Ben Marks say: "When Collectors Weekly writer and producer Hunter Oatman-Stanford was growing up in Austin, Texas, one of his favorite places to go as a kid was Aquarena Springs in nearby San Marcos. Though the attraction boasted an alligator pit, Ralph the Swimming Pig (famous, of course, for his 'swine dive'), and an aerial gondola ride, the biggest lure was the mermaid show, in which swimmers would perform dance moves and tricks, like eating or drinking underwater, while viewers watched through thick glass windows.
"Turns out, Hunter's great-aunt, Sue Cregg, had been an aquamaid, as the performers were called, in the 1960s. So, for his article on Aquarena Springs, Hunter spoke to Cregg, as well as Peggy Sparks, who got her start at the amusement park in the 1950s. Cregg and Sparks explain what it was really like to be a mermaid, from the cold temperatures they endured in the water to the balls of frozen dog food they'd prepare to feed to the fish they swam with as part of the act."
Eventually, Sparks would learn to hold her breath for around three and a half minutes, enough time to swim the entire perimeter of the giant submersible auditorium and stage. But early in her training, Sparks was still uncomfortable staying under for so long, and using an air hose to breathe. “So I borrowed my boss’s belt,” Sparks explains. “I noticed he had an extra one hanging on his wall, and I went to the back of the show area, 15 feet down, and I belted myself to the iron pipes down there, forcing myself to breathe through an air hose. After the third strangling, I caught on. And here I am today telling you about it.”
The Real Mermaids of San Marcos, Texas
This stand stops my spool of kitchen twine from rolling off the counter. Years ago I bought a loose spool of kitchen twine. My cat constantly knocks it off the counter. I finally finished that spool, and replaced it with this spool on a stand! Seriously a spool of thread lasts so long that I […]
During a concert, this June, someone at Berkeley, CA’s Greek Theater called out “FREE BIRD!” Naturally, rock and roll legend Bob Dylan obliged.
Evidently you can be full of the wrong shit. A cyclist, by testing her friends fecal output, determined she needed better critters up in herself to improve her pedal pushing. So she did. The madwoman behind “poop doping” is Lauren Petersen, a postdoctoral microbiologist at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine. Petersen has been racing […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]