Category: Word

Pecha Kucha back in C-U + Win Free Tickets!

The rapid-fire exhibition of art, design, and general creativity, Pecha Kucha (usually pronounced 'pe-chak-cha' or something like that) is back in C-U. Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Canopy Club from 8:20pm to 11pm. Originally created by two architects to show off the work of young designers, the show consists of a fast-paced slideshow of twenty slides at twenty seconds per slide.

This is the second such show in C-U, the first being in September and featuring presenters such as a quilt artist, a computer graphics artist, and a presentation by a man who was married in a Taco Bell. The show this Saturday will include:

  • hiStories, or crazy stories from history from Amy Lin and Eric Shine
  • A project to create a photographic periodic table of the elements by Theodore Gray and Nick Mann
  • Book art with Spineless Books

Plus a lot more. The last show was entertaining and incredibly packed. Doors are at 7pm, and tickets are $7 at the door or $5 in advance.


And because Smile Politely is an official sponsor of the night, we're offering 5 FREE pairs of tickets to the presentations. Can't get much better than that.

The first 5 people who respond to this contest with the subject "Pecha Kucha Tickets" will be granted free admission for them and a guest. Please send all submissions to:

Get a move on!


ESPN College GameDay FAQ

From the SID:

ESPN College GameDay Driven by State Farm To Rally Fighting Illini
and Michigan State Fans for Feb. 6 Hoops Matchup

Live GameDay show with Rece Davis to raise funds for Illini's Orange Krush Foundation

CHAMPAIGN, IL (Thursday, January 28, 2010) - ESPN College GameDay Driven by State Farm will broadcast live from the University of Illinois on Feb. 6 prior to the prime-time basketball matchup between the Fighting Illini and Michigan State. University of Illinois is one of just eight colleges chosen by ESPN, out of 343 Division 1 basketball programs, for a live GameDay broadcast this season.

The broadcast is more than a boon to local sports fans; it will also benefit the Champaign/Urbana community through a special fundraiser. State Farm® will donate $1 to the Orange Krush Foundation, the Illini student-run charity, for each person attending the GameDay show on Saturday morning.

The show, which is the college basketball version of ESPN's popular College GameDay football series, will originate from Assembly Hall at 10 am CT. The College GameDay crew of Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis and Digger Phelps will be on hand, breaking down the day's college basketball action and previewing the Illinois-Michigan State matchup.

Doors to the Assembly Hall will open at 7:30am for members of the Orange Krush student support group and at 8 am to the general public. The event is free with no tickets required. Free parking will be provided in the Assembly Hall parking lots. Fans can enter from the west side of the building and seating will be filled from the west side of the Assembly Hall first. Students will be allowed to fill in on the floor behind the set.

ESPN will give one fan from the audience a chance to sink a half-court shot. If successful, the shooter will receive $17,500, courtesy of State Farm. Even if the shot is missed, the attempt will earn a check for $1,000. State Farm also will distribute t-shirts, rollabannas and net hats to fans in attendance.

Illini fans are urged to support the Orange Krush Foundation by attending the GameDay show, and to share their appreciation for the students who run the Foundation by visiting and adding a note of thanks. State Farm created the Web site to inspire more people to express public gratitude to others for "being there".

FAQ/Fact Sheet

ESPN College GameDay driven by State Farm

I've seen it written that Illinois is trying to set the GameDay attendance record. What is the current record and what is Illinois' goal for attendance?
West Virginia set the record with 4,700 fans. We hope to blast past that number and get as many people in the building as possible.

What are the times of the ESPN shows?
The crew will do some drop-ins during the 9 am CT Sportscenter show, but the actual GameDay shows broadcast from 10-11 am and 7-8 pm. The morning show will be broadcast at center court in front of a live audience.

Where can I park? Is parking free?
Free parking is provided at the normal Illinois basketball parking locations, including the four quadrants surrounding the building.

Will you clear fans out of the Hall after the broadcast?
The game is not until 8 pm and both teams will use the Assembly Hall floor for gameday shoot-arounds. As a result, the Assembly Hall will be cleared at the conclusion of the morning show. The live show ends at 11 am, but ESPN tapes a couple of segments and will ask the crowd to remain in place for about 15 extra minutes.

Will Coach Weber be there? What about the Illini players?
Coach Weber is expected to make an appearance, but plans for the players have not been finalized.

What time will the doors open for the taping?
For the morning show, doors to the Assembly Hall open at 8 am for the general public and 7:30 am for the Orange Krush. For the game that evening, doors will open at 6:30, 30 minutes earlier than normal. A game ticket is required for entrance to the Assembly Hall for the evening show and the game.

Where will the ESPN stage be set up?
The GameDay stage will be set up at midcourt on the west side of the Assembly Hall floor in front of the official's table.

Can you bring in signs?
Signs are allowed, however, all signs will need to be approved and stamped by State Farm/ESPN personnel before they can be brought into the arena. In keeping with the normal policy, signs will not be permitted inside the Assembly Hall for the game.

How did Illinois get selected to host College GameDay Driven by State Farm?
Each year, ESPN chooses sites based on the recent success of the program, the projected success of the program in the near future, the significance of the game, among other factors.

What are the air times for the show?
The morning show airs from 10-11 am CT, and the evening show airs from 7-8 pm CT. Game time is 8 pm.

Assembly Hall doors normally open 1 hour before tip. But with ESPN broadcasting its evening show beginning at 7 pm, will you open doors earlier than one hour prior to tip?
Yes, doors will open 30 minutes earlier than normal at 6:30 pm.

Do you need a ticket to be allowed into College GameDay Driven by State Farm?
College GameDay Driven by State Farm is a free event for the morning show and no ticket is required. A game ticket is required for entrance to the Assembly Hall for the evening show. State Farm will also donate $1 to the Orange Krush Foundation for every person who attends the morning show <> .

What is State Farm's affiliation with ESPN College GameDay?
State Farm is the national sponsor for the ESPN College GameDay series. This is their 4th year as title sponsor.

Which ESPN announcers will be there?
The normal crew of Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis and Digger Phelps are expected to be here for the show. Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale and Erin Andrews will be the ESPN announce crew for the game.

What entrance should I go to?
The West Main Entrance to the Assembly Hall will be the primary entrance for the general public. The Orange Krush will enter through their normal entrance on the Northwest side of the Assembly Hall. If lines back up, other entrances will be opened to accommodate the crowd.

Is seating first come, first served?
Seating is not reserved. However, the Orange Krush will have the opportunity to stand on the floor behind the set.

Where is the best area to sit in to get on TV?
Best area to sit to be seen on TV would be in the lower portion of A Section on the west side of the arena. It is advised to record the show at home because it will be very hard to hear much of the show if you are there in person. ESPN encourages high energy from the crowd with lots of noise.

Will concessions be open?
Yes, but on a limited basis.

Are tickets available for the Illinois-Michigan State game?
Availability for game tickets is extremely limited. Check for updates. We do expect the game to be completely sold out.

What color highlighter should I bring to match Digger?
Orange! What else?



Where all that corn went

From Guardian UK:  One-quarter of all the maize and other grain crops grown in the US now ends up as biofuel in cars rather than being used to feed people, according to new analysis which suggests that the biofuel revolution launched by former President George Bush in 2007 is impacting on world food supplies.

The 2009 figures from the US Department of Agriculture shows ethanol production rising to record levels driven by farm subsidies and laws which require vehicles to use increasing amounts of biofuels.


Champaign City Council to vote tonight on consideration of UC2B proposal

The Champaign City Council will hold a public study session at 7:00pm tonight to decide the fate of the UC2B municipal broadband proposal. A 'yay' vote tonight will mean that next week the council can choose to go ahead with developing the proposal in its current state. However, a 'nay' vote will end any participation of Broadband Access Committee members in developing any proposal for federal funding, even for Round 2.


Tisdale featured on “The Journey” on Big Ten Network

From the Big Ten Network:

New 'Journey' Episode Debuts Sunday

Big Ten basketball fans won't want to miss another new episode of The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2010, which debuts on the BTN at 3:30 PM CT on Sunday, immediately after the Penn State-Wisconsin game. The show re-airs Sunday at 7 PM CT, immediately after the Iowa-Indiana game, as well as 8 PM and 11 PM Sunday. There will also be an encore showing at 7:30 PM on Tuesday.

In this week's episode, The Journey will spend time away from the court with Illinois center Mike Tisdale and Ohio State standout Evan Turner. The show will also go all-access with Iowa's squad as well as Michigan State's Draymond Green.

Following multiple teams every week, The Journey offers a behind-the-scenes, documentary-style look at the most intriguing storylines across the Big Ten Conference. Video clips and bonus footage from previous episodes can be found at



Q&A with performance artist Rebecca Nagle, performing tonight

Rebecca Nagle is performing her one-woman show "A Dozen Things I Want to Do On Stage" tonight at the U-C Independent Media Center at 8 p.m. There's a sliding admission scale of $6 to $12 (not sure how it slides), and Jacob Barton will be opening on udderbot. Rebecca answered some of our incredulous questions by email. As an introduction, the dozen things are:

  1. undress to "Wenn Ich Mir Was Wünschen Dürfte"
  2. fit in a small box
  3. tell your secrets
  4. discuss why something is racist
  5. fall in love
  6. read her fantasies
  7. act out your fantasies
  8. induce a tragedy
  9. fall down
  10. take truth serum while letting the audience ask her questions
  11. tell a tall tale
  12. disembowel herself


Rebecca Nagle: I do nightly disembowelments. It does not involve magic, but it does involve a daily trip to the blood bank.

Smile Politely: Who supplies your truth serum? Are you tempted to lie in answering this question?

Rebecca Nagle: My friend back in Baltimore is a neurologist at John Hopkins. She gets it for me. I'm not lying.

Smile Politely: How did you get interested in 1920's political cabaret?

Rebecca Nagle: I took a class on fascist aesthetics in college which was mostly about art in Germany and Italy during World War II. And one of the things we studied was Weimar republic cabaret and how radical that art form was and how it was oppressed and shut down when Hitler came to power. And right now in contemporary performance there is this whole neo-cabaret movement, that isn't always self aware of its origins. And knowing that I was going to use the format of a variety show I did more research and was really fascinated by how radical the cabarets in the 1920's were. A lot of the performance was this visceral reaction people were expressing to the violence they had witnessed in World War I. In Vienna some of the cabarets incorporated Dadaism, so it was really experimental.

Smile Politely: What is the best tall tale you've ever heard?

Rebecca Nagle: The best story my family has is from our first family vacation before my dad and step mom got married. We were in a small town in Minnesota in this small episcopal church and this old, old, old priest was effeciating a baptism. And he kept backing up into the baptismal candle and lighting his robe on fire. And as the alcolites were hitting him on the back to put the fire out, he turned to them and said thank you because he thought they were patting him on the back to say that he was doing a good job. So he never realized that he was lighting himself on fire and none of the people in this small, polite congregation ever told him.

Smile Politely: What's been your favorite and least favorite reaction from an audience member to this show?

Rebecca Nagle: It's hard to get people reactions right after the show, because I'm dead. But I really like it when people find me on the internet and send me e-mails and facebook messages. Sometimes really long ones about all of the things that the show made them think about. It's a pretty meaty piece of work and to see that people really take the time to digest it makes me really happy.

Smile Politely: Anything else that you want to share is welcome, thanks for helping to weird up our little towns.

Rebecca Nagle: Other things to say... hmm... In general the performance combines 1920's European cabaret with 1970's feminist performance art to make an interactive variety show that deconstructs power, gender, sexuality, and truth.


Interim Provost/Chancellor Easter outlines budget woes to UI students

From a massmail sent by Easter to all UIUC students early this morning:

Dear Students:

As we approach the spring semester I write to inform you of the current
financial situation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

As is the case with all public universities in the state we currently face
a cash crisis. In the current fiscal year that commenced on July 1, 2009,
we have only received 7 percent of our annual appropriation from the
state. As I write this letter the state of Illinois owes the University
more than $436 million of its appropriation. That number increases every

As a response, we have instituted a number of measures on campus to ensure
that we have the necessary resources to get through the semester with an
eye to confronting a similar fiscal shortfall in the next fiscal year. Our
faculty and administrative staff will begin mandatory furloughs in
February. (A furlough is a leave of absence without pay.) We have also
been cutting costs at all levels of the university and we are looking at
ways we can consolidate services to garner even more savings. Finally, we
continue to draw on cash reserves, but these are finite and we can no
longer continue to go down this path.

Please understand that we are doing everything we can to protect our
students - our number one priority - from the impact of these cost-cutting
measures. We believe that each fiscal decision we make must not compromise
the education of this state's greatest assets, its daughters and sons.

Please share this letter with your parents and family members. Great
public universities such as ours must be preserved and supported to ensure
that Illinois and the nation stay competitive in a global economy.

Thank you for your support,

Robert A. Easter
Chancellor and Provost (Interim)


Despite petition, Rietz refuses to drop charges on Jeshaun

Originally posted on the UC-IMC site.

On Tuesday morning, Jan. 19, Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice delivered an online petition with 377 signatures to State’s Attorney Julia Rietz asking her to drop the charges on Jeshaun Manning-Carter, the 15 year old who was with Kiwane Carrington when he was killed by Champaign police. A hard copy of the petition with another 60 signatures was also presented. Jeshaun is being prosecuted on felony charges of resisting arrest.

A juvenile hearing was held at 2 p.m. with about 15-20 supporters showing up at the Champaign County Courthouse, although they were not permitted in the courtroom as is routine in juvenile cases. State’s Attorney Rietz appeared in court and local African American attorney Alfred Ivy represented the defendant. Attorney Ivy asked Judge Heidi Ladd for a continuance, saying that he and the State’s Attorney were working toward a resolution. Rietz had no objection, stating that according to Principal Richard Kelly of the READY Program where Jeshaun goes to school, he was attending class and doing well. Yet despite this good record, Rietz was still unwilling to drop the charges.

A continuance was granted and the next hearing will be held February 17 at 2:45 in Courtroom C.  

You can sign the petition and read the many heartfelt comments left by others here:

After the hearing, I attempted to ask Rietz if she had a response to the people who had signed the petition and she simply stated, “No.” When I asked why she would not respond she said, “I don’t trust you Brian.”

While Rietz would not talk to me, she invited press members from WCIA and WDWS into her office. A reporter with the television station WCIA told me that Rietz had seen the petition and read it.


Tour Diaries: World’s Second World’s First Flying Machine’s World’s First Tour Post

Saturday 1/16/10 - Cincinnati

We played at Rohs Street Café. It’s a great coffee shop with a huge stage that connects to a cathedral style church. From the clientele and the American Apparel across the street I could tell it was a “happening” place. Neon orange tights!?!? That's so hip!!!

But seriously, why is everyone in Cincinnati so fashionable? I felt like we were in a Coca Cola commercial that took place at an “indie rock show.” And I totally mean that in a positive way, I was neither pretty enough nor clean smelling enough to be there. But despite our sloppy appearance, the fine people of Cincinnati accepted us.

We were very excited because not only were there 100+ more people than we were expecting, many of them were more than happy to buy our CD (INSERT INFO ABOUT OUR CD RELEASE SHOW!!!).

One guy was surprised to find out we were from Champaign-Urbana because he thought we sounded like “if Broken Social Scene was from Tennessee.”I told him that analogy was much more appreciated than the Dave Matthews Band comparison we got the night before.

Everyone in Champaign-Urbana should love the band Enlou (who set this show up for us). I think they are more than ready and capable to “break out” or what have you. But yeah listen to them – reverb, dance beats, and vibraphone! They were also nice enough to let us stay at their place and their guitarist, Curt, drove Chris and I to Wendy’s at 2 in the morning.

Sunday 1/17/10 - Indianapolis

Indy show

The last day of our tour brings us to Indianapolis. The venue is called the Earth House Collective. It reminds me of a three floor Red Herring. The basement has a vegetarian restaurant, the ground floor serves coffee, and the top floor is a huge, beautiful room with a big stage. The room was full of seated audience members, but the big stage and tall ceilings made the place fill huge and empty.

It felt awkward performing but we got the most positive reaction of the tour, so I guess we sounded alright to the folks listening. We played with another fantastic group, Accordions. My favorite part of the set was when the group got off stage and played some songs in the audience. Melodica, trumpet, ukulele, autoharp, a singing saw, and the titular instrument blended perfectly with the group’s spot on vocal harmonies.

After the show, Accordions taught us how to “Elk Wrestle” (it’s basically like competitive yet gentle head-butting) and then we headed back to C-U. All in all, it was a great time. We’re looking forward to seeing you on the 30th.


Tour Diaries: World’s First Flying Machine’s World’s First Tour Part 1

Wednesday 1/13/10 – Chicago

It’s the first day of the World’s First World’s First Flying Machine tour! I, admittedly, only had to take a 10 minute bus ride to Quenchers Saloon, but the rest of the band made their way from further distances. It was the best Chicago show since we opened for Headlights at Schubas way back when.

Quenchers gives each band member a “$10 credit for drinks” and in order to keep track of this they have their own currency. It’s a lot like Geoffrey Bucks from Toys R US. And with the crazy good beer selection I felt like a drunk kid in a toy store.

Thursday 1/14/10 – Day Off! Our day off!

While the rest of the band went to Champaign to assemble our handmade LIMITED EDITION copies of “The House You’re Living In” (available at our CD release show at Canopy Club on Jan 30!!!), I performed at the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival with The Other Other Guys – a comedy group formed at U of I and sort of named after campus acapella group “The Other Guys.” I’ll be taking a much too early train to Champaign tomorrow.

Friday 1/15/10 – Tennessee

Far from city lights and GPS signals, a couple of us are taking night cap shots of Beefeater, waiting for the water to boil on the wood burning stove. Also, we’re in a school bus. But more on that later.

We left for Greenbrier, Tennessee around 11 in the morning. We arrived at Greenbrier, Tennessee around 6 p.m. I ate two McDouble Cheeseburgers at 6:30 p.m., I regretted eating two McDouble Cheeseburgers at 6:33 p.m. Then we went into the venue.

Loudhouse Coffee is located at a strip mall alongside a laundromat and a resale shop/ dog grooming store. It was the most fully realized all age venue I’ve ever been to. We played to some angsty small town teens, some of their parents, and some of their much younger siblings. An eight-year-old girl put her feet on the stage and doodled a bearded stick figure version of Gautam during our set.

It was really great. Not only was this our first out of state show, but it was the first time the crowd wanted an encore. That was a total surprise, considering we followed a Paramore-esque band with a light show that the crowd went bananas for. We even sold a handful of our handmade LIMITED EDITION copies of “The House You’re Living In” (skip this parenthetical phrase to avoid another shameless plug: which will be released locally on January 30 at our CD release show at the Canopy Club!!!!)

The night ended with this scream-o band that really blew my mind. They had synchronized rock out moves including “Running in Place,” “Head Banging like a Scarecrow,” and “Head Banging like a Spider Monkey.” A lot of the songs had these great talking-verses. Some choice quotes:

“If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to give in; you don’t want to grow up (Death Growl)”

“A friend once told me that you should learn to live with yourself because in the long run that’s who you’re stuck with (pause) FOR LIFE (Death Growl).”

wffm bus

But yeah, we got this show because of the help of the very good Nashville band Pineapple Explode. And we’re drinking a variety of beverages inside a renovated school bus because Pineapple Explode member Markus was kind enough to let us stay at his family’s farm. He’s been working on the bus for a couple months and I have to say it’s one of my favorite places I’ve been to in recent memory. There’s a bunk bed and an autoharp! Part two of the tour coming later this week!!!