What and How Children are Reading in the UK

I spotted this tweet from J. K. Rowling’s agents, The Blair Partnership last Friday:

The tweet was responding from an article in the Times newspaper about the latest report from Renaissance on the reading habits of school children in the UK. Perhaps a surprise to followers of social media campaigns, J. K. Rowling has increased in popularity over the last three years of recording, with the Harry Potter series holding the top three places for favourite books for primary school pupils. For some take-aways and to download the report, see after the break.

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Harry Potter Hogwarts Tournament of Houses: Prizes for Audience Members

I had actually forgotten I was supposed to get a prize for being an audience member in Game #2 of the Hogwarts Tournament of Houses, where my fellow Ravenclaws defeated Slytherin, with the help of the studio audience play-along with our handy little signal devices. After several enthusiastic emails from the company charged with sending these out, the prizes finally arrived this week.  I was rather hoping for some unique-to-the-show, available-nowhere-else item, but what we were sent was a Ravenclaw shaker bottle, available for purchase on Amazon. I had recently made a resolution to try to stay better hydrated, so I will certainly enjoy this. Still, I was a bit disappointed to get the erroneous cinematic raven emblem; especially since there is a slightly cheaper but more book-authentic version with the bronze color and the eagle available..  I wasn’t the only one disappointed, as seen here in a video posted by a fellow audience member. 

The ToH stickers on the box were pretty cool, though, and since I was lucky enough to attend with my husband we have two of them. I’m going to try to peel it off the box and recycle it for use somewhere else. Stay tuned to find out if my Ravenclaw ingenuity makes this a successful endeavor.

I am still enjoying the Covid-19 mask and the t-shirt they let me keep, though, both of which are eagle- and bronze-bedecked.

And, of course I still treasure the memories of the fun I had of seeing, and playing the game.  And I met many awesome people I met in the process, some of which have become online pals. Best of all was the joy of cheering Hogpro’s own David Martin onto victory! Look for me to be toting a my nice new water bottle around next year’s Queen City Mischief and Magic Festival, which will be back, in person, in 2022.

Fantastic Beasts Secrets of Dumbledore: A Collection of Reviews and Asides

No, I still have not seen Secrets of Dumbledore and probably won’t for a week or two, believe it or not, between a son’s wedding in a different time zone and thesis deadlines.

I know, though, that readers are coming here for discussion and brilliant commentary on the latest Fantastic Beasts entry, so, because I haven’t posted anything this week about the movie, I have put together a list of seven interesting online pieces about Secrets for you to surf — and, I hope, a list to which you will append your favorite reviews, YouTube exegetes on fire with theories, or Hollywood rumor. It’s open microphone night at HogwartsProfessor.

Enjoy this smorgasbord of sorts, seven special opinion slices, and share some of your own!

 

Once Again, The Mystery of Amphitrite: Heard-Depp Trial and the Rowling Yacht

As you may have heard, the A-list celebrity trial of the divorced Jonny Depp and Amber Heard has entered the defense stage. For several weeks, the Depp attorneys have been making their $50 million defamation case against his ex-wife. Heard has counter-sued for $100 million. She took the stand today and told horror stories of the mental, emotional, and physical abuse she suffered from the supposedly drug and booze addled film star during their relationship.

And, of course, J. K. Rowling came up. It wasn’t, though, about what you might expect, namely, how Depp lost the role of Grindelwald after a London court threw out his case against Heard for libel and how Rowling had previously defended keeping him on as the Fantastic Beasts film franchise villain despite Heard’s claims against him. It was the Amphitrite yacht, originally the Vayoliroya, that she testified Depp had sold to Rowling and Heard’s experience with Depp and his two children on their farewell sailing to the Bahamas.

The Daily Mail, a venue perfectly fits for updates from this trial, reported her testimony about what she claims was a nightmare voyage that she and Depp’s daughter escaped by helicopter after they made port. For more about the yacht and how Heard almost certainly if unknowingly perjured herself when she said Rowling bought the yacht from Depp, join me after the jump. [Read more…]

LeakyCon Orlando 2022 Health & Safety Policy: Vaccines, Tests, Masks Required

I got an email last month from Leaky Con inviting me to buy tickets to their Orlando event this July. The pictures in this post are all taken from that marketing blast. You’ll note that no one in these fotos is wearing a mask; everyone is shown enjoying the company of others without social distancing or shielding their faces with a screen or face covering.

Which is understandable because the last two and a half years of Leaky Cons have been canceled because of Pandemania and the lock-step conformity of venue owners and event sponsors with risible CDC and WHO recommendations lest they be subject to liability litigation. They don’t have any pictures of Leaky Con attendees partying down with face masks because the events they scheduled in the periods when they were required never happened.

For those considering attendance at this year’s Orlando Leaky Con, please be aware that they are standing by their draconian Covid-hysteric ‘Health and Safety Policy,’ something hidden in the darker recesses of their website:

LEAKYCON ORLANDO 2022 HEALTH & SAFETY POLICY

All those in attendance at LeakyCon Orlando 2022 including, but not limited to, ticketed attendees, special guests, presenters, vendors, press, and staff, will be required to show either proof of full vaccination OR ​​a negative antigen COVID-19 test results from a testing done within 24 hours of entry to the event OR a negative PCR COVID-19 test result from a testing done within 72 hours of each day of entry to the event. Fully vaccinated is defined as at least 14 days after receiving the final vaccine in a one- or two-shot protocol with a vaccine approved by the FDA or WHO (including emergency use authorization).

Attendees will also be required to wear masks at all times during the event, except in designated areas for eating and drinking.

Any additional LeakyCon Orlando 2022 health and safety policies will be announced at a later date ahead of the event in line with the most up-to-date data and public health advice at that time.

This, though, may very well change before the July event. More on that after the jump! [Read more…]