By GARY KEMBLE
2014 has seen its share of heartbreak, but there have been lighter moments too. Here, in no particular order, is a selection of stories that inspire, delight, amaze or amuse.
Have we missed something? Let us know in the comments.
1. People power frees trapped commuter.
When a man slipped and got his leg wedged between the train and platform at Perth’s Stirling station, scores of fellow commuters joined forces to tilt the train and free him.
2. Malala Yousafzai wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for advocating girls’ right to education, and Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Ms Yousafzai is the youngest person to win the prize.
3. ‘We fought hard’: Firefighter’s poignant note to home owner.
In February a massive bushfire claimed dozens of homes in Victoria, but this note reminded Australians that firefighters were out there, fighting hard to save properties.
4. Wildlife rescuer performs mouth-to-mouth on koala hit by car.
Firefighters and wildlife workers in Melbourne revive an injured koala with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation after it was hit by a car and later fell from a tree where it was taking shelter.
5. Scientists move closer to creating dengue vaccine.
Researchers from Australia, Vietnam and the United Kingdom make one of the biggest leaps in the 20-year quest for a vaccine for dengue fever, which infects up to 528 million people a year.
6. #illridewithyou takes off following Sydney siege.
The siege at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in the Sydney CBD was one of the great tragedies of 2014, butAustralians rallied in the aftermath to make sure Muslim Australians felt safe.
7. Europe makes space history as Philae probe lands on comet.
The Rosetta spacecraft travelled 6.4 billion kilometres and successfully landed its Philae probe on an object about four kilometres in diameter, travelling 135,000 kilometres per hour.
8. Family cat saves boy from dog attack.
A family cat saves a young boy from a vicious dog attack after the canine pulled the child off his bike and started tearing at his legs.
9. Victorians capture photos of Fallstreak Hole phenomenon.
The Fallstreak Hole, or hole punch cloud, occurs when part of a cloud’s water droplets freeze into ice crystals and fall below the cloud layer. When the rare phenomenon occurred in November, the ABC audience shared their amazing photos.
10. Scientists discover rare cancer-fighting berry in Queensland.
(Supplied: QIMR Berghofer Medical Institute)
An eight-year study led by Dr Glen Boyle, from the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane,finds a compound in a berry found only in far north Queensland can kill head and neck tumours as well as melanomas.
11. Breastfeeding graduation photo from Sunshine Coast goes viral.
A photograph of a Queensland woman breastfeeding her young son at her university graduation goes viral on social media.
12. Scientists find a 13,000-year-old skeleton in a Mexican cave.
A 13,000-year-old skeleton uncovered in a Mexican cave is one of the oldest genetically intact human skeletons ever found in the western hemisphere. Scientists say the skeleton belonged to a teenage girl, and genetic tests on the superbly preserved remains found by cave divers have answered questions about the origins of the New World’s (western hemisphere’s) first people.