When Twitter is at its best

by Grania

Every so often I wonder whether Twitter has become a victim of its own success, that the sheer volume of people on the platform have made it difficult to navigate for people who are new to it.

But then you get threads like this one that makes you realise that it is still a powerful and wonderful tool for connecting all the most useful people instantly and communicating ideas.

I highly doubt that the experts weighing in on this issue made much difference to the surly and unimpressed “skeptic”, but they managed to reach a lot of other people.


  1. Stephen Barnard
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    If that’s the best of Twitter they should close shop — multiple informed people wasting their time arguing with an ignorant troll.

    • BobTerrace
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. I see this as an good example of why Twitter is a colossal waste of time.

      Do a Google search for Megalodon and within 60 seconds you can learn more than this Twitter thread shows.

      • Craw
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink


  2. yazikus
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Years back, I was recovering from some minor surgery and ended up renting Shark Attack: Mediterranean (the German film). Needless to say, I was somewhat hopped up on meds and enjoyed it immensely. From the gentleman running around (in dubbed English) crying, “Shark alarma! Shark alarma!” to the multitude of ways they pronounced Carcharodon megalodon (different each time, I’m sure!). Sometimes it was ‘megalooden’ sometimes ‘megalowdon’ sometimes ‘megaladan’. The plot also revolved around it not being extinct.

  3. another fred
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Between the young lady who obviously does not know the meaning of the word “proof”, even in the American vernacular, and the PhD who does not understand the difficulty of proving a negative (non-existence), the whole exchange looks pretty silly.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      There was at least two tests of the positive (extant whale sizes, age of known fossils) and one of them was described by a self described PhD on that thread.

      I am more bothered about the fossil ‘carbon dating’, at 23 Myrs no less, but I guess and hope that was a slip of the tw**t.

  4. nicky
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I do not ‘do’, Twitter, would feel too close to Mr Trump for comfort.
    I also think that Megalodon is extinct. However (the dreaded ‘but’), it would not shake the foundations of my worldview if it turned out not to be extinct after all. I mean, it would even be much less of a sensation than Latimeria or ‘Megamouth’, which actually were discovered quite recently.
    I’ve seen a video, not obviously fake, that shows a very large kind of shark, larger than a whale-shark, although it does not really look like a Carcharodon, hence probably not a Megalodon.
    So, I think there are still a lot of animals in the oceans that have not been ‘discovered’ yet, and some of them possibly large.

    • Mike
      Posted December 31, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      The Great White which can achieve lengths of 20ft+ is quite big enough for me,it would be great if Megalodon did exist , but not for the Whale Population.

  5. Michael Fisher
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Kori probably watched this video from the YT ‘Discovery’ Channel [or it’s a channel posing as the ‘Discovery’ Channel], it has all the elements she identified: https://youtu.be/8XFLh-pY6nA

    I remember a rumpus a few years back where the ‘Discovery’ Channel cobbled together one of their famed ‘documentaries’ on Megalodon – putting in bits from real scientists in such a way as to make it seem that Megalodon still might prowl the oceans.

    She’s getting a lot of grief from the internet at the moment – discussions about fat = low IQ. That sort of thing.

    IMO Twitter is a vile place

    • nicky
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      No that is not the video I was referring to, It was the video of a giant shark in Suruga bay (not the Mariana trench). As said it does not look like a Carcharodon, probably a giant Sleeper Shark

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        @nicky I didn’t suggest that your video & Kori’s video were related – I wasn’t referencing your post at all

        Incidentally your chosen video is as bogus as anything by the ‘Discovery’ Channel 🙂

        That’s a medium-sized Pacific Sleeper Shark [aka a mud shark], watch the video & you’ll note it is covered in mucus! No mega-fish needs a mucus overcoat.

        The shark in the video is perhaps only 3 metres long, investigating a small bait trap – if you watch the speed of movement of the gills & fins they’re far too fast for the supposed 60′ length of the shark. Also as the shark turns from the trap towards the camera it is doing so far too nimbly for a mega-fish. It’s a smallish fish filmed close – thus appearing bigger than it really is.

        The original version of that video is from 2003 & since then they’re have been many rips [I’ll put one below from 2008], then some channel called Buzz ripped it & claimed the bait trap was a 10′ wide divers cage! Then the legend began & the megalodon bollocks began. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kVLXvDsDtQ

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          The spoofers should have reduced the frame rate to make the small fish seem bigger – that’s how Hollywood makes their model ships & planes look full size

        • nicky
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          It was just that you linked to a video, after I mentioned a video. My apologies for assuming you were referring.
          That being said, I think we all agree it is a sleeper shark, not a Carcharodon, let alone a Megalodon.
          The size should be ‘determinable’ by the size of the grid. I was assuming that the grid was 2x2m, since that size was used by some marine biologist friends of mine, but it could have been be any size indeed. Although my Japanese is not up to standard, it appears that grid was indeed much smaller from the superposition of a man-sized image.
          As said before, I do think Megalodon is extinct, since the ‘evidence’ for extant Megalodon is exquisitely weak. However, I do think -stronger, am sure- we will still discover other animals much more ‘mindboggling’ than Megalodon, such as ‘Megamouth’ or the Coelacanth. Of course, most of them will be ‘small fry’.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            At great depths there’s not much food & what’s there is low in nutritional value – so the predators & prey down there are extraordinarily conservative in their expenditure of energy, needing only a few grams of food per day. That’s why the big predators at depth don’t amount to much – the great squid which although maybe 16 metres long only weighs in at about two adult humans. The other big deep-sea critter is the “colossal squid” which can get by [it is believed] on 30 grams (1.1 oz) of prey daily!

            The big, energetic beasts at depth are all ‘visitors’ from above such as us & sperm whales which can benefit from uptake of oxygen at the surface before diving. Those sort of creatures will be known to us.

            So I seriously doubt there’s anything of decent size & mass, lurking undiscovered & unnamed at depth for we would have found it in the stomachs of whales, unless it was particularly unpleasant to eat. I can imagine there might be some shark surprises for they lack a swim bladder, like bony fish have, which means they can operate at a large range of water pressures with no risk of explosion/implosion, but I wouldn’t expect a toothy monster – much more likely a slow, lazy filter feeder perhaps.

            What we don’t know much about is the biospheres of the deep mid-ocean smokers – these biospheres must be semi-connected with potential for fast evolution as we see in island chains. Also the marine microbe realm both free-floating & below the sea-floor. Also below land – likely a busy place for kilometres of depth. Perhaps there’s more biomass down there than on the surface.

            • nicky
              Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:10 am | Permalink

              Yes, thank you for reminding us of the oceanic vents. Also only discovered relatively recently to be full of life unknown until then. The most sensational, mindboggling recent oceanic discovery of them all.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:22 am | Permalink

                40 years old knowledge this year
                I’m waiting for the discovery of hibernating extremophile alien space bugs [or their seeds so to speak] in our solar system outer reaches as per Hoyle – to help explain the rapid onset of Earth life 🙂

  6. Liz
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this. What a few comments seemed to be missing is that Kori thinks that if they weren’t extinct, the government would find them and kill/cover them up anyway. She said in one tweet on the chain and I’m paraphrasing: “They (the government) already did that with the freaking mermaids.” I think that’s her real problem. I have mixed feelings about Twitter. Without it, I would never have found people who are interesting in a way that I have had trouble finding. Also, without Twitter’s “sensitive content” setting, I would have never ventured over here where I still don’t know what I’m doing. The people on here are intellectually stimulating to me that I don’t find anywhere (besides Twitter) who I can “interact” with in a little bit more of an “intimate” setting. People exchange ideas, react, discuss, debate, converse casually etc. It has been one of the most rewarding things for me. Like Twitter, though, it’s remote. Amazing and awesome but I sometimes wish Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and everything else was non-existent. But then again…it’s like that circle. Grateful I suppose for everything in general.

  7. Craw
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Megalomaniadon is not extinct.

    • nicky
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      No, he even became POTUS!

      • Mike Cracraft
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        Leave off the TU in POTUS and you’ve got it about right

        • nicky
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

          President of States? Are you perhaps referring to our Mr Zuma? Well no, he’s deeply corrupt and selfish, but he’s not a Megalomaniodon, more a Giant Leech.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

            The acronym “POS” has an existing meaning of its own 🙂

  8. Blue
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    And, Dr Coyne, for your birthday and of
    twitter … … this of today’s tweets:
    https://twitter.com/SarahEBond/status/947090208150966277 in re some aaleged few decades
    afore the Beginnings of … … voilà,
    the Common Era !


    • Liz
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      “…you calendrical ingrates.” : )

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      All hail to Caesar! Sarah E. Bond’s twitter feeds ARE twitter at its best.

      • Blue
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        … … and this mighty fine tweet for
        Dr Coyne from the lovely folks of FFRF
        today !

        “Science and religion can’t cohabit.” — Dr Coyne


        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

          Right. That’d be like a triceratops sleeping with a unicorn.

          • Blue
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            hehhehheh, Ms Haniver: go o o od one:
            evolutionary science V the wand o’wizardry!


  9. nicky
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Must say, I really like that “Size comparisons of modern versus extinct animals”
    Three points though:
    1- (S)he does not compare to the extant giants, the Humboldt Penguin is not a big penguin, the size comparison should be with the Emperor Penguin. The largest extant chelonian is the Leatherback, not the Arau River Turtle. The Saltwater Croc is substantially larger than the American Croc (and I thinl -but am not sure- Gharials can even grow bigger.
    2- Most species -especially warm blooded ones- exist for only a few million years or less. It would be surprising that we would have the biggest one extant at this particular moment.
    3- Reinforcing point 2, we have just experienced a mass extinction of megafauna, probably due to our own (well our close ancestor’s) doing.

    Note that the author did not mention several other biggies. The Short Faced Bear, the Giant (carnivorous?) Kangaroo, the Megaloceros, the supergiant ‘Komodo’ dragon, Haart’s Eagle, Moas and Elephant Birds, etc.
    And, accompanying the Blue Whale, I do not think any mammoth was much bigger than an old male extant Loxodonta africana.

  10. Posted December 30, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Twitter has its uses. Like all media, one has to use judgement.

    For example, if @MegaladonLives had replied to this thread, we would have had all the proof we needed.

  11. eric
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to think the person got the idea that megalodons are alive today from one of those b-grade Syfy movies. But sadly, it’s more likely from the History or Discovery channel.

  12. Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Apparently they have deleted their tweets.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      They? Do you mean Kori? She’s a bit distraught. She says she had a small circle on Twitter, who chatted about cryptozoology, Walking Dead, astrology, paranormal etc

      But this shark tweet has brought in 600-800 strangers who have been less than kind – so she’s been deleting

      Here she is talking about it: https://twitter.com/BaumerKori/status/947236140217708546

      • Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        Yep, I was talking about her. I wanted to see the tweets. 😦

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          TweetTunnel here will give you much more than her current feed: http://tweettunnel.com/baumerkori

          I think it gives you all her tweets, deleted tweets & her tweet replies, plus the handles of whom she’s replying to, but not their original tweets sent to her that she’s deleted. Gives you an idea of the scale because she seems to reply to all received tweets before deleting them.

          I know she’s had five or six facebooks in the past – she claims she was bullied off & kept remaking fbs. Looking at her ex-facebooks she’s a 26yo, Missourian single mum, who used to work in a pizza place. Not educationally tooled up to deal with a derision avalanche & not one to adjust her position as data comes in.

          She likes Led Zep & metal though – so she has that!

      • Posted December 31, 2017 at 5:25 am | Permalink

        I think the biggest problem with social media generally and Twitter in particular is that people do not realise that what they post is public. If you tweet an opinion that an extinct shark is not extinct, people with more domain knowledge than you will refute your tweet, which is good. And then, obviously, other people who get a kick out of bringing people down will pile on, which is not so good.

        She says she had a small circle on Twitter. No she didn’t, she had the whole Twitterverse but previously only a small circle paid any attention to her.

        I watched the first couple of minutes of her video, which was pretty much all I could stomach. She seems upset that she doesn’t have the right to be Wrong on the Internet.

  13. Posted December 31, 2017 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    Please provide definitive proof that a fish that is currently carbon dated to have appeared about 23million yrs ago is still around today.

    Clearly Doug Sloan is not an expert on radiometric dating.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted December 31, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      @DougSloan describes himself as a “Political Analyst, Democratic Strategist, Chair of DC NAACP Political Action Committee & DC Native. Views are my own. I SUPPORT COLIN KAEPERNICK” – so yeah he’s not an expert.

      • Posted December 31, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        He’s also a bit of an arse judging by some of his tweets in the conversation.

  14. Posted December 31, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Does anybody have a screenshot or print-out of this twitter conversation from yesterday? The mermaid part (it was at the very end when I read it yesterday) is not there today. If I’m blind, please point me to it. It was in the government conspiracy section. I have a bad feeling that it was deleted and it would be a shame if it was.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted December 31, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Kori’s mermaid comment was as follows – the [ ] part is my addition for clarity. Grammar/punctuation is per the original:

      “Why in the hell would I want to show you proof when the government is watching this shit all they’ve going to do is go into the ocean find proof and kill em all [megalodons] they’ve already done that with the freaking mermaids”

      The comment no longer exists on Twitter, but for full context you’ll find it as the very last tweet in this video capture [you’ll need big screen & pauses to read] – which has the highlights

      • Posted December 31, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        wow, thank you, Michael.
        BTW: After I posted this request, I saw some of the video that Kori made in protest to the reactions to her comments.I was very saddened by it and now feel bad for chuckling for two days about the mermaid. I work with adolescents in a therapeutic day school, and the video broke my heart.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted December 31, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

          Yes – I agree having watched that video myself. Open, anonymous social media is a toxic place – especially merciless when the target is female. Looks, intelligence & education become the centre much more if one is a fem.

          I’ve just been reminded of this by watching a YT documentary on the singer Petula Clark who is now 85 yo & still sings [admittedly more like talking-in-tune at that age] & the appearance/looks YT comments are harsher & more frequent than any male gets [Keith Richards, Robert Plant]. The usual ‘advice’ is to leave the public eye & be the invisible, useless old woman. Not many are immune – Patti Smith [71yo] is one.

          • Posted December 31, 2017 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            I agree with all you say there, but Kori has some serious problems that I see all the time. I’m not a psychotherapist so I can’t comment on the issues, but physically and emotionally they are there and will be most likely crippling her entire life. Her young life has been very rough.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted December 31, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

              Yes. I see it – there’s history. And she says herself [& I believe] she’s insecure, self harmer, two kids of 4 & 5. And can’t leave twitter alone for long – more of her ‘identity’ is entangled with the twitter world than that of being a single, unemployed parent [based on her twitter stats & her making vids about the above & about cyberbullying – two vids today alone].

        • Posted December 31, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

          She posted an ignorant comment on Twitter. That’s the same as saying she broadcast her ignorance to the World. Getting piled on was inevitable.

          People need to be taught – it needs to be part of the education curriculum – that social media (and Twitter especially) is not like having a chat with your mates in the pub, it’s global.

          • Wunold
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 4:38 am | Permalink

            I agree, there should be more education about today’s digital life and the global visibility it provides.

            Today, many people call for legal and technical measures against bullying on the net, but I think that’s too short-sighted and ultimately doomed to fail. Communication always carries the risk of being hurt, so we better should teach people how to handle it in a world where complete strangers from anywhere on the planet can verbally attack them with only a few keystrokes.

            I often think of this quote I read in a forum years ago:

            Most kids that grew up with the Internet have never really learned to fear it properly.

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