Month: February 2015

Update: SciTech Cafe and RIFF RAF(F) RAFFLE Times

The times for the SciTech Cafe and RIFF RAF(F) RAFFLE were left out of the original posting here due to what we can only assume was sabotage, and we wanted to make certain everyone got the information.

The SciTech Cafe tonight begins at 6pm, and the RIFF RAF(F) RAFFLE begins at 7:00pm Sunday.

The original newsletter post has been updated as well!

February 23rd – March 1st

The Valley Nerd Watch!


In a town with 5 colleges and 500 grad students per square foot, it can get difficult keeping up with all the events in town that cater to the vaguely defined sub-cultural group we’ve decided to call nerds.

We’re here to help! We’ll let you know what trivia, gaming, science, comic, and just plain interesting events are happening in our fair Valley! Remember to tell them that the Nerd Watch sent you!

We’ve split it up like this:

Any one-off events around the Valley that are only happening this week, only happen a couple times a month, or any interesting updates to existing events will be in the Newsletter both here online and in your inbox.

Anything that happens on a fairly regular schedule every week will be moved to the “weekly events” portion of the website after it appears for the first time in the newsletter.

THIS WEEK


Board Games:

Saturday, February 28th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell St – Hadley MA, 01035] 10:30am
Warhammer 40k Tournament
Come hang out and play Warhammer, on the big tables with terrain on them and all that! Armies can be up to 1850 points, registration starts at 10:30am, starts at 11:00. There’s a $15 Fee, and you can sign up at www.the131.com/forum.
Greenfield Games [41 Russell St – Hadley MA, 01035] at 1:30pm – 5:00pm
Winter Auction 2015
The Winter Auction! Lots of interesting stuff is on offer this year. You can come to the store and place a bid, or bring in whatever interesting nerdy items you think will fetch a good price, and if they sell you’ll receive the full amount in store credit at Greenfield Games! The silent bidding portion of the auction started yesterday, but you can still bring in items for people to bid on! Lots close Saturday at around 4:30pm. It all ends with the live auction on Saturday, and you won’t want to miss the excitement! You can check out some of the items available in this Facebook album!

Comics:

Thursday, February 26th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Graphic Novel Book Club
Join the friendly people at Modern Myths as they discuss the finest graphic novels on offer! There’s a $5 entry fee, but you get that back in a $5 voucher for the store. Free entry with proof of purchase of the book from Modern Myths! February’s Graphic Novel is “Strong Female Protagonist Volume 1”!

Science:

Monday, February 23rd
Amherst Brewing Company [10 University Drive, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00pm
SciTech Cafe
Come see Professor Gary Felder present on dark matter! Learn what the universe is made of, and how we know. Learn the difference between dark matter and dark energy. Learn how we find out what they’re both made of! Maybe learn how to harness the secret forces of darkness to take over the world?

RPGs:

Saturday, February 28th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Star Wars RPG
Modern Myths hosts sessions of the Fantasy Flight Star Wars roleplaying game, using rules from all the published sourcebooks. The game started in January, but you can stop by and I’m sure they’d be excited to write you into the adventure!
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm
Mutants and Masterminds
Comics n’ More hosts a special play session of Mutants and Masterminds this weekend!

Video Games:

Sunday, March 1st
The Quarters [8 Railroad St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 7:00pm
MAKETALKPLAY RIFF RAF(F) RAFFLE!!!
Presented by Raf Anzovin, president of local animation studio “Anzovin Studio”, this is a night of comedy and prizes to raise money for the Pioneer Valley Game Developers! Come see an interesting presentation by Raf about his studio’s experience in game design, followed by the comedy stylings of Dave Boutilier! Finally, the RIFF RAF(F) RAFFLE itself will give you the opportunity to win such fabulous prizes as: 
3Doodler , the Middle-Earth Quest Board Game, a Joy of Despair Comic by Dave Mercier, some HitPoint Studios Swag, some Artmuffin Art, a Quarters Gift Certificate, a Woodpenny Basketball Game, or a Leap Motion Controller! And that’s just the prizes they’ve announced so far!

February 16th-22nd

The Valley Nerd Watch!


In a town with 5 colleges and 500 grad students per square foot, it can get difficult keeping up with all the events in town that cater to the vaguely defined sub-cultural group we’ve decided to call nerds.

We’re here to help! We’ll let you know what trivia, gaming, science, comic, and just plain interesting events are happening in our fair Valley!

We’ve split it up like this: any one-off events around the Valley that are only happening this week, only happen a couple times a month, or any interesting updates to existing events will be up top in “This Week”. Anything that happens every single week without fail or much in the way of alteration will be in the “Weekly Events” section at the bottom.

THIS WEEK


Board Games:

Thursday, February 19th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Miniatures Paint and Play
Join the friendly people at Modern Myths for an afternoon of miniature painting! If you don’t know how, their experts will show you! Bring some supplies or use the ones they have. There’s a $5 entrance fee, BUT all attendees get a mini to work on and then keep!

Card Games:

Saturday, February 21st
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00am – 10:00pm
Preliminary ProTour Qualifiers
Win a seat at the regional ProTour Qualifier of your choice! The PTQs are being held April 25th, and the closest ones are in Catskill, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and Montreal, Quebec. (We here at the Nerd Watch highly recommend you check out Montreal, it’s a great city!) A cash prize Travel Award of $200 will be part of the first place prize, to help you make the trek.
Registration Opens at 9AM
$40 Sealed Deck @ 10AM
$25 Standard @ 1PM
$25 Modern @ 4PM
GUARANTEED PRIZE SUPPORT FOR EACH EVENT:
Up to 64 players (6 rounds):
1st = Invitation to Regional ProTour Qualifier on April 25, 2015, $200 Travel Award
2nd = 2 Booster Boxes (72 packs)
3rd/4th = 1 Booster Box (36 packs)
5th-8th = ½ Booster Box (18 packs)
9th-22nd Place, players with:
13-14 Match Points = 12 Booster Packs
12 Match Points = 6 Booster Packs
Play a gigantic amount of Magic, win some boosters!
Saturday, February 21st
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00am – 11:00pm
Fate Reforged Sealed League February
The month long Magic sealed league kicked off again last month. Come and join! It’s only $25 and you get a full month of play and prizes! Matches can be played any day at any time, and play for this month runs through the 21st.
Saturday, February 21st
Greenfield Games [228 Main St Greenfield, MA 01301] at 2:00 – 7:00pm
First Ever Netrunner Store Championship
Netrunner! The game of cyber-kings. Come to the lovely Greenfield Games and experience the excitement that is one of the very few asymmetrical competitive card games! There are prizes too! First place gets a plaque, and a card granting a first-round bye at the regional championship of their choice. The top four players get a playmat, the top eight get a deck box, and the top thirty-two get one alternate art card! There’s a $5 entry fee.

Science:

Wednesday, February 18th
Earth [Solar System, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group, Virgo Supercluster, Universe] at Night
New Moon
A new moon! Without all that pesky reflected light, you can see fainter objects during your peer into the infinite! A great time to go out and get really cold and see if you can spot distant galaxies.
Thursday, February 19th
Neilson Library Browsing Room at Smith College [7 Neilson Dr. Northampton, MA 01063] at 5:00pm
Using Neurotechnologies to Enhance Virtues: A Posthuman Model for Cultivating Character
Are you interested in Buddhism, neuroscience, and new technology? Man! What luck! This is probably the only event that’s going to fire all your cylinders for a while. Come see James Hughes, director of the surprisingly sinister-sounding Cyborg Buddha Project, present about how he sees neurotech altering the human search for personal growth. We’re almost certain this guy can help you win that Netrunner championship. Check out his 2013 paper on the topic, and his TEDx talk as well!
Sunday, February 22nd
Earth [Solar System, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group, Virgo Supercluster, Universe] at Sunset
Conjunction of Venus and Mars
Well, they missed Valentine’s day, but Venus and Mars are getting together this week! These two lovely planets will be separated by a mere half a degree in the evening sky! Look west just after sunset to see this impressive sight.

WEEKLY EVENTS *UPDATED*


Board Games:

Monday, February 16th
Community Room [Burger King, 334 King Street Northampton MA 01060] at 5:30pm – 10:00pm
Northampton Scrabble Club
Love Scrabble? Come play with nice people! Players of all ages, abilities, and personalities are welcome. Call (413) 387-9678 for more information
Wednesday, February 18th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell St – Hadley MA, 01035] *NEW*
Miniature Gaming With The 131
Come hang out and play miniatures games! Warhammer and the like, on the big tables with terrain on them and all that.
Thursday, February 19th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Board Game Playing and Learning Night
Experts available to teach and play board games with you and your friends! They take requests, too! No experience needed.
Saturday, February 21st
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 11:00pm
Board Game Night
Come hang out and play board games from the stock at Modern Myths! Try something new or just get the players you need for an old favorite.

Card Games:

Monday, February 16th *NEW*
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell St – Hadley MA, 01035] *NEW*
Commander/EDH
Play Magic, maybe win prizes!
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Magic Booster Draft
Play Magic, maybe win prizes! $10 cover.
Tuesday, February 17th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Legacy with Unlimited Proxies
Play Magic, maybe win prizes! $5 cover goes to the prize pool. Anyone with a positive record gets a prize!
Wednesday, February 18th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:30pm – 10:00pm
Commander/EDH night Magic
Buy-in is $5, everyone gets a participation pack and a chance for prizes. If you don’t want to buy in, you can play for free but you don’t get a shot at prizes!
Thursday, February 19th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Thursday Night Modern
Play Magic again! Constructed Modern event similar to Friday Night Magic. Entry is $5, and there are booster pack prizes.
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell St – Hadley MA, 01035] *NEW*
Magic Draft
Play Magic, maybe win prizes!
Friday, February 20th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Friday Night Magic
Play magic, meet new people, maybe win foil prize cards. $16 entry fee, tax included. Draft format. Prize pool: 1.5 packs per player, everyone gets at least one prize pack and top players get one or two more.
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Friday Night Magic
Play magic, meet new people, maybe win prize cards. $5 entry fee. Constructed Type II (Standard). Prize pool: booster packs and store credit.
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell St – Hadley MA, 01035] *NEW*
Friday Night Magic Modern Tournaments
Play Magic, maybe win prizes!

RPGs:

Monday, February 16th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Ongoing RPG Night
Join people at Modern Myths for their regular evening of ongoing campaigns! It’s a great time to join another group or find players for your own ongoing game. You can also join people for Dungeons and Dragons Expeditions using your Adventurer’s League character or contact Modern Myths to set up your own game! Admission is by Day Pass, $5 that you get back in store credit. DMs/GMs play Free!
Tuesday, February 17th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00pm – 10:00pm
D&D Encounters
A D&D adventure one short encounter at a time. Great for new players and old hands. New storyline every couple months.
Wednesday, February 18th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm
D&D Encounters
A D&D adventure one short encounter at a time. Great for new players and old hands. New storyline every couple months, $5 entry fee that you get back in store credit.
Sunday, February 22nd
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm
Pathfinder Society Organized Play
Epic play in the world of Golarion over the course of multiple seasons, during which you and your fellow Pathfinders create an ongoing storyline. Each season consists of at least 28 4-hour adventures. $5 entry fee that you get back in store credit. NOTE: Modern Myths is looking for Pathfinder GMs! GMs get free passes and store credit for running full tables. Contact them for details.
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell St – Hadley MA, 01035] *NEW*
Pathfinder Society
Epic play in the world of Golarion over the course of multiple seasons, during which you and your fellow Pathfinders create an ongoing storyline. Each season consists of at least 28 4-hour adventures.

Trivia:

Monday, February 16th
The Quarters [8 Railroad Street, Hadley, MA 01035]
Trivia Night
Teams can be 1-5 people, and it’s $5 per person to enter. There are cash prizes and gift certificates for the top 3 teams. Nerdy trivia in general, probably up your alley if The Quarters itself appeals to you.
Tuesday, February 17th
Amherst Brewing Company [10 University Drive, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:30pm *NEW*
Trivia Night 
There is little information about this mysterious trivia night but you can probably expect undergrads.
The Harp [163 Sunderland Road, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00pm
Trivia Night 
Teams can be as big as you feel like! Usually lots of undergrads, for good or ill!
Thursday, February 19th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz Street, Northampton, MA 01060] at 8:00pm
Trivia Night
Teams can be 1-5 people, and it’s $5 per person to enter. There are cash prizes for the top 3-5 teams. The trivia is well-curated and idiosyncratic due to the fact that it has been put on by the same person for 5 years. It’s also hard as all living heck most nights, don’t get discouraged!

February 8th-15th

Welcome to the inaugural Valley Nerd Watch!


In a town with 5 colleges and 500 grad students per square foot, it can get difficult keeping up with all the events in town that cater to the vaguely defined sub-cultural group we’ve decided to call nerds.

We’re here to help! We’ll let you know what trivia, gaming, science, comic, and just plain interesting events are happening in our fair Valley!

We’ve split it up like this: any one-off events around the Valley that are only happening this week, only happen a couple times a month, or any interesting updates to existing events will be up top in “This Week”. Anything that happens every single week without fail or much in the way of alteration will be in the “Weekly Events” section at the bottom.

THIS WEEK


Art:

Sunday, February 15th
Westhampton Public Library [1 North Road Westhampton, MA 01027] at 2:00pm
Art in the Face of Mortality: A Sampling of Gravestone Art in the CT River Valley
What it says on the tin! See some of the interesting and we’re guessing skull-filled artwork decorating local gravestones.

Books:

Thursday, February 12th
Forbes Library [20 West Street, Northampton, MA 01060]
Friends of Forbes Raffle
Enter all week for a chance to win a Kindle Fire and other gifts! $1 per entry, $5 for six entries! The raffle drawing is on Thursday at a time they’ve chosen to keep secret. Just camp out I guess?
Sunday, February 8th – Saturday, February 14th
Edwards Library [30 East Street, Southampton, MA 01073]
Have a Blind Date with a Book
Read a book without judging it by its cover, then complete a review form to either introduce another reader to a great book or save them from great pain!

Card Games:

Saturday, February 14th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00pm
Fate Reforged Game Day, Day 1
All participants receive an exclusive promo while supplies last. Top 9 players receive an exclusive full-art promo card. In addition, the first place will receive an exclusive limited-edition playmat. 
Registration begins at 1pm, play begins at 2pm!
Sunday, February 15th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00pm
Fate Reforged Game Day, Day 2
See above!
Registration begins at 1pm, play begins at 2pm!

Computers:

Saturday, February 14th
Owl and Raven Co-Working Space [2 Conz St Unit #42 Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00pm
Code-In
A Valentines day Code-In! Owl and Raven is a co-working space where you can bring a laptop and an idea to work on and just hang out learning and working in the company of others. Even if you don’t know how to code yet, you can help other people out! Everyone needs documentation and design help.

Science:

Sunday, February 8th
Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary [127 Combs Road Easthampton, MA 01027] at 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Winter Crows
Slide program on crows followed by a trip to see one of their nighttime roosts! Play your cards right and you might get elected Crow King by the crafty corvids.
Monday, February 9th
Eastworks [2 Conz St Unit #42 Northampton, MA 01060]
Two interesting talks in a friendly setting! 
‘Welcome to Your Brain: Reality is a Biologically Constrained Illusion’ by Kristina Curro, a PhD candidate at Umass
‘Profound Games: Empathy, Community, and Teamwork at the Table’ by Joshua Yearsley, a freelance editor specializing in board games.
Thursday, February 12th
Springfield Museums [21 Edwards St Springfield, MA 01108]
Live Birds of Prey
Tom Ricardi, of the Mass. Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Facility, gives this Thursday’s a la carte lecture.
$4 to attend.

WEEKLY EVENTS


Board Games:

Thursday, February 12th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Board Game Playing and Learning Night
Experts available to teach and play board games with you and your friends! They take requests, too! No experience needed.
Saturday, February 14th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 11:00pm
Board Game Night
Come hang out and play board games from the stock at Modern Myths! Try something new or just get the players you need for an old favorite.

Card Games:

Monday, February 9th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Magic Booster Draft
Play Magic, maybe win prizes! $10 cover.
Tuesday, February 10th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Legacy with Unlimited Proxies
Play Magic, maybe win prizes! $5 cover goes to the prize pool. Anyone with a positive record gets a prize!
Wednesday, February 11th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:30pm – 10:00pm
Commander/EDH night Magic
Buy-in is $5, everyone gets a participation pack and a chance for prizes. If you don’t want to buy in, you can play for free but you don’t get a shot at prizes!
Thursday, February 12th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Thursday Night Modern
Play Magic again! Constructed Modern event similar to Friday Night Magic. Entry is $5, and there are booster pack prizes.
Friday, February 13th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Friday Night Magic
Play magic, meet new people, maybe win foil prize cards. $16 entry fee, tax included. Draft format. Prize pool: 1.5 packs per player, everyone gets at least one prize pack and top players get one or two more.
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Friday Night Magic
Play magic, meet new people, maybe win prize cards. $5 entry fee. Constructed Type II (Standard). Prize pool: booster packs and store credit.

RPGs:

Monday, February 9th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Ongoing RPG Night
Join people at Modern Myths for their regular evening of ongoing campaigns! It’s a great time to join another group or find players for your own ongoing game. You can also join people for Dungeons and Dragons Expeditions using your Adventurer’s League character or contact Modern Myths to set up your own game! Admission is by Day Pass, $5 that you get back in store credit. DMs/GMs play Free!
Tuesday, February 10th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00pm – 10:00pm
D&D Encounters
A D&D adventure one short encounter at a time. Great for new players and old hands. New storyline every couple months.
Wednesday, February 11th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm
D&D Encounters
A D&D adventure one short encounter at a time. Great for new players and old hands. New storyline every couple months, $5 entry fee that you get back in store credit.
Sunday, February 15th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm
Pathfinder Society Organized Play
Epic play in the world of Golarion over the course of multipe seasons, during which you and your fellow Pathfinders create an ongoing storyline. Each season consists of at least 28 4-hour adventures. $5 entry fee that you get back in store credit. NOTE: Modern Myths is looking for Pathfinder GMs! GMs get free passes and store credit for running full tables. Contact them for details.

Trivia:

Monday, February 9th
The Quarters [8 Railroad Street, Hadley, MA 01035]
Trivia Night
Teams can be 1-5 people, and it’s $5 per person to enter. There are cash prizes and gift certificates for the top 3 teams. Nerdy trivia in general, probably up your alley if The Quarters itself appeals to you.
Tuesday, February 10th
The Harp [163 Sunderland Road, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00pm
Trivia Night 
Teams can be as big as you feel like! Usually lots of undergrads, for good or ill!
Thursday, February 12th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz Street, Northampton, MA 01060] at 8:00pm
Trivia Night
Teams can be 1-5 people, and it’s $5 per person to enter. There are cash prizes for the top 3-5 teams. The trivia is well-curated and idiosyncratic due to the fact that it has been put on by the same person for 5 years. It’s also hard as all living heck most nights, don’t get discouraged!

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!

Thank you to our generous Patrons, who keep the site running!

Liz Popolo – professional artist, puzzle gamer, local organizer, and bird nerd!

Donate to our Patreon: Here!

Follow our Twitter for daily updates: @ValleyNerdWatch

Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ValleyNerdWatch

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