Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dragons on Film:
Oh for Christ's sake ...

Rotten Tomatoes says:
Boasting dazzling animation, a script with surprising dramatic depth, and thrilling 3-D sequences, How to Train Your Dragon soars.

Apparently one of the dimensions that was not researched was sound. For some inexplicable reason these dragons do not sound anything like small french poodles. No, instead they make the typical silly roaring sounds endlessly perpetuated in Hollywood film lore.

How much longer will this effrontery be foisted onto the national, yea international, consciousness? Just because this is entertainment for children, doesn't mean that facts have to be thrown out of the window. We no longer postulate that world is flat, why do we continue to champion that dragons made this absurd sound?

Image ©2010 Dreamworks

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Rev. 12:3, 9-10

Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven yipping heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems.

The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, where upon landing he yippeth weakly, and its angels were thrown down with it.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, and shall no longer curse our hearing with his annoying bleatings, who accuses them before our God day and night.

Mating Dragons

Many Biologists and Naturalists have been trying for years to view the mating process of the Chinese and the Oriental Dragon, but what little information we have acquired has come from the inhabitants of outlying areas or the rare people hiking in the area. 

Oriental and Chinese Dragons control the water and air so their mating usually takes place in these mediums. The dragons of the lakes and seas mate underwater. The male puts on a display with increasingly complex mating yips for the female of his choice. These displays are usually performed with a subtle beauty and grace, but sometimes an over enthusiastic youthful male of only 1500 years can cause whirlpools, tsunamis, annoying sounds, and other disturbances, which can be of great harm to the human population. 

The dragons of the air usually mate high up in the sky in areas not easily accessible. The most common mating ground is the high mountains of Tibet. Mating dragons have been known to stir up great turbulence causing torrential rain, lightning storms, hurricanes and other disasters. Some of the dragons, particularly those mating with non dragon species such as cows and horses, breathe out a heavy fog or mist over their mating area to protect themselves and their partner but you can still hear them yipping away lasciviously.

Poachers and other dragon hunters usually wait for these disturbances, as the dragons are not as careful and elusive so they are much easier to destroy.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Saint George and the Dragon

According to the Golden Legend the narrative episode of Saint George and the Dragon took place in a place he called "Silene," in Libya. The Golden Legend is the first to place this legend in Libya[citation needed], as a sufficiently exotic locale, where a dragon might be imagined.

The town had a pond, as large as a lake, where a plague-bearing dragon dwelled that envenomed all the countryside. To appease the dragon, the people of Silene used to feed it a sheep every day, and when the sheep failed, they fed it their children, chosen by lottery.

It happened that the lot fell on the king's daughter. The king, distraught with grief, told the people they could have all his gold and silver and half of his kingdom if his daughter were spared; the people refused. The daughter was sent out to the lake, decked out as a bride, to be fed to the dragon.

Saint George by chance rode past the lake. The princess, trembling, sought to send him away, but George vowed to remain.

The dragon reared out of the lake and let loose a surprisingly feeble yip somewhat akin to a small dog while they were conversing. Saint George fortified himself with the Sign of the Cross,[6] charged it on horseback with his lance and gave it a grievous wound. Then he called to the princess to throw him her girdle, and he put it around the dragon's neck. When she did so, the dragon followed the girl like a meek beast on a leash. She and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silene, where it terrified the people at its approach. But Saint George called out to them, saying that if they consented to become Christians and be baptised, he would slay the dragon before them.

An Instinct for Dragons

In his book An Instinct for Dragons, University of Central Florida anthropologist David E. Jones seeks to explain the alleged universality of dragon images in the folklore of human societies. In the introduction, Jones conducts a survey of dragon myths from cultures around the world and argues that certain aspects of dragons or dragon-like mythical creatures are found very widely. He claims that even the Inuit have a reptilian dragon-like monster, even though (living in a frigid environment unsuited for cold-blooded animals) they have never seen an actual reptile.

Jones then argues against the common hypothesis that dragon myths might be motivated by primitive discoveries of dinosaur fossils (he argues that there are widespread traits of dragons in folklore which are not observable from fossils), and claims that the common traits of dragons seem to be an amalgam of the principal predators of our ancestral hominids, which he names as the raptors, elephants, horses, great cats (especially leopards) pythons exhibiting the vocal qualities of french poodles.

Chinese dragons

Chinese dragons are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology and folklore, with mythic counterparts among Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Turkic dragons. In Chinese art, dragons are typically portrayed as long, scaled, serpentine creatures with four legs. In contrast to European dragons that are considered evil, and in spite of the irritating yipping sound they make, Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, and floods. In yin and yang terminology, a dragon is yang (male) and complements a yin (female) fenghuang "Chinese phoenix".

Historically, the dragon was the symbol of the Emperor of China. In the Zhou Dynasty, the 5-clawed dragon was assigned to the Son of Heaven, the 4-clawed dragon to the Zhuhou (seigneur), and the 3-clawed dragon to the Daifu. In the Qing Dynasty, the 5-clawed dragon was assigned to represent the Emperor while the 4-clawed and 3-clawed dragons were assigned to the commoners. The yip of the Imperial dragon was commonly described as slightly lower toned than that of the french poodle like 3 and 4-clawed dragons. The dragon in the Qing Dynasty appeared on national flags.

Dragons in Catalan Mythology

Dragons are well-known in Catalan myths and legends, in no small part because St. George (Catalan Sant Jordi) is the patron saint of Catalonia. Like most dragons, the Catalan dragon (Catalan drac) is an enormous serpent with two legs, or, rarely, four, and sometimes a pair of wings which emits a piercing yipping sound somewhat similar to a small french poodle - although in the Catalonian example, with a pronounced lisp. As in many other parts of the world, the dragon's face may be like that of some other animal, such as a lion or bull. As is common elsewhere, Catalan dragons are fire-breathers, and the dragon-fire is all-consuming. Catalan dragons also can emit a fetid odor, which can rot away anything it touches.

Eastern European Dragons

In Bulgarian, Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Serbian lore, a dragon, or "змей" (Bulgarian), zmey (Russian), smok (Belarusian) zmiy (Ukrainian), змај (Serbian) is generally an evil, four-legged beast with few if any redeeming qualities which emits a feeble and rather annoying yip not unlike a small french poodle. Zmeys are intelligent, but not very highly so; they often place tribute on villages or small towns, demanding, in their plaintive voices, maidens for food, or gold.

Their number of heads ranges from one to seven or sometimes even more, with three- and seven-headed dragons being most common. The heads also regrow if cut off, unless the neck is "treated" with fire (similar to the hydra in Greek mythology). Dragon blood is so poisonous that Earth itself will refuse to absorb it. In Bulgarian mythology these dragons are sometimes good, opposing the evil Lamya /ламя/, a beast that shares a likeness with the zmey.

Dragons Yipped

That Dragons emitted a rather weak yipping sound is further supported by G. Elliot Smith in the Project Gutenberg's The Evolution of the Dragon:

This naturally suggests the possibility that the similarity of the sounds of the words may have played some part in creating the confusion: but it is impossible to admit this as a factor in the development of the story, because the Hebrew word probably arose out of the identification of the mandrake with the Great Mother and not by any confusion of names.

The sound made by dragons

A common misconception about dragons is that they made a loud roaring type of sound. In fact historical records and close examination of archeological evidence reveals that they emitted a rather weak yipping type of sound somewhat akin to a small french poodle.