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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 20:00

The Most (And Least) Obscure Hit Songs Of The Last 114 Years, Graphed

It's not often that you get the chance to say, "You probably won't know this song, it's pretty obscure" about a hit song. Now, thanks to this graph, you can.

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Author: "Ria Misra" Tags: "music, songs, charts, maths, graphs"
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 19:38

No, It's Not Your Imagination -- Your Dog Is Actually Feeling Jealous

Humans share basic emotions like anger, sadness, and joy with other animals. But for a long time, scientists argued that complex cognition is necessary for secondary emotions like jealousy and guilt. Owners see those emotions in their dogs all the time, however — and now it turns out they may be right.

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Author: "Annalee Newitz" Tags: "evolution, biology, cognitive science, a..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 19:30

Rocket selfies are the best selfies. After boosting a communications satellite into orbit, SpaceX's Falcon 9 reusable booster rocket performed a successful soft-landing on the Atlantic Ocean. Best of all? A camera strapped to the rocket captured it for our viewing pleasure.

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Author: "Mika McKinnon on Space, shared by Ria Misra to io9" Tags: "soft landing, falcon 9, spacex, space"
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 19:30

A 'Nano Vaccine' That Combats Dust Mite Allergies

Scientists at the University of Iowa have developed a vaccine that combats dust mite allergies by naturally switching off the body's immune response. It's welcome news for the millions of people who suffer from mite-induced breathing difficulties.

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Author: "George Dvorsky" Tags: "particle vaccines, allergies, nano-vacci..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 19:29

Congress Edits is a Twitter bot that tweets every time a person in US government anonymously edits Wikipedia. This is our favorite edit so far, in which an anonymous person in the House of Representatives added a denial to an article on U.S. politicians being secret alien lizards.

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Author: "Annalee Newitz" Tags: "reptilians, politics"
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 19:20

Another snapshot of our strange universe: astronomers recently caught a pulsar — a particular kind of dense star — switch off its radio beacon while powerful gamma rays brightened fivefold.

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Author: "Elizabeth Howell – Universe Today" Tags: "nasa, fermi, pulsar, gamma rays, j102300..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 18:52

Smaug Is So Pissed On The First Hobbit: Battle Of Five Armies Poster

The first poster for The Hobbit 3: Citizens On Patrol The Battle of the Five Armies has arrived; while it's not exactly a shock, seeing a very, very angry Smaug descend on Laketown and Bard is still pretty badass. Here's hoping that this means movie #3 is more like movie #2, at least in terms of excitement.

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Author: "Rob Bricken" Tags: "movies, hobbit, battle of the five armie..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 18:43

Two kayakers in Argentina were paddling off the coast of Puerto Madryn recently, when a whale took sudden interest in their boat, swam beneath their vessel, and lifted it gently from the water.

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Author: "Robert T. Gonzalez" Tags: "biology, animal behavior, whales, this i..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 18:40
Author: "George Dvorsky" Tags: "design, airplanes, engineering, aircraft..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 18:30

How Artificial Superintelligence Will Give Birth To Itself

There's a saying among futurists that a human-equivalent artificial intelligence will be our last invention. After that, AIs will be capable of designing virtually anything on their own — including themselves. Here's how a recursively self-improving AI could transform itself into a superintelligent machine.

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Author: "George Dvorsky" Tags: "artificial superintelligence, artificial..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 17:40

Archaeologists Have Found an Unopened, 200-Year-Old Bottle Of Seltzer

While exploring a shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, Polish archaeologists discovered a 12-inch stoneware bottle, still corked, containing Europe's number one brand of mineral water for nearly a thousand years.

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Author: "Mark Strauss" Tags: "history, archaeology, seltzer, food scie..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 17:37

13 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Human Birth

Everyone on Earth has been through it, but there's a lot about birth that you're probably unfamiliar with. Here's thirteen facts about the human birthing process you may not have picked up in biology class.

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Author: "Robert T. Gonzalez" Tags: "evolution, biology, birth, superlist, de..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 17:20

Sinister Six Defeat Amazing Spider-Man! (Or At Least Their Movie Does)

Looks like those rumors that Sony was concerned about the Amazing Spider-Man movie series weren't entirely unfounded. Sony has just announced that Amazing Spider-Man 3 will be delayed two years, until 2018... but that the Sinister Six movie will now premiere on November 11th, 2016.

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Author: "Rob Bricken" Tags: "spider-man, sony, movies, sinister six, ..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 17:03

What Kinds of Stories Would You Like to See on io9?

You come to io9 for a lot of reasons. You want to escape with science fiction and fantasy, but you also want to learn about what's possible in the real world using science and technology. You want to know what's coming next, and what it will take to get there. What other stories do you want to see?

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Author: "Annalee Newitz" Tags: "theres hope, futurism, open channel, met..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 16:34

Deals: Free Comics, A Song of Ice and Fire Graphic Novels, Humble

We've got a very nice selection of comics and graphic novels today, several of which are free:

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Author: "Shane Roberts, Commerce Team" Tags: "io9 deals, deals"
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 16:30

Oceans May Be Critical For Life To Arise In Habitable Zones

It's generally agreed that liquid water and a stable atmosphere are the minimal requirements for life. But new research shows that oceans play a vital role in stabilizing and moderating climates on Earth-like planets.

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Author: "George Dvorsky" Tags: "life on other planets, astrobiology, oce..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 16:20

That Time The CIA Kidnapped A Soviet Spacecraft

A document obtained by the National Security Archive reveals for the first time the details of a Cold War spy operation that briefly "borrowed" and studied a Soviet spacecraft that was part of an international exhibition — and then returned it without the Russians ever knowing it happened.

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Author: "Mark Strauss" Tags: "secret history, space"
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 16:00

This Nefarious Webcomic Evildoer Is Every Bond Villain Rolled Into One

The titular supervillain of Richard Sala's deliciously over-the-top crime webcomic, Super-Enigmatix, is the puppet master behind most of the world's crime. He can make dogs attack their owners or place human-eating plants in the local botanical gardens—and he's always surrounded by beautiful henchwomen. Can he be stopped? Should he be stopped?

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Author: "Lauren Davis" Tags: "super-enigmatix, supervillain, wednesday..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 15:42

First Look At Neill Blomkamp’s Robot Comedy Chappie

Here is the first ever official glimpse at Neil Blomkamp's next film Chappie. We don't know much about this project other than it's a comedy about a robot, it will feature zef-style duo Die Antwoord, and will once again re-team Blomkamp and Sharlto Copley. But this poster certainly looks promising.

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Author: "Meredith Woerner" Tags: "robots, sdcc 2014, chappie, movies, neil..."
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 15:40

What Does It Mean When Chickens Share Human Beauty Standards?

Here's an interesting little experiment. A group of chickens and a group of humans were asked to "rate" male or female faces based on beauty. The chickens agreed with the humans. But what does it mean?

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Author: "Esther Inglis-Arkell" Tags: "neuroscience, beauty standards, animals,..."
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