Pat Shingleton: "Kiting and Rainbows..."
A trip to the beach includes launching the kite. Aerodynamic design innovations have furthered kite flying to new “heights” that include multiple line maneuvering. The kite was first constructed in China, 2800 years ago, using silk and bamboo for a lightweight yet strong framework. In my early years, Nick Sudano's dad would construct our kites using sections of the Ellwood City Ledger glued to strips of balsa wood with a long tail for additional stability. March and April were perfect for kites as strong cold fronts provided northwest winds that kept our kites aloft for hours. Today from 10 AM ‘til 6 PM the 14th Annual Kite Fest Louisiane’ is “soaring” at the West Baton Rouge Soccer Complex. Champion “kiters” will choreograph the flying to music. We're expecting a few showers for Saturday mornings Kite Fest with rapid clearing into the afternoon. As we move through April and enter the “rainbow season,” scientists have determined that the rainbow we enjoy is a combination of the reflection and refraction of light from millions of raindrops. Aristotle observed that all rainbows form at a 42-degree angle from an imaginary line extending from the sun through an observer's head. In 1637, French philosopher Rene Descartes theorized that sunlight is bent upon entering a droplet, reflects from the back of the drop and bends as it exits. Rainbows rely on the movement of the raindrops, the sun, and the location of the observer so no two people ever see the same rainbow.