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How NASA Created a Flight Simulator For The First Astronauts Landing on the Moon

December 5, 1961. A man at the controls of a module gazes at the lunar surface from close up. Is this an astronaut, approaching the Moon nearly eight years before Apollo 11? Nope—it’s a pilot testing Project LOLA, a massive network of hand-painted mosaics and tracked cameras that trained astronauts for the moon… »9/03/15 11:20amYesterday 11:20am

How Batman's Butler Alfred Evolved from a Joke Character to a Total Badass

Bruce Wayne has always been a vigilante and billionaire. Since a vigilante needs a lot of help around the house and a billionaire has the money to buy that help, most Batman fans assume that Alfred was in the comics from the beginning. Maybe he wasn’t in that first issue back in 1939, but surely he was always there,… »8/26/15 8:00am8/26/15 8:00am

Read the Full Text of John Hersey's "Hiroshima," A Story of 6 Survivors

For the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, The New Yorker has published online the full text of John Hersey’s “Hiroshima,” to which the magazine devoted the entire editorial space of its August 31, 1946 issue. “It does so in the conviction that few of us have yet comprehended the all but incredible… »8/06/15 11:00am8/06/15 11:00am

The Army Surgeon Who Jumped Out of a Plane at 40,000 Feet—For Science!

Sometimes progress requires huge risks. Just ask William Randolph “Randy” Lovelace II, who wanted to prove that an oxygen mask could protect pilots from blacking out at high altitudes when they bailed out of their planes. See his story for yourself, in this Fusion video which we’re premiering exclusively at io9. »8/06/15 9:32am8/06/15 9:32am

The Almost Perfect World War II Plot to Bomb Japan with Bats

Imagine: a quiet, tense night in the middle of wartime. A plane rips through the air above your city, rupturing the stillness. The bay doors open, and out whistles a bomb. It drops and drops. Everyone braces. But when it explodes, the city is filled not with the flash of impact, but with hundreds and hundreds of tiny,… »8/05/15 4:00pm8/05/15 4:00pm

A Senator Learns Why Four Bottles of Gin and An Angry Mistress Don't Mix

Contemporary politicians do their best to supply us with a steady stream of scandals. But the strange case of New Jersey State Senator—shot by his mistress, Ruth Jayne Cranmer, in 1931—would grab headlines even today. This was during Prohibition, of course, but it started with lots of gin. »7/17/15 2:40pm7/17/15 2:40pm