io9 Roundup: June 20, 2011

Illustration for article titled io9 Roundup: June 20, 2011

READY FOR A SKY-RACE | It's a beautiful afternoon for cloud-chasing. Concept art by J.P. Rasanen, via CoolVibe.com.

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The Coolest Scene of Alien-Fighting from Last Night's Falling Skies

Steven Spielberg's new show Falling Skies launched last night on TNT, and the good news is, it got gangbuster ratings for a basic cable show: 5.9 million viewers, more than The Walking Dead's first episode on AMC. The bad news is, the opening two parter has a lot of storytelling weaknesses. More »


Illustration for article titled io9 Roundup: June 20, 2011
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What are the top ten failed states of the past year?

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Every year, Foreign Policy magazine and the Fund for Peace do a survey of "failed states," nations whose citizens they judge to be in the most dire circumstances in the world. More »


Illustration for article titled io9 Roundup: June 20, 2011
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What happened the last time the icecaps melted?

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The fact that sea levels are rising probably won't come as a huge surprise. But we now have some much-needed historical context for the melting icecaps and rising waters...and there's zero doubt that, in geological history, higher sea levels meant higher temperatures. More »


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Robopocalypse may well be the summer's best movie - in book form

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Cool robots unlike any you've seen before battle humans in a near-future world where computerized cars and military drones are out to smash all homo sapiens. More »


Illustration for article titled io9 Roundup: June 20, 2011
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Is this TARDIS Damask shirt the classiest Doctor Who tee money can buy?

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This "TARDamask" t-shirt by Rosemary Travale recently debuted on Threadless, and it exudes that understated Time Lord chic. Massive scarf and/or tweed jacket optional. More »


Illustration for article titled io9 Roundup: June 20, 2011
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High-res Transformers 3 pics sure do look pretty

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Say what you want about Michael Bay: The man can take a couple hundred million dollars and turn it into some top quality giant robot porn. Two dozen high-res photos from Transformers: Dark of the Moon showcase awesome robotic destruction. More »


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The Amazing Power that Comes from Grief, on Game of Thrones

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Last night's Game of Thrones was one of the most powerful portrayals of grief I've ever seen, on television or in any medium. And yet, the episode lasted just long enough to show that powerful things can come from grief. More »


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10 Psychological States You've Never Heard Of - And When You Experienced Them

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Everybody knows what you mean when you say you're happy or sad. But what about all those emotional states you don't have words for? Here are ten feelings you may have had, but never knew how to explain. More »


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Grittier Toy Story action figures show how terrifying Buzz and Woody could be

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What would Toy Story's leading plastic men look like if they were retooled for grittier, "realistic" action figures? Take a look at "Toy Story Unleashed" a darker new look at our favorite toys. More »


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Gladiator's tombstone complains about bad refs 1,800 years ago

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For as long as there have been sports, there have been fans complaining about referees whose terrible calls rob their team of victory. The oldest - and most brutal - example of this can be found on a gladiator's epitaph. More »


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This Week's TV: Have True Blood and Futurama finally gone too far? (Answer: No.)

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Two of television's great champions return this week: True Blood is shaking things up with some major changes in Sookie's life. And Futurama is shaking up its characters in... a very different way. More »


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Man realizes he owns the last immensely stupid "Square Earth" map in existence

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Here's another reason why you shouldn't throw away anything ever. Since the mid-1970s, former North Dakota state senator Don Homuth has been in possession of the only known complete copy of a singularly strange "Square Earth" map from the 1800s. More »


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The first cancer vaccine that works

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Cancer vaccines may come sooner than you think. And each vaccine will be tailor-made for a specific kind of cancer. This isn't just a theory anymore. More »


Illustration for article titled io9 Roundup: June 20, 2011
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The Justice League membership exam is surprisingly lax

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1975's Justice League of America 115 featured a quiz in which any non-superpowered Jack or Jane could apply for JLA membership. I imagine Batman had to take this thing at one point. More »


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Is this the beginning of the end of the superhero movie boom?

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Green Lantern is the second superhero movie in a row to perform disappointingly in its opening weekend, after X-Men: First Class. If Captain America also stumbles, we could look back on this as the summer that superheroes lost their invulnerability. More »


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