The Amateur Scientist: Using a Kite as an Experimental Platform; September 2000; Scientific American Magazine; by Shawn Carlson; 2 Page(s)
Just weeks before we were married, my wife, Michelle, confessed that she had never flown a kite. I was stunned. Flying kites was such a wonderful part of my own childhood that I couldn't imagine growing up without it. So I figured it was my responsibility to show her how. And this seemed an opportune time, because I wanted to demonstrate that getting married didn't mean we had to settle down into a stodgy adulthood; instead we could play together for the rest of our lives.
I thus concocted a plan. As soon as we escaped our wedding reception, I drove my new bride to the beach and unfurled my best kite, a large triangular beauty with a thousand feet of string. I picked a favorite local spot for flying kites, just in front of the cliffs at Torrey Pines State Reserve, near La Jolla, Calif., where I knew I could count on the steady onshore breeze to form an updraft. It all worked. Still in her wedding gown, Michelle stood ankle-deep in wet sand, acting giddy as a schoolgirl as she let the wind carry the kite skyward. Six years later we still talk about the magic of that moment.