History

April 24th – April 30th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We’re going on vacation! BUT because we’re frankly astounding and dedicated and very pretty and dogs like us, they just know we’re putting together a bunch of pre-made Nerd Watches! They’re distinguishable from the normal ones because they all have this up top and they’re all filled with “from the description:” because we had to do 88 individual events and danged that is just a heck of a thing.

And because Liz Popolo is our only current Platinum Ultra Level Patreon Supporter, we’re gonna link her site here: check it out! It’s great, she’s a great artist and you should give her money!

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, April 25th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Teen Craft Night
Craft, teens! Craft to your heart’s content!
Wednesday, April 26th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
A Conversaton with Artist Vitaly Komar
From the description: “Join Russian-born conceptual artist Vitaly Komar for a conversation with Henry Steele Commager Professor and Professor of Russian Art Stanley Rabinowitz about Amherst’s renowned Thomas P. Whitney, Class of 1937, Collection of Russian Art; Russian art and culture in the United States since the 1970s; and the experience of being a Russian émigré artist. The talk will be followed by a reception at the Mead. All are welcome to attend!”
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Needle Felting and Fiber Crafts
From the description: “We’ll start with simple shapes and learn how to join them together. I’ll show how to sculpt faces and embellish figures. Some rough knitting wools like Lopi can be added. You can also embellish wool clothing with needle felting. The library will supply some wool. Additional supplies (foam work base and felting needles may be available for purchase at the library or New England Felting Supply in Easthampton.” make stuff with felt!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Forbes Library Zine Club
ZIIIIINES! ZINES ZINES ZINES! Zines are the magazines of the future and the past! They’re the magazines of right now! They’ve always been inside you! Your organs are all zines!
Thursday, April 27th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Friends of the Greenfield Public Library Annual Poetry Contest
We assume this is just a place where you shout your poetry as loud as you can until someone tells you you win.
Saturday, April 29th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Explore Music and Sound! Presented by UMass Music Educators
From the description: “Join students from the Umass Department of Music Education for a “found sounds” activity all about making music with everyday objects and “finding sounds.””

Board Games:

Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Weekly Board Game Night
Board games at Modern Myths! It’s always an amazing time with extremely nice people to play with or against and a wide variety of games to try!

Books:

Tuesday, April 25th
Gamble Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College [Lower Lake Rd South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Amy Goodman/Democracy Now!: The Enemy Is Not The Enemy Tour
From the site: “In 1996 Amy Goodman began hosting a show on Pacifica Radio called Democracy Now! to focus on the issues and movements that are too often ignored by the corporate media. Today Democracy Now! is the largest public media collaboration in the US, broadcasting on over 1,400 public television and radio stations around the world, with millions accessing it online at DemocracyNow.org. Now Amy, along with her journalist brother, David, and co-author Denis Moynihan, share stories of the heroes—the whistleblowers, the organizers, the protesters—who have brought about remarkable change.” Democracy Now’s a cool show. You can listen to it on 91.1 WMUA and 103.3 VFR!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Ware’s Boys of Summer: Book Talk with Stephen Katz
Learn about those boys, those delightful boys in Ware! They’re here for summer and the party’s just geting started!
Wednesday, April 26th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Jessica Shattuck, The Women in the Castle
From the site: “In one of the finest examples of historical fiction in recent years, Jessica Shattuck gives the reader a more complex understanding of what civilians experience living under an oppressive and cruel regime, as well as the shattered civil society that remains after the war has ended.”
Saturday, April 29th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Independent Bookstore Day at the Odyssey Bookshop!
From the site: “There will be light refreshments in the morning, a bonus gift with every purchase over $50, and giveaways throughout the day. Win additional prizes by participating in our bookstore scavenger hunt! Winners will be entered into a raffle for a $50 gift certificate to The Odyssey. Also, don’t forget to stop by our “shelfie” station to take the perfect IBD selfie while posing with your favorite book!” Gifts! Books! Delight! Wonder! What more could a person ask for?

Card Games:

Friday, April 28th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Friday Night Magic BOOSTER DRAFT
From their description: “Your $16 entry fee includes MA sales tax, and purchases 3 Booster packs to draft with and adds 1 pack of the current set to the prize pool. Everyone who completes the event will receive at least 1 prize pack, with extra packs (donated by Modern Myths) and special promotiona” Play MTG, support a great local shop!

Community:

Wednesday, April 26th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Law Enforcement Panel
From the description: “Panel discussion on community policing with law enforcement officials and activists including Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper; Hampshire County Sheriff Patrick Cahillane; Don Perry, local activist and founder of Project Operation Change; and Laura Briggs, chair of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at UMass Amherst.”

Computers:

Tuesday, April 25th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Drop-In Technology Help
Having technology issues? Then get some assistance! It’s never a bad idea to ask for help with annoying tech things? Did you know that people as intelligent and well-read as us have found out a full YEAR later that the reason the TV wasn’t connecting to the computer was that we plugged the HDMI cable into the wrong place? And we’re to clarify we’re NOT just incredibly bad with technology despite how that fact makes us seem.
Saturday, April 29th
Holyoke Community College [303 Homestead Ave., Holyoke, MA] at 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
PodCamp 2017
Tickets are just $15 for students, $40 plus $3.19 fee for the rest of us. The after party is free but requires a free ticket. From the website: What is Podcamp? PodCamp is an un-conference about social media and online marketing, where we can all share and learn in an open environment. Anyone with something to contribute and a desire to learn is welcome to join. PodCamp isn’t just about podcasting! If you’re interested in blogging, social media, social networking, podcasting, video on the net or just someone curious about new media, then please join us. Go to the Podcamp site to register! http://www.podcampwm.org/

Kids:

Thursday, April 27th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
LEGO Club
LEGO Club! Build things and play with them around other kids! Ages 5 and up!

Movies:

Friday, April 28th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Coraline
Coraline is a really scary movie! Discuss the book that it was based on and the movie itself! It’s a really good film!

RPGs:

Thursday, April 27th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Dungeons & Dragons
New players welcome! Old players welcome! Harpsichord players welcome! Speaking of: play a Bard, everyone! They’re always the most fun.
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Play RPGs with some people! They’re going to be great and so are you!

April 3rd – April 9th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Hello friends! Hope you’re having a lovely start of spring.

Remember to come out to Nerd Nite NoHo next Monday! It’s going to be a very nice time where two excellent people will present about two excellent topics. We’ll have nature guide Kery Emma Ellis discussing the scourge of “Greenwashing” by people attempting to pretend their products and services are “good for nature” despite being “basically just lying and using green and teal on the packaging a lot”! That’s going to be followed up with Greg Dennis, Research Director for Voter Choice Massachusetts, talking about ranked choice voting!

We’d also like to specifically point out the 2017 Pioneer Valley Zine Fest! Zines are fun and neat and there are a ton of folks who are going to be there with really cool artwork so you should go see them and say “Wow, nice job! Here is the amount of money you’ve indicated this zine or other piece of artwork costs!”

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, April 4th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 7:45
Slate Press Poetry Reading
Anna M. Warrock and Cindy Snow will present readings from their new works! Anna M. Warrock has had a poem installed permanently in the Boston subway which means she’s going to probably eventually inspire some kind of post-apocalyptic cult eventually. Cindy Snow has been featured in a bunch of poetry reviews and she does peer tutoring at Greenfield Community College. Both of them have chapbooks out for your reading pleasure!
Wednesday, April 5th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Kota Ezawa: Gardner Museum Revisited
Converse with artist Kota Ezawa as he discusses his installation! It’s currently on display and by chatting with the artist you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the art presented!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
The 13th Annual Palmer Public Library Poetry Pageant
The theme this year is friendship! Donate $25 to the library and bring a poem about friendship to share! Listen to your friends talk about friends!
Thursday, April 6th
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
Drop into the museum for an open mic, poetry reading, and one-night art exchange in the museum! Open mic begins at 6pm and the featured readers follow: Jenna Baillargeon is a second year at Hampshire, and is the featured Open Mic reader, and students of The Literacy Project will be reading original memoirs and poems afterward, accompanied by Judith Willams on the keyboard.
Saturday, April 8th
Flywheel Arts Collective [43 Main St., Easthampton, MA 01027]
2017 Pioneer Valley Zine Fest
Zines! Zines for miles! Join zine creators and fans from around New England! It’s a great chance to see amazing artwork and give the people who produce it a few bucks! Zines are keen!

Board Games:

Wednesday, April 5th
Brass Cat [65 Cottage St #101, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM
Brass Cat Wednesday Game Night
Games! Beautiful board games! Have a great time playing games and enjoying a friendly community! Have a drink at a nice bar and hang out with people who are nice also. This wee, Forbidden Island and Innovation are the featured games!
Saturday, April 8th
Off The Wall Game Shop [41 Russell St., Hadley, MA 01035] at 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Malifaux Tournament
See http://www.the131.com/forum for details! This tournament will test your ability to command the forces of weird grossness in the game Malifaux, which is distinct from other tabletop games in a manner we are not qualified to comment upon. Mostly we notice that there are a lot of Frankenstein monster looking things.
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Tabletop Gaming Day
Game! At a table! With tops! Play with tops, is what we’re saying. Play with the bet game of all: tabletops. The game of kings! Beyblade we just realized our joke game is also Beyblade. But for actual this meetup usually goes for Euro-games like Settlers/Carcassone etc, but they’re open to whatever you’re interested in!

Books:

Wednesday, April 5th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Ellen Meeropol, Kinship of Clover
How do you stay true to the folks you care about while trying to change the world? That’s what botany major Jeremy has to struggle with when he gets wrapped up with a group of eco-terrorists trying to save the plants he loves, and is inextricably bound to.
Friday, April 7th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
John Scalzi, The Collapsing Empire with Scott Lynch and Elizabeth Bear
The Odyssey Bookshop is hosting a big ol’ sci-fi hootenanny! John Scalzi will talk about his latest book, and he’ll be joined by fellow wonderful authors Scott Lynch and Elizabeth Bear! The book’s about a far future where humanity finds a sort of hyperspace river that allows FTL travel, but then finds that it’s slowly moving around and soon the quick travel that maintains an interstellar empire will no longer be where it needs to be! It sounds neat!
Saturday, April 8th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
YA Panel Featuring Kim Savage, Kady Cross, and Eva Darrows
Three excellent YA authors on a panel talking about their three recent books that are all about tragic circumstances and young women dealing with difficult issues.
Hooker Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman
Lindy West will speak and read from her memoir! Hilarious tales of how to handle just generally the unfortunate bits of being alive. Lindy West is a prolific writer and generally regarded as “wicked good at writing and also wicked funny”.

Community:

Thursday, April 6th
Sacred Heart Church [395 Chestnut St., Springfield, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
End Mass Incarceration in Massachusetts
Pioneer Valley Project invites you to join them in the fight to end mass incarceration in Massachusetts! If you’re into the idea of repealing mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses, changing some felony thresholds, increasing funding for re-entry programs and education during incarceration then you should help them fight for these reforms!

Computers:

Tuesday, April 4th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
A regular meetup of coders and web developers that heads to the Foundry and hangs out and just generally chats and has a good time. You can join them to have a nice time as well!

Entertainment:

Monday, April 3rd
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Staged Reading of Getting Out
A staged read by the Holyoke Community College theater department of the play Getting Out, a play by the Pulitzer-winning author of ‘Night Mother. The play is the story of Arlene, a woman struggling to survive on the outside after being incarcerated for eight years in a Kentucky Prison.
Tuesday, April 4th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
The Wonderful World of Model Railroading
Have you ever wanted to make a tiny world that’s entirely comprised of people frozen in time save for the trains? Are the trains the masters of this world, or do they merely exist in some other state of being? Well two railroad enthusiasts, George Reneris and Harry Ruddock, will help answer questions about how you can put together a sweet model railroad!
Wednesday, April 5th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
First Wednesday Speaker Series: Clutter Control 101
Figure out how to get your stuff to stop being a gigantic terrible pile of nonsense that you don’t need or want! Dave Downs will offer some upbeat tips for getting all your various junk into a place where it can no loner bother you!
Friday, April 7th
UMass Center at Springfield [1500 Main St., Springfield, MA 01115] at 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Less Medicine, More Health
Dr. Gilbery Welch, author of “Less Medicine, More Health: 7 Assumptions that Drive Too Much Medical Care” will present in a free public forum! He’s a general internist with an interest in the issues created by overzealous efforts to detect early disease, mostly over-screening for cancer. It’s worth taking a look, maybe you’ll be less inclined to freak out over your own health!
Saturday, April 8th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Community Building as Resistance: The Northampton Association at 175 years.
Commemorate the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Northampton Association of Education and Industry! First you’ll get a walking tour of the Northampton Association Lands, and then you’ll see two lectures and a panel, about Abolition and Community in Northampton in the 1840s and construction of the progressive industrial village of Florence. And finally, a panel about the meaning of the Northampton Association Experiment!

History:

Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Free Community Day
This is a huge day! There’s a bunch to learn about ancient Rome! Inspired by the exhibition of the Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii that’s currently ongoing at the museum, there are a ton of things going on! Make your own fresco! Tour with a docent! Watch seventh-graders perform skits about ancient Rome! Stroll through a recreated Roman Garden!

Kids:

Monday, April 3rd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Mucho Gusto Spanish Free Sample Classes
A free bilingual Spanish/English story hour with Laurie Davidson of Mucho Gusto Spanish! It’s for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers!
Saturday, April 8th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Explore Music and Sound! Presented by UMass Music Educators
Students ages 9-12 are invited to try instruments and see demos performed by students from the UMass School of Education. Thinking about learning to play? Give it a shot today!

Movies:

Tuesday, April 4th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Finding Babel
Finding Babel chronicles a grandson’s search for the legacy of the greatest prose writer of the Russian Jewish community, and whose subversive work led t his tragic end. Isaac Babel is best known for his short story collections Odessa Stories and Red Cavalry, he challenged the ideology of the early Soviet Union and that challenging writing resulted in his execution in 1940 by the Soviet Regime. This movie tracks his grandson’s journeys through Ukraine, France, and Russian to confront the relevance of his ancestor’s work.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
GPL Teen Pizza and Movie Night
Pizza and a movie: the ultimate chance to have pizza and also watch a movie. Teens, don’t let this slip by! This is your chance to have pizza and watch a film! It’s a hoot to do so with pals!

RPGs:

Sunday, April 9th
Camp Timber Trails [1266 East Otis Road, Tolland, MA] at 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM
Magestry LARP Spring Game #1
Magestry is looking for anyone interested in being an orc, a monster, a brigand, a barbarian, a general-purpose rough customer! They need a lot of NPCs to take care of an increasing number of PCs! You can play for free and even get food! You don’t even need to stay the whole weekend, a couple of hours would be a big help! Find out more by contacting NPC@Magestry.com or checking out the meetup at https://www.meetup.com/larping/events/238838016/

March 20th – March 26th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


NERDSummit was yesterday and today! Delightful time, good learning, nice people. Still time to check out a couple presentations if you’re in town! Nerdsummit.org to see what’s still on order!

This week we really want you to check out this extremely cool-looking kickstarter by notable local creator Rob Daviau! It’s for a remake of a classic old game called “Stop Thief!” that people liked a lot and that looks neat and we’re interested in playing so we’re going to try to get you folks to make sure it’s funded so we can get a copy!

From the site:

In Stop Thief!, you and the other players are private investigators. A thief commits a crime somewhere in the city. However, you never see the thief on the board. Each turn, the thief makes a new sound, telling you what kind of space they moved to. By piecing the different sounds together and finding the right pattern on the board, you can figure out where the invisible interloper is and try to catch them. If you succeed, you collect the reward. If you collect enough money, you win the game.

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, March 21st
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Painting Landscapes in the Gallery
Professor Dave Gloman will discuss The Fawn’s Leap by John Kensett, 1859. This talk will also feature a painting demonstration! Learn how to paint, and learn how to appreciate that paint once it’s one a thing.
Friday, March 24th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Poetry Discussion Group: Emily Dickinson and Animals
Learn and discuss! Poetry and conversation about Emily Dickinson’s relationship to animals! Find out which bears in Amherst were chill and which were really annoying to hang out with after a while!

Board Games:

Saturday, March 25th
Off The Wall Game Shop [41 Russell St., Hadley, MA 01035] at 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Kings of War Tournament
For only a $10 entry fee, you can definitely become one of the kings of War! War is a lovely place, despite the name, kind of like Denmark, lots of civic infrastructure. In order to become king you will need to win this miniatures tournament featuring the game Kings of War. You get 1500 points!

Books:

Wednesday, March 22nd
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Elinor Lipman, On Turpentine Lane
Elinor Lipman’s new novel has just come out! It’s about a woman returning to her claustrophobic suburban hometown, writing thank-yous to donors for her old alma mater, dealing with a distant fiance and a close mom, who finds some interesting artifacts in her new home’s attic that might change her life!

Comic Books:

Monday, March 20th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Queers in Comics and Games
Talk to excellent people about comics and board games and video games, it’s a lovely time!

Community:

Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Women, Crime, and Justice: Mass Incarceration and Mothering
Nicole Hendricks will present about the rising number of women incarcerated in correctional facilities and how that has affected motherhood. Our country now incarcerates more women than any other in the world. As this crisis builds, we need to think about who’s incarcertated and why, and what impact it has on our communities.
Tuesday, March 21st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Dick Evans: Marijuana, Beyond Legalization
Explore the space beyond legalization of marijuana, oddly directly adjacent to the space beyond beds and baths.
Saturday, March 25th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Mariposa & the Saint: A Play Through Letters
A play written by Sara (Mariposa) Fonseca and Julia Steele Allen through a prison wall. Now Mariposa speaks directly to the audience from the isolation of solitary confinement. Learn how you can help stop people from being tortured via solitary in the US! Light refreshments will be served, donations welcome!

Computers:

Tuesday, March 21st
MYSTERY LOCATION at 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
User Experience, Accessibility, and Inclusive Design
This is as yet not set to a location and also there’s not so much any details for it, but we figure it’s something lots of people could use some education about! Make sure people who use the things you make have an easy time doing it!
MYSTERY LOCATION at 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Elixir/Erlang for Scalability and Reliability – Monthly Ful Stack Meetup
Learn about Elixir/Erlang, and how it can address the problems of scale and reliability in your software. Get history and background on Erlang and Elixir, see a demonstration of a simple distributed program and a basic web app!

Entertainment:

Saturday, March 25th
Smith Vocational High School, Northampton MA at 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
The River’s Family Music Meltdown and Bash
Meltdown! Spring family music and fun for all in the Valley! There’s no better way to celebrate the slooooow approach of Spring!

History:

Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Punishment in Paradise: the History of Incarceration in Northampton, 1654 – Present
MIke Ryan will discuss crime and punishment in Northampton and how Northampton developed jails and prisons. He’ll talk about how the philosophies of incarceration have changed here over the last 350 years. The brief switch to a Phantom Zone based correctional facility in the 70s was a bit of a historical oddity.
Weinstein Auditorium at Smith College at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
27th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture with John R. Clarke
John R. Clarke will discuss new research strategies and recent discoveries at Oplontis. Oplontis is a villa near the famously incinerated city of Pompeii, and since 2006 Dr. Clarke’s research team has been tasked by the Italian Ministry of Culture to study and excavate the villas that were first uncovered at Torre Annunziata. Learn about history and how to learn about history, it sounds neat as heck. Lunch served afterward!
Graham Auditorium, Hillyer Hall at Smith College at 1:45 PM to 2:45 PM
Leisure and Luxury: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Structuring the Exhibition
A panel discussion about how people put together the exhibition at Smith College. Barbara Kellum, Professor of Art, will moderate and Elaine Gazda, Regina Gee, and Tim Liddell will be part of the panel!
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 11:00 AM to 1:15 PM
Using Irish Records for your Family History
Even if you know your ancestors were from Ireland, there’s a lot more to discover about them! Using Irish public records and resources, Lisa Dougherty, the Genealogist in Residence at the Irish- American Heritage Museum in Albany, NY will present an overview of what you can learn and how!
Sunday, March 26th
Deerfield Community Center [80 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA 01342] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Winter Lecture Series: Earthen Ware, Made in Boston”
Learn about earthenware and the partnership of Benjamin Leigh and John Allman to produce it during the revolution! PResented by Angelika Kuettner, Associate Curator of Ceramics, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation!

Kids:

Saturday, March 25th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
A Day with Superman and Superwoman Vision
Introduce kids to light! Like scientifically, not light the thing in the world. If you’re just now introducing your kid to light that’s very bad, kids should see light a minimum of a couple days after they’re born, we’re pretty sure. You need to pre-register, and it’s limited to 12 adult/kid pairs, ages 6-10. Bring sunscreen! Call 413-665-2642 to register!
Sunday, March 26th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Meet Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
The award-winning duo have conspired to create yet another funny tale about some sneaky shapes! Triangle is the first tale in a new trilogy about shapes! Shapes that are apparently not trustworthy! Instill a healthy paranoia about ideal forms in your children!

Movies:

Thursday, March 23rd
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Film Screening of Ava DuVernay’s film 13th
A film screening of the Oscar-nominated documnetary that explores the intersection of racism and criminal justice. Learn about today’s horrific prison labor system and what needs to change. Presented by Historic Northampton and the American Studies department at Smith!
Saturday, March 25th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Teen Movie: Luck of the Irish
See this extremely odd Disney Family Movie about a teen who turns into a leprechaun in the grand tradition of Disney’s “turing into something related to your family history sort of” series of films. Pizza and snacks will also be served!
Sunday, March 26th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict
Peggy Guggenheim was a central figure for modern art, collecting both artwork and the artists she loved via patronage. Guggenheim built one of the most important collections of modern art, forever enshrined in her palazzo in Venice. Learn more about this fascinating woman at the Book Center!

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..

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 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!

December 12th – December 18th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


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

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

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

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

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

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

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

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

Board Games:

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

Books:

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

Community:

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

Computers:

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

Kids:

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

Movies:

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

Science:

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