Saturday, November 20, 2010
#1: After Harry Potter became an instant hit in 1997, real British schools took note of Rowling's fictional Hogwarts academy, specifically its division into four "houses": Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. A survey by school-rewards company School Stickers found that 58 percent of U.K. schools now have Hogwarts-like "houses," and that 59 percent of those — some 8,000 schools — set them up after Harry Potter was published. A third of teachers believe that their school's houses have distinctive characteristics, but most are named after colors, not famous wizard alumni.
Real schools have taken a page from Hogwarts' "houses"
#2: Quidditch became a real sport, played at 400 colleges around the world - including NYU, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, and UC Berkeley. Players from 60 schools will gather in New York on Nov. 13 and 14 2010 to compete in the Quidditch World Cup, and enthusiasts are lobbying for the NCAA to recognize the game as a college sport.
Quidditch - a real sport?
#3: Hunting and selling owls has been illegal in India since 1972, but a new report from the country's environment ministry says a thriving black market is endangering wild populations of the birds. Many of the illegally traded animals are used for black magic and ceremonial rituals surrounding Diwali. The Harry Potter books might have created an additional demand for owls as urban middle class parents are presenting owls as pets to their children.
India's owl population in crisis