Best of io9’s Triviagasm: Most Popular Minutiae of the Year

All year, we’ve treated you to the trivia, tropes, and minutiae of science fiction with our factoid-packed Triviagasms. For the end of the year, we’ve collected the ten most popular Triviagasms of 2008.

Who’s the Tallest Giant Monster?

See how the Cloverfield monster stacks up against the likes of Godzilla, Gamera, and King Kong. Learn who is the tallest monster, and which human-made statue is larger than nearly all of them.

Best of io9’s Triviagasm: Most Popular Minutiae of the Year

Why You Can’t Travel Back in Time and Kill Hitler

So many neophyte time travelers aim to kill Adolph Hitler on their first time out, hoping to avert the Holocaust and make the world a better place. So why doesn’t it ever seem to work? We explain the reasons you can’t kill Hitler so you can plan your time travel accordingly.

Best of io9’s Triviagasm: Most Popular Minutiae of the Year

Why You’ve Already Heard Scifi’s Ubiquitous Wilhelm Scream

The Wilhelm Scream is a stock sound effect first used in the 1951 film Distant Drums to give voice to a man being torn apart by an alligator. Since then, the scream has become a science fiction favorite. Learn the history of the Wilhelm Scream and why it sounds familiar.

Best of io9’s Triviagasm: Most Popular Minutiae of the Year

The Emerald-Skinned Women Who Make the Universe a Greener Place

Captain Kirk isn’t the only one with an affinity for green women. While the Star Trek trailer shows the young Kirk getting it on with an Orion, we celebrate the verdant-hued royals, slave girls, and warrior women who add some color to the universe.

Best of io9’s Triviagasm: Most Popular Minutiae of the Year

Best Future Dystopias Where The Liberals Have Won

This election season, John McCain supporters filled our ears with their dire visions of an Obama-led future. We looked into what science fiction had to say about liberal governments gone awry, with the horrors of nanny states and political correctness gone too far. On the other side, you can also see the Future Dystopias Where Conservatives Have Won.

Best of io9’s Triviagasm: Most Popular Minutiae of the Year

You Have Ten Seconds To Reach Minimum Safe Distance

Explosions are a staple of science fiction films, and spaceship destruction makes for some of the most fiery, spectacular explosions. On-board bombs, crash landings, and photon torpedoes cause science fiction’s greatest “shipicides.” Relive the destruction, complete with video.

Best of io9’s Triviagasm: Most Popular Minutiae of the Year

Frak Off! We've Got the Best Swear Words from Scifi

Need to add a little alien obscenity to your vocabulary? Our list of the best frakking swear words in the universe will prepare you to insult any gorram smegheads who cross your path, or simply perplex your friends.

Best of io9’s Triviagasm: Most Popular Minutiae of the Year

The Victorian-Era Supercomputer And The Genius Who Created It

In 1822, English inventor Charles Babbage began to design “Difference Engines,” calculating machines that would be capable of doing complex computations. This year, the London Science Museum completed the second working model of Babbage’s Difference Engine No. 2 ever constructed. Learn more about Babbage’s life and his design for a programmable computer in the 19th Century.

Best of io9’s Triviagasm: Most Popular Minutiae of the Year

Science Fiction Solves the Mystery of Jack the Ripper

The serial killer known as Jack the Ripper murdered five prostitutes in London in the autumn of 1988. The killings stopped abruptly, but the case was never solved. Science fiction offers its solutions to the crime and speculates on the ultimate fate of the Ripper.

Best of io9’s Triviagasm: Most Popular Minutiae of the Year

Hancock Isn't The First Superhero Screw-Up

Will Smith’s Hancock isn’t the first walking caped catastrophe. Plenty of superheroes are too inept, deluded, or self-absorbed to be of much help, and their misadventures result in more property damage than protection. When you call for help, these are the heroes you hope don’t show.