5 Dragons that Rocked Popular Culture

imagine dragonsDragons are mystical creatures that will forever tickle the imaginations of children and adults alike. Are they real? Are they out there somewhere, slumbering, waiting for the time to wake up and destroy humankind? What odd questions to ask. Seeing that my favorite band Imagine Dragons are having tours at this original site makes me wonder about the most famous dragons of all time. As it turns out, here are five of them:

Sephira of Eragon

Eragon is the well-received novel of Christopher Paolini about a farm boy who later became a spawn of good versus evil. One lovely day he stumbled upon a mysterious stone which turned out to contain a dragon, Sephira. It was so popular it warranted the release of its trilogy and a motion picture, too.

Mushu of Mulan

The Chinese people love dragons as evident in their Chinese Dragon dances every New Year. How they came to love dragons deserves a whole other post. For now let’s focus on Mushu, the funny little odd dragon that stays by Mulan’s side as she journeys to the realization of the real sense of womanhood and courage. Mushu was excellently voiced by Eddie Murphy.

Smaug of The Hobbit

Smaug is the evil dragon that everybody hates in Tolkien’s 1937 novel The Hobbit. Smaug guards treasures in the Lonely Mountain, treasures which, it turns out, rightfully belong to the dwarves. Smaug is such a popular dragon that he appeared on Forbes’ Fictional 15 several times. He currently ranks as the second wealthiest fictional character with an estimated $54.1 billion net worth, just second to Scrooge McDuck who has a net worth of $65.4 billion.

Elliot from Pete’s Dragon

Pete was rather fortunate to have Elliot, the sometimes-invisible dragon, as a best friend. Elliot was very mischievous and often times caused havoc, but later redeemed himself by igniting the torch of a light house.

Puff The Magic Dragon

Who would ever forget Puff the Magic Dragon who lived by the sea? Not me. It was the anthem of my childhood. Peter, Paul, and Mary sang about Puff and unknowingly sparked a love for the said dragon, inspiring a movie in 1978. Puff was voiced by Burgess Meredith. We wish we can see Puff rolling in the mist of Honah Lee.


A Walk Through the History of Listening to Music

Music-HistoryImagine a time where music was a fleeting treat, something that is anticipated for a long period of wait, and experienced in a short span of time. Before the twentieth century, before all the technology appeared that made our lives easier, listening to music is a social event. People gather to listen to singers, operas, choirs in churches, and orchestras, and enjoyed music together.

With the invention of phonograph came the new trend of people listening music at the privacy of their own homes, but it was still a luxury by then to own one. And it also changed how music is made. When people did not have the phonograph yet, music was written in such a way that it will be enjoyed for a long time, so composers wrote long symphonies and operas for the enjoyment of the audience. A phonograph can only hold a couple of minutes’ worth of music, that is why musicians changed the way music was written by shortening the songs and only showcasing the melodies that would generally stick to the audience. Because of the birth of this technology, songs have become the short snippets that last 3 to 4 minutes.

Another technology that changed the course of music is the radio. Because of the price of the phonograph, there are still people who cannot listen to music at home. Thanks to radio waves, the likes of Elvis Pressley and the Beatles were discovered and became viral. After that, the pace of technology became even faster with the invention of the Walkman. Music is no longer a shared intimate event by a family but it became personal since the Walkman made it possible for music to be transported to your room or outside the home.

Today, music has become digital and readily accessed. Even going to a concert by Blake Shelton, the Maroon 5, or Lady Gaga will only require a person to click their original site to see the concert dates and venues. If you missed their concert, you can easily download their songs online or listen to them through various websites.

History of music shows us that even if technology exists it does not mean music has been radically changed. It still maintained its original purpose and that is to entertain.

The Unexpected Effects of World War I

wwiAnyone who is asked to change the course of history and stop World Wars from happening would definitely say yes. The loss of lives and properties because of the war is so vast that until now, a lot of people can still feel its effect. World War I for instance took place a century ago and has resulted to the death of over 15 million people. However, despite what happened, the WWI still had unexpected results that have given something positive for the future generation,

  • A British surgeon named Harold Gillies was given the task to rebuild disfigured soldiers in a battle. Due to the gravity of some cases, he was forced to reconstruct faces out of something that has seemingly been wiped out. This is where he pioneered new techniques for facial reconstruction. The advancement in this field has started because of his dedication during the war.
  • The aviation industry has developed drastically as a result of wars. Back then, flying planes was only known to a few people. It was also deemed very dangerous. However, because of war and the need to utilize air space, governments poured in money for the development of a better technology to be used in aviation. This is where it eventually became an industry of its own. In 1919, Arthur Brown and John Alcock made a successful nonstop transatlantic flight in just 17 hours with the use of a modified WW I plane. This seemingly impossible feat was made into a reality.
  • The war gave birth to women empowerment. Women during WW I were basically left at home to take care of the family. However, due to war, there was a need for more manpower. This is where over 30,000 women became involved in various services and were employed. In Britain, over 2 million women joined the workforce. From there, the role of women has gotten more and more important.

Again, if we can just erase WW I, we will. However, these positive effects as a result of war are worth thanking for. Check this original site for a stand up comedy show so you can forget the bad memories of war for some time and smile.

Louis Armstrong: The Goodwill Jazz Ambassador

louis-armstrong-12When the Cold War sent the USA and Russia on a whirlwind mission to outdo each other in technological and racial advancements, the Central Intelligence Agency founded the Congress of Cultural Freedom (CCF). This congress spearheaded the promotion of American culture by publishing literary journals, sponsoring modernist musical performances, and hosting modern art exhibits.

Part of its strategy was to send jazz musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington throughout Europe, Africa, and Latin America. One of the biggest icons of jazz during that time was Louis Armstrong, also known as Satchmo or Pops. Louis Armstrong and his All Stars, the official name of the jazz band he was part of, toured all over the world to promote how awesome jazz is.

His band was so well-received in Europe that he gained the nickname “Ambassador Satch”. Perhaps in the modern times of the Internet, thousands of fans would buy his tickets at this original site of ticket distribution. The Berlin wall was not able to stop his popularity; soldiers and civilians in and out of the wall absolutely loved him. The legend himself related how West Berlin fans “slipped over the Iron Curtain” to hear him live.

That was in 1955. Ten years after, in 1965, they went to East Berlin to play the tunes How High the Moon, Hello, Dolly and Mack the Knife. They also went to Budapest and dazzled the crowd with their tunes, inspiring an annual Louis Armstrong Festival and the Satchmo Jazz Café.

He made quite a noise in the political arena, too. He was known for his opposition to racial discrimination and other forms of inequality. He once cancelled a tour to the Soviet Union in protest to the use of the National Guard troops to hinder the integration of blacks and whites at Central High School in Little Rock.

While he went around the world as a representative of the American government, it seemed that the government wasn’t doing the Black race any favor. While promoting democracy to the rest of the world, Armstrong’s race didn’t experience freedom in their own homeland. This perplexing irony inspired Dave Brubeck to write the satirical jazz musical known as The Real Ambassadors.

The jazz ambassador continued to play until his last night, July 6, 1971, when he died of a heart attack in his sleep.

Comedy Since Ancient Times

photoComedy, from the Greek word ‘Komoidia,’ pertains to a dialogue or presentation shown humorously that intends to amuse and seek laughter from its audience.

Since the beginning of dramas, plays and orations in the Greek era before the Roman period, comedy played a role to not only entertain people but get people to side with the best humorist in their opinions not only socially but politically as well.

Humorist before uses parody and satire with some (even twisted) logic to dissuade an opinion, thought or belief and they were very effective in political debates. Even today it has not changed as politicians using humor and logic (fallacious or not) to put down political opponents in one-liner monologues and punch lines.

Shakespeare had his share of comedy plays during his time and they were a delight to many that these masterpieces have become classics and still played until now in drama theaters worldwide.

Stand-up comedy, however, started in the 19th century and in 1966, people named the humorist or the medium that made people laugh as a ‘stand-up comic.’ Those were the days of vaudeville, minstrel shows and theater plays.

Some founders of modern American stand-up comedy were Bob Hope, George Burns, Fred Allen, Jack Benny and Milton Berle. Bob Hope, most famous stand-up comedian during World War II, toured Europe during the war to entertain American soldiers and boost their morale.

Comics, another name for the comedians, incorporated other mediums in their show such as magic, playing musical instruments, singing and other props that could help with their presentations. Jeff Dunham used ventriloquism and showed several puppet dolls in every show he did.

Some comics sing and dance like the early stand-up comics such as Bob Hope, George Burns and Milton Berle. Even today, there are many who can sing, dance and/or play instruments during their show like Robin Williams, Woody Allen, Jack Benny, Johnny Carson and Jay Leno.

Daniel Tosh is also an upcoming great stand-up comedian who is going on a comedy tour now. To get his schedule and buy Daniel Tosh tickets if you decided to watch his show, click here.

After watching a comedy show, if you are also interested in a musical entertainment show then check out Justin Moore’s concert tour (visit this website to buy Justin Moore tickets).

Natural History

Explore-The-Natural-History-Museum-Of-New-York-City-3Natural history is concerned with study and research of organisms as they move in their environment; the method of study used is more observational rather than experimental. Scientific research is involved, results of which are often covered in magazines. Natural history is broad, covering ancient Greco-Roman era, Arabic world, up to the European Renaissance. Persons involved in these studies are known as naturalists or specifically, natural historians. Naturalists observe living organisms directly and a study of fossils is often necessary.

Originally, natural history covered humanities and studies of nature. In recent years, it mostly revolves around geological and biological sciences, while natural philosophy is around chemistry and physics.

From a modern viewpoint, natural history would be confined to the study of life and how each organism relates to each other and to the environment. The origin, evolution, behavior, and relationship to other species are the focus. Natural history museums are put up all over the world, and they deal with the study of Paleontology, Geology, Astronomy, Botany, as well as Zoology.

In recent news, one historic Wells Fargo stagecoach took residence at Utah’s Natural History Museum last June 17, 2014, in time for a special exhibit which will run from July 21 until Jan 4, 2015. The role of horses in Utah will be highlighted during the exhibit as well as hand-painted dioramas of the evolution of horses. Various breeds of horses will be introduced. Other exhibit items would be cultural objects worldwide.

In other news, the American Museum of Natural History, located in Paris, received the first-ever ‘trans-Atlantic scent message on June 18. This event is connected with iPhone’s launching of a ‘scent-messaging’ app call OSnap. The app enables users to tag photos with more than 300 thousand scents, transmittable via hotspots, thru Facebook and Twitter. David Edwards and Rachel Field co-invented the messaging platform (onotes.com). Edwards is the founder and administrator of Le Laboratoire, Paris, a science and design center.

In more news, The Natural History Museum of London is in need of PR help. The museum accommodates over 5 million visits yearly. It has launched a program on profile raising and strategy. Joe Baker, head of external affairs stated that there is a need to be more relevant and accessible to society in general; this will allow fundraising needs to be met. The Natural History Museum Development Trust deals with all fundraising efforts; it was organized 2 years ago. The Museum strives to remain relevant by contributing to awareness on climate change and disease control, as well as the problem of a growing population. The Museum is also focused on efforts in improving visitor interaction and experience, as well as improvement and development of its galleries.

In related news, an exhibition featuring coral reefs is scheduled for Spring 2015 at the Museum.

Panoramic views of reefs and over 200 specimens via HD 180-degree screens will welcome visitors on their visit. Specimen collections by Darwin between 1831-1836 will be included, Turbinaria Coral (a giant one), blue-ringed octopuses, and small sponge crabs.

The Coral reefs house living species of our seas, which millions of people depend on. People benefit on it for fishing, tourism, storm protection, and many other aspects. Reefs appear rock-like but are in fact, colonies of tiny animals with limestone skeletons; such are related to jellyfish. Growth is very slow, about 1-2 mm yearly. They are highly sensitive to ocean changes like temperature, acidity, pollution, and others. It is estimated that a quarter has already been damaged beyond repair.

Meanwhile, a Dino Jaws exhibit is on in Leeds this summer. It’s been the first time again in 3 years that this popular exhibit has returned to the UK. The exhibit features a giant T-Rex, about three-quarter life sized. 10 animatronic dinos are also featured.

In another museum, difference among races is discussed. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History located at Pittsburgh holds an exhibit that focuses on how race is defined and the impact it has on people. According Cecil Shellman, a communications specialist for the Museum, the goal of the exhibit is to raise awareness on diversity and to eliminate racism. The exhibit fosters openness and appreciation for differing races.  Part of the exhibit will be some artifacts and photos that aid in the examination of various races and the issue of racism in the US. The exhibit is held on weekends between 12-2 P.M. Visit the Museum at Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Parking is spacious, a six-level parking facility can park vehicles.

The American Museum of National History will open a ‘Spiders Alive!” exhibit on July 4, 2014. A comprehensive look into the fascinating world of arachnids will be granted opportunity. Over 20 species of live arachnids will be present for the exhibit. Anatomy, behavior, and other unique features will be discussed. Life-sized models of spiders will be seen during the exhibit and visitors will be granted a chance to behold live arachnids up close. Myths will be debunked.  The museum actually holds the largest spider collection worldwide. It has lead in the study of spiders for over 75 years.  It’s estimated that more than 45,000 spider species have been discovered to date, and many more remain to be documented. Norman Platnick curates the exhibition. Catch the exhibit along Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

At Albuquerque, fossils discovered in New Mexico were put on display at the Museum of Natural History last June 17. The exhibit also featured a footprint reported to be 280 million years old. Also, a 2 million year old mastodon tooth was shown.  Paleontologist Spencer Lucas thinks that Mexico is rich in fossils, with a whole lot still to be discovered.

In relation to fossils in Mexico, about 275 square miles is declared as the largest gypsum dune field worldwide; this is found in Tularosa Basin, New Mexico south central. It’s reported to be over 8,000 years old as a result of water evaporation from large lake surfaces, causing gypsum to crystalize. The field is actually located within the protected area of White Sands National Monument (Otero Country).

Thankful to World War II?

Mars-bruno-marsWhen you read what today’s generation posts on wars are, you would surely be disappointed. A lot of them did not experience any kind of war or even hardship that is why it is easy for them to speculate the rumored 3rd World War. Going through a war is not easy, war is not about who is right but it is about who is left. We can never say that a country won the war because everyone lost something or someone over a complete and utter nonsense of showing off of egos and toys and wealth. Though it is detestable for the human race to go through this again, there have been discoveries, technologies, and innovations that shaped the world.


One of the greatest medicines that helped humankind today is the penicillin, Sir Alexander Fleming discovered it long ago but it was during the WWII that Dr. Howard Florey proved its effectiveness without any doubt. Together with Andrew Moyer, they were able to produce the most effective and strongest antibacterial medicine in the world. It helped save a lot of lives and until now still being widely used.

Radio Navigation

During the first and second world war, both parties could never effectively navigate an aircraft for a bombing run. So there was a need to develop a technology that would do that. Before GPS there was GEE-H, Oboe and GEE to ensure that these ships fly and land safe.

Rubber and Oil

There was a difficulty in acquiring both goods, as they are not widely supplied. The Axis forces invented synthetic oil since there is a shortage of natural oil. They use this as a fuel for the Luftwaffe air force during the entire WWII. Allied forces were forced to make synthetic rubber, as the ones controlling the rubber market were the Axis.

Coding Machines a.k.a. Computers

Lorentz and Enigma are the foundations of the modern computer; they defined the coding and decoding mechanisms of computers. It is used to code and decode top-secret military messages during the war, to keep them from prying eyes of different spies.

So even if WWII is a very bad memory for all of us, it still has some positive effects to the society. It sped up the process of technology, because of it we can check the original site for Bruno Mars’ tours, or solve problems quickly. However, let us not allow the devastation to happen again, war always brings apart families and friends, it creates divide rather than unite.

War and Peace in this Generation

warThere are points in time when the history of the world seemed to revolve around giants who have forced their personality on to the global stage. These have included such world leaders as Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hitler. However the tides of war was filled with warriors like Gen. Eisenhower, Gen. Patton, Gen. Rommel, Gen. MacArthur, Gen. Yamashita, Adm. Yamamoto, Lord Mountbatten, and Gen. Montgomery, Adm. Nimitz, Adm. Halsey, and Adm. Spruance, among others, who were brought front and center under the scrutiny of their opponents, their men and their own national leaders.

Looking at the lens of history, we see that these men steeled themselves and looked at war in the eye and gave a good account of themselves. What made these men great (or terrible) was that they fought as if they were the underdogs (which they most probably were at some point). For the most part they fought knowing what the risks were involved. In some cases, they knew that a few years down the road they would be seen as fighting on the wrong side of history.

There is a personal side to all of these men. They were private individuals who were introspective and pensive, and studied their opponents as much as they studied maps and their own logistics. They became successful because they were able to predict who would be opposing their forces, and what would the opposing side do.

In their own free time, they were seen as a lot smaller men and not the giants history has painted them. These men cared a lot about their personnel, soldiers and sailors they are going to war with. In their own free time, they took off their impassive masks and took care of their dogs, tickling or rubbing their pet’s belly. It seems that if a general had a pet, it would be a dog. Of course not all of them had dogs, but those that did, were not bashful of posing for a picture with their pet.

The human side of these titans showed at odd times, but always they were human when it was with their pets, holding their leash as if it was their only anchor to their own humanity. Speaking of leashes, how well do you take care of your dogs? It is important to know that you’re giving your loyal pets the best care they could possibly deserve. I recommend http://www.playsafedogs.com/best-vacuum-for-pet-hair for advice on how to keep your house clean while keeping your pets happy. When it comes to food,  http://www.playsafedogs.com/best-dog-food-for-pitbulls is a good resource for information.

Carousels Weren’t Really So Merry

image001Children and adults alike love the fleeting sensation of riding a merry-go-round or also known as carousels. If you don’t know what a carousel is, it’s either you lived in a cave or from outer space. Even psychotic kids know carousels.

But that’s beside the point. Carousels are a mainstay in every fairs and theme parks but very few know the origins of the beloved ride. If I say that the earliest forms of carousels were used for military trainings, you’ll think I’m kidding. But I am not. It really was used to train warriors.

Back When There Were Actual Knights

The 12th century was the era of intellectual scholars and religious crusades. Chivalrous knights were highly regarded as heroes of the Christian faith. When crusaders decided to travel to the Middle East, they saw a lot of Asian cultures and were fascinated by some. One of these is the game or training method of Arabian horsemen wherein they toss scented clays from one to another. Horsemen untouched by the scent of the clays were regarded as superior riders.

The European knights apparently loved this game and made their own version of it. They hanged small rings from poles and tried to spear the rings with the goal of ripping them off. Eventually commoners joined the game and the first carousel was set up at the Place du Carrousel in Paris. This carousel was donated by Louis XIV in 1662. By the early 18th century, carousels were produced by individual parties and toured throughout the region.

Carousels Today

The carousel we see today was first manufactured in 1861 by Thomas Bradshaw. This steam-powered merry-go-round had fixed animals and central pole on a rotating disk. It was fast becoming a fixture at carnivals and fairs.

The merry-go-round has been a subject of quite many art forms such as films, theatre plays, novels, and even clothes. Have you seen Katy Perry’s The Carousel Dress? She wore it in June 2009 at the MTV European Music Awards. The odd dress is just one the singer’s peculiar and sometimes outrageous costumes as you can see here: http://www.katyperryzone.com/costume/. Click here for more info on the Roar singer’s quirkiness.

Even though its origins weren’t really so merry, carousels turned out to be a childhood ride that can create very merry rounds of memories.

Ancient City: Ancient Living

living roomImagine a city with no streets or doors; no unfair social status and so clean that their sewage schemes will put the best urban planners to shame. Maybe you cannot really imagine or picture out that kind of society now but this was possible thousands of years ago. Catalhoyuk is an ancient city located southeast from the city of Konya in Turkey and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Catalhoyuk has an estimated population of 10,000. It is formed like a honeycomb with no obvious doors or space for streets. Their rooftops are flat which makes it the walking area of the people while they have holes big enough to fit their bodies that serve as doors and ventilations. Most of them have uniform units of houses; there are no public buildings in the area. There are bigger houses, but not that blatant, that has ornate murals inside. However, they do not have obvious social distinctions among them because there were no evidences that a house is more important or more beautiful than the others.

They bury their relatives and ancestors in the village itself. According to different excavations the dead bodies, which have undergone ceremonies, are under the houses. They also have many murals, and figurines in their homes but no one god stands out. One Seated Woman of Catalhoyuk can be seen mostly in the upper levels of the city. Most of the bodies buried also do not have heads with them; they are believed to be used in rituals as there are skeleton heads seen in some areas. Men and women are also considered to be equally important in the society, a very common trait in Palaeolithic societies.  They receive equal regard, nutrition and reverence.

Catalhoyuk’s end was not documented; there is no known factor which caused its demise. The inhabitants were very steadfast in cleaning their homes that there was very few rubbish found. They also have a very good sewage system finding very little food waste seen inside. Their house has also minimal furniture with almost uniform way of arrangement; some have incomplete furniture while others have none at all. To know more about unfinished furniture and how to make it work, check here.

It remains a mystery how their society died. Some speculated a large migration during the rise of agriculture, it could not have been plague since the bodies found were properly buried and the city was intact. Nevertheless, we should take lessons from them that even though they had a very simple and uncomplicated life, they were able to live harmoniously with each other.

How Surviving the Music Industry is Like Surviving the War

The music industry is definitely a chaotic world. Though it feels great to be cheered on and admired by many, getting to that point is not an easy journey. Thousands of musicians throughout the years have tried to make it big in this industry, but only a few of them have reached the top. In a way, the music industry is similar with a war. This might sound weird, but it is true. Here are some reasons why:

  • In a war, only the toughest troops win. The weak-hearted are always defeated. In the music industry, the same thing is true. Given the number of people who wanted to be on top, it is not easy to rise above the others. Only those who are willing to take the risks and compete head on make it to the end. The Florida Georgia Line band for instance has not made their way to fame as a country pop duo if they have not pushed hard enough. They made sure that their voices are heard and are a cut above the rest.
  • Troops with a good strategy usually win the war. Also, they create an alternative strategy should the original plan fail. Singers must also do the same thing. They cannot just enter the business without a plan at hand. They need to ensure that their brand of music will be appreciated. In the event that their first attempt to fame fails, there must be an alternate plan so that they won’t just give up the fight easily.
  • Sometimes, surviving a war is also about knowing when to give up. The same thing is true for singers. Not everyone succeeds. One must know when it is time to take a different road. For the Florida Georgia Line band, this idea has not crossed their minds as they were able to hold on to their position after capturing the hearts of the people.

Now you know what needs to be done to survive the real battle in the music industry. If you wish to be inspired by the Florida Georgia Line band, you can check this original site now.