Every weekday, io9 has a list of strange, wonderful or ranty items. These top 10 (or 12, or 20) lists are a way to make our obsessive tendency to collect random stuff into something that can help distract other people. So here are the 20 most popular superlists that io9 published in 2014.
Top image: Apollo 13, via here.
Many ideas have left the world of science and made their way into everyday language — and unfortunately, they are almost always used incorrectly. We asked a group of scientists to tell us which scientific terms they believe are the most widely misunderstood. Here are ten of them.
A great cult movie is like a weird underground discovery, that feels so strange and wonderful, you suspect that you're the first person ever to appreciate it properly. But certain cult films have acquired fame and influence to rival any blockbuster, and have become part of our shared vocabulary. Here are 30 essential cult movies that everybody ought to watch, at least once.
We recently told you about the many cursed jewels of the world, but you don't have to have a shiny rock to have your life destroyed by an otherworldly evil. Plenty of items have terrible curses on them, which can hurt, harass or outright murder people. Here are seven items that you never want to mess with.
Speculative fiction is the literature of change and discovery. But every now and then, a book comes along that changes the rules of science fiction and fantasy for everybody. Certain great books inspire scores of authors to create something new. Here are 21 of the most influential science fiction and fantasy books.
The importance of algorithms in our lives today cannot be overstated. They are used virtually everywhere, from financial institutions to dating sites. But some algorithms shape and control our world more than others — and these ten are the most significant.
The Doctor, that time-traveling alien mad scientist, is a clever man — but his foes often outsmart themselves. We may never know the Doctor's real name, but the Master's name is clearly Rube Goldberg. Here are the 10 most ludicrously byzantine plots that Doctor Who's baddies have cooked up.
Normally, it's the Western Powers who are remembered for developing some of the most innovative and conceptual weapons of the Second World War. But when it came to experimental military technologies, Japan suffered from no shortage of ideas. Here are 11 you should know about.
Only a handful of TV shows, movies, books or cartoons can be called "life-changing," masterpieces that transform you and the way you perceive yourself and/or the world, or let you understand something you never did before. These 10 anime series will change you if you watch them. But it's not a definitive list, so add your candidates in the comments!
Are you the sort of person who just loves correcting other people's grammar? Are you sure that you're doing it right? Some things that people have been taught are rules of English grammar are really not rules at all—and some of them are flat-out wrong.
Fighters. Mages. Priests. Rogues. These are the primary four character classes in Dungeons & Dragons, and they have served the role-playing game well for over 30 years. But there are many others in addition to these — some awesome, some weird, and some just ridiculous. Here are 24 real D&D specialty classes that should force any player to make a saving throw against shame.
As we head deeper into the 21st century, we're starting to catch a glimpse of the fantastic technological possibilities that await. But we're also starting to get a grim sense of the potential horrors. Here are 10 frightening technologies that should never, ever, come into existence.
The best movies are insanely quotable. The classic dialogue sticks with you and becomes your new catch-phrase, even if you sometimes misquote it. But some of the best dialogue wasn't in the script at all. Here are 12 famous lines you probably didn't know were improvised on the set.
Some might argue that everything that passes for "paranormal" is a hoax. (There's no fun in that, but insist if you must.) But even the biggest unexplained-phenomenon junkies have to admit when a fraud's a fraud ... as the 10 cases below will attest.
Before Jesus arrived and his divine father chilled out, the Old Testament God was, ironically, kind of a hellraiser. He was not a nice guy. He really liked killing people. And he may have actually been insane, if his willingness to randomly murder devout worshippers like Moses was any indication. Here are the 12 craziest, most awful things God did in the Old Testament, back before that wacked-out hippie Jesus softened him up.
Today's genre books are full of future dystopias, which only have one weakness: teenagers. And everybody knows that most dystopias are kind of contrived. But here are 10 lessons from real-life rebellions against repressive regimes, that we wish the creators of fictional dystopias would pay attention to.
Everybody wants to recapture the glory days of 80s movies these days. Everywhere you look, they're remaking 80s classics or paying homage to the motifs of the Reagan era. But there's still something about the 80s that remains unique and special. Here are 10 things movies were good at in the 80s that they struggle at today.
Every Dungeons & Dragons character seeks magical items for their abilities. But some wizards aren't interested in making powerful relics; they're interested in making nonsense, because they're crazy, or things that will screw your character over, because they're jerks. The result? These ridiculous artifacts from D&D's golden days.
Science fiction and fantasy television has produced plenty of bizarre or terrible episodes. But sometimes, an episode isn't just bad, it's world-breaking — because it introduces plot holes or character traits that would kill a show. Here are 10 episodes that everybody had to pretend just didn't happen. (Two of which are really, really good.)
This year marks the centenary of the start of the First World War, a conflict that still rouses considerable debate and controversy. It's also a war that's shrouded in many myths and misconceptions — and these ten are among the worst.
Lightsabers. The weapon of a Jedi knight. An elegant weapon for a more civilized time. The most efficient limb-removal device in the galaxy. But who made them? How did George Lucas determine their colors? Are there other light-weapons in the Star Wars universe? Here are more than a dozen lightsaber facts only the wisest Jedi Masters know.