Category: Word

Participate in the NCSA Scavenger Hunt and win fabulous prizes

It's the 35th anniversary of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and they are inviting the community to try their #NCSA35 Scavenger Hunt by finding their window cling stickers throughout Champaign-Urbana. The hunt runs through October 4th. They've already released a few clues, but it's okay. You can start anytime! You can find the first two clues linked above, and the third on their social media. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to see the clues as soon as they're posted. 

Here's how to participate:

  1. Fill out this participation form.
  2. Follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.
  3. Snap a selfie with the sticker and remember to include background items that'll help identify your location.
  4. Post your selfie on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter. Use #NCSA35 and tag us (@ncsaatillinois) and the location.
  5. Include the clue number in your post copy.
    Optional: Share why you love NCSA.
  6. Make sure your post is public so we can share it.

The first 12 participants to find all 12 clues will get an NCSA swag bag. Those who find just some of the clues will get a few prizes too. 

Top photo from NCSA website.


Learn about all the ways astronomy can ruin lives with Astronomy on Tap

Astronomy on Tap is hosting an event called "Death From the Skies" and "Space Weather" on Thursday, September 23rd from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Krannert Performing Arts Center. The event is all ages, free, and open to the public. There will be two speakers: University of Illinois professor Leslie Looney and graduate student Chris Tandoi.

From the Facebook event page:

Have you ever thought about all the ways astronomy can kill you? Leslie will talk about the dangers of asteroids, the Sun, supernovae, aliens, and the end of the Universe. The hazards continue with Chris' talk about the Sun's constant state of turmoil, from solar flares and coronal mass ejections to auroras at the poles. Rain clouds and heat waves aren't the only kinds of weather you have to worry about!

Prof. Leslie Looney is a professor in the Illinois Astronomy Department with a main research focus on the early stages of star formation. In particular, he studies the circumstellar disk surrounding young protostars; these disks are the natal environment of planets. Chris Tandoi is a third year graduate student in the Astronomy Department who works in the South Pole Telescope collaboration, studying flare stars as well as building lenses for future experiments.

Top image by Barbara Benas and from the AoT Facebook event page.

Link / Word

Busey opens call for art for Urbana location

40 North and Busey Wealth Management have announced their call for "the third rotation of local art to be selected for display on the walls of Busey's headquarters in Downtown Urbana." 

Selected pieces will remain on display from October 2021 through July 2022.  Submissions are due at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 27th. Find out more here.

Top image, cropped, from 40 North's Facebook page. 


C-U Trauma and Resilience Initiative needs your help

It's a trying time in our community. We are still battling a pandemic, and all that goes along with that, and community violence seems to be escalating. C-U Trauma and Resilience Initiative, along with the Champaign Community Coalition, is hosting a Healing Communities Open House on Monday, September 20th where community members can learn about how they can help be a part of the solution. From the event page:

If you are someone who...

  • enjoys working with youth, adults, and families,
  • is comfortable building relationships in natural settings, and
  • wants to better respond to the needs of community members around you

Then join us to learn more about opportunities we have available!

We also need individuals and groups who are interested in being involved in our hospital response effort ('Support 4 U') with Carle by providing support to individuals and families who have been impacted by gun violence after they are discharged from the hospital.

We will provide you with all the training, tools, and on-going support you'll need!
There are paid and volunteer opportunities!

The open house is taking place at the American Legion Post 559 from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be food there. If you have questions, you can contact 217-931-9989 or

Top photo from CU Trauma and Resilience Initiative Facebook page.


Which columns should Tom read at PYGMALION?

Our venerated bathroom reviewer Tom Ackerman, who provides us with colorful analyses and observations of C-U culture, will be sharing some of his columns at PYGMALION's Literary Marathon on September 25th at Analog Wine Bar. 

He strives to give the people what they want. So, dear readers, which columns should Tom lend his voice to next weekend? There are a plethora of installments of A Building, A Feeling, and A Latrine to choose from, including special editions for back to school and Halloween, but don't forget about his other works. We can't ignore his make out spot suggestions, his musing on the fugly grey rectangles, and his in-depth review of the Old Orchard "orange" course.

Let him know in the comments, or by emailing

Top photo by Andrea Black. 


Richard Powers' Bewilderment is shortlisted for the Booker Prize

Richard Powers, University of Illinois Emeritus Professor and Pulitzer Prize winning author, has another book shortlisted for an impressive award. Bewilderment (which comes out September 21st) has been shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize, an impressive and well respected award of £50,000 granted to an author writing in English. 

Top images from Richard Powers’ website.


The New American Welcome Center has an immigrant welcome plan

The New American Welcome Center at the University YMCA has just released Champaign County Welcoming Plan. It's a guide for any and all parts of our community to create a more welcoming environment for immigrants. The report was years in the making, and you can read it in its entirety here.

The Champaign County Welcoming Plan provides a framework to pursue a more equitable and inclusive future. It serves as a guide for all of Champaign County to take actionable steps forward in building community of belonging, where all of us - no matter where we come from - have equal opportunity to thrive.

“The multi-year effort to create this plan is a testament to the commitment Champaign County has to ensure our community is welcoming and inclusive,” said Carly McCrory-McKay, Executive Director of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation. “At approximately 25,500 strong, Champaign County is home to one of the largest immigrant populations in Illinois – and we know that number will continue to grow. This new Welcoming Plan covers many important topics and outlines critical recommendations for us all as we work towards the goal of ensuring that newcomers and immigrants can flourish in our community.” 

Champaign County is home to one of the largest immigrant populations in Illinois. In 2017, Champaign-Urbana was one of 25 communities nationwide selected for the Gateways for Growth Award to receive custom research from the New American Economy (NAE) on the demographic and economic impact of immigrants in Champaign County, as well as technical assistance from NAE and Welcoming America to support the planning process. Over the past three years, members of Champaign County’s immigrant communities, service providers, government, businesses, public sector institutions and faith communities worked together to create a plan for social, civic, and economic integration of the immigrant community. The Champaign County Welcoming Plan recognizes the contributions of a growing immigrant community and the vital need to create an inclusive environment for all residents of the county.

"Immigrants are already active residents of our county; this welcoming plan only helps make them a more integrated part of a vibrant community of people.” Ricardo Diaz, Chair, New American Welcome Center Advisory Board. 

“As the fabric of our local Muslim community is woven by representatives of over 40 countries, we value and appreciate all sincere efforts in serving the needs of immigrant individuals & families,” said Ahmed Taha, President of the Muslim American Society (MAS) of Urbana-Champaign. “As a founding advisory board member of the University YMCA’s New American Welcome Center (NAWC), we are committed to working hand-in-hand to make UC an inclusive and welcoming environment.”

Top image from the Immigrant Welcome Plan report.


Maize is celebrating Mexico’s National Day of Independence tomorrow

In honor of Mexico's National Day of Independence, Maize at the Station is going to be featuring a special dish that highlights the colors of the Mexican flag. Here is their description: 

Over 200 years ago, Mexico gained its independence from Spain after an 11 year war. We proudly offer the traditional and authentic dish highlighting the colors of Mexico's National Flag, Chiles en Nogada. A poblano stuffed with seasoned picadillo and covered in a creamy walnut sauce then sprinkled with pomegranates and serviced with a side of white rice. We will also be offering a vegetarian version made with Impossible Meat.

It's available only for dine in at Maize at the Station. They have indoor dining and plenty of patio seating as well. 

Top photo provided by Maize. 


Get a preview of The Literary this weekend

The Literary, the bookstore opening in Downtown Champaign in collaboration with Hopscotch Bakery, will have a pop-up event at Hopscotch this Saturday, September 18th. From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., stop by the garden area at Hopscotch Bakery to pick up some books; you can also grab your favorite treats, too. It’s a preview of things to come to Downtown Champaign. 

The Literary Pop-Up
Hopscotch Bakery
802 W John St
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Top image from The Literary Facebook page.

Photo / Word

Did you know Tasty Tart has drinks?

The little tart shop on Neil Street has more than just tarts. New to Tasty Tart's menu, you can find cloud drinks and premium iced teas. The regular menu has milk teas, hot teas, coffee, and cafe au lait. 

I stopped by to try the new strawberry cloud drink ($4.49) from Tasty Tart. You can order online, order by phone by calling 331-303-2477, or stop in to the shop. When I picked up my order, I saw that the staff wrote a sweet message on my cup.

On a black and white checkered patio table, there is a pink drink in a plastic cup with a plastic cover in front of dark green bushes. On the plastic cup in red font reads Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

My strawberry iced drink was a beautifully swirled drink. It was milky and cold like strawberry milk. Refreshing on a hot day, this strawberry cloud was tasted fruity, smooth, and so tasty. There were little strawberry seeds in the strawberry syrup, and there were a few sliced strawberries in the drink as well. 

The drinks are totally customizable which I really liked. You have a choice of how much ice you'd like: regular, less, or none. Also, you can choose your sweetness level: 100%, 70%, 50%, 30%, or 0%. For my cloud drink, I picked regular ice with 70% sweetness, and I thought it was awesome. I like sweet, but also I'm an adult, so should I really have all the sugar? The 70% was a great option and very enjoyable. 

Tasty Tart
405 S Neil St
10 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.


Begin C-U Pride week with To Survive on This Shore at Spurlock

Earlier this month, To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults opened as an exhibit at McKinley Foundations's Artists' Alley. On Monday, September 20th at 4 p.m. in the Knight Auditorium at Spurlock Museum, photographer Jess T. Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre will discuss their project. Mary Statzer, Curator of Prints and Photographs at the University of New Mexico Art Museum, will moderate. 

Gloria Allen, also known as Mama Gloria, will also be there to talk about her life experiences and her experience as a subject of the project.

You can attend in person, or via Zoom by registering at this link. The event is free.

Top photo from Spurlock Museum Facebook page.


Check out the lineup for the Hogchute Opry Harvest

Hogchute Opry has announced their lineup for their one day Hogchute Opry Harvest. Check out the lineup below.

Promotional poster for Hogchute Opry Harvest.Image from Hogchute's Instagram.

The lineup features:

  • The Mery Steel
  • Rebecca Rego and the Trainmen
  • Cara Louise
  • The Bashful Youngens
  • The Merry Travelers
  • Colonel James Presents
  • Wild Earp
  • Big Daddy Pride and the East Side Five
  • The Emily Anne Band
  • The Landovers
  • Neoga Blacksmith
  • Brad Handsome
  • The Occasional Cajun Band
  • Clayton Burke

The event will take place at the Kalyx Center for Sustainability in Monticello on October 2nd, and will cost $20 to attend. Vaccination for COVID-19 is required to attend. 

Top photo from Hogchute's Facebook page.