Bizarro Briefs: Getting High Off Trump
Aug28

Bizarro Briefs: Getting High Off Trump

Getting High Off Trump German police, during a random traffic stop, seized a stash of Donald Trump-shaped drugs. The drugs were ecstasy pills pressed into the shape of Trump’s head, and the word “Trump” was on the back. Police recovered 5,000 of the pills, worth about $46,000. They arrested the van’s driver and his 17-year-old son, who was riding in the car. Police believe the drugs were made in the Netherlands.   Seriously,...

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Marijuana-Impaired Driving A Sticky Subject
Aug28

Marijuana-Impaired Driving A Sticky Subject

Recreational and medical weed, now legal in a growing number of states, is putting an emphasis for law enforcement on pulling people over for driving-while-high. But the problem is that marijuana affects drivers differently than alcohol, is more difficult to detect, and there is much less data documenting stoned driving compared to drunk driving. For Holyoke Police Lieutenant Jim Albert, whose department just received an approximately...

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Gotta Get ‘Back To The Future’
Aug21

Gotta Get ‘Back To The Future’

Northampton Community TV’s Crowdsourced Cinema project has spawned shot-for-shot remakes of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Princess Bride. But this year’s title — the time travel epic Back to the Future (aka my favorite movie OF ALL TIME) — meant the Advocate wasn’t sitting this one out. The way the project works is people volunteer to shoot a scene, then NCTV cuts the movie into 30-second to three-minute chunks and...

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Springfield City Council Candidate Ernesto Cruz Facing Strangulation Charge Following Arrest
Aug15

Springfield City Council Candidate Ernesto Cruz Facing Strangulation Charge Following Arrest

Ernesto Cruz, one of 14 candidates for at-large seats on the Springfield City Council, is facing assault charges. The charges allegedly stem from an argument in which police say Cruz pushed his girlfriend up against a wall and grabbed her by the neck. Cruz was arrested on June 8, around 11:15 p.m. at his residence in the Six Corners Neighborhood and charged with assault and battery on a family/household member and a...

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Free Will Astrology: Lay Off Metaphorical Bombing Campaigns, Scorpio
Aug14

Free Will Astrology: Lay Off Metaphorical Bombing Campaigns, Scorpio

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “To disobey in order to take action is the byword of all creative spirits,” said philosopher Gaston Bachelard. This mischievous advice is perfect for your use right now, Aries. I believe you’ll thrive through the practice of ingenious rebellion — never in service to your pride, but always to feed your soul’s lust for deeper, wilder life. Here’s more from Bachelard: “Autonomy comes through many small...

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Trump Graduates From Unpleasant To Un-American
Aug14

Trump Graduates From Unpleasant To Un-American

It’s gotten beyond name-calling at this point. When Paul Krugman of the New York Times calls Donald Trump “not a real American,” he now has solid facts backing him up. Krugman’s Monday morning column, titled, “When The President Is Un-American,” lays out a convincing, point-by-point argument that Donald Trump holds the highest office in a land whose ideals he does not share. Over the weekend, Trump crossed yet another line in his...

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Bizarro Briefs: Bear Takes Joyride Into Mailbox
Aug09

Bizarro Briefs: Bear Takes Joyride Into Mailbox

Bear Takes Joyride Into Mailbox In Durango, Colorado, bears frequently break into cars looking for food. This week was the first that one resident can recall a bear actually taking the car for a short drive. After likely releasing a Subaru SUV’s parking brake in a driveway, a black bear rolled down the driveway and crashed the vehicle into a mailbox. The commotion woke the mailbox’s owners, who looked out the window to see the damage....

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Staff Picks: Smell You Later in Williamstown
Aug07

Staff Picks: Smell You Later in Williamstown

Smell You Later // Thursday  The Osmotheque in Versailles, France, brings visitors to the museum on a journey of smells, cataloging the historic smells of perfumes. It’s name comes from the Greek words meaning “smell storehouse.” Now Williams College is taking a stab at its own Osmotheque to transform works in Museum of Art’s collection into scents. Perfumers Christopher Draghi and Robert Dobay lead the tour, starting at 5 p.m....

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Discussing Far Out Films in the Forbes Library Basement
Aug07

Discussing Far Out Films in the Forbes Library Basement

I’ve always been interested in surrealism, but never quite enough to actually do any research into it beyond looking at some Salvador Dali paintings. But one reference to a surrealist work stuck with me. In the 2011 Woody Allen movie Midnight In Paris, the surrealist filmmaker Luis Bunuel makes an appearance and an allusion is made to one of his more famous films — the one in which a roomful of party guests are unable to leave after...

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Free Will Astrology: Believe In Woo-Woo, Juju, Mojo
Aug07

Free Will Astrology: Believe In Woo-Woo, Juju, Mojo

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I hope you’re making wise use of the surging fertility that has been coursing through you. Maybe you’ve been reinventing a long-term relationship that needed creative tinkering. Perhaps you have been hammering together an innovative business deal or generating new material for your artistic practice. It’s possible you have discovered how to express feelings and ideas that have been half-mute or inaccessible...

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Bizarro Briefs: Hipster Dogs Don’t Need Shots
Aug03

Bizarro Briefs: Hipster Dogs Don’t Need Shots

Hipster Dogs Don’t Need Shots The anti-vaccination movement has expanded — to include additional species. Many pet owners in Brooklyn are refusing to vaccinate their beloved canines, in some cases for fear that the vaccines will give the dogs autism, veterinarian Amy Ford told Brooklyn Paper — despite research that shows no links between vaccines and autism. She said the refusal comes most often from those who live in “hipster-y...

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Wellness: The Health Benefits of Massage
Jul31

Wellness: The Health Benefits of Massage

Many people think of massage as a great way to relax and pamper yourself. That’s true, but it’s not the only reason to get one. Massage in and of itself has a number of health benefits. Darius Greenbacher, medical director of Baystate Medical Practices in sports and exercise medicine, said he often prescribes massage not just to treat injury, but to get at the root cause of why the injury happened in the first place. “Just therapeutic...

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Trump Lashes Out At LGBTQ Community As His Presidency Crumbles
Jul28

Trump Lashes Out At LGBTQ Community As His Presidency Crumbles

Following attacks on Muslims, refugees, immigrants, and the country of Cuba over the last several months, LGBTQ people became the latest group to be scapegoated by President Donald Trump and members of his administration this week. First came the announcement — by tweet — that trans individuals would no longer be allowed to serve in the military. The next day, the U.S. Justice Department — headed by Trump appointee Jeff Sessions —...

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Persistence Pays Off For High School Equivalency Graduates in Springfield Program
Jul27

Persistence Pays Off For High School Equivalency Graduates in Springfield Program

As the Adult Basic Education students walked before the podium in their caps and gowns on Wednesday, July 26, they put a seal on more than the usual 12 years of school. Some had waited for this moment for decades. There were 61 people who passed the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET for short), most of whom were present at the graduation ceremony, held on the seventh floor of Scibelli Hall at Springfield Technical Community College....

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Bizarro Briefs: Perfectly Preserved Surrealist Stache
Jul27

Bizarro Briefs: Perfectly Preserved Surrealist Stache

News of the Weird is no more, but fear not. The Advocate is continuing the tradition of delivering weird news, now as Bizarro Briefs. Perfectly Preserved Surrealist ‘Stache If you thought Salvador Dali’s mustache could not have gotten any more legendary, you were mistaken. Forensic experts in Spain said last week that they found the famous surrealist’s long, waxed mustache completely intact when they exhumed his remains for a...

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Between the Lines: What’s Another $1,000 on Top of Tuition?
Jul24

Between the Lines: What’s Another $1,000 on Top of Tuition?

The cost of a University of Massachusetts Amherst education has increased on average by more than $1,000 each year for the past three years. This, in a world where most working people can expect a 2 -percent cost-of-living raise — if that. In the summer of 2015, the increase brought the cost of UMass Amherst up above $25,000 for the first time — from $24,215 the previous academic year. With the past week’s 3-percent increase, the cost...

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Where You Can U-Pick In Western Mass Farms
Jul24

Where You Can U-Pick In Western Mass Farms

Why should the farmers have all the fun harvesting the fresh fruits and vegetables from their own farms? U-pick farms abound in the Pioneer Valley. Strawberry season has mostly gone by, but blueberries are ripe for the pickin’, and it won’t be long before apple season hits us. Below is a list of farms where you can grab your own produce. These farms have pick-your-own that is open to the public, but some area farms allow members...

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What The Heck Is That Veggie in My Farm Share?
Jul24

What The Heck Is That Veggie in My Farm Share?

When I first got a farm share several years ago, I had a dream of a bounty of tomatoes, carrots, and other recognizable vegetables. The reality was that yes, these vegetables were there, but there were also oddball veggies I’d never heard of or seen before; and suddenly I had to find a way to use them. Kind of like a subscription service, farm shares are when a person buys a “share” of a farm and receives weekly boxes of...

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Bizarro Briefs: Robocop Becomes Self-Terminator
Jul24

Bizarro Briefs: Robocop Becomes Self-Terminator

The Knightscope security robot, an R2D2-shaped rolling bot, can turn, beep, and whistle while on patrol. It can also self-destruct, as one proved while working outside the Georgetown Waterfront in Washington, D.C. It rolled into a decorative fountain and drowned. Bystander Bilal Farooqui summed up the disappointment of the 21st century on Twitter: “We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots.” A recent study reported...

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Bizarro Briefs: Robocop Becomes Self Terminator
Jul20

Bizarro Briefs: Robocop Becomes Self Terminator

A Suicidal Robot Our D.C. office building got a security robot. It drowned itself. We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots. pic.twitter.com/rGLTAWZMjn — Bilal Farooqui (@bilalfarooqui) July 17, 2017 The Knightscope security robot, an R2D2-shaped rolling bot, can turn, beep, and whistle while on patrol. It can also self-destruct, as one proved while working outside the Georgetown Waterfront in Washington, D.C. It...

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Art and Politics Do Mix PROTEST is the July exhibit at Gallery A3 with a group of artists exploring the current political situation through photography, painting, sculpture, and mixed media. Everyone is welcome to an art forum on Thursday, July 20, 7:30 p.m. Gallery A3, 28 Amity St., Amherst.

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Jul17

Banish Misfortune, traditional Irish Music: SUNDAY, 5-8 p.m. Free. Northampton Brewery, 11 Brewster Court, Northampton.

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Jul17

Psychic Night with  Psychic Mark: SATURDAY, 6-9:30 p.m., $40.  Northampton Country Club, 135 Main St., Leeds, Northampton.

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Jul17

Cymbeline by William  Shakespeare at  Shakespeare &  Company: THURSDAY (and through Aug. 6), 2-4:30 p.m.,  $15-$75. Tina Packer Playhouse, 70 Kemble St., Lenox. 

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“Recipes from the Herbalists Kitchen” Great for Herb-an Renewal
Jul17

“Recipes from the Herbalists Kitchen” Great for Herb-an Renewal

Yes, I had cooked with herbs before, or I thought I had. But the first lesson that Conway author Brittany Wood Nickerson’s Recipes from the Herbalist’s Kitchen (just out from Storey Publishing in North Adams http://www.storey.com) taught me is that my prior forays in cooking with basil, oregano, and thyme were feeble attempts at best. My wife and I picked a recipe for miso peanut sauce and the first ingredient was two full cups of...

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Anchor House of Artists: 50 Visions by painter Kevin Bouricius. Opens July 20. 518 Pleasant St., Northampton. (413) 588-4337. artists@anchorhouseartists.org. A.P.E. Gallery: ARC. Four projects in dance, installation, video and music. Through Aug. 5. • The Debriti Show. Created by JonMarc Edwards, the show is an interactive installation that comments on the power of language and communication.126 Main St., Northampton. (413) 586-5553,...

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Bizarro Briefs: Holy Handgun, Batman!
Jul17

Bizarro Briefs: Holy Handgun, Batman!

A man and woman dressed as Batman characters were shot by police while having sex in an Australian nightclub. The man, dressed as the Joker, was shot in the stomach after police mistook his fake gun for a real one. The woman was dressed as Harley Quinn, and was shot in the leg. Roughly 40 police officers raided the event, called the Saints and Sinners Ball — and reportedly billed as a “no-holds-barred extravaganza of adult fun,” on...

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Northampton Activists Demand ICE Release Longtime Florence Resident
Jul17

Northampton Activists Demand ICE Release Longtime Florence Resident

When he was 15 years old in 1976, Niberd Abdalla immigrated to the United States from Iraq fleeing persecution due to his family’s Kurdish heritage and democratic activism. He’s lived as an undocumented person in the United States for the past 41 years and has complied with biannual immigration enforcement check-ins for the past seven years. On the morning of June 8, when Niberd, a former Florence resident who now lives in...

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THURSDAY 7/20 MUSIC A Little Night Music: 6 p.m. Free. Trinity United Methodist Church, 361 Sumner Ave, Springfield.  (413) 737-5311, trinumc361@gmail.com  Berkshire Hills Music Academy: 6:30 p.m. Free. Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front St., Chicopee. 413-594-1800 ext. 3, cpl@chicopeepubliclibrary.org.  Downtown Beats Free Concert – Mister G: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Grammy -winning artist Mister G performs. Child-friendly....

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Quakers Make Coal Plant Pilgrimage To Fight Fossil Fuels
Jul10

Quakers Make Coal Plant Pilgrimage To Fight Fossil Fuels

A religious pilgrimage is taking place to oppose fossil fuel use in New England. Members of the New England Yearly Meeting, a group made up of Quakers from the six New England states, plan to walk 60 to 70 miles the week of July 9 from Schiller Station power plant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Merrimack Station in Bow, New Hampshire — two of the few remaining coal-powered plants in New England (Schiller also burns wood and other...

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Introducing … Bizarro Briefs
Jul10

Introducing … Bizarro Briefs

Last week we got the surprising news that longtime News of the Weird feature writer Chuck Shepherd is retiring! Like, very surprising, because we had no idea this was coming. BUT, the Advocate is all about weird news, so we’re going to keep it going ourselves! Without further ado, the following are the strange, eclectic, zany, madcap, and — as Chuck might describe them — weird stories we found in the news this week: Putting The Weed...

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Jul10

Perfectly Imperfect Holyoke artist Theo Fadel’s wooden figures and prints are featured this month at Nina’s Nook in Turners Falls — a tiny gallery packed with booming, powerhouse artwork. In Imperfect People, Fadel’s work is reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci’s Grotesques, a series of sketches featuring people with bulbous noses, sunken eyes, exaggerated chins, and deformities — But only sort of. While da Vinci’s Grotesques are...

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Jul10

37th Annual Catfish Derby You know what it is: One of the biggest catfish tournaments in the Northeast returns to the Valley this weekend. Fishing is open to the Connecticut River and all its tributaries. The biggest fish wins the biggest cash prize. Prizes are awarded for 1st through 20th place, and there are three trophies in the 14-years-and -younger division. Only live fish will be weighed and you’ve got to bring them to HQ on...

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Jul10

Tense Vagina — An Actual Diagnosis The motherhood we see on TV and in the movies has nothing on what it’s like day in and day out to be a mother. For instance, did you know loss of bladder control is pretty common among new mothers? Or that dildos in the nightstand drawers are even more common? Sanitized images that portray motherhood with calm smiles; huge, clean homes; dinner on the table can kick rocks. And the foot behind those...

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Jul10

The ‘J’ in July is for Jazz, Baby! Jazz music may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about UMass Amherst, but the state university has a long and storied history with the art form. This month UMass is celebrating its jazz roots with the annual Jazz in July concert series. UMass has one of the oldest higher-ed jazz programs in the nation. Founded in the ’70s by composer Frederick Tillis, the program attracted...

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