Friday's collection of good news snippets to conclude the week on an upbeat note.
A building of the future: 21-story apartment block in Taiwan’s capital Taipei comes with gardens on each floor to lower ambient temperature, and a total of approximately 23 thousand trees and plants. The trees help muffle the noise from the city, and provide shade and cool in the summer. But above all, they are expected to absorb up to 130 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
A single dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine reduces the risk of death with Covid-19 by approximately 80 percent - and two doses of Pfizer cut it by 97 percent, the latest UK data suggests. Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the news as “life-changing” for people across the country as he urged everyone to take up their offer of a jab.
Good news for school children: School bus provider Thomas Built Buses, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks, is one of several firms adding to the growing fleets of electric school buses in the US. The company recently celebrated its 50th electric school bus delivery in Virginia. With schools aiming to electrify their student transport amid President Joe Biden's new infrastructure proposal, TBB said it has orders for hundreds more of its electric buses - including the nation's largest electric school bus order from Maryland, ordering 326 units.
Good news for astronomers: Voyager 1, a NASA probe launched in 1977, is still passively exploring the galaxy. Now 14 billion miles away, far beyond the heliopause - an invisible 'shield' that marks our solar system's border with the rest of the galaxy - Voyager 1 has detected the haunting hum of plasma waves moving through a region of space far beyond the human imagination, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
Closer to home, here's a date for your diary: Bristol Old Vic brings back its nail-biting 2018 hit show based on Joe Simpson’s 1988 mountaineering memoir, adapted by David Greig, directed by Tom Morris and featuring an awe-inspiring set design by Ti Green. It’s staged live before a theatre audience, using binaural technology and multiple cameras, from 26-29 May. Five star reviews include The Telegraph: 'Nail-biting, you feel as if you’ve been to the ends of the earth without moving from your seat. A stirring testament to human fortitude and the power of theatre.'
Luxury watchmaker Richard Mille has teamed up with top Swiss boat maker SP80 in an endeavour to build a boat that can reach a speed of 80 knots (150km/h) powered only by the wind in its sails - and break the world’s sailing speed record.
To help the Biden administration hit its goal of 70 percent of Americans getting at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by 4 July, Uber and Lyft are offering free rides to and from any sites offering inoculations. That's as many as 80,000 sites throughout the country.
Dive in Deeper
Good news on renewable energy growth: New wind and solar power projects in China, Europe and the US achieved a 45 percent rise in the rate of new capacity last year. [1 min] Clean energy boom...
US border wall: The wall has been built by Presidents Republican and Democrat alike, but the wall (costing up to $27m-a-mile) is routinely being scaled with $5 ladders. They go together like 'peas and carrots'. [2 mins] Structural struggle...
Crossrail begins testing trains: News raises hopes that the much delayed and over-budget project that runs west to east (and vice versa) across London will open to customers within a year, possibly by Christmas. [2 mins] Elizabeth Line...
Mood-boosting nature video
Lifelike robot spy gorilla infiltrates a wild gorilla troop. But while a young mountain gorilla just wants to play with it, will the giant Silverback be so welcoming?