November 23rd – November 29th

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The Valley Nerd Watch!


Happy American Thanksgiving, everyone! It’s this week, in case you were not aware. During this holiday, Americans come together to eat things. In many ways, all of our holidays are about coming together to eat things. In this particular iteration we collectively dare each other to eat a whole turkey. Most people give up on the dare early, and just have friends and family come help out. Thus, a holiday is born.

Remember, Friendsgiving is also a thing! We know there are a lot of grad students out there in the Valley who might not have the resources to make it back home for a holiday on account of the atrocious rate of pay that grad students endure. What? Were we formerly grad students? Why would you ask? Anyway, if you too want to save some funds, invite over friends for a potluck of “whatever is tasty”. You don’t have to take the Turkey Dare if you don’t want to.

Finally, please no one reading this go shop on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. For real, do you need to? There’s basically nothing out there that’s getting more than like a 10% price drop in real terms. And when you go to a store and you see a real human who was forced to wake up at 3:00am to work the worst day of their year for $10 an hour, it hurts you in a manner that a few percent off a big-ticket consumer item cannot heal.

Do your deal-hunting on the appropriate day: the week after Christmas, when retailers are desperately offloading their stock.

Not a ton of events out there this week, for pretty obvious reasons. So in addition to events, we’re going to give you all a few recommendations for fun board games to play with people who maybe don’t have a ton of experience with board games or whatnot!

For one-on-FUN (one-on-one) we recommend Breaker Blocks! We got it at Topatocon, and it is good. Bit involved but no more so than any card game, and it’s about 15 minutes per match so that’s nice too.

For bigger games, we had a lot of fun with Mysterium recently. The rule book is a bit tough to figure out sometimes, but the basic game is simple. One player is The Ghost. One to six other players are The Mediums. The Ghost is attempting to communicate the Who, What, and How of a murder to the Mediums. But being a ghost the ghost can only do this via Ghoooostly Visions!

The gameplay amounts to the ghost player just going wild with frustration as they think “aaaaah these cards are so mysterious and hard to figure um uh er okay this one has some green in it and that person wears a bit of green maybe that will communicate it!” and it’s a real fun time of frustration and venting for all.

Also, try Cosmic Encounter, it’s impossible not to enjoy Cosmic Encounter.

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! And take a look at the Valley Creators page! It’s great!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, November 23rd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Session
So. You’re in the final stretch. Yes, the full scope and depth of the Uncanny Astounders Pentology is becoming apparent to you, the void screams as you wrench from it the secrets of the Great Words and weave together a world! So if you need help with that, check out this neat write-in session where you’ll get some help and encouragement.

Board Games:

DAY, November DATE
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix!
Heroclix! The only game in which you can pretend you’re the evil Puppet Master, controlling all of these heroes in a horrific forced battle to the death! Oh! You could do a Defenders themed team in celebration Jessica Jones coming out!
Tuesday, November 24th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Family Board Game Night
Librarian Tim Hayes is hosting a night of board games and snacks! This month will feature several titles from the collection, but visitors are invited to bring their own! Maybe the ones we’ve suggested above! Test them out before Thanksgiving.

Books:

Tuesday, November 25th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 – 8:00pm
UMass Press Reads at the Jones Library: John Bracey, James Smethurst & Friends
The UMass Press is pleased to bring another presentation in their Author Series for the month! This reading will feature readings from SOS- Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader. Bracey and Smethurst are both professors of Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst!

Computers:

Tuesday, November 24th
A SECRET LOCATION
Computing in the Cloud with AWS or Google – Monthly Full Stack Meetup
This month there’s staff from Stratus EMR and Fiksu talking about cloud computing using Google and AWS! If those words sounded like real words to you and not a magic spell, there’s a good chance you’ll be into this! Basically talking about using cloud services in a practical context for a business, neat! You need to join up at the meetup to see the location though!

Movies:

Monday, November 23rd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Northampton Committee to Stop War Presents: War Game
The Northampton Committee to t Stop War presents a free showing of War Game! This is a short animated feature about how war’s pretty fun! Just kidding, it’s horrifying and will encourage you not to support war. Hence, the committee showing it.

RPGs:

Saturday, November 28th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Public RPG: Mutants and Masterminds
Play in a monthly superhero themed RPG! Make that character you dreamed up when you were 11 that’s like Wolverine only she also has all of the Martian Manhunter’s powers a reality! Pre-made characters are also provided. Hosted by Crispy/Nola who we think is some sort of candy bar or possibly a shapeshifter.

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