Welcome to the Valley Nerd Watch!

We’re here to make sure you only need one stop to find nerdy events in the Pioneer Valley! Our weekly newsletter is posted here every Sunday, and you can subscribe to it via email by clicking the link up top or to your right!

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Contact us by email: ValleyNerdWatch [at] gmail [dot] com

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August 29th – September 4th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Hello again for another lovely edition of the Nerd Watch! We’re so happy to have you all here. We saw John Carter (John Carter of Mars [JCM]) recently and we have to say that we totally recommend you all watch that very odd movie that we still cannot believe was made. We get the sort of assumptions underpinning the idea it’d be a big franchise hit, but we’re having trouble understanding how it got so far into such an expensive process without anyone turning around and saying OH WAIT NO of course this won’t be a huge hit what were we thinking putting hundreds of millions into this?

Our dad was a huge fan of the whole John Carter series as a kid because he was 13 and we’re pretty sure that was the most prurient material it was possible for him to get his filthy little hands on. The movie vibrates with the intensely odd energy of the sort of things science fiction writing thought made sense a hundred years ago, though with fewer naked people than the book.

On a more local note: Holyoke Codes has been doing a ton of really amazing events recently! You should definitely check them out.

Oh! And this week is your last chance to get this awesome dog boy from KC Green to help you feel fine!

Want to tell us what to do, make us dance for your amusement? Check out our Patreon! You also get stickers!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Wednesday, August 31st
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Knitting Creatures Continued
Did you knit up something neat last time? Keep at it! Did you not get to knit a cool creature? Now’s your chance!
Thursday, September 1st
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Amherst Art Walk and Poetry Night
See great art and listen to great poetry at the Art Walk! Featuring DM Gordon, author of Fourth World and Nightly, at the Institute of the Possible. She’s a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award and the International Book Award, an MCC Artist Fellow in fiction, and a freelance editor at dmgordoneditorial.com! Also featured will be reader Paul Richmond! Featured art will be by Ann Knickerbocker!

Board Games:

Sunday, September 4th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix!
This sunday we want you to focus on only people who have at one point or another officially become professional wrestlers. That includes She-Hulk, The Thing, Hellboy, and Spider-Man at the least!

Entertainment:

Monday, August 29th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Summer Reading Buddies with Bright Spot Therapy Dogs
Children ages 4-11 are welcome to read out loud to Reading Buddy dogs, who provide gentle and comfroting audiences for practicing reading and also have the added effect of being so frigging adorable that it’s impossible to even deal with the fact that you’re seeing these puppies helping young readers get better because dogs are so wonderful.
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Bake Sale to Suppor Goodwin!
Support your local library, and get some popcorn, cakes, jello, cookies, brownies, cake, pie, really any of the things that we make primarily out of sugar and butter and that sort of thing. It’ll be delicious, guaranteed!

Movies:

Wednesday, August 31st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Cinema Nothampton Presents: The Muppet Movie
A classic presented on the lawn of Forbes, when the sun goes down. It’s a great location for a picnic with pals! Picturesque as all get out.
Sunday, September 4th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
FILM: Sholem Aleichem: A Conversation with Ruth Wisse and David Roskies
The premie of a special film that was recorded live last fall AT the Yiddish Book Center! On the hundreth anniversary of the death of Sholem Aleichem, two of the world’s most engaging Yiddish Scholars retell discuss and debate their favorite Sholem Aleichem stories in a lively conversation! Students are $4, Members $6, General Admission is $8.

RPGs:

Saturday, September 3rd
Amherst Unitarian Universalist Church [121 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Changeling: the Lost LARP – Mind’s Eye Society
No site fee charged for new players or for students of the Five Colleges! Sit fee donates do count as donations to the domain and may be eligible for prestige! This game’s about climate change and the fae folk being all interested in your business, check it out for a fun time LARPing without needing to head to a forest!

Video Games:

Sunday, September 4th
The Quarters [8 Railroad St., Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
MAKE TALK PLAY – Let’s talk collectives, co-working, and incubators
Oh dang those buzzwords are getting our entrepreneural spirits up! Opening the floor to discussions of a PVGD headquarters and where it should be/what services should be provided in the coming year and how the PVGD could improve in general! There are a ton of issues involved, and there are also going to be a ton of amazing people there to talk about them! Come give your input, then eat tiny hot dogs while playing Gauntlet!

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August 22nd – August 28th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We had a lovely time this past Wednesday at the Brass Cat in Easthampton playing board games, getting our butts soundly kicked at Tiny Epic Galaxies, a very cute and easy to play worker-placement game with some nice twists on the formula and a lot of player interaction that kept it from feeling a bit Solitaire-eqsue like a lot of these games can wind up seeming.

We’d also like to take a chance to tell you about some local creators you can support!

Gina DaMico came out with a new book, and it seems neat and weird and like it’s kind of also about Yankee Candle Factory? It’s interesting!

Joshua AC Newman is still turning out amazing work at Xenoglyph, and you should absolutely support his Patreon.

KC Green still has a wonderful Kickstarter for you to check out where you can get a cute pup-meme plush!

A Mass DiGI game produced last year was featured on our absolute favorite site for games news, Rock Paper Shotgun! It’s Ophidia, it’s free, but you should give them a tip because it’s great and they deserve it!

That’s only some of what’s going on but it is too hot in our room to keep typing any longer, have a great week!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Books:

Tuesday, August 23rd
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Bikes and Books Club
Reading and discussing Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover, and going for bike rides and learning bike maintenance skill with the excellent Holyoke Urban Bike Shop (HUBS)! All skill levels welcome.
Wednesday, August 24th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Aaron Thier, Mr. Eternity
A new novel from the great Aaron Thier! Key West, 2016. Sea levels rising, reefs dying, everything going to hell. Then some young filmmakers find an immortal sailor! Kind of an orthogonal move there in the premise, but basically this is the story of hundreds of years of despoiling the natural world to near-disaster as told by someone who’s seen it all.
Thursday, August 25th
Packards [14 Masonic Street, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Nebula Award Nominated Short Fiction + Dinner
For the science fiction book discussion this week, they’re going to read Nebula Nominated short fiction! This means they’re all generally neat pieces. You can check out the meetup for links to most of these stories, too! What a deal! There is a hard limit of 14 attendees, so sign up and RSVP as soon as possible!
Saturday, August 27th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Adult Summer Reading Social
Talk books! Eat cake! Also eat ice cream! Join a bunch of friendly readers to talk about what great books you’ve read and eat a bunch of tasty things, it’s literally perfect.

Entertainment:

Tuesday, August 23rd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Teen Chat & Chew
Talk and also we are hoping eat? It’s just that “chew” is a word that has a lot of like very visceral connotations that discomfit us. We’re assuming you’re going to talk to folks and eat some pizza, not just sort of … chew.
Wednesday, August 24th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Plant Swap
Bring plants and gardening supplies! Trade them with your friends! Talk about how to garden effectively! It’s like Pokemon but for real life and the Pokemon are all non-sentient plants instead of sentient plants. We stand by this analogy!
Saturday, August 27th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Ice Cream Social
Ice cream! Free from the mobile Herrell’s Ice Cream Trailer, Herrell’s on the MOOOVE GET IT? Also featuring music from the Florence Community Band, and games for kids! It’ll also have a discussion and lecture about Caleb Cooley Dickinson, and whether or not he was a weird guy! Mostly the evidence he was too odd for society was that he liked fancy hats, which in our modern times seems very silly. To celebrate this, there will be a build-a-hat table!

Movies:

Wednesday, August 24th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Summer Stock on the Silver Screen: The Band Wagon
Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse dance and sing their way through what some critics call the pinnacle of the Hollywood musical!
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Movie Night @ GPL – Mockingjay PT 2
See the stunning conclusion of the Hunger Games series! It is pretty sad, we think! But it’s also impressive and on the big screen at the Library.

RPGs:

Friday, August 26th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Rd., Chesterfield, MA] at 9:00 PM to 12:00 AM
Magestry LARP Autumn 2016 Game 1
The heat of Stillbreeze still upon them, Elmertonians return once more to their little township. A new competitor to the Queen of Shadows emerges, but whose side is she on? Also, a powerful Dreamweaver collects the dreams of the town to turn them into reality and wreak havoc, literally no one is able to focus on what is ostensibly the primary industry of the two: radish farming. It’s gonna be a tough winter if no one deals with all the danged magic! This is a full weekend event, but if you’re an NPC you’ll get lodging and meals and FREE entry! New players only pay $30 for the whole weekend!

Science:

Tuesday, August 23rd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
The Role of the Honey Bee in Our Environment & Honey Tasting
Learn about our round little buzzy buddies and how they help us live in an environment that produces food and pretty flowers! Also eat some honey and come to the conclusion that yeah it all tastes excellent, it is honey.
Saturday, August 27th
Mount Greylock [Mount Greylock, Adams, MA 01220] at 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Star Party at Mt. Greylock
Moon waning toward a crescent, get ready for some star partying! If you have a scope, set up around 6:30pm to 7:00pm! If you don’t, but your pals with scopes!

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Job Opportunity at Smith College for Industrious Nerd with the Design Thinking Initiative

We received notice from a representative of one of our wonderful Five College schools that there’s a pretty amazing sounding position available at Smith that makes us kind of wish we’d spent years learning an entirely different trade.

You can apply right here: http://smithiesdesign.com/jobs/!


Prototyping Studio Coordinator

Full-time, limited term. It’s a three-year gig, during which you’re going to be providing technical and creative support for the Design Thinking Initiative including operation of the equipment and developing learning materials for projects.

You’d be responsible for organizing and maintaining this studio space, ensuring students and faculty have access to it, testing new processes and equipment, maintaining things, stocking materials, training folks, running workshops, communicating the vibrancy of the Design Thinking Initiative with neat projects…

Frankly it sounds like they basically are giving you a space full of awesome tools and telling you to make the most of being there. For a certain type of person we feel like this might be heaven.

Qualifications Needed:

A Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or some related field.

One to three years working with customer service or students.

Or an equivalent setup of education/experience.

Skills Required:

Familiarity with Makerspaces, 3D printing, laser cutting, circuit assembly, and related software.

Ability to troubleshoot all the horrible problems you will definitely encounter during any work with the above.

Experience working collaboratively, particularly with students.

Creative experience of some kind strongly preferred.


Does this sound good to you? Do you have the required skills? Then get yourself to the page and apply right now! You deserve an awesome job, and this sounds like one.

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August 15th – August 21st

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We’ve been playing a bunch of Pokemon Y this week and let us tell you it’s basically a nonstop cavalcade of cute, all games should basically be about having adorable baby animals that you can pet. We’re not saying they all need the same exact gameplay but if we could pause DOOM for a minute to snuggle with a puppy before going back to the carnage we’d be pretty chuffed.

Yet another Drink and Draw has come and gone and let us tell you wow is it a neat time for folks to meet and hang out and draw. We were as always inspired and embarrassed by the sheer hard work and artistry on display by the other people in the room. Also we got to check out a ring that bartender/metalsmith Heather Beck made up close and it was really neat, and she explained things about metalworking which was nice. There was also a preview version of this handsome boy that KC Green’s kickstarting and it looked great!

We want to call special attention to the Smash Bros tournament in Springfield! We don’t cover a ton of Springfield on account of there being just a heck of a lot there to cover to the point we’re kind of waiting until we can provide convenient regional features BUT we were alerted to this event by the creator and heck it sounds like a great time!

Don’t forget that if there’s an event you DON’T see on this list, we’re always looking for more local knowledge! We can use your help to get everyone up to speed on the coolest things happening in the Valley!

Go check out our Patreon and the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, August 15th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
How to Start an Art Book Rotation Project
Starting a rotating art book is simple, and this class will teach you how! Basically you pick a theme, draw something, and send it to your friends who also draw something and send it to someone else and eventually it all comes back to you and it’s beautiful!
Tuesday, August 16th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St, Sunderland, MA] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Sea Glass Vases
Hold on to a little bit of summer with some sea glass vases! You can create some vases with a neat sea glass look and then decorate it!
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Duct Tape Hats – Summer Crafts
In your ongoing quest to make sure that literally all items of clothing and accessories you wear are made of duct tape, try a hat! It’s simple, it’s fun, and you can make it in neat colors! Fair warning, 99% certain these are not appropriate for a job interview.
Wednesday, August 17th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Make Your Own T-Shirt Bag
Turn an old shirt into a cool bag! They you get to keep that neat shirt and also not have to wear that old danged shirt again. It’s a no-sew project that you’ll be led through step-by-step! Take some old t-shirts and a pair of scissors! Suitable for ages 11 and up!
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Knitting Creatures – Summer Crafts
Knit up a little pal! All ages are welcome to create their own tiny creature made of yarn to be friends with!

Board Games:

Tuesday, August 16th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Palmer Library Game Night
Play some games at Palmer! Bring some of your own if you like or use their own big collection of games. We highly recommend Cosmic Encounter!
Sunday, August 21st
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix!
Try a new team this Sunday: only people who can breath underwater. Namor, Aquaman, but also like we’re 90% certain Superman can? Or does he need to breathe? Look this is for you to figure out we’ve done our part.

Books:

Tuesday, August 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Book Chats with Kat
What have you read this summer? Chat about it with Kat and some other pals! There are snacks, you can relax, you can bug people about the books you liked or didn’t like! Open to kids, tweens, and teens. But, very important, absolutely not open to smeens.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Children’s Book Writers Group
Do you write for children? Create art for children? Both? Talk about the ins and outs of the business with fellow creators! Get ideas, ask for critique, just generall chat with some like-minded and friendly people!
Friday, August 19th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Launch Party for Gina Damico’s Wax!
Gina Damico is a local author who writes weird YA fiction! Her newest release is about the town of Paraffin, Vermont which is known for a Candle Factory. But beyond the retail space, our hero Poppy Palladino discovers a dark and distressing back room filled with life-like wax sculptures! As she hightails it home, one of the figures leaps out of her trunk screaming! What’s even going on? Also oh jeez we JUST got that this is totally building at least somewhat off the Yankee Candle Factory. We can 100% buy they’re using dark sinister magic there. Have some tea, jam and bread, and other Austrian delights while you chat with Gina!
Saturday, August 20th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM
Friends of Greenfield Public Library Book Sale
Get some books nice and cheap at the GPL! Support them in the process! No downsides to this day, friends.

Comic Books:

Monday, August 15th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Queers in Comics & Games
Talk to fellow nerds about queer representation in comics and gaming! They’re a great bunch and they’ll be a hoot to meet!

Entertainment:

Monday, August 15th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Quidditch on the Library Lawn
Play a special game of no-flying (gotta be understanding to the large Muggle population around here, absolutely no cheating!) Quidditch in honor of the Olympics! Of course at the Olympics they play with flight.
Thursday, August 18th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Look we’ve said it before we got no anime chops. But you might! Or maybe you’re just into checking out new stuff? Check out anime!
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St, Sunderland, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Laser Tag at the Library!
Pretend to blast your friends with lasers in the library! Fun times all around.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cookies with a Curator: Northampton Area Soldiers in the Civil War with Dylan Gaffney
Find out about how the Civil War affected Northampton! Forbes recently recieved a grant by the Massachusetts Civil War Sesquicentennial Comission to preserve, digitize, and create and aid for finding Civil War related materials!
Friday, August 19th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Author Visit and Field Hockey Gold Medal Match Viewing
Who’s the author? No clue! It’ll be fun though we bet. Probably the author somehow relates to the sport on display, but we kind of love the idea that it’s actually just Stephen King and he’s gonna sit down and watch some Field Hockey with you all because he’s a big fan of it.
Saturday, August 20th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Garden Clean-up at the Emily Dickinson Museum
Join some volunteers in weeding and cultivating the beds at the museum! Become a part of a new generation of caretakers for this precious land AND protect yourself from the mystical wrath of the Dickinsons. Aye the cup is full, waiting to be tipped upon an unsuspecting citizenry.
Sunday, August 21st
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
The Poet and the Bard
Check out a tour focusing on Emily Dickinson’s initial hatred and eventual super-fandom of Shakespeare! It’s always kind of awesome when a really excellent artist is totally into another artist because you’re all whaaat but Dickinson is great and then you think well wow what’s it about Shakespeare that makes this excellent artist like him and not kind of relegate him to “that thing we had to read in school?”

Kids:

Wednesday, August 17th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:45 PM to 5:00 PM
Let’s Make Art Together!
Deisgned for participation with children ages 4 and up, with an adult. Up to two kids per adult! Create, build, and just make some nice things! Open-ended free play for creative kids and their grown-ups!
Friday, August 19th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St, Sunderland, MA] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Ukulele Music Time with Julie
Listen, play, learn! Kids will have a fun time with the tiny kid-sized guitar that makes fun noises.
Saturday, August 20th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Special Storytime: Elizabeth Howard and Diana Wege
Join author Elizabeth Howard and illustrator Diana Wege as they share their debut picture book, A Day with Bonefish Joe, about a young girl named Flossie and her adventurous day at sea with Bonefish Joe, one of the best-known bonefish guides in the Bahamas. Bonefish is probably not actually as terrifying as it sounds. Well, or it sounds like a Pokemon, too. Oh yeah just checking it’s a kind of cute shiny fish, not scary at all!

Movies:

Tuesday, August 16th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St, Sunderland, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Movie Night for Grown-Ups: 45 Years (R)
So hey just a little warning: this is basically a horror film if you’re currently in a relationship? It is really good but it will also make you stare deep into a pit of despair!

Politics:

Wednesday, August 17th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Represent Western MA
A grass-roots organization looking to put anti-corruption legislation on the books across America! Take a gander at what they’re trying to do locally!

RPGs:

Thursday, August 18th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Lose yourself in a new world of your own creation! Have fun with friends! Play an RPG!

Science:

Sunday, August 21st
Damon Education Center [46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Tales from the Trails: The Northampton Rail Trail and Beyond
The bike trail built on the bed of the old rail tracks will, when complete, be the longest interstate rail trail in the Northeast! And the trail from Boston to Northampton will be the longest in New England! Craig Della Penna will talk about the history of the corridors, how they changed from rail to rail-trail, and the cultural and economic impact of these big projects! He’ll illustrate the talk with then-and-now photos from his collection, including some rare ones!

Video Games:

Tuesday, August 16th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Camp Odyssey – Make Your Own Computer Game with Odyssey Webmaster Ann Childs (Ages 7+)
Learn how to make your own computer games! The thing is, we’re expecting a AAA product alright? So bring 150 of your closest friends and divvy up work appropriately. We’ve got to have a multiplayer component with some level-upgrade tracks too, that’s absolutely essential! You’re going to be working in Scratch with the Odyssey Webmaster! You can bring your own device or just create together on the big screen! There’s a $5 nonrefundable supply fee, or you can purchase one book to get two children in!
Thursday, August 18th
Moriarty’s Pub [755 Liberty St, Springfield, MA 01104] at 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Super Smash Bros Tournament
Super Smash Bros at the pub! Compete to win prizes for first, second, and third place and also get ready to compete in a secret tournament to be revealed the night of the event!

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August 8th – August 14th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We’re excited for this week! So many fun events. Obviously Nerd Nite is the best, but there are others! We’ve loved every Drink and Draw so far and we don’t imagine it’ll change this week.

Also we got Pokemon Y this week after being real into Pokemon Go and wanting the Real Deal and oh gosh Pokemon Go is fun but it can’t compete with a game that gives us the fuzzy lovekins that is the Bidoof! We’re going to talk to everyone at the PVGD meetup/potluck today about how great they are, and they will nod in agreement!

Also we’ve had a couple articles this week you should totally check out! Dank Dungeons is a funny, KC Green should by all rights be able to cartoon in peace forever off his meme money so make that happen, and Mass DiGI has produced some amazing games this year!

Also Legends of Fomora is back on, check that out! Local Creator Pat Nietupski is doing good work.

Also also check out Mother of Beasts! She makes incredible work and you need a familiar. You need a little goat-person to help you with your spells, that’s gonna up your combat potential and your ability to heal your pals a lot. You can get these awesome dolls made to order!

The end! Take a look at our Patreon folks, thank you!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Wednesday, August 10th
The 121 Club at Eastworks [116 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
TopatoCo Presents Drink and Draw!
Drink and Draw has been nonstop excellent, so come to this Drink and Draw! It’s amazing! The special guest for August is Danielle Corsetto! Best known for her long running comic Girls With Slingshots, Danielle has also written Adventure Time comics for Boom! Studios. This is so much fun regardless of your capacity to draw well, check it out!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 11:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Tiny Tour with tinydance
Join tinydance as they present their newest work – still we climb – during their tiny tour! This is a free performance! We hope the no-caps thing is what they actually want and it’s not just a mistake on the part of the Forbes listing!
Friday, August 12th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
The Norwood Engineering Building: A Florence Landmark
Built in 1870 by the eccentric artist Anthony Sheffield, the building has been occupied by business people and local entrepreneurs for 150 years! Photographers Paul Griffin and Peter Norman have documented the current community of artists, artisans, teacher, craftspeople, skilled tradespeople, business people and secret magicians! Reprints of historic images and documents from Historic Northampton and Forbes Library will give historic context! Learn about Florence!
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Free Second Friday
See the museum for only the amount of money they can guilt out of you! But for real it’s a great museum and if you didn’t have a couple bucks to see it before, no excuse not to check it out now!

Board Games:

Saturday, August 13th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Tabletop Game Day
Check out tabletop games with some very fun people! They tend to like Euro-style games with all those little cubes but they’re up for whatever you want to bring! Also the community room is actually a decent space it’s not like just everyone in the middle of the Burger King, it’s a separate place!

Books:

Friday, August 12th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Summer Reading Closing Ceremony
Everyone is invited to join the librarians at Forbes in celebrating the last days of summer reading! There will also be Knucklebones games and activities and the Oasis Puppet Theater!
Saturday, August 13th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Terry Tempest Williams, Hour of the Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks
National Parks are breathing spaces in a world where such spaces are disappearing rapidly, which is why so many people visit and love the US National parks. Williams writes lyrically about the grandeur and special character of each part of the park system while also discussing what it means to shape these wild spaces into something of our own making. Memoir, history, social critique, this has it all!

Card Games:

Saturday, August 13th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Eldritch Moon Game Day
On this the day of the Eldritch Moon we will gather to play probably Magic: the Gathering? It’s a $10 sign-up feed with standard decks, Dragons of Tarkir – Eldritch Moon. You can probably expect some fabulous prizes as well!
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant St., #B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Eldritch Moon Game Day Saturday
Standard format, FREE event event entry. All participants also get a free game day promo with the top 8 getting additional promos! The champion gets a Game Day Champion playmat! Also for this day, around half of the magic cards with just be standard cards like from a poker deck for added difficulty.
Saturday, August 14th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant St., #B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:30 AM to 7:30 AM
Eldritch Moon Game Day Sunday
Standard format, FREE event event entry. All participants also get a free game day promo with the top 8 getting additional promos! The champion gets a Game Day Champion playmat! Also for this day, no one is allowed to open their eyes while playing, making for an exciting game of imaginary Magic!

Comic Books:

Sunday, August 14th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Comic Creator’s Jam
Talk to your fellow comic fans and creators and fans of creators and play some games about making comics and getting better at your work on your comics! It’s a top-notch opportunity to talk to people who have skills you’ll envy and who will envy your skills!

Computers:

Monday, August 8th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM
AWS Lambda – Monthly Full Stack Meetup
Jim Chevalier, who works as Rails team lead at Common Media will be here to discuss Lambda, an environment he uses for small isolated tasks. He’s going to show you how to go from zero to full Lambda-backed API endpoint!

Entertainment:

Wednesday, August 10th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
I See You Have Studied Your Agrippa: The Princess Bride Sword Demonstration
Jeff Goodhind and Jeff Lord, the TOP JEFFS will show off the real historical techniques presented in The Princess Bride during the duel between Inigo Montoya and the Man in Black! They’re from the Association for Renaissance and Medieval Swordsmanship and they know their stuff.
Friday, August 12th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Free Fun Friday
You’ll get free self-guided tours of the museum, garden and grounds! You’re welcome to eat food and drink on the grounds but not in the Homestead! Take a look around the home of this artist who probably would not have wanted to hang out with you when she was alive because she just generally didn’t like hanging with most folks it’s not really a value judgement about you specifically.
Saturday, August 13th
The David Ruggles Center [225 Nonotuck St, Northampton, MA 01062] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Walking Tour with Wendy Sinton of the Sojourner Truth Statue Committee
This tour will teach you about the history of the Valley!

Kids:

Tuesday, August 9th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Duct Tape Bags – Summer Crafts
Make a duct tape bag out of some duct tape and then use it as a bag to carry things around! No problem for duct tape, the most versatile material on the planet!
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Camp Odyssey – Grass Hair Funny Face Jars
Decorate jars filled with seeds with mustaches, boys, googly eyes, google mustaches, google bows, bow eyes, etc! As the hair grows, you’ll see the face get funnier and funnier! There’s a nonrefundable $5 supply fee or a book purchase for two children to attend. Pre-register TODAY! Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com
Wednesday, August 10th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
The Toe Jam Puppet Band
Puppets will play instruments! People will also play instruments. Toes will get jammed!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Drive-In Movie: Zootopia
Bring a little cardboard box to sit in because that’s your car and then you can decorate it and then they can watch a cute movie and they’ll make you popcorn and aaaaaaaaw this is the most danged adorable thing in the world aaaaw dang.
Thursday, August 11th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
We Heart Books + Art
Pack a lunch to experience a full day of experiments and fun! Join the friendly staff at the Carle to get into some great picture books like Inside/Outside by Lizi Boyd, Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems, and Papa, Please Get Me the Moon by Eric Carle! Then make some artwork! Books, art, creativity, the best day!
Saturday, August 13th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Ed the Wizard: Reading is Magic!
Interactive magic performance with an emphasis on the true power of the wizened wizard: reading! Spells all gotta come from somewhere, right? Lots of volunteers will have the chance to participate! Grades K-12 are all invited! Free, no RSVP required!

Movies:

Wednesday, August 10th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Movie Night @ GPL – Mockingjay PT 1
See this classic YA novel adaptation on the semi-big screen at the GPL! The surrounding books give it extra power!
Saturday, August 13th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Hot Summer Saturday Movie Matinee: Chariots of Fire
Chariots of Fire is a historical drama about the Olympics! It’s about Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, both running for their own reasons. It explores the motivations of the men who ran incredibly fast after an enormous amount of training.
Sunday, August 14th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Film: The Wandering Muse
This movie explores the kaleidoscope of Jewish identities through the ever-changing music of the Jewish diaspora. Taking the music beyond the concert hall, the documentary shows us artists in their daily lives and in performance, highlighting the spontaneous magic of the creative process that transcends the struggles of a musician’s life. Featuring musicians Basya Schecter. Daniel Kahn, Enosh Marinag, Vanessa Paloma, Socalled, and others. Students for $4, Members for $6, General Admission for $8.

Science:

Monday, August 8th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nerd Nite NoHo
This month will be awesome! You should come. It’s about both race relations and software debugging! Also we’ll have special prizes for you this month just like last month!

Video Games:

Monday, August 8th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Minecraft Group
Minecraft is the game your child is already spending more time on than any other single activity so you might as well try to get them to talk to some other danged children in the process.

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The Mass DiGi Open House

We went to the Mass DiGi open house yesterday! It was really cool and we want to tell you about the games we saw. They’re not all available to play for you yet, but you can see some of the excellent games of past years here!

Slime Break:

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  • Adorable
  • Like Breakout
  • Also an infinite runner kind of
  • High scores!
  • Very pretty

We had a ton of fun trying this out, it’s an idea we cannot believe hasn’t been done a hundred times because it works so well. Basically it’s like Breakout, the game where you hit a bouncy ball with a paddle to break blocks at the top of the screen, but the blocks scroll in infinitely from the right-hand side of the screen.

This basically turns it into the best version of Breakout ever, because it removes the worst part of breakout which is trying to get like 2-3 little leftover blocks on a screen you’ve mostly cleared. The one thing we didn’t love is that there are often “bombs” that clear a bunch of stuff instead of allowing you to watch the ball bounce around a bunch and the levels are a bit short and a bit repetitive. With even a tiny bit of tweaking though, this could be a really amazing game instead of just a fun one!

Comet Cats:

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  • Cats
  • Sticky cats
  • Collectible cats
  • Physics!

We were very bad at this game but it was clearly a very neat game. It’s about tossing a bunch of cats into a box and trying to build your stack of cats high enough to grab sparkles which give you more time to stack more cats to grab more sparkles!

The cats stick together if they’re the same color, and the magical nega-cat can stick to any cat, making it an exceptionally useful kitty. The gameplay is straightforward and moreish, with just enough control to make the odd accidental toppling of a precarious cat-stack hit that much harder. It needs a little bit of tweaking with the cat-generator, though! They said that the reason we were terrible might have been that too few nega-cats spawned in our games, in addition to our just being bad at it.

Takeover Trail:

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  • Realpolitik
  • Clever plans
  • A map

We lost this one real bad without completely noticing which maybe points to the win/loss condition being a bit more hidden than it needs to be. The basic play is you’re on a 4-color map where every country has a number, you start as one country generating a bit of money, and you takeover others by basically buying the “propaganda” that allows you to take over countries if you have an equal or greater amount of propaganda than they do… countryness? So buy 1 yellow propaganda, take over any yellow country with a 1 on it. Buy 2, take over any yellow 1 or 2 countries, etc.

As you take over countries you generate more cash and you occasionally need to squash rebellions. The thing that caught us out was that there’s never really push-back on the map itself to your takeover, you just keep advancing. The opposing forces are represented by a steadily ticking meter in the top of the screen, which is a bit of a difficult thing to focus on while you’re tapping about. Still, this is an interesting take on the map-takeover genre, we were a fan of the idea of doing away with combat-type stuff entirely.

Colosseum Coach:

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  • Monsters
  • Gary
  • Sunglasses
  • Flirting

We’ve got a real thing for games where you put together a little team of people, regardless of whether there’s any real effect of their being individuals on the action. Colosseum Coach lets you build a little cadre of gladiators and outfit them in cool clothes to fight monsters.

The game is absolutely charming at the moment, with evocative artwork that really gets you into the mindset of how cool sunglasses look with gladiator sandals. Unfortunately it’s also a little basic. You basically just fight/block/do an effect that lasts the entire fight. There’s something here, and we’re interested in seeing where it goes, but at the moment it definitely feels a little too much of a foregone conclusion that your fighters either win or die, because you’re kind of just going -5, okay monster did -2, we’re winning this thing in a couple taps. Still there’s a lot of room to grow in terms of adding some equipping or positioning tactical stuff, and it does look practically perfect visually.

So that’s that! The open house was fun and the folks were all really nice and we got to pet a dog. It was amazing to see what these hard-working young people managed to put together in 3 danged months, and we absolutely can’t wait to see what these games become and see what else the people on these teams make! Check out Mass DiGi for games from prior years or to get involved yourself!

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Support Local Creator KC Green, Also Get Cute Plush Doggie Doll

There’s a new Kickstarter that you can pledge to in order to support one of our fair Valley’s great artists!

One of the first things we do when we talk about how the Valley has a surprising number of relatively unheralded influences on worldwide popular culture is mention KC Green. If someone hasn’t heard of his work, we ask if they’ve ever seen a cartoon of a room on fire with a dog sitting in it… and they immediately recognize what we’re talking about. KC makes amazing art in a ton of places, and we love it all, but this piece stands out as resonating deeply with a really wide audience.

Which is kind of annoying, since mostly what that has meant for our beloved local creator is that a bunch of people on image-sharing sites posted it with the attribution stripped and got a lot of likes.

Well, now is your chance to say to KC “Hey, good job making that terrifying dog-comic that became a meme because the world is kind of terrifying, and that new comic that’s slightly more hopeful despite also being terrifying

The Kickstarter has already exploded the goal for a plush doll of the This Is Fine doggie, but you should still get yours! It’s a cute doggie you can hug to feel slightly less afraid. It’s adorable and we highly recommend you grab one. There aren’t any stretch goals or nothing, just a cute doggie and a way to give KC some cash in exchange for a thing he made that you think is neat.