Monday, December 25, 2006

End of FoxTrot Dailies

Nooooo! Last week of Foxtrot dailies :-(

Starting from Sunday, Dec. 31, 2006, we'll only have the Sunday Foxtrot comics to look forward to.

Hopefully, the last few dailies will be memorable!

-- Arkajit

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Yes!!! The moment we've all been waiting for... the title for Harry Potter 7. While there's no known release date yet, speculation over at Mugglenet is that a 2007 release date is likely.

Well, after 17 months of speculation (since HBP came out in July 2005) over Book 7, we finally have a title to further fuel the theories.

An interesting note, googling "The Deathly Hallows" at around 9 p.m. PST tonight still yields no Harry Potter related hits at all! (Only exception is the lone google news link at the top to a news article about the book's impact on the market which is not really a true search hit.) Check out the top five hits below, all regarding All Hallow's Eve or Halloween.

Wonder how long that will last before the page fills up with nothing but Harry-Potter related sites?

But still it echoes what I first thought about when I heard the title - Halloween. After all, it's such a crucial date in the HP books, the most memorable being Halloween 1981 when Lily and James Potter were murdered by Lord Voldemort, the day before the story picks up in Sorcerer's Stone.

First, though we must determine if Deathly Hallows is referring to a place, a time or date - what exactly? I'm inclined toward thinking that its a place - perhaps the location of the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort. I'd also think that if it is a place, it has some special historical significance for Harry. Could the story possibly end where it began, at Godric's Hollow? After all Hollow, Hallow - sounds similar.

And why "Deathly" rather than "Deadly"? I'm not sure if that's more common in Britain, but it seems to me "deadly" is the more commonly used term. This further leads me to think that it's a proper noun as in the name of a place.

Also since hallow means to consecrate or make holy, there's probably something sacred about this place. Perhaps even a deeper significance for all of magic, maybe the source of all magical power in the world or something crazy like that.

Ok, let me just end by making a list of a few questions that I would like resolved by the end of the series: (I tried to restrict myself to just the main burning questions. Of course, there are lot's of other interesting questions as well, but I have to wonder how much J.K.R. will leave open at the end.)
  • Peter Pettigrew: How did he turn to the Dark Side? Life debt to Harry?
  • Severus Snape: The most complex character in the series - What's his game? Which side?
  • Generally more Marauders Era backstory - maybe it will help in the horcrux hunt...
  • The Veil: I've got to believe that we're going to see it play a role again. anyone? (actually surprised that no one has taken that domain name) :)
  • Harry: Horcrux or Not? Will he survive?
  • Shipping: Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione ?- had to add that in just for completeness' sake ;P
Can't wait!!

-- Arkajit

P.S. Oh, I just thought about what the old title may have been. Some time back, J.K. Rowling had said that she had come up with a new title that was a vowel and two consonants ahead of her current title. Well what if the original title was "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hall"? Then adding a vowel, 'o', and two consonants 'w', 's' gives "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"! If this is true, then the theory that this is a place seems even more plausible.

Monday, December 18, 2006

You Are...

...Time's Person of the Year!

Yes, you, me, everyone. Did we call it or what? Keep up the blogging, podcasting, web 2.0 spirit!

-- Arkajit

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sci-Fi Spaceship Lengths

Ever wondered how long Darth Vader's Super Star Destroyer The Executor is? Almost 20 km! Compare the lengths of spaceships across many different sci-fi series at Starship Dimensions.

Compared to The Executor, most of the other ships don't even match up. The rod-like spaceship Discovery in 2001: A Space Odyssey is only about 113 m in length. The regular imperial star destroyers are only about 2 km in length, though. The size disparity is clear in the picture.

And of course, if you remember the scene from the ROTJ where Admiral Ackbar says to "concentrate all fire-power on that super star-destroyer" before The Executor crashes into Death Star II, it's no surprise that the spacestation could contain a few hundred thousand super start destroyers.

I was, howewer, surprised to find out that the Death Star II had a radius about five times that of the first Death Star. While the original Death Star had an impressive radius of 160 km, the Death Star II trumps that with a whopping 800 km radius! Incidentally, that's only slightly short of the radius of Pluto which is 1180 km. And considering that there are several well-known moons in our solar system that are smaller than the first Death Star, Han Solo's characterization of it as "a small moon" seems justified as well.

- Arkajit