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Too cold outside? Read the books these 5 movies are based on

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 31, 2011 05:57 PM

girl with the dragon tattoo.jpgBy Tamar Zmora

This year, the books-turned-movies genre brought audiences a lot of Robert Pattinson and teenage angst -- not mutually exclusive; theater marquees advertised the Twilight series' third installment, an adaptation of Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants, and the final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Profitable Studio (wait, that's not the real name?).

The feature films of late 2011 and next year will once again send audiences running to their local libraries and/or bookstores (preferably before running to the theater). From 1950s comic books to ghost stories to the post-apocalyptic land of Panem, these movies are calling for you, bookworms.

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Boston Babe Sports Bible: The best and worst of 2011

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 31, 2011 09:10 AM

bruins stanley cup marchand.jpgBy Kayla Brown

It’s been a crazy year in the new Titletown. Since we’ve all got New Year's plans to plan, let’s get right to the point: Here's a look back at the highs and (very low) lows of 2011 in Boston sports.

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Gluten-free is easy to be with many Massachusetts restaurants’ menu options

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 30, 2011 05:46 PM

wheat gluten-free diets.jpgBy Kristen Micho

If you have a gluten or wheat intolerance or have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, gluten-free dining is a necessity. But gluten-free diets are also becoming trendy: Gluten-free food sales totaled $2.64 billion in 2010, and research predicts that dollar amount will reach nearly $5.5 billion by 2015. A Fall 2010 survey found that only 8-12 percent bought gluten-free foods due to Celiac Disease or intolerance, and 13 percent buy gluten-free to treat other conditions.

In Boston, gluten-free menu options have increased as well, making dining on this diet simpler.

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Best of Boston 2011: Music edition

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 30, 2011 09:01 AM

war presidents minnesoda.jpgBy Mike Flanagan

2011 was an interesting year for local music. With a city so full of young people from countless demographics and cultural backgrounds, it’s hard for the music scene to decide, let alone keep up with, what’s trendy. But this indecision facilitated the rise of some of the most genuine and innovative bands Boston has seen in years. These bands are finding it easier and more rewarding than ever to distribute their records to a city thirsty for great music to call its own. It's a dynamic that will continue to solidify Boston as a hotspot for local music of all kinds for years to come.

With that in mind, here are my picks for the year's best local releases.

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DJ/producer duo gives EDM a home at ÆREA

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 29, 2011 06:25 PM

George Vala & Audioprophecy.jpgBy Angela Bray

“We bring together people who, bottom line, want the music and a quality night,” Mazda Jalali said of ÆREA, the new underground electronic dance music (EDM) night he runs with George Vala at Splash. “We care about the quality.”

To that end, their parties boast proper DJ/producer lineups, which have so far included Jalali and Vala, plus Erti Bimbashi, Charlie Rouhana, Lu Saldarriaga, Daniel Valencia, Justin Martin, and Tanner Ross.

"[At ÆREA], there's a vibe in the room that's really positive,” said Vala, who brings electric deep and tech house to the floor. “The purpose behind ÆREA is to bring different DJs together to play. We all support each other's music.”

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Best (and Worst) of Boston 2011: Movies and T.V. edition

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 29, 2011 08:52 AM

moneyball.jpgBy Kevin Clang

It’s a strange year when Matt Damon was in a handful of movies, yet you probably can't name more than one of them. Though we didn't see the same pedigree of movies and television filmed in Massachusetts as last year, nor the sheer number of productions we’ll have in 2012, this year was still quite memorable. 2011 was a transitional year in Boston film, one full of productions noteworthy for both good and bad reasons.

Below are my picks for the best and worst movies and T.V. shows set or produced in Boston this year.

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And...action! Emerson student Jake Topkis making waves in the film world

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 28, 2011 06:10 PM

heart-beat productions.jpgBy Angela Stefano

At just 21 years old, Jake Topkis is well on his way to doing what we all hope to do some day: developing a passion into a profession. Inspired by comic books and his love of telling stories, Topkis founded Heart-Beat Productions, an independent film company that has created multiple award-winning short films, in 2004.

Yes, your math is correct: Topkis founded his company in the eighth grade.

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Best of Boston 2011: Art and theater edition

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 28, 2011 09:30 AM

mfa linde wing art.jpgBy Christi Kim

From within the small galleries of the South End, the nationally recognized Museum of Fine Arts, and the theaters that dot the city -- among others -- Boston produces and showcases some of the finest art in the world.

The city is home to a wide variety of art venues, but these are my picks for the best places and pieces of 2011.

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Awesome Cheap Boston Dates: Downtown edition

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 27, 2011 06:38 PM

downtown boston dates.jpgBy Celia Nissen

With the winter weather setting in, heading out for a date might be the last thing on your to-do list. But this cheap date plan will keep you moving, so you're bound to stay warm -- and if not, is cuddling for warmth really such a bad thing?

Start near Park Street for this downtown date with your sweetie!

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High-Fives and Dope Slaps: 2011 in review

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 27, 2011 09:30 AM

dianne wilkerson.jpgBy Jeff Fish

2011 is almost over, and we’ll soon be headed into a whole new year of political blunders, state and local issues, and other surprises we don’t know about yet. So I figured that this week, instead of focusing on just the last seven days, I’d take a look at the whole year.

Ladies and gentlemen, the following are my picks for the year's best and worst stories in Massachusetts politics.

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Culinarily Curious: 'El Bulli' features food feats from one of the world's most inventive chefs

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 26, 2011 05:50 PM

ferran adria.jpgBy Anthony Howard

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to check out El Bulli: Cooking in Progress as part of the MFA's "Films for Foodies" series. The film offers a glimpse of Chef Ferran Adrià and his team of culinary geniuses as they plan and design the menu at Spain's elBulli, often considered in many culinary circles to be the best restaurant in the world. Although the restaurant is now closed for good, as Adrià has converted the dining destination into a cooking school, the legacy of his peculiar edible art remains.

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Best of Boston 2011: Celebrity edition

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 26, 2011 09:31 AM

nkotb.jpgBy Kenny Soto

2011 was a great year to be famous. From Rebecca Black and Courtney Stodden to LiLo and Kim Kardashian, there has never been a better time to be a celebrity.

In Boston, we had our fair share of stars on the rise this year as well. Here are 11 of my favorites.

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A Christmas question: What's the worst Yankee Swap gift you've ever received?

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 25, 2011 10:32 AM

happy holidays merry christmas.jpgOur calendars tell us that today is Christmas, but for most of us, the holiday season has been in full swing for quite some time -- anywhere from 20-some days to a couple months, depending on just how much Christmas music, holiday decor, and eggnog you can stomach.

But let’s not kid ourselves: The best parts of all that holiday cheer are the gift exchanges -- and I’m not talking the presents for your close friends and family. Traditional, presents under the tree-style gift-giving is fun and all, but the real fun lies in the secret exchanges: Yankee Swap, White Elephant, Secret Santa, etc.

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Boston Babe Sports Bible: 5 basketball buzzwords explained through relationship cliches

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 24, 2011 05:16 PM

boston celtics.jpgBy Kayla Brown

Here’s a great Christmas gift (or Christmas miracle, depending on your thoughts on the NBA lockout): Tomorrow, you’ll be getting some green back! That’s right -- the Celtics kick off their season against the Knicks at noon on Sunday, and despite the shortened season, they still have a long way to go. If they’re going to win a championship, they have to be on their A game, as do their loyal fans.

Since we’ve already done it for football and hockey, it seemed appropriate to now explain a few basketball buzzwords through relationship clichés. Consider it BBSB’s gift to you.

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Gaming for N00bs: Staying in touch for the holidays with Rounds (and other useful apps)

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 24, 2011 09:39 AM

Christmas Picture.jpgBy Vanessa Formato

No one wants to spend the holidays with a loved one missing. Thanks to the power of the Internet, it’s easy to connect with friends and relatives over long distances, but Skyping can seem less than exciting after a while; a person can only take so many cut-and-dry calls before throwing in the towel.

That's what makes Rounds, a delightful Facebook application that combines video chat with online gaming, the perfect solution for this particular brand of holiday malaise. One of the major inspirations for creating the app was making communication easier for far-flung families with small children.

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Curl up with a good book at one of these 4 Boston-area libraries

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 23, 2011 05:45 PM

boston public library.jpgBy Tamar Zmora

As the thermostat drops and darkness falls earlier and earlier in the day, it's time to prepare for the hibernation months ahead. When you're cozying up to a fireplace (or central heat), there's nothing better than a good book to keep your mind fueled with adventure, mystery, and intrigue.

But since the comforts of the couch can often leave you distracted, why not find another space? While some libraries just give you shelter against the storm (a la The Day After Tomorrow), a few provide that perfect dwelling space where literature, culture, and beauty meet. They offer a world of true imagination and bring you back to those days when books came alive -- when you were at once investigating the mystery of The Face on the Milk Carton, traversing A Wrinkle in Time, and engaging in A Moveable Feast.

Grab a seat at one of these great local libraries.

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OPINION: Commuters are people, too; you don’t need an app to find love on the T

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 23, 2011 09:06 AM

mbta commuters.jpgBy Kenny Soto

Throughout history, there have been many moments when a train ride was considered very romantic. Tuesday morning at 7:58 a.m. on the Green Line isn’t one of those moments.

But a website set to launch this spring is looking to change that. The team behind London’s TubeCrush and New York City’s SubwayCrush is expanding their network of subterranean love connections to Boston. According to the TubeCrush website, the premise is simple: “see, snap, share.” A rider sees a hottie sitting a few seats down, snaps a secret picture with a cell phone, and uploads it to the website, hoping that potential mate will see it and respond.

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Creating social good via social media, one 'like' at a time

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 22, 2011 06:07 PM

social media.jpgBy Angela Stefano

“The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism,” wrote Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker just over a year ago, in October 2010. “With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coordinate, and give voice to their concerns.”

While Gladwell’s piece as a whole actually goes on to argue that social media has caused “slacktivism” to pass as real activism, rather than changing and bettering the ways activists operate, this year's movements and uprisings proved just the opposite: Creating real social change through online tools is possible. Occupy, the Arab Spring, and revolutions across the globe all began with an idea, spread via the Internet and social media; there are studies that prove social media’s worth to various causes, too.

“It is our large numbers -- and the unprecedented ability to easily connect them -- that give us more power to influence change than ever before,” wrote fellow TNGG-er Wynn Harrison in July 2010. Social media activism has activated the strength of weak ties.

On a smaller scale as well, social media has proven indispensable to many an organization. Boston-based groups, like those across the globe, are using this technology to simply raise money and bring more awareness to their causes.

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Don't panic: 5 tips for last-minute holiday shoppers

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 22, 2011 09:04 AM

christmas shopping crowds.jpgBy Alison Amorello

You've gone and done it again: Another year, another busy December full of work, parties, football games, and excuses to put off your holiday shopping. And now, my skilled procrastinator, you find yourself empty-handed a mere three days before Christmas. That’s right -- your mother’s new perfume set is locked in some glass case at Macy’s instead of wrapped up underneath your tree. Proud of yourself?

You may be on the naughty list, but there is (a little) time for you yet. In the spirit of the season, I’ll spare you the lecture and offer some assistance. You can still successfully make your purchases despite the obstacles if you take the right precautions. There will be crowds, there will be rushing, and by God, there will be annoying holiday tunes -- but you will be prepared with the following tips.

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Holiday treats for every diet -- and where to find them in Boston

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 21, 2011 06:25 PM

christmas treats cookies.jpgBy Rachel Pennellatore

For many people, the holiday season represents an extended opportunity to indulge in a smorgasbord of their favorite treats; they ride a sugar rush into the new year while visions of sugarplums dance in their heads. But for the millions of Americans living with food allergies and digestive diseases, well-intentioned get-togethers are a nightmare before Christmas.

As someone living with Crohn’s Disease, I’ve become quite familiar with the awkward, “Sorry, I can’t eat that” routine. Those of us with dietary restrictions hate to make a special request for fear of imposing, which in turn makes our gracious hosts, who have spent a lot of time and effort preparing a meal, feel bad when they find out too late that they have nothing to offer that fits the needs of a special diet.

Accommodating someone with special dietary needs doesn’t have to be stressful or mean that you have to serve weird or bland food. Here are several suggestions for working with a few of the most common dietary restrictions (and where you can find foods that fit, if you don’t want to cook).

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Skip the T and brave Boston's cold winter on your bike instead

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 21, 2011 08:40 AM

bike riding in snow.jpgBy Anthony Howard

Cycling in the winter can be rewarding, but challenging at first. Yes, you’ll probably need some extra equipment, and, yes, the extreme, bitter cold won’t be so fun initially. But with the right gear, you’ll actually enjoy your bike commute just like you do when the temperatures aren’t below freezing.

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Local band Quilt legitimizes chillwave, makes their own waves with self-titled LP

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 20, 2011 05:25 PM

MEX099 - Cover (500)-1.jpgBy Mike Flanagan

The universe is too small for all the Quilt-sounding bands that occupy it.

Where there are vocals sopped in reverb and guitars that may as well be missing every string but the bottom two, there are typically fashion-savvy college kids pasting it together on GarageBand in their dorms and recreating it to their like-minded acquaintances in Allston basements. This aesthetic is just the latest to attract droves of non-musicians thirsty for a venue to show off their new suspenders and Boardwalk Empire shoes; every demographic has its own half-baked movements, and American culture is usually worse off for it.

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High-Fives and Dope Slaps: Did the Grinch steal Christmas charity this year?

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 20, 2011 08:52 AM

elizabeth warren.jpgBy Jeff Fish

This has been a really positive week -- only one Dope Slap; it must be the holiday spirit.

Some of our politicians -- Elizabeth Warren, John Kerry, and Deval Patrick -- made me happy this week, while Mitt Romney continued to not inspire me, even though he’s one of the only Republican candidates that isn’t a nut job. But in the midst of Christmas cheer, there are still people suffering due to the economy, which warrants this week's sole Dope Slap.

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Culinarily Curious: Welcome winter with these in-season veggies

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 19, 2011 06:21 PM

broccoli.jpgBy Anthony Howard

It’s amazing how nature supplies us with just what we need. This time of year, with the short days and plummeting temperatures, our bodies crave warming foods. You can keep your body in tune with nature by eating what’s in season in Massachusetts over the winter.

While you won’t find the same bounty as in the summer, when fruits and vegetables of all types grace the stands of your local farmers' markets, look for these hardy, edible wonders that actually taste better the colder the weather gets.

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PHOTOS: Dressed in finery, Occupy Boston celebrates an anniversary

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 19, 2011 08:42 AM

occupy boston march.jpgOccupy Boston participants aren't known for their high-brow fashion decisions; when the objective is staying dry and warm and you're living in a tent in the middle of a city, your clothing of choice tends to be quite the opposite of haute couture (not that we're judging).

So to see some of the Occupiers dressed in outfits that would be considered decidedly 1 percent-like on Saturday, Dec. 17, was a little out of the ordinary. At the same time, it was fitting, as their Day of Action activities, marking the movement's three-month anniversary, included an "ironic 'pro-corporate' march" down Newbury Street and through the Prudential Center.

"PROFITS OVER PEOPLE -- CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE -- MORE YACHTS. You get the idea," Occupy Boston's website said.

The day was also scheduled to include a picnic at the Common and a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party. After the jump, check out photos from the march, taken by TNGG Boston photog, Courtney Sacco.

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Boston Babe Sports Bible: Find holiday love (or an unattainable crush) with Boston's dreamiest sports stars

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 18, 2011 06:05 PM

rajon rondo.jpgBy Kayla Brown

Remember what I said last week about finding yourself alone this holiday season? Never fear; BBSB is here!

If you’re hoping for a Miracle on Storrow Drive -- a last-minute celebrity date to your holiday parties or for New Year's Eve -- here are Boston’s dreamiest Cs, Bs, Ps, and Sox. Your safest bet is probably a life-size cardboard cutout, though we've heard a nice YouTube video or tweet -- and a noble cause -- can do the trick as well.

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Rack and (O)pinion's gearhead gift guide

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 18, 2011 09:12 AM

car gift guide.pngBy Janssen McCormick

If you're like me, you're planning on spending Friday and Saturday morning running around starting and finishing your holiday shopping at the absolute last minute.

If the person you’re shopping for is like me, has any interest in autos, or is just someone you want to induct into the cult of the car, here’s a list of what I -- I mean, he -- wants to find wrapped up nicely with his name on it.

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5 goofy Christmas songs for a not-so-'silent night'

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 17, 2011 05:47 PM

jingle bells christmas songs.jpgBy Rachel Pennellatore

In the shopping world, Christmas officially started the day after Thanksgiving, possibly sooner at some stores. As a former retail worker and waitress, I’ve experienced firsthand how, despite that twinge of excitement you get the first time you hear it, “Jingle Bells” quickly becomes an extremely effective form of psychological torture when played on repeat for a month. When it gets really bad, you start to think that the Grinch may have been on to something with that whole "stealing Christmas" idea.

Take a deep breath, and don't you dare stuff that roast beast into that giant Santa sack. Instead, propel yourself (and your inner Scrooge) through these final days of retail and radio monotony with these humorous holiday songs.

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Fitness in All Forms: Fight your way to fitness with boxing classes

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 17, 2011 09:55 AM

boxing in boston.jpgBy Kristen McManus

When my friend asked if I was interested in trying out a fighter conditioning class at Peter Welch’s Boxing Gym in Southie, I thought, “Sure! I do things of the fitness nature. I’ll be totally fine.”

“Dehydrated” and tired from the night before, I thought I was in for a fun morning spent looking all fierce and cool. Per usual, I was wrong: At a boxing gym, the only way to look fierce is to kick your own butt.

I was sore by the end of the first 10 minutes.

But whether you exercise for the endorphins, the results, the stress relief, or just the chance to eat some extra everything bagels with cream cheese, boxing may be the perfect workout for you.

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OPINION: An ode to OtherSide

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 16, 2011 06:34 PM

otherside.jpgBy Kristen Bahler

After college, I spent most of my pre-graduate school downtime on two projects: an escape route from the Midwest and a comprehensive list of the Most Unintentionally Depressing Places on the Planet. While these were certainly never mutually exclusive efforts -- I was working at IHOP that, in addition to a neighboring Chuck-E-Cheese and every party store in Illinois, served as motivation for the former and a placeholder for the latter -- online reviews of potential Boston employers promised further overlap.

One restaurant in particular, The OtherSide Cafe in Back Bay, boasted an especially passionate group of haters. "[OtherSide] waiters and patrons are [a] well-orchestrated frontage to an otherwise boring and wistless soul," wrote Yelp! user Matty B. in an August 2010 review. Ouch.

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Boston-area campus news round-up, week of Dec. 12: Fall semester in review

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 16, 2011 02:08 PM

newspapers in orange.jpgBoston is one big college town. What students are talking about and what’s happening on the city’s campuses matters. Every Friday, TNGG Boston will round up a few of the most interesting and well-written stories from student journalists across the area.

Except for a few finals, the fall semester is all but finished. Students are headed home for the holidays (and a month-long break), so Boston’s about to get a whole lot quieter and less crowded in their absence.

Campus newspapers -- and by extension, our campus news round-up -- will be taking a hiatus until the new year, too. But before we go, let’s take a look back at some of the semester’s big stories.

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So long, 2011! 5 options for ringing in the new year in Boston

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 16, 2011 09:22 AM

happy new year.pngBy Angela Stefano

New Year’s Eve is fast approaching, which means you’ve got limited time to figure out what resolutions you’ll make (then surely break within the first week of January). More importantly, though, you’ve got to figure out your plans for that final night of 2011. A First Night button will get you into tons of happenings throughout the city, but there are also plenty of other parties and events.

Whether you’ll be bidding farewell to a fantastic year or saying “good riddance” and greeting the clean slate of 2012 with open arms, here are some options for ringing in the new year in Boston.

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Lace up your skates at these 5 Boston-area ice rinks

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 15, 2011 05:22 PM

boston ice skating frog pond.jpgBy Christi Kim

Now that it’s getting colder, ice rinks are starting to open up for the winter. Not only is skating great exercise -- seriously, your legs will feel it later -- it's a fun way to spend a couple hours with friends, a date, or even by yourself.

Bundle up and head out to one of these Boston-area skating rinks.

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Boston-area job postings, week of Dec. 12

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 15, 2011 02:44 PM

help wanted in boston.jpgWhether it’s that first gig out of college, a dream job, or a career change, Millennials are looking for jobs. And, let’s face it -- the market is tough, and you can use all the help you can get…which is where we come in.

Each week, TNGG Boston will feature a few postings we think you might enjoy.* If you’re a company looking for great young talent, or if you just have a tip about a cool job, email boston@tngg.co with the details.

*Note: TNGG has not received compensation of any kind from these companies. We just think they’re cool opportunities with interesting companies!

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Dear Santa: Remembering the toys that topped our holiday wish lists

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 15, 2011 09:11 AM

dear santa.jpgBy Melissa Werthmann

Since the dawn of time, children have had the attention span of a walnut and the energy of a Jack Russell terrier. But a brilliant soul (probably a fed-up parent) came up with the idea to occupy their spawn with toys -- rocks shaped into the original wheel for cave children, voodoo dolls made by the infamous Tituba for Puritan kids, and copious amounts of experimental drugs and the sexual revolution for children of the '70s -- so inventors and creators are constantly adapting to changing tastes and interests.

Never is our society more focused on toys than during this most wonderful time of the year, when you can no longer walk down a Boston street without hearing a blend of Christmas music and the comforting jingle of a Salvation Army bell. Stores are advertising their “you better buy this awesome [insert thing here] now, or your loved ones will look at you on Christmas morning with unmatched scorn and irreversible disappointment” sales, and before you know it, you find yourself buying your roommate a cashmere beer koozie and the Magic Bullet College Edition, which whips up Ramen and Rubinoff smoothies in less than eight seconds!

Our tastes may have grown up -- we're no longer wishing for a trip to Space Camp and a piece of the Aggro Crag -- but that desire for the latest and greatest goes way back to childhood. While most of us probably have no clue what a FIJIT friend is, we still remember that must-have toy that was at the top of our wish lists so many years ago (me, I’m still waiting for my Easy Bake Oven).

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'The New Yorker''s Deborah Treisman reflects on the editing process

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 14, 2011 06:01 PM

the new yorker.jpgBy Tamar Zmora

"This is almost an emotionally pornographic evening for me," said Hilton Als, theatre critic for The New Yorker. His colleagues and he rarely discuss their work beyond the editing process back-and-forth between writer and editor, so to host a conversation with the magazine’s fiction editor Deborah Treisman and fellow writer Aleksander “Sasha” Hemon -- part of Wellesley College's Newhouse Center for Humanities’ lecture series -- was a real treat.

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Celebrate the end of the semester with these 4 Boston-area weekend events

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 14, 2011 02:31 PM

blank calendar.jpgSo much to do, so little time -- and so many event listings and Facebook invites to comb through! Lucky for you, we here at TNGG Boston can also fill in as your social planners. Each week, we’ll feature a few weekend events we think you should check out.* If you know of an upcoming event that might appeal to our audience, email boston@tngg.co with the details.

*Note: TNGG is not receiving compensation of any kind to promote these events. We just think they sound like fun!

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Having a finals freakout? Ditch campus (but not your books) for these 5 study spots

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 14, 2011 09:12 AM

studying for finals.jpgBy Saba Hamedy

Winter break: Those two words make sleep-deprived students’ eyes light up at this time of year. For most, the vacation is so close, yet so far.

With finals season in full swing, on-campus study lounges and libraries are packed with students buried in their books and busting out their 10-page papers: The last table at the library is taken, all of the Student Union's booths are filled, the mood in the study lounges is way too intense for your liking, and your dorm room and its many and varied distractions is just totally out of the question. So what are you supposed to do?

Fear not! Boston, being a college town and all, has plenty of places where you can find your perfect study niche.

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Emerson amendment costs 'The Berkeley Beacon' its guaranteed funding

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 13, 2011 05:32 PM

emerson college.gifBy Kevin Clang

After a highly publicized and very vocal debate, major changes will be happening for The Berkeley Beacon, Emerson College’s student newspaper. Last Wednesday, students voted overwhelmingly to approve an amended Emerson Student Government Association Constitution, thereby removing a 20-year-old clause that guaranteed The Beacon’s funding.

Beginning next year, the paper must submit a Financial Advisory Board packet and argue its budget to the SGA like every other student organization. Under the now-removed clause, originally enacted to remove any perceived bias towards the SGA on the part of The Beacon, the paper received a set 8 percent of the school’s Student Activities Fee -- about $13 per student -- each year. The Beacon was the only student organization allotted a fixed annual percentage of the budget.

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High-Fives and Dope Slaps: It's party time in Mass., but time's up for Occupy camp

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 13, 2011 09:06 AM

casinos in massachusetts.jpgBy Jeff Fish

Let’s discuss this week’s issues, shall we? In brief: Foxborough may be getting a casino, and the T might get some later hours on the weekend, both of which would allow for harder partying in the Bay State. Also, I’m giving Occupy Boston double coverage because it was so important this week, and I couldn’t help but mention Mitt Romney -- a.k.a., the “panderer-in-chief” (my new favorite nickname), as Jon Huntsman, the only good Republican in the race, calls him.

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Dispatches from Dewey Square: A response to Michael Graham

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 12, 2011 05:57 PM

occupy boston trash.jpgBy Max Chalkin

The dismantling of camps across the country -- including Occupy Boston's Dewey Square encampment early on Saturday morning -- has prompted many to declare the Occupy movement over. Take, for example, an op-ed by Michael Graham in today's Boston Herald, entitled “Occupy history’s ash heap,” in which the author delights in polls that suggest support for the Occupy movement is waning.

Upon quoting Ryan Cahill, an Occupier who questions whether it’s necessary for the movement to have a unified message, Graham concludes that, if Occupy has no unified message, "what was the point? To trash Dewey Square? To leave literally hundreds of dump trucks full of garbage strewn about public parks across America?

“The brutal truth," Graham writes, "is how quickly they’ll be forgotten once the tents are down. The word ‘Occupy’ will only exist as part of a punchline.”

What strikes me much more than the content of Graham’s piece is the tone he takes: Occupy is dirty and terrible. It’s stupid and gross and ugly. He sounds like a 7 year old, and his vitriol is disproportionately harsh relative to his stated grievance -- trash.

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Culinarily Curious: Foodie holiday wish list

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 12, 2011 08:43 AM

christmas kitchen.jpgBy Anthony Howard

If you have a foodie on your “nice” list this year, listen up: The 10 must-have kitchen gadgets on this wish list make for great gifts at prices that won’t break the bank (9 of the items won’t set you back more than $60).

Designed with 20-somethings in mind, this list features items that make cooking at home easier and more fun. Whether you're thinking about a present for someone else or making your own kitchen wish list, consider these wonderful tools.

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Boston Babe Sports Bible: Stumped for holiday party conversation starters? Try these sports news tidbits

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 11, 2011 05:22 PM

boston sports holiday.jpgBy Kayla Brown

What are the essentials for a successful holiday party? The perfect outfit. Holiday spirit (emphasis on “spirits”). Jedi-level skill in the sacred art of conversation -- which means gracefully steering things away from the choppy waters of politics, religion, and the specifics of how/when/why you’ve put on so much weight since last year (maybe it’s because this marks the eighth year you’ve shown up stag to your family’s annual holiday mixer, which is another topic to avoid).

Lucky for you, this is New England, where nothing brings us together like a rousing round of sports talk. Also lucky for you, this week’s column will help you brush up on some of the must-know news surrounding our four major teams so that you can live to tell the tale of the night your relatives got super-drunk on eggnog and rum balls.

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Gaming for N00bs: On 'Skyward Sword' and graphics

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 11, 2011 09:51 AM

zelda graphics.jpgBy Vanessa Formato

As you might have guessed from my first couple columns, I'm a big Zelda fan. Few other game franchises have managed to capture my interest like Zelda has; Ocarina of Time was my first video game, and it hooked me -- hard. So needless to say, I have been looking forward to the latest entry in the Zelda canon, Skyward Swordwith childlike anticipation.

The reviews for Skyward Sword have been crazily fantastic, even by Zelda review standards, but with a few consistent complaints. One common gripe is about the game’s graphics, which is hardly surprising considering that the Wii's low graphical capabilities are often cited as one of its worst flaws. Having completed the game, I sympathize with those who took issue with the motion controls’ occasional hiccups or the tear-your-hair-out-because-she’s-so-annoying “helpful” companion you’re saddled with, but I refuse to hate on any game on graphics alone.

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Rack and (O)pinion: How to safely (and sanely) survive the winter driving season

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 10, 2011 06:36 PM

driving in the snow.jpgBy Janssen McCormick

Owning a car in Boston during the winter is an abject nightmare. There's never enough parking; the slightest flurry causes collective amnesia of how to drive in snow; gridlock and foolish accidents thanks to skating rink streets abound; snow emergencies suck; and after you've spent hours excavating your car, some oafish type (usually in an X5) slips into your spot, plants a garbage can, and claims your hard work.

That all said, taking a few small steps to prepare can make winter driving just a little less maddening.

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Boston startups driving the future of web video innovation, despite the incumbents

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 10, 2011 09:34 AM

online video.jpgBy Kyle Psaty

Last week, YouTube took a cue from its big brother Google and rolled out “Analytics.” A step up from the “Insights” tool, this new functionality aims to help video creators understand what’s working for them, make better videos, and grow audiences -- and to become the gold standard for measuring video content, just like Google Analytics is for web traffic. Compounding the significance of the launch is the fact that YouTube has been the second-most popular search engine on the Internet for three straight years (behind -- you guessed it -- Google).

The launch also means the 500-pound gorilla of web video hosting is a step closer to a number of Boston-area startups aimed at delivering the future of online video. The difference between YouTube and these companies, however, is that they are all succeeding in realms YouTube doesn’t compete in by doing things YouTube has yet to try. Everything YouTube just released has already been done before; every new feature was something companies like Cambridge-based Wistia, founded in 2006, and local IPO hopeful Brightcove, founded in 2004, have been doing for years.

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Berklee's Perfect Pitch competition hits the right notes

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 9, 2011 06:29 PM

perfect pitch performance.jpgAfter rehearsing and perfecting their songs and performances over the past month, 16 Berklee College of Music students took the stage at The Middle East on Tuesday night, Dec. 6, to vie for the grand prize in the student-run Perfect Pitch competition.

Judges Prince Charles Alexander, Ronald Allen, Eric Beall, and Paul Kolderie named Jaime Woods the winner for her performance of “Sweet Sweet Baby,” written by Grace Kelly. Woods and her team received studio time to record the winning song.

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Dispatches from Dewey Square: Dewey lives another day

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 9, 2011 02:30 PM

photo.JPGBy Max Chalkin

It was 11:30 p.m. last night, and the air at Dewey Square was thick with tension. The deadline for Occupy Boston to vacate their encampment was fast approaching. There had been no ambiguity in Mayor Thomas Menino’s statement on Thursday morning: Protesters were to leave the park by 12 a.m. Friday or face eviction.

The protesters' response? Bring it on.

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Despite midnight deadline, Occupy Boston lives on

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 9, 2011 10:50 AM

occupy eviction party.jpgOn Thursday, Dec. 8, Occupy Boston supporters flocked to Dewey Square to support the movement in the hours leading up to Mayor Thomas Menino's midnight eviction deadline. As Friday dawned, however, Boston police chose not to raid the camp.

We'll have the full story this afternoon. For now, photos are available after the jump.

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Boston-area campus news round-up, week of Dec. 5: Serious about sports

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 9, 2011 09:29 AM

boston campus sports news.jpgBoston is one big college town. What students are talking about and what’s happening on the city’s campuses matters. Every Friday, TNGG Boston will round up a few of the most interesting and well-written stories from student journalists across the area.

The Beanpot. Harvard-Yale. “The Biggest Little Game in America.” Boston-area colleges can be pretty serious about their sports -- much like Bostonians in general. So for all you basketball buffs, football fanatics, and the hockey-obsessed, here’s what’s up in the world of Boston college sports.

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Dispatches from the last day at Dewey Square

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 8, 2011 04:30 PM

go the distance.jpgIt was with heavy hearts today that Occupiers began a tactical surrender of the camp at Dewey Square. Following a morning statement from Mayor Thomas Menino that set a midnight deadline for Occupy Boston to leave the space they’ve occupied for the past 70 days, the packing began.

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Boston-area job postings, week of Dec. 5

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 8, 2011 02:37 PM

jobs.jpgWhether it’s that first gig out of college, a dream job, or a career change, Millennials are looking for jobs. And, let’s face it -- the market is tough, and you can use all the help you can get…which is where we come in.

Each week, TNGG Boston will feature a few postings we think you might enjoy.* If you’re a company looking for great young talent, or if you just have a tip about a cool job, email boston@tngg.co with the details.

*Note: TNGG has not received compensation of any kind from these companies. We just think they’re cool opportunities with interesting companies!

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OPINION: Hooray for Hollywood in Boston

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 8, 2011 08:32 AM

filmmaking movie reel.jpgBy Kevin Clang

Walking through downtown Boston one afternoon this summer, I came across something strange: a VCR repair store. Though empty inside, the store was in fairly good condition on the outside and clearly could have been in working order, had it been open. Good for the owners, I thought, making what I figured was a dying industry work in the modern era. And in a recession, no less -- a true American small business success story.

It was not until much later that I discovered that the building wasn’t a real store, but rather an exterior set built for R.I.P.D., an upcoming action-comedy starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges. The movie is one of eight major Hollywood productions filmed in the Boston area in 2011, including vehicles for stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and Mark Wahlberg. The big productions are not only exciting for movie fans, but also a huge benefit for Massachusetts’ growing film industry.

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Dispatches from Dewey Square: Supply blockades threaten Occupy camp's longevity

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 7, 2011 06:05 PM

occupy boston in-tents.jpgBy Max Chalkin

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines “blockade” as “an act or means of sealing off a place to prevent goods or people from entering or leaving.” In the past week, the actions of the Boston Police Department and city officials have constituted a blockade of the Occupy Boston encampment.

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Take a study break and hang out at one of these 4 Boston-area weekend events

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 7, 2011 02:56 PM

calendar of events2.jpgSo much to do, so little time -- and so many event listings and Facebook invites to comb through! Lucky for you, we here at TNGG Boston can also fill in as your social planners. Each week, we’ll feature a few weekend events we think you should check out.* If you know of an upcoming event that might appeal to our audience, email boston@tngg.co with the details.

*Note: TNGG is not receiving compensation of any kind to promote these events. We just think they sound like fun!

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Invest now, enjoy later: Tips for making the most of your money

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 7, 2011 08:56 AM

investing your money.jpgBy Lacey Nemergut

In today’s uncertain economy and job market, it’s never too early to safeguard your investments and get smart with your money. Despite our low income levels, students and 20-somethings have a few basic options, depending on their knowledge of the financial market and banking strategies.

“If your goals are short-term -- e.g., buy a car, buy a house, etc. -- then you should invest in lower-risk vehicles,” said Mary E. Hartman, a senior lecturer in finance at Bentley. Essentially, it’s a give and take environment: The more risk you take, the greater the chance for high yields; the less risk you take, the lower the chance for profit. Your investment options depend not only on your funds but also on your personality and general inclination towards risks.

From Hartman and other Bentley professors, here's some seasoned advice on what to do with your hard-earned (or effortlessly accumulated) cash.

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10 college courses you wish you'd registered for

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 6, 2011 06:16 PM

class schedule.jpgBy Vanessa Formato

Class registration has come and gone, and if you’re like many college students, there’s at least one course on your schedule that you’re absolutely dreading. Why, exactly, did you sign up for it? Maybe all the slots filled up for a class you were really looking forward to. Maybe it was the lesser of two evils (“Hmm, ‘Tedious Mathematics 207’ or ‘Introduction to Long-Winded Philosophers 106?’”). Either way, it’s a bummer.

Not to rub it in, but here are 10 cool, unusual classes you probably wish you were taking instead.

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High-Fives and Dope Slaps: Storms ahead, in the sky and in the Statehouse

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 6, 2011 09:14 AM

barney frank retiring.jpgBy Jeff Fish

Things, they are a-changin’ in Massachusetts -- politically and with the weather. In late October, the ground was covered in snow and downed branches and power lines. Many were without power for nearly a week, and they’re still upset about it.

Now, in early December, we’re looking at a different kind of forecast: several open political seats in Massachusetts, one of which is currently occupied by Rep. Barney Frank, who is basically retiring because he doesn’t want to risk losing in his newly redrawn, more conservative district. Steve Tolman's seat will also be vacant, and four Democrats are vying for that spot.

In other news, Massachusetts residents still think the economy is in the tank, but Deval Patrick is working with Chile and Brazil to help bolster it.

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Occupy Boston winter tent sent packing

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 5, 2011 05:00 PM

occupy boston tents.jpgAfter the Boston Police confiscated a sink last week, which resulted in scuffles and arrests, it was made very clear that no building materials of any kind would be allowed to enter Occupy Boston's Dewey Square encampment. Still, Occupiers today staged a noon event to attempt to bring in a winterized, fire-proof tent, inviting city officials (including Mayor Thomas Menino, who was not present) and numerous media outlets.

"We're trying to make our camp safer," Occupy Boston librarian John Ford told the crowd, alluding to the city's allegations about unsanitary and dangerous conditions at the Occupation. Tents were taken down earlier in the day, and the logistics and safety teams were planning to replace those tents with this new, safer, larger, and warmer tent.

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Culinarily Curious: Ditch the box and make your own noodles

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 5, 2011 02:22 PM

IMG_0353.JPGBy Anthony Howard

“Anthony! It’s Prince spaghetti day!”

That one little phrase haunted my childhood for the better part of a decade. Whenever I introduced myself to someone, they always had to respond with that popular line from Prince pasta's iconic commercial. For me, pasta would never be the same.

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Forget the mall: 4 spots to find the perfect unique holiday gift

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 5, 2011 09:16 AM

holiday gifts.jpgBy Saba Hamedy

While the popular expression advises you to “shop ‘til you drop,” doing so can often lead to your paycheck disappearing before your very eyes and being so shopped out you can’t eat (or rather, you can’t afford to eat). But cast your shopping woes aside because in Boston, there’s plenty of stores-next-door that won’t empty your pockets and can help you get more bang for your buck this holiday season.

Here are a few such spots that won’t leave you bankrupt and offer some creative gifts for the holidays.

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5 ways being a Boston sports fan is like being an addict

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 4, 2011 05:46 PM

boston red sox.jpgBy Rachel Pennellatore

Sports are practically life here in Boston; fans are known nationwide for their incredible dedication. Bostonians cheer for and defend their beloved teams with fervor so intense as to sometimes -- OK, oftentimes -- cross over into obnoxiousness, leading fans from elsewhere to question our sanity and/or sobriety.

Being a true-blue Boston fan is quite similar to having a raging substance abuse problem: Glory can be as habit-forming as any drug out there, and our hometown heroes certainly know how to keep us all strung out on the drama and chasing the high that victory brings. Here are five signs you or a loved one may have an addiction.

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Don't hibernate just yet! How will you spend your last snow-less days?

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 4, 2011 09:39 AM

boston snow winter.jpgThe forecast may be deceiving, but it is, in fact, December, and winter -- and, along with it, snow, sleet, ice, and the rest of the miserable weather -- may be here any day now. If that Halloween Weekend storm taught us anything, it’s that going outside throughout the next few months is going to be less than fun.

But the sun is still shining, so take your weekend, your lunch hour -- whatever free time you have -- to enjoy all that Boston has to offer before the flakes fall. Here are some recommendations from TNGG Boston staff and friends.

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5 Somerville bars for true locals

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 3, 2011 05:54 PM

davis square somerville.jpgBy Christine Varriale

Between Teele and Davis Squares, you'll never have to leave Somerville for a drink with your friends. You could even head to Harvard Square and make your evening into a Cambridge/Somerville bar crawl.

Here are some awesome local bars to check out in the area.

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Berklee students aim for the 'perfect pitch'

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 3, 2011 09:26 AM

perfect pitch singers.jpgBy Angela Stefano

Singing competitions are so en vogue right now. From The Voice to the original, American Idol, and all the others in between, television networks are cashing in on the musical trend.

Berklee students, too, have been inspired: After just over a month of rehearsals, participants in the school’s Perfect Pitch competition will perform this Tuesday, Dec. 6, at The Middle East. Out of 16 singers, the winner will earn studio time at Sanctumsound Studios.

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OPINION: Young teacher supports Mass. application to waive NCLB

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 2, 2011 06:12 PM

classroom of children.jpgBy Janssen McCormick

Last month, Massachusetts joined 10 other states in applying for a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act, rejecting a flawed education reform program that a paralyzed Congress can't seem to figure out how to fix. As someone looking to make a career in education, I applaud the Commonwealth's decision; NCLB's laser-thin focus on standardized tests as an education reform cure-all is more snake oil than remedy.

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7 must-go December shows

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 2, 2011 09:15 AM

december boston concerts.jpgBy Mike Flanagan

The holidays are in full swing, and if you haven't started your shopping yet, you will soon enough. If you can spare some cash, give yourself the gift of a night of live music.

Here are seven shows you shouldn't miss this month.

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Boston-area job postings, week of Nov. 28

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 1, 2011 05:26 PM

yay jobs.jpgWhether it’s that first gig out of college, a dream job, or a career change, Millennials are looking for jobs. And, let’s face it -- the market is tough, and you can use all the help you can get…which is where we come in.

Each week, TNGG Boston will feature a few postings we think you might enjoy.* If you’re a company looking for great young talent, or if you just have a tip about a cool job, email boston@tngg.co with the details.

*Note: TNGG has not received compensation of any kind from these companies. We just think they’re cool opportunities with interesting companies!

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Go, go, go! 4 Boston-area weekend events

Posted by Alex Pearlman December 1, 2011 09:26 AM

calendar events boston.jpgSo much to do, so little time -- and so many event listings and Facebook invites to comb through! Lucky for you, we here at TNGG Boston can also fill in as your social planners. Each week, we’ll feature a few weekend events we think you should check out.* If you know of an upcoming event that might appeal to our audience, email boston@tngg.co with the details.

*Note: TNGG is not receiving compensation of any kind to promote these events. We just think they sound like fun!

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About the author

TNGG Boston is part of an online magazine written by 18 to 27-year-olds about growing up in the information age. It's an experiment in crowdsourced journalism, a mixture of blogging, More »
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