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  1. When Fels proposed us doing countries of the world, for this year in Wonders of the World, I immediately thought of Finland, because of Monty Python. What? You've not heart of "Finland, Finland, Finland" sung by Michael Palin? Oh. Okay .... Well, maybe you have seen pictures of the Northern Lights in Finland? The best time, according to some, to see the Aurora Borealis in Finland is from December to March. You might even watch them in comfort -- "In Finland, you can view nature's most spectacular light show, the Aurora Borealis, from purpose-built spaces like glass huts and luxury suites. Did you know that the Northern Lights are visible roughly 200 nights a year in Finnish Lapland?" Even in the summer, though, with the snow gone, the countryside is so wild, so beautiful ... Welcome to Wonders of the World - and Finland! We'll have a great time exploring the sights and sounds and magic of this wonderful country.
    5 points
  2. picture shows Christmas Tree and season decorations at Rockefeller Center Click here for larger image. Starting on December 1st, Hufflepuff celebrates O' Tannenbaum! All of HOL Hogwarts is welcome to participate, have fun and earn Diamonds. This year our holiday event will revolve around the one symbol most people associates with this holiday... The Christmas Tree! It matters not the size of the tree but the joy it brings to those who will be sitting around it enjoying the memories of the decorations and lights. This month I hope as you take part in our event, we hope the trees in the games brings back some happy memories of you and your family. I will be offering my daily Trivia Challenge and, in addition, we will have discussions, puzzles, colouring pages, and other things for you to participate in and play with each week. All challenges and/or activities will be due on December 31st (HOL 11:59pm). We will, however, be offering bonus Diamonds to those who finish them within a week's time of the activity being posted. If you participate in at least half of the activities presented, both Trivia and Forum activities, you will earn a nice Award to add to your treasures! ...... Mark the Forum to follow it (see above for places to click to follow either forum and topic) so you get notifications of new things when they appear! If for accessibility reasons you can't complete any of the activities, please just let Tarma or me know and an alternative can be worked out – we might give you something to research and write up about, but we will come up with an alternative!
    5 points
  3. Unlike the others that have posted, I have seen the movie! There were definitely some shocking twists that I did not expect to happen (I try to stay away from any kind of spoilers, as to see it from a fresh mind, plus the Sett is having issues with posting with spoilers right now). It was very difficult reading your posts knowing that I had seen the latest movie, and couldn't respond to your posts without giving away anything. While deciding what to post for this, without having my entire post be all spoilers, I decided to focus on what I love about the series! I love the bond between Jacob and Newt, Jacob and Queenie and Newt and Tina, and we get to see more of them in this installment. We get to meet some new creatures, and there were several new ones that I loved in addition to my favorites from the previous two installments, the Bowtruckle and the Niffler. When I first found out that the movie was releasing a day earlier in my area, I got right on and reserved seats for my family and I to see it! They even have luxury recliner seats in my local theatre now, so we got to see it with all the relaxation of home! This was such a good first movie to see back in theatres (as the last movie I had seen in theatres was in December of 2019). When the movie was over, people in the theatre applauded! Highly recommend this movie to EVERYONE. IT WAS SO GOOD!!!!! P.S. TARMA, watch this movie, so I can talk to you about this! P.S.S. Tomorrow, I finally get to see The Cursed Child perform after a two year delay!!!!!
    4 points
  4. I haven't seen the latest movie yet - and I probably won't see it in a theater so it might be a while before I have the chance (that said I really don't mind being spoiled as I'd rather have the information to use as I see fit!) In any event, I can understand why Queenie Goldstein switched to "the side of evil": she was living in a discriminatory society that did not allow her to marry - or even have any sort of social contact with - the man she loved. When paired with rejection by that man (even if that rejection was done in order to keep her safe), it makes sense that she could be easily persuaded by a leader who made promises to allow such relationships in the future! Love is a powerful force in this universe, and the prospect of being actually allowed to express your true love freely can allow you to explain away a lot. I think that Grindelwald told Queenie what she wanted to hear and painted his vision in the best light possible (to Queenie's ears) and that would likely have been more than enough! ---------------------------------------- WARNING to future participants of this activity: While trying to refresh my memory on how Queenie Goldstein acted in the first two Fantastic Beasts movies, I consulted the Harry Potter Wiki page on Queenie Goldstein. When I scrolled down to see the part about her joining Grindelwald towards the end of the second movie, I was immediately confronted with spoilers for the third movie... without spoiler warnings or any other indications that this information was only from The Secrets of Dumbledore (until I clicked on a numbered footnote). Therefore, you should be very careful with the Harry Potter Wiki if you wish to avoid spoilers!
    4 points
  5. The last woman I can think of that actually has inspired me is my friend's mum. Her name is Jane and she is an absolute sweetheart. She has always been so nice to me and my siblings and she is always willing to help me. She was that motherly touch for me when I was being a teenager, that I have desperately needed at the time. Even though I am a grown man now, I am fully sure that if I have ever needed her help she will help me straight away, no matter what. Her kindness is truly inspiring.
    4 points
  6. Yet another woman who has been my inspiration is great great grandma, who has sadly passed away a long time ago, in 1984, so I know her mostly from stories. She was a Native American, and she was a Lakota. She was less than a year old during the Wounded Knee Massacre, which was the last major war between Native Americans and Americans. Almost three hundred Lakota people died in it, including my grandma's mother. As she was being raised in a Reservation camp by her father, she grew up to be extremely proud of her culture and was teaching traditions to her children to ensure that they won't be forgotten.
    4 points
  7. My sister Daisy is also a very inspiring woman in my life. We are all adopted and so pretty much no one is truly related. We all had different families and so different life experiences. Daisy was adopted when I was 16. She was 8 at the time. She was raised by a single mother, who was diagnosed with cancer. For about a year young Daisy was taking care of her mother until she passed. Now Daisy is 20 and she is in university pursuing a medical degree. She wants to be a doctor and work on developing a cure for cancer.
    4 points
  8. Another woman that madly inspires me is my older sister Kate. She has always been an extremely independent person and was always walking her own path. She is my best friend and I have always admired how much she was focused on her own self rather than what other people say. She has recently graduated from her master's degree. She wants to be an architect and she is working hard to pursue that dream. I have no doubt in my mind that she is going to be whoever she wants in life as she is that sort of a person.
    4 points
  9. My inspiration is also my mum. My biological mum has passed away when I was about ten years old. She was a great woman. As a single mother she managed to secure a good job and went to university. She graduated with a perfect grade and was on her first year of her second master degree when she died due to a car accident. She was always there for me and never missed any school shows. She wanted me to do good and always tried to push me so that I do more and more things that I was passionate about.
    4 points
  10. The most obvious choice is my mum. I have always been so inspired by mum and she is such a wonderful person in my life that it would be impossible for me not to pick her as my inspiration. She is such a kind person, who always takes care of others, but she is also extremely wise and eloquent (let's just say she is a mix of a Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw). I have always been inspired by her impressive knowledge - she is a great lawyer and worked really hard for her success. She can also speak fluently in five languages.
    4 points
  11. This reminds me of the other traditions we have in our family! After the dinner and opening the gifts, my family forms two groups. The first group, with me in it, goes to church and the second one stays at home with Louis. Louis is not religious and probably the last thing he would want to do after dinner is to walk and then sit in a cold church. I have always been religious and so every year I go to church to listen to the choir. I love this part of my tradition because it always gives me that proper holiday vibe.
    4 points
  12. I have a large family, four sisters and a brother. My favorite tradition that we do for Christmas is making presents. Because we have such a large family, my parents could not afford for all us kids to but each other gifts when we were younger, so they started a tradition of us making each of our siblings something. The things we make range from toys, candy and treats, painting or drawings. My brother even made me a wooden jewelry box one time. We all keep it a secret what we are making for the others until we exchange the gifts on Christmas morning.
    4 points
  13. I am a true European and so I have never been to America, despite the fact that I always wanted to. Have I ever been to something similar to the Grand Canyon? Hm...well I do not know. It depends on what you can really call 'alike'. When I was in my very prime years (primary school to be precise) I used to go to the annual school trips to the mountains such as Beskidy Mountains (Is there anyone who still does not know I am Polish? I believe this has been mentioned more times than it should ). However, if I had to pick one form of attraction that has some similarities I would go with the Segiet Nature Reserve. Segiet Nature Reserve is a forest that is located in a city called Tarnowskie Gory. This nature reserve has an impressive collection of trees, which makes it extremely pleasant visually. When I went there I was originally not happy - we had two trips in one day and so after 6h of walking on our first trip, the forest walk was the last thing I really wanted to do. When we finally got there I was unimpressed with the mountain like terrain (again, due to me being extremely tired). As we were walking I have spotted a place which literally made me gasp for air. One of the most beautiful places I have ever went to: To be frankly honest...I cannot tell you much more about this trip because it was such a long time ago that I do not remember anything after seeing this view. I guess my tired mind of a...I do not know... let's say a 10 year old, could not be bothered. It's crazy to say this photo is almost 20 years old (makes me feel old) and let's bless my past self for uploading this photo from my AMAZING old nokia (also known as the indestructible phone) to my sim card which was put into my first smartphone and then it somehow got saved in Google Photos!
    4 points
  14. Beetles If I say the word bugs to you, you'll like jump immediately to pest, flies, roaches, spiders, centipedes, etc. There's not really a positive spin on the word. But we are fairly in agreement that bugs=insects and insects have a major impact on humanity. Yes, as pests eating our crops, but also pollinating those crops, controlling other pests and that's on the most basic nature interaction. Let's take beetles for example for this week. Beetles do have a more positive spin in some ways. Their jeweled wings and shells captivate our imagination, to the point of inspiring jewelry and art. In fact, we've made them into art, especially their wings and exoskeletons. We've taken their innate nature of destruction and bent to our uses. There's a particular beetle, that we use for taxidermy in some places, because it will clean delicate bones much better than clumsy human hands. We've taken them and used for gambling, which is rather bizarre to me, but apparently there's a whole subculture out there with mini fighting rings for beetles and betting on the winners and losers. For the more...eclectic tastes, one could even have a beetle pet. Certainly in the typical aquarium fashion, though my not personal taste. In fact, in parts of East Asia, one could find actual vending machines, with live beetles for pets, that's how popular these are with young boys there. If you're either less eclectic or more macabre, one could simply collect them and mount them. This was a popular hobby in the Victorian era, with some collections ranging in the thousands. They have even inspired cutting edge technology and been turned into cyborgs. One desert beetle is inspiring an ingenious water bottle that can be self filling, based on it's moisture harvesting abilities. (Also, makes me think of Star Wars and blue milk, but I digress). In the American government, we've mounted cameras like little backpacks on them that can be used for surveillance in the future. So be wary of any beetles that look like they are headed to school!! Now, in a 150 words post, I want you to give me A.) a mythological or folktale tale involving a beetle or B.) do a deep dive on a particular beetle species with a picture. With that, you'll earn 20 diamonds! All posts due at July 31st, 11:59 HOL time
    3 points
  15. Atlas moth is one of the largest moth species, which lives mostly in the Asian forests. It was discovered by Carl Linnaeu in 1758. As I mentioned, it is large. It has a wingspan of 24cm (9.4in) and a wing surface area of about 160cm2 (~25in2). They are most prominent in the tropical forests near Mount Kinabalu (Malaysia). Fun fact is that in Cantonese, their name means 'snake's head moth'. A bit odd if you ask me. Monarch butterfly is one of the most known butterfly species, which lives mostly in the United States. It was also discovered by Carl Linnaeu in 1758. They are not very big, in fact quite the opposite. They weigh less than half a gram with their wingspan reaching only 4 inches. As with many species, females are much larger than males. A fun fact is that they are poisonous, and so if eaten by predators, it would get them sick.
    3 points
  16. This lovely little fella is called Rose Chafer. They can be found all over central and southern Europe, as well as in some areas of North Africa and Asia. Apparently they favour England the most, as there are plenty of them here. Their lifespan is just one year. The adult beetle is approximately 13-14mm (0.51-0.55 in) long. As you can guess, they do feed on roses but can also eat nectar and pollen. This makes them pests as they destroy plenty of roses. You can easily spot them between May and October as they love sun. They are most active during the day and will come out on warm and sunny days (who does not like sunbathing?). They are deemed to be quite noisy, making sounds similar to those of bumblebees. In the Egyptian culture, this beetle when depicted with folded wings, represented the neophyte. However, if depicted with open wings, that symbolized knowledge.
    3 points
  17. Another thing is that I don't come from a wealthy family. I believe the appropriate word to describe my family's financial situation is 'deprived'. My mum was earning less than 1k monthly and after paying all the bills, she didn't have much left. She was a single mother and my grandparents were not keen to support her financially in any way. Even our house was more of a slum than a proper home. We didn't have a bathroom. We had to use buckets for everything (yes, for 'that' too). Yet, she was always taking me to fun places such as a zoo, cinema or anything else. I never had dirty or too small clothes but brand new ones. Not fancy brands but new clothes. This is absolutely worth admiring.
    3 points
  18. It's May... and hopefully nicer weather than we had in April. My flowers are starting to bloom. My Lilies of the Valley are starting to come up... and no this is not a picture of them. Hopefully soon though. 143 pieces unfinished - https://imgur.com/a/5qxqvF2 finished - https://imgur.com/a/kiYpXkj
    3 points
  19. My back yard this morning - 114 pieces unfinished - https://imgur.com/a/BFwmbMK finished - https://imgur.com/a/eG3v1TY
    3 points
  20. Yes... April 18th and we're getting snow... 114 pieces unfinished - https://imgur.com/a/EmTaCDT finished - https://imgur.com/a/556yMhH
    3 points
  21. I unfortunately do not know when I will be able to watch the movie, or even the 2nd one, I do not have much free time! Plus I do not like movie theaters haha, I'd wait until they are available online or in DVD form. Though I am really glad to hear that we will see new creatures! I have such a love and passion for animals and creatures of all kinds so that has me excited. I wonder if there will be a fourth movie, though? I never really expected a second or third, honestly, but a fourth would be interesting I bet!
    3 points
  22. 300 pieces: Unfinished: https://prnt.sc/TPWXby5E8bRx Finished: https://prnt.sc/eZqz0HxkNIbn
    3 points
  23. 221 pieces: Unfinished: https://prnt.sc/wKUmOFEP5Mai Finished: https://prnt.sc/D4WV7IbfOXrs
    3 points
  24. I've not seen the third movie yet. I'm sort of surprised at all the mentions of Queenie, in part because that is of whom I wanted to talk! PS - Thank you, Will, for the note about spoilers in the Wiki pages! I will avoid them. Anyway, back to Queenie. It's really difficult having a gift of legilimency, or so I imagine. Hearing what everyone is 'thinking' or saying in their own heads? Eeeuuuu. Where's the mute button! Yet, at the same time, I think this is something which she got used to, and thought she had it very much under control. What would happen when she met a person who is able to control his thoughts to such an extent that he could 'think' things which are not true, and have them appear as true. Or, worse perhaps, someone who lied to himself and believed his own lies. How would she know the difference between the thinking of a sane mind and that of an insane mind? When would she have taught herself discernment, that she can tell the difference? I always thought her a very strong character and still do. I think when she gets over being brain-washed (mind-washed) that Queenie will be a vital part of whatever downfall Grindelwald experiences.
    3 points
  25. 220 pieces: Unfinished: https://prnt.sc/LCvm2Ejxqi9P Finished: https://prnt.sc/LCvm2Ejxqi9P
    3 points
  26. 3 points
  27. https://linksharing.samsungcloud.com/xUfoa2725GXE finished 150 piece baby bunny jigsaw https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=0c4a4ebf9a28 scrambled
    3 points
  28. Unfinished: Finished: Unfinished: Finished:
    3 points
  29. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Scrambled Completed
    3 points
  30. Mmm, I’d really like for my tree to be inclusive, so while there might be branches extending into different directions, beings will be able to live wherever they please. At the bottom of the tree, there it’s rooted, a giant river would pass, giving the tree sustenance and protection, making it grow ever larger and up to the infinite sky. The bottom branches, which are the thickest, would have vines hanging off it, making it possible for certain beings to venture off the tree, if they so choose and into the river and plains. The leaves itself would be shaped like maple leaves and would encompass all possible colors of the spectrum, with the darkest starting at the “bottom” of the crown with lighter shades spanning upwards. There’s really nothing that discerns one color of leaves from the other. Some suppose that different color means different magic or nature/worldly aspect, but nothing’s confirmed. The branches rise up west, east and north and they connect to different parts of the universe, acting like teleportation devices as the universe is really big. That way, beings can travel quickly across the universe, space and time. Overall, I just really want beings to be happy and live in harmony.
    3 points
  31. Jigsaw #1 (210 pieces) Unfinished: Finished:
    3 points
  32. I don't really make your typical resolutions, like put them in a list and everything, but I do set general goals for myself that I try to keep up with in the coming year. I don’t badger myself if I don’t meet them though or never get to them. For example, this year, I set two broad goals for myself. One of them is “be kind”, which is something I always strive to be. I try to teach that to my children as well. I think kindness is something the world really lacks at the moment and you can make a change with just one kind word to a stranger or a friend.
    3 points
  33. I have made New Year's Resolutions before, but this year, I didn't really. I made some half attempts at coming up with one, I have a page scribbled in a journal that is focused around a 'One Word' that I haven't looked at since. (The One Word challenge is something I've seen on social media where instead of coming up with a specific resolution, you come up with a word that corresponds with your goals or is a vibe you want to create for yourself.) I think for myself, my life has changed fairly drastic in the last six months or so, that it's hard to chase after goals, when I'm still trying to figure out my footing with current things. Work especially is an unpredictable beast. But I do have some tentative goals to try and focus on my health more and pursue some of my hobbies a bit more instead of scrolling social media in my free time, limited as it can be some days.
    3 points
  34. Being that we have a younger child, Christmas is still a big deal around our house. We have the tradition of giving out one present to everyone on Christmas Eve as a way to kick off the celebration. There is, of course, the obligatory cookie making for Santa, even though I have a sneaky suspicion that my daughter really doesn't believe anymore. She is nice enough not to ruin it for Mom, so that's good!! Christmas Day is usually just the three of us (four this year since Grandma lives with us now). We enjoy a quiet meal at home and each other's company, provided I am not working. Sadly, many of my holidays are spent working, but we still try to make it as festive as posible. My husband and daughter will come to the hospital and see me on break, usually bringing food with them for me and my partner (fellow EMT). If that's not possible, I FaceTime them on my break and we drink eggnog together (even though mine is actually coffee from the vending machine). One tradition we NEVER miss, even if we have to work it around busy schedules is watching Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Christmas Carol (the musical with Albert Finney). I'm not even sure how this became a 'thing', but it wouldn't be Christmas proper without it now.
    3 points
  35. So, when I was a kid Christmas used to be a big thing. I was an only child and I had a big family. My dad used to be a truck driver so that was the best part about Christmas because he was on holiday and was home. But on Christmas Eve we would visit my mothers dad and step mom and spend time with her side of the family. On Christmas I would wake up early, before my parents, and go into the living room. My dad would go all out, he would leave the doors to the fireplace open since we never used it, he would make boot prints on the carpet and everything. Inside and outside of the house were all decorated. Once my parents woke up I would open all my presents before we got ready to my dad's parents house where it was just my grandparents, great grandmother, my dad's brother and sister along with their kids and partners. We would open presents and have dinner, and wouldn't leave until it was dark out. Once we got home we would walk next door to my moms mothers house and eat cookies and I would open presents. When I got older I would spend Christmas Holiday at my dad's parents until I had to go back to school. It would just be me and my cousin since we are the oldest out of six. But now since all my grandparents are gone, I just spend Christmas with my dad. I call my mom and talk to her for a while and a few other family members I’m close to. Me and my dad have Christmas dinner and that’s it. Neither of us have very much Christmas spirit anymore. I’ll watch Christmas movies all day and make hot cocoa. I don’t mind it much though I like it simple and not having to run around all day, since my family doesn’t live close. It’s still a good day and fun day.
    3 points
  36. We have had a mix of real and artificial trees over the years. This year we went with artificial, but it has pinecones and berries throughout it so it does sort of have a feel of a real tree minus the great smell if a real tree. We decorate it with white lights and add all the ornaments my parents have saved throughout the years. This year the tree is 7 and a half feet tall so the ornaments fit well, but in the past when we have had smaller trees, you cannot see the tree because of all of the ornaments.
    3 points
  37. It's been a long time since the last time I had a Christmas tree at home. In my early years, we always had a Christmas tree. My parents bought artificial Christmas trees for us, along with the tree they also bought a lot of ornaments to decorate it. I always had a great time decorating our tree and it was enjoyable! We had about a few of them in years, there are a dark green, slightly green, and white one. There are lights, garlands and tinsel with many designs. Oh, I love sitting near the tree with our light off. Usually after decorating the tree, I used to make a lot of presents and laid them under the tree with cottons along with Christmas cards.
    3 points
  38. As Louis said...indeed. He bought a rainbow tree which gave him not only a proper allergic reaction but also a proper back pain as he is the one responsible for decorating the tree every year. Additionally, to the white, silver and red baubles, we also have a few special baubles. We have a two dog figurines (I wish I could tell you the breeds but I have absolutely no idea), a dragon bauble. We also have a few paper made decorations too - our youngest son had an obsession with a magazine about football and so he made one from the poster from it!
    3 points
  39. Oh do not get me started on our Christmas tree! I will never forget how our tree appeared in our house. We (read Harry and I) were walking through our old neighbourhood when he spotted a small store with colourful artificial trees. There was one tree that literally looked like a perfect tree for a gay couple - all covered in glitter and in the colours of rainbow. I decided to buy it to make my man happy because we all love a good dinner. The tree he really wanted was the last one and didn't have a box so I put it in a carrier bag. The tree gave me an allergic reaction (I don't know how) and my right hand finished looking like a weird red dalmatian. I also bought some small white, red and silver baubles and some white lights. It does look charming.
    3 points
  40. I grew up with an artificial tree. My partner has always had a real tree. So, when we moved in together, I decided I was okay with the real tree tradition because it's very important to him. Every year, we go out with his parents and his sister's family to a Christmas tree farm and we all pick our trees. I don't think I have a 'type' necessarily (at least not yet), it's just what we're drawn to as the 'right' tree. At this tree farm, you cut your own tree and they'll shake it out and wrap it up for you. It's always a blast to go because you get a free hot chocolate and then they have food trucks, fudge, and crafts for purchase. It's a half day event! We use string lights but don't really use any garland or tinsel. We also have a (fake) birds nest to put in the tree. That's another tradition of his family, because it's good luck to find a tree with a nest in it. We each have a handful of ornaments that are special to us, and then we have some that we've purchased together. I think tomorrow is the day we'll finally get the tree in from the garage and get it all set up and decorated!
    3 points
  41. If I were to design my own robot I would really want to create a robot that would clean for me. And no, I am not talking about the robot who just does vacuuming or switches the lights on and off because we already have this. I am talking about a robot that would do absolutely EVERYTHING! From doing the dishes, throwing the rubbish away to doing more complicated things such as cooking or ironing or even doing my laundry. I mean... what is more useful than a robot who can do all chores in one? For me sounds great!
    3 points
  42. I think the reason why we choose to make robots so similar to people is because we grew up with the idea from movies that tried to portray us as superhumans and with robots taking control over the world. Maybe the scientists hope to create the same intelligence but make them more controllable.
    3 points
  43. This Greek inventor was called Philon of Byzantium who died around 220 B.C. He wrote a book about robots called 'Compendium of Mechanics'. The book talks about a female robot that was able to mix water and wine to make a drink when a cup was placed in its hand.
    3 points
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