Archive for J.K. Rowling

Stephen King is an angel … and he dislikes “Twilight,” to boot

Posted in Books, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2009 by macmystery

Does this man scare you?

Well, I know that’s not the way most people, even those who like his writing, would describe him.

But Stephen King recently did something pretty cool. He and his wife, Tabitha, donated $13,000 so that 150 Maine Army National Guardsmen training in Indiana can come home for Christmas.

The troops, from the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Unit, are training at Camp Atterbury and are scheduled to depart for Afghanistan in January.

It’s a kind gesture that many of those soldiers and their families may never forget. Who knows how long it will be before they can return to their loved ones for the holidays … if at all. Those men and women shouldn’t have to spend their last holidays stateside a third of the country away from home.

The Kings actually gave $12,999 — because 13 is an unlucky number … who’d have though King was superstitious? — and a personal assistant chipped in $1.

If you’re a King fan, here are some other recent developments you may or may not be aware of:

Speculation that if King broke into the business today, he’d be less successful

A review of “Under The Dome”

SyFy turning King’s “The Colorado Kid” into a series titles ‘Haven”

King is considering a sequel to ‘The Shining”

King possibly teaming with Spielberg to bring “Under the Dome” to TV as miniseries

And my favorite … King trashes “Twilight” author Meyer, praises Harry Potter author Rowling

Hogwarts, S.C.

Posted in Books, Family, Movies with tags , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by macmystery
Dylan reluctantly pets the dragon. Hagrid would be proud.

Dylan reluctantly pets the dragon. Hagrid would be proud.

In yet another installment of  Daddy and Dylan Day, Dylan and I went all wizard last Saturday.

The Roper Mountain Science Center in Greenville County hosted “The Science of Harry Potter.”

The program, which is an excuse to get kids and parents into the science center, married its exhibits with themes from the Harry Potter series of books by J.K. Rowling.

The program, open from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., was a lot to take in. There was no way we would be able to see everything, and there was a lot.

Among the activities:

  • Hold mice, snakes and a dragon.
  • The chance to meet and hold these Hogwarts creatures … tarantulas, giant toads and a python.
  • Quidditch demos … Well, this is as close as you can come to quidditch without being able to fly. There was a Harry Potter day camp back in the summer where the kids played quidditch, apparently. Some of the pupils were brought back to demonstrate the sport. There were hula-hoops suspended from trees branches for the rings. Soccer balls were used, and a tennis ball was the golden snitch. And did I mention there was no flying? Dylan was not impressed.
  • Old-fashioned broom making
  • The younger kids made bitty brooms from small sticks and yarn.
  • Among several demonstrations at the planetarium, there was a chart showing how all the names of the Black family (as in Sirius) corresponded with astronomy.
  • The kids could take a tour of the forbidden forest and discuss the botany of wands.
  • There were readings from “The Tales of Beetle the Bard.”
  • Wandmaking … using pretzels, chocolate and sprinkles.
  • Learning to write with quills.
  • Herbology … making your own herbal tea bag.
  • Meeting a live barred owl.
  • Photo opportunities with the Sorting Hat.
  • Potions lab … activities such as making slime, smoke, etc.

Dylan loved it. Even if the ties to Harry Potter weren’t always so strong. Really, the whole point is just to get you into the science center. Once you’re there, there’s almost no choice but to learn. And it was well worth the $9 total it took for us to get in.

When Harry Potter camp comes up next summer, I think we’ll be there.