The temptation for students to stay on or near Amherst’s picturesque campus can be great, especially for first-years who are not yet accustomed to the school and surrounding town. However, the areas surrounding Amherst include many fun destinations that are prime spots for students to explore. Next time you have a free weekend, try going to these places.

When you call a woman beautiful, what are you saying about her?

Any number of factors could go into beauty’s assignation. In the case of works of art, for instance, beauty could result from symmetries and harmonies, artistic skill and handicraft, poignancy of theme or the work’s placement and ambiance. When people call art beautiful, they could be referring to any or all of those qualities.

“It’s easy not to worry when you don’t have any real problems. Dogs don’t have to think about money or crime or social injustice,” says Ryan to his neighbor’s dog, Wilfred. Such is a constant theme in FX’s late-night sitcom “Wilfred:” the never-ending conflict between what Ryan (Elijah Wood) wants out of his life, and what Wilfred, whom executive producer David Zuckerman describes as “part Labrador Retriever and part Russell Crowe on a bender” wants out of it.

You’d think that after “Inception” the creative teams in Hollywood would come up with new tricks and twists on the omnipresent themes of dreams, double-identity and exploration of self. That is not the case. Continuing the genre’s legacy of optional innovation, most Hollywood action films remain just like your old computer: changing your desktop picture won’t give you a new machine.

While television and movies have struggled to migrate to the internet and take advantage of the boundless possibilities it offers, video games, as a relatively young medium, have been fortunate enough to evolve hand-in-hand with internet and online communities. More so than traditional media, the video game industry has embraced the internet as a rich digital distribution system, allowing developers and publishers to get their games out to a large audience. Digital distribution doesn’t only apply to PCs, mind you.

On March 26, The Mars Volta released their fifth album, “Noctourniquet.” For any who aren’t familiar, the album title should provide a clear indicator that their music isn’t exactly main-stream. The Texas-formed outfit definitely isn’t for everyone; calling them esoteric would be charitable. But they’re also one of the most accomplished rock acts of the past 10 years, and they’re almost single-handedly keeping progressive rock alive for whoever wants to listen. And when I say progressive, I do mean progressive.

You might not be familiar with the name Lasse Hallström, but if you were once a softie like me who used to fall for eye-candy cinematography, a twist of love and life philosophy and breezy plots, you might have dwelled happily on such films as “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (1993), “The Cider House Rules” (1999), “Casanova” (2005) or “Dear John” (2010), all crowd-pleasers directed by him.