Police Are Testing a "Live Google Earth" To Watch Crime As It Happens

In Compton last year, police began quietly testing a system that allowed them to do something incredible: Watch every car and person in real time as they ebbed and flowed around the city. Every assault, every purse snatched, every car speeding away was on record—all thanks to an Ohio company that monitors cities from… » 4/14/14 2:20pm Monday 2:20pm

There's No End in Sight for California's Megadrought

California's chief snow surveyor ventured into the Sierras this week to see how much water the state can expect from the spring melt—and he came back with very bad news. The devastating drought that the state's been dealing with the past few months will continue to devastate for the foreseeable future. » 4/03/14 3:20pm 4/03/14 3:20pm

Why California's Drought Is Good News for Gold Prospectors

Having found a gold lining to the West's otherwise devastating drought, 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. » 3/30/14 1:00pm 3/30/14 1:00pm

Sparking Titanium Golf Clubs Might Be Causing California Wildfires

Researchers at UC Irvine have determined that golfers who can't keep their shots out of the rough might actually be responsible for wildfires in California in recent years. Specifically, certain clubs made from a titanium alloy have been found to produce sparks up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit—more than hot enough to… » 3/24/14 4:00pm 3/24/14 4:00pm

California Salmon Will Get a Free Ride to the Ocean—In Tanker Trucks

If the salmon won't come to the ocean, then the ocean will come to the salmon. Well, not quite: Tanker trucks will take them there. Such are the extreme measures in California this spring, as drought forces major salmon hatcheries to funnel their fish into tanker trucks and ride them straight to the Pacific. » 3/13/14 12:40pm 3/13/14 12:40pm

California at the End of the World

Touring around California, you could be forgiven for thinking you're living in the future, and not just because of the Silicon Valley wizardry that surrounds us all. We also have to thank Hollywood's movie magic, which has turned the state into a backdrop for countless science fiction films presenting futures both… » 3/05/14 7:00pm 3/05/14 7:00pm

Get A Load Of This Waterfall That Was Almost Built In San Francisco

San Francisco's skyline has a handful of famous landmarks dotted around the city—the Transamerica Tower, the Painted Ladies, the Golden Gate Bridge—but the most visible might be Sutro Tower, standing 977-feet-tall on Twin Peaks since 1973. As icons go, it's definitely got the minimal, industrial-chic vibe going… » 2/11/14 6:47pm 2/11/14 6:47pm

How the Drought Is Devastating California's #1 Food Export: Almonds

California grows a mind-boggling amount of the nation's produce: 99 percent of artichokes, 97 percent of kiwis, 97 percent of plums, 95 percent of celery, and on and on. That's why the record-breaking drought (yes, it's finally raining—no, it won't help much!) can affect your grocery bill, even if you live nowhere near … » 2/08/14 1:00pm 2/08/14 1:00pm

The Landscapes Of Suburbia Are The Real Science Fiction

Science fiction is often charged with naïve technological optimism and historical amnesia. But for present-day Californians struggling with a wide range of environmental and social problems, science fiction might just provide the perspective we need to successfully pivot from the boom times of the twentieth century to… » 1/30/14 3:40pm 1/30/14 3:40pm

How A California City's Sidewalks Were Redesigned for Wheelchairs

The story of how Berkeley, California, first got wheelchair-accessible sidewalks in the 1970s is an unlikely mix of public protest, anti-war sentiment, and the grassroots potential of urban planning for the people, by the people. Writing for Boom, Bess Williamson explains how the city began to redesign itself for… » 1/29/14 2:40pm 1/29/14 2:40pm

A Visit to the Weirdest Archaeological Site in North America

In the desert two hours northeast of Los Angeles, just outside the town of Barstow, there is a peculiar little place called the Calico Early Man Site. If you've driven either direction, from L.A. to Las Vegas or back, you've probably seen the sign for it, mysteriously and without any real information implying that the… » 1/22/14 3:00pm 1/22/14 3:00pm