These are the most mind-blowing io9 stories of the day.
Top image: Detail from Asimovs "Ice War" cover by John Picacio.
Pi is perhaps the most beloved number in the world. People devote an entire day to celebrating it; enthusiasts memorize it to hundreds of thousands of places; and it's even pretty useful for calculating the properties of circles and spheres. But pi hides some very important mathematical truths. Put another way, pi is just wrong. So wrong that physicist Michael Hartl says it's time to lose pi in favor of a new symbol: tau. We asked him to explain why pi has to go.
Baby Darth Vader, a dickweed Bumblebee - and Doritos that can bring a fish back from the dead. This year's selection of Superbowl commercials is already starting to charm its way into our wallets. And with a $3 million price tag for each Superbowl spot, it's no wonder that many of the commercials set to release on Sunday are leaking out early. Watch the best of the ads right now!
The six planets you see above are all considerably larger than Earth, and yet five of them orbit their star at a closer distance than Mercury. It's the most ridiculously packed solar system we've ever seen, and our current theories about how planets form are completely unable to explain how they all got there. It's a real exoplanet mystery, and the biggest discovery since we found exoplanets in the first place.
Star Trek: The Next Generation: A XXX Parody is the latest porn movie to bring together science fiction and porn. It's also a loving tribute and unofficial sequel to a classic TNG episode starring some major Trekkie porn stars, not to mention an uncannily convincing Jean-Luc Picard impersonator. We just had to know what was going on here, so we decided to check out the set, and interview the cast and crew who are bringing the TNG porno to life. Here's our pretty much completely safe-for-work report.
It's official. We're sick of winter, with its never-ending crapstorm of flurries, ice, and flurries and ice that melt into disgusting brown puddles. Then again, we could have it worst. These sentient slush piles could have our world in their icy cold grips.
A burial site recently uncovered in Jordan is the oldest ever discovered in the Middle East, at least 1,500 years older than any other cemetery previously discovered. But it's not just its great age that makes it special - the cemetery also reveals what animals humans kept as pets long before the domestication of dogs.
The great Mexican wrestler Alejandro Muñoz Moreno, aka Blue Demon, saved us from a variety of unthinkable menaces — but none so insidious as the aliens he vanquishes in the classic Blue Demon Y Las Invasoras. A crew of beautiful babes in gold baby-doll dresses and silver gloves lands at the bottom of a lake and starts controlling men's minds. It's up to the man in the blue mask to set things right.
The lizards and the snakes. First of all, they all look the same. They're taking our jobs. They're eating our rats. They're probably having sex with your boyfriend - or your pets. Basically, they're trying to take over our world. No, I'm not a conspiracy nut! I can prove it. Here are ten times they already tried to take over Earth and lost (or so they want you to think).
We've already grown tired of the glistening abs of last year's vampires and werewolves. Edward is cold, and Jacob is yesterday's puppy chow. 2011 is ushering a whole crop of shirtless, sweaty supernatural playthings just ripe for our ranking. So here they are the best — and the worst — of the year's new supernatural specimens, ready for your objectification.