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Top ten posts of 2013

Below is a list of the most popular stories in Humanosphere for 2013. Yeah, we’re supposed to run these listicles during the holiday stretch to cover up the fact that we’re not reporting. But we’re a small operation and we actually stopped working to take a much-needed break.

britain_2388153bMap: Where the Brits never invaded – A new map is making the rounds that shows the places where the British have invaded. Of the nearly 200 countries out there, the Brits have invaded all but 22. That is just about 90% of all countries!

Earth’s forgotten nations – The least visited country is a Pacific Island nation of Nauru. For those of you who may have guessed North Korea, you could not have been more wrong. The reclusive state that likes to launch missiles into the ocean garners 35,000 tourists a year, placing it 15 spots from the Nauru.

Al Jazeera launches in Seattle – and runs into branding problem – “The name Al Jazeera carries a lot of baggage with some people,” Schauffler said. “There were some quiet moments, raised eyebrows, when I told people I was taking this job. We’re going to have to deal with that as a challenge of branding.”

Joseph Kony
Joseph Kony

Hunt for Kony quietly continues – Despite efforts by Uganda, the United States, the AU and other partners, LRA warlord Joseph Kony remains hidden in the jungles that span the Central African Republic (CAR) and its neighbors.

Why it’s so difficult to measure progress in Africa – Gross domestic product (GDP) is the magical term often used to described the economic growth of a country.

Coming to your local refugee camp: Ikea – Everybody’s favorite do-it-yourself furniture warehouse, Ikea, is getting in on the humanitarian game.

LikeUNICEF asks people to stop ‘liking’ things on Facebook and send money – “Liking” a world without poverty and injustice, on Facebook, is thought to be an act of good will.

Bill Gates’ humanitarian plan for world (vaccination) domination – Bill Gates says the very foundation of his foundation comes from his realization in the 1990s that kids were dying for lack of access to a vaccine we in the rich world take for granted. As a result, boosting vaccination worldwide became the prime mover, the raison d’être, for what would soon be the world’s biggest philanthropy. Yet few appreciate today just how revolutionary, and unlikely, was the start of this love affair.

Two very different views on charity:water – You’ve probably heard of charity:water, one of the more successful philanthropic organizations out there working to help bring clean and safe water to poor communities around the world. Not everyone likes the way they do it.


About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.