Quidditch in a Muggle World

25 03 2008

I am a pretty big Harry Potter fan. I love going to see the movies when they come out, and I have all of the books. I stayed up all night the evening that Deathly Hallows was released because I wanted to know how it ended. JK Rowling’s world of Hogwarts and the wizarding community is imaginative, creative, and so detailed that her writing gives you the opportunity to get lost in Harry Potter’s world. Anyway, couldn’t help but get excited when I stumbled across this article from The Daily Princetonian, Princeton University’s daily paper. Apparently, a group of Middlebury students decided back in the Fall of 2005 that they wanted to bring the famous wizarding sport Quidditch to the “muggle” (or non-magic, for those of you that haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books) world. So, they formed their own Quidditch team. If you haven’t read Harry Potter, I’ll briefly explain Quidditch. It is a sport played on broomsticks while flying through the air. There are 7 players on each team: a keeper, 2 beaters, 3 chasers, and a seeker. There are four balls in Quidditch: The Quaffle, which is about the size of a volleyball that the chasers attempt to throw through one of three hoops stationed at either end of the “pitch.” The hoops are guarded by the keeper. There are two bludgers in Quidditch. Bludgers are two bowling ball sized demon balls that zoom around the pitch with a mind of their own. The beaters keep track of these two with the help of bats (that look like cricket bats). The final ball in Quidditch is called the golden snitch. It is a small ball about the size of a plum with wings that flies around very fast. It is the seeker’s job (Harry Potter’s position) to find and catch the snitch, which ends the game. So, you can see that several of these things might cause some problems for the students seeking to play Quidditch. Well, Middlebury attempted to tweak the game so they could play while keeping as close to the original as possible. For example, the players are required to play with a broomstick between their legs at all times. That sounds…challenging. The snitch it not a ball at all, but instead a person dressed in yellow who runs crazily around the basketball court-sized patch of grass. He (or she) has a black sock dangling from his yellow costume, and is effectively “caught” when the sock has been captured. Somewhat like flag football.
Anyway, as I said, this article was published today in Princeton’s Daily paper because Middlebury has taken Quidditch on the road. In an attempt to spread their version of the wizard sport to other universities, Middlebury has been traveling to other schools and scheduling games. They’ve played Bard, Penn, and now Princeton, and have scheduled games against Columbia and Vassar. Apparently, ESPN, CBS News, and MTVU all made an appearance at the Middlebury vs. Princeton Quidditch match. Can we expect to see more schools forming their own Quidditch teams? I for one think this is hilarious. If my school had a Quidditch team…well, I probably wouldn’t play, but I would definitely go watch. Here is a clip I found on YouTube from a Middlebury Quidditch Tournament:

Life is good. When I stumble upon stories like this, they leave me smiling the rest of the day.
Oh, did everyone hear that they have decided to make the final installment of the Harry Potter movies/books, Deathly Hallows into two movies? Hooray, the fun will last just a little longer!


This week in NEWS

20 02 2008

Fidel Castro stated he would not accept the nomination for President of Cuba. He has been bedridden for almost two years now, and his brother Raúl has been ruling in his place. Does this signal changes for Cuba? Or is it going to remain in Castro’s inner circle of communist rule? I don’t honestly know if I can say one way or the other. I think, probably, there isn’t going to be much change in Cuba. I wish I could say that I thought there was going to be. But I just don’t think so. Raúl Castro has had power, maybe not in title, but in every other sense while FC has been bed-ridden. And FC has been in power for almost 100 years now. (I exaggerate). My question is…is the United States going to get involved? *Unofficially, off the record, and all that jazz.* We seem to get involved in all sorts of places where we aren’t wanted, so it only seems natural that we put our two cents in in Cuba too. Speaking of getting involved where we aren’t wanted…
Have you seen the MadTV Apple video? If not, here it is.

I’m sorry, but that is just too funny. Props to whomever thought that one up.
Has anyone heard this week that Harry and Hermione are dating?! Ok, not the characters from JK Rowling‘s books, but the people that play them in the movies. Perez Hilton, or a “source” is reporting that the two (Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson) were spotted together on Valentine’s Day and were looking very cozy. Aw…..I always think of them as being, I don’t know, 11 years old or something. So, that’s just weird for me. But, good for them.
Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Washington held pimaries last night. Was anyone surprised by Wisconsin going to Senator Obama? I was. It seems as though the Clinton campaign is losing momentum, which I think worries…a lot of people. March 4th is going to be a very interesting day. Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont are all holding their primaries that day, and Texas and Ohio have suddenly become very big players. Well, ok, they were already big players, but even more so now. I’m under the impression that the Republican nomination is owned by Mr. McCain, so I choose not to focus on those primaries.
The space shuttle Atlantis landed today, because we are going to try and shoot down the faulty spy satellite that is orbiting the earth. Seems like our missions need to be a little more stealth, if ya know what I’m saying. We’ve clearly not done a very good job keeping our spy satellites under wraps. Next thing you know, someone is going to leave the missile launch code book on the metro…