There’s not a lot of universe-changing news this week, but there is the announcement that J.J. Abrams is set to direct the next Star Wars movie. Abrams is known for his work on Star Trek, which is a weird qualification for a Star Wars director, and Lost, which is–by all report at the Pub here–a superb one. According to the linked article, Michael Arndt, writer of Toy Story 3, is set to write the screenplay, which is another hopeful sign. Might the next Star Wars be a worthy heir to the legacy of A New Hope?
io9 has some of Abrams’ thoughts on the job, and GeekTyrant has embedded a video in which Abrams talks about Star Wars as good storytelling. Related articles are available at MTV.com and Deadline Hollywood.
In slightly less directly related articles: Turks get in a tiff over a ‘Jabba’s Palace’ Lego toy; apparently they think it looks too much like the Hagia Sophia. io9’s Rand Simberg questions the original cost estimate for building a Death Star, and Charlie Jane Anders highlights a set of R2D2 high heels. The TOMS posted in the comments are likewise adorable.
The interwebs are all about the random this week, it seems, but for the gathering around our common room, we’ll start off with some fantastic literary analysis: Chris Russo’s post titled Unknotting Tangled, in which he talks about the roots of Rapunzel’s story, alchemy, and helicopter parents. Says Professor Russo: “I haven’t enjoyed a Disney film this much since Beauty and the Beast, and as a literature teacher, I haven’t had so much fun exploring the deeper meanings of a Disney film since, well, ever.”
And now that you’ve theoretically got that article opened in another browser tab, here comes the not-oft-connected rest:
Balloon artist Jeremy Telford made his living room into Bag End… entirely by means of balloons. It’s exhausting just watching the stop-motion video, but the final result is stunning.
Seattle, which could probably be fairly called one of the nerd capitals of America, is partially protected by a league of superheroes.
Just a few bits and pieces today, links to various other articles and topics and whatnot.
First, this is too hilarious to not post first. Jess over at The Last Muggle, a site you should really check out by the way, posted this video the other day on How Harry Potter Should Have Ended. It is, as they say, priceless!
Also, I’m not kidding about checking out Jess’s site. She also has a great series of articles discussing the various houses as we anticipate which one we all might get sorted into for Pottermore. Worth reading even though she disses Hufflepuff. So, if you’re down with the ‘Puff, you might want to go over and defend the honor of the badger. 😉 BTW, this brings up an interesting question, if J.K. Rowling puts you in a house, via Pottermore, is that the last word on the subject?
korg20000BC had a great idea the other day; at least I thought so. I’ve always tried to come up with a different name for each post of miscellaneous stuff I post up, but it’s simpler and probably more efficient to just call it all Around the Common Room. 🙂
In some really great news for Harry Potter literary nerds and geeks, Harry Potter for Nerds: Essays for Fans, Academics, and Lit Geeks by Travis Prinzi, Pub proprietor, is now out and available for purchase!!
From the Amazon product description: ‘Harry Potter for Nerds’ is a collection of the most exciting ideas from twelve Hogwarts Professors about the world’s best selling books. Travis Prinzi, author of ‘Harry Potter and Imagination’ and webmaster at The Hog’s Head, has tapped his Potter Pundit friends in Fandom and at better universities around the country for their insights about the literary magic of the seven novels, from their ring composition to the symbolism of the planets, from the Dante, Spencer, and MacDonald echoes to exploration of the meanings of magic and technology. Profound and far-reaching as these ideas are, the essays are all written in accessible style and tone. Serious readers of Harry Potter will delight in the conversation each chapter offers with another lover of the Hogwarts Saga and its greater depths.
The United Kingdom Secretary for Education Michael Gove is saying that children (at least as old as eleven) should read 50 novels a year. The reading standards in the UK fell from 17th to 25th compared to international standards, and most children only read one or two novels in preparation for their GCSE. I’m not even going to attempt to explain that so I give you instead the wikipedia article on it.
An article from The Telegraph in the UK on the correlation between a resurgence in sales of classic books and the rise of eReaders, in particular Kindle by Amazon. Apparently, Kindle devices were Amazon’s highest selling item in Great Britain this Christmas season. Along with the upsurge in Kindle sales is the resurgence of classic works by such authors as Charles Dickens and Jane Austen to name a few. These classic works, often in the public domain, are usually available in free editions or in cheaply priced anthologies of works.