Friday, 27 January 2012

Making tea for a gnome

I've said it before and I'll say it again; working at a kids' magazine is just too much fun. This week lived up to the reputation too - filled with fun, experimenting and learning every single day.

Last weekend Julia, Andy and I hopped off for a nice weekend away. It's quite funny how eco-conscious we've become. So much so, that we invented a new car game: counting JoJo Tanks. Don't be fooled, this keeps you quite busy! On route from Nelspruit to Witrivier, we counted 226 JoJo Tanks. Excellent!

Julia and our gentle leader paid a visit to Sci-Enza at the University of Pretoria on Wednesday, who, by the by, now has a great new initiative to recycle your batteries. This does not mean that when you get tired they make you an espresso; we are literally talking about batteries. See, one AA battery can pollute around 500 L of water and one cubic meter of land for 50 years. Apparent how planet Earth will end up if we don't recycle batteries, right? So the Sci-Enza will take your old batteries and hand them in at Pick n Pay on your behalf. The batteries are then sent to Unicross who will then properly recycle them. Please, if you're going to take anything from today's post, take this: recycle your batteries properly, or just switch to rechargeable batteries (saves money too)!

Upon their return to the office, we all decided to try one of the experiments they had just heard about; boiling water with peanuts. No jokes, we tried it, and after many failed attempts, lit up a small packet of peanuts, had a flask of water hover over it and Voila! We boiled just enough water for a tiny cup of tea.

Yesterday was both a sad and happy day. We had a pizza-filled lunch to bid farewell to our two interns, Waldo and Corne. Sad as that was, we launched the brand new Supernova website! Visit it at: If you are one of the first 100 visitors, you will get a free PDF copy of the mag. Go there, go there now young padawan.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Interactive Friday

Apologies gentle followers, my post is a little late, but hopefully it will lighten up your day a little. Perhaps a happy read on the worst day of the week is not such a bad idea...

In any case, last week was a fun one indeed. We heard that a nation-wide restaurant has started to make burgers with Braille written on them, by the use of sesame seeds. The team thought this was too legit to quit, so Julia and I immediately fetched take-aways for all of us. Sadly, we didn't get to experience the Braille-burger, but the average cheese burger did not disappoint either! One of the best lunches we have had in a long time. We chatted a bit about food in general and thought to post a nice dessert recipe for our loyal readers to try at home:

Potting Soil:

250g Butter
250g Cream cheese
1 Cup sugar
3 Cups of milk
2 packets of vanilla instant pudding
2 -3 packs of Oreo cookies

Mix the butter, cream cheese and sugar together in a mixing bowl.
Next, you make the instant pudding (with the milk) and add that to the bowl.
Now the fun part! Crush all of the cookies; they should be fine, reminding you of ground.
Mix the cookies into the bowl and add some gummy worms for fun.
Serve in a glass vase, or a cake pan and dish up with a shovel.

It is simply fantastic, so be sure to give it a try!

Now for what you've been waiting for: Interactive Friday!
We arrived in the morning only to discover our gentle leader had made a rhino (with a head that lowers if you pull the tail) out of some old bookmarks nobody was using. Then he proceeded to set us a challenge: just before the end of the day, we all had to create an animal out of materials lying around the office, and here are the rules:  

1. This had to be a 3D  creation.
2. The internet was only to be used for photographic reference (so no origami templates).
3. We were only allowed to use objects found around the office.
4. This had to be a real animal that is either recently extinct or endangered.
5. We had to use at least two different materials.
And so we set to work. It was quite educational, learning about all of the endangered animals and feeling a bit sad that it was mostly man's fault that they are extinct. After about an hour we were all done and here's what we had come up with:

Andy made a Common Blue Morpho Butterfly which was able to flap its wings slightly if you moved it up and down...because it's on a stick.

Our gentle leader made Picachu, which naturally disqualified him. In this photo, is also the rhino he made the night before and a lion - his desperate attempt to stay in the competition.

Waldo (our current design intern) made a Panamanian Golden Frog.

I wanted to make a Blue Macaw, but lack of creative inspiration left me making the Loch Ness Monster. It still counts!

Julia made the Zhou Box Turtle. She added a string around its neck to illustrate to us that it was able to swim.

Nadia, our newcomer, made a Tasmanian Kangaroo. As you can very well see, she won the competition...

In issue four of Supernova, we are tackling another endangered animal: the Black Rhino, so be sure to order a copy as soon as possible!

Friday, 6 January 2012

We're back...

How do you manage to get up in the morning to go to work after a wildly relaxing holiday? With great difficulty. That being said, we have managed for a week now and it gets easier. Not happier, but easier, just because of the fun environment in which we spend our 9 to 5 hours of the week. And our gentle leader got us a post-festive present: a new colleague! Nadia does some graphic design and she is also giving the Supernova website a face-lift. Fun fact about her? Too early to tell... but one may be sure that she will not disappoint!

This week has been quiet. We are mostly doing admin, drinking lots of coffee and trying to cope with the insane heat Pretoria's been hosting lately. So, for your entertainment, I shall proceed by telling you what we all did over the holidays. Julia and I were in Hermanus, our gentle leader stopped by Lesotho and Andy reclined at her place of residence.

To keep our spirits up we deliberately and in good spirit, engage in argumentative conversations. Yesterday we had a discussion on banned words in the office. Andy is banned from calling everyone 'dude', Benoit and Julia are both banned from using the word 'awesome' - this is what happens when you over use words, people don't like it. This morning Andy and Julia, who share a desk, decided to joust about who has more space. I suggested placing a line of tape down the middle of the table. Andy's response to that? Planking.

Next week will be the official start of 2012 for BK Publishing. We have some exciting projects planned. As always, watch this space.

I leave you with a picture of the Nova Rabbit, sculpted by me, out of paper-mache. A bid to get our Supernova readers to recycle wrapping paper in a different kind of way.