Articles

  • The names of the places where Wilbur and Orville Wright made history are familiar to people everywhere who know and cherish the story of the invention of the airplane. The brothers tested their first kite/glider at Kitty Hawk. North Carolina in 1900, then shifted their seasonal camp four miles south to the Kill Devil Hills, where they flew from 1901 to 1903. They perfected their invention at Huffman Prairie, eight miles east of Dayton, in 1904 and 1905, and opened their flying field there in 1910.
  • The inimitable Shakib Gunn is a fixture in the kite community. His famous kitefliers passports are found throughout the worlds, and the large festivals he organized in Singapore in the 1980's were the beginning of the international kite scene in Southeast Asia. In a series of talks with Shakib in Singapore, where we both live, he explained his philosophy toward kites, festivals and life in general.
  • Because the Alexander Graham Bell tetrahedral kite is completely modular, you can change the shape every time you put one together. That's what makes it such a fascinating kite.
  • 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).