The shiniest stories on io9 this week

What happened on our humble site this week? Lost left the building, mammoths farted their way into an ice age, and we recapped the best years in scifi ever. So far we've hit 1912, 1977, 1968, and 1982.

James McAvoy Cast As Charles Xavier In X-Men First Class
It's official: James McAvoy has signed on to play Professor X in the new X-Men prequel, directed by Kick-Ass' Matthew Vaughn. Which means we'll be getting to know a much, much younger Charles Xavier.

The last thing Spider-Man should be is another white guy
We just ran down the five bland white guys that are, reportedly, in the running to play Peter Parker in Sony's Spider-Man reboot. Yawn. In this day and age, why does Spidey have to be a white guy?

Is Queen's "Invisible Man" the best scifi music video of all time? Yes.
The lyrics to Queen's 1989 single "The Invisible Man" are forthright. Freddie Mercury is an invisible man, QED. The music video is more ambiguous; a supernaturally powered Queen holds an unwitting family hostage. It's like Tron meets Ghostbusters, only better.

7 Great Space-Themed Songs for Your Next Introspective Montage
Every TV show needs a montage of people processing their emotions every now and then. (We're looking at you, Stargate Universe.) But why not feature actual songs about space? Here are seven great space-themed songs to accompany your emotional moments.

The Best Year of Science Fiction...Ever
Every now and again, there are nexuses in time that deliver unto us scifi goodness: literary classics, film masterpieces, TV wonderment. We've identified a bunch of such nexuses - and you get to crown the Best of the Best

Rare fish with "hands" are the true missing link
Found off the coast of Tasmania and Australia, the rare handfish are solitary, slow-moving creatures. They use their fins to walk on the seafloor, rather than swimming. This is how our ancestors might have looked, before emerging from the sea.

Lost was the ultimate long con
So that's it. Lost, arguably the most important genre show of the past decade, ended with a fizzle. People will tell you it was fine until the last 15 minutes, but they're wrong. Spoilers below...

What was it really like to be a writer on Firefly?
Jose Molina wrote two of the best episodes of Joss Whedon's Firefly, "Ariel" and "Trash." Now he's written a new original story, in the book Firefly: Still Flying. He talked to us about Jayne's betrayal, and returning to the 'verse.

Mammoth farts could have stopped the ice age 12,000 years ago
When humans migrated to the Americas roughly 13 thousand years ago, they hunted megafauna like mammoths to extinction. The result? Scientists say that without giant animal farts, there was a massive depletion in atmospheric methane, possibly causing an ice age.

Why swarming locusts grow giant brains
When the conditions are just right, solitary grasshoppers undergo a terrifying transformation that converts them into masses of swarming locusts that destroy crops. New research reveals why swarming locusts grow much bigger brains than ordinary grasshoppers.