A Closer Look at Paintball

Paintball has become incredibly popular, especially among men, ever since it first appeared. While equipped with a gun filled with non-lethal ammunition, you engage in a “shoot or be shot” activity, where your aiming skills will prove essential. You can play it in teams or just one on one. If you’re good and truly passionate, you can even take part in tournaments, where professional players and teams compete one against the other. Even military forces are using this technology in order to improve the training of the troops and to use them in non-lethal hunts of dangerous suspects or in riot control.

The gun, called paintball gun, is a device with pressurized air (small air tank on top of the gun) that shoots small balls of paint (balls that are bio degradable, non-toxic, made of a water-soluble polymer). The playing area can be indoors or outdoors, filled with various obstacles and artificial terrain in order for the players to have places to hide and come up with different tactics to win the game. A more complex outdoor terrain may include even small vehicles like buggies and ATV’s during summer and snowmobiles during winter.

Although the paint balls are harmless, because of the great speed they have, bruises or dangerous hits can occur. Thus, must-have items are a mask or goggles in order to protect the face and eyes. Other outfit items can includes special pants and jacket, pads for knees and elbows, helmets, gloves and even athletic protectors for the men. Usually, an overall outfit is worn to protect your clothes from the paint that comes out the balls when they hit you.

As per the goal of the game, different rules apply. Usually the main point of the game is to not get marked with paint. The common games are capturing the flag or elimination. Elimination means you have to shoot all of the enemies. Capturing the flag is played usually outdoors, over a large terrain where each team has their own headquarter with a flag. The purpose of the game is to capture the enemy’s flag and bring it safely to your own headquarter.

As you can see, paintball is an extremely enticing game that requires great skill. Once you try it, you will fall in love with it for sure!

Model Railroading or Railway Modeling

Railway modeling, as the name suggests, is a hobby that implies building a rail transporting system at a very reduced scale. What started as play toys for children have nowadays complex systems often built by adults to recreate real locations. Such models usually include incredibly many details, from the basic train parts like locomotives, tracks, rolling stocks, train cars and signals to complex landscape with hills, streams and canyons, as well as buildings and vehicles to complete the picture like in real life locations.

The earliest train model was a toy named “carpet railways” and was built in 1840. It was a simple toy made of brass and, because it was not sold with rail tracks, it sometimes had the front wheels made steerable. Believe it or not, it had a steam engine just like the real train locomotives, with a water tank that was lit up to produce steam and set the wheels in motion. The earliest electric trains appeared in the beginning of the 20th century, but the models were still looking like toys and did not have a lot of real life details.

Model Railroading is a captivating hobby, and it gives you the possibility to choose how much time you will spend with it. Whether you have little free time and just want to own a small set or you have plenty of time and will build a huge, complex system with in-depth details, you will feel incredible satisfaction when your job is done and you see the little trains working hard. Some hobbyists even create medium scale models (similar to the size of a lawn mowing machine) that they can actually ride.

There are gatherings at fairs and exhibitions where groups are formed and each individual would build a module of a layout with a standard interface, so modules from different participants would interlock to create a very big, detailed layout. Imagine the excitement!

Kite Flying – A Lot More than Just a Hobby

A general description of a kite would be an aircraft with wings connected to an anchor system. Very commonly, you can see them in parks, where people of all ages are holding a string with a small aircraft at the end, which flies 10-15 m above the ground. The same principle as in airplanes applies to kites as well – the pressure from below and above the wing makes it fly in the mid air. Kite flying can be used for recreational purposes, but not only. Kites are used in art as well as for other practical uses like attaching a camera and recording the view from high up.

According to some old texts, the invention of the kite belongs to the 5th century Chinese philosophers by the name of Mozi (Mo Di) and Lu Ban (Gongshu Ban). The wings were built from silk fabric, with a frame made of bamboo, making it strong and lightweight at the same time.

Kites were used for various purposes back then, from measuring distance, signaling, and communication between the military officers, to even lifting men in the air for observation. The most common shape was rectangular. Later, for improving the stability, a tail was added. By the year 549 AD, kites were made of paper, and their main purpose was to signal locations to the rescuing missions.

Here are some other areas of use:

-        Military applications: kite flying been used for signaling, delivering ammunition and aerial photography. Long ago, some generals used kites to scare the enemy, making the kites look like horses with men, lifting them in the air and setting them on fire. They were also used for signaling between ships during naval warfare. In more modern ages, they were used for anti-aircraft target practice or for protection of ships during the WWII.

-        Science and meteorology: the most famous use of a kite was by Benjamin
Franklin to prove that lightning is electricity. Apart from helping measuring atmospheric conditions, the kite helped develop the modern aircraft.

-        Radio aerials and light beacons: the kite can carry antennas for MF, LF and VLF transmitters. They can carry light sticks or battery power lights for air signaling.

-        Kite traction: kites can be used for pulling people in kite sailing, kite boating, kite surfing or kite landboarding.

Kite flying is, nowadays, an incredibly relaxing hobby. But, as you can see, there’s so much more to it than you would imagine at first!