The Hogwarts Window

November 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Admit it…you were disappointed when you didn’t get accepted to Hogwarts when you were 11.

OK, we know that Hogwarts is a figment of our collective imagination, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an AWESOME place, nor does it mean that some really great ideas can’t be taken from it.  One of the coolest things about the magical castle has to be the ceiling of the Great Hall, which simply mirrors the weather outside.  Every day is a picnic at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  From what I remember, this also applies to the windows at the Ministry of Magic, where the employees can actually command the weather they can see through the glass.

Why do we need magic for this?  The answer is: we DON’T.  The technology exists to capture an image of a sunny day from outside your window, store that image, and project it into your house when the weather is less than perfect.  As night fell, the view would change to one of sunset, and eventually one of a starry, clear night.  This “window” would in reality be an opaque screen when turned off, thus not allowing a true view of the outside, and the window would come complete with fans to simulate a light breeze when desired.  There would be no more need to experience the true light of day from within one’s own home.

Beyond the obvious blow to the traditional window-making industry, let’s consider what the consequences of this invention would be.  It didn’t appear to affect anything more than the dining experience at Hogwarts, but then again it was only applied to one ceiling of one room.  Now imagine if your entire house could be made sunny at all times.  Why would you ever leave, unless absolutely necessary?  There’s a reason for the mass migration within America to states such as Arizona and Florida; people in this country like warm weather and sunny days.  Some people even get depressed during the winter due to lack of sunlight!  Now, for these snowbirds, there is a solution right at home, and no desire to leave the house.  So it seems that the housing market in the Sun Belt would suffer some losses; after all, moving is expensive, and the Hogwarts windows would cost no more than the air conditioning required in those southern states.  Their populations would slow their rates of growth, and perhaps the corresponding economic growth would be transferred back to the cities of the Midwest and the Northeast.  Companies, too, could invest in Hogwarts windows.

It’s also interesting to wonder how people’s habits would change with the new invention.  Why go out in the snow when it’s seventy-five and there’s no clouds in the sky?  Why even go out when it’s a sweltering ninety?  More and more people would have an extra incentive to do their daily errands from home, especially in the winter.  Online businesses would flourish, while companies that require driving to reach their place of business would falter somewhat.  Wait…did I just say driving?  It seems like there would be less of that as well…interestingly, the Hogwarts window could cause people to drive less, thus consuming less gasoline, creating less carbon dioxide, and reducing America’s carbon footprint.  And although there would be more energy used to keep the windows running, this probably pales in comparison to the energy saved by people staying in, losing their tans and the desire to go outside and shop.  Doesn’t seem TOO far-fetched.

Who knew that Harry Potter could actually do some magic for us in the Muggle world?

– Zach B

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