Earlier this year, in search of a new hobby, I took an Amateur radio course (also known as ham radio) and received my license about a month ago. Amateur radio is all about non-commercial communication over radio waves. Most consumer walkie-talkies (like ones using the FRS) work only over several kilometers in the best of conditions. Believe it or not, Amateurs are able to use equipment to communicate all over the world, and even into space contacting the International Space Station using radio frequencies. This kind of communication was probably more popular decades ago when there was no Internet, or cheap long distance phone calls. However, Amateurs still involve themselves in activities such as contests contacting the most people, and on a more practical level (at least to me) emergency and volunteer event communications.
So putting my new license into use, last Sunday I helped out with the Vancouver Sun Run as an Amateur Radio operator. With about 80 other Amateurs, we were positioned in pairs along the entire 10km route.