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Potter mania

All the muggles out there, sit up and take notice. For the chair on which author J.K. Rowling sat and wrote the first two books of the Harry Potter series is up for grabs on ebay. A struggling Rowling wrote The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets sitting on the chair in her Scottish council flat. The chair bears many painted slogans about Harry Potter and Rowling, including the one that says, “I wrote Harry Potter while sitting on this chair.” Rowling initially donated it to a charity auction, called Chair-ish a Child, which was held in aid of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 2002 when it was sold for £15,000. The much-valued chair is now being auctioned on ebay with 20% of the proceeds going to the Books Abroad charity that provides free text books to impoverished countries. Matthew Ford, art dealer for the sale, said that buying the chair would mean owning a piece of literary history. In fact, to add to the authenticity of the sale, the chair also comes with a special Owl Mail signed by Rowling and addressed to the ‘new owner of my chair’.

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Understanding dogs

Dogs may be easier to understand from now on as Japanese inventors have created a device that can tap into a dog’s feelings from its bark. The Bowlingual Voice, created by Takara Tomy, analyses a dog’s bark and translates the findings into words. The gadget can detect emotions of sadness, joy and frustration. Bowlingual Voice will go on sale for £129 in Japan next month. It consists of a microphone, which is placed around the dog’s neck with a hand-held unit-operating device.

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