Sunday, July 30, 2006

Leaky Mug Trivia Contest

Here are the questions we prepared for the "Leaky Mug" podcast Trivia Challenge. Remember, they only had 10 seconds to answer.

1. Name a female Hogwarts Headmaster.

2. How many secret passages are there out of Hogwarts, including those that are now blocked?

3. Why does Harry make his first visit to Dumbledore's office?

4. Despite Madam Pince's protectiveness, we have seen one Hogwarts library book desecrated. Who did it? (actually 2 possible answers)

5. After falling through Fluffy's trap door, Hermione says they "must be miles below the school." What floor did they fall from?

Magical creatures
1. In Greek mythology, Hercules 2nd labour was to kill the nine-headed Hydra, but each time he cut off one its heads, two would grow in its place. How did he stop this from happening?

2. What magical creature is usually mistaken for a hedgehog by muggles?

3. Invisibility cloaks are woven from the hair of this ape-like creature native to the Far East. Name it.

4. Harry injured his finger during a Magical Creatures class. What was the magical creature that did it?

5. Of all the dragon species in the world, how many are native to the Americas?

6. What real-world phenomenon can be explained by the existence of the Mooncalf?

Potions and plants
1. What does Neville's Mimbulus mimbletonia spray?

2. What did the Weasley twins use it to sort the boils problem caused by their Fever Fudge, thanks to Lee Jordan, (whom Harry recommended it to, after Hermione offered it to him for his bleeding hand)?

3. What does Hermione say Amortentia smells like to her?

4. What visible effect results from taking Pepperup Potion?

5. Snape can give you a potion to make you do almost anything he wants - what concoction does he say he'll offer Harry if he wants to hear nonsense?

6. For what purpose does Hermione make a Sleeping Draught?

Jo's website
1. In the Links bookcase, what is the title on the book used to decipher the Rune tiles in the Rubbish bin?

2. What portkey would you click to enter the Rubbish Bin section?

3. To get a chart called Revision of the plan of Order of the Phoenix you need to draw something on a blank paper. What shape do you draw?

4. Dialing PEEVES into the cell phone will gain you what for your scrapbook?

5. On the radio program "Toots, Shoots & Roots" Toots gives advice to a witch about reviving her dead Flitterbloom. What is the host's first name?

Death Eaters
1. What name did JKR originally use for the Death Eaters?

2. At what two times have we seen Tom Riddle supported by his friends, before they officially became known as Death Eaters?

3. What Death Eater injured Hermione and knocked her out in the Dept. of Mysteries?

4. Between Voldemort's downfall and return, he went how many years without seeing his Death Eaters?

5. Who were the only two Death Eaters who, on the night of Voldemort's return, were expected to join him in the graveyard and did not?

6. What was the spell we saw the Death Eaters use (or try to use) most often in the Battle of the Dept. of Mysteries? (2 answers accepted)

1. In English, what is inscribed on the entrance to the Mines of Moria in Lord of the Rings?

2. Mrs. Figg lives on which street?

3. After picking up his gold from Gringotts, what was the first shop Harry visited on his first trip to Diagon Alley?

4. Name the shop in Hogsmeade where Hermione buys a pheasant-feather quill.

5. On Harry's eleventh birthday, Hagrid buys him a hamburger in a restaurant with plastic seats. Where is this restaurant located?

6. What's the difference between a stalactite and a stalagmite?

1. What wood was used to make Lily's wand?

2. The shortest wand we've seen thus far belonged to Umbridge, and we know Hagrid's was the longest before it was snapped. Who owns the longest wand still intact, of those we know?

3. At the core of Harry's wand is a single tail feather from Fawkes; at the core of Ron's is a unicorn tail hair. What are the other two substances we know can be used to make the core of a wand?

4. What happened when Harry's wand chose him in Ollivander's shop?

5. Who had a mahogony wand?

6. Name another wandmaker besides Ollivander.

1. How many players are allowed in the scoring area at one time?

2. A foul which happens when any player other than the Seeker touches the Golden Snitch is called what?

3. During a match in 1884 a Snitch escaped after eluding capture by the Seekers for six months of play. Name the moor on which it is said to still be living wild?

4. Cobbing is a foul involving excessive use of which body part?

5. What professional Quidditch Team did Oliver Wood join after leaving Hogwarts?

6. Who wrote The Beaters Bible?

1. We've seen several Permanent Sticking Charms in action, mostly in 12 Grimmauld Place. What's the only use of this charm we've seen outside of that building?

2. Name three of the spells written in the margins of the Half Blood Prince's Potions book.

3. What is the incantation that Cinderella's fairy godmother uses to transform the pumpkin into her coach, according to Disney?

4. What wizard/witch do we know to have used a Stealth Sensoring Spell, to detect intruders?

5. What does the incantation "Peskipiksi Pesternomi" do?

6. What spell does Sirius use to get the knocked-out Snape out of the Shreiking Shack?

Famous Wizards
1. What is Morfin Gaunt's relationship to Lord Voldemort?

2. According to Wicked, what was the good witch of Oz's original name before she changed it to Glinda?

3. What killed Abraxas Malfoy?

4. What family's coat of arms is on Salazar Slytherin's ring?

5. Name the only non-Gryffindor student to fight in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries.

6. Name three wizards with alliterative names.

7. What is Umbridge's middle name?

8. How many times does the name Sirius appear on the Black Family Tree, not counting erasures?

9. What specifically is the status of Order of the Phoenix member Caradoc Dearborn?

10. Who invented Floo Powder?

1. Name a canon reference to Monty Python.

The answer key is available at the Lexicon.

Lumos t-shirt sightings

One of the things I love about a conference like Lumos (a weekend with other people just as obsessed as you -- or more) is the clever t-shirts and buttons people make for the event. Here are my favorites from Lumos this weekend in Las Vegas:
Free Lucius
Blast-Ended Skrewt (below the t-shirt the seat of their pants displayed a large burned-looking blast hole)
Support House Unity
Snozz fetish (with picture of the greasy one)
You looked a lot better on MySpace
Watch out for the flying monkeys
Dumbledore Lives (Fawkes will see to that)
Republicans for Voldemort
Got Snape?
Badger Bitches
Fight evil -- read books
Werewolf rescue unit (extremely ripped)
I trust Severus Snape
Full Contact Wizard Chess League
Bumbling babbling band of babboons
Ten points from Gryffindor
I believe they're still alive
Cornelius Fudge does make goblin pies
Good grammer costs nothing
Coed naked quidditch
Save Ginny
Its nice to be someplace where the wizards know your name (book club)

What's you're favorite Potter t-shirt?

Leaving Lumos

Well, I am a bit teary-eyed as I say good-bye to friends that are leaving today. Lumos was everything I'd hoped for and more. Steve, John, Bel, Brenda, Caroline, April, and all the new people I met have made me carry around a smile inside for the last 4 days. Yes, the sessions were great, the costumes were amazing, and our hotel room palatial, but these conferences are ultimately about shared community, and that's why it is difficult to say good-bye.

Today we had a tremendously exciting and inspirational meeting about the future of the Harry Potter Lexicon. Please watch our "What's new" page if you want to be "in the know."

What can I say, Steve, but you're the man. It is a true joy to be on your staff.

I will be writing more and posting photos soon. I wish you were here!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

My new license plate

Heh. My new license plate! Take that, Scabbers!

My Potter Party, 9/6/2006

Here's the announcement for my library's Potter Party in September:

Harry Potter Party

Wednesday, September 6 from 6:00 – 7:45 p.m.
Columbus Branch Library
4350 E. 22nd St., Tucson, Arizona

Leave your muggle clothes at home while you spend an evening at Hogwarts School of Magic and Wizardry!

> Get sorted into your House at Hogwarts
> Lessons on dangerous magical creatures from Hagrid
> Fortunetelling by Professor Trelawney
> A visit from the Ministry of Magic’s Education Dept.
> A surprise from Professor Snape
> Fabulous door prizes courtesy of Scholastic Books, Inc.

Limited to 60 Potter fans (grades 2-12) & their parents
Registration begins August 1st.
Send an owl, stop in, or give us a call: 791-4081.

And here's a photo from last year (Rita and Hagrid)

Saturday Night Live

I can't resist posting a link to an old Potter spoof from SNL, featuring Lindsey Lohan:

It has its moments.

Off to Lumos soon!

Soon I will be leaving for Lumos 2006, a Harry Potter Convention held in Las Vegas, NV. It's become a little difficult to think of much else. Here is a list of the sessions I hope to attend:

Muggles and Mental Health: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on the Inner World of Harry Potter
Chris Blazina, Ph.D. (Tennessee State University)

This paper discusses some of the deeper psychological meaning found within the Harry Potter series. Discussion topics include: challenges that Harry Potter faces in an attempt to make peace with his inner world as viewed from the perspective of various psychoanalytic writers; a practical way to make peace with damaging people (past and present) and protect against their influence by developing a psychological "Patronus;" other implications.

Why Voldemort Cannot be Named: Traditions, Taboos, and Language in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter (Presentation)
Jeanne M. LaHaie (Western Michigan University)

The fact that most of the wizarding world is reluctant to utter Voldemort's name has often puzzled fans and scholars; however, some answers can be found in primitive naming taboos.

This presentation examines ancient name superstitions, particularly medieval Jewish magical practices whose adherents believed they could command powerful beings by calling their true names - but that the unprepared would be destroyed. In this way, inhabitants of Rowling's world are largely afraid to utter the name Voldemort and inadvertently summon this demonic figure. This presentation will further examine Harry's use of Voldemort's name as key to his ultimate success.

Ideas to Paper: Fan Artwork of Harry Potter
Glockgal (moderator), Cathybites, Halogirl, Hill. Sherant, TBranch

With a world as lush and fascinating as the Harry Potter series, it is no surprise that this world has been illustrated in countless different ways. Come join these talented fanartists for a discussion on Harry Potter artwork and the influence of fandom on the fanartist community.

The Parameters of Speculation: The Different Ways of Thinking about the Possible Endings of the Harry Potter Saga
Penny Linsenmayer (moderator), John Granger, Steve Vander Ark, Joyce Odell

As we wait for the last novel in the Harry Potter epic and try to digest the penultimate book in the series, serious readers privately and publicly speculate about what they believe could happen, must happen, or just what they want to see happen in the finale. Rather than explore specific topics of this speculation ("Will Harry die?" "Did Snape really kill Dumbledore?"), the Parameters of Speculation panel will discuss from a variety of perspectives what constitutes "valid" or "quality" speculation and what paths are almost certainly dead ends.

Fan Overboard! The Problem and Perils of a Closing Canon
Sara Goetz

Have a theory that was forced to walk the canon plank? Favorite character sent to Davy Jones' Locker before their time? Shipwrecked? Come share the story of your personal experience with the canon-bomb. What put the final bullet in your favorite speculation? How do you stay interested once your pet theory is rendered impossible by the author's vicious pen? What does the rapidly closing canon mean for fans whose joy is to wonder and wager on future books? We'll discuss these questions, the countdown to the end, and where fandom will go from there - or so we think.

What Does the Future Hold? Predictions and Theories for Book Seven (Roundtable)
Allison Ross

Come join us for a lively discussion of book seven! What really happened in Godric's Hollow that Halloween night? Who will die next? What's really up with Snape? How will it all end? Share your own theories, ideas, and opinions about the ending of the series with other fans. Have fun speculating as we all anxiously await the release of book seven!

Managing Your HP Fan Club (CEU)
Lauren Shaw

How do you start and maintain a Harry Potter fan club? From recruiting members to gaining finances, we can help. Atlanta HP began two years ago with one person and has grown to almost 100 members. Topics we will be discussing include membership, meet ups, web presence, activities, events, and more. Our poster will have advice on organization, keeping drama within the group to a minimum, including everyone (no matter their ship preference), and further issues. You can't be the only adult in your area who loves Harry Potter, so why not start a fan club?

HP Lexicon staff to mediate Leakymug Trivia Contest

We at the Harry Potter Lexicon are busy concocting some diabolical questions to ask at the Leakymug podcast trivia challenge at Lumos on Saturday July 29th at 6:30 p.m. The contest is Mugglenet vs. Pottercast; the Lexicon staff will be moderating. Fun, eh? Post some questions you think we should ask! Here are the categories:

Magical creatures
Jo's website
Wizarding money
Death Eaters
the Ministry of Magic
Famous Wizards

Pottercast and Mugglenet staff will have 20 seconds to answer each question.

Harry Potter and the HooHaa about Deaths in Book 7

Early on in a recent interview Jo Rowling teased us with this statement:
Jo: The final chapter [of Book 7] is hidden away, although it has now changed very slightly. One character got a reprieve, but I have to say two die that I didn't intend to die ...
Judy: Two much loved ones?
Jo: Well, you know. A price has to be paid. We are dealing with pure evil. They don't target the extras do they? They go for the main characters, or I do.

Now everyone is guessing -- who got the reprieve? Which two did she decide to kill? What made her change her mind? And what will happen to Harry?

So people have begun asking me again if I think Harry will die. My answer is always "No." Here's my take on it: Rowling has said numerous times that one of the main themes of the books is Death. But it isn't really Death, it is how the living deal with the death of loved ones and with our own mortality. And the living don't deal with death by dying; we figure out how to come to terms with it and continue on. Put another way, dying is evasion, it is not resolution.

I see Harry as a stand-in for Jo herself, written as she came to terms with her mother's early death: "The Mirror of Erised is absolutely entirely drawn from my own experience of losing a parent. 'Five more minutes, just, please, God, give me five more minutes.' It'll never be enough." (BBC "Harry Potter and Me," 2001) So for me it just doesn't work for Harry to die. He needs to finish his parents' battle, yes; but he won't really cancel out Voldemort's poison by dying with him. He won't truly overcome Voldemort until he is living his life fully. I don't see how Rowling would have found Harry's death emotionally satisfying knowing that she planned the books in the years immediately after losing her mother.

Another point was recently made by James Krasner, Professor of English and British Victorian literature at the University of New Hampshire (link).
“There's no way Harry will die,” he says. “Harry won't die largely because these are comic stories, like Dickens' novels, in which good has to win.”

“Whenever an author's books become very popular in his or her lifetime, as is the case with Rowling, a tug of war starts between the author and the fans about who the characters really belong to. Rowling, like Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes), is trying to assert her control. She’s reminding us that Harry is her character, not ours; she can kill him if she wants to. Doyle actually did kill off Sherlock Holmes, but Rowling won’t go that far because she cares about Harry. Conan Doyle was really sick of Holmes,” Krasner says.
I think he makes a great point here. If you read as many interviews of Rowling as I have it really rings true that Rowling is asserting her independence if the face of well meaning fans and blundering interviewers. Well, that and she likes to tease us.

What do you think? This link will take you to a poll on the fansite HPANA.

Harry Potter: Wanted dead or alive
Vote now!