Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Media bullshit

Yes, that is what it is and I have had enough of some of them. As I personally see it, it is not voicing opinions, it is catering to bullies. All the anti UK messages when the UK wanted out, the irresponsible acts by the media on haunting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud without evidence, yes without evidence and now we see more irresponsible acts, but the acts is growing to more and more media and they are all whoring for digital dollars, that is the extent of their existence. Flaming to get more dollars and we are all in this mess because we are allowing for this. 

The anger has been with me for a while, but it took new proportions when I saw 

So Wired is now a bully? Well fuck them too. You see when I see “The story is rooted in anti-Semitic tropes. The gameplay feels dated. The graphics feel like they’re a couple generations behind. All the characters are one-dimensional. It doesn’t stay true to the established lore. Every character feels like an off-brand version of the characters we know and love. There’s no sense of place. No magic, no heart” I see nothing less than the validation that Jaina Grey should be seen as nothing more than a piece of garbage. Like others she makes zero mention of Avalanche software, she makes no mention of what they achieved, she merely uses Wired as a channel for Rowling hate, like any bully she lost the right of life, it is that simple. Fell free to disagree, because that is YOUR right. Agree or disagree these are the choices. Some will do neither, that is fair. Either they do not care (valid enough), or they honestly do not know where they stand (also very valid). We do not need to have some feeling of knowledge, the world is too big for that. This is bad news for the digital dollar prostitutes, but that is life. I think this is also the first time I think I have anti-transgender feelings. If they want to rely on bullies, their rights of life are made forfeit. It is not nice, but that is how it is. I truly deeply hate traitors and bullies.

So where were the anti-semitic tropes? This is about a wizard boy (or girl) facing a goblin extremist who gets ‘assistance’ from a dark wizard named Victor Rookwood. In this we also meet our share of ‘friendly’ goblins and we see early on in the game, any goblin not on his side is an enemy, which seems to connect to the Taliban and Al Qaeda (and many others), as such where is the anti-semitic side?

The graphics are great, they might not be completely next generation, but they are valid and more important, they bring the atmosphere to the level it needs to be. The game gives us magic and the game gives us character. I am not entirely opposing the one dimension character mention. You see like the US around 1800, the US had John Adams and they were killing native Americans, but perhaps the writer identifies with them. They killed 56 million indigenous people over about 100 years in South, Central and North America. Isn’t that the one dimensional people you mean? Americans murdering native American landowners? Wasn’t it all good for progress? 

In the end, what I stated remains. We all have our own opinions on gaming and certain titles, but to attack Avalanche because you hate Rowling is the act of a bully and bullies have no right to life as I personally see it. The editor of Wired better clean up this mess and be bloody quick about it. So how about that Gideon Lichfield, you ready to do your job yet?

Oh and for my view? I have had a better feeling playing this game the last 20-40 hours than I have had for almost a year. Other games like God of war: Ragnarok might be graphically superior, the music sounds better and they were fun too, yet this game was a lot more fun to play. The fun of gaming, who remembers that? Avalanche delivered the goods, it is time for the media to stop sucking (whatever) and do their jobs. I get that not everyone will love the game, but reviewers need to remain neutral and someone giving this game a 10% rating lost the plot a long time ago.


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The anger within

I saw a headline on BBC (see below) I wondered what it was about and I got angry, this happens and it will happen to us all. 

The article (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-64572328) gives us a view. In this case on a person who might call himself a reporter, yet as I personally see him, a mere political hack without a future. To get there we need to look at a few parts. The first one is that we see the mention of Hogwarts Legacy, but the ENTIRE article does not mention Avalanche software once, not once and I have an issue with this. You see hacks mention one thing and then talk about something else entirely. That happens here. As I personally see it Hogwarts Legacy is a clear labour of love. It is what happens when the art people are in charge and not the business people.

We are then given “The Guardian’s games editor Keza MacDonald wasn’t as enthusiastic as some, writing: “Hogwarts Legacy derives its magic from its setting, not from its game design, which is competent but unspectacular.”” OK, a person has an opinion and whatever this is is an opinion, I do not agree. The game is close to spectacular, it is HUGE and Hogwarts is HUGE. The game design is amazing, not entirely unique but amazing. That is my view and to add that I have had one glitch since I started playing it over 20 hours ago is evidence on how good the game is in its architectural way. The one glitch is not really part of anything, but honesty needs me to point that out and I merely found one glitch. I also found something amazing (see down the story). The additional issue is shown with “Travis Northup, reviewing for IGN, wrote: “Its open-world adventure captures all the excitement and wonder of the Wizarding World with its memorable new characters, challenging and nuanced combat, and a wonderfully executed Hogwarts student fantasy that kept me glued to my controller for dozens of hours.”” I agree with Travis on the game. I personally give the game a 92% rating (the glitch brought it down a little).

The beauty
The beauty is seen when I played the game a second time. The first I only got to the place where I can make my own potions (avoiding spoilers). I wanted to see how I did as I replayed it and I did better, but I also learned two additional things. The first was one mission it got handed to me in two DIFFERENT ways. The first time as a Ravenclaw via Olivanders and a different stage of finding things, the second time as a Hufflepuff via a painting that gave me another location and it also came with a short visit to Azkaban, and another location, they ended in the same place and of course that part was the same, but it shows the beauty of Hogwarts Legacy, I can only hope that we get two additional ways to get to this part. The second part is experienced as the gear has a different impact on the player, the second time my offensive skills were a lot higher (with the same gear) than the first time where my defensive skills were a lot higher. I cannot tell at present whether this is intentional, or if there is a random part in play. But the effect is awesome. My Ravenclaw character needs a different approach than my Hufflepuff character does and that makes for a great game. There is no mention of that anywhere. Optionally there is no real blame, but that does not make Steffan Powell any less of a hack. This game is awesome and the mention of “I think, 20 years after the books came out, the world is in a different paradigm now – where it’s not really JK Rowling’s any more. It’s the community’s instead” angered me. The wizarding world is the IP of JK Rowling and Steffan better get a grip on his stupidity. We are guests in the world of JK Rowling. I do not care about her personal views (I never did) and I do not know what exactly her views are because the media alters and edits to its own need for digital dollars. Avalanche used that IP and created a new view that is unique and even as it is linked to JK, there is every chance that this will continue, whether it is only in games is unknown to me at present. I have seen all the hate and all the BS, yet the reality is that this game became a massive hit and will most likely rule the award ceremonies all over the world until march 2024. Avalanche did an amazing job, but the BBC (the people who rehired a person that is seen as allegedly guilty of killing the former princess of Wales) is all about the next political setting via hacks (as I personally see it). This game is too good for that BS approach. There is also a mention of repetitiveness and that is not entirely false, but it tends to be the issue with a lot of RPG games. The previous part shows just how beautiful. This game is and I am playing the game, not racing the game. In 15 hours I got to 20% of quests and 4% of exploration, so this game is huge, no doubt about it and I look forward to seeing a lot more. 

I do not care about Eva Echo and her agenda, I am playing a game by Avalanche. On the other side, I am not really willing to go against her. She has her views, her opinions and I have mine. We are from different worlds, our worlds do not overlap and they do not need to, as such I will not go against her either. That is as simple as I can make it, but any political hack using a great game for his infantile needs get the not so nice side of me and in this so does his editor (Blathnaid Healy). We can point fingers all we like, but someone approved this article. I also have optional issues with Sebastian Croft, not the person perse, but he is mentioned as ‘distancing himself’, perhaps for very valid reasons, my issue is that the article does not clearly bring this out, merely a link to the tweet which had limitations on characters used. But the BBC knew that upfront, did they not? 

What you as a GAMER need to know is that this game is a lot better than most claim, it has a few issues that any RPG will have (even Skyrim) and the art is beyond believe. Yes there are limits to the enemies yet I have seen over half a dozen in the first 10 hours and in real life all enemies are human, as such the game gives us more. Now, there will be valid reasons why people do not like RPG games (they might like GTA more), there are people who do not like the Wizarding world, all fair enough, but lets keep gaming to gaming and not some BS approach to appease political hacks. 

I have seen too much hatred over the last 6 months on this alone to accept the BS settings especially from someone like the BBC. It angered me a lot more than I am happy about. A game as good as this one does not deserve this usage.

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Wands, Witches and Wizards

To get to the good stuff, that yummie chocolaty centre we need to make a small detour and it matters.

I have been a huge Skyrim fan. I bought the game on 11/11/11 and to the best of my knowledge it is pretty much the best RPG ever seen. I played it on Xbox360, Playstation 3, then the Legendary edition on PS4 and Xbox One and the Anniversary version on PS5. The game is close to perfect. This matters because it took someone 11 years to get there and surpass it. Avalanche got there and had room to spare. They upped the bar for quality gaming by a lot. 

The previous part is important. This is not a Harry Potter game, it is an open world RPG with a wizarding world theme and they did one hell of a job. As stated it plays a century before the boy who lived came into the picture and what was done is as close to perfect as I have ever seen it. I am not fussed about the 1-2 second delays with some of exit parts of Hogwarts, it is a lot better then anything else and this matters. So far I played 10 hours and I got 4% done. This game is huge, the castle is huge and you will get lost there, but there are options (censoring spoilers). The world outside of Hogwarts is huge, optionally larger than Skyrim, but it is not a comparison, Hogwarts is so large it will strike you in many ways. I started as a Ravenclaw student (I like blue), but I already know that I will play the game three more times to see everything, Gryffindor most likely last. What does matter is that you will recognise parts and classrooms as you saw them in the movies, but that feeling of discovery does not wane and it merely improves and gets larger as you see more and more. Weirdly enough I lost my life three times and got to redo the fight. The game is invigorating and it leaves you with a sense of accomplishment as you progress. The game has puzzles, some are simple, some are devilishly evil and never boring. This game is for anyone who loves RPG and even more for those who love the (Harry Potter) wizarding world. 

You will see things, you will seek things and you will wonder and try to figure things out. The game is truly a step forward and I was speechless more than once. The important thing to realise is that I did not play it in 4K, I do not own a 4K TV and even then the game overwhelms. So, I reckon that once I have one of those puppies, this game will overwhelm even more. 

No matter how you slice it Avalanche software created something we all hope for and we never got it. Well, this time around this player (Avalanche) delivered. Avalanche created a new level gameplay so close to perfection, you are in for a treat. Any hater of this game is as I personally see it simple and stupid. People who dislike RPG’s might not go for this, but I urge them to try (if possible), If you disliked the Harry Potter movies, this game as an RPG is still fulfilling in several ways. This is definitely one of those must buy titles. But I do get that those who dislike RPG and Harry Potter will not go for it, but that should not make them haters, merely a gamer with other interests. 

There is a consequence and it is for Bethesda and Microsoft. You see Avalanche has raised the bar after 11 years. Skyrim was the game everyone compared to and that is now no longer the case. It makes sense because it took 11 years to improve on it and Avalanche does pull that off. Yet for Bethesda and Microsoft it becomes a new issue. Starfield (which looks AWESOME) and whatever Elder Scrolls title comes next needs to be a lot better then this and that is a massively tall order. You cannot put them next to one another, but there will be comparisons and if these two RPG games fall flat next to Hogwarts Legacy their goose is pretty much cooked. I did not know what to expect but a game this good is a little overwhelming and possibly the other two titles will be better, but I have to say, it will be a herculean task for Bethesda. Avalanche the next generation of RPG that is never to be underestimated. 

Hogwarts Legacy is not merely a Harry Potter game, it is an open world RPG that will knock your socks off, that latter part I did not see coming. Well done Avalanche! And I would not be surprised if WB will turn this game into a TV series, the storyline is that good as are the locations (many we never saw in the movies). I reckon it will be a few months that WB will turn this 200 hour game (estimated) in a series with several seasons, but that is sheer speculation from my side.

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The Kay Pea equation

There is a setting I have skated on a few times. This is not the first time I raise it, but I feel strongly about certain options. A first was a puzzle I enjoyed. It came with a book. The story was a murder mystery, but there was no solution in the book. The added part was a jigsaw, the image would reveal the actual culprit. I had 6-8 of them and they were fun. But it was something someone (I do not remember who) made on the Commodore 64. They were Kinetic Puzzles. To explain that is simple. A jigsaw is the puzzle made from an image or photograph, I still enjoy jigsaws with some regularity. A Kinetic puzzle is not based on an image, but on a film clip, hence every puzzle piece is always showing you part of the clip and it makes for a somewhat ore challenging puzzle. The weird part is that this should have been on the eyelids of Netflix from the start. Movies are their bread and butter, what better that a puzzle that represents a clip from an upcoming movie? The solution tends to be the same, edges first, then you work your way in and when the image on EVERY piece is in motion, the challenge is soon felt and endured. Marketing through a game, it would be the cornerstone of Netflix and even as the puzzle part is not the hardest part, putting this all in a puzzle is still a challenge. But they did it on a Commodore 64 with a mere 38Kb of RAM. As such evolving towards 4K puzzles is not a leap of technology. And this came to my mind again as I was crossing the ‘i’ and dotting the ’t’ in the equation that is coming. Inversion is in part the name of any game and it helps when you are your own devils advocate. So when they consider this and add the simple Jigsaw part, Netflix will have a whole score of puzzles and the fans of movies will enjoy a game that reflects their passions. Streamers had this option from day one and some did not go in this direction for all kinds of reasons, but were some of the valid? They might think so and I am not debating that part, but what about the audience you are addressing? Did you think of them? Are they not your consumer core? 

Did you think that a Netflix customer might not like a puzzle regarding the Batman (who looks a lot like some famous Hufflepuff student), or any league of other heroes or villains? I wonder what these bosses were thinking when they pushed people out stating they needed super cool games, was a better question not ‘A game that could appeal to our core clients’ The KP or Jigsaw will not do it alone, but people will always return to something they enjoy, especially when they are fighting the hours, at that point they will revert so something simple like Chess, Checkers or Puzzles. And with an additional mode that is not seen anywhere, this might be an Initial solution all might fancy. Perhaps the idea of adding books to the jigsaw equation should have been on Amazon’s mind. There is not a soul who does not know what a Jigsaw is (aka puzzle) and they go back to 1760, a very long time before the house of Pong made its entry. Did anyone even consider to cater to puzzles to create awareness? Netflix has been in a prime position for the longest time and they never acted on it. They have the largest arsenal and they left it untouched, weird, is it not?

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It starts with options

Come to me in the vacation. I will explain what happened. I will take these of your hands for now. With that Olivander vanished and left Dan and the professor to go to Hogwarts.

It was snowy, it was dark, it was windy and it was wonderful. Dan always enjoyed the Christmas time. He quickly send an owl to his parents that he would be delayed by at least a day as he was expected at Olivanders. And as he entered the shop Olivander looked up with a big smile and quickly changed the sign at the door to ‘closed’, he then beckoned Dan to come to the back of the shop. There were two goblets with warm wine. Dan looked puzzled at Olivander. Your mother told me, I went to see them and told them I would be seeing you.

So lets start at the beginning. You are as far as we can tell a Wand finder. People with that gift are rare, very rare. Some become wand makers, some become wand merchants. All wand makers are wand merchants, not all wand merchants are wand makers. Some fix wands but that is part of the training you will face as my apprentice. We need to see how far your skills go. It is not an easy path, but there is always need for a Wand maker, there aren’t too many of us left and my apprentice went to the north. He was good, but nowhere near me, too hasty. You could surpass me, as I am not a wand finder. 

A wand finder connects to wands, or better stated the wands connect to you. They only do this when their masters are gone or no longer sensed. Dan looked at Olivanders in some puzzlement. The wand choses the wizard, this has been a truth for the longest time. But the wand finder has the ability to see the best wood, the best ingredients and in some cases, they can retrieve much better quality goods. How far your skills go is not known and we might not know that for some time. But first things first. There were the 23 wands from the match, and there were 47 wands from the train. We found the owners of 15 of the wands. And only 12 of the other lot, but that seek is going on, which makes for a total of 52 galleons for you for the wands that were reunited with their owners, and also, he went behind the counter. A small silver goblet. It is quite exquisite. It has properties. If a poisonous drink is poured in this goblet, it lights up green, if the drink is not poisonous, but is harmful, the goblet will get a yellow shine. Dan looked at the goblet with some amazement. He had heard of protective cups, but this was the first time he saw one. Olivander continued. The man was happy to leave this to you as he was getting old and he has no family left, getting his wand back meant everything to him. Dan stared at the goblet, it was small, it fit easily in his hand and when he stared the cup seem to have a glow of sorts, there was almost invisible etchings on the inside of the cup, like elemental symbols, but not symbols he was familiar with. He nodded at Olivander and placed it in his messenger bag. Olivanders gave him the 8 wands from the match. These two are now dead, as such the wands are now attached to you until you get some skills. We will focus on those in the near future. The other 6 I was unable to find yet, 4 of them have the traits of a Bulgarian Wand maker, I did send him an owl, but the man might not give response soon, so we place them separately. The 35 remaining from the train are a bit of a problem. I am not getting response from these people. Most were first year Hogwarts students. The wand was not clearly defined and more importantly most of them got a second wand that year. So we need to wait a little longer. They might not care to get them back as they got connected to their new wands. 

Dan nodded.

Olivander looked at him. I want you to attend classes here in the new year during vacations. I am lucky, Flitwick is quite the charms expert. He will train you in splicing Yew wands, the easiest want to splice. He handed Dan a handful. These 20 wands are empty, be careful with them, because they still take time to make. You will do this in Hogwarts to see how you fare without your skills. Flitwick will teach you splice and unite spells and see how you handle this. Some of the wands will not survive, but that is how you learn, try to damage as few as possible please. 

Dan nodded, put the wands away and responded “Thank you master Olivander”, Olivander looked up with a big smile. I have not been called master Olivander for such a long time, it feels good to hear it again. What will you do now? Dan looked at the treasure he had. Gringot is my next destination, then home.

A Goblin by any other name

Dan walked into Gringots, and walked to the end. The Goblin looked up to Dan. Alone today? Yes sir, I would like to open a deposit box for personal storage. The goblin looked at him. It is one galleon per year, but you have a large family vault? Dan looked at the Goblin “I am now the apprentice of Olivander” I will need access to my own space for now. The Goblin nodded. Fee is one galleon per year, that is the fee all large vault holders pay. Dan placed a galleon on the desk. The Goblin took the coin and handed it to a clerk. He will show you the goblin who will take care of your box. Dan nodded and followed the clerk to the side. A goblin in a pristine suit looked at him. He listened to the clerk and took the coin. He stated that he could not access his box until the arrear was settled, Dan nodded. Can I pay ahead if I so desire? The Goblin nodded. Yes, that is possible, you have a year to pay the next year. A moment later a box roughly 60 by 30 by 10 was delivered. “Wand please” the Goblin asked. The wand was examined and placed on the box for a few seconds. Then the wand was handed back to him. Now perform any spell on the box and Dan whispered “Avis aspectu” and the box lighted up for a second than faded again. He opened the box and took his coin purse. He took a few coins out and placed the bulk in the box and closed it. The goblin looked and asked him to try the spell again “Avis aspectu” and the box lit up again. He could open the box and he saw the purse, he closed the box again. He saw the clerk moving towards the box with a cart. Dan picked up the box and placed it on the cart. He then looked at the Goblin. All done now, the Goblin responded. It normally takes a few minutes to get your box. Dan nodded, he nodded at the Goblin and clerk and left the bank. 

He walked through Diagon Alley. He had never done this with 4 galleons that were all his. He went into the bookshop and got another potions book he would need coming year. He had seen a small golden cauldron, but it was 45 galleons, he could afford it, but he had no real need at present. He was not that good a potion maker and even as Snape was approving of his potions, he could see the frown on more than one occasion. He would wait with that a little longer, but he did like making his potions and they almost always worked. He walked on and moved towards the exit he usually used to walk into London. It was there that he waved his wand to fly back home and the conversation he would need to have with his parents.  

And that is how my part of the story ends. It is not my IP, as such I have no intention to continue, but the dream i had was vivd as such I felt the need to write it down, perhaps it serves someone, perhaps not. It was fun to write.

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The choice that was pushed

It was a late afternoon Dan Weigh was walking down a meadow, he was on route to a quidditch match. He did not attend many of these matches, but this was a world cup and he was able to get a ticket, well his father was. It would be Bulgaria versus Ireland. He had no real side in mind, merely that he was attending a match, and a match of this level he had never watched before. He checked his ticket. It was close to the end of one field, the side Ireland was on. He watched in some amusement how the people were green and white, or red and black. There was shouting all over the field and everyone was having a good time. He saw a stand where they were pouring drinks. It was hot wine with nuts. He loved that, he got the knack for it in Stockholm in winter, so he went over and asked for a large goblet. It was two extra sickles, but he got to keep the cup. He reminded himself to get two cups more so that he could give his parents one as well. He was sipping the drink which warmed him up. He was also tasting a distinct flavour of pumpkins, it made it even better. There was a barrel on the side an he sat on it sipping his goblet. He remained watching the people and recognised a few people. Some from Hufflepuff, 2 Slytherins, yet he did not recognise any one from Gryffindor or Ravenclaw. There was a decent chance that they wee painted in the colours of ‘their’ team, so recognition was not going to be easy. He got another goblet and placed the empty one in the messenger bag. The lady serving him assured him that they would be there at least a day after the match. So he got his goblet and walked to the game area. He saw the sigs and walked to the area where he would be. As he walked he saw another person, well two at least. They were the Malfoys, Slytherins. He ignored them, he never liked the kid and his father was important in the ministry, he did not need that kind of attention. He followed a few dozen people all going his direction, all Irish fans. A couple looked at him and smiled, he smiled back. They walked on and he followed for a while until he noticed a sign and turned right. /He saw his seat and sat down. There was still at least half a cup and he quietly drank it. Then the match began.

The match was amazing, these people had broom skills that were very next level. He had never seen that level of skill at Hogwarts. He was a decent flyer, but nothing like that Gryffindor seeker Potter. That guy was already a legendary broom flyer in his third year. There was more, but he shook it off. He got his spyglass out, it had a few basic functions, it could freeze frame and rewind 10 seconds. It had belonged to his grandfather and he loved his spyglass. He also knew that there were more advanced options nowadays, but for one match it was not worth the investment. He wasn’t a miser, he merely needed to see return on investment, or at least the promise of one. Until the end of the match he was hooked, Bulgaria got the snitch, but Ireland still won by 10 points. It was an amazing match and like others he walked to the exit. He was back on the field and he walked straight to the drinks vendor and got his third goblet. He went back to the barrel and sat on it, slowly sipping his drink. He sat on the barrel, enjoying the warm drink, it wasn’t cold, but it was a little more nippy than earlier that day, the darkness was about to set in when he heard shouts, he heard chaos. Then he saw the men at the far end. He had seen these outfits before and it filled him with dread. They were death eaters. He took the last gulp from the goblet and put the goblet away. He grabbed his wand. He knew a conceal charm and performed it. He vanished from the eyes of others and looked around. He now had two problems. The first was to remain unseen. The second one was that as he was concealed, he was not seen and others could run into him knocking him over. He moved between the back of tents. Less likely to run into people. He saw the explosions, the wand waving and chaos. He then noticed a small child. He ran over grabbed the child who was in shock and moved back to the back of the tents. He performed the concealment charm on the child as well. The child now saw him. He pushed his finger to his mouth and the child understood him. “Where are your parents?” The child shrugged, he made the pouring gesture. So his parents had a drink stand somewhere. There were dozens, so that did not make it easier. The explosions became louder. Tents were on fire and he moved to the far end of the tents. The death eaters were not here. He might be a final year student, he could hold his own in a class fight, but a death eater? He shuddered to think what his chances were. At least he was able to keep one child safe. Then he saw the sky, the death eater mark. He knew this was not merely some display of chaos, this was a lot more. The area was now mostly quiet. He picked up the child and walked into the area where several drink stands were. He pointed at the stands. “Are your mommy and daddy here?” The child shook his head and pointed to the far north. He walked in that area. It was a little later when he saw some people distraught and confused. He walked on, he had to get this child to safety first. He then saw a rather large drink stand and the child pointed at the stand. Dan looked around, there were bodies everywhere, but they seem like sport fan, not staff. He then saw a woman hiding in a tent, clearly out of her mind with fear. “Mommy” the child cried and the woman looked up, but saw nothing. Dan ended the concealment spell and handed the child to the mother. She looked grateful. “Come, we need to get going. Not a good idea to hang around here” the woman nodded and held tightly on to the child. “The father?” Dan asked. “He is in our tavern” she replied. He waved his wand and now all three were concealed. The walked towards the end of the area and n that walk something odd happened. He started to notice wands on the ground like they were covered in an aura of light. He picked them up and placed them in his bag, the walk gave a total tally of 23 wands. They got to the end and he ended the spell. He wished the two well and she gave him a card. “Please drop by, so my husband and I can properly appreciate you” He took the card nodded and changed directions. He was out of the area, so now he could travel more precisely and unhindered. He went to Diagon alley. He booked a room in the leaky cauldron and contacted his parents. They had heard of what was going on and wondered why he had not come home. I will explain tomorrow, need to see someone here in the morning first. He had a decent meal, but it was clear that all over Diagon alley and the Leaky Cauldron there was merely one topic of conversation. The death eaters were back.

It was late morning when he woke up, he had a good sleep and went down for breakfast. He turned in the key and entered the alley. He walked down to Olivanders and entered. Good morning Mr Weigh. Good morning master Olivander. Could you please assist me? Olivander looked at me, wondering what was needed. I was at the match last night and I found these. He dropped the 23 wands on the counter. You once told me you remembered every wand you sold, as such can you assist getting these back to the people they belong to? Olivander nodded and looked at them. Yes, I can do that. I recognise a few and I will get them to the owners. I might not have sold all, so there will be some issues there, but I will do what I can. Dan nodded to Olivander and waved. He walked of to go home and tell them what happened and he was weirdly happy that he still had the goblets. 

Chook, Chook

It was two days later when he was at nine and three quarters. He boarded the train and got himself a seat in the coach that tended to be all Ravenclaw. He noticed several class mates and nodded to them. The nodded back. He was never much of a social person and others respected his space, just like he respected the space they had. The train ride was smooth and when they got to the station in the late afternoon, he noticed that his bag was heavier. He opened it only to be taken by surprise. Wands, dozens of them and he had no idea how he got them. He closed the bag and got off. He signalled one of the students. “Get Professor Flitwick here. I’ll wait at the station. This is important!” He was adamant and his fellow student understood that. He ran off towards Hogwarts. It was about 20 minutes later when Professor Flitwick arrived. Hello Mr Weigh. You have never summoned me before, well students do not summon professors. Dan looked at the professor and opened his bag. “I honestly do not know how I got these” Flitwick looked at Dan. “Well, well” this is the second time I ever see this. Wait here, you did the right thing. He made a gesture and suddenly Olivanders was here. Olivanders looked at the two in puzzlement. Flitwick then opened the bag. Dan seems to be a wand finder. Olivander livened up. Yes, he brought me 23 two days ago, It is good that you are at Hogwarts. Your powers will not work there, at least not as far as I understand. Come to me in the vacation. I will explain what happened. I will take these of your hands for now. With that Olivander vanished and left Dan and the professor to go to Hogwarts.

So this story appeared in my mind last night. This is not the beginning of more, but there is a chance that a second part will come and I will end the story there. I have a few more things to do and part one of the PD challenge is almost done. It is not due for another week (a nice way to start December), but in the meantime this occupied my mind. Perhaps because I was rewatching the 8 HP movies. This all got to me in a dream and about 30 minutes of typing. This is a weird Saturday to say the least.

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Crossover salad dressing

Yes, as confusing ideas go, it is a good one. I have been seeing some Harry Potter system at the supermarket. They call it Magical builders. The setting is cool, like the old children theatres. Any idea that encourages imagination is OK in my books. But the makers did not take it far enough. See the image below. 

This is one of the cards there are around 35 of them. And all the main characters are there, including a cat and owl. But you only have to look on Facebook and the crossover ideas flow from everywhere. What happens when the Enterprise meets Vaders dreadnaught? What happens when Klingons have to fight Legolas? Oh and these are the timid sides. There was one about Hermione Granger with Kylo Ren and one of Ron Weasley with Rey. I will spare you the details. 

Crossovers will happen. It is in our brains to set parameters outside of the series. So my mind was  contemplating other things when I remember the Disney Infinite stages. So what happens when we get these characters and we can upload the ones we have with a code (see below).

Now we have a much larger stage, we get to use these characters online and more importantly we can keep the same settings as the set we see now. But what happens when the new Rings of Power get a similar setting, what happens when the sequel (or is that prequel) to Game of Thrones is added? With stages, with all kinds of solutions. What happens when we allow the people to play such interactions and share that with friends. Consider an old program It was Adobe Director. It was ahead of its time (I think I still have the floppy version somewhere, yes it is that old). Now we get beyond the train-station, the train and the quidditch field more scenes that can be downloaded. In this the creator can move the characters like Flash objects and create dialogues. This is in programming simple and as these series grow and have more characters and scenes, we could see Ron Weasley in Rivendell asking Sauron for liquorice wand (as crazy ideas go).

This setting does need a program hat the makers could easily sell for $10-$25, and in that setting we would see the next generations create initial scenes, but it could start their imagination to create more, to create what comes next and I believe it is important to foster imagination in all ages. This idea came to me in the middle of nothing, so why did others not come up with this?

The idea is decently simple to program (a speculation from my side) and over time that can grow into something serious. All because someone considered adding a QR code to the back of a head, the back that we will not see when the figurine is completed. So what kept them from this next stage? Funds? I reckon that 100,000 times $10 makes a cool million (or $2.5M if you want to charge $25), making an app like that cost a lot less, so the funds could not have been the case. 

When will people (especially in marketing) learn to think out of the box? I came up with several ideas to propel Neom and the Line in such ways that is not seen at present, so why not? Are these marketeers (most likely in London) losing the plot of what might be? Is it like Google (optionally Amazon too) that they are asleep at the wheel? It is slightly speculative from my side, but I am not seeing any start to different places creating visibility, awareness and traction. Why not?

I leave it up to you to consider the rest of that equation.

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Dedicated discrimination

Yes, it is a weird term, but it happens. It is happening all around you and you might not be aware. It hit me in the last week. Two events took place and it shone a limelight on the event. Yesterday morning I got drenched. In 10 minutes I faced more rain (without an umbrella) than in the sum of rain events over the last 17 years. So you better believe that there was not a dry thread of clothing on me. This started the train, but the train was already on its tracks leaving the station. You see, the second train is not that obvious. I saw a copy of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno. I really liked the pressing, the cover, the way it was all depicted (with images). It was a fine piece of work. So I enquired about the other two parts. Purgatory and Paradise. But the other two parts were never released. I never got that part. It was not the first time, yes to part one and no to parts two and three? An incomplete work? It seems odd to do this. My mind stored the information, but I did not know what to do about it yet. It was yesterday when the trains collided. You see I needed a rain coat, a waterproof coat and I went to the best place for this. Kathmandu. The coats are not the cheapest, but they do tend to be the best. 

Here we have a larger issue. You see One report gives us “In 2017–18, an estimated 2 in 3 (67%) Australians aged 18 and over were overweight or obese (36% were overweight but not obese, and 31% were obese). That’s around 12.5 million adults” and this is the link. I am not a small person, I am well above 3XL. Shops like Kathmandu, David Jones, Country Road and a hell of a lot more they will not cater beyond 2XL. Now consider that they are all catering to one third of the population, how screwed up is that? It is like they merely cater to a margin and let the rest drown in rainwater. It is not the first time I witnessed this, but it is the first time I was in actual need of something waterproof and the shops told me in no uncertain way to stop being a fat fuck. It is not that three heart attacks are not motivational. It is not the fact that my medication has side effects. But it is the shops who knowingly and intentionally set the premise of discrimination. In 5 other shops visited I got the same news “We do not have anything beyond 2XL”, so when these places get some kind of bankruptcy deal, I will be happy to register a complaint that such places are not eligible for protection due to a matter of discrimination. And it is time for the governments to make sure that this rule is stamped on the premise of application for bankruptcy. It is time for those who walk on margins to lose their appeal. Yes, I do get it, it might merely be me (and 67% of the rest of Australians), but it is happening all over Europe, all over the US and in many other places. Those above 2XL are not allowed to be fashionable, why is that? 

Why is the stage that we merely learn about inferno, yet Purgatory and Paradise are stricken from the stage of learning? In a stage where a complete body of work is important a stage of partial filtering, a form of dedicated discrimination is merely allowed and merely overlooked by too many.

As such when you can no longer get a complete set of Harry Potters, a complete set of Dune books.  How long will it take for people to realise that filtering has been part of their lives for decades. They might not realise it, they might not care, but when the missing parts become adamant, how will people react? 

Go to a store and you will find 38 David Bowie albums ranging from $10 to $55. And yes limited editions are a bit more expensive, there is no objection to that. Yet now seek the Soundtrack to Dune, that has become import only for $55. When we seek a game like NHL22, we see none in Australia, and it makes sense. Yet you cannot order it either. Yet the game store in Canada does have NHL22, and they offer it $40 cheaper for PS5. We are already being filtered. We are becoming redacted as margins and in an age of online shops this does not make sense. Yes, we get it, no EBGames in Australia will have a stock of the stuff, but not to be able to order it? And it is not the first time this is happening. We see more and more filtering of goods, limiting what we are ‘allowed’ to buy as a consumer. Try getting a cricket game in Belgium or Sweden. Yes, they will have NHL, hockey is big in Sweden, but the filtering is on the road, it is growing and it is taking global proportions. We accept it to some degree, that is logic, but when the margins of logic are bordering our movements? When will we shout out? Dedicated discrimination is as dangerous as filtering the news, the problem is that not everyone sees it that way and when it is too late, it will merely be too late. A stage of choice is moving all over the place, but the question becomes, who is making the choice, and who is making choices FOR us? 

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Creating magic

There is an old saying, take a technologically advanced people, show their abilities to a non evolved people and they will consider this magic. This is not new, it was done in the 19th century, it was done in the 18th century and so forth. Yet, the people look at the Harry Potter series, going off like Vernon Dursley stating “There is no such thing as magic” but they would be wrong, magic is more than waving a wand, it is creating true innovation. There is a place in New York (The Cauldron NYC Magical Pub), and it is not alone. I saw a video on YouTube (not sure which place it was) and it inspired me to create a printable display. Yes, a display that is printed and can be of almost any dimension. So is it magic? Well, no, not in the sense that some believe it to be, and no wand waving was required. But today, as I was watching The Secrets of Dumbledore, I had an idea. In this third Fantastic beasts movie, there was another altercation with Giggle-water. The altercation was between the water and Dan Fogler (the water won). But it got me thinking. What if there I giggle-water?

Consider that in the old days dentists used laughing gas. It was Nitrous oxide. Now consider the Sodastream concept (it has been out long before Sodastream existed), but what if we can induce it like a soda charge, we mix it into a water-like substance. Perhaps a water with a grape-juice quality and add the Nitrous oxide into this. Would it work? I do not know, I never tried it, but consider the tens of millions of Harry Potter fans. How many of them would try giggle-water? 

I feel certain most of them would try it, so if there is a chest and soda maker who can get this to work, he could be multimillionaire overnight and corner another end of the food chain. I am not doing it as it does not play to my strengths, and I guarantee you that this would not be a strength. Does it exist at present? I do not think so, or it would be in every supermarket. But I wonder who has been digging into this direction? I do not know, it is just another crazy idea that is going through my mind. After todays debacle, almost drowning whilst walking the street, having to avoid bull sharks in North Sydney because it was so wet that the sharks can now swim all over Sydney, the idea popped into my head as I was avoiding the snapping jaws of a shark. Well, crazier things have happened, but not in Sydney, not today. I felt more rain drowning me between 07:30 and 09:00 than all the rains over the last 17 years, so my day was pretty screwed up.

At least I had another crazy idea you get to see here and I reckon that after a nap with a lemon grog, I might have something more up my sleeve. 

Smell you later!


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Sadness in my heart

Today I feel sadness in my heart, but not for any reason you would expect. The Dutch NOS informed us (at https://nos.nl/l/2414328) that the Haunted castle will go. The Haunted Castle is one of the oldest attractions in the Dutch Efteling. I remember seeing it in its first year in 1978, it was my third visit. I would visit the Efteling about 6 times more but every time I wanted to see the haunted castle, it felt magical and there was so much to see. So when I see that future generations will be denied this, I merely feel sadness. I get it, it is almost 45 years old, but it kept millions of people staring at the floating violin, the running couple, the hanging man and so many other parts engaged, its departure is saddening. 

In part I hope that the access route to the haunted castle will remain as the entrance for what comes next, but that is merely my look on the matter. 

I decided not to include photo’s of the attraction, not that I am against it, but because the image would never show what it offers, even a YouTube film will mis parts of the show, it was that amazing. Yet the Efteling had so much more. In 1955 the Belgium Queen Fabiola wrote stories one of the was the Indian Waterlilies. It rook some time, but in 1966 the Efteling pulled it off and gave light to the Indian Waterlilies. I saw it in its second year, I must have been 5. I remember the overwhelming atmosphere it held and over time I would see it again, now as an engineer I would see through the show, but weirdly enough it would not lessen the show, because it was not a trick , it was a show and that made all the difference. The Efteling would bring more over time, the Pagoda, the Python, The Halve Maen (the half moon, a galleon on a swing), the enchanted forest, Villa Volta. So many amazing feats, and always there was the Haunted Castle. This summer will be its last time, so see it if you can. We can go on an awards and so on, but the truth is that the Efteling is a journey in itself. You should take the time to treat yourself at t’ Poffertje (The Little Dutch Pancake). It gives the vibes of the old Pancake house that I visited in the 60’s and 70’s. I still have an Anton Pieck Replica of that, the image takes me back to those years and the smells surround me. Only the Efteling got me there before and over time too much of this will vanish. There is the awful realisation that M2 must exceed €x for the event to survive. We have become a much larger accountant than history would be pleased with and too many parts will vanish over time. Not merely in The Efteling, but any themed Parc will go through these motions. I reckon that the same will be seen in Disney and Universal. I never saw the Jaws exhibition with my own eyes and perhaps I will have time to see the Harry Potter places, yet I am not holding my breath on that. For now I feel the sadness of the Haunted Castle leaving us and I cannot say goodbye, I last saw it in 2004, 17 years ago. The things we are denied because M2 did not exceed €x is just sad, it really is, as economy decides on what is worthy the numbers deny another path, that of the people it inspires on art and new ideas? A question most of us (including me) cannot answer, only historians have that ability, and even then it is limited and redacted to a hypothesis. 

Sadness over what once was and soon will be no more. Consider what you will miss out on and if you have that ability, do something about it whilst you can. Just an idea to consider.

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