Happy birthday, University of Illinois

Although it doesn’t look a day over 149, today the University of Illinois celebrates its 150th birthday. 150 years ago today, on February 28, 1867, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation creating the Illinois Industrial University, known today as the University of Illinois.

The University today launched its Sesquicentennial Celebration, with events planned go on for the next fifteen months. Festivities began this afternoon with a celebration at the University’s Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana.

Let’s all join in celebrating the 150th birthday of our premiere state university.

Marching Illini visit the Loop and play the Three-In-One

I was sitting in my office overlooking Monroe and Dearborn Streets at noon today and suddenly heard the sounds of a marching band. I looked out the window and saw the Marching Illini assembled about a block away at Madison and Dearborn. After listening several pieces, including “Illinois Loyalty,” from my 19th floor perch, I wandered down to street level to catch the rest of the performance, including the “Three-In-One” in the video above. You can also see and hear the video on my YouTube channel.

The band director said that the “Three-In-One” was first played in 1926 and that this year marks its 90th anniversary. The entry for the Marching Illini on Wikipedia states:

The musical portion of the Three-In-One consists of three distinct Illinois pieces: “Pride of the Illini,” “March of the Illini,” and “Hail to the Orange.” “Pride of the Illini,” written by Karl King with words by Ray Dvorak expressly for the Illinois Bands, was published in 1928. Harry Alford’s “March of the Illini” was also published in 1928, but was used during Chief Illinwek’s performance from the beginning in 1926. ″Hail to the Orange″ was written by Harold V. Hill with words by Howard R. Green in 1910. The three pieces were eventually combined into a medley and given the title, “Three-In-One.” The “Three-In-One” drill and music are an important part of the University’s heritage.

Enjoy the performance, but please excuse my off-key participation in the singing of “Hail to the Orange.”

Supermoon over Evanston

super-moon-over-evanston-img_8108
The largest supermoon in nearly 70 years lit the cloudless sky over Evanston Monday night, November 14, 2016. The world is being treated to supermoons in 3 successive months this fall, but the November supermoon tops them all.

Due to the elliptical orbit of the moon around the earth, its distance from our planet varies. A full moon is characterized as a “supermoon” when its orbit brings it closer to the earth and it therefore appears at least 14% larger than a typical moon and 30% brighter. Tonight’s moon is about 30,000 miles closer to the earth than usual. The moon’s orbit has not brought it this close to earth since 1948 and it won’t be this close again until November 24, 2034.

Harry Caray narrates Cubs’ World Series victory in Budweiser video

In an amazing display of creativity, Budweiser has stiched together scenes of Cubs fans and Chicago during and immediately after the Cubs Game 7 win in Cleveland on November 2, together with snippets of prior broadcasts from the late legendary broadcaster Harry Caray. The result, released the day after the victory, has to be seen to be appreciated.