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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 29, 2007 / 13 Sivan, 5767

Burying the dinosaur craze

By Lenore Skenazy


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Dragons are eating dinosaurs for lunch.


Metaphorically speaking, of course.


Dinosaurs — so beloved, so overexposed, so marketed-to-death for the past decade or two — are finally lumbering toward extinction.


So go, already! By the time you're a gummi worm, a bedspread and a Steven Spielberg sequel, you're not exactly hip anymore.


In the dinosaur's place, fire-breathing and triumphant, comes the dragon.


The scaly beasts are everywhere. You've got your dragon movie, "Eragon," and the bestseller it was based on. There's the dragon bible, "Dragonology," now sitting on the shelf of every tween once keener on T-Rex. And "Harry Potter" didn't hurt.


Two dragon cartoons are duking it out on TV, there are a couple of dragon porn sites (don't ask), and now comes crowning proof of dragon ascendancy. The fiercely dino-centric American Museum of Natural History — home of "Night at the Museum" — just unveiled its latest blockbuster: "Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids."


It's like the Grand Ole Opry staging a tribute to Black Sabbath.


Clearly, the museum got the message: Dragons rule, which is why a 19-foot green one glares in all its glory at the entrance to the exhibit. Ellen Futter, president of the museum, said she was proud of this life-size model.


Then she paused and added, uh, not that anyone is exactly sure "how big a life-size dragon would be."


This is not just because dragons don't exist. It's also because stories of them do exist, on three separate continents, and these different myths extol different dragon traits.


The Asian dragon, for instance, is a good guy. He makes clouds that bring rain, he controls the seasons and the rivers, and he's brilliant.


Size-wise, however, "He can be smaller than small, bigger than big, higher than high and lower than low." Or at least so said a Chinese scholar around the year 1100 A.D., Lu Dian (who, like the wisest of all scholars, hedged his bets).


Categorizing dragons seems to have been a cottage industry for scholars throughout the ages.


An illustrated encyclopedia of snakes, lizards and dragons from 1640, for instance, seems to indicate its Italian author believed that dragons were just another slimy species.


Governments believed in dragons, too. There are dragon coins from Britain (the years of 600-800), Turkey (a couple hundred years later) and Russia (1709).


The dragons on these are the European kind making their big comeback today: evil fire-breathers who walked on two legs or four, flew — or not — and spent their time burning down villages, eating children and keeping maidens (often royal) captive. Hey, it's a living.


It's also marketing gold.


"Dragons are the low-hanging fruit of mythology," said the author of "Punk Marketing," Richard Laermer. The public totally gets them, but they're not sick of them yet. "In the '90s there were, like, 30 dinosaur movies," Laermer said. Paleo pets wore out their welcome.


Dragons, however, maintain their air of continental cool. If dinosaurs are New World, dragons are Old. If dinosaurs depend on science to tell their stories, dragons depend on wizards and scrolls. They're magical.


So what are they doing in a science museum?


To make absolutely sure no one assumes the institution is succumbing to anything less than academic rigor, the exhibit explains (one might say harps on) the fact that myths are important, even to scientists, because they show how humans struggle to understand natural history.


Yes. And the reason HBO airs "Strippers: The Naked Stages," is because it's sociologically enlightening.


No matter what the motive, "Mythical Creatures" is a thrilling show and its mythical merch even moreso: piles of dragon puzzles, stickers, books and stuffed animals, all coming soon to a mall near you.


This means, of course, that dragons will inevitably go the way of dinosaurs: sooner or later they'll be killed off by cuteness.


In the meantime, though, they're on fire.

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