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FREE JAN - Issue 1

Hot or Not in 2013 // The value of a degree // Blue Monday // I will // MMA vs Ballet


Alex (18)

Amy (24)

Carolann (22)

Eleanor (16)

Anything to do with computer science

Superstar DJ

Event management/marketing


Dream job:

Role model:

Mark Zuckerberg

Favourite quote:

“Do it for the butterflies” Little Nicky

Pet hate:

Grammar Nazis

Party trick: Voices.

How I chill out:

Watch random stuff on youtube

Dream job:

Dream job:

Role model:

Role model:

Justin Bieber, obviously

Marilyn Monroe

Favourite quote:

“There’s nothing worse than being ordinary”

Pet hate:

False people

Favourite quote:

“‘Live, Laugh, Love’”

Pet hate:

Running late, I hate being late!!

Party trick:

Party trick:

Darts trick shot

I make rhymes & songs on nights out

How I chill out:

Alcohol, good music or both

How I chill out:

Bath, candles and my onesie!

Dream job:

Role model: Kate Middleton

Favourite quote:

“Live every day like it’s on purpose”

Pet hate:

Bad spelling

Party trick:

My fingers are double jointed

How I chill out:

Painting and drawing

Emma (23)

Hannah (15)

Kayleigh (21)

Lauren (25)

Own my own therapeutic wellbeing organisation



Wellbeing Guru

Dream job:

Favourite quote:

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference” Winston Churchill

Pet hate:

People eating with their mouths open.

Party trick: Mum dancing

How I chill out: Shopping

Dream job:

Dream job:

Role model:

Role model:

Favourite quote:

Favourite quote:

Zooey Deschanel

Lee Evans

“Colour my life with the chaos of trouble”

Dream job:

Role model: Stephen Fry

Favourite quote:

Pet hate:

“ Life is about falling, living is about getting back up”

People pinching your food

Party trick:

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth”. Oscar Wilde

Party trick:

I can touch my head with my feet

Fitting in ridiculously small spaces

How I chill out:

Pet hate:

Either listening to loud music or Watching films


How I chill out:

How I chill out:

Listening to music, reading

Sewing and reading

We want you to react & interact with us!

Welcome to the brand spanking new React Magazine. ReactMag is part of a project designed by the Über cool kids of Blackburn with Darwen and surrounding area to remind us to look after our bouncebackability. This issue brings you an array of articles from our fantabulous editorial team. I’ve taken some time out of my post festive hibernation to check out this blue Monday lark, Carolann explores the value of a degree and asks, is it really worth living off beans for three years? To work off the beans, Alex and Hannah put on their gloves to fight their corner representing MMA and ballet… Kayleigh shares a personal powerful resolution whilst Eleanor, Alex and Amy give us their predictions for what’s going to be hot or not in 2013’s music, film, fashion and tech scene. And please do join Lauren in having a good old vent on the back page. All of this for FREE, too kind I know…We want to hear from you. Email us your articles, ideas and views at: Follow us @_React_Mag & tweet your thoughts on the textual delights in this month’s issue.

Search us on Facebook “React-Magazine” You can download ReactMag from our website. Big Thanks to Dan at NWBaseline for your support

Blue Monday // HOW FULL IS YOUR CUP? // MMA VS BALLET // The value of a degree Hot or Not in 2013 FASHION, MUSIC,FILM & TECH

The Man who invented ‘Blue Monday’ Drizzly days, body withdrawing from Christmas’s calorific foods and your bank balance is in the red. The hangover from the hedonistic festive period can make us all feel low in January. However, it has been claimed that the third Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year: Blue Monday. A claim from a pseudoscience boffin who has fashioned a calculation encompassing factors such as debt, weather, motivation, and other chance variables to form this concept of the third Monday of January to be the most depressing day of the year. We have all used the phrase, “I’m feeling depressed”, when we’re feeling sad about life, usually these feelings pass in due course. Unlike the temporary post-Christmas slump of Blue Monday, experiencing depression interferes with your life and doesn’t go away after a couple of weeks. In its mildest form, depression can mean being in low spirits. It doesn’t stop you leading your normal life, but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile. At its most severe, major depression (clinical depression) can be lifethreatening, because it can make people suicidal or simply give up the will to live. Depression is affected by many variables, and although factors such as debt and seasonal changes can impact on our wellbeing; it varies very much from person to person and can occur through a combination of chronic and temporary, internal and external factors. What is unlikely is that there is a reliable set

This time of year can be both the best and the worst for me. The joys of Christmas are over and it’s back to reality, and with that comes the numerous workout DVDs and the adverts about being glutinous over Christmas and needing to shed those ‘extra few pounds’.

of factors that induces depression to a whole population at the same time every year. The said boffin has since admitted that his annual equation is meaningless and was part of his work on a PR campaign for a travel company in a bid to get us to the travel agents to book holidays to warmer climes. Despite this, there continues to be a media frenzy around the third Monday of January which adds to the all too common media fixations around pseudoscience, skewing public’s understanding of mental health and wellbeing. People experiencing depression have long faced an uphill struggle to overcome the prejudice and lack of understanding of Joe public, so when concepts such as Blue Monday pop up every year it adds to the discrimination and disrespect people experiencing depression face. So, although January can be a time of broken resolutions and grouchy seasonal mood swings which can leave us wallowing on a couch of self pity, we can get through it. Whether that’s through Blue Monday’s success at getting you down to the travel agents or through your own resilience and motivation to overcome your festive slump; we can combat this hibernation period and bounce back ready for the year ahead. - Emma Lord For more information on depression or any other experiences of mental health distress, take a look at: http://www.mind. On the whole, I’m made to feel guilty for eating a Christmas dinner and having a drink. However, when you’re 6 and a half stone, this generally causes problems and I already feel the need to lie to those around me that are concerned about what I’ve eaten. 7 years of practice and I’m pretty much a pro at telling people the numerous things I’ve ‘eaten’ during the day without so much as a falter. This year though, I really am turning a new leaf. I’ve come to the conclusion that no one will help me unless I ask for it, and to ask for it I need to admit it. I don’t like to eat and I will find any excuse in the book not to. I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever cure, but it’s definitely manageable. As the years have gone by, it has become easier to explain to people why I don’t eat, and the more open I am about it the more people confide in me

How full is your cup? Moaning Minnie or cheeky chappy? Always in a bad mood or one of those perpetually happy types?

They say there are two kinds of people in the world, the pessimists and the optimists, but which camp do you fall into? And does it really matter either way? I’m not claiming to be an expert of the mind, but it seems pretty obvious that a cheery disposition can do a lot of good - for yourself yes, and for those around you as well. Look at those Americans for example, one man’s optimism and three little words: “Yes we can” inspired a whole nation to elect him as their leader. That same nation like to say have a nice day and how can I help you maam? and they do always seem to be a lot more smiley than us Brits. As my gran always said, a smile goes a long way. Ok, I’m not suggesting we all hop over the pond, but perhaps the Yanks know something we don’t. Maybe a ‘positive mental attitude’ (that should be ready in an all American accent by the way) is the key to a happy, stressfree life. Study after study has shown that people who see the proverbial cup as half full tend to earn more, experience better health and are generally happier people. Even Shakespeare agreed saying “there is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so”.

that they too have similar problems and the less isolated I feel. !This year though, I really am turning a new leaf. Last year wasn’t a great year for me, which made me reach a whole new set of lows, but as the year ended I decided enough is enough. When I look in the mirror and see something I am unhappy with, I’m not going to mope about and complain, I’m going to do something about it. Although I may not eat much, what I do eat tends to be junk food because my body craves it. If I can start eating properly, I can have control of my life again. I WON’T beat myself up when I have a bad day, these things are bound to happen, but as long as these days are few and far between then it won’t be too much of a problem. I WILL exercise this year, I may only be small but when I run out of breath climbing a flight of stairs it’s obvious

Now there is the other side of the coin of course. Some may say, to set out with expectations is a quick route to disappointment. If you never get your hopes up, you can never be let down can you? If you think nothing ever works out for you, it’s unlikely that you’ll put much effort in future. But, if you figure out that sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t, you might think twice about giving it a go the next time round. I’m certainly not saying I’ve got the answer, but I am saying God loves a trier. As Buddha said ‘Life is a creation of the mind’ so make it a good one. Wake up tomorrow thinking this will a good day, I will get that job / girl / boy / seat on the bus….whatever it is that you’re after. If it works and optimism does create opportunity, wahey! If your lifestyle doesn’t change dramatically but you find yourself in a better mood and less stressed in the process, then that can only be a good thing. And if nothing changes at all, you can sit smugly with that ‘I told you so’ face on, telling me I was wrong all along, but you would say that, wouldn’t you? ;) - Amy Lucas

TWEET us about how full your cup is #FullCup something isn’t working, and it probably isn’t healthy to force my body to go without food. I figure, exercise will not only get me healthier, but will also make me hungrier. I WILL learn to love what I have, instead of complaining about what I don’t. Sometimes, I wake up first thing in the morning and look in the mirror and I see something I’m happy with, this year I want that to be how I feel every morning. When I see something I don’t like, I will do something about it, instead of letting it affect me in a negative way. ! I WILL eat healthily, crisps and chocolate are going to be a no-no... My hectic lifestyle can’t be an excuse anymore, it takes two minutes to chop a carrot or slice some celery, and in the long run I’ll probably feel better for it. And finally... I WILL BE HAPPY! Nothing is going to stop me this year.

value of a degree

Every month we will bring you a new vs. Two topics, ideas or outlooks fight it out. Who wins, you decide. One is a competitive grappling and striking combat sport, another is a romantic performance of pointe and pirouettes. Alex and Hannah battle it out to give us their take on their own commitment to MMA and ballet, which one will come out on top? Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)


Fitness The obvious reason as to why martial arts helps me is the fitness side of it. This of course includes warming up (completing basic exercises to get your muscles ready) and also partaking in the martial arts itself. As you do more, you obviously get fitter and stronger, which I’m sure is a plus side in many people’s books. However it also improves your flexibility and again, this will improve as you continue.

‘I love ballet. Ballet is its own being. It has its own vocabulary. I feel as if I am in a different world when I am in the ballet studio.’- Kiernan Shipka

Stress Relief Another reason how martial arts have helped me, is stress relief. Being able to simply attack a pad can easily calm you down and get rid of large amounts of stress and pent up anger. This can therefore help you with your everyday life as it’s a good way to keep calm and stable. Respect and Routine Another benefit that people may not tend to associate with martial arts, is respect and routine. You may be wondering how these two things apply to martial arts. Well, respect is needed to be able to listen and follow the instructions from the instructor. Without respect, you quickly find that martial art doesn’t go well and can lead to lack of learning and punishment. Therefore most people very quickly will learn to show respect, and will then apply it to their everyday lives.

Respect a man, and he will do all the more. Now to touch on routine, as you partake in martial arts, you will have to attend lessons on a regular basis, which leads you to incorporate the lessons with your daily/weekly routine and of course with martial arts, if you want to succeed, you will have to train at home, and again, this will become a part of your daily/weekly routine. So how does this help with life? It simply enough, causes you to favour routines, and when it comes to adapting and changing to work with new routines, it comes a lot easier. - Alex Oakland

Ballet is often portrayed to be a tranquil and somewhat dull hobby only enjoyed by those of a higher class. I assure you, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Year upon year thousands of hopeful dancers audition for a place at the Royal Ballet School in Richmond Park, London yet under 30 achieve a place. Beneath the surface, the world of ballet is a fiercely competitive environment. However, not everyone signs up with the hope of one day becoming the next big star. To me, ballet is simply something I have enjoyed doing for over 10 years. It has been an opportunity to meet some fantastic people and learn about the incredibly difficult but rewarding life of professional dancers. There are also countless health benefits to ballet, not only the physical side but emotional wellbeing. The techniques learnt within a ballet class can significantly aid everyday life, for example better posture, flexibility and muscle strength. Particularly through exam periods, I have found ballet to be one of the best forms of stress relief; the classical music and concentration needed to perform well are a distraction from any worry and anxiety- it is also a very welcome break from the hours of revision. Ballet may also be very beneficial for anyone hoping to move on to university or other higher education. From grade 6 upwards, up to 70 UCAS points can be achieved with each RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) examination. Personally, I think that ballet is an excellent form of exercise for everyone- regardless of age or gender. It has helped me and many others in all aspects of life from coordination to stress management and I’ve made some fantastic friends during my time as a dancer. - Hannah Lord

Although MMA and ballet appear as two visibly different performances, they are not too dissimilar in their practice and routine. Alex and Hannah’s motivation to succeed in these pastimes are comparable and seems to be a regular stress reliever for them both. They are two ancient forms of expression and continue to stand the test of time for people around the world. Alex and Hannah have had weekly commitments to MMA and Ballet for most of their lives, I wonder if we all had a weekly space to vent our frustrations and pent up stress how different our lifestyles would be? Maybe something to consider for a new year’s resolution……

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With around 2.5 million students studying full time In the U.K today with around six hundred thousand of them post graduate, many of whom are unable to gain a job within their area of qualification; The big question on everyone’s lips is ‘What is the real value of a degree today?’. In order to achieve your dream job it has become the norm in today’s society that you must better yourself educationally, financially and on a personal level. Leaving school at sixteen in Blackburn with Darwen historically meant getting a manual labour job to assist with household costs; now it seems most teenagers are taking the college route leading on to the bright lights of the university, its student lifestyle and mountains of student debt. Students are leaving university with a debt on average of £26,100. Although this debt doesn’t have to be repaid until a graduate is earning £20,000 it does have an effect on the steps graduates take next, settling for jobs within an industry in which they are over qualified for. It has become the case where many jobs require some sort of degree and experience in that area and therefore are no longer ‘desirable’ aspects of a job spec. ‘With 80% of new jobs by 2020 likely to be professional or technical, the U.K must now invest in the next generation or risk losing out in the race for economic growth.’ – Sally Hunt (general secretary of the university and college union). So does this mean 80% of the working population need to be educated to degree standard to reach their dream job? With the growing costs of student living and accommodation, students are reconsidering their university locations and staying closer to home. Blackburn College has now expanded into a university campus and offers students from near and far the opportunity to study under awarding bodies such as Lancaster University and UCLAN. On a personal level, I have three degrees within teaching and hospitality management, but still find it increasingly difficult to find a job which fits my studies. I have worked within the industry for over 7 years and have now found myself looking to start my own business as it seems like the only way I can progress professionally. I have student debts to be repaid but I don’t regret completing my degree as I feel it has given me that competitive edge when interviewing for my dream job and has opened up doors and created friendships I would have never had found, had I not attended university. - Carolann Creane

Hot new Headphones to take on Dre Beats in 2013? Beats have been topping the table for quite some time now as the headphones to get for style, comfort and sound quality. However, a new headset has come about which can raise the bar a little. The Parrot Zik headphones are similarly matched to Dr Dre Beats ‘Pro’ headphones when it comes to price. They are little bit more expensive, but for very good reason. I wont bother going into sound quality because they’re similar, nor will I go into style, as that’s each to their own. What I will go into however, is the technology behind the Parrot Zik. After 4 years of development, the special features were ready. The headphones include noise cancelling, and not by using thick foam or extra material. It uses 4 microphones to listen to your surroundings, and simply removes them. An extra feature with these microphones is that you can use 2 of them as a microphone and record yourself, or even talk to someone on the phone. However, this isn’t the main selling point of the headphones. On one of the headphones, is a touch pad, in which you can use to control everything to do with your music. You can play and pause with a simple tap, increase and lower volume with a quick stroke, and even change tracks with a stroke of your finger, you won’t even have to worry about pausing your music when taking them off, it does it for you. As it says on the box, they are the most advanced wireless headphones to date. - Alex Oakland

Fashion hot/not

- Amy Lucas

Hurrah! It’s January. The second favourite month in any fashionista’s diary (after September with its legendary vogue issue of course). Like it or not, you’ll see features in all the glossies telling you to out the old and bring in the new. Forget those reindeer-print jumpers because summer, in fashion terms, is well and truly on its way. Here’s what I’ve got my eye on for the coming months...

hot new Music With the dawn of the new year comes a fresh batch of sick toons, that’s good music to those of you that aren’t down with the lingo. 2012 was heralded as the re-breakthrough of electronic music into the mainstream and I predict 2013 will continue this beautiful renaissance. Keep your ears peeled for this lot...

Cycling shorts


As seen on the catwalks of Vera Wang, cycling shorts – yes off of the 90s – are back with a bang. They’re not made of Nylon this time and they’re slightly less clingy but I’m still not sure....

Merging dance, R&B and folk, these Californian sisters are bringing us the sounds of the hills. Confused? Don’t be. It’s nicely poppy, definitely catchy and they’ve got great hair. Get ready to sing along to Don’t Save Me.

Velvet trousers

Weirdly good January wardrobe option. Warm, regal and ideal with a plain jumper. They feel really luxurious too. Stick to deeper hues like plum and navy for an expensive aesthetic.


Mingling the sounds of post-dubstep, R&B and garage, these Lancaster based producers are set for big things. Barely out of school – not that you’d know it listening to their creations – Adam and George have struck the proverbial Gold with their new one.


All the way from that there London, Dan Smith writes the tunes and sings them as well, backed-up by his band. Arty and intelligent, this music’s about growing up, love and the heartbreak that goes with it. Try Bad Blood on for size.


You can’t go wrong with this. Think tapered black capris and a stripy tee that says ‘I’ve robbed a bank, but I did it in Chanel’. It’s inexpensive too. Dig out your black trousers, white shirt and finish it off with a patent stiletto - if you’re really daring, white ones...yes, they’re in!

Belly tops

Beekeeper hats

Insects are this years leopards. Take from that what you will. All I know is, I’d get some funny looks in the supermarket wearing one of these.

Another 90s through back, this midriff-revealer has grown up. This time it’s looser, longer and less acrylic but I still have reservations. Only for the brave!

What’s HOT for 2013? Film releases If you’re a movie geek like us, 2013 is definitely going to be an exciting year for you. Sci-fi lovers be warned: you should probably sit down and hold your hats for this fabulously fictional line up. From familiar names such as ‘Iron Man 3’, ‘The Wolverine’, ‘Die Hard 5’ and ‘The Hangover 3’ to undiscovered Spielberg wonders like ‘Robopocalypse’, 2013 is going to be huge. Not only is there a massive line up of muchawaited sequels to many killer movies, there’s some real gems emerging for 2013 in the movie business. Hugh Jackman, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and Vin Diesel among others will very soon be appearing on your local cinema screen ladies, so dig out your lipstick and find yourself a date - this selection of buff eye candy is not one to be missed out on. There’s even going to be a new ‘Superman’ in summer 2013 which will surely turn some heads - have you seen those lycra suits? Come on, a girl can dream. If ripped abs and sweaty backs aren’t to your fancy, then there’s still plenty lined up to float your boat in 2013. ‘World War Z’ promises zombies, zombies and more zombies. Or, if you’re a little young yet for the undead, check out ‘Monsters University’ - we swear it’s not as scary as it sounds. As the latest sequel to the popular movie ‘Monsters inc.’, it’s definitely worth taking a trip to see this Pixar creation when it’s released in June.

As promised, there’s even more Sci-fi coming up for you technology lovers as Sandra Bullock and George Clooney get together in ‘Gravity’, a disaster mission movie in which the two Hollywood stars find themselves stranded in space. Although let’s be honest, Sandra Bullock can’t be too distraught, she’s stuck in a room with George Clooney - could be worse. Now, are all you Sci-fi lovers firmly seated? Drumroll please… We did say 2013 would be a massive Sci-fi year, and we certainly were not lying. Brace yourselves, as in May 2013, ‘Star Trek’ will return to your screens in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ - and after 3 years of watching and re-watching all the old versions, I’m sure they’ll be queuing round the block as usual. New technological advancements will make this a film not to be missed. Overall, next year is going to be magnificent for movies. From Sci-fi to romance to the odd cartoon, including names like Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, some brilliant entertainment is surely on the cards. Sprinkle on a bit of Will Smith and Morgan Freeman and it’s safe to say 2013 has it all. Be excited. Be very excited. - Eleanor Kerfoot

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No actors where used in this article From the frolicking Special K lady in her flowing red dress to the spontaneous singing Weight Watchers winners, diet adverts are everywhere in this resolution month of January. With 1 in 5 Britons starting a diet every month it is no surprise the diet companies are cashing in on the festive indulgence and winter hibernation. Yet I am dismayed and de-motivated by the fickle and shallow inspiration provided by the frequent two minutes adverts which are doing nothing but straining my eyes from too much rolling to the heavens. Why is that to advertise weight loss it has to mean prior this decision you were: • • • • • •

Over 30 Dull Boring Friendless Unhappily single Didn’t wear make-up

• Never left your bed • Miserable • Only attired in ill fitting clothes and never a dress (or a suit in the case of the rare singular male on the advert)

What is wrong with the simple truth? Being a healthy weight is just that: it’s healthy! Health does not guarantee a partner, a new job, new dress, happiness or the ability to sing dancing down the street. It does however make it more likely and the lack of any aforementioned points easier to deal with or avoid entirely. Don’t be scared of your profit margins diet initiators. Promote health and its benefits not the stars in your eyes transformation. If I wish to lose weight it will be for my health not to wear a red dress or sing in the street. Lauren

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React Magazine - Issue 1  
React Magazine - Issue 1  

ReactMag is part of a project designed by the Über cool kids of Blackburn with Darwen and surrounding area to remind us to look after our b...