Monday, June 24, 2013

Merman Christian

Thank you all for swimming by! Today, we have the pleasure of chatting with Merman Christian from Maryland, USA. Christian is already making a splash in the mer world, and I would like to introduce you to him now.

Cynthia: Welcome, Christian! Do tell us a bit about yourself.
Christian: Well my real name is Chris O'Brocki, but I'm also known as 'CHRISTIAN', and I'm from the Baltimore area, but I'm a lot closer to Pasadena, which is more near the water- very convenient for a Merman haha! I'm an active staple in the film business and have been for the past several years, mostly independent work but I've had my share of major studio work as well. When I was in high school I majored in theater, but my other BIG major was Marine Biology. Ever since I was a kid everything was always about sharks, rays, whales, dolphins, starfish, and of course... MERMAIDS. I watched Splash and The Little Mermaid so much I wore out my VHS tapes, so thank God for DVD and BLU-RAY!

Cynthia: How did you first become a merman?
Christian: Well, going along with my answer to the prior question, my love for the ocean really started when I was little. I would spend hours in the pool and tub with all my rubber shark and whale toys imaging I was part of their world too. I would always beg my mom to take me to the aquarium, and when my family went to the beach every summer for vacation, they could never get me off of it! Now that I'm older, Mermaids came back into my life a couple years ago when I started making my own monofins. That's when I discovered the whole Mer-community and saw how passionate others were just as much as I was, only they took it a step further and were professional mermaids or mermen. It was about a year ago when I decided that I was finally going to take that step too, but I also wanted to do it to gain awareness about keeping our oceans clean, something I believe people don't care about as much as they used to anymore. I'm in love with the Caribbean, but the Chesapeake is my real home and I want to do my part to make it better, so here I am!

Cynthia: I hear that you created your own tail. Tell us about the design and the details you chose.
Christian: I DID make my own tail! Well when it came down to the design, I looked to the design of Daryl Hannah's famous tail in Splash, the extra fins, the awesome blend of colors, and the fluke design. I'm kind of obsessed with that shape, but there are a couple different ways I've seen it done, so the fluke on THIS tail is a blend of Splash and a Lyretail fish, and of course I had to have extra fins on it. When it came down to the colors, I must have gone through at least 5 different schemes and blends until I finally did this one and thought to myself 'THAT'S IT!' Plus like I said before, I love the Caribbean and tropical colors so all of my future tails will have those elements. The tail itself is made from Neoprene and the fins and fluke are from a special material mixed with silicone, which I cant share that secret, haha.

Cynthia: You are friends with Mermaid Marla. Has she inspired you in any way?
Christian and Marla
Christian: She sure has! Marla is just great, plain and simple. I had actually been a fan of her work and been following her online for quite a while, but we first became friends when I commented on a picture on her Facebook page and then later on she sent me a message on mine and once I found out she had moved to Maryland, a Mer meet-up was on! I got to meet her and her husband recently, and we ended up doing a surprise photo shoot right there at the Baltimore Inner Harbor. It was my first time doing one as a merman and they both made me feel so relaxed and comfortable. She has been at this for a long time and she's definitely an inspiration to me to keep chasing this dream no matter what age I am, or any obstacle that comes my way, I'm just going to hold my tail high and keep swimming. Plus she has swam with Whale Sharks and that has been on my bucket list even before I got a tail!

Cynthia: Do you currently work or perform as a merman? If not, do you have plans to?
Christian: The only work I've done so far has been for print and video, but I am trying very hard to bring Merpeople to the National Aquarium here in Baltimore. I've made friends with most of the divers and they said once I get certified, then I can join them in the tank, tail and all. I think it would be a great addition to what we're all about at the Aquarium, and what better to educate people about environmental conservation than a Merperson?

Cynthia: Tell us about your work to save the environment and the oceans?
Christian: In addition to me being a spokesperson and symbol for the Chesapeake Bay, I'm also part of the ACT program at the national aquarium. We go out and clean up the tidal marshes and beaches, re-plant trees, pick up anything that is recyclable or that just doesn't need to be there. I also would like to attend some watershed meetings and do some charity events. I would also like to see that marine animals aren't mistreated when they are in captivity. I'm not against animal attraction parks, like I enjoy them quite a lot, and I believe in rescuing an injured animal from the wild and helping it get back on its feet and releasing it back to its home, which is what we do at the aquarium, but I've never been crazy about orcas being in tanks for performing purposes. Dolphins are one thing, but killer whales are far too big and their behavior can be unpredictable at times. I don't blame the trainers at all, it's not their fault, they're just trying to help and educate others about these beautiful animals, but I think after a certain amount of time its time to let go and let them go. I mean how would you like to sit in a bathtub for 20 years?

Cynthia: What do you enjoy doing when you are not swimming?
Merman Christian
Christian: Well I do enjoy taking my sailboat out on a day off, which I don't have many of those haha, and I also like to write screenplays. I have some ideas for a couple shark movies and some pretty crazy horror movies, because they've always been my favorite. Sometimes I'll embrace my inner geek and attend some horror conventions or get asked to be a guest. They're so much fun, I highly recommend them!

Cynthia: Do you have any special or amusing stories from your merman adventures?
Christian: Well I haven't had too many yet, but I'm going to change that. The most special one so far was meeting Mermaid Marla and her husband. It was a fun and perfect day. We have this tourist thing at the harbor called URBAN PIRATES and its basically a pirate ship that gives tours for kids and adults, and it takes you out for a cruise and they treat you like you really are a pirate. Anyway it just happened to be sailing by when Marla and I were on the dock having the photo shoot. EVERYONE on that boat started freaking out and taking pictures and calling out to us. It was so fun and funny!

Cynthia: What else you would like to share with us today?
Christian: I guess what I will leave you with is that any dream can be a reality no matter what your age, but the key is to never give up on it. We all have set-backs and bad things happen to us, I know I sure did, but I looked past that into what I wanted my future to be with this new exciting dream, and so far its definitely paying off. You can be a mermaid or merman even without a tail, its whats in your heart and what you choose to do with it.

Cynthia: Thank you so much, Christian, for chatting with us today. I am looking forward to hearing about your future adventures. Readers can follow the adventures of Merman Christian on Facebook.

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

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lost City Revealed

Recently, CNN covered the story of recently discovered artifacts from the lost Egyptian city of Heracleion. The artifacts had spent some 1200 years underwater before being discovered.

Get the full story in the video on the CNN site.

Reshaping Science & History

Our knowledge is changing all the time... Science and history books are written, then tossed away and rewritten.

Megan Hess has collected a list of nine major revisions that have reshaped science and history. I bring your attention to number four, mermaids!

Read about all nine major science and history revisions in Ms. Hess' article on Mashable. Can you think of any more?

Scarborough Photos of the Week

This week's photos from Scarborough Faire in Waxahachie, Texas feature one of the faire's glass blowers.

Located at the northwestern edge of Crown Meadow, Andres & Chapman produce truly beautiful works of glass. Click on the images to see a larger version.

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

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Mermaid Alaina

On this fine day, please join me in welcoming the very talented Mermaid Alaina to the blog. Alaina loves to travel, and she just can't stay away from the islands. Alaina is an artist, and is on the verge of launching a mermaid career.

Cynthia: Welcome Alaina, tell us a little about yourself.
Mermaid Alaina
Alaina: I'm Alaina, one of the Music City Mermaids. I have been landlocked in Memphis, Tennessee for most of my life, however my heart and ocean home is located in the beautiful islands of Hawaii. As a Booking Travel Agent, I specialize in dream vacations to this magical destination. One of my passions is helping others discover this island paradise and creating memories that will last a lifetime, knowing they will fall in love with all the beauty, romance, adventure, and culture that Hawaii has to offer! I am also an artist. Most of my paintings are inspired by the beach, surfing, Hawaii, and of course... mermaids! I love God and have a strong Christian faith. My relationship with Christ has a huge influence on who I am and how I live.

Cynthia: How did you first get started in mermaiding?
Alaina: I have been fascinated with mermaids ever since I was a little girl. I remember going to see Disney's The Little Mermaid in theaters. When it was released on VHS, I watched it over and over and over again! During the summer months, I practically lived in a swimming pool. My little sister and I used to pretend we were mermaids, attempting to swim with our ankles crossed, trying our best to resemble a mermaid tail. It wasn't until less than a year ago I stumbled upon some videos of professional mermaid Hannah Fraser, and I realized that I could make my dream of becoming a mermaid a reality. Not long after, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Mermaid Bonnie, the founder of Music City Mermaid (MCM). With her help, I was able to create my first tail, which turned out to be amazing! Then to my surprise, she asked me to partner with her and MCM!

Cynthia: You have done a number of mermaid themed paintings. Where can we see samples?
Alaina: Yes, I love painting mermaids! You can find all my work, as well as purchase any of my fine art giclee prints, in my shop From Paradise With Love on Etsy!

Cynthia: Tell us all about your travels to Hawaii.
Alaina: I have had the opportunity to visit the islands of Hawaii many times. Six separate trips to be exact! I have experienced four of the six main islands; Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. Everyone usually asks me which island is my favorite and my reply is always, "It's too hard to choose a favorite, I love them all!" Each island is beautiful and special in it's own way. I love discovering and photographing the most amazing beaches on each island, as well as exploring natural sites like waterfalls, lagoons, volcanic craters, pineapple/coffee plantations, and more! The island of Oahu is extra special because that is where my husband proposed to me in May 2005, and then we returned for our Hawaii wedding in October 2007!

Cynthia: Do you currently work or perform as a mermaid on a regular basis?
Alaina: I hope to be very soon! At this time Bonnie and I are trying to get exposure for Music City Mermaid. We need to get our names around the Memphis and Nashville communities so people know who we are! I am available for birthday parties, events, promotional work, and more. As with any business, it takes time to grow and get things started. :)

Cynthia: Have you done environmental or charity work?
Alaina: Not yet, but I would love to... so hopefully in the near future!

Cynthia: What do you enjoy doing when you are not mermaiding?
Alaina: I love my job as a travel agent, researching and planning dream vacations; and of course I love traveling and experiencing new destinations myself! I enjoy painting, photography, shopping, running, movies, and spending time with my husband, family and three Yorkshire Terriers.

Cynthia: Do you have any special stories from your mermaid adventures?
Alaina: Well, just having the recent opportunity to be a mermaid in Hawaii was very special for me. I was able to get some gorgeous photos, and swim in the clear turquoise water. It was such an amazing experience! I actually had both locals and tourists come up to me, wanting to take pictures and asking me about my tail and being a mermaid. I was more than happy to interact with them of course!

Cynthia: What else you would like to share with us today?
Alaina: I just want to thank you for this interview and introducing me to your wonderful blog! It is very inspiring and a great way to learn more about others in the mermaiding community!

Cynthia: Thank you very much, Alaina. Best wishes as you dive into mermaiding as a possible career. Keep us informed of your adventures!

You can connect with Mermaid Alaina on Facebook and YouTube. Her art can be seen on Etsy, and she will soon be part of the Music City Mermaid site.

Treasure Hunt Update

The Treasure Hunt contest that kicked off on May 20th is still in progress. At the time of this writing, no answers (correct or otherwise) have been received, so there is still time to get in on the fun. Prizes will be awarded, and I am still accepting additional prizes from businesses what would like a mention in the contest rules.

See the Treasure Hunt contest page for all the details!

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

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The New Evidence

It was just over a week ago that Animal Planet first ran its latest mermaid themed 'documentary', Mermaids: The New Evidence. The show certainly generated a lot of waves... from mermaid fans to scientists, everyone has something to say.

Marine biologist David Shiffman wrote a lengthy article that can be found at Slate. He was shocked to see that Animal Planet had created a sequel to Mermaids: The Body Found.

Mr. Shiffman reminds readers that no scientific evidence has been found to support the existence of mermaids, and criticizes the network for not spending more time pointing out the dangers facing our oceans. The over-harvesting of fish, for example. He says that even without mermaids, the ocean is still full of wonder, and it needs your help.

Blogger Diana Beebe also covered the story in her blog, Mermaids Don't Do Windows. Diana writes, "Mermaids are in the collective consciousness of mankind because people have imaginations. People want to believe that they are real. Who doesn't?"

Robert Chan of Yahoo TV posted an article this past Saturday entitled, Mermaids: Nonsense or Nuisance? He writes, "There's really nothing wrong with using actors to re-enact scenes for a documentary. But where is the line?"

Mermaid Raina was just one of dozens that took the discussion to Twitter, "Speak for yourself I'm real and pretty super :p more real than a MOCKumentary ;)"

Artist Audrey Kawasaki

A friend recently introduced me to the work of artist Audrey Kawasaki. While her painting entitled Enrapture has a definite mermaid theme, many of her other works also have an aquatic feel.

Do check out the Doodles and Misc pages of Audrey's web site for more examples of her talent. The Info page provides readers with her biography and contact information.

Scarborough Photo of the Week

My blog post on Scarborough Faire has been very popular. As I have a number of unpublished photos, I will be presenting one or two per week as space permits. Some of the photos will be mine, and some will be from other contributors.

Today's photo is by Bart de Boisblanc and introduces us to the fourth mermaid. If you missed the other three mermaids from the faire, check my previous two blog posts.

Mine-Seeking Dolphins

Dolphins have been used for locating underwater mines, but recently they found something quite unique. Two dolphins discovered a Howell torpedo off the coast of southern California.

Read the details in an article by Travis Andrews at Dvice, a web site for Tech, Art & Design, and Science.

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

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