Thursday, March 31, 2016

Harry Potter Fan Proposes to Boyfriend With a Golden Snitch

       Honestly, I think there is nothing cuter than when two fans from the same fandom get together and become one awesome super nerd couple. I get even more excited when fans from the Harry Potter fandom get together. Today, I'm going to be telling you about a couple, who loves Harry Potter, that recently became engaged.

        Derrick Walker and Garrett Galvan are Harry Potter super fans. In fact, they love Harry Potter so much that they got engaged at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida. After years and years of pleading, Derrick finally convinced his family that they should go on vacation to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Realizing that this would be the perfect way to propose to his boyfriend, Derrick began planning a unique proposal.

     Derrick totally went the extra mile to make their engagement a truly magical one. Derrick had a golden, 3-D-printed box created to look the the famous Golden Snitch. It was engraved with the words "I Open at the Close" on it, paying homage to the Snitch that Harry was left by Dumbledore.

Friday, March 25, 2016

4 Things All of Us Did When a New Harry Potter Book Was Released

         I don't know about you, but in the past every time a new Harry Potter book was released I went wild. I got so excited that it was unreal. I looked up the date of the release as soon as I possibly could and then I haunted the nearest book store late a night, waiting for midnight to strike so I could get my hands on the first edition of the latest adventure in the Potter series. I know I can't have been the only one. So today, I'll be talking about some of the awesome things Harry Potter fans have done when a new HP book was released.

Hanging Out at the Books Store the Night Before the Release
        Many Harry Potter fans, such as myself, made it a habit to hang out at the nearest book store the night before the release. If you were one of the ones fortunate enough to find someone to bring you to the midnight release, you were truly one of the lucky ones. You spent the night counting the hours until the release, dressing up as your favorite HP character, playing your favorite Harry Potter-themed games, and discussing fan theories.

You Went to Harry Potter Release Parties
        Something else that many of us Potterheads did is attend a Harry Potter release party. Those things were like the ultimate way to celebrate the upcoming release of a Harry Potter book. Not only did you get the book itself that night, but you also got to dress up, hang out with friends, consume HP-related refreshments, and basically just have one hell of a time.

You Freaked the Moment You Had the Book in Hand
      If you'd ever gone to a release of one of the HP books you did this: you absolutely freaked when you had that book in your hands. There was severe hugging of the book and tears involved. If anyone even suggested that you part from that beloved piece of literature, you went straight up Hermione Granger on them.

You Finished the Entire Book in One Sitting
      Lastly, one of the things that all of us probably did is finish the book in one sitting. After the parties had died down and we had gotten home, we just sat there all night, reading Harry Potter. Until the very last page had been read, we stayed up all night speed reading.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

3 Ways Harry Potter Parents Are Different From Our Parents

       When reading and watching Harry Potter, it did not take long for me to figure out that the parents in Harry Potter were waaaaay cooler than your average parent. While average parents punished you in a really boring, Muggle way, parents from Harry Potter had cool, sometimes magic-based punishments.   When your parents ask you to tidy up the garden, you have to deal with over grass and boring, Muggle animals. Today, I'm going to be talking about the top three ways that HP parents are cooler than our parents.

HP Kids Get Howlers
       All kids get yelled at at sometime or another. It usually consists of our parents bringing us within close proximity of them and screaming their heads off. However, if we happened to be far away with no phone access.... They can't really yell at you. However, if you're HP kid you don't have that luxury. If you're an HP kid, you get Howlers. And when that happens, not only can you hear your parent screaming at you, but the screaming is amplified and everyone in the room can hear exactly what you got in trouble for.

HP Kids Get to De-Gnome Their Gardens 
       As a kid, you probably remember having to do chores in the garden. Our chores were normally boring, like mowing the lawn, weed eating, maybe even getting rid of pesky critters. HP kids, on the other hand, get to do cool stuff like de-gnome their garden. De-gnome their garden. As in there are real, live gnomes just hanging around out there that you have to chase around and get rid of. To me, that sounds a lot more exciting than your average garden chores.

Mrs. Weasley's Mom Moments vs. Muggle Mom Moments
     Our parents might not've died protecting our lives, they probably weren't tortured to insanity by evil-doers, and they may not've physically fought to make our world a better place, but they're still pretty cool man. Even though our parents aren't magical, we love them just the same.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

5 Ways Harry Potter Gave Us Unrealistic Expectations

        I don't know about you, but after reading all of the Harry Potter books I wanted to experience it all. I wanted to go to Ollivander's and let a wand choose me. I wanted to be sorted into a House. I wanted to have cool school uniforms. Because J.K. Rowling made the books truly come to life, I eventually grew to have a few unrealistic expectations about life because of how glamorous Harry Potter made some of those things sound. I will be discussing my top five today.

Your Pets Do Not Deliver Your Mail
       One unrealistic expectation I had growing up was this: I wanted a pet that could deliver mail, just like Hedwig. In fact, as a child I looked into animals that could deliver mail. Unfortunately I didn't find anything worth mentioning. I grew to eventually accept the fact that I would not ever have a pet that delivered mail. As an adult I became way more realistic. Who even writes letters anymore? I can barely remember to reply to text messages sometimes.

Nobody Gets Sorted into Houses
      Another unrealistic expectation was the desire to get sorted into something resembling a House at school. Unfortunately the closest I ever got was being sorted into teams in middle school. It definitely was nowhere near as special as getting sorted into a House would be.

I've Never Found a Secret Room
      Yet another unrealistic expectation was that I desperately wanted to find a secret room somewhere (particularly at school). But I soon came to realize that the Room of Requirement would never appear no matter how many times I walked back and forth by those blank stone walls. Although I never found a secret room as a child, I still haven't given up the hope that someday I might.

Your Career Options Are Pretty Boring in Comparison
    In the world of Harry Potter, there were career options like becoming an Auror (someone who fights dark wizards), becoming a teacher of a magical subject, and loads of other cool things. However, when I took a career aptitude test when I was in school I didn't have cool options like that. Instead I had to choose from boring Muggle jobs.

GIFs Are the Closest Thing We Have to moving Photographs
       Can you imagine seeing pictures move? Speaking to portraits of people long gone? As a kid, I wanted nothing more than to be able to see and experience those things. However, no matter how hard I wished, moving photographs and talking portraits never became real. Instead, the closest thing we have is GIFs.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Ultimate Harry Potter Bucket List

       You've seen all the movies. You've read all the books. You read all of the latest Potter-related news. But have you thought of a Harry Potter bucket list? This Harry Potter fan has. I'm going to be talking about the top four things on my Harry Potter bucket list.

Visit a Harry Potter Theme Park
      The number one thing on my bucket list is to visit one of the few Harry Potter theme parks. I mean, what HP fan wouldn't love that? You get to explore a replica of Hogwarts castle, sample some of the Harry Potter-themed treats (such as Gillywater and Butterbeer), ride the Flight of the Hippogriff and all of the other HP rides, and lastly you'll have access to some of the coolest HP merchandise that exists.

Write With a Quill
      As we all know, students at Hogwarts always complete their homework with a quill and ink. If you haven't done this, I really suggest that you do. Not only will you have the opportunity to feel like you're a true Hogwarts student, but you'll also get the opportunity to see how incredibly frustrating it is to write with a quill.

Stay at a Harry Potter-Themed Hotel

      Another thing that I would love to do is stay at a Harry Potter-themed hotel. Not only will you have a place to rest your head, but you will also really feel like you're part of the Harry Potter series. For those of us in the United States, we have the option of staying at the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Oregon.

Attend a Real Life Quidditch Match

    Yes, ladies and gentleman, there are people all over the world playing Quidditch. Although it won't be as exciting as it is portrayed in the books and movies, it is still something worth seeing. It's very exciting to watch and is a good way to get you into the Hogwarts spirit.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Nashville Symphony Announces Harry Potter Concert Series

          The Nashville Symphony has announced that they will be performing a Harry Potter concert series in 2017. Three screenings of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone will be shown January 6 and 7, 2017. The sequel will follow on Mary 19 and 20, 2017. Both features will receive a live orchestra accompaniment. The Nashville Symphony is just one of a few symphonies across the United States that has been chosen to perform in the Harry Potter concert series.

      Tickets for both shows will be available to subscribers of the Nashville Symphony for the 2016-2017 season. Remaining tickets go on sale to the public on July 22 at 10 a.m.

      Since I am so close to the Nashville area, I am personally so excited about the opportunity to not only see the first two Harry Potter movies on the big screen again, but to also hear live music that is near and dear to my heart. If you have the opportunity to see this, I recommend you buy tickets as soon as possible. This is a once in a lifetime event and the tickets will sell out quickly.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

J.K. Rowling Enrages Native Americans

         After the release of some of the latest short stories on Pottermore, the Native American community has made it clear that they are not happy with the content.

     J.K. Rowling posted a few new stories depicting Native Americans and their practices and legends. The stories, entitled A History of Magic in North America, were intended to give Harry Potter fans some idea of the setting of the upcoming movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. However, because of the way Rowling depicted some Native American beliefs, many Native Americans have spoken out to let the writer know that they are displeased with her portrayal.

     In particular, a section that talks about 'skinwalkers' has sent some Native Americans on edge. Publicity material and even trailers about this have left many Native Americans feeling as if the writer has been culturally insensitive.

     A Cherokee scholar, Dr. Adrienne Keene, even called out J.K. Rowling via Twitter. She had this to say: You can't just claim and take a marginalized people. That's straight up colonialism/appropriation.

       Native Americans were angered even further by the fact that J.K. Rowling did not respond to any of their concerns.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Harry Potter Chair Up For Auction

       Throughout the years as the Harry Potter franchise became more and more popular, props, books, and other items from the movies or J.K. Rowling have been sold at auctions. This time the item is a chair. Although this might not sound very interesting, this is undoubtedly one of the coolest chairs around. This brown, wooden chair with golden writing all over it is the very chair that J.K. Rowling herself sat in while she penned Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. 

      J.K. Rowling was given this chair for free along with some other mismatched chairs in 1995. She used the most comfortable of the chairs as her writing chair. After the publication of the fourth Harry Potter book, Rowling donated the chair to a charitable auction called Chair-ish a Child. It sold for $29, 117.

      Now the chair has returned to the auction block with an opening bid of $45, 000.

    Before J.K. Rowling donated it, however, she added something special to the chair. Written in gold paint are things like: "You may not/ find me pretty/ but don't judge/ on what you see" as well as "I wrote Harry Potter in this chair." It also says "Gryffindor" and is decorated with stars and lightning bucks.

    I am truly envious of the person who wins this chair. They truly have a piece of literary history that is priceless.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Could Invisibility Cloaks Become a Real Thing?

          I don't know about you guys, but the second that I saw on screen that Harry Potter was able to use just a bit of cloth to make himself completely disappear, I knew that I wanted one too. Unfortunately for me, however, the invisibility cloak was totally fiction... Until now. That's right ladies and gentlemen, an invisibility cloak could be in the works.

     Engineers have invented a flexible, stretchable material which could coat the next generation of stealth aircraft and missiles to hide them from radar detectors. The material, called meta-skin, traps radio or microwaves so they won't show up on radar detectors. This material has been created by engineers at  Iowa State University here in the United States.

     Current tests show that the cloak has been able to suppress seventy-five percent of radio waves. However, it is important to keep in mind that, unlike the cloak from the books and movies, this cloak won't make you truly invisible.

      The material itself is made up of rows of rings with a radius of 2.5 mm and gaps of 1 mm, filled with a metal alloy that is liquid at room temperature called galinstan.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

3 Small Details That Make So Much More Sense After Reading All of the Books

      If you have read all of the Harry Potter books, you know that several of the small details that we just dismissed at the time actually come to have a lot of meaning. However, it's probably not until you've read all of the books (maybe even several times, hell you might not even notice until it's pointed out to you). I'll be talking about my five favorite small details.

Snape's First Conversation With Harry Was Incredibly Significant
      "What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?" Snape asks Harry this very question when they first meet in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. At first, it seems like Snape is just picking on Harry, but if you really pay attention to the question, you know it's so much more than that. Asphodel is a type of lily. This particular type of lily means "My regrets follow you to the grave." Wormwood means 'absence' and it meant to symbolize sorrow.

Why Professor Trelawney's (mostly) Bogus Assumptions Never Got Her Fired
       When we are first introduced to Professor Trelawney in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we quickly learn that her predictions are bogus -- until the end of the book anyways. Trelawney predicts that servant (Petter Pettigrew) and master (Lord Voldemort) will be reunited once more. Trelawney also goes on to predict the death of Albus Dumbledore (who was the first to rise at a table of thirteen [Sirius Black and Remus Lupin go on to do the same thing and they later died as well]). She could also sense Voldemort's soul residing in Harry, which is why she always thought Harry was born in mid-winter (Voldemort's birthday is December 31).

Why the Weasley's Neighbors Were Worth Mentioning
      "Must be nearly time," said Mr. Weasley quickly, pulling out his watch again. "Do you know whether we're waiting for anyone else, Amos?" "No, the Lovegoods have been there for a week already and the Fawcetts couldn't get tickets," said Mr. Diggory. "There aren't anymore of us in this area, are there?" Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is where we first hear any mention of the Lovegoods, who eventually become very important.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Would Ron and Hermione Last as a Couple?

        Before the conclusion of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter fans had very different view points on which characters should have gotten together, had a relationship, and got married. I'm mainly going to focus on the Ron/Hermione ship, but I'm also going to talk about Harry/Hermione as well.

     We all know that Ron and Hermione get together in the end. But would it have lasted? J.K. Rowling has come forward and admitted that she does not think Ron and Hermione stay together. Even Rupert Grint has had his own opinions on Ron/Hermione (he didn't think that they would stay together either). I personally do not think that Ron and Hermione would have stayed together long term. One reason I think this because I don't think that Ron could have intellectually stimulated Hermione.

    From what I gathered in the books and movies, Ron isn't as interested in gaining knowledge as Hermione is. Ron barely did any of his school work, and frequently depended on Hermione to help him finish it. I suspect that Ron would have done this in other aspects of his life too. I don't think for two seconds that Ron was "dumb," though. I think he was just lazy. Ron is great at problem-solving and has a pretty good grasp of what he's doing with a wand (ha-ha, no pun intended).

     Another reason that I don't believe that Ron/Hermione could have stayed together is because Ron isn't exactly the best at communicating. I feel like that would have interfered with their relationship. I could see Ron and Hermione getting into arguments and the arguments just blowing up in their faces due to the Ron's inability to communicate.

     Although I shipped Ron/Hermione throughout the entire series, I now believe that Harry/Hermione would make a better couple. One reason for this is because I think Harry and Hermione would gave matched each other on an intellectual level. Although it is true that Harry didn't put as emphasis on his schoolwork as Hermione did, you can obviously tell that Harry is intelligent. Although he never liked to give himself credit for this, Harry was able to think quickly and smartly which saved his life and the lives of his friends on more than one occasion.

     I also feel like they would have communicated better as well. Harry has never had a problem letting his friends know when he was pissed off, scared, or sad. I feel like he would've had similar behaviors while he was in a relationship. I also feel like Harry and Hermione just had more in common than Ron and Hermione did.

Who do you ship?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Some of the Weirdest Scenes in Harry Potter

      I love Harry Potter. In fact, I love Harry Potter so much that I didn't ever stop to think about how freaking weird some of the scenes in the books and movies are. I'm going to be talking about my top three favorite, weird HP scenes.

Snape in a Dress
      One really weird scene that my brain still has a hard time processing is the scene where Snape is wearing a dress. What happens is this: Neville is in Defense Against the Dark Arts class when it is his turn to defend himself against a boggart. To make the spell work, he has to take his darkest fear and make it humorous while he performs the spell. Well, as we see in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Neville's greatest fear is Professor Snape. To make his fear funny, he imagines his Potions professor in the clothes of his grandmother. Definitely one of the funnier scenes, as well as being one of the stranger ones.

Lockhart's Valentine's Day Dwarves
      Another odd scene, this time from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret, is the scene where Gilderoy Lockhart has dwarves dressed as Cupid running around the castle. Although we didn't get to see this scene in the movie, the book gave us a pretty good visual of what this had to look like. We know they were scantily clad, wearing golden wings, and carrying harps with the most surly of looks on their faces. To imagine several grumpy little dwarves wandering around Hogwarts castle giving out Valentine's is a very weird mental image indeed.

Hogwarts' Peeping Tom
     One of my favorite weird scenes is the one where we are introduced to Hogwarts' very familiar peeping tom. After two years, we meet Moaning Myrtle again -- but this time in a different bathroom. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, we meet one of our favorite ghosts once again, this time peeping in on Harry while he takes a bath. Not only is she stealing glances of a naked Harry Potter, but she comes out to talk to him as well. And make him uncomfortable. She even admits that she has watched other people bathe in the Perfects bathroom. Kinda creepy. Myrtle's kinda giving off a rapey vibe. The whole scene was just weird.