1.9 Pre-release and such.

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Fruity Snacks

Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums
Sep 5, 2010
For those who missed it: Here's the 1.9 Pre-release

What I know is new off the top of my head:
Added NPCs to NEW villages
Snow Biomes
Snow Golems

whole slew of Nether updates:
New Nether drops/plants
Nether brick (can't be made, only found in -see next bullet-)
Nether Strongholds
Nether Dungeons

New nether mobs: Nether Slime and Flame Spirit (Spirit I hear is deadly)
New item drops: Rotten flesh from Pigs
Ghast Tears from Ghasts (No, really?)
Blaze Rod (no use yet it seems)
Golden drop (3 x 3 craft of these makes a gold ingot!)

Mooshrooms? (Mushroom Cows)
Mushroom Biomes?

Known bug: Jumping causes your exp to go up. This is intentional, jens is using it as a way to test exp recovery system or something like that.

I'll start pulling pictures when I find them online.
Enjoy the loss of productivity, the nether is cooler now.