Best of the Week: September 2-September 9, 2011

SATURN AND THE SUN | Saturn looks majestic in this nighttime view, with light sparkling off its rings. More details here.

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The First Shared Universes

The "shared universe" is one of the mainstays of science fiction. It's what happens when a number of characters from a wide range of texts - whether books, comic books, or movies - co-exist under the umbrella of one company, and wind up sharing a fictional world too. More »

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The million dollar space pen hoax

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There's a famous legend that America spent millions on the development of a 'space pen' that writes upside down, while the Russians used a pencil. Here's the truth behind the legend. More »


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Contagion is the first political thriller about a global epidemic

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What if a deadly virus ripped through the world, shattering cities and killing millions, but you had the chance to view the carnage from sealed government labs and well-appointed boardrooms? More »


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Watch all three of Futurama's amazing reincarnations!

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Futurama's season finale saved the best for last, with three absolutely hysterical pastiches of classic black-and-white cartoons, 8-bit video games, and - in one of the greatest segments in Futurama history - every possible cliche of ludicrous, poorly dubbed anime. More »


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What's up with the link between your finger size and your sex?

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Ever since the ratio between your pointer and ring fingers was linked to homosexuality in men, it's been a constant source of amusement and scientific research. More »


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Chart: Who owns our modern myths and legends?

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Our modern era doesn't just celebrate stories about gods and demi-gods - we have a whole host of new mythic figures that we obsess about, from Luke Skywalker to Superman to Captain Kirk. More »


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We found a cryptid! Meet the white cheetah.

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All summer, io9 has been offering a $2000 bounty to the person who can send us a picture of an animal that's a genuine cryptid, or mystery animal. We hoped to find a new species, or at least a real version of a long-sought animal from myth. More »


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The Real Reason I'm Disappointed in Orson Scott Card

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Orson Scott Card's homophobic views aren't exactly news - they've been a source of online controversy for years. It's only newsworthy when Card does something especially notable, like rewriting one of the world's greatest ghost stories into an anti-gay screed. More »


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Shut up, haters – Apollo 18's monsters are awesome

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There have been a lot of disgruntled rumbles about the monsters in Moon landing conspiracy flick Apollo 18. I've even heard people say, "Well, if those are the monsters, then I'm definitely not seeing the movie." What the hell, people? More »


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Quite possibly the most magical Amazon product description ever

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This honor goes to the book Deadly Equines: The Shocking True Story of Meat-Eating and Murderous Horses by CuChullaine O'Reilly. The product description reads as such: There is widespread belief in a warm and comforting story which states the horse is a gentle herbivore. More »


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The giant crab invasion of Antarctica has begun

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In 2008, a team of researchers predicted that warming waters in the Southern Ocean would lead to the arrival of king crabs in Antarctic waters within 100 years. More »


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Ancient humans were just having sex with everyone

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We know that as ancient humans expanded into Eurasia, they began interbreeding with our Neanderthal cousins. But it now appears that the fun didn't start there - our ancestors also reproduced with precursors like Homo erectus and Homo habilis. More »


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8 superheroes whose powers became somewhat crappier

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This Wednesday, Grant Morrison's first issue of Action Comics hits the stands. This series focuses on Superman's brash early days before his powers hit their peak. More »


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10 reasons why Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters would be a horrible place to be educated

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Professor's Xavier's prep school is like Dangerous Minds with killer robots, mostly homicidal teachers, and no Coolio songs. Here are 10 reasons why the X-Men have no business being school teachers. More »


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All the Coolest Costumes and Props We Saw at Dragon*Con!

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Every year, the amazing spectacle of Dragon*Con knocks our socks off. It's like a whole city of fandom comes together for a long weekend and maxes out the amount of awesome that downtown Atlanta can contain. And the cosplay and props are always a key part of the wonder and fascination of Dragon*Con. More »


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