Tagged: Steph Solis

Boston for a Buck: Halloween Edition

By Steph Solis, Staff Writer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. That’s right, free candy and Frankenstein costumes (or, better yet, Miley Cyrus costumes).
This week’s roundup is dedicated to Halloweekend, as Boston has tons of haunted happenings scheduled. If you’re not into that, maybe you’ll enjoy the Vegetarian Food Festival or time at the ICA on Thursdays (it’s free for BU students anyway).

But who doesn’t want to dress up like a zombie or watch cute puppies parade around in Halloween costumes?

In the name of brains, the undead will swarm the Boston City Hall Plaza for the Zombie Walk. Get your makeup ready and head over after classes Friday evening to join in on these, erm, festivities. Meeting time is 6 p.m., and the walk itself starts at 6:30 p.m.
After the walk, there’s the after party at the Wild Rover at 8 p.m., according to The Boston Calendar.
It’s a 21+ party for zombie walkers only (FYI for you stragglers). The Rover has a $10 admission free, but you get a free drink ticket until 9 p.m. and you can eat at the buffet.
Date: 6 p.m., Friday
Location: Boston City Hall Plaza
Cost: Free
Some of you will likely try to get to Salem this weekend. Personally, I say it’s a big mistake to make the trip among thousands of tourists (the place is great, but the timing is awful). For those of you who will take your chances, see if you can get into the 3D History Museum. It’s 3D put to good use: the 3D effects all over the walls and floors will surely give you a scare. The haunted house has  actors and animatronics too.
Date: All weekend (running from Oct 4-Oct. 31)
Location: 131 Essex Street, Salem
Cost: $10
Venture outside of Boston, and you’ll find a plethora of haunted happenings. Castle Madness offers a haunted tour of a medieval castle where you “enter the mind of a killer and discover their motives,” according to The Boston Calendar.
Date: Friday and Saturdays only, Oct. 25 and 26 (as well as Nov. 1 and 2)
Location: Hammond Castle Museum

80 Hesperus Ave
Gloucester, MA 01930

Cost: $15 admission
The pumpkin contest is one of those cute Halloween events Faneuil Hall offers. If you’re feeling creative, give it a try. There will also be sidewalk sales, magic, facepainting, card readings and music.
If that’s not enough incentive, maybe the puppy parade at 1 p.m. will convince you. Puppies in Halloween costumes.
Date: 12-1:30 p.m., Saturday
Location: Faneuil Hall
Cost: Free Admission
SoWa Market of the Living Dead
If you don’t know about SoWa, you are seriously missing out. The market is full of handcrafted, vintage materials, from clothing to soap to beer kits. Some of it’s pricy, but you’re better off splurging there than on Newbury Street.
There are also food trucks with some of the best hot chocolate known to man and some pretty delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
SoWa Market will celebrate its last week of the season with ghoulish costumes and decked out, Halloween style. If there’s any daytime Halloween event you want to attend, this is it.
Date: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday
Location: 460 Harrison Ave., South End, Boston
Cost: Free Admission (products aren’t, of course)

Spotlight: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Curiosity Rover and Mars

By Steph Solis, Staff Writer

Sojourner, MER and Curiosity. Three different rovers./PHOTO VIA Wikimedia Commons

This week The Daily Free Press spoke with Boston University alumnus Matt Heverly, a mobility systems engineer for the Mars Science Laboratory rover (also known as Curiosity). Between Heverly and some research, we found some interesting details about the rover and the planet it’s exploring.

1. Your iPhone has more computing power than the Curiosity rover

That’s what Heverly says. The RAD750 PowerPC microprocessor built into the rover’s computers seem pretty simple, but it can withstand the crazy environmental conditions on in space and on the surface of Mars. That includes high-energy cosmic rays that would obliterate a smart phone or laptop, according to CNET.

2. Mars is 17.5 minutes away…in light years.

In other words, the distance between the earth and Mars is 315 million kilometers, or 196 miles. The rover spent nine months—precisely 253 days—to get there.

3. The Curiosity rover cannot be stopped by the government shutdown.

The rover’s Twitter account could not continue, but the mission is still going. Contract workers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are in California and are technically employed by the California Institute of Technology.

However, the MSL team could be affected by a prolonged shutdown, spokeswoman Veronica McGregor told Mashable.

4. There are two Curiosity rovers.

Well, not really. The real rover is out there, exploring the Martian terrain. But there is an identical model of the Curiosity rover at JPL that is used for testing in troubleshooting situation and things like that.

5. The mission could take up to a decade.

The rover’s power comes from the isotope plutonium-238’s radioactive decay. It should last a full Martian year, which comprises 687 Earth days, according to an article on Space.com. Although the rover is expected to continue for at least two years, some say Curiosity could stick around for much longer.

Boston for a Buck: Free Events this Weekend

By Steph Solis, Staff Writer

Chances are, you’ll spend the next week or two in Mugar. Midterms are evil, but I digress. If you’re the type who wants a break at the end of the week, see what’s in store this weekend, starting with our bonus, week-day event on Wednesday.

Vintage Bazaar & Book Sale

If you need a break in the middle of the week, there’s the bazaar at the GSU. You don’t even have to leave campus for this one!

The bazaar and book sale will include everything from vintage clothing, jewelry and scarves, to china plates, to books. All of the proceeds will go to the BU Women’s Council Scholarship Fund, which benefit female graduate students

Date: 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, October 9

Location: Metcalf Ballroom, floor 2 of the George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave., Boston

Cost: Free Admission

The HONK! Festival 

Kick your weekend off with a bang, or a honk. The festival draws more than activists street bands every year to Davis Square and various other sites.

According to the The Boston Calendar, the bands celebrate by performing on sidewalks, at political rallies and to support their communities. The bands hail from Rio De Janeiro, London and New Orleans, to name a few spots.

Date: 7 p.m., Thursday until 6 p.m., Sunday, October 10-13

Location: Davis Square, Somerville; other locations around Boston

Cost: Free

We Dig Free Fridays Series at Johnny D’s 

Spend a night at Johnny D’s and catch some up-and-coming local bands for free. The acts range from funk to blues to covers.

Unfortunately, the booze isn’t free and it’s a 21+ event. But don’t let that deter you if you can make it.

Date: 10 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday, October 11-12

Location: Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant and Music Club, 17 Holland St., Somerville

Cost: Free Admission


CollegeFest is a pretty household name as far as events go, but I’ll include it nonetheless. Mainly for the free swag, though it’s not even totally free. There’s a $10 cost for admission.

Still, it’s one of the most popular college events of the season, and the free stuff sometimes seems like it’s worth it.

Date: 12-7 p.m., Saturday; 12-6 p.m. Sunday, October 12-13

Location: Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston

Cost: $10 admission, $15 weekend pass


In honor of the “International Observe the Moon Night,” the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is hosting moon watching. Participants can join in on moon watching for free. It definitely beats watching it from your window, if you’re into outer space.

There will also be a Moon Trivia contest with prizes for the winner.

Date: 7-8 p.m., Saturday, October 12

Location: the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge

Cost: Free Admission

Harvard Square Oktoberfest 

What better way to wrap up Oktoberfest with the 35th annual celebration at Harvard Square?

The festival has four beer gardens, dancing and more than 50 food vendors with cuisine from all over the world. There’s also crafts, vintage items, art work and gifts.

Date: 12-6 p.m., Sunday, October 13

Location: Harvard Square, JFK Street, Cambridge

Cost: Free Admission

Boston for a Buck: Free Events this Weekend

By Steph Solis, Staff Writer

While you’re probably not running painfully low on dining points, chances are you’re starting to see your work money or family allowance disappear at your fingertips. Blame food (or the PBR). Either way, Boston’s got you covered with some fun events that are free, or at least inexpensive.

Boston TechJam

Get your tech on. Network with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and local companies for the first TechJam, a block party highlighting the local tech industry. The event 21+ and is free for students.

The block party will be hosted at District Hall and will feature music, craft beer producers, food trucks, local artists and more. There’s also an event where startups and entrepreneurs are invited to test their company pitches.

Date: 4-9 p.m., Thursday, October 3

Location: District Hall, 75 Northern Ave., Boston

Admission: Free (students); $10 for others

Beer Launch Party for New Element Pumpkin IPA & Altoberfest

Another 21+ event (sorry, not that sorry). Element Brewing is releasing its hoppy Elemental Pumpkin IPA, an unspiced 6.5 percent ABV IPA with fresh pumpkin, English heirloom malt. According to the event website, it was a limited specialty brew for a bar in Connecticut and they have the only keg of the stuff in the Massachusetts.  (Also, if you’re wondering, Altoberfest is Oktoberfest with a German Altbier.)

There’s “specialty food pairings,” and they have a full beer list if you’re not feeling the Pumpkin IPA.

Tickets are free, but limited. You can RSVP here.

Date: 6:30-9:30 p.m., Thursday, October 3

Location: Champions Cambridge, Kendall Square, Cambridge

Admission: Free (RSVP)

‘Sound of Music sing-a-long’ by ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ 

If you haven’t heard of ‘Play Me, I’m Yours,’ you haven’t been out enough. But here’s your chance to get your foot in the door, with the project’s sing-a-long. The Longy School of Music of Bard College is hosting the sing-a-long in honors of the 75th anniversary of the Celebrity Series of Boston.

There will be a piano outside of the school for the public to play, and they will gather to serenade passersby twice: once at noon, and again in the late afternoon.

There’s also free cider, but you should definitely go for the music.

Date: 12 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Friday, October 4

Location: Longy School of Music of Bard College, 27 Garden St., Cambridge

Admission: Free

Boston Swing Central 

If you ever wanted to learn swing dancing, now’s your chance. The dancing nonprofit holds beginner lessons every week, as well as live bands and DJs, according to the Boston Calendar. It isn’t free, but it’s a good opportunity to give it a try.

Date: 8-9 p.m., Friday (lessons), October 4

Location: The Whistle Stop, 24 Roland St., Charlestown

Admission: $12-15/person

Boston Co-Ed Flag Football

If you feel like facing off against your friends and some locals, head over to Cambridge on Saturday for some co-ed flag football. The group has free games, year-round and co-ed, although donations are accepted to cover the cost of flags, markers, other materials and site fees.

Keep in mind they’re not responsible for any injuries you may get in the process. Avoid being aggressive or intense, as everyone’s playing for fun. If you’re interested, look for Donny, the organizer.

Date: 12-4 p.m., Saturday, October 5

Location: Russell Field, 333 Rindge Ave., Cambridge

Admission: Free

Boston Local Food Festival

The festival is New England’s largest one-day farmers market, promoting “healthy local food for all.” It’s free and features local food vendors, farmers, fishermen, DIY demos and a seafood throw down, among other things. Learn about sustainability or healthy food, or just enjoy the food.

Date: 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, October 6

Location: Rose Kennedy Greenway, 185 Kneeland St., Boston

Admission: Free

20-cent ribs at Dick’s Last Resort
This an opportunity that’s too delicious to miss. In honor of its 20-year anniversary in Boston, Dick’s offering 20-cent BBQ ribs. Comes with a white paper hat that makes you look ridiculous too. Go to Faneuil Hall and chow down on some cheap ribs.
Date: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Thursday, October 3
Location: Dick’s Last Resort, Faneuil Hall, Boston
Cost: 20-cents a rib

Boston for a Buck: Events for the Weekend

By Steph Solis, Staff Writer

There’s a ton happening this weekend, from music to free food to crazy shows. Here’s the roundup.

Free Boston: A night of Live Art, Music & Social Good at Workbar Cambridge

Few know how to have a good time on a budget better than the folks at The Boston Calendar. TBC is a website that features cool, interesting events happening around the city (brought to you by Reddit). They’re collaborating with Impact Lighthouse, a collaborative of socially good leaders and Reddit Boston.

There’s music, an open bar with signature cocktails, craft beer from Sam Adams and organic wine. There’s also a guest art mural and “healthy food” (as TBC advertises), among other things. You might want to contact TBC for tickets though, in case they’ve filled up.

Time: 7-10:30 p.m. Thursday

Location: Workbar Cambridge, 45 Prospect St., Cambridge

Cost: Free Admission

Throwback Thursday: A ‘Happy Chic’ College Welcome

Even though our BUIDs get us into the MFA for free, I suggest going to their college night event and exploring their “Hippie Chic” exhibition while you can.

The exhibition features “hippie” style fashion, precisely 54 ensembles with paisley velvet and “far-out wigs” dating from 1967 through 1972. There’s also tie-dye fashion art and photos with vintage VW vans (if you’re into that).

Time: 6-9:45 p.m. Thursday

Location: The MFA

Cost: Free Admission, $9 film tickets

Indie Publishing – Promise and Peril for Writers

Author Jeffrey Zygmont gives an insider’s view of self-publishing in a  talk about the benefits as well as the pitfalls and perils that indie books bring to authors.

The discussion is open to anyone, from book lovers and students of literature to prospective writers of any type, whether poetry, fiction, non-fiction or even scholarly books. It is followed by readings from novels by Zygmont and indie authors Erica Ferencick and Randy Ross.

Time: 7 p.m. Thursday

Location: Trident Booksellers & Cafe, 338 Newbury St.

Cost: Free Admission

Introduction to Zen Class  

(HT to TBC for this one.) If you’re looking to decompress, the Cambridge Zen Center offers a free zen class that’s open to the public. No registration is needed and you can take the class more than once.

Time: 7-7:30 p.m. Thursday

Location: Cambridge Zen Center, 199 Auburn St., Cambridge

Cost: Free Admission

‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ Street Pianos Boston Festival

Come Friday there will be 75 pianos scattered across Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline. The international ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ project has reached more than four million people worldwide, and on Thursday it’s kicking off its run in Beantown.

Time: Friday through Oct. 14

Location: Throughout Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline

Cost: Free

What the Fluff? Festival

In honor of Marshmallow Fluff, which was invented in 1917 in Somerville, check out the “What the Fluff?” festival in Union Square. The event includes music, Fluff-cooking and a bunch of diabetes-inducing games (“The Fluff Lick-Off,” for example).

You also get to elect the Pharaoh of Fluff, one of the most prestigious titles in Somerville’s history.

Time: 3-7 p.m. Saturday

Location: Union Square, Somerville

Cost: Free

Saturday Wine Tasting: A New Focus on Italy

Free wine. Need I say more?

The wine tasting events are held at the Brookline Liquor Market every Saturday. They have also had beer tastings in the past.

Time: 1-5 p.m. Saturday

Location: Brookline Liquor Market, 1354 Commonwealth Ave., Allston

Cost: Free

The Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival

The festival showcases some of the most acclaimed up-and-coming artists such as Grammy-nominated trumpeter Christian Scott, the Mike Tucker Trio featuring vibraphonist Warren Wolf and the Matt Savage Quartete featuring saxophonist Bobby Watson.

There are ticketed performances on Friday and Sunday, but Saturday’s free.

Time: 12-6 p.m. Saturday

Location: Columbus Avenue & Massachusetts Avenue, South End, Boston,

Cost: Free

Watercolor Workshop

The City of Boston is offering a free outdoor painting workshop for painters of all ages and skill levels. Beginners are welcome.

Time: 12-2 p.m. Sunday

Location: Nina Rock Urban Wild, Arcola St., Jamaica Plain

Cost: Free


Boston for a Buck: Events for the weekend (and then some)

By Steph Solis, Staff Writer

Take advantage of the free events because they don’t last. Sure, there’s always the occasional promo on campus or National Doughnut Day over the summer, but the deals are less frequent and not as sweet as they are in September.
Here’s a list of some free or low-cost events you’ll want to check out. As an added bonus, I’m going to start the roundup with some early ones.

Downtown Crossing Block Parties (ongoing)
If you didn’t get a chance to check out the Downtown Crossing Block Party, make some time this week. The block parties offer free appetizers and nice selections on beer and wine. Not to mention music.
Hours: Sept. 19, 5-8 p.m.
Location: 32 Sumner St.
Admission: Free

Oyster Shucking Lessons (ongoing)
The North End Fish Market offers free oyster shucking lessons every Saturday. The lessons are free, but you have to pay for what you shuck and eat. There’s no need to make reservations for these. They can accommodate groups of up to five people in the market.
Hours: Saturdays, 1-3 p.m.
Location: 99 Salem St. in the North End
Admission: Free

Night of Stars
If you’re looking for some classy plans, watch the Boston Ballet’s performance free. The Night of Stars, which is open to the community, includes various pieces that the company will perform for its 50th season. The pieces range from classical ballet to contemporary dance. There’s also a “surprise world premiere piece.”
If it gets rained out, the performance will take place the following evening
Hours: Sept. 21, 7 p.m. (rain date, Sept. 22, 7 p.m.)
Location: Boston Common, at the corner of Beacon and Charles Streets
Admission: Free
Allston Village Street Fair
This beloved annual event draws BU students every year. The street fair has family fun activities and all that jazz you’d expect from a fair, but it also features promotional giveaways, local bands and artists and a taste of Allston’s international cuisine.
The street performances include Sidewalk Sam, Fictional Faces Facepainting, the Music Museum of New England and the Boston League of Women Wrestlers, among other groups.
Hours: Sept. 22, 12-6 p.m.
Location: Harvard Avenue, between Cambridge Street and Brighton Avenue in Allston
Admission: Free (food not included)

Boston for a Buck: Free Events for the Weekend

By Steph Solis, Staff Writer

Hempfest is just one of the many traditions that Boston has to offer./PHOTO VIA Flickr user Regbum

Now that matriculation and SPLASH are behind us, it’s time to dive back into the city or start exploring it–here’s looking at you, freshmen. You can enjoy the city on a budget. In fact, some of the most interesting happenings in Boston are cheap or free.

If you’re not sure where to start, here’s some highlights of what the city has in store this weekend.


Ah, the smell of Boston lighting up on the Common. Every year the Freedom Rally, known as Hempfest, brings together stoners from all over Greater Boston (many of whom are college students). For the first time, Boston will host a first two-day Hempfest on Saturday and Sunday.

Admission is free, but food and novelties likely aren’t. You’ll also want to watch out for police looking to hand out citations for smoking on the Boston Common.

Hours: September 14, Saturday from 12-8 p.m. September 15, Sunday from 12-6 p.m.

Location: Boston Common

Admission: Free

Downtown Crossing Block Party

Hat tip to the Boston Calendar for this one. The block party, in its second year, offers free appetizers from 49 Social, a downtown restaurant and bar. There’s also supposed to be an extensive selection of beer and wine for the 21+ crowd.

If you’re looking for some free music, the Downtown Crossing Block Party is hosting local bands like Hot Like Fire and Swinging Johnsons. Get a feel for the local music scene.

Hours: September 12, Thursday from 5-8 p.m.

Location: Downtown Crossing (specifically 32 Sumner Street)

Admission: Free

Night Shift Brewing Tours

Night Shift Brewing’s been getting some buzz lately, but if you’re not familiar with them check out their free tours and tastings. The tour includes beer samples, bottles and other merchandise. There’s no reservation needed.

The brewers are usually available during other hours, according to the Night Shift Brewing website. If you want to catch them at another time, try calling or tweeting at them.

Hours: Monday through Friday, 5-8 p.m. and Saturday 12-5 p.m.

Location:  3 Charlton St., Everett.

Note: This one is recommended for those who have a car. You can get there through the Green Line, Orange Line and the 105 towards Malden. But it’s probably more of a hassle than most would want for a Saturday afternoon.

The Python in My Syllabus

By Steph Solis, Staff Writer

Just because Professor Carruthers can./PHOTO VIA Steph Solis

Most professors dive into their lessons on the first day of class, but engineering professor Jeffrey Carruthers took a different approach with his students.

Students in EK128, “Engineering Computation,” which teaches students the programming language Python, looked through their syllabus and found that the professor included an algorithm for how the class will be grade — in Python.

The algorithm shows an example of one student’s results, calculating the final grade to be a B+.

“The code below, which you will understand eventually, shows you how grades will be assigned given a set of scores,” the syllabus reads. “Most of the course will be graded by Python scripts instead of humans.”

The language, named after the British comedy “Monte Python and the Flying Circus,” can be used to program anything from computer games to robots. It is seen as an alternative to MATLAB, another programming language (there is ongoing debate about which one is worth learning/using).

Carruthers said the introductory engineering course focuses on problem solving using Python and Python tools known as “SciPy” for engineering (number crunching, plotting, etc.).

The professor used to prepare his syllabuses with help from programming languages and then produced a polished PDF that hid the process. So he decided to give his students a chance to see that work.

“I give them an active piece of software that they will come to learn how it works, but right now they can use it to estimate their grades by typing in example homework and exam results,” Carruthers said in an email.

He added that he has used Python to solve other problems like generating exams for midterms and finals, including in his class EK 307 “Electric Circuits.” He also uses it to create visual demonstrations of electrical engineering concepts in class.

“Anyone can learn Python and use it to get your computer to do something it does not currently do and which you don’t have the time or money to pay someone to calculate or solve for you,” Carruthers said.

Boston for a Buck: Thrift Store

By Steph Solis, Staff Writer

The many opportunities that come with “thrifting.”/PHOTO VIA Meryl Tochen of The Garment District

Whether looking for some vintage chic, or a cheaper pair of jeans, Boston’s got you covered. Check out a roundup of thrift shops near BU’s Charles River campus.

This isn’t a full list by any means, but if there are any vintage or consignment store that deserves a shout out then simply comment below.

Second Time Around (Back Bay)

Second Time Around does consignment with designer clothes and accessories (it’s slogan is “resale goes upscale”). It’s a great place to track down classy vintage cardigans and cocktail dresses, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re on a tight budget.

The chain has a few locations in Boston, including two on Newbury Street.

The Garment District (Cambridge)

The Garment District is a thrift shopper’s dream. The Cambridge store is not just known for their low price tags, but also for their By The Pound sales. Every day but Friday, the store leaves out 850 pounds worth of clothing for shoppers to sift through and collect. At $1.50 a pound, it’s a steal.

Just a heads up, you might also want to check out their Halloween selection. They have decent prices on costumes, and in October they stay open until midnight.

Buffalo Exchange (Allston)

This is the go-to place for thrifty BU students. It looks more like a secondhand Urban Outfitters than a thrift shop, which is perfect if you’re just looking for something trendy that doesn’t leave you broke.

BU students often go to Buffalo Exchange to sell their clothes at the end of the year. About 80 percent of the store’s selections are bought from local consumers, according to it’s website. But keep in mind they prefer clothes that are in style and in mint condition.

Goodwill (Allston)

If you have a few hours to kill, look through Goodwill’s selection. It looks dull at a glance, but somewhere there’s an ugly Christmas sweater or a hippy leather patchwork bag you’ll want to take home. It’s also a good place to find basic supplies for DIY costumes.

Urban Renewals (Allston)

Urban Renewals also has its fair share of thrifty gems. It’s not the place to go for trendy vests or hippy chic, but you’ll find some decent clothes and even a good shoe (all for under $10).


By Steph Solis, Staff

On nearly every freshman’s checklist is his or her first visit to FitRec. My freshman-year roommate and I crossed that off our list on the first week of school, but instead of working out, we just took the tour and left. We went back in for a minute, realizing we hadn’t ordered the smoothies we wanted.

I went back to FitRec Monday morning after two-and-a-half years.

Why didn’t I take advantage of this extravagant resource that probably cost our alumni (and many of us) a chunk of tuition? Well, unlike many athletes and BU biddies, I don’t live near West, nor did I desire to move there to be closer to the gym. I admire their discipline, but I’d rather have a shorter walk to classes and avoid the crowds in West for the BUS on snowy mornings.

Having a more easy-going schedule this semester, and having noticed that my jeans are much tighter than they were when school started, I decided to attempt working out regularly.

In the process, I have begun to compile my very own workout playlist. Just to warn you, there is no trace of Katy Perry on my playlist. Nor is there any One Direction, Justin Bieber or Britney Spears. Instead, I bring to you a compilation of Classic Rock and Punk with a sprinkle of Hip Hop and Lady Gaga (who, in my world, stands as her own category).

So if you like spunky workout music that you probably won’t find at the clubs, or if you’re new to FitRec-ing like me, give these a chance.

Here are a few highlights.

“Are You Experienced?” Patti Smith Cover

The Pattie Smith cover is much more mellow than Jimi Hendrix’s original, but it’s perfect for stretching.

“The Distance” by Cake

This is probably best if you’re on a track field (because I would clearly know), but it’s one of those motivating songs that make you feel cool and stuff.

“Funk Soul Brother” by Fatboy Slim

Because it’s in every other movie and makes people want to dance (or, in Bruce Almighty’s case, makes him want to take his clothes off).

“Right Here, Right Now” by Fatboy Slim

This is one of those songs where you’re either in a really cool daydream as a spy running from the enemy or a really bad nightmare where you’re about to die first. Either way, it’s worth adding to your playlist.

“Knights of Cydonia” Muse

Listen to this while on the elliptical and imagine yourself running into an epic battle that will determine the fate of the world. Once you’re in a groove, this song can be the perfect energizer.

“Single Ladies” by Beyonce

If the song’s beats don’t give you incentive to work out, you can picture yourself as Beyonce while you workout. Sounds like enough incentive to me.

“Rabiosa” by Shakira

Don’t get distracted by Shakira’s sex appeal here. The song’s bachata-style beats add some necessary flavor to your workout, and might make you want to dance in the middle of FitRec (I wouldn’t recommend it, though).

“Bad Girls” by M.I.A.

One of the best songs to workout to. Not sure if it’s the sick beats or M.I.A.’s empowering message of women’s rights. When I listen to this song, I like to think I’m almost as bad ass as the Saudi Arabian women in the video who defy their male counterparts by driving and brandishing massive weapons. One way or another, I convince myself to keep running until the song ends and tone those thighs.

“BYOB” by System of a Down

It’s one of the heavier songs on this playlist, but it’ll get you to workout. That, or if you’re like some students I know, it’ll scare you into running faster.

“Apple Tree” by Wolfmother

Lyrics aside, it’s a fast-paced, rock song with a feel-good, don’t-give-a-f— tone. If you’re looking for fun, but not pop-heavy, I highly recommend.