► point5 Harry Potter Quotes: The Prisoner of Azkaban

5. “Which one of you can tell me the difference between an animagus and a werewolf? [Hermione raises her hand] No-one? How disappointing.”

For heaven’s sake Severus, I don’t know where you did your PGCE or whatever, but generally if a pupil puts their hand up after you’ve asked a question, it suggests they know the answer. It’s the basics man. And your dream was to get the Defence Against The Dark Arts role so when you cover a lesson for Remus, don’t be such a bitch about everything. These kids want to learn. You have a responsibility. Sort yourself out. The parents should be furious, you belong down in the dungeons teaching potions – which isn’t even really a proper subject, I used to make potions in my garden when I was younger and I didn’t need any adult supervision for that – so raise your game you greasy little creep.


If you ever get told to wait, bring out this one (works every time):

3. “This class is ridiculous.”

Yes Draco! That is genius comedy, and it didn’t even seem rehearsed or anything, it was such an opportunistic joke, you saw your chance and went for it. It’s that confidence which we all love. Amazing!

2. “We don’t send people to Azkaban just for blowing up their aunts!”

Well why not Cornelius? Seems like a pretty flawed justice system if you ask me.. This crime has just been swept under the carpet.. Everyone says Harry’s so great but he’s not, he’s a criminal. A dangerous one. He overreacts, doesn’t think about the consequences of his actions and is so self-centered that not once does he seem to show any remorse. Hang him.

1. “Well, well. Look who’s here – you two shopping for your new dream home? Bit grand for you, isn’t it, Weasel-Bee?”

Draco, you’re killing me! First the riddikulus/ridiculous improvised pun and now this! It’s quite frankly side-splitting. Weasel-Bee!? Where do you come up with this stuff, it’s absolute gold. And this is even more advanced humour than before, you’ve delved into the realms of sarcasm! Speechless.

► point5 Harry Potter Quotes: The Philosopher’s Stone.

► point5 Harry Potter Quotes: The Chamber of Secrets.


► point5 Apps for Students

I’ll try to avoid the obvious ones..

5. QUIZUP (FREE)20140815-114806-42486371.jpg It was at the top of the app-chart and was great but had a short life-span which is a shame because it’s good fun and there are plenty of categories you can test yourself in. I consolidated my flag knowledge and got overly excited when a question came up in 18th and 19th Century History that I could answer thanks to one of my seminars. So re-download QuizUp; it needs to have a second-coming..

20140815-114804-42484391.jpg4. FLIPAGRAM (FREE) – This app is great for creating slide-shows of your photos and videos, and allows you to put songs from your collection behind the images, ideal for documenting anything from fresher’s week to a holiday with your mates.

20140815-114850-42530890.jpg3. CAMSCANNER (FREE) – Fairly simple, you can just scan pages from books which are then stored and can easily be grouped together. Once stored, you are able to crop, annotate and highlight your chosen passage. It’s not a particularly fancy app but nothing ever is when you’re a student so I guess it’s perfect really.

20140815-114802-42482215.jpg2. 1 SECOND EVERYDAY (£0.69) – You have to take a video everyday for however long you think you can stand it, cropping each video to a single second which are then all placed together to create a sort of diary of your life. I did it for a few months before stopping because I have no will power but I have seen some great finished results and it’s a great way to record your time at uni.

20140815-114852-42532885.jpg1. EASYBIB (FREE) – We all hate referencing, it’s a chore and takes an absolute age. This app helps you out a bit; it scans the barcode of a book and then gives you the full citation which you can store and then email to yourself once you have scanned all the books you have used. Saves you some time, why not?






► WWI: Beyond the Propaganda

US poster
British poster








German poster. Translated as ‘Your Fatherland is in Danger’
British poster









Posters like the ones above were incredibly successful in their purpose; reaching out to the public for men to enlist for the army. Combined with other forms of propaganda, they spurred up a patriotic feeling among the population and made joining the army one’s duty and even a privilege. Some propaganda pieces went a step further and made the war seem glamorous; as if it were exciting and a chance to get out of one’s hometown and escape what may be a very dry and repetitive lifestyle. It worked, young men signed up in their thousands, but what awaited them was not what the posters suggested. Here are five pieces of art or literature that show the real story (in no particular order).


“I am no longer an artist interested and curious, I am a messenger who will bring back word from the men who are fighting to those who want the war to go on for ever. Feeble, inarticulate, will be my message, but it will have a bitter truth, and may it burn their lousy souls.” – Paul Nash

Paul Nash is arguably the most famous of the First World War artists, and he enlisted for the Battalion, The Artists’ Rifles shortly after the war began. This particular piece, entitled ‘We are making a new world’, is very eerie with the sun rising over one of the battlefields which has been completely reshaped by the fighting and artillery fire that was relentless throughout the war. A harsh landscape remains with little shown to be living, no happiness or hope is suggested, only pain and suffering exists. The title reflects the futility of war and the landscape illustrates the realities that come with it and is a metaphor for all the sadness that war brings. Nash’s use of dull colours brings with it the sense of gloom, decay and desolation, and the only source of light in this piece and indeed many of his others is from the sun, illuminating the horrors that it oversees.


Have a read of the poem here.

I’m not sure if ‘favourite poem’ is quite right, considering how bleak and hard-hitting it is, but it’s certainly one of the best I’ve ever read. The message is haunting; Owen suggests a feeling of numbness is the only way to cope in the time of war, that having feelings of compassion and love or indeed any feeling at all is useless and causes fear and pain:

‘Happy are these who lose imagination:                                       They have enough to carry with ammunition.                               Their spirit drags no pack.’

The poem also emphasises the insignificance of the individual; they are only numbers to those who lead them, those who aren’t doing the fighting, and this is something Owen stresses in many of his poems. The imagery that Owen uses in ‘Insensibility’ is brutally honest and he is especially convincing in dehumanising the soldiers, here comparing their fragility to that of flowers:

‘The front line withers.                                                                           But they are troops who fade, not flowers’

Words that suggest reduction are used by Owen throughout the poem and they probably symbolise the loss of human senses and even the process of becoming mad and leaving all emotion and substance behind:

‘And terror’s first constriction over,                                               Their hearts remain small-drawn.                                                     Their senses in some scorching cautery of battle                       Now long since ironed,                                                                         Can laugh among the dying, unconcerned.’

In the final stanza of the poem, Owen turns his attention to those who sent these soldiers to war, those who are not directly affected by the horrors of war. His stance is aggressive,

‘But cursed are dullards whom no cannon stuns’ 

and he condemns them for being as inhuman as those on the front, despite not facing the combat:

‘By choice they made themselves immune                                   To pity and whatever moans in man’

Owen recognises that all men lose senses in war, but for those who send the soldiers to the front, it is a choice and for the soldiers themselves, it is a necessity that is imposed upon them.









‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ is a brilliant novel that reminds us that the German soldiers had a very similar experience to the Allies, of life on the front. Written from the perspective of a young German soldier, the novel explores the power of propaganda and nationalist sentiment at the outbreak of the war, encouraging many men to enlist for glory and honour. As time passes, the fires of nationalism are extinguished and the reality begins to sink in. The protagonist, Paul Bäumer, only 19 years of age, faces all the challenges of war; fear, loss and boredom, and even when returning home on leave, Paul finds it difficult to fit back into civilian life and struggles to relate to the people he loves. A harrowing read, with death being explored in-depth, ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ is a blunt but accurate representation of one of the bloodiest wars that began only 100 years ago.


Perhaps the most iconic painting of the war, ‘Gassed’ shows a group of men, injured from a mustard gas attack, presumably marching towards a hospital on the front. The men here are united, holding one another, but only through pain and suffering as they guide one another forwards. A sea of injured soldiers line their path, and there is a prevailing sense of mass distress. The line of men is fairly short but we are led to believe this is just a snapshot of the full extent with those on the floor around them filling the rest of the painting and with no end in sight. A really harrowing piece, sharply in contrast to propaganda posters which, needless to say, omit the scenes of utter despair.


“Every bullet has its billet;
Many bullets more than one:
God! Perhaps I killed a mother
When I killed a mother’s son.”

A very short, heart-breaking poem that reflects so much about the war and the internal thoughts of soldiers who had killed as part of their ‘duty’ to their home country. As I’ve already noted, death is a major theme in ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ and the concept of killing another individual is extensively explored on a psychological level. Here, Lee explores one aspect of this in  just four lines, the idea that it is not just the individual that has been directly killed that you affect, but all those connected to him. It forgets the overall death tolls, removes all statistics from the war and focuses on a very personal level. It’s very hard to think about, and the grief that must have been existed across Europe must have been devastating.

These five documents show just a glimpse of the terrors of war and illustrate the ordeal that took the lives of so many. It’s often difficult to recount, but in order to preserve the memory of the soldiers who gave everything, we must continue to document their struggle, and today being 100 years since Britain entered the First World War, it seems a fitting time to pay our respect.

I also urge you all to go to the Imperial War Museum when you have a chance and pay a visit to the Truth and Memory Exhibition, which is open until 8th March 2015 and entry is free. The two paintings I have mentioned in this post are both on show along with a host of other war masterpieces that have shaped the way we look back on the war.


► point5 Harry Potter Quotes: The Chamber of Secrets

5. “Avada-!” 

Jesus christ Lucius mate, he’s only freed your house-elf, don’t go overboard now. You can’t just kill Harry Potter in broad daylight several meters away from Dumbledore’s office. Besides, how would you break it to Voldemort that you’d killed him, he’d be devastated. Count yourself lucky that Dobby (why do people like him? His popularity is completely unjustified) managed to stop you from carrying out your rash actions.

4. “Easy Wood, I’ve got a note.”

Back off Wood you naive little child, Marcus Flint is in town and he’s got a note, a note from none other than Professor Snape, so if you’re even thinking of stepping onto that Quiditch pitch you can think again cos you should read what this note says. Oh, and nice broom Wood, where’d you get that?.. The toilet store? Yeah, go enjoy practice boys.

3. “Blimey! Harry’s got himself a rogue bludger! That’s been tampered with that ‘as!” 

Good old Hagrid, so observant with his big ol’ binoculars. Always quick to the crime scene. Animated, the shake of the fist, a Gryfindor fan through and through, turning his back on impartiality and his staff duties. Get to the pub big man, go on, gamble away your savings on more dragon eggs, you’ve earned it.

2. “An excellent idea to show them that Professor Snape! But if you don’t mind me saying, it was pretty obvious, uh, what you were about to do.”

Yeah I saw it coming too Gilds, you would’ve looked ridiculous and pretty arrogant parrying such a feeble and predictable spell. Good on you for doing the noble thing and taking the hit, you’re there to teach at the end of the day anyway, not win a popularity contest! Keep up the good work!

[Remarkably, Quotes #1 and #2 are in the same clip on youtube: see below for pure HP bliss]

1. “What are you playing at!”

Justin Finch-Fletchley. I think I speak for all of us when I say that, without doubt, his performance eclipses that of all the other Harry Potter cast members. The sincerity he demonstrates, the fear he instills in everyone who watches this powerful scene, it’s quite remarkable he didn’t make it onto the cover of the film. Harry, Ron and Hermione instead, who’s responsible for this monstrosity? The crowds are going ballistic, chanting: JUSTIN JUSTIN JUSTIN! #JUSTICEFORJUSTIN

Read more of my HP quotes:

► point5 Harry Potter Quotes: The Philosopher’s Stone.

► point5 Harry Potter Quotes: The Prisoner of Azkaban.

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► Why we love John Lewis

The John Lewis Christmas adverts have always been festive and engaging, and they have made the release of the advert an event; everyone waits for it and when it does arrive on our screens, everyone talks about it and shares it all over social media. I have found the same has happened for their most recent advert, ‘Never standing still’ crafted by Adam&Eve DDB, celebrating their 150th anniversary.

What makes John Lewis so unique in their advertising style is that their adverts are infrequent, but carefully planned and executed; a quality over quantity approach. Not always the most successful way to go about brand promotion as sometimes the best advertising method is persistency. Companies such as Compare the Market and GoCompare have both opted for this strategy, with annoying but catchy adverts, that many believe to be terrible, but where are they going to go when they need to compare prices on their travel insurance? John Lewis can get away without this form of advertising; perhaps their brand is so renowned that it is unnecessary, or perhaps the quality of their adverts makes up for the irregularity of adverts seen on television, or indeed on any medium.

They also have a very simple but effective formula for their campaigns. The basis of this formula, for me, seems to be their use of relatively famous songs, often from several years ago, but covered by contemporary artists as the backing music to their advert. This is a very clever advertising technique. Very few people will have heard these covers as they have been produced specifically for the advert, and so when they rewatch the advert, that song will begin to form an association with what they have watched, and therefore the brand. Songs like ‘The Power of Love’ covered by Gabrielle Aplin and ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ covered by Lily Allen automatically bring John Lewis into mind, acting as a form of advertisement beyond our television screen.

Away from their Christmas adverts, this technique is still used and the Gaz Coombes cover of The Kinks’ song ‘This Time Tomorrow’ is played behind the animation of a large collection of people moving forwards. The song is now instantly recognisable as ‘that song from the John Lewis advert’…

John Lewis have also tapped into the social media sphere and the hashtag #JL150 has been widely used (myself included), again promoting the advert and the brand further than the television set. This campaign works so well because it is not limited to a single medium and cleverly targets a wide audience through TV, social media and music. The advert itself is simple, does not overload the viewer with too much information, but just engages with them effectively with innovative visual effects and a song that lends itself to the slogan.

John Lewis even created two separate twitter accounts for the hare and the bear from their 2013 Christmas advert, and tweeted a realtime conversation between the two of them on Christmas Day, mimicking the advert. A clever and light-hearted little promotional ploy.

The adverts Adam&Eve DDB create for John Lewis help give the company a good image, and one that especially appeals to their target audience. They come across as sophisticated and elegant, but at the same time, accessible; a perfect combination that ensures loyal and satisfied customers.

Never Standing Still.

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► point5 Harry Potter Quotes: The Philosopher’s Stone

5. “Fine day Sunday, in my opinion, best day of the week.”

Vernon’s pretty bloody smug really. After a long week of burning letters and blockading any entry to the house, he can’t wait for Sunday. And it’s not just because Royal Mail don’t operate on Sundays that gets him excited, it’s because he cannot bloody wait to ask Harry exactly why he loves Sunday so much, he’s been planning it all week. He loves it. And so do I really, get in there Uncle Vernon.

People do great stuff on the internet…

4. “You’re a wizard Harry”

Revolutionary, this line changes everything. But that’s not why it makes my top 5 quotes, and I think you know very well why it’s here. If you don’t you’re in for a treat. Sit back and enjoy one of the best YouTube videos out there.

3. “Platform 9 and 3/4? Think you’re being funny do you?… Platform 9 and 3/4!”

People often ask me who my favourite HP character is. Easy. This guy. So undervalued, he just tells the little punk that Harry is what’s what. It’s tedious watching everyone praising Harry and trying to be best mates with him, and all we needed was a bit of this no nonsense attitude to take him down a peg or two.

2. “You thereD5!”

This is Ron’s time, one of his few spotlight moments. Chess is his thing, and he takes the reins, because he’s the knight! Right?! He is loving it, you can tell as soon as he walks in and lets Harry know that he’s completely off the ball. It isn’t a graveyard mate, it’s quite obviously a chessboard.. As if his authority wasn’t already in place, he casually sends out one of his pawns as cannon fodder, and still smashes home a solid victory, while heroically sacrificing himself in the process. A bold game, a bold boy.

1. “Give it here Malfoy or I’ll knock you off your broom”

A common misconception is that the first couple of Harry Potter films are far more child-friendly and not nearly as dark as the films that follow, but I think it’s absolutely shocking that this scene has been completely ignored when making the comparison. Harry’s aggression is quite frankly terrifying and I always applaud Malfoy for staying cool under the heat of the situation and not bowing down to the ferocity of the Boy who Lived.

And that concludes my top 5 quotes from the first film. Look out for Chamber of Secrets quotes soon, I’m excited, we’ll get a bit of Lockhart in there.

► point5 Harry Potter Quotes: The Prisoner of Azkaban.


► Are Liverpool doing a Spurs?

I’m a big Spurs fan and yes, I’m still upset that Bale has gone. As we all know, his replacements haven’t exactly filled the hole that he left. The likes of Paulinho, Chadli, Lamela, Soldado and Capoue have all shown class at times but by no means is this a regular sighting, and Vlad Chiriches, my personal favourite of our most recent signings, isn’t exactly world-class despite a string of very good performances.

Liverpool have just sold their talisman, Luis Suarez for a hefty fee of £75 million, and I am worried (hopeful/praying) that the Merseyside team might just be following in Spurs’ footsteps.

The problem with selling a world-class player for a huge amount of money is that every other club knows that. This in turn means that clubs are able to massively push up their asking price for players they are willing to sell to the club with millions in the bank. It happened to Spurs; we forked out £17 million for Paulinho, £26 million for Soldado and a staggering £30 million for Lamela, who quite frankly has been uninspiring when playing or sidelined due to injury. These three players all broke our record transfer fee paid, overtaking the £16.5 million we paid for the fantastic Luka Modric and not quite so fantastic Darren Bent (although underrated).

Liverpool are, in my view, in the early stages of this process… Adam Lallana has joined the club for £25 million along with Emre Can for £10 million and Lazar Markovic from Benfica for £20 million. Of course, not all of these players were purchased after Suarez departed, but the transfer sums suggest that there was some speculation that Liverpool were going to sell the Uruguayan, and if Liverpool look to bring in more talent, they certainly need to be wary of the overpricing of players.

The other problem with many of these players that have either been brought into the squad or are linked with the club, is that they are unproven in the Premier League and paying large sums of money is certainly a risky investment. Soldado and Lamela are two prime examples of clearly fantastic players in their respective previous leagues, who didn’t manage to adapt to the English game. The stats don’t lie and Soldado knocked in 24 league goals for Valencia in the 2012-2013 season but only 6 for Spurs last season, while Lamela remains goalless for Spurs but scored 15 for Roma the season before entering the Spurs setup.

Predictably, there are those who argue that they need time to settle and their time will come, and I’m sure there is a good case for this, but the problem is that when you are completely transforming your team, you need to have a solid base of players who have managed to adapt and are reliable game in, game out.

I’m certainly very interested to see who else Liverpool sign before the transfer window shuts and then how successfully they manage to gel and whether results will go their way, particularly in the first half of the season. I really hope they suffer, but having said that, with Suarez gone perhaps I will begin to warm to them again… Spurs, I fear, are in for a long, torturous season, especially as we’ve already done our spending, so can’t see many more signings in the pipeline. But that’s the Spurs way right? To dare is to do, I believe.

For a Liverpool fan’s perspective have a read of this post from sak1703: Life After Suarez: How We Line-Up Next Season?