More than a mile beneath Decatur, where temperatures reach 122 degrees and no light penetrates, lives a community of bacteria happily munching on iron and other geological delicacies.
I work in radio. This year celebrates my 40th year with WFMT in Chicago, even though I create my programming in Champaign County.
When I returned here in 1986, before WFMT moved its transmitter to the Sears (now Willis) Tower in Chicago, one could sporadically hear WFMT in East Central Illinois with a good antenna and a really good FM tuner, which I tried all for naught.
CHAMPAIGN — A year and a half later, local officials still have few answers about what will become of $400,000 committed by Champaign-Urbana residents toward the expansion of a high-speed, fiber-optic network while delays plague similar efforts in Chicago and Seattle.
Family Tree magazine's Genealogy Insider has a helpful website that provides access to four free websites having old maps at bit.ly/1jmp54v.
Technology shatters crystal balls. So the glassmaker Corning Corp. invented flexible, nearly indestructible Willow Glass as mentioned last year. You'll be seeing it in and on current and future smartphones, tablets, TVs and possibly even car windows.
CHAMPAIGN — Playing video games has paid off handsomely for 21-year-old Trevor Martin of Champaign.
Martin parlayed his expertise from playing "Call of Duty" games into a career as a video game commentator on YouTube.
In the process, he's built a following of nearly 2 million YouTube subscribers and taken in streams of revenue from corporate advertisers.
CHAMPAIGN — For a local robotics team made up of middle and high schoolers, build season is a six-week scramble.
Last year, the challenge was to build a robot that fired Frisbees, could move offensively in matches against other robots (including forward, backward and sideways) and could climb a jungle-gym like structure. It will start next year's season Jan. 4.
It was a year populated with food-truck startups and crowd-funding schemes. A year in which IMAX came to Savoy.
A year in which Flex-N-Gate's Shahid Khan leapfrogged Oprah on Forbes magazine's rankings of the 400 richest Americans.
Ah, 2013 — how much we'll remember, how much we'll forget.
DANVILLE — The Danville Family YWCA and University of Illinois 4-H are teaming up to sponsor a tech fair for middle school and high school students.
The event will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 3 at the YMCA, 1111 N. Vermilion St., Danville. It is free, and registration isn't required.
When you think of elementary school, you think of reading, writing and arithmetic — but probably not computer programming.