Community

July 10th – 16th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Spider-Man: Homecoming was a movie we really liked a lot, and we think we can recommend it pretty wholeheartedly. Dragged a bit in places, but overall our favorite take on Peter Parker as Spider-Man pretty much period in a long time.

We also had the absolutely positive addition of a young child who helpfully provided the sort of color commentary that enhances a viewing experience like “That’s bad guys?” when people were introduced robbing a bank and “Oh ha ha, ho ha ho!” when there was a plot twist!

This week we want to specifically call out Nerd Nite NoHo at the World War 2 Club Monday at 7pm because that’s the thing we do and you should go! Thank you for reading we appreciate you!

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, July 10th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Metal Work With Heather Beck
Heather has been metalworking for a few years now, specializing in jewelry and other accessories. Learn how to pound out metal and properly stamp words and designs into the metal! Teens will have a chance to develop their own unique metal bookmarks! Try out some blacksmithing! Sign up by calling 413-665-2642!
Tuesday, July 11th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Radioplasma Recording Studio Sessions
Meet in the Teen Room to walk as a group to the Radioplasma Recording Studio to get some hands on experience with journalism, storytelling, and sound mixing! SOUNDS cool! Get it? See that? Nice.
Wednesday, July 12th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Family Workshops at the Mead
Need a nice family fun time activity? Need some air conditioning? Visit the Mead for some art-making! There’s also story-telling, short film screenings, and a bunch of activities inspired by the art at the Mead! Fun for all!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Forbes Library Zine Club
Zines! Zines are keen! Zines are little booklets you can print out about cool things you like, which is fun! Go make some fun zines!
Thursday, July 13th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
I Went Into the Woods: The Life and World of Henry David Thoreau
This program will look at the life and times of Thoreau, a mid-nineteenth century poet that we feel comfortable saying was “pretty good” and also changed American literature forever.
Friday, July 14th
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Visit a world-class museum for free! Although if you want to put $5 in the donation tin they wouldn’t mind it. There will also be a few complimentary light refreshments and a guided conversation about a piece of art on display at 6pm as well as hands-on art making from 4pm – 7pm!
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Make a Cat Happy Today!
Make some cat toys that will be donated to the Dakin Animal Shelter! Materials will be provided, so get to helping kitties feel nice!
Sunday, July 16th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Sunday Sketch at the Mead
Sketch! Draw whatever you like in the beautiful confines and grounds of the Mead! We suggest you draw a really excellent robot.

Board Games:

Monday, July 10th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Game On!
Play some games! Indoor and outdoor! Everything from Frisbee to Apples to Apples!
Wednesday, July 12th
The Brass Cat [65 Cottage St #101, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Wednesday Games at the Brass Cat!
Play board games at the Brass Cat! This week the theme is Escape Room games! Which is funny because the whole point of escape room stuff is that you’re physically interacting with a space but because there are rules and concepts that can be communicated via a boardgame of COURSE there are a bunch of boardgames about them now! There’s probably a boardgame about running a small local newsletter.
Friday, July 14th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM
Tabletop Game Night
Take a moment to hang out with a great group of people playing board games! We recommend Clank! because we had fun with it recently and we are fickle.

Books:

Tuesday, July 11th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Roger Ekrich, American Sancturary: Mutiny, Martyrdom, and National Identity in the Age of Revolution
Roger Ekrich’s book begins with the bloodiest mutiny ever suffered by the Royal Navy, the British frigate HMS Hermione in 1797 and continues to cover rebellion in the US, France, and Ireland. He lays out the revolutionary fervor of the turn of the century in 1800 and how it affected the election campaign between Jefferson and Adams and how THAT led to the spectacular decision on the part of the US to grant politcal asylum to refugees.
Wednesday, July 12th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Madeleine Blais, To The New Owners: A Martha’s Vineyard Memoir
Madeleine Blais’s in-laws bought a vacation house on little-known but very pretty island Martha’s Vineyard for just $80k in the 70’s. It wasn’t much, but it was lovely. It was finally sold in 2014, after a wonderful several decades of beaches and meals and nights under the stars. She’ll share her memoir of a house that made some lives more lovely, in the form of a missive to the new owners!
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Bikes and Books Club
Read and discuss a book, then get a free bike maintenance lesson, go for a ride, and play some games!

Card Games:

Sunday, July 16th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Star Wars Destiny
The first ever constructed Star Wars Destiny tournament! Bring constructed Star Wars Destiny decks, $10 entry, booster packs and promo cards will be offered as prizes! There are going to be three rounds in a Swiss format. Go find your Destiny! See what we did there? That’s the game’s name!

Computers:

Monday, July 10th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Datomic with Cognitech! – Monthly Full Stack Meetup
Tim Ewald, the VP of Engineering at Cognitect, will talk about a distributed Clojure database that separates reads, writes, and storage called Datomic! Sounds like a great opportunity to learn about a useful new tool for database design. Hm, maybe we could use that instead of a giant google sheet.
Tuesday, July 11th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Speak to a bunch of friendly people about web development, it is generally a freewheeling discussion about whatever else is on the minds of attendees as well!
Thursday, July 13th
Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center [100 Bigelow St., Holyoke] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Hack for Western Mass
After some quick updates about ongoing projects there will be a discussion about upcoming projects and then it’s time to get hacking! Help make a difference in your community using the skills you’ve got!

Entertainment:

Tuesday, July 11th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Tanabata Evening
Tanabata, or Star Festival, is a celebration of the meeting of two lovers who are gods represented by the stars Vega and Altair. The Jones Library will celebrate Tanabata this year with East Asian-themed stories, crafts and snacks followed by a storytelling presentation by Motoko. A native of Osaka, Japan, Motoko first came to the U.S. as an exchange student at UMass Amherst. She has since performed at hundreds of schools, libraries, museums and festivals. The event is free and open to the public; children of all ages are welcome.
Wednesday, July 12th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Dog Days of Summer
Walk your dog to the Mead and then enjoy hot dogs, but be certain to explain to your cool dog that you would never eat a cool dog, only a hot dog! To clarify this is a cookout! There’s also going to be music and animal-themed exhibit tours!
Mount Sugarloaf at 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Community Hike Up Mount Sugarloaf
People of all ages! Join a big old hike up a hill to a nice pretty lookout. It’s also Henry David Thoreau’s 200th birthday, so why not use that as an excuse to commune with nature? There will be light refreshments at the top! Though we do feel like we need to make it clear that you can in fact get light refreshments in far simpler manners.
Thursday, July 13th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Yidstock Day 1
Legitimately too much going on to discuss! Music! Workshops! Talks! See Eleanor Reissa & Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars at night, learn about music during the day! Members $8, $10 general admission for the talks and workshops! The concert pass is $198 for members, $236 for general admission if you want to go to every show!
Friday, July 14th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Yidstock Day 2
Too much again to discuss! Workshops about Yiddish dance and a dramatic reading and discussion of The Last Survivor, followed by the Hankus Netsky and Eden MacAdam-Somer duo as well as the Nigunim Trio! Members $30, non-members $36! The concert pass is $198 for members, $236 for general admission if you want to go to every show!
Saturday, July 15th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 9:30 PM
Yidstock Day 3
So much! Folk Oratorio at night, “A Night in the Marketplace”, members $45, general admission $50, and talks during the day! Please purchase tickets in advance to the workshops and talks, space is not guaranteed! The concert pass is $198 for members, $236 for general admission if you want to go to every show!
Sunday, July 16th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 9:00 PM
Yidstock Day 4
The final day of the event! Learn about Yiddish songs, how a million Yiddish books are about to change the Jewish world, and see Klezmer, the Alicia Svigals and Lauren Brody Duo, and the Andy Statman Trio at night! What a time! The concert pass is $198 for members, $236 for general admission if you want to go to every show!

History:

Tuesday, July 11th
Connecticut River Greenway Park, Damon Road, Northampton at 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
From Northampton to the Boundary Waters (or at least the boundary with Hatfield)
Take a 16-person boat down the beautiful Connecticut River! Learn about the natural and cultural history from rowing coach and generally informed person Betsy Powell as well as co-director of Historic Northampton and naturalist Laurie Sanders! No prior experience necessary, but unfortunately it’s full up! Email islanders@historicnorthampton.org to be placed on the waiting list!
Thursday, July 13th
Deerfield Community Center [16 Memorial Street, Deerfield, MA 01342] at 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM
2017 Summer Lecture Series: Neal Hurst “For the heat is beyond your conception: Dressing for the Heat in the Eighteenth Century”
Join Neal Hurst, the associate curator for costumes and textiles at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, to discuss how folks dealt with the summer in the eighteenth century! We’re not certain exactly what they wore, but we imagine it’s something that would cause us to actually de-cohere into a sweat puddle.
Saturday, July 15th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
The Other Battle of the Somme: The Smith College Relief Unit in World War 1
Smith College was always pretty awesome, and not just because they had amazing hats according to this historical photo. Learn about the group of young women from Smith, of the Smith College Relief Unit who went to Grecourt, a small village in the Somme Valley, to work with a traumatized local population. They went there to help rebuild a community that had just faced a war of apocalyptic proportion, using their skills to act as mechanics, farmers, well-diggers, and caregivers! Lecturer Jennifer Hall-Witt of Smith College will enlighten you as to the history of these brave women!

Kids:

Tuesday, July 11th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Makerspace Workshop
Cool technology, innovative ideas about building things, and a bunch of materials! Come to Palmer to invent, learn, play, and create a new thing using some really neat resources! See if you can invent a library with a makerspace and fractalize this whole thing.
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Makerspace Workshop Session 2
Learn to create robots! Carve 3D objects! Print 3D objects! Make anything you can imagine! Every participant will get to 3D print and take home one of their designs! Open to all kids 10 and up, pre-register by calling 413-283-3330 ext. 102!
Wednesday, July 12th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:30 AM to 11:15 AM
Pumpernickel Puppets
Pumpernickel Puppt shows are presented with a cast of colorful puppet characters, audience participation, and entertaining imaginative fast paced scripts! There’s also a demo period about how things work behind the scenes after the show! And we can’t stress this enough, the puppets cannot bit hard enough to break skin.
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Fun With Cartoons!
Kids ages 7-14 are invited to come find out how to make interesting cartoons! Learn some tricks and tips of the cartoon world, and design and draw your own cartoon characters! Paper and pencils are made available! Space is limited so call 413-665-2642 to register!
Thursday, July 13th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
The Curious Giraffe Show
We know nothing about this, but it sounds excellent. Kind of hoping that this is literally just a nice, curious Giraffe.
Saturday, July 15th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Nutshell Playhouse Presents: Mambo and Nemonee’s Worldwide Adventure
Mambo and Nemonee are working to save the endangered, spectacular, Floratius Serendipitus! Follow them on their adventures as they’re brought to life with puppetry, masks, and live music! Tickets can be purchased by calling 413-559-6336!
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Esh’s World Folktales
Esh Bumpus captivates audiences with world, African-American, and African folktales full of humor, music, mystery, and just plain good storytelling. He’s a master at physical characterization, a renowned storyteller, and an accomplished jazz vocalist. Learn about the world via folktales!

RPGs:

Wednesday, July 12th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Indie Game Night
Playtest a new RPG by a local creator! Alex Tully’s new flexible story game “Cards on the Table” uses the mechanics of Texas Hold’em to help you tell stories! You can also try out a game run by store manager Melissa, “Tales From the Loop”, which is a sort of kid-sci-fi RPG based on work by Simon Stalenhag about an alternate 80’s where Weird Things are happening and only kids are noticing! It sounds nifty.

Science:

Monday, July 10th
World War 2 Club [50 Conz St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nerd Nite NoHo
Nerd Nite! The best Nite in the world, as you are aware! It’s lovely. This week we’ll talk Marijuana Policy in MA and Water Quality! It’ll be an informative and fun night for all! It’s $5 at the door, and half the proceeds will go to charity!

Video Games:

Saturday, July 15th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Nintendo Night
Play some of the best games ever put out by Nintendo! You will need to join up at the meetup page, though, since it’s hosted somewhere secret! Check out https://www.meetup.com/thepvg/ to join!

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Rise Up: The Game of People & Power – Locals Create Board Game About Organizing for Change!

Rise Up is a cooperative boardgame about organizing for change, and it sounds neat. We remember hearing about the Kickstarter a ways back, and probably pointing folks toward it. It looks like the result is a pretty delightful looking game!
Here’s their pitch in their own words:

At the start of each game, players come up with a movement they want to create. It can be serious or silly. (Such as “fighting for a living wage” or “free pizza for everyone.”) Then the game naturally teases out the story of your movement as you go. Players have to gain supporters in order to play Movement Cards like “We organize a massive march!”, “General strike,” “We take time to help out our neighbors and build our community,” and “Someone writes a protest song.” These cards allow players to build their movement, take on the System, and help their fellow players gain supporters and resources.

The goal is to grow your movement power in different places across the board. But watch out, because the System is fighting back. With cards like “Smear campaign against our movement” or “Arbitrary arrests”, the System will make you lose supporters and resources while it cements its own power.

Players lose if they run out of supporters or if the System gains too many victories. Players win if they score more victories than the System.

Rise Up also has unique cooperative game mechanics that keep players interested and engaged during the whole game, even when it’s not their turn.

Also! They’ve done a clever thing with managing the complexity for a variety of possible players:
And we’ve done something innovative: just flip the board over, and you’ll be able to play Rise Up Simplified, a version that’s quicker to learn and that has simpler rules. Rise Up Simplified is appropriate for younger kids and people who have less experience with games. It can be played with co-workers, in workshops, trainings, after hours at conferences or retreats, and in community organizing settings where time is of the essence.

Protect Net Neutrality – July 12th Day of Action

Hello there! We at the Nerd Watch are very tiny site that hopefully you enjoy. In part because we’re super tiny, Net Neutrality is important to us! We’re a local-interest community organization that cannot possibly exist if the internet becomes a place where you pay monopolies in order to be accessible to other people.

Because of that, we’re participating in the July 12th Day of Action arranged by Fight for the Future. Here’s some information:

  • WHAT IS NET NEUTRALITY?

    Net neutrality is the basic principle that protects our free speech on the Internet. “Title II” of the Communications Act is what provides the legal foundation for net neutrality and prevents Internet Service Providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from slowing down and blocking websites, or charging apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience (which they then pass along to consumers.)

  • WHY IS NET NEUTRALITY IMPORTANT?

    The Internet has thrived precisely because of net neutrality. It’s what makes it so vibrant and innovative—a place for creativity, free expression, and exchange of ideas. Without net neutrality, the Internet will become more like Cable TV, where the content you see is what your provider puts in front of you.

  • WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON JULY 12TH?

    Websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. We’ll provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your followers / visitors to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we’ve shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption. Now, we have to do it again!

The short version is: you know how if you’ve ever dealt with Comcast, you absolutely want to have as little as possible to do with Comcast forever because they’re completely horrendous? If they manage to eliminate Net Neutrality it will not be possible to escape Comcast. Comcast will step right into your personal space at every turn and tell you which websites they would like you to see, and it will be extremely uncomfortable.

Heck we just talked about the wonderful Damn the Man, Save the Music! Kickstarter, right? Well here’s this person:

Michal Rosenn, General Counsel at Kickstarter, said: “A threat to net neutrality is a threat to the free exchange of ideas that creative culture and an informed public rely upon. Kickstarter, and the tens of thousands of creators who have brought new ideas to life through our platform, all depend on a free and open internet. We’re proud to stand alongside so many others today to preserve net neutrality, and to protect the freedoms that make the internet such a powerful force.”

This is a nationwide issue, but local creators and Valley residents are going to be negatively affected if we lose Net Neutrality. Do what you can, when you can, and participate in the July 12th Day of Action if you’re able to do so.

Thanks for reading, call your Senators and Representatives!

March 6th – March 12th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


So hey here’s a thing we just found out about recently despite ostensibly being a news source: due to a variety of circumstances both unforeseen and ultraforeseen the lovably local game shop co-op Worlds Apart Games is going to cease to exist soon. Like, by the end of March. So that’s a really unfortunate thing, right? It’s very important to our continued steadiness of mind that there exist Game Places in all Valley towns so that we have ample reason to go putter around somewhere should we find ourselves out and about.

The nice thing is that it seems like some very dedicated people of various stripes and interest categories are of the same opinion and working to figure out how to fill the void that will be left and with what to do the filling. Community game space? Event-hosting space? Something that lets a bunch of people play Magic the Gathering there really often seems like it could garner a decent amount of support.

Which is what they need! Support from you! Interested in playing a boardgame in Amherst that doesn’t involve being at someone’s house? Then go to their Facebook page and check out what’s up and head to their meetup at 5pm this Wednesday the 8th at The Works in Amherst to talk through things.

At a very minimum you’ll get to meet nice people and talk to them so that’s decent you know? Also maybe you’re independently wealthy and have a weird interest in sustaining a game shop in Amherst we don’t know our audience that well.

And finally check out NERDSummit.org! Again, if you’ve already seen it! The schedule’s up and it is going to be great and you should attend because it’ll be great and also full disclosure because they paid us money to tell you to attend so the more of you who attend the more obvious it becomes that giving us cash is met with great success and happiness. If you could carry signs or wear shirts saying “We came here because of the wonderful marketing of the folks at Valley Nerd Watch” we would appreciate it.

Have a lovely week, 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, March 6th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Makerspace Monday
A weekly group gathering to play with stuff, make art, and just generally create new things for the joy of it!
Wednesday, March 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Knitting Clinic
Neet help knitting? Get help knitting! Know how to knit real real nice? Knit real real nice and help out people who need help knitting! Somehwere in between nice nice and need help? Then enter the Cave of Shadows and brave the trials three for access to the knitting secrets or ask for some tips from fellow knitters!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Forbes Library Zine Club
ZINES! Zines across the nation! Zines in our veins! Zines for teens! Zines for monotremes! Zines for any and all who have access to cheap copiers! Learn how to create a zine and distribute it!
Friday, March 10th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Unidentified Woman an Exhibition by Jodi Colella
In this exhibit the artist takes headwear and photos so old they’re actually daguerreotypes from the collection of Historic Northampton and explores the role of headwear in indicating the class, status, and occupation of the wearer. Collela stitches together the past and future by colorfully exploring women whose names have been forgotten by history.
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Do you want to go to a great local art museum but also you don’t have $5? Go ahead and check out the Free Second Friday! It’s a ton of fun and is totally without cost. Though if you can drop a couple bucks in the donation bin that would be very nice.
Saturday, March 11th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Make Harry Potter Potion Bottles
Do you wish your life involved more slightly-sinister storage, Snape-style? Suffer no longer! You can create some neat distressed bottles and make them look just like Snape’s! And hey if you don’t care about pretending to be a magical folk you can just make neat antique bottles!

Board Games:

Friday, March 10th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM
Tabletop Game Night
Board game meetup by the folks at the Pioneer Valley Geeks & Games at the Burger King! Bring a game if you want to share one or just play what other folks have brought! Beginners welcome, and there’s no better audience if you’ve got a game you’d really like to try!
Saturday, March 11th
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 going to be a 4-round Swiss System and there are trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place! Entry is free but you should definitely bring a chess set and clock if you can and a bagged lunch if you want to eat!

Books:

Monday, March 6th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Poetry Discussion Group
A weekly poetry discussion group open to regulars and drop-ins! This week they’re going to discuss poems about Climate Change!
Wednesday, March 8th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Garry Brown Talk and Book Signing
Garry Brown will talk about the best stories he’s written over the past fifty-danged-nine years writing at Springfield newspapers which what the heck he has written an infinite amount we’re pretty sure. If we’re still writing these newsletters in fifty-nine years we’d just yell at people to give us a medal at any sort of signing.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Warm up with Kestrel Land Trust’s Love the Land Book Share
Grab a favorite read related to nature, land, or the nature of land and share it in an informal gathering! Heck you don’t even need to grab the book, just have a title and an author and a short bit about why you liked it and share it with the group! RSVP required but it is free! Email katy [at] kestreltrust [dot] org!
Thursday, March 9th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Ani Tuzman, The Temble of Love: A Novel of the Baal Shem Tov
In partnership with the Yiddish Book Center for an evening, the Odyssey will host a novel inspired by Rabbi Yisroel ben Eliezar, known as the Ball Shem Tov or the Good Master of the Name. Set in the 1700s Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth this reimagining of one of the most revered of history’s mystics allows readers to experience the timelessness and grace of unrestrained love! Which is pretty impressive for a novel, most of the ones we read just allow us to experience how cool lasers are.
Sunday, March 12th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Mohsin Hamid, Exit West
A love story, a magical realist story, a sci-fi story, a story about being a refugee… this book is a lot of things! Nadia and Saeed are young lovers thrust into an uncertain existence during a civil war and given the option to escape through a mysterious doorway. Emerging somewhere alien, they try to hold on to each other. It sounds like it’s worth a read! Buy it at Odyssey and get it signed!

Comic Books:

Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Comic Creator’s Jam
Are you a comicser? A comicilizer? Someone who makes artwork or writes stories and then slaps them together into a single thing? Hang out with a bunch of really nice creators who travel from near and like slightly less near but still pretty near to discuss the craft and business of comics! All it takes to get in is a $5 day pass that immediately becomes store credit!

Community:

Wednesday, March 8th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
National Women’s Strike
From the description: “In support of International Women’s Day, join the conversation after the demonstration on the Greenfield Town Common!”

Computers:

Monday, March 6th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
One-on-one Tech Tutoring
Tech tutoring in English and Spanish! Register for an hour one-on-one session at least 24 hours in advance every weekday from 11:30am – 1:30pm or 4:30pm – 6:30pm! Sign up by calling 413-420-8118 or write to grivera [at] holyokelibrary [dot] org!
Tuesday, March 7th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Designers regular a coder nendezvous makers of web! It’s a good time to hang out and talk to folks who work on web-dev stuff and just generally have an alright time at a nice bar.
Thursday, March 9th
Cultivate and Nest [2 Bay Rd., Suite 100, Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Hack for Western Mass Meetup
After a couple quick updates about ongoing projects, there will be a discussion about potential future options and then people are going to join teams and get hacking to make the community a bit better! It’s a really great group and they’re doing interesting stuff, you should join! Also dinner and drinks are on them so like there’s literally no reason to not go to this thing and say hi!
Friday, March 10th
North Amherst Library [8 Montague Rd, Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Drop-in Tech Support with PC Doctor Hank
PC Doctor Hank will put a stethoscope on your PC and diagnose what woes it! Hank knows what’s up with PC innards and is happy to help you understand it all!

Entertainment:

Thursday, March 9th
Franklin Patterson Main Lecture Hall at Hampshire College at 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
No More Talk About Us, Without Us!
The real women of the hit TV show and book “Orange is the New Black” discuss the reality of prison life and the way it feels to have people take a look at your own harrowing actual experiences though the lens of entertainment in a panel discussion that seems informative and necessary.
Saturday, March 11th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Doctor Who Club
Doctor Which is at it again with his scarfs! Free and open to all, snacks “strongly encouraged”! Watch some classic episodes of the show that’s endured for so long our parents were fans when they were our age!
Sunday, March 12th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
“The Real Deal Purim-Shpil” with the Wandering Jew Players of the Congress for Jewish Culture
A musical mash-up featuring Purim plays, drinking songs, and general holiday cheer by great Yiddish writers including Sholem Aleichem, Itzik Manger, Moyshe Nadir, and more! It’s $8 for students, $10 for members, and $12 for general admission!

Kids:

Saturday, March 11th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Saturday Morning Kids Arts and Crafts
St. Patrick’s Day themed readings and arts and crafts! Make a Shamrock, or a pot of gold, or any of the innumerable items appropriate for children during this, the easiest holiday to make child-friendly!

Movies:

Tuesday, March 7th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
GPL Teen Pizza and Movie Night
Join librarians Francesca and Steve for the delicious combination of pizza and a film, open to ages 12 and up!
Wednesday, March 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Which Way Home
This film tackles immigration issues by focusing on the youngest victims of the struggle to just exist in the world. The film follows some of the thousands of unaccompanied children from all over Latin America who fled from their homes as they attempt to make the trecharous journey across the US border.
Sunday, March 12th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Film Screening, “There Are Jews Here”
More than a million American Jews live in small towns around the country, and this movie explores people working ot keep the Jewish spirit alive in places like Laredo Texas and Dothan Alabama. It’s $4 for students, $6 for members, and $8 for everyone else!

Science:

Tuesday, March 7th
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 week, you’ll learn about diabetes and the effects carbohydrates have on it! Anne Bernardin will educate you and share her success story, as well as recap the other lessons in case you’re just coming in this week!
Thursday, March 9th
Nacul Center [592 Main St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
OEB Science Cafe: Is it hot in here? Thinking about the evolution of menopause.
With Dr Lynnette Sievert this cafe will explore the evolution of mopause and post-reproductive aging as a human trait! She’ll talk about how humans as individuals and different cultures deal with menopause and the fact that we’re as species that oulives our reproductive years!

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