Articles

  • The BBC at Broadcasting House, Portland Place, Oxford Circus in London has opened a semi-permanent installation called "The BBC Experience." It begins with the dawn of radio and covers the succeeding 75 years to the interactive present, that is to say, directing a segment of a sitcom, doing sports commentary, creating sound effects.
  • A student of American kite patents, Ed Grauel of Rochester,N.Y., has expanded his research into kite creativity elsewhere in the Western world. On behalf of the Drachen Foundation, he has now: -prepared a definitive listing of all Australian kite patents from the first one issued in 1900 through 1997; -read and summarized the 59 English kite patents issued from 1911 through 1965 (it would be very difficult to check the 800,000 patents issued prior to 1911 to determine which, if any, covered kites);
  • Having studied the "Pictures for the Sky" catalogue, I found the reality of the large exhibition surprising. What you don't get from looking at the book is scale. The kites in the exhibit are generally quite big. You don't get to see kites as big in Japan very often. Longing to see the exhibit for years, I caught up with it finally in Luxembourg last year, where the organizer, Dr.Paul Eubel, is directing the Goethe Institute-Germany's cultural equivalent of the United States Information Agency.
  • A lawyer by training, Dr.Paul Eubel changed his career in mid-stream from being Germany's leading contemporary expert on the Japanese legal system to a cultural affairs officer representing his country in Japan. He got himself posted to Osaka to head the Goethe Institute there, Germany's equivalent of the United States Information Agency.
  • The use of kite to catch fish is very old technique, possibly dating back to the Stone Age, but can still be seen in selected regions of Southeast Asia where it remains a daily activity. Kite fishing occurs across 65 degrees of longitude, from Singapore and Java in the west to the Santa Cruz islands near the Solomons in the east, and it straddles the equator over that length of large and small islands.
  • Of the fewer than a dozen basic, or generic, kites extant in the world today—the number is a source of contention—the Sled is one of the most popular. It is easy to make and a good flier.
  • Architect, city planner, computer programmer Marten Bondestam has an unusual vision. He wants to establish a really active Nordic kite federation. What makes his concept surprising is its scope---the association numbers nine nations. Nine? Yes, that’s the number. All are independent or semi-independent, all have their own flags. In addition to the obvious Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, included are the Faroe Islands, Aland (a big island between Finland and Sweden), Iceland, Greenland, and Sameland (the former Lappland).
  • The dragon is made thus: Make a quadrangle of the small pieces of reeds, that the length may be to the breadth, one and half in proportion. Put in two diameters on the opposite parts or angles, where they cut on the other. Bind it with a small cord, and of the same bigness. Let it be joined with two others that proceed from the heads of the engine. Then, cover it with paper or thin linen, that there be no burden to weigh upon it.
  • Thirty five kite enthusiasts, many with years of kite flying and kite making behind them, were carried back in time by the historical kite experts at The Drachen Foundation’s first historical kite gathering in Haltern, Germany. Organized on site by Achim and Sabine Kinter from nearby Gelsenkirchen, the participants were promised a look at historical documents, antique kites, and kite building techniques from 100 years ago.
  • Samuel Franklin Cody (no kin to Buffalo Bill) was a brash cowboy and Wild West showman whose outrageous feats on horseback paled next to his triumphs of self-promotion. That he went on to become a British aviation pioneer, buried at the age of 46 with pomp and circumstance in a British military cemetery, is a largely forgotten story carefully reconstructed in no-frills prose by Garry Jenkins, a London journalist. He does justice to a man whose ‘determination and dauntless courage’ were noted by no less than King George V.