Submit to the SPlog! +
Category: Link

Hot damn: Another U of I connect is destroying Jeopardy! to the tune of $231K

After August's news about Pranjal Vachaspati — a PhD. student at the University of Illinois — winning over $137K on Jeopardy!, we're not done yet. 

Per this Illinois tweet, Illinois '13 alum Seth Wilson has won ten games and over $231K himself. From the article:

Ten games and $231,801 in, Seth Wilson is well into a monumental winning streak, passing the likes of Buzzy Cohen, Dan Pawson and Jason Keller to hold sixth place on the “All-Time Games Won” list. So who is this contestant that Alex credits as causing “Wilson mania,” and what are his secrets to doing so well?


City of Champaign fall yard waste collection begins October 10th

For those of you who live in Champaign and have a tree, the City of Champaign will be collecting bags of leaves and bundles of sticks and branches completely free of charge if you live within city limits.

For more information, check out the press release, which includes a schedule of which locations will be picked up at which time: 


Champaign – the City of Champaign Fall Yard Waste Collection program will run from October 10 through December 9, 2016.  Collection is available to all City of Champaign residential properties within City limits at no charge.  This program provides a green alternative for yard waste disposal.

Residents may participate by placing bagged leaves or bundled branches and twigs at the curb no later than 6:00 a.m. on their scheduled collection date.  Residents should refer to the map and schedule below to determine their collection dates (Map reflects general City boundaries only.) 

More information on the program can be found on the City’s website at and on the City’s television site, CGTV-Cable Channel 5.  Residents are also encouraged to sign up for automatic e-mail notification of this and all future yard waste collections at the City’s website


U of I announces plans for south end zone renovation at Memorial Stadium

Good news, Illini football fans. Just today, the University of Illinois has announced a new renovation to the south end zone (colloquially known as "the horseshoe"), to be finished by 2019 and new renovations to the east stands, completed by 2020.

For lifelong fans like myself, this will certainly make the U of I more interesting to recruits, especially the recruits that Lovie Smith has a chance of landing, so I suppose it can't be all bad. Also included will be new locker rooms and trainer facilities. The new spruce-ups will cost in total around $120 - $132 million. For those interested, the U of I has released an extremely helpful FAQ on their website for any more questions you may have.

In the meantime, enjoy their hype video they released this morning - it's pretty cool:

Rendering by the University of Illinois

Local debates streaming online tonight

If the general election weren't enough for you, there are a slew of local debates between Democrats and Republicans coming up this evening at the Champaign City Council Chambers. For more information, check out check out the information below:


7:00pm Auditor: Democrat George Danos vs. Republican John Farney

7:45pm States Attorney: Democrat Julia Rietz vs. Republican George Vargas

8:45pm Recorder: Democrat Matt Duco vs. Republican Mark Shelden


In Person:

Champaign City Council Chambers
102 N. Neil St.
Champaign, IL 61820

Steam Online:

Through the City of Champaign's CGTV (Click HERE)


Urbana’s iconic American Football house featured on Noisey

Arguably Champaign-Urbana's biggest popular musical landmark, American Football house (located at 704 W. High St. in Urbana) has served as the artwork for both American Football's debut, a standard-setter for emo music, and their newest album, set for release after a 17-year hiatus.

A new feature from Vice's music mag Noisey (and local writer Sean Neumann!) has shone a spotlight on the west Urbana house, which rests on a nondescript street full of college students, and includes some really cool nuggets of info from Polyvinyl Records co-founder Matt Lunsford, as well as some familiar faces.

Check out the full feature here, via Noisey.


Apparently, there is now a bike that serves coffee in Urbana

The amount of unique food and drink options in Champaign-Urbana sure is flourishing - and a prime example of that is Nitro Cup, a new (and mysterious) business that popped up on Twitter today.

Though details on the new business are sparse (no Facebook page, just a Twitter account), there is limited information out there. Apparently, Nitro Cup is a travelling coffee vendor, run out of a bicycle. The coffee will be making it's debut this Thursday at Urbana's Flow in to Fall Yoga Class.

For more information, keep your eyes posted to Nitro Cup's Twitter account.


Hogchute Opry Harvest announced for October 15th

This is awesome — a fall version of the Hogchute Opry at Kalyx Center has been announced for October 15th, called Hogchute Opry Harvest. Check out the linup via the Facebook event:

After almost 5 years of holding the Hogchute Opry annually each June, we've heard your cries for more and are thrilled to announce the first ever Hogchute Opry Harvest! Same great barn, some familiar faces (and some new), and the satisfying haptic experience of crunchy leaves underfoot. Just $10 at the gate all day, stay as long as you like - and as always we encourage you to stick around for one of Bill's monstrous bonfires and camp out in the brisk but pleasant October weather. This will be a single-day, jam packed event, but well worth your dollar. Stay tuned for more details and additions!

This fall's lineup (schedule times TBA):
The Bashful Youngens
The Caleb Cook Band
Cole Rabenort of The Fights
The Dirty Feathers
Finer Feelings
Neoga Blacksmith
Patriot Patrol
Penny Horses
Teaspoon Hunter
Tractor Kings
Whiskey Gypsy

...and once again featuring special performances by:
Hogchute's Poet Laureate and MC, Sean Lamkin
Central Illinois' hottest DJ, Horsecorn Cole & His Country '45s
Open jam after the show - bring and instrument and join the fun!

---> LOCATION <---
The Opry will be held at the Kalyx Center for Sustainability, near Monticello, IL. The Kalyx Center is located just outside of Allerton Park, but is set back from the road in the woods, so it may be difficult to find for the uninitiated. There will be signs pointing the way, but we suggest you follow these directions from Bill to find the place:

ADDRESS: 436 E 1300 North Rd, 61856

From Champaign - Urbana, take Church St, in Champaign westbound onto I-72. (not I-74) Exit 166..It's the first exit for Monticello (marked "Market St. - IL 105")

Take Market St./IL 105 through two stop LIGHTS to the first stop SIGN. (corner of the ugly County Market)

Turn right onto Marion St., and go to the end (a "T" intersection by a golf course)

Turn left onto Allerton Road, and go about 3 miles, then past
Allerton Park, to another "T"

Turn right onto 1300 North Rd. and look for the Kalyx Center sign
after about 3/4 mile on the right side of the road.

---> CAMPING, FOOD, ETC. <----
The backwoods roads of Piatt County can be perilous at night even to seasoned veterans, so we encourage you all to bring a tent and camp out. There's no additional cost, and the fun usually continues around the bonfire after hours. Our friend Fusilli Tony's Italian Food will be out there to serve up some food, but you're also welcome to bring your own to grill or throw on the fire. If you're musically inclined, feel free to bring out an instrument to pick on. Get there early and stake out your claims, pioneers!


Japan House offering calligraphy workshops this September

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Japan House at the University of Illinois is one of the best way to experience culture from outside of Champaign-Urbana, while in Champaign-Urbana.

This September, that rings as true as ever with the announcement of their calligraphy workshops all throughout the month. The first workshop is this Sunday, and other ones exist on September 25th and October 22nd. For more information, check out the press release below:

This Sunday, September 11, 2016,  Professor Emeritus Shozo Sato will offer a calligraphy workshop for beginner and intermediate students. So if you've never picked up a calligraphy brush but are interested in trying, or if you've had a brief introduction...either way, this would be perfect for you. Sign up now as space is limited. He will also offer another calligraphy workshop on Sunday, September 25, 2016, as well as other dates later in the fall. We are busy planning other events so watch for emails or follow us on Facebook. In the meantime, mark your calendar for our Fall Open House on Saturday, October 22, 2016. And don't forget, our gardens our open dawn to dusk... We hope to see you!


Strawberry Fields celebrating first anniversary of reopening this weekend

Starting at noon on Friday, Downtown Urbana's Strawberry Fields will be celebrating the first anniversary of their re-opening.

The celebration, which will span throughout  Friday and Saturday, will include "demos, free samples, raffle prizes, and discounts throughout the store" and will be open to the public. 

For more, keep your eyes posted to the Facebook event.