Only Good News

Friday's collection of positive news nuggets.

  • The Buckingham Palace gardens will reopen this summer and visitors will be able to picnic on the sweeping lawns for the first time. The 39 acre gardens will open from July to September, allowing visitors to freely roam the grounds of Her Majesty’s official London residence. The only other time anyone has been able to picnic on the Queen’s carefully manicured lawn was during a Diamond Jubilee event in 2012.

  • Britain will pass the threshold for herd immunity on Monday, according to dynamic modelling by University College London. According to its results, the number of people who have protection against the virus either through vaccination or previous infection will hit 73.4 percent on 12 April 12 - enough to tip the country into herd immunity.

  • The Bee Conservancy is giving out hundreds of free bee homes to groups across the US and Canada to help support native bee species. Research shows that bees can increase crop yield by up to 70 percent, so the conservancy hopes gardens that host the homes will yield more fresh produce to feed their communities. Interested? Apply online before 30 April.

  • The smart mask: A joint venture between Will.i.am, the rapper, and Honeywell creates a new category of mask that comes with three dual-speed fans, a HEPA filtration system, as well as noise-canceling headphones, LED lights for night time, a rechargeable battery and Bluetooth capability.

  • In what they believe to be the world’s first, an Australian brewery is now offering beer to local households with rooftop solar energy to spare. The brewery has already installed solar panels on its Melbourne facility and is purchasing solar energy from a farm, but to meet its clean energy goal of 100 percent renewable power by 2025, the company is offering cans of Victoria Bitter in exchange for excess solar power from households. Fair dinkum!

  • New force of nature: Scientists think that we may be on the brink of a new era of physics thanks to the strange behaviour of some sub-atomic particles called muons.

  • Good news for Professor Sarah Gilbert, the Oxford University scientist who lead the team that created the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, as she looks set for a payday of more than £20m as the vaccine technology firm she co-founded prepares to float on the New York stock exchange.

  • Well ahead of Joe Biden's original target, half of all US adults are on track to receive at least one Covid jab by the weekend. About 63 million Americans are already fully vaccinated.

  • Paleo pharmaceuticals: Baltic amber is a potential source of new medicines to combat antibiotic-resistant infections.

  • He may be best known for his rooftop dance moves as a chimney sweep in Mary Poppins and his dodgy cockney accent, but Dick Van Dyke has been spied doing all sorts of good deeds over the intervening years. His latest kindness? Last week, the 95-year-old showed up at Los Angeles’ Malibu Community Labor Exchange - and began handing out wads of cash to job seekers waiting in line outside.

  • Do you speak English? Ever stopped a stranger to ask for help only to find they don't speak your language? This 90 second skit is hilarious....