By Tenley Woodman at the Boston Herald: Harry Potter’s science edge more than hocus-pocus
It’s not that the Harry Potter books aren’t educational – you can learn about the temperament of dragons, the magical powers of gillyweed and the protocol for meeting a hippogriff for the first time. But as any fan worth his Bertie Bott’s beans knows, J. K. Rowling’s series is fueled by magic.
“You see these props and think, ‘How did they do that?’ It is an inspiration for people to explore what it took to create these movie worlds,” said Paul Fontaine, vice president of education at the museum.
And that inspiration is essential to scientific innovation, he says.
Even something as fantastical as the wizard Dumbledore’s “pensieve” – a magical basin that stores and reveals memories – has relevance for scientific study, said Flourish Klink, 22, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student in comparative media and a board member of the Harry Potter Education Fanon, a nonprofit that takes an academic approach to analyzing Potter culture, books and films. A take on a pensieve was presented at an MIT conference last year, Klink noted.
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From Travis Prinzi at the Hog’s Head: Pan’s Labyrinth, Harry Potter, and the Gothic
Pan’s Labyrinth is simply a stunning film, both visually and thematically. I liked it the second time around more than the first. Opening with the story of the princess of the “Underground Realm” where there are “no lies or pain,” who dreamt of outer world and escaped to there, the film traces the story of that lost Ofelia, who has no idea her true identity. But you can see she’s called to the world of Faerie early on…
What Ofelia knows, however, and what J.K. Rowling and other fantasy writers know, is that the two things – magic and cruelty – are not opposites. Ofelia is in the midst of her own journey through the Perilous Realm, and disbelief never occurs to her. The question in Ofelia’s mind is not “Does the faun exist?” but “Is he good or evil, kind or menacing?”
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By Michelle Webster at the Daily Advertiser: Harry Potter plot thickens
A WAGGA lawyer suing the publishers of JK Rowling’s wildly successful Harry Potter series is rumoured to be seeking 500 million for the estate of a deceased English children’s author.
Kevin Foley has accused Ms Rowling of plagiarism, claiming her book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was largely lifted from Adrian Jacobs’ 1987 work The Adventures of Willy the Wizard No. 1 Livid Land.
Publishing company Bloomsbury has stated it will vigorously defend the claims, arguing the accusation is “unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue.”
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I would LOVE to have a pensieve! I’d also love to see the exhibit…The first time I saw Pan’s Labyrinth I noticed the mandrake too, but I never really compared it to Harry Potter in that way before. Very interesting. And that lawsuit seems like a plea for attention. Like the ones against Stephenie Meyer and Dan Brown. With Rowling, she published three books beforehand and already had the movie in the works. It sounds like the author’s estate is trying to grab audience attention because the two are so similar so Harry Potter fans will want to read this now.
Will you be going to see the Harry Potter exhibit in Boston? What do you think of the lawsuit?