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Blind Summit Theatre’s Moses is your favorite grumpy old man

Blind Summit Theatre: The Table

Wednesday-Friday, October 22-24, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, October 25, 2014, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. | Studio Theatre

Ancient Japanese puppetry influenced by the Sex Pistols? It’s a radical premise, but the imaginative artisans of Blind Summit Theatre are reinventing Osaka’s Bunraku tradition into a sometimes subversive, ever-contemporary stagecraft featuring trios of puppeteers mastering the maneuvers of clever characters in relevant, hip narratives — no strings attached. Perhaps you saw Blind Summit’s 60-foot Lord Voldemort at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London? The company’s latest incarnation, a two-foot-tall, cantankerous, cardboard-headed invention named Moses, is considerably more petite and lives on, well, a table. He’s going to tell you a big story about God... and Moses... and life and death and PUPPETRY but he gets distracted... a lot. So pull up a chair and settle in for the grin-inducing philosophy of this table-top talent and “a smart, lively young company bringing real verve to the art form” (The Guardian).

UI Student Tickets are just $10, general audience are $38.


Champaign, U of I featured on The Onion

These are always fun to see. Check out this hilarious column in the Onion, which features "a study" from the University of Illinois. Check it:

Researchers: Quality Of Sleep May Be Affected By Abandoning Family In 1994

CHAMPAIGN, IL—According to a study published this week by researchers at the University of Illinois, an individual’s ability to get a good night’s sleep may be directly influenced by having made a decision 20 years ago to walk out on their family and never return. “In many cases, we found that chronic insomnia is strongly linked to reaching one’s breaking point on a winter evening back in 1994, waiting until everyone in the house was in bed, and then driving off into the night without looking back,” said study co-author Tim Liu, who noted a close correlation between erratic delta waves during stage 3 of the sleep cycle and not having spoken to your daughter since you tucked her in that night when she was 7. “Additionally, we saw that while nearly everyone who deserted their loved ones experienced some form of sleep loss, those who exhibited the most restless nights were the ones who told their new families they were off working on container ships 20 years ago instead of coming clean about the spouse and three children they left behind halfway across the country.” In a related finding, the researchers also concluded that individuals who carry on extramarital affairs with someone their spouse trusts sleep eight hours every night and always awake fully rested.


Wesley Haunted House scares visitors for a good cause

This weekend, the Wesley Student Center's century-old, neo-Gothic building will be transformed into a creepy labyrinth of freaks and frights. Get ready for Halloween with a horrifyingly good time. Here are the details:

WHEN: October 23-26, 7 p.m.-11 p.m.

WHERE: Wesley Student Center, on campus at Green & Goodwin (1203 W. Green St. in Urbana)

WHO: You must be 13+ to enter

HOW MUCH: $8 ($4 on Sunday if you're in costume). All proceeds benefit the Wesley Evening Food Pantry and Illini Fighting Hunger.

WHY: Because you want to be terrified while you fight hunger.

Visit the Wesley Haunted House website for more details.


Tommy Nugent to perform “Preacherman” on October 29th

October 29 7 p.m.

319 Gregory Hall (on the U of I Campus) 

Tommy Nugent, the hilarious Preacherman, will be performing at the University of Illinois, telling jokes and stories about his own journey from being a faithful youth minister to working as an atheist comedian. He has formerly performed at Stanford, the College of Southern Idaho, and other universities. 


Unit 4 school board member John Bambenek considers Mayoral run

In an email message to Smile Politely, current Unit 4 school board member, and former State Senate candidate John Bambenek told us about his interest in the Champaign Mayoral election in April 2015. 

Mr. Bambenek picked up his Mayoral packet from the city building today

"It is something I am considering and speaking to others about. There is certainly dissatisfaction with aspects of the city and I look forward to contributing to that discussion."

Whether or not he will proceed with acquiring the needed signatures (85 total — which honestly, your average Boy Scout could get) and submitting his name for the election remains to be seen, but adding a fifth candidate to the fold would liven things up a little. 

For starters, it would create a run-off situation, where the candidates would face off in a primary on February 24, 2015 before the top four vote recipients would move on to the general election on April 7, 2015. 

Beyond that, despite the fact that the Champaign council and Mayoral elections are "non-partisan," it's well known that of the four candidates that have stated their intention to run, three of them are considered "conservatives" while one of them is considered "liberal." Whatever those words mean any more. 

But I digress. 

Needless to say, this would create an interesting scenario for the local "right-leaning" voter population.

More to come as it comes in. Or maybe not. We're not the best at covering politics, frankly. Tom Kacich is really good though. So is Eric Bussell at Halfway Interesting, when he's not on his damned high horse


Watch the Rodney Davis-Ann Callis debate on CSPAN

For those who missed last night's 13th Congressional District Debate between Rodney Davis and Ann Callis, hosted by WILL, the full debate is available for streaming via CSPAN.

The debate was very civil, well moderated, and featured some very good questions. The last question of the night, while not very substantive, did give us insight into Davis' musical tastes, when he openly admitted to being a fan of the song "Higher" by Creed (vote accordingly).

Embed's of the video are not allowed, but the full debate is available via this site.