Transcript #494


MuggleCast 494 Transcript


Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #494, Reviewing the Gadgets and Gizmos of the Wizarding World

Show Intro

[Show music plays]

Andrew Sims: Welcome to MuggleCast, your weekly ride into the wizarding world fandom. I’m Andrew.

Eric Scull: I’m Eric.

Micah Tannenbaum: I’m Micah.

Laura Tee: I’m Laura.

Andrew: And this week we are going to discuss the gadgets and gizmos of the wizarding world, like what makes them tick and what makes them fun. We have a fun guest here with us this week, Dave Jorgenson. Hi, Dave.

Dave Jorgenson: Hi, everyone. I hope I’m the fun guest.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: That’s you.

Dave: Okay, good. That’d be really funny if you brought someone else on like, “And here is the fun guest.”

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Dave, so you’re kind of a big deal on social media, actually. Tell us about yourself.

Dave: [laughs] Well, that’s… okay. I’ll pretend that’s true.

[Andrew laughs]

Dave: Not at all. Yeah, I’m the Washington Post TikTok guy, both sort of a tongue in cheek title, but also it seems to be pretty effective at explaining what I do, which is make TikToks for The Washington Post.

Andrew: Yeah, very cool job.

Dave: Yeah. And I actually think, Andrew, I’d first connected with you beyond listening to the podcast, which was more of a one-way connection on Twitter. And I use Twitter a lot to highlight what I’m doing on TikTok, and it’s also just, for me, a fun outlet. I try to be one of the positive people on Twitter. Not all the time, but I do my best.

Andrew: So you’ve actually been a longtime listener of MuggleCast, right?

Dave: Oh, yeah. Since 2005. Since the beginning.

Eric: Wow.

Dave: I can tell you vividly about… I can remember my little brick iPod. It was one of the first video iPods, and I remember the Half-Blood Prince MuggleCast artwork. That’s what I would listen to while mowing the lawn.

[Andrew laughs]

Dave: It’s all very clear. I told Eric all about this when I was on his podcast for like, a full two and a half hours. I couldn’t contain myself. And it really… it’s so exciting to be here.

Andrew: That’s fantastic.

Dave: And of course, the second I’m on this podcast after 15 years, my dog is like, “I’m going to just destroy the living room.” So I’m trying to…

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: She’s excited too.

Dave: Yeah, she’s also very excited.

Andrew: Dave, you mentioned we connected. I mean, I noticed somehow one day that you followed me, and I’m like, “Wait, somebody from The Washington Post is following me? I’m going to give that a follow back!” [laughs] So that’s probably how we connected.

Dave: And as you can imagine – or maybe can’t – I was like, “Oh my God, Andrew Sims followed me back?”

Andrew: Oh, stop.

Dave: No, no, I won’t. I refuse to stop.

Andrew: Okay. [laughs]

Dave: I was very excited, and I still am. And then when MuggleCast followed me back, I’m pretty sure I tweeted it out; I was like, “This is it. I’ve made it. This is what I wanted.”

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Well, Dave, I mean, you’re a big deal too; you were recently named one of Forbes‘s 30 under 30. Come on, man. That’s awesome.

Dave: Thank you. It was very exciting. I was really happy for about a minute, and then I was like, “Oh my God, I’m almost 30.” So thanks for reminding me, Forbes.

[Everyone laughs]

Dave: Super cool.

Andrew: Well, you’re the youngest here on the panel.

Dave: Okay, cool. I’ll take that. That’s good.

Andrew: You’re bringing youth to this panel. [laughs]

Dave: Yeah, well, I think I’d also told Eric about this – and I’m sorry if I’m repeating myself – but you guys are frozen in time to me as MuggleCast 2005, which actually, to me, makes you way older, because I was this young kid that was like, “These are the coolest people I’ve ever heard.”

[Laura laughs]

Dave: And that’s still true.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Dave: Andrew is like, “Yeah, that’s us.”

Andrew: We are cool. [laughs]

Dave: Yeah, so that’s still… I’m trying to think of a comparison of… someone that had such an influence on you when you were so young is like imprinted in you as that person, so…

Andrew: Well, Dave, that’s really, really nice. I mean, thank you for saying that.

Dave: Of course.

Andrew: That’s flattering. As far as I’m concerned, I think we’re pretty good in terms of today’s episode. We can wrap it up now.

Laura: Oh my God.

Eric: [laughs] We got everything we wanted out of this. Thanks, dude.

Dave: This was the promo… yeah, of course.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Laura: No, I have to say, I’m a little bit overwhelmed in a very positive way, because your TikToks have really gotten me through this election season…

Dave: Oh, good.

Laura: … so I’m equally excited for you to be here.

Dave: Well, thank you. And I need that. As much as I pretend like I try to brush those aside, look, when people tell me that the TikToks have been significant for them in quarantine, I’m really happy, because there’s definitely mornings where I wake up and am like, “What am I going to make today? I’ll make an Invisibility Cloak!” So I appreciate the feedback.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: Yeah, so you do tweet and make some TikToks about Harry Potter, too, right?

Dave: Oh yeah, I’ve had this Harry Potter thread for maybe a little over a year, and I just come back to it every so often.

[Andrew laughs]

Dave: And the whole point is just picking apart things that happened in Harry Potter that make no sense, but in a way that is clearly for the love of the books.

Andrew: Right.

Dave: But I love to just really… that sort of situational humor of like, “Okay, we didn’t talk about how Ron didn’t get therapy after Peter Pettigrew was in his pocket for years.”

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Dave: I think that’s important.

Andrew: I was looking at that thread yesterday. It’s like, 100 tweets long at this point; you’re pointing out a lot of inconsistencies. [laughs]

Dave: Right. And the worst and best part is every so often, I repeat myself without realizing. I go back and look, like, “Oh my God, I already said this. I’ve already had this revelation.”

Andrew: [laughs] “I’ve already had this thought.”

Dave: “I’m thinking about this way too much.”

Andrew: Yeah. Have you seen any good Harry Potter TikToks recently, since you’re on there so much?

Dave: I have. I wish I could direct you to specific… you could honestly just look up “My first day at Hogwarts” or something like that, and it’s my new favorite TikTok Harry Potter genre, and there are many.

Andrew: [laughs] Okay.

Dave: And it’s the sort of idea of just… like, “Me being the only Black girl at Hogwarts,” or it’s basically putting people in Hogwarts that you don’t see in the books, and it’s really funny because it’s not…

[Eric laughs]

Dave: To me, it’s the best version of satire because it’s like you laugh and then afterwards you go, “Oh, wait, that was a really good point.” So it’s really fun sort of just different takes on if this person were at Hogwarts, which is exactly what my whole Twitter thread is about anyway, so I definitely encourage looking up that.

Andrew: We were having fun with the “Pottah!” one that Tom Felton kicked off a month or two ago.

[Dave and Laura laugh]

Dave: Yes, so good.

Andrew: That was a good one. [laughs]

Dave: I never would have expected him to be kind of my… and I love all the actors that are in the movies, but he’s probably one of my favorite post-Harry Potter people. I don’t know. He always makes me laugh.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. And he still celebrates Harry Potter, which I think is really cool.

Dave: That must be a big part of it.

Andrew: Some of the actors, I think they try to move on, like Dan Radcliffe, but Tom Felton is still like, “Let’s still talk Harry Potter, sure! Let’s do it! Come on!”

Dave: [laughs] Exactly.

Main Discussion: Gadgets and gizmos of the wizarding world

Andrew: Anyway, so like I said, we are going to discuss the gadgets and gizmos of the wizarding world. And we thought that Dave would be a great guest, since he’s passionate about Harry Potter and the show, and this is a fun discussion to be had. And I know, Eric, you came up with this discussion, so why don’t you take it away?

Eric: Yeah, so what is, I guess, a gadget? We should define that for starting this discussion. But I had a very loose definition while figuring out what qualifies and what doesn’t. It’s basically a magical device; a magic augmented device – so it’s something that maybe we do have in the Muggle world, but there’s a magic aspect to it – usually handheld, but not always. And it, I guess, exists to improve the life of wizards, helps them go about doing their stuff. It’s like if an iPhone were magical, right? An iPhone is such a cool technological communications device, and it has apps and helps with organization. That kind of thing is like a gadget, and we see it in the wizarding world. Usually, it’s a lot more simplistic, right? It’s something that has a particular charm on it, like Hermione’s beaded bag, “Oh, an Extension Charm,” things like that. So it’s a wide gamut, but I’ve broken it down into 13 gadgets that we’re going to be talking about today. I think that’s a good number.

Andrew: Yeah, a good number. Yes, this episode is cursed. Go on.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Eric: Oh, wait, I added one, so it’s 14. So we’re not cursed anymore.

Andrew: Oh, phew! Okay, good.

Eric: [laughs] But yeah, so we’re going to be talking… so each one… and Dave, I know you’ll have fun with this. How does it work? We’re going to be asking, “How does it work?” because a lot of these as I was going through, I was like, “Wow, a lot of these do not actually make sense.” Also, do we like it? Is it a cool gadget? Do we think that it’s…? If we had it, would it help us out? Would we want one of these? And also at the end, kind of related but not, how much would we pay to have one in real life? How much is this worth to us as a gadget? And so yeah, that’s really the only bones of the discussion. We’re going to go chronologically through the books.

Dave: All right.

Andrew: Okay, let’s do it.

Eric: So let’s start with the very beginning. It’s a very good place to start. Chapter 1, we see the Deluminator, or what is referred to in the chapter as the Put-Outer. It’s Dumbledore’s Put-Outer, and at first, it seems to exist to just take all the lights from a street – say Privet Drive – and basically allow a wizard to go forth unnoticed under the cover of darkness. And that’s pretty simple. Basically, he clicks it one each time to get the light out, and then at the end, he clicks it and they all flutter back to the street posts where they were. And in the movie, I love the effect. I think this is a beautiful kind of a thing.

Andrew: And the fact that they changed the name of it was very bizarre to me.

Eric and Laura: Yeah.

Eric: So it’s referred to as the Deluminator I think for the first time in the will-reading, when Scrimgeour is like, “This is what this is called.” It’s the official name, versus… I think what it is, too, J.K. Rowling’s humor in Chapter 1, because she just showed something that puts out the light; it’s like, “Dumbledore clicked the Put-Outer,” and it’s all in caps.

Andrew: So she didn’t feel like naming it properly.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: She was just like, “The Put-Outer.”

Eric: It was being identified by its function, which kind of is quirky.

Laura: To be fair, I think the point of the first chapter of the series is to introduce us to this world from the viewpoint of a Muggle, right? So what would a Muggle call that thing?

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Eric: Put-Outer.

Andrew: The thingie that removes the light. That’s what she should’ve called it.

Micah: Well, I was also thinking, too, it is Sorcerer’s Stone, so maybe a bit of a child’s book versus Deathly Hallows. Maybe she felt she could grow up the Put-Outer a little bit.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Grow up the words? Age up the words?

Eric: Well, I mean, “Deluminator” is proper Latin, basically. It’s a bit too much for Book 1, right?

Micah: To me, Dumbledore just stole the clapper.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Oh my God. Thank you for saying this, because that’s what I was thinking going into this and I was like, “I’m not going to be that person who’s crapping all over the Deluminator.”

Micah: I’ll do it, Laura. I’m here for you.

Dave: I’m happy to deliver on that too. To me, the Put-Outer is kind of like she wrote something just to remind herself to change it, and then forgot, and they published the books.

[Everyone laughs]

Dave: Like, “Okay, I’ve got to bring this up again later so I can change it.”

Andrew: Right. “You guys, I wasn’t done with that one, but okay.”

[Andrew, Eric, and Dave laugh]

Eric: Okay, she does change it up quite a bit. So it does come back in Book 7, but here it is shown to have an additional, way unexpected feature. And by the way, Scrimgeour, I think, says it’s a device of Dumbledore’s own making, so they don’t really have… you can’t get this at the local Walgreens or at whatever the wizarding equivalent of Sharper Image is. This is something that Dumbledore made himself. And we see that when Ron uses it to get back to Harry and Hermione, and basically he clicks the Put-Outer in his bedroom, he’s missing them, he thinks he hears her voice emanating from the Put-Outer, he clicks it once, the light goes out, another light appears outside his window, and then it flies into him – I’m summarizing – but then Ron is confident that he will be able to Apparate, without knowing where Harry and Hermione are, directly to them. And more or less that works. So there’s something here about light and love, right? Two huge… love is such a huge theme in Harry Potter, but Dumbledore’s little Put-Outer has some kind of way supernatural love connection thing.

Andrew: So when the light comes in Ron, it just kind of steers him back to Harry and Hermione?

Eric: Yeah, it’s like it’s the coordinates he needs. He’s thinking about them when he Apparates, but he’s been trying to reach them ever since he left them, right? But he can’t because they’re under such secrecy and protection. But because Hermione I think in a moment of weakness talks about Ron, it’s the first time that she mentions his name in that whole time since he left, and he hears it and that’s when he gets the idea that like, “Okay, this thing of light is going to help me get back to them,” and it’s very intuitive. But so Dumbledore… this Put-Outer either always had that feature, or Dumbledore added it throughout the years, knowing that he wasn’t always going to be around and he was going to give it to somebody in his will.

Dave: And changed the name and got the patent and all that.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: I love that this is a multipurpose tool, though. It takes out the light, but it also steers you back to your loved ones in times of trouble.

Andrew: That’s beautiful.

Eric: Well, and I was thinking, how are they related, right? How is light related to…? And this may be overthinking it, but what do we do on this show? How is light relating to…? Don’t you feel lighter when you have love in your life? Or when you think about a loved one, don’t you feel like a million bucks?

Dave: It seems like the… what’s the…? I don’t know; the “cure” is not the right word. But it’s the opposite of what the Horcrux was doing to him, too. Literally description-wise it seems like it’s what brought him back versus what pushed him away.

Eric: That’s a good point.

Micah: Dumbledore must have created this fairly early on, because didn’t he use it in Crimes of Grindelwald? Or was that scene cut?

Andrew: Oh yeah, yeah.

Eric: Gives it to Newt and… or no, he uses it? Yeah, yeah, in Crimes of Grindelwald.

Andrew: Yeah, with Newt. They’re out on the street, I think. I don’t know if you see it. I guess we do.

Micah: I think it was in a preview, but maybe it never made it to the final cut of the movie?

Andrew: I wonder what it was called back then.

[Dave and Eric laugh]

Andrew: Put-Outer or something even more…?

Dave: Just a lighter.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Eric: We touched on this, but how does it work? Do we think there’s…? Is there any other kind of magic that we know is like this?

Andrew: No. [laughs]

Eric: We’re going to get into this as we go through, but in order for this to function, there has to be something magical associated with light in general, right? Light has to have a device ID, like when you… I’m trying to think of… because the magical world, to snuff it out, has to first identify what it is you’re getting at. So I don’t know; it’s a very… I guess Lumos brings light and Nox extinguishes light, so maybe it’s a way of doing Nox but not with your wand; you’ve extended the field of range, right?

Dave: It’s like a Patronus without all the effort. He doesn’t have to think of happy thoughts; it just happens.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, it’s sort of like a light vacuum. I don’t think we’re actually going to be able to explain how some of these work to an extent.

Eric: No, we will fall short. But even just thinking about either Nox or a Patronus, something similar like that, I think there’s value in saying, “Oh, it kind of does work like that.” Is this Cool or Not Cool?

Andrew: I’m going to say Not Cool.

Eric: Really!

Andrew: Because as somebody who believes wizards should not be hiding in the shadows like Dumbledore does with this device in Book 1…

[Dave and Eric laugh]

Andrew: … I can’t approve of using such thing, so Not Cool.

Dave: I’m Team Not Cool, but not at all for that reason. But I love that. It’s good.

[Andrew laughs]

Dave: Micah, I’m so sorry. It’s the exact reason that you might think it is Cool, which is that I feel like it is a Swiss army knife, but when you add all these things, it’s like the pair of scissors in the army knife; you’re never going to use it. I’d rather it have just been this pure device that lit up lamps. For me, that’s what I wanted. I just wanted a really cool Put-Outer. I don’t know why I’m so purist in that way, but that’s how I feel about it.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I’m also going to have to pile on here and be on the Team Not Cool, gang…

Andrew: Ooh.

Eric: Oh my God.

Laura: … because I’m going to add to what David just said: It seems like it should be a really simple device that does a very simple thing for you, and we find out after seven books, it’s actually a security and privacy risk.

[Dave laughs]

Laura: Whoever has it can just Apparate to wherever somebody is, even if they don’t want to be found? No.

Eric: Well, they have to love that person.

Laura: Well, okay, stalkers can love people, I guess.

Eric: Euhh… look, Dumbledore does not do anything simple. He does nothing simple, so I like that after seven books, we get this secondary purpose of the Put-Outer. Is it a little convenient? Sure, but she needed to bring Ron some way back to the crew. So I’m going to go Team Cool. I might be the only one.

Micah: I’m going to go Team Not Cool.

[Laura laughs]

Dave: Yeah!

Micah: Sorry, Eric.

Andrew: It’s a miracle we kept reading these books after that first chapter. We were all unimpressed.

[Eric laughs]

Dave: I put it down for ten years, and then a podcast brought me back.

[Andrew and Dave laugh]

Dave: That’s not true.

Micah: Here’s the other thing… I think, Andrew, you mentioned security? Or Laura?

Andrew: Laura did.

Micah: Laura mentioned security; sorry. Dumbledore creates tools that are security issues, which is no surprise considering he runs a school which is a security nightmare, so no, it’s Not Cool.

Eric: This flows into how much is it worth? How much would we pay for this? I mean, this device, I think even Scrimgeour says it’s priceless. It’s something that Dumbledore made before he died; it’s probably the only one in its existence. I don’t necessarily find myself needing to turn out a bunch of lights all at once, not that are connected to a switch.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: So I don’t know that I’d pay too much for it, but I’d say around $50 or so.

Micah: Where would you buy it? A pawn shop?

Eric: Yeah, if I found it somewhere, I’d be like, “Oh, this is pretty neat.”

Micah: Borgin and Burke?

Andrew: It’s a black market item. I don’t think I could put a price on it, because they would want a head for this item or something.

Laura: [laughs] A head.

Dave: I think I would pay for… even though I’m on Team Not Cool, I think I’d pay a lot for it, because I feel like I’d want to just have it. You just said it’s priceless. The fact that it’s one of a kind makes me want it more; it’s that whole trick of the mind.

Eric: Exactly, exactly. Okay, well, that’s the first gadget done.

Andrew: I think we just deflated Eric because we all said his first one was Not Cool. [laughs]

Eric: I’ll try and pick cooler gadgets, you guys.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: Damn. I have to quick rethink everything. Here’s a cool one. So we learned about this in Book 1: It’s Wizard’s Chess!

Dave: Yes.

Eric: This qualifies as a gadget or gizmo that’s magically enhanced, because although we have chess as Muggles, these chess figures are imbued with nothing short of life and sentience, and there’s a lot of weird stuff going on. But basically, you have these chess sets, and they will criticize you if you suck at chess, but they actually move and destroy each other, and at the end of the game, we assume there’s a repair process. But yeah, it’s like a lifelike version of chess. Chess is supposed to simulate kings, battle on the battlefield in medieval times between kings and queens, kings and other kings… and so here it is, but it’s alive.

Dave: I love it. I love it exactly for what you just said. I like the idea that… I don’t know if they really say this in the books, but that maybe some of them are actually giving bad advice because they have their own motives. Like, “I’m a knight; I can do this.”

[Andrew laughs]

Dave: I just love the idea that you would have to not only be playing your opponent, but you’d have to be playing your pieces to make sure they’re not giving you terrible advice because of their own self-interest in killing other knights or whatever.

Eric: Oh my God, I never thought of a bloodthirsty knight from a Wizard’s Chess set. That would be amazing.

[Laura laughs]

Dave: I would buy that one immediately.

Eric: Well, because Ron’s set does heckle him. Or is it Harry’s? Harry gets heckled by Ron’s set, I think. Something like that.

Dave: Yes.

Eric: Because Ron is actually a chess pro, as we learn. His efforts down in beneath the school save them all at the end of Book 1, and then it never comes back again. But yeah, Wizard’s Chess is Cool. I think how it works has something to do with transfiguration, right? I mean, it seems to be McGonagall’s branch of magic that really brings the chess pieces to life, and the large chess set was her version, or her entry, into the protecting of the Stone.

Andrew: I think this is a very cool one as well. This is one, actually, I could see existing in the real world one day. Pieces being able to move by themselves on a board. I don’t know about fighting each other or… maybe insulting you, because if the board can understand where each piece is on the board, I think this could exist in the real world.

Eric: I’m surprised it doesn’t.

Laura: Well, it does. I’m looking on Amazon; there is a $350 digital revolutionary chess computer set that’ll talk to you as you move pieces around.

Andrew: [gasps] Oh my gosh.

Laura: So there you go.

Eric: There have been games that try and do something similar, but as far as full-on animation, there was a Lego Chess 3D game that came out that kind of did this, and I thought it was cool.

Andrew: Also worth noting, there is a Harry Potter chess set that looks just like the Wizard’s Chess in the movies.

Eric: Right.

Andrew: And I have this and it’s very good, but it does not obviously come to life.

Dave: Not yet.

Andrew: But would recommend that, yeah. Also, this is a great item to bring up because chess is super hot right now, thanks to The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix.

Eric: Oooh, yes.

Andrew: Haven’t seen it. Want to watch.

Eric: Yeah, that sounds amazing. So the other thing that I think of it as being valuable is we see these characters, for humor, are at odds with their chess sets, but I feel like I would learn a lot, because I consider myself to be pretty good at chess, but I am not strategic at all. I’m always reactionary. So if I had a chess set – and of course, your pieces want to win – I would look to be informed. I feel like I could really, really learn and understand chess if my own set were talking to me. And maybe it would be a little, I don’t know, angry at first, if I were that bad, but it’s a really good tool. It’s a good educational tool.

Andrew and Laura: Yeah.

Dave: I think also for me as someone that likes to… I like to learn on my own. With any game, I want to be really good at it before I take on an opponent. [laughs] But I like to imagine that this would also have a play yourself thing where the other side just has a computer “playing” against you, so you can practice, then with your pieces telling you what’s a good idea. I love that whole concept.

Micah: Does a simple Reparo spell fix all the pieces that have been shattered? Because I don’t know if I want to be shelling out money every time I play a game.

[Dave laughs]

Eric: Ron has, what, Bill’s old set or something? So they probably Reparo themselves. I don’t even think you need to be good at Reparo. I think that they are bewitched in such a way that when the game is over, they just reset. That’s my imagination. But these sets… we’re going to get into how much we’d pay for them, but a lot of them tend to be passed down, we see. Ron, for instance… he inherited his; it was one of his brother’s old sets. So when you get a new one, you pass it down; that kind of thing. So there’s a lot of replay value in them, I guess, is what I’m saying. Anyway, do we all think it’s Cool? Do we have our first unanimous “This is Cool” gadget?

Dave: Oh, yeah. Super cool.

Andrew and Laura: Yes.

Laura: I love chess anyway. And also, you brought up a really good point about the replay value and the passing down of sets through the family. It really seems like it allows you to build strategic thinking through being a general of sorts, and really forming a bond with these pieces, which sounds weird if you take this out of context, but…

Eric: They’re plastic, Laura.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Eric: Or stone. Mostly stone.

Laura: But no, no, what I mean is that over time… imagine getting a chess set as a child and growing up with that. I think that this is one of the areas actually where Ron’s character development suffers because we see early on in the series that he’s a pretty good strategic thinker, and then we don’t really see it again, not really. So I’m Team Cool for that reason.

Eric: What would we pay for a set of our own?

Dave: $350 on Amazon.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: I was going to say the cheap, which is $36 on Amazon, but yeah, I think $350 for that higher end one.

Eric: Okay.

Laura: Here’s what I’m going to say, though: In the wizarding world, this type of chess set is a normal chess set, so presumably, you can get reasonably priced versions of them.

Dave: Yeah, that was my assumption too. It seems like it’s just a regular game.

Laura: So maybe 50 bucks to get a little bit of a nicer set, but not break the bank.

Eric: They’re so ubiquitous. They’re everywhere. Which leads you to believe, what do these chess pieces do when your player isn’t around? When they’re not playing? Are they allowed to just wander around?

Dave: They talk to Krum and his remaining limbs.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: Is it like a Toy Story or Indian in the Cupboard situation?

[Dave laughs]

Andrew: Probably, yes. Lock ’em up. Don’t trust ’em.

Micah: They just smack talk each other the whole time.

Eric: [laughs] Like the portraits.

Micah: Exactly, yeah.

Eric: Okay. Well, let’s move on to Book 2: the flying Ford Anglia. This is an interesting one for talking about is it alive or not, but it’s a car that has had the ability to fly given to it by Arthur Weasley. And also, it can turn invisible, and in some instances, it seems to respond to Harry and Ron’s improper driving of it. And by Book 5, it becomes totally wild and it lives in the forest and goes about of its own volition.

Micah: And weren’t we supposed to see it again and we never did?

Eric: I think that’s right.

Micah: Was that another false J.K. Rowling promise?

[Andrew laughs]

Dave: I think I remember this.

Andrew: “Book 7 will end with Harry flying in the car”? Is that what she said?

Dave: It comes out to fight the giants.

Micah: Yeah, the last word was actually supposed to be “car,” not “scar,” but she bailed on both of those.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: I really want to know what Arthur… I love the idea that Arthur Weasley, who loves tinkering with Muggle items, went so far as to do everything that we see that this car does, but asks, “What spell would make this car drive itself?” It’s not enough that it flies and goes invisible.

Andrew: Right, it does have a mind of its own.

Dave: I like that about it. I don’t know if it’s meant to be a commentary on artificial intelligence or anything, but I do like this idea that it’s just this whole… it’s beyond Arthur’s control at this point, and Harry and Ron’s, and I just like that it’s this wildcard of a gadget, I guess you could say.

Andrew: What’s also interesting about it is that there’s always been this dream of flying cars in the real world, and maybe J.K. Rowling was commenting on that possibility in the future. I think even 30 years ago there was talk of, “Oh, there’s going to be flying cars by the year 2020,” which, of course, we are still extremely far away from. This is another one that I can see existing in the Muggle world one day. Hopefully a little more reliable, though.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Micah: Eric, I think Dr. Brown used a Time-Turner and consulted with Arthur.

Eric: I think he did. I think he did.

Andrew: That’s a Back to the Future reference.

Micah: It is.

Dave: Oh, I’m on it.

Andrew: Just for anybody who doesn’t know.

Eric: 1989’s Back to the Future – Part 2 showed flying cars by the year 2015.

Andrew: Oh, well, we are very behind schedule.

Dave: I mean, the Cubs won the World Series. They got, like, two things right at least.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: But actually, Dave, what you were saying about… I think, too, that people personify their car, right? People give their cars names and treat it like it has a personality, so I think it’s a natural extension to then have J.K. Rowling incorporate a car that is actually partially alive.

Laura: Yeah, I love that. Speaking to the car’s personality, we have to remember it went wild in the forest, but it saw that Harry and Ron were in trouble, and it was like, “Okay, I’m coming,” and then it booted them out.

[Dave and Laura laugh]

Laura: Or is that a movie-ism that it booted them out? I don’t recall. But yeah, I mean, it seems to have some moral compass as well, which is very cool.

Andrew: However, I would not be on Team Cool for this car, because it’s a beat-up old car. It’s just not modern. Yes, it’s cool that it flies…

Micah: It’s so Weasley, though.

Andrew: … but it’s not a car I would want to be seen in driving down Hollywood Boulevard.

Laura: Oh my God. It’s just because you hate the Weasleys.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Well, that too.

Micah: The car itself is so Weasley, though. It’s beat up. It’s old.

Andrew: Actually, I think we have call this car Cool because it’s in our album art.

Eric: Oh, we’re obligated.

Micah: Who made that mistake?

Andrew: Best car ever.

Micah: Photoshop.

Andrew: Love it.

Laura: I was going to call it Cool anyway.

Andrew: Okay, phew.

[Laura laughs]

Dave: I’m fully Team Cool. My only thing is that I wish it had appeared more. I mean, you guys alluded to it, but I wish it had just… every time they’re in the forest, it’s just like, “Hey, what’s up?” and then drives away. It doesn’t have to be a plot. It could just drive by and that’s it, just like, whatever.

Laura: I mean, where was it when Harry and Hermione went into the forest with Umbridge and Hermione was accidentally prejudiced towards the centaurs? Would’ve come in real clutch in that moment, so that Hermione wouldn’t put her foot in her mouth.

Dave: I specifically remember reading that and thinking, “Where’s that car?”

Laura: [laughs] “Where is it?”

Andrew: “Come on out.”

Eric: It could have just run over Umbridge and then they’d all be safe. What would we pay for this car? I mean, Andrew mentioned it is an older model. It’s kind of rusted.

Micah: Well, where did Arthur get it first off?

Andrew: A junkyard.

Micah: Did he steal it from work?

Andrew: That’s a good question. Yeah, maybe it was at work. Maybe it’s one of those things where nobody claimed it, so Arthur was like, “I’ll take it.” Or maybe he just found it and fixed it up like any good American does. They love to fix up cars.

Micah: It’s such it’s such an Arthur thing, though, right? He’s like the dad working on the car in the garage. It’s a Muggle thing to do, so it’s right up his alley.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: And Molly would just be like, “Oh, that Arthur, he’s spending so much time in the garage. He’s such a dad.”

Andrew: “He loves his car more than me.”

Dave: I remember that line.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I feel like Arthur would be delighted if he knew a Muggle wanted to buy this car off of him, and he would accept whatever amount of money we wanted to give him, Muggle money…

[Dave laughs]

Andrew: Oh yeah, totally.

Laura: And then he’d take it to Molly and be like, “Look what I did,” and she’s like, “Hey, dumbass, we can’t spend this.”

[Everyone laughs]

Dave: “They gave me a William Henry Harrison dollar coin for this.”

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Andrew: “Hubby, you’re such a dumbass.”

Eric: Oh my God.

Andrew: Arthur could not give this car to a Muggle, though. They could not be trusted with a flying car. It would end in disaster.

Eric: It would break the Statute of Secrecy.

Andrew: Well, that, and it would just end in disaster. They would drive it into the ground or people or something.

Laura: I mean, there’s a reason why we don’t actually have flying cars, and it’s because people are bad enough at driving on the ground.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Okay, moving on to Book 3, we have a couple of gadgets. The first is the Monster Book of Monsters. I call this a gadget because it’s clearly been bewitched; it is otherwise just a book. It’s like… when you were kids, did you have any of those books that play sound where you push a button and it’s a companion to the book? It’s like that. This is what I think of when I…

Micah: But it tries to eat you.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: But it tries to eat you! Plot twist: It’s actually a monster. And I love the… not the alliteration. What is it? But that it’s a book about monsters and it’s shaped like and is a monster. I love that. I love that creativity that comes into thinking of it.

Andrew: Yes. However, this is an extremely dangerous product. And while I appreciate the idea, I cannot say that this is Cool. It’s just dangerous. Why would you want to read from this book? It could bite your hand off at any moment. [laughs]

Dave: Well, to me it’s cool in concept, but I don’t think I’m alone when I – maybe I am alone – I would get so annoyed with Hagrid whenever I would reread that part. He’s like, “Oh, you just tickle the spine.” Like, Hagrid. You could have told so many people this, days, weeks ago. You could have told the the bookshop owner.

Eric: Put it in the book list.

Dave: Yeah, it could have been right there, but whatever.

Micah: I’m so glad you said that, Dave, because that’s exactly the point I was going to make. It’s just another example of how Hagrid is not a good teacher. He’s assigning books that can potentially do serious damage to his students without any thought whatsoever.

Eric: And who are the publishers that refuse to put a disclaimer on the front of the book? A lot of things… a simple sticker or something saying you’ve got to stroke it. At least inform the bookseller who’s got several bandages on each of his hands. He takes one look at Harry; he’s like, “Hogwarts? Ugh,” and goes to put special gloves on to get the Monster Book of Monsters.

Andrew: I enjoy seeing it at the Wizarding World theme park where they have it in a cage, where it belongs, because it’s deadly.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: But am I going to hold one of these things?

Micah: I think I have one here somewhere.

Eric: Yeah, I mean, I guess there’s better ways of… better books that are going to teach you without the risk of injury. I don’t think it’ll bite your hand off, but it will certainly hurt.

Dave: Do we know how long between spine ticklings it lasts?

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: It’s a good question.

Dave: How often are you tickling the spines?

Andrew: If I were reading it, I would just be tickling it nonstop.

Dave: [laughs] That’s what I do with all my books anyway.

Eric: In my mind it’s soft like rabbit fur, and so you’d want to stroke the spine.

Andrew: Yes.

Laura: [laughs] What?

Eric: Yeah, it’s like really soft fur.

Andrew: Do you stroke rabbits, Eric?

Eric: We all have pets here. You ever pet a dog and it’s a nice experience? Maybe it’s a little warm under the fur, so, you know, probably a pleasant experience.

Andrew: A little warm.

Dave: That’s actually how I got my dog to calm down, by just tickling her spine and she fell right asleep.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Dogs do love scratches.

Eric: Anyway. But yeah, so it’s probably pretty dangerous. Also, “monster” is an offensive term, and I do not appreciate that. I bet all of the creatures discussed in the book would not like being called a monster.

Andrew: Oh, well, I mean, look at it, though. What else are you going to call it? It’s a monster. It’s horrific. I’m sorry, Monster Book of Monsters, but you’re a beast.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Eric: So I’m willing to join Team Not Cool because I think it should come with a disclaimer. Is anybody on Team Cool?

Micah: Oh, I think it’s cool. I just think it’s dangerous.

Andrew: I’m on Team Cool from a distance.

[Everyone laughs]

Dave: I also am at a distance wearing sunglasses looking at it, but not near it.

Laura: I’m going to be on Team Cool.

Eric: Oh, wow. So I actually thought I was joining the crowd in going “Not Cool,” but I’m the only one.

Andrew: No, I’ll join Not Cool.

Eric: Oh, okay.

Laura: As the point was already made, it’s cool from a distance. It’s cool because it’s dangerous, and lots of dangerous things are cool.

Eric: I think it’s probably a couple of Galleons in the book. I haven’t looked it up. But what would we pay? $20? Maybe $30?

Andrew and Laura: Yeah.

Dave: I’d be interested in what a hand-me-down one would be like. Has it been tickled enough that it’s a little more tired?

[Everyone laughs]

Dave: Is this the case where you’d go to the used book part of your school store or whatever?

Andrew: Does it come with a little info sheet to share just how dangerous it’s been over the years? Because I imagine that some of these books have worse temperaments than others.

Dave: People that have checked it out and lost hands have written it in.

Eric: Moving on to possibly the most useless gadget of all time, the pocket Sneakoscope. So Harry was given one – a small one, actually – by Ron while he was in Egypt. And okay, it goes off and zooms around when there’s a problem, when somebody near you is being untruthful, but Harry is in one of the biggest boarding schools in England, and it really doesn’t seem to have a built-in capacity to tell you what is amiss. It’s kind of like the Remembrall, right? The Remembrall – we didn’t mention for Book 1 – shows up, lets you know you’ve forgotten something, but there’s no means by which it tells you what you’ve forgotten. The Sneakoscope is like that. It doesn’t really seem to indicate anything useful. It’s a useless object, I feel.

Dave: I’m with you. It feels like it’s something… it’s almost like an identifier. That’s how you know if someone’s paranoid, if they own them. That seems to be more…

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: Oh, it informs the character of the people who own it more than it does act as a useful item? I feel like there’s things in the real world that do that. I can’t think of one. Oh, maybe it’s like, remember Bluetooth headsets when it was just the one ear and everybody was like, “Oh, if you have that you’re a prick”? [laughs]

Dave: Right.

Andrew: People looked funny wearing those.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Yeah, it’s like that, where it’s like, “Oh, you have a Sneakoscope? Oh, you’re paranoid. Okay, great.”

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, I agree.

Eric: But honestly, the magic behind this is pretty interesting, right? Because it seems to be a device that is clued into the id, or the inner thoughts and inner motivations of people around you.

Andrew and Dave: Yeah.

Dave: I do like the sort of… what’s the word? It’s not… I can’t… there’s a very obvious word I’m not thinking of. But it doesn’t necessarily define the evil around you; it just… I like that sort of magic where it’s not just straight on the nose; it’s just telling you something is amiss. That’s fun for reading a book. It’s not fun in real life, I don’t think.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Dave: But it’s a nice mystery in a Harry Potter book.

Eric: Actually, Hermione thinks it’s cool enough to give Harry another one for his 17th birthday.

Dave: Very cool.

Eric: I mean, that’s in Deathly Hallows. She’s giving it as gifts as late as Deathly Hallows, so I guess he can use it while he’s on the road, figure out if anybody’s…

Dave: It reminds me of when my oldest sister turned 18, the Christmas before she went to college, my parents just got her a bunch of suitcases, and I always thought that was so funny.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Suitcases. Very useful.

Andrew: “Hit the road, kid.”

Dave: Yeah, that’s what it’s like. It’s like, “Well, you’re an adult, and things are going to get real tough.” [laughs] That’s what it feels like.

Andrew: Gifts get boring when you get this old.

[Eric laughs]

Dave: Exactly.

Eric: Where are we landing? On Team Cool or Team Not Cool?

Andrew: Not Cool. I like what you said about what it says about the owner.

Dave: Yeah, Not Cool.

Laura: Not Cool. I feel like also, you should be able to trust your gut instincts. You shouldn’t need this.

Andrew: Don’t leave it up to a device.

Eric: People could be… yeah, people will rely less on their intuition, which comes from a lot of evolved factors, if they have something like a Sneakoscope to tell them.

Micah: Yeah, I’m going to go Team Not Cool. I agree. It seems like it’s something that… it also doesn’t tell you exactly what – I know this got brought up – but what’s wrong? What’s happening that you should be reacting to? Who should you not be trusting, or why should you not be trusting them? Is it serious? Is it not serious? No pun intended. And I just think that it doesn’t pass the test for me.

Eric: So we all, if we were gifted one of these, would probably regift it in a couple of years, right?

Andrew: Yes. I wouldn’t pay a Sickle.

Eric: [laughs] Not one Sickle. But here’s something I think we’d all pay a lot for, possibly. Let’s talk about it.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: A Time-Turner! You guys, this is also introduced in Book 3; of course, Hermione uses it. It allows the wearer to travel short distances in time.

Andrew: For now.

Eric: There’s a discrepancy between that and the Cursed Child as far as how back you can go. Although the one in Cursed Child is a prototype, so I don’t think it’s contradictory. I think on the show we talk about how contradictory it is. I don’t think it’s contradictory. But also, unlike the book, in the Cursed Child they appear to change the past. It turns out in the book that they don’t actually change anything; it’s just that their interpretation of events that occurred the first go around were wrong. So time in the third book is a closed loop, so if you go back in time, here’s the catch: You can’t really change anything. But if you had a different perspective on what happened, you can be proven wrong. So whether or not you can change the past is up for debate, I think.

Andrew: I’m very split on this device, because it is cool, but it’s so dangerous being able to mess with time, so I almost don’t want to call it Cool because I don’t want to encourage this type of behavior.

Dave: Any listeners with a time travel device.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Yes. We’re very influential here; we must be cautious.

Dave: I like it for the reasons you already laid out, which is, to me, it’s the perfect thing I can point to what I like so much about the books and did not like about Cursed Child, which is that it’s much more of a much smaller, smarter plot device that makes for such a great book, whereas in the play, it’s just like, “We’re traveling 20 years and anything could happen,” and now it’s like all the time travel rules are… I don’t know, I just really like the measured, realistic version of if time travel were real, that it can only be a few hours that you would travel back. And that just makes a lot more sense to me and is a lot more fun.

Laura: I agree.

Eric: I’m trying to think what I would use it to do. If you go back in time, you can’t become yourself again, so you’d have to get your old self out of the way if you wanted to influence events directly in your life. And if you wanted to influence something else, what would you go and do? How would you get the motivation for that and be like, “I need to go back in time and do this”? So maybe… oh, buying a winning lottery ticket would probably be the one thing I could think of. Otherwise, it’s just like what Hermione uses it for. Attend more school classes. Get more done in a day.

Micah: If you get your old self out of the way, though, you’re assuming you’re the same age, or that you look exactly the same.

Dave: I look very different than I did three hours ago.

[Everyone laughs]

Dave: Showered, for one.

Laura: I think I’d use it… I always thought about Hermione in this book being so exhausted and I was like, why? You can go back in time and take a nap. That’s what I would use it for. I love naps.

Eric: [laughs] Just extra naps.

Dave: Well, I mean, sports games are an obvious… I don’t know if it’s ever been at all confirmed, but the idea that Fred and George somehow got a Time-Turner seems to not be implied but a possibility with them knowing the of events of the Quidditch World Cup. That would be a very good use of it. I mean, it’s illegal.

Eric: Sports betting, yeah. Gambling, self-enrichment… I agree. I think that that’s where this device skews on the moral ground.

Micah: Yeah, but we’re all assuming things are going to be done for good, whereas there are plenty of people who would go back in time and use it for nefarious purposes.

Andrew: True.

Eric: So in solidarity do we all say it’s Not Cool because it’s too dangerous?

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: I think it’s Cool.

Andrew: I’ll say it.

Laura: Yeah, I think it’s Cool.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: I wouldn’t buy it.

Eric: We’re like, “It’s still pretty cool.”

Andrew: You guys are sick.

Eric: I mean, magic wise, it bends time and space, and that’s cool. Muggles are still trying to do that.

Andrew: It’s cool in theory. It’s cool to read about in a fictional world.

Dave: I mean, in terms of the… this is so silly, but the way they designed it in the movies and how I imagine in the book, it looks really cool. I love just it being this necklace. I love that. Like the DeLorean; it’s a cool vessel.

Andrew: Yeah, I think it’s a very popular merchandise item for that reason.

Eric: If we could get one, what would we pay to get one?

Andrew: It should be very expensive, given its benefits.

Laura: Yeah, I’m not going to feel good about using this if it’s really cheap.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, it needs to be a high quality Time-Turner.

Eric: You travel a couple hours back in time but when you get to the present, you have different parents or something. Like, “What did I do? I Marty McFly’d it.”

Andrew: You should also have to take some sort of test or they have to give you a background check or something to make sure you might not use it for those nefarious purposes that Micah mentioned.

Laura: I mean, I don’t know. They gave it to a 13-year-old, so…

Dave: But she had to have a lot of people sign off on it!

[Dave and Laura laugh]

Eric: Yeah, McGonagall was putting her career on the line for that. So here’s a device from Book 4 that is… I’m actually surprised how similar it is to the Time-Turner. It’s the Omnioculars. You’re not exactly going back in time, but you can replay time. We see this at the Quidditch World Cup; it’s mostly used at the sporting event. You can do all sorts of… you basically see something in real time, you can slow it down, you can watch in slow motion… so I don’t know how that works because it’s not specifically video. It seems to be some kind of reality-bending viewpoint thing. But it’s cool.

Micah: This is trash.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: I mean, we have replay, we have cell phones, we have cameras…

Dave: DVR. TiVo.

Micah: What does this do for you?

Eric: It also goes backwards.

Andrew: I think it’s super cool for that reason.

Dave: This would have been written, what, in 2000? So I think when it came out, we didn’t really have that.

Andrew: Good point.

Dave: I remember it being a lot cooler, and then I get DVR and I’m like, “Okay, well…”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Video killed the radio… instant replay in regular life has killed the Omniocular craze.

Dave: Right, that’s how the song goes.

Andrew: Now you film something on Instagram, and then it immediately replays it over and over and over and over until you finally post it, which is just like Omnioculars.

Eric: I will say, for people who attend live sporting events, you don’t necessarily get the live replays. As somebody who doesn’t know anything about football, I need the TV version of football, where they draw the lines and show me where the ball has to go and all that stuff. I know I just revealed huge ignorance here, but I rely on that kind of a thing. And so Omnioculars would be totally the thing that I’d pay a couple Galleons for at the match to figure out… and it also replays. When there’s a tough play, when there’s something close, the ability to really look and see it for yourself from wherever you’re sitting is a really cool feature that I don’t think has been overridden right now.

Dave: You’d have people in the crowd throwing their Omnioculars like, “Look at this! I got this replay, ref! I got the angle!”

[Everyone laughs]

Dave: “It’s a touchdown.”

Eric: Yeah, good point, actually.

Dave: You kind of turned… I think it’s cool now.

Andrew: Yeah, I’m on Team Cool.

Laura: I think it’s cool for the functionality. I also think it’s an accessibility thing, too; even if we were to place this in modern times, people in the wizarding world aren’t going to have smartphones. They’re not going to work.

Andrew: Yeah. Micah, you’re a sports guy. You have to like this.

Micah: Eh, I know. I also… in the books it was always like a hit on the Weasleys; like they’re so high up and Harry has to buy these binoculars essentially to be able to see what’s going on even though it’s a event that occurs mostly or all in the air.

Dave: Right. That’s a really good point. I never thought about the fact that they’re in the nosebleeds should be a good thing.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Yeah, no, it’s actually probably one of the best seats to have. It’s not terrible. Not Cool.

Eric: Okay, Team Decent. We’re inventing a new team for Micah.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Micah: Team Decent?

Eric: Team Decent.

Andrew: “It’s fine.”

Micah: Team “Aight.”

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Andrew: In terms of how much to pay, I’d say $30-50.

Eric: That sounds about right.

Andrew: Sounds like a common item.

Dave: Does he pay 10 Galleons? Or is it 30?

Eric: He pays 10 Galleons. Okay, here is another interesting gadget that I’m calling a gadget: It’s the Quick Quotes Quill that Rita Skeeter uses to transcribe instantaneously Harry’s side of the interview that she is giving him. We see it mostly in that one-on-one interview between Rita Skeeter and Harry Potter. Kind of interesting. I think something that transcribes a meeting would be all the rage on college campuses. If you’re taking lecture-style notes, it would be amazing. The one thing that’s kind of a knock against it, but maybe not, is it has a flourish to it. It kind of embellishes.

Dave: I love it.

Andrew: That’s a huge knock. That’s fake news.

Dave: It is, literally. That’s why I love it. It’s so great to read in the book.

Andrew: That’s why you love it?

Dave: [laughs] Well, yeah, that’s a terrible thing. Don’t get that on record.

[Andrew laughs]

Dave: No, I just mean I love it as a story-telling device where it’s like, this is how tabloids work. They’re showing you in real time where… Harry is getting a glimpse of the version she’s writing as he speaks. I think it’s one of my favorite chapters in the whole series, is when they’re in a closet, a broom closet, and this thing is…

Andrew: It is a genius scene.

Eric: “My eyes aren’t glistening with the ghosts of my past!”

[Dave and Eric laugh]

Laura: I always interpreted this as her Quick Quotes Quill sort of mimicking her personality, so maybe not all of these would behave in this way. But various devices we see throughout the wizarding world have personalities of their own, that mimic the people they belong to. We see this with wands, for example. I can see a Quick Quotes Quill really melding its personality to its owner, so maybe a more honest journalist’s quill wouldn’t do this.

Dave: I like that. And that’s almost like autocorrect or whatever on your keyboard on your iPhone starts to learn how you type things, so it’s sort of the same. It’s personalized to you.

Laura: Yeah. Because of that, though, I can’t figure out why when I type a certain word, my iPhone always autocorrects to “duck.”

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: I know; it’s so frustrating. Apple doesn’t believe in that other word, I guess.

Dave: The best for me is “ducking.” I like that they’re like, “‘Ducking’ is a word, though.”

Eric: [laughs] So yeah, like I said, it also has just those implications in education. I’m going to say it’s Cool, because I was a note taker that could do with better notes.

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: When you’re writing notes, you’re also doing it in kind of a shorthand, and it’s 50/50 – or in my case, 30/70 – whether or not I’d be able to actually interpret what my shorthand was because I was trying to keep up with the speed of dialogue of conversation, so that’s kind of an issue.

Andrew: I’m going to say Cool, definitely from a note-taking perspective so long as it’s accurate, but if it’s this Rita version where it’s not transcribing the truth, then it’s a problem.

Micah: You’d have a lot of trouble, Andrew, on your exams. I mean, imagine the things it would write down.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: I know.

Dave: Yeah, I say Cool with a huge caveat in the right hands. Not cool in Alex Jones’s hands, but maybe other people.

Andrew: Right.

Laura: I’m going to say Cool just because I never write by hand anymore, so when I do find myself in a situation where I have to write by hand, my hand cramps up really bad.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Dave: Yes, me too. I’m glad I’m not alone.

Andrew: [emotionally] “Where’s my keyboard? I can’t take this anymore!”

Eric: And what would we pay for it?

Micah: 20 bucks.

Andrew: It’s a glorified pen, so $50.

Eric: Let’s do the Foe-Glass from Book 4. Here’s an interesting one. It’s a mirror, like a magic mirror; I wonder if that’s the reference. It shows you who your enemies are, but apparently they’re kind of foggy, indistinguishable figures in the mirror until they are literally at your door. So it tells you who your enemies are, but in the case of Moody… here’s a quote from Goblet of Fire:

“Moody was thrown backward onto the office floor. Harry, still staring at the place where Moody’s face had been, saw Albus Dumbledore, Professor Snape, and Professor McGonagall looking back at him out of the Foe-Glass. He looked around and saw the three of them standing in the doorway.”

So it’s not really a useful tool, because by the time you see the whites of the eyes of your enemies…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Yeah, what exactly was going on here with the Foe-Glass?

Dave: I mean, it’s not unlike the Sneakoscope. It’s like, “Here comes your foes and… but… here they come!”

Micah: I don’t know; I could see this being useful if this was something Moody had in his office at the Ministry when everything was at the height of Voldemort’s first run. You don’t know who’s loyal, who’s using Polyjuice, who’s under an Imperius Curse… all sorts of things, so maybe it would be helpful in terms of showing who is truthful.

Dave: Right. It makes sense for impostor Barty Crouch, Jr., too, because… maybe it doesn’t work this way, but if his true foe is someone who’s against him in that moment, then he knows he’s in trouble. But if Dumbledore was coming to his office, and there’s no shadow or whatever, outline, that means Dumbledore doesn’t realize he’s bad yet, I guess.

Eric: Oh, yeah, so it’s more for what it doesn’t show.

Micah: He also has to play the part, too, of Barty Crouch, Jr., so having something like that in his office would make sense for Moody. The big thing for me from this scene always – and I know we’ve talked a lot about it over the years on the show – is that this is one of those first moments where you could go back to and say that Snape is in fact good, because he shows up as an enemy of Barty Crouch, Jr.

Eric: Good point. But I think it could also be like the Quirrell thing where he rationalizes it as, “I was against Quirrell because I thought he was doing it for selfish purposes. I wasn’t trying to impede Voldemort’s rise.” Cool or Not Cool, guys?

Andrew: I’m going to say Cool, just because of how it could be helpful.

Dave: Yeah, Cool for me, but I would never really buy it. I hope I don’t need to.

Micah: Agreed.

Andrew: Right. Yeah, I look into it and I see nothing, because I have no enemies.

Dave: [laughs] That’s right.

Laura: I’m going to say Not Cool, because I feel like it would make me extremely paranoid. It reminds me of… you know how you can have cameras to monitor your pet when you’re not at home? I had one of those for a while and I found that I was obsessively checking it because it was there, and I had the option to be like, “Oh, let me make sure the dog’s not dead or some kind of crazy thing.”

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: And it just made me more paranoid just to have it, so I think that it would not be good for me.

Eric: I’m going to join Laura on Team Not Cool. I think by the time you can make out who it is that’s coming for you, it’s too late.

Andrew: Any magical glass object in the Harry Potter series is probably not very good for you.

[Dave laughs]

Andrew: The Mirror of Erised drives you crazy…

Dave: The personal gift from Sirius Black that you destroy immediately.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Right, yeah. Theses are all trouble.

Eric: That really have a chance at being cool.

Micah: I think it’s cool.

Andrew: Yes!

Micah: But I agree with you. I don’t think I would purchase it.

Eric: Here’s the next one that I don’t think any of us can put a price on: the Pensieve.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s just so dangerous again.

Eric: Wait, how is it dangerous, though?

Andrew: Well, I just think revisiting memories can be very dangerous. It’s not good from a mental health perspective.

Dave: It is sort of the BuzzFeed ’90s articles of magic.

Andrew: [laughs] Well, but I’m also thinking about… let’s say you’re still hung up on a relationship or something, and you’re just reliving those scenes over and over.

Eric: Okay, I can see that.

Andrew: “I’m sorry, you guys. I’m going through a breakup right now; that’s all I can think about.”

Laura: You don’t necessarily have to revisit your own memories, though. It can give you really interesting perspective on historical events, as we see in the book, so I think it would be very cool. I’m already Team Cool on this.

Andrew: Are you going to go dig up George Washington and pull out a memory from his head and then…?

Dave: “Were your teeth wooden or not?”

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Oh, sadly… they weren’t.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: No, no. Awful.

Laura: We’ll move on from that. I like, Andrew, how you went straight to digging up a dead body, though. I like that your brain went there.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Well, you said you want to remember history. I don’t know how you would do that.

Eric: Presumably, there would be a Smithsonian of memories from ancient wizards that were kept in vials.

Dave: Ooh.

Andrew: That would be fun.

Eric: You wouldn’t have to violate a grave.

Andrew: [laughs] Because somebody else already did for you.

Eric: This would be a library of… you could check out a vial and then pour the vial into the onsite Pensieve and then go and look at history from historical figures. The implications are amazing. I’m firmly Team Cool. And I like to believe that although you could Eternal Sunshine it and maybe have some unhealthy habits around relationships – I love that sort of implication – I’m mostly focused on how awesome it would be and how much good perspective you could get out of seeing yourself and how you behaved but from a third person perspective. I think that could only bring you good insight.

Dave: And to bring up another 2000s romantic comedy, 500 Days of Summer. The whole premise at the very end is that he was just remembering the good parts. And so you could argue there’s something healthy about going back and going, “Oh, this wasn’t as good a memory as I thought.” And I don’t remember if this is how we first are introduced to the Penvise – [laughs] Penvise. The Pensieve. Anyway, I remember that Dumbledore says something about how he’s using it to actually free himself so he doesn’t have to think about other things right now, and so he’s actually freeing up. And I’ve really always… the older I get, the more I’m like, “I would love to have a Pensieve just to not think about these things right now so I can get through the rest of my day.” That aspect of it is really cool.

Laura: That is very true.

Andrew: Dave may have swayed me.

Micah: Yeah, Eric, I liked what you said about the Smithsonian. That really is very cool. I just don’t know how hygienic it is for everybody to be dunking their face into the same pool of water.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Micah: I’m sure there’s a workaround.

Andrew: They replace the water.

Eric: It’s sanitized after every use.

Micah: Okay.

Laura: Yeah, and there’s probably a buffer period.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s actually a tub of Purell that you stick your head into.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: It would burn the eyes.

Andrew: [laughs] You’re screaming in the Purell. [screams] “Ooh, but look at this memory.” [screams]

Laura: No, I mean, just wear a mask and everything will be fine.

Eric: Yeah, yeah, but it would be… although, I guess we should say memories can be altered, so maybe it wouldn’t be the cinema verité of the wizarding world. But no big deal. I think it’s cool. Anybody say Not Cool?

Andrew: No. I still think it’s dangerous, but I still think it’s cool.

Eric: That’s cool.

Micah: Cool.

Eric: And what would we pay for it? I could see a common household Pensieve going for something like… let’s see, more than a dish disposal, more than a… [laughs] I’m trying to think of other household appliances.

Micah: Oh, I was going to go, this thing is probably worth at least a couple hundred grand.

Andrew: Whoa! Couple hundred grand? Well, nobody’s going to be able to… I was going to say a couple thousand.

Dave: I think he’s right. No, I think he’s right.

Andrew: Geez.

Laura: Yeah, this is not something that you could just have as a standard household item.

Andrew: Yeah. And like Laura said with the Time-Turner, you want a high quality Pensieve.

Eric: I think everyone should be able to utilize this sort of a thing. I think it would be less than a car. I think it would be less than 20 grand.

Dave: That would be awesome. Well, before I forget, I just remembered this. There was… it was not a Smithsonian thing, but it was a sort of museum deal where they had a bunch of directors create this experience where you were on the Mexico/US border, and they’d put you in this dark room and they put a backpack on you, and they put headphones and an Oculus type thing on you, and you’re the only person; they did it one person at a time. And there was like, 50 feet in front of you and you had to be barefoot, and you’re walking in the sand, and it was a fully-acted short film with 20 or 22 actors all doing different things at once, as they were trying to attempt to cross the border. It was really intense. And I remember thinking, “This is the Pensieve experience.” And I was trying to treat it as if… [laughs] Because I’m the Harry Potter fan that I am, I was trying to treat it as if I were Harry walking through memories, and remember how he would go sit next to different people and focus on what individual people were doing?

Andrew and Eric: Yeah.

Dave: This was the same idea, where all these actors had different roles, and even if they weren’t speaking, they were supposed to be doing something and it went on forever. It was very emotional, too. So I don’t know. Basically what I’m saying is the experience already kind of exists, and it’s really amazing.

Eric: We have four gadgets left to talk about. Also from Book 4 – but also in Book 7 – Wormtail’s silver hand. The reason I call this a gadget is because it’s kind of like it functions as if it’s a prosthetic hand, but it’s also got very magical properties to it and presumably some sentience. So I think it’s a gadget. It’s a gadget, right?

Dave: I think so.

Eric: Okay.

Andrew: It’s silver, so it’s like metal and… yeah.

Eric: It doesn’t kill werewolves, though. We thought that that was going to be a thing.

Dave: I remember that. I think that was in the What Will Happen in Book 7? book.

Eric and Micah: Yeah.

Micah: It’s very Darth Vader-y.

Laura: I’m going to say Team Not Cool, because there’s something homicidal about this and I just don’t…

[Eric laughs]

Laura: I don’t need that in my life. Like, why would I pay for something that might kill me?

Andrew: Not Cool and extremely dangerous.

Eric: Yeah, it does not… it has a different autonomy. Wormtail doesn’t have full control over it, so that is highly problematic. You never want to buy a device that does not work as designed, right? So that’s Not Cool. [laughs]

Dave: I also think maybe part of the reason… I would say Not Cool, but also because outside of the obvious event where Peter Pettigrew’s arm stops himself, he doesn’t really use it. Does he? I mean, I remember a couple instances where they… but he doesn’t seem to…

Eric: Don’t we see at first…? Doesn’t he crush something?

Dave: That’s the first thing he does, and I was like, “That’s awesome!” And then never again.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: It’s really sold really well at first. He crushes something into bone, or something into dust.

Dave: Yeah. And then, again, that’s basically it for the hand outside of the one big event.

Eric: No, because the next time we see him in Book 6, he’s serving tea.

[Dave laughs]

Eric: You don’t need a silver hand to do that! If you had a silver hand, you’d be competing in strength competitions, arm wrestling… you’d be doing all sorts of stuff.

Micah: Exactly.

Eric: So Wormtail underuses the device he has.

Dave: I’m also on Team Wormtail Not Cool.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: It’s basically like a monitoring device for Pettigrew, right? Once he essentially is willing to betray Voldemort – even if he doesn’t realize it – it kills him. So that’s Not Cool.

Eric: That’s honestly true. It’s presented as a reward to Wormtail for years of service, but ultimately, it is just a tracker. It’s just an ankle monitor that will kill you.

Dave: Does it become a little rat paw when he transforms back into Scabbers?

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Now that would be cute.

Eric: If it didn’t, you’d just have a rat with a human…

Dave: A giant silver…

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Maybe that’s why we don’t see him infiltrate anything as a rat in the later books, because when he transforms, it doesn’t. And he can’t run away.

Dave: I hope so.

Eric: Okay, this one is a short one. From Book 5, it’s mentioned when they go and sit their OWLs that a banned device that you can’t take in is an Auto-Answer Quill, and what it is described to do is that the quill automatically answers a question that is asked in its presence. This would always give you the right answer on a quiz on a written test.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: This is amazing.

Andrew: So I kind of had an item like this.

[Dave laughs]

Eric: Really?

Andrew: I took a history of rock and roll class, and I cheated by using Shazam during the listening portion of the test.

Laura: Oh my God.

[Dave laughs]

Andrew: And it always gave me the right answer. Yeah, I’m ten years removed from that test, so I’m comfortable coming clean about that now.

Dave: The statute of limitations has lifted on that test.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: They can’t prosecute you.

Andrew: Right. But that said, even though I am a cheater – and shame on me – I think this is a very bad item. Right, Laura? The teacher?

Laura: [laughs] Yeah, to be used in the context of a classroom, yes, this would be a really bad item. I would not allow it. But I think overall, it could be really useful. I mean, it’s kind of like Siri. It’s like a voice assistant. You can very easily get quick information if needed.

Dave: Okay. It’s like a Google pen.

Laura: Yeah, as long as it’s not used for cheating, I think it’s fine.

Eric: What would we pay for an Auto-Answer Quill? This is kind of like carrying a calculator into math class, right? Just as an assistant.

Dave: But does it have Block Dude on it? Or whatever the other games were.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Micah: Does it upgrade automatically? Or it just knows?

Eric: That’s the weird thing. Magically, it has to pretty much be omniscient and know everything in order to…

Dave: That’s an interesting question, though. Because for instance, if a Nimbus 2000 could upgrade to a 2001, probably not. That’s why you buy a new one. You know what I mean? It’s just a spell on a broomstick for the most… except in the movies, it’s like an entirely different broomstick, but still.

Eric: I did leave broomsticks off this overall list, but I recognize that they’re very similar. And also, they have multiple spells and charms and enchantments on them that keep… the Quidditch Through the Ages book actually details all the various types of things you need to worry about when doing a broomstick, so brooms are Cool.

Micah: Well, and here’s the other thing: Is it just short answer? Or is it longer form answer? Because I feel like this would be great for Ron doing homework.

Dave: Flashcards.

Laura: I have to think, though, if he was using that on homework assignments, his teachers would totally know.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: That’s fair.

Laura: You just have a… as a former teacher, if I got something turned in that was plagiarized, it’s like an alarm bell just goes off in your head, and you know.

Andrew: Right, you’ve got to be smart about it. You’ve got to incorrectly answer some of the questions so they don’t catch on.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Eric: Or Ron would have had to do it from day one, so that every teacher thought his long answer essays just had that voice of pure truth.

Laura: And they’re like, “Why…? In class, he just seems so different from his homework assignments.”

Eric: [laughs] Well, let’s move on to Decoy Detonators. This is the first gadget we’re talking about to come from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes joke shop. And it is a weird-looking black hooter type object that when dropped, will scurry off and make a loud noise just out of sight. Also, even when not in use, a Decoy Detonator will attempt to do this, though without setting off a noise. I don’t know what that’s about. It’s just… these things hop around and create distractions and it’s good for getting out of class.

[Andrew laughs]

Dave: Oh, that is the original purpose. I forgot the original purpose. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, or making your life more interesting. Obviously, the trio use these to great effect in Deathly Hallows, and especially the movie really captures the weird-looking black hooter-type object. I was like, “What is this?” It’s a little horn with those legs that you wind up. It’s almost like a windup toy.

Andrew: Yeah. You see these a lot in video games, like the new Spider-Man game.

Eric: Oh, yeah.

Andrew: I’m going to say Cool, because sometimes you’ve got to sneak around.

Laura: Yeah, Team Cool because I’m not a very subtle person and I’m also kind of clumsy, so I feel like if I were in a situation where I needed to be stealthy, I would need to depend on something being just really loud and attention-grabbing so that I could get by.

Micah: Doesn’t Harry set this off in the Ministry, too, and it’s also some sort of fog that gets created?

Eric: Yeah. Yeah, I think you’re right.

Micah: That’s more effective to me than just making a lot of obnoxious noise. But yeah, I think they’re Cool, but I don’t really see the use for them in this day and age. I don’t know what they’re ultimately going to do for you.

Dave: I think it would just make my dog crazy.

[Everyone laughs]

Dave: So I’m already… as with any decision in my life, now I go, “Well, I can’t have that; it’s going to scare my dog. I can’t have this magical object.”

[Eric laughs]

Dave: I feel like also, the Hand of Glory is more effective too. That feels like a the same thing but way – I don’t know – cooler.

Eric: Yeah, that’s an interesting point.

Andrew: I’m going to say Cool, because I could see this being helpful.

Eric: Okay. I don’t know where I’d use it, but I’m not willing to say it’s Not Cool, so I’m going to go Team Cool.

Dave: I’m going to say Not Cool for my dog, who just made a weird noise as some kind of confirmation.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: And that leads us to the last gadget that we’ll be talking about. Listeners can, of course, submit more that we didn’t talk about; maybe we’ll bring a new discussion back later. But we mentioned this at the top of the show: Hermione’s beaded bag. I call it a gadget.

Micah: I want to know why she didn’t just throw Harry in there when things got a little hairy.

[Andrew laughs]

Dave: I agree.

Eric: He’d still have to fit through the… well, I guess you wouldn’t, because a book won’t fit… I was thinking that if you could fit through the original, the initial drawstring…

Dave: Opening.

Eric: … because a book could fit in the bag but anything bigger couldn’t.

Andrew: Harry has broad shoulders; he couldn’t fit in there.

[Dave and Micah laugh]

Micah: I agree with Laura, though; it speaks to Hermione’s preparedness as they get ready to go out in Deathly Hallows, and it’s just really amazing, all the things that she is able to put inside of that bag. And I think this is one of the top items, Eric, that you put together for today. I think it’s worth a ton of money. It’s very cool.

Andrew: And just think how much money it would save you when you’re flying. You don’t have to bring multiple bags; you just bring one carry-on.

Dave: Oh, my sister, that could have been her 18th birthday present.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: A single bag. Yeah, I don’t pay baggage fees because I fly Southwest, so I don’t know what you guys are talking about.

[Dave laughs]

Eric: But yeah, I think that you could probably make them on the cheap, too, right? Because presumably, it’s just an Extension Charm, which Hermione… I think they learn those in… at some point, it’s got to be easy magic. If you can master an Extension Charm, you get a regular old carpet bag or handbag of any size, put an Extension Charm on it, and boom, you’ve got a ton of storage.

Dave: I always like to think about… I think it’s in the books or it’s somewhere that in order to create that extra space, you have to… it’s a physics law in the magical world that that space has to come from somewhere. So I just like the idea that there’s storage containers somewhere that actually are holding all this stuff, or… I don’t know. That always cracked me up that there is a space somewhere, even if it’s literally in outer space, where all this stuff is actually being kept.

Eric: Yeah, that’s really interesting.

Micah: It’s almost a pre… well, I guess precursor is not the right word because it happens technically from a timing standpoint after Fantastic Beasts, but it is kind of like Newt’s suitcase.

Dave: Oh, yeah.

Eric: I mean, we see Extension Charms in anything from Newt’s suitcase to even the car that they get from the Ministry to take them all to King’s Cross that one day, where it basically looks like a car on the outside, but when you go in, it’s got bench seating.

Micah: The Knight Bus has a bit of that going on too.

Eric: Yeah, oh, the Knight Bus? Absolutely, as well as an outward flexibility agent where they can get squished and not feel it. Yeah, so were we all Team Cool on the beaded bag?

Dave: Very cool.

Laura: Yeah, this is definitely Team Cool. I also think about going to the movies. This would be so convenient. I don’t know if I’m the only one who does this here, but I don’t buy concessions at the movies.

Dave: Oh, I do it too.

Laura: Yeah, and so having a way to very stealthily get into the theater without bringing a backpack…

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: … being like, “No, I just carry this backpack with me everywhere full of snacks.” That would be cool.

Andrew: Yeah, I’m Team Cool as well. For sure.

Eric: But what would we pay to have one?

Andrew: I would pay a lot because it would just be so helpful.

Dave: Yeah, in almost any situation, really.

Andrew: I’d pay over a hundred.

Eric: Oh, God, if you’re hiking… think about if you’re hiking, you can have your tent, all your gear and supplies, but it wouldn’t weigh as much as all those items because it would just weigh whatever the bag weighs on the outside.

Andrew: Perfect.

Micah: I’d say a couple hundred.

Eric: $500, maybe?

Dave: $600? $700? I don’t have the money really at all.

[Everyone laughs]

Dave: But I would pay ten grand. I think it’s worth that amount, if I had it.

Andrew: Just think of how much it would save you in baggage fees; it would pay for itself! Unless you’re flying Southwest, Eric.

Eric: So I wonder if this is the most valuable item that we… oh, but the Pensieve was 20 grand, though, right? Or more.

Andrew: Somebody said hundreds of thousands.

Eric: Hundreds of thousands of… okay, so behind the Pensieve. It’s interesting to be like, “The beaded bag is really up there.”

Andrew: But most useful, I think you could call this.

Eric: Yeah, very practical. There’s something very practical about it. Well, that, I think, concludes our discussion on gadgets. Thanks, everyone.

Andrew: Great. Yeah, that was fun.


Andrew: Okay, so it is time now for Quizzitch.

[Quizzitch music plays]

Eric: Last week’s question: What is the first thing Harry ever buys in Diagon Alley? This was in regards to we were talking about Diagon Alley and buying things, particularly fan-made things, on last week’s episode. The correct answer is his robes, his Hogwarts robes. Right after leaving Gringotts, Hagrid sends Harry to buy his robes. So the correct answers were submitted by Bort Voldemort; Billy Reardon; Jason King; and Chelsea Bromley. Congrats, everyone.

Laura: No Count Ravioli? Where’s…?

Eric: No Count Ravioli this time.

Laura: Okay. All right.

Dave: I just told her before this that I was doing the MuggleCast podcast, so that’s hilarious.

Eric: Oh, really?

Dave: Yeah, she’s married to another friend of mine. He runs the Steak-umms TikTok account, actually.

Eric: Oh, the Steak-umms TikTok?

Andrew: Oh. My. Gosh.

Laura: Wow.

Eric: That’s the best account of all time.

Dave: Yeah, it really is.

Laura: What a small world.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Wow. Yeah, Count Ravioli did not participate. Where in the world is Count Ravioli? We miss you; come back to us. Anyway, next week’s question: After the first task, what does George hear when Harry opens the Golden Egg? This one’s a fun one. Submit your answer to us over on Twitter at @MuggleCast with hashtag Quizzitch.

Andrew: If you have any feedback about today’s gadget discussion, you can email or use the contact form on, or send us a voice memo so we can hear you. Just use the Voice Memo app on your phone and then email that file to, or you can call us, 1-920-3-MUGGLE. That’s 1-920-368-4453. Dave, thanks so much for coming on today. It was awesome having you!

Dave: Guys, thank you so much. I did my best to contribute, but also, I was in awe. It’s like you’re inside one of your favorite movies, so it’s my own Pensieve. So thank you. This has been great.

Andrew: We’re talking back!

Dave: I’d love to come back.

Andrew: We would love to have you back! Hell yeah.

Dave: Every week. I’m just kidding.

[Everyone laughs]

Dave: No, but please let me know.

Eric: Check out Dave’s TikToks. Check them out over, obviously, on TikTok. They’re also on Twitter; he threaded them all. Also, if you’re looking for an introduction into the first hundred something TikToks, check out the episode of my podcast “Thank You for Spieling,” where Dave was on. He was kind enough to join us. But we go through the narrative and the thoughts behind all of his old TikToks, so…

Dave: It was a lot of fun.

Eric: You’ve done like, 200 since then, dude. You will not stop.

[Andrew laughs]

Dave: No, I can’t stop.

Eric: We’re so outdated.

Dave: Won’t stop. The Miley Cyrus of TikToks.

[Andrew and Dave laugh]

Andrew: [sings] “He can’t stop…” Dave, what’s your username on Twitter and TikTok?

Dave: Twitter is easy; it’s just at @DaveJorgensen. And then it’s actually the same… I do have my own personal account on TikTok that I’ve barely used.

[Eric laughs]

Dave: But I had to start it because I have a book coming out next year, so I’m excited to use it as a…

Andrew: Whoa!

Laura: Oh my gosh.

Dave: Yeah, I was telling Eric, if you tickle the spine, it starts dancing like a TikTok for 15 seconds.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Oh, nice.

Dave: Or something like that, yeah. But no, the bulk of the TikToks are at @WashingtonPost, and every weekday I post two, sometimes three, so by the end of the week there’s 10-15 TikToks there that are both informative, and sometimes just very silly.

Andrew: Awesome. What a job. That is so cool.

[Andrew and Dave laugh]

Andrew: Cool. So thanks again, Dave. It was really awesome. And thanks for listening to MuggleCast all these years. I’m glad we connected.

Dave: Of course.

Andrew: And we’ll have links to Dave’s Washington Post TikTok and his personal Twitter in today’s show notes. You can also follow us; I mean, we’re not as big of a deal as Dave on social media, but we are @MuggleCast on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Thanks, everybody, for listening to today’s episode. We’ll be back next week with one more episode for 2020. I’m Andrew.

Eric: I’m Eric.

Micah: I’m Micah.

Laura: I’m Laura.

Dave: And I’m Dave!

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: You are! You’re a MuggleCaster!

Micah: Well done.

Eric: One of us! One of us!