Lego Building – As a Hobby

Legos are multi-colored, interlocking plastic blocks that are used as construction toys. Lego building can be great fun for children of all ages. Many kids collect different kinds of block sets, build interesting structures and objects. The structures can be repeatedly dismantled and made into totally different items.  

Lego building can be a wonderful hobby for adults as well. One is never too old for LEGOs. Lego building helps keep our brains engaged, lively, and active. You are only limited to your imagination, what you can build out of LEGO bricks.

Magic Behind the Brick

BUILDING OBJECTS FROM LEGO –LEGO building is fun. You can build unlimited useful things from these blocks. Pencil-holders, picture-frames, storage-boxes, bookends, you make whatever you can imagine through these blocks. You can customize things your own way, try new and interesting shapes or even fit LEGOs with other toys and hobbies.

BUILDING LEGO HOUSES – The heart of LEGO is the original brick and the heart of making houses is bricks. Be it a Victorian-era home or a modern one, LEGO building allows you to customize both, inside and out. You can try numerous designs and get plenty of chances to make many fun buildings. You can try making a ping-pong table in the den, a bunkbed on the upper level, or a fully equipped kitchen. Perhaps one of the most fulfilling aspects of building LEGO houses is that you are designing the character.

LARGE LEGO DIORAMAS – if LEGO building is your hobby, you must be a fan of building huge displays, depicting LEGO cities and recreating various historic times – scenes, as well as fantasy worlds. These LEGO creations can be the result of a group effort, or just your child’s hobby of building new things. If you are building with a group of people, each member can build a small section of the diorama then assemble them. They can also be used for LEGO conventions and other LEGO events where you can showcase your talent for more people to see. Some LEGO fans have massive collections that they can use to build large dioramas themselves. Even if you don’t have thousands of LEGO bricks, you can still try and have fun designing and building LEGO cities or villages, and work on them bit by bit as your time and money allows.

Amita Vadlamudi, author of this article also maintains the following sites:



Soap has been a vital part of maintaining people’s hygiene since time immemorial. Some historians believe it originated in Biblical times (2800 B.C) when a soap-like product was discovered in Babylon.

The word ‘soap’ was derived from the fictional Mount Sapo in Rome, and its earlier uses were mainly for the textile and medicinal industries.

Soap is made from alkali and animal fat. Modern soap makers use the fat after it has been processed into fatty acids. This eliminates many impurities, and it produces byproduct water instead of glycerin. Many vegetable fats, including olive oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil, are also used in soap making. Not only is it known to clean your hands and body from dirt, but it is also biodegradable and environment-friendly.

The uses of soap vary from being used as a laundry detergent to being a fixer-upper of dermatological problems. Since many bar soaps contain glycerin, it is suitable for people who have dry skin.

The first major company to launch soap as a product in the USA was Colgate in 1806. The company pioneered the modern hand washing soap and introduced perfumed soaps in 1866. In 1927, P&G was one of the first soap brands to sponsor radio broadcasts and advertise its soap products to homemakers. In the nineteenth century, Italy, Spain, and France were the soap capitals of the world.

The soap-making industry is a billion-dollar business today. In 2010, the revenue generated by the soap and cleaning manufacturing industry in the USA was approximately 52 billion dollars.

Soap making is also a popular hobby. It is fun to make your own soap. You can choose your own ingredients, including moisturizers, antibacterials, and fragrances, that fit your own needs and preferences, while avoiding any harsh chemicals. Soap making is an easy process. Instructions are readily available online. You might even save some money making your own soap.

Author: Amita Vadlamudi

BirdWatching – Binoculars and Beyond


Birdwatching, also referred to as “birding,” is the activity of observing and identifying birds in their natural habitat and understanding their ways of life. Bird watching is a popular hobby. It allows the hobbyists to spend their free time leisurely and peacefully exploring the nature.

Birding is more than merely observing birds. It gives the enthusiasts an opportunity not only to identify different types of birds, but also understand and appreciate the beauty and harmony in nature. The activity hones such skills as keen observation, listening, exercising patience, and being in tune with nature, not to mention photographing.

Birdwatching can feel like quite a treasure hunt as one spots different types of the avian creatures for the first time, especially when they are of rare species. Birds are considered to be among the best ambassadors from the natural world, and birdwatching brings enthusiasts closer to nature. The activity helps people understand the various aspects of nature that contribute to making suitable habitats for different types of birds.

Most bird watchers start by identifying birds in their own area. As they become more familiar with the birds in their immediate area, they often expand the territory that they travel. As the bird watchers spot and discover different species, they are motivated to travel farther and farther. Some serious enthusiasts travel the country, even the world in pursuit of their hobby.

A basic bird watching checklist of items to have includes:

  • Binoculars: Helpful for closer observation of birds at a distance, without disturbing and affecting the birds’ behavior in their natural environment.
  • Field guide: A comprehensive field guide is immensely helpful in identifying the birds In the given region.
  • Journal and pen: Most avid bird watchers make notes of their experiences. Keeping a journal helps remember the location the birds are found in, what the birds look like, the sounds they make, the behaviors they exhibit, and other vital details.
  • Camera: Many bird watchers love to bring cameras with them. Snapping a few pictures of birds they observe in their excursions helps them identify the birds better and use them to get excellent photographs to help them document their experience.

A hobby that began in the early 20th century as enthusiasts used to observe and study birds by shooting them down, birdwatching changed into a more peaceful activity. With tools like scopes, binoculars, cameras, and field guides widely available, bird watching allows people to observe these exotic creatures while they are left to live peacefully in their natural environment.

Amita Vadlamudi’s favorite bird pictures can be seen on her Pinterest and Flickr sites.



A Brief History of Pottery and Its Importance in Cultures


Pottery is the process by which an individual uses clay fired at high temperatures to create durable figures and vessels. These can be of any shape or size with varying functions.

Pottery has acted as a doorway into the past for us to learn about history and prehistory of mankind. The durability of the materials used for pottery have stood the test of time and carry the stories from past millennia, giving us a snapshot of how people lived and the general view of civilizations over time. Pottery plays such an important role in learning about the past that many archeological sites and ancient civilizations are recognized by the name of the pottery itself.

Heating the clay at different temperatures will give you a different final result, with the lowest temperatures giving you earthenware, mid-temperatures, resulting in stoneware and high temperatures for porcelain. Early civilizations used fire pits with low temperatures, so most ancient artifacts that are found are hand-shaped earthenware.

Earthenware was the earliest form of pottery from the Neolithic era and is still seen today. It is created at temperatures as low as 600˚C and can be made using a variety of different clays, including terracotta. Earthenware is mostly seen unglazed and usually undecorated.

Stoneware is fired at high temperatures in a kiln; temperatures can go up to 1200˚C. The results are a lot less porous than earthenware, meaning the finished product could be used to hold liquids and as tableware. This method was first seen in China, but carried through to Europe starting in Germany and making its way across the continent post the Renaissance.

Porcelain, which is also produced in kilns with temperatures of 1400˚C, was first discovered as part of the Tang Dynasty in China between the 7th and 8th century. This type of pottery was so popular that it was exported to all parts of the world until the 18th century when it was finally able to be produced outside of East Asia.

Pottery today is made with all sorts of materials, with a variety of tools and fired up at different temperatures. The uses of pottery, nowadays, range from elaborately-decorated pieces for homes to simple tableware.

Author: Amita Vadlamudi,


Origami as a Hobby


Origami is widely known throughout the world today. Most commonly used by people to make different animal sculptures by folding pieces of paper, origami is both a recreational activity as well as an art form. This art form said to have originated from ancient Japan, roughly a millennium or so ago. Some scholars debate that the art form originated back in the 6th Century AD, while others believe that it could be even older.

The term “Origami” derives from two Japanese words “Ori,” which means folded, and “Kami,” which means paper. Origami is an art form that  incorporates the aspects of creativity, games, and mathematical puzzles into a single craft. In its art form, origami is able to attract a lot of people today. A simple activity, people are able to produce the most ingenious sculptures and designs by doing nothing more than intricately folding a piece of paper.

Several art and crafts forms involve the use of paper, but origami is a technique that stands out. The unique quality about origami is that you just need to use paper without the help of any other material to form sculptures.

Through a series of well-planned folds and creases, people can make anything from the simplest of animal sculptures to highly sophisticated structures. There is no cutting,  gluing or any other technique involved.

Many people think origami has little more use than being a pastime for children, but this art form carries more weight than it is generally given credit for. Mathematicians, architects, medical professionals, computer programmers, and engineers are just some of the professionals at the top level who are able to take inspiration from origami in their fields.

Traveling from Japan to China, and then to the rest of the world over the centuries, the art of origami is now an internationally practiced craft. It is used as a pastime for children and adults alike. This art of paper-folding even extends from use as a leisure activity to use in various professional fields.


After retiring from computer technology job, Amita Vadlamudi now likes pursuing hobbies, fitness, reading and occasionally tweeting. The following is Amita Vadlamudi’s Twitter Page.

Crossword Puzzles Make a Good Hobby


With the digital technology dominating contemporary times, pursuing crossword puzzles as a hobby may seem like a primitive activity, a relic left over from ancient times. But even in this computer dominated age doing crossword puzzles on the paper is a major hobby for many people – young and old alike. For many enthusiasts crossword puzzles are an integral part of their morning ritual. They are as welcoming as the morning light and as stimulating as the hot sip of freshly brewed coffee.

This seemingly old-school hobby is more relevant today than ever. Aside from simply keeping the people occupied, crossword puzzles have many healthful benefits such as stimulating minds, keeping the brains sharp, and helping people connect with others. Following are some of the benefits that the crossword puzzles can bring.

  1. Shortcut to Smartness

Crossword puzzles flex cognition, boast verbal skills and prepare peoples’ brains for challenges they face. They trigger connections between ideas and words, stimulate brain activity and help hone the memory and recall skills.

  1. Therapy without Cost

The satisfaction that comes after solving a puzzle is not as short-lived as you think. It triggers the production of dopamine – a neurotransmitter which gives feelings of pleasure and uplifts your mood instantly. This intellectually demanding activity can take your mind off everyday worries and help you deal with stress as well. Solve puzzles, solve problems!

  1. Maintain Social Bonds

When pursued as a group hobby, crossword puzzles help strengthen social ties by creating shared memories and a sense of group accomplishment. It nurtures the ability to collaborate strategically and manage conflicts. If you feel lonely too often, this hobby will turn your spare time into an opportunity to socialize!

Choosing the right kind of hobby can completely transform your outlook on life. Crossword puzzles could be just what the doctor would have ordered for individuals who have free time to fill, who would like to keep their minds and brains sharp and who would like to make and keep healthy social connections. Start your crossword puzzle journey today and see their wholesome impacts unfold.

Amita Vadlamudi is the author of numerous articles on this site as well some of her other web sites.  Following are the links to some of Amita Vadlamudi’s other articles dealing with hobbies:



Candle Making


Candles have held a significant place in different countries, cultures and religions throughout history. Candles have come a long way from being produced using dried branches dipped in animal fat to creating slow burning fire. Let’s shed some light on the history of candles.

The basic premise behind candle making has always been the same. The burning wick in the center is surrounded by a material that slows down the burning process. The end result is a source of light and heat.

Historically, the dipping method was the primary method for candle making, dating back to the Middle Ages. Candle wicks were dipped several times in molten animal fat until the fat sticking to the wick would hit a desirable thickness. While these were effective candles, the smell of burning animal fat was a point of concern.

After animal fat candles came the beeswax candles. Made using both dipping and pouring methods, they presented a more efficient option as compared to animal fat. In addition, the constant smell of burning animal fat was replaced with a better aroma.

The pouring method involved molten beeswax being poured onto suspended cotton wicks as they were twisted. As a result, the beeswax accumulated on the wick, reaching the desired thickness. The process was repeated with the pouring from the other end to provide it an even beeswax coating.

While candles are no longer a primary source of light nowadays, the art of candle making is still practiced on a limited scale through the pouring method. The industrial production of candles entails the use of paraffin wax, a petroleum byproduct. The wax is more durable and burns with little to no odor.

Many hobbyists practice candle making for decorative purposes or as an art form. They sculpt candles and mold them into beautiful ornaments. A large number of companies also make candles using scented wax, which provide a gentle aroma when burned.

A former Information Technology Professional Amita Vadlamudi currently spends her free time reading and researching and blogging. History is of particular interest to Amita Vadlamudi and she finds candle making history to be a curious subject.


Stamp Collecting


The origins of stamp collection can be traced back to centuries as records show that the first person who actively pursued stamps to add to his collection was an Irish man named John Bourke in 1774! His impressive array of stamps are preserved and displayed in Dublin.

History of Stamp Collection

The very first stamp, called the Penny Black, was issued in May of 1840 and featured an image of Queen Victoria. Once the system was established, such valuable stamps were being acquired by avid collectors. By mid 19th century, thousands of people worldwide adopted stamp collection as a hobby.

The Wall Street Journal carried out extensive research and compiled a report which stated that the total number of stamp collectors globally is approximately 60 million in the 21st century.

Condition of Stamps

Those who are serious about the prospect of collecting stamps should seek the finest specimens. Quality of stamps generally ranges from “poor” to “superb.” A “superb” stamp entails the best centering, vibrant colors and the ideal gum.

A stamp considered “fine” has no discernible flaws, has adequate centering and may contain gum with slight hinge marks. “good” stamps are those which appear off center but are pleasant looking in appearance. They may contain minor defects like thin areas and heavy hinge marks.

Tools to Purchase

Serious collectors use a perforation gauge to distinguish the perforations of their stamps. Another device that can be used to tell subtle differences between stamps is called a watermark detector.


About the Author:

Amita Vadlamudi had worked in the Computer Technology field for over three decades. Following her retirement Amita Vadlamudi has written many online articles and blog posts on varied topics and continues to do so.


British versus Metric Measurement Systems



There are two major measurement systems in the world that are used to gauge distances, weights and volumes. These are the Imperial (British) system and the Metric system.

The vast majority of countries worldwide employ the metric system of measurement, which is comprised of units like meters, liters, and grams. Magnitudes of 10, 100, 1000 of these units are represented by the addition of appropriate prefixes such as deci, centi, and milli. Ex: centimeter, kilogram.

In the United States, the old imperial system of measurement is employed, which consists of units such as feet, inches and pounds.


The imperial system, which is also called the British imperial since it originated in the British empire that ruled several regions across the globe from the 16th to the 20th century. One of these regions gained independence and later became the United States of America in the 18th century. The government of the nascent country decided to retain the Imperial measurement system, despite the popularity of the metric system in that era.


Following are some of the corresponding values between the Metric and British systems:

  • A single mile is approximately 1.6 kilometers
  • 1 inch is approximately 25 millimeters or 2.54 centimeters
  • One meter is the same as a three foot measurement
  • A kilogram is equivalent to 2.2 pounds
  • 1 pound is equal to 454 grams
  • A 100 pounds is the same as 7.14 stones


There are other differences that arise when considering either of the measurement systems. For example, let us look at the way of observing temperature. Americans measure temperature in Fahrenheit, whereas people of other countries do so in centigrade.

Conversions for temperature include 0 degrees Celsius being equal to 32 degree Fahrenheit, which is essentially the freezing point. 24 degrees Celsius is tantamount to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which means the weather is likely to be pleasant. The formula for conversion from C to F is, C multiplied by 1.8 and adding 32 to that number.


As it stands, there is no reason to expect the United States to follow suit and change to the metric system. As there are no imminent plans for the change, visitors traveling to USA should familiarize themselves with the British measurement system.


About the Author:

After her retirement from the IT career, Amita Vadlamudi now spends her time writing online articles on science, technology and history. Ms. Vadlamudi’s resume and other articles may be found on her personal web sites listed below:

Facts about Viruses


A virus is a small, infectious parasite that recreates itself inside the cells of living beings. Viruses affect all kinds of living creatures from humans to animals to plants to microorganisms. When a living host is infected by a virus, it is forced to replicate its innumerable copies at a staggering rate.

Mostly, viruses consist of either RNA or DNA, as their genetic structure. The virus particle is known as virion that primarily contains the nuclei acid (single or double-stranded), and an outer wall of protein. The least complex virus only has an RNA or DNA to encode the shell of proteins. But the most complicated virus may be able to encode about 100 to 200 proteins.

The scientific study of viruses started at the end of the 19th century. In 1892, Dmitry Ivanovsky used a filter that contained small pores, powerful enough to hold bacteria. Ivanovsky used this kind of filter to examine a diseased tobacco plant.  The infectious substance rooted in the plant was named as a “virus”. And this discovery was the start of virology.

Typically, the term “viruses” is used along with bacteria. To some, they may appear the same but the two are poles apart. As compared to bacteria, viruses are tiny. In fact, studies show that the largest virus is smaller than the smallest bacterium. Bacteria can exist all by themselves. On the other hand, viruses need a host to replicate themselves – They can’t survive all alone.

Unlike bacteria, viruses can cause illnesses and they are also quite certain about the cells they want to eliminate. For instance, most viruses attack cells present in the liver, respiratory system, or blood. Sometimes, viruses target bacteria and kill it.

Some of the diseases caused by viruses are contagious in nature such as the flu, the common cold, HIV, and herpes. Other types of viral diseases are caused by other ways such as the bite of an insect. Respiratory viral diseases are cured on their own. However, you can consider over-the-counter medications such as cough syrups, pain relievers, nasal decongestants etc.

Viruses may also cause gastrointestinal diseases including abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Gastrointestinal viral diseases resolve by themselves within a couple of days. Meanwhile, it is advised to drink plenty of fluids to compensate what is lost from diarrhea and vomiting.

Exanthematous viruses result in skin rashes such as measles, rubella, and chickenpox. To cure these diseases, fever-minimizing medications should be used. For chickenpox, antiviral drugs like acyclovir can be given.


About the Author:

Amita Vadlamudi, whose professional resume can be found at is a former Computer Engineer. Ms. Vadlamudi’s current interests are writing about science and technology. Some of her other articles can be found on the following web sites: