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Harry Potter fan's theory may answer a question you didn't know you had

It's been nearly a decade since the seventh installment of the "Harry Potter" series hit shelves at booksellers worldwide. 

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But that doesn't mean fans don't still have questions. 

One Potter fan recently pondered a question that you might not have even known you had: Why were there so few people in Harry's class?

"For years, we’ve all wondered how there can be 1,000 students (according to J.K. Rowling) in Hogwarts when there are only a handful of students in Harry’s year," Tumblr user marauders4evr wrote. "The math doesn’t add up. We’ve all just assumed that it was an error." Marauders4evr has a point.  In the "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" film, Percy Weasley can be seen escorting no more than 20 first year Gryffindors to the common room. And throughout the books, Rowling doesn't mention many other characters besides Neville, Dean, Seamus and a few other memorable names.  But in a 2000 interview, Rowling said about 1,000 students attended the school during Harry’s time. If there were 1,000 students, seven years and four houses, each house should have about 35 students per year. That's significantly more than readers are led to believe are in Harry's class. "But what if there’s normally dozens of students in each house, in each year? What if Harry’s year was the exception?"  marauders4evr challenges. And then the fan answers that very question: "What if there were less students in the Hogwarts Class of 1998 because the period when the other kids would have been conceived (1979-1981) was when Voldemort’s reign of power was at its peak? Between the dozens of adults who joined the Order, the dozens of civilians who were killed in Death Eater raids, and the dozens of adults that didn’t want to bring a child into the world, just then. It’s actually entirely possible that there was a baby drought for a few years in the wizarding world, leading to a smaller class size a decade later."

The theory is very curious, indeed. 

Rowling has not weighed in on the theory.

See the original post here.

<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//;border=false"></script>[View the story "Harry Potter fan theory" on Storify]

WATCH: Skydivers play epic game of Quidditch in must-see viral video

Who says Muggles can't play Quidditch?

In a viral video that every Harry Potter fan must see, skydivers decked out in Quidditch gear grab their brooms and leap from a plane, then play the fictional sport midair.

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The clip, posted to YouTube last month by Colombian telecommunications company ETB, has been shared by several news outlets, raking in millions of views.

>> Click here or scroll down to watch

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'Meternity:' Who says you need kids for maternity leave?

Meghann Foye, 38, has no children, but she still thinks she is entitled to some of the same perks as women who benefit from maternity leave.

Foye believes hard-working, childless women should receive a "meternity" leave.

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"I was 31 years old in 2009, and I loved my career," Foye told the New York Post. "As an editor at a popular magazine, I got to work on big stories, attend cool events and meet famous celebs all the time. And yet, after 10 years of working in a job where I was always on deadline, I couldn’t help but feel envious when parents on staff left the office at 6 p.m. to tend to their children, while it was assumed co-workers without kids would stay behind to pick up the slack."

According to Foye, "meternity" leave is "a sabbatical-like break that allows women and, to a lesser degree, men to shift their focus to the part of their lives that doesn’t revolve around their jobs." 

"For women who follow a 'traditional' path, this pause often naturally comes in your late 20s or early 30s, when a wedding, pregnancy and babies means that your personal life takes center stage," she said. "But for those who end up on the 'other' path, that socially mandated time and space for self-reflection may never come."

Thus, meternity leave should be earned after "a decade or so" in the workforce to avoid "Burnout syndrome," Foye said. And, "it should be about digging into your whole life and emerging from it more confident in who you are."

Foye, who feels it's unfair for employees to ditch the office early, saying 'I need to go pick up my child,' eventually took a meternity leave of her own, quitting her job and leaving the corporate world for a year and a half.

During that time, she wrote "Meternity," a novel about a woman who fakes being pregnant to enjoy the benefits of the paid time off.

Foye said maternity leave and her own meternity leave develop confidence, allow for a shift in focus from an overwhelming amount of professional obligations and give "a whole new lens through which to see (life,) but many critics disagree with her idea and argue that maternity leave is a well-intentioned, well-deserved break for new mothers who go through the process of having a raising a child.

Read more here.

Rachel Dolezal plans to write a book

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It has almost been a year since former Spokane, Washington, NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal was exposed as a white woman who claimed to be black.

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But Dolezal, who sparked outrage from critics who said she committed cultural appropriation and fueled conversation about self-identification and the concept of being transracial, said she doesn't have any regrets.

"I don't have any regrets about how I identify. I'm still me and nothing about that has changed," she said during an appearance on the "Today" show on Tuesday.

Dolezal was born to white parents in Lincoln County, Montana, in 1977. She came to media attention last June when her estranged parents publicly said that she is a white woman who was passing as black.

Dolezal later resigned from her position with the NAACP and was dismissed as chair of Spokane's police ombudsman commission. She also resigned from her position as education director at the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, citing discrimination.

"I feel like moving forward," she told Savannah Guthrie. "It's been some work to rebuild and get things back on track with life. Looking at some new opportunities going into 2016."

Dolezal said she has some upcoming speaking engagements and that she recently completed a TED talk.

She also said that she is "looking forward to getting back into racial and social justice work" with plans to write a book about her racial identity and her personal experiences.

"I'm really excited to write the book and to address some of the issues that I've researched for many years, and I hope to eventually get back to teaching," said Dolezal, who previously taught classes in African-American studies at Eastern Washington University.

Dolezal said many people have reached out to her to tell her how they can relate to her and that those testimonies inspired her plans to write a book.

"I've heard a lot of stories from people around the world about their lives being somehow caught between boundary lines of race or culture or ethnicity," she said. "So this larger issue of if you don't fit into one box and if you don't stay there (for) your whole life from birth... what does that look like? Race is such a contentious issue because of the painful history of racism. Race didn't create racism, but racism created race."

'Harry Potter' fans compare Starbucks butterscotch latte to butterbeer

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Days after Starbucks released three limited-time drinks for Valentine's Day, the company has exposed a new coffee item that used to exist only on the coffee chain's secret menu.

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The limited-edition drink is called the smoked butterscotch latte and is available at participating stores nationwide for an unknown amount of time.

According to Starbucks, the smoked butterscotch latte "combines espresso with steamed milk and smoked butterscotch sauce, finished with a sprinkling of smoky butterscotch topping, perfectly crafted to give Starbucks customers new and sophisticated flavors."

“The smoky flavor balances the subtle sweetness of the butterscotch,” said Christal Canzler, whose team develops new handcrafted espresso beverages for Starbucks. “It acts as a savory ingredient that enhances the coffee.”

Many Harry Potter fans are comparing the sweet latte to the popular butterbeer drink mentioned in J.K. Rowling's series. 

Most people responded to the drink positively, saying Starbucks' rendition of the butterscotch beverage is spot on with what they imagined.

Others compared the latte to Rowlings' creation, saying the drink was tasty but not similar to what butterbeer probably tastes like. 

Overall, the response to the new drink is generally positive, but Starbucks lovers and Harry Potter fans should remember one thing: no matter how similar you think the smoked butterscotch latte tastes like butterbeer, you should probably order it using Starbucks' signature name.

Pat Conroy diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, says “I intend to fight.”

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Beloved author Pat Conroy, whose muscular, vivid prose has brought to life the storied streets of historic Charleston, the punishing rigor of a military academy much like his alma mater The Citadel and his own troubled childhood, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He tells his fans he’s ready for a fight.

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He went to Facebook to tell his fans about his diagnosis. 

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>Hey out there,I celebrated my 70th birthday  in October  and realized that I’ve spent my whole writing life trying to...Posted by Pat Conroy on Monday, February 15, 2016

His publisher Doubleday went to Twitter to send their thoughts to the writer.

Conroy is known for his books "The Great Santini and "The Prince of Tides."

New Harry Potter book: Yes it's a new book; no, it's not what you think

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Twitter and Facebook were abuzz Wednesday when word got out that there would be an eighth Harry Potter book coming out later this year. 

But J.K. Rowling hit social media to clarify what exactly will be hitting bookstore shelves. 

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Scholastic is releasing "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," but it is not part of the series of best-selling books, Entertainment Weekly reported. 

Rowling said the book is a script only. It is not a novel and it is not a prequel.

"The Cursed Child" happens 19 years after "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" Rowling and Scholastic both have confirmed.

"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" will be released July 31.

The date has some significance in the Potter world. According to Scholastic, July 31 is Harry's birthday.

'To Kill a Mockingbird,' 'Frozen' to get Broadway runs

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Two stories, that couldn't be more opposite will both be on the the Great White Way.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" will be coming to Broadway for the first time, The New York Times reported.

And it has a big name adapting the story for the stage: Aaron Sorkin. 

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Sorkin is best known for his big-screen hits like "The Social Network" and "The American President," and his small-screen shows like "The West Wing" and "The Newsroom."

"To Kill a Mockingbird" will be directed by Tony Award winner Barlett Sher.

It will hit the stage for the 2017-2018 Broadway season. 

A year later, Disney will bring mega-hit "Frozen" to Broadway, CNN reported.

The announcement was made on Frozen's new Broadway Twitter account.

It will be previewed in the summer of 2017, in an unnamed location, and will land in New York City in spring 2018.

The team that brought "Frozen" to life in movie theaters is reuniting for the stage version. Jennifer Lee will write the show, while Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez will compose the music. 

J.K. Rowling releases names, locations of 4 fictitious wizarding schools

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People everywhere learned about the most famous wizarding school in 1997 when J.K. Rowling released the first "Harry Potter" novel. 

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Hogwarts, headed by Albus Dumbledore, was a revered school for young witches and wizards to learn about spells, potions and other magical affairs. 

In the fourth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," Rowling introduced the Triwizard Tournament, which shed the most light on two other schools -- Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and Durmstrang Institute

But now Rowling has revealed information about four more schools that exist in the wizarding world.

The 50-year-old author and screenwriter of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" introduced Ilvermorny, Uagadou, Mahoutokoro and Castelobruxo.

The new details give excited Potter fans information about seven of the schools in total. Rowling has said that there are 11 schools registered with the International Confederation of Wizards in total. 

Rowling wrote on Pottermore

"The number of countries that have their own magical school is minuscule compared to those that do not. This is because the wizarding populations of most countries choose the option of home schooling. Occasionally, too, the magical community in a given country is tiny or far-flung and correspondence courses have been found a more cost-effective means of educating the young."

Here's a bit of information about the new schools Rowling revealed:


Prounounced "Cass-tell-o-broo-shoo"

This Brazilian school can be found hidden within the South American rainforest. To Muggles, it looks like a ruin, but for those who can see it in its full glory, the castle, carved into a golden rock, looks like a temple. Students wear bright green robes and are especially skilled in Herbology and Magizoology. Castelobruxo offers popular exchange programs for wizarding students at other schools who wish to study Latin magical creatures like flora and fauna.


Pronounced "Ill-ver-morn-ee"

Rowling released the name of this school, but held back details about its location and student body. The map on the site suggests it's on the East Coast of some country or continent. Many think it's the American school Rowling has alluded to. If so, Rowling has said the North American school is not in New York and that "indigenous magic was important in the founding of the school." She once said, "If I say which tribes, location is revealed."


Prounounced "Mah-hoot-o-koh-ro" 

This school, located in Japan, has the smallest population of students out of all 11 wizarding schools. The school is comprised of a palace called Mahoutokoro, which is made of mutton-fat jade and is situated at the peak of the volcanic island of Minami Iwo Jima. At Mahoutokoro, students receive enchanted robes when they begin their first term. The magical robes change and grow in color and length as students' grow in height and size and as their learning increases. Upon arrival, the robes are a faint pink color and they turn gold if high grades are acheived in every subject. They turn white if a witch or wizard illegally practices magic or breaks wizarding code. The school is known for having a strong and dedicated Quidditch team. 


Pronounced "Wag-a-doo"

Uagadou, the largest of all wizarding schools, is one of few wizarding schools in Africa that have flourished. The only address ever given is "Mountains of the Moon," and people say the school is carved out of the side of a mountain and disguised by a mist, so it looks like it's floating in mid-air. Students who graduate from this school have particularly strong skills in Astronomy, Alchemy and Self-Transfiguration. Here, many witches and wizards conduct spells using just their pointing fingers or through hand gestures. Unlike Hogwarts, Uagadou invites young magical people to attend the school by sending Dream Messengers to children as they sleep. Selected students wake up to find a token in their hand with a special inscription. 

Discover four additional wizarding schools from around the world on Pottermore: by J.K. Rowling on Friday, January 29, 2016

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