"I love coffee, I love tea. I love the Java Jive and it loves me."
As the song "Java Jive" faded in and out, plant pathologists Darin Eastburn and Cleo D'Arcy sat in front of a microphone and explained to listeners how people can spread plant diseases around the world.
It was Week 3 of the University of Illinois course "Plants, Pathogens and People," and students would learn, among other things, Sri Lanka was a major coffee producer until a disease called coffee rust wiped out the island's crop.
CHAMPAIGN – Jeffrey Breslow, a partner in Chicago-based Big Monster Toys, says he's indebted to Ed Zagorski for opening up an unexpected career for him.
"Without Ed, I can't imagine what I'd be doing, but I certainly wouldn't be designing toys," said Breslow, whose companies have licensed ideas to Hasbro, Mattel and Fisher-Price. "He basically changed my life."
After the boulder pierced and crushed her left leg, Miriam Young, pinned between two rocks, lifted her head and looked to the west.
There it was, beyond the heap of black volcanic rock: the Atlantic Ocean.
Ben McCall can't travel into the vast reaches of space to find out what interstellar clouds are made of and how they work on a molecular level, so he brings the cosmic bodies to his University of Illinois lab.
The clouds' chemistry, anyway.
URBANA – A Champaign County jury has ordered that the University of Illinois pay a Champaign woman $9,750 an acre for farmland she owns that the UI wants.
The amount is about half of what Renee Lo, 67, had hoped that the jury would award her for 132 acres she owns south of Urbana that lies in the heart of the area that the UI has earmarked for its expansion of the South Farms.
CHAMPAIGN – Eighteen University of Illinois alumni who have played Chief Illiniwek throughout the decades are expected to return to campus this weekend to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the school's American Indian symbol.
On Saturday, the Fighting Illini football team will take the field in Memorial Stadium for the last time this season. Despite speculation that Saturday's performance could be Chief Illiniwek's last performance in the stadium, Illiniwek supporters said they are not planning any farewell events.
CHAMPAIGN – After nearly two years of waiting, University of Illinois Professor Jeffrey Brown has finally taken his seat on the Social Security Advisory Board.
President Bush nominated Brown to the seven-member board in January 2005, but his confirmation was delayed until a Democratic nominee to the board could also be approved.
SAVOY – Just how badly do people want to avoid the parking fees at Willard Airport?
According to airport director Gene Barton, some travelers are willing to wait until midnight, when the parking attendant goes off duty, before exiting the airport lots.
CHAMPAIGN – Poet and University of Illinois Professor Tyehimba Jess knew six weeks ago that he would receive a Whiting Writers' Award on Oct. 25. But he had to keep it a secret from his colleagues.
"I told my department the day before I left to go get it," he said. "I was very surprised when the foundation called me. I was just sitting in bed and they gave me a phone call. I was shocked and bewildered and then I said, 'Great, fantastic.'"
URBANA -- University of Illinois faculty are pressing administrators for more information about online education plans.
The UI Senate on Monday unanimously endorsed a resolution that essentially asks President B. Joseph White and Special Assistant Chet Gardner for more detailed academic plans about Global Campus, the online education initiative announced earlier this year.