Welcome to Reading List, Gizmodo’s weekly collection of great tech, science, and culture reads from around the web. This week we explore how the remains of an ancient Egyptian city became buried in a dune field along California’s Central Coast, we tour the lives of the hackers trying to take down ISIS, and more! Dig in, nerds.


  • One hundred and fifty miles north of Los Angeles, the set of the most ambitious Hollywood movie of the 1920s lies buried in a dune field. When a young Peter Brosnan heard tell of California’s Lost City of the Pharaoh, he knew he had to see it for himself. What Brosnan didn’t realize is that he was about to embark on a thirty-year quest to unearth one of the most remarkable moments in the history of film. [Outside Online]
  • With strong new evidence for liquid water on Mars, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before we discover life beyond Earth. For some religious groups, this looming possibility is raising tricky questions. What’s now a unique relationship between life on Earth and God could, in the future, become rather unremarkable. [Motherboard]
  • Last year, a group of hacktivists under the Anonymous banner declared war on ISIS, vowing to end the Islamic extremist group’s online presence. The 28-strong band of volunteers not only claims to have taken down tens of thousands of pro-ISIS Twitter accounts, its intelligence-gathering efforts are helping to thwart real attacks and save lives. [The Atlantic]
  • The British city of Milton Keynes is an Anglo Saxon oddball — its loose grid system and car culture are far more reminiscent of an LA suburb than a European metropolis. That’s why American transit planners would do well to pay attention to Milton Keynes over the coming years. By 2018, the city of 250,000 plans to outfit its sprawling downtown with a public transit system of compact, driverless pod cars. If the experiment goes well, it could pave a way forward for sprawling North American suburbs seeking to become more integrated and less resource-demanding. [NextCity]

Top: The Guadalupe-Nipomo dunes in southwestern San Luis Obispo County, California. Image Credit: Michael L. Baird via Wikimedia

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