Take a stroll with us down this magical street!
Students no longer have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to learn all there is to know about science-fiction literature. Instead, they can do it from the comfort of their living room (more specifically, the comfort of their pajamas). Signum University isn’t just an online college: it’s a university entirely dedicated to the study of genre fiction from a literary, historical, and philosophical perspective. Talk about the ultimate fantasy—which, of course, is also a subject. So, congratulations, genre nerds! (Of course, I say that with the utmost affection.) You can now put “majored in Tolkien” in your Tinder bio and mean it.
Yes, Signum University’s logo looks like it should be adorning the cover of a Hunger Games novel. Signum University’s specializations include Tolkien Studies; Imaginative Literature; Classic, Medieval, and Renaissance Literature; and Germanic Philology (the study of Germanic languages). Each of these programs falls under the M.A. in Language & Literature, an accredited program of graduate study. While the degree takes two to seven years to complete depending on the number of credits per semester—which can vary due to work or financial reasons-students are welcome to audit single classes for drastically reduced costs. You may not be able to major in Star Wars, but you can take an academic course on it.
Image Via Time Magazine
Other courses of note include Sherlock, Science, and Ratiocination; Literary Copernicus: The Cosmic Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft; The Potter Saga; and Tolkien’s World of Middle-earth. Though degree credits are more expensive, individual, twelve-week courses can cost as little as $95—for some, that’s a small price to pay for a world of information (or several, as the case may be). Cory Olsen, the university’s founder, said that the ideal students are working professionals who want to take the courses for “personal enrichment.” That enrichment, it seems, isn’t about getting rich—there probably aren’t a lot of entry-level jobs in Tolkien Studies. But you can study the Harry Potter franchise and make your coursework magical.
Image Via Signum University
Though early in its certification process, Signum University‘s New Hampshire accreditation is its first step to national official recognition, which would allow the institution to begin conferring master’s degrees nationwide. Let’s hope this degree program also moves out of this country—that would only make sense when it’s already out of this world!
Featured Image Via Financial Times
In Nottingham Prison, the inmates are book fiends.
As part of a recent investment, the prison—deemed one of London’s “most challenging” correctional facilities—spent £1.4 million on a specialized drug testing machine. Apparently, the machine was worth the expense: not only did it detect a drug-smuggling operation, but it also gave us the wild story of just how mind-blowing Harry Potter can be. When the results came in, authorities determined that the inmates weren’t just hooked on reading.
Image Via BBc
The newly-purchased machine detected a “spice-like substance” sprayed onto the pages of J.K. Rowling’s childhood classic (and no, we’re not talking cardamom). Officials believe the book was doctored outside of the prison and then sent to inmates, a gift as seemingly—and falsely—innocent as Harry Potter fanfiction. By the time guards detected the deception, four hundred pages were missing from the volume. Authorities suspect inmates smoked the missing pages—guess the book was so good, they burned right through it.
Prisons Minister Rory Stewart has sworn to step down if prison conditions fail to improve. Although six of the ten prisons involved in the reforms have markedly changed their conditions, Nottingham remains one of two problem prisons, each “dangerous, disrespectful and drug ridden.” Yup, definitely the last one.
One crucial plot point is missing in this story: exactly which book was it? For the sake of a neat ending, let’s just say Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Featured Image Via MuggleNet
WIRED hosted Daniel Radcliffe for an eventful Q&A session in which the Harry Potter icon finally revealed his favorite film of the franchise: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
“I love the last one, but I also really love the fifth, which is not a lot of people’s favorite, I kind of realize,” Radcliffe explained. “I love it because of the relationship between Harry and Sirius, and you get a lot of Gary Oldman in that movie.”
While Order of the Phoenix was not as epic as its predecessor, The Goblet of Fire, or as nerve-racking as The Half-Blood Prince (You remember why), it is hard to argue with the fact that extra screen time with the legendary Gary Oldman has to be an actor’s dream come true. Also, the Harry and Sirius relationship really was the saving grace of the franchise’s filler-like chapter.
“That was my favorite one,” He added. “Probably to film as well. We had a really, really good time making that one.”
Going back to The Half-Blood Prince, you can grab tickets to a limited New York City screening of the film here.
Image via Digital Spy
Thank you for answering one of the internet’s biggest mysteries, Daniel Radcliffe.
Featured Image via Reddit
Recently, J.K. Rowling has taken to Twitter to give us all the insider Harry Potter information we could ever want… whether we wanted it or not. Now, Daniel Radcliffe has joined in, and he’s decided to spill some magical behind-the-scenes info to the loyal Potterheads of the Internet.
Since filming began for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone back in 2001, the younger cast members were only eleven years old. This made them the perfect age for losing their teeth baby teeth… which, of course, made directors looking for consistent shots lose their minds. The cast figured out a creative way around the missing teeth: making the younger cast members all wear prop teeth while their real ones fell out.
Image Via NME
When they were doing the earlier movies, because their teeth were falling out, they would have a cast made of all their teeth. So that if one fell out, they could have a prop tooth put in. Just so they could keep filming.
Radcliffe added, “cause you’ve got a set full of twenty 10-year-olds… they would cast everyone’s mouths.”
When this inside secret was revealed, it was met with a much more positive response than the previous secret revealed a month back (that Hogwarts had no plumbing and wizards vanished the evidence of their bathroom accidents). This secret makes the movies all the more interesting!
Harry Potter cast members smiling with their (probably fake) teeth
Image Via Elite Daily
Next time you watch a Harry Potter movie, will you be able to tell which are props and which are real teeth?
Featured image Via Slash Film