Man and Machine

    In a world where machinery operates constantly unnoticed all around us, Californian artist, Reuben Margolin has brought focus back onto these mechanical structures and mechanisms, through his unique artwork.

He sees everything in waves: the opening and closing of a door; the daily life cycle of getting up, going to work, coming home, eating and sleeping; water; weather. And he merges these rhythms and patterns with mechanics into his unexpectedly calming and intriguing kinetic sculptures (artwork that moves).

'Nebula', a piece commissioned by the Hilton Anatole hotel in Dallas, is an incredible artwork of movement that occurs 45 metres in the air. The Nebula is positioned in and illuminates the entire atrium of the hotel. Its undulating movement is created by a motor as it rotates, lifts and drops 445 cables connected to 15 000 bicycle reflectors, giving off a surreal jewel-like light. The intricate nature of the installation, as well as the impressive engineering execution, leaves all of its onlookers awestruck.

As a further step towards merging mechanics with rhythms and patterns, Reuben has included the ultimate aspect of movement - humans - in the performing art piece 'Connected' that is currently showing in Australia. By teaming up with Australian Choreographer, Gideon Obarzanek, Reuben animates both the body and the machine through physical connection between the dancers and his purpose-built, kinetic sculpture in an illusionary world of pure mechanical motion tracking and projection technology.

Reuben's startlingly live sculptural works - constructed from wood, re-cycled plastic, paper and steel - transcend their inanimate forms once set into motion, appearing as natural waveforms in a weightless kinetic flow. Suspended by hundreds of fine strings receiving information from multiple camshafts and wheels, his sculptures reveal in articulate detail the impulses of what they are coupled to. In Connected, it is people - athletic and agile dancers' bodies twisting and hurtling through space, as well as people in recognisable situations.

Beginning with simple movements and hundreds of tiny pieces, the dancers build their performance while they construct the sculpture in real time. During the performance, these basic elements and simple physical connections quickly evolve into complex structures and relationships, the highs and lows of our daily lives.

For more information visit Ruebens' website, Realtime Arts Magazine and Dance Writing by Anna Rogovoy.

Reuben Margolin

New life for small Karoo town

After a long wait (and most likely a long debate), the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) consortium took the middle road and confirmed on 25 May 2012 that the SKA project will be hosted by both Australia and South Africa. The SKA Site Advisory Committee conceded that both sites were well suited to hosting the SKA and even though there was justification for the relative advantages and disadvantages of both locations, they identified Southern Africa as the preferred site. (Big thumbs up for South Africa!)

The giant SKA radio telescope will be made up of 3 000 separate 15 metre diameter dishes and is intended to help scientists answer fundamental questions about the make-up of the universe and to discover previously unknown parts of the universe. They hope it will enable astronomers to glimpse the formation and evolution of the very first stars and galaxies after the Big Bang, investigate the nature of gravity and possibly even discover life beyond Earth. The telescope will be 50 times more sensitive and scan the sky 10 000 times faster than any existing telescope.

The lucky Karoo town of Carnarvon has been announced as the site where the majority of the SKA dishes for Phase 1 will be located. The Australian ASKAP and South African MeerKAT dishes (already located in the Australia and the Karoo respectively) will be incorporated into Phase 1 of the SKA to maximise investments already made by both countries. All the dishes and the mid frequency aperture arrays for Phase 2 will be built in Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia included) while the low frequency aperture array antennas for Phase 1 and 2 will be built in Australia and New Zealand.

Source : SKA Website and The Daily News

Square Kilometre Array

Ginger - a good choice for winter

Ginger is probably one of the world's favorite medicines and cooking ingredients. A perennial herb native to China and India, ginger root has been used for centuries in Asian cooking and for its therapeutic properties. Its many different varieties are cultivated throughout Asia, Australia, South America, Jamaica and America. Its delicate green leaves, resembling baby spinach, can be eaten in salads, but the roots of the plant, called rhizomes, are where the benefits of ginger root lie.

Ginger is reported to:

  • Aids in digestion and increases the absorption of nutrients
  • Acts as anti-viral agent
  • Treats nausea and morning sickness
  • Reduces inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Thins blood
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Alleviates high blood pressure

Whenever possible, choose fresh ginger over the dried form of the spice since it is not only superior in flavor but contains higher levels of gingerol as well as ginger's active protease (its anti-inflammatory compound). When purchasing fresh ginger root, look for a root with a firm, smooth skin, free of mould and as few twists and joints as possible. If it is wrinkled, it is drying out and will be woody inside.

Ginger is generally available in two forms, either young or mature. Mature ginger, the more widely available type, has a tough skin that requires peeling while young ginger, usually only available in Asian markets, does not need to be peeled. To remove the skin from fresh mature ginger, peel with a paring knife. The ginger can then be sliced, minced or julienne. The taste that ginger imparts to a dish depends upon when it is added during the cooking process. Added at the beginning, it will lend a subtler effect.

By combining the complementary flavors of sweet ginger with the pungency of garlic adds a wonderful taste and their anti-viral qualities are an excellent cure for colds and flu.

Brewed as a tea, it induces sweating, which helps fevers run their course. It also tones and helps boost the immune system. For a cup of fresh ginger tea, steep about five or six thin slices of ginger root to hot water. Add lemon and sweetener if desired. Fresh ginger can be stored in the refrigerator in an airy container for up to three weeks if it is left unpeeled. Stored unpeeled in the freezer, it will keep for up to six months.

Source : Medicinal Qualities of Ginger, University of Maryland and Wikipedia


Local labyrinths of contemplation

A labyrinth offers one of the oldest contemplative tools known to humankind to be used for personal and spiritual growth. It is a blueprint of transformation and is an ancient practice that is used as a way to calm the mind, still the thoughts, get insights, receive guidance, solve problems and set goals. Augustine said: "Solvitur ambulando" (It is solved by walking).

A labyrinth is different from a maze in that a labyrinth is a single, winding path that leads you from the entrance to the centre. It is an ancient universal archetypal pattern that has been found in almost all cultures all over the world. Whereas, a maze has twists and turns and blind alleys and one can get lost in the puzzle that must be solved. In a labyrinth one cannot get lost as the way in, is the way out. It does not matter how intricate the labyrinth pattern may be, there is only a single route to the centre.

The oldest known graphic representation of a labyrinth is carved on a piece of mammoth ivory found in a Paleolithic tomb in Siberia and is dated at older than 5000 BC. Ancient rock carvings in Spain (2000 BC), Italy (750 BC) and Morocco (500 BC) and ancient Greek coins from Crete (300 BC) display labyrinth depictions too.

There are two archetypal labyrinths, the Classical 7-circuit Labyrinth and the Medieval 11-circuit Labyrinth, and several contemporary labyrinths, of which the Reconciliation Labyrinth (a unique South African design) is an example. The Reconciliation Labyrinth differs from the archetypal labyrinths in that it has two paths leading to the centre.

This contemporary South African design includes the image of a person with raised arms, symbolizing hope. The two entrance paths start at the feet of the person and a third path exits between the two entrances through the body of the person, as a new way forward. This acknowledges that while journeys to a place of common healing do not start from the same place, the place to start when one has the intention to relate is wherever one's feet are. Halfway through the walk, one starts to walk in the other's footsteps giving you the opportunity to look at the situation from a different perspective or through the other's eyes.

The modern labyrinth revival, which started in the 1970s, has birthed labyrinths all around the world in public parks, private gardens, universities, schools, hospitals, churches, retreat centres and prisons.

Local labyrinths

Location Design Type
Slanghoek Lighthouse
Reconciliation Labyrinth Grass, sand and stone
St George's Cathedral
Cape Town
11-circuit Medieval Brick paving and cobbles
Hertzog Boulevard
Cape Town
11-circuit Medieval Grass and brick
Rustenberg Wine Farm
11-circuit Medieval Brick and riverstone
Jan Marais Nature
Reserve Stellenbosch
7-circuit Medieval Gravel and riverstones
The Labyrinth Shop
7-circuit Classical Paint on cement
Oude Molen Village
7-circuit Classical Mounds of grass
Camelot Spa
Le Franschhoek
5-circuit Classical Brick and stone
Woodcliff Self-Catering
5-circuit Chartres
Bark and garden plants

Cape Town labyrinths

Hot News

Things to do in June

  • Soup, Sip & Bread Winter Feast
  • Africa Village by Women
  • Taste of the Helderberg
  • Wacky Wine Weekend
  • Encounters Documentary Fest
  • Miles of Smiles Marathon
  • Celebrate Life Festival
  • Vodacom Funny Festival
  • Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show
  • Cape Town Book Fair
  • Napier Patat Festival
  • Napier Half Marathon and 10km
  • Greyton MTB Classic
  • Sign Africa & Africa Print
  • High Street Winter Wine Festival
  • Jazz and Cheese Fondue Fest
  • Fees van die Ganse

    Featured Plant

    Aloe Dichotoma

    Aloe Dichotoma
    (Quiver Tree)

    Family :


    Description :

    Indigenous succulent to 7m with spiny leaves.

    Flowering time :


    Conditions :

    • Full Sun
    • Minimal Water
    • Evergreen
    • Wind resistant
    • Some frost resistance
    • Well Drained Soil

    View more detailed information on this plant in our plant directory.

    Wine of the month

    Wine of the month

    Syrah Reserve 2008

    Winery : Teddy Hall
    Winemaker : Teddy Hall

    Description :

    A deep purple, opaque 100% Shiraz from low-yielding vineyards in Stellenbosch drinking at its best in 2013.

    Aroma : Layered with mulberries and spice particularly apparent, along with a noticeable smoky Syrah character.

    Palate : The purity of black fruit and concentration is seductive. While still young, the finish is a touch mouth puckering but being packed with primary fruit flavours it will gain in complexity and seductiveness with age.

    Winemaking : After five days of skin contact it was pressed and then transfered it into second, third and even fourth-fill barrels for between 12 and 14 months of maturation. After tasting his way through the wines he made a selection and then bottled the Syrah Reserve with the minimum of interference.

    Food Pairing : This wine can be enjoyed with most beef, lamb, venison, chicken, vegetarian and pasta dishes.

    If you want to purchase or require more information on this wine, or if you are interested in a private or corporate tasting, please email Karen or visit her website.

    Planting Guide

    Herb or Veggie

    Seeds can be sown or plants can be planted for the following herbs and veggies this month:


  • Broad Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Swisschard
  • Turnips
  • Herbs

  • Parsley
  • Mustard
  • View our full planting plan in our resources section of our website.

    Brain Teaser

    We all love a chance to test our own brain capacity with brain teasers. Try see if you can figure out this one...

    Brain Teaser

    April's Teaser Answer :
    "friend in need"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82