Friday, September 12, 2014

The Ebola outbreak. EIGN. for real this time.


We here at EIGN love to joke about the coming end of the world. Sometimes the crisis is real but remote (Colony Collapse Disorder anyone?). Sometimes it's real but happening so slow no one cares. (Global Warming anyone?). Sometimes the crisis is mostly a joke (Large Hadron Collider anyone?).

Sure all of these things could happen. But they aren't as scary as what is actually happening, right now, in Africa.

The ebola outbreak continues to get worse. And it may only be a matter of time before it reaches North America. A scary take can be found in this new york times piece.

"There are two possible future chapters to this story that should keep us up at night.

The first possibility is that the Ebola virus spreads from West Africa to megacities in other regions of the developing world. This outbreak is very different from the 19 that have occurred in Africa over the past 40 years. It is much easier to control Ebola infections in isolated villages. But there has been a 300 percent increase in Africa’s population over the last four decades, much of it in large city slums...

The second possibility is one that virologists are loath to discuss openly but are definitely considering in private: that an Ebola virus could mutate to become transmissible through the air." (new york times)

Save me jebus, indeed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Giant Crater Found in Siberia


No word if "so and so" was found at the bottom of it, but an 80-meter wide giant crater was found in northern Siberia.
"The cause of its sudden appearance in Yamal - its name means the 'end of the world' in the far north of Siberia - is not yet known, though one scientific claim is that global warming may be to blame." Of course it is. Its depth has not be determined.


UPDATE [2014-08-01 12:22EDT] - apparently it was caused by a massive methane release. So the earth farted and we end up with a giant crator. I hope this doesn't happen under anyones house.

Monday, July 7, 2014

facebook can decide elections

eign stock photograph

First, they fucked with your mood. Now they can (maybe?) fuck with your elections....
Via the New Republic:

"... consider a hypothetical, hotly contested future election. Suppose that Mark Zuckerberg personally favors whichever candidate you don’t like. He arranges for a voting prompt to appear within the newsfeeds of tens of millions of active Facebook usersbut unlike in the 2010 experiment, the group that will not receive the message is not chosen at random. Rather, Zuckerberg makes use of the fact that Facebook “likes” can predict political views and party affiliation, even beyond the many users who proudly advertise those affiliations directly. With that knowledge, our hypothetical Zuck chooses not to spice the feeds of users unsympathetic to his views. Such machinations then flip the outcome of our hypothetical election. Should the law constrain this kind of behavior?"

oh well.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

SHARK!



Bad news for our friends on the East Coast… The great white shark population is (rapidly?) increasing along the Eastern United States and Canada.
“The number of great white sharks off the U.S. Atlantic Coast appears to have increased since the early 1990s after conservation measures were introduced to halt their decline, a U.S. government scientist said on Saturday.” (scientific american)

This is just perfect news that comes only 3 days before I visit the east coast and its beaches. Loyal EIGN readers, if I get eaten please avenge my death. We must stop these man-eating abominations.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Good News Wednesday: Jupiter's Red-Spot Shrinking


For this week's Good News Wednesday post, we have great news for those of you planning on visiting Jupiter when inter-solar travel becomes a reality. Jupiter's great red-spot is "shrinking dramatically."
"Ju­pi­ter’s trade­mark Great Red Spot—a swirling storm fea­ture larg­er than Earth—has shrunk to its small­est size ev­er meas­ured, as­tro­no­mers re­port. The rea­sons for the shrink­age is un­known, but it’s ac­cel­er­at­ing, as­tro­no­mers said. If it con­tin­ues at re­cently meas­ured rates, the fa­mous blotch will be gone by about 2030. " (world-science.net)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Observing a Gigantic Solar Eruption


From EIGN co-founder Pete:

"This is the sun, I'm floored.  What year do we live in?"


Monday, June 2, 2014

Mega-Earth Found. Yes, Another One...

File this under "Cool"...


"You can add to the growing list of “exoplanets” a huge, dense, surprisingly rocky world with 17 times the mass of Earth. Discovered by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope ... this new planet, officially named Kepler-10c, scrambles the equations that dictate how massive a rocky planet can be without ballooning into a Jupiter-like gas giant." (washington post)

[Ed. note:  We're pretty sure that picture is not of the new planet.] 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Massive Galaxy "About" To Collide With Us


photo by author

The Andromeda galaxy is coming! Watch out! Oh, wait I just watched the video... It's not going to be here for 2 billion years... and our planet will already have been sterilized by our expanding -and dying- sun.  Well... fuck.

(Neat) Video can be found here, at the New York Times.