Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Chapters 3&4

Dumbledore at the Dursleys feels like really clumsy exposition – and out of character. It seems both contrived that he would work through the entire Kreacher issue in the presence of the Dursleys – there is no reason to do so – and inconsistent with his character that he would be so overtly condescending toContinue reading “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Chapters 3&4”

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Chapters 1/2

I was struck in the Spinner’s End chapter by the parallels between the “good” and “bad” sides of the wizarding world. Our titular protagonist was saved by a mother risking everything to save him. Now the mother of one of his principal adversaries is . . . risking everything to try to save her son.Continue reading “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Chapters 1/2”

Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix Movie

We finally finished reading Harry Potter 5 with our toddler so here are some thoughts about the film adaptation before we move on to Half Blood Prince. Below I’m going to post my thoughts chronologically, but let me start with a few high level points to add some context for the specifics to follow: ThisContinue reading “Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix Movie”

Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix Chapter 38

Quick side note: does anyone else feel like our relationship with Moody in books 5, 6, and 7 is sort of fake? He’s this member of the Order and he’s looking out for Harry so we’re supposed to feel something for him – but the “Moody” we actually got to know in book 4 wasn’tContinue reading “Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix Chapter 38”

The Poorest of the Poor Revisited

Today marks the 12th anniversary of the day I spent in Nairobi’s Korogocho Slums with some of the world’s “poorest of the poor.” I was profoundly affected then and still am – but I have some new thoughts. In hindsight, this experience, which I found to be so special and impactful at the time, feelsContinue reading “The Poorest of the Poor Revisited”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chapters 32/33

WARNING: THERE BE SPOILERS BELOW: These chapters further my beef with Dumbledore’s occlumency plan. By the end of the 7th book, we really come to view Dumbledore as a true chess master. He’s thinking years ahead and anticipating what many pieces on the board will do in response to the moves of others. Indeed, heContinue reading “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chapters 32/33”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chapters 30/31

The Occlumency subplot of this book seems a little wonky to me. Was Snape really the ONLY person who could teach it to Harry? Especially considering how bad of a teacher he seems to be! Considering that the main thread of the book involves a group of students learning magic beyond their years and teachingContinue reading “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chapters 30/31”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chapters 28/29

Can I just say that I love Fred and George here? Their uprising against evil, authoritative rule is inspiring – vive la resistance! It’s sort of neat too how we get multiple examples all at once of kids out-magic’ing grownups: Fred and George’s uprising, Hermione’s sneak pimples. (Is this the first time we’ve seen evidenceContinue reading “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Chapters 28/29”

Third Derivative: My Next Great Adventure

Far over the misty mountains coldTo dungeons deep and caverns oldWe must away ere break of dayTo seek the pale enchanted gold. I have founded or led eight climate tech startups. I’ve had one really big success, a few smaller successes, and a few “learning experiences” along the way – but every one of themContinue reading “Third Derivative: My Next Great Adventure”