this by executing his own brothers and their sons, and all of Suleiman’s brothers. The Ottoman empire included almost all of the areas where Islam was practiced, to the extent that Suleiman was regarded as the earthly ruler of most Muslims. The wealth and the stability of the empire attracted top Muslim intellectuals, craftsmen and artists. He was named 'the Magnificent’ by the Europeans, but his own people called him 'the Lawgiver’.
In 1683, Ottoman empire lost momentum when they failed to conquer Vienna for the last time and the slow decline began. This was hastened by several factors; competition from India and the Americas, ambitious European powers, rising unemployment and the decreasing quality of the Sultans. This was due, in part, to the fact that potential heirs had stopped being executed, and were instead being imprisoned, meaning that men were taking power after spending the majority of their lives in prison. Soon the word 'Turk’ was synonymous with corruption and cruelty, and many wanted to distance themselves from that image.
After great territorial losses, on the first of November, 1922, the Ottoman empire was officially disbanded and Turkey was declared a republic. The Ottoman caliphate continued as an institution, until it too was disbanded on the third of March, 1934.
Today’s scene is spoilerific, so we’ll be vague, but it involves a confrontation on a balcony, a hissed C-word, a spectacular stunt, and Hiddleston screaming, “Noooooo!” But there are no ghosts. “At the end of the day the ghosts are scary,” adds del Toro, “but the people are much more terrible. Tom is not a tormented hero, he is an antihero. He does absolutely despicable things…”