history & culture top 10 lists

Top 10 happiest countries in the world (2017 update)

history & culture

What’s happiness? Most people are happy when they’re in love, don’t have financial issues, feel safe and are able to fulfill their wishes regarding work or study. The problem is that personal happiness is subjective. Some people earn millions of dollars and still commit suicide. Others have the perfect job, but aren’t able to find the love of their life. And it’s even more complicated when you try to understand the concept of happiness on a cultural level. What is it that makes a society a happy one?

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Top 10 countries by alcohol death rate (2014)

history & culture

The World Health Organization estimates that there are 140 million alcoholics worldwide. Ironically, this number equals the size of the population of Russia. But compared to other countries the alcohol death rate in Russia isn’t the worst offender expect. Russia is placed 4th on the list of countries by alcohol death rate.

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Top 10 famous Italian singers

history & culture

The food, the wine, the life. Italy is – not surprisingly – one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Venice, Roma, Piemonte, Tuscany, Calabria, Sicily. Italy’s cities and regions are just as versatile as the famous Italian singers. Moreover, it’s all about love.

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Top 10 most expensive sculptures

history & culture

Clay, wood, stone, metal and nowadays plastics are all used by artists to create fascinating sculptures. Many ancient sculptures that survived time are now offering a rich insight in the religious and political life of the Greek, Roman, Indian and Chinese civilizations, as well as others. Some of these creations belong to the most expensive sculptures.

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Top 10 songs about New York City

history & culture

New York City probably is the most inspirational place for many artists from all over the world. Artists varying from Frank Sinatra, Leonard Cohen, John Coltrane to the more recent Alicia Keys sang the Big Apple’s praise. Out of the more than a thousand songs about New York City we’ve selected ten songs.

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Top 10 largest libraries by number of items

history & culture

The first writings were clay tablets dating back to 2600 BC in Sumer. It was here that mankind left the prehistoric times and entered history. The first library of importance was the Great Library in Alexandria, founded by Ptolemy. The size of its collection is unknown, but some historians claim the number is close to 500,000 items. Not close to the number of items stored in the largest libraries in the world today!

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Top 10 tallest cathedrals in the world

history & culture

A cathedral is a Christian church that functions as the seat of a bishop. A cathedral is symbolically a ship bearing the people of God through the storms of life. Its impressive size and splendor, the money and talents expended on the building can be seen as honoring God. The taller, the better. However, poor construction have often led to the collapse of what were once the tallest cathedrals.

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Top 10 shortest reigning popes

history & culture

Today the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI will resign on 28 February 2013 due to poor health conditions. He’s the first Pope to abdicate since Gregory XII in 1415. Benedict XVI was elected on 19 April 2005. He served as the head of the Vatican for almost 8 years, which is not a long period compared to his predecessor Pope John Paul II, who is listed second on the list of longest reigning popes. But who are the shortest reigning popes? Here’s a top 10 of shortest reigning popes in history!

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Top 10 countries by atheist population

history & culture

Many people in western society will go to church on sunday to listen to the sermon. They strongly believe in god. The United States are among the top 5 of most religious countries. But there are many countries where religion isn’t as widespread as in the US. In these countries there are many atheists, agnostics or non-believers in god.

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Top 10 most expensive paintings of all time

history & culture

Yesterday, a famous Picasso painting fetched $ 45 million at a high end auction organized by Sotheby’s in London. It seems that investors or collectors, most notably from China and the Middle East, do have faith in the value of rare art, rather than investing in real estate or in shares. And a painting, of course, is one of a kind, unique.

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Top 10 civil wars by death toll

history & culture

The majority of all wars are fought between countries. However, many wars take place within a nation. Most modern countries have experienced a civil war in the past. Syria, Colombia and Yemen are examples of ongoing civil wars, ruining the lives of many day in, day out. Since 1945, civil wars have claimed the lives of more than 25 million people. Moreover, it can lead to an enormous economic collapse.

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Top 10 most violent cities

history & culture

About a month ago, New York City made headlines worldwide. It was for the first time in decades that the city hadn’t experienced a homicide in 24 hours. A total of 414 homicides occurred in 2012 in the City, which means that the murder rate of the Big Apple has fallen to 3.8 homicides per 100,000 residents. Compared to 1990, the current rate is five times lower. But even in those days New York would have been a relative safe place to live compared to the cities in the next list. The following cities are the most violent in the world in terms of homicides per 100,000 residents. Here’s a top 10 most violent cities!

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Top 10 famous German loanwords

history & culture

“Ich bin ein Berliner”. This quotation by John F. Kennedy was part of one of the most notable speeches of the Cold War era. An easy phrase in German, that everybody understands. The fact that he was literally saying that he was a doughnut from Berlin only reinforced the statement. Throughout history, Germans have played an important role in literature, philosophy, politics and science. Many words in English have their origin in German. The word loanword itself is derived from the German Lehnwort. But it’s not famous enough to enter the next list of ten famous German loanwords.

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Top 10 oldest permanently inhabitated cities

history & culture

Mesopotamia can claim the earliest cities. However, cities like Uruk (the largest city of the world in 2900 BC with an estimated 80.000 inhabitants) and Ur were abandoned during the Islamic conquests. In this list we’re looking for the oldest permanently inhabitated cities. The Middle East keeps playing an important role in this list, but find out which other cities complete the next top 10 list!

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Top 10 tourist destinations in the world

history & culture

Holidays are sacred for most people. What better way is there to recover from our busy daily lives than taking a couple of weeks off and explore the wonders of the world? Most people are content with a few weeks of R&R on a beach side resort, others demand a bit more from their hard earned free time. So what are the top 10 tourist destinations in the world? Here’s the list that travelandleisure.com released last year:

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Top 10 longest reigning Roman emperors

history & culture

Caesar paved the road for one of the most impressive empires. The Roman Empire starts 27 BC and falls apart 476 AD. The empire saw many emperors come and go. Many of them were assasinated. Some emperors were unpopular, Nero for example was said to be crazy. The first – prosperous – 200 years were marked by the Pax Romana (Roman Peace). Later on the empire started to desintegrate. Civil wars and the actions of barbarians finally put an end to Roman dominance. Which emperor was the most succesfull in terms of time served as an emperor? Here’s the top 10 longest reigning Roman emperors!
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Top 10 countries by prison population per capita

history & culture

Worldwide, out of 670 people, one is spending a part of his or her life behind bars. In many countries the conditions of living in a prison are poor. Many prisons are overcrowded and violence is part of the daily routine of many prisoners. Human right standards are often neglected. The International Centre for Prison Studies (ICPS) presents a monthly updated list of prison population rates per 100,000 of the national population. Here it is!
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Top 10 castles of France

history & culture

The French have a rich history. And while traveling through France one could easily spot those artefacts of medieval times in the landscape. The majority of castles is located in the northern part of France, especially along the riverside of the Loire, one of the main rivers in France. But there are many more to find throughout this beautiful country. If you’re looking for a romantic place to stay, then check our top 10 castles of France!
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Top 10 Scandinavian contributions to the world

history & culture

‘The Swedes invented the toilet seat. Twenty years later the Norwegians invented the hole in it’. That sums about up how Scandinavians look at each other. A little mean, but peaceful. But what are the real contributions the Scandinavians have brought the world? The Danes, the Swedes, the Norwegians and even the Finns invented quite a lot! Let’s take a look at our top 10 of Scandinavian contributions to the world!

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Top 10 songs about cities

history & culture

Imagine being a city marketer. Every morning, every day, you’re talking to your principal, discussing the next approach. Express the feeling, that should be your main focus. Hey, I think you really should do something with that annual marathon, it’ll work. I think. Or: Don’t you have a funny statistic we can tweet about? And then, citymarketeer you are, you turn on the radio, well, while jogging through your Central Park and listening to the songs that express the feeling of a city in our next top 10 list of songs about cities…. Eat your heart out…solving!!
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Top 10 shortest wars in history

history & culture

Wars change the shape of history dramatically. Most wars have a timespan of years or even generations. But the lenght of a war doesn’t say something of its intensity or number of casualities. Here’s the following list of shortest wars in history, that were sometimes very intense/effective (depending on your view)!
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Top 10 longest reigning monarchs

history & culture

Last week, on the 6th of February 2012, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her sixtiest anniversary as a reigning monarch. If she manages to stay alive for the next four years (and why shouldn’t she?), she’ll be the longest reigning queen of the United Kingdom, beating Queen Victoria who reigned from 1837 to 1901. But in our next top 10 list of longest reigning monarchs she’s not even close to number one!
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Top 10 most visited museums

history & culture

Museums are the cornerstones of a country’s cultural life and historical awareness. They invite public to breathe in legacy, albeit in the form of history or a specific period of trendsetting arts. But they are also important tourist attractions. Our following list of top 10 most visited museums doesn’t have a cue and it’s free!
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