Meet Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, the Real-Life Dumbledore Behind the World’s Only Wizarding Academy
To anyone who grew up in the Harry Potter era, trawling the internet for DIY Patronus instructions and haphazard “magic” scams, an online wizarding school might sound dubious, at best. But there is, in fact, a place where that pesky line between reality and fantasy doesn’t exist—it’s a school, mostly online but with real-life components, where students can realize their wizarding potential. And it’s totally serious. The Grey School of Wizardry, run by headmaster, founder, and pointy-crushed-velvet-hat-wearer Oberon “Otter” Zell-Ravenheart, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Sonoma County, California, and the world’s only registered wizarding academy.
The Grey School isn’t a piddling gimmick. It’s an establishment with a ten-year history, 650 students across the world, and 450 classes taught by several dozen teachers in 16 departments: Alchemy & Magickal Sciences, Beast Mastery, Dark Arts, Psychic Arts, Divination, Wizardry, Wortcunning, and “Mathemagicks,” to name a few. Students between the ages of 11 and 17 are sorted into four houses—Gnomes, Salamanders, Sylphs, and Undines—while adults are sorted into lodges, each with its own faculty head and student prefects. Beyond classes, the Grey School has clubs, merit systems, a student newspaper (Grey Matters), and hosts IRL summer camps called “conclaves” around the US.
Nations of the world will be sending their most talented athletes to Tokyo in 2020 for the Olympic Games – but if Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gets his way, they might also be pitting robots against each other.
Abe announced his vision while touring robotics factories in Tokyo and Saitama, which is located just north of the country’s capital. According to Japan’s Jiji Press (translated via Agence France-Presse), the prime minister said a Robot Olympics would be a great way to showcase advances in the field around the globe.
“In 2020, I would like to gather all of the world’s robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skills,” he said.
read of the day: Won’t they help?
Why bystanders are reluctant to report a violent crime or aid a victim, and how they can be taught to step up and help
Bethesda in the state of Maryland is the kind of safe, upscale Washington DC suburb that well-educated, high-earning professionals retreat to when it’s time to raise a family. Some 80 per cent of the city’s adult residents have college degrees. Bethesda’s posh Bradley Manor-Longwood neighbourhood was recently ranked the second richest in the country. And yet, on 11 March 2011, a young woman was brutally murdered by a fellow employee at a local Lululemon store (where yoga pants retail for about $100 each). Two employees of the Apple store next door heard the murder as it occurred, debated, and ultimately decided not to call the police. If the attack had occurred in poor, crowded, crime-ridden Rio de Janeiro, the outcome might have been different: in one series of experiments, researchers found bystanders in the Brazilian city to be extraordinarily helpful, stepping in to offer a hand to a blind person and aiding a stranger who dropped a pen nearly 100 per cent of the time. This apparent paradox reflects a nuanced understanding of ‘bystander apathy’, the term coined by the US psychologists John Darley and Bibb Latané in the 1960s to describe the puzzling, and often horrifying, inaction of witnesses to intervene in violent crimes or other tragedies.
The great Jeanette Winterson on time, writing, and the purpose of art in human life
I think it’s the possibility to tell stories over a longer duration. You can go deeper. Television is fascinating. As a filmmaker, you generate hours of material that you really have to work hard to turn it into 90 minutes. You lose a lot of things. The story becomes very mathematical. A protagonist has a want, or a need—he or she goes after the want. It’s very act 1, 2, 3. You try to make it all disappear, but that kind of propulsion shapes most theatrical films, but television has a different shape and offers so much more freedom to explore characters and possibilities.
Because of the weight of the ends of the forks, and how they’re distributed behind the penny (closer to the glass), the center of gravity of the whole system is actually shifted quite significantly. If I’m right, it would actually have to be right where the penny meets the glass. This mean, in a sense, all the “weight” of the system of the forks and penny is resting right on that point, rather than out in the air, so if you balance it, it’ll be stable on the glass.
The difference between Science and Engineering.