Friday, July 20, 2007

Harry Potter - Half Blood Prince Review

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince U.S. Cover

This is going to be a very short review of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The book was an excellent read. Before taking up Half Blood Prince you'll want to have read the prior Potter books in the series.

Half Blood Prince definitely acts as a bridge between Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (book five), and the final book of the Potter Series - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In fact I suspect that much of the material in Half Blood Prince was written at the same time Order of the Phoenix was being formulated. This is not to say that Half Blood Prince isn't a book unto itself, but it did leave me wondering how much J.K. Rowlings felt the need to fill, and expand plot and character just to hatch a sixth book.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Canadian Style

Having said that I must say that Half Blood Prince did further the story of Harry and his Hogwart's family. The central expansion is that of the Dark Lord, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Much of the book is spent in the presentation of a collection of memories which Albus Dumbledore shares with Harry Potter in an attempt to educate Harry, and the reading audience as to the origin of Voldemort.

Harry Potter Half Blood Prince Ukrainian Style

There are some excellent scenes in the book, but very little magical action. One of the main characters is killed, and Harry is assigned a quest which of course begins at the ending. Leaving readers wanting closure, wanting more.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Order of the Phoenix Movie Review

Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood

Not bad. Having read the book recently I could easily compare the book to the movie, and both are good even if they tell the story in a different way.

Evanna Lynch Plays Luna Lovegood

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix finishes just short of nine hundred pages, while the movie runs around two hours and fifteen minutes. Having said that there's really no way to tell the same story without making a six hour long movie.

Emma Watson as Hermione Granger

Despite the differences I was happy with the movie.

I did, however, want some more action at the end, but I suspect we the viewer are supposed to feel this way. Almost all the action comes at the end, and to tell the truth my imagination presented a much better battle as I was reading the book than the movie presented.

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter

Is the book better? Of course it is, just like all the Harry Potter books.

Emma Watson Plays Hermione Granger

Anyway, we can all look forward to Half Blood Prince whenever it is set to come out, I know I'll be waiting to see the movie.

Daniel Radcliffe Plays Harry Potter

In the mean time I've read about one hundred and fifty pages into Half Blood Prince, and my goal is to finish it before the last book in the series is released at the end of this week.

Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Lady Bird Johnson Funeral Service

Frank Wolfe Photo: Lady Bird Johnson In Field of Wild Flowers

“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.” - Lady Bird Johnson -

Early this morning I watched the Funeral Service for Lady Bird Johnson on CSPAN. I really love CSPAN as it carries such events without interruption. A few months ago it was President Ford's Funeral, and burial service, and now it is Lady Bird Johnson's Funeral Service.

Claudia Alta Taylor (1915)

“When I was a little girl, I grew up listening to the wind in the pine trees of the East Texas woods.” - Lady Bird Johnson -

If anyone had asked me about Lady Bird Johnson before having watched and listened to her funeral service I would have only been able to say that she was President Johnson's widow, and that she played a significant role in beautifying America's roadsides.

Since her death I've read her obituary, and discovered her role in Head Start, and the civil rights movement.

Lady Bird Johnson and President Lyndon Baines Johnson

“Wildflower landscapes can help us save water. Wildflowers also can save time and maintenance money. They may even bring money to cities and states. Wildflower trails and flower festivals improve local pride and bring in tourists. But, as I’ve said, we need to know much more about how and when and where to plant them to get reliable, predictable, consistent results. We need that knowledge if we are to preserve wildflowers and to choose them as complements to traditional manicured landscaping.” - Lady Bird Johnson -

However, tonight (early this morning) I had the opportunity to learn about who she was. Listening to her grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and daughters speak at her funeral service was amazing.

She lived a long life, and she had a profoundly positive impact on her entire family. It was quite evident that she was profoundly loved, but just as evident was how she changed her family. Her daughters, and granddaughters were so open, and self confident. They were unabashedly proud of Lady Bird.

Lady Bird Johnson may be gone, but she certainly lives on in her family.

“Though the word beautification makes the concept sound merely cosmetic, it involves much more: clean water, clean air, clean roadsides, safe waste disposal and preservation of valued old landmarks as well as great parks and wilderness areas. To me…beautification means our total concern for the physical and human quality we pass on to our children and the future.” - Lady Bird Johnson -

Related Links

LBJ Library

WildFlower Center

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