Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Quiz Answers

Here are the answers to the quiz that appeared in my previous blog post. If you haven't done the quiz yet, why not give it a try? Once you have answered all of the questions, come back here and check your answers.

Congratulations to Kurt Cagle (USA) for being the first one to send me an email with the correct answers!  Everyone splash Kurt when you see him!

And now, here are the correct answers:

1. In the movie Splash, where do Madison and Allen first meet?

Madison and Allen first meet when they are six years old. Allen falls/jumps into the water from a tour boat off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Therefore, the correct answer is (b) Waters off of Cape Cod.

2. Where do Claire and Hailey first find the mermaid Aquamarine in the movie by the same name?

After a fierce storm caused by Aquamarine's father, Claire and Hailey find the mermaid in the swimming pool of the Florida beach resort where they are staying. The correct answer is (a) Swimming pool.

3. In the popular mermish dialect, what does 'Lusa Em' mean?

In the mermish dialect created by author Francine Rose for the book The Secret World of Mermaids, 'Lusa Em' means 'goodbye', or literally 'see you'. And so, the correct answer is (d) See you.

4. During the second season of H2O: Just Add Water, which girl becomes the fourth mermaid?

In the episode entitled 'And Then There Were Four', Charlotte dives into the moon pool just as the full moon is shining overhead and becomes the fourth mermaid. The correct answer is (c) Charlotte.

5. In August 2009, a town in which country offered a prize of $1 million for anyone who could prove the existence of a mermaid off its coast?

The correct answer is (b) Israel. As far as we know, the prize has not yet been claimed.

6. The opening scene of Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid shows what?

The movie opens with Mrs. Peabody talking to a psychiatrist, telling him that her husband is in love with a mermaid. The correct answer is (e) Mrs. Peabody talking to a psychiatrist.

7. Which movie involves the rescue of a dolphin from a corrupt scientist at an aquarium?

After being told by a friend that she needs to get out of house and do something for herself, Madison takes on the task of rescuing a dolphin from a corrupt scientist. This is a major plot point in this sequel to Splash. The answer is (c) Splash, Too.

8. Who is Lori Lemaris?

Lori Lemaris is a mermaid, and just one of the many characters with double L names in the world of Superman comics. Wikipedia has an article on Mermaid Lori for those that are interested. The correct answer is (d) Comic book mermaid.

9. The Coney Island Mermaid Parade began in what year?

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade takes place in mid to late June each year in Coney Island, New York, USA. The correct answer is (a) 1983.

10. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, what does Harry eat to breathe under water?

The house elf, Dobby, tells Harry about gillyweed. This allows Harry to stay under water for up to an hour during the second task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament. The word begins with 'gill', which is a clue as to the plant's use. The correct answer is (b) Gillyweed.

Around the Block

On Saturday (28 January 2012), two of us went around the block (~3 miles / ~4.8 km) picking up trash along the side of the road. The result was 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of trash and recyclables (see photo). During the trip, we rewarded ourselves with a visit to a Braums ice cream store!

Check out my blog post 'Mermaids Make a Difference' to find out how you can help!

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Mermaid Quiz

Here is a little mermaid and under water quiz just for fun.  How many of these can you answer without looking them up?  Web searching is fine as well if you must.

Notes: Contest is closed, but you can still do the quiz.  The contest winner and the correct answers will appear in my next blog post!

1. In the movie Splash, where do Madison and Allen first meet?
a) New York Harbor
b) Waters off of Cape Cod
c) Police station
d) Connecticut waters
e) Nantucket

2. Where do Claire and Hailey first find the mermaid Aquamarine in the movie by the same name?
a) Swimming pool
b) Silver Lake
c) On the beach
d) Fork of a river
e) Ocean at low tide

3. In the popular mermish dialect, what does 'Lusa Em' mean?
a) I don't understand
b) Moonlight
c) Deep water
d) See you
e) Good morning

4. During the second season of H2O: Just Add Water, which girl becomes the fourth mermaid?
a) Bella
b) Miriam
c) Charlotte
d) Kim
e) Grace

5. In August 2009, a town in which country offered a prize of $1 million for anyone who could prove the existence of a mermaid off its coast?
a) Greece
b) Israel
c) Norway
d) Portugal
e) Romania

6. The opening scene of Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid shows what?
a) Mr. Peabody fishing in the Caribbean
b) Mrs. Peabody packing the car for a trip
c) Mr. Peabody calling his wife on the phone
d) Mr. Peabody relaxing on the beach
e) Mrs. Peabody talking to a psychiatrist

7. Which movie involves the rescue of a dolphin from a corrupt scientist at an aquarium?
a) Splash
b) Aquamarine
c) Splash, Too
d) Night Tide
e) Goddess of the Sea

8. Who is Lori Lemaris?
a) Mermaid tail designer
b) Jewelry designer
c) Aquatic artist
d) Comic book mermaid
e) Mermaid actress and model

9. The Coney Island Mermaid Parade began in what year?
a) 1983
b) 1985
c) 1989
d) 1992
e) 1996

10. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, what does Harry eat to breathe under water?
a) Aconite
b) Gillyweed
c) Dittany
d) Sardine
e) Lavender
f) Polypody
g) Ashwinder Egg

Good luck to all!

Upcoming Event

Mermaid - Palooza will take place on August 10th thru 13th at Cabalay Lake Towers in Orlando, Florida. For more information, see the Facebook page.  The event web site is http://mer-palooza.com.

Thank you for reading!
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

Monday, January 23, 2012

Merfolk in Commercials

With the increasing popularity of mermaids comes an increase in merfolk appearing in television commercials.  Many of these you may have seen before, but perhaps you will discover a few new ones as I did.

In our first ad for zero calorie Coca-Cola, we are invited to believe in the impossible.  Coke Zero

This short animated commercial is for Hershey's Almond Bar. Dive right in!  Hershey's

A commercial for Clorox Bleach features a young mermaid. The music is available on iTunes. Clorox

Two mermaids and one merman appear in this commercial for Levi's 501 Jeans.  Levi's Jeans

Panda Express Golden Treasure Shrimp is the subject of this commercial.  Panda Express

This cute commercial for Eclipse Breath Mints features actress Claire Bowen.  Eclipse Mints

A fisherman discovers something amazing in this Geico Insurance commercial.  Geico

This is an Asian commercial for Twisty TVC, a very spicy snack.  Twisty

An ad for Evinrude outboard motors features a fishing competition of sorts.  Evinrude

Here is a French commercial for Barbie Jewel Mermaid. Barbie

Freediver Mehgan Heaney-Grier appears in this commercial for hosiery.  Hosiery

Dinosaurs at the Toronto Zoo? I don't believe it!  Toronto Zoo

Mermaid Hannah Fraser appears in this commercial for Tata Shoes.  Tata Shoes

Pepsi H2OH appears to be very popular both above and below the surface.  Pepsi

I hope you enjoyed our look at merfolk in commercials. I'll be back to splash you again very soon.

Upcoming Event

Mermaids in the Desert is the name of a mermaid camp which will be held March 30th thru April 1st at the Miracle Springs Resort in California. You will receive your own Floatli equipment, three workshops to teach you how to Floatli (in nice warm water), and a grand finale pool extravaganza with the professional mers. For more information, see their Facebook page.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Heard on Twitter

I originally joined Twitter to promote my goldmermaid.com web site which contains my collection of articles on New England cities and towns. In order to build an audience, I tended to accept practically all follow requests, while sending out several of my own. As my number of contacts grew, tweets began to come in so quickly that most were missed. I would assume that anything I send now gets read by very few people.

Still, Twitter is a great place to see what people think about a particular subject. Using the Twitter search feature limits the display to the topic of your choice. A search for the word 'mermaid' brings up a surprising number of matches. A large number of them are related to the Disney movie, The Little Mermaid, but many of the tweets are quite entertaining.

"OMG they sell mermaid tails."

This tweet was posted just this morning. I expect that someone is about to turn into a mermaid!

"I want to be a mermaid so bad."

Another one from today. Won't be many people left on the land pretty soon.

"Conference call is finally over. Going to the beach and not surfacing until I'm a mermaid."

This one brings up an important fact: Swimming is very relaxing. Get your tail wet! Swimming pool or ocean, it doesn't matter. Too cold? Even swimming in Second Life can help relax you.

"There are plenty of fish in the sea. and dolphins. and crustaceans. and sea lions. I won't settle till I find a mermaid."

One of my favorite mermaid movie lines is from Aquamarine, "We're not mythical, we're discreet!" Mermaids are certainly not as discreet as they used to be.

"Finding a Bigfoot is not so hard. Try finding a mermaid. I've been searching the oceans for 30 years and not seen one yet."

At least he hasn't given up!

"'But I'm a mermaid! I can't go into time out!', says the upset 3 year old."

Yes, rare sea creatures should get a break every now and then.

"I wish I were a mermaid so I could swim around all day singing about how I want legs."

That seems to be the way it is. In most of the mermaid stories, the mermaid wants to be human. Meanwhile, the humans want to be mermaids and mermen. Don't go to the sea-witch, Ariel! She never listens.

"Seaweed excellent healthy kid snack option as can be positioned as 1) mermaid food or 2) dinosaur food."

One of my favorites. This person has a great future in sales.

"Is it perverse to feed the kids fish fingers while they watch The Little Mermaid?"

It's okay, as long as you don't serve dog food when they watch 101 Dalmations.

"Four year old was sad all the way home cause she's not a mermaid. We're not talking Halloween, the kid really wants to live in the sea."

Forget the dolls and other toys. Get this child a mermaid tail and a kiddie pool, and you'll have one happy little girl.

Upcoming Event

Mermaid Fest takes place on Friday, February 3rd, at The Florida Aquarium. Doors open at 6pm. Visit mermaidfest.com for more information!

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mermaids Make a Difference

There are a number of great organizations out there dedicated to saving the environment, but one in particular has a name with an excellent chance of grabbing the attention of the general public. That organization is Save the Mermaids.

In short, the non-profit organization Save the Mermaids advocates using less and wasting less. Their mission is spelled out on their web site, "The Mermaids act as ambassadors to the sea by educating the public about human-sourced ocean pollution and advocating for lifestyles and behaviors that preserve the ocean environment."  This means using less plastics, recycling what you can, and helping to cleaning up your shoreline or neighborhood by picking up discarded bottles, plastic bags, and aluminum cans when you go for a walk.

Look for Save the Mermaids on Facebook as well.

The Keep Oceans Clean web site is a great place to teach children about saving the environment.  The interactive games on the site can be used by parents and teachers, and explain how everyday items such as plastic bags and balloons can be harmful to ocean life.

Keeping the oceans clean is only part of the task.  Many people around the world do not have adequate clean water to drink.  The mission of fresh2o is to reduce poverty, improve health and prevent death by enabling the provision of clean water for drinking and sanitation purposes globally.

Ocean Alliance was founded in 1971 by Roger Payne.  The organization is dedicated to researching the ocean's whale population as well as widespread public education of the dangers of water pollution.  According to Ocean Alliance, "The amounts of harmful chemicals making their way into the sea by land and by air is of great concern."  You can follow the adventures of Ocean Alliance on both Facebook and Twitter.

Marine and environmental artist Wyland helps children and families around the nation rediscover the importance of healthy oceans and waterways.  Art, conservation, and community has been the primary focus of The Wyland Foundation since it was founded in 1993.

We mermaids and mermaid fans can help make a difference.  Using less, wasting less, recycling, and picking up litter is not difficult to do.  As Mermaid Melissa says, "Save the world's oceans before all creatures become mythical."

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

World Mermaid Awards 2011

I would like to start off this post by thanking my readers...  From the US to Russia to the United Kingdom to Italy, Belgium, and Australia, everyone loves mermaids!  Please continue to comment and email.  Hugs and splashes to all!
* * *
In August of 2011, I attended the World Mermaid Awards and Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.  This was a memorable adventure for me in many ways.  Let me share some of them with you.

August 10th:  The trip from north Texas to Las Vegas took me two days by car.  At the end of the first day of driving (~600 miles), I stayed overnight in Moriarty, New Mexico.  The motel was just off the highway, with a gas station across the street, and a number of places to eat nearby.  The rain was most welcome, as the weather had been very dry back in Texas.

August 11th:  I arrived in Las Vegas around dinner time on the second day.  The first event of the convention was a Book Signing and Meet & Greet at a Barnes & Noble book store at 7pm.  Since I had arrived early, I had time to eat dinner at a nearby restaurant.  I soon noticed that not far away, the convention organizers and special guests were having dinner at the same restaurant.

The Meet and Greet was great fun.  I had the pleasure of meeting Mermaid Hannah Fraser, one of the most well known mermaids in the world.  I also met Mermaid Kylee Troche from Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida, and authors Carolyn Turgeon and Tera Lynn Childs.  The short video I took of Hannah speaking has had over 860 views on YouTube!

After the Meet and Greet, I drove to the Silverton Hotel and Casino, the location of the convention.  From the Mermaid Bar to the mermaid paintings on the wall to the huge fish tank, we merfolk felt right at home.  I spent some time looking around the casino, trying my hand at a slot machine with the $5 you get when signing in.  I must say I did not do too well.

August 12th:  The convention officially took place on Friday the 12th.  Daytime events included a mermaid  pageant, art silent auction, and vendor tables.  In the evening, the merfolk and fans gathered at the hotel pool for a pool party.  Mermaids Hannah Fraser and Medusirena performed for the crowd.  There was much swimming, splashing, chatting, and friend making.  The mermaid awards were announced as we watched the full moon overhead.  We spent at least two hours in the water, and enjoyed every minute.

August 13th:  On Saturday, there was a VIP pool party at a private home in the northern part of town.  The pool, as you can see from the photos, was beautiful.  Many photos were taken as the mermaids and mermen got their tails wet once again.  My profile picture was taken here as well.

A threat of rain early in the day almost caused the pool party to be cancelled.  When it was decided that the pool party would happen, it was too late to tell the catering company that we were back on.  As a result, only light snacks were available at poolside.  Upon returning to the hotel, I decided to go to a pizza place just off the casino floor.

The guy waiting on me at the pizza place saw my mermaid themed tee shirt and asked me if I was with the convention.  I said that I was.  He then asked me if I believed in mermaids.  "I have to", I said, "I am one."

August 14th:  Sunday was check out day, and the beginning of the long drive back to north Texas. Sure, not everything went smoothly at the convention, but I had a great time, and I am very glad I went.  I met some great folks, and had a great time splashing around with everyone.  I hope to be able to attend more of these events in the future!

More photos from WMA 2011 can be found on my website dedicated to the event.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mermish 101

Mermish, the language of merfolk.  Having a common language helps to develop a feeling of community.  If the language is easy to learn, new merfolk in the community will feel more a part of the mermaid realm.

Authors have proposed a number of mermish dialects over the years.  If a community of merfolk are going to be able to communicate, they must all choose the same dialect.  In addition, if the dialect chosen is awkward or overly complex, few merfolk will end up using it.

Four mermaids meet in Second Life
The most useful dialect of mermish that I have seen so far is the one from The Secret World of Mermaids by Francine Rose.  This is the dialect used by the merfolk of Second Life, where two merfolk that have never met can exchange the greeting Tala (Hello), knowing that the other will understand.  The book contains only about 32 words and phrases, and only a subset get regular use.  This small vocabulary limits what you can say with the language, but this is seldom an issue. Note that the book preview on Amazon.com contains the page on mermish (p16) if you search there for the word 'Tala'.

Let's take a look at other dialects of mermish:  The Book of Mermaids by Patricia Saxton contains a dialect of mermish with 11 words given as an example. In this dialect, O-kee'-ya is Hello and Jai-quay' is Good bye. I find these to be a bit too awkward for regular use online or in person.

Mermaidia Blue lists a large number of mermish words on her website, Go Into The Deep.  This dialect is being used by The Santharian Dream, a free online role playing site.  An example of this dialect would be ~Lla~bi~dehffoo~ (She's sad).  In addition to being difficult to learn, I could not find a word for 'hello' in this dialect.

In Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs, the merfolk of the kingdom of Thalassinia speak English.  This is because the kingdom is located only about 45 miles east of Florida, USA.  It is said that other mer kingdoms speak the language of their human neighbors.  This allows the merfolk to barter with humans, trading fish for fruits for example.

In the J.K. Rowling novel, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, mermish is mentioned, and it is said that Hogwarts headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, is able to speak it as are a few of the other wizards.  No examples of mermish are provided in the Harry Potter novels, but a Harry Potter related Wiki says of mermish, "Above water, it is composed of unpleasant, screechy noises."

Another website I have visited in the past, but can no longer locate, also suggested a dialect of mermish in which most of the words were extremely long and difficult to use.  Therefore, it appears that any merfolk wanting to learn a dialect of mermish use Ms. Rose's creation.  And so, I will now wrap up this discussion with these words...

Lusa Em, Sesmuna,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Two Short Splashes

Book Review

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing a novella by English author, Matthew Wingett.  Turn The Tides Gently is set on the island city of Portsmouth, England, and follows the unique adventures of a young man named Dave.  Dave has visions...  Visions of the past, and visions of the present.  They always seem so real.  But the mermaid, SHE was real, right?  As the story unfolds, Dave's dreamy world is changing, and we are following the magic.

The mermaid is, of course, a very important character in this story.  Everyone can enjoy this story, but a mermaid or mermaid fan may wish the mermaid in the story had a larger role.  The story captures our heart as we learn of the many people in Dave's world, including his late brother Jack, and his mother who rejects him.

Turn The Tides Gently is available on Amazon, and you can follow Matthew Wingett on Twitter at @TurnTheTidesGen.

BE a Mermaid or Merman

We merfolk are often asked, "How can I be a mermaid (or merman)?"  The internet is full of rituals, potions, and other useless procedures.  These only serve to embarass the intended merperson.  In this article, I will provide what I believe to be a reasonable procedure for becoming a mermaid, short of genetic alteration which is currently unavailable.  A similar procedure would apply for guys wanting to be mermen.

The first step is to say to yourself (or out loud if you prefer), "I am a mermaid."

Okay, now that you're a mermaid, you are going to most likely want/need a fish-tail.  Even without a tail, your mermaid identity lives in your heart and soul.  You ARE a mermaid.

Once you have decided that you need a tail, you have an important choice to make: buy one, or make your own.  In either case, it is important to do plenty of research before you pay a single dollar / pound / euro / seashell.  The best source of information that I know of for purchasing or creating a mer tail is the MerNetwork forum.

Mermaid tails can be fabric, neoprene, or silicone...  silicone being the most expensive.  Most tails are made for swimming, but some are made specifically for dry land photography use.  Tails are usually custom sized for the purchaser using several measurements, and it can be very difficult or nearly impossible to buy a second-hand tail that actually fits properly.

Before you start splashing around in your new tail, make sure your swimming skills are up to par. Take lessons if you need to.  Are you comfortable being underwater for a period of time?  Do you have someone that can be nearby when you swim?  Swimming alone is dangerous.

The final step in your transformation to mermaid/merman is to periodically seek inspiration.  Enjoy the company of other merfolk, read books, including those we talked about in my first article, watch mermaid themed movies/television, and join in on the conversation on the MerNetwork forum.

Best Wishes and Starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com