The blog that I will be analyzing is art appreciation 2: can art make a difference?
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I’m sure that the title of this post makes you really enthusiastic and that you are now on the edge of your seat. All in all the process of getting someone to do something that you want them to do is indeed interesting. Surprisingly writing my OpEd wasn't as fun as I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, doing the research was way fun, but the actual writing of the paper was wasn't. I feel like my OpEd wasn't as entertaining as I wanted it to be, though I do feel like people who read it will want to add a bit more of Harry to their lives.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The last and final movie of Harry Potter recently came out, and the big marketing scheme on every poster is "it all ends 7.15". What? Just because all of the movies have come out certainly does not mean that everything about Harry Potter has ended. The world of Harry Potter is far from being over. A new aspect of this creation is just beginning while other aspects are still continuing. I feel that a piece of the wizarding world becomes a part of each person who steps onto its threshold. This magical place in our heart will always be there unless we ourselves cast it away or let it fade into extinction. Every follower of these books should implement at least one aspect of Potter into their lives to keep the magic from fading.
You may ask why, "Why is it so important?” and the reason being it makes you a better person. When you read the books you are exposed to certain values and traits that make you want to seek after and achieve good things. A love for others and selflessness is demonstrated, and if the human race sought after and had more of these traits and values, mankind would progress for the better. If you don’t believe me, check out The Harry Potter Alliance, of which the main goal is to fight the Dark Arts which exist in today’s world.
I have been a Harry Potter fan throughout my childhood and into adulthood (If you can call being 20 years old an adult), and it wasn’t until last year that I found out about Harry Potter Conventions. Now when you think of conventions you probably think of a bunch of freaks geeking out about a certain thing. While there may be freaks, and everyone is really enthusiastic about Harry Potter, the majority of people are really nice and just fun to be around. The great thing about Harry Potter is that there are so many different people, of different ages, a part of this fandom. Conventions are like a huge party where everyone shares a love for, and are enthusiastic about the same thing. Pretty much as long as you like Harry Potter everyone at these conventions is a friend just waiting to be made. These conventions are continuing: Leaky Con 2012, Ascendio 2012, and I am extremely excited for Potter Con 2012. As a college student, I won’t have the money to go to Leaky Con or Ascendio, but everyone with access to the internet and twenty dollars can go to Potter Con. Potter Con will be the first convention completely livestreamed, so that everyone who wants to, can watch and re watch this convention.
The first convention that I went to was Infinitus 2010; which took place in Florida at the Universal Studios theme park. Well, mainly the convention took place in one of the parks hotels, but it was just a boat ride from the park and thus the entrance to The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter. The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is essentially Hogsmeade, though it does have a shop or two from Diagon Alley. As you walk into “Hogsmeade” the beautiful black and red of the Hogwarts Express steam engine is there to greet you with a puff of smoke. Past the Hogwarts Express are a bunch of quirky little boutiques, rides featuring hippogriffs and dragons, and Hogwarts itself, which you get to explore on your way to the Forbidden Journey ride. This theme park really makes you feel as though you have walked out of the muggle world, so if you have not already been, I would highly suggest it for a future vacation.
If you have the money, another vacation suggestion is to look into HP Fan Trips and other tours in which you travel to HP themed places. For instance, places in the UK such as Platform 9¾, Kings Cross Station, and other sites where the movies were filmed. You also don't want to forget to stop by the Elephant House, where Harry Potter was born by J. K. Rowling on a napkin, and The Balmoral in Edinburgh where the later books were written. Though, if you’re like me and don’t have money to pop over to Europe, you should try a study abroad. If you’re in the UK you should definitely make time to see some HP sites.
If you don't have money to travel to the UK, go to a theme park, or a convention, you can always listen to Wizard Rock in the comfort of your own home. Wizard Rock or Wrock are songs about Harry Potter, which, if you like Harry Potter, you should really enjoy. Some bands are really good and you don’t even have to know anything about Potter to listen to them. Though there are some Wrock bands in which the lead vocalist can’t really sing so you really only listen to it because it’s wizard rock. Also I must warn you, like all music, some can be a bit off color, although that is no reason not to listen to good bands like the Ministry of Magic, Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls, and The Parselmouths. Those are my favorites, but there are so many out there you can listen to.
If you're tired or not as interested in just listening to music there are so many Harry Potter games you can play, that I personally, can’t list them all. There are board and card games like Uno, Clue, Chess, Scene It, and there are also many video games. For all you sports lovers out there, give Quidditch a try. If you really like Quidditch, maybe get a team together and form a BYU Quidditch team. As for myself, I have a deck of HP cards that was used to play spoons at my last HP Party. Speaking of Harry Potter Parties, I strongly encourage them to be thrown, or attended, especially on July 31st. I feel every fan should do something on the 31st of July to commemorate Harry and his creators’ birth.
Ever wonder why inches not centimeters are used on wands, how Petunia and Vernon met, or how the sorting hat was thought up? This information can found on Pottermore which is an amazing interactive way of receiving new information from J.K. Rowling herself. It opens to the public in October but some were let in early. Having entered Pottermore early I can testify that it is truly amazing. You can learn about the sub characters more than you ever would just by reading the books, because in the book you only really see what Harry and Voldemort see, and they don't see everything J. K. Rowling has imagined. For instance, you find out the whole back story of Professor McGonagall, what happened to Neville’s pet frog Trevor, and that one of Professor Quirrell’s hobbies was pressing flowers. Instead of writing another book J. K. Rowling created Pottermore. If you would be willing to read another book by J. K., then you should access Pottermore.
There is so much you can do that there is no reason not to be doing something. Whether it’s a Convention, theme park, Wrock concert, special places in Europe, games, Pottermore, or just reading and rereading the books, do something to keep the Wizarding World alive, even if you’re just a muggle.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
This is a story I started to create this morning at the bus stop. So naturally a bus stop is where our story begins. This is really only the first chapter of the tale so sorry for the awkward ending.
Audrianna hurried down the sidewalk to the bus stop. She was already late and if she missed the next bus she wouldn't get credit for class that day. The sun glinted in the cerulean sky as a gust of wind danced by her and enchanted her long dark locks to do a dance of it's own, right in front of her face. Trying to regain control of her hair, she ran her fingers through the strands when suddenly she felt a burst of pain and her head jerked to the left. Her ring had attached itself to a nice little patch of her hair, and seemed determined to hold on. She placed the notebook that was in her hand, under her right arm, and craned her neck down to try to free her left hand that seemed to be super glued to her scalp. The fact that her hand was stuck to her head, like a never ending game of Simon Says, would make one concur that the logical response would be to stop, fix the problem, and then continue. Though, when in a hurry, one does not always do the logical thing, thus Audrianna's attention was not on where she was walking.
Her foot, which was blockaded by a particularly uneven piece of pavement, failed to move forward, and in return caused her to plummet to the Earth just as the ring let go. Her notebook did a pirouette and twirled to the ground, while Audrianna, did a face plant. While just about kissing the sidewalk, she came face to face with some graffiti that wasn’t there the day before. Her hand landed right next to a handprint that, with the initials of OG seemed to be the artists' signature. Placing her palm upon the print she found that the artists palm was quite a bit bigger than her own. She reached for her notebook. The pads of her fingers enclosed around the spiral just as her ring gently brushed the ground and surface of the drawing.
The ring started to pulse as feeling of weightlessness came over her, and incomprehensible flashes of light in a spectrum of colors blared in front of her blue eyes. The feeling of weight came back but she felt lighter somehow, also, the temperature was warmer. As she looked around the gleam of metal and glass met her eyes. She was in a busy city, but like none she had ever seen or been in before. Strange metal objects moved through the air and it seemed that every inch of the city was clean. She was surrounded by buildings with architecture that was seemingly impossible, and strange digital signs were everywhere. Everything she saw was foreign to her. Even the people were dressed strange. A reflection in one of the windows made her look upward, and her heart just about stopped. She was looking at two blinding balls of light. Two suns, she was looking, at two suns. Audrianna wondered how was this even possible, but before she could even contemplate the existence of binary stars, there was a deep blast of noise and something tackled her to the ground. A tall blonde girl, with short hair that spiked in the back, rolled off her.
“You crazy?" The blonde girl squinted her bright emerald eyes at Audrianna. "What on Bina were you standing in the middle of the path for? The bots are killing enough of us as it is, we don’t need to be killing our own. How'd ya even get there anyway?"
“I don't know. I was at the bus stop and then… I ended up in the middle of the street… or path.”
“Bus stop? You mean transportation? But don’t be daft you can’t transport into the middle of the path. Operating Generators are specifically programed to only transport you to a safe place. It’s a part of the program, you can’t override it, and trust me I would know. You couldn't have used a billyom, because those can't open until you get to your designated spot. Unless there's an emergency, but if that was the case, there'd be a lot more of us around wouldn't there. And tielyas like billyoms wont open either. I mean, I barely had the pass codes to get in myself… Sorry, being rude, names Kaley. You are?"
"So, Audrianna. Since you're obviously unaware of how you got here; let's start with where you came from?"
“Provo, I was at bus stop on 1720 North.”
“Oh! Is that a lodging? No wonder I haven’t heard of it. What city is it in?”
“Provo… in the state of Utah."
“State? You mean like a state of mind?”
“No... like one of the 50 United States of America... on the planet Earth.”
Kaleys jaw dropped. “Earth… you mean like a planet from another galaxy?" She looked at Audrianna with skeptical excitement. "How did you get here?”
“That is a really, really good question. All I know is I was at the bus stop picking my notebook off the ground and then my ring started vibrating, a bunch of lights flashed and next thing I know I’m on Tatooine.
Eyes fixed on the ring, Kaley slowly asked “That circlet. May I see it?”
Audrianna held out her hand, and Kaley took a moment to examine the ring.
“Wow. This is amazing. It’s like a transporter but way more complex.”
“So does that mean I can get back home?"
“Possibly, but it looks like it needs to recharge.”
“Recharge? How do I charge it? Does it take batteries or do I need something stronger like Dilithium crystals or Plutonium?”
Kaley raised an eyebrow, “Well there are many ways, but my guess is all it needs is time.“
“Yes. Well, time and heat. This right here looks like an energy cycle, so all you have to do is put it on your finger and the heat from your body should reenergize it. But in the meantime tell me about your planet. It must be really advanced by the looks of the circlet.”
Audrianna looked up at the hovering ships filled with people. “I don’t think I’ve seen anything more advanced than this place.”
“Really? This looks like it’s almost all made out of pure amoragh and Nepci. Who made this circlet?"
"I don’t know, I found it in my jewelry box, my mom must have put it in there."
"Your Mum? You saw her put it in your box or she told you she did?"
"Well, no, but no one else could have done it. I keep my jewelry locked and hidden. Plus, if it was someone else they would want to take my stuff, not give me things. Unless someone wanted to get rid of me, or kill me. The first they definitely succeed at. Although, I don't know, I could be dead. This would be an interesting afterlife, and," gesturing at the notebook in her left hand. "I guess you can take things with you. Hm, who knew?"
Though, I think I'm going to stick to the theory that this is all a dream and that I'm probably laying unconscious at the bus stop. Hopefully I didn't do any lasting damage to my head, but I mean, if I can create this place, something's got to still be working."
"You're not dreaming."
"How do you know? You're probably just a figment of my imagination."
"Well first." Kaley took a chunk of Audrinna's arm between two fingers and squeezed hard.
"And second, when dreaming you don't know your dreaming, and when you do know your dreaming you wake up right afterward because you're already partially awake. And third, I'm way too magnificent to have come out of your head. So assuming by the fact that you're still here, I'd say you're not dreaming"
"Okay then, what am I supposed to do now?"
"Let's show that circlet of yours to Evan. He'll know what to make of it."
"Sure. Why not? I'm just on an extremely distant planet and…" comprehension dawned. "Wait that would make me the alien." Incredulous delight spread across Audrianna's face and then she exclaimed in a deadpan manner. "Take me to your leader."
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Plastic Bottles are not just your regular inanimate objects. In fact I would have to argue that they are not inanimate objects at all. These plastic containers are not only alive, but they have consciousness, minds of their own, and may even be able to move great distances on their own. I know for a fact that these bottles can indeed talk to each other. For example, I was sitting in my living room drinking water from a plastic container. It made the normal cracking noise that a bottles tend to do when you lightly squeeze them as you drink water. When I finished my long swallow the bottle was a little more than half full. That's when it happened. I was lightly holding the bottle when it made a cracking noise and then my mother's untouched water bottle sitting on the coffee table responded with a pop of it's own. I suddenly had an eerie feeling that a secret conversation was going on.
Ever since then, I have not been able to shake the feeling that I am being watched. I always thought that bottles just made noise because that was the sound of bending thin plastic. But I do not believe that is the case anymore. I think they're planning an uprising, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. The bottles already know we think their kind are just things to drink out of and then be recycled or thrown away, and they will use our ignorance to their advantage. I am warning you now, and begging you to listen before it's too late, please do not turn your back on any empty plastic container. Your life may depend on it.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
So I set up this blog for an English class, but who knows, I may post other things on it. The first blog post assignment is: to brain vomit topics into cyberspace for the upcoming Opinion Editorial paper. Now I have thought a bit about this. But the only topic that I can think of that would be fun to write about, and hopefully fairly easy for me to write about is this. I want to persuade others to watch and essentially learn from the show Doctor Who. I feel that this show has a great role model, good values, and is quite thought provoking (or I suppose you could say rhetorical).
I feel like this is my only option, other than convincing people to read Harry Potter. But let's face it, pretty much everyone's read Harry Potter; and if they haven't read it they've seen the moves, which are very different and good, but still not the books. Oh hey, maybe I could convince people who have just seen the movies or haven't even seen the movies to, in fact, read the books. I don't know, either way it comes down to Doctor Who or Harry Potter, of which I could not imagine my world without.