Category: Video

Instagram Story Takeover with Japan House

Our next installment in our Instagram Story Takeover series takes place this Saturday, April 20th. Japan House will be taking the controls during their Sakura Pop-Up.

Follow us at @SmilePolitely on Instagram to follow along with this installment of our Story Takeover series. Check them out and give them a follow @japanhouseofui on Instagram if you don't already. Head over to our Instagram Highlight section to see our previous installments we've done in the past, which includes Krannert Center, Patrick Earl Hammie, Polyvinyl Records, Erin Erdman of Page Roasting Company, and more.

Come to Japan House during our April Third Saturday this weekend on April 20th! We will be holding a special Sakura Pop-Up event. We are anticipating the bloom of the Sakura, or Japanese Cherry Blossoms, and will be featuring local craft vendors, food, and drinks. Don't miss out on the chance to get a glimpse of these fleeting flowers!

Japan House will be open to the public for shopping and browsing from 11:00am - 1:30pm with free scheduled tours given at 11:00am and 12:00pm.

Vendors include: Same Street Studio, Piper Pottery, Maxx Gogski, Pipapo, Wright Soapery, Plant Mode, Broadway Food Hall, and Matcha Café provide by the Japan House Interns featuring matcha, cold matcha, ramune soda, bottled water, matcha ice cream, matcha shortbread cookies, traditional Japanese matcha wagashi and matcha crepe cake!

In addition, check out this Tomonokai reception:

Tomonokai Hanami Reception
Tomonokai members only!

We will be hosting a private event for our Tomonokai members to enjoy the sakura from 4:30pm - 6:30pm on Saturday, April 20th. We will be welcoming the cherry blossoms with a light hanami snack, cherry blossom short bread cookies by Cream & Flutter, sake and cocktails for you to enjoy in the gardens. Music will also be provided by Senior Intern Jeffrey Elem.

Want to learn more about becoming a Tomonokai member? More information on benefits and membership on our website.

Top photo from Japan House


This American Library Association video features a U of I librarian

The ALA is doing a video series on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in libraries, and this one feature University of Illinois librarian JJ Pionke. In it, he discusses his advocacy in the area of disability rights, and highlights the ways he's helped make our university libraries more accessible for those with disabilities. It's worth the watch!

You can find Pionke's library guide of resources here
Photo from University Library Facebook page

Watch this viral video taken on the U of I Quad

The video was tweeted by a group of students with a YouTube channel called Crying Laughing, and it's all at once hilarious and utterly embarrassing (and rather shameful). It's clear that overall lack of education in black history and black culture — or willingness of individuals to learn — is a real issue. 

Watch, cringe, and do better. 


A Parkland student just won the Boston Marathon Men’s Wheelchair race

Daniel Romanchuk, at 20 years old, is the youngest man to win the race, and he also recorded the fastest time for an American: 1:21:36. He adds the title to a growing list, as he won the Chicago and New York races in 2018. 

Here's the video of his finish, from CBS Chicago:

He's a member of the University of Illinois Wheelchair Racing team, which also produced Paralympians Tatyana McFadden and Amanda McGrory. 
Photo from U.S. Paralympics Facebook page

Celebrate Tax Day (and National Poetry Month) with the Quintessential Poets

Here's some motivation to file your taxes before midnight on Monday. After all those hours of number crunching, let your mind enjoy the sound of poetry, brought to you by The Quintessential Poets.  So this Monday at 7 p.m., stop by the Urbana Free Library and say goodbye to Tax Day and hello to National Poetry Month. 

Feautred poets include John Palen, Karen Steiner, and Elaine Palencia.  Members of the Red Herring Fiction Workshop will read with Quints Emily Kerlin and Frank Modica. The reading is free and open to the public.  Refreshments will be served afterward.

Reading by The Quintessential Poets
April 15th, 7 p.m.
Urbana Free Library
210 W Green St, Urbana

Photo from


I can’t stop watching this dunk by Champaign Central’s Khailieo Terry

If I had the capability to embed the video posted by The News-Gazette I absolutely would, but because I'm not able to, please go their website and watch this monster dunk by Champaign Central's Khailieo Terry. He's a sophomore, and he throws down this dunk from just past the free throw line, which is remarkable.

UPDATE: 12:00 pm: Thanks to Mark Palmer for pointing out that this video is posted on Facebook via Floyd Fisher:


This Fox & Friends segment mentioning U of I course is excruciating

In a rather painful clip, a young whippersnapper named Spencer, representing Young America's Foundation, shares incredulous chuckles with the blonde lady from Fox & Friends about the audacity of universities teaching about things like gender and race. 

Our local institution gets a shout out at the top of the segment for a class offered called "Gender in Gaming", which they quickly dismiss as just preposterous and obviously an attempt to further marginalize white men. As you know, they're having a tough go of things nowadays with all the women demanding to not be sexually assaulted and black and brown folks talking about how institutionalized racism is a thing. 

Anyway, if you're up for a laugh, or maybe a good vomit, here ya go!


Smile Politely seeking Multimedia Content Editor

Smile Politely is looking for those interested in photography and videography to join our team as the Multimedia Content Editor for the magazine. The ideal candidate will not merely be passionate about these things, but more importantly, have a strong interest in engaging with the community via the magazine, producing hyper-local content, and more.

We're interested in bringing on someone to do the following:

  • Create photo and video content for our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc)
  • Shoot and edit video content pitched from Editors to accompany articles or stand alone as engaging features
  • Contribute to the SPlog and Weekender each week alongside other Editors

The position is paid, and it is only considered part time — the hourly expectation per week is roughly 5-10 hours, though it varies.

If you're interested, please send us an email at with the subject “Multimedia Content Editor”, and we'll get back to you.