Good News Saturday

Updated: Apr 21

Upbeat collection of positive news nuggets.


  • After two years turning over thousands of rocks in search of the Cupola gecko, New Zealand lizard expert Ben Barr had been starting to wonder: “Am I ever going to find this thing?” But, in a national park at the top of the South Island, he lifted another rock - and there it was. “I was totally euphoric. I was over the moon. I couldn’t believe it. I was screaming and yelling, it was incredible. I almost cried.” Conservationists are celebrating the rediscovery as “incredibly significant”, with the elusive reptile not seen for more than a decade - and only twice ever.

  • Good news for anyone who wants to look like Homer Simpson! Book a beach holiday to Spain where they've introduced a mad new rule where everyone will be made to wear face masks – even while sunbathing. Imagine the tan line. All round your mouth you’d have a big patch of skin that’s a completely different colour from the rest of your face. You’d go home looking like Homer Simpson. The men, at least, could cover it up by growing a beard. Staying on the subject of bizarre travel stories...

  • Cleared for lunch: Japanese airline serves in-flight meals on parked planes. All Nippon Airways offers meals on grounded jets in latest industry wheeze to claw back revenue lost in lockdown. “Passengers” can choose between a first-class seat with a meal for 59,800 yen (£390) or a business-class option for about half the price, on board a stationary Boeing-777. ANA will offer 22 lunch and dinner sessions this month, for up to 60 people for each dining session.

  • World's largest aero-engine: Rolls-Royce's UltraFan will be the world’s largest aircraft engine, with its fan measuring 11 feet (3.5 m). That's good news for two reasons.

  • Hats off to Mira Hawke, who was concerned about the litter in the "beautiful little city" of Ely in east England so she started a Facebook group to encourage others to pick up litter. The group is now over 500 strong and says "the city has never looked cleaner."

  • No doubt some of the litter was carelessly discarded face masks. In Holland, a designer was also fed up with spotting numerous disposable masks littering the environment each time she went for a walk. So, she created a fully biodegradable mask that actually benefits the environment - it turns into flowers.

  • If you're looking for a cultural fix, how about a visit to Paris? The Louvre has put its entire collection online. Take a virtual tour from wherever you happen to be.

  • NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used two cameras to create this selfie in front of Mont Mercou, a rock outcrop that stands 20 feet (6m) tall. The panorama is made up of 60 images from the camera on the rover’s robotic arm along with 11 images from the Mastcam on the mast, or “head,” of the rover.

  • Trailblazing women in astronomy: You may never have heard of the 'Harvard Computers', but they were 80 women who helped to build the foundations of modern astronomy. Their efforts are about to receive long-deserved recognition.

  • Four hundred years after they were wiped out in the UK, beavers have been reintroduced to Wales. The beaver family was released into Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve in Powys last week, following successful reintroductions in England and their considerable positive impact on the environment.

  • The US went on a hiring spree in March, adding 916,000 jobs amid the fast-paced coronavirus vaccine rollout. 30 percent of Americans have now had at least one vaccine shot.

  • The Silence of Rome was filmed this time last year. Eerie but beautiful.