Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.
In the past two weeks, everyone from Harold Bloom to Jay Leno has had a chance to talk about J.K. Rowling’s new book, the 752-page “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” But while discussion has ranged from the literary merits of the book to how Scholastic was able to pull off an astounding 3.8 million-copy print run in nearly absolute secrecy, a handful of fans have noticed what may or may not be a slip on Rowling’s part.
One of the most highly praised features of the Harry Potter series has been the detailed history of the world that surrounds its orphaned hero. But during the climactic confrontation at the conclusion of “Goblet of Fire,” the very order in which Harry’s parents were murdered by the evil Lord Voldemort seems to be brought into question. During the high-stakes battle between Voldemort and Harry, as a result of complications in the wands that they both use, Harry forces the ghosts of all those whom Voldemort has killed with his wand to eject themselves momentarily into the living world.
The book specifically notes that they emerge in the reverse of the order in which they were killed. First comes Cedric, the popular Hogwarts Quidditch player, who was most recently killed by Voldemort, then the groundskeeper of the Riddle Estate (whose murder was excerpted in Newsweek), then “missing” witch Bertha Jorkins, followed by Harry’s parents. Here is where fans of the series are scratching their heads. Margo Alexandra, a student at the University of Chicago, was one of many who noticed that “Harry’s parents come out in the wrong order.”
Rowling’s previous books have indicated that Harry’s father died first, in an attempt to protect his wife and child, and that only after his failure was Harry’s mother killed, while placing a spell over her son that granted him some form of protection from Voldemort. But when the ghosts start coming out of Voldemort’s wand, Harry’s dad comes out first, with his mother close behind.
Was the discrepancy a mistake? A slip-up? Or something more? What other plot twists might J.K. Rowling have up her sleeve? The only thing her fans can do is sit back, maybe reread the first book or two, gripe about the upcoming movie and wait for “Harry Potter V.”
Garth Johnston is a student at Stuyvesant High School in New York City.More Garth Johnston.
Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China
Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti
“Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA
Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.
Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada
Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway
Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.
Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.
Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million
Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.
Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.
Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico
Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.
Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.