Sunday, May 31, 2009

Here is a video montage of most of my pictures. Unfortunately the length is such that I could only fit a songs of bands from England and Scotland, sorry Ireland. There are no captions at this time but perhaps one day when I am really bored I will include some. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Harry Potter! What happened to Jane Austen?

I have returned from my 3 week jaunt to the UK and despite missing my plane, spending the night in the Philadelphia airport, losing my credit card and doing something to my knee I had a great time. I felt like my trip was a UK/Ireland sampler trip. We saw so many places in three weeks it is hard to know where to begin. I am sure I will have a series of posts about my trip but this one is dedicated to my Harry Potter adventures. When I left for this trip I thought it would be more of a Jane Austen trip- you know many a long walks in the countryside, broken up by visits to grand estates and cities famously used by Austen (Bath). However it seemed that Harry Potter was everywhere and could not be escaped. 

There was one night that we had not made concrete plans to stay anywhere so we ended up staying in this cute little town in Wales called Pembroke. It was a great decision we loved it there. In our search for internet access we entered a shop called Dragon Alley (very close to diagon alley and for good reason). The super friendly shop owners informed us that nearby Harry Potter 7 was being filmed. 

I am afraid that I don't remember enough from the 7th book to competently say what this place is but Dobby is to be buried near by. The house was built on the beach for outdoor shots. 

These two men were part of the crew, one was a builder and the other was security. I will let you decide which one did what. They were really great and jovial. They answered my inane questions and showed us the approximate place of Dobby's grave, just behind them in the dunes. 
This is the cafe in Edinburgh where Harry Potter was primarily written. We tried to get some cocoa there but it was too busy so we went across the street, fortunately for us because all the pastries were 1/2 off, yum!!!!!!

This is the Divinity school at Oxford and was also used as the infirmary in Harry Potter. That corner is the very corner that Harry Potter recovered in from one of his ailments. I can't remember which. We also toured the Bodlien Library which was used as Hogwarts library but unfortunately were not allowed to take pictures. 

So maybe this was not in Harry Potter per se but it is Christ Church at Oxford and Oxford is where much of Harry Potter's Hogwarts scenes were filmed. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

In case you were not aware May 6 is National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. I know most of you probably have BBQ and parades scheduled around the topic but for those who don't here's a heads up.  As part of the national day the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy had a forum around the issue today. My supervisor signed me up for it and I was quite excited to go, seeing it was at the National Press Club and would include free food. The meeting was interesting but did not include too much new information seeing that I went to a week long conference on the issue two years ago. My favorite panel was the last one. The facilitator was Maury Povich. Yes that's the man himself.
For those of you who don't know he is a daytime talk show host that does a lot of the "Who's my baby's daddy?" episodes. After the panel I felt a bit like I had just sat through what one of his shows minus the single teen mothers berating the suspected teen fathers.  

The other panel members were interesting too and included:

Kristen Alderson- I don't need to say more for all you Soap Opera fans who watch One Life to Live. She is on cast of that soap and her character is a teen who got pregnant. More compelling for me than the fact that her character got pregnant was the fact that she had been on the show for 11 years. Since she was 5. That's crazy!

Vickie Collier- Vice President of Digital Media of the Disney-ABC Television Group. Apparently in the show "The Secret Life of Teenagers" from the ABC Network one of the characters just had a baby. There was a blog for teens to talk about it and the show really tried to show the real consequences of the show. Since I have never actually see the show I can't really comment on it. She was a nice though. 

Ann Shoket- Editor-on-Chief of Seventeen Magazine. I was very wary of her presence as I feel like her magazine probably does as much to objectify teen-aged girls so they feel like their main asset is their sexuality as it does to address positively address the topic of teen pregnancy. I was pleasantly surprised by her comments but would need to look at a recent edition of Seventeen magazine before I say too much more. 

My favorite part was the free stuff. I got this shirt for myself and you better believe I picked one up for my 50-something year old supervisor too. When I got home Dana (the girl I live with) looked up the associated website, but it was under construction so I don't really know what it means. Maybe I should wear it to a church activity or a bar:)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I'm lazy... no Im busy... no I'm lazy

I am safely in Maryland and attended a great conference in DC on Breastfeeding (details about that are forthcoming), but I have also been applying for a fellowship, trying to finish up some work and get ready for 3 weeks in the UK. Hence I am being lazy, and posting this clip of two very funny people, Ira glass and Steven Colbert. 

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Ira Glass
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFirst 100 Days