Harry Potter – Gendered?

Harry Potter

Today, a girl in my daughters class asked my daughter “Why are you reading Harry Potter – that’s a boy’s book”.  My daughter doesn’t care – she reads Harry Potter because she likes the story.  But I’m confused – is Harry Potter really considered a boy’s book?  If so, why?

The only thing I can really think of is that the gendering madness has reached a point where everything children do must be gendered, and hence a gender choice must be made for HP. It’s absurd, of course – why would HP be considered gendered?  Sure, like so many children’s books it tends to cast boys as active and girls as passive, but it’s far from uniform (HP has a refreshing number of examples of girls in the active role), and anyway that’s such a cliché that it’s hardly specific to boy’s books.

Either way – it’s annoying  that 10 year old children worry about this rather than just reading the books they like.

Science – brief and to the point with charts

Autism vs Vaccine chart

Over at Indexed, Jessica Hagy is using hand-drawn charts to comment on and post analysis of all kinds of topics that is both funny, wonderfully imaginative, and precise. She’s been doing this for close to five years now, and it has really evolved into an artform.

It’s one of the blogs I like so much, because it at the same time brightens my days and make me think. All in just a few minutes. I especially like when the charts go scientific, like the one above.

History of pop, compressed

Can you do a “history of pop” in one hour? Well, if you can do “A Brief History of Nearly Everything” in one book, why not?
Here’s how you do it. Take the US singles charts. Take the top-1 hits. Take a 5-second-or-so sample from each song. Put them together, in chronologic order.

This is brilliant. Amazingly, I find I can sing along with most of them – you probably can, too. Of course, what I want now is a one-click option to buy all the songs from iTunes.

Part 1 is 1950-1980.
Part 2 is 1980 onwards.

For now, I have no insight as to who compiled this. Whoever you are: thanks!

UPDATE: I’m told (thanks, Mark!) that it was created by Hugo Keesing, who also came up with the word “chartsweep” to describe it. The compilation was created based on his 15.000 album music collection, now donated to University of Maryland’s Performing Arts Library as the “Keesing Musical Archives.”, along with books, sheet music, etc. See brief interview at the Some Assembly Required blog.