Ten dragons to celebrate the Chinese new year

It's the Year of the Dragon. In honor of this month's Chinese new year celebrations, here's a list of cool dragon stuff.


Dragon Ball Z:
The Cartoon Network anime series was a melodramatic mix of super-powerful alien beings defending the earth from the more-powerful alien beings, by transforming into even-more-powerful alien beings, with a lots of bright flashing colors. It was universally beloved by geeks, stoners and stoned geeks (did I mention the bright flashing colors?), but the genius was that it played out like an old-school serial, with a cliffhanger at the end of every show. Sometimes you’d have to watch for 90 minutes just to see if Goku landed a punch he threw four episodes back — insanely addicting.

roller coaster
Dueling Dragons roller coaster: When Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park opened up in 1999, there was no doubt that Dueling Dragons was the king of Florida thrill rides. The coaster featured two separate trains, “Fire” and “Ice,” which met up along the track for one of the world’s only interlocking corkscrews, and what seemed be an impending head-on collision, before the two trains swoop back into gigantic loops, barely missing each other. Unfortunately, a couple of accidents involving riders who were hit with debris led to Universal cutting out the dueling aspect of the ride. Without the near-misses, it’s just not the same.

komodo dragon
Dragon breath: Noun. The absolute funniest way to refer to someone’s offensive mouth odor. As in “dude you need to take care of that dragon breath.”

Komodo dragons: Fact — it is impossible to flip past Animal Planet if they’re showing a documentary on these bad boys. Truer fact — The saliva of these 300-pound lizards contains over 50 types of bacteria which will usually kill its prey within 24 hours of a bite. It’s not quite breathing fire, but that definitely qualifies as "dragon breath."

Year of the Dragon Phantom: The limited edition of the 2012 Rolls Royce Phantom features dragons embroidered on the seats, hand-painted on the body and inlaid on the polished wood passenger panel. Don’t start pulling out that debit card yet, the $1.2 million sedan has already sold out.

Bowser: The princess kidnapping dragon from the Super Mario Bros. franchise. Can you even name another video game villain? You can? Nerd.

Happy lunar new year! If you skipped the festivities in Beijing this week (or you totally ignored that paper placemat at your local Chinese restaurant), maybe you missed the good news. We’ve transitioned from the Year of the Rabbit (yawn) to the epically mythical and badass Year of the Dragon. Need evidence that it’s going to be a good year? Consider the accomplishments of the last Year of the Dragon, back in 2000: scientists mapping the human genome, astronauts opening the International Space Station — Richard Hatch winning the first season of Survivor. And, the Y2K bug didn’t turn ATM machines into flesh eating kill-bots! So in honor of the next twelve sure-to-be-awesome months, here’s a list of cool dragon stuff, put together in no particular order.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: It doesn’t matter if you’re talking the first novel in Stieg Larsson’s “Millenium Trilogy”, the Swedish film adaptation, or the recently released American film by David Fincher, Tattoo is a worldwide phenomenon for good reason. Aside from being a dark, twisted and smart thriller, Larsson created the most compelling and original character in years with Lisbeth Salander, the tatted-up and pierced super hacker anti-heroine with Asperger’s, who proves she’s definitely not to be screwed-around with. Also, he managed to create a male protagonist who’s both a financial magazine writer, and an irresistible ladies man — no small feat in itself.

This guy with a dragon tattoo: The muffin top says “I love McDonalds,” but that hardcore back tattoo says “I’m a Yakuza hitman, and I will cut your pinkie off with a samurai sword.

Dragon’s blood: Three ounces of vodka, four ounces of cinnamon liqueur, three ounces club soda. Makes six shots. Tastes like Red Hots that get you drunk.

Bruce Lee punching a guy right in the beard in Enter The Dragon: Nothing like a slow, dramatic buildup to the world’s fastest punch in the head. (Check it out after the jump.)

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