Issue 76: News Reel


“…The flying of angel-shaped kites marked the culmination of the Pink Purse campaign, a collaborative effort between the Breast Cancer Welfare Association (BCWA) and supported by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical (GSK), J.CO Donuts & Coffee, and G2 Kuala Lumpur to raise funds and provide access and support for breast cancer patients.”…/7841131&sec=health


“The event was given by MyTurn, the college tour portion of a larger organization, Flying Kites. The documentary was produced during the summer of 2006, when the organization was first founded…Throughout the past four years, Flying Kites has expanded in several different ways.”

“The founders established the program called MyTurn, which aims to raise awareness among students.”

“Flying Kites is in the process of building an entirely new orphanage in the village of Kinangop, Kenya. There are 25 children, ages 5 to 16 years old, residing at the new orphanage, which is named the Flying Kites Leadership Academy, Blais said.”…true

“Flying Kites charity, which funds the orphanage in Kenya as well as many other worthy causes around the world”  Deb Emery will be climbing Killi in February to fly kites.…fly_kites

Images: Past & Present:

Life magazine has an outstanding collection of kite pictures on-line. Search the word ‘kite’ at and 880 images appear. Unfortunately, included throughout the group of kite images are photos of the golfer Tom Kite, the Kite bird, the sailing kite, and of course, lots from the Indian movie named ‘Kites’ from last year.

But there are also many incredible historical, international, and modern pictures of kites that fly! There are way cool pictures from; 1949 of kids playing with a kite that releases toys to children on the ground, entire villages participate in flying huge kites in 1949 Japan, as well as recent images from Australia’s ‘Festival of the Wind’, and the Gaza Strip, to name but a few.


The kite world can’t help but turn its attention to India in January, as the Makara Sankranti is held each year. And apparently, we will be hearing even more from them in the years to come.

“…I would like to request the students of design institutes like NID and NIFT, to come forward and research on new kind of kites. People of Gujarat will make kites designed by them and sell it in the international market…”

“Modi further announced that next year he wanted to hold competitions for bes slogan, songs and films on kites.”

According to Wikipedia “Makara Sankranti or Sankranthi marks the transition of the Sun into Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path. Traditionally, this has been one of many harvest days in India.”

“Owing to the vast geography and diversity of culture in India, this festival is celebrated for innumerable reasons and in innumerable ways depending on the climate, agricultural environment, cultural background and location.”

Read more at:…kite-flying-78649?cp

Also in honor of Makara Sankranti:
“…Researcher at Sardar Patel University S N Jha made kite flying easy this Uttarayan by developing a solar ‘firki’ that rewinds and releases strings as per the wish of the kite flyer. The firki developed by Jha is self-operative making it easy for even physically handicapped persons to fly kites.”…/7293781.cms?prtpage=1

On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Sonam Kapoor donated over 3000 kind kites to students of her school. Keeping in mind the safety of the children, she has provided them kites along with maanja (string) and phirkis, that are not glass coated.…kites-to-her-school

What happens when millions of people fly kites at the same time?

“…Of the 83 persons who reported with a variety of ‘Uttarayan injuries,’ 25 had sustained cut injuries by kite strings, 48 fell from terraces and balconies, while 10 others were hit by vehicles while chasing after kites.”…/7301450.cms

“…At least nine people died and nearly 300 were injured across the state in kite-flying incidents on Uttarayan.”…/7294955.cms

“…Police officials said that the trouble started over kite flying. While some boys were flying a ‘tukkal’ in the evening, some others had mischievously cut the lantern bearing kite with manja. This sparked off an altercation between two groups of youngsters. Stone pelting first began in Bawa Nu Dehlu opposite JP High School and rapidly spread to other parts of congested Dariapur.”…7301484.cms

It is difficult for those of us that live here in the west, to comprehend the level of kite enthusiasm India enjoys, especially in January.

Estonian ‘Vaino Raun’, currently of Canada, who has lived in India, found & shared this great documentary on kite fighting held in Ahmedabad, for the festival of Makara Sankhriti in January each year.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four


A new project sponsored by Nokia uses KAP – kite aerial photography – to get an innovative look at whale behavior. The project will be taking place in Hawaii and will document the area’s annual humpback whale migration.

“Flying over the water for the purpose of photographing whales has been a desire ever since I started doing KAP, but I’ve only recently been able to make arrangements for this.  Even though I have not yet photographed whales from the air, the results have already been better than I imagined.”…morgan_kaping_whales.html

Kite Fishing:

“…Wilson stopped the boat and pointed it into the stiff northwest wind as Galadza deployed two kites in the cockpit, each with three fishing lines dangling live bait. The mate showed Counahan, wife Maura, son Jack and nephew Jim Thomas how to tend the lines so that the baits neither got airborne, nor wallowed too deep in the water column. The object, Galadza taught them, is to keep the baits splashing on the surface to attract hungry sailfish (and other predators) cruising the area.”…familys-sailfishing.html

“Kite fishing is among the most exciting fishing techniques being used by man. This type of fishing is especially popular in Florida where many surface feeding predators such as sailfish are abundant.

Kite fishing is effective in Florida because this part of the Atlantic is windy and has an abundance of sailfish. This fishing technique is best used from October to April when the winds favor kite flying.”

Leaf Kites:

When it comes to hand-made kites, “keep your eyes open for something that will do the job,” says Pauline Taylor, a kite maker with Sunderland’s Infinite Arts collective. “The one here is bit Heath Robinson (Caruso) and that’s appealing.”

For instructions on how to make your own leaf kite, go to:…how-to-create-a-leaf-kite


The NASA Glen Research Center in Ohio created an exceptional web based educational section that revolves around kites. This resource has been available for many years, but it is always good to be reminded, and to introduce to new ‘kites in education’ mentors.  Thanks to Gary Mark for the reminder.

KiteModeler 1.4a beta…kiteprog.html

New Yorker Magazine:

Cartoon & Cover Bank
For a combination of kite art and American history, go to and search for kite. There is a combination of past magazine covers and cartoons with a kite theme.

New Yorker Cover – 5/27/1950
By Abe Birnbaum


Color the Wind
I saw an old man just today,
Who looked worn and weary from life.
A quiet sorta fella
Who seemed beaten down by his strife.

But as he passed the park that day,
He turned to the lake to see
Why there were so many people there,
Caught up in some reverie.

He stared at a multitude of kites,
Looking all feathered and finned;
Dancing across the open sky,
As they gracefully colored the wind.

And at first he just stood there stoically,
Watching the scene unfold.
Questioning why so many people
Would be flying kites in the cold.

But then, suddenly there came a birth of a smile,
And a twinkle that entered his eye.
All because some very special people,
Were determined to make their kites fly.

And I knew as he slowly turned away,
And reluctantly began to depart;
That deep within his tired soul,
Those kites had touched his heart.

David Okerlund 2010
(Thanks to Pete Rich)


Rio is a movie set for release in April of 2011

Admittedly, the movie may be more about hand gliding than kite flying, but Francis Rogallo invented the delta, which benefitted both kite flyers and hand gliders. It is our shared history!

Sky Sails:

“…SkySails develops, produces and sells wind propulsion systems for the marine industry which are based upon large automated towing kites. Depending on the prevailing wind conditions, a ship’s average annual fuel costs and emissions can be reduced by 10 to 35% by using the SkySails-System. Under optimal wind conditions, fuel consumption can temporarily be cut by up to 50%. The reduced fuel consumption leads to significantly reduced costs and lower emissions to safeguard the environment.”…SkySails-1384836.htm…versuchstraeger


Slashdot (sometimes abbreviated as /.) is a technology-related news website owned by Geeknet. Inc. The site bills itself as “News for Nerds & Stuff that Matters”, and features user-submitted and evaluated current affairs news stories about science and technology-related topics. Most of the material is old, but there are some incredible links and stories listed at Slashdot. Be sure to search both kite and kites, they give you different answers!

A search for ‘kite’ singular, returns 20 hits, with one of the most exciting links being from the Royal Society 350th anniversary.

“To celebrate its 350th anniversary, the Royal Society has released a number of historic science papers and made them available online via its Trailblazing website. Among the papers are Benjamin Franklin’s notes on his kite-flying experiment, a paper on black holes co-written by Professor Stephen Hawking, manuscripts from Sir Isaac Newton showing ‘that white light is a mixture of other colours,’ and a few other interesting details such as ‘a gruesome account of a 17th century blood transfusion.'”

A search for ‘kites’ plural returns 16 hits, with one of the most exciting links being pictures and info about KAP photos from the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

“We were all taken aback 4 years ago when someone linked us the history of George Lawrence and his photos of the aftermath of the 1906 San Fransisco earthquake. I personally thought to myself: man, I would love to make one of those cameras. The idea of flying 2,000-pound cameras with kites… Well, someone has actually recreated the feat. They even provide links to get large prints of the original and recreated scenes.”

“Aerial photography was quite an art in 1906. Airplanes could barely get off the ground then, and lighter-than-air ships were expensive and cumbersome. An enterprising mid-westerner, George Lawrence, devised and patented this ingenious system of kites and wires, right, that carried a 46-pound panoramic camera 800 feet into the air. It was with this arrangement that these three pictures were taken. Lawrence and his local associate, Harry Myers, played out half a mile of line before the camera was at the proper altitude. When they were ready to shoot, they checked with binoculars to make sure the lens was lined up, and then tripped the shutter with an electrical impulse generated by an old style telephone magneto. A device within the camera then swept across a 90-degree arc to expose the image to a 22 by 55 inch negative (Oakland Tribune)”

South Africa:

Canadian Carlos Simoes told us… “Near the Predator Tank in Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town South Africa, they were playing a shark video. The video is a take-off of the JAWS beach scene where something is in the water, everyone is panicking, the life guard whistle is blowing and then they cut to the predator. It’s a kite. The first text screen says “Last year 358 people were killed by kites” the second text line pops in and says “9 by sharks”.