Healthful Sports for Boys
by Alfred Rochefort
Adapted by Marisa Adams
Read "Healthful Sports for Boys" and answer the questions that follow.
1. Spring winds favor kite flying. This is another world-wide sport. During the time when Egyptians were making pyramids, it was popular with old and young in China, which is known as the land of the kite.
2. Many know that the great Ben Franklin learned about lightning through a kite and went on to invent electricity. But, the kite is a model that is not seen anymore. This was the old bow kite, the kind that every beginner use to make.
THE HEXAGONAL KITE
3. The hexagonal, or six-sided, kite works better than the old sort. It is quite as cheap and as easily made. And kites like these have been used for more than just flying. They have been used to get a line from a stranded boat to the shore. Engineers have also used them. They did it when the first suspension bridge was built at Niagara Falls in New York. Kites have also been used to pull light vehicles over smooth ground, and they make good sport when made to pull sleds over the ice.
THE STAR KITE
4. The Star Kite is easily made, and it is worth the time to learn how to do it. Get three sticks and make sure they are equal. These are joined in the center so that they will form a six-pointed star. The covering should be thin, cotton cloth, or, better still, a light, strong paper. It must be glued so it will not be blown off. The tail band is made with a simple loop joined to the sticks at the bottom so that it will hang below the kite. The tail will balance the kite when it flies.
THE BARREL KITE
5. The barrel kite, which is specifically American, cannot be ignored. This kite was tried some years ago by the U. S. Weather Bureau officers in California. The kite looks like a long can. It is about four feet long and two feet in diameter. The frame is made up of four light hoops. These circles are stuck together by four or more thin strips of wood. The twelve-inch space between the pair of hoops at either end is covered with paper. Then the string, which attaches the kite to a stick, is passed diagonally through the inside of the cylinder from one end to the other. When this kite catches the wind, it lifts quickly and gracefully.
6. Children often find fun in sending "messengers" up the strings to the kites. To do this, after the kite is high in the sky, cut round pieces of colored paper. Make a hole in the center of each circle and slip them on the string. They travel with the speed of the wind till they reach the kite, where they stop. If too heavy, or too many, the messengers may get the kite out of balance. A messenger has been sent up 6,000 feet, or over one mile. That is the height to which American scientists have sent kites with thermometers and barometers attached, so as to record the elevation and the temperature.