Sunday, July 31, 2011

August 2011 Travel Photo: Yosemite Falls From Above


Yosemite Falls is a series of three waterfalls with a total drop of 2,425 feet (740 meters).  This makes the waterfalls system the fifth tallest in the world.  I took this photo back in 2007 as I was travelling to the Association of American Geographers convention in San Francisco, California.


View Larger Map

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thorium Volcanic Field on the Moon and What it Means

A rare deposit of thorium is located on the far side of the Moon.  This is important for two reasons: one purely scientific and the other for humanity.  

Scientifically the deposit is important because it is newer than other volcanic fields on the Moon.  Previously it was believed all volcanic activity on the Moon occurred during its warm phase during its creation.  However, this field is possible proof that the Moon had an active crust-mantle rock recycling cycle which most scientists believed the Moon never had.

Meanwhile thorium makes a very usable, stable fuel for nuclear reactors.  Thorium already on the Moon could provide fuel for nuclear powered Moon stations or even refuel nuclear powered spaceships.  Also, if the demand for thorium, which currently is in good supply on Earth, increases then these deposits and other on the Moon could provide the need for further space exploration and mining.  Much like the European exploration and colonization of the New Earth, the want of resources will prove the reason for humanity's advancement into space.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Omnes Viae: Itinerarium Romanum - Google Maps from AD 400

The Tabula Peutingeriana is an amazing map.  It is a map showing all the roads, cities and major towns, and physical geographic features in the Roman Empire around A.D. 400.  It also shows how Rome's neighbors to include an Imperial Cult temple in India.  Besides being pretty to look at the map was also useful for planning way points while travelling across the empire.

Today people use tools like Google Maps to plan travel.  What if, in somesort of amazing wonder/nightmare world the Romans had technology like Google Maps?  The Romans would then use Omnes Viae: Itinerarium Romanum, a Google Map mashup which uses the Tabula Peutingeriana to map out travels on the Roman road network.  Using a Latin veneer, Omnes Viae shows not only the route on Google Maps using the Roman road network but also shows the path on the Tabula with all the towns, villages, river crossings, and mountains one would pass through.

I planned a trip from the Eternal City to Jerusalem.  Basically one would take a nice excursion through all the major Eastern Empire cities such as Belgrade, Constantinople, Antioch, and Beirut.    

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hotter the Weather the More Violence Committed? Maybe, but Air Conditioning Helps Keep the Peace

I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's retire:
The day is hot, the Capulets abroad,
And, if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl;
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring

-Benvolio to Mercutio in Act 3, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The idea that hot weather increase the primitive, aggressive nature of man is well established.  The science, however, is a bit iffy.  There are some theories about heat's effect on the brain but various scientists have very conflicting opinion.

Wired Magazine has a short, readable article about several studies concerning heat and crime rates.  According to one study, up until the temperature reaches 90 degrees (32 Celsius), there is a correlation between temperature and violence.  However, after that the correlation is broken.  Air conditioning is proposed reason because after temperatures get high many people who would be targets of opportunity are instead now able to stay cool indoors.

Even this science is not settled but is an interesting idea.  Humans may have made a minor solution to environmental influences on their psyche.  Now if there were only a solution to seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Map of American Places Closed to Travel by Eastern European Diplomats During the Cold War

It is amazing what you can find in map stores, personal collections.  This doozy, which I acquired in a swap of several maps, shows places where Bulgarian, Czechoslovakian, Hungarian, Polish, and Romanian officials could not travel to in the United States in 1967.  Summing up the map, which I took a so-so photo of but I am willing to answer any questions you may have, all I can say some of the restrictions only make some sense.

My photo of the map.  Click to enlarge or contact me if you have any questions.
Oregon, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Vermont are the only states that do not have counties which are off-limits (strangely Alaska and Hawaii are not displayed on the map).  Cities like St. Louis and Los Angeles are surrounded by off-limit zones but there are certain roads which diplomats may take to visit said cities.  Some banned counties like those in Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota surround significant military facilities but other banned counties have me wondering.  Why have Las Vegas off limits but allow the rest of federal-owned Nevada?  What is so important about Marquette County in the upper peninsula of Michigan? And is Pendleton County in West Virginia declared no-go because it would stop successful completion of an Eastern European diplomat from completing the Appalachian Trail (that is the only reason, serious or non-serious, I can propose).

 Not all the European Communist countries' officials are impacted by this map.  I have seen the map showing the Soviet's officials no-go zones and there are significantly more forbidden areas.  Yugoslavia was independent of Soviet oversight while Albania was in Red China's orbit by 1967.  Finally, there was no official East German representation to the United States since the United States recognized West Germany as the sole legitimate government of Germany.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The World Geography's Top Ten Geography Errors in Movies

Geography purists who are wrapped too tight to enjoy films (myself is included when I am in a bad mood or feel the movie is dumb) will eagerly look to find geography errors in movies.  The mountain in the background of Rumble in the Bronx, the easy running distance between the Egyptian pyramids and Petra in Transformers 2, and the glaciated mountains in Oklahoma in the original True Grit are just three that easily come to mind.

The website The World Geography has created their own list of geography movie mistakes.  The best one's pointed out where Krakatoa, East of Java (Krakatoa is actually west of Java) and the multiple "Mexico=Peru" errors in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories Debunked

On the 21st of June (in UTC time, 20 June in U.S. time) Apollo 11's Eagle lander landed on the Moon.  Sadly, some people's lack of knowledge of lunar geography, space physics, and technological limitations has led to conspiracy theories stated the moon landings never happened.  National Geographic has republished 8 Moon-Landing Hoax Myths--Busted which takes apart the main conspiracy theories.  The website Bad Astronomy also has a detailed deconstruction of the conspiracy myths.  Moon Base Clavius is a well researched website solely dedicated to debunking the conspiracy theories.  Britian's Daily Telegraph also takes apart ten crazed ideas.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nation's Report Card on Geography 2011: Students Still Geographically Ignorant

Earlier this year we learned from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) that American students on average know little about civics or history.  Yesterday the NAEP released the "Nation's Report" on Geography.  Bottom line up front: American students do not know geography.

The following news source sum up the report better than I can:
Scores with fourth-graders have "improved" but this is a slight change still well within failure's margin and nothing to take pride in.

The full report along with the executive summary can be downloaded from the NAEP's website.

Side note:  The questions asked by the NAEP are much more diverse than the standard "where is X country?"  NAEP's questions involve land use, map reading, spatial reasoning, climatology, and much more.  Test yourself on sample questions asked of fourth, eighth, and twelfth graders.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hebrew Language Shabbat Stone Found in Lower Galilee

The Jewish sabbath, Shabbat, is one of rest and definitely not work.  There are many things prohibited on the Shabbat including traveling.  Exodus 16:29 states "[L]et no man go out of his place on the seventh day" (Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition).

The ancient Jews were very concerned on making sure they pleased God by not violating His laws, including when it came to traveling.  They knew not to travel too far from home but how far was too far?  Surely one could move around their home.  But could one visit their neighbors? Walk to the other part of the village?  Walk to the next village?  A Jewish website, Ask Moses, gives this as an answer:
B. Negative Mitzvah #321 sets a maximum walking range from one’s city. The rabbis established the limit to be 2,000 cubits (3,049.5 feet, 0.596 miles (960 meters). [However, this measurement starts 70 2/3 cubits (112.24 ft.) from the city limits.] Practically speaking, this means that you may not walk a straight line more than .598 miles (3161.74 ft.) in any direction in the wilds outside your city limits.
The ancient Jews took the rabbi established geographic limits of roaming very serious.  Shabbat stones, showing the limit of freedom of movement during the sabbath, were placed outside towns to ensure one did not fall into sin.

Cross the line and sin! (Photo from the Jerusalem Post)
Previous found stones were marked with the word "Shabbat" in Greek.  The use of the Greek language demonstrated the extent of Hellenization in even faithful Jewish communities.  Now, however, a stone has been found in the lower Galilee region with the word "Shabbat" written in Hebrew.  Shockingly this is the only discovered Shabbat stone in Hebrew.  Since we know Hellenization was limited in the Jewish community one must deduce that erosion, landscape changes, and ethno-political changes over time have wiped most of the Hebrew-text stones from the face of the Earth.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rhode Island Now Aquidneck Island on Tourist Maps

What is the smallest state in the union?  If you answered "Rhode Island" then your answer is correct based on intent.  The official name of the smallest state is the "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations."  That is because the colony which the state was formed from was a combination of a settlement on the actual island called Rhode and farm plantations around the town of Providence.

The confusion between the state and the island names' have naturally led to confusion.  People will ask why the state is called an island when the state is not an island because of ignorance concerning the actual island.  The U.S. Board of Geographic Names, the official federal government's geographic name body, identifies the island as Rhode Island, while the vernacular name the locals use is Aquidneck Island, the name the local Indians called the island.



Now the state is moving to fix the confusion.  The newest version of the state's tourist map are now identifying the island as Aquidnick Island.  This changes is not a formal name changes but is a significant push to officially rename the island.  The Board of Geographic Names would be the sole authority who could do that.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ten States that are Losing Their Youth the Fastest


Taxes combined with cost of living, dying industries, and environmental factors have all caused massive loss of youth in American states.  MSNBC has a sad yet interesting article on which states are losing populations of those fifteen years old and younger.

Map of the causes of youth population decline in states, 2000-2010.
Taxes with high cost of living are the biggest driver of the loss children (really the parents who realize the state has created an anti-family system of taxes).  California, Maryland, Hawaii, and even business-friendly Virginia have all been losing their youth due to high personal income taxes. In Alaska, where the youth population declined by fifteen percent in the last ten years, has a growing energy industry is hurting because of the high cost of living despite not having a personal income or state sales tax.


The Rust Belt, the range of areas along the Great Lakes where heavy industry died, is commonly thought of when one considers the downfall of an industry.  There are other industries that are dying or just not growing.  Agriculture and manufacturing are hurting in this Great Recession.  These two industries have caused a shrinking youth population in South Carolina and New Hampshire. 


New York and Rhode Island are suffering the lethal combination of both taxes with high cost of living and the downfall of local industries.


Louisiana is an unique case.  Hurricane Katrina in 2005 destroyed the southeast and caused a massive exodus of people and their children to Texas and other nearby states. 


What is geographically significant is that Central Interior states are lacking from the list.  It has been long feared that the Great Plains states of the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas were undergoing great depopulation, especially with youth.   It appears the Great Plains states are not the worst suffering in terms of youth depopulation.  Who knows, maybe things will start to turn around with these states having low personal income taxes (if at all) and the lowest unemployment in the country with the advancement of agricultural science industries.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The History and Geography of the English Language

English is truly the world's language.  While Mandarin Chinese is spoken natively by more people, English is spoken by more people as a first or second language and the range of English is much more geographically widespread.  International business, airflights, and law is done in English.  Latin and French once held the title of international language but the title currently belongs to English.

The history of English is a geography in and of itself.  English has it's roots in the Anglo-Saxons (Germanics who came from present-day Germany and who replaced the Celtic Britons, who are the ancestors of present-day Welsh and Cornish people).  Original Anglo-Saxon era English sounded much like a harsh, German-like language and is unintelligible to modern English speakers.  Just try reading the first line of Beowulf or understanding it being spoken.


Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagum, 

English later evolved with the invasion of Viking Normans from France brought both another Germanic language and Romance early French.  Natural developments combined with more streams of English being created in colonies and international cross-pollination has made English the global language we know.

Open University has released educated videos explaining the history and geography of English's development.   All the videos combined take ten minutes to watch.  So watch, enjoy, and learn about the world's (current) language.










Monday, July 11, 2011

OpenStreetMap First to Show the Republic of South Sudan

No surprise for 2011, the crowdsourcing (Wiki-like map editing) website OpenStreetMap is the first online map to show the Republic of South Sudan.  Meanwhile the big three of Google, Bing, and Yahoo and other international mapping sites still lack the new republic.


View Larger Map

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Example of Genetic Geography: Who are the Afro-Indians

Afro-Indians are Asian Indians who have significant African heritage.  Much cultural anthropological work has been done on the various groups such as the SheediSiddis,and the Cochin Jews.  However, only so much could be discovered through studies of the Afro-Indians in the present.  Geneticists have announced results of their study which show that the African element in India arrived in the most part after the British first came to India and that the Indian part of their heritage comes more from women than men.  Discovery Magazine blog has more.  Much of the genetic speak is way over my head but this shows how historical cultural geographers and geneticists can work together. (Hat Tip: TDAXP)

Friday, July 08, 2011

South Sudan: The World's Newest Country


Since the start of this blog in 2006 both Montenegro and Kosovo have become independent.  Now it is the Republic of South Sudan's turn.  At 12:01 am, July 9th local time (9:01 UTM, July 8th) the new republic came into being from Sudan, a country which it fought a brutal 22 year civil war with.  This is the first map change in Africa since Zaire renamed itself back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997.  It is also the first sovereignty change in Africa since Walvis Bay was transferred in 1994 from South Africa to Namibia.

Problems Ahead

Now the new country faces many challenges.  Already it has had several micro-civil wars between various tribes and military leaders.  United Nations peacekeepers planned to be rushed in to keep order but they face many challenges including a returning refugee crisis, poor internal controls, and no one quite knowing the final borders of South Sudan.

The last problem has manifested itself in the form of a shooting war.  The Abyei region, jointly administered by Sudan and the southern regional government, was due to have a referendum on whether it would join South Sudan.  The Sudanese government, however, dissolved the joint administration and cancelled the vote.  The state of South Kordofan, which Abyei is a part of, attempted to unilaterally join South Sudan.  This has started a war which the south stayed neutral in and even agreed not to take South Kordofan.

While I have been wrong before on geopolitical predictions I estimate within two years a moderate-to-serious civil war will occur in South Sudan.

South Sudan:  Truly a sub-Saharan African Country

The Republic of South Sudan has truly seceded from Sudan.  The Republic of Sudan models itself as an Arab, Islamic state in Northern (Arab-culture) Africa.  South Sudan is ethnically black African, it's flag use sub-Saharan (non-Arab) colors and style, and the flag even has the Star of Bethlehem on it representing its Christian nature as a unifying factor.

Where on the Map

Your maps are out of date.  Map from The Economist.
South Sudan is a land locked country.  If it wants to export it's oil, a must, it either has to arrange costly deals with Sudan or make new treaties with Ethiopia and have the goods then go through Somaliland.

Currently Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Yahoo Maps do not have South Sudan on the map.  I will report as soon as possible when the first one of these big three update their maps. (Update:  OpenStreetMap beat everyone)

South Sudan will most probably have an easy time being recognized by all countries.  Sudan itself is willingly giving it away and all five members of the United Nations Security Council have stated they will recognize South Sudan. This is greatly different from Kosovo, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia.  All these unilaterally declared independence without the consent of the losing country.  Many other countries are worried about making a prescient for other want-to-be breakaway states.

What's in a Name?

Several names were debated for the new republic.  Names like Kush recalled Biblical geography while others like Nileland were geographically based.  Much like West Virginia, however, the name of South Sudan was chosen for simplicity sake.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Guide to Heat Index's Health Impact on People

Heat index is the combination of temperature and humidity to determine how hot it feels to the body.  High humidity levels negatively impact the body's means for sweat to evaporate and thus interfere with the body's natural cooling mechanism.  That's why 90 degrees with high humidity feels worse than a dry 100 degree day.

USA Today made a chart showing negative impacts of heat index levels (hat tip: Daily Caller).

Image from the Daily Caller
For those who use the metric system here is a quick conversion guide:

80 Fahrenheit (F) equals 27 Celsius (C)
90F = 32C
100F = 38C
110F = 43C
120F = 49C
130F = 54C

Bohemian: From Czech to Counter-Culture

Bohemia is the western portion of the Czech Republic.  The region has long been known as Bohemia, even the Republican Romans referred to the area as Boihaemum.  Bohemian once universally meant, simply enough, a person from Bohemia.  The present-day ethnic group Czech is the same thing as a historical Bohemian.

So how did Bohemian go from Czech to become counter-cultural and hippie-like?  The answer is the French.  In the 1400s the Roma (gypsies) reached France.  The Roma came through Bohemia so the French word for Gypsy became "one who came through Bohemia" or, in French, Bohémienne.

French artists and others outside the mainstream society began moving in the poor Roma neighborhoods in the mid-1800s.  It was a nineteenth century yuppie gentrification.  The public then started to call these artists bohémienne.  The name stuck and migrated into the English lexicon.

Demographic mass migration through the corridor of present-day Czech Republic into France is why the term Bohemian (Czech) changed it's meaning to Bohemian (counter-cultural).

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Children's Guide to How GPS Works

The British educational website BrainPop has a free, easy to understand children's cartoon explaining how global positioning system (GPS) works.  The cartoon is for early years students but does a good job of explaining the basics.  There are other cartoons explaining geographical matters but there is a subscription fee.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln: Patriots, Presidents, and Geographers

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln are well known as being three very significant presidents.  What many people do not know, however, is that they were all geographers.

George Washington's map of Mount Vernon. From Smithsonian Magazine.
George Washington spent his youth mapping and surveying much of northern Virginia.  His surveying mapped out much of the western Maryland-Virginia(-and now West Virginia) border.  The Library of Congress has an excellent online article about Washington's work as a geographer.

Thomas Jefferson was also a surveyor but he did so much more.  During the Revolutionary War he managed to take time out from being governor of Virginia to write his famous regional geography text book Notes on the States of Virginia.  During his presidency he commissioned the famous Lewis & Clark expedition.  Earlier, as ambassador to France he commissioned a moose hunting trip in New Hampshire to disprove French environmental determinism.

Abraham Lincoln briefly was the county surveyor for Sangamon county, Illinois.  Lincoln soon returned to his law practice and politics which were his love.  However, he stated his geography work as land surveyor "produced bread and kept body and soul together."

Monday, July 04, 2011

Geography and the Declaration of Independence

When one thinks of the Declaration of Independence one most likely thinks of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  The reason the colonist sought these rights lies with the old rallying cry of "taxation without representation."  Taxation without representation is commonly asserted as the sole reason the thirteen colonies united to liberate themselves from the control of King George III of Great Britain and Ireland.

What many people do not know, however, is that the Declaration of Independence states many reasons for independence.  A large number of the reasons the United States declared independence have roots in geography.

Here's a list of the stated geographic reasons in the Declaration along with my explanation.  Note: 1776 English is used in bold.

"He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures."


The colonies had their own local governments.  These governments had a governor appointed by the monarch and a legislature voted on by the people.  However, King George III would frequently abolish the legislature or forbid it to meet.  A "compromise" by the king was to allow the legislature to meet in London, England.  This was not a solution since an ocean that took up to six weeks to cross separated the colonies and England.  Sometimes colonists would hear about an allowable meeting location and time only after the time has passed due to the communication lag between colony and mother country.


"He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands."


The patriots of 1776 had no problem with immigration.  Colonists who were ethnically English, Scots, Scot-Irish, Irish, Germans, Swedes, and Dutch were united in a nationalism based on their colony along with their rights as Englishmen.  What they did have a problem with is being denied an influx of hardworking, skilled populations of tradesmen, merchants, and farmers from other countries.  It was the immigrants who would create the new frontiers for the colonies by pushing settlements into the continent.  To deny immigration was to deny the growth of the colonies.


For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world


The colonist favored free, open trade.  The United Kingdom practiced not capitalism (modern capitalism was defined by Adam Smith in 1776) but mercantilism.  Mercantilism taught that trade with foreign countries had to be limited and the colonies should serve basically as resource providers for the mother country while the colonies got only basic goods in return.


For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences


Trial by your peers was defined by the Constitution but English Common Law had long provided for juries to be from a similar population pool.  Under King George III, however, your peers could be the closest thing England could provide.  A Massachusetts farmer could find himself in the fate of London merchants.


For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies


The United States has always had a weird relationship with Canada.  The said province, the Province of Quebec, was a geographic monster stretching from present day Illinois all the way to Labrador.  This land was mostly French, only recently conquered during the French & Indian War.  In order to appease the large Catholic French population the king approved the Quebec Act.  The act allowed 1) French civil law to exist along side English common law, 2) the loyalty oath removed references to Protestantism, and 3) the Catholic Church was given freedom to function.



Quebec was much more than Quebec

This was unacceptable to the American colonists.  They saw all of Canada as the next colonies (the colonies has already bled for Canada as colonial militias provided much needed troops for the various invasions of Canada including the capture of Louisbourg in present-day Nova Scotia).  Allowing the French Canadians to remain French would prevent an Englishization of Canada and prevent the Canada from eventually entering the American colonial sphere.


Interestingly enough an Englishization did occur but only after the Revolutionary War.  An estimated 70,000 United Empire Loyalists, Americans who remained loyal to the United Kingdom, left the American colonies and settled in Canada.  These loyalists shifted the demographic balance in present-day Canada in favor of English-speaking Canadians.  Those who resettled in present-day Ontario provided a cultural border limiting the extent of French Canada and ensured that western Canada would be culturally English rather than French.


"He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation."


The charge of "mercenary" against German Hessian troops is somewhat unfair.  First, the troops were sold into service by their various monarchs to King George III.  Second, some were subjects of George III since at the same time he was King of Great Britain and Ireland he was Prince of Hanover, part of the Holy Roman Empire.


We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown.


The colonies formally declare their independence here.  The declare themselves to be states, independent countries, comprising a united country much like the Holy Roman Empire was comprised of many independent, sometimes warring against each other, states.  Until the Civil War the term "United States" was treated as plural. One would say "the United States are" as opposed to thinking the country as truly one.

Friday, July 01, 2011

July 2011 Travel Photo: Pashtun Graveyard

Photo by Catholicgauze


Musakhel
, Moses Village, lies on a contested border between various Pashtun tribes.  The village's location in a valley has made it a contested space between tribes, 1980s rebels, Communists, Taliban, and Coalition Forces.  Afghan National Police and Army do not even try to come here.  Over the years many battles have been fought and the dead fighters are laid to rest next to the deceased villagers.

Normal graves are marked with rocks but nothing notes the name of those buried below.  The graves of martyrs have flags waving from them representing Islam (green), martyrdom (black), and the Taliban (blue stripes on a white background).  Village elders' graves have small stone enclosures but no names are listed.

Grave sites has become a contentious issue between the native Taliban who are Deobandi Sunni Muslims and foreign fighters who are mostly Wahhabi Sunni Muslims.  The Deobandis combine many folk practices such as worshipping at grave sites, praying for the dead's intercessions as if they were saints, and even believing the sites themselves contain God-given magic powers.  The Wahhabis believe these practices are paganism in disguise and will attempt to "correct" Deobandi "errors" by destroying grave sites.  While Wahhabis believe their version of Islam is the purest because it came from the purest Arab tribes, Afghan Deobandis believe their version of Islam is the purest because non-Muslim forces have never conquered Afghan Muslims.  Many a Wahabbi has met a horrible end by Deobandis who hate outsiders attempting to correct their interpretation of Islam.