money
Why California's Drought is Good News for Gold Prospectors

Having found a gold lining to the otherwise devastating drought on the west coast of the US, prospectors are flocking to the record-low rivers of the Sierra Nevada foothills. A mini gold rush has kicked off in previously inaccessible riverbeds, not far from the site of California's original gold rush. Read More >>

chatroom
Should People Be Allowed to Drink and "Drive" Self-Driving Cars?

Autonomous cars are coming soon, people, maybe as soon as 2015, maybe as soon as 2015 for the citizens of California. And with them will be a whole set of new rules and regulations when it comes to driving. Or, ahem, not driving. Read More >>

movies
Here are the Real-World Places Behind Hollywood's Sci-Fi Dystopias

If you ever find yourself touring around California, you could be forgiven for thinking that you're actually a minor role in a film, since the state has been turned into a backdrop for countless science fiction films presenting futures both terrible and wondrous. It's not just that so many are filmed here—writers and filmmakers have been exploring the future through California sets for decades. Read More >>

money
California Couple Finds Buried Treasure Worth £5.9 Million

A couple in Northern California recently uncovered a treasure hunter's dream: six metal canisters filled with rare coins, valued at about $10 million (£5.9 million). Read More >>

movies
Stage an Oscar-Winning Drama on Your Own Personal Bombed-Out Movie Set

It may not look like much right now, but this strip of blown-out, busted-up buildings is usually swarming with celebrities. Read More >>

power
A Pilgrimage to the Buried Electrical Network Outside Los Angeles

On our way back from CES, Gizmodo took a detour into the desert to explore a particularly bizarre aspect of the region's electrical infrastructure, the so-called Coyote Dry Lake Return Electrode. Read More >>

animals
Why These Bison in California Were Put on Birth Control

This is a story about bison, Hollywood, and a glycoprotein. A rocky outpost off the coast of Los Angeles, Santa Catalina Island was originally home to exactly zero bison. In 1924, however, when the island was owned by William Wrigley Jr. of chewing gum fame, a film crew imported 14 buffalo for a movie shoot. The crew left; the bison did not. The finished film, The Vanishing American, contains exactly zero scenes with bison. Read More >>

science
Take a Tour of This Insane Solar Thermal Energy Plant in the California Desert

Sometime in the next few months, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System will flip the switch on the largest solar plant of its kind in the world: A 377 megawatt, 3,500 acre solar thermal energy system. It's located in California's Mojave Desert near the Nevada border and it's ridiculously big. I would suggest going to check it out in person during your next Vegas binge weekend, but from the 15 freeway it's little more than a silvery blur, a rippling, mirage like, silvery blur that feels like it might sear your retinas if you look at it too long. So it's a good thing they've just posted this incredible virtual tour. Read More >>

money
Stupid California Cost Itself £450 Million Over Stupid Facebook IPO

It's generally a bad idea to base your budget on hypothetical money that may or may not end up in your pocket. It's a much worse idea if you're the state of California, and that money is wacky Facebook cash. Read More >>

google
Google's Android Jelly Bean Just Can't Stand the Heat

Google's pretty proud of its latest and greatest, and by the looks of it, Jelly Bean is truly smoking; so hot in fact that its commemorative Googleplex statue couldn't take it any more -- its head popped clean off. Read More >>

design
The Gazebo Gets a 21st Century Update

Summers appears to have landed in Blighty and, for a lot of us, that means BBQ and outdoor eating. But, rather than get one of those schlocky extendable awnings they sell on late-night TV, shelter your guests in a stylish sphere. Read More >>

crime
iPhone-Thieving Hookers Cause a Motel Shootout

Partaking in a prostitute's services is risky enough as it is—even more so when her fingers are as nimble as her tongue. Two Stockton, CA men learned this lesson the hard way Thursday after a pair of pilfering prostitutes made off with their phones and they responded in the dumbest way possible. Read More >>

wtf
Weightlifter Shoots Himself Using a Dumbbell—No, Really

This is not a gunshot wound you'd brag about to 50Cent. In fact, this sort of injury isn't really something you'd want to tell anybody about—you do have a reputation to maintain after all. Read More >>

privacy
There Will Be No More Warrantless Cell Phone Searches in California

Californians can finally breathe easy for having regained their privacy rights. A new law passed by the state Assembly bans the warrantless search of not just cell phones, but all portables that could conceivably send a message. Count your iPads safe, too. Read More >>

wtf
Hammock Boat!

Sorry. One-of-a-kind. Make your own. Like a Sasquatch in the Himalayas, this was allegedly seen at the University of California at Davis. Little else is known. [Flickr via Reddit via neatorama] Read More >>

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