Friday, March 23, 2018

Great Pacific Garbage Patch Update

hello friends.
it's been a while.  just wanted to bring you a recent update we saw in the washington post regarding the great pacific garbage patch.  We covered this in 2009 and 2008 (twice).   (holy crap, that was 10 years ago)

From the post:
Seventy-nine thousand tons of plastic debris, in the form of 1.8 trillion pieces, now occupy an area three times the size of France in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii, a scientific team reported on Thursday. 
The amount of plastic found in this area, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is “increasing exponentially,” according to the surveyors, who used two planes and 18 boats to assess the ocean pollution.

79,000 tons?  That's a lot of trash.  Count us as not surprised it's growing (exponentially).

hopefully we'll come back again sometime soon.  life's taken turns away from here, even though the world more than ever is clearly going nova.  (Trump much?)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Anthrax in Siberia

hey there.
it's been a while.
we've been busy.  really busy.  with everything but working on this site.

but eign co-founder pete wanted me to bring this to everyone's attention:

Via NPR, an outbreak of Anthrax in the Russian Tundra has led to a number of infections and deaths, but this may only be the beginning...
"Officials don't know exactly how the outbreak started, but the current hypothesis is almost unbelievable: A heat wave has thawed the frozen soil there and with it, a reindeer carcass infected with anthrax decades ago. ...
"So we really don't know what's buried up there," she says. "This is Pandora's box."
For example, researchers have found pieces of the 1918 Spanish flu virus in corpses buried in mass graves in Alaska's tundra. There's also likely smallpox and the bubonic plague buried in Siberia.
So the question for researchers is: Could these pathogens — like anthrax — ever be reactivated?"

Good times.  Happy 2016.  Hmm, and 2015, for that matter.

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


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. " (

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?"