February 14th – February 21st

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We have returned! No mere mortal malady may strike us down! These infernal migraines only increase our resolve to become stronger both mentally and physically! We have even delved into the dark arts, wresting from the universe what we will! And with these powers we will take our vengeance upon the hated Richards! And also put out a weekly newsletter!

Thanks for reading, here’s to another great year!

So we’ve been playing a bucketload of XCOM2 this past couple weeks. Here’s our brief review: XCOM2 is very good at presenting interesting puzzles to the player in such a way that heroic moments arise constantly. It’s a game about controlling a customizable little team of resistance fighters combating an alien takeover. It’s hard to describe what makes it so compelling to someone who isn’t already into tactical strategy games, but it’s sort of like playing with the most awesome action figures possible.

We named all of them after friends and family, so we get a lot of moments where [Mom] takes a shot at a monstrous alien and then carries [Good Pal] to a safe evac before they bleed out.

Also whoa hey, you hear about Gravity Waves this past week? Good word! To boil it down to the absolute essence: space is wobbly, but only on a very large scale. We can detect it now! It might end up being as big as discovering the telescope in terms of how much more information we can derive from the universe. It’s hugely exciting! Also secretly we hope this is somehow going to lead to “gravity manipulation” or something because it totally feels like the first 10 minutes of a high-concept sci-fi film.

Do you like comics? Check out some neat anthology collections that feature local creators! Restless Minds is a big color collection about imagination featuring local artist Jenny McKeon! Then 1001 Knights is a cool collection about what it means to be a knight! It features both Jenny McKeon and fellow local artist Alex Chaunyan! They co-create Eerie PD!

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 Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Tuesday, February 16th – Friday, February 19th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 9:30pm – 12:30pm
Imagine! A Writing Workshop for Authors Ages 8-12
Writing is something that you need to do really often in order to start being decent. Get started early, 8-12 year-olds! Get all the bad ideas out while you’re young enough that critique will be really measured, and then impress the heck out of people when you write War and Peace 2: Better! at age 13.
Wednesday, February 17th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 8:15pm
The Well-Tempered Ukes
Ukuleles are kind of like guitars but cuter and unable to be played more than 2 hours away from a beach as the crow flies. This trio will present an hour of new and old songs, and offer tips and insights into playing ukulele! Open to all ages, free to the public!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30pm – 6:30pm
Submissions and Revisions
Are you interested in writing? This is for you! A drop-in group to polish and send out submissions of your work to literary magazines, agents, and editors. This is a lonely, demoralizing process, so hang out with fellow writers! Pool your knowledge! Raise your spirits! Make new friends! The best things in life are there for the taking at … Submissions and Revisions. Hosted by writer in residence Naila Moreira
Friday, February 19th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main Street, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00pm – 2:00pm
“Don’t Tell!” Emily’s Strategies of Secrecy in Poems and Letters
Susan Snively is a guide, discussion leader, and script writer for the museum. She’s also a published author of both poems and novels, and she’ll be leading a discussion of the poetic strategy of Emily Dickinson, noted local poet!
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main Street, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Night at your Museum
Smithies! You can come hang out at the Smith College Musuem of Art for a cool party. We can’t, we’re not Smith students. So take advantage on our behalf! It’s got music and dances and a Smiffenpoof performance!
Sunday, February 21st
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Painting Workshop
Last painting workshop of the month! Get your little fighting people all gussied up so that people look at them and compliment your skill! Heck, win “best painting” prizes at tournaments! You can do it!

Board Games:

Tuesday, February 16th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Game Night
Experiment with the Palmer Library’s extensive collection of contemporary games, or bring your own! People will hang out and teach you the rules or hang out and be taught the rules by you! Also refreshments are provided!
Sunday, February 21st
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix
New Heroclix team: the Not-Quite-Pools! Pick out a team of every character that went into the construction of Deadpool! Deadshot, Wolverine, A Generic Ninja, Carrot Top, the possibilities are endless!

Books:

Thursday, February 18th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Jacqueline Sheehan, “Center of the World”
A New Your Times bestselling author will present her novel about a mother and her adopeted daughter who embark on a journey of self-discovery and stunning revelations! It sounds pretty danged dramatic.
Saturday, February 20th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 11:00pm
Funky Brunch at the Odyssey Bookshop with Picture Book author Josh Funk
Good GOSH we have never been more jealous of a last name. Imagine, anything you do with a name like that sounds neat! “Funk’s Prize”, “Eat at Funk’s”, “The Funk Equation” aaaah dang that’s neat. Anyway! Enjoy a breakfast feast and a reading of Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast. Sounds delicious!

Computers:

Thursday, February 18th
Amherst Media [246 College St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00pm
Western MA Drupal Meetup
Talk to folks about Drupal, a method of designing content for the web! Drupal seems pretty approachable, and there’s a big community in town thanks to the local Drupal-using web development concern Last Call Media! Drinks to follow at a place TBD at the meetup!

Entertainment:

Thursday, February 18th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Anime Club
Animation! Anime is a fun time for all, usually involving a sequence of veeeery slow powering up of psionic powers/physical powers/emotional strength/baking powers.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00pm
Cookies with a Curator
Cookies! Delicious cookies! Also, near these cookies Archivist Julie Bartlett Nelson will teach you about White House events int he Coolidge era. See scrapbooks of newsclippings, events, just really get a solid concept of the dinner parties the Coolidges used to host. Then take that knowledge and one-up them at your next dinner party!
Friday, February 19th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Pokemon Pika-Party Ikimasho!
We understand several of those words! Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the best game for kids so long as you avoid thinking too much about the world at all costs! Craft Pokemon, or design your own! Eat snacks, watch the Pokemon movie, and play Poke-trivia! For ages 11-17!
Sunday, February 21st
The David Ruggles Center [225 Nonotuck St, Northampton, MA 01062] at 2:00pm
Basil Dorsey Day: Rememberance of our Past
Basil Dorsey escaped slavery and came to Massachusetts, only to almost be re-captured under the Fugitive Slave Act. Thankfully, the community banded together to purchase his freedom. He was an interesting, worthwhile person who went through enormous effort to just live like a human being, and it is worth remembering him on this walking tour and discussion.

Movies:

Wednesday, February 17th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:35pm
Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was a guy who ran a wildly successful electronics company. This is the second big documentary about him, and has a slightly more interesting structure than the previous stock biopic. If you’re super into seeing a guy in a turtleneck say Sorkin dialog, you might like this!
Sunday, February 21st
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00pm
Film Screening: The Return
Before World War 2, poland was home to four million Jews, today only 15,000 live there. After the fall of the USSR in 1989, a young generation of Jews begain learning about their ancestry. The Return follows four women in their twenties who discovered they were Jewish in their teens and have become leaders in nascent Jewish enclaves. It sounds enlightening!

RPGs:

Thursday, February 18th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
RPG Club
Hang out at Palmer and role-play a person who is going on adventures! Maybe their adventures will take them to… Palmer? See how deeply you can nest your campagin! Make every move through a forest of difficult referential language!
Saturday, February 20th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 12:30pm – 4:00pm
D&D 5th Edition
Dungeons? Dragons? What? Where? Who? Down at Comics N’ More! They’re lousy with ’em! Stop by and play a while, why don’t you? Delightful host Neal Robinson will guide players new and old through rollicking adventure! New players welcome to join any session, pre-made characters available!

Science:

Wednesday, February 17th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Wednesday Wizards Science Fun
Sciiiience! Learning, fun, and general inspirational cool science this week. A guest presenter introduces a science concpet with a book and an activity to encourage creativity in kids!
Hampshire College, ASH Lobby [893 West St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00pm – 1:00pm
CS Lunch Talk: Reba Rosenberg – Investigating the Infant Mind
An interesting lecture at Hampshire focusing on cognitive development! Dr. Rosenberg’s talk focuses on the working memory capacity of infants, specifically how working memory improves with age. In particular, are we only improving due to learned techniques, or can some differences between larger and smaller working memory capacities be seen in infants? Also, surprising limitations in the number and type of items infants can represent! We are not joking when we say this sounds pretty excellent. Plus you can pretend you’re a Hampshire grad student!

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