December 12th – December 18th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Doctor Strange was not great! It was okay, it was really pretty, but it was also not very good as a story about a magical person. We love Doctor Strange in general, he’s a fun comic character because of how perpendicular to the rest of the Marvel world he is. He’s a person who could be hanging out with Literal Dracula or something on any given day, and he’s a bit aloof and old and odd, and that’s interesting in a superheroic universe.

In the movie he’s stuck as Origin Story Stephen Strange for the vast majority of the run-time, which means he’s a bargain-basement Doctor House. Then he learns to punch people, and that’s just not interesting. He’s a magician! He learns knife-magic and whip-magic and hitting. That’s so bland! Blech. The tail end of the movie does a clever thing that we liked, but the total number of “spells” in the film numbers about one and a half. For the majority of the film you could tell people it was a movie about the tech-folk in Mass Effect projecting hard-light holograms and it’d be almost the same. Beyond the trippy scenery, of course.

And we liked the trippy scenery! In some bits it was done spectacularly well. It just so happened to generally be an accompaniment to a danged foot chase. Which is just… not very neat.

Also the “sling ring” concept was a really transparent way to both have teleporting and have “oh no, we can’t get from A to B in time!” and it was silly as heck. It’s odd that it’s presented as being like a sorcerer’s cell phone. Like the infinite worlds of magic open up to you and oh also be sure to carry this ridiculous double-ring or you’ll never be able to travel quickly from one place to another.

Bah, disappointment abounded. Which is funny because had the movie come out a decade ago we would have been speechlessly overjoyed.

In other news, have you checked out the Escape Room at Eastworks yet? It’s really cool and fun, we highly recommend it!

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, December 14th
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Make Your Own Copper Bookmark
Local creator Heather Beck will be in attendance to teach you how to make a neat copper bookmark! It’s a little copper sheet that you can emboss with anything you like! Maybe a favorite quote from a book?
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Make Your Own Harry Potter Ornaments
Make a few ornaments related to the biggest book series probably ever to exist still. We’re pretty sure you’re not REQUIRED to stick to the theme, though. You could also make a few ornaments based on The Casual Vacancy or the Cormoran Strike series.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
NaNoWriMo Reading
Hear what NaNoWriMo participants wrote during the month-long challenge!
Thursday, December 15th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cookies with a Curator: Forbes Library Art Collection with Faith Kaufmann
Join the library’s Art and Music librarian on a guided tour of the permanent art on display in the library! Also, eat cookies! Literally perfect.
Friday, December 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Submissions and Revisions
Submitting things to magazines and editors can be lonely and terrifying. Do it with friends nearby to lighten the load! There’s material available to help you, and you can shout “sent!” to receive a round of applause! When you’ve sent something, to clarify. If you just shout “sent!” over and over you’re going to get diminishing returns followed by some real negativity.
Saturday, December 17th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Mando Paradiso Concert
Mandolins are often called the guitar of kings, see the Mandolin group Mando Paradiso perform in the Coolidge Museum and confirm the eternal saying: who can strum a mandolin effectively, can make people say “dang, that’s good music that we like”.

Board Games:

Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament
There are four sections: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. It’s a 4-round Swiss System and there are trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Entry is free! Compete in the game commonly called the Dance of Dragons!

Books:

Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Local Author David Austin reads from his new book Therese’s Dream – Maine to Darfur: A Doctor’s Story
Dr. Austin will read from his book detailing his time working with Doctors Without Borders, and helps to illustrate the common humanity of people around the world.
Sunday, December 18th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Celebrating the Jewish Experience in Children’s Books
An afternoon celebrating the best Jewish books for children! Meredith Lewis, Director of Content and Engagement at the PJ Library, will moderate a panel discussion. The discussion will feature five winners of the Association of Jewish Libraries’ Sydney Taylor Book Award! There will be a signing afterward!

Community:

Saturday, December 17th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
FAFSA Q&A
College is costly! Reduce that cost if at all possible! It’ll follow you to death and beyond. The Reaper will stand before you, demanding you finish paying your loans before you can pass beyond the veil. That’s right: college loans are where ghosts come from. Make them as small as you can by attending this helpful course!

Computers:

Tuesday, December 13th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Monthly Full Stack Meetup: Building Shell Tools with node.js
Learn how to do interesting things with JavaScript in this hour-long presentation! You’ll come out of it no smarter than when you went in, but filled to the brim with ideas about the ends to which you may turn Node.js!
Wednesday, December 14th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
Are you an Agile developer? Do you move quickly and efficiently through your various development tasks? Or are you interested in learning to dodge those development pitfalls? This is the perfect place to come to learn, or to share your knowledge! Pizza will be served!
Thursday, December 15th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
December 2016 Western Mass Drupal Users Group Meeting
Due in part to a conflict later in the day, this one is going to be a bit different! It’ll start early and involve a “work together” session for an hour or two, where people can answer questions for each other. If there are no questions, they’re going to dive into the agenda topic: Desktop environment comparison!
Northampton Community TV [380 Elm St., Northampton, MA] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
WordPress Developers and Admins
Talk about current projects, problems you have and solutions ot them, and customizing WordPress plugins and styles. There are only 20 seats, so RSVP here  soon to ensure you get a seat! It’s a great chance to expand your WordPress skills!

Kids:

Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Laser Tag in the Library
Lasers! Too dangerous for our children? Nonsense, we say! Light up the night and carve the library into neat cauterized cubes with what we can only assume are high-powered laser beams. Don’t know what the “tag” part is implying. Suitable for kids in 5th – 8th grade!

Movies:

Wednesday, December 14th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Rising Voices
A documentary about the Lakota Indian community and about the linguists they’re working with to save the Lakota language and restore it to use in the Lakota and the American culture. It’s a snapshot of the day-to-day struggles of one of the biggest Native American nations, and an examination of the problem of language loss.
Saturday, December 17th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Holiday Film: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
See a charming old film about Christmas at the Jones Library! It’s one of those cute old musicals where everything ends in a dozen people proposing marriage at the same time.

Science:

Monday, December 12th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nerd Nite NoHo: Journalism and Drones
Drones! The very word has taken on a bit of a tinge of terror now that we’ve gotten used to the idea they mostly exist as high-altitude bombers. But what about drones that deliver useful things instead of explosions? We’ll hear a bit about that from Craig Issod. Then Rodrigo Zamith will talk about how journalism and polling managed to predict the Presidential election going one way when it went the other. Though then again a lot of them said “this result has a 20% chance of happening” and then it happened. We’ve caught Pokemon with a 1% chance of appearing, you know? Anyway. This month, 50% of the proceeds go to the Southern Poverty Law Center!
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