Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Disney Oceans again

Okay, so I finally went and saw Oceans last night with the Sea Captain. We  'Ooohed' and 'Aaahed' quite audibly through the whole movie. It was an incredible documentary and everything was beautiful. There were some new fish I had never seen before (Blanket Octopus, Asian Sheepshead Wrasse.) The most incredible bit, in my honest opinion, comes rather early on when a school of dolphin and a flock of seagulls (not the band ;) are chasing/feasting on a school of sardines. It is incredible! The dolphins are leaping and jumping after the sardines and the birds begin dropping like kamikazes and then sharks pop up from nowhere to join in the fray. Just when you think it can't get any more amazing....wait for it... a Humpback whale breaches right in the middle of the feast!!!

Unfortunately you come away from the movie wishing there was more. Usually this is a good thing because you want to know more about something and you go look it up on the internet or whatever, but in this case no, they barely give you enough information to know what to look up. You see, although Peirce Brosnan as the narrator has a fab voice, we really don't learn much of anything  about the fish while watching this film, rarely even the names.  Why were all those crabs climbing on each other there off the coast of Australia? What do you mean to learn about the sea you must live the sea? Tell me more about the strange knobby-headed Sheepshead fish I saw in the waters of China.

Another problem I had was the fact that although everything was beautiful to see, they spent far too much time on otters, sharks, sea lions, and penguins; creatures we've all seen a million times on the Discovery Channel. Their images of the Narwhals too brief. I certainly wanted to meet many more fish and creatures that I haven't seen rather than devote time to South African jumping sharks, especially since the Discovery Channel has filmed them much more and documented their behavior much more thoroughly. Not that they spent forever on them, I just think time could have been devoted elsewhere. I also would have liked to see more Killer Whales and Sailfish.

On the plus side they did talk about pollution. Although they devoted very little time to it, the way they talk about it is wonderful and should make everyone want to do what they can to recycle, and help keep our waters clean. Most shocking is the satellite images showing streams of pollution flowing from tributaries into the sea.

So go see Oceans for the beautiful images. Go see the amazing footage of Jellies and Humpback Whales, and Spinner Dolphins. Just don't go expecting to get an education on those marine creatures.  As another reviewer has stated, oceans is "more art than science."

As a final note, if you are taking children to see this there are two parts that upset me. Part one, where the wee baby turtles trying to get to the sea are eaten by birds. Part two, where they show numerous animals trapped in fishing nets.

More Mermaid Advertisements

More mermaid ads! The food ones really crack me up.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Disney's Merbabies and Water Babies. These are from 1935 and 1938 (water babies came first.) These are both adorable but Merbabies is by far my favorite.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mermaid Sighting on Drawn Together

Drawn Together is a really bad adult comedy cartoon. I know this because my fiance's old room mate watched constantly. The idea is that different types of cartoons live together in a house like a reality show.

In the episode Spelling Applebee's you see the Disney Princesses as Clara's friends. One of them is obviously Ariel.

The show is pretty bad, I don't recommend it unless you like something that tries too hard to be tasteless while confronting issues a la South Park. Unfortunately where South Park succeeds, Drawn Together fails miserably.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Comic Book Mermaids part 2 Random covers

Here are some random comic book covers featuring mermaids. Most of these titles don't regularly have mermaids and so the mer story was just a gimmick!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Seaweed for your body

Pevonia Anti-Stress bath solution looks heavenly! I haven't tried it yet. According to the website it Mineralizes and detoxifies! Containing one of the greatest marine resources, Anti-Stress Aromatic Seaweed Bath infuses your skin with mineralizing and nourishing actives. Enriched with Seaweed and Pine Needle Essential Oil, it mineralizes and detoxifies as it stimulates your skin toward healthy renewal!

Nivea Essentially Enriched Daily Lotion has sea minerals that are supposed to improve the condition of your very dry skin over time. I keep a bottle on my desk. It absorbs quickly and isn't greasy. It's not dramatic moisture but it works all right.

Lush has body products as well as facial ones. I've mentioned my fave, the Big Blue bath bomb before. It has sea salt to detoxify, and bits of seaweed in it for moisture. It turns the bath blue and it is wonderful. Every time I use it feel like a mermaid and my skin feels great. The scent seems strong until you put it in the bath. Once it's diluted it's wonderful, slightly citrusy, and stays with you all day long. They have a soap, Sea Vegetable, with the same scent. It also has salt and seaweed on one side for scrubby exfoliation. Another of their sea based products is Rub Rub. Rub Rub has mineral rich sea saltfor scrubbing your skin, it's nice for summer but too drying for winter in my opinion.

La Mer has a whole range of body products that are supposedly as good as their miracle broth. Of course the price in incredibly high.

bliss serious seaweed cellulite soap is designed to help rid you of nasty lumps and tone your skin. It's nice, but the massage bits go away long before the rest of the soap does.

H2O as mentioned before, has a lot of different products featuring sea minerals and sea salts. They have lotions, cleansers, toners, shampoo, etc. I've tried some of their sea salt and sea marine products, the smell is nice but a bit overpowering for me and I can't get them near my face. The one product I would use again is their sea salt scrub. I love a good scrub and this one felt wonderful and not too drying. However you can get the same result by buying some large grain sea salt and mixing it with some olive oil.

Crabtree and Evelyn also has an entire seaweed/minerals line that is too fragranced for me.  It's called La Source and is blended with restorative mineral salts and nutrient-rich seaweeds, plentiful along the coasts of England, Scotland and Wales.

That's about all I know of at the moment, but seaweed is definitely being used more and more. If you come across anything please let me know about it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Disneynature Oceans

April 22 (Earth Day) 2010 sees the release to theatres of Oceans. I'm not sure how long this is going to be in theatres so I urge you all to go see it! Obviously we need to learn as much as we can about the oceans, they take up over 2/3 of the world on which we live and it's important for us to know how we can save them (from ourselves).

A fascinating journey into the depths of the ocean, amidst the tumult of the storms, in the vast territory of those who inhabit the sea. Part thriller, part meditation on the wonders of the sub-aquatic world.

During the opening week (from April 22 - 28) of “Disneynature OCEANS,” the film will donate $.20 per ticket to the The Nature Conversancy’s Adopt a Reef Program in the Bahamas, with a minimum donation of $100,000 pledged. If you're wondering whether that's true or not, last year they planted over 1 million trees for the people who went and saw Disneynature's Earth.

If conservation doesn't interest you go see it for the remarkable new footage of never-before seen creatures and amazing footage of fish we know doing things we never imagined.

More about Oceans here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Merman Sighting

This commercial was great. I didn't expect to see the merman under that sheet! It's also obvious that he's meant to be the male equal of the chicken of the sea mermaid.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Jean-Michel Cousteau presents us with one of his documentary films, and this one is about the coral reefs and how they live. What they eat, how human life affects them, and how they reproduce are of vital importance if we plan to prevent them from being destroyed altogether.

It's adorable.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Empires of the Deep

Empire of the Deep is set in ancient Greece and tells the story of a band of Greek sailors who discover a secret underwater kingdom of mermaids, and must join forces to combat a dark evil that threatens both mermaid and human civilizations. “Even though the story is set in the Greek isles, the picture will be shot entirely in China, on sound stages in Beijing, and exotic seaside locations in Fujian and Hainan provinces, making it one of the first Chinese productions based on an entirely Western story.”

A China / Hollywood co-production, Empires of the Deep (formerly known as “Mermaid Island”) has been in production since 2006, having undergone personnel changes and production upgrades of assorted kinds including the departure of former director Pitof due  to “creative differences” and the controversial removal of Sharon Stone from the cast after the US star made some indiscreet political statements about aspects of China’s foreign policy. Ambitions for the CGI extravaganza have also escalated. It is now being seen as “the first movie in a planned movie franchise including comic books, animation and online games: all of which are currently under development. Other derivative products such as gifts and theme parks are also planned.”

When will this be out? Who knows, but I look forward to seeing it!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Comic Book Mermaids part 1

Lori Lemaris is a mermaid from Tritonis, a city in the undersea lost continent of Atlantis in the DC universe. She was also one of Superman's many loves. We are first introduced to Lori in Superman #129 volume 1 in May 1959.
 Basically she was pretending to be human, hiding her tail with a blanket and sitting in a wheelchair. Clark Kent (Superman) falls for her but after a short blissful time together she turns down his proposal. Lori tells him she must return to her homeland. Clark gets suspicious and finds out her secret, she's a mermaid! They remain friends and we see her show up occasionally in Superman comics. At some point Superman became a merman himself to be with Lori, that or Lois had a disturbing fantasy about it happening (for a chick who didn't know Supes secret identity she sure was jealous.)

In a classic "super" rip-off there was the merman Jerro, who ends up dating Supergirl ( instead of Lori's younger sister Lenora.) He shows up several times over the course of her comic history but Supergirl had a lot of suitors so I doubt he was anything serious. Supergirl of course managed to turn into a mermaid at some point, but if Superman and Lori didn't work why would Supergirl and Jerro?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Disney's Neptune/Poseidon

King Neptune back in 1932 (plus early mermaids!)

1936 (wait for him as Mickey circles the globe)

Poseidon in Hercules TV show 1998 (plus his son triton)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ningyo/ Fiji Mermaids

Ningyo is the Japanese "mermaid". In ancient times it was described as half fish and half monkey, but with a human face. It has a beautiful voice but causes storms and brings misfortune. If you eat the ningyo you will become immortal. (Strangely enough I believe Ningyo is also a Japanese word for doll.) I think maybe this whole half monkey, half fish myth resulted in people making the fiji (feejee) mermaids.

What's a fiji mermaid? Prepare yourselves for some wild wacky icky stuff!

Back in the 1800s everyone loved carnivals and freak show and strange oddities. Remember this was before TV, telephones and not everyone had a camera just laying around. So traveling carnivals were the best way to see all the interesting thing that we see today on Ripley's Believe it or Not.  P.T. Barnum was the king of wowing an audience so when he had an opportunity to get a mermaid for his show he jumped on it.

Long before this, in Japan, several shrines had "found" mermaids. Most likely the preists created these monkey/fish in order to awe the locals. A few of these old, mummified mermaids can still be found in the care of temples and shrines around Japan.

This picture is one of the "mermaids" that is still in a shrine in Japan.

The Fiji mermaid came into Barnum's possession via his Boston counterpart Moses Kimball, who brought it to Barnum in late spring of 1842. On June 18, Barnum and Kimball entered into a written agreement to exploit this "curiosity supposed to be a mermaid." Kimball would remain the creature's sole owner and Barnum would lease it for $12.50 a week. Barnum christened his artifact "The Feejee Mermaid" and began to work the press. There were ads in papers, everyone was talking about this "mermaid" and no one had even seen it yet (the ad on the left is one of these 'plants' I believe.) Many many people fell for the hoax and believed that a  torso and head of a baby monkey sewn to the back half of a fish and covered in paper-mâché was the real thing. The original exhibit was shown around the United States, but was lost in the 1860s when Barnum's museum caught fire.

Despite the loss of the original mermaid there are still many "floating" around. You can see the older ones at shrines in Japan, and I've even seen one in Myrtle Beach at the Ripley's museum.

So that's what I know about the Ningyo. TakaSachi, one of my Swimmers, is Japanese and I'd love any corrections or additions that might be offered.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Davy Jones' Locker

There are many stories about Davy Jones. In some he was a sailor in a Phoenician galley. Some say he was Jonah who was cast overboard by his shipmates and swallowed by a whale. He could also be Duffer Jones, a notoriously myopic sailor who often found himself over-board. No one seems to be able to pin down who exactly he was. When asked of his origin he is found to be like most sailors, full of stories, and the one he tells today is likely to be different from yesterdays.
What is agreed upon is that while sailing the seas he was found guilty of some horrible thing. The devil condemned him to live forever at the bottom of the deep blue sea. This is where he keeps his sea chest and in it stows everything that sinks below the waves. Wrecked ships and dead men all find their way into his locker and he never lets them go. Because he was a deep sea sailor he never concerns himself with ships that sink in shallow water and this is why those ships can often be salvaged.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Poseidon/Neptune portrayals

Neptune is often depicted in television and movies as a merman. He's apparently more popular today than he ever was. Here's a few different ones from cartoons.

On NickToons Spongebob his look changes over the episodes but he is always depicted as a merman! He shows up in the movie with a really different look but the same bad attitude.

We've seen Poseidon portrayed on the Simpsons as a merman before.

In Disney's Hercules (movie and tv show) we see Poseidon as a very fishy god. He actually shows up alot in this show adn is voiced by Jason Alexander. How I wish this and the Little mermaid show would get released on DVD.

In the Disney short King Neptune (1932) we see Neptune as well as some lovely mermaids and some treacherous pirates. This version of Neptune shows up again in Mickey Through the Mirror, and the Cold Blooded Penguin. I'll try to post these cartoons later this week.
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