Hope someone stops the train really soon!

The U.S. economy is so shaky that not only are people stealing copper wire and pipes from foreclosed homes and jacking catalytic converters from of cars for platinum, but now the gold rush is uh... rushing back. In states like Arizona, Alaska and California groups have formed not only as social networks but as a way to generate income:

The New 49ers Prospecting Club, in Happy Camp, Calif., charges members $2,500 each for lifetime access to claims on several rivers and tributaries in northernmost California. Dave McCracken, the club’s owner, says he expects gold-prospecting to bring about $5 million this summer into Siskiyou County, an economically depressed region.
Gold is going for $913 per ounce. Here's a picture, actual size, of one-half ounce of gold.

(via New York Times)