Month: February 2017

February 27th – March 5th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Hello folks! Short top-matter today because we were at my mom’s and hanging out with her all weekend.

Just want to let everyone know that Nerd Nite is next Monday, March 6th! It’ll be a fun time because it is generally a fun time and we can extrapolate from experience.

Also, NERDSummit is coming up the 18th and 19th of March! It’ll be a delightful time where you can learn interesting things about web development and related technology.

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:

Monday, February 27th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Drop In Sit and Knit Group
Drop what you’re doing, come in, sit down, and knit some things!
Wednesday, March 1st
Stirn Auditorium at Amherst College at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Conversations with Alison Saar
Alison Saar will mark the installation of Sleeping Beauty by talking to you and with you about mostly art things like rtistic practice and identity, followed by a reception.
Thursday, March 2nd
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Amherst Arts Night Plus: Poetry Night and Art Exhibition
The Emily Dickinson Museum will be doing a poetry reading, open mic, and a one-night art exhibit! Featured poets include Allison O’Shea, Robbie Dunning, and Lauren Singer. The Featured Artist is Rhys Davies! Free and open to the public!
Friday, March 3rd
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 12:15 PM to 1:15 PM
Spotlight Gallery Talk in the exhibition “Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii”
Bettina Bergmann, professor of Art History at Mount Holyoke College, will give a spotlight tour so you can get a close look at the wall paintings of Villa A at Oplontis, and understand them better! Free with museum admission! Meet in the lobby.

Books:

Tuesday, February 28th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Local Author Jono Neiger Presents The Permaculture Promise
Conservation Biologist, permaculture educator, and designer Jono neiger will talk about how to create human ecosystems that don’t slowly kill all of us!
Gamble Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Amara Lakhous
Writer Amara Lakhous was born in Algiers in 1970, and moved to Rome after spending time in Algerian radio putting up with constant death threats. His first novel Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio was awarded the Flaiano Prize in Italy.
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Conversation with Author Series: Derek Strahan’s new book “Lost Springfield, Massachusetts”
Derek Strahan will talk about the City of Firts as it is, was, and might be!
Thursday, March 2nd
Hope & Feathers Gallery, Amherst MA at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
David Hyde Costello Artist Reception
Odyssey Bookshop will be at this Arts Night Plus reception for Miniature Menagerie, paintings by David Hyde Costello, selling his books! See cute as heck watercolors and then buy some books that have cute as heck watercolors in them!
Saturday, March 4th
Hope & Feathers Gallery, Amherst MA at 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM
David Hyde Costello Artist Reception
The same thing as the other one with this name! Only it’s not on Arts Night Plus so your power armor will only have half the charge it normally does and you’ll only be able to use your vison augs 3 times before triggering the alarm.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Meet the Author: Jan Maher
Jan Maher will read from her book Earth As It Is, which you can fact-check live by keeping a watch on the window.

Community:

Tuesday, February 28th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Diabetes: Our Journey to Improve Our Health
Learn about diabetes and how to keep healthy as a person with diabetes. Anne Vernardin, a former high school nutrition teacher will educate you and share her success story! This week, learn about glucose!

Computers:

MYSTERY LOCATION at 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
The Quiet Revolution in the Client – Monthly Full Stack Meetup
There’s a revolution happening in the client! The client has gone from being a backwater to a focus of development in a very little bit of time, and new approaches are needed to deal with it! Tagore Smith will talk about new approaches to web and application development in this turbulent time.
Sunday, March 5th
The Quarters [8 Railroad St., Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
MAKE TALK PLAY – Petricore Games w/Ryan Canuel
This month Ryan Canuel will talk about how to think about what you’re doing AFTER you’ve made a fun game or in some rare cases of forethinking even beforehand. Do you start a studio? How does that even work? Do you sell the game? How? All kind of scary questions!

Entertainment:

Thursday, March 2nd
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Watch anime! Anime is according to some people quite good, and there’s sure as heck a whole bunch of it. Find some you like and share it with friendly people!

Kids:

Saturday, March 4th
Springfield Museums [21 Edwards St., Springfield, MA 01103] at 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Dr. Seuss’s Birthday Pajama Party
Wear your pajamas! Get comfy and celebrate one of our local creative heroes! See a bunch of neat sculptures and other creations, and meet a lot of local illustrators! Buy some books, get them autographed, generally have a good cozy time celebrating great books!

Movies:

Wednesday, March 1st
Holyoke Community College’s Fine & Performing Arts Building at 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Viewing of 13th
A documentary about the 13th amendment that will make you angry and sad in some sort of combination!
Thursday, March 2nd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Viewing of The Lorax
See the movie version of the children’s classic The Lorax! Drop in early if you want to make a Dr. Seuss themed craft!

RPGs:

Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Play RPGs with friends! It is a good time and there are many wonderful options for creative pretending-to-be-other-people in interesting settings!

Science:

Monday, February 27th
Union Station [125 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
SciTech Cafe: You’re Never Too Old to Play in the Sandbox: The Physics of Soft Materials
Is toothpaste liquid or solid? What makes it so tough to run on sand? What’s “squishy”? What’s the point of knowing the answer to any of these questions? Kerstin Nordstrom is going to explain! She’s a professor at Mount Holyoke who studies fluid flow, and she’ll talk about all the fascinating ways that soft materials behave!
Tuesday, February 28th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Diabetes: Our Journey to Improve Our Health
This session will cover one of the ways that you can help to make your experience with diabetes easier! Understand the effect of diabetes on your body and the importance of exercise. Each session has a short review in case you can’t make it to every one!
Wednesday, March 1st
Franklin Patterson East Lecture Hall at Hampshire College at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Showing of the documentary film Sonic Sea
A showing of the hour-long film Sonic Sea, a documentary about how much industrial noise pollution negatively affects the ocean biomes we rely on to continue to exist and not die, as well as a Q&A afterward with guest Leila Hatch, Marine Ecologist at the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

NERDSummit Announces Sessions!

[Once again full disclosure the folks at NERD give me some money in exchange for marketing stuff, but fuller disclosure it’s not like this isn’t basically what I’d write for free regardless so they’re kind of paying me just to remind me to do that thing I meant to do anyway PLEASE no one tell them that.-Ed.]

NERDSummit is coming up March 18th – 19th at the UMass Integrated Sciences Building! It’s going to be no cost, a heck of a time, and it’s going to have food for attendees but some people say even more importantly than the food they are also going to have some really excellent speakers! We’ve chosen to highlight a few of the ones for each day that caught our eye.

Saturday, March 18th

First off is the one we’re most excited about, Richard Stallman & Micky Metts! They’re going to be giving a talk called The JavaScript Trap about how horrible JavaScript can be and we are interested in hearing knowledgeable people explain that to us. We already kind of hate JavaScript because people toss it about like it’s necessary for every danged button but we also know there are some more technical reasons that ubiquitous JavaScript isn’t a great idea from a useability or security perspective. Richard Stallman is one of the founders of the Free Software movement and the GNU project, so you 100% used something he helped create when you were in college and first found out that Photoshop costs $800. Micky Metts is a free software activist who has done a lot of great work cooperatively developing using free software for you, personally! Very kind of her.

Mike Miles will be giving a talk called Inclusive Design: Thinking Beyond Accessibility. What’s interesting about this talk is the fact that it goes further than just how to make your work functionally accessible to people who aren’t exactly like you. Thinking about how to include other folks to the extent that they actively find your work easy to use and joyful is important and it’s easy to let it slide because you don’t necessarily think about how other people are going to interact with your creations every time you make something.

Finally The Modern Woman in Tech with Christina Gleason seems like a good chance to look beyond specific technologies and to think about the culture surrounding a lot of the work that folks at NERDSummit will be discussing. What barriers exist for women, and what unique challenges do they face? How can we handle the current environment while working to break down walls? All important questions that deserve a lot of attention!

Sunday, March 19th

Thomas Dodson will discuss DIY Digital Signage, something that we’ve noticed more often recently. Lots of organizations buy expensive signs that are kind of both ugly and not all that flexible. Thomas has some solutions that are cheap and flexible, and shares some lessons that the folks at the Harvard Library learned implementing a DIY signage system.

Anne Merritt will be talking about Visual Programming with Scratch, a great way to introduce coding concepts to folks without requiring a lot of syntactical expertise early. Scratch uses literal building blocks of code to create basically anything you can think of, making it a lot easier for people new to programming concepts to start and finish useful projects quickly.

Finally Jeremy Kauffman will be giving a presentation called Content Freedom: An Introduction to LBRY which is appropriately enough about LBRY, an open-source protocol that’s supposed to make it easy to find, distribute, and purchase content. As we’re always really happy that we have a ton of comic photos we don’t need to attribute because we took them, the idea of finding a nice way to actually find content from other people sounds delightful!

So that’s a rundown of a few really neat sounding sessions out of a whole bunch! There are a total of 42 sessions on the site so if the above don’t catch your interest something probably will!

Graphic Novelist Joel Christian Gill at UMass Amherst ILC This Thursday

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Just received via a kindly member of the public, transmitted in full:

Tomorrow (2/23) afternoon at 4 PM in ILC Integrated Learning Center S240 at UMass Amherst graphic novelist and art professor Joel Christian Gill will appear in a conversation about his work with Tony Davis of Boston’s Million Year Picnic. Prof. Gill’s work Strange Fruit, Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History, is featured in the exhibition Direct Action Comics in Herter Art Gallery.

Nine stories are collected in his graphic anthology Strange Fruit, Volume 1: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History — named after the Abel Meeropol poem and Billie Holiday song “Strange Fruit,” including the story about Box Brown, a slave who escaped to freedom by mailing himself in a box, then became an abolitionist speaker, and of the first American stage magician, Richard Potter, a black man from New Hampshire.

The New York Times said, “Strange Fruit unpacks its power through drawings and pointed text that chronicle the trials and triumphs of black Americans who struggled against prejudice more than a century ago. At a moment when racial inequities have ignited this nation, Mr. Gill offers direction for the road ahead from the road behind.”

Joel Christian Gill is the Chair of Foundations at the New Hampshire Institute of Art and  member of The Boston Comics Roundtable.  He received his MFA from Boston University. Tony Davis is the owner of Cambridge’s storied Million Year Picnic, the oldest comic book store in the United States.

Thank you for the alert, friendly Valley person! This sounds like a good time if you’re into comic books or history or both. One of the things we like about historical comics in particular is that they can manage to insert a lot more characterization into stories that are often retold as just sequence of dates..

The Second Anniversary!

Hello! My name is James and I am the person who writes these newsletters and posts!

I actually kind of got distracted and forgot that the anniversary was on the 8th but hey whatever I got the month right!

I want to thank you, my loyal readership, for giving me a reason to keep writing because I really enjoy it. I’m also just generally happy to see that people are getting something out of them!

I don’t really know what to say about the second anniversary. I guess mostly what I feel like is that after two years of doing this and a year and a bit of helping with Nerd Nites I have been able to do a little bit to give back to a community that I appreciate.

Also it feels really nice to have written hundreds of thousands of words that were mostly useful or REALLY excellent jokes.

I still have plans for the site that are yet to come to fruition but that’s mostly because there’s a lot of other interesting stuff pulling on my time which is not the worst problem to have!

One thing I’m really invested in figuring out is how to provide a better of picture of the experience of attending a lot of different events. A consistent thing that’s arisen with folks I’ve spoken to is that they wish they could have a better idea of how to approach events that they’ve never been to. I figure I can do something to alleviate that if I work on it. Obviously I can’t do all of them personally, but I think I can figure out something useful.

At this rate a full site redesign will be coming in like a decade but hey what can you do.

If you like this site and this newsletter, I would really appreciate it if you gave me feedback about what all you’d like to see done to improve the layout and formatting or whatnot. Or if you have any feature suggestions, let me know! I’d also love to be alerted to interesting happenings around the Valley that I can post!

Also if you want to toss me money on Patreon I will appreciate it because it’s nice to have extra money to do things I feel are interesting and useful.

You’re great, thank you! Have a wonderful year! Look at the Valley Creators page and find new people whose work you’ll love!

February 20th – February 26th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Oh jeez we forgot we had our two-year anniversary! Whoops!

Happy two years to the Nerd Watch! We hope that you got something out of it, we’ve been having fun <3. We've written about 150 posts, totaling something like 200,000 words! That's a lot of words, and the best part is that every last one of them is perfect.

On to other matters!

First off: we've been playing Valley Creator Rob Daviau's Seafall recently and dang if that's not a neat game. It's a bit of a bear to read the rulebook at first because there's a lot of if/then/else stuff to do that we had a bit of trouble keeping in our heads but darn it is a fun time once you get going. You sail around in little boats, you give people nicknames, you explore islands, you make friends and enemies, it's a great time and like all Legacy games you'll play it more often than literally any other game you own.

Also we just finished playing like a LOT of Subnautica after purchasing the Humble Freedom Bundle and it is extremely good! The ocean is dark, and the ocean is terrifying, and nothing good lives in the ocean BUT also it is compelling to explore and we love 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:

Tuesday, February 21st
Herter Hall 231, UMass Amherst at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Dread Scott: On the Impossilibity of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide
Artist Dread Scott will give a public lecture in the company of Associate Professor of History Barbara Krauthamer about his work. he’s an acclaimed American artist wose work has gotten a bunch of attention and addresses a lot of important topics like police brutality and the legacy of slavery and racism in the US. It sounds like an opportunity to educate yourself about some difficult topics.
Friday, February 24th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
BYO Fiber Arts & Crafts Group
For kids and their grownups, make some crafts! Knit, crochet, sew, malinger, spin, unravel, felt, and of course
Saturday, February 25th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Florence at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: The Goodwin Photographic Collection by Steve Strimer
Steve Strimer will present a selection from the Goodwin Photographic Collection of over 300 glass-plate negatives taken by J.W. Bird and Ferdinand Schadee. See the growth of Florence in the not-too-distant past!
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Young Adult Tween/Teen Craft – Block Printing (Ages 11 – 17)
Whether you rankle at being called a teen or seethe quietly at being called a tween, this is the event for you if you want to do some printing. Printing is a lot of fun and generally it’s not tough to make something that looks really cool so we recommend you take a look.

Books:

Tuesday, February 21st
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Children’s Book Writers Group
Adults who write for children are invited to a critique group! Speak to other people about your work, and trade opportunities for development as well as writing and publishing tips. You can also read and discuss stories with other members! For more info call Jane at the library at 413-772-1544!
Wednesday, February 22nd
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Words in Transit Panel with John Voci
Contributors to the book Words in Transit, a collection of first-person narratives by immigrants to western New England, will present their stories during a panel discussion facilitated by John Voci, the NEPR director of programming and a producer for the Words in Transit project. Learn about your neighbors! They’re nice folks.
Thursday, February 23rd
MYSTERY LOCATION at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Discussion and Dinner
Go to [place] and eat [food] while discussing a very funny book! Get more context https://www.meetup.com/4scifi/events/237092179/ here as it develops. Hitchhiker’s a nice book that we like a lot, one of the first chapter-books our parents read to us. How did we find any humor in jokes about aspects of adult life for which we had no context? Simple, we were small and not very smart yet so we pretty much just laughed whenever our dad laughed.

Comic Books:

Monday, February 20th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Queers in Comics and Games
A great place to discuss topics regarding representation of LGBTQIA+ folks in games and comics! It’s a good discussion with a lot of nice people and you’ll probably have fun. Admission is by day pass, $5 that immediately becomes store credit!

Community:

Tuesday, February 21st
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Animal Communication 101
Learn how to speak to dogs, we can only assume. Why is this not a bigger deal? We had no idea all it took was a two-hour course! But for real learn how to interpret and connect with your animal pals!

Computers:

Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Google Apps and Gmail Workshop: The Ins and Outs of Your Account
Have you just started using a bunch of Google Apps? Want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your various Google-branded things? Learn how to collaboate, make contact lists, organize yourself, share your calendar, and much more!

Entertainment:

Thursday, February 23rd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
New Director Welcome Tea
Join the friends of the Forbes Library for an event that serves refereshments! Yay! Also, you’ll get to meet the newly appointed Library Director Lisa Downing!
Friday, February 24th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Layaali Arabic Music Duo
Tickets are $10, $6 for students and seniors, to this night of delightful music and entertainment with Mohammed Mejaour and Michel Moushabeck! Arrive early to shop at a 20% discount!
Saturday, February 25th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Teen Iron Chef
Ever wanted to try your hand at unseating the Iron Chefs? This is your moment to shine, aspirational teen chef! The main food is going to be chocolate. You’re going to get 8 ingredients, 4 of which will be odd. You need to use at least one of the weird ones and 3 overall to make the best tasting dish! The winner gets a little prize!
MYSTERY LOCATION at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nintendo Video Game Night
Check out the meetup group https://www.meetup.com/thepvg/ to sign up and get further details if this sounds interesting! Play some classic Nintendo games as you salivate in anticipation of the Switch!

History:

Sunday, February 26th
Deerfield Community Center [80 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA 01342] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Winter Lecture Series: Renounce the Baneful Herb: Colonial Boycotts and the Invention of Liberty Tea
Learn about early American boycotts of British trade goods and how they created a common American identity in a country that was still super super British. Always a good plan to know your history, keeps you from being caught flat-footed if the Doctor ever needs your help.

Kids:

Monday, February 20th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Special Storytime: Hazel Mitchell
Author/Illustrator Hazel Mitchell will read her new book Toby, a sotry about the bond between a child and an adorable dog!
Tuesday, February 21st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Kids’ Craft Club
Read a story, make a craft! You know the drill, folks.
Thursday, February 23rd
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Special Storytime: Josh Funk and Anna Staniszewski
Storytime about dinosaurs! Josh Funk will read Pirasaurs, a tale of dinos gon rogue, and Anna Staniszewski will give a sneak peak of her new book Dogosaurus Rex!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
LEGO Club
Build LEGO! It’s the building toy that hurts more than you can possibly imagine when you step on it only you don’t need to imagine because you’ve definitely stepped on it we all have.
Friday, February 24th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Special Storytime: Corinne Demas and Artemis Roehrig
This mother-daughter team will teach kids manners via pirates! We should teach more things via pirates, it’s a solid didactic methodology.
Saturday, February 25th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Saturday Morning Kids, Learn Magic Tricks!
Learn some cool magic tricks to keep you feeling cool while the weather’s cool! … cool.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Northampton CommunityMusic Center Family Concert Series: Jason Didner & Jungle Gym Jam
Jungle Gym Jam will delight and entertain your kid while secretly also teaching them to be a bit nicer to folks.

Movies:

Wednesday, February 22nd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
We Need to Talk About Injustice
From the description “In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America’s justice system”, educate yourself!
Friday, February 24th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
The Tale of Desperaux
Have some snacks as you watch the a delightful children’s film in the Community Room!

Science:

Thursday, February 23rd
MYSTERY LOCATION at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
OEB Science Cafe: A Day in the Life, Stories from Your Neighborhood Biologists
This one got hit by the SNOWPOCALYPSE and moved to a new date! Still has the same great biologist content though!

February 13th – February 19th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


First of all! Next month is NERDSummit! They asked us to tell you this, and they also gave us some money which is a very good way to get us to remember to do a thing! Check it out March 18th 9am – 6pm and 19th 10am – 5pm at the UMass Integrated Sciences Building! There are going to be a lot of great folks there to learn from and workshops for everyone from absolute beginners or non-coders to advanced coders!

So hey also we’ve been really digging Pandemic Legacy recently AND BUT ALSO we just got to play Seafall, which is the newest Rob Daviau creation and it’s a heck of a game. We just got to play the introductory bit, but it was a pretty decent combination of simple decisions and complicated effects.

The story being told also seems interesting. Sort of a fantasy colonialism but with a really obvious bent toward how incredibly short-sighted the provinces doing the colonizing are. Lots of “the locals say that there’s a VERY GOOD REASON to not do what we’re about to do, and they also demonstrated it directly with several very compelling examples but on the other hand aren’t we the smartest and best? Yes.”

“Anyway we did the thing and now half our crew have spontaneously combusted in what we can only assume is an entirely separate event.”

You should definitely check out Nerd Nite NoHo this week! It’ll be a really good time and we always appreciate seeing you there! As always half of the money plus whatever you want to put in the donation box goes to charity! It’s a very good system for doing good things for folks.

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:

Monday, February 13th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Learn to Paint the 45 Million Dollar Flower
Possibly the fastest way we can imagine to save for retirement! Award-winning pastel artist and teacher Gregory Maichack will teach you to paint Georgia O’Keeffe’s elegant Jimson Flower and then sell it for the price that people are willing to pay for a painting of this nice flower: $45.4 million dollars. Why haven’t we already done this! It’s so simple!
Tuesday, February 14th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Mead Reimagined: Take 2
The debut of Kota Ezawa’s “Gardner Museum Revisited”, which recreates 13 paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990! The paintings were worth over $500 million and the mystery is still unsolved because no on has ever been smart enough to catch us wait nO HOW DO WE DELETE POSTS
Wednesday, February 15th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Knitting Clinic
Having trouble with your knitting projects? want to modify a pattern? Bring stalled projects of any type to the knitting clinic so they can help!
Thursday, February 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cookies with a Curator
Informal conversation and show and tell with the Forbes Library collection. And cookies!
Friday, February 17th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Emily Dickinson Poetry Discussion Group
The session topic will be “Emily Dickinson and the Art of Hiding”. So if you really want to impress them, just don’t show up and say you were there but you’re incredible at hiding. That’s using your noodle.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Submissions and Revisions
A free drop-in group of writers who gather to polish and send out submissions of work to magazines, agents, and editors! The submissions process can be terrifying and demoralizing, so do it with a group of friends who’ll applaud every time you shout “Sent!”

Board Games:

Saturday, February 18th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Mutants and Masterminds!
Why read about superheroes when you be superheroes? Well, probably because of the inherent difficulty in getting together a lot of folks to play an RPG regularly. That’s what this is for though! New players are always welcome for a wonderful time battling evil!

Books:

Wednesday, February 15th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Lisa Carey, The Stolen Child
Lisa Carey will discuss her book about magic and love and secrets and all that fascinating stuff. Set in Ireland in 1959, the novel follows a woman whose hands can mystically harm as she begins a tumultuous affair with a mysterious American woman who visits the secluded island on which she lives and the events of a winter full of terrifying and possibly mystical troubles!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Book Talk & Signing: Katherine Anderson
Katherine will talk about her novel Hospital Hill, set in the Northampton State Hospital. In it, Valerie Martin – a former employee – returns after the closure of the hospital and discovers a dark secret! Why does no one ever return to an abandoned asylum and discover a delightful secret?
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Writing Critique Group
Writers of picture books, middle grade, and YA books meet to read and get some feedback! The group is facilitated by following SCBWI guidelines but you don’t have to be a member to participate.
Thursday, February 16th
Gamble Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Roxane Gay: Flashpoint!
The best-selling author of books such as An Untamed State and Bad Feminist will present a lecture exploring social critique and innovative reasoning on race, gender, and identity.
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Jilly Gagnon, #famous Book Prom!
Prizes for the best dressed at this book prom! Debut author Jilly Gagnon will talk about her novel about falling in love in front of the whole world and the terrifying thrill ride of social media and also liking another person!

Comic Books:

Saturday, February 18th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
LGBTQ Comics Meet-up
A good conversation with friendly people in a comic shop. Meet new people and talk about comics!

Computers:

Thursday, February 16th
The Dirty Truth [29 Main St., Northampton] at 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
User Experience, Accessibility, and Inclusive Design
For digital makers who are interested in creating products and services that provide a good experience for everyone! Things like considering whether or not your UI is readable to people who don’t see a difference between red and green!
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 and solutions for members, BuddyPress and bbPress, and installing SSL Certificates! It’s a great chance to get a rundown of some useful information about WordPress and to meet friendly people!

Entertainment:

Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Watch some anime! We’ve heard Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure is… weird? Good? We honestly can’t tell, but at least we can say we’ve heard that it exists, which means something!

History:

Monday, February 13th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Conversation with Author Series: Derek Strahan’s new book “Lost Springfield, Massachusetts”
Derek Strahan takes readers on a tour of the historic landmarks and wonderful old buildings that are living monuments to the history of a city of firsts, ad well as a look at some of the most historically significant places that no longer exist!
Tuesday, February 14th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
A Polish Odyssey
Family historian Sara Campbell will tell the unique story of the Rzewski family and their travails as they attempt to reunite in their new Holyoke Home over the course of conscription into the Russian Army, children being scattered by WW1, and a pacific crossing! It’s a story of the deep familial love that keeps hope alive over the course of a long and difficult immigration process!

Kids:

Wednesday, February 15th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Story & Craft Time @ North Amherst Library
Hear a story, make a craft, generally enjoy the fact that you’re a kid and you’re having a good day!
Thursday, February 16th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Come Play Laser Tag in the Library!
Cauterize your friends! It seems like it makes very little sense to provide teens with lasers and set them loose in a library but hey we’re not in charge. Grades 5th – 8th, please sign up in advance!
Friday, February 17th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Stuffed Animal Sleepover in the Library!
See what your favorite doll or stuffed animal or action figure gets up to when they spend the night at the library! Hear a special story and then leave your stuffed pal for a night of fun! You can drop them off any time between 10am and 7pm! Reunite with them on Saturday at 10:30am and enjoy breakfast and pictures of their sleepover! This is so frigging adorable we cannot handle it.

Movies:

Wednesday, February 15th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Film Screening: Richard Pryor, Live on the Sunset Strip
Richard Pryor! Classic of comedy, in one of his first performances after his very public battle with drugs. A venerable comic mind tackles a lot of topics and we’re like 90% certain holds up without that wrenching disconnect you get with some older comedy specials.
Saturday, February 18th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Potluck and Brazil (Director’s Cut)
Bring food and/or drink to share! After a nice dinner, the Western Mass Sci-Fi Group will watch a classic of weird SF, Brazil! It’s a Terry GIlliam film so you’re in for really distinctive visual design and a plot you can understand a bit in retrospect.  Sign up for the Meetup Group to find out where this is!

RPGs:

Thursday, February 16th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Play an RPG! Be a person you’re not in a world you aren’t! Or… or you could role-play exactly who and where you are! Just sort of recurse through your current experiences like you’re in a hall of mirrors!

Science:

Monday, February 13th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nerd Nite NoHo: Trees and Nerds
Join us for another fun Nerd Nite! Half of all proceeds go to charity! This time around Henry Lappen will be around to teach us about trees and their various mysteries, and Melissa Lewis-Gentry will speak about nerd communities and how to host nerd events in a really meta talk!
Saturday, February 18th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Scientific Kids Club
Explore geology and volcanoes with Steven and Ralph this month! We’re assuming Stephen and Ralph is what the library calls their pet volcanoes.

February 6th – February 12th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Hello all! A bit short on the top-matter and late tonight on account of a busy weekend!

We can continue to say that Pandemic Legacy is a very very good game that is a lot of fun to play, and we recommend you take a look at it!

Oh, also next Monday you should check out Nerd Nite NoHo at the World War 2 Club at 7:00pm! We’ll be donating money to charity and that’s always nice. Plus, just the event itself is a very good and fun event that people mostly tell us is great though we admit that may be somewhat related to our helping to run it but you know what we’ll take what we can get.

Have a great week, and be sure to let us know if we missed anything fun!

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, February 10th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Romancing Northampton
New York City artist Emily Stedman has created a series of watercolor paintings based on archival photos from Historic Northampton’s collection. See them and also eat cheese and crackers like a fancy person at this reception!
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Love museums? Don’t have money? See the best local museum! And give them $5 anyway if you do have money, because really it’s a great museum.

Board Games:

Saturday, February 11th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Tabletop Gaming Day
Game! Game with folks who are nice! Play whatever you like! They like Euro-style boardgames mostly but they’re open to whatever you feel like bringing too. Have a great time!

Books:

Wednesday, February 8th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Brunonia Barry, The Fifth Petal
From the description: “Do you think, inside, every one of us is a killer?” This is the question that haunts the people of Salem, Massachusetts, in THE FIFTH PETAL, a tale of otherworldly powers, ancient myths, and a gruesome triple homicide” But what separates this from just everyday life in contemporary Salem, MA?
Saturday, February 11th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Min Jin Lee, Pachinko
From the description: “PACHINKO is a tour de force following one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame and ruin them. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan.” sounds interesting!
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Experience the Book Event – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Reserve a space at the Children’s Room desk to experience the book! Wear a costume and experience scenes from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban! Someone’s going to dress as a Dementor and scare you we’re like 90% certain! It will also feature quizzes, treats, fun, and also games!

Card Games:

Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Aether Revolt Game Day
A Standard Constructed tournament showcasing decks that include new cards from the most recent Magic set! Compete for the chance to win an exclusive playmat and full-art alternate-art cards! Entry fee is $10 plus tax, all attendees will receive prize packs based on match wins. Ages 13+, intermediate-level!

Community:

Friday, February 10th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
5CLIR Legislator’s Forum
Make a difference in local politics! From the description: “Come hear our area legislators give a summary of 2016 accomplishments and their outlook for the coming year. Senator Stan Rosenberg, and State Representatives Peter Kocot, John Scibak and Stephen Kulik will brief us on critical matters affecting the State’s future. This is your chance to hear directly from those shaping public policies, and to be a part of a Question and Answer session following the presentations.”

Computers:

Monday, February 6th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
One-on-one Tech Tutoring
Learn about techology with a helpful person at the Holyoke Public Library!
Tuesday, February 7th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Talkl to some very friendly people about web development and related computer tasks! It’s a calm gathering after what can be an annoying workday!
Wednesday, February 8th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
Learn about Agile! Share your stories about Agile! Learn to be more Agile! Equip gear that requires a high Agility and dodge attacks from your enemies! The topic tonight is estimation!

Entertainment:

Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Chocolate Tasting: From Bean to Bar to Palate
Cookbook author and former editor of Bon Apetit Dede Wilson will take you on a tour… a chocolate tour! We hope it goes better than that tour of the Wonka factory we went on, only two survivors of that one. Eat light before the event because you’re gonna taste a lot of fancy chocolates and you want a clean palate!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Henning Ohlenbusch Album Release Concert
A very good musician will play excellent and widely varying music from both his new album and his old favorites! It’s a great chance to see a wonderful show up close before someone discovers this incredible musician and he’s singing to stadiums!
Saturday, February 11th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Doctor Who Club
Who? Hahaha we love that joke but for real watch some good episodes and chat with friendly folks.
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Chiara String Quartet Presents “Mole Music” Live!
Mole music. So. We’ve not had a lot of experience with the music of Our Friends Below, but we feel like it’s probably very dissimilar from human music. If you do go, be a respectful patron and do not heckle the moles because this is their music and it is not your place!

History:

Sunday, February 12th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Film: The Venice Ghetto, 500 Years of Life”
See the storied history of the 500 year-old Jewish ghetto in Venice through the eyes of a New York teenager who goes to visit with his family.

Kids:

Tuesday, February 7th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Kids’ Craft Club
Make some crafts with other kids and be proud of your capacity to create!
Wednesday, February 8th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
The Youngbloods Adventure Guild
An after-school adventuring club! Aimed at players 8-12 it takes place once per month and features adventures custom-designed for the players. The first month will be a select group of 5 kids, with a $50 registration fee for the month, which includes free play on the day and rewards for the players! Contact Modern Myths for more information!
Thursday, February 9th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
LEGO Club
Build LEGO with other kids! It’s the neatest toy that everyone likes a bunch.
Friday, February 10th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM
Make-Your-Own-Valentine Craft
Kids ages 4-12 can make a card that says a nice thing to someone else! Is there a reason we stop doing these at 12? This would work as like a weekly activity.
Saturday, February 11th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Saturday Morning Kids, Make Valentines
Make kids’ book themed Valentines!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament
There are four sections, K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. The first round starts promptly at 10am, and there’s a four-round Swiss System. Trophies to 1st, 2nd, 3rd in each section. Free entry! But please bring a chess set and chess clock if you can and a bagged lunch!
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Saturday Playground & Parent Workshop “Why Does My Child Behave This Way?”
Learn about how to deal with behaviors from your little kiddo that are difficult! It’s something a lot of people have had to deal with, and so there’s some good advice about what to do.

Movies:

Wednesday, February 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Film Screening: White Like Me: Race, Racism & White Privilege in America
Watch “White Like Me”, a film by anti-racist educator and author Tim Wise that explores race and racism in the US through the lens of whiteness and white privilege. Wise looks back on the institutional structures that maintain the racial inequality that we deal with every day.

Science:

Thursday, February 9th
Nacul Center [592 Main St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
OEB Science Cafe: A Day in the Life, Stories from Your Neighborhood Biologists
What does it mean to be a biologist? How do they spend their time? Where do they roost? What defenses do their hordes have and what level of loot can you find there? Learn all this and more from several biologists and their stories from the lab and field!