Month: October 2016

Halloween to November 6th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Happy Halloween! We had a great Halloween party this weekend where we were the prettiest princess and also we’re playing horror games all weekend and also watching horror films, which is why Halloween should always be a Monday.

Also in not Halloween news we finally got to try out a Vive VR headset and the Tilt Brush paint program and DAAAANG for real that is incredible in a way that is difficult to emphasize enough. It feels like you’re sculpting in zero gravity, and basically also like you’re a wizard.

We aren’t so great at sculpting so our creation was basically a glowing lines stick figure but we saw other folks make truly impressive sculpted creations in a really short time. It’s super interesting how unintuitive and difficult it looks when you watch someone work on the 2D monitor and then how simple and fun it is when you can see it in 3D!

Though prices being what they are we’re probably going to be getting one two decades from now.

Hey it’s still Halloweekend so you should play a horror game too! We recommend either Betrayal at House on the Hill or Dread or The Dread Geas of Duke Vulku or Monsterhearts or Fear The Living! It’s kind of weird that legit all the Halloween-themed board games and RPGs are from the Valley. Oh wait no it isn’t all the best games are from this, the happiest of valleys!

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


Art:

Wednesday, November 2nd
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
NaNoWriMo Teen Writing Workshop (Ages 12 and up)
Are you writing a novel this month? Wow! That seems like, wildly difficult. Jeez. Well, if you’re doing that extremely difficult task you should get some help! Hang out with other Teen Writers and get some motivation and encouragement! Write the Best Novel and become world-famous!
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Global Artists Speak at the Mead – Zanele Muholi
Join South African photographer and activist Zanele Muholi in conversation with Wendy Ewald, photographer and visiting artist-in-residence at Amherst College. Followed by a reception. Both do impressive work!
Thursday, November 3rd
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Amherst Arts Night Plus: Poetry Night and Book Launch
A book launch and reading with Hannah Fries, Author of Little Terrarium. The title is a reference to the body that holds the person and the world that holds the people. Fries’ poems evoke wonder through lyricism and cover the gamut of human conscious experience to the five hearts of nightcrawlers. It sounds neat!
Friday, November 4th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
An Evening with Emily: Songs by Copland, Hall, Harbach, and Walker
An intimate performance in the parlor of the Amherst Women’s Club of Dickinson given by award-winning soprano Molly Fillmore! Accompanied by pianist Elvia Puccinelli, Fillmore will perform the popular Aaron Copeland song 12 Poems of Emily Dickinson. Jeez this night sounds classy as all get out wow.
Saturday, November 5th
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Free November 5 Family Day
A ton of stuff is going on! There’s a grand tour, there’s LEGO Architecture, there’s free refreshments, there’s a food truck (bring cash), there’s a bunch of prints and postcards and such, it’ll be a great time! Plus you get to see one of our favorite museums for free!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Mural Unveiling and Celebration!
There’s a new mural in the children’s department by local author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka, who’ll do a reading after the unveiling! It’s going to be a reminder of the fact that Northampton is a pretty delightful town.
Sunday, November 6th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Gallery Talk | Balka’s Lower East Side with Laura Kruger
Curator Laura Kruger will talk about the YBC’s new visiting exhibit! It’s a multi-artist exhibit that focuses on the experience of Eastern European immigrants to New York “The Big Apple” City’s Lower East Side!

Board Games:

Tuesday, November 1st
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Sunderland Library Chess Club
Play the game of thrones! It’s one of the most popular games in the world for a reason. This club is available to anyone, expert or beginner! Study famous games and learn great strategies! Become the best at Chess and then travel the world defeating all comers on a journey to achieve the dream of becoming The Ruler of Chess! Children 3rd Grade and younger must be accompanied by adults!
Wednesday, November 2nd
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Game On
Play some board games with your pals! It’s a bunch of fun to play board games and the library has some games for you to play! Or bring your own, it’s a good idea.

Books:

Saturday, November 5th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Richard Michelson, FASCINATING: The Life of Leonard Nimoy
A biography for children of Leonard Nimoy, the iconic Mr. Spock of Star Trek! Leonard Nimoy had a tough time breaking into acting but his experience as the son of immigrants helped him mold Spock into one of fiction’s most memorable characters!
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Local Author John Sheirer Presents: Making Common Sense Common Again
Do you think politics are wacky? Correct! This local author will take a comedic look at the world of politics and make you say “wow! yes it would be nice if people did things sensibly instead of in a silly manner!”
Sunday, November 6th
140 Pine St., Florence, MA 01062 at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Plagiarama! An Afternoon with author Geoffrey Sanborn
The David Ruggles Center is excited to sponsor an afternoon celebrating the publication of Geoffrey Sanborn’s book Plagiarama that explores African American abolitionist and literary figure William Wells Brown. He was also a great writer and became the first published African-American playwright in 1858! And he published the first history of African Americans in the Revolutionary War. Seems like someone worth learning about!

Community:

Wednesday, November 2nd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
FAFSA Q&A
Local higher ed professional TearNee Sodders will help you figure out this incredibly scary process! FAFSA is important because college costs a crudload so get every advantage you can!
Saturday, November 5th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
FAFSA Q&A
See above, but it’s a different time!

Computers:

Tuesday, November 1st
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
A regular meetup of folks who code! No need to bring your laptop, just go hang out with folks who code and talk to them about how annoying seg faults are or why you hate people changing their design specs midstream!
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM
One-on-One Tech Tutoring
You can register for one-hour one-on-one sessions in English or Spanish if you have a valid library card! You do need to call 413-420-8118 to register at least 24 hours beforehand! Learn how to use technology in a friendly setting with wonderful library folks!
Thursday, November 3rd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Introduction to Computers
Learn about computers and computing from the ground up! You’ll get introduced to the basic concepts behind what makes computers work and slowly work your way up to building an AI robot person with superhuman strength and a driving need to understand what this human… love… is?
Amherst Media [246 College St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
November 2016 Western Mass Drupal Users Group Meeting
Do you Drupal? Drupal with other Drupalers at this session! Get help with your ongoing projects or get started with Drupal!

Entertainment:

Monday, October 31st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Halloween Party!
Show off your Halloween costume, pick up some treats, play some games, and get tricked! Best costume will be trapped forever in the nether zone that the library was built on top of as a sort of mystical barrier.
Tuesday, November 1st
The Quarters [8 Railroad St., Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM
National Vegan Day
A whole menu of tasty vegan treats! BLT, Pulled Pork, Fried Brussel Sprouts, Chili… wait… wait a second folks we don’t know if The Quarters knows what vegan food is. There’s also Planet Earth on the projector!

Kids:

Thursday, November 3rd
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Crafternoons at the Library
Craft things at the library! You can make buttons in the button maker, make jewelry, color, whatever idea you may have!
Saturday, November 5th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Hazel Mitchell, Toby
Author and illustrator Hazel Mitchell will be at Odyssey to give a reading and do a draw-along workshop for her new book about her dog Toby! Toby is a good dog name and also, a good dog! We know this because all dogs are good, dogs are the best.
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
I dealt a word of Gold’ Writing at the Emily Dickinson Museum: A Program for Junior Girl Scouts
Earn your Junior Scribe badge while learning about the trailblazing poet Emily Dickinson! It’s a behind-the-scenes tour of the Dickinson home and landscape. Harness your inner poet, Scouts!
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Paintbox Theatre Presents: Grace for President
Grace is running for school president! But to get that coveted position she needs to campaign! Paintbox will distract and entertain you for the weekend before the real election! Distract yourself from the existential dread that suffuses your every waking moment this campaign season!

Movies:

Thursday, November 3rd
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Campaign by Kazuhiro Soda
Kazuhiro Soda shot Campaign in 2005, following along a political campaign in Kawasaki Japan run by Kazuhiko Yamauchi, an inexpeirenced new candidate.

RPGs:

Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Dungeons and Dragons
Dungeons? Easy. Dragons? Now we’re cooking with gas. D&D is a ton of fun! It’s an opportunity to hang out with friendly folks, it’s a chance to play-act as someone different than yourself, and it’s a fun game about stealing everything that isn’t nailed down and killing like basically everyone you meet!
Friday, November 4th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Rd., Chesterfield, MA] at 8:00 PM to 12:00 PM
Magestry LARP Final Game in Elmerton
After 13 years of Chesterfield, Magestry is heading to a new place! This is the last game in Chesterfield and it’s going to be a blast! It’ll be big and fun and amazing and this is the best time possible to give it a shot! If you don’t have a bunch of cash on hand, be an NPC! All you need to bring is warm bedding and clothing without visible logos and the rest is taken care of! And everyone is welcome on Sunday for brunch!

Video Games:

Sunday, November 6th
The Quarters [8 Railroad St., Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
MAKE TALK PLAY – AR for Tango (now with zombies!)
Keep yourself from the post-Halloween blues with Paul Hake of Hitpoint Studios and Pat King of PVGD and Zombies! Real Zombies! In your House! Blast them to smithereens quickly! You can learn about the creation of the Crayola Blaster AR game and the Lenovo Phab2 Pro, the first Google Tango mobile device! What’s Google Tango? We have legit no frigging clue. Wait we just looked it up it’s an AR app that lets you see stuff placed in the world via your phone!

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October 24th – October 30th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


The Spooky Month comes to a close this week! Well, almost. Make the most of it! Watch scary movies! Tell scary stories! Play a lot of Dread with your friends, because it’s by a local creator!

This week we called on our lovely readers to head to Comics N’ More to help them out through a trying time and we’d like to reiterate that! Basically they got double-charged, that’s a huge deal when you’re a small business, and it’d help them to have some people go buy things from them. Well. It would always help them if you bought stuff from them, but the point is it would be a particularly welcome bit of help right now.

Also! We just got to play two new games we’d like to talk about: Captain Sonar and 80 Days, they share very little in common.

Captain Sonar is a game for up to 8 players and is basically real-time battleship with some extra twists and a job for each player? We kind of liked it but kind of found it to be like… we thought it might be a talky excitement game and because of the fact that it’s important to deny information to the other team, it winds up being more quiet and serious than other games of that sort we’ve played. It was neat and we want to try again

80 Days is a choose-your-own-adventure style game about travelling around the world in 80 days and it’s awesome! It’s been out for a while but we hadn’t given it a shot yet and it’s just really really danged interesting. The little stories are always intriguing and the constant forward momentum provides a neat backdrop for not just constantly exploring until you’ve exhausted all of the writing.

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


Art:

Wednesday, October 26th
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 12:15 PM to 1:00 PM
When in Rome Gallery Talk
Anna Lee, Postdoctoral Fellow & Lecturer in History of Photography, Smith College; Explore how different approaches in depicting monuments affect viewer experience of works of art in the exhibition, and the ways photography in the 19th century created particular conditions for image-making and interpretation. It’s always interesting how photographic methods influence photographic interpretation!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Closing Reception for Animation Art by Sachio Cook
Sachio Cook is an animator from Yamagata, Japan and Queens, NY who is currently based in Northampton. She earned her BFA in Traditional Animation from the School of Visual Arts in 2011 and has since been working in the animation industry. Notable credits as an animator include Disney XD’s Motorcity and Adult Swim’s Superjail! and China IL, see her work and have a nice reception at the same time!

Board Games:

Sunday, October 30th
Comics N’ More at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix
This week, we recommend that you create a team entirely of people whose power requires a specific passphrase to activate!

Books:

Wednesday, October 26th
Holyoke Community College in the Leslie Phillips Forum at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Ilan Stavans, author of Words in Transit: Stories of Immigrants
Words in Transit collects the personal stories of almost thirty people who’ve made the Happy Valley their home! They were recorded by New England Pulbic Radio, and the lovely book showcases photographic portraits by Beth Reynolds.
Yiddish Book Center at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Jonathan Safran Foer, Here I Am
A novel about a family in Washington D.C. dealing with their own crises and personal problems as a war in the Middle East escalates. It’s one of those dramatic novels about marriages that people seem to dig.
Thursday, October 27th
Packards at 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Book Discussion + Dinner
A classic of science fiction by legendary author Philip K. Dick, about what it means to be human as well as what it means to be a person. It’s probably the most straightforwardly effective of Dick’s books in our opinion. Less vibrantly psychedelic than a lot of his works, but really interesting and forward-thinking.
Friday, October 28th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
The Common at the Mead
The Common literary magazine welcomes parents, students and the general public for a cocktail hour reception. Join them for wine, snacks and brief readings from newly released Issue 12 as well as Issue 11: Tajdeed, The Common’s special issue of translated Arabic fiction. All readings will be in English. Pick up a copy of Issue 12, with artwork by Rico Gatson.
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Toad and Snake, Mushrooms and Bats: A Halloween Walk and Evergreens Tarot Readings
A Halloween walk followed by Tarot readings from the Emily Dickinson Tarot deck! Emily Dickinson was always into toads, snakes, mushrooms, bats, winter, and all that spooky jazz! You can share in her celebration of otherworldly weirdness! Tickets are $13 per person, $7 for Museum members. Reserve your ticket here. 
Saturday, October 29th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Middle-Grade Halloween Panel with Erin Petti (The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee) and Natasha Lowe (The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel
Witches, ghosts, magic, awesome novels, and a COSTUME CONTEST! Best witch and best ghost each get a reward! Each author will be there to talk about their books and just about the magic of Halloween in general!

Community:

Tuesday, October 25th AND Wednesday, October 26th
Robert Crown Center, Hampshire College at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
19th Annual Eqbal Ahmad Symposium
Hampshire has asked panelists to address the kinds of activism that have surged in response to the constant confrontation with police violence and the racialized system of injustice, how the communities they work with are experiencing and responding to this moment, and how they view its significance. Seems like a worthwhile way to get some important perspectives!

Entertainment:

Monday, October 24th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
An Introduction to American Indian Music
Craig Harris, author of Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow: American Indian Music, presents an exciting multimedia journey into North America’s soundscape! Should be interesting music!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
An Introduction to American Indian Music
Craig Harris, author of Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow: American Indian Music, presents an exciting multimedia journey into North America’s soundscape! Should be interesting music!
Tuesday, October 25th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Introduction to American Indian Music
Craig Harris, author of Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow: American Indian Music, presents an exciting multimedia journey into North America’s soundscape, again!
Springfield Public Forum at 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Farnoosh Torabi
The host of CNBC’s Follow the Leader and monthly financial contributor to O, The Oprah Magazine, as well as the host of the daily podcast So Money will be in town to talk to you about financial management strategies that will give you the comforting illusion that you’re in charge despite the fact that most financially relevant events will be out of your control.
Wednesday, October 26th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Fandom Club
Fans! Are you a fan of anything? Any particular property, object, color, concept, vague sense of identity? Join a Fandom meetup where you can talk about all your favorite things with other people who are big fans of either those or other things!
Thursday, October 27th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Ghost Story Open Mic
Do you have a spine-chilling ghost tale to tell? Do you want to spookify a whole group of folks? They’re going to dim the lights and share stories of the paranormal and unexplained! If you’re actually a ghost, this is like PRIME time for you to scare a ton of people wicked easily.
Sunday, October 30th
Yiddish Book Center at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Breath in a Ram’s Horn: The Jewish Spirit in Classical Music, with Daniel Asia
Composer, conductor, professor, and activist Daniel Asia talks about the origins of Yiddish song in Eastern European culture, its continuation on the American scene in the music of Yiddish composer Lazar Weiner, and its influence on Asia’s own award-winning music. The admission cost is $8 for a student, $10 for a member, and $12 for general admission.

History:

Tuesday, October 25th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Dear Florrie… Letters to N. Perry, Maine
In 2014 the Historical Society of Pembroke, Maine received a stash of nearly 900 letters “discovered” in a nearby garage.  Sent to Florence Lyman during the summer months between 1898 and 1932 primarily from Northampton family and friends, the letters offer unusual insight into local lives in transition. Ask them the story of the person who … stole and stashed hundreds of letters? What the heck?
Wednesday, October 26th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Paying the Price for Peace: the Story of S. Brian Wilson
Paying the Price for Peace: the Story of S. Brian Wilson :  Vietnam veteran S. Brian Willson was run over and nearly killed by a military train during a non-violent protest in 1987. Since then, he has not stopped protesting the US government’s continual decisions to wage war. This is a free film screening followed by a discussion, hosted by Northampton Peace and Social Justice.

Kids:

Tuesday, October 25th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Cat in the Hat for President

Join the Odyssey Bookshop and Jenny Powers of the Springfield Museums in a night of art, politics, and seussical rhyme! This program is aimed at grades K-3, or anyone who needs to work through their emotion about the election which at this point we think is everyone?

Thursday, October 27th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Here They Come: A Halloween Visit with David Hyde Costello

David Hyde Costello brings a range of skills to the stage in a one-man variety show. With ukulele accompaniment, Costello opens with an original song. He gives a spirited reading of his book and then draws a new monster on the spot, created entirely by taking ideas from the audience. To close, David introduces us to a character from his book ­ a young hobgoblin who emerges tentatively from a box to answer kids’ questions (answers are given in Hobgoblin language and translated by David). This all sounds pretty adorable!

Saturday, October 29th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Passport to Chemistry
Kids will learn how to shrink things with heating! Plastic art designs will go into toaster ovens, which will make them shrink! It’ll be a great opportunity to understand a bit of chemistry and also seriously make it clear to them that they can’t ever put plastic in a toaster at HOME or wow jeez that’s going to be an issue. For ages 6-10 and adult caregivers! Please pre-register in the Kids’ Room or at 413-259-3091/kids@joneslibrary.org
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Scientific Kids Club
Join Ralph and Steven in this interactive program as they explore their surroundings and cultivate curiosity for the natural world. For October’s program, in keeping with the season, they will look into the rustic life of the pumpkin, culminating in a pumpkin dissection! This program is for ages 8-11 (give or take). Please register online here, as space is limited. It’s pretty horrifying that first they’re going to introduce you to the idyllic life of the noble pumpkin before cutting one open in front of you!
Sunday, October 30th
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: Jonathan Bean
In Real Cowboys, Kate Hoefler’s realistic and poetic picture book debut about the wide open West, the myth of rowdy, rough-riding cowboys and cowgirls is remade. Working in layers of stenciled four-color imagery, artist Jonathan Bean beautifully echoes the allusive, musical quality of the text while nodding to the archetypes of the Old West. Book signing to follow program. 

Science:

Monday, October 24th
Union Station [125 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Gravitational Waves: Measuring Ripples in Space from a Billion Years Ago
How can you detect a collision that happened over a billion years ago? How can you measure something that changes a two-mile long building by less than the width of an atom? Why do scientists think this new technology will teach us things about our universe we could never have learned before? Gary Felder will bring you answers to all these questions and more! He will expand your understanding of the universe to a degree you can’t imagine!
Wednesday, October 26th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Climate Change and the Connecticut River
This talk will give you an introduction to what sort of changes we can expect in the Connecticut River basin as we move into the 21st century. Spoiler: it’s not going to be great! Hopefully we’ll still have water. Speaker Dr. Richard N. Palmer is Department Head and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts.

Comics N’ More Needs Your Help!

The Valley has amazing comic shops that we frequently check out for all of our comic-book needs, and we do what we can to support them in the form of letting you friendly folks know what events they put on.

We just found out that our friends in Easthampton – Comics N’ More – have had some problems with being charged double by Diamond for the books they’re putting on the shelves, and the refund process has involved even more annoyance and extra charges.

Small businesses operate on really tiny margins, and Comics N’ More could use all the help they can get at the moment. They help make Easthampton a neat place and we want them to remain as healthy as possible.

As a personal favor to us, the people you respect and admire the most, head down there as soon as you can to pick up some books!

If you’re able help out this lovely local shop, let us know what books you got this week and what you think of them and we’ll send you a free Nerd Watch sticker in recognition of your truly exceptional watching over of local nerds.

But I don’t read comic books: Well, you’d like them. We know that because odds are you’ve liked any popular culture in the past decade. What we’d recommend is that you head down and grab a big old digest book or Trade Paperback of some interesting period in comics history. Don’t sweat it if you don’t think you’ll know the whole backstory of everything, 99% of the time the only thing that matters is how much fun the writer and artist of the thing you’re currently reading are having.

But I get my books from a different place: Well, just help out for a bit, it doesn’t have to mean you switch forever and ever. It’s better to have alive comic shops than not alive comic shops you know?

Okay but I’ve got basically no money: Oof, we hear you. Well, you know your budget best, and if you can’t buy anything we get it. Maybe check with the friendly staff about using their back room for a game meetup! You get a nice place to play, they get several of your pals in the shop to take a look around. Maybe your pals have money? Either way, you’ll generate the sort of festive atmosphere that helps passerby decide to take a look.

October 17th – October 23rd

The Valley Nerd Watch!


It’s our birthday weekend! We’re having a great time, which is nice! Birthdays are usually a good time thanks to our very kind friends and family and we really appreciate them all.

ALSO we’re definitely having a bunch of fun picking out what games we’re going to get because we are very functional and attractive adults who are aware that when it is your birthday you get to buy toys.

We hope all of your weekends are going well, whether or not they involve birthdays!

Also you should check out these local Kickstarters that are still going on, they seem neat!

Broker – a quick party card game about trying to keep a straight face while you cheat your undies off!

A.E.G.I.S – a quick fun tactical combat game where the gimmick is that your units can combine together like Voltron to become more powerful!

Rise Up: The Game of People and Power – a game about building successful social movements to create positive change!

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


Art:

Friday, October 21st
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Materiality at the Mead with Julia A. Ream
Thinking of a career in art conservation? Maybe just curious about the processes and materials involved? The independent conservator of Asian works on paper, Julia A. Ream, will lead a conservation workshop for students and deliver a lecture on her career trajectory and recent work on manuscripts and paintings from the Middle East and South Asia!
Saturday, October 22nd
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Fact or Fiction? The Reality of Clothes in Portraits by Edward Maeder
Textile and costume historian Edward Maeder will examine some of the methods in which early fashion information was distributed from the late middle ages until the middle of the nineteenth century. He will also present and discuss a brief survey of publications that included or were based entirely on dress from the 15th to the 19th century. It’s interesting to consider how eras before really convenient mass-distribution media managed to impart a cultural style to people!
Sunday, October 23rd
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Guerilla Portraiture at the Political Conventions by Barry Goldstein
Barry Goldstein interviewed and photographed participants at the 2016 Republican National Convention for The American Scholar magazine. He also covered the demonstrations in Philadelphia during the Democratic Convention. Barry will describe the technical and logistical challenges of what he calls his on-the-fly “guerrilla portraiture.” See this really interesting set of portrait photos along with audio excerpts from his interviews!
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
The Poet and the Bard
Join a tour of the Dickinson estate that focuses on her love for the Bard! It’s $15 for nonmember adults, $10 for museum members, and $5 for students K-12.

Board Games:

Tuesday, October 18th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Palmer Library Game Night
They’ve got games for you to play, or you can feel free to bring your own! We recommend King of Tokyo for a nice quick game that’s easy for everyone to understand, and it’s got cool giant monsters.

Books:

Tuesday, October 18th
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 children’s books? Talk to other folks who write children’s books! It’s a good opportunity to hang out and discuss the art and business of writing and illustrating books for kids!
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Medea Benjamin, author of Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK, has become famous for direct action protests, mostly against actions by the military that we tend to take for granted. In this book, she researches the nature of the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia, detailing what she sees as the current problems with the US support of the extremely repressive Saudi regime, and what possible paths to change exist.
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Local Author Ellen Wittlinger: Reading from her new novel Local Girl Swept Away
Ellen Wittlinger is the author of fifteen YA and middle-grade novels, and her novel Hard Love won both a Printz Honor Award and a Lambda Literary Award. Her books have been on numerous ALA Best Books lists, Bank Street College of Education lists, and state award lists. Local Girl Swept Away is the story of four friends, two boys and two girls, who in the wake of tragedy and revealed secrets must deal with grief, love, and betrayal. The book is set in the small, beautiful community of Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Wednesday, October 19th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Paul Staiti, author of Of Arms and Artists: The American Revolution through Painters’ Eyes
Author Paul Staiti brings five great artists of the Revolutionary period to live, and shows their lives were every bit as eventful as those of the founders with whom they interacted. These painters contributed immensely to the spirit of a new nation, with their painting providing “a means of narrating the revolution to themselves and to citizens of the new republic” by virtue of how they chose to present the actions and character of the leaders of that revolution. Paul Staiti teaches at Mount Holyoke College and is the author of several books and essays on American artists.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Reading by State-honored Writers and Poets
Every two years, the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) awards grants to some of the most talented writers and poets working in the Commonwealth. Literary artists awarded through MCC’s Artist Fellowships Program will read their work at the Forbes Library!
Thursday, October 20th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
George Lakey, Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right – and How We Can, Too
George Lakey’s book is a clear-eyed look at how Nordic countries have achieved a lot of positive social goals, and it’s fun! He takes a look at what has changed and why, and how it’s been an inspiringly short time that these snowy lands have actually been Utopian.
Saturday, October 22nd
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Book Party with Mo Willems!
Join the Carle for an exclusive preview of Mo Willems’ new book, Nanette’s Baguette, set in a meticulously paper-crafted French village, the book follows a plucky heroine on her first solo trip to the bakery! Mo will read from his new book, and you can meet Elephant and Piggie, watch films, and create art of your own!
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Why Only Women Should Vote
Join a humorous and timely discussion led by Tom Fitzgerald, author of Poor Richard’s Lament. Human Males have been in charge of a lot of things for a long time, and Tom thinks it’s becoming obvious they’re not really doing a top quality job. What to do? Maybe just have women run everything? Audience participation is encouraged at this book reading!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Book Launch and Author Reading with John Sheirer: Make Common Sense Common Again
John Sheirer agrees with you, The Voice of the Common Folk, when you say the United States has gone all cuckoo recently and is definitely a real circus unlike other periods in our history during which we were totally not the worst. He’s here to tell you how core American values can overcome the silliness by laughing at ourselves and finding common sense solutions. We’re really looking forward to the Utopian period that will begin immediately after this presentation!

Card Games:

Saturday, October 22nd
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Kaladesh Game Day
Play Magic: The Gathering! Experience the wonder that is card-gaming! Win some prizes! It’s a blast and a half.

Comic Books:

Monday, October 17th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Queers in Comics & Games
Talk to interesting people about comics and games! It’s a freewheeling discussion group led by the absolutely excellent manager of Modern Myths and it is a wonderful opportunity to meet new folks and learn about comics and games.

Community:

Saturday, October 22nd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Iron Chef Fall Edition
The SECRET ingredient THIS WEEK will be…. AAAAAPPLES! The teens will choose at least three different ingredients to pair with the apples, one ingredient at least will have to come from the “Strange” food category, foods you wouldn’t normally pair with apples! Sign up in advance at the Sunderland Public Library or call (413) 665-2642.
Sunday, October 23rd
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Community Open House
A day of events for the whole family! There’s an oral history presentation, a tour of the world’s first Yiddish museum, demonstrations in the reproduction Yiddish print shop, a talk by Aaron Lansky, a concert with the Schaechter Sisters and Binyumen, and it’ll be an amazing time!

Computers:

Thursday, October 20th
Northampton Community TV [380 Elm St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
WordPress Developers and Admins
WordPress is the world’s most popular web framework, powering 26% of websites, everything from personal blogs to business websites. Do you own or administer a WordPress site? Are you a WordPress developer? Learn from other people in the Valley, and talk about WordPress! The room seats 20, so sign up on the Meetup page if you plan to come! http://www.meetup.com/wmasswebdev/events/234654923/

History:

Wednesday, October 19th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Music to Get Elected By: Wayne Haskin
A lecture and multimedia presentation about the history of American campaign music with Wayne Hankin, a nationally recognized music performer and educator! The presentation will trace the origins of our unique American genre, and will show major music events that shaped the American political landscape!

Kids:

Monday, October 17th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Rad Women Worldwide
A new collection of 40 biographical profiles from the authors of bestselling book Rad American Women A-Z! Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl tell inspiring tales of perseverance and radical success by pairing well researched biographies with powerful cut-paper portraits. Featuring figures from Hatshepsut to Malala Yousafzi to Poly Styrene, this book is a compelling addition to women’s history. The authors will be there to read, sign, and answer questions!
Saturday, October 22nd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Meet a Therapy Dog!
Meet Cynthia Hinckley and her extraordinary Therapy Dog Lily! Learn what Therapy Dogs do, find out how they’re trained, and discover where these special dogs visit! Heck if you’ve got a particularly awesome doggie, maybe they’ll be a candidate to be a great Therapy dog!

Movies:

Tuesday, October 18th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Scary Movies for Teens
Are you a teen? Do you like scary movies? Join other scary teens and watch scary films in a scary library! Wait no it’s a normal library. Still, fun times!
Wednesday, October 19th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Watch the classic tale of a gaudily-dressed serial murderer who definitely seems to kill like 90% of the people in the movie but then everyone’s cool with it? Roald Dahl was a really odd children’s book author yeah? The late great Gene Wilder makes this role his own, and it’s a really amazing movie. All are welcome to this free screening!
Thursday, October 20th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Film Screening: Bernadette
A portrait of the Irish dissident and political activist, Bernadette Devlin, by artist Duncan Campbell. She was instrumental in a lot of the most contentious years of modern Irish political history, and helped form the Irish Republican Socialist Party and supported prisoner rights.
Sunday, October 23rd
Amherst Cinema [28 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:45 PM to 3:00 PM
Forbidden Planet
See a one-time showing of an absolutely classic bit of science-fiction! It’s loosely based on The Tempest, and it’s just really damned good. It also stars Leslie Nielsen in the only serious role you’re likely to watch him play!

Science:

Monday, October 17th
FPH Main Lecture Hall [893 West St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Theory of Brain Network Control: First-Principles Computations and Ethical Considerations. A Lecture by Dr. Danielle Bassett
Dr. Danielle Bassett is the Skirkanich Professor of Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania and she’s the youngest person to ever be awarded a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant! She’ll talk about how the “network control theory” of mental functioning might provide us with a better way of anticipating the effect of targeted interventions into mental functioning, and damned if it isn’t super neat this is happening in town she’s a big deal!
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Researching your French Canadian Ancestors
By 1900, one third of Holyoke’s population was of French Canadian descent. This evening’s special guest Pauline Cusson, editor of the journal American-Canadian Genealogist, will share her expertise in the field of French Canadian genealogical research, drawing on both U.S. and Quebec resources. We don’t think we’re French Canadian, but French Canada is real neat.

Bonus Events!

No, not FORGOTTEN events.

We’re implacable event-gathering machines, it’s impossible that in the course of putting up a bunch of stuff this week there were any events we missed, inconceivable!

BUT ANYWAY there are some events we may have accidentally elided in our zeal to bring you the Nerd Watch in a timely manner. They are:

TONIGHT – October 12th:

Drink and Draw at The 121 Club in Eastworks [116 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 7:00pm

They’re going to drink! And draw! You can do either or neither, depending upon your desires! Matt Lubachansky will be there as a special cool guest.

Wednesday Game Night at the Brass Cat [65 Cottage St #101, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 7:00pm

They’re going to drink! And play board games! You can do either or neither, as is your wont. Justin Dowd will be there teaching you to play awesome games!

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the 14th-16th:

The Realm of Fire: An Interactive Theater Adventure at Valley View Farm [16 Walpole Road, Haydenville, MA] at 5:30pm – 8:30pm Friday and Saturday and 2:30pm – 5:00pm Sunday

The Realm of Fire is an interactive theater experience where you’ll interact with elves, dwarves, and fairies as you walk a half-mile trail through Valley View Farm’s beautiful grounds! Groups led by one of the show’s characters leave every 15 minutes, and the walk is about 45 minutes! The trail is candle-lit, but bring flashlights! There are also pick your own pumpkins and food trucks! It’ll be a blast! A blast… of fire!

Saturday, October 15th:

Jedi Academy: A New Class! at Shea Theater [71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 01376] at 2:00pm – 2:30pm

“Join New York Times Bestselling Author/Illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka as he celebrates the release of Jedi Academy: A New Class! There will be a group reading of the book, drawing demos and much more! Come dressed as your favorite Star Wars character! May the Force be with you!” It sounds like a blast! A blast… of lasers!

October 10th – October 16th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Wow! Tons of neat events this week, over thirty! Be sure to check out Nerd Nite NoHo, because it’s excellent and everyone has a great time and it’s the third anniversary this week! It’s going to be about toxoplasmosis, diversity, and tropical bird conservation!

We just had a chance to check out the Puzzled Escape Games room at Eastworks and dang if that wasn’t a great time! We’ll have a more comprehensive review of it later this week but wow, it was honestly just fun. All the good bits of an adventure game shoved into an hour, and the hosts were quite nice.

It’s pretty well-paced to deliver epiphanies and we had more than a few moments where we screamed in glee at newly revealed features of the room! Super great, highly recommended. We hadn’t realized it was a local operation until looking up the site, either! Neat!

We also want to alert you to a few ongoing Kickstarters we’ve been alerted to by locals:

Broker – a quick party card game about trying to keep a straight face while you cheat your undies off!

A.E.G.I.S – a quick fun tactical combat game where the gimmick is that your units can combine together like Voltron to become more powerful!

Rise Up: The Game of People and Power – a game about building successful social movements to create positive change!

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


Art:

Thursday, October 13th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Materiality at the Mead with scientist Bruce Kaiser
Bruce Kaiser, chief scientist at the Bruker Corporation, will explain the process of X-ray Florencent testing using the Mead’s bronze sculptures by A. Phimister Proctor. He’ll explain the tool’s value to the field of art conservation and how it advances understanding! Science and art, together and loving it!
Friday, October 14th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Mask by Jenni Sussman Opening Reception
Jenni Sussman will be displaying her collection of paintings that question early photographs and the people depicted therein! What’s on display and what remains hidden, and why? She’s a regionally recognized artist living and working in delightful Northampton!
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Do you love museums but not like $5 love museums? This is the night for you! For real it’s an amazing museum and you can visit it and do some activities for free this Friday!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Arts Night Out Reception: Fractal Art by Bob LaClair, Diorama by Judith Abraham
Judith looks justifiably proud of her diorama, you should check that out. It’s neat and it’s got a bunch of tiny books in it, mimicking the larger books on display around the library! Also fractals are never not cool, math is great. Add Forbes to a fun Arts Night Out!
Saturday, October 15th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Northampton Community Music Center Family Concert Series: The Return of the Flannery Brothers
For just $5 you and your kids can see some real fun songsters sing delightful songs!

Board Games:

Wednesday, October 12th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Games for Teens
Teens only! But they can be any type of teen. Tall, short, fire-type, steel-type, paladin… any combination of teen traits are cool to play boardgames together and have a fun time!
Saturday, October 15th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament
There are 4 sections, K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. It’s a 4-round Swiss System with a trophy to everyone who’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each section and entry is free! Bring a set and a clock if you’ve got them, and a bagged lunch!
Sunday, October 16th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix!
Sundays are for hero-clicking! This time you should create a team entirely out of people who wear tiaras! That means at a minimum Wonder Woman and Luke Cage!

Books:

Tuesday, October 11th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Okey Ndibe, author of Never Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American
A fascinating and hilarious look at a journey to a new place, Okey Ndibe talks about his fear of encountering the obviously common threat according to American movies of black-hat gunslingers and the fact that after he made it to New England where he learned actually no it’s winter that’s trying to kill you.
Wednesday, October 12th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
One City One Story: The Faery Handbag
Pick up a copy of a fantasy novelette, the Faery Handbag, or read it for free online, then join in a discussion! You can read it here: https://bostonbookfest.org/one-city-one-story/
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Tracy Kidder, A Truck Full of Money
Soul of the New Machine, only about Kayak that travel website that you maybe use but was bought for two BILLION dollars. It’s primarily focused on a biographical account of Paul English, who came up with the site, and how he dealt with the aftermath of stupendous success. Tracy will be there to read excerpts and answer questions!
Thursday, October 13th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Margot Livesey, author of Mercury: A Novel
Two people have complex and emotionally affecting life moments dealing with a lot things! Donald Stevenson is a disaffected eye doctor trying to stay the course and his wife Viv is a vibrant woman dealing with giving up her dreams when she encounters a horse, Mercury, who she thinks might be capable of making her a championship rider.
Friday, October 14th
Amherst College Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Did Emily Dickinson Really Exist? An Evening with Jerome Charyn
Now we weren’t even aware this was even a question but wow okay oh wait no no okay it’s just a provocative title folks she definitely did exist! Yay! It sounds like a great book of Dickinson scholarship, though! She seems like she was a real awesome person.
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
YA Panel: Dawn Kurtagich (And the Trees Crept In) and Dawn Metcalf (Twixt series)
Two authors of dark fiction, psychological horror, and romance will talk about you know all that sort of thing! It’ll be a good time, they both write neat stories and panel discussions are usually fun. Get some books signed and come with interesting questions prepared!
Saturday, October 15th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St, Sunderland, MA] at 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Book and Bake Sale
Buy books, buy treats, support a great local library. There’s absolutely nothing that can be done to improve this! Grocery-bags of books for only $7!
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: Angela DiTerlizzi
Angela DiTerlizzi will talk about her book Some Pets and read from it! There will also be adorable reading therapy dogs there!

Community:

Wednesday, October 12th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St, Sunderland, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Drop-In FAFSA Help
College is incredibly expensive and it should be your goal to minimize that to any extent you are able. College debt follows you through the veil of death, it torments you beyond the dimensions we know. It’s a super good idea to get everything you can out of FAFSA!
Thursday, October 13th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Kids Voting in the Presidential Library
Who represents you? What’s voting about anyway? What does election cake taste like? Find out the answers to these questions, kids, and meet the mayor! Also kids talk to your parents before reading news about the current presidential election!

Computers:

Tuesday, October 11th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Functional Programming with CLojure – Monthly Full Stack Meetup
Learn how to put functional programming to work for you with lessons from local developer Jochen Rau! He’ll explain the basic concepts of functional programming like lazy evaluation and tail recursion and he’ll also walk you through a real-world web application! A great opportunity to get started on the path to a new skillset and ask questions of a professional!
Wednesday, October 12th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
October is going to focus on Story Points, Velocity and #NoEstimates why is only one of these a hashtag do they mean the like social interaction that involved the hashtag or are we actually starting to hashtag conceptual things now? Mostly it’ll be a discussion of best practices around these concepts, and everyone’s quite nice and there’s pizza. Really, can’t recommend it enough to people who want to learn to use or learn to improve Agile development processes!

Entertainment:

Wednesday, October 12th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:15 PM
A Ukulele Renaissance with the Well Tempered Ukes
Experience five hundred years of history in song and experience those songs in the most majestic of string instruments: the UKE!
Thursday, October 13th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St, Sunderland, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Laser Tag at the Library!
Shoot your friends with lasers in the library in what we have to say is a very weird turn to high-tech blood-sport on the part of the library.
Saturday, October 15th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Slavery in the Valley: Five Unsung Heroes Who Resisted
Robert H. Romer, physicist and historian, is a Professor Emeritus of Physics at Amherst College. He’ll discuss some of the enslaved people of the Valley and what they did to resist their masters. He’ll explain why it’s so important to remember those who lived in slavery in the Valley, invisible men and women of our colonial past.
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Wildsboro & Roberts Meadow Walk
Walk along Mosquito Hollow Road with John Clapp to check out the cellar holes, stone walls and stone lined wells of the former residents of Wildsboro, a long-forgotten neighborhood located withing the larger village of Roberts Meadow. Get a peek at the secrets of a town lost to time!

Kids:

Thursday, October 13th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
3 & 4 Year Old Storytime
Take your kids to story time to delight their imaginations!
Friday, October 14th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St, Sunderland, MA] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Fire Prevention Story Time
Fire fighter Megan Ahearn from the Sunderland Fire Department will share stories with you and you’ll get to see a real fire truck! You’ll also learn how to prevent fires and what to do in the case of a fire. This is adorable AND useful!

Movies:

Tuesday, October 11th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Scary Movies for Teens
They’re PG-13 at maximum so scary is less likely than funny/creepy but hey that sounds like a danged nice time as well!

RPGs:

Friday, October 14th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Rd., Chesterfield, MA] at 9:00 PM to 12:00 AM
Sins of a Nation LARP Game 2
A “Full Metal Fantasy” full-weekend LARP! Basically you adventure on expeditions into an ancient and ruined kingdom. You can get more information here! https://www.facebook.com/SinsSixthKingdom Start thinking up your character now!
Saturday, October 15th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM
D&D Storm King’s Thunder GIANT ADVENTURE
Another GIANT ADVENTURE against the GIANTS! It’s a full day of gaming for only $20, which includes pizza and a soft drink. Hours of fun fighting giants AND food? Good gracious. The attendance is strictly limited to the first 15 signups so pre-register with Modern Myths as soon as you can!

Science:

Monday, October 10th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nerd Nite NoHo 3rd Anniversary!
It’s an anniversary bash! Giveaways, treats, and most important of all three amazing presenters! Daniel Vahaba will talk about terrifying/interesting cat disease toxoplasmosis, Presley Pizzo will talk about the power and utility of diversity in a diverse array of situations, and Zeke Jakub will talk about how conservation efforts for birds in Argentina affect us here in the Valley, and vice versa! It’s going to be great tell your friends to come.
Thursday, October 13th
The Nacul Center [592 Main St., Amherst] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Matthew Boyer – Unprotected Pollination: How Pollinators Transmit Plant Diseases
Learn about how our little pollinator friends can be hijacked to transmit disease to the plants they pollinate! That’s so sad, they just want delicious pollen, they didn’t mean to hurt a plant. Poor bumblebees!

Video Games:

Thursday, October 13th
Moriarty’s Pub and Grille [755 Liberty St., Springfield, MA 01104] at 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
The Pub Brawl: Super Smash Bros Tournament
A second tournament to follow the successful first outing! There’s two setups for a Super Smash Bros Wii U tournament and another setup for a PS3! There are cheap drinks, snacks, and good times! There’s also a $5 cover, and an $8 fee to enter the tournament officially. The winner gets a cash prize and a chance to fight the reigning champion! Sounds like a lovely time if we’ve ever heard of one.
Saturday, October 15th
Toyota Oakdale Theatre [95 South Turnpike Road, Wallingford, CT] at 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Retro World Expo: New England’s Classic Gaming Expo
The second annual celebration of classic and retro gaming will include an auction, cosplay contest, freeplay arcade and consoles, panels, bands, and tournaments! It’s jam-packed with fun! Check out the meetup to join other locals! http://www.meetup.com/thepvg/events/234339172/

October 3rd – October 9th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Happy Halloween Month! Indulge your cosplay desires in this, the month we all agree it’s acceptable for everyone to dress in a neat costume all hours of every day including the work day because we as a society understand how to make life a bit more decent and are capable of having some fun OR JUST ON HALLOWEEN IF EVERYONE’S GOING TO INSIST.

We’re equally capable of performing our work duties dressed as Doctor Doom, you know.

This week we want to point you all toward a neat Kickstarter from local tabletop game developers Fat Elf Games! It’s called Broker, and the idea is basically that it is a simple and fast paced card game with an explicit rule that you are supposed to cheat as much as possible.

So for instance, if it says “everyone draw 1 card” and you happen to just subtly draw 3, that’s cool! The idea is that you can slowly cheat your way to victory or win the whole game in one intense cheat if you’ve got the gumption! All the while, your friendly competition is both cheating and looking to call you out!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1827708455/broker-a-game-about-cheating/widget/video.html

Sounds like a good time, has a very reasonable-looking goal, and we’ve heard from playtesters that it’s a pretty fun experience. Although as always with Kickstarters, only put in the amount of money you can comfortably stuff into a trash bag and set on fire.

Also continue to ramp up your excitement for Nerd Nite next Monday, October 10th! It’s the third anniversary of Nerd Nite NoHo, and the first anniversary of the new hosts who we hear are just the best folks and everyone thinks so.

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


Art:

Wednesday, October 5th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA, 01375] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Pumpkin Decorating for Teens
WARNING! This will not be an ordinary pumpkin painting program. It’s going to be about … painting different images and characters on pumpkins? This press release seems to be describing what we’d call an ordinary pumpkin painting program. Hm. Welp, best pumpkin gets a prize! Go make a fun pumpkin, folks!
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Pumpkin Carving
Show those pumpkins what-for! We won’t be intimidated by them this year or any other! We’re going to prove it by carving funny faces into them and then putting them on the doorstep as a warning to any other pumpkins that might try to mess with us. For real though why the heck did we start doing this? We’ve looked it up just now and apparently literally just because people in Scotland and Ireland wanted to make lanterns out of turnips with weird faces on them to creep each other out. You do you, Scotland and Ireland.
Thursday, October 6th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Gallery Talk by Rico Gaston
Rico Gaston will talk about his works on view at the Mead including a new mural to be painted with Amherst College students. A bold move, using students instead of brushes, we’ll see how it pays off.
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Amherst Art Walk and Poetry Night
All night long there will be art in the homestead, at 6pm there’s a poetry open mic, and then some featured readers from the Florence Poets Society including Eileen Kennedy, Howie Faerstein, Tommy “Twilite” Clark, Gerald Yelle, and Marian Kent!

Board Games:

Saturday, October 8th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Dungeon Busters Demo
Dungeon Busters is a recently Kickstarted “filler” card game for 3-5 players that’s supposed to last about 20 minutes. It sounds like maybe something you can bust out when you’re all waiting on someone to arrive and you don’t want to sit down for yet another filler Diplomacy game. Learn more and get a chance to play at the demo this weekend!

Books:

Tuesday, October 4th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Becky Wai-Ling Packard, author of Successful STEM Mentoring Initiatives for Underrepresented Students
Professor Becky Wai-Ling Packard will discuss her new book, a research-based guide for faculty and adminstrators teaching them how to recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups using effective mentoring. The book goes through both real and perceived barriers that face underrepresented students and shows how you can mitigate them via effective mentoring programs.
Wednesday, October 5th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Archer Mayor, author of Presumption of Guilt
A forty-year-old skeleton is found encased in a concrete slap at a recently decomissioned nuclear energy site. It becomes a case for the Vermont Bureau of Investigation (VBI) and its leader, Joe Gunther. Delightful! VBI! This couldn’t be more New Englandy if it was trying. See Archer Mayor talk about a cold case mystery in the Green Mountain State!
Thursday, October 6th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Editor Cathi Hanauer and Contributor Julianna Baggott
Talking about “The Bitch is Back”, Cathi Hanauer and Juliann Baggot will discuss a new batch of passionate and funny pieces about the spirit of feminism, offering unique views from a diverse group of women!
Saturday, October 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Indie Author Day Gathering
Are you an independent or self-published writer? Maybe you’d like to be! Join a bunch of other folks at the library for a mixer, and share your experience while you learn more about self-publishing! The only rule we know is: if you’re paying someone else to publish you, that is likely not a great idea.

Comic Books:

Sunday, October 9th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Comic Creator’s Jam
Do you make comic books? Do you make a webcomic? Have you thought about a webcomic? Have you considered that lines can be put to paper using certain methods in order to create the impression in the viewer that those lines form a physical object? You should hang out here! Basically you chat with nice people about how to draw nice or make good comic-making business decisions or whatnot and also play drawing games to loosen up the old creativity. Lots of fun!

Community:

Tuesday, October 4th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Down on Main Street: Planning Palmer’s Future
Chart the future of Palmer! Guide the ages with your own hands, and wreak your terrible visions upon the world. Well, upon Palmer. Well, and you will probably have to work with other people whose visions are not necessarily as terrible or awe-inspiring as your own. Still if you live in Palmer this is the place to be.
Saturday, October 8th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA, 01375] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Questions about FAFSA
Basically everyone finds planning college finances terrifying. If you’ve got any questions about the process, this is an opportunity to ask them! We aren’t really experts but we’re very comfortable saying that you should as early as possible jump through every hoop available that will reduce your student debt, because that death follows you to death and beyond. The literally dig up your skeleton and force it to work in the mines.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Free Sign Language Workshop
Join Signing Basics at Forbes for an hour of learning the basics of ASL. Learn greetings, spell your name, and play a fun game that’s common in the Deaf Community. No experience necessary, and open to all ages!

Computers:

Tuesday, October 4th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Hang out with local coders and web developers, and web DEVELOP a relationship with folks who have similar interests and skillsets to your own! It’s a good opportunity to put down the computer for a bit and focus on talking to other people, which is called “networking” if you want to make it sound less fun.

Entertainment:

Wednesday, October 5th
Springfield Public Forum [34 Court St., Springfield, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Nancy Lublin: How Tech and Big Data Can Save Lives
Tech and Big Data are of course our friendly neighborhood super-team. Tech may look a bit scrawny, but their command of gadgetry more than makes up for their size in a fight! And Big Data, of course, possesses the Cerulean Gem of Knowledge, giving her a complete understanding of any object within her gaze as well as tremendous physical strength! Wait oh goodness wow no this one is actually a talk by Nancy Lublin about how it’s possible to use technology and large-scale data collection to save lives via a service that gathers up texts to a crisis hotline and suggests alterations in regional and local policy to address trends in that data.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM
Mystery, Horror, and the Northampton State Hospital
The Northampton State Hospital stood on Hospital Hill from 1856 until its demolition in 2006. At this event you’ll hear three authors read from their mystery and horror novels inspired by Northampton’s historic institution. Dave Stern will read from Shadows in the Asylum, Emily Arsenault will read from The Evening Spider, and Katherine Anderson will read from Hospital Hill!
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
First Wednesday Speaker Series: Patrick Barron with Defining the Machine
Patrick Barron, a person who ran for Congress as an Independent and did not win in 2010, wrote a book about how our political system is broken and how to fix it and we’re just going to go out on a limb and say that the fixed system would totally have elected him. But for real, get an inside look at what it’s like to attempt to work through problems via getting elected to office and what might make our kind of weird and awful system of elected positions better.
Saturday, October 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Forbes Library Doctor Who Club
Who? What? Why? The Doctor? No we don’t know any Doctors. We did meet a procession of aroun a dozen men of varying levels of personal ridiculousness, is that what you’re talking about? Anyway watch a classic TV show with a friendly bunch of local folks at the Library!

History:

Thursday, October 6th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
The History of Market Street: 1730s to the End of the Civil War with Lu Stone
Historian and author Lu Stone will lead a walking tour based on her research of the Market Street Neightborhood. You’ve got to pre-register and there’s a suggested donation of $5 for members, $10 for non-members. Find more info and pre-register here: http://www.historicnorthampton.org/market-street.html!
First Church of Deerfield [71 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA 01342] at 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Lecture: “The Future of Historic Preservation: Saving the Places that Matter”
David J Brown, Chief Preservation Officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, will present a free lecture about how we preserve our past. Deerfield is a place with immense volumes of human history, a Native homeland for 12,000 years and a community of colonizers since the 1600s. Why are places like Deerfield important to America? Why should we prioritize their preservation? Find out at this talk!
Saturday, October 8th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Saturday Walking Tour led by Steve Strimer
Walk the African American Heritage Trail, leaving from the Sojourner Truth Statue at the corner of Park Street and Pine Street in Florence, this time with Steve Strimer of the David Ruggles Center Committee and the Sojourner Truth Statue Committee!

Movies:

Tuesday, October 4th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Scary Movies for Teens
They are all PG and PG-13 so it’s less likely “scary” and more likely “funny” but it’ll still be an excellent time!
Sunday, October 9th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Talk: Stars in the Ring: Jewish Champions in the Golden Age of Boxing with Mike Silver
Boxing Historian Mike Silver talks about the all-but-forgotten history of Jewish boxers from the 1890s to the 1950s including their domination of the sport in the ’20s and ’30s and the ways boxing helped Jewish people assimilate to life in the US, there will be a chance to get the book signed after the talk!

RPGs:

Friday, October 7th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Rd., Chesterfield, MA] at 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM
Magestry LARP Autumn 2016 Game 3
Magestry needs NPCs to challenge the increasing population of PCs! Get out there for FREE and get FOOD! Also, get to be a barbarian or an orc or whatnot! It seems like a ton of fun, and they’d love to have you whether you can be there the whole weekend or just a few hours! You’ve got to join the Meetup to see the contact email, and if this sounds like fun you definitely should check it out