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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Where to link up with Potterheadsand muggles

By John W. Cox
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Britney Spears nailed 12.5 million. Oprah racked up 36.5 million. Michael Jackson popped 41.9 million.

Those are three Google searches and their resulting Internet hits, which probably seem quite large.

But if Google is indeed the ultimate popularity barometer, then the world's favorite teenage wizard, Harry Potter, squashes the king of pop, the queen of daytime talk and that girl who shaved her head. Harry Potter generates a hit count that rivals the population of some Eastern European countries 85.8 million.

Even for the most wizard-obsessed fans, links to almost 90 million Web hits is an intimidating number to fish through.

So we'll do it, so you don't have to.

From the radical fans who know the eighth word in the fifth chapter of the sixth book to the casual fans who can't remember what a horcrux or muggle is, here's a useful list of Web sites that will help anyone brush up on their Potter particulars in the midst of the box-office hit "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" and the Saturday release of the last book in the saga, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows":

  • The Harry Potter Lexicon at www.hp-lexicon.org is a good place to start. It contains one of the most comprehensive glossaries of author J.K. Rowling's imagination in the cyberspace world. Visitors will find in-depth explanations of spells, wizards, beasts, people, places, magical items and much more. Understanding the terms, words and phrases in the Harry Potter books is essential to enjoying them.

  • www.Harrypotterfacts.com, although not organized as well as the Lexicon site, shows the exact book and chapter number where terms and characters appear.

  • Allot at least 16 hours a day for a month or two to browse through www.mugglenet.com's podcasts, interviews, editorials, message boards and news. Anyone looking to read or offer theories about how the Potter series will end will find a home on this site. Also, enjoy the up-to-the-second countdown clocks for the book and movie premieres.

  • www.The-leaky-cauldron.org is a site similar to mugglenet that's stocked with rumors and information about all things Potter.

  • www.JKRowling.com, presented in six languages, offers a more personal peek into the mind of the world's most-read woman. Check out more news and information, a biography and rumours (in the British spelling). Rowling also posts a diary, though it is seldom updated.