Monday, May 30, 2016

Hogwarts Mystery: Solved

         Because there are so many Harry Potter fan theories floating around the internet, it only makes sense that some of them are actually true. This latest one explains something that never made much sense to Harry Potter fans. As you probably know if you pay close attention the the literary enchantress herself, Rowling said there were only 1000 students attending Hogwarts during Harry's time.

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter

      How is this possible? you may find yourself wondering. Fortunately, Tumblr user marauders4ever came up with a theory that could possibly explain it all. "What if there were less students in the Hogwarts Class of 1998 because the period when the other kids would have been conceived (1979-1981) was when Voldemort's reign of power was at its peak?" marauders4evr wrote. "Between the dozens of adults who joined the Order, the dozens of civilians that were killed in Death Eater raids, and the dozens of adults who didn't want to bring a child into the world.... It's entirely possible that was a baby drought for a few years in the wizarding world..."

     My opinion: This seems like a pretty solid theory to me. How else would you be able to explain the fact that there were so few young witches and wizards coming of age to attend Hogwarts.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Could the Items in Harry Potter Work in Real Life? **SPOILER ALERT**

        Here is a question that has been on the mind of every Harry Potter fan since the beginning of the series: could any of the spells or items from the books work in real life?

      Fortunately, University of Leicester students have been putting a lot of study and thought into this very question. Two scientific papers Gillyweed - Drowning With Gills? and Revealing the Magic of Skele-Grow analyze two of the many magical items that appear in the Harry Potter series.  Gillweed, you probably know, is the plant that Harry consumes allows him to grow gills and webbed hands and feet during one of the tasks during the Triwizard Tournament.

     This process was carefully examined by natural science students, Rowan Reynolds and Chris Ringrose. They determined that, based on the size of Harry's gills and the maximum oxygen use of a boy Harry's age, he would need to process 443 litres of water at 100% efficiency per minute for every minute that he's under water. This means that the water would need to flow at 2.46 metres per second.

      In their conclusion, they found that Harry's gills probably wouldn't be able to function properly.  However, had Harry opened his mouth during swimming, his gills would be more feasible.

      As you may remember, Skele-Grow was a potion that was used to heal Harry's arm when his boned had been removed in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Students Ringrose, Leah Ashley, and Robbie Roe concluded that the Skele-Grow allowed Harry's bones to heal at about 90 times the normal rate. Their calculations show that the bones regrew using energy amounts of "at least 113, 050kcal, giving a power output of 6, 443W." This means that this potion must have unexplained magical properties to be able to heal bones that quickly.

     Although we Potterheads can dream, it seems as if these two items are only possible in the Wizarding World.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Parents Beware! Reading Harry Potter Can Cause Mental Illness In Children!

      .... Just kidding! However, there are people out there who do indeed believe that popular series such as Harry Potter can cause mental illness in children. One example of an individual who believes such a thing is Graeme Whiting, headmaster of Acorn School in the United Kingdom. Now, you're probably thinking that there is no way that someone actually believes this just like I did. Whiting's blog suggests that he really, truly believes this though. Recently he published a blog post called The Imagination of a Child that talks about the effects Harry Potter and other popular series have on a child's mind. Here is an excerpt of that blog post:

       Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, and Terry Pratchett, to mention only a few of the modern world's 'must-haves' contain deeply insensitive and addictive material which I am certain encourages difficult behavior in children; yet they can be bought without a special license, and can damage the sensitive subconscious brain of young children, many4 of whom may be added to the current statistics of mentally ill young children.

Harry Potter 

         To me, his opinion is just downright silly. If a child begins to show signs of a mental illness post reading a book (any book for that matter), then that child was already mentally ill. The book had nothing to do with it. Sure, there is subject matter in books that is meant for older audiences but young children reading those books won't become mentally ill because of said book.

      This is not the first or last time that we will hear about people coming forward and condemning popular books. After all, people have been petitioning to remove Harry Potter books from libraries for years.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Harry Potter Studio Tour Opens 4 Privet Drive for the First Time

       Every Harry Potter fan remembers the very first line in the very first book. "Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." We also remember the house that was mentioned, Harry's childhood home. What if you could see it for yourself?

      Good news: now you can. The Harry Potter Studio Tour in London has opened the door of number four Privet Drive for the very first time. While you might see a lot of things you recognize inside, there will also be a few things that you don't recognize. For example, there is a certificate to Dudley Dursley, awarding him 'for always eating his lunch' (shocker, shocker). There's also another detail that all of us are familiar with. The scene where all of Harry's Hogwarts letters falling throughout the living room. Now you can see this scene in real ife - sort of. The individually designed Hogwarts letters are hanging from the ceiling to look as if they're falling.

Fiona Shaw, the actress who played Aunt Petunia

    There are tons of other small details that the naked eye might have missed during the movies. To see them all, you're going to have to take a trip to London, England.

My opinion on this: if you have the opportunity, GO! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity because it is a limited-time event. Seeing the set would almost be like you were in Harry Potter. You'll get to see props that were in the movies and even some of the machinery that was used to make Harry Potter come to life.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Real Life Quidditch?!

        You might be familiar with our Muggle version of Quidditch. You run around on brooms and seek out the Snitch while protecting the other team from scoring. However, a group of Colombian skydivers have come up with a new way to play Quidditch: in the air. Armed with some parachutes, their brooms, and other Quidditch gear, you can see what Quidditch looks like when it's played in it's natural habitat.

     Here is the video:

    I'm personally very excited about this video. It's super cool to watch. It also makes me wonder what other methods people will start coming up with so they can play a more authentic game of Quidditch.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The One Harry Potter Theory That J.K. Rowling Hates

      Since the last Harry Potter  book was released nearly ten years ago, Potterheads all over the world have come up with all kinds of fan series. Some make a lot of sense (and happen to be true) while others make (false) absolutely no sense. Today I'm going to be talking about this theory: Fawkes, Dumbledore's loyal phoenix, is his Horcrux.

Fawkes the phoenix

     J.K. Rowling had this to say on the matter: The idea that anybody believes this is strangely upsetting to me.

    Why would Harry Potter fans believe this anyway? One reason is because Fawkes seems to always appear during a time of need. Another reason is because Dumbledore seems to understand an awful lot about the Dark Lord's relationship with his Horcrux, Nagini. For example, Dumbledore liked to keep Fawkes close just like Voldemort kept Nagini close. Similarly to Lord Voldemdort, Dumbledore also seemed to have an unusual amount of control over Fawkes.

Albus Dumbledore

    These are reasons that fans might believe the theory. However, there are also reasons that fans should not believe this theory. For example, one reason that this theory isn't a good one is because Dumbledore did not approve of Dark Magic. However, some fans argue that just because he disapproved of Dark Magic when we met him doesn't mean Dumbledore was always that way. Secondly, Dumbledore hasn't knowingly, intentionally killed someone which is crucial to making a Horcrux. Lastly, another reason you shouldn't believe this theory is because J.K. Rowling flat out denied it.

    My opinion? Dumbledore probably didn't make any Horcruxes. I get the feeling that other fans just don't want to accept that Dumbledore is truly dead.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Heartbreaking Reason That J.K. Rowling Killed Remus Lupin

       After finished the last book in the series, Harry Potter fans were heartbroken for one reason or another. Although I was very sad about many of the deaths that took place, one that hit me particularly hard is the death of Remus Lupin. Like J.K. Rowling does every May 2 (the day the Battle of Hogwarts took place), she apologized for the death of Harry's favorite Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.

     Here's what J.K. Rowling had to say about killing off Remus Lupin, "Once again, it's the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts so, as promised, I shall apologise for a death. This year: Remus Lupin.  

In the interests of total honesty I'd also like to confess that I didn't decide to kill Lupin until I wrote Order if the Phoenix.
Arthur lived, so Lupin had to die. I'm sorry. I didn't enjoy doing it. The only time my editor ever saw me cry was over the fate of Teddy."
      You may be wondering why J.K. Rowling waited until after writing the Order of the Phoenix to decide to kill Remus. All of Harry's father figures ended up dying. And Remus, being Harry's last link to his father, needed to go as well. Regardless of Rowling's reasoning for killing Remus, that was a hard death to accept for me considering that not only did Remus die, but his wife, Tonks, died as well leaving their newborn son an orphan.