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Issue 11 Late Autumn/Early Winter 2014

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@xplodemag @xplodemag

Credits Team Saeed Atcha – Editor Mithun Kerai – Sub-Editor Chloe Bennett – Sub-Editor Saimah Malji – Showbiz Journalist Khalil Malji – Financial Director Adam Toorawa – Journalist Shabih Syed – Journalist Phoebe McEwen– Journalist Kajol Patel - Journalist Edward Jankowski – Journalist Zenely Martin Rios – Journalist Aishah Atcha – Journalist Rhiannon Hayes - Journalist Laura Appleton –Journalist Naim Ismail – Journalist Sabina Toorawa – Journalist Sophie Brown – Journalist Hannah Moffat – Journalist Amber Sargent – Journalist Robert Hurst – Journalist Aliaa Toorawa – Journalist Emily Raby – Journalist Zahra Khan - Journalist Shivaani Solanki – Journalist

With special thanks to Ronan Dunne, CEO O2 UK HM Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren Smith Amy Doram, O2 UK Cllr Sufrana Bashir-Ismail Courtenay Gray, Online Blogger Melody Taylor, Online Blogger Holly Main, Online Blogger Stephen Owen Andy Morgan

Contact Xplode Magazine There are many ways you can get in touch with Xplode Magazine Bolton.

Issue 11 is here! Hello You! 11 issues, 70 young people working on the magazine and over 3 years in the making, Xplode is now celebrating 18,395 readers! THANK YOU! Now we’ve all come across a certain type of Instagrammer haven’t we?! You know what I mean, that person who’s completely predictable and you just know exactly what their next post will be? Kajol has rounded up 5 Insta Irritants on page 21. Hopefully one of her Instagram Irritant’s isn’t posting too many pictures of cake – I LOVE cake and it’s often plastered all over my timeline! Hannah & Sophie have teamed up to give you the ‘Cake in a Mug’ recipe which I cannot wait to try. Fashion-wise OH WE HAVE A TREAT FOR YOU! Flick to page 15 and check out what we’ve got. Everyone knows black is the new black and we’ve added more black to that! A/W Fashion has never been so cute! Sometimes I love a good shisha but after reading about how it affects my health, I’ll be thinking twice before going for a smoke! All the details are on pages 10 &11

Give us a ring on: 01204 546081 Send us a present: Xplode Magazine The Bolton Hub, Bold Street, Bolton, BL1 1LS ‘Tweet’ us: @xplodemag #CineXplode ‘Like’ us: ‘Email’ us:

Have fun & thanks for reading Xplode!

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© Xplode Magazine 2014, All Rights Reserved.



Mug Cake


Photoshop to Perfection



Shisha Surprise


Love it, or hate it. It's irresistible




Fashion A/W14

YouTube Star Turned Teenspiration


5 Christmas Film Faves


Smashing the States!


Music Reviews

Article by Chloe Bennett

Ben Howard Ever wondered what happened to Ben Howard?! It seems after bagging himself the British Breakthrough and British Solo Male Artist Brit award back in 2012 that he’s disappeared off the face of the music world. Well, he’s finally back with a brilliant album titled “I Forget Where We Are”. Released in late October, it features the captivating title track and “End of The Affair” singles. This album showcases a different side to his musical talents that steer away from the theme of his debut album. His new album features stories of love, told with greater atmosphere, making the bold statement of moving away from short pop songs into longer, more atmospheric tracks – think Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”. I couldn’t think of a better album to accompany these autumnal nights! The album shows a transition theme in the overall tone of the music which highlights an artist that has truly found themselves.

Pharrell Williams The King of feel good tracks is back! I am of course talking about Mr Pharrell Williams. The newest single from his latest album “Girl” is titled “Gust of Wind.” The song is annoyingly catchy, so expect yourself to be humming it at awkward times during the day! The song also features Daft Punk who Pharrell previously collaborated with to produce the smash hit “Get Lucky”. But will this newest single be as successful? Check it out and let us know what you think by tweeting us at @XplodeMag


Article by Saimah Malji

In America you almost can’t listen to the radio without hearing a British artist pop up every once in a while. Touring Brits, Ed Sheeran and Cher Lloyd have gained a ridiculously huge amount of popularity in the US with their countless performances on TV and award shows. Not forgetting Brit girl power forerunners Jessie J and Adele! Breaking into the US as a British artist is quite the accomplishment and I’m sure the goal will not die down anytime soon! Cher Lloyd finished fourth in the 7th series of The X Factor losing out to Matt Cardle, Rebecca Ferguson and arguably the biggest boy band in the world, One Direction. Cher, now 21, first became popular in the US at the

age of 19 with her hit single “Want You Back” and she’s continuously becoming more and more popular after teaming up with many artists, including BeckyG and Ne-Yo, to create amazing hit singles. Ed Sheeran is one of, if not THE, best singer-songwriters around today. The single that helped Ed Sheeran really make his mark in America was “Lego House” which featured Harry Potter star Rupert Grint. His single “A Team” was played frequently on the radio making him a wellknown artist all over the states. Last year Ed really proved that he had made it! He managed to sell out Madison Square Garden resulting in a second date being added at the venue! The Brit school star, Jessie J recently brought Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj to her track ‘Bang Bang’ showing off her powerful voice in the single which has dominated US charts. Artists from all over the world want to make it big in America but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Will we see more artists from the UK take on America? Or will we find that it’s already jam packed with way too many artists already? 5

The end of September saw the shock announcement that Jason Orange was leaving Take That. But with remaining members Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald still in the studio recording an album without him, fans have been left wondering what’s next for Jason. So this issue we'll take a look at other musicians who’ve managed to make it big after going solo:

Robbie Williams Where better to start than Orange's former Take That comrade, Robbie? After quitting the band in 1995, he went on to have great commercial success with his solo career. His first 7 albums all reached the top spot on the UK album charts, making him the best-selling British solo artist in the UK. It goes to show that Robbie did incredibly well since leaving Take That. He has since been reunited with his Take That pals to record the fastest selling album in UK chart history!

Cheryl Cole Cheryl rose to fame after winning the reality show "Popstars: The Rivals", which earned her a place in Girls Aloud, where she achieved a string of number one singles. And she’s not done too bad on her own either. As well as becoming a national sweetheart and style icon, she's had 4 UK number one’s. And, Cole, or Fernandez-Varsini, is probably best known for judging on The X Factor.

Article by Robert Hurst



Ok, so this isn't technically one person, but the boys from Busted have got up to some quite interesting stuff since they split after a huge surge of popularity in the early 2000s. Singer and guitarist Charlie Simpson went in a completely different direction, forming an alternative rock band. He's now gone on to forge a successful solo career for himself too. Fellow Busted band mate James Bourne also formed a new band, in the form of poppunkers "Son Of Dork", who were a lot more rock influenced than Busted, but still very catchy! And nowadays, Bourne and the final third of Busted Matt Willis have teamed up with their chums McFly to form pop super group McBusted, who after completing a whole UK tour, have just released their first new single!

Must See Movies


In the third Taken movie Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is back on the big screens as we see him framed for the tragic murder of his ex-wife Lenore. Despite being on the wanted list by the police, CIA and FBI he is forced to go on the run to guard his daughter from danger and, catch the true killers of his former lover. Neeson must use his clever set of skills to deliver his own act of justice, will he succeed?

Kevin Hart and Kaley Cuoco star in the upcoming action rom-com. Doug Harris played by Hart is to be wed soon but he’s faced with a problem: he is a loner with no best man. With just under two weeks to go until he ties the knot, Hart must make a decision with the help of the CEO of Best Man Inc. With a fake best man leading to an unexpected budding bromance, the boys are in for a surprise treat over the next fourteen days. Will the wedding go ahead?

Article by Aishah Atcha


THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES In the third part of this epic trilogy, a final battle brings a conclusion to the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield, and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland, the dwarves have unleashed a deadly force to reign down this fiery destruction upon Middle-earth. The enraged dragon, Smaug, focuses his rage down upon the defenceless men, women and children of Lake-town. As darkness converges, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide - unite or be destroyed? Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his companions in the Battle of the Five Armies as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance. An action-packed must see! 7



Oysters New York style pizza We’ve all seen the crispy thin New York style pizza in a movie or on TV somewhere. What is it that makes the simple, medium-thin pizza so special? Well it’s to do with the sauce. It seems that all New York based pizzerias have their own ‘secret’ or ‘special’ sauce that makes it different and unique. Reckon we get Bella Italia in town to go all NYC? The Xplode bucket list is back & I’m bringing you 5 foods that you need to try at some point in your life! Caviar Caviar has been considered a delicacy before oysters, champagne and even truffles were. We’ve all heard about those tiny black pearls, so full of flavour and texture that people pay hundreds of pounds for, just for a few grams! Oysters Eaten all over the globe, the oyster is one of the delicacies of the sea. True oyster lovers say that it is best to eat them raw. They’re also good for our health with how many minerals they’ve got!


Article written by Khalil Malji

Lobster Roll A traditional lobster roll contains chunks of tender and sweet, cooked lobster meat topped with a thin coat of mayonnaise and placed steamed on a hot dog bun, lightly toasted in butter. If that sentence didn’t tempt you then I don’t know what will! Philly Cheesesteak A cheesesteak is a long crusty roll, filled with thinly sliced beef and melted cheese. Sounds simple but in Philadelphia, the authentic Philly Cheesesteak is an icon. It’s often imitated around the world but it is rarely duplicated successfully. So what is it that makes this simple sounding sandwich so unique in Philadelphia? The art of Cheesesteak preparation lies in the balance of flavours between the beef and cheese, the textures and something called the ‘drip’ factor.

Article written by Hannah Moffat and Sophie Brown

This recipe is a really quick and easy way to make yummy chocolate cake. It takes about 10 minutes and voila! -You have a scrumptious cake which you can eat straight out of the mug! Prep time – 5 mins Total Time – 10 mins Serving Size – 1 portion Ingredients ● 4 tbsp self-raising flour ● 4 tbsp caster sugar ● 2 tbsp cocoa powder ● 1 medium egg ● 3 tbsp milk ● 3 tbsp vegetable/sunflower oil ● Icing sugar (to serve)

Method 1. Use the largest mug you can find to avoid making a mess 2. Add the flour, sugar and cocoa powder to the mug and mix 3. Add the egg and mix 4. Add all the other ingredients and mix again until smooth 5. Put your mug in the middle of the microwave and cook on the highest setting for 3-5 mins (depending how powerful your microwave is)

5. or until it’s stopped rising and is firm to the touch. Make sure you watch it rise so it doesn’t overflow – that would be awkward 6. Allow to cool 7. Dust with icing sugar 8. Done! You’re actually done. 9. Eat it straight out of the mug or tip onto a plate to serve

Tips ● Make sure your mug isn’t full, otherwise it may overflow. ● You can add chocolate chips, nuts or fruit to the mixture after step 4. ● If you want a plain sponge, replace the cocoa powder with plain flour. ● If you don’t have a mug big enough it works the same in a bowl or jug.


Loud tunes, some mates and aright good laugh! All’s you’re missing is a Shisha right? Did you know that smoking shisha for an hour is equivalent to you inhaling the smoke of 100 or more cigarettes – shocking right?! Keep reading. A shisha contains many harmful products which are toxic for your body such as tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide. These can cause damage to your brain and the carbon monoxide can even cause you to fall unconscious and can be fatal when large quantities enter the body! No matter what you’re smoking, whether it is cigarettes, shisha, even tobacco free varieties of shisha, anything you smoke can damage your health, this applies to passive smoking too. So don’t fool yourself thinking smoking shisha is a healthy option. Did you know that you’re actual 10 ly smoking flavoured tobacco?!

You’re smoking regular tobacco but the only difference is that it’s been sweetened using fruit essences. If like a couple of my mates, you think that sharing shisha is a social activity, you should think again! You don’t need to smoke shisha to have a good time. By smoking shisha you’re more likely to develop mouth cancer than non-smokers - again, shocking right?! These cancers can develop on the upper part of your throat, on your tongue, tonsils, gums, lining of your mouth, and even on your lips. Not nice when going

Article by Shivaani Solanki

to kiss your boyfriend or girlfriend. Although mouth cancer can be rare in people under 40 it is becoming more and more common in younger people because of shisha and other types of smoking.

Oral herpes can be transmitted by sharing shisha pipe with someone who has a cold sore You’re even increasing your chances of developing lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and oral herpes and if those aren’t enough to deter you, you could gain serious breathing issues. Is it seriously worth the risk? Oral herpes can be transmitted by sharing shisha; for example if you shared a shisha pipe with someone who has a cold sore and you don’t change the mouth piece. Once you have this disease you could be suffering from it for the rest of your life! Imagine having a healthier life, the satisfaction of feeling good about yourself, improved breathing and having less risk of gaining smoking related diseases!

Actually you’ll be surprised to know that smoking shisha increases the risk of getting gum disease by 5 times more than a non-smoker. Gum disease can cause your gums to move away and your teeth to fall out.

Nope, fruit flavoured shisha just makes the shisha taste better,it doesn’t make the shisha healthier at all.

I understand it’s not easy to just stop but there is help available! Bolton Stop Smoking Service are amazing with this type of stuff (it’s even in their name!) You can call them on 01204 462345 or visit their website: 11

Article written by Phoebe McKeon

DofE stands for Duke of Edinburgh, and yes, he’s that royal guy, but DofE is also a nationally recognised award. So, where do I begin? This award is tiring, exhausting and tough, but it’s so rewarding! You might have to carry a backpack the size of Jupiter on your back and up a mountain, but you get so much back from it. In DofE, there are four sections that you have to complete: a skills section, a physical section and a volunteering section, and then there’s the final expedition. You can do anything you like for these sections, from horse riding to archery and from piano playing to spending your Saturdays volunteering at Oxfam. All the experiences will allow you to gain an infinite amount of skills; from putting up a tent in the pouring rain, to cooking a meal on a camp stove. You also learn vital team building skills and form new bonds with people you weren’t that close to before. After all, you have just 12 been shoved up a mountain together.

Article by Chloe Bennett

I’ve just completed the expedition side of my own DofE award and I can tell you that there were grazed knees and emotional outbursts, but there were also sing-a-long chants, jokes and a whole load of other fun. So, if you’re thinking about something to slap on your CV to get you those extra points to help get into uni or college, or even a job, why not give DofE a try! You can usually do it through your school or local Scout/Guides club, check it out and get involved! And once you’ve done your bronze you can move on to silver and then gold awards! Want more info? Head to

Have you ever thought about your brain? Bit of a weird question I know but I’m sure you’ve wondered how it works and what it’s capable of? Lucy, the film released in summer (even though it was rubbish!) totally blew us away with what the brain can do when used at 100% capacity! Now, I can’t make you fly or tell you how to control the minds of your little brothers or sisters but here are a few ‘tests’ you can do on your brain and who knows, you might just amaze yourself.

Ghost Pendulum 1. Get your hands on some sort of pendulum, anything which has a weight hung from a fixed point. It could be a key on a string or your earphones will do! 2. In one hand hold the pendulum and try to steady your hand. Rest your elbow on a desk if you need to. 3. In the other hand, hold a 2p coin and hold the hand with the coin in under your pendulum, leaving some space. 4. Start to focus on the pendulum, it should start to swing back and forth without you actually ‘moving’ it…WHATTT?! Weird I know! So how does it happen? Some say it’s to do with telepathy and others say it’s the spirit world controlling the movements, oooooh. But a more likely reason is that your hands are making subconscious movements, causing the pendulum to swing. Whatever the reason, and I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s pretty cool.

MSN Messages 7HIS M355AG3 53RV35 7O PROV3 H0W 0UR M1ND C4N D0 1MPR355IV3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD, BU7 N0W Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 1T W17H0U7 70O MUCH 0F 4 PR0BL3M! 0NLY C3R7A1N P30PL3 C4N R34D 7H1S… Or can everyone read it? Our brains can find patterns and if you started off reading slow and then finished off without difficulty, then you are amongst the majority! If you read the whole passage at a normal pace, you’re either really good or you spent way too many hours on MSN all those years ago!

Firing F’s Quickly count the number of times the letter F appears in the following sentence: “Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years.” How many did you spot? Three? Wrong! Look again; it seems our brains just can’t process the word ‘of.’ The letter ‘F’ usually makes the sound “fh” as in fox, but in ‘of’ it makes a “v” sound. So when reading, our clever brains are so stupid, that they only scan for the “fh” 13 sound and it misses out the “v.”

Article written by Sabina Toorawan

Zoella – a fashion & beauty blogger, YouTube star and internet personality! You’d think she’d be quite busy with the launch of her beauty range, her upcoming debut novel and of course, her YouTube channel but now the newly accredited teen icon has become the first Digital Ambassador for the mental health charity, Mind. She’s helped launch the #DontPanicButtoncampaign to raise awareness of anxiety and panic attacks in young people like me and you. It’ll encourage us to wear red buttons and upload photos to our social networks using the hashtag. This shows our support for anyone experiencing anxiety and helps others know that they’re not alone. 24 year old Zoe Elizabeth Sugg (better known as Zoella) says “I know just how isolating it can feel to experience severe anxiety. However, the overwhelming response I’ve received every time I’ve spoken out online, shows just how many young people confront it every day.”

12 14

Her main YouTube channel has more than 6.3m subscribers, whilst her MoreZoella channel has 2.3m which should help the campaign reach a large number of young people. Zoella has also shared her own experience of panic attacks in one of her YouTube video’s which has over 2.6m hits alone! She goes on to say,“I am passionate about the need for everyone to feel okay to speak out, to talk to friends and family about what they’re going through, and to ask for help. That’s why I’m thrilled to be taking on my new role as Digital Ambassador at Mind. It’s an opportunity to raise further awareness and to work with a charity I love.” For more information search for ‘Mind’ online.


Fashion Journalists: Zahra Khan, Sophie Brown, Chloe Bennett, Laura Appleton & Aishah Atcha


Newlook Jumper £17.99 Newlook Trousers £24.99 Newlook Shoes £19.99

Newlook Newlook Newlook Newlook

Cardigan £29.99 Tshirt £12.99 Skirt £17.99 Shoes £24.99

ASOS Girl Scout T-Shirt Dress £25 ASOS Rose Print Midi Skirt £45 ASOS Stripe Leg Warmers £5

Casual Wear Rock the trends this autumn and winter with these casual and cute pieces. River River River River River


Island Island Island Island Island

White muff - £30 Mary Jane platform - £18 Pink Jumper - £30 Cuff - £10 Headband - £12

Newlook Hat £9.99

Newlook Newlook Newlook Newlook

River River River River River

Jacket £29.99 Shirt £17.99 Trousers £19.99 Shoes £19.99

Island Island Island Island Island

Camel Coat £110 Black Bag £40 Brogue £28 Molly Legging £40 Bangle £3

Classy Own the classy look and make a great impression with these staple pieces. New Look Coat £54.99 New Look Shirt £17.99 New Look Trousers £19.99

ASOS Snake Ankle Boot £75 ASOS Heeled Sandals £42 ASOS Leather Travel Wallet £25

River River River River

Island Island Island Island

Faux Fur Stole £25 Silver Cami £18 Pink Leather Skirt £30 Sandals £55



River Island Black Shoulderless Top £28 River Island Bag - £40 River Island Molly Jegging £40

Leather Pointed Ankle Boot £65 Cut Out Buckle Boot £45 Quilted Ankle Boot £55 Leather Hardware Ankle Boot £75

Edgy Pairing black with black has never been so popular! Shoulders galore as autumn and winter take their toll on us and because of the cold we don’t want our legs out – check out this great Newlook jumpsuit. We’re hiring fashion journalists. If you’re interested, hit up now! 18

Newlook Jumpsuit £34.99 Newlook Belt £7.99 Newlook Shoes £34.99


Woven Slip On Trainer £28 Printed Slip On Trainer £20 Mongolian Collar £45 Two Tone Snood £15 Mixed Twill Scarf £15 Crochet Scarf £28 River River River River


Island Island Island Island

Coat £85 Jumper £25 Chino’s £28 Lace up boots

Cable Mix Scarf £20 Stripe Snood £18 Chunky Rib Scarf £15 Stripe Scarf £18 Cable Stripe Scarf £18

Lads River River River River

Island Island Island Island

Bomber £38 Sweatshirt £22 Trouser £25 Trainer - £45

Whether it’s smart or casual you’re looking for, or even if it’s ‘smart causal’ (whatever that is), we’ve got you covered this Autumn & Winter! 19

get social Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube where you can WIN, laugh & keep up to date!





Article by Chloe Bennett

Article written by Kajol Patel

Here at Xplode HQ we’ve managed to narrow down all of Instagram into 10 types of user. These users are everywhere and you'll recognise them instantly — they're your friends, family, colleagues. They are you. #TheFoodie Each meal, snack, drink and everything in between has to be shared with all. No matter how ugly or delicious, we don’t need or want to see everything you eat…unless of course you’re a chef. #Yum #FoodPorn #TheWeightLossChick The girl who’s now a skinny Minnie either through exercise or with the help of a weight loss supplement. These chicks are definitely inspiring; it’s usually the promotion of weight loss products that puts them into the annoying category. #JuicePlus #TheAddict If you take more than 2 or 3 Instagram pictures a day, then you may be an addict. If you constantly share your hashtagged pictures everywhere, including Facebook, then you may be an addict. And if every time you see something you wonder what it’d look like in a 612 by 612 pixel square box with the Lo-Fi filter on it, then you may be an addict.

#TheHashtagAbuser #Every #single #photo #is #hashtagged #like #this. Two or three hashtags we can live with but beyond that is just plain ridiculous. #Annoying #Overkill #Stop #Hashtag #TheTextgrammer These people fill up their timelines with images of quotes or subliminal messages to the latest person that’s hurt them or annoyed them. Whilst this is the biggest passive aggressive move in the social media handbook, you can’t help but to relate and repost some of them. Don’t think you’re any of these?! Check out to see 5 more types of Insta user! Tweet us @XplodeMag and tell us which category/ categories you fall under. Is there anybody we’ve forgotten? Let us know. And don’t forget to follow us on IG @xplodemag and let us know what type of user we are! 21

Article written by Zenely Martin Rios

PHOTOSHOP TO PERFECTION Tired of not being able to get your pictures right? Don’t know where all that light is coming from? Wondering why the picture doesn’t really show what you see? I ask the same questions! If you’ve got Photoshop this quick and easy tutorial will help you become a Photoshop genius. You’ll be surprised by the amazing results you can get in such a short space of time!

Step 1 Open your picture in Photoshop by going to File<Open and then to the folder where you’ve saved the picture. Or simply drag the picture into the programme.

Step 2 A “Background” layer will appear at the “Layers” window (usually at the right hand side). You need to duplicate it and change the blending mode to “Overlay”. I know this sounds like Chinese right now but, it’s easier than you think.

To do this select the first layer called “Background” and drag it to the “Create a New Layer” button. Then select this new layer (which will be a duplication of the first one) and go to the top of the window. There you will see a little box next to opacity. Select the 22 option “Overlay” and then reduce the opacity close to 50%.

You will already see the first results! All the colours are brighter and it even looks sharper.

Step 3 Open your picture in Photoshop by going to File<Open and then to the folder where you’ve saved the picture. Or simply drag the picture into the programme.

Step 4 Now play with the brightness and contrast section. There isn’t really an established value you must enter, you judge the amount of brightness, contrast, hue and saturation you want to bring to your own picture. But don’t overdo it.

Step 5 Finally you can choose to either alter the colour of the highlights, midtones and shadows by using “Colour Balance” or you can modify the curves of the image (which is a bit more complicated). To do this, we just need to click on the Colour Balance icon at the Adjustments window and select the different boxes.

And that’s it! 5 easy steps that can bring your pictures to life! We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial! Did you find it useful and easy to follow? Tell us what you think on Twitter or Facebook!




Article written by Saeed Atcha

END OF THE ROAD Waterloo Road – 10 series, 8 years of fantastic acting, an opportunity to showcase emerging talent and the tackling of issues we care about. Sounds perfect doesn’t it?! Did you know it’s on its way out? I’ve loved it since I first started watching it around the 2007 Rachel Mason era because Waterloo Road was just my school, Ladybridge High! The staff were overworked and underpaid and their budgets were getting tighter, not to mention how naughty my year group was (me included!). It was also the time of a new headteacher and like every Waterloo Road head’s entrance – it’s got to be a bold one. Mrs D’Arcy is Ladybridge’s headteacher and she was exactly like a WR head – full of ideas to better the school and involve the community and she’s only gone and done a grand job (she’s not paid me to say this either)! If teachers and students needed to go – she made sure they went and when grades needed to go up, oh boy they did – D’Arcy’s way of upping the Ladybridge game was called ‘Operation Outstanding’ which even has a WR-like sound to it! Enough of Ladybridge now, let’s focus on WR! It’s incredibly sad that the series on air now is the last we’ll see and the sadness grows when you look at the TV Guide and don’t see much else for young people. All signs are pointing towards the BBC not wanting youths to watch the TV. Bit of a bold statement I know, but with BBC Three departing our screens and now Waterloo Road, I’m beginning to question what’s next. 24 WR was an amazing way for upcoming

and emerging acting talent to showcase themselves whilst working with some of the industry’s leading actors (Laurie Brett, Jason Done, Alex Walkinshaw and Phillip Martin Brown). Many young stars have gone on to achieve amazing roles with Katie McGlynn (Jodie Scout Allen) being the best example who’s now Sinead on Coronation Street. Waterloo Road, for me and you, was ‘our school away from school’ and ‘our home away from home’ because it tackled some really serious issues from mental health to bullying and even sexual health. More recently, in the first episode of the current and final series, we’ve seen Darren’s mum pass away due to drug abuse and for us young people who watch and can relate with the programme, we’ll have a big hole when it’s gone. All in all, I think Waterloo Road shouldn’t have been axed but instead carried on with a new strategy for the 1000s of fans who are publicly, via social media, grieving at the axing. I do agree that it was on its way to a closure because of the repeating of storylines such as the ‘community cafe’ that’s started in this series but surely the brain boxes at the BBC could’ve thought of something?! Or maybe the axing was the ‘easy way out’ for them as Channel 4’s ‘Educating: (insert place name)’ came as competition and realistically, Drama can’t compete with real life.

Waterloo Road, we’ll miss you! Tweet me your best bits from Waterloo Road @XplodeMag

Imagine if young people, like me and you, could sit in the House of Commons and debate issues that matter to us? Well, it just so happens that this has been a reality for the past 3 years! A yearly campaign called ‘Make Your Mark’, run by the UK Youth Parliament, last year saw a record breaking 478,632 young people spoken to in order to give them a say on what’s to be debated by their Youth MPs in the House of Commons. This year’s priorities are made up of 10 topics including votes at 16, Euthanasia, youth service funding and exam resits. This November, Youth MPs (Young members of Parliament) from around the country, including Bolton’s Youth MPs Ebony Cropper and Tresor Mbuyi, are debating the top five issues coming from the Make Your Mark campaign. Ahead of their visit we spoke to Ebony and Tresor about the campaign and their trip to Parliament.

How do you both feel about representing Bolton’s young people in the House of Commons? Ebony: I feel privileged to have been offered the opportunity. I think it’ll be a great learning experience and will allow me to gain inspiration from other YMPs about their passions. Tresor: I feel really honoured and I’m looking forward to this new experience. I’m hoping to make a connection with other YMPs, meet new people and reach out for Bolton’s young people.

Which topics from the MYM ballot do you feel most strongly about? Ebony: For me it’s mental health because it’s an uprising issue in our society, it’s personal to Bolton and I believe that the stigma around mental health needs to be removed. Tresor: I think young people need to better understand the value of money so for me it’s about the possibility of raising the minimum wage for young people. Article written by Emily Raby


Sleek, slim and simple. That's Apple. And that's why, over the years, they've gathered such a loyal and massive fan base - best known as the bunch who queue and pitch tents outside Apple stores days before the launch of new Apple products. It all starts with the keynote, which is delivered by Apple's CEO Tim Cook, and his senior design and development staff. The latest round of keynotes saw the tech giant release the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, with its new design (but sleek, slim and simple as always), along with substantial updates to the iPad Air, and a less substantial update to the iPad mini. Fans also got the long-time rumoured smart watch, which will be known as the Apple Watch. Apple is billing it as the "most personal product" they've ever made, because it's the first one designed to be worn. But Apple's consistency - remember sleek, slim and simple - is bad, as well as good. It's because their products are also consistently expensive. That 'less substantial update' I mentioned earlier consisted of them adding Touch iD to the


iPad mini and slapping ÂŁ100 onto the price. To really understand Apple you can't just buy their products. You've got to watch their product launch events, streamed live, and you've got to visit an Apple Store. When you do this you begin to understand what makes the brand so special. It's all about theatre. On the day of a product launch, apple staff line up to create a corridor, they countdown and clap for each of the first few customers who get their hands on the shiny new phone. The definition of Apple is natural quality, with customer satisfaction consistently high. Their designs are beautiful (sleek and slim) and their operating system, iOS, is simple to use.

Article written by Edward Jankowski

The only event that could compare is E3, a highlight in any gamer’s calendar. If you simply compare Apple to its competitors, hardware and software, among the competitors are Samsung - which it has had many dealings with in court rooms around the world over patents - it suggests that Apple are offering nothing new at the moment, and this is worrying. Samsung have been offering bigger, and even bigger, smart phones for a while now. They've also got their own smart watch, the Samsung Gear range.

Before his death, co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs announced the iPad. This is arguably their last innovation - we won't know about the Apple Watch until it’s launched in early 2015. Then again, you could've argued that the iPad was nothing new as tablets were already widely available, among them was the Microsoft Tablet PC. But what made the iPad such a revolutionary and successful product was the way Apple sold it to us. Then it's how they've continued to push it, further and further, literally to breaking point if it they make it any thinner. The latest iPad Air 2 (you've probably guessed it) is the "thinnest" and "most powerful iPad ever”.


I know how difficult and annoying it can be to find the best Christmas presents for your mates or even your family, so I thought I’d give you a head start! Here are 5 great tech gadgets that you’ll probably want to gift to yourself too!

5. iSHOWER WIRELESS SHOWER SPEAKER £81 Do you know someone who just loves to sing in the shower? This is THE gift for them! The wireless speaker and remote control combo lets you listen to, and sing along with, your favourite songs all from the comfort of your shower! And, the remote even lets you control the volume, playback and displays the time.

4. X-MINI MAX CAPSULE SPEAKERS £10 This compact speaker still manages to pack a punch when it comes to audio, the innovative speakers have a battery life of 11 hours and a retractable audio jack

3. PS VITA (SLIM MODEL) £139 This compact speaker still manages to pack a punch when it comes to audio, the innovative speakers have a battery life of 11 hours and a retractable audio jack.

2. THE SELFIESTICK £7 Taking the perfect selfie is much trickier than it looks, especially if you don't want a random arm in-shot. That's where the amazing Selfie Stick comes in, it's easy to use and all you'll need to learn is how to use the self-timer function on your camera app!

1. SURFACE 2 £249 The Surface 2 is the perfect gift for a student. It’s lightweight and versatile as it can be used as either a laptop or a tablet AND it comes preloaded with Microsoft Office so you won’t have to shell out anymore to use Word or PowerPoint. The Surface 2 has a battery life of up to eight hours so, coupled with a coffee, you should be able to survive through a day of lectures!


Christmas is a time for family friends and FILMSSSS! A time to sit down, when you’re on your holidays and watch hours of jingle jingle and ho, ho, ho! I’ve rounded up my 5 most fave films for you:

Elf - Nothing says Christmas quite like a 6ft3” elf in yellow tights. This has got to be the funniest Christmas film ever! Played by the hilarious Will Ferrell, Buddy the Elf goes back to his roots in NYC in search of his birth family. Arriving in New York for the first time, Buddy is faced with the alien ways of city life - Revolving doors, speeding taxis and used chewing gum are all a side splitting struggle for him but nothing can get this elf down. Hands down, it’s THE greatest Christmas film EVER!

A Nightmare Before Christmas - Tim Burton, the dark director behind Edward Scissorhands, brings to life the winter wonderland of Christmas Town in this animated classic. Featuring the iconic Jack Skellington and Sally, it’s a story of love…. And of course Christmas!! Christmas with the Kranks - When their daughter decides to come home for Christmas at the last minute, the Kranks have to throw together a festive celebration in such a short space of time… needless to say so much can go wrong and lead to plenty of laughs! Laughing aside, it does show how important family can be at Christmas time!

Home Alone

– Christmas just isn’t Christmas until you have watched a Home Alone film. Every eight year old’s dream, a world where you can eat nothing but junk food and watch whatever you want on telly, whenever you want - paradise! That is until two burglars start targeting your house – what do you do?! Well, Kevin, who’s Home Alone, creates the majority of the comedy with his ingenious booby traps set to ruin each burglary attempt!

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas - This film is just pure magic. It’s the tale of a green, Christmas hating creature from the imagination of the wonderfully bizarre Dr Seuss (basically an ugly, green Scrooge)! The Grinch loves nothing more than to ruin everybody’s festive fun. Will he have a change of heart? Get it watched to find out! Article written by Amber Sargent


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Xplode Magazine | Issue 11 | Autumn/Winter 2015