Some of the popular questions (as suggested through meta):
Major Stackings asks How do the wand makers get the cores into the wands? One comment suggests that secret is in using molten wood.
Some of the popular answers:
Just some interesting stats:
Chapter 1: The accident
Cara Miller stared out of her lifepod window into the vastness of space. For all she knew, she was the sole survivor of the ill-fated Astral Light, a rescue ship that ultimately would need its own rescue. It was all supposed to be routine. The Astral Light had been called out to assist a mining freighter which had suffered a major collision with a dislodged piece of asteroid. Systems were failing and the freighter sent out a general distress beacon.
When the freighter came into sight, Cara could hardly believe anyone was still alive. The ship was a mangled mess, with pieces of the hull splayed out in all directions. Clouds of gas, probably oxygen and fuel, were billowing out of the ship. It would be a miracle if anyone had survived. Still, they had to make sure, so the Astral Light glided up alongside and attempted to hook to the docking port.
Sometimes bad luck is all a question of timing, she thought. The first boarding crew had barely crossed the docking arm when a stray asteroid fragment crashed into the beleagured ship. This evidently was the final nail in the coffin. What little air remained in the ship was enough for a massive explosion. Tethered, the Astral Light took heavy damages. The evacuation siren went off and Cara raced to an escape pod. The last thing she remembered after diving into a pod was a violent explosion. She awoke some time later, drifting in space.
The lifepod had preprogrammed behavior depending on the circumstance. If near a planet it would attempt a landing, if in deep space it would power down nonessential systems, minimize life support, and wait for a pickup. The standard lifepod was designed to support life for up to one week. Cara peered at the controls, a small battery of indicator lights and the thruster controls. The pod was in pickup mode. So no one was near. Originally the lifepods contained enough sensors, advanced communications, and propulsion to make them into their own little spacecraft.
However, people had a tendency to panic after a catastrophic event. They tended to make irrational decisions, and would constantly be turning on the sensors to see if anyone was coming, draining power from the life support system. They would broadcast message after message, pleading to be rescued, only to use up their oxygen faster. And sometimes they would point their lifepod in a direction they believed to be home and shoot off to some unknown place, making them very hard to find. Eventually the people in charge of such things decided it was better to give them virtually no options– a couple of maneuvering thrusts to keep them from crashing into something and an indicator if a ship responded to the distress beacon. This dramatically increased recovery rates of lifepods and their passengers, but for some made the experience more stressful.
There were lots of stories floating around about people’s experiences in lifepods. People told them like ghost stories. Being trapped for days in the tight space meant the likelihood of cabin fever or a nervous breakdown was high. To combat this some crewmen would stash a little nap sack in a lifepod, usually the one closest to their station or to their bunk. They’d toss in a few odds and ends, books, tablets, games, whatever they thought would help them get through a bad situation.
Cara had never bothered to do this, but as she looked around the pod she noticed someone else had. She reached down and pulled up an old cloth sack and pulled out the contents. A very old tablet computer, a few protein bars, and a yo-yo. Cara examined the tablet. Not surprisingly the battery was dead, no charge cable, and even if it was there, it wouldn’t be wise to use the lifepod’s power anyways. Next she examined the protein bars, the date on them was several years old. I guess this little sack has been here for awhile, she thought. Longer than she had served on the Astral Light. And finally, the yo-yo. Cara stared at the yo-yo. The lifepod was little more than a reclined chair in a cylinder, there was essentially no open space. She couldn’t even see her feet without a great amount of effort. She wondered at the rational of a crewmate who would place a completely useless toy in a cramped lifepod. Stupid yo-yo.
Frustrated, Cara powered up the thruster. She wouldn’t use too much power, just enough to turn the ship so that she could see the wreckage from the explosion. But no matter how the pod turned, all she saw was empty of space set to a background of stars. Strange. She wouldn’t have expected the lifepod to take her very far, but she saw neither the debris from the ruined ships nor the asteroid belt. Where am I?
Some of the regulars of the Scifi.StackExchange main chat room (Mos Eisley) got together to enjoy (and mock) some Star Trek. The first episode we watched was And The Children Shall Lead, which is considered one of the worst episodes from the original series.
Star Trek TOS – And The Children Shall Lead.
The other episode we watched that evening was Space Seed, which Netflix incorrectly classifies as a prequel to the Wrath of Khan. That is like saying Batman Begins is a prequel to The Dark Knight. Stay tuned (the correct frequency is 7) to your inter-webs to catch the transcript from that episode.
Here is a preview: “Khaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnn!” (Not actually in that episode.)
All images pulled from TrekCore
All the movies:
- Magically gifted children age at an extremely inconsistent rate. (They aged 6 magic years in 10 human years).
- All the students immediately outgrew their wizarding robes after the second year, the robes will rarely be seen again.
- Harry Potter is the only one who gets into trouble for using magic outside of Hogwarts.
- 16-year-old Voldemort looks nothing like 17-year-old Voldemort (or 11-year-old Voldemort for that matter). If George Lucas had been involved this would have been fixed by the third release of the DVDs.
- Most of Griffindor (a house based on bravery) is comprised of students too afraid of their own shadows to be of much use half of the time.
- The “good enough” mentality is just as strong in the magical community.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:
- The Sorting is not conducted in alphabetical order – what kind of system is that? Oh, and you’ll never see another Sorting.
- It is okay for teachers to play favorites, particularly Heads of Households.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:
- Children get injured constantly at Hogwarts and no one raises an eyebrow, but as soon as a few students get temporarily petrified, the future of this 1000-year-old institution is in jeopardy.
- Sometimes the students age in reverse order.
- Hagrid’s home (and really all of Hogwarts) is ridiculously overrun with spiders, at least until it no longer serves as a plot device.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:
- I don’t know what Dumbledore was doing during Harry’s second summer break, but he must have been hitting the gym or something. He started the third year looking like an entirely new man.
- Malfoy is the only student to get injured for which there appears to be consequences to the staff and other involved parties.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:
- For some reason everyone decided that 70s long hair was cool. The girls, the guys, everyone.
- Harry only uses magic four times (in a movie about wizards).
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:
- Despite the looming threat of Voldemort’s return, everyone managed to find a barber shop over the fourth year summer break.
- Harry is a rage-oholic who likes his rage-ohol shouted at, not stirred.
Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince:
- Harry has apparently become homeless and now lives in a dirty subway tunnel.
- All of Harry Potter’s problems from the previous movie would have been solved if they just looked in his memories.
- The Slug Club sounds even worse when spoken aloud.
- Any fool could look at 11-year-old Voldemort and know he was going to grow up to be a mass murderer.
- They should be brewing gallons of “Liquid Luck.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1 & 2:
- Harry doesn’t like other people taking risks for his sake. He’d rather let Voldemort just win already.
- Despite being free for 5 years, Dobby continues to wear the same tattered rags. His only addition is a pair of shoes. Yeah, that’s all you needed Dobby.
- The Weasley’s rebuilt The Burrow to look exactly like the old one did. That means their shabby house is by choice and not by circumstance.
- Every wizard’s house is apparently located in the middle of some huge empty field (except Snape’s).
- Even though people Disapparate together (holding hands) they rarely Apparate near each other.
- Harry is a wizard who never seems to think of magic as a solution to a problem. He’d rather jump into a freezing pool of ice water than cast a spell to warm the water first.
- Everyone is from Godric’s Hollow (which Harry didn’t know). It is apparently the source of all wizarding families.
- Gringott’s is probably not where you want to bank anymore, because they lost roughly 100% of their staff as a result of Harry’s break-in.
- Based on the number of people who died on that bridge, there can’t be all that many wizards left.
This post made possible by a grant from SciFi.StackExchange. That isn’t just a plug at the end of a PBS show, it’s the truth. Something like a ba-jillion years ago (Nov 15th 2011) I was one of the recipients of the Complete Collection of Harry Potter on DVD. I chose DVD because a) I didn’t have a BluRay, and b) I am not forward looking. I received this grant on the promise to help promote Harry Potter questions and answers on the site. Thanks to my contributions (and maybe others, I’m not keeping track) as of the writing of this post Harry Potter is the #1 tag on SciFi.StackExchange.