Professor McGonagall’s entire backstory explained

Beyond the main trio of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, the wizarding world is populated with a huge cast of characters, each of whom brings something unique to the table. These characters include Harry’s professors at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, and though most people might think Albus Dumbledore was Harry’s most influential teacher, don’t overlook the legacy of Minerva McGonagall. Played by the indomitable Dame Maggie Smith in the films, McGonagall is a seriously powerful and intelligent witch, but there’s a lot you still might not know about Minerva. Here’s everything you need to know about Professor McGonagall’s entire backstory.

UN’s former climate chief says now is the time for global ‘civil disobedience’ to combat greed

Costa Rican diplomat and former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres is telling people across the globe that the time is now for civil disobedience in service of our planet. In her new book, The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis, Figueres, along with Tom Rivett-Carnac writes that while people must get out to vote and push their elected officials to make big moves to combat climate change, it is also time to hit the streets.

Coming out as Dalit: how one Indian author finally embraced her identity

Pretending not to be a Dalit took a heavy toll on the young Yashica Dutt.

Her mother, Shashi, was so determined to protect her three children from the discrimination of the Hindu caste system that relegates Dalits to the periphery of society that she pretended the family were Brahmin.

Movies, Music, and Books That Enter the Public Domain Today

Today isn’t just a day to nurse your hangover from New Year’s Eve—it’s also a day to celebrate the public domain. Movies, books, music, and more from 1924 are all entering the public domain today, meaning that you’re free to download, upload, and share these titles however you see fit. And it’s completely legal.

‘Dying of whiteness’: why racism is at the heart of America’s gun inaction

( Bam! I’ve been saying this since I was a teenager. )

Why does the United States refuse to pass new gun control laws? It’s the question that people around the world keep asking.

According to Dr Jonathan Metzl, a psychiatrist and sociologist at Vanderbilt University, white supremacy is the key to understanding America’s gun debate. In his new book, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland, Metzl argues that the intensity and polarization of the US gun debate makes much more sense when understood in the context of whiteness and white privilege.

AUDIOBOOK: The Tent, the Bucket, and Me

HILARIOUS!

For the 70s child, summer holidays didn’t mean the joy of CentreParcs or the sophistication of a Tuscan villa. They meant being crammed into a car with Grandma and heading to the coast. With just a tent for a home and a bucket for the necessities, we would set off on new adventures each year stoically resolving to enjoy ourselves.

For Emma Kennedy, and her mum and dad, disaster always came along for the ride no matter where they went. Whether it was being swept away by a force ten gale on the Welsh coast or suffering copious amounts of food poisoning on a brave trip to the south of France, family holidays always left them battered and bruised.

But they never gave up. Emma’s memoir, The Tent, The Bucket and Me, is a painfully funny reminder of just what it was like to spend your summer holidays cold, damp but with sand between your toes.