5 Things to Talk About Today

Sacha Strebe
  • An underwater "Stonehenge" has been found in the deep sea off the coast of Sicily. The 3.2-foot-long monolith is broken into two parts, and archaeologists hope it will shed new light on earlier civilizations in the Mediterranean basin. Detailed features of the mysterious monolith leave "no doubt" that it was made by man around 10,000 years ago. Researchers found the structure at a depth of 131 feet on what was once an island called Pantelleria Vecchia Bank. Located some 24 miles north of the volcanic island of Pantelleria, it was submerged during a massive flood about 9500 years ago. — Discovery
     
  • America's economy is in good shape, with the announcement of 215,000 jobs in July. While the unemployment rate stayed the same, at 5.3%, economist Jim O'Sullivan said, "The pace of employment growth is clearly strong enough to keep the unemployment rate trending down." The missing piece of the growth puzzle is wages, which "remained sluggish" in July, with average hourly earnings going up just 2.1% compared to last year. — Money
     
  • New Zealand is breaking up with coal power with plans to be coal-free by 2018. Genesis Energy announced it will permanently shut its remaining two coal-burning generators by December 2018. The country already sources 79.9% of its energy from renewables, including geothermal energy and wind. Genesis chairman Dame Jenny Shipley said "that with improved management of hydroelectric capacity in dry years," the two coal generators would be no longer needed. One of Australia's largest energy utilities, AGL Energy, also recently stated its "intention to start on a path that will conclude in 2050 with complete decarbonization." — Sydney Morning Herald
     
  • North Korea will turn its clocks back 30 minutes on August 15 to create its own time zone. Called "Pyongyang time," the change marks the 70th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese rule, and will actually return the nation to its former time zone before Japan's occupation from 1910 to 1945. Korea used to be 127 degrees 30 minutes east when it first introduced the concept of an official time zone in 1908. — CNBC
     
  • Google Maps' new "Night Mode" makes it easier to drive in the dark. Now you can opt for a darker display, reducing the risk of navigating behind the wheel. Other new features include the "ability to label places to see them on your map and in search suggestions" and edit captions of photos uploaded to the app. Night Mode will automatically turn on when it's nighttime, not just when it's dark. — TechCrunch

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