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“Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...” But oceans have never been safe. Even millions of years ago, the oceans had the Megalodon shark - a super-shark similar to a great white shark. Its bite radius could eat a whole cow in one gulp.
Now what if I told you that there was whale – a super-whale – that used to eat Megalodon sharks for dinner?
Allow me to introduce Livyatan melvillei - a raptorial whale, as big as Megalodon, but with bigger teeth! L. melvillei lived in the same ancient oceans as Megalodon. The two super-predators must have clashed eventually. But who would win?
The Megaolodon and the Miocene Whales
C. megalodon was one of the largest predators of all time. Megalodon was an apex predator that ruled the oceans from 26-2 million years ago (Mya). Megalodon had a probable maximum length of 18 m (59 ft) – making it as large as a house with a length 3 times greater than the largest great white sharks alive today!
A predator of that magnitude would need large prey, so it’s no surprise that Megalodon ate baleen whales.
And there were plenty of baleen whales back then! During the Miocene epoch (23-5 Mya), whales achieved their greatest biological diversity with about 20 different genera (compared to only 6 genera today). During the Miocene, the planet was warmer, and the oceans were larger.
But during the Pliocene, the world became colder. North and South America combined, redirecting the ocean currents. Ice ages and glacial expansion lowered sea levels. Some whale species adapted to the colder waters. Other whale species died. Eventually, Megalodon died with them.
The Pliocene wasn’t easy for the super-shark. It wasn’t just losing its hunting ground and food supply. In fact, the Megalodon itself may have been food…for Livyatan melvillei.
The Livyatan melvillei
In November 2008, paleontologists discovered the first fossil remains of Livyatan melvillei in the Peruvian desert. The fossils consisted primarily of the head and jaws. The skull was about 3 meters (10 feet) long. The teeth were 36 cm (14 in) long! The fossils have been dated from 9.9 – 8.9 Mya. The whale was classified into the Physeter family of whales, which includes the modern sperm whale. In fact, the research indicated that Livyatan was just as big as a sperm whale – reaching lengths of 13.5 to 17.5 m (44 to 57 ft) long. In other words, as big as the Megalodon!
They called their new fossil Leviathan (later changed to Livyatan), after the legendary biblical creature. The second part of the name is in honor of Herman Melville, the author of the epic “Moby Dick.”
Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) have narrow jaws with teeth only on the bottom, made for sucking up squids. But, L. melvillei had functional teeth in both of its jaws. Livyatan’s jaws were robust, and its temporal fossa – where the jaw muscles anchor on the side of the head - were considerably larger than in a sperm whale. In fact, Livyatan’s skull looks more like an orca’s skull than a sperm whale’s skull.
L. melvillei is one of the largest predators yet known, with whale experts using the phrase "the biggest tetrapod bite ever found" to explain their find.
In 2016, fossil enthusiast Murray Orr found a tooth over 30 cm (12 in) long in Beaumaris Bay, Australia! The tooth dates to around 5-6 Mya. The tooth looks remarkably like that of L. melvillei, maybe from another Livyatan species. That means Livyatan was around for millions of years and all around the world. Poor Megalodon couldn’t catch a break!
Livyatan vs Megalodon
Who would win in a fight? Both Livyatan and Megalodon had about the same peak size. The Megalodon would have had twice as many teeth, but the Livyatan’s teeth would be twice as big!
The Livyatan would have certain advantages. If it was like a great white shark, Megalodon would have been solitary. If it was like a sperm whale, then the Livyatan cows and calves traveled in pods, and the bulls – though usually solitary – could have traveled in groups too. If Livyatan whales were like the modern raptorial orcas, then Livyatan could have hunted Megalodon as a pack. Even today, killer whales hunt great white sharks, primarily for their oil-rich livers.
Of course, this is all moot. Neither Megalodon nor Livyatan survived the Pliocene. For which, I am thankful. It’s bad enough the modern oceans have billions of tons of plastic trash. We don’t need anything scarier in the water too.
Lambert, Olivier; Bianucci, Giovanni; Post, Klaas; de Muizon, Christian; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Urbina, Mario; Reumer, Jelle (1 July 2010). "The giant bite of a new raptorial sperm whale from the Miocene epoch of Peru". Nature. 466 (7302): 105–108.
Smith, Bridie (21 April 2016). "Move Over Moby Dick: Meet Melbourne's Own Mega Whale." The Sydney Morning Herald.
Would you rather seduce or be seduced? The author Robert Greene shows you how to do either...or both.
Greene has a talent for looking at history and the classics to find a textbook for modern living. He has written an exhaustive book called "The Art of Seduction." It's over 450 pages long! This is only a small review of a small section of the book.
Here are the 9 Types of Seducers (incidentally, there are 18 Types of Seduction Victims too):
1. THE SIREN
The first and most ancient seducer of all is the Siren. She represents male fantasy. She is supremely confident, highly sexual, smells of danger, and is physically undeniable.
Her greatest power is the physical. There are many beautiful women in the world – but only a fraction are Sirens. It’s not just her look – it’s how she uses it. A scent, a heightened femininity evoked by clothing or makeup. She creates a sexual awareness – it bypasses the rational process.
Her beauty may not be perfect or complete. But she accentuates her positives – thus she controls your focus and distracts you analysis. The legendary beauty Marguerite de Valois pioneered the use décolletage in wardrobe – because she had the most beautiful breasts in France.
It’s not just beauty that makes a Siren, but rather a flair and style. She acts out the male fantasy. Cleopatra greeted - and seduced - Julius Caesar from the top of a pile of emeralds. Marilyn Monroe - an orphan - grew up with the deepest need to feel loved. She communicated this almost unconsciously and constantly.
A beautiful woman can bore a man; he’ll yearn for different pleasures. A Siren creates this illusion; he is conquered by it. A touch of danger adds spice and appeal. The intellectual can be the most susceptible to her, because his mental life so lacks the pure physicality of pleasure.
There are dangers for the Siren. Sirens can look easy. Cleopatra was hated in Rome as the Egyptian whore. A Siren can obviate this by looking innocent or like a victim of men’s desires. The Siren’s greatest weakness is this: past a certain age, her beauty will fade and she can’t project the fantasy anymore.
2. THE RAKE
What the physical is for the Siren, desire is for the Rake. The Rake is a great female fantasy figure. When he desires a woman – however briefly – he will go the ends of the earth for her. The Rake teaches us that intense desire has a distracting power on a woman.
The seducer’s dilemma is that he needs to plan and calculate, but if she suspects your motives, she will become defensive and fearful. But when the Rake pursues a woman, he looks like her slave. As such he inspires no fear.
To play the Rake, you must let yourself go and draw a woman into the purely sensual. Women are not the tender creatures our culture presumes. Like men, they are deeply attracted to the forbidden and dangerous. To play the Rake, you must convey a sense of risk and darkness, making her feel thrilled. Byron was a gothic poet and drank wine from a human skull. Don Juan offered pleasure for its sake, no strings attached.
The Rake’s reputation is priceless. So many women have succumbed, there has to be a reason, right? Women want what other women have. Rakes never apologize for their reputations; they embrace their bad name. Even when a Rake sins against her, she will find a way to forgive him. Women want to reform him.
Like the Siren, the Rake faces the most danger from members of his own sex. In the old days, a Rake was often an aristocrat, and no matter who he offended, he would go unpunished. Today, only stars and the wealthy can play the Rake with impunity; the rest of us need to be careful.
3. THE IDEAL LOVER
Most people have dreams in their youth that get shattered with age. Broken dreams become lifelong fantasies. The Ideal Lover reflects your fantasy.
Casanova was perhaps the most successful seducer in history; few women could resist him. His method was simple: on meeting a woman, he would study her, go along with her moods, find out what was missing in her life, and provide it. A bored wife needed adventure. Miss Pauline needed friendship. Ignazia needed suffering and challenge because her life was too easy.
The key to the Ideal Lover is observation. Ignore your target’s words and conscious behavior; focus on the tone of their voice, a blush here, a look there. Most people are so wrapped up in their own desires, so impatient, they are incapable of the Ideal Lover role today.
Madame de Pompadour saved King Louis XV from his eternal boredom. She wore different costumes every day, brought new curiosities to her room, proposed new projects like a buildings and country houses, and produced plays (she was always the star). For twenty years, Madame de Pompadour ruled both the court and the king’s heart, until her death at 43.
Most people believe themselves to be inwardly great. Ideal Lovers make us feel elevated, lofty, and destined for greater things. If another person seems to have that ideal quality, or brings it out in us, we fall in love.
The danger for the Ideal Lover is reality. Casanova usually was able to find a clever way to break off the relationship, before the woman realized the truth. When reality intrudes, distance is a good solution.
4. THE DANDY
Dandies excite us because they cannot be categorized, and hint at a freedom we want for ourselves. Men, not all women think aggressive masculinity is the sexiest. The Dandy has a much more sinister effect. He lures the woman in with exactly what she wants – graceful presence, attention to his appearance, sensitivity to detail, and a slightly cruel coquettishness.
Rudolph Valentino was a Dandy. His movements were graceful (he had been a professional dancer), his skin was smooth, and his face was pretty. His films included scenes of Valentino undressing, a kind of striptease of his trim body. He played exotic characters – sheiks and historical officers - who wore tight uniforms or jewelry. Valentino played with his physicality like a woman, but his image was masculine - chatting, flirting, but always in control.
Women can be masculine Dandies. Marlene Dietrich would dress like a man. Lou von Salome was a complete nonconformist who broke the hearts of academic Europe, including Nietzsche. She was brilliant, cold, calculating, and broke taboos. Her domineering streak could stir up masochistic yearnings.
The majority of people conform to whatever is normal for the time. The Dandy displays a true and radical difference – an insolent freedom. They never try to please. As Barbey d’Aurevilly wrote, “Dandies please women by displeasing them.”
The insolence of the Dandy is aimed at conventions. They live for pleasure, not for work. The key is to make everything an aesthetic choice. Dandies alleviate boredom.
A danger for the Dandy is the fact that insolence has its limits. Even a Dandy must measure out his impudence. Be an amusement, not a poison or a threat.
5. THE NATURAL
A child represents a world from which we have been forever exiled. And adult’s life is boring and compromised. So we have an illusion of childhood as a kind of golden age, even though it can often be a period of great confusion and pain.
Children are not as guileless as we like to imagine. They learn that if their natural innocence can persuade a parent to yield, then it is something they can use strategically.
Natural seducers are people who somehow avoided getting certain childish traits drummed out of them by adulthood. Natural seducers learn early the value of retaining an innocent quality. And a touch of innocence lowers a target’s guard.
Naturals can be impish and innocent. They are an undefensive lover. Their open-ness and freshness are a relief to us from the world’s dirty machinations. They can surprise you with their unusual energy or spontaneity.
Charlie Chaplin was a Natural; he was an adult child on the silver screen. Chaplin offered the illusion that life was once simpler and easier, and that for a moment, or for as long as the movie lasts, you can win that life back.
A childish quality can be charming but it can also be irritating. The most seductive Naturals are those who combine adult experience and wisdom with a childlike manner.
6. THE COQUETTE
The ability to delay satisfaction is the ultimate art of seduction – while waiting, the victim is held in thrall. Coquettes lead us on, alternating hot and cold, keeping us on their heels. People are inherently perverse. An easy conquest has a lower value than a difficult one; we are only really excited by what is denied us, by what we cannot possess in full. Coquettes are independent because they are narcissists.
To understand the peculiar power of the Coquette, you must first understand a critical property of love and desire: the more obviously you pursue a person, the more likely you are to chase them away. You signal a cloying neediness. Withdrawal makes us mysterious; we increase in their imaginations.
Josephine famously played the great Napoleon. He would ignore campaigns until he heard from her. When she turned cold, Napoleon would bring his rage to battle. Vanity is critical in love. Insecurity can be devastating. But after the insecurity, Coquettes return to ignite our hope and we feel desired again.
The world is full of people who try, people who impose themselves aggressively. They leave no space around themselves, and without space there can be no seduction. In a world that discourages direct confrontation, teasing and selective aloofness brilliantly disguises aggression.
Coquettes face an obvious danger: they play with volatile emotions. Every time the pendulum swings, love shifts to hate. Coquettes can overplay their hand. Once love and trust are broken, they never mend to former strength.
7. THE CHARMER
Charmers are consummate manipulators, masking their cleverness by creating a mood of pleasure and comfort. Their method is simple: they deflect attention from themselves and focus it on their target. Charmers make us feel better. Charmers do not argue, complain, or pester – what could be more seductive? By drawing you in with their indulgence they make you dependent on them.
Learn to cast the Charmer’s spell by aiming at people’s primary weaknesses: vanity and self-esteem. To be a Charmer you have to listen and observe. Let your targets talk and reveal themselves. Don’t talk about your problems. Listen to your target's complaints, but then distract them from their problems. They will fall under your spell.
Benjamin Disraeli charmed Queen Victoria. They exchanged flowery, almost romantic correspondence for years. Disraeli was not deceived by Queen Victoria’s dour exterior. Beneath it, he sensed, was a woman who yearned for a man’s affection and warmth. He consulted her frequently on policy decisions, asking for her advice. Disraeli so charmed the Queen that he was one of few men allowed to sit in her presence.
People who play on their beauty, have little power in the end. Beauty fades. Charm is ageless.
But Charmers can’t charm everyone. Cynics and confident types don’t need validation. The solution is to befriend and charm as many people as possible. Secure your power through numbers.
We often recognize Charmers; we sense their cleverness. Still, we fall under their spell. The reason is simple; the feeling that Charmers provide is so rare as to be worth the price we pay.
8. THE CHARISMATIC
Charisma is a presence that excites us. It comes from an inner quality – confidence, sense of purpose, contentment – that most people lack and want. Charismatics become a kind of screen of which others project their secret fantasies and longings. This quality radiates outward. They have a gift for oratory. They can seduce on a grand scale.
Charismatics express vision. Purposefulness is doubly charismatic in times of trouble. Since most people hesitate before taking bold action, people will believe in you through the simple force of your character. Call it the Savior Syndrome: once people imagine you can save them from chaos, they will fall in love with you.
Mystery lies at charisma’s heart, but it is a mystery expressed by contradiction. Mao could be proletarian and aristocratic, Peter the Great could be cruel and kind, Charles de Gaulle could be excitable and emotionally detached, Freud could be intimate and distant
A Charismatic relies on the power of words. Words are the quickest way to create emotional disturbance. They can uplift, elevate, stir anger, without referring to anything real.
But beware, charisma is as volatile as the emotions it stirs. Your passion, your anger, your confidence make you charismatic, but too much charisma for too long creates fatigue, and a desire for calmness and order.
9. THE STAR
Daily life is harsh, and most of us constantly seek escape from it in fantasies and dreams. Stars feed on this weakness. They are vague and ethereal. Learn to become an object of fascination by projecting the glittering presence of the Star.
Of all the parts of your body that draw this fetishistic attention, the strongest is the face; so learn to tune your face like an instrument, making it radiate a fascinating vagueness for effect.
Kennedy, during and after his campaign, did not argue with his opponents, he confronted them dramatically. He posed. He did not discuss policy details but waxed eloquent about grand mythic themes.
Seduction seeks to bypass consciousness, stirring the unconscious mind instead. The most eloquent expression of the unconscious is the dream, which is connected to myth. Dreams are filled with real situations, yet they are delightfully irrational, pushing realities to the extremes. Its fusion of the dream and reality that haunts us. This is what Freud called the “uncanny”: something that seems simultaneously strange and familiar.
First you must have such a large presence that you can fill your target’s mind the way a close-up fills the screen. Another way Stars seduce is by making us identify with them, giving us a vicarious thrill. People of your type will gravitate to you, identify with you, and share your joy or pain.
Stars must always renew their luster or face the worst possible fate: oblivion. People will turn against you if you bore them, for boredom is the ultimate social evil. Most importantly, never become obsessed with the obsessive quality of people’s interest in you.
All seduction is inherently manipulative. At its best, it's morally dubious. At its worst, it's the emotional equivalent of evil. It can taste sweet as saccharine and be just as false and toxic. So when your lover seems too good to be true, review this list. Maybe you'll find your lover there on the list. Would you still love them anyway?
Greene, Robert. The Art of Seduction. Penguin Books, 2001.
As stated in the previous blog, the Wall Street Journal reported that nearly one in three working adult Americans has a criminal record.
Nearly half of black males and almost 40 percent of white males are arrested by the age of 23.
Likely, this will impact your future job prospects and finances.
So, how do you keep from getting arrested in the first place?
Start With the Obvious
Street cops make the majority of arrests. So worry about street cops.
Now for the obvious: don’t text and drive, don’t drive drunk, don’t drive with an illegal weapon, don’t run red lights, don’t speed, don’t drive recklessly, and don’t drive with your drugs in the car (keep your prescription meds in their prescribed bottle!).
Appearances Are Important!
D.L. Hughley – comedian and social commentator – wrote a book entitled “I Want You To Shut the F- Up.” In the very first chapter, he warned his son Kyle about “wearing his pants hanging off his ass.” Hughley warned his son that he was “sending out the wrong kind of message.” Later, Kyle was accosted wrongfully in a high-end jewelry store – a store that had had a relationship with the Hughley family for fifteen years!
Kyle was a good kid. But the only people who knew that were his mom and dad! Hughley wanted to raise his son to face the world as it is, not the world he wants it to be.
You’re judged on your appearance. Deal with it.
Keep your car and hygiene clean. Prejudice against the poor is universal because poor people are desperate and do desperate things. Don’t put effects on your car because they draw attention. Don’t have pot-leafs on your tattoos, t-shirts, or bumper stickers! You’re begging to be pulled over.
Be careful about tattoos! All thugs, cons, gangsters, and skinheads get tattoos. It’s part of the lifestyle. Can you be a good person with a tattoo? Of course. But like Hughley’s son found out, the cops don’t know you! And tattoos don’t look innocent at 2 in the morning when you're pulled over.
You’re Pulled Over – Now What?
Like Hughley tells his son, keep your hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel. It shows the cops that “you’re housebroken.”
No delusions! At this point – YOU HAVE NO POWER! Cops demand respect at all times. Be polite. The cop could be a saint or a devil. Be polite. Don’t move unless given permission. The cop could be courteous or obnoxious. Either way, be polite. You’ll have plenty of time to curse him when you’re home!
Never give a ride to your buddies if they’re potheads. You get pulled over. Your “friend” hides the weed. Now the cops own your car thanks to civil forfeiture.
Never, ever touch a cop for any reason! It’s automatically assault.
“Society will tell you that the more you talk to the police, the better…That’s not true,” writes Hughley.
“You have the right to remain silent.” But don’t stonewall a cop; you’ll make him angry. As Dale Carson – a former vice cop with Miami-Dade and author of the book “Arrest-Proof Yourself” – tells us: just give your name and basic info….then shut up. Don’t speak unless spoken to. The more you talk, the more pathetic or guilty you look.
When pressed with a question you can’t handle, here are Carson’s magic words mixed with Hughley’s wisdom: “OFFICER, I RESPECT YOU VERY MUCH AND WHAT YOU DO, AND I’D LIKE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS, BUT MY ATTORNEYS TOLD ME THAT IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS, I SHOULD NOT SAY ANYTHING UNLESS THEY ARE PRESENT.”
This respectfully ends the questioning. And let’s the cop think you have a lawyer. By the way…
Get a Lawyer’s Card!
Street cops may not be political, but their superiors are (or they wouldn’t get promoted). The more connected you make yourself look, the harder you seem to arrest. Don’t say something stupid like, “I know people in this town!” You’ll make the cop angry. Nobody thinks when they’re angry. You want your cop to think and be reasonable!
How do you communicate your credentials without a word? Carson’s “best credentials” are your ID, the card of a criminal defense attorney, and…the card of a cop-buddy you know.
Cops are very fraternal. They hate to piss off other cops. Cards let the officer know that you’re connected. Credentials tend to stop the barrage of questions.
Paperclip your business cards to your registration or insurance card. The cop will look at them. Cops are always curious.
But when all else fails…
Ask For The Magic Ticket!
You’ll never see this on an episode of “Cops” because the cameras are rolling, but any officer can give you a Notice to Appear in lieu of an arrest.
A Notice to Appear (abbreviated NOA, or sometimes NTA) is a citation that requires you to appear in court. You’re not arrested because you’re promising to appear in court instead. You can still be convicted in court, but it gives you time to lawyer up and beg the judge to dismiss charges or issue a citation instead of a felony. The best part is that you were never arrested, never fingerprinted, and never had a mug shot. Thus you don’t have an arrest record!
The NOA is a wonderful thing! It’s the juiciest tidbit in this article. When there’s nothing left between you and the backseat of a squad car, beg for a NOA! Let the cop impound your car. That way the cop makes points with his supervisor. The impound fees are far cheaper than legal fees! Just please give me that NOA!
As of July 1, 2015, more than 70 million people have records indexed by the III, the Interstate Identification Index used by the FBI. And that arrest record will be there forever.
To quote Dale C. Carson: “You can never pay your debt to society because society, with its computers, never forgets and never forgives.”
An arrest record doesn’t ruin your life necessarily, but it will always be there to diminish your prospects and power. A record makes life harder, when it’s hard enough already.
If you can’t be a saint, be smart. If you can’t be smart, be respectful. These are the rules when dealing with cops. These are good rules for life!
Caron, Dale C., and Wes Dunham. Arrest-proof Yourself. Chicago Review Press, 2006.
Hughley, D. L., and Michael Malice. I Want You To Shut the F#ck Up: How the Audacity Of Dopes Is Ruining America. Crown Archetype, 2012.
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According to a Wall Street Journal article, nearly one-third of the adult working age population has a criminal record. One in three has a rap sheet.
Criminology professor Robert Brame and his colleagues discovered that nearly half of black males and almost 40 percent of white males are arrested by the age 23.
A Little Arrest Can Be a Big Deal
Watching TV, movies, or bad stand-up comedy, you would think that an arrest is no big deal, maybe even be a little adventurous.
No! The moment you are booked, a record of your arrest is sent to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center. There your arrest is entered into the Interstate Identification Index, where each person is assigned a unique identification number that indexes all state records existing for that person.
“There is no clean slate in the era of computers. You can never pay your debt to society because society, with its computers, never forgets and never forgives” writes Dale C. Carson, author of the book “Arrest-Proof Yourself.”
Arrests are matter of public record in many states. In my home state, our DMV offers arrest record searches for free.
An arrest is NOT the same as a conviction. You know that. I know that. But depending on the prejudice of someone reading your arrest record, then an arrest may be tantamount to a conviction.
Every Arrest Has Consequences
A 2012 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, found that 86 percent of employers use criminal background checks on at least some candidates, with the majority (69 percent) checking all candidates.
How many job applications have you filled out that have a box next to the words: “Have you ever been arrested for a serious crime?” Not convicted, just arrested. It’s reasonable to acknowledge that checking that box reduces your appeal.
Could you still get the job? Of course! One-third of this country has an arrest record! Your own boss might have an arrest record! But you’ve lost an important edge.
But There’s Hope
“Legislators and private sector employers are recognizing the futility of chasing ghosts in prospective employees’ pasts and are beginning to adopt common-sense reforms,” writes Matthew Friedman, an Economic Fellow for The Brennan Center for Justice. Friedman has also authored a report “Just Facts: As Many Americans Have Criminal Records As College Diplomas,” which is a must-read for arrest analysis.
A 2017 report by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) lists 27 states that have adopted a “ban-the-box” policy for state employment. There are 9 states that have mandated the removal of conviction history questions from job applications for private employers also.
These laws recognize that discriminating on the basis of an arrest record makes little sense.
Some private employers, like Koch Industries, have removed conviction history questions of their own volition.
Conclusion (Part 1)
On the bright side, in the majority of the country, you have every reason to hope for a good job yet – even with an arrest record.
But like my dad used to say, “It’s easier to stay out of trouble, then get out of trouble.”
So how do you prevent your arrest in the first place?
That will be explored in next week’s blog, Make Yourself Arrest-Proof! (Part 2).
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Hello! My name is Heath Shive, content manager at ScholarFox. I'll be the author of most of the blog posts. I'm a former geologist and currently a freelance writer. The world is complex and seemingly crazy. Good! Because when you love to learn, you'll never be bored.