Monday, 22 December 2014

How to tie different knots

In Supernova vol. 4.2. we show you how to make your own tyre swing. To secure the rope to both the tree and the tyre, you need to know how to tie a slipknot and a square knot. This is how...

Slip knot
1. Make a loop in the rope by twisting the rope.
2. Reach through the loop and grab the loose right end by the middle section.
3. Pull this section through the loop, but be careful not to let the end come through. A knot will form around the section you are holding.
4. You can now hook this knot.

Square knot
1. Hold each end of the rope in one hand.
2. Cross the ends of the rope over each other so that they make an 'X' and then loop them. Make sure to have enough space on each rope at the top to be able to loop them again.
3. Then loop the ends of the rope over each other again.

4. Pull on all four strands at the same time, which will tighten the knot and create the square knot.

There you have it! Now you can complete your tyre swing and monkey around to your heart's delight!

Compiled by Candice van Vuuren

Friday, 19 December 2014

The cell phone is NOT the babysitter this December holiday

How to avoid unwanted cell phone costs
Heading up customer inquiries in the Value-Added-Services industry has its challenges. Not least of all is the influx of calls from disgruntled subscribers whose cell phone statements have suddenly gone into orbit with the addition of services they had not thought they had subscribed to. Or had they?
Here’s a typical scenario that is impacting households across the country (even the world): Cindy has 101 things going on: Buy flowers. Fetch laundry. Pick the girls up from hockey practice. Ring her hubby to chat about the PTA this evening. Check in with Mum. But first there’s Andrew, nagging for her undivided attention while she makes a conference call to her colleagues. She hands over her smartphone and just like that, he’s off. The credit card statement arrives at the end of the month and her heart drops when she sees the balance owed: R3 000 charged to her App Store ID in the space of a few of hours, or a whopping R5 000 on her cell phone bill. While she managed to get important work done in peace, she paid the price in game downloads. There’s nothing novel about Cindy’s startling experience though.
There’s a new credit facility in your handbag or your back pocket – and it has buttons. Where buttons are involved, kids will be only too happy to dive into the online spending action. Call centre managers like Annelize Breedt, at Mira Networks, a busy VAS aggregator handling premium services, are asking parents: “When last did you have a chat with your teen, tween or even toddler about what goes on when they’re hidden behind your or their own smart device, plugging away on Angry Birds or Candy Crush?”
The convergence of Internet and mobile media has transformed purchasing possibilities. But lest it’s forgotten: a) kids are certainly not as na├»ve as anyone thinks they are, and b) are accessing online shops via mobile devices as naturally as getting homework done or going to the movies with friends.
In a time when most five-year-olds could show users how to navigate smartphones, and their library of apps and online services, there’s limited control over what they can and cannot access through these internet-enabled gadgets, judging by the number of queries where users admit that the new subscription service is running on their child’s mobile. Gone are the days of password protected accounts that only parents could control. Tots are now harnessing their own spending power at the touch of a button every time they purchase another mind-mushing game to babysit them while their parents are occupied with work commitments and social lives.

Because the engineering behind mobile app stores are geared towards getting the contract holder (in this case, Mummy or Daddy) to furnish their credit card details once, and then save their password, 'Voila!' once is enough and all it takes to turn tiny Tim into a shopaholic. All kids have to do is tap, tap and away they go with all measure of charges linked directly to the enlisted credit card that is an unwitting accomplice. It’s even simpler if the subscribed-to service has a WASP billing mechanism as costs are charged directly to the cell phone account or airtime balance.
Because smartphones are becoming more affordable, a child’s first mobile phone is likely to be a smart device. Alternatively, they are getting Mum and Dad’s hand-me-downs. Either way, these phones bring with their enhanced capabilities, a plethora of opportunities for their mobile use to go very, very wrong.
Even with double-opt-in pages for subscription premium services, it only takes a few taps (even from a child barely old enough to read), to agree to subscriptions they don’t fully understand, and certainly cannot afford.
Breedt, a mother herself, and who has been handling queries for six years, says “While it seems common sense to an adult, it’s important that we actively teach our children the primary purpose of their new phone, which is to contact, or to be contactable by their parents, caregivers and then friends, and that anything else will probably involve an additional cost.”
The cell phone, which has the potential to replace the television as a babysitting alternative, comes with even more risks. We live in an age of ‘all access,’ which makes it even more paramount for parents to make their little ones aware of the precautions they must take to protect their identity and spending habits while Internet browsing.
Ultimately, it is a parent’s responsibility to ensure their child knows the rules. A child cannot easily walk into a bank and open a credit card account, so why do we so easily entrust an open-ended credit facility at their fingertips? Breedt concludes: “Responsible mobile use is the key to managing unwanted mobile costs and nasty surprises. Particularly as we head into the festive season and the school holidays.”

About Mira Networks
Mira Networks is a pioneer in wireless application services (WASPs) and one of South Africa’s oldest and most trusted mobile VAS aggregators. Not to be confused with information gatherers and disseminators, Mira Networks is a technologically advanced infrastructure network, which acts as an information switch between the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Content Service Providers (CSPs) and consumers (Subscribers). It offers a variety of messaging and billing solutions to clients, allowing them to seamlessly connect with subscribers who use either feature or smartphones. With its team of in-house developers, Mira Networks leads the way in quickly adapting to market conditions, providing professional and cost effective services throughout the value chain. Visit

Press release by Networx Public Relations.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Discover King Tutankhamun's treasures

King Tutankhamun's golden mask
We can just imagine how excited Howard Carter must have been when he finally discovered King Tutankhamun's tomb, if we could barely contain our excitement to see the many treasures he unearthed!

On 2 December 2014 editor of Supernova, Andrea Vermaak, attended the opening of the internationally acclaimed exhibition Tutankhamun – His Tomb and His Treasures at Silverstar Casino in Muldersdrift. Housed in the new venue, The Globe, the exhibition showcases over 1000 exquisitely reconstructed burial treasures produced by the finest Egyptian craftsmen under scientific supervision.

Andrea first watched a multimedia presentation about British archaeologist Howard Carter, and his exploration and excavation of King Tut's tomb. She also learnt a bit of the history of the young pharaoh, and the culture of ancient Egypt.

King Tutankhamun's coffins 
Andrea then got to share Carter's excitement as she viewed a perfectly replicated, life-size reconstruction of Tutankhamun's tomb at its moment of discovery, before taking a tour among its many beautiful antiquities. Her favourite pieces of the exhibition include a golden chariot and an astonishingly beautiful throne, not to mention King Tut's famous golden mask. Pieces that peeked her interest include statues that represent a servant for every day of the year in King Tut's afterlife, as well as different games, and useful tools and everyday objects that were buried with him.

Golden chariot
Useful objects for the afterlife
An informative audio guide (included in the ticket price) made the experience more enjoyable and fulfilling, but Andrea found that a casual wander through the hall, simply reading the plagues and taking in all that glitters, was just as enjoyable.

This must-see exhibition runs until 12 April 2015. Tickets are on sale at and

For more information, videos and images of this amazing exhibition, visit

Sachmet, lion-headed goddess
Get your copy of Supernova, the mag for curious kids vol. 4.2 to read all about 
King Tutankhamun's interesting life! 

Order online:

Photos copyright of Andrea Vermaak

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Learning to wakeskate with SA champ Matt Buys

Storm, Matt and Caitlyn
With summer finally in full-swing and SA wakeskating champ Matt Buys back in the country, it was time to give our competition winner, Storm Ryder (13) and her friend Caitlyn Stott (10) their wakeskating lesson.

On 16 December, we all met Matt at StokeCity WakePark in Midrand. StokeCity WakePark sponsored two day-passes, life vests and helmets for the girls. We headed to the two-tower cable system for beginners, called The Straight, at the CablePark. Matt gave a quick demonstration on how to sit in the water with the wakeskate and how to lift yourself up to be pulled along by the cable.

Although nervous, Caitlyn strapped in first. She got the hang of it quite quickly as Matt patiently guided her on how to ride the cable for longer without falling. “I had to bend my knees and straighten my arms, but I straightened my legs and bent my arms. I straightened my legs because I felt like I was going to sink.” Before long, Caitlyn rode halfway across the width of the dam, like a pro, doing a little happy dance on the board. “It gets more exciting the more you do it,” said Caitlyn.

...and Caitlyn is off!

Caitlyn's got it!
Our winner Storm was also nervous at first, but she also quickly gained confidence, enough to ride the whole width of the dam and back at full-speed, impressing everyone, but especially Matt. “Once you get the hang of it, you realise it's fine and just go for it. I really want to do this. It's so fun!” said Storm.

Storm goes the distance
Storm rides like a pro

Despite their initial nerves, the girls had tons of fun and took turns on the cable. Falling did not deter them! Matt was as impressed with the girls as we were.

If you would like to learn how to wakeskate, visit StokeCity WakePark's website today for more details: It's the most fun you can have on water!

Learning how to wakeskate comes with a few
failed attempts, but it adds to the fun!
Supernova would like to thank Nicky Vermeulen for organising such an amazing prize, Matt Buys for giving the girls a great day of fun, and StokeCity WakePark for sponsoring the prize. Stay stoked!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Supernova exercises your mind!

Supernova vol. 4.2
This issue really showcases Supernova’s philosophy: to broaden horizons through a magazine that explodes with fun and interesting articles. We really believe in giving our minds a good jog to keep them fit and healthy.

We flex our minds’ muscles as we monkey around a little before we take a slow trot into the world of horses. As our minds begin to warm up, we race back in time to ancient Egypt to discover the life of the boy king, Tutankhamun. Our minds begin to get fit for the new year as we sprint into outer space to take a closer look at neutron stars.

There is so much more to help you exercise your mind in the latest issue of Supernova. Run on over to our website to get your copy today.

Neutron stars

To subscribe:

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Win a copy of 'Jaimie and the Magic Whistle'

Jamie and the Magic Whistle
Helen Brain & Nicky Webb
Illustrations by Rico Schacherl

All Jamie wants is to impress her headmistress, but she knows it's going to take more than good grades. With a dog show around the corner, Jamie has a plan to turn her scruffy, mischievous dog Fungi into the Best Behaved Dog in the competition. All she needs is Doctor Knights Magic Whistle, but with her irritating cousin coming to visit and her brother’s monkey causing trouble, this task seems almost impossible for Jamie. A tummy-tickling read that is sure to leave an impression. Helen Brain and Nicky Webb have created a must-read.

Review by Candice van Vuuren

Win a copy of Jamie and the Magic Whistle courtesy of Human and Rousseau. 

Click on the image below for more information. 

Terms and Conditions for Supernova competitions

1. Competition ends, Friday 30 January 2015 . 2. All entries must include name and surname, age, date of birth and contact details. 3. Persons entering the competition must be 18 years or under.  4. Competition is open to anyone except the employees  (or members of their immediate families) of Supernova magazine or advertisers or prize sponsors. 5. The closing date specified for the competition is final and no late entries will be allowed. 6. If you win a competition you will be notified via telephone or email.  7. The judges’ decision is final. 8. The prize will not be redeemable for cash and is non-transferable. 9.Supernova magazine is not responsible for delayed or lost entries. 10. Supernova magazine is not responsible for the loss or damage of a prize after it has been sent to the winner. 11. Incorrect entries will be disqualified. 12. Supernova magazine may use the information given in the entry for BK Publishing's internal database. All the information will be kept confidential. 13. If the competition requires the entrant to provide illustrations, photographs or any original artwork by the entrant, the submission of the work will constitute a consensual release and will allow Supernova and the competition organiser to publish your artwork in the magazine and online. 14. If you enter this competition we will assume that you have read trough the Terms and Conditions, and that you understand and agree with them. 

Monday, 1 December 2014

An uplifting evening

with authors of Soccer Farm and Inspiring Champions

Benoit Knox, Lourens Erasmus and Dr Henning Gericke
BK Publishing hosted a live discussion with Mr Lourens Erasmus and Dr Henning Gericke, authors of Soccer Farm and Inspiring Champions, respectively, at the SMALL Artist Studio and Project Space in Rietondale, Pretoria. The purpose of the evening was to celebrate the publishing of the books, as well as to thank everyone who supported the authors in their writing and publishing journeys.

The evening was a great success. It was opened with readings from the respective books. Publisher Benoit Knox then opened the discussion, followed by questions for each of the authors. Members of the audience were also given an opportunity to ask the honoured guests questions. The audience was left inspired and uplifted by the captivating discussion.

There were a few well-known faces in the audience, including Cameron van der Burgh, Dan Skinstad, Jonathan Mokuena and Gerhard Swarts, all of whom wrote their ‘Green and Gold’ stories for Inspiring Champions. Marks Maponyane, the all-time top goal scorer for Kaizer Chiefs, and Lourens' hero “since [he] was twelve”, was also in the audience. Lourens personally thanked him in Setswana.

Knox says of Inspiring Champions and Soccer Farm, “They are two very different books, but both are filled with stories of human endeavour in the face of adversity, stories of personal growth and ambition, of pushing boundaries and living lives worth living. Two books that every South African should read.”

SMALL Artist Studio and Project Space
To order your copy of each book, visit For more details contact BK Publishing at +27 (0)12 342 5347 or

Look out for more photographs from this event in an upcoming post.

Press release by Andrea Vermaak