Since their invention in China, kites have been used to carry messages, to ward off spirits and as instruments of war. Their principles of aerodynamics led to the airplane. Now, they're just for sport. The city doesn't offer many spacious areas for flying, and Houston's air is relatively still. For a good wind, you've got to travel south to the beaches of Galveston, where there's nothing to slow a gust down but miles and miles of waves. That's why this is also the location of the annual International Kite Fest, where flying contraptions of canvas, silk and paper line the beach. On this shore, anchoring your kite to a good strong stake is all that's required to keep those beauties airborne -- at the festival, most are left unattended.