47 episodes

The Rest of the Iceberg answers questions so you can understand and engage the world's challenges better.

The Rest of the Iceberg Alister Chapman

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0, 6 Ratings

The Rest of the Iceberg answers questions so you can understand and engage the world's challenges better.

    Why Does Colombia Produce So Much Cocaine?

    Why Does Colombia Produce So Much Cocaine?

    Colombia produces more cocaine than any other country. Sadly, that’s the
    only thing most people know about the country. Locals would rather that
    Colombia was known for its green energy (which produces more than 70% of
    the country’s energy needs), its world-class mines, or its bird life—it has
    more species than any other nation. But mention Colombia and people think
    drugs. How did Colombia get the depressing distinction of being the world’s
    leading producer of cocaine?

    • 4 min
    Why is Congo So Unstable?

    Why is Congo So Unstable?

    An archive of news stories on any country will be mixed—some happy, some
    sad. Congo, or the Democratic Republic of Congo to give the country its
    full name, might be the exception. Despite its extraordinary natural
    resources, including large deposits of diamonds, copper, uranium, and
    coltan, and enough hydro-electric potential to power all the countries of
    Africa South of its borders, the news out of Congo has been reliably tragic
    for more than a hundred years. If you replace “Despite” with “Because of”
    at the start of the previous sentence, you’ll have the main reason why
    Congo has been a mess for so long.

    • 6 min
    What Explains the Russia-Ukraine Conflict?

    What Explains the Russia-Ukraine Conflict?

    Public protests against governments are common. But it’s unusual when a
    neighbouring country takes advantage of the protests and invades. That’s
    what happened to Ukraine in 2014, when demonstrations in the capital city
    of Kiev prompted Russia to attack. Within weeks, Russian soldiers seized
    thousands of square miles of Ukrainian territory, including the strategic
    Crimean peninsula. They are still there. Ukraine’s government is no longer
    sovereign over all of Ukraine. How did this happen?

    • 7 min
    Why is Brazil So Good at Soccer?

    Why is Brazil So Good at Soccer?

    Ask soccer fans which team they want to see play before they die and many
    will say Brazil. In their yellow shirts and blue shorts, Brazil has earned
    the reputation of playing attractive soccer more consistently than anyone
    else. When Brazilians dubbed soccer “o jogo bonito,” the beautiful game, it
    wasn’t just an aspiration. Brazil also wins. The team’s reward for making
    football more about art than science has been more World Cup trophies than
    any other nation and the highest winning percentage of any national team.
    How did Brazil get so good?

    • 6 min
    Why is Malaysia Split in Two?

    Why is Malaysia Split in Two?

    Which is the strangest looking country in the world? Contenders include the
    United States (think of Alaska and Hawaii), Papua New Guinea (shouldn’t it
    have the whole island?), Gambia (what’s it like to be entirely surrounded
    by another country?), and the United Kingdom (what’s with Northern
    Ireland?). The winner, however, might be Malaysia. It looks like a piece of
    fruit sliced in two, its two halves separated by 650 kilometers of water.
    Neither part covers all the relevant geography—the western half shares the
    peninsula with Thailand and Singapore, while the eastern half covers only a
    quarter of the island of Borneo. Nor does this unusual arrangement have the
    weight of history behind it—Malaysia in its current form dates back only to
    the 1960’s. How did Malaysia get the borders it has today?

    • 6 min
    Why is German Manufacturing So Good?

    Why is German Manufacturing So Good?

    For years, Audi advertisements have used the slogan “Vorsprung durch
    Technik.” Only a fraction of the millions who have read or heard the words
    know what they mean (“Progress through technology,” is the answer). The ad
    campaign works because people associate German design and manufacturing
    with quality, precision, and technical brilliance. Whether it’s Carl Zeiss
    lenses, BMW motorcycles, Bosch dishwashers, or Lamy pens, people buy German
    with the expectation of excellence. How did Germany get so good at

    • 8 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

History + Politics ,

Perfect Length, Well Researched, Witty

Alister Chapman has a unique ability to concisely explain current events with an eye on the past. His excellent writing and wit are well represented in this quick-hitting, must-listen podcast. A job well done!

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