Category: Word

Professor Kate Clancy’s research into periods and COVID vaccines has gained national attention

Dr. Kate Clancy, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology posed this question on Twitter back in February:

The tweet generated enough interest that she has now collaborated with PhD alumna Katharine Lee to launch an online survey to find out more. The survey, that has had more than 19,000 responses in a week, was highlighted in The New York Times.

This is not Clancy's first foray into discussing menstruation; she started The Period Podcast in 2016 to explore the "biology and culture of the menstrual cycle." You can read more about it in our interview with her.

Top photo by Fred Zwicky from Kate Clancy's website.


Big Thorn’s Tree Bar is opening next week

Big Thorn Farm & Brewery's iconic Tree Bar will open for the season on Thursday, April 29th. The Tree Bar is an elevated bar built in the woods from wood harvested from the Farm's woods, and it will be open starting next week.

The opening weekend for the Tree Bar will also have a special taco on the menu: jerk shrimp. There's a Facebook event page for the opening week.

Big Thorn Farm & Brewery
14274 E 600 North Road
Th+F 3 to 9 p.m.
Sa noon to 9 p.m.
Su noon to 8 p.m.

Top image by Rebecca Wells.


Flying Machine Avionics now has indoor seating

After more than a year of curbside and carryout, Flying Machine Avionics is now open indoors. A few things to note before you head over to enjoy a nice cup of Page Roasting coffee:

  • You are limited to a party of 4
  • Keep your visit to no more than 90 minutes
  • You need to wear your mask when not actively consuming food or drink
  • They are easing into things, so only to-go cups to start, and no food menu yet

Check out their Instagram post below for more:


A post shared by AvionicsFMC (@avionicsfmc)

Flying Machine Avionics
202 S First Street
M-F 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sa 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Top photo by Anna Longworth.


Volunteer with Champaign County Forest Preserve District for Earth Day

On Saturday, April 24th, Champaign County Forest Preserve District is hosting a Volunteer Help Day in honor of Earth Day. They are looking for volunteers that can help with clean up and invasive species removal along Kickapoo Rail Trail. Register at one of the previous links, then meet at Walmart in Urbana or Kolb Park in St. Joseph at 10 a.m. to check in, and they will direct you from there. A few things to know:

  • Bring work gloves and a water bottle
  • Wear closed toe shoes and long pants
  • Wear a mask
  • Adults only 

If you can't make Saturday work, they have three upcoming opportunities for removing garlic mustard plants from forest preserves: 

Thursday, April 22nd, 1 to 3 p.m. 
Middle Fork River Forest Preserve
Meet at North waterfowl parking lot, 2554 County Rd 3500 N

Tuesday, April 27th, 9 to 11 a.m.
Homer Lake Forest Preserve
Meet at parking lot East of spillway, 1245 Flicker Dr., Homer

Wednesday, May 5th, 1 to 3 p.m.
Lake of the Woods Bike Path
Meet at parking lot between covered bridge and golf course, 109 S Lake of the Woods Rd

You can also remove the plants on your own time. Head over to their Facebook post to learn more about how to do it. 

Top photo from CCFPD Facebook page.


Caribbean Grill has been awarded a James Beard Foundation grant

Caribbean Grill is one of 37 independent businesses across the country that has been awarded a $15,000 grant in addition to PPE from the James Beard Foundation. As part of the foundation's efforts to support and rebuilding the industry, the grant is distributed from the organization's Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans. 

The James Beard Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.

Here is the excerpt from the James Beard Foundation website about Caribbean Grill.

Over the past 10 years, Michael Harden Jr. has been serving up spiced rice and peas, oxtail, jerk chicken, and more at his restaurant Caribbean Grill. Harden Jr. got his start vending at food festivals, then slowly expanded his business from catering and carry-out lunch to a food truck in 2015 and finally a brick-and-mortar location in 2017. Since the start of the pandemic, Harden Jr. has seen a 50 percent decrease in revenue and has reduced his business hours to help keep his staff safe. Harden Jr. plans to use the grant to retain and pay employees as well as sustain operations during this time.

Here is what Caribbean Grill anounced on their instagram.

This was a welcomed and pleasant surprise! THANK YOU!! to the James Beard Foundation for putting your money where your mouth is and supporting diverse, independent restaurants like @caribbeangrill! Not only did @beardfoundation send us a box full of PPE to keep our team safe, we've also been awarded a $15,000 grant to help keep us #openforgood!

This is what real support and not just lip service looks like. Much gratitude to the Foundation, its donors and partners. We are humbled by this generous action and so proud to be a part of such a diverse and inclusive culinary community. 

Check out our interview with owner Michael Harden Jr. and read our reviews of Caribbean Grill here and here.

Caribbean Grill
2135 S Neil St
T-Sa 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Top image by Matthew Macomber.


You have two more Saturdays to shop the Winter Farmers Market

The Land Connection kept the indoor market going throughout the winter, allowing folks to continue to shop their favorite local farmers and vendors. As summer creeps closer, there are just two more opportunities to shop the market: April 17th and April 24th from 8 to 11 a.m.

This Saturday is triple LINK day at the market, and the 24th will offer Kid's Kits with everything needed to make asparagus fries. The kits are first come first served.

The good news, is that outdoor markets are not far away! Opening day for the Champaign Farmers Market is May 18th from 3 to 6 p.m.

Top photo from Champaign-Urbana Farmers Markets Facebook page.


D.P. Dough has vegan options

Did you know you can order vegan calzones from D.P. Dough? They have four different options: Vegan BBQ, Vegan-Veggie Burger, Vegan Nacho, Spicy Vegan. You can also order Vegan Cheese Stix. 

All of the calzones have various combos of veggies and sauce, and they are made with either vegan mozzerella or cheddar. The "meat" options have Impossible burger in them. 

Vegan Zones also happen to be 25 percent off on Fridays. I'm a meat eater, but I think this is pretty solid vegan menu, especially for a place that has all the meats on their menu (including a Zone that has ham, sausage, bacon, pepperoni, and meatballs).

Top photo from D.P. Dough Facebook page.


Save the date for the 8th Annual Allerton Plant Sale

Allerton Park is hosting its 8th annual plant sale fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 1st and 2nd. There will be a whole bunch of different plants, including a limited supply of Allerton Bluebells. All proceeds from the fundraiser directly support the park.

Not sure what to do with the pretty plants? Staff will be on site to answer any questions, but you can also submit questions to master gardeners.

Cash and cards are accepted.

Top image from Allerton Park's Facebook page.


Rose Bowl Tavern is ready for their first patio show of the season

Rose Bowl Tavern is bringing their parking lot patio back, and will be hosting Kilborn Alley Blues Band for their first show of the year. The show is from 7 to 10 p.m., and it's $40 to reserve a table for four. If you have a larger party, reserve your table then you can get more information on how they can accomodate you.

There is still a pandemic, so you need to follow public health guidelines and stay at your table. If you need to get up, you must wear your mask. 

Top photo from Rose Bowl Tavern Facebook page.


The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology is providing vaccine discovery activity kits

Curious how vaccines were developed, now that we are consistently talking about vaccines amidst the COVID-19 pandemic? Carl R. Woese Institute for Geonomic Biology, which you've probably heard simply as IGB, has developed these vaccine discovery activity kits to learn more about them. They're geared towards kids, but certainly there's a thing or two we could all learn about vaccinations.

Here's some information about them from IGB:

The free hands-on activities, geared towards children ages 8 and up, puts you in the shoes of a scientist and guides you through the process of vaccine discovery using a fake disease. 

Vaccine Discovery Kits will run monthly from May 1st – August 1st. Each month, a Vaccine Discovery Kit will be available for download or pickup at Champaign and Urbana public libraries.

If you're interested in downloading the first kit, go here to sign up and learn more.

Top image from IGB.


Check out this rogue map of the U of I steam tunnels

I've lived in C-U for more than 20 years, and attended the U of I, and it wasn't until recently that I was even aware that these steam tunnels exist, and are apparently a rather common way to heat buildings on university campuses. 

The tunnels are sort of an urban legend, mostly because those that are still active are off limits to everyone except authorized Facilties and Services employees, you know, because of danger. This map, with the tunnels drawn in and notations designating easy access points was posted on Reddit and dubbed the UIUC Marauder's Map. 

A map on yellowed paper of the University of Illinois campus. Someone has taken a black pen and drawn in the steam tunnel locations and made other notations. Image from Reddit.Image from Reddit.

The Daily Illini published an informative article about the tunnels a few years ago: 

This system, based on nine miles of steam tunnels, serves as the University’s prime energy source. The tunnels also allow the University to more easily connect newly constructed buildings to the system. The system of tunnels isolate the steaming hot pipes so that Facilities and Services can maintain, detect and fix possible steam leaks.

“Abbott Power Plant burns coal, natural gases and water, which we then burn to make steam, rather than condense it,” said Daniel Ruzic, professor of nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering at the University. “The steam then travels through the steam tunnel system to provide energy to the buildings connected.”

Here's a mildly entertaining article from students who found a way into the tunnels (with blurred faces and pseudonyms). 

And here's a photo of one of the tunnels under construction in 1934.

A black and white photo of a construction site, featuring a long trench dug into the ground. Photo from UIUC Archives.Photo from UIUC Archives.

Editor's Note: We do not condone unlawfully entering the steam tunnels. 

Top image from Reddit. 


View a new film from the theatre department at Krannert Art Museum

Illinois Theatre Actors, Theatre Studies Screenwriters, and Media and Cinema Studies Filmmakers collaborated to create a short film entitled REDBALLand Krannert Art Museum will be playing it on a continuous loop in their auditorium April 15-17. 

The film was entirely written, acted, and filmed by students on location at Krannert Art Museum and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.  

On April 22nd at 6 p.m. there will be a virtual discussion about the film. Registration is required, and you can do that here.

If you plan to visit KAM, admission is free but you must reserve a time slot

Top photo provided by Krannert Art Museum.