February 1st – February 7th

The Valley Nerd Watch!

Oh gosh, everyone! The SciTech Cafe last week was awesome. Not only because we got to find out about quantum mechanics, the science with most “ooooooh weird” moments per minute for a hundred years running. No, it was perfect because literally every question at the event came from a little kid. Like, max 10. And they were spot-on! They immediately picked up all the pertinent vocabulary and explored the concepts systematically! They listened to each other and the answers to prior questions and then expanded on the concepts!

Seriously it made us so happy to see that little kids are into figuring things out. We gotta say, we’ve been to events previously where people basically use Q&A sessions to demonstrate how smart they are instead of actually engaging with the presenter. It was lovely to see a Q&A session go really well.

On a totally different note: based on the advice of a real cool audience member at the last Nerd Nite, we recently watched The Expanse! It is a good show so far! Interesting basic premise explored in a way that’s consistently engaging. Good mid-budget space special effects and slightly harder-science stuff with regards to travel and living conditions and such. We look forward to seeing more! Way neater than we expected from SyFy, traditionally kind of a crud factory.

Be on the lookout for games that came out of the Global Game Jam 2016! It was this past weekend. Games made at game jams are usually half-formed bits of weirdness that expand the field of what people think is possible, and they sometimes hide real gems. Go ahead and look for creators from the Valley in that list! We’re going to try to get a list up of all the games made by locals this week!

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!



Friday, February 5th
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St., Northampton, MA 01063] at 12:15pm – 12:45pm
Kathe Kollwitz Gallery Talk by Barry Moser
Noted illustrator and printmaker Barry Moser shares his insights into the work of Kathe Kollwitz. Kollwitz was a painter, printmaker, and sculptor who basically made naturalistic work about victims of poverty, hunger, and war.
Saturday, February 6th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00am – 1:00pm
Papercut Shadow Box Craft (Ages 10 and up)
Ah, sounds cool. Make a box out of shadows with which to confound and deter enemies from your secret treasures. Keep ’em secret, keep ’em safe! Or it’s a box to store shadows? Or… is it a box to store papercuts so you don’t need to keep them on your fingertips? Hm. Sounds like a useful craft regardless!
Sunday, February 7th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Painting Workshop
Painting is a ton of fun! Not just painting Standard Style on a flat surface, but also painting miniatures! Miniatures are fun to use in a lot of games, but wow do they make a more effective-looking little adventuring team when they’re all nice and painted. Join the crew at Modern Myths to learn useful techniques! Take a painted miniature home! It’s happening again this week!

Board Games:

Today – Saturday, February 6th
Greenfield Games [228 Main St Greenfield, MA 01301] at All Week!
The Greenfield Games Winter Auction 2016!
The Winter Auction! The perfect time for you to offload old games you’re not into anymore or to pick up new games you think seem awesome! You can bring in items for Greenfield Games to auction until Saturday! The Silent Auction will begin on the 6th, and run until the 13th. The Live Auction will be February 13th Noon – 3:00pm! What a chance for deals! What a splended week!


Wednesday, February 3rd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 8:30pm
The Massachusetts Review: Author Panel
The Massachusetts Review publishes fiction and nonfiction that aims to offer readers new ways of seeing their own lives and the lives of others. In this event, the Review presents three local authors whose work is neat! Ruth Ozeki, Novelist, Eric Henry Sanders, Author and Playwright, and Michael Thurston, author. Wait. What makes you an Author vs a Novelist? Is it that Authors write Non-Fiction? Get back to us about this!
Thursday, February 4th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 6:00pm
Varian Johnson, “To Catch a Cheat: A Jackson Greene Novel” Pizza Party
Full disclosure: if you have pizza at your event, we are 1000% more interested. Come eat F R E E P I Z Z A with Varian Johnson, author of some excellent novels about middle-school mastermind con-man Jackson Greene and his gang of presumably equally nefarious pals. Bring your kids, teach them the art of the long and short con!
Friday, February 6th
The Eric Carle Museum [125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30pm – 4:00pm
First Book Friendiversary!
The Carle teams up with First Book to observe an annual celebration of friendship and reading! Join characters Elephant and Piggie, and get a free book from local childrens author Mo Willems!


Tuesday, February 2nd
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Join a regular rendezvous of people who make things for the web! Talk to people who do work like your work


Thursday, February 4th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Anime Club
We’re hip. We know what’s up with anime. Have you heard of… Cowboy Bebop? Yeah. That’s a deep cut, most people don’t know it. It’s pretty cool though. Almost as cool and in-touch as we are. Bring it up at Anime Club to impress people!


Saturday, February 6th
Dinner & Jodorowsky’s Dune (The Greatest Science Fiction Movie Never Made)
Join the people of the Western Mass Sci-Fi Meetup to eat and watch a screening of a movie about a movie that didn’t ever get made! It does seem neat, Jodorowsky had some cool ideas about a very trippy take on Dune. Join the meetup to see the location! Bring $5 to cover the cost of food.
Sunday, February 7th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00pm
Film: “Raise the Roof”
Inspired by the magnificent wooden synagogues of 18th-century Poland, the last of which were destroyed by Nazis, artists Rick and Laura Brown set out to reconstruct a replica of the stunning Gwodzdziec synagogue! It’s amazing, took 300 artisans, and used only period techniques. Watch a documentary about this feat! General admission $8, student $4.


Thursday, February 4th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 10:30pm
Indie RPG Night
Indie RPG Night is a great opportunity to meet new people who are the best and coolest as well as to play interesting games! Many of these games are by local creators, too! Sometimes you meet the local creators, which is neat. It’s a great way to find out about games you might otherwise never see! It costs $5 to attend, but you get it back immediately in store credit.
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
RPG Club
Role-playing! It’s not just for Tom Hanks in that one movie. It’s a fun time where you can pretend to be someone you aren’t. Hop into a new headspace! Maybe try being brave? Or cowardly! Try avarice on for size! RPGs are basically the only chance you get to test-run motivations.


Wednesday, February 3rd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
First Wednesday Speaker Series: Jurassic Road Show
This sounds awesome! Sarah Doyle and her team of amateur and pro paleontologists will bring their Jurassic Road Show with dino footprints, raindrop impressions, mud cracks, and insect trails! Learn about life forms and climate during the Jurassic Period! Make new dinosaurs! Release them! Nature finds a way, and then Science finds a way to make that way way cooler!
Saturday, February 6th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00pm
Science in Exile: Albert Francis Blakeslee and Saphie Satin in Northampton
First: awesome names. Well done, parents of these scientists! That’s a real Protagonisty pair of names. C. John Burk, a biologist at Smith, will talk about these two eminent geneticists who conducted botanical research at Smith College after they were exiled for coming up with a way to control plants and going on a series of daring bank robberies in Boston.

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