Category Archives: Placed

Inexpensive Travel How To. Destination: Boston

Inexpensive Travel How To. Destination: Boston

By: Arianna Cecchini

Boston, most often associated as home to the Celtics, Red Sox, and Bruins, is not a far drive or train ride from CCSU. Not only does Boston have worthwhile sporting events, but it is also just as jumping and raving as New York City, any day of the week.

The nice aspect of Boston is it is not overly crowded, like NYC, and it is very easy to drive in without the stress of being hit by a rushing taxi. It is a clean city, with a lot to offer to us poor college students, and is a good day trip or weekend gateway for students who need a breather from the textbooks and computer screens.

For all the sport lovers out there, Boston’s three major sports teams tend to dominate the whole year round as far as events go. Stub Hub and Ace Ticket are two great website choices for grabbing reasonably cheap tickets to games. Instead of paying full price, usually prices will be around half as much, and one can browse their options very easily. So, if you can’t afford the minimum Bruins Game Ticket, at $130, StubHub usually offers those same seats, for about a third of the price.

Using some of these tools, a CCSU student can afford to see some of their favorite teams play, at a fair price. Also, eating before the event is a great idea. The prices inside the stadiums are overpriced, and the quality of the food is garbage. You’re better off buying fast food, than the latter, and the city offers tons of amazing restaurant choices for those who would can handle something pricier.

The city also has a lot of fun activities for couples, and groups of friends, whose main interests may not be centered around sports. The Boston Aquarium, Quincy Market, Hard Rock Café and many museums remain at the top of Boston’s attractions. Museums such as the Museum of Science and the Children’s Museum are relatively cheap to get into; coupons can be found online for 3 dollars off of admission, as well as the aquarium.

Quincy Market has free admission, and offers food from various vendors and restaurants in the area. It is a great place for lunch and is cheap; you can try samples from most of the spots inside. One can fill up their belly for fewer than ten bucks and hopefully have some money left over to shop in surrounding stores. It’s a great time to eat food, shop and spend a nice day.

Boston is also the home of a huge convention center, located on the water, which has shows and expo’s that change weekly. A month ago, the New England Car Show and RV show took up the convention center space for a weekend, and it was only 8 dollars for a ticket, because there was a coupon on the convention centers website for $3 off. It was a great way to spend the day, and to see all the new makes and models of cars coming out for the 2014 and 2015 years.

Officials at the convention center change its events constantly, with the Comic-Con convention coming soon, and its boat and fishing show in the future, all of which are cheap to go into if you’re willing to go online and find the coupons and dates of what you’d like to see. It is a great time to spend with loved ones or friends. and is a welcome change from school.

Boston is one of those cities that has a lot to offer, but is not a major tourist attraction like NYC, which makes for as nice of a time as it does. There is a lot of history behind Boston. For history lovers, the city offers a number of historical and educational museums, as well as tours, to showcase how the city of Boston came to be.

It truly is worth the seemingly short two hour drive, and one can easily make it a day trip, or simply find a room for $100 per night, just a few miles outside of city limits. Hotwire and Expedia are great websites for grabbing inexpensive hotel prices fast and easy, without searching multiple hotel sites.

If your bored on campus and looking for something relatively cheap to do, remember Boston is a car, train or bus ride away. It won’t cost a fortune to have fun, and would be a great trip to go on with some friends. It’s so close; why not travel?

 

Respect the Classics: “Monty Python & the Holy Grail”

Respect The Classics

“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975)

By: Joe Suszczynski

 

Monty Python will forever be known as one of the best of all of the comedy troupes that have come and gone throughout the industry. With few exceptions, of all of their movies created, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975) is the best. The film stars all six members of the group, all of whom wrote the screenplay. Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam directed.

The story starts with Arthur (Graham Chapman) as self-proclaimed “King of the Britons”  traveling throughout England, eventually meeting and befriending other knights played by the other Python members; they join him on his journey to Camelot. Despite his arrival, he decides to forgo it, deeming it a “silly place.”  Ultimately, they are faced with the task of finding the Holy Grail, as instructed by God (voiced by Chapman), who appears as an animated figure in the sky.

This movie is fantastic and is great in every single possible way.

All of the actors in the movie are hilarious, with every Python member playing more than one role. Chapman, however,  steals the show in his role as the character King Arthur. His mannerisms are just so funny that you cannot help but smile each and every time he is on screen. In addition, John Cleese does a great job as Sir Lancelot and the infamous Black Knight.

The jokes in the movie are absolutely hilarious, to the point where someone could choke from too much laughter. One joke that stuck out, in particular, is when the knights are being harassed by French soldiers, who, despite being in England, have a castle set up. In addition, they claim to possess the grail. The head French soldier begins to taunt them and launches farm animals at them; eventually the knights come up with a plan to trick the French soldiers. They construct a large wooden rabbit, a play on the wooden Trojan horse, and bring it up to the front door. The French simply take in the decoration without an ounce of hesitation. Once the rabbit is inside, Arthur asks Sir Bedevere (Terry Jones) for the next part of the plan. Bedevere explains that he and two others will get out of the rabbit during nightfall, taking the French by surprise, before realizing that he and the others forgot to get inside of the wooden rabbit to begin with. The French then lob the structure at them by catapult.

The writing for this movie is excellent. Along with the jokes being wonderfully written, the story itself is very well done. The characters develop very well throughout, each owning their own separate air time to further show the viewers what perils they get themselves into. A great aspect of the writing is that it remains very self-aware and will, on occasion, break the fourth wall, which is really amusing.

Overall, if you want to watch something hysterical, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is the film to choose. The performances are great, and the jokes will keep you in stitches. I would also recommend watching this one with friends; it’s more enjoyable watching with company. For that, it needs to be respected.

Alfonso Cuaron’s Begins Receiving Long-Deserved Recognition

By Chris Pace

“Children of Men”

Off the heels of his Oscar win for Best Director, Alfonso Cuaron can finally be taken seriously as a filmmaker.  He has directed only five full-length films in the past sixteen years, but his unforgettable style has made its mark on audiences and critics.

Cuaron’s 2006 film “Children of Men” has left its mark on futuristic films of post-apocalyptic worlds.  Unlike the Star Wars saga or “War of the Worlds” (2005), “Children of Men” has a more realistic view of the future.  It is adapted from P.D. James’ 1992 novel of the same title.

The film takes place in England in 2027. England is the last of the super powers with a functioning government and is home to main character Theo (Clive Owen).  Theo is a chain-smoking, alcoholic who has little interest in the life surrounding him.  The film begins with Theo ordering a coffee, which he proceeds to top off with scotch, and building explodes in front of his eyes.

Later in the film, you find out that Theo was once married to Julian (Julianne Moore), who is now the leading power of a terrorist group.  The two had a child together, but a worldwide epidemic began wiping out the infant population. In the dystopia, in a matter of years, men lose all ability to produce sperm and women become completely unable to bear children.  Julian’s group kidnaps Theo in an attempt to use his government connections to fill out paperwork to allow a pregnant woman out of England.

In one scene, Theo is traveling with Julian when a band of revolutionaries jumps their vehicle.  The scene is four minutes long and is one continuous shot.  This is one of Alfonso Cuaron’s trademarks in his films.  This is incredibly difficult because if there is one mistake, the scene needs to restart filming again; completely. From the beginning.

Theo finally meets a young woman named Kee who, shortly after their acquaintance, vocalizes that she is pregnant.  Theo knows the severity of the situation. Realizing that he has met the first pregnant woman in the world within the past thirty years, he takes on the role of her protector.

They travel far to reach a boat able to take them to a safe area where she can receive proper care.  They make friends and enemies on their journey to safety, but Theo never abandons the idea that Kee and her baby are his responsibility.

Although Cuaron won the Oscar for Best Director for “Gravity” (2013), this film needs the recognition it thoroughly deserves.  “Children of Men” is more artistically, creatively and aesthetically pleasing than “Gravity”.  Both are great films, but “Children of Men” is much closer to reality.  It is unlike any other science-fiction film.

Theo is a relatable character, located in a not-so-distant future.  He risks his own life for the sake of humanity.  It is a beautiful story in a crumbling world. The film plays as a testament to humanity: even when things go awry, there will always be reasonable people willing to do extraordinary things.

Cluttered Campus Distracts Education

By Arianna Cecchini

Students at CCSU were surprised when they found out that President Obama would be speaking on Wednesday. But what surprised and frustrated many students is that classes were not cancelled during the commander-in-chief’s speech.

Professors were left to make their own decision on whether or not their classes would still meet. The professors were not all on the same page on the issue of class cancellation. Due to the already numerous snow days, some professors cannot bear to lose any more class time.

“I would certainly not blame anyone who had a ticket for choosing the President over my class, but would it be worth canceling the class for those few–especially given the toll snow days have taken already?” said Brian Folkner, an English professor.

Some professors agreed, but in a survey that included approximately 20 CCSU professors, from multiple departments, the majority decided to hold class. There were a few exceptions, including one professor who had a ticket to the speech. Some professors said that if only a handful of students had tickets out of their 35-person classes, it would not affect them in the slightest.

Many professors said that students would not be penalized for going to Obama’s speech, but would have to make up the missed work, but a few professors utilized the event to their advantage. For example Professor Ritzenhoff, a communications professor, had her class active inside and outside of the event.

“I want my students to cover the event for our course with their video cameras … conduct interviews, find interesting behind-the-scenes stories, and follow the complicated logistics of this sensational news event,” she said.

A visit from the president sparked concerns from CCSU residents and commuters about parking and traffic.

“CCSU already has a lot closed and parking is already a mess. With two lots closed on Wednesday, and the public coming to the school, where are students going to park?” said Adam Paradis. He was not the only commuter concerned about this, it was the dominant theme on social media and across campus.

Many students who live on campus wanted classes cancelled because they did not want to go to class. Whether professors cancelled or not, many students avoided campus and took a day off.

Obama Riles Up Blue Devils

By Joe Suszczynski

President Obama made his presence known to the CCSU community when he showed up to Central on March 5. Despite the current foreign issues that were at hand, the president felt the need to discuss the minimum wage in America.

The president was not alone, joined by his Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chaffee (D), Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (D), Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) and Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy (D), who had spoken first, introducing President Obama.

The president was greeted with a giant uproar from the student body and those of the general public who were able to acquire tickets to the speech. Obama then got down to business, making his case for the increase of the federal minimum wage to $10.10. Perhaps the biggest zinger of the speech was when he was stating his reasons for having the minimum wage raised — he was giving the “politician’s” answer to why it should be raised until a woman from the crowd shouted, “IT’S COMMON SENSE!” He stopped mid-sentence to affirm the woman’s point and repeated the phrase. The audience roared. Obama ended his speech with an anecdote about a pizza place that pays its workers more than the minimum wage, believing it will increase productivity, and give the employees a sense of loyalty to the company.

Overall,  it was a good speech. Say what you want about the president or his policy on minimum wage, Obama can give a great speech. One thing that he will always be remembered for was being a great orator.

I may not always agree with President Obama on certain issues, but in this case, I fully support his efforts to increase the minimum wage because as the woman said, it is common sense. It makes sense to give hard working people a little more money so they do not have to physically overwork themselves to support themselves or their families.

As much as I support this, I do not have the highest of hopes that the federal minimum will be increased, due to Republicans in Congress who have adamantly opposed the idea of raising it. Obama joked that the Republicans are against it because he proposed it, and maybe if he came out against it they would be for it. Perhaps there is some truth in his words. In most cases, the Republicans in office dogmatically oppose whatever the president proposes simply because it is he who is proposing it.