Dragon Cocktails for the Summer

It’s that time of year again where your culinary experiments move from food to beverages. The salads and the fresh, light foods take care of your hunger pangs but it is well and truly time to play alchemist with all the yummy cocktails you can concoct. I have been going haywire trying to find the right flavors to make a drink taste and look good. Of course some of them have turned out to be absolute disasters. Lucky for me, there are some drinks you just can’t go wrong with. Here are my favorites – dragon inspired, obviously.

Blushing Dragon

blushing-dragon-95-1362337361

Of course nothing I make looks so pretty but it is so easy to make. All you need is vodka, Cointreau, lemon juice, syrup, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and mango. You can find the full recipe here.

Happy Dragon

Happy Dragon Cocktail

To celebrate the Chinese New Year in style, one of the blogs I follow created this yummy drink called the Happy Dragon. What does it taste like? Ginger and tangerines – the taste of summer! You can find the recipe here.

Mother of Dragons

Mother of Dragons

This list wouldn’t be complete without a Game of Thrones themed cocktail. This drink will soothe your inner Khaleesi. Complete with dragon fruit and plenty of Rosé champagne, a must try for this summer. Click here for recipe.

3 Adorable Dragons in Dragon Games

Dragons have captured the imagination of the masses for centuries. In the recent past, they have become a big part of popular culture, making regular appearances in books, movies and video games. With references in so many places, it is quite understandable that these creatures have been depicted in different ways by different people. However, whether in dragon games or ancient lore, they are most often portrayed as fierce, scary-looking, formidable beasts. They often wreak destruction on land, though it is not uncommon to find benign dragons that form friendships with human beings. It is far more uncommon, on the other hand, to find a dragon that is remotely ‘cute’, so to speak. That has slowly begun to change. Huggable dragons with big eyes, delicate features and rounded spikes are no longer outrageous – some of them are incredibly popular! Just take a look at these three cuties that are also stars on dragon games, and you’ll see what I mean.

Spyro

Spyro

Sundet & Spyro – better quality” by vages is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Spyro is the star of the dragon game ‘Spyro the Dragon’. He is an adorable young purple dragon that is stubborn and courageous in spite of his tender age. In the game, all the dragons in the realm are attacked by a spell from Gnasty Gnorc, and only Spyro escapes due to his size. He sets off to save the dragons and confront Gnasty Gnorc. ‘Spyro the Dragon’ was followed by several more dragon games starring this adorable, fire-breathing beast. It’s tough to tell what is cutest about this dragon, but there’s no doubt that his kind and brave heart add to his charm.

Yoshi

Yoshi is perhaps the most famous of all the dragons that have ever appeared in a video game. If you are one of the very few who don’t recognize the name, I must clarify. Yoshi did not make his debut as the star of a dragon game. He is Mario and Luigi’s friendly sidekick in Super Mario World, and since his first appearance has been part of several other Nintendo games, including a few revolving around him. The bipedal, chubby green dragon is cuteness personified. There is an ongoing debate as to whether Yoshi is actually a dragon or a dinosaur. While in his early appearances he was commonly accepted as a dinosaur, in ‘Super Mario Galaxy 2’ he signs a note as ‘Yoshi the Space Dragon’. The fact that he is a ‘space dragon’ would explain why he is missing some of the common features associated with regular dragons, such as wings.

Toothless

This friendly dragon first made his appearance in the animated movie ‘How to Train Your Dragon’. He reappeared on screens in the sequel ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’, where a more defined personality added to his charm. Toothless has appeared in several dragon games since his movie debut and is extremely popular with fans of the franchise. He does not resemble most dragons, and looks positively benign. He does not have sharp spines anywhere on his body, but he does have a deadly blast.

Are there any other cute dragons that you can think of? Comment and let me know!

Dragon Classes in the HTTYD Universe – Continued

In my previous post about dragon classes as discovered by the Viking’s of Berk, I mentioned the first person – Bork the Bold – to start researching, observing and classifying dragons. We went into 3 dragon classes. This post attempts to talk about more dragons (do I need an excuse?)

Sharp Class

Timberjack_book_of_dragonsThe dragons under this class are supposed to be vain and self-obsessed. They also have a lot of pride and possess a body with sharp parts.

Some of the dragons under this class are – Timberjack, Speed Stinger, Stormcutter, Raincutter, Scuttleclaw, Hackatoo, Shivertooth and Windstriker.

Tidal Class

33fbe18f0b75e6960a72603203219519Usually found near the ocean, these dragons can very rarely use fire breath. They are larger than most dragons. Hiccup has mentioned that Tidal Class dragons can’t stay out of water for too long but it has been proven false for some of the dragons in this class.

Some of the dragons under this class are – Scauldron, Thunderdrum, Seashocker, Bewilderbeast, Shockjaw, Sand Wraith, Tide Glider, Sliquifier, Submaripper and Desert Wraith

Mystery Class

boneknapper_by_xx_nightfurygirl_xx-d5eom1vThey are aptly named ‘Mystery” Class because not much is known about them. They are hard to track and barely give you any chance to observe them. They are easily the most feared dragon class of all of the classes.

Some of the dragons under this class are – Changewing, Boneknapper, Smothering Smokebreath, Flightmare, Sweet Death, Hideous Zippleback, Snaptrapper and Sword Stealer

Strike Class

gift_of_the_night_fury_screencap___toothless_by_sdk2k9-d5dgx3mThis is my favorite class because, well, Toothless. Dragons from the strike class are extremely fast and intelligent. They have amazing firepower and intense strength. They are rare and very close to extinction. They are known to be very difficult to train, which makes Hiccup’s training of Toothless quite an underestimated feat.

Some of the dragons under this class are – Skrill, Night Fury and Woolly Howl.

Dinosaur and Dragon Games on STEAM

dinosaur_vs_dragon__settling_the_differences__by_sapphichu-d6b0ecc

Anyone who knows me knows of my deep love for all things dragon and dinosaurs. While I don’t go on much about dinosaurs on this blog, they are pretty close to my heart and I thought it high time I mentioned it loud and clear. It’s been an obsession since I was a young kid and it’s something that’s only grown as I’ve grown older. I’ve also waxed ad nauseum about my love of dragon games, not really doing any justice to all the dinosaur games I play whenever I get the chance. Here is a list of dragon and dinosaur games on STEAM and one very special game that has BOTH of them. Yes, both! You can thank me later!

Jurassic Park: The Game              

Jurassic Park Screenshot

When the movies came out in the 90s, I remember annoying my parents to take me to it a million times. When they announced the one that will come out soon, I squealed just as I did two decades ago. Suffice to say that when this game came out, I had to try it out. The game is set during the events of the first movie. Due to a failed security system, dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park are roaming free and a rogue corporation is out to collect their embryos.

Toren

I love indie game developers and as such go looking for games specifically by them. Toren is one such game, developed by Brazilian developer Swordtales. The protagonist of this game is female and as the game progress, you grow from infancy to adulthood through various adventures. You solve puzzles, battle monsters as you try to climb the Toren tower to find your purpose. I love the storytelling that wraps this game up in addictive package. Also, did I mention dragons?

theHunter: Primal

hUNTER

From theHunter series comes Primal, a prehistoric survival games. It is a typical survival game and as such really exciting, as can be easily proven by its 5 million strong fan base. The objective of the game is to reclaim the wilderness so you can sow the seeds of civilization on it. This means exploring new worlds, dodging deadly dinosaurs, steering clear of poisonous plants. You can play a single player game but in my opinion, playing with your friends and other players in more fun.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Dragonborn

One of the chapters of the Elder Scrolls Saga, Skyrim Dragonborn is an add on to the Elder Scrolls V. Like its base game, Dragonborn gives you the feel of an epic fantasy virtual world that is laid out for you to explore. You can choose the type of character you play – with weapons and skills to match. My favorite part is the bit where you get to battle ancient (and very impressive) dragons. You get to learn how to harness their power and discover all of their secrets.

ARK: Survival Evolved

ARK

This is another survival game but with both my favorite creatures in one visual masterpiece. In the game you can hunt, gather resources, farm, and build shelters. You also get to battle dinosaurs and tame them. Domination over other creatures helps you survive. The other option is to escape. It has real life tasks where your character has to eat meat or plants with just the right nutritional value, harvest clean water etc. You can also create a tribe and add your friends so you can team up for better chances of survival.

Dragon Classes in the HTTYD Universe

In the How to Train your Dragon universe, Hiccup and other Vikings before and after him spent a lot of time trying to understand dragons and classing them based on their characteristics and abilities. In the short, Book of Dragons, it is mentioned that the idea to categorize dragons started with a Viking called Bork the Bold, the great (x3) grandfather of Gobber. I have always found this fascinating. Maybe it stems from my childhood obsession of collecting those baseball, WWE and Pokémon cards – pitting one person/creature against another.

 Bork the Bold

While I will go into the details of each dragon separately over a period of time, I’d like to briefly mention the classes and the dragons under them (over a series of posts). I will do three at a time for now.

Stoker Class

These dragons are said to be extremely hotheaded and are known fire breathers.

Some of the dragons under this class are – Monstrous Nightmare, Terrible Terror, Typhoomerang, Fireworm, Red Death, Hobblegrunt and Moldruffle.

Boulder Class

They are dragons that have wings that are smaller than their bodies and are associated with the earth. They can fly just as high as other dragons and sometimes eat rocks.

Some of the dragons under this class are – Gronckle, Whispering Death, Hotburple, Snafflefang, Thunderpede, Groncicle and Grapple Grounder

Tracker Class

A new classification, dragons in the tracker class are stealthy and have an acute sense of smell and are fantastic at their tracking abilities.

Some of the dragons under this class are – Deadly Nadder, Rumblehorn and Thunderclaw

Which are your favorite dragons from these classes? Let me know.

Next time, we’ll be tackling the Sharp Class, the Tidal Class and the Mystery Class.

The Story of Blue Dragon

Blue Dragon was an old RPG we used to play as kids on the X Box. Not everyone had an X Box back then so we would always gather in one of two houses that had it and take turns to mental in that fictional world. You can imagine our joy when Cartoon Network announced the anime version of the game would be aired soon. In the days before we were addicted to Dragon Ball Z, we had Blue Dragon.

Blue_Dragon_anime

The story begins when a village called Talta is overcast with strange purple clouds and misfortune falls upon them in the name of a terrifying monster – The Land Shark. Friends Shu, Kluke and Jirom instead of looking for shelter, seek to slow down the Land Shark and save their village. Later, they discover that the Land Shark is really a machine that is being controlled by someone in the sky. During their adventures, they battle with the Land Shark, discover many new places and get captured and taken to home base of the machine.

As with most anime’s, the show spoke about friendship and loyalty and bravery and while it didn’t last long on cartoon network, became one of those cult favorites that bring back memories of a carefree childhood. If you haven’t watched it already, a few episodes are available to stream on Youtube. Get to it J

Three Mobile and Online Games that Adults are Hooked on to

What do we do when we are not at office, not looking after the kids, not whipping up another dish of pasta, or taking the kids out for a walk? Yes, we play games! Here are 3 of the most popular games that have the adults hooked on to them!

King of Thieves

King of ThievesScreenshot from http://www.kingofthieves.com/

If you’ve heard a friend of late asking you, “How safe is your dungeon” or “How many gems did you steal last night”, then please know that your friend is another casualty of the addictive game called the King of Thieves! The game has got an interesting and exciting roadmap which allows the players to multitask and not wait for ‘keys’, an essential component to play the game, to get replenished to advance to the next level. Protecting one’s dungeon where the player’s pot of gold is kept, advancing through levels so that gems and more dungeon layouts are unlocked, and attacking other players to steal their gems and gold are some of the exciting actions that happen here simultaneously. The game allows a player to connect through Facebook and form guilds with his Facebook friends to counter attack and avenge players who have raided his dungeon. What attracts adults to the game is its multitasking feature and the need to strategize every move. It’s important to figure which task has to be completed first, which gems need to be ‘ritualized’ in the totem to garner maximum points, who is the perfect player that can be raided, how to optimize the traps in the player’s dungeon to keep off attackers, and what is the best possible way to complete a level (there is more than one solution to every level). So move over Candy Crush Saga, here’s introducing the next big thing on the block – King of Thieves!

Word Battle

Word BattleScreenshot from https://apps.facebook.com/wordbattling/

This is another cool multiplayer game where one’s word prowess comes into use. The game chooses four random players for each round, each of whom gets to choose nine letters, combining vowels and consonants, for a round to begin. Each of the letters looks similar to a Scrabble letter tile and has a point on it. The objective of the game is to make the highest scoring word with the given letters in each round. Each game consists of four rounds. The player with the highest score at the end of the four rounds wins the game. The time taken to form each word is the tie breaker in case two or three players score the same points at the end of the game. Word Battle gives you a certain a number of coins each day, depending on the number of successful referrals by you, which you can trade to get additional time for each round, check if your word exists, and get a glimpse of the words the others are making, or add another additional letter.

Neopets

acarahttp://images.neopets.com/pp/acara.gif

Neopets is a pet game online that has had loyal players playing the game since the last 30 years! Players can create and care for virtual pets called Neopets and explore the world of the virtual pet gameonline called Neopia. Although Neopets don’t die when not fed or neglected, surprisingly the only aim in the game is to look after, feed and care for the Neopets and help them grow up. The unique and cute Neopets come in a variety of colors and species and players can adopt their own pet and customize it. Apart from looking after the adopted pet, players have a couple of more interesting angles in the pet game online to look forward to – the multiplayer Altador Cup that takes place at regulaly, mini games such as Meerca Chase III, Kass Basher, Turmac Roll, Hasee Bounce, and a plethora of good reads like the Neopian Times, Neopian comics, and Neopets related lores. Some of the puzzles available at Neopets are so exciting and challenging that they can give regular online puzzles a run for their money.

Villainous Dragons in Popular Fiction, Movies and Television Series

While my superhero was busy maneuvering through the dragon game on his tablet, I immediately started to get visions of the dragons from books I read and the television series and movies that I watched for years. And, here I am with my blog post, on my three most favorite villainous dragons, each from a popular fiction, movie and television series.

Tiamat from Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons is a popular television series that’s based on the popular dragon game by the same name. The story revolves around a group of friends who are accidentally sucked into the “Realm of Dungeons & Dragons” while on a roller coaster ride at an amusement park. On their arrival at the realm, each of them is given a magical item that they have to use to find their way back home. It’s during their homeward journey that they encounter Tiamat, a five-headed dragon, who is named after a goddess on Mesopotamian mythology. Tiamat is the queen and mother of all evil dragons and one of the members in the pantheon of gods in D&D. This evil dragon can unanimously be called one of the greatest evil dragons in both dragon games and dragon series as Forbes calls Tiamat “the most fearsome dragon in D&D’s history”.

Dragon from Beowulf

Beowulf is perhaps the first known piece of English literature to present a dragon slayer as its protagonist. The dragon slayer returns to his homeland after many an adventure and becomes the king of the Geats, the people of his land. Fifty years after he reigns as a wise king, his kingdom is attacked by a rampaging dragon. Beowulf, with his troop of men, set out to defeat the dragon only to be deserted by the men because they found the dragon to be extremely intimidating. Though Beowulf himself is slain in the end, he deals the final, fatal blow to the villain and occupies the place of one of the most beloved tragic heroes in ancient literature. Though there have been instances of other fictional animals presented as villains in Scandinavian and Germanic literatures, Beowulf poet was first among his peers to combine features and create a distinctive fire-breathing dragon in the poem. Beowulf’s villainous dragon, hundreds of years later, is still an inspiration for contemporary fictions such as J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and others.

Muddy Bewilderbeast from How to Train Your Dragon 2

Not many may agree with my choice of the third most villainous dragon in popular fiction, movies and television series but the Muddy Bewilderbeast from How to Train Your Dragon 2 has to feature right here in the list. I had never seen such a beast in any popular source of entertainment till I came across the Muddy Bewilderbeast. With large spikes protruding from back of neck, gargantuan tusks, fins around tail, and an aura that will put any contemporary, titanic villain into an existentialist crisis, Muddy Bewilderbeast possesses the power to enslave every dragon around it with its mind. Muddy Bewilderbeast’s most notable and feared ability is to exhale streams of ice-turning water like liquid nitrogen. The ice-blast can freeze anything for years that comes in contact with it and create ice masses that are far larger than its own body.

My list has come to an end but the tablet continues to work overtime with the overloaded dragon games that keeps my teenager engaged for hours!

Mythical Creatures Kids Will Love

Who doesn’t love a touch of magic in their life? Kids do! Fairy tales and folklore are abound with fantastical creatures. Their legends are still going strong and they have stepped out of story books; just take a look at the rise in dragon games online and werewolf movies. You will see these mythical animals have become so much a part of our world and yet they retain their otherworldly aura and still evoke a sense of wonder in children and adults alike.

Here are some of the mythical creatures no child should miss out on. Not all of them are cute and cuddly but so what; we all love an element of danger, no?

Dragon

Dragons are the reigning kings/queens of all things mythical. Their legend has survived for centuries and across cultures. We have heard of dragon slayers, which make dragons the bad guys, roaring giants who guard castles with pretty lasses locked up inside. There are also stories where dragons have been on the side of the good. We have learnt that it takes someone exceptional to tame the dragon. Wouldn’t it be lovely to get a dragon to breathe a fury of fire and growl ‘let’s go get ‘em, tiger’? Even if it is only in our heads.

DragonTiamat, déesse dragon” by Martine GAILLARD-CADOZ is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Unicorn

Unicorns, horse-like creatures with a spiral horn jutting out of their forehead, are known to be magical beasts with extraordinary powers. Like the dragon, it has been known to many cultures but under various names. Ancient tales indicate its existence while some speculate that it is a creature that was created out of the imagination by borrowing various features from common animals. According to an old tale, they did not board Noah’s Ark and hence, the species could not be saved.

UnicornUnicorn Dreams” by rubyblossom. is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Mermaid

We have all read the story of the The Little Mermaid, how she tried to turn into a human after falling in love with a man she saved from drowning. But there are darker tales too about how the mermaids lure sailors to their death. They are also known as sirens. Mermaid sightings are almost as common as UFO sightings, and just as lacking in proof. We cannot believe it and we cannot dismiss it.

MermaidMermaid” by Nancy Muller is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sasquatch

Known as Bigfoot, these ape-like giants are an elusive lot but keep the world buzzing about them by leaving little clues (or rather large ones) like their footprints that are said to measure around 17 inches long. No one is certain who or what Bigfoot is, which adds to its myth and heightens the interest. Could it be an alien, an ape, or a human?

Sassquatch

Sasquatch-sjwPriest_1472b” by terry priest is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Perhaps it is that uncertainty that adds to the allure of these mythical creatures, the chance, however small, that they may be as real as a dog or cat!