I Want All the Channels, and I Want Them Now

BY SEBASTIAN HUMBERT // FEB. 23, 2012 //

I don’t watch a lot of TV. It’s not necessarily because my roommate and I have never gotten around to hooking the cable up, or because I’m taking more credits than I know what to do with. At the end of it all, it’s just easier to watch the shows I want to watch from the ease of my laptop.

I want to watch what I want to watch, when I want to watch it and without restrictions or payments. I want to be able to pause a show or a sports game and then go back to it. I want to watch indi flicks, and sometimes crave a dose of b-movies. But none of this is possible through the Curry cable plan or on most student-budget television sets anywhere.

While most people have a site they rely on for popular movies-on-demand—and feel free to tout the one you use, below in the comments section—a good, reliable source is Movie2k.to. Based out of the tiny island nation of Tonga, the massive database of TV shows and flicks old and new, popular and clandestine, is completely free and totally legal.

But if you feel more comfortable exchanging money for goods, then there are sites for old-fashioned Internet explorers. Netflix.com is the classic, and at this point in the semester, you could stream movies and shows legally for the rest of the year for a little more than $20. I have access to an account here, but I’m not too happy with it. Netflix doesn’t update access to the new seasons of all the TV series I want, and they still don’t have access to any Criterion Collection film…the last straw for me. Hulu Plus, an online streaming service like Netflix, but better, is better. They have all the popular films plus Criterion Collection films. Like Netflix, it is $7.99 a month.

But if you crave the live-TV feel of cable, and still want the laptop convenience, then hit up Veetle.com. The online service works more like cable or satellite than an online streaming service. The site relies on users to stream live feeds of networks like ESPN and CNN, as well as their own content. So, if you crave watching the Tennis Channel, and then want to take a break and watch back-to-back “Two and a Half Men” or “Friends” re-runs, you can. Users also provide themed movie channels, like the Action Movies, 2011 movies or the Horror channel.

We’re all busy, and most of us are living on student budgets. Watching video online is the easiest way for me to get the content I want while still being able to spend my money on the things I really need.

@BarackObama: Keep Social Media Presence #ItWorkedIn2008

BY NICK IRONSIDE // FEB. 23, 2012 //

An unprecedented political move that championed President Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008 is already being used heavily for the 2012 election.

Obama’s decision to make social media a priority of his last campaign paid sweet dividends. But how will his Republican opponents use social networking sites like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter to boost their chances of derailing the Democrat this November?

President Barack Obama

Former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney is already using campaign tactics similar to Obama’s from 2008. Romney’s idea to have followers post pictures of themselves on Facebook – “Stand with Mitt”  – with signs showing support for his campaign has already tapped into more than 1.4 million Facebook users.

A Fox News article reported that Facebook’s number of active users is eight times larger today (more than 800 million) than it was in August 2008. It also said that Twitter has gained more than 393 million more users within the last 14 months. These are obviously worldwide numbers, but the growth is still staggering.

One of the main ideas behind social media use in campaigns is that it will get young voters – people ages 30 and under – out to the polls when Election Day comes in November.

Despite performing a post-State of the Union Address interview exclusively on Google+ and YouTube, Obama is losing the group of voters that helped him parade triumphantly to Washington, D.C., in 2008. A recent Washington Examiner article reported that Obama’s approval rating among young voters has dropped 12 percent in the past two years.

To win back those voters, you can bet the Obama campaign will further pursue its social media strategy, reaching out to young people where they live and communicate. It’s a trend, and an election, worth following.

Spring Break: What Are Your Plans?

BY DANIELLE HAUSNER // FEB. 21, 2012 //

My passion is travel. I feel that every city, town, state and country has something unique to offer to the world. Having traveled to more than 40 countries and with a variety people, I know that people choose to explore and relax in different ways.

Times Square, New York City — a popular weekend spot for college-age vacationers. // PHOTO BY DANIELLE HAUSNER

Spring break is just around the corner. While many college students hit tropical party destinations such as Florida or Mexico, why not try something different? Sure, those warm and delightfully cliché destinations can be very fun. But try to be open-minded to the many other travel options, both in the U.S. and internationally, especially if you can find a way to get there inexpensively.

If tropical paradise is still too expensive, or going south with the birds is not your thing, try finding out-of-the- ordinary spring break options. In the United Stated, there are countless cities that not only offer endless things to do by day, but also an amazing nightlife. Some fantastic cities to consider include Atlanta; Chicago; Los Angeles; Nashville, Portland, Maine; Providence, R.I.; Madison, Wis.; New York City and Washington, D.C. For a huge list and continuation of ranked college cities and towns check out http://www.aier.org/aier/otherpublications/CDI.pdf.

Other domestic places to consider are where your other friends go to school. After all, friends often equal a free place to stay!

Of course, getting to your destination is always a bit challenging. Flights can be ridiculously expensive, but there are a number of online sites, including OneTravel and Kayak, that offer reduced airfare.

But wherever you go and whatever you do, please, Please, PLEASE be adventurous. And don’t be stupid; enjoy your future memories.

Beats in Beantown

BY KEVIN DIFFILY // FEB. 17, 2012 //

The Boston music scene is always very lively. And with quite a few notable bands scheduled to play shows in the area, the next several weeks are no exception. There are many different venues in the Boston area, and the events listed here are just a fraction of everything that is going on in the near future.

Boston’s flagship club/concert venue is probably the House of Blues, located across the street from Fenway Park (and formerly known as the Avalon, which, in my humble opinion, is a way cooler name than the current overused, corporate-sounding “House of Blues” moniker). It attracts some of the industry’s most famous artists. Here are just a few of the upcoming shows at the House of Blues:

Feb. 21: Flogging Molly, with Black Joe Lewis and The Devil Makes Three.

Tickets are $29.50. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30.

The legendary celtic punk band is back in town!

Feb. 29: August Burns Red, with Silverstein and I the Breather.

Tickets are $20. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7:15.

If you’re into hardcore music, this show is for you; August Burns Red has some of the most brutal breakdowns out there, and Silverstein isn’t exactly soft rock either.

March 6: Kaiser Chiefs, with Walk the Moon.

Tickets are $25. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8.

Calling all British indie rock fans!

While the House of Blues is the biggest and most prestigious venue in Boston, there are quite a few other places to see a great show. The Middle East in Cambridge, for example, has seen many aspiring artists wow crowds in its cramped basement. Upcoming shows include:

Feb. 19: Less Than Jake, with Samiam, A Wilhelm Scream, and Flatfoot 56.

Tickets: $20.50 advance, $22 day of show. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

This is the 20th Anniversary Tour for Less Than Jake, the ska-punk legend that has long been one of the primary influences in alternative music.

The Royale is another great club in Boston, located in the Theatre District. Due to a crowd-related incident at the Middle East during the A Loss For Words, Hit the Lights, and The Story So Far show on Nov. 30, a show originally scheduled for the Middle East has been moved to the Royale:

March 12: The Wonder Years, with Polar Bear Club, Transit, The Story So Far, and Into It. Over It.

Tickets: $13 advance, $15 day of show. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The Wonder Years are an up-and-coming pop-punk sextet from Philadelphia, and their descent upon Boston has been long awaited by their rapidly growing fan base.

In addition to these clubs, there are plenty of smaller bars and other such venues for concerts. Paradise Rock Club and Brighton Music Hall are two of them, and the later is hosting a well-known punk band in March.

March 9: Anti-Flag, with the Flatliners and Have Nots.

Tickets: $16. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7.

Long-time punk rockers Anti-Flag are in town, to the delight of the Boston punk and hardcore scene. In terms of venues, it doesn’t get much more punk rock than Brighton Music Hall. The musicians enter the stage by walking out a door that leads through the crowd, and it’s by far the smallest venue I’ve ever been to.

Car-less on Campus

BY COURTNEY DIBIASIO // FEB. 16, 2012 //

Freshmen at Curry are not allowed to keep their cars on campus. The policy seems to exist for two main reasons: 1. So first-year students become more involved in on-campus life, and 2. There aren’t enough parking spots to go around.

So, as a freshman who’s car-less on campus, I know exactly what it’s like to feel stranded.

Fortunately, Curry offers a lot of on- and off-campus activities. These activities are not just for freshmen either; any Curry student can attend them. The best part is most of them are free. These activities range from volunteering in off-campus food pantries and shelters to just attending a sporting event. Choosing what activity you want to attend just depends on your personal interests and skills. All campus activities can be found in the Curry Calendar.

On March 3, Curry students can take a discounted trip to Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire.

Curry also offers a daily shuttle bus (on weekends, too) that travels off campus to places such as T stations, South Shore Plaza, Cobb’s Corner and downtown Boston. But whatever you do, make sure you plan accordingly! You don’t want to get stranded at the place you traveled to with no way back to campus—it’s the worst feeling. There is a printable schedule for the shuttle bus on the My Curry Portal.

Within the next month, the Curry College men’s hockey team will wrap up its regular season with one last home game against Johnson and Wales University. Shuttles will be available for transportation to the game, free of charge with your Curry ID. Puck drops at 4:35 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18. On Saturday, March 3, the men’s lacrosse team will host Mount Ida. The home-opener starts at 12 p.m. at the football field.

If you’re a skier or border, there’s a good chance you’re already bored with the bunny slopes at Blue Hills. I recommend taking the skiing and snowboarding trip to Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire. The great thing about this opportunity, also scheduled for Saturday, March 3, is that it’ll save you money. This trip costs only $40 and includes transportation and a lift ticket. For those of you who don’t know how to ski or snowboard but want to learn, there are lessons available along with rentals for extra costs. The shuttle leaves Curry at 7 a.m. and will return to campus by 8 p.m.

And for those who have non-freshmen friends, take advantage of the fact that they can have their cars on campus. If you want to go somewhere, ask them for a ride and pay them with gas money. I do it all the time!