Jones Library

January 1st – January 7th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Happy New Year!

Hopefully you’re starting off properly! That means a nice slow morning where you ideally do not need to do much of anything because this is that post holiday sort of thing where no matter what you feel like you’re not getting quite as much time off as you needed.

Hey here’s something to start your year off right: some of our own local luminaries, UMass undergrad Kevin Harrington and UMass Astronomy Professor Min Yun have discovered Outrageously Luminous Galaxies! Which is neat as heck!

It’s basically what it sounds like honestly! They found galaxies that are so gigantically amazingly bright that they outshine every other thing we’ve ever found in the entire universe by orders of magnitude!

In fact, it’s a good indicator that maybe we gotta pull back on our naming conventions. Like they already have Ultra-Luminous and Hyper-Luminous objects, so now these have to be called something that puts into perspective just how much brighter they are. We don’t have much space to move if we find brighter objects! They’ve been calling them Outrageously Luminous and we like that so let’s go with that!

It’s pretty awesome that this groundbreaking work was done at our own UMass Amherst!

We hope you started off the year right, and we are here for all your local events and local creator news in 2017. You’re an excellent audience and we think each and every person who reads this newsletter deserves a fun time all the time.

Happy New Year!

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


Board Games:

Saturday, January 7th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Board Game Night
Play boardgames with friends and soon-to-be-friends as well as some of the friendly staff at Modern Myths! It’s a great night to try out something you may have been meaning to check out!

Books:

Saturday, January 7th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
David Austin, MD Author Reading
Local author David Austin will discuss Therese’s Dream – Maine to Darfur: a Doctor’s Story. The book chronicles his time working with Doctor’s Without Borders.
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
David Austin, MD Author Reading
Local author David Austin will discuss Therese’s Dream – Maine to Darfur: a Doctor’s Story. The book chronicles his time working with Doctor’s Without Borders.

Card Games:

Friday, January 6th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Friday Night Magic: Casual/101
Learn one of the most popular games of existence with some of the most wonderful staff in existence! The folks at Modern Myths will help ease you into the game, help you test new decks, and explain strategy! No experience necessary! A $5 day pass is required to attend, returned as store credit immediately. You also get a special foil promo card!

Community:

Thursday, January 5th
Cultivate and Nest [2 Bay Rd., Suite 100, Hadley, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Hack for Western Mass
It’s time to update! We’ll talk about the organizations we’ve contacted, and projects that we can all get set to do! Teams are going to solidify and projects are going to launch! It’s a great time to get involved!

Computers:

Tuesday, January 3rd
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
A night of nice conversation with people who do development work. It’s a place to gripe about your work, talk about your plans, and just talk about whatever you feel like with some nice people!

Entertainment:

Wednesday, January 4th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
First Wednesday Speaker Series
A mystery speaker! But hey, it’s probably someone neat, right? For all we know they got the Queen! That would be cool, yeah?
Thursday, January 5th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Watch some neat anime! Evangelion maybe? Hamtaro? Fruits Basket? We have nothing to go on for these but the titles we’re really bad anime fans in that we haven’t heard about much anime. Stein’s Gate? We’re pretty sure we heard that was a neat time-travel story, watch that!

Kids:

Tuesday, January 3rd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Kids’ Craft Club
Children ages 5-12 will have a great time reading a story and then making a fun craft item! We do recommend that you caution your children to not put more than about a third of their unearthly power into whatever item they do create. It’s important not to leave any obvious weak points for adventurers! Never more than 50% of your eldritch energy should be item-locked!
Thursday, January 5th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
LEGO Club
Play with the best toy ever! There’s no question this is a great time for all kids.
Friday, January 6th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:15 PM to 4:15 PM
Sensory Storytime
A special sensory storytime involving singing, dancing, reading, and other fun activities for young kids and their caretakers! If your kid has trouble sitting still, this is the program for you! This is designed to accomodate kids with special challenges, but it’s open to every kid!

RPGs:

Thursday, January 5th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Play a game with friendly people where you pretend to be other people! You can pretend to be a bunch of beet farmers in an agrarian society. Or you can pretned to be a bunch of adventurers! Or a shadowy gang of criminals in the future! It’s all up to you, except you CAN’T pretend to be Mario. Nintendo’s lawyers are really strict.
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Dungeons and Dragons
Play Dungeons and Dragons with a bunch of nice folks. Generally this is a sort of encounters-based game when it’s at the shop so don’t worry too much about whether or not they’ll have a spot for you. Also for real play a Bard, nothing is ever more fun than playing a Bard!

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August 15th – August 21st

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We’ve been playing a bunch of Pokemon Y this week and let us tell you it’s basically a nonstop cavalcade of cute, all games should basically be about having adorable baby animals that you can pet. We’re not saying they all need the same exact gameplay but if we could pause DOOM for a minute to snuggle with a puppy before going back to the carnage we’d be pretty chuffed.

Yet another Drink and Draw has come and gone and let us tell you wow is it a neat time for folks to meet and hang out and draw. We were as always inspired and embarrassed by the sheer hard work and artistry on display by the other people in the room. Also we got to check out a ring that bartender/metalsmith Heather Beck made up close and it was really neat, and she explained things about metalworking which was nice. There was also a preview version of this handsome boy that KC Green’s kickstarting and it looked great!

We want to call special attention to the Smash Bros tournament in Springfield! We don’t cover a ton of Springfield on account of there being just a heck of a lot there to cover to the point we’re kind of waiting until we can provide convenient regional features BUT we were alerted to this event by the creator and heck it sounds like a great time!

Don’t forget that if there’s an event you DON’T see on this list, we’re always looking for more local knowledge! We can use your help to get everyone up to speed on the coolest things happening in the Valley!

Go check out our Patreon and the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out 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, August 15th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
How to Start an Art Book Rotation Project
Starting a rotating art book is simple, and this class will teach you how! Basically you pick a theme, draw something, and send it to your friends who also draw something and send it to someone else and eventually it all comes back to you and it’s beautiful!
Tuesday, August 16th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St, Sunderland, MA] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Sea Glass Vases
Hold on to a little bit of summer with some sea glass vases! You can create some vases with a neat sea glass look and then decorate it!
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Duct Tape Hats – Summer Crafts
In your ongoing quest to make sure that literally all items of clothing and accessories you wear are made of duct tape, try a hat! It’s simple, it’s fun, and you can make it in neat colors! Fair warning, 99% certain these are not appropriate for a job interview.
Wednesday, August 17th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Make Your Own T-Shirt Bag
Turn an old shirt into a cool bag! They you get to keep that neat shirt and also not have to wear that old danged shirt again. It’s a no-sew project that you’ll be led through step-by-step! Take some old t-shirts and a pair of scissors! Suitable for ages 11 and up!
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Knitting Creatures – Summer Crafts
Knit up a little pal! All ages are welcome to create their own tiny creature made of yarn to be friends with!

Board Games:

Tuesday, August 16th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Palmer Library Game Night
Play some games at Palmer! Bring some of your own if you like or use their own big collection of games. We highly recommend Cosmic Encounter!
Sunday, August 21st
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix!
Try a new team this Sunday: only people who can breath underwater. Namor, Aquaman, but also like we’re 90% certain Superman can? Or does he need to breathe? Look this is for you to figure out we’ve done our part.

Books:

Tuesday, August 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Book Chats with Kat
What have you read this summer? Chat about it with Kat and some other pals! There are snacks, you can relax, you can bug people about the books you liked or didn’t like! Open to kids, tweens, and teens. But, very important, absolutely not open to smeens.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Children’s Book Writers Group
Do you write for children? Create art for children? Both? Talk about the ins and outs of the business with fellow creators! Get ideas, ask for critique, just generall chat with some like-minded and friendly people!
Friday, August 19th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Launch Party for Gina Damico’s Wax!
Gina Damico is a local author who writes weird YA fiction! Her newest release is about the town of Paraffin, Vermont which is known for a Candle Factory. But beyond the retail space, our hero Poppy Palladino discovers a dark and distressing back room filled with life-like wax sculptures! As she hightails it home, one of the figures leaps out of her trunk screaming! What’s even going on? Also oh jeez we JUST got that this is totally building at least somewhat off the Yankee Candle Factory. We can 100% buy they’re using dark sinister magic there. Have some tea, jam and bread, and other Austrian delights while you chat with Gina!
Saturday, August 20th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM
Friends of Greenfield Public Library Book Sale
Get some books nice and cheap at the GPL! Support them in the process! No downsides to this day, friends.

Comic Books:

Monday, August 15th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Queers in Comics & Games
Talk to fellow nerds about queer representation in comics and gaming! They’re a great bunch and they’ll be a hoot to meet!

Entertainment:

Monday, August 15th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Quidditch on the Library Lawn
Play a special game of no-flying (gotta be understanding to the large Muggle population around here, absolutely no cheating!) Quidditch in honor of the Olympics! Of course at the Olympics they play with flight.
Thursday, August 18th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Look we’ve said it before we got no anime chops. But you might! Or maybe you’re just into checking out new stuff? Check out anime!
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St, Sunderland, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Laser Tag at the Library!
Pretend to blast your friends with lasers in the library! Fun times all around.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cookies with a Curator: Northampton Area Soldiers in the Civil War with Dylan Gaffney
Find out about how the Civil War affected Northampton! Forbes recently recieved a grant by the Massachusetts Civil War Sesquicentennial Comission to preserve, digitize, and create and aid for finding Civil War related materials!
Friday, August 19th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Author Visit and Field Hockey Gold Medal Match Viewing
Who’s the author? No clue! It’ll be fun though we bet. Probably the author somehow relates to the sport on display, but we kind of love the idea that it’s actually just Stephen King and he’s gonna sit down and watch some Field Hockey with you all because he’s a big fan of it.
Saturday, August 20th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Garden Clean-up at the Emily Dickinson Museum
Join some volunteers in weeding and cultivating the beds at the museum! Become a part of a new generation of caretakers for this precious land AND protect yourself from the mystical wrath of the Dickinsons. Aye the cup is full, waiting to be tipped upon an unsuspecting citizenry.
Sunday, August 21st
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
The Poet and the Bard
Check out a tour focusing on Emily Dickinson’s initial hatred and eventual super-fandom of Shakespeare! It’s always kind of awesome when a really excellent artist is totally into another artist because you’re all whaaat but Dickinson is great and then you think well wow what’s it about Shakespeare that makes this excellent artist like him and not kind of relegate him to “that thing we had to read in school?”

Kids:

Wednesday, August 17th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:45 PM to 5:00 PM
Let’s Make Art Together!
Deisgned for participation with children ages 4 and up, with an adult. Up to two kids per adult! Create, build, and just make some nice things! Open-ended free play for creative kids and their grown-ups!
Friday, August 19th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St, Sunderland, MA] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Ukulele Music Time with Julie
Listen, play, learn! Kids will have a fun time with the tiny kid-sized guitar that makes fun noises.
Saturday, August 20th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Special Storytime: Elizabeth Howard and Diana Wege
Join author Elizabeth Howard and illustrator Diana Wege as they share their debut picture book, A Day with Bonefish Joe, about a young girl named Flossie and her adventurous day at sea with Bonefish Joe, one of the best-known bonefish guides in the Bahamas. Bonefish is probably not actually as terrifying as it sounds. Well, or it sounds like a Pokemon, too. Oh yeah just checking it’s a kind of cute shiny fish, not scary at all!

Movies:

Tuesday, August 16th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St, Sunderland, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Movie Night for Grown-Ups: 45 Years (R)
So hey just a little warning: this is basically a horror film if you’re currently in a relationship? It is really good but it will also make you stare deep into a pit of despair!

Politics:

Wednesday, August 17th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Represent Western MA
A grass-roots organization looking to put anti-corruption legislation on the books across America! Take a gander at what they’re trying to do locally!

RPGs:

Thursday, August 18th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Lose yourself in a new world of your own creation! Have fun with friends! Play an RPG!

Science:

Sunday, August 21st
Damon Education Center [46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Tales from the Trails: The Northampton Rail Trail and Beyond
The bike trail built on the bed of the old rail tracks will, when complete, be the longest interstate rail trail in the Northeast! And the trail from Boston to Northampton will be the longest in New England! Craig Della Penna will talk about the history of the corridors, how they changed from rail to rail-trail, and the cultural and economic impact of these big projects! He’ll illustrate the talk with then-and-now photos from his collection, including some rare ones!

Video Games:

Tuesday, August 16th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Camp Odyssey – Make Your Own Computer Game with Odyssey Webmaster Ann Childs (Ages 7+)
Learn how to make your own computer games! The thing is, we’re expecting a AAA product alright? So bring 150 of your closest friends and divvy up work appropriately. We’ve got to have a multiplayer component with some level-upgrade tracks too, that’s absolutely essential! You’re going to be working in Scratch with the Odyssey Webmaster! You can bring your own device or just create together on the big screen! There’s a $5 nonrefundable supply fee, or you can purchase one book to get two children in!
Thursday, August 18th
Moriarty’s Pub [755 Liberty St, Springfield, MA 01104] at 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Super Smash Bros Tournament
Super Smash Bros at the pub! Compete to win prizes for first, second, and third place and also get ready to compete in a secret tournament to be revealed the night of the event!

June 6th – June 12th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


So to the important business of the day: JiffyCon!

It’ll be fun, you’ll play interesting things that you may otherwise never have seen, and you’ll like hanging out with a friendly bunch of folks! We highly recommend checking it out and also while there picking up one of our informative flyers and carefully looking at it and saying out loud within our earshot “Wow this flyer is informative AND well written! I will cherish it!” and then loudly having it framed in front of us so we know that you’re being serious. You may also take stickers from us and then stick them to all of your treasured objects, friends, loved ones, etc.

Last night we had a chance to play The Castles of Burgundy, a very Euro-y game that was pretty fun! Basically multiple tracks of victory-point chasing with a reaaaaally light theme of historical castle building. You spend the game rolling dice to present yourself with a few restricted options for grabbing tiles off a central board and then adding them to your own board in a pattern that will get you the maximal number of points. There are wrinkles all over the place, but at the base it’s very much a sort of Catan-style “I will go for VP Condition A, then A-1, then maybe C since it seems no one is trying for that one…” and that’s a style that works well when balanced well, as Burgundy is!

Though it baffles us that Euro-style games are so mechanically focused and yet often unwilling to get out of like 15th century politicking as a basis for the flavor. It’s not any easier for me to understand that a Market will let me automatically buy either a Cow or a Boat from the board, why not toss it all out and make it like … instead of building a city you’re building an enormous bio-organism? Or you’re developing a brain? A space station? A group of friends? A tea set? The flavor is so ancillary to the point of play that it feels like a loss that it’s so blandly medieval/mercantile.

Anyway point is it was a lot of fun and we’d recommend it if you have 3 friends to play with and would like to regularly chase VP with them!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out 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, June 8th
The 121 Club at Eastworks [116 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Topatoco Drink and Draw!
Kick off a fun new event with special guest KC Green! Come hang out, have a drink or do not, draw or do not, likely at least one of them or it’ll be a little odd that you chose to attend but who are we to tell you what to do? If KC so desires he might watch some Simpsons while live-tweeting it and make you watch! A rare treat.
Friday, June 10th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Toys: Yesterday and Today. Artwork by Jan Ruby-Crystal
The opening reception during Arts Night Out Northampton of artwork exploring play and toys past and present. Jan Ruby-Crystal is a Faculty Emerita of the State System of Higher Education in Pennsylvania where she was a professor of Art and Design.
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Have you always wanted to go to the Smith Art Museum but lacked the resources? Come check it out for free! They do suggest a donation obviously, but you can pop in and check out this surprisingly awesome local museum for the low low price of nothing. Plus there are activities for kids from 4pm -6pm!
Saturday, June 11th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Family Saltwater Painting Program
Children ages 8+ and their families are invited to learn some cool painting techniques! Saltwater painting will let them make neat fractal-looking images with watercolors! Nifty!
Sunday, June 12th
Damon Education Center [46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Panel Discussion: Do Today’s Toys Develop Lasting Creative and Social Skills in our Children?
Join Andre Boulay, owner of A2Z, Laura Frogameni, Director of Enrollment for the Northampton Montessori School, Bartlett Doty, Sales rep for Lego, and Meghann Obear, Obstetric Nurse at Cooley Dickinson as they talk about how toys today are doing. Are they doing well? Are they being good for kids? Find out! If they don’t spend like an hour on Minecraft they’re missing something big.

Board Games:

Saturday, June 11th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Tabletop Gaming Day
Get together with a nice group of people to play some games! It’ll be a great time. The room is convenient and private for the group. Bring a game of your own or play some of the games they bring!
FPH West Lecture Hall, Hampshire College [893 West St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM
JiffyCon
JiffyCon! We’ll be there! It’ll be a lot of fun! Yaaaaaay! It’s a little get together of a bunch of local luminaries and some out of towners to play and play-test and just generally enjoy games. Also you can easily get Cider Donuts at Atkins during the day, a perk no other con in the world provides.
Sunday, June 12th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix!
Heroclix! The heroes you can clix. This week we recommend you field a team comprised entirely of speedsters. Quicksilver, The Flash, Triathlon, Professor Zoom, Zoom, Reverse Flash, Inverse Flash, Reverse-Inverted Flash, Flash But He’s Mean, Slowgold, Admiral Accelerate, the Real Speedy Person, the Red-Blue Blur, there’s a ton of them to choose from!

Books:

Tuesday, June 7th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Ted Elliman, Wildflowers of New England
Ted Elliman is a person who knows what a wildflower is! He knows so well that he authored a guide to the thousands of species of wildflower that exist in New England with the help of the New England Wild Flower Society. It’s got nice color photos of all of them as well, so you can easily identify what the heck cute plant you’re looking at! Should be a fun time for anyone who is a fan of things that look and are nice.
Sunday, June 12th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Terry Brooks, The Sorcerer’s Daughter
Terry Brooks is kind of a big deal! His major claim to fame is the Shannara series, which has been turned into a television series on MTV. He’s got a new standalone adventure set within the world of Shannara POSSIBLY in an effort to let new readers jump into it rather than reading like 30 prior books. Because he’s kind of a big deal, RSVPs are required, either do it in the store, by phone at (413-534-7307) or by email (rsvp@odysseybks.com). You must purchase the book at Odyssey to get it signed!

Card Games:

Saturday, June 11th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Eternal Masters Draft
Ah, yes. It’s finally time. We thought we could escape, but that was mere fantasy. The Eternal Masters are here to draft us into their Ur-Conflict, raging nigh these past 3 eons. We will miss the halcyon days before the Draft… Or this might be a Magic: the Gathering thing?

Comics:

Monday, June 7th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Book Club
We know nothing about this event save the title so we’re going to say it is probably a comics-focused book group! Seems like a fun time, on account of we can all agree nothing is more fun than chatting about comic books.
Sunday, June 12th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Comic Creator’s Jam
Do you like people? Do you like drawing? Do you like both? Hang out with a bunch of fellow art-folks at Modern Myths! You’ll need a day pass which is $5 and immediately becomes store credit. It is a bunch of fun! We went once and got to play Pictionary Telephone with a bunch of much better artists.

Computers:

Tuesday, June 7th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
A regular meetup of the sort of folks who like the word “webdive”! A great chance to find other people interested in the sort of work you do!
Wednesday, June 8th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
Topic for June: Agile contracts! How do you write a contract for an Agile project? You’ll get an intro to the concept of buyer vs. seller risk, then jump into a discussion! If you have a sample contract, bring it in to talk about it!
Thursday, June 9th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Computer Basics for Adults: Intro
Are you a beginner with computers? Wait… how are you seeing this? Dang this might not be the best medium for this message. Well, do you KNOW a person who’s in need of some basic computer training? They can get a nice introduction to the concepts here!
Saturday, June 11th
Hampshire College [893 West St., Amherst, MA] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
How the Web Works
Take a look under the hood of the web! Look at fundamental technologies that you might use constantly but not quite understand, like HTML/CSS, Javascript, and Web Servers! Educate yourself! Knowledge is power!

Entertainment:

Thursday, June 9th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Anime is cartoons but there are more robots and fewer cutaway jokes. We don’t really watch any anime regularly so we can only recommend that you watch the Top Tier of Anime: FLCL and Cowboy Bebop The Shows We Liked When We Were 13. We can only assume we were correct in thinking they were the best.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Spelling Bee
The Friends of Greenfield Public Library will hold a Spelling Bee, teams of three must preregister and there’s an entry fee of $15 per team. Suggested age for entry is 16+. There will be raffles, also food, and a guarantee of fun! Delightful.

Movies:

Wednedsay, June 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley
In 2009, the elected president of Honduras was overthrown by a coup d’etat. A group of farmers organized 2000 landless families to occupy the plantations of the country’s largest landowner and supporter of the coup. They build communities in the new land, resist the regime’s violent response, and hope for a return to democracy. Brought to you by Northampton Peace and Social Justice.
Wednesday, June 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Summer Stock on Silver Screen
A series of musicals presented as Summer Stock theater sorta. First one is Love Me Tonight with Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, produced only a few years after sound was introduced to the world!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Finding Nemo
Check out a modern classic in the Community Room! Finding Nemo is about a tiny fish that is cute and about how Australia has diverse and interesting wildlife that oddly do not all have Australian accents!

RPGs:

Thursday, June 9th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
RPG club at Palmer is your chance to step into a new role and play with other people and whoa wait is that why they call it that? Neat! We suggest you try some of the one-session RPGs developed by local creators! Try Questlandia this week!
Friday, June 10th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Rd., Chesterfield, MA] at 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM
Sins of a Nation FIRST EVENT EVER!
A brand new LARP! A world of technology and magic, where the industrial revolution involves a bunch of magic fights! Get in on the ground floor of a fun new LARP experience! Seize the moment!

Science:

Monday, June 6th
Union Station [125 Pleasant St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Why Doesn’t Siri Understand Me?
At this SciTech Cafe you’ll have a chance to learn how speech recognition works, what a dialog system is, and what social robotics is! Heather Pon-Barry, a professor of Computer Science and director of the Interactive Computing Research Lab about Mount Holyoke will guide you through the world of spoken-language processing!
Tuesday, June 7th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Genealogy Open Lab
Have you always wondered about your family past? Why guitars begin playing a mournful tune when you walk by? Why street performers bow as you pass and hand you their hats in supplication? Are you interested in discovering why listening to music in 4/5 time gives you the ability to see through walls? Learn to look for answers in this workshop!
Thursday, June 9th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Archaeology at the Emily Dickinson Museum
Another Orientation Training! Want to get in on Session 2 of science at the Emily Dickinson Museum? Learn the ropes at this orientation! You’ll get the standard whips and quips course as well as a brief lesson in how to avoid any curses the Dickinsons left around.

November 9th – November 15th

XMen32Int1

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Welcome to a slightly late and slightly small Nerd Watch! We’re heading toward that most American of Holidays: Canadian Thanksgiving The Sequel, which we hope you all have a good time celebrating. Definitely let us know if you’re writing for NaNoWriMo, or if you’ve read anything interesting for NaShoStoReMo, which sounds more our speed. Just read a short story a day instead of writing an entire danged novel.

We’ve had the opportunity to read the very excellent stories contained in Gods, Memes, and Monsters. A novel that has short stories by a ton of authors, including local notables Emily Care Boss and Julia Ellingboe. It’s a sort of updated bestiary for the modern world, and it runs the gamut from old-school creepy to basically long form jokes. A lot of fun, we recommend you find a copy.

We also got a chance to check out Paranormal Petunia, by local creator Chris Collins. It’s a legitimately neat comic about a paranormal investigator who can see ghosts and suchlike, and mostly is just getting by while helping people through their personal tragedies. I’ve always been kind of a fan of the paranormal dealings as externalized therapy genre, when it’s done well. And it’s got some rather creepy bits in it too, very neat.

As always, be sure to check out 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, November 9th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] 4:00pm – 6:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Session
Forbes Library supports National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) by helping writers stay dedicated! The forbes Writer in Residence, Naila Moreira, will be there to help you figure out how to ensure a jaw-dropping climax to the latest in your Superpostion Cycle.
Friday, November 13th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 2:45pm
Art Journal Study Group
Moderated by local artist Laura Curran, this art journal group will help people explore new ideas and experiment with new techniques in a supportive environment!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 5:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Session
Continue your writing! You’re almost there! Think of all the filthy lucre you’ll make when you finally get that HBO series based on your Ultramyth Quintilogy!
Saturday, November 14th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Art Walk
Join the lovely staff at Comics N’ More for art! And not just the art that resides in the titular Comics, but the art that resides in the N’ More that is Easthampton! They’ve got a little gallery space and it’s great so you should check it out!

Board Games:

Friday, November 13
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Tabletop Game Night
Another night of tabletop board and card games on King Street! A fun time with nice people. Bring a game to share! Cards, boards, just so long as it isn’t the Most Dangerous Game! Wait no. We suppose everyone brings the Most Dangerous Game with them just by attending. Just don’t hunt each other, we guess is what we’re saying.
Sunday, November 15th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix
Heroclix, the game that finally makes the clix the hero! Wait no it’s a game about superheroes and actually the little miniatures don’t click very much at all. For a challenge, construct a team of nothing but lawyers!

Books:

Monday, November 9th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 6:00pm
Alex Gino & Leslea Newman
Join Odyssey for a discussion about LGBTQ issues with two middle grade authors! Alex Gino has been involved in queer and trans activism for years, and Leselea Newman is the author of 65 books, one of the more famous ones being “Heather Has Two Mommies”.
Tuesday, November 10th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 8:00pm
UMass Press Reads at the Jones Library: Bruce Laurie
Bruce Laurie is a professor of history emeritus at UMass Amherst. His latest book is “Rebels in Paradise: Sketches of Northampton Abolitionists”. He profiles five rebellious figures who launched the abolition movement in Northampton and links it to broader national developments. Free and open to the public!
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Lauret Savoy: “Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape”
In a provocative and powerful mosaic of personal journeys and historical inquiry across time and a continent, Savoy explores history and race in the United States.
Saturday, November 14th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:30pm
Megan Lambert, “Reading Picture Books with Children”
Do you love picturebooks? Do you read them with wonderful young people either personally or professionally? Do you wish you had a better idea of how to make the reading experience more engaging? Come see Megan Lambert speak!

Computers:

Wednesday, November 11th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Project Management Meetup
Project managers! Or just people who have to deal with large complex projects involving many people! Come hang out, network, talk about how to manage stuff. It’s a fun time with people who can help you do what you do better!

Entertainment:

Saturday, November 14th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Forbes Library Doctor Who Club
Who? A doctor? A doctor of what? Not a doctor of medicine, certainly. Not a PhD, doesn’t have the right temperament. I think this man might be some sort of traveling vagrant! If you too love the Doctor, head to the Community Room! Contact Jason (junglejasonjr@gmail.com) for more information!
Thursday, November 12th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Anime Club
Anime! Animated things you can watch, a good time for all. Open to teens and young adults ages 14 and up!

Movies:

Monday, November 9th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
The Story We Tell
Filmmaker Sarah Polley investigates the truth about her family history via a series of revealing interviews. Sounds interesting!

RPGs:

Thursday, November 12th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
RPG Club
Create a character! Explore their adventures! Meet their parents! Be sure to be on your best behavior! No, what? No how could you say that? No more adventures make a new character. All ages welcome, no experience necessary.

Science:

Saturday, November 14th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 1:00pm
Wolf Talk!
Wolf Talk clarifies many misconceptions about one of our most valued endagered species: Moose! Wait no, Wolves! You’ll learn all about these surprisingly friendly creatures, including their eating habits, pack structure, history, and different populations around the world! This presentation is for children and their families.

November 2nd – November 8th

XMen148Int1The Valley Nerd Watch!


Halloween! The best holiday of all for those of us who want to dress up in awesome costumes all the time but are held at bay by the strictures of a society that can’t hope to grasp our magnificence. We’re just saying we don’t get why a Dr. Doom costume isn’t considered “workplace appropriate”. There are a multitude of workplace uses for power gauntlets, you fools!

We hope our dear readers were able to attend one of the excellent Comic Fest events at Modern Myths or Comics N’ More. Or both of them! They seemed like fun, but we were too busy getting ready for a Halloween party. It was a fun time, and we played that most Halloween-appropriate of games: Space Cadets Dice Duel.

Hey we know it’s no longer Halloween, but if you’re still interested by spooky things, you should check out the comic Eerie PD. It’s done by a couple of very nice locals, and it’s just updated with two pages to celebrate the eeriest of holidays!

You can also now pre-order a comic of the absolutely excellent work by local artist KC Green, Graveyard Quest. Simply go to a comic shop near you and order it through Previews, code NOV151548! As is standard for a lot of works by KC Green, it’s absurdist and funny at the same time as it manages to be distressing and emotionally affecting. We really can’t recommend it enough. Plus the cover is awesome.

Actually KC makes the pitch best:

I did Graveyard Quest! You should help out and preorder them however you can! Go to your comic book store and yell and scream up and down until they order graveyard quest! Me me, i wanna quest in the Graveyard, you say! Me! I wanna go to hell and find my dad! I wanna get a mole and make him me friend! me! I do! Well just get your crap over to a comic book store and tell the employee there that you just gotta have the quest! The Graveyard QUest! Go and tell the owner of the store to give you the Graveyard to Quest through! Tell them, tell them! Let them know your feelings, open up to the stranger at the comic book store! Let them know! Let them know!!

As always, be sure to check out 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, November 2nd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Session
Writing a novel in a month? Is it the second day and you’ve woken up realizing that oh shoot writing is actually immensely difficult? Then hang out and recharge with fellow writestronauts at the Forbes!
Friday, November 6th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 2:45pm
Art Journal Study Group
Art journals are a time-honored tradition for keeping cool ideas in a place where they’re easily accessible. Come experiment with new ideas and develop your artistic vision with Laura Curran, an artist who has been creating, teaching, and publishing for over 30 years!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 5:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Session
By this session you’ll probably already have the first three novels in the Seditious Chain series all locked up, so it’s more about editing and negotiating publishing rights than anything.
Saturday, November 7th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Gallery for a Night
This will feature art from a variety of local artist in addition to the ever-popular Themed Baskets! We’ve been leaving our baskets un-themed like fools all this time! Tickets are $20 and there’s a raffle for an iPad.

Board Games:

Saturday, November 7th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at 11:00am
Malifaux Tournament
Malifaux! It’s a miniatures game. We’re super bad at figuring out the salient differences in miniatures games but Malifaux looks pretty neat, kind of horror-influenced. Registration is $12, prizes will be awarded in store credit for 1st, 2nd, and best painted.

Books:

Tuesday, November 3rd
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 8:00pm
UMass PRess Reads at the Jones Library: Carla Panciera
Author Carla Panciera will read from her prize-winning book “Bewildered”, published by the UMass Press! Her stories focus on themes such as the desire to belong, the need to heal, and the fear of what happens next.
Wednedsay, November 4th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00pm – 7:00pm
First Wednesday Speaker Series
Ruth Owens Jones will share her book “Harvesting History”, a reflection of the rich history of farming around the Connecticut River Valley! We’re pretty sure it was about 100 years of cussing at all the rocks and then everyone moved West.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Writing about Health, Medicine, and the Body
Bodies are fascinating and terrifying. At this event, three writers will explore the strange geomtry of the human body on scales from the minisculre to the well… person-sized. Topics will include the genome, disease, and the challenges of caregiving.
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Archer Mayor, “The Company She Kept”
At the height of a brutal Vermont winter, a woman’s body is found haning above the interstate. Joe Gunther and the VBI (Vermont Bureau of Investigation) get to work. Spoiler alert: the killer is a maple tree. Author Archer Mayor will read and sign his newest novel!
Thursday, November 5th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Sonia Nieto, “Brooklyn Dreams”
A leader in the field of multicultural education looks back on her formative experiences as a student, activist, and educator. The book chronicles her experience as a teacher in the first bilingual public school in NYC. She will read and sign!
Saturday, November 7th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 11:00am
Karin Lefranc, “I Want to Eat Your Books”
Debut picturebook author Karin Legranc visits the store for some post-Halloween fun! Her book is about a zombie that devours books instead of brains! Attendees will get some snacks and do some crafts. Also, yoga!

Comics:

Thursday, November 5th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00pm – 5:00pm
After School Comic Book Club
For kids in grades 3-5! They’ll be discussing “Little Robot” by Ben Hatke and “Cleopatra in Space” by Mike Maihack. It will be educational and adorable. Participants will create their own comic, too! Plus, snacks.
Sunday, November 8th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Comic Creator’s Jam
Are you a comic creator? Are you a creator of one of the integral parts of a comic? Perhaps you’re a wordsmith, a pencil-fist, or an inkromancer? Talk to other folks in the business about the business!

Computers:

Tuesday, November 3rd
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Northampton Webdive – After Work
A regular meetup for people who create things out of the mystic threads we choose to refer to as ‘code’. Mostly web-related stuff, but they’re happy to talk with anyone who mostly types on a computer for fun or profit.

Entertainment:

Saturday, November 7th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 10:00am – 10:45am
Forbes Library Tour
Forbe Library is a pretty nice place with a lot of useful stuff in it. Come see all that stuff in that place! Registration is required, and you can do so here.

RPGs:

Thursday, November 5th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Indie RPG Night
A great time with nice people! Indie RPG Night is your chance to try out new, interesting, often locally developed games. Every time we have attended has been awesome!
Friday, November 6th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Star Wars RPG
The Star Wars extended universe is a complex interchange of ideas that definitively do not work if you look at them too long. Add your own set of awesome laser-sword fights to the pile with the RPG!
Friday, November 6th – Sunday, November 8th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Road, Chesterfield, MA] at 9:00pm
Magestry Final Autumn Game
Interested by LARPing? Come visit a magical real just in time for their Halloween-equivalent spooky nondenominational holiday! The season finale will be packed full of spookiness, and it’s FREE for volunteer staff. The event is $30 for first time players!

Science:

Saturday, November 7th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:30pm – 3:00pm
The Victorian Lady: Dressing from Corsets to Gloves
History, also known as “the sweet science”, at the Jones! Kandie Carle presents a look at the fashion, life, and etiquette of the Victorian Era. She’s also going to dress in actual vintage undergarments, clothing, and accessories! She’ll tell you about the past in a manner you won’t wish to past up!

October 26th – November 1st

XMen39Int1The Valley Nerd Watch!


So last week we had the pleasure of playing a “hack” of the locally developed and quite roundly well-regarded horror-RPG Dread! In fact, we had the singular experience of playing it with the prolific promulgator of preternaturally purple prose himself, Epidiah Ravochol! It is because of this we were able to learn his darkest secret: when he says you need to make a “pull” from the Tower of Dread, about 40% of the time he says “pool” instead.

So first off: what’s a “hack”? Well, within the tabletop community it’s basically when you look at something that already exists and figure out how to tweak some of the rules and maybe the setting in order to turn it into something similar yet significantly different in feel or mechanics. So in this case, where Dread is kind of a “you are in a standard horror flick with like zombies or a wolfman and an old man who says you ain’t gonna find nothin’ at the old McAlister Place… leastwise nothin’ living” the hack we played is something entirely other.

“The Dread Geas of Duke Vulku” is Dread with a bit more direction and structure, and it provides an interesting contrast. It’s set in a world quite unlike our own, more Strange Fantasy or Fantasy Horror or Basically Like Lovecraft But Better Written Because Things Are Actually Described Using Words.

Because in each situation a player has a known quantity of moves, the many confusing and strange situations are a bit more approachable. Say you happen upon a friendly mill town in which all of the people have sewn-shut eyes. It’s a simple matter of one pull to find out what is dangerous about this, one pull to notice something important, one pull to silently remove yourself from the location, etc. And then, because it’s Dread, you inevitably die from a falling tower. It’s a really fun time and we can’t wait for it to be officially released! Also, buy Dread!

Also! The final ten days of the Woodpenny IndieGoGo campaign for the extremely cool Ben Sollee VR Music Video “Vanishing Point” are here! You should support them, and then get that cool Google Cardboard setup and stare into the awesomeness of the future!

As always, be sure to check out 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, October 27th
Edwards Public Library [30 East St, Southampton, MA 01073] at 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Scary Fairy Houses!
Celebrate Halloween by creating a tiny house for tiny horrors to nest within! Which actually we guess if you left them out and they got all grody with rot and bacteria, that’d actually just fufill the purpose of the exercise. Neat! Bring your own box or base as a foundation. Call 413-527-9480 or sign up at the Library!
Wednesday, October 28th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
NaNoWriMo Kickoff Party
National Novel Writing Month is this November! Forbes Library will be supporting people in the Valley who want to take on the challenge. The Forbes Writer in Residence, Naila Moreira, will host regular “write-ins” during November! At the kickoff party, best-selling novelist Jacqueline Sheehan will inspire writers and answer questions about the writing process!
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Write Here! Write Now!
Writing a novel in a month? That’s a tall order of fries if we’ve ever heard one! Well, maybe you can get motivated and meet that lofty goal with this writing workshop series! Ages 12+, including middle and high school.

Board Games:

Wednesday, October 28th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Family Board Game Night
Board Games and snacks hosted by the kindly librarian Tim Hayes! There’s going to be Carcassonne at the this one! Carcassone is super fun. Not interested in the featured game? Check out the collection!
Sunday, November 1st
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix
Heroclix! You get these little plastic miniature things that are so adorable you can’t even believe it and then you use some rules to fight other groups of little plastic figures and it’s great. It started with just Marvel stuff we’re pretty sure, but now probably has 14 variations of every character you like!

Books:

Tuesday, October 27th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:30pm
Cammie McGovern, “A Step Towards Falling”
Cammie McGovern will read from her latest Young Adult title. Told in alternating points of view, this powerful novel is about learning from your mistakes and trying to forgive! Oh, and it’s about the bystander effect to some degree. Sounds like an interesting novel! Books will be available to purchase at the event.
Thursday, October 29th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Rita Zoey Chin, “Let the Tornado Come” & Mira Bartok, “The Memory Palace: A Memoir”
A pair of exciting memoir authors at the Odyssey! Rita Zoey Chin will discuss her book about the sudden onset of severe panic attacks. Over the course of treating them, she has to deal with her own past as a runaway. Mira Bartok confronts schizophrenia in a poignant literary memoir about family and mental illness.

Comics:

Saturday, October 31st
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at All Day
Halloween ComicFest
Comics! Comics are the best way to transmit information into your brain! Particularly information like “check out this totally sweet alien vista” or “wow, what an awesome fight!” Kids who show up to Modern Myths in costume will get a FREE comic! Delightful! Demand candy as well, kids.

Computers:

Thursday, October 29th
A MYSTERY? at 5:30pm
A regular meetup to discuss issues related to programming in PHP. We know little about PHP except that it’s famously horrible? Maybe other folks will help minimize that pain. This first meetup will be a place to discuss interests and plan topics for the next few months! Click the event link to join the meetup and see the meeting location!

Entertainment:

Thursday, October 29th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Anime Club
Anime! It’s animation, and it generally is a thing that you can watch, should you choose. Many enjoy anime, do you? If so, come hang out at Palmer and talk with fellow fans. Open to teens and young adults 14 and up.
Friday, October 30th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Forbes Library Halloween Party
The Forbes Library Children’s/YA Room will play host to a spooooky gathering of ghoooooulish dancing and distreeeeeessing crafts also there will be a bunch of candy and a surprise of some sort!

Movies:

Monday, October 26th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Movie Showing: Broken Brotherhood
The Northampton Committee to Stop War shows “Broken Brotherhood”, the story of a creation of a memorial to Vietnam Veterans at Colgate University. It’s primarily composed of interviews with people who attended in the 60’s, as well as their children. It provides an inter-generational view of a complex war and significant part of history.
Thursday, October 29th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Halloween Fright Night: Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds
Birds are terrifying enough without them actively attacking us. Those little hidden dinosaurs, biding their time. Their capacity for flight allowing them to conduct nefarious business in the skies, where we can’t follow… This screening is free and open to the public!
Amherst Cinema [28 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Science Fiction Double Feature Picture Show: Videodrome & The Thing!
Videodrome: a movie that while not always outwardly horrific is absolutely packed with distressing images and implications. The Thing: possibly the best “monster movie”? Tight, psychological thrills with a totally awesome set of practical effects for a totally awesome monster.
Friday, October 30th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Gremlins Movie Night
Don’t feed them after midnight! Which, really, what does that even mean? Like alright magic shopkeeper, which midnight? Does it respect daylight savings? What if we travel? You’re ridiculous, magic shopkeeper.
Amherst Cinema [28 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00pm – 12:00am
Ghostbusters
Special $5 admission! Ghostbusters, wow! A delightful romp about a team of unregulated capitalist monsters who re-kill our beloved gram-grams and shove them into a hell dimension. A heroic EPA agent stands in their way… but can he defeat these nefarious jerks?
Saturday, October 31st
Amherst Cinema [28 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00pm – 12:00am
Ghostbusters
A second showing of Ghostbusters!

RPGs:

Sunday, November 1st
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Saga of the Icelanders
Iceland! It’s… almost the worst place in the world humans have tried to live? We definitely feel like they’ve managed to do a good job with the place but for real it’s one step off from living just in an ice cube. Tell your own story of the discovery and founding of this harsh land!
Thursday, October 29th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
RPG Club
Create a character! Explore their adventures! Write a book, sort of, but it’s a really confusing to read book with a bunch of points where the protagonist behaves very oddly. Lots of fun, all ages welcome, no experience necessary!

Science:

Monday, October 26th
High Horse [24 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00pm
SciTech Cafe: How to Navigate Environments with Toxins
How do we know what’s safe? When is a disease in a lab animal relevant to humans? What are we learning about the health impacts of flame-retardant materials? Why do we care about toxicity in snails? Sasha Suvorov, associate professor of Environmental Health Services at UMass Amherst, will tell you!
Thursday, October 29th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00pm
Cookies with a Curator
Archivist Julie Bartlett Nelson will present “Genealogy Treasures” for Family History Month! And you’ll get cookies, how neat is that? Also “archivist” sounds like a fantasy-world occupation.

Video Games:

Sunday, November 1st
The Quarters [8 Railroad St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 7:00pm – 10:00pm
MAKE TALK PLAY: GlowLime Games
Did you know Hampshire College has a student run startup game-development studio? How awesome is that? Hampshire is awesome. Isaiah Mann will be discussing what makes this little studio such a neat idea! Students making real things outside of a classroom. Excellent, and interesting!

October 5th – October 11th

XMen47Int1The Valley Nerd Watch!


We’ve had an excellent week, everyone! Thank you for being happy for us. So first of all, hey Star Wars and/or miniatures fans: have you tried Star Wars Armada? It’s a miniatures game and it’s a heck of a fun time.

Basically the fun part of it is the fact that you’re controlling big old terrible battle-cruisers that move at a snails pace and turn on like several hundred thousand dimes laid out end-to-end. So you wind up in situations where you have no choice but to ram your danged Star Destroyer into an asteroid field, or another Star Destroyer! And we say Star Destroyer because we assume our gentle readers, like the Nerd Watch itself, understand the strong force-choking based leadership of the Empire is necessary to keep the outer systems in line.

It’s also got lovely dice. We don’t tend to notice dice in games, but the three different classes of eight-sided die in Armada are wonderfully designed. They’re just random enough that you can have the occasional thrilling flub or amazing success, but on average they’ll do a bit of damage. It means you can easily predict what will happen and maneuver for reasonable probabilities while leaving the door open for some fun surprises. Plus there’s just something really fun about picking up a big handful of different colored dice and knowing oh dang this is going to be awesome.

Also you can kill Luke Skywalker and end that pesky rebellion before it starts.

Also! We’re pretty excited to say that soon, very soon, the Nerd Watch will extend beyond the petty borders that constrain it! All the way to the far-off land of Maine! We’ll update as things actually happen, but it should be cool!

As always, be sure to check out 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:

Thursday, October 8th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00pm – 5:00pm
ARPS – Jones Makerspace
Alright so we know what a makerspace is, right? It’s what we call arts and crafts areas now that we’re in the cyber-future. So without any description on the actual event, we can only assume it’s the Amherst Rocking Psychedelic Syber makerspace.
Saturday, October 10th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Easthampton Art Walk
Join the fine folks at Comics N’ More for a good time walking some art. Take some of the lovely photos from Glowworm photography on a stroll about town, we assume. Let them mark their art territory? This metaphor got away from us.

Board Games:

Saturday, October 10th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:30pm
Tabletop Gaming Day
Tabletop games are great because they allow you to stare your opponents right in their lying eyes and just dare them to try to make a move. Oh yeah, you think you’re clever don’t you? We’ll see who’s clever. Mostly they play Euro strategy games, but they’re open to whatever you’d like to bring! Beginners are welcome!
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at All Day
Highlander 40k Tournament
Alright it took a bit of digging to figure out what the heck this is but basially Highlander is a format of Warhammer 40k where you take only one of a troop type, possibly to prevent strategies people think are boring? Either way, hook up with the fine folks of the 131 and play the day away! Details here.
Sunday, October 11th
Wild Willy’s Games Galore and Table Top Emporium [424 East St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 3:00pm – 10:00pm
Sunday 40K Brackets
Warhammer 40K Bracket Tournament! One on one annihilation! You can submit your lists by 2:30pm Sunday if you plan on participating, and make sure you’re ready to fight for 3:00pm! There’s a $10 buy in with some excellent prizes! You have 1000 +/- 5 points, 0-1 unit choices, 2.5 hour rounds with 20 minute breaks. No formations, no lords of war, no super heavies!

Books:

Monday, October 5th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Alejandro Velasco, “Barrio Rising: Urban Popular Politics and the Making of Modern Venezuela
Venezuela is… a complicated place at the moment. It used to be known in the region as a stable inclusive democracy, but seems to have fallen into turmoil. Alejandro Velasco will teach you why the conflicts today have their roots in the very beginnings of Venezuelan democracy, and how their basis is in a fight over what democracy should be in an unequal society.
Wednesday, October 7th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Earth and Cosmos: Nature Writing
A part of the literary series going on at Forbes, this one will feature Dava Sobel, author of The Planets, Jonathan Mingle, author of Fire and Ice, Michael Dover, editor, and Elizabeth Farnsworth and Katie Koerten, contributors to Earth Matters. It will be moderated by Forbes Writer in Residence Naila Moereira. Didn’t know they had apartments in Forbes…
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
First Wednesday Speaker Series: Leslea Newman
Local poet Leslea Newman will be reading from her new collection, “I Carry My Mother”. She’s the author of seventy books including picture books, middle-grade novels, poetry collections, and short stories. “I Carry My Mother” is a book-length series of poems that explores a daughter’s journey through her mother’s illness and death, and her own grief.

Comics:

Sunday, October 11th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060]
Comic Creator’s Jam
Come to Modern Myths to sit down and have a nice chat with a bunch of other people who like to draw, write, or otherwise work on producing comics! You can talk about how cool TopatoCon was, and how you can exhibit there next year!

Computers:

Tuesday, October 6th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Are you a coder? A webber? Are you a spider that designs webs and places them in spaces? Are you one of the spiders that weaves the web by which we knit the world together? Meet up with your peers and talk about designing, coding, whatever is up! They’re nice folks.
Friday, October 9th
Bay Path University [Blake Student Commons, Longmeadow Campus, Longmeadow, MA] at 7:30am
An Inside Look at the FBI’s Cyber Division
Slap on your shades and get ready to code with a ‘tude, because we’re about to get C*Y*B*E*R with the coolest cats on the block: a large governmental agency! Join the FBI for the 3rd annual cybersecurity summit to hear about the new focus on cyber intelligence and cyber threats. No photos, video, or audio taping. Also, pre-register!

Entertainment:

Friday, October 9th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00pm
Ghost Hunters
Presented by The Atlantic Paranormal Society, learn how to ghost hunt! Which is to say, how best to frighten yourself in a dark space by projecting outward the fears that gnaw at you. Well, that or you actually find some ghosts and they turn you inside-out for a lark, it could go either way.

Movies:

Wednesday, October 7th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on the Lawn
When you think of it, doesn’t it make a lot more sense that the movie takes place entirely in the mind of Ferris’s sister? After all, the shenanigans of Ferris and the gang are so wildly unlikely, it would make sense if they were dreamed up by a frustrated student who wanted to escape.

Science:

Thursday, October 8th
The Nacul Center [592 Main St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00pm – 7:00pm
OEB Science Cafe: Gut Feeling
Gut Feeling: fostering a diverse and healthy microbiome! With Dr. Jeff Blanchard. Have you considered the waking nightmare that is your physical form? You’re basically a bag of horrific tiny monsters that are constantly killing each other. Learn more about the horror that is existence re: your gut microbes at this Science Cafe!