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Category: Photo

C-U athlete update from Rio Paralympic Games

C-U athlete Nichole Millage, a member of the Women's Sitting Volleyball team representing the USA in the 2016 Paralympic Games, sent us this update from Rio:

Just a quick check-in from Rio... it's been great so far! The Village is beautiful... it's definitely a little humid here though! Our days consists of eating, hanging out, getting treatment, practicing, etc. We are very anxious to start playing! Our first match is Sat, Sept 10th at 2 p.m. (12 p.m. Central) vs. Iran. You should be able to watch (live stream) our matches here.


8degrees Fahrenheit: delicious is how they roll

For some reason "Thai Ice Cream Rolls" is a thing that has been popping up in my social media...probably because our house watches so many cooking shows and youtube clips. 

In a confluence of awesome, campus has recently opened a new ice cream shop: 8° Fahrenheit, in the storefront that used to be Koto Ramen. Serving both this new dessert trend and crepes means the shop has both a griddle and an anti-griddle, and part of the fun is watching the staff make your order on these cool kitchen gadgets. 

We were so entertained by the process, we didn't think to take pictures of the ice cream being made, so here's a gratuitous shot of a buffalo-chicken crepe in process. There are several crepe options in both sweet and savory, and a friend enjoyed her nutella crepe. 

Another unique thing about the ice cream is that all of the options have multiple flavors and mix-ins, but the combinations seem to be pre-set. You do get to choose two garnishes, though. David got chocolate ice cream with Oreo and brownie bits garnished with mochi and Pocky (above) and I opted for Thai tea and lychee ice cream with graham cracker bits, drizzled with condensed milk and coconut flakes (below -- the color scheme didn't photo well, but it was delicious).

The servings are large, and cost around $6 each, but we definitely could have shared one (if we could agree on the customizations). The texture is a lot like the "snow bing" at Snow Meets Coffee, but more dense because of the rolling, then it splinters in your mouth as you chew. You also get some grainy effect because of the coarse cookie mix-ins. It's very cold, not too sweet, and they have quite a few interesting garnishes to choose from. 

We both missed out, because if you choose "Marshmallow" garnish, they skewer a giant one on a wooden stick, then use a mini-propane torch to toast it. Here I was expecting fluff or drizzle, so I lost my chance to have a handmade s'more. Guess I will just have to go back! 

I received no compensation for this endorsement, I am just an ice cream enthusiast who wishes we could get a regular damn scoopshop in this town. Until I find creamy, delicious butterfat that was made nearby from cows in a flavor from my childhood like Black Raspberry or Cinnamon or Dark Chocolate...I will seek out and taste every available local option. 8° is a fun novelty that tastes good and I will probably go to again. When campus is empty. 


RIP those horrible-yet-memorable doors at the U of I UGL

If you studied at the University of Illinois, you will (or at least should) immediately know what I'm talking about here. The notorious doors at the Undergrad Library (UGL) on campus are nearly replaced after 47 years of use. You know, the ones that you have to awkwardly open, and then quickly move by while getting nudged as you walk through? Yeah, those.

It isn't something that's entirely "news"-worthy — but interesting and worthy of a bit of nostalgia, no question.

H/T to the Daily Illini.


Forty plus years of Beck’s Country Shoppe

One of the delights of never having left town is that you really get to grow up with the people who never leave either. The whole thing. It's really wonderful. 

My best pal from the Yankee Ridge years, all the way through Urbana High School, runs Beck's Country Shoppe, north on Route 45, a couple jogs past Napleton's Autopark on O'Brien Drive. 

Here's an ad for their Grand Opening from 1976: 

40 years in business. 

His Dad, Ken, ran the joint up until a couple of years ago when he got sick, and passed away, all too young. He was such a stoic fella. And kind. Always, just the nicest. Even when you were in trouble, he had this little smile that reminded you that he wasn't all that pissed. At least, that's how I took it.

And now, he and his brother do the family business, and do it well. 

It's true, they sell furniture. And if you want something made honestly, without sweatshop labor, they can get that for you. But there's no way to keep up when foreign made furniture at discount sellers like Ashley or Furniture Row have operations that drive the price that low. 

No; today, primarily, Beck's runs the finest interior upholstering business in town. There's a wait, most times, for it. You wouldn't know it, because they don't advertise for it, but for real — especially in your car — if your kid takes a pencil or a pen or something and literally rips the shit out of your car seat, and you are all like "Dude. DUDE." Call them. They can fix that. 

Anyhow, loved everything about this ad. Thought you all might, too. 


Some favorite photos from the Taste of C-U 2016

The Taste of Champaign-Urbana is a staple in local events. I personally enjoy it because of social mash up it creates, combining local vendors with local crowds. The food has never been the draw for me. For me, it is the crafters. And although the craft show has not significantly grown, in fact it may have shrunk, I was still able to find much enjoyment browsing through the local artists' work. I also enjoyed the live music and local beer. Check out these photos and more in the gallery below. 

More photos in the gallery below


I’ll be damned, this is what NCSA’s Mosaic web browser looked like in 1997

While the internet is a fairly awful place, it is pretty dope. Thanks to NCSA — stationed right here in C-U — they helped make this whole internet thing a, uh, thing. They're turning 30 this year. I will say the internet is good for a lot of things. Mostly memes and mindless banter, though.

They posted this earlier today:


Get ‘em early: jaywalker conversion

It's a little unsettling to be able to breeze down Green St. for two months without having to slam brakes and dodge random students who find new and creative places and ways to cross. Sometimes I feel like summer break is just an elaborate ploy to ease us into a false sense of security. 

For those of us who worry that one day this game of car-and-mouse may end when every single jaywalking possibility has been changed into a legal crosswalk —never fear— new students are here. They're just cutting their teeth on Illinois St. before moving up to the big leagues. 

Despite there being crosswalks within a half block on either side of this driveway, and people wearing orange "Staff" t-shirts to direct them to their legal options, most new arrivals and their families have gotten into the University of Illinois spirit by taking the most direct route to the sidewalk, and missing the breathtaking view of the landmark gateway and fountain. More's the pity for them, but 50 points for me! 


Flying Machine Coffee will have a special menu tomorrow

If you love coffee (and who doesn't?), there's a fairly good chance you're acquainted with Flying Machine Coffee in Downtown Urbana.

Generally, the shop has a pretty simple (and good) menu, but in a rare instance of "pop-up" storefronts, tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. they will have a tent out on the curb and will be concocting some pretty cool sounding drinks.

Keep your eyes peeled to Flying Machine's Facebook for more info on the menu, but from a hunch, we think it may include some of these things, for prices between $3 and $5:

  • Iced pour-over coffee
  • Melon
  • Peach
  • Cucumber
  • Herbs
  • Soda Water