Did you miss some of the excitement today on io9? Here are your must-read stories of the day.
Image by Zdzisław Beksiński.
One of the absolute worst space battle sequences we've ever seen
It's not just the hideous special effects, although those are pretty terrible — especially the closeups of pilots' faces while random rear-projection saucers float around behind them. It's not just the hideous acting, especially the guy who puts way too much processed cheese into lines like, "It's not easy to get away from me." No, it's the fact that you can't tell what the hell is going on half the time during this space battle.
The Haunting Nightmarescapes of Zdzisław Beksiński
Polish surrealist Zdzisław Beksiński managed to combine despair, horror and decay with beauty and awe during his "fantastic period" of the 1970s through early 80s. We've got a sampling of his most haunting, disturbing work.
Mathematicians figure out how to fend off gold-diggers - with game theory
As any man will tell you (especially in the weeks before Valentine's Day), gift-giving is a tricky business. Although men can use gifts to enhance their chances of getting laid, this can also leave them vulnerable to "gold-diggers" (a highly scientific term that describes women who use the promise of sex to get stuff from men, sometimes without actually putting out). So what kind of present can a guy give to improve his chances of getting laid while at the same time avoiding gold-diggers?
Great movie moments that would be even better in 3D
Which great moments from cinema's past would be better in 3D? We asked director Patrick Lussier, who's helmed two 3D movies — My Bloody Valentine and the upcoming Drive Angry 3D — what classic movie moments he thought, as a 3D connoisseur, would be improved by 3D.
New Captain America poster — and first high-res shot of Cap's full costume!
This new poster for Marvel's Captain America: The First Avenger showcases a dark, brooding side to the sentinel of liberty. But then the first official high-res shot of him in his full costume looks bright and cheerful, as you'd expect from the optimistic hero of the Greatest Generation.
New discovery explains why a mundane book of poetry stayed in print for a century
Do you want to read The Works of the Earls of Rochester and Roscommon, a volume of eighteenth century poetry? No? Well, other people did. They read it so repeatedly, and recommended it to their friends so assiduously, that it was reprinted over twenty times throughout the eighteenth century. In later years, it was resequenced and expanded, with new verses added to the old. People still picked it up. It was a century-long bestseller.
Are we witnessing the death spiral of the Hollywood blockbuster?
The Hollywood blockbuster was born in the late 1970s with Jaws and Star Wars. Will we see it die in our lifetimes?
Did Community just make D&D "Cool"?
Community has continually won us over with their genre episode exploits, from the Right Stuff space spoof to the action flick parody in "Modern Warfare." So when the students of Greendale revealed that their next episode was taking on the world of Dungeons & Dragons, we readied ourselves for a full alternate universe. We expected giant winged Abed monsters, or Jeff sporting a tunic while fighting off sex-starved elf maidens. Thankfully, we were wrong.
Is the new Spider-Man copying a scene from The Dark Knight?
A new batch of images from Marc Webb's Spider-Man reboot have us scratching our heads. But after some close inspection we think we know what the new Spidey, Andrew Garfield, is up to. Spoilers and speculation ahead.
Watch the entire lost Galaxy Quest mockumentary special now
If you've only seen Galaxy Quest on VHS, you probably missed this amazing little behind-the-scenes mockumentary, "GalaxyQuest: 20th Anniversary The Journey Continues." A kind soul has put the entire special online, so you can watch it right now!
The ten most miserable fictional couples (And the people you know who are just like them)
There are always couples who don't get along. Usually they're fighting about money or who has the most annoying friends. Add clones, robots, and the occasional intergalactic war, and suddenly that couple really has something to fight about. Here are the most unhappy couples in fantasy and science fiction.
Cult flick Kaboom brings sex comedy to the apocalypse
At first glance, indie director Gregg Araki's new movie feels like every "hero's quest" story ever — there's a young hero who may be the "chosen son," plus monsters, mysteries and strange hints of the end of the world approaching. The young savior facing the apocalypse is even played by Thomas Dekker, who was John Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. But in the end, Kaboom turns out to be both sillier and darker than the usual "hero searching for himself" movie.
Proof that humans could outrun Neanderthals
One of the traits that gave humans an evolutionary advantage was their ability to run for long distances. It helped humans catch energy-rich meat to grow big brains. It also looks like it helped us leave Neanderthals in the dust.
An important Venn Diagram to keep in mind this weekend
What are you going to wear to the disco in the hollowed-out asteroid at the top of the space elevator? It's going to be awesome because on Saturday nights they play weird old music from the 1970s. When you get to Club Counterweight, surely you'll want be wearing this helpful chart on your t-shirt - or possibly one of these other fine tees.
Star Wars flowchart reveals what job you'd have on the Death Star
Wonder where your place would be in the Star Wars worlds? Would you be a Jedi or dancing slave girl? Now's your chance to find out with this handy Star Wars job flowchart.