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The iHP.net News Archives » General News
11.25

 Potter on Postage

- [ Nick @ 07:14 PM . GMT . General News ]

You can't watch them, you can read about them, and now, at last, you can mail them! The Daily Record has the story:

HARRY POTTER has been given the royal stamp of approval.

JK Rowling's boy wizard is set to appear on a colourful new set of postage stamps.

They feature scenes from his movies and include Harry, pals Ron and Hermione, owl Hedwig and Hagrid, Hogwarts caretaker, played by Robbie Coltrane.

The scenes are drawn from the Potter movies,The Goblet Of Fire, The Order Of The Phoenix and The Prisoner Of Azkaban, based on Edinburgh author Rowling's books.


The special edition of eight stamps is being released by the Post Office of the Isle of Man who had to get royal permission before issuing the stamps.

Spokeswoman Maxine Cannon explained: 'We had wanted to issue Harry Potter stamps for some time.

'The idea behind using Harry is to encourage children to write more letters.

'As the Queen's head also appears on all of our stamps, we had to get royal assent.'


11.24

 Potter Stars to Appear on TRL

- [ Nick @ 10:01 AM . GMT . General News ]

This just in from HPANA:

We have independently confirmed with a TRL producer that the segment is currently scheduled to air on Monday, Nov. 29th at 5 pm ET. As of now we have no idea who will be appearing on the show and we will of course update with any additional information we receive.

MTV hasn't yet released their schedule, but keep up to date on your local listings!


11.23

 Rowling Forgery Warning

- [ Nick @ 02:30 PM . GMT . General News ]

For all the Rowling fans out there, be cautioned. Those who shop for signed copies of Rowling's work may find themselves tricked into a forgery. Wizard News has more:

Forgeries are regularly offered on eBay. Last summer the publication of the fifth Harry Potter book drew much interest and the number of "signed copies" of J. K. Rowling's books offered on eBay soared. The amount of obvious forgeries bought by unsuspecting fans astounded James Allen, owner of Red Snapper Books, a rare book dealer. "Of the fifty or sixty items you expected to see at any one time, perhaps two or three were genuine," he said.


Seeing people spending hundreds of pounds on fakes, Mr Allen wrote to buyers and sellers. "You can imagine the sort of replies I received from the vendors," he said. "But many buyers thought that I was competing to buy a defaced book, they were so eager to own a signed Potter."

Harry Potter fans would do well to be cautious. "There's no magic about this. A signed Harry Potter first edition offered on eBay for Pounds 30 is not likely to be authentic", said Neil Blair, a lawyer at Christopher Little, J.K. Rowling's press agent. So how does eBay police its site and what responsibility does it take for forgeries?

A conventional auction house would soon go out of business if it regularly offered fakes. But eBay operates on the basis that there are so many lots it cannot vet them all. The site says that it employs 800 people tackling fraud. But in practice, it relies on users to spot suspicious activity. "The eBay community effectively monitors the site," it said. Scams are constantly being dreamt up and there is no substitute for common sense. But there are basic rules to remember when surfing eBay.

Be aware that certificates of authenticity are often worthless. It may be wise to go to a reputable dealer to check. Also insist on digital pictures of items and ask questions until you are satisfied.


(* This image is from a photo taken of the front page of a copy of Philospher's Stone that was personalized by J.K. Rowling for her father, who later sold it at auction.)

For the original article at Wizard News, click...here.


11. 3

 Christmas Gifts for the HP fan

- [ Deb @ 04:54 PM . GMT . General News ]

If you have a Harry Potter fanatic on your Christmas list, and money is no option, check this site out. noble collection.com You're sure to find something they don't have!


11. 1

 HP Quiz

- [ Deb @ 11:46 AM . GMT . General News ]

Take the BBC Quiz and see how much you remember. I got 12/14 right. I have a "magical memory" according to the BBC. Of course they didn't ask how many times I saw the movie!


11. 1

 Does Harry need to declare his faith?

- [ Deb @ 11:28 AM . GMT . General News ]

St Andrews is sponsoring a debate of whether Harry Potter is Chistian or not. Did they ever question Tolkien or C.S. Lewis? Why is Harry such a problem? All these books discuss magic and good over evil. So why is HP such a thorn in the side of the christian community when Lewis and Tolkien are heralded as great christian writers?


11. 1

 New Wizard of the month

- [ Deb @ 07:23 AM . GMT . General News, J.K. Rowling ]

JKRowling.com has named a new wizard of the month: Devlin Whitehorn the founder of the nimbus 2000 broom company.


10.30

 A Very Harry Halloween Event

- [ Jasen @ 02:29 AM . GMT . General News ]

Chester Local News:

The Friends of the Library and the staff of the Chester Public Library are inviting everyone to attend a Harry Potter Spooktacular event on Saturday, October 30.

Tickets for the event is a $5 donation. Doors will open at 9:30pm and those attending should use the rear entrance to the library. The sorting ceremony will begin at 10pm. Games and events will take place from 10:30pm to 11:30pm. Then a snack banquet will be held at 11:30pm followed by the House Cup Awards at midnight.

Proceeds from the event will be used to support programming at the Chester Public Library. A very limited amount of tickets are available so phone 826-3711 for more information.


10.30

 Cartoon: Why Snape Hates Harry

- [ Jasen @ 02:22 AM . GMT . General News ]

Hi, this is sci-fi/fantasy cartoonist John Cook. Just letting you know I've posted a new Harry Potter cartoon. This one finally explains just why Professor Snape hates Harry Potter so much.


10.22

 Harry Potter Popular in Prisons

- [ iruhkoi @ 12:40 PM . GMT . General News ]

from The Australian:

Suspected Australian terrorist David Hicks has been whiling away time in Guantanamo Bay reading about flying on broomsticks and casting spells.

A former translator from the US base has revealed Hicks has been an avid reader of Harry Potter books since being in custody. The JK Rowling bestsellers have been in high demand among Western prisoners.

Ex-US Air Force translator Ahmad Al Halabi, who was also a librarian at Guantanamo Bay prison, said Hicks was one of several inmates who were "always arguing about which volume of Harry Potter they could have".

Read more at the link above!


10.20

 Sothebys Announced Minibook Auction

- [ M17 @ 05:08 PM . GMT . General News ]

Sothebys has put up new information on the miniature book/manuscripts by J.K. Rowling. At the link, you can download pictures of the book.

You can view this page here (Sothebys website)!

Thanks very much to El Cronista de Salem of HarryLatino for this tip!

Edit: This from ic Scotland:

Tiny drawings from a miniature book sketched by Edinburgh-based Harry Potter creator JK Rowling have been unveiled ahead of a charity auction.

The leather-bound volume is packed with pictures of everything the boy wizard needs for his life at Hogwarts School.

The tiny book is expected to raise up to A£6,000 at an auction at Sotheby's in London on November 1.


10.10

 Sofia Awaits 2nd Potter Party

- [ M17 @ 09:44 AM . GMT . General News ]

The second Bulgarian Harry Potter fans meeting will take place November 27 in Sofia Land amusement park.

Special contests for best Harry Potter costume, best drawing, a PlayStation Quidditch tournament and many other interesting events.

Hundreds of Harry Potter fans gathered in Sofia on their first-ever national meeting June 5. The second meeting is also expected to enjoy great interest among the Bulgarian fans of the small magician.

Source: Novinite


10.10

 Harry Potter Still #1 At Newsround

- [ M17 @ 09:42 AM . GMT . General News ]

Harry Potter is still riding high this week in Your Charts.
It thrashed the competition in your fave thing chart with 20% of your votes, the closest contender for the crown was music with 14%.

Rupert Grint is your fave celebrity for the second week running.

He knocked Daniel Radcliffe off the top spot last week and is only just holding off his co-star, with just 1% more of the votes.

More from Newsround.


10.10

 Potter Books are Most Imaginative

- [ M17 @ 09:38 AM . GMT . General News ]

The Harry Potter books are the most imaginative kids' stories, according to a survey of 700 children.
The 10-to-13-year-olds were asked their opinions in a poll for the Prince of Wales Arts & Kids Foundation's StoryQuest storytelling festival.

JK Rowling's young wizard was followed on the list by The Lord of the Rings and the Tracy Beaker stories.

Source: CBBC Newsround


10.10

 Family to make Harry Potter's Brooms

- [ M17 @ 09:25 AM . GMT . General News ]

Of late the Nash family in Hampshire, London have been working extra hard, because they have been chosen as the official broomstick suppliers for the next Harry Potter flick.

The Nashs, who have a family business of making broomsticks, were spotted by the film's buyers when they saw their ad on the Internet and were immediately hired to make more than 80 brooms for the 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,' reports BBC.

You can read much more at Web India.


10. 2

 Chris Columbus Set to Direct (Another)...

- [ M17 @ 07:27 AM . GMT . General News ]

This is in follow-up to a previous story...

Currently working on the movie adaptation of Rent, Harry Potter director Chris Colombus is set to get bent with Warner Bros.’ forthcoming Slanted And Enchanted. Based on a screenplay by Ben Queen, whose slim canon of work includes ‘vehicular homicide’ thriller Proximity, the movie’s central character is a pathological liar who thinks he’s managed to tame his fibbing inner demons.

Source: EmpireOnline.


10. 2

 "Why Are These Books Banned, Anyway?"

- [ M17 @ 07:11 AM . GMT . General News ]

As this is (was) Banned Book Week (did you read Harry Potter this week?), a columnist at Sequential Tart argues against the banning of books - especially Harry Potter.

Now, if the books are so dangerous for their teachings of witchcraft, why haven't we heard of any children enacting spells on their peers and siblings? If these books are so dangerous, shouldn't the actual descriptions of witchcraft be useful to little witches and wizards?


10. 2

 Chris Columbus Directs.....

- [ M17 @ 07:07 AM . GMT . General News ]

..... not Harry Potter.

Instead of the check being picked up by Warner Bros., the Sony-based production company Revolution Studios will now shoulder the cost of making the big screen version of RENT. Chris Columbus remains attached to direct the film, which itself is based on the stage play by Jonathan Larson. Filming is scheduled to begin in the first part of next year for a holiday 2005 release.

More details from Cinescape.


10. 2

 Tourists Come to Alnwick for Castle, Garden

- [ M17 @ 07:04 AM . GMT . General News ]

The magic goes beyond Alnwick Castle, which starred as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the "Harry Potter" movies.

A short walk from the medieval fortress in northeastern England, a new garden casts a spell over all who venture there. But don't expect the standard English park: a formal plot with polite plantings, hushed atmosphere and unspoken rule of look but don't touch.

The enchantment at Alnwick Garden lies in a plan so contemporary, interactive and fun that some gardening traditionalists complain that it verges on being a theme park.

More from NewYork Newsday.


09.25

 Gonna Be Harry For Halloween?

- [ Jasen @ 11:07 AM . GMT . General News ]

There are so many puns with the name "Harry", aren't there?

Dania Beach, FL (PRWEB) September 23, 2004 -- Boys will be slinging webs this year as Spiderman, spinning spells as Harry Potter (news - web sites) and playing the part of a friendly ogre named Shrek for this coming Halloween. "Boys love the chance to be a super hero at Halloween time, and the stars of a trio of blockbuster movies will lead a path to neighborhood doors this year." said Shari Maxwell, Vice President of Marketing for leading Halloween Costume website www.anniescostumes.com.

Read on here.


09.25

 Harry Potter + Relationships = Don't Mix

- [ Jasen @ 10:55 AM . GMT . General News ]

Onlypunjab reports:

The fantasy novels are a big turn-off for girls, warns a new survey by publishers Penguin, who say Potter and The Lord Of The Rings books are the worst reads to pack in your suitcase this summer reports the Daily Star.


09.24

 Dan wins Relly Award

- [ xAmarisx @ 06:58 AM . GMT . General News ]

Daniel has won, yet again, the Best Junior Achiever Award on Live with Regis and Kelly's second annual Relly awards. Daniel couldn't be there obviously, but he left a message of his acceptance.

"...It is an Honor to have won...I'm actually about to fight a dragon as of course we are filming the Goblet of Fire...Um so yes fantastic can't wait to see you next year!"

Congratulations Daniel! Here's to next year!

Update: Danielradcliffe.com has now the video and screencaptures of his Acceptance speech.


09.21

 Are You a Nerd?

- [ M17 @ 06:10 PM . GMT . General News ]

You've read Harry Potter. And, according to an Opinions column at the University of Connecticut's The Daily Campus, that would make you a nerd. Though some may beg to differ...


First off, let me say that while there are some who would argue that a nerd is not the same as a geek, for clarity purposes both terms will be used interchangeably. Now then, how many of you sat through at least one of the "Lord of the Rings" films? Shelled out nine bucks to see "Spiderman 2" or even opened up a Harry Potter book? Do you play more than one hour a week of video games? Beware, for these are all subject matter classically associated with nerds - that and social ineptitude.

More at the link.


09.20

 Glasses Are 'Cool' Again...

- [ M17 @ 02:32 PM . GMT . General News ]

Harry Potter and Spiderman have made kids' glasses cool again, a survey has revealed. More than 60 per cent of children whose mum or dad wear glasses like their parents' specs.

Children from High Wycombe said their favourite wearers were Harry Potter, Peter Parker aka Spiderman and Velma in Scooby Doo.

Mary Perkins, founder of Specsavers, who commissioned the survey with eye charity Eyecare Trust, said: "Times have moved on and wearing glasses has actually become cool at school thanks largely to fictional characters such as Harry Potter."

More from This is Local London.


09.20

 Kenneth Branagh Who?

- [ M17 @ 02:31 PM . GMT . General News ]

Yes, that's right, people failed to notice him...

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secets star Kenneth Branagh was left surprised last Thursday when officials at the American embassy in London failed to recognise him. The Oscar-winning film-maker was queuing for a work visa, but was taken aback when he got to the front of the queue only to be asked, "What do you do?"

So, 43-year-old Branagh adopted his best thespian voice and replied, "I'm an actor!"


09.20

 Absence of Potter Novel Yet Again Hurts Bloomsbury

- [ M17 @ 02:23 PM . GMT . General News ]

Also on Tuesday, the absence of a new Harry Potter novel will have an impact on Bloomsbury Publishing, which is expected to say that half-year profits have fallen to £3.6m from £3.8m at the same stage last year.

Source: This is London


09.20

 Harry Potter © ® and ™

- [ M17 @ 02:20 PM . GMT . General News ]

The Register has this interesting article about the protection of "Harry Potter"...

Warner Brothers is threatening legal action against tour company British Tours for daring to point out that some of Britain's most famous buildings were used in the films of the Harry Potter books.

"You are... offering 'Harry Potter Location Tours' [that] infringe our client's rights," read the first letter from the US film company's UK solicitors, Addleshaw Goddard. As such, British Tours was "deceiving customers". There was a "clear case of passing off of our clients' goodwill leading to a likelihood of substantial damage". Therefore, its only option was to stop immediately and sign the attached Form of Acknowledgement and Undertakings, within 11 days. Otherwise "we will... consider issuing proceedings against you immediately."

Read more at the link above!


09.20

 Happy (Belated)!

- [ M17 @ 02:08 PM . GMT . General News ]

A very happy belated birthday to Hermione Granger, whose birthday, as JK Rowling points out, is - was - on September 19th! (Thanks, Shruti)


09.17

 Harry Potter = The Meddle and Plunder?

- [ Jasen @ 05:55 PM . GMT . General News ]

The Zanesville Times Recorder has this interesting bit:

Is Harry Potter just an innocent story for children? If anyone believes that, you need to wake up.

There is a saying, "There is a lot in a name." This is the definition of Harry Potter:

Harry -- to annoy greatly, harass, to plunder, lay waste, overrun.

Plunder -- to loot, take by force, as in war.

Potter -- to meddle, to be busy with petty and trifling matters, to work idly or in a desultory manner, to dabble, to be busy in an unsystematic way.


Meddle -- to interfere without right or necessity.

Desultory -- passing from one thing to another, without logical connection, aimless.

Dabble -- to do things without earnest effort.

Does that sound like a name that was picked innocently for these stories? It sounds like it was well-planned and picked especially for these stories. These books are very wisely and cunningly written, with intent to teach your children the exact opposite of that which the Bible teaches. These stories are full of instruction on witchcraft and satanic sacrifices.

Way off, but interesting nonetheless. More at the link.


09.17

 Harry, Meet Jonathan Strange

- [ Jasen @ 05:47 PM . GMT . General News ]

Dubbed "Harry Potter (news - web sites) for adults," Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is one of the most talked-about books of the fall and is climbing best seller lists. It's No. 14 on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list; it was No. 48 last week.

The novel re-imagines 600 years of British history as if magic were an everyday reality. The main action takes place between 1806 and 1817, when England was at war with Napoleon and mad King George was on the throne.

Read on here!


09.17

 Warner Bros. Suing British Tours Company

- [ Jasen @ 05:46 PM . GMT . General News ]

First it threatened teenagers with legal action for having Harry Potter fan websites, then it threatened legal action against e-mail services for using the name "shire" (the Hobbits' home in Lord of the Rings), now Warner Brothers is threatening legal action against tour company British Tours for daring to point out that some of Britain's most famous buildings were used in the films of the Harry Potter books.

"You are... offering 'Harry Potter Location Tours' [that] infringe our client's rights," read the first letter from the US film company's UK solicitors, Addleshaw Goddard. As such, British Tours was "deceiving customers". There was a "clear case of passing off of our clients' goodwill leading to a likelihood of substantial damage". Therefore, its only option was to stop immediately and sign the attached Form of Acknowledgement and Undertakings, within 11 days. Otherwise "we will... consider issuing proceedings against you immediately."

And so began yet another episode in the ongoing saga of the film "intellectual property" business.

The Register has the full scoop.


09.17

 Mary GrandPré To Draw 2005 Minnesota State Fair Poster

- [ Jasen @ 05:42 PM . GMT . Books: General, General News ]

MINNESOTA STATE FAIRGROUDS - Mary GrandPré will create the original art for the 2005 Minnesota State Fair commemorative poster.

GrandPré, best known for her illustrations of the Harry Potter books, has been illustrating books for 25 years, including children's books, magazine covers for Business Week, Atlantic Monthly and Time Magazine and book covers for publishers Harcourt Brace, McGraw Hill and Dell Books.

In agreeing to visually interpret "The Great Minnesota Get-Together 2005," GrandPré said she "feels a real connection to the fair, especially with the animals and the people who show them. I think it's an exciting project to work on because it not only tugs at my Minnesota roots, but it's all about having fun. The imagery of the Minnesota State Fair has so much to do with nostalgia, yet there are always new things to see and do there, no matter how many times you go back."

Grand Forks Herald has more -- and if you're a local Minnesotan able to attend the fair, we'd love if you sent us some pictures!


09.17

 Witchcraft Through The Ages

- [ Jasen @ 05:39 PM . GMT . General News ]

In a semi-Harry Potter-related story, edinburghnews.com has a story on the history of witchcraft and how it's evolved today.


09.12

 Devon Murray Launches Official Site

- [ M17 @ 12:07 PM . GMT . General News ]

Devon Murray, the actor who plays Seamus Finnigan in the HP films, has launched his official website at DevonMurray.net.

Thanks to Leaky for the tip.


09.12

 Students To Compete in Potter Trivia Tournament

- [ Jasen @ 11:07 AM . GMT . General News, Interact ]

Tickets and participant badges for the fifth annual Harry Potter Trivia Tournament will be released Oct. 2 at the Vacaville Public Library.

The competition will be 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre and is open to Vacaville students between third- and eighth-grades. Every elementary and middle school in Vacaville and Travis school districts, as well as several local private schools, have been invited to send two competitors and are selecting their participants now.

More details here.


09.11

 Remembering September 11th Three Years Later

- [ xAmarisx @ 09:33 AM . GMT . General News ]

As we remember today, I have come across a quote from Professor Dumbledore that seems to speak meaning for today.

"We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided...Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open."

Our hearts go out to all the victims' families of 9/11.


09.10

 Happy Birthday, Chris Columbus!

- [ M17 @ 03:36 PM . GMT . General News ]

Happy Birthday to Chris Columbus, director of both Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Columbus, who was a producer of Prisoner of Azkaban (and also executive producer for Goblet of Fire) was born on September 10, 1958. Happy 46th Birthday to him!

Thanks, El Cronista de Salem of HarryLatino.


09. 8

 Harry Potter in English Students Books

- [ Alice @ 01:33 PM . GMT . General News ]

The English book is called 'Citizens' (Longman
Publisher) and it is for the last course of school, 2nd of
Bachillerato. In the chapter of Books and Films, appear J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter. You must do exercices about them. It is a strategy to make the student book more interesting, and thanks to HarryLatino we have scans of the Book Cover, the 1st page, the 2nd page, the 3rd page, and 4th page.


09. 6

 Remembering Mattie Stepanek

- [ Jasen @ 01:54 PM . GMT . General News ]

Good Morning America pays tribute to Mattie Stepanek, a Harry Potter fan, who died of muscular dystrophy in June.

A poet since the age of 3, Mattie started writing in part to help him deal with his disease, which causes generalized muscle weakness and difficulty in regulating such body functions as heart rate and breathing. He used a power wheelchair, ventilator and supplemental oxygen, in addition to other treatments.

His mother, Jeni Stepanek, has a milder, adult-onset form of the disease, but was not diagnosed until her four children were born. Mattie's two brothers and a sister also died of the disease.


09. 6

 Abarat Author Credits J.K. Rowling

- [ Jasen @ 12:25 PM . GMT . General News ]

Reader Julez writes:

Hi,

Found this excellent interview with Clive Barker talking about his Abarat books (the new one is out at the end of this month) up on icLiverpool's site.

Barker credits JK Rowling with changing publishers' attitudes, meaning that writers of adult fiction can turn their hands to children's literature without a fuss.


09. 6

 Even Harry Potter Can't Help

- [ Jasen @ 12:17 PM . GMT . General News ]

Reading books is no longer a favourite pastime with kids as a survey in Britain has revealed that children do not like to read beyond their text books.

According to The Sun, the research for the Prince of Wales Arts and Kids Foundation, found that kids' favourite pastimes included watching TV and playing computer games while they found creative writing the least exciting.

The research revealed that 47 per cent of the children were not interested in reading, in fact the antics of the boy wizard Harry Potter too failed to entice them.

More at WebIndia.


09. 5

 Mary GrandPre to Illustrate for Minnesota State Fair

- [ M17 @ 08:25 AM . GMT . General News ]

Harry Potter illustrator Mary GrandPre has agreed to create original art for next year's Minnesota State Fair commemorative poster, AP (via WCCO) reports...

Mary GrandPre says there are always new things to do at the fair, no matter how many times a person goes back. GrandPre says the fair is always changing, and each time she goes she fines something else to call her favorite thing.


Posters and signed numbered prints will be produced in limited quantities and will be available only through the Minnesota State Fair Foundation beginning next summer. Proceeds go to supporting the fair's property and programs.

2005 will be the second year that a fine arts poster has been created for the fair. Before this year, the fair used advertising billboard art.

Source: Associated Press via WCCO.


08.24

 Harry Potter display ready to delight fans

- [ Bunny @ 08:55 AM . GMT . General News ]

A spellbinding display of Harry Potter artefacts is winging its way to a Shropshire museum in time for the Bank Holiday weekend.

"...The museum is not about ancient history but about modern social culture. Harry Potter fits into this theme very well..."

Full article here

Souce: Shropshirestar


08.24

 Reading Harry Potter Could Ruin Men's Love Lives

- [ Claire @ 05:16 AM . GMT . General News ]

Or so say the results of a poll carried out by Penguin. Apparently reading fantasy novels gives men zero appeal as far as women are concerned! Click here to find out more.


08.22

 Happy Birthday, Percy Weasley!

- [ M17 @ 09:50 AM . GMT . General News ]

As jkrowling.com reflects, today, August 22nd, is Percy Weasley's birthday. Thanks to all who wrote in.


08.20

 The Invisibility Cloak Goes Muggle

- [ M17 @ 01:51 PM . GMT . General News ]

Another invisibility cloak has been invented by scientists in Japan:


Image from CNN/AP

Professor Susumu Tachi, from Tokyo University, has developed a process called optical camouflage, which turns objects invisible -- or more accurately, translucent. A camera films a scene, which is happening behind the wearer of the cloak.


08.17

 Despite Lack of 'Potter', Booksellers Do Well

- [ M17 @ 03:08 PM . GMT . General News ]

This, from Birmingham Business Journal, Books-A-Million has exceeded 2nd Quarter expectations. This, from FOX News, Borders beats estimates and raises full-year outlook.


08.17

 Parents Choose Potter for Classmate

- [ M17 @ 03:02 PM . GMT . General News ]

When given the opportunity to choose someone to teach their child for a day (from among six celebrities), parents placed Bill Gates at the head of the class -- Oprah Winfrey finished a distant second and Donald Trump received the fewest votes.... Parents also cited Harry Potter as the top classmate for their child (out of five names offered), with Hillary Duff finishing a close second.

Source: BusinessWire


08.17

 Warner Bros. Response to Terrorist Threat

- [ M17 @ 03:00 PM . GMT . General News ]

'As with all responsible companies we take the well being of those within our employment, particularly children, very seriously,' a spokesperson for Warner Bros. told CBBC.

'We have in the past received the odd hoax telephone call, but because of our strict security policies we always report these incidents no matter how seemingly trivial, to the relevant authorities. In this case as with previous hoax calls, no further action has been taken nor will be required'.

Via ElitesTV


08.13

 Call for Papers for HP conference

- [ Bunny @ 12:25 AM . GMT . General News ]

Accio UK is aimed at both academics and adult fans of the Harry Potter series. The Programming Committee is therefore inviting proposals from both sectors for presentations, moderated panels, debates and workshops on any topic relating to the Harry Potter phenomenon. See the full story, deadlines and full info here Thanks, Wizard News


08.12

 Warner Bros. Buys Monolith Productions

- [ M17 @ 05:23 PM . GMT . General News ]

A little bit off-topic, but the Associated Press is reporting that Warner Bros. has bought Kirkland, WA based video game developer Monolith Productions for an undisclosed amount of money. The report states that the company, which produced titles such as "Alien vs. Predator 2," will become a part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Source: The Puget Sound Business Journal

It will be interesting to see whether EA contiunes to produce the Harry Potter, or whether production will occur from newly-acquired Monolith Productions.


08.11

 Actor Branagh to Star as FDR

- [ M17 @ 09:21 AM . GMT . General News ]

British actor Kenneth Branagh is set play to play Franklin D. Roosevelt in "Warm Springs," an HBO TV movie that focuses on his pre-presidency days.

Production is set to begin in the fall, with the movie expected to air early next year. HBO declined comment on the project.

More from Reuters.


08.10

 God and Harry Potter?

- [ Ema21 @ 01:27 PM . GMT . General News ]

Author John Granger has a new book, "Looking for God in Harry Potter." As a Christian, Granger is optimistic in his views towards Harry Potter, and looks to change the minds of those who believe it is "Devil-Worship". More here. Thanks American Daily News.


08. 9

 A Report On Counterfeits...

- [ M17 @ 09:16 AM . GMT . General News ]

CBS2 Chicago reports on fakes and counterfeits being sold in China. Of the many products mentioned...

Harry Potter is as popular here in China as he is in the rest of the world, so you can imagine the excitement when volumes five, six and seven of the Harry Potter series appeared in stores all over China last year with J.K. Rowling’s name on them. "Harry Potter and the Crystal Vase" was the title of one; "Harry Potter and Leopard Walk Up To Dragon," the title of another.


08. 8

 Alan Rickman says festivals changed his life!

- [ Kristina @ 09:31 PM . GMT . General News ]

Alan Rickman, who plays Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, said that Edinburgh Festivals have changed his life.

HARRY Potter actor Alan Rickman has told how Edinburgh festivals have delivered some of the seminal experiences of his working life.

Nearly three decades ago, in his first appearance on an Edinburgh stage, Rickman appeared in the playwright John Barnes’ adaptation of Ben Jonson’s play The Devil is an Ass. He was just out of drama school, and it was his first major part.

Read the full article here

Thanks to:
Scotsman News and Wizard News


08. 8

 Potter Spurs Afterschool Program

- [ iruhkoi @ 03:49 PM . GMT . General News ]

A Northeastern Pennsylvania elementary school has been hosting a "Harry Potter" themed afterschool program for children, in an area that has "few summer activities for kids who live in the district." From the TimesLeader.com:

The program transforms a basement classroom into Hogwarts (the magic school Potter attends) and children divide into "houses." For two hours, kids act out the Harry Potter books and learn a little along the way.


"The kids like to be together, and it gives them something to do instead of sitting in front of the television," Rittenhouse said.

The Harry Potter series is an educator's dream, with kids eager to read the books. Rittenhouse doesn't include the book in her lesson plans during the school year because some parents might object to the books' references to magic and sorcery.


08. 8

 "Buy Scholastic!" suggests The Motley Fool

- [ M17 @ 02:30 PM . GMT . General News ]

Finance/investment website The Motley Fool suggests shares of the Scholastic stock.


Scholastic (Nasdaq: SCHL) publishes the Harry Potter series of children's books. But let's not forget that Scholastic is also one of the largest suppliers of books to schools in the country. Indeed, Scholastic's market is growing daily, both literally and figuratively.

There's plenty to like about Scholastic. For one, the next installment of the series featuring the young wizard has a title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. There's no release date for the book yet, but it should draw better than a championship Quidditch match when it reaches stores.

Yet the tales from Hogwarts are destined to juice results for only so long. Fortunately, there's magic in Scholastic's educational publishing business, where margins reach roughly 20%, or more than double the margins for children's books. Scholastic appears relatively cheap in trading at roughly seven times its free cash flow, but earnings haven't measured up recently. That could change if the company chooses to invest further in reaching schoolchildren.


08. 8

 When Mary GrandPre Isn't Illustrating 'Potter'...

- [ M17 @ 02:22 PM . GMT . General News ]

The Cincinnati Opera, as The Enquirer reports, has been busy with performances of the musical Carmen, of which Harry Potter illustrator Mary GrandPre has been a part of...

Lectures, films, performances at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a reading of The Maids at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati proved to be popular attractions. Those extra events, as well as an art exhibit opening by Carmen (and Harry Potter) illustrator Mary GrandPre at Closson's, attracted about 1,600 people.


08. 8

 Gary Oldman in Chicago This Weekend!

- [ Jasen @ 01:44 PM . GMT . General News ]

Well, he'll be in Chicago filming scenes for "Batman Begins", alongside co-stars Christian Bale (Batman) and Michael Caine (Alfred). Read the details!


Gary Oldman as Lt. Gordon (click for bigger pic)

And you can also view the very cool new teaser trailer right over here!


08. 6

 Dutch court blocks 'Potter'-like book, rejects parody claim

- [ Ema21 @ 03:02 PM . GMT . General News ]

A Dutch court has blocked publication in the Netherlands of a Russian children's book that author J.K. Rowling said was too similar to her "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."
The Amsterdam district court Thursday ordered Dutch publisher Byblos to withhold 7,000 translated copies of "Tanja Grotter and the Magic Bass," by Dmitry Yemets, rejecting an argument that it was a parody of Harry Potter.
Thanks to Charleston.Net, more on the story here.


08. 3

 Harry Potter...Canadian?

- [ Jasen @ 02:19 AM . GMT . General News ]

It's tough being a Harry Potter fan club these days. Mention the bespectacled teen wizard in a conference program, put up posters, or -- heaven forbid -- dress up like him and you risk a trademark infringement lawsuit from the higher powers that control Harry's merchandising empire.

So, in a solution that's increasingly common among legions of Potter-obsessed fans, organizers of an international Harry Potter conference this weekend in Ottawa have tweaked the children's classic. Their Harry has Canadian roots.

It appears that in the year 900 -- when the wizards' Hogwarts school opened in Europe -- intrepid wizards crossed the Atlantic on Viking ships. They landed in Canada, blended into aboriginal tribes and merged their knowledge with shamans.

Read more at canada.com.


08. 2

 Harry Potter Profits Allow Bloomsbury Expansion

- [ M17 @ 12:12 PM . GMT . General News ]

As Reuters reports, UK publisher Bloomsbury has earned a huge sum from the Harry Potter novels, but missed out on even more profits due to its lack of presence in the United States.

Backed by Potter's magical profits, Bloomsbury has expanded into the United States and Germany...

When the first Harry Potter book was released, "we didn't have Bloomsbury U.S. or Bloomsbury Germany," said Katie Bond, head of publicity. "It would have been great to have had an American operation, but Scholastic (which holds the U.S. rights to the Harry Potter series) has done a great job."

EDIT It was also pointed out that this article mentions the "adult harry potter." Read on at the link!


07.29

 Potter Used to Promote John Kerry's Campaign

- [ M17 @ 09:10 PM . GMT . General News ]

"Restore Wizardry With Kerry and Potter!"

...proclaim presedential campaign buttons, "complete with side-by-side smiling portraits of [John] Kerry and Harry Potter..."

Button business is brisk both inside and outside the Democratic National Convention, where delegates and political aficionados are snapping up the circular memento faster than delegates can nominate John Kerry and John Edwards as their presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

Not a huge thing, but still noteworthy. Source: The Gainesville Sun


07.28

 Prisoner of Azkaban Creates Attendance Records

- [ M17 @ 09:27 AM . GMT . General News ]

Cinema audiences soared to a 35-year high last month as wet weather sent Brits scuttling indoors. A dismal June saw 14.7 million people head for the big screens, with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban their top choice. That's the highest June total since The Italian Job and The Wild Bunch came out in 1969. Harry Potter was the biggest cinema draw in June, making £36.9million.

More from The Daily Record.


07.28

 New Video Game System Promotes Health

- [ M17 @ 09:24 AM . GMT . General News ]

Here's a way to turn your love of video games into a great workout regime as well. PowerGrid Fitness is selling a product called the kiloWatt Intensity Gaming System. It looks like a machine you might see at the local gym.

There is a single shoulder-height joystick for your controller. There is a back brace to push against. When you push, sensitive sensors measure the strain you are placing on an alloy metal resistance rod and a microprocessor calculates how hard you're pushing. The more you push, the more power you have playing the video game.

As the article (from ABC6 & FOX4; Billings, Montana) reports, ideal games for the kiloWatt system include Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.


07.28

 Potter Conjures Profits for Time Warner

- [ M17 @ 09:17 AM . GMT . General News ]

As Reuters reports...

Time Warner Inc., the world's largest media company, on Wednesday posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on higher television networks revenue and its latest "Harry Potter" movie. The New York-based owner of the Warner Bros studios, CNN and HBO posted a second-quarter net profit of $777 million, or 17 cents a share, compared with $1.06 billion, or 23 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter.

More at the link.


07.25

 Bulgarian Website Aims To Ban Harry Potter

- [ Jasen @ 02:11 PM . GMT . General News ]

From noinvite.com:

Bulgarians launched a special website dedicated to the mission of banning Harry Potter books.

According to the website - http://www.stop-harry-potter.hit.bg - the sequence putting an emphasis on magical rituals was "dangerous." The authors also lash Harry Potter for making kids believe that one could fight evil forces through" white magic."

The Bulgarians underline that according to the Bible, there is no difference between different types of magic.

"Be careful, do not open those books even if you're curious about them!" - the website says.


07.25

 Fans Celebrate Potter In Summer Learning Workshop

- [ Jasen @ 02:08 PM . GMT . General News ]

Times Recorder has this:

ZANESVILLE -- Christian Pettet has read all the Harry Potter books -- twice.

The 11-year-old, soon-to-be sixth-grader, participated in a one-day Harry Potter workshop at Ohio University Zanesville Friday along with 19 other students ranging from fourth to seventh grades. The group is broken into four "Houses" based on the houses in the Harry Potter series, written by J.K. Rowling.

...The workshop serves as a way for educators to get children involved in educational programs during the summer months. This is the fourth summer literary workshop for children the campus has offered -- the third using the Harry Potter theme. Last year the theme was the Columbus Zoo.


07.25

 Siriusly, Now, The Summer Dog Days

- [ Jasen @ 02:03 PM . GMT . General News ]

Reader Avalon1 writes:

hi,

i actually don't think this is a real 'news scoop' but i thought it was interesting nonetheless.

kind of harry potter related but more historical, this article talks about how the origin of dog days in the summer came about - from sirius, the dog star.

have a great day!


07.24

 Visual Science Leads the Pack

- [ M17 @ 09:20 PM . GMT . General News ]

On a complete turnaround from our previous story, sales from the video game Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban have helped computer game developer Visual Science, as reported by The Scotsman:

Visual Science, led by Russell Kay and Andy Campbell, has doubled in size over the past year by developing a string of hits including ‘Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup’.

Turnover rose by 110% to £2.8m between 2002 and 2003, staff numbers have grown from 38 to 75 and the company has opened its first US office in Los Angeles.


07.24

 Amazon Blames Lackluster Earnings on Lack of Potter

- [ M17 @ 09:15 PM . GMT . General News ]

Source: Silicon Valley

Amazon, the Internet's largest retailer, posted its fourth consecutive quarterly profit Thursday and raised its full-year forecasts, but a revenue figure that fell short of Wall Street expectations sent shares in the company tumbling more than 7 percent. Remarkably, Amazon execs blamed the slip in its second-quarter revenue on the absence of a new Harry Potter title. "Media revenue grew 35 percent and would have been substantially higher without the year-ago compare of Harry Potter 5," said Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak.

"So, Tom, are you saying the entire deceleration in international media products is due to Harry Potter?" asked Prudential Equity Group's Mark Rowen...


"It is actually hard to know," replied Szkutak. "We certainly know what our sales were of Harry Potter 5 last year in the accompanying attachments, but certainly we had very positive traffic. So it's hard to tell." But Rowen wasn't buying it. "I might be wrong," he said, "but I don't think you can explain all of it with 'Harry Potter."


07.17

 French Government vs. Potter

- [ Deb @ 11:08 PM . GMT . General News ]

Critics are crying foul over Potterism. They say it throws a bad light and will taint childrens views of government for years to come. Of course a lot is misinturpreted. For instance they site Cedric as weak and Percy as unintelligent. And although I'll admit Percy has made some bad choices, he is far from stupid. Read about it in the NY Times.


07.17

 Who's This Joneses, Fellar?

- [ Jasen @ 09:35 PM . GMT . General News ]

JK ROWLING may be about to be hit by a flying “bludger” as a Scottish writer aims to rival the success enjoyed by dramatisations of the Harry Potter books with adaptions of her own work.

Julia Donaldson, from Bearsden in Glasgow, last week signed a six-figure film contract with Warner Bros and Heyday films, the team behind the hugely successful Harry Potter films, for her forthcoming novel, The Giants And The Joneses. With this level of big screen backing, Donaldson could be set to topple Rowling, much as a bludger knocks characters off their brooms in the Harry Potter series.

Continue reading at the Sunday Herald.


07.15

 Updates on the Official Site

- [ M17 @ 08:44 AM . GMT . General News ]

The official Harry Potter site has a few updates; thanks to El Cronista de Salem for this tip:

You can find more downloads at the "Downloads" page. You can create your own door hanger with the badge of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin or Ravenclaw, with your name in it. You can print a door hanger of Sirius Black too.

Also a little extra mention, as El Cronista mentions, official sites such as harrypotter.es, harrypotter.it, harrypotter.de, harrypotter.fr, and harrypotter.jp will now be updated from their respective countries instead of London, as they were before. These sites will contain different styles and content.

EDIT by Jasen: The Official Site has also released a new Divination Class section of their site, complete with downloads and mini games.

There's also a new pop-up page that allows you to sample some of the music from the PoA soundtrack if you're still thinking about buying it.


07.15

 "Floo Powder" Causes Post Office Scare

- [ iruhkoi @ 07:47 AM . GMT . General News ]

A 16-year-old fan was sending a birthday card "to Harry Potter in England" and sprinkled the envelope with some "floo powder," to "help [the] envelope travel," according to an article in TheKansasCityChannel.com:

A birthday card to a fictional character shut down a Missouri post office for two hours on Wednesday, KMBC's Lara Moritz reported. A worker at the Buckner post office spotted white powder on an envelope. The office was sealed off and hazmat crews were called in to check out the situation.

"It's not every day you get a letter with white powder all over it," police Chief Charles Loring said.

Read more at the link above!


07.14

 Treacle Tart Anyone?

- [ Jasen @ 01:28 PM . GMT . General News ]

Ever wonder what treacle tart would taste like in real life? It seems now you can with this new recipe.

Now if only they had one for ice cold pumpkin juice...


07.13

 Harry Potter Sandcastle Wins Top Prize

- [ iruhkoi @ 10:55 AM . GMT . General News ]

from SignOnSanDiego.com:

It was the final stretch of the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition yesterday, and though much of the day was marked by friendly banter, setbacks such as this one brought on nail-biting tension. The team, which has competed for more than two decades, attempted to replicate Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter series.

Read more and see the sandcastle at the link above!


07.12

 J.K. Rowling Outraged

- [ Jasen @ 03:40 PM . GMT . General News, J.K. Rowling ]

Caution: This story deals with mature subject matter.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has called for an end to the confinement in cages of disabled children in one of the European Union's newest member countries.

Rowling has protested to the Czech Ambassador to London, Stefan Fule, and written to her local MP following a Sunday newspaper investigation into the plight of children in some of the country's care homes.

"I am sure that I am not alone in feeling a deep sense of shock that a fellow member of the European Union like the Czech Republic could permit such abuses," she wrote.

The story continues at the New Zealand Herald.


The Halifax Herald Limited also has this:

A further letter from Rowling to her Member of the European Parliament, Catherine Stihler, left no doubt about the strength of her feelings on behalf of both children and adults confined to cages.

"I am sure that I am one of many who were horrified beyond words to read about the neglect and abuse of such very vulnerable people; indeed, the word torture does not seem too strong," she wrote.

"The idea that children as young as five are being locked in cages for the majority of their lives is nothing short of horrific; that this is happening in a relatively prosperous fellow EU state can only deepen feelings of outrage."

Rowling said last week that she would be contacting another MEP, Baroness Nicholson, who is already pressing for reform.


07.10

 British PM Opts for Potter-style School System

- [ M17 @ 06:40 PM . GMT . General News ]

Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has announced a five-year plan to revamp Britain's state-run school system. In his plan, students will be seen in uniforms and in school "house" systems similar to those in the Potter novels. The article, from WebIndia, reports that teachers have mixed reactions to this proposal. You can read more at the link.


07.10

 John Cook's New HP Cartoon

- [ M17 @ 01:16 PM . GMT . General News ]

John Cook writes:

I've posted a new Harry Potter cartoon. This one answers the question of why all the evil wizards get placed in Slytherin.

You can see it here! Some of the punchlines sent in are pretty funny, so head on over to check it out.


07. 8

 'Harry and the Potters' set to Perform Around the US

- [ M17 @ 09:11 AM . GMT . General News ]

Two brothers will be traveling to various sites across the US, performing songs based on the Harry Potter books:

Together they are Harry and the Potters, two brothers -- Paul, 25, and Joe, 17, DeGeorge -- who are on tour this summer playing songs based on and inspired by Harry Potter. The band plays mostly free concerts, with the exception of benefits and "normal" non-library collaborations with other bands, Paul said. Not surprisingly, the DeGeorge brothers are huge fans of J.K. Rowling's best-selling novels.

"What really amazes me is (the Harry Potter books have) become this thing that's crossed so many generations," Paul said. "It gives kids a way to relate to adults in a way that they never could before."

Source: The Daily Northwestern

Their full tour schedule can be viewed here, thanks to Leaky for the link.


07. 8

 Pets, Harry Potter Eliminated from Standardized Tests

- [ M17 @ 09:05 AM . GMT . General News ]

A little off-topic, but for all you students (especially the younger ones), the next time you take a standardized test, you aren't likely to see questions about a pet named Pete, or anything about Harry Potter... that's because these things are some "test taboos." More details at The Journal News.


07. 7

 Harry Potter: "America's recent lame fad"

- [ iruhkoi @ 09:05 AM . GMT . General News ]

So says Jesse Scott, a youth correspondent for The Free Lance-Star who offered his rather shortsighted views on Harry Potter in a recent opinion article:

"There is not one normal male I've met who is obsessed with Mr. Magic the way the female population is. When "Potter" arrived, I hadn't heard so much female hype since "Little Women" came out in 1994.

Why do various females love the movie-made geek, when they shove him aside in real life? If a realistic geek asked these females out on a date, the ladies would blow him off and tell him to go get a scoliosis examination."

Scott concludes his article with the note, "My friends, the time will soon come when this "Harry Potter" garbage has no place in our society."

Read more at the link above!
Although, I'm not sure you'd really want to...


07. 6

 Julie Walters a Powerful Person

- [ M17 @ 12:39 PM . GMT . General News ]

Actress Julie Walters (aka Molly Weasley in the Potter movies) top the list of the 40 most powerful figures in TV drama.

The Birmingham-born actress heads a top 40 compiled by the Radio Times.

David Jason, James Nesbitt and Dame Helen Mirren are among the big names on the list. But a panel of industry experts voted Walters, 54, "top of the heap". Last year she won a Bafta for her role as a middle-aged actress who bedded a toyboy in The Wife of Bath, one of the BBC's updates of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

"Her track record of success across different channels is all the more remarkable for being combined with a buoyant film career, which guarantees her position as an above-the-title name who can deliver critical acclaim and ratings success," the magazine said.

Source: ic Birmingham


07. 5

 Capitalist Neo-Liberal or An Anti-Globalist Lefty?

- [ Jasen @ 03:38 PM . GMT . General News ]

The New Zealand Herald has this interesting article:

PARIS - In the sober columns of Le Monde, a debate is raging which slices to the heart of the political and philosophical concerns of the early 21st century.

Is Harry Potter a capitalist neo-liberal? Or is he an anti-globalist lefty, concerned by the fate of the humble and the oppressed?

The opinion pages of the centre-left, French daily - more often occupied with human cloning or Third World debt - have, over the last three weeks, been examining, in high Marxist-structuralist manner, the political subtext of the works of J. K. Rowling.


The Great Debate was launched on June 4 by Ilias Yocaris, of the Institut Universitaire de Formation de Maitres (secondary teacher training school) in Nice.

Yocaris, one of the people responsible for training the next generation of French teachers, complained in Le Monde that the "fantasy universe of Harry Potter is ... a capitalist universe".

The five Harry Potter books - enormously successful in French translation - are stiffed with "neo-liberal stereotypes" which caricature approvingly the "excesses of the Anglo-Saxon social model", Yocaris said.

Thus all representatives of the state (the Ministry of Magic) are lampooned as ridiculous, or incompetent or sinister. Harry goes to a "private" school, whose "micro-society" is a "pitiless jungle" which glorifies "individualism, competition and a cult of violence".

Public institutions are unable to protect individuals: Harry Potter and his friends find that they have to break the magical state-imposed rules constantly to protect themselves from evil forces.

Yocaris says that the Harry Potter books are an example of the totalitarian universe imagined by George Orwell, come to life. "Capitalism is now trying to shape, after its own taste, not only the real world, but the imaginary world of its consumer-citizens."

Now Le Monde has published an equally erudite reply to Yocaris' thesis.

Far from being a capitalist lackey, Harry Potter is, in fact, the first fictional hero of the anti-globalist, anti-free market, pro-Third World, "Seattle"generation, according to Isabelle Smadja.

More at the link!


07. 4

 Penn State Hosts Potter Potions Science Program

- [ iruhkoi @ 07:42 AM . GMT . General News ]

from PennState Live:

The first session of Penn State's Action Potential Science Experience, "Another Wizard's World: Potions," wraps up today (July 2) in the chemistry department of the Eberly College of Science. Registrations are being accepted for a new Harry Potter-themed program, "The Adventure of the Apprentice's Stone," which will take place July 12-16 and again July 26-30. Information is available on the Web at http://www.ScienceCamps.psu.edu


More than 90 children, aged 9 to 14, already are enrolled in the first session, which allows Harry Potter fans to experience these stories first-hand. The program is back by popular demand this year after more than 130 young people filled the camp last year. Children will create all kinds of potions-slimy, gooey and fizzy-learn about levitation, and mix their own special elixirs and magical brews.

Read more at the link above!


07. 4

 "Knight Bus" Replica Wins Best Looking Boat Award

- [ iruhkoi @ 07:07 AM . GMT . General News ]

A boat race in Lake Ellyn, Illinois inspired some to design a replica of the Knight Bus; from the Daily Herald:

After seven gallons of purple paint, 300 sheets of cardboard and a couple of weeks of hard work, the triple-decker "Harry Potter Knight Bus" rolled up to Lake Ellyn Saturday ready to race.

The bus, manned by 40 kids and adults in capes, took to the water with 62 other boats in Glen Ellyn's 12th annual cardboard boat regatta.

Hundreds turned out to see the boats attempt to navigate a two-turn, 200-yard course without sinking.

What happened? Visit the link above to read more!


07. 3

 Droobles, Jelly Slugs, and Fizzing Whizbees

- [ Jasen @ 03:05 PM . GMT . General News ]

From The Olympian:

Now wizards everywhere can enjoy the same kind of candy that Harry Potter and his friends eat. CAP Candy, a division of Hasbro, has conjured up an array of sweets, including Harry Potter Acid Caps (so sour they hurt), Droobles Best Blowing Gum (they turn your mouth blue), Ice Mice (a sugary mouse inside a berry-flavored cube), Jelly Slugs (gummy candy in four flavors), Fizzing Whizbees (popping candy) and Bertie Bott's Beans (in every flavor, including soap). Prices range from 99 cents to $3.99. Look for them at groceries, convenience stores and mass merchandisers.


07. 3

 Question 3: What Is Book 6's Title?

- [ Jasen @ 03:04 PM . GMT . General News ]

In this week's "Weekly World News Quiz" from BBC News, Harry Potter is the subject of one of the questions. See if you know the answer at the link (And if you don't, maybe you should hang around iHP more often :p)!


06.23

 Magician To Teach Harry Potter At Library

- [ Jasen @ 02:44 PM . GMT . General News ]

Magician Brian Scott will bring the popular stories of the boy wizard, Harry Potter, to life and explore the world of magic, mystery and adventure through an interactive, fun-filled show at 2 p.m. Friday at the South Lake Tahoe Branch Library, 1000 Rufus Allen Blvd. The program is free and for children of all ages.

More here.


06.23

 Omnioculars A Thing of the Past No More

- [ Jasen @ 02:32 PM . GMT . General News ]

Well, they're more like binoculars, but it still does the same thing. In the latest issue of TIME Magazine, they have a little tidbit about new binoculars that allow you to capture 30 sec. worth of footage and then replay it for your own pleasure. At $600 though, you might wanna just settle for a camcorder or something ;)


06.23

 Death of a Fan

- [ Deb @ 02:48 AM . GMT . General News ]

Today we need to mourn the loss of a HP fan who suffered much and grieve with his mother who has lost her fourth child to a debilitating desease. Read the whole story on Leaky THanks TLC for bringing this sad story to our attention.


06.22

 Where Harry Potter and Science Meet

- [ Jasen @ 12:51 PM . GMT . General News ]

OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) - It was the first day of a Harry Potter science workshop, and already the teachers were wrist-deep in fur and bones.

Working in pairs, they sat pulling and picking the bones of small rodents from balls of fur, or "owl pellets," the oral refuse that is coughed up after several good meals. "You actually get the see the bones," said Priscilla Franklin, a Grand Coteau Elementary School teacher.

The project, which works to reconstruct the animals' skeletal structure, teaches anatomy while discussing the life cycle of owls and other raptors.

Click here to read on!


06.21

 Potter as a Phobia Fighter

- [ M17 @ 03:13 PM . GMT . General News ]

USA Today has this...

Children can't wave magic wands to make their fears disappear, but Harry Potter might help them learn to face them.

Despite [Prisoner of Azkaban's] dark premise, some experts say the film's overarching theme of confronting and overcoming fears — a common thread through much of the series about the young wizard — sends a positive message to young viewers.

"Superficially, it's about witches and wizards and magic and all that other stuff," says Syd Brown, a clinical psychologist in Bethesda, Md. "In fact, it's a tribute to perseverance and resilience."


06.18

 Harry At The Poolside

- [ Jasen @ 04:17 PM . GMT . General News ]

(Brampton) - Wizards and Warlocks have cast their spell and conjured up the Warner Bros. Canada Inc. Harry Potter Hummer to crash the Peel Heritage Complex' Summer Splash! festivities on Saturday, June 19 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Details here!


06.18

 The Return of the Mammoth Novel

- [ Jasen @ 04:00 PM . GMT . General News ]

Not exactly Harry Potter-related, but still interesting anyway: Next week marks the arrival of former President Bill Clinton's autobiography, "My Life", which is at 957 pages--one of the few books to challenge The Order of the Phoenix's.


06.18

 Of Science and Harry Potter

- [ Jasen @ 03:57 PM . GMT . General News ]

Leesville Leader reports on how one elementary school teacher is using Harry Potter to teach science.


06.16

 Harry & Co. Kick Off Summer Reading Program

- [ Jasen @ 08:56 PM . GMT . General News ]

Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger, Ronald Weazley and Draco Malfoy; young and old alike put on their favorite Harry Potter costumes to celebrate the summer reading program with the Hurricane Library June 3.

“This is our first year to do a Harry Potter kick off party,” began librarian Sarah Hall. “This has been huge . . . this has been fun.”

The full story's at The Journal.


06.16

 Owls don't make good pets

- [ Deb @ 04:26 PM . GMT . General News ]

Experts seem to fear kids will want owls for pets. This is obviously a bad idea as owls in the real world aren't domesticated. Read more on Pet Place Thanks hpana for the scoop.


06.15

 Harry's Here To Stay

- [ Jasen @ 12:47 PM . GMT . General News ]

"Harry Potter has proven to be a mainstay and not a fad, like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Power Rangers and other kid crazes," said Brandon Gray, president of Box Office Mojo, an online tracking firm in Los Angeles.

"There's always the chance that this will be the lowest grossing Harry Potter," Gray said. "That's just the natural progression of a franchise: It's rare for a third movie to out-gross its predecessors - second movies like 'Toy Story 2' and 'American Pie 2,' yes, but rarely a third movie.

"But," he added, "I think 'Harry Potter' is poised to break that mold."

The Sun Herald has the rest.


06.13

 "Harry Potter Day" Prohibited by Warner Bros?

- [ iruhkoi @ 02:15 PM . GMT . General News ]

So says this article from Contactmusic.com:

English Rainbow, Brownie and Guide groups in Britain have had their plans for a day dedicated to the wizard - where they would dress up as characters from the book series - blocked by the movie studio which owns the "intellectual property rights" to the Harry Potter name.

Guides commissioner for the South Bedfordshire, England area - Debbie Docherty - was referred to the film moguls after approaching Rowling's agent for permission.

Docherty says, "We were very disappointed. But the day will still go ahead with a magical theme."

Thanks to Wizard News for the tip.


06.12

 Harry Potter More Than Escapism

- [ Jasen @ 01:03 PM . GMT . General News ]

With a long-term war in progress and threats of further terrorist attacks on American soil, is it mere escapism to go to movies such as Harry Potter? Not at all; such movies provide something just as essential to winning a war as weapons and soldiers.

Read on here.


06.10

 Harry helps with Mental Health

- [ Deb @ 06:28 AM . GMT . General News ]

Read how HP helped one person through very had times here. Thanks to HP Fan Zone.


06. 3

 BEWARE POTTER VIRUS!

- [ Scott @ 05:32 AM . GMT . General News ]

There is apparently a computer virus that has made a resurgence by disguising itself as a Harry Potter game. Here's the story from BBC News:

A pesky computer virus is trying to cash in on the excitement surrounding the latest Harry Potter film.

The Netsky.P worm is enjoying a resurgence by disguising itself as a Potter game, say anti-virus experts.

The virus, which first appeared towards the end of March, spreads by e-mail and via file-sharing services.

The third film about the adventures of the boy wizard, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, was released on Monday, making £5m in one day.

Here are the infected file names:

Harry Potter 1-6 book.txt.exe
Harry Potter 5.mpg.exe
Harry Potter all e.book.doc.exe
Harry Potter e book.doc.exe
Harry Potter game.exe
Harry Potter.doc.exe


According to anti-virus firm Sophos, Netsky.P was the second most common virus in May, topped only by the infamous Sasser worm.

It now seems to be picking up steam again, with Sophos saying it had spotted thousands of copies of it in the last few days.

Netsky.P relies on tricking a computer user into clicking on an infected file.

Virus writers have increasing used the names of celebrities to try to make people open an e-mail and unleash its malicious payload.

Past copies of Netsky.P have masqueraded as nude photos of Britney Spears, Eminem MP3 music files and illegal software.

"Echoing a technique used in 2000 by the Pikachu worm, Netsky.P targets young computer users by sometimes posing as content connected with the Harry Potter books and movie franchise," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

"Parents need to educate their children against the threats of viruses, to ensure the popularity of Potter doesn't cast a nasty spell on their computer systems."

"It's not just e-mail users who should be on their guard," said Mr Cluley.

"Users of file-sharing systems who download content should equally be cautious that what they are downloading does not contain an unpleasant surprise."


05.29

 Harry Makes EW's 'Most Beloved and Bankable"

- [ Jasen @ 09:58 PM . GMT . General News ]

Thanks to all our readers who wrote in to let us know that the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine has a little feature on their list of Hollywood's most "beloved and bankable characters", with--yours truly--Harry Potter at No.1. Following, is Shrek, Spider-Man, and the Dark Lord himself (no, not Voldemort), Darth Vader.


05.29

 Chris Rankin Opens Fete, Eats on Hell's Kitchen

- [ Scott @ 07:24 PM . GMT . General News ]

Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley) is a busy boy lately. He has opened a fete in Sheringham which is raising money to convert a minibus to carry wheelchairs and other equipment for the handicapped.

On his webiste, he announced he will be eating Monday on Hell's Kitchen, a British television program on the ITV network.


05.29

 Hogwarts Express Saves the Day

- [ Scott @ 06:43 PM . GMT . General News ]

When the 'Flying Scotsman' broke down, the Hogwarts Express came to the rescue, according to this article in The Guardian Unlimited:

Rail buffs hoping to catch a glimpse of the world-famous Flying Scotsman at full steam were left disappointed Saturday after the locomotive broke down at the start of its trip to a rail festival.

Flying Scotsman was expected to draw crowds of thousands along the East Coast railway line on a journey to York in northern England to launch Railfest 2004.

But as the engine was stoked up for the run late Friday, engineers discovered a boiler tube had split and canceled the journey. The engine was towed up the line by a diesel locomotive.

Guests for the festival who were to be transported on the locomotive were instead picked up by the Olton Hall engine, which doubles as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films.


Keira Meheux, a spokeswoman for the National Railway Museum, said that Flying Scotsman will still feature at the festival but not ``under its own steam, as it were.''

Flying Scotsman, the first steam locomotive confirmed to exceed 100 miles per hour, will go on permanent display at the York museum after a last-minute fund-raising drive to keep the locomotive in Britain.

The locomotive had been put up for sale by Flying Scotsman PLC, which had lost money operating it on excursion trains. The company said it decided to sell because of delays in building a planned exhibition center in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The National Railway Museum collected a grant of $3.3 million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, $765,000 from the public and $657,000 from Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group.

The nine-day Railfest 2004, which marks 200 years of progress since the world's first steam locomotive ran in 1804, is expected to attract more than 60,000 visitors to the museum.




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