US textbooks contain more Native American fantasy than JK Rowling's fiction books do

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Famed author JK Rowling has been in the news of late. Her recently released History of Magic in North America stumbles over a number of insensitive cultural hot points, not least of which is her characterization of Native Americans.

Simon Moya-Smith, culture editor at Indian Country Today, explains why the conversation is important, but he couldn't care less about JK Rowling's fiction, because it is fiction. Moya-Smith reminds us that our public school textbooks spread deeper lies.


What matters here, folks, in this debate over J.K. Rowling’s latest work is the language society uses – the language that is still taught to kids in schools today about Native Americans and our spiritualities.

Think about it: How in the living hell can a child differentiate alleged fact from fiction if schools continue to teach students that Native Americans practiced magic? Note I used the past tense of ‘practice.’ There are very few lessons in grade schools that provide any information on contemporary Native American societies. Super sad, but super true.

And let me leave you with this, home skillet:

Twitter turns 10-years-old this month. Facebook is 12-years-old. Social media, then, is prepubescent. It’s still trying to figure out why the hell hair is growing down there. But it’s through this peach-fuzzy platform that people are only now learning that Native Americans ARE STILL ALIVE. Seriously. Previous to the ubiquity of social media, propelled by the proliferation of the Web, people thought Indians were either dead or living in teepees.

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Fantastic Beasts Where and to Find Them – One of Harry Potter's text books for your Hogwarts library


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

From Acromantula to Yeti, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them is a delightful romp through a Hogwarts textbook. JK Rowling fashioned this little edition as if it had just found its way to your Muggle library from Harry Potter’s book satchel. The forward, penned by none other than Albus Dumbledore, indicates this textbook has been reproduced with the owner’s and the author’s permission to benefit charity. Toted as a longtime favorite of Hogwart’s students, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them is the accompanying text to “Care of Magical Creatures.” This course was infamously taught at one point by Hagrid, whose affection for beasts of all sort, both dangerous and difficult, is well known.

Hermione would be horrified to discover the book is riffled with amusing graffiti, scribbled in the margins and crowded into the captions. References to dungbombs, Chudley Cannons and Moaning Myrtle are scrawled in a careless hand alongside Ministry of Magic classification keys and instructions on how to care for a Puffskein. It’s as if the reader has been invited into a private joke between Ron and Harry, privy to their cheeky, good-natured ribbing and adolescent pranks. While the textbook itself has entries on each animal beautifully introduced with storybook style lettering and simple pencil sketches, it’s the defacing of this text that immerses us in the world of Hogwarts and makes this book a priceless edition for your own restricted section. – Kaz Weida

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (JK Rowling) Arthur A. Read the rest

The Setup Wizard: a blog by Hogwarts' muggle IT guy


When the Hogwarts kids finally got fed up at the lack of Internet access at school, the administration caved and hired Jonathan Dart, a muggle IT guy, who needs to figure out how to get the wifi working everywhere on campus, even at the bottom of Slytherin's stupid lake (it turns out that Slytherins will help you do this if you show them how to tune in emo music on Spotify). Read the rest

Alan Rickman as Severus Snape: his 'Harry Potter' scenes, in chronological order


A supercut of “Severus Snape's most important scenes and arcs in the Harry Potter film series in chronological order.”

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Harry Potter's new illustrated edition is spectacular


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

The story of Harry Potter is so well known that I won’t focus on that here. Instead, I’m going to talk about what makes this new edition so spectacular, and why it’s a must have for your bookshelf. You may have read Harry Potter before, but you’ve never read it like this. Almost every page features some kind of full-color illustration by artist Jim Kay. Illustrations come in a wide variety of forms, ranging from small page ornamentations to whole page spreads.

The full-page illustrations have a ton of detail and color and will likely make you stop mid-page to appreciate them. Each normal page features two columns of text, and some of the most interesting pages integrate illustrations into the text. Check out one of the example pictures up top, of an early scene in the book when Harry releases a snake from the zoo, and we get an illustration of the snake invading the text. Another great example (also from the zoo) is Dudley on the right-hand page gawking at a gorilla on the opposite page.

These are just some of the early examples of what Kay does, and the illustrations only get more and more engrossing throughout the book. Kay masterfully adds to the story in the same way that the illustrations in a children’s picture book add to the story. It never occurred to me that Harry Potter required illustrations, but after reading this it’s clear why someone thought they would make for a good experience. Read the rest

HOWTO make Harry Potter pancakes

Saipancakes (previously) shows how far he's come in progressing the art of carbohydrate illustration with these amazing, unbelievable, eye-popping Harry Potter pancakes -- and the video documents his build-process.

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J.K. Rowling delivers fabulous smackdown to Westboro Baptist Church


After the Irish voted in favor of recognizing same-sex marriage, the Harry Potter author gleefully posted a "Dumbledore/Gandalf" slash meme with the text "now they can get married in Ireland!", replete with rainbow and clover emojis galore. The funeral-picketing proprietors of took exception to this, promising to turn up to any such thing and ruin it.

J.K. had fast replies: both for the church…

… and for the ever-present criers of "don't feed the trolls." Read the rest

Nerdy knickers

So Effing Cute's Etsy shop has fandom panties every day of the week: LOTR (My Precious, You Shall Not Pass, Speak Friend and Enter); GOT; Potter (Property of A. Dumbledore, Accio!), as well as some great sweatshirts. Read the rest

Ayn Rand's Harry Potter

Fanfic can take you down some peculiar roads. But in Mallory Ortberg's imagined Ayn Rand fanfic of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the the tenets of ruthless self-interest are shouted to hilarious effect. Read the rest

Buddhist monks punished for playing Quidditch

"NOB Director Nopparat Benjawattananan said today (July 10) that the monks in the widely shared photo acted inappropriately and lack discipline." Read the rest

The art of Grant Gould

Grant Gould is probably most well known for his Star Wars trading card art and illustrating two Star Wars books, Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Draw Star Wars: Rebels. He's also the creator of the original comic series Wolves of Odin and has done awesome art from just about every fantasy and scifi series out there (and even some pop culture characters too). Read the rest

Donate a sock - free house elves!

The vintage-y war-propaganda poster imploring you to DONATE A SOCK - FREE HOUSE ELVES! comes in sizes from 8"x10" to 24"x36" ($15-$38) from Entropy Trading Company, who have an extensive line of similar lithos. (via Geeky Merch) Read the rest

Harry Potter skater dresses

Nerd Alert Creations's Harry Potter skater dresses are made to order and come in all your favorite houses; they come in sleeves or sleveless. (via Geekymerch) Read the rest

What's right with Hermione

14-year-old Naomi Horn says the heroine of JK Rowling's Harry Potter series remains a depressingly rare example of a fictional female respected for her education and intelligence. In Hermione’s world, being smart is what makes her important.

How Harry Potter shaped a generation

Seven years after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Caroline Siede looks back on the book series that defined a generation.

Rowling to write Potter spinoff for screen

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, a bestiary of the world of Harry Potter, is to be filmed by Warner Brothers. Author JK Rowling will make her screenwriting debut for the production, writes the BBC, but no release date is set. Previously: JK Rowling, secret crime novelist. Read the rest

Harry Potter and the Ten Years Later shows the grown-up wizard longing for his magical wizarding days of youth

If you ever thought that the epilogue of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series left you wondering what really became of Mr. Potter & Co., Furious Molecules has a web series specifically designed to satiate your Potterhead needs! When we first meet Harry ten years later, he's got his dream job as an auror and is still married to Ginny Weasley. Two things that, had he known were in his future as a younger wizard, would make him really happy! But if there's something that was definitely left out of the books and the movies, it was the monotony of everyday life and the cold, hard reality of, well, reality. This seven-part web series starts today, and you can view the trailer on YouTube to see what else is in store.

As for you hard-core Potterheads who are keeping track of timelines and such, just watch this web series and... Obliviate!

Harry Potter and the Ten Years Later - Episode One [YouTube] Read the rest