Monday, August 25, 2008

Gryffindor Quiz

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Gryffindor House Quiz 1

1. What is a Niffler, and what are the pros and cons of owning one?

A Niffler is a rooting animal that likes to dig up/root out/find and collect items made from precious metals/of considerable value.

The pro would be that if you lost an earring, the Niffler could find it. Or, if you were a Mundungussy sort, you might get it to do some dirty work for you.

The con would be that the Niffler would not necessarily give you/give you back what it found. Also, when someone comes in to another's abode and is instantly attacked by a small furry creature after their wedding ring, silver eyeglass frames and gold teeth, that someone might particularly enjoy this experience, and there could be repercussions.

(Lee Jordan airlifts a couple of Nifflers into Umbridge's office in Order of the Phoenix, with disasterous results...but that is for NEXT swap...)

2. What department of the Ministry of Magic would be alerted if you were found flying around on a Magic Carpet?

That would be the Mis-use of Muggle Artifacts Office, where you would probably find yourself explaining to Arthur Weasley or the one man who worked with him why you had charmed a proscribed article, as well as how, which I am sure would have interested him.
3. Of the three tasks of the Tri-Wizard tournament do you think you would have been best at completing and why?

Probably the first. After all my years of teaching I am pretty sure I could have bored the dragon to sleep and then taken the egg...

4. Of the three tasks of the Tri-Wizard tournament would you have been least successful and why?

Oh, definately the Lake. I am, and always have been, a lousy swimmer. I could have wrestled a Horace Slughorn into the proper position to save him from drowning, but I could not have made headway in any particular direction once I had. On the other hand, I react very strongly and without panic to threat of life, so I might have found a way. I would not have put my money on me, though...

5. In Potions if you were asked to take out your ground scarab beetle, cut up ginger root, and armadillo bile, what potion would you be making?

A wit-sharpening potion. Do you think Snape thought it might help Harry in the final task if they made some and he used it??
6.What is Veritaserum and what is its purpose?

Veritaserum is an odorless, colorless potion which forces one to answer questions truthfully. A drop or two and there would be no secrets left to you.

In a sense it is a real shame Snape didn't use it on Potter. If he had gotten the answers to whatever questions he had about Harry, he might have viewed him differently.

Veritaserum also reappears in the next book, and one could make the arguement that shis scene serves the purpose of letting us in on it in advance.

7.What Dragon did Harry face in the first trial?

The Hungarian Horntail, which was the one he got a really good look at a number of wizards trying to subdue while he was out with Hagrid.

8. Please describe the badges everyone wore after Harry was named the 4th contestant in the Tri-Wizard tournament.

These badges flashed from "Potter Stinks" in green luminescent writing to "Support Cedric Diggory, the Real Hogwarts Champion" in glowing red when pressed.

Picture Scavenger hunt: paste a link or insert the picture into your post.

Dean Thomas

Seamus Finnegan

Harry and a Dragon together


Hermione and Viktor Krum together

Monday, August 18, 2008

The freedom of imperfection

I cannot say I am a perfect knitter, (or a perfect anything else, for that matter, although that is fuel for a different fire...)but I do like to make my projects as perfect as possible. Considering how far from perfect they end up, this is probably a very good thing.

However, I am currently knitting a pair of socks on the fly, and the joy of imperfection are pressing themselves upon me.

The socks are for my mother. She really liked a skein of yarn I dyed. I was going for Burgundy but ended up with an almost neon red variegated. Very pretty, but not what I needed, so it was lying around when she admired it. Aha - use for the useless yarn - pleasure number one.

Then, my mother is not a perfectionist. In fact, my perfectionism in my knitting drives her absolutely up a wall. That level of attention to detail makes her skin crawl - especially in things where, as far as she can see, imperfection does not affect useability. So, I gave myself permission to knit them the way she would knit them for herself, if she ever knit socks - the QDD, "Done is Good" standard - as opposed to my own ripping back of what was probably 3000 stitches in one sock...

I have to say, imperfection is a certain amount of fun, but I don't think it would be if it were not that I know she will love them better this way.

The knitting is moving right along. I realized I was six rows past a missed eyelet in a whole row of my lace pattern, and kept moving. I am not even questioning the improprieties in gusset decreasing - a grey area, where I will fudge for myself but feel funny fudging for, say, swap partners.

The result is that she will have these socks to wear before I need to touch up my dye job, an unheard-of feat. And I am moving in some direction, although I am not sure which...

But sometimes doing a half-assed job is...kinda fun.