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1 year ago | 3 notes

MuggleCast Night Before Christmas: 2012 Year in Review

'Twas the night before Christmas and since I'm a Jew,

I sat in my bedroom without much to do.

Chinese food was ordered, movie tickets were bought

So I opened on my iTunes without another thought.


The icon was waiting as it was in years past

A new episode of MuggleCast was here at last!

And me in my pjs knew just what to do:

Pressed play and settled in for MuggleCast’s year in review.


The familiar tune started and I hummed along

As the tempo picked up in the Hedwig’s Theme song.

It finally ended and Andrew came on

To let us know this was sponsored by Audible.com.


As always, then Micah went into the news

And listed the stories the ‘Casters perused.

Pottermore chapters, Aunt Marge news revealed

And just how much income Butterbeer yields.

With a little nostalgia my mind started to drift

And seven years of shows I started to sift.


I began to think of the ghosts of hosts past

And how they began each and every podcast:

"I’m Andrew." "I’m Ben." "I’m Eric." "I’m Micah."

"I’m Jamie." "I’m Kevin." "I’m Matt." "I’m Laura."

I thought of the fanclub, of the PicklePack!

And wondered when Spy on Spartz would come back!


Make the Connection, British Jokes, Dueling Club,

And all of the MuggleCast segments I love.

Character discussions, listener rebuttals after

And seriously what happened to Chapter-by-Chapter?


Then, Eric recited his top seven list

And recapped the events we shouldn’t have missed.

In no particular order he started his spiel

And allowed other hosts to weigh in how they feel.


But where were the MuggleCasties this year?

The awards every MuggleCast fan holds most dear.

It seems such a Bobfail- now how will we know

If the JK Rowling award was still given to Jo?


After plugs for podcasts, calendars, and more

We moved on to what 2013 has in store:

Theme park expansions? A kids book from Jo?

Could MuggleCast: the Musical be given a go?


And what is the status of Jo’s pen and paper?

Since The Casual Vacancy has her writing tapered?

Or can we cross our fingers for an encyclopedia

Despite what she may have said to the media?


It’s amazing that MuggleCast has been around seven years,

For more than a forth of my life it’s been here!

I recall being nestled all snug in my bed

While voices of ‘Casters drifted through my head!


No way they knew how many they’d touch when they started,

But by simply existing their reach was uncharted.

Strangers at the time, they discussed Mr Potter

And their friendships ran through us just like running water.


Every year I thank MuggleCast just for being around

And for the joy made from a simple podcast I’ve found.

For uniting online to record near and far

And bringing friendships together through the boy with a scar.


(Yeah…I ended with scar.  Someone had to end something with the word ‘scar’, didn’t they?)


H x

2 years ago | 9 notes

Please vote for my MuggleCast pumpkin at the following link http://www.mugglenet.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-66947 and select the 5 stars :)  Thanks so much!

3 years ago | 88 notes

And you know what? Here’s the other thing that bothers me. They’re really big on, you know, Pottermore has to be safe for kids….it has to be a family experience. And the truth is, look, Harry Potter fans are not kids. Why is this catering to the nine year olds, when it’s the people, sixteen, eighteen, and older, who shaped Harry Potter. JK Rowling’s not here to thank the nine year olds; she’s here to thank the people who bought the books, that were there at midnight, lining up, reading them over night. I mean this is ridiculous. AvisKey101—who is that!?


-Andrew Sims on Mugglecast Ep.#239 Feed Your Owl on the topic of Pottermore’s family friendly nature.

I agree completely (though ever so slightly less harshly).

(via tokomasho)

Via 図書、時間、そして沈黙
3 years ago | 6 notes

Pottermore, Elements and Total Overanalysis

I’d like to preface this by saying yes, I read my horoscope and follow my star signs, but no, I do not ever over-analyse them to this extent. I’m just bored and found it interesting to cross compare these things.

I’ve just been doing some thinking and have stumbled across something that I find fairly interesting related to Pottermore sorting and felt the need to share.  I know lately people have been wondering if its just an algorithm and if people are being sorted properly and after recently finding a self proclaimed Hufflepuff was sorted into Slytherin, I got to thinking about the four houses and the four elements. 

The four houses in Hogwarts each are associated to one of the 4 elements

  • Gryffindor-Fire
  • Slytherin-Water
  • Ravenclaw-Air
  • Hufflepuff-Earth

These four elements can also be found in Western astrology

  • Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius-Fire
  • Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces-Water
  • Gemini, Libra, Aquarius-Air
  • Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn-Earth

And in Eastern astrology it is a bit more complex because they typically use Yin and Yang, zodiac animals, and 5 elements of Fire, Water, Earth, Wood, and Metal, but I did find a few interesting things using Eastern astrology as well.  The animals associated to these five elements are

  • Vermilion Bird (aka Phoenix)-Fire
  • Black Tortoise-Water
  • Yellow Dragon-Earth
  • White Tiger-Metal
  • Azure Dragon-Wood

And birth years are Yin or Yang and elemental as follows:

  • If the year ends in 0 it is Yang Metal
  • If the year ends in 1 it is Yin Metal
  • If the year ends in 2 it is Yang Water
  • If the year ends in 3 it is Yin Water
  • If the year ends in 4 it is Yang Wood
  • If the year ends in 5 it is Yin Wood
  • If the year ends in 6 it is Yang Fire
  • If the year ends in 7 it is Yin Fire
  • If the year ends in 8 it is Yang Earth
  • If the year ends in 9 it is Yin Earth

Also, apparently the animals elements change based on the birth year, but they also have governing elements that appear to be tied to them at all times. Each of the 12 animals are governed by an element plus a Yin Yang Direction as follows:

  1. Rat (Yang-Fixed Element Water)
  2. Ox (Yin- Fixed Element Water)
  3. Tiger (Yang- Fixed Element Wood)
  4. Rabbit (Yin- Fixed Element Wood)
  5. Dragon (Yang- Fixed Element Wood)
  6. Snake (Yin- Fixed Element Fire)
  7. Horse (Yang- Fixed Element Fire)
  8. Ram (Yin- Fixed Element Fire)
  9. Monkey (Yang- Fixed Element Metal)
  10. Rooster (Yin- Fixed Element Metal)
  11. Dog (Yang- Fixed Element Metal)
  12. Pig (Yin- Fixed Element Water)

Anyways, I’ve decided to overanalyse a few different people by their astrological signs and then see how they sorted on Pottermore and am fairly impressed with the results:


I’m a western Libra (air) and an Eastern Yin Wood Ox (water)….obviously the eastern elements are a bit harder to decipher because there is no wood or metal in the four Hogwarts houses, but I sorted into Ravenclaw which is also an Air sign.  And while Ox is governed by water and I’m by no means a Slytherin, there were quite a few sorting questions that I noticed had answers that I assumed were Ravenclaw choices, but my brother believes were actually Slytherin. I’ve never noticed a similarity between the houses until Pottermore.


Nicole is a western cusp of Libra (air) and Scorpio (water) and an Eastern Yang Wood Rat (water). She is the reason I began looking at this information because she has always associated herself as a Hufflepuff but was sorted to Slytherin on Pottermore.  However, her Scorpio and Rat signs are both water signs, like Slytherin.  Perhaps it was always in her.  (Or perhaps it’s just her unborn twins are both Slytherins and they are overpowering their Hufflepuff mother 2 to 1!)


Stuart is a western Libra (air) and an Eastern Yang Water Monkey (metal).  Stuart is a good example of how this overanalysis obviously is not fact, because he was sorted Hufflepuff which is totally unrepresented in his astrological signs. lol!!  HOWEVER, he was given a hatstall and Stuart chose Hufflepuff over Ravenclaw, which is represented in his western sign.  I wanted to make sure that a totally wrong case was thrown in here though, because while I find this all interesting, the astrologies are obviously not indicative of the Pottermore sortings.  That being said, Stuart’s Monkey is governed by Yang, his birth year is Yang and his final Pottermore question was white or black—and he went with the Yang choice of white.


Delme is a western Aquarius (air) and an Eastern Yin Wood Ox (water), despite the fact that he has always thought himself a Tiger (sorry February birthday!). Delme was sorted into Ravenclaw (air) accordingly with his western star sign.


The fact that we did not see Eric being a Hufflepuff before Pottermore is actually atrocious after overanalysing his astrology. lol!  Eric is a western Taurus (earth) and an Eastern Yang Earth Dragon (wood).  While his dragon element is governed by wood, his year is Earth as is his western star sign as is his Pottermore house of Hufflepuff (earth).  Furthermore, his element of Dragon is governed by Yang, his birth year is Yang and his final Pottermore questions was white or black—and he went with the Yang choice of white. Finally, the animal associated with the Earth element is the Yellow Dragon.  A Hufflepuff Dragon?  Does this make Eric the epitome of Hufflepuff? haha!

After looking through all of this, I’m finding that the Western astrology seems to have much more commonality with some of the houses we’ve been sorted into than the Eastern ones, but I still think looking at Eastern is neat too.  Regardless, I thought it was a different way to look at the sorting and kind of neat that someone like Nicole, who never associated to Slytherin, actually had a lot of water signs attached to her pre-Pottermore.  Anyone else find they were sorted by the stars before they were sorted by JKR? 

Geez…after all of this analysis, I feel like I ought to apply for Divination teacher at Hogwarts. Is the position still open?

H x.

3 years ago | 17 notes

Ring - Tootsies

|  The MuggleCasters

I would pay to be in the room when this persons phone rings. Personally, I hope the ‘somebody’ is Eric himself ;)


SPIELER WAYBACK MACHINE: ON. *Sounds of bulldozers driving backwards through a jungle with chain tires, a.k.a. the TARDIS noise.*

This is an mp3 version of the conclusion of the “Tootsie Roll Spiel” from MuggleCast, Episode 31. It is ringtone length, and somebody made this specifically for their phone.

Via Spielerville
3 years ago

Check out Chloe Dolandis’s new music video for ‘Let’s Make This Moment Come Alive’.

Make sure to look for me holding Dobby in the graduation party scenes and MuggleCast/MuggleNet’s very own Eric Scull riding a bike!!

(Source: youtu.be)

3 years ago | 3 notes

This is the music video Eric Scull (MuggleNet/MuggleCast), Chloe Dolandis, and I entered in the Harry Potter Alliance’s Imagine Better Campaign.  It would mean the world to us if you would please, please, please vote for us. It takes only a few minutes. 

Simply click this link http://splashlife.com/imagine-better-art/heartbeat-earth-original-song-climate-crisis and then register (painless process that can be done with or without Facebook Connect) and select VOTE FOR THIS IDEA!

Thanks, tumblr followers!!  <3 <3 <3

3 years ago | 3 notes

The Heartbeat of the Earth -- A Song for Climate Change Awareness

Singer songwriter Chloe Dolandis, Eric Scull (MuggleNet/MuggleCast), and myself got together to write a song for The Harry Potter Alliance’s Imagine Better campaign to raise awareness and action for the Climate Crisis.  We would be greatly appreciative if you could please click the link above, click the quick Facebook Connect registration and vote for our original song as your favourite art idea.  Thank you so, so much for your support!!


3 years ago | 3 notes

The D-Box Experience: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2

I survived the Battle of Hogwarts.

I was attacked, thrashed, doused, and nearly burned to death by Fiendfyre, but I survived.

And I did it all while never leaving the comfort of my cinema chair.

Nearly 8 months ago, I wrote up a review of my D-Box experience seeing Deathly Hallows part 1 here on my tumblr which was, also, amazingly featured on MuggleNet. At the time, I fear the review didn’t receive much notice until after Deathly Hallows was no longer being played in D-Box theatres, so I am hoping to remedy many people’s disappointment at missing out last time by writing up my review much sooner this time around.

For those of you who are asking,  “What is D-Box?”, you are in for a treat!  D-Box is a simulator that is inside the chair at your local cinema which transports you inside the film.  As of last November, D-Box was only available in 48 cinemas worldwide, but now, nearly 8 months later, their website boasts 65 US locations and 9 Canadian ones.  Hopefully, there is one near you!

For more information on D-Box from their website, visit http://www.d-box.com/en/movie-theatre/

Now, I should preface this with a few generic sweeping statements.

  1. My cinema was not playing Deathly Hallows part 2 simply in D-Box, but also in 3D.  In order to see the D-Box I had to also pay for 3D and the review herein will reflect both as a combined experience.  Have you ever seen any shows in Disney World which are ‘4D’?  It was similar to that
  2. While my mom and brother’s experiences were fine, mine was slightly dampened by the man sitting directly beside me who felt it was best to eat what appeared to be a 3 course meal while watching the film. Reheated, cafeteria style food smells, slurpy bottom of the soda cup noises, and crackling wrappers all featured prominently in my movie-going experience today.  Also, the man insisted on quoting the film out loud before the lines were spoken by the characters.  If you find yourself in a D-Box situation and have spent the extra money for this awesome experience, please be kind and make sure everyone around you is also getting their moneys worth.  Respect each other in the movie.  You aren’t the only one who paid for it.

And so the film begins.  Unlike any other previous film, Deathly Hallows part 2 is so integrated into part 1 that you almost don’t realise it has begun.  Immediately, we are flying over the Black Lake towards Dumbledore’s tomb.  We can feel the air ripple as we cut through it and feel the stone crack as the tomb breaks open.  The D-Box chair is delightfully delicate when it needs to be (during helicopter landscape views) and more forceful as the spell is cast to break the tomb.  It immediately recalled my last D-Box experience with part 1 and was a pleasant way to ease into the idea of the moving chairs and virtual movie watching.

Almost immediately we are thrown into the scene that I have been anticipating ever since I discovered D-Box: Gringotts.  After a few short scenes at Shell Cottage, we join Harry, Ron, Hermiotrix (as I shall be calling the impostor Bellatrix), and Griphook outside, where they are about to apparate.  And with the help of D-Box we feel as though we have joined them as they turn on the spot and arrive outside Gringotts Bank.  The chair provides the jolting sensation one imagines with apparation. We then enter Gringotts Bank and our chair makes us float along with Harry and Griphook as they are hidden beneath the Invisibility Cloak.  The scenes with Ron and Hermiotrix feel normal, but the disoriented view we see on screen beneath the cloak is translated into the D-Box sensors and provides a perfect companion.  Almost unnoticeable movements cause you to feel a dizzying effect and a lightness.  The result is quite a unique experience for a movie audience.

And then finally, FINALLY we are in the cart headed down to the vaults deep below ground.  This rollercoaster-like scene was the number one thing I had been looking forward to.  And surprisingly, it wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped.  Maybe the Gringott’s cart doesn’t loop around as much as a rollercoaster.  Maybe its to do with the angle the filmmakers used, not giving us a first person view for long enough.  While the chair did toss us around as though we were in a coaster, it just wasn’t as much as I expected.  That’s not to say it wasn’t cool, just not as big as the hype I had created for it. On the other side of the rollercoaster, however, was the Lestrange vault and I did appreciate the chair popping as the gold duplicated.  Each pop made me jump in unison with the characters dealing with the multiplying treasures and it definitely added to the effect.  Perhaps my favourite moment in D-Box though, was the dragon escape.  As the dragon made it’s way out of the vaults, the chair emulated a clunkiness that I had formerly associated to riding upon a hippogriff or a thestral.  The way J.K. Rowling has described those creatures in flight—the boxiness and awkwardness—seemed to carry over to the dragon.  I really loved this because, for all intensive purposes, flight should always feel the same.  How many ways could the D-Box simulators possibly portray it? Well, it was different.  It did not have the sleekness of a D-Box broomstick or the waftiness of a D-Box aerial view.  It was a feeling all its own, and impressed me much more than I had expected.

After jumping from the dragon and deciding it was time to return to Hogwarts, we feel the apparation again.  Still fairly impressive, I really enjoyed that a sensation described so frequently and vividly within the canon was able to be felt in a convincing way within the D-box medium.

One of the neatest effects that D-Box was able to portray was the casting of spells.  As Snape and McGonagall dueled in the Great Hall, the D-Box ensured that we were the third party in the duel.  The chair was thrown back as the sparks hit their marks or were deflected.  The spells felt like they were ricocheting from the cushions and with every vibration I had the notion that I had just missed being struck with certain doom.  It made me feel like I was in the battle myself and was certainly welcomed.

The next scene I want to mention as being particularly enhanced with D-Box was in the boathouse with Nagini. As she attacked, the chair recoiled with the force of the snake’s body.  Not only did we watch a death occur, but in many ways, we felt as though we were being personally attacked.  The syncopated slams against my body placed me right inside that boathouse. It was a perfect use of the D-Box technology.

As I’ve already mentioned, the spell casting was spectacular with D-Box (and let’s be honest, the combination of 3D with the D-Box meant that the spells jumped right out of the screen and right into your seat!), but an extra neat spell scene occured as the protective barrier around Hogwarts dissolved. The sparks flew from the Deatheater wands and the slight pings hit my chair, but I was totally unprepared for the explosion of the barrier which threw me backwards against my chair with such force that I felt sure I was within the castle experiencing it with the students. The vibrations paired with the physical motion in the seat made that moment all the more real.

The battle itself was obviously full of moments.  Sparks flew, hit, and just missed me.  The Chamber of Secrets filled with water and sploshed along before breaking upon not just Ron and Hermione, but against my frame as well.  And as we flew from the Room of Requirement, the broomsticks not only threw their riders from them upon reaching the doorway, but my chair seemed to throw me as well.

And as for the final moments of the Final Battle? The D-Box kept us in the moment and lent itself to the intensity.  During the few moments where Voldemort and Harry are flying over the grounds with their heads merging together, the chair felt as though it was almost about to fall apart.  It bumped and vibrated and banged as the two slammed into turrets of Hogwarts and swooped and attacked each other.  It was throbbing and dizzying and made you very aware that we were nearing the end.  I say it felt as though it was about to fall apart, but I mean it felt as though Voldemort was about to fall apart.  It felt wrought with emotion and fear (which I understand is a strange way to describe a feeling emoted by a chair), but the D-Box seems to have mastered these subtlties.  And as we reached the moment with Voldemort’s ultimate demise, his skin floated on the wind like a shedding snake and we drifted among it, wafting and bobbing through the slowly spiriling shreds of skin.  It not only fit the scene, but acted as a denouement.  It brought us back into the world of non-motion, like a ride slowing to a stop.  It glided into the finish line, easing us back to reality as the film approached its final moments.

And soon we had advanced into the future and the train was pulling away from the station and our chair softly lulled us away as well.  It provided a send-off for the movie and the D-Box technology. A fitting ending to a nearly perfect film.

Of course, there are so many more moments that the D-Box was able to enhance, so many more scenes that felt fresh and new and real.  So much for you to experience yourself.  I could go on endlessly about how this new technology really sparked something new within the film, but it would be so much more satisfying to feel it for yourself.  There really are no words.  And while this may have been only my second time seeing Deathly Hallows part2, the D-Box still managed to make the film feel brand new.  It’s something everyone should experience at least once.  It’s like taking a tiny bit of the Forbidden Journey ride home from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  It allows you to immerse yourself in the epic conclusion, live the battle, and above all else, really believe that magic is real.

H x.

3 years ago | 2 notes

My Journey Through Harry Potter — It All Ends or Potter More?

My first ever vlog….be nice!  Sorry it’s so choppy…and so long!!