The Kalash people are unlike any group in Pakistan. About half of the Kalash practice a form of ancient Hinduism infused with old pagan and animist beliefs. They celebrate religious festivals with music, dancing, and alcohol — which they brew themselves.
Their rituals include married Kalash women eloping with other men, and boys having sexual intercourse with any woman they choose after reaching puberty. Other rituals include sacrificing dozens of goats.
Exactly how hard is it to cross the U.S. without getting in a car or on a plane? For those traveling to and from bigger cities, it’s fairly easy to find transit options, like Amtrak or bus routes. But that’s not really true for the entire country, as this map from Michael Buiting shows.
Buiting put together the map when he realized nothing else like it existed. “I just love data, and I love transportation, and I care about reaching deeply rural America that is not currently connected,” he says. “It was stunning to me how much of the country still is not.”
Take the little town of Tonopah, Nevada. “You either drive there, or fly there, or if you want to go any other way you’re going to have to go 100 miles to the nearest bus or train station,” he explains. “These rural communities have sizable enough populations, but they’re severely isolated.”
A few years ago, Buiting started making a detailed inventory of all the major routes in the country. He had noticed that it was hard to find information about routes online—sites like Greyhound don’t list routes from other carriers, and just buying a ticket can be such an arduous process that Buiting believes it’s hurting ridership.
He launched a website to share his growing database. Though it’s called the American Intercity Bus Riders Association, Buiting freely admits that he’s the only member. “I’m not a marketing guy,” he says. “I just wanted to get the information out there.”
The site has been popular with transportation planners, but Buiting thinks there’s still a need for an interface that makes it simple for the general public to get where they want to go without driving. Because of his own obsession with the routes, he can rattle off where bus lines cross each other. But for the average person, he says, the information is so difficult to find it’s a deterrent. “Let’s say you want to go from McCook, Nebraska, to Nashville, Tennessee,” he says. “The only thing serving McCook is Amtrak, the only thing serving Nashville is Greyhound. Right now, there’s no simple way to find your route and get a ticket. There should be a single stop where you can type in ZIP codes and get a trip plan. We have the technology, so there’s no reason that isn’t there.”
Despite the challenges, in a few areas bus service is starting to grow. And Buiting thinks it’s starting to lose the stigma it once had. “It’s less and less being viewed as the filthy, dirty domain of homeless people and convicts,” he says. “It’s fun. You will never ride an intercity bus and not have a story about your journey.”
“Have you ever ridden an intercity bus?” he asks. “You’ve got to try it.”
By James Burbeck
Of all the battles of the Pacific War that raged across half the world between 1941 and 1945, one of the least publicized in relation to its violence and impact was arguably the amphibious invasion of the island of Peleliu in the Palau island group. This 1944 invasion took place barely ten months after the carnage of Tarawa, and ended up costing nearly double the casualties for the attacker and defender. In the process, the Japanese 14th Infantry Division was totally destroyed and the U.S. 1st Marine Division was dreadfully crippled, losing over half its strength due to severe casualties. The U.S. 81st Army Division which assumed responsibility for the later half of the battle, suffered an additional round of losses before completing the destruction begun as such cost by the USMC.