Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp

Image result for quidditch through the ages book cover

The first inside page shows the students who have checked out the book from the library including Oliver Wood, Fred Weasley, Hermione, and lastly, Harry, as well as the nameless threat which would befall anyone whom damaged the book by the librarian. Praise for the book, among them Lockhart, and Whisp relating in his own words, of being a fanatic of Quidditch, having written three other Quidditch-related books, in his spare time and when not at home, following the Wigtown Wanderers. Dumbledore again providing a Foreword which relates how popular the book is at the library, then speaking of Comic Relief and the equivalence between pounds and Galleons (the exchange rate must being shit for having not changed from Fantastic Beasts, but in dollars being a difference of 100 million and Galleons still only being 34 million; weird. Another odd thing is Dumbledore is aware of Rowling, hwhaaat?…). Dumbledore continues by relating the librarian’s reaction to giving up one of her books and how to treat the text with care, jinxes a possibility to deal with if one doesn’t.

The first chapter deals with the process of coming to decide to fly upon a broomstick, Animagi having to deal with the animal’s instincts, whilst levitation not being satisfying enough. The question of why settling on broomsticks is pondered over and answered, being due to a broom an easily explained item to Muggles, but the bewitching of one wasn’t as cut and dry. Whilst the practice had been around for awhile, the comfort of the rider suffered at first, due to brooms being homemade and the spells simplified. Then, when broom-makers were utilized for services, riding became more than only transportation.

Broom sports were developed quickly upon the upgrade of brooms, some of the games no longer played or changed to those currently known; One from Sweden being the annual broom race, Shuntbumps, a sort of jousting game still popular among children, and Swivenhodge a tennis game, not particularly popular but still played in England. The last not technically mentioned originating from Queerditch Marsh and has snowballed in fanboys of the sport. First knowledge of Quidditch was gained from a witch’s journal referencing the sport in the 11th century, she disturbed whilst it was played on the other side of the marsh, annoying her, but watching them after awhile, all whilst ragging on them. Whisp considers some of the players mentioned, possibly a Scot implementing an idea from his own people’s sport. Talk died until one hundred years later by a wizard from Britain whom wrote to his cousin in Norway about his team winning. Whisp then mentions the Golden Snitch not getting added until the 13th century in an odd way.

Background of the Golden Snidgets origins are given, it currently a protected bird. Wizards used to catch them in varying ways, but commonly the Snidget would be squashed by hand, the sport not being looked down on until the middle of the next century: 1300s. Then the first game with Snidget is relayed by a witch writing to her sister, she having fouled the game up by releasing the Snidget away from the field, and being fined by the Minister of Magic at the time, but other birds were caught and killed in future games. A wizard then invents the Golden Snitch as Quidditch teams searched for a suitable flying replacement, the sport complete.

In the 1300s a wizard fully describes Quidditch as well as the best hours and locations to play. The areas chosen becoming such an issue, laws were passed to dissuade games being near towns or Muggles. Instances of breaking up teams for not going along with the rules are also detailed. The issue has since been handled due to designated stadiums now being used for tourneys.

The differences in Quidditch since the 14th century starts with the pitch, it first being oval, five hundred feet across, one hundred and eighty in width, and a two foot circle in the center. The referee sets up the balls in the center with the teams standing around him until the Quaffle is released, goal posts being baskets, but changing in 1883 to the current goal posts. The change was handled poorly by fans, but the Department of Magical Games and Sports saw the practice of basket sizes varying unfair to the players. Next, the Quaffle is shown to have been used since the beginning, but is now charmed for easier catching, as for the Bludgers having used to be rocks, some teams used metal balls. A story is then related of a Golden Snitch having invaded capture so long, the teams gave up, the Snitch still at large, and the story being unconfirmed. The role of the Keeper also had changed, they acting like the Chasers, as well as having their goalie duties. The Beaters role remained unchanged whilst the Chasers now had a new rule to follow so as to discourage bullying the Keeper, the reaction of fans being similar as before. The Seeker’s position, whilst sought after, is also marked for being the most injury-filled, their talent also leaving them as targets. Rules of the game are listed, as well as seven hundred fouls, all of which had been called at the first World Cup in 1473. Referees are lastly listed where it describes how dangerous the position was until security got tighter on broom tampering, it also mentioning the extensive training to be passed only by the Department of Magical Games and Sports.

Next is a list of teams including Britain and Ireland, which before showing, is told of a certain amount of games being allowed by professionals to participate in, and rules for amateurs to obey. Back in the late 1600s, if a team wasn’t invited to join the League, they were requested to break up. The thirteen teams deemed the most talented compete every year for the League Cup. The list is shown alphabetically as follows: Appleby Arrows, Ballycastle Bats being the second team to most having won the Cup, Carephilly Catapults, Chudley Cannons being underdogs for quite awhile now, Falmouth Falcons, Holyhead Harpies being one of the oldest teams playing, Kenmare Kestrels, Montrose Magpies being the record holders for wins, Pride of Portree (the Prides), Puddlemere United being the oldest team founded, which was 1163, Tutshill Tornados holding the most wins back to back, it being five, as well as their Seeker’s record of fastest Snitch catching at three and a half seconds, Wigtown Wanderers, and Wimbourne Wasps, concluding.

It’s told how Ireland seemed to have excelled and played the game the longest, 1385 having been the year where written confirmation of a game having been played is shared. By the 15th century, Norway, then France learned of the game, and then in 1473 the first World Cup is played, the reasons other nations not joining speculated upon. It was also shown to have the most violent game witnessed between Transylvania and Flanders. From the first World cup, they continued every four years, in the 17th century, other nations began joining and then in 1652 the European Cup was initialized and games were held every three years. Then, the most favored European teams are mentioned. New Zealand first witnesses Quidditch in the 17th century when European herbologists were seen playing the game, whilst Australia catches on a century later, but became masters of the sport in their own right. Africa also became talented contenders, not only in the All-Africa Cup, but the Quidditch World Cup, as well.

North America knew Quidditch in the 17th century, but due to the high-profile knowledge wizards were dealing with due to Muggles at the time, the blossoming of the game was quashed at first. Canada later on became quite a spectacle in regards to a couple of their home teams. The U.S., meanwhile had a game called Quodpot which was founded in the 18th century and distracted focus from churning out some decent Quidditch teams. Quod fails to be as entertaining as Quidditch, though despite having gotten minor popularity in Europe, as well. The U.S. caught up eventually, two teams having been internationally ranked: one from Massachusetts, and the other from Texas. South America also became Quodpot lovers more than Quidditch, but Peru became experts in Quidditch, recently. Asia is the least interested in Quidditch, what with flying carpets taking precedent, some popularity only popping up on the streets. Japan though, has shown increased interest in the last century and even began participating in the World Cup.

To make broom riding easier, a Cushioning Charm was developed in 1820, the next issue being the hand-made brooms, most of which were nicely designed, but didn’t have the agility desired. Twenty two years after the first broom to gain popularity was made, the second was produced, but like the first, only one person had been making them, and so wasn’t easily accessible, until twenty five years after, a trio of brothers mass producing their style of broom which blew up among Quidditch players, everyone riding one. Then only three years later, the competition stepped up, improving the braking capabilities. By 1940, more companies joined the ranks of better quality brooms, and in 1967 the Nimbus company was born, breaking all barriers for being the best.

The last chapter contains certain moves invented by players, like the Sloth Grip Roll, where one dangles upside down off their broom to avoid a Bludger. The book ends with the fantasy of the first witch to have seen Quidditch, would’ve been impressed with the developed game and would enjoy watching the most recent developments of the game, as well as the hope of continuing to better the game through the years so future wizards and witches can be entertained.

Not a bad side-story, but Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander was better. The book is so easily read though, it doesn’t affect being able to move forward to the rest of the series upon finishing. To the next!

Lets Explore Diabetes With Owls

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As soon as I start, Sedaris doesn’t disappoint with his descriptive and hilarious deadpan, humorous style. Playing into the typical American outlook of wanting to have “serious” doctors, and treated with a certain gravity we’ve become accustomed to. He accompanies the humour with odd tales from his personal life, some of which are unsettling, but quite entertaining. Sedaris does make a valid point about today’s parenting, however in his second story. Parent’s treat their children extremely on the verge of being slaves to the child. “They did not live in a child’s house, we lived in theirs.” Which Mike from NoFx said about his daughter with his wife. They wanted a child they could share their lifestyle with, but I’m pulling two similarities where none need be. Although this second story proved funnier than the first.

The third proves Sedaris showing what seems his disenchantment when having to hear of people’s possible over emotion about a loved one’s death and they dying too young. Sedaris proves when one is young and from a large family and possibly only from his era, there’s a better chance of one being able to prey on people’s weaknesses and avoiding attention if you’re clever and don’t get overcome by self-loathing and being a praise-stalker. Wistful ending, quite introspective. Oh, my gosh, the next story tripped me out; it was so funny how stereotypical Sedaris made me believe “his” Black girl’s were. He brought me right into his classroom with Delicia, so hilarious! Also he and his siblings relationship with their Grandmother is so unique and again made me laugh out loud. He also has such dramatic outbursts at the age of fourteen with his mother I wondered whether they actually happened the way he describes them sometimes, they are certainly funny to imagine, at least.

Again, Sedaris has made me fall for his funny story ploys are so obvious he seems to want me to giggle at them. A description of his best friend’s mother: “In a neighborhood of stay-at-home moms, Shaun’s mother worked. A public-health nurse, she was the one you went to if you woke up with yellow eyes or jammed a piece of caramel corn too far into your ear. ‘Oh, you’re fine,’ Jean would say, for that was what she wanted us to call her, not Mrs. Taylor. With her high cheekbones and ever so slightly turned-down mouth, she brought to mind a young Katharine Hepburn. Other mothers might be pretty, might, in their twenties or early thirties, pause at beauty, but Jean was clearly parked there for a lifetime.” David has a way of making these stately declarations. They’re the little laughs one gets because they are so wildly recited. Another essay is out-rightly sad if one loves animals and especially endangered species and feels bad about a child losing their father at an early age. Still entertaining, it’s the unfortunate situation of having the “information at your fingertips” “trouble” again. Then there’s a short “rant”, I suppose deals squarely with the Lord-ah. It’s realistic enough anyways, so in a sense was entertaining. I do look forward to saying whatever lie taught me on Pimsleur, as David experienced; It was a good laugh, as well. Also if one ever comes across the chance to ask a German if they are from Minnesota couldn’t sound any more enticing.

While Sedaris does sound more wistful compared to his other books, I think he’s trying to work through the memories surfacing which aren’t as hilariously upfront as others, and perhaps trying to remind himself to live in the now, because his life sounds pretty good to me, and I think he’s trying to convey he realizes this, too. Then David shares a story about his father when his sister Gretchen moves in nearby him to await a college admission acceptance letter. The story proves on the darker side of female’s and dealing with night assault. His father brings him on “rape” runs to locate the guys who keep going after Gretchen, nothing comes of it, but David’s outlook proves bleak in regards to his current situation, which was working as a clothed model for a college on a severely minimum basis and feeling like he’s stuck (I can relate). He stayed “stuck” for 3 years, but obviously it was temporary.

Just a Quick Email is a short and exceedingly funny scenario characterization. It reminded me of two morons who are continually trying to make themselves my personal pair, who may even be able to relate to parts of it (they do love a good “shout-out”), at least in the case of the drunk-driving *wink wink*, but I do digress.  Another story had to do with David’s lack of ability at fighting, when relating a story to a straight man whom he incidentally had interest in, he relates the story of his failed fist-fight attempt. Now I can also appreciate Sedaris’ reasons for all the wacky and odd questions to fans and most anyone: He’s a note-taker which I can appreciate. He also gets extreme discomfort from having his picture taken, probably an insecurity he feels unnecessary to “work” through, which I can understand. Why be more uncomfortable on the job? The stories still get better when we learn more about David’s first boyfriend and how racist Americans still seem to other countries; Hilarious unto itself. Sedaris’ perception on how French people have a self-satisfactory tone in their voice when they show how they approve of America choosing Obama for President, I have to wonder if it’s only because it’s been so long since we’ve had a positive, intelligent seeming leader. He also reveals he thinks the French, or whichever European people are jealous we got the half-Black President first. The whole theory is entertaining.

Sedaris also has a strange situational essay about a character dealing with gay marriage in an extreme way. Mostly weird, a bit funny. If anyone knows the show Oddities, understanding will arise quickly in one of David’s later stories in this series where he’s in a taxidermy shop and is presented with definite oddities, one including the head of an approximately 14-year-old girl from Peru was around 400 years old. I suppose the main downside of traveling to China would be all the phlegm and piss/poo makers in the street/bathrooms. It sounds nasty and coupled with the theme of food, begins to sound less than inviting. The essay after makes fun of people outside the periphery of intelligence and so begrudge Obama for seeming to talk down to them. It was a pretty entertaining short essay. Also while harbors righteous anger towards slow-pokes it seems he hasn’t mastered the ability to verbalize to said slow-poke what their dumb problem is; I could be of so much use in that department by now, I could make so much money.

Sedaris, who is a diary-addict, can’t seem to stop himself, nor would we want him to, since I believe it would mean less to no more books from him. Where else would we get strange anecdotal stories about whichever strange family or close friend he has? (I’d end up missing them.) He takes the “women” way of fighting and has put an O.C.D. twist on it. Since he writes everything down, he can go back to an argument which started years before and states his stance on it to his boyfriend, which of course is even harder to make a fight end if it’s with someone with “passion”, but seems so ridiculously over-the-top I can only imagine someone bursting out laughing at such a reaction. Unfortunately, possibly due to age, he has the “age-old” view of pot-smokers who, whilst a good source for a joke, not so much when it’s necessary about remembering a trip to Greece is a concern. Too bad he hasn’t run into some with intelligence, but when regular intelligence is so hard to uncover, how can one expect someone to wait for a specific variety. *Sighs* Life. I guess he hasn’t delved into stand-up comedy much. Not necessarily the best source for the intelligent comedians, but for the collected few, which is all I can hope for; and to discover a 7-year-old kid who would look at a guinea pig and marvel at its size by repeatedly and incredulously saying, “Jesus, will you look at those? Christ Almighty. Someone should take a picture.” I mean, come on, I’d appreciate the mentioned candor over the dull diatribes I hear people spout behind me in lines all day every day.

Now it’s my turn to take the Lord’s name in vain though, because Oh my God the next essay is funny to any who has either watched the BBC or knows Britain on a more personal level. David recounts another personal experience involving his father, at which point his extreme fascination with British terminology is shown. Oh, and when Sedaris’ laptop and bag are stolen and his passport was in the pocket of the bag, one of the funniest stories. Plus, David doped up on anesthesia makes me want to laugh and laugh. Also, if one doesn’t want to end up like Michael Jackson, take Propofol with care. I can’t say I’m thoroughly disappointed with this addition to David’s books. The fact he ends with a dog version of “There once was a man in Nantucket…” and make it sound more dirty and clever and then make me think it could mirror the rhythm to the Jim Carroll Band – People Who Died is a feat in itself. Gold-star, Sedaris.