June 1st – 7th

Here are some ways you can help support ongoing protests against police brutality:

This is an article with a lot of other possible ways to help out.

With the ongoing pandemic and the fact that inaction at a federal level means that it’s not even close to peaking in the US, we would recommend you try to stay at home and away from crowds if at all possible. But if you do go out: mask up, wash your hands as often as you can, and absolutely try to get the hell away from any tear gas. Here’s an article with a few more tips about staying safe: How to more safely protest in a pandemic.

Monday from 8PM – 10PM you can check out the Far Out Film Discussion virtually! They’re discussing Aelita: Queen of Mars, by Yakov Protazanov circa 1924. Just join the Zoom here: https://zoom.us/j/838291785.

Wednesday from 9:30AM – 12:30PM there will be a virtual writing room! You don’t have to do anything but open the link and hang out, really. You can also do some chatting and the like, but mostly it’s just a way to motivate everyone to keep writing!

Also on Wednesday from 11AM – 12PM there’s a Virtual Book Discussion Group with folks from the Greenfield Public Library! Chat about fun books you’ve been reading with fellow readers. Ask librarian@greenfieldpubliclibrary.org for the link to join!

And! You can head to the Start Playing Games Discord and join up on Wednesday to play some fun boardgames with the Power of the Internet from 7PM – 11PM!

Thursday from 3:30PM – 4:30PM there will be a Teens Only Book Club, you can email mbishop@forbeslibrary.org for the link to join! They’ll be discussing Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

From the publisher: “Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers. When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed….”

Also on Thursday from 3PM – 3:30PM local author Megan Dowd Lambert will be discussing her new children’s book “A Kid of Their Own” with the folks at the Jones Library, who’ll be livestreaming it on Facebook and archiving it for later!

And again on Thursday at 6:30PM, Amherst Arts Night Poetry Reading will be virtual! You can register and get the link to participate here!

In June we feature poems from Poetry In The Pandemic, a crowd-sourced poetry project organized by Haoran Tong. The reading will feature staff, students, and faculty of Amherst College, and will last approximately 40 minutes. This program is dedicated to graduating seniors everywhere, but especially to the Museum’s two graduating student employees, Anna Plummer and Jane Bragdon.

Finally on Thursday, you can head to the Virtual Author Talk “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah: Andy Sweet’s Summer Camp 1977,” with Brett Sokol. You can register to join the call here!

Brett Sokol, journalist and editor of “Shtetl in the Sun: Andy Sweet’s South Beach 1977–1980,” a vivid photographic portrait of the then-thriving and now-vanished Jewish community of retirees that existed on South Beach during the late 1970s, will be speaking about his newest book, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah: Andy Sweet’s Summer Camp 1977.” A companion to “Shtetl in the Sun,” “Hello Muddah” chronicles the summer of 1977 at Camp Mountain Lake—from the parade of trunks as 300 predominantly Jewish campers arrive at Mountain Lake’s rural North Carolina setting to the end-of-August Dionysian frenzy of “Color War,” Sweet’s photos tell a classic coming-of-age story, one full of awkward crushes, intense friendships, and the kind of deep truths that emerge over late night, campfire-toasted marshmallows.

Friday from 1PM – 2PM you can attend a Virtual Book Chat! It’s just a time to hang out and chat with folks about whatever you’ve been reading, and to hear about what other folks are reading! You can join up at https://meet.jit.si/ForbesLibraryBookChat.

And last but not least on Sunday from 6:45PM – 8:15PM you can head to Make Talk Play to see Ezra Cove discuss Blender! You’ll be able to join in if you join up at the Meetup group!

Blender is hardly a new 3D creation application, but it has gained a lot of notice among game artists in the past year since version 2.8 was released.

If you haven’t tried Blender recently (or if you’d like to learn more about version 2.8!) please join us Sunday, June 7th at 7pm on Twitch and learn more about Blender from 3D Artist and Professor of Game Development, Ezra Cove at the next MAKE TALK PLAY!

We’ll kick off the stream at 6:45pm, but the panel starts at 7pm. To join, simply click here:

Ezra has been using Blender for freelance real-time 3D art for the past few years, and recently has been experimenting with using it for the entire character art pipeline.

In this talk, you’ll get an overview of sculpting, retopology, UVs, modeling, texturing, and rigging all in – you guessed it – Blender! In addition to demoing vanilla Blender, Ezra will also show a few Addons he uses to speed up and improve various steps.

You should come away with a better understanding of how Blender can be used to create production-ready art assets.

Also this is something we hadn’t noticed earlier: our own local historical society the David Ruggles Center has a middle and high school curriculum available online! That’s an awesome opportunity for learning some local history that you can even in a rare event be reasonably proud of. Florence was the historical home of some extremely good folks. You can also take a self-guided tour yourself if you’d just like to have a good time learning history!

Oooh! And also, are you interested in sending a gift to a nice person? You can send a gift box from Odyssey Bookshop to someone you like! You set a budget, you describe who you’re giving the gift to and why, and the fine folks at Odyssey pick out a great slate of books for them! Honestly that’s kind of a dream for us.

Also as always check out Pioneer Valley Planeswalkers if you’ve got a hankering to play Magic: The Gathering!

We’ve been playing a lot of Deep Rock Galactic still, though we also started playing a bunch of Starsector, a little space-trader sort of game that’s been in early access for a decade. It’s interesting because you can sort of feel that it’s been worked on a bunch but it’s sort of… uneven seems like a mean way of saying it but like the “easy” part of the game to implement – the text-choices-adventure-stuff bit when you land at a station or talk to another fleet – is still sparse. But the combat is significantly more intricate and fun than a lot of games I’ve played in the same genre. Oh, and the graphics are extremely good, they picked a distinct sort of 32-bit style and then put in a ton of work making a lot of distinct and fun-looking spaceships. Plus a lot of modders have made very pretty spaceships on their own!

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