Reading the news and it sure looks bad, as Joni Mitchell might say.

But is it really so bad?

"Kiwi startup tackles warm beer 'epidemic'" is a headline to grab the attention.

After one too many warm beers, new New Zealand company HUSKI has launched a "revolutionary new product" that keeps beer ice-cold while you drink.


In short, there is a hand-held cooler that keeps your drink on the chilly side, and it is being hailed as some kind of triumph.

A "warm beer epidemic" might sound like the end of civilisation for some but it would be, in fact, a good thing.

Ice-cold beer — now served at just about every bar on the globe — is the problem of epidemic proportions. Firstly, it makes you go to the loo a lot; secondly, it kills the flavour.

I appreciate harping back to the good old colonial days is not the done thing ... but in the good old colonial days, beer was warmer and tastier.

Taking a lead from the motherland of Britain, the serve-at-room-temperature ale was full of restorative and energising nutrients.

Now we suffer a standardised, homogenised glacial glass of bitter blandness with all health-giving properties frozen to death.

In other bad-news-turned-good, it is reported that many of the world's iconic tourist attractions turn out to be rather lacklustre when seen "in the flesh", so to speak.

Here are some of the less-than-rapturous reviews:

The Sistine Chapel is "a small, square box"; Times Square — "lights and terrible big-box retailers"; Buckingham Palace is dubbed "a grotty old pile of wee-yellow stone"; Sherwood Forest — "one big oak in a small forest"; Juliet's balcony in Verona is "just a balcony with a bunch of tourists staring".

So there you have it — travel broadens the mind, but stay home to avoid disappointment.

And, of course, this bad news is good because these famous must-sees are all being over-run by an ever-expanding rabble of tourists and the icons — and the planet in general — would benefit from being less trampled on.

Plus, their magical allure might survive a bit longer.