HogPro Mailbag: Olympic Quidditch, Cracked, O.W.L.s, Etc.

Catch-up Time for the HogPro Mailbag! Here are five ‘shorts’ and an extra that I can pass on to you with links but without full-post length comment:

(1) MuggleNet’s Keith Hawk, my co-host at MuggleNet Academia, is excited about the Ordinary Wizarding Level Exams (O.W.L.s) on the “world’s most popular Harry Potter fan site.” He is a Saga Trivia fiend — he knew the number of which Umbridge decree made student groups illegal at Hogwarts on the most recent show we recorded — but said the MNet O.W.L.s are fun even for those whose strength is not in the details. He writes:

Don’t forget to take your O.W.L. exams and have some fun with them…they are very entertaining to say the least. And you don’t need to worry about the results…I know you are not a “trivia” guy, but just the mere fact of taking the exams is enlightening.

Each of the 12 subjects available at Hogwarts are now available in an extremely difficult and timed exam.

Just do not take them on Safari, the results and submissions do not work…the best bet is on Firefox or Google Chrome with a gmail registration.

(2) Friend of this blog and scourge of political correctness Bruce Charlton takes a second look at the ‘Prejudice Message’ in Harry Potter at his Notions Club Papers weblog. Prepare yourself for the contrarian right-side-up view — and check out his Thought Prison, too, as paper or eBook for the full blow-up of PC madness in our day.

(3) OnLineColleges.net sent me a note to alert me to their list of Ten Fictional Professors that Give Academics a Bad Name. Forgive me for enjoying it for the wrong reason; each choice brought up a memory of the professor from my school days the story character most resembled! And why not Severus Snape?

(4) Speaking of flash backs, remember Cracked magazine? I read it and Mad as an adolescent and suspect that combination probably set back my maturation and thinking capacity at least a decade: the epitome of adolescent snarkiness and disdain for anything, everything, and anyone and everyone. Turns out, of course, that while I may grown out of that (?), the market for this brand of comedy has only grown through the years and Cracked is a big gun on the internet. Check out their take on film franchises that seem safe but which are really spiritually and morally poisonous. The weird thing is, I don’t remember the satire being that subtle in Cracked back in my day…

(5) St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia, is a big name Prep School in the world’s wealthiest and most power laden metropolis (can you say ‘The Capitol’?). I’m not sure that makes their offering a Hunger Games summer camp again this year as one of their many, many offerings the most natural idea, something surprising, or one more instance of reality being more ironic than the satirical picture of reality in fiction. What is striking, though, whatever yourchoice from those three options, is that the program proved so popular that the school had to offer three dates this year, all of which filled up immediately. At $395 a camper.

You have been chosen to represent your district in the Hunger Games. Over the course of a week you will receive training in survival skills and sharpen your athletic abilities and mental acumen in preparation for the arena. At the close of each activity, you will have the opportunity to earn points as you compete against other campers to become the victor in the Hunger Games. Activities will include marksmanship, laser tag, hiking, swimming, Hunger Games trivia and more. Due to last year’s popularity, this camp returns with THREE sessions this year.

And one extra item, Look for Muggle Quidditch at the London Olympics!

Mark one down for the Geeks of the world. The International Quidditch Association is arranging for a Muggle Quidditch demonstration tournament to be played during the 2012 London Summer Olympics! There will definitely be teams from the USA, UK, France and Australia and possibly others as well.

No, I’m not kidding. See more here and here — and pick up Quidditch uniforms for Team UK, Team USA, Team France, and Team Australia while you’re at it.

Maybe that’s a ‘Shared Text’ rather than a Mailbag item? Oh, well!

Please share your thoughts and ideas below — and reference your response to the numbers 1-6 above. Thanks!

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