Harry Potter and the Date of the Epilogue (using only the text of the books).

Spoiler briefing:  There are spoilers from Books 1, 2, and 7.  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is mentioned briefly at the end, but there aren’t really any spoilers.  If you really want to avoid seeing anything whatsoever about Cursed Child, I highly admire your self-control and dedication.  Simply stop reading when you see the double horizontal rule like this:

Warning: This post will be a very rigorous proof that the date and time of the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are … well, you’ll see!  If you don’t like rigor, then skip to the end.  Also, you may like to know that (if you don’t like rigor), you’ll never survive geometry.  Figuratively, that is.

Also: If you find an(y) error(s) or shaky bit(s) of proof, please leave a comment about them/it!  Especially if you know how to correct them/it.

In the Harry Potter books, if you want to find out on what date a given thing happens*, how do you go about it?  Well, what information do you have?

  • You are given lots of relative times — for example, you are told that each book happens about a year after the last one.
  • You are also given names of holidays on which things happen — for example, Mrs. Norris is Petrified on Halloween.

*If you want to know why anyone would ever want to do such a thing … well, there are some pretty hard-core (and slightly crazy) Potterheads out there.  (Example: me.)  We do strange things sometimes.  Actually, you’re probably like that too — if you aren’t, how did you get this far in the post?

But this doesn’t do you much good unless you have an absolute time.  You need some day, month, and year to work from.  Otherwise,  how do you know whether Book Two happened a year after 1991 or 1973 or 2071?

Luckily, we do have some dates.  One is Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Headless-Porpington’s death-date — 31 Oct 1492 (from his cake).  Another is the day Harry’s parents die — 31 Oct 1981.  This date is from James and Lily’s gravestone.

J.K.R. is big on Halloween, huh?

All right!  Let’s get started!  No Internet info, no movie info.  We will just use the facts in the books.

The following proof may not be the best proof, and it’s certainly not the only one, but here we go.

So the first thing we’ll do is determine the month, day, and approximate time of the epilogue.  The epilogue takes place on Platform 9 3/4, when Harry and Ginny’s kids are leaving for Hogwarts.  Let’s look at the first book. Continue reading

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Richmond American Homes: Please reclaim your lost property — Adopt-A-Road — Idlewild Days


Team Climate!  Cleaning up the Road ...

Richmond American Homes: Please reclaim your lost property.

And try to keep it from getting lost in the first place, will you?  The same goes for everyone who leaves stuff on the street.  Unless it’s for bulk pickup or something.

See Adopt-A-Road — Idlewild Days.

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Constitutional Law Youth Camp!

Do you understand the Bill of Rights? Would you like to see how Supreme Court judges decide cases and decide some yourself? Get set for a deep dive in to the United States Constitution!

via Constitutional Law Youth Camp — Idlewild Days

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And the Greek god of LGBTQ+ people is….

People make up stories about God/gods, right?  Maybe frogs or basil or rocks also make up stories about God/Gods/god/gods, but for this post I’m mainly going to stick with people.

So anyway, whether God(s) exist(s) or not, I think people made up God(s), or at least helped shape the stories about and personalities of God(s).  (Possibly frogs/basil/rocks did this too.)

So what does this mean?  This means that I (and frogs/basil/rocks) can change stories about God(s), and even make up new ones, and then that’s what the new version of the story is.  That’s how the stories develop, after all.*  In other words: my word is law.

All right.  Now, who’s the Greek god of LGBTQ+ people**?  Dionysus.  Yep.  Dionysus.

I’ll explain. Continue reading

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2016 – The Musical

Happy New Year!  Should have posted this way back in January but it took a while for Khiyali to edit the video.  Or rather, it took a while for her to get around to editing it and then a while longer to get around to uploading it.  (When it comes to actual editing she works more efficiently than I do.)

So here she is with her friends taking a musical tour of the festivals throughout the year, starting of course with New Year’s Day, Sankranti & Republic Day in January, followed by Holi, Eid, Independence Day, Ganesh Chaturdhi, Dasara, Dipavali and Christmas.

Continue reading

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Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?

Look at an American coin.  What does it say?
Huh?  What coin are you looking at?  What’s Monticello?
The coin is a nickel.  Monticello is where Thomas Jefferson and his family lived.
The Jefferson Memorial?
No.  That’s different.
What else does it say?
E. Pluribus Unum.
Anything else?
Five cents.
United States of America.
Liberty 2013 P.
Huh?  What’s the P for?
Means it was minted in Philadelphia.
Oh, okay.  What else does it say?  (Come on!)
In God We Trust.

This one was minted in Denver in 2003.  The tiny FS stands for Felix Schlag, the designer.  Photo source: usacoinbook.com.

See?  In God We Trust.  That’s America’s motto.  But I thought America was supposed to be a secular nation! Continue reading

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On Percy Jackson (and grammar)


If you haven’t read the Percy Jackson books, or want to refresh your memory, here’s some background for you.

The premise is this: all the Ancient Greek “myths” are real.  All that really happened.  And the gods and goddesses and monsters and titans and suchlike?  Being immortal, they’re still around.  They move from place to place with Western civilization.  From Greece to Rome, to various other places… and now to America.  Mount Olympus is on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building, but chances are, you’re not allowed up there.  Not if you’re a regular mortal.

Percy Jackson isn’t a regular mortal, with emphasis on regular.  He is mortal, but only half.  His mother is Sally Jackson, and his father?

His father is the god Poseidon.  (I before E exception!)

So lots of monsters try to kill him.  When he is 11, he gets taken to Camp Half-Blood, the only safe place for demigods*.  And he finds out who his dad is.

Anyway, he makes some friends — particularly Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena, and Grover Underwood, satyr (half boy, half goat) — and they go on various important and life-threatening quests.  Fun, right?  Actually, it kind of is.

*If one of your parents is a human and one a god or goddess, you are a demigod, aka half-blood, aka hero.

That’s a little background for you.  Onwards!

So, throughout the first 4 books, some of the characters refer to a mysterious “Great Prophecy,” which apparently talks about a half-blood child of one of the “Big Three” gods: Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus, who was supposed to, at age 16, make a decision that would either destroy or save Olympus, the home of the gods.  Now, the gods didn’t want to risk that, so Poseidon, Zeus, and Hades all swore: no more demigod kids.  But Percy and a few others turn up anyway.  However, one of the other kids dies, one becomes an immortal Hunter of Artemis the day before her 16th birthday, and one is younger than Percy anyway.

But then in the 5th and last book, the prophecy is finally read aloud at a meeting, and Percy finally hears it.  It goes:

A half-blood of the eldest* gods
Shall reach sixteen against all odds
And see the world in endless sleep

The hero’s soul, cursed blade shall reap
A single choice shall end his** days
Olympus to preserve or raze.

So Percy will make this decision — and then die.  Or so it seems.

If you examine it logically, this prophecy refers to two people — a “half-blood” and a “hero”!  Of course they could be the same person — but what if they’re not?

The “half-blood”:

Is a child of Zeus, Hades, or Poseidon
Shall reach the age of 16 against all odds
Will see the world in endless sleep

The “hero”:

Will have his or her soul reaped by a cursed blade
Will have her or his days ended by a single choice

The “choice”:

Will end the “hero”‘s days
Will preserve or raze Olympus
Will be made by — who?  The prophecy doesn’t say!

So what actually happens?  The half-blood is Percy.  He makes the choice, which ends the hero’s days and preserves Olympus.  The hero is a character named Luke.  In fact, there is a hint in the book that this will happen.  Rachel (who has the power of prophecy) tells Percy that he is “not the hero.”  And he isn’t — he’s the half-blood!

Okay, so Olympus has been preserved.  As rewards, the gods make Grover a member of the Council of Cloven Elders and a lord of the Wild.  They make Annabeth the official architect of Olympus, which has been trashed by the war.  They make Tyson, Percy’s Cyclops half-brother, a general of the armies of Olympus.  And Percy?  They grant him a wish — any wish — even immortality.

But he turns it down and tells them to pay more attention to their demigod kids, and to claim*** them before they turn 13.  And he says that every god and goddess should have a cabin*** at Camp Half-Blood, not just the Olympians.  And so now they’re building a whole bunch more cabins.

Looks like somebody fell asleep building the Hypnos cabin.  I’d better go check on them….  Also, did you know that Harry Pottery magic doesn’t always work on Greek monsters?  Annabeth and I compared notes last night.  It’s so weird here.  You can impress everybody just with Wingardium Leviosa, and they act like swordfighting is no big deal!  Once some Hecate kids get here, I’ll visit again and see how their magic works.

Oh yeah, and everybody’s nervous about the new Great Prophecy.  I told them that Divination is piffle, but Annabeth says it’s different here.  Well, I suppose even Trelawney makes a real prophecy once in a while.

*Actually, Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades are not the eldest gods — they have 3 older sisters.  Plus, there’s Aphrodite, older than all of them….  But technically, they are all godesses….
**Or her.
***At camp Half-Blood, there are 12 cabins, one in honor of each Olympian god.  That god or goddess’s children sleep in that cabin.  If you don’t know who your godly parent is, you sleep in the Hermes cabin until you are claimed by your godly parent.

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