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Grovestone and Prairie Fruits Farm teaming up for cheese platter workshop

Grovestone and Prairie Fruits Farm are teaming up to host a cheese platter (with wine!) workshop on Thursday, March 29th. 

The workshop is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Grovestone (1707 W Kirby Ave, Champaign); tickets are $55 and available for purchase online. So, what do you get for that price tag?

About the Classes: Just in time for the holidays! Join our local cheesemonger from Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery for a delicious and informative class on how to build the perfect cheese platter.

Learn different cuts and styles, general rules of thumb, and complementary pairings to make the most of your cheese boards at home.

Enjoy tastings of wine from Vintage Wines and cheese while we build our platter together... go home with your creation and the skills to wow your guests at the next festive gathering!

Must be 21 years of age for the wine tasting.

Bonus: Each student will receive 10% off of their Grovestone purchases the day of the class.

Well, it looks like you get a cheese platter, which will obviously be delicious. If you register and need to cancel, please note that you have to do so with a one week notice, or you won't get refunded. Call 217-239-2700 to cancel, or for more information. 

Photo by Jessica Hammie

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Black Dog Urbana now has online ordering

If you were wondering how ordering smoked goodness from Black Dog Smoke & Ale House could be even easier, you now have your answer. They have just added online ordering for their Urbana location. A few clicks and you are on your way to a yummy dinner that you don't have to cook. This link will get you there.

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Illini Hillel is hosting a Purim Drag Show

I mean, does it get any better than that event title? It's sponsored by Illini Hillel and the University of Illinois LGBT Resource Center. Thursday, March 1st, 9 p.m.-12 a.m. at the Canopy Club. Tickets can be purchased from www.illinihillel.org. Here are the details from FB:

Purim: the Jewish holiday where nothing is as it appears. Party with us in your best costume with drinks and a full drag show. Featuring professional drag queens and kings performing the story of Purim. Tickets are $5 and all proceeds will be donated to The UP Center of Champaign County.

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The Art Theater hosting Oscars trivia night on February 25th

The Oscars are coming up, are you prepared? Have you caught up on what's been nominated? If you haven't, you should start there. Once you've done that, or if you're already caught up, here's an opportunity to showcase your film knowledge at the Art Theater on February 25th.

From the Facebook event:

Calling all cinephiles and trivia enthusiasts: come out to the Art Theater on Sunday, February 25 at 7:00 and test your knowledge of Academy Awards nominees and winners at our Oscars-themed trivia night. Individuals and teams of up to 6 people can compete for prizes. There will be drink specials! And of course popcorn! Tickets are $7 per person. Don’t miss your chance to be recognized for excellence in cinematic trivia achievements!

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Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble broke down the white patriarchy in one fell swoop

If only it were that easy. For now, we'll just have to appreciate the victories when they come on a platter, served by those who dished it out with which to begin. 

To wit: 

Former UIUC professor Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble just released what appears to be one of the most important research based books about the nature of racism and prejudice in the modern era.

You'll note that I stated that it appears to be one, and that is because I haven't read it. As such, I wouldn't pretend to know either way, outside of what the early reviews are stating, and because of this sad, yet amusing reminder of a tale too often told.

I'll not rehash the whole thing here. Gizmodo did a fine job of that yesterday, which is why we are giving it some local ink. 

Needless to say, this one made me literally SMDH and then also chuckle, just thinking of the way she must have cocked her head as she read the initial tweet. The ensuing engagement is all too familiar these days. That it involves someone who made such a big impact during her time here, well, that's called "News" where Smile Politely is concerned. 

Normally, I'd say something about how Safiya should go on being her badass self, but she already knows that, and doesn't need to hear it from the likes of me, that is for damn sure. I'm part of the problem. But at least I can recognize it. 

Image courtesy Flickr / Personal Democracy

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Early voting has begun in Champaign County, so take advantage if you can

The March primary is coming up rather quickly, and it falls on the University of Illinois spring break (and probably the spring break of many area schools). If that affects you, or if you just want to check that item off your to-do list, here's what you need to know about early voting, per the Champaign County Clerk's office:

Early Voting has now begun for the March 20, 2018 Primary Election.

Early Voting is available at the Office of the Champaign County Clerk beginning on February 8 and until March 19.

Early Voting will also be available from March 13 through March 19 at the Illini Union, The Church of the Living God, Leonhard Recreation Center, Meadowbrook Community Church, Lake of the Woods Pavilion, The Gathering Place (FUMC), Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and Tolono Public Library.

Exact dates, hours, locations and other information are available at www.champaigncountyclerk.com/ev/.

All early votes cast are final. Beginning February 21, Grace Period Registration and Voting is available at all locations.

For this Primary Election, all voters will have to choose a ballot.

If you want to find the sample ballots for the races that you will be voting in, check here. It's also a great way to make sure you're registered. 

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Check out the University of Illinois Library Mapping History project

The Mapping History project began in 2015, and is still ongoing as students and faculty from the University Archives, the School of Architecture, the Scholarly Commons at the University Library, and various other departments work to piece together a history of the University told through maps, photos, and historical documents. You can explore the project through their website; be sure to check out this animated map timeline of the growth of the university and the many interactive maps that allow you to dig deeper into UIUC history.

Above image a portion of map obtained from the University Library Digital Collections. You can see the full image here.

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Valentine’s pop-up planned for February 12th at Quality

There's a maker fair of sorts happening on Monday, February 12th from 5-9 p.m. at Quality in Downtown Champaign, featuring a variety of vendors from around town to check out. 

From the Facebook event:

Valentine’s•Galentine’s•Treat Yo Self

Support local artists and stay for a beer or two. We have unique gifts for that special person in your life.

Vendors:
Tracks on Wax soy candles
Plant Mode
Lark’s Head Macrame
Fire Doll Studio
Cici Ceramics
Art by Carlie Dawn
The Cozy Cosmos
Original Cards by Kaleb Wachala