Our top stories on the Goats and Soda blog in 2021 were mostly about the pandemic. But that’s not the only topic that readers click on.
Even while the world is concerned about COVID-19, people made time for other topics.
They definitely wanted advice on how to get kids to help with chores. That was one of our top stories of the year.
They read articles about other worrisome diseases, such as the Nipah virus and cancer (and the role alcohol plays in them).
And they wanted entertainment. Readers flocked to our story about the K-pop supergroup BTS speaking at the UN General Assembly and our commentary on the Netflix movie The White Tiger.
Of the 321 global health and development stories posted to our blog in 2021, here are 9 of our most popular non-pandemic stories, listed by pageviews.
Are we raising useless, bossy children? Here is the solution
In some cultures, children roll their eyes when asked to do chores. In others, they will join in without even being asked. Researchers have identified two key practices for raising helpful children. Published on March 5, 2021
The daughter of our correspondent Michaeleen Doucleff, Rosy, voluntarily does the dishes at the age of 2. Involving her in chores flooded the kitchen and broke the dishes, Doucleff reports. But Rosy is still eager to help. Hide Michaeleen Doucleff/NPR caption
toggle caption Michaeleen Doucleff/NPR
Alcohol use linked to more than 740,000 cancer cases last year, new study says
Most people don’t realize that alcohol consumption can cause cancer. A report in Lancet Oncology shows the risk factor for esophageal, mouth, larynx, colon, rectal, liver and breast cancers. Published July 16, 2021
At least 4% of the world’s newly diagnosed cases of esophageal, mouth, larynx, colon, rectum, liver and breast cancer in 2020, or 741,300 people, could be attributed to drinking alcohol, according to a new study . markhanna/Getty Images/Room RF Hide Caption
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markhanna/Getty Images/Room RF
Why the world should be more than a little concerned about India’s Nipah virus outbreak
A September case of the virus, which killed a 12-year-old boy, sparked fears of another outbreak in India. Researchers are concerned that the deadly disease could also cause global outbreaks. Published September 12, 2021
A roadblock imposed during the Nipah virus outbreak in the South Indian state of Kerala in September. CK Thanseer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption CK Thanseer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images
CK Thanseer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images
Why South Africa banned booze – and what happened next?
The hope was that if people didn’t drink outside, they wouldn’t spread the coronavirus. The ban, which expired in March, had unforeseen benefits as well as negative consequences. Published April 16, 2021
A liquor store in Newtown, Johannesburg, closed during the country’s alcohol ban. The photo is from December 29, 2020. Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images
Phil Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images
She owes her big environmental prize to goats that eat plastic bags
The demise of the bag-guzzling herbivores led Gloria Majiga-Kamoto to push Malawi for a ban on single-use thin plastics. Her activism earned her a 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize. Published June 23, 2021
Gloria Majiga-Kamoto, an activist from Malawi, is one of six recipients of the 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize. She played a key role in implementing Malawi’s ban on thin plastics. Goldman Environmental Prize Hide Caption
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Research sheds light on what kills young people, especially boys and young men
Globally, boys and young men accounted for two-thirds of all youth deaths in 2019. A new report shows that many such deaths in this ‘neglected’ age group are preventable. Published November 19, 2021
Two boys stand on the edge of the Buriganga River in Dhaka, Bangladesh in July. A study shows that boys and young men accounted for two-thirds of all deaths among young people in 2019. Kazi Salahuddin Razu/NurPhoto via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Kazi Salahuddin Razu/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Kazi Salahuddin Razu / NurPhoto via Getty Images
Malala Yousafzai’s interview in ‘British Vogue’ sparks anger in her native Pakistan
The Nobel Peace Prize winner posed for a cover portrait and spoke candidly in an interview. One of her comments about the marriage sparked vitriolic reactions on social media in her home country. (Although she ended up getting married in November!) Published June 4, 2021
Malala Yousafzai was the subject of the cover story in the new issue of British Vogue. A comment she made about the marriage sparked outrage on social media in Pakistan. Hide Nick Knight caption
toggle caption Nick Knight
BTS spoke at the UNGA. And that wasn’t the only surprise at the UN event
The popular boy band from South Korea’s appearance was one of many unexpected moments at the UN General Assembly – everything from a UN TikTok to a groundbreaking food summit. Published September 21, 2021
V (from left), Suga and Jin of BTS at the launch of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly. The popular boy band from South Korea sang (in a video performance that was viewed by more than 1 million people online) and spoke. John Angelillo/Pool/AFP via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption John Angelillo/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
John Angelillo/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
What Indians Who Have Knew Poverty Think Of Netflix’s Movie ‘The White Tiger’
Based on an award-winning novel, the film follows the unlikely journey of a poor villager in search of wealth. Is it true for those who know what it is like to be poor in India? Published January 29, 2021