Monday, March 28, 2005


It's finally up on the site. Go check out my fourth Harry Potter review!


It's finally up on the site. Go check out my fourth Harry Potter review!


It's finally up on the site. Go check out my fourth Harry Potter review!

Monday, March 21, 2005


Peter has convinced me that I have to read Quicksilver by Neil Stephenson. I started the first chapter and I have to say it has promise. The book takes place in Boston during the early 18th century. It's loaded with historical facts and reads much like a Dumas book so far.

The best part is that the book is long! I need something to keep me going to till Harry Potter VI comes out in June.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Well, I did it! I finally turned in my fourth Harry Potter review. I am not the happiest with it, but at least it is turned in now. Now i have the rest of break to myself! Yay!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Relaxation? What's that?

It is going to be an awesome year for movies. Hitchhikkers and Serenity (FireFly movie) are more than enough to keep me happy!

Well, I think I am on Spring Break now. I couldn't actually tell you because I have yet to find out whether or not I should take an exam tomorrow. The point of the post isn't to complain about lack of information, but rather to cheer. My Harry Potter article is definitely going out today, I only have to work for two hours, and I'm home free for the rest of the night. Resting, ah, a simple pleasure I had nearly forgotten. Oh rest, how I have missed thee.

Either way, my life seems to be coming together nicely. Now that Peter got the job at the University, I am going to have a shot at attending teaching licensure classes at a grand total of about $1200. When you consider this as four terms attending graduate classes at the UO, this is a substantial difference. I couldn't afford over 10,000 for just three terms. I can figure out $1200 for four. (Of course this is all contingent on us getting engaged and then married in the near future.)

What is more, Peter is happy in his new job. This is important. I don't think I would want him to keep a job just for my graduate school. He needs to be happy.

Goals for Spring Break:
*Read a Neil Stephenson book
*Anxiously wait for Harry Potter VI

Now that is a goal list I can handle.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Our Rita Skeeter

It's finals week, and I still haven't sent off my Harry Potter article. It is nearly done, I just never seem to find a second to put the finishing touches on it! Agh! Now my tonsills have swollen up once again!

While reading the fourth book, I payed careful attention to Rita Skeeter. She is there as a foil to the truth. (See my article once it is written). People read what she says without any way to check her facts. Her articles are biased, but how many people recognize that that have not had the misfortune of being interviewed by her? So where am I going with this?

I thought I would throw out a post about the news. I was reading the New York Times this morning and they had a lengthy article on video news. I've been hesitant to get any of my news from the television as I always felt it to have a certain bias that the written paper never incorporated. I'll watch the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but only after I read at least the New York Times. The article this morning confirmed my suspisions that the media was controlled in a large part by the government in the sense that money exchanges hands and the news is then given certain slants, it also explained how this was done.

Apparently what happens only sometimes involves money changing hands. However, the larger key is that the government is producing the actual news segments, keeping down broadcasting costs for the actual media. Now I understand why the news so rarely reported on the troubles accompanying the Bush Administration (and the Clinton one as well). It was because the Administration was creating the clips with no regard to the criticisms on controversial subjects.

If one reads the whole article, including pages 5 and 6, they will see how such segments were used to affect how people thought about the war in Iraq post 911.

When the American people don't know who is feeding them information, we leave ourselves open for manipulation (can you say brainwashed?). We deserve to know the sources of news stories and this is a necessity in becoming well-informed voters. When we are denied the right to know these things, our democratic process is reduced to that of a joke. For how can one have a fair election if a good portion of the population is being fed propaganda mocked up as news stories.

I am reminded of the pamphlets sent to many American's that said that if Kerry was elected he would ban the Bible. Kerry is Catholic; he is not about to ban the Bible. Yet people believed the pamphlets because they didn't pay attention to the source or ask themselves why they would receive such pamphlets. Imparticular, much of the less educated folk in our country were targeted by these pamphlets because those whom made it knew that the people wouldn't ask enough questions.

That too makes a mockery of our election. I think that the news and the government are not the only ones at fault in this game. We need to learn to check where we are getting our information, and we need to be granted the right to know where all information is coming from. I personally try to read the New York Times, glance through the Economist, watch the BBC world news, and learn from Jon Stewart's the Daily Show (That man is a genius). This means that I notice when something is missing when I happen to glance at the local news. Getting informed takes time, but it does mean that I'm harder to manipulate and I can vote on the facts.

FYI, the article also discussed how there were payoffs involved to some who wrote commentaries in favor of the Bush Administration policies.

Rita Skeeter, as a foil of truth, is in our media. If we get our news from a single source, we will rarely find the whole truth. If we don't pay attention to the sources, we rarely see the whole picture.

Seek truth, but know your sources. It is a lesson found in the fourth Harry Potter book and it is this same lesson that the New York Times presents us with today.

Friday, March 11, 2005

I took down the forum. It will be back up again soon, but not on phpbb2. It is not secure enough.

I just saw the new Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy trailer. Wahoo. It looks absolutely awesome!!!! That has to be the most creative preview I have seen yet.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

New Book Covers

The new covers for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince were released yesterday. I'm shocked that we are so close to getting our final installment of the book! If you want to see the covers, they have them over at Mugglenet.

I think that some of the covers are revealing. Clearly, since all three covers seem to center on a potion looking substance, or a potion book, potions are going to be important to the general theme of the book. The adult UK cover shows a tattered book called "Advanced Potions Making". Does this mean that Harry will be spending a lot of time in Snape's advanced potions class? The United States cover has Dumbledore and Harry surrounded by what looks to me like a potion (with fire in the UK edition). Is Dumbledore helping Harry with potions? What are they up to? I am still convinced this all ties into Godric Gryffindor somehow, don't ask me how.

I also want to know what the pedestal is that Dumbledore and Harry are in back of in the US cover. Is that actually a potion coming out of it, or something else? Why a pedestal?

Sunday, March 06, 2005

There is a black spider outside my house. I know this statement comes out of nowhere, but it's a little worrisome when you consider that it has an hour glass on its back. Now I realize that if it were a widow it would be a red hour glass, so I shouldn't worry about it. But what kind of a black spider has a white hourglass complete with two triangles at the bottom? It is somewhat disconcerting.

Speaking of worries, Peter seems to think I'm a bit eccentric in how much I worry about things. He is trying to convince me to create a list of all my worries and agree to cut it down in half. I suppose my fear of dirty napkins should be the first to go. I've been dealing with that one better since I decided to become a janitor. Still, I'll take a cloth napkin every day and I still don't see the point in using a napkin and wasting the paper. You can use the napkin, just don't let me see it? Okay, okay... definitely gotta get rid of the napkin phobia. Perhaps my fear of vacuum cleaners is unnecessary as well. *sigh* Maybe Peter is right. I'm going to drive myself crazy with all these eccentricities.

Moving on... It's been a crazy March, and it's only just started! Peter just got hired full time at the UO library and my life is slowly starting to come together. It sounds like I will be able now go to graduate school at a drastically reduced rate! It's amazing how much school one has to pay for to become a teacher and then only receive a terribly low salary. Still, I would rather do a job that payed a minimal amount that helped the maximum amount of people than a job that payed a maximum amount and helped a minimum amount of people. Did that make any sense?

My article will go out to my editor today, so if your tired of the dry spell of no posts, one is short coming. I'm hoping spring break will give me more time to write!

I've decided that I update this blog out of selfishness. There is just something about writing down the thoughts in my head on a blog as opposed to a journal. I realize the only difference is that anyone may read it. It's nice to know that I have little to hide because I put it all up here. I'll probably start puting my thoughts up here on a daily basis now. Don't worry, I'll put a link at the top to the latest articles so you don't have to wade through my messy thoughts to get the HP stuff. That is part of why I am so anxious to get a new site up. Alas, if only I had more time.

Let's see, what else happened this week? Oh yes, Peter bought me some furniture. I can finally watch tv while lying on a couch as opposed to a coffee table. It's an amazing difference. I also bought pot holders today... It's amazing how long I have gone without owning a decent pair of pot holders.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Hey all! Bet you thought I disappeared for good? It's getting near exam time and my classes are more challenging every term. I am loving mathematics as much as I love tutoring it. One of my tutoring groups likes Harry Potter and we had a discussion on Sirius while everyone was doing their math homework.

The site is starting to change over time. I'm thinking of moving away from blogger everything but a blog where I put my thoughts. I want to create a website where my articles are indexed and the forum and blog are linked. Peter said he would help me, but he just got a job at the University of Oregon library (Congratulations to Peter!). He will be busy and I don't know how much of a page I can get set up. This may be more of a long term project than I would like.

I don't have the time to do too many articles; I think that much is clear. But I do want to update. I have decided to set an update deadline, promising that a new article will come out at least once every two months. I plan to update my blog daily with random stuff.

If you have any articles you would like to fill up the void with, contact me and let me know!