Welcome to Reading List, a weekly collection of great science and technology stories, assembled by Gizmodo, just for you. This week, we’ll ponder the incredible age of the Earth, walk the streets of Atlantic City, search for life on Mars, and meet the man who designed every toy version of the Millenium Falcon that’s ever been sold.

  • Of all the classes you can take in college, geology may be the best way to really expand your horizons. Geology will teach you how to read the stories written in landscapes and change how you think about the world and your place on it. [Slate]
  • It’s the capital of conspicuous consumption, but Atlantic City’s economy is struggling. Meet the people who stand to win, and lose, based on the city’s fate. [The New Yorker]
  • The search for life on Mars hasn’t even started yet, according to Nathalie Carbol, SETI’s top astrobiologist. Everything from the first Mars landing in 1970 has just been preparation for the real search, which may tell us not only whether there’s life on Mars, but how life began here on Earth. [Wired]
  • If you’ve ever owned a toy Millenium Falcon, you know Mark Boudreaux’s work. He designed the very first Star Wars toys 1977. Nearly forty years later, he’s still working on the latest toys for The Force Awakens. [Bloomberg]

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Top image: Helgi Halldórsson via Wikimedia Commons


Contact the author at k.smithstrickland@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter.

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